Brigette’s $48 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

We had a wonderful vacation with extended family in Maine this past week, and I really enjoyed the break from my normal menu planning and grocery shopping! Since there weren’t any great deals on meat or fruit this week, I decided to rely on what we already have in our freezer.  I like to completely rotate through my freezer stash every 4-6 months anyway, so this seemed like a good opportunity to work on that!

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Aldi

1 20-oz pkg Yellow Squash – $2.19

1 20-oz pkg Zucchini – $1.99

3 containers assorted Baby Lettuce – $5.07, plus receive $0.25 back from Checkout 51 and $0.25 back from Snap by Groupon – $4.57 after rebates

1 head Cauliflower – $1.99

1 bag Kale – $1.99

1 bag Baby Brussel Sprouts – $1.29, plus receive $0.25 back from Snap by Groupon – $1.04 after rebate

1 pkg Flat Leaf Spinach – $1.79

2 16-oz bags Baby Carrots – $1.38

2 16-oz containers Egg Whites – $3.98

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.29

1 container Grape Tomatoes – $0.99

2 Avocados – $1.98

2 Cucumbers – $0.78

Total after Rebates: $26.96

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Harris Teeter

2 jars Skippy Peanut Butter – $4.00, used 2 $0.55/1 printable (doubled) – $1.80/2 after coupons

2 boxes Kelloggs Mini Frosted Wheats (B1G1) – $3.39, used 2 $0.50/1 printable (doubled), plus receive $0.30 back from Ibotta – $1.09/2 after coupons and rebate

1 32-oz carton SO Delicious Coconut Milk – $1.50, used $0.55/1 printable (doubled), plus receive $1.00 back from Ibotta – $0.60 MM after coupon and rebate

1 box Blue Bunny Ice Cream Novelty – $3.49, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – $1.99 after coupon

5 8-oz pkgs Sargento Cheese (slices and shreds) – $10.00 (must buy 5 to get this price) - used 2 $0.55/1 printable (doubled), plus 2 $0.50/1 printable – $5.80/5 after coupons

5 8-oz pkgs Cabot Chunk Cheese – $10.00 (must buy 5 to get this price) - used 2 $1/2 printable – $8.00/5 after coupons

2 16-oz pkgs Land O’Frost Premium Lunchmeat – $7.98, used 2 $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – $4.98/2 after coupons

2 pkgs Mission Soft Taco Tortillas – $3.98, used 2 $0.55/1 printable (doubled) – $1.78/2 after coupons

1 gallon Milk – $2.99, plus receive $0.30 back from Ibotta – $2.69 after rebate

4 pkgs assorted Frozen Vegetables – $4.00

used $10/50 purchase – Publix Coupon received in mail

Total after Coupons and Rebates – $21.53

Weekly Total: $48.49

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Smoothies (using strawberries, grapes, bananas, and blackberries from our freezer), Toast x 2

Oatmeal with Fruit (from the freezer) x 2

Cereal x 2

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls (birthday breakfast)

Veggie Omelettes (for me)

Lunches

Cheese Quesadillas, Fresh Veggies with Dip x 2

Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches, Yogurt, Fresh Veggies with Dip x 2

Build Your Own Tossed Salad, Boiled Eggs, Sliced Cheese

Leftovers x 2

Dinners

Mexican Lasagna, Tossed Salad

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole, Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Hamburgers on the Grill, Homemade French Fries, Grilled Vegetables, Cottage Cheese Pie (birthday meal for my husband)

Sub Sandwiches, Fresh Veggie Plate, Homemade Strawberry Applesauce

Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes with Ham, Steamed Vegetables, Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Leftovers x 2

Snacks

Fresh Veggies, Sliced Cheese, Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, Popcorn, Protein Smoothies (for me)

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Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Banana Bread, Bacon, & Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes

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I saw some bananas sitting on my counter and it inspired me to do some freezer cooking last week. I’ve gotten out of the habit of regular freezer cooking in recent months and oh how I’ve missed it!

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I’m not even sure why I got out of the habit… I can give a long list of excuses reasons, but I think it just boils down to me not making it a priority. And by not making it a priority, I’ve realized just how much freezer cooking benefits our family and makes life easier.

So it’s good to be back into it again.

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I made two loaves of our favorite Banana Bread. (Recipe link is here.)

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I enjoyed listening to Kat Lee’s Inspired to Action podcast while cooking. I’ve listened through quite a few episodes over the last few weeks and have truly been inspired to action.

