21 Easy Tips to Saving Money

There is definitely a sense of satisfaction from going to the store with nothing but a few dollars and a handful of coupons and coming home with a sack full of stuff:)   Sometimes I even have more coupons than groceries!  Playing the “coupon game” is a fun challenge with some great benefits.  For Russell and I it’s allowed us a little more freedom in our budget to do fun activities with the kiddos.  It’s also allowed us to share our savings and blessing with others.  We’ve been able to take some of our savings and donate to our local food bank.  The great thing about using the couponing technique is we can give so much more.  It’s a great feeling.  If your interested in learning how to save on your shopping experience, check out our links below and give it a try!   Who knows…you might look this excited the next time you grocery shop:)DSC_0168_edited-1

Kroger mega event savings
Budget strategies for saving meat
Amazon Prime is it worth it?
Grocery Sale Cycle
Shopping like a pro at Target
Frugal club bargains
How to save money when eating out
Bidding on Hotels and Priceline
Frugal Family Fun
How to Save 50% on Groceries
Photo Deals
Free Books!!!
Cheap Airfare
A Word about Thrift Shops
27 ways to make your Groceries last as long as possible
Remodeling on a Budget
Strategic Shopping
Diaper Deals
Online Coupon Codes
Groupon Deals and Savings
Kohl’s Rewards

 

Homemade Powdered laundry detergent

If I have my choice about what homemade detergent to make, I make the microwave stuff every time. But recently I hadn’t taken the time to liquefy my bar of laundry soap and the dirty clothes were piled up. (Ok… So if you want to know the truth, the laundry is ALWAYS piled up around here. There was a lack of, ummm-undergarments, and I needed to do an emergency load!!!)

So in a pinch…. I’ll throw together this little powdered detergent recipe.

Here is what you need:

1 bar of castile soap, Fels Naptha, or 1/2 bar of Zote

1 cup Borax

1 Cup Washing Soda

20140130-101315.jpgGrate the soap.  (I just use my cheese grater.)  I use the fine grate side because I think it helps the soap dissolve better.

20140130-101322.jpgMeasure out your washing soda and Borax.

20140130-101330.jpgDump into an air tight container.

20140130-101337.jpgToss your grated soap on top.

20140130-101345.jpgShake it up.  This is the only reason I tend to do the microwave stuff instead.  My powders sink to the bottom.  It’s not a problem when I do laundry because I make sure to stir it up well and get a good mixture. The problem comes when my kids do laundry– they just take a scoop off the top and end up with mostly soap and not much powder.  But other than that, I think it works just as well as the other stuff!

Now…if only folding and putting it all away were that easy!  😉

Two Frugal Gals Top 10

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It’s always fun to look back to see which recipes and Money Saving post on Two Frugal Gals were most popular in terms of traffic in 2013.  Here is this year’s top 10 most read posts in 2013.  If you haven’t read them, be sure to check them out.  And while you are at it, feel free to save them to Pinterest!

Dessert in Crockpot
Copycat Chick-Fil-A Cookies
Home Made Body Wash
Easy, Cheesy Spaghetti Casserole
Copycat Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake
Chicken and Noodles over Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Pasta Sauce
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Grocery Price List
How to Save Money

Grocery Price list

Two frugal Gals thought it would be nice to put together a little rock bottom price list that you can print out and keep on hand as a reference when you’re shopping. Keep in mind that this list is based on our experience, so your personal rock bottom prices may very.  If you’re just starting, every item you purchase has a retail price, a sale price and a rock bottom price. A price log is a simple way to keep note of what you’re paying for an item.  Just take a sheet of paper and write out 10 or 20 items that you buy every week, then, every single time you walk into the grocery store, write the price of that item down on the paper.  You’ll need to do this for 6 to 8 weeks.  Yes, it’s tedious but you’ll suddenly notice the price changes of your items and this will determine how low your prices can go and how ling you need to stock up.  Once you find that rock bottom price, that is when you use your coupon then you stock up!

