Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuesday's Giant Trip

With it being the last week of the month, and the budget, I didn't really have the money to go shopping, but there were some great deals to be had, I had coupons expiring which needed to be used, and I needed yogurt.  So, I dipped into my Christmas money and got some great bargains.  Even though this trip didn't come out of the budget, I wanted to post it anyway, as the deals are still good until Thursday.  Here's what I ended up with...

1 bag Cascadian Farms Frozen Organic Broccoli Florets $2.29 - $0.75/1 MC doubled to $1.50 = $0.79
1 bag Cascadian Farms Frozen Organic Sweet Corn $2.29 - $0.75/1 MC doubled to $1.50 = $0.79
2 bags Newman's Own Frozen Meals $8.39 ea - $2.40 ea Sale - $1/1 MC x 2 = 2/$9.98
2 Boxes Mrs. Paul's Fish Fillets/Sticks $5.99 ea - $5.99 BOGO Free Sale - $1/1 MC x 2 = 2/$3.99
2-4 pks Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt $2.09 ea = 2/$4.18
2 jars Newman's Own Spaghetti Sauce $2.99 ea - $0.70 ea Sale - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 x 2 = 2/$2.58
2 cans Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes $1.99 ea - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 x 2 = 2/$1.98
2 boxes Rice Thins Crackers $3.35 ea - $0.35 ea Sale - FREE Item MC x 2 = 2 FREE!
- $0.10 Reusable Bag Credit
Total OOP: $54.18 - $29.99 Sales/Coupons = $24.19, Savings of 55%!!!!

Tuesday's CVS Trip

Tuesday Joe and I stopped into CVS to pick up some prescriptions, while we were there I picked up some deals to roll my ECB's on, and some rain checks, as they were out of a few things I wanted.  Overall it was a pretty good trip.  Here's what we ended up with...

2 Nivea Lotions $8.29 and $8.99 - $2.29 and $2.99 Sale - $2/1 MC x 2 - $1/$10 Lotion CVS C - $3 ECB's wyb $10 = 2/$4
2 Colgate Toothpastes $3.79 ea - $0.80 ea Sale - $1/1 MC x 2 - $2 ECB's x 2 = 2 FREE!
1-6 ct Snack Sized Kit Kat Bars $1.27 - $0.28 Sale - $0.25/1 CVS C = $0.74
1 bag Mini Oreo Cookies $1.19 - $0.20 Sale - $0.25/1 CVS C = $0.74
+ $0.86 Tax
- $10 ECB's used to Pay
Total OOP: $3.32, Earned $7 ECB's for next time!

Linked to Simply CVS!

ALDI Deals, Starting 01/29/2014

Here's some of the AWESOME deals at ALDI this week...
  • Weds. 01/29 ONLY: Tyson Fresh St. Louis Spare Ribs $1.99/lb
  • Weds. 01/29 ONLY: Fresh 73% Lean All Natural Ground Beef Chub 5 lb $8.99 ea
  • Organic Baby Carrots 16 oz $1.39 ea
  • Organic Grape Tomatoes 10 oz $2.49 ea 
  • Cucumbers $0.29 ea
  • Whole White Mushrooms 8 oz $0.69 ea
  • Broccoli Crowns 1 lb pkg $0.99 ea
  • Mini Sweet Peppers 8 oz $1.39 ea
  • Celery $0.69 ea
  • Avocados $0.59 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Milk Reduced Fat 2% 64 oz $3.39 ea
  • Sundae Shopper Heart Shaped Ice Cream Cake 32 oz $7.99 ea
  • Baker's Corner Instant Pudding Regular or Sugar Free Chocolate or Vanilla 1.0-3.9 oz $0.45 ea
  • Baker's Corner Red Velvet Cake Mix 16.5 oz $1.19 ea
  • Baker's Corner Valentine's Day Frosting 16 oz $1.29 ea
  • Aunt Maple's Pink Chocolate Chip or Red Velvet Pancake Mix 8-8.5 oz $1.99 ea
  • Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen Garlic Bread Sticks 10.5 oz $1.69 ea
  • Light and Fit Non Fat Yogurt Red Velvet or Key Lime 6 oz $0.39 ea
  • Beaumont Ground Coffee Cinnamon Spice or Caramel Creme 12 oz $3.99 ea
  • Specially Selected Cheese Snack Sticks Assorted Varieties 9 oz $3.29 ea
  • Specially Selected Dark Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramels 10 oz $2.99 ea
  • General Mills Valentine's Lucky Charms Treat Bars 13.2 oz $4.79 ea
  • Nature's Path Red Berries and Chocolate Love Crunch 11.5 oz $2.99 ea
  • Kitchen Living Assorted Baking Pans $3.99 ea 
  • Kitchen Living Brownie Maker or Whoppie Pie Maker $14.99 ea
For more information about shopping at ALDI, visit their homepage!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday: Garlic Foccacia Bread


Garlic Foccacia Bread is my go to when I'm out of make-ahead-and-freeze Garlic Bread.  It is super simple to make, takes just a few ingredients, and goes well with pasta, and potato soup alike.  You can also use the leftover dough to make a mean pizza!  I whip up the dough in my bread machine before baking it in the oven, but you could easily do it by hand or with your kitchen aid.  Without further ado ladies and gentlemen, I give you Garlic Foccacia Bread...

1 1/4 c Water
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 1/4 c Flour (I use unbleached)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 1/2 tsp Yeast

1.) Add the ingredients in the order listed, making a well for the yeast (or based on your bread machine's instructions).  Push the dough button, and start (or follow your bread machine's instructions for a dough).
2.) When the dough is done, prep your baking sheet with parchment and a little olive oil.  
3.) Stretch the dough out on the parchment (dough is VERY sticky).  I like to drizzle more olive oil over the top, and then sprinkle coarse kosher salt over the top - very yummy!
4.) Bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately, and try not to eat it all by yourself!  (We bake 1/2 of the dough at a time because I think it tastes best fresh from the oven, and I just save the other half for the next day or so in a oiled container in the fridge.  You can use your leftover dough as a very yummy pizza crust too!)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: 01/27/2014

With snow and cold temperatures here to stay, all I want to do is stay bundled up in a blanket with hot soup, bread, and hot cocoa.  Unfortunately Joe won't appreciate the menu very much, and nothing would get done around the house either.  So, I made a meal plan of other comfort-style foods that actually use up items we have in our pantries and freezers.  This is the last week of the official pantry challenge, but we will be continuing to use things up through February so we can defrost our chest freezer.  We're about half way there, so a few more weeks should mostly do it.  Then I can start stocking it with post-baby meals, YEAH!  Only 11 more weeks to go, and we get to meet baby Rogers; can you tell we are just a little excited?  Here's what's on the menu this week...

