Thursday, December 31, 2009

Toast in the New Year!

Ringing in the New Year at your house tonight? Ikea is offering a set of 6 Svalka champagne flutes for only $5! What a classy yet inexpensive way to serve your guests at the stroke of midnight! (And they are dishwasher safe too!)

Happy New Year, be safe and get ready for a better year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Accessorizing your table (from your old winter wardrobe)!

Rather than toss an out-of-date, yet good condition winter scarf, try recycling it as a table runner. It can be a cozy addition if the color is right for your decor (and if you don't have one, check thrift stores for one that fits your taste!).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Deck the Halls

So this advice may be a little late for this Christmas just past, but it offers some cost-effective (yet very non-Grinchlike) gift and decoration ideas! (Thanks to Redbook magazine's Nov.'09 issue)

* Board games make great gifts since one can be a gift for an entire family.

* Use natural decorations both inside and out - i.e. pinecone wreaths, evergreen trims, holly, etc.)

* Do your Black Friday shopping online - you get the same great deals without the crowds and often with free shipping!

Give us your ideas as well and come next year, I will repost this in early November (a bit more timely!) with your updates included!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Olympic-Sized Free Entertainment!

Don't forget that the Winter Olympics start up in January! What better way to spend winter evenings than free televised sports of the amazing type the Olympics always brings? Check your local listings and settle in for your favorite events!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cheap dates (at home)...

Check out for the January 2010 issue for some inexpensive date nights for couples...they range from cheese tasting to game nights to massages - six ideas for keeping the fire kindled without selling the farm (ok...strange analogy, but you get the idea!)...count me in on the cheese tasting...mmmm! Merry Christmas to you & yours!

Thursday, December 24, 2009 it's your turn...!

Yesterday, I asked Santa for some help with providing information for you in this blog...just in case he is too busy with more important things (like bringing me my new laptop...heh heh!), I would love for you to provide me with your Christmas savings wishes and/or your money-saving New Year's resolutions to give me something substantial to work on! No wish too big or too small...I will research them all (did you catch the spiffy poetry there?) Happy Holidays whatever your faith, creed or beliefs!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A blogger's letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

If it's not too much to ask, I would love to get some amazing topics to write about in my blog for 2010...I've asked my subscribers and readers, but to no avail...Alas, I am relying on you to provide my greatest Christmas wish (well...ok, next to world peace, a stop to global warming, an end to war...etc...) by providing some topics of unusual interest for my blog! Many thanks in advance...there are extra cookies in it for you...Happy Holidays!!!

Yours sincerely,

Penny Pincher

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Beware the Grinch!

I am generally a trusting soul...I believe that most people and organizations are well-meaning. But beware the Grinch, my friends! A (to be unnamed) company I made a purchase from 2 years (yes, that reads TWO YEARS) ago, suddenly opted to renew my membership without my permission and I was unpleasantly surprised by a $79 charge to my checking account!!!! I called, they apologized, they promised an email confirming my refund...OOPS! That never bank (thank you Bank of America!!!!) handled getting my $$$ for me but then the product I never ordered was delivered...returning it has been a nightmare - I am STILL trying! The moral of this Christmas tale is keep a sharp eye on your bank transactions (I check mine daily online) and call if you see something unusual!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Loving the Cozi calendar!

Since my last post, I have indeed loaded and tried the Cozi online calendar I mentioned yesterday! It is great - amazing list capabilities, scheduling and you can access it on smartphones or via text messages on a "non-smart" phone (lol!).
It is a bit more friendly and less business-looking than Outlook, and I can personalize it for my family...very cool so check it out!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And the calendar keeps turning...happy holidays to you...!

Check out the "MeadCal" online calendar at the following web address:

It's free and has a lot of great features - I, for one, plan to give it a try for the new year!

Though, to be fair, if you google "online calendars," you will see loads of freebies! Just pick the one that will work best for you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A sweet deal (...aka my cookie recipe)!

Here is my contribution to the "virtual cookie exchange" I suggested yesterday!

These require no baking and you likely already have the ingredients at home...


2 Cups sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 Cup milk
1/4 Cup butter or margarine
3 Cups quick cooking oatmeal (NOT instant!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup nuts (optional)

Bring sugar, cocoa, milk and butter to a boil.
Cook for one minute, then remove from heat.
Add remaining ingredients.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on wax paper.
Let stand and cool for approximately 90 minutes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cookie "exchange" anyone?

