Casa Adalia

Archive for the ‘financial goals’ Category

As a person who once wrote a book on

Friday, October 7th, 2016

How to get and build up a year’s worth of groceries for our family of 7, I never quite know how to respond to the blanket statement that couponing doesn’t work.

I have ideas as to how it might not be working for you, but unless one is vegan or highly allergic or has special religious restrictions (I’m talking orthodox kosher or hallal), you can always save money using coupons. I won’t spend time trying to convert someone to my way of thought regarding grocery shopping, but I will piggyback on to some of what Kimberly said (and thank you Kathryn for the link to localharvest. I’ll check it out in a minute.)

And by the way, when I refer to “you”, I’m referring to the generic YOU, not the original poster, so please don’t take offense. None is intended.

GROCERIES. By this I mean food items.

1. If you are not going to use coupons then you need to rid your mind of brand name products.

If you’re serious about slashing your bill to save money, you can’t be buying $5.99 Pantene when .89cent VO5 will do. It’s the same with food items. There’s no reason to buy Horizon organic milk ($5.29/gal in my area) versus store brand non-organic $2.89/gal. GM cheerios $3.89/box versus storebrand $1.89. You get the point.

2. Bulk up when it’s on sale, and fit your weekly menu to use sale items, rather than grocery shopping out of a cook book.

This means if chicken is on sale .99/lb, then buy 40# of chicken that week. And all your meals (well most of them anyway) is based off chicken. It means you can’t be picky about when you’re going to eat something (or not.) There’s no reason to pay full retail for some things when they are on sale, even if you don’t use it all that week. That’s what a freezer is for.

If you don’t have enough room to store it the original packaging (I’m talking value pack chicken breast on the bone specifically) then filet it off the bone and pack it single layer in a gallon ziplock bag. It will freeze almost flat. BTW, if you throw in BBQ sauce or some kind of marinade in there at the same time, it will defrost and marinade at the same time, and you can toss in a crockpot or whatever.

3. Shop outside your comfort zone.

I live in southern California. Most caucasian people won’t step foot inside the vietnamese grocery stores, because “the store smells funny.” Too bad for them ‘cuz 50# bags of rice are regularly $29, and vegetables run an average of .33 to .50/lb. Ground beef, not used widely in asian cooking, is $1.79 or less a pound. Regular price. Ditto for mexican grocery stores where beans in bulk run about .10 – .20cents/lb.

There is a “same or next day” produce market near me which has really really cheap prices for produce. But if you’re looking to save a bundle and are willing to use it that day, then you’ll save loads. If I was vegan or vegetarian, that’s where I’d be.


1. Get over brand name loyalty. (we just had an “discussion” on this list about CVS 1000ct TP versus Aldi’s double roll versus Scott or Charmin.)

2. Become a dollar store devotee.

3. Use coupons.

AND FINALLY…learn to make stuff from scratch. Bread, cookies, milk (talking powdered, not get your own cow or goat!), laundry detergent, dish soap, bath bombs, noodles etc. can ALL be made from scratch for pennies on the dollar. I make my own bread and snacks, cream of soup and baking mixes, but am brand loyal to non-powdered milk for drinking (I live with a milk sommelier!), and would make my own detergents and soaps from scratch if I didn’t get it for free using coupons, which I do.

Hope this helps.

This morning I talked to the advertising lady from Point of Vue magazine

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

And tell her I would not be able to take out an ad at this time but to call me in a couple of months. I explained it was not in the budget this time…. as hard as that was to do. However I told her it gave me something to work towards. I told her I had some cyber friends in similar situations with small businesses and we’re encouraging each other in this kind of thing. I think she sorta liked that idea.

On the up side, she told me she mentioned my business to the editor of the magazine and he MIGHT call me at some point in the future to do an article on my business. Okay, when she said this, I was thinking … “who doesn’t like FREE advertising?!” LOL LOL LOL Of course it is not guaranteed he’ll call me or even if they interview me it may not make it to press. So we’ll see. **If** it happens, I’ll let you know.

I am thinking I need to set some financial goals to work towards. I am not sure how much or where the business will come from. I need to find more means of marketing so it’s sort of a vicious cycle. So all the more reason for FREE advertising.

On that note, I am expecting another check to clear for another craft show … $120. That will make a big dent in the funds. I am hoping to get in but I have not heard yet but should be soon.

Plus I need funds to buy more tiles. I need about 6-8 boxes to get my stock up for this big show I mentioned yesterday so I can get some coasters made. I also need some trivet sized tiles, probaby 10-15 of those. Also need some cleaner.

So I better get to moving on moving some of my current stock. I may send out an email to friends letting them know I am moving current stock to prepare for the show and see if it garners some action.

No, these weren’t mystery shops dining out these were lucky coupon finds

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

The first was on Tuesday. I’ve often wrote about being on mailing lists for fast food joints and restaurants to get discounts. Well this meal was a great example of why. I received an email that contained a one day only coupon for a regular Arby’s roast beef sandwich for $.63, limit one per visit. I printed it twice and had dh print it twice at work. He and ds had drove in separately that day due to appointments. Ds went in late, due to his appointment. So he took the two coupons I had printed with him.
There are 2 Arby’s directly on their route home from work. They went less than a block out of their way total to do this. Each went through the drive-thru at each location and got 1 regular roast beef sandwich for a total of 4 sandwiches. Technically the 2 restaurants, although only 2 miles apart, are in different towns and so the total with tax at one was $.69 and $.70 at the other. For a total f $2.78 for four Arby’s regular sized roast beef sandwiches.
Meanwhile at home I turned two potatoes into potato chips and brewed ice tea. The grand total to feed three healthy adult appetites was far less than I could cook a from scratch meal for.
On Thursday I received from a freebies list I am on a $5 off coupon off of a purchase of $5 or more from Smashburger—one of our favorite places to eat. Limit 1 per person. While we could have done the homemade chips and tea again the guys could have only got 2 burgers because of the coupon limitation. So we opted for me to meet them there. Technically we could have eaten for nearly free again if we’d decided on no sides and drank water. But we all decided to get 3 different sides, one each, and share them and a beverage. So that meal did cost us around $5 total, because we had coupons for two of the sides as well. Still cheaper than I could have made the meal at home.
A coupon and a meal deal at Subway fed dh and I lunch on Friday for under $5.
All three of these meals had surveys on their receipts. These surveys will be completed and we will get additional coupons for free items as well.
We had two opportunities to eat free meals for 2 from mystery shopping over the weekend, but those would have required us to pay up front and be re-imbursed later, plus considerable fuel to go to the restaurant. So we stayed home and did major chores instead. Fewer calories consumed that way too.
The point of this post is to show that you can eat out, occasionally for free or near free if you just watch for coupons and specials, then take the time, usually less than 5 minutes to do the surveys. When we cash in te coupons we always try to make it where we are not going out of the way to do so, because fuel cost needs to be factored into the cost.
The rest of the meals for the week were all out of our food storage (week #5). Other than doing home repairs and clean-up with what we had on hand that is pretty much our budget news for the week.
Oh I did my first true snowball payment on BB, so that made me smile big time. We now have officially paid, so far this billing cycle, the equivalent of 4 months minimum payments on BB and we still have a couple of days to go on it so I may be able to do a little more.