Friday, January 30, 2009


I just realized that I'm doing great this week! In terms of saving money, I think I could be doing better. I spent $175 on groceries and supplies this week....which is technically over budget, but I won't have to be cereal, snacks, shampoo, toothpaste or toothbrushes for such a long time. I think it was money well spent. I also have not eaten out once this week. The kids and I have stayed home everyday and I eat sandwiches or leftovers....whatever is handy. We've also done a pretty good job with eating our leftovers. We have some chicken leftover from Wednesday, but I'm going to take it off the bone, cube it, and freeze it. It will be great for Chicken Tetrazzini. I am really proud of myself.

Speaking of Chicken Tetrazzini, it's one of our favorites. It's not too costly, although I've never figured out how much it exactly costs. I should sit down and do that. But using leftover chicken like I will, really cuts the cost of this meal. Plus, you can easily get 2 meals out of this.

Chicken Tetrazzini

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (or 2C leftover chicken, cooked, cubed)
16 oz light sour cream
16 oz chicken broth
1C Mozzarella cheese
1/4 C Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 stick butter
1/4 C Flour
salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder (to taste -- I use quite a bit)
12 oz linguine noodles

melted butter
italian bread crumbs

Boil chicken, cook, cube. Cook linguine noodles, set aside. Combine sour cream and chicken broth, stir and set asid. In a medium size sauce pan, melt butter. Add flour, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders and wisk constantly for 1 minute. Add sour cream and chicken broth to flour/butter mixture. Continue wisking constantly until thickened (keep heat pretty high, otherwise it will take a long time to thicken). Stir in mozzarella and parmesan cheese, add cubed chicken and cooked linguine noodles. Stir and pour into a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with the moistened bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to bubble.

Note: If you make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge first, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes then bake uncovered for 15 more minutes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Saving Money

I have recently started using coupons. My sister has been using them for a while and she has said that it takes her a while to clip the coupons and plan what to buy, but that she's been saving a lot of money. So, I decided to give it a try. So, I now spend part of my free time clipping coupons and pouring through the store flyers. It really is a challenge to see what I can get fora really low price.

This week I hit the jackpot! Weis Markets has some good buys this week. General Mills cereals are buy 4 get $4 off your shopping order. Plus, I had $1.50 off 3 boxes of GM cereal, so my 4 boxes cost $1.78 per box. We don't go through cereal that fast, but both my kids eat it every morning and their expiration date is far away, so I considered it a good stockpiling investment.

Also, Weis has Betty Crocker fruit snacks 4/$4, plus a coupon for $2.50 off your next shopping order. I also had 2 coupons, one for $1.00/2 boxes and $.75/2 boxes (Weis doubles up to $1 so that was increased to $1) so that brought them down to 4 boxes for $ 2.50 off my next order. Basically, they paid me $.50 to take home 4 boxes of fruit snacks.

This week too at Weis Markets, Fiber One bars are 4/$6 with $2.50 off your next order, plus I had 4 $.50 coupons. I don't know if they normally would double all 4 coupons, but today they did because I had problems getting them to scan. A manager had to swipe his card, which let me use all 4 coupons and doubled them! So, I got 4 boxes of Fiber One bars for $2, with a $2.50 voucher for my next order. Again, Weis paid me to take home these Fiber One bars.

Some other good buys: Viva Big Roll paper towels, 3/$5 plus $1 coupon; Egglands Best Eggs, $2.39 on special for $2, plus doubled $.35 coupon - down to $1.30.

So, I split my order and used those 2 $2.50 vouchers for my second transaction. I ended up spending $37.58 for $71.13 worth of groceries! I am having so much fun looking for good deals. Plus, it makes my husband so happy that I'm trying to save us money.

I had a baby sitter this morning so I headed over to Rite Aid and CVS after my trip to Weis. I am fortunate to live within 5 miles of these stores. This week at Rite Aid, Maybeline make-up is bogo. I recently decided that my Estee Lauder make-up is too expensive, and I'm almost out of foundation, so I headed over there to check out their selection. I got foundation, lipstick, and a quad and a trio eyeshadow for $15.48...not bad compared to my $36 Estee Lauder foundation. I also got Garnier Fructis shampoo $2.99 with a $2.99 rebate. Another good buy was on Aleve. I paid $6.99 for 130 count package, including my $1 coupon.

I'm new a 'couponing' so I'm still deciding if I made a good purchase at CVS today. I started with $6 in ECB. CVS had Head & Shoulders on sale for $4.99 with $3 ECB (limit of 5). I purchased 5 (stockpiling again), had a $1 coupon for 1 and got 15 ECB to use for my next purchase. My next purchase is the one I wasn't sure about. I bought the Huggies Jumbo packs for $10 each. There are 34 per pack and I used my 15 ECB and had a $1.50 coupon so I got them for $3.50, but I I just don't know how good a buy that was. I got $5 ECB for buying the diapers. And, I saved gas by not driving to Sam's or Walmart where I know I could have gotten a better buy. Maybe I should have skipped the diapers and saved the ECB for my next trip. And ideas?

Well, like I said, I'm new at this. My budget for each week is $100, but I've love to use less. I'd love any good tips on how to cut back on weekly grocery bills.