in Responsible Spending Challenge

If French bread is wrong, I don’t want to be right.


Curses to every trendy diet that made me afraid of white bread.  So glad I kicked that completely irrational food issue to the curb.   I’m not suggested you eat it every day (nutritionally, whole wheat is superior), but DANG – fluffy white bread is a yummy, special treat! 


Leaning tower of nom nom’s:


I had a “platter lunch,” which I haven’t done in a while.  It’s fun to make a platter and prepare your food as you go:


I smeared a lovely bean and cheese dip on the French bread.  I made the dip by combining spicy cheddar cheese and dark red kidney beans.


My mouth is on FIRE!


Plus, green:


And earlier, I had a Oh She Glows bar.  My lunch was kind of late.


Responsible Spending Challenge: At the Store


I’ve been collecting coupons over the last week for my big trip to the grocery store.  I’ve been clipping them from the paper, magazines, and printing them offline.   I also had a few old coupons sent to me by companies for the blog.


I saved over $30 at the store in coupons!  How awesome is that? And, I didn’t buy anything I didn’t already want to buy, which I think it is the key to saving money with coupons (not accidentally spending more).


Also, I bought my mom her Christmas present this morning, and I saved $10 by Googling the store name + “coupon code.”  Cha-ching!


So far, the Responsible Spending Challenge is going really well! We’ve had some unanticipated expenses in the last week, but we also managed to spend almost NO money this weekend, which is a major accomplishment in my book.  Most importantly, I feel in control of my finances… which I haven’t been able to say in a while.  And that’s priceless!



  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life December 7, 2009, 1:53 pm

    I always use coupons.. I have like an envelope full.. Only problem is it takes me twice as long to shop!

  • Sana December 7, 2009, 1:54 pm

    Good for you!!! I love to google coupons! Borders always has good ones u can use for gifts as well :)!

  • Priyanka December 7, 2009, 1:54 pm

    Good job! I am not a part of the coupon craze yet, but I guess it is a good way of spending responsibly!

  • Jenna December 7, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Coupons are way underrated. Clip away my dear!

    White bread is such a treat. Nothing better than some sourdough!

  • BethT December 7, 2009, 1:56 pm

    Have you signed up for email updates from Groupon? They’re more for things like restaurants, spas, etc in your local area but they offer some killer deals. I just got one for half off spa services at a trendy salon. You can also give them as gifts and people don’t know they’re discounted deals.

  • Brooke December 7, 2009, 1:56 pm

    I have learned to become a coupon clipper myself! It really adds up! Also I did amazing yesterday going in to Barnes and Noble and not buying a single thing OR a Starbucks {which kind of killed me, but I have it at home, why not make it for free}?! Mint.com keeps you in check! YAY to saving money!!

    • caitlin December 7, 2009, 1:59 pm


      • RhodeyGirl December 7, 2009, 2:41 pm

        Caitlin. The “Starbucks” went out of the box, across the page, hopped out of the screen and into my OFFICE! You must REALLY want some ha!

        Also, not sure if you know but you can order drinks “short”. They are cheaper, but you still get the thrill of the red cup and warm drink. I get short skim hot chocolates or short soy vanilla lattes. I think I was charged $1.15 for the hot chocolate. Not bad for a special treat.

  • Julie @savvyeats December 7, 2009, 2:00 pm

    I love your tip on googling the store name for coupons. I’ve found some great deals that way, thanks to you!

  • megan December 7, 2009, 2:01 pm

    way to go! My husband is helping keep me on track. we were at barnes and noble (like a previous commenter!) getting a Christmas gift for someone, and I really really really wanted a nice hot chai tea on the way out into the snow, but he said no 🙁 we were going home to make dinner so I didn’t need to get it. I was sad at the time, but I’m glad he’s so good with saving money

  • Stepfanie December 7, 2009, 2:02 pm

    Way to go! I am new to budgeting as well, so I know how hard it can be to stay on track. I’m saving for a trip to Istanbul!

  • Madeline @ GreensAndJeans December 7, 2009, 2:05 pm

    I always feel like a crazy person when I whip out all of my coupons, but man, I LOVE seeing how much money I save!

  • Nicole December 7, 2009, 2:09 pm

    Yum! My favorite is Portuguese-Italian bread. Toasted. So delicious!

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers December 7, 2009, 2:11 pm

    i’m a huge coupon clipper! my fiance & i have competitions to see who can save more at publix. yes, we’re total nerds.

  • Graze With Me December 7, 2009, 2:11 pm

    Mmm, french bread. Gotta love it. I totally agree, sometimes fluffy white goodness is the only way.

    I love the look of that spicy cheese! Anything spicy is gold in my book.

    Way to go on the financial success. My husband and I managed to eat all our meals in yesterday, not very common for a Sunday.

  • Bronwyn December 7, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Totally enjoying your responsible spending tip, especially since I find my bank account at a lower amount then ever before… er…. yeah.
    I should be getting a wee bit of cash flow soon, but, hey it’ll be good to get some good spending habits in place now.

