Brigette’s $56 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

Biggest grocery success of the week: finding huge boxes of reduced produce at the Farmer’s Market and walking away with enough produce to last us for weeks – all for $11.50!!

Biggest grocery failure of the week: somehow losing the pictures documenting this success. I have looked EVERYWHERE on my camera, and they are just not there. (Seriously!! How can you lose pictures on a camera?) So you will just have to use your imagination. :)

Another grocery success this week was trying the $1.69/lb ground turkey from Aldi for the first time – and my husband gave it a thumbs-up! Thanks so much for all of you that gave suggestions and encouragement to me last week! I mixed the turkey with rice, beans, and taco seasonings (and yes, I realize that you could mix just about anything with rice, beans, and taco seasonings and it would taste good, but that’s beside the point) and we used it in taco salad. Yum!

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Aldi

2 3-lb bags Golden Delicious Apples (@$0.69/lb) – $4.14, plus receive $0.50 back from Snap by Groupon

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.49

2 2-lb bags Honeycrisp Apples (@$1.29/lb) – $5.16

1 3-ct package Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 Pineapple – $1.29

3 Pomegranates (@$0.69/each) – $2.07

1 bunch Bananas (2.76 lbs @$0.44/lb) – $1.21, receive $0.25 back from Checkout 51

Tortilla Chips – $1.19

2 32-oz cartons Half and Half (@1.69/each) – $3.38

1 8-oz package Cream Cheese – $0.99

1 16-oz package Baby Carrots – $0.99

1 dozen Eggs – $1.39

1 gallon Milk – $3.69, plus receive $1.00 back from Snap by Groupon

Total: $30.98, plus receive $1.50 back from Snap by Groupon and $0.25 back from Checkout 51

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Harris Teeter

1 carton Egg Whites – $3.97

2 16-oz packages Turkey Bacon (@$2.50/each) – $5.00, used 2 $0.75/1 Printable (doubled) – $1.00/each after coupons

1 Cabbage (@$0.39/lb) -$1.37

1 2-liter bottle Cheerwine – $1.00, used .50/1 SS 10/6 (doubled) – FREE after coupons

1 bag Harris Teeter Shredded Cheese -$1.67

4 cans Progresso Soup – $5.30, used 2 $0.50/2 Progresso Product, exp. 12/13/14 (SS 10/19/14) (doubled), plus $1.00 Harris Teeter evic – $2.30/4 after coupons, plus receive $1.50 catalina for buying 4 (this works out to $0.20 each, and is worth it to me since my husband like taking these to work for his lunch)

2 bags Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips (@$2.00/each) – $4.00, used 2 $0.75/1 Printable (doubled) – $0.50/each after coupons

1 package Sargento Muenster Cheese Slices – $3.00, used $0.55/1 Printable (doubled), plus $0.55/1 Harris Teeter evic – $1.35 after coupons

2 containers McCormick Cinnamon (B1G1 @ $1.79) – $1.79, used $1.75/2 McCormick Spices or Herbs, exp. 11/2/14 (RP 10/05/14) – $0.02/each after coupons

Total after all Coupons, Sales and Tax: $13.70, plus receive $1.50 catalina back

Farmer’s Market 

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1 box of green beans, reduced (about 13 lbs) – $5.00

1 huge box of assorted fresh vegetables including zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, green peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, and hot peppers – $5.00

1 3-lb bag Apples – $1.50

Total: $11.50

Weekly Total after all Sales, Taxes, and Coupons: $56.18, plus receive $3.25 back in rebates and catalinas

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Oatmeal and fruit x 5, Cinnamon Rolls and Eggs, Cereal

Lunches

Shared lunch at the park with friends – I am bringing fruit for everyone; Grilled Cheese Sandwiches/Fresh Veggies and Fruit x 2; Leftovers x 2; Baked Potatoes with Cheese and Broccoli/Fruit x 2,

Dinners

Dinner Out with Friends

Oatmeal Pecan Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Turkey Bacon (breakfast for dinner)

Hamburger Vegetable Soup (using ground turkey instead of hamburger), Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Dinner with our Shepherding Group at Church

Taco Salad (back by multiple requests!), Steamed Cauliflower

Dinner at a Friend’s House – I am bringing Freezer-Friendly Pumpkin Bars

Leftovers

Snacks/Desserts

Popcorn

Dessert Night with Friends (I am hosting): Homemade Caramel Corn, Apple Slices with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese DipFreezer-Friendly Pumpkin Bars

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On Perfectionism & Disappointing Readers

Can I just be really honest with you tonight? You know what one of the hardest parts about blogging has been for me?

It’s that some readers want me to be perfect.

I know they’d probably never say out loud, “I expect you to be perfect,” but if I admit that I failed at something or am struggling with something, they are disappointed and they voice that disappointment.

Here’s the thing: I understand that part of blogging in a public forum is the fact that I’m choosing to let people into my life. I’m choosing to open up myself and our family and our choices to other people’s really honest opinions.

