Feb 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - March 1, 2010


Where did February go???

Don't get me wrong, I can't WAIT for spring, and the beginning of March is when spring fever really hits me...but I feel like I lost a week somewhere! February was a crazy month for us, so I shouldn't be too surprised.

We did alright with the menu plan last week, but ended up resorting to leftovers, leftovers and MORE leftovers from Friday on. The good news is, I have a relatively clean fridge to start the week! This week I'm going to try working completely out of the pantry, I have final Once a Month Cook-Off shopping to do and the cooking to wrap up over the course of this week. I have to avoid spending money on anything but OAMC so my budget doesn't go crazy this month. I also have the Boy Wonder's THIRD birthday party on Sunday, but I'm making homemade pizzas for that, so it won't cut TOO much into our budget. I am really looking forward to finishing up the OAMC cooking, it will leave me with enough meals to get through March and part of April!

Here's what's on our table this week, don't forget to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for tons more menus and recipes!

monday - Italian breaded chicken drumsticks, mashed potato, green beans ($3.20 for 4 servings)

tuesday - Homemade turkey noodle soup, freezer breadsticks ($1.65 for 4-6 servings)

wednesday - BBQ pork tortillas, rice and beans ($4.45 for 4 servings)

thursday - Shepherd's pie using leftover mashed 'taters, veggies ($2.65 for 4 servings)

friday - Spaghetti dinner ($2.00 for 6-8 servings)

saturday - Leftovers (free!)

sunday - Boy Wonder's Birthday - 7 pizzas for the party (appx $21)

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Feb 27, 2010

Wacky Wednesday at Trucchi's 3/3

For my Southeastern MA shoppers, it's the first week of the month again - which means Wacky Wednesday is back! Here's what's hot:

Chicken leg quarters - $0.49/lb
Green seedless grapes - $0.99/lb
Aquarius spring 24-pk spring water bottles - $2.49 (just over a dime apiece!)
Near East Rice Pilaf - $0.88/ea
Nabisco Cheese Nips 8oz - $0.89

Get there early for the best selection!

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Shaw's sale and coupon matchups - 2/26-3/4

This is a good stock-up week for meat! Here are my favorites from this week's circular, coupon matchups are courtesy of Slickdeals.net.

Wicked Cool Deals also did a GREAT post about the GM Catalina deal on the back page if you want to try and work this deal she's got the coupon matchups and really good tips.

Boneless Chicken Breast - $1.99/lb
Ground beef - $1.99/lb
Shaw's canned vegetables - $0.66/ea
Pepsi 2L products - $1/ea
8oz button mushrooms - $1/ea
1lb bag baby carrots - $1/ea
Nestle Coffee Mate Creamer - $1.99
use $0.75/1 printable
StarKist Chunk Light Tuna Pouches - $1.39
use $1/2 coupon from 2/14 RP

Colgate toothpaste - $1/ea
Softsoap Handsoap -$1
use $0.50/1 Softsoap Handsoap All You magazine, March

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Stop and Shop deals and coupon matchups - 2/26-3/1

Here's my favorites from this week's circular! Coupon matchups are courtesy of Wicked Cool Deals - stop by her site for the full list!

Boneless Chicken Breast - $1.99/lb
Perdue Ground Turkey - $1.99/lb (Substitute for Ground beef!)

Red seedless grapes - $0.99/lb
Breakstone's Cottage Doubles - 10/$10
International Delight Creamer - 2/$3
use $.55/1 printable coupon

Progresso Classics Soups - $1
use $1.10/3 printable coupon
use $1/4 from 2/7 SS insert

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta - $1
use $1/2 printable coupon
Prince Pasta - $0.77/ea
Knorr Pasta Sides - $1
use $1/3 coupon in 1/31 RP
Big Daisy Bread - $1

Arm & Hammer 2x Detergent - 2/$5
use $1/2 printable coupon

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Feb 24, 2010

Grocery Trips - week 7 2010

This week we hit the outer edges of budget with $57.19 spent - but it was a weird shopping week. Instead of planning my usual trips to the Price Rite and BJ's near my house, we were out apartment shopping a few days this week so I did some shopping at the Super Wal Mart near that area. Again spent more than normal on some items, but I paid for the convenience. The good news is I had some leftover room on a gift card so that shopping trip was not out of our pocket :) When I was able to get to the Price Rite, I did a bit of stocking up - including BIG hotel-style turkey breasts that were only $0.59/lb! I bought a 9lb and an 11lb turkey :)

That might seem excessive, but I get a LOT of mileage out of those turkey breasts! I cooked one on Friday, and we had about 3.5 lbs of leftover meat after dinner - that will be used for the Once a Month Mom Cook Off in the Curried Chicken Tidbits dish - curried turkey is just as good! I also made about 10 cups of broth from the carcass and giblets which will find their way into soups and stews over the next few months.

