Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Enjoy EVERY moment in your wedding gown. You can't stay in it forever...SO UNFAIR!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thrifty Tips for December 27, 2012



The weather is officially on the cold side which means it is a perfect time to start making lots and lots of soup!  I think my husband looks forward to winter just for the opportunity to eat lots of chili.  Soups can be a huge saver on so many levels.  Soup can save money because you can totally utilize leftovers.  They save time because you can toss almost all the ingredients in a crock pot and just go.  Oh and back to saving cash, a crock pot uses much less energy than cooking on the stove.  With ground beef on sale this week at Albertsons, chili in the crock pot is a great cooking option.  Make tacos the night before and use the left over already seasoned taco meat in your chili.  I stretch the protein with beans and add just about any veggie I can think of. This recipe is more of a chili soup.

Chili Soup
1 lb ground beef 
1 bunch celery chopped 
6 cups of water
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes (I'm not sure of the size just make it big you know the kind that look almost like a coffee can)
1 can of tomato soup (any brand)
1 green bell pepper chopped (or buy a bag of Kroger frozen chopped bell pepper)
1 yellow onion chopped (or half a bag of Kroger frozen chopped onions)
1 large can of red kidney beans (rinse and drain)
1 large can of pink beans or pinto beans (rinse and drain)
1 regular sized can of black beans (rinse and drain)
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic
1/4 cup of corn flour (will mix with water to use as a thickener)

Chop celery and add it and about 4 cups of water to the crock pot, follow with beans, tomatoes, tomato soup and all spices.  In a frying pan, fry onions and peppers for about five minutes before adding ground beef.  Brown ground beef and add spices.  Once the meat is fully browned, add it to the crock pot mixture.  Set on low and let it go.  Six hours later or more mix corn flower with water to create a thickening mixture.  You will want it to look thick like a gravy, not watery.  Mix this well into your chili and add it to the crock pot.  Let cook about 25 more minutes. 


Christmas is behind us, but the shopping is still going strong as well as the return to the mall for...well... returns.  Keep in mind that you don't have to return everything though.  Sometimes we get gift cards that we can't use or we simply forget to use gift cards that we receive for Christmas.  Rather than letting those cards be placeholders in your dresser or wallet, consider selling them at or  Oh!  And don't forget  All three sites are great places to sell your unwanted gift cards or buy gift cards at a discount.  

Another thing you might not want to return right away is that kind of homely Christmas sweater.  If somehow you got saddled with a less than darling Christmas sweater, save it.  Maybe you can cash in next year with an ebay sale of    Check out for some inspiration.  

If the whole Instagram fiasco of whether or not your photos will be sold has got you still a bit unnerved, check out another free photo app that has lots of great filters that you might like to try.  It is called Streamzoo.  It was the winner of Best Android Photo Sharing App on 2011 Best App Ever Awards.  It is also available for your iPhones and iPads. 

FREE EBOOKS (These books were free at the time of my posting. Prices can change quickly so be sure to check the price before you download)

Where Is God When It Hurts by Phillip Yancy (BARNES & NOBLE) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (AMAZON.COM)

Reinventing Rachel by Alison Strobel (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (BARNES & NOBLE)

Code Blue by Richard Mabry (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (BARNES & NOBLE)


ALBERTSONS (Don't forget that if you were saving up Cuisinart stamps, they need to be redeemed by January 8th)
Pork Loin Back Ribs Previously Frozen Buy 1 Get 2  Free (Reg $7.99)
Super Lean Ground Beef 93% Lean 3 lbs or more $2.77 lb
Broccoli Crowns 39 cents lb
Atlantic Salmon Fillets Farm Raised $4.99 lb
Extra Large Fuji or Braeburn Apples $1.00 lb
Jumbo Size Hass Avocados 2/$3.00
Roma Tomatoes 99 cents lb
Radishes/Green Onions/Cilantro 2/$1.00
Large Navel Oranges 99 cents lb
Fresh Greens -Collard, Kale, Mustard or Turnip 88 cents each

