Penny Pinching Peach

For the semi crunchy, homeschool friendly and totally frugal!


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Hot Dog Casserole

Hot dog!

Hot dog!

This is one of those recipes I love, because it has your veggies for the healthy appeal, your hot dogs for the kid appeal, and the ease of throwing it together for the busy person appeal! It’s also very budget friendly, which teetotally appeals to the penny pincher in me! The doggie in the picture isn’t exactly the kind that goes in this casserole, but I think she’s pretty cute! I hope y’all enjoy this recipe! I’d say it’s a keeper. 🙂

First comes the recipe…

♦ Hot Dog Casserole ♦

16 hot dogs , cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 (15 ounce) cans cut green beans with liquid
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a 2-quart casserole dish, stir together sliced hot dogs, green beans with their liquid, and stewed tomatoes with their juice.

Bake in the preheated oven until the juice is thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, stir again, and sprinkle the casserole with mozzarella cheese. Heat the broiler of the oven, and place the casserole under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as the broiler works quickly and could burn.

Now comes the savings…

Go to this site: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/

Print these coupons: Ball Park Lean Hot Dogs and/or Jennie O Turkey Franks

What’s your favorite way to eat hot dogs?


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MyPoints

Penny Pinching Peach

Penny Pinching Peach

If you are on this site and reading this article, the chances are that you already print off coupons. Did you know that you can earn points toward gift cards just for doing something that you do already? That’s right! Just for printing and redeeming the same coupons you would print for free, you can rack up some additional goodies on the side!

I have been a member of MyPoints for a few years now. It’ a pretty nifty program where you can earn points toward gift cards by clicking on emails, using their toolbar, printing and redeeming coupons, shopping through their sites’ links, referring your friends, etc. Just by doing things you would normally do, you can rack up some pretty dandy gift cards. The selection of types of gift cards you can get here is nearly endless! They seriously have enough variety that everyone should be happy.

When I had more time to devote to working toward my points, I earned my gift cards at a much more consistent rate. Lately my participation has been more spotty, due to various factors having nothing to do with the program, so I’ve been slower to earn. I just redeemed some points for a $10 gift card to Red Lobster. I’m hoping between that and a coupon, maybe my husband and I can go on a date alone for the first time since our son was born. (We went on one with the baby with us.) One year I saved them up all year without redeeming them, and cashed out for a larger gift card to help pay for Christmas. That definitely came in handy!

The quickest way to build up your points is to install the toolbar. Confession here: I’ve never installed the toolbar, or I’d earn my points much faster. I just find extra toolbars annoying, and don’t want to bother with them. If they don’t annoy you, then go right ahead. I’m just infernally honest, and don’t want to pretend I’m taking advantage of one of the best ways to earn the points when I’m not merely ’cause it’s not my thing. 🙂

Another way to really add up your points is to click on the emails they will send you. They usually send me a few messages a day. Some are surveys. Some are special offers to click and view to earn a few points, whether you actually participate in the offers or not. When I’m really busy and need to clean out my inbox, I just delete them. When I have time, I click and watch my points slowly climb up, up and away! You can opt out of the emails if you find that you don’t want to click and earn or are just getting too many messages. It’s as simple as going to My Account, then Email Subscriptions, then just select “Unsubscribe From All” and save the settings at the bottom. No more emails! You can also choose to only receive certain emails, like survey opportunities only. You can also access the surveys directly on the site.

If you do online shopping regularly, this is a way to basically be paid to shop. You can search for the online merchant you wish to buy from, type of merchant you’re looking for or just browse to see which merchants are participating in their program. Again, their selection is huge, so I’m sure you’ll find whatever you are looking for! They will say up front how many points you earn per dollar you spend with each merchant (it varies), so you’ll know how many points you should get and roughly how much value that has for you.

