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31 Days to Save – Day 20 – Manager’s Specials are Special!

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 – Blog Talk Radio

Unlike “sales,” Manager’s specials, clearance and overstock deals are usually unique short lived opportunities until the supply runs out. They’re unique in that most are due to some extenuating circumstance at that particular store, such as a mistake on the stock order, or a discontinued product, a change in packaging, or any other number of reasons.

These deals will usually only be there for a day or less, and most often are not damaged, or second rate. Some are even free with a coupon.

Keep an eye out for these unusual signs and shelf tags, and seize the opportunity to invest, if it’s something you would ever use, as these often really are “loss leaders”, as in being sold at a loss.

I share a few examples in the video here:

Acknowledge that you did your daily reading by leaving a comment on Facebook thread for Day 20.  Tell us what kinds of deals you’ve snagged on Manager’s specials or clearance!

Optional additional reading:

Going back to Day 7, “Slow and Easy Wins”, have you done any slow cooking?  If you’ve invested in a slow cooker, here’s some guidelines from Chapter 14 of “Shop Smart, Save More.”

7 Guidelines for Making Up Your Own Slow Cooker Recipes.

Experiment! Make up your own slow cooker meals. Get adventurous. That’s all part of the fun.

1.  Cut root vegetables into small pieces. Root vegetables like potatoes and carrots take longer to cook than meat in slow cookers. So cut them into small pieces, no thicker than one inch.

2.  Cook vegetables near the bottom and sides. Vegetables should be covered by liquid. So put the vegetables on the bottom and the meat on top.

3.  Let beans cook before adding tomatoes. Sugar and acidic foods, such as tomatoes, will cause the shells of the beans to remain hard while cooking. To remedy that, let the beans get completely cooked in the slow cooker and add tomatoes or other sugary or acidic ingredients after you are sure the beans are completely cooked. This doesn’t apply to canned beans.

4.  Don’t slow cook rice or pasta. Rice and pasta need to be cooked separately. You can add them to what you cooked in the crockpot just before you serving. (unless a tried and true slow cooker recipe tells you to use rice, and the recipe specifies how to do it).

5.  Don’t slow cook milk products. Milk products tend to break down with extended cooking. However, if you want milk or other milk products, such as cheese or sour cream in your recipe, you can add it during the last hour of cooking. Condensed creamed soups are the exception. You can slow cook those.

6.  Season near the end of cooking. Slow cookers have a different effect on flavors of things like garlic powder, seasonings, and herbs and spices. While you can add some during cooking, taste again when it’s done and add more if needed. Whole herbs can be slow cooked, and actually benefit by having time to reach their full effect.

7.  Use very little water. Remember, water doesn’t evaporate like oven or stove top cooking. 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid is usually more than enough unless a recipe specifies otherwise.

(End of excerpt from “Shop Smart, Save More” by Teri Gault with Sheryl Berk) http://www.thegrocerygame.com/more-ways-to-save/teris-book-shop-smart-save-more/

To show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on Facebook thread for Day 20. Tell us what kinds of deals you’ve snagged on Manager’s specials or clearance! http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame

See you tomorrow for more savings in 2012, and…
PLEASE, don’t pay full price for anything!
http://www.TheGroceryGame.com/ – See what’s in store for you!

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31 Days to Save – Day 18 – Lovin’ Those Legumes!

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 – Blog Talk Radio

For today, I made a video of how I make my beans!

But first why you gotta love em… an excerpt from Chapter 9: of “Shop Smart, Save More”…

Lovin’ those Legumes

I always say, “Eat beans once a week.”  That sounds like punishment to some people, something you have to do because you can’t afford meat. Yes, they’re cost-efficient (aka CHEAP!) but they’re also very healthy. Legumes are a good source of fiber, and studies have shown they may carry the following health benefits:

* Linked to reduced risk of cancer in general, specifically colon and breast cancer

* May help lower cholesterol

* May help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

* Can help in the management or even prevention of diabetes

(End of excerpt from “Shop Smart, Save More” by Teri Gault with Sheryl Berk)

Now, my “Beans” VIDEO:

Acknowledge that you did your daily reading by leaving a comment on Facebook thread for Day 18.  (Sorry, I know we went a little over 5 minutes today. I blame “Marley”) Share your ideas on how you use BEANS as a strategy for a healthy meal and healthy for your budget!  

