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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Menu Plan Week of 6/1


We weren't exact in following this past week's menu plan. Weather got in the way of firing up the smoker when we wanted to, but now we have a ton of pork, ribs and chicken in the freezer to slowly use up. Check back later for recipes on the blue cheese dipping sauce, the orzo salad and the ranch chicken wraps.


5/31 Sunday

  • fresh blue cheese dipping sauce $1.50
  • corn on the cob $1.00
$5.50


6/1 Monday

  • bbq pork sandwiches $2.00
  • potato wedges $.50
  • mango cubes $1.00

$3.50


6/2 Tuesday

  • stuffed shells $3.50
  • salad $1.00
  • carrots .50

$5.00


6/3 Wednesday

  • brats in brat buns $2.00
  • baked beans made in smoker $1.00
  • peaches .75
  • sliced tomatoes .50

$4.25


6/4 Thursday

  • tacos $2.50
  • corn .50

$3.00

6/5 Friday Circus night...easy early dinner

  • ranch chicken nugget wraps with lettuce and tomato $2.75
  • fries .50
  • green beans .50

$3.75


6/6 Saturday

  • grilled pork chops $1.90
  • orzo salad $1.25
  • broccoli .50

$3.65


6/7 Sunday

  • cheeseburgers $3.75
  • roasted potatoes .75

$4.50

Double Coupons in Omaha!


For a day anyway. LOL Hy-Vee is doing a week of specials this week, with different specials each day. Tuesday June 2nd, if you take the coupon from their insert in the Sunday paper you can double up to 10 coupons up to 50 cents!

I will be going through my coupons to highlight the biggest matchups for you. The biggest one that sticks out is Hy-Vee's current Kool-Aid Drink mixes at 10 for $1. If you grabbed the 50cents off 10 printable from coupons.com, they double it, and you get 10 mixes for free!

Other deals I see-

Monday- Hot dog buns for .88

Tuesday- Roberts Orange Juice half gallon for .69- if you have the Roberts Fundraising booklet you can use the bogo oj coupon to get 2 orange juices for .69!

Wednesday- Bakery Italian loaf for .99. Use coupon for Dr. Pepper, 7Up and others for $1.99/12 pack

Friday- bananas .39/lb.

Saturday- dozen large eggs for .49. Kellogg's cerals for $1.68. If you still have Vocal Point coupons for $1 off Frosted Mini Wheats, then you can grab those for .68 per box!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Is this bad?

Was surfing This Is Why You're Fat tonight. Most of the food makes you just about laugh out loud. Deep fried cheeseburgers wrapped in cheesecake smothered in a heart attack. Quite comical. Right til I got to this one. Totchos. Tater tots covered in ground beef, cheese, salsa, jalapenos and sour cream, and all I can think about now is that I want to make them. Brilliant. I think I already feel an artery hardening. Just you wait...coming to a Menu Plan Monday soon! :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Smoked Red Peppers

I was at Sam's yesterday, and picked up a bag of 6 luscious big red bell peppers for cheap! We smoked them today-if you haven't done this...wowee wow wow! They're great pureed into tomato soup. I also like this sauce recipe from Bobby Flay:

Ingredients

  • 4 smoked red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle puree
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or olive oil

Directions

Combine peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar, honey, mustard, chipotle and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified. Strain sauce into a bowl.

This classic sauce is great on grilled veggies, chicken, fish and steak.

Those Aldi mushrooms...


Keep sticking in my head because .69 for an 8oz. container is AWESOME! You can also get onions for uber cheap at Aldi. One of the things I love through Schwans for its ease but hate paying for is their sauteed mushrooms and onions. You could make these, freeze them, and then add to your dishes as desired. YUM. Try this recipe.

We're also smoking mushrooms today...I'll let you know how that goes...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bakers Bargain Meal of the week


I have to admit I haven't been thrilled with Bakers the past few weeks. The meat is higher there, and so is produce. If you coupon you can grab some decent prices on processed stuff, but I prefer to get more whole foods and that has been slim pickin's. That being said, here's a healthy, easy meal that comes in at under $5.00 without fruit, and just over with.

