Sale OR No Sale? The Grocery Store Reality

*This is my opinion, it is obviously not a sponsored article and you will understand that ONCE you read the article.

This tag line should read: Buyer Beware you are about to spend money you don’t need to if you shop here.  Here we go again with Giant Eagle.  My love/hate relationship for one of our local grocery store chains runs deep. Sometimes I am their largest advocate and other times I dislike the ‘catches’ they offer with deals, or the pricing that is not a REAL offer.  As I was in the store again yesterday, I thought I might show you a bit of what I mean and let you see the pricing differences that sales often DON’T offer.  Let’s take a look at chicken on sale, and see what the real deal on the chicken really was? Look at I found at Giant Eagle yesterday, making me a not-so-happy Pittsburgh Frugal  Mom, based on Advertised pricing. Remember advertised pricing is just that, Advertised and someone has to pay for it!

I was just after boneless breast of chicken, I did not want the frozen packs, because I had an immediate need to use the meat and I did not have time to wait for the thaw out. I quickly headed to this sign, because the special was great, boneless chicken at $3.99, I’m In!

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This was their ‘advertised special’, it should be the best price they are offering right? Not so fast and in truest tradition of advertised specials, it is NOT the best price! Look at this price, only $2.39 a pound, and it is still BONELESS Breast of Chicken.

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Let’s Do the Math and see if the STORE ADVERTISED Special was really a deal?
not a deal,

Like I said, I have a love/hate relationship with this store, because while they offer so many different items, they also offer pricing that often does not make sense. While the average consumer may just swoop up the package with no concern for the pricing, Pittsburgh Frugal Mom actually looks at what she is paying for and compares the items. Yes, there is a 15% CHICKEN Broth, but that is not going to change my chicken, it is just broth. What is going to make an impact is the price per pound that I am saving. I can buy MORE chicken at less per pound and I can save money if I just buy the intended amount and spend less. Either way, not buying their ‘advertised price’ save me money.  Really it is apples to apples because it is just boneless chicken breast.

Moral of the story: advertised prices are just that, ADVERTISED, and someone has to pay for that advertising.  Don’t get caught in the advertised special pricing, read all the other, compare and save. There is always a way to save money when you are shopping and in this case, I saved $1.60 per pound.  I don’t need to pay more to save towards gas rewards, because even though I earn them while I shop, if I am paying more for food, that I could pay less for, I can out that money towards gas! BE smart when you shop and read pricing.

HP Connected Saving Me HUGE on Instant Ink

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of HP but ALL opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.

My Kids:  “Mom, did you get ink for the printer?”

Me: “I’m on it!” Grab car keys and dash out the door, while you toss a load of laundry in, round up the cat, answer 3 phone calls, start dinner and hope and pray that the large retail store near your home has your ink cartridges or you will be trudging 15 miles away.

Do you have days that go like this? May those days of ink and hassles be gone, meet the new era of printing that will save you time, and money beyond anything you can believe.

It’s a new day, and as the day progresses, time ticks away and soon the kids are back home from school, which lends to a new night filled with homework and endless creations on the computer.  Each child has at least one paper they need to print, or create and the busiest hub in our home is not the gaming center, rather the office.  Everyone schedules their office time, closes the door, and works on the computer.  Rewrite, compose, revise, and then redo again, and before you know it, that call that no mom wants to hear:  “MOM the printer is low on ink” or worse yet, “Mom did you pick up ink because the printer is out of ink!” With all the things that life throws at me, how is it possible to remember yet one more thing? The errand list is now bigger, homework is at a standstill, dinner is on the stove and then of course there is the bigger glitch; the price of ink.  Ink cartridges are expensive, there is not even a question about that, but I have found a more frugal way to save at least 70% off the normal ink cartridge prices and I want to share this secret with you.  After all, things that are this inexpensive can’t really be  a well-known fact or the price would be double, right? WRONG!

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As I have been busy printing out weekly menus and coupons on my HP ENVY 5530 series  and writing to you about it, I know you have to be wondering how in the world I could figure that coupon printing was savvy just because ink itself is so cost prohibitive? The printer itself is a great home office tool for both work and family, but HP too is so amazing with all that it offers from content filled printables to an ink replacement program that will make ink pens shake in their retractable cases.  HP gets how busy families are and they are making our lives easier.  Here is how this Pittsburgh Frugal Mom has been saving money on ink for her printer: The HP Instant Ink Replacement Service.

Let me start with what you are NOT going to get, I mean after all with prices starting at $2.99 a month for ink replacement you are not going to get that much.  WRONG! You’ll NOT run out of ink ever and the printing cost is so much less than the traditional ink cartridges you purchase.  HP Instant Ink will provide you with NOT needing to run out the door to buy ink and NOT having to worry about recycling because HP will handle all of those details!