Rancher's Reserve Beef Loin New York Strip Steak Bone-In $4.99 lb
Boneless Beef Bottom Round Roast $3.89 lb
Johnsonville Bratwurst or Italian Sausage 19 oz Select Varieties $3.99 each
Red Delicious, Braeburn or Fuji Apples 98 cents lb
Sweet Yellow Onions 99 cents lb
Hot House Cucumbers 2/$3.00
Chicken of the Sea Solid White Tuna 5 oz 2/$3.00
Progresso  Vegetable Classics Soup 18.5-19 oz Selected Varieties 99 cents
Daisy Sour Cream 16 oz Regular or Light $1.99
Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta 7.25 to 15 oz Selected Varieties 5/$5.00

Boneless Half Pork Loin Whole in Bag Sliced &  Wrapped Free $1.77 lb (limit 2)
Kroger Corned Beef Brisket Boneless Flat Cut $3.49 lb
Blueberries or  Blackberries 4.4 to 6 oz 2/$5.00
Fry's Milk Whole, 2% Reduced Fat, 1% Lowfat or Nonfat or Mountain Dairy Chocolate Milk Gallon 2/$3.00 (limit 2)
Lay's Potato Chips Select Varieties 10-10.5 oz $1.87 (limit 2)
Lean Cuisine Entrees  Select Varieties 5-12 oz 6 for $12
Cooked Cocktail or Raw Shrimp Previously Frozen $4.99 lb (cooked 71-90 ct, Raw 41-50 ct)
Tyson Bacon Select Varieties 16 oz 2/$6.00

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thrifty Tips for December 20, 2012


Today I have some foodie related crafty gifts to share.

Cookie Jar Recipe - Cherry Hooty Creeks

I got this recipe from, but I changed it from cranberry to cherries, because that is what I had on hand.  Cranberries add a nice red color to the cookie recipe.  In addition to some pics, check out this link for the recipe and instructions to be printed out with the gift.

What you need:  1 quart sized jar, measuring cups and funnel (makes it easier to direct the ingredients as you pour them into the jar)

INGREDIENTS (layer the ingredients in this order)
-5/8 cup flour
-1/2 cup rolled oats
-1/2 cup of flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/3 cup packed brown sugar
-1/3 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup dried cherries
-1/2 cup white chocolate chips
-1/2 cup chopped pecans
Using a funnel can really help get all the ingredients to layer nicely.  You can use the spout kind of like a hose.

It gets really pretty quickly.  I  used the funnel for all the powders and the white sugar.  I spooned out the brown sugar.
The cherries make a good substitute for cranberries.
The recipe calls for chopped pecans. I just broke them up by hand.
Easy as can be.  Of course you can doll it up more, but really it is just a great treat.
Spices & Rubs

Another great gift is a gift of spices and rubs.  You can make batches as large or small as you would like.  Here are the recipes that I used but modified as the recipes were for large batches.  This link takes you to the originals.  I picked up two from  Real Simple.

Some of the spices I had on hand already.  The rest were extremely inexpensive and left me with extras.  Now I just need a few more jars for the spares.


BBQ Rub-
-6 tablespoons of light brown sugar
-7 tablespoons of paprika
-5 tablespoons of oregano
-3 teaspooons of instant coffee (I don't buy instant coffee, but I save my free samples for recipes)
-2 teaspoons of kosher salt
-1 teaspoon of garlic
-1 teaspoon of black pepper

Combine in container, stir with knife and seal.

Mediterranean Herb Rub
-8 tablespoons of oregano
-3 tablespoons of dried thyme
-1 tablespoon dried sage
-1 tablespoon fennel seeds
-1 tablespoon kosher salt
-1 tablespoon black pepper

Combine in container, stir with knife and seal.

Cajun Blackening Spices (Recipe from

- 2 tablespoons paprika 
- 1 tablespoon ground dried oregano 
- 1 tablespoon ground dried thyme 
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 
- 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper 
- 1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper 
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine in container, stir with knife and seal.