Your shopping list:

2lbs Kroger Chicken Thighs @ .95/lb= $1.90
1 Green Giant Box Niblets Corn in Butter Sauce- $1.00
1 10lb. bag of Kroger Russet Potatoes= $2.99 (using about 3lbs. potatoes= .90)
1 16oz. Roberts Light Sour Cream= $1.00

Your menu plan-

Crumb-Coated Chicken
Corn
Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream

Total for Meal is $3.80

Add 1 pound of red seedless grapes @ $1.77/lb for a total of $5.55 !

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's the little things in life...

I finally broke down today and did some very overdue replacement of Pyrex stuff. Mine was so old that they hadn't even been making the lids yet...in fact, the last piece hubby broke was pre microwave- I loved it because it was so retro looking. (The whole "hubby broke it" subject could be a completely different posting LOL)

$23 for a set of new stuff, not really a big deal, but a) for some reason I always drag my feet on these kinds of purchases, and b) I've been so giddy this afternoon over my purchase of Pyrex you'd think it was diamond encrusted or something.

Oh well. Guess you have to enjoy the small stuff :)

Good cofee coupons

Java lovers, coupons.com has some nice coffee coupons right now! Maxwell House, Starbucks, and even that yummy sugary fru fru International Coffees mix! You can print them by using the scrolling quick print on the right side of this blog. Have fun staying awake :)

Aldi's This Week

Has mushrooms on sale for .69/8oz. package. Typically $1.29 or more. So I bought 4. Using in spaghetti sauce, going to saute some with onions and freeze for future dishes, and I'm going to add some to the smoker and see how those come out. Thinking some penne pasta with smoked mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and parmesan sounds FABOO!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 5/25



I am taking a few much deserved days off this week, and we're going to be firing up the smoker tomorrow. That will give us a nice reserve of smoked/bbq meats for the freezer, so we can enjoy awesome smoked foods without the time investment during the week. Tomorrow's project will involve a chicken, an entire bone in pork loin, 3 slabs of baby back ribs, a meatloaf, and anything else I can think of before then.

Tonight, we'll have a different take on chicken- beer can chicken on the grill. I'm making 2, one for the freezer, one for tonight, and of course I'll be making broth out of the bones.

Here's the week:

Monday-
Tuesday-
Wednesday-
  • spaghetti w/ meatballs, green beans, tomato basil and mozzarella salad $4.50
Thursday-
  • smoked cheddar brats in brat buns, french fries $2.00
Friday-
  • Ranch pasta skillet, corn, salad $3.25

Saturday-
  • chicken patties on buns, fries $2.50
Sunday-
  • smoked chicken pasta, carrots, salad $3.50

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Six Word Saturday




Mom tries to make everyone happy

Twice baked potatoes for the freezer

8 potatoes, scrubbed

1 cup of sour cream

4TB butter or margarine

8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp dried dill

1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese, divided


Prick potatoes with a fork. Place directly on oven rack and bake in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove to cool. When you can easily touch, cut potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop middles of potatoes into a large bowl, and place potato skins on a foiled cookie sheet. Mash potatoes in bowl with butter, sour cream and seasonings to desired consistency. Add half of the bacon, and half of the cheese. Stir to combine. Scoop potato mixture into skins. Top with remaining bacon and cheese. Place baking sheet in freezer. When potatoes are frozen, place them in freezer bags according to how many you need for a meal. For us, 4 is fine, so this recipe gives us 4 meals.


When ready to eat, place on cookie sheet and bake in 375 oven for 30 minutes or until potato is warmed through and cheese is melted.

Saturday 9

As we kickoff the holiday weekend...this sure looks like fun! The Saturday 9 questions for this week:

Saturday 9: Hot Fun in the Summertime

1. Is summer your favorite season? Why?

Until it gets too hot and I dont' have a pool, yes. :) I loooove having my garden for veggies, all the roses and fresh flowers, and the ability for the kids to get a lot of time outside.

2. Do you exercise more in the summer because you wear less clothing?

Yes, but I actually try to be good all year....you just notice certain bumps and rolls more easily in the summer :)

3. Do you enjoy tanning or are you more concerned about the dangers of basking in the sun?

I don't try to tan. I'm a fair skinned redhead, and while I DO tan if I'm careful (although hubby says my freckles just connect), I just thinking I'm taking a risk. I've learned to be okay with my paleness.

