Good eats on a thin budget

Mama is also feeling the financial crunch. I have gone back to using coupons, buying in bulk, growing my own food, swapping with neighbors, and cooking more meals at home. The video below has a lot of useful tips on how to eat well on a budget.

Coupon queen shares tips: Bargain shopping at its best

As a self-proclaimed Coupon Queen, I love this video. Just yesterday, I went to the grocery store and bought organic lemon, Silk Almond milk, and vegetable oil and after I gave the cashier my club card and coupons, she gave me $1.42. Thats right folks. The cashier paid me to walk out with a bag of groceries.

A fellow Coupon Queen shares her secrets.

– Mama

Free Blackberry phone for smokers

Folks, I’m not kidding. The American Legacy Foundation is giving away free BlackBerry phones to smokers. The BlackBerry will provide the smokers with a 24/7 line to get support while trying to quit smoking. The free BlackBerry will give them 24/7 text support, help connect with others who are trying to quit and options to help prevent relapse.

Want a free BlackBerry? The video below will tell you how to get your free BlackBerry phone.

Stater Bros gives free antiboitics

The Stater Bros grocery chain will give away a free refill or a 14-day supply of generic antibiotics to customers, with or without insurance, who present a prescription at one of their Southern California pharmacies.

The free antibiotics are:

— Amoxil (generic)
— Ampicillin
— Ciprofloxacin (Generic for Cipro)
— Doxycycline
— Erythromycin
— Penicillin
— Trimeth/sulfa (Generic for Septra or Bactrim)
— Tetracycline

Stater Bros also offers 300 medications that are just $4 for a 30-day supply or $10 for a 90-day supply.

Good job Stater Bros! You’ve earned a gold star.

– Mama

Organic food at Dollar Stores?

With the economy as shaky as a California earthquake, many of us are doing everything we can to save a buck. I planted a garden, canceled my gym membership (there are tons of inexpensive ways to have a good workout), gave up my gas-guzzling SUV, and canceled Netflix (, here I come).

There are several ways to save money. It has been many blue moons since I shopped at a dollar store, but after watching a CNN clip of a Dollar Store shopping trip that included Wolfgang Puck organic soup, I might make a trip to my local Dollar Store…

– Mama

Mama’s favorite commercial

I love this commercial!!!

Smiles: Mama’s cheap fun

As the economy shakes, rattles, and rolls through the current turmoil, we are all looking for deals, freebies, and inexpensive sources of fun. The 4th of July weekend was no exception. My cheap fun involved trying to get strangers to smile at me.

While sitting outside a Cafe with a dear friend, we decided to play the smile game. The object of the game is to see how many strangers will smile at us if we smile at them first. I tidied my hair, freshened my face, and put on my best smile. Most people I smiled at seemed a bit surprised. The surprised strangers quickly looked away and then looked back at me (but did not smile). Some people smiled. Others turned their head and pretended that they didn’t see me. One passerby smiled and nodded his head like a southern gentleman. Another guy just stared at me as he walked by. It was quite amusing really.

After playing the smile game for 20 minutes, I decided to change my game plan. Instead of smiling, I made eye contact and raised my eyebrows. To my surprise, the raised eyebrows technique received more smiles than the original smile technique.

Why were people more likely to smile at me when I raised my eyebrows?

– Mama

Hot Fun In The Summertime

The first big weekend of summer is here. Memorial Day was just a dress rehearsal and Father’s Day was opening night. By now you should be operating the grill like Bobby Flay and chugging ice cold water as if there was no tomorrow. After the last sparkler has dimmed and the smell of gunpowder has faded, it’s vacation time.

What? The Recession? Oh yes, I understand, we might not be able to vacation like it’s 1999, but we sure can “staycation” like it’s 2009. Aunt B is doing it. You can too.

I honestly think the “staycation” was invented by a single-mom, we call it go-somewhere-local-and-make-it-seem-like-we’ve-been-somewhere, urban hipsters call it a “staycation.” Go figure.

It takes some planning, keeping in mind that you want to do something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. That means you don’t use this time to clean the garage or put up shelves.

The Tween-let and I have done a few of these and she still talks about the experience. Remember it’s about quality time, and you also get to think about how good you’re being to the environment.

  • Behind the scenes tours – We’ve visited a police station, a fire station, The LA Times and the local 9-1-1 dispatch center. All for free.
  • Local museums – Museums often have one day they let the public in for free.
  • The Zoo
  • Fruit Picking
  • Train Ride
  • Aquariums
  • Beach/Swimming
  • Backyard Camping
  • Game Night/Potluck

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, now is a good time to explore you local parks, there’s something very soothing about being in nature. There are lots of parks that offer nature hikes too. Also, I think picnics turn ordinary meals into something special, so grab a blanket and some friends and head out to the park.

Let me know how your “staycation” works out. I’d love to hear from you!

– Aunt B

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