Lessons in Frugality from a Lady Named Grace

>> Saturday, March 6, 2010

image credit: Chicago Tribune online

Have you heard about Grace Groner? She lived her life in a small, one bedroom home and died in January at the age of 100. She worked for Abbott Laboratories for 43 years as a secretary and lived a very unassuming life. Growing up in the Depression, she knew all about living frugally and saw no need to live any other way during her life. When she died she left $7 million to Lake Forest College, her alma mater. In 1935 she bought $180 worth of stock in Abbott, it split multiple times and she just keep reinvesting the dividends. You can read more about her story here and you can watch the news story that gives additional detail here.

We don't all have to live as simply and frugally as Grace Groner but I think we can be inspired by her. Her life wasn't about surrounding herself with stuff just because she had the money to do so. She had what she needed and used the rest to bless others. While I aspire to live frugally and bless others with my abundance, there are certainly lessons I could learn from this lady named Grace and perhaps you could too.

1) Be wise with your money. She didn't spend her life chasing after every dollar she could make and making all kinds of investments in hopes of scoring big. She worked as a secretary for 43 years. She took a $180 investment and just kept reinvesting it until she had accumulated considerable wealth. No, we won't all be so fortunate to make an investment in a company like Abbott Laboratories but we can educate ourselves and learn to invest our money wisely to make the most of the money we do have.

2) Live below your means. We don't all have to live in one bedroom homes and never drive a car but I think most of us in today's society have more than we really need. Many live beyond their means and those who live within their means seem to be ahead of the game by today's standards. But we all really could live with less. Grace Groner had the means to live an extravagant lifestyle but chose not to do so. We can make that choice too.

3) Enjoy the blessing. Grace Groner didn't just stuff the money she had accumulated away. She knew what was important to her and allowed herself to enjoy what she had. Her happiness didn't come from material possessions. She surrounded herself with friends and stayed connected to her alma mater. She attended football games and cultural events at the school. She also traveled widely after retirement. What's really important to you? Is it the latest tech gadget or spending money on a fun outing with your family. Decide how your money is best spent and put the money there. For me, I love family outings and taking my kids different places and allowing them to have different experiences. I'd much rather spend my money that way than have the latest cell phone or designer clothes. The key is to keep that idea in mind when I'm facing the temptation to spend on something that doesn't fit with that priority.

4) Bless others with your abundance. So we may not all end up with $7 million to give away when we die but for the most part, we do all have an abundance to share with others. Grace didn't just give her money, she gave her time as well, volunteering for decades at a church. She blessed others through service, friendship and through her giving-both anonymously to needy families as well as her scholarship fund. So share your abundance whether it be time given to your children's school or a local food pantry. Or perhaps money to help a child living in poverty around the world. Or a meal to a friend who just had a baby or a neighbor you just lost a loved one. We all have something to give from our own personal abundance.

Grace's story has certainly given me pause. Since reading it yesterday morning I've thought a lot about how I'm really living out my priorities. Do my spending habits and saving habits truly reflect what is important to me? I'm not so sure they do. I've got some work to do. My goal has always been to bless others with my abundance but I really think I can do a much better job than I'm doing. Just looking around my house, I know I can do a much better job. So it's time to get to it and thank Grace for her lessons in frugality.



This wasn't a super week for deals. Publix really didn't have any deals this week to draw me in. And Winn Dixie really didn't have a lot either. I ended up using pretty much all my budget though because I bought some pricier organic products with some of the extra.

CVS-I find this purchase amusing. Candy and mouth rinse. The candy's for my oldest daughter's class though not my kids. ;)

I bought:
1 Listerine Smart Rinse $3.99
2 Gold Emblem Candy $1.76
$1/1 Smart Rinse
$1/2 Gold Emblem CRT
$2 ECBs
Total OOP: $2.06

Food World-When going through my coupons I realized I had a .50/1 Q for the rice instead of the .75/1 listed in the database which means I got the rice free. I hope my Food World ad readers got that too.

