Monday, December 31, 2012

LivE Wisely in 2013


My husband told me this morning that 2013 is going to be a good year. Wonderful! I am all for it. 
Each year I try to come up with a couple of things that I would like +t+o do for the new nicer to others, try not to yell as much, have more patience, exercise more...
And of course, find new and easier ways to save better. This is a blog about ways to save money!!

so here we go...

-keep a better recipe and meals we enjoy book, (each time I make something that my husband enjoys he asks me to write it well...yeah, I am going to work on this)


-when I go to a wonderful store like Target, I am going to go in with a list. And I am going to do my best to stick to it....Actually I know that I am not going to do this. Let me start over. I just remembered that a friend of mine keeps a running list of what she and her household needs on her phone, (toilet paper, applesauce, etc). I am going to keep a running list of things that I need. This way, I can focus more when I am at a store like Target.

-get a hold of all of these "money" saving apps! There are so many and I am getting overwhelmed!! (I promise to share what I like)

-Try not to go shopping crazy when I see a deal! Sometimes I just buy too much of something that I only partially need

-Try my hat at making things for around the house. My husband and I enjoy going to antique stores, furniture stores, Home Goods. We sometimes spend too much on something that maybe we could easily make! For example we walked into an overpriced store a couple of days ago and saw a cool piece of wood with hooks on it. Great for hanging jackets. It was $80 something dollars!! I know that we could easily duplicate it and we are not super handy.

-Continue Saving and Living Wisely!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Little Trick to Save Wisely

Saving can be tough! You get a paycheck, pay your bills, and maybe you have a few dollars left. It can be tempting to quickly spend what is left sitting in your account. Or maybe you receive a bonus or a monetary gift. You want to save it, ...but oh those shoes look oh so nice.

I started a transfer plan within out bank accounts a few years back. It helps us to keep our money saved as opposed to spent!

This is what we did. We created automatic transfer savings plans. An Automatic Savings Plan allows you to maximize your savings by having a fixed amount of money regularly transferred from your linked checking account to another account. For example, we have a "rainy" day account. We also have college accounts set up for our children.

So each month, a set amount automatically goes into other accounts. This way, I do not have to make any kind of effort to make sure that I am saving, it just happens!

It would also be a great tool if you are say, saving for something special. Maybe a vacation or a new computer.

Happy Saving!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Pulled Together Dinner That Came Out Awesome!!

It was one of those nights, when I just wasn't sure what to cook for dinner. I was in the mood for something yummy, but tired of this and that. Not in the mood for chicken, beef, or pasta...

I ended up finding some frozen chorizo sausage, (I always have some kind of sausage in the freezer for nights like these) that I must have bought on sale. Some home made sauce,(I always have some frozen)  a couple veggies, (broccoli and yellow squash), and found a very easy recipe to make bread on a great blog!

The bread is called, "The Best and Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make. " I just added a couple of twists!

I prefer not to use a lot of white flour in my baking so I added 2 cups of almond flour, 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup of white flour, (for a total of 4 cups per the recipe). When the bread was almost done, I took it out and sliced it in half and then added some of the sausage with the sauce, veggies, and some cheese.

Then put it back in the oven for aprox 15 minutes. It was a major hit! I will definitely make this again.
The finished product, (above) was so yummy. I not only stuffed mine with cheese, I also topped it to make it extra cheesy.

If you do not have time to make bread, you could just use an uncut loaf from the grocery store. Honestly, you could even take sliced bread and sandwich some goodies inside and then toast it up. Maybe cut off the crusts to make it look a bit different than a regular old sandwich. 

Happy Cooking...And Eating!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Find Great Deals at Ethnic Grocery Stores

Ever since I was little, my family has shopped a Ethnic Grocery Stores. In fact, my parents sometimes turn into crazed animals when they first enter. They are off and running quickly throwing anything and everything into the nearest shopping cart! Slow down I told them on our last adventure. Do you really need that??