Breakfasts: Banana Crumb Bread (*new recipe), Toast with Butter and Jam, Yogurt with Granola, Special K or Fruit and Grain Bars, Waffles/Bagels

Lunches: Leftovers, Turkey Salad/Grilled Cheese/PB and J Sandwiches, Quesadillas

Dinners: All served with Vegetable or Salad
Sunday - Bacon Cheese Burgers with Baked Onion Rings
Monday - Turkey, (Frozen Leftover) Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, and Gravy
Tuesday - Beef Stew Meat in Mushroom Gravy over Rice
Wednesday - Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas with Mexican Rice
Thursday - Possible working at Joe's Grandfather's - Chili's, if not Fried Pork chops with Buttered Egg Noodles
Friday - Flea Market Set-up day - Leftover Buffet/Homemade Pizza/Hotdogs with Mac and Cheese, or something simple
Saturday - Flea Market Day - Out :)

Extras: Brownies (leftover from last week), Cake Mix Cookies (Yellow with Chocolate Chips)

For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Freezer/Pantry Challenge Update #4

This week Joe and I made some major head-way in the nursery, and in the freezers.  We were able to use up quite a few things from the chest freezer, and the pantry cupboards.  I probably won't be able to defrost the freezer after next week, so our freezer/pantry challenge will continue into February.  As for the nursery, I'm going to post a progress update soon, it is looking amazing.  Over the weekend I steam cleaned another section of rug, and Joe helped me move some furniture around.  This week I washed our sweet little baby's clothing and blankets, and tucked them away in the chest of drawers.  Joe also got the crib mattress opened up and put in the crib so it can air out.  Sunday I baked up some lemon pie bars, and some blueberry muffins, both are my favorite!  We worked at Joe's grandfather's house again on Thursday, his basement is coming together, but it is such a slow process, especially when your pregnant.  Here's how the meals went down this week...

Sunday: Today I got caught up on laundry.  Joe Finish-Feedered the baby's chest of drawers, which now looks gorgeous!  I worked on emptying out the crib of gifts from our first shower, so we can get the mattress in.  Joe helped me move some furniture around in the nursery as well, and re-hooked-up our printer.  I also got my baking for the week done, lemon pie bars, and blueberry muffins - yummy!  Overall it was a very productive day, but I was seriously tired when all was said and done, hence the simple menu from today.
Breakfast - Waffles for Me, Zone Perfect Bar for Joe
Lunch - Smothered Pork Chops (*New Recipe), Mashed Potatoes, and a Steamed Vegetable
Dinner - Sandwiches - Easy dinner, I was tuckered out
Snacks - Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Veggies and Dip, Lemon Pie Bars, Blueberry Muffins

Monday: Today was cleaning day. I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, and Joe took care of the litter boxes and the vacuuming.  I finished going through baby gifts and Joe was able to get the mattress in the crib.  I can't wait to post an update of the nursery next week, it is looking so good.  Today's menu was pretty simple as well, being pregnant is starting to catch up with me, and that second trimester energy is starting to diminish into third trimester tiredness.  By 2 o'clock most days, I'm shot.  Joe's been wonderful though, such a huge help.
Breakfast - Blueberry Muffins
Lunch - Leftover Pizza from Saturday Night
Dinner - Pancakes with Chipped Beef Gravy
Snacks - Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Veggies and Dip, Lemon Pie Bars, Blueberry Muffins, String Cheese

Tuesday: We awoke to some snow this morning, it was light enough that we went out and ran our errands this morning.  We left the house a little after 7 and were back by 9:30.  By that time things were starting to get pretty slick out.  Joe worked on some projects in his work room, and I worked on blogging, and baby laundry.  I can't wait to get everything folded up in the dresser drawers.  We ate pretty simple again today, since I just haven't been feeling right.  I don't know if it's just this stage in my pregnancy, or if I'm coming down with something, but I just don't feel good.  Sleeping is getting harder too, unfortunately.  But I only have about 11 weeks to go, so the bad will soon pass ;)
Breakfast - Blueberry Muffins
Lunch - Hotdogs, Annie's Mac and Cheese
Dinner - Baked Fish Sticks and French Fries
Snacks - Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Veggies and Dip, Lemon Pie Bars, Blueberry Muffins, String Cheese

Wednesday: Today was a little better, I was still feeling pretty rough.  I mostly worked on the computer and earned Swag Bucks while Joe worked on some projects next door.  I did manage to get some laundry done, but other than that I just rested.  I kept the meals simple too, but Joe didn't seem to mind.
Breakfast - Blueberry Muffins
Lunch - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Chips
Dinner - Sandwiches
Snacks - Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Veggies and Dip, Lemon Pie Bars, String Cheese

Thursday: Today I was feeling much more energized.  We worked at Pap's for most of the day, and he treated us to Chili's for dinner - yum-o!  Joe and I shared a 2 for $20, and we were stuffed when we left.  Needless to say, we were both tired, so once we got home we just took showers, checked our email, and went to bed. 
Breakfast - Blueberry Muffins for Joe, Special K Bar for Me
Lunch - Pretzels from the Amish Market
Dinner - Chili's - Bacon cheeseburger with french fries, and a chicken bacon quesadilla.
Snacks - Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Veggies and Dip, String Cheese

Friday: Today one of the cats woke up sick, so we had to take him to the vet.  Luckily it only cost about $60.  Unfortunately they don't actually know what's wrong with him, so he has to go back for some blood tests soon.  For now we are trying a round of antibiotics.  Needless to say, that threw a kink in our morning, and Joe grabbed us a pizza on his way home from the vet.  Then came the fiasco of trying to give a cat medicine.  He was pretty well behaved, but he's also 13, so he's getting a little too old to care about fighting us.  After that our day got pretty much back to normal.  I baked some brownies for Joe, and sorted through some books my Dad brought me to sell on Amazon.  I also did some more laundry; I'm so glad to be caught up on that finally.  My niece came to visit, so we just had a quick snacky dinner after she left.  Overall, the day turned out to be fairly productive, and we were well fed, even if we did have a sick kitty to contend with.
Breakfast - Blueberry Muffins for Joe, Cream of Wheat for Me
Lunch - $9 Meal Deal from Little Caesar's
Dinner - Snacks
Snacks - Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Veggies and Dip, String Cheese

Saturday: Joe had to take the cat back to the vet for some blood work and pain medicine, because he was just meowing in pain.  It wasn't cheap, but hopefully it isn't anything too serious, and he won't need surgery.  We ran out quickly in the morning to get my newspapers from the Dollar Tree, and stopped next door at Joanne's to get the jersey fabric and elastic Joe needs to make my maternity pants.  I can still fit in my regular pants at 29 weeks, but they are starting to get uncomfortable, so I'll be happy for some more forgiving pants to wear.  I stripped the bed and wash the linens, and I got all the Christmas decorations boxed up, including the tree.  Joe worked on finishing up some projects so his table is clear to work on my pants.  Shortly after our delicious dinner, my sister called to tell me my niece was in the ER, and if I could go sit with her until she could get there.  My niece is 19 and had never had an IV before, and she has panic attacks over needles, I was so glad that I was able to be there for her and help to keep her calm.  She was a trooper, and luckily it doesn't seem to be anything major at the moment, but please keep her in your prayers just in case.  We got home at de-germified with showers and laundry, and then it was bed for this prego lady :)
Breakfast - Fruit and Grain Bar for Joe, Yogurt with Granola and a Special K Bar for Me
Lunch - Leftover Pizza for Joe, Cheese Quesadilla for Me
Dinner - Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice
Snacks - Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Veggies and Dip, String Cheese

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekly Spending Report: 01/19-25/2014