I bought:
2 Marcal TP $2
1 Mahatama Brown Rice $1
1 garlic .79 cents
2 $1/1 Marcal TP
1 .50/1 Mahatma rice doubled
Total OOP with tax: .94 cents

Winn Dixie

I spent: $46.63
I saved: $25.47

Weekly Total: $49.63
2010 Total: $450.47
9 week avg:$50.05

This post is linked to:
Southern Savers Friday Finals
Money Saving Moms Super Savings Saturday
I Heart Publix Weekly Totals


Goodwill Shopping Deals

We had a new Goodwill open here this week. I've been anticipating it's opening for over a month now as I drive by it frequently and they've had the sign up announcing the grand opening date. I was even more excited last week when I received a $5 off $20 purchase coupon in the mail for their grand opening. So I decided to brave what I was sure to be absolute craziness and go on the opening day. It proved to be even more crazy than I thought it would be. You couldn't really dig around for deals since there were so many people there but I did find some things we could use. I went there specifically looking for clothes for me, work shirts for my husband, summer clothes for my girls and some decorative items for our house. I also keep a running list in my head of things we could use and look for them at Goodwill and on clearance racks. I managed to make it out of there with only one impulse buy.

I bought:
1 Mini Boden top $1.50(for oldest daughter)
1 khaki bermuda shorts $1.50(for oldest daughter)
1 plaid bermuda shorts NEW $1.50 (for oldest daughter)
2 pair of sandals NEW $7.98 (for daugthers)
1 pk. spoons NEW $1.99(I'll use these in the girls lunches. We're down to just two spoons for lunches so these will be very useful. Also, I'm hoping the bright colors will keep them from tossing them.)
6 cloth napkins .79 cents (for lunch boxes)
Photoshop 6 for Dummies $1.99 (This was my impulse buy. I have had Photoshop 6 for years. I figured there might be something I could learn about it after all this time.)
1 medium white vase .89 cents
2 small white vases $1.18
Total with tax: $20.58
Minus $5/$20 Q
Total OOP: $15.58
This post is linked to:


Free Sample Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

Go here to request a free sample of Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets.


Ruby Tuesday: Free Appetizer With $10 Purchase

Go here to become a fan of Ruby Tuesday on Facebook and get a coupon for a free appetizer with a $10 purchase.


Coupon Preview 3/7

There will be three inserts in this Sunday's paper: 1 Smart Source, 1 Red Plum & 1 Proctor & Gamble. Stop by Southern Savers for a full list of available coupons. Remember coupons will vary by region.


The Limited: Free Pant or Skirt with Jacket Purchase

Through March 10, 2010 get a free pant or skirt when you buy a regular priced jacket in store or online at The Limited. Go here for details.


Giveaway Thursday

It's Giveaway Thursday here at The Money Jar. I host a MckLinky here each Thursday so you can share your blog giveaways. If you are hosting a giveaway, please leave your link. If you know someone hosting a giveaway, tell them to stop by and leave their link. Thanks! Please keep giveaway links family friendly

Be sure to enter my giveaway for 2 boxes of Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks and a $25 donation to One Laptop Per Child in your name while you're here.


Declutter Challenge: February Update

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time to check in and see how things are going with the Declutter Challenge. February was the month I had to admit I am too sentimental which leads to saving too much stuff-specifically cards and things made by my kids. While I have gotten better at letting go of this kind of stuff over the past couple of years, I still have loads of it from past years. I waded through scores of greeting cards as well as papers from my ahem 9-year-olds Pre-K & Kindergarten years and tossed, tossed, tossed. I did not count every single one but I'm sure I came close to my yearly goal if you counted them all individually. I know. It feels good to be getting rid of it.

I also decluttered by doing one of my favorite things, consigning! I love selling the girls gently worn clothing and toys at seasonal consignment sales. You get rid of the stuff and get some extra cash in your pocket. I prefer seasonal consignment sales over regular consigment stores because the turnaround is so quick. You get your money within a week to a week or two with the sales whereas you only get it monthly or quarterly through a store. The exception is consignment stores that pay up front but you usually get less money that way. So I stick with the seasonal sales.

Now for the update. Goal reminder: Declutter 50 items a month for a total of 600 items by the end of the year.

Here's how I did in February.

