What is your time worth?

A few days ago I did a post on how to get boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.29 a pound.  To read that post click here.  The catch to getting it at such a low price is you have to buy it in a 40 pound box.   It is frozen in 4 large bags, the chicken will all be stuck together.  MAKE SURE you look in the box to make sure yours is in 4 separate bags.  My friend got one and all 4 bags had spilled and froze together in one solid mass.  
I was not so sure I wanted to mess with all that frozen chicken.  So I split a box with my friend Eden.  We were both so happy with our chicken we decided to split another box yesterday.  Once again I just pulled my 2 frozen chicken bags out and let them thaw just enough, so I could pull it apart.  The first box was frozen solid at a rock and took almost 12 hours  to thaw.  My box yesterday was ready to cut up in just a few hours.  Once I started to cut and bag it, It took me about 30 mins start to finish.  I have to admit I gagged a few times…..I hate raw, fatty, chicken.

 

I would much rather buy my chicken all pretty, and hand trimmed….
  I price checked 3 stores yesterday and hand trimmed chicken runs about $4.50 a pound.  If you can afford it go for it,  but there is no way I can pay that much. 

I paid $53.00 for my 40 pounds of chicken at $1.29 a pound plus tax. 
If I was to buy 40 pounds of hand trimmed chicken it would cost $180.00
Being that I had to trim it myself I had to cut off about 4 pounds of fat, it took me an hour  between both boxes.  By doing the work myself I saved $127.00 for an hours worth of work.  When I look at it this way, I have to say it was WELL worth my time.  
Now that is a THRIFTY deal
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Food Waste???

Maybe it was the way I was raised, But I hate to waste food.  Growing up we always made sure to eat our “leftovers”  if the food did go bad, we would feed it to the dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, or anything else that was hungry.  We would NEVER dream of throwing any kind of food away.    Well now that I am off the farm, and live in a subdivision I can’t exactly throw my table scraps out the back door.  

My good friend Linda just came back from Arizona. She  brought back a bunch or fresh oranges, they were delicious and my kids ate them every morning for breakfast.  We left for spring break….we only had 2 oranges left. But they did not do so well while we were gone. 

 I learned this trick from a friend, she does it with the left over oranges she juices.  Cut them up up into wedges or small cubes.  Place them in a microwave bowl,  add enough water to cover the oranges half way.  Then place them in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes.  The water will start to boil and fill your microwave with a great orange smell  ( to help get rid of the taco, meatloaf smell from the leftovers  last week)  Not only will you microwave smell great but it will also, get all steamy.  Take a damp rag and wipe the inside down, the stuck on splatters will wipe right off.

Be care full taking it out, IT WILL BE HOT.  Take the steaming hot water and orange pulp and dump it down your garbage disposal.  I let it sit there just for a second,  and let it steam.  Then I turn my grinder on with the water running. It  leaves your sink smelling nice and clean.
What do you do with old fruit?

Cabin Vacation?

Well its Matt – I have to keep with tradition on starting with my name 😉
I was asked last night if I knew of any Thrifty Tips of finding a vacation deal. Well depending on what you call a vacation, I have it!
I came across this not to long ago and think it sounds like a lot of fun. These vary a little. Some have electricity, some don’t. But that might even make it that much more personal and special.
Most have BBQ grill stations, picnic tables, dishes, beds to sleep on, hiking areas, fishing, even horseback riding in many cases. Below are actual cabins and some views:


Even this old Forest Service Ranger Cabin for an awesome view (not for infants probably)

Now you may asking how much? Is it $250 a night – nope
Is it $199 a night? – nope
Ok – it can’t be under $100 a night, right? -wrong
How about between $10 and $40 bucks?
Think I’m kidding – NOPE – Thrifty Deal – HUH!
How?

