Search & Win

I wanted to say thanks again to everyone who has signed up for Swagbucks. It is amazing what referrals can do. I am currently saving to get a $50 Lowes gift card to use on the house this summer.

Would you like to learn how to get FREE gift cards just for surfing the web? It is just like google only you get "paid" to do it. Find out more here.
I have not been able to get up my Dillons deals the last several weeks due to being sick and then having both kids catch it. Right now Jack is fighting pneumonia and possible RSV. I have not been getting much sleep. Thankfully he is doing much better and is off the prednisone which was making him sssooo hyper. We were quite worried for awhile when the Dr checked his oxygen levels and it was only 93. God has been good and he is on the mend. Now if I could only get some sleep.

Anyway since Dillons has decided to extend the Mega Event for another week I thought I would direct you to Sarah's site for the match ups since I have not had a chance. Thank you so much Sarah for sending me these. Don't forget that these deals will work at Kroger stores as well.

I should have taken a picture of the cheese I was able to get last week. They had a blinkie right next to the cheese for $.75 off which doubled to $1 making each bag only $.49 each!! I bought 20 and my husband went back later and got 10 more. I am so glad that cheese freezes well.

I am really excited about the carnival that Lindsay will be hosting at Passionate Homemaking next Tues Jan 20th. She will be hosting a Nutritious Freezer Meal Carnival. I have always been inspired by her ability to feed her family delicious, healthy meals and still stay withing budget. It should be interesting to see what she comes up with for this one. I am also looking forward to seeing what others have to add to this carnival. It should be fun. If you would like to participate make sure to head on over to Passionate Homemaking next Tues or even sooner for some great inspiration on frugal, natural living as well as some encouragement on your walk as a wife and mother. 

Search & Win

I noticed this morning that Swagbucks has a new Swagbucks code up. If you click on the large number that tells you how many bucks you have you will be taken to a page that has a box you can type in a Swagbucks code to receive a free point. After you type it you click on Give Me and you will automatically have an extra point. Make sure you hurry these codes tend to expire quickly. The code is also case sensitive.

Here is the code....GreenThursday

I mentioned the other day that I was planning a trip to Dillons this week to get some Green Giant boxed veggies that are on sale 10/$10 this week. There are some $.50/1 coupons here as well as some ecoupons you can add to your Dillons card here and here. If your store doubles coupons that would make them FREE. I had many coupons that I had been saving up hoping these would go on sale soon. My Dillons will honor expired coupons up to, I think, 6 weeks past expiration. It depends on who you talk to.

I was also able to get some more free Cottonelle toilet paper. Right now I have around 14 four packs and a large pack as well as 5-9 more coupons for more. All the 4 packs are free if you use the $.50/1 coupons here and here. Remember you can hit the back button and get 2 coupons per computer per site. Go here and here to print these coupons.

Here is what I got yesterday...

28 boxes Green Giant veggies
1 pack Cottonelle
2 packs Kotex
1 Colgate Total
1 can Kroger Tuna FREE with Cellfire
1 box Kroger kleenex
1 bag cookies to stop screaming children

Total for everything I paid under $20. That is a HUGE savings considering the veggies are regularly priced at $1.99 each! I should have paid $2 less except I forgot my husband's Dillons card to use on 1 pack of Kotex and 2 boxes of veggies. Oh well still a good deal.

You can go
here to sign up for a free subscription to Kiwi Magazine and get $5 in Earth's Best coupons. I get this magazine and I really like it. It is full of green living ideas for moms.

Cellfire has added new coupons today. They have several that are good for Kroger brand items. I love these coupons because you do not usually see Kroger coupons. They are also nice because you can load them to your Dillons card and not have to worry about remembering to bring them to the store.

Cellfire also has several coupons that are good towards things like Huggies diapers and Colgate toothpaste. Since these coupons are loaded to your Dillons card and are virtual coupons you can stack them with a paper coupon which can add up to some big savings if you manage to get the item on sale.

For example I found Kotex on sale this week for $3. I used a $.75 paper coupon that doubled to $1 and the Cellfire coupon came off for another $1 making the Kotex only $1 each. I was able to buy 2 packs and only pay a total of $2. That is less then the cost of one! Let me know if you have questions about how ecoupons work. You can also add coupons to your husband's card if he has one.

Don't forget about these other sites that let you load coupons to your Dillons card....

