Penny Pinchers

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More ideas about MYO soup stocks

By Julie Norman
Friday, January 16, 2015

I've talked before about making my own stocks either from vegetable scraps or from chicken/turkey bones.  It's way cheaper than buying stock at the store (hello, $2.50 a carton!) and it's better for you.  Unfortunately, lately I've not been able to make enough stock to keep us supplied and so I've found myself buying more and more cartons of vegetable stock. Today, however, I saw this article by Mark Bittman about creating stocks from all sorts of things! These are quick "stocks" too, like 5-15 minute stocks, but they add flavor and that's really all that matters.  I love the simplicity of the herb and garlic stock, the mushroom one, and even the prosciutto (ham at our house) and parmesan one.  I still always have vegetable scraps in the freezer, so if I added those to a handful of parsley (which is very cheap) and garlic, I could create a nicely flavored stock for a soup base or even for cooking rice or beans, in 15 minutes or less! 

I will definitely be utlizing Mark's ideas here and I hope you do to.  To beef up these stocks, anytime you peel carrots or chop the ends off of onions, put those scraps in a zip top bag in your freezer.  Add asparagus ends, mushroom bits, even garlic if you just used a whole clove for flavoring something and then plan to just toss it. Celery leaves are a great addition too, but don't add too many or they could make your broth bitter.  Experiment! Good luck!


Taking advantage of sales

By Julie Norman
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It may sound obvious, but sales are a great way to save.  On Cyber Monday of 2014 I was able to find BOGO deals on for my favorite tights and on the Coobie site for some new unmentionables.  These are items that usually run about $20 and I was able to get get TWO for that price! Yay for sales.

More recently, though, I was shopping the Lands End website.  My mom sent me a tunic from there for Christmas but it just wasn't my style.  So I returned it to Sears and got a Lands End gift card instead.  It just so happened that Lands End was also having a 15% EXTRA off of all sale and clearance items.  So I found a new sweater and a few pieces of activewear.  Between the extra 15% off and my gift card, I saved around $33. Every little bit helps, and that extra 15% off plus free shipping made this online shopping trip worth it.


Here you can see the promo savings at the top - $14.25, the free shipping, and the amount of my gift card.


Saving on Travel

By Julie Norman
Friday, January 2, 2015

Good article from the NYTimes Frugal Traveler on saving while traveling this year.  Some of it is tried and true info, but other bits may be things you hadn't thought of yet.  Click here to read it!


Save the comics!

By Julie Norman
Monday, December 29, 2014

Looking for cheap wrapping paper for birthdays and the holidays? Look no further than your Sunday Daily Sentinel. For the past few years we've been saving our Sunday comics and we then use them to wrap gifts.  They're fun, look great with curling ribbon of all colors, and don't cost any extra money!  I hope you're also remembering to save gift bags, tissue paper, and cute boxes to reuse next year too.  Wrapping paper is one thing I hope to never have to buy again...and if I run out of comics I'll just start using the actual newspaper.  I bet if you positioned cool pictures strategically that could look really good too!


Don’t throw out the inserts: Finding coupons you can use

By Julie Norman
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I've finally told the BF to just leave all of the Sunday inserts in a stack on the kitchen table. I like to look through the grocery coupon inserts, like Smart Source, and I also like to check out the grocery sale papers. This past Sunday though, I had an additional reason for wanting to look through all of the inserts. It was Julie and Richie's Shopping Extravaganza day and I thought there might be a valuable coupon hidden in one of those inserts that Richie and I could use.  If you don't know what Julie and Richie's Shopping Extravaganza day is, it's the day each year (for the past 4) that Richie over at Haute Mamas and I go shopping for her boys' Christmas presents.  It gives her hubby a chance to have a Sunday afternoon with the kids and it gives us a chance for some chat / shopping time! 

So back to the story: I clipped out a coupon for Michael's for 50% off one item. I knew we'd hav to go there for this one particular present that one of the kids wanted.  Sure enough, there we were in Michael's staring at a $60 rock tumbler.  But hey! We had a 50% off coupon! So in the end we got the rock tumbler for $30 plus tax! It was a sweet sweet day to be able to walk out of there knowing we'd just saved (ok, Richie had just saved) $30 on that one gift!

The moral of the story is, this time of year, clip those coupons! You never know when you might need one.

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