Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Freezer Meals - Part Three - Packaging Methods

This is part 3 in my blog series on Freezer cooking. Check out my other posts here and here.

What is the best way to package freezer meals?

Let's just say it isn't going to be a super frugal way to cooking if you are going out and buying all new dishes to package the stuff, so try to use what you already have. With that in mind, here are the basics...

++The enemy to frozen food is air. Package your foods so there is minimal air.

++You can purchase disposable tin pans. I do not do this because of the unnecessary expense. They are also difficult to reuse and are flimsy to wash. These do work great for meals that you give away. You can usually pick these up at the dollar store.

++Freezer bags (in various ways)

++Foil (line a casserole dish with foil, put your casserole into it, freeze, then wrap in foil. On baking day place back into the casserole dish and bake.) This doesn’t work great for tomato based meals, the acid wears holes in the foil. I picked this one up from Gayle over at The Grocery Cart Challenge. Check out her post HERE. It works GREAT!

++Glad or Ziploc reusable containers.

++Glass Pyrex dishes with lids (no they don't break).

++Don’t forget to label, label, label! Will you know the difference between spaghetti sauce and taco soup if it isn't labeled? I'm just saying.

Come back next week to find out more about freezer cooking and what you can or can't freeze!



Sunday, June 28, 2009

You know you have an obsession when...

...your son asks you to hurry and take a picture of the groceries...

...so he can eat a banana.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - June 29-July 5

Last week was a good week. Not because I stuck to my menu plan exactly. Because I didn't. But I did pretty well. I must say, the Bruschetta Chicken Bake was really good. My husband LOVED it - which is great. When I can find a cheap casserole recipe that he really likes, it makes me so happy!

Here is the plan for this week:

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Macaroni and cheese, green beans (I work this day!)

Wednesday: Baked chicken, Herb and parmesan roasted potatoes, vegetable

Thursday: Hamburger Helper, corn

Friday: Pizza night - haven't had one in a awhile!

Saturday: Happy 4th! Potluck BBQ at our house!

Sunday: Leftovers


Check out other menu plans at orgjunkie!

Weekly Shopping Trip

Not a bad week if I do say so myself. And I do. I'm so glad I was able to get in on the end of the $10.00 catalina deal at Albies. (Buy $25.00 in certain products, get a $10.00 coupon good on your next purchase). Here is what I did:
Most of the coupons I used in this transaction came from a coupon book I signed up for from ConAgra several months ago. They are no longer available.

3 snack pack puddings - $3.00 (-1 $1.00 off 3 coupon) = $2.00

2 microwave popcorn - $3.34 (-1 $1.00 off 2 coupon) = $2.24

1 Hunt's Ketchup - $1.00

2 Wesson canola oil - $6.00

2 Manwich - $2.00 (-1 $.40 off 2 coupon)

2 Smart Water (one pictured, my hubby was drinking one of them) - $2.00

10 Chef Boyardee - $10.00 (-2 $.35 off 2 coupons, 1 $1.00 off 4 coupon) = $8.30

Net OOP: $24.88 + I received a $10.00 coupon good on my next purchase.

I did this transaction on Tuesday night.

2 Coke Zero - $2.78 (-2 FREE coupons I got from My Coke Rewards) = FREE

6 yoplait yogurt - $3.00 (-$.40 off 6 coupon) = $2.60

1 Dove chocolate bar - $.50 (Used FREE coupon) = FREE

2 Gallo hard salami - $6.00 (-2 $.50 off coupons) = $5.00

1 Sara Lee Cheesecake - $4.50 (-$1.00 off coupon) = $3.50

2 Sara Lee Simple Sweets - $6.00 (-2 $1.00 off coupons) = $4.00

2 Ronzone Smart Taste Pastas - $2.50 (-$1.00 off 2 coupon) = $1.50

Received $5.00 off for purchasing 5 SaraLee items (salami was included), used $10.00 catalina from transaction above.

Net OOP: $2.82

My net total for the week was $27.70 - under budget! YAY! This brings my YTD total to $1503.09. My budget for the year is $2,600 or $50.00 per week. I am a bit over for the year, but I am happy with my progress, which is a huge improvement over last year. Last year I spent $6111.87!

How did you do this week?


