Monday, April 10, 2017

Dinner Menu, Grocery Deals

Hello, Dearies!  I did not manage to complete a 'Frugals' post for this past week.  I don't think the week was especially busy - in fact, I had a snow day - I just wasn't terribly organized.  We did frugal things...and perhaps I'll include some of them in next week's post.

There were a few good grocery deals this week.  We are trying not to stock up on things quite so much right now, because we keep our food storage in our basement, and we need to clear the basement to do the finish work down there.  Still, we're buying produce and other fresh items, along with smaller amounts of the sale items.  This week we got zucchini for .98/lb, cucumbers 2/$1, romaine for .99/head, strawberries for 1.25/lb, bananas for .33/lb and grapes for .98/lb.  2lb. bags of tater tots were 1.25, so we bought some of those as well.  We still have apples from last week, along with cabbage, celery, carrots, onions, red bell peppers, potatoes, and a couple of mini tangerines.  Husband used a free item coupon (Monopoly game at Safeway) to get hot dog buns for this week, and I picked up a package of tostada shells (flats?) for $1.  We'll round out the rest of our meals with some canned goods and meats from the freezer.  Here is the dinner plan for the coming week:

M - chili & rice, sliced apples
T -  grilled bbq chicken pieces, grilled zucchini & peppers, sweet corn
W - tostadas, bean-corn-tomato salad, shredded lettuce & chopped tomato (meatless meal)
R - teriyaki beef, rice, cucumber kimchee, broccoli, macaroni salad
F - hot dogs, tater tots, carrot & raisin salad
S - vegetarian sesame noodles w/carrots, onions, cabbage, peppers, broccoli, all in a peanut sauce (meatless meal)
S - lamb chops, potatoes au gratin, salad, carrot cake

Monday, April 3, 2017

Grocery Highlights and This Week's Menu

The past two weeks have been spring break weeks, and we've stayed busy.  I think we're all looking forward to getting back to a more typical routine, though it was fun to take a day trip, visit the library, and more.

On our way to the library this past Wednesday, we picked up quite a few money-makers, including gummy vitamins, Kashi bars, Trident and Orbit gum, a V-8 energy drink and some Brookside chocolates.

Boneless chicken thighs and breasts were 1.49/lb this week, 2lb. blocks of cheese were 4.99, and ice cream was only 88 cents for 1.5 qt.  To top it off, there was a $2 off coupon if you spent $20, which we did.  There were more deals on yogurt and Belvita breakfast bakes (.50/box) as well.

For produce, celery was .98/bunch, lettuce was .80/head, red bell peppers were 50 cents, opal apples were .98/lb and strawberries were 1.50.  Combined with some remainders from previous sales, like cantaloupe, carrots, cabbage and tangerines, we picked up some fresh tomatoes and we are all set for this week.  Here is our dinner plan:

M - BLT sandwiches, bean w/bacon soup, sliced apples.

T - cheese enchiladas, Mexican rice, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cutie oranges (meatless meal)

W - Pizza Hut pizza (The one I keep saying we're going to get that is a free credit for a mistake.  I think this is the week!)  carrots and celery, sliced apples

R - marinated, grilled chicken thighs, rice, kimchee, macaroni salad, vinaigrette slaw, cutie oranges.

F - spaghetti marinara, salad, garlic bread, sliced apples (meatless meal)

S - seared salmon with compound butter, steamed rice, green beans

S - Seville chicken/sausage bake with roasted peppers and potatoes, all cooked on a sheet pan!

What do you have planned at your place for this week?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Weekly Frugals!

I used an online code to get a free 8x10 print at Walgreens - one of Daughter and Husband from our trip to the Sand Dunes last week.

I did a little mending - sewed some buttons onto a favorite jacket and mended the sleeve on a hoodie.

We make cupcakes, and Daughter decorated them with sprinkles from the pantry.  Cute!

When we cleaned out the staff kitchen at work, there were enough sprinkles,
left from various programs, for everyone to take a few home.

At my workplace, we have health and fitness challenges each quarter.  I set a very simple goal to change a habit (get to bed earlier in order to get more sleep), achieved my goal over the 2 month period of the challenge, and was rewarded with a $10 gift card to Trader Joe's.  I also want to say that 2 months to form a new habit seems to be a much better idea than the old 21 day least, for me.  There is no new challenge right now, but I've challenged myself to make sure I drink at least 64 oz. water each day, and I'm doing well with that one.

We made some good progress on the plans for finishing the basement.  There is a lot to decide in the drawing stage (we don't like last-minute changes - not at all), and we are getting more figured out as we go.  I think the space I'm most excited about is the room we will use for our pantry.  We have always stored foodstuffs in the basement, but this space will be a little more acessible and give us, hopefully, a place for everything.  It will be great to have organized storage for foodstuffs, canning supplies and more.

The plant starts are pretty far along...and it's snowing here pretty regularly.  I may need to re-pot soon!

