There are some really fabulous articles about saving money, investing money and getting out of debt on Daily Worth. Just sign up right here for their newsletter and you have access to all of their money saving tips. Today’s great post has to do with budgets. Something we all need! I get their emails daily and honestly, it is a great jump start in the morning!
My last few weeks of shopping trips have been kind of run in, get what’s on sale and run out. This week I saw some good stock up opportunities, so I took advantage. We are pretty well set on chicken, juice and canned fruit for awhile though. Here’s my freezer:
Jam packed with frozen veggies, homemade bread crumbs, frozen fruits and of course tons of meat. Pantry is pretty packed too
There is no way in this world that I will show you my fridge though. I don’t know what it is about the fridge, it’s always the hugest mess! Probably because EVERYONE goes into the fridge, so it’s not just me going in and out.
That kind of quantity of food in my freezer and pantry was never possible before coupons. It makes me so happy to look at it.
So now onto my shopping trips. I hit Kroger yesterday and Randalls and HEB today. It was a 3 store shopping kind of week.
Kroger: Spent $63.42 Saved $24.53
I bought the sausage and the pork butt all on manager special. I needed the oil since I was totally out so I paid full price for the olive and the vegetable. Butter was on sale so I stocked up. Frozen veggies for $.88 each and the lunchmeat was 2 for $5 and I had a $1 off 2 coupon. Canned veggies were $.66 so I bought a few since we were running low on corn and carrots. Split Chicken breast was $.99 a lb so I bought 2 packages of that.
Randalls: Spent $46.05 Saved $55.40
Randalls is having their $5 off 5 participating items this week. That made the capri sun only $.99 a box. So I bought 9…it has a long shelf life and it’s super easy to throw into my bag if we’re going somewhere and I need to make sure I have something for the kids to drink. Canned no sugar added mandarin oranges and peaches were $.99 each as well. Some veggie and fruit and a basil plant and some saltines (the 10th item for the multiples of 5 for $5 deal). There were also some hang tags on the lawry’s marinade making them only $1 each. The sirloin steak was super cheap only about 10 bucks for 2 enormous steaks. (not pictured a 10 lb bag of potatoes)
HEB (savings at HEB according to their receipts are NEVER accurate) spent: $59.87 saved: $6.12
I’m sure I saved more than that. I think it was more like $15. I’m not sure why it doesn’t add up right. They had some 5 for $5 deals so I bought the kool aid, the yogurt and the corn tortillas for $1 each. The chicken breasts were on sale for $1.99 each. I know you see bread there…I HAVE been making all of our bread with my breadmaker. But my husband noticed it was starting to get a bit tedious for me. So he suggested I buy our sandwich bread and spend time making stuff I really enjoy making in the bread maker. Kind of a relief. I’m excited to make more pizza dough and bagels now! I bought some of the HEB brand rotisserie chicken salad as well. It’s like $6 for a small tub…but I swear, i would stand outside and sing it’s praises for free if HEB didn’t kick me off their property. It’s THAT good.
Total of grocery store trips this week: $255.39 Total spent: $169.34 Total saved $86.05 (according to cash register receipts)
So I saved close to 50% this week. I spent more than I typically budget week to week, but there were some good stock up opportunities. Next week I’ll probably spend much less than that. I know I’ve stopped doing the coupon matchups for Houston area grocery stores, they took hours and hours to do and to be honest, I’m not sure anyone used them. If you did, I’ll be happy to start again. Just let me know!
Amazon Prime is a program that Amazon offers usually as a paid service. You are eligible for FREE two day shipping on anything that is labeled “Prime” (which is most things). Combine this with the 30% off Subscribe and Save sale on diapers and wipes and you can score some incredibly cheap diapers and wipes.
They are offering 3 months free to Moms, Dads or caregivers of children in general. Go sign up!
I have to admit, I never knew such a thing existed. But apparently it’s also National Coupon Month, National Back to School month, and who knows what else!
In honor of National Sewing Month…Fabric.com is having a great sale.
Save 15% off any purchase of $40-$99.99 at Fabric.com with code “SEW1510”! Excludes sewing machines; expires 9/13/10 or Use code “SEW2010” and get 20% off any purchase of $100-$149.99 or more at Fabric.com! Offer valid through 9/13/10. or Use code “SEW2510” at Fabric.com and save 25% off any purchase of $150 and up! Offer valid through 9/13/10
How will I be celebrating National Sewing Month? Well I’ll be stash busting. I have waaay too much fabric just laying around and I really do better when I buy specifically per project. Otherwise I wind up with *cough*20yards*cough* of excess fabric…. Wish me luck!
