Archive for the ‘Prepping’ Category

coupons plural of cou·pon (Noun)

  1. A voucher entitling the holder to a discount off a particular product.
  2. A detachable portion of a bond that is given up in return for a payment of interest.


A large accumulated stock of goods or materials, esp. one held in reserve for use at a time of shortage or other emergency.
Accumulate a large stock of (goods or materials): “he claimed that the weapons were being stockpiled”.
noun.  stock – store – supply – reserve – hoard – provision
verb.  store – stock up – stock – accumulate

Coupons and Stock Piles, Yes I use them, and Yes I have them. I stock pile cereal. I’m not embarrassed to admit it. My husband eats it every day and it has a great shelf life, and when I can get a box of cereal for .99 cents I sure as heck am going to buy multiple boxes.

On average I save $79 to $100 on my grocery bill. How? I use coupons, lots of coupons, but for food, not sodas and candy like you see on those coupon extreme shows. Another way I get my bill lower is I am very fortunate that my grocery store doubles coupons up to $1.00 so that really helps get the end total I am looking for. I also pre-load in-store coupons onto my rewards card for items I do not have a manufacture coupon for. My Kroger’s also has amazing Manger Specials throughout the store, and those add up to Big savings.

In the past I have made some killer shopping trips resulting in huge savings, check them out here, and here.

I don’t run out and buy 50 newspapers, I go online to my favorite printable sites and print out my coupons there. I exchange coupons with co-workers and I get special coupons from Facebook promotions. I do occasionally get the Sunday paper if I know there are going to be high value coupons that week for a special item, but these on-line sites have great coupons so I just stick with them. Another way to score great coupons is to email companies and ask them for coupons, most companies love to give out coupons.

Some of my favorite printable coupons sites are as follows;

Red Plum

Coupon Network

Mambo Sprouts – Mambo Sprouts has some great organic and health food coupons

Organic Deals – Check out the Quick Coupon Link on the right hand side of the page, for MORE coupon site options!

Smart Source


Here’s one of my BIG savings receipt from August. I saved $79.93 off my total grocery bill! This shopping trip got us through 3 full weeks of meals.

Look at my stash of cereal.

and here are a few more boxes!

So my stockpile is small in comparison to those extreme shoppers we see on TLC. I feel mine is made up of  foods that are healthier options and foods my husband eats on a daily basis. This is about a 2 month supply of cereal and none of it goes to waste and I spent approximately $25.00 for all those boxes. So coupons can help stretch any budget.

So you can tell that I like a good deal, well I also love to prep foods to have on hand, my favorite food to prep is my OIAJ.

OIAJ is my #1 choice for breakfast. I buy bulk oatmeal and make up jam jars in advance to always have my favorite on hand. I do eat it almost everyday.

I just measure out my oats, I usually go for 3/4 of a cup, and then add a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a generous amount of cinnamon and seal up tight.

Then when the time comes, I grab my jar add a scoop of nut butter and fill up the jar with my favorite soy milk and leave in the refrigerator over night. In the morning I stir and microwave for one minute and there you have the magic of the Overnight OIAJ.

I love me some oats, whether it’s 100 degrees out, or 4 degrees below zero,  I crave them, they stick with me.

So I hope you find some great deals while using some coupons, and save some money when you grocery shop.

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Loving pasta is not hard for me, I grew up eating it, I’m sure we all did. So for a little zip I add Spinach to my Pasta.

Adding veggies to my meals is really important to me, I really love the taste of veggies, but I also really love the way they benefit me.

These are my favorite meatballs made by Pierino, they are made in Michigan in a town called Lincoln Park. I grew up right next door to this town and you can find them in any grocery store in Michigan. They have an entire line of Italian foods.

To get your spinach on, just toss into the pan and cook for 5 minutes with your sauce.

What a great way to add a little green goodness into your meal.

What’s a good pasta dinner without a side of bread.

I used the ever hearty fettuccine noodles for tonight’s pasta dinner.


Hope you’re enjoying the last of summer, I know I’m soaking in every second of the day. It might be hot out, but I’d rather be hot then cold any day.

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Leftover party at my house. I had some goodies stored away and thought why not pull them all out and have a mixed bag for dinner. So we had leftover Mayan Harvest Bake, Tofu Kale Lasagna and Polenta Pizza Snacks. 

I love having meals frozen that I can just thaw enjoy. I was so happy that the Tofu Lasagna thawed and reheated so well. I was worried it was going to be watery and mushy, but it was perfect.

I also took some fresh raspberries and bagged them up into snack bags and froze them. I always keep frozen fruit on hand for making smoothies. Here are a few of my favorite smoothies Recovery Smoothie, Kale Smoothie. Whenever a banana gets a bit brown in my house I jump all over it. I peel, slice and bag.

Strawberries also got sliced, bagged and stored for future use.

Piled high.

By freezing all my fruit I do not need to add ice cubes to my smoothies.

I have good news, the Swans on the lake have finally unveiled their Cygnet. I was not sure what the proper term was for a group of baby Swans, so I Googled it, and sure enough, it said a group of Baby Swans are called Cygnet. Thanks Google. The male swan did this crazy fly by over the entire lake. He was making a low honking noise, as if to announce the proud moment. After his flight he went back to the nest and proudly swan out with his new family. It was really one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed.

