My Teensy Tiny Couponing Pet Peeve




Maybe like a few of you out there, I have a teensy-tiny couponing pet-peeve.


Over (and over, and over. . .) I hear people complain that they just don’t have time to coupon.  They work, have busy families, spend time driving kiddos to every activity in town, so couponing just can’t happen.


I get that.  Really, I do.


However, I spend one to two hours each week (clipping, sorting, and shopping) to save an average of $60 – $80 each week. Now I don’t know about you, but for me making $30 to $40 per hour for something I have to do anyways is a pretty decent hourly rate!


(See an idea of what my grocery trips look like HERE – you can also read more about our family’s 2015 grocery budget HERE.)


Now, I don’t work outside of our home, but I do spend more hours than I care to admit sharing deals with you guys. :)  I also have three busy kids, a home to (somewhat!) keep up with, meals to prepare, and a hubby to take care of. (Okay, truth is he doesn’t require much care and he’s an amazing help to me!)


Before I started PPP, I spent hours hunting down every deal in town, easily saved 70-90% on every grocery trip and shopped at least 3-4 days a week.  But the reality is, I can’t do that these days, and something has to give.  So, here are a few tips that I use to pinch a penny when I’m also in a pinch for time (which is just about all the time!)



  1. Determine the very best store to use coupons at in your area.  Believe it or not, you don’t need to hit every drug store, grocery store & supermarket in town to coupon well.  I typically shop each week at Kroger, and supplement my trips with a quick Fresh Thyme, Aldi’s, Sam’s Club run for milk & fresh produce, but that’s it.  (I really do love a good CVS or Walgreens trip, but only do those when the deals are fantabulous!) :)
  2. Learn exactly where things are in that store, and organize your coupons before you shop.  If you send me to a grocery store other than my normal Kroger (even another Kroger in town!), my stress level goes way up. Seriously.  I also tend to save less, because I’m not sure where things are at, and am tempted to look at things I don’t need!  By knowing your store well, you’ll find deals you need, skip over the ones you don’t need, and get through the store pretty quickly (a huge time saver!)  And, most items go on sale at a decent price on a 6-8 week rotation at all grocery stores, so if it’s on sale this week at Kroger and you’re a Publix or Meijer shopper, odds are that deal will come to those stores next week!
  3. Use good coupon matchup websites!  As you probably know, there are zillions of coupon blogs and websites out there for you to choose from.  Trying to coupon on your own without help is just crazy when so many folks do hours of work for you!  Choose your store (click on “Store Deals” at the top of PPP), find the deals on your favorite coupon site (I hope it’s Passionate Penny Pincher!), and make sure to read through all the deals at your favorite store before you shop.
  4. Print your coupons.  My coupon binder is a mess right now.  There are coupons everywhere, I have at least 15 inserts that need to be clipped, and I’m not sure there will be any time to fix it real soon.  But I also have a home that needs some Christmas decorating, a few children that need dinner, and a to-do list that’s a mile long.  So to make my life easier, I take advantage of our 10 Minute or Less Printable coupon list (we have them for Target, Kroger and Publix), and head to the store. It’s an easy way to manage my love of saving even with limited time, and really works for me (which is why Shannon works so hard to put them together for all of us to use!) Also, be sure to take advantage of e-coupons as those are just an easy way to save.
  5. Recognize your limitations.  For the longest time when I started using coupons, I was incredibly competitive and wanted to coupon better than anyone else. (I don’t even know who I was comparing myself to!)  Over the last few  years I’ve realized that my time is valuable too, so if I save $50 in an hour (or almost $47, like I did tonight), that’s enough for me.  If I spend an extra hour or two running all over town to save an extra $2-$3, my “per hour” rate goes way down, which just isn’t worth it to me at this point!  So, determine how much time you want to spend, save as much as you can during that time, and LET. IT. GO. (Really!)
  6. Decide to do it.  I know that there are some of you out there who truly don’t have an hour to spend stressing over coupons each week, and if that’s you, I really do understand.  But, if you do have an hour or two each week to shop, go ahead, decide to save, and do the best you can with the time you’ve been given.  (You’ve got to go to the grocery store anyways, so why not do it with a plan in place?) If all else fails, determine to really shop the sales ad. (That alone is a huge savings!)
  7. Don’t get overwhelmed because other folks on TV do it better than you.  Do the best you can do.  Save what you can save, and don’t worry about what anyone else does.  A penny saved truly is a penny earned, whether it be $20 worth of pennies or $200 worth of pennies!  (And, much of what you see on TV isn’t “reality TV” in any way:  so do not compare yourself to that.)
Are they ever going to put me on TLC’s Extreme Couponing (or heaven forbid, Extreme Cheapskates? Yikes!)  
Nope.  Do I care?  Absolutely not!  I saved 69% on my grocery bill, got items that we really do need, and did it all in an hour.  I’m pretty happy with that!  And yes, it’s definitely fun to have one crazy amazing grocery coupon trip.  But, my bill was $21.49 tonight, I saved $46.93, and it took me an hour.  Woohoot!


