What’s Your Family’s Favorite Meal?



I shared this over on Facebook this morning (and a few folks seemed interested), so thought I’d share our Cracker Barrel Copycat meal at home for any non-Facebook readers here! It’s not exactly like Cracker Barrel, but tastes just as good. (And, you’ll save quite a few pennies . . . and my bet is a few calories too?)


I snapped this picture from my phone – it was all I had time for before my family gobbled it down!

Here’s what we had:


Not all that fancy, but after dinner my fourteen-year-old said “we need to have dinner at home like this more often.” And, as fast as these days are flying by right now, I’ll take it. ;)  If you’re up for making dumplings from scratch these Homemade Chicken and Dumplings are just the best (really), so you may want to try those out too.


Did you have anything yummy for dinner tonight? I’d love to hear what your family’s favorite meals are too.


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How I Saved $15.82 On Groceries (Without Clipping A Single Coupon)



I had the best post getting ready for you today about something sweet my seven-year-old taught me, and then the power went out at our house because of construction. (I’m trying not to really lose it here, but goodness I wasn’t all that sweet to the power company when the power went out!)


Because I couldn’t get the pictures added in, I figured I’d just share how I saved a whopping $15.82 this morning on groceries, without even a coupon in hand. (Stop back for my little girls story about Operation Christmas Child later – I promise it’ll be worth the wait . . . that girl teaches me so much!) ;)


Here were exactly the steps I took to save big:

  • I did a quick check of my Favado app and noticed there was a great price on Tide Simply Clean. I made a quick mental note to check out the laundry detergent aisle before I left the store.


  • I walked through the cereal aisle (because we eat a lot of cereal around here.) I noticed the big boxes of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch were on sale for $2.99, and they had a label mentioning “download super savings.” I checked my Kroger app, and sure enough there was a $1 off coupon, dropping my price on cereal to $1.99 per box. (That’s a stock up price because these are double the size of the boxes normally on sale for $1 – $1.50!)



  • I scanned the dairy aisle quickly and noticed my absolute favorite Skinny Cow Cream Cheese Spreads were on sale for $2.50, and there was a $1 off coupon right there in front of the item. While I’ve gotten them a few times for less than $1, they don’t sell at that price very often, and since they’re regularly $3.59 I was thrilled with that price!


  • I headed over to the laundry detergent aisle and noticed that while the Tide Simply Clean was $2.99 (and there was a $1 off digital coupon), the All Laundry Detergent was also the same price and was a larger bottle. So while the Tide Simply Clean was a good deal, the All deal was even better, and all it took was me reading the labels to look for their price per use to get the most bang for my buck. Success! 


Here were my totals:

Bought 2 Skinny Cow Cheeses $2.50

  • Used $1/1 coupon found in store

Bought 2 All Laundry Detergents $2.99 (regularly $5.29, yikes!)

  • Used $1/1 All Laundry Detergent Kroger digital coupon (can use up to 5 per transaction)

Bought 2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch $2.99

  • Used $1/1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch Kroger digital coupon (can use up to 5 per transaction)
  • Paid $10.96 for over $26 in groceries ~ yay!


Do you have any other tips on easily saving at the grocery store? I’d sure love to hear them, and be sure to check out all the deals going on at Kroger this week!



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How I Completely Wasted $6.26 Today


I spent the last few days away at a blogging conference in North Carolina (it was so pretty and warm there!), and enjoyed meeting up with other bloggers so much. On the way back though, my friend Mara and I raced to make our planes (without time for lunch), so I figured I’d just pick something up after waiting through the long line at airport security.


After getting myself checked through, I scrambled to the bathroom (um, which I’d also skipped in my hurry to make the flight), and then stopped at a snack kiosk where I picked up a Snickers Bar and water bottle. (Just a few dollars, right?)


Clearly I was shocked when the cashier rang me up at a whopping SIX DOLLARS AND TWENTY SIX CENTS (I am not kidding folks!), and determined I will never go on a trip without a Snickers bar in hand. Yikes!


Do you have any great tips on traveling frugally? Clearly I could use them ~ but being home safe and sound makes it completely worth it. ;)


(And, on a very random note, in the restroom in Charlotte they had the sweetest woman keeping the bathrooms clean, who went way above and beyond to be awesome. She did have a tip jar which I was more than happy to add to ~ while I didn’t enjoy paying $4 for a candy bar, paying a small tip for a clean bathroom at an airport felt incredibly reasonable to me!) 



