Thanks to everyone who voted--hopefully we can pass some useful ideas around! I've had a few friends email some great sounding recipes, so I'll post those this week. I'll also put a link up for you to submit ideas, requests, and recipes of your own!
The vote was unanimous for saving money on food and groceries, so I'll pass on a few tips for the week:
1. The Bargain Scout. Lindsay's sister compiles lists of some great deals and coupons on her blog that can really come in handy--props to all of you who were able to stock up on diapers!
2. Pinching your pennies. This site lets you enter your zip code and select stores in your area, and then searches through the current ads for each store and posts the best deals. Products are separated into categories and rated on a scale from "buy this only if you're desperate" to "great buy! stock up!" It also has a feature that lets you print out your grocery list based on your selections from this list. Much easier than keeping track of newspaper ads!
3. Shortcuts.com. This site lets you search for a store in your area where you have a frequent shopper card (a la smith's student card or fresh values member). You enter your card number and select the coupons you want, which are loaded online to your card and automatically come up when you scan your card at the store! You also get e-mail reminders when coupons you have selected are about to expire. I find that it helps to print out a list of what coupons I have just so I can check it when I'm at the store, but it's still easier than keeping track of a bunch of coupons.
4. Frugal mommy. This wonderful woman posts giveaways for free giftcards and products, but also has a section dedicated to free samples and coupons. Great if you are looking for a discount on a particular product or are willing to try something new if it's free.
5. Free samples. Lots of places offer these, but the most common is Walmart. Only a few products are offered at a time, and it takes a few weeks to ship, but hey, it's free! Some of the most common products offered are feminine hygiene and diapers, and hey, who hasn't whined about having to buy that stuff? Synovate global opinion panels is a survey group I've mentioned before that's also great for free sample for product testing.
6. Prescriptions. If any of you are on prescription meds for anything, make sure you're getting the best deal! I fill my prescription at Smith's, but ask them to price match for Costco (and you don't need a membership!). Smith's price per month: $42.50 Costco: $7.00. Many stores will price match for ads if you bring it in, so don't be afraid to ask! It's more convenient to shop in one stop, and you never lose for asking.
7. Citydeals. I'm not finding the great deals I used to, but every once in a while it surprises me. This place offers gift cards at a reduced rate. Search by zip code or type of card and see what interests you. Eric and I often use this for date planning: decide we want to go mini-golfing, find a $20 gift card to Boondocks for $15, order it to be shipped for same day pickup to one of several local stores, and go on a date for less! It regularly costs $3 shipping, but only once per order. Shipping takes three days on average unless you select same day pickup. Same day orders must be placed by mid morning for pickup after 4pm. I'm famous around our house for buying $40 gift cards to Rodizio's Brazilian grill for $28...bring on the feasting!
8. Christmas Giveaway! this site is giving away a ton of prizes over the next few weeks as well as donating to help out families in need for christmas. Can't get better than that!
Just a few thoughts for now. Again, I'll get a link up for you to post your thoughts and share suggestions! Happy saving.
P.S. for all you crafters, there are some GREAT Joann's coupons this week including 10% off your entire order including clearance deals...I have links for these if you're interested!