Sunday, February 28, 2010


This is what I got at Publix tonight. My Total with tax was $37.44. Plus I have my Jennie O Rebate to send in.

Saving Summary

Vendor Coupons $20.29
Store Coupons $6.35
Special Price Savings $35.65

Your Savings at Publix $62.27

I had a good savings at Publix, but I had one of the worse cashiers. I will call her Coupon Questioner Carol. Every coupon I had she questioned and numerous times she made me pull items out of my bag and show her before she would scan my coupon. This was a total pain. I mean didn't she just scan the item. But she really got me when I gave her a free item coupon for some Oreo Cakesters. It had a value of $3.29 and Publix was selling them for $3.39. She said to me "The coupon is only for $3.29 and we charge $3.39" I said, "Okay, just give me the $3.29" She said, "But they won't be free" After I was totally frustrated, "I said I'll just pay the 10 cents." She shrugged and finally a gave me the coupon.
After the dealing with all of this I handed her $29.00 in cash and told her I would pay the rest with my debt. After I handed it to her she just stood there looking at it. Finally, She said "this is only $29.00" I said, "I know I want to pay for the rest with my debt." It took her a moments to figure out how two do a transaction with two types of payment.
Needless to say I was so ready to leave Publix. I usually love my trips to Publix, but tonight I felt like I was being questioned as a cheat and not respected as a customer. This was some of the worst customer service I have every had a Publix. My husband and I figure we spend about $4,000 a year there, and we would like to be treated as if we are good regular customers. I know that if this was my first trip to Publix it would definitely be my last.

White Bean Chicken Chili

I got this recipie from And it was easy and excellent.
We used:
2 chicken breast
4 cans of white beans
2 cups shredded cheese
1 large jar of salsa

Put in the crockpot and cook all day.

This is excellent and I will definately have it again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Contessa Jambalya

On Fat Tuesday Accounting Dude and I decided to eat something with a New Orleans flair. We had a bag of Contessa Jambalaya in the freezer which became our dinner. This was our first time trying this and it was wonderful. Accounting Dude said he could definitely have it again. It was super easy to make which is always a bonus in my book. I love to cook there are just some night that if I can get the meal on the table in less than a half hour I'm doing great. We both had one complaint there wasn't enough meat, but this is something that is probably better for us. It is something the bagged meals are always short on. Overall it was a good meal and something I would buy again. I'll just have to watch for coupons and BOGO at Publix.
Note - I was in no way compensated for this post.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Christmas Club Account

I love Christmas it is truly my favorite time of the year. I love giving and receiving gifts. I enjoy the four Sundays of Advent and the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve. I like Christmas Trees and decorations in other words I really like Christmas. I also like to stay out of debt and that is why Frugal Chick and I plan for Christmas.

We plan our Christmas in such a way that credit card companies do not leave something extra special under the tree for us in January. First we list all of the people we buy gifts for and using past experience we estimate the amount we expect to spend on them for Christmas. We also try to estimate purchases of Christmas Cards, decorations, wrapping paper, lights and miscellaneous items we expect to buy for the coming Christmas Season. We add all of these items together and divide by 11. Do not try to set money aside in December, if you are like us it just does not work. This is the monthly amount we save for Christmas expenditures. Make sure this monthly set aside works within your monthly budget.

Realize most banks have done away with Christmas Club Accounts; however, our recent recession has caused a few of them to revisit this policy. If your bank has a Christmas Club account utilize it, if they do not simply open a new savings account (one with no fees) and use it for all of your Christmas transactions. If the bank limits the transactions in this account simply move the money from savings to checking once every two weeks during the Christmas Season. Or you could open a separate checking account and only use that debt card for Christmas purchases. The trick is you have to keep it out of sight and out of mind so as not to be tempted to use it during the year. In other words REMOVE it from your wallet except for November and December.

We have found that planning for Christmas purchases makes it a much less stressful time of the year. It allows us to enjoy making purchases for those we love without worrying about how to pay for them. Our Christmas financial plan also allows us to give money during the Holidays to those who are in need and to perform random acts of kindness. Next year during November and December have a merry and frugal Christmas.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Begging at Restaurants

No, I may be cheap, but I don’t beg outside of a restaurant. I was wondering how you handle it when people come up to you asking for money or for food. Do you give it to them or do you keep on walking? I’m asking this because yesterday Accounting Dude and I went to Arby’s for lunch.

There was a man walking in the parking lot going from car to car asking for money to buy food. I felt lucky because he didn’t ask me on our way in the restaurant, but he was right there when we came out. At first I just kept on walking, but his repeating how hungry he was over and over again got to me. No, I didn’t give him money, I offered to by him food.

