Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Got it turned in...finally!

The last page of our Wycliffe application is finally done and turned in! We are finally on to the next stage of application...background checks, Bible assessment, phone interviews, etc. Yahoo! They still will need several weeks to review our application and make sure everything is kosher, but it is so nice to be heading...somewhere. For awhile we thought God must be leading eleswhere, but it seems that this door is still open for now.

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Daniel and Rachael in Red
Eating a lemon...

~Have a wonderful day of thankfulness friends, and I will be back on Black Friday with (hopefully) some great deals and a new camera!~

Almost Free Pizza and Homemade Tortilla Issues

We were able to get the (almost) free pizza from Papa John's after all! Daniel will be picking it up after work and it cost $3.24 for the two toppings and tax, but I think that's still a great deal!

I made homemade tortillas again yesterday and while they tasted fine, they were SO hard to roll out and really dry after letting them rest for an hour like the recipe said. Not sure what I did wrong! I've used other recipes before, but haven't found one that is awesome. Instead of enchiladas for our guest (daniel's hungry guy friend from work) like I planned (which was not on our menu plan because our guest wasn't planned then either:) I made an enchilada casserole. If you've never tried enchiladas or tacos layered instead of baked the regular way, try it! I add more "creamy" ingredients than the regular recipe calls for, but can disguise ugly misshapen tortillas and such! I layered:

Mashed Beans (cooked and frozen previously)

Turkey, Beans (different variety), Onions and Cheddar

Enchilada sauce

Sour Cream


More cheese on top

And baked for 30 minutes on 350 degrees. You really can do this with a huge variety of ingredients. So easy and so very good! I have also used salsa mixed with cream soup or white sauce for the "creamy" or wet part of the layers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not so cuddly now, mom!

Not so much in the mood for picture taking...nope. Oh well:)

Pregnancy update (briefly): tomorrow is 15 weeks! We are hoping to find out baby's gender at the end of December or early January. Minus being tired all the time (and getting less sleep because of M's new 5am wake up!) I feel really good. Just trying to keep the weight gain to a minimum, which is no easy feat over the holiday season:) Speaking of weight gain, since I was a few pounds from my pre-preg. weight when we found out we were expecting I though I would calculate my weight gain from my previous pre-baby weight. Which means I've "gained" 10 pounds already...yikes! So, trying, trying to keep away from sweets/empty calories as much as possible. We decided to wait on looking for a baby name until we find out boy or girl.

Another picture of mom and the would-be escapee.

Coupon Funded Feast with Friends

Since I found a kindred frugal spirit earlier this year, we've traded coupon hints, refined our frugal skills, and have learned to be more creative in the kitchen. I think the biggest thing shopping with coupons rather than just buying in bulk, the sales, or off-brands (all of which I have tried in the past) has taught me is to be creative and use what you have. Rather than running out to get the ingredients I forgot or used up I have been trying more and more to improvise.

Well, in the spirit of creating a menu/meal using what we had, my frugal friend Marie and her family came over on Sunday and we shared a coupon-funded meal! I seriously considered running to the store after having a mental block on what to prepare. My friend's husband isn't a big fan of cheese and I realized most of the meals I like to prepare, especially for company contain cheese! Finally I settle on a dish that could be made both ways, with and without cheese and used ingredients from our good deal stash! At my request, Marie brought only food she got for free or super cheap from couponing:)

The results was a simple, but good meal of : italian pasta bake, homemade biscuits, broccoli (free with coupons!), fruit salad, cookies and candy we'd gotten with sales/coupons/register rewards from Walgreen's. We agreed to do it again, but with an even lower budget! I guess you have to be a certain kind of crazy to think this is fun, but that's us:)

So our "theme" was almost-free food and I guess that's a kitchen tip in itself...dont' be afraid to do something a little out-of-the-ordinary when having people over! Its better to spend time with people than to stress about things being perfect, right?

Here is M, fixing HER guests food, while talking on the phone, of course!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan for the short week of Nov. 24th, 2008

A few weeks ago I made this dish from Orgjunkie's favorite meals, and it was delicious! Its makeover greek spaghetti and is a delicious way to get lots of veggies in while still enjoying a creamy casserole-like dish. Warning: lots of chopping necessary! I was not prepared for the time output it chopping 5 or so different veggies, so dinner was late when I made this! This would be a great way to use up some of that leftover turkey next week.

