Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Two Cents: Charitable Giving

My Two Cents:
Giving Back

We give back, because it's about sharing our strengths to help others!

If you've ever attended a Savvy Shopper Seminar, you'll know how important helping others through donations means to me. It's a part of why I coupon and shop smart - because I have more than enough for my family, but I know many others do not. We give back, because it's about sharing our strengths to help others.

Last week, I took part in the first Savvy Shopper food drive on behalf of the Community Action Food Bank in Provo. Sponsored by the Daily Herald, the food drive collected food and monetary donations at Ream's in Springville and Crisp's Grocery in Salem. What amazing local grocers we have  surrounding us who went the extra mile to help further our efforts.  As I spoke with many shoppers through out the day, I was deeply gladdened by their willingness to give back to the community.

I was honored to use the donations raised to “shop 'til I dropped” and purchase as much food as possible for the Food Bank. As I made my purchases I couldn't help but smile at the savings. OK, I always smile at my savings, but this was a different kind of smile. This was even better! Every quarter I saved meant one extra can, box or package I could give away - it was electrifying!
Jim Thomas, with Community Action Food Bank, and Rick Taylor, met me at the door with an even different kind of smile - one of gratitude.

“We have 60-70 new families each month coming who've lost their jobs. In this economy we don't know how long this will last,” Thomas said. The food bank distributes 150,000-200,000 pounds of food a month to families from every walk of life and in every stage of need. It's staggering and truly a bit emotional to see what the food bank has done and continues to do for members of our community on a daily basis. As I walked past an aisle of orange crates filled with canned goods and perishables, I thought about how many people we could help if we all gave even a little, and not just at Christmas, but throughout the whole year! How many lives could be touched? How many parents would be able to know they could provide food for their children?

I've heard it said, that if you feel you have enough food for your family, you have enough to give some away. Our family has started a donation box, which we fill with “extras” we find around our house and pantry. It is a great way to teach children to think of others.

It was an amazing experience to witness so much generosity this holiday season! Thank you for your gifts in donating by whatever means were available and for allowing me to take part in this gift of savings!

If you would more information on what you can do to help your community, please visit or your local community food bank.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Savvy How To: Disneyland Savings (Part 2)

Disneyland - Quite literally the happiest place on Earth (besides Target!)

Savvy How To:
Disneyland on a Dime (Part 2)

You're packing, scheduling and you've got a great hotel lined up, so what's next on your Savvy Disney To-Do list? Here is a condensed list of my favorite ways you can stretch your dollar and make the most of your Disneyland/Southern California vacation funds:

THE TICKETS: By far the best discounts go to Southern California residents! Your only chance to get these deals is to find a friend who lives in sunny California, have them buy your tickets and get you in (ticket scanners will ask for proof of residency before admittance). Don't be fooled into buying half-used tickets online from “So. Cal. Residents” or even “renting” someone's yearly pass; proof of identification will be required. So what's the best deal on tickets? CityPass tickets offered by stores like Costco are a great way to save money if you have a week to spend. They include a three-day Disneyland Park Hopper Pass, one-day Sea World, oneay Universal Studios, and one-day SanDiego Zoo/Wild Animal Park ticket for use within a 14-day window. (Our hotel room neighbors visiting from Canada gave us the last two days of their four CityPass Tickets for FREE, so we added the San Diego Zoo and Universal Studios to our vacation - yes I am a deal magnet!)

If you don't have that much time, consider a 2-3 day park hopper pass or discounts available from Web sites such as, wholesale warehouse club stores, or even AAA or AARP. Universal Studios and SeaWorld are also currently running “Buy a one day ticket and get the whole year FREE” promotions. And don't forget, you can still get into Disneyland for FREE on your 2009 birthday and in 2010 you can get a FREE day at Disneyland by giving a day of volunteer service to approved organizations. Adults will also be able to get admission at kid rates in 2010!

THE FOOD: When you discover a small apple costs $1.59 and a single bottle of water costs $3 you know you'll need to bring some of your own food into the park! My tips and picks? If you choose to eat inside Disneyland, eat lunch not dinner, as lunch is less expensive. Also, many hotels that offer a free continental breakfast also include PB&J sandwich fixings, fruits and snacks. Use these to your advantage for a packed-in meal or bring grocery supplies from home (including sandwich baggies) for a do-it-yourself lunch or dinner on the run.

I pride myself on NOT buying snacks inside the park, but rather satisfying my children with fun items like multi-colored mini marshmallows portioned out in sandwich baggies (a BIG hit), Disney Fruit Snacks, Ring Pops, Cuties clementines, bottled water (refilled for free inside the park) with flavored drink mix sticks and even Mickey Mouse All Natural Fruit Crisps, the identical kind sold in the park, but pre-purchased at Wal-Mart for a fraction of the in-park cost. Use your in-room mini fridge, if available, to add to your snack selections (you can even use an in-room coffee maker to “cook” instant oatmeal packets or soups requiring hot water for a super cheap meal alternative). Backpacking in your own food is kosher (no large coolers allowed) and definitely a great way to save time and money! Online printable in-park and outside restaurant coupons are also available from

THE SOUVENIRS: You thought food was expensive and now comes the souvenirs! But wait! I've found a great way to have fun and save money on park purchases. The best Disney Souvenir treat deal for your money is the Mickey 5ct sucker packs ($4.95). At $1 each, these super thick suckers shaped like Mickey's head will delight your children and not break the bank. And my No. 1 family souvenir pick is collectable Disney pins. If you haven't started pin collecting and trading you should, my kids (and I) love it! Use lanyards, vests, hats etc., to display a variety of pins available around the park, then, trade them with other visitors or ANY Disney employee! The best buys are the pin trading packs, which work out to be about $4-$5 per pin. These aren't always the most collectable pins, but trading up is the objective (and Disney employees will trade for better pins). Watch your food receipts in California Adventure for 20 percent off souvenir purchase coupons printed on your receipt to save even more money on these great buys!

And here's one last secret: You know those overpriced $20 souvenir ride photos of you and your kids? Check outside the Buzz Light Year ride to email yourself a perfect ride photo for FREE - just make sure you score well or your lack-luster performance will be immortalized Disney style!

