Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Favorite Deals at Martin's

I thought in lieu of Monday Match-ups I would share my favorite deals of the week whenever I go shopping.

This week I had to take grams to the grocery store and she prefers Martin's and so am I honestly!

I had about $50.00 of my monthly budget left to spend and a few needs. Here is what I got
2 boxes of pasta
1 ranch salad dressing (free with martin's e-coupons)
1 popcorn (soooo good!)
2 loaves of bread
1 organic strawberry lemonade
1 honest kids berry lemonade
1 gallon of milk
3 boxes of tissues
2 bags of shredded cheese
1 bag of chicken tenders
1 lb of chicken tenders (marked down 50%)
1.5 lbs individual portion chicken breast (marked down 50%)
 Bananas .48/lb !!

I paid $39.70
I used earned $1.00 back
I used 1 e coupon from martin's
I used 1 clipped manufacturers coupon

I think I did pretty well! Here's my favorite deals:
 I have tried everything to get my oldest to eat real chicken nuggets but it won't work. So I saw these on sale for 6.99 which is the same price as the Tysons and 1.50 cheaper than the Perdue nuggets.  The ingredients are a little healthier plus it is a no hormone added product.
 This is super back to school item!  The deal is buy 2 get one free. Even better pair this with the .50/3 coupon from this weeks ad AND the .75/3 Ibotta rebate and you have tissues for .61 a box! I wish I could do more than 1 ibotta rebate for these!

 Next up pasta. Use the 1.00/2 found in this week's inserts and get pasta for just .38 a box limit 6.
All gas point users! This is a great deal on bread thanks to the wonderful peely. The nature's harvest is 1.99 with a $1
00 off 1 peely. Better yet buy 7 get 20 cents off per gallon of gas.

I hope this has helped you and let you know that I am still thinking about you all :) Let me know if you would like to see more of these posts.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Coupon Evolution

Oh the glorious coupons: a piece of paper with a bar code that is just like cash to money saving mama's.

Like anything motivation and focus comes and goes. Coupons will always be a MAJOR part of how I save on my grocery bill. Let's be honest once you have experienced the savings you can't pay full price again. 

Although over the past couple of months how I coupon has changed and there are a couple reasons to this:

1. Time: less time to spend at the store, less time to research match ups, less time to clip and organize my coupons.  Time is just really short for me lately but my budget hasn't changed.

2. Eating habit: I am really focusing on eating healthy for our whole family.  Not necessarily organic or clean but just more healthy fruits and veggies as apposed to tons of processed items. It's been a process but it is possible and I still use coupons for healthy food!

3. Refining my process: I was unhappy with the binder system just because it took so long for me. I don't many of my coupon inserts I gather them from family and friends but not on a consistent basis. This means I would get large stacks all at once and cutting and organizing them was way to overwhelming!  I am playing with new systems but was surprised to see even the Krazy Coupon Ladies have "ditched" the binder system.

Well what have I been doing you ask?

Stay tuned for a full in depth look at how I am still staying on my  monthly $175.00 grocery budget for a family of 4!
We tale our lunch on the go in these awesome zip lock containers

While it might be boring we have a set breakfast schedule and my favorite is veggie omelets and homemade bread

Our newest experience is green smoothies.  I never thought they would be in our budget but I have found a simple way to make this fit!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The BE-hive (Maryland, West Virgina locals)

I really have not thought a lot of what I want to do when I retire. I am not 30 yet so I think that is okay. I mean financially we are planning with life insurance,401k's savings, ect. but, I have not really thought about if I want to travel or volunteer or be the best grandma ever. That was until we made our way last Thursday to Martinsburg, WV for a free Tae Kwon Do demonstration at this little children's place called the BE-hive. I went on recommendation from a good friend who knows I am down for anything free and  will entertain my children!

I got that and whole lot more!

