Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quick Harris Teeter Trip

It has been a long, busy, emotionally draining week around here. My plan/intention is to write several blog post this weekend about all the happening with Zach and a month in review. But to the good stuff... last night Matt and I both were exhausted and craving something sweet. Our solution..DONUTS! Because the little kids were already tired and close to bedtime we decide to get everyone in pjs and head to Salisbury for donuts.

Of course, I thought we are 5 minutes from Harris Teeter so I wanted to make a quick trip. I have not even looked at the list on Southern Savers but as Matt got Z and Kendall dressed, I took a quick look, printed and clipped a coupon of coupons. I honestly spent less than 5 minutes doing this! I had a raincheck from several weeks ago for 11 boxes of Poptarts for $10. That was the start. I also grabbed a 24 pack of water, 2000 flushes, cottage cheese, sour cream and some creamer for Matt. Total spent $17 total saved $28 or 63%. I am extremely happy with this for two reasons, first the Poptarts were HT brand so no coupons and second I did not have a coupon for creamer either! This is proof that if you are organized, couponing does not have to take over your life!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beef Stew

I am not a risk taker. I like to know what I am getting into and if I find something that works then why in the world would I change it. I am especially not a risk taker with food. I will try new recipes and made that one of my goals a couple of years ago. My thought is if it sucks then I don't make it again and I usually only make things that I like the sound of the ingredients. But all that changed today. We have plenty of food in the house the problem is that none of it is fast food. I decided this morning that I wanted to make soup for dinner. Matt found some beef stew in the freezer and so that was the starting point. Of course I searched my cookbooks with no luck for a recipe that I had all the ingredients for so I decided to look on the internet. By this point I am starting to really that most are all based the same so finally as I hit my favorite site for cooking A Year of Slow Cooking I have been following this site for about 2 years. I decided to try something new I just add the ingredients to a recipe and substituted what I had the results were AWESOME! My cockpot ended up not working, it took me 3 hours to check it so I transferred everything to the stove, add another portion of the liquids and heated to medium, reduced to low and simmered for 2 hours. Here is what I used

1.5 lbs stew beef- thawed and sauteed in oil
1 bag of frozen Cauliflower
1 bag of frozen green beans
1 lb of carrots- chopped to small chunks
1/2 cup of chicken stock leftover from Christmas- didn't use this the second time because I was out
1/2 cup of Pinot Wine (red)
2 cups of beef broth made from a cube
1 teaspoon of Worcester sause.

A couple of things I will change next time- no cauliflower and maybe less wine.

We will be having leftovers this week with cornbread!

By the way this may be the only cooking post I ever make but I was excited that something worked!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Couponing Facts

I made a quick trip to CVS today and was able to score another 6-12 packs of drinks for $1.66 each. I am excited because I know that we now have enough drinks for our Disney trip. I hope at least. I am going to try and make one more stop at CVS to pick up 6 more on Amanda's card this weekend but I don't think we have the storage space for them. I was so excited to try and write this post tonight. I was able to purchase 6 12 pks of Soda, 4 boxes of Bandaids, 1 bottle of Maalox liquid and 1 bottle of Maalox pills and 2 candy bars for $26. I entered it into my saving tracker and realized it was only a 62% saving. So it was just average but the idea that we are stocked up on drinks still makes me happy and so did the half of Snickers bar I enjoyed. Over the past few weeks I have been getting back into couponing. It was a struggle after I returned to work and through the Holidays. But I have made some changes to my plans and hopefully they will work even better in the future. Here are 5 things I have learned changed about couponing this month.

1. I am planning to buy one newspaper for each insert it contains. So last week there were 2 inserts and I bought 1 paper and will get the second one from my mom.

2. After reading about the upcoming sales at CVS, always make sure to check the comments. I was able to purchase 4 bottles of Maalox for tax over the past two weeks because of something someone posted. I have also decided that if a coupon that I need at CVS covers the cost of an additional paper and I will be able to use the coupon that week. Purchasing additional papers makes sense.

3. Stockpiling is much easier when you have the storage space and it is sorta organized.

4. Never leave the store without checking price of items that you get store coupons for. I was able to make eleven cent each on the candy bars I got today. I had received a coupon for $1 off a candy bar and did not realize the "regular" price of most of the candy bars were 0.89.

5. Checking frequently for items you have rainchecks for means you can still use most of the coupons you have pulled!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I have got to get back in the swing of blogging....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Random Thought Tuesday

The street out front of the house was a solid sheet of ice until around 2pm today so I was forced to call my scheduled patients and cancel for today. I have therefore been in my pjs all day and plan to change tonight after a long hot bath.

The most repeated phase in my house today "stop screaming" and this is usually to Zach. Why am I so lucky to be blessed with 2 children that like to scream?

Lily is learning so much everyday. Today we talked about measuring and telling time. I love the idea of homeschooling but simply know I am not qualified and could not possible do it.

