Outback Steakhouse: Free Kid’s Meal with Adult Entree Purchase

Use this coupon at Outback Steakhouse to get a free kid’s meal with an any adult dinner entree.  Coupon is valid through August 19, 2014.

Fine Print: One Free Kids Meal with the purchase of an adult dinner entrée (limit of 2 free Kids Meals per coupon, per visit). Offer valid for kids ages 10 years and under.  Valid at dinner for dine-in or Curbside Take-Away® at participating Outback Steakhouse® locations in the U.S.

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Weekly Spending Summary (8/3-8/9)

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use: Coupons.com, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

Favorite buys:
* Old El Paso Stand & Stuff Tacos $0.08 each
* Oikos Greek Yogurt Dips $0.49 each
* Scott toilet paper 12 pk $4.49 each
* Organic ground turkey $1.99/lb.

Total Spent: $95.49
Total Saved with Coupons: $8.50
Total Saved with Sales: $28.44
Total Saved: $36.94

Giant: $22.96
Saved with Coupons: $8.50
Saved with Sales: $28.44

It’s been a while since I did any gas reward deals at Giant mostly because the deals just weren’t that good lately.  But I decided to do one this week when I saw that I could get 6 Old El Paso Stand & Stuff Tortillas for $0.5o total or just $0.08 each.  We love these- they are perfect for breakfast wraps or rice, beans and beef burritos.

(If you aren’t familiar with how the gas deals work, basically you earn so much off a gallon of gas when you purchase a certain number of specific items.  This time I earned $0.30 off a gallon, up to 25 gallons of gas, for purchasing the Old El Paso.)

I also grabbed some organic ketchup for $1.49 with a coupon that I got from the little machine located right inside the front door.  I buy this ketchup mostly because it is HFCS free (high fructose corn syrup free) and am willing to pay a bit more for it as a result.  The peanuts were free after a coupon that I received from the manufacturer.  Several months ago I had bought some Planters peanuts that were supposed to be salted and were not.  I contacted Planters and they sent me some coupons as a result.

The toilet paper was a stock-up deal that I did at Giant.  It might seem kind of crazy to buy 3 big packs of toilet paper but one of the ways that I save a lot is by stocking up on things that we use regularly like this when they are at rock bottom prices.  Just by purchasing these 3 packs of toilet paper now when I could get them for just $4.49 each after coupons and sales saved me at least $10.50!  I try not to pay more than $5 a pack for Scott toilet paper and it’s been a number of months since I saw it for that price.  So even though I had to buy 3 to get this deal (it was part of a promo where you had to buy 3 to get this price) I didn’t mind because I know it is something that we’ll end up using and I can easily store it under our basement steps until we need it.

Bought:

  • 6 Old El Paso Stand & Stuff Tortillas $2.00 each
  • 3 Scott tissue $5.49 each
    - bought with rain check
  • Planters peanuts $1.00
  • Nature’s Promise organic ketchup $1.99

Coupons Used:

  • Four $0.75 Old El Paso printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • Three $0.55 Scott printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • $1.00 Planters coupon received from manufacturer
  • $0.50 Nature’s Promise coupon printed at coupon machine in store

Got Back:

  • $7.50 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Old El Paso

Aldi: $49.03

Yes, I kind of went crazy buying eggs!  The Amish farm where I used to get them no longer has chickens and I miss being able to get them for such a good price.  You might remember that the last while they’ve been running anywhere from $1.59 to $1.99 around here.  So when I saw that they were only $1.29 right now I jumped on it and bought a bunch.  I’m always amazed at how fast eggs disappear around our place.  We love having breakfast for dinner and can go through up to 10 eggs a meal anymore!

The Bugles were a total splurge.  For some reason I love those things even though I know they are totally not good for you!  We were preparing to go on a week long vacation and I bought them and the maple syrup as part of our “special vacation food” .  We save money when we go on trips/vacations by taking most of our own food along.  But then I also don’t feel bad spending a bit more and buying fun or more expensive things to enjoy during those times too.

Oh and the tilapia?  It’s not something that I buy a lot since I try to not spend more than $2/lb. on meat.  I guess tilapia is technically seafood and not meat but I still consider it meat.  Anyway, because it’s healthy, I do occasionally buy fish when I can get it for a decent price if I have room in my budget.  I noticed that Aldi had lowered their price on tilapia right now and it was $3/lb. again so I went ahead and got a pack.

The rest of the stuff?  Just my usual stuff that I buy at Aldi when I need it and can’t get it for a better price elsewhere.

Bought:

  • Pure Maple Syrup $3.99
  • Canola Oil $2.49
  • Saltines $0.89
  • Almonds $4.99
  • 2 Black Beans $0.59 each
  • Bugles $0.99
  • 2 Great Northern Beans $0.59 each
  • Sweet Potatoes $2.39
  • 2 Flour Tortillas $1.19 each
  • Butter $2.69
  • Cream Cheese $1.29
  • 2 Sour Cream $1.29 each
  • 3 lb. Apples $3.69
  • Mayo $1.99
  • Tilapia 2 lb. $5.99
  • 8 Eggs $1.29 each

Sharp Shopper: $23.50

I wanted some lunch meat and cheese to take on our trip and so I headed to a local discount grocery store to see if I could find any deals there.  I didn’t luck out on cheese but I did find some lunch meat for $2/lb. or less and was happy about that!  I also got some ground turkey that was organic, no-antibiotic ever and no hormones ever (as opposed to lots of meats that say no hormones added) for $1.99/lb.

