Monday, March 30, 2009
Leftover Lasagna (from Sunday)
Cheese Ravioli and Chicken in Vodka Sauce
Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
whatever I can scrounge up -- my husband will be out of town for the weekend.
I have been trying to make these two meals for the past 2 weeks I think. Things just keep coming up and I haven't been able to cook -- surprise birthday parties, friends bringing dinner over, free thai food, etc. We haven't been going out to eat on the night's these meals are planned, so it's not adversely affecting my budget. And that's good news!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Ally riding on Daddy's back at the Baltimore Aquarium.
I'd like to introduce you to the reasons I'm trying to save money. They are my two beautiful kids. I want to save money and get out of debt so that I can provide them with everything they need. I want to be able to help put them through college and I want to pay for weddings. I don't want to be saddled with debt and have that always hanging over my shoulder. This is why I'm trying to save money.
This week at Giant, they are doubling for 4 $1.00 coupons. I had already done my shopping for the week (at Weis) so I didn't want to spend a lot of money, but I couldn't let those coupons go to waste. So here's what I did:
2 - Lysol Wipes 2/$4.00 plus $1.00/2 coupon, doubled to $2.00 . Final Price 2/$2.00
2 - Lysol 4-in-1 Bathroom cleaner 2/$5.00 plus $1.00/2 coupon, doubled to $2.00. Final price 2/$3.00
2 - Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner 2/$4.00 plus $1.00/2 coupon, doubled to $2.00. Final price 2/$2.00
So I spent $7.00 and got 6 different cleaning products, which isn't bad, especially when you are trying to stockpile. But I also got $.20/per gallon off gasoline with these 6 items. So it makes my deal a little sweeter.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Check out these great sites! Thanks again Jessica!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I wanted to tell you what I've learned about my shopping habits since I've been on a budget. I can still spend money. I felt a need to shop for the past few days, so that's what I've done. But I'm going about it in a different way. I'm being more mindful of my purchases. For example, two days ago, I really wanted to shop. The old me would have done some frivolous shopping. Instead, I realized that my son's birthday is coming up in 6 weeks, so I looked at the blogs I follow, saw a good deal on a toy at Amazon, and sat down and ordered him some birthday presents. I didn't even have to leave my house, and I had satisfied that urge. Then, I found every season of Battlestar Gallactica on DVD for my husband. I didn't buy them yet. They are saved in my Amazon account right now, because I don't have a good reason to buy them. His birthday is in July, and I'm bound to have a moment where I want to spend money.
Today I was feeling the same way...sort of down. So as I cleaned my microwave, I noticed some rust spots. I noticed them before, but never did anything about it. So I thought that I would buy a new microwave....I really have heard that those rust spots are not good for a microwave and that you shouldn't keep using it. So I went to Wal-mart (I know, I know) and bought one. and didn't use any of my own money. I had $50 from Christmas, $35 from Shop At Home rebates, and $28 from Rite Aid rebates. My microwave was $82 and I used money that I had gotten from saving money! And I still shopped.
This might sound totally crazy to some of you, but it really works for me. I'm sort of tricking myself when I comes to spending money. I'm still spending but it's on things I need. How great is that?
Monday, March 23, 2009
**It's official! Since this post this morning, my menu plans for the week have changed. My husband called from work this afternoon to tell him that the awesome people at the Thai restaurant in town brought him free Thai food. Voila! Dinner is served. All I did was make some rice. And since our week is always a bit crazy, that throws off dinner all week. I have to laugh because some of these meals are meals I've been trying to make for 3 weeks....I've have the ingredients for them for that long.
So scratch my Monday menu -- I'll try it again maybe Thursday -- it depends on how much Italian Chicken is leftover from Wednesday.
So I'm not complaining about this change. Afterall, who would complain about free food???**
My menu for the week is on hold a bit. I went shopping on Saturday, something I never do. But I had the time and knew it would save me time in the long run. I had plans for some good meals this week.