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Favorite Blog/Site of the Week - Linda's Low Carb Recipes

My hubby's doc told him to cut back on his carbs. If you follow my menu plans at all you can see they are full of carbs! I was looking for some good low carb recipes that I can incorporate into our diet and came across Linda's Low Carb Recipes.

This is a great site filled with low carb alternatives that won't leave you feeling deprived. We tried the Diner "Potatoes" which were like cheesy potatoes using cauliflower instead of potatoes. They weren't bad. I was pleasantly surprised.

If you are looking for a great site for low carb recipes, look no further than Linda's Low Carb Recipes. You won't be sorry!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Works for me Wednesday - Discover Where I Live

I have never been a big traveler. Then a married someone who doesn't like to travel. So basically we don't travel. That is just fine with me, but I do like to discover/explore things and have fun. I really love the concept of a "staycation" and discovering where I live.

I am blessed to live in Boise, Idaho where there are tons of fun FREE or inexpensive things to do and see. I was super happy that this weekend in the Idaho Statesman there was an insert called Gems of the Treasure Valley. It listed 69 things to explore within Boise and the surrounding cities in the Treasure Valley, most of them FREE. There were several places I have been meaning to see but forgot about and several places I didn't even know about! I can't wait to start re-discovering where I live! You locals - check it out! Non-locals, look for ways to re-discover where you live!

I love discovering where I live it Works for Me! Find out other fun Works for me Wednesday ideas HERE.


Garden Bounty

FREE DVD from Fisher Price

Get a FREE Precious Places DVD from Fisher Price HERE. This is so cute!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Freezer Meals - Part Two - Methods

This is the 2nd of a 5-part series on Freezer Cooking. Read part 1 here.

This week I will share some of the methods for freezer cooking. The reality is that there is not one perfect method for freezer cooking. It all depends on your life and your preferences. Don't get overwhelmed! Do what works best for you.

Here are some of the options:

Cook for one day solid and fill up your freezer for the entire month. This usually entails selecting 10-12 recipes and make doubles or triples.

Join (or start) a freezer cooking group where everyone is assigned one or more recipes. The person assigned brings the ingredients to make those dishes, then everyone gets together to prepare the dishes then trades. Everyone pays an equal share based on the number of servings per family.

Join (or start) a freezer cooking group where everyone is assigned a few recipes and brings the prepared/packaged recipes to exchange with others in the group. In other words, they do the cooking at home and bring the packaged labeled meals and everyone exchanges. Again, everyone pays an equal share based on the number of servings per family.

The casual freezer cooker or mini sessions. This is how I do it. When I have time I make several of one item and throw it in the freezer. If I am making a casserole, I make two or three and put one in the freezer. If I find a great sale, I buy a lot and cook like crazy.

Watch the sales on meat – then buy a lot of it and make several meals with that type of meat.

Precook your meat - I love to buy a family pack of ground beef, chicken, Italian sausage, pork or beef roast (shred and freeze) and cook all of it then portion it into freezer bags in the amount I would use for a meal. Check here and here for some ideas on how to use your precooked meat.

There is no right or wrong way to do freezer cooking, just do it!

Come back next week to learn about how to package your freezer meals on a budget.

Monday, June 22, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

You know you love FREEbie$!

Check out the great FREEbie$ this week:

++Love to garden or want to learn? Get a FREE garden e-book from Fave Crafts HERE. They are also offering a FREE subscription to their Craft Newsletter HERE.

++Speaking of gardening...have you signed up for the Home Depot Gardening Club yet? Sign up HERE and get FREE advice and valuable coupons!

++Planning a summer getaway - or want to stay close to home? Get your FREE travel guides HERE. There are some you can download and some that they will mail to you!

++Get a FREE coke from Blockbuster with THIS coupon. Cool!

++Costco member? Get a FREE sample of Vaseline Intensive Care HERE.

++Get your FREE sample packs of Emeril's Essence HERE.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 22-28

Another week in my life has flown by. I can't believe it is already Menu Plan Monday! Here is the plan for this week:

Monday: Polish sausage/mashed potato casserole, green beans

Tuesday: Beef stroganoff over rice, steamed cauliflower

Wednesday: Bruschetta chicken bake (we missed this last week), vegetable

Thursday: Spaghetti, garlic toast, green beans

Friday: Dinner out!

