Girls’ Frugal Fun- Dinner Club

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”- Randolf G

As life gets busier it is getting harder to find time to spend with my close girl friends. Kids, husbands, jobs and so many other things take precedence over just getting together and hanging out. Facebook, text messaging and e-mail make us feel like we know each other but there is no replacement for some good face time.

So about 18 months ago a few girlfriends and I decided to begin a “Dinner Club”- taking one night a month to prioritize our relationships with each other and catch up on life. We meet at someone’s house (sans boyfriends, husbands and usually kids) and take a few hours to sit down and eat a meal together. It’s a great chance to catch up on what is going on in everyone’s life.

We decided to add a challenge. In addition to setting aside some important time to hang out we wanted to further develop our cooking skills (some need more developing than others).

Whoever chooses to host the dinner gets to pick a theme. We rotate houses each month so that the burden of hosting does not always fall on one person. Everyone must prepare a recipe within that theme that they have NEVER COOKED BEFORE. So far our themes have included Chinese, Irish, Hawaiian, things that are round (that was interesting) and even a proper English Christmas meal. Some of the recipes turn out to be epic failures and some become new favorites.

At the end of these nights my cheeks usually hurt from laughing. My belly is full of good food. My heart is satisfied from having time with a great group of friends. And my wallet is usually only about $10 emptier.

So if you have been missing your girlfriends and have been looking for an excuse to get together, I recommend a great frugal activity: begin a Dinner Club.

Thanks to Jessica (a member of our dinner club) for the beautiful picture.  You can check out her work here.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


You Asked For It- Store Deals

I asked A Frugal Chick readers what I could do to improve my site.  I got lots of suggestions but one i LOVED so my genius computer guy and I got on it right away. 

If you look on the right hand side of this blog you will see a beautiful new button that says “Check Out My Store Deals”. 

Click on it and you will see a list of all the stores that I post match ups for, along with their coupon policies (some of those I am still working on)!  Any time you want to know the deals of the week at a certain store you just click on that picture and select your favorite store.

Also added on the bottom of that list are my Give Aways and the Give Freely posts.

Thank you so much to the readers who suggested this.  What do you all think?  Will this make things easier?

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


What Does It All Mean?

So I have been meaning to do this post forever and thank you to those who took my survey and reminded me!

Couponing has a lot of abbreviations that us bloggers to use to save some time when we do the match ups.  Without knowing what they mean it can be confusing.  So here is a list of the most common ones:

BLINKY = In Store Smart Source Coupons (these are the ones on the machines attached to the shelves with the blinking lights)

BOGO/B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free

CATALINA = Coupon printed at register after purchased, long narrow coupons

DND = Do not Double

ECB = ExtraCare Bucks (CVS)

GM = General Mills (Newspaper insert)

MIR = Mail in Rebate

OOP = Out of Pocket

P&G = Proctor & Gamble (Newspaper Insert)

Peelie = Coupon you peel off package

RP= Red Plum (Newspaper Insert)

RR = Register Rewards (Walgreens)

SS= Smart Source (Newspaper Insert)

STACKING = Using stores allow multiple use of coupons – manufacturer’s & store coupons or rebates.

TEAR PAD = A pad of coupons or MIR near a product or on display

UPR = Up + Rewards (Rite Aid)

WYB = When You Buy

I hope this helps! If you see any other ones let me know and I will add them to the list!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Kids Frugal Fun 3/14

Each week Sharon at Mom on Dealz brings you a fun and frugal activity you can do with your kids!

Materials:
1 toilet paper roll
1 paper plate
Various colors of construction paper ( or 1 color based on your preference)
tape or glue

Directions:
1. Cut the center circle out of a paper plate. Write your topic in the middle. Ours was “Will’s Meal Time Rules”.
2. Set the circle on top of the toilet paper roll to mark where you will need to slit the roll to insert the plate.
3. Trace your child’s hand about 5 times. You can just trace it once and then cut all the sheets at once, but Will LOVES when we trace his hands.
4. Write a rule on each “hand”.
5. Tape or glue the hands around the plate and you have a “flower” of learning!

Educational Modifications:
Language Arts:
1. Write 1 word on the plate and have each hand be a rhyming word.
2. Write the title of a book on the plate and story elements on each hand (setting, problem, solution, etc).

Math:
1. Put “I Know My Shapes” on the plate and put different shapes on each hand for your child to identify.
2. Put “Math Symbols” on the plate and put math symbols on the hands. Have your child tell you what symbol represents (ie: + means to add).

Science:
1. Put a habitat on the plate and characteristics or animals that live in that habitat on the hands.

Social Studies/History:
1. Put “I Am A Good Citizen” on the plate and put citizenship traits on the hands.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Consumer Recall: Lean Cuisine Simple Favorites Spaghetti with Meatballs

I don’t normally do recall posts but I feel like there is a good chance one of my readers purchased this item.

It seems that located inside these meatballs are a little extra flavoring- in the form of small, red plastic pieces. 

The packages have a product code of 13800-10390 and a product code 0298595519 P.

These items were EXTREMELY popular so be sure to check your freezer if you are a Lean Cuisine eater. 

If you discover you have the product please call 1-866-606-8264 for directions.  I am sure there is either a rebate or some coupons involved.

Thanks Budget Savvy Diva!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


It’s Been Two Weeks…

… since I posted this

Boy has my life changed.  In some ways the changes have been amazingly positive and in some ways not so much.

But I have been overwhelmed by the support and love from my friends, my family and you all.  The e-mails, comments and messages have been unreal.

