Meal Plan Monday - December 28




After many celebrations with family that included lots of rich food, we are more than ready to get back to our weekly meal plan.  We will be using up the leftover turkey from our Christmas meal and I'll be picking up some whole chickens that are on sale this week for $.99 per pound.  I will cook the chicken in the crock pot and make overnight chicken stock with the scraps to use in meals this week.


Turkey Bisque Soup with added rice, leftover Mile High Biscuits

Alphabet Soup with added chicken, garlic bread made from Italian bread

Zippy Shepherd's Pie, salad

Hot Turkey Sandwiches with sauteed mushrooms, leftover mashed potato, carrot sticks, apple slices

One Pot Wonder Chicken Lo Mein, peas

Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet, green beans, corn

Leftover night and/or chef salad



Get more meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved Last Week




The Christmas celebrations are over and we are looking forward to a quiet week at home this week.  I had a very busy week last week finishing up last minute Christmas preparations and spending time with both sides of our family. It didn't turn out to be a very frugal week overall, but we did save in small ways.

I made granola and peanut butter truffles for food gifts.  I cut the egg cartons that I saved in half, put mini cupcake liners in the individual sections and put the peanut butter truffles in the liners.  I put them in small, clear gift bags and closed them with ribbons I had saved from past Christmas celebrations (see picture above).

These free labels were perfect for the food gifts that I gave this year.  I saved them to my computer and opened them into a photo editor in order to type onto the label, and then printed them.

I ironed tissue paper that I saved from last year and used it again this year.  I also reused a gift bag that was like new.

I printed these free gift tags onto the cardstock that I bought with a coupon a couple of weeks ago.  I love how simple and clean looking they are.  I was looking specifically for gift tags that didn't have background color that would use a lot of ink.

The boys colored free hand drawn gift tags that I printed out and attached to gifts for their teachers.

I made a little sweater for a baby shower gift using this free pattern.  I also gave a framed copy of this free scripture printable.  I saved it as a .jpg file on my computer and opened it in OpenOffice to change the size to fit a 5 x 7 frame.  If you're not familiar with OpenOffice, it is a free alternative to Microsoft Office that can be downloaded from their site.

I cooked a turkey that we were given in November for Christmas dinner and used some of the leftovers to make turkey pot pie.

We had some very ripe bananas that I put in the freezer.

I turned an almost-empty bottle of conditioner upside down in a cup in order to use as much as possible.

My husband used his Irving Rewards points and paid just $1.97 a gallon for gas for one of his fill-ups.

We were very happy to learn that starting in February we no longer need to have mortgage insurance for our home loan; a savings of about $32 a month.

How did you save last week?


Simply Saving Saturday - December 19




Our family borrowed several books from the library and we returned all our books on time so that we didn't have to pay any late fees.  We have had to pay late fees recently so we are making an extra effort to return our books on or before the due date.  I even have the due date written on the calendar!

Some of the deals I picked up this week were FREE Gillette shave gel at Hannaford and Skippy Peanut Butter for $.90 and Chex cereal for $1.00 at Food City.

I made a few more cards this week with cardstock and scrapbook supplies that I had on hand.  I used a 55% off coupon at A.C. Moore to purchase cardstock and paid just $1.80 for a pack of 50.

I downloaded a free crochet pattern.

Thanks to a tip from a reader, I looked for discounted Italian bread at Walmart and found some for just $.50.  I used half of the loaf to make garlic bread and froze the other half.

This week I shared the Clothespin Snowflake Ornaments that I made for our Christmas tree.  If you missed the post you find it here.

How did you save this week?


Our on-going savings:

**Freeze leftovers that I won't use right away.

**Set the thermostat to 62 degrees at night and 66 degrees during the day.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Earn Bing Rewards points for gift cards, Hulu Plus subscription, Skype credits, etc.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.

