Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Tuesday Edition

Oops!! Forgot to post this yesterday! Let's see, I haven't given it much thought. Thanksgiving and the leftovers were so elaborate and planned out that regular weekday meals seem so "blah" now!

Sunday: PW's Leftover Turkey Pot Pie
Monday: Spaghetti
Tuesday: Broccoli, turkey, and cheese bake
Wednesday: Salad, Crockpot Mozzarella Chicken
Thursday: Chicken Scampi, cauliflower
Friday: Homemade calzones
Saturday: I'm always stumped on Saturdays...maybe some kind of soup?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Savings

This week was a doozy! I had such great deals worked out...or so I thought (no really, I did) and I ended up spending $85 between Target and Jewel! But here is what I got!!
At Target I spent $44.70 and saved $25.02. The $25 bag of dog food was the budget buster for this trip but we are almost out of dog food, it was on sale, I had a $2 off coupon, and I got a $5 Target giftcard for purchasing it.
2 dozen eggs
2 bags shredded cheese
1 ranch dressing
1 bottle cayenne pepper
1 bottle bay leaves
1 carton heavy cream
1 pound of carrots
holiday decorations
game for Tom's nephew
31 pound bag of Beneful (not pictured)
At Jewel I spent $40.71 and saved $38.62. I think it's pretty amazing that my spending/saving ratio is similar considering I bought a 12 pack of Sam Adams and a turkey. But the best part? I paid $2.75 for a 12 pound turkey! And yes, this is my second turkey, but how can you pass up a turkey for $2.75? I'll probably just keep it in the freezer until Christmas. I stocked up on some cheap vegetables (or cheap for up here) and picked up a few key ingredients for our Thanksgiving dinner.

10 boxes Green Giant vegetables
12 pack Sam Adams
12 pound turkey
3 pound pot roast
5 sweet potatoes
2 bags shredded cheese
3 lemons
1 box corn starch
1 bag cinnamon rolls
3 containters sage, rosemary, & thyme
1/2 pint of oysters

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Black Friday Deals

Surprisingly, I chose to sleep in this morning and not fight the masses at Chicago's retail stores. I left the house one time, and that was for a total of 21 minutes to walk to Walgreens and pick up a few things that were on sale :) I spent $3.97 plus tax and saved $16.30 according to my receipts. AND, I got $2.99 back in RR's to spend the next time I go to Walgreens!

2 Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice
Bic Soleil razors
Hair bands
2L of Canada Dry Gingerale

Thursday, November 25, 2010

CVS Black Friday Trip

But Anne, it's Thursday, how can you already have posted about your CVS Black Friday Trip?

Well, I'm glad you asked ;) Apparently CVS is open on Thanksgiving! I actually didn't plan to leave the house today, but we were almost out of milk, so I figured I might as well go to CVS, buy a few things for super cheap (including milk) and build my supply of ECB's back up!
I got all of this (pictured below) for $7.51 + tax and I received $11.77 in ECB's!!!

1 Gallon of milk
Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioner
Eucerin Lotion
Colgate Toothpaste
Gillette Deodorant
Carmex Lip Balm
Reeses Pieces

According to my receipts I saved $23.61 (Yes, that is receiptS as in plural...I divided up my order into 4 transactions to minimize my OOP cost).

And believe it or not, I'm actually NOT going shopping tomorrow! I may hit up Walgreens for some cheap razors and sparkling grape juice, but I don't really count that as Black Friday Shopping. This will be the first time in as long as I can remember that I haven't gone shopping on Black Friday!! Hopefully it's a sign of my progress in regards to only buying what we "need" or really, really, really want!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I'm so excited for this week! I LOVE Thanksgiving and I LOVE cooking on Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, my husband and I aren't able to make it home this year due to our recent move and the uncertainty of my job situation. So, once again, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving just the two of us. But I really enjoy it :) Here is the plan for this week, including the big plan for Thursday!

Sunday: Salad, Company Mac and Cheese
Monday: Italian Spinach Pie
Tuesday: Beef beer roast, Oven roasted potatoes
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Oyster Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Herb Roasted Turkey & Stuffing, Lemon Meringue Pie
Friday: Pioneer Woman's Turkey Pot Pie
Saturday: Best Ever Turkey Noodle Soup

Be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday over at Org Junkie's site!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekly Savings

I have to be honest, I've had a hard time getting back in the "savings groove." It was just so EASY to go into Publix and walk out with a cartload of groceries and save double -to - triple what I spent! Part of the beauty of Publix was that they doubled manufacturer's coupons up to $0.50. So a $0.50 coupon was actually a $1 coupon. I have yet to find a store here that doubles coupons (okay, I haven't looked that hard, but none of the stores that are in a 1 mile radius of my apartment double coupons). I feel like I've had to make an effort to find things that we need on sale. And a "sale" might be a decent price, but it doesn't have me getting that "excited/crazy/have to stock up on as much as I can now" feeling like I used to get when grocery shopping.

