The Friendly Frugalista


Blogging about coupons, discounts, freebies, sales, and more!

Blog Recommendation:

One of the bloggers I follow, Penny Raine, has her own line of eBooks called Creatively Simple with a variety of  home-maker-friendly titles .  She also sells other eBooks specifically related to cooking.  Late last year, I purchased a package of her Creatively Simple eBooks for a ridiculously low price.  The eBooks are easy-to-follow basic instructional books with helpful pictures.  One of the titles that I particularly liked and plan to use soon is Creatively Simple:  How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap.  I have already purchased several of the items needed to make the soap and am just waiting for my current supply of eco-friendly laundry soap (purchased in bulk from Costco) to run low.  Other tiles from the series that really caught my attention were How to Make Homemade Bread and How to Make Chocolate Cobbler.  I have been making homemade bread for several months now and have a couple of favorite recipes, but I’m looking forward to trying the recipes in Penny’s eBook.  As for the Chocolate Cobbler recipe, I’m pretty much game for trying anything chocolate at least once.  (OK, maybe not chocolate-covered bugs!)

Penny has special subscriber-only sales.  Check out her store and, if you’re interested in ordering from her, be sure to sign up for her newsletter subscription for all of her great specials!


Filed under: Arts, Crafts, & Sewing, BLOGS!, Christian, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), It's ALL Here!, Online Stores, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This Week at Meijer: Ad, Online Sales (No Coupon Code Needed), and More

I don’t have Meijer in my area, but it seems to be very popular with my chat board buddies who do.  In addition, several of the bloggers I follow are posting about the great deals at Meijer.  So, I signed up for the Meijer weekly ad in order to be able to blog about it too.  If you live in an area that has a local store, I envy you.  If you’re “deprived” like me and don’t have a local store to shop at, you might still be interested in the online store.  I know I’ll be checking it out thoroughly!

This week, Meijer is offering several deals in their online store:

*Buy 2 or more housewares, get 20% off all.  (No promo code needed.)

*Buy $40+ of HP ink, get a $10 gift card.  (Available in-stores too.)

*Save 5% in Grocery and Drug Store. (No promo code needed.)

Click here to search for a Meijer store.

Click here for the online version of the email ad.

You can also earn entries in the $1000 Power Review Sweepstakes by doing product reviews at  You don’t have to purchase the item at Meijer in order to review it.  Just look for an item you want to review in the online store, then click on its review tab to start the review process.  You can even add pictures or videos to your review.  Each qualifying review earns one entry in the $1000 sweeps.  Get the basic details here.   Get the official rules here.  There is a long list of retailers particpating in the Power Review Sweepstakes.  Get the list here.

While you’re visiting the Meijer web sit, be sure to take a good look around.  You can also register to use special features, such as the recipe finder, shopping list, and coupon printer.

Want to see how a fellow blogger saves big bucks at her local  Meijer store?  Click here to see what Megan of Daily Essentials and Deals bought this week!  I’m amazed!

Filed under: Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Coupons & Codes, Groceries, It's ALL Here!, On Sale This Week, Online Stores, Recipes, Retail Stores, Sweepstakes & Giveaways, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Download a FREE Healthy Recipe eBook from Recipe Lion

Click here for the download link.  To download, right click with your mouse and select Download Linked File or  Download Linked File As.

Filed under: Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), FREEBIES, It's ALL Here!, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vision Forum: Year-End Liquidation Sale, 30-70% Off

I’ve mentioned Vision Forum here before (see post here), so I’ll just get straight to the cut & paste from their email:

“Year-End Liquidation Sale — 250+ Items at 30-70% Off! Don’t forget! There are only four more days to save 30-70% during Vision Forum’s year-end liquidation sale! Help us reduce our inventory overstock, and enjoy great savings on products that will encourage your family. Save 30-70% on 250+ Books, Movies, Toys, and More Sale ends at midnight (CST) on Thursday, December 31, 2009. Offer is good only while supplies last, and may not be retroactively applied to past orders.”

If you’re a subscriber, click here to log in.

If you’re not already subscribed, click here to sign up for free.

