Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thrifty Tips for February 1st



This Sunday is Superbowl Sunday, and it is the time for fun, friends, family and really odd commercials, and it can also be a real wallet denter.  Sooooo let's think of some ways that we can save money on enjoying the Superbowl. 

1 - If you are having a party, make it a potluck.  Assign different items to different guests.  Some can bring drinks, appetizers, desserts, plates and cups.  You supply the main dish and of course the locale.  This way everyone takes part in the cost.

2 - If child care is needed, chip in together and hire some sitters to take care of all the kids at your party. 

3 - Save time on Superbowl Sunday and prep as many things in advance as you can.  One of my favorite foods for a large group is chili.   Follow this link to a great slow cooker chili recipe.  You can set up an inexpensive chili and baked potato bar with all the fixings.  Because it is Superbowl weekend, you can pick up many of the sides at low cost, because all of these goodies are on sale.  Normally I would also suggest making meatballs and keeping those hot in a crock pot full of sauce.  But if you want to save time, you can buy those big bags of frozen meatballs and save yourself a step.  Ragu is on sale at Fry's right now grab a couple of jars.  Toss a bag of frozen meatballs in a crockpot, add two jars of sauce and let them cook on low until game time.  You can make meatball sliders or full on meatball grinders for a very inexpensive Superbowl meal.

5 - Team Spirit - My team is playing this year, and I will be spray painting my own team shirt.  Pick up stencils or make your own by printing and cutting out the stencils at this link.


As many of you know, I love getting free magazine subscriptions.  You never know what kind of information you are going to find.  I have a free subscription for Entrepreneur magazine, and although much of it is well out of my income bracket, I always find interesting articles.  The latest had an article on entrepreneurship opportunities that military veterans have been pursuing.  The article included some fabulous websites that I think could be a benefit to a veteran you may know.  These websites can help veterans start businesses.

SBA.GOV website is loaded with information for everyone, but they have an awesome page for the Office of Veterans Business Development with many links to programs and resources for veterans to get information on loan programs for veteran owned small businesses. 

LINK:  SBA Office of Veterans Business Development

US Department of Veterans Affairs helps small businesses become certified as Veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.  Once certified these businesses can become eligible for even more programs.  Their site, is loaded with information.



Last week I posted many, many uses for used coffee grounds and also left over coffee.  This week I thought I would share some uses for baking soda.  Baking soda is relatively inexpensive and something we usually have on hand for baking, but there is so much more you can use it for.

1 - Okay...we all know the obvious, but in case you do not, put an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb icky odors.

2 - Tooth whitening paste - Back in the mid 80s when tooth whitening products first hit the scene, my friends and I found that you could combine baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide into a goopy paste and mimic the whitening formulas.  We were college students on a very limited budget and really were pleased with the results.  You can also simply use baking soda as a simple toothpaste.  It isn't tasty, but it is effective and really makes your teeth feel pretty awesome.

3 - Silver Cleaner - When my silver gets a little grubby, I mix up some baking soda and water and gently rub it into the silver.  Tarnish comes off easily and leaves behind a nice shine.  I have not used it on large silver pieces, but I have used it on silver chains, rings, and flatware.

4 - Baking soda and water make a great gentle scrub for your face.  It is gritty so you will need to rinse quite a bit, but you will feel squeaky clean and exfoliated without overdoing it.

5 - Hair clarifying - A teaspoon of baking soda mixed in with your daily shampoo is all you need to use to remove a week's worth of product build up in your hair.  This is really something you only need to use once a week.  Trust me, I lived in the hairspray capital of the US back in the 80s and 90s, and all it took was this little trick to safely and inexpensively remove that build up.

6 - Fruit and veggie rinse - Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a bowl of water and use the mixture to clean off your fruit and veggies.  It works wonders with getting off the dirt and other residues.  Be sure to rinse well when done, because baking soda is not tasty.

7 - Keeping baking soda nearby when cooking is a great tool to have on hand in case of grease fires. 
Baking soda will smother the fire.  Be sure to put some distance between you and the flame before tossing the baking soda onto it, and of course if you can safely do so, turn off the appliance.

