Recipe: Raspberry-Coconut Milk Smoothie

5:55 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

rasberry-coconut milk smoothie

We are having smoothies often in our house. Either for breakfast or for after schools snacks. They are inexpensive and belly filling. The kids enjoy picking ingredients and it keeps us from eating (and buy) prepackaged snacks and right now that is saving us money! It is healthy and frugal, double blessing!

Raspberry-Coconut Smoothie

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen raspberries or other berries
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12-15 drops liquid stevia or your preferred flavor boost (if you think it’s not sweet enough).

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.


Bread Outlet Stores Saves You Dough

3:46 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

Bread Outlet

How To Shop A Bread Outlet Store

If you are under the impression that a bread outlet store sells less than fresh only outdated and day old products – you are in for a surprise!!   Learning how to shop a bread outlet store can save you over 70% on bread and MORE!   The breads and products are sold within the standard of freshness for the industry.   The only items that are outdated at the store I shop are the ones they give away for free when you spend a certain dollar amount.

The bread above I paid $9.18 for, and only 1 item was outdated (by 1 day) and that was given to me for free! The Entenmann’s Outlet store that I shop in carries Bobs Red Mill products and Bear Creek products! Now, I love to make homemade bread and do it often, but I am not making buns, English muffins etc!

What I learned about how to shop at a bread outlet.

  • There is a greater variety of products than in the grocery store.  I found items I love and never found in my favorite grocery stores!
  • Some items are only sold through certain stores, but the bread outlet store will take them all.
  • Many bread trucks are independently operated.  The drivers need to sell the bread, so when particular items aren’t selling well at one grocery store, they cannot move it to another store, but it can go to the outlet for sale.
  • Bread outlet stores carry a vast array of products.  Jams, coffee, tea, sauces, candy, soup mixes, beans, cookies, popcorn, crackers, stuffing mixes and more.

When shopping a bread outlet store, be sure to ask about these extra savings:

  • Buyers club punch cards.  Earn punches based on dollar amount spent to get free items
  • Coupons? Most have a coupon of the month for buy one get one free or other deals.
  • Discounts? Military, foster parenting, senior.  Just ask.
  • Use Valpak coupons for buy one get one free.  See Valpak coupons
  • Do they have a spend X dollar amount for a free item of the day program?
  • When do they have extra markdown days?

Don’t forget about your large local bakery stores.  We have a fabulous bakery called Great Buns in Vegas, they supply most of the restaurants in the city.  They have bread marked down each morning for $2!  And it was baked the day before.  Call your local bakery stores and ask about their markdown policies.

If you are passing up the expensive bread in the grocery stores to save your family money, check into shopping bread outlets stores in your area-you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Hot Tip:  Extend your savings by freezing the bread.  Leave in store packaging for short term freezing, or wrap in foil for up to 6 months.

Other items you find at bread outlet stores are:

  • Low-carb breads, cookies, cupcakes, moon pies
  • Popcorn
  • Pound (Mini) Cakes
  • Shortcake Dessert Shells
  • 100% Sugar Free wheat bread
  • Texas Toast
  • Home Pride Stuffing Mix
  • Meat Loaf Mix
  • Zesty Garlic Butter Crouton
  • Bagels
  • Heinz Condiments
  • Honey Graham Crackers
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Not all will carry these items but many do, so watch for these extra savings items.



Kitchen Tips and Tricks: Spices

12:10 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

organic spices


Tips and Tricks for Spices

Most of us have spices and herbs in our cabinets and I’d venture to say you haven’t really thought much about them beyond adding some to your meals.  They are expensive and we like to hold on to them.

  1. Ground spices loose their freshness quicker than whole spices and herbs.
  2. Spices and herbs should be kept in a dark, cool and dry place.  Avoid storing spices and herbs over the stove or near a window.  And those counter spice racks are deteriorating your spices quicker.
  3. Airtight containers are the best place to store spice and herbs.
  4. Don’t sprinkle spices directly into your meals while on the stove: instead, put spices in your hand or measuring spoon and then toss it in your recipe.  This keeps the humidity and heat from hitting your spice bottles and slows deterioration.
  5. Make sure your measuring spoons are dry or when reintroducing the spice back into the jar it will cause caking and flavor loss.

Check your spice and herb freshness

Verify their freshness by look, smell and taste.

  • Look, does it look faded?
  • Smell, is it fragrant and smell fresh?
  • Taste, try it out.

Do spices expire?

Technically, no.  They will loose their flavor and not enhance  your recipes.  Here are some other guidelines for how long to keep spices.