Extra bonus recipeThe third meal from Day 14’s Dinner Times Three
This Beef or Chicken Pot Pie is good with leftover roast or two chicken breasts. Enjoy!


Optional additional reading:

(Continuation from “Shop Smart, Save More” by Teri Gault with Sheryl Berk)

Teri’s Tip: Make Monday Meatless

John Hopkins University is right there with me in encouraging people to eat meatless once a week. The health experts there have started a whole wonderful campaign that is sweeping the nation, called “Meatless Monday”. The idea of the campaign is to help prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer, which according to John Hopkins University are the three leading causes of death in America. So it saves money and saves your life! ‘Nuf said.  For more info and recipes, visit www.MeatlessMonday.com.

During my roughest financial years, we ate beans one or more times a week, as a meatless meal. I can feed my family of 4 for as little as $2 with a bean meal. I’m an Okie. And fortunately, I married a Texan, which means that we grew up with the same dinner favorites. I grew up with a pot of pinto beans and ham hock with cornbread as a my favorite meal. So did he! We were a match made in heaven. Especially during rough financial times, we got to eat “our favorite” a lot. I remember during my coin rolling days, when I had $35 a week for groceries for the four of us, we would have “Beans and Cornbread” quite often. Oh my boys are big fans of “Pinto Beans and Ham hock.” I usually buy ham hocks in a 2-pack for $2-$3. When the butcher has to mark them down for same day sale, I can score four 2-packs at half price, making them less than $1 each. I only use one and freeze the other.

End of excerpt from “Shop Smart, Save More” by Teri Gault with Sheryl Berkhttp: http://www.thegrocerygame.com/more-ways-to-save/teris-book-shop-smart-save-more/

Now to show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on Facebook thread for Day 18. Share your ideas on how you use BEANS as part of your strategy for healthy meals that don’t break the bank!  http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame

See you tomorrow!!!

We’ve got lots more savings to come, and…

PLEASE, don’t pay full price for anything!

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31 Days to Save – Day 19 – Ask Questions!

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 – Blog Talk Radio

I’ve discovered some of my best savings secrets just by asking questions where-ever I go. I once asked at Macy’s in New York, “Are there any discounts or coupons I should be aware of?” She initially said no, but in our conversation, she asked where I was from. In the end, I found out that an out of town visitor gets an additional 11% discount! If I had been afraid to ask, I never would have known! That one question on that one day has saved me lots of money wherever I go! And by the way, that visitor pass works on clearance items too! And I’ve gotten them at Lord & Taylor, and others.

This applies to shopping for groceries too! Make a habit of getting to know the nice people at YOUR supermarket and don’t be afraid to ask money saving questions. I once asked my deli manager if he had any special deals. He was so excited and told me, “Wait right here.” He returned with an armload of name brand lunch meat saying, “I just brought all this in the back to put the half off clearance stickers on them.” I couldn’t even take all that he offered me. But I got all I wanted for half off, just because I asked!

In this video, I share a few more ways that asking questions has helped me save loads of money on groceries:

Acknowledge that you did your daily reading by leaving a comment on Facebook thread for Day 19.  Share your experience about asking questions in the supermarket, and how getting to know your butcher, baker, and others has saved you money! 

Optional additional reading:

As a continuation on yesterday’s “Lovin Those Legumes,” here’s an excerpt from Chapter 9 of “Shop Smart, Save More” with one of our family’s favorite recipes!

