Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We are trying to stay frugal with our menu this week utilizing items in the pantry and Thanksgiving leftovers. Thanks for the leftover turkey and stuffing Maw!

Sunday - Cinnamon Pancakes with bacon

Monday - Spaghetti

Tuesday - Open-faced turkey and gravy sandwiches with stuffing, corn

Wednesday - Loaded baked potatoes, garden salad

Thursday - Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, soup

Friday - Sloppy Joes, fries

Saturday - Leftovers

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mail-In Rebate Checks

As predicted by my hubbie, my dry spell of receiving MIRs has come to an end. It had been over a month since I received a rebate check in the mail. Well last week several came:

Miller - $20 (save $20 on $40 of groceries - No Beer Purchase Required)
Columbia Crest Wine - $5 (save $5 on $15 of chicken, deli or produce - No Wine Purchase Required)
SC Johnson - $5
Kraft Keep the Jingle in your Holiday - $10
Kraft Back to School - $20

Total: $60!!!!!

Sixty dollars with little effort. Sixty dollars back to my grocery budget. Now that is awesome!

Friday Finals 11/27 - UNDER BUDGET!!!!!!!

Well, I finally made it under budget on the third week of my $80 Challenge. Go me! This week included an awesome Harris Teeter trip. My total before savings and coupons was $118. After coupons was $48 bucks!

Harris Teeter
Total Spent: $48.34

Total Spent: $11.01

Total Spent: $17.42

Weekly Total: $76.77

Total Monthly Budget remaining: $70.49

I'm not sure if we will make it under budget for the month because I was over the first 2 weeks, but I am sure going to try. This has been an interesting experiment for me. I think I was a little hasty to reduce my budget my $20 bucks per week. That is a lot of money to shave off one week! I will see what I end at next week and then I will reevaluate to see if we should continue with the $80 budget or increase it to $90. Either way I am under my old budget of $100 so it is a job well done. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Favorite Printable Coupons This Week

Go here to print a $.50/1 Dole Canned Fruit or Fruit Bowls. Paired with a sale this coupon could equal FREE or cheap fruit. My son is a fruit lover so anytime I can snag some cheap canned fruit, I am all for it!

I few of my other fav printables this week:

$1/2 Kraft or Cracker Barrel Natural Cheese

$0.55/2 Philadephia Cream Cheese

$0.55/1 Breakstone's Sour Cream - Deal Alert! Harris Teeter has this sour cream on sale BOGO for $0.99 each this week which equals FREE sour cream!

$10/1 Disney's Santa Buddies BluRay DVD combo - On sale at Target for $19.99 this week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We didn't eat steak strips last week so I moved them to this week. Not many items on the weekly plan because of Thanksgiving. Plus we are planning on making a casserole and extra of another meal so we will be eating leftovers a couple of nights.

Sunday - Steak Strips, jasmine rice, and green beans

Monday - Grilled Cheese and soup

Tuesday - Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole

Wednesday - Leftover chicken casserole

Thursday - Thanksgiving at my in-laws (Yummy!)

Friday - Pork Fried Rice, Crab Rangoons

Saturday - Leftover Pork Fried Rice

I love leftover rice dishes. They seem to be better the next day. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday Finals 11/20

We are in the second week of our $80 challenge. This week we purchased a frozen turkey for Christmas. Wegmans was having an awesome sale on frozen turkeys - $0.39 per pound. We also stocked up on beef hot dogs (Adrian loves hot dogs) and cheddar brats at Safeway. Here are the totals for the week.

Harris Teeter
Total Spent: $12.51

Total Spent: $9.95

Total Spent: $42.94

Total Spent: $18.72

Weekly Total: $84.12

Total Monthly Budget remaining: $147.26

Well still over by $4.12, but an improvement over last week. AND we were able to purchase a turkey for Christmas. I'm getting closer and closer to my goal and hoping to meet it next week. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We didn't end up making the BLTs last week so I am moving that meal to this week. Hubbie was sick for a few days so I grabbed Chick Fila one night. Neither of us felt like cooking. I try to limit eating out because it can be so expensive but I was really tired so I caved. :(

Sunday - Leftover Spaghetti, salad

Monday - Chicken Quesadillas with sour cream, homemade pico de gallo, and jalapenos

Tuesday - BLTs, fruit

Wednesday - Cheddar Brats, fries

Thursday - Baked Ziti, garden salad

Friday - Steak Strips, jasmine rice, and corn

Saturday - Leftovers

I am getting hungry looking at this meal plan. :) Lots of my favorites this week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Finals 11/13

This was the first week of my $80 challenge. It is my personal challenge to lower our grocery bill from $100 per week to $80 per week. Here is how I did...

