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Archive for the ‘We Love Fun!! At Home or Out on The Town, You CAN Save Mucho Money’ Category

Let The (Cheap) Games Begin! $5 off Coupons for Jenga, Cranium, Catch Phrase, Taboo, and Pictionary…Plus The Infamous “Adult Jenga” Drinking Game…Ideas, Appetizer Recipes, Cocktails and More!

In an earlier post, I told you about my New Year’s resolution, and how I’ve made a sacred vow with myself to take FULL advantage of any fantastic deals throughout the year on any gift-able items that would do well for Christmas (or birthdays, etc.), and build up a kind of “Gift Stockpile” in an effort to save money and avoid holiday-related stress come next December.

The Pictionary game (always a favorite) coupon I shared a link for is apparently just the tip of the game night iceberg…there are also $5 off coupons for Taboo, Catch Phrase, Cranium Brain Breaks and Jenga (which is fairly inexpensive to begin with) on coupons.com. Board games are a versatile gift…they are great to give to both children and adults alike.

$5 off games coupons (can be found under zip 15085) at coupons.com

These don’t expire til the middle of next month, so you have plenty of time to track down a great sale and score yourself some really inexpensive gifts. And, as I’ve said before, I’ve seen a few of these games for sale at Dollar General, where they accept manufacturer’s coupons.

Red Solo Cup…Let’s Have a Party!!”

Or take a cue from Toby Keith and just get a couple games for yourself, settle down with your honey (or a bunch of friends), whip up a batch Pulled Pork Burritos and have a game night while sipping a few brews! (Hint: if playing with adults, the game of Jenga can be “modified” to include challenges and dares on each tile, so that the person pulling out said tile must complete whatever act is written on it…a VERY fun game if you are having friends over for a few drinks!)

  • Here’s a link with a TON of dares and creative challenge ideas to write on the Jenga blocks if you have, ummm…writer’s “block” and can’t think of anything better than “Player must take a shot of Tequila”. This site also explains the very simple rules of this “adult” truth or dare game of… inebriated dexterity…is that an oxymoron?? 🙂
  • And, while you’re at it, the good folks at Delish.com have come up with a whole boatload of scrumptious appetizer recipes for parties that will make your game night a hit!
  • And you’ll need something to wash it all down with…and let’s hope that something contains alcohol for a night with friends!! If you’re feeling brave enough to go beyond the keg and the Red Solo Cup (sorry Toby Keith!), check out these boozalicious party concoctions from thenest.com!! Liquor, beer, wine…they’ve got it all covered in delicious and creative ways…

Have fun leaving the TV behind for an evening!!

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$5 off Pictionary Game Printable Coupon…Start Your Gift Closet for Next Christmas Now!!

Check under zipcode 60712, and you can find a coupon for $5 off any Pictionary Game! This is perfect for my New Year’s resolution…to Christmas shop all year long, as I find awesome deals to add to my “gift” closet, so I can enjoy the Holiday season this time instead of stressing-out last minute about what gifts I do and don’t have!!

Games are always a good bet…they’re bound to fit the bill for someone on your list! My sister and I love giving each other board games for Christmas/birthdays and then playing them that same day to add a little more fun to the festivities!

Pictionary is also a sure winner for any child that loves drawing or art.

Or just buy this for you and your honey to have a good old-fashioned game night with some friends, a bottle of Pinot, and a nice Paella this Friday night!!

And since this is an oldie but goodie, it can often be found at discount stores (such as Dollar General) that accept coupons, so you can probably snag it for a song if your timing is right!!

Give my New Year’s resolution a try and see how quickly you can build up a stockpile of affordable and awesome gifts this year! I’ll be letting you in on any great deals that I find along the way…

$5 off Pictionary Game (coupons.com)

Living the Simple Life…Things I’m Thankful for This Christmas

After a particularly harrowing day out at the stores attempting to finish my Christmas shopping (I do most of  my gift-buying online to avoid a seasonal hatred of humanity that usually results from being cut in front of in store lines, mowed down by frantic shoppers laden with 25 bags from various stores, and insane Holiday drivers who take traffic rules as mere “suggestions”, etc., etc.), I poured a glass of wine and decided to reflect on a few simple (and frugal) pleasures that make me so giddy I could almost shed a happy tear. Forget the coupon clipping, obsessive sale-hunting, wrapping paper, and family drama for a day and just RELAX!!

