How I Saved Last Week



My husband was on vacation last week and we were able to spend the last days of school vacation at some of our favorite places. One of our favorite places is the beach - the boys love playing in the waves.



Several years ago we were given some blackberries and I threw some of the seeds in the wooded area in our backyard. It is a shady spot and I didn't really think they would grow, so I was very excited when my husband said he found blackberries in the backyard! The blackberries are very small, but I'm hoping that I can transplant them to a sunnier spot and we will eventually have lots of blackberries right in our own backyard!

We picked 28 tomatoes, 21 cucumbers, 5 zucchini, a handful of green beans and bunches of cherry tomatoes from the garden.

I froze some very ripe bananas.

Our older son wanted a chocolate and strawberry cake for his birthday, so I borrowed a checkerboard cake pan from a family member and made a chocolate and strawberry checkerboard cake. He loved it!


How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - August 22




My husband is on vacation this week and we have some day trips planned, so lunches this week will be picnic-type lunches that we can take with us and dinners will be (mostly) simple.

Here's my meal plan for this week:


Breakfast

Cereal
Bagels, Bananas
Homemade Instant Oatmeal with blueberries
Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Pancakes


Lunch

Mac & Cheese
Cucumber Greek Salad
Egg Salad Sandwiches, Fruit Bars, Carrot Sticks
Italian Sandwiches, Fruit Bars, Carrot Sticks



Dinner

Hamburgers, Tuna Macaroni Salad, carrot sticks
Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos
Three Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Lasagna Rolls, salad
One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta
Oven Baked Fajitas, broccoli, rice
Chicken Quesadillas, broccoli
Leftover night

How I Saved This Week - August 20




We got a lot accomplished this week. The boys decluttered their toys and I now have a grocery bag full of toys to donate. I recycled many old magazines, that I can't remember why I was saving, and I organized the coat closet and threw away several pairs of old children's flip flops that I was saving "just in case" we needed an extra pair.

We picked 5 zucchini, 21 tomatoes, 29 cucumbers, a couple of pounds of green beans, beets and a lots of cherry tomatoes from the garden. The beets were an experiment this year and something I planted a little late in order to use up some free space in the garden. They were pretty small, but our whole family liked them and I am planning on growing more next year.

After a late start and something eating their leaves, the banana peppers finally have blossoms on them. I'm hoping that we have enough time left in the growing season for the peppers to grow to full size so that I can make pickled banana peppers. I made them for the first time last year and my husband especially liked them in sandwiches.

I made 2 batches of zucchini bread (I used 3 eggs, less sugar and 1/2 cup of applesauce to replace some of the oil and it still tasted great!), Refrigerator Pickles, and Roasted Tomato Sauce. The tomato sauce recipe is my favorite tomato recipe; it has a delicious smoky flavor and tastes great even though I don't add salt (for our heart-healthy diet).

I earned $10 this week by selling a pair of cleats on facebook.

I found a brand new backpack with the tags still on it at the second-hand store for half the original price and paid just $4.50 for it. It will be perfect for our younger son who needed a bigger backpack this year.



Our older son is turning 10 this month and he wanted to invite a few of his friends to his party. He used Avery's free Design and Print Online program and designed his own invitations. I thought that the options and images were pretty good for a free program and he really liked making his own cards.

I spent just a little over $55 for groceries this week. I bought chicken on sale for $1.69/lb. and used a coupon and paid just $.99/lb. for 3 pounds of chicken. I have used it in 3 of our meals.

I received a free magazine in the mail.


