Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Okay, so I have found some good deals but I have spent more than usual this month. So starting tomorrow, I am joining in on Learning the Frugal Life's Pantry Challenge. I would like to spend no more than $30 a week on groceries this next month. I have plenty of food in the freezer, pantry and even a few items coming along in the garden so this challenge shouldn't be too hard. I'll keep you updated.

Another Great Deal for This Week

I know this is a grocery savings blog, but I had to share with you the best deal I have found all week. We are getting a new bedroom suit and we needed king size sheets. I happened to notice that a Target was directly across the road from the furniture place so we went in to get a few items that had been listed on some other blogs as sale items (Kraft mayo, Kraft salad dressing, Quaker snacks, 100 calorie snack packs, etc.). I decided to take a detour through the linens just to see what was available and am I ever glad I did. I found 450 thread count king size sheets (with 4 - not 2 - pillowcases) for $35.98. These had been marked down $20. I got two sets since my preschooler is still at the age that we have an accident or sickness occasionally.

We stopped by Wal-Mart on our way out of town for some cat food (he's very picky and only eats the Wal-Mart brand) and I decided once again to detour through the linens. I found sheets there for $35 but they were 250 thread count.

I'm really excited about the new furniture, but I'm ecstatic about my savings for the linens.

To see more exciting deals for the week, visit Getting Ahead.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Walgreens and CVS Deals This Week

I've mentioned before that we don't have a Walgreens or CVS in my small rural town - only a grocery store and a locally run pharmacy (non-chain). However, on Sunday we ventured into a large town about an hour and a half away to look at some furniture and stopped in at both a Walgreens and a CVS. Since I'm relatively new at this couponing thing, I didn't have any register rewards or extra care bucks that could be used. Here's what I was able to get.


3 12pks of Diet Mtn Dew (for the hubby) $11.00 with $3 RR
1 8pk of Brawny Paper Towels $6.49
2 Mazola Extra Virgin Olive Oil at $3.49 each (these were almost twice that at the grocery store)
1 Reynolds Wrap 20 sq feet $.99
2 Aquafresh Toothpaste $1.99
2 Colorsilk Hair Color Products $1.99
3 General Mills Cereals $7.00 - $1 coupon

Total Out of Pocket Expense with Tax $42.95

Walgreen coupon savings: $9.40
Walgreen advertised savings: $16.37
Mfg coupon savings: $1.00
Total savings: $26.77


2 cans of Pringles marked down to $.75 minus $1/2 (made these $.25 each)
2 Crest toothpastes at $1.99 minus 2 $.75 coupons (made these $1.24 each) plus earned $2 ECB
2 Zooth toothbrushes on sale for $1.99 each minus Buy 1 Get 1 Free which subtracted $3.29 the original amount of the toothbrush (made these $.35 each)
1 Always Infinity on sale for $4.49 minus $1 coupon (made this $3.49)
2 All Laundry Detergent - buy 2 for $7.49 minus $.35 coupon and $.45 coupon (made these $3.35 each)

Total Out of Pocket Expense with $15.78

My receipt says that I saved $23.26.

Okay, ladies. I am hooked. I can see now how couponing can save you quite a bit of money. I did much better this week at CVS, but even with the higher OOP at Walgreens I still feel like we got some really good deals. The paper towels alone were lower than I have seen these in quite a while. I had decided I just wasn't going to pay $10-$12 for 6 or 8 rolls of paper towels. And I paid almost twice that earlier last week for EVOO at the grocery store so I stocked up even though I didn't have a coupon for it.

I can see where this couponing can be addictive. My husband kept asking how much more toothpaste did I think we needed. LOL! I tried to explain that this had to last until we had coupons that were just as good and a sale just as good. By the way, all but one of the coupons that I used were set to expire on 4/30. Not only did I save money but I got rid of some of the coupons that weren't going to be good much longer.

I do realize that I could have saved a little more if I had broken it up into 2 transactions at each place. I decided to forego the 2nd transaction at Walgreens because my little one had just had enough of shopping (you know what I mean) and then I didn't even realize that we were going to get any ECB at CVS. Those items were just on sale and I had good coupons, too.