Our conversation went something like this…
Begging Man – Can I please have some money I’m Hungry (grabbed his stomach for affect)?
Frugal Chick – No, I won’t give you money, but I will buy you a meal.
Begging Man – But I’m hungry. I need money.
Frugal Chick – I am more than willing to buy you anything on the menu. We will go inside and I will buy you whatever you want, but I won’t give you money.
Begging Man- (thinks about it, even walks towards Arby’s.) then says to me that’s okay thanks.
Frugal Chick – That’s okay, but I’m willing to buy you food.

Begging Man turns around and starts asking the people in the drive thru for money. I am sure the guy was hungry. I’m also sure whatever he wanted the money for he wanted more than food.

After we got in the car Accounting Dude said that I had a good answer for him. I didn’t think of it as just a good answer I really did want to buy him food. I was willing to go into Arby’s and buy him whatever he wanted on the menu, but he didn’t take me up on my offer.

So that leads me back to my question – What do you do?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

CVS (02-21-10)

Slow week at CVS.
I got these 3 toothbrushes for $3.99 each for a total of $11.97.
I had 2 - $1.00 coupons and 1 - $0.75 coupon.
Also had $5.00 CVS Bucks.
Making my total $5.42.
I also got $5.00 ECB back

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tips on Tuesday - Free Plants

My tip for today is - Don't buy plants when you can transplant them.
My friend/co-worker came into work yesterday saying she dug up a bunch of bulbs that had pretty much taken over her backyard. As we talked I asked her what she was going to do with them. Her answer was trash them. I had wanted to do a flower bed and these would work perfect, mostly because they were free. After eating dinner Accounting Dude and I headed over to her house and selected the bulbs we wanted. It will be this weekend before we plant them, but we were both so excited about getting them before they went in the trash.
This is half the pile of plants that were dug up.

These were a few of the ones we took. Next time you see your friend or neighbor digging up there plants ask if you can have a few. You may want to offer to help them dig up the plants in exchange.

Menue Monday

Sunday - Lunch - Firecracker Shrimp Quesadillas with Corn
Dinner - Leftovers
Monday - Pigs in a Blankets with Mac & Cheese
Tuesday - Breakfast - Eggs, Toast, Bacon, & Hash browns
Wednesday - Tuna Helper
Thursday - Left Overs
Friday - Eat Out
Saturday -?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Ties

JC Penney's has some great clearance items. I would have probably got more, but Accounting Dude was along and he hates to shop. I did get these two ties for him. They were both $2.97 a piece. A great deal for men's ties. Accounting Dude has a bad habit of wiping his glasses on his ties and snagging them. So I try not to pay more than $5.00 for a tie. At $2.97 I really wish they would have more that we liked.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Food For Thought Friday

Okay I know that this is not exactly food, but since I have never eaten this candy before I thought I would share my opinion on it. My opinion is that it isn't very good. If you like Sour Patch Kids you won't like these. They really didn't have much taste, and what taste they did have wasn't sour. They tasted like bland gummies with a texture. I love Wonka candy - Just don't like these. I'm so glad that I had a coupon making them free because I would be mad if I had spent any money on them. If you have tried them let me know what you think of them?
This is what they look like.
This is what the bag looks like.

Wonka had nothing to do with this post.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Frugal Travel Tips

Frugal Chick and I love to travel. If you have the love of travel and the love of saving here are a few tips we have found helpful.

1. Plan your trip in advance there are substantial discounts for airlines, hotels and cruise lines for booking well in advance. Part of planning in advance includes looking online for deals to your favorite destinations, sign up for newsletters etc… to reputable sites. Disney, SmartVegas, and Carnival send us updates on deals all the time.

2. When time and distance permit travel by car, the cost is substantially less than flying. When traveling by car you do not have to deal with the TSA, baggage cost are not an issue, limits on toiletries are not an issue and your luggage does not go missing or get destroyed.

3. Save money for your trip, set aside a few dollars every month until you have enough to take your trip. All the change we collect during the year goes into our travel fund. This is not enough to pay for a major trip, but it certainly helps with gas and food. Also, as we stated in a previous post if a second job can be used to fund a trip that always helps.

