Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tailgating Fun: Yummie Recipes From Martha Stewart

When I think of football...I certainly do NOT think of Martha Stewart....but she does have some yummie recipes on her site that sound great for tailgating.

The Perfect Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80 percent lean)
  • Vegetable oil, for grates
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns, split and lightly grilled, or toasted
  • Lettuce, tomato, or other toppings, as desired

Directions

  1. Evenly divide meat into 4 portions. With a light touch, gently form each one into a ball, then shape into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. With thumb, make a 1/4-inch-deep indentation in the center of each (this prevents burgers from getting rounded tops during grilling). Transfer to a plate; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 1 day.
  2. Heat grill to high (it should be difficult to hold your hand above the grates). Moisten a folded paper towel with vegetable oil; grasp with tongs, and quickly wipe over the grates.
  3. Generously season patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Place patties on grill; cover, and cook to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve burgers on buns with desired toppings.

Texas Red Chili

I do not know if I, personally, would want to sit thru an entire football game, in the stands, after eating this spicy chili.  I guess I would have to take plenty of Zantac for the heart burn.  It does sound very yummie for when the weather gets chilly....maybe around late DECEMBER for a Cowboys home game.  LOL.  This would also be a great dish to serve durring half time for a football watching party at home. I think I would need to cut out a few of the spicy ingredience, I wonder if that would hurt the outcome?  Maybe my delicate system (I used to could take the heat .... man, I am getting old!!!!) would be better off opeing a can of Wolf Brand...LOL.

Ingredients

  • 8 whole dried chiles (5 ancho and 3 guajillo or all ancho; about 3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into small pieces (1/2 inch or smaller)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped (4 cups)
  • 7 to 8 garlic cloves, minced (5 tablespoons)
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano chiles, seeded if desired, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes, pureed with their juice (3 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cups water, plus more if needed and for soaking
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons white vinegar, to taste

Directions

  1. Toast dried chiles in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and blistered, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove stem and seeds; discard. Transfer chiles to a large measuring cup or bowl, and cover with hot water. Keep chiles submerged with a small bowl, and let soak for 30 minutes. Remove from water, and puree in a blender with 1/2 cup soaking liquid.
  2. Heat a large heavy pot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Season beef with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Brown beef in batches, adding more oil as needed, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add remaining tablespoon oil, the onions, garlic, and minced chiles to pot, and cook over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. (If the pan gets too dark, add a little water, and scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon to deglaze.) Add cumin and oregano, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Stir in browned beef and chile puree. Add tomato puree, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer gently, partially covered, until meat is very tender and juices are thick, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (Check pot once an hour for excessive evaporation; if chili seems dry, add a little water.) Season chili with salt, and stir in vinegar. Serve immediately (or refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months; reheat in a pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally).
There are many more great recipes on Martha Stewarts website.  Hop on over there to find one that will please your Super Fans.

GO COWBOYS!!!!!

Tiffany

Friday, September 16, 2011

Couponing for Two: Healthy Couponing


You hear comments over and over about how it is hard to eat healthy when shopping with coupons...or how the Extreme Couponing people on TLC are only buying junk.  It is true that there are ALOT of coupons out there for junk food but there are also coupons for good nutritional products, too.

I tried my hand at a video, using my phone (my actual camera took forEVER to upload). The quality is not all that great but I am including it anyway...





In the video I show that I used a coupon to get BANANAS on the cheap with a Market Street in-store coupon..  When you find coupons for fruit, it is usually in the form of a "combined" offer.  For example, I saw a peelie on a box of cereal a few weeks ago that offered a combined deal on the cereal AND fruit.  Another example, on a combined offer is how I used the coupon from Market Street for Fuze water and Bananas. You may also get a Catalina for fruit, I got one at Tom Thumb a few weeks back for 3.00 off the purchase of any fruit.  So if you keep your eyes out and use your creativity, you can find coupons on fruit.

There are also coupons out right now on veggies.  I found one to clip in a recent insert (RP 08/28/11) on canned Libby's veggies (there was one on fruit , as well).  And Dole puts out coupons quiet often.  I am not the biggest fan of canned veggies but I will pick them up to keep in my pantry for those times when I need them for home made soups and stews.

