Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weekly Grocery Trip--Savings $166.67!!!

This is my highest savings total since I have been keeping track! I purchased $398.72 worth of groceries(food, household, toiletries) and only spent $232.05 out of pocket! I shouldn't need to go to the store til the end of the month when hubby gets paid again on the 31st.

I know you all like lookin' at pics but there is no pics again this helping me put all my goodies away before I could get pics of things! Soooooo you will just have to imagine your kitchen table full of all my goodies!!! :)

This week, my first stop was Aldi's....

  • 10lbs potatoes $2.99
  • 2 heads of lettuce $1.98
  • 1 bag of Fit N Active froz. mixed fruit $2.99
  • 2 bags tortilla chips $1.98
  • 5 cans evaporated milk $3.45
  • 4 boxes corn muffin mix $1.40
  • 4 cans froz. lemonade $3.00
  • 2 ready made graham cracker crusts $1.78
  • 6pack roma tomatoes $1.79
  • 2lbs carrots $2.58

Total $23.94 (this basically figures out to $1/item!!) Not bad!

My next stop was Family Fare....

  • 4 loaves Aunt Millies Bread $6.38
  • 7.32lbs ground beef $16.17
  • 1-32oz plain yogurt $2.79
  • 4 cans tomato sauce $2.00
  • 3 boxes stick margarine $1.95
  • 2-24pks Northern TP $12.00

Total with tax $42.01
Total Savings $23.80
**I didn't use any coupons at this stop! I just relied on sales!

My final stop was Meijer...

It would make for a VERY long post and since I basically just shopped the weekly deals I won't repeat everything here...

  • 1 can Planter's peanuts 19 cents because of a coupon if I purchased 3 Oscar Mayer, Nabisco or Kraft products I would get $3 off Planters peanuts
  • 7-15 count boxes of Pizza Rolls for 67 cents each
  • a big box of Honey Nut Cheerios $1.75
  • 3-16oz bottles of Rain-X for $6.29 --Buy 1 Get 2 Free
  • 3 loaves Aunt Millies Bread $3.19 --Buy 1 get 2 free
  • 2 bottles Kraft Dressing $3.33
  • 1 bottle Miracle Whip $2.00

Total after sales, coupons and tax $166.10

Total Savings --$142.87

  • Meijer Promotions $3.29
  • Non-Coupon Savings $111.83
  • Coupon Savings $27.75

I was to receive a $2 off next shopping order via a Catalina coupon---I didn't!!! Wahhh!!! I received my usual coupon of $5 off $75 purchase and several other coupons but not this very important one! However, I have contacted Meijer---still waiting to hear back from them!

To check out other's weekly deals, head over to Super Savings Saturday at MoneySavingMom and Centsable Shopper Show N Tell at BeCentsable!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weblink Wednesday--Lesson Plan Templates

Do you ever wish that you could fill in weekly & daily lesson plans by typing them up on the computer? Do you ever wish that you could just find a template that you could just fill out? What about finding a template that you could do your own "tweaking" on to meet your needs? I do!! I have found one before that I am able to print off but then I have to write everything in it rather than type it out and then I end up with LOTS of papers at the end of the year.

My friend, Tamera, pointed me to this site that has lesson plan and weekly plan templates that you can download, save to your computer and fill in the way you want for FREE!

The templates are either in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. You can open them to preview them before you download and save them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday--Versatile Marinade

Instead of going out and buying a bottled marinade, I make my own with ingredients that I keep in my pantry. What ingredients do I use....olive oil and my choice of spice/seasoning. I put the spice/seasoning in a small bowl and then I wet it with the olive oil. How much olive oil you put it will determine how "hot" you make the spice. You put more olive oil to spice and it will be a "soft flavor. You put just enough olive oil into the spice to wet it and you have just kicked the "hot" of the spice up.

Last night, I fixed grilled chicken, grilled catfish, and potato pockets along with corn. Instead of just having plain old grilled chicken and catfish. I turned up the flavor and made up a couple different marinades.

For the catfish, I made it cajun! For some of the chicken, I made it cajun and lemon pepper. Also for my picky kids, I kept some of the chicken plain(no spice). To grill the catfish, I put one fillet on a piece of foil and then I took my marinade and poured some of it on! Oh just look at the goodness!!

We also had potato pockets last night. Oh were they good. Instead of using olive oil in the pockets, I find it easier to use sticks of butter or margarine because it seems to "stick" to the potatoes more(as you can see from the pic--they got a little crispy because our grill is acting wacky!). For the potatoes, I put approximately 2 TBSP of butter/margarine and then usually garlic powder and parmesan cheese. So that when it is cooking it makes a garlic butter that the potatoes are cooked in! Yummy! If I don't use garlic and parmesan, I'll use cajun seasoning with still using the butter/margarine over the olive oil. I am sure that you could use the olive oil, I just prefer not to in the potato pockets.

I make up a bunch of the marinade at once and I use it on fish, chicken, shrimp, and potatoes.

Here is the recipe:

olive oil
your choice of seasoning/spice

Mix together. Brush or pour on food.

For other kitchen tips, ideas, recipes, and more.....head over to Tammy's Recipes

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 7/13-7/19

**Another week is upon us so that means it is time for another menu plan! This is just a plan and it could change on the cook’s whim!

