Food Plan – October Week 3

Ok. Having technical difficulties! I have no idea what happened to the text of this post and, of course, I have gotten rid of my receipts!! Grrr…..

Let me give you a quick recap. I went out shopping with a basic plan and ended up buying for two weeks. This leaves me just a few dollars for next week to get in between items like milk, bread, fruit, etc. Week 4 will be updated and I will try to recap some of week 3. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

 

 

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Clearance and Coupons

Hi everyone! I typically try to stay out of the grocery store in between weekly trips, but I just couldn’t resist this special trip. I had gotten a coupon the other day for $25 off of my next purchase at my local grocery store when I transferred or started a new prescription. Now, I typically fill my prescriptions right here in town at our small pharmacy and I will continue to do so, BUT free money is free money so I had to take advantage since I have a prescription to be filled right now anyway. I will probably switch it back again next time.

My first thought when I knew I had free money to spend is to figure out how to make the most of it. So I hit my coupon book and the sales flier again and started matching them up. Thanks to my mom who gave me a few I was looking for I was able to get some great deals for next to nothing and I added to the list from there.

In the end, once I pick up the prescription and get the $25 back with my receipt, I will have paid  a whopping $1.26 for all of the food here. I know, right?! Here is what I got.

English muffins
Original price is 4.39 and they are buy 1 get 2 free, which makes them 1.46 per package. I had three .55 off one coupons that double to 1.10 each coupon. Total price paid is $.36 each package

Cheese Sticks
Original price is 4.99. Coupon for 2.00 off makes it $2.99 for a bag of 12.

Instant Mashed Potatoes
These were on sale for $1.00 each and if you bought 10 you got a free 8 piece fried chicken pack from the deli. Paid $10 for the 10 packs

8 Piece Fried Chicken
This was free with the purchase of the instant mashed potatoes. We had the chicken for lunch when I got home.

Granola Bars and Fiber Bars
These were 1.50 each when you bought 4 packages. I also had two .50 off two packages, which doubles to 1.00 off two packages. Total was 6.00 for the four boxes minus the two coupons worth 2.00. Final price was $1.00 each box.

Chicken Gravy
This was on sale for $1.59 and I got it to go with lunch.

Chicken Nuggets
These were on sale for 1.99 and I had two coupons (thanks mom) for .75 off one package that doubled to 1.50. In the end, I paid $.49 each for the two packages.

Reduced Produce
This is always a stop I have to make during my trip to this store. There was a great deal on apples and plums so I grabbed those. Plums were $1.94 for about 1.5 lbs and the apples were $1.56 for about 2 lbs.

Cole Slaw
This was not on sale, it was a deli item that I got to go along with the free chicken! It was $2.11.

So, there you have it! Sometimes all stars align and you end up with some tremendous deals such as this. Now, even if I didn’t have the $25 coupon for transferring the prescription, I still would have only paid $26.26 for all of these items and the regular price, not that I would EVER pay it, would have been $68.49!! That is still a 62% savings!

As I have said before, I am not a crazy couponer who gets every week’s groceries for pennies, I do see the value in using them to purchase foods or items that you would already purchase. These are the items I generally focus on as well as clearance items and I usually can save some money in both categories to stretch our budget just a little bit more.

I hope you enjoyed this! Do you have a deal that you got once that made you so happy? I would love to hear from you.

 

Parmesan Baked Fish

One of the things I love about frugal meals is that you can often make dinner for one night and have a second meal left over to have another night, either that same week or later by freezing it. Although, not all meals have to be like that in order to stay on budget.  This is the first post in a new category I am going to call Frugal Family Meals,  where I will share some meals  to hopefully give ideas and to show that frugal eating can be very delicious and home cooking isn’t always as time consuming as you think.

As most of you who follow along know, I don’t cook very elaborate meals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t taste good. If you have kids, you know that no matter what you put in front of them they typically say ‘eeew’ and then proceed to try and bargain about how much they need to eat. This is not an indication of whether you are a good cook or not or how good the food tastes. This is just kids. I tell you this because nine times out of ten they say it first and then they eat it without complaints.

This particular meal is very easy, very versatile, and very delicious! Although the fish cooks rather quickly, I make this on a night where I have more time if we are going to have it with baked potatoes to allow them enough time to cook in the oven. You could easily pair this with mashed potatoes or rice, both are quicker options. Really you can serve it with any side that you like.  I used up the salad that I got at the discount store last week since we hadn’t used it during the week at all and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

To cook the meal, preheat the oven to 425° and line a shallow baking sheet with tin foil. You can spray it with cooking spray if you’d like, but I have never had a problem with it sticking. Mix 2TBSP of Mayonnaise with 3TBSP Freshly grated parmesan cheese. Spread over the top of the fish and then sprinkle a bit more parmesan on top. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until the fish is flaky.