I am not going to list all of the current offers for fruit and veggies right now, you can go to coupons.com and see what you find.  Or you can go to the Hip2save Coupon Database to find links and info on just about every current coupon out RIGHT NOW!!!!

Other healthier items to keep your eye out for include vitamins.  I was able to snag a few bottles of a vitamin product I needed for under 3.00.  This was during CVS's BOGO sale on Sundown Vitamins.  I combined a CVS coupon and a Manufacture coupon on each of the bottles and after all was said and done, I got out of there with my vitamins and gum for under 3.00.  That was a major score for me.

Also, you can usually find coupons for high fiber snacks from Fiber One (cereal, too), Special K, and a few others.  The Who Knew Cookies had a couple of coupons out all summer.  I can not wait to try them and I will let you know what I think.  Just like the Fiber One commercials say...high fiber does not mean it tastes like cardboard anymore (I paraphrased).

Whole Foods have coupons, too...but I do not shop there.  They are too expensive and just because something comes from there does not mean it is better for you, in my opinion.

If you have any suggestions on using coupons to buy healthier foods, please tell us about it in the comments.

Happy Savings,

Tiffany

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Couponing for Two: RIP Kroger Double and Triple Coupons

It is a sad day in DFW Couponing world...Kroger is putting an end to their Double and Triple Coupon program.  While this might not have a huge affect on MY grocery shopping, I have only just started this adventure and did not even know Kroger was STILL doing this until sometime in July...and then I was still not "on the ball" enough to take advantage of it fully.  It is however hurting a few pocket books...the social media, blogs, forums, etc are all a buzz at how this will hurt their budgets.  I personally will miss the free soap, pantyliners, and popsicles....as that is all I got for free.  I did, however, get some very good prices on lunch meat and ravioli with the doubles.

Here is a snip-it from the Fort Worth Star Telegram, "Kroger says it will stop doubling and tripling certain coupons at North Texas stores, effective Wednesday.
 
The grocery stores will continue to accept manufacturer coupons at face value, but the company wants to re-channel the expense into lowering prices, said Gary Huddleston, director of consumer affairs for Kroger's Southwest division.
 
"We have lowered a number of prices over the last six months," Huddleston said.

Kroger eliminated the practice in Houston this year. For example, a customer using a 40-cents-off coupon on a bottle of orange juice might have received 80 cents off with double coupons. Now she receives just the 40-cent discount.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/09/08/3348708/kroger-to-stop-doubling-tripling.html#ixzz1XqqNv1jb "
 
I have not noticed the lower prices...but then I really have not looked.  I have shopped at Wal Mart for my groceries and then Market Street (United) for a few certain items...that I would not know if Kroger has started lowering pries.  I do know, however, that Kroger is way over priced with or without their "lowered" pricing.  While using coupons, I enjoyed the savings...and will not shop there without the savings.  If the higher value coupons I have bring their prices low enough, I will shop there...if not...no biggie.  I will price match the few good deals at Walmart.  I need to think of my gas tank, too, afterall.
 
Here's the thing....I have not found all that many coupons that double or triple, for things I need.  Proctor and Gamble have VERY low value coupons and without doubling or tripling them...I will not buy them.  There are too many other options to waste money on a company that will not put out a decent coupon.  Gain has a 2.00 coupon out right now...Tide?  .25 cents!!!!  I mean, COME ON!!!! Gain is a better smelling product so I would rather have that, anyway.  .25 Cents is not enough of a savings to matter to me.  I am not extreme enough, I guess.
 
I am irritated that Kroger discontinued this program in our rotten economy and high rate of unemployment.  That shows a lack of compassion.  They are reimbursed for the coupons face value...and I SERIOUSLY do not think they were loosing money while doubling and tripling all these years.  If they were loosing money, they would have stopped this long ago.  This is corporate greed. 
 
Albertson's, Tom Thumb (with strict limits), and Brookshires still Double and Triple... I will keep this in my mind as I plan my shopping trips.
 