THE RIDES: You can't really save money on the rides, but you can save time, and time is money right! Utilize Fast Pass and Stroller Pass options to save on wait time. These passes allow riders to bypass slower lines by coming back at pre-selected time intervals or switching two riders at ride exits to allow families with young children to all enjoy the rides. And don't forget to join in the free hunt for Mickey while waiting in line. Park artists have hidden Mickey Mouse heads (full or profile) on rides, buildings or even in the landscaping. You get more points for finding harder-to-locate Mickeys. There are Mickey Hunt Club Clue Books available for purchase, but you don't have to buy one to be included in the free fun!

THE MEMORIES: Some things are priceless, like my memories of yearly childhood visits to Disneyland! Fun, family and freedom from life's worry- it's worth the cost! Remember, Disneyland vacations don't have to last a week or break the bank. One day and a little planning can bring enough happiness and smiles to last the year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Savvy How To: Disneyland Savings (Part 1)

A Savvy Christmas!

Savvy How To:
Disneyland on a Dime

Um? NO! Before I start, I'd better forewarn you that while it's definitely possible to save money at Disneyland, it will never be cheap to visit this magical land of mouse and men! Take it from an 11-year So. Cal. resident who's been to Disneyland more times than I can count: If there's a discount I'm on top of it, but it still costs a pretty penny to visit.

However, the sheer happiness of being inside those park gates (I actually wiped a tear from my eye as I passed through the turnstile), and the sudden rush of adrenaline as you scurry though the rides with childlike wonderment is priceless in my book! And, as my mother often says - sometimes you just have to throw a little money at it!

If you're planning a Southern California adventure, here is a condensed list of my favorite ways to stretch your dollar:

THE MONTH: Southern California residents and I know a secret you don't. Honestly, it worries me a little to tell you all, but here it is: December is the absolute BEST time to go to Disneyland. In fact, the first three weeks after Thanksgiving equals Mickey Mouse Gold Standard Time. Statistically speaking, these three weeks have the recorded lowest numbers of visitors of the entire year. And, the best day of the week for the lowest visitors? Tuesday followed by Wednesday. What are you waiting for? Stop reading this and run out the door right now, I say!

My visit Dec. 1-2 (a Tues. and Wed.) landed my family and I literally first in line for multiple rides with no wait time, and at the most a 5-10 minute wait for any other ride in the park.
(It's snowing mom!)
And don't forget the weather. The temperature in California this time of year is not too hot and not too cold. And the entire park was enrobed in Christmas decor (there is even fake snow at night!)

Now, you ask, if some people already know this secret, why isn't it as busy as any other time of year? It's simply difficult for most people to take a vacation during these three weeks. I pre-scheduled the vacation time, and we took a page from our sister-in-law and told the kids this trip was their main Christmas present, to which they all replied, “YAY!!!!!”

THE CAR: First and foremost, take the smallest vehicle with the best gas mileage possible. Choosing a smaller vehicle also ensures you'll pack lighter and have less to lug around. If you forget something, there is a Target about three blocks from Disneyland (and you know how much I love Target!). Next, use your GPS or borrow a neighbor's like we did to map out your trip for the shortest route possible and use a Web site like to determine the cheapest filling stations to fuel up.

Pack lots of snacks and bottled drinks to reduce stop time and convenience store purchases where extras cost twice as much as a local grocer. Don't forget to include boredom prevention devices like portable DVD players (with plug-in chargers), coloring books and crayons, books on CD and handheld games.

THE HOTEL: Finding the perfect hotel isn't always easy. There are several Web sites that will try to do the work for you like, which bundles multi-day park tickets and hotels together at great savings, but there are still several questions you should ask before you book your room.

Most hotels charge additional fees for parking and Disneyland shuttles, so make sure to ask if these amenities are included and figure these costs into your final decisions. They also advertise the walking distance to Disney's Main Gate. You need to realize that each block is an additional 7-10 minutes walking time.

And these features are a must: FREE Continental breakfast/breakfast buffet and a mini fridge for extra food storage. Consider how much it will save you in breakfast costs alone to feed your entire family! Our hotel, The Candy Cane Inn, was fabulous! It's 100 percent nonsmoking (smoke gives the hubby migraines), 250 yards from the Main Gate, super family friendly with all the amenities, pillow-top Serta mattresses, plus a coin-op laundry room (pack your own soap and dryer sheets) and the only hotel with a FREE shuttle!

Though the rooms were a little smaller, when I factored in all the extras, the price was a deal in my book at a cost identical to surrounding hotels. And when I checked out, they gave me a certificate for $10 off per night the next time I book with them.

Also, if you are considering stopping halfway in Mesquite or Las Vegas, you should know all hotels in these areas charge an additional Hotel Use Fee which ranges from 12-60 percent of the actual room costs. A hotel may advertise $29 rooms, but the additional $14 Room Tax puts you well over $45 when all is said and done. Ask up front about any fees.

For more information on how to make the most of your money on your next Disneyland vacation, watch next week for Part 2 of Disneyland on a Dime.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pantry Potpourri: Blue Dawn

Pantry Potpourri:

The Powerful Savings of Blue Ultra Dawn

One of my favorite, tried and true, pantry must-have products is blue Dawn. Blue Dawn you say? Yes, there are remarkable powers found lurking inside each plastic bottle of this original scented wonder detergent beyond simply cleaning dishes. You may likely have some of this magical dish cleanser in your pantry as we speak. If so, pull it out, dust it off and love it like I do!

Here are just a few things Blue Dawn can do:

1. Eliminates Clothing Oil/Grease Stains: Does your favorite shirt or apron have an old, set-in grease or oil stain that just won't come out? Don't throw it out and spend more money buying new clothes - try blue Dawn! Simply squirt a little blue Dawn on the stain, scrub lightly with a soft toothbrush or fingernail and let set for up to 12 hours and launder. Repeat if necessary, but do not dry until the stain has been fully removed. You may want to test a small, unseen area first on sensitive fabrics to prevent staining. I have tried this many times and found it to work amazingly well for removing a variety of "hopeless" stains!

2. Cleans Carpets: Red Kool-Aid on light colored carpet - impossible to remove you say? NAY!!! I have attempted this feat and been triumphant - no $200 carpet cleaning machine or service required! With this inexpensive trick I transformed my multi-colored carpet back to its' prime. Simply add 7 drops of blue Dawn liquid detergent to 2 cups of warm water. Wet the stained area with a tablespoon of the Dawn solution. Next, place a folded white cotton towel, dampened in the cleaning mixture, over the stain making sure the towel covers the entire surface area of the iron. Set your iron to a medium setting and place on top of the damp towel for approximately 2 minutes (If your iron shuts off after 30 seconds you will have to lift it upright an reapply the iron). The stain will transfer to the white towel! Refold the towel to a clean area each time you reapply the iron. You will have to do this several times to remove all the stain. When the stain transfer stops rinse the entire area and blot out all remaining liquid. Do not leave the iron unattended! Test in a small, unseen area for specialty carpets or for stain concerns.