8 - Clean a curling iron - Just as your hair can hold a build up of hairspray and product so can your curling iron.  The nice thing is they clean really well with the use of baking soda.  Make a mixture of equal parts baking soda and water.  Take your cool and unplugged iron -let's repeat for emphasis...COOL AND UNPLUGGED CURLING IRON, and rub the iron with a soft cloth and the baking soda and water mixture. 

9 - Keep your sneakers from getting funky by sprinkling them with baking soda.  I like to do this at least once every two weeks. 

10 - Room refresher - Sprinkle baking soda on the floor.  Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes and then vacuum up.

11 - When your kitty litter box is cleaned out but still a little off putting, sprinkle some baking soda on the top and let it sit.  It isn't going to harm your kitties toes, but it will take their kitty scents away.

12 - Give your sink and pipes a quick clean by putting about 3/4 cup of baking soda in the drain followed by half a cup of white vinegar.  Not only will it clean your pipes but it can also be a natural way to unclog your pipes.  Of course sometimes you still need a plumber, but we have had pretty good results with this as a maintenance method. 

13 - Car Care - Baking soda is a great car cleaning tool.  Use it on the chrome, lights and to remove road tar and sap.  Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1 quart of warm water and use with a sponge or soft cloth.   

14 - Oven Cleaner - Wipe the oven with a wet sponge or cloth and then sprinkle with baking soda.  Let this sit over night and tackle it the next day.  I have also tossed baking soda on oven spills for a quick clean up when the oven is cool.

15 - Upset Tummy - Use baking soda to relieve acid indigestion.  Follow the directions on the box.  DO NOT OVERUSE.

16 - Underarm deodorant - Yep...apply baking soda with a puff (you can usually buy these at drug stores in the beauty department) for a natural deodorant.  Note this is not an antiperspirant just a deodorant.

17 - Bath - For a nice relaxing soak that will remove oils and soften skin, add a cup of baking soda to the tub and soak it out.  If your skin is irritated from a sunburn a soda wash will help take the irritation out.  It is also great for a foot soak too.

18 - Smelly Fish Hands - I am so sorry that I wrote smelly fish hands, but I was thinking about how when you have to squeeze out a can of tuna before you use it, and afterward you are left with smelly fish hands.  ICK!  I mentioned how you can wash your hands with used coffee grounds to remove the scent, but you can also wash your hands with baking soda and water.  Scrub them up and remove the stink.  Sorry about the silly side, but I have been eating a lot of tuna lately, and this has really been a priority in the cleaning department.  Plus if you wash your hands in the kitchen sink with the baking soda, it will minimize the odor in the sink.

19 - Clean the kitchen or bathroom sink - Baking soda is a great mild abrasive that you can use to clean your sinks, stove tops and counter tops.  In fact it is also great to use to remove marks on the wall.  It is also nice because it has no bleach.

20 - Draw out the stale smell from wash cloths by soaking in 1/4 cup of baking soda and a quart of water.

21 - Make beans more digestible - Okay...I haven't tried this yet, but I have read that if you add some baking soda to the water that you soak your dried beans in, it will help the beans be more easily digestible. 

22 - Stings and bites - Baking soda with a little dash of water on a sting or bite is said to remove the ouch.

23 - Make a soak for retainers or other appliances.  Add two teaspoons of baking soda to two cups of water or a bowl of water, mix and add the appliance or a retainer.  This will clean and freshen the retainers.  NEVER soak your retainers in mouthwash.

24 - Make Play Clay!  Simply combine baking soda, corn starch and water and you can make clay.  Follow this link to the Arm & Hammer site for the recipe.


A lot of us use an envelope system in order to keep our budgets on track.  If you are interested in trying out the envelope system, follow this link to Dave Ramsey's website to learn how to get started with an envelope system.  If you would like a very cool printable that you can use to print your own envelopes which will have a spending register included, follow this link to Today's Nest for their fabulous free envelope printable.  Seriously, I love this. 


Sign up for a free sample of Emergen-C while supplies last.  The varieties change all the time.

LINK:  Emergen-C Sample


Send a Valentine via Redbox's Facebook page and your friends will get a free Redbox rental code to use on Valentine's Day.  I don't know about you, but I love a free movie.  Oh, and don't worry about not getting to enjoy a free movie too.  You can head back there on Valentine's Day to get a code for you too!

LINK:  Redbox Free Valentine's Rental

FreeCCM is my first stop for free Christian music.  This week you can download Jonny Diaz's song "Cross The Line" as well as songs from The Afters, Building 429, and Skillet. 

