Saturday, October 29, 2011

Easy French Onion Soup; Target sale and HT doubles

For many of my readers, I'm sure you would agree that it almost seems as if we went from fall to winter overnight. Here in High Point it was 80 on Thursday and 38 on Friday evening--quite the drop. Many of you in the northeast are getting snow today, and as much as I now dislike the cold, there is a part of me that twinges with a sad nostalgia. I can remember as a kid, there was nothing more exciting than snow on Halloween! So, with the advent of cold weather, I thought I'd share this recipe that I found. I love French Onion Soup, but no one else in my family is crazy about it. Consequently, I generally save this for the few times a year that we eat out in nicer restaurants. This recipe is so easy though...mmmm. You can half the recipe if you don't want a family size batch.

Easy Onion Soup

(makes about 6-7 cups)
1or 2  medium onions
4 tablespoons real butter
2 tablespoon flour
4 cups broth - beef is best but chicken or vegetable will do
2 cups white wine - or water
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese
Good French Bread sliced in 1" thick slabs

Cut the onion in quarters and finely slice into half moons. Heat the butter over medium heat, then add the onions. Stir and cook over medium heat until they are slightly caramelized and soft - about 6 or 7 minutes. Don't let them get too dark or the soup will be bitter. Add the flour and stir until the onions are coated. Add the broth and wine, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the soup. Let it simmer for a minimum of 10 minutes or so, lifting the lid at the end to let it reduce a little. Taste and season. Serve with fresh grated cheese and good bread. If you want to spend just a bit more time and get the real "French" feel, place the bread on top of an oven proof bowl full of soup, smother with cheese, and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slighty crusty. To die for.

Top five: Davis, Will (17:34), Aaron(18:30), Connor, David

Lee (20:20)

Yesterday was the last Cross Country meet of the season. I'm so proud of my boys (and the whole team) for all setting personal records and finishing strong.

Today my husband ground the coffee and made eggs my favorite way--his Saturday morning tradition when I'm not yardsaling. We Skyped my daughter and later we are taking the boys to see Real Steel, compliments of a friend who actually sent me cash to buy the tickets. She said it was so good that I shouldn't wait until it was in Redbox, but she also knew I wouldn't pay for it. Funny thing is, she's a frugal type also, so it must be worth the money. Looking forward to a good afternoon. Tonight is the fall festival at our church...Friendly Hills in Jamestown. It starts at 5:30 pm. If you have little ones, bring them out for a good FREE time!

And a heads up for you triad readers. Next week is super double coupons at Harris Teeter (doubling to $1.50) Be sure to check now as Jenny is already posting links to printable coupons. These will be the items that are still on the shelves. Anything with a recent coupon in the Sunday inserts will be sold out in the first 2 hours.

Also, for any Target shoppers, it has been reported that SOME Target stores are having a 70% off sale in parts of their "dollar spot" section, located at the front of the store. May not be worth a separate trip, but if you are going anyway, check it out. Great stocking stuffers or items for Operation Christmas Child.

Thanks for your continued votes in the cheap sally contest.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sell your old Corelle for a nice profit! New freebies, including Pantene gift set.

I'm sure many of you have seen advertisements for Replacements, Ltd., a company in Greensboro, NC that buys and sells china and other tableware. They advertise in many magazines, and I have seen the massive warehouse (the size of 7 football fields, they say) myself. I wrongly assumed that they only deal with high end china patterns, but such is not the case. Did you know that also purchase Corelle made by Corning? How many of us have that in our cabinets?? If you have an older (or even current) pattern that you are thinking about selling at a yardsale, go ahead and check out their site at I think you will be pleasantly surprised at their offer. If you live in the triad area, I would recommend going directly to the store. They do, however, pay for shipping or you can ship yourself. They do not buy anything that has chips or cracks. Of course, they also purchase china, silver, crystal and glassware, but the Corelle surprised me the most. For most patterns, they will beat any price you could get at a yardsale. Just another way to make a buck in this economy!

Here are a few freebies for you today:

If you happen to be in Target, you might want to pick up the holiday Pantene gift set they are selling for $9.99 which comes with a FREE subscription to Allure magazine. The best part? If you don't want the magazine, you can opt for a $12.00 refund, which make this a money maker. Free Christmas present! Check it out here (info about the refund is at the very bottom of the form) :

Free sample of Hugo Boss Men's cologne:

Free sample of Chinese tea:

12 free issues of Ski Magazine:

It's almost time for another giveaway! All you have to do to be in the running is to either subscribe to or follow my blog. Next drawing will be November first. The prize? This incredibly cute Le Creuset teapot:
Thanks for your daily votes in the cheap sally contest!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Great new freebies and a van report

I love autumn, even though it means the end of lower energy bills. The leaves, the hearty soups, pumpkins's such a beautiful season and I rejoice in God's creativity. Aren't you glad that any one season doesn't last forever?