My favorite way to earn is just printing and redeeming coupons. You pretty much get the same coupons you would get from Coupons.com, SmartSource and Catalina. The difference is that you get 10 points for each coupon you print through their site and redeem. You also get a bonus when you print or redeem 10 or more coupons in a month. That’s like being paid for saving money! How awesome is that?? There is also a promotion going on until the end of May where you get an entry into a $2,500 sweepstake for every coupon you print. 🙂

The final way to earn points toward gift cards is through referrals. You can earn a few points just for your friends joining, and rewards for their future interactions. The more folks you get to sign up under you, the better you will do at earning rewards quickly. While your friends are shopping, clicking and printing, you are both benefiting. It’s a win-win situation, and costs neither of you anything. It doesn’t get better than that!
You won’t get rich, dig yourself out of debt or any other sort of magical things just by participating in this program. If someone claims you’ll be rewarded out your ears for your participation in an online program like this, they are probably just blowing smoke in your face. Ignore them. You will, however, slowly and steadily earn some great gift cards to use on things you need or just plain want. There’s nothing difficult about it. They don’t ask for a credit card, your social security number or any other uncomfortable personal information. You won’t have to pay a penny for any of this, just use your time & noggin a little to remember to click through their site before you shop online and other little details like that. Since we all need to exercise the grey matter between our ears now & then, this seems like a no-brainer to me. 😉

Quick review: MyPoints gives you points for clicking emails, shopping through their site at various merchants, printing & redeeming coupons, referrals and other fun stuff most of us would do even if noone was giving us anything. Those points are redeemable for all sorts of fantastic gift cards that would appeal to anyone of any age or interest. They charge you nothing, period. It’s super easy to sign up and use. What’re you waiting for?? If you are interested in joining MyPoints, I’d love to be your referrer. You can go to my Penny Pinching Peach friend page (as opposed to my fan page) http://facebook.com/pennypinchingpeach where a referral link is posted, and/or leave a note on my facebook fan page with your email address and I’ll have the link for your referral to you in a jiffy. I’m convinced that you will enjoy it, and be pleasantly rewarded for just being the frugal person that you are!

Pleasant Penny Pinching! 🙂


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Saving Time!

Look what we got!!

Look what we got!!

Today was one of my fun little saving while shopping trips. 🙂 I know there are other great drug stores for savings. The truth is that, with two munchkins to take shopping with me, I usually choose one place for non-grocery couponing and one for groceries each trip. CVS is my primary non-grocery couponing spot. Ingles is my usual choice for groceries in our fairly small town area, since they double coupons up to 50 cents, give treats to the kiddos and are pleasant to shop with.

To prepare for this trip, I spent about half an hour this morning making my grocery list, browsing the sales ads and looking at the CVS coupons I had from my last trip. Next, I glanced over the coupons on a coupon site (one of the ones I use to print coupons from coupons.com while earning points toward gift cards) to see what was on there to go with the items I needed, the sales bargains this week, my 30% off coupon for non-sale items at CVS, and the CVS coupons I already had. I threw the coupons I intended to use at each store into their respective folded store fliers, stuck them both in my purse with my shopping lists, and off we went.

CVS was decent today. I had to get diapers, “needed” some sodas, and have been wanting some new serving spoons and such. The first two things were on my automatic list. The rest were dictated by good prices on things we do use, but didn’t absolutely have to have today. We got diapers, facial wipes, nail polish, makeup, sodas, kitchen serving utensils, and protein bars. Princess Peach was excited about the super sparkly nail polish. 🙂 I keep her little fingers and toes painted pretty colors all the time with the nail polish I get for pennies on the dollar or even free.

Total Spent? $17.50

Total Saved? $53.84

Percentage Saved: 75.4%

We also did our grocery shopping at Ingles, which wasn’t so much a couponing trip, but getting what we needed while using coupons on whatever we could. In other words, there were things we needed that I got even though there wasn’t a sale or a coupon on them. Ohhhhh, the pain! 😉 Seriously, though, I’ve made it clear I’m not extreme.

