Brigette’s $72 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan

Brigette's Shopping Trip

Aldi

2 3-lb bags Pink Lady Apples – $5.98

2 4-ct pkgs Corn on the Cob – $2.98

1 head Cauliflower – $1.99

2 3-ct pkgs Romaine Hearts – $3.98

1 Seedless Watermelon – $3.99

1 32-oz pkg Spaghetti – $1.59

1 4-ct pkg Tomatoes – $1.79

2 1-lb pkgs Ground Turkey – $3.78

1 large bag Kale – $1.99

1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – $0.89

1 pkg Hamburger Buns – $0.89

1 2-lb bag Vidalia Onions – $0.99

2 Cucumbers – $0.78, plus receive $0.25 back from Checkout 51 – $0.53 after rebate

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $1.19

2 24-oz cartons Cottage Cheese – $4.58

1 jar Salsa – $1.89

2 16-oz cartons Egg Whites – $3.98

Total: $43.26

Brigette's Shopping Trip

Farmer’s Mart

1 huge box Oranges, reduced (my 6-yr old informed me there were 75 oranges, to be exact ;)) – $5.00

1 Cabbage ($0.29/lb) – $1.47

Total: $5.47

Brigette's Shopping Trip

Harris Teeter

1 box Tetley Tea – $1.59, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – $0.09 after coupon

2 24-ct pkgs Hefty Plates (B1G) – $2.99, used $1/2 printable – $1.99/2 after coupon

1 pkg Hefty Easy Grip Cups – $1.74, used $0.50/1 Hefty Ultimate Easy Grip Cups, exp. 6/30/15 (RP 03/22/15 R) (doubled), plus receive $1.00 back from Ibotta – $0.26MM after coupon and rebate

1 pkg Chicken Leg Quarters (6.03lbs @ $0.59/lb) – $3.56

5 bottles of assorted Ken’s Salad Dressing (B2G3) – $5.58, used 2 $1/2 Ken’s Dressings, exp. 6/30/15 (SS 05/03/15 R)  – $3.38/5 after coupons

1 large bottle French’s Mustard – $1.44, used $0.75/1 French’s Ketchup, exp. 8/31/15 (SS 05/10/15)(doubled) – FREE after coupons

1 jar Peter Pan Peanut Butter (B1G1) – $1.27, plus receive back $0.30 from Ibotta – $0.97 after coupon and rebate

2 pkgs Sargento Cheese Slices – $5.00, used $0.65/2 Sargento Natural Cheese Slices, exp. 6/28/15 (SS 05/17/15) (doubled) – $3.30/2 after coupons

2 18-ct cartons Eggs – $3.54

2 pks Al Fresco Chicken Sausages (B1G1) – $5.69, used 2 $2.00/1 coupons (emailed to me from signing up here) – $1.69/2 after coupons

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

1 32-oz bag Frozen Broccoli – $2.00

Total after coupons, rebates, and tax – $23.25

Brigette's Shopping Trip

CVS

2 boxes Special K Cereal – $5.00, used $1/2 printable, plus receive back $2 ECB – $2.00/2 after coupon and ECB’s

2 Glade Scented Candles – $5.50, used 2 $1/1 Glade Product, exp. 6/14/15 (SS 05/03/15), plus receive back $2 ECB, $0.50 from SavingStar, and $2.00 from Checkout 51 – $1.00MM after coupons and rebates

Used $1.99 in previous ECB’s

Total after rebates and tax:$3.19, plus receive back $4ECB’s

Weekly Total: $70.98

(This total does not include my CVS shopping trip. Since I only shop there every few weeks, spend very little out-of-pocket as I am mostly rolling ECB’s, and buy mostly non-food items like make-up and diapers, I don’t include them in my grocery posts. This week’s trip did include cereal, though, which is why I am posting it. :))

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Oatmeal with Strawberries (from the freezer) x 2

Cereal x 2

Eggs and Toast x 2

Brown Sugar Twists, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Oranges (Company Breakfast)

Lunches

Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salmon (canned), Veggies with Dip

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Watermelon, Cucumber Slices x 2

Stir-Fried Veggies, Hard Boiled Eggs, Oranges x 2

Leftovers x 2

Dinner

Hamburgers and Chicken Sausages on the Grill, Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes, Watermelon, Corn on the Cob, Raw Veggie Plate with Ranch Dip (Company Dinner)

Chicken Gravy over Brown Rice, Watermelon, Cauliflower Nuggets

Three Cheese Baked Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Homemade French Bread (Company Dinner)

Date Night (really excited for a night out with my husband as it has been WAY too long!)

