What Is On Sale The Month of September

What is On Sale The Month of September

September is the transition from summer to back to school. You’ll find great deals on summer clearance and discounted school supplies. Labor day sales are great for finding last-minute deals on grills, gardening supplies, and other items just before the warm weather ends. There are also lots of great apparel deals throughout September. Look out for harvest season sales too, so you can get lots of great fruits and veggies for those last few cookouts of the season.

Here is what is on sale the month of September:

:: Grocery & Drugstore Deals in September

In-season produce: apples, artichokes, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, cucumber, kale, figs, garlic, horseradish, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, nectarines, potatoes, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins, red onions, spinach, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes.

Harvest season sales: sweet corn, apples, pumpkins, berries, squash, peppers.

Labor Day Sales: steak, hamburger, hotdogs, buns, chips, sodas, cold salads, ice cream, beer, solo cups, paper plates, garbage bags.

Family health: Band-Aids, antiseptic, antibacterial hand gel, sunscreen, sunglasses, deodorant, travel size toiletries, bandages. Restock your bathroom and make sure that the kids are prepared for sports boo-boos, the locker room, and being outside in the sun even though it’s cooler outside.

:: Other September Sales

Back to School: pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, folders, glue sticks, construction paper, colored pencils, watercolors, markers, white-out, cosmetics, clothes, shoes, backpacks.

Summer clearance: sunscreen, outdoor games, summer clothing, beach toys, lawn and garden supplies, bathing suits, summer apparel.

Harvest deals: food preparation tools- dehydrators, freezer bags, vacuum sealers, canning jars.

New cars: Dealerships are anxious to get rid of the current year’s models to make room for the next year’s vehicles. You can get a great deal on a car below sticker price in September. Make sure to do your research before hitting the lot to get the best deal possible.

Camping supplies: propane stoves, tents, tent stakes, lanterns, fishing tackle, fishing rods, hunting supplies, sleeping bags, camouflage clothing, insect repellent, backpacks.

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | August 24, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 2 inserts this week: a SmartSource and a Redplum

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

Trojan coupons: they only put out coupons about 3 times per year

:: RedPlum Coupons

AXE $2/1 bodyspray or deodorant stick: this coupon should make for some god deals at the drug stores

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 1 – 2

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: not caring that I am travelling home from vacation this weekend and probably won’t be able to grab extra newspapers

It’s a SHOCKINGLY bad week for coupons!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

3 Homemade Stain Removers You Can Make

3 Simple Homemade Stain Removers You Can Make

With kids you will have stains. It is a given. No sooner do you give birth than you find your nice shirts with stains on them. The amount of stain remover I went through when my children were young was insane, and very costly. Had I know about these 3 Simple Homemade Stain Removers back then, I could have saved my family a lot of money and likely had stains coming out of my clothing a lot better and easier.

Each of these recipes contains different ingredients that may already be in your pantry. I’ve used all of them at one point or another and believe they all work equally well. The biggest thing you have to determine is if you want to go completely natural or if you want to have a more simple and inexpensive version of what you buy in stores. Regardless of your preference, you should easily be able to whip up one of these stain removers in a few minutes to suit your families needs.

3 Simple Homemade Stain Removers

THE BASIC – this one is the least expensive. You can usually pick up 9 oz (just over a cup) of Dawn for just $0.99 at the by shopping the drug store deals and hydrogen peroxide is equally cheap!)

  • 1 Cup Original Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
  • 1 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide
  1. Mix together in spray bottle and spritz onto stain. Let soak for at least 15 minutes prior to wash.

THE NATURAL – if you want a more natural stain remover, this is the one for you. Liquid Castille soap and Vegetable Glycerin used to be hard to find, but now I see it in the natural aisles at my local grocery store and even at Target (although the best prices continue to be on Amazon)

  1. Mix together in spray bottle. May add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. Spray on before washing.

THE HEAVY DUTY – this is for those heavy duty stains. Use as needed, but remember to never use bleach on loads that have been treated with this stain remover. Bleach and ammonia do not mix safely.

