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Category : Michael’s

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5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Shop Less During the Quarantine + Today’s Fox 40 News Segment!


Ok- who is trying their best to stay home during this quarantine but keeps running out of something and needs to go to the store?? In my efforts to find toilet paper I have forgot Half & Half, Coffee Filters and a couple other things.  Here is a list of ways to eliminate multiple shopping trips throughout the week that will keep you out of the stores AND help you save money!

 

  1.  Menu Planning
    I know it may be a hard concept for some, but if you can take the time right now to think out the next week of meals and snack, you can go to the store ONCE and be done.  START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY- and build from there – you may just need 1 or 2 items to throw a meal together and not have to buy as much. You may like going to Costco but then you may still need to go to other stores for the fill-in items. If you can get everything you need at ONE store, that is even better  Smart & Final has the large items like Costco but also regular grocery items as well. I have been able to get my whole list there before. Grocery Outlet has worked well, and also Walmart and Target- but I have had to deal with larger crowds.
    Here is a basic printable for a menu and shopping list– if you google “free menu plan shopping list”, there are so many to choose from so you can find one that works for you.
  2. Make a List 
    If you are heading into the stores, MAKE A LIST. Once you have made a menu, make a list. Don;t forget to put things like foil, oil, butter, half & half or any staples you need to make everything. If you are shopping at a store that sells your household and beauty items then add those too. Don’t panic if your totals end up being higher at the store when you do this- You are shopping long term, and this will still be less than the multiple trips you take- those add up, especially when you impulse buy or are hungry when you shop.
    Tip: Once you make a menu and list- take a picture of it, that way if you go to the store and forget it-you have it on your phone= I learned this the hard way!!
  3. Utilize Pick Up and Delivery Services
    Instacart has the options of almost all grocery stores and you can choose what you want from where. Is there a fee-YES, but you are not using your time and gas, and you won’t be in the stores with other people. Some grocery stores have their own pick-up and delivery services as well. In the past you may not have wanted the fees, but now it may be worth it because you are quarantined at home. If stores have a pick-up option you will be able to just drive up and have them load your car for you also.
  4. Utilize App Coupons and Cash Back Apps
    Before you shop, if your store has an app- load the coupons to your card. If you use Cash Back apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51 or Fetch, check through those and see if what you like you can save or get cash back on them. A quick scan through the coupons or a quick picture of your receipt can get you great savings with minimal effort. For the apps I use all the time and how to Get and use them GO HERE
  5. Stick to Your Budget 
    If you decide what you have to spend BEFORE you go shopping you will be less likely to buy unnecessary items. If you order your groceries online you will be able to see your total and know if you need to take out or are able to add anything else.

I used to hear from people that they just don’t have the time to do some of these things, but if you do take the time now while you have it- it gets EASIER. Then when this quarantine is all over you will have developed some money saving habits that will last!!!

If you have ANY questions or need someone to walk you through menu planning, budgeting, online grocery ordering just email me Diana@pantryoverflow.com I would love to help you!!

 

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Simple Valentine Budget Ideas For the Family!!! Studio 40 Live Segment Details!


Hello Studio 40 Live Viewers!!!! Here is all the info on everything I shared on today’s segment!! I am so excited for Valentine’s Day and I have come up with some very simple budget-friendly ideas for you!

Here is what I bought at Smart & Final
Doritos 50 ct. $13.99  ($.28 each)

First Street Microwave Popcorn 24ct. $6.99 ($.29 each)

 

 

 

I used the Doritos bags- but any bags of chips will work for this. 

I printed these simple printables 
that say  You are all that and a bag of chips! 
I just taped them on – can easily be done by kids too!

Then I printed these printables for the microwave popcorn that say
You Make My Heart Pop!

 

 

 

This is a very simple snack for watching a family movie or a Valentine Party snack for the kids!
1 Box/Bag Teddy Grahams
1 Bag of Mini Marshmallows
1 Bag of Valentine Colored M&Ms

 

 

 

This is just so cute and a big hit in my house.

I always use the First Street Double Strength Red Food Coloring.
Just make one big bowl of mix and cook a few plain waffles (or pancakes) then add a little food coloring to make the batter pink and make some more-then add enough to make the batter red and then make the rest. It looks so pretty on a tray or individual plate. 

I got the Dash Mini Heart Waffle Maker at Target for $9.99

This is just a MUST for ANY holiday or a weekend or weekday quick dessert

Cake Mix Cookies

1 Cake Mix ( I used Strawberry)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Oil

Mix and drop as cookies on a baking sheet. 
Add chocolate or white chips if desired
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. They will not seem like they are done, but they are. Let cool and they will be the most moist cookies ever!!

