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Grilling Applegate Hotdogs

#GirlsWhoGrill Celebrating Summer with Applegate Grilling Kit Giveaway

Thanks to Applegate for stocking us up on the fixins’ for a backyard picnic!  Get your #CleanCouponing coupons here.

Where did grilling get ingrained in their machismo?  It’s there, from open-fire cooking for survival to boys and their heavy metal grilling toys! Even a man like my husband who’s intimidated by a kitchen recipe with more than three ingredients will proudly reign as king of the outdoor grill, as if pushing that fuel button to light the thing up suddenly imbibes him with the expert ability to prepare a gourmet feast!

He was somewhat uncomfortable with the idea that the queen of the household would be taking over his grill this summer — that #GirlsWhoGrill might put more attention onto the quality of the food cooking on it.  His machismo is a bit threatened.

applegate family

For me as a parent, I care about ingredients, while I don’t plan on taking away anyone’s summer fun.  Hot dogs have been around a long time as a grilling favorite.  So, while I won’t be serving these every week, they’re a once-in-a-while summer treat that my kids & husband want.

What’s the difference between these and your typical dogs?

  • Quality meats raised with humane practices & without antibiotics
  • 100% grass-fed beef
  • All Applegate products going non-GMO in summer 2015
  • Meat as the main ingredient, without junk fillers or added sugars or corn syrups
  • No chemical preservatives
  • No added nitrites (only those naturally occurring in celery)
  • Lower than many other hot dogs in sugar, sodium and fat

Grilling Applegate Hotdogs

Most importantly, these Applegate hot dogs taste great!  Mind you, they’re not as fatty and sweet tasting as some leading weiners because they’re not relying on those junk ingredients to boost their appeal.  These are a real meat lover’s hot dog. We recently grilled the uncured, natural beef weiners from Applegate, dressed up with Sir Kensington’s ketchup and mustard atop yummy buns from Vermont Bread Company.

I understand that some food purists want to avoid processed meats altogether, and that’s an honorable goal.  At our house, the family is going to demand the convenience and fun of something like hot dogs sometimes.  This is the best quality product of this kind that I can give them.

Some of you who’ve championed small farmers (I’ll always be a family farm girl myself, grew up showing hogs at the fair) and supported independent food companies are understandably skeptical, too about Applegate’s recent acquisition by food giant Hormel. Here’s an excerpt from the letter that Applegate’s founder, Stephen McDonnell, wrote about that:

The acquisition will not change our positions on any of the important issues. We will continue to support labeling for GMO ingredients. We will continue to push to remove antibiotics from the farm and to improve the animal welfare standards in our supply chain.

This is all easy to say, of course. So I don’t ask you to take me at my word. Just watch what we do. Our products and practices will remain the same–and some will improve. For instance, as of this month 100 percent of our beef for hot dogs and roast beef will come from pasture raised and grass fed cattle. In addition, by this summer we will have converted 100% of our products to be free of GMO ingredients.

Applegate Kid Hotdog

Family fun, laid back summer times, even giving the man another macho turn at the grill — it’s all part of life.  When I make food purchases, I still care about what’s inside, so choosing a brand like Applegate whenever I can find a coupon for it is still part of my #CleanCouponing strategy.

You have a chance to enter below for your very own Applegate grilling kit, complete with a meat thermometer, apron, grilling mitt and great food!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As always, my opinions are my own, even when sharing sponsored posts like this.

Stretching a Dollar with Castile Soap Refills

“We can’t afford that!”

“It’s too expensive!”

Do you find yourself saying that about certain home products you’d like to try but don’t think fit your budget?

I used to think that about hand soap, until I realized the real cost…

Castile Soap Refills

Dr. Bronner castile soap with four soap dispenser refills

This is not a sponsored post, just an honest show & tell about one way we use #CleanCouponing at our home to stretch a dollar while choosing to be frugal with our health.

Anti-bacterial triclosan that could be adding to antibiotic resistance, synthetic fragrances hiding potential hormone disrupting phthalates, artificial colors and even more mystery ingredients are all things our family can easily expose ourselves to every time we simply need to wash our hands.  There are numerous reasons why I decided to switch what we use at home every day to something that simply gets the job done: castile soap.

I realize we’d been spending between $3 and $6 for a typical 8-ounce plastic bottle of plastic hand soap.  How  wasteful!  We switched to reusable soap dispensers for our home instead.