Breakfasts: Leftover sourdough muffins (turned out a little dry, so we are taking a long time to use up!), french toast with homemade whole wheat bread, yogurt, cold cereal

Lunches: leftovers and fruit


Monday: Turkey, mashed sweet potatoes (pre-made from an Albertson's sale), fresh cranberries (but cooked of course!) and green beans (why turkey 3 days before thanksgiving...well my freezer is so full of free green giant veggies that I knew I couldn't fit the super cheap turkey in it! So we decided to eat it anyway, since we love turkey. We'll eat more at my parent's house on Thursday!:)

Tuesday: Salsa (Turkey) and Black Bean Soup-in the crockpot...this looks SO good!

Wednesday: Cowboy Beans & Rice or most likely homemade pizza
The rest of the week will be at my parents' house, eating lots of turkey and such! I will be bringing refridgerator rolls, a green vegetable and a dessert.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Making Cheaper Choices: the Pizza Example

Living a "frugal" lifestyle involves lots of choices. Sometimes it seems like living on a tight budget takes away all your choices, but that's not really the case. Its often all about perspective and an attitude of creativity, which one has to cultivate. I didn't always have this attitude...and can fall out of it easily.

One example of this recently came up. I was excited about getting a free pizza from Papa John's through Facebook, but come to find out you had to buy an overpriced pizza before getting the free one. I was disappointed and was close to just doing it anyway. It didn't seem like a big deal, especially since we could afford it. It didn't take long to realize that with a little creativity (and being flexible with our "friday" night pizza tradition, we could have just as much pizza, that tasted good (different, but very good) with less hassle for just $3 or so dollars. I even let my usual wheat flour only rule slide for the night and used half white. Daniel and I decided it was the best pizza I'd made so far! Anyway, I was far happier afterwards than I think I would have been if we'd just gone ahead and ordered the not-really-free pizza afterall:)

Here is the crust recipe I use, and if you're wondering, the toppings we used this time were pre-made pasta sauce, turkey pepperoni (a treat from the QFC sale!) and fresh pineapple. Oh and a combo of mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese. Very tasty!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My final pictures of last week's haul

All in all, the Albertson's promo from a week or so ago was the best grocery deal I've gotten in awhile. Pictured below are 3 transactions from Albertson's, a Walgreen's run, a trip to QFC (a Kroger affiliate) and a cute baby (toddler?:). All total, I spent right at $30 out of pocket and received a $15 gift card from Albertson's which I have since spent on fresh stuff and put towards a cheap turkey:) Oh and to be fair, the Walgreen's total was $0 only because I used a giftcard from previous Free After Rebates (FAR). M is holding some of the lovely Almay makeup I got for free (plus earning $2!) from WAGS. Isn't it fun to bargain shop?!

Can't keep the deals neat for long with my girlie around:)

M is taste inspecting my spices in this picture (above). My favorite deals? Probably the green giant veggies, the free french bread from albies, the free 7 up from QFC. Everything from Walgreen's was free (fruit, dishsoap, spices, make-up, so I can't complain about that either!).

Safeway NW Deals for the week (and a 1/2!) of November 19th-27th, 2008

Good Deals (no coupon needed)

Turkey: Safeway or Manor House 10-15lb $0.39/lb or 17-22lbs $0.27/lb with $25 other grocery purchase. Combine this with the Home for the Holidays Promo and you may have yourself a good deal!

Fresh Broccoli Crowns or Cauliflower $0.99/lb

5 lb box of Satsuma Mandarins $3.97 each

HoneyCrisp Apples $1.49/lb (I have heard that these are a tasty variety:)

12 pack Coca-Cola, Pepsi or 7 up Buy 2 Get 2 Free!

Tillamook Baby Loaf 2 lbs $5.99 (great price for good cheese)

Home For the Holidays Promo
Receive $10.00 Reward coupon (for on your next order) when you purchase $40.00 or more, receive $5.00 Reward coupon when you purchase $25.00 worth of participating products.