4. You are on the beach when a waiter appears for your drink order. What do you ask for?

A mai tai. or two.

5. Do you camp in the summertime?

This is the first year with kids that we are going to attempt this. We used to do it pre-kids, and now that they are 6 and almost 4, I think they're ready.

6. What was your favorite summer vacation as a kid?

Going to visit family in Naples Florida and going conch shell diving---we had a lovely conch soup that night!

7. Do you enjoy sleeping outdoors?

sorta? When I was a kid, my parents sent me to a weeklong Girl Scout camp in the mountains in California. Every night we slept on cots that were outside in the trees, and it was lovely. But here in the humidity, not nearly as much fun.

8. Do you throw a summer barbecue every year?

Mostly, yes. We didn't do it last summer but I suspect we will this year.

9. Have you ever been to a nude beach? If yes, what did you think?

no. I don't have an issue for them for people who want to be comfy in their nudeness. That will just never be me. I get all eeked out changing in the gym locker room.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bakers Bargain Meal of the Week

Your shopping list

Chicken leg quarters 10lb. bag for $5.55- .55/lb
Ground Chuck= $1.79/lb.
Bakers Frozen Corn $1.00
Deviled Egg Potato salad $1.99 lb.
KC Masterpiece sauce $1.69
Bush's Baked Beans $1.66
Kroger Tortilla Chips= $1
Kraft Salad Dressing $1.69
Fresh Express Bag Salad= $2.50

Meal Ideas

  • 3lbs. Grilled BBQ Chicken Leg Quarters, potato salad and beans $5.20
  • Taco salad with bag salad, 1/2 lb. ground beef, 1/2 bag chips, salad dressing (you can add cheese and salad as desired) ---under $5!
  • grilled beef patties, corn and salad $5.50

Frugal Flops

Phoebe's topic over at Cents To Get Free made me chuckle over this week's Finding Freedom Friday. Uh, yeah, I've had some BIG frugal flops that have cost me money in the long run!

  • Assuming that a Sam's membership would save me money- It can actually do that. But only if you are breaking down prices, paying attention and knowing what is worth buying there. And that big gigantic tub of Miracle Whip isn't a deal if it goes bad and you have to throw it out. Or eat 5,000 cheese sandwiches to try to use it up, to the point that you never want a cheese sandwich again. LOL. We loved Sam's for smaller sized diapers and formula. I still have found them to be great for certain things, but we spend a LOT less money there now, and a LOT less money overall.
  • Buying the cheapest products- I've truly found to a certain degree that you "get what you pay for". Buying cheap appliances that break, cheap brands of skincare products that make my skin break out or generic versions of food that don't match up to my taste preferences aren't money savers in the long run. I still actually blush when I tell people I spent $400 on my blender. But I've owned it for 5 years, and I USE it all the time, including making my own peanut butter! In the long run I'm spending less because I'm not replacing it all the time, and it has the power and strength to help me make other things that will save me money. After spending $500 over 10 years on 3 vacuums, I found out my husband's grandma was still using her Kirby from the '50s. I read the reviews and found that they seem to still have that kind of staying power. So I spent $900 on a vacuum. Seems crazy. But I hope it's the last vacuum I'll buy!
  • Launching full bore into frugal things that aren't realistic or time wise for me. The reality is that I might be able to make an occasional loaf of bread or things like that. But I work 12 hours a day almost every day anymore, it seems. I'm not making bread on those days. And on the weekends, that is about the least appealing idea ever. Sara Lee is just gonna have to carry that chore for me.
The nice thing about these flops is that I've learned from them! And they make me smarter, or at least a little more savvy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hy-Vee Bargain Meal of the Week 5/21

Mmmm...grilling season! We're making mango drummies!

