Thursday, December 30, 2010

Aldi Trip 12/29/10

I definetly recommend hitting Aldi before your regular store every time you shop. Take your quarter for the cart, your reusable bags to pack things up, and your list - then just go up and down the aisles and grab things from your list!

*I will say, there are some things I haven't gotten yet from Aldi - like meat and most of the frozen stuff.

This week we got:

Macaroni and cheese - $.29, $.10 savings per box
Lite pancake syrup - $1.49, $1 savings
Black beans - $.55, $.10 savings per can
Diced tomatoes - $.49, $.10-20 savings per can
Refried beans - $.69, $.30 savings per can
Cream of chicken - $.99 - equal to best sale price at CW (but not available in light)
Pancake mix - $1.39, $.60 savings per box
Condensed tomato soup $.49, equal to best sale price at CW
Whole kernal corn $.39 - equal to best sale price at CW
Light sour cream - $.99 - equal to best sale price at CW
Imitation cheese - $.99 - equal to best sale price at CW (I would not buy this again, I haaaaate fake cheese.)
Onions - $1.49/3# bag, $.50/lb savings

All in all, with 2 cans of refried beans and 2 cans of corn, we spent $11.41. GREAT savings at approximately $3.60 over best prices at Cash Wise, 24% savings without clipping any coupons.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to do a Birthday Party Cheaper!

~Make the food yourself. We planned for 35 people and made 5 pans of homemade lazagna, 1/2 pan of vegetable lazagna and a crock of gluten free lazagna. Ingredients cost me around $70 total, including lettuce for salad plus croutons, parmesean cheese and 2 dressings and 2 loaves of french bread and cheese for garlic cheese bread.
~Drinks were 2 liter sodas - I picked these up on sale for $1 each, then bought ice and had that next to the 2 litres in an ice bucket.
~We chose a theme of Curious George, but only bought 8 plates, 8 napkins, and the invites in the "theme." The rest of the paper products were solid colors from Target - about $12 for 3 packs of large plates, 3 packs of cake plates, and 3 packs of napkins, then about $10 for plastic silverware and cups and $6 for table cloths. Big savings over using all products in the "theme!"
~We had a friend with a wonderful talent for making cakes do our birthday cake, the smash cake, and 12 cupcakes. What I paid her for all of this was a fraction of what I would have paid at the store, and I got a custom cake with fondant monkeys! We skipped the ice cream.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Leftovers: do they work for you?

I was discussing leftovers with my Mom recently - the gyst of the conversation is that Mom doesn't always want to take the leftovers to work from last nights meal, and Dad rarely eats leftovers.

So - while it works for my family to have leftovers for lunches, maybe your family needs to freeze leftovers for a few days or weeks before that meal sounds good again. Or, maybe your family needs to halve recipes so you don't have leftovers as you just don't ever use/eat them.

Bottom line - obviously, leftovers are only a good deal (time wise and financially) if you EAT them before they go bad!!

Another alternative - make a pork roast, for example, and then the next day make pork fried rice. This is my Dad's specialty with leftovers - transform them in to something new!

*Along the same lines - do you notice that you are routinely throwing out produce? Maybe its that bag of salad you intended to have for lunch at work, maybe it's a few apples each week. If you don't eat it, QUIT buying it! Literally - cash in the trash is killing your budget. With some self restraint, you can make a mid-week stop at the grocery store if you go through all your oranges, apples and bananas. BUT - I wouldn't take in my check card. Take a list of what you need and just a bit more cash than you think you'll need. Chances are you won't want to run out to your car to get your other cash or your wallet, and you'll be much more careful about what you are buying. Otherwise, these mid-week trips can ruin your budget just as much as throwing out food you didn't eat!

Meal Planning 10/10-10/20/10

Poorman's Lobster
Stir fry w/ brown rice
Santa Fe Rice and Beans
Sloppy joes (we just use a can of Manwich,  which are on sale this week for $.90/can, and ground beef or ground turkey over hamburger buns.)
Baked ziti
Chicken and wild rice soup
Loaded baked potato soup
Crock Pot Chicken and stuffing
Beer battered fish
Stuffed shells
Steak soup - so simple, and if you keep those random veggie leftovers and freeze them, this is a great soup to use them up in if you don't make your own soup stocks!
Taco Chili
Macaroni, cheese and tomato bake
Grandma's cheesy chicken casserole
Beef stew
Mock chow mein (on the blog, but the link isn't working? Hmm...)
Broccoli cheese soup
French onion soup

Staples for lazy days, lunches, snacks:
A few frozen lunches in case I need to grab something on my way out the door
Some canned soups for lunches at home or work
Makings for sandwiches
Macaroni and cheese
Hot dogs
String cheese

Side dishes: I keep rice, potatoes, etc. on hand for sides as well as frozen and canned veggies.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Haircuts - Especially Men

My husband usually wears his hair short, and all one length. We usually pay $15.95 for a haircut plus tip, but a few years ago we bought a trimmer to use at home. The first one was less than $10 and lasted nearly 3 years! We just replaced it for $10something.

I am no hair expert, but I just snap on the guards to the trimmer and away we go! Super easy and CHEAP!! Husby still gets a store haircut now and again, but just 1 cut at home and the thing has more than paid for itself.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cheap Target Trip!

Who knew there was such a thing?!

My transaction looked like this:
$2.24 Shout spray (I knew the coupons would have overage - I wanted the full discount!)
$3.99 Head and Shoulders
$3.99 Head and Shoulders
$2.08 Garnier Fructis conditioner - clearanced
$.97 Johnson&Johnson first aid kit
$.97 Johnson&Johnson first aid kit
$.97 Johnson&Johnson first aid kit
-$3.99 B1G1 Head and Shoulders 7/11 SS
-$3 B3G$3 off Johnson&Johnson coupon 8/1 SS
-$1 Head and Shoulders coupon 8/15 SS
-$5 Target coupon for Head and Shoulders, Pantene, Garnier, etc. coupon (I got this in the coupon booklet given out at our Target's 'Grand Opening' of the Fresh Market.)
$1.23 before tax!