Food City Coupon Matchups and Deals 12/18 - 12/24








Hood Sour Cream $.99
-$.55 off 1 from 12/6 SS (?)
Final Price: FREE

Halos Clementines 3 lb. $4.99
-$.50 off 1 from 12/6 SS
Final Price: $3.99

Philadelphia Cream Cheese 2 for $3.00
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00 each wyb 2

Kraft Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip 2 for $6.00
-$.55 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.90

Cool Whip 10 for $10.00
-$.55 off 3 printable coupon
Final Price: $.63 each wyb 3

Chex Cereal 2 for $5.00
-$.75 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00

Minute Rice 14 oz. 2 for $4.00
-$.50 off 1 from 10/11 RP
Final Price: $1.00

Skippy Peanut Butter 2 for $4.00
-$.55 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $.90

Mott's Applesauce 6 pack 2 for $4.00
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.50 each wyb 2

Dole Tropical Fruit 4 for $5.00
-$.40 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $.45

Del Monte Canned Vegetables 3 for $2.00
-$.40 off 4 from 11/8 SS
Final Price: $.47 each wyb 4

Wonderful Pistachios 8 oz. $4.99
-$.50 off 1 from 11/8 SS
-$.50 off 1 from 12/6 SS
Final Price: $3.99

Prince Edward Island Potatoes 5 lb. $1.88

Onions 2 lb. $.99 

Lays Potato Chips Buy One, Get One Free

Best Yet products
Lasagna 16 oz. $1.00
Shredded Cheese 8 oz. 2 for $3.00
Vegetable or Canola Oil 48 oz. 2 for $3.00
Oyster Crackers $1.00
Paper Towels 3 pk. 2 for $3.00
Best Yet Orange Juice 12 oz. 2 for $3.00
Half & Half 16 oz. 10 for $10.00

Clothespin Snowflake Ornament


There is something about the Christmas season that always puts me in the mood to get crafty and I love making my own Christmas ornaments. I love these clothespin ornaments because of their simplicity and how easy they are to put together.  

Supplies:

8 clothespins
craft glue
acrylic paint
paintbrushes
glitter and embellishments
string, twine or ribbon
hot glue gun




Remove the springs from the clothespins, and with the craft glue, glue the straight sides of the two pieces together.




Use craft glue to glue four pieces together and then glue four more pieces in each of the corners, as shown above.



Now just paint and add embellishments (I recommend using two coats of paint if you are painting your snowflakes white as they can become discolored over time.) After the paint has dried, use the hot glue gun to glue a string or ribbon onto the back of the snowflake for a hanger.

There are so many ways that these ornaments can be decorated. I think they would be beautiful painted in gold or silver.  The mini clothespins would make adorable mini-sized snowflakes for ornaments or to add to Christmas gifts.  For the above snowflake, I used a paintbrush to paint glue onto the snowflake and added a little bit of fine white glitter.  In the first picture, I used a hot glue gun to add scrabble letters to spell "joy". 

If you try this project, I would love to see a picture!  Pictures can be sent to vanessasvalues [at] hotmail [dot] com.





Shared on Motivation Monday.

Coupon Matchups and Deals 12/13 - 12/19





Here are some of my favorite coupon matchups and deals for this week.  Did I miss anything?  Add your favorite deals in the comments.

Food City

Halos Clementines 3 lb. box $4.99
-$.50 off 1 printable coupon
-$.50 off 1 from 12/6 SS
Final Price: $3.99

Hood Sour Cream 16 oz. $.99
-$.55 off 1 from 12/6 SS (?)
Final Price: FREE

Philadelphia Cream Cheese 2 for $3.00
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00 each wyb 2

Kraft Mayo or Miracle Whip 2 for $6.00
-$.55 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.90

Dole Tropical Fruit 4 for $5.00
-$.40 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $.45 each

Chex Cereal 2 for $5.00
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon 
Final Price: $2.00 each wyb 2

McCormick Ground Ginger $1.99
-$.50 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.49 each wyb 2

Kraft Cool Whip 10 for $10.00
-$.55 off 3 printable coupon
Final Price: $.63 each wyb 3

Hood Ice Cream 2 for $5.00

Onion 2 lb. $.99


Hannaford

Gillette or Satin Care Shave Gel $.79 (Limit 4)
-$1.00 off 1 Gillette or Satin Care from 11/22 RP
-$1.00 off 1 Gillette or Satin Care from 12/6 RP
-$.50 off 1 Gillette Shave Gel printable coupon
-$.50 off 1 Gillette Shave Gel printable coupon
-$.50 off 1 Satin Care Shave Gel printable coupon
Final Price: as low as FREE

Philadelphia Cream Cheese 2 for $3.00 (Limit 4)
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00 each wyb 2

Kraft Shredded Cheese $2.69
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
-$.50 off 2 from Nov./Dec. Issue of Hannaford fresh magazine
Final Price: as low as $2.19

Chex Cereal 2 for $5.00
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
-$1.00 off 2 from 12/13 SS
Final Price: $2.00 each wyb 2

