My Blog

My blog has morphed over the years into different things. It is a place to learn about saving money, product reviews, cooking, gardening, and homesteading. It can take you to whatever has my attention at the moment and then back to the day to day. I hope you will learn something here and come back often.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Menu for the Week

I have taken a look at the freezer and pantry and I think I have come up with a good looking menu! Remember, we are eating healthy so my menu may look a little different from yours. We are also eating 4 small meals a day. We started this on January 4th and we are having great results. This does create a little more work for me but it is so worth it!

I am thawing a HUGE (20 lbs) turkey* that I had in the freezer. He was a great deal! I paid $.37 per pound! I found some hamburgers that I have already seasoned and formed into patties. We are having those for dinner tonight. Last week I bought some of the chicken breasts that Kroger had on sale. I threw them in the freezer when I got home so they will be on the menu this week. We are eating a lot of dried beans and brown or wild rice. In my "canning" pantry, I have lots of greens beans and peaches that I want to incorporate into the menu. So, here we go -

1. Scrambled eggs with spinach & garlic
2. Fruit & almonds
3. Southwest chicken salad
4. Turkey, wild rice, green beans, glazed carrots

1. Oatmeal + peaches
2. Turkey wrap
3. 1/2 c. rice & 1/2 c. beans
4. Black bean burgers (one of my favorites!), lemon broccoli, baked apples

1. Yogurt + fruit
2. Protein shake
3. Tuna and cobb salad
4. Turkey soup

1. Egg sandwich + banana
2. Turkey wrap
3. Soup from previous day
4. Blackened cod, cole slaw, sugar-free chocolate pudding

1. Cereal
2. Protein Shake + banana and strawberries
3. Ham sandwich with lettuce, tomato and onion
4. Red beans and rice

1. Whole wheat blueberry waffles
2. Yogurt + fruit
3. Red beans & rice from the day before
4. Fried Rice

Today I am getting all of my meats out of the freezer and putting them in the fridge to thaw. I am going to throw the wild rice in the rice cooker so it will be ready for the week. (If you don't have a rice cooker, I highly recommend them. It's one appliance I use all of the time!) I am going to make whole wheat flour tortillas today for the turkey wraps and cook up the blueberry waffles. The waffles are easy to freeze and then just pop in the toaster.

Helpful Hint #1 - A little hint on freezing things like waffles - lay them out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, not touching, and freeze for an hour or two. Once frozen, place in a ziplock container and they will not be stuck together when you need to get them out. This works well on all fruits, waffles, pancakes, bread crumbs, etc.

Helpful Hint #2 - Always keep the skin and ends from onions, celery and carrots. As you cut them up just throw the normal discards into a bag in the freezer. Use these to make chicken or turkey stock. Just throw them into a pot with your chicken or turkey bones, cover with water, add a little salt and pepper, and cook at medium low for several hours. The onion skin gives it a beautiful color and adds flavor to the stock. When finished, strain out all of the pieces and refrigerate. Once the stock is cool, any fat will congeal on the top. You will be able to just scoop it off and you will have a healthy, home cooked stock!

*I really get my money's worth from a turkey. I paid a little under $7 for this 20lb turkey. I will roast it in the oven and we will eat our first meal from it. After we eat, I debone the turkey and place all of the meat in a ziplock. This can be used in many ways. I then cook the bones (along with my frozen veggie peels) to make turkey broth. The broth can be used in anything where chicken broth is called for. It will be the base of my soup this week. I plan on having at least 5 meals for 4 people off of this turkey. That makes it about $.35 per person, per meal!

Cooking Day

Today will not be a shopping day. Everything is frozen! I worry about our poor little chickens. There is ice covering the whole coop. They are protected by the tarps and they have plenty of fresh hay to play in. I know not to expect many eggs this week! I will be so happy when SPRING is here (so will the chickens)!
Since I am stuck at home today and probably tomorrow, I will be planning our meals for the week and doing as much prep work as I can. My goal is to begin slowly cleaning out the freezer to get rid of last year's food so nothing goes to waste. I will be doing a quick inventory of the freezer and pantry to see what kind of healthy combinations I can come up with.
Come back a little later in the day and I will let you know our menu for the week. I will also let you in on the prep work I'm doing to make life easier later on. Feel free to join in on the cooking or give me suggestions based on the items I list. If you are doing your cooking today too, tell me what you are preparing.
Keep warm today! Take a little time out to spend with those that are in your home today.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kroger dealz

Kroger always has good sales and this week is no exception! I love their 10 for $10 deals. This week they have Healthy Life wheat bread for $1. I have a bunch of coupons for $.50 off that will double to $ free bread!