Your shopping list
1 mango 1@ 3/$2 = .67
3lbs chicken drumsticks at .99/lb $2.97
1lb. green beans at .99
1 bag Hy-Vee Cole Slaw mix= 1.00

Mango Chicken Drummies:

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 or 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1-2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 3lbs. chicken drumsticks

Preparation:

  1. Puree mango and chipotle peppers in a blender until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Pour the paste in a saucepan and cook over medium heat.
  3. Add brown sugar, vinegar, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Retire from stove top and let it cool.
  4. Start grill or preheat oven to 425 degrees
  5. Season drumsticks and apply mango sauce with a kitchen brush.
  6. Grill outdoors or bake for 35 minutes.
Sweet Restaurant Slaw
Fried Green Beans

Cost of groceries= $5.63

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

31 days til my 20 year high school reunion

Really?!?! Where did the time go? I haven't seen most of the 450 students I graduated with in about 15 years. I went to the 5 year reunion, and it was pretty ho-hum. The people I wanted to see weren't there, and everyone else was still pretty much the same.

I missed the 10 year- we had our beach vacation planned for the same week. Hmmm, let's see, a week sitting in a lounge chair under an umbrella sipping fruity drinks, or a night with a whole bunch of people who saw me go through the "awkward" phase. Yeah. Tough decision. Of course, though, everyone I wanted to see at the 5 showed up at the 10 and wondered where the heck I was. Figures.

So now we are at 20. We've lived out of state for quite some time and I have lost touch with most of the circle of my friends from high school. Last time I saw anyone was maybe right around the 10 year, before I did the things I'm most proud of: have my 2 beautiful children, buy my home, and support my family with my career.

Looking forward to seeing my classmates and hearing about their accomplishments. 20 years! I can't believe it!

Here's something I will never need...


I was flipping through a catalog today when I stumbled upon something that seemed so ludicrous to me. The four pad girdle panty...designed to add hips and a bottom.HAHAHAHA. A purchase I will never, ever need to make :D I wish I could share the curves I was blessed with...I'd make a killing! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Menu Plan Week of 5/18


You'll see some repeats from last week. Did a lot of juggling and flipping around due to schedule and lack of interest in what was on the plan :) We don't stray too far like that very often, so hopefully we'll be back on track this week. The price break out on these meals comes out to about $26 for the week. If that seems low to you, 1) I use coupons. big time. 2) I stockpile. I probably couldn't walk out today at the store and buy everything at these prices. So these are my prices. Yours may vary.


5/17 Sunday

brat patties on buns $3.00

sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil $1.50

beans .35

$4.50

5/18 Monday

stuffed shells with sauce $3.75

salad .75

$4.50

5/19 Tuesday

chicken and veggie soup $.50

(broth from freezer, cubed chicken from freezer, celery .10, carrot .20, potato .20) .50

grilled cheese sandwiches $1.30

peaches .70

$2.80

5/20 Wednesday

skillet pasta with mozzarella cheese $1.85

salad $1.00

$2.85

5/21 Thursday

lasagna $5.50

salad .75

$6.25

5/22 Friday

cheeseburgers 3.90

burgers 2.00, buns 1.00, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion .60, cheese .30

fries .50

$4.40

5/23 Saturday

Italian Beef Sandwiches $3.50

Beef $2, beer $.50, boullion, Italian dressing mix $.25, Buns .75

bacon cheese fries .75

$4.25

5/24 Sunday-work for me..boys at home

leftover lasagna .00

green beans .45

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This week's meal plan has really turned into a bust

I moved a lot of stuff, substituted based on time and cravings---this week just didn't match up in schedule or taste. Oh well. Next week is another week.

Tonight, not on the meal plan, is the yummo sirloin steak I got at Fareway today, along with fresh asparagus and a Green Giant frozen medley of navy beans, yellow carrots and spinach in garlic sauce. I'll probably slice some apples up too. Easy, and won't make much of a mess, as we've been working outside on the garden all day and haven't had much of a chance to work inside.

Oh a side note, my garden is getting awfully close to resembling a garden! last year's roses have sprouted and even have little buds on them, and I added 3 more dry root roses to the row in front of the garden...all composted, given rose food and ready to be mulched.

My hydrangea is just starting to sprout on one side, and the rest of the garden is half tilled. Hopefully we'll get the rest done tomorrow. We're putting rabbit guard around most of the garden and then the water scare crows in the front. My hope is all of the rabbit guard will go up tomorrow as well. Then I can start laying in the stepping stones and all of our plants that have been growing so well in the basement and are bursting out of their containers!

