Saturday, January 31, 2009
Famous Oatmeal Cookies
3 c. oatmeal
1 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat over to 350. Grease cookie sheet. In a medium bowl combine oats, flour, salt, and soda. In a larger bowl beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water, and vanilla until creamy. Add dry ingredients to the larger bowl mixture and mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Now I make these cookies for my own kids.
I think they love them as much as I do!
For other great recipes, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap!
Friday, January 30, 2009
- Watch a movie to watch after the kids are in bed, have cheap/free snacks, pop some popcorn. (use a FREE Redbox code, grab a movie from the library, or swap movies with a friend)
- Take and nice long walk and talk with each other. This is good for your body and for your marriage!
- Take the kids to a friends house and go home and have a nice quiet dinner. This is an actual dinner my hubby prepared for me as a surprise. He even borrowed his parent's table linens, candelabra, and china!
- Spend an evening taking pictures of each other with the digital camera. We have done this so many times, it can get really silly!
- Pack a picnic and eat it in the backyard, living room, or go to a park.
- Find a book you both want to read and spend some time reading it out loud to each other.
- Read this article I shared early on in my blog about some other fun date ideas - some I have tried, and some I haven't!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
2 loaves Grandma Emilie's Bread - $4.20
1 package flour tortillas - $1.39
1 12 pack English muffins - $1.39
Net OOP: $7.40
Finally I made one more trip to Fred Meyer. I ended up with:
4 Gallons Milk - $8.00
1 kraft singles - $2.25 (mark down)
1 package ham - $1.29 (mark down)
1 Philly cream cheese - $1.25
4 bags of Kraft shredded cheese - $6.67 -4 $.75 off coupons (blinkies I found in front of the display) = $3.67
Net OOP: $17.63
My overall total for the week was: $47.46. Hmmm...that's pretty good if I wasn't WAY overbudget last week. So here is the plan. I think I have enough milk for 2 weeks - so no shopping next week no matter what the deals are! I still have $67.68 to make up for. If I skip next week, the following week I will have $32.32 to spend. Then I will be back on track. I think I can...I think I can...
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This week I am going to share a site that I know a lot of you know about, but this is especially for newbies...Hot Coupon World! This site is jam packed with information about saving money with coupons.
--I love to go to the Forums section and read the Walgreen's thread. Usually there are ad scans available up to three weeks in advance! I love this because you can see what is coming and make a decision about when to use your coupons. If there is a better sale coming up, you can save them!
--I also frequent the Grocery Guide (it takes a minute to load). Enter your zip code and check mark the stores that you want to shop and you will get a breakdown of sales and coupons available! This is really cool!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Check out Rocks in my Dryer for other great Works for me Wednesday ideas!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This next reason is something that I hear a lot.
Store brands are cheaper than a name brand with a coupon.
It is a valid point because it is true in a lot of cases - especially when the name brand isn't on sale. I shared my own experience in this post a few weeks ago.
In many cases it isn't true - like when you can get an item for FREE with a coupon.
You can also use a high value coupon to purchase a smaller sized item. For example, I had a coupon for $1.00 off Suave hand lotion. The standard sized lotion is $3.99. With my coupon it would have been $2.99. The store brand lotion was $1.99. I did, however, find a smaller purse sized Suave hand lotion for $.99 making the lotion FREE.
I know a lot of people like to keep a price book. This would be perfect for determining whether the store brand is cheaper than a coupon item. Unfortunately, I am not that organized, so I do my comparisons in the store. I also have a general idea in my head about how much things are. This helps a lot too.
How about you? What is your experience with this?
Monday, January 26, 2009
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Sunday, January 25, 2009
Here is the plan for this week:
Monday: Chicken and Stuffing Casserole, fruit salad
Tuesday: Chili, corn muffins
Thursday: Home baked macaroni and cheese, green beans
Friday: Homemade Pizza night! I am using this pizza dough recipe.
Saturday: Ham, broccoli, cheese bisquick pie, fruit salad
Sunday: Apricot chicken, rice, broccoli
Saturday, January 24, 2009
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 26 oz can/jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice
9 lasagna noodles
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 c. lowfat cottage cheese
2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic together. When ground beef is browned, add spaghetti sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook lasagna according to package directions. In a small separate bowl, mix the cottage cheese and egg together.
Spread about 1/2 cup of meat/sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Add three noodles side by side to cover bottom of pan. After that, layer as follows:
1/2 of cottage cheese mixture
1/3 of the mozzarella cheese
1/3 of the meat/sauce
3 more noodles side by side
1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture
1/3 of the mozzarella cheese
1/3 of the meat/sauce
3 more noodles
1/3 mozzarella cheese
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350.
This is perfect with a green salad and garlic cheese biscuits.
For more great recipes check out the Grocery Cart Challenge's recipe swap!
Friday, January 23, 2009
- You will not purchase things that you already have (like refried beans)
- You will not become overrun with stuff because you know that you can only use so many bread bags, baggies, plastic shopping bags, etc.
- You keep a grocery list and don't overspend because you stick to the list.
- You always know what coupons you have :)
I'm sure there are plenty more benefits, but those are just a few that I have found helpful. I am not writing this because I am the most organized person in the world - on the contrary. I like to be organized, I am striving for organization, and I see the many benefits of it.For more of my thoughts on this, read this article I wrote few months ago. How about you? How has organization helped your frugality? Please leave a comment!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I took two trips to Fred Meyer this week. One trip I bought 6 1/2 gallons of skim milk. They were on sale for $1.00 each with the in ad coupon. I don't have a picture.
Net OOP: $6.36
The second trip was the biggie.
