How to Save Money on Food, Without Coupons!

I pride myself on being pretty thrifty. I shop around for good deals before making most purchases. I detest paying full price for anything. To me, bargain hunting is like a fine art. I love finding awesome deals and spending less than others for the exact same item. Today, I want to share with you one of the ways I save money at the grocery sure- even if I don’t have any coupons!

There are a few ways to save money on groceries, coupons are one of the most popular. I do not cut out as many coupons as I used to (bad mommy!), but I try to as often as I can. Remember to use your coupons when the item is on sale-and stock up on that item if you are able to. Rebates are another way to save, although they are not always available. Store rewards are very useful, many markets have a card that you swipe for extra savings. Of course, sales are a great way to save too. But I’m not talking about any of these ways to save, I’m talking about Red Tags!

Every store has an area devoted to items the store is trying to get rid of. Maybe they have too much of an item, maybe it’s a seasonal product, or close to the expiration date; whatever the reason-the price has been drastically reduced! Here’s a few items I picked up yesterday, at Safeway:

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All of these products were marked 50% off! I’m talking name brand items here. Some are even organic! Brands like, Quaker, Kellogg’s, Del Monte, Glory Foods, Muir Glen Organic & Nature’s Path Organic. None of these items were anywhere near their expiration dates. The cereal boxes were a little bent up, SO WHAT?! The product inside is still intact. I don’t think the turnip greens were selling very well, so they were marked down to move them. The can of corn was bent, some people won’t buy bent cans- I’m not some people! There were tons of Quaker Chewy’s marked down and they were all chocolate chip flavored… maybe it’s not a very good seller? For whatever reason-all these items were marked down and I took full advantage of it & stocked up. Imagine if I’d had coupons for this stuff too? I did have one for the Quaker products ($1 off of 2). I visit the 50% off racks every time I shop at Safeway, without fail. If you have been walking past the 50% off rack at your grocery store, you have been passing up huge savings!

But what about other items, like dairy & meat? It’s not often that you find coupons for these two products, although they are out there from time to time. Never fear, Mommy Powers is here! You can find milk marked down too! I find it all the time, it is usually close to the “buy by” date. “Buy by” is not the same as “Use by”… so don’t get the two confused. If it says “Buy by” and the date is 5 days away, by all means, snatch it up! I am a milk freak! I buy four gallons a week- 2 fat-free, for me & 2 whole, for the rest of the family. I love milk and have no problem drinking it all down before the “buy by” date! Milk is usually marked 25% off. That brings us to meat and my next photo:

SONY DSCYes, you are seeing that correctly, 30% & 50% off on meat! There is a clearance section in the meat department, did you know that? Lots of times I will not buy any meat unless it’s in the clearance section, it’s just so expensive! Most of the marked down meat is a couple days shy of the “Sell by” date. As long as the meat is still nice and red, and looks good, I buy it! It usually goes right into the freezer when I get home, unless I am going to prepare it that night. Keep it in the freezer, until you are ready to cook it.

SONY DSCThis is the good stuff! Do you know how expensive lamb is? They had three of these available and you know what? I bought all three! Here’s the original sticker price:

SONY DSC You see that price? $17.14… I paid half of that! On all three! So you see, there are ways to save at the grocery store, without coupons! I hope I have helped you- what ways do you save money at the store? I’d love to hear your tips!

Pee On The Toilet Seat & More Pet Peeves!

Before I get started, I need to say something, I LOVE BEING A MOM! Yes, I’m shouting! I just wanted to make sure we were all clear about that. I love my children, they are a blessing from God, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. But… (you knew that was coming, right?!) they can do some things that irritate me to no end. Little things mostly, I’m not even talking about the obvious things, like not listening to me, fighting like cats & dogs with each other and farting at inappropriate times (they’re boys, remember?!).

Nah, these are the little things that I deal with on a daily basis… I pulled out the camera this morning to snap  a few visual aids for you.

Exhibit A:   1 contorted tube of toothpaste!

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Does this look familiar? Every day I say the same thing: “Squeeze the tube from the bottom,” and every day this is what I find.

Exhibit B: Crayon “art” on the walls.

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Yes, I gave birth to a little Picasso! This masterpiece is rather small & hidden away, so I have left it alone. It upset me at first, but then the more I looked at it, the more I thought it was sweet… I’m a big softie! I will eventually clean it off the wall… but for now-it stays!

Exhibit C, on the other hand, has got to go. I woke up to find this on little man’s bedroom door!SONY DSC It’s a warning to his brother to stay out of his room, written in washable ink… I hope! Thank goodness he’s too little to know how to spell any more words, or this could have been much worse! lol!

Exhibit D: Mystery spills on the carpet!

SONY DSC I don’t know what this is, or why there’s just one drop of it… but it won’t come up… sigh.