Taco Salad, Oranges, Green Rice Casserole

Leftovers x 2

Snacks

Orange Dream Smoothies, Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars, Oranges, Popcorn

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5 Simple Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

5 Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post sharing 5 Reasons I’m Glad We Don’t Have Many Toys. So many of you commented and said you’d love to cut down on toys but you don’t know where to start or how it’s really feasible when you constantly have friends and relatives giving you new toys.

If you’re feeling like you wish you could have fewer toys, but you just don’t know how to pull that off — especially thanks to generous grandparents! — here are some suggestions:

1.  Set Boundaries

I’m a big believer in having a home for everything in your home. Meaning, everything has a place for it to reside — be a drawer, a cupboard, a basket, a tub, or a box. Not only does this help your house stay cleaner and more organized, it also allows you to place limits on what you have.

For instance, when we lived in a little basement apartment, we had almost zero room for toys, but I designated one of the end tables that had a cupboard door on it as the place where we kept Kathrynne’s toys. If it didn’t fit in there, we couldn’t keep it — otherwise we’d be stepping on or over it all day long!

Nowadays, we have a tub for LEGOs, a barrel in the garage for outdoor toys (balls, bats, etc.), a shelf in a closet where we keep games, and a few baskets in the kid’s closet for misc. toys (walkie-talkies, stuffed animals, etc.)

Need help getting started designating a place for your toys? Check out Five Steps for a Pared Down Playroom.

5 Practical Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

If you have more than one child, you could consider having assigned areas for each individual child’s toys and then a place for toys that everyone shares. You might consider having a tub or shelf labeled with each child’s name. Our rule at our house is that when the shelf or tub is full, you can’t get any new toys until you get rid of some that you already have.

Since my kids are really, really into LEGOs, we’ve had to put some measures in place to help them not take over a room or area of our house. The kids know they are expected to have them all picked up once per day when they clean up their room (where the LEGOs usually are).

If they bring the LEGOs into other parts of the house and don’t pick them up when they are done or if they leave them lying out in their room after they’ve been told to pick them up, the LEGOs are put up for 4-6 weeks — which is a pretty huge punishment for our LEGO-lovers. It’s happened a few times and it’s been enough to convince them to be very responsible in keeping them put away when they aren’t in use.

5 Practical Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

2. Only Keep What You Love

We love quality, versatile toys in our home: things like LEGOs, art supplies, craft supplies, outdoor toys, and educational toys. We try to have toys that encourage creativity rather than solely entertain.

And here’s the thing we’ve discovered: our kids would much rather play with cardboard boxes or build tents with old sheets, folding chairs and couch pillows than have the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. The few bells-and-whistle toys we’ve had in the last couple of years served to entertain for a short while and then were abandoned for LEGOs, puzzles, and creative play.

5 Practical Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

We try to go through our house very regularly and get rid of things we no longer love, use, or need. There’s no point in keeping something around if no one likes it or uses it on a regular basis. Is it sitting around untouched for weeks on end? Is it broken? Does it have parts which can’t be replaced? Get rid of it!

If you have toys that are in good condition that you no longer use or love, donate them to a daycare or children’s home, sell them in a garage sale or consignment sale, drop them off at Goodwill, sell them on a Facebook Yard Sale Groups or Craigslist, or even have a Toy Swap Party.

Here’s a creative idea from The Bargain Shopper Lady:

My boys started a “friend toy swap” which is their idea of giving to their friends. Anytime they have a friend over to play, they let their friend choose one toy to take home. I approve all toys before the friend leaves just in case they are trying to give something away, such as “their brother’s favorite toy” or something that they just got and is still pretty new.

This method is great for us! We have friends over often and it really helps with the clutter! My children are also learning that they really enjoy giving toys they don’t play with as often to their friends!

3. Ask For Consumable Gifts

One of the biggest reasons parents have told me that they can’t cut down on toy clutter is because of their well-meaning and generous relatives and grandparents who are constantly gifting various things to their kids.

First off, if this is the case for you, I just want to encourage you to remember that this is a blessing that you have grandparents who want to give to and bless their grandchildren. Not all families have this. So be grateful for it instead of resenting it.

Always remember that the relatives are likely buying things for your children because they love them. In almost every case, they aren’t purposefully seeking to annoy or irritate you.

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

That said, I encourage you to graciously and lovingly communicate your preferences to your relatives. Perhaps they don’t know you are short on space or really would love it if they spent less money. Maybe they feel obligated for some reason. Whatever it is, come up with a plan to talk about the issues in a calm and loving manner.