Saturday: Tuna Helper, peas

Sunday: Leftovers


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip

This week was a pretty good week although I am over budget. I took my hubby with me to the store and that is always a budget disaster! Here is the damage for the week:

This is our trip to Winco where I took my husband. I'll let you guess what wasn't on the list. :)

5#ish bulk popcorn - $3.36

8 cans green beans - $4.40

2.82# bulk powdered sugar - $1.64

1.90# bulk bulk rigatoni - $1.60

1 pkg frozen burritos - $2.48

2.80# bulk rice - $1.54

2 bags shredded lettuce - $2.56

1 Vlasic pickles - $1.98

1 family pack pork ribs - $4.17

1 bag pretzels - $1.68

1.5#ish tomatoes - $1.50

1 bag doritos - $2.98

Net OOP: $31.68

I also went to Albertson's on Monday before their Unilever sale ended. I got:
4 All laundry detergent - $18.00 (-2 $1.00 off 2 coupons doubled) = $14.00

1 Ragu pasta sauce - $1.50 (-$.60 off coupon) = $.90

1 M&M - $.69 (-FREE coupon) = FREE

2 Breyer's ice cream - $6.00 (-2 $1.00 off coupons (one doubled) ) - $3.00

Net OOP: $19.29 + received $10.00 catalina good on next purchase + a phone number for a survey was on the receipt. If I take the survey I get a code for $2.00 off my next purchase!

I swear I took a picture of my second Albertson's transaction, but it wasn't in my camera when I downloaded pictures. Just imagine...

3 pkgs ground beef (marked down to $1.69/lb) - $6.89

2 Kraft easy mac cups - $2.00 (-$1.00 off 2 coupon) = $1.00

6 Kraft velveeta shells and cheese cups - $6.00 (-1 $1.00 off 2 coupon, 1 b1g1Free coupon, 1 2 FREE coupon) = $2.00

Used $10.00 catalina from 1st transaction.

Net OOP: $.73

I was pretty much done, but I made a quick trip to Fred Meyer on Thursday night:
1 whipping cream - $.69 (clearanced)

1 head cauliflower - $3.96

1 package pepperoni bites - $3.00

2 salad mixes - $1.98 (clearanced)

1 bunch bananas - $1.63

1 pkg green onions - $.50

1 32oz sour cream - $.99 (clearanced)

Net OOP: $13.52

My total for the week was $65.22. This is $15.00 over my budget, but I'm okay with that! My budget is $2,600 for the year or $50.00 per week. This includes food, household items, and diapers. These purchases bring my total for the year to $1,475.39.

How did you do this week?


Friday, June 19, 2009

Frugal Friday - Save on your Backyard BBQ's

I love summer for many reasons, but most of all I love a great backyard BBQ! I love to eat, chat, and just enjoy the weather. If you are the host of a backyard BBQ, it can get rather expensive! Before I started really budgeting and couponing, I would spend over $100 on meat! Ugh!

Now I know that it is the company and atmosphere that make a BBQ great - not expensive cuts of meat!

Here are some tips for a fun FRUGAL backyard BBQ:

  1. Make it a potluck! Don't take on all the work (or expense) yourself! Ask your guests to bring a dish to share. I have attended many "bring your own meat bbq's" that were fun and very successful! Just ask people to bring raw meat and you can grill it for them!
  2. Plan your menu based on what you already have. I currently have a freezer full of cheap or FREE hotdogs. Our next BBQ will be hot dogs and hamburgers! I also scan my stockpile for ideas for jello salads, pasta salads, and desserts.
  3. Plan your menu based on the sales. If you find a great deal on chicken, stock up for your BBQ!
  4. Plan fun FREE activities. For our 4th of July BBQ a few years ago we spent a lot of money just to get entertaining activities for the kids - a cheapo slip and slide, Frisbees, balls, a mini pool, etc. Most of the items were no good after the party! This year they can play with our existing toys, run through the sprinkler, etc. and have just as much fun! The adults can play charades, other fun games, or just chat!

How about you? How do you make your backyard BBQ's fun and frugal?

