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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Weekly PYP Couponing Group in Rigby, ID

Ha ha! That's me giggling with glee at all the awesome PYP classes that I'm discovering here in Idaho.

And since I've been watching political news all morning, you'll pardon me if I get patriotic for just one moment.

Across all aisles, though all the different economic ideas and platforms that are tugging at America right now, the one thing I think we can all agree upon is that now is a time for all Americans to pull together to try to help each other out, to share whatever knowledge, expertise, experience or skills we have that can help to strengthen each other, to help each of us walk taller, stronger, prouder. And you can call me sentimental and a fool, but I think PYP does that to a great and large extent. I think the pooling of knowledge and individual support of each other that we have here is the type of thing that is going to see America through this crisis.

So I want to give a huge and hearty shoutout to all those individuals who use their time and organizational skills (oh, that I were like them), to coordinate events and activities that allow others to learn how to stretch their dollars and, by extension, strengthen their ability to survive these financial times. You do us all proud.

There, the sap is over. Read on for information.

GranolaGal just shared the scoop on a PYP meet, coupon exchange, and intro to couponing party held in Rigby, ID each Tuesday.

Here's the solid info:

General location: Rigby
: Tuesdays from 10-11 am. GranolaGal warns that they usually run over, but they try to keep it to that.
Who's invited: Sounds like this shindig is for all types: newbies, dads, grandmas, mommies, and even kids. (The expectation is that if folks bring their kids, they'll keep them reasonably well-behaved and help clean up afterwards.)
It's a good idea to bring: Any coupons you want to trade and your printed PYP shopping list. If you don't know how to print this yet, GranolaGal invites you to come anyway. You'll learn there.
Events: Coupon trading, coupon talk for the oldies, coupon education and explanation for the newbies, and computer PYP walk-throughs. They also sometimes do group-shops, though there's no hand holding, just a group of folks having a good time shopping together.
Location and more info: Please call Dawn at 208-745-7845 for the address or with any additional questions.

Here's wishing I lived in Rigby! Sounds like they've got a good thing going.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are YOU Still Resolved?

We are in the 4th week of January and how are your New Year’s resolutions progressing? Do you need some encouragement to restart that weight management/healthy living resolution? How about saving some money while doing it, too?

Here’s a few ideas to keep you going, do over or lengthen that stride to getting healthy in 2009!

1. Weight Watchers is offering a FREE one week trial. Just scroll to bottom of homepage, red banner is at right hand side.
2. Slim Fast is offering $20 in printable coupons good toward their drinks and bars. You will need to register at this secure site which offers other FREE interactive weight management tools.

3. Pinching Your Pennies has its own forum- Diet, Exercise and Healthy Living. Included in this forum is a set of 7 sub-forum support groups for different styles of weight loss and management. They are all private and password protected due to the sensitivity and nature of subject.

4. Need a new scale? Online deal finder, Jodi, found this killer deal-

List Price: $49.99
Price: $29.06 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
You Save: $20.93 (42%)
- $10 off $29 code TYLRJAN9
= $19.06 shipped
5. Amazon has an instant savings of $10 off $29 purchase or more of Southbeach Living Food Items through 1/31. Use code SBLIVING

For example:

List Price: $16.09
Price: $14.44 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
You Save: $1.62 (10%)


List Price: $25.11
Price: $20.66 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.
You Save: $4.45 (18%)
$14.44 + $20.66 = $35.10
- $10 off $29 code SBLIVING
= $24.10 shipped

Monday, January 26, 2009

Guest blog from PYP member Doodlin'Bug - Menu This!

Menu This!

A quick guide to monthly menu making

After several months of failed attempts at making a weekly menu, I decided to try a monthly menu…eight years later I am still going strong. After reading a book or two and chatting with lots of friends, I refined the process to what my DH calls “the science of the holy calendar”….no kidding!