However, don’t just go to Grandma and say, “Sorry, we don’t have room for your toys. Please don’t ever buy another toy again.” Give your relatives some options.

Here are some consumable/no-clutter gift ideas you could suggest:

  • Bubble bath, crayons, & sidewalk chalk
  • A special outing with the grandparents
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Subscription to craft kit boxes — like Doodle Crate, Kiwi Crate, and Tinker Crate — our kids got these for Christmas/their birthdays and love, love, loved them!
  • Subscriptions to LEGO’s Pley membership — Kathrynne got this for her birthday and has loved it!
  • Craft supplies
  • Crayons, paper, coloring books, and other craft supplies
  • Gift cards for restaurants/treats
  • Memberships to Local Attractions

Check out the comments on this post here for many, many more ideas.

You could also ask for clothes, books, educational toys, outdoor toys, LEGOs, gift cards, or even for them to donate money to your child’s college fund!

At the end of the day, though, be sure you don’t deprive the grandparents of getting the joy that comes from giving. Just as you would like to see change on their part, be willing to meet them halfway–or more! It might never be perfect or ideal, by openly communicating in a loving manner and presenting some options and being willing to listen and show appreciation to them, you just might be able to come to a happy medium.

5 Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

4. Rotate Toy Collections

If you feel like you have too many toys, but you don’t want to part with what you have, consider a rotational toy system. Put away half the toys for a month. After a month, put away the toys you currently have and get out the toys which were put away. You could even do this on a quarterly basis.

This method can help you to see what toys your children really like and use. It also might help encourage more contentment with you already have since your children will probably feel like they are getting “new” toys quite often — when really it’s just the same old toys they’ve always had being presented in a new way!

Day of the Week Tubs{See Stephanie’s Day of the Week Tub System here.}

One toy rotation system we’ve used in our home when our kids were little was the Day of the Week Tub System. This idea has so many variations, but the basic gist is to divide most of the toys in your home into seven groups and put them in seven different tubs labeled with the days of the week.

Your children can then play with the appropriate tub each day. It keeps things rotated and fresh, while creating less mess.

5. Don’t Shop for Toys at Garage Sales or Dollar Store

I know, I know! There are so many supposedly “good deals” to be found at garage sales and dollar stores when it comes to kid’s toys. But like I often say, if you don’t need it and it’s just going to be cluttering up your home, it’s not a good deal for you — no matter how inexpensive the price is.

So unless it’s something you really need, it’s consumable, or you’re planning to get rid of it after they play with it for a few weeks, just don’t buy it. Because there’s no point it filling up your house with stuff that you then have to pick up, clean up, care for, organize, and (maybe even) get frustrated by!

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What ideas and suggestions would you add to my list? How do YOU cut down on toy clutter at your house?

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Get an 8×10 Canvas Print for $14.99 shipped!

Get a Canvas Print for $14.99 shipped!

Simple Canvas Prints is offering a special deal to my readers right now. You can get an 8×10 Canvas Print for just $14.99 plus free shipping when you click through this link here.

Get a Canvas Print for $14.99 shipped!

I love Canvas Prints — we have two in our bedroom/bathroom! One of them in our bathroom is from that amazing cruise my husband and I took. This photo is a constant reminder to me of a special memory.

{Though I have to admit that my somewhat OCD self still obsesses over the fact that one of the beach chairs is crooked and overturned. I cannot believe I didn’t even notice it — until after I got the picture blown up. Oh well, it’s a reminder that even in the beautiful things in life, nothing’s ever perfect, you know?}

Get a Canvas Print for $14.99 shipped!

A canvas print is not only a great way to remember some special event in your life, it’s also a very frugal wall-hanging. Plus, these make great gifts — think graduation, Father’s Day, and more!

Go here to create an 8×10 Canvas Wall-Hanging for just $14.99 with free shipping.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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Gretchen’s Target Shopping Trip: 6 items for $2.97 out of pocket

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Target Shopping Trip

Transaction #1

3 Playtext Sport Liners – $3.99 each (Buy 3, Get $5 Target gift card)

Used 3 $3/1 printable 

Total after coupons: $2.97, Received $5 Target gift card

Transaction #2

1 Palmolive Dish Soap – $2.49
Used $0.50/1 coupon from the 5/17 SmartSource insert
And used $1/1 Target mobile coupon (text OFFERS to 827438)
And used 10% off Cartwheel coupon

2 Suave Kid’s 2 in 1 – $1.92 each
Used $1.50/2 coupon from the 5/17 SmartSource insert

Used $5 Target gift card from transaction #1

Total after coupons and gift card: $0.00

Total for both transactions: $2.97

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