Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu 2/1/11- 2/15/11

2/1- Grilled pork chops with scalloped potato's and green beans
2/2- Beef roast with potato's and carrots with salad and bread
2/3- Leftovers
2/4- Baked cod with mashed potato's and broccoli
2/5- Grilled chicken, cheesy broccoli and rice with salad
2/6- Rotisserie pork roast, spicy rice and mixed veggies
2/7- Beef burritos with salad
2/8- Waffles with yogurt and fruit
2/9- Leftovers
2/10-Sandwich's with chips and apple slices
2/11-Chicken nuggets, french fries and pears
2/12-Salmon salad with bread
2/13- Breakfast bake with orange slices
2/14- Still deciding on a Valentines Dinner and am watching the sales to see if anything good goes on sale
2/15- Turkey/chicken wraps with apples

On a positive note, all of the meals above are planned around items that are already in our freezer and pantry.  The only purchases that I need to make for any of the meals will be perishables such as fruit and veggies, milk and eggs.  Yay!  I love when we are fully stocked and I can plan two weeks worth of meals off of what we already have.  Hopefully during this time there will be a good sale or two and I can stock up again.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Walmart 1/29/11

Since we were out of town for a few days I was able to skip making a grocery trip this past week.  I wanted to put it off until mid week but little man and I had to run to the store and pick up a birthday present for his cousin.  So while we were there I decided to go ahead and make a trip.

Overall I think that it went really well especially since it had been over a week since going.  I could have done better but I was at Walmart instead of Aldi and I picked up a few extras.

Excluding the birthday present, gift bag, and tissue paper the total spent was $39.21.

I picked up
20 oz coke (lil treat  and I was thirsty)
individual ice cream (treat for lil man)
Laughing Cow spreadable Swiss
Ben and Jerry's (yum)
Generic Cheetos
Romaine Lettuce
Apple Juice
Gallon of milk
Chicken broth
Canned salmon
Baking potato's
Dannimal Smoothie drinks (lil man LOVES these)

I also checked out the reduced bakery racks.  I love when I go and they are fully stocked of goodies.  I ended up getting a pack of mini baguettes (lil man picked them out), donut holes and all natural wheat sub rolls.  They were also an extra.

New Recipes

I mentioned earlier this week that I planned to try out a couple of different recipes.  One was to use some sad, sad looking bananas that were left in the car while traveling and became...well frozen.  I found a recipe in my 3 in 1 Cookies, Bars and Muffins cookbook for Cocoa Bottom Banana Pecan Bars.  It calls for 5 ripe bananas which is the exact amount I had. It was perfect.  I omitted the pecans because with little man's peanut allergy we have to be extremely careful when using nuts in a recipe.  You wouldn't think it but so many of the store bought nuts are all processed on the same equipment which means that pieces of peanut could be in it and with little man having a severe peanut allergy we don't take chances.  So, since we had no usable pecans on hand I omitted them.

Cocoa Bottom Banana Pecan Bars

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened (I used margarine)
5 ripe banana's mashed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan.

Combine sugar and butter in bowl.  Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.  Add bananas, egg and vanilla; beat until well blended.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. (OK I confess, I never do this because I just find it to be an extra step and it makes for another dirty dish.)  Add to banana mixture; beat until well blended.  Stir in pecans.

Divide batter in half.  Stir cocoa into one half.  Spread cocoa batter in prepared pan.  Spread plain batter over cocoa batter and swirl with knife.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool completely and cut into squares.

**Ok so I also had an avocado that was to mushy for my liking so I added it as well.  I think that next time I will try it with wheat flour.  It's VERY moist.  Possibly because I added the avocado or because the bananas were so ripe. 

The new dinner recipe that I tried out was from the Betty Crocker website.  I have been using their recipe for cheeseburger pie for years and we really like it.  I decided to make Impossibly Easy Chicken and Broccoli Pie.  It was just as simple and the other pie that we like and tasted great.  The 1 cup of chicken works out to about 1 chicken breast and I used a combination of American and Cheddar cheeses.  We will definitely keep this in the menu rotation.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

But I don't want to...