So, now that my rant is over (aren’t you glad that’s through?), I’d love to hear how YOU did saving at the grocery store this week.  I promise, after years of penny pinching it is so worth it!


New to couponing? Start out by checking out all our store coupon matchups over HERE, and also take a minute to visit my beginners series over HERE.


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No Spend Challenge: Final Update


Okie dokie, we survived one more weekend of our No Spend Challenge, which brings us right up to Spring Break starting next week! While we didn’t stick to our plan perfectly, we did stay pretty close on things, and goodness, it was so eye opening to see where our money really goes each week.


Friday night Caroline had friends over to spend the night (kind of as a very belated birthday – I promised her we’d do something eventually, but we kept pushing it back!) We ordered pizzas with a coupon code, and thankfully had plenty of 2-liters in the pantry (since our kids aren’t allowed to drink them normally but I’d gotten them for just a few pennies several months ago when they were on sale.)  I picked up extra water bottles and some Wyler lemonade mixes at the Dollar Tree . . . those lemonade mixes were a huge hit. (Who knew?)


We debated a cake since it really wasn’t a birthday party, but she’d been eyeing this one on Pinterest for months. I used frosting and a cake mix from our pantry as well, and picked up mini M&Ms and Kitkat bars at Kroger. The cake was so simple to make, and the kids (of course) devoured it. :)

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For breakfast we had Fresh Thyme strawberries and a triple batch of homemade cinnamon rolls (Caroline’s favorite), and once every one left our family ate leftover pizza for lunch. We grilled out for supper (so thankful grilling season is just about here!), and ended up saving by just choosing to eat home all day. (Weekends are when we tend to go over budget eating out, so eating at home is always a tiny success for our bunch!)


After church we had Chipotle (thanks to a gift card!), and ended up splurging on drinks too. (I know, I know – but I was so ready for a diet coke, and since we had the gift card we decided it was okay to enjoy them!) I really don’t know that we’ll stick to water only while we’re eating out in the future, but seeing how much soda is costing our family at restaurants was pretty shocking, so we’ll at the very least choose water more frequently. (I’m really thinking I’ll pick up some of those Wyler’s lemonade packets to keep in my purse – I’ve seen a friend do that and it might just make restaurant water more appealing!)


Our total spent for the weekend was $14 at Chipotle and $40 on pizza, + $10 in candy for Caroline’s cake. While it wasn’t perfect, I was thrilled that we were able to stay within our budget and get everything we needed for Caroline’s get together. If you’ve been struggling to get your budget in check, I highly (HIGHLY) recommend you try challenging your family to really reign things in for a few weeks. Deciding as a family to really look at where your money goes can really transform your spending habits.


Here’s a breakdown of how our (modified) No Spend Challenge looked these last few weeks:

  • We determined to spend no more than $50 each week at the grocery, primarily for fresh fruit, veggies, and dairy products.
  • We drank only water when eating out (at least until yesterday!) :) My daughter Reagan used the money we saved to go towards missions.
  • We limited ourselves to two meals out per week, using coupons and choosing less expensive restaurants when we did eat out.
  • We cleared our pantry, fridge and freezer by menu planning based on what we already had at home. This was huge, and really helped us save so much (plus forced us to eat up some food that would otherwise go to waste.)


