Saturday, January 16, 2010

Monthly Sam's Run---January

For the month of January I decided to really take the time to evaluate what I needed from Sam's.  Instead of my thinking being---"well we are just about out so I will get it despite the fact that we might not totally be out by the next time". I changed my thinking to "we are out or we have one round left so we are getting it this month".  Changing my thinking made my overall monthly total at Sam's decrease by about fifty dollars!  In my book, that is a savings!  Granted I will still need to get those items that I took off my January list in February or March but not getting those items then saved me money and space now. 

So here is what I purchased this month from Sam's:

  • 60 ct. Eggo Waffles $8.88
  • 36 ct Kudos $5.57
  • 2 pk Frito Lay chips $5.98
  • 12 ct. low sodium Campbell's chicken noodle soup $8.62
  • 12 ct. Swanson's chicken broth $7.88
  • 1 gallon Member's Mark antibacterial soap $5.88
  • 1280 ct Dixie paper napkins $9.98
  • 36 ct Kellogg's Cinn/Br. Sugar Poptarts $6.28
  • 72 ct. Kraft American cheese slices $6.72
  • 8 ct. Del Monte green peas $6.48
  • 12 ct. Red Baron mini pizzas $9.98
  • 140 ct. Totino's pizza rolls $8.98
  • 3 lbs Hormel real bacon bits $6.98
  • 3-44oz Heinz ketchup $6.23
  • 3-45oz Ragu spaghetti sauce $7.58
  • 2 pk-40 oz Jif creamy peanut butter $6.83
  • 7.5 lbs Country Crock margarine $6.44
  • 1.25 gallons Mazola canola oil $8.12
  • 5lbs Flav-r-Pac frozen cut corn $4.48
  • 48 ct Frigo Cheese head String cheese $7.79
  • 5lbs Baker & Chefs mild cheddar cheese $9.98
  • 2-64oz Mrs. Butterworth's syrup $5.84
  • 7lbs Bakers & Chefs light brown sugar $4.58
  • 2 pks bagels $4.36
  • 12.92 lbs Member's Mark boneless/skinless chicken breasts $22.87 ($1.77/lb)
  • 6lbs Ore-Ida shredded hashbrowns $5.38
  • 6lbs Bakers & Chefs wide egg noodles $5.98
  • 3.40 lbs beef round roast $10.06 ($2.96/lb)
Total with sales tax: $215.68

Shopping Trip---Savings $225.06

One of my goals for 2010 is to only do major grocery shopping twice a month.  Since it was payday on Friday, I took the time to do my shopping for the rest of the month(except for a perishable item run-milk, eggs, produce) along with making my monthly Sam's run(watch for a post later!).  Whew! It was a lot of work to do all the shopping in one day but I did it!!  I prepared for my trip the day before by gathering all the coupons I would need and making my lists. It took me about 3 1/2 hours to do Meijer, Family Fare, Duthler's, Walgreens, 2 bread outlets and Sam's Club all by myself! Several of the stores were just a run in and grab a few things that were sale items as I went by the store.  You might think that with the list of stores that I went all over the town to do my shopping.  Such was not the case because four out of the seven places I went to on Friday are within 2 city blocks apart so I start at the furthest one and work my way back towards my house.

This week at Meijer the deals were actually half way decent with their 10 for $10 get 11th item free sale!  Even with it being the end of the week, I still was able to get everything that was on my list.  Oh! that was a great feeling because that meant not having to worry about getting rainchecks or working out a different scenario to get the items that I needed to buy.   I also was able to save more than I spent by almost $9.00!  And the best part of all, I have $8.00 to spend on my next shopping trip, which will be for milk and other perishables!!

