Budget Saving Recipe Link up: Breakfast Potato Casserole

Do you have a go-to, budget friendly breakfast meal? If so please share! Here is one that I came up with using leftovers from the fridge!

Breakfast Potato Casserole
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Rene @BudgetSavingMom
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 20 mins
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins
Serves: 8
I woke up this morning and I was so cold. I wanted a nice, hot cozy breakfast. I found a little bit of both bacon and sausage in the fridge. This recipe would be good with any leftover meat you may have or leave out the meat. My family really enjoyed it!
Ingredients
  • 5 potatoes washed and shredded
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (free with coupons)
  • 5 slices bacon cooked and cut into bite size pieces (free with coupons)
  • 5-6 sausage links chopped and cooked
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup ($.10 with coupons)
  • 1.5 cans of milk (I just used the can of mushroom soup to measure)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 package of Lipton soup mix (I had gotten this free with coupons)
  • 1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers (free with coupons)
  • 2 onions diced (from the garden)
  • 3 carrots shredded
  • 6 eggs (from our chickens)
Instructions
  1. Stir in all the ingredients except the crackers. I sprinkled the crackers on top of my casserole and baked at 375 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Link up your Budget Saving Recipes!

What Cooking Items You Can Save Money On In December

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December is a great month for saving money on groceries! In December, people bake lots of treats and have lots of parties. Since businesses know this, they have sales to drive us into their stores on items that don’t go on sale all the time.  I know that I love to bake this time of year!! My kids and I have the best time making cookies and treats to give to others. It is so much fun to make all of these yummy treats, and give them away to others. It gives us a great excuse to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. We are definitely making out peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and our peanut butter hot cocoa cookies. Can you tell I like chocolate and peanut butter? We also make short bread cookies and gingerbread cookies each year. I think that I am going to venture into trying to make candy and homemade marshmallows as well this year!

What are you guys planning on making this year?

Here are items that you can look for sales on this month:

Batteries  - for all of those Christmas toys

Aluminum Foil

Baking Supplies:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • cream cheese
  • hot chocolate mixes
  • coffees
  • chocolate chips – Although, make sure that these are really a good deal. If you have a dollar store or Aldi, you can often find these cheaper there if you are willing to use an off brand.
  • vanilla
  • baking soda/powder
  • cookie mixes and dough
  • muffin mixes
  • eggs
  • cake mixes

Also, you can usually find the best prices of the year in November and December on small kitchen appliances.

I hope that you guys can find some great deals, and have some fun getting into the kitchen and making some Christmas treats! If you have a recipe that you would like to share, feel free to in the comments. I am always looking for great new holiday treat recipes!

More budget saving coupons

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How To Coupon & Save Money With Your Blackberry

If you have a BlackBerry, you will want to check out this guest post about ways to coupon and save money with your BlackBerry.

Using your BlackBerry to save money

Owning a BlackBerry can put a serious dent in your budget. Not only does the device itself cost between $100 and $200, but the monthly charges really add up. At a standard $30 per month for data, you’re paying $360 more per year than you would for normal cell service. That’s tough for any budget-conscious person to justify. But what if you could use that BlackBerry to save you money? You’d probably consider it the best smartphone ever, right?

They’re not very well publicized, but there are a number of money-saving coupon apps available for the BlackBerry. They’re just like regular coupons, but with a few twists that make them even better. If you load a few of these apps onto your BlackBerry, you’ll be sure to save plenty of money along the way. Think about it this way: if you can find $30 per month in savings, the BlackBerry plan is paying for itself. Even if it’s a little less than that, you’re still subsidizing your data plan. If you’re saving more, well, all the better.

Location-aware

Coupon apps take advantage of your BlackBerry’s GPS unit, which allows it to deliver deals that are near you. Think about it: when you get coupon mailers, you get deals from all over. There might be one deal that’s 10 miles from you, and another that’s 5 miles in the opposite direction. It takes some planning to get out and take advantage of them. BlackBerry coupon apps remove that step.

Think of all the ways this can help you out. Say you have a few grocery stores that are nearby. If you run the app at home you can figure out which one has the best deals, and then choose to shop there. If you’re already out you can find deals that won’t take you too far out of your way. Wherever you are, your app will find deals nearby. So not only are you saving money, but you’re saving time and hassle, too.

No more clipping

One distinct memory I retain from childhood is sitting down with Mom and Dad on Sunday mornings. Dad would read the paper, Mom would go through the coupons, and I would read the funnies. Once I was done I’d clip out all the coupons Mom set aside. Then on Friday we’d grab the envelope of coupons and go shopping. I took a little pride in remembering which items I’d clipped, picking them off the shelf and putting them in the cart without any directive.