Friday, May 15, 2009

This Week's Shopping Totals

Well, I guess working 13 hour days has one perk---no time to shop!! :) I did send hubby to Hy-Vee yesterday, lil pumpkin followed my list to the T, no extra spending.

Today I made it to Bakers and Aldi.

Hy-Vee was for a lot of fresh produce: mushrooms, apples, kiwi, plus salad dressing, tomato soup and a 10lb. bag of potatoes. Total at Hy-Vee: $7.30

Bakers today included ham, cotto salami, 3 24oz blocks of cheese for $3 apiece ($1 per 8oz is a GREAT price), turkey hot dogs, bag salads, several bags of fries for .99 each, applesauce, and several other things for a total of $28.36 (I saved $25.78)

Last stop was Aldi, for 2 gallons of skim milk, 2 1lb. packages of asparagus for .99 each, 1 bag of frozen chicken nuggets, and a bag of fresh spinach. Total- $10.84

So the total for the week is $46.50. I may still hit Fareway on this week's budget for .69/dozen eggs, $1.99/lb bratwurst patties and a couple other goodies I want. Overall, though, I should still be well under my $60 mark. 2 weeks in a row for being way under. Sure helps to have freezers to stock up stuff with sales. Really makes it easy on weeks like this!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Getting all of your nutrients on a budget

We take vitamin supplements. We're about to start taking Juice Plus Supplements to see how we do with them. That said, I still believe the best source for vitamins and nutrients is the food you put in your mouth every day.

I keep a food log online every day at Calorie Count. The analysis section allows me to see where I am strong in nutrients, and where I am short. I have been surprised by what I've learned.

If you eat a fair amount of fruits and vegetables, you will find you hit your vitamin A and C levels by lunch pretty much. I'm already at 146% of my vitamin A intake today, with dinner yet to come.

Calcium for me has always been a tricky thing. I don't particularly like milk that much, although I love dairy products. Knowing this, I take supplements, but I also find other ways to get as close as possible to my recommended daily amount through my diet.

The one that really shocks me is my struggle to get enough iron in. I'm a meat eater, I like to eat things like spinach, so I figured I should blast past the recommended amount. Not so much.

For women, the recommended amount is 18mg. At 4:30pm, I've consumed 8. 10 to go. Great.

Meat, particularly red meat and organ meats (blech) are surefire ways to get in your iron. Meats contain Heme iron, which is the most easily digested form of iron. Meat is not the only option, however. Non-Heme options are quite healthy, and very frugal, although the absorption rate isn't as high with these foods. If you're like me, here are some things to make sure you get in your diet:

-White Beans- 3.9mg per serving. Bean soup, anyone?
-Lentils- 3.3mg per serving
-Spinach- 3.2 per half cup
-Blackstrap Molasses- 3.5mg per TB

I'll be covering some of the other nutrients that you need that you (and I!) might not be getting enough of over the next few weeks.

Caring for your cutting board


I have had a wood cutting block for years, but never got official instructions on how to clean and care for it. Turns out I was doing part of it right, but had no idea you were supposed to use mineral oil! Here are some tips for extending the life of your wooden cutting board:

-Every month or two, you want to oil your cutting board with food grade mineral oil. Do not use olive or vegetable oils, as they will turn rancid. It's easy to do: just coat the surface generously all over with oil, and let sit overnight. Wipe off any excess in the morning. This will help keep moisture out of your board.

-never immerse your board in water, no matter how much you want to get that glop of dried on yuk you forgot to remove when it was wet. Sprinkle coarse salt over the top and scrub with a kitchen cloth.

-keep a weak bleach/water solution in a spray bottle and spray down your board after each wash and use.

Looking forward to a peaceful shopping week

I am very unimpressed by what I see this week at Walgreens, Target, et al. What's great about couponing and stockpiling is that I don't have many immediate "needs" on a weekly basis any more. Fresh produce, eggs and milk. That's really it. I have a pantry and shelves downstairs full of pantry items that we use frequently. I have 2 refrigerators and 1 deep freeze to house the meats and other items I've purchased at great prices.