They are really protective of their babies and have stayed close to their nest which happens to be at the end of the lake where there is not much boat traffic. There are 4 babies, they are fuzzy and staying super close to mom and dad. So exciting to see them all together.

I also got a picture of Harvey our local Blue Heron. Since I have been perched on my deck with my camera waiting to get a picture of the swans, I was lucky to catch Harvey while he was looking for a place to fish. All the neighbors on the lake call the Blue Herons on the lake Harvey, it’s one of those things that sticks after someone says it.

I love watching him fly and land, he is very graceful. He is normally silent when he flies, but when he is mad after being disturbed by jet skiers or boaters he makes this prehistoric sound while flying away. Still cracks me up every time I hear it.

So I had a fun day, so excited that the Swans are finally here.

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Okay, I think I am addicted to Boot Camps, first there was Tina’s Best Body Boot Camp, then the Boot Camp at the Blend Retreat and now the Fitmixer Boot Camp.  I love organized workout groups, it keeps me motivated and I really look forward to the daily tasks.

So with the Boot Camp I have been introduced to amino’s, well I am excited about this because I really get sore after workouts and the amino’s are supposed to help repair muscle tissue and recover faster.

The entire Boot Camp package looks like this. This will take me through the entire 12 week program.

These are some of the samples I received from the Blend retreat.

The amino’s taste so good, I love the grape flavor.

Along with the powder supplements they also have a healthy diet plan that is designed specifically for each participant from a registered dietitian. Here is my breakfast and lunch. I love to prep my snacks and meals, it keeps me on task and allows more time to concentrate on the workouts. That’s one thing with Boot Camps some of the workouts and moves I am not familiar with, so they usually have videos showing all the moves and proper execution. So I usually watch the video in full, and then I do the workouts. So that can eat up a lot of time, but worth it when you find a new favorite exercise.

After work I head home and get right on my workout’s.

The first day we had a Fit test to complete. The test gauges us at the start of the program and will be repeated mid Boot Camp and then at the end, this will show us how we progressed through the program. My weak area is and has always been my core. I also see from the test that I need to work on my triceps strength. I like that each evening we get our next days workout, a motivational thought, and a nutrition tip of the day. They also have snack suggestions and recipes. So much support is available. Plus on Thursday evenings we have a group conference call. Looking forward to my first call tonight.

Then it’s off to make dinner. I plan on keeping it clean and simple, a lean protein, a hearty carbohydrate and a vegetable, plus the plan even suggests a dinner roll. Love that.


Grilled salmon, roasted broccoli and brown rice.

Hello, my name is Dena and I am addicted to Boot Camp.

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So there are times in everyone’s busy schedules that we have to rely on Fast Foods like Frozen Meals as our dinner or lunch options.  There are healthy options out there. I have a few favorites like EVOL, Gardein, Amy’s and Kashi to name a few. Sometimes you just need Food Fast.

These meals are loaded with protein and fiber.

There are wonderful meatless options that are healthy and really taste good.

Now when it comes to fast food, I really do not have the same feelings. I will search for a Subway as a last resort, but I really do not like to eat at any of the big chain fast food restaurants. Recently I was on a trip with a big group of people and we all stopped at A&W while we were on the road, and I ended up getting a value meal with a coney dog, fries and a soda. It did taste good, but after eating it my stomach was a mess for the rest of the day, and my mouth felt like it was coated with old cooking oil. Yuck.

Normally when I travel I pack my own snacks and meals. I prefer having what I like to eat, but when I am with a big group I am at the mercy of the group on where we eat, but I must admit I could have made a better choice with what I choose to order and eat. Lesson learned.

Question of the day: Do you have a frozen entrée you rely on? 

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We headed to Upper Michigan for the Easter weekend. We left on Friday after work and hit the road for the 3 hour drive. I knew my mother would have something for us to eat when we arrived, but I knew I could not go the entire drive without something to eat so I packed up a light dinner and we had a Wrap  on the Run. 

A wrap sandwich is something I like to make for car rides, they are easy to eat on the road and they do not make a mess.

I packed up a few snack bags of veggie chip and pretzels, and a pair of string cheese sticks.

Sliced up an apple.

We spread the wrap with Wholly Guacamole, threw on a slice of cheese and some thin sliced lunch meat.

Folded it up and wrapped it up.

Packed up our light meal and hit the road, having something to snack on while driving always makes the trip go by faster, especially when you have 2 very excited dogs traveling with you.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite snacks for the road?

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So recently I bought a big Bag of Oranges. Well after eating them everyday for 7 days I still ended up having 5 oranges that I just couldn’t get to before they started to get really soft, perfect for squeezing.

So I juiced them!

It really made a lot of juice.

So I had a great idea when I started to juice it, let portion it out into snack size bags and freeze them. They will come in handy for smoothies and for cocktails.

It ended up making 4 portions and I cannot wait to follow-up with this post and let you know how I used them.