Filed under: Arts, Crafts, & Sewing, Christian, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Expiring in December, Gardening, It's ALL Here!, Marriage, Family, Parenting, On Sale This Week, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Recommendation: Daily Essentials and Deals

Megan, author of Daily Essentials and Deals, has a family friendly blog site with (in Megan’s words) a three-fold  purpose:  “First to help me get my daily dose of the Bible (and be accountable), second to focus on family, and of course to talk about THE COUPON DEALS!”  I subscribed to Megan’s blog several weeks ago and have found her coupon links very helpful.  I also enjoy her posts and pictures.  If interested, you can subscribe to her blog.  Or, just drop in and visit her site once in a while.  I recommend subscribing because, as does mine, her blog has some time-sensitive offers.

Also, as a fun bonus, she sponsors giveaways.  The current giveaway is a bottle of lotion from Skin MD, which the company provided to Megan for the giveaway.  Click here to see the details and then leave a comment for an entry in the giveaway.  The giveaway is open to everyone!  :o)

Filed under: BLOGS!, Christian, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Coupons & Codes, Education, Homeschool, Education, Miscellaneous, Expiring in December, FREEBIES, It's ALL Here!, Marriage, Family, Parenting, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIRTY THUMB COOKIES: Our Submission for the Cookie Exchange (See Post Below)

My mother used this recipe when I was a little girl and it has always been one of my favorites for a quick, easy cookie.  It’s also tasty, which is always a plus!  :o)  I have seen similar recipes over the years and the name usually varies slightly.  Perhaps, some folks are put off by the use of the term “dirty” and choose instead to call them “Thumbprint Cookies” or something similar.  You can use any flavor of jelly or jam in the thumbprint.  Perhaps you’d like a specific color or flavor to fit with a particular event (such as red for Christmas). That’s when varying the type of jelly/jam can be helpful.


Butter, 2 Sticks

Sugar, 2/3 Cup

Flour, 2 1/2 Cups

Egg, 1

Salt, just a pinch

Jelly or Jam, Enough to Fill the Thumbprints

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients, except jam or jelly, with your hands.  The dough is pliable and easy to work with.  Roll dough into equal-size balls; press a thumbprint into each ball; and fill each print with jelly or jam.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Helpful Hints:

This is a kid-friendly recipe because it has few ingredients and is easy to mix.  You can get the children involved with mixing, making the prints (just not too deep), and even filling the prints with jam.  I have found that a baby spoon holds the perfect amount for filling most prints.  When baking, I prefer to use my stoneware cookie sheet or a regular sheet lined with parchment paper.  The cookies are less likely to get too done on the bottom with stoneware.  With parchment paper, they will slide right off and into the cookie jar!  :o)

Filed under: FREEBIES, It's ALL Here!, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , ,


On TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2009, the Christmas Cookie Exchange launches at the site of the Hillbilly Housewife.  Each and every blog or web site that participates will be submitting a favorite cookie recipe for the virtual exchange.  I don’t know how many recipes that will be, but I expect it will be a large number.  This is a GREAT way to get a lot of wonderful recipes and all you have to do is VISIT THE SITE to get them.For each recipe submitted to Hillbilly Housewife, she will post the title of the recipe and a link to the site that sent it in.  This is just about the fastest way I know how to get a list sites that are family friendly and full of information that may be of interest to you. AND, you’ll find lots of cookie recipes in the process!  Several of Hillbilly’s friends will be helping her with the virtual exchange, so I checked out their sites as well.  Below, you will find links to all four sites and a short synopsis for each one.

THE HILLBILLY HOUSEWIFE:  Low Cost, Home Cooking from Scratch

SPECTACULAR EATS has a site dedicated to cooking, which includes the categories “Cook Once, Eat Twice;” “Cooking in Season;” “Make Ahead Meals;” and more.

MOMS IN A BLOG is like several blogs in one with sections dedicated to “Health & Wellness;” “Christmas;” “Decor & Design;” “Frugal Living;” and more.

JUST NOT MARTHA is a blog with recipes, lots of links, and even a board where you can post a button to “plug” your own family friendly blog or site.

Check them out when you get a chance and don’t forget to visit Hillbilly Housewife on TUESDAY to get FREE Cookie Recipes!

