Saturday, April 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Mexican Pile-On of Rice, Black Beans, Homemade Guacamole, Fat-Free Sour Cream, Tomatoes, Onions, Green Onions, Cheddar, and Mild Chiles

Tuesday: Falafel with Cucumber Sauce, Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes With Feta (we LOVE these)

Wednesday: Pasta With Pesto and Peas

Thursday: Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Corn Tortilla

Friday: Whole Wheat Crust Pizza with whatever leftover veggies we have

Saturday: Beer-Bison Burgers (locally raised bison) on homemade buns, corn on the cob, green salad, Baked Seasoned Fries with Skinny Garlic Aoli

Sunday: Quesadilla with Cheese, Onions, and Refried Beans

Lunches: Fruit smoothies with hemp protein
Walnuts, Raisins, Fresh Fruit, and Peanut Butter on Wheat Crackers
Greek Yogurt with Hemp Protein, Fruit, PB & J
Leftover Rice and Beans and Falafel

Hundreds more menu plans here!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Win An iPad2?

You all see the list of contests I've won listed on my sidebar. I don't enter every contest I see- just for things I'd think I'd actually like to have. I told my husband I've been trying to win him an iPad. Well- there's a blog giveaway with relatively low entries I recommend you check out at The Centsible Life.

I’m posting this to enter a contest offered by CheckNGo at The Centsible Life! I want to win the iPad 2! Enter to win here:

Good luck!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Avocado Kidney Bean Salad

Tuesday: hunt and peck

Wednesday: Asparagus and Tomato Over Penne

Thursday: Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato With Feta, Falafel

Friday: Whole Wheat Pizza with Artichokes and Onions

Saturday: out to dinner with friends here

Sunday: Quinoa With Black Beans, Avocado, and Corn

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekly Shopping Trip

Kroger trip for the week: Spent $72.79 and got a $5 gift card back. We went through a ton of produce this week, got hit by a stomach bug, and ended up picking up some extra juices, Gatorade, and broth, bringing my total up more than I expected. Still- not bad though. I'm $12 over where I want to be.

I did get some good deals this week- four 14 oz boxes of Cheerios for $0.91 each (could have gotten them for $0.54 each, but the coupons I had weren't the higher value ones), FREE Planters Almonds from a Facebook promo, Dannon Greek Yogurt for $0.50 each, and 2 FREE boxes of Barilla Piccolini pasta.

I had to buy more expensive individual containers of soy yogurt, so paid a few bucks more. Lots of extra packaging too. It just reminds me I need to experiment with making my own yogurt at home, as both soy and dairy yogurt can be made in the slow cooker, and extra portions frozen. Dairy yogurt can be drained of excess water to make it "Greek" style with more concentrated protein. Anyone make their own yogurt? I am contemplating getting this machine with its own glass containers to decrease our plastic consumption.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I must admit, I was never a fan of sweet potatoes. I prefer savory flavors to sweet, and the only sweet potatoes I'd ever tried as a kid were loaded in sweet syrup and covered with marshmallows. Blargh!

My friend Val makes these simple cottage fries in the oven that I really like, and it made me wonder if there are other ways to cook them that weren't too sweet or coated in sugar.

I ran across this recipe for Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes With Feta and Sumac on Kalyn's Kitchen a few weeks ago. I love feta, so it piqued my interest. I had to remember to throw the potatoes in the oven as soon as I got home, but once baked the first time, it doesn't take that long for the second bake.

Verdict: These are really good! I didn't have any sumac, so I used paprika instead. I think I found a new way to make good sweet potatoes! I had to make some without feta for my son, as feta is most certainly not dairy-free.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week of April 17th Match-Ups

Here's where I'm looking for my deals this week:

The Savings Lifestyle for Kroger deals: Sweet Corn $0.25, Sweet Potatoes $0.79/lb, Silk Soy or Almond Milk $0.50 to $1.50, Fage Greek Yogurt $0.25, Birdseye Frozen Veggies $0.50, Green Giant Frozen Veggies for FREE, Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies $0.99, Cheerios and Honey Nut Chex $0.54.

Stretching A Buck for Meijer deals: FREE I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, FREE Stove Top Stuffing, Birdseye Steamfresh Veggies $0.39, Dole Pineapple $0.47.

The Krazy Koupon Lady for CVS deals: FREE Easter Grass, FREE Paas Egg Decorating Kit, 12 pack Coke for $2.50, 4 Aveeno Lotions for $2.49 each (was $6.49), Thermacare heat Wraps $1.99 each, Edge Shave Gel $0.44, FREE Green bag tag, FREE Colgate Toothpaste, FREE Reach Toothbrush and Floss, Stove Top Stuffing $0.38, Nivea Body Wash $0.88.

