What is On Sale The Month of October

What is On Sale The Month of October

October marks the transition from fall to holiday shopping. You will see stores setting up their holiday displays, and it’s a great time to get end-of-the-season clearance. It is also time for Halloween, so there are plenty of deals on costumes, decorations, and candy.

Here is what is on sale the month of October:

:: Grocery & Drugstore Deals in October

In-season produce in October: artichokes, apples, almonds, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, cranberries, cabbage, lettuce, pears, sweet potatoes, pistachios, pomegranate, pumpkins, squash, turnips, yams.

Halloween sales: costumes, Halloween decorations, candy, baking goods, treat bags, taffy apples.

National Frozen Food Festival: frozen pancakes and waffles, pizzas, ice cream, individual meals, appetizers, family-sized entrees.

National Pork and Seafood Month: sliced ham, bacon, pork chops, pork tenderloins, honey hams, shrimp, scallops, fish, crab, lobster.

Columbus Day: frozen pizzas, pasta, spaghetti sauce, garlic bread, Italian sausage, olive oil.

National Dental Hygiene Month: Toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, toothbrushes, baking soda.

:: Other October Sales

Back to school clearance: pens, paper, notebooks, XL twin sheets, student desks, office supplies, memory cards, dorm accessories.

Summer clearance: lawn and garden tools, grills, lawn mowers, patio furniture, swimming pool accessories, bathing suits, summer apparel.

Appliances: Stores are getting new appliance models in ahead of the holiday season, and many retailers discount the older models. October is the best time to buy a new washer and dryer, dishwasher, or refrigerator.

Televisions and digital cameras: HDTVs go on sale in October to make room for holiday deals. You can get great deals on a new television and any cables you need as well. This is also the best time to shop for a new digital camera for capturing photos of your family during the holidays.

Kitchen cookware and utensils: Retailers expect that people will start buying kitchen items to prepare for holiday cooking. You’ll find great deals on pots and pans, tabletop accessories, and kitchen utensils throughout October.

Cars: Car dealerships are making a final push to get rid of last year’s models, and you can get a bargain on a new car if you do your research and negotiate a price. Dealers want these cars off of their lots, and they are more willing to make a deal in October.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: There are lots of great deals for items with a cause throughout October. Retailers support breast cancer research in October, and a portion of every dollar you spend on these special sale items goes to a noble cause.

4 Spices You Shouldn’t Be Without

spices you need to have

4 Spices You Shouldn’t Live Without (And Why)

Head over to the spice selection in your local grocery store and you may be overwhelmed with the choices. Thyme, Marjoram, Fennel Seed…how is a person supposed to know which spices they should choose to keep in their pantry and which spices are more of a one-time-use spice?

Here are 4 great spices that no spice cupboard should be without. These can be used for so many dishes you will wonder how you ever got along without them.

  1. Onion Powder. Onion power is awesome because it allows you to have the flavor of onion in your dish without having to actually have fresh onions to chop up on hand. It’s also better than Onion Salt because you can add in the onion flavor without the addition of extra salt for those that might be watching their sodium intake.
  2. Garlic Powder. The same idea applies here as it did with the Onion Powder. Garlic Powder is a great way to add garlic flavor to your dishes without having to chop fresh garlic. Both onion and garlic powders are so versatile and can be added to most soups, casseroles, or other baked dishes.
  3. Seasoned Salt. A good seasoned salt without any added sodium can really bump up the flavor in many dishes instead of adding plain table salt. Adding seasoned salt and more flavoring to a dish will also help you from adding too much salt at the table since the dish will already have enough flavor. Seasoned Salt is great in taco meat, fajitas, grilled foods, and more.
  4. Garlic Salt. Now if you’d rather add the garlic and the salt in one additional, Garlic Salt will be your go to spice.  Garlic Salt is a great one to add into fresh homemade salsa.

What are your favorite go-to spices? Which ones are your must haves in the spice cupboard?

How To Eat Organic Food On A Budget

How To Eat Organic Foods On A Budget

Choosing to improve your overall health by increasing the organic foods in your diet can be tough, mostly because of the increase costs in your budget (and I will admit, some foods take some getting used to when you switch to the organic version. It actually took me a while until I found organic cereals that my kids would eat!).