Here is the breakdown of shopping trip:

Duthler's(my corner grocery store):
  • 2 bags Fritos $4.00
  • 2 bags Rold Gold pretzels $3.00
  • 8lbs potatoes $1.50
  • 5 bottles(64oz) Indian summer apple juice $8.45
Total OOP: $16.95
Total Savings: $11.75
Total without sales & coupons: $28.70

Walgreens:(2 transactions)
  • 4 gallons milk $7.96
  • 3 dozen eggs $2.97
Total OOP: $10.93
Total Savings: $4.10
Total without sales: $15.03

Butternut Bakery Outlet:
  • 2 boxes asst. donuts $4.15 (reg. price $3.99 each)
  • 2 boxes chocolate donettes $3.49 (reg. price $3.19 each)
  • 1-12 ct. pkg. plain donuts $1.00 (reg. price $3.99 each)
  • 1 box HoHos $1.00 (reg. price $3.99 each)
  • 1 box powdered donettes $1.00 (reg. price $3.19 each)
Total OOP: $10.64
Total Savings: $14.89
Total without going to the outlet: $25.53

Aunt Millie's Bakery Outlet:
  • 2 pkgs brown n serve rolls $1.00 (reg. price $1.89 each)
  • 1 pkg mini sub buns 79¢ (reg. price $2.99)
  • 6 -8ct. pkgs hamburger buns $3.00 (reg. price $1.99 each)
  • 2 pkgs bagels $1.98 (reg. price $3.59 each)
  • 2 loaves Texas Toast $4.18 (reg. price $2.99 each)
  • 2 loaves Koepplinger's sandwich bread $1.78 (reg. price $2.39 each)
  • 4 loaves Aunt Millie's sandwich bread $3.56 (reg. price $3.19 each)
Total OOP: $16.29
Total Savings: $33.12 
Total without going to the outlet: $49.41

Family Fare: 
  • 6 boxes instant oatmeal $6.67
  • 14 cups Yoplait yogurt $5.50
  • 3 boxes 8ct poptarts $5.97
  • 10 cans Freshlike veggies $5.45
  • 2 lbs bacon $6.00
  • 2.12 lbs beef stew meat $5.91
  • 5.03 lbs thin cut pork chops $12.53
Total OOP after using $5.90 bottle deposit refund: $42.23
Total Savings: $39.22
Total without sales, bottle deposit refund & coupons: $87.35

  • 2ct gerber vinyl pants $2.79
  • 3 bags Halls cough drops $1.29
  • 2 bottles Chloraseptic spray $7.78
  • 2 containers sour cream $2.12
  • 2 dozen eggs $1.23
  • 1 box Nabisco variety pack teddy grahams $3.00
  • 1.72 lbs catfish fillets $6.86
  • 6 cans Grands biscuits $3.40
  • 6 Delmonte fruit cups $3.00
  • 1 bottle Sunny Delight $1.00
  • 2 Dole Salad Mixes FREE!!
  • 3.6 lbs carrots $3.00
  • 2 bottles A&W rootbeer 70¢(with bottle deposit)
  • 10lbs potatoes $2.00
  • 4 Betty Crocker Fruit Stackers & Mini Roll-ups $2.00
  • 4 boxes Betty Crocker Brownie Supreme Mix $3.16
  • 4 pkgs. Toaster strudel $2.96
  • 2 pkgs Johnsonville sausage links $5.35
  • 1 pkg. Lance snack crackers FREE
  • 1 box Ronzoni smart taste macaroni 25¢
  • 1 bag Meijer pretzel sticks $1.00
  • 8 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts $15.98
  • 4 boxes Fiber One bars $4.00
  • 5lbs whole wheat flour $2.99
  • 5 Betty Crocker frosting $2.50
  • 4 Warm Delights $2.00
  • 5 boxes Ziploc bags $7.60
  • 4 Betty Crocker cookie mixes $4.00
  • 5 pkgs. Pillsbury ready to bake cookies $6.90
  • 6 boxes Nature Valley granola bars $12.20
Total OOP with sales tax: $113.08
Total Savings: $121.98 ($16.00-Meijer Promotions, $70.78-non-coupon savings; $35.20 coupon savings!)
Total without sales & coupons: $235.06

Grand Total OOP: $210.12
Grand Total Savings: $225.06
Grand Total without sales, bread outlets, & coupons: $435.18

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Homeschooling Hands On: Math Around the House!

One thing that I enjoy doing with my first grade daughter is doing Math around the house rather than  always doing worksheets with a bunch of problems. I love having her help me do things around the house especially those things that include different Math concepts. Not only does it teach her math skills but I am helping her learn different life skills, which are important as well. 