I tossed/recycled:
grocery size bag full of cards-at least 50-will count as 1 thing
5 owner's manuals for things we no longer own
8 old, worn towels & pot holders
an old food journal from when I obsessed about such things
bag of school papers-too many to count-will count as 1 thing
old foot stool
bag of 20 small toys

Placed in Yard Sale box:
2 pr. girls tights
5 Christmas themed frames
2 Christmas themed acrylic containers
1 Activity book
2 throw pillows
2 small dolls
Barbie Tea Set

Sold at Consignment Sale:
3 Wii Games
3 dolls
22 clothing items

My Monthly Total: 95
My Yearly Total: 164


$1 off Welch's Grape Juice Printable Coupon

All You has an exclusive printable coupon to get $1 off any Welch's 100% Grape Juice & 100% Grape Juice blends. Go here to print your coupon now. Other exclusive All You printable coupons include:

$1.25/1 Slim Fast product(excl. singles)
$2/1 Carvel Ice Cream Cake
$1/1 Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers
$1/1 Marie Callenders Home-Style Creations


Food World Weekly Ad 3/3-3/9

My Food World doubles coupons up to .50 cents. They also accept Publix and Winn Dixie coupons. Check with your store for their coupon policy.

Super Coupons-Spend $30 or more and get the following items free with In Ad coupons:
Bryan Thick Sliced Bologna or Weiners 12 oz.
5 lbs. Nature's Finest All Purpose Russett Potatoes
Malt O Meal Cereal-19 oz. Honey Nut Scooters, 23 oz. Frosted Flakes, 23.5 oz. Golden Puffs or 17 oz. Cinnamon Toasters

10 for $10
Sunny D drinks 64 oz. $1
.25/1 Sunny D 2/7/10 SS (.50 cents each)
Best Yet SwirlWhip Topping $1
Blue Bonnett Margarine Quarters 16 oz. $1
Bugles Snacks Reg. or Nacho 5 oz. $1
Zatarain's Fish-Fri or Shrimp Fri $1
Margaret Holmes Seasoned Vegetables $1
Veg-All 15 oz. $1
Mahatma Brown Rice 15 oz. bag $1
.75/1 Mahatma white or brown rice 2/7/10 RP (.25 cents each)
Martha White Muffin Mix 7-7.4 oz. $1
.55/1, .55/2 or $1/4 Martha White Baking Mix 2/14 RP (.45 cents to 75 cents each)
Bounty Basic Paper Towels $1
Faygo Soft Drink 2 liters $1
Gerber 2nd Food Baby Foods 2 pk. $1

Black Angus Beef Bone-In Ribeyes family pack $4.99 lb.
Sanderson Farms Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast B1G1
Center Cut Boneless Pork Loin $2.49 lb.
Fresh Ground Beef 75% lean family pack $1.79 lb.
Pork Tenderloin $3.99 lb
Center Cut Boneless Pork Loin Chops $2.99 lb.
Choice Black Angus London Broil $3.49 lb.
Choice Angus Beef Boneless Top Sirloin Steak $4.29 lb.
Boneless Pork Sirloin Chops $2.19 lb.
Royal Smoked Sausage 2/$5 or $2.50 each
Oscar Mayer Regular Weiners 2/$5 ($2.50 each)
Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Shaved lunch meat 2/$6 ($3 each)

Fishin Whiting Fillets B1G2
Fishin Bay Scallops B1G2
Fishin Flounder Fillets B1G2
Fishin Pollock Fillets B1G2
Fishin Perch Fillets B1G2
Fishin Cod Fillets B1G2

Red or Green Seedless Grapes $1.49 lb.
California Iceberg Lettuce .88 cents each
Asst. Variety Nature's Greens Cooking Greens 2/$5 ($2.50 each)
Zucchini or Yellow Squash $1.49 lb.
Washington State Gran Rose Apples $1.29 lb.
Dole California Mini Cut Carrots 1 lb. $1.79
Imported Jumbo Sweet Onions .99 cents lb.
Rutabagas .69 cents lb.

