Utilizing Rain Checks for Grocery Shopping

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Yesterday, for the first time, I went to customer service at my local grocery store and asked for a rain check. I have never done this and didn’t even know it was still a thing some stores do until someone talked about it in my couponing group. Rain checks are still a thing so how and when do I ask or use them?

Typically in my shopping adventures, if the store is out of something on sale then I won’t worry about it. This week was a different story because I went to Shoprite twice for my Creamate French Vanilla creamer and they were out. The creamer was on sale for $1.66 so I wanted to stock up on it because I go through creamer now that I am back to drinking coffee everyday.

 

With my coffee, I am a creature of habit either French Vanilla or Pumpkin Spice (I could drink it all year long if they would make and sell it) or Peppermint Mocha (only in December before Christmas). If I wanted to drink coffee that tasted like Cookies and Cream or some other gross flavor (sorry if I offended anyone) , then I would have gone home with creamer. I just couldn’t do it.

 

After I was done checking out, I put on my big girl panties and went to customer service to ask for my rain check. For some reason, doing stuff like this makes me nervous and shy. So I stumbled over my words when I asked for a rain check and the girl needed to know exactly what I wanted it for. I didn’t realize she needed the exact flavor… whoops.

Eventually, I was able to find my big girl words and walked away with my rain check for my french vanilla creamer! A little more success for my shopping trip!

After some research, I found out that my local grocery stores will issue rain checks. As far as I know, Walmart and Target do not issue rain checks for any of their grocery products. I will now be using this knowledge to help in my future shopping trips to save money and you should too!

If you or your family have products that you love and they are out of stock when they are on sale, then I encourage you to ask for a rain check because it can help save you so much money especially if you end up getting a coupon for that product in the future! Double win!

This week’s trip was small because we are moving over the next 2 weeks and I don’t want to stock up on to much and have to move even more stuff. I spent $30.73 and saved $87! My only complaint is that my $2 digital coupon for diapers didn’t come off so I will be going to customer service this week to get it fixed. Diapers are expensive as it is so saving an extra $2 is helpful (it is enough to purchase my creamer with my rain check!). Instead of paying $3 for my diapers, I spent $5…

My free items this week were the detergent bottles, scent booster, stain fighter packs, bananas. Halos  were $2 (I bought a bag of these earlier in the week as well), Raisin Bran Crunch $.50, Kellogs and Frosted Flakes were $3 for both, pasta $1.50, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (not my fav chunky monkey sadly) $1.50, bacon $2, ground beef (3 pounds) for $6 and the water was 3 cases for $6.

I definitely missed stocking up on some stuff but still grabbed great deals. I plan on splitting the ground meat into 1 pound bags to freeze and use in the future for pasta meals. We plan on packing our kitchen over the next couple of days so we will be eating lots of easy stuff like cereal so thankfully the cereal was a great deal. Even though we won’t go through 3 cases of water before we move, I couldn’t pass up this deal because at Walmart you buy a case for over $3 a case for their brand.

Have you used rain checks? How was your shopping trip this week?

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My Failed Drizzle Pretzel Rods Lesson

THE 10 BESTBRIDALBOUQUETS
*This post is not sponsored or paid for by the companies featured in this post. This is just my experience shared with my readers.

Cooking and baking has taught me many lessons including that I love to try new foods, baking is therapeutic and that not everything I make needs to be perfect. This week’s Feed Me Friday is all about my failed drizzle pretzel rods and the lesson that not all short cuts are going to work and not everything I make is going to be perfect.

Danyella and I found these cool Candy Melt drizzle packs that we wanted to drizzle over pretzels to make chocolate covered pretzels. They were only $1.50 a pouch so we decided to try them out. I got pink and she got red. We had pretzel rods in the cabinet at home and decided to decorate with sprinkles. We were all set to make our drizzle rods.

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The directions stated to microwave the pouch on 50% heat starting at 1 minute, knead to encourage the melting process then continue to heat in 30 second intervals and knead the pouch. I kept doing this process for a total of 3 minutes. The pouch got hot and it felt like the contents were melted.

This is come up with the failed portion of this lesson…..

I begin to try to drizzle my rods with the melts and it just come out in globs! No drizzle to be found. Now that I opened the pouch, I can’t reheat it to melt more so I keep trying to drizzle my globs. Once the pouch is empty, I attempt to melt them more by heating the rods and globs in the microwave. After a total of 2 minutes worth of 30 second intervals, the globs just wouldn’t melt!

At this point I just transferred the rods and globs to a plate and sprinkle with red sprinkles. I ate one and they still tasted good just don’t look as pretty as I wanted them to be. I guess that is life, some moments are great and look ugly which is where you adjust your expectations and enjoy the sweet side.

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What cooking/baking fails have you had that still tasted wonderful?