So as I continue to battle paperwork and deal with the emotional rollar coaster that comes with all of this, I wanted to stop and say thank you so much for your support.  You have no idea how much it means to me.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


TLC Extreme Couponing: Debut April 6th

Some of you caught Extreme Couponing on TLC in the fall.  It was one stand alone episode to test the waters and see how people would react.

Well, it worked.

So now the show has been picked up for a 12 series option and they have been scouring the country for Extreme Couponers to participate.  They had no problem finding them.

If you want to take a look at what is coming, you can click here to watch the teaser. 

I want to be clear that while the show is highly entertaining these people are not your average couponers.  A normal mom trying to save on groceries is not exciting enough to watch on television. 

Couponing is a day to day learning curve but it should not control your life.  The joy in couponing is the celebration of a great deal that puts food on your table and allows you to save to pursue your dreams.  It’s the wife who wants to save enough in her grocery budget that she can afford to get a manicure once a month.  It’s the mom who cuts back on what she spends so she can stay home full time.  It’s the man who wants to minimize bills so he can buy a motorcycle with cash.

Couponing should be a thing that helps you to live well- not the thing you live for. 

And it shouldn’t be a full time job couponing.  My primary goal in this blog was to create something that helps make your life easier.  That’s why I post the store deals- so you have somewhere to come and find everything you need in one place. 

If you are interested in learning how to coupon to save some money, be sure to keep coming back to A Frugal Chick.  “Like” me on Facebook so you can get updates on deals.  Or if you want to dive in, take a coupon class.  These are simple steps to big savings- it doesn’t have to be complicated.

You don’t have to be extreme to save big!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Frugal Kid’s Activity

Every week Sharon at Mom On Dealz provides a great frugal activity you can do with your kids!  Yesterday when I was out I saw these plastic Easter Eggs all over the place so they would be easy to find right now!

Language Arts:
1. Contractions: Label one half of egg with the contraction (example-I’m) and the other half with the 2 words that make the contraction (example-I am). Have your child match the parts.

2. Upper and lower case alphabet: Label one half of the egg with the capital letter and one half with the lower case. Then have your child match them.

3. Rhyming words: Label the egg halves with ryhming words.

4. Label halves of eggs with different vowel sounds (short a, long a, short e, long e, short o, long o, etc). Label the other halves with words that contain the vowel sounds. Have your child match the words to the sound.

Math:
1. Label egg halves with numbers and you can add, subtract, or multiply them.

2. Label one half of egg with math problems and other half with the solution. Have your child match them.

3. Label one half of the egg with a number and the other half with the number word (example-one and 1). Have your child match them.

Social Studies:
1. Label small sheets of paper with famous people’s names and put them inside the eggs. Have your child open the eggs and tell what the person is famous for (Example-Betsy Ross made our American flag).

2. Label small sheets of paper with directions (behind, in front, left, right). Have your child open the eggs and tell you an object that is located in that direction.

Science:
1. Label halves of eggs with our 5 senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell) and the other halves with the body part we use for the sense (eyes, hand, ear, mouth, nose). Have your child match them.

2. Label halves of eggs with habitats (ponds, forests, oceans, etc) and the other halves with animals found in those habitats (frogs, bears, dolphins, etc). Have your child match the animals to the habitat.

Here is another site I found some great ideas for activities as well Teaching Heart Mom.

Thanks Mom on Dealz!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


I Got Laid Off Today

**At the request of a few people I have made this post “sticky” which means for the next day or so it will always be on the top of my blog.  If you have already read it, just ignore it.  If not I would love to have you join me in the journey of blogging full time!**

Today I joined the millions of Americans who have gotten laid off as a result of the economy.  I had no warning that it was coming, so I am still digesting the information.  I figured I would write this post when I am in calm mode instead of freaked out mode!

And while I am not thrilled about the loss of my secure income I am excited about the possibilities that this opens up for the blog.  I will have more time to devote to finding deals and spreading the frugalness!

However I can not make the blog successful without you (and since the blog is FOR you that works out beautifully)! 

People want to know how to help, so here is a list of what you can do for me:

1.  Tell a friend about A Frugal Chick- Spread the Savings Around

2.  Book a Coupon Class or Tutoring Session- If you like what you see here and want to learn more I would love to teach you.  I offer a coupon class and one on one tutoring.  Also now that my days are open I am available for MOPS groups or any other small group during the day who would be interested.  There are nominal fees for these classes and I would be happy to discuss them.  Just shoot me an e-mail

3. PR/Advertise with Me!- If you have a product or service that fits with the theme of A Frugal Chick I would love to do a giveaway or have you place an ad on my site.  Just drop me an e-mail and we can chat about it!

4.  Print Your Coupons With Me!-  If you see a coupon on my site that you will use, click directly on that link to print it.  I get a little bit of credit for coupons printed both by clicking in my posts and when people print from the coupon printing ads on my blog.

5.  Do Your Shopping With Me!-  If I post a deal and you want to buy it, click directly on the link in that post.  Sometimes they are stores that I have a special affiliate relationship with and they will pay me a percentage of what you spend.  The same applies for any deal of the day sites (Groupon, Living Social etc).  Also if you shop Amazon I would love it if you stopped by here first and checked out the Deal of the Day ad on the right hand side of my site.  By clicking on that not only are you seeing a great deal but any items you buy after that click I will receive credit for.

I promise that this blog never has been and never will be just about making money.  I try very hard to only find the best deals out there and not be swayed by inferior products or deals that aren’t really that good.  This blog is for you in hopes that the information you find here can make a better life for you and your family.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you have a day surrounded by people who love you!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.