The girls including D took lots of pictures outside today so hopefully I will have some neat ones to post tommorow.

Matt and I are both continuing to use the Wii Fit everyday. We hope that we both can lose some weight by our trip to Disney. With the ice, the older girl have been using it as well and both Lily and Kendall stand beside a girl and exercise along with them! It is way to cute.

Zach goes to Brenner's Children Hospital on Thursday to see a Gastrointesinalologist. I hope this will give us answers as to why he is not gaining weight and also to how long he needs the soy formula.

A diet is hard to maintain in a house of people who want to eat all the time and when you have lots of time to cook.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Game Day

I often think of couponing as a game. First you prepare/practice which includes buying papers, sorting coupons, finding list, cutting coupons and then finally planning when to go to the store. Sounds like a lot but in reality, I spend about 10 minutes a day on a regular basis but some days none at all. So now on to game day... This past Sunday. Harris Teeter started super doubles on Wednesday and CVS has an awesome sale this week. I decided that I would hit both stores on Sunday. What I forgot to plan on was the impeding snow that sent everyone to the store on Sunday.

CVS was the place where I stocked up on canned Drinks and coffee as well as diapers. I usually do a couple or at the most 3 transactions this week I did 7. I did have to go to the car after 3 to unload my buggy. I spent $55 and save $102 or 69%. This is the most I have spent at one time but for all that I got and simply because 4 bags of coffee at $9, diapers and drinks I am really happy. In fact, I may return on Wednesday or Thursday to buy more drinks.

Next on to Harris Teeter, this was a little more complicated because of they way they force you to use coupons on Buy One Get One Free items. The items ring up half price but they only let you use a coupon on one of the two items. My solution, I had Matt do a transaction in front of me. We used the same VIC card and only 20 coupons. I was upset that the 11 boxes of pop tarts for 10 was not available but I did get a rain check. We ended up spending $43 and saving $102 or 70%.

We are really focusing on budget the first few month this year. I hope that even with stockpiling on these items I am able to cut some out of the groceries this month!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Just so I can be called fair. Both the older girls got cameras for Christmas so maybe I will have more good pictures of them!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Randon Thoughts Tuesday

Yes for the record, I waited till today to write this blog on purpose.

Super Doubles starts this week at Harris Teeter..Matt and I will be headed that way on Sunday. We are planning on two separate transactions to get more free stuff!

Matt and I got a Wii for Christmas, we both have been good about using it daily to get some exercise. I am so excited because I have lost 3 lbs already!

My hours at work (hospital) have to increase to 20 starting this week and so far it is going to be a struggle to readjust. I am hoping to have some time off at the end of the week but so far I have worked 2 full days YUCK!

I did not go to CVS this week..nothing I wanted! Matt did make a trip tonight to purchase eye patches for Lily.

I am tired and going to bed!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goals for 2011

I have been thinking about the things I want to improve on for this year. Several are a carry-over/redo from last year. I will create the list now along with explain or clarifying the goal in this post and each month I plan to post a recap on where I am at with that goal.

Blogging- I want to continue to try and meet the same expectation as last year 20 post a month. This will actually be more difficult in 2011 because I am no longer in charge of menu planning which eliminates Monday Menu post. I also hope to post more of the shopping experiences I have along with more just life information.

Devotions- 3 a week excluding Sundays.

Couponing/ Grocery Budget: The goal this year is to maintain the amount we spent at around 800 a month including diapers and cleaning supplies. I am really going to focus on couponing and developing a better stock pile. Last year we averaged $703 a month but I am sure this did not include all the food. In order to reach this goal several changes are in the works. First I will be purchasing at least 1 paper a week in addition to the one that I get for free from my parents. I may vary this up to 3 a week. Secondly, we are working on a "price point list." My plan is to use Costco as the I can find it anytime price and base stocking up on the best deals I can find at the present. I have heard of several predictions that the cost of food will raise significantly this year so I hope this is a good plan. Third on this list is the square food garden. Last year was the first year we attempted, the plan is to triple the size for this year. Start with planting seeds by the end of January and use this for reducing our budget especially in the summer. We have also discussed purchasing half a cow or other ways to get meat in bulk. I will keep you informed as this start to occur.

Financially- 2010 brought major life changes to us. We have been struggling with reducing debit and developing a fair budget. We "think" this has finally been achieved, a realistic budget has been established. The goal for this year is to reduce debts, not acquire any new debts and ultimately to be out of debt except for our mortgage by the end of the year. We are also planning a trip to Disney at Easter, so this is a huge expenses but one we are planning for.

Weight-I now weigh the most I have ever in my entire life even when pregnant. My goal in this area is to lose 25lbs prior to our trip in April and then after returning returning to lose a total of 75lbs this year. We bought the Wii and Wii Fit to go with it so hopefully between that and some good old fashion calorie counting I can succeed.