  • 1 Cup Original Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
  • 1 Cup Ammonia
  • 1/3 Cup Baking Soda
  • 3 Cups Water
  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in spray bottle or container out of reach of children.
  2. Use as needed, but remember to never use bleach on loads that have been treated with this stain remover. Bleach and ammonia do not mix safely.

Whether you have simple stains from a spot of food landing on your shirt or a heavy duty pasta sauce or grass stain you have multiple choices here in these 3 simple homemade stain removers that will allow you to clean up anything you need to from your clothing.

Have you ever made your own homemade stain remover?

School Lunches The Frugal Way

frugal-school-lunches-back-to-school

School Lunches the Frugal Way

Back to school is right around the corner and it’s time to start preparing by getting school supplies and planning what your child will take for lunches. It’s much easier to plan lunches ahead of time instead of always feeling rushed in the mornings to get it done since you already have enough to worry about on busy school mornings.

Below you will find some great ideas for frugal lunch additions that you can pack this school year. Make sure to change it up every so once in a while so your kids won’t get bored of sack lunches and start begging for cafeteria food. These choices below are healthy and frugal so you don’t have to break the bank finding the best foods for your kids!

Sandwich Ideas: Bread is usually the cheapest option but these other options are also inexpensive and will make the sandwich feel like a whole new meal…even if it has the same filling.

Pita Pockets
Tortillas
English Muffins
French Bread
Buns

Sandwich Filling Ideas: Use one or more of these frugal fillings inside your sandwiches. Or you can always skip the sandwich altogether on some days and have a variety of crackers, cheeses, and meats!

Tuna
Eggs
Peanut Butter
Leftover Meats
Bacon/Lettuce/Tomato

Add Ins:  Lunch wouldn’t be complete if it’s just a sandwich!

Muffins
Apples/Bananas/In Season Fruits
Fruit and Homemade Dip
Cottage Cheese
Salads
Homemade Cookies
Dried Fruits
Pretzels
Homemade Granola Bars
Applesauce
String Cheese or Cheese Slices
Yogurt
Baby Carrots

Other Ideas:  Not into sandwiches every day? Here are some other inexpensive lunches you can pack.

Bagels with Cream Cheese (could also be topped with meats, fruit, ect)
Homemade Soup in a thermos
Pasta Salad
Spaghetti

What are some of your favorite frugal lunch ideas?

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | August 10, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 2 inserts this week: a SmartSource and a Redplum insert.

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

Infusium 23 $2/1 shampoo, conditioner or leave-in treatment: this coupon can usually be used to get it for $1 or less

Lime-A-Way $.50/1 cleaner: they only release coupons about 2 times per year. If you have hard water, this is a nice coupon!

Snack Pack $.45/3 pudding or gel 4pks: we will see these on sale for $1 or less through about the middle of September. If your store doubles coupons, this will make for some nice savings

:: RedPlum Coupons

nothing exciting

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 1 – 2

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 0 – 1

It’s a boring week!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

How To Save Money At Garage Sales

garage-sale-tips

All You Need to Know About Garage Sales

Head down a neighborhood road on any given Saturday in the summer or fall and what will you find? Garage sales up and down the roads, people bringing their goods that they no longer have use for out for others to buy.

Ready to try out a morning of garage sales for yourself? Try out some of the tips below to make the most of your morning and score the best deals!

Get up EARLY!

Even though a few garage sales may start at 8, check for the sales that start at 6 or 7 and get up and get ready for them. There will be fewer people out earlier in the morning so you will have a better selection and get a better chance at some of the bigger items you might be wanting. (Those tend to go first at sales.) Don’t worry about how you look or how you are dressed, just throw in some comfortable clothes, grab a cup of coffee to go and head out for your adventure.

Plan your list out ahead of time.