This week I went over budget again, but we should be able to just squeak by under budget this month.  We were in need of things like milk, cheese, yogurt, and water, so I had to get those things.  If I wasn't drinking water like it was going out of style, and trying to stockpile diapers, $40 a week would be a LOT easier!  I think over all for the month we are doing pretty good.  There is only one week left in my pantry challenge, although I think we will be continuing it through February to finish cleaning out the chest freezer.  Next week we only need eggs, sour cream, tortillas, and salsa I think, so I should be able to make a one-stop trip to ALDI and call it good for the month.  Here's how this week went down...
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip (no picture, 5-12 pks Coke, 5-24 pks H2O, 3 pkgs Huggies Diapers): $24.23 oop, Earned $20 ECB's
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip (no picture, 2 pks Spreadable Cheese Wedges, 1 box Wheat Thins, 1 pk Tortillas): $4.82 oop
  • Tuesday's Friendly's Trip (no picture, 2 containers Ice Cream): Zero oop, used gift card
  • Tuesday's Target Trip (Annie's was 4/$5 and buy 4 get 1 free, milk was on sale for $3.49, and the tissues were $1.39 ea and I used 4 $0.50/1 Target coupons): Zero oop, used gift card
  • Tuesday Giant Trip: $15.29 oop
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip (no picture, 2 newspapers): $2.12 oop
Total OOP: $46.46 - $20 Earned Rewards = Net OOP: $26.46
Total Remaining for February: $9.62

Linked to Couponaholic!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ALDI Deals, Starting 01/22/2014

Here's some of the AWESOME deals at ALDI this week...
  • Weds. 01/22 ONLY: Fresh Pork Sirloin Roast $1.49/lb
  • Roseland Baby Back Ribs Original or Garlic 24 oz Frozen $8.99 ea 
  • Limes $0.19 ea
  • Red Onions 2 lb bag $0.99 ea
  • Avocados $0.59 ea
  • Roma Tomatoes 16 oz $0.99 ea
  • Cucumbers $0.29 ea
  • Mini Sweet Peppers 8 oz $1.39 ea
  • Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen Deep Dish Sausage or Pepperoni Pizza 25 oz OR Meat Trip Foccacia 30.67 oz $3.99 ea
  • Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen Game Day Combo 34.75 oz $6.49 ea
  • Appetitos Frozen Dips 8 oz $2.49 ea
  • Appetitos Soft Pretzels 21 oz $1.69 ea
  • Little Salad Bar Fiesta Layer Dip 18.5 oz $2.99 ea
  • Little Salad Bar Refrigerated Salad Dressings Creamy Ranch or Bleu Cheese 12 oz $1.99 ea
  • Tuscan Garden Peppercorn Ranch or Honey Mustard Dressing 16 oz $1.39 ea
  • Season's Choice Whole Onion Rings 16 oz $1.99 ea
  • Happy Harvest Chili Style Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz $0.59 ea
  • Brookdale Hot Habanero or 2-bean Chili 15 oz$1.19 ea
  • Clancy's Cheddar and Sour Cream Ridged Potato Chips 9 oz OR Popcorn Buttery or White Cheddar 8 oz $1.49 ea
  • Clancy's Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips Sea Salt or Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper 8.5 oz $1.79 ea 
  • CLancy's Tortilla Chips White Rounds or Restaurant Style 13 oz $0.99 ea
  • General Mills Bugles Original or Nacho 7.5 oz $0.99 ea
  • Casa Mamita Salsa Medium or Mild 24 oz $1.49 ea
  • Casa Mamita Salsa con Queso 15 oz or Clancy's Cheese Dip 15 oz $1.99 ea
  • Kitchen Living 16" Pizza Pan $3.49 ea
  • Huntington Home Luxury Queen or King 3 piece Comforter Set $49.99 ea
  • Huntington Home Luxury Queen or King 400 Thread Count Sheet Set $39.99 ea
  • Boulder Football Tableware $0.99 ea
  • 4" Primrose Assorted Colors $0.99 ea
For more information about shopping at ALDI, visit their Homepage!

Tuesday's Giant Trip - Great Kraft Deals!

Tuesday Joe and I stopped into Giant to pick up some deals.  I was originally going to go to Walgreen's for Mayo, and get shredded Mozzarella at ALDI, but this ended up being a much better deal with coupons and the Kraft promotion Giant was running, and I only had to make 1 stop instead of 2.  Here's what we ended up with...
Kraft Promo:
6 pkgs Shredded Cheese $3.39 ea - $0.89 ea Sale - $1/2 MC x3 = 3/$12
+ 2 jars Mayo $4.99 ea - $2.49 ea Sale - $1/2 MC = 2/$4
- $5 Promo wyb $15 after coupons = all for $11
6 Yoplait Yogurts $0.75 ea - $0.25 ea Sale - $0.40/6 MC doubled to $0.80 = 6/$2.20
1 tub Margarine $2.19
- $0.10 Reusable Bag Credit
Total OOP: $37.01 - $21.72 Savings/Coupons = $15.29, Savings of 59%!!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tempt our Tummy Tuesday: Strawberry Bread

Last week I tried out a new recipe, kind of a concoction of sorts.  It worked out beautifully, and is definitely a keeper, so I thought I would share it with the rest of the blog-world.  It makes two nice large loaves, and is super simple to whip together and throw in the oven.  Here's how it goes down...
3 c Flour (I use unbleached)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla
2 c Suagr
4 beaten Eggs
2 1/2 c Sliced Strawberries (I used frozen, and nuked them until they were mostly thawed, and then drained most of the juice off before adding them to the batter.)
1 c Oil (I had to use a mixture of Canola and Light Olive Oil, because that is all I had, and it worked out great)

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all the ingredients up, adding the strawberries last.  I used my kitchen aid mixer, but you can do it by hand as well.
2.) Pour the batter into 2 large greased loaf pans.
3.) Bake about 50-60 minutes depending on your oven.  You want the middle done, so I just used a toothpick to test it along the way, until I was happy with the results.

I kept one loaf down and the other I froze.  I bake them up on Sunday, and as of Thursday, the 1 loaf was gone!  Enjoy!

Linked to One Project at a Time, Homemade Mondays, and Thrifty Thursday!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: 01/20/2014

This week Joe and I are going to be plugging away in the nursery.  I have a LOT of presents to get unpacked, washed, and tucked away in the dresser drawers.  Then we can get the mattress in the crib, and let that start to air out.  I might even start a little painting this week, so we'll see.  I am planning on doing a progress post sometime this week as well.  On the food front, we are week 4 into the pantry challenge, and you can definitely see a dent in our food stores.  We might not be able to eat enough to defrost the freezer this month though, so we'll probably have to continue the challenge into February.  I want the chest freezer defrosted and mostly empty by the end of February so I can start freezer cooking and stocking in March for after the baby comes in April. I kept the menu rather simple, here's what's cooking...

Breakfasts: Special K Cereal and Bars, Homemade Blueberry Muffins

Lunches: Leftovers, Sandwiches

Dinners:
Sunday - Pancakes with Chipped Beef Gravy
Monday - Leftover Gravy and Pancakes
Tuesday - Baked Fish Sticks and French Fries
Wednesday - Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice, and Salad
Thursday - Working at Joe's Grandfather's house, so probably Chili's with him :)
Friday - Homemade Pizza, Veggies and Dip
Saturday - Shake and Bake Pork Chops, Rice Pilaf, and a Steamed Vegetable

Extras: Lemon Pie Bars

For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Freezer/Pantry Challenge Update #3

We're at week three of this pantry challenge, and things are going smoothly.  This week I felt a lot better than I did last week.  Tired in the afternoons, but overall I had a lot more energy.  Joe and I worked on the nursery a good bit, and we were able to get a lot accomplished.  I have an update post planned for next week.  We were able to eat a lot out of the freezers and pantry, and things are starting to look more manageable.  We also ate pretty good this week...

