Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jan 1, 2011

Friday I attempted to do all of my grocery shopping but there were just way too many people. Finally stopped and will finish on Monday when its a little less crazy in the stores. I did get about 90% of it finished though!

We had an awesome Jan 1st. What a great way to start off the New Year! My mom came up for the weekend and we are having a crafting weekend. I spent all day scrapbooking and mom spent the day working on a quilt. The kids were hanging out enjoying the last bits of their vacation.

We are beginning our 6 month no eating out/no Starbucks (etc) challenge. One of the things I was going to miss during this time is Pho. I did some online research and found recipes which were really time consuming. Then I hit the jackpot when I found a Crockpot Pho recipe! Do not be overwhelmed by the steps in this recipe it was actually VERY easy. I went to our local Asian Market and found the spice packet, fish sauce, hoisen sauce and rice noodles and spent under $7. I used OxTail bones that I got from the farmer and flank steak that I found on sale. It was delicious! The only thing the broth recipe did not call for that it needs is salt. However, each added it to their own bowl at the dinner table and that worked just fine as well.

I have started doing a few new things and re implementing a few things I had done in the past to help save $. Here are a few:

* using Swagbucks and MyPoints. By using these 2 programs I can earn points just for doing my regular online searching or shopping and use those points to earn GiftCards (to places like Amazon, Starbucks etc). If you would like more information on either of these let me know!)

* Ordering coupons. I do not get the local paper because I can see what I need online for free. I also don't buy something just because I have a coupon for it. However, I do like to get coupons for the things I buy regularly. I have used The Coupon Clippers for quite a few years to order coupons and have had great success.

* Shopping around for loss leaders. We have a variety of grocery stores in our area. Each will post Loss Leaders, or those big sale items on the front page of their ads to draw you in. Our stores are close enough I can go from store to store to pick up just those items which can be a huge savings to the grocery budget.

* Just ASK! We receive a weekly section of paper in the mail that holds ads (this is a free service). In that this week we received a coupon from a local place that does oil changes. It was a great deal and I need an oil change. However, I noticed the coupon expired in November. I called and it was a print issue and they couldn't honor it, however, I asked and he said they had coupons on their website. I went to the website and they had a coupon expiring THAT day. I called back, they had decided to close early for New Years. I asked if he would still honor the coupon on Monday and he said sure no problem and scheduled my appointment. The worst he could have said was NO but by asking I am saving $15.00.

A few photos for you. The bowls waiting for the Pho Broth and the final result!

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