3. Wonder Bubbles: If you want to make the worlds most amazing bubbles, look no further than the kitchen sink. I have made some truly gigantic bubbles using this simple solution! It will leave your children in amazement!

Here's my favorite bubble recipe from "The Unbelievable Bubble Book", by John Cassidy.

1 clean container
1 cup blue Ultra Dawn
12 cups Water
3-4 tablespoons Glycerine (Found near the pharmacy)

Combine water and blue ultra Dawn. Add glycerine (It makes the bubble stronger by reducing evaporation). Stir, but don't make a "froth" on top as it breaks the bubble solution. Let the solution sit overnight. Additional bubble wands are available at hobby and retail stores for super large-Guinness Record size bubble blowing if desired or make your own with make-your-own bubble wand instructions available online.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Savvy How To: Grocery Shopping Strategies

Savvy How To:
Shop With Savings

My daughter often asks why our storage rooms, with their aisles of organized products, look like a store. I tell her, “Because it is a store - our store!” When I make a meal, I shop from my store first, as it is filled with below-cost and heavily discounted products I've purchased over the past few months. Creating weekly meal lists should focus on products already “in stock” in your pantry first! Preparing a meal with products from your pantry purchased at significantly reduced rates lowers the cost of any meal. Simply use what you already have on hand and supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables for healthy, inexpensive and well-balanced meals. But if you don't have your own personal grocery store or even a well-stocked pantry, there are still many ways to reduce your out-of-pocket costs at the grocery store. While grocery shopping may seem a simple enough task, there are tricks of the trade that can help you fill up your shopping cart without breaking the bank.

Shop the Ads: Before you even walk through the doors of any grocer or retailer you should already know what's on sale. Knowing in advance the best deals available each week enables you to capitalize on savings. The best weekly deals are often found on the front page of a grocer's weekly sale flyer. The products for sale on the front page are typically “loss leaders” - meaning the store is leading you to purchase products at their loss in the hopes you'll fill your shopping cart with other goods as well. Stores might not actually be losing money when they sell an item at a great front-page discount, but these sale items are usually well below shelf price. If you are looking to fill your pantry or make a last-minute meal and you don't have a lot of food storage, start by shopping front page sales for great savings. Don't forget to read the entire ad though, as amazing deals can often be found on the other pages as well.

Shop by Aisle: Ever wonder why your shopping cart ends up filled with products you didn't intend to purchase? It isn't a coincidence! Most grocer and retail store layout designs purposefully lead shoppers past aisles of snack and convenience foods before they can ever make it to the milk and eggs located at the back of the store. If you're looking to shop smarter and healthier, follow the perimeter of your store where you'll find breads, fruits and dairy products. The perimeter is also where you'll find clearance bins in each department full of not-yet-expired products with huge markdowns. Avoid the center aisles when possible, which are stocked with high sugar or costly convenience foods ready to ease that craving. Lastly, watch where you're looking. Many costly brand-name products are stocked at eye level (yours or your children's) for ease of purchase. Make sure you look high and low for the best savings!

Shop Organized: Don't forget to take a shopping list when you head out to the store. Going to the store without a shopping list is just like going to the store hungry - you'll buy more than you need. The aroma of fresh baked bread wafting through the air can obliterate any clear memory of what you came to buy. A shopping list can ground you into the reality of needs versus wants. And make sure you don't forget other essentials like rainchecks, coupons and a calculator.

Shop With Coupons: When you hear of savings like “I got $234 worth of food for only $34”, it's because coupon savings brought down the final purchase price total. Using coupons and shopping smart can enable you to save 50 percent to 80 percent over retail prices at local grocers and retailers. When determining which coupons you should cut out of your Sunday newspaper, determine what products, not necessarily what brands, your family would use if the coupon made a product free, cheap or a family favorite. Most importantly, organize your coupons so they are easily stored and found. Putting things away in the same place every time means you can always find them when you need them again! Consider a three-ring binder filled with clear baseball card holders for easy coupon storage.

Shop by Size: While price-per-ounce comparisons may seem menial and mundane, even seasoned shopping saving veterans (say that 10 times fast) use this tactic. Often, pairing coupons with the smallest sized products makes a better purchase per ounce. Bigger doesn't always mean better savings. Fortunately, many stores readily advertise price-per-ounce costs on shelf tags. Use this information to your advantage for cost-effective shopping.

Watch the Shop: Finally, keep a keen eye on item pricing and coupon scans at checkout. It's not uncommon for products to be keyed incorrectly, overcharging you on your purchase or multiple coupons to stick together, allowing only one to scan. You've worked hard to save money, so make sure your hard work pays off! Listen for the beautiful sound of additional coupons printing out of Catalina machines near the register for cash or manufacturer savings and make sure to save your receipt - you never know when you'll find an in-store rebate for products you've recently purchased!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Savvy How to: Black Friday Shopping Tips

Savvy How To:
Black Friday Survival Guide

In a perfect world all our Christmas shopping would by done by the 4th of July.  But, back in reality, many of us are still scrambling to finalize (or start?) buying holiday gifts for friends and families.  So where can you find spectacular deals on holiday gifting ideas?  Look no further than Black Friday!

The unofficial start of Christmas shopping begins in just a few days with retailers offering doorbuster deals, early bird specials and an array of loss leaders intending to turn customers into energized swarms of shoppers.  Why offer such amazing sale prices to the masses?  Black Friday is the day that retailers hope to go from being in the red to being in the black (making money).

Given the current state of the economy, this years’ shopping frenzy should be staggering to watch.  With retailers opening at 5am or even earlier (some larger retailers have already announced their intent to stay open 24 hours), rabid bargain hunters will begin lining up for deals as early as stores will allow in the hopes of grasping phenomenal savings.

