Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $111.04

This week I was adventurous and took my 2yo shopping with me! I did that because I shopped in the morning hours rather than waiting for naptime. He actually was very well behaved until we got to the checkout and was wanting the candy off the shelves. He only asked a few times and he didn't go into a temper tantrum so all was fine and dandy!

This was payday week so I stocked up on getting some more meats in the freezer and in doing so I successfully in using my Catalina coupon for $5 off $20 or more of meat at Meijer!. I was down to just chicken in the house and the family was hollering that they didn't want chicken for the 4th day in a row! So I have a round steak, ground beef, and pork to round things out around the chicken for dinner meals.

Here is a breakdown of what I purchased this week:

  • 5.66 lbs ground beef from round $11.32
  • 2.47 lbs family pack top round steaks $7.41
  • 4.03 lbs pork loin $8.06
  • 2.68 lbs ground beef from chuck $4.28 (manager's markdown to $1.60/lb!)
  • 1 pkg Bob Evans maple sausage links $2.54(manager's markdown plus 25/1 paper insert cpn)
  • 2 Snicker bars FREE!(used 2-Mars free chocolate friday cpns)
  • 3 boxes Kraft pasta salad 95¢ (used a peelie $1/2 coupon on a box plus used $1/3 Mealbox cpn)
  • 6 boxes Kleenex $8.54(used 50/3 printable cpn & 50/3 paper insert cpn)
  • 1 box M&M ice cream bars $1.19(used $1/1 paper insert cpn)
  • 1 box Snicker ice cream bars $1.49(used $1/1 paper insert cpn)
  • 1 carton Dean's ice cream $2.74
  • 2 bags Gorton frozen fish $7.00(used $1/2 printable cpn)
  • 4ct bag Chicken cordon bleu $4.99
  • 2 pkgs Motts applesauce $2.33(used $1/2 Mealbox cpn)
  • 2 bottles Motts apple juice $2.34(used $1/2 Mealbox cpn)
  • 1 loaf Aunt Millies bread 90¢(used 35/1 paper insert cpn)
  • 6 tubes Pillsbury cinnamon rolls $8.25(used 75/3 paper insert cpn)
  • 2 tubes Pillsbury crescent rolls $3.00
  • 2 boxes Chex Mix bars $3.32(used 60/1 printable cpn & 75/1 paper insert cpn)
  • 2 boxes Poptarts $2.60(used $1/2 paper insert cpn)
  • 1 box Electrasol dishwasher tabs 50¢(used 2.50/1 paper insert cpn)

Total OOP: $86.46
Total Savings: $78.41(includes the $5 off $20 meat Catalina cpn)
Total without coupons & sales: $164.87

Family Fare:
  • 6.37 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts $11.98
  • 4 pints blueberries $3.52(88¢ each)
  • 1/2 gallon buttermilk $2.59
  • 15 Yoplait yogurts 6.00(40¢ each--used 40/6 paper insert cpn & 50/6 printable cpn & 60/3 printable cpn)
  • 1.64 lbs zucchini squash $1.62
Total was $25.71 used $4.80 bottle refund
Total OOP: $20.91
Total Savings: $32.63 with the bottle refund included!!
Total without sales, coupons and refund: $53.54

Grand Total OOP: $107.37
Grand Total Savings: $111.04
Grand Total without sales & coupons & bottle refund: $218.41

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Mom's Zucchini Bread

Looking for something to make with all that zucchini or crookneck/yellow squash that is coming out of your garden???

I have got a yummy recipe for you!! It is my Mom's Zucchini Bread recipe and it is very moist and delicious! If you don't want yellow or green flecks in your bread, just peel the skin off the squash.

Mom's Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cup sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cup grated zucchini
1 cup nuts(walnuts are best!)

In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Mix well. Add zucchini. Combine dry ingredients; add them to the wet mixture, mix well. Pour into two greased and floured 9in x 5in x 3in loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 60 minutes or until bread tests done.

Notes: These can easy be done as muffins too! Either use paper liners or grease the muffin tins. Also bake at 350° for half the time(30 minutes). This bread or muffins freezes wonderfully!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Caring for Elderly Parents!

If it seems like I have been a little quiet around here lately....