So for me, there's no urgent need to shop. While I do enjoy shopping, I don't view it like some do, as a "sport" or challenge. Don't get me wrong...I love love love finding great deals and playing the game. Today though, I feel very relieved, actually, that the only thing I need to do is pick up my milk, eggs and produce. I'll see what Wednesday's grocery ads bring. If there are deals worth getting, I'll be there. Otherwise, really looking forward to using that time for other things.

More time for the garden. Maybe I can even get lucky and do a page for my scrapbook!

Here's to a peaceful week.

Meal Plan Week of 5-11

Mmmmm...these temperatures are great! We are really starting the transition of less oven use, and more grill, microwave, stovetop use to keep the house from getting too warm. The easy theme continues here, as I am still working some pretty long hours at work. Hope that will calm down soon. This week's menu uses pre-cooked chicken that I have in the freezer for a couple of meals, and also premade burger patties and twice-baked potatoes.

7 dinners clock in this week at just about $27.


5/11 Monday
skillet pasta with mozzarella cheese $1.85
salad $1.00
$2.85

5/12 Tuesday
Barbecue chicken wraps $3.10
Chicken .50, tortillas 1.50, cheese .75, lettuce .20, ranch dressing .20
Baby carrots .50
pineapple .60
$4.20

5/13 Wednesday
chicken fried rice $1.25
mandarin oranges .65
$1.90

5/14 Thursday
tacos $2.00 (shells .50, meat 1.00, cheese .50)
corn .50
$2.50

5/15 Friday
lemon shrimp on angel hair pasta ($6.00)
broccoli .50
$6.50

5/16 Saturday
cheeseburgers 3.90
burgers 2.00, buns 1.00, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion .60, cheese .30
fries .50
$4.40

5/17 Sunday
grilled beer butt chicken $3.00
twice baked potatoes $1.00
bbq beans .35
$4.35

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Garden Update

Today we got all of the stepping stones out, got the area clear of all the baby weeds, clipped the dead stalks off my rose bushes, and got ready for tomorrow's projects.

I'll be spending my Mother's Day Planting 3 more rose bushes along the front of our garden bed, buying mulch, peat, and several other yummies for the soil, and start the soil prep for the rest of the garden as I get ready to start planting.

I'll take pictures tomorrow to post. My tomatoes look awesome- 9 romas, and 9 slicers. 9 colored sweet pepper plants, 9 jalapenos. 24 green bean seedlings. Basil plants, oregano, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, oregano, marigolds to put inbetween the roses, impatiens for out front, petunias for the hanging plants.

So happy that planting season is here!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I was so meant to be the mom of boys


My brain explodes just thinking about this. Barbie turns 50, goes through a middle aged crisis, decides she needs a tat, and bingo....Barbie has a tramp stamp. I thought the Bratz dolls were too much. I mourn the lack of pink in this house from time to time, but moments like this make me sigh in relief. Not that I have any issues with tattoos. I just don't want my 5 year old thinking about where she wants one.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menu Plan Week of 5/4

After posting my plan this week, I had to come back and exclaim my excitement over the fact that the warm weather is starting to affect our weekly meals. More light meals like Monday's Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Tostadas (which is really just more like a light taco salad), with fresh guacamole. I also am excited about this year's first appearance of one of my favorites: tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella. I can't enjoy this without really good tomatoes, and short of the ones from my garden, this is the time of year where you can occasionally find some good ones in the stores. I love the warm weather and all of the future goodies that the warm weather promises!

This week's meals come in at right around $27.