For these significant product savings you may be enticed to brave the crowds this Friday.  Before you fight through the lines, cold and lack of sleep, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Keep Warm:  Every year I imagine I could make an obscene amount of money selling hot chocolate to the desperately frozen faces and red glowing gloveless hands waiting in predawn lines. It will be cold.  It’s always cold!  Stock up on hand warmers, hats, scarves, gloves, an extra pair of socks and a warm coat before you venture out.  Remember, it’s easy to cool down if you’re hot by simply removing a layer or two, but getting warmer is a trickier task!

Be Prepared: Your Thanksgiving day newspaper has all of the best deals and sale information available in a massive bundle of ads.  But, your “want” list should already be typed out!  Don’t be tempted to spend extra money on items you don’t need, simply because they’re on sale.  I mean, how did this economy get where it is anyway?!  Before you fall into a turkey coma, scan the ads for any items that spark your interest and develop your shopping strategy. Many secret sales are even available online in the week before Thanksgiving and select ads can be viewed online at company websites by Wednesday.  While there are multiple Black Friday deal finding websites currently leaking sale data, remember, it is often unofficial and will change before the ad is ever officially released.  The most reliable source for deals is through official retail sale flyers.

Divide and Conquer:  Shopping in groups allows you to cover more ground.  Divide your shopping list among friends or family and split the store into shopping sections to maximize your product purchases.  If there are items at multiple stores, pick which items are most important and shop simultaneously – just be sure to have your cell phone fully charged the night before so you can remain in constant communication!

Limited Stock: Remember, these drastically lower price items will likely be difficult to find.  Retailers often have limited quantities available for each offering and the shopping throngs ahead of you in line may want the same deal too!  Stalk the store the night before Black Friday and layout your shopping run so you'll have the advantage! 

Buy the Wrong Size/Color:  If a store is out of your size or desired color, buy whatever style they have in stock and exchange it later! I have bought XXL jeans that no one wanted only to return them a week or two later for the appropriate size!  Love it! (Just make sure the item is regularly carried at that store and not a special make/model specifically for Black Friday only!)

Cyber Monday:  Black Friday isn’t the only day to shop!  The Monday after Thanksgiving is also known as Cyber Monday.  Online retailers typically offer similar savings to Black Friday sales, but you can shop from the comfort and warmth of your own home!

Stay Home: Camping out in the cold is not always necessary for great savings!  Retailers will be slashing prices until Christmas Day to get your business.  Every weekend from now until then will be filled with sales galore.  There’ll be more deals than money in the bank – guaranteed! After-purchase mail-in rebates, long lines and rising tempers may not be worth the hassle.

But, if you are a shopper addicted to the adrenaline rush of finding that almost elusive deal, make sure to bring your patience and some comfortable shoes to the parking lot.  Keep track of your receipts for refunds, get gift receipts or duplicate receipts as necessary for rebates, stick to your budget and enjoy the ride! 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cooking With Coupons: Slow Cooker Savings

Cooking With Coupons:
Slow Cooker Savings

Set it and forget it! There's nothing better than coming home to the satisfying aroma of a homemade meal wafting through the house, with no additional prep time needed! Using a slow cooker is an easy way to enjoy the great taste of homemade meals! Whether it's ingredients, electricity or your sanity, you can save money, time and headaches using a slow cooker for a variety of meal preparations.

Save Electricity:
Forget about leaving your stove on for hours, heating up the house and running up your bill to cook your family dinner! “A Crock-Pot® slow cooker, only uses approximately 75 watts of electricity on LOW and approximately 150 watts on HIGH. It cooks all day for only a few cents” according to

Save Money:
Buying cheaper-priced cuts of chuck roasts or steaks still gives great flavor without high prices. Often these cuts may be tougher, but long, slow cooking methods easily overcome this dilemma and result in tender, moist and flavor-rich food. Slow-cooker cooking also allows excess broths and fat content to render naturally. You can often replace broth with water in your recipes and do without the addition cost of canned products. If you want to lower the fat content of your meal, remove the skin before cooking. Pre-searing meats also adds roasting flavor to your pot and makes a more attractive presentation.

Waste not, want not is the perfect description for your slow cooker. When vegetables are nearing the end of freshness combine them with leftover roast or chicken broths and meats to create soups and stews. Eliminate food waste by making your meals the endless pot of leftovers revamped!

Shop your pantry. Your cupboards and storage rooms should be your own personal store - stocked with essential ingredients purchased at rock-bottom sale prices! Many slow-cooker meals can easily be created by opening the cupboard and throwing in a few basic ingredients. Start collecting free slow-cooker recipes online or from friends that work with your family's taste and budget. Here's one of my favorite pantry recipes:

Amy's Chicken Chowder - (Fills a 5-quart slow cooker)
4 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
3 1/2 soup cans milk
2 cans corn (drained)
3 cans diced or sliced potatoes (drained)
2 10 oz cans chunk chicken
2 Tbsp Lawry's Perfect Blend Chicken Seasoning (Found at Sam's Club)
1/3 C crumbled bacon
Mix together in slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours until heated through. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese. Serve in Rhodes bread bowls if desired.

Save Time/Sanity:
* Most slow cooker recipes require minimal prep time. “What's for dinner” can be one of the worst phrases in the English language when you've had a busy day. If you're on the go, a slower cooker is your best resource for dinner. Combine all your ingredients at breakfast and have them ready by dinner. It's a no-brainer! Just throw in some frozen chicken breasts and barbeque sauce for a last-minute meal idea that anyone will love, especially you because it cooks itself! Add a green salad or other fresh veggies to your dinner table and voila! - satisfaction!

And remember, slow cookers aren't just for dinner. Use it for breakfast, lunch, and wonderful desserts!

Decadent Chocolate Cake - Adapted from CrockPot Slow Cooker Recipes
1 pkg. Devils Food chocolate cake mix
8 oz sour cream
1  up semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. water
4 eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant chocolate fudge pudding & pie filling mix.

Coat slow cooker with no-stick spray. Combine all ingredients and add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until middle of cake is set (doesn't jiggle). Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Savvy How To: Rebate Savings (Part 3)

Savvy How To: 
Rebate Savings (Part 3)

By now you may have bought into the idea of saving money through rebate and rewards programs. Indeed, the potential for savings with these programs is tremendous. But, to maximize your savings you'll have to get in the game and play smart! Manufacturers and the rebate redemption companies hired to handle the paperwork often look for loopholes to NOT redeem your rebate - it's in their best interest to keep as much money in their pockets as possible. So how do you get the money from their pocket to your wallet? Here are some tips and guidelines if you're going to play the rebate game:

Make Photocopies: Making a copy of your original receipt and rebate form is one of the best ways to ensure payment. You can also ask your cashier for a duplicate receipt at time of purchase and save some toner! Either way, when your rebate is returned unredeemed or simply vanishes in the wind, you'll have the receipt and phone number to verify the transaction.