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Valentine’s Day Saving Segment on Your California Life TV Show ABC 10

This week I was invited on Your California Life (YCL) to talk bout Valentine’s Day Savings!!!

Here is a breakdown of what I shared!

Valentine’s Day Waffle Bar for the Family!
Groceries – Purchased at Smart & Final
First Street Pancake and Waffle Mix $4.19
First Street Double Strength Red Food Coloring (my fav.) $3.99
Strawberries
Whipped Cream
Valentime M&Ms
Marshmallows
-YOu can use any topping you would like!

Dash Heart Shaped Waffle Maker $9.99 from Target
They had pink or red available. 

Mini Valentine Pizzas
Premade Crusts
Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, and Pepperoni
I used a mini heart shaped cookie cutter to make heart shaped pepperonis to create a Valentin’es Day Pizza Party theme for the family.

Valentine’s Day Decor-Michael’s
Michael’s has 50% off all Valentine’s Day items!
I bought some craft kits and home decor items and they have a BIG selection! 

Kids’ Valentines Cards, Treats, and Prizes

Target had aisles and aisles of different Valentine’s Day exchange items. Candy, pretzels, plain cards all for around $5 a box. 
They had kinds without candy as well. 
They also had a great selection of prizes like bubbles, pencils, and slime if you would like to (or have to) opt for a non-food gift to exchange in your childs’ class. 

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Start the New Year Saving With Ibotta Cash Back APP!!

How did your 2019 go?? Did you save lots of $$??

If not- why not get over $1,000 CASH BACK like I did in 2020!!

Start Saving With These Simple Steps-

  1. Download the Ibotta App
  2. Enter  My Referral Code for a $20 Bonus Offer MPJXKQ
  3. Add offers to your Ibotta account in the stores you shop at.
  4. Shop and buy items you selected
  5. Take a picture of your receipt and get CASH BACK!

 

Tips-

-Walmart is an easy store because you only have to scan the code on the receipt bottom and all of your offers automatically show up-plus it pays out the quickest. 

-In the store you can scan the item in the app and it will confirm that it is the correct item you are
getting cash back on

 

-Check the apps before you shop because offers are added daily.

-If you have any coupons for the items, bring them! You can use coupons AND get cash back. I have been able to get more back than I spend multiple times!

-Once you get your cash back, many of the offers reset after 24 hours so you can repeat the process again to earn more!

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5 Tips For Saving Money on Black Friday!!

I have 5 tips to share with you for Black Friday Shopping that will save you MONEY!

You may not like all of them-especially #1, but they work!!

Read them before you decide on your Black Friday strategy this year!

 

#1 DO NOT GO!
What- don’t shop on the day with the lowest prices of the year?? YES. Why? Because everything is on sale you will be tempted to buy MORE than you planned. 2 years ago I bought a TV, new pajamas, slippers, and more- and NONE of those items were on anyone’s Christmas list. So whatever I spent- did not even count as Christmas gifts and I still had to shop. 


#2 Plan Your Shopping BEFORE You Look at the Ads. Make a List!

If you will make a list of what gifts you want to give, or find out what your kids want- then when you look at the ads you will be able to see which store has what you are looking for at the best price. If you look at the ads without a list or a plan then you will see all kinds of these you will want to buy that you were not planning on, and that maybe won’t be on anyone’s list and can actually cause you to have to spend more. 

#3 Shop Online if Possible
If the deals you are looking for are available online-which many of them are- you will spend less on impulse buys and hopefully it will be easier to just get the item(s) you were planning on. See tip #5.

#4 Split Up With Friends or Family
Instead of running to all different stores, see if you can split up with some friends or family members and each pick a store. Your friend’s or family  members aren’t going to buy extra items with your money and  you will help each other stay accountable to your plan!

#5 Cyber Monday
The Monday after Thanksgiving is called Cyber Monday- that is like the Black Friday of the internet. Almost every store will be offering FREE Shipping and a % off your purchase. I bought a PS4 and some games on a Cyber Monday and checked off a kid without leaving home!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and Day After without running around. You will spend money on coffee, going out to eat, and more because you are out. The deals will keep coming all the way until Christmas- and AFTER!

Bonus Tip-  Budget some extra money for AFTER Christmas to buy all the same things on Clearance that you would have bought before!

