Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Grandma and Trisha

Hi, I am Sues little sister in SLC. No big info on my post, just wanted to check in, be a part of it. Since my daughter Lily came home for the holidays, I have been washing things to recycle them, (her presence always ups the recycling game in our house she is big into sustainability) you know Jam jars and such, so they are pretty and useful so I have been saving and using them, it reminds me of my grandmas house and I like doing something just like her:) I have been eating vegan for 28 days, following the Engine 2 diet by Rip Esselstyn-It is vegan-no oil-no sugar. I feel quite well and was amazingly strong at the gym today. Anyway I have been buying a lot of beans and grains in bulk and have been using my recycled jars for them. I am working on making my own Chai Tea mix and have alot of those ingredients and they are great in the jam jars, I hate having a bunch of bags in my cupboard from buying in bulk. So if anyone has a Chai Tea recipie they like please share! The next thing I would like to make myself at home is an oatmeal based body scrub, anyone out there ever done anything like that? My current claim to fame-I have for the most part not taken a plastic bag at a store since Jan 1 2009-today at Walmart I forgot to take in my reusable bag and told the cashier "I would just carry my stuff out and she said "Are you sure" and I told her I was saving the planet one bag at a time:) She did not really get it but it was fun for me-Have a great Saturday-Trisha

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Walmart's 90 day Rx Deal

Walmart's $10 generic prescriptions for 90 days beats my after insurance price on two of the medication I take. I am now saving $32.00 a month since switching. I love to save money! They also have 30 day prices for $4.00. Check out their list of covered drugs at

Oh, and they offer free home delivery via mail, too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian

This is a new cooking show that we have found that makes a great promise with every show:
four people, ten bucks, infinite possibilities. The meals she prepares are really good and very easy to make. She’s a mom so the meals are kid-friendly. She has some great tips to go along with her recipes.

The show is on at 12:30pm Sunday on the Food Network but I check out the website for the recipes & demonstrations.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Banana Bags $1.00

Albertson's sometimes has a bag or two of ripe bananas for sale for $1.00 a bag (check the floor near the banana display). These are great for immediate eating, baking, or freezing for smoothies. The other day when I was in buying those apples I told you about yesterday, I saw that there was a big pile of single loose bananas on the display table. They looked like good candidates for banana bags, so I hunted down the produce lady on duty and asked her if she was wanting to sell some of her loose bananas. She seemed pleased I would ask and went to get me two banana bags and said fill them up! I can't stress enough to ASK for what you want and need. 75% of the time I get a YES! I just feel so good helping Albertson's get rid of those bananas before they spoiled...

More about Bananas HERE

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Albertson's policy

Today I bought a bag of apples at Albertsons, and they rang up $1.49 a pound. I knew the sign said $1.00 a pound so I spoke up to the checker. She checked and I was indeed correct. They have a policy that if something rings up wrong you get it free (one item). I wasn't sure what she would do with a whole bag of apples, but was pleased when she rang the entire bag for 50 cents a pound! Thank you Albertsons! Does anyone know if this is policy at other grocery stores?

Moral of the story: Don't be shy to say when something doesn't ring up right. It pays off!

PS. It is our duty to speak up when we are undercharged as well. Be a good citizen friends.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Show Love 2 Loveland by Recycling

The more you recycle the less garbage you have to pay to be picked up. It is the Fru-Gal thing to do!

During February the city of Loveland is converting over to an All-in-one recycling cart. I have been on the pilot program for the past 6 months and really find it so convenient to mix all of the following in one large, covered bin.

  • Aluminum and steel cans…rinse
  • Metal paint and aerosol cans…ensure they are empty
  • Plastic containers #1-7…remove caps/lids and rinse; no bags, food trays or Styrofoam
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Office paper and direct mail…no shredded paper
  • Paperboard…remove box liners and flatten
  • Phone books and softbound books
  • Corrugated cardboard…remove packing materials and flatten; cut down large pieces so they fit in cart

Do not put the following in your recycle bin, but you may drop them off at the recycling center:
Shredded paper, har
dbound books and paper milk/juice cartons. To find out what other materials are accepted at the recycling center, click here.