The Be-Hive is located in downtown Martinsburg, WV I was not at all familiar with the area so I parked on the street but I am betting there is some public parking lots near by. The storefront is so cute and inviting. One of my favorite things being an over protective mom is that there is a volunteer at the door which is locked at all times. They open the door, very friendly, and greet you as you come in. Then once you are in (sounds exclusive doesn't it!) you sign a guest book and are given the Be-Hive's "mission statements and Values" on business cards to take home!

These are some great values for children and adults alike!

The "Hive" opens at 4:30pm or an hour before the nights activity. This time is great for free play and to listening to the owners play guitar and sing.  There are yummy treats for the kids and adults as well! Remember this is all done free of cost!

Colton really enjoyed dress up and the kitchen area!
 The scheduled events last about 1 hour and then there is a little more free time before it is time to hit the road. There are free events, crafts, movies, and demonstrations happening at the Be-Hive Wednesday- Saturday. We went down because they were having a Tae Kwon Do demo from a local group that offers lessons. My oldest son has been really interested in learning some self-defense art form and I thought this would be the smartest and most budget friendly to see if he would like it!

 The atmosphere is very fun and caring, I will say that this demo was not really age appropriate for my 21 month old BUT they were completely fine with him playing relatively quite in the free play center while my oldest enjoyed the demonstrations. The Be-Hive is a non-profit organization ran by two retirees. They run what they call a "Family Inspiration place, ran on a positive value system"

So to wrap up my opening I want to do this when I retire offer a healthy environment for free so children and parents can come and grow!

Here is the Be-Hives list of events for July and be sure to like them on Facebook to stay up to date with them!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Free Admission to Hagerstown Sun's Game!

If you are an Antietam Cable Customers you be sure to take advantage of this hot deal!
I am sure it will be a busy so be prepared for lines and the price of concessions are high so be sure to plan ahead! We try to eat dinner before hand and just get a drink and snack or just enjoy the game with no food:)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Little Feedback.....Pretty Please!

Chirp, Chirp! Yup that's me over here just in case you forgot about me out in the blogsphere.

I am making a mad dash to finish my third semester of online course for my Accounting degree AND it is summer here so my mind is not wanting to sit down be in front of a comupter all of the time. Please forgive me and know that I am still here.

On a postive note I have a nice list of blog posts and vlogs I will be doing come fall and some of them are really going to be fun and some are really going to be tough. However, I would L.O.V.E. to hear what you would like from me too. I created a short little survey to see what your favorite things from The Nifty Thrifty Lady are and it even has a comment section so you can leave an questions, ideas or things you would like to see me talk about.

Please take a quick minute to fill it out as it will help me choose the direction I want to go in come fall and it will help me plan so I can get my blog schedule back on track!

Thanks all.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and remembering to be thrifty ;)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekly Tip

This weeks tip comes straight from the mind of my 8 year old. Double bagging trash can be a real hassle! I always did it the hard way trying to fit the bag into another bag with someone holding it or even better by myself. It usually ended up a bigger mess then I intended. UNTIL Chris said "Mom put the new bag in the trash can and then the old bag". Of course!! Hope this saves everyone many of messy adventures:)

I would love to feature on of your favorite frugal tips or life hacks! Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to have a FUN Free and Cheap Summer!

Since I have started staying home with the kids and I also know that it will be temporary, I have been filling our summers chalk full of fun experiences and memories! Of course I still have a budget to stick to (although sometimes I just want to blow it for the ultimate trip to Disney!) and was really surprised at all of the budget friendly things that have sprung up once I started doing some research.

Today I will be sharing my families summer plans and a TON of resources in the Washington County Tri-state area.  Not from here? Browse this post and start googling similar key words in YOUR area~

Our summer budget:

I allow $75.00 a month for summer activities. This includes eating after an activities and any items correlated  to it. So for our Make something Mondays the ingredients are calculated under this $75.00 Budget.

