Simply Saving Saturday - February 15


My husband was able to get a ride home from church after his meeting on Sunday so that we were able to ride together to church instead of taking 2 vehicles, saving us money on gas.

This week I made a meal with lentils for the first time.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a big hit at my house.  I will be looking for more lentil recipes to try since I now have 8 cups of cooked lentils in my freezer!

I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot and made overnight crock pot chicken broth.  I used the leftover chicken and chicken broth to make Chicken and Rice Soup and we also had chicken quesadillas and chicken sandwiches with the leftover chicken.

I found Nivea Lip Butter on sale at Walmart for $1.74 each and used the $3.00 Nivea lip care coupon from Sunday's paper.  I paid $.24 each!  I was also really excited to find bags of slightly browned bananas on sale for $.89/bag.  The bag I brought home had 12 bananas in it!  I made chocolate chip banana muffins and will freeze the bananas that I'm not able to use up quickly.

Our children made their dad Valentine's Day cards and I wrote him a Soap Love Note for Valentine's Day. Instead of eating out, I made a Valentine's Day meal at home and made one of his favorite desserts, Hot Fudge Cake.

We took the sleds out to the back yard for sledding.  A storm brought almost a foot of snow this week!

In my mailbox: free Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - February 8


This week my husband and I enjoyed a free meal at a fancy restaurant.  My husband's employer hosts an annual employee dinner every February and we look forward to this free "date" every year.

On Wednesday we had a snow storm that gave us about 6 more inches of snow.  My husband also had that day off from work and instead of using the snow blower he and the boys went out late Wednesday afternoon to shovel.  They went out again after he got home from work on Thursday to finish cleaning up the driveway. We saved a little bit of gas by shoveling instead of using the snow blower.

At the bread store this week I was able to buy a few items that were on sale for $.50 each and also bought loaves of whole wheat bread for $.99 each.  They had loaves of Texas Toast bread for $.99!  I splurged and bought a loaf since my husband treats us to french toast once in a while and french toast is just not the same if it's not made with Texas Toast bread.

I made Spaghetti Pie with leftover spaghetti and used cottage cheese that I got for $1 after sale and coupons.

After the children were born we got into the habit of leaving a light on at night.  This week I found an extra night light and we have been using that at night instead of leaving a light on.  I'm anxious to see if this will make a difference on our electric bill!

I added a little bit of water to the hand soap in order to get the last little bit from the bottom of the bottle.

In my mailbox: free samples.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - February 1



On our last bank statement, I noticed a charge for receiving a paper statement.  This week I went online and signed up for online statements so that we wouldn't have to pay the monthly paper statement fee.  It only took a few minutes and will save us $12 per year.  That might not seem like a lot, but I like to think about it in terms of food....that is about 12 boxes of pasta or 12 cans of spaghetti sauce or 3 gallons of milk or...

This week I cooked a whole chicken that I bought on sale last week and made chicken broth in the crock pot with the scraps.  We tried Chicken Pot Pie Stew that I made on the stove instead of in the crock pot and it turned out delicious!

I was able to buy some ground beef that was on sale for $1.99/lb. this week.

I saved a fancy jar that we received a Christmas gift in; it will be perfect for storing rice!

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - January 25



While at the grocery store I noticed an unadvertised 50% off clearance on a few different kinds of cereal.  I had coupons with me that I was able to use and paid just $1.00 - $1.50 per box.  I bought 12 boxes and I'm hoping to make these last for 6 weeks.  I also bought whole chicken on sale for $.99/lb. and bread at the bread store for $.99 each.  

This week we tried Taco Soup for the first time.  I added some shredded chicken leftover from another meal and we all enjoyed it.  I was thrilled when our child who doesn't care for soup ate it without complaint.

We borrowed movies and books from the library.

I cut our younger son's hair.

I saved the stickers from a Disney offer that came in the mail to put in Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.

I reused plastic zipper bags.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.
**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - Alternatives to Cable and Satellite T.V.



Our satellite t.v. provider sent us a notice that our bill is going to increase $5 per month starting in February. That's an extra $60 per year! We have considered switching to a basic cable plan, but we are pretty sure we will eventually have the same problem with increasing rates, so this week I did a little research on alternatives to cable and satellite t.v. and here are the options that we are considering:

1.  Buy an HDMI cable.

Pros:  The cable would allow us to stream video from our computer to our t.v and we would be able to take advantage of the many free shows available online from Hulu, pbs.org, cbs.com, etc.  This is also one of the least expensive options; the cable costs around $12.

Cons:  We wouldn't be able to watch any local programming and would not be able to watch our beloved Patriots football games.  Also, the free programming available online is shown a day after it airs.

2.  HDMI cable + antenna.

Pros:  We would be able to pick up local programming with the antenna (and, hopefully the football games) along with the free programming we could watch with on our t.v. with the cable.

Cons:  My husband went online and found that we would need to mount the antenna on our roof in order to get a strong enough signal and we're not sure how many channels we would be able to get. The cost of these antennas, I believe, is somewhere around $100 depending on what you need for your location.

3.  Antenna + Roku.

Pros: A Roku is a device for streaming wirelessly to a t.v. and offers many shows for free. There are other options for streaming wirelessly, but this seems to be the best and least expensive option for us.

Cons:  A Roku costs between $50 and $100 depending on which version you buy.  There are a few sports networks available through the Roku for a fee (MLB, NHL), but football isn't available.  The free version of Hulu does not work on the Roku.


Some things to consider before disconnecting:

*Early termination fees (if under contract)
*Internet connection speed needs to be high enough to be able to stream movies without interruption.
*Make sure the internet package does not include bandwidth caps.  Extra fees will be charged for usage beyond the cap.


Have you disconnected from cable or satellite t.v.?  What has worked for you as an alternative?





[photo credit: frankie-8/freedigitalphotos.net]