How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - August 15



We really enjoyed trying new zucchini recipes last week. Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls was a favorite that I will definitely make again! Here's our meal plan for this week:

On sale:

Chicken $1.69/lb.
Grapes $1.99/lb.
Broccoli $.99/lb.
Green peppers $.88/lb.
Eggs $.77/doz
Cereal $1.17 - $1.50 (with coupon)

From the garden:

Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Beets
Cucumbers
Zucchini
Green beans

From the freezer:

Hamburger
Blueberries
Chicken



Breakfast

Cereal
Waffles, bananas
Scrambled eggs, toast with blueberry freezer jam
Easy Baked Oatmeal with blueberries


Lunch

Chicken Caesar Wraps
Egg salad sandwiches
English Muffin Pizzas
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Hamburgers, fruit salad (leftovers from a party we went to)
Dinner Leftovers

*all meals served with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, apple slices, yogurt and/or grapes


Dinner

Skillet Cheeseburger Macaroni, green beans
Meatloaf Muffins, seasoned rice, beats, green beans
Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Chicken Taco and Rice Skillet, broccoli
Mediterranean Pasta Caesar Toss
Garden Vegetable Spaghetti
Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet

*All meals served with Refrigerator Pickles



Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved Last Week

We picked 3 zucchini, 5 pounds of green beans, 34 cucumbers, 9 tomatoes and several cherry tomatoes. I wasn't expecting to have dozens of cucumbers ready to be picked all at once! We ate a lot of raw cucumbers, sliced them in sandwiches, made cucumber and tomato salads and gave about half of them away.



We tried a few new zucchini recipes this week and they were all delicious. I didn't realize all the things you can make with zucchini! I made Zucchini Lasagna Rolls (so,so good!), Zucchini Blueberry Muffins and Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos, which earned rave reviews from the boys.

Food City had some great prices in their new sales flyer. I bought eggs for $.77/doz., salad dressing for $1.00 each, green peppers for $.88/lb., boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.69/lb and cereal for $1.17. You can find some of the best sales and coupon matchups here.

Summer toys are on clearance and I bought jump ropes at Walmart for $.50 each that I will put in Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.

It's always exciting when I'm surprised with unexpected savings. Our older son noticed a toy in the clearance aisle at Walmart that he really liked and I went back to the store to get it for him for his birthday this month. The price was marked as $9.88, but it rang up at the register as $5.00!


How did you save this week?


Food City 3-day Sale and Weekly Deals August 12 - August 18



The deals at Food City seem to be hit-or-miss, but I noticed some great deals in this week's flyer. You can view the sales flyer on the Food City website.

Here are some of the best deals I saw:


3-day sale August 12 - August 14

Best Yet Large White or Brown Eggs $.77/doz.

Whole Chicken Fryers $.88/lb.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast $1.69/lb.

Fresh Chicken Leg Quarters 10 lb. bag $.44/lb.

Hormel Cooked Ham or Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese $2.99/lb.


Weekly Sales August 12 - August 18

Zucchini, Summer Squash, Green Peppers $.88/lb.

Tomatoes $.99/lb.

Cello Lettuce $.99 each

Eggplant or Cucumbers $.99/lb.

Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks $.88/lb.

Wishbone Salad Dressing 2 for $4.00
-$1.00 off 1 printable coupon
Final price $1.00 each

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal 3 for $5.00
Buy 2
-$1.00 off 2 from 6/26 SS
Final Price: $1.17 each wyb 2


Meal Plan Monday - August 8



I didn't see a lot of great sales at the grocery store this week, but I will check a sales flyer from another store that comes out later this week. I have a lot of vegetables left over from last week and meat in the freezer that I am using to plan our meals. I will only have to buy staples (eggs, milk, bread, etc.) and just a few ingredients for our meals.