You can voice your opinion on BringBackDoubles.com
 
And for sure call Mr Gary Huddleston, director of consumer affairs for Kroger's Southwest division.
"If everyone wants to voice their opinion to Kroger, contact Gary Huddleston directly. He is the Director of Consumer Affairs and is quoted in the story. His direct line is 972-785-6004 and his cell number is 972-670-6814. His email address is gary.huddleston@kroger.com. This is all public information that I got off a PR news release website. Everyone call him today!" Read more: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/dfwjobs/2011/09/kroger-ending-double-and-triple-coupons-in-north-texas.html#ixzz1XqvRc7HG
 
"Let's go Krogering"  NOT SO MUCH.
 
Tiffany
 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Couponing for Two: Videos for the Beginner

I love watching short videos to help me learn.  I have a rather short attention span so these little 5 to 10 minute videos are just perfect.  I mention "Collin" from Hip2Save a lot and she has some of the best videos to help you learn the ins and outs of couponing.  She, recently, put out a series for the beginning couponer.  It is a 3 part series and is very informative. 



Please go to her site for part 2 and part 3.

Krazy Coupon Lady has quiet a few, as well. They also have a radio show that goes over various couponing topics.

To get really inspired about what you can get cheap and possibly FREE with coupons, go watch ShadyLane2121 on Youtube. Her website is Cut, Clip, Save, you can also access her videos from there.  I mentioned on another post that I really enjoy watching her videos showing her grocery shopping "hauls".  She is very down to earth and her husband, Clay, is a trip.  She was on Extreme Couponers last Spring and her episode re-runs often during TLC's Extreme Couponing Marathons.

Coupon Divas has a great video series on finding non-food items on the cheap.  She has some great videos on back to school shopping and shopping for the holidays.  Not just food and groceries with this Diva.

There are so many out there, just about every person featured on Extreme Coupining has a website and tutorial videos.  I am sure you will find one you "click" with and enjoy.  If you know of a good one, please share with us in the comments.

Happy Savings,

Tiffany

Happy Birthday to my Darling Hubbie David!!!!

Now doesn't he LOOK like he is having a great Brithday?

We went to his favorite place for lunch, Bone Daddy's.  he got lots of attention, but then we always do because the waitresses are really sweet there.  I think you have to have a pretty good personality and not take yourself too seriously working at a place like that.  We know the manager since we go pretty often and she comped us on just about everything...but not the Shiner.

David, I love you more than words can say and hope you have a WONDERFUL Birthday and year to come.  I will do my best to make sure you are happy, relaxed, and having fun!!!!

Tiffany

Monday, September 5, 2011

Couponing for Two: Online Resources and Couponing

Personally, I would be hard pressed to save even a penny if it were not for all of the online resources about couponing.  I watched TLC's Extreme Couponing, like most people, thinking "I could never do THAT!!!!"  But I decided to try.  I failed.  What happened was I got my Sunday paper, clipped a few coupons that I found interesting and went shopping.  That is NOT how to win at the couponing game.  I just did not know what I was doing wrong....but I am NOT one to lose.  I decided to do a bit of research, the only way I really know how these days...I went surfing online.

This is where I hit PAY DIRT!!!!  There are so many FREE tutorial and helpful sites online...there are even FREE COUPONS that you can print.  If you learn better by watching, there are even videos on YouTube.  Whatever your way of learning, I am sure you will find it with a quick Google or Yahoo! search.

Here are some of my favorites to get you started.

Hip2Save (my absolute favorite couponing site.  She gives you GREAT deals but also shows you how to get the deals without being too extreme)
We Use Coupons (A great site with lots of "forums")
A Full Cup  (This site is great because there are "forums" that are very active.  I am in Texas, and they even have a "Texas" forum so when talking about deals...they are in your own back yard)
Krazy Coupon Lady (a great site for up to the minute deals. I think, however, that some of the deals are reposted from other sites, so make sure you are using the correct coupons and they are not expired)
Couponing Divas (my most favorite site for making easy shopping lists.  She has every coupon that you can use with each item, too.  Her videos are also very helpful.  Some of the stores featured are regional, however.  The Albertson's in AZ, for example, has different sales than the Alberston's in Texas)
Cut Clip Save (You HAVE to watch their videos, too.  I get such a kick out of "Clay" and how excited he is over couponing.  Their youtube name is shadylane2121)

and to find free coupons that you print at home...

