Monday, July 11, 2011

Remlingers Farm Tickets at 1/2 Price!

You can get tickets to Remlingers Farm for 2 for $12 right now on using Seattle as your location.  This is 1/2 off the usual price, so a real bargain.  You are allowed to make one purchase for yourself and one as a gift, for a total of 4 tickets for just $24.  These will probably be gone fast, so get on it right away!  Check out more info on Remlingers at my previous blog, April 12th, or their website

Now that summer appears to really be here to stay, it's time to have some frugal family fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Free Groceries at Albertson's!!

Albertson's has been running a special promotional on Gift Cards that can earn you free groceries...and who doesn't like free stuff?  This promotional continues until June 22nd, so you still have time to take advantage of a great deal.  For each $100.00 worth of Gift Cards you purchase, and give them your Albertson's Preferred Card, you will receive a coupon good for $20.00 in groceries to be used at your next shopping trip...which could be just minutes after purchasing the Gift Cards.  You may purchase up to 5 cards in each transaction, but you are allowed to make multiple transactions. 

Our family is planning a backyard project soon, and we know we will need to be purchasing lumber and other supplies from Lowe's that we estimate will cost about $700.00.  So, yesterday, we visited the nearest Albertson's and purchased seven $100.00 Gift Cards and received seven coupons worth $20.00 each, totaling $140.00!  We turned right around and bought $140.00 in groceries for NOTHING...that's right...absolutely FREE!!

Albertson's has many different Gift Cards, from Lowe's, Home Depot, numerous department stores, airlines and restaurants, so you'll likely find something right for you. But remember, this blog encourages frugality; so don't go out buying Gift Cards you wouldn't be buying otherwise just so you can get the coupons. However, if you're planning to be purchasing some as graduation or wedding gifts, traveling by airline, eating out occasionally or, like us, working on a home improvement project, you should really consider this option.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask the cashier prior to making your purchase.  We went through the checkout three different times last night and each cashier was very friendly, helpful and sincerely happy to see us getting such amazing bargains.  Check out for more details.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Amazing Bargain... 80% Off Restaurant Certificates

Last week I discovered an amazing bargain at  They are featuring a tremendous 80% discount on the price of their restaurant certificates through April 24th, when you use the code EASTER at checkout.  They basically offer an online coupon book for restaurants throughout the country.  You can view a listing of restaurants who advertise with them, choosing the geographic area you are interested in, and then purchase certificates that are usually at least 40% off the customary prices.  They generally have some restrictions, such as only to be used for dinner, not to be used on Fridays or Saturdays, only one certificate per table and 18% gratuity automatically applied, but these vary for each offer.  However, those restrictions are not so prohibitive as to make it not worth buying....for instance, the previous examples would still leave 5 days out of the week they are good for, and I would generally tip 20% anyway.

There were a number of restaurants I'd really like to try in the future that serve Indian and African foods, as well as Mexican and Chinese, pizza and burgers, and others.  However, I decided to stick with restaurants close to home this time, and chose two $25.00 certificates for The Krain Corner Restaurant in Enumclaw and one $25.00 certificate for The Black Diamond Bakery Restaurant and my total cost was only $7.00!  Only way to beat that would be if they were free.  And good new is that, because they are essentially like a gift card, they don't expire.

The ordering process is a two-step procedure where you choose, order and pay for the certificates first and they are added to your account.  Then you can redeem and print them either immediately or in the future.  I decided that since they don't expire, I may as well print them all at once and just keep them on hand for the day we decide to go out.  Be sure to read ALL the details before purchasing.
At 80% off these are definitely a frugal way to have an evening out!

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Southwest Chicken Soup...The Perfect Food to Share

Homemade's really such a perfect kind of food, especially for those who like or need to be frugal. It's the food I love to make because it tastes so good, and is very healthy; but, it is also so economical to make that it is the food that can be used to get your family and others through meager financial times.  During the Depression of the 1930's people stood in lengthy lines to receive a bowl of soup from the soup kitchens that were set up to feed people who had no money and no food.  People all over the world use the little bits of vegetables and the pieces of meat, that would be too tough to eat any other way, to make all variations of soups that anyone of any age can eat...whether a small baby or an elder who has lost all their teeth.  It's the food we serve to people who are sick and need strengthening, and to show them we care.
Soup always makes me think of the Bible story of Jesus' miracle of feeding a large crowd with very little food to start with.  He was surrounded by people who had come to see and hear him and it was getting late in the day...

Matthew 14
 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
   18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

I can't say that any of my recipes will make enough to feed five thousand, but they can go a long way toward feeding your own family and also provide enough to share with others in need, whether they are without food of their own, or sick or just in need of some companionship. 

I hope this is a recipe you'll enjoy!

Southwest Chicken Soup

Prep time - 30 minutes
Cooking time - 1 hour (but it can simmer longer and the flavors will get even better)

Needed - 6 quart kettle or larger, cutting board, large knife, large spoon, can opener

Ingredients - (if you are using your pantry list, all of these will be in your kitchen except the yams, beans and cilantro)
  • 2 chicken breasts (3 cups cut into small pieces)
  • 2 medium yams cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 cups frozen corn (or one 14 oz can)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (or one 14 oz can)
  • 2 cups white or black beans (either one 16 oz can or from dried beans you have soaked and cooked)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 1/2 cup fresh leaves before chopping)
  • 6 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 tsps taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 12 cups water
Pour the olive oil in your soup kettle and cook the chicken, yams and onions, stirring so they don't get too brown, and until chicken is tender.  Drain off any fat.