That's the phrase that keeps playing in my head.  I'm sitting here looking at how gloomy it is outside and thinking about all of the things that I need to get done today and I keep thinking to myself...but I don't want to.  To my defense I did get up early and do two loads of laundry, unload the dishwasher, and make breakfast for little man and I.  Oh and there was a shower in there too.  But I keep sitting here thinking that I need to go put the rest of the clothes away, clean the kitchen, pick up the living room and then prep dinner.  But again, I keep hearing but I don't want to.  I guess this is what happens when you take a trip and come home.  It's hard to just go back to the everyday stuff.  It's so nice to be home and able to eat and cook real meals and sleep in my bed.  It's so hard to work up the motivation needed. 

However, I have a bunch of bananas in the fridge that were left in the car our fist night and froze and then thawed out and now need to be made into something since they can no longer be eaten normally.  It would be such a waste to just throw them out, not to mention it would be the same as throwing away money and I really try not to do that, so I have scoured a few of my cook books and came across a banana cocoa bar recipe that sounds really good.  I also have an avocado that I was unable to get to in time and is now mushy.  I'm thinking that I will just mash it into the bars as well.  I'm also trying out a new recipe for dinner.  We have made cheeseburger pie for years and I see recipes for other versions all the time but have yet to try one.  So tonight I'm trying out chicken and broccoli pie.  That being said, I need to get off my rear and get to it!    More on those after I've actually made and sampled them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm here...

I know it's been a while since I last posted.  We have been out of town visiting family and friends.  It was nice to get away but we will be working our way back toward home today.  Can I just add that traveling for 4+ hours with a 3 year old can be trying on your patience...  I admit though, he's done really well for the most part.  He just gets antsy and wants to know when we will be there after only about 1 hour in the car.  It will be so nice to get home and be able to cook and eat real food.  I'm sorry, I like junk food but after 3 days of driving and eating fast food lunches and going out to dinner I want real food.  We did bring some snacks and fruit but I'm ready for a full day of good food.  I'm actually shocked that I haven't gotten sick from the junk since I don't eat it much anymore. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aldi 1/19/11

Today was our weekly grocery trip.  We really didn't need much at all so I knew that we would be under the budgeted $40.  Everything pictured above came in at $20.75.

I purchased:

Gala Apples
(2) 2 Liter Soda's (this is so my downfall; I LOVE sweets)
Gallon of Milk
Whole Wheat Mini Bagels
BBQ Sauce
Graham Crackers
2lbs of Banana (We have been plowing through bananas)
Baking Soda

Based on this I am sure you are wondering what the heck we eat.  But this was a filler shopping trip.  We are fully stocked right now with meats, rice, instant potatos, pasta and frozen veggies and anything else we would need to make meals.  Plus, we are not going to be eating at home much this weekend so next week will probably be a larger trip.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Walgeen's 1/17/11

The hubby picked up a few things for me last night at Walgreen's.  I sent him with coupons of course.

Transaction 1

Lysol Neutra Air 2/$5 (with $2 RR)
2 coupons for $1.50 off 1 Neutra Air
Rang up at $2.97 each
Total after coupons and RR= $.94 for 2 or $.47 each

Pantene 2/$5 (with $2 in RR)
Coupon for $3 off 2
Rang up at $2.97 each
Total after coupons and RR= $.94 for 2 or $.47 each

Total paid this transaction $6.80

Transaction 2

Kraft Homestyle Macaroni abd Cheese 3/$5 or $1.42 each
Purchased 2 @ $1.42
2  manufactururs coupons for $1
1 store coupon for $1 off 2
Total= FREE

Dawn $1.69
Store coupon $.85
Manufacturers coupon $.25
Total= $.59

Puffs Tissue 2/$3
3 @ $2.12 each
Store Coupon $2.55
Manufacturers Coupon $.25
Total= $3.56 or $1.18 each

Charmin $2.54
Manufacturers coupon $.25
Total= $2.29

Mead Grocery list/menu planner $4.25

Used $4 in RR
Total paid= $7.48

Total paid between 2 transactions= $14.28
Total saved= $23.64

I will definitely be looking for more of the Kraft macaroni coupons since they end up free and are delicious. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu 1/16/11- 1/31/11

Here's the menu for the remainder of the month!