Glass Recycling: We are encouraged to take our glass bottles and jars to one of six glass recycling drop-off centers in Loveland, rather than putting them in your blue cart. Click on Glass Recycling to learn more. I find the one at the West Eisenhower Wal-mart parking lot to be very convenient.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The less you toss, the less you pay!

Here in Loveland, Colorado we have two options for city pickup of trash. You can purchase trash stickers for $1.50 (good for up to 30lb. bag) or you can rent a trash container. With the city's excellent recycling program it is easy to reduce the amount of trash that you need to pay for. They recently introduced a smaller 17 gallon trash container for 1/2 the price of the 32 gallon one. That is a savings of $2.75 a month or $33.00 a year. Here are all the sizes they offer. You can call and have a smaller or bigger one delivered anytime. Call 962-2111 to order a cart.

Cart Service

Four sizes of trash carts are available.

  • 17-gallon cart: $2.75/month

  • 32-gallon cart: $5.50/month

  • 64-gallon cart: $11.00/month

  • 96-gallon cart: $16.50/month

Tomorrow, more about the city's recycling program...

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Freecycle is a national organized effort to have a local free exchange of goods and keep usable items out of the public landfill. I have used this web based mailing list for about 5 years off and on. I have requested needed items and given away a lot. I especially love to give away things that are large and too much work for me to move. For instance: Last fall I gave away our trampoline to a family who was so excited to have it for their children. I have also given away a living room set that cats had clawed some of the corners. The mom who picked that up said she had never had a matching set before, and was thrilled that it would be the BEST furniture she had ever had. I did two good things that day, gave someone something they really needed and kept something else out of the landfill. Try'll like it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Canceling my Landline!

Everyone in my family has a cell phone, so why do I keep paying for a land line? Today I am canceling my land line phone and saving $36.50 a month!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haircut Deal - Support Local Small Business

Salon 117 in Loveland is open for business. My friend Crystal will give you and anyone you share this email with, an awesome *first* haircut for $7.00, if you mention my name (Sue Kittel). I am proud to support her as she opens her own business in Downtown Loveland. The salon is located just east off of Garfield Ave on 2nd Street. If you like, you may call for an appointment: 970-388-1861

Also available: Styles, perms, color, waxing, hair extensions, manicures and pedicures. You can expect a quality haircut and personal services without the high-end cost of other salons.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oranges 29 cents a pound!

Sunflower Market has sweet, *delicious oranges on sale for 29 cents a pound through next Wednesday. The market is on the corner of Drake and Lemay in Ft. Collins. *the one I tasted was delicious. Also their homemade chicken dinner sausage in several varieties is on sale for $2.99 a pound. Oh, and my favorite red pears for $.88 a pound.

Don't Throw It Away!

Any ingredient that you buy that you end up throwing away is an expensive ingredient no matter how cheap it was to purchase. How often do you fix something for dinner and there is only a little bit left, not enough for another meal, so you just throw it away? Lets find ways to use up those ingredients. Here are some ideas:
1. Have a container in your freezer that you can fill with those little bits of meat, gravy, veggies (include any liquid that you cook them in, it has a lot of nutrition), etc. When the container is full, use it to make a soup or stew. Start with a meat or vegetable stock, add the frozen mixture and then add whatever other ingredients you think it needs; potatoes, noodles, etc.
2. Blend up left-over ingredients or soup and add to ground meat to make a meatloaf. I like to add oatmeal or other hot cereal to my meat
3. Blend small amounts of vegetables together with a little vegetable broth to make a healthy juice.
4. What about the heals of bread that don’t make very nice sandwiches? Or the crumbled remains of crackers in the box? Blend them to make crumbs. Lots of recipes call for bread or cracker crumbs. You can add seasoning to them as needed (Parmesan cheese, herbs, etc.) They keep well in a zip lock bag in the freezer.
5. I don’t care for leftover macaroni & cheese or pizza reheated in the microwave. Heat what’s left in a frying pan.
6. What about composting those peelings, apple cores, egg shells, etc? I have never done any composting, does anyone have any experience?
These are just a few ideas, I’m sure you all have more. Please share your ideas with us!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Veggie Venture - Great blog about Vegetables

From time to time I will be sharing my favorite websites and blogs and then adding the link to Fru Gulley's page in the right margin. Feel free to send in your favorite websites that help you be frugal too!

