Friday, May 8, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $57.20

This week instead of using my checking account debit card for groceries, I used the $100 cash that my aunt blessed me with after helping her and other family members go through my Grandma's belongings after Grandma was placed in an assisted living home last week. So with cash in hand, I headed to the stores determined not to spend over the hundred dollars.  I am happy to say that I did it and have money leftover!

Here is the breakdown of the purchases that I made this week:

  • 6.85 lbs ground beef from round $12.25 ($1.79/lb)
  • 5.55 lbs whole roaster chicken $5.44(98¢/lb)
  • 5.13 lbs pork loin $9.18 ($1.79/lb)
  • 1 head lettuce 88¢
  • 2 bags iceberg salad mix $1.96
  • 2 cartons sour cream $1.98
  • 2 gallons milk $3.96
  • 2 lbs strawberries $2.49
  • 4 cans green beans $3.00
  • 4 cans green peas $3.00
  • 1 cantaloupe $2.00
  • 5 cans Grands biscuits $5.00
  • 2 cartons(64oz) orange juice $4.00
  • 2 lbs tilapia fillets(frozen) $7.00
Total OOP: $62.14
Total Savings: $43.27
Total without sales and coupons: $105.41

Family Fare: 
  • 2 bottles(64oz) Hawaiian Punch $2.50
  • 8 lbs potatoes $1.99
  • 2 gallons milk $3.96
  • 4 lbs sugar $1.50
  • 4 cans frozen juice $4.00
  • 2 dozen eggs $1.96
  • 1 bottle(21 loads) Downy $2.94
  • 10 ears corn on cob $2.00
Total OOP: $20.88
Total Savings: $13.93
Total without sales and coupons: $34.81

Grand Total OOP: $83.02
Grand Total Savings: $57.20
Grand Total without sales and coupons: $140.22

This post is linked at: 

Mexican Bubble Pizza

I was called earlier in the week by one of my church's compassion ministry coordinators asking if I was available to bring a meal to a couple who just had a baby within the last week.  I told her sure I would do it and once I hung up from the call, the fun began as to what to bring to this couple.  There was just the two of them and the new little one so I had to think small rather than feeding my army.  Usually when I get these calls I go for something quick, easy, and can be made ahead without affecting the taste along with not breaking the bank.

What I came up with is a new recipe that will become another one of my "leftover makeovers" or a quick  pantry meal.  It is called Mexican Bubble Pizza.  I got the recipe off of Pillsbury's site.

First you make your taco meat.  I usually take 1lb of browned ground beef, 1 can tomato soup, 2 tbsp. taco seasoning, and 1/2 cup water and stir together.  I had made tacos earlier in the week so I had some leftover taco meat already mixed up that I used for the bubble pizza.

You take an 8ct tube of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits and cut each biscuit into 8 pieces.

Take the biscuit pieces and the meat and stir them together and place in a 9x13 pan.  I put the mixture into TWO 8 inch round pans.  One foil pan to take for the meal and another pan for us to have it for lunch.

Put in the oven at 375° for 18-23 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.  I had the 8 inch pan baking for about 20 minutes. I should have let it go a little longer as the biscuits were still a little chewy/doughy in the center. 
*photo courtesy of Pillsbury

Once the dish is baked. Place 2 cups of shredded cheese on the top and put back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  I turned off the oven and put the dish back in for about 3 minutes to melt the cheese. 

Let cool for 5 minutes.  And enjoy!!  Eat as is or pile with taco toppings of your choice!

It is a different twist to the palette and yet is quick, easy and frugal all in one.

I took an iceberg lettuce salad,  fresh strawberries & cantaloupe bowl, and mini no bake cheesecakes along with the bubble pizza to complete the meal for the couple.  

This post is linked at: 

Weekly Glimpse of Pantry Challenge

Sara over at Learning The Frugal Life is having an "Eat from the Pantry Challenge" during the month of May and I am joining in even though I did something similar last month.  I am thinking that doing these challenges is helping me to use those items that have been sitting in my pantry & freezer over the last few months.  It also is helping me to keep my grocery budget low and in check as well. 

So here is the results or update of how things have gone this week:

  1. I made a new recipe with some of my abundance of browned ground beef in the freezer and it flopped big time!!  I think I am going to have to trash the leftovers because no one wants to eat them!