Deal Seeking Mom for Walgreens Deals: FREE Goody Hair Accessories, FREE NasoGel, FREE Gas-X, FREE Always product, FREE Airwick Freshmatic, FREE Scotch Magic Tape, FREE Colgate Toothpaste, FREE Reach Toothbrush, FREE Peeps, FREE Dawn Dish Liquid, Duracell Batteries $2.99 each wyb 2, Gillette Fusion ProGlide System $0.99, Enfamil Formula $10.49, Easter M & Ms $0.50.

Cincinnati Cents for Aldi deals: 3 lb of sweet potatoes $0.99, Cantaloupe $0.99, Gallon Milk $1.79.

Deal Seeking Mom for Rite Aid deals: 4 FREE Nivea Body Washes, FREE Easter Candy, FREE Gain Dish Detergent, FREE Little Remedies product, FREE Febreze Noticables Warmer, Airwick Aerosol Air Fresheners $0.05 each, Dixie Ultra Plates $0.75, Huggies $4.99.

Deal Seeking Mom is also reporting Seventh Generation cleaning products for $0.49 at Target.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekly Shopping Trip

Kroger total for the week: $72.50 for food and $16.50 for pull-ups and flushable wipes for my potty-training resistant son. I still have to buy apples, organic locally-raised eggs, and organic apple juice, so my total will be more like $80 once I hit the health-food store. That means next week my budget will be $60 to keep my monthly spending at $280. I have a separate monthly budget of $100 for baby formula (currently $44 a month and will increase to $88 a month in a few months) and my son's pull-ups. We tried underwear and cloth training pants, but it just ended up with months of constant wet jeans and pee all over my carpet. So disposable pull-ups it is!

As you can see, there is a lot of fresh produce, mostly organic.

I was able to get 3 Steamfresh frozen veggies (I take them out and cook on the stovetop instead of inside the bag) for $0.67 each and 2 bags for $0.50 each).

The Huggies pull-ups were $8.99 at Kroger, and I had a $1.50 off coupon and a $2 off coupon. Huggies are the only brand that fit our skinny boy the best, as the sides are adjustable. The Charmin flushable wet wipes were $2 with coupon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quinoa with Brussels and Leeks

I stumbled upon this recipe for Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Slivered Almonds, and Leeks at the Gluten-Free Goddess. We've had a bag of quinoa in our pantry left by my SIL, and when I saw this recipe for brussels sprouts (because we do love them!), we had to try it.

I've been trying a lot of different veggies lately, and have found that it's so easy to chop them, throw them on a cookie sheet with some herbs, and let the roasting process give loads of flavor. The quinoa was easy to cook on the stovetop and didn't taste strange at all. I didn't have almonds, and I used regular raisins and balsamic vinegar.

The finished product does look pretty green, kind of like the color of my grandmother's wallpaper, but the taste is fantastic! We will definitely make this again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week of April 10th Match-Ups

The places I'm going for my match-ups this week. Click on the links for details :

Cincinnati Cents for Walgreens deals: FREE Carefree Pantiliners, FREE Luster 7 Toothpaste, two Biore products for $0.50 each, Pampers Jumbo Packs $6 each, FREE Snickers Chocolate Eggs, FREE Gatorade G Series, Glade Spray $1, Playtex Tampons $1.74, $2.50 for ALL Detergent. Also, $2.50 for a 6-pack of Scott's Natural Paper Towels.

Cincinnati Cents for CVS deals: FREE Russell Stover Egg or Chocolate Bunny, FREE Super Miracle Bubbles, three FREE Honest Tea, Special K Cereal $1.30According to the Savings Lifestyle, at CVS, earn $2 buying 8 Lysol Neutra Air, Colgate Whitening for FREE.

Stretching A Buck for Rite Aid deals: two Mars Easter Candy FREE, AMO Complete Multi-Purpose Solution FREE, two FREE Gillette or Old Spice Body Wash, FREE Stayfree Pads, L'Oreal Vuve Hair care $0.50-0.75.

The Savings Lifestyle for Meijer deals: Mangos for $0.50, Del Monte canned veggies $0.49 each wyb 10, Chef Boyardee $0.67, Ronzoni Pasta $0.50, Classico Pasta Sauce $1.50, Peter Pan Peanut Butter $0.50, Breakstone Sour Cream $0.30, Philadelphia Cooking Cream $0.50, Kool-Aid FREE to $0.30 each, Gillette Shave Gel $0.88.