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2014 Lego Advent Calendar & Playmobil Nativity Set Available at Amazon

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This isn’t any real savings, but if you’re kids love Legos it’s worth checking out!  The Lego City Advent Calendar is available on Amazon, and I just got ours for my kids.  (I think they’re going to love it!) Here are the options available:

These don’t usually drop much in price (the lowest I saw it last year was $27.99), but are only available for a limited time and usually are a favorite for Lego fans. Head on over HERE to check it out, and let me know if this is one your family enjoys it.

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Right now you can also get the Playmobil Nativity Manger with Stable for $31.46 as well (regularly $38.99.) We have this one and really like it – head on over HERE to check it out!


See more Amazon Deals, and remember when you subscribe and save to 5 or more items in one month, you’ll also save an additional 15% on all of your subscribe and save purchases.

Remember that pricing on Amazon is subject to change at any time.


This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

Join Amazon Prime for one month free – Watch Over 40,000 Movies for free plus get free shipping on thousands of items


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Save 80% On HSI Flat Iron At Amazon

Flat Iron Deal at Amazon


The price has dropped back down on this HSI Flat Iron just dropped again! Get the HSI The Styler Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener, 1 inch on sale for just $39.85, regularly $289. Its been priced at $54.99 for the last few months, but I just noticed tonight that it dropped back down in price.  It also includes a freeHair Straightener Glove, Pouch, and travel size Argan Oil Leave In Hair Treatment.


This product has fantastic reviews, so if you’ve been in the market for a flat iron it’s worth checking out! Here are the details:

  • Straighten, flip and curl your hair
  • Adjustable temperature from 240F to 410F (120C – 200C) to suit all hair types
  • Ceramic/tourmaline ion plates create a shinier, silkier finish in lesser time
  • 1 inch plate width, wide enough for any hair length and hair types, yet narrow enough for bangs
  • Transform frizzy, dull hair into gorgeous straight, sleek locks


Head on over HERE to learn more . . . a few people mentioned on the PPP Facebook page that they have one and love it, so if you’ve been in the market for one this looks like a great price.



Remember that pricing on Amazon is subject to change at any time.


This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy to learn more.


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Have You Shopped Goodwill?



Okie dokie folks, I’d really planned on getting this week’s Friday Fluff Up ready by today. (See that chair? I have big plans for it. BIG.)  ;)


I found it at Goodwill a few weeks ago for TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. Crazy! And, since I’d dropped off some donations I was able to use my 10% off coupon (included on my donation receipt), bringing my price down to just $2.25. It has so much potential I can hardly stand it – I just need a few hours to get started. (I can’t wait to show you how it turns out!)


My girls go to gymnastics near a local Goodwill store, so at least once a week I’m able to stop in and see what they have. While it’s very hit or miss, there are some great deals to be found.  I’ve found Hannah Andersson dresses for as little as $3 (with tags!), a J. Crew formal dress for just $4.97 (unfortunately, the size didn’t fit anyone in our family), and some great dressy boots as well.


As we’re clothing our family of five for the winter for the first time in years, it’s been fun to have an inexpensive way to shop. Here are just a few things I noticed the last time I was there (I was looking for items for a Halloween costume for my son – but there were some great prices on men’s clothing!)


Men’s Ralph Lauren shirt – $2.97


Men’s J Crew sweater – $2.97


Men’s Banana Republic Sweater $2.97


Eddie Bauer top $2.97


Do you shop Goodwill or another local thrift store? You really never know what you’ll find, but it’s fun to see what they have, and if you’re willing to dig around a bit I think there are some great deals there! I actually found a wool coat for myself this week (but forgot to take a picture) and it’s already at the dry cleaners getting ready so I can wear it when it gets cooler out. I’m loving having another great way to save, and while I don’t buy a ton there, it is fun to see what they have!


Go HERE to see a few more of our Goodwill finds, and I’d love to hear what you’ve found too!


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Things We *LOVE* About Ohio



Time for a (very!) random rambling – if you’re here just for the deals I COMPLETELY understand ~ scoot on to the next penny pinched post! ;) 


As I’ve shared over the last year, we’ve had some big adjustments in our family after moving to OhioThis week as my kiddos seemed to be having a few extra rough few days, I scurried to my computer, because I’ve learned everything I know (really) from Google.


I typed in . . .

How to make it easier for kids to move.

How to make it easier for teenagers to move.

How to make it easier to move.

How to  make moving less stressful.

How to handle moving.


(Does anyone else have days where they type just plain old silly stuff into Google in hopes of a brilliant answer?)


Well, while I did read a few good suggestions, I didn’t come up with anything amazing. So I started thinking.