  2. I didn't seem to take too much out of the freezer or pantry this week!  I gotta get on the stick with doing more baking so that I can move more out of the pantry.  Hard though to do baking when the weather has been sunny and 70°+ days!

  3. Despite having to rearrange the menu plans for this week, we have not gone for take out food! Who wants to turn on the oven when it is 75° outside...that is grillin' weather so I pulled some premade burgers out of the freezer, frozen fries, and purchased some corn on the cob(on sale for 5/$1) for a summertime meal!

  4. I was able to make a meal for a couple at church who just had a baby a week ago! (I got to hold a week old baby girl who was sleeping sooo contently when I dropped the meal off. Oh! such sweetness!)

  5. Last week, my Grandma was moved to an assisted living home so my aunts, cousins, my parents, sister, and I sorted through Grandma's things on Tuesday so they could be put in a yard sale or sold online.  As a result, I was able to get a stack of plastic/Tupperware containers to add to my stash for leftovers and such. When I was finished for the day, my aunt gave me $100 for helping them out.  Since there was only $16 left in my checking account until payday(15th), that $100(still have some change left!) was used for groceries for the upcoming week.  You can read and see pics of my purchases in my weekly shopping post. 
I think that about covers the week in the area of food details at Sonshine's house.  Take the time to let me know how you did this week!  Also don't forget to blog about it and then link up the post over at Sara's!

This post is linked at: 

FREEBIES #3--Homeschooling Resources

**These freebies are NO longer available, however you can still purchase them from CurrClick!!**

Another day of freebies over at CurrClick!!!

To celebrate Mother's Day, CurrClick is giving away FOUR freebies today for you to download each day for the next five days!! The freebies will change each day! The days that they will still be offering the freebies is May 8, 11, 12, 13!!! So do not delay in taking advantage of this wonderful resource!!

Today's Freebies are(there are FIVE today!!):

  • The Daily Bird (Cardinals)--a one-day, mini-Unit Study on just one type of bird. This Unit includes a lesson, reading comprehension worksheet, coloring page, notebooking sheet, and related activity.

  • Nesting Birds Unit Study - Creative Homeschooled Kids Magazine, Apr-May 2009--The theme for this unit study is birds and their nests. Includes a special 10-page Mother’s Day section, with colorful pictures and sentiments to use in making Mom a card, instructions for having a Mother’s Day tea, a heartwarming and humorous story, and an article on how to love Mom in practical ways all year.

  • Come on, Mom! 75 Things for Mothers and Daughters to Do Together--From making paper and perfume to having backyard races and going on butterfly safaris, these fun activities are guaranteed to keep mothers and daughters smiling on rainy – and sunny – days. Each activity includes easy-to-follow instructions and a materials needed list (if supplies are necessary). Even a super-mom can use some new ideas for fun things to do! This girls-only guide will create memories that last long after the book is closed.

  • Shemot or Exodus 1-5 Interactive Lap Folder--Here is the first bible series Lap Folder in the book of exodus. It serves as a great study of the bible on its own and also works well with the Pesach Lap Folder giving a nice historical overview to the story behind the holiday.

  • You CAN Do a Unit Study!-- This book will help you understand how unit studies work, how you can make them work for YOU, how they will benefit you and your children and give you practical tips for using unit studies. Learn how to enhance your learning experience with this practical and useful book!

Don't miss out!!!

Where to find the freebies: You can click on the picture above to get to CurrClick's homepage (or the CurrClick links in this post)and then click on the same picture over on the homepage to find the freebies!!

This post is linked at: 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Being Real with a Recipe Flop!

The ladies over at Home Ec 101 are starting a new blog meme called Fearless Fridays.  It is going along with their new series, "Kitchen Bravery", basically it is a meme to brag about your successes and failures in the kitchen.

I decided to play along today and humbly brag about a failure that I had in the kitchen this past week!  I am not sure what exactly went wrong with my main course meal on Monday night but to have only one or two people out of seven tolerate the meal means something was not right.

A little background...I am working at trying at least one recipe a week because I really need to get out of the rut of the same meals over and over again. In taking inventory of my freezer, I found that I had several packages of already browned ground beef and they were in need of getting used up.  So I did some recipe searches to find some ground beef recipes that did not use a tomato based sauce. 