Exhibit E: The one I cannot stand the most, the one that drives me crazy every single day of my life (living in a house full of boys, there’s no escape!) PEE ON THE TOILET! (yes, I’m shouting again!) And not flushing the toilet!! Flush your pee children! (I went into the bathroom right after the little one emerged from it to snap this pic!)

SONY DSCAll day long, every day of the year, I am constantly cleaning pee off the toilet seat… off the floor by the toilet… you name it, and if it’s in the bathroom, there might very well be pee on it! (not really, but you know what I mean!) It’s disgusting! The little one is the main culprit, I’ve watched him in action. “Aim into the toilet,” I say. “Point it down, into the water,” I advise. “But it’s too strong, it’s stronger than my hand and I can’t control it,” is the answer I receive! And so it goes…

What are some of your pet peeves as a mom?

PS- The pee drops are no longer on the toilet. After I took the photo above, I flushed the toilet and then brought out my trusty bottle of Soft Scrub and cleaned it all up…like I normally do…several times a day! Just an FYI! Don’t want y’all thinking I left it dirty! (hey, ‘ya never know!)

What I Do When My Child Won’t Stop Scratching! {TriCalm} GIVEAWAY!

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A couple of months ago, Moms Meet, asked me to try a new product- TriCalm. It’s a gel that offers relief from burning, itching & stinging caused by allergic reactions, bug bites, hives, sunburn, rashes, poison ivy and other skin ailments. As a mom with young children, I’m all for trying a new product to help with the itchies!

I’ve tried other products for itching skin before, like the pink one, that always gets all over the furniture and the kid’s clothes! One of the first things I noticed about TriCalm is that it’s clear, that’s a big plus! I no longer have to worry about it getting everywhere when I use it. It’s very light, not thick and dries quickly. The next thing I did was smell it. The fragrance is pleasant, not at all strong & actually fades when the product dries. So far, so good! The last thing I wanted to know… was it sticky? To my surprise, it wasn’t! Ding! Ding? Ding! We have a winner! But would it work?

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TriCalm’s formula contains something called COSMEDERM-7, a compound of strontium, that is a naturally occurring element found in green, leafy veggies. TriCalm is a steroid-free hydrogel. It’s safe to use daily on children and adults, it’s even FDA-approved! It does not numb the area (which can totally freak out little ones!), and works on contact-providing quick itch relief from bug bites to sunburn. It may also help relieve dry skin and eczema related symptoms. You do not have to worry about sun sensitivity when using TriCalm.

Every winter, I get dry, itchy, skin and boy was I glad I had a tube of TriCalm near by. One night the itching was so intense, I thought I was losing my mind. I remembered my TriCalm and applied it to my leg. Almost immediately, the itching subsided. It also worked on my little one. He had a scab that was itching him, so we used the TriCalm & he was able to get back to playing without being bothered with the itchies!

Overall, I am very pleased with my sample of TriCalm and will be buying some to keep in the medicine cabinet. Guess what? TriCalm wants YOU to be able to try their product also! I will be giving away 2 full size (2 oz) tubes of TriCalm- that’s right, there will be TWO winners! Before I get to the giveaway, why don’t you visit their FB page here, and show them a little love. Thanks!

This giveaway is open to US residents only, must be 18 or older to enter. All prizes will be shipped to the winners directly from TriCalm, not Mommy Powers.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.**

It’s Time To Come Clean & I Need Your Help! {The Birth Of The Jane Doe Project}

I have been thinking about something for quite some time now & I believe the time has come for me to go through with it. Many of us have been through really bad things… horrific stuff. Some of us have endured abuse, addictions, unimaginable pain. Many of us have suffered in silence. Why? Because we have been too scared, embarrassed, and humiliated to share our experiences with anyone else. Trust me, I understand.

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It’s time we stood up and told our stories. There are women out there that need to hear what we have to say. I’ll go one step further, and say there are men out there that need to hear it too. Our stories are powerful-they have the ability to help so many. I know you would love to share your story with the world- if only you could do so without anyone knowing it was you, right?

There are things that we do not want our loved ones, family member, coworkers, and neighbors to know about. That’s where the Jane Doe Project comes in. If you have a story to tell, please contact me. You can use my blog as a platform to share your story and no one will ever know who you are. Every person that shares their story will be known as: Jane Doe. The only person that will know your identity will be me- and I will not divulge it to anyone-ever!

How many people could you touch by sharing your story? How many people could be healed by your tears, pain and scars? I will be sharing some of my own struggles too, but you will never now it’s me, because I too, will be known as Jane Doe.

If there are any men out there that want to participate in this, I welcome you with open arms, you will be our John Doe. Together, we can all heal and help so many people in the process. What do you need to share with us today?!

 

Shot@Life Campaign, Help Me Save Children’s Lives!

I’m writing you today to share a cause that is very near and dear to me. My family has been impacted by disease. Horrible diseases that there were once no vaccines for. I never got to meet my maternal Grandmother. She passed away when my mom was just 5 years old, of Tuberculosis. My uncle contracted Polio when he was a baby. He has lived his entire life in pain. He was one of the “lucky” ones, he survived.

