Why I don’t coupon AND how I still save money!

Why I don't Coupon & How I Still Save | Blog

I have been working very hard to bring you this Blog Post.

Recently I decided to go and do a little couponing. I normally don’t do this because a few years ago, I really tried taking couponing up and I am sure a lot of mom’s with mouths to feed have tried this adventure before too. I found it was like a part time job. So, here is my recent hull from couponing:

I Clipped out the coupons that were sent to me. If you are a couponer WEBSAVER.ca does have an easy way to get coupons.

I Clipped out the coupons that were sent to me. If you are a couponer WEBSAVER.ca does have an easy way to get coupons.

So, this was the hull! The grocery store near to me did not have any of the other items in stock so I ended up with this.

So, this was the hull! The grocery store near to me did not have any of the other items in stock so I ended up with this.

Why I don’t Coupon…

This hull doesn’t work for me and is a small example of why I don’t coupon. Below I go into the two major reasons. But first, here is why this couponing session didn’t go as planned:

One, I actually didn’t need the chocolate. However, I use it now as rewards for my Toddler to go potty. 1 for pee and 2 for poo 😀  Second, that little box of Cheerios fed all the kids cereal for one day. Not sure if the 0.50 off was really worth it and the actual paper towel I wanted, I couldn’t get. Canada watches for these coupon sales and sometimes they won’t have those specific items in stock during the sale time.

It looks so easy with the new Couponing Wars and Reality television shows, as well as money saving blogs that are out there and the fuss over them.

However, I have a large family! It took me a while to get used to this fact and we so badly want to buy a farm. Until then, we need to figure out how to still SAVE & be content with our lot in life!

Another reason couponing is hard for me is–I live in Canada, not in the US! So, this really gets hard. Canada has less population and overall consumerism has to stay strong in order for the country to function. Canada’s coupons have expiry dates and the stores willing to take them have many restrictions. The one store here that will allow overlapping coupons and you end up with a return to really profit from couponing is London Drugs. But, they don’t sell grocery’s! They sell cameras, toiletries, perfume, etc. It is hardly sensible to feed a family of seven off of this. Canadian Tire has amazing deals and coupled with coupons you can almost get your laundry detergent for free! Still, this won’t feed my 4 hungry boys!

That being said, I want to show you how we do save money on grocery’s for a FAMILY OF 7!

& How I Still Save…

We shop our big two week shops at Costco. One really great perk of having a big family is we shop there a lot and if you have their Executive Membership, it ends up paying for itself plus you get money back at the end of the year. Another way we save there is by buying their in-house sales. This really goes along way if you don’t mind not buying your favourite items every week. Plus, it brings diversity to your shopping.

Here is some of the In-House Sales our Costco had lately:

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After our Costco Shop, usually I hit other local stores for Organic produce on sale.

I am very happy to see so much choice now in our stores. Even Costco has been stocking their shelves with Organic items!

I watch for good sales!!

I watch for good sales in other stores!

This cereal, which is one we love buying and is our favourite was at a store near me, 2 for $10. That bag feeds my kids two bowls each. At five kids, that is $1/bowl. Not bad for the bowl sizes they get 😉

For regular produce we go to a local market and save lots of money by choosing that store. We try not to buy produce from any other stores, however bananas and a few things we will pick up at a grocery store that is well stocked in Organic Produce/Meat and is fairly reasonable. Unless the meat is on sale we won’t buy it. My husband hunts and we usually have a stock of venison in the freezer. But, here is some meats we got there:

Make sure you freeze these right away and use the day you take it out of the freezer to ensure freshness and quality when buying marked down items--especially raw meat!

SAVE $10–Make sure you freeze these right away and use the day you take it out of the freezer to ensure freshness and quality when buying marked down items–especially raw meat!

We like to get the double marked-down items for better sales on Organic Meats. If you go in the morning, they usually have the mark-downs from the night previous!

SAVE $7–We like to get the double marked-down items for better sales on Organic Meats. If you go in the morning, they usually have the mark-downs from the night previous!

So, that is it. There is so much more to say about this and there are times I will pull out coupons to get things, but it is rare. How do you do with couponing? Have you tried it before in Canada? Is there a way around the grocery items for couponing? How do you shop for your large family?