The Savings Lifestyle for Kroger deals: Sweet Corn for $0.25 each, Green Bell Peppers $0.59, Blackberries $1.50, Powerbar $0.49 each, Banquet Entrees $0.38, Birdeye Steamfresh Veggies $0.50, Campbell's Cream Soups $0.20, FREE Suave Deodorant, FREE Oral-B Toothbrush, Dial Soap $0.30, General Mills Cereal as low as $0.54.

The Savings Lifestyle for Aldi deals: Large Pineapple $0.99, 16 oz Strawberries $1.49, 3 lb Sweet Potatoes $0.99, Spiral Sliced Ham $1.49/lb,

Money Saving Mom for Walmart Deals: FREE Similac Ready to Feed formula, NYC Nail Polish $0.18, French's Mustard $0.50, Olay Bar Soap $0.47.

A few more deals:
The Savings Lifestyle reports $0.99 Mother's Day cards from Tinyprints.

Fantastic post on the Cotton Babies blog about how to cloth diaper for virtually nothing.

Money Saving Mom reports FREE ExquisiCat Cat Litter at Petsmart.

Nickels-n-Dimes reports has Pampers wipes 720 ct box for $12.63 shipped if you use subscribe and save.

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: Quinoa With Brussels Sprouts and Leeks

Monday: Black Bean Burgers and Sweet Potatoes With Feta

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

Wednesday: Cream Cheese Ranch Tortilla Wraps

Thursday: Mexican Omelettes

Friday: Pizza Night! Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza with Peppers and Onions

Saturday: Mujadarrah

Sunday: Roasted Vegetables on Broiled Polenta, Poached Eggs


Avocado tacos

Chickpea Salad

Hundreds more menu plans here!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekly Shopping Trip

Kroger trip: $41 for food. I plan on making simple bean wraps and quick bean-based dishes for lunches to work this week, eating leftover rice and beans, and using up what we have in stock for regular dinners, with some additional veggies bought to round things out. I spent $10 mid-week this week, so it brings my total to $51 for the week.

Kroger has a great deal on Pampers this week. They are on sale for $8.99 a pack, and you get $5 off your next purchase of Pampers if you buy at least $25 worth. I had two $3 off coupons to combine with this. Total out of pocket was $21, and I hope to combine another coupon with this catalina to try and get another pack for free. Once we got past the first few newborn and post-surgery weeks, we started using the same cloth diapers we used for our son. These disposables are for my niece, due this summer.

Next trip was Babies R Us. Gerber two-packs of Organic Baby Food (usually $1.79 each) were on sale for 8 for $10. I plan on making baby food myself mostly, but like having a few backups just in case.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Curry Chicken and Bean Salad

I like curry, and I like chicken, but usually only when it's Indian takeaway. This curried chicken and bean salad turned out FANTASTIC. My house reeks of curry, but the husband and I both loved this. Because of the organic chicken, the price of the main dish was pricier than usual, about $6.50. The bean salad could probably stand alone as a main dish, and was about $4.

The bean salad had a little bit of everything I like, especially avocado. Two thumbs up!

Thanks to Kris at The Motivation Station for another great recipe!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Roasted Veggie Wraps and Homemade Whole Wheat Tortilla
Homemade Guacamole

Tuesday: Potato, Spinach, Kielbasa Skillet (still haven't made this!)

Wednesday: Bacon and Tomato Pasta

Thursday: Mexican Tomato Rice and Beans

Friday (Pizza Night!): Homemade Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust, Onions,and Peppers

Saturday: Rosemary Focaccia Bread and Portobello Mushroom Saute with Caramelized Onions

Sunday: Pear Oven Pancake

Zucchini Apple Muffins

More menu plans here!

Weekly Shopping Trip

Kroger trip: $78 for food,including organic chicken and a few extra items to make things for lunches, as I am back to work this week. I plan on making these Zucchini Apple Bran Muffins for quick breakfasts. I also used some of my drug store budget to buy some calcium plus D3,as my food journal on tells me I am not getting enough calcium by far.

I also made a trip to the health food store for my son's soy yogurt (I'd rather pay $4 for a carton that lasts 8 days for him instead of almost $10 for individual containers.) Total was $12. I bought organic local eggs and non-creepy bacon that, combined with the organic chicken, really brought my total up this week. It just means we'll eat from the pantry more next week to keep me overall at $70 a week for the month. I knew there was a reason we ate vegetarian most days! Organic meats are expensive.