I have reached that part of the climb on the mountain of life where I am having to care or at least check on my parents on a regular basis. My parents will be 70 next year and I am the oldest of eight children in my family. I am also one of the closest siblings. I have a 35 yo sister and a 22 yo handicap brother that still live at home, however, my sister actually cares about herself, her romance novels, and her soap operas than she does in making sure that my parents have a meal on the table. My other siblings either live out of state, or are too busy with their own affairs to be of much help! So that leaves me!

Over the 4th of July weekend, my hubby, kids and I went over to my parents' house to help them get some landscaping and other outside chores done around the house as the weeds and moss had pretty much taken over their flower beds and yard.

My family has been going over there on a regular basis since the beginning of July to finish up the outside work.

On top of the outside work, we have had to help them realize that one of their bank accounts was getting scammed!! So far they have lost $500 over the last 5 months!!! They have been able to get some of that money back but they will not get all of it back due to the statue of limitations.

We have had to deal with my mom being in the emergency THREE times in the last 2 weeks! The third time was due to her not being able to handle the pain well from being bruised up. She actually told the ER docs that she had fallen again when in reality/according to my dad, she hadn't fallen again! My mom is suffering from dementia! The docs have ruled out alzheimers through tests but as far as I am concerned it might as well be alzheimers!!

My dad has problems with dyscalculia so him working with bank accts. and finances is quite difficult for him! So right now they have all their bills automatically withdrawn from their accts. and their SS and pensions automatically deposited. This is the best route right now as my mom and dad are pack rats!! They get their mail and bill statements and literally have it dumped on a dining room table. I was helping them one day work through some of the paper debris and found bill statements from over 5 years ago in the piles!!! Down in their basement they have boxes of papers that they moved with them to their current house from the old house...the move was over 25 years ago!!!

Needless to say, I am just overwhelmed so I am scaling back my blogging efforts to a few posts each week!!! I need to work at getting my parents' affairs in order so that life can be running smoothly over there and here!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monthly Sam's Run--July

I was overdue for a run to Sam's Club this month! I was out or running short on many things that I purchased today! A lot of the things were taxable non-food items so my total was a bit higher than I initially thought it would be for this month. However, I have enough toothpaste and paper napkins to finish out the summer! So I will not have to worry about putting those items on my list any time soon!

I am starting to think that I want to get more in the mode of using Sam's for the bulk of my shopping and using the grocery stores as more of a supplement. But I haven't figured out if it would save me any money in the long run. I know that there are a few things that I can get at the grocery store cheaper but with my relatively limited storage space getting many small bottles or containers of things isn't feasible. I like having the one or two big containers to work from rather than those little ones. Those big containers actually are easier for the kids to find too when I send them on a "fetch mission". Has anyone tried this before of using Sam's as their main shopping place? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of doing it!

Here is the breakdown of what $312.47(including sales tax) bought for me today at Sam's:
  • 1280 ct Dixie paper napkins $9.88
  • 36 ct double roll Northern TP $17.48
  • 5 tubes Colgate Total Whitening Gel $10.88
  • 150 load bottle Downy fabric softener $9.77
  • 150 loads Wisk 2x HE detergent $15.88
  • 60 ct. Eggo Waffles $7.79
  • 12 cans Swanson chicken broth $7.25
  • 25 lbs long grain white rice $8.64
  • 3-45oz jugs Ragu Sauce $7.97
  • 120 oz Mrs. Butterworth's syrup $5.84
  • 3 liters Member's Mark Olive Oil $14.46
  • 5 lbs Honey $9.58
  • 4lbs Goldfish crackers $8.65
  • 1 gallon 2% milk $2.06
  • 56 oz bag M&Ms $8.79(for hubby to take to work for his M&M guy)
  • 72 ct. Kraft American cheese slices $6.37
  • 20lbs potatoes $5.76
  • 4.59lbs beef round roast $11.29
  • 4.75 lbs pork loin chops $12.73
  • 5 lbs mild cheddar cheese $8.84
  • 5 lbs Country Crock margarine $4.16
  • 48 ct Gogurt $7.64
  • 66ct Welch's fruit snacks $8.88
  • 48 ct. Quaker chewy granola bars $7.88
  • 20 oz. chili powder $4.28
  • 3lbs Hormel Real bacon bits $7.06
  • 27 oz. Oscar Mayer smoked deli turkey breast $6.78
  • 48 ct. string cheese $6.63
  • 12 ct Red Baron mini pizzas $10.76
  • 140 ct. Totinos pizza rolls $8.88
  • 12.06 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts $23.76
  • 5 lbs frozen corn $4.88
  • 6lbs Ore Ida hashbrowns $5.38
  • 4 bags chips $11.76
Total with 6% sales tax on the non-food items only: $312.47

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 7/12-7/18

Last week's menu plan only had one change to it! I didn’t serve sloppy joes as planned on Thursday instead we had another one of my quick & easy meals of skillet pork chops, Kraft Mac & cheese, and green beans. This meal can be fixed in a ½ hour!

