Category Archives: Penny Pinchin’

Thrift store finds.

I always seem to find things when I’m not really looking.  Like accidental trips to Goodwill and The Salvation Army stores in my sweaty yoga gear!  lol

I came back with these treasures most recently.

I had been looking for vanity trays to use for my perfumes, etc., and I think these work out nicely.  I hadn’t seen the glass/metal ring variety in so long…I’m surprised it’s still around, as the bottom glass is so thin!  And the beveled star cut into the bottom is just beautiful.  The other piece is a tray, pink glass, with a texture like small hobnail on the bottom, and dainty, scalloped handle edges.  I love them both, and they cost me a whopping $6/each!  lol

When life gives you stale bread…

…you make your own bread crumbs!

I had a few partial loaves of bread collecting dust in the back of my fridge.  No longer appetizing as toast or for a sandwich, yet not wanting to waste it all, I decided to toast it off and give it a buzz in my food processor.

You want to get the toast really dark, you don’t want any moisture to remain in the bread so that you can store it in a canister.  I happen to keep mine in a zip-loc in the freezer, which is even better.  I throw in some of Cento’s Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and pepper, and whir it up until they’re tiny crumbs.

Bag it, date it, toss it in the cabinet, or freezer for future use!

I finally went to Aldi’s a few weeks back.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.  Given their marketing and target demographics, I knew there would be a lot of packaged and highly processed foods at Aldi’s, which there were.  But I was pleasantly surprised by a few items I decided to snatch up:

Fresh mozz for $2.49 - I couldn't resist.

Avocados for $0.49 cents! You've GOT to be kidding me! I wish the guys/gals down at the Dallas Farmers Mkt would compete with that!

There's even wine!

All in all I was able to pick up a few staples.  I typically like to buy organic skim milk, but at $1.29 for a full gallon, I couldn’t pass that up.  I also picked up some light cream cheese, nonfat vanilla yogurt, havarti dill cheese, sharp cheddar, and 12-grain bread.  The branding for their non/low fat items is called, “Fit & Active,” of which they had a nice selection.  They also have bags of assorted dried fruit and honey almonds or peanuts that are a nice price.  There are a few things to be had here, depending on your lifestyle choices and dietary constraints.  But hey, if that doesn’t matter at all to you, they’ve got all the pre-packaged sticky buns, fruit roll-ups, and puffed cheese you can buy.  Head on down!

Take your quarter, you'll need it to unlock a shopping cart, and you get it back upon returning the cart - smart!

Omaha Steaks, I caved!

I was never one too interested in buying into the whole Omaha Steaks phenomenon.  Oh sure, I’d heard people rave on and on about them, but it just seemed too expensive to get into.  And most people I know had been ‘gifted’ a box of the specialties, so it was a given for them.  But last year I had their stuffed sole fillets at Mark and David’s house, and they were to-die-for, and so easy to prepare.

So when I got an offer thru our HR company here at work, who apparently partner with vendors for special rates on consumer goods, I jumped at it.  It was an offer I simply could not pass up.  $65 bucks, ($77 after packaging/shipping) bought me all this:

Holy hell!

2 stuffed sole fillets, 4 chicken breasts, 4 ground beef burgers, 4 pork loin chops, 10 potatoes au gratin single serves, 8 gourmet all beef franks, 4 beef top sirloin steaks, and 4 chocolate molten lava cakes!  What tha’ hell?  That’s just giving it away…where do I sign! 

Just look at it all, it will last me a good 4-6 months!


Now liiiiisten. Say what you will about Walmart, it’s ghetto, trashy, Mex-ed out (well, at least in the DFW metroplex), but DANGIT, you can get some CHEAP-A** groceries there!

But here’s the key: you gotta’ be prepared! Most of you know my Sparkstein ways, and how planned and frugal I can be when it comes to grocery shopping and clipping coupons. But I’m telling you, it is worth it! I spent an hour clipping 4 Sunday paper’s worth of coupons this past Sunday afternoon. NOW, I treat my coupons AS my shopping list, w/ a few other essentials tossed in. I divide up all the coupons I clip by month, and sort them in my small accordion coupon organizer (shutthahellup!). I try to use up the current month’s coupon’s first, obviously, but toss in other things I need from other month’s. Once I’ve chosen all the coupons I want to use, I put them in piles of where these items are in the grocery store: Dairy, Dry Goods, Canned, Beauty, Personal Hygiene, Healthcare, Frozen, Paper Products (TP & napkins), etc. I add any additional items I may need that I don’t have a coupon for, like produce, to my shopping list. Then I’m OFF!
I start w/ the non-perishables first, and take out my coupons for one section at a time, and keep them in my hand (the visuals on the coupons are great, b/c sometimes I’m trying a new product – because I have a coupon for it!) :) I tackle each section, and once I’ve found all the items for each coupon I have, I take out the next section, and so on. If I can’t find the product, I save the coupon for a different store, it’s possible I might use it at Albertson’s or Kroger. For those of you that hate to grocery shop, I hate to tell you, but it’s impossible to find everything at ONE store – sorry. :(
So, back to my love of Walmart…I got this entire grocery cart full for $93.58! I’m serious people! That’s under $100 for a load of groceries. All my coupons added up to a $15.35 savings – SEE! And I got all kinds of things from essentials like TP, 2 body soaps, toothpaste, Dawn dish soap, and Zip-Loc bags, to cooking necessities like onions, garlic, ancho chiles, chicken/veggie/beef stocks, canned tomatoes, canned hominy (posole recipe this week) pork (yes, MEAT was in this purchase), salsa verde, Frank’s Red Hot (love it on everything!) marinara, and frozen corn. And I got snacks like sweet potato chips, almonds, Fiber One muffins, fruit snacks, yogurt of all kinds, even gum!

I have to say I got a pretty good haul that will help me to spread out the dry goods in my pantry for 2-4 weeks – that’s $100/mo for groceries! Pretty damn good, I’d say. I’m a happy penny pinchin camper! :)


FREEdom…in the mail.

Some days it pays 2 check the mail. Last week I got all FREE stuff, & not a single bill on this day. :o). I got my Aveda card 4 a shampoo sample, a pair of V.S. panties, & a b-fast @ Cafe Express!

So, my hair can be clean & Aveda-smelling, I can be sporting some sassy knickers, all while enjoying a bac/egg/chz ciabatta b-fast sandwich! That’s my next Sat. morn, I tell you!

Grocery shopping savings – new personal record!

I have done it kids…I have outdone my personal coupon savings best (previously $19) w/ a trip to Albertson’s this past weekend. Between coupons and store matches (double on $0.50 and triple on $0.39), I saved a whopping $23.55!

And these were ALL merchant coupons from the Sunday paper. My previous record included a $5 off Kroger coupon, so, that doesn’t really rate in comparison.

I’m telling ya’, y’all make fun, but my change jar is fillin’ up over here!