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Kitchen Tool Series #1: Scoop Up the Savings

5 Kitchen Tools That Will Save $6000 #1

Saving money on groceries could revolutionize your family budget!

As a matter of fact, there are dozens of simple strategies that can cut your grocery bill in half with out clipping a single coupon. But, instead of shopping strategies, we want to introduce you to five relatively inexpensive kitchen tools that can save you thousands of dollars and lots of time too!

What’s at stake? When it comes to feeding a family, there is a lot of money at stake. The average family is spending $200 per person each month on groceries. That means that a family of four will spend nearly $10,000 on food this year!

Large expenses always present LARGER opportunities for savings—especially if you’re willing to think differently. Many of us could use this found money to pay off debt, reduce medical bills, save for a vacation, or accomplish some much needed home improvements.

What if the tools we describe in this 5 week series (every Wednesday) could:

  • Save you $6000 in the next 12 months?
  • Could pay for themselves in a few months?
  • And lastly, -savings you accumulated would continue year after year for the next 10 or 20 years?

Would you be interested?

We’re not blowing smoke or selling snake oil; we’re talking about tools we’ve been using for many years!

Clean up in your kitchen. SpoonULas Save Time and Money.  spoonula, spatula, scoop, silicone, hi, temp, clean, kitchen, save, savings, pampered, chef, rubbermaid, rubbermade, industrial, chef, kitchen, food, savings

Let’s start with the least expensive tool and work our way up to some really big savings.

Scoop It Out: This simple tool won’t save you much money, but it will save you lots of clean-up time. The humble Spoonula is different from a spatula. Most rubber spatulas have straight edges, whereasSpoonulas are curved, creating a flexible scoop for quickly cleaning out pots, pans, bowls and jars of peanut butter, jelly, cans of soup and much more. But even more than the food savings, a Spoonula helps keep the environment cleaner with less food waste in the trash or down the drain and less soap and water used for cleanup.

Savings: Annette uses her Spoonulas four to five times each day. We estimated that a Spoonula, costing between $4 and $10 (depending on size), saves us about $40 each year.

Checkout Amazon's selection of SpoonULas here.

We thought this was interesting—a listing of

A round head of iceberg lettuce, wrapped in plastic wrap, sitting on a produce scale.

Use Your Head When it Comes to Lettuce

Do you know which costs more: Head or Leaf Lettuce?

Did you know that one of them costs about 60% less than the other?

In our book, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, we chronicled Steve’s test of weighing more than 200 pounds of produce to determine if bulk packed or loose produce was a better deal.
We discovered savings as high as 54 percent! You can read the results here if you’re a website subscriber.

But in this blog post, we ask the question How much does a head of lettuce cost?
And how can you get the most for your lettuce dollars?

The other day, we were buying some produce and Steve decided to compare leaf lettuce ($.89 per head) versus iceberg / head lettuce ($.99 per head). Lettuce prices fluctuate widely depending on the time of year. We've seen prices as high as $2 per head and as low as $.50 per head. And there are many varieties of lettuce: Iceberg, Romain, Boston, Bibb, Butterhead, Red Leaf, Green Leaf, and they all vary in price also. We usually look for the greenest and least expensive lettuce, but there is one more factor to consider . . . the weight of each head.

How much does that head of lettuce weigh?

We know that leaf lettuce contains more nutrients; higher iron content (because of it's greener color), but what we hoped to discover was the actual cost per pound for each. It was an amazing discovery.  

Leaf Lettuce Weight and Cost

A Head of Leaf Lettuce on an aluminum produce scale.

Steve weighed several heads of leaf lettuce and discovered that the average weight was 16.75 ounces per head (just a touch over one pound each). At 89¢ per head, the actual cost per pound was $.848.







Head Lettuce Weight and Cost


A mom helping her young daughter try on school clothes, while the daughter holds a fuchsia umbrella.

Saving on Back-to-School Clothing — 6 Frugal Fashion Tips

Saving on Back-to-School Clothing — 6 Frugal Fashion Tips

6 Ways to Save on Back-To-School Clothes

Parents spend a lot of money for Back-to-school sales for clothing each year. According to a survey of 1000 families, 60 percent said that they would spend more on back-to-school clothes for their children than they will on school supplies. The survey revealed that these parents are expected to spend about $130 on clothes and only $48 on school supplies for their children.

National statistics for kids clothing expenses are all over the board, but we’d like to focus on five ways that you can reduce what you spend on back-to-school clothes whether you shop thrift stores or fashion outlets. As with any expense, when you’re spending great amounts of money, there are always a great number of ways to save.