LINK:  FreeCCM Free Christian Music Downloads has two songs to download this week.  You can get "Damaged" by Plumb and "In Christ Alone" by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

LINK:  iTickets Free Christian Music Downloads



Rancher's Reserve Boneless Beef Petite Sirloin Steak $3.99 lb
Hass Imported Avocados 2/$1
Pantry Essentials or Dairy Glen Milk Gallon, Whole, 2%, 1%, Creamy Fat Free or Fat Free $1.57 (limit 2)
 Red Baron Pizza 15.77 to 22.63 oz Selected varieties 3/$10
Oscar Mayer Meat Franks 16 oz Selected Varieties 1/2 Free
Lay's Potato chips or Rold Gold Pretzels 10 to 10.5 oz Lay's or 7 to 16 oz Rold Gold Slected Varieties $1.99
Best Foods Mayonnaise or Kraft Miracle Whip 22 to 30 oz Select Varieties $2.88
Gallo Salame 8 oz Select Varieties 2/$7
Bumble Bee Solid White Tuna 5 oz 4/$5
Green Onions or Red Radishes 2/$1
Sweet Yellow Onions Imported 99 cents lb
Doritos Tortilla 11-11.5 oz or Lay's Kettle Chips 8.5 oz Select Varieties 2/$5
12 Pack Coca-Cola 12 oz Cans  Select Varieties 4/$11
Lucerne Ice Cream 1.5 qt Select Varieties $1.99


Coca-Cola, Pepsi or 7-Up Soft Drinks 4/$9 with $25 additional purchase
Blueberries 6 oz $1
Wholly Guacamole or Salsa $1
Clover Club Potato  Chips Select Varieties 10 oz While Supplies  Last 4/$5
Doritos Select Varieties 11 to 11.5 oz 2/$5
Bar-S Franks 12 oz 99 cents (limit 4)
Keenan Farm Pistachios 10 oz $3.99
Fry's Buns Select Varieties Hamburger or Hot Dog 8 ct 4/$5
Ocean Spray Juice Cocktail or Lights Select Varieties 4 ct or 64 oz $1.99
D'Anjou or Bosc Pears 99 cents lb
GAME DAY GREATS BUY 10 PARTICIPATING PRODUCTS SAVE $5 (prices reflect discount when you buy 10)
Hunt's Tomatoes or Paste Select Varieties12-14.5 oz .49 cents each
Healthy Choice Entree Select Varieties 9.5 to 12.5 oz $1.88
Marie Callender's Entree Select Varieties 8.5 to 19 oz $1.88
Ragu Pasta Sauce Select Varieties 16-26 oz .99 cents
Lay's Potato or Kettle Cooked  Chips Select Varieties8.5 to 10.5 oz $1.88
Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice or Trop50 Juice Select Varieties 59 oz $2.49
Mom's Best Natural Cereal Select Varieties 7.4 oz to 16.5 oz .99 cents
Philadelphia Cream Cheese Select Varieties 8 oz $1.29
Mission Soft Taco Tortillas 10 ct $1.49
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Beverage Select Varieties Half Gallon $1.99
Van's Waffles, Pancakes or French Toast Sticks Select Varieties 7.5 to 12.4 oz $1.99


Pork Loin Back Ribs Seasoned 1/2 free
Hormel Spiral Sliced Half Ham Bone-in 99 cents lb
Pork Country Style Ribs Bone-in $1.99 lb
Campbell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup 10.75 oz 2/$1 (limit 6)
Kraft Salad Dressing 16  oz Select Varieties $1.49 (limit 4)
Nabisco Snack Cerackers 5.5 t0 10 oz Select Varieties $1.99
Coffee-mate Flavored Creamer 16 oz Select Varieties 2/$3
Herdez Salsa 16 oz or Hidden Valley Dip  Mix 1 oz Select Varieties 2/$3
Sunshine Cheez-it Crakcers 7.5 to 9 oz 2/$4
Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake 15.25 - 18.4 oz Select Varieties 4/$5
Betty Crocker Frosting 12-16 oz 3/$5
Red Bell Peppers 99 cents each
Large Pink Lady Apples 99 cents lb
Fresh Cilantro or Garlic 2/88 cents
Large  Texas Grapefruit 69 cents lb

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