Blue Bell Ice Cream 64 oz. $3.88
$1/1 printable - must register-click Join Blue Bell under Extra Scoops($2.88 each)
Best Yet Chunk or Shredded Cheese 2/$3 ($1.50 each)
California Pizza Kitchen or DiGiorno Pizza 2/$11 ($5.50 each)
$1/2 DiGiorno pizza-found on tearpad at Winn Dixie($5 each)
Best Yet American Singles 2/$3 or ($1.50 each)
Kraft Deli Fresh Cheese Slices 2/$5 ($2.50 each)
Dannon Activia Yogurt 4 pk. $1.99
$1/1 Dannnon Activia 2/7 & 2/28 SS (.99 cents each)
Birds Eye Steam Fresh Vegetables 2/$4 ($2 each)
.35/1 or $1/3 Birds Eye Steam Fresh 2/28 SS ($1.30-$1.67 each)
Kid Cuisine Meals 2/$4 ($2 each)
B2G1 Kid Cuisine (up to $1.86) January All You ($1.38 each)

Food World Bread sandwich or round top .99 cents each
White Lily Flour 5 lbs. $1.97 each
Bama Grape or Apple Jelly or Grape Jam $1.59
Knorr Side Dishes 3/$4 ($1.34 each)
$1/3 Knorr Side Dishes printable-register here ($1 each)
Prego Spaghetti Sauce $1.99 each

This post is a part of BeCentsable's Grocery Gathering.


Winn Dixie Meal Deal 3/3-3/9

Winn Dixie has another Meal Deal this week.

Buy 2 DiGiorno pizzas for $13.98 and get the following items free:
Dole Classic Iceberg Salad 12 oz.
Totino's Pizza Rolls 15 ct.
Breyers Ice Cream 48 oz.
Pepsi product 2 liter

Also, be sure to check for a tearpad coupon for the DiGiorno pizza. I found a $1 off any 2 DiGiorno Pizza coupon near the regular DiGiorno display in the frozen food section. There were not any near the end displays where they keep all of the Meal Deal items together.


140 Free Address Labels

Vista Print

Get 140 address labels free from Vistaprint! You will have to pay for shipping. Go here to place your order. This is a limited time offer so get yours today.



The winner of the $5 Friendly's Gift Card is #5-Pat. Congratulations! Please contact me within 48 hours to claim your prize.


Rebate Roundup 2/28-3/6

>> Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My friend Greta at Friend Family Fun has the latest Rebate Roundup on her blog. Be sure to stop by and see how you can maximize your savings through rebates this week.


Betty Crocker Fruit Flavored Snacks Win & Give: Win Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks & $25 Donation In Your Name

Technology has become a integral part of my kids' education. We often use websites recommended by their teachers to help reinforce the skills and ideas they are learning at school. I'm thankful that we have the technological resources to allow my kids to get the most from their education but not every child has those opportunities. One Laptop Per Child is an organization whose goal is to "To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning."

With specially marked boxes of kid favorites - including Fruit Roll-Ups, Gushers, Fruit by the Foot, and Stickerz & Shapes - your child could win one laptop to keep and Betty Crocker Fruit Flavored Snacks will donate another to a child in Africa. Each day between now and May 30,2010, one laptop will be awarded to a U.S. winner. And for every laptop won, one will be donated to a child in Africa through One Laptop Per Child. For your chance to win, just enter a code from a specially marked box of Betty Crocker fruit snacks at

Watch this video to see how this program is helping children in Africa.

Win It!

I was thrilled when Betty Crocker through My Blog Spark provided me with two boxes of Betty Crocker fruit flavored snacks for my family and made a $25 donation to One Laptop Per Child in my name. Betty Crocker and My Blog Spark have also agreed to give one of my readers two boxes of Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks and make a $25 donation to One Child Per Laptop in their name as well. How great is that?!

To enter: Leave a comment telling me what you've done to encourage your children to give or share how you and your family help others. (This is a mandatory first entry).

For additional entries:
-Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect(see follow button on side bar) and leave a comment. (leave a comment if you already follow letting me know)
-Follow this blog on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know.(leave a comment if you already follow on Twitter.)
-Follow this blog on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know. (leave a comment if you're already a follower on Facebook.)
-Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment letting me know. (leave a comment if you already subscribe)

You may receive up to 5 entries for this giveaway.

Contest open to U.S. residents only 18 years or older.
Contest ends at 10 p.m. CST, March, 9, 2010.
Winner will be chosen by random number generator at random.org.
Winner has 48 hours to contact me after contest ends or another winner will be selected.

Prize is provided by sponsor.

Disclosure: Betty Crocker provided me with two boxes of Betty Crocker fruit flavored snacks, a $25 donation to OLPC in my name, information for review as well as sponsorship for this giveaway through My Blog Spark. All views and opinions expressed are my own.


