Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stocking up again and saved 91%! Plus FREE CHEESE at Meijer!

So I *thought* I was completely stocked up on cheese, but Meijers has a deal today only that makes it free! They have Kraft cheese 3 for $5.00, get an instant $1 off at the register when you buy 3. It's working on multiples of 3 in each transaction, and today only (1/31), they still have the catalina printing for $5.00 off your next order when you buy 5, and the catalinas will roll (meaning you can use the coupon on your next cheese purchase and it will print a new one)! 6 bags or blocks of cheese. It will come to $10.00. The register will deduct $2.00 automatically ($1 for each of the purchase of 3), then use 3 $1 off 2 Kraft cheese coupons, which can be found here or in the 1/24 Smartsource insert. That will deduct another $3. You'll pay $5.00 the first time, but you can use the $5.00 coupon you get off each of your next orders, making all the others FREE, plus when you're done you'll still have a $5.00 coupon!! Hope that made sense!

So this morning I went to Target and Meijer.


2 bags of Hersheys Pieces - .24 cents each (they are $2.24...use the $1.00 off coupon from the 1/24 Smartsource insert plus the $1.00 off Target coupon here)

4 Digiornio pizzas $4.50-$4.00 coupon, making each one .50 cents! (I had these high dollar coupons left over from my Digiornio Houseparty...after everyone left I realized there were still a few coupons left!)

1 box Up trash bags...$2.62...I had a .75 cent off coupon I got in a mailer


30 bags/blocks of Kraft cheese

2 loaves bread .93 cents each

6 boxes Wheat Thins and Triscuits $1.88 on sale...I used 6 $1.00 one coupons from the 1/24 Smartsource and 2 $1.00 off 3 Meijer Mealbox coupons found here, making each box .55 cents

2 cans Kraft Parmesan cheese $2.99 and I used $1.00 off one found here so $1.99 each

1 Tropicana orange juice FREE! with a catalina coupon I had from a couple of weeks ago

5 Philadelphia cream cheese...just like the Kraft cheese deal above, but this one is a money maker! On sale for $1.25 each. Buy 5...use the $1 off 3 Meijer Mealbox coupon here and the $1 off 4 printable here

Sooo...altogether I spent $13.49 out of pocket and saved $136.78!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My meal plan 1/25 - 1/31

I went through my pantry and both freezers this weekend, and discovered I still have a ton of food left, even though I've been doing the pantry challenge! I'm going to work on using some more of it up this week, and will probably continue on for a couple more! Last week was crazy...on top of everything that we already had to do, I ended up with two sick kids, so last weeks meal plan got kind of messed up. I've moved a couple things from last week to this week.

Monday - Spinach stuffed chicken breasts, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Tuesday - BBQ Ribs, oven fries, green salad

Wednesday - Gyros, spinach pie, greek salad

Thursday - Whole roast chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Roast pork loin, broccoli, glazed carrots

Sunday - Omelets (using up tidbits of leftovers) and fresh fruit

I don't plan lunches or breakfast by the day, but this is what we'll be eating throughout the week:

Lunches will be the usual...leftovers, sandwiches, salads, soup

Breakfasts will be cereal, oatmeal, eggs, fruit

I'm also doing a baking day tomorrow...banana bread, apple crisp, granola bars for school snacks, pumpkin muffins, and a coffee cake.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I only spent $27.70 on groceries this week!

I got away with only spending $27.70 this week, and that included a birthday with school treats! I'm still doing the pantry challenge, and wouldn't have even spent this much this week, but my son decided that he wanted tacos at home for his birthday instead of going out. I ended up actually spending waaay less than we had planned for the week, because we'd told him we could go anywhere he wanted for his birthday! I love saving the money, and I suppose it's flattering, but I was really looking forward to a night off! Here's my rundown for the week:

Orchard Market (local chain)

6 lbs apples (for school treat and snacks) $3.00
2 Gallons milk $1.47 each
1 1/2 lbs ground beef $2.83
2 large tomatoes $1.55
1 dozen eggs $ .24 (YES! Less than a quarter!)