Here are some ideas for them to do:

  • Count stairs as they walk up and down them.
  • Classify their toys into groups as they put them away.
  • Set the table for dinner making sure that every place has one of everything needed.
  • Fold washcloths and count how many they folded.
  • Sort dirty laundry by colors.
  • Help put away groceries by shapes.
  • Let them help make their favorite dish following a recipe.
  • Get out the coin jar or piggy bank to sort and count the coins to see how much has been saved.

As you can see from the idea list, there are many things that kids do every day that teach Math concepts! 

What are some other every day things that you do with your kids that teach Math concepts?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

The "Eat from your Pantry Challenge" is going on fully steam around the blogosphere. Even though I am not participating this time around,  I thought it would be great to share one of my recipes that I make that uses up a few things that I keep in my pantry and often wonder what I can make with them that would be kid friendly. Are you like me and have boxed cake mixes and canned frosting in your pantry and wondering what you could make with it other than just making up plain old cake or cupcakes?

Why not try these easy to put together, yummy, kid friendly cupcakes??!!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 container chocolate frosting

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup chopped peanuts(optional)

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and 3/4 cup peanut butter with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about 2/3 full).

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4. In medium bowl, stir together frosting and 1/4 cup peanut butter. Frost cupcakes with frosting mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts, if desired; press lightly into frosting.

Notes: Since I am not big fan of chopped peanuts I used about 1/2 tsp. grape jelly on top of several cupcakes while leaving others plain.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 1/10-1/16

I made it through the first full week of the New Year and so did the menu for last week!  It felt so good to have a menu planned it definitely reduced the stress I had been feeling in the kitchen.

I did some grocery shopping to get through this week’s meals.   I didn’t do much shopping as I have food that needs to get used up before the month is over.  One of my goals for this year is to only shop twice a month so you will be seeing many menus where I am using what I have on hand rather than going grocery shopping.  Along with only shopping twice per month, I am going to work at trying TWO new to family meals each month so that I can increase our family favorite meals list.  Some of the items on the current list are becoming not so favorite any more due to overuse.  I am trying deconstructed chicken cordon bleu, a new to the family recipe this week!  It should be interesting as it is something that we have enjoyed already premade from the store and I have tried to copycat the premade recipe but it is time consuming so I am hoping that the family loves this new and seemingly easy way.

This week’s meals are simple meals.  It is a bit of a busy week as hubby has a work related conference for three days.  Thankfully the conference is here in town so he will be home in the evenings but not totally sure on how many dinner meals he will be eating with us.  So when that is the case, I go for simple meals that the kids can help me put together.

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.  

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 (1-10)
Breakfast: eggs, sausage & steak, hash browns, and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  McDonald’s(after church)
Snack: snack basket

Monday (1-11)
Breakfast: cereal and cinnamon rolls
Dinner: homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade bread
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (1-12)
Breakfast:  waffles and sausage
Lunch: leftovers--spaghetti
Dinner: baked lemon pepper chicken, served with boiled potatoes, and corn
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (1-13)
Breakfast:  bagels and cereal
Lunch: leftovers—pizza subs
Dinner:  deconstructed chicken cordon bleu (new recipe), served with mashed potatoes, peas and biscuits
Snack: snack basket

Thursday (1-14)
Breakfast:  French Toast and sausage
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner:  chicken nuggets/fish sandwiches served with French fries and corn
Snack: snack basket

Friday (1-15)
Breakfast:  cereal and toast
Lunch: Book-It Lunch—free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut
Dinner: Taco Bar
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (1-16)
Breakfast:  Your Choice
Lunch: ????
Snack: popcorn

Meijer Deals 1/10-1/16

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 a few coupons that match items in this week's ad that I did not list below! Please let me know if there is a good deal that I missed and I will take the time to update my deals listing. 

I also put together a complete list of the 10 for $10 get 11th item FREE Sale items!! You will find that there are several coupon match-ups in the list where you can get free to almost free to 1/2 off items along with the sale.

**If you are curious to what Meijer's coupon policy is, head here to see the updated policy!


~~General Mills Fiber ONE Products: Buy 4 Get $2 off Instantly! Purchases must be made in a single transaction from 1/10/10-1/20/10.