It is always nice to see a benefit go to our brave men and women in the military.  Turbo Tax currently has a free Turbo Tax Military Edition for our active duty military members who are E-1 to E-5 for a limited time.  E-6 to E-10 and officer pay just $24.95.  Check out the details at this link.

FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS - Buying a family an MP3 player?  Take advantage of some great free music downloads and load them up.

Free CCM is always a great source for exceptional Christian music.  This week you can get ten free music downloads including "O Come All Ye Faithful" by Phillips, Craig & Dean.

iTickets has two free downloads this week including "Unto Us" by Jordan Biel. 


While supplies last, sign up for a free sample of Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream at Target's sample page.  Hurry these go fast.

Sign up for a free sample of Propel Zero at their Facebook page while supplies last.

Sign up via Facebook for a free sample of Nature Made VitaMelts while supplies last.  They give up to 50,000 a day while supplies last.


USDA Choice Holiday New York Strip  Roast Bone-in, Beef Loin, Hand Trimmed Oven Ready (limit 1) $3.77 lb
Cook's Spiral Sliced Ham Bone-In, Fully Cooked (limit 1) $1.27 lb
Blueberries or Blackberries 4.4 to 6 oz 2/$3
Kroger Butter Select Varieties 16 oz $1.99
California Holiday Box Navels 13 lb Box $4.99
Philadelphia Cream Cheese Select Varieties Select Varieties 8 oz Bar10 for $10
Lay's Potato Chi9ps Select Varieties 10-10.5 oz $1.87 (limit 4)
Russet Potatoes 10 lb bag $1.99
Asian Pears 88 centws 
Golden or Red Yams or Sweet Potatoes 89 cents lb
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast or Boneless Pork Sirloin Chops $1.77 lb
Extra Large Raw Shrimp 26-30 ct or Cooked Shrimp 51-60 ct Previously Frozen $4.99 lb
Prok Loin Roast Boneless Sold in Bag $1.99 lb
Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns 20 oz 2/$3
Green Giant Cut Green Beans 12 oz 2/$5
Old Orchard Cranberry Naturals or Essential Everyday Apple Juice 64 oz $1.49
Libby's Vegetables 14.5 to 15.25 oz canned Select Varieties 2/$1
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken Soup 10.75 oz 88 cents
Fresh Celery 89 cents each
Broccoli Crowns or Cauliflower 99 cents lb

Safeway Smoked Whole or Shank Half Ham Bone-In or Rump Half Ham (limit 1) 99 cents lb
Clementines 5 lb bag $3.99 
Farmer John Breakfast Sausage Links 8 oz Selected varieties 10 for $10
Progresso Rich & Hearty Soup 3/$4 18.5 to 19 oz Select Varieties
Nabisco Snack Crackers or Toasted Chips 5.5 to 10 oz Snack Crackers or 8.1 oz Toasted Chips Select Varieties $1.88
Lucerne Egg Nog 64 oz Selected Varieties $2.99
Bar S Jumbo Meat Franks 16 oz Select Varieties 4/$5
Jennie-O Turkey STore Extra Lean Turkey Bacon 12 oz 2/$5
Safeway Kitchens Brown n' Serve Rolls 12 oz Selected Varieties 2/$3
Carnation Evaporated Milk 12 oz 2/$3

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thrifty Tips for December 13, 2012


Make a tie key chain.  This is a super simple craft that is really so easy, the kids can do it.  So easy I can do it.  :)  I started this tie key chain with one tie and then made some more.

What you need:

Key rings
Old ties

 1 -Take the narrow end of your tie and pull it through the key ring with the tie's seam facing down.

2 -Fold the tail of the tie (the narrow end) under so you can see the seam.

3 -Wrap the tail over the top of the tie covering the key ring.

4 -Wrap the tie around to the other side so you again see the seam and it looks like a tie's knot.

5 -Push the tail through the ring and then under and through the tie knot.

