Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

After a few very hectic weeks and really, a very full summer, I'm ready to get back into some sort of a normal routine this week. Whatever that is!

Anyways, here's what we'll be eating for supper this week:

Sunday: leftovers

Monday: eat at church meeting

Tuesday: Israeli Spice Chicken, baked brown rice, green beans

Wednesday: tuna melts, carrot and celery sticks, fruit smoothie

Thursday: Taco Soup in crockpot, corn muffins

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Pancakes, sausage

For more menu plans, visit Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Super Savings Saturday: Weekly Grocery Trip

The deals didn't seem to be that plentiful this week and I was low on time and energy. Besides that,I was running low on some of the basics!

I shopped at Bi-Lo and Aldi this week. I used 7 coupons total. After last week's triple coupons, that seemed like not very many coupons! But I got what I needed at great prices and that's what matters.


--Breyer's yogurt on sale for $.50 each. Used a printable $1/2 any Breyer's product coupon to make them FREE!

--Fresh Express salad marked down to $.99.

--Bag o' Bananas marked at $1.49. I regularly purchase bags of marked down bananas for $1.49(usually about 6 lbs.) instead of paying $.65 or more a pound. My Bi-Lo often has these in the mornings, and some of the bananas are still green.

--FREE Suave body wash. Bi-Lo is running a deal where you buy 3 Suave products and get a coupon for a FREE Suave product. I bought 3 body wash at $1.99 each, used 3 $.50/1 coupons. Since the coupons doubled, each bottle cost $.99. I got my FREE coupon at the register and the manager asked if I would like her to go get me another one so I could use the coupon right away, since no one else was in line in the whole store. :-)So I got 4 bottles of body wash for $2.97 or $.74 each. A great deal! My husband will be smelling of Ocean Breeze scent for a while!:-)

What I spent:

--Bi-Lo: $11.27
--Aldi: $10.99
--Bread Outlet earlier in week: $2.00

Grand total for week: $24.26

Note: This is not all I spend on groceries. My grocery budget is broken into different categories: a Sam's Club/Costco trip, local grass-fed beef, bulk items such as wheat berries, money for drugstore shopping, buying the Sunday paper for coupons, etc. Right now that leaves me with about $25 a week for general grocery shopping which doesn't sound like a lot but really works out pretty well considering that most of our meat and many bulk items such as spices, olive oil and large amounts of cheese are being purchased out of the other categories. I also work on keeping a well-stocked pantry and freezer which I plan my meals from each week. This works for me right now!

**This post is part of Super Savings Saturday hosted by Money Saving Mom!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Birthday

Even though my birthday was almost a month ago, I thought I'd let you have a peek into the celebration! I've had this post and the pictures hanging around so I wanted to go ahead and get this up.

We like to keep things pretty simple around here and that includes birthdays! We give small gifts to each other and budget for a nice meal out. We do make a big deal about making the birthday person feel special and celebrated, though!

Over the past few years, we've signed up for various birthday freebies from local restaurants. This makes our birthday week really fun as we use the various FREE coupons that are emailed to us.

My husband took me out for a nice dinner to Longhorn Steakhouse a couple of days before my birthday. (I had a coupon that was expiring!) The day of my birthday, he gave me the gifts he had picked out. In addition to this gift, he also gave me a sweet flower necklace that I love and have been wearing almost daily. (You can see the necklace in the picture below.)

One of the boys I babysit showed up with this bouquet of flowers. How sweet!

His mom also surprised me with a bag filled with lunch for us!

She had made ham and asparagus lasagna, salad with fresh strawberries and nuts and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing, bread, and delicious brownie cupcakes for dessert! I was blown away by her thoughtfulness.

For supper, we went to McAlister's deli and used my $5 coupon they had sent me. In years past, we would share a big nacho plate that was priced at a little over $5. This year, however,I really wanted a chicken and basil panini so I got that with my coupon.

After supper, we went to Cold Stone Creamery and used my birthday coupon for a FREE "Like It"(their small size) cup of ice cream. I chose dark chocolate ice cream with Reese's peanut butter cups mixed in which we shared. It was beyond delicious!

What a picture! Not sure if I look scared or scary! haha

In addition, I had many birthday emails and phone calls. My favorites were my nephew calling to sing "Happy Birthday" and also birthday wishes via phone by the other little one that I babysit who was not at my house that day. A friend called and wanted to take me out for supper the next day, too!

