Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday

For me, this is Spring Break Week and we are off from school. I have been tackling all kinds of things this week. Yesterday, it was my awful home office desk.

Today, I am tackling my kitchen cabinets. With my husband and little one helping to put away dishes from the dishwasher, I have noticed things don't always end of in the "right" place. Every thing has a place but who knows where that place may be today.

Keeping my kitchen cabinets organized keeps me out of the restaurants and fast food lanes. When I know where everything is located, it is so much easier to get started on meal at home. This tends to save us money because you all know that eating at home is so much cheaper than eating out.

What are you tackling today? If you need ideas, visit 5 Minutes for Moms.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for 3-29 - 4-04

Sunday - Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs (we do this a lot on Sunday evening and then eat the leftovers for lunch during the week - we usually grill some venison sausage links and eat those as well), baked potatoes

Monday - Hamburger Goulash (ground hamburger, stewed tomatoes and elbow macaroni), salad

Tuesday - Fried cubed pork chops, broccoli casserole, 3 bean salad, bread

Wednesday - Grilled chicken, potato salad (will we ever finish all these potatoes), corn on cob, fried okra

Thursday - Pancakes, leftover sausage, fruit

Friday - Fried fish (bream from the river), coleslaw, cheese grits, hushpuppies (I've been eyeing these fish in the freezer for several months and now that it has warmed up we'll pull them out and have a feast).

Saturday - Garlic lime chicken (browse toward the bottom of the link for the recipe), scalloped potatoes, sauteed spinach with garlic, bread

You can check out other menus at Menu Plan Monday over on I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Most Recent Best Buy

This week our grocery store had ketchup for $.78 (36 oz size of Heinz) and green, seedless grapes for $.99 per pound. My little one loves green grapes and they have been so expensive lately (like a lot of other fresh fruit). I had purchased grapes at nearly twice that earlier in the week, but I bought these today anyway. I washed them good, sacked them up and threw them in the freezer. A lady that I work with does this and says they are fabulous. I decided since we already had a bag in the frig, these could be put in the freezer for a later time.
Just to let you know, we have tried the frozen grapes and they are really good. My little one likes to let them thaw first (kids sometimes don't like to try new things), but I think they are best frozen. This will make a fabulous summertime treat. The best part: No more spoiled grapes!

You Might Be A Redneck If...

you use ratchet straps to make a clothesline.

As I mentioned in another post, we had quite a bit of illness in my family over the past few weeks so this past weekend all of the bed linens needed to be washed. All at one time. I couldn't fathom using the dryer (and all that electricity) for some much laundry and that's where my dear hubby came to the rescue. We strung up a couple of ratchet straps and got all the laundry done. Of course, all of the neighbors are jealous! LOL!!

I know this doesn't have anything to do with saving money at the grocery store, but we are being frugal and trying to do what we can to save money.

Until next time!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for 3-22 - 3-28

This week we are planning to eat the following. I may rearrange the meals some, but this is the general plan.

Sunday: Grilled hamburgers, fried new potatoes, salad

Monday: 3 Packet Roast, potatoes, onions, carrots and mushrooms, homemade bread

Tuesday: Crockpot Boston butt slices, macaroni salad, broccoli

Wednesday: Grilled chicken wings (my husband has been wanting these for several months but they are sooo expensive), green beans, garlic mashed potatoes

Thursday: Sloppy Joe's (these are wonderful in the crockpot), corn on cob, coleslaw

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner - pancakes, sausage and fruit

Saturday: Pork chops, pasta and cheese, speckled butter beans

For lunches we usually have leftovers from the week, simple sandwiches or soup that has been previously frozen.

For breakfast it's either cold cereal, oatmeal, ham and egg muffins, or grits and biscuits.

So what are you having? If you don't have any idea, head on over to Menu Plan Monday and get some more great ideas.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another Blog Party

Check out another blog party (Girls Night Out - but not just for girls) over at Ann Again. Parties galore!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Challenge of the Week

I am taking a hard look at whether or not using coupons might be good for us. Since I think that I only buy name brand mayonnaise (I won't touch the store brand), I don't think couponing is going to be worth the time. BUT this week I am going to take an inventory of my cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, laundry room, bathroom, cleaning closet, etc. to see exactly how many name brand items we have. The next step will be to determine if we think that we MUST have the name brand and then if coupons are available for those brands.

If you have been considering couponing, why don't you take this challenge with me? Let me know what coupons you find and at what sites. We don't have a CVS or Walgreens close by (my husband has both in the town where he works but getting him to shop AND use coupons would probably be a stretch). I would have to use mostly coupons just for the grocery store and dollar store, but other ideas are welcome here.

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party 2009 is going on over at 5 Minutes for Moms. Check it out!! It is the ultimate in meeting up with other bloggers.

Just to introduce myself and what my blog is all about, I am a working mom with one child. My family enjoys camping (wait - I mean RVing), gardening and taking care of our new pet chickens.

My blog is all about how we are using various techniques to try and save money at the grocery store. We live in a rural area with only a few grocery stores and no chain pharmacies. I am blogging about what is working best for us and what is not making much difference at all.