Filed under: FREEBIES, It's ALL Here!, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nestle Coupon–NEW Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

I’ve mentioned Nestle before, but now seems like an excellent time to mention it again.  They are offering subscribers a coupon for .50 off two bags of their NEW Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels. They’ve included a recipe for Magic Mint Chocolate Bark.  The picture looks good enough to eat, so I can only imagine how tantalizing the real thing will be!  You betcha–I will be making this one!

To subscribe or search for the recipe, use the link below.  The recipe search box and the subscribe box are both in the top right corner of the main page.

Filed under: Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Coupons & Codes, It's ALL Here!, Recipes, , , , , , ,–Sign Up for FREE to receive Coupons, Samples, Recipes, Craft Ideas, & More

StartSampling will mail coupons to you for signing up.  The coupon book includes coupons for Febreze, Dove, Swiffer, etc.

StartSampling also has a page dedicated to e-coupons (you will need to download the free coupon printing software, which works with many coupon sites) and a page dedicated to Free Sample offers.  The coupons and special offers change from time to time, so it pays to check back on a regular basis.  You’ll also find recipes, craft ideas, helpful hints, and much more.

Here’s a list of a few of the brands with current offers at

Burt’s Bees, Dove, Enfamil, Febreze, Head & Shoulders, L’Oreal, Nature Made, Prilosec, and Swiffer.

Filed under: Arts, Crafts, & Sewing, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Companies w/ Paid Subscriptions (ie. Digital Magazines, eCards, etc.), Coupons & Codes, Free Samples, FREEBIES, It's ALL Here!, Rebates, Recipes, Sweepstakes & Giveaways, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This Week @ Homeschool Freebie of the Day

The weekly Heads Up email from Homeschool Freebie of the Day is in! Here’s the list of FREEBIES that will be available this week. Remember, you will need to visit the site EACH day of the week (Monday through Friday) to receive that day’s freebies!   By the way, I received bonus freebies for being a subscriber to Heads Up.  Don’t miss out on future bonuses for yourself; subscribe today!
Monday, Dec 7th:
A House NOT Divided: Promoting Unity in the Homeschool Family (MP3 audio)

You’ve heard the verses and caught the vision, but what can you do to get your children on your team?  Hal and Melanie Young, the authors of “Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys” have eight children, six of them sons.  They know all about bickering and

fighting and don’t like it!  Stop the squabbling and sibling rivalry and begin making memories!  In this  live-recorded, idea-packed conference workshop, the Youngs share how to tear down obstacles and build up family unity in fun, memorable ways, especially during the holidays!


Tuesday, Dec 8th:
The Cinnamon Bear- 8 More Episodes! (MP3 audios)

The wait is over… the next batch of programs is here! It’s THE all-time classic children’s holiday radio program, originally broadcast
back in 1938. Find out why hundreds of families make listening to the adventures of the Cinnamon Bear an annual family holiday tradition!
This is a delightful fantasy adventure for listeners of all ages, with great music, fun characters, and an engrossing (you-can’t-listen-to-just-one) storyline.  This week we’ve got episodes 9-16 for you, with all the rest coming in the next couple of weeks in plenty of time for Christmas!


Wednesday, Dec 9th:
“Origins of Holiday Traditions” Sampler (PDF ebooks)

From, we have this exclusive ebook sampler featuring three excellent stories on the origins of three familiar Christmas items: Christmas Trees; the hymn “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing“; and the classic story “The Legend of the Poinsettia”. Fascinating seasonal history!


Thursday, Dec 10th:
Gifts in a Jar by Jill Cooper & Tawra Kellam (PDF ebook)

Great idea book from LivingOnADime on making your own “in a jar” gift mixes and baskets. Tons of great ideas for easy, inexpensive home-made gift ideas!


Friday, Dec 11th:
Tales of the Nativity (PDF ebook)

Over two dozen classic stories, poems and readings based on Christ’s birth, plus several tales of Christmas with a Christian outlook.


The Children’s Book of Christmas Stories (PDF ebook)

20 classic holiday stories, legends and fables from the 1800s and early 1900s especially chosen for reading aloud that the whole family will enjoy!

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You can get all of these on their respective days at:

Note: If that link doesn’t work for you, try this one:

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Filed under: Arts, Crafts, & Sewing, Christian, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Education, Homeschool, Education, Miscellaneous, Free Samples, FREEBIES, It's ALL Here!, Marriage, Family, Parenting, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,