If you are serving with baked potatoes, put the potatoes in for about 40minutes and then add the fish in for the last 15-20.

That’s it! I said it was easy, right? I have also made this with chicken. You may have to adjust the cooking time for chicken or other types of fish.

Now, as for the cost of this meal. This one is probably on the higher side than a typical meal for us because of the fish, but it is still very reasonable. I only used one pound of the haddock. It usually works for our family with the kids ages and I am not a big fan of fish so my portion is pretty small. Even if you added another half pound, it is still very reasonable for a nice Sunday dinner.

Baked Haddock – Baked Potato – Salad 
1.5 pounds potatoes .39
1 pound haddock filet 4.99
3TBSP Mayonnaise .09
2BSP Parmesan FREE (https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsimplefrugalfun%2Fposts%2F1919144475012632&width=500“>What?! See how here!)
Lettuce .66
Tomato .30
Mushrooms .12
Fresh Mozzarella .48

TOTAL COST: $7.03

Please note that these prices are based on my actuals for what I paid. If you live elsewhere or if you are not a sales shopper, your prices may be different.

I truly believe that you can have wonderful home cooked meals on any budget! It just takes some planning and a desire to keep things simple, frugal, and fun! Have a great week everyone.

Food Plan – October Week 2

Phew! Okay, remember when I said I wasn’t really feeling it mid week? Well, I guess that turned around when I got out on Saturday afternoon for shopping. I ended up at four different stores. I have to be honest, my motivation was to get it all done so that I didn’t have to do anything on Sunday! Plus, once I get out and I am by myself, I tend to soak in every minute of it. I love my kids more than anything in the world, but I also love the quiet times that come every once in a while.

This week was supposed to be a ‘light’ week because I really had enough in the house for dinners to last through this week. I had to go to Walmart, though for water and for Cole’s birthday, so I figured ‘while I’m out’……Needless to say, I spent my budget and maybe a few dollars over. I spent a total of $111.42, to be exact and my budget is $100.00.  However, next week I really do think I will be able to just get a few basics to start the week and some of the items I got at Aldi are stock up items for the pantry which will last for a bit.  What’s funny is that after going to the discount store, I didn’t think I would go to Aldi’s because I only had ground beef and bouillon cubes on my list there. As you can see below, I actually spent the most there! I stocked up on some items for the pantry.

Okay, on to the good stuff! As always, you can view the video for this week on my Facebook page. Hopefully it will be up soon. I am having difficulty uploading it. If you do get to see it, please accept my apologies that it was cut off when I was almost to the end! My battery ran out and I haven’t learned yet to take my charger with me to charge in the car when I am shopping. I use my calculator a lot and sometimes do videos while I am driving, which drains the battery. So, here goes….

Walmart – 14.96
Cake mix (2) 1.00
Frosting (2) 1.50
Natural PB 2.98
Water lg 3.98
Water sm (2) 1.50

Discount Store – $9.58
Ground turkey (3) 1.00
Turkey pepperoni 1.00
Fresh mozzarella 1.99
English muffins (2) 1.00
Jumbo marshmallows 1.59

Aldi – $45.52
Large eggs (4) .53
Coconut flakes 1.29
Chocolate chips 1.79
Organic coconut oil 3.99
Corn starch .89
Milled flax seed 2.19
Drink mix (2) 1.19
Chia seeds 3.29
Haddock fillets 4.99
1% Milk (2) 1.90
Sharp cheddar block 1.79
Mushrooms .79
Iceburg lettuce .99
Vine tomatoes 1.49
Yellow onions 1.49
Solid white tuna (4) 1.09
Bouillon cubes 1.49
Ziplock bags 1.99
Pears 3lb 2.69

Big Y – $12.22
Sugar 2lb (2) 1.35
Peppermint tea FREE
Cheez its (2) .69
Chips 1.69
Grapes 4.52lbs 5.83
Shampoo (2) .29

Stop & Shop $29.14
Specialty crackers (2) .69
Butter 1lb 2.99
French fries 2.14
Rolled oats 2.50
Pancake syrup 2.50
Kidney beans .50
Black beans .50
Coke zero (5) .89
Nature valley bars (4) 1.00
Chicken nuggets 1.99
Frozen sausage (4) 1.00
Cantaloupe (2) .97

Now, I know it seems like a lot of work to go to four different stores, but it really didn’t seem that bad. I wasn’t in each store very long and without the kids, getting in and out of the store and in and out of the car is a breeze! My typical plan is usually two stores, or three with the discount store, but sometimes it just works out this way and I am ok with that.