I typically spend no more than $12 for a 32-ounce bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (you could use any brand, but this is a leading one and you absolutely need to find a brand that is transparent about the ingredients inside).  Then, if I put 8 ounces of castile soap into four different bottles, I’m at no more expense that I was spending before on soap bottles. Since this castile soap is actually touted as three times as concentrated as traditional soaps, here’s where the potential for extra savings comes in.  If I stretch this soap with distilled water, it costs half or even a third of those other soaps.

If texture is important to you, and you want to get fancy with it, I’ve noticed that pure vegetable glycerin in my soap dispensers helps give this castile soap a thicker feel on the hands.  Otherwise, when I dilute the soap it with water, it does feel watery, although it certainly seems to clean just fine on our hands.  Instead of the artificial scents in other soaps, our family alternates choosing a castile soap scented with the natural oils of everything from almond to lavender to peppermint.

One of the biggest mistakes with concentrated castile soaps is using too much, so I would suggest stretching it in some way or at least getting accustomed to using less than you did with those other soaps that contain artificial fillers.

The oils in these soaps can tend to clog pumps, so it takes a little attention from time to time. Definitely worth the trouble for our family, since we have peace of mind about what’s going on our children’s hands.

An added #CleanCouponing bonus of using castile soap for refilling is cutting down on petroleum-based plastic bottle waste and protecting our environment.

How are you #CleanCouponing in your home?

spaghetti

#CleanCouponing Pantry Meals to Stretch Your Dollars

Post by Jessica

When Christmas is over and the holiday travel is done, our family tries hard to settle back into a routine. But, we usually realize early in the New Year that some of our overindulgences have left our wallets a little thin. And, since it’s not like we can avoid paying the electric bill, we find other ways to tighten the purse straps. The main place to save is on groceries, with some common sense #CleanCouponing techniques.

spaghetti

I like to make the food budget stretch by attempting to use everything (and I mean everything) in the pantry. It seems throughout the year I stock up on good deals. That, combined with my garden canning, can lead to some interesting, but wallet friendly, meals.

Remember that time you bought 20 boxes of pasta because it was on sale?

  • Toss it with some canned tomatoes, Italian dressing and cubed cheese and you have a quick and easy pasta salad.
  • Or use some of your homemade pasta sauce stash, sautéed with ground beef for a classic spaghetti and meat sauce.

I will admit I went overboard with canning this year. I have dozens of jars of applesauce left. But, it makes a nice fresh side for any meal!

  • The ever classic BFD (breakfast for dinner). Scramble up some eggs and whip up some pancakes. Add applesauce on the side and it’s a nice meal, mostly from pantry overstock.
  • Our family likes pork chops and applesauce any day of the week.

Some other family favorites include:

  • Drain a jar of tomatoes, drain a can of black beans, 1 cup of rice and 1.5 cups of chicken stock. Throw it all in the rice cooker and when done it’s a delicious rice meal.
  • Tomato soup made from the extra jars of tomatoes.
  • Pizza casserole also uses a lot of those pantry ingredients (mix together cooked pasta, a jar of pizza sauce and layer it with mozzarella cheese. Top with cheese and pepperoni and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes).

Be creative and have fun with dinner all while saving a little dough the #CleanCouponing way!

Holiday Christmas background with a border of gift boxes. Vector.

#CleanCouponing Holiday Gifts Twitter Party December 11!

You are invited to a #CleanCouponing Holiday Gifts Twitter party coming up Thursday, December 11th!  We’ll be chatting from 9 to 10 pm Eastern time with @FlourSackMama.

Holiday Christmas background with a border of gift boxes. Vector.

Let’s chat about traditional holiday favorites, about your traditions this time of year.

Let’s explore ways to green our Christmas gift giving.

Let’s talk about gifts of time and talents, as well.

Special giveaway of Dino Day art & holiday ebooks:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the meantime, you can RSVP here:

Chefs, Home Cooks, Cookbook Authors Talked #CleanCouponing Holiday Food with Flour Sack Mama

How young can we start involving our children in meal making?  Is it really possible for kids to want to eat their vegetables?  What’s a new way to serve up sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving?  These questions and more came up during our #CleanCouponing Holiday Food Twitter chat!  In case you missed it, here’s a recap of some of last night’s flavorful conversation:

Instagram Twitter Party

 

Weinervention dogs & squash

Family #Wienervention Cookout with Applegate & Friends

*Posting in cooperation with Applegate, to bring you more yummy content!

Will your family’s end-of-summer cookout include fun food like hot dogs or healthy foods like grilled veggies?  We shouldn’t have to choose, should we?  Maybe your family, like mine, includes some of us who could live with less meat, AND those like my hungry husband who thinks it’s not a cookout without meat on the grill!

Is there a compromise?