As the holidays draw nearer, so the holiday baking frenzy gets more furious! In years past, our neighborhood was very close-knit and held a cookie exchange each December. I would invite you to participate in a virtual version of this holiday tradition but with a "penny pincher" twist! Please submit a cookie recipe for which all ingredients (including decorations if applicable) cost less than $5 and provide at least 3 dozen cookies/bars/etc. Post it on my blog and I will do the same...please be sure to give yourself credit for the recipe!! :D Happy Holidays and thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In with the new...and the old! (FYI - THIS IS POST #200!!!)

I am not so much a fan of New Year's resolutions as I am a fan of thinking of new ways to improve myself (intellectually, emotionally, etc.) in the coming year. One suggestion I present to you would be learning about your personal history and applying its lessons to build yourself a better future...A tall order, no doubt, but check out to trace your own history. It could prove educational and beneficial, or, at the very least, enjoyable!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cheap movie rentals...a new option?

I've told you about RedBox, one of my favorite DVD rental, convenient and easy to do...Now a new competitor is coming into play (be it ever so limited thus far):

New releases at six cents/hour, older ones at four cents/hour and BlueRay at nine cents/hour. Apparently (unless I am interpreting the website incorrectly) this great deal is currently only available in MN and WI, but with prices like these it may likely catch on near you...or consider the opportunity to open your own kiosk...check it out!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Favorite Holiday TV Specials!

I am a child of the 60's, one of the tail-end of the naturally my Christmas television viewing was strongly tied to "A Charlie Brown Christmas." I have the video and plan on getting the DVD as back-up, but given the economy, for those of you that miss it on TV this season, check out (a site, FYI, that I've mentioned in the past for free television viewing). The Charlie Brown Christmas special is one that is currently playing at no charge for you...a full 21:45 and relive your childhood! :D

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday charitable giving hint

Whether you always donate to a special cause as part of your holiday tradition or whether you are simply after a last-minute tax deduction (and who says it can't be both?!), consider this tip from "USA Weekend":

"...use - a databank that rates more than 5,400 charities - to make sure your money is well spent. The site gives up to four stars for an organization's efficiency and effectiveness."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's sweater weather!

Time to bring out (if you haven't already) the warm winter sweaters and with that comes the added chore of removing fuzz that builds up on them ("sweater pills"). One source suggests using a new kitchen sponge (textured side) and gently running it across knits to defuzz them. Not having yet tried it, I would strongly suggest being careful of testing it on high-end items (i.e. cashmere) - not really confident about that one!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quick and cute (not to mention inexpensive) gift ideas!

So you already know I'm an avid bargain-hunter and diligently search through SmartMoney, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Oprah and every website I can find to dig up good deals for you (and for myself!). Check out the Dec.'09 Good Housekeeping issue for cute gift ideas that are under $5 (p.107 if you check online). My favorites include the cool looking alarm clock for 99 cents at, the mini Margaritas To Go from ($5) or your choice of a book ("If You Take a Mouse to the Movies") or the related stuffed mouse - only $5 each from Happy shopping! Feel free to share any deals you find too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dial a deal

Here's a helpful (albeit very different!) way of making price comparisons for when you are doing your holiday shopping!

When you are staring at that perfect gift at an amazing price, step back and text message the item's bar code number (standard text message fees apply) or call toll-free at 888-363-7822 and FruCall ( will provide the cheapest prices frm major online retailers so you can see if the gift is available cheaper elsewhere!

No, I haven't tried it, but I am one of those people who shops for the holidays throughout the year so I was done with my gift-buying well before I saw this in "Good Housekeeping" magazine (10/09 issue). Let us know if it is helpful!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A bit of mysELF for my blog buddies!

Check out to create a fun video of yoursELF (or friend for blackmail purposes!). Check out mine! Happy holidays!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours - despite a tough economy, financial worries and stress, we still have so much to be thankful for...let us not forget that!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

'Tis the Season...

Just a reminder to all of my budget-conscious readers out there; it is once again time to buy The Entertainment Book filled with coupons for your specific metropolitan area (as well as some travel deals across for hotels, cruises, etc. when you leave your hometown for the great unknown!). Every year I mumble about forking over $25 (or is it $30?) for this thick coupon book, but I always get well beyond my money's worth during the year. Be sure to check with your local schools or non-profits - often they sell these as a fund-raiser!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It just makes "cents"!