A bowl of wisdom

During those horrible coin rolling years with no money, my son Joe came home from school and really wanted to make a recipe that his teacher gave him. My first thought was panic. What if I had none of the ingredients in my stockpile? What if it required some expensive items to make? When I saw it, I was so relieved. It was a lentil soup. It was “Esau’s Pottage”, and it’s based on a Biblical tale about Esau and his birthright as firstborn son of twins over his brother Jacob. That birthright came with riches, land, cattle and more. But because he was very hungry on a hunting expedition with Jacob, Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of Jacob’s soup. Not a very smart decision, and one made in haste without much thought to the future.

This dish has become one of our family traditions. So many times throughout Joe’s life, when he wanted to do something “less than wise,” I would ask him if he wanted to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup. Boy was that story handy during the teenage years! We ate the soup often, enjoyed the flavor, economy, nutrition, and wisdom of “Esau’s Pottage” every time.

A few tips on how to make it:

•You can skip the lamb for a meatless soup: Now I have to admit, we were too broke to buy the lamb when Joe originally brought me the recipe back in 1994. So I skipped it and never told. I’ve left the lamb in the recipe below, as that’s the way it’s supposed to be made. But for “Meatless Monday”, you should try skipping the lamb, and see if you love it as much as we do.

•Don’t be afraid to try substitutions in any soup. Over the years, I have made lots of substitutions, adapting this recipe to my stockpile, and it has always been good. Last night, since it was a last minute idea, I didn’t have carrots or celery, only 2 big onions. So to make up for the flavor of the onions and celery, I added some all-purpose salt free seasoning from my stockpile (it has dried onion and celery seed). As usual, I did not have any lamb (goes against our traditional family pottage anyway). Instead of water, I used organic chicken broth from my stockpile for added flavor. I also added red and yellow peppers, because I had them, and they were pretty, and decided to grate one large yellow squash into it. Even with all those substitutions, “Esau’s Pottage” was delicious!

•When I have fresh tomatoes, I usually plunge them in boiling water to peel them. But rather than bring another pot to a boil, I wash them and throw them in whole with my sautéing onions. Once the skins begin to split, I pull them out with a slotted spoon. Then I can easily slip the skins off. Instead of cutting them on a cutting board, which gets messy, I hold each peeled tomato over the pot, and puncture it with my thumb, so it won’t explode tomato juice everywhere when I squeeze and shred the “meat” with my fingers. I hang on to the hard stump near the stem and discard it. This is a fast way to prepare tomatoes for soups or sauces.

Esau’s Pottage

There are lots of recipes for this soup out there, but this is our favorite, straight from Joe’s teacher in 4th grade.

Source: Adapted from The Bible Cookbook by Marian Maeve O’Brien.

½ cup olive oil (have it in my stockpile)
6 onions, diced
1 lb. lamb, cubed
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 green pepper
2 cups tomatoes (or use canned from stockpile)
1 lb. lentils
2–3 cups water (I start with 3 cups, and usually add 2-3 more while cooking)
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Heat the oil; add the onions and saute until tender but not brown. Add the cubed meat (it should be as lean as possible) and let simmer while washing and dicing the vegetables. Add the vegetables and lentils to the meat with 2 cups of water, and simmer gently until lentils are tender. It will take about 1½ hours. Add salt and pepper when the lentils are cooked. Shake the pot occasionally or add another cup of water to prevent sticking. Makes 6–8 servings

(End of excerpt from “Shop Smart, Save More” by Teri Gault with Sheryl Berk)

http://www.thegrocerygame.com/more-ways-to-save/teris-book-shop-smart-save-more/

To show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on Facebook thread for Day 19. Share your experience about asking questions in the supermarket, and how getting to know your butcher, baker, and others has saved you money!  http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame

See you tomorrow more savings in 2012, and…
PLEASE, don’t pay full price for anything!
http://www.TheGroceryGame.com/ – Most members save enough in the 4 week free trial to buy a deep freezer!