Don’t wander around to whichever garage sales you can spot unless you aren’t looking for anything in particular. (And if you aren’t looking for anything, why are you out shopping in the first place? Sounds like an impulse buying trap!) Make sure to check the newspaper, Craigslist, and Facebook the night before to make a list of all the sales you want to hit. You will also want to have an idea of where these sales are so you aren’t going all over town looking for a street. A simple search on Google or Mapquest will help you there. Start at the sales closest to your home and go further out as the morning progresses so you have the least amount of driving.

Know what you need.

As I mention above, if you don’t need anything, don’t go out shopping! If you do need to look for some things, make a list ahead of time or at least memorize what you are looking for. If you are looking for clothing, it might be a good idea to write down the sizes and seasons you are shopping for so when you get to a sale you can ask the owners if they have any of those items and you know what to look for.

Know your prices.

Make sure you know or have an idea of what you are willing to pay for an item before you go out shopping for it.  Set a base guideline for what you are willing to pay for a shirt, a pair of jeans, or a certain toy before you go shopping and don’t go over that price. Unless it’s a one of a kind item, chances are you will find it at another garage sale later in the morning or on another day.

Some garage sales you will spend only a few minutes at before you realize that the owners have much too much sentimental value in their items because they are asking too high of a price. In my experience, these are the owners that will not negotiate with you. But for most other garage sales, if you don’t like the price, just ask! Unlike a retail store, garage sale owners don’t need to have a certain amount from an item to break even, they just want to get it sold and often are willing to let it go to a new home for a great deal.

Use the tips above and you should be well on your way to saving money at garage sales in no time!

What is the best deal you’ve ever gotten at a garage sale?

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | August 3, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be xx this week:

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

Alberto V05 $.50/2 shampoo, conditioner or body wash: goes on sale for $1 all the time, making it as low as $0.50 each after doubled coupon

Five Star coupons: these will come in handy when you are shopping for school supplies!

Skippy coupons: it has been quite some time since we saw peanut butter coupons. Here is hoping that they start returning on a regular basis!

:: RedPlum Coupons

Brawny $.55/1 paper towels: If your store doubles coupons, this could make for some cheap paper towels (especially if your store sells the single rolls)

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 2 – 4

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 2 – 3

The Skippy coupons are pretty sweet, as are the Five Star coupons. Other than that, it is a little un-thrilling.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

What is On Sale The Month of August

What Is On Sale In August

August is the end of summer, so you will be able to find end-of-season clearance as well as fall sales throughout the month. While there aren’t any notable holidays in August, it is back-to-school season, so you can save big on school supplies, backpacks, dorm room essentials, and a host of other school needs.

Keep an eye out for clearance sales on bathing suits and summer apparel, and don’t forget about harvest produce sales.

Here is what is on sale the month of August:

:: Grocery & Drugstore Deals in August

In-season produce: beets, corn, cucumber, eggplant, figs, grapes, grapefruit, green beans, lettuce, melons, nectarines, okra passion fruit, peaches, peppers, plums, raspberries, summer squash, strawberries, tomatillos, tomatoes, zucchini.

Fall canning and food storage deals: food storage items, freezer bags, canning supplies, seasonings.

Labor Day Sales: steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, potato salad, macaroni salad, baking potatoes, drink mixes, soda, watermelon, beer, frozen French fries, condiments.

Back to school lunch sales: deli meat, boxed juices, individually packaged snacks, pudding cups, cookies, potato chips, peanut butter, jelly, bread.

:: Other August Sales

Back to school supply sales: pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, glue sticks, crayons, backpacks, folders, lunch boxes, book covers, locker organizers.

Apparel sales: school uniforms, jeans, jackets, socks, t-shirts, underwear, sweaters, long-sleeved shirts.

Electronics: PCs and laptops, cell phones and tablets are on sale for back-to-school. Cell phone providers often introduce new family savings plans just before school goes back. All electronics aimed at or use for educational purposes is on sale at this time.

Summer clearance: Just before Labor Day you’ll find all kinds of end of summer blowout sales. Clothing, outdoor items, sports equipment and several things for in and around the home will be on sale.