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I added chocolate chips to the top of one of the loaves… because, of course. :)

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Apparently, it takes a lot of bowls to make banana bread. :)

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This bread is so, so yummy and freezes so well!

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While the banana bread was baking, I pulled out the bacon and started getting it ready to stick in the oven. This was a total experiment idea. We love bacon at our house, but I don’t love the process of making it.

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Jesse devised this bacon-cooking plan that works really well — put the strips of bacon on a cooling rack on a foil-lined pan and bake at 425 degrees for 17 to 20 minutes.

I wanted to see if I could make a bulk batch and freeze. It froze well, but when I reheated it in the microwave, it was fairly limp instead of crispy. I want to try one more time and bake it until it’s really, really crispy and see if that makes a difference in how it freezes.

It may not work well to freeze, in the end, but we’ll still suffer through eating it to experiment. ;)

Has anyone had success in freezing and reheating bacon?

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I also boiled a pot of eggs. Not for the freezer, but just to have on hand for quick snacks for our kids.

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And then I made a batch of Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes.

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I was excited to try using the new package of Sweet Blend that I recently got.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t love the pancakes as much as usual with the Sweet Blend instead of Xylitol (that we usually use). I think it’s just because I still can’t get over the taste of Stevia, try as I might.

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While I was finishing up in the kitchen, I made myself a pot of this Tranquility Tea. It’s so calming and refreshing — perfect to drink with some cream before bed.

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

I cleaned up the kitchen and surveyed the fruits of my efforts. It might seem like just a little bit, but for a small amount of work, I now have some snacks and breakfasts in the freezer at the ready. And little things like that can be such a sanity-saver!

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Gretchen’s $40 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan

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Homeland

3 pkg Glad Sandwich Bags – $1 each, used 3 $1/1 printable (first one doubled) – Free plus overage after coupons

1 loaf Nature’s Own Bread – $1.79, used $0.55/1 coupon from the 3/29 SmartSource insert (doubled) – $0.69 after coupon

2 Cucumbers – $0.69 each

1 McCafe Coffee K-Cups – $5.99, used $1/1 printable (doubled) – $3.99 after coupon

1 Farmland Pork Sausage – $1

2 Ronzoni Pasta – $1 each, used $1/2 printable (doubled) – Free after coupon

0.5 lbs Tomatoes – $0.50

2 Tic Tacs – $1.29 each, used $1/1 printable (doubled) – $0.29 each after coupon

2 Horizon Mac & Cheese – $1.79 each, used $0.75/2 printable (doubled) – $1.04 each after coupon

1 Skippy Peanut Butter – $2, used $0.55/1 printable (doubled) – $0.90 after coupon

3 Chobani Greek Yogurt – $1 each, used $1/3 printable (doubled) – $0.33 each after coupon

Total with tax ($1.63) after coupons: $12.75

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3 half gallons Dillons Milk – $1 each

1 Kroger Half & Half – $1.99

1 Romaine Lettuce – $0.99

2 Kroger Cottage Cheese – $0.50 each

1 Kroger Sour Cream – $0.50

2 Jello Puddings – $1.50 each, used $0.80/2 e-coupon – $1.10 each after coupon (I got this as a special treat for my husband who has been working long hours this week.)

1 bag Kroger Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – $6.99

1 Kroger Frozen Orange Juice – $1.59

1 bag Kroger Chocolate Chips – $1.88

1 Chobani Kids Yogurt – Marked down to $1.50

1 Cantaloupe – $0.99

1 bag Kroger Potatoes – $2.79

Total with tax ($1.94): $27.36

Total for both stores: $40.11

Menu Plan for This Week

Breakfasts

Cereal x 2

Toast & Eggs x 3

Date with my son at Starbucks (using a gift card)

Cinnamon Rolls

Lunches

Macaroni & Cheese, Fruit

Lunch at my sister-in-law’s house

Tossed Salad x 2

Baked Potatoes, Fruit

Lunch at my in-law’s (I’m bringing dessert)

Leftovers

Dinners

I’m trying to use up random things we have in our refrigerator and pantry this week. :)

Chicken Noodle Casserole, Steamed Peas

Venison & Cabbage, Biscuits (from the freezer)

Baked Ziti (meatless), Tossed Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Toast

Salad Bar with Grilled Chicken

Bean Burritos, Chips and Salsa, Fruit Salad

Venison Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Butterhorn Rolls

French Toast, Eggs, Orange Juice

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