~~10 for $10 Sale...Get 11th Item FREE! Mix or Match

~~Buy $10 in Wishbone Salad Dressing, 16oz, Skippy Peanut Butter, 15-16.5oz, or any Bertolli Sauce Product and get $3 OFF your NEXT Shopping Trip (limit one per transaction)

~~Buy 4 Progresso Soups Get ONE Broth (32oz) FREE!

~~Buy 5 Weight Watchers Smart Ones Entrees or Desserts and Get 1 FREE!


Certified Angus Beef Ground from Round $2.29/lb

Meijer Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts 64 oz $7.99

Red Delicious, McIntosh, Ida Red, or Fuji Apples 3lbs 2/$3

Strawberries 1lb. 2/$4

Betty Crocker Cookie Mix 17.5oz 2/$3
40/1 cpn 12-13 GM
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn

General Mills Bagged Snacks: Chex, Bugles 7.5-8.75oz Select Varieties 97¢
50/2 cpn 12-13 GM ***stack both cpns and get for 22¢ each!!!***
$1/2 Mealbox cpn

Betty Crocker Fiber ONE Muffin Mix 15.3oz Select Varieties $3.39
40/1 cpn 12-13 GM
50/1 cpn 
50/1 cpn
$1/2 Mealbox cpn
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn

General Mills Fiber ONE Cereals: 14.5-17.25oz Select Varieties $4.19
$1/3 cpn 01-03 GM
$1/1 cpn
$1/1 cpn
$1/1 cpn
$1/1 cpn

General Mills Fiber ONE Chewy Bars 7oz $2.50
40/1 cpn 01-03 GM
40/1 cpn
40/1 cpn
$1/2 Mealbox cpn
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn

General Mills Fiber ONE Toaster Pastries 11oz box Select Varieties $1.75
$1/2 Mealbox cpn

General Mills Fiber ONE Muffins Frozen Select Varieties $3.99
75/1 cpn 10-25 S
75/1 cpn
$1/1 cpn
75/1 cpn

Wish Bone Salad Dressing 16 oz $1.39
75/1 cpn
$1/2 Mealbox cpn

Skippy Peanut Butter 15-16.3oz $1.69
$1/2 Mealbox cpn

Bertolli Pasta Sauce 15-24oz 2/$4
60/1 cpn 11-15 S(cpn exp 1/15)
$1/2 Mealbox cpn

Progresso Soup 18.5-19oz cans 4/$5
50/2 cpn 01-03 GM
50/2 cpn 12-06 S
$1.10/3 cpn
$1.10/3 cpn
$1/3 cpn
$1/3 cpn

Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix $1.79
$1/2 cpn ***buy 4 & stack cpns to get 4 boxes for 79¢ each!***
$1/2 Mealbox cpn(use 2)
$1/2 cpn

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel $1.99
$1/2 cpn  ***buy 4 & stack cpns to get 4 boxes for 99¢ each!***
$1/2 Mealbox cpn(use 2)
$1/2 cpn

Dannon Yogurt: Single serve 6oz cups all Varieties 10/$4
60/6 cpn 01-03 S1
$1/10 cpn 11-15 S
$1/4 Mealbox cpn
$1/6 cpn


Loreal Vive Pro Products $2.99
$1/1 cpn 11-15 S

Ester C 500mg or 1000mg $10.99
$5/1 cpn 01-03 R1
$2/1 cpn

Bic Soleil, C3 Advanced or Bella 4-blade Disposable Razors $4.44
B1G1 cpn 01-10 S

Halls Refresh Drops 30ct Sel Varieties 93¢
$1/2 cpn 01-10 S
50/1 cpn

Ziploc Bags Asstd Varieties 2/$4
$1/2 cpn 01-10 S
$1/2 cpn 12-06 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

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meijer 10 for $10 Get 11th Item Free Sale 1/10-1/16

This week at Meijer is another 10 for $10 Sale...Get 11th Item FREE! Mix or Match Sale!!! I have done up a complete list of every item that is a part of the sale along with the coupons that I could find to go along with the items! Please let me know if I missed a coupon for an item and I will update the list!  My store in West Michigan does not double coupons.