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3 Steps to Get Started Prepping For Thanksgiving Dinner!

It is finally November!! That means we can take at least ONE day to celebrate before you get overwhelmed by Christmas right!! 

My next few posts are going to be about Prepping For the Holidays. I am going to share some posts on what I have learned and done through the years that has saved me money and eliminated stress from the holidays.

THANKSGIVING

  1. LOCATION
    Are you hosting? Gathering somewhere else? If you are hosting determine what you are providing and then as you invite people, let them know what you would like them to bring. This year we are gathering somewhere else and used SignUpGenious.  Then you send out ONE invite to everyone and they pick what they are bringing as they RSVP.
  2. MENU 
    Determine the Menu. Determine what you are providing and what you would like others to bring. Think out every main dish, side dish, dessert, plates, napkins, drinks, etc.  If you try to think of it when you are under time pressure or at the store, you are more likely to forget items causing multiple trips, and you also will not be able to plan ahead and watch for sales. The earlier you know what you need to buy, the longer you have to watch for the deals!
  3. STOCK UP 
    During the holidays many items go on sale for the lowest price of the year. When you are shopping for Thanksgiving, think about the other times you can use the same items. Christmas Dinner may have some of the same items. Canned soups, vegetables, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, canned pumpkin, marshmallows, broths, cream soups, etc will be at the lowest price-and there will be coupons available in the paper and to print.

 

  

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Michael's Stores

Michael’s Lowest Price of the Season Sale!!!

Michael’s is have the Lowest Price of the Season Sale!!!!

70% off-
Storage Boxes, String Beads, Shadow Boxes, and more!

 

 

 

 

60% off Craft Pumpkins
60% off Fall Floral
60 % off Fall Decor Collections

Their Fall decor selection this year is gorgeous!!!

Fall Candles aare 5 for $9.99!

 

 

 

 

$1.99 Photo Boxes

$.99 360 Ribbon

$.99 Lily Sugar’n Cream Yarn

$1.99 T-Shirts
…and lots more!!!

 

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Are You Ready For Fall!!! Get Ready to Make Fall Drinks, Fall Recipes, and Decorate For Fall! Here is My Segment on Studio 40 Live!

Here is a SUPER EASY Fall Breakfast idea-Pumpkin Muffins!

1 Box of Spice Cake Mix
1 Can of Pumpkin

Mix, put in cupcake pans and cook for 10-12 minutes!!!You can make ahead in large quantities and freeze them too!

 

These large #10 cans of Pumpkin at Smart & Final are only $7.99 and are a great deal when you are making large batches!

 

Serve these up with a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (or 3 1/2 cups from Large First Street Cake Mix)
2 Rolls of Rolo Candy -quartered
1 Diced Apple-peeled
1/2 Cup Soft Butter
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

Mix together and drop in Tablespoon scoops onto greased cookie sheet. 
Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes!

 

 

Is it time to update your coffee bar??

@Smart & Final-
Torani Syrups $5.99-Buy 6 or more and pay $4.99!!

This is an amazing deal since Smart & Final has SO many flavors to choose from!

Not only do they have lots of flavors, but they have LOTS of SUGAR FREE flavors-Sugar Free Chocolate Macadamia Nut is my FAVORITE!

Then there is Pumpkin Spice- Make your Pumpkin Coffee drinks and home and save $5!!!! 

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp (1 oz) Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 cup (8oz) milk
2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup brewed coffee

INSTRUCTIONS

Steam milk and Torani together. Pour heated, flavored milk into a tall glass and add brewed espresso or coffee. Spoon a thin layer of foamed milk over beverage or use a frother if you have one! 

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Back To School Finds at Michael’s!

 Did you catch my Back to School Segment on Studio 40 Live! Here are the items from Michael’s I featured! Who wore that cute Back to School cut out better-my son or Gary Gelfand?? 

 

I brought 5 of my kids to Michael’s with me when I prepared for this segment- to make sure I was getting what they needed and they LOVED it! 

The back to School Bus sign was the biggest hit-and it was only $4!!
There was another sign I grabbed for the First Day of School, but because it shows their school and teacher name-I opted out of sharing online-but it is SO CUTE-$5!!!

Michael’s has one of the best selections of art supplies. My older kids have art classes and can’t use just any supplies- the selection of notepads and sketchbooks for different media is outstanding. 

 

My daughter got her Watercolor paints, watercolor notebook and brushes and she was thrilled. The 36 color pallet was only $5.99! She is very excited to use it.