Some participating items in this week's ad that may be a good deal:

Pillsbury Cake Mix: $.79

C&H Sugar 5lb bag 2/$5
Use $0.35/1 coupon from 11-16 RP
Final Price $2.15

Quaker Oatmeal, 18 oz. $2.22
Use $1.00/2 coupon from 11/16 RP
Final Price $1.72 each

Progresso Broth: B1G1 Free, $3.15
Use $1.00/1 from 10/5 GM or 11/16 SS (may be able to use one on each, depends on your store)
Final Price varies

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three deals you cannot pass up!

I have gotten out of the habit of passing along deals here because there are so many great sites that specialize in this very thing! But recently there have been so many excellent deals that I couldn't help passing them on to those who may not frequent all the deal sites I do.

*Free medium pizza from Papa John's if you are a Facebook user! Click here to see how it works!

*Sign up for Swagbucks (search engine like google) and earn gift cards just by searching! If you sign up through my link, you'll help me earn points (but won't take any away from yourself)! Visit Economic Endeavors to see how she got most of her Christmas gifts (via earning giftcards) just by using Swagbucks. Click here to join!

* is having an 80% off sale! You get a $25 gift certificate for only $2 when you use code Surprise at checkout!

*Coinstar has a sweet deal right now where you turn in $40 or more of coins for gift certificates and you can send in for an additional $10 gift certificate...that's $10 free dollars just for hauling in that extra coin! Check out Coinstar for more details here.

In case you're wondering, some of my favorite money saving sites are:
Money Saving Mom
Freebies 4 Mom

Protein the Inexpensive way

Being the expectant, still-nursing (2-3 times a day) mom that I am, I am always looking for ways to get more protein in. The problem is, it can be expensive! Another problem, my previous go-to protein source (beans!) has sounded less appealing since becoming pregnant. We still eat a beans at least once a week, but much more than that and...well I've reached my limit. Hopefully this will pass soon.

So...needing other sources of inexpensive protein I have been creative. Scrambled eggs worked for mornings for awhile, but I got tired of that quickly! A couple new ideas I have tried this past week are yogurt in the crockpot (which I am still working to perfect...going to use some powdered milk to thicken the next batch!) and healthy peanut butter balls. Here is the recipe which was adapted from the What to Eat When You're Expecting cookbook.

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup powdered milk (not reconstituted)
3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup prepared unsweetened or homemade granola
1/4 cup wheat germ (I used some cracked wheat?? and a little whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate* (I would probably add a little honey or another sweetener to this next time. They did not taste sweet enough to me)

Mix ingredients well in a bowl and shape into small balls. Refrigerate. Serve with milk for extra protein!

I also used a combo of grape nuts and special K cereal for the granola because that's what I had! they stuck together just fine even so.

More recipes adapted from the What to Eat When You're Expecting book coming soon! For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Anniversary visit to Eastern WA

My parents were kind enough to babysit M while we stole away to Leavenworth (a little bavarian town in Eastern Washington) for our 4 year anniversary getaway. So much fun! We had dinner at an Asian restaurant called the Dragonfly, which was awesome, but not so popular. We were the only ones in the place at 5:30pm on a Friday night for 15 or so minutes:) They do the organic, local, sustainable business so it was pricey, but very tasty. We are huge party animals so we stayed up til 11:00 (whooo...3 hours past bedtime!) watching "what not to wear". I know, don't be jealous. We don't have a tv for many reasons, so tv watching is a big treat for us. Like I said, party animals:) Anyway, here are pics of the rest of the weekend. None of our big overnight getaway since our camera is going..going...gone (but did I mention we're getting one on Black Friday...yeehaw!

Gramie and M doing bathtime

Yep, a little spoiled with a brand new vintage kitchen all her own.

Lovin' the swingin'

Uncle Jon and M at the church cafe in Ellensburg, where Jon is estudiante extraordinaire

Our happy little family of (soon to be) 4:)

Menu Plan November 17th, 2008

Monday: Chicken Parmesan (bread boneless skinless chicken breast, cover with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese), bread and steamed cauliflower

Tuesday: Shepherd's Pie (with Mashed potato topping, mixed veg, ground beef and cheese)

Wednesday: Sloppy Lentil Joe's (using Ragu for the sauce), cheesy broccoli and Home Fries

Thursday: Creamy Potato Soup and Corn Muffins

Friday: out to eat to our favorite restaurant (Indian food...New Delhi! for our 4 year anniversary with a gift from Daniel's parents...Thankyou!!)

