Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - January 30 to February 6

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Last week I had a couple of meals I didn't get around to.  One night we ended up having chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches instead.  So this week a couple of meals will be returning from last week. 

If you have been reading my weekly shopping totals posts this month you will see that I have spent just $245.50 in January to feed five people.  You may see that and think we can't be eating very good but you can look at my menu and see that really we are, plus we have plenty of foods around the house to snack on.  We are definetly eating good.  I have been able to trim my budget down by buying only what's on sale, stocking up when items go on sale, and pairing it with coupons.  It takes time and a lot of effort but in the end if you are looking to cut your grocery bill down it's the only way to go.  This week I have everything I need for my meals with the exception of a half gallon of buttermilk for the fried chicken on Saturday.

Here's what I have planned for this week (links to recipes are in blue)

Tuesday - Ham and Potato Casserole  (we absolutely loved this last time)

Wednesday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes

Thursday - Rainy Day Chili

Friday - grocery shopping eating out

Sunday - Eating out after church, we have a Buy One Entree Get One Entree free coupon from Logan's Roadhouse that is good only on February 6th

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shopping Totals January 23 through 29th

This week there weren't many great deals at the grocery stores, and a lot of what I got was snack food type things. However, I did manage to find 3 pound tubes of hamburger at Meijer for $4 a tube, making it $1.33 a pound. They only had four tubes left so I bought all four getting 12 pounds of hamburger for just $16. It made me smile. And this came on the heels of me doing the happy dance in Michaels where I found this wreath

marked down to just $4.99.  It was one that they had made in the store for Christmas and was originally priced $49.99 but it was on sale for 90% off. 

Here's what I spent this week:

Meijer was my biggest shopping trip this week.  I bought:

(3) candy bars for the kids
(3) Krusteaz peanut butter cookie mixes $1.99 each with $1 off coupon making them 99 cents each
gallon Meijer Milk $2.49
(2) boxes Uncle Bens Boil in a Bag Rice $2.62 each with $1 off coupon making them $1.62 each
(3) Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese dinners $1.67 each, with $1 off coupons making them $0.67 each
Planko Bread crumbs $1.57
(2) Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie mixes $1.50 each with $0.40 coupons that were doubled making them $0.70 each
(4) 3 pound rolls of hamburger $4 each
(2) bags Chex mix $1.25 each with $0.50 coupons that were doubled making them $0.25 a bag
(2) boxes Betty Crocker muffins $1.67 each with $0.50 coupon doubled making them $0.67 each
Kraft String Cheese $5.99 with $1 off coupon making it $4.99
bag Meijer hasbrowns $2
bag Meijer french fries $2

Total Coupon Savings $13.60
Total Out of Pocket Cost $45.01

My Walgreens trip would have been better except for the fact that I had to buy sinus medicine that I needed and could not get on sale.  So it really throws my total off.

Severe Sinus/Allergy Medicine $5.99
(2) Stayfree Maxi Pads 16 count $1.99, used Buy One Get One Free coupon making them $1.00 each
used $1 Register Rewards

Total coupon savings $2.99
Total out of pocket cost $7.68

Walmart was another small trip this week.  I bought:

Purina Puppy Chow $4.48 with $1 off coupon making it $3.48 (plus it had another $1 off coupon in bag)
(6) boxes Snuggle Dryer Sheets $1.87 each with $2 on 2 coupon making them $0.87 each

Total Coupon Savings $7
Total Out of Pocket Cost $9.80

For the week I saved a total of $23.59 with coupons and spent $62.49.  This is all I spent this week on groceries to feed five people.  I know it doesn't look like I bought a lot but I will use it in conjunction with what I have already bought this month and have in my stockpile.

So far this month I have spent $245.50 with a total coupon savings of $91.98.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cooking Thursday: Easy Peach Crisp

Join us at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Cooking Thursday.

I like to cook using items in my stockpile, but sometimes coming up with meals using stockpile items can be a huge challenge.  Especially when it comes to desserts.  With the cheap Quaker oatmeal I bought a few weeks ago I decided to experiment with an easy peach crisp for dessert.  It turned out great, and was a big hit with my family.