Sunday: Today I got a jump start on my cleaning by washing the bed linens.  I also did another load of laundry.  Joe worked in his work room on some sewing he had to do.  I tried to rest most of the afternoon since I had spent the morning making the strawberry bread and pecan pie for the week.  It was a good day, and we ate good too :)
Breakfast - Leftover Sticky Buns
Lunch - Cheese Steak Egg Rolls, Baked Onion Rings
Dinner - Crock-pot Lasagne, Garlic Bread, Steamed Vegetable
Snacks -  Pecan Pie, Strawberry Bread (*New Recipe), String Cheese, Veggies and Dip, and Tortilla Chips with Salsa

Monday: Today was cleaning day.  I did a quick pick up this morning, and then got the kitchen swept and mopped before lunch.  My Dad came to visit a little while, and then we had lunch.  After lunch Joe vacuumed the house while I cleaned the bathroom.  Once the cleaning was done, I took a nice long soak in the tub before moving onto laundry.  Joe grilled up dinner, and I threw some fries in the oven.  We spent the evening relaxing watching Netflix and clipping coupons.  A very good day!
Breakfast - Leftover Stick Buns
Lunch - Tuna Salad Sandwich for Me, Leftover Cheese Steak Egg Rolls for Joe
Dinner - Bacon Cheese Burgers, Baked French Fries
Snacks -  Pecan Pie, Strawberry Bread, String Cheese, Veggies and Dip, and Tortilla Chips with Salsa

Tuesday: Today Joe and I ran errands after I had my glucose test this morning.  The things a pregnant woman has to do - oh, you're pregnant and feel like crap, why don't we have you fast, and then drink this sugary crap that hops up your glucose, and then see how you feel?  Uh, I feel bad, duh!  Anyway, after the blood test was over, and Joe fed me, we ran to Wal-mart, CVS, and Giant to pick up a few things.  I went over on my weekly budget this week, but I am still under for the month, so I'm okay with that.  It will all work out in the end.
Breakfast -Strawberry Bread for Joe, None for me since I had to go for my glucose test today - boo!
Lunch - Wendy's - I had a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and a FREE Jr. Frosty, thanks to the key tag, Joe had a Baconator Meal, and we shared his fries and coke
Dinner - Leftover Lasagne, Garlic Bread
Snacks -  Pecan Pie, String Cheese, Veggies and Dip, and Tortilla Chips with Salsa

Wednesday: Today I got caught up on some blog posts, which is always fun work to accomplish.  I also made garlic bread for the freezer, 4 more meals worth, and got onions diced/sliced and frozen, since we were out.  Joe continued to work on a project in his work room for most of the day.  It was a quiet day, but for being 27 weeks pregnant, I felt very accomplished :)  We also ate pretty well too...
Breakfast - Strawberry Bread for Joe, Bagel for Me
Lunch - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Chips
Dinner - Potato Soup, Homemade Foccacia Bread
Snacks -  Pecan Pie, String Cheese, Veggies and Dip, and Tortilla Chips with Salsa

Thursday: Today I did a LOT of computer work and filing, in an effort to get the desk situation a little more under control.  It helped a LOT.  The nursery is really coming together, I can't wait to post an update soon!  Joe continue to work on his projects today as well.  For dinner we went up to Gettysburg to eat a later anniversary dinner at Dobbing House; it was amazingly delicious!  We shared a meal which helped to keep our cost down, and we had some gift cards from Christmas to use.  Afterwards we stopped at the thrift store in Hanover to drop off a few things, and we perused a little while we were there.  I used some of my Christmas money to but a pair of jeans to turn into maternity pants, and two shirts, and a 'coming-home' outfit if baby Rogers is a girl.
Breakfast - Strawberry Bread for Joe, Bagel for Me
Lunch - Leftover Potato Soup and Foccacia Bread
Dinner - Dinner at Dobbin - We used a gift card and some Christmas money to pay for dinner.  We shared the scallops, with each of us having french onion soup and salad to start.  I paired my portion with a baked sweet potato, and Joe had a baked white potato with sour cream and chives - yummy!  We also indulged in a piece of double chocolate pecan pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  It was good, but very rich for me, and Joe said he liked my pecan pie better - smart man ;)
Snacks -  Pecan Pie, String Cheese, Veggies and Dip, and Tortilla Chips with Salsa

Friday: Today we went to Joe's grandfather's house.  We did some work for him, like handling his cell phone issue with Verizon, paying some bills, and bringing up some kindling.  We had my dad follow us down with his truck so we could bring the baby's chest of drawers back, and we could load the suburban we took down for the flea market in two weeks.  It was a full day, but it ended with dinner at Chili's which Pap treated us to, so that was okay with the tired pregnant lady :)
Breakfast - Zone Perfect bar for Joe, Bagel for Me
Lunch - Soft Pretzels from the Amish Market
Dinner - Pap treated us to Chili's again.  It was so yummy, Joe and I got a 2 for $20 deal.  He got ribs, french fries, and apples, and I got the chicken fajitas.  But we both shared with each other, so yummy!  We also definitely ate our share of chips and salsa! 
Snacks -  Pecan Pie, String Cheese, Veggies and Dip, and Tortilla Chips with Salsa

Saturday: We awoke to snow on the ground, so Joe had to go out and clear a path to get to the Dollar Store for my newspapers - such a great husband!  I spent the day working on computer work and filing from last year.  I also steam cleaned another section of the nursery so we can hopefully get the chest of drawers in place tomorrow, and I can start washing baby clothes!  Joe worked on several projects today. including finish-feeding the baby's chest of drawers.  It's a family heirloom, which is wonderful, but it needed some serious TLC.  Our meals were fairly simple today, but tasty none the less.
Breakfast - Zone Perfect Bar for Joe, Bagel for Me
Lunch - Cheese Quesadillas with Chips and Salsa
Dinner - Pregnancy craving for a Pizza Hut salad, Joe got a $10 pizza too, but at least there was a deal going on ;)
Snacks - Pecan Pie, String Cheese, Veggies and Dip, and Tortilla Chips with Salsa

How is your pantry challenge going?  
Are you using up the tid-bits and getting things back in order too?

Weekly Spending Report: 01/12-18/2013

This week I went over budget, but we are still doing okay for the month.  We were out of freezer garlic bread and snack foods, so I'm okay with the amount I spent this week.  I was able to get those things, plus a few good deals, and I continued to stock up on diapers.  There are two weeks left in the pantry challenge, and our budget, but I think we can squeak by with only having to purchase few things.  Here's what I picked up this week...
  • Sunday's Shopper's Trip: $12.37 oop
  • Tuesday's Wal-mart Trip (no picture, 2 boxes of Generic Sudafed, 1 Hand Soap Refill): Zero oop (used gift card to pay)
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip: $13.78 oop, Earned $10.79 ECB's
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $20.34 oop 
  • Thursday's Thrift Store Trip (I bought a coming home outfit for the baby if it's a girl, a pair of jeans for myself that I'm going to cut up for maternity pants, and two looser shirts for my growing belly, total was $20.97) : Zero oop from budget, used Christmas Money
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip (just 2 newspapers): $2.12 oop
Total OOP: $48.61 - $10.79 Earned Rewards = Net OOP: $37.82
Total Remaining for January: $56.08

Linked to Couponaholic!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday's Giant Trip