Gardening supply sales: August is harvest time so any leftover gardening supplies will be on clearance while stores make canning and food storage and preparation items more affordable. Dehydrators, vacuum sealers, freezing containers, jars and lids and pressure cookers are great deals in August.

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | July 27, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 5 inserts this week: 2 SmartSource inserts, 2 Redplum inserts and a Proctor & Gamble insert.

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

Speed Stick B1G1 free gear antiperspirant/deodorant or body spray up to $4.29: there are always good deals on Speed Stick at the drug stores. This coupon should make the deals even better!

Purell $1/1 8oz+ advanced hand sanitizer bottle: We will see plenty of good deals on this as we get closer to Back To School time

Mitchum $2/1 coupon: this is not on the national lists, but is supposed to be in the inserts in many regions.

:: RedPlum Coupons

Axe B1G1 coupons: if you have someone that likes Axe (yuck!), at least you can save some money on it!

Ragu $.60/2 products: use this coupon to get 3 for $0.47 each at CVS next week!

:: Proctor & Gamble Coupons

the standard coupons but there is a nice $2/1 Tide coupon that should come in handy

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 2 – 4

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 2 – 3

We are starting to see the return of some good coupons!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

8 Tips To Make Affording a Cruise Possible

8 Tips To Make Affording a Cruise Possible

Would you love to take a cruise but are afraid it’s just out of reach financially? Cruises are in reality one of the most inexpensive vacations people can take. They are also a ton of fun. We took the family on a Disney Cruise last year and we all still consider it the best vacation that they have ever had!

With a little bit of planning and research you can be on your way to an amazing getaway!  Here are some tips on affording a cruise:

Plan Ahead – You’ve seen lots of lists online stating when the best time is to book airfare or a hotel room to see the best prices. When it comes to cruises, booking far in advance can yield the best savings, especially if you have a family. Even 12-18 months out is not too far in advance to make reservations. Start planning your vacation and doing your research now and you can save a bundle!

Subscribe to Newsletters – Sign up to receive newsletters from cruise lines or travel websites that interest you. They regularly send out specials like “kids sail free” or free onboard credit. If they have any last minute specials you’ll find out about them first through these newsletters. You can also like their Facebook pages to discover promotions.

Pay as you Go – One of the best features of paying for a cruise is that you don’t have to pay the entire balance at once. When you make a reservation you can pay a deposit and then pay as you go. Most final payments are due by 60 days before sailing. This is a great way to space out payments without putting the trip on a credit card and having to pay interest. If you can pay the total at once, you may be able to get a discount as well. Call the cruise line to find out what’s available.

Book an Interior Room – The least expensive rooms on a ship are the interior rooms. The downside is you won’t have a window but if all you plan to do is sleep in the room you won’t really miss out. Before sailing or when you check in ask if there are any complimentary upgrades available. If rooms haven’t sold you may be able to move into a better room for no additional cost!

Be Flexible – You’ll get the best price on a cruise if you can be flexible. Cruising around holidays and school vacations will be the most expensive. Caribbean cruises in the spring will be expensive, but if you can go in summer you’ll likely find better deals. European cruises in the winter will also net a big savings. It may not be ideal but it can save a lot of money.  We went on a cruise to the Bahamas in August and I can honestly say that the only “bad” day that we had was when we were in port at Nassau. We chose not to do a shore excursion (see below for why) and instead spent some time walking around doing some shopping and taking a quick carriage ride, then we went back to the ship to enjoy the pool.  It was HOT (but not miserable).

Seek Alternative Departure Ports – There are numerous ports in the United States to depart from however most cruises leave from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Instead consider leaving from Galveston, Texas, New Orleans, or even Puerto Rico. Not only can you save on the cruise but you also may save on airfare to get there.