Needless to say, I felt so loved and my birthday was very special! Birthdays like these make heading into my mid-thirties not seem quite so bad!:-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what's for supper this week:

Sunday: Leftover egg salad sandwiches, pretzels, super easy pretzel dip(recipe below)

Monday:Eat at meeting. My contribution: French bread.

Tuesday: White bean salad, crostini, grapes

Wednesday: Salmon patties, green beans, rice

Thursday: Chicken and stuffing bake in crockpot; my own concoction!

Friday: Homemade pizza, salad

Saturday: With family celebrating my nephew's 4th birthday!

Super Easy Pretzel Dip


--Ranch dressing
--Yellow Mustard

Mix ranch and mustard together until desired taste is achieved. For a snack for just the two of us, I usually use about 1/2 or 1 cup of dressing then add mustard until the taste is right. My husband doesn't care for ranch but loves this dip! For us, the key is to add a little more mustard.

Serve with pretzels.

**This post is part of Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Super Savings Saturday

I shopped at Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo this week, then made a quick stop at Aldi's on the way home for 2 items!

Harris Teeter is tripling coupons this week (through Tuesday the 18th)so I definitely wanted to take advantage of that! Although Bi-Lo didn't have that many great deals running this week, I had found a few good prices!

Highlights of this week's trip:

--Boneless, skinless chicken breast: $1.79 lb.
--2-1 lb. bags Earthbound Farm organic carrots: $.99 each. Used $1/2 coupon and got 1 bag FREE!
--2 boxes Total cereal marked down to $1.91 each with additional $.50 peelies on them. Used 2 $.75/1 manu. coupon which doubled to make each box FREE!

--1 box whole grain spaghetti marked down to $.67.

Harris Teeter:
--Red grapes: $.88 lb.
--2 lb. bag marked down apples: $.70

The following items were purchased at HT using triple coupons:
--2 GUM toothbrushes: FREE
--3 Edge shaving gel: FREE
--2 Zone protein bars: FREE
--2 bags Utz pretzels: FREE

Total spent this week: $19.01 for approximately $60 worth of groceries!

Did you find any great deals this week? Tell us about it!

**This post is part of Money Saving Mom's Super Savings Saturday!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Week Off

I took the week off from reading blogs in order to spend more time in prayer for some specific needs.

I asked God what I should "fast" (give up) for the week and He immediately gave me the answer of not reading blogs for the rest of the week.

This is an area that can easily get out of balance for me. I can get started reading and before long, I'm neglecting more important things. Some folks play computer games, read novels or watch T.V. for downtime. I read blogs.:-)

I was apprehensive about taking time off but it has been so good! It was difficult at times but not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I also thought it would be better not to do much blogging myself during this time since that would make it that much harder to stay away from reading other blogs!

Even though I'll be back to catching up with you all soon, I hope to continue to use discipline and keep all things in my life, including reading blogs, in balance.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Well obviously, it's Tuesday night already and not Monday. But I still like to plan a simple menu plan whether I get it up here by Monday or not!

I love my menu plan each week! It's a simple way to make meal times/cooking run more smoothly and eliminates a lot of the last minute, "let's go out to eat" trips.

If you don't make a menu plan currently, you should try it! My weekly menu plan is just that, a plan. It isn't set in stone and sometimes meals get switched around and occasionally we'll go out to eat instead of eating the meal I've planned. Most weeks I do follow my plan pretty closely because it just makes life so much simpler. I make better use of the food I have in my pantry and this saves me a good deal of money and time in the long run.

So without further adieu, here's our supper menu for the week!

Sunday: We drove 2 hours to meet Andy's sister and family for dinner at Chili's. It turned out to be pretty frugal as unfortunately, the service left a little to be desired and we got our food for free! So I guess it was a good thing although my first choice would've been to have had better service! We did have a great time seeing family and were glad we could arrange a visit, albeit a very short one, while they were traveling through our general area.

Monday: Eat at church meeting. I took chocolate-peanut squares. One of our favorite not-so-healthy treats!

Tuesday: Beef and veggie stir fry with rice.

Wednesday: Bacon-Tomato Quiche, sliced cucumbers, cherries. (I'm planning to share my quiche recipe soon!)

Thursday: Crock pot chicken made into bbq sandwiches, tomato-cucumber salad. Can you tell what we have an abundance of in our garden right now?

Friday: Picnic. Menu TBD. Something with chicken?

Saturday:Egg Casserole,bacon or sausage, fruit smoothies.

What's cooking at your house this week?

For more menu planning inspiration, visit The Happy Housewife who is hosting Menu Plan Monday for the Organizing Junkie this week!