Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan 10/28-11/3

I told you yesterday about my produce basket I ordered last week and picked up on Saturday from Bountiful Baskets.



I am trying to incorporate all of this stuff into my menu for the week while still using up some freezer meals  (I think I will resume cooking next week while my mom is visiting).


Here is what I have for the week:

Sunday:   We planned to eat at a local church's fall festival, but the food was overpriced so we grabbed Wendy's on the way home.

Monday:  Burgers from the freezer with yellow squash/zucchini "fries"

Tuesday:  We plan on catching a cheap movie this night (Brave is playing at the discount theater) and maybe hitting Denny's afterwards (kids eat free!)

Wednesday:  Lasagna from the freezer with roasted Brussels sprouts

Thursday:  Lasagna again with salad  (using up the lettuce, some broccoli and cucumbers, plus some tomato and carrots i still had on hand)

Friday:  Pulling some soup out the freezer.

Saturday:  Chicken Taco Quiche with garlic parmesan roasted cauliflower  (another pinterest inspiration.)


I know that this plan doesn't seem to use up everything, but after packing lunches and having some healthy snacks during the week, I think it should just about all get used up.  If not, I can always just chop and freeze!

I will also be picking up another basket of produce on Saturday morning, and my mom is coming on Sunday, and she is not a big fan of veggies, so next week will be interesting!  I'm excited to see what we get!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm Still Here!

I know that its been a little bit quiet around here lately....more like dead silence.  I know I have a few faithful followers and relatives who might be wondering what is going on.  I just wanted to reassure you that I'm ok! ;)

I have begun tutoring again in order to try and prevent my husband from having to continue working a second job.   It is going well, and I had completely forgotten how much I enjoy helping students understand the things that they are struggling with.

Right now, it's still very part time.   I have found a handful of students that I am meeting with weekly, and I'm also in the process of getting set back up to work with an online tutoring company that I worked with a few years back before my second daughter was born.

All that being said, I haven't had a whole lot of extra time for blogging lately, and as I spend more of my online time tutoring, I likely will have even less time in the coming weeks.

I do not foresee myself completely putting a halt to my blogging because it is something that I enjoy and have spent the last 2+ years doing, but my posts will be much more sporadic.

I will continue to share my shopping trips with you, although I must admit that I have been doing a lot less couponing lately.  This is honestly due to more of a change in cooking style than to time constraints.   I have been cutting back on much of the processed foods in our diet and buying ingredients and cooking from scratch.  The main reason for this has been that I have seen a HUGE difference in the hyperactivity levels of my children because of it!  I have been scouring Pinterest for "Make Your Own" versions of many things that we used to buy, and we have been very pleased with the outcomes as well as the savings in most cases.

I also recently (just yesterday in fact), began purchasing a produce basket from Bountiful Baskets.   A friend of mine was posting about this on facebook and I had never heard of it, so I decided to check it out.  For $15 (plus $1.50 processing fee each week and a $3 one time fee for new customers), and a short drive out to the pick up site on a brisk Saturday morning, I came home with all of this:


That is brussel sprouts in the brown bag, butter lettuce, cauliflower, lots of broccoli, yellow squash, onions, cucumbers, blackberries, pears, pomegranates, and bananas.  They were all so fresh and beautiful, too!

I'm very, very new to this, so I am trying to see if I think it is a savings over grocery store prices.   My husband and I were chatting about it, and he thought that the savings wasn't all that great, but I told him that I *may* be able to get this stuff for around $15, but I would have to visit multiple stores so that would take time and gas.  Plus, I kinda of like the challenge to plan my menus around all this great produce, and never knowing exactly what you will end up with each week.   Its kind of funny the sort of things that excite you when you've been a SAHM for this long!  LOL

Anyway, we agreed to give it at least a 1 month trial run and see how it goes, so I am currently trying to construct a menu plan around this stuff.   With me being a freezer cook-er, I'm not quite sure how this will all play out yet because I still have a lot of pre-cooked meals in my freezer (and I haven't cooked in about 3 weeks!) but, we are all getting a little bit bored of the same meals that I normally cook and freeze, so I think this will be something we all enjoy.   I was pleased to see how excited my girls were when we were picking the stuff up.  I nearly had to fight them off the blackberries!  LOL

I intend to try to share as much of this new journey of mine with you as time permits.  I've also made my very first over Halloween costume, so I will post about that soon, and I planted a fall garden for the first time this year, and it seems to be doing better than any of my spring/summer garden's ever have, so I will be sharing about that soon as well.  Nothing is producing veggies yet, but the green stuff looks promising!