Saturday: French Bread Pizza, veggies and dip, hummus

Sunday: Chicken Tetrazini and Brussel Sprouts (all three of us love brussel sprouts!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas Baking Jump Start Courtesy of Walgreen's

If you're anything like me, the thought of the holiday season brings thoughts of baking lots of delicious things. Delicious things that you might not normally bake...Christmas cookies, pies...yum! This year, it certainly doesn't help that I am pregnant but the holiday baking bug has already hit. So far, all I've allowed myself to do are gift mixes, but this 2 day Walgreen's sale will certainly do me in:)

Walgreen's has another $5/$20 purchase coupon good today and tomorrow AND they have some really good deals on baking supplies! Its a great time to stock up! I am going to use the recent Nestle Morsel coupons (for $1.00/2 and $1.25/2) as well as stock up on baking powder, baking soda and salt. This combined with the Loreal Free After Rebate will bring my total right to $20!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Safeway NW Deals for November 12th-18th, 2008

The big news this week is the cheap turkeys! In my neck of the woods, Safeway is the first to have the cheap turkey deal.
Manor House or Safeway Turkey 17-22lbs $0.27/lb or 10-15 lbs $0.39/lb with a minimum purchase of $25 on other stuff.

Double your rewards at the pump when you buy $100 in gift cards. Might be a good way to get a few Christmas presents taken care of while saving money on gas!

48 hour only sale (Saturday and Sunday only):

Starbucks Coffee 12 oz. $5.99

Nabisco Crackers $1.88 select varieties

Progresso Soup $0.97 each (select varieties)
Use $1.00/4 coupon from 11-09 S
Final Price $0.72

Assorted Pudding Rings $1.99 each

Coupon Deals

Suave Shampoo, Conditioner or Stylers, 5.24 to 14.5-oz. $2.29
Use $1.50/2 coupon from 09-21 RP
Final Price $1.54

Swanson Broth, 14-oz. $0.60
Use $0.25/4 coupon from 11-09 S
final Price $0.54

Ball Park Meat Franks, 16-oz. (cpn for Angus Beef Franks if included in sale) $2.50
Use $1.00/1 coupon from 10-19 RP
Final Price $1.50

Barilla Pasta, 12 to 16-oz. (cpns for Piccolini & Whole Grain) $1.34
Use $0.50/2 coupon from 09-28 S
Final Price $1.09

General Mills Cereal 8.9 to 12.8-oz. selected varieties. $1.99
Use $1.00/3 coupon from 11-02 S
Final Price $1.66

Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage, 14 to 16-oz. -BOGO $2.25
Use $1.00/2 coupon from 10-05 RP
Final Price $1.75

Nestle Hot Cocoa, 10-ct. $2.00
Use $1.00/2 coupon from 11-02 RP
Final Price $1.50

General Mills Chex Cereal, 12.8 to 14.25-oz. $3.00
Use $1.00/2 coupon from 11-09 S
Final Price $2.50

Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage Links, 12-oz. $3.00
Use $1.00/2 coupon from 11-09 S
Final Price $2.50

Keebler Crackers, 4.44 to 16-oz. (cpn for 8.5 oz or larger) $2.50
Use $0.55/2 coupon from 09-28 RP
Final Price $2.23

Pillsbury Brownie Mix, 13.5 to 19.5-oz. $2.00
Use $0.75/2 coupon from 11-09 RP
Final Price $1.63

Kelloggs Special K Cereal, 12 to 14-oz. $2.99
Use $1.00/1 coupon from 11-09 RP
Final Price $1.99

Glade Candles, 4-oz. $2.50
Use $1.50/2 coupon from 11-02 S
Final Price $1.75

General Mills Chex Mix Snack Mix, 7.5 to 8.75-oz BOGO $1.89
Use $0.50/1 coupon from 11-09 S
Final Price $1.39

Betty Crocker Cookie Pouch, 17.5-oz. $2.00
Use $0.40/1 coupon from 10-19 S
Final Price $1.60

Betty Crocker Pop Secret Microwave popcorn, 3-ct -BOGO
Use $0.50/1 coupon from 11-09 S
Final Price ??