Total Spent? $27.10

Total Saved? $11.82

Percentage Saved: 30.3%

I’m also going to get 40 cents back on my SavingStar account for buying yogurt.

Like I said, this wasn’t my best saving trip, but it only took me about 30 minutes this morning with two munchkins crawling all over me to get everything together and head out. It took two hours to do the actual shopping trip, but that had alot to do with Baby pulling Princess’ hair, throwing stuff out of the cart and feeding them their snacks to survive the shopping time. 🙂

What is your favorite grocery store to shop at?


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Throw-Together Casserole

Diapered dude and discount diva proving frugal is cool!

Diapered dude and discount diva proving frugal is cool!

Lately life has been moving right along at a busy pace, and I don’t always have time to prepare alot of dishes, desserts or anything special at all. This one dish meal is very simple to throw together, though, along with having some great coupons to go with it this week. You mix it up in the casserole dish, too, so clean-up is quick and easy, as well. It covers all of the food groups in that one dish, too, so…woohoo for health! On the days when my kiddos are more-than-usually underfoot and thinking my every moment revolves around their every sneeze and whim, one dish dinners are almost literally lifesavers. 🙂 What more could a busy person want from a hearty family dinner?

Throw-Together Casserole

1/2 pound sausage, fried and drained

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/4 cup  sliced green olives

1 cup whole kernel corn

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup cubed Cheddar cheese

1 cup cooked white rice

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
~In a 2 quart casserole dish, combine all ingredients. Mix together well.
~Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
There are a few coupons to go with this recipe. For the coupons, go to: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/
Print these coupons: Bob Evans Sausage, Hinode Rice, Contadina Canned Tomatoes
Who else is in love with one dish meals? I love the simplified preparation and snappy clean-up.


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Bic Bargain!!

Bic Bargain!

Bic Bargain!

Today I combined two $3 off Bic coupons from the Sunday paper with a Buy One, Get One 50% Off sale going on through Saturday at CVS. I paid 40 cents (just the sales tax) for two packs of Bic razors! That’s 2 cents per razor!! 🙂 These coupons will probably add up to very cheap deals on Bic at other stores, also, but that’s the one I had time to go to and it worked well.

Also, if you need anything that isn’t on sale this week, my Sunday paper had a circular with a 20% off coupon that is also good through Saturday. I’m not sure if that’s a local CVS circular or if it is nationwide. You can combine this with store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons, so that can add up to a good deal. I used it on nursing pads, wipes, diapers and Gillette products for my hubby. He will only use Gillette razors and shave gel. (Are all men stuck on certain brands???) They have a deal this week where you spend $30 and get $10 Extra Care Bucks back. I had several coupons to combine with it, including a BOGO, so it worked out to some super savings on expensive products. 🙂

What would you use the 20% off coupon for? 🙂 Are you or a family member stuck on one particular type or brand of a product, and won’t use anything else regardless of price?


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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups!

My daughter two years ago with a different cold sweet treat.

My daughter two years ago with a different cold sweet treat.

I just spent a good part of the afternoon putting plants out in our little yard garden. It’s warm outside, and the pollen count is at an ungodly high level. I would love to eat icecream right now, since I got quite warm & dusty and my throat is pretty itchy from that pesky yellow haze covering everything outside. I’m being a good girl and resisting temptation for the moment, but I’m sharing a tempting recipe that might make it difficult for y’all to keep from indulging. 🙂 What I’m sharing today is a frugal tip for fancifying that delectably cool warm weather treat: Homemade cookie cups filled with icecream. Mmm, mmmmmmm!!! 🙂 I’ve got savings to go along with it, which certainly sweetens the deal for me! 🙂

What you need: Cookie dough and a muffin tin, plus whatever you want to fill them with. I have always seen chocolate chip cookie dough used, but I’m sure other types would work and would like to try some other varieties this warm season.