I tallied up about what I should have to spend for the rest of the Once a Month Mom Cook Off dishes that I plan to make, and that alone came to just under $50...plus I need formula and more baby food supplies (that kiddo can eat!!). So I will almost definitely exceed my budget for February, but I will have a TON of meals in the freezer already paid for to carry me through March! Here's how the shopping went down this week:

Wal Mart
3lb bag Gala apples - $2.97 (usually $2.59 at PR)
2 large onions - $1.17 - for OAMC
2.30lb bananas - $1.13 (usually $1.49 for 3lbs at BJ's)
Egg noodles - $1.50 (usually $1 at PR) - for OAMC
Great Value canned corn - $0.78 - for OAMC
Great Value canned peas - $0.78 - for OAMC
1 gal GV milk - $3.23 (usually $2.69 at PR)

Total on Gift Card: $11.56
Total OOP: $0.00

Price Rite
10lb rice - $2.99
42oz PR old fashioned oats - $1.79 - for baby food and OAMC
48oz PR vegetable oil - $1.99
16oz PR unsalted peanuts - $1.99
6 cans Campbells tomato soup - $3.54
6-pk PR microwave popcorn - $1.49
Wheat bread - $1.19
20.75lb (2) Shadybrook Farms turkey breasts - $12.24
5lb carrots - $2.19
3.01lb Bosc pears - $2.38
2.62lb green grapes - $3.90
6 large oranges - $3.78
2 avocados - $1.98
large tub butter spread - $1.49
1 gal PR milk - $2.69

Total: $45.63

This week I shopped with NO coupons!

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Feb 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Feb 22nd '10

I am really in a rut - I think it's because we have SO much going on right now, between our jobs, juggling some tough financial situations, managing the two littles, contemplating a move, and trying to clean house before the toddler's third birthday. I am definitely feeling buried! But I KNOW how good menu planning is for us so I'm trying hard to stick to it, even if nothing else gets posted for a while!

We ended up not having to cook much last week, we ate at my in-laws more than usual and on Friday I came across some Stonyfield Farms Turkey breasts for $0.59/lb!!! Totally picked up two of those, and cooked one up for a big Friday night dinner with LOTS of leftovers! :) This week will be more scheduling madness, plus I have to start getting the last of the Once a Month Cook-Off stuff purchased and made up. I cannot WAIT to have dinners ready to go in the freezer again!!

Here's our table for the week, don't forget to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for tons more menus!

monday - Mac and cheese, veggies ($2.10 for 4 servings)

tuesday - Fish sticks, rice and veggies ($2.60 for 4 servings)

wednesday - Kielbasa and Pasta Supper ($3.10 for 6-8 servings)

thursday - Tomato Florentine Soup with crusty italian bread ($3.45 for 4-6 servings)

friday - Grilled cheese and leftover soup for the toddler, mommy and daddy on a much-needed date night!

saturday - Homemade Pizza, veggies ($3.50 for 6-8 servings)

sunday - Dinner at the in-law's (free!)

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80% off at Restaurant.com through 2/28!

Time to stock up on restaurant gift certificates at Restaurant.com!! All GC's are 80% off from now until 2/28, which means you get $25 GC's for $2!!

Visit Restaurant.com and load up your shopping cart with GC's in any denomination. These make great gifts, or are a great way to try out new restaurants! Enter the coupon code SAVOR at checkout, and everything will be discounted 80%!

Be sure to read the fine print, most restaurants impose some restrictions on the gift certificates.

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Photo Playing Cards from ArtsCow for $2.99!

ArtsCow.com has a great deal on custom photo playing cards through 2/28!

Upload your photo to ArtsCow.com, then choose a playing card set (single design, round or heart). Enter the coupon code PLAY299CARDS at checkout and get the set for $2.99 with FREE shipping! Additional sets will be billed at $6.99 each, still a good deal.

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Feb 18, 2010

Another great Boston fitness deal from Groupon!

Groupon has been coming out with some great fitness deals for the Boston area! What a great chance to ramp up those New Year's resolutions!

Today's deal is for $50 for either 3 Pilates reformer classes, or 12 Pilates Mat classes at Rock City Body in Allston! That's a $150 value, or up to 67% off! The deal is ON, you can only use 1 deal per person but may purchase multiples as gifts. The coupon will expire on 7/31/10 so you've got plenty of time to use it!