I used to try to plan around the weeks grocery ads, but when they didn’t come on Tuesday’s I got behind, and never ended up getting it done. Now, I am at a point with my food storage that I have everything on hand for the months menu. For example, if we are having chicken, broccoli and rice and fresh broccoli isn’t on sale that week I keep frozen bags in the freezer. I am constantly stocking up as the sales come so that I always have the staples on hand. I still shop at least once a week on a great sale and to get produce but now I am not waiting for the ads or making a quick trip to the store for something for dinner all the time. As an added bonus, I have found that we eat healthier, have more variety in our meals, and I rotate my food storage.

If weekly menu planning isn’t working for you for whatever reason, give this a shot and stick with it for a 2-3 months. The first month will take you the most time because it may be a whole new concept for you. Month two should get better, and by month three, you will have the “science” down. It is unusual if it takes me more than 15 minutes and it saves me hours for the month not worrying about what is for dinner.

In our house, our “after-school” schedule is the driving force behind what we eat. I long ago learned that I can’t function with a social calendar, sports calendar, and a is too many papers to keep track of. With this thought in mind, I decided that it had to be an “all or nothing” approach. So, hang on tight, grab a blank calendar, and away we go!

Step 1: Choose your calendar

*Make sure that you have enough space to fill everything in.

*There are lots of sites online that offer free printable calendars, you can make fancy ones on the computer, or use the free one from the bank.

*This year I am using one that my DS made at school... the boxes are a little small, but how could I not use it?

Step 2: Gather your fine point sharpies…the more colors the better

*I tried one month to do it all on the computer but the boxes kept getting bigger and bigger, and it took me so much more time that I figured handwriting worked best for me.

Step 3: Write down everyone’s events throughout the month

*Try to give each person their own marker will be easier to keep track of them all.

*Don’t forget events like cub scouts, piano lessons, sports practices, days you drive carpool that fall on the same day each month.

*Don’t forget special nights out, birthday’s and holiday’s that you need to plan ahead for.

*Don’t be afraid to abbreviate things so you fit it all in! (oh, and write small! )

Step 4 (if you don’t have school-aged kids, skip to #5): Pull out the school lunch menu

*If your little ones eat lunch every day, it is always good to see what they are having for the month so that you don’t plan the same thing and get the “I already ate that today” moan.

*If your little one only takes lunch a few days a month, write yourself a note on the calendar so you don’t forget.

Step 5: Plan the menu (be excited, this is the best part!)

*Write in meals for your busiest days first. These could be fast crock-pots, something from your freezer meal stash…whatever your family will eat, and you can prepare fast.

*Write in meals that you can cook extra of for another day or to freeze. For example: We love a certain chicken marinade and when I make it I do a double match. After it is grilled we eat enough for one meal, and I save the rest for our favorite California grilled chicken sandwiches with avocado and honey mustard for the next night.

*Write in family favorites and traditional meals next. If it is against your religion to have anything but pizza on Friday night, write it in!

*Try new recipes. I love to try something new so I put these on my least busy days to make sure I can pay more attention to what I am doing. On my calendar in little print, I list the cookbook and page number where I can find the recipe, or if it is a single sheet I paper clip it to the back of my calendar so I know right where it is.

*Don’t worry about writing in the side dishes unless you are trying something new. You can fill this in based on what you have in the fridge or what is on sale that week.

*Remember your food storage items and rotation schedules.

*Browse the “What’s for dinner section” on PYP for a variety of different meal ideas.

Step 6: Fill in a few extra ideas

*On the extra blank box at the end of the calendar, write in a few meal ideas for those days when nothing on the menu sounds good. It happens to all of us!

Step 7: Make a grocery list

If there are any meals on your list that require something that you don’t have on hand, write it on your master grocery list so you don’t forget it.

Step 8: Put it on the fridge

*Grab yourself a big magnet clip and slap it on.

*As the month goes on and you get little reminder notes or more details about an event, attach them to the back of the menu with the clip so you always know where to find them.

Step 9: Don’t throw it away (it would be tragic!)

*Use this menu for next month for quick ideas and to know when you last had tacos for dinner.