Last week’s menus were chaotic!! I had major complaining going on that the meals planned were the same or similar to ones that we just had in the last two weeks! So my solution….I dumped the menu for the last 3 days of the week and we made new! So last week we ended up eating meals that I was thinking about for this week. Now the ones I scrapped last week are on this week! LOL

This week’s grocery shopping was a just get necessities, so the meals I have planned are mostly things that I already had on hand from the pantry and freezer.

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site! **

Sunday (7-13)
Breakfast: eggs, hash browns, sausage links and donuts
Lunch: turkey sandwiches
Dinner: McDonald’s
Snack: leftover birthday cake

Monday (7-14)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: leftover tacos
Dinner: grilled chicken & fish, potato pockets, and corn (carry over from last week!)
Snack: cookies & milk

Tuesday (7-15)
Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: homemade “Lunchables”
Dinner: chicken club sandwiches, fries and carrots
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (7-16)
Breakfast: bagels and cereal
Lunch: leftovers or sandwich and chips
Dinner: grilled lemon pepper pork chops, rice, and green beans and biscuits
Snack: snack basket

Thursday (7-17)
Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: pizza
Dinner: roast, carrots, and potatoes served with homemade honey oatmeal rolls
Snack: snack basket

Friday (7-18)
Breakfast: cereal and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: chili, rice, and corn muffins (am making a double batch of this so that I can take some to a friend(and family) who just lost her mother)
Snack: homemade chocolate shakes

Saturday (7-19)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ????
Dinner: ??? probably grilled something or other
Snack: popcorn or snack basket

Sloppy Chicken Joe Sandwiches

Turkey or Chicken Sandwiches

I took the leftover turkey breast from last week(it was about ½ of the total breast) and my leftover gravy and mixed it up together. There wasn’t enough of the gravy to moisten all the turkey so I added about ¼ cup of water along with some cornstarch and milk to thicken up the turkey mixture. The turkey shredded as I stirred it and it heated through. Once it was done, I serve on hamburger buns.

You can use chicken as well for this recipe.

My MIL makes this fresh rather than using leftovers. Her recipe is something like this….

1 whole chicken cooked and deboned
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken broth(or broth from the chicken cooking)

Mix altogether. Season with pepper or as desired. Serve on hamburger buns.

Join Jen over at Frugal Upstate for Frugal Food Series--Chicken.

What I Do About Document Storage!

Last week my friend, Marcy asked about document storage and what to do about it! So I thought I would take the time to give you a "tour" of my document storage. First off I am going to tell you my weakness when it comes to saving documents and papers.....I keep every receipt!! I am learning that I don't need to do that but it is a hard habit to break! Most stores are not going to take something back from 3 years ago even with a receipt!(unless it is something that has a warranty and that is the only way to get a replacement).

Anyway, here is the tour of how documents/bills/receipts get managed at my house....

This is the clothespin with a magnet superglued to it that is on the side of my fridge...this is where the receipts go that need to be recorded into the Quicken checkbook. As for the bills, they go into the mail slot that is on my office desk.After the receipts are recorded or the bills are paid they find themselves in the top of my stackable trays. Any other papers/documents that need to be filed get set into the stackable tray as well. I try every month to tackle this tray and file the papers that have accumulated in it but that doesn't always happen!

When I do get the papers filed, they go into the safe that we have with hanging folders---each of the hanging folders is a general category and in each category there is manila folder with the specific place labeled on the folder.

Hubby and I clean out the safe after we file our taxes each year. We take a couple of days and purge the safe of the past year's papers and save the ones that we needed to keep for taxes. We shred them as we go thru them so we don't end up with a huge stack to shred.

This year, hubby and I decided that we were going to add something "new" to our filing system in that we purchased this stackable file storage box. We are going to weed out those papers that do not necessarily need to be in the locked fire proof safe. Papers like our utilities bills, and non-essential receipts, etc. This way it will open up space in the safe for documents that need that extra protection should we have a house fire.

Now I told you that I had a weakness of saving every receipt! Well I guess I have a couple more weaknesses when it comes to holding on to papers/documents and such. Hubby and I have this little filing box for all the different manuals(and extra ceiling fan parts) for items that will be staying with the house when/if we ever move. There is manuals in there for the ceiling fans, built in automatic dishwasher, fridge, etc. This way when/if we move we can just take everything in this filing box and leave it for the next homeowners.

Speaking of manuals from baby strollers to digitial camera to TV to stereo equipment to the kids bicycles to hubby's tools you will find in the bottom drawer of this Iris carts. We have hanging folders in there divided up into hubby's, mine, ours, and kids. Anything and everything that we have purchased or received as gifts you will find the manual for in this drawer. I try to go thru it about once a year and purge those toys that were broken that got thrown away or those things that I forgot to attach the manual to that we sold at our yearly garage sale or those things that we just donated because the kids were too old for them.

So there you have it...what I do about document/paper/manual storage! I am sure that there is a better way to do my madness! But so far I haven't figured that out and this is what works for me! What do you do? Have any tips for me to streamline things to make them more efficient?

For what works for others....Head over to Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

Singing Sunday

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back