Coupons.com
Red Plum
Smart Source
Betty Crocker (you will need to create an acct but there are so many coupons, so worth it!!!!)
Proctor and Gamble (you can not print coupons from P&G but they will send you several via snail mail)

Also, most "brands" have coupons on their sites or facebook pages...just search around for them or follow the blogs like Hip2Save or Coupon Divas where they alert you when there is a coupon available.  Some of my favorite "brand" websites that ALWAYS have coupons are Uncle Ben's, Colgate, Michaelina's and Marie Calendar. 

All of these are a great way to find coupons but remember to always get a few Sunday papers because that is the BEST way to grow your coupon stash.

I hope these resources help you get started.

Happy Savings,

Tiffany

Friday, September 2, 2011

Vocal Point Product Review: Fresh Express Salad in a Bag

OMG I would have never bought this stuff if I did not have a coupon for a free bag.  Vocalpoint sent me a coupon so I could try and review this product.  IDK why they are doing this, this stuff is not new.  From experience, I knew what would happen...I open it, use a little out of the bag...close it up WITH the little clip they sent me...and by this afternoon it was brown.  Happens everytime I buy this stuff.  I was in a hurry and picked it up at Albertsons last night.  I knew I would only need a small amount for tacos and we would not be eating at home the rest of the weekend. 

I strongly do not recommend...not even if it is free, unless of course you do not plan to use much...but do not waste your time, money or energy opening the bag on this mess.  Unchopped lettuce is cheaper, fresher, and lasts a lot longer....and really?  How hard is it to chop some lettuce?

Oh...and it stinks when you open the bag. 

Tiffany

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Couponing for Two: Money Makers? Shake 'em like Somebody's Gonna Pay Ya

So this post will talk about "Money Makers" and what that entails.  You see that on all of the couponing blogs and wonder...."How can that be a "money maker"?  Why would they PAY me to take that home? 

A "money maker" is simply something that ends in the cost being less than the value of coupons...so you are not paying anything but the tax and sometimes have "overage" or even money in hand. 

Most stores will not actually PAY you to take an item home.  What happens is you will use the "overage" towards other items.  Another way to see it as being "paid" to take it home, is when your Extra Care Bucks or Register Rewards come to be more than what you paid out of pocket (oop). " Let’s say Walgreens has a promotion in which you earn a $5 Register Reward on your next purchase if you buy 10 Gillette shaving products. The least expensive Gillette product is shaving gel at $2 which you can buy for free by stacking a Walgreens $1/1 coupon with a Gillette manufacturer $1/1 coupon. With 10 Walgreens coupons and 10 Gillette coupons, you get 10 shaving gels for free plus a $5 Register Reward to use like cash on your next purchase! So you end up getting products for free and making $5" (from hip2save).

For example , this week at Walgreens, Estroven is on sale for 10.00 a box.  With the purchase of this you get a 10.00 Register Reward....so you see, it is even steven right there so the item is FREE....BUT there is a 3.00 coupon that you can print and hand over when you purchase a box and that just made this a "money maker".  You are still paying for the item, which was 10.00 minus the 3.00 coupons...so you are handing over 7.00 in cash (credit card, debit...whatever).  You get a 10.00 Register Reward back (that you have to use at Walgreens....but you know you are going to be buying something else at Walgreens anyway, right?).  The Register Reward is 3.00 greater than the cash you handed over...so you made money on this transaction. (I have no real need for Estroven, just yet, so this will be donated, of course.)



If you are buying something at Walmart, on the other hand, your "money makers" are seen as "overage" that you use for other items.  There is a video on youtube.com where a lady had so much overage, after coupons, that she was able to buy quiet a bit of items and did not pay anything but tax.  How this happened was she had 3.00 coupons for an item that was priced at 1.87 (or around that).  Since there was not a limit on size for the coupon, this was allowed.  The store will not be handing her the difference in cash but since she had other items to purchase this worked out because they will allow the overage to go towards other items.  So for each coupon she had 2.13 in "overage".  since she had several of these coupons and the item was something she could stockpile. the "overage" really added up.  For the average couponer, this will probably not happen too often....but even if you bought one of these items, you would have 2.13 to spend on something like produce, which rarely has a coupon. I usually only have a nickel or so in overage, so I do not get too excited about this.

I hope this helped clear the air about "money makers and "overage".

Happy Savings,

Tiffany