Notes, additions, corrections on recent posts

A few things!

The recipe I tried with spinach, chicken and brown rice went great, but I’d make a few modifications. First, the brown rice was very mild. I’d cook it in stock or broth, soup mix, or a pack of seasoning next time. Both Lipton and Knorr make great mixes that frequently go on sale and have a coupon and you can get for pennies. As it was, what I did was cook a can of condensed soup (one of the things on my list I’m trying to use up anyway!) and pour that over the dish. Really, really good. It was a mild dish, the spinach cooked with the eggs and garlic was not overwhelmingly “green” tasting, just vegetable-y enough. The chicken came out tender and perfect, and the brown rice was a good addition although a little bland. You could also add a can of sauce like cheese, cream of mushroom, or French Onion to give it a little flair.

The shrimp dip was perfect! I recommend that highly!

The Swanson sale at Publix excluded the Organic variety, so the combination of coupons didn’t work. I’ll hang onto the coupons until they do.

I’m fighting a cold and feel lousy. Luckily there have been recent high-value Zicam coupons and Advil and others, so I’m going to do the Price Tracker and get stocked up. I have enough on-hand from earlier this year when several family members were battling illnesses, so I have enough to get through this until I can leave the house again, but for now I’m going to be spending time indoors and organizing and resting. Luckily I have many boxes of Kleenex from great sales this year already.

WATCH YOUR WEDNESDAY PAPER – Bi-Lo’s flyer this week has another awesome $5 off coupon on the flyer itself. It only comes in the daily paper, it is not in the flyer they hand out at the store. Save it! Even if you prefer to shop at Publix, they take the Bi-Lo coupons also. It is $5 off … free money! When I have this and any competitor’s coupon for Bi-Lo (Dollar General, Food Lion, Publix, any of them) that’s when I get extra produce or other stuff that rarely drops below 50% or doesn’t often have coupons. It is even worth buying extra papers for 50 cents each to get multiple coupons and go more than once! I hope I’m feeling better by Wednesday.

The Publix flyer will also have another $10 off a $50 gas card when you buy $50 worth of groceries. When they have this sale, it’s only for the weekend, so it takes a little planning. But 20% off a gas card is worth planning for, right? Everyone drives! Me, I keep my Fuel Perks going at Bi-Lo so I don’t need it for myself, but literally everyone in my life does so I will get the deal anyway and pass it on to a family member.

Speaking of Bi-Lo fuel perks … I currently have $3.27 in fuel perks, and gas is $3.02 a gallon. That means another FREE tank of gas for me, the third free tank of gas this month. EVERYONE needs to do this! You buy groceries anyway, you buy gas anyway, take a little time and plan your purchases and get the maximum overall discount. It’s a time vs money thing, it always is.

I have passed up fuel perks deals when the overall savings wasn’t going to be good enough. For example, Bi-Lo recently had their store brand large boxes of spaghetti for regular price, but if you buy two you get 5 cents off in fuel perks ($1 off a tank). The regular price was about $2 a box, so that’s $4 for 2 boxes, or a net $3 for 4 pounds of spaghetti. Usually, pasta goes on sale often, and you can get a one-pound name brand for 50 cents or less, so that would mean if I waited for a sale, I’d get 4 pounds of name-brand pasta for $2 and zero fuel perks, but that was still a net lower cost. So I passed on the fuel perks offer in favor of waiting for a sale instead.

I do calculations like that throughout the store because I’m very practiced with my Low Price List, but if you are less experienced, it’s not a difficult technique. Just keep your grocery list with the lowest price you remember (shortcut – use The Grocery Game!!) noted next to each item, then figure $1 off for each 5 cents Fuel Perks. If the net is below your lowest price, buy it, otherwise, pass.

Now for the links – stuff I referred to or that you might find useful from this post –

  1. Use The Grocery Game to find the lowest current price for an item. This will give you the price with and without coupons and other goodies, so you can decide which store gives you the best overall deal. Hint – sort by store, so you’ll know when you build your list if you need to make a special trip or two to another store you don’t always go to.
  2. Organize your recipes to save the ones that work for you, use the pantry items, get inspiration, and search for ideas using Cook’n recipe software. I rely on this often. Cook’N recipe organizer software with bonus 20% off, directly from the software manufacturer. If you would prefer to buy it from Amazon instead, maybe you have other things you want to buy, here’s a link to get it at a discount from Amazon with free shipping:Cook’n Recipe Organizer Version 10
  3. If you do not already do this, I would recommend trying SavingStar. This is a program separate from coupons, you can shop as you normally shop, with or without coupons, and when you use your store loyalty card, savings are automatically posted to your account and you can claim the money online with Paypal. It won’t change anything about your checkout process.

    Link to sign up for SavingStar

  4. To get the best discount on gift cards … if you didn’t know already, you do NOT have to pay $25 for a $25 gift card, you can get discounts if you plan ahead … use Cardpool. I highly recommend this service, this will work for anyone anywhere, it doesn’t have to be local, and the cards are also good on the retail store’s websites.Link to get discounted gift cards at Cardpool
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