 

 

 

 

I Found Christina to My Meredith

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Have you ever met someone and instantly knew that you were meant to have that person in your life? I don’t mean a romantic partner but your person, your friend that is meant to be in your life. Yes, you will hear all kinds of Grey’s Anatomyreferences in this post because we both love Grey’s. I found the Christina to my Meredith and I am so thankful for her being in my life.

I met my Christina before I actually met her because our daughters go to the same dance studio so we know the same dance moms. I briefly met “Christina” during recitals in June but didn’t really get to know her. I know that Danyella loved getting to know her daughter during our downtime backstage. I know that her daughter was trying out for elite but didn’t think much of it when I heard of the mom at auditions (Danyella was auditioning for the current Elite team during makeups).

Both of our girls made Elite, Danyella made Minis and the “Christina’s” daughter made the newly formed Petite team. From the time of boot camp, “Christina” and I hit it off and talked the entire time we were sitting in the studio. It was like we were the same person with how much we had in common. We parent our children the same way. We talk the same way. Yes, we both say curse words but what can you expect… We are Jersey Girls. We like the same things, especially our tv shows. Even our husbands are very much alike. We just are so much alike it was almost scary.

One weekend we were talking and I was saying how I was getting married on Monday (our last-minute wedding ceremony). In one little conversation, we found out “Christina” knew my step father, future in-laws and…… has known my husband for years! WTH…. I known the world seems small at times but this blew my mind. It was all to funny to me because all of these stories I told her about my boyfriend turned husband, turned out she knew him. I swear that revelation made us even closer friends.

Since we found all of this out, she has become my go to person to talk to about things going on in my life. When I need to vent about things going on in my life, I text “Christina”. When I need a shoulder to cry on because of a horrible message, I text “Christina”. Each time I thought I was going into labor, I text “Christina”. After Evelynne was born, I text “Christina” the photos of my baby girl. When “Christina’s” daughter is acting up, we talk about how our girls are cut out of the same cloth. At 6:30 in the morning, “Christina” checks on me to see how I am doing.

Today, I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without “Christina” or what was my life like before our dance mom lives crossed paths. Our daughters are connected at the hip whenever possible and that is how we have become when we are together. She is the Auntie to Evelynne which Evie knows her voice like she knows mine.

I have had friends come and go in my life but “Christina” is one that will stay in my life. I am so grateful for the friendship we formed over coffee on Saturdays at the dance studio. I am grateful to feel like there is someone in the world that gets me. I am grateful for all the times she has given me a shoulder to cry on. I am grateful for all the laughs that we have had.  I am grateful for her talks that bring me out of my darkness or talks me off the cliff of doing something rash. I am grateful to have found my “Christina”.

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Last Days To Get Her Something Special Valentine’s Day Edition

Last Days to Get HER a Gift

Yes that is a mouthful of a title but how else can I get your attention when you have a week until Valentine’s Day to get your special lady something she will love! Thank goodness for Amazon Prime where they will ship with 2 day shipping so you still have time to get your special lady that lovely gift for a lovely day.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more information.

1. State Stamped Necklace: If your girl is like me, we are proud of where we come from and love to show that pride to others. (Jersey Girl!)

State Necklace, Personalized Small State Shaped with Initial Heart on Disc Charm Necklace, Texas California State Outline Jewelry

2. Mommin’ Aint Easy Wine Glass: For the girl who is a Mommy too!

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy Stemless Wine Glass, Mom Gifts, Gift for Her, Mother’s Day, Christmas – SG20

3. Spa Gift Box for Her: Give her time to relax in the comfort of her own home with a Spa box

Spa Gift Basket Refreshing Rose & Jasmine Fragrance, Beautiful Wooden Gift Box with Mirror, Perfect Wedding, Birthday or Anniversary Gift, Bath gift Set Includes Shower Gel, Bath Bombs and More!

4. Lucky Penny Keychain: Let your lucky lady know you feel you are lucky to have her today and everyday with this keychain!

Lucky Penny Key Chain

5.Bring Me Coffee Socks: What woman can use a cute pair socks especially when they are in need of a cuppa coffee!

Luxury Cotton “Bring Me Coffee” Funny Socks – Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Him or Her, Hilarious Novelty or Gag Gift Idea for Wife or Husband – Best White Elephant Present For Coffee Lover

All of these items can be purchased with Amazon Prime’s 2 day shipping service! If you don’t already have Amazon Prime then try it for 30 days by clicking this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

I hope this helped you find a last minute gift for your lovely lady and that you both have a Loving Valentine’s Day

Organize Your Shopping Trip to Save Money

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If you are anything like I was, you would mentally have a grocery shopping list but didn’t write anything down. If I had coupons, it would be a couple and not on sale items. I had no plan which ended up costing me three times the amount of money because I impulse shopped.

Impulse shopping is one of the worst things for a person/family living on a budget. You end up buying thing you THINK you need instead of buying what you KNOW you need. For over 15 years this is how I shopped but not anymore!

Going into the store with an organized game plan was a game changer for my spending habits and budget. I am going to show you my steps to Organizing My Shopping Trip to Save the Most Money….