Read Directions Carefully: Remember those loopholes? Down to the last digit of your phone number and even required address wording on the outside of the envelope - get it right! Be exact in giving these companies what they require or they might give you exactly nothing. Leaving requested information blank is cause for rejection. Product purchase requirements should also be followed to the T. Make sure the barcodes match on your receipt and on the offer form.

Watch Expiration Dates and Prices: Be sure your receipt matches up! There's nothing worse than being a day late and a dollar short on this one. Even $0.01 short of the required purchase price can get your check denied. And, don't forget to find out if coupons are deducted from price requirements. Remember, rebates are frequently offered and promoted before the purchase dates even begin, buying too soon or too late can lead to your downfall.

Organize: If you're planning on playing the rebate game, consider creating a “rebate station.” Dedicate a drawer, hanging letter organizer or binder with everything you'll need to utilize rebates including stamps, envelopes, highlighters to circle purchased products, scissors to cut UPCs and a place to neatly save forms and receipts.

If your track record on requesting rebates isn't great, consider the price of products without including rebate or rewards programs when making purchase decisions. But, for optimal savings, taking advantage of these rebates can definitely prove beneficial to your pocketbook.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Savvy How To: Rebate Savings (Part 2)

Savvy How To: 
The Rewards of Rebates (Part 2)

Grocer, retailer and manufacturer rebates are programs used to entice customers to buy merchandise at deep discounts. However, according to 40 percent to 60 percent of all rebates go unredeemed. Often, consumer purchases hinge on the idea of buying a product and in return getting some or all of their out-of-pocket expense back in hand. Yet millions of dollars in rebates are never even redeemed. So how do you make rebates work for you and get the most money from your purchase?

In order to truly save money playing the rebate game you'll need to understand the various types of rebates available.

Mail-In Rebates: These rebates account for the majority of rebates available in today's market. Redemption requires saving original receipts, cutting out product UPCs and filling out the fine print of rebate forms. Often times these rebate forms are available in-store, printed in coupon insert booklets or even available for download from your computer. Most forms of rebates, including mail-in offers, are a limit of one per household/address.

TMF, Cash Back Offers: Try Me FREE rebates are usually found as hangtag or peelie coupon offers attached to products in the store. While using coupons up front may lower the initial purchase price of these products, rebates typically deduct these savings from your rebate check. A form of mail-in rebates, TMF offers consumers the actual product purchase price, not including tax. This type of offer usually has the longest expiration date for mail-in completion.

Beer Rebates: A popular form of tearpad rebates found in-store are aptly named Beer Rebates. These rebates are literally found in the beer aisle of your local grocer or retailer. Offered by beer companies, these rebates can provide significant savings on a variety of foods and products available at most stores, and often regardless of brand. Several states, including Utah, limit beer companies by not requiring the purchase of alcohol for rebate redemption. Simply fill out the form, attach your receipt and lick the stamp! These rebates are a limit of one per household and do not typically require UPC barcodes be attached. If you're having trouble finding these forms, ask your butcher or even customer service for beer rebates that are currently available.

Online Rebates: Many retailers and manufacturers offer online rebate programs. Redemption policies vary, but often require logging in to manufacturer Web sites to enter a variety of receipt data to verify purchase. These are the simplest form of rebate as no UPC or forms are required - enter the requested information and get your money back relatively quickly. Another benefit of this type of program is that coupons can often be used in combination with these savings to reduce out-of-pocket expense with consumers benefiting from the extra windfall in savings. Predetermined rebate dollar amounts do not take coupons into account thus giving customers the full rebate offer regardless of additional savings.

If you're enticed by these money-saving rebates, be prepared to jump through a few hoops. The savings are significant but the redemption requirements can be as well. So, before you buy into these programs, you'll need to make sure it's worth the time and even the relatively small amount of money out of pocket for tax and postage.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Savvy How To: Rebate Savings (Part 1)

 Savvy How To: 
The Rewards of Rebates (Part 1)

Ahh, rebates and rewards - we love them and hate them all at the same time! It's oh so tempting to buy an advertised product when there is a rebate or reward incentive included in the price. And, while the theory of rebates is relatively simple: buy a product and in return get some of your out-of-pocket expense back, it's often trickier than it may appear. So how do you make rebates and rewards work for you and get the most money from your purchase?

In order to truly save money playing the rebate game, you'll need to understand the various types of rebates and rewards available. One form of rebate-style rewards can be found at the checkout counter. These reward programs like Catalinas and Register Rewards can often be lucrative in savings and even get you FREE products.

What is a Catalina? Yes, it is a kind of salad dressing, but it's also a form of an unadvertised checkout “reward rebate” coupon available at select grocers and retailers. These are typically manufacturer coupons that print out from a Catalina machine by the checkout register near the end of or after your purchase. When you buy a predetermined product or combination of products, the Catalina is triggered and prints out coupons. This predetermination is made by either manufacturers wanting you to buy their product or by the stores, tracking past purchases.

For example, if you always buy a specific brand of baby formula, a formula company competitor may offer a high value coupon in the hopes you would switch to their brand. Likewise, the store where you buy your formula might offer you a store brand coupon for the same reason. Catalina coupons are also associated with a wide variety of everyday products as an additional incentive for shoppers to purchase and save!

Many shoppers tend to throw all forms of Catalina coupons in the trash as soon as they print or just simply leave them at the register. Don't do it! These seemingly worthless scraps of paper are actually worth significantly more than you might assume.

Catalina Coupons Can Be:

1. A manufacturer's coupon similar to a coupon you would find in the Sunday newspaper. Using these coupons can greatly increase your purchase savings. Remember, these coupons can only typically be used at the store where the coupon actually printed. And, don't confuse these coupons with store coupons, as they cannot be used in combination with a Sunday insert coupon. Stores limit shoppers to one manufacturer coupon per product.

2. A cash coupon - for example a $5 coupon, good on your next shopping order - used just like cash. These coupons can be used on your next purchase of almost anything you want to buy (some exclusions may apply). Most Catalina cash coupons expire within two to four weeks of being issued.