My intentions were good last week in thinking that I could stay away from the store and any shopping. However, I found myself in the stores this week grabbing up the deals on the in season fruits and a few of the good deals that stores use to lure a person in to shop! You can read about the details of this week’s shopping trip here!

This week’s menus are definitely not set in stone! This week is going to be a crazy week! We are still trying to finish the landscaping around my parents’ house so hubby has this plan of the kids and me meeting him there to eat dinner and to work on the landscaping each night! Two of the afternoons I have another commitment on the opposite side of town from my parents with my oldest son so those days will be the most hectic. The other days will be better and a bit easier, however I am not looking forward to transferring my dinner prep into a kitchen that I have not regularly been in for the last 14 years!! So my plans are sketchy and I am going for meals that do not take a lot of prep work or the prep work can be done in the morning before I leave my kitchen! If you have any good ideas for meals that would feed 11 people (2 that are diabetic) and do not take much in the way of prep or cooking, I would love the suggestions!!

For this week’s lunches, that are listed below, are for the kids and me! Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or carrot sticks along with fruit juice or water. Hubby usually takes a dinner leftover along with various snacks for his work lunch so I don’t take the time to plan his lunches. He just takes the next oldest leftover on the stack in the fridge.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 300 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 (7-12)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage(kids) or steak(hubby), hash browns, and donuts(freezer)

Lunch: leftovers-spaghetti

Dinner: chicken nuggets served with fries and fresh veggie tray

Snack: snack basket

Monday (7-13)

Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner: pizza treats

Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (7-14)

Breakfast: eggs, muffins (freezer), and sausage

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: burgers served with ???

Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (7-15)

Breakfast: bagels, cereal, eggs

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner: saucy chicken served with rice, green beans, mixed squash, and homemade rolls

Snack: snack basket

Thursday (7-16)

Breakfast: pancakes(freezer), and sausage

Lunch: sandwich & chips

Dinner: Salisbury steak served with mashed taters and corn

Snack: snack basket

Friday (7-17)

Breakfast: cereal and toast

Lunch: sandwich & chips

Dinner: roasted pork loin, mashed taters, and corn

Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (7-18)

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”

Lunch: ???

Dinner: ??? My 20th HS Reunion!!

Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Aunt Nellie's Best Ever Muffins

Last week in my fridge I discovered that I had 2-6oz containers of fresh raspberries that needed to get used up before they went bad on me. I decided that I would use them in muffins since several raspberries I had to take off bad spots.

I pulled out my trusty/no fail borrowed church cookbook from my Mom that I have love browsing through and trying recipes, like the peach cobbler muffins from a couple of weeks ago! This time while browsing through looking for a recipe to use my fresh raspberries, I found my Aunt's quick muffin recipe! These literally take all of about 5 minutes to whip up and they cook in under 30 minutes! So they are great for adding to a morning breakfast or to whip up for a quick afternoon snack. They are also very easily doubled! The other thing I like about this recipe is there is not much sugar in the recipe so my diabetic parents can handle eating them without too much problems.

Aunt Nellie's Best Ever Muffins

1 3/4 cup flour (used half white, half wheat)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 well-beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup veggie oil

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; make well in center. Combine egg, milk, and oil. Add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir quickly just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake in 400° oven about 25 minutes. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Blueberry or Raspberry Muffins: Prepare batter above. Toss 1 cup fresh or thawed and well-drained frozen blueberries or raspberries with 2 TBSP. sugar. Gently stir into batter. Bake as above.

Notes: This recipe is a very basic recipe so other "stir-in" items other than berries would work as well! I only stirred in about 1 tbsp sugar with the raspberries that I used. I also used paper liners in my muffin tins with no problems.

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