So here's a rather sweet deal for the holidays! If you are not familiar with Coinstar, you probably just haven't paid attention to it...they have bright green kiosks/machines everywhere, most likely in your favorite grocery store. You pour in your loose change and it gives you several options - 1) a receipt for cash (they do charge about 8.5 cents on the dollar for the convenience of the service) that you cash in at the store's service desk; 2) you can donate the $ to charity (hit button for selection) or 3) you can get a gift card...

Ah yes, behind door (option #) 3 is the big deal for now! If you opt for a gift card, Coinstar will add $10 to it when you cash in $40 worth of coins. There's a nice little addition to your holiday purchasing!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Out damn spot! (or how to survive holiday spills)!

Here in Phoenix, most of us have heard of the "Queen of Clean" - local author, radio personality and all-around expert on all things requiring cleaning! Thursday morning, she offered a few big hints for the holidays including how to recuperate from red wine spills: pour club soda (or white wine believe it or not!) and then salt on the spill and it will prevent stains (then pat dry). Check out for more amazing hints from Linda Cobb, the "Queen of Clean"!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A coupon reminder!

Just a subtle reminder... many grocery stores are offering great savings for your holiday cooking/baking/dining pleasure! The best is accepting all competitors' coupons...keep an eye out for these deals...I've saved well over $200 with these offerings!!! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holidays...more about personal time and less time in the kitchen!

Now I am all about holidays and food and I love the smell of the turkey on Thanksgiving day...BUT there is still the clean-up, the time spent getting it all together (and making guests visit in the kitchen while you - well, ok, in my case, while my husband works). I wouldn't really want to go out for the holiday meals, but all of the grocery stores in the area offer amazing meals pre-prepared for you at reasonable prices - turkey dinners, prime rib and ham...with nice side dishes and dessert...Is the quality family time worth the fact that you didn't prepare it yourself...ABSOLUTELY (in my humble opinion!). Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saving food = Saving money!!!!

As seen on AOL (quoted):

Post-Lunch: Clean-Up
iTouchless Airtight Bag Re-Sealer, $25.99

The iTouchless Bag Re-Sealer claim:
Bag re-sealers provide an inexpensive and easy way to perfectly reseal unused portions of food packages in seconds. It creates an airtight seal that locks in freshness. You simply seal along the edges of any bag and it is sealed airtight in seconds.

How we used it:
To seal our left-over brie and to re-seal an unrelated bag of chips in the pantry.

Our collective verdict:
It works. You just have to have some patience. Word of advice: you may not get it to work in the first try--the trick is to move slow and at a consistent pace because, glide too briskly over one spot, and the plastic won't melt to seal there. This is a great little stocking stuffer for all the cooks in your life.

Tips for use:
After much practice, this tool could become very useful in helping you to keep food fresher for longer. Remember to position the re-sealer a little beyond the bag's edge for a truly airtight seal at the corners.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Snack time!

OK Facebook afficianados! For a limited (and I'm not sure exactly how "limited" it is!) time, if you become a Facebook fan of Outback Steakhouse, you can get a free Onion Blossom appetizer! Yum!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Save your pics as digital! :D

Photo Changer
This easy-to-use digital converter lets you archive photos on your PC, so you can include them on websites or in emails and newsletters. You can also make additional prints to share with friends and family. Scan 3" x 5", 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" photos with a single pass – 5 megapixel resolution, automatic exposure control and adjustable color balance ensure great results. Get it now from Plow & Hearth for $109.99 (reg. $149.95)

What a great way to finally archive those pics that are sitting in your "to do" box!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holiday non-alcoholic drink alternative! (cheap too!)

Yes, I know...I am sadly delinquent in posting to this blog! My apologies to all faithful followers! :D Meanwhile, for your holiday enjoyment check this out!:

Looking for a festive alternative to alcoholic drinks this holiday season? Worried about catching the flu during party season? 7UP has you covered on both counts: The soft drink company is bringing back its Pomegranate 7UP, but this year, it comes loaded with Vitamin E. Pomegranate 7UP Antioxidant blends the classic lemon-lime soft drink with pomegranate flavor for a look and taste that is perfect for holiday toasting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Free ways to "waste" time!

Ready for some free fun? Check out:,169112/printable.html

You will find "40 Fantastic Time-Wasting Websites" - turn photos into cartoon characters, make a comic scrip (no really!), find funny typos and find free games...and much more! Way to vegetate! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

To buy or not to buy...?