I am going to stop posting all of the grocery deals each week, but I will share some sale prices in my menu posts, which I am going to try to have up on Sunday's with a list prepared so that I can shop on Mondays.   If I'm going to be doing tutoring work in the evenings and on weekends, I am really going to have to be more intentional about the use of my time during the day and that is going to require more planning and organization than I am accustomed to, and I think that might be the most difficult thing that I am up against during this time of transition in my life.

I would appreciate all of your prayers and well wishes for a steady stream of tutoring work to help keep up with the bills, and also for a little self confidence too, because even though I've taught these subjects in the past, Dora has been leaching my brain cells for the past 4 years.   It's all coming back to me quickly, thank goodness, but I know I've still got some studying up to do!


One more thing before I wrap this up....facebook.....*glare*.   I have a love/hate relationship with facebook right now.   For personal use, I love it since I'm isolated from all of my family up here in the Dallas area, but it has become a real pain in the blogging world.   Seriously.....I have over 7200 fans, and my posts are getting seen by about 125 of you, on average.   I find this to be ridiculous, and as I no longer will have the time to put into building up the types of interactions which would make that number increase, I would ask that if you are interested in following me on my new produce-filled journey, would you please subscribe to Saving Myself Silly by Email.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Milano Cookie Coupon

All I can say is YUM!  ;)


$0.55 off 1 package Pepperidge Farm Milano Melts

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan 10/14-10/20

As I told you last week, I inventoried my freezer and made my menu plan for the rest of the month from that.  

We did fairly well as sticking to it last week, except for one night when my girls and I were at a playdate, and I couldn't get in touch with dad to get him to thaw the tilapia.  Then, the girls were saying they wanted pancakes, so that is what we did last Friday, and saved the fish for Saturday.

I've moved the soup we didn't eat to this Friday when I will not be home.

I love having everything ready in the freezer because it makes it so easy to rearrange as needed.  I will be going on a retreat with my church ladies this weekend, so the two nights that I will be gone, I have made sure to schedule menu items that should be no trouble at all for my husband to toss together.   Not that he isn't an excellent cook..just usually when he is cooking, I'm around to wrangle the children.  Doing both alone can be difficult!  ;)


So here is my plan  (I've actually already changed it due to unforeseen--though I should have expected---leftovers!)


Sunday--Lasagna
Monday--Lasagna again
Tuesday--Ham & Potato Soup
Wednesday:  Chicken & Broccoli  (in the freezer, just need to make fresh rice or pasta)
Thursday:  Gumbo
Friday:  Chicken Soup
Saturday:  Meatballs & Mashed Potatoes

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Join Kellogg's Family Rewards

If you use any Kellogg's products, you will probably be interested in this.   It's always good to get rewarded for things you are already doing!

It's easy and free to Sign up for Kellogg's Family Rewards™. Then you can enter codes, collect points, and earn awesome rewards and family fun! You'll also receive the latest and greatest benefits from Kellogg, like exclusive savings, great-tasting recipes, and special offers and promotions. 



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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Toy Coupons!

Here are a few coupons for toys and games.  If these are on your kids' wish list, then make sure you grab them now.   I've found travel sized versions of some of these for cheap or even FREE using some of these in the past, and I've used them for donations.  If looks like this year's are not quite as high value, as you actually have to buy two of them in most cases, but they could still be great deals paired with the right holiday sale!


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Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan 10/7-10/13

On Saturday, I shared with you all about my adventures with ground beef.  I also said that I planned on using what was in my freezer to make a menu plan for the rest of the month, and I did just that!  In fact, when I inventoried my freezer, I found 47 prepared meals, or at least pre-cooked portions of meat.  I told you I'd been busy!

I'm only going to share one week of that menu with you at a time.  You might also notice that my menu is now starting with Sunday instead of Monday.   That is because I recently purchased and downloaded this weekly household planner from The Confident Mom, and it begins the week with Sunday.  (She has reduced the price to just $3 for the remainder of the year...you can get the pages for October, November, and December for just $1/month and see if it works for you!  If I like it, I will definitely be purchasing the full year in January.  It will certainly be well worth it, and I'm liking it so far!)

Ok, back to the menu!


Sunday--Last night we had leftover spaghetti from our abundance on Saturday
Monday--Soft Tacos
Tuesday--Provencal Pork  (<--- that was the very first freezer recipe I ever posted, way back in April 2010!  *sniff*
Wednesday--Chicken Taco Quiche
Thursday--Pork Chops
Friday--Tilapia
Saturday--Chicken Soup


Since I have all my dinners planned out, this week I'm going to inventory my inside freezer and see what breakfast and lunch items I have premade, and also deal with some pumpkin.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

FREE Kindle Book: Life After Debt

I just came across this free Kindle download I thought some of you may be interested in.   The price is currently free, but Amazon's prices change without warning, so be sure it still says $0.00 before you get it.






