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Katrina’s Coupon Tip #14 – Call Your Cable Company

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #14 – Call Your Cable Company

CouponTip14_CallCableCoDid you know that you can save money each month on your cable bill by calling them?  It’s really as simple as that – promise!  You know how I feel, you sign up for the 2-year introductory price that is a smoking deal + they give you extra channels and then your husband loves you because they also give you all the NFL channels for FREE.  But there is a catch, this deal is only offered for the first 2 years and by then, you know you LOVE their service and all the amazing channels.  It’s like a punch to the gut when you get your first bill after this 2-year introductory period is over and the bill is tripled in price.  Ugggh!!  For a money-saving mom like me, I just couldn’t imagine paying full price for our cable bill.  It was either stick with our current cable company and hope for a discount or switch to another cable company and see what type of introductory deals they could offer us.

Between you and me, I love our current cable provider so I was hoping that we would not have to switch, but we didn’t want to keep paying the high prices.  My amazing husband decided to give our current provider a call and see if there was any way we could cut down on our bill – or he was going to end our contract and switch to someone else.  You know what?  Calling them was a great idea!  He saved us a ton of hassle of switching to a different company and having to deal with changing equipment, etc. by just asking for a discount.  Crazy huh?  He was able to negotiate a $63/month discount + new equipment upgrade – all from simply asking for a deal!  In fact, our cable company told him that we could call them every 3 months and ask for the current promotion to be applied to our account for future savings with them!  Woot!  Woot!  I’m super excited!

Remember, if you call your current provider, they may not be able to give you the same discount we received, but it doesn’t hurt to ask and shop around!  Just remember to be polite – no need for demanding a deal.  If they don’t give you the type of discount you want, then call another provider.  Being polite goes a long way in receiving special deals – keep in mind, the company needs to make money too, so don’t be unrealistic when asking for discounts.

CouponTip14_CallCableCo

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November 29, 20160 commentsRead More
How To Make Dehydrated Bananas

How To Make Dehydrated Bananas

HowToMakeDehydratedBananasHi everyone!! It’s been awhile – and for that I’m sorry!  I’ve been so busy this summer enjoying every last second with my kids that I’ve made a conscience effort to step back from my blog.  It’s been a breath of fresh air actually – just taking a break.  I’ve really needed the time to think and just listen to the Lord speak into my life.

My summer has been great!  I hope yours has been too!  We’ve enjoyed tons of time with our family and friends, doing fun crafts – like making homemade chalk (I’ll discuss this in a later post – it was AWESOME!), spending much-needed time with cousins, lots of runs through the neighborhood and of course, tons of swimming!  My adorable neighbor across the street blessed with me with a hand-me-down food dehydrator and I’m trying it out today!  Which is what this post is really about actually – so Katrina, stop rambling all about ‘what you did this summer’….seriously!

We were at the grocery store this morning and there was an awesome deal on ripe bananas – as well as a of bags of discount apples.  All a sudden I remembered that my neighbor said I could have her old dehydrator and viola!  We purchased  about 3lbs of bananas and a couple pounds of apples and as soon as we got home we started prepping the bananas for the dehydrator.  I had the bright idea that I should spray the apples with lemon juice using a small water bottle instead of hand-dipping each one – just seemed a lot faster, and on a day like today, when I still have to find a place for a ton of cereal that I bought with some HOT coupons for super cheap this morning, I don’t have time to waste!  Plus, my daughter has a friend coming over soon and my oldest has a baseball game in a few hours!  I’m happy to report that it took less than 3o minutes to slice, arrange, and spray about 3lbs of bananas.  My dehydrator only has 4 trays, and I filled them all up, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to process the apples.  I’m super excited for how quick and easy this process was!  I set the temperature to 135 degrees and I guess they should be done in about 10 hours.

This is a great way to use up those over-ripe bananas that your kids think are too mushy to eat!  We tend to have a lot of those each week – seems like I never know what fruit my kids will want to eat and the poor bananas get ripe so fast!  The ripe ones will taste a lot sweeter too!  I plan to try blueberries soon and of course the apples!  So excited!  I love new ideas like this and also love finding frugal and fun ways to stretch every dollar – especially with our food budget!

How To Make Dehydrated Bananas

You will need:

  • 3-5lbs of ripe bananas (depends on who big your dehydrator is)
  • Food dehydrator
  • Small spray bottle
  • Juice from one lemon or 2 Tbs of bottled lemon juice
  1. Peel and slice the bananas the same thickness so they dry evenly – 1/4″ is perfect
  2. Place bananas in single layer on dehydrator trays
  3. Spray bananas with lemon juice
  4. Turn on the dehydrator and set to 135 degrees
  5. Check bananas in 5 hours and consider flipping over (again depends on the design of your dehydrator)
  6. Cook for a total of 10 hours until bananas are no longer mushy to the touch.
  7. Store in an air-tight bag or container.