Here's a cool deal:

Visualize this - you are in a store and you think you have found the deal of all deals! Text to to check prices via cellphone (you need to text the item's bar code # and standart text charges apply) OR call 888-363-7822 to check toll-free. The service will provide you with the cheapest price from major online retailers to help you make your purchase decision! Ka-ching! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Your Home Movies on DVD for free!

So Blockbuster is giving you a chance to test iMemories for free ($20 value!) - you can ship your film, videotapes, etc and it will be digitized and saved online to allow you to creat customized DVDs (original materials area returned to you)!!!!
Check out - note: only one offer per househould (just in time for the holidays!) :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yum - free samples!

Don't miss the "Holiday Taste of Sam's Club" 11/20 - 11/22 - food samples, cooking demo, meal & decorating ideas and more!!!! (OK - I am not a member and not a fan per se, but free always catches my attention!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

I am still alive!!!!

Yes, I am terribly delinquent on posting these job has me on flight after flight (penny pincher note - what a deal for saving those frequent flyer miles!) :)
I will still be posting new info for you but please feel free to send me good material as I am sometimes out of the loop these days (one must work to survive!) Thanks!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bountiful harvest of free activities, yours for the picking!

Our newspaper here in Phoenix devoted a whole section today to the free (or at least heavily discounted!) activities around the state for autumn. There are many festivals in cities, special discounts on fairs, and lots of cool Halloween activities if you go online or to your local paper and search them out. Make sure to check these out...especially if (unlike me) you live in an area with gorgeous fall colors adding to the fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sounding the hunt!, this one is for you!!! Free weekend upcoming at!
Check it out and happy hunting <3

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Missing in action???

Hi Readers...

I have not forgotten you, but am traveling on business all of this week...I will put some new posts on starting Thursday morning...I know you are breathlessly waiting!
Have a great week!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mega CVS savings!

OK...I REALLY need to figure out how to add links to this blog! But meanwhile, trust me, cut and paste this one! It is worth every second/$ !!!!!! Personal Finance/walletpops-watch-me-score-with-deal-seeking-mom-cvs/43998028001

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Instant excuse for one low price!

Admittedly, this is more of a fun post than a serious one. Apparently one Melissa Maher (in the ad industry in NYC) and some friends came up with a $19.95 kit that single and/or childless workers can use as an excuse to get out of work early (sort of a "go home free card!") Check out - in a little metal lunchbox you get a framed snapshot of a child (you pick gender/ethnicity)and a piece of kid's artwork (drawn by Maher with her left hand). Not sure who'd be gutsy enough to actually use it, but it would make a hysterical gag gift for the right person in the office!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Eating healthy on a budget

Some more good suggestions from

With some planning and commitment to eating healthy, you can still do it on a budget.
Here are some suggestions:

* Cook at home and focus on fresh, natural foods vs. processed ones.

* Buy in bulk (brown rice, beans, etc.)

* Make extra when items are on sale (i.e. cook extra turkey for lunches, turkey soup and turkey chili...etc)

* Buy items such as olive oil, nuts, dried fruits, canned fish and juics when they are on sale and stock up.

* Use leftovers creatively (use leftover meatloaf and spahgetti sauce to make a second dinner).

* Buy cheaper cuts of meat to use in a slow cooker or to marinate.

* Prepare meatless meals occasionally (i.e. a meatless stew with a side salad).

You can be creative, eat foods that taste good and are good for you and still save money!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dinner and a show!

AmericanProfile magazine appeared with our local newspaper one day - don't recall seeing it before, but had some good ideas that I will share - the first of which is a free home-entertainment newsletter with new DVD recommendations/reviews along with lots of great recipes. They say it is "the perfect tip sheet for a stay-at-home evening with a movie and a meal" Sign up at to get "DVDinner" in your inbox every two weeks!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Localize this coupon site!

I like this new coupon site (well, new to me anyway!) because you can localize it for just about anywhere! I can pull up coupons near home or anywhere I am traveling complete with directions and maps.

Check it out for yourself at:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Grovel starts with "G" (like "Grover"!) ask get the general idea! :)

I want to know what you are looking for in a "penny pincher" blog...home repairs, coupons, special deals (promotional codes, etc)...Please let me know so I can meet your needs. In turn, if you like this blog, please recommend it to your friends, family, etc. Readers are welcome!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Way to spiff up your house on a dime!

A few quick ideas to give a fresh look to your home:

* Change the hardware on your cabinets (bathroom or kitchen)- give it a new look!

* Add a "backsplash" in your kitchen - vinyl wallpaper is washable and adds a new look!