Harris Teeter - 2 trips
Total Spent: $29.41

Total Spent: $27.92

Total Spent: $31.29

Weekly Total: $88.62
Total Monthly Budget remaining: $231.38

So we ended the week $8.62 over budget. :( While I would have rather started the first week under, I'll take it. We were still able to reduce our budget. I also was able to stock up on ground beef and cereal. Plus it was quite a challenge during an HT Triples week! I had to restrain myself and only get the free or almost free items. :) Wish us luck next week!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Another money saving practice that I have recently adopted is menu planning. My hubbie and I sit down weekly and plan our menu. He is the cook afterall so I have to plan the menus with him. We look at what we have on hand in our freezer and pantry then we plan our meals around it. This is what is on the menu this week.

Sunday - Lemon Pepper Chicken, Seasoned Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli and Cheese Rice

Monday - Sloppy Joes, fries, fruit

Tuesday - BLTs, fruit

Wednesday - Date Night for Mom and Dad, Soup and Grilled Cheese for the kids

Thursday - Spaghetti, Garden Salad

Friday - Steamed Spiced Shrimp, Baked Potatoes

Saturday - Leftover Night

We move days around as necessary but basically stick to this meal plan. What is for dinner at your house this week?

Money Saving Idea - What I do with all this ground beef :)

As you have noticed I purchased a lot of ground beef over the weekend. What am I going to do with all this ground beef?

As a money saving method, I divide the beef into individuals packages and freeze it for dinners. Most people use 1 lb of ground beef per meal whether it is sloppy joes, spaghetti, tacos or stroganof. Most recipes will call for 1 lb of meat. About a year ago, I reduced the amount of meat used in each meal to 3/4 lb. I found that we had an extreme amount of leftovers after every meal. So much that a lot went to waste and was thrown out. Since we only have 2 adults eating and 2 small children, there is still more than enough protein in our meal and we STILL have enough leftovers for at least 2 individual lunches.

Reducing the amount of meat used in each meal saves us money and reduces the amount of wasted food we have. If I had divided the meat into 1 lb. packages, I would have enough for 9 meals. By dividing it into 3/4 lb packages, there was enough for 12 meals!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Harris Teeter Triples #2

I had to go over to Harris Teeter again this morning to pick up the Sunday newspaper for the coupons. For the sake of my $80 weekly budget, I will not be including newspapers in my grocery budget. Also my mom asked me to pick up some of the $1.47 a pound ground beef for her. I wanted to stock up on ground beef so I grabbed another pack. :)

Here's what I got....

3 Starkist Tuna Pouches, $1.25 each
-.50/1 X 3 printable MQ
Final Price: FREE!

1 Progresso Chicken Broth
-.50/1 printable MQ
Final Price: FREE!

1 package of Ground Beef, $2.91
-.50/1 printable MQ from an online game (yes there are coupons for meat)
Final Price: $1.41 (That breaks down for $0.71 lb)

Total before coupons: 8.15
Coupons/Promotions: 6.74
OOP: $1.41

Whoa mama! Now that is a deal!

Harris Teeter Triples #1

Sorry for the lack of pictures lately. :( I just haven't had the time to line everything up and snap a shot. Last night, I went over the Harris Teeter after Chris got home from work. I know. I know. I am exciting grocery shopping on a Saturday night. I actually almost had the store to myself. I only saw 2 other shoppers. I might have to make a habit of shopping at night then I can take my time without a ton of other people around.

Harris Teeter is running a triple coupon event until Tuesday, November 10. They will triple up to 20 coupons 99 cents and under per customer per day. I was able to get several FREE and under a double items but they were out of several items that I was interested in buying. Here is how I did...