I get that. And I own that.

But at the same time, in the past, it’s held me back from sharing candidly about certain topics that I’d really like to blog about. Why? Because I know that writing about certain topics means other people are going to voice their opinions over my decisions and or be disappointed in my short-comings.

More and more, though, I’m becoming okay with it. Because I realize that it’s exhausting to try to please everyone.

I don’t have it altogether.

I sometimes yell at my kids.

I get frustrated with my husband.

I don’t always want to make meals from scratch.

I sometimes (usually?) let my laundry pile up way too high.

I’m often running late.

I have many moments where I feel so very inadequate to be sharing anything in a blog post or a book or on a stage because I feel like I’m such a mess myself.

A few days ago, I wrote a post about quitting my cutting back on caffeine goal for this month. I know it was the right decision and most of you cheered me on in it or even expressed relief that I gave up my lofty goal.

A few people weren’t so thrilled with me. They wrote in annoyed that commentors would be supportive of me and a some even strongly chided me for not following through with my goal.

I’m sure these readers meant well, but in each case, they didn’t know me or my family personally. In addition, they didn’t know that the next few weeks are some of the fullest weeks I’ll probably have all year long (we have multiple trips + some big projects to complete) and I can’t be dragging or running on weird sleep patterns. I have to do what’s best for my family and myself and I have follow my own advice to give myself grace — even if it means that I disappoint a few readers.

What I’m learning, though, is that when I share my short-comings and struggles, I may disappoint a few people. But ultimately, I will encourage many, many more people.

It helps others know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. We’re in this together.

We’re learning right along with each other. We’re stumbling. We’re falling down. We’re making mistakes. And we’re here to encourage each other to get back up, keep pressing forward, keep doing the best you can do with the time and resources we have.

Progress Not Perfection

And here’s the truth: I’d rather disappoint a few people and be a completely honest and authentic blogger who shares my struggles and success than try to pretend like I have it altogether and make the majority of people feel like they can’t measure up.

None of us have it altogether. None of us are perfect. But we can all learn from each other, inspire each other, and cheer each other on — in both our struggles and successes.

When we are honest and authentic with each other, we are all stronger for it. Who’s with me? :)

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Gretchen’s $10 Target Shopping Trip

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Target Shopping Trip

Transaction #1

The following were a part of the Buy 3 participating products, Get $5 Target gift card:

1 Icy Hot Gel – $4.99
1 Icy Hot Advanced Relief – $5.49
1 Allegra Anti-Itch Cream – $4.59
Used 2 $1/1 printable here and here
And used $3/2 Target printable
And used Free $5 Target gift card when you buy $15 in personal care

Total with tax ($0.16): $10.23, Received 2 $5 Target gift cards

Transaction #2

2 Pull-Ups – $7.99 each
Used 2 $2.25/1 printable (no longer available)
And used 2 $2/1 printable

Used gift cards from Transaction #1

Free after coupons and gift cards

Total for both transactions before coupons and sales: $33.21

Total for both transactions after coupons, sales and gift cards: $10.23

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How I’m Helping My Daughter’s Special Needs via Swagbucks, Surveys, and Coupon Apps

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Testimonial from Samantha

About 9 months ago, we found out that my daughter had autism, it was a shock and has been something we have spent these last 9 months dealing with, as well as proactively seeking treatment for her.

We have gone the traditional routes with speech, occupational, and physical therapies for her (which are thankfully covered by insurance) as well as the biomedical route.

We also immediately started her on a Gluten-free, Casein-free diet. It is expensive but I have been able to find great deals using the coupons and match-up from your weekly Organic and Natural coupon posts.

One thing that kept coming up in my web research was a cookbook called “Special Diets for Special Kids“.  I really wanted this cookbook, but couldn’t justify the splurge on our already tight budget — so I check my Swagbucks and saw that I had enough gift cards to cash out for $25 (which was enough to pay for the book!)

Another route I have been researching (and was happy to see your post on) was essential oils. I am trying go avoid medications whenever possible, but still keep my family healthy.

While we are somewhat obsessive about hand washing and have started taking a daily multivitamin and even probiotics, I wanted to try some essential oils too. I have been able to purchase “Essential Oils for the Healthy Child” as well as few synergy blends from Plant Therapy using my various on-line earnings, as well as a sample pack from Native American Nutritionals.

So how have I been able to make money online?

Most of the ideas below came directly from your website!!

1. Swagbucks:

I try to run the Swagbucks TV app on my phone or tablet throughout the day as well as do the Daily Poll, Encrave, NOSO, and Discover Content.

2. Surveys:

I have also signed up with several survey companies including Pinecone, MyPoints, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, Inbox Dollars, and MySurvey.

While I don’t do those every day or even every week, when I get a free moment or while I’m watching TV with my husband, I will do a few surveys. I have earned about $10 or more from each of those survey companies — which I then cash out to my PayPal account.

3. Coupon Apps:

My final avenue of income as a SAHM is coupon apps