Frugal Fun

Wine Down Wednesday

It’s no secret that I love wine. Attending a few wine tastings has helped me learn the basics about wine, but I’m still far from a wine pro.  Luckily one of my favorite wineries, Mirassou, has a ton of practical information about wine tasting on their website and Facebook page. I first discovered Mirassou Moscato at Publix because it was on sale and had a pretty sun on the bottle – then I was pleasantly surprised by how great it tasted for only $8.

I had some friends over for a “Wine Down Wednesday” to taste the Moscato and three other wines. We used the Food and Wine Pairing Guide to make some things that would go well with each wine. Here’s what we tried:

Moscato – My go to, but who knew that it goes well with pepperoni?! I paired this wine with pepperoni bread (check out the recipe below). It really is like “summer in a bottle.”

Chardonnay – This was fantastic with mac and cheese (even though it was the totally non-fancy, frozen grocery store variety). It smells great when you swirl it and had a bit of a peach taste.

Pinot Noir – The folks at Mirassou were the first to bring this varietal to the United States. It had a bit of a berry taste and, while some red wines are intimidating to me, I really enjoyed the Pinot Noir. We paired this one with cheeseburger sliders.

Sunset Red – We loved how this went with mini chicken tacos. It was a rich blend with hints of cherry.

It’s great to know that wine tasting doesn’t have to be scary. Good wine can be affordable and taste great with your favorite foods. Cheers!

Pepperoni Bread

1 lb pizza dough
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz turkey pepperoni (regular pepperoni works too)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or use nonstick cooking spray on a cookie sheet.
  2. Roll frozen pizza dough out into a rectangle. Brush dough with olive oil. Layer pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese over the dough. Then sprinkle on the Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Roll up the long end of the dough and pinch seam to seal; place, seam side down, on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Slice once cool.

I received this wine for free, but that had no impact on my opinions. For the past few years I’ve been known to stock up on bottles of Mirassou Moscato whenever I find it on sale.


Coupon Mom Olympics

I started couponing about eight years ago. My first job out of college paid practically nothing and using coupons provided a way to stretch my budget. Almost everything I learned about coupons back then came from, so I was excited to have the opportunity to shop in her Coupon Mom Olympics last week.

Six shoppers were given $50 to buy as many groceries as possible for a local charity in less than 30 minutes. I’m by no means an extreme couponer, but I was hoping years of coupon knowledge would help me take home the gold, silver or bronze ($500, $250, $100 Kroger gift cards respectively). My training consisted of asking friends and co-workers for coupons and creating a spreadsheet with my shopping strategy. I was feeling confident until I saw two of my competitors come in with bags and binders full of more coupons than I have used in the past calendar year. And became completely intimidated when they said they got them from going dumpster diving each week.

Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be a coupon champion, but it was fun to pretend that I was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep. After realizing that we could do more than one transaction at the register (something I ordinarily have no patience for), I figured out a last minute deal and only spent about $37. I should have thrown more items into my cart to use up the $50 budget – oh well. While waiting for the rest of the contestants to check out, I sat with another shopper and my shopping assistant (by the way, having a shopping assistant was fantastic) in rocking chairs that were for sale in the middle of the paper goods aisle of the Kroger. They have surprisingly comfortable chairs for a grocery store.

About an hour later the results were announced. I came in 5th place with under $200 in groceries. The gold medal shopper, Ashley, stretched her $50 budget to $700 in groceries for North Fulton Community Charities. Together, all of the shoppers purchased nearly $2,000 in groceries to provide hunger relief in our community. A reporter was there to capture the action for the local news, if you want to see the Coupon Olympics for yourself.


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Update! My Sweepstakes Experiment

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Remember my Sweepstakes Experiment?  Let me refresh your memory…back in September I watched High Stakes Sweepers on TLC and was inspired to regularly enter sweepstakes.  The people on the show entered sweepstakes all day and made a living out of “sweeping,” but my version of sweeping has been limited to entering sweepstakes a few minutes […]

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