I just love the recipes on A Veggie Venture! Since I eat 4 cups of veggies every day, I am always looking for new ways to use them. Check out their alphabetical veggie list to view tons of great recipes on the vegetable of your choice. To never miss a recipe you can sign up for "home delivery" of a new recipe from a Veggie Venture here. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, straight to you email in box. You can access today's recipe, "Lasagna Soup with Fresh Spinach" by clicking this link.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Free Newpaper and Grocery Ads

Hello fellow Fru-gal friends,
A few months ago I quit the local newspaper and started reading the free online version. Did you know that you can post your own "News by You" including a picture. It's fun to do, and some are chosen to be featured for the printed version. Here is the link to online version of the Loveland Reporter Herald.

I have also posted all the major grocery store websites that have links to their weekly ad in the right hand margin of this blog. Both Sunflower and Sprouts Market have double ad day on Wednesdays. This means that you get the previous week's specials as well as the next week's. I am a big believer in shopping many stores and stocking up on their specials. Usually there are no limits, so it is a great time to buy extra for food storage. You may already know this but you can order a case of a sale item and ask for a rain check for the special price. This is helpful if you won't be able to pick your case up before the sale is over.

Sunday, January 10, 2010 - Online shopping saves you money?

My friend Wendy from Denver did a little cost comparison on household products that can be ordered online and shipped free to your home. We both have adult children with Friedreich's ataxia and for them not having to go to the store or wait for someone to pick things up for them would be an empowering thing. This type of shopping would also be ideal for moms with small children, senior adults, and generally busy people who would rather spend their free time doing something more fun or relaxing! Disclaimer: Neither of us have tried this site out, so please do report if you place an order before us. I emailed from the website asking if there is tax charged, and will post that in comments as soon as I get a reply. Here is the website:

Sue, I went through the web site comparing mostly King Sooper prices to prices. On a couple, I used Walmart. This is what I found. With the 17 items below, most were less on Alice. One was nearly half the price on another web site. The ones that were higher, weren't much higher. The net savings would be $11.84 on these items, if I bought all of them. There is free shipping, and it looks like they may not charge tax. I think I will place an order. It will be interesting to see if it's better than going out shopping. Doing my list took me a long time, but I was comparison pricing every item. I bet once you get your list set up, the next orders are easier. -Wendy

Item King Sooper Save at Alice

Angelsoft toilet tissue dbl 6rolls $4.99 $4.55 $0.44
12 rolls $7.99 $7.47 $0.52
Bounty select a size, 8rolls $7.00 $8.41 -$1.41
Brawny select a size 8 rolls $10.00 $8.72 $1.28
Cheerios 18 oz $4.29 $3.50 $0.79
Coffee Mate 16 oz $3.79 $2.87 $0.92
35 oz (18cents/oz matches Alice) $6.49

Dawn original liq 24 oz $2.00 $2.41 -$0.41
Energizer Max AA each $0.78 $0.62 $0.16
Energizer Max AAA 8@ $10.88 $4.95 $5.93
Kleenex facial tissue 200, 3box $6.79 $5.31 $1.48
Lipton tea bags (48 bags) $2.99 $2.90 $0.09
Starbucks 12 oz ground $9.69 $7.97 $1.72
Tide 2X original liquid 100 oz $11.00 $11.82 -$0.82
20 Mule Team Borax 76oz $4.99 $3.50 $0.49
Walker's Shortbread triangles $4.99 $4.33 $0.66

17 items net savings on Alice

also no shipping, no tax, I think

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am interested in the swap. If I have enough time to accumulate stuff I will join you. We are in the middle of painting and carpeting our bedroom right now. I love your Fru Gully blog!