They also had cottage cheese for $0.99/lb. so I grabbed several of those.  The grapes ($1.19/lb), gummi worms, Cheez-Its ($1.49) and Oikos dips ($0.49 each) were all things that I bought to take on our trip.  Oh and those Oikos Greek Yogurt dips are really good!  I wish now that I had bought a couple more but it was one of those things that I figured if I bought a bunch it would end up being something we didn’t really like.

Misc.: $0

A friend generously shared one of her yellow zucchini with me!  We love zucchini things and I was delighted to receive this.  Did you know that there was such a thing as yellow zucchini?  Me neither.  They intrigue me!

I’ve tried growing zucchini the last couple of years and they always end up getting some blight for some reason.  I always ended up getting about 3 little zucchini and that was it.  So this year I decided to skip planting them and am counting on my friends having bountiful crops and sharing because they don’t know what else to do with them!  (Hint, hint dear friends that are reading this!)  Ha!

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Sonic: Half-Price Cheeseburgers August 14, 2014

Sonic is offering half-priced cheeseburgers all day Thursday, August 14, 2014!

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5 Tips to Make Kid’s Packed Lunches Easy and Fun

Lunch Tips

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Del Monte. The opinions and text are all mine.

Back to school season is here and if you are like most parents, one of the things that you are not looking forward to is packing your kid’s lunch. Somehow it is just one of those jobs that can get boring and tedious pretty fast, not to mention the fact that a lot of kids can be hard to please when it comes to food!

Take heart! Here are 5 tips that will make packing your kid’s lunches easy and hopefully make them a hit at the same time.

1. Prep Ahead

The more prep work you do ahead of time, the easier your mornings will be. Mix up sandwich spreads, portion out bags of snacks and chop any veggies or fruit. Then all that you need to do in the morning is simply throw the sandwich together and grab your other items. And actually, if you want to make it really easy, you can even make the sandwiches the evening before too!

Want to be even more efficient? Prep a whole week’s worth of lunches at the beginning of the week!

2. Have a Designated Spot for Lunch Food

It makes things super easy if you can always find the items for your lunches at the same spot in the fridge and pantry. Designate a shelf as the lunch shelf or get a small basket and keep your lunch things in it. This not only makes sure someone doesn’t make a snack out of someone’s prepared lunch food, it also will save you time and hassle in the morning when you are rushing around trying to collect everything.

3. Allow Variety

Chances are your kids will be more excited about their lunch if it’s not the same old boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich every. single. day. Add some variety by switching the sandwich for a slice of pizza, a cheese quesadilla, hummus and crackers or even the occasional hot dog.

Prefer sticking with sandwiches every day? That’s fine! Just change things up and keep it interesting by making different kinds such as chicken salad, meat and cheese, tuna salad, egg salad or even cream cheese and banana. Of course you could easily sub a wrap for the bread some days too just for something fun and different!

4. Make it Easy to Eat

If your child is anything like mine, they have a hard time getting their food eaten in time. Packing easy-to-eat foods like sandwiches and wraps, cheese, carrots, trail mix, No Bake Energy Bites and Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers and Plastic Fruit Cups make it easy for them to get their lunch eaten.

5. Keep it Simple

Above all, keep it simple! Yes, you could spend extra time and make a sandwich that looks like an animal. And if you enjoy doing that kind of thing, go ahead and make them occasionally. But fancy looking sandwiches are totally not necessary to give your kids a healthy, delicious lunch. Chances are that you’ll stick with packing healthier lunches if you keep it simple and therefore easy to do.

Enjoy a little contest? From August 1 through September 1, share a photo of your kids’ favorite Del Monte snack- Fruit Burst Squeezers or Plastic Fruit Cups (Squeeze or Spoon?).

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Del Monte. The opinions and text are all mine. 

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Recipe: Easy Caramel Frappe

I am a sucker for beverages, especially coffee beverages.  But since I believe that homemade is usually better and since I’m frugal and hate parting with $4 every time I want to quench my craving, I’ve been on a mission to figure out how to make my own homemade coffee drinks that mimic the ones I love at restaurants.

I have an iced coffee recipe that I really like but just couldn’t come up with a homemade frappe that I truly loved.  In my opinion the thing that puts this frappe a notch above other recipes that I’ve tried is the fact that it uses frozen coffee ice cubes instead of regular ice cubes.  When you use regular ice cubes to get that slushy frappe texture, it just ends up making it too watery and weak.  But by using coffee ice cubes, it keeps the coffee flavor nice and strong, the way it should be!

This recipe makes a very thick frappe.  If you want it a bit thinner add more milk or brewed coffee.  And if you think the coffee flavor should be stronger, feel free to sprinkle in a bit of instant coffee!

Easy Caramel Frappe
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup strong coffee, frozen into cubes*
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons caramel syrup
  • whipped cream and caramel syrup for top

Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except whipped cream in blender. Blend until ice cubes are crushed. If you have trouble getting it thoroughly blended, let it sit for a couple of minutes and try again.
  2. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel syrup.

Notes
* for me 1 cup is 8 ice cubes

Recipe slightly adapted from Chocolate, Chocolate and More.

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