I’m heading to Kroger tonight to re-stock on cereal and granola bars while they’re at such a good price in their Mega Sale, but other than that shouldn’t be shopping the rest of this week. So, we just about made it ~ woohooo! 😉




And on a completely random side note, a friend brought over dry ice for the kids to play with Friday night, which was a huge success. She’s a science teacher and had some left over from school, so her daughter showed the kids a few experiments using  the dry ice. I couldn’t get over how long they played with it, and my 14-year-old and his friend were just as interested in checking it out! If you have a birthday party with tweenage kids anytime soon, this is a great way to (literally) break the ice. :) (Find dry ice experiment ideas over HERE.) 


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Laurie’s Shopping Trip: Aldi & Fresh Thyme + No Spend Challenge Update

I’m so stinkin’ excited about the little fun deals I scored yesterday at Aldi & Fresh Thyme Market! Because we’re sticking to our No Spend Grocery Challenge I really wanted to limit what I spent, but goodness these were just too good to pass up. Aldi had a ton of houseplants that looked great on sale for $1.99 (a good price I think?), and while I’m sprucing up my home for Easter I just couldn’t pass it by. Here’s what I bought:



  • Italian Seasoning $1
  • Ivy Basket $1.99 (I took the pot out and will re-pot it to brighten up our kitchen)
  • Total $2.99


Fresh Thyme

  • Organic Apples $.99/lb $1.24
  • 5 lb bag potatoes $.99
  • 4 packages strawberries 4/$5
  • Total $7.23



Since I’d spent $41 earlier at Kroger on groceries this week, this puts us right under our $50 per week No Spend Grocery Challenge goalI feel like we have plenty to get us through until next week (I will need to run to Kroger before the Mega Sale ends Tuesday to stock up on cereal, milk and granola bars), but we have plenty of food still in our kitchen to eat at home until then.


Have you scored any great deals on whole foods lately? I’d love to hear what you’ve gotten, and if you’d like to share your picture with others send me an email with your purchases and I’ll post them here for other folks to see! You can also post them over on the PPP Facebook page to show off your savings. :)


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No Spend Challenge: Days 13, 14, 15, & 16


We survived another weekend in our No Spend Grocery Challenge, and while it isn’t as hard as I’d expected, I’m amazed at how quickly money can get spent even when we’re working to really stick to a tight budget!  With a family of five there are just a lot of expenses (eating out is huge), but we’re sticking with our decision for the month and didn’t do too badly this weekend.


Friday night Jackson and Caroline were out for the night so we just had Reagan with us. We spent Friday afternoon working to finish up our taxes (bleck – not a great way to spend a Friday afternoon), and by the time we finished we were famished. We’d promised Reagan we’d go see Cinderella though (it was so good!),  but the next showing was too soon for us to sneak in dinner. We ended up spending a small fortune on popcorn and drinks,  and by the time it was done it was too late to even get dinner! Between the tickets and popcorn we spent $45 (Y.I.K.E.S.) but it was worth every penny. We all loved the movie (I highly recommend this one!), and my sweet seven-year-old even shed a tear or two. 😉

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don’t judge – some days  you just need a butter burger :)

Saturday we headed to Culvers with coupons in hand and spent $12 for lunch for the three of us, and after church yesterday all five of us had pizza for $17. Honestly, drinking water while eating out saves a ton, but goodness if I’m being truthful with you it’s hard to do! We don’t go out all that often, and my kids only drink water and milk when we’re at home, so they’re really missing those sodas.


We did the math with them though yesterday, and the same $12 that we could easily shell out for drinks for the five of us would purchase 3 salads, 3 orders of breadsticks or 3 orders of wings. Right now we’re adding that money to donate, but it’s a good lesson in how much those drinks can do to bust your budget!