Homemade Cheese Ravioli with Chicken in Vodka Sauce
It's my birthday so we're going out. I have a coupon for a free meal when you purchase a meal, and we have a gift card.
Italian Chicken (which I didn't get to make last week)
Chicken Pieces - boneless skinless chicken breasts or any chicken pieces
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350. Arrange chicken pieces in bottom of greased baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and melted butter. Salt and pepper. Finish with Italian Seasoning.
For potatoes, cut into wedges. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, melted butter. Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir and place potatoes around chicken pieces. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 45 minutes.
Dinner at a friends
Lasagna -- which my husband is making.
However, I may not follow this menu since my husband and my mom surprised me with a birthday party last night! We have lots of food leftover and I don't want to waste it so I think some meals will have to get pushed back.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
I was able to get quite a few good deals this week at CVS and RiteAid.
Irish Spring Body Wash $4.99 with 4.99 ECB and $1 coupon =
Colgate Max White $2.99 with $2.99 ECB AND $1 coupon = $1 OVERAGE!
Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner 2/$7 with 2 ECB and $1 coupon = 2/$4
add this with the coupon for a FREE Pantene Styling product with the purchase of
a shampoo or conditioner. This makes your final total 3/$4. AWESOME
VO5 shampoos and conditioners $.77
Rightguard Deodorant (or Dry Idea) $2.99 with $2ECB and $1/2 coupon = 2/$.98
SAMY IStyle $4.99 with $4.99 rebate = free!
Herbal Essence Shampoo $2.99 with $2.99 rebate and $1.00 coupon = $1 overage!
Dial Bodywash BOGO with $1 coupon = 2/$4.99
Huggies Mega Pack $14.99 with $1.50 coupon = $13.49
I am very excited by Target and Pepsi this week! First, around the time of the Superbowl, Pepsi and Frito Lay offered this deal: buy 4-12 packs or 8 2-liters and 3 bags of Frito-Lay chips, send in the POP and receipt and get $15 in Pepsi/Frito-Lay coupons. They came in the mail this week, and just in time too. (5 $2 Pepsi coupons and 2 Frito-Lay coupons)
Target has their Pepsi 12-packs 4/$11. This means that I can use 4 of my $2 coupons and get 4/$3 or $.75 per 12-pack. Click here to get a coupon for a FREE 12-PACK WITH THE PURCHASE OF 2 12-PACKS....print it twice. So, this means I can get 6/$3 or $.50 a piece. And I have gift cards! GOD BLESS TARGET! (only one coupon per purchase, so I will probably have to do 2 transactions.)
Giant is tripling 6 coupons up to .50 this week. My only problem is that I had a hard time finding 6 - .50 coupons that I wanted to use.
Perdue Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts BOGO
Juicy Juice Juice Boxes $1.99, buy 3 get $1 off next order (I also had $2 off of 4 store coupon = 4/$5.96)
Sargento's Salad Finishers$3.59 ($1 coupon from Sunday's paper and Mail-in Cert. for free Finisher = $1 overage)
Wrigley's Slim gum $1.19 and free with coupon for free gum
Bisquick Just Add Water Pancake Mix 10/$10
Giant Brand Butter 10/$10
Sargento's Shredded Cheese 2/$4 ($1/2 coupon = 2/$3)
Ziploc Sandwich Bags $1.83 ($3.66/2 and $1/2 coupon - 2/$2.66)
Domino Sugar 2/$5 ($.50 coupon, tripled to $1.50 = 2/$3.50)
I was really pleased with my spending at Giant. I used some other coupons and save over $50.
I'll have to update the costs later, since I need to buy the meat for most of these meals still.
Chicken Tetrazzini click here for the recipe for this super easy, really yummy dinner!
leftover Chicken Tetrazzini
this is a super easy meal. It's just whatever pieces of chicken you want to use (I use dark meat b/c that's what my husband prefers). Spray your pan with cooking spray, lay down the pieces of chicken. Drizzle with EVOO and melted butter, add salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning. Cut up potatoes (into quarters or eights, not cubed) and toss with EVOO and Italian Seasoning. Lay potato pieces around the chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake another 45 minutes, or until chicken in fully cooked.
