Heard on KFNW

Thanks for listening in!  Tune in next time as we talk deals on air on 8/7 around 8:30 AM on Life 97.9!

Fathers Day Freebies and Deals
  • Right now, order a FREE card from Cardstore.com for a limited time only!  Shipping is free, too!
  • Lots of restaurants will be offering bonus gift card deals for Father's Day.  Buffalo Wild Wings is offering a FREE $5 Gift Card when you buy a $25 card by 6/24, and lots of other restaurant will do the same.  Call your favorite restaurant to see if they offer any gift card specials.
  • We know aleady that Caribou Coffee will be offering  Buy One Drink, Get One FREE on Father's Day.  Watch their Facebook page or FM Cheapskate for the coupon!
Free and Cheap Fun for the Family for Summer
Check the websites of your local park district for all kinds of fun and free activities for the family.  Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead all have several events from daytime toevening to weekend events.

Moorhead has FREE Wading Pools for kids 10 and younger, Fargo offers pool admission punch cards that give you a discount for buying several admissions at once and West Fargo's Veteran's Memorial Pool is FREE!

AAA North Dakota, Safe Kids Fargo/Moorhead, Kohl’s and Sanford Children’s are teaming up to offer FREE Admission at the Red River Zoo this Thursday 6/7 from 3-7 PM!

Through 6/7 (or while supplies last), get a Family Day Pass to Bonanzaville for $10!

Or, for the younger kids, get a Family Pass to the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm for $10!

Preserving the Harvest (September 14th)
This is the time of the year to preserve the bounty all around us.  Whether that be freezing applesauce, storing squash for the winter, canning salsa or freezing corn or beans, there are many opportunities to put away what we have an abundance of now to last us through the winter.
If you don't have your own garden, consider what fresh items are on sale and what you can get at any of the Farmer's Markets in town this week: sweet corn, squash, potatoes, peppers and more.  These items are at their lowest prices at this time of year and are all begging to be "put up" for the winter either by freezing, canning or just storing (some apples, squash and potatoes just need a cool basement to keep for several months!)  For more information on food preservation, read more on the NDSU Extension website.

Menu Planning
I've been meal planning from my pantry this month, along with several readers who've mentioned needing to use what they've paid so little for.  It's a great way to be intentional about using items you have on hand, but it's also a great way to save money in a month because you're only buying perishables each week.

Meal planning can be a great money saver, even for those who don't have stockpiles or too much in their pantry.  The act of sitting down and deciding what to eat based on the sale ads or what meat is in the freezer can save you money and time, if you already have the items.  If you make a plan, you'll avoid the 5:00 grocery store stop, drive-through or just plain chaos of deciding "what's for dinner?"  I'm menu planning week by week right now, but often people will menu plan for the whole month and do all the shopping at once.  The rest of the month, you're saving money by simply not entering the store!  To read more on menu planning, click on Pantry Challenge on the right hand side of the website.  Share your tips and recipes in the comments!

Giving Generously:
Life 97.9 KFNW is supported solely by listeners and is getting ready to start their fall fundraising efforts.  One of the reasons I bring this up is that reigning in spending is one way that many are able to give generously to causes and ministries that they care about.  One of the ways my family is able to give generously is by curbing spending in other areas of the budget where it's possibly to save so much (like groceries and household items!)  So, though I am a self-proclaimed cheapskate when it comes to many things I am happy to be generous in giving and always feel more blessed in return.  Another way we're intentionally using the money we're not spending on groceries is saving and paying down debt.  Take time to examine your budget and goals, you might just find more than you'd expected to be able to give!

Double Coupons (August 9):
In our area, all 3 grocery stores (Cash Wise, Hornbacher's and SunMart) all double coupons up to the value of $1, so a $0.50 coupon will automatically double when scanned to $1, and a $0.75 coupon will double to $1 as well.  To read more about double coupons and how it works in store, read Double Coupons 101.

Ad Matching:
Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Sears, Menards, Home Depot, Lowes, Kohl's, Office Depot, Office Max, some Ace Hardware stores and many more stores in our area will match competitor's ad pricing.  Some even accept competitor's coupons!  Click the store name for the link to the price matching policies.  If you're unsure, just ask your favorite stores!  You never know!

Back to School Deals:
Hurry and jump on this deal while it's HOT!  Get $50 to spend at jcp.com for $20!  You'll need to purchase the voucher today (while supplies last), but have til 1/31/12 to use it!  If you don't need back to school deals, you might think ahead to Christmas shopping?  (Yes, I said it!)

Lastly, as you see really inexpensive school supplies this time of year and are able to pick up some extras, please consider donating them to the United Way School Supply Drive!

Tips for Saving While Spending Money Locally (July 12):
Thanks Bethany for your question!  Most people think of the big box stores when they think of saving money, but I'd encourage you to think otherwise!  