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I made a trip to Kroger to get some groceries (we were out of milk), and by the time I re-stocked on some produce and dairy products (as well as half gallons of milk – they’re $1 per half gallon this week in our area!), I’d spent $41. As long as I stick to my budget throughout the week we’ll still be on track (our goal was no more than $50 per week), but it definitely reminded me that every time I step into the store I’m likely to spend a little more than I’d planned. (Which is why skipping shopping completely is often my favorite way to save!)


So, our total including today that we’ve spent is $70 during the last four days. (I’m not counting our Cinderella splurge – because it was really entertainment and not eating? ahem.) We’re finishing up our challenge at the end of the week as we near Spring Break, but it’s definitely been so worth keeping track of where we’re at to know where our money really goes each month.  I so fought the idea of taking on this challenge, but am loving staying on track in what we spend on food, so we can enjoy splurging on the things we really love! Here’s where we’re at for the month so far:

  • Day 1, 2 & 3 = $5.17
  • Day 4 & 5 = $15
  • Day 6, 7, 8, and 9 = $67.89 (this included several meals out while I was out of town – we knew we would go over for those few days)
  • Days 10, 11 & 12 = $48.34 (including $30.34 in groceries)
  • Days 13, 14, 15 & 16 = $70
  • Total = $206.40 for all groceries and several meals out


I’d love to hear if you’re joining us this month how it’s gone for you, as well as any other tips you have to stay on track. Leave a comment to share your thoughts!

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No Spend Challenge: Days 10, 11 & 12


We survived a few more days of our No Spend Challenge this week! While we’ve had a few small splurges we’ve (mostly) stuck to it, and it’s been really good just to really see where our cash goes each week.

I made a trip to Fresh Thyme Market and just couldn’t pass up their ground beef price. We still have plenty in the freezer (we don’t eat all that much ground beef), but at $2.99/lb for grass fed ground beef I  just couldn’t pass it by! Since we’ve stayed under the budget for the most part, I decided this might just get us through summertime hamburger grilling. :)


Here’s what I bought:

  • 2.35lbs grass fed ground beef at $2.99/lb = $7.04
  • 2.80 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast at $1.77/lb = $4.95 (we didn’t need chicken anyways, but we are getting low on that and $1.77/lb is such a good price!)
  • 3 lbs onions $.99 (turns out we have plenty of onions in our fridge ~ will chop those up this weekend to freeze)
  • 1 lb carrots $.99
  • $.60 lbs cluster tomatoes at $.88/lb = $.49
  • 3 lb bag golden delicious apples $2.99
  • green leef lettuce $.88
  • iceberg lettuce $.99
  • navel oranges 5/$1
  • organic 5 lbs potatoes $2.50
  • 2.76 lb bananas $1.52
  • Total = $24.34


My husband also picked up two more gallons of milk at Kroger this week, so our total was $6 for milk. I’m really debating heading to Kroger for some of their crazy good deals, but we only need cereal so we’ll see!



And, for our big splurge :) my husband and I met for lunch yesterday at Cucinova, and we completely should have split a pizza (they’re not a big pizza but would have been big enough to split) but were both starving so our eyes looked bigger than our stomachs. We both ended up eating exactly half and our kids ate the leftovers last night. We spent $16 on our lunch which wasn’t impressive at all but it’s been weeks since we’ve had time for lunch together so I’m good with that! Next time we’ll remember though that splitting one is more than enough for us. You win some, you lose some. :)


So here’s our totals since we started this month. Typing it out now I’m not all that happy with our splurges – but am being honest in how things have gone for us! We’re still definitely lower than we would normally be, so I’ll take that as a success?

  • Day 1, 2 & 3 = $5.17
  • Day 4 & 5 = $15
  • Day 6, 7, 8, and 9 = $67.89 (this included several meals out while I was out of town – we knew we would go over for those few days)
  • Days 10, 11 & 12 = $48.34 (including $30.34 in groceries)
  • Total = $136.40 for all groceries and several meals out


Are you joining us in our no spend challenge? Check out these posts to learn more if you’re interested, and I’d love to hear how you’re doing too!


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What Really Impresses Me

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Me with one of my favorites – teaching me more about value than anything else!