1/16- Crockpot pork sirloin roast with mashed potato's and veggies
1/17- Leftovers
1/18- Scrambled eggs, toast and oranges
1/19- Baked cod with steamed veggies and baked potato
1/20- Cheeseburger pie with salad
1/21- Date Night!!
1/22- Dinner with in-laws
1/23- Dinner with family
1/24- Dinner out of town
1/25- Soup and salad
1/26- Chicken and broccoli pie with salad
1/27- Leftovers
1/28- Cheesy pasta with veggies
1/29- Sandwich's
1/30- Bagels with nutella and fruit
1/31- Lemon pepper fish, mashed potato's and salad

We have a busy weekend coming up with lots of family dinners.  I was feeling very uninspired this time too.  I need to do a little cabinet digging and poke around in the freezers.  Actually, I need to get back on with my organization series because I know it would make menu planning easier.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Little Treat for Myself

So I love taking long, hot baths.  I'm talking the water scalds most people hot.  I, like most women also like the really good smelling bath salts and fizzy balls.  However, I just can't bring myself to buy them anymore when I know that I can make them for next to nothing.  I'm fine with using just plain Epsom salt but decided to look into making my own scented bath salt.  I've looked into this before but never followed through.  I had the hubby pick me up a big bag of Epsom salt and I looked through several recipes online before finding one that I liked.  I used the recipe found here.  It seriously took me all of five minutes to mix up the recipe and put it in a jar.  Remember the glass vegetable containers my mom gave me.  She also gave me a pretty jar that was at one time the home to a candle which now holds my bath salt.  I used lavender oil and eucalyptus oil in my salts.  I also added a little food coloring just to make it look pretty.  Here is the finished product.

I haven't had a chance to use it yet but am definitely looking forward to a nice relaxing bath.

Walgreen's Deals 1/13/11

I mentioned last night in a post that Walgreen's had some "seasonal" food items on sale.  We ended up getting the following items for $5.17!!

The most we paid for any one item was $.64 for the Jello No Bake Cheesecake.  The receipt lists a total savings of $15.24.  So it's definitely worth checking out your local Walgreen's if your looking for some good deals.  I still find it very amusing that they consider these to be seasonal items.  I understand to an extent the pumpkin puree and cranberry sauce but the other items are generally used year round, at least by me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Walgreen's Clearance

Just a heads up, you may want to check your local Walgreen's for clearance items.  One of the stores that we frequent marked down some food items that are considered "seasonal" to 75% off.

The items at our store include:

graham cracker crusts
oatmeal cookies
marshmallow cream
coconut flakes
chicken gravy
cheese cake mix
beef broth
french fried onions
pumpkin puree
cranberry sauce

I'm sure that this is going to vary quite a bit from store to store based on the items they have left from the holiday season.  There was still a little candy at our store that was marked down to $.10 per bag. 

Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins

Yesterday I wanted to use the remainder of the can of pumpkin puree that I opened when I made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes to make Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins.  I didn't have a recipe and looked through my Betty Crocker cook book.  There is a Blueberry Banana Bread recipe in there that we really like and I thought that if I could somehow make a version of that but with pumpkin instead of banana it would be a hit.  Then I started to compare that recipe with a pumpkin bread recipe.  Finally, I decided to just wing it and make my own recipe.  I thought that if I was going to come up with my own recipe then I wanted to make the muffins healthy too.  I went for wheat flour, used less than 1 cup of sugar, did not add any oil or butter/margarine but used applesauce and used the remainder of the pumpkin puree(about 1 cup) and 1 cup of blueberries.  There were a few other ingredients like baking soda, vanilla, salt, and buttermilk but I want to tweak things a little more before posting the actual recipe.  I was a little worried that the muffins would be just horrible.  However, they came out of the oven looking just like a muffin should.  They taste good too.  The texture is slightly different since I used wheat flour instead of all purpose but we like them.  I'm contemplating changing quantities around a bit to make them more moist.  I think that the wheat flour and the texture it leaves gives the illusion that they are dry when they aren't but maybe a little extra moisture will do away with that. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Convenience and Nutrition

It occurred to me that in my quest to build healthier eating habits convenience will end up playing a pretty big role.  I am working on eating more fruits and vegetables as part of building better habits and have been trying to have more salads and snack on fruit/veggies.  Part of the problem I've had in the past is that I have great intentions when it comes to eating fruits and veggies going so far as to buy them and then they sit and never get eaten and eventually get thrown out.  So as I told myself that I would build healthy habits this year I have been thinking about where I usually go wrong.  Part of it is that I just really like the way junk food tastes.  I would rather have cookies or chips over a banana or carrots.  Sorry, but it's the truth.  However, when I do eat fruits and vegetables I always find myself thinking how good it tastes.  Ironic, huh?