Two Frugal Gals Grocery Price List

Groceries $ Baking $
Canned   Tomatoes Free – .50 per 16 oz. can Baking Powder Free-.50 per can
Cereal 1.00-1.75 per 8 oz. box Baking Soda Free .50 per box
Dressing (Salad) .30-.80 per 12 oz. bottle Brownie Mixes .50-1.00 per box
Ketchup .50-1.00 per 12 oz. bottle Cake Mixes .50-1.00 per box
Mayonnaise 1.00-1.75 per 24 oz. container Corn Starch Free .50 per container
Mustard Free – .50 per 8 oz. box Flour 1.99 per 5 lb. bag
Pasta Free – .50 per 14 oz. box Frosting .50-1.00 per container
Sauce   (spaghetti) 1.00-1.25 per 45 oz. jar Salt .20-.50 per container
Sauce (Steak) Free – .50 per 15 oz. jar Sugar 1.49-1.99 per 4 lb.bag
Syrup 1.00-2.00 per 24 oz. bottle Yeast .50-1.00 per 3 pack strip
Tomato Paste Free – .50 per 6 oz. can
Vegetables (Frozen) .50-1.00 per 11 oz. bag  Meat  $
Waffles (frozen) 1.00-1.50 per 12 oz. box Beef (ground) 1.99-2.99 per lb.
Beef Roast 2.49-3.49 per lb.
Dairy $ Beef Stew 1.99-2.49 per lb.
Chicken   (boneless skinless breast)
Butter 1.50-2.00 per lb. tenderloins 1.99 per lb.
Cheese (cream) .50-.99 per 8 oz. Chicken (split breast) 1.19 per lb.
Cheese   (shredded) 1.19-1.69 per 8 oz. Chicken (whole) .69-.99 per lb.
Eggs .69-.89 per dozen Fish (fresh) 3.99 per lb.
Margarine free-.50 per 15 oz. Fish (frozen) 2.99 per lb.
Milk 2.59-2.99 per gallon Pork Chops (bone-in) 1.49-1.99 per lb.
Sour Cream .50-.99 per 8 oz. Pork Chops (boneless) 1.79-1.99 per lb.
Pork Roast 1.99-2.99 per lb.
Breads $ Snacks $
Bread 0.99 per loaf
Buns   (hamburger) 0.99 per 8 ct. pkg Chips (Doritos) 1.99 per  oz. bag
Buns (hot dog) 0.99 per 8 ct. pkg Chex Mix .25-.50 per 12 oz. bag
Cookies 1.00-2.00 per package
Produce $ Crackers 1.00-1.25 per box
In Season Popcorn 1.00-1.25 per box of 3
Apples .99-1.99 per lb. Chips (Fritos) 1.50-1.99 per 10.25 oz.
Bananas .39-.49 per lb. Paper $
Cantaloupe .99-1.50 per lb.
Grapes .89-1.19 per lb. Toilet Paper .19-.25 per sq ft.
Green Peppers .25-.50 per lb. Paper Plates 1.00-2.00 per 45 ct.
Lettuce .99-1.29 per lb. Paper Towels Free-1.00 per roll
Peaches .79-1.39 per lb. Baby $
Strawberries 0.99 per lb.
Watermelon 2.99-3.99 per lb. Baby food .30-.35 per jar
Baby wash or Shampoo 0.99 per 16 oz. bottle
Toiletries $ Diapers .10-.18 per diaper
Cleaning $
Dental floss Free-.50 per container
Deodorant free – .50 per stick Dish Detergent 2.00-3.00 per 30 loads
Shampoo,   Conditioner Dishwashing Soap .50-1.00 per 12 oz. bottle
Hair Spray .50-1.50 per bottle Laundry Detergent 2.00-3.00 per 30 loads
Bar soap free-.50 per 3 pack Liquid Fabric Softener 1.00-2.00 per 40 loads
Hand soap .30-1.00 per 12oz. Bottle Bottled Cleaners .50-1.00 per 24 oz. bottle
Toothpaste free-.50 per 4 oz. tube Toilet Bowl Cleaner 1.00-1.50 per 24 oz. container

Click below to download price list!