I read a fantastic article this morning, and goodness, it so hit home for me today. As a busy mom who simply doesn’t have time to keep up with the newest trends, who couldn’t care less that her minivan has 160,000 miles on it (it runs great!), and who’s never owned expensive jewelry other than my wedding ring, it just felt good to have those words written out for me.


Here was my favorite quote from the article . .


“Too often, people pay a premium just for the privilege of become a walking billboard. I am no longer impressed by the logo on your shirt, your purse, or the face of your watch. Instead, I admire those who are confident in timeless fashion and seek to make an impression by their character and their countenance.”


I’ve struggled my whole life with feelings of inadequacy (and am betting I’m not alone.) I’ve looked at skinnier girls, dressier-upped girls, oh-so-put-together girls and from my very earliest memories have never felt I’ve even come close to measuring up.


And as I’ve gotten older, it’s gone beyond how I look some days to what I have. Folks, we live in an absolutely perfect home. Ridiculously nice, really. But a few weeks ago when visiting a new house in our neighborhood I noticed the home’s perfect mudroom and excessively large pantry.


It was beautiful.


I came home, and all of a sudden the my own mudroom and pantry just felt a little puny. 






Wherever you are in your finances, wherever you are in your life, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of believing more stuff equals more value. 


It doesn’t. 


And honestly? No matter what you have, someone will always have more, so you’ll never win the if only war.

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Instead, exemplify by your character and countenance your true value, whether you’re checking out at the grocery store or playing with your babies at home. Your value has absolutely nothing to do with your stuff ~ don’t allow this world to trick you into believing anything else.


Take a minute to read this post today. 


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No Spend Grocery Challenge: Days 6, 7, 8 & 9



We’ve survived the first nine days of our No Spend Grocery Challenge, and so far it hasn’t hurt all that badly! I flew in late last night from Alabama after scrapbooking with friends (well, for me digital scrapbooking), and we had just the best time.

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The retreat center that we scrapbook at provides all the meals for the weekend, so other than a pretzel that I grabbed before my last flight home in Chicago last night I didn’t spend a penny. The food that Cindy makes is fantastic (seriously . . . so stinkin’ good), and just the time spent enjoying friends and not having to plan or prepare a meal for anything is the absolutely the nicest gift.


My husband was sweet enough to send me an update of how they did over the weekend on their own (I was so impressed!) We did budget for some meals out, so here’s how things added up for them:

  • 3 meals out $51.08 (used a $15 gift card at one restaurant)
  • Grocery $17.71


Their total for the weekend was $68, which wasn’t too bad considering we’d only spent $20 for the rest of the week. (And, he handled three kids and a puppy all by himself ~ that alone was worth more than a few pennies!) Since we started the challenge last Sunday our total spending is $88 which included restaurants and all of our groceries. Not too bad all things considered!



This morning I dumped my kids all time favorite meal in Mrs. Potts, and was thrilled to find this cream of chicken soup substitute when I looked in our pantry and saw we were down to just one can of cream of chicken soup. The kids said the chicken and dumplings were the best one I’ve ever made, so next time I’ll substitute both cans out. Not only will it be less expensive to make, it’ll be a (little) healthier too. :)


Are you joining us in our no spend challenge? Check out these posts to learn more if you’re interested, and I’d love to hear how you’re doing too!


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Menu Plan: Week Of 3/9/15 (No Spend Challenge Week 2)




Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! We are working on week two of our No Spend Grocery Challenge, and so far (I think?) things are right on track.


Having a menu plan in place makes saving on eating out oh-s0-much easier, so it’s definitely worth it to take a few minutes and plan the week out. We also usually have the option of breakfast for dinner or even pb&j sandwiches if the day didn’t go as planned, but just starting out with a plan seems to help us stay on track!

I’ll be making my menu plan and grocery list on the weekends and will share those over on my new Pinterest Menu Planning Board, and I would love for you to join me! You can also use this handy dandy free printable google doc for you to print if you’d like to follow our menu plan – hopefully it makes your life a little simpler this week (let me know if you like it!) If you’re new to Google Docs, here’s how to print your list:

  • Open the document HERE
  • Click “file” in the top left hand corner of the screen
  • Click “print” at the bottom of that menu and print your list


Here’s this week’s menu plan . . . 

