Penny Pinching Peach


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Keep Sliced Apples Fresh

How to keep apple slices fresh longer…

My kids love to snack on apple slices. The problem is, they frequently don’t finish all of the slices at one sitting. I got fed up with feeding the leftovers to the chickens, and remembered that I’d heard lemon juice would keep the slices fresh for longer. I didn’t have lemon juice, but I did have key lime, so I tried it. Here are the results, after 24 hours.

First, I put a slice aside as a control to see how well the key lime juice would actually work. Below is what it looked like after 24 hours, a sort of golden brown. It was also fairly squishy when I’d give it a squeeze between my fingers.

Apple slice without key lime juice

Apple slice without key lime juice

Next, I put a couple of slices of apple in a Ziploc baggie, sprinkled a few drops of key lime juice inside, swished it all around to make sure there was a light coating all over and squeezed the air out of the bag, leaving it on the kitchen counter with the other plain apple baggie. Below is what it looked like after 24 hours, almost as white as when I sliced it. The texture was also pretty much the same, and there was barely a hint of key lime flavor when eating it.

Apple slices with key lime juice

Apple slices with key lime juice

All in all, I’d say this experiment was a definite success. I’ve added a new weapon to my produce saving, grocery stretching repertoire! It’s also a great option for prepping healthy snacks the night before when you know you have a busy day coming up.

For more snack ideas, check out After School Snacks!


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Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

“Dinner for a dollar?!?”  they exclaim, “It can’t be done!!”.

Let me tell ya, honey, it most certainly can! Tonight I made this delicious pasta dish for less than a dollar. It fed my five year old, two year old and me with leftovers…and we all ate seconds!

I am challenging myself to stretch our grocery money as far as possible, and cook from the pantry as much as I can to help with a money crunch while my husband is taking a career furthering class for several weeks and missing a lot of work to do so. I haven’t been shopping in about a week and a half, so I am doing pretty well with it thus far.

I found some pasta with no crazy ingredients, just semolina and durum flour, marked down for 25 cents each when I was shopping a couple of weeks ago, so I grabbed several packages. I used half a pack of those noodles for this dish, plus a can of Italian diced tomatoes (66 cents), a sprinkling of parmesan, a handful of mozzarella cheese and the last few slices of ham lunchmeat we had in the pack before we go grocery shopping tomorrow.

Dinner For a Dollar? It's Doable!!

Dinner For a Dollar? It’s Doable!!

I mixed the cooked pasta with the tomatoes, let my oldest sprinkle on the cheese and the shredded lunchmeat and warmed it in the oven for about five minutes. TADA!!!! A super cheap and yummy supper created in less than 10 minutes! 🙂

While this cost me less than a dollar, with more average prices it might cost closer to two dollars. Even still, it’s a budget friendly and speedily prepared meal for the penny pinching parent who is crunched for time.

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Need more recipes on a dollar budget? Check out this ebook on Amazon, Easy Recipes: Budget Dinners: Eat Well for A Single Dollar, as low as free!

What is the cheapest home cooked meal (that your family actually enjoyed ) you’ve made recently? Want another delicious pasta recipe? Try my You Can Have Your Cheese and Tomato Sauce, Too, Pasta Casserole!

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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?