As far as meal planning goes, I was able to really take a look once I got home and I absolutely can make two weeks worth of dinners with what we have. Other than cereal, we have a good supply of breakfast items as well. Lunches We’ll see once next week comes what we actually need.  Here is the plan for this week.

DINNERS
Parmesan crusted fish – baked potato – salad
Chicken & corn chowder w/homemade artisan bread
Crock pot easy enchilada
Turkey meatballs w/brown gravy over egg noodles – veggie
American chop suey – veggie
Whatever night
Baked chicken legs – homemade french fries – veggie

LUNCHES
Tuna sandwich
PBJ sandwich
Leftovers
Soup/crackers

BREAKFASTS
Banana bread
Cereal
Eggs w/sausage
English muffin
Yogurt

How has menu planning been going for those of you who have been working on it? I would love to hear from you. The number one thing that I am always saying is “It is only ONE week” then you get to push the reset button! Have a great week everyone!

 

Food Plan – October Week 1

Hello friends! It’s been a great week! With the change to soccer Saturdays I might be temporarily switching my shopping to Friday nights. I haven’t quite gotten down the new routine, though. I did a little more prep than last week’s impromptu shopping, but not quite as much as I normally do for a Saturday shopping. I have enjoyed having both Saturday and Sunday free, though!

After looking at the circulars on Wednesday to see what sales were happening, Continue reading “Food Plan – October Week 1”

Food Plan – September Week 4

Well, this week was a little bit different for me. If you watched my video, I had an impromptu Friday night grocery shopping trip for the week. I had to go out to try and find soccer shin guards for the kids since they were starting on Saturday morning. Since I was going to be going out anyway and I didn’t want to do two shopping trips during the weekend I decided to wing it and get all of my shopping done at Aldi and Walmart.

I had looked at the circulars for the two regular grocery stores that I shop and they had a few good deals, but I had to remind myself of something I tell myself often, “It is only one week! There will be different sales to take advantage of next week. Do what works for you.” These are all things I tell myself when I start feeling overwhelmed about grocery shopping. I know it seems silly to be overwhelmed by it, but sometimes it happens. I want to get the best deals, I want to use our money wisely, I want to be the best I can be at it. That’s just my personality, so sometimes it gets in the way of just ‘being’.

Anyway, I hopped onto Facebook Live on my way to the stores, you can check that out here (Week 3 Shopping Trip). I hope to do more of these in the future, just to chat and kind of share what is on my mind about shopping, my plan, and just whatever comes to mind!

As I mentioned, I had already looked at the circulars for the other stores and I had already had in my head what we had on hand in the freezer and pantry so I kind of had an idea what I was looking for. I knew Aldi had a good price on chicken breasts and I wanted to make some Chinese Take In so that would work perfectly. I knew we needed some snacks and some basics like peanut butter and bread.

I went to Aldi first and I honestly thing I broke my record for the fastest shopping trip ever! I mean, it was Friday night and I didn’t want to be out all night! I was in and out in 45 minutes! I got most of what I needed and the rest I knew I would get at Walmart, which was bread, peanut butter, and water.

I made it to Walmart and found the few grocery items I needed then proceeded to the sporting goods area. Guess what they didn’t have any more of? Yep, you guessed it, soccer shin guards! At least I had my grocery shopping done for the week….

Here is the breakdown of what I purchased at the two stores. Know what you have in your freezer and pantry. Know what a good price is. You will do fine no matter how you shop.  On the spot, with minimal prepping, I spent a total of $91.89 for our family of four.

Aldi – $65.95

Green Grapes 2lb 1.98
Drink mix 1.19
Chocolate chips (2) 1.79
Sliced cheese 1.89
Milk (2) 1.49
Sliced black forest ham 3.19
Eggs .95
Apples 3lbs 2.29
Plums 3lbs 3.38
Jenny O Ground Turkey 3lbs 5.99
Chicken Breast 5.4lbs 8.03
Olives (2) 1.19
Canned Pumpkin (2) .79
Flour 5lb 1.75
Corn Squares cereal 1.79
Salsa 1.29
Coke (2) 1.58
Tomato soup (4) .49
Vegetable oil 1.85
PB filled pretzels 3.79
Tortilla chips 1.79
Crackers 1.39

Walmart – $25.94
Bottled water (2) 3.98
Wheat grinder rolls 2.74
Sprouted bread 2.98
Natural PB 3.32
Butter 3.24
Cat food (2) 1.58
Baggies 2.54

The plan for this week is pretty simple, as always. I have the roasting chicken(s) in the freezer from last weeks deal at Big Y, so I will thaw one of those out and use it for a few meals. With the groceries I picked up for the week, our menu is below.