Not from the Boston area? Groupon has offers in SEVERAL cities, so feel free to click the "Visit more cities" link at the top of the page and see what Groupon has to offer in YOUR area!

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Feb 17, 2010

Grocery trips - week 6 2010

Last week shopping was a little sporadic, I totally skipped on making a menu plan because we ALL got sick and things were just nutty. We were either too ill to eat or working off of leftovers for the first part of the week, and this past weekend both hubby and I worked so we used up the last of the leftovers or ate at my in-laws. Good for the budget, yes...but I am looking forward to stocking my freezer with meals to take some of the pressure off!

I bought the pork for the Once a Month Mom Cook-off, the pork tenderloins were $1.99/lb and the store butcher will custom cut them for nothing! He cut me four nice 1.5lb roasts for OAMC, and 7 yummy boneless chops :) Since the two February menu pork roast recipes (Asian Pork Roast and Pork Roast with Apples and Pears) were just "dump" recipes (toss everything in the bag and freeze) I whipped those together while I made dinner one night - 10 minutes of busywork and I have 4 pork roast dinners ready to go! Woot!

We were still within budget this week at $54.55 spent (though on the higher end), even with some OAMC shopping. But I'm going to need to replenish some of the stores (we are almost out of cheese - can't run out of cheese!!) so we may go over budget a bit in the coming weeks - we'll see how it goes, or if I'm able to do this month AND OAMC within budget!

Stop & Shop
9.28lb pork tenderloin - $18.47 (6lb for OAMC - $11.94) $4.64 store savings
Jello cups - $3.69 (Ouch! Stomach bug caught us and I went for convenience. Bad Suzie!)
3 avocados - $5.00 (baby food)

Total: $27.16

Price Rite
42oz canister PR quick oats - $1.79
14oz box PR generic cheerios - $1.49
Gallon jug vinegar - $1.89 (used for recipes and cleaning!)
Pepperidge farm cheddar fish - $1.67
5lb bag white potatoes - $0.97
2 Gallon milk - $5.38
PR Apple Juice 64 oz - $1.19 (for OAMC)
PR Strawberry Jelly 32 oz - $1.99
1 loaf PR wheat bread - $1.19
3.60lb butternut squash - $3.20 (for baby food)
2 large garlic bulbs - $0.74
2 large red apples - $1.13 (for OAMC)
16 oz Breakstones sour cream - $0.99 (for OAMC)
24 oz bag frozen cut green beans - $1.29
24 oz bag frozen mixed veggies - $1.29
16 oz bag frozen California mix veggies - $1.19

Total: $27.39s

This week I used NO coupons! I got $4.64 in store savings!

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Feb 16, 2010

Got Dental? Groupon deal for Boston area - 89% off

Groupon has another great deal for my Boston area readers - $49 for a cleaning, exam and panoramic x-ray at Kurban-Fereidouni Dental Spa - that's an 89% discount!!

This is a great deal for those who may not have dental coverage - or if you want a more upscale experience without paying the almost $500 price tag! Check the page for details and restrictions. According to the site Dr. Kurban has been on the faculty at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine for 12 years and mentors at Boston University. Dr. Fereidouni is a graduate of Boston University School of Dental Medicine and frequently lectures there on his specialty, dental implantology.

This deal is ON and multiple certificates may be purchase as gifts. Also for Groupon buyers if you refer a friend after your visit, you will get a complimentary 1-hour massage! Visit Groupon.com for more info and to purchase your certificates!

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Feb 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Feb 15th, '10

Must. Do. Menu!!!

We've been plagued by the sickies in my house for the last couple of weeks, and I just haven't had the energy to make up menus - which, of course, I paid dearly for because we never knew what to cook and did a fair amount of last-minute scrambling. Every time I think menu planning is just something fun to do, I'm reminded how vital it is for my sanity AND my wallet!

So I'm back on the MPM train, this week we won't have any nights when everyone is home for dinner so I'm going to try putting the bulk of the cooking early in the week and rely on leftovers towards the end of the week. Today I made some butternut squash and apple puree for the baby, we still have sweet potatoes and pears in the freezer too! I'll be posting later this week on my baby food adventures :)

Here's our table for the week, and be sure to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to check out tons more menus and recipes!!

monday - Japanese-style Beef Curry over rice ($4.43 for 6-8 servings)

tuesday - Country Turkey Cobbler using leftover chopped turkey ($2.27 for 4-6 servings)

wednesday - Rotini with veggie marinara, homemade breadsticks from the freezer (3.50 for 6-8 servings)

thursday - either leftover night, or Tomato and Chickpea Soup, grilled cheese sammies ($5.29 for 4 servings plus leftover soup!)

friday - Leftovers!

saturday - Leftovers!