Unfortunately, I also remember the few times when Mom and I forgot the coupon envelope. It usually happened mid-shop, and it was too late to go back. And so Mom would grumble and gripe for the rest of the shopping trip. Oftentimes she’d refrain from purchasing coupon items, stubbornly changing plans so that she didn’t need then until the next time she went shopping.

When you use coupon apps on your BlackBerry there is no clipping. I mean, you could try, but it would be quite awkward. Coupon apps either use a scannable barcode, or else are valid when you simply present them to the cashier. In both cases you need not clip and bring coupons with you. They’re all right on your BlackBerry — which you carry with you everywhere, anyway.

Beyond coupons

Your BlackBerry can be more than your coupon machine. It can also store all of your loyalty cards, so you don’t have to worry about them, either. The app, CardStar, has partnered with dozens of merchants and their loyalty cards programs to make shopping life just a little easier for you.

After downloading the app you can go through your wallet and find all of your loyalty and discount cards. If your merchant is on the list, you can just select it and input the barcode numbers. If it’s not, you can still enter the barcode numbers, and then select the style of barcode. Instead of presenting your card at the register, you can present your BlackBerry. The cashier scans it, and you’re done.

There are some scanning issues at some outlets, so you might want to carry your loyalty cards at first, just to make sure. But once you confirm that they can take your CardStar, you can ditch them all and lighten your wallet. And, again, there’s no worrying about forgetting your cards. They’re all with you, all the time.

The best BlackBerry coupon apps

If you’re ready to get started saving money with your BlackBerry, here are a few apps to get started with.

  • Valpak. You surely recognize Valpack, since they direct mail their coupon packets to nearly every household in the US. The Valpack BlackBerry app provides many of the same deals, but customizes them for your current location.
  • Groupon. This location-based deal app has taken the internet by storm. It provides a daily deal for hundreds of cities in North America.
  • Cellfire. It has coupons that work directly at grocery stores nationwide (with a few exceptions). It also has a number of regional stores, so you’re not stuck with only the national ones.
  • Radar Coupons. It updates deals every day, and finds stores within 10 minutes of your current location.
  • Entertainment Book Companion. If you buy an Entertainment Book for big savings, you can download the companion BlackBerry app and save even more!
  • UPC Price Check. Wondering if you can get a better deal online than at the store? Just scan the UPC with your camera and this app will tell you. This the only paid app on the list, but it costs just 99 cents.

WIth all of these ways to save, you can start to subsidize your monthly cell phone bill, and maybe even turn it into money earned. There are plenty of ways you can make your BlackBerry work for you. Put money into your pocket instead of taking it out.

Joe Pawlikowski is the editor of BBGeeks.com, a site that helps BlackBerry users get the most out of their devices offering tips and reviews on everything from games to BlackBerry car mounts.

Tips For Shopping At Garage Sales

how to shop at garage sales or yard sales

I love to shop at garage sales. My dad and I would have the best time hunting for deals when I was a child. We both still enjoy it today. We have both found some amazing finds at garage sales, and it is so exciting when we are able to find something that we need for a fraction of the cost!

Here are some tips for shopping at garage sales:

1. Consider going to neighborhood yard sales. You can park in one place, and then walk from home to home. Many times you will be able to find lower prices since people want you to buy their items. Also, you are much more likely to find what you need when you have many sales to choose from.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they will lower the price. I usually ask if they will take 75% of what they have marked the item as unless it is already an amazing deal or if it is for a charity.

3. Make sure to check the items that you are purchasing for stains, tears and working condition.

4. Know what you are looking for, so that you don’t get caught up in buying items that you don’t need.

5. On the flip side of number 4, also think about others when you are find great deals. Is the item something that you can donate to someone who needs it? Our family yard sales for Christmas gifts as well. We can find great toys and stocking stuffers at garage sales. My family enjoys doing this, and seeing who can find the best item at the cheapest price.

6. Go early in the morning. If you go early in the morning, the best items will still be there.

7. Go around 10:30 or 11 because items that are overpriced, will often be marked down, or the owner wants to move those items. I went to a garage sale around 11 one day, and the man said that I could have everything left for $2. There were some great items there, he just did not want to have to bring it back inside.

8. You can find sales through your local newspaper and sometimes radio stations.

9. Go to church yard sales. This is another way to have many people selling items in one place and saves on gas money.

What tips do you have for shopping at yard sales?