This week, I am forgoing the potatoes and will make some Korean rice instead, which will further cut my costs since we don't have to pay for our rice.
Pizza -- I am having friends over and they are picking up a pizza.
To Be Determined
We're having dinner with friends, and I'm not sure yet what they want me to bring.
Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
Leftover Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
Once again, breakfasts are cereal, eggs, pancakes or waffles, all things I have on hand. Lunches are PB&J, cheese balls and yogurt for the kids and maybe even for me too! I need to vary lunch for my daughter, but my son is a creature of habit....he things that PB&J is the only lunch food. :-)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Remember, my budget is $140.00 per week. I was pretty close this week, after having shaved $25 off of last week. My total for the week: $131.65 minus $9 that I am owed for picking something up for a friend. Grand total: $122.65. Not too bad for such a busy week!
Unfortunately, we've eaten out once for dinner -- that was for our anniversary last night, and the total bill, tax and tip included was $73.00. It was a nice dinner, and it was our anniversary, so I'm okay with that. We are also having friends over for dinner tonight and I spent #15.01 on a roast (it was actually a great price) and extra on things for side dishes. It's worth it to have a great night with friends!
I haven't been that into couponing that past 2 weeks, so it's time to get back into the game. It's hard to find the time when you have a 13 month old and a 2 1/2 year old. My challenge for this coming week is keep my spending to $120.00 for the week. I want to say $100.00 but I need diapers.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Do I live 2 hours from Wal-mart? No, in fact, Wal-Mart is 7 minutes from my house.
Is it difficult to find good deals? No, there are some really good buys.
Are the cashiers unfriendly? Not to the point where it would make me never go back.
Have I been banned from the store? Nah, I was too good a customer.
Until recently, that is. It's pain and simple: I don't shop at Wal-Mart because I can't. I can't trust myself to only shop from my list. There is too much see! And buy! It's like an amusement park for adults!
My love affair with Walmart began simply enough. When I first had my son, almost 3 years ago, it was the first time I had been unemployed since I was 16. (except for a brief few months after I got married and moved to NC and was looking for a teaching job. March - July) I didn't get out much, and I like people. So I started going to Walmart almost everyday. I'd pick up a few things here and there, maybe a cute outfit or a baby toy. But then I started buy more stuff -- new towels, a pair of shoes, a movie. Then I discoved Walmart.com. Before I knew it, Walmart was my addiction. I added up my Walmart spending for November 2008 a few weeks ago. I stopped at $1300. How insane is that???? $1300? No, this is not a type, and boy do I wish it were.
So, sadly, I cannot just at Walmart except for very quick, very detailed trips. Maybe one day I will be reunited with my lost love, but until then, I have my memories and I have my checkbook registry.
What is your relationship with Walmart like? Love it, hate it? Let me know!
Bird's Eye Steam Fresh meal for Two -- the Asian one. I got it on sale and had a coupon about a month ago, so I want to see how it tastes.
Cost: Around $3.00
Honey Dipped Cornflake Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Veggies
I'll just dip some chicken pieces in honey mustard dressing, then corn flake crumbs and bake them.
Cost: $.50 potatoes, $1 veggies, chicken $7.00 -- I need to make enough for 2 meals, hence the higher cost. TOTAL -- $8.50
Leftovers, although I'll probably make some rice for my husband.
Cost: see Tuesday.
**Note -- there is no additional cost for the rice, because we don't pay for it. My husband's parents pick it up for us and will never take any money for it. GOD BLESS THEM.
Rice Paper Roll Ups
I'm not sure what to call these, but essentially, you take dried rice paper, put it in hot water until it is soft, then fill with lunch meat or cooked shrimp, lettuce, tomato, pineapple, thousand island dressing and rice noodles. Roll it up, and eat. Like a fajita, asian style! SO YUMMY! And healthy too. It's a Vietnamese recipe that I got from my Korean mother-in-law.