Campbells Cream of Chicken or Mushroom Soup, 10.75-oz. $0.75
Use $0.30/3 coupon from 10-12 S
Final Price $0.65

Dannon Activia 4-pack, 4-oz. $2.50
Use $0.50/1 coupon from 09-21 S
Final Price $2.00

Dole Tropical Fruit or Mandarin Oranges, 15 to 15.25-oz $1.25
Use $1.00/3 coupon from 11-09 S
Final Price $0.92

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemaking Routine, Chicken Nuggets and Silly Girl

I try and try and TRY to get a routine to somehow materialize in my life and yet the routine fairy never visits! Well, at my own desire (and frustration!) and Daniel's desire for me to be organized I finally wrote down a cleaning routine for my week. I pretty much get these same things done without a routine, but it always seems I am a little behind, stressed, and playing catch-up. So we are into day two of this new weekly schedule and so far I am enjoying it! Just like meal planning, it offers a sense of calm to know what I need to do and exactly when to do it!

Mondays: Vacuum and Sweep entire apartment, clean bathroom

Tuesdays: Laundry including diapers, towels
clean laundry room and microwave as needed

Wednesdays:Sweep downstairs, clutter pick up and look for give-away items

Thursdays: Quick clean of bathroom and upstairs, clean window sils and dust

Fridays: Laundry including diapers and bed sheets, crib sheets, sweep house,

Weekends: Plan menus for the week, laundry and clutter as needed.

~every day I will do cooking and kitchen clean up of course~

And just for fun, here at A Year of Crockpotting is the chicken nugget recipe I am cooking for dinner tonight! I threw in acorn squash chunks on top and will be serving with a side of mashed potatoes and glazed apples.

M is at such a fun age (13 months). This past couple months have been such a blessing as a mom--she plays independently a lot and is more affectionate and fun. I hate to admit it, but I do have free time at this stage of life! I think I will be in for a wake-up call when baby #2 arrives!

Yep, those are ~ahem~ my shorts on her head:) She is going through a put dirty laundry on her head phase:)

Un-Sticking Labels from Jars and Baby Soup

I love homemade gifts and I love to make them. Unfortunately my talent and craftiness levels are quite low. But jar mix gifts I can do. The decorating of the the jars is still a work in progress, but that's coming along. The only problem is that jar mixes cease to be economical if you have to buy containers to put them in.

For a few months I have been saving jars from pasta sauce etc. but now I have jars with gooey labels on them...none too pretty for gift-giving. After much googling I have found a few tips that get some stubborn label goo off jars.

1. Soak overnight in HOT soapy water. I think this one is best to do right off the bat. Washing the jars and getting part of the label off and then trying this offers less stellar results.

2. Peanut butter and a scrubby pad (like steel wool or the like). and SCRUB!!

3. Hair dryer and a knife. But word to the wise...these are both weapons in the wrong hands:)

4. Goo Gone (from D!)

These work for me! Did I forget some?

Oh and since you are all looking for my recipe for baby soup, here it, is:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Swinging in NC

Close to finished with our pics from NC. Whew! We had some fun times while in the metropolis of Waxhaw! We are excited to continue to pursue serving overseas with Wycliffe and JAARS! This weekend we had a great meeting with the elders and one of our church's pastors and they really helped us look at some things that we were concerned about in a different light. It is such a blessing to be a part of a church body that is so supportive and is willing to help us think through things from a Biblical perspective!

As you can see, M is a big fan of swinging. She cried both times we took her off the swing:(

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November's Meal Plan (funded by Albie's sweet deals)

Since I had to use some of my precious monthly food budget early in order to take advantage of Albertson's buy $30/get $15 off your next order promo, I am trying to plan ahead for the rest of the months meals.

I have around 18 dinners to plan for to get us through the rest of the month. Here's what I came up with, the food from my Albie's sales will be bold.