3. A preview of a reward coupon that is up coming. This coupon gives dates, dollar amounts and product purchase specifics for an upcoming Catalina coupon promotion.

What are Register Rewards?: Register Rewards, a Walgreens rewards program, are very similar in relationship to Catalina Coupons. These coupon offers are not issued because of in-store savings card purchase tracking, but are similarly printed out when you buy a required number of pre-selected products. 

So how do you really make your rewards rewarding? Catalina and rewards type savings are good for use on future purchases. To fully extend your savings, those reward dollars should be stacked with additional "on sale" savings promotions. You're not really saving money if you use these cash coupons to buy items at regular retail prices. Significant savings are common with this type of in-store promotion if you spend your rewards wisely. Learning individual store redemption policies is also a must before jumping on these savings. Rewards can truly be rewarding in greatly extending your grocery budget when you make these programs work to their full potential.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Savvy How To: Warehouse Savings (Part 2)

 Savvy How To: 
Warehouse Shopping (Part 2)

There are many great buys to be found at wholesale/warehouse clubs. However, if you are expecting a significant discount on all offerings found there, be warned that those buckets, boxes and barrels of food may be deceiving. Last week I talked about some good buys, but here is a list of a few goodbye items I leave off my shopping list.


Cereal: Cereal is first on this list for a reason. Those 2- to 3-pound boxes of cereal may seem like a great way to stock up on your children's breakfast of choice, but you'll pay for it in the end. Simply watching sale ads at local grocers and retailers will regularly buy the most important meal of the day for a lot less money. Not only will store sales make this buy a goodbye at club stores, but add coupons into the mix and we're talking 70-80 percent savings overall! Coupon heavy items (items for which you can often find high-dollar value coupons in your Sunday newspaper) should be left out of your shopping cart at these stores.

Meat: While quality is top notch at these locations, prices usually aren't. Watch for seasonal meat sales at local grocers and stock your freezer while meat is at the lowest prices. You'll still get great quality but at a fraction of the price! Make sure if you intend to purchase bulk meats that you know how to properly store it all. Freezer bagging, sealing or having your butcher freezer wrap your meat for free (not available at warehouse locations) is a must!

Canned Goods: Can the canned goods, as you can get these items at local grocers and retailers at significantly lower prices if you watch sale fliers. Case Lot sales are an especially great way to save money on canned good purchases. Case Lot sales allow you to buy bulk goods at discounted rates. When you buy more than one of any given sale item, you begin to fill your pantry with a variety of goods for future use at that same discounted rate.

Paper Products: Toilet paper and paper towels aren't regularly found at “on-sale” prices in warehouse locations. If you're stocking up on 500 forks or Ziploc baggies using an in-store “Passport of Savings” type coupon then you may have found a deal. But, in general, paper goods are one of the trickiest purchases in warehouse stores. You'll need a calculator to determine price per roll or cup on this one. Know your price points first (the price you're willing to pay for products) before you stock up in this department.

Snack Foods: If you need a sugar fix, these stores should be at the top of your list. The 3 lb bags of Swedish Fish will satisfy any sweet tooth. But, have you ever noticed that those oversized bags of candy, snacks and chips disappear just as fast as the regular-sized bags? We'd all like to think we can stop at one handful, but even manufacturers know you can't eat just one of anything. Once that bag or box has been opened rationing has gone out the window. As another coupon heavy item, buy these treats in smaller boxes at lower prices and you'll find the portion control and savings a lot easier to swallow.

Unfamiliar Products/Brands: I always encourage bulk buys in an effort to save money, but buying brands or products you are unfamiliar with is risky business! That No. 10 can of soup mix that's new to your family could turn out to be a major flop. If no one will eat it, you've likely just wasted $10-$15. If you want to try a new product, think small. Buying these products in smaller package sizes reduces your financial loss when the kids turn up their noses.

If you're a club store fanatic and find the thrill of the hunt a habit too addicting to break, take stock of what you're buying. Make sure you use in-store coupons and watch for store price tag codes like “C” or prices that end with a penny at Sam's club or prices ending in $0.97 at Costco or with a * for discontinued items that may be offered at a deeper discount.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Savvy How To: Warehouse Savings (Part 1)

Savvy How To:
Warehouse Shopping (Part 1)

Saving money at warehouse/wholesale clubs like Costco or Sam's Club is another way shoppers can stretch grocery budgets. However, just because you can buy products in 25-pound increments doesn't mean you're always getting the best deal. And don't forget to add on that yearly membership fee. Memberships at one of these clubs can range from $50 to $100.

While many items are a good buy and definitely high quality, saving money at these clubs requires some skill in knowing what really is worth the money. I've heard many shoppers proclaim that they can't get out of these stores without spending at least $200 or more, so my first suggestion is to take a shopping list. Going to the store without a shopping list is akin to going to the store hungry: You always buy more than you needed or intended.

It's all too easy to be awed by the enormous wall of big-ticket items prominently displayed as you enter this concrete jungle. There is a reason why candy is next to the register and end caps. They're hoping you'll pick up one or two extra items you hadn't even realized you needed. The amount of snack food going out of these stores can be visually overwhelming at times. Also, if you're buying so much product that it expires before you can use it, then you're wasting money!

That's not to say there aren't great deals available at stores like Costco or Sam's Club. If you arm yourself with a steely resolve and a little price point know-how before you go, you can get some great deals.

Here are my “good buy” items, and next week I'll list my “goodbye” items:

Good buys

Dairy: Cheese, cheese sticks, milk, eggs and butter are just a few of the great dairy buys at wholesale clubs. Most dairy product prices are regularly lower than mainstream grocers and retailers.

Flowers: An odd one you might say. The prices and quality of flowers at wholesale clubs rival traditional florists. Most locations have the added advantage of selling flowers prepackaged and semi-arranged so you can simply drop them in the vase when you get home.

Gas: Watch your pumps everyone! One of the best and cheapest places to buy gas is at your local wholesale pump station. Because these in-house gas stations go through tremendous amounts of gasoline they are constantly re-ordering to keep up their supply. That usually means huge fuel discounts for stores and those savings trickle down to consumers.