Tuberculosis…Polio…something we really don’t give much thought to today. Not here in the U.S. anyways. But outside of our borders, children are dying everyday. They are dying from diseases like Polio and Tuberculosis, Rotavirus and others. Diseases that we have vaccines for.

I have experienced the loss of a child, through miscarriage…twice actually. One very early in my pregancy & the other at 16 weeks gestation. No mother should ever lose a child. And certainly no mother should ever lose a child to a preventable disease.

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Every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease… every 20 secondsShot@Life travels the world, providing vaccines to people that need them most. Every child matters, no matter where they live.

$50 provides vaccines for 50 children! You can save 50 lives for just $50, isn’t that amazing.

I was just named a Shot@Life Champion, my number one goal is to get the word out about the work they are doing. Please visit Shot@Life.org to learn more. Very soon, I will be going to Washington, DC for training with Shot@Life . I want to be able to present them with a check while I am there.

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Please help me save lives! Donate & share this campaign with everyone you know!  $1, $5, $10 …Every little bit helps.  You can donate to my Shot@Life campaign here.

Thank you! :)

Growing Up Biracial

I have been seeing a lot of talk out on the web about raising biracial children, there are even a few great blogs devoted to the topic. This got me to wondering… should I post about growing up biracial?! I think so!

As I have mentioned in the past-my mother is Mexican American & my father is Caucasian. I was raised knowing that I am mixed- it was no big deal to me. I took after my mom in the looks department: dark hair, dark eyes. My sibling has blue eyes and more Caucasian features. When I was little, I used to tan very easily and always had a dark tan every summer.

My friends in school all knew I was mixed, because I made a point of telling them. I can remember being in middle school, (Art class) and my classmates were having a discussion about something, I don’t remember what…and one of my “white” friends turned to me and asked, “What do you Mexicans think about that?” I looked at her and said, “I’m not Mexican, I’m 1/2 Mexican & 1/2 White, my dad’s white, just like yours.” She quickly apologized and said, “Oh yeah, I forgot.”

You see, all the White kids thought I was Mexican, because of my darker features. But all my Mexican friends thought I was White, because my features were not as dark as theirs!

Then there was the time one of my Mexican friends referred to me as “Honky” (It was the late 70′s, ok?). There were about three other girls around us, it was before school one morning. They all started to laugh. I reminded her that I was 1/2 White & 1/2 Mexican, saying “My mom’s Mexican, just like yours.” That shut her up real quick.

Looking back, I can see how her comment could have had the opposite effect on me. Had my mom not continually told me that I was 1/2 White & 1/2 Mexican, I might have been really upset by that girl’s comment. I do believe that would be considered bullying today. Her comment did not hurt me or upset me. I took it in stride. I knew what I was, who I was, and I was comfortable in my own skin. I am thankful that my mom had reinforced that in me. If she hadn’t, I might have run off the playground that morning in tears.

Along the same lines, I never felt like I had to choose one ethnicity over the other. I know some mixed people feel like they have to claim one race… Alicia Keys is mixed, but says she’s Black, for example. That’s fine if that’s what works for her. I am proud of my mixed heritage. Growing up I felt like I had the best of both worlds. I had Aunts & Uncles & Tias & Tios. During the holidays, I ate Chicken & Dumplings and Tamales & Pan Dulce! I actually felt sorry for the kids that were just one race, I felt like they were missing out on so much!

In school, when we had to fill out all those forms at the beginning of the school year…you know the ones, “Mark an X in the box that describes your race” yeah, that one… I always filled in 2 boxes- White and Latino. One time, my English teacher told me, “Um, you can only mark one box.” To which I replied, “No, I can’t! I’m White and Mexican, not one or the other, I’m both!” She did not say anything else.

To this day, I tell everyone (my friends, not strangers on the street!) that I am mixed. I am also raising my kids to be proud of their racial identity… they get to add African American (Black) to the mix. How cool is that?!

My advice to anyone raising mixed children? Make sure you teach them who they are, reinforce it every chance you get. Make sure they know beyond a shadow of a doubt who they are, what they are mixed with. Don’t force them to choose one race over another. If they know who they are, then hopefully if they ever encounter a bully (like I did in elementary school) they will be prepared and able to brush it off… or better yet, educate the bully and those around them!

Most of all, teach them to be proud of who they are, so that when they are my age, they can exclaim, “I’m Mixed & I’m Proud!”

Happy New Year!

Just want to wish y'all a Happy New Year! My wish for you is that this year bring you all the blessings you deserve. I plan on writing lots more this year & bringing you interesting, helpful content. I have lots to share and 2013 will be the year I face my fears and write about all the stuff I have been too afraid to write about. Let's make this year the best one ever! :D