Check out other Frugal Friday posts on Life as Mom HERE.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Favorite Blog/Site of the Week - Shop4Freebies

There are a lot of FREEbie sites out there some okay, some good, some great, and some exceptional! Shop4Freebies falls in the exceptional category.

Here's why:

++The site is updated daily with great FREEbies.

++There is a link to the cheapest gas prices in your area! You enter your zip code and it gives a list with current gas prices!

++You can subscribe to get their FREEbie list in your inbox each week.

++FREEbies are categorized for ease of navigation.

++There is a money saving tips section where readers add their best tips. Check it out, there are some great ones!

Go check out Shop4Freebies today! You'll love it!



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Works for me Wednesday - Toothpaste

If you do any shopping at Walgreen's you probably have a closet full of FREE toothpaste and will never have enough dirty teeth to clean!

I was recently having a conversation with a man from work and I was complaining about how dirty my wedding ring was. He told me that his wife cleans hers with toothpaste! I tried it and it worked great! It got me to thinking about what other great uses their could be for toothpaste.

I came across this article in Reader's Digest online and was amazed with all of the choices. You can read the article HERE.

The ones I have tried are:

-Clearing up pimples (this works great!)

-Cleaning my wedding ring

One that is not listed that I have done is use it as a temporary filler for holes in the wall - this was white toothpaste, but it worked surprisingly well!

I love finding new ways to use toothpaste, it works for me!

Looking for more great Works for me Wednesday ideas? Check out We are THAT Family!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Freezer Meals - Part One - Why?

I have been casually doing freezer cooking since I first got married. I LOVE being able to grab something out of the freezer and quickly cook it on busy days or days I just don't feel like cooking. Freezer cooking is also a way to be able to save money and share with others.

This is the first part of a 5-part series on Freezer Cooking and how it can work for you. I hope you enjoy!

WHY should you do freezer cooking?

Saves time – I call this preparing things when you have time to save time when you don’t have time. Pull a meal out of the freezer to thaw in the morning, pop it in a dish, make some sides and you are done with dinner. There are even some great meals that you can prepare, freeze, thaw overnight and throw in your crockpot. Quick, easy, and delicious.

Saves money – prevents the temptation for grabbing fast food or frozen dinners from the store. Allows you to portion meals appropriate for your family for minimal waste. One of the best ways to save money on your grocery budget is to buy as much as you can/will use at the lowest possible price. You can buy food in bulk at the lowest possible price and prepare meals from it and freeze them for later.

Allows you to share meals with others without notice or extra work (i.e. extra shopping trips for an ingredient) on your part. Wouldn’t you love to bring a home cooked meal to a friend who had a particularly hard day without dirtying any dishes in your house?

It is healthy - You know exactly what is going into your meals. You will eat less convenience food because you will already have home cooked meals in your freezer!

It can help in any life situation - Single, Newlywed, or Empty Nester? Make meals portioned just for you or the two of you! Taking care of an elderly family member? Fill their freezer with freezer meals! Hate to cook? Cook for one full day and fill your freezer with meals for the month!

This is just the beginning...come back next week to find out some of the methods for freezer cooking. It can work for you!

Monday, June 15, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

Here is your FREEbie list for the week! Sometimes these don't last long...so act fast!

FREE $ample$:
Get a FREE sample of Active Radiance Serum HERE.

Get your FREE sample of Head and Shoulders HERE.

Get some FREE sticky notes from Sandy Paper HERE.

Get a FREE sample of Pamper's Underjams HERE.

Check out all the FREEbies from Walmart available now HERE. (some examples are Aveeno Nourish shampoo, Sun Crystals sweetener, Crest Whitestrips, Tampax Pearl and more!)

Other FREEbie$:
Register with Luv's Diapers HERE for savings, offers, and advice.

Download some fun FREE fonts HERE. During the installation process it will ask if you want other offers, just click decline if you are not interested.

Request a FREE fitness plan from Curves HERE.

Sign up for the FREE Home Depot Garden Club HERE. Get gardening tips and coupons for Home Depot! Cool!



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 15-21

So I didn't make everything on my menu last week, but I did pretty well. I also came up with a tater-tot/sloppy joe casserole at the last minute that turned out really good. I love it when experiments work!