What to do: Flip the muffin tin over, form the cookie dough around the cups instead of inside, then bake the pan upside down like that. Let the cookies cool, then pop them off of there and fill them with icecream or frozen yogurt of your choice, or even fresh chopped fruit with whipped cream on top, if you prefer.

Some flavor combinations that I think would be good to try: The classic chocolate chip cookies with vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter icecream. Chocolate chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter or strawberry icecream. Peanut butter cookies with chocolate icecream. Sugar cookies with strawberry icecream or fresh fruit & whipped cream. Your imagination is your limit! 🙂

Where to go for savings: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/

Which coupons to print: Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough and Yoplait frozen yogurt.

Bonus savings: Saving Star has an additional $1 on Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough that will go to your account there if you purchase at one of your registered stores using your store card! If you aren’t signed up for saving star, you can read up on it and then sign up by going to my post on Saving Star here:

What flavor combination can you come up with? Which do you think would taste the best? 🙂


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Picnic For Pennies

Playing Outside With Our Chickies

Playing Outside With Our Chickies

It’s a beautiful spring day here in Georgia, and wonderful weather for a picnic! With this in mind, I’ve gotten together a perfect picnic for pennies on the dollar. Not only is this a cheap menu, but it is both a simple and unique twist on classic picnic foods. We’ve got a main dish, side and dessert, all very easy to throw together and equally easy on your pockets!

A healthier version of corn dogs…

Quick & Crunchy Hot Dogs

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard

1 cup cornflake crumbs (Total cereal may work, and it has a coupon)

1 (16 ounce) package all-beef Ball Park hot dogs

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil.

2.Stir together ketchup and mustard on a plate until mixed. Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow bowl. Roll each hot dog in the ketchup mixture, then roll in cornflake crumbs to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet.

3.Bake in preheated oven until the hot dogs are hot on the inside, and crispy on the outside, about 15 to 20 minutes.

An unusual side dish…

Awesome Brown Rice Salad

2 cups water

1 cup Hinode brown rice

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

1 tablespoon sugar

1.In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until done (or use instant brown rice for quicker results).

2.Transfer rice to a serving bowl, and stir in onion, celery, cranberries, salad dressing and sugar. Cover, refrigerate, and serve cold.

And for dessert…

S’mores!

There is a rare coupon covering the three basic s’more ingredients- marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers.

You can make them over a fire in the usual way. If it a backyard picnic, though, you can also put them together (without the top graham cracker) on a baking sheet and broil them until they are lightly browned and all puffed up, then just slap the top graham cracker on when you pull them out of the oven. Either way is a delectably gooey sweet treat to top off a nice spring picnic! 🙂

For your savings, go to this site: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/?pid=14505&nid=10&zid=py13
Print the following coupons: Big G Cereals, Ball Park Hot Dogs, S’mores, Hinode Rice

Love these savings!! 🙂

Our family loves spending time outdoors, especially this time of year when the weather is absolutely perfect for it! Eating outdoors is just one of many fun & frugal things to do in the springtime. There are so many things to enjoy outside for free or nearly free when it’s gorgeous out! What are your favorite picnic foods? Do you prefer to picnic at the park, in the woods, in a field, in your own yard, at a playground…what’s your preference?


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CVS Coupon Spree

CVS Coupon Spree

CVS Coupon Spree

Yesterday was one of my occasional “coupon sprees” at CVS.

My tallies came up pretty dandy! As I’ve stated before, I don’t have the time or patience to “extreme coupon” with two small children, but my savings percentages were in that league. All I did was spend a few minutes scanning the deals online, printing out my matching coupons online, grabbing the coupons I already had clipped that went with the deal, loading my deals from my CVS club emails and folding it all into the CVS flier from the Sunday paper. If you aren’t signed up for the emails, do it! I get special deals almost weekly for 20% or 30% percent off or $5 off of a $30 or other similar discounts on top of coupons, sales and Extra Care Bucks. Annnnyway… on to the details of my awesome score! 🙂

My total (between two transactions) would have been $123.33.

