Monday, November 15, 2010

Target & Albertson's Deals

I saw a couple of good deals in the paper yesterday I wanted to share.

Target has
  • Campbell's condensed soups and Swanson broths for $.50, Del Monte vegetables for $.45, and at $.79 each are Stovetop stuffing, Betty Crocker potatoes, and Heinz gravy. Combine these with manufacturer's coupons for excellent deals.
  • Carnation evaporated milk is $.89, Ocean Spray cranberry is $.95, and Libby's pure pumpkin is $1.29.
  • A coupon in the ad for a $10 gift card with a new or transferred prescription. It's good for 2 weeks so I clipped in just in case one of my brood comes down with an ear infection, strep, or some other prescription requiring illnes in the next two weeks.
  • Nature Made vitamins for $5. Combined with MCs this is a great deal.

A couple of random factoids:

  • Ocean Spray owns/contracts with something like 95% of the United States' cranberry bogs/farmers. I know this because I grew up near Bandon, Oregon where there are many cranberry bogs.
  • If you are having a hard time finding canned pumpkin this year it's because last year's pumpkin crops (used to make this year's canned pumpkin) were largely flooded.

Albertsons has

  • Double Coupons good through Tuesday. I happened to get two inserts, Yahoo!
  • $.27/lb turkey with a $25 purchase.

This totally beats Fred Meyer's deal of a free turkey with $150 purchase. Remember even a 20 pound turkey is less than $6. You don't have to spend $125 more to get a "Free" turkey when it only cost $5 or $6 to buy it after $25.

Happy Bargain Shopping!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Potluck Tips

Last week I had a MOPS meeting and it was my table's turn to bring refreshments for the group. I usually sign up to bring an egg dish since it's a morning meeting and eggs are cheap, but with the new baby and adjusting to getting out of the house on time I thought I'd better not add cooking/hot food to our morning.

Instead I signed up for a cheese tray because I had two kinds of cheese at home and cheese was on sale that week. Before the meeting, I was also able to find a second sale and in total I was able to prepare a cheese try with 4 kinds of cheese: yellow cheddar, colby jack, white cheddar and pepper jack. All the cheese was $2/lb or less, my price point for cheese, and I feel like I am taking something nice.

Here are my tips for an affordable potluck contribution:
  • If there's a sign-up, do so quickly! You'll be able have your choice of what to bring if you are among the first to make a selection.
  • If the potluck is in the near future, think about what you already have at home as you decide what to bring. You'll save a shopping trip and spend less.
  • If the potluck is further way, think about what is affordable to buy or what you know is on sale or likely to be on sale.
  • Shop for your contribution ahead of time and with an eye on sales.
  • Prepare the food yourself, and make sure you set that time aside. A last minute deli purchase of deviled eggs will cost you!

Here are some of my favorite things to bring to potlucks:

  • Breakfast/Brunch: hard-boiled eggs, egg/potato casserole, cheese tray, home-made breakfast bread.

  • Lunch/Dinner: Dessert! A cake or brownie mix with frosting is under $2 if you buy it on sale, mashed potatoes, fruit or veggie tray (in summer when these prices are low or I can pick from the garden), cheese tray, condiments, cheese/crackers, potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

FREE Veggie Tales MP3 Download

Download the Veggie Tales Christmas album, "The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree," to your MP3 player for FREE.

My friend Sarah found this deal on Amazon, but I don't know how long it lasts. At the time of this writing, it's still available.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving/Stock Up Sales

Several grocery stores are having their great Thanksgiving sales this week. They may have some reduced prices the week of Thanksgiving, but this week is the best time to go.

Last night I went to QFC and got all this - including an almost 19 pound turkey and a $6 DVD for one of my daughters for $31.18.

QFC's sale incudes $.50 canned tomatoes, canned chili, canned fruit, whole or jellied canned cranberries, broth, cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, and jar gravy. There are also $.75 evaporated milk and stuffing. These are all brand names and can be combined with manufacturer's coupons. You must buy a combination of 10 to get the deal, but I had a hard time only getting 10! QFC allows up to 30 items so I could have gone up to 20, but I'm really trying to stay under budget. QFC is also running a deal for $.29/lb on a 16+ pound turkey or $.49/lb on a 16- pound turkey when you spend $25 (before turkey).

Albertsons also has a good sale when you buy 10. Prices include $.39 canned broth and canned vegetables, $.49 cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, $.75 canned dole pineapple, $.79 gravy, boxed scalloped potatoes, and 2 - liters of pepsi, and $.99 eggo waffles and progresso soup. These also are brand names that can be combined with manufacturer's coupons with the exception of broth & soup.

Of course, these sales end today on the usual Wednesday to Tuesday schedule. Sorry for the late notice, but thanks to my friend, Lee, for reminding me these are great deals!


Friday, November 5, 2010

$1 Shipping at is one of my favorite internet shopping sites so I was delighted to find out they have $1 shipping through Thanksgiving. The usual price of $2.95 shipping for any amount spent is one of the reasons I like the site and $1 is even sweeter.

Additionally, you can enter code 203028 to save $5 on a purchase of $45 or more.

Maybe I'll get those flannel sheets I've been wanting for Thanksgiving company . . .


Thursday, November 4, 2010

October Wrap-Up & November Goals

October was a busy month! We had DD1's birthday, a 12 day road trip to Disneyland, and a 4 day trip to visit Grandma in Oregon, too.

October was also full of blessings with continued meals to help out after Phoebe's arrival, much appreciated baby gifts and visits with several friends who we don't get to see often enough!