On sale:
Grapes $1.99/lb.
Cereal $2 with coupon

Vegetables from last week:
Sweet Potato
Broccoli

Vegetables from the garden:
Cucumbers
Green Beans
Cherry Tomatoes
Zucchini

From the freezer:
Blueberries
Chicken
Corn


Breakfast

Cereal
Bagels, bananas
Homemade Instant Oatmeal with blueberries
Zucchini Blueberry Muffins


Lunch

Mac & Cheese with corn
Egg salad sandwiches, cucumber sticks, grapes
Turkey sandwiches, carrot sticks
Yogurt, crackers, grapes
Enhanced macaroni salad, apple slices
Dinner leftovers


Dinner

Chicken Stir Fry with rice
Sweet Potato Broccoli Chicken Bake, green beans
Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls, broccoli, cucumber and tomato salad
Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet, green beans
Pizza with whole wheat crust
One Pot Wonder Chicken Lo Mein
Breakfast for dinner: Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos



Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved This Week - August 6




This week I picked 4 zucchini, 10 cucumbers, 11 pounds of green beans and some cherry tomatoes from the garden. I froze some of the green beans and I used most of the cucumbers to make Refrigerator Pickles.

In order to use up some of the zucchini, I tried a new zucchini cake recipe and it turned out to be a new favorite recipe! This Blueberry Zucchini Cake is amazing. I used less sugar and less oil for the cake and used this Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting instead of the buttercream frosting. It was perfect - not too sweet and very moist.

I made blueberry freezer jam with some of the blueberries that we picked last week.

I used very ripe bananas to make Whole Wheat Blueberry pancakes. The recipe makes quite a few pancakes so I froze the leftovers. I was glad I had leftovers since the boys requested them for breakfast the next morning!

Boneless, skinless chicken was on sale for $1.55 during a one day sale. I bought about 7 pounds and put it in the freezer.



I found two more great deals for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes! Flip flops were on clearance for $.50 at Family Dollar and the mini Sparkle Girlz Dolls were on clearance at Walmart for $1.

I applied for a fitness reimbursement from our health insurance company. I found this reimbursement by accident 4 years ago while I was looking for information about our insurance coverage. My husband has a membership to a local gym, and the reimbursement covers over half the cost. Over the last 4 years, this reimbursement has saved us $600.

Both of our boys desperately needed new jeans for school this year. I checked the local thrift stores through the spring and summer and wasn't able to find anything in their sizes. I ordered a few pairs this week from crazy8.com during their back-to-school sale. The jeans were $8.88 with free shipping on any order.  I ordered from this company a few years ago when they offered the same deal and I thought the quality for the price was very good.



How did you save this week?


Meal Plan Monday - August 1


This week I made a list below of the things I bought on sale, what I am going to use from the freezer and the vegetables that we'll use from the garden to make our meals. I use this list each week to plan my meals for the week. There were also a few things that I will use that I already had on hand such as pasta, bread crumbs, caesar salad dressing, etc.

I didn't notice any really good sales for meat this week, so I am going to use meat from the freezer that I bought on sale several weeks ago.

I bought a lot of broccoli on sale for $.99 last week to use this week and I will take advantage of a sale on sweet potato this week since it is a favorite at our house.

On sale:
Broccoli $.99/lb.
Grapes $1.99/lb.
Strawberries $1.88
Kiwi 2/$1
Limes 3/$1
Sweet potatoes $.79/lb.
Cereal $2 (with coupon)

From the freezer:
Hamburger
Chicken
Blueberries

From the garden:
Green beans
Zucchini
Tomatoes
Cucumbers


Breakfast

Cereal
Oatmeal with blueberries and/or strawberries
Eggs, Bananas, Toast
Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Pancakes


Lunch

Pasta and broccoli (I'm going to use a pasta that I got on sale several weeks ago and fresh broccoli)
Zucchini Tots , yogurt, carrot sticks
Turkey sandwiches with cucumber and carrot sticks
Crackers with cottage cheese, carrot sticks, fruit salad (grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi with this honey lime sauce)
Mac & Cheese
Dinner leftovers


Dinner

Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo, Baked Green Bean Fries
Garden Vegetable Pasta
Shepherd's Pie with sweet potato topping, Lemon Parmesan Broccoli
Skillet Cheeseburger Macaroni, green beans, carrot and cucumber sticks
One Skillet Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls, corn
Mediterranean Pasta Caesar Toss made with fresh veggies from garden
Leftover Night



Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.