Yesterday when we made our trip to Wal Mart I picked up more salad items.  We already have some romaine lettuce on hand.  Instead of leaving it in the packaging and pulling off a leaf here and there I washed and chopped/tore it into pieces right after we bought it.  It was then stored in a Ziploc plastic container in the fridge.  Perfect!  It's ready to go and what do you know, we've been eating it.  We have made several salads and have it ready to put into a sandwich or wrap.  Yesterday afternoon I decided to chop up the carrots, cucumber and tomato that I purchased.  This past weekend my mother was cleaning out her cabinets and came across some glass dishes that were my grandmother's.  There are two with lids (also glass) and they have pictures of vegetables on them.  They aren't anything fancy but they work perfectly to hold pre-sliced fruits and vegetables.  The bonus is that since they are glass I can see what is in them and how much is left making it easier to make grocery lists and seeing the good veggies makes me want to eat them and not forget that they are there.

All of this made me think about the pre-cut fruits and veggies that are sold at the grocery store.  Usually at a much higher price than the same fruit or vegetable with the only difference being that you don't have to do any prep work.  Is it really worth it?  We generally don't buy those items because they are so expensive but to be totally honest we have purchased them in the past.  So, why not do it yourself?  I kept wondering why I haven't done this sooner/more often yesterday as I prepped the items.  It only took about 10 minutes.  That of course made me wonder what else I could be prepping to ensure that I am building my healthy eating habits.  I have to say that dinner is probably my strongest meal nutritionally.  I menu plan and when making the menu's I try to make sure that each meal has a little of everything.  So now I'm working toward making sure that my lunches are nutritious.  In preparation I have hard boiled 4 eggs and am thawing 3 chicken breasts to be seasoned and grilled.  The eggs will be used for either sandwich's or to top salads and the chicken will be used for dinner tonight (Mandarin Chicken Salad) and the rest will be sliced to top salads or go in wraps for lunch for the following week.

Walmart 1/11/11

Since the winter weather nixed my plans to make a second trip to Harris Teeter this week we were getting very low on a few essentials.  Now I can do without milk and juice but I know that little man would be upset.  My parents decided to venture out in the snow/ice and called to see if we wanted to ride along.  They were heading to Wal Mart for a few things so we jumped on the opportunity to grab a few things.  I decided to make this our weekly grocery trip because I try not to have visits too close together because I've found that if I don't remember the item or didn't have it on my list in the first place I can do without it until next time. 

1.5 dozen eggs
two bunches bananas
Romaine lettuce
organic carrots
2 containers of apple juice (128 oz. bottles)
gallon of milk
2 liter of diet soda (2)
yogurt smoothies (12 pack)
individual ice cream (the tiniest I have ever seen- picked out by little man)
1 grapefruit (picked out by little man)
vegetable peeler
store brand turkey lunch meat

That was really all we needed and a few extras. 

Total Today= $31.09
Total for January @ Grocery Stores= $125.28

The total for the month is higher than I would like it to be but it includes a grocery trip where the food purchased was intended to feed 10 people (while we were with friends for New Years) and our larger trip to Harris Teeter for Super Doubles (does not include the portion I paid in cash at HT because that was money left from a previous month/extra that was not factored into the budget).  Keeping with my $40 a week average that means I have $34.72 left for the month or $17.36 per week since there are about two shopping weeks left.  I think that will be doable since we have plenty of food.  The next two weeks we will be mainly buying milk, eggs, and produce.  We have everything else already. 