4. Always assume that there will be hidden cost when traveling. A vacation is much like tile or hardwood flooring if your house needs 400 square feet of tile you would probably buy 450 square feet of tile. We have been to Disney World, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Maui, Hilton Head, New Orleans and on a Caribbean Cruise. The only time our budget was even close was on the Cruise. When traveling you will eat more extravagantly than you expect to, you will buy more trinkets than you intend to, you will go to shows and events not on your schedule and you will upgrade despite knowing better. I feel that adding twenty percent to your expected budget is not at all over doing it for a big trip. Travel should only be done after you have established an emergency fund and paid of all major debt excluding your home. Travel with the confidence that when the trip is over the fun memories and enjoyment will come home with you instead of the bill.



Monday, February 15, 2010

Tips on Tuesday

I know what you are thinking - What do pillows have to do with saving money?

Well, in my town we have a decorator fabric store and they have a bargain basement. Not a store you would expect to have a bargain basement. It has a bind of $1.00 sample squares. So for $8.00 in fabric I made 4 pillows.
Do they match? No, but sometimes I get lucky and they have two matching squares.
Is the material way more expense than I could have bought at full price? Yes Some of the fabric I used was a round $20.00 a yard.
Do I worry about them getting ruined? Not really because as my taste changes I can go back and get something else or if they get stained I don't have that much in the material.
Actually, one of the ladies at the store questioned me about what I was going to do with all of my squares. When I told her I was going to make pillows, she replied with that is a good idea.

So my tip is - Even if the store looks to expensive to go into. Go any way because you don't know if they have a bargain basement filled with wonderful gems.

Menu Monday

Monday - Crock pot ribs ( Kraft BBQ Sauce, 1 Packet McCormick's Chili Sauce, and Some Pineapple Juice to thin the BBQ Sauce) Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Tuesday - Jambalaya

Wednesday- Steaks, baked potato and salad (this was on the menu last week, but we didn't get to make them)

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday- Eat Out

Saturday - Lunch - Chicken Nuggets
Dinner - BBQ Pork Sandwiches & Fries

Sunday - Lunch - Out
Dinner - Soup and Sandwich

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I wanted to show you an inexpensive Valentine's Day decoration. I made this out of felt which is reasonably priced even when not on sale. I just cut out hearts and then sewed them together. Just made my living room a little more festive.

Accounting Dude and I had a nice Valentine's Day today. We even went "Cheap" this year. I had a coupon and gift cards for Red Lobster. So we went there for lunch. All we had to pay for there was our tip. Then we went and saw Valentine's Day which was an okay movie. We only had to pay for one ticket because I had a coupon for one free ticket. Then we saved even more by going to the Matinee and we didn't purchase any popcorn or drinks. I know it didn't cost that much, but I really enjoyed my Valentine's Day with my Valentine.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Food For Thought

Let me start out by saying today has been unusual because I had a SNOW DAY. Lets just say we don't get many of those in Alabama.

I did want to share with you a new product I just tried this week. Sunday we went to a SuperBowl part and we were asked to bring something. Well, Heluva Good dip was on sale at Publix and I had a two coupons making them free. I got two tubs of French Onion dip and we ate a lot of it at the party and what we didn't eat that night Accounting Dude and I ate the rest until we ran out of chips. I loved how creamy it was. The flavoring was just right, and it has a cool name. I will definately get this again.

I have in no way been paid for this post.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Accounting Dude's Thoughts on Forclosures

The housing market had 300,000 foreclosures in January and more keep coming every month. Some foreclosures are due to unforeseen problems, but many are due to irresponsible and immature people.

On our street there are three houses that have been or are in the process of being foreclosed. I keep hearing about people being under water and simply quit paying of their mortgage. This is so short sighted; people give up their homes and relocate their children simply because they owe more on their homes than they are worth. Think about a new car, it is under water as soon as it rolls of the lot. The value of real estate will eventually come back unless of course the property has been defaulted in that case everything that was put into it would be lost.

This problem is threefold:

1.Individuals sought loans with such high monthly mortgage payments that they simply could not sustain paying the rate over a long period of time.

2.Banks issued loans to individuals they certainly should have known could not ever repay the mortgages. The banks then sliced up the bad mortgages and packaged them with good mortgages, insurance instruments, and other assets and poisoned the entire financial market.

3.The government encouraged issuing mortgages to low income individuals, many of whom were not capable of paying off the mortgages.

I feel like if you sign a contract you should do your level best to honor it. One of our neighbors simply quit paying their mortgage and left town, they even left the leased vehicle in the yard. I think one of the biggest problems in our society today is everyone is looking to blame someone for their problems and are also looking for someone to bail them out. Personal responsibility and self reliance are both lost on entirely too many people. Stay responsible, stay honest and stay frugal.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Walmart & Target Deals

Again I can't find my receipts, that is what I get for cleaning out my purse. I remember most of what every thing cost.