So after church today we trekked over to Froberg Farm. It’s always such a treat to go there because it is kind of far from us. At least 30 minutes away. Well worth the drive though. We walk around with the kids and they point out all the different fruits and veggies and help us pick the freshest ones. It’s pretty educational.
As we walked around we put anything in our cart that looked good and fresh. I picked up some herbs to freeze and plenty of salsa making supplies (for our freezer burritos! more on that later). The kids got to sample some watermelon so of course we had to buy one!
I also found poppy seeds and sesame seeds in bulk for only $3 a bag! A great find since they are super expensive at the grocery store.
Total we spent $28 on produce. Some of it will be eaten this week, some frozen, some used to make broths. That is about triple the produce I can generally get at the grocery store for the same price.
Kroger and Randall’s were good to me today as well. I walked out saving 36% and 30% respectively. This wasn’t a big coupon trip though. Mainly necessities and taking advantage of the chicken deals ($1.88 chicken breast, $.77 chicken thighs).
Kroger…not pictured 2 gallons of milk
All together we spent $104 on groceries this week. We have a fridge bursting at the seems with fresh produce and plenty of supplies for scratch cooking. In fact I’m about to put the ingredients for our bread in the bread maker right now.
I also did some freezer cooking today:
burritos made with sausage, egg, cheese and green onions
shredded chicken for several meals
froze some fruits, veggies and herbs
I used to STRUGGLE to keep to our $150 a week food budget. I’d come home sheepishly and admit I spent $180…and it wouldn’t even last us the whole week. To be honest, I didn’t even NEED to go grocery shopping this week. I could have gotten some milk and we would have been just fine. We have fruit, veggies, and meat frozen. We have a pantry filled to the brim with staples.
A few weeks ago my husband bought me a breadmaker for an early birthday present. I’ve wanted a bread maker for a LONG time. I’ve made my own breads, bagels and pizza doughs from scratch for awhile. I just didn’t always make them as often as I would have liked.
It’s very time consuming to make any kind of bread dough. I have a good stand mixer, but even with that doing most of the kneading, I still had to be pretty hands on deck
yeast and temperatures can be finicky. At least for me. I have always had issues with my breads rising correctly
laziness? It was just easier to buy bread at the store
Since I got this bread maker though…I haven’t bought one loaf of bread! I’ve been making it all from scratch. I’ve made french bread, regular white sandwich bread, wheat bread, pizza dough and bagels!
Everything rises and everything turns out PERFECT!
If I estimate a loaf of bread (we only buy the kind without high fructose corn syrup) cost me $2.50 and we go through 2 a week (yeah I know, we eat a lot of bread!)…the bread maker will have paid for itself in only 20 weeks. I’ll likely have it for years and years to come. When I also factor in everything else I can make in it, I bet this bread maker will easily pay itself off within half that time.
Place water, salt, sugar, flour and yeast in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting.
When cycle is complete, let dough rest on a lightly floured surface. Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Cut dough into 9 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a small ball. Flatten balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each with your thumb. Twirl the dough on your finger or thumb to enlarge the hole, and to even out the dough around the hole. Cover bagels with a clean cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle an ungreased baking sheet with cornmeal. Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water. Boil for 1 minute, turning half way through. Drain briefly on clean towel. Arrange boiled bagels on baking sheet. Glaze tops with egg white, and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until well browned.
Another favorite of ours is the pizza dough recipe that came in the book my husband ordered with the machine. It makes enough for two crusts. I made the dough on Sunday morning before church and put half of it in the freezer and half of it in the fridge. When we got home from church, I let the dough sit on the counter for a bit, and than made fresh pizza for lunch!
Basic Pizza Dough
1 1/3 cups water 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour (I used bread flour) 1 tbspn sugar 1 1/2 tspn salt
2 tspn SAF yeast or 2 1/2 tspns bread machine yeast
Place all of the ingredients in your bread machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Start the dough cycle
When the machine beaps, immediately take the dough out and divide it into whatever portions you desire. Flatten each portion into a disc by kneading it a few times than folding the edges towards the center. Cover with a damp towel on the work surface to rest for 30 min until the dough has increased about 20% in size
Roll out and shape the dough as directed in your pizza recipe. Or place the dough in plastic food storage bag and refrigerate up to 24 hours. To use, let dough sit for 20 min at room temp before rolling out. Dough may be frozen up to 3 months, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using
I love the fact that I am feeding my kids bread with simple ingredients and it isn’t requiring a ton of work for me to do so. The kids LOVE my sandwich bread. They call it mama bread and they beg for it all the time! That works for me!