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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Frugal Friday--What Not to Stock Up on

Hopefully you don't think I'm beating a dead horse here, but I keep stumbling on ideas and want to share them with you.

There are items that you should not stock up on.

Anything that you won't use up before it expires. That includes diet soda which actually do go bad within about six months.  Of course if you're an advid (aka addicted) drinker of things like diet coke then you are all too familiar with stumbling along on someone else's expired stash of diet coke.

Of course that expiration warning could be applied to cheese, milk, the three heads of lettuce at Costco that seem like a great deal.

Then there are things that you don't want to be eating a lot of.  Three or four half gallons of Blue Bell seems like a good idea, until you're eating it night after night.

Another item you don't want a lot of are things you haven't really tried.  Once I bought these weird energy bars at Sam's with the assurance from the sample lady that I could freeze them and make them last longer.  Well they certainly lasted a mighty long time, because no one including me would eat them.

I've touted the idea of making a double batch of various casseroles and freezer meals, but if you've never tried the recipe before, this is not the time to double up.  You definitely want to only do that with the tried and true family favorites.

If you find a super deal on 100 pounds of rice, but won't be able to use it all before some critter of warm blodded or arthropod variety finds it.  That is no deal.  Not to mention that storing that much rice (or whatever) can be it's own challenge.  I'm confident that we'd end up spilling a big bag before it was all over.  What you could do though is share the cost of the bag with a few friends. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grocery Deals 10/30+

Sprouts   honeycrisp apples 1.49/lb, avocados .33, onions .77/lb, tomaotes .99/lb, squash .99/lb, cucumbers .50, green bell peppers .50, grass-fed Colby jack 2.99/lb,

HEB          blackberries .77(vs .99 Sprouts), apples .97/lb, romaine lettuce .88, celery .88, red bell peppers .88, grapefruit .16 (vs .50 Sprouts), boneless chicken 1.97/lb, ribeye steak 4.97/lb, beef fajitas 2.97/lb,

Randalls     NY strip 5.99/lb, T-bone 4.99/lb, 93% lean ground beef, *with store coupon: Mayo or Miracle whip 1.99 (this was selling at $3+ at HEB the last couple of weeks)

Weekly Menu 11/2+

Monday I made Pioneer Woman's drip beef sandwiches

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Counter Intuitive Mess

Today is Saturday, chore day and this week I had quite a list running around my head every time I walked through the house I would see another 'thing' that needed to be done.  Even walking around outside I would see a thing or two that needed attention.  Why is it that no one else sees these things?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Frugal Friday--Make it Harder to Shop Online

Online shopping is wonderful.  I find it to be a bit like year-round Christmas.  Brown paper packages (not tied up with string) arrive at my door/gate and I always get my favorite things.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Weekly Menu 10/26+

I lost a little momentum last week and didn't get this menu posted in time, but we took an extra trip back to Austin on Wednesday evening for a dr. appt. for J; he's fine just a sprained knee.

Sunday I'm still loving the dutch oven meat cooking.  This week it was beef roast, with mashed potatoes (yukon gold yum!) and peas.  

Next, on Monday I'd been seeing the adds for Hellman's Mayo Parm Chicken and after slicing my chicken breasts in half horizontally to help them cook faster I mixed Parmesan with mayo, topped the chicken then sprinkled on some panko and Italian seasoning (oregano and fresh basil).  I think I served it with yellow squash which has come back to life in my garden.  

Tuesday we had food that I didn't write down and now have zero recollection of.  

Wednesday all day I was ready to make these great looking pizza burgers that we had all watched on Pioneer Woman's Saturday morning show.  I even went back across the store to find the pepperoni (now located by the beer instead of that weird entry area to the back stockroom by the eggs).  However, when we got home L said, "Hey, let's go out and eat at Chisholm Trail."  Of course I said yes and the burgers had to wait until Thursday.  

They were fabulous.  I did purchase the lower fat, not turkey, pepperoni pieces and cooked them in a separate skillet before I put them on the burgers.  I did that partly to remove any extra fat, because I had forgotten I purchased the lower fat ones and secondly to heat and crisp them up; which they did.  

We also didn't want the bell pepper rings on our burgers, so I left those off, but the mix of ground beef and bulk Italian sausage was great in the base burger.  

Friday I used up the leftover roast and made chili with a seasoning mix that I purchased at a craft show last year.  I also had an avocado and tomato and coarse chopped those and topped with some jalapeno ranch dressing.

Grocery Deals 10/23+

Happy Big 6-0 Birthday Mr. G!

Sprouts      blackberries .99 (vs. 1.77 HEB), apples .99/lb., avocados .50, red/gold/orange bell peppers .99, cucumbers .50, butternut squash .50/lb. (or free if you can find a way to meet up with me to get one from my garden, they are baby sized—as in the size of a baby).  Squash .99/lb., tomatoes .99/lb., boneless chicken 1.77/lb., country pork ribs 1.47/lb. (vs 2.49 Randalls), bulk pork sausage 1.99/lb.