Nabisco Crackers 2 for $4.00 (Limit 4)
-$1.00 off 3 from 11/8 SS
-$1.00 off 3 from 12/6 SS
Final Price: $1.66 wyb 3

Kraft Cool Whip $.99
-$.55 off 3 printable coupon
Final Price: $.80 each wyb 3

Pillsbury Pie Crusts 2 for $5.00
-$.50 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $2.00

Mrs. Smith's Flaky Crust Pie 2 for $5.00 (Limit 4)
-$1.00 off 1 from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $1.50

Maxwell House Coffee 28-30.8 oz. $5.99 (Limit 4)
-$1.00 off 1 from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $4.99

Navel Oranges 2 for $1.00

Kiwi 2 for $1.00


Rite Aid

Frosted Mini-Wheats Buy One, Get One Free
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon


Save a Lot
(Prices effective 12/11 - 12/24)

Kraft Cool Whip $.79
-$.55 off 3 printable coupon
Final Price: $.60 each wyb 3

Libby's Pineapple $.99
-$1.00 off 3 from 11/22 RP
Final Price: $.66 each wyb 3

Minute Maid Premium Orange Juice $1.99
(12/18 - 12/20 only)
-$.55 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.44

Betty Crocker Cake Mix $.79
-$1.00 off 3 printable coupon
Final Price: $.46 each wyb 3

Edy's Ice Cream 2 for $5.00

Simply Saving Saturday - December 12




Our washing machine started leaking last week and we've had to take some laundry to the laundromat.  Let me tell you, taking laundry for a family of four to the laundromat isn't cheap! Instead of paying to dry our laundry, we brought the wet laundry home to dry.  Thankfully the repair man is coming on Monday and hopefully we won't need to pay to have our laundry washed for a long while!

I bought a package of boneless, skinless chicken breast for $3.03.  The package had three pieces of chicken in it.  I butterflied two of the pieces of chicken to make four portions for one meal and saved the other piece to make chicken corn chowder.

I found 5 lb. bags of white whole wheat flour for $.99 this week!  It was a little past the expiration, but still fine, and I was somehow able to find a little bit of space in the freezer to squeeze some in.  I am now more convinced than ever that we need to invest in a chest freezer!

Our younger son turned 7 this week. He asked for a lego cake like his brother had for his birthday, which worked out great since I had the candy melts and the molds that I used to make the lego pieces his brother's cake.



Every year I seem to be late preparing for Christmas and this year is no different! This week I used old cards, card stock and scrapbook paper and supplies that I had on hand to make Christmas cards. I am saving egg cartons that I am going to use as Christmas candy holders. I also made wooden snowflake ornaments using clothespins.  I'm hoping to share this fun project on the blog next week.

How did you save this week?


Our on-going savings:

**Freeze leftovers that I won't use right away.

**Set the thermostat to 62 degrees at night and 66 degrees during the day.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Earn Bing Rewards points for gift cards, Hulu Plus subscription, Skype credits, etc.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.

Coupon Matchups and Deals 12/6 - 12/12






Dollar General

7Up, Sunkist, A&W, Canada Dry, or Sun Drop 3 for $3.00

Kellogg's Mini-Wheats, Rice Krispies or Cap'n Crunch Cereal 3 for $6.00
-$1.00 off 2 Mini-Wheats printable coupon
-$1.00 off 2 Mini-Wheats DG digital coupon
Final Price: $1.67 wyb 3*

V8 Vegetable Juice 46 oz. $2.25
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.75 each wyb 2

Doritos $2.95
-$1.00 off 1 DG digital coupon
Final Price $1.95

Betty Crocker Cake or Brownie Mix $1.00
-$.50 off 1 DG Digital Coupon
Final Price: $.50

Sparkle Paper Towels 6 rolls $4.50
-$1.00 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $3.50

Gain Flings or Tide Pods $3.95

-$2.00 off 1 DG digital coupon
-$2.00 off 1 from 11/29 PG
-$1.00 off 1 from 11/15 RP
Final Price: as low as $1.95

Downy Liquid Fabric Softener $2.95
-$.50 off 1 DG digital coupon
-$.50 off 1 from 11/22 RP
Final Price: $2.45

Tide Simply Clean $2.95
-$.50 off 1 DG digital coupon
-$.50 off 1 from 11/22 RP
Final Price: $2.45

9Lives Canned Cat Food 3 for $1.00
-$1.00 off 12 printable coupon
-$1.00 off 12 DG digital coupon
Final Price: $.25 each wyb 12

Purina Puppy Chow or Dog Chow 4.4 lb. $5.25
-$1.00 off 1 Purina Puppy Chow printable coupon
-$1.00 off 1 from 11/1 RP
-$1.50 off 1 from 9/13 SS
Final Price: as low as $3.75

Energizer Max AA or AAA 4 pk. $3.75
-$1.00 off 1 from 12/6 SS
-$2.00 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $2.75

*Must buy 3 to get discount price.


