Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DSL Problems

I haven't posted anything since last Friday because my DSL has been dying a slow death over the weekend. My provider is sending someone out tomorrow to check on it. Needless to say, I won't be doing much posting until it gets fixed. This dial-up connection just takes entirely too long.

I didn't submit my weekly menu but we are eating out of the pantry, frig and freezer this week. I'll go into more depth later in the week.

Good luck with your money savings this week.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Frugal Fridays - Freezer Food

This week I have been freezing green beans from our garden. Thus far I've gotten 5 quart bags. All of the hard work that we have put into the garden is now paying off and those beans will sure be good come winter.

Even if you aren't a farmer or have much space to garden, you can raise a tomato plant in a regular pot on your porch or outside entryway. The best part is that it doesn't take too many tomatoes to fill a quart freezer bag.
You might also consider buying vegetables in bulk from your local produce market (which are cheaper) and putting those up for the winter.
I generally freeze my vegetables because I have an extra freezer that we use for that. If you don't have freezer space, canning jars can be used for a wide variety of vegetables.
For more frugal tips, visit here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for June 21-27

This week's menu will be some of the same things from last week as we didn't get all of those eaten. My stepsister and her family were visiting my father and we went to see them a couple of times which interrupted our regular dinner meal. This week should be more on track.

I'd also like to say that I have been getting lots of great ideas for breakfast and lunch from the others who are participating in the Menu Plan Monday. I was reminded last week of quite a few things that we hadn't eaten in awhile. I want to start planning all three meals since I am out of school for the summer. I think this will keep us from running up town to the local restaurant or fast food place. Swimming lessons and vacation bible school are all over, so now we can start working on more of a routine for our day.

Anyway, here's our dinner plans for this week:

Sunday - Turkey, bacon wraps
Monday - Grilled chicken breasts, corn on cob, salad
Tuesday - Roast, gravy and vegetables, rolls, jello salad
Wednesday - Fried fish, cheese grits, coleslaw
Thursday - Salisbury steak, rice, peas and okra
Friday - Fresh pork roast, macaroni and cheese, leftover vegetables
Saturday - Taco salad with fresh salsa

See Organized Junkie for more menu ideas for this week.

Update: I added the link to the turkey-bacon wraps. I got this recipe from last week's Menu Plan Monday and we have eaten them for lunch and dinner. They are really good!

Friday, June 19, 2009

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday

Here are my 5 Things I Can Live Without for this Thursday that deal with groceries and grocery savings.

  1. vegetables and fruits that go bad in the refrigerator before we can use them - I thought I had a pretty good system for using these up but I cleaned out the refrigerator on Wednesday and found quite a few items that had rotted and were no longer useful
  2. expired coupons - wouldn't it be great if they never expired? - it seems that when an item goes on sale, my coupon has just expired - is that happening to anyone else?
  3. freezer burn - we bought 1/2 a cow last year and the remaining hamburger meat has gotten freezer burned - ugh!!
  4. stale potato chips - my 5 year old never seems to close them back up - I think I may need to just invest in individual bags or separate the big bag into ziplocs when we bring it home
  5. watermelon rind - we have been enjoying watermelons so much here lately - wouldn't it be nice if the rind was just as juicy and sweet as the rest of it?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for June 14-20

This is our weekly menu plan for this week. We're back from our camping adventure and now it is back to working at home (plus a few days of training at school).

Sunday - eat at Mexican Restaurant

Monday - BBQ chicken, fresh green beans from the garden, new potatoes, fresh corn on cob

Tuesday - Grilled hamburgers, frozen fries, salad

Wednesday - Fresh pork roast and rice, butter beans, sliced tomatoes, creamed corn

Thursday - Fried fish, coleslaw, cheese grits

Friday - Spaghetti, garlic bread, leftover green beans
Saturday - Sandwiches or breakfast food

For more summer eating this week, visit Menu Plan Monday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coupon Organization

I recently got an email requesting information on how to find out about the way I organize my coupons. I thought I had posted that information on this blog (it being a grocery savings blog and all), but I was wrong. Actually that information is on my declutter blog, since I used a declutter day to go through my coupons and find a way to get and keep them organized. I love this way. Read more about it here.