We've started tomatoes, four-o-clocks, Malabar spinach, marigolds, zinnias and herbs!

I repaired a coaster and a child's toy (my child's toy...hee hee).

We spent some time in the library's Maker Space, learning how to use the 3-d printers.  We also borrowed books and media from the library.

Husband combined sales, coupons and rebates to make the most of our grocery budget.  He also hung laundry out to dry on the clothesline, and kept our house warm with a cozy fire in the wood stove.

We fed scraps, vegetable peels, etc. to our chickens and dogs, as supplements/treats to their regular food.

What did you do this week to spend less, save more and make do?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Grocery Finds and Dinner Menu

Hello, Dearies!

Husband had a really good grocery week.  There were some good sales, some good coupons, and between Ibotta and Checkout 51, he's getting a lot of rebates as well.  This past week, he made money (with sales, coupons, and rebates) on Truvia Nectar, Command Strips, Whole Earth Sweetener, Vitamin Gummies, TicTacs, and V-8 Energy drinks.  The overages on those items help us cover the cost of other groceries.

Free downloads and Ibotta freebies got us some salsa, quite a bit of yogurt, Teddy Grahams Soft Bakes and some Cafe' Creamers.  We also had free donuts (won through the Monopoly game) at Safeway.

Cantaloupes were .98 each, so we purchased one.  We got some onions (.50/lb) and stocked up on a couple of types of crackers - Wheat Thins, Ritz Chips and Good Thins for as little as 25 cents a box.  For less than a quarter each, he picked up 160ct. boxes of Kleenex using store sale, coupons and rebates.  We picked up Kashi bars, Quaker Breakfast Bakes and oats the same way, for about 50 cents a box/package too.  An Ibotta for Hillshire Farms lunch meat got us ham and turkey for $2.75/lb.  We put some of that in the freezer - it's better than average quality, too!  With a sale and coupon, we were able to get 4lb. bags of C&H cane sugar for 49 cents each.  I should be in good shape for jam season.  We also bought Opal apples for .98/lb, Cutie tangerines for 3.88/5lb., lettuce for .80/head, 2lb. bags of carrots for $1 each, and another head of cabbage for .25/lb.  Finally, we got 16 oz. jars of store brand peanut butter for .50/ea.

So...we are well stocked on most everything I can think of.  The fruit and vegetable bins are full, we have plenty of meat, bread, grains, cereals, soups, cheese, peanut butter...the only thing steering our menu is making sure we don't waste any fresh produce. is this week's dinner plan:

M - tuna salad sandwiches (tuna salad on green salad for me), cucumber kimchee, ritz chips, pickles, oranges

T - macaroni & cheese, seasoned butter beans, green beans, apples

W - chicken & cranberry salad w/lemon poppy seed dressing , oranges

R - marinated, grilled pork chops, slaw, sweet corn, cantaloupe

F - minestrone soup, cheese & crackers, apples

S - meat loaf, seasoned new potatoes, garden salad, peach cobbler

S - chicken (nugget - hee hee!) parmesan, spaghetti w/marinara, green beans, peach cobbler

That's the plan from our place - what's for supper at your home this week?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

This Week's Frugals!

I listed and sold a few more things from the basement, and I started on the measured drawings of the intended basement finish.  Our regional building department allows for homeowner-drawn plans, which saves me a lot over hiring someone to do it (and trying to explain what we want and how we want it).  The lines are not as faint as they appear here, and it is still a work in progress.

I gave Husband a haircut.

I gave Daughter a haircut.

I stocked my desk at work with some of the things Husband has gotten free or low-cost recently.  Now I have some Shout Wipes, Vitamin C gummies, Trident Gum and TicTacs, should I (or a co-worker) need any of those things at work.

We went for a day trip to the Sand Dunes National Monument.

From the dunes:

Early butterflies were flitting about!

The dunes are just beautiful....

...even from the hiking trails.

The creek is just beginning to flow.  The water is all snowmelt, and very cold!

While we were at the sand dunes, we rented a sand sled and had a lot of fun.  I didn't have the camera along for that part, to protect the camera.  Daughter fell off the sand sled and found 56 cents on the side of a dune!

Two days after the above photos were taken, we had a blizzard, resulting in a snow day at home.  The weather here is not terribly predictable!

We enjoyed the day of hiking and play, and also stopped off at some land we own in the vicinity.  We took photos in preparation for listing the land to sell.  If you're in need of 5 acres of beautiful solitude, let me know!  We can help you out.

Our land down south:

We have Pinon Pine and Sagebrush...

...expansive views...

...a beautiful view of Mt. Blanca...

...and some nice secluded areas.

Pinon pine is the one that gives us pine nuts!

There are some yucca here and there...

...and the Sagebrush smells fantastic!