Prescription/Nonprescription Drugs: Warehouse pricing on prescription and over-the-counter drugs often saves 40 percent to 50 percent over retail pharmacies. Just remember: That bottle of 1,000 Tylenol or the jumbo 2 pack of Neosporin do have expiration dates, so make sure your mega medicine purchase can be used before the product expires.

Electronics: While I'm far from an electronics guru, my own personal searches for prices on HDTVs, iPods, SD cards and even ink cartridges and other electronic fare have readily found prices at their lowest in warehouse clubs. That's doesn't mean you can't find lower prices available with the help of the Internet or holiday door busters, but spending hours of hunting likely won't save you too much overall. There is something to be said for the convenience of overall year-round low prices.

There are many great buys from wholesale vendors, but next week I'll let you know my “goodbye” products, items I leave off my club shopping list.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Savvy How To: Coupon Finds

Savvy How To:
Coupon Savings

Shoppers who use coupons and avidly watch sale promotions can save 50-80 percent over retail prices on a weekly basis at grocer and retailer locations nationwide. Shoppers find that using coupons enables them to get more bang for their buck at the store. In fact, savings can skyrocket when using these clipped coupons.

The majority of all coupons redeemed weekly come from Sunday newspaper inserts. There are three different inserts available to newspaper subscribers: Smart Source, Proctor & Gamble and Redplum. Each insert, or booklet as some call them, offer coupons from a variety of national or local manufacturers as a way to offer incentives for product trials or reward loyal consumers.

“Overall, 1.6 billion coupons were redeemed in the first half of 2009.” said Todd Hale, senior vice president of consumer and shopping insights for Nielsen. “More consumers are looking for value and lower prices as retailers and manufacturers are distributing more coupons and making it easier for consumers.”  It's clear from redemption statistics that shoppers are looking to coupons as a way to stretch their budget dollars further than ever before in the current economy.

Newspapers are adding to the savings as well. Multiple Sunday newspaper subscriptions are now being offered at great discounts, which enables bulk shopping with the added convenience of one-trip shopping. With coupon redemption values averaging $200 per newspaper each week, multiple copy subscription savings far outweigh delivery costs. Coupons are delivered to your front door with hundreds of dollars in savings waiting to be clipped and redeemed on your next shopping trip.

Other resources for coupon finds are also available in today's market. Online printable coupons are a great addition to your newspaper subscription and are readily accessible. Websites like offer tremendous value and convenience in at-home coupon printing. First-time users will need to download a coupon printer in order to gain access to these coupons. It's free, safe and easy to use. It does not install any form of spyware or adware or collect any personal information about you. As a general rule, printable coupon websites allow you to print only two like-coupons per offering, but do refresh coupon offers on a monthly basis.

Online printable coupons are also available from many manufacturer Web sites, as well as social media outlets like Facebook. Becoming a “fan” often has its advantages. Facebook manufacturer sites regularly offer registered fans targeted coupons and other promotions for customer loyalty. Not sure if a brand/product you love has a Facebook page? After registering for your own Facebook account, visit and search for a link by keyword or brand name, then reap the savings.

Another avenue for coupon savings can be found in store shopper card downloadable coupons. Websites like,, and Kroger affiliated grocery store websites like Smiths, Kroger and Fred Meyer offer users coupons that can be downloaded onto participating grocer in-store savings cards. Once you've registered your savings card number, simply load coupons from a pre-selected list, targeted by ZIP code, for desired products. With the swipe of your card, the coupons are deducted from your purchase total.

Adding coupons to your savings repertoire greatly enhances your ability to save time and money at grocers and retailers on a weekly basis.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Savvy How To: Beauty School Savings

Savvy How To:
Saving With Style

Before you run to the salon for a new cut, style or color, check out your local beauty college for great savings with style!

It's one of those wear-a-hat days and all the hairspray, gels and creams you've tried just seem to make things worse! Your haircut is overgrown, streaking colors like a chameleon and split at the ends like the tines of a fork. So what can you do that will leave you feeling beautiful but not broke? Before you run to the salon for a new cut, style or color, why not check out your local beauty college?

Venturing off to your local beauty school can save a significant amount of money over traditional salons. Beauty schools are staffed by students, supervised by licensed instructors, who can perform almost any beauty service offered elsewhere, such as hair cuts and colors, weaves, facials, manicures, pedicures and more, and at great discounts.

Savings can be upwards of 60 percent over traditional salons, says Jan Barker, owner of American Beauty Academy in Payson. “Many salons offer a haircut for $22 and ours is only $8.” In addition to having a student work on your hair, you get the instructor as well. All work performed is checked and graded, which obviously encourages students to do their very best work. But, if you still aren't satisfied with your service, any touch-up work can be done by the supervisor.

Some schools, like American Beauty Academy, provide even more ways to save on beauty treatments by offering half-off coupons by mail or online for select services. Many also offer discounts to seniors and students, while some offer select savings on specific days of the week, such as $5 hair cut Fridays. Make sure you call your local school and ask what additional discounts are offered before you go so you can get the most beauty for your buck.

There's also the option of a do-it-yourself job for many salon services. Home hair coloring products are more affordable than ever and come with easy-to-follow instructions. However, picking the right shade to suit your skin tone and current color can sometimes get tricky. There are myriad colors, glazes and shines to enhance your locks, but there is nothing like color gone bad.

“Getting the wrong color from the store costs a lot more in the long run when you have to pay for a color correction” says American Beauty Academy's Barker. If you're new to the color game, start with temporary or semi-permanent hair color, as they are generally free of harmful peroxide and ammonia and be sure to check the expiration date on the box. Ask your stylist to recommend a shade that would look best or even a preferred brand for the home user. They're more than happy to help you do what's best for your hair in any situation. Most manufacturers provide a toll-free help line if you run into a snag at home.

You can also extend the life of your color by using quality shampoo and conditioning products readily available at mass retailers. Most stores now offer salon quality products at a fraction of the prices of a salon. Watching for “buy one get one free” sales and pairing coupons with store discounts can add up to great beauty savings.

And what's the “best bargain of the century?” says Jan. When you're having a bad hair day and are short on time and money go get a shampoo and style for about $6 at your local beauty school. “If it makes you feel a hundred bucks better it's worth the $6”!