Randalls   pork chops 1.99/lb, pot roast 2.99/lb,
Friday only: 8 piece fried chicken, large pack of little smokies, canned chili $1

HEB           grapefruit .16, cantaloupe 1.37, corn .33, potatoes .98/5#, squash .88/lb, beef roast 2.97/lb, pork roast $1/lb, pork chops 1.97/lb

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Frugal Friday--Stock Up

The last two week's posts have been about staying out of the store; staying away from buying opportunities if you will.

This week I want to talk about stocking up when you do go to the store.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Frugal Friday--Stop Reading Store Flyers

Back in the day (15 years ago) when we used to take the Sunday newspaper my favorite ad to look through was the Target flyer.  There was always some great deal that prompted me to head on over to the store and take advantage of it.  And it was common that I would spend $30-$50 each week on 'necessities'.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weekly Menu 10/12+

Two weeks ago Sunday I prepared this delicious Peach-Whiskey BBQ chicken, that was so good, J didn't even realize it was chicken.

Grocery Deals 10/9+

HEB     black grapes .67/lb, pears .77/lb (vs .99 Randalls), oranges .77/lb (vs .98 Sprouts), apples .77/lb, pineapple 1.77, celery .88, red/green cabbage .38/lb (.48 Sprouts), broccoli .88/lb, zucchini .88/lb, green onions .47, leg/thighs $1/lb (vs. 1.79 Randalls), beef fajitas 2.97/lb, Italian sausage 2.29/lb

Sprouts   apples .78/lb, butternut squash .78/lb, yellow squash/zucchini .98/lb, green beans .98/lb, cucumbers .48, green bell peppers .48, tomatoes .98/lb, boneless chicken 1.99/lb

Randalls    pork roast .99/lb, boneless chicken 1.99/lb, pork ribs 1.99/lb, 90% lean ground beef 2.99/lb,

Friday only: ribeye steak $5/lb

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Frugal Friday--Shop Less Often

One of the ways that I started saving money on groceries, was actually to not go into the store in the first place.  I go to the grocery store only once a week.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Grocery Deals 10/2+

Sprouts     strawberries 1.67/lb, raspberries 1.67-6oz (vs. 1.77 HEB), cantaloupe 1.50, honeydew melons 1.50, cluster tomatoes .99/lb, cucumbers .50, green bell peppers .50, red/yellow peppers .99, squash or zucchini .99/lb, celery .99, green beans .99/lb, onions .50/lb

HEB           romaine or green leaf lettuce .75, apples .67/lb—or 3lb bag at .50/lb (vs .99 Sprouts, 2.49/lb Randalls), green or red bell peppers .47 (vs .49 and .99 Sprouts), oranges .77/lb, corn .33, gold potatoes 1.47/5#, NY strip 4.97/lb (vs 6.99 Randalls), boneless chicken 1.99/lb, chicken breasts $1/lb, bulk Italian sausage 2.29/lb

Randalls    pork loin 2.99/lb, 93% lean ground beef, corn .25

Weekly Menu 10/5+

Two weeks ago Sunday I prepared a beef roast in my Dutch oven that was seasoned by HEB.  I picked it up on a reduction of some sort and think I only paid $1.50/lb for it.  I tossed it right into the freezer when I got home and this week I pulled it out when I was ready to prepare it.  Cooking the roast was very simple since it was already seasoned with Texas rub, I did add an onion and some beef broth.  The leftovers were put aside for Thursday evening.

Monday was a super quick and easy meal; Italian sausage meatball subs.  Remove the casing from Italian sausage and form dime sized meatballs.  Place meatballs on an olive oil coated pan and bake at 375 for about 15 min. Heat some jarred spaghetti sauce and I served over leftover hot dog buns topped with mozzarella cheese.  I could have fixed a salad, but I didn't.

Tuesday was supposed to be grilled chicken, but it wasn't.  I cant really account for what we ate that night, but the chicken didn't get prepared until Wednesday.

Thursday I cooked about 1.5 cups of frozen mixed veggies.  While that got started I cut/shredded the leftover roast into bite sized pieces and combined it with a package of brown gravy mix to make super fast beef stew, adding in the veggies when they were finished cooking. There was just enough of this to almost make lunch for one of us

Friday's are begger's cant be chooser's night around here, mostly because I'm tired and don't want to cook.  I'm pretty sure people ate something.  Even if they didn't I can attest that no one starved to death.  Oh now I remember.  It was raining (YAY GOD!) almost all day Friday and L and I shared a pizza for lunch.  I brought the leftovers home.  See I provided a solid solution.

I'm liking this real life version of what's for dinner.  C & J already provided some feedback that I've incorporated.  Feel free to let me know your opinions too.