Back-to-school time is nearly upon the typical American family, and preparing children for this transition is no small test of parental endurance! Could you possibly fill the class supply list for under $50? Why did the teacher ask for the impossible-to-find brand of #2 pencils? Why did Johnny have to outgrow every pair of shoes during the summer? Should you choose school lunch or pack your own?
Join a back-to-school themed #CleanCouponing chat on Thursday, July 23 from 9 to 10 pm Eastern time, when @CleanCouponing and @FlourSackMama host this monthly chat on Twitter.
Please help me spread the word by copying and tweeting this:
Join me for Back-to-School
#CleanCouponing chat with @CleanCouponing & @FlourSackMama Thurs, July 23, 9 pm ET!
We’re inviting public/private school parents, homeschooling parents, and any parents who wants to share tips and encouragement about this annual rite of passage. We’ll cover some tips on stocking up with supplies, encouraging schools to be wellness-minded and eco-friendly, and green back-to-school ideas that could save you money.
Please follow guest panelists @Mike_Schade who is Mind the Store campaign director for @SaferChemicals, @Langford_Mom who can speak to homeschooling, mom Tamara at @LeadSafeAmerica, Spit That Out author @PaigeWolf, former Kindergarten teacher @IrishRed02 and @CleanAirMoms_TN!
Five #CleanCouponing Back-to-School tips…
Have you noticed how pricey kale chips can be in the health food store? Fresh kale itself is pretty reasonable. And growing organic kale yourself is the most frugal way to go. Here’s how we turned part of our virtually free harvest into a healthy snack:
Baked Kale Chips:
1. Rinse kale leaves, remove spines, and tear leaves into pieces. For best results, thoroughly dry before baking.
2. Preheat oven to 370 degrees.
3. Toss bowl of kale with just enough olive oil to thoroughly coat pieces.
4. Sprinkle sea salt to taste.
5. Place kale pieces in a single layer on baking sheet.
6. Bake approx. 15 minutes, watching to be sure kale becomes crisp without burning.
Serve as a snack. Or, add to a soup for extra flavor.
*I got in a hurry by not drying this batch enough, then went too heavy on the oil. They still tasted great. Yours will probably turn out even prettier than ours.
Dehydrating kale has become very popular. In this post the Food Storage Moms show you how easy it is to prepare kale with a dehydrator.
The Crafty Garden Mama created an entirely different sort of kale chip recipe that’s worth a try.
Prefer your kale in salad? Eating Made Easy has some savory salad ideas.
No matter how you serve it, kale remains a strong choice for snacks and meals.
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.
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
Who else is using up what they have before writing the next grocery list?
How about some good, old-fashioned cooking without a recipe?
Let’s face it, the humble casserole is pretty forgiving, and the pot pie could fall into the category of casserole. Continue reading
Kids and snacks. They just go together. You know they’ll want something to eat between meals. So what do you feed them? Conventional couponing might help us snag popular snack foods with cents off. But clean couponing means getting the most value. FlourSackMama.com recently asked Dr. Alan Greene for some kids’ snack food tips. The popular pediatrician hosts a regular Twitter chat called Let’s Talk Kids’ Health! Here’s some of what he had to say:
Does your family eat popcorn for family movie night at home? Is it a snack the kids ask for often? We always try to stay stocked up on popcorn at our house.
Maybe you’ve seen the wide range of costs for popcorn these days. We decided to do some comparison shopping. Continue reading
You may have heard about the fabulous program called EcoBonus that we raved about on FlourSackMama.com last year! We even tried it, earning points for eco-friendly products we loved and getting coupons for clean couponing savings on the next store trip.
Sadly, EcoBonus has announced it is shutting down this year. The company asked us to tell you about this as a public service.
If you’re already in the EcoBonus program, you’ll want to hurry to redeem your points and get your rewards before they’re gone! They say you have until the end of February to upload receipts via the EcoBonus app on your smart phone. Then you have until the end of March to enter codes for perks from buying packages of Annie’s, Natures Gate and Seventh Generation.
EcoBonus says you have until the end of April to redeem your reward points. But some of the best deals on rewards are already going fast. You can see the detailed schedule and more here from EcoBonus.
You’ve heard the cliche about thinking outside the box. Cooking outside the box can save you money as part of your clean couponing strategy.
We went shopping to see what sort of value we’d find in a staple like rice. We located the popular brand of boxed rice product and purchased it for $2.00. This contained 6 ounces of food inside, with a small part of that being dried seasonings. Nutrition facts on the box told us it would make 3 servings. When we did the math, it came out to $5.33 per pound of food. Continue reading
Are you frugal by half?
Maybe you already use of these common sense ways of eliminating food waste and stretching your grocery resources:
*Bake a large casserole, then freeze half of it to use another time.
*Prepare stovetop items like from-scratch chili and soup, then freeze half for later.
*Bring home half of your restaurant dinner to use the next day for lunch.
*Reserve half of a baked chicken to use the next day for soup.
*Use half as much meat at a meal, replacing it with other protein sources like beans.
*Use half your typical amount of bread for a sandwich.
*Use half as much sugar as called for in sweet recipes, replacing some of it with applesauce.
*Replace as much as half the butter called for in a recipe with Greek yogurt.
*Reduce juices by half with water before drinking.
You did it! You’ve made a big impression in the Twittersphere with our first ever #CleanCouponing Twitter party in January! Thanks for joining us for a fast, fun hour of chatting about being frugal with more than money! We discussed finding coupons and discounts, being frugal and valuing quality. You mentioned the need to find special food items like gluten free for special dietary needs. You said you wanted to learn more about green cleaning alternatives, with discounts. Together, you helped us make more than a million impressions on the #CleanCouponing topic!
Thanks to sponsor Might Nest for giving away a smart, glass canister set, and thanks to sponsor Stonyfield for giving away an organic yogurt prize pack!
You said that in future Twitter parties we should discuss:
Eating healthy on a budget Shopping for organics
Coping with food allergies/sensitivities
You suggested lots of great brands that you’d like to see sponsoring future #CleanCouponing Twitter parties!
Watch here for updates on future Twitter parties, discounts, deals and strategies for stretching a dollar while also being frugal with MORE than money!