Blogging has become my new recreation so come back and visit often. Check out my Mr. Linky's and add your blog if it applies. If your blog is entirely (or mostly) directed at the Mr. Linky, it is fine to just link to the entire blog. I really like that as opposed to linky to one specific blog.

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for 3-15 - 3-21

Here's my weekly menu plan for the week of 3/15 - 3/21. If you have a weekly menu plan, head on over to $5 Dinners and include your in the link there.

Sunday - Hamburger steak, mashed potatoes/potato salad, green beans
Monday - Teriyaki beef tips, rice (brown or white or try a combo), steamed vegetables
Tuesday - Chicken pot pie, sauteed collard greens
Wednesday - Fried cubed pork, macaroni and cheese/ macaroni and tomatoes, steamed cabbage
Thursday - Taco soup with corn chips and sour cream
Friday - Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, baked potatoes (crockpot recipe?)
Saturday - Grilled chicken, pasta salad, cucumber salad

I have mashed potatoes and potato salad listed on Sunday because my husband doesn't like mashed potatoes so I fix some of the potatoes in potato salad. Same goes with the macaroni and cheese. He likes macaroni and tomatoes instead so I just fix a little of both. My little one eats it all (thank God for small miracles - if he were picky like my husband I think I'd go crazy - LOL).

CrockPot Recipes, Anyone?

I would like to have a list of blogs with crockpot recipes. This week is going to be lots of rushing around for my family and the ease of using my crockpot would make things easier. BUT we're tired of roast and potatoes and carrots and we can't eat that numerous times this week. If you have a blog that is dedicated to crockpot recipes or a post with a crockpot recipe, please include it below:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Challenge of the Week

This week coming up I want to challenge any of you who are up to a challenge to go to the grocery store only once. After your initial shopping for the week, don't be caught "dead" in there again. I am slowing realizing that each trip I make back to the store for bread or milk or whatever quickly turns into $20, $30, $40 or more.

I will be doing my shopping for next week on either Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Then I am resolving not to go anymore for a whole seven days.

If you decide to take the challenge, let us know how it goes.

UPDATE: My week was horrible. I was in the grocery store three times due to unexpected illnesses in my household which required items that I didn't have and an unexpected chore which sent us to get convenience items. I am seriously considering undertaking some type of freezer meal cooking project just for those unexpected times when you really want to just go grab take-out. Let me know how you did. Hopefully, better than us. I think we spent more this week in groceries than in the last few months (just due to the number of trips we made).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Share Your Frugal Links

In today's economic climate, lots of families are looking for ideas to save money. If you have a blog post that has frugal ideas that other families might enjoy, please let us know. Post them below. This is my first attempt with the Mister Linky so hopefully it will work correctly. If your entire blog is based on frugal ideas, you are welcome to give the blog address instead of a single post. If your blog just has a post here and there on frugal ideas, just post the blog entry with those ideas. NO ADULT CONTENT, PLEASE!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for March 9-15

These are the plans for this next week.

Sunday: Roasted turkey , fried okra , corn on cob, coleslaw

Monday: Tacos with flour tortillas, black beans and rice, homemade salsa

Tuesday: Grilled chicken , potato salad, tomato, cucumbers and onions salad

Wednesday: Homemade pepperoni pizza, salad

Thursday: Vegetable soup , cornbread

Friday: Baked ham , sweet potatoes, collard greens, leftover cornbread

Saturday: Sausage and egg burritos, leftover salsa , pineapple chunks

Sorry About No New Posts

So sorry that I haven't gotten much posted this past week. My grandmother passed away and my little one has been sick. Hopefully, I'll get back into the swing of things in the next few days. Thanks for understanding.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Meal Planning Form

I found a great meal planning form from the Hillbilly Housewife that I thought would be useful. It's a PDF file so you'll need Adobe Reader.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Need Help with Meal Planning?

If you are having trouble with meal planning, here are a few websites that you may want to look at to get you started.

Menus for Moms is a free website that emails you once a week with a weekly plan. It includes a grocery list and recipes. These recipes are easy to fix and don't require that you be a chef.

Saving Dinner is a website run by the Dinner Diva, Leanne Ely, in which you obtain a weekly PDF file with the meal plan and grocery list. The cost is minimal ($9.95 for 3 months, $17.95 for 6 months or $29.95 for an entire year). You will save the cost of this service in just one month of being prepared and skipping the drive thru. Her recipes are extremely good. My family has only found one in nearly 18 months that I used this service that we didn't like and my husband is a very picky eater. The only drawback that I found with this site is that it requires a lot of spices that I don't generally keep on hand, but the grocery list has it so you are sure to grab it when you go shopping. You can try a week of free menus by clicking on the green bar at the top of her homepage.

Another free site that I have used is Dinner Beat. It allows you to plan your menus and print a grocery list. There are recipes to choose from or you can add your own if your family has something that they are craving for the week.

There are also lots of blogs with meal plans if you are having trouble getting started. My biggest problem when I first started meal planning was not having the same old, same old every week.

If all this is too overwhelming, just make a copy of a calendar page for the month of March. Write down every meal that you have this month (planned or unplanned). Now next month, you have a month of menus to use. This idea also has a 2nd advantage. You can quickly look at the calendar page and tell when that grilled chicken was cooked and if it is still usable or needs to be trashed.