Ring in on the conversation below!!

Matthew 25:21 

“His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of they lord.” KJV


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Eating like a Shepherd!

Last night we enjoyed pie….

Not your regular pie. A Shepherd’s Pie, as we call it. I wanted to make something that represented the Shepherds on the day of the birth of Christ. These were lowly men in some people’s eyes yet honoured through God, to see the birth of His son. Before I came to Christ I was lowly too. What a wonderful God we serve!

Shepherd’s Pie came to be known as that around 1877 when they used meat such as mutton and lamb. But, it originally was for the poor when potatoes were introduced as a food staple in 1791. Then, it was called Cottage Pie.

Below I will show you how I feed my hungry crew of 7. This includes 4 boys, 1 man and two ladies 😀

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My Shepherds pie uses venison because my husband hunts and is a cheap means of meat for us. Plus, it is super lean and natural to eat–Which would have been similar to the foods resourced for back then, and it stays true to being a cheap meal today!

So Enjoy!

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Cooking Venison is cheap for us and may not be for others…

Use whatever you have available. However, if you use fattier meat. Omit the oil later and drain some of that fat out!

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Gather the amount of potatoes you will need. I need a lot.

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Peel potatoes. If you are like my mom and still use the old-fashioned knife…then, you probably still have all your potatoes–and you wouldn’t have accidentally dropped two in the garbage while peeling them, like I did!

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Chop into Bite-sized pieces! This cooks faster.

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Wash potatoes!

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Drain the dirty Potato water.

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Add clean water to your clean potatoes!

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Add salt to your potatoes. This is my little secret! Bring them to a boil and let them continue boiling at Medium heat as to not over cook them. You want them soft and falling apart but, not absorbing too much water!

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Add oil to your venison! About 2 tablespoons and start cooking on Medium/High heat.

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Gather 2 small onions and garlic cloves. I used about 5 cloves.

Chop into small pieces and mince garlic if you don’t have a garlic press.

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Gather spices that you would like to use.

I chose these to enhance the natural taste of venison and give it more of an authentic taste. I have:

Organic Better than Bouillon (I LOVE this stuff) 1 HEAPING Tablespoon.

2 Bay leaves

1/3 Cup of Rogers or Organic White Flour

2 Cups of water

Seasoning Salt of your choice

Thyme (1Tablespoon)

Marjoram (1 Tablespoon)

Sage (1 Tablespoon)

*We love herbs and spices 😀

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Add ingredients–except water, bouillon, and flour, to pot of cooking meat

(when it is about half way done cooking)

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Whisk water, bouillon and flour together.

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Add to meat, stir and cook a little more.

Take out Bay leaves, they are not edible!

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Drain Potatoes when done–that is when it is soft and mashes easily.

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Get some Organic frozen corn or another veggie you want to use. Layer on top of the cooked meat.

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Gather the Ingredients for making your potatoes.

You will need; butter, salt (to taste..use enough…) and cream

I like using half and half cream or full cream. I know, I am such a rebel!

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Use 1/2 Cup of cream and 1/4 Cup of butter.

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Whisk/Blend all into potatoes until very smooth.

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Spread potatoes evenly on top of corn layer. Sprinkle some paprika and marjoram on top for added appearance and flavour.

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Have oven pre-heated at 400 degrees.

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Place your pie into the oven!

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Set timer for 18 minutes.

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Now it is time to clean up the mess of making your wonderful Pie. 18 minutes should be enough!

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I had two minutes left and…

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got it all done 😀

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Take out your wonderful and nummy Dinner!

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If you are Canadian, you will want it with Ketchup. However, my kids have eaten all the ketchup which is perfect for me because I love it, just, as is.

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Enjoy!!

Luke 2:13-20  from Bible Gateway

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”


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Getting Creative…

 Creating a Home worthy of His Honour

Creating is a beautiful gift that I believe honours our Heavenly Father. Creation is, after all, something He knows well and enjoys Himself. It delights God to see His Creation following in His footsteps…so-to-speak!