The great thing about these outlets is they not only offer unique food offerings, but the prices tend to be quite affordable.
Here are a couple of items that I typically pick up and keep on hand in my pantry:

Cosmos located in West Hartford on  Farmington Ave offers a great selection of Indian delights. I typically pick up: couscous, naan bread, (great for my pizza), dates, spices, coconut oil, ginger, barley, jelly/jam. They offer many of these items in bulk and for great prices.

Tangiers  also on Farmington Ave in West Hartford serves up the best falafel in town!!

A Dong located on Shield St in West Hartford offers an amazing array of Asian groceries! This place is huge and has just about everything you could possibly want: veggies, fruits, miso, (great for my slow cooker pork orange miso recipe), famous Vietnamese sandwiches, Banh Mi popularized by the Food Network, frozen dumplings, huge bags of every kind of rice...take a trip down there just for fun!

 Appletree located on New Park Ave in West Hartford has what seems to be the cheapest fruits and veggies in town!

The Delicacy Market also on Farmington Ave in West Hartford has a wonderful selection of European goodies, (mostly Russian). My dad loves their huge selection of sausages. They have excellent prices on meets and cheeses and make huge delicious inexpensive sandwiches. Go crazy!

There are also a number of places on Park St in Hartford that I have yet to explore.

I know that we all go to 4-5 different grocery stores as it is. But it is worth a trip just to stock up on some great pantry items.

If you know of any other great places, please let me know.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Before You Buy...Check!!!!

A great friend of mine, we'll call her B&B, is great at buying things from craigslist. She seems to get some fantastic deals. Not only does she buy, but she also sells quite a bit on the site. Like anything, it is important to be smart when buying online... But so far it seems as if she has had great luck.

So I decided to try my luck at it. I wanted to buy a Radio Flyer Tricycle for our youngest. I found a great deal at Target for $52. Right before I sent my husband out to buy it, I remembered to look at Craigslist. Well what do you know...I found one! It is in great shape and I got it for only $25!!

I will continue to check before I buy. You just never know!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Discount Stores are Everywhere! Great For Gift Accoutrements

Sometimes you just need something small. Maybe something to compliment a gift. Or maybe you need to buy some last minute decorations or a stocking stuffer. How about party gear, (plates, napkins, give-aways).
My mom, again always with great advice in hand is a teacher. And as a teacher, she finds herself having to buy some school supplies, (yes schools do not supply everything) along with some trinkets for holidays and such. She loves to go to the "dollar" store, or Ocean State Job Lot to find some great but inexpensive goodies.

Here are some places that I have found that offer some options for those looking for a little something...

Family Dollar Store 
Dollar Stores
Ocean State Job Lot
Christmas Tree Shops
Big Lots
XPect Discounts

Happy Discount Shopping!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Discounts are Everywhere! Sometimes you just have to ASK!!

I love my mom. She has taught me so so much. One thing in particular that has stuck with me, is to ask for a discount when you see fit. One great recent story is when my mom and I visited NYC for a little fun. We ended up parking near a museum that my mom had always wanted to visit. Upon entering we saw that tickets were $14 each. My mom is a teacher so she always asks if they offer a "teachers" discount. They said no, so I quickly chimed in and inquired whether or not they accepted AAA. They did! The tickets were buy one get one free!!! I was so proud of myself. never hurts to ask.

Okay, where else should you see if you can get a discount...
-the phone company. threaten to switch! 9 out of 10 times they will do what they can to keep your business. (this trick typically works for many places, (cable, internet, lawn service).
My Rate Plan, allows you to compare your service charges with other places

-If a piece of clothing seems slightly damaged (like missing a button), retailers can, and usually will, knock 10% to 15% off.

-You can ask for an open box at electronics stores, which means an item has been returned but has been inspected to make sure that it's in working order. Usually you can get about 15% off.