I came across this Hobo Casserole over at Recipezaar that looked yummy and definitely fell into the new recipe category.  I decided to give it a try.  The only substitutions I did was using dry minced onion instead of fresh onion and garlic powder for the minced garlic.  I also made up some beef broth using water and bouillon for some of the milk. Everything else I used as according to the recipe. Here is how I put it together...

Hobo Casserole

2 lbs ground beef, browned (thawed from freezer)
8  potatoes, peeled, cubed and cooked
3 large carrots, peeled, diced, and cooked
2 tsp. garlic powder*
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can 2% milk (used the soup can)
2 tbsp. minced onion*
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce*
a few shakes of salt and pepper
1 beef bouillon in 1 cup of water for beef broth

Cook the potatoes and carrots on the stove until tender. While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, combine soup, spices, milk, broth and meat together in a separate bowl.   Once the potatoes and carrots are done, mix into the meat mixture.  Pour into your baking dish and cook at 350° for 30-40 minutes until heated through.

*spice amounts are approximate

The Results: It was fairly easy to put together. It smelled and looked appetizing. However, the texture was mushy, that it was hard not to have my(and hubby) gag reflex engage while I was eating it.  It was not very flavorful and what flavor there was seemed more of a bitter, vinegary taste, maybe because I did not measure out the spices or worcestershire sauce.   It also came out more like a stew/soup in consistency rather than casserole-y. 

Now I have a TON of it as leftover and not even sure if I can salvage it into a better dish as a "leftover makeover" or if I just need to bite the bullet and trash it.  

What do you think??  What could I have done differently? Do you think I should trash it or is there a way of salvaging it?  

This post is linked at: 

FREEBIES #2--Homeschooling Resources

**these freebies are no longer available, however, you can still purchase them by going to CurrClick!**  Go here for today's freebies!

Another day of freebies over at CurrClick!!! 

To celebrate Mother's Day, CurrClick is giving away FOUR freebies for you to download each day for the next five days!! The freebies will change each day! The days that they will still be offering the freebies is May 7, 8, 11, 12, 13!!! So do not delay in taking advantage of this wonderful resource!!

Today's Freebies are: 

  1. Ancient Rome Mini-Lapbook (TM) (K-8th)--This product comes with an extensive Study Guide, so you can easily teach as much detail as you choose and add to the lapbook as you see fit. All instructions and templates are included, and a layout makes the process fun and easy!

  2. Mother's Day Blessing--This set of Notebook Papers includes journal pages with quotes and scriptures, there are food journal pages, diary pages, shopping lists and even recipe cards.

  3. Footsteps on the Road to Learning ~ First Phonics Book--ideally for preschool and first grade. There are 52 phonics lessons with a number of fun activities in each lesson.

  4. Happy Scribe Copybook - Life on the Farm--It has twenty different sayings, presented in three different common handwriting fonts; Classic Block Printing, D’Nealian Italic, and Cursive.

Don't miss out!!!

Where to find the freebies: You can click on the picture above to get to CurrClick's homepage (or the CurrClick links in this post)and then click on the same picture over on the homepage to find the freebies!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

FREEBIES #1---Homeschooling Resources

***these freebies are no longer available!*** If you would still like that them you can purchase them at CurrClick's website. 

To celebrate Mother's Day, CurrClick is giving away FOUR freebies for you to download each day for the next five days!!  The freebies will change each day!  The days that they are offering the freebies is May 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13!!!  So do not delay in taking advantage of this wonderful resource!!

Today's Freebies are:

  1. Prince Caspian: Living for Christ in a Fallen World--unit study that gives you the opportunity to go through the book. The unit study has chapter summaries, memory verses, vocabulary and more.

  2. Meaningful Bible Copywork - Variety 1--This is a collection of near 60 Bible verses. They range from short to medium in length and provide a good solid foundation
    for memorization at any age.

  3. A Simple Booklet-Making Kit for Mother's Day--Make a lovely booklet or two for Mother's Day with the variety of sweet templates.

  4. MIRL Arithmetic I--math featuring real life learning.

Don't miss out!!! 

Where to find the freebies: You can click on the picture above to get to CurrClick's homepage (or the CurrClick links in this post)and then click on the same picture over on the homepage to find the freebies!!

Using freebies works for me in keeping homeschooling costs down! There are more homeschooling freebies in my left sidebar!