Bisquick, $2.99
-$.60/1 printable MQ, tripled
Final Price: $1.19

Cool Ranch Doritos, $1.99
Final Price: $1.99

Cascade Dishwasher Tabs, $3.99
-.75/1 MQ from home mailer, tripled
Final Price: $1.74

Dole Tropical Fruit, $1.89
-.50/1 printable MQ, tripled
Final Price: $0.39

Progresso Beef Broth, $1.49 each
-.50/1 printable MQ, tripled
Final Price: FREE

2 Ortega Tortillas, $2.00 each
-.75/2 MQ, tripled
Final Price: $0.89 each

2 12-pack of Coke, $1.99 each (this is the best price I have seen in a while)

1 12-pack of Coke Zero, $1.99 each

1 12-pack of Diet Coke with Lime, $1.99 each

2 Cream of Mushroom Soup, $0.66 each BOGO
-$1/2 printable MQ
Final Price: $0.16 each (Awesome price!)

2 Cream of Chicken Soup, $0.66 each BOGO
-$1/2 printable MQ
Final Price: $0.16 each (Awesome price!)

Vlassic Dill Pickles, $2.49 each
-.50/1 printable MQ, tripled
Final Price: $0.99

3 Starkist Tuna Pouches, $1.25 each
-.50/1 X 3 printable MQ, tripled
Final Price: FREE

1 Bumblebee Tuna Pouch, $1.00
-$1/1 printable MQ, tripled
Final Price: FREE

4 packages of Ground Beef, $1.47 per pound (Stock up price!!!!)
Final Price: $2.43, $3.03, $2.53, $2.34

1 6-pack of Danimals Yogurt
-$1/1 MQ from coupon insert
Final Price: $1.00

Total before coupons: 46.54
Coupons: 18.54
OOP: $28.00

Overall I was happy with this trip. I got several FREE items. I could just go to the store and buy only the FREE things available but I choose to purchase the items that my family eats. By utilizing coupons, I am getting normal items for us at a much lower cost. Plus did you see the price on the ground beef? $1.47 a pound! That is an awesome price!!!! The 12-pack of Coke products are on sale for $1.99 each. I haven't seen a price that low in a long time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Target 11.6.09

I decided to go to Target last night. We had a birthday party to attend today and we needed a gift to give. Plus there were a couple of awesome Kellogg's deals I was interested in scoring. This trip will go towards my $80 challenge. I am going to present my purchase in a different format so that you can see the true price I am paying for each item.

Luvs Diapers, $7.49
-$2.50/1 Luvs Home Mailer
Final Price: $4.99

1 Cascade Dishwasher Tabs, $3.99
-.50/1 Target Q PLUS $1/1 MQ from Home Mailer
Final Price: $2.49

1 Pringles, $1.52
No Q!!!!! The kids wanted their fav chips. :)

1 Fruit Roll Up, $1.67 on sale

4 Old Orchard Apple Juice, $1.17 each
-$1/4 Internet Printable Q
Final Price: $0.92

Axe Deodorant, $3.14

Colgate Total Toothpaste, $2.34
-.75/1 TQ PLUS $1/1 MQ
Final Price: $0.59

Herbal Essences Shampoo, $2.99
-2.99 MQ from home mailer
Final Price: FREE

2 Bandaids, $1.82 each
-(1) .50/1 MQ
Final Price: $1.82 for (1) and $1.32 for (1)

2 Kellogg's Rice Krispie Treats, $1.88 each
-$1/2 printable MQ
Final Price: $1.38 each

Kellogg's Yogos Fruit Snacks, $2.14
-$2.14 Target Promotion - Buy 2 Rice Krispies Get a FREE Fruit Snack
Final Price: FREE

Kellogg's Rice Krispies, $2.99
-$1 TQ PLUS $0.75 printable MQ
Final Price: $1.24

Kellogg's Crispix, $2.99
-$1 TQ PLUS $0.75 printable MQ
Final Price: $1.24

Kellogg's Fruit Loops, $2.66
-$1 TQ PLUS $1 MQ from Apple Jacks Sample
Final Price: $0.66

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, $2.34
-$2.34 Buy 3 Kellogg's Cereals Get 1 FREE
Final Price: FREE

Total before coupons: 48.34
Coupons/Promotions: 20.72
OOP: $27.62

$80 Weekly Challenge

Before I started "couponing," I had no set grocery budget. A big no-no! I estimate that we were spending around $150 a week on groceries. Looking back that was an insane amount of money. Since I started using coupons and watching sales, I have been able to reduce that to around $100 a week. This includes all food, tolietries, diapers, wipes, etc.

I am challenging myself starting this month to reduce that amount to $80 a week. I really think I can do it. :) While my budget is $80 a week, I am going to be flexible with that as long as I stay within the monthly budget of $320 ($80 X 4). Obviously if the month has five weeks, I will increase the budget to $400 ($80 X 5). So if I go under one week, I will move my overage to the next week and if I go over one week, I can reduce my spending the next week. I plan on reporting my shopping totals each week. My week will start on Friday since that is payday for us. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


These are all the FREE items that I received in the mail this week. Not too shabby for one week, eh?