Shortcuts P&G Brandsaver

There are lots of paper coupons that match up to them. Tomorrow Green Giant boxed veggies will be on sale for $1 each. When you combine the ecoupons and paper coupons they will be FREE! I have been saving my Green Giant coupons hoping they would go on sale soon. I will try to take a picture and do a post on what I get tomorrow. See you can get healthy food with coupons.
I have to admit that I LOVE hummus. My husband loves it when I make this recipe. From all the research I have done chickpeas are very good for you which makes this dip extra healthy since it contains olive oil, tahini, and garlic. Yes, it is a bit high in fat, but it is good fat. I am a firm believer in eating full fat and whole milk as long as it is healthy fat and comes from a reliable if not organic source. 

If you are wondering about why I believe in eating this way you should check out the 2 books that completely changed the way my family eats, The Maker's Diet and Nourishing Traditions. In fact my husband lost around 60 pounds eating real butter and full fat diary. HMMM that seems to go against everything we have been taught. I feel we should eat our food the way the Lord made it and not mess with it too much. If I could find a source of farm fresh milk anywhere near here I would be buying it. 

Using coupons to eat a whole foods diet can be a bit of a struggle. Since we are currently working to pay all of our debts off we have decided to compromise on a few foods, but I have to say that eating a whole foods diet can be just as cheap if not cheaper then using coupons alone for processed foods. I strive to use my coupons to help of set the price of some of our produce and other things. There are also great sources of organic and whole food coupons if you keep an eye out for them. Maybe I should do a post on just organic couponing or what I spend on a whole foods diet. The way I have found we save is by making nearly everything we eat. It is amazing how much you can save when you are not buying premade or processed foods. It is so much healthier and cheaper, even when you can get some things for free. My sister-in-law said once that she would rather pay more for food now then pay much more for medical bills later. 

All this said here is my favorite hummus recipe...

15 oz garbanzo beans (chick peas, I use dried beans, but you can use 1 can)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tahini (sesame "butter" found in the health food section of grocery store)
1/4 cup lemon juice
olive oil to taste

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend together. If the hummus is too thick you can thin it with olive oil or a little water. 
Place in a bowl and garnish with pine nuts, paprika, and a little olive or sesame oil if you like. I usually don't. 
Serve with pita or fresh veggies.

My daughter has been asking to see my wedding dress the last several weeks. I finally gave in and pulled the big ol thing out. Think miles and miles of tulle. I finally got it all out of the bag when she decides it would be a good idea for me to try it on. I am happy to say that over 7 years and 2 kids later it still fits just the way it did on my wedding day. The only thing on me that was a little bigger may have been my hips. I don't remember having trouble getting it over my hips the last time (yes I stepped into it).
I guess chasing after two small children is more of a workout then I thought.

Madison enjoyed helping me carry my train up the stairs so I could look in the mirror. It was so fun to see the look on her face when she saw her mommy "so pretty." I barely had any makeup on and my hair had been under a baseball cap all day and she still thought her momma was pretty. Of course then came all of the questions about where was I at your wedding and I think I will marry Jack or daddy. I love being a mom. She later had to wear the veil around for awhile.

I decided to order a book from Borders today and remembered too late that I should have used my Ebate account to order it. I only ended up paying $.03 for a $20 book after coupon, gift card, and shipping to the store, but it would have been nice to have also received a 4% cash back rebate as well.

After realizing that I had forgotten I decided to check Ebates and see what other Borders coupons or rebates they had. When I got to their web page I discovered that any new person who signs up can get an automatic $5 deposited into their account, or $10 gift card to Borders or Target, plus some other gift cards. My husband signed up and they are now shipping him a $10 gift card to Borders!

I love to use Ebates whenever I shop online because I know that I can usually get a rebate and some sort of coupon code. It is free to sign up plus you can have your earnings sent to you in check form or deposited into your PayPal account. Sounds like a good deal to me. You can go
here to sign up and check it out for yourself.
"Just as the rich rule the poor; so the borrower is servant to the lender."
Proverbs 22:7

My husband and I have been working on paying down our debt since last summer. After reading Dave's Total Money Makeover we both decided that we had had enough of owing money. The Bible teaches us that we are to owe no man. At the beginning of our marriage we only had $3,500 in student loans and no other debt. Unfortunately we decided to listen to what others were telling us and take out student loans, car loans, and a mortgage. We did not know that there was any other way. Debt was just something that everyone had. We were even told that student loans are considered "good" debt. How could we have been so blind. 

We are now paying off a student loan we used to pay for a truck that has been totaled for almost 3 years now. My husband was always against taking out loans, but I usually managed to talk him into it. Thanks to him we have a lot less then we might if I had gotten my way. 