There are several items that you can get for FREE after coupons along with other items being 1/2 off sale prices!!

Angel Soft Bath Tissue 4 rolls

Aunt Mids Baby Flat or Curly leaf spinach 10oz bag

Baby Cut Carrots 1.2lb bag

Banquet Meals 5-10.25oz Assted varieties

Bar S Jumbo Meat Franks, chicken Franks or Bologna 16oz
$1/2 cpn

Bar S Sausage Links Smoked or Polish 8oz pkg
$1/2 cpn

Betty Crocker Cake Mix Select Varieties

Betty Crocker Frosting Select Varieties
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn
50/1 cpn

Betty Crocker Warm Delights 2.9-3.6 oz
**I have several coupons like 75/2 or 50/2 from previous packages of Warm Delights.
50/1 cpn
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn
50/1 cpn

Combos Snack Mix 6.3-7oz

Del Monte All Natural Fruit Cups 8oz All Varieties
$1/3 cpn (registration required)
$1/3 cpn

Dole Premium Salads 8-12oz pkgs (Just Lettuce 11oz, Greener Selection 12oz, Classic Romaine 9 oz)
$1/1 Mealbox cpn ***FREE with coupon!!!***

Extra Large Avacados or Mangos each

Gerber 2nd Foods 2pk/3.5oz

Glaceau Vitamin 20 oz or Smart Water 1 liter

Greenhouse Cucumbers

Homegrown Yellow Onions 3lb bag

Hunts Ketchup 24 oz

Ice Cream Cups: 3.6-6oz-Haagen Dazs, Edy's, Ittibitz, Ben & Jerrys or Starbucks Select Varieties

Idaho Russet Potatoes 5lb bag

Jeno's Crispy N Tasty Pizza 6.8-7.2oz

King Size or Theatre Box Candy All Varieties

Lance Crackers 10-11oz Sel Varieties
$1/1 cpn ***FREE with coupon!***

Light N Fluffy Noodles 12 oz

Meijer Crescent Rolls 8oz or Big & Flaky 11.25oz tubes

Meijer Essential Paper Towels 1 big roll

Meijer Kettle & Butter Microwave Popcorn 3ct

Meijer Pretzels 15oz

Meijer Select Soup Crackers 12oz bag

Michelinas Authenitico, Lean Gourmet or Budget Gourmet Entrees
$1/5 cpn

Pepsi Products 2 liter All Varieties

Puffs Facial Tissue cube 60 ct Ultra or Plus Lotion

Soft N Good White Bread 22oz loaf

Sunny Delight 64oz container All Varieties

Brooks Chili Beans 30.5oz can Select Varieties
55/2 cpn 10-04 S

Totinos 15ct Pizza Rolls
$1/5 cpn 11-15 GM

Knorr Rice or Pasta Sides 4.5-7oz pkg Select Varieties
40/2 cpn 11-15 RP

Ronzoni Pasta 12-14.5oz
75/1 cpn 12-06 S ***25¢ each with coupon***
$1/2 cpn ***50¢ each with coupon***

Green Giant Boxed Vegetables 7-10oz Select Varieties
60/3 cpn 01-03 GM ***80¢ each with coupon***
60/3 cpn 12-13 GM ***80¢ each with coupon***
50/2 cpn ***75¢ each with coupon***
50/2 cpn***75¢ each with coupon***
$1/3 cpn ***67¢ each with coupon***
$1/3 cpn***67¢ each with coupon***

Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits 12-16.3oz All Varieties
30/2 cpn 01-03 GM
30/2 cpn 12-13 GM
30/2 cpn 11-15 GM
30/2 cpn
40/3 cpn 12-06 S
40/3 cpn 11-08 S
$1/2 cpn
$1/2 cpn

Betty Crocker Helpers 5.5-8.4oz Select Varieties
75/3 cpn 01-03 S1
$1/3 cpn
$1/3 cpn
$1/3 cpn

Quaker Rice Cakes 3-3.5oz pkg
75/1 cpn 01-10 RP ***25¢ each with coupon***

****Look for another post with the rest of this week's Meijer deals later this evening or tomorrow morning!!!  There is ALOT to post!!

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