They have 1/2 page of items where if you buy 10 you get $5 off. Here are some deals:
One great deal is Sobe Lifewater. After you buy the 10 items the lifewater is basically $.50. I have a coupon - buy one get one free so that = $.25 each
Tostitos + dip = $4.76 minus $.55 coupon doubled to $1.10 =$1.83 each
Ritz or Cheez Itz + $1.99 each minus $2/2= $1 each

If you need some extra coupons, email me at I have some extra sets that I will share for $1/set. The P& G set is worth over $46 in coupons so it's a great deal.

Great Giveaway

Ok, so I'm on the computer early this morning. I was up until 1:00 a.m. trying to get my printer to work because I have to get tax forms out today. I am running through my regular routine, check email, check facebook and find a great post from Money Saving Mom. There is going to be a give away of the Homestead Blessings dvd set. These are great dvd's. I get their email updates and I've told my husband (hint, hint) that I would really like to get the set. They have one about breadmaking that I would really love to watch. All of them look great since I can my own foods and grown my own garden. There is even one about candlemaking that my boys want to watch to use in Royal Rangers!

So anyway...I tend to ramble when sleepy! You can go here to sign up.

Good luck. If you win, please invite me over to watch!

Remember God today... He remembers you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Coupon Crazy!

I have to tell you about some of the great deals I got this week. I guess I should back up and explain that my family (husband, 2 boys and myself) started off this new year by agreeing to start a healthy way of life. We are eating better and exercising. We also have decided that we will only eat out once a month! I have a goal of spending only $400 per month on groceries. Now don't freak out on me! This is just a random number because I have NO idea how much I normally spend on groceries in a month. I also have no idea if eating healthier will cost more or less than what were normally spending. So there you go, breath. I'm not married to that $400 number, it is just a starting point.

Ok, so back to my deals this past week... I LOVE shopping at Walgreen's. You can get some of the absolute best deals there. This week they had Nyquil on sale for $5 and if you purchase $20 or more you get $10 back in register rewards (spends like cash on your next visit). So, I purchased 4 of them for $20 and I used 4 $2 off coupons. So, it was like getting 4 bottles for $2 but that's not all! I had 2 coupons for a free box of Puffs if you buy 2 Vick's products (Vick's Nyquil) so I got those free! So far, that's about $24 worth of products for $2.

The next Walgreen's deal was from Olay Regenerist. The facial cleaner is $7.50. I bought 2 for $15 plus I used 2 $1 off coupons for a total of $13. I came home and completed a mail in rebate for $15 so I will actually make $2 on this one. That makes my entire purchase today free! Bottom line - $39 worth of products free.

My grocery store of choice is Kroger. This week and last they had Birds Eye Steamers (veggies) on sale for $1. I purchased 20 ($.35 off) coupons on Ebay for $1.25. You do need to know that Kroger will only double the first 8 coupons so you will need to make multiple purchases or bring along a friend. I ended up with $20 worth of veggies for $6! The best part is the veggies are really good and work well with our new healthy lifestyle!

It is now Sunday evening and time to sit down with all of the new coupons and sale papers and see how this week should be mapped out. I will let you know as soon as I find the best deals!

First One

Ok, so this is my first blog! I've been thinking about starting one for a while but today I decided to do it.

Why? Well, I really wanted a place to share all of the cool ways I have been saving grocery money for our family. It has been such a fun learning experience for me but my husband gets tired of me telling him about all of my deals. Now he is excited about it but, you know, he just doesn't want to hear all of the details. That's where you come in. I can tell you everything I am learning and you can read or not read as much as you want!

So, I hope this is a good experience for each of us. Come back and read about my great deals this past week!