Thrift Florida Mom is hosting a monthly debt buster meeting. I have decided to join in. We have a HUGE goal this year. I believe that you should always aim high. If you don't you will never know what you can achieve. If you don't make it at least you gave it all you had. I have prayed about this so many times. I am trusting the Lord to help take care of us. I know he has put it on my heart to be debt free. With the Lords help it is possible although it will take sacrifice and extra jobs. I would love to hear from you. Any encouraging words you can leave would be greatly appreciated. 

I am going to follow the lead of Florida mom and list out my debts so that each month you can see my progress and hopefully you will be inspired to tackle your debt this year. 

Car loan $6,300 - We owed around $14,000 last June 
Student loan $8,500
Student loan $10,500

These are approximate numbers. I have the 2 student loans in forbearance right now. We are putting everything extra we can toward having the car paid off by May or June. My ultimate goal would be to be debt free by January 2010 which would mean paying $2,100 a month toward debt. My family thinks I am crazy. My husband teaches at a technical college and I stay home. To help with this goal we are on a very strict budget and we are planning to take on some extra jobs. 

I decided to take my kids to the mall for an Auntie Anne's pretzel today. I decided to go hunting for a coupon so I could possibly make this a free trip. I am also planning to use a $5 gift card to Sears that I earned from Adperks. I was excited to see that there is a FREE pretzel coupon in the new Entertainment book as well as you can go
here and sign up to have a coupon sent to your email box every month. 

By the way thanks to everyone who has signed up for Swagbucks. I was really surprised to see I had "earned" some points while I was sleeping last night. 

Search & Win

I am sure that you have heard of Swagbucks by now, but if you haven't you really should be using it. 

Basically Swagbucks is a search engine that you can use just like google and any other search engine. The bonus to using Swagbucks is that when you search for things you will occasionally be rewarded with a swagbuck or 2. After you accumulate enough you can redeem your swagbucks for things such as Starbucks gift cards, Amazon gift cards, and tons of other prizes. 

The other great thing is that if you have a website or even an email you can refer friends and earn extra points. For every point your friends earn you will earn the same number up to 100 points. 

There are lots of other ways to earn bucks. The best way to learn about the program is to go ahead and visit here. It is so easy to get started. I just ordered my second Starbucks card. I love getting free coffee just for surfing the net like I would be doing anyway. Go ahead and give it a try. 

I noticed when I was in Walgreens today that they have the
Yes To Carrots line buy one get one half off. If you go here you can get a buy one get one free coupon. When you combine these deals you can get 2 products for 1/4 of the price.

Here is the break down...
Average price is about $8 x 2 = $16
- $8 BOGO coupon
-$4 Walgreens sale
Total is $4 for 2 products!

I also noticed that they have some of there Seventh Generation products on clearance. Head on over to Money Saving Mom to get the details on how to get $2 off these products. The clearance prices I noticed were just over $2.
I ran into some really good deals this weekend on organic and natural foods. Since we try to eat mostly whole and organic foods this causes a bit of a stretch in our budget at times. I was really excited to run into some sales this weekend. So if you live in or around the Wichita area you might be able to get in on this.

Green Acres has Cascadian Farms fruits and veggies on sale for 2/$3 and 2/$6 for a 10 oz bag. When you combine this sale with a $1/1 Cascadian Farm coupon you can get frozen fruits and veggies for around $.50 to $2.50 each. 

They also have 5 pound bags of potatoes on sale for $2.99. That is less then Kroger, Target, or even Walmart.

The last place I found great deals was at Satchel Creek Steaks. They are a local ranch that raises hormone and antibiotic free grass fed beef. Every Friday they have Fill Your Freezer Friday. Which means everything in their freezer is 50% off!  You do have to pay a one time fee of $20 to be able to participate, but it is well worth it. I was able to get 5 pounds of ground beef, all beef brats, and 2 precooked burgundy roasts for about $25. Not bad for good quality meat. To buy just the ground beef alone at Dillons would have been $25. 
Thank you to everyone who sent encouraging emails for left comments. I needed to take some time and reevaluate where I am spending my time and where I wanted to blog to go. From the steady stream of visitors I am still receiving I have decided that I will continue to post, but maybe not as much as I used to. I will try to make sure that I get up the most time sensitive items as well as some posts on encouraging mothers in there journeys. I had trouble not posting items for the last several weeks and just letting this blog sit while I did other things.

 The one thing that I will not do is tell my children to go play and let mommy finish "working" on a post. Time spent with them is too important. I also have not been giving myself as  much time to spend in the Bible as I should. That will be my top priority.

Since today is Monday I will try to have a menu plan up later today.
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