Good things happen too...

Just when you think things are looking up, something like this happens ---Some of you know that my microwave quit working after I blew up a whole spaghetti squash the other day...yes I did pierce it with a fork in several places, but I may of cooked it too long. Anyway...I won't be making that mistake again, HA! I was looking and emailing around to see if anyone had a used microwave I could buy...I also checked at the ReStore in Loveland, but no luck ...when this morning I found a wonderful surprise on my front doorstep on returning from work. I felt so loved and supported to find a brand new Emerson Microwave at my front door! Some little "post Christmas elf" left it for me and forgot to leave a note. Whoever you are my friends... may your kindness be returned when YOU when you least expect it! Yes, good things happen too...

Friday, January 8, 2010


One of my New Year’s Resolution for 2010 is to clean out the clutter in my house. I have way too much “stuff” and need to get it under control. I am cleaning out and organizing my entire house! I am finding many nice, usable items that I just don’t happen to need or want anymore. I’ll bet I have something that you would just love to have.
I don’t want to do a garage sale, so I have come up with another idea. Is anyone interested in participating in a SWAP? Anyone wanting to participate can bring whatever they want to get rid of and take whatever they want. You don’t have to bring stuff to take stuff. When we are all done, I will donate whatever is left to charity. I will host it later when I’ve had time to sort through all my collection. I’m giving you plenty of notice to start gathering the things that you want to get rid of. I’ll keep you updated as to my progress and when and where I plan to do the swap. I hope you’ll join in the fun! We might all get better organized and maybe even find a treasure or two!
Let me know if you might be interested.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Skype Phone Service is Cheap but...

The cheapest phone service I've been able to find is Skype on the internet. It costs $3/month to make outbound calls to any phone in the U.S.A. If you want people to be able to call you, you also need to sign up for a phone number at the cost of $12/3 months for the first 3 months (this may go up to $24/3 months afterwards). In addition, you need a headset or you can probably get by with a microphone and speakers. I bought a headset on for $30. Be sure it is advertised (specified) to work with internet phone services.

The phone service includes long distance calls within the U.S.A., voicemail, and email notification of voicemail (love this).

There are four caveats.

First, they are charging my bank card monthly for the $3 although I didn't give them permission to do so. WARNING, it may be difficult to terminate the service and get them to stop the monthly charges on the bank card.

Second, USER BEWARE; the interface is difficult to use, it is counter intuitive. It may take 2 weeks to make sense of it and one month before you can use it without thinking. If you don't consider yourself very computer savvy, do not attempt to use this service.

Third, IT FAILS SOME OF THE TIME. Usually the calls are crystal clear and work perfectly, but I experience problems about 3/week and they come in batches. Possible failures include answering the phone and it doesn't connect, making a call and it doesn't connect when the other party answers, echo that varies from mild to severe, and noticeable delay. I suggest we all report problems with any call so Skype can continue to improve the quality. It is easy to do. There is a call quality feedback button (button with a green symbol on the right) that brings up a list of problems; just select the applicable problem and submit.

Fourth, the ringer setting seems to reset itself sometimes. I set it to ring on the PC speakers, which it does for the day, then the next day it's only ringing on the headset. The only reliable way I've found to hear the ringer is to unplug the headset earphones plug. I'd love to hear from anyone who has solved this setup problem.

The website address is First, download Skype. Then subscribe for the outbound calls service and phone number service. Sue started using Skype yesterday. How is it going Sue?


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

LEAP - Energy Bill Assistance

Believing that I need to explore everything that can help a person stay "above water", I applied for LEAP energy assistance yesterday. --Sue
You can download a Colorado application at:

Here is how it works:

LEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services and is designed to assist with your winter heating costs. The LEAP Program eligibility period runs from November 1st through April 30th.

LEAP is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating. If you are applying for LEAP assistance you should continue to pay your home heating bill.