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Are your eyes popping out of your head because these prices are so inexpensive and is your credit card sweating because it might not be used as much? What can you expect from the HP Instant Ink Replacement Service?

  • Ink, shipping, and cartridge recycling are included.
  • Monthly plans are based on pages printed, not cartridges used.
  • No annual fee—Change or cancel plans anytime.(exceptions apply- see site for exact details)

SO let’s talk dollars and cents and find out where you have been and why you have been missing out on this awesome sauce program? What do you need in order to join in on this great program that will have you revising, re-doing and printing without worrying about the dollars and cents you typically would just toss out the door.

Purchase an eligible HP Printer. They are all really reasonable and depending on the features your printer may run a low as $99.  These printers scan, print, copy and more.

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-No more stress and no more REMEMBERING to purchase INK for the printer because the Printer does that for you. Smarty Pants, actually, Smarty Printer.

-Your internet connection is the way the HP Printer will communicate with the HP Instant Ink ‘Secret’ service, at least that is how I like to think of it, after all they communicate secretly and all I know is that INK shows up on my doorstep before the kids declare their need for more! Beat that.

-My printing needs can change from month-to-month(think summer break and less printing), but any unused pages are rolled over for you.  You can change your plan up or down anytime you have need.  Again, the site has all the details, but I can tell you that the service is real, inexpensive and awesome.

What I have found over this last month is that I can sanely maintain a home with a few new options made available to me at a minimal cost from HP. My investment: a new HP Printer that is compatible with the services being offered.  My gain?  Printables from HP are free and offer me content filled options like menus, Disney printables and coupons that save me money.  Menus save me the hassle of thinking about what to make for dinner, and the option of printing out a shopping list as well as money saving coupons leaves me stress free and able to shop, quickly and efficiently, saving me MONEY.  The printer itself is feature rich and so easy to use. My newest ink obsession, has me happily printing, revising, re-doing and not running out the door when ink is low, as the HP Instant Ink program saves me $100′s of dollars a year and time making it a true Pittsburgh Frugal Mom consumer’s best buy!

Now, I would love for you to be able to win your own and HP is going to provide ONE HP Envy 3330 Series Printer to ONE lucky reader. Will it be you? This is an amazing win for one of you!
Now is your chance to win this great printer. Please follow all directions and remember, every entry is another point for you, so make sure to complete all the tasks, and good luck.
Giveaway Ends 4.8 at 11:59pm. RV of item is $99.99 and will be shipped directly to winner. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to respond, failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen. Giveaway valid for US Entrants Only of ages 18+. No P.O. Boxes accepted as mailing addresses.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

my blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment, HP will be fulfilling printer.

The Total Home

Did you ever notice how one project leads to another and every project, no matter how clean your home is leads to more cleaning?  I simply don’t know where all the dirt, dust, debris and piles of things come from, but I do know that I have to keep things, clean and organized. [Read more...]

New Year New You ~ Get Your Bobble’d Water

bobble info

Get your bobble’d water, that phrase is so catchy and fun!  A New Year, A New You is my focus on starting something new and there are a lot of ways to kick in the new year with a positive note  and the product I am about to present will have you filling up on water, helping your body stay hydrated and flushed, as well as saving the environment one bottle at a time!  The greener you live now, the better the future will be for our children. My latest find will help you save 300 water bottles from being tossed into recycle bins or just tossed into landfill and it should help you save money as you stop buying water at the store and start using plain old tap water and refilling a bottle that can meet all the challenges of that water.  Meet bobble!

bobbled water

Bobble is a refillable water bottle that offers a carbon-based filter to reduce odor, chlorine and organic contaminants from tap water.  The bobble is recyclable(after you have just used it too much), made in the USA, and is BPA Free.

The fact of the matter is that we use too many plastic bottles of water in the USA and they are filling up our landfills.  We have children that we are bringing up and if we continue to create the fill that we are currently making it will overtake the healthy areas we have left to live in.  We want our children to prosper and grow and enjoy our great country so we need to take care of it and bobble will help as it is a reusable water bottle. Additionally, filling your own bottle of water is a lot more frugal than buying a bottle every-time you are thirsty. Your body needs to be hydrated in order to function properly, so bobble it and do the world and your body some good!

Get ready to have a great new year as you start off with this great new resolution to help the planet and help yourself. Happy New Year and get ready to bobble.


Surviving The Holidays Financially

Everything Doormats Flag

Before, during and after the holidays there is stress in many households because of the unbearable financial pinch that is about to bite more out of a budget that already has some serious chomps in it! How you fight off debt, or make the season tolerable is completely your choice, but these tips and tricks might just help you survive the season of the money!