We had some especially cool stuff happen related to Disneyland. First, my aunt made the girls beautiful princess dresses that were a huge improvement on the mass-produced princess costumes. Next, my cousin Rebecca gave the big girls each a visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for their birthdays (DD1's was right before our trip & DD2's is this week). Finally, we were given a coupon book by a stranger as we entered Disneyland about 8PM on our first day there. She said, "This is our last day and we can't use these." Perhaps she chose us because we were a sight with four little kids strapped into their double strollers. When we checked out the coupons the next morning we found a coupon for a free adult character meal and $75 in vouchers for food in the park! DH had been particularly grumpy about our planned meal at Ariel's Grotto ($$$) and we thanked God for providing in this completely unexpected way. It was so much we were able to share the blessing with our family members who also came to Ariel's Grotto!

Goals for October included:

  • Use the clothesline at least once - Didn't manage it, even with these last couple of beautiful days.
  • Start pulling out the garden - Again, didn't get to it. I will need about half a bale of hay in the next couple of weeks though. Anyone know where I can get one and/or does anyone want to share?
  • We planned $200 for groceries this month - I did it!
  • Pay another bit of Timeshare off - We got another 6%. The extra 'found' money this month was from babysitting, a paid focus group, a small amount of interest that has accumulated in various savings accounts, and DH got a raise that we are applying straight to this debt.
  • Get DD1's homeschool rolling again - Check. We did school 4 days last week and are on track this week, too. An unexpected surprise is that DD2 wants to be a part of things, too, so we got her started on a workbook.
  • At least one Resourceful Gifting post - I also did this.

New Goals for November:

  • Pull garden out
  • Clean & vaccum both cars - inspired by something I read that suggested taking care of your cars will help you feel better about their age and ugliness.
  • Groceries $200 - this will be a challenge because of Thanksgiving and because I already committed $60 for bulk food purchases with a friend.
  • Make the budget work to include lots of things that have come up for November without using DH's raise which we've committed to the timeshare debt.
  • Get Christmas cards and baby announcements completely finished before Thanksgiving so I can enjoy the rest of my holiday season.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Resourceful Tip - Lemon to Clean Copper

All of my kitchen pots have copper bottoms and they are impossible to keep clean. Copper cleaner is pretty spendy and I refuse to buy it just to make my pan look shiny. I will however spring for a lemon, so I was excited to read this tip in All You Magazine, December 2009.

"Clean copper and solid brass the natural way: Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle some salt on it. Rub the lemon on the piece you're polishing (don't worry, the salt won't scratch the metal). Rinse the item thoroughly and dry."

I'm definitely giving this a go before all the Thanksgiving company arrives!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Meal Swap - Pork Tenderloin with Pears

For the last meal swap I made Pork Tenderloin with Pears for the crockpot. This is a yummy, easy meal and I love cooking with pears!

Here are the ingredients:
4 - 1" thick slices of pork tenderloin (about 1#)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 15-oz can pears with syrup
2 t. minced garlic
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 t. thyme
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ginger
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

DD1 was a big helper with this meal. We made seven portions and she divided our Costco-sized can of pears equally into seven bowls.

I put the meat into ziploc bags, then we added the pears, onions, and other ingredients to the bags.

The finished product, marinating in yummy pear juice and basalmic vinegar marinade.

The cost breakdown is a little hard to figure this time because so much time as passed since I purchased the ingredients (pre-baby) and the large amount of spices, so these are complete estimates:
Pork Loin - $1.99/lb ~ over 7 lbs = $15.00
Pears - $6ish for Costco can = $6.00
Basalmic Vinegar - $4.00
7 onions - $3.00
2 cups dried cranberries - $3.00 (bought in bulk $2.25/lb)
Various spices - $1.00?
Total Cost = $32.00 Each meal = $4.50ish
This dish can be cooked in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on low heat or it can be baked covered in a 325 oven for about 2 hours.

Free 5x7 Photo Book!

I got an email advertising this deal via email.
Shutterfly is offering a FREE 20-page photo book in the 5"x7" size. Even with shipping this would make a great little gift for a Grandma or another family member. Don't forget Christmas is just around the corner!

You'll need to enter Promo Code: GT58-DK91-V1KM-C53T1V This code should be good through December 6, 2010.


Monday, November 1, 2010


This is your friendly neighborhood blog reminder to VOTE in tomorrow's elections. If you are an absentee voter and your ballot is still unopened, bust that baby out now. If your spouse's ballot is also unopened, plan to nag him/her tonight until they vote.

Encouraging civic responsibility,


Menu Plan

OK - so my pantry and freezer are starting to bulge again so I'm hoping to focus on using what I have on hand for meals this month, starting this week. The bulk of the grocery budget will probably go toward Thanksgiving food - I'm cooking this year.

I have a lot of bread this week so I'm incorporating it into lots of meals

Monday - Sour cream chicken (chicken in freezer, lots of sour cream)
Tuesday - Burritos (because I accidentally opened a can of refried beans a few days ago)
Wednesday - French Toast (bread)
Thursday - Tortellini (freezer)
Friday - Ribs (freezer)
Saturday - Fajitas (chicken & tortillas in freezer)
Sunday - Burgers (freezer)

Monday - grilled cheese (bread)
Tuesday - PB & J (bread) - packed lunch
Wednesday - Mac & cheese
Thursday - chicken nuggets - packed lunch
Friday - quesadillas
Saturday - tuna melts (bread)
Sunday - PB & J (bread) - packed lunch

Monday - French Toast
Tuesday - Cold Cereal
Wednesday - Oatmeal
Thursday - Bagels
Friday - Oatmeal
Saturday - Cold Cereal
Sunday - Cold Cereal