Easy, fun, frugal, and so yummy!  Enjoy!

HowToMakeDehydratedBananas

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July 29, 20160 commentsRead More
Why You Should Use IBOTTA

Why You Should Use IBOTTA

WhyUseIBOTTAEver wonder what IBOTTA is all about?  Have you heard people talking about how great it is?  Have you read bloggers who have written about IBOTTA being their favorite coupon app?  Well, you have come to the right place and I’m just one more blogger who absolutely LOVES IBOTTA and would love to tell you why you should use it too (I guess that’s also my way of saying to stop reading right now if you don’t want a super-easy way to save money on the groceries that you already buy).

IBOTTA is a very easy-to-use coupon app for your smartphone.  Available for both Android and Apple devices and is free to download.  If you join IBOTTA via a friend referral code you will instantly earn $10 after you redeem your first rebate.  You can sign up now via my referral code – SIGN UP NOW so you don’t miss out on that extra $10!  The great part signing up via a friend is that your friend also earns a $5 reward for signing you up!  It’s a win-win!  After you have joined IBOTTA you can start referring your own friends and you will make $5 for every friend you refer that signs up via your own personal link and redeems at least one rebate, plus they also earn that $10 reward as well!  Can you see why I think IBOTTA is awesome?!

Don’t wait, go ahead right now and get signed up – SIGN UP NOW, and then once you have the app installed on your phone, continue reading.  I’ll wait, seriously, go ahead.  SIGN UP NOW

Now that you have the IBOTTA app installed, let me give a quick overview of some the great things IBOTTA can do and how you can save
the most money:

  1. How IBOTTA Works: Download the app, unlock rebates by browsing the app before you go shopping, go shopping and buy the items you unlocked, verify your purchases and upload a quick picture of your receipt, then get cash loaded to your account.  SO EASY!
  2. Extra Savings on Groceries:  You will see that the IBOTTA app works at most major grocery stores and you can useIbotta-logo IBOTTA and paper coupons to purchase the same item!  For a lot of things that you mean you can get them for free with the double savings.
  3. Not only for groceries:  I use IBOTTA mostly for savings on my groceries, but you can also earn rebates at restaurants, on electronics, clothing, even movie tickets, and so much more!
  4. Redeem for CASH! After you have earned $20, you can redeem your earnings for cash, or gift cards to great places like Starbucks or the movies!

Now do you see why I love IBOTTA?!  If you still haven’t downloaded the app, do it now,  SIGN UP NOW and start saving and making money today!

Some links in this post are affiliate links, thanks for using them – while they help you save money, they also support me and my blog.

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March 12, 20160 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #13 – Buy In Bulk

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #13 – Buy In Bulk

KCouponTip_BuyInBulkWhen you come across an amazing deal on something that you use regularly – then go ahead and buy it in bulk!  Today is a perfect example – I found a GREAT deal on ground beef at my local grocery store.  This was a totally unexpected deal because I had not planned on buying meat at all.  I found 3lb rolls of ground beef for $3.79 total…not per pound – but per 3lb roll!  That’s just a little over $1 a pound!  Which is an awesome deal!  There were lots and lots and lots of rolls – so I went ahead and bought in bulk – 60lbs to be exact!  Yes, you heard me right – 60lbs of beef, 20 3lb rolls.groundbeef_300x800

My family loves ground beef, especially for tacos, which just so happens to be my husband’s favorite meal.  I know we will use our beef over the next year and we have a very large professional grade freezer in our garage for meats and frozen items we buy in bulk.  I’m super excited about our great deal today!  You can find great deals like this at your local grocery store by talking to the manager and asking when certain departments mark stuff down, and then be the first one there to get the great deal!

*** I can let you in on a little secret…a lot of grocery stores mark down perishables (like meat, dairy, and fruit) during the week to make room for fresh products to fill the shelves over the much busier weekends.  There are lots of great deals to be found during the week!

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February 12, 20160 commentsRead More
How To Shop From Your Own Pantry

How To Shop From Your Own Pantry

howtoshopfromownpantry“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

Let me paint a picture for you.  It’s 4pm, you just walked in the door from picking up your kids at school.   All of your kids are talking at the same time, telling you about their day, as well as throwing all the papers from their backpacks at you.   It’s at that moment that you realize you forgot to set out anything for dinner.  While you try to focus on helping your kids with homework, you can’t stop thinking about what to make for dinner.

