How to Save on Meat and Cheese

1:00 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

meat and cheese Time-Tested Ways to Save on Meat and Cheese


Buy meat and cheese in bulk and you will be set for several weeks worth of meals.  It will save you money.  With these simple time-tested tips you can save make it simple also.  Learn to store your meats and cheeses without waste! I get asked often about how to save on meats and here are a few tips that will help save you money and time.

  • Ground Beef: Divide it up. Purchase several family-size packages of ground beef at a time. But don’t just toss it in the freezer, divide up your meat into hamburgers, meatballs, etc. Also try dividing it up into 12 oz sections, not 1 lb sections.  This will save you money by cooking with 12 ounces instead of the usual pound and you won’t even miss those couple of ounces, but your pocket book will thank you!
  • Chicken: Cook it in advance.  10 lb bags of legs and thighs are very economical.  You can bring it home, cook it, and shred it, or chop and freeze. A single meal for your family might only mean six thighs or drumsticks.  Once you have cooked it, package in meal size portions in zip top bags and freeze. This will save you a great deal of time and make meal planning easier.  Plus if you have the chicken cooked and ready, you may not grab a convenience meal out!  Saving you money.
  • Cheese: Stick it in the freezer. Buy grated cheese in the 5 pound packets, put it in the freezer as is. When you need some, just thump the bag in the counter a few times and enough cheese will release in a frozen clump.  Once I freeze cheese, I use it for cooking only.
  • Pork: Slice smaller portions. Buy it in big portions, then cut it into slabs yourself. Use the pork for chops, or cut into smaller portions for stir-fries. Freeze the chops in gallon-size zip-top plastic bags. Use quart size bags for a meals worth of the smaller portions.
  • Beef: Cut it or cook it. Cut beef into cubes for stews, or strips for stir-fries. The more cutting you do before your meat hits the freezer, the quicker your meals come together.


  • Lunch Meat Savings:  Instead of paying a premium for sliced lunch meat, purchase a whole ham or pre-cooked seasoned turkey breast, and thinly slice the meat making your own lunch meats.  I freeze the sliced meats in 8 ounce packages and put them in the refrigerator the night before I plan to use them for sandwiches.


What’s best to buy in March?

9:20 am

by Jennifer Freeman

seasonal Sales

What’s best to buy in March?

Have you ever wondered what are the best months to buy certain items?  Wonder what’s on clearance by month?   I have compiled a list of  “when is it best to buy” certain items.  This list is compiled from years of making the most of my money by purchasing strategically.  And one of my big strategies is buy when the best price presents itself.  My What’s Best To Buy This Month series will give you the guideline.

Every month has seasonal hot items: End of season clearance, prime purchase timing and peak season produce/groceries at the best pricing. When you learn what items are at optimal pricing each month, you will begin to save your hard earned money by planning purchases around seasonal deals.

During the year, when I make note of things we need to consider replacing in the house I will wait for the seasonal sale. While I am waiting, it gives me an opportunity to stash a little money away to plan for that purchase.

So, What is best to buy in March?  

The seasonal items for MARCH look like this:

Saint Patrick’s Day:  Buy green items you may want for Christmas when they go on clearance.  Food Coloring, decorations, candy sprinkles. Corned Beef and ham on sale this time of year.  Buy extra and freeze.

Mardi Gras: Colored party plates & supplies. Silver, black and purple are great to use for other occasions.

Frozen Food Month:  Sales on frozen meals all month long.  Now is the time to stock up on items.

Seafood and Fish sales in preparation for Lent

Party foods for March Madness: Chips, dips, soda and party trays.

As spring arrives, find great buys on winter coats, skis, sweaters, hats, gloves, winter boots, and other cold weather gear.

Annual Easter sales: Ham in the stores (buy extra to freeze) Also look for department store savings on kids clothes, women’s fashions, men’s suits, shirts and ties (stores are pushing the first of a new batch of warm weather clothing).

Get coupons for these items also!  Watch for coupons to match to clearance items:  And search the Free Coupon Database by category, product or brand!

Dresses, hats and accessories will be in the stores and on sale.

Watch for seafood and fish sales in preparation for Lent.  And eggs, egg dying kits, food coloring and baskets for Easter.

Watch for vinegar coupons. Print and hold for great sales. I buy all my vinegar used through the year during March/April. (Think canning or cleaning with vinegar).

From now until May, look for travel bargains before the summer travel season kicks in.

Seasonal Produce in March: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, Haas, broccoli, blood oranges, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, fennel, kale, leek, lemon, lime, mushrooms, onions, orange, peas, radish, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, & tangerines.

Clearance in March: All things winter — snow shovels, winter clothes & outerwear etc.  Find great sales items follow St. Patty’s Day & Mardi Gras.  Purchase Mardi Gras clearance decorations to use at New Years, the colors are perfect. (beads, celebration horns etc), colored plates & accessories. St. Patty’s day clearance: including themed beer glasses, t-shirts, signs, decorations, and candies. Guinness items often go on sale, too.