Food City

Arnold Country Bread Buy One, Get One Free
-$.55 off 1 from 11/8 SS

Pam Cooking Spray 2 for $6.00
-$.30 off 1 printable coupon or
-$.30 off 1 from 10/25 SS (exp. 12/6)
Final Price: $2.40

5 for $5.00
Best Yet Stuffed Olives 7 oz.
Best Yet Brown Sugar 32 oz.
Best Yet Confectioners Sugar 32 oz.

Lay's Potato Chips Buy One, Get One Free

Best Yet Chocolate Chips 2 for $3.00

Best Yet Marshmallows 10 oz. 2 for $1.00

Best Yet Evaporated Milk 4 for $3.00

Hass Avocados $.77 each

Green Peppers $1.49/lb.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast $1.69/lb.

Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks $.99/lb.



Hannaford

Chex Cereal 2 for $5.00*
-$.75 off 1 printable coupon
-$.75 off 1 printable coupon
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: as low as $1.75


Nabisco Ritz Crackers $2.99

-$1.00 off 1 10.3 oz. or larger from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $1.99

Mt. Olive Kosher Pickle Spears $2.49

-$1.00 off 1 from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $1.49

Dean's Dip 2 for $3.00

-$.50 off 1 from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $1.00

Nestle Toll House Morsels $2.00*
-$.50 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.50


Hershey's Baking Chips $2.29

-$1.00 off 1 Hershey's Mint Baking Chips
Final Price: $1.29

Ghiradelli Baking Bars $2.36

-$1.00 off 1 from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $1.36

King Arthur Flour $2.99

-$1.00 off 1 from Nov./Dec. fresh magazine
Final Price: $1.99

Gold Peak Tea 64 oz. $2.19

-$1.00 off 1 from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $1.19

Schweppes Club Soda $1.19

-$.50 off 1 from Holiday Entertaining Mag.
Final Price: $.69

Hannaford Brand Flour $1.49


Stove Top Stuffing Mix $1.00*


Ken's Salad Dressing 2 for $3.00


Hannaford Ricotta Cheese 2 for $5.00*


Hood Cottage Cheese $1.99


my essentials Canned Vegetables $.59*


Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail 2 for $4.00*


Sierra Mist, Mtn. Dew or Pepsi 2L $.99


Hass Avacados $.89 ea.


Lemons 2 for $1.00


Red Grapefruit $.59 ea.


Baby Carrots 5 lb. $4.99


Spaghetti Squash $.79/lb.


Russet Potatoes 10 lb. $2.99


*Prices effective through January 9



Rite Aid


Got 2b Buy One, Get One Free

-$2.00 off 1 from 12/6 RP
-$2.00 off 1 printable coupon

Herbal Essences or Aussie Shampoo, Conditioner or Stylers 2 for $6.00

-$3.00 on 2 from 12/6 RP
Final Price: $1.50 each wyb 2

Blistex Premium Lip Balms 2 for $4.00

-$1.00 off 2 from 12/6 SS
Final Price: $1.50 each wyb 2

Ricola Cough Drops 2 for $4.00

-$1.00 off 2 from 11/8 RP (exp. 12/8)
Final Price: $1.50 each wyb 2

Duracell Coppertop Batteries Buy One, Get One Free

-$3.00 off 2 from 11/22 RP

3M Command Products Buy One, Get One Free

-$1.00 off 1 Commond Hook printable coupon
-$1.00 off 1 Picture Hanging Strips printable coupon

Celestial Seasonings Tea 2 for $5.00
Use 2:
-$1.00 off 1 from 12/6 SS
-$1.00 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.50 each wyb 2 (must purchase two for sale price)


Walmart

Libby's Canned Vegetables $.50
-$1.00 off 4 from 11/8 JOH insert
Final Price: $.25 each wyb 4

Hall's Cough Drops $1.54
-$1.00 off 2 from 11/1 SS (exp. 12/12)
Final Price $1.04 each wyb 2

Bounty Paper Towels $1.00
-$.50 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $.50

Carefree $.94
-$.50 off 1 from 11/15 SS (exp. 12/27)
Final Price: $.44

Meal Plan Monday - December 7





I've planned some easy meals for our busy week.  This week I am making garlic bread with some of the hamburger buns that I bought for $.75 a few weeks ago at our local discount bread store.  If you've never made garlic bread with hamburger buns, I highly recommend it!

