Meal Plan for this Week

I spent $83.30 for this week's groceries. Some of the things that I bought for this week are for our vacation next week.

The Cheerios were $1.50 each after the sale and coupon at Hannaford. Whole chicken was on sale for $.77/lb. I bought an extra chicken that I will cook in the crockpot, take the meat off the bone and take with us on our vacation. We've heard that meat is expensive there, so we will take some meat with us in order to save a little bit of money.

One of my children used their "choose a cereal" Christmas coupon and chose the Krave cereal. I used a $1.00 off 1 coupon that I purchased with reward points at Since we have a busy week, I bought spaghetti sauce and macaroni and cheese. The boys were especially happy to have macaroni and cheese since it is a rare treat. I also bought the applesauce cups for our trip.

This cereal was on sale at Food City for $2.50 and with a $.75 coupon (that was doubled) I paid just $1.00 each!

I also bought 3 loaves of bread for $3.09 at the bread store.

Since we will be leaving for our vacation on Friday, this week's menu plan is a short one. I will be planning our meals and grocery shopping while we are away and I'm hoping to share how we did with meal planning and grocery shopping when we return. I am really excited to see how prices compare in a different part of the country.

Here's our meal plan for this week:


Homemade Instant Oatmeal with frozen blueberries
Homemade Granola


Monday: Dinner out with my mom
Skillet Cheeseburger Macaroni
Sweet Potato Chili, broccoli
Pizza with Overnight Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (from the freezer)
Friday: Dinner on the road!

Check back in two weeks to find out more about our trip and how we were able to save money.

How I Saved This Week

A friend shared a turkey with us last week. I made turkey broth and used the leftover turkey and the broth in many of the meals I made this week. The Leftover Turkey Shepherd's Pie recipe that we tried this week is a new family favorite! You can see more of our family's favorite recipes on my Pinterest board.

The boys borrowed some books from the library and I found some coupons I could use in the coupon exchange box.

We got mail from the Disney Movie Club that included Disney stickers. I saved the stickers for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

I found a baby dress crochet pattern online at Annie's Craft Store that I would like to make for a baby shower that I am going to next month. I usually like to look for free patterns, but I couldn't find anything that I liked. I signed up for a free 7-day trial of the Half-Price Club and I was able to get the pattern for half price and I got $10 in ebucks to spend on a digital download.

I downloaded a free kindle book to the Kindle reading app on my laptop.

There was a festival in a nearby town and we were able to see The Batman Lego Movie at the movie theater for free.

How did you save this week?

What I'm Reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I was excited to find Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up at the library since I had read great things about this book.

It's a tiny book full of wonderful tips and information about decluttering and organizing your home. While I found her references to treating items as living things a little disconcerting at first, I thought that the different perspective that the author gives on this subject was interesting and thought-provoking.

I have read lots and lots of books, magazine articles and blog posts about organizing and decluttering. Every year, right after Christmas, you can find me going through each room in our home and trying to organize and declutter the same things I organized and decluttered the year before. I thought this would be just another book that would give me the same information in a different way. But that was definitely not the case. Right from the first page, the author throws all the accepted organizing rules right out the window. Her advice on organizing by category, instead of by room, what to throw away and even how to fold clothing was different from anything I had read before.

One of the most eye-opening things I read was the advice the author gave about the greetings cards we can't bear to part with. She writes:
"This means that each card has fulfilled its purpose the moment the receiver finishes reading it."
This advice freed me of the guilt I feel when thinking about throwing away a card or letter. I realized that I don't need to feel guilty because I have received the message that the sender wanted me to have. She goes on to say that we should keep cards that "spark joy" in our hearts, a recurring theme in her book.

For me, organizing and decluttering has always been a tug of war between my frugal self and my minimalist self. I hate to let anything go that might be used in the future and might save us money months from now. This quote from the book was especially thought-provoking:
"Of course, I am not saying that my clients have never regretted discarding something. Far from it. You should expect this to happen at least three times during the tidying process, but don't let it worry you. Even though my clients have regretted parting with something, they never complain. They have already learned through experience that any problem caused by lack of something can be solved through action."
I don't need to let the fear of regret stop me from letting go of something. If I do find myself in that situation, I can take action and challenge myself to find something else that I could use or find some other way to solve the problem.

Two other quotes from the book that challenged me:
"But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can't let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future."
"...we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of."
I really enjoyed the new ideas and insight into organizing and decluttering that I learned from this book. Now the hard part begins: putting the ideas into practice.

Meal Plan Monday - March 13

We spent $66.57 on groceries for this week.

I didn't buy any meat for this week since a friend shared a turkey with us. I will be using the leftovers with the turkey broth that I made in some of our meals this week. I will also use some meat that we have in the freezer and some of the tuna that I bought for $.88 a few weeks ago.

Here's my menu plan for this week:


Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Toast or bagel and bananas
Homemade Instant Oatmeal with frozen blueberries


Turkey Bisque Soup
Skillet Lasagna, salad
Taco Salad, cucumber and carrot sticks
Mexican Chopped Tuna Salad Wrap, carrot sticks
Leftover Turkey and Swiss Grilled Sandwiches, carrot sticks
Spaghetti with Heart Healthy Pasta Sauce
Leftover Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Get more meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

Meal Plan Monday - March 6

I spent $71.16 on groceries for this week.

I bought extra bananas since they were on sale for $.39/lb. Chicken thighs were also on sale for $.77/lb. and the bag of potatoes was $1.49.

At Walmart I was able to price match the yogurt for $.50 each, but I used a coupon and paid $.40 each. I also price matched the Jiffy mix for $.44 and the Goldfish for $.99. I bought the Goldfish for a vacation trip that we are taking at the end of this month. I would like to take a lot of snacks and drinks with us so that we won't need to buy as much as we are traveling.

Cottage cheese was on sale for $1.50 at Food City. I used coupons and paid just $.95 each.

Here's my meal plan for this week:


Bagels, bananas


One-Pot Cabbage Casserole (using leftover cabbage from last week), peas and carrots
Baked Chicken Thighs, green beans, cucumber sticks
Leftover night
Saturday: Turkey Dinner, Honey Yeast Rolls, Apple Pie

Get more meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.