Sunday, August 28, 2011

Countdown to Kickoff

It's been a couple of weeks since we last posted but we've been busy with some exciting times recently. We'll be posting about that in a couple weeks.

As I woke up this morning and watched the hurricane update, I flipped it on ESPN to check the latest sports and realized a week from now, I'll be watching the college football updates. An exciting time for sure.

Next Saturday, we'll be up early, putting on our red and black, and heading to the dome to watch UGA-Boise St. And Georgia will be putting on red and well, mostly just red. They will be debuting their ProCombat uniforms, pictured below. It's gonna be another great football season!

I personally like the black uniform option better, but I also remember being down 31-0 at halftime and hearing a Bama fan chant "Knowshon...No Yards!" over and over. Maybe we should stick with red.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What's for Dinner?

What's for dinner? That's a common question heard in this household! Sometimes the last thing I want to do after a long, exhausting day of work is cook dinner. That's why I LOVE my crock pot. Call me old-fashioned, that's fine, but it is the. best. thing. ever.

Here's a picture of this miracle invention in action:

I love being able to set up a meal in the morning and show up in the early evening, after work, to find that all the labor is done, and dinner is ready! How awesome is that?

(That's a crock pot liner in my crock pot...quite possibly the next best invention when it comes to slow cookers. It makes clean-up SUPER quick and easy.)

Here's the final result:

That's a blended peach margarita we're drinking (which wasn't sweet enough and needed some extra flavor, so I won't be sharing that recipe). The other great thing about crock pot meals is that it feeds a ton of people. We have leftovers for quite a few meals. Here is the recipe I used:

Crock Pot Fiesta Chicken
1 can, 15 oz. tomato sauce
2 cans, 14.5 oz. each, diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 cup whole grain or white rice
1 can, 14.5 oz. chicken broth or water
1 can, 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can, 15 oz. whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning (mild or spicy do you want it?)

Combine all of the ingredients in a crock pot, set to low and allow to cook for 6 to 8 hours. In the last hour of cooking, tear apart chicken breasts with fork. Continue cooking on low for another hour (totaling 8). Serve with tortilla chips as a dip or eat as a stew.

I'm not sure where I found the original recipe, probably a Google search or something. The original recipe did not have corn and called for pinto beans instead of black beans. I like to change it up and try different things, though. I also like to rinse canned veggies to try and get as much sodium out as possible. Use low sodium taco seasoning, too, to cut the salt. Try out the recipe, and let me know your changes and your thoughts!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Coupons Part 4: Practical Ways to Apply

Buy a Sunday paper (during a non-holiday weekend). That's a great way to start. Pull out the coupon inserts and start looking through them. You don't have to cut every coupon you come across, just keep the ones for products you know you need or buy often. Put them away in an envelope.

Now here's the hard part.


Yep, wait. Wait until the product goes on sale at your grocery store. Whether it is Publix or Kroger, the product will likely go on sale before the coupon expires. Check you grocery store's local ad, online or in store, and see where you can save.

If you want to expend even less energy, let Southern Savers do the investigative work. Simply keep coupon inserts saved away and check the website. As explained earlier, the website will tell you what coupon insert has the coupons you need for a great deal in your chosen grocery store.

It may sound complicated, but once you get into the practice of it, it becomes easier.

If you are ready to take it to the next level, here's how I gain multiple coupons: On occasion, we will use Coupon Clippers to purchase coupons. The same Smart Balance coupon mentioned in the previous post sells for 15 cents. The site requires a minimum of $3 in coupons and charges a 50 cents fee, plus 44 cents shipping. Unless there are multiple coupons I want or multiples of a specific coupon (Ronzoni pasta $1 off which commonly sales for 50 cent-$1 when on sale), I don't use that site. Most of the pasta we have we actually received credit towards the balance. I may have paid $4 for the coupons (20x.12, 60 cents for others and fees), but for each box of pasta (50 cents at Kroger), I applied the other 50 cents towards other groceries, so I actually made about 30 cents on each coupon that I bought.

Here is a list of some of the deals we've gotten since we started this series:
Kraft homestyle maccaroni: Regular price 2.59; our price 30 cents
Tyson frozen chicken nugget appetizer: Regular price 5.99; our price 99 cents
John Freida root awakening shampoo or conditioner: Regular price 2.99; our price: FREE
Tampax Pearl x 2 + Crest toothpaste: Regular price: 8.48; our price profit 52 cents
YoPlus 4 pack: Regular 1.99; our price FREE
Voskos greek yogurt: Regular 1.49/ea.; our price 15 cents
Smart balance milk (1/2 gallon): Regular 3.69; our price 69 cents
Tostitos scoops (family size): Regular 4.99; our price 49 cents
Kraft shredded cheese: Regular price 3.49; our price 67 cents
Splenda (200 pk): Regular 4.35; our price 17 cents
Honey nut cheerios: Regular 4.09; our price $1
Dove soap (6 pk): Regular 6.99; our price $1.49
Caribou coffee: Regular 8.99; our price $2.99
Aquafresh Xtreme: Regular 3.99; our price 59 cents
Blue Bell ice cream: Regular 5.99; our price $2.39
Snuggle: Regular 4.99; our price FREE

Whether you want to just clip a few or fill up an entire book with coupons, it's a great way to save some money. We hope this series has helped encourage you to give it a try.