Question of the Day: What fruit do you like to freeze?

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So here’s a fact about me, I love to grocery shop, I really do, I love the entire process, the cart, the sales, the loading and unloading of items in my cart, I really have fun with it. Although I really only do one big grocery shopping trip a month, and then I do maybe two little ones for milk, bread and produce. Here’s why I really love grocery shopping. I love saving, Saving’s = More.

Those are all my coupons deducted from my order.

I spent $159.82, but my bill should have been $249.48. I know right!

  • So I had $29.50 in coupons
  • Kroger’s matched an additional $25.25, my store doubles up to $1.00
  • Store Coupons from fliers, manager special and electronic savings $34.91
  • Total Savings $89.66

I was not messing around. I was being a super saver, now breaking it down, I will show you how much time I spent with the prepping and shopping for these savings.

  • 1 hour – Cutting Coupons and Printing Coupons
  • 10 minutes – Loading Electronic Coupons to My Store Card
  • 20 minutes – Matching Up Sale Items to Coupons and Making a List
  • 1 hour 30 minutes – Spent Shopping
Total time dedicated 3 hours.
Another trick I have to staying as organised as possible, is to make my shopping list according to the aisles in the store and keep my coupons in the same order, and as I grab and place the item in my cart, I put the coupon in my checkout envelope. 
Again this is for an entire months worth of groceries, so the time spent prepping to save is worth it for me. I look at the end result I end up spending less than $40.00 per month on groceries.

Apples were .88 cents per pound this week, so I loaded up, two weeks ago apples were $1.59 a pound. Apples stay fresh and last forever in your crisper drawer.

There were so many Manger Special’s this week. These Dole Spinach Kits were on sale for $1.49 each.

These crackers and granola bars were both on sale and when combined with a $1.00 coupon that doubled, I ended up paying $1.00 for each item.

A huge score for me was the Peanut Butter Company, White Chocolate Peanut Butter, it was on a Closeout Special for $3.23 and I had a $1.00 coupon that doubled so I paid $1.23 for it! I did not know this would be on closeout, it looks like the store is eliminating this flavor, so I am always ready with my Couponizer in my cart, just in case a situation like this comes up.

So many great deals this week. Here’s a link to a previous post on Saving and Using Coupons. I have a few of my favorite coupon printing sites listed.

This California roll platter normally sells for $8.99, but I snagged it for $4.49.

Bread and eggs are always on the list, but when there on sale and I have a coupon it makes the trip.

Question of the Day: Does your grocery store double coupons?

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Killian wanted to say Hello, he’s very social!  He loves to let you when he’s hungry, which is the same time I get home from work, this picture is him barking his head off at me and throwing himself around his bowl. He is just too funny, that is one think about my Killian, he makes me laugh every single day.

After he ate, he then attempted to taunted the Geese, he loves to run up and down the sea wall patrolling. He will stalk them slowly down the path, then pounce at the sea wall in an attempt to scare them. In my head I hear the Geese laughing and saying “Geese Don’t Care”, all sounding like the Honey Badger. I have a strange habit of imagining what animals would sound like if they could talk, and also what they might say.

To really make his point he will run out on the dock and try to intimidate them that way, and again the Geese respond with “Geese Don’t Care”.

As a last attempt Stuart will run out to help Killian, but again the Geese get bored and swim away saying Geese Don’t Care, We Go Where Ever We Want”. 

Tonight dinner was easy, but I really loved every single bite. I love the convenience of a quick, yet still semi healthy meal.

Dr. Praeger’s little spinach bites are my favorite if I don’t have fresh vegetables on hand. Paired with Yukon Gold Fries these two frozen items make great side dish’s.

Boca meatless chicken patty with Wholly Guacamole, a slice of cheese, and lettuce.

Perfect light dinner for a busy night with not a lot of time to cook.

Question of the Day: When you have a burger or a non-meat patty do you have fries?

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I love vacations, I love traveling, I love everything about vacations, but with all good things comes the reality of getting back home. I got right on getting my favorite foods prepped and ready to go.

I boiled up some eggs.

I must have my one a day egg, while on vacation I only had one egg and I really missed my favorite source of protein.

In between all my catching up the most important thing is to catch up on all the missed kisses from these 2 crazy kids.

Making a batch of OIAJ, to bring to work as breakfast was a must do item on my list.

I used the last of my peanut butter on this batch of oats, what a bummer, I need to plan grocery shopping trip, how can I survive without peanut butter.

Sticking to my favorite OIAJ. I used 1/2 cup of oats, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and my favorite coconut milk with a few shakes of cinnamon.

My parents came down from Upper Michigan to watch our dogs while we were gone and they didn’t eat the bananas I left for them, but that’s okay I need some more for my smoothie stash.

Just peel, slice and bag up and when you need a smoothie, you will have frozen chunks ready to go.

Bagged up my favorite lunch time pretzel snacks.

The organizer in me loves to prep and I love the convenience of having things ready to go, that means I can hit the snooze button 1 time in the morning when I am prepped and ready to go. Count me in.

Question of the Day: What is a good gift to send to someone who hosted you while on vacation?

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