Beauty school treatments definitely won’t break the bank.  If you’re considering getting your next cut or style from one of these schools, talk to other patrons that have been there. If someone you know got a great cut, get the name of the student that performed it or ask when scheduling your appointment for a senior student with lots of experience on specialty services. If you’re looking to get to the root of great savings visit your local college and get salon pampered at beauty school prices.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Savvy How To: Food Storage Solutions

 Savvy How To: 
Creative Solutions for Food Storage Clutter

Food storage is definitely an important part of investing in your future. But for many, storage options may have them bursting at the seams. Storing and organizing your food in small spaces may seem overwhelming and maybe even impossible. However, finding room to keep yourself organized in limited spaces can be simple, though it does require a little planning and some elbow grease. Beyond traditional shelves and cupboards, there are many creative and efficient options for food storage. I asked my readers for their suggestions on how to creatively store food and here are a few of their ideas:

Make Food Furniture: Yes, you read that right. Why not turn your boxes, cans and crates into furniture that serves double duty? Jan Barker of Payson suggests: “How about putting a round piece of wood on top of a stack of boxes or buckets and a round tablecloth on top of that to create an end table or nightstand?– Try filling hinged ottomans with a case of corn or beans. Or what about covering a small shelving unit with fabric and topping it with glass for an instant vanity table, says Riana Jasperson of Santaquin. It's easy to disguise self-rotating can units with a little fabric and wood. One click in the World Wide Web provides a plethora of detailed plans to custom build your own “cloaked” shelving unit. Or take an even easier route and use extra #10 cans as support for plywood shelves. Furniture solutions are a do-it-yourselfer's dream and certainly an inexpensive alternative.

Closets Aren't Just For Coats: You may have an unused coat closet or even “dead space” overhead just waiting for shelving, says Sadie Cunningham from Mona. Years ago, in my small-town home in Southern California, I didn't even have a coat closet. I had to get creative! I utilized the space under the stairs in one of those weirdly misshaped angled closets by simply installing a hanging rod for coats and a series of shelves just above the rod. I filled the shelves with “vacuum saver” type bags full of blankets and pillows and even created ample space for a family game shelf. Small shoe organizers and bookshelves readily purchased at hardware and retail stores lined the angular walls to provide extra storage. Stacey Johnson of Cumming, Ga., didn't waste space here, either! She installed shelving and even “cut a hole in the drywall at the back under the stair's landing and framed the hole.” Hanging a no-sew curtain with a shower rod can easily hide storage items, not to mention it also adds a “cute dimension,” Johnson says. You can also utilize closet doors for additional storage. “I use shoe storage organizers (the ones that hang behind doors), Ale Wortmann of Springville says.

Bedroom Follies: Under the bed is a treasure trove of space waiting to be filled by things other than dirty socks and broken toys. You can raise your bed to new levels by adding bed risers that can increase storage space by 12 inches or more. Use an extra long bed skirt to cover your secret stash! Once you've created space, use “under the bed storage containers, fill them up and just slide them under all the beds in the house” says Julie Taggart of Pleasant Grove. Taggart even organizes her bathrooms this way. Using shoe-size clear containers she stacks and organizes personal hygiene items under the bathroom vanity. “Buy one for toothpaste, another for deodorant, another for razors, etc.– You can stack them a few high, using what is normally wasted space.

Don't let the lack of square footage deter you. Being prepared and getting organized will pay off when you're eating food today at last year's prices!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Two Cents: Food Insurance

My Two Cents:  
Food Storage, an investment for the future!

I've always thought of my food storage as insurance. We all pay for car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, etc. So why not starvation insurance?

OK, sounds a little drastic I know, but investing in the physical well being of our families is just as important, yes, even more important than protecting any other belonging! In Jean De La Fontaine's 17th century version of the fabled grasshopper and the ant, an idle grasshopper squanders valuable time instead of preparing for the winter and undoubted storms of life. The provident ant, however, foresees the need to prepare and stores away a little food here and there as protection for harsher times. Of course, when winter is finally upon them, the grasshopper is woefully unprepared and left begging for sustenance from the ant's abundant storage of food. So, the ant pulls a few No. 10 cans of dehydrated corn off her self-rotating shelving system and cheerfully shares with her vulnerable insect friend. Oh wait, maybe that last bit wasn't quite part of the story. The grasshopper might have had to sing for her supper, but what if the ant hadn't stored any food either? Malnourished and faint they're both tongue-slapped by a fortuitous amphibian?

Food storage is an important part of investing in your future, not just physically, but also monetarily. Eating food today at last year's prices can often provide a significantly larger return on the money you invested to buy it than even IRAs, 401ks and money market accounts. With the cost of food increasing daily, shoppers must think today about what to buy for tomorrow. But, before you run to the store and clear the shelves, first you must assess your family's needs, determine storage options and create a spending plan.

What to buy, what to buy? There's obviously the basics like sugar, flour, salt, rice and wheat, to name a few. But how would your family do if they had to do without the meals they currently enjoy? In addition to storing the basics of sustainable life you should also purchase and store what you already eat. Make a list of family-favorite meals or snacks and separate them into ingredient and quantity lists. If you eat each meal once a week for example, simply add the quantities required to prepare each meal and multiply by 13, 26 or 52 and you'll know how much you'd need to store to eat it once a week for 3 months to a year!

But, before you buy 52 cans of family-sized soup, you should ask yourself, “Where do I store all this stuff, and once I buy it how do I rotate it?” It's great that you're thinking ahead and filling your pantry, but buying more than you need or have room to store doesn't work. If you're home or apartment doesn't give way to larger storage areas, make good use of closets, cupboards and even under the bed.

Get creative! Re-purpose household objects, like using a hanging cloth shoe organizer for spice storage and hang it on your pantry door. But don't buy more than your family can use before a product expires. Everything goes bad at some point. Letting food expire in the pantry is not only wasteful it's also very costly! Finally, develop a system for rotation, (I use the “stock new on the left, pull to use from the right” method), to keep old food from hiding on the back of your shelves waiting for the right time to bulge and explode.

So, now you need to allocate the funds to start building up your supplies. Don't think you can afford to start? How can you not! The good news is it has never cost so little to buy so much! You can easily cut your grocery bills in half or more by simply watching sales and matching coupons to those sales when possible.

Stocking up when prices are low saves you money when prices rise. But what if you don't know what a good deal is when you see it? I'll tell you in a weekly newsletter where you can find the BEST GROCERY DEALS in Utah County! The cost? Zilch, Nada, Zero ? It's FREE! To sign up for these free emails and for more ideas on how to make saving money easy, visit, Utah's BEST source for savings!
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