Eligibility Requirements - You may qualify for LEAP assistance if:

  • You are a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident of Colorado
  • You pay heating costs directly to an energy provider or you pay the cost of heating your home with your rent
  • Your gross monthly household income falls within the guidelines set annually and posted November 1st of each year. "Household" means the people who live with you and for whom you as applicant are financially responsible. The maximum gross monthly income is based on 185% of the federal poverty level
Household Size
Maximum Gross Monthly Income
Each additional person

Monday, January 4, 2010


After having two boys, my daughter is having a baby girl in March. They are redecorating their office and turning it into a nursery. They told me several months ago what paint colors they wanted for their little girl’s room; brown, green & pink. So, every few days as I was out and about running errands, I would drop by Home Depot to check out their “Oops Paint.” The "oops" paint is brand name paint that has been returned by customers because it was not what they wanted. The paint is sold for $5.00 a gallon or $1.00 a quart. That is a significant price cut for quality paint. I was lucky to find all three colors for my new granddaughter’s room. If you happen to have a project and need some paint, check out the paint department at your local Home Depot.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Think Positive!

As I look back over the past year, there were some difficult times, both in the world and in our family. Life is uncertain in the world today, many things that cause great unease. Our family had some serious financial issues, I had a very frightening health scare this summer and the year ended with a tragic family death. However, when I think about the year gone by, I find myself smiling because I feel good and I love my life! Even though a lot of things were hard, many good things happened and we were touched by angels.
Let me share with you something that has helped me see the positive in every day. Place a notebook or journal by your bed. Before you go to sleep every night, write down at least three things that were good about your day. Then go to sleep being thankful for those things. Some days it might be hard to find three things, but they might be something as simple as "The sun shone" or "I didn’t trip and fall." I guarantee that you will find yourself looking for good things to write down and your list will grow. When you look for good, I promise you will find it!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Every time I clean the refrigerator or freezer, I tell myself that it would have been more efficient to simply shred dollar bills. I've got to have a better way of keeping track of what's in the freezer and buy just enough produce to use while it's still edible.

Christmas Bargains

This is a great weekend to buy Christmas bargains. My daughter got a new 7 ft. Christmas tree with built in LED lights for 75% off at Target. Most stores reduce their Christmas items to 75% after New Year’s so that they can get rid of them quickly before they do inventory. Now is the time to buy wrapping paper & gift bags, lights, decorations, or even food! I love to stock up this time of the year on my year’s supply of dark chocolate. Who cares if it is wrapped in Christmas foil?

Colorado SHARE (Food)

I haven't tried this yet, but know people who have. Let us know your experience if you are one who has tried this... Sue

What is SHARE?
The goal of SHARE is to help families save about 50% on their groceries, while encouraging the building of relationships with their neighbors in the community. There are no qualifications...if you eat, you qualify.

Who can participate?
Any one from the affluent to those with struggling budgets can participate in SHARE. You see, even those who can afford to spend more for food are being good stewards with their money by simply being more frugal. What's more, the minimal profits in each share of food sold go to support this program and sometimes those who can't even afford to buy a share. And if you're really not interested in participating for whatever reason, we do take donations, and the donation for what we call a "sponsored share". That means your donation goes to buy food for a neighbor in your community that needs help.

What is Colorado Food Share? Click for full details
Online Order form Select Northern Colorado and choose pick up location of your choice

Friday, January 1, 2010


ASK someone to help you. If you need work done, you do not have to always hire someone to do the task. You may know any number of people who have the know how or talent and would be happy to help. Sometimes they even offer. Trade or barter services: I'll help you do ______ if you could help me do _______. What does it cost to ask? zip-ziltch-nothing

My daughter Allie has the initials ASK. Today she is coming home from a 5 month foreign exchange to Germany where she has had many opportunities to ask for help because of her disability. I have tried to teach her this: Believe that you are worthy to be a receiver of help, not just a giver. You actually help another person when you ask them to serve you. Crazy? No not really, by giving them the opportunity to do something you need, you are opening them to blessings that come from giving.

Try it if you don't believe me. I'd love to hear back...
Pic is my ASK - Allie Sue Kittel