Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thrifty Thursday Things that I Do to Save Money and Stretch those Groceries

I think that I have been frugal for too long because I start to forget all of the things that I do on a daily and weekly basis for myself to save a little bit of money.  I have made so many of them habits that I don't even know that they are saving money anymore.  I read a few blogs recently that reminded me that I need to focus on those things so that I continue to be motivated to do them.  Hopefully this will motivate you to continue or start some new habits to save money.

1. Making Homemade Bread: 

I make a loaf of American Sandwich Bread ever week to make my husband sandwiches for lunch.  This last week we also used it for toast, peanut butter sandwich for my son and grilled cheese.

2. Making a Breakfast Treat for the Week: 

This last week, I made banana bread so that we would have something nice and homemade to have for breakfast or for snacks.  I bought 6 bananas the other day specifically to make bread and froze the other three.  It tends to go fairly quickly but I have been stuck in a bread rut that we sadly haven't finished the end of the last two loaves of applesauce and pumpkin bread so I was determined to finish this loaf. 

3. Make a Special Breakfast Treat for the Weekend:  

I normally only do this one day but sometimes if the schedule works out, my family gets to warm treats out of the oven.  Last weekend it was scones with the pumpkin spice Greek Yogurt that I got at Harris Teeter super doubles deal.

This weekend it was monkey bread from the container of Grands rolls that I had in my drawer.  I used the other one to make doughnuts for an earlier weekend treat.  It was one package of biscuits and it is the perfect amount for the three of us to enjoy without over eating!

4.  Make Seasoned Oyster Crackers:

My husband likes to have the same thing in his lunch everyday.  He takes a turkey or turkey with ham sandwich and a little container of oyster crackers or other snacks.  These little crackers are for sale at Aldi for $0.79.  I get two packages and pour them into a container to shake around with different seasonings that I have on hand.  I had a bunch of popcorn seasonings but I have used taco seasonings and garlic to make different flavors all the time. 

5.  Picked up the local free newspaper at the library:

They have been running out of the paper recently because there are so many people who either read the paper or coupon that are getting them that I have had to remember to get them on Saturday.  They used to come in early on Friday and I would pick them up on Friday on my way home or my husband would but now they don't have them on Fridays.  Super excited because I got 20 copies and pulled two coupon inserts out of each.  These inserts don't have as many coupons at the Washington Post does but they are totally free.  They are available at the local libraries in the county and some other stores around the area but since they are free they are gone quickly.

6. Make Chocolate Chip Cookies:

We like to have a special treat to have for dessert and snacks through the week so I decided to make a family favorite of chocolate chip cookies even though I was thinking about peanut butter cookies but I am not sure that my son will love them as much.  I guess I will try those next week.

7. Entered Codes in My Coke Rewards:

I was so excited when I read on Nathalie's blog that I could enter all of the 20 oz caps and get double points.  The caps are normally only worth three points and I got 6 points for each one!!  I had around 24 caps.  I was so excited that it let me enter all the caps that I had without reaching the limit.  There is a weekly limit normally and I never know what it is so it is always a surprise when I reach it.  She also mentioned that there would be double points for cases of soda so I planned on putting those in and getting lots more points to order coupons off of cases of Coke.  Used with a good sale, they should be nearly free and I am sure my husband would be excited to have soda in the house again.

8. Eating at Home:

I made all of our meals at home this week with special treats of frozen pizzas that I got cheap for our weekend meals along with leftovers.  We do love to get take out but I try to limit the number of times that we get it a month so that we are still enjoying it and making it a special treat as well as saving money. We are having pizza grilled cheese, pasta, grilled chicken and rice, chicken nuggets and making homemade french fries.  There are lots of meals to make at home even when you don't have a lot of time to make it!!  Plan ahead and save lots of money.

9. Making Popcorn:

My son needs to have a snack for school every day because he has the last lunch period at 1:10 so we go with a high fiber and very filling.  I make two pots full and it lasts part of the week if I share too.  It is super yummy so I often do!!  I use a big pot on the stove with oil and butter flavored salt.  It tastes a lot like the popcorn from the movies so it is a great treat and super frugal because a bag for under $2 lasts for weeks.  It is a great bonus that it is healthier and cheaper.

10. Stopped at the Library to Pick Up Books:

We love reading!!  I got a bunch of books for myself and returned a bunch more.  My son is reading the Magic Tree House and we are getting the CD and books through the library.  In addition, he decided that he wanted to read the books about Scaredy Squirrel.  We love getting free books and enjoying new learning.  We also renewed or returned all of the books that were due during the next week so that we didn't have any late fees.

What are your favorite money saving activities?