1. Clam Chowder & Homemade Garlic Cheesy Biscuits

2. Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Tenders* and Baked Acorn Squash

3. Shepherd's Pie (with Mashed potato topping, mixed veg, ground beef and cheese)

4. Chicken Tetrazinni and Brussel Sprouts (all three of us love brussel sprouts!)

5. Sweet and Sour Chicken* over Rice w/ mixed frozen veggies

6. French Bread Pizza (the french bread was free after survey from Albies)

7. Cheese Enchilada Bake with broccoli and chocolate chip cookies for dessert! -I will need to make homemade tortillas because I didn't find any cheap ones-

8. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

9. Sloppy Lentil Joe's (using Ragu for the sauce) and Home Fries

10. Macaroni Grill Linquini and Cheesy Broccoli on the side

11. Chicken* Parmesan and Brussel Sprouts

12. Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup (broth), Sweet Potatoes and Country Crock Sides Apples

13. Chicken Piccata over rice and sweet peas

14. Potato Topped Chili Loaf and Green Beans

15. Creamy Potato Soup and Corn Muffins

16. Hot Curry tuna Sandwiches and Lentil or Tomato Soup
17. Chicken* and Cheese Baked Pasta

18. Pizza with fresh veggies and dip

Looks like I should be able to get away with buying more chicken (*=Albertson's has a great sale on skinless boneless this week: $1.67/lb!) and some fresh veggies, milk and fruit and that's about it for the month! This is good because I am close to $130 already for the month:)

If you hit this sale, what's on your menu this month?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Albertson's Hobby: Part 2 & 3

My first trip to Albertson's this week is here.

My second and third transactions (in one trip...I actually had the car so I went for broke!)are pictured below. I spent right at $15 (total for both transactions)out of pocket after sales and coupons and got back $15 in catalinas. So now that the catalinas are "rolling" I am basically getting things for free or close to it every time (if I have coupons for most items.)

I was happy about these transactions because I got a lot of really useful things such as green giant veggies (2 big bags and 7 or so small boxes) which will last us through a good part of the month. The soup is great for snacks for me...filling and relatively low-cal for a pregnant girl who doesn't need extra pounds:) I am planning another transaction or two today, and that will probably do me in. I'll have our meal plan for the month up in the next few days incorporating our goodies from Albertson's as well if you're interested:)

Friday, November 7, 2008

This week's hobby: shopping at Albertson's

My newest cheap and useful hobby: Alberson's catalina deal. My favorite self-check cashier, who initially was slightly gruff, has started getting into couponing too! I saw him cutting out internet printables on his down time, which is awesome! The only thing better than a cashier who is supportive of couponing is one who is doing it themselves!

If I can get our laptop hooked up to our printer I will be going back to Albertson's again for several more rounds until I can hibernate for the winter. Next up: meal planning a la' Betty Crocker and Albertson's freebies/cheapies--without eating a diet of all processed foods:)

Here is round #1, just to keep you on the edge of your seats, I have another coming in a later post! For this transaction I used several of my highest dollar coupons to minimize up-front out of pocket costs. I spent $13.-- and received a catalina for my next purchase for $15 off! Not to mention my receipt had a free frenchbread coupon on it, so that will be shown in my next picture coming soon!

Although I don't particular like eating a lot of processed, convenience foods, I have already seen them come in handy when extra busy or entertaining. We are really hoping to entertain more in the near future since life won't ever be less busy than it is now...and having a cookie mix or a box of quick muffins can be a lifesaver if I have to choose between making dessert or cleaning the house!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fall Colors in Waxhaw, NC

Our little apartment, with a little mouser in front.
In the field near our apartment, fall colors on display in the background
Not sure about this uneven ground....

Pretty girl in purple in front of pretty purple flowers:)

Mom and M, in front of Crystal Lake, with was neither crystallic nor a lake:)
Daddy and M in front of way we think would be better named "Mud Pond" :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Safeway NW Deals for the Week of Nov. 5th, 2008

Safeway is finally doing a fun promo. This one mimics last year's Home for the Holiday's promo and is spend $40 on participating products receive $10 off your next order, spend $25, get $5.