Limit Shore Excursions – A big cost in cruising is the port activities. When we went on our cruise, most of port excursions were about $150 – $200 per person! With a family of 5, that could have added up to $1000 to our trip for just a single day! Instead of choosing an activity at every port, pick just one or two activities, and spend the other days and time exploring on your own! Check to see if your cruise still has a full itinerary on port days as this is often a great way to do some of the activities on the ship that are often more crowded!

Stick With What’s Included There are lots of ways that cruise lines can add to the cost of your vacation. It’s easy to rack up a bill before you know it. Instead of buying lots of fancy drinks or eating in the specialty restaurants stick to the food and drink choices that are included. You’ll save a lot of money this way. If you know that you will want to have beer or wine on your cruise, check to see if your cruise line will allow you to bring your own (to enjoy in your room or for a corking fee in the restaurants).

With a little bit of planning and enough lead time you can have a wonderful cruise experience without breaking the bank!

Do you have any other tips on affording a cruise to add?

15 Tips For Shopping At The Grocery Store!

mindi cherry grocery

We talk about how to shop at the grocery stores all the time.  We talk about how to get the best deals, how to use coupons and so much more.  What we don’t talk about that often is how NOT to make other shoppers want to kill you!

I recently launched to site Etiquette Help (seriously – make sure you read through all the archives and Like Etiquette Help on Facebook), but this is one post that I particularly love.

From my 15 Grocery Store Manners | 15 Tips! post

  1. Slow Down – Breaking the land speed record with a grocery cart is not necessary nor is it acceptable in the grocery store. Slow down and be careful around those blind corners.
  2. 20 Items or Less – Why is it that every time an express lane opens, someone with an entire cart full of items jumps over? Seriously folks, the sign is pretty straight forward.
  3. Have Your Money Ready – Nobody wants to wait while you write out your check or dig for your debit card. Consider those around you and have those things ready when you get up there. You wait in line anyway, so use it to prepare for your turn when you get there.
  4. Let common sense prevail – If you are standing there with an entire cart full of items and the guy behind you has a diet Coke, let him pass. If I need to tell you why, you should never enter a retail establishment again…ever.
  5. When a new line opens, be fair – We all have seen it. Five people are in line and the line next to you that had been closed opens. Then the cart at the back of the line runs over to take the first spot in the new line. Again, did we not cover this in kindergarten? A new line is not an invitation to race those in front of you. Be fair and let the people that have waited the longest get the next register.

See the rest of the tips on Etiquette Help!

Easy Homemade Natural Toilet Bowl Scrub

Easy Homemade Natural Toilet Bowl Scrub

Whether you discovered you are out at the last minute or you are trying to rid your house of chemicals, this Homemade Natural Toilet Bowl Scrub is sure to come in handy. Not only is it very inexpensive to throw together, it is always handy if you are out of your regular cleaner. Plus the bonus of being natural means you have no fear of chemicals in your home and will feel better about telling your kids to get in there and clean too.

The benefits to using this homemade cleanser versus store bought varieties are wide ranged. The lack of unnecessary chemicals in your home and near your children is likely the most important factor to consider. The other factor is how inexpensive this is to make overall. While essential oils can be a bit of an expense up front, they go a long way and will be used in many other batches in the future. If you figure the cost of all ingredients over 10-15 batches you will quickly see how cost effective this is for your family.

One note: you will want to store this in a glass container, as essential oils can tend to degrade plastic. Get yourself a few Mason jars to store this!

Easy Natural Homemade Toilet Bowl Scrub

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. In medium air tight glass container, mix together all ingredients
  2. Use 1/4-1/2 Cup in toilet bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use a toilet brush to scrub off any stains

You can pour this into the toilet itself or could even make it a bit thinner for spraying onto your toilet bowl if you wish. Add a bit of water or vinegar to thin it out a bit more if desired. The homemade natural toilet bowl cleaner will not only cleanse and disinfect the toilet, but leave your bathroom smelling great thanks to the lemon essential oil. If you prefer a scrub you can add ¼ Cup baking soda to the mix to thicken it and use a gloved hand to scrub the toilet with instead.