Weekly Menu Plan for April 26 - May 2

This week I am going to challenge myself to spend no more than $30 for groceries. That will include trips for milk, bread, etc. This may be a little difficult because on Tuesdays and Thursdays (our t-ball nights) I am trying to feed 7 people instead of just 3. We have invited my little one's grandparents over each night before the game (or after as the case may be on this Thursday). We call him "Boo" so I may refer to him at times by that name. Anyway, here's the plan.

Sunday - Grilled cheese sandwiches, Tomato Soup (or I may try this recipe) - freeze leftover soup for later in the week

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Campbell's Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings, Field Peas, Fruit Salad

Wednesday - Quick Beef and Rice, Steamed Cabbage, Biscuits

Thursday - Swanson Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, Ceasar Salad, Garlic Bread

Friday - Easy Hodge Podge Soup (this recipe is from the ebooks available from my blog - I have listed this one below) - I'm going to use any leftover tomato soup and vegetables from earlier in the week instead of the canned items that it calls for

Saturday - Grilled steaks and hot dogs, roasted potatoes, salad

Easy Hodge Podge Soup
1 lb Hamburger
1 Chopped onion
Salt and pepper
1 cn (10.75-oz) tomato soup
1 cn (16-oz) mixed vegetables
1 cn (16-oz) kidney beans
1 Box (14.75-oz) spaghetti
Brown hamburger and onions. Drain excess grease. Add tomato soup and half a
can of water. Stir in vegetables. Run knife through spaghetti to cut strands. Add
to soup mixture. Bring to boil, simmer 15 minutes.

For more Menu Plan Monday, visit Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Best Deal of the Week

As I've stated before, we don't have any drug store chains like CVS or Walgreens here in our small town, but this week I found my best deal at our local pharmacy. They were having a buy 2 for $1 sale for the month of April. Here's what I got:

2 bathroom wipes
2 kitchen wipes
2 acetominophen caplets (60 each)
2 ibuprofen caplets (30 each)
2 sinus headache PE caplets (18 each)

I also got some calcium antacid (50 tablets) for $1 and 2 children's acetominophen chewables (30 tablets) for $1 each - these are nearly $4 at other stores.

They had lots of other cleaning and medicinal products on their new $1 aisle.

For more weekly deals throughout the week, visit Saving Our Cents Saturday.


Tara and Minding Momma. Since I don't have either one of your emails and couldn't access them through your profiles, please email me through my profile and I'll send the two ebooks right away.

Congratulations and thanks to all who entered.

Photo courtesy of Fotosearch.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for April 19-25

These are the plans for this week.

Sunday: Ham, rice with pork backbone (my mother-in-law cooked this for us), leftover potato salad, sliced tomatoes

Monday: Baked flounder, cheese grits, baked beans, fresh pineapple slices

Tuesday: Spaghetti, cucumber slices, garlic bread

Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, speckled butter beans, stir-fry mushrooms and onions, fresh sliced strawberries and bananas

Thursday: Hamburger casserole with potatoes and carrots (I'll post the recipe later as an update - this is something a lady at work cooks and she's going to get me the recipe early in the week)

Friday: Grilled chicken breast sandwiches, potato logs (oven fried), marinated tomatoes and cucumbers (the tomatoes at our local produce market have been wonderful)

Saturday: Fried venison steak, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, steamed baby okra

Oh my! My mouth is watering already!

To see other wonderful meal ideas for this week, visit Menu Plan Monday at Organized Junkie.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for April 12-18

This week is going to be a bit of a struggle for us. We are starting t-ball and have several practices and games coming up. I also want to try and stay out of the grocery store. I've scoured the frig, freezers and cabinets and here's what we'll be having.

Sunday lunch - Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, cookies
(we had lunch with the grandparent and decided grilling would be easy for after church)
Sunday dinner - Grilled chicken fajitas, homemade pico de gallo, tossed salad
Monday - Leftover hotdogs, chips, sliced cucumbers
Tuesday - Pork chops and consomme rice with mushrooms, field peas, corn bread
Wednesday - French's Crunchy Onion Chicken, broccoli, baked potatoes
Thusday - Blackened salmon, stir fry veggies, leftover coleslaw
Friday - BBQ pork sandwiches, oven fries, fried okra
Saturday -Spiral sliced ham, pasta salad, green beans

If you'd like more meal planning ideas, visit Meal Plan Monday.