More budget saving store deals

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Frugal Living: 10 Ways To Save On Your Utility Bill

10 Ways To Save Money On Your Electric Bill

Being frugal is not just about using coupons and saving money on groceries.  Frugal living is also about changing life style habits and reducing costs in other areas of your life.  One of the best ways to cut costs is to save money on your utilities.  Below are 10 sure fire ways to help you reduce your energy costs.

1) Switch to CFL’s Bulbs

Replacing regular bulbs with CFL bulbs is a something that everyone can do. Although the initial cost of the bulb may be a little more, you’ll use 75% less energy and the bulb will last up to 10 times longer.

2) Install Motion Sensors

Motion sensors automatically turn lights on and off so you only get light when you need it. They are great for bedrooms because they will not turn on when you move in your sleep.

Use timers to control bathroom fans. The fan will turn off at a predetermined time after the bathroom has aired out.

3) Purchase Energy Star appliances

Is it time for you to replace an appliance?  If so, be sure to look for the Energy Star label.  This label means that the appliance meets certain energy efficiency guidelines. The average family spends $2,000 each year on their energy bill. Using Energy Star appliances can cut this bill by 30%. You don’t have to replace all of your appliances to see a savings. Just replacing your refrigerator with an Energy Star product can save approximately $110 yearly.

4)  Service Your Air Conditioner

Approximately one half of your home’s annual energy bill, or $1,000, is spent on heating and cooling.  An air conditioner sitting in the direct sunlight uses about 10% percent more electricity. Place units on the north side of your home, cover with an awning or plant shrubs or trees nearby will all shade your unit.

Keep window or central air units tuned up so they run at peak efficiency.  Every two to three years, have a professional come out to inspect the unit and refrigerant.  The $150 cost is well worth the savings.

If your unit is over 12 years old, replace it with an Energy Star unit. This can cut your cooling cost by about 30% and save on maintenance costs.

5) Turn Off Energy Hogs

Believe it or not, 75% of the electrical use by home electronics occurs when they are not turned off. Leaving on TV’s, radios, computers, etc. suck up energy and can cost you $100 per year. Unplug your electronics or plug them into a power strip and cut off the strip when not in use.

Don’t worry about losing your settings on your TV, VCR or DVR because new models have a memory chip which will reset everything once turned back on.

6) Clean Out That Dryer Lint Screen

Clogged lint screens or dryer ducts can drastically reduce the efficiency of your dryer. Clean the lint screen each load and clean the exhaust duct once per year.

Electric dryers use about $85 of electricity annually. A dirty lint screen can use up to 30% more energy.

Another tip: dry loads back to back so the dryer does not have time to cool down. (A warm dryer uses less energy)

7) Replace Furnace Filters

Don’t forget to replace your furnace filter monthly.  Doing so increases the efficiency of your unit.

8) Save on Electric Water Heater

Install an electronic timer switch to turn the water heater off during times when water is not being used. Timers can be programmed for daily or weekly schedules.

Also, drain and flush your heater periodically to remove sediment; otherwise your heater could be heating through inches of sediment before heating the water.

If your water heater is out in a garage or outside storage area, be sure to wrap it with an insulating blanket to prevent it losing heat.

9)  Get a Smart Meter

Smart Meters are obtained from utility companies and vary from company to company. The meter keeps track of how much electricity you are using. Some companies pay you for signing up. They also reward you for using electricity in off peak periods.

Having a smart meter is especially effective if you are gone all day because you do not realize when appliances are turned off.   You can save 7% or approximately $140 per year by using a smart meter.

10)  Fill Up That Refrigerator And Freezer

The freezer and fridge run more efficiently when they are full. Put water bottles in the fridge and ice bags in the freezer to keep them filled. The most efficient temperature setting for your refrigerator is 35-38 degrees and the freezer between 0-5 degrees.

Don’t forget to vacuum/clean the coils of your refrigerator twice a year to cut your energy costs by 30-50%.

Did you know….

that you can actually monitor your electricity usage? Electric monitors can give you real time readout of how much electricity you are using from minute to minute or on a monthly basis. By seeing this readout, you can understand how to reduce consumption. Electric meters can be purchased at Target, Amazon.Com, and Black & Decker.

What ideas do you have for cutting energy costs?

Tips for this post were found in the HandyMan magazine.

Barbara gives you tips on how to live frugally.  She has been blogging at ClipperGirl’s Saving Spot for over 3 years.  You will find coupons, store deals and coupon match ups,printable coupons, freebies and much more.  You can sign up for her FREE daily newsletter by email list or in a reader.  She would love for you to join her on Facebook and Twitter.