I think that it helps that we don't buy many snack foods and baked good.  I am making bread today, I get two loaves from a batch so that will last about a week depending on how many sandwich's we make and what we have for breakfast.  I also have half a can of pumpkin puree left from our pumpkin pancakes and my mom shared some of her frozen blueberries left from what we picked this past summer (we had already eaten all of ours) so I intend to use it to make blueberry pumpkin muffins.  Little man LOVES muffins and I haven't made any lately so he will probably gobble them up.  I also came across a recipe for homemade pita pockets that I am dying to try out. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Plans Down the Drain

Well, we woke up to snow.  I knew a winter storm was coming because frankly that's all the news could talk about.  They were predicting that it would start around 7 am (we are EST)  So when little man came in and woke me up at 7:30 and said "Mommy!  It snowed!  There's snow outside!" my first thought was oh well it's already started.  I got up and looked outside to see that not only had it started and was still coming down but that the ground was covered.  Over and hour later and it's still coming down.  Throughout today we are supposed to get 1-3 inches for it to then change over to freezing rain.  Basically they are telling everyone to stay off the roads.  My big plan for today was to make another trip to Harris Teeter to pick up a few additional items.  That's not happening now.  I will just have to wait for the next great sale.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Walgreen's 1/8/11

So the hubby brought home a couple of boxes of cereal yesterday.  Generally be stock up on cereal when it's about $1 a box.  Currently, Walgreen's has some General Mills cereals priced at $1.69 each with his discount and the hubby received a coupon for $1.50 off 3 with his last purchase.  So we got 3 boxes of General Mills cereal for $3.89 which works out to about $1.30 per box.  Not the best price possible for cereal but not bad for a spur of the moment purchase. 

I am currently still considering a second trip to Harris Teeter before the Super Double coupon sale ends.  I'm going through the ad and coupons again to see if there are any deals I missed that are worth the additional trip. 

How times have changed.....

So the hubby and I were talking two nights ago about how different our grocery shopping and cooking habits are from the beginning of our marriage.  Now, first off I think that you should know that we got married during our last year of college at the ages of 21 and 23.  We were young, in college and both working part-full time jobs.  We were on our own paying all of our bills based on what we made at our jobs.  We were good at couponing and general grocery shopping because we both worked many, many years in a grocery store.  So from the get-go we were pretty good grocery shoppers.  Once every other month of so we would drive down the mountain, yep we had to drive down the mountain to get to a lot of stores, and go to Sam's Club.  We invested in a chest freezer just for that purpose.  We wanted to be able to make our Sam's trips count if we were going to have to drive down the mountain to shop there. 

In general back then our grocery and Sam's Club trips consisted of whatever meat we needed or was on sale (generally chicken, ground beef, bacon, steak, roast, and pork).  We regularly purchased cheese sticks, french fries, tator tots, cheesecakes, honey buns, and I'm guessing you can get the drift.  We mainly purchased junk food.  I did attempt menu planning back then.  I wanted to do better and printed out blank menu's and scoured websites for new recipes to make.

One of the menu's I found from back then was:
Monday- Leftovers
Tuesday- Garlic Shrimp, green beans, and biscuits
Wednesday- Roast Ckn w/ potato's and carrots
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Steak, biscuits, baked potato's and macaroni and cheese
Saturday- Ckn tenders and fries
Sunday- Cheeseburger pie

Not terrible but the following week was:

Monday- Lemon pepper ckn, green beans and biscuits
Tuesday- Breakfast pizza and fruit
Wednesday- Pork chops, mashed potato's and Velveeta shells and cheese
Thursday- leftovers/sandwich's
Friday- Shrimp and rice
Saturday- Steak, salad and potato's
Sunday- Salmon, potato's, green beans and biscuits

Ok, see a pattern there?  Meat, carbs and pretty much no vegetables.  I want to say that back then we had biscuits or potato's at every meal.  I can definitely see a major improvement in our eating habits.  Back then things were usually fried too.  If we had pork chops or chicken it was fried. 

Don't get me wrong, we still have a lot of room for improvement but our meals are much more balanced and there is more variety.  Biscuits are a rarity anymore and I don't even consider potato's a vegetable as I once did.  I try to have at least one vegetable with dinner and am working toward making sure there are fruits/vegetables at each meal.  I also see good things about our introduction to menu planning.  We had the beginnings of a good system going it just took time and I guess age for us to make some of the additional changes.  I mean seriously, I didn't know any other 21 year old that was making menu plans. 

Over the past 6-7 years I've seen the evolution of our grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking.  We have gone from young college kids that eat fast food multiple times per week, eat lots of prepackaged items and very few veggies to parents that want to set a good example for their child and cook from scratch.  Now, if we do happen to buy cheese sticks or cheesecake at Sam's it's a treat and we don't inhale them within a week.