These are U.S. Government and Forest Service Cabins. Most are available in the summer, and quite a few in the winter. They have their peak and off peak, and vary in price based on need by the government.
You can set up water sport activities, and all most any outdoor activities you can think of. Check it out for your self at Recreation.gov

We just got this Thrifty Tip for Military Families. Through 2009 you can enter any one of the below parks for FREE with 3 dependents also. Click the link below for more info
Sesame Place, Adventure Island, Sea World, Water Country USA, Busch Gardens
Thanks Tyson

Another way to use the Sunday Comics

I get 6 Sunday papers for the coupon inserts.  By the end of the week I have a large pile of papers to take to the recycle bin.  One day my kids were painting at the table, I put down a paper to keep the table clean.  My kids soon started painting the comics on the table instead of there art project.  Now every week I pull out the Sunday Comics and save them for my kids to paint.  They LOVE it, they lay them out on the kitchen floor, and just paint with water.  All it does is make the colors a little darker, but they think it is sooooo fun.  The best part is it’s FREE and easy to clean up!  In the summer time I even send them outside to paint them on the sidewalk,

Watch those expiration dates!

I just wanted to remind you all that a lot of coupons will expire on 3/31/09.  The last two P&G coupon inserts  over half the coupons all had the same expiration date of 3/31.   You might want to take a minute and look at your coupons.  If there is an item that you need and you have a coupon now would be the time to use it….even if it is not on sale.  Normally I wait to use coupons, with a sale.   But if a sale does not come go ahead and use that coupon before it expires.

Watch those expiration dates!

I just wanted to remind you all that a lot of coupons will expire on 3/31/09.  The last two P&G coupon inserts  over half the coupons all had the same expiration date of 3/31.   You might want to take a minute and look at your coupons.  If there is an item that you need and you have a coupon now would be the time to use it….even if it is not on sale.  Normally I wait to use coupons, with a sale.   But if a sale does not come go ahead and use that coupon before it expires.

Q&A- Coupon Fraud?

Question:  I was purchasing cereal and using coupons, but the cashier said I was committing ‘coupon fraud’ because I wasn’t purchasing the items pictured on the coupon. I told her that if it scans, then the store will be paid for the coupon. But she continued to cancel my items and coupon and said I could go exchange for the pictured items. Who was right?


Answer:  I to have had cashiers refuse to even scan my coupons because the photo does not match up.  When this has happened I have asked for a manager, and then I have been able to use the coupon.  But sometimes even the manager is not sure what the rules are.   I decided to become a better informed coupon shopper and find the answer out for myself. This is what I have found…


How to know if the coupon you have, will work on a product.

Most of use match up the picture on the coupon to the product we want to buy. What we don’t know is, most the time that coupon will work for more than one item in that product line. The company will normally put the photo of the most expensive item, so we match the photo with the item, not knowing any other way.
If you ever have a coupon and you want to see if it will work for an item look at the bar code on the coupon and the item. If the first 5 numbers match ( in photo 18000) then in most cases you are able to use that coupon for that item. If it scans with no “beeping” it will work.Make sure you read the wording on the coupon, and buy the correct size or number of items. When the wording on a coupon is vague this is a great tool to help you understand coupons. 
A few weeks ago I had a $5 Huggies gentle care coupon,  It was for $5 off huggies gentle care diaper care products.  I had one cashier tell me  it was only for diapers and I could not use it on wipes.   SO I called Huggies customer care line and asked them.  She said as long as it did not “exclude the item” and it scanned then I could use the coupon.  She did say that they leave it up to the store to decided if they will expect the coupon or not.  So if they  scan it and the Register does not beep, the store will get paid for that coupon.  But in the end it is up to the store to decided it they will let you use it or not.  
When ever you aren’t sure ask the manager to scan you coupon to see it is a “match”  or call the products Customer service line and ask if you can use that coupon.  I always try to “play by the rules” and be honest.  I have found it is always best to ask what the rules are both from the Manufacturer and the store.  I hope this information helps you all become more informed coupon shoppers!