Spread a little bit of butter on the buns, add garlic powder and top it with a little bit of cheese and broil them in the oven until they are golden brown.  They are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle.  Delicious!

Here's our menu for this week:


Hamburgers

Spaghetti, garlic bread made with hamburger buns

Corn Chowder, yogurt biscuits

Honey Soy Baked Chicken Thighs, green beans

Pizza made with whole wheat crust, carrot sticks

Chicken Breast with Sauteed Mushrooms

Butternut Mac & Cheese



Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

Simply Saving Saturday - December 5





I picked the rest of the carrots this week.  We had a mild November, so I was able to leave the last of the carrots in the garden a little longer than I had planned.

We ate many turkey meals using the turkey that I roasted last week.  We still have some left!

A few great deals I found this week were Halls Cough Drop bags for $.20 each at Rite Aid and Lysol Dininfecting Wipes, Cabot cheese, confectioners sugar and brown sugar for $1 each.  The price for brown sugar is usually around $1.88 here, so I stocked up on brown sugar and bought enough confectioners sugar for birthday cakes and a batch or two of whoopie pies next year.

I have been trying to be more careful about food waste by freezing leftovers that I know I won't use right away, but our little freezer over the refrigerator is full. My husband and I are considering buying a freezer and putting it in the basement. It would be so nice to have when I make salsa and freezer jam and freeze produce from our garden.  If we can find a good deal on one, we think this will be a good long term investment.


Our on-going savings:

**Freeze leftovers that I won't use right away.

**Set the thermostat to 62 degrees at night and 66 degrees during the day.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Earn Bing Rewards points for gift cards, Hulu Plus subscription, Skype credits, etc.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.

New High Value Printable Coupons!



There are limited quantities of these coupons, so if you use any of these products, you will want to print them before they are gone.

$1.00 off 1 box of Golden Grahams cereal

$.60 off 1 box any Nature Valley products listed

$.75 off 1 box Honey Nut Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios Medley cereal



Food City 3-day Sale and Weekly Deals 12/4 - 12/10




I've listed some of the best deals that I see this week at Food City.  Their weekly sales flyer is also available online.


3-day Sale 12/4 - 12/6

Cabot Cheese Bars 2 for $3.00
-$1.00 off 2 printable coupon**
Final Price: $1.00 each wyb 2

Best Yet Mushrooms Stems & Pieces 4 oz. 2 for $1.00

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs $.99/lb.

Chicken Tenderloins $1.55/lb.

Whole Boneless Center Cut Pork Loins $1.88/lb.

Boneless Petite Extra Lean Pork Sirloin Roast $1.55/lb.

Lean Pork Sirloin Cutlets $1.88/lb.

Extra Lean Ground Pork Sirloin $1.77/lb.


Weekly Sales 12/4 - 12/10

Arnold Country Bread Buy One, Get One Free
-$.55 off 1 from 11/8 SS

Pam Cooking Spray 2 for $6.00
-$.30 off 1 printable coupon or
-$.30 off 1 from 10/25 SS (exp. 12/6)
Final Price: $2.40

5 for $5.00
Best Yet Stuffed Olives 7 oz.
Best Yet Brown Sugar 32 oz.
Best Yet Confectioners Sugar 32 oz.

Lay's Potato Chips Buy One, Get One Free

Best Yet Chocolate Chips 2 for $3.00

Best Yet Marshmallows 10 oz. 2 for $1.00

Best Yet Evaporated Milk 4 for $3.00

Hass Avocados $.77 each

Green Peppers $1.49/lb.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast $1.69/lb.

Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks $.99/lb.


**Sign up is required.  Coupon does not print in Google Chrome.

Halls Cough Drops Just $.20 each at Rite Aid!




Halls Cough Drops are Buy One, Get One Free during the Rite Aid 4-day sale through Saturday, December 5.  Here's how to get the deal:

Halls Cough Drops 30 ct. and 30 + 10 ct. bags $2.39 BOGO 
(excludes Halls Defense)
Buy 2
-$1.00 off 2 from 11/1 SS and
-$1.00 off 2 RA Facebook printable coupon
Final Price: $.20 each wyb 2!