If I were in “super-mom” mode, I would have planned my dinner for that day and had the meat defrosting by 10am.  When I’m in “super-duper-mom” mode I wouldn’t even have to think about what I’m having for dinner because I would have planned that over the weekend before I did my grocery shopping.   I would know, down to the day, exactly what I was having for dinner for the full week.  I try to have my menu planned each week before the week begins, but let’s be honest, I’m a super busy mom and sometimes my “super-duper-mom” cape goes missing for weeks on end.

When I’ve neglected to plan, that means it’s time to go shopping in my own pantry!  The great thing about being a howtoshopfromownpantry2couponer is that I usually have a well-stocked pantry.  Not only have I purchased stockpile items at rock bottom prices, but now I can literally go shopping in my own pantry to create a very inexpensive meal for my family!  While this can seem daunting, it’s actually quite fun to see how creative I can be with whatever we have on hand.  It’s also a great way to save money!  Rather than running to the store to pick up a few items that would create a meal for that evening, I’m saving money by putting in a little extra effort to be creative and use what I have.

Honestly, I enjoy the challenge.  I don’t know that everyone would, but for me, it kicks the chore of cooking dinner up a notch!  I challenge you, beginning Monday of next week, to dig through your pantry and try to create a week’s worth of meals.  Plan it out ahead of time, and only go to the store if absolutely necessary – and if you do go to the store, go only ONCE – pick up all the little filler items you need to complete your meals and then make it work!  If you can shop from your own pantry for a full week every couple months, just think of how much money you would save!  This next year I’m going to try to do this every few months!
I’ll let you know how it goes and I’d love to know if you already do this and if you have any tips for me?!

Happy cooking! Happy Saving!

howtoshopfromownpantry

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December 31, 20150 commentsRead More
How To Make Money While Staying Home

How To Make Money While Staying Home

Have you ever rolled out of bed, stumbled down the stairs, and looked around at your messy house filled with toys that you didn’t feel like putting away last night, knowing it’s just another day and you probably still won’t get the toys put away?  Besides never getting the toys put away, you still have to get the lunches made and the piano practice done and on and on and on and on…all within the next hour before you get kids off to school?

I remember when I had this exact morning about 3 years ago, and I remember thinking – “gosh, this sure is fun – said no mom – ever.”  But then my thoughts jumped to the fact that already two of my kids are in school all day and I only have one still at home with me.  In a few years he will be at school all day as well – and once he is, then WHAT??  What would I do with my time all day long?  Yes, for the first week I will eat bon bons and watch soaps all day.  Actually, I don’t like either of those things, so I probably won’t do that.   The quiet will be nice – but only for a couple days.  I know myself well enough to know that I’ll go nuts if I don’t find something to keep me slightly stressed and busy.  That’s how I roll – I function so much better on the edge of panic.  It’s also how I get a lot done – I fill my days from sun up, to sun down with some type of work, and I tend to be very effective.  If I don’t have something to keep me actively busy and full of purpose, I will flounder.

Since I know all of this about myself, and because I’m a planner, 3 years ago I started looking for things I could do to keep busy when all three kids will be in school full time.  If you have read my blog for awhile now, you know I’m an entrepreneur5MM_Cover_295x448 at heart,  so naturally, I began to think about business ideas and ways that I could earn and save money from home.  After a lot of research and prayer, about a year ago I started actively working on a new business that I plan to work on full time when all three kids are in school, and I’m so excited!

If you find yourself in the same place I did, wondering what you’ll do once kids are in school full time and wanting to make or save some money, then here are some ideas for you.  I’ve also written a really great eBook, 5 Money-Making Ideas for Stay-At-Home-Moms, that you can download FREE now that explains many of these ideas and even a few more in detail.

  • Shop at thrift and consignment stores.  Don’t freak out – you really can find some amazing deals at thrift stores for your family and you can save a lot of money.  Especially if you shop on their 50% off days!  Yes, it takes some work to really look for stuff, and you tend to deal with long lines, but you can find some really great deals!  Some of the best deals I’ve found have been on sporting equipment for the kids (especially on cleats) and maternity clothes.
  • Sell your stuff at consignment stores.  Not only should you shop at consignment stores, but you can sell your used stuff at them as well!  I know some mommies who sell enough of their own stuff that they can then use their store credit to turn around and buy whatever they need, and are never7BigMistakes_Cover_295x448 really paying out of pocket for clothing!
  • Use coupons every time you shop.  Join a coupon group where you can share deals and swap coupons.  Get your kids involved and have them help you clip coupons!  If you get a system down, you can use coupons every week, save money, and not have it take up too much of your time.  I explain a lot more about how to do this in another eBook I’ve written, 7 Biggest Mistakes Couponers Make – you might want to download that one as well. :)
  • Have a garage sale.  We all know this is a lot of work, but you can make quick money by having a garage sale!
  • Start your own business!  This is my favorite idea of all – I love to SAVE money, but I also love business and I personally want to earn money.  The best way I know to earn money from home is to start a network marketing business.  There are so many of them to choose from with great products like jewelry, bags, makeup, energy drinks, etc!  It’s all about finding one that fits your lifestyle and has the potential to earn the amount of income you are looking for.  Some people just want the free stuff that you get from having a few parties, some people want to earn enough money to make the car payment, and some people want to find a business that replaces their spouse’s income.  I was looking for a serious business model, with a company that had ground-breaking products that no one else offered, and that had the income potential to replace my spouse’s income and bring him back home to work with me in business again.  I’m so happy because I’ve found it!