6 -Tighten the tie.

7 -Snip the end of the larger part of the tie.  You can now glue it to keep it from fraying and can also pin it with an earring stud to make a tie tack.  


Pick up some great freebies when you sign up for updates from Freebie Shark.  Freebie Shark even has text alerts so you never miss a great deal.  The way the freebies go, this is awesome.  Of course keep in mind that text messaging fees apply.  You can still get all the updates via email.  Check them out.

Get some great free printables for kids at Mr. Printables.  This link will take you to some fun Christmas printables.

Get some great free printable gift tags from Kelli Murray's Blog.  They are sooo sweet!

(Remember that these were free at the time of my posting.  Always check the price before downloading.  The prices can change fast)

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson (BARNES & NOBLE) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)

Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen (BARNES & NOBLE) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)


FreeCCM has 9 free downloads including Sara Groves' "Silent Night." has a free download of "Jesus Will Save" by Uncommon Ground.

New Release Tuesday has 6 free downloads for you too!



Safeway Smoked Whole or Shank Half Ham Bone-in, or Rump Half  Ham 99 cents lb
Rancher's  Reserve Boneless Beef Bottom Round Roast $2.99 lb
Tomatoes on the Vine $1.68 lb
Sweet Navel Oranges 2 lbs $1
Marie Callender's or Healthy Choice Meals 8.75 to 196 oz Selected Varieties $1.99 each
Pantry Essentials Milk Gallon, Whole, 2%, 1% or Fat Free $1.67 (limit 2)
Safeway Pasta 12-16oz 10 for $10
Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey 20 oz $3.99 each
Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon 12 oz 2/$5
Fresh Whole Pork Shoulder Blade Roast Bone-in Sold Whole in the bag $1.87 lb


USDA Whole Standing Rib Roast Hand Trimmed Bone-in $4.77 lb
Dole Bananas 39 cents lb
Pork Loin Chops boneless Buy 1 Get 2 Free (Regular price $6.99 lb)
Hormel Black Label Bacon 12-16 oz Select Variety Buy 1 Get 1 Free (save $7.99 on two)
Albertsons Large Eggs 12 ct Grade AA Limit 4 2/$3
Kellogg's Cereal 10.8 to 18 oz Select Varieties 4/$10 and if you buy four Participating Kellogg's Cereals you get 1 Albertsons 1 Gallon Milk Free (one reward per transaction)
Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers $1 each
Fresh Roma Tomatoes $1 lb
Romaine, Green Leaf, Red Leaf Lettuce or Spinach $1
Fresh Green Beans $1 lb


USDA Choice Holiday New York Strip Roast - Bone-in, Beef Loin, Hand trimmed, Oven Ready $3.77 lb
Foster Farms Boneless Chicken Breasts Fresh USDA Grade A Buy 1 Get 2 Free
Coca-Cola or 7-Up Select 12 pk, 12 oz Cans, 4/$9 (limit 4 - Must make additional $25 purchase)
Kroger Vegetables Select Varieties 11-15.25 oz Can 2/$1
Starbucks Coffee  Select Varieties 12 oz or 10 ct K Cups $6.99
Kroger Butter Select Varieties 16 oz 2/$5
Hass Avocados 88 cents lb
Golden or Red Yams or Sweet Potatoes 99 cents lb
Russet Potatoes 10 lb Bag $1.99
Shelled Almonds Select Varieties $2.99
Kroger Frozen Turkey 10-20 lb 79 cents lb
Gold Medal Flour Select Varieties 5 lb 2/$5


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kelly's Thrifty Tips for December 6, 2012

It took me FOREVER to figure out a decent guy crafty gift.  I have a few planned now, but we'll start with a duct tape wallet.  :) 

 I have never made one of these before so truly anyone, yes anyone can do it.  Here's what you need:

Roll of duct tape.  I used Duck brand.
Clean surface that the tape wont get stuck to.  I used a wooden TV tray.

Explaining this can be a bit difficult.  I am going to do my best but also include a link to the WikiHow page I found in order to make my wallet.