Here is the plan for this week:

Monday: (workday) Leftovers (I made a yummy impromptu beef stew in the crock pot late last week, so we will finish that up!)

Tuesday: (workday) Macaroni and cheese, green beans

Wednesday: BBQ Pork Ribs, cheesy potatoes, broccoli

Thursday: Brushetta chicken bake, vegetable

Friday: Potluck BBQ at our house!

Saturday: Whatever is leftover, hanging around the house

Sunday: Turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, veggies


Friday, June 12, 2009

Monthly Financial Check Up

This year I set some small financial goals for our family. So far we have been doing pretty well. You can read April's update HERE. Here is the run down for May...

Grocery Spending - I report on this EVERY week, but my goal is $2,600 for the year or $50.00 per week. As of the end of May our spending was $1,291.74. It is a bit over for that point in the year, but I am really happy with it. Last year I spent over $6,000 on groceries!

$1,000 Emergency Fund - This is still going strong. I love having the money deducted from my paycheck! The balance as of May 31st was $448.17.

Car Savings - this is a weak point in my plan. I wanted to have $2,500 saved by the end of the year. By the end of April I had $81.24 in the account. Ick! The current balance is $158.61 so I almost doubled it. I don't see how I can make this goal by year end, but maybe there will be a miracle :)! My in laws are having a yard sale tomorrow so I put a TON of stuff in it. Hopefully I will be able to infuse this fund with some extra cash!

Christmas Savings - I am still having $20.00 per paycheck put into this account. I have been picking up items here and there for Christmas out of this account. The current balance is $127.64.
So that's how it is going. I am pretty happy with the results so far. I hope we can keep it up and get some more money over to that blasted car savings!
How about you? How are you doing with your financial goals?

Weekly Shopping Trip

If you have been reading my blog you know that my goal for my grocery (food, household, diapers) budget is $50.00 per week with an overall total of $2,600/year. This is less than 1/2 of what I spent last year. So far, I have been over, but not by much and I am happy with my results so far this year.

This post will include a trip to Fred Meyer last Saturday night last week. Even with that, I would call this week a great week! Here we go...

1 bag corn chips - $2.00

1 pkg oreo cookies - $3.19 (total splurge...and soooooooo worth it!)

1 can refried beans - $1.00

2 32 oz. FM sour cream - $.99 (clearanced)

4 containers lunch meat - $5.96 (clearanced)

1 pkg honey ham - $1.76 (clearanced)

Net OOP: $16.87

Monday night I went to Albertson's and had a great transaction...even thought my cashier was less than friendly (I hate that!). I had the doubles from the paper and the doublers from the ad for a total of 6 doublers for this transaction.

1 Taco Bell Dinner kit - $2.50 (-$1.00 off coupon doubled) = $.50

1 can Taco Bell refried beans - $1.00

1 McCormick grinder - $2.00 (-$.75 off coupon doubled) = $.50

2 California Pizza Kitchen single serve pizzas - $5.00 (-2 $2.00 off coupons doubled) = $1.00

2 Edge Shave Gel - $3.00 (-2 $.75 off coupons doubled) = FREE

1 2.25# grapes - $2.23

1 pkg M&M's - $.69 (-FREE coupon) = FREE

There was also an automatic $3.00 off for purchasing $10.00 in certain products.

Net OOP: $2.72!

Finally I picked up a few deals at Fred Meyer.

6 loaves bread - $8.00 (w/in ad coupon)

3 pkgs butter - $5.00

2 FM hot dog buns - $.78 (these are $.39 each for the first two, so I plan on getting 2 every time I go until I have enough for all the hot dogs in my freezer!)

2 cans olives - $2.00

18 ct eggs - $1.99

1 pkg bacon - $2.49 (clearanced)

2 pkgs salad mix - $4.00

4 roma tomatoes - $.64

1 red onion - $.43

1 feta cheese - $2.00

1 cheddar cheese - $3.99 (w/in ad coupon)

1 bunch bananas - $1.68

Used $2.00 catalina from previous purchase.

Net OOP: $32.98

My total grocery expense for the year is $1,406.35. I have used just over 1/2 of my budget for the year, but we are not 1/2 way through the year. I will just try to slow it down as much as I can so that I can stay in line with my annual budget.

So, how did you do this week?