It's so easy to get down on ourselves about our bad habits.  I know that I have a major sweet tooth and that I haven't always been the best eater.  I was what you would call a "picky" eater.  I've had an aversion to tomato sauces since I was a baby.  They make me gag to the point of almost throwing up and the smell even makes me feel sick.  So growing up I always got the you don't eat what?! when I would inform others that I don't like pizza, spaghetti, lasagna or any type of food with tomato based sauces.  I was also not the most adventurous eater.  I ate a lot of the same stuff.  However, there are so many things that I have tried and that I eat now that I didn't 10 years ago.  After looking at our old menu's and looking at the menu plans I've made the past few months I see really good progress.  There is more variety in how meals are prepared, the vegetables that are eaten and there are a LOT more vegetables being eaten.  

I'm interested to see what kind of progress we make over the next few years and where we will be with our menu's and eating habits in the future. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Harris Teeter 1/5/11

Happy dance for Super Double coupons.  OK now that I'm done with that (I really do a happy dance every time they do super doubles or triple coupons).

I feel like today's Harris Teeter trip was successful.  We of course spent more than I wanted but half of it was left over from the previous month and the rest came out of our account and the portion that came out of our account was $10 over what I normally spend in a week.  I can live with that.

Please ignore the mess in the background

So total spent on all of the food pictured above $102.05!!  Total saved between coupons and sales $94.70!!

I used $50 in cash that was left over from the previous month/gifts and used the other $52.05 from this months food budget.  I was hoping that it would only be my planned $40 but I never adhere to that or make myself when it's super double or triple coupons.  However, I shouldn't need much for the next two weeks, probably month.

Here are the best deals I was able to get.

Mahatma Rice 3/$2
Coupon $.75 off 2 (doubled to $1.50)
Total for 2 rice packets = $1.34- $1.50
Made $.16 or FREE

Success Boil in Bag Rice 2/ $3
Coupon $1 off 1 (doubled to $2 off 1)- I had 2 of these
Total for 2 boxes of rice = $3 - $4
Made $1 or FREE

YoCrunch Yogurt 2/ $4
Coupon for $.50 (doubled to $1) off 1
Total for 1 pack $2-$1 = $1

Weight Watchers Yogurt 8/$6
Coupon for $1 off 5 (doubled to $2)
Total paid for 5 yogurts = $3.75-$2 =$1.75
Total paid per yogurt= $.35

Snack Pack Pudding 5/$5
Coupon for $.60 (doubled) off 3
Total for 3 Snack Packs= $3-$1.20= $1.80
Total paid per Snack Pack= $.60

Martha White Coffee Cake Mix $1.99 each
Coupons for $.55 each (doubled to $1.10)
Total paid for 3 boxes= $5.97- $3.30= $2.67
Total paid per box= $.89

Martha White Muffin Mix $1.15 each
Coupons for $.55 (doubled to $1.10) off 2
Total paid for 4 muffin mixes= $4.60- $2.20= $2.40 for 4
Total paid per mix= $.60

Ziploc Bags (sandwich size) 2/$5
Coupon for $1.25(doubled) off 2
Total paid for 2 boxes= $5-$2.50
Total paid per box= $1.25

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich's $3.99 (on sale)
Coupon for $1 off (doubled)
Total paid= $1.99 (really good deal for those)

Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) Buy 1 get 2 free...I of course grabbed this deal up because we love chicken.

Whole Pork Sirloin Roasts Buy One Get One Free...we got 2.

Obviously there were some extras thrown in there but overall it was a good trip and we are very well stocked until next time.

Walgreen's 1/4/2011

So I got a text from the hubby yesterday letting me know that his store had bacon on clearance for $.50 per pack.  They were trying to sell it because it is getting close to the best by/expiration date.  He wanted to know how much, if any, I wanted him to get.  I told him to get as much as he wanted. 

Oscar Meyer Bacon $.50 each with employee discount= $4.32 for 10 packs!!!!  We got 10 pack of bacon for $4.32.  Generally packs of bacon are at least $3 each, sometimes they are only that price when they are on sale.  No, we don't eat bacon daily but we put all of the bacon in our chest freezer and can pull out a pack at a time.  We will have bacon for months and we usually split the packs, so one pack lasts two meals.  That means that we ended up paying approximately $0.22 for each meals worth of bacon or about $.07 per person for bacon at a meal.