Fashion Tip 1: Start with a Clothing Inventory

We inventoried our kids’ clothes twice each year. If you have several children, start with the more easy going one first, then tackle the fashion challenged, more difficult child, then finish up with the rest of the kids—that’s the way Annette survived this task.

As you get better at conducting your inventory and as your kids get older, you can have several children going through the task at the same time. Here are the steps:

The Individual Evaluation Process

Have each child evaluate all clothes in their drawers, closet and any bins, being careful to include accessories.

Bring the outgrown or unwanted items into another room.

We used our family room, and designated a specific area for each child’s rejected clothes to be neatly stacked. Annette reviewed the stack together with the child and sometimes, asked them to reconsider a discarded selection. This piling, sorting and evaluating process will help you move through the clothes much quicker.

Let the bargaining begin.

It was amazing to watch our kids haggle with each other over certain clothing items. Because our kids managed their own money and bought their own clothes, there were times when their special hand-me-downs, were traded or sold to younger siblings. This didn’t happen all of the time, only with more expensive – “cool” clothes.

Fashion Tip 2: Build a List with Each Child

As you eliminate clothing items and add hand-me-downs, build a written list  of what each child would like to have to round out their wardrobe. Of course with younger children this task will fall squarely on your shoulders, but with pre-teens and teens they can take almost all of the responsibility.

Help them to prioritize the greatest needs as “A” priorities or “Needs” and the less important items as “B” priorities or “Wants.” This will help your kids understand that life is full of choices and priorities — a great way to help them understand budgeting principles too, especially if you do as we did and allow them the privilege of buying their own clothes with money they earned.

Help them include accessories in their lists. Include things like shoes, socks, undergarments and also scarves, gloves, jackets, coats and boots. Also consider planning and obtaining a nicer outfit for each child, so if you’re family is invited to a special event, like a wedding, holiday, business party or fancier church event, they’ll be ready.

Fashion Tip 3: Consider Buying Used

Have you ever considered shopping chain thrift stores like Goodwill, Savers or Kid to Kid for back-to-school clothes? Remember that smaller local thrift or consignment stores that benefit non-profits (hospice or animal rescues) in your area may have some great deals too. These local stores can discount their clothes heavily since volunteers often staff them. We have found amazing deals for our kids at these places, and our kids dressed as nice or nicer than their peers. Be sure you know the “deal days” for each of the stores you’re planning on visiting. These discount days can really make a difference in what you pay.

Fashion Tip 4: Start Early / Finish Late

Start your thrift store and consignment store shopping early in the season, as other parents in your area will be scouring the stores for deals too. If you start early you’ll be sure to get the best quality for the lowest price, so don’t procrastinate. There is usually a glut of items donated over the summer as families are moving or cleaning things out. Plus many Read More...

A college graduate standing with his hands in the air signaling success!

Smart College Idea: Save 80 Percent - Dual Credit at Home

We met Becky Muldrow in San Antonio, Texas at a conference where we were speaking. Becky is a mom, and a smart one at that. With 10 kids she has to be. But what stood out most to us was her absolutely ingenious way of helping her kids get through college in less than 2 years, at minimal costs and mostly from home. If you have kids who want a fast track through college or, if you're an adult looking for an inexpensive and fast way to finally finish that degree, you've GOT TO READ what Becky and her kids have done. It's absolute GENIUS.

While this concept is designed for Home Schooling families, we're asking you to think a little deeper. This concept could work for adults wanting to finally get that college degree, or for motivated kids who attend public or private school to get a jumpstart on college. Think, think, think. 

Warning, this is a long article . . . actually it's a transcript of Becky's presentation she shares around the country. A decision to use Dual Credit at Home isn't going to be a quick one. But if you do decide to pursue the system that Becky has created, at the bottom of this page you'll find a discount offer she's giving exclusively to our readers.

How to Earn a Bachelor’s
Degree During High School

Learn how with Dual Credit at Home
Slide1 Dual Credit At Home, College, Debt, Student, loan, studentloan

Hi, my name is Becky Muldrow and like many of you, I am a home school mom. Our family has been blessed with ten children, from age twenty-eight all the way down to ten.

I’m sure that all of you parents will agree that there is a BIG difference between home educating a ten year old and a teenager. When your son is ten, you’re just worried about helping him stay focused long enough to get a whole day of school finished! But when he reaches those teenage years, you start to worry about a big seven-letter word. C-O-L-L-E-G-E!

