Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lost and Found

So last week I found 2 dimes, 1 outside on the ground on my way to my car and 1 in the laundry room on one of the dryers in my apt. complex. Can I start a lost and found change jar and use the found money towards food purchases? This will be for money found outside the home.

Gross? or Net?

By gross, I don't mean the roadkill idea from the previous post ;)

Question is: Will tallying $$$ spent be based on net or gross? So if I get 10 cans of soup for $1, will I tally the $.10 once I consume it or do I count the whole dollar? What if I want to eat 5 cans pre-challenge and only use 5 during the challenge, would I just count $.50?

Also, we need to rule if gas/mileage is exempt (pre-challenge and during challenge).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Food Sources

I have a few ideas about possible low-cost sources of food for this challenge.  As one of these opportunities is coming up tomorrow, I thought I'd share my ideas.

1) High Bidder - Tomorrow across the river from our building there is a restaurant going up for auction.  Those who know me also know that I make my living at auctions.  There was one auction in the past, a pizza chain distribution facility, in which I bought sooo much food for sooo little money. I stuffed every freezer I could find (including friends and family) and then donated 1000lbs to the local food bank!  Tomorrow won't be so glorious a take, but there is a 35lb jug of oil, several trays of seasonings, and who knows what else!

2) Banana Boxes - When I first got into our current business, I searched all over for sources of merchandise to buy.  At that time I became aware of a phenomenon called 'Banana Boxes' - literally leftover boxes from bananas stuffed with dented cans and dry goods past their expiration.  Trick is, you have to buy them a whole pallet at a time.  An internet search showed there is a company down in Akron that sells these.  I'll look into this soon.

3) 55mph Bullets - I don't know if it is done locally, but I know that in some Ohio communities there is a 'Roadkill List' for deer.  If you don't mind a phone call at 5AM you can get a raod-hunted deer for absolutely free!  I plan to call the sheriff's office and see if there is any program like that out here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Mark, Kathy, Todd, Mom and I had a discussion on Thursday evening about some of the strategies that we can use for the challenge. Extreme couponing came up and I agreed to post some information.  I am by far not a coupon extremist. I see the value with saving money, get enthusiastic, clip coupons and for some reason don't use most of them before they expire.

I haven't used all these websites/tips but got this information while I was taking a financial class. The guest speaker, a coupon queen, shops for a family of 4 and spends only $250 mo on groceries.

Websites: (sign up for weekly emails) (try new products for free)


Giant Eagle - doubles coupons up to $.99
CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Target - accepts mfg coupons and store coupons for the same item
Walmart - will price match with local ads and will give you money back if the coupon makes the item free

Note: I would double check with the stores to make sure that they are still offering these deals. For example, Giant Eagle is eliminating their food perks program, which I did not list above.

And here are some of my personal tips:
Nature's Bin - earn one point for every dollar you spend when you use your shoppers card. Once you get 500 points, you get $10 towards groceries
Earth Fare - sign up online for their Tomato Bank program and you get weekly coupons/freebies. If you give them your cell phone # you get 500 points which equals $5!

We need to clarify the coupon rules. For example Kathy asked if you are at Giant  Eagle and the deal is BOGO, can you use the free one for the challenge? Mark replied no.  My question is, does that apply to other deals? For example, the Earth Fare coupon that I printed today is for a free chicken or veggie burger if you spend $10.  How will that work if I'm gathering items pre-challenge?  If I'm accumulating points while doing ordinary shopping (ie, Nature's Bin), can I use those points during the challenge?

If anyone else has any tips, please post!