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And here’s what items you’ll need to make these too if it’ll help get you started this week . . .
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • taco shells
  • taco seasoning packet (or make it from scratch if you prefer)
  • 16 oz macaroni
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • taco fixings – lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, sour cream
  • frozen bread dough for pizza (can also make from scratch or use refrigerated pizza crust)
  • pizza sauce
  • mozzarella
  • additional toppings

Side Dish Extras

  • bag salad
  • canned, fresh or frozen veggies

Pantry Staples

  • milk
  • salt & pepper
  • flour
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • fresh garlic
  • fresh ginger for slow cooker chicken teriyaki – I may skip this ingredient
  • corn starch


Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 



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What To Buy At Costco: Top 15 Items To Help You Save Big

What to Buy at Costco

Curious what to buy at Costco? While I think some (many?) items can be overpriced at Costco compared to grocery store sale savings (especially after using coupons), there are some prices at Costco that you just can’t beat.


My rule of thumb is to stick to whole foods while shopping Sam’s and Costco – they’re pre-packaged convenience foods tend to be very over-priced from as I’ve compared them to other stores. But, their regular prices on produce, meat, and dairy products are pretty reasonable, so if you can skip them temptation to buy too much while you’re there the membership cost may be worth it. You’ll likely find lower prices on even whole foods during a good sale ad at your local grocery store, but Costco’s prices on these items are usually fairly competitive.  (And, they consistently offer good quality at those prices!)


Here are my top 15 deals  . . . 


1. Milk. At $2.45 a gallon, I haven’t found another store that regularly carries milk anywhere near this price. Occasionally I’ve seen milk around that price at Aldi, but recently even Aldi’s price has been closer to $3.  If your family drinks a lot of milk each week, a trip once every two weeks might be worth the Costco membership.


2. Bananas. At $1.39 for 3 pounds of bananas, your price comes out to 46¢ per pound. While I’ve seen prices a little lower than these at the grocery store, this is a pretty great price, and are always fresh enough to last quite awhile.


3. Water bottles. If you absolutely have to buy water bottles (I choose to re-use them when I can!), Sam’s Club has a great price on these. These come out to 8¢ per bottle, which is so much less than you’d ever pay while you’re out!


4. Gift cards. If you’re planning to eat out anyways, you might as well enjoy some savings, right? Both Costco and Sam’s Club offer gift card savings of up to 20% when you purchase gift cards in store. They include several great restaurants ~ PF Chang’s, Smashburger, Texas Roadhouse and more, and some stores carry entertainment gift cards like Cinemark as well! The best part is you can combine these gift cards with restaurant coupons, which can save you a bundle while eating out.

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5. Salad Mix. 
Costco’s big three pound bag of salad is just $2.79, which is a fantastic price. You can also get their Organic Spring Mix for $4.49, which beats the price that you’ll regularly find at the grocery store, and is so nice to have on hand if you have a large family who eats a lot of salad.

6. Kirkland Brand Fabric Softener Sheets. These cost $.018 per sheet, and is the lowest price I’ve seen on fabric softener sheets without combining coupons and a sale. If you just need to stock up, this is a great price!


7. Kirkland Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast. Kirkland’s Frozen Chicken comes out to $1.96 per pound, and while this isn’t the best price I’ve ever seen, it is a really good basic every day price. Worth stocking up while you’re there to make your life easier!


8. BACON! This one kind of surprised me, but is so worth grabbing when you’re there. Get 4 pounds of bacon for $10.99 or $2.74 per pound ~ we bought this recently and the quality was great (not fatty), so I would definitely recommend this one. (Don’t forget you can freeze it too.)


9. Honey. Honey at Costco comes out to 17¢ per ounce, which is a great every day low price. If your family uses a lot of honey for baking or as a natural sweetener, this one’s worth picking up.