6 boxes cereal $ .99 each
12 cans Hunt's tomato sauce $3.00
6 tubs Quaker Oats $5.94
2 6-pk double rolls Quilted Northern $2.13 each

Total for the week...$27.70! I saved $33.28. My local store has a few internet printable coupons...they always have $1 off milk and $ .75 off eggs, which is how I'm always able to get milk and eggs so cheap! I also had Meijer Mealbox coupons for the Hunt's and the Quakers, plus a $2 coupon off my order from last week's shopping! I still have soooo much food in the house that I think I'm going to continue with the pantry challenge for the next few weeks!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mini apple pies, I love you so...

I have a small, obsessive love of all things small. Especially if that something small is mini apple pies. My oldest son's birthday was yesterday. My baby boy hit the double digits and turned 10. He asked me to make my mini apple pies for his class treat. They are easy to make, but a little time consuming...I just use a basic pie crust recipe, and a basic apple pie filling recipe. The only change is to cut the apples into little tiny pieces. I use a mini muffin pan to bake them in, and a small glass to cut out the pie crust. (You could also use a round cookie cutter) Bake at 350 until golden took these about 25 minutes. For size reference, these are sitting in a 9x13 cake pan.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Out with the old

NOT in with the new. In an effort to simplify my house and life, I have been decluttering, which has seemed like a never ending task. So finally, on January 18th, I have come up with a New Year's Resolution! (Have I mentioned that I'm really good at procrastinating?) Starting today, I am vowing to throw away or donate 10 things from my house every single day. And blowing my nose and throwing away the tissue won't count. I'm talking things. Clothes that haven't fit anyone in 3 years, pieces of toys we got rid of years ago, sippy cups that haven't been used in two years, nursing supplies (my "baby" is 4!)....yes, we have all of that in the house, and more. I drive past Goodwill at least once a week, so every week I will take my donation pile and actually drop it off instead of letting it live in the back of the van.

This week's menu...1/18-1/24

This week is going to be relatively simple...I have a busy week ahead of me! My daughter's last game is today...she's a 7th grade cheerleader. My oldest son turns 10 on Thursday and he has chosen to bring my mini apple pies in to school for his birthday treat. They're easy, but time consuming so most of Wednesday will be spent making those. Add in two birthday parties, a couple of Doctor appointments, and the usual homework/running around, I won't have much time! I'm doing the pantry challenge this month, so I won't need to go grocery shopping, at least! I will have to make a run for milk, apples for the pies, and plain yogurt for gyro night, but that will be all my shopping!

Monday - taco salad with the leftover taco meat from a couple of days ago ( I switched up a couple of the days last week, and we had tacos on Saturday...I'm not actually feeding my family meat leftover from last Wednesday!)

Tuesday - gyros, spinach pie, and greek salad (the gyros are made with ground beef, but taste *exactly* like real gyro meat...I'll post the recipe on Tuesday!)

Wednesday - chicken/broccoli/peapod stirfry

Thursday - OUT! Birthday boy's choice. And birthday cake.

Friday - Baked chicken breast, glazed carrots, green beans

Saturday - Pizza pasta bake, green salad

Sunday - Chicken quesadillas

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This week's groceries...I saved 83%!

I don't shop like a normal person, so this by no means is what we are eating this week. I coupon and shop sales and stockpile when I find a great price. I also like having a lot of everything we could possibly need in this house, so if something happens we don't have to go out for it. This has come in really handy when we've been snowed in! I have plenty of meat, veggies and fruit, some freezer meals I've made, and bread in the freezer. I've been doing a "eat from the pantry" challenge this month, but only half assed. I do that as it is on my own in December, so we were running low on some stuff. I've given myself a budget of $50 a week to round out what I have. So now here is a rundown of what I got this week (all of it was from Meijers).