I decided that we as a family needed to really think about things that we’ve enjoyed here in Ohio, so I wrote on our big chalkboard (from TJMaxx of course), “Things we LOVE about Ohio . . .”



(the deer outside our window this week – we love seeing them here!)

Now, because I’ve hung out with my kids for a day or two, I knew two out of the three of them wouldn’t all that happily start coming up with their list. (One of them is on a mission to dollop on a little extra guilt every chance they get – ugh.) So, being the smart momma I am, I told them that for every item they came up with they’d get a quarter. To sweeten the deal, I decided that sometime this week we’d head out for ice cream and they could use all of their quarters to buy the biggest ice cream they could afford, up to $5.


(Because they know me pretty well too, they knew this was a big deal as they’re usually limited to the $1-$2 ice cream cones, so a big $5 ice cream sundae is a pretty big treat at our house.)


Two of my three kids immediately got started, and slowly came up with a few fun things about the Buckeye State. But one resisted, until about an hour before our ice cream trip was set.


Sure enough, within a few minutes all three became highly motivated, and here’s just a few of the items they came up with. (Please don’t be horrified by their handwriting – they were on top of each other trying to write quickly because ice cream was coming soon!) ;)


Things we love about Ohio:

  1. Fall
  2. People
  3. Jackson having to mow the yard (that one came from his sister.)
  4. Cold
  5. Winning schools ;)
  6. Taking pictures outside
  7. Church
  8. Summer Camp
  9. Skiing (closer than it was here in Alabama – they’re excited about that!)
  10. Deer
  11. Big yard
  12. My room
  13. Patio
  14. Handels Ice Cream
  15. Graeters Ice Cream (do you see a theme here?)
  16. Big city
  17. Mr. **** (a teacher – not sure if he’d want his name up here!)
  18. Grass (We don’t miss our Alabama Bermuda grass at all – greener grass year round is so nice!)
  19. Ski club
  20. Walking through new houses (we’re in a new neighborhood and love sneaking to see what the new homes look like)
  21. Sweaters & boots
  22. Ellie, Kate, Ava & Anelise. (So thankful for neighborhood girls for my kids to play with – would be nice to find some good teenagers for my son to hang out with too but I’m holding out hope for that!)
  23. Big Ten
  24. Ohio State (I was surprised by that one? I think our youngest is revolting against my husband’s alma mater University of Illinois.)
  25. Study hall
  26. Watching Illinois play Ohio State in a few weeks (We have tickets – yay!)
  27. Our fireplace
  28. Cooler summer
  29. Pretty trees
  30. Love Laurie being here with me. (That was from my husband. He loves me.) ;)

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I don’t know where you’re at today, but maybe you need a “things I love” list too. Maybe your list would be . . .

Things I love about my home. . . 

Things I love about my job. . . 

Things I love about my (tiny-sleepless-colicky) baby. . . (Can you tell I’ve been there?) ;)

Things I love about my family . . . 

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For me (and maybe my family?) having a big old list of things they’re enjoying ~ even if they were bribed into it ~ just makes me feel like maybe we’ll get through this not-so-easy season too. If you’re in a season when things aren’t just the way you planned – whether there’s an illness, a financial struggle, or anything else that’s just more difficult than you expected, maybe drawing up a thankful list will help ease a tough day a bit. (And you should definitely end it with ice cream – because that just makes life a little brighter.) ;)


Do you have any tips on how to handle a kinda-stressful-even-if-it’s-not-bad situation? Goodness, I could sure use your encouragement on this one as I know some of you all have been here too. Thanks for letting me ramble a bit today – I’m so very thankful for you!



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Sam’s Club Vs. Costco Prices (Snack Food Prices)





I’m hoping to make a Sam’s vs. Costco post at least once a month, because it’s so fun to see how they stack up!  Here are some deals I saw this morning while running into both stores.  (You may be surprised who won the price wars this month.)  I still think our local grocery stores have better deals on snack items (especially after coupons) but if you’re in a hurry this may help you decide where the best prices are at.


As always, when shopping these stores please go in with a budget in place (in case you haven’t heard that enough from us lately!) If you’ve found other deals that you’ve just loved at Costco or Sam’s Club, leave a comment to let us know what you think.