I'm extending it to Friday, April 24th.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for April 5-11

Here's what we'll be having this week. I picked the Chicken and Pork Bag 1 from Kraft Foods 1 Bag 5 Dinners - see earlier post. We stopped by the grocery store on the way home from church for some milk and a few other items and found pork chops and chicken on sale. Hence, that is what we'll be eating this week. Since the Kraft site only gives 5 dinners, I had to come up with 2 of my own.

Sunday lunch: Hamburger steaks (from leftover grilled hamburgers), gravy, rice, steamed cabbage, garlic toast

Sunday dinner: Steaks, oven fried potatoes, salad

Monday: Saucy Italian Pork Chops, brown rice (tomatoes and mixed vegetables are included in pork chops)

Tuesday: Creamy Chicken Macaroni with broccoli, apple slices

Wednesday: Stove Top One-Dish Chicken Bake with Mixed Vegetables, fruit salad, relish tray

Thursday: Quick and Easy Pork Chop Skillet, scalloped potatoes, green beans

Friday: Digiorno Thin Crust Spinach, Mushroom and Garlic Pizza, salad

Saturday: Smoked ham (got on sale from our Sunday morning grocery visit for $6 - originally $21 - was marked down), sweet potato casserole, collard greens, creamed corn

If you want more menu planning ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. And don't forget to check out my giveaway that was added this week.

Share Your Frugal Links Again

I want to do another sharing post for frugal links. I know I have found so many out there and would of course be interested in more. Add your link below and be included in my recipe ebook giveaway. Be sure that your site is about frugality and/or saving money. No Adult Content, please!

Free Recipes Giveaway

I have two e-books that I have added to my site for purchase, but this week I am going to be giving both of these e-books away to two lucky winners!

To enter, you may do any or all of the following:

1. Comment on this blog post

2. Subscribe to the blog. If you're already subscribed, you have already been entered.

3. Add your link to my Mr. Linky for frugal sites (the new one for today). Please be sure that your site is a frugal or money saving site. If not, it won't count.

I will choose the winner on Friday, April 24th. Good luck.

Update: This giveaway is now closed and we have two winners.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dying Produce? Nearly Out of Date Leftovers? Use them NOW!

Do you have produce in the frig that is nearly dead? Maybe you have leftovers that have one more day before they need to be tossed. Go through your frig each day and find these things. Use them up NOW! They are already paid for and will only fill up the landfills if they go unused.

We have used this tactic this week. It has modified our menu plan somewhat but no drastically. We actually had dessert one evening because the strawberries that I bought a week or so ago were starting to mold. Not all of them, mind you. Just a few on top and in the middle. I threw the bad ones out (or to our chickens and they just loved them) and served the rest with whipped cream.

We grilled hamburgers today for lunch and the leftover burgers are going in the crockpot on Sunday with some gravy to make hamburger steaks. I'll add a few side dishes and Sunday lunch will be a snap.

Think of all the ways you may be able to use up some of those dying, decaying, nearly rotten things in your frig. We all have them so save a little money this week and use them up. Your budget and the trash guy will thank you.

One Bag and 5 Dinners from Kraft Foods

If you are in a money crunch and/or menu planning crunch, try the 1 Bag 5 Dinners at Kraft Foods. There are 4 choices of types of dinners: Chicken and Beef, Chicken and Pork, Chicken and Seafood, and Healthy Living.

Once you choose which types of dinners you want, then you have several samples within that choice. Five dinners are included with recipes and a shopping list for Monday - Friday. Everything that you need should fill one grocery bag.

We've used this before and most of the meals are good. Best of all, the service is free and you know that when you leave the store you have everything you need to cook for the week. If you're in a money crunch, try to pick dinners that include things you already have on hand.

I am going to use this site for my next week's menu planning. Check out their site and then back here on Sunday to see what we'll be eating this week.