Recipe Swap - Orange Banana Salad

I don't know if you could even call this a recipe. My mom used to make this for us all the time when we were kids. I loved it. For some reason, I thought of it today as I was making dinner trying to think of something cold to go with it.

Basically this is the recipe:

1-2 bananas - sliced

1-2 oranges - peeled, separated, and cut into chunks

1 tsp sugar

Stir together. Serve.

I usually have a ratio of 1 orange to 1 banana. If you like one or the other better or you have more of one or the other, by all means you can change the ratio! See what I mean, it isn't really a recipe, but it is very good!

See what other great recipes we're swappin' on The Grocery Cart Challenge's recipe swap!



Frugal Friday - Provident Living

This month the theme for our quarterly Enrichment Night at church was Provident Living. I was lucky enough to be able to teach a class that night on freezer cooking (I'm planning on sharing what I taught/learned in an upcoming series...so stay tuned!).

The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines provident as:

I also remembered/came across a talk by Elder Robert D. Hales that he shared in the April 2009 conference:

"All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways. To provide providently, we must practice the principles of provident living: joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies. When we live providently, we can provide for ourselves and our families and also follow the Savior’s example to serve and bless others."

I love his definition so much more. To reiterate the principles he outlined, provident living is:

  1. Joyfully living within our means - I think the key word is JOYFULLY! It can be depressing and/or frustraing to see what others have that you want, to live on a budget, even to be frugal. To find joy in living frugally is what it is all about!
  2. Being content with what we have - ditto what I said above! It is the whole needs vs. wants thing.
  3. Avoiding excess debt - In his address he later outlines reasonable reasons for debt (home, school, and possibly car). The key is to be prudent and only borrow what you can afford to pay back quickly.
  4. Dilgently saving and preparing for rainy day emergencies - In today's economy, there are a lot of rainy days. It sure is nice to have a stockpile of food in my pantry and freezer and a little bit of money in the bank! If you don't/haven't started - start now! It is not too late!

How about you? How do you define provident living? Find more ways to live frugally on Life as Mom!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Favorite Blog/Site of the Week - Pinching Your Pennies

Over the past few months I have really grown to LOVE the FREE site Pinching Your Pennies. It is loaded with awesome money saving information.

++Sign up for the weekly newsletter to get great deals right in your inbox!

++Great forums where frugal shoppers can discuss and share deals!

++The weekly shopping list for your local stores with coupon matchups.

I strongly encourage you to sign up for Pinching Your Pennies. You won't be disappointed!



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

Want some great FREEbies this week? Here you go! Enjoy! Sorry I am late this week!

Sign up for a FREE coupon e-course HERE!

Click HERE to sign up for the Home Depot Garden Club. Last year they sent me a coupon $10.00 off if you spend $50.00!

Don't forget to sign up HERE for the Quizno's Q club for a FREE flatbread sammie now and a FREE cookie on your birthday!

Sign up for CVS's FREE photo center HERE and get 50 FREE prints! Cool!

Get your Summer Sample Pack from Quality Health HERE.

Get your FREE Mattel Geo Trax DVD for kids HERE.

Get a FREE letter opener from Malfinity HERE.

Find out about the FREE family film festival from Regal Entertainment HERE.

FREE Samples:

Old Spice Body Wash HERE

Enfamil Baby Formula HERE

Kotex Overnights HERE


Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 8-14

I can't believe it is time for another menu plan. My life sometimes seems like one big whirlwind! I appreciate orgjunkie for hosting this each week. It helps SO much!

Here is the plan for this week:

Monday: Roast beef sandwiches

Tuesday: Frozen Pizza (I work that day until 5:00 and am teaching a class at church and I have to be there by 6:00, so hubs is on his own!)

Wednesday: Beef stroganoff over potatoes, broccoli

Thursday: Whole chicken in the crock pot, scallopped potatoes, peas

Friday: Something on the grill

Saturday: Tuna helper

Sunday: Turkey Breast, mashed potatoes, gravy


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Awesome diaper deal on Amazon.com

I found out about this deal from a weekly e-mail I get from Pinching your Pennies. Here is the scoop direct from the e-mail.
Diaper deals at Amazon! Save up to 30% on select Pampers and Luvs diapers
sold by Amazon.com. Save 15% when you enter code PMPRSJN9 at checkout. Plus,
save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing your total savings to 30%. Subscribe & Save is only offered on select Pampers diapers. Offer valid through June 15, 2009.