Random Happy Moments I Had This December

  1. Curling up on the couch watching a movie with Mike and my cat Joey…they are the two most cuddly creatures on God’s earth.
  2. Letting a HUGE pot of homemade chili simmer on the stove for hours (that only cost $4 to put together) and enjoying the anticipatory aroma while all the snuggling takes place…and knowing that chili will feed us for 2 or 3 days.
  3. Occasionally stirring said chili with a super heavy-duty Pampered Chef spoon I got at a garage sale 5 years ago for 25 cents (it still looks brand new!).
  4. Going to bed after eating my chili, bellies warm with all the spicy goodness (I even gave my furry family members a few nibbles), on sheets fresh and warm from the dryer, the kind that smell so good you can bury your face in them and take deep breaths and swear it’s what Heaven smells like.
  5. Waking up in the morning and realizing Mike is spooning me from behind, and Joey is curled up in front of me against my body in a rather human-like sleeping position, using my hand for a pillow for his head, purring away happily.
  6. Getting puppy kisses first thing out of bed. In my comfy slipper-socks. In front of the fireplace. Oh, yeah…
  7. Spending a leisurely hour or two browsing through old magazines for decorating/recipe ideas, or reading a new book I borrowed form a friend. NO TV!! Just the sound of the wind, or cars passing outside the big front window, or dogs barking happily in neighbor’s yards.
  8. Finding a gigantic bag of ripe bananas at the grocery store for under a dollar and baking multiple loaves of banana bread/muffins, and eating some fresh from the oven. Then portioning out the rest for Mike’s lunch for the week.
  9. Listening to The Beatles or Bob Dylan on vinyl. The sound is amazing. Nothing can touch it.
  10. Taking a stroll after dark and checking out all the houses in my neighborhood all decked out for Christmas, and breathing in that crisp, clean winter air.

 

What are the simple things you’re thankful for this Holiday Season? Put away the credit cards and wrapping paper and stress for a day! Merry Christmas my friends!!

Rare 50 cents/2 Sun-Bird Seasonings or Soups…Make Your Own Chinese Take-Out for Pennies! Plus Cheap Chopsticks, Chinese Take-Out Boxes, and Homemade Fortune Cookies to Make the Meal a FUN experience…

The Coupon That Inspired My Themed Dinner:

Here’s a new printable coupon that I was very happy (and surprised) to see: 50 cents/2 Sun-Bird seasonings or soups. I have been using this brand for a looong time to make some very authentic Chinese-American food favorites at home on a budget: Kung Pao Chicken, Teriyaki Beef, and my favorite, General Tso’s Chicken, which, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will see pop up in my grocery posts almost weekly.

I’ve turned a lot of Chinese take-out junkies onto these mixes, and I’ve never been met with a bad review about the results. These little seasoning packets (I’ve never tried the soups) are very handy. For example, with the General Tso’s blend, all you have to do is add a little water, soy sauce and sugar (I add chili flakes for a bit more heat) and whisk them in a bowl, the contents of which you add to floured, browned cubes of chicken cooking on the skillet. The result is a VERY tasty facsimile of the General Tso’s you might order in a restaurant, but WAY healthier because you can make it with white-meat chicken breasts, and less “breading” then you might find in Chinese take-out. The sauce thickens beautifully, and is delicious served over some fried rice (either homemade or from a mix).

These packets only cost around $1.19 ($1 if you’re lucky), and can usually be found in the Asian foods section of the International aisle at your local Giant Eagle (or other supermarket). With this coupon, you can basically get them BOGO, as the coupon will double (at least here in Western PA).

Mike’s gonna be sooooo happy!! I’m printing my limit of these!!

Get your coupon here: 50 cents/2 Sun-Bird seasonings or soups

(note: I found this coupon by leaving the zipcode area blank on coupons.com)

You can also read more about Sun-Bird’s other products on their website here.

