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Pumpkin Carrot Cake Muffins

Guest Post by Katie from goodLife {eats}

When I first saw Crystal and Jessica talking about freezer cooking, I shied away from it. I made excuses: That’s not for me. I don’t have a big freezer. I like being spontaneous and creative in the kitchen. I don’t have time to cook a whole month’s meals at once, nor did I want to. Being a food blogger, I wanted to be able to cook on my own schedule and as I was inspired.

BUT, eventually I realized that having a few things in the freezer would make life easier. Especially breakfast!

Our family loves muffins, waffles and pancakes for breakfast. I don’t always have time to whip up a new batch of whatever we’re in the mood for, and sometimes I’m out of the ingredients we need. That’s where freezer cooking came in for me.

Baking is easy and fun, something my kids love to do with me. And breakfast isn’t usually something I’m as spontaneous with, except for maybe on the weekends. Instead of tackling my freezer cooking projects all at once, I do them when the opportunity strikes and as time allows. Often times, my son will say “let’s make muffins!” just because he wants to. I take that opportunity to make a double batch and freeze the extra for later.

Here is one of our new favorite muffin recipes. I’ve doubled it for you below so you can have 1 1/2 dozen for now and 1 1/2 dozen to stash in your freezer. Or maybe you’ll even stash all 36 in your freezer.

They are super easy, healthy, and a great way to start the morning. You don’t have to frost them with the sweetened cream cheese. That’s just a little something to make them feel more special, but they are certainly just as good without it! I take advantage of the “frosting” and tell my kids that we’re having cupcakes for breakfast!

Katie Goodman believes that part of the goodness in life is sharing good food with friends and family. She’s a SAHM determined to make family meal time a priority while providing a variety of healthy and delicious food choices. Katie blogs at goodLife {eats} where she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life. She also contributes to Craftzine.com, Paula Deen Online, and Tablespoon.


31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget: Should You Ever Pay For Coupons?

Missed the first posts this series? Read them here.

While I’m a big proponent of getting coupons for free, I definitely think there is a time and place to pay for coupons. Maybe you live in an area which gets very low-value coupons. By buying coupons online, you’ll be able to get some of the higher-value coupons that your region missed. Or, perhaps you don’t have time to mess with tracking down coupons from free sources, so it’s just easier and more time-efficient for you to purchase coupons online.

I also think that it can be a great deal to purchase coupons if there’s a high-value or free coupon out on something you need and use. If you’re going to be buying it anyway and you can spend $0.05 per coupon to save $2 per item, than it might very well be a great deal.

In addition, if you use a lot of coupons, I think it can be a wise investment to purchase a newspaper subscription or All You subscription–provided you get a great price on them!

Where to Buy Coupons

1) Get a Sunday Newspaper Subscription — If you live in a large city, you’ll more than likely get a good stack of coupons each Sunday in your newspaper. If you can purchase a newspaper subscription for $1.50 per week or less, it’s often worth it to do so as your savings will likely be ten times that–if not more. Plus, you’ll have the coupons delivered straight to your home every week, as soon as they are available.

DiscountedNewspapers.com offers the best prices for most newspaper subscriptions that I’ve found. I highly suggest checking out their prices before you order a subscription elsewhere.

If you don’t live in a big city, try checking cities within 1-2 hours of where you live to see if you can get their newspaper delivered to you. You’ll often get a better selection of coupons from larger city papers than you will from small town newspapers.

2) Order Coupons from Ebay — Ebay is an excellent source for coupons. You can order an assorted lot of them, or specific coupons. Be sure to order through Ebates in order to get 1-3% back on your order.

3) Order from Coupon-Clipping Services — There are a number of different websites which offer individual coupons for sale. These are usually priced around $0.05-$0.15 each, depending upon their value and demand. You’ll have to pay shipping, in most cases, so you’ll want to order enough to make it worth the cost of shipping. A few sites I’d recommend would be The Coupon Clippers and Manufacturer’s Coupons.

If you’re wanting to order whole inserts, Coupons and Things by Dede offers these.

Remember to be wise when ordering coupons. Don’t go spend $30 each week on piles of coupons when you’re on a tight budget and don’t need or use the items you’re buying coupons for! Use moderation and carefully evaluate whether paying for coupons is truly a good deal for you or not.

Do you buy coupons? If so, what are your favorite places to purchase them from?

Get the latest coupons delivered right to your door for
as low as $1 per week with Discounted Newspapers!


48-Hour Giveaway: 20 free product coupons from Fisher Boy

*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ***

Fisher Boy gave away 20 free product coupons on my blog late last year and they were so excited with how many of you entered that they asked if they could run another giveaway.

They generously sent us some samples of their Fisher Boy line along with the fixings for dinner last week. We decided we’re not huge fans of fish sticks, and I thought the crab cakes were pretty near awful (actually ended up throwing out half the package, so you know I really didn’t like it!), but all of us really liked the hand-battered Fish Fillets. And it was nice to have a night off from cooking!

You can print a coupon for $0.75/1 Fisher Boy product here.

I’m giving away one free product coupon from Fisher Boy to 20 winners today. Would you like to win? Just leave a comment on this post (click here to do so) within the next 48 hours and you’ll be entered! 20 winners will be chosen and post on Monday.

Freezer Cooking Day Extravaganza: April 30-May 3, 2010 (Join us for a #OAMC Twitter Party today!)

FishMama and I are joining ranks again to bring you another Freezer Cooking Day Extravaganza this weekend (April 30-May 3, 2010). Want to play along?

::Follow along with our Facebook Event page.

::Attend our Twitter party this afternoon from 2-4 pm, CST. We’ll be using the hashtag, #oamc and discussing all things related to freezer cooking. Come bring your tips and questions and interact with dozens of others from around the country who are interested in freezer cooking. Newbies and professionals alike are welcomed. You might want to go ahead and follow @MoneySavingMom and @FishMama so you’re ready to jump in this afternoon!

::Cook and Link Up! Plan a few things (or a slew of things!) to bake or cook and stick in your freezer and pick a day or two over the next week to tackle your chosen recipes. I’ll post my plan and a link-up opportunity tomorrow afternoon (Friday, April 30, 2010) so you can share your plans. I’ll be cooking over this weekend and will share pictures and recipes on Monday as well as a link-up opportunity on Monday afternoon (May 3, 2010) for you to share what you accomplished.

Target: Free Dove Ultimate Travel Size and Carefree liners

Here are two more freebies available at Target this week:

Dove Ultimate Go Fresh (.5 oz. travel size)–$0.97
Use $2/1 any Dove Ultimate printable coupon or $1/1 any Dove Deodorant from the 4/25 RedPlum insert
Free after coupon
(The coupon will likely beep on this deal because it is greater value than the product value, but the Target Coupon Policy states that they will reduce it down and accept it.)

Carefree Original To Go Pantiliners Scented (22-count) $0.97
Use $1/1 any Carefree Product coupon from the 4/25 SmartSource insert
Free after coupon

Thanks, Totally Target and Give Me Neither! Photo from Give Me Neither.

See the more deals at Target this week here.