Add all the other ingredients and simmer for at least an hour.  It will be ready to eat at that point, but tastes even better if it simmers even longer.

Serve with bread, rolls or muffins and a salad

You can multiply the quantities if you have a larger kettle, or use more than one.  Then think of the opportunities you have to share with someone else in'll warm tummies and hearts alike.

Monday, April 18, 2011

High Quality, Namebrand, Consigned Kids' Clothes at Reasonable Prices...

Creme Brulee Kids has their biannual Consignment and Boutique Sale of kids' clothing, sizes 0-12,
scheduled for May 12-14 at Kent Commons.  They have been in business for five years now and bring together consignors and customers of  high quality, namebrand kids' clothing (Gymboree, Gap, Janie and Jack, Hannah Anderson, Oilily, etc) baby gear and furniture, and kid related boutique items.  They do allow a limited number of store brand pieces, such as Carter's, OshKosh and Children's Place.  Items to be sold are screened for cleanliness and condition, and they will reject any that don't meet their standards.   According to their website, a limited number of clothing pieces which might be exceptionally great designs, but have even a small flaw, may be offered for sale, but they must be marked "Play Condition".  At Creme Brulee's last sale they had over 150 consignors, 1000 customers and sold over 9000 items. 

You can find many more details for both consignors and shoppers at their website, and if you look at the "guidelines" tab (which is to assist consignors in pricing their items) you will get an idea of what prices to expect. I've never been to this sale, but it sounded intriguing enough that I am using a vacation day from work to go check it out with my daughter.  Maybe we'll see you there!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Composting...So Simple, So Frugal, So Green's a great way to allow for the natural cycle of planting, growing, harvesting and eating, without added manufactured chemicals and at no additional cost.  Your food producing plants will be healthier for you to eat and produce more fruit, and your decorative plants will be more beautiful than ever.  It sounds like a lot of dirty work and brings up thoughts of having to make or buy special bins; and then you need to be some kind of scientist to figure out the complicated formula for layering and mixing all the ingredients, right? 

Nope!'s simple....

1) Collect food scraps from your kitchen - anything except meat and milk products - in whatever container you want that has a tight lid.  I'd recommend something just big enough to hold the scraps of one or two days so it doesn't get smelly, especially in the summer.

2) Bury them in a hole or trench in your yard.  The hole needs to be at least 8 inches deep, but only needs to be big enough to accommodate as many scraps as you've collected.  Throw in some of the scraps, then some dirt and a handful of grass clippings or leaves, and layer this way, depending on how much you've got to bury, and top with dirt. And that's it!

You can choose to dig small random holes throughout your flower or vegetable beds and you'll be fertilizing your plants as you go.  Or, you can choose an area or two to be the compost zones, dig trenches, fill them with scraps and layer with some grass clippings or leaves (just a couple handsful at a time) and then top with the soil you dug out.  In a few months, you can turn over the dirt in this area and spread some of it in your flower and vegetable gardens, and start again.

You don't need to have all the specialized and expensive equipment you read about, or follow any exact formula. And in my opinion, this is just so much cheaper, easier, cleaner, and takes up less space and time, so it is totally frugal! You can feel good about doing something environmentally responsible, and you can enjoy the beautiful flowers and delicious veggies your gardens will produce.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Family Friendly and Frugal Fun at Remlinger Farm

In case you've been under the false impression that being frugal means you can't have any fun, I just want to let you know that is so not true.  It just means you have planned for having fun in a way that makes the most of the money you you are getting real value for your dollar.  This blog, and others in the future, will feature places where our family has had some really great fun and frugal times, and I hope you might find them to be memory-making experiences for your family too.

 Remlinger Farm in Carnation has been a great place to take the grandkids the past few summers, and is ideal for families with kids up to about 10 years old.  This year the family fun park opens on Saturday, May 7th, the day before Mother's Day, and the regular season lasts up to the first part of October.  There are rides perfectly suited for young kids...some they ride alone and some will accommodate adults too.  Our favorites are the spinning barrels, flying pumpkins, old-fashioned cars and pony rides.  The 1/4 scale train is a wonderful way to have a tour through the park, shout out an occasional whoo-hoo! and have a little rest too. There are also animals to pet and feed, a guy who leads the kids in singing some great farm themed songs (with audience participation) and a straw bale maze.

Admission most weeks is $10-12.00 per person for the day and includes all the rides. They generally have coupons on their website for $1.00 off admission, as well as other savings on produce or concessions.  There are some times, like the Strawberry Festival in June, when admission is more, so check the website before you go.  There is a restaurant and concession stand within the park, as well as a very large produce market and gift shop.  The produce market has all kinds of fruit and veggies, salsas, jams, jellies, syrups, sauces, canning supplies, fresh cinnamon rolls, AND the famous Remlinger Farm pies. You are not allowed to bring in outside food, so we usually pack a lunch, eat on the grass or a bench next to the parking lot as soon as we get there, and then have some ice cream while we're inside.  We have taken in water bottles and some small munchies for the babies in the group who need to snack frequently. If you need to go back to your car you can get your hand stamped for returning, and the parking lot is conveniently located just outside the gate.  

The park gets busy, but we have never experienced it to be crowded.  We've waited in line for a few minutes, but never anything like going to a fair or theme parks; and the admission is a bargain in comparison. So, plan on packing up a picnic, putting on some comfy walking shoes, maybe asking some friends or extended family to join you, and have a wonderful day in a very family-friendly environment.  And don't forget to take along a cooler to bring home some fresh produce or pie!