My family’s food budget is extremely low.  Most people wonder how I manage to make dinner every night with such a small amount.  Well, I’m going to let you in on some of my secrets.  This is the first in a series of posts on how to save money on your food bill.   I have been posting each time Harris Teeter has super double coupons.  This is a crucial element to my success.  If you are lucky enough to have a grocery store that runs super double coupons (doubled up to $2)  then you really need to plan to take advantage of this.

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This one is a good one.  This was about two week’s worth of mail and it kept piling up so I decided that it was time to post!

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There are tons of samples from Swaggable, a sample reviewing website.  I won the Luna bar from Facebook and the Luzianne tea stuff came from Facebook too (thanks to Kelsey at Chicnsavvy!)  The Peppa Pig book was from a giveaway on Little Island Studios blog.  I won the Scholastic prize pack (the bag, book and stickers, etc) from a twitter contest.  The Guacamole chips were from monthly The Live better America newsletter.  The Jockey slipshorts were from a facebook giveway.  There is a PinchMe box in there too.  The free crackers and Listerine were from Walmart.com.  The key chain, Truvia,  and the feminine products came from Crowdtap!  I won the lip tattoos in a Twitter contest.

I hope you have a full mailbox and a great week!

Disclaimer: On Mail Call posts, I only post things that I’ve received 100% free in the mail.  They come from samples, giveaways, contests, etc.  I haven’t put any money out to receive anything pictured.

I have decided to change Mailbox Monday to Mail Call.  It’s starting to get hard to keep track of all the mail from that week and post it by a certain day.   This way, I can just post recent pictures of the things that I’ve received and I don’t make a deadline for myself.  I enjoy posting the mail I receive and I’ve added a recent challenge to my Facebook page.  When I get to 165 followers, I will host my first giveaway!  It’s going to be a fun one and coincide with the freebie theme.  So if you love samples and getting mail, recommend your friends to like my page!  Here’s a few of the things that were in my mailbox recently:

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The oats and recipe pack was a surprise from @quaker on Twitter!  It was such a nice gift!  Thanks!

The Control Corrective skincare set was from the BirchBloggers program.  I am currently using it and will write a review soon.  I wanted to use it for a few weeks to see about the results first!

The V05 products were in a prize package from my friend, @modernisticmom.  She writes a blog and I won a giveaway!  Her blog is great and you can read it here: http://www.modernisticmama.com.

The coupons and the food scale was a giveaway from Hungry Girl.  When you preordered her book, you could enter for all that good stuff for free!  Bonus is that I bought the book with an amazon gift card that I also won!  🙂

The formula samples are from the Enfamil  Family Beginnings. They send stuff out every now and again.  It’s a great program and they always send good coupons.  They send out an awesome package when you first have your baby too!  Sign up here: Enfamil Family Beginnings

I won the Violent Lips tattoos in a twitter contest and the little shampoo and oil samples were from facebook and walmart.com. The pizza and soda coupon came from a contest from a local radio station.  The Blender Girl book was free from a focus group that I participated in.  If you’ve never done one, you should think about it!  I love giving feedback and it’s fun to see the finished product!  The Tide came from a P& G sample pack. I wrote about that site awhile back, in a Freebie Friday post.

The aromatherapy goods came from a pinterest contest.  I love this prize.  I put the mattress cover on our bed right away and same with the pillow protectors.  It is so nice falling asleep to the smell of lavender!  Thanks to @PureCare_Kayla on twitter!

As you can see, I’ve been a busy bee.  Have a great weekend and look out for my post about making a Summer List!

Disclaimer: On Mail Call posts, I only post things that I’ve received 100% free in the mail.  They come from samples, giveaways, contests, etc.  I haven’t put any money out to receive anything pictured.

 

I remember a time when Cinco de Mayo meant that my friends and I would get dressed up and go out for a night on the town.  Needless to say, my priorities changed when I had two kids in less than two years.  Now my idea of fun is having some free time between cleaning up my son’s poop-slosion  (explosive crap) and getting my daughter to leave the poor dog alone for two seconds.    I’m not complaining since I love being a mom and there is little difference between cleaning up a sorority sister’s puke or my kids’.

This year, I heard that Moe’s Southwest Grill was giving out free t-shirts to the first 100 customers and samples of their new spicy guac!  The radio station was also broadcasting live, so my entourage and I would definitively be there.  I was so excited that I had been telling my husband about it for days.  He just humors me when I do stuff like this.  I can’t resist something free, especially when there is an event involved too!  So, the kids and I packed it up and headed down to the beach for Cinco de Moes.  Clever name, right?  We are lucky to live 20 minutes from the beach so we arrived a little early in order to save our spot.

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We were second in line.  They were so awesome too and actually opened early for all of us. It was really windy this morning.  I think they felt bad for us!  haha!

