Celebrate & Save: 5 Keys to a Merry, Thrifty Holiday

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As the holidays approach, what should be a joyous time can instead be a source of anxiety for many families on tight budgets. But it doesn’t need to be! Especially if you place the emphasis on loved ones, delicious food and drink, and much-needed relaxation─with gifts as an accent, rather than the whole show. These tips can help ensure a happy celebration with minimal financial strain: Read the rest of this entry »

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Stress Free Holiday Travel Tips

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Do you travel over the holidays? Some families do so annually, which makes sense, given that most of us get some vacation time in late December. And many great travel deals are offered through sites like www.go-today.com and www.funjet.com.

Also, as December is a chilly affair in much of the nation, it’s no surprise that a sunny destination might be tempting. And certainly, many families visit relatives in other areas for shared celebrations. Whatever your reason for holiday travel, how can you make it as safe and stress-free as possible?

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How to Save on Natural & Organic Products

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Are you a coupon user? Many savvy consumers understand the value of coupons especially where high-quality natural products are concerned. There’s actually an interesting strategy behind coupon use. If you access all your options, you can obtain coupons from stores, newspapers, and magazines as well as on-line promotions to find great deals. How can coupons benefit your family, your budget, and your wellness?

Coupon use results in measurable savings

You save the most when you consistently access coupons for items you purchase on a regular basis. Before buying produce, meats, seafood, wine, canned goods, cleaning supplies, baby food, vitamins, fish oil, protein powder, or any other natural or “green” product, determine first if discounts apply. Maximize online coupons and online coupon web sites, which are becoming increasingly popular. If you prefer shopping locally, be sure you get the newsletter or circular for the stores you frequent.

Coupons can simplify meal planning

Clever coupon use can make meal planning easier because a grocery list partially based on coupons gives you a head start on your weekly menus. An entire meal can evolve from a single sale item. Let’s say for example, that you get a deal on vegetarian chili. Serve it over brown rice or accompanied by cornbread, and you have a healthy, protein-rich entrée that’s easy and tasty. Garnishes might include sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and grated cheese. Round it out with some coleslaw and you’re set. Read the rest of this entry »

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Frugality 101: The 3 Basic Steps To Saving More Money & Time

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We’re not just about coupons. Here at Mambo, our main focus is on quality – getting the most value for your time and money. The higher quality foods, personal care and home items add to the quality of life. In a harsh economy, we find our budgets and schedules being squeezed tighter and tighter. But frugality doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. It means making careful decisions about how we spend our limited resources – our time & money. Plus, there is a green side effect of frugality, as conserving resources and minimizing waste is the way of it. It will change the way that important decisions are made – decisions that determine your family’s quality of life. So, here are three simple steps to get you started!

1. Track prices.

Got an old notebook laying around? Grab your latest receipts or sales flyers and start jotting down the prices for each item. After you’ve done this for several weeks, you’ll know for certain whether those salmon fillets on sale for $7.99/lb. are a bargain or not. It will be easy to know which items are worth waiting to get on sale or not. You’ll become a savvier shopper. Tracking prices works for anything you need to purchase, not just groceries. Start tracking prices on everything you need to purchase on a regular basis and you’ll see savings! Download Uncommon Way To Wealth’s free Grocery Price-Book Spreadsheet for free. Or try a pen-and-paper price-book, like the one from The Complete Tightwad Gazette, described here at Get Rich Slowly’s blog. Oh, and one more thing. Check out Evernote, an app for your smartphone or PDA that lets you keep track of, well, everything. Including prices.

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Costco Goes Organic…But Will it Really Save you Money?

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On a recent trip to Costco, I found one woman struggling to navigate her cart up to the checkout line. As I helped her, I also took a quick peek and noticed that her entire cart was full of nothing but organic foods.

“Do they really carry that many organic items here?” I asked.

“Yes, isn’t it great? With a family of six we save so much money!”

First, I know I shouldn’t have peeked, but I’m kind of glad I did! (And frankly, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does).

Second, it prompted me to really look into Costco’s organic products that they carry and see if it was worth my time, effort and energy to start buying more organic products from them. As I started investigating, I came up with these useful tips that I’d like to share with you. Read the rest of this entry »

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Holiday Savings Extravaganza!

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Now Available! Mambo Sprouts Holiday Coupon Book

As the weather cools down, the deals are heating up – just in time for the holiday season! We’re proud to present a special, limited-edition coupon book – Mambo Sprouts Exuberant Holiday Savings. Available at select natural foods stores for a limited time, these prized coupons are for your favorite brands – Organic Valley, Annie’s Homegrown, Imagine, Soy Dream, Kashi, Brown Cow and many more! You’ll find over $25 worth of coupons in each book. Download this PDF list of natural retailers that carries the limited edition books and hurry while they last!