Save up to 30% on select Pampers and Luvs diapers sold by Amazon.com.
Luvs Premium Stretch Diapers (204 ct., size 3 - other sizes available!) List Price: $38.99 Price: $35.99 You Save: $3.00 (8%) Ships free! Use code: PMPRSJN9 to save an additional 15% Final
price: $30.59 or just .15 per diaper!

Pampers Baby Dry Diapers (144 ct. size 3, other sizes available!) List Price: $39.99 Price: $35.29 You Save: $4.70 (12%) Ships FREE! Save up to 30% on select Pampers products sold by Amazon.com. Save 15% when you enter code PMPRSJN9 at checkout. Plus, save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing your total
savings to 30%. (You can cancel Subscribe & Save shipments at any time in your Amazon.com account.) Final price after code and Subscribe & Save: $24.70 or .17 per diaper! (The current price at WalMart for Pampers diapers ranges from .22-.32 per diaper.)
I am always looking for great deals on diapers - especially since I added them to my grocery budget. Basically with this deal I was able to buy 180 diapers for $20.59 or $.11 per diaper. I go through about 30 diapers per week so this is a 6 week supply! I was pretty excited. I did have $10.00 in Amazon gift certificates from my Swagbucks that I was able to apply. Even if you didn't have that they would still be $.17 per diaper. I also did not do the "Subscribe and Save" to save an additional 15%. I always forget to cancel those things... Here is the breakdown of my order:
Pretty cool! (BTW - This comes off my $50 budget for next week.) If you are looking for a great deal, go get yourself come CHEAP diapers!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip

Grocery wise this was a great week. Blogging wise not so much. I have had some sick babies and I'm feeling out of it. I hope to be back up with my regular blogging schedule soon!

Here is my shopping this week:

Fred Meyer I got:

2 loaves Country Oven Bread - $3.34

2 Lysol floor cleaner - $3.28 (-2 $.75 off coupons) = $1.78

2 Lysol toilet bowl cleaner - $2.48 (-$1.00 off 2 coupon) = $1.48

3 Lysol spray (2 of them had a FREE hand sanitizer) - $7.32 (-3 $2.00 off coupons) = $1.32

4 Lipton sides - $4.00 (-2 $.75 off coupons) - $2.50

4 oranges - $1.37

2 pkgs Bar S hot dogs - $1.76 (w/in ad coupon) (-$1.00 off 2 coupons) = $.76

1 pkg Oscar Meyer hot dogs - $3.00 (-FREE coupon) = FREE!

1 coke zero - $1.39 (- FREE coupon I got from my coke rewards)

1#ish asparagus - $2.34

1 cantaloupe - $2.65

1 4pk fiber one yogurt - $1.29(clearanced) (-$1.00 off coupon) = $.29

Net OOP: $19.89 + I got a $2.00 catalina (a coupon good off my next purchase) (I'm not sure what it was for, it said thanks for purchasing GenTeal??? I didn't buy that, so it might have been from a prior customer...)

Next I hit up Albertson's to use the doublers from the Sunday paper.

3 V8 Fusion - $5.64 (-3 $1.00 off coupons doubled) = $.36 overage!!

3 gallons milk - $5.07

2 5pk Kraft mac&cheese - $5.69 (these were B1G1FREE)

2 Capri Sun 10 packs - $4.98 (-2 FREE coupons that were peelies on the mac&cheese!) = FREE

Net OOP: $11.49

Next I went to Winco. I haven't been there FOREVER and I was glad to find some great deals!

1.5#ish bulk powdered sugar - $.85

1.7#ish bulk penne pasta - $1.43

2#ish apples - $1.47

1.25#ish tomatoes - $1.09

1 bagged salad - $1.68

1 4# container strawberries - $2.98

Net OOP: $10.07

My total for the week was...$41.45 (for all that stuff! Can you believe it!)