National Catalina Offer List

Ann at Coupons, Deals and More has compiled a list of nationally available catalina offers. This means these offers should be available at any store that offers catalinas.

Here are a few of the offers available:

Purchase four (4) Kleenex (60ct+), Receive $1 OYNO Catalina
Purchase five (5) Kleenex (60ct+), Receive $2 OYNO Catalina
Purchase six or more (6+) Kleenex (60ct+), Receive $3 OYNO Catalina
ends 3/21/10

Purchase four (4) Post Cereals, Receive $3 OYNO
Purchase five or more (5+) Post Cereals, Receive $4 OYNO
ends 3/21/10

Purchase four (4) Pillsbury Refrigerated Baked Goods, Receive $2 OYNO Catalina
Purchase five (5) Pillsbury Refrigerated Baked Goods, Receive $3 OYNO Catalina
Purchase six or more (6+) Pillsbury Refrigerated Baked Goods, Receive $4 OYNO Catalina
runs 3/22 – 4/18/10

Be sure to stop by Coupons, Deals and More for the full list.

Thanks, Ann!


Free Subscription Rouge Magazine

Go here to get a free subscription to rouge magazine. This magazine includes coupons for P&G products. Yay for free coupons!


Lego Stores: Free Shamrock Mini Model Today Only

If you live near a Lego Store, your kids can get a free Shamrock Mini Model today, 3/2. This begins at 5 p.m. today and is good while supplies last. Open to children 6-14 years of age. Lego Stores offer a free mini model once a month so be sure to check with your store for future dates as well. Go here for more details and to find a store near you.


Free Bottle of Vitaminwater

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

Hurry over to Facebook and become a fan of Vitaminwater. The first 100,000 fans to fill out this form will get a coupon for a free bottle of Vitaminwater.

Thanks, Friend Family Fun!


Free Child Safety ID Kit

Click the banner above to get a free Child Safety ID Kit and learn more about the Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan.


Menu Plan Monday 3/1

My family was in town visiting over the weekend. We had a great time with a lot of laughter, a walk on the beach and wonderful food. The Chocolate-Cranberry Scones and Ham & Cheese Biscuits I mentioned last week were well received. Saturday afternoon I took the family to the local seafood market and that night my mom made her incredible Shrimp Creole for us all. I meant to get the recipe before she left but I forgot. I'll be sure to get it and share it here in the future because it's definitely something I'll be making. We have plenty of leftovers from the weekend so that's how we'll start our week of dinners off.

Leftover Shrimp Creole and salad
Black Bean Burgers(this is a new recipe. I'll share the recipe/review next week.)
Steak, baked potatoes, salad(carried over)
Turkey Tacos

For more menu planning ideas stop by Orgjunkie.com.


Free Kitchen Idea Book From KraftMaid

*Dead Deal* This goes fast.

Click the banner above to get your free kitchen idea book from KraftMaid now. These are usually gone within a few hours so hurry and get yours now.


New Month New Coupons

Welcome to March! With the new month comes new printable coupons. So be sure to print them for the upcoming sales. Here are some of the hot coupons available this month.

$1/1 Buddig Deli Cuts
$1/1 Crisco Olive Oil
.50/1 Land O Lakes butter with olive oil
$1.50/1 Vaseline Sheer Infusion body lotion
$1/2 Progresso products
.75/1 Gold Medal Flour
$1/1 YoPlus yogurt
.30/1 Yoplait Greek Yogurt cups
$1.50/1 Birds Eye Steam Fresh Meals

$1/1 Del Monte Fruit Chillers or Tubes
$1/2 Keebler Town House Flipside
$1.50/1 Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes
$1/1 Slim Jim Canister
$1.50/2 Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats, All Brand and/or Raisin Bran

$1/1 Seventh Generation diapers or wipes
$1/1 Country Choice Organic product
.50/1 Florida Crystals Organic and Natural sugar products

Whole Foods
$1/1 365 Everyday Value Organic Peanut Butter
$1.50/2 Nature's Path Organic Granola Bars or Hot Oatmeal items
$1/1 CLIF Quench Sport Drink
$1/1 Organic Valley Yogurt
$1/1 Method item
$1/1 Kashi Heart To Heart product
$1/1 Cascadian Farm granola bars or cereal


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