As a mother, wife, homemaker and artist at heart, creating is not only therapeutic, but also mandatory in beautifying my home. This has saved me so much money by keeping costs low! If you can make the item you have been eyeing up with minimal costs, then you have saved so much and have gotten something-or even, exactly, what you wanted in return.

Here are some things that I have made at home to save costs:

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This is a little galvanized bucket from IKEA that I purchased and then painted with light blue paint a little bird and leaf on it. I had some extra lace/beaded fabric and hot-glued that on. Voila, super cute!

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With the same Galvanized buckets I painted a little bit of chalkboard paint on it and decorated with white wall paint around it to Shabby Chic it a bit. Done, and cheap!

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This is another IKEA invention. I damaged the outside of this plastic-y little mirror (I wished it was the old wood ones…those turned out better 😦  ) Then, I painted it with a white colour, after, a dark colour and wiped it off. This gave it an antiqued finish. I added a little old-barn look and feel to it, with a little brown laced bow, hot-glued burlap pieces, and some fancy lace from Michaels that I had left over from another project.

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This was actually a garbage dump find and is my work/office table that I work on to this day! I tightened up the screws, damaged it up even more….Gotta love that! It is my ultimate stress reliever, hehee. Painted a blue-ish colour, with the legs the antique white, then brown overtop of it all and applied the same antiquing finish to it. I have to say this was/is a longer project because I also lacquered the desk to seal in the paint with a few layers. LOVED this result and didn’t cost more than a paint brush and lacquer, as I already had the paint!

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This is my son’s painting! Each child did a painting. We had them framed and hung over their beds for professional artwork. Not only does it not cost much but, you are displaying your children’s beautiful work and giving it recognition…more than a “oh, wow, good job!” …could ever do 😀

Hope you loved these ideas. Tell me some things that you have done, or projects that you would like to do. I would love to hear about them!

Colossians 1:16

“For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for Him…” KJV

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Stylish Romance aka Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic

Keeping femininity beautiful, fresh and organic,

That is what I love about Shabby Chic!

I am always looking for ideas to transform my home into this Shabby Elegance. I love bringing hints of it throughout my home using decor similar to the expensive ones in pictures…but, on a big-family-sized budget!!

My husband is a hunter and has some organic skin furs and artwork that identifies to him. It is birthed out of his culture through his native background. I can’t really tell him it can’t be apart of our home but, I can love him and work with it. Thankfully, my style can embrace his too.

I love the Rustic aspects of this idea. We have redone some wood and painted it an antique white. It just brightens the wood and adds depth to the creases. As you can see, you don’t need to add a lot to make things appealing.

This is beautiful…However, in my house with 5 munchkins who don’t seem to understand beauty. This is an utterly failed attempt. I have a nice linen looking light beige table cloth to accentuate a certain colour in my dinning room and it did not take long before pen marked up one corner…to no one’s admission 😦 One day, I might be able to paint and make this living room a reality…

Until my boys are all grown up. Sigh.

Well, that is until the grand-children come over to play, heehee!

Simple and stunning…all you need: Little planter (find at a bible-for-missions type of place), papers (find around your house lol), clean white duvet and covers (check with dry cleaners–sometimes, nobody comes to pick up old duvets that have been professionally cleaned and they just want to get rid of them), super fluffy pillows (find cheap stylish pillows on sale), white clean painted white walls (find off-tint cans at local paint stores for less) and a thin fabric rug (go to your local auction house and find the best deals)!

Easy Project! Shop your local second-hand stores for old keys. Get an old frame (paint frame edges with a black chalk paint). In your local hardware store or garden store they have burlap fabric, often cheaper than fabric stores! Glue fabric onto frame, insert and attach keys. Voila! C’est fini ;D

Another easy project!

Get some of your favourite photos ready for print. Ask them to antique or vintage the photos when processing them. Go to Ikea, or Winners, or Target, or any local home-style store, and look for similar jars…(sometimes you can actually find them at the dollar store or a second-hand store, often even more beautiful too) Slightly bend photos after printed for the purpose of gently placing them into jars. Then, find the perfect spot to display!

Hope these encourages you to be keepers of your home with new and fresh ideas

That can be Elegant Magezine-Style, yet frugal!

1 timothy 5: 13-14 | Proverbs 31:27