All of that being said, I feel like I didn't do too bad this week. I made a BIG trip to Aldi and bought about $50 worth of groceries. It was the most I've ever spent in a single trip to Aldi, but I was able to get a few staples to start cooking up some meals for the freezer. I wish I snapped a picture of it but I forgot.

I also went to CVS and Target. Ohh! I almost forgot...I've been having such a hard time getting COUPONS up here as well! I got a good deal on the Sunday paper ($0.50/week for Sunday delivery only) so I'm hoping the coupons will be in the delivered Tribune (because they aren't in the ones at the Dollar Store). (I'm also hoping that no one steals my paper as anyone could walk by on the street and pick it up).

Ok, CVS and Target. All of that to say that I could have gotten an even better deal at CVS on the Ragu sauce if I had gotten coupons in either of the two papers I bought last Sunday.
Target (on left)
Spent: $8.45 + tax
Bought: 4 boxes Stove Top, 1 - 11 pound turkey, 8 cream of chicken/mushroom soup
CVS (on right)
Spent: $4 + tax
Bought: 6 jars of Ragu
Received: $3 ECB's

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I have to admit, it's been nice to have a little break from all of the menu planning. When all you have in your house are a few items, you really don't have that many choices for dinner! But that too can get old. I'm going to try to get back on the Menu Planning Bandwagon this week. I'm also going to try and do a little freezer cooking this week to prepare for when I go back to work (which will hopefully be soon!) Here is my plan for this week:

Sunday Crispy herb baked chicken, toasted orzo, avocados
Monday World's Best Potato Salad, An adaptation of Pioneer Woman's Potato Skins, salad
Tuesday Baked Potato Soup, salad
Wednesday Almond, Chicken, and Rice Casserole
Thursday Chicken Quesadillas
Friday Homemade pizza with Pioneer Woman's pizza crust recipe
Saturday I'm not really sure yet! Possibly leftovers, possibly some kind of soup

Saturday, November 13, 2010

CVS & Walgreens...again

So, apparently, these are my two main drug stores again. Walgreens is actually about 1/4 mile from our apartment and CVS is maybe 1/2 mile. I still haven't found a Rite Aid yet but I haven't been too crazy about shopping there since they shifted their focus from their rebates to their Up rewards program (which is a serious bummer because I used to always make money when I shopped their by using coupons and their rebates...I guess that may be part of the reason they are getting away from it!)

I had worked out a different scenario at CVS, but I didn't go shopping until Friday and they were out of what I needed. So I had to do a little impromptu shopping in the store. I had $6 in ECB's to spend and a $5/$30 coupon that printed out from the coupon scanner. I got everything you see below for $14 + tax, and I received another $6 in ECB's! According to the receipt I saved $35.90
At Walgreens I spent $3.05 total and got everything below. I had coupons to make the toothbrushes free and a $1 RR to use from my last visit.

Can you tell it's almost baking season? And free toothbrushes so we don't get cavities. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

CVS & Walgreens

Between all of my packing last week I managed to run into CVS and Walgreens for a few items. I had ECB's and RR's that were going to expire. I want to keep my ECB's at CVS rolling and I want to get every penny's worth of stuff I can from Walgreens (long story). This is the best I have done at either of these stores! At CVS I spent $1.69 for one Olay body wash, one travel size Secret deodorant, and one Oral B Cross-Action Power toothbrush. At Walgreens I spent $0.52 and bought 2 boxes of brown sugar, 1 box of confectionate sugar, and 3 cans of tomato sauce. I received $5 in ECB's from CVS and somehow received $1 in RR from Walgreens.

Total: $2.21 for all items below (including tax)

CVS (on the left), Walgreens (on the right)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Top 5 Favorite Kitchen Items

In light of recently packing up my entire kitchen, here are my Top 5 Favorite Kitchen Items. I am all about saving money and not purchasing items I don't need, but these are all items that I LOVE and that save a significant amount of time in the kitchen.

1. Kitchenaid Scissors
2. Food Processor
3. Mini Food Processor
4. Garlic Press
5. Crock pot

What are your favorite kitchen items???

Monday, November 1, 2010

We interrupt regularly scheduled Menu Plan Monday....

...to tell you that I am (apparently) a liar. Back in July I posted about Five Things We Don't Mind Going Without. Then, last Thursday night, on a COMPLETE IMPULSE, I broke down and purchased #4 on my list, a GPS. I was so proud of us for navigating around Chicago a couple of weekends ago with just a plain old map.

But the key word is "us." It would have been much more difficult had it been just one of us trying to find our way. And Chicago IS the 3rd largest city in the country! And I did just earn some extra money from completing the Virgin Healthymiles program through my work. Okay, I am completely rationalizing my purchase!

I think what surprises me more than anything is the complete spontaneity of it. Usually I research, and research, and research products and debate over whether or not we really need them and then spend days to weeks trying to find the best deal. Not Thursday night. The whole process took less than an hour. And I don't regret it one bit :)

*Regularly scheduled Menu Plan Monday may or may not return next week. It all depends on when our movers arrive with all of our belongings and if our internet is set up at the new place and if I'm organized enough to make a menu plan for our first week in our new apartment in a new city!