The My Little Pony's were $3.00 each with a BOGO coupon. This was a great deal and they fit in a shoebox.

The floss was $0.12 after coupon.

The Renue was $0.65 after coupon

The Tuna was free with coupon.

The Olay Lotion was $2.24 each after coupon.

The games were all a $1.50 or less. I know that they Scrabble game came from Target because Walmart wouldn't let me use the coupon on a Scrabble card game.

I know these two trips were something like $13.00 at Walmart and around $3.00 at Target.

Second Trip to Wal-mart and First Trip to Walgreen's
Walmart - My Little Pony x 2 $3.00
Scrabble Apple - $5.94 - Already played and it was loads of fun.
Pictureka - $0.24
Walgreen's - 2 Rice Krispies - $5.00 with a $1.00 off two coupon and $2.00 in Register Rewards plus I got back $2.00 in Register Rewards

Rite Aid- 90% off Christmas - Got about 3 weeks ago, but just now taking a picture.
Total - $2.70


CVS didn't have a ton of deals this week, but I had some ECB burning a hole in my pocket. Lucky for me Accounting Dude loves Gillette Body wash and for some reason I have a ton of hair conditioner in my stockpile, but not any shampoo. So the P&G deal worked for me. Oh, I just really needed some tape and I didn't feel like going to Home Depot. I know it is over priced at CVS, but I weighed out the time it would take and I just got it at CVS against the cost and well time won.
This is how my transaction went:
2/$7.00 Pantine Ice Shampoo used 2 $1.00 off coupons
2 x $4.00 Gillette Body wash used 2 $2.00 off coupons
3M Masking Tape $6.49

Total after coupons - $15.49

Then I had a $10.98 and $2.00 ECB

Total Out of Pocket $2.51

I got back $5.00 in ECB and $1.00 for my fourth use of my green bag.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tips on Tuesday

I know it sound simple and easy, but you would be surprised how many people don’t do it – CARPOOL. I know what you are thinking why would that be a money saving tip. We all know about carpooling. Well, I love to carpool. Actually, I don’t like to drive and if I can find someone else to drive me I will be more than willing to chip in a few dollars for a ride. Where Accounting Dude and I save the most money carpooling is that we ride together to work. We actually work only four or five blocks away from each other and my building is on the way to his. You would be surprised by how many people look at us like we are crazy. Not only do I carpool with Accounting Dude, but when I go out with friends I try to find someone to ride with. If Accounting Dude and I are going to a football game we are more than willing to take others with us. They usually chip in for the parking.

The benefits:
1. Saves Money on Gas
2. Wear and Tear on only one vehicle, which is good since both our vehicles have over 100,000 miles on them
3. Could have one car if we had to – not that I want to test this.
4. Spend time together – making trips go faster.

The disadvantages:
1. Can’t be flexible – my dentist office can not get that I can’t take cancellation appointments.
2. Accounting Dude had to change his time at work
3. May have to find a ride if one of us gets sick or if the car we rode into town had problems during the day. Both of these situations have happened to us.

Accounting Dude and I have carpooled with each other for the last four years and I can’t tell you how much money we have saved on gas. The past summer when everyone was complaining about the price of gas it didn’t seem to affect us as much. I figure one day we will have to start taking two cars, but until this time comes we will enjoy carpooling.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Monday

I only make a menu for dinners since breakfast is usually cereal and lunch is usually a microwave meal.
Monday: Hamburgers, Mac & Cheese and Salad
Tuesday: Tuna Helper - Fettuccine Alfredo and Salad
Wednesday: Baked Pork Chops, Rice & Green Beans
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Dinner and A Movie (this will be our Valentines Day Celebration)
Saturday: Dinner Out
Sunday: Accounting Dude says he is going to grill Steaks, baked potatoes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Okay, I would give you a details of my order, but I can't find the receipt. I have already dug it out of the trash once this weekend. Now I can't find it again. I do know that my total was $29.70. Glad I posted that on Facebook before I lost my receipt. Accounting Dude went with me to the store and reminded me that by using my coupons this week I paid for my years subscription to ALL YOU and then some.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Food For Thought

We tried two new dinner items this week.

One night I made Cajun catfish nuggets. This rub may have worked out better if we would have used fillets instead of nuggets. I took from several recipes off the Internet to come up with my rub. There parts of the rub that were better than others, but overall we really liked them. Catfish is a reasonable priced fish for us since Accounting Dude's family has a stocked pond. If I had to fish for my food I would be so skinny because I don't like to fish at all. I think it has something to do with the chicken livers and maybe the live fish on a hook. Seeing it is just gross, but it sure is taste.