2 loaves of bread - $3.34
2 FM cottage cheese - $2.50
2 FM sour cream - $1.98
1 FM plain yogurt - $1.25
10 assorted Yoplait yogurt - $5.00
2 FM orange juice - $2.00 (w/in ad coupon)
2 FM chocolate milk - $2.00 (w/in ad coupon)
1 8-pack Yoplait yogurt - $2.19 (this was a mark down because it was getting close to the date)
5.13 lbs of bananas - $1.71 (they were 3 lbs for $1.00!)
2 cans FM pears - $1.98
1 bag of grapes - $2.68
2 big pears - $1.24
1 cantaloupe - $4.28!!! (I didn't see that coming - it also wasn't very good :'()
2 FM pepperoni - $5.00
1 Kroger cheese - $4.79
1 pack Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patties - $1.99 (these were marked down)
2 packages Oscar Meyer hot dogs - $1.98 (also marked down)
1 package Ham - $.79 (also a mark down)
Net OOP: $49.51 (yes! a whole week's budget! ugh!)
I also went to Walgreen's for the Ragu deal:
7 jars of Ragu spaghetti sauce - $13.93 (-2 $.50 off 2 Ragu coupon, and 3 $.25 off 1 Ragu coupon) - $12.18
1 jar Hellman's Mayonaise - $3.99 (-$.60 off Hellman's coupon)Net OOP: $16.65 + I received a $10.00 Register Reward
Now, instead of being $4.06 over budget, I am now $70.22 over budget! Yikes. Was it worth it? Not really. Especially not that cantaloupe!
Here is the thing, though. I have a huge stockpile. I have tons of fresh stuff. I have a lot of milk. My plan is to cut way back the next few weeks so I can catch up with this. After all, I still have the $2600.00 budget for the year. I want to make sure I don't go over that.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Here is how we do it:
- We take 4 kitchen chairs and put two on each side of our living room rug facing away from each other (see picture above).
- A twin sheet fits perfectly around the chair seats.
- The flat sheet goes over the top the opposite way (it isn't in its lowered position for this picture).
- We usually put a pillow and blanket in there and my son likes to look at books, bring his toys/cars and play, or take a nap.
- Voila! Happy, entertained kids!
Head on over to Rocks in my Dryer for other great Works for me Wednesday ideas!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
It takes too much time. Using coupons can be time consuming, however, there are many, many, many ways you can save time.
- Check out blogs like Be Centsable. They have a feature called the Grocery Gathering where they team up with many other bloggers to list the sales at stores around the country with coupon matches. This takes the guesswork out of getting the best deal.
- Check out the other blogs on my blogroll who share deals, freebies, shopping trips, and ideas for frugal living.
- Hot Coupon World is another wonderful resource. I always check out the Walgreen's forum to see the latest ad scan, deals, and coupon matches. This resource shares information from coupon shoppers all over the country.
- Set aside some uninterrupted time each week to organize, clip, and prepare your lists. I usually spend less than an hour a week preparing to shop.
- Don't try to get every deal out there. This is what I did in the beginning that caused a lot of problems. I went to every store for this deal or that deal and by the time I was done I was frustrated and had spent all night getting 5 items. Not cool. Just get the deals that you can't live without - it will save you tons of time!
Monday, January 19, 2009
It has been quite a while since I have been to Winco. They usually have the lowest prices on everyday items. They also have a great bulk foods section. They have a semi-strict coupon policy (no printables!) so I just don't shop there all that much.
I ended up with:
4 Gallons milk - $9.52
2 Jiffy corn muffin mixes - $.98
1 Worcestershire sauce - $.88
10# bag flour - $3.78
.93# barley - $.45
4 apples - $1.57
2 peaches - $1.57
1 can cherry pie filling - $1.78
celery - $1.28
carrots - $.98
.92# lentils - $.81
.29# poppy seeds - $1.19
1 can olives - $.98
I didn't use any coupons, so my net OOP was $26.86
Then I went to Albertson's because we were also out of ground beef. That just stresses me out!
Here is what I ended up with there:
1 Family pack ground beef - $10.41
Stew meat - $2.51
2# bananas $1.24
2 canisters of Quaker Oats - $3.00 (used 2 $.60 off Quaker coupons) - $1.80
2 boxes of Life cereal - $3.00 (used 1 $1.00 off 2 coupon) - $2.00
4 boxes of Frosted Flakes - $5.00 (used 2 $1.00 off kellogg's coupons) - $3.00
Net OOP: $21.47
If I had stopped there, I would have been just under budget. But I didn't. Saturday we took our car to Walmart to get the oil changed and we had about 1 1/2 hours to kill at Walmart. I had some coupons with me - and I found some great deals. So here is what put me over budget. I have to say that I LOVE the Laughing Cow cheeses. They are so yummy, but are usually $2.98 each, which is expensive. There were some $.55 off coupons in a recent insert, so I have been carrying them around with me looking for a good deal on Laughing Cow cheese. Walmart had these on sale for $1.88 each - already a great discount, but with my coupons...you get the picture.
3 Laughing Cow Cheeses - $5.64 (used 3 $.55 off Laughing Cow) - $3.99
2 Kotex - $2.00 (used 2 $1.00 off Kotex) - FREE!
2 Suave hand lotion - $1.94 (used 2 $1.00 off Suave) - FREE+.06 overage!
Net OOP: $4.50
Here is the thing...I'm not done. We still really need bread and I want to do the Ragu deal at Walgreen's, so I am going to use some of next week's budget, and not go shopping next week - except for milk. My hubby and kids drink it like crazy! Stay tuned and I'll post the rest of the trip when I do it.
**update** see the rest of my shopping this week here.
Has anyone heard of Little Crow Foods? If their products are available in your area, you can get a FREE coupon mailer here.