Tuesday Joe and I also stopped into Giant to pick up some of the deals.  I'm over budget for this week, but we are still doing good for the month, so I'm okay with that.  We were in need of some snack food, because sweet breads only cut it so much, some times you just need some ice cream and potato chips, especially when you are pregnant ;)  I was also able to get some more garlic bread in the freezer.  Here's what we ended up with...
2 pkgs Turkey Hill Ice Cream $3.50 ea - $1 ea Sale = 2/$5
1 jar Minced Garlic $1.99
1 bottle Giant Brand Safflower Oil $4.99 - Ouch, but supposedly better than canola.
1 Giant Brand Cling Wrap $1.59
2 bottles Powerade Zero $1.19 ea - $0.31 ea Sale - $0.50/1 MC doubled x 2 = 2 FREE + $0.24 Money-maker!
2 Zone Perfect Bars $1.39 ea - $0.39 ea Sale - $1.25/1 MC x 2 = 2 FREE + $0.50 Money-maker!
1 Snyder's Tortilla Chips + 2 Cape Cod Potato Chips (the 40% Reduced Fat Ones are so good!) 1 @ $3.49 - $0.50 Sale, and 2 @ $3.79 ea - $0.80 ea Sale - $3 off Instantly wyb 3 = 3/$5.97
1 Loaf Bakery Italian Bread $2.49 - $1/1 Reduced Bakery Coupon = $1.49
+ $0.15 Tax
- $0.10 Reusable Bag Credit
Total OOP: $34.44 - $14.10 Savings/Coupons = $20.34 oop!  Savings of 41%!

Tuesday's CVS Trip

Tuesday Joe and I stopped into CVS to pick up the diaper deal.  We're still stockpiling for the baby!  Here's what we ended up with...

2 pkgs Pampers Swaddlers Size 2 Diapers $11.99 ea - $3 ea Sale - $1.50/1 MC x 2 +
1 pkg Pampers Baby Dry Size 3 Diapers $11.99 - $3 Sale - $1.50/1 MC +
1 Desitin $5.49 - $2.49 Sale - $1/1 MC - $10 ECB's wyb $30 = 3 Diapers + Desitin/$14.47
1 Butterfinger Candy Bar $1.19 - $0.40 Sale - $0.79 ECB = FREE!
+ $1.52 Tax
- $13 ECB's used to Pay
Total OOP: $13.78, Earned $10.79 ECB's

Linked to Simply CVS!

ALDI Deals, Starting 01/15/2014

Here are some of the AWESOME deals this week at ALDI...
  • Weds. 01/15 ONLY: Hormel Fresh Always Tender Pork Butt Roast $1.49/lb
  • Weds. 01/15 ONLY: Fit and Active Fresh Turkey Tenderloins Cracked Peppercorn or Rotisserie 30 oz $5.99 ea
  • Organic Grape Tomatoes 10 oz $2.49 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Spring Mix or Baby Spinach 5 oz $2.49 ea
  • Carrots 2 lb $0.59 ea
  • Mushrooms 8 oz $0.69 ea
  • Red Potatoes 5 lb $1.39 ea
  • Pineapple $1.39 ea
  • Grapefruit $0.39 ea
  • Bananas $0.44/lb
  • Sweet Harvest Peach Slices in 100% Juice 15 oz $0.89 ea
  • Season's Choice Sweet Peas or Super Sweet Corn 16 oz $0.95 ea
  • Stonemill Essentials Steak Seasoning or Meat Tenderizer 6-7.25 oz $0.99 ea
  • Stonemill Essentials Natural Spice Grinders or Sea Salt Grinder 2.1-3.15 oz $1.49 ea
  • Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper 4 oz $1.99 ea
  • Little Salad Bar 100 Calorie Guacamole Snack Pack, Spicy or Original 12 oz $2.99 ea
  • Happy Farms Spreadable Cheese Wedges Garlic and Herb or Jalapeno 4 oz $1.29 ea
  • Fit and Active No Salt Petite Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz $0.59 ea
  • Easy Home Step Bin, Toilet Brush, or Plunger Oil Rubbed Bronze or Satin Nickle $8.99 ea
  • Easy Home Choose-your-own Bath Assortment Oil Rubbed Bronze or Satin Nickle $3.99 ea
  • Easy Home 5 Function 2 Shower Head Kit $19.99 ea
  • Easy Home Curved Shower Rod Assortment Oil Rubbed Bronze or Satin Nickle Extends 42-72" $19.99 ea
  • Huntington Home 17x24" Memory Foam Bath Mat $6.99 ea
  • Huntington Home Shower Curtain Liner 70x72" Heavy Duty Almond, White, Clear, or Frosted $5.99 ea
  • Welby Ear and Forehead Thermometer $16.99 ea
For more information about shopping at ALDI, visit their Homepage!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday: Crock-pot Pizza Casserole

 Last Monday I tried a new crock-pot recipe.  I did a little tweaking to use what I already had during this pantry challenge, but it still turned out pretty good.  I think maybe 4 hours cook time would be plenty, as some of the bottom noodles were a little mushy.  Here's how it went down...

1 16 oz box of Spiral Pasta, not cooked, but rinsed
1/2 lb Cooked and Drained Beef (recipe called for 1 lb, but I never use that much meat for Joe and I)
1/2 Diced Onion, cooked with Beef (recipe called for 1 whole onion)
1 Diced Green Bell Pepper
Sprinkle of Garlic Powder (recipe called for minced garlic, but I didn't have any)
1/2 Sliced Pepperoni (recipe called for 1 cup, I didn't even use a full 1/2 c and I thought it had plenty)
32 oz Pasta Sauce
1 c Water
1 c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1.) Spray Crock Pot with Cooking Spray, I used Olive Oil.
2.) Place rinsed Pasta in Crock Pot and top with beef/onions, bell pepper, pepperoni.  Sprinkle Garlic Powder over all and stir.
3.) Pour Pasta Sauce and Water over all, do NOT stir.
4.) Top with Cheese.  Cover and Cook on Low 5-6 Hours (I'm going to check it after 4 next time though, because some of the noodles were mushy on the bottom, and crunchy on top.)  Do NOT lift lid.
5.) Serve hot topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.  Refrigerate any leftovers. I served ours with salad and garlic bread.  Enjoy!

* This fed Joe and I 2 helpings each at dinner, and then lunch leftover for Joe for the next 2 days, my guess is that it would probably feed 4 people.*

Linked to Homemade Mondays!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: 01/13/2014

This week Joe and I have big plans for the nursery.  We got the desk area steam cleaned over the weekend and the new-to-us desk moved in.  I need to get the computer set up as well as get the desk drawers organized this week.  Also we are going to steam clean where the chest of drawers is going to go, and hopefully get that brought up from Joe's grandfather's house.  It's the same one that Joe used as a child, which I think is really nice.  Once it's moved in and cleaned up a bit, it's time to wash and fold baby things - YEAH!  We are also going to do some work at Pap's house when we go down to get the chest of drawers.  Lastly, the pantry challenge is in full swing around here.  Things are getting used up, which makes me very happy, and I'm getting to try some new recipes as well.  Here's what's on the menu this week...