Slide2 Dual, Credit, At, Home, StudentLoan, Debt, College, Debt, Free, Dantes, Clep

College is our culture’s pinnacle of educational achievement. It’s also the bane of our pocketbooks. Worrying about your child’s future education has the potential to keep you up at night AND empty your savings accounts. A degree doesn’t just consume money. It can also cost our young people many extra years of their greatest commodity —- time.

For many families, college isn’t always a blessing. It can also be a problem.

As home school parents, we’ve obviously been thinking outside the box. My husband and I love to challenge our kids to be creative, innovative problem solvers. One of the most respected home school students of all time, Albert Einstein, has great advice for all of us: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Now you and I didn’t create the existing problems with higher education. But when it comes to deciding how we’re going to approach college, both the METHOD of education and the COST, in our own families, we can’t use the world’s way of thinking. dual credit at home logo

Today I’d like to share with you how our family has solved our college problem. Over the next few minutes, I will explain a different approach to earning an accredited Read More...

Green chalkboard with school supplies on a desk in front of it.

Saving on Back-to-School Supplies — 5 Black Belt Tactics

The late summer months can be one of the most expensive times of the year for families with young children. Why?

The reason is that back-to-school costs can really take a toll on your family’s household budget.

Retailers expect that consumers will shell out more than $68 billion during this back-to-school shopping frenzy.

50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary school so if you do the math $68 billion divided by 50 million students it comes out to about $1360 per student . . . which seems really high to us.

Regardless of what the “experts” predict, you’re going to spend some money on school supplies. In this article we’re going to give you some Black Belt tactics to help you quickly and stealthily get the things you need, while spending less money and time doing it!

5 Black Belt Tactics to Save on Back-To-School Supplies

Black Belt Tip 1) Take inventory before you shop.

Whether you have one or ten kids, start by asking everyone to bring their old school supplies into one room – think of an ATF raid. Lay it all out on the dining room table, kitchen table or set up a folding table where everything can be sorted into categories, evaluated and then redistributed. Then make a list of what you need.

If our public and private schools did this one exercise, the savings would total into the millions, perhaps even billions of dollars.

Black Belt Tip 2) Stock up on Loss-Leaders

Stores like Staples and OfficeMax/OfficeDepot have some of the lowest prices out there. Check out their flyers in the newspaper, subscribe to their email list or go to their websites – the savings are HUGE. You can shop in-store (most are open until 9 pm) so you can drop in on your way back home from work or an errand run. Or you can shop online anytime at places like OfficeMax or Staples.

The office supply stores advertise lots of deals, but we particularly love the penny deals and five cent deals, with a minimum purchase of $5 during the first two weeks of back-to-school sales. These two stores are our first pick for cutting the costs of back-to-school supplies.

The next level for good pricing is shopping Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target and Kmart—check out their sales flyers for their best deals.

The last place that we look for back-to-school supplies is at grocery stores – they just don’t have as large an assortment and their pricing is average . . . however, after back-to-school shopping is done there can be some huge savings on clearance items at the grocery stores.

Back-to-school supplies can be found at multitudes of stores this time of year. The next step will help you evaluate further.

Black Belt Tip 3) Evaluate Your Time versus Your Money

Many schools are offering pre-packaged back-to-school supplies to parents as an easy, timesaving option . . . and as a fund-raiser for the school.

If you have excess money in your household budget, but don’t have a lot of time, this can be an easy way to solve the back-to-school shopping issue and help out your school at the same time.

If you have time, but money is tight, then by all means, stock up on the loss-leader sales and even fill a box for your family’s future school years.  Of course you could also buy extra supplies to either donate to the classroom for students without the ability to buy or to just bless the teacher.

And if you don’t have the time or a lot of money, you’ll have to figure out a way to find a few extra minutes to stop by and pick up the loss-leaders in the flyers.

Black Belt Tip 4) Using Price Match to your Advantage

Staples, Walmart and Target will match advertised prices on brand-name products, just be sure to carry your ad flyers with you. At a time like this, it’s a good practice to keep the ads in a folder or bag in your car so they’re not forgotten . . . this is a war for your wallet.

Black Belt Tip 5) It’s More than School Supplies

Back-to-school deals aren’t just for school. Remember that the sales at this time of year are so great, you should stock up on items for your home office, crafting corner or your work place. Think ahead for Christmas too. There are some items that are discounted this time of year that could make great stocking stuffers or Christmas presents.

Put the experts to shame and lower the average costs they predict by using these 5 Black Belt tactics this school year. But please be careful and don’t become a statistic with other experts who write about increasing credit card debt —because, finding great deals, but paying credit card interest for several months will wipe out Read More...


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