  • Christie @ Honoring Health December 7, 2009, 2:16 pm

    mmmm…I miss french bread and there is no possible way to make it gluten free. Sigh.

    Awesome job on the coupons! We clip coupons but have never saved that much!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 7, 2009, 2:17 pm

    Googling coupons is so fun. I love saving money!

    I also love the look of that spicy cheese. I might have to get some eventually.

  • Carolyn December 7, 2009, 2:18 pm

    Wow! A weekend without spending is a WIN in my books. 🙂

  • Yasmin December 7, 2009, 2:19 pm

    Very nice! I love French bread, but haven’t had it since I went gluten free :\

    I have a hard time finding coupons for the products I use. Do you just collect the coupons that you get in the mail?

  • emily December 7, 2009, 2:22 pm

    I’m really bad at coupons. I never found enough for the things I used. In fact, most coupons in the mail or in the paper are for crappy food. I guess I’m not looking in the right places, or not trying hard enough.
    P.S. Love beans and cheese!

  • Rachel December 7, 2009, 2:23 pm

    Yum French bread!

    I’m doing most of my Christmas shopping online through Ebates.com using any and ALL coupon codes I can find (as well as trying to use credit cards that reward me in some way). I figure if I can buy something for a great deal AND get money/rewards back it’s like a double win!

  • Megan December 7, 2009, 2:24 pm

    OMG!!! I printed a coupon that could only be used in store for 15% off the present I’d picked otu for my boyfriend. I was kind of dreading fighting the crowds tonight just for 15% off, but was ready to do it (responsible spending)

    HOWEVER, I used your tip and googled macy’s coupon code and ended up with TWENTY FIVE percent off AND free shipping!! You just made my day!

    • caitlin December 7, 2009, 2:25 pm


  • Katie December 7, 2009, 2:25 pm

    Wow that looks yummy


  • Paige (Running Around Normal) December 7, 2009, 2:27 pm

    “Leaning tower of nom nom’s” LOL – love it. But you’re right, French bread rocks!
    Have a great day, Caitlin!

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) December 7, 2009, 2:29 pm

    I am the queen of coupons! I also really love Starbucks, but find it painful to shell out $4 on a latte. Maybe you could ask friends and family for Sbux gift cards for Christmas? My mom gives them to me sometimes and it makes me feel less guilty about that $$ drink.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 7, 2009, 2:34 pm

    I’ve never thought about googling “coupon code” while shopping online. That’s a great tip– thanks for sharing!

  • Erin December 7, 2009, 2:34 pm

    I LOVE coupons. Once I saved $90 in one trip to the grocery store!

    And I always check sites like retailmenot and couponcabin before I order anything online – there’s almost always some kind of deal! I’m morally opposed to paying for shipping, I think 😉 Have you heard of ebates? I just signed up for that – you get cash back for online shopping! It’s amazing!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 7, 2009, 2:34 pm

    I adore french bread. But, that probably isn’t too hard to figure out. 🙂 I am so bad with coupons. I need to be better.

  • MelissaNibbles December 7, 2009, 2:35 pm

    Who told you French bread was wrong? Clearly, they haven’t been to France.

  • Lauren December 7, 2009, 2:35 pm

    I am sitting here eating my lunch and I brought leftover lasagna and some french bread…And I was just thinking “I probably should not eat all that white bread, but it’s so soft and yummy!” I’m glad you agree!

  • Susan December 7, 2009, 2:36 pm

    To some that lunch may seem simple, but to me it looks sooo delish! Kidney beans are my fave type of bean, and you can’t beat spicy cheese.
    I think Katie (of CCK) posted about the “no white foods diet” yesterday and how BONKERS it is. How could we live in a world w/o crusty white bread, greek yog, and almond milk?!

  • alli December 7, 2009, 2:39 pm

    awesome! that last sentence sounds like it should be on a banking commercial. maybe you could write commercials after your book deal 🙂

  • Karla December 7, 2009, 2:42 pm

    I love coupons! My grocery store has a basket full of coupons that I dig through every time I go to see if I find anything good! You should see if your grocery store has one!

  • Matt December 7, 2009, 2:54 pm

    I <3 bread… It is seriously a gifr from God.

  • Foy December 7, 2009, 2:55 pm

    I’m not a coupon clipper. I find coupons are generally for over processed stuff I don’t buy. Most of what fills my cart are bulk grains and fresh produce. I do buy Greek yogurt and tea. I will have to try your tip of google coupon + item name. I’m open to new ideas and I’m focusing on our food budget this month.

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) December 7, 2009, 3:00 pm

    I like coupons when they’re for healthy food, but normally that doesn’t seem to be the case for our circulars. However, I do try and plan my meals around sales that week.
    Good job saving so much moola!

  • Ashley (whole-ier) December 7, 2009, 3:03 pm

    Google-ing the store name and “coupon code” is such a great idea! thanks for the tip!

  • Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life December 7, 2009, 3:09 pm

    Way to go!

  • Jenna December 7, 2009, 3:10 pm

    coupons will definitely add up! good for you 🙂

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie December 7, 2009, 3:21 pm

    Anything spicy is good. I have an unhealthy addiction to hot sauce!!

  • Alisha December 7, 2009, 3:21 pm

    Wow, $30 savings is amazing, especially when it comes to groceries. I wish Canada was big on coupons, it would make my life so much better. I was just in the States for Thanksgiving and I couldn’t believe the prices of food – 4L of milk $1.75US = $5.99CA, Jumbo box of Captain Crunch $2.72US = 6.99CA, Turkey .49cents/lb = $1.50/lbCA. And buying organically is the worst. If I’m lucky, I can buy Stoney Field yogurt on sale for $4.99 for 8 cups, blah. It’s disgusting really.

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) December 7, 2009, 3:27 pm

    Totally agree with your statement about not letting coupons be an excuse for spending more! SO TRUE and so important to be mindful of this holiday season!

  • Jordan @ Salt Sweat Sugar December 7, 2009, 3:29 pm

    Good job. I love Googling coupon codes for online shopping. I love coupons but I have no printer [at least till Christmas, hehehhe] so I have to just clip the few I find in mags.

  • Dawn (HealthySDLiving) December 7, 2009, 3:32 pm

    Ugh, fluffy white bread is like heaven. Definitely couldn’t go without it!

  • Erin December 7, 2009, 3:33 pm

    Love the point about buying only what’s on the list and nothing extra. That’s what tends to get us in trouble — seeing something we WANT at the store that’s nothing we NEED.

  • Mel December 7, 2009, 3:34 pm

    Good for you!! Another thing I do (not sure if this has been mentioned) is use ebates.com. It’s an online rebate site. It’s affilated with tons of stores and you get cash back on your purchases quarterly. You can still use all your promo codes. I just got free shipping and 20% off plus 6% cash back on a new North Face jacket.

  • Lizzy December 7, 2009, 3:43 pm

    coupons are the best! seriously they make going to the store fun!

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries December 7, 2009, 4:35 pm

    Amen. What sort of life would be living if strictly avoided white bread? Skipping naan at Indian rests? Pita at Mediterranean meals? No gracias.

  • Anne P December 7, 2009, 4:36 pm

    I always google for coupon codes when I’m buying something online. Saves SO much money, you can almost always find something!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 7, 2009, 4:37 pm

    oooh that cheesy bean dip looks so yummy! What a great lunch 🙂

  • L December 7, 2009, 6:05 pm

    You totally need to check out http://www.krazycouponlady.com! The site matches up store promos to current online coupons and regular newspaper coupons. I’ve literally gone to Walgreens and Jewel/Osco/Alberton’s (a different name, depending on the city) and saved $50 on a $75 grocery run. It takes about one hour per week but its SOOOO worth it!

    I eat almost 100% organic by eating in season and scour the internet for special coupons for lactose-free items (I’m deathly allergic to milk). You just have to be detirmined to find coupons.

    Mambo Sprouts and the Whole Foods newsletter “The Whole Deal” are AWESOME sources too. Whole Foods coupons can be combined with manufactuer coupons too, for twice the savings!

    Good luck 🙂

  • L December 7, 2009, 6:08 pm

    Oops! Its actually http://www.THEkrazycouponlady.com...

    (I need a nap!)

  • Susan December 7, 2009, 6:30 pm

    I’m with you on the white bread. It makes for a wonderful treat sometimes! Actually, I’m totally against the “skip the bread” rule for eating out. I’ll take a warm piece of french bread and skip the dessert please 🙂

  • Tammy (Defining Wellness) December 7, 2009, 7:44 pm

    Hi Caitlin! First of all, thanks for your thumbs up today. 🙂 Made me smile.

    I love that coupon trick! My husband and I are trying to spend our money wisely this Christmas, too. We’re trying to purchase gifts that people are going to actually USE. I think everyone is getting a little smarter in this economy. You just have to. Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey? My dad highly recommends his financial advice, and I bet he’d be right up your alley.

    Your blog is such a pleasure to read every day. Keep up the great work.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) December 7, 2009, 8:01 pm

    Oooooh you are smart – googling the store name + coupon code = genius!

  • Julia December 7, 2009, 9:21 pm

    Great job spending responsibly! Love coupons!

  • pen December 7, 2009, 9:23 pm

    That bean and cheese dip looks abso delish! I may have to try that. Beans really are the perfect cheap food!

  • jessica December 7, 2009, 11:23 pm

    Go to retailmenot.com!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat December 8, 2009, 8:40 am

    Coupons save my life! Do you have a “shopper’s card” or anything for your grocery stores there? If so, you may be able to find some online coupons that load directly to your card. I use shortcuts.com and pgesaver.com

    Love French bread! I totally agree with you, we need to have it once in a while, screw low carb 🙂

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