  • Ground Spices:  2-3 years
  • Whole Spices: 3-4 years
  • Seasoning Blends:  1-2 years
  • Herbs: 1-3 years
  • Extracts: 4 years (except vanilla, which lasts indefinitely, who knew?)

How old are your spices?  Have any McCormick spices in a can, those would be 15 years old!  You can find more about your McCormick spices and their age by with their fresh tester.


What’s Best To Buy In April?

11:05 am

by Jennifer Freeman

seasonal Sales

What’s best to buy in April?

Have you ever wondered what are the best months to buy certain items?  Wonder what’s on clearance by month?   Be CAREFUL  on purchases in April!  Retailers know that it is Tax Refund time and they are pretty limited on what discounts and deals they will offer this 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.  One of my big strategies is to buy when the best price presents itself and my What’s Best To Buy This Month series will give you the guideline.

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 April?  

The seasonal items for APRIL look like this:

Right now be snatching up the after Easter Clearance items.  Use the pastels for weddings, baby showers etc.  Think ahead to your special occasions coming up!  Re-Stock any items you will need for next Easter now! Grass, plastic eggs, bunny themed trinket toys, etc.

Look for Vinegar, food dyes, ham, eggs, & some baking supplies: sugar, spices, baking mixes, & chocolate chips.

Earth Day is on April 22,  watch for organic foods & Energy Saver products.

Final day to file taxes or request an extension to file is coming — Tax Day is April 15!  Remember:::: Be CAREFUL in April!  Retailers know that it is Tax Refund time and they are pretty limited on what discounts and deals they will offer this month.

Used cars are a big focus this month, so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the newer, higher priced models now is the time to enjoy even great savings as used car lots clear their inventory for the warmer weather buying season ahead. For the same reason, also look for huge sales on auto parts and accessories.

This is also the time when warm-weather clothes start to go on-sale.

Graduation season is coming up as well, so keep your sights set on sales of laptops, digital cameras, cookware sets and dorm room kitchen essentials.

April is also the time for great deals on vacuum cleaners as inventory clearances make way for brand new models coming out in June.

Clearance: after Easter sales are the time to stock up on decorating, baskets, etc for the next year. Also food coloring & sprinkles. Easter candy can be bought also to use for baking (Hershey’s kisses, etc). Final clearance on winter clothing and shoes — get the 90% off sales!

Seasonal Produce: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, grapefruit, Hass avocado, mushrooms, onions, peas, & rhubarb.

See all the What To Buy Monthly Seasonal  Deals and Sales



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




Jimmy Dean Coupons ~ $0.75 off One

11:16 am

by Jennifer Freeman

jimmy dean couponsJimmy Dean Coupons

There are several really good Jimmy Dean that came out today.  If you love these quick meal items, get these coupons printed.

Jimmy Dean Pancake & Sausage: $0.75 off any One Jimmy Dean Pancake & Sausage

Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Sausage: $0.75 off any one Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked product

Jimmy Lunch or Dinner: $0.75 off any Jimmy Dean Frozen Lunch or Dinner

The printable coupons are always a good bonus above your newspaper coupons.  If you live in Las Vegas be sure to get the amazing Las Vegas Review Journal Sunday subscription deal happening now!



Watch the video and learn my produce money saving way to create a vegetable stock from pieces of vegetables that would have been thrown away.  I estimate me creating my own vegetable stock from pieces I would have thrown out saves me $45 a year because I no longer need to purchase vegetable stock for recipes or soups. I used to buy 2 cases of vegetable stock a year, and I no longer purchase any.

My goal is always to use what I buy to the fullest, and this is one way to save money on produce.

When cutting produce save the skins from carrots, onions, parsley stems, green onion bottoms, and celery tops.  Store them in a zipper top bag in the freezer and keep piling them in until the bag is full.  Once the bag is full put all the vegetable pieces into a pot and cover with water, add some salt, a peppercorn and some garlic.  Bring it all to a simmer for and hour.  Strain the vegetables out leaving you a delicious vegetable base or broth for soup or cooking!

Vegetable Stock Recipe

1 gallon zipper bag of vegetable pieces (see list above)
2 garlic cloves
several peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt

Put all vegetable in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for one hour.  Strain the vegetables out leaving your vegetable broth.


If you do not need a vegetable stock now:   freeze the whole batch in the zipper top bag and put it back in the freezer to make soup at a later date ~ OR using a muffin tin freeze 1/2 cup size and remove from tin after frozen, store in zipper top bag for individual recipe use. Pull out a frozen 1/2 cup serving as needed.

Do you have a great money saving tip? Do share.