How do I come up with this money?
  • Summer Yard Sales: I usually have three yard sales in the summer and that money goes towards the summer fun fund
  • Saving Change: Yup I am that lady that walks into the bank with rolled change and gets cash for it! We have a Jar setting on our dryer for loose money, in our kitchen, and in our bedroom. All loose change goes there and is added to our summer fun fund
  • Facebook Yard Sale: IF I sell anything via a Facebook yard sale site that money normally goes to the fund as well. (there have been exceptions because we were selling something in order to purchase an updated version)
  • The boys pay: No they don't pay for their activities but for birthdays and Christmas we like to ask for experiences, gift cards, or cash specifically to use for summer
  • We cut back: It is hard to find area's for use to cut back on because we have a Zero balance budget and every dollar counts, but, during the summer months we find little ways to cut back on things. More major thing is produce at the store. We all garden and the harvests help us to save money there. We also don't do many home improvement or organizing projects over the summer we save that for spring or fall.
  • Save Tax Returns: When and if possible we put some money back from our tax returns either for summer activities or a family vacation. 
 Our Summer Calenders: 
Click on the month and a PDF of our Calender will pop up

First we have a "general" themed day Monday-Saturday
  • Make Something Monday: we get in the kitchen and make a new food or a meal for family and friends
  • Thrill Tuesday: We do something with water outside or totally off the wall fun inside!
  • Craft Wednesday: We will be making somethings with that day with our hands, body, or brain.
  • Trip Thursday: We get in the car with a grand destination in mind
  • Fitness Friday: Time to get moving and (unfortunately) sweating!
  • Sweet Treat Saturday: We might grab a sweet bite to eat or do something totally "sweet man"
 Links to our Make Something Monday recipes:
Pudding Pops
Vanilla Wafer's
Fruit Popsicles
Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Cream
Yogurt Pops

Links to our Thrill Tuesday
Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Turbo $1.00 movie (leitersurg Cinemas schedule)  Regal Cinema Hagerstown and Martinsburg
Homemade Sprinklers
Discovery Station
Lego Club 
Jaydee's Water Park
Slip n slide

Link to our Craft Wednesday
Wall Mural
Sponge Balls
Key Chain Chime
Paint Bags
Dinosaur Stained glass (walking with Dinosaurs)

Link to our Trip Thursday
Be-Hive- Free Karate Lesson
Fort Frederick
Monkey Joes
Viola Art
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Center

Links to our Fitness Friday
Wine Down Friday (AG-adventures)
Pool Noodle races
First Friday
Park Time

Links to our Sweet Treat Saturday
Faire off the Square
Monster Jam link will provide details for discounted tickets
Family Recreation
North Square Farmers Market (kids day is August 9th) Any Saturday kids ages 4-12 get $2.00 to spend on produce!
Bowling Saturdays are .99 games May-July

Free Summer Reading Program through the Library
I signed both boys up for this program and printed out the corresponding reading charts, The best thing about the program is all of the free events the library is holding this year!
Here is all the information
Library events I find it easiest to choose the branch you would like to attend (ps The main branch has the most activities!)

Free Storytelling in the Parks
Please note the date posted below are Correct I contacted the director they hope to have the dates corrected on the website soon!

Tuesday, July 8—10:30am Boonsboro Shafer Park Pavilion #3
Wednesday, July 9—10:30am Smithsburg Veteran’s Park Pavilion
Thursday, July 10—10:30am Fort Ritchie Community Center
Friday, July 11—10:30am Hagerstown City Park Bandshell (*Invite Surry)
Monday, July 14—10:30am Cascade Pen Mar Park Dance Pavilion
Tuesday, July 15—10:30am Doub’s Woods Park North Pavilion
Wednesday, July 16—10:30am Williamsport Byron Park  Pavilion #3
Thursday, July 17—10:30am Maugansville Ruritan Park Pavilion
Friday, July 18—10:30am Hagerstown Marty Snook Park Pavilion #1

Free Yoga in the Park
Free Movies in the Park

I am sure there are a TON more free happenings in the area and as I find them I will be sure to update!

Our summer will be PACKED with fun things that are free and cheap, Score on for the frugal mom's!