The site features a full list of products, recipes, tips and tricks. For instance, the site just informed me that substituting a little coconut milk in place of the water in my General Tso’s mix would give it an even better flavor! Thanks Sun-Bird, gonna give that a whirl next time!!

Anyway, this coupon gave birth to a great idea for a fun, special family dinner…or a quirky dinner party with friends! Don’t worry, it’s VERY FRUGAL! Just order a few super-cheap supplies, whip up the General Tso’s (courtesy of the Sun-Bird coupon, and make some home-made fried-rice and (personalized) fortune cookies. Recipe ideas are below.)

You could go this route:

 

Cost of Take-Out General Tso’s (with fried rice) from a restaurant: around $10 per dinner, which usually will feed two people (plus tip for the delivery guy/gal)

(yeah, I know, you get a cute Chinese take-out box and some cool chopsticks!! And a fortune cookie!!)

 

Or, do it the fun, frugal way:

Here’s My “Do It Your Damn Self!” Method...more fun, more frugal, more healthy! (heck, make this a party and invite the whole fam over…or a few friends.)

Cost to make it yourself at home: $3.20 to feed around four (see below for the breakdown)

You’re already saving a bundle, so why not make your Chinese take-out experience complete when you do it yourself at home (It’ll only cost a few cents more per person…)

  • You can score 50 Chinese take out boxes for around $4 from Papermart.com…that’s around 9 cents each. These are the plain white variety, so you can really get creative decorating these (get the kids busy with stickers if you’re dining family-style, or write suggestive messages in a sharpie to your sweetie-pie at a dinner-for-two…up to you, my friends!)
  • How about a pair of too-cute panda chopsticks from Asian Ideas for only 30 cents?? (This site sells chopsticks galore, so be sure to search and find your favorite…they even have children’s chopsticks if the kiddo’s are having trouble and flinging Kung Pao Shrimp all over your walls every time they try to “be authentic”).
  • Here is a great, simple Fortune Cookie recipe by Aleta on Allrecipes.com. The best part is, you get to make the fortunes yourself to put inside the cookies! (Honey…you will find much happiness doing the dishes tonight…and afterwards rubbing someone’s aching  feet…)

Cost of the homemade version was calculated using Sun-Bird seasoning, loss-leader priced boneless chicken breast, and homemade fried rice/on-sale fried rice instant packet (such as Knorr’s…If I use this I like to mix it with a little plain white rice to get more servings out of it, and I think it tastes better!)

If you’d like to make your own fried rice, here is a very simple and delicious recipe (you can easily add/subtract ingredients to suit your tastes) from Liberal Simplicity…she uses brown rice instead of white, which adds to the nutritional value of the dish (and gives a great flavor…give brown rice a chance!) The basic ingredients of this dish would make it a very frugal base to add the chicken to, or enjoy it as a meal in itself with lots of veggies (for the non-carnivores out there!) The total cost of this would probably be around the same, or even less, than the packaged fried rice.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown:

  • 1 lb-1.5 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks $1.99
  • 1 package Sun-Bird seasoning (with doubled coupon) 50 cents
  • 1 package Knorr’s Fried Rice packet, on sale with coupon (last time I bought it) 50 cents
  • a dusting of flour, 2 TBS soy sauce, 3/4 cup sugar and a sprinkle of chili flakes (all purchased in a frugal manner, on sale and with coupons, of course!) 20 cents, if that

Tip: When I mix the seasoning packet with the other ingredients, I add a BIT more water/coconut milk than the package suggest to make the sauce go a little furter…it tends to thicken up quickly. I also add some red pepper flakes for some extra heat (if I’m serving to adults).

Total Cost of At-Home Take-Out (which is healthier, and will feed more people…or leave you yummy leftovers for the next day…woo hoo!) $3.20

Total Savings: $13.60 for four people (plus add around 50 cents per person if you’re buying take-out boxes, chopsticks, and making fortune cookies…you know, doing the whole shebang!)

Please comment below (or at the link at the top of the post) with any additional ideas to make this date-night dinner (or family fun-night) even more successful!!