Participating Products (from Hot Coupon World!):

Nestlé Baking Morsels 11 to 12-oz. Selected varieties 2 for $5
Bisquick Baking Mix 40-oz. Regular or Reduced Fat. 2 for $5
Progresso 100% Natural Broth 32-oz. Selected varieties. 2 for $4
Gold Medal Flour 5-lb. All Purpose or Unbleached. 2 for $3
Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes 4.5 to 7.2-oz. Selected varieties. 4 for $5
Land O Lakes Spreadable Butter 15-oz. With Canola Oil. 2 for $7
Pam Cooking Spray 5 to 6-oz. $2.49
Hershey's Baking Cocoa 8-oz. Selected varieties. $2.49
Betty Crocker Muffin Mix 15.2 to 18.25-oz. 2 for $4
Supreme Betty Crocker Brownie Mix 19.5 to 22.5-oz. Selected varieties. 2 for $4
Wesson Cooking Oil 48-oz. Selected varieties. 3.99
12-Pack Pepsi 12-oz. bottles. Selected varieties. $4.99
Glad Storage or Freezer Bags 15 to 25-ct. 2 for $5
Early California Black Pitted Ripe Olives 5.75 to 6-oz. Selected varieties. 4 for $5
Reddi Wip Whipped Cream Aerosol 7-oz. Selected varieties. 2 for $5
Nestlé Cookie Dough 16 to 16.5-oz. Refrigerated. Selected varieties. 2 for $6
C&H Brown or Powdered Sugar 2-lb. Bag. 2 for $3
Betty Crocker Cake Mix 18 to 19.5-oz. Selected varieties. 89¢

I haven't seen any great scenarios out there, but I did notice some Nestle blinkies at Albertson's, so I assume they are elsewhere as well. They were for Nestle morsels, $1/2.

Some good deals (no coupon needed):

Rancher's Reserve Beef London Broil 50% off

Pears 10/$10

Grapes 10/$10

Broccoli Crowns $0.99/lb

48 Hour Sale

Florida's Natural or Safeway 100% OJ 2/$4

Quaker Oatmeal $1.57 (several coupons out for this!)

Safeway Select Icecream $2.49

And just for fun, here is my trip to Safeway last week, which was a fairly good one:

The Activa yogurt was free after sales, markdowns and coupons, cottage cheese was $0.50 each, cake mixes were $0.59 each, sugar was $1.65 after coupon/sale, Progresso Soup was $0.50 each after coupon/sale, chicken was $1.69/lb (I think that's right), whole wheat organic pasta was marked down to $1.09 for 1 lb boxes, a cookie mix was $0.75, broccoli was $0.99/lb, whole wheat flour was $2.99 each and the bag of potatoes was less than $2.00 I believe. All in all I spent about $27 for all of the above!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Waste Not: stale grains

This post is also part of Frugal Fridays at Biblical Womanhood!

Wasting food is a huge money drain. Most of us do it unintentionally once in awhile. In our quest to continue to lower our food bills while striving to improve our diet in quality, nutrition and taste, wasting food is not an option. Since the bulk of our breads, rolls and muffins are homemade, they get stale quickly. If I don't plan as well as I should I end up with dry cornbread, stale whole wheat bread slices, or crumbly muffins. Here are some ways I have found success in re-purposing these otherwise unusable grains into something with a new life!

Waffles: this morning I added the last piece of stale coffeecake, crumbled up into our whole grain waffles. I couldn't tell the difference, but it stretched the batter further!

Casseroles, Meatloaf, Meatballs etc.: for the casseroles you can use crumbled bread, cornbread etc. for a topping or stir it in with the other ingredients. Meatloaf and meatball recipes typically call for some sort of bread, so this is a simple substitution.

Muffins: Same as for waffles, just watch to make sure you lose a little of the flour called for so the muffins stay moist.

Soups/Stews: adding chunks of bread or cornbread stretches these inexpensive meals even further! Last night we added some chips that weren't super fresh to our chili, but bread would've been good as well.

How do you re-use stale grains?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Perfect Hide-out

This week our little mouse is missing her "perfect hide-out" from our stay in NC. We cleared out the cleaners and other dangerous stuff from underneath the sink so she could play without danger. There was a handy bar that she could pull to shut the door when she was inside. Funny girl, even in the dark cupboard with the door shut she wasn't scared. I'd often find her in there with the door shut, chatting away to herself.

Going in...

Coming back out...

That was fun!