Weinervention dogs & squash

Applegate is helping our family work through this meaty issue with a #Wienervention. Instead of having to adopt a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy to have a picnic, we can add all-beef hot dogs to the menu along with garden-grown heirloom tomatoes and squash.

These hot dogs come from humanely raised animals that haven’t been fed regular doses of antibiotics or growth hormones.  They’re minimally processed, not “cured” like most hot dogs, which avoids suspect preservatives like nitrates possibly linked to cancer.  Their ingredient list is meat and spices — no fattening corn fillers.

Family-style wienervention clean couponing

Here at Clean Couponing, we’re not exactly saying you should consume hot dogs every day; but if you choose processed meats, look for “cleaner wieners” like these!  We love the idea that with a #Wienervention we can ease family members like stubborn carnivorous husbands (ok, he eats a few vegetables) toward a more wholesome approach to food.

Hubby and the kids all agreed these wieners have great flavor!  Our fun #Wienervention kit included some yummy toppings and gear.  Did you know that Applegate weiners and Rudi’s buns can create a gluten-free hot dog experience?  Pretty good, huh?

I would personally like to see Applegate go one step further and be able to assure us that the livestock, even in their “natural” line, has not been fed genetically modified grain. Currently, that assurance only comes if you choose their “organic” varieties.  But as far as grocery store food goes, Applegate is far ahead of other deli meat makers.

If your family needs a #Wienervention too, you can visit the Applegate website for coupons plus enter to win a year’s supply of “cleaner wieners!”

Our Frugal, Clean Couponing Grocery Shopping for Family of Four

We’re all challenged to make ends meet these days, aren’t we?  Yet, we’d be penny wise and pound foolish to pat ourselves on the back for being frugal at the grocery store, with no other values in our shopping cart.  That’s why clean couponing is about being frugal with more than money.

Budget-conscious grocery shopping trip for only $135 for family of four.

It’s common knowledge that good nutrition is the most important single thing we can do for our own health.  So, how do we balance the need for the best nutrition, free of pesticide residues, genetically modified organisms and other suspect additives in our food, without breaking the budget?  Could you feed a family of four all week for $175 or less with mostly organic, non-GMO foods? Continue reading

YoKidsPouchesCleanCouponing

YoKids Organic Yogurt Pouches Review & Giveaway

*The following is a sponsored post for Stonyfield Organic, bringing you new information and the chance to win free organic yogurt for your family!

I’m not the only mom who gets nostalgic about every little toy her kids play with, am I? This miniature wooden wagon made a great prop for our new delivery of Stonyfield pouches.  I insist on saving all of the wooden, vintage-inspired toys my kids have been playing with — now realizing how fast my kids are outgrowing them.  I suppose holding onto toys is another way of holding onto #RealLifeMoments.

YoKidsPouchesKidCleanCouponing

My daughters, both so mature and school-aged, were sure to point out that they were really too big for the “baby” food, although they liked the taste of YoBaby blueberry in the new reclosable pouch. Continue reading

LemonsCleanCouponing

Involvement Grows in Clean Couponing Twitter Chats

(*Sponsored by Zoeganics & SOS From Texas)

You are incredibly involved and concerned.  You want the best for yourself and your family. You read ingredient labels.  You want non-toxic, sustainable products.  You want real value.  And you collectively helped us reach more than 2 million impressions at our March #CleanCouponing chat on Twitter!  Yes, that’s nearly double our first Twitter chat AND we reached 2.7 million impressions with the #CleanCouponing theme in the days surrounding the event. Continue reading

SamplesZoeganics1

Giveaway: Zoeganics Offers a Fresh NEW Approach to Clean

*The following is a sponsored post for Zoeganics, but my opinions are always my own!

We’re thrilled to have woman-owned green business Zoeganics co-sponsoring our March #CleanCouponing Twitter party on March 6!  If you’ve been concerned about toxins in typical cleaning products but underwhelmed by non-toxic choices on the store shelf, this may be the new product you need to try.  Zoeganics shared five new cleaning products for us to try at home, and we want to let you know how they worked for us.

KitchenTableFlourSackMama

We’ve all discovered in recent years that the freshly cleaned house smells we grew up with were often deceptively toxic.  Back in the day when I learned about keeping house from my grandmother and mother, who knew we were all breathing in fumes unkind to our lungs and potentially exposing ourselves to nervous system damage, DNA damage and cancer?  I learned that chlorine bleach and, used separately, ammonia products, were my two most useful tools  around the house.  As recently as my youngest daughter’s toddler days, I was still cleaning up bathrooms with bleach products, until the night when she struggled to breathe and thank God we had a rescue inhaler nearby. Continue reading