* Use a stencil to add a pattern or extra flair with paint in any room in your home!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Man does not live by bread alone...but it helps!

Safeway SELECT Artisan French Bread Offer
Only 9/28-10/2, 3-7 PM, 1st 20,000 customers

Start Time: Monday, September 28, 2009 at 3:00pm
End Time: Friday, October 2, 2009 at 7:00pm
Location: Participating U.S. Safeway stores

Description: We have a great offer on Artisan French bread especially for our Facebook fans!

Get a 16 oz Safeway SELECT Artisan French bread for JUST 25 cents.

Present this coupon at time of purchase. Cut & paste address to print your coupon:

Hurry! The offer is available only to the first 20,000 customers!

* Offer effective Monday 9/28 thru Friday 10/2 between 3pm and 7pm each day for a total of 20,000 customers, with a $10 minimum purchase per customer and while supplies last. Offer valid only with Club Card. Valid for 16 oz French bread, assorted varieties. Limit One Per Customer. Offer available at participating U.S. Safeway stores with Bakeries. Store hours and selections may vary. Supplies are limited. Offer not valid in Canada Safeway stores. Safeway reserves the right to cancel, amend or revoke the offer at any time due to business considerations or circumstances beyond its control. Safeway is not responsible for errors, omissions, malfunctions, interruptions, deletions, delays or failures of operations. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Not valid if photocopied, altered or reproduced.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Want to earn extra cash?

It's no secret that the economy is causing headaches for everyone! I have gone through 2 jobs in a year and a half and am always in favor of a back-up plan. I sell Avon as a second job, but the best part is most of my business is online so I can do it easily while working my "day" job! There are a number of similar jobs you can do like this...Avon, Tupperware, Mary Kay (yeah, I'm biased...prefer Avon products!), Gold Canyon Candles, Pampered Chef...etc. Don't be too quick to laugh these off...many reps make a substantial living with these and I can't begin to say enough about the opportunities! Check them out! (and if you are interested in Avon...check my site at - happy to sign you up!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Save More, Waste Less...

Visit for ways to save and help the environment at the same time!
A few of their suggestions:

* Cut down on paper towel purchases/use by keeping washcloths on hand in the kitchen to mop up spills!

* Make water your drink of choice and carry a refillable bottle!

* Transfer shampoo, conditioner (and...I added the lotion) into pump bottles and use just one pump per application!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Be aware...

I recently mentioned the great deals on - be aware that in many (all?) cases...the restaurants you use these certificates at will add the gratuity (based on total bill without certificate) to your check! Oops...I failed to read the fine-print on Friday night and ended up doubling the tip...ouch! And, yes, I did call the restaurant as I felt it was their responsibility to also mention that the gratuity had already been added on! They are taking care of it, but from now on you can bet I will read every bit of fine print on the certificate AND the bill!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am not currently a AAA member but was for many years and am likely to join again if the deals keep getting current favorite is the 30% everyday savings for AAA members at Pearle Vision! Can't beat this...and add it to your insurance and it is a price-buster! Thanks AAA! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Deals and more deals...courtesy of!

So credit where credit is due! Time and again I've mentioned that AOL's is one of my favorite sites/resources. Check these deals out!

1) Stop by Ulta to get a free full-size tube of Benefit BADgal Blue Mascara. Then pop over to Aveda for a free sample of Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener. Plus, don't forget about these two great Bath & Body Works coupons to get a free aromatherapy or True Blue spa item, as well as a free Signature Collection body care item.

2) Thirsty? Get a free medium Coke Zero from Chick-fil-A when you do the Chicken Wave. Or, take this printable coupon to Borders to get a free drink with the purchase of a drink at Seattle's Best Coffee.

3) Pet lovers, get a free sample of Hill's Science Diet Simple Essentials Dog Treats or a free bag of Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition.

4) Hungry? Get a free five-piece Buffaloco Wing Combo at El Pollo Loco with the purchase of a second five-piece wing combo. Or, get a free sub at Quiznos when you buy a sub and a drink. You can also get free Pancake Puppies at Denny's with any breakfast entree purchase.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Air-headed? I think not!

Whenever you take a flight anywhere on any airline, be sure to sign-up for the airline's frequent flyer program! You may not fly it often, but terms vary as to how long the miles are good toward a free ticket. And, at the very least, you may earn other rewards such as free magazine subscriptions, etc...The same is true of hotel and car rental rewards. Always become a member if it is free...what do you have to lose?? :)