  • 2 cans Peaches
  • 2 Packs Maple Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup butter

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Open cans of peaches and remove some of the juice.  I sliced my peaches into smaller chunks.  Place peaches into the bottom of a pan.

3.  Mix two packages of Quaker Instant Oatmeal with 1/4 cup butter.  Spread mixture over top of peaches.

4.  Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until topping is crisp. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday January 24th - 30th

Last week we tried the Ham and Potato Casserole from The Ramblings of Carmom and I must say it was an absolute hit!  This is one recipe that is definetly worth trying if you haven't tried it yet.  Not only was it delicious but it was super easy!  I mixed it up the night before and put it in the fridge with cooking instructions for my husband to start before I got home.   

Here's what I have planned for this week:

links to recipes are in blue

Monday - Easy Pulled Pork Barbecue, macaroni and cheese, green beans

Tuesday - Papa Johns Pizza Fundraiser

Wednesday - Quick Chicken Parmesan (New Recipe)

Thursday - Pineapple Ham, mashed potatoes, corn (left over from last week - recipe to follow) 

Saturday - Church and Grocery Shopping - Will be Eating Out

Sunday - Crockpot Swiss Chicken Casserole (New Recipe)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shopping Totals January 17th to 23rd

This week my shopping was limited to Wal-Mart, Meijer, and Kroger.  I got some pretty decent deals this week, although I spent more at Meijers than I would have liked to but I stocked up on the chicken that was sold out last week and that I got a rain check on. 

If you are wondering why I am posting my shopping trips every week it's because I am wanting to get an idea of my grocery spending habits, this way I can see exactly how much I am spending, and if I can trim my budget in any way.

Here's how I did this week:
(2) Snuggle 40 count $1.87 each used a $2 on 2 coupon making them $0.87 each
Crest Kids Toothpaste - no coupon or sale but the only type my daughter uses $0.97
(3) Reach dental floss $0.97 used a $3 on 3 coupon making them free

Total coupon savings $5
Total out of pocket $3.15

Kroger had their Mega Freezer Sale going on this week.  If you bought 10 select freezer items you received $5 off instantly.  A lot of the freezer stuff we don't use for our everyday meals but I like to keep them on hand because with teenagers and a 'tween in the house they are always hungry. 

I didn't do a good job of keeping up with which coupons went with what so I won't be able to break down complete costs.

(2) Tombstone Pizza $5.38 for both
(3) Pillsbury Toaster Strudels $1.99 each
(4) Jose Ole Mini Tacos $11.96 for all
Hot Pockets $2.10
Manchuan Yakisoba $1, used $0.50 coupon which doubled making it free

$5 off for Mega Freezer Event
Total Coupon Savings $4.75
Total Out of Pocket $16.66

Again I didn't do a very good job of keeping up with my coupons/prices so I can't give a complete price breakdown this week. 

The chicken breasts from last week and the Coke 12 packs are what drove my price up, they were about $60 of my total.  My husband likes to keep Coke at home, that is his one luxury item that he is allowed.

(2) Skintimate Shave Gels
(2) Mitchum Deodorant
Baking Potatoes
3 Minute Maid Fruit Juices
Meijer Milk
Worchestershire Sauce
(6) 4 lb. bags of boneless skinless chicken breasts
(6) cans Pringles
American Cheese Slices
Sargento Shredded Cheddar Cheese
(6) 12 packs Coke

Total Coupon Savings $7.75
Total Out of Pocket $93.03

In all I spent a total of $112.84 with a coupon savings of $17.50.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday Night Sewing

Last night I took some time out to participate in Heidi's Friday Night Sew-In.  I spent my time working on a lapghan that I am making.  See, I learned to crochet twenty some years ago when I was in the third grade for a 4-H project.  I like crocheting, it's something small that I can do while I watch TV.  The the thing is though that I have never given it much time, and I am not very good at it.  See I can make small potholders, and little knick knacks but I've never made anything big or complicated.  So I decided that this year I wanted to make an afghan.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to make anything to fancy, so I started looking for a basic beginner afghan pattern and found this pattern for a Baby Blanket/Lapghan.
Here's what I have done so far:


I didn't choose the color red for any particular reason.  I just happened to have red yarn around the house for a Christmas project.  It does kind of remind me of Valentines Day and I think I might use white for a border, we'll see.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

This will be my first Friday Night Sew-in in a long time, and I am sooo excited.  I love the idea of setting some time aside for a little bit of sewing and crafting, it really forces me to make myself work on a project.  Plus nothing sounds better on a cold winter Friday night than coming home from work, getting into my warm jammies, and doing some sewing.   This week I am going to be working on a crochet project that I have been neglecting for a while.

Do you want to join us for Friday Night Sew-in?  If so head over to Handmade by Heidi to sign up!

Easy Pulled Pork Barbecue

I have a confession to make...up until last week I had never, ever bought a pork roast.  Never.  I have never been real sure what to do with them.  However, when I found Boston Butt pork roasts on sale last week for 99 cents a pound I knew that I could figure out something to make with it.  After all any meat for 99 cents a pound is pretty much unheard of any more. 

My lovely husband suggested making pulled pork barbecue out of it, and that is exactly what we did.

The night before we cooked the pork roast my husband deboned it for me, and trimmed the fat off.  When we deboned it, it really created two seperate roasts.  After deboning it we rubbed it down with my homemade rub.

The rub is made by mixing together:

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

After rubbing down the meat we placed it in a large bowl, covered it in saran wrap and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

The next morning I put the pork roast in my broaster oven at 350 degrees.  I cooked the roast for three hours, and at that point the meat was just falling apart. 

After removing the meat from the broaster I pulled it apart into small pieces.

Next I put the pulled meat into the crockpot and mixed in barbecue sauce.  Normally I would make my own barbecue sauce, but this time I used store bough since I have about twelve bottles of barbecue sauce sitting around that I bought last summer for just 29 cents each.  I ended up using two bottles of sauce.
Since I wasn't sure how long it would take the meat to cook, I had started cooking it early in the day, and it cooked a lot quicker than I had expected it to.  Since we still had quite a bit of time to go before dinner,  I kept the meat in the crockpot on low for about four more hours. 

Join us at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Cooking Thursday to find a lot more recipes or to post one of your own.

1 Year Subscription to Parent's Magazine for Just $1

I just ordered my one year subscription to Parent's Magazine and you can get yours for just $1 too!  Just go to the Barne's and Noble website and add a one year subscription to your cart.  At checkout enter Coupon Code K9B9J4H and pay just $1 plus tax!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday, January 17th to 23rd

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

It's been a while since I have done a Menu Plan Monday post.  It's not that I haven't wanted to but I just simply haven't had the time.  I have kept sort of a make-do menu plan in my head but it doesn't always come to fruition and on top of that there is always that ingredient or two that I think I have on hand but end up not having.  So to make my life easier (and my families bellies a lot fuller) I am going back to making a Menu Plan each week.

So here's what I have planned for this week:

Monday - White Bean and Ham Soup, Jiffy Corn Bread

Tuesday - Smoked Sausage Au Gratin Skillet Dinner (a family favorite)

Wednesday - Ham and Potato Casserole (New Recipe)

Thursday - Rainy Day Chili

Friday - Pineapple and Brown Sugar Ham, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn

Saturday - Eating Out

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday January 15th Shopping Trip

With going back to work my grocery shopping habits have changed.  I use to be able to drop my kids off at school on Monday morning, and spend Monday visiting all of the stores to get the greatest grocery deals.  Unfortunately now I have to wait until the weekend to go shopping so my Saturday off is generally spent grocery shopping.  This Saturday we went to Target, Walgreens, Meijer and Kroger.  I did really good with my coupons this week and got some great deals.  Here are the highlights of my trip:

Target was an easy trip with just four items on the list.  Here is what I got:

2 Scrubbing Bubbles Power Sprayers marked down to $5.94, I used a $5 off coupon on each of them making them just 94 cents each

2 Shout Wipes to Go 4 packs - these were $0.97 each and I used a $0.55 coupon on each making them just 42 cents each

Total Coupon Savings $11.10

Total Out of Pocket $3.69

Walgreens was another short shopping trip and I while I did save it was nothing really super extraordinary.