Many of the seeds I re-planted have sprouted.  I have a couple of things that just don't seem to be doing well, so I borrowed fresher seed from the seed library that is housed inside our community library.

We borrowed books and media from the library as well.  I had started a book series that several co-workers recommended to me.  I liked the first book, but really disliked the second one.  I'm glad I waited and got them at the library, rather than purchasing them.

Kohls sent me a post card for $10 off any purchase of $10 or more.  I got a set of portion containers for meals, completely free.  I've had my eye on something like this (but more expensive) for a while, and I'm giving them a try this week.  If you think that these are pretty much just measuring cups, you're be right, but the containers do come in handy for putting meals together, and they have lids.  While I'm not following this strictly at this time, it's helping me see where I need more of some components, less of others.

I did a little mixing and matching in my closet this week.  See...every Sunday, I put together my work outfits for the week.  It saves me a lot of time and stress.  I want to maximize what I have and use things in different combinations, so I've been looking at new ways to assemble various separates.  I 'discovered' a couple of new outfits this week that I really like, and didn't spend a penny.

I made some lovely chicken stock from the frame of a chicken we ate (well, we ate some, and froze some for nest week's meal plan).

How was your week?  What did you do to spend less, save more and make do?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dinner Menu and Grocery Deals!

There were some really good deals this week on Whole Earth sweetener, Trident gum, Equal Cafe'creamer, Truvia Nectar, Hillshire Farm Deli Meat, Quaker Breakfast Squares and Breakfast Flats, Real Medleys Oatmeal, Ritz Thins, Crunch Master Crackers and Stainmaster carpet cleaner.  Husband has had a few moneymakers this week, including Nutella, Tic Tacs, V-8 energy drinks, Teddy Grahams, and some gummy vitamins.  With St. Patrick's Day, he was able to get cabbage for .25/lb, red skinned potatoes for .45/lb and corned beef for $1.55/lb.  Cuties were $3.88 for 5lb, lettuce was .80/head and canned soups were .50/can after sales and coupons.  

This week is week 1 of Spring Break for us - I'm taking a day off mid-week and we have a little outing planned, complete with dinner out.  Here is our supper menu for the week:

M:  egg roll in a bowl, apples
T:  rotisserie chicken, green beans, sweet corn, oranges
W:  dinner out
R:  vegetable soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, apples
F:  tacos, side salad, oranges
S:  black bean burgers, fries, apples
S:  grilled steak w/grilled peppers and onions, roasted potatoes, oranges

What's cookin' at your place this week?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekly Frugal

We borrowed books and media from the library, and I downloaded 5 free songs through Freegal - a service our library offers to its patrons.  I'm reading a novel, Husband and I are watching a tv series, and Daughter is reading all sorts of things.

We did a fair amount of scratch cooking this week - Husband made & prepped all the components for taco salad, as well as a pot of chili.  We also made barbecue chicken pizza.  It was a yummy week!  I made Irish Soda Bread (I can't believe I didn't take a photo!), and took some of it to work for our staff meeting.  I also made some pumpkin soup from a pumpkin that was given to me, home-canned chicken stock, honey that was given to me for harvesting for a gentleman who couldn't harvest his hives that season, a few herbs from my kitchen and some heavy cream I bought on markdown.  The soup was alright, but I'm still looking for a favorite recipe - please let me know if you have one.

I collected my final prize from the library's adult reading program - a coffee mug.  It's a nice one!

The weather was nice enough to hang laundry out on the clothes lines.

We went to the bread outlet and picked up three loaves of wheat bread and two packages of bagels for $5.75.

We supplemented dog food and chicken feed with scraps from our kitchen.

In preparation for finishing the basement, we are going through our stuff.  I listed groupings of childrens books - a lot of dinosaur books, a set of picturepedias, a lot of books on manners and morals, etc...and sold all but four books!  I plan to do some listings like this each week for a while, just to pare down the items we'll be storing in our garage.

The goal is that everything we're saving from the basement (which includes a couch, a large work table we use for sewing, crafts and other projects, books and bookshelves, canning supplies, etc.) will fit in our garage while we are doing the finish work.  We would rather store in the garage than rent a 'pod' or other space for storage.  This will save us some money, and I think it will keep us on track too, because it will be really annoying to have the garage taken up with these things, hee hee.

We signed up for some freebies that Safeway offered us on the loyalty card.  We've been picking some of our free items from the Monopoly game here and there - this week we got facial tissues and hummus.  He also combined sales and a discount to get some corned beef for $1.55/lb.  We were limited to two packages, both of which are in the freezer.  At that price, we would have liked to purchase more, but we're happy for what we were able to get!

We washed the dogs.  They were not enthused, but they got clean, and we did a bit of grooming as well.

Aw.  Poor girl...

I went for walks on my lunch break a couple times this week and listened to music on my phone.

I found a water bottle that I really love.  It was on clearance, which helped a bit with the cost.  I've been drinking more water ever since I started using it.