Download my eBook for more ideas on how to save and earn money from home – it is possible!  I’d love to hear your ideas on how you save your family money or how you make money at home!  Please share them in the comments below!  Hugs!

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November 4, 20150 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #12 – Don’t Stock Up Too Much

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #12 – Don’t Stock Up Too Much

CT12_DontStockUpAre you stocking up so much that you are bursting at the seams and your kids’ closets are now full of toilet paper instead of clothes?  It’s really easy to get in the mindset of making sure you don’t let any coupons go to waste.  This can be very dangerous.

If you stock up a bunch on an item without paying close attention to the expiration you can get more excited about the money you are saving and end up buying a lot more of the product than you can actually use before it expires.  You may find yourself throwing food away that has expired and then you realize that the great deal you thought you found for that product is actually not really that great of a deal.

A perfect example is condiments.  One time I came across a great sale on Ranch dressing, we use a lot of it, so I purchased 8 bottles of it with my coupons and didn’t pay attention to the expiration date.  I ended up throwing away 4 bottles because they expired before we were able to use them all.  This is very easy to do with all sorts of products, so just make sure that you can use or can give away all the products you purchase that have a short expiration.

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September 22, 20150 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #11 – Why I Use Self-Checkout

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #11 – Why I Use Self-Checkout

Do you use thrylyn_selfcheckoute self-checkout lane at the grocery store?  If you haven’t already discovered the power of the self-checkout lane at your favorite grocery store then you are missing out!  I love using the self-checkout lane for many reasons, but mostly because I can control the transaction and make sure that everything is ringing up properly. You would be amazed at how many items you purchase that ring up incorrectly.  There is power in using the self-checkout lane because you can question any item or price that you feel is wrong!  

It’s also nice that you can scan your own coupons and can make sure that each one is deducting and doubling correctly. Be careful, because a lot of stores have item limits for their self-checkout lanes, so make sure you check before beginning your transaction!

Also, if you are anything like me and you allow your kids to shop with you, then using the self-checkout lanes means they can help you scan items!  Yes, this can get a bit crazy, but if you are patient it can be really fun!

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August 10, 20150 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #10 – It’s All About Planning

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #10 – It’s All About Planning

CT10_PlanningPlanning is essential to maximize savings at the grocery store! If you want to save a lot of money on your groceries, you MUST take the time to plan.  I like to think of grocery shopping as an art form and practice makes perfect!  I’m totally serious about this.  I won’t save on my grocery bill if I don’t take a few hours each week to plan where to get the best savings and which store to get them at.  

Every Wednesday when my grocery store sales ads arrive in the newspaper, I will glance at them and start making my shopping list.  On Thursday I will check and print coupons from my online sources, go through my coupon book, start clipping coupons from the week before and matching up what coupons I have with the items on sale that week. On Friday I will double check my list and my stockpile and finalize my shopping trip. It takes work, but on average I save about 55% on my grocery bill each week.  The time is totally worth it!

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July 21, 20150 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #9 – Use Coupon Apps

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #9 – Use Coupon Apps

300x800_IbottaThere is a lot of savings to gain by utilizing coupon applications!  I have a couple really great coupon applications that I like to use on a consistent basis – my favorite is called IBOTTA.  It’s simple, download the app to your phone and go shopping.  Upload your receipt and you earn extra money!  I like to think of this app as using digital coupons and you can redeem the money you earn for gift cards or for cash!  You can even use paper coupons on the products you redeem – like a double dip!  It’s awesome!

Try IBOTTA today and when you refer your friends you can earn cash!  You can also try out SavingsStar – works the exact same way, but I’ll be honest, for me, I’ve had a lot better luck with IBOTTA.  There are a lot more apps out there, just find one you like and start saving TODAY!

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June 30, 20150 commentsRead More