Breakfasts: Special K Cereal/Bars for Me, Strawberry Bread (*New Recipe) for Joe

Lunches: Leftovers, Grilled Cheese or Sausage Sandwiches

Dinners:
Sunday - Crock-pot Lasagne, Garlic Bread, Steamed Broccoli
Monday - Grilled Bacon Cheese Burgers, Baked French Fries
Tuesday - Potato Soup, Homemade Foccacia Bread
Wednesday - We will be at Pap's, so we'll probably end up at Chili's with him.
Thursday  - Belated Anniversary Dinner at Dobbin in Gettysburg - We have a gift card to use!
Friday - Homemade Pizza, Veggies with Dip
Saturday - Smothered Pork Chops (*New Recipe), Mashed Potatoes, and a Steamed Vegetable

Extras: Pecan Pie

For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Weekly Spending Report: 01/05-11/2013

This week I had $40 to spend during this Freezer/Pantry Challenge.  It was hard, because there were a LOT of great deals, but I kept it together!  Here's what I ended up with...  (142.15 remaining)
  • Tuesday's BJ's Trip (no picture, just Raw Sugar): $3.49 oop
  • Tuesday's Target Trip (no picture, 5 boxes Annie's Mac and Cheese): Zero oop, used gift card
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip (no picture, 6-12 pks Coke/Coke Zero, 3-24 pks H2O, 2-3 Musketeer Bars, used coupons and $10 ECB's): $2.63 oop, Earned $13 ECB's ($10 Coke Deal, $3 Fall spending)
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $10.73 oop
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $13.43 oop
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip: $7.18 oop
Total OOP: $37.46 - $13 Earned Rewards = Net OOP: $24.46
Total Cash Remaining for January: $104.69

Linked to Couponaholic!

Freezer/Pantry Challenge Update #2

This week we were able to get a LOT used up out of the pantry, and the freezers.  I also baked up some Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, and some White Chocolate Chip Cookies for snacks.  We did eat out twice, but only paid for one, since Joe's grandfather treated us to dinner one night.  Overall, things are starting to dwindle slightly, which means we are using up what we have, and that makes me happy!

Sunday: Today Joe and I worked hard on getting things moved around, and disassembled to make room for baby things in the nursery!  I also baked Banana Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookies, and did some tidying and laundry.
Breakfasts: Bagel for Me, Pop-Tarts for Joe
Lunch: Leftover French Bread made into Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Pickles
Dinner: Chicken Fajitas (from a Homemade dinner kit), Mexican Rice, and Salad
Snacks: Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, String Cheese, and Pudding Cups

Monday: Today was cleaning day.  I took care of the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry, and Joe cleaned the litter boxes and vacuumed the house.  I dusted over the weekend, and did some tidying, so we were able to get our weekly chores done in a breeze.  In the afternoon we worked some more on moving things around in the nursery, and clipping and filing coupons.  Overall, a very accomplished day.
Breakfasts: Bagel for Me, Pop-Tarts for Joe
Lunch: Leftover Fajitas and Mexican Rice for Joe, Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla with Salsa and Sour Cream, and a Salad for me
Dinner: Crock-pot Pizza Casserole (*New Recipe*), Salad, Garlic Bread
Snacks: Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, String Cheese, and Pudding Cups

Tuesday:  Today was errand running day at the Rogers' house!  I'll be posting my shopping trips over the next few days.  It amazes me how far I can stretch $40 when I have to.
Breakfasts: Bagel for Me, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for Joe
Lunch: Out at Ruby Tuesday's while we ran errands :)  We used a coupon towards our Salad Bar Combos, I had Broccoli and Cheese Soup with the Salad Bar, and Joe had the Ruby Mini's with the Salad Bar, with tip, $20!  On the way home we shared a Jamocha shake from Arby's even if was only 10 degrees outside. 
Dinner: Leftover Casserole, Homemade Foccacia Bread, and Salad
Snacks: White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, String Cheese, and Pudding Cups

Wednesday: Today I worked in the office/nursery.  I got the old desk cleaned out so that Joe can move it tomorrow.  We also organized all of our misc electrical bits and wires into one small bin, and trashed quite a lot of junk we don't need anymore.  Joe also worked on some projects in his work room while I did some housework, dishes, laundry, etc.
Breakfasts: Special K Cereal for Me, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for Joe
Lunch: Leftover Foccacia Bread dough made into Pizza, Veggies and Dip for Me, Joe had more leftover casserole and Leftover Foccacia Bread
Dinner: McDonald's - pregnancy craving, what can I say ;)
Snacks: White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, String Cheese, and Pudding Cups

Thursday: Today Joe and I worked in the nursery some more.  We moved a desk and vacuumed where it had been to get ready to steam clean that part of the carpet this weekend.  Things are moving right along.  I'm hoping to get the new desk moved in and organized over the weekend as well.
Breakfasts: Smart Ones Bacon Egg and Cheese English Muffin Sandwich for Me, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for Joe
Lunch: Leftover Pot Roast from the Freezer for Joe, Salad and a Spaghetti Lean Cuisine Meal for Me
Dinner: Crock-pot Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy, Jasmine Rice, and Steamed Broccoli
Snacks: White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, String Cheese, and Pudding Cups

Friday: Today we went to Joe's grandfather's house to work on some projects there, pay his bills, get his groceries, etc.  We stopped on the way down at the Amish Market for soft pretzels, my favorite!  And before we left to come home, Pap treated us to Chili's for dinner - yummy!
Breakfasts: Waffles with Syrup and Butter for Me, PBJ Waffle for Joe
Lunch: Amish Market Soft Pretzels
Dinner: Chili's - Joe and I shared a Soft Pretzel Sticks Appetizer, and a Full Rack of Ribs with French Fries and Apples - Yummy!
Snacks: White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, String Cheese, and Pudding Cups

Saturday: Today Joe and I went to the Dollar Store to pick up a couple things, including my newspapers.  Then we steamed cleaned the desk area in the nursery and I got caught up on laundry as well.  Overall a very productive day, until I had a morning sickness relapse in the afternoon which sent me to bed :(  I ended up scraping our dinner plans and just got some take-out pizza, which we did use a coupon for, and my loving husband so graciously went to go pick up in the rain and wind -- gotta love him!
Breakfasts: Sticky Buns from the Amish Market (Pap treated since we picked him up Apple Dumplings)
Lunch: Leftover Pork Chops with Gravy and Rice for Joe, Tuna Salad Sandwich for Me with Tortilla Chips
Dinner: Paradisio Pizza
Snacks: White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, String Cheese, and Pudding Cups

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday's Giant Trip

Tuesday Joe and I also stopped into Giant to pick up some deals, and important things like veggie dip and ice cream.  The ice cream has 1/2 the fat, and it is actually really good and creamy.  Here's what we ended up with...

2 cartons Edy's Double Churned Ice Cream $5.49 ea - BOGO Free Sale = 2/$5.49
1 Marzetti Ranch Veggie Dip $3.99 - $1/1 MC = $2.99
2 cartons Nature's Promise Organic Chicken Broth on clearance for $0.62 ea = 2/$1.24
2 pkgs Pampers Wipes $2.55 ea - $0.55 ea Sale - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 x 2 = 2/$2
3 pkgs Friskies Party Mix Cat Treats $1.65 ea - $0.15 ea Sale - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 x 3 = 3/$1.50
+ $0.36 Tax
- $0.15 Reusable Bag Credit
Total OOP: $26.47 - $13.04 Sales/Coupons = $13.43

Tuesday's ALDI Trip

Joe and I stopped into ALDI to pick up a few things we needed for snacks and salads.  Here's what we ended up with...