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31 Days to Save – Day 16 – Stack the Deals

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 – Blog Talk Radio

Stack the deals whenever you can. That means you use multiple savings tactics on one deal, stacking in even more savings. You can stack the deals in supermarkets and drugstores. In either one, you may be able to stack all of these kinds of deals at once:
Sale + Manufacturer coupon + Store coupon + Instant rebates at the register = HUGE savings!

On our lists at www.TheGroceryGame.com sometimes you’ll see lots of notes one particular deal. That’s so that you’ll know how to stack the deals on that one item, and where to get the deals/coupons to go with it!

Watch this VIDEO where I explain “Stack the Deals”

Acknowledge that you did your daily reading by leaving a comment on Facebook thread for Day 16. Ask questions, or share your thoughts and ideas on how you stack the deals, and tell us about your best deal stacking

Optional additional reading:

Here’s an excerpt from my book, “Shop Smart, Save More”. In this part of my story, I had re-discovered stacking only two deals, sale plus manufacturer coupon. Now, on top of that, we do much more!

Chapter 6: Clip and Save

After I got married in 1980, I had a rather fortunate event: my clothes dryer broke and my laundry was piled up to the ceiling. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes adversity can bring innovation? I decided to do a huge laundry run to a Laundromat (I had no choice!). There was a Sunday paper sitting by the dryers, and, between spin cycles, I picked it up and began thumbing through the coupon inserts. “Hmmm,” I thought to myself, “Some of these are pretty good: $1 off shampoo; buy one/get one free instant coffee…” I remembered when I was 12,I would clip coupons so I could afford to buy food for our struggling family. But it had been years. I certainly didn’t need to pinch pennies now. Still, I tore them out with a flourish. This was fun! This was exciting! And my romance with coupon clipping was rekindled.
After I finished my laundry, I went home and put together a grocery list based on my coupons. But I was only partly playing The Grocery Game. I hadn’t looked through the paper for sales circulars (in fact, I had tossed them aside, thinking they were “junk”). So I headed for the store, and ended up changing course on several items. Some of what I planned to buy wasn’t on sale, and other brands were, making my ideal purchase not so ideal. It was a learning process. Sure, I had done some smart shopping as a little girl. But I hadn’t yet laid down some rules for the Game. Some things started to come back to me that day. I thought about the jar of peanut butter and remembered that I needed to use the coupon with a sale. It was sort of like getting back on a bike after years of not riding. The next week, I got a little more into my game, and started with a sales ad, then got to the store and started juxtaposing my list with un-advertised sales. The game had begun.

End of excerpt from “Shop Smart, Save More” by Teri Gault with Sheryl Berk: http://www.thegrocerygame.com/more-ways-to-save/teris-book-shop-smart-save-more/

In the above, I mention “UN-advertised sales”. At www.TheGroceryGame.com 62% of the deals on the website nationwide are UN-advertised. In days to come, we’ll explain why they exist and more about their value.

Acknowledge that you did your daily reading by leaving a comment on Facebook thread for Day 16. Ask questions, or share your thoughts and ideas on how you stack the deals, and tell us about your best deal stacking

See you on Day 17!
Lots more to come!
Stay with us!

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31 Days to Save – Day 15 – The After Dinner Check

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 – Blog Talk Radio

Some simple routines or habits can become easy ways to save even more money and time.

Watch this VIDEO where I explain “The After Dinner Check”

Day 15 VIDEO:


Now to show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on Facebook thread for Day 15. Ask questions, or share your thoughts and ideas on the “After Dinner Check” and how that habit works for you, or could work for you!

Optional additional video:

On Day 14, “Dinner Times Three,” we made a roast, and the 2nd meal that I chose is “Carnitas Tacos”. They’re not really “carnitas,” as they are beef, but that’s what I call them anyway!

Now to show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on Facebook thread for Day 15. Ask questions, or share your thoughts and ideas on the “After Dinner Check” and how that habit works for you, or could workfor you! http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame

See you on Day 16!

Lots more to come!

Stay with us!

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31 Days to Save – Day 14 – Dinner Times Three!