*Two stainless steel water bottles courtesy of Michelob Ultra. I mailed away for the water bottles. It was a beer rebate offer my hubbie found at the grocery store. We didn't have to buy anything just filled out the certificate and mailed them away.

*One scotch glass from Johnnie Walker. My husband is a member of the Johnnie Walker Striding Man Society. Every so often they will have a free scotch tasting that he will go to. Well the offer this time was a free scotch glass. We did have to send $2.50 away for shipping but that is a small price to pay for something so cool. :)

*6 pieces of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements. You had to become a fan of Edible Arrangements on FaceBook and were emailed a coupon for a FREE box of chocolate covered fruit. We had strawberries and apples. YUM!

*A box of Au Gratin potatoes from Betty Crocker. I requested a free sample from Betty Crocker a few weeks ago and when I opened my mail on Saturday, there was a full size box of Au Gratin potatoes in it! There was also a coupon for $0.50 off one box of Betty Crocker potatoes. Paired with a sale or triple coupon event this will equal another free box. :)

*A coupon for a FREE bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo or conditioner. I am so grateful for this one! I have sensitive skin and can only use a few kinds of shampoo and conditioner....this happens to be one I can use. :)

*NOT PICTURED - FREE Chipotle! My mom and I stopped at Chipotle on Saturday to get lunch and they were having the BOO-rito Event. I had no idea! Chipotle was giving away free entrees for Halloween. My burrito bowl was extra yummy....especially because it was free. Does food taste better when you know it is free? hahaha - I think so.

Harris Teeter 11.1.09

I ran out to Harris Teeter this morning with the kids. That was an adventure in itself, my 3 year old was confused by the Daylight Savings Time and woke up at 5 am this morning. we were at Harris Teeter before 9 AM and he was super cranky. Oh well we survived. On to the deals....

What I bought:

2 cans of Dole Mandarin Oranges - $1.00 each (sale)
2 cans of Rotel Tomatoes - $1.25 each (sale)
2 boxes of CapriSuns - $1.88 each (sale)
1 bottle of HT White Vinegar - $0.97 each
1 Sweet Onion - $1.26 each
2 Newspapers - $1.50 each (COUPONS!)
1 Blue Bunny Sedona Ice Cream Sandwiches - $3.99 each

Coupons Used:

-.50/1 X 2 Any Dole Fruit printable (doubled)
-.50/1 X 2 Rotel Tomatoes printable (doubled)
-$0.89 E-VIC for CapriSun (makes one box 99 cents!)
-$3 E-VIC for Blue Bunny Frozen Yogurt Novelty item
-$1/1 Blue Bunny Frozen Yogurt Novelty peelie (found on the box)

Total before coupons and E-VIC: $17.84

Total after coupons and E-VIC: $8.95

The highlights of this trip were FREE mandarin oranges and FREE Blue Bunny ice cream! The Rotel tomatoes were 25 cents each. :) Plus the CapriSun were the last two boxes I needed to qualify for the Kraft 2009 Back to School Rebate. I will mail away for that tomorrow. $20 bucks will be here in 6-8 weeks. Woo hoo! If you are interested in this rebate follow the link above and request your coupon booklet, the rebates are included with the booklet.

Staples 10.31.09

Yesterday after my daughter's soccer game (who by the way scored 2 goals!!! Woo hoo!!), we made a stop at Staples. Since I print a lot of coupons, I go through a good amount of ink and paper. The Staples Rewards program is a great way to get FREE products. Staples will give you $3 for every ink cartridge you turn into to them to recycle. You receive a $3 credit on your Staples Rewards account and at the end of the month they will mail or email (you choose the method you receive it) the rewards certificate. You are allowed to turn in a maximum of 10 ink cartridges a month.

What I bought:
1 ream of Hammermill Copy Plus paper - $5.79 each
1 HP ink cartridge - $10.99 each

Coupons Used:
-$1.10 (10% off one item coupon)
-$9 Staples Rewards Certificate

Total before coupons: $17.11

Total after coupons: $7.01

Plus there was a $3.79 rebate for the Hammermill paper. Their rebates are super easy to send away for. The rebate form prints out on your receipt or you can submit the rebate online at After coupons, rewards, and rebate, the paper and ink was $3.22.