1 box Blueberry Fruit and Grain Bars (for Joe) $1.89
1 box Organic Animal Cookies (for me) $1.79
1 pkg String Cheese (for me) $2.49
1 pouch Bacon Bits $1.49
1 pkg Baby Carrots $0.99
1 pkg Broccoli Crowns $1.49
1 Cucumber $0.59
Total OOP: $10.73

ALDI Deals, Starting 01/08/2014

Here are some of the AWESOME deals at ALDI this week...
  • Wednesdays ONLY: Simply Nature Fresh 85/15 Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef $4.49/lb
  • Simply Nature Organic All Natural Uncured Bacon 12 oz $3.89 ea
  • Organic Apples 3lbs $4.39 ea
  • Organic Bananas $0.69/lb
  • Grapefruit $0.39 ea
  • Kiwis 4 pk $0.99 ea
  • Blackberries 6 oz $0.79 ea
  • Cantaloupe $1.39 ea
  • Anjou Pears 28 oz $1.49 ea
  • Mangoes $0.59 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Pasta Sauce Marinara or Tomato Basil 25 oz $1.99 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Spaghetti or Linguine 16 oz $1.19 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Free Range Broth Chicken or Low Sodium Chicken 32 oz $1.79 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Diced Tomatoes 28 oz $1.49 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Aged Balsamic or Peppercorn Ranch Dressings 8 oz $1.99 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Toasted Oats Original or Honey Nut 9-10 oz $1.99 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Fruit and Nut Bars Cranberry Almond or Almond Coconut 5.6 oz $3.99 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Wildflower Honey 12 oz $3.19 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Blueberries (frozen) 10 oz $2.99 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Fruit Bars Chunky Strawberry, Creamy Banana, or Creamy Coconut 10 oz $2.69 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic 100% Apple Juice 64 oz $2.49 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Orange Juice 59 oz $3.79 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Fruit Preserves Assorted Varieties 10.2 oz $2.49 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Salsa Mild, Medium, or Hot 16 oz $1.99 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Spinach and Feta or Roasted Vegetable Pizza 16.25 oz $3.99 ea
  • Season's Choice Chopped Spinach 10 oz $0.99 ea
  • Season's Choice Frozen Strawberries, Sliced Peaches, or Mixed Fruit 16 oz OR Frozen Raspberries, Blueberries, or Berry Medley 12 oz $2.29 ea
  • Season's Choice Steamable Asparagus Spears 8 oz $2.29 ea
  • Anchor Hocking True Seal 6-piece Glass Storage Bowls with Lids 2, 4, and 7 cup Bowls $9.99 ea
  • 4" Foliage Assorted Varieties $1.99 ea
For more information about shopping at ALDI, visit their Homepage!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday: Homemade French Bread

Homemade bread has an amazing taste, it also smells amazing as it's baking.  Bread is definitely one of my favorite foods, especially when it's freshly baked and still warm - a little butter doesn't hurt either.  This French Countryside Bread is no exception.  I usually make it to go with soup, but the leftovers are delicious as a grilled cheese sandwich.  The ends make nice croutons too.  I make it in the bread machine, but I'm sure if you are a professional dough hook yielding lady, you could probably make it in your kitchen aid as well, and then bake it in your oven.  So, without further ado, the star of the show...

French Countryside Bread
Makes: 1 -2 lb loaf

1 and 3/8 c Water
1 and 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 and 1/2 tsp Salt
4 c Bread Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

1.) Add ingredients to your bread machine pan in the order listed, making a well in the flour for the yeast.
2.) Snap your bread pan inside the bread machine, and close the lid.  
3.) (For my machine - Oster 2 lb Expressbake Breadmaker) Press Select to chose the French setting.
4.) Press the Crust Color button to choose light, medium, or dark crust -- I chose light for the loaf above.
5.) Press the Start/Stop button.  The machine will do the rest, and in 3 hours and 50 minutes later, you have a delicious loaf of bread waiting for you!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: 01/06/2013

This week is the second week in the Freezer/Pantry Challenge.  I planned our meals from the ingredients we already had in the freezers and pantries, to try and get things clean out and organized.  So far, so good.  We've used up some misc things I had lying around.  I also did some baking yesterday to make sure we have snacks around.  I have found that baking sweet bread and a sweet treat each week makes my husband a little more flexible in the whole 'we're cleaning out the freezers, and meals might be a little strange' aspect of the challenge.  Whatever works right?  Anyway, onto the meal plan...

Breakfasts: Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Bagels, last of the Pop-Tarts

Lunches: Homemade Pizza, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Leftovers

Dinners:
Sunday - Chicken Fajitas (from a dinner kit), Mexican Rice, and Salad
Monday - Crock-pot Pizza Casserole (*new recipe*), Garlic Bread, Salad
Tuesday - Leftover Casserole, Foccacia Bread
Wednesday - Crock-pot Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy, Rice, and Cauliflower with Cheese
Thursday - We'll be at Joe's grandfather's house working, so he'll probably treat us to some Chili's for dinner :-)
Friday - Fish Sticks with Baked French Fries
Saturday - Cheese Steak Egg Rolls, Baked Onion Rings

Extras: Homemade White Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Freezer/Pantry Challenge Update #1

This week started out with finishing up the leftovers from the holidays, and the month of December.  We splurged a little on New Year's Eve and had some steamed shrimp, and potato skins for dinner, followed by taking inventory of the freezers and pantry cupboards (do we live on the wild side or what?).  Now that I know what I have to work with, meal planning is a lot easier.  I'll probably still have to pick up things like diary and produce, but I do have a LOT to work with already.  Here's how we started January and the challenge out...

Weds. Jan. 1st:
Breakfast: Pop-Tarts (I'm trying to finish out the last box of these before moving on)
Lunch: I ate leftover Creamed Chipped Beef Gravy over Eggos, and Joe had 3 pieces of leftover pizza from dinner the other night.
Dinner: Homemade Potato Soup with Homemade French Bread
Snacks: String Cheese Sticks, Leftover Christmas Cookies, Pudding Cups, and/or Leftover Cheesecake

Thurs. Jan. 2nd:
Breakfast: Pop-Tarts (I'm trying to finish out the last box of these before moving on)
Lunch: Luncheon with the rest of the Museum staff (we had turkey club sandwiches, and they were delicious!)
Dinner: Leftover Potato Soup and Bread - yum-o!
Snacks: String Cheese Sticks, Leftover Christmas Cookies, Pudding Cups, White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Fri. Jan. 3rd:
Breakfast: Pop-Tarts (I'm trying to finish out the last box of these before moving on)
Lunch: Pregnancy Splurge of McDonald's - So Yummy!!
Dinner: Joe had to run to his grandfather's house for a cell phone 'emergency,' so Pap treated us to pizza!  Yeah for free take-out!
Snacks: String Cheese Sticks, White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Pudding Cups

Sat. Jan. 4th:
Breakfast: Bagel for Me, Pop-Tarts for Joe
Lunch: Leftovers - got the fridge cleaned out!
Dinner: Cheesy Baked Pork Chops with Jasmine Rice and Steamed Broccoli
Snacks: String Cheese Sticks, Tortilla Chips and Salsa, Pudding Cups

Linked to Good Cheap Eats

 How is everyone else doing on the challenge?
 

Weekly Spending Report: 12/29/13-01/04/2014

The beginning of the week was a little spend happy.  I did this to restock on a few things before the Freezer/Pantry Challenge which started January 1st.  Some would call that cheating, but these were things that I had been planning on buying anyway, things that I always have in the house, so I call it fair.  Here's how the spending went down this week...
  • Tuesday's Walgreen's Trip (no picture, 2 bags Organic Pasta, 1 Christmas present, 1 pkg small Bows, 2 rolls Yarn Ribbon, 3 Bubble Mailers, and 1 Electric Cord - everything was on sale/clearance, or I had an in-ad coupon): $26.51 - $14.57 Savings/Coupon = $11.94 oop
  • Tuesday's Dollar Tree Trip (used 2 - $1/2 MC on the pepperoni): $15 oop
  • Tuesday's Rite-Aid Trip (no post, 1 Christmas present and 1 pkg Revlon Nail Files which I used a Rite-Aid Coupon on): $9.11 - $5.28 Savings/Coupon = $3.83 oop
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip (no picture, 4 pkgs Diapers, 3-24 pk H2O, and 1-12 pk Coke, used various coupons, including a free item coupon for the soda, a $5 off $30 Baby CVS Coupon, and ECB's): $69.26 - $44.69 Savings/Coupons = $24.57 oop, Earned $10 ECB's
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $28.42 oop
 End of December Total OOP: $83.76 - $10 Earned Rewards = Net OOP: $73.76!