I finally have my computer back and it seems to be in working order now. However, our van is out of commission and I really liked that van! We hit a deer while we were in PA visiting our daughter (see picture...think her brothers were glad to see her?) and still aren't sure of the prognosis. The insurance company is trying to decide whether it should be totaled or fixed--a waiting game right now. So thankful that no one was hurt, even if we were 7 hours from home. Also thankful to have a great insurance company.
(funny, it's not as bad in the picture as I remember it that night)

I really like getting unexpected freebies in the mail. Yesterday I got a mailer from the new Sheetz store that opened in High Point. It has 7 coupons for free items, plus a card to get free coffee or fountain drinks for 30 days. Wow. Thanks Sheetz. I'll be visiting. I also received my totally free digital camera today, a Kodak Z5010 that I "purchased" using Max Rewards points from Office Max. It's regularly $229.00. I'll be giving reviews after I play with it for awhile:)

Here's a link for a free-after-rebate neti pot from Arm and Hammer:

One of the things that we do in our family to save money is home haircuts; I cut Mike's hair and he does the boys. I conservatively estimate that we have saved well over $3000.00 in our married years. I even offered to let Mike cut my hair, but so far he has refused and I have relied on coupons. Anywho...we purchased a Wahl home haircut kit with clippers and scissors for $20 at Walmart nearly 20 years ago and it's still going strong. Get the very same kit now for under 10's how: Go on youtube and find tons of how-to-cut-hair tutorials.

Get a free (facebook) sample of Nescafe Peppermint Mocha. MMMMMMM.:

Free sample of Dove leave in conditioner:

Free sample of Garnier Color Shield Shampoo and Conditioner ( and you may have to cut & paste the link):

If you live on at least an acre of land, you can get the magazine "Living the Country Life" completely free! Click here:

The Bring Home the Bacon contest it almost half over, and thanks too many of you, I have remained #1 in NC and about 15th in the nation. Starting on November 1rst, the competition will increase exponentially.The top five in each state will be vying for the #1 position, so don't stop the votes! I really appreciate it.

(New River Gorge. Longest Arch bridge in the Western Hemishere, and a great park in which to picnic:)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

puffy doves and free stuff


This morning, sitting on my sofa drinking coffee, watching two gray mourning doves, feathers puffed fat, sitting on gray straight stick against rain gray and sky gray and I wondered why? Why don't they take shelter under the "wings" of the tree? Why do they sit in the silver gray wet rain, puffing to make big and keep warm? And I was reminded of me. Why do I not take shelter from One who longs to gather His children under his wings? Instead I sit, puffed, trying to stand against the cold rain. I am thankful. For mercy and grace and hope and promise of peace. He has never failed. Not once. I fail daily. Thankful. That's what He wants. And when we are thankful, joy comes. No other way. It must be in that order to be most beneficial. Not joy and then thanks, but thanks and then joy. The harder the day, the harder thankful is, but the bigger the joy when we choose to say YES and be thankful for the hard.


Free sample of Find Your Bliss body wash:

Free sample pack of Cream of Wheat here:

Join the AuBonPain email club and get a free travel mug! Look for the link:

I don't post a lot of sweepstakes, but this one is for free groceries for a never know:

Paul at (a great site dedicated to finding deals at Walmart), has been working diligently with the Mart to try to get a day a week of double coupons. When I was in college in Marion, IN in the 90s, the Walmart there doubled one day a week and it was wonderful!  Would love to see them bring it back. You can sign a petition here. It will link you to a site where you can give a donation to "ipetitions", but that is not necessary...just skip that screen.

And thanks for your daily votes in the contest...half way there!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Food wants vs food keurig coffee...and the giveaway WINNER!

My computer is still in an off again/on again mood, and being hunkered down in my frugal state right now, I really have no desire to take it to the shop, consequently, my time spent on here has been less, which isn't a bad thing after all.  I'm continuing on in my quest to cull out the clutter in my home, a bag here, a box there and my things are finding better places to live. It's really a great feeling. Much like going on a diet! I'm also making a conscious effort to be more grateful. It's harder than you think. At least for me. I find myself falling into the trap of grumbling and complaining far too today...I'm...


Ahhhhh, fall: cool days and pretty leaves. We did finally have to turn on the heat for a few hours yesterday...but I'm thankful that I can do that so easily. I'm thankful that God is in control and I'm not, I'd surely make a mess of things. I mean, I already do in my own little world, I can't imagine having the whole universe to deal with!


A big part of being thrifty is just learning to get by with less and really figuring out wants vs. needs. I looked in my grocery cart at Aldi this week and thought about how many items were wants: juice boxes, chips, pretzels, coffee, soda, hot sauce, hazelnut spread, cold get the idea. Everything becomes so blurred in our land of plenty. Yes, I have to eat, but I don't need name brand cold cereal. Come to think of it, I don't need cold cereal at all...oatmeal or corn meal muffins are so much cheaper. Think your kids won't eat basic, bland foods? Try this. The next time they want a pop tart because they are "starving," tell them to eat a bowl of oatmeal, an apple or a bunch of carrot sticks instead. If they refuse, they really aren't THAT hungry, they just want to eat.  Ask yourself the same question. I eat for many reasons, seldom is it for true hunger. It may seem nit-picky, but if frugality becomes a harsh reality in your life, you need to examine every area, even the tough ones.

There are some great deals at Office Depot again this week. Many, many items that are free after rewards, but perhaps the best deal this week for coffee lovers is free 18 pack keurig cups!  You can pick up 2 boxes every day all week. Very nice! Look for the banner on the top of the page for details:

And as promised, I have a winner in this month's giveaway! I have several items for the next 2 months, the item and the winner are chosen randomly:  Drum roll....

Winner is: pescel11@. I don't know who you are, so I'll be emailing you directly and you'll have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner! This month's prize is a brand new stainless steel crock pot, the ultimate frugal appliance! Congratulations!! Make sure you become a subscriber or follower to be in on next month's giveaway!