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Saturday, October 6, 2012

So Much Spaghetti Sauce...And Some Tacos

On Thursday, I went to El Rancho because they had some great deals on meat that I wanted to take advantage of.  Sometimes getting paid once a month can be tough, but one upside is that you have all of your grocery money for the month already when the month begins.  Knowing this, and seeing the prices this week, I decided to stock up on meat for the whole month (perhaps longer!).

I bought chicken breasts, country style pork ribs, sausage, and tilapia.  All of those went straight into the freezer.  I also bought 10lbs for ground beef.   I kept that thawed, and this afternoon, I cooked it.  ALL of it.  At once.  In a *really* big pot.

Once cooked, I separated it into two pots, and one portion I added some of my homemade taco seasoning (thanks Pinterest!).  That made enough for 4 packs of pre-cooked and seasoned taco meat to go into the freezer.

The rest went back into the really big pot, and was turned into a huge pot of spaghetti sauce  (just added a few jars of spaghetti sauce--I had 4 and I probably needed 2 more so I improvised with some sauce/paste and seasoning).

We ate some of the sauce tonight...over bows.  My daughter thought the bows made better accessories...



While we ate, I boiled some lasagna noodles, and when we were done, I assembled three big pans of lasagna  (one pack of lasagna noodles perfectly made 3 pans with 3 layers of noodles each).  We had some bows left over, so I set some sauce aside to go with them for leftovers tomorrow, and had enough for one more big bag of sauce for the freezer.


The lasagnas should each feed us two meals, and I'm thinking the sauce might as well, so in less than 4 hours time, including a dinner break, I turned $18 worth of meat (it was on sale for $1.79/lb.) into 10-14 meals.  Including the cost of cheese and sauces, the cost averaged out to about $2.50 per meal (before any sides), or roughly $0.63 per person, since there are 4 of us.  We couldn't even eat that cheap at Taco Bell, and don't even get me started on restaurant lasagna prices!  *shakes head*

With all of this in my freezer, and all the other stuff that was already in my freezer  (I've been doing an awful lot of cooking lately, just haven't had an awful lot of time to blog about it), my goal for tomorrow is to come up with a menu plan that will get us through the entire rest of the month using what I have on hand in the freezer.  I've been struggling to menu plan lately, mostly because my freezer was bare and I've been trying to decide what to cook!  But now my freezer is full, so I should have no trouble at all!


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Thursday, October 4, 2012

El Rio Grande Deals 10/3-10/9

Here are the best prices I see advertised at El Rio Grande this week:


Meat:

Pork Stew Meat   $1.29/lb

Chicken Breast  $1.29/lb

Tilapia fillets   $2.49/lb


Produce:

White Onions   4lbs. for $1

Small Avocados  5 for $1

Tangerines 5 for $1

Cucumbers   3 for $1

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

El Rancho Deals 10/3-10/9

Wow!  El Rancho has some really great prices this week!  I'm excited to go shopping there, and when I go, i will simply HAVE to pick up some of their fresh made tortillas!

Here are the best prices I see advertised:


Meat:

Chicken Breast  $1.29/lb

Country Style Pork Ribs   $0.98/lb

Ground Beef  $1.79/lb

Eckrich Smoked Sausage 42oz  $4.49

Tilapia Fillets   $1.98/lb   (great price!!!)  Love these!  


Produce:

Large Avocados  $0.59 each

White Potatoes  3lbs for $0.88

Roma Tomatoes  3lbs.  for $0.99

Limes  15 for $0.98

Corn  3 for $1

Plums  $0.69/lb

Watermelon   3lbs. for $0.89


Other:

Imperial Sugar 4lb.  $1.88  (Limit 2 with $10 purchase)

Armour Lunchmakers  $0.88

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Aldi Deals 10/3-10/9

Here are the best prices I see advertised at Aldi this week:


Meat:

Kirkwood Chicken Thighs  $1.19/lb

Pilgrims Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts  $1.69/lb


Produce:

Large Pumpkins  $2.99

Bananas  $0.39/lb

Red Grapes  $0.89/lb  (sold in 2lb. packs for $1.78)

Apples  $1.89 per 3lb bag (that's $0.63/lb) --Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden & Red Delicious

Pears  $0.99 per 2lb. bag  (or $0.50/lb)


I am soooooo excited to see apples and pears back in season!  Yay!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

New Month, New Coupons!

Here is a list of all the new coupons that appeared today.  Of course there are still a few others hanging around so when you click over there, be sure to scroll through and make sure you have everything you need!

Food

Babies & Kids
Household
Personal Care
Entertainment
Automotive

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