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Sam’s- Gas $2.93 per gallon

Costco- Gas $2.93 per gallon


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Sam’s – Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 12 pk- $7.98 or $.67 per pk

Costco- Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 15 pk- $8.95 or $.60 per pk

WINNER = Costco


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Sam’s – Nutri Grain Bars 36 ct $9.99 or $.28 per bar

Costco-  Nutri Grain Bars  48 ct $12.99 or $.27 per bar

WINNER = Costco

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Sam’s – Goldfish 66 oz $9.32 or $.14 per ounce

Costco – Goldfish 58 oz $8.19 or $.14 per ounce



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Sam’s – Frito Lay Chips 50 pk $11.93 or $.24 per pk

Costco – Frito Lay Chips 54 pk $12.59 or $.23 per pk

WINNER = COSTCO by 1 penny per pk


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Sam’s- Ritz Crackers $7.45

Costco – Ritz Crackers $7.39

WINNER = Costco

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Sam’s – Go Go Squeeze 20 ct $8.98

Costco- Go Go Squeeze Organic 20 ct $10.99

WINNER = SAMS (but one is organic and one not)

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Sam’s- Cheerios 40 0z $5.55

Costco- Cheerios 40 oz $5.55


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Sam’s – Dole Fruit 24 ct $7.88

Costco- Del Monte Fruit 24 ct $8.99



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Sam’s- Quaker Granola Bars 48 ct $8.98 or $.18 per bar

Costco- Quaker Granola Bars 60 ct $9.99 or $.17 per bar

WINNER = Costco

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The Costco are half the size then Sam’s bars are

Sam’s- Rice Krispy Treats 24 pk 1.3 oz bars $8.38 or $.17 per bar (I did the math like 48 bars to make the math work)

Costco- Rice Krispy Treats 54 pk .7 oz bars $10.99 or $.20 per bar

WINNER = Sam’s


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Sam’s – Frosted Flakes 61 oz $6.83

Costco- Frosted Flakes 61 oz $4.85

WINNER = Costco

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You can grab Frozen Chicken Breasts this week at Target for $1.69/lb

Sam’s- Frozen Chicken Breasts 6 lb $11.98 or $1.99/lb

Costco-  Frozen Chicken Breasts 6 lb $17.99 or $2.76/ lb

WINNER = Sam’s


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Sam’s- Butter (4) 1 lb Stick $11.98

Costco- (4) 1 lb Stick $12.99

WINNER = Sam’s

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Sam’s- Fuji Apples 5 lb $5.98 or $1.20/lb

Costco- Fuji Apples 5.5  lb $7.99 or $1.45/lb

WINNER = Sam’s

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Sam’s- Yellow Onions 10 lb $6.82 or $.68 per lb

Costco – Sweet Onions 5 lb $3.49 or $.70 per lb

WINNER = Sam’s




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Coca Cola 12 Packs Just $1.33 At CVS (No Coupons Required!)



If you missed this earlier in the week, it’s still available! Great way to stock up if you’re planning to have friends over to watch football or enjoy some Halloween festivities.


I’m super excited that this deal worked today at my local CVS! Right now when you purchase 3 Coca Cola products at CVS you’ll get $5 in ECBs, making them just $1.56 per 12 pack after Extra Care Bucks. Here’s how it worked for me:

Bought 3 Coca Cola 12 packs On Sale $3/$9  (regularly $5.49)

  • Paid $9 + tax out of pocket, get $5 ECBs
  • $1.33 each after coupons and ECBs!


Right now there’s a special ECB offer for $5 when you spend $15 on Coca Cola products, and the Coca Cola 12 packs are ringing up at $5 each before deducting the savings. I’m not sure if this will work everywhere, but it just worked without any problems for me!



New to drug store shopping? Learn all the secrets over HERE so you can save big.


Thanks, Wild for CVS! See all the top deals at CVS this week.

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Will You Shop On Thanksgiving?

On the way home from the gym this morning I heard on the radio that more stores will open on Thanksgiving to start their Black Friday sales. 




As a penny-pinching blogger, I usually start out around 4AM on Black Friday hanging out here with you, but I kinda enjoy my Thanksgiving day off. And, while I do shop the drug stores bright and early on Thanksgiving Day (they always remain open because they have pharmacies), I don’t do any other Thanksgiving Day shopping. (I love the day off with family!)


I may give in and start posting a little earlier this year (think 10PM Thanksgiving night, maybe?), but I’m curious if you’ll be shopping on Thanksgiving Day?  To be honest I’ve always shopped online only on Black Friday (the week leading up to Thanksgiving tends to have great sales too), and my bet is that since Thanksgiving is a little late this year, the online sales will be in full swing before the Black Friday deals come around.


So, I’ll be right here typing and posting any awesome finds that I see, but I’m not quite willing to give up my Thanksgiving yet. ;)


What do you think? Are you up for early shopping this year? Best Buy, Walmart and Macy’s will all open at 6PM for their sales Thanksgiving night ~ I’d love to know if you’ll be there. (Or home in your pjs like me.) ;)



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