I hope that you found a least one thing that will help simplify your life and save you money! Happy planning!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Couponing Classes in Idaho Falls

I'm so excited that couponing is beginning to spread and blossom in Idaho! We even have some couponing classes cropping up, and from what I've heard, they are excellent classes indeed!

Last Wednesday, Mom24Boys taught a couponing class to twenty-three ladies in her home. (Bow and praise: we're unworthy.) The night's events included debunking popular couponing myths, a coupon version of The Price is Right, and a giveaway of 107 dollars worth of groceries. And that was just the fun stuff; the educational aspect of the night included a flyer on beginning couponing, a cost comparison chart between brand names with coupons and Wal-Mart generic brands, and an online session for getting to know PYP.

The night was a huge success, so much so that Mom24Boys is teaching another session next Wednesday. If you'd like to attend or you have a buddy who could use some couponing guidance during these tough economic times, here's the info:

Place: Contact Mom24Boys for address
Phone: 523-4179
Time: Wed 1/28 at 7 pm

For questions or more information, contact Mom24Boys at the phone number above or via PM.
Sunday, January 18, 2009

Guest blog from PYP member Sloan13

One of my hobbies is trying to see how many groceries I can get for the smallest amount of mone I do this with the help of one of my favorite website

It has allowed me to do two things:

1)Keep our grocery bill low

2)Slowly build our food storage

Sloan and I try to be frugal and our goal is to keep our grocery bill low because we would rather spend our money on other things. I love couponing, and I try to plan my meals around what's on sale and combine those sales with coupons. At two recent sales at Albertson's, I got the following:

1st sale:
168 Pampers diapers
1box Rice Krispies
1box Cascadian Farms raisin bran
1box Froot Loops
1box Frosted Flakes
2 boxes Fruit Roll-ups
2 boxes fruit snacks
2 boxes Fiber one granola bars
1 box Fiber one toaster pastries
2 boxes Fiber one pancake mix
1 box Fiber one muffin mix
3 boxes Hamburger Helper
1 bag Cheerios snack mix
1 6-can pack of Slim Fast shakes
1 box Slim Fast meal-on-the-go bars
1 box Slim Fast snack bars
1 box Bisquick
1 box Betty Crocker instant potatoes
2 bags Malt-O-Meal Blueberry muffin top cereal
My total was $29 and change

2nd sale:
4 boxes Quaker instant oatmeal packets
2 canisters Quaker oats
2 boxes Quaker granola bars
4 boxes Life cereal
4 boxes Raisin Bran
8 jars Beech-Nut baby food
2 jars Beech-Nut white grape juice
1 box Beech-Nut Rice Cereal

My total was $23 plus dollars, but I used $20 in free grocery certificates from the last sale, so it was only $3.28 out of pocket for me.

Guest blog from PYP member Sloan13
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Three Ways to Start Couponing Without Newspaper Coupons

Do newspaper coupons scare you? Does the thought of all that clipping and filing seem like it's just not for you?

There's good news for folks who aren't big fans of newspaper coupons: you can save lots of money without them. Here are three ways to start saving without using newspaper coupons.

1. Check out the Free After Rebate items at Walgreens and Rite-Aid. Each week, our website posts these stores' specials, and many times there are items--including free items--that require no coupons at all. Just buy them, fill out the online rebate form, and you've already entered the world of grocery savings. You can also check out the free after rebate items by visiting the stores' own websites to view their rebate offers.

2. Start comparison shopping for your produce and meat items. Even most couponers don't use coupons on these items, so it's quickly to get up to speed here. Start browsing PYP's weekly shopping lists for stores in your state to spot great deals on various types of meat and produce. No coupons required. Just browse and shop.

3. Use printable coupons. Coupons are going digital, and many couponers no longer even get newspaper subscriptions. PYP's shopping lists include hyperlinks to all the online coupons you'll need for many of the items on our shopping list, and all you have to do is print, clip and save.

In the current economy, many people are interested in saving money on their groceries, but are intimidated by the expense of getting multiple Sunday papers and the sheer volume of paper that is actually involved. Never fear; these three methods involve no newspapers whatsoever, and will have you up and running toward the savings in no time.


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