Print coupons now and watch for sales~Click Images Below!




cereal bar recipes


It’s not my intention to teach you how to cook – because I am sure you know how!  My intent is to help you think of recipes and ideas to help you stop wasting food.  The less food wasted or more items re-purposed, the less money is spent replacing and rebuying.  I find it fun to make a new recipe and use up all my leftovers or the seemingly unusable bottom of the box contents.

Does your cereal cabinet look like mine? 8 boxes of cereal and no box has enough cereal for a full bowl.   My kids tire of he cereal and then move to the next box, leaving an almost empty box!  Then what?  Ah, you need my Bottom Of The Cereal Box recipes.

I like the challenge to come up with a way to use up the final left overs with a new way that no one realizes it’s the same thing.  This keeps us living a frugal lifestyle and using our money for more important things like rides on the $2 a shot carrousel ride that the twins love!!    Be warned now the Bottom Of The Box Cereal Bar recipe does have a lot of sugar, and I am sure with a bit of adapting you can lower the sugar content.  I make these 2 or 3 times a year so on occasion sugar overload in okay (because we are leaving the house and  heading to the carrousel anyway right!)

I am SURE many of you have some great original “Bottom Of The Cereal Box” recipes — do share yours in the comments below or HERE!!


cereal coupons

Garbage Bars – no oven recipe.

I don’t know where the name came from, it could be better.


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 6 cups of any leftover cereal or snacks (I used a combination of Rice Krispies, corn Chex and Chow Mein Noodles. Pretzels, Ritz Crackers and Cheerios would also be good options)


  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter

Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.  For easy stirring this sticky concoction, spray spoon/spatula with cooking spray.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Repeat again until the mixture bubbles  and begins to boil.

Remove from microwave and add and stir until smooth 1-1/2 cups peanut butter.   Add the cereal/snack combination.

Pour in the prepared 9×13 pan.  Hint:  re-spray the spoon or spatula

In a small, microwavable bowl combine the chocolate chips and 1/3 cup peanut butter.  Microwave  for 2 minutes.  Stir and if needed, microwave for another 30 seconds to finish melting the chocolate chips.  Stir until smooth and spread over the bars.

Cool and cut into bars.



Garbage Cookies  Bottom Of The Box Cookies

  • package of or box of sugar cookies (Betty Crocker,  Krusteaz etc)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups cereal

Heat oven to 350.  In a large bowl combine sugar cookie mix, butter, egg mix into a soft dough.  Add 3 cups any variety of cereal.  Drop by the spoonful and cook for 8-10 minutes.


AND suggest a NEW NAME for these recipes!!


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This is a rather old video Mr. Cameraman and I did, but I am resurrecting it because it shows how I do most of my shopping.   My shopping trips tend to be the polar-opposite of my TLC Extreme Couponing TV shopping trips, they are small in size but extreme in savings.

My definition of extreme couponing is extreme savings. It doesn’t mean clearing out the store. Simply matching store sales and discounts with manufacturer coupons.  We purchased only a few items in this video.  Without coupons, I would have spent $16.64 after coupons it was 1.58 (including tax)

$16.64 Before coupons
-$15.06 in store & manufacturer coupons stacked
=$1.58 OOP ~the extreme savings!


How to Help a Stuffy Nose

9:04 am

by Jennifer Freeman

Tip Resouce

If you are suffering with a stuffy nose, try boiling a bit of sage in water.

Breathe the warm moist air.

It helps clear your nose and makes the house smell great too.



Frugal (and Romantic) Valentine’s Day Ideas

8:45 am

by Jennifer Freeman

Frugal Valentines Day ideas

Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas

Are you still at a loss for a nice Valentine’s Day idea that is budget friendly and romantic.  Here are several frugal Valentine’s Day ideas:

  1. Plan an un-fancy fancy meal.   What? Let me explain ~ Break out the nice silverware, linens, dishes, candles and soft music, but prepare a simple meal one that is easy and doesn’t require expensive ingredients or a great deal of time.  It’s easy to forget staying at home can be enjoyable if we use candles with a quiet dinner together, relaxing and enjoying each others company.  Buy a fancy dessert as added fun to the end of dinner.  The meal doesn’t have to be fancy, the extra special dessert is enough.
  2. Pack a blanket, hot chocolate in a thermos and go to the park at night.  Enjoy each others company and swing!
  3. Make a yummy dessert together.  It can be fun and romantic.  Pick a Valentine’s Recipe , gather the ingredients and plan on having some fun baking.  It can be fun and playful.
  4. After kids are in bed dessert.  Buy ice cream, chocolate and whip cream and enjoy dessert late.
  5. Go ice skating or roller skating.  Think about how long it has been that you have done something like this!  It can be a lot of laughs to watch each other learn to skate again.
  6. Find the old fashioned photo booth at the mall and take silly pictures.   Put the picture strip on the refrigerator and it will be a fun reminder all year of your time together.
  7. Celebrate late (or a day early)!  Pick the 15th (or 13th).  Get a discount on all Valentine’s things the day after. Miss the crowd & take advantage of the early bird special for dinner by going before 6pm!

What ideas can you add to this list? 
Do share your frugal Valentine’s Day ideas.



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