-Always look up coupon code or promotion code before you buy anything online!! So many sites offer free shipping or a % off. Some popular sites are:

-Many stores will alter the price at which you originally paid if the price has gone done within a few weeks. (Refer to stores policy before you buy)

  • Best Buy – Best Buy will match the price of a similar store within a 25-mile radius. Best Buy also price matches with – so pull up the price on your smartphone and you’ll get the online price in the store.
  • The Home Depot – Find a better price in a competing local store’s ad and The Home Depot will beat it by 10%.
  • JCPenney – Make sure you have the latest ad from the competitor’s store.
  • Kohl’s – Get a price adjustment if your item goes on sale within 14 days.
  • Macy’s – Macy’s will price match with similar stores up to 10 days after your purchase.
  • Nordstrom – Nordstrom offers a 14-day window for sale adjustments
  • Sears – Bring a current ad from a local retailer within 14 days of your purchase to get a price adjustment.
  • Target – Target will match any current local competitor’s price, as well as prices, on items bought from Nov. 1 all the way up until Dec. 24.
  • Toys R Us – You’ll get a price adjustment on any item purchased within seven days.
  • Walmart – Walmart also matches buy one, get one free ads – just as long as the price is given.
  • Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and Piperlime
  • Amazon: They no longer offer a price adjustment policy on everything they sell, but they do offer a 14 day price adjustment policy for TVs sold through
-Before you go to a show or a movie, see if they offer a discount.

It never hurts to ask. You may be surprised at how much you can save!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lets Re-Use Your Old T-Shirts, Wine Bottles, Toilet Paper Rolls...

If your husband is anything like mine, he goes through White T-Shirts sooo quickly. My mom, (who has a million great ideas), told me to turn them into rags. This got me thinking. What else do I have laying around the house that I can Re-Purpose?

Here are just a few FUN ideas!

Plastic Bags : I use them to line trash containers around the house. I They can also be used as slippers if you are covering up dirty shoes, (need to do some work in the basement with slippers on?

Paper Bags: They are great for covering books, wrapping gifts or cutting them up and putting under art projects. No more wet paint on your dining room table! You can also use them in your garden for weed control. Just put mulch on top.

Rubber Bands Hand Exerciser?

Shoe Boxes: Cover with wrapping paper and use as storage, (photo box, toy box, receipt box)

Buttons: Put them in  cool jar and display! Or stick them in a plastic container and use as a baby rattle.
Tissues:  How about tissue Flowers?

Old T-Shirts: I love to cut them up and turn them into rags. I keep a bag under each sink! Put Dad's old t-shirt on and use as a smock for the kids! Here are some great sites that show how to make an old tshirt in to a scarf. I am definitely doing this. (I will dye some of my husbies old t-shirts!)

Wine Bottles: Paint them and make vases or fill them with lights.

Old Toilet Paper Rolls : Make wall art! It is so easy.

 Egg Cartons: Make your own garden! Fill with soil and plant a seed. Lightly water and watch your sprouts grow!

If you have any ideas to share, please do!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stride Rite Sale!! Come and Get It!!

Groupon, Living Social,, ...There a ton of Ways to Receive an Email Notification That Something You May or May Not Need is Now on Sale! If you are anything like me, this can be sooo overwhelming. I feel like I do not want to miss out on a great opportunity. 

How upset do I get when I run into a friend who is so excited to let you know that they just bought a coupon for the new restaurant that opened down the street!! What I missed it? Did I not scroll through the 15 coupon offerings that are now on each of these crazy emails?? My email account is getting bogged down and I am going a bit cook-coo.

But wait, there is another one that focuses on kids!! Totsy 

Have you tried this one out yet? In fact today they are offering great sales at Stride Rite!! We were all saddened when our store moved out of Blue Back Square.
Well, if you are in need of some awesome kicks for your kids and you prefer Stride Rite, Click on to Totsy and Grab Your Deal!!

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