5/4 Monday

grilled chicken, black bean and corn tostadas $2.90

(leftover grilled chicken from freezer .50, black beans .25, corn, .40, lettuce .15, tomatoes .30, onion .10, chips .50, cheese .50, sour cream .20)

guacamole $1.25 (2 avocados at .50 each, sour cream, lime juice .25, salt, pepper, dash of hot sauce, garlic pepper, cumin)

$3.75


5/5 Tuesday

smoked sausage and cheese pierogies $3.65

(2 smoked brats .40, Schwann’s Pierogies $2.50, onion .25, cheese .50)

salad .75

$4.40


5/6 Wednesday

Breakfast for Dinner Night!

bacon egg and cheese quesadillas $2.05

(4 tortillas .50, 4 eggs .30, bacon .75, cheese .50)

tater tots .75

bananas .50

$3.30


5/7 Thursday

baked chicken drumsticks and thighs $1.50

cheesy potatoes .60

green beans .40

$2.50


5/8 Friday

tacos $2.00

corn .50

pineapple .60

$3.10


5/9 Saturday

grilled chicken 2.00

tomato, basil and mozzarella salad $1.75

cheesy broccoli .50

$4.25


5/10 Sunday

Italian beef sandwiches $4.25

(1 lb rump roast $2, french onion soup mix .25, beer $1, rolls 1.00)

Roasted potatoes .50

Salad .75

$5.50


Total -$26.80 for the week


This plan is linked to Menu Plan Monday at http://orgjunkie.com. You'll find a few hundred different meal plans representing all kinds of diets, budgets and tastes. I love going through them all each week!

Target Fiber One Deal Alert

We made our trip to Target today for the Fiber One deal: They have several selected items on sale for $2.39 each. If you buy 4 of them, you get a $5 gift card. Not too shabby already, right?

Several Options to make this cheaper (and potentially money makers!), and you can find one scenario at:

Common Sense With Money

That's a good one!

Here's what I did:

I had a $1 off Fiber One Cereal that had been mailed to me. I also had several $1 IP's from the Fiber Challenge that Fiber One did online about a month ago, so I was able to purchase 2 muffin mixes and 2 boxes of cereal for $9.56- 4 $1 coupons= $5.56. *****This is where you need to be alert in the stores******* They had all the sample ladies out today, and there they were handing out Fiber One SuperTarget coupons! I can't find these online anywhere, but they had them in store. Since you can pair store coupons with MQs, I was able to use 2 .40/1 coupons on the cereal and 2 .50/1 coupons on the muffins (might have this jumbled LOL), taking ANOTHER $1.80 off the already great $5.56, making my total OOP for 4 items $3.76! Then they give you a $5 Target Gift Card! You just got all your money back, plus an extra $1.24!

The Target coupons also include .50 off Fiber One Bars, so you can improve on the Money Maker Deal at Common Sense With Money I linked to above.

Have another scenario you see? Let me know!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weekly Shopping Total

Great week! No pictures, as it was so crazy this week I had to do my shopping in small bursts across the week. Lunch here, before work there. Wherever I had a few minutes.

Aldi was my first stop this week for 3 gallons of milk, eggs and lots of produce, along with some fresh mozzarella. The total was $16.39

Next was Hy-Vee. Grabbed 4 Ragu sauces for .69 cents each after coupons. Some pasta, applesauce, 4 bags of shredded cheese at .99 each and various other things for a grand total of $11.72.

Last stop was No Frills. Couple bags of pretzels, 2 packages of sandwich rolls, fiber plus bars, and ziploc bags for $8.98.

Also had 1 Walgreens trip- can't find the receipt. $9.27 for the total, and I got $8 back in RR.

Total spending for the week: $46.36. Hurrah!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Make Ahead Meals

Wow. I'm really becoming a believer in prepping things as much as possible in advance. It has saved my bacon this week! I mentioned in one of my posts yesterday that it's been just a crazy week at work. I had an idea that is was going to be nuts, so I planned accordingly and tried to have all of my meals done right to the cooking portion.

So yesterday, I can't tell you how heavenly it was to get home, pull out the mini meatloaves that had been thawing in the fridge, pop them in a baking dish, quickly mix up my ketchup/mustard/sugar sauce and pour over and pop them in the oven alongside the twice baked potatoes that I had also had prepared and thawed. 40 minutes later dinner was ready! It was a really nice meal that typically takes longer to prepare, and I barely had to lift a finger. Which was great, because if I'd had to labor much, I think we would have been heading the fast food route, and I really hate doing that if I don't have to!

I will be posting more ideas, recipes and tips on how you can prepare in advance. It doesn't require a lot of time to really get ahead, but boy will it ever save you the time when you need it!