This post is linked at: 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 5/3-5/9

Last week's menu plan went pretty smoothly!  I “flew by the seat of my pants” a couple of nights for dinner because I didn’t have a plan but made it through with delightful dinners prepared and ready for consuming at a reasonable hour.  This past week, my downfall was being so busy that I forgot to take the time to pull meat from the freezer to use for dinner!  I did that one night and ended up going after take out because the meat was just too frozen to do anything with in a timely fashion.

For this week’s
shopping trip wasn’t anything to write home about as I didn’t use much in the way of coupons. However, I did snag a couple good deals, including getting some boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $1.79/lb!!  I made it through my pantry & freezer spring cleaning event during the month of April; however, I am extending the event into May!!  The reason is that Sara over at Learning the Frugal Life is having an Eat from the Pantry Challenge during May and I decided that I would join her!  I learned a few  valuable lessons during the month of April in regards to my grocery budget…stay aware of what you have on hand and use it because it will keep your budget in check and you will not go over the monthly allotment! Also, I learned that I can feed my family of seven(2 adults/5 kids under 12) 3 meals and 2 snacks on $16 per day!!

This week’s menu consists of one new recipe along with family favorites.  I am using what I have on hand.  Any shopping that I do this week will be for next week’s meals!

Lunches listed are for the kids & me. Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or baby carrots along with fruit juice or water.  Hubby usually takes a dinner leftover along with various snacks for his work lunch.

A special thanks to
Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 400 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie’s site or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists! 

Sunday (5-3)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage or steak, hash browns, and banana muffins (from freezer)

Lunch: deli meat sandwiches and chips

Dinner: chicken club sandwiches served with fries and fresh veggie tray (carryover from last week)

Snack: snack basket


Monday (5-4)

Breakfast: cereal, toaster strudel, yogurt

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: hobo casserole(new recipe) served homemade honey oatmeal rolls

Snack: snack basket


Tuesday (5-5)

Breakfast:  waffles and sausage

Lunch: deli ham sandwich & chips

Dinner: choice of chicken or beef tacos topped with rice, refried beans, lettuce & cheese served with tortilla chips and salsa

Snack: snack basket


Wednesday (5-6)

Breakfast: cinnabites, eggs and cereal

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner:  smothered chicken served with boiled potatoes and peas

Snack: cookies & milk 

Thursday (5-7)

Breakfast: Pancakes and sausage

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner:  whole roasted chicken served with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and hot biscuits

Snack: snack basket


Friday (5-1)

Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel

Lunch: sandwich & chips

Dinner: homemade mini French bread pizzas (using mini sub buns)

Snack: ice cream night                                          


Saturday (5-2)  

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”

Lunch:  chicken nuggets

Dinner:  grilled burgers or hot dogs served with pan fries and corn on cob

Snack:  snack basket  or popcorn





Sunday, May 3, 2009

Meijer Deals 5/3-5/9

Just a reminder, that I am using a West Michigan sale ad and my Meijer does NOT double coupons! Also check the two pages of Mealbox coupons there are several cpns that match items in this week's ad! The coupons have had a change in wording, they now say, ONE COUPON PER TRANSACTION. NOT TO BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER MEIJER MANUFACTURER DISCOUNT COUPONS. So that means that we can use them with manufactor's cpns!! 

Don't Forget to check out my friend, Kate at Cooking During Stolen Moments has posted a few meal ideas based on what is on sale this week, head over and read her meal ideas!!!


~~Buy Ten 6 oz. cups or 4 oz. whips Yoplait Yogurt Get $1 off Instantly at Checkout!

~~Buy TWO Nabisco items listed in the sale ad(check ad for list of products), Get ONE gallon of Milk(excludes chocolate and organics) FREE!


Crystal Light 1.3-3.4 oz. canister. Makes 10-12 quarts. All varieties ~~ Buy Two, Get Two FREE

Center Cut Half Boneless Pork Loin $1.79/lb

Deans Ice Cream, 48oz carton ~~ 50% off

Dove Pint Ice Cream ~~ 50 % off

Dove, Snickers or M&M's Novelties 4-16 ct. Assorted varieties ~~ 50% off

Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Cut Carrots- 1lb bag, each 5/$5