My out of pocket expense was $13.81.

That’s a savings of $109.52, or 88.8%!!! 🙂

I’m not even counting into this equation the fact that I have $5 in Extra Care Bucks to use on my next transaction, so I’m more than pleased. I’m especially pleased because most of the items are things we use alot of, and not just “extras”. See the diapers? Yeah, buddy!!! 😉

Anyone else have a good couponing trip this week?


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Paid to Purchase Haircolor!

I recently made a quick run to CVS to pick up a prescription. While in the store, I saw that alot of the L’Oreal haircolor products were marked down to 75% off. This turned out to be a “paid to purchase” deal for me, which is my favorite kind of shopping! I got four boxes of L’Oreal haircolor, used two “$5 off of 2” coupons and was given $2 by SavingStar (see my post on SavingStar here: https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2013/02/07/savingstar/) just for buying one of their current products! This made me do a happy dance, since it turned out to be a $2 profit for me to get four boxes of haircolor. 🙂 The point of sharing this? Keep reading…

Paid to Purchase!

Paid to Purchase!

It pays to keep your coupons with you whenever you are going shopping, especially on items you either use regularly or know there are frequent sales or markdowns on. I know that anything health and beauty related is going to be on sale or put on clearance on a regular basis, so that is a category of coupons I make sure to keep a supply of in my purse. You should try it, too!

Anyone else had any surprise savings lately?

Now back to my happy dance… Woohoo!! 😉


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Money Saving Mexican Food

Pinch Those Pennies!

Pinch Those Pennies!

¡Hola! Let me tell you, not only are these some mouthwatering Mexican dishes, but they are loaded chock full of savings. I’ve got six- yes, count ’em, people- six coupons to go with this delicious budget dinner! I can see a fun Mexican dinner night in my family’s future this week, with this kind of savings to tick off on such a yummalicious menu. Read this twosome of toothsome recipes with a napkin handy to wipe up the drool, and keep it on hand for the salivating over the savings at the end! 🙂

Drool over these dishes, y’all!

♦Chicken Chilaquiles

1/4 pound chorizo
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 (10 ounce) bag tortilla chips
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (19 ounce) can green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Cook the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat, stirring to break it into tiny pieces. Place the raw chicken into the skillet with the chorizo; cook and stir the meats together until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes.
Spread half of the tortilla chips over the bottom of a casserole dish; top the chips with the cooked chorizo and chicken mixture. Sprinkle the corn evenly over the meats and layer the remaining chips over the top. Whisk together the green enchilada sauce and sour cream in a mixing bowl; pour over the top of the casserole. Top the casserole with the shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
Bake the chilaquiles in the preheated oven until the casserole is bubbly and the chips begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mexican Red Rice

2 Roma (plum tomatoes), cored
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 sprigs fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Grate tomatoes into a bowl using a box grater; discard skins.
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir garlic into onion and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Stir rice into onion mixture and cook, stirring often, until rice is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
Stir grated tomato, chicken broth, and tomato sauce into the rice, bringing the mixture to a boil.
Mix in jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and salt; reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and simmer until rice has absorbed the liquid, about 15 minutes. Do not lift the cover while the rice is cooking.
Turn off heat and let rice stand covered for 8 minutes. Fluff with fork before moving rice to a serving dish.

Now to salivate over the savings!

For the coupons, go to this link: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/?pid=13101&nid=10&zid=pt82
Print these coupons: Old El Paso, Swanson Broth, Hunt’s Tomatoes, Riojano Spanish Chorizo, Sargento’s Shredded Cheese and Uncle Ben’s Rice.

My family loves Mexican food, but we also love Italian, Chinese, Southern style and all sorts of other ethnicities of food. Variety keeps our palates pleased. What’s your and your family’s favorite kind of food?