1. Set aside a block of time to organize every week. Gather your coupons, coupon binder, flyers, meal plan and 2 sheets of paper to make your list.

2. Cut and organize your coupons into your binder. Don’t forget to throw out the expired coupons you have in your binder.

3. Time to make your grocery list!

  • With your meal plan and 1 piece of paper, go through the flyer and write down the items you need that are on sale.
  • Add to the list the items you need for your household
  • Now, with your coupon binder out compare your list and flyer to the coupons you have. One thing I have learned with my couponing is that the coupon inserts or coupons from coupons.com coincide with the weekly flyer so that you can maximize your savings.
  • This is where I get my 2nd sheet of paper out… In order to keep my shopping on track and stay on budget with my list, I reorganize my list to follow my way around the grocery store. Depending on what store I am going to depends on what section I start in. Shoprite (my go to grocery store) starts at the produce than bakery then meat, deli, dairy, frozen and so on. Walmart starts on the opposite side of grocery so once I get through the rest of the store, I start with household then dairy, meat, pantry, frozen etc.
    • Organizing my list by section has been super helpful in staying on track. Don’t get me wrong, I have still impulse shopped when I see a sale I might have missed in the flyer like the popcorn that was on clearance plus I had a coupon for so I got the box for $.70!
    • I prefer starting in the produce and meat sections because those are items that go by weight and if I need to skim my budget then I would rather take a pantry item off my list then a core item.
    • I organize my coupons by section as well so that I can easily pull them out and check the details of what I need to purchase for them.
    • I always have my binder and coupon binder with me in case they are out of something I need then I can get a rain check or chose something else and see if a coupon will work.
  • I always calculate what I am spending as I shop so that I am staying on track because with the weighed products, you can easily get off track. My most recent trip, I had calculated that I was going to spend $46 but when I got down checking out my total was only $38 because some items were a lower price then I had calculated. You can’t beat spending less than what you calculate and walking out with more money in my pocket!

**My weekly trip takeaway: Total Spent $38.56

Big Savings: Razors $0, Chobani $0, Gogurt $0, 2 boxes of cereal $3.50, coffee $4, diapers $4, blueberries $1, hummus $1, eggs $1.70, 2 boxes of waffles $2, sausage $1, 2 packs of wipes $1, Ghiradhelli brownie mix $1.50, vegetable oil $3, popcorn $.70 and alot more savings. Total savings $65!

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Spent $38 Saved $65!

Instant Pot Chili Recipe with printable

With the Super Bowl only a few days away and my beloved Eagles playing for their first win, chili is a must to eat while we watch them play. Add my must have chili with my new Instant Pot with all its cool features and I had to try out a new function to make my recipe. With this recipe, I used the sauté and slow cooker functions!

Notes on the recipe: I prefer using ground turkey but any other ground meat will work. Also, I typically add diced peppers to my chili but you will notice in my photos that I omitted the peppers because my husband doesn’t like peppers and I had to feed him.

Instant Pot Chili Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious winter meal to share with friends.

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Credit: mogulmomartisan.com

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground meat
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 diced pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 clove diced garlic or 1 tablespoon diced garlic from jar
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 bag of kidney beans soaked and cleaned or 2 cans of beans
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • garnish of your choice (I like cheese and sour cream)

Directions

  1. On saute setting, add the oil and brown the ground meat with the onions, peppers and garlic. Drain if preferred.
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  3. Add the tomatoes, sauce, beans and chili powder.
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  5. Change the Instant Pot setting to slow cooker (4 hours) and stir when needed (this setting doesn’t seal the pot closed).
  6. Enjoy with the garnishes of your choice!

What is your favorite superbowl food_

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him

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If you are like me, you have no idea what to give the man in your life for Valentine’s Day. Plus this year we are on a budget for gifts so I wanted to find unique gifts that were affordable.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more information.

Here are my top 5 choices:

For the Beer Lover:

Fuzzy Socks L&ZZ Unisex Funny Saying Knitting Word Combed Cotton Crew Coffee Socks for Men Women

For the Beard Men

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Beard Oil Beard Butter in Timber Mint 1 Ounce Handmade in Maine with Organic Oils Better than Beard Oil

For the Outdoorsman

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Soundbot SB210 HD Stereo Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Smart Beanie Headset Musical Knit Headphone Speaker Hat Speakerphone Cap,built-in Mic (BLK)

For the Sports Fan

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Philadelphia Eagle Black Metal Frame or choose your man’s fave team!

For the Nerd or movie buff

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Crazy Dog T-Shirts Mens Best Husband In The Galaxy Funny Nerdy Love Marriage T Shirt (Black) XL

I hope that you enjoyed my Valentine’s Day for him gift guide for this year. All of these gifts can be purchased and shipped with free 2 day shipping when you use Amazon Prime. If you don’t have Prime click the link below to start your free 30 day trial today!

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
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Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all of those you love ❤️