The holiday season is incredibly fun, happy and seriously crazy with its demands on us as parents, people, and monetarily!  Here is how some of your favorite bloggers get creative, crafty, and really frugal with the demanding season! Pittsburgh Frugal Mom, Natural Hair Latina, and Pittsburgh Frugal Mom have gotten down and dirty with savings and getting the most out of your holiday with money, gifts and enjoyment!

First up, let’s get crafty and remember the true spirit of the holidays with some well-voiced thoughts from Mommy’s Memorandum who knows there is more to the season of gifting than buying those commercial gifts! Mommy’s Memorandum offers some great insight to the season of gifting!

When I was in 8th grade I remember my mom sitting my siblings and I down and explaining we were going to be doing a “Homemade Christmas”. That year I gifted homemade dolls to my 8th grade girlfriends. I was embarrassed. Then when I was 18, I happened to be at one of those girlfriends’ homes and on her bed was the doll I had made her. I smiled and said, “I can’t believe you kept this.”
She took the doll from my hands and held it to her chest and said, “How could I not? No one has ever given me a gift so great. You made this for ME!”
When I married and we had little money and the holidays had my husband’s large family beyond our budget, I returned to that homemade holiday. I spent night’s hand sewing blankets, dolls, making “puddle hoppers” and more.
Through the years, Homemade Holiday has been my go to. When my oldest was five and we arrived with boxes filled with things we’d made–ornaments, toys, food and more, he puffed out his chest and replied, “Look at all we have to GIVE!”
My crafting days slowed down and these past few years have been commercialized at our home. Last year I went home for the first time in ten years. As store bought gifts continued to be opened, I paused and said, “What happened to homemade Christmas?” There was a quiet that filled the room as we all remembered those moments.
This year my baby sister is returning to the tradition. She’s spending her time, creating magical gifts by hand and heart. Hers will be the gifts I am most excited to open. The ones I celebrate.
Whether your budget it tight or not, consider a homemade holiday. There are so many options…we’ve:
  • dipped plastic spoons in flavored chocolate and caramel for coffee stirrers
  •  created ornaments–as simple as tracing our new baby’s hand on construction paper or using clothes pins to make reindeer
  • Taken #10 cans, add cord and made Puddle Hoppers.
  • Made neck warmers with rice and dishtowels
  • drawn circles on paper and colored the center red for target practice
It’s the most rewarding holiday you can ask for to see the delight in someone’s face, knowing they were thought about and their gift was indeed one of love.
 Now if you go a little overboard on that spending, Latina Reddick is the owner of  blog NaturalHairLatina  offers you a few thoughts on: Is Gifting During The Holiday A Scam for Debt?

Holiday shopping reality is setting in. You know your family deserve all the gifts in the world, but perhaps you’re not sure just how you’ll pay for them. You could max out your credit cards, but debt doesn’t sound like the brightest ideal. You need to set a budget.

Setting a realistic holiday shopping budget, simply means you need to prioritize and plan how you will spend your money.

Decide how much you will spend on on each person and remember If you overspend in one area,  you’ll have to make up for it by spending less on something else.   Also, be creative. Think Frugal and DIY!

Setting a realistic budget doesn’t mean you can’t have the perfect holiday on a budget. It is only a means of making it affordable so you can enjoy your holiday, without worrying about how much it cost. Learn more about How Do You Avoid Sinking Into Holiday Debt with Latina and join her for the GiveawayExpress  a website committed to finding the best contest, sweepstakes, giveaways, instant win prizes, promos, deals and special offers on the web.

Pittsburgh Frugal Mom loves the holiday season and her insight is all focused on earning while you spend!  Pittsburgh Frugal Mom loves gift cards as they are a one size fits all and the choice is vast! Many grocery stores across our great nation offer future discounted gasoline purchases when you buy gift cards in their store for gifts or your own use, but how you actually manage these cards will make the difference in your spending habits.  Buying a gift card and stashing it in your purse is a waste, don’t let balances go unspent, use a great app to mange those cards!

Did you know that gift card purchases are up this year and sales continue to rise, but if you have gift cards in your wallet make sure you are using them! If you are stocking up on gift cards to cash in on the gasoline perks popping up at the different grocery stores in our area, make sure you have a handy app to manage those card balances: GoWallet. You can use the app from your computer or your smart phone. GoWallet is a one stop place for your gift cards to be managed in and it offers real time gift card balance for supported gift cards. Your information is with you all the time on your phone. GoWallet is a secure alternative to toting around your cards. The app provides access to your cards immediately and you have access to your cards, leaving you with no unspent balances, which is very frugal!

Save your money, think before you spend and remember the true spirit of Christmas is green, and that is only in the trees you see!