Cost: Estimated at $5.00. It's difficult to estimate how much of each ingredient we'll use.
Saturday -- We're having friends over for dinner, so the cost is higher.
Pot Roast $15
Chantilly Potatoes (mashed potatoes with shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon)
Green Bean Casserole (?)
Korean Egg Rolls as an appetizer
Cost: Unknown, probably around $25
I thought I'd mention that lunches are fairly simple: the kids eat PB&J (out of habit, they won't eat anything else), yogurt (maybe) and milk and I eat leftovers or nothing, depending on how busy I am.
Dinner's for the kids are usually mac & cheese or spaghettios. And they've been eating a lot of grilled cheese.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
March 1 - 7, 2009
RiteAid - $0
CVS - $22.49
Giant - $73.40
Weis - $0
Walmart - $15.00
Total - $110.49
This would have been $15 lower, but I broke down and went to Walmart (purely out of convenience). My church asked me to help supply some food for a group of missionaries in town, so that's where that money went....that and I thought we might need some extra wipes while we were out of town.
Alright, now that that's out of the way, here are some deals I've found this week.
Secret Flawless Invisible Solid $3.99 with 1 ECB, plus I had a $2 coupon - final cost $.99
Crest ProHealth $2.99 with 2 ECB, plus I had $1 coupon - final cost free plus $.01 overage
Palmolive Dish Liquid $1.49 with 1 ECB - final cost .49
Vaseline Intensive Care $3.69 with 2 ECB, plus a $1.25 coupon - final cost $.44
Purchasing all of these gave me 9 ECB total (I purchased multiple quantities w/ multiple coupons for some items).
These are the deals I picked up on at CVS. I'm sure there are more, but I'm really trying to keep my costs down for the next few weeks.
Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner or Styler 2/$6 with $3 rebate and 2 $1 coupons (if you bought 2 papers) - final cost 2/$1....If you have only 1 $1 coupon, final cost is 2/$2
Truthfully, I'm not seeing a whole lot for Rite Aid this week. Although, it could be because I'm looking for only truly exceptional deals since I have $50 in gift cards and I'm waiting on on almost $28 in Rebates from them. Don't want to spend any money I don't have to right now :)
To my dismay, Weis is not having and $1 bread this week :( Neither is Giant. :(
Green Giant Frozen Veggies in sauce (the boxed ones) 10/$10
Pepsi Products (2-liters) $1
Big Top Apple Juice 10/$10
Butter (1/2 lb) 10/$10
Soft Soap handsoap 10/$10 -- I realize I could do this cheaper, but it's so convenient to just grad a new one when I finish an old one. And I only do it in my kitchen, I refill everywhere else. I only buy it when it's $1 or less.
I haven't had time to look at the Giant flyer yet....if I decide to, I'll post those good deals as well. Feel free to leave comments about good deals you've found. I'd love to see what I've missed.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Bulgogi, Korean Rice, Leaf Lettuce
Total Cost: $12.29
Beef Roast, gravy, Korean rice and veggies
Total Cost: $8.50
Total Cost: FREE
Ja Jang Myun
Total Cost: yet to be determined (I need to see how much I paid for the pork and noodles) Probably not more than $10-12.
Friday: OUT OF TOWN
Saturday: OUT OF TOWN
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Chicken of the Sea (Solid white Tuna in water) 10/$10
Pepsi 2-liters 10/$10
Giant Italian Bread 10/$10
Juicy Juice for Tots $1.99 (buy 3 get $1 off next order)
Skippy Natural 3/$5 (plus I had a $1 coupon)
I didn't need a whole lot, so I just picked up the basics, plus a few things for dinner this week. There are other sales, just check out https://www.giantfoodstores.com/index.html for the full sales flyer. I live by this site!
Be watching for a new post this week: Walmart: Friend or Foe?