Breakfasts
Cereal
Eggs and sausage
Yogurt
Oatmeal
Pancakes

Lunches
Tuna fish sandwich
Ham sandwich
PBJ
Soup with crackers/pretzels
leftovers

Dinners
Chicken and Shrimp ‘fingers’/Egg roll in a bowl
Chicken and gravy over artisan bread
BBQ chicken breast – potato salad
Potato latkes – broccoli
Turkey burgers – hot dogs
Homemade chicken soup – italian bread
Whatever

I hope you like seeing these posts and they are somewhat helpful. I truly believe that anyone can feed their family on whatever budget they have to work with. It may take some effort, but it is so satisfying when it’s done! Have a great week everyone!!

 

 

Food Plan September Week 3

Hi there everyone! How are you on this warm September weekend? I was attempting to put up a video to accompany this post for the week, but I am failing at finding an editing program that I don’t have to pay for, you know, the frugal thing! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this week’s breakdown and maybe someday I will get the video thing down!

This week I decided to stick to my local stores and not go to Aldi and Walmart, which are a good 40 minute drive for me. There were some good sales locally and I didn’t need a super long list of things.  Although, I did end up spending my entire grocery budget for the week, but that’s what it is there for, no?

This week I went to three different stores. I was sans kiddos so it was much easier. I went to our local discount store, and then the two larger grocery stores. I will try to share the video of my process before shopping to go with this post. I just can’t share all of my recap videos after each trip I made today.  Here is the breakdown.

Grocery Outlet – Total $13.88

Flatout Wraps 1.50
(2) Shredded Cheese 1.50
(2) Fresh Green Beans 1.00
(2) Plain Bagels .75
Cream Cheese 1.59
Cinnamon Rolls 1.29
(2) Pretzel Crisps 1.50

Big Y – Total $34.48

(3) Pepsi 2 Liter 1.33
Pull Ups 6.99
Popcorn Kernels 1.79
Sandwich Cookies 2.50
(15) Canned Vegetables .43
(3) Whole Roasting Chickens 2.95
(2) Chips 1.88

Stop & Shop – Total $49.38

(2) Italian Bread 1.00
Wheat Bread 1.24
Half and Half 2.39
1 lb Butter 3.49
Water 7.98
(4) Solid White Tuna 1.25
(4) Boxes of Pasta .69
Ketchup 2.99
Mayonnaise 3.99
Coffee 2.00
Cat Food 2.67
Goldfish Crackers .99
Hot Dogs 1.00
Diced Ham 2.00
Sliced Mushrooms .67
3 lbs Mandarins 2.99
Green Pepper 1.29
(2) Cucumbers .69
Grape/Yellow Tomatoes 1.20
Iceburg Lettuce .29
Crest Toothpaste FREE

As you can see, I ended up with quite a list this week! Our pantry is getting nice and full, just as I like it! I need to work on the freezer, too and will hopefully be prepping some food to fill it soon.

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Now, after shopping today I really shouldn’t need to go to the store for anything this week except possibly a gallon of milk. And maybe another trip to Big Y to get another 15 cans of veggies!! The reason those were only .43/can is they have a special this week that is buy 1 can get 2 free, but the limit is 5 deals per day. I won’t go too overboard, but getting another round of 15 might not be a bad idea. The great thing about stocking up on certain things is when you need them, you don’t have to pay full price.

For our meal plan this week I went super simple again. Simple is good. Simple makes nights much more manageable. Here is the plan this week!

DINNERS

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs-Chips-Pickles
Roast Chicken Dinner-Mashed Pot-Fresh Green Beans
Chicken and Dumplings
Meatloaf – AuGratin Potatoes – Veggie
Homemade Pizza – Salad or Fruit
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese – Veggie
Whatever Night

LUNCHES

PBJ Sandwich
Soup and Pretzels
Tuna Sandwich
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Leftovers

BREAKFASTS

Cereal
Eggs and Sausage
Waffles
Oatmeal
Yogurt
Banana Bread

There you have it! Another successful week in the books! I really didn’t use coupons this week, just a few. I used a store coupon for the crackers, I used one for the toothpaste which made it free, and I planned to use one for the cat food, but it dropped out of my cart somewhere along the way…boo!

As I mentioned above, I will try to post my prepping video for you to see that went along with this week on my Facebook page.  Thanks for tuning in! Let me know if you have any grocery shopping questions or share some of your tips with me! Have a happy week everyone!

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