10. Canned veggies. Canned veggies at Costco are priced between 43¢ and 46¢ per can, which is almost my stock up price even with coupons! You’ll have a lot of veggies on hand, but you won’t need more canned vegetables for quite awhile.


11. Sugar. Sugar is $4.39 for a 10 pound bag at Costco, which is a good price for sugar unless you watch for a great sale around the Holidays.


12. Butter. Butter at Costco comes out to $1.99 per pound, which you may be able to find during a good sale at the grocery store, but since it’s their price every day it’s worth stocking up on while you’re there.


13. Eggs. Eggs are priced at $1.39/lb at Costco, however they’re sold in as 7.5 dozen eggs, which is a lot of eggs! I haven’t seen those prices on eggs here in the Columbus area in quite awhile, so why I normally think it’s a little high egg prices have definitely gone up over the last few years.


14. Rotisserie Chicken. For $4.99 you can get one of Costco’s huge Rotisserie Chickens, which is a very good price if you’re in a hurry but need an easy meal. You’ll skip paying too much for dinner out, and their rotisserie chickens are delicious. It won’t be quite as penny pinched as cooking a whole chicken yourself, but on a busy night that convenience is sometimes worth it.


15. The Costco restaurant. 😉 Okie dokie, if you just want a chance to skip cooking, you can’t beat Costco’s $1.50 hot dog and drink. They also have pizza slices for $1.99 ~ my favorite way to easily feed my kids when we’re running errands out and about!


So there’s my top fifteen! What would you add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts ~ leave a comment to share!


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Looking for more? See what to buy at Sam’s Club and what to buy at the Dollar Tree too!

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No Spend Challenge: Days 4 & 5


Good. ness.


This whole no spend challenge thing was for the birds today.


Yesterday we did great – the kids were on a two-hour delay from school, so before they headed out in the morning they helped me make Monkey Bread and Jello, and we managed to spend $0 throughout the day. 


(My hubby even took his lunch to work without any potato chips ~ serious sacrifice folks.)


I did grab these $14 Twinkle Toes for my daughter. (Although we’re only really counting groceries and food in our challenge, I’m still trying to pay attention to all of our spending.) The price is back up now, but they were too good a deal to miss!  We had ravioli and salad for dinner in between driving kids back and forth around town, and stuck to our budget completely ~ woohoo!


And then, I almost made it today. :)


This morning I flew out of Columbus to visit friends for the weekend and scrapbook, but was determined to stick to my No Spend Challenge as much as I could. When James and I went to Utah a few weeks ago I was reminded of just how ridiculously priced airport food was, so I purposely packed snacks to take with me not wanting to shell out $10 for a bagel.


My flight through Charlotte was fine (I was shocked with the crazy weather going on everywhere!), but once I was in Charlotte we sat, and sat, and sat. I stayed away though from the temptation of Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s and Einstein Brothers as I walked through the airport, and enjoyed my Nature Valley Bar and Smart Pop. :)


However, I didn’t expect the flight to be delayed until 4 PM, so by the time the plane finally took off I was starving.  My friend Shannon and I were planning to meet for dinner though, so I figured I could hold out a little longer. 

When we flew over Huntsville though, the ground was covered in snow (I thought), but the roads were actually covered in ice so there was no way we could get together. I headed out of the airport looking for something to eat, and saw those lovely golden arches just beckoning me.


So I pulled in, decided I could survive even McDonald’s, and after waiting at the drive thru for at least eight minutes realized they were closed. Along with every single other restaurant I could see – so I was completely stuck ~ and famished!


Thank heavens there was a Subway a little ways further down the road with lights on, and sure enough they were open. I ran in, grabbed my Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich (I love those things!), and came to the hotel to catch up on blogging before enjoying most of the weekend off.


So, there you have it. I talked to my hubby tonight and he baked a frozen pizza for dinner, then splurged and took our kids to Dairy Queen as a treat. I think the total damage for the day was around $15 – not too awful all things considered? I’d love to hear if you’re joining us how things are looking in your family – it really is possible to save (and so worth it when you consider what you really want rather than what you want right now.) 


Interested in joining us in our No Spend Challenge? Here’s how we’re starting . . .

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