I bought 2 bottles of Jergens lotion on save for $2.79 each and had a coupon for $3 off 2 making them just $1.29 each

I also bought Bic Soleil razors on sale for $4.99 each.  I had a Buy One Get One Free Coupon on these, and received a $1 in register rewards making them just $1.98 each.

Total Coupon Savings $7.99 

Total Out of Pocket $8.66 

Plus a $1 in Register Rewards to use next week

Meijer was a bit of a disappointment for me.  The chicken that I had planned on stocking up on was completely sold out so I had to get a rain check.  Yes, I can get 6 bags of it next week but I was hoping to use chicken in our meals this week.  Oh well.

Some of the best deals I got at Meijer this week were:

Kool Aid Jammers 12 boxes for $0.67 each after in store promotion

3 Activia 4 pack on sale for $1.88, used $0.50 coupon which they doubled making them just 88 cents each

Pillsbury Sweet Moments on sale for $2 used $1 off coupon making them $1 each

I also bought a ham, some milk, and Pillsbury cookie dough.

My total coupon savings was $20.05

Total Out of Pocket $33.76

Kroger was where I got most of my really good deals this week, with several items free or really cheap.

Here are the highlights:

2 packs of Carefree Pantyliners priced at $1.02 each, used a $0.50 coupon which they doubled making them just 2 cents a pack

3 packs of  Schick razors on clearance for $3.49 each, used $2 off coupons making them $1.49 each

Celestial Seasonings Green Tea priced $2, used $1 off coupon making it $1 a box

Colgate toothpaste, on sale for $1 used $0.50 coupon which they doubled making it free

Quaker Instant Oatmeal $1.99, used $1 off coupon making it $0.99

Colgate toothbrush, on sale for $1 used $0.50 coupon which they doubled making it free

I also found 3 pound bags of brown sugar marked down to $0.89 a bag, so I bought 5 of them

In addition I bought a pork roast, and 2 loafs of bread

Total Coupon Savings $11.75

Total Out of Pocket $23.96

In all I spent a total of $70.07 out of pocket with a total coupon savings of $50.89

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free Maalox at Wal-Mart

Sunday's Smart Source coupon insert included a coupon for $5 off 1 Maalox product.  I went to Wal-Mart today at lunch time and the 35 count bottle of chewable tablets was priced $4.97 so I was able to get it for free.  The liquid is even cheaper at $4.32 a bottle but my husband prefers the chewable tablets.  If your Wal-Mart will allow coupon overages this might even work out to be a money maker for you.

I had four coupons for this so I was able to get four bottle for free.  I love stocking up on items we use for free! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where I've Been

You may or may not have noticed that I haven't been blogging very much lately.  Let me rephrase that I haven't been blogging at all lately!  It's been a very busy time for me.  I have gone back to work after being a stay at home mom for well over six years. 

If that hasn't been enough of a change we have also moved.  We didn't move far, just a few miles from our old house.  But it feels like a huge move.  Bye, bye country house with ten acres and woods, hello subdivision.  While our new house is a nice house it really is a downsize for us.  While we know have a garage and a basement (Yay!!!) we now have three bedrooms instead of five, and our nice two bathrooms, one of which had a huge soaker tub and stand up shower, for a small bathroom that we all must share.  Not so much fun.  Scratch that - no fun at all!  However, we are really enjoying living closer to town, less than five minutes to a grocery store and school, and closer to my work. 

I am hoping that this move will allow me more time to cook and craft again.  And I have been feeling very crafty lately.  Which I must admit is due to the fact that my little sister announced in December that she will be having a baby this summer!  I get to be an aunt!  And I am sooo excited.  Plus, now I have a baby to make all kinds of cute little things for!  It's going to be spoiled before it even gets here.

So I promise you will be seeing regular posts around here again real soon!