If you know how to eat organic food on a budget, you can begin reaping the benefits of healthier foods in your diet without seeing the strain on your grocery budget. While some items will be higher cost, you can plan accordingly and still remain in budget most of the time.

How to Eat Organic Food on a Budget

Menu Plan: Just like any grocery budget is impacted by random grocery visits, it is even more important to plan when you are shopping for organic foods. Organic foods don’t usually have as many preservatives in them, making them go bad quicker. Because of this, the cost of wasted food is much higher. By efficiently planning your weekly meals you can make the most of your budget with minimal waste.

Buy In-Season Organic Produce: Plan your meals around seasonally abundant produce. In summer months items like lettuce, tomatoes, squash and peppers are cheaper even in the organic world because they are in-season and abundant. Shop sales for the best deals on the seasonal items and plan meals around them.

Shop Farmers Markets: Make sure to verify the produce you are purchasing is indeed organically grown, but when you find great vendors in your local farmers market you will find huge savings.

Skip the Meat: Since free range, cage free and grass fed meats are typically much more expensive to purchase, serve smaller portions or create more vegetarian dishes to offset the costs. Make taco salads with seasoned beans instead of meat for a cheaper and hearty meal alternative the whole family will love.

Buy a Side of Beef: This has long been an effective way of purchasing meat (read about my purchasing a half a cow), but in the grass fed beef market it is even more savvy for the consumer. If you can’t afford an entire side of beef locate another local family who will go in halves with you on the cost and you can divide the portions of meat equally, store in well labeled freezer safe packaging for future use.

Contact the Company for Coupons: More and more organic processed foods are being found on shelves. This has resulted in many of these companies offering coupons to their consumers. Call, email or snail mail the information found on your favorite brand packaging and request coupons to help offset the costs. If you are shopping at Whole Foods, check with their customer care area for coupons. Most Whole Foods stores will routinely have extra coupons for customers to go through, pick out and use toward purchases. They also have an in store booklet including good coupons for future purchases.

Check For Store Rewards Programs: Stores like Kroger have shoppers cards that allow you to receive discounts. You can also contact their 1-800 number and request to be added to their coupon mailing list. They will track your purchases for 2-3 months and then you will begin receiving great free product coupons and regular product coupons. This is great for your organic product purchases. Sprouts also has a “double sale” day where the sale ad begins and ends on the same day. This means there are twice as many items you can save on.

Grow or Raise Your Own: If you have the space and desire, you can easily start your own vegetable garden that will help save costs and give you the knowledge first hand of what was used to grow the produce. In many areas, you can also raise chickens for eggs in your own back yard. Make sure to check your city and county regulations on raising barnyard animals to protect yourself and them.

Eliminate Processed Foods, Even Organic Ones: Instead of buying the meal kits, chips, treats and other items that are processed, make your own from scratch. Not only can it save money, but you will be able to control portions, preservatives and easily find yourself no longer wanting or needing them.

Changing your eating habits can be scary on many counts, but hopefully these tips on how to eat organic foods on a budget can help take away the monetary fears from your family. As you continue to add more healthier foods into your diet and eliminate the over processed and non organic foods, your health and your budget will improve.

Do you have any tips to add on how to save money on organic foods?

40 Ways To Recycle Household Items | Part 1

recycle household items

Frugal living and re-using items goes hand in hand. One way to make sure you get the most bang for your buck is to recycle household items in ways they may have not been designed for, but will work well

Here, you will find the first 10 of 40 ways to reuse  items that are commonly thrown (or given) away with ideas on how to re-use them in practical, thrifty and earth smart ways!

1. Serrated Edges from wax paper containers: Cut them up, hot glue them onto frames and use them to hang pictures on the wall. Alternatively, you could also use them for scraping off candle wax when it drips.

2. Old Shower Curtains: If you have any sewing skills, you could easily turn these into baby bibs. Another use for them is to lay them down for your kid’s art projects to keep the mess at bay. Tie them down onto outdoor furniture you do not have room for in the garage to keep them from the weather.