I am also going to include the spreadsheet format (in my sidebar) so that those who are not proficient with spreadsheets can access one that is already started. I'll include a page on the spreadsheet with instructions on how to sort it and how to add more lines as needed (quick way).

Let me know if you have questions or problems, because hopefully I'll be able to address those on the instruction page of the spreadsheet.

Update: I haven't been able to find a way to publish the spreadsheet where you can access the file and use it for yourself from the sidebar. I'll be glad to email it to you if you'll either comment or send me an email through my profile.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Money Saving Monday

What are we doing this week to save money on our grocery bill? Well, this week will be easier in some respects and harder in other. We are really busy this week with swimming lessons and vacation bible school. The easy part is that since we are camping out, we will have to keep to our menu (since that is what we'll have). The hard part is that I have to be really, really organized and be sure that we have everything we need so we don't have to make extra runs to the grocery store. I still think one of the best grocery savings techniques is to stay out of the grocery store.

So here are my goals for this week:

  1. One trip and only one trip to the grocery store

  2. Buy only what is on the grocery list and only put things on the list that are necessary for this week

  3. Plan meals around food that we already have

  4. Use real plates (stop buying the paper plates - even for the camper)

  5. Decrease paper towel usage - this has been hard for me - I can use a roll a day. We've purchased cloth napkins and more dish cloths which has helped, but I need to try even more to limit our dependence on these. They are so expensive!!

For more Money Saving Money, visit Beautiful2God.

Weekly Menu Plan for June 7-13

This week we will be camping out at our old house. Boo has swimming lessons and bible school and camping there makes us closer to these activities. Our weekly menu won't change much except that we will probably do more crockpot meals and meals that are quick and easy to get together because bible school starts at 6:00 p.m. I am also going to be adding a little more detail to our menu starting this week because our exchange student will start checking these menus out. We wanted her to be aware of the things that we generally eat.

Don't forget to stop by on Thursday to join up to my new meme entitled 5 Things I Can Live Without at my decluttering blog.

Now for this week's plan:

Sunday - Ham sandwiches, twice baked potatoes, leftover salad
Monday - Boneless, skinless chicken thighs and yellow rice, coleslaw, sweet pickles, saltine crackers
Tuesday - Creamy Crockpot Ham and Broccoli (recipe from Current's Fix and Forget: 50 Crockpot Recipes), sliced tomatoes, watermelon slices
Wednesday - Grilled hot dogs, leftover coleslaw, baked beans
Thursday - Crockpot roast, potatoes and carrots, biscuits or rolls (whichever we already have)
Friday - Fresh pork and rice, peas, steamed cabbage
Saturday - Leftover buffet

To see what everyone else is eating this week, visit Organized Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Money Saving Monday

Sometimes just having a plan can save us money. In my Google Reader this morning I noticed that Beautiful2God has a meme entitled Money Saving Monday. In this meme, she lists ways that she can save her family money during the week. I really like that idea so I am linking up this week.

Here are my plans for saving us money in the grocery store this week.

  1. Stay out of the grocery store. Here lately it seems that this is truly the best way for me to save my family money in any category - just don't go shopping.

  2. When we run out of bread or milk, make a list and send my husband. He is very good about only getting what is on the list. He doesn't look down any aisles for good buys or sale items. He grabs what is on the list and gets it done.

  3. Remember to thaw out the meat for the next day's meal. I don't know why I let this slide. I know that each night at supper we are going to need to eat again the next night. Like Nike, just do it.

  4. Keep the dishes clean. Do you know that lots of families tend to go out because the sink is full of dishes? Ours does. Who wants to cook a meal when you haven't cleaned up from the previous one? Use your dishwasher as the sink. Clean it out and then put all dirty dishes in it as they become dirty. Another tip that my grandmother always lived by (and they never ate out) was to wash the pots and pans all along during the preparation. When the meal is done, there are very few items left to wash and clean up is a snap.

  5. If we have a craving (or as we call it - a hankering) for something, put it on the list to have next week. Don't run out to the store to buy just one item, and especially don't go to the grocery store just for tonight's meal. I tend to buy too much if it's right after work. Of course, we have to add snacks for my 5 year old and all of us are thirsty.

So now I have a plan albeit a small one. I'm going to print this out and tape to my refrigerator door as a reminder of my plan for the week.