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 – Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 – Blog Talk Radio

One of my favorite things to do is to save money! And my other favorite thing to do is to save time! I also LOVE to make delicious healthy meals for my family! But sometimes, if we run out of time, we end up eating out or not using our resources. So…

That’s why I love “Dinner Times Three.” The idea is to make extra on purpose, with a plan to make two more meals out of what’s already cooked! This is different than “Cook Two,” as “Dinner Times Three” goes in the fridge and has an encore for two more nights, but dressed in a different costume! ;)  And it’s a quick  “show” for three days straight!

Watch this VIDEO of my “10 minute Roast.”  Just one idea for the first day of “Dinner Times Three”!


Now to show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on Facebook thread for Day 14. Ask questions, or share some of your favorite ways to make one meal with a plan and a purpose for two more days of yummy leftovers!

Optional Additional studies and for your reading pleasure:

In today’s example of “Dinner Times Three,” I made enough roast to make dinner for the next two nights. For the second night, I’ll be making Carnitas Tacos. And the third night is a delicious Beef Pot Pie. All three dinners are super fast, easy and delicious. I’ll be posting my recipes on the Facebook wall in the next few days for those.

Another example of “Dinner Times Three” is my standard practice of roasting two chickens, even though we barely eat just one. On the second night, we may have a Chinese chicken salad, and the third night could be Chicken Casserole or Chicken Pot Pie. Or make two chicken casseroles on the second night and put one in the freezer, sort of a combo idea.

Here’s some more ideas on how to get that first night rolled out for “Dinner Times Three”, an excerpt from my book, “Shop Smart, Save More.”

Crank it out on busy mornings

When I know I’m going to have a rushed morning and want to ensure that I get my slow cooker started before I leave the house, I prepare the night before. Usually, it only takes me 10 minutes or less to do this advance prep. The night before:

1. Cut and trim meat. Put it in a separate container in the fridge.

2. Wash and cut vegetables. Store them in a reclosable bag in the fridge, separate from the meat.

3. Cut potatoes and put in water. If using potatoes, I wash them, and prepare them and store them covered in water to prevent them from turning brown.

Once you make friends with your slow cooker for your weekly night off, it just might become a love affair. You might like it so much, you may decide to take two nights off each week.

Fool-proof Roast – Let’s start with the basic, easiest, and maybe the all time favorite, the Lipton onion soup mix slow cooked pot roast. That’s a mouthful. So I just call it “fool-proof roast”!

1 roast (any kind, any size that fits with about an inch of space or more around the sides)
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 package of Lipton’s onion soup mix

Put the two cans of soup in the slow cooker. Add one can of water. Add the onion soup mix. Blend with a wire whisk. Gently lower the roast into the liquid. The liquid needs to come just to the top of the roast to barely cover it. If it’s covered by a lot already, no problem. You don’t need to add more. You’ll have lots of gravy, too. If you need more to get the roast covered, fill the can with water again, and pour in just enough of that second can of water to get it to just cover the top of the roast. If that second can doesn’t cover it, that’s fine. Don’t add more than two cans total. Turn the slow cooker on low and let it cook all day. Serve over rice, pasta or potatoes. My favorite is quick cooking rice from my stockpile (cooked in a separate pan on the stove). Toss a salad and your meal is complete!

Tip: I hope you have leftovers. This roast and gravy make the very best pot pies. Add some frozen mixed veggies tomorrow night, and make up two beef pot pies. One for tomorrow, and one for the freezer. You know the drill!

End of excerpt from “Shop Smart, Save More” by Teri Gault with Sheryl Berk
http://www.thegrocerygame.com/more-ways-to-save/teris-book-shop-smart-save-more/

See you for Day 15, tomorrow!
Lots more days of savings to come!!!
Stay with us!

Now to show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on Facebook thread for Day 14. Ask questions, or share some of your favorite ways to make one meal with a plan and a purpose for two more days of yummy leftovers!

http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame

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