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I love their burritos since you can add whatever you want to them.   They have a ton of fresh toppings like cucumber, corn, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc.   Not to mention that they are humongous!  On Mondays, they have a special where you get a burrito or burrito bowl, chips and drink for $7.  Not too shabby since I can make two meals out of that bad boy.  Plus, I had a coupon for a free kids meal from their online club.  We even got one for my husband.  All of us ate for $14.  Plus we got t-shirts, which I will wear proudly.

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The radio station was broadcasting live so we rolled out to the parking lot and met the hosts of the morning show, Petch and Amy.  My daughter was excited.  🙂

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They had this game where you could win prizes if you stuck your hand in a giant jug of mayo and found a little card.  I couldn’t resist a prize and I was the first one to try it.  I won a bunch of reward points for their loyalty program so I was a happy camper!  My hand still smells like mayo too.  All in all, we had a great time and we really enjoyed our Cinco de Mayo lunch.  We will make sure to participate again next year!  What are your plans for today?  Any Cinco de Mayo fiestas?

Find a Moes near you:  www.moes.com

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  We just enjoyed our lunch and wanted to share with you.  All comments and opinions are my own.

 

This week was a little slow but still a good week.  I have a few sampling campaigns that I am involved in so I got some of those this week!

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I got a few magazines, the Family Fun magazine came from a subscription I won from Purex.  I got two free books from a Frosted Mini Wheats/Scholastic Family Reading program they did last year.  I got a sample of perfume.  I also got a free bottle of Hair, Skin and Nail gummies, along with a compact, a nail file, and two hair ties from a sampling campaign.  The Viva paper towels came from a sampling campaign too!  I can’t wait to write all about them soon!  Have a great week!

Disclaimer: On Mailbox Monday, I only post things that I’ve received 100% free in the mail.  They come from samples, giveaways, contests, etc.  I haven’t put any money out to receive anything pictured.

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As stated in my last post, the family and I decided to drive to New Jersey on Wednesday and attend the Hungry Girl book signing at the Woodbridge Wegmans.    I could write an entire post on how much I love that store and how I wish we had one near us, but that’s for another day.  😉  Lisa Lillien just came out with her new Hungry Girl Diet book. This book is about taking her recipes and using to jump start your weight loss.  One thing I really like about her is that she will sign ANY of her books at a signing.  Some people won’t do that or they might only do that if you buy a book at that location.  She is so down to earth and friendly.  I really respect her for that.

I had been to other Hungry Girl book signings so I basically knew what to expect.  Wegmans really had it down to a science.  They gave everyone a gift bag as soon as we got upstairs to the cafe area.  Then you were given a card with a letter, telling you that you would get your book signed when your letter was called. I was a ‘C.’  Wegmans employees also handed out raffle tickets to everyone before they told you to have a seat and that Lisa would be out shortly.  Everyone was so friendly.  My husband decided to look around the grocery store part with our kids, while I was upstairs, in other to avoid a meltdown.  It was already pretty crowded so I chose a chair in the corner, by myself and decided to look in my gift bag.  The gift bag alone was worth the trip!  It included a ton of samples and free coupons!

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After a few minutes, I was joined by a wonderful lady who also arrived solo.  She sat next to me and we became fast friends.  It was so nice to spend the time talking to someone who was in the same boat and attended Weight Watchers, been a stay-at-home mom/worked part-time, etc.  Needless to say, we didn’t run out of things to talk about!  She even won a door prize!  We weren’t in the same group to get our book signed so after we tried the available samples and had a nice chat, we bid each other adieu.

I decided to wear my HG 200 under 200 tour t-shirt because you could only win them in 2009 and you had to go to a book signing to get one.  I thought Lisa would get a kick out of seeing it.  I also decided to get my book signed to the whole family.  When I stepped up to get it signed, Lisa’s agent (I think that’s who she was) saw my t-shirt and was so impressed that SHE wanted to take my picture too!  It gets better…Lisa Lillien knew who I was! She knew my name and said she remembered my social media posts to Hungry Girl!  The night couldn’t get any better!

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I also met Charlie from Starkist Tuna.

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I talked to Lisa about maybe doing a book signing in Delaware.  She is such a nice, inviting person!  I would make the drive for her again in a heartbeat.  But I also hope the she will consider Delaware.  😉
If you ever get a chance to attend a Hungry Girl book signing, I suggest you do so.  You won’t be disappointed.  They are so much fun!  Pick up one of her books too.  She makes it easier to live a healthy lifestyle.  Her recipes have helped me lose over 45 pounds.  They add variety to your diet and make you forget that you are eating healthy food.  Her recipes have larger portion sizes by bulking up veggies and proteins.  I can’t wait to read and follow her new book!  My husband got to eat at White Castle on the way home too, so everyone had a great day.

You can follow Hungry Girl (Lisa Lillien) on:

Twitter: Here!

Facebook: Here!

Online: Here!

Have you read any of her books?  Have you ever been to a book signing?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  I just love Hungry Girl and her books!  All comments/opinions are my own.