1 2 liter of Mt Dew
5 Betty Crocker cake mixes
1 big jar applesauce
1 box of decongestants (I include all toiletries, OTC meds, etc in my food budget)
12 bottles of Wishbone salad dressing
12 cans Spaghetti O's
6 Digiornio pizzas (FREE! thanks to Houseparty, which I'll discuss in a seperate post)
9 boxes of Lance cheese sandwich crackers
1 bag pretzels
7 tubs Betty Crocker frosting
4 cans of coffee
4 Betty Crocker Supreme brownie mix
16 bags of Chex Mix
8 jars of Skippy peanut butter
5 bags of Dole romaine lettuce
8 boxes Green Giant frozen veggies
51 Fruit Roll Ups (yes, that says 51)
20 blocks of Kraft cheese

I spent a total of $ before sales and coupons was $376.63!!! And before I get grief for the crap I bought, those fruit roll ups and the crackers will last until the end of the school year for lunch box treats and school snacks for all 3 of my school age kids! They also take fresh fruit, string cheese, granola bars (which I make), muffins, etc. This is not all I feed my family, lol! I'm also aware I went over my $50 budget, but I shouldn't be spending more than $10 next week, so it will even out!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Groceries and Insurance

Had a great shopping day at Meijers, which I will go into detail with tomorrow. Then I went to pick up the Adderall my 7 year old son was prescribed today. $154.00. *thud* And that's *with* our insurance. Good thing I shop cheap for food, or we'd be starving.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Planning, Organization, and Procrastination

So I'm sure it doesn't take most people 42 years to figure this one out, but I'm not most people. I have a problem with lack of planning and organization, and am the Queen of Procrastination. I have spent years living in the moment, not worrying/thinking about tomorrow, and back when I was in college and in my single days, it seemed to serve me well. I prided myself on being spontaneous. I abhorred planning for *anything*. I liked to be open to anything. Case in point...when I was 24 I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Australia with a friend of mine. We didn't plan farther ahead than having our plane land in Sydney. Where would we stay? Who knows! We'll figure it out when we get there! And it worked, and worked well. We were standing in line to exchange enough money at the airport to get a taxi into town and were approached by a man who happened to own a youth hostel. We were able to stay in our own huge room with kitchenette for $8 a night, plus they gave us a ride back to the airport when we left.

So what does this have to do with my life today? Well it seems that this attitude, and this lack of planning does not serve me well now. That load of clean laundry that would be so easy to put away when it's just one load? Not so easy when I put it off and it becomes 5 baskets of clean clothes that I have to scramble to search through to find matching socks for my son when he informs me that his sock drawer is empty, 5 minutes before the bus comes. You would think I would have figured this out before now, and I have. And then I forget how much easier it made my life and let the laundry sit again. I need to remember it every day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Meal Plan for the week

I'm partly following a pantry challenge for the month, but am slightly low on some things because every year I do a mostly eat from the pantry month in December. Mainly because the last place I want to be in December is the store. I worked retail for many, many, many years and got my fill of Christmas shopper crazy on me. Or maybe it was just a couple of years but felt like a lifetime. So while I'm still mainly doing pantry eating, I do have a budget of no more than $50 a week to add to what I have already.

Monday...ate at McDonald's (this was planned...the kids all had gift cards they got for Christmas...dinner was on them!)

Tuesday...Roast chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots, tossed salad, and yeast rolls

Wednesday....Taco night

Thursday....Leftover chicken, steamed broccoli, rice

Friday...Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread

Saturday....Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Sunday....Pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit

Lunches will be leftovers or sandwiches (it's usually just me and my 4 year old during the week), breakfast is cereal, eggs, or oatmeal. Snacks are fruit, popcorn, cheese and crackers, toast, yogurt.

Me, Myself, and I

Instead of a few concrete New Year's Resolutions that I would probably break before the groundhog sees his shadow, I decided this year would be different. For a while now, I have been getting antsy. Like something's just not right in my life, or not all it could be. I'm not unhappy, but I just feel like for years now I've been searching. For what, I don't know. Or I should say, didn't know. I've recently realized that, buried beneath four kids and a husband and a house and a mortgage, I somewhere along the way lost me. I stay at home with my kids, and while I love it and am so very thankful that we're in a position for me to do so, my life has become so routine, I have forgotten all the little things that make life an adventure. I've come to the conclusion that one of the things that will help me bring creativity and me back into my life is organization, which I'm sorely lacking on. It sounds so condradictory (is that even a word?), but by reorganizing it all, things will be streamlined enough to find space for me. My goal this year is to do an entire makeover...of my house, my routines, and my life. I have the best kids I could hope for, and the best husband I could have dreamed of...I owe it to them to give the best me I have.