  1. Great reminder that it's the little things that count... and add up!

    The oyster crackers are $0.99 at my Aldi but thanks for reminding me that I bought a bag of those a couple of weeks ago to make your recipe and then I forgot. I also got saltines to make your saltines recipe. I'll try to make one of those recipes today!

    Your scones look yummy and beautiful! I usually make Triple Berry scones because they're so delicious but the dough is very wet so they don't end up looking quite so... put together. No matter, they get eaten anyway :)

    Question: how do you keep your husband's bread fresh all week? Do you slice and freeze it? Whenever I make bread, we just eat it right away. That breadmaker has become one of my favorite things but it's been very bad for my hips, hahaha. I looooove bread.

    The pizza grilled cheese sounds delicious. I have some pepperoni in the fridge, maybe I'll make those tomorrow night.

    I think my overall favorite way of saving money is upcycling items instead of throwing them away. From reusing cardboard boxes in my garden to making gardening labels from cat litter jugs, reusing cereal bags to freeze my meat, etc. I don't get to put a monetary value on those or count them as "freebies" but they really are that: freebies!

    Thanks for the great post, Alison! I love learning from other bloggers about how they save money:)

    1. Weird that your oyster crackers are more expensive! They used to be $0.89 and they just lowered them and advertised the lower price at $0.79. But either way, way cheaper then a box of cheese its :) I keep the loaf of bread in the rubbermaid container. I will have to take a picture and I cut it with my very expensive but wonderful christmas present from at least three years ago, bread knife. It is super fresh on the first two days and still pretty fresh through the week although my son doesn't like it as much but by the weekend it is good for toast, garlic bread or french toast so I cut and freeze whatever is left. I put the heel back on it too to try to keep in the moisture. I will put a post soon :) My bread also has milk in it which I think helps it stay a little more moist then the one with only water.

      Pizza Grilled Cheese is a great use of the frozen bread because we were already out of bread and I got to use that and make a fresh loaf for the next day. I hope you enjoy it!! I love the bread maker and have a hard time staying away from it.

      My scones are super easy to make into any flavor and I whip the egg white and if the dough is too sticky then I put the egg whites on my hands or the dough and smoosh it down. My greek yogurt ones are good and I changed them to score them to make it a little easier because then I don't have to cut them ahead of time and we enjoy the soft inside. I can post the link to the recipe since it was ages ago that I did it :)

    2. I have the Rubbermaid container too (the one shaped like a loaf, right?) but my breadmaker makes loaves that are slightly larger so if I smoosh them in there, they won't come out :(

      I would love it if you posted your scones recipe :) Thanks.

    3. My Rubbermaid container is actually not meant for bread. It has three or four nesting sizes. I used to use a big tupperware bowl and then I found that the loaf actually does fit in this Rubbermaid so I am excited to find something that fits better in the cupboard. It is a bigger version of the container I keep the oyster crackers in so square with a tan top. I looked on Amazon and they don't seem to sell the same kind anymore. My Greek Yogurt scone recipe can be found here:

  2. I really like this post- so many great ideas. I have bought oyster crackers before but nobody seemed to enjoy them- I think because they seemed too plain and too dry. After reading your idea about seasoning them I am going to pick up a bag next time I am at Aldi and try these again with some seasoning to see how it goes over this time. I will be thrilled if they like it because it is a cheap enough snack. Wonderful ideas- I love when I gain new ways to save from other people! Thank you, Alison! :)

    1. My husband and son love Cheese Its but they are really expensive. I stock up when they are cheaper but they always eat right through them so this is my husbands new go to. I have added garlic powder more recently because he really loves garlic (I didn't know this about his before). They are always going through them!! I hope your family like them too :)

    2. Cheez Its are on BOGO at Publix this week ($3.55). Want me to send you a care package? LOL.

    3. Actually.... check your CVS's upcoming ad that starts on Sunday. Mine shows Cheez-Its (6 to 7.5 oz) at 3 for $5 with the ExtraCare card!

    4. Haha!! No Publix for the deal but that is a good price. I bought a ton right in the middle of the move and they are long since gone. I like to wait until they really miss them so that they appreciate them again :) The small box at CVS isn't a great deal for us because they eat too many :)

  3. Alison, just saw this on Slickdeals: Get a $10/$10 Harris Teeter coupon with $40 redemption with Coinstar. Worth it if you have $40 in change sitting around! Details here:

  4. What a great list. Isn't it a good feeling to remind yourself from time to time, of all the ways you are frugal on a daily basis. You find the bargains and keep your grocery budget small, and then you make what you have stretch even further. I like to stretch my ground meat by frying it with shredded onion, pepper, celery, carrots, zucchini, whatever raw veggie I can, to use in chilies and other casseroles.


Thank you for visiting my blog today! I really appreciate any input or ideas so add your comment below.