Wednesday, August 25, 2010
And just like everyone else--I seem to get into the ruts of what sounds good and what to make that my family will enjoy. Because no matter what kind of day I've had, how many other wonderful things I participated in, or didn't....everyone still shows up at the feeding trough with expectations of an organized meal. So freezer meals are not only time savers, but life savers.
For the freezer meal night in September, we are doing the following selections:
1. Swiss Chicken--chicken, swiss cheese, Pepperidge Farm bread crumbs, cream soup, butter
2. Easy Taco Bake--ground beef, green pepper, onion, Bisquick, cheese, corn, cumin, garlic, eggs, and milk
3. Chicken Cordon Bleu--crepes, chicken, ham, swiss cheese, cream sauce
4. Swiss Dump Steak--round steak, tomatoes, onion soup mix, gravy mix
5. Amazing Meatloaf--ground beef, oats, cheddar, brown sugar, ketchup, onion, seasonings
6. Chicken Supreme--chicken, alfredo sauce, havarti cheese, bacon, green onion, mushrooms
7. Polynesian Pork Roast--apricot preserves, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, broth, molasses, cider vinegar
8. Sunshine potatoes--red potatoes, cream cheese, butter, sour cream, garlic, bacon, seasonings
9. Crunchy Oriental Pork Casserole--pork cubes, chinese noodles, celery, water chestnuts, soy sauce
10. Mountain Man Breakfast--hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, eggs, cream cheese, peppers/onions
11. Cranberry Chicken--cranberries, french dressing, onion soup mix
12. Peach Cobbler--peach, butter pecan cake mix, butter, coconut, nuts
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
I started the production by preparing all the individual ingredients--I cheated on the bacon. I bought the already cooked bacon that you only had to cook in the microwave for 1 minute. It was marvelous because it wasn't over-crisp and the clean-up was brilliant--like none.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
A LOT!! I had to go on a shopping splurge tonight to sooth the inner-coupon clipper. I got a bee in my bonnet and couldn't stop until I knew that I had what I needed. And what would that be, you wonder? A lot for only $9.15. I started out with 2 Albertsons' coupons...one for using the loyalty card and earning the $5 off your next purchase--you earn these for every 5000 points that are tallied by the dollars you spend in their stores within a shopping period. I also had a $2 off coupon from doing a phone survey found at the bottom of the receipt from a prior visit. They print out randomly. So for full disclosure: I went into this deal with a total of $7 in my favor.
What I got:
15 boxes Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes
15 boxes Betty Crocker Roasted Garlic Potatoes
5 cans Green Giant green beans
5 cans Green Giant sweet kernel corn
4 Gum toothbrushes
3 Betty Crocker cake mixes
3 Betty Crocker frostings
2 Bisquick Shake and Pours
10 cans of Old El Paso refried beans
6 bags of Kraft shredded cheeses (from Fred Meyer in a rain check)
What? A t-shirt?! OK. They were on a display at Albertsons' of plain t-shirts in numerous colors for $1.25 each. I picked a navy, ladies-style cut that I know my 12 yr-old will wear. Shhhh..... Don't tell her I did Back to School shopping for her at Albertsons' or she'll quit talking to me, for sure. So all together for the stuff you see here--I paid $9.15 after coupons and also got 500 Box Top coupons for our local elementary. **The Box Top coupons (redeemable for cash by K-8 schools) are worth $50 alone. What I also hate to disclose, is...well. This little picture is only a sample of the amount I purchased tonight. Let's just say I spent less that was the school will get...Oops. Never mind. The school is getting over $200 is redemption coupons from our family. I spent less than $50 and got tons. I still need to call the store and special order the Bisquick in a bulk amount (um, like, maybe 80)--because I do that kind of thing when they are free. And who doesn't like NO Clean-up dishes when you make pancakes? (Sold!! To the lazy lady with the coupons!) I used my savings last week and splurged on clearance paper plates, so we are set for carefree dining...
If I had paid retail price, before sale promotionals and coupons, my total would have been $165.58. With these numbers, I realized an almost 95% savings on the stuffs here. Not too shabby for an hour of peace from the chitlins at home.
I was on a high when I left. I got three of the phone survey coupons at the bottom of various receipts for $2 off each. So, I'll do those and head back to the store on Monday or Tuesday to get a few for things on the cheap/free. I was thrilled to note that most of the expiry dates on the foods I bought tonight are well into 2011 and even into 2013. No worries about not using the quanities or stuffs by a certain date here.
And here is another trick of the trade: If you have food that you purchased in bulk and aren't going to get through them by the expiration date on the product--load them up and take them to the local food bank just before the expiry date--and you can take a full RETAIL value deduction on a donation slip. The donation slip should be saved and put with your tax information. It's tax deductable under "charitable donation" on your Schedule A. You can write off up to 40% of your AGI to charitable donations. Check with an accountant or at http://www.irs.gov/ for more information on charitable donations. But this is just one of the benefits of the law of reciprocity. What goes around, comes around. Be generous with your fellowmen, and your generousity will pay off in the end by getting to keep more your earnings come tax time.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Occasionally, I've been known to toot my own horn. Here is another occasion--"toot, toot!" I just got back from Albertsons'. It's Tuesday night. Didn't have any plans or purchases in mind for the eleventh hour of the sales' week. But my neighbor across the street has taken some of my tips and put them to good use. Well...today she gave me her extra doublers from the Sunday paper. Not wanting to waste a precious coupon doubler, I went to the computer at 8:30pm to refresh myself with the sales' ad and figured that it might be worth a trip down the hill to my favorite grocery haunt. I decided a mere 4 transactions would suffice--but I brought the 100 toothbrush coupons I recently ordered off of ebay...for a "just in case" back-up item to use any extra doublers. And as would have it, the toothbrushes were on sale for $1.19 (doubling the $1 off coupon allowed me to subtract 81cents x3 coupled/doubled for a total of $2.43 in overage per transaction). So doing transactions with three toothbrushes and smaller amounts of groceries, I had final amounts ranging from 17-89 cents per transaction. Doing 10-12 transactions really paid off...to the tune of $165.84 in savings. And for all of the viewers who stand in judgment of the value of couponing--please note the items that were "purchased" in "coupon cash" rather than liquid cash--like produce and milk; which are items that generally don't have a coupon specifically for them available. If I had freezer space and forethought--we would have been having steak for dinner tomorrow instead of cereal! Oh well. Better plans next time :)
So--here's what I got for $11.88!!
3 gallons of milk
8 boxes of General Mills Cereals
12 bags of Malt-o-Meal cereals
6 large apples
2 bunches of green onions
1lb of carrots
3lbs of bananas
22 Gum Toothbrushes
2 bottles Kikkoman's Teriyaki sauce
2 bottles Kikkoman's Teriyaki glaze
8 jars of Prego spaghetti sauce
21 cans of Starkist Tuna
Now, if I had paid regular price for all of these items, before any coupons, etc...this total would have been $177.72. But I paid $11.88 and came home with a $1.oo OYNO Catalina coupon, 35 cents off of gasoline for up to 20 gallons, and 4 free movies from Redbox--woo hoo!! So the little jaunt to my favorite haunt was well-worth the time. I shutter to think what I could have done if I had come prepared with a grundle of coupons and a method to my madness. Tonight was just a great reminder of what kind of good you can do without a lot of money or time.