We also had Chicken Helper Lo Mein. We all know that some Helper meals are better than others. This one was excellent and I would definitely eat it again. Chicken Helper works for us when we are having a busy night. It is such a quick meal with some left over for lunch one day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Home Improvement projects

Toward the end of 2007 Frugal Chick and I knew our carpet was worn out. We both knew we wanted to tile the kitchen and bathrooms and put hardwoods throughout the rest of the house. We priced this out to several contractors and came to the conclusion they were charging more than we were willing to pay. We decided that we would either have to put off this project or figure out how to do it ourselves.

Luckily, Frugal Chick and I have a friend who has laid hardwoods in his own house. We asked him if he would help get us started in our home. Thankfully he was more than willing to help, and was more than generous with his time and letting us borrow his tools.

We priced around and found a very good deal for interlocking hardwood, quarter round and tile at a wholesale outlet called Surplus Warehouse. We even went a day in which it was raining so we would get more individualized service. They were having an extra sale; if memory serves me right an annual coupon day. I would recommend everyone looking for a Surplus Warehouse ( a store like it in their area before purchasing from a big box hardware store. We actually got Bruce Hardwood ( for a very reasonable price.

So with 1,200 square feet of hardwood and 300 square feet of tile in hand we were ready to start flooring. Some of these items had to sit in the guest bedroom while we worked our way from room to room, but the savings far out weighed the inconvenience. We had a Miter Saw, a jigsaw and a circular saw and borrowed a table saw. Our friend helped us floor the first three rooms in our house, without him we would have had a real mess on our hands.

Frugal Chick refers to this kind of work on your house as sweat equity. I will not lie to you it is hard work and there is a definite learning curve. When you attack a project like this you will have to accept that while a room is being floored the house will be in disarray.

The benefits are both evident and unexpected. It is obviously cheaper (in our case 3 1/2 times cheaper) to install the wood and tile than to contract it out. There are unexpected benefits of doing it yourself. I have learned how to use tools that may assist me in many projects and that may allow me to help others in the future. I am not a handyman but have come to love doing this kind of work, not only do you save money doing it yourself there is also a sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you did it on your own.

Out with old in with the new

Finished products

And here is our house after all our renovations

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Keep the Change

All of us know that change adds up.

I remember many years ago right out of college when I was dating a guy, who is not Accounting Dude. He would always talk about what a pain change was and how we should just eliminate it from our currency. Well, I didn't agree with that idea, but I did appreciate the fact that he would leave his change at my apartment because it was just to much of a pain for him. I can't tell you how many Friday lunches and dinners out I had on his change. He thought it was amusing that I would save the change he left. Looking back I think it almost be came a game to us. He would leave little piles of change on my end table or dinning room table and I would save it until I wanted use it and tell him how much I got for his change. If I had only known then that change really does add up to more than a fast food meal every now and then. I would have been better off.

Accounting Dude and I keep our change. You should see us when we sit down to count it. It is like two kids in a candy store.

Everyone has suggestions on what we should use our change for. Accounting Dude and I have decided to save it for our yearly trip to the beach. It helps with gas and eat out money for this long weekend.

Some people at our church save their change for missions.

My brother gives his change to his son to save.

One of my relatives just saves her change to just save change. Kind of odd. I would like a goal to reach.

Whatever you do with your saved change is up to you just as long as it isn't eliminated from the currency because I can't really handle another tax.
Besides that it is just plain old FUN!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Publix 2-1-10

I got all of this for $45.17 which isn't to bad

Savings Summary
Vendor Coupon $12.90
Store Coupon $ 5.40
Advertised Special Savings $48.49
Advantage Buy Savings $0.21

Total Savings $67.00

Menu Monday

I don't know where January went to, but I do know one thing I failed at my menu plan. But I going to get back up on the horse and try again. This weeks menu isn't that exciting, but I'm still trying to work on my pantry.
Monday - Chicken Helper - Low Mein
Tuesday-Baked Catfish, New Potatoes, and Green Beans (I don't know if the catfish will work, but Accounting Dude assures me that it will. We will see about that.)
Wednesday- Tacos, Rice and Mexican Corn
Thursday - Left overs
Friday - Eat Out
Saturday - Lunch - Chicken Poppers and Chips
Dinner - Pizza
Sunday - Lunch - Eat Out
Dinner - Soup and Salad
This is my plan and I hope to stick with it this week.
If you would like to see more menu's head over to I'm an organizational junkie to check some out.