Two Frugal Gals Grocery Price List

DIY Bath Bombs

These bath bombs were a whole lot of fun to make and super easy.  You can customize it to your liking by choosing your preferred essential oil.   I decided to use lavender because I’ve read it’s a great therapeutic agent that is used to help with relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep.  This is definitely a great addition to the kiddos bedtime routine and they love watching them fizz as it releases it’s great aroma. 20130913-135606.jpg

Here’s what you need!

 makes 4 small bath bombs
2 TBS Baking Soda
1 TBS Cream of Tartar
Food Color or liquid Dye (you can find at any craft store)
½ teaspoon Essential Oil (lavender)
Spray Bottle of Water
Soap Mold or Ice Cube Tray

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Add 2 TBS Baking Soda to bowl. Then add 1 TBS Cream of Tartar and ½ teaspoon lavender or Essential Oil. Next, add your food color. (I would suggest that if using food coloring to color these, make sure you use non-toxic vegetable based color.  Safer for everyone, especially for children.  Stir it up and add a couple of sprays of water and keep stirring. You want to get it where it is just sticking together without adding too much water. NOTE: Only add a couple of sprays of water at a time or your bombs will lose their fizz. Put your bath bombs in a soap mold or ice tray, and leave over night to dry out. NOTE: The amount this recipe makes all depends on how big your molds are.  You can really make them as large or as small as you would like.  You can make them the size of a baseball or the size of your thumbnail.  you can double the recipe and make more than four at a time.  I decided to make one batch at a time and change the colors during each of the batches.

20130913-190251.jpgIn the morning your bath bombs will be ready to remove from the mold. When ready just drop your bomb in the bath you can watch it fizz as it releases its sent and colors your water! These bath bombs can stay good up to 1 year as long as they are stored in a dry, cool place that is out of the sun.  ENJOY!!

Boiled Chicken

My favorite store had their whole chickens on sale last week for $.67 per lb. I had to stock up! The great thing about boiled chicken meat is it’s called for in many other recipes, and is a wonderful basic recipe to have for many uses. You can make casseroles, wraps, chicken salad, etc… I did some research on the best ways to cook up this gregarious bird and this is what I came up with.  Also, if your looking for tasty ways to use some of this chicken, check out a few of Two Frugal Gals favorite recipes!

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Freezer Friendly Creamy Chicken Casserole

Copycat Cafe Max Chicken Salad

Copycat Corner Bakery Chicken Salad Recipe 

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What you need:

1 whole chicken

1 celery rib

1 carrot

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

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If your not sure if your getting a good deal on meat, use the unit price to see what the price is per pound.

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Bring 1 whole chicken and enough water to cover to a boil in a large pot.  Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic cloves.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 40 minutes.

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Remove chicken, and discard vegetables, reserving broth.  Remove chicken from bones, and shred.  Place 2 cups shredded chicken in labeled quart-size freezer bags.  Seal and freeze.

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Strain broth, cool, and refrigerate.  Freeze broth in airtight containers or freezer bags for soups and other yummy recipes.

Cheap Diapers on Amazon!!!

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I have posted about Amazon in the past.  It is one of my favorite ways to shop….I don’t even have to leave the house!

My babies are no longer in diapers…….YEEEEE HAW!!  About a year before the last time I had to change one, I learned about Amazon Mom.  It is free to join and it saves you 20% on diapers when you “subscribe and save.”  You simply sign up for them to send you a shipment on a regular basis.  (every two weeks, monthly, bi-montly, etc…)  The best part is that before a shipment goes out, they send you a confirmation email letting you know.  If you don’t want the shipment you can just skip it and it doesn’t cost you anything.  You are never obligated to buy any of the diapers.  And the best part……you get free 2 day shipping on diapers and wipes.  No more Wal-Mart runs for diapers 🙂

I found that this was the cheapest way to buy diapers.

This gets even sweeter!  Right now they have a promotion going where you get an extra $25 credit when you purchase certain diapers.  This could mean some FREE diapers for you.  And……if you are going to have to change stinky diapers, free ones are always better!

Here is the link for the promotion:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup/info?ie=UTF8&refcust=6IPFLTSND473OEEKB46NAL7AWU&ref_type=generic

Happy Wiping 🙂

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