3. Film Canisters: While these are almost obsolete anymore with digital cameras now being the norm, if you have any laying around the house, try using them for art projects as glitter shakers. Simply poke holes in the lid and place glitter inside. You could use them in a similar fashion for camping salt and pepper shakers.

4. Junk Mail: Let your young child pretend to play mail-carrier. Make a “mailbox” from an old shoebox and let them “send” you mail. You could use them for collages and home school projects as well.

5. Crib sheets: Use them in the car to contain backseat spills, animal hair and other seat threats.

6. A “Turkey net”. Use the netting that comes on your Thanksgiving turkey to contain tub toys. Be careful when you cut it off your bird, wash it out well and run an old shoelace through it at the top to form a pouch. Put tub toys in it after bath time to drain.

7. Pantyhose/stockings: If you have a fisherman in your family, they will appreciate this one; Use stockings to create small pouches for fish bait such as poultry liver. It keeps the bait better on the hook so fish don’t steal it.

8. Apple or orange peels: Make a delicious and inviting potpori for your home. Simmer some water with cinnamon, cloves and the peels. It will leave your home smelling absolutely wonderful. You could also put it in a small crock pot as well for the same effect. Another use for citrus peels is to freeze them and use in recipes that call for zest.

9. An old but still usable laundry basket: Use as a baby bath tub “playpen”. If your child can sit up, but not really well, place your infant in a clean laundry basket and fill the tub with water. Place toys in that area for them to grasp and be in their reach.

10. Ends of bread loaves: Make croutons with just a bit of olive oil and seasoning in the oven. Also, place one in brown sugar that has gone hard and in a day or two, it will be soft again.

Be sure to come back next week for 10 more ways to recycle household items!

Check out all the posts in this series

5 Inexpensive Ways To Decorate For Fall

fall decorations

After Labor Day has come and gone, people really start to think about the upcoming fall season. Are my pumpkin treats available at Starbucks yet? Where are my fall and Halloween decorating items?

If you have any of those questions above, then you are in step with the rest of the population.  I love to decorate my house when the seasons change, but it can make a huge dent in your wallet if you are not careful.

5 Inexpensive Ways to Decorate For Fall

1. Create or Download a Cute Printable

Having a cute and fun printable on your television stand can really make your house scream fall. Not only does it show your creative side, but it costs hardly anything if you are downloading them.  All you really need to have is a photo frame and a printer with paper.  You can also create them very easily on PicMonkey. It is a free photo editing website where you can create unlimited printable images. There are so many different graphics you can use, even with the free version.

2. Add a Wreath on Your Front Door

With almost every holiday or season, you will see a different kind of wreath on people’s front doors.  You can easily find inexpensive wreaths at WalMart or Michaels. If you have a creative side to you, you can always make a gorgeous fall or Halloween wreath for nearly nothing. This is where Pinterest will start to become your friend, if it hasn’t already.

3. Add Fall Themed Placemats to Your Table

In my local Michaels they have so many different fall items; they have to have some type of fall placement. It can be anything from fall leaves to pumpkins. If you check on Michaels website you will be sure to find either a 40 or 50 percent off coupon. What an inexpensive way to add cute placements to your table.

4. Add Pumpkins Either Inside or Outside {Or Both}

If you have been to any type of store in the last couple of weeks you should have started to see pumpkins. Pumpkins are everywhere right now –large, small, and medium ones. I have the cute small ones sitting on the back of my stove. It only cost me $2.98 for a small bag of five.  Many different stores, especially craft stores, have artificial pumpkins that cost very little. The plus sides of artificial ones, they are reusable each year.

5. Add Fall Themed Dish Towels in Your Kitchen

If you haven’t already added fall themed dish towels in your kitchen yet, you are missing out. They really spruce up the kitchen.  Instead of trying to purchase each dish towel individually, purchase them in a big pack so you can have coordinating ones. If there is a Kohl’s around your neck of the words – they always have coupons available you can purchase them very inexpensively and they are so adorable.

As you can see, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to decorate for Fall. Most of the items you will purchase can be used year after to year to further contain your costs.

What are some of your tips for decorating on the cheap?

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.

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?

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?

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

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | No Coupons on July 20, 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 NO INSERTS this week (July 20, 2014). Enjoy the week off from clipping!

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