Use my weekly grocery deal lists to save more at our locally and regionally owned grocery stores: Cash Wise Weekly DealsSunMart Weekly DealsHornbacher's Weekly Deals.
*All of our FM area grocery stores double coupons up to the value of $1 (ex: $0.35 coupon will double to $0.70, $0.50 coupons will double to $1, $0.75 coupon will double up to $1).  We don't have triple coupons like some other areas of the country, but there are no limits on the amount of coupons you can double everyday!

Get on the Daily Deals bandwagon!
*Check out daily deals from a local company called Save Coin.  Save Coin offers a new deal from a local business every other day or so.  You'll have only a short time frame within which to buy the deal (often a voucher), but will get a significant discount for doing so!  Recent deals include $20 to spend at Spicy Pie for $10, and $30 to spend at Starr Fireworks for $15!  I highlight these deals when they become available, so follow along over at FM Cheapskate's Facebook page or sign up to get my daily emails that include all the local deals I can post!

If the store is out of a sale item, please be sure to ask for a raincheck!  You made the time to get to the store and possilby even clip a coupon, so be sure to ask!  Basically, they extend the sale price of the item through the time in which the store will restock the item.  In special circumstances like multiple items for a deal, ask the customer service desk to see what they're willing to do!

Buy Ahead Principle:
This time of year, consider "buying ahead" for what your family will need in the next 9 months to a year.  Items like ketchup, bbq salad dressing, mayo, even juice boxes and soda go down to their lowest prices of the year this time of year!  Whether you use a coupon or just buy with the sale prices, now is the time to buy ketchup rather than February, when it may well be 2-3 times the price.  In my house, I know it's almost summer when I start to run low on ketchup in my pantry!

School Supply Deals:
Can you believe it's not even the middle of July and back to school deals have already started!  Even if you don't have schoool age children, consider buying some of the crayons, markers and items you'll use in November for your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes or for school supply drives, which start soon!

You might now think of it right away but watch the drug stores, office supply stores and even home improvement stores for great back to school deals!  Several of these stores will offer certain supplies for pennies each week, or free after a coupon or rebate!

June 7, 2011 - Tips for Saving on Fresh Produce:
Thanks Mandy for your question! It's pertinent to all of us trying to eat well while we save money.

Buy Produce On Sale and In Season
If your store is out of a sale item, ask for a raincheck!  Did you know that if you get your produce home and it's not good or goes bad right away, many stores will replace it?  Call them to be sure first, then return the item for a relpacement or refund!

Let friendly neighbors know you're open to receiving "gifts" of rhubarb, zucchini or apples when they have an abundance! 
Eat rhubarb in June, make zucchini bread in August, bake apple pies in September!  Then, consider preserving or freezing what you can't use fresh.

Plant your own garden or even a fruit tree in your yard!
Use local resources like the NDSU Extension Service or The Full Circle Gardener (a local website about gardening in our area) for information.  Or, just make friends with a seasoned gardener in your area for advice and help

Save money in other areas of your budget (for example: pantry items) to give yourself more to spend on fresh produce
Use my local grocery store deal links to save money in other areas of your budget:
Cash Wise Weekly Deals, SunMart Weekly Deals, Hornbacher's Weekly Deals

Consider joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
CSA's offer a "share" of the farm's produce each week, often delivered to you.  Several options are available locally for organic produce through CSA's.  You might think that share prices seem like a lot, but over 20 some weeks, the price for organic produce can't be beat!  Check out these local CSA's:

Bluebird Gardens (Fergus Falls, MN)

Kragnes Family Farms: (Kragnes, MN) Contact Ben Kragnes at benjamin.kragnes@hotmail.com, or 701-361-7670

If you know of other CSA's in our area, please leave a comment with more information!

If you're moving toward buying organic, consider spending your money where it matters most.
Use the new Dirty Dozen list to know which items are best purchased prganic, and where conventional will do if you're on a budget.

More tips for saving on fresh produce? Share them with us!


  1. Our group, FMVeg - Fargo Moorhead Vegetarians and Vegans often share extra fruits and vegetables when we have a lot extra in the summer at our free potlucks! (Which are all vegetarian, of course!) Anyone is free to join! There is no fee, you just have to be open to trying new foods! Just go to http://meetup.com/fm-veg to join us! :)

  2. We freeze our tomatoes whole in gallon sized zipper bags, and if you cut out the stem/core first, it makes it a lot easier when you thaw them to take the skin off. It will peel right off pretty easily anyway.
    Very handy way to have fresh tomatoes in the winter! (We bough a small freezer mostly for this purpose, and it has already paid for itself!)
    We're about to have hundreds ripen here soon, God willing! (I'm SO glad we covered our garden from the frost!) :)

  3. PPP - that is a great way to preserve tomatoes easily! My tomato plants are doing great, but we lost the cherry tomato plants. I just picked up a great deal on several pints of organic cherry tomatoes at Sydney's that were starting to wrinkle, so I washed and flash froze the tomatoes just this afternoon - I am so excited to eat them through the winter.