That’s not all, though. Check out the brand-new Whole Deal (December edition), out in Whole Foods stores now.

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Save While Giving Back – Whole Planet Foundation Calendar

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Check out the 2010 Whole Planet Foundation Calendar, now available at Whole Foods Markets. This project is close to our hearts here at Mambo, since we are actively involved in producing the calendar. We want you to know how easy it is to get involved in a cause that is truly making a difference around the world.

This annual calendar is a small but effective way to take real action against world poverty and hunger. Yes, just from buying these calendars! It sounds easy, but it makes hard work pay off. See, 100% of the sale of every Whole Planet Foundation Calendar, which only costs $2, goes right to the Whole Planet Foundation. The pages feature glossy, colorful photos of folks whose lives and communities are benefiting from the sales of these calendars. Their stories are summed up on each page. Each calendar also comes with over $30 worth of coupons for use at Whole Foods! You will find product coupons for some of your favorite brands: $3 off New Chapter and Seventh Generation products and $1 off Whole Trade Guarantee Vegan Cane Sugar, Muir Glen Pasta Sauce and Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Mambo Sprouts Back-to-School Coupon Booklets are Here!

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The September issue of Mambo Sprouts coupon booklets are now available, with more than $25* in savings (*coupon offers vary depending on the region) with a variety of natural and organic coupons from manufacturers such as Seventh Generation™, Clif Kid™, Pirate’s Booty®, RiceSelect™ , Lundberg®, Ian’s® and many more! We’re so excited about our new books that we want to celebrate – we’re giving away three (3) KEEN bags filled with natural and organic products, each valued at $100! Scroll down for more details.

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Discover the Whole Deal for August and September

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Whole Foods Market’s August/September issue of The Whole Deal is out in stores (click here to find one near you). This 24-page “Back to School Edition” contains valuable information to help you save money while eating healthy. It also contains thirty coupons, including Mambo Sprouts’ coupons, for use at Whole Foods Market!

As usual, this value guide provides a daily meal planner for one, two, or the whole family with its great recipes listed throughout the booklet.  Sure Deals can be found scattered throughout the booklet, so don’t skip any pages (unless you want to skip bargains!), and budget-loving tips and tricks can be found on every page.

Our favorite feature is the Cash-Wise College Checklist we found on page 8. It provides ways for students, known to have some of the lowest budgets, ways to protect the future toward which they are working so hard—Earth-valuing methods are made practical in an easy-to-follow comparison chart.

Another great back-to-school feature is the Build a Better Lunchbox guide. This is not only helpful for packing students’ lunches; use it to pack your own lunch for your workday and keep the cash in your wallet on your lunch break.

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Economical Eating by the RDs at SkinnyandtheCity.com

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Can you watch your wallet and your waistline at the same time? Absolutely! Eating right should never be a luxury. Follow our guidelines on how to save money in all the major food groups while stocking up on healthy goods!

Water

Buy a reusable water bottle Replace bottled water with tap or filtered water depending on your preference and buy an aluminum reusable bottle to keep you hydrated on the go. If you’re not satisfied with the taste of the tap water in your area, invest in a water filter like Brita. One 12oz bottle of water is about $2.00; if you buy one bottle everyday that is $14 a week ($728 a year). With one purchase you will save yourself $715 this year! Plus you’ll be steering clear from Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound found in those plastic bottles, which may leech into your drinking water. Studies have shown that BPA exposure has been linked to a wide variety of illnesses such as breast cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Fruits and Veggies

Hit up the freezer section Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh produce. They can also be stored for up to one year, so if you don’t eat them all at once you won’t waste them. Going frozen will save you money and not compromise your diet. Fresh blueberries now cost around for $3.99 for a 4.4oz package, whereas you can get an 8oz bag of Cascadian Farm Organic Frozen Blueberries for $4.79. By buying frozen you save $.30/oz which can really add up. Look for deals too, most grocery stores offer large packs of frozen fruits and vegetables at bulk for just a few dollars.

Don’t buy precut fruits and vegetables If you do, you are paying for the added costs of labor or cutting and the container it’s coming in. For example, a small container of cut-up cantaloupe might run you $3.99. Instead you can buy the entire cantaloupe, which provides twice as much edible fruit for $3.00. Also, choose a large bag of fruit (like apples, oranges or pears) instead of the single, large fruits priced per pound.

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