Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

What happened to Monday??? Labor Day threw me off, so here is "Menu Plan Tuesday" :)

Ravioli & marinara sauce
Cooking out on the grill (we did this for Labor Day and have plenty of leftovers to do it again)
Breakfast Burritos (yes, for dinner!)
Foccacia with pesto, tomatoes & cheese

I've got leftover filo dough from last week's Spinach Pie, so I also need to figure out a way to use that up.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Use a Calculator while Shopping

As an aid to sticking with our $50 a week grocery budget, I've started taking a calculator to the grocery store.

This is an old-school calculator, not an iphone! It's actually the calculator I used in junior high, high school and college.

I add up the cost of items as I shop for a running total of how much I spent. This helps me stay under the $50 limit and use my cash budget.

If I just estimated in my head instead of keeping a running total, it would be too easy to slip over the limit and pay with my debit card instead of cash.

In addition, my running total lets me know if any of my coupons were missed by the cashier.

For example, I went to Harris Teeter Super Doubles to pick up just a few items. This trip comes out of my weekly budget, so I was careful to buy just the loss leaders and not splurge.

My calculator total at the end of the trip was $6.58 but the register said $8.62. I knew that something wasn't right and I had the cashier check the coupons.

One $1 coupon had not rung up, which would have doubled to $2. She fixed the error and corrected my total. (The other$.04 was for tax on the incorrectly charged amount.)

Yes, I sometimes get some funny looks from other shoppers who think the calculator is odd, but they probably think coupons are odd too! That isn't going to stop me from using them.

If you haven't tried it, take a calculator on your next trip and see if it helps keep you honest on your grocery budget.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We have a lot of leftovers in the fridge, so I don't know whether we'll actually need all 5 of these meals this week. We shall see!

Beef Stew (previously made, from the freezer)
Easy Spinach Pie
End of Summer Crock Pot Soup
Polenta topped with veggies & cheese
Frozen pizza (got a good deal at Harris Teeter Super Doubles!)

If I have time during the week, I'd also like to try this Amaranth Pudding recipe, since I have some amaranth on hand.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chick-fil-A Best Dressed Cow contest

I'm a loyal reader of Money Saving Mom, and a fellow reader is a finalist to win Chick-fil-A for a year!! Please take a moment to help a fellow frugal mama win food for her family!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Free Food

Being that I'm working to stick to our $50 weekly grocery budget, I was happy to find several deals this week for FREE food!

Here are some resources that have been particularly helpful for me this week.

Try Schwan's for free (I just ordered free hamburgers, which will be great for our next cookout!)

Free Chicken at Whole Foods (This can be cut up and frozen for use in future meals)

Free Groceries at Harris Teeter Super Doubles (I'll do my normal weekly grocery run and pick up some freebies while I'm there.)


Posted @ Frugal Friday

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

HomeGoods StyleScope

For those of you that enjoy my Frugal Home Decor series, I wanted to share a fun little quiz from HomeGoods.

HomeGoods is one of my favorite non-resale spots for inexpensive home accents, like this crown molding.

HomeGoods Style Scope is a simple, FREE online tool that helps you find your style, as well as tips to put that style to use.

At the end of the quiz, you have the opportunity to enter for a weekly $5000 shopping spree or daily gift card to HomeGoods.

From HomeGoods:
The StyleScope is an invaluable tool for those who want to find their own style, and escape from the overly prescriptive home décor options of major stores. This quick online quiz is designed to help all of us who love stylish home décor but don’t know how to incorporate specific trends or styles into our own homes.

I took the quiz and my result was Country Casual:

Your home expresses your open, easygoing approach to life. You love unique finds, and can turn a few mismatched garden chairs or floral teacups into a charming arrangement. You appreciate a pretty mix of relaxed pieces, like painted wood or weathered furniture, lovely florals and other patterns, lots of throws and pillows, mementos and bunches of fresh flowers that give your home a unique sense of breeziness and charm.

You value order. You feel happiest if your home is well organized. You understand that when your house is in order, your mind feels clearer. Rather than a lot of meaningless objects or overly-designed items, you are happier with a few well-placed things. Your home is your respite from a busy life. Try to avoid letting things into your home that you don't really love.

This is actually an extremely accurate description of my approach to decorating my home! There are some additional sections on style challenges, decor and entertaining which I haven't copied here.

Take the quiz and check out your own style tips!

FYI: I learned about this tool through PR for HomeGoods. I was not compensated in any way for this post.

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Couponers are Generous Folks

I have the impression that non-couponers think that coupon shoppers are cheap scrimpers whose main purpose is to slow the check-out lines at the grocery stores.

Of course this isn't true! Not only aren't couponers cheap skinflints, I'd say we're actually a pretty generous lot.

For the second time in a few months, there was a food drive in my neighborhood. I bagged up some of my small stockpile for donation and set it out on my porch for collection.

The only other donation bag I saw was set out by a neighbor, another avid couponer with whom I swap coupons.

Cutting coupons and budgeting isn't about being cheap, or doing the minimum.

It's about getting the maximum value out of each dollar and not being ashamed about it. It's about meeting our families needs.

And it is also about sharing with others, whether that is through knowledge or encouragement... or non-perishable items bagged up for collection by the Boy Scouts!

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