Golden Pineapple each $2.99

Meijer Frozen Tilapia Fillets 16oz 2/$7

Meijer Milk-gallon $1.98

Meijer Fresh Whole Chickens 98¢/lb

Meijer Split Top Bread--white or wheat 98¢

Meijer Grade A Large Eggs-dozen 98¢

Potatoes - 5 lb bag: Red, Klondike Rose or Idaho Russet 2/$5

Powerade 32 oz. bottle. Select varieties. ~~ Buy 10 Get 5 Free

Strohs Ice Cream 48 oz ~~ 50% off

Smart Balance Buttery Spread or Butter Blends 2 pk./7.5 oz. tub,8 oz. spray or tub, 12 oz. squeeze or 13-15 oz. tub or Butter Blends 16 oz. pkg. Assorted varieties 2/$4
B1G1 cpn 03-01 RP

Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits 16.3 oz. tube. All varieties. 4/$5
50/3 cpn 04-05 S1

Yoplait Yogurt 6 oz. single serve cups or 4 oz. whips. All varieties. 10/$5
40/6 cpn 03-22 S

Marie Callender's Dinners, Large Pot Pies or Pasta Al Dente 10-21 oz 5/$11
75/1 cpn 03-29 S (coupon is for Al Dente variety)

Pam Cooking Sprays 5-6 oz 2/$4
35/1 cpn 03-29 S

Post Cereal 13-20 oz. box. Select varieties 4/$8
$1/2 cpn 03-29 S

McCormick Gourmet or Organic Spices .06-2.62 oz. Select varieties ~~ 30% off
75/1 cpn 04-05 RP

Smart Balance Peanut Butter 16 oz. jar. Creamy or crunchy 2/$4
$1/1 cpn 04-05 RP

Smart Balance Popcorn 3 ct. Movie style or light butter ~~ B1G1 Free
$1/2 cpn 04-05 RP

Lays Potato Chips 10.5-11 oz. Assorted varieties ~~ B1G1 Free

Hillshire Farm Rope Style Smoked Sausage, Cheddarwurst or Brats 2/$4
75/2 cpn 04-19 RP

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, Granola Bites or Protein Bars or Breakfast Cookies 4.2-8.4 oz. box or Breakfast Cookies 10.1 oz. box. Select varieties 5/$10
75/2 cpn 05-03 RP(Cpn is for Chewy Granola Bar Variety)

Kraft Barbecue Sauce 18 oz. bottle 5/$5
75/1 cpn 05-03 S


CoverGirl Clean Makeup or Pressed Powder, Professional Mascara or Boundless Nail Color ~~ B1G1 Free

LOreal Skin Genesis Product ~~ B1G1 free

LOreal Sublime Bronze or Sublime Glow Product ~~ B1G1 free

Meijer Hand Sanitizer - Aloe $1.99

Meijer Pain Relief products ~~ B1G1 identical product Free

Secret Invisible Solid $2.19
$1/1 cpn 03-15 PG

LOreal Preference or Dream Blonde ~~ $2.00 off
$2/1 cpn 03-22 S

Old Spice High Endurance $2.19
$1/1 cpn 04-05 PG

Revlon Age Defying or Age Defying Spa Cosmetics or Lip or Nail Color ~~ 50% off
$1/1 cpn 04-26 S

Crest Kids Liquid Gel Hannah Montana 2/$5
50/1 cpn 05-03 PG

Crest Pro-Health Clean Mint Mouthwash ~~ 2/$9
$1/1 cpn 05-03 PG

Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield Fresh Mint ~~ 2/$5
50/1 cpn 05-03 PG

Gillette Daisy 3 Women's Razor $5.49
$2/1 cpn 05-03 PG

Head & Shoulders Shampoo Smooth & Silky $4.49
$1/1 cpn 05-03 PG

Gillette Shampoo Clean & Thick $4.49
B1G1 cpn 05-03 PG

Gillette Shampoo or Conditioner 11.5-12.2 oz $4.49
B1G1 cpn 05-03 PG

Mr Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power 2/$5
B1G1 cpn 05-03 PG

Mr Clean Multi-Surface Cleaner 2/$5
B1G1 cpn 05-03 PG

Scope Mouthwash 2/$7
$1/1 cpn 05-03 PG

Secret Clinical Strength $7.49
$1/1 cpn 05-03 PG

Garnier Nutrisse and Color Breaks Hair Color ~~ $2 off
$2/1 cpn 05-03 RP

Sure Invisible Solid Unscented Antiperspirant 2/$4
75/1 cpn 05-03 S

***Please take the time to check out your local ad, which you can find here!! IF Meijer is not your store of choice, head over to BeCentsAble's Grocery Gathering!!***