My son grabbed another sketch book. This is a regular thing for him. He is very creative and it keeps him going to sketch his ideas. The pencils he chose were great too. He hates using just any kind of pencil . Spending $10 for a sketch book and some pencil to keep him creative is an awesome deal!

Now- the talk of the news anchors before the show- the 48 piece pencil and eraser set! Isn’t this just the CUTEST!! It was $5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to keep a few for myself just to have them at my desk! These make for great giveaways for class parties, birthday gifts, or even just to use!
The variety of Crayola products is HUGE at Michael’s. Yes, there are the basics-but you can also get so much more! PLUS-they were on sale Buy One Get One 50% OFF!

Here is the full TV Segment with all the Back to School Ideas-

 

 

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5 Things to Do When You Run Out of Grocery Money at the End of the Month!

Do you start your month with good intentions of sticking to $X amount for groceries and then all of the sudden it is the end of the month and that money is GONE?

 

Here are 5 ways I have survived the end of the month shortage of funds in the grocery area.

#1 Make a list of what you DO HAVE.

Did you stock up on chicken last month and have some in the freezer still? Do you have some chicken broth, cream of mushroom, or cans of anything in the pantry.

Even if it is 1 jar of sauce, a single frozen meal, write it down.

List your meats, vegetables, sauces, frozen meals and more. Many times I buy things that are a good deal and they are sitting in the pantry or freezer but I have never used them.

#2 Check the Website AllRecipes.com

This is my #1 Go To Website when I am trying to stretch things out. Go to the “Ingredient Search” section. Add the ingredients that you have on hand. It will show you meals you can make with what you have-or maybe you only need to buy 1 or 2 things to make something instead of buying for a whole extra meal.

If you have some chicken, cream of mushroom and some frozen broccoli- there is a long list of items you can make. When I pulled this up- I realized I had rice too and I had 2 meals I could make that did not cost me any extra.  This could make your list shorter.

#3 Make a Menu.

Make a menu from where you are-until the end of the month. Add the meals that you can make with what you have to the menu. If you have to have cereal everyday-write it down. If you or your kids won’t like what is on the menu-writing it down and informing them will prepare them and let them get mad all at once so they can get over it before meal time.

If you would like the meal planner and shopping list in one form I created-email me Diana@pantryoverflow.com and I will send it to you!

#4 Be Creative.
If your kids are a little bit older you can tell them ” I am not going to go grocery shopping for ____ days. What can we make out of what we have?

  • *Breakfast for dinner-pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, cereal.
  • *Everyone has a different item– Many times I clean out the fridge or freezer with random items and I tell everyone I am trying to use up what we have so that I can buy more groceries. One of them will have a pot pie, another Cup of Noodles, a chicken quesadilla, whatever I pull out that needs to be used up.
  •  Create meals that have the same ingredients. Ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese can give make you cheeseburgers, tacos, nachos, and salad. This will shorten your list and stretch it out without feeling like you are eating the same meals.

#5 Plan for next month.
Sometimes there is just nothing you can do because you already blew it. Happens to everyone. BUT- are you going to do it again next month? You can decide that right now. Figure out where you went wrong this month. Did you spend too much at the beginning? Did you buy too much at Costco or Sam’s Club and not have enough for actual food? Did you buy too many “really good deals” but not have enough for “really good food”? Did you make a menu, a list, a budget? By figuring out where it went wrong and deciding how you can correct the problem, you can avoid it happening again. If it is the end of the month-you only have a few days to start over! Look ahead to next month and start planning now. Do you have events, parties, school lunches etc? Make sure your shopping list has these items on there so you will make less trips to the store and not buy any unnecessary items.

Bonus Tips:

  • Stay out of the store. If you don’t go in, you wont spend any money.
  • Do not use your credit card. Even though it is tempting-it is a temporary solution and you will end up here again.
  • If you do go into the store-stick to your menu, list, and budget. NO EXTRAS. 
  • Do not go crazy at the beginning of the month just because you finally have money again. Think the whole month through if you have to. 
  •  Do not go out to eat. Yes, it is easier-but that money could go towards meals at home.
  • Stick to the sale items in the ad and use your coupons. 
  • There will be MORE deals again when you have money-don’t let that fear of missing out actually cause you to miss out! Deals cycle through again. 

If you are in this or a similar situation and need more specific help-please feel free to email me your situation and I would love to further help you. I have been in many different financial situations over the years and yet I have survived.  Just email Diana@pantryoverflow.com! 

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