1 - Pull off a strip of tape about 8 inches long and lay it face up.

2 - Pull another strip off and place it face down along the strip covering roughly half of the strip.

3 - Fold the sticky part of the bottom strip over the top and flip the strip over.

4 - Add another strip face down covering the sticky half of the bottom strip and repeat process several times. 

5 - When you have a large enough rectangle fold remaining sticky tape over the shiny side and fold lengthwise.  At this point you can determine your wallet size.  If it is too large you can cut it down and refold until it looks good.  The tutorial says to not go beyond 6 inches by 8 inches.  Tape the ends together to make a pocket.

6 - Make another rectangle by following the steps 1 to 4.  Go about half the size as your last one.  Cut this in half to make two squares.  Tape these squares into the inside of the wallet and secure by taping to the inside pocket and outsides of the wallet while leaving open pockets facing the inside fold of the wallet.

7 - Make credit card holders by following steps 1 to 4.  This time make a long strip.  Cut this strip in half and use it to make credit card holders by staggering inside the wallet and taping the sides and bottom areas.  Use a credit card or driver's license as a guide so you make sure it fits right.

8 - TADA!!!!!

Don't forget to check out for their latest in coupons that you can load to your grocery store loyalty cards.  Remember that when the savings add up to $5 you can turn them in for Amazon gift cards, paypal cash and more.

FREE EBOOKS (Be sure to check the price before you download.  They are free as I post this.  That can change.)

Thicker Than Blood by CJ Darlington (AMAZON) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)

Living Rich by Spending Smart: How to Get More of What You Really Want by Gregory Karp (AMAZON) (BARNES&NOBLE)


FreeCCM has 8 free music downloads (of course I had to count twice and I could have messed up, but I'm pretty sure it was 8) including "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" from MercyMe.

New Release Tuesday has six Christmas songs to download for free including "Joy to the World" from Lincoln Brewster.


Get $5 off a $25 Amazon purchase by sharing what is at the top of your Christmas list via Facebook.  I found this from  That purchase needs to be made by December 9th.  You have to shop for items that come from Amazon, and it needs to be over $25 for the deal.


Fresh Whole Boneless Pork Loin Roast $1.99 lb
Rancher's Reserve  Boneless Beef Chuck Cross Rib Roast $2.99 lb
Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage Links or Patties 12 oz $2.99 each Select Varieties
Safeway Sugar 4 lb Bag Granulated $1.97
2 Liter Coca Cola Select Varieties 99 cents
Del Monte 14.5 to 15.25 oz Selected Varieties 79 cents


Sanderson Farms Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast buy 1 get 2 free (reg $4.99 lb)
USDA Choice Petite Sirloin Steak buy 1 get 2 Free (reg $8.99 lb)
Super Lean Ground Beef 93% Lean 2 lbs or more $2.77 lb
Hormel Cure 81 S[iral Half Ham Bone-in $1.37 lb
Broccoli Crowns or Cauliflower 88 cents lb
Bock Choy or Happa Cabbage 79 cents lb
Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes 69 cents lb
Jif Peanut Butter 28 oz $3.99
Green Bell Peppers or cucumbers 2/$1.00
Pillsbury Flour 5 lbs Select  Varieties 2/$5


Fry's Medium Eggs Grade AA 30 ct $2.99
Kroger Vegetables 11 to 15.25 oz C an 50 cents
Hunt's Pasta Sauce 24 oz Can 91 cents
Powerade or Powerade Zero Select Varieties 32 oz 50 cents
Maruchan Noodles 3 oz 18 cents
Pork Loin  Back Ribs or St. Louis Style Ribs Previously Frozen Buy 1 Get 2 Free (Save up to $15.98 with card)
USDA Choice T-Bone Steaks Bone-in, Beef Loin, Family Pack $4.97 lb (limit 2)
Del Monte Golden Pineapple $1.00
Quaker Oatmeal Select Varieties 16 oz $2.08