Sunday - Dinner at my in-law's!

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Feb 10, 2010

Grocery Trips - week 5 2010

So how excited am I...we finished January with UNDER $200 spent - that included 2 cases of diapers and formula! Woot! Yes, I started with a very happy stockpile, but I made stockup purchases as well as weekly needs in January. We started off this month pretty strong, I am just slightly under budget at $44.13 spent!

February may tip the budget a little - I am participating in Once a Month Mom's Cook-off and will be buying not only what we need for our weekly meals, but also what I'll need for the freezer cooking. I'll be blogging my progress too - if you want to get on board go check it out, they've lined up some great prizes! I'll try to make notes what I'm buying for regular shopping and what is included in the Once A Month cooking.

51 oz can BJ's formula - $19.99
1 gallon milk - $2.41
Kotex pads 80ct - $9.99

Total: $32.39

Price Rite
1 loaf wheat bread - $1.19
2.21lb baking potatoes - $1.30
1lb carrots - $0.69
2.85lb pears (6) - $3.68 (2 pears for OAMC @ $1.23)
3lb Macintosh apples - $2.39
32oz Coffeemate creamer - $2.49

Total: $11.74

This week I shopped with NO coupons!

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Feb 8, 2010


...from the land of barf buckets and late-night cleanups....

Whatever stomach bug has been going around decided to pay my household a little visit this weekend - me first, then the little'uns - gotta love it! The good news: we all seem to be recovering, my toddler was happily wrecking our apartment as per usual a little while ago and I've been able to eat more than just crackers in the last 24 hours. The bad news: no menu plan, no store matchups...I am WAY behind the 8-ball!

I'm going to work on a menu plan later on, and until I have a chance to give you my best deals at Shaw's and Stop & Shop, I'll send you over to Wicked Cool Deals for some coupon matchups! This week Trucchi's is having Wacky Wednesday, so my SE Mass peeps can watch for that update as well!

Now excuse me while I wash ANOTHER load of towels and sheets...ugh...

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Feb 4, 2010

Free pancakes! (And a good cause)


Seems like everything has a holiday these days...but this is one I can get on board with! IHOP is celebrating National Pancake Day on February 23rd by giving away a FREE short stack of pancakes to each guest from 7am to 10pm!

There are no obligations to get your free short stack - however they do ask that you consider donating to the Children's Miracle Network in lieu of paying for all that buttermilk goodness. Help them reach their goal of donating $5 million in five years! Visit the IHOP National Pancake Day homepage for more info.

While you're there, register to get your Celebrity Wake-Up call to remind you to get your pancakes! You can also share a story about a good deed you or someone you know did in 2009, and enter to win free pancakes for a year in their "Stacks for Good Acts" Giveaway.

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Feb 3, 2010

Grocery trips - week 4 2010

Another week eating from the pantry, and we needed so little I went ahead and stocked up on a couple of things again. Total spending for the week was $39.13 ($4.42 on my Wal-Mart GC), still well under budget! I did get some jarred baby food, mostly because I haven't made up homemade fruits yet and I don't own a food mill to break down the peas enough. I also bought my bread at BJ's instead of Price Rite, we paid more but the kids were getting a little lively and we needed to get home. It's nice to know that we can be flexible like that and still make budget!

2 40oz jars Skippy PB - $7.79
8-pk canned diced tomatoes - $6.89
1 gallon whole milk - $2.48
2pk wheat bread - $3.49
3lb bananas - $1.44
18pk Beech nut stage 2 fruits - $7.79

Total: $29.88

2.57lb boneless chicken breast - $4.83 (store savings $6.20)

Total: $4.83

4 jars Beech Nut peas - $1.84
24oz Great Value raisins - $2.58

Total on gift card: $4.42
Total OOP: $0.00

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Feb 2, 2010

Boston Area Peeps - 95% off at Healthworks fitness for women!

For my readers living in the Boston area - today ONLY, Groupon is offering 24 day passes to Healthworks for just $24! That's 95% off!!! Your day pass is good for classes, the gym, and other amenties at their facility - and can be used at any of their five locations (Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, and Salem). You need to use your first pass by 2/27 and the passes all expire on 4/13.

Haven't used Groupon before? They are a deal-a-day group discount site - a vendor offers a great deal, with a minimum number of deals that must be bought. Once the minimum is met, the deal is "tipped" and everyone who buys that day gets the great deal! Groupon covers many major metropolitan areas throughout the country, so even if you're not in Boston be sure to check out the deals in your closest city!

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