This brings my annual total to $1,333.19 or just over 1/2 of my annual $2,600 budget for the year. My goal is to spend $50 per week (food, household, and diapers). I am a bit over for the year so I am trying to s...l...o...w...l...y catch back up by staying under as much as I can.

How did you do this week?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Catching up...Last Week's Shopping Trip

Did I mention I had a crazy week last week? I'm grateful to have both feet back on the ground!

Fred Meyer had a few really good deals I was glad to take advantage of. I got all this:
3 loaves bread - $4.01 (w/in ad coupon)

1 4# bag chicken breast - $6.36

8 boxes FM Mac & Cheese - $2.00 (w/in ad coupon)

2 OJ, 2 Chocolate Milk, 4 Milk 1/2 gallons - $8.00 w/in ad coupon

2 pkgs lunch meat - $4.00

1 18ct eggs - $1.89

1 4 pk Activia yogurt - $1.29 (clearanced -$1.00 off coupon) = $.29

4 apples - $1.36

1 Coke Zero - $1.39 (- FREE coupon from My Coke Rewards) = FREE

1 2# cheddar cheese - $3.99 (w/in ad coupon)

Net OOP: $33.95

I received a gift card as a gift so I paid nothing OOP for all this:
2 cucumbers - $.96

3 bunches broccoli - $1.28

2 5# bag carrots - $2.48

1 Digiorno Flatbread Melt - $2.78 (- FREE coupon from Kraft First Taste)

5 Roma tomatoes - $.92

2 1/2 gals Limeaid - $2.00

1 Triscuit - $2.00 (- $1.00 off coupon) = $1.00

1 Wheat Thins - $2.00 (-$1.00 off coupon) = $1.00

1 pkg M&M's cookie sandwiches (YUM!) - $3.88

1 Snickers ice cream - $2.57 (-$.75 off coupon) = $1.82

1 cantaloupe - $1.68

1 pineapple - $3.88

1 jar pickles - $2.58 (- $1.00 off coupon) = $1.58

1 bagged salad - $1.98

2 good value cream cheese - $1.76

5 good value sugar free drink mixes - $8.80

1 Kraft BBQ sauce - $.98 (-$1.00 off coupon) = $.02 overage!

12 cup of noodles - $3.36 (not pictured)

1 big ol' jug of olive oil - $15.12

1 bunch bananas - $1.40

2 pkgs hot dogs - $1.54 (- $1.00 off 2 coupon) = $.54

Would have been a total of $58.46 net, but I paid with a gift card so my net OOP: ZERO!

My budget for the year is $2,600 (or $50 per week). My total YTD is $1,291.74.


Cooking from Scratch

Cooking from scratch is/can be a huge money saver. I think it is a large part of the frugal lifestyle. There are many items where it is much cheaper to make the item from scratch - and most of the time it tastes much better. With our busy schedules, sometimes convenience wins.

I posted a poll for the month of May asking you how often you cook from scratch. Thanks to all who voted! Here are the results:

Most of you either cook from scratch daily or more than twice a week! Good for you.

Up until a year ago when I was working full time, I NEVER cooked anything from scratch. It seemed like too much of a hassle. I am finding with my part time hours, I am enjoying making things from scratch. This helps our budget and the family is happier too. I have also learned that many things I thought were so hard to make were actually very easy! I would fall under the more than twice per week category.

So how about you? Do you cook from scratch? Are you a convenience food junkie?

Also, please be sure to vote on the poll for June. I am interested to see the results!


Monday, June 1, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

Here are a few more great FREEbies available this week. Get yours before they are gone!

Sign up for the Luv's diapers newsletter HERE and receive coupons and special offers. I LOVE Luv's diapers. They are less expensive than Huggies and Pampers, yet are very high quality!

Sign up HERE for a FREE $5.00 off dog food coupon from Eukanuba. Awesome!

Have you joined FreeFly's yet? They always have tons of great samples and FREEbies. Sign up HERE!

Sonic Drive Inn is offerring a FREE root beer float on Wednesday, June 3rd! YUMMY! Get the details HERE!

Get a FREE reusable shopping bag from Pacific Rim HERE.

Get a FREE Aveda Men's Shampoo sample HERE.

Get a FREE sample of Splenda Sweetener HERE.

Get a FREE $1.50 off coupon for DiGiorno Flatbread Melts HERE.


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