Don't be afraid to stock up on a good deal.  In my experience meat is fine as long as it's been frozen before the best by date.  Go with your gut.  I have seen meat in the discounted section before that looked a little off and wouldn't touch it and other times I grab it up.  It really is a preference thing.  If your still a little skeptical ask someone in the meat department of your grocery store.  We don't mind purchasing items that are close to their best by date or expiration date as long as we know that we will either be able to use it before it goes bad or freeze it to use at a later date.  However, I know that everyone is different and not everyone would be ok eating meat that is reduced due to it's date.  It was just my opinion on the matter and our personal experiences.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Super Doubles!!

I started doing a happy dance when I saw the buzz floating around the blogosphere.  Harris Teeter is doing Super Double coupons this coming week.  They haven't done this since I believe October.  That's the last time I remember seeing them.  I plan to look over the sneak peeks that have been posted tonight and start pulling coupons.  I usually do major stockpiling when there are super double or triple coupons and buy a lot of items.  All for a really great price but I've been thinking that it would make sense to buy what we need and only a few stockpiling staples.  I'm not sure how this will go though because this is how I generally stock up on food and meat so that I only need to buy what we need until the next major sale.

Menu: January 1- 15th

Here's the first half of our January menu.

1- Out of town
2- Out of town
3- Leftovers
4- Grilled ckn w/ mashed potato's and green beans
5- Leftover roast over rice w/ mixed veggies
6- Warm sandwich's with fruit
7- Grilled pork chops, roasted sweet potato's/baking potato's and salad
8- Spicy ckn sandwich's w/ carrot/cucumber sticks
9- Pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes w/ turkey bacon and fruit
10- Shrimp with angel hair herb pasta and broccoli
11- Baked cod w/ steamed veggies and salad
12- Mandarin ckn salad
13- Leftovers
14- Ckn/turkey wraps w/ fruit
15-  Cheeseburger pie with salad

What can I say, we like chicken and have tons of it right now.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back to Reality

The past two months have been so busy, or at least it's felt that way to me.  I felt a huge relief when I finished the holiday challenge.  Then with Christmas, our snow storm and going out of town for New Year's it's been very hectic.  It was a huge relief to come home but being home means coming back to the real world and getting back on top of our finances, grocery shopping, and so on.  Not to mention the toy regurgitation that is my living room at the moment.  A little boy I know has too many toys.  Some of which will begin to disappear over the next few days.  I plan to make a little list this week of the items that little man plays with and then remove all age inappropriate and unused toys.  That itself is a task, and may not be completed but it will be so nice to at least thin out the toys.  So tomorrow it's time to get back to the norm; laundry, cleaning, thinning out toys, and finally making our menu for January( I wanted to do this during the drive of our New Years trip however the hubby has severe car sickness and even though he was driving it would have made him sick to watch me write. waits to be completed)  Once everything is back in order I can finally get back to organizing the pantry and freezers. 

I think that I was one of the few people that didn't make actual New Years resolutions.  I've done it in the past and never stuck with it.  So I'm not making resolutions this year but want to work toward creating a couple of new habits. 

1) Work more fruits and vegetables into our meals.  We do not eat the way that we should.  I can honestly say that there have been days that when thinking back I realize I have not eaten a single fruit or vegetable.  I do NOT want to pass this on to little man.  Right now he loves fruit and asks for it.  I don't want to ruin that by him picking up on our bad eating habits.  I would love for us to actually eat the way we are supposed to and get all of our daily servings of fruits and vegetables.  Right now that's a lot to ask.  So I'm shooting for making sure that we get one fruit and one vegetable each day or at least two servings overall whether it be two fruits or two vegetables.  This is temporary because once we have that habit down we can add on.

2)  I am so excited to be starting the new year after having worked on the $40 grocery challenge.  I want to continue this for the full year.  Like when I started the blog I know that this won't be completely feasible each and every week of the year but I'm hoping that I will be able to "shop" my pantry/freezers and then buy fresh items as needed and of course stock up when there are good sales.  I am very interested to see how much our annual grocery budget is this year. 

That's pretty much it.  It doesn't seem like a lot but I will never stick to it if I give myself 20 new habits to work on.  Plus I will be building on he habits as I go.