Then the Freezer/Pantry Challenge began on Wednesday, and the spending pretty much ceased to exist.  Which is how I like it.  I did pick up a couple things...
  • Thursday's Big Lots Trip: $6.67 oop
  • Thursday's Shopper's Trip: $5.88 oop
  • Saturday's Shopper's Trip (no picture, just 2 newspapers): $5.30 oop
January Total so Far: $17.85, Remaining Total for January: $142.15

Thursday, January 2, 2014

ALDI Deals, Starting 01/01/2014

Here are some of the AWESOME deals this week at ALDI...
  • Thurs. 01/02 ONLY: Fresh Family pk Chicken Breasts $1.49/lb
  • Thurs. 01/02 ONLY: Custom Made Meals Fresh Italian-Style Stuffed Meatballs $4.29/lb
  • Organic Apples 3 lb bag $4.39 ea
  • Organic Bananas $0.69/lb
  • Anjou Pears 28 oz $1.49 ea
  • Blueberries 6 oz $1.29 ea
  • Grapefruit $0.39 ea
  • Pineapple $1.49 ea
  • Cantaloupe $1.39 ea
  • Blackberries 6 oz $0.79 ea
  • Breakfast Best Heat and Serve Turkey Sausage Links 6.4 oz $0.99 ea
  • Millville Nutrizone Bars 8.8-9.5 oz $3.99 ea
  • Millville 90 calorie Fiber Now Bars Chocolate or Chocolate PB 4.1 oz $1.89 ea
  • Season's Choice Frozen Sliced Strawberries or Frozen Mango Chunks 32 oz $3.29 ea
  • Simply Nature Kids Fruit Twists Strawberry or Grape 3.8 oz $1.99 ea
  • Simply Nature Organic Beef or Vegetable Broth 32 oz $1.79 ea
  • Simply Nature Pomegranate Plum Juice 64 oz $2.49 ea
  • Southern Grove 100 calorie Nut Assortment Assorted Varieties 3.29-4.41 oz $2.19 ea 
  • Fit and Active Multigrain Waffles 12.3 oz $1.29 ea
  • Fit and Active Light String Cheese 10 oz $2.49 ea
  • Fit and Active Nonfat Yogurt Plain or Vanilla 32 oz $1.99 ea
  • Fit and Active Frozen Meals Assorted Varieties 8 oz $0.99 ea
  • Fit and Active 2% Milk Shredded Cheese Sharp Cheddar or Mexican 11 oz $2.99 ea 
  • Fit and Active Rice Snacks Ranch or Chocolate 6-7 oz $1.99 ea
  • Fit and Active Lean Philly Cheese Steak or Lean Meatball Sandwiches 9 oz $1.89 ea
  • Fit and Active Protein Meal Bars Chocolate Caramel or Cranberry 9.5 oz $3.99 ea
  • Fit and Active 94% Fat Free Mini Microwave Popcorn Bags 12 oz $1.99 ea
  • Fit and Active No Sugar Added Fruit Snacks 7.6 oz $2.19 ea
  • Fit and Active Whole Grain Penne Rigate or Rotini Pasta 13.25 oz $0.89 ea
  • Fit and Active Select Light or Fat Free Dressings 16 oz $1.39 ea
  • Fit and Active No Salt Added Pasta Sauce Traditional or Garlic and Onion 23.5-24 oz $1.19 ea
  • Crane Exercise Ball 22, 26, or 30" $7.99 ea
  • Crane 36" Fitness Trampoline $24.99 ea
  • Crane Body Fat Scale $16.99 ea
For more information about shopping at ALDI, visit their Homepage!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goals for 2014


I did ok with my goals in 2013, some got met, some didn't.  I think I kept them too general, or not definitive enough.  So I went through the year saying, yeah I did that, but I could still work on it, so not a lot got crossed off.  This year, I'll try things a little differently, since part of the satisfaction of reaching your goals is getting to cross them off your list.  Some of my goals are larger than others and will need to be broken down into manageable chunks, like preparing the nursery.  However, for the sake of space and time, I'll just list the actual goal here, and then I'll list any stages in a reveal/update post if there is one.  So without further ado...
Household:
  1. Prepare a Nursery!  (this will probably have several update posts along the way)
  2. Do a Deep-Spring, and Deep-Fall Clean in March and November.  As well as keep up with my weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleaning chores.
Family:
  1. Give birth to baby Rogers, and be the best mom I can be!
  2. Try every day to be a loving wife.  Some days this is harder than others. :)
  3. Take a trip to Maine in June with the hubby, and the baby.
  4. Get together with family at least once a month.  (probably for dinner) 
Blogging:
  1. Have 2 Freezer/Pantry Challenges (January and July), post updates on the blog, and defrost the chest freezer
  2. Post my Menu Plan, Aldi Deals, and Weekly Spending Report every week, along with at least 1 other post per week.  This may be an update, a reveal, a recipe, a shopping trip, or a frugal find.
  3. Plan and execute a 31 days post for October. 
Health:
  1. Lose at least 20 lbs (I did accomplish losing 20 lbs in 2013 as well, so it seems doable)
  2. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and do exercise of some kind everyday.
Financial:
  1. Do at least 6 Flea Markets throughout the year, and list at least monthly on Amazon.
  2. Earn Swagbucks everyday by completing the daily poll, toolbar log-in, and NOSO offers daily.
  3. Set a monthly budget, and coupon and deal shop as needed to stay within our budget.
  4. Pay off my credit card by June, and start putting extra onto Joe's credit card every month.  We won't have his paid off this year, but we'll be on the right track to have it paid off within the next year or two.  :)
Hobby-Related:
  1. Catch up my scrapbook.  I'm only about 8 years behind, but I think once I get rolling on it, I should be able to push through and get it done by the end of the year. ;) I also want to start one for the baby, and work on it monthly.
  2. Try something new at least twice a month and blog about it.  I have a LOT of new recipes and crafts I want to try, and this is the year! 
For more AWESOME Goals, visit Money Saving Mom!

Pantry Challenge Goals For January 2014


I am joining the Pantry Challenge that Jessica at Good Cheap Eats is doing for the month of January.  My goals for the January Freezer/Pantry Challenge are simple:
  1. I want to empty out the chest freezer enough to defrost it.  We've had it for 2 years now, and have yet to do that - whoops!
  2. I want to empty out our freezers and pantries as best we can, especially of those bits of misc stuff, that need to be used up before they are past their prime.
  3. Spend no more than $40 per week on groceries including health and beauty, and household items.  Or a total of $160 for the month.
  4. Hopefully find/create some new family-favorite recipes out of the stuff we have to work with in the kitchen.
  5. Document our progress on a weekly update post with pictures.
  6. Eat well and have fun!
What about you; are you doing a Freezer/Pantry Challenge this month?