Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to Price Match at Wal-Mart

Price matching at Wal-Mart is very simple. I started price matching about a year ago and wish I had started sooner. For some reason I was hesitant anticipating push back from the checkers. In my year of match matching, not one checker has ever complained or given me any grief at all. 

Yesterday, I price matched these items.  I asked the cashier, "Do you have many people price match?" 

"All the time," he replied. "I love it because then I know what items to go buy and price match for myself. Last week, a local store was advertising pizzas for 58 cents. Me and my buddies bought a bunch." 

Yes, last week Apple Market advertised Red Baron Pizza's for 58 cents. I assumed it had to be a mistake and that Wal-Mart would not honor the price match. I purchased one pizza and they price matched with no complaint. These pizzas typically cost  in the $2.75-$3.25 range. I could have bought several but decided I really didn't need a bunch of high calorie, highly processed pizzas sitting in my freezer tempting me. I bought one for some night I am feeling exceptionally lazy and unmotivated to cook. 

OK, so enough of my blabbing. Start by going through your local grocery ads (don't forget Target, Menards, CVS and Walgreens). I like to go through the grocery ads with a black marker and circle any great deals I find. For example, this week Aldis has avocado's and lemons for 19 cents each, 1 1/2 pounds of vine ripe tomatoes for $1.69 and a 3 pound bag of onions for 99 cents. Apple Market was advertising red peppers for 55 cents each and cantaloupe for 99 cents each. 

I picked out the items and took to the checkout stand. I always separate my price match items from the regular items and tell the cashier I have a few items I would like to price match. I say "please". I keep my advertisements in hand and point to the advertised price. The cashier inputs the new price. SUPER SIMPLE! Often, after the first ad or two, they don't even look at the ad. They have a line and are in a hurry. 

So, things to do:

1)  Ad in Hand
2)  Items Circled for Easy Reference 
3)  Make Sure Advertisement is for Current Week
4)  Items Must Match Exactly and I have found that often Wal-Mart does not carry the advertised item in the same sizes or flavors
5)  Go early on the first day of the Ad to make sure Wal-Mart has it in stock (they won't be stocking up on other stores sale items and may sell out quickly)

So, how much did I save? Here's the breakdown:

6 Avocado's at 19 cents each, total $1.14
Wal-Mart price for 6 Avocado's (94 cents each) $5.64
I saved $4.50

3 lemons at 19 cents each, total 57 cents
Wal-Mart price for 3 Lemons (35 cents each) $1.05
I saved 48 cents

1 Cantaloupe for $1.00
Wal-Mart price is $1.98
I saved 98 cents

2 red peppers for 55 cents each, total $1.10
Wal-Mart price for 2 red peppers ($1.68 each) $3.36
I saved $2.26

24 ounces of tomatoes for $1.69
Wal-Mart price for 24 ounces of tomatoes ($2.49 pound) $3.73
I saved $2.04

3 pound bag of onion (forgot to include in picture) 99 cents
Wal-Mart price for three pound bag, $2.68
I saved $1.69

Total amount saved with price matching on this trip was $11.95.
If I saved this much every week, it would add up to $621.40 a year in savings. 

I have found that often stores will have one or two items on sale that I am interested in purchasing. Instead of running all over town, I can simply price match at Wal-Mart and save gas and time. 

And, while I am a big Aldi fan, quite honestly the 19 cent avocado's were small and hard as a rock. Wal-Mart's were larger and riper. 

One final note, I have heard (but never attempted) that if another store is advertising their store brand item at a certain price, Wal-Mart will match their store brand item (in same size) for the same price. 

How to Regrow Celery

Being as frugal as I am, I am amazed I am just learning this trick...regrowing celery or as I like to call it "Perpetual Celery". I bought this celery at Aldi and I think I paid somewhere in the $1.19 range for it. 

Next cut off the end of the stalk about 2 inches above the base. I just read that the greener the stalks, the more nutrients they contain.

Pascal celery (pictured above) is in the same family as carrots, parsley, dill and cilantro. Celery is an antioxidant and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It also has quite a bit of vitamin K, folate, vitamin A and potassium. 

Then just place the stump in a dish of warm water in a sunny window. Within days you will start to see the celery regrow.  You can then plant the celery directly into your garden or a pot filled with soil. I am almost ready to "transplant" these little beauties to a jiffy pot for future transplant outdoors. Celery prefers cool temperatures and lots of moisture. I have read it is difficult to transplant and grow. I will let you know how this kitchen experiment plays out. It seems simple but as I seek simple, I find hardly anything actually is simple. Big sigh. 

I am having such success regrowing celery that I took the end of a lettuce stalk and stuck in some water a couple of days ago. My window sill is starting to look a little crowded. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

How to Make Easy, Simple Moist Apple Cake

This is one of my favorite recipes because it came from my Grandma Summers. Once my husband told Grandma how much he liked this cake. Ever after, she make this cake for him almost every time we visited.
This is a very easy cake to make and is very, very moist. To begin, chop up 3 1/2 to 4 cups of fresh apples.
These are the ingredients you will need:
2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/3 Cup Oil
3 T. Water
3 Cup Flour
1 Heaping Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 1/2 - 4 Cups Chopped Apples
1 1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (Optional)
This is what I call a dump cake. You take all the ingredients and dump them together. Stir until well mixed.

This is the "dough" before I added in the apples. It's so thick that it is the consistency of play dough. At this point, you will be thinking, "This can't be right". Trust me. It's very right. Pinch off a piece and taste. It's delicious.
Now mix in those chopped apples and the nuts must if you must. I don't particularly care for nuts so I usually leave them out. It will be hard because the cake mix is so thick. Keep trusting me.

Pour into a greased cake pan. Pour is not really the right word. The mixture is so thick that the process is more like dumping and spreading. Bake at 350 degrees until done. The cake is done when an inserted knife comes out clean. I start checking at about 45 minutes.

Cut into pieces and put a dollop of whipped cream on top for garnish. The whipped cream is a very important feature. Don't forget it. Eat and enjoy.