Saturday, January 23

Recipe of the week: Granola cereal

This is one item that I have found I absolutely, positively can not live without!
Thank you LR for this homemade granola recipe!

I have always loved granola, but I would rarely buy it because of the cost- it is expensive! I started making this homemade granola recipe about 6 months ago and now it is a staple in my home. And, it's so much less expensive to make homemade. That's true of many things and I'll show you my homemade recipes once a week on Saturdays. (While we're waiting for those new ads to come out.)

Ingredients are:
6 cups rolled oats (I prefer regular over quick.)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. coconut
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. raisins, optional
1 c. chopped nuts
1/3 c. sesame seeds
(I skip the sesame seeds, only because I could not find a large bag that was economical. I also didn't look very hard either. I used flax seed for awhile, but my husband complained that he felt like he was eating bird seed! So, look around for some economical seeds that will add nutrition.)

I mix all the above dry ingredients (except for the raisins, those are added later) right on the baking sheet. It saves a step later, as you have to bake the granola in the oven.

Then, wisk together:
1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. honey
2 t. vanilla
Pour over the granola and mix until coated thorougly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. You will need to stir the granola during baking to ensure even browning. If you add the raisins or dried fruit (I want to try craisins next time), add to the baking granola in the last 5 minutes. Watch the granola carefully, do not overbake.

After the cereal is baked, cool on the the baking sheet. Break up any large pieces after it has cooled and store in an airtight container. I put mine in a gallon size plastic bag that seals.

Enjoy! I love this is a cereal with milk, or we eat it with our FREE yogurt!

This recipe makes 8 cups and it is best not to double it. I figure that if you buy your ingredient at rock bottom prices and with coupons, this recipe costs less than $2 to make each time. Compare that to $4-$6 of the store bought brands and now you're eating like savvy shopper!

Friday, January 22

Free Cheerios coming right up!

Click here to sign up for the Cheerios newsletter and they will send you 4 $1 off coupons. Use these paired with a sale, and it's safe to say you'll have 4 free boxes of Cheerios!

Thanks, That Went Well!

Thursday, January 21

Raincheck, please?

Okay, you've done your research, you cut your coupons, you have your shopping list, and you are so organized! You get to the store to see this...... Do you ever have a shopping trip that feels like this? (Totally empty?)

I know I do! Especially in this world of sharing information in an instant, the deals at the store can diappear quickly. There's a simple solution, and it may seem pretty basic, but let's review rainchecks.

The definition of a raincheck is as follows, (yes, I looked it up!): a ticket, coupon, or the like, entitling the customer to purchase at a later date and for the same amount a sale item that is temporarily out of stock.

In other words, whenever a store has an item on sale in their ad and they run out of that item, they are required to give you a raincheck. You can later use the raincheck to go back to the store when the item is back on the shelves and you will be able to purchase that item for the original sale price. So.... don't be afraid to ask for a raincheck! It's a simple little piece of paper that looks like this:

This was a raincheck I used today at Walgreen's, they had run out of the lotions on special at buy one get one free last week.

Like I said, this may be a basic to shoppers, but I'm sure there are some of you reading this that may have never asked for one before. One of my own sisters told me she asked for a raincheck for the first time in her life a few months ago. (gasp!)

Next time you meet an empty shelf, take a deep breath. Ask someone in the store if they really are out of the item you want to purchase. They usually know right away if they are totally out, or they will have someone check the stock room in the back. If they really are out of the sale item you want, they will write out a little piece of paper for you or the cashier can fill it out for you when you check out. Stash it with your coupons and you're ready to roll again next time around! Be sure to go back to the store before your coupon expires to get your awesome deal. Some rainchecks have expiration dates also, but they usually give you about 45 days-3 months from the date it is written so you have plenty of time to redeem it.

I really like Target's method of rainchecks- they place a tear pad right on the shelf where the item is out of stock and they usually look like this:

Just follow the steps on the ticket. Make sure you get the printed ticket, the tear pad paper alone is not the rain check. Tell the cashier how many of the sale item you would like. Also, Target allows you to substitute your item that is out of stock for another similar item. See the wording at the bottom? With this rain check policy of Target's you may be able to get the sale price on something that is not on sale!

Free tickets to Disneyland- really!

Here's a deal that is especially awesome if you're already planning a trip to California in 2010! FREE tickets to Disneyland for a day of service! Check over here at Disney Parks to sign up for an eligible volunteer opportunity. Once you complete your service day, it will be verified and Disney will e-mail you a voucher for a FREE day at Disneyland! You will need to redeem your voucher by December 15, 2010. And, yes, your children (6 and older) can volunteer, too and get a ticket for each person that volunteers. I checked on the list of eligible volunteer opportunities and there are a lot of cool places around here to choose from. Enjoy!

High value printable coupons and FREE samples!

Here are some more printable coupons to add to your growing collection!

I see more free tuna in your future! Print $1/1 Starkist tuna twice.

Also, a coupon for Buy One Get One Free Sunbelt Products.
These are good for Sunbelt granola bars or fruit and grain bars.
Thanks Hip 2 Save!

More here:
Smucker’s Uncrustables $1/1 (IE)

Smucker's Uncrustables $1/1 (FF)

$1/1 Baked Lays

$1/1 Quaker oats coupon

$1 Hidden Valley coupon

Thanks Printable coupon and deals!

$2 off any Renu product (Print 2)
Wal-mart reportedly has Renu travel size for around $2, so these could be free! I have not seen them at my local Wal-mart, but they may be at your store!

$1/1 any Cascadian Farms product
(This brand is sold at Target)
Thanks The Thrifty Couple!

Get a Free Betty Crocker booklet with $10 of money saving coupons inside. You will need to be a Betty Crocker newletter subscriber (it's all free!), so sign up here.
Thanks Utah Deal Diva!

Become a fan of Einstein Bros. Bagels on Facebook here and you'll be able to print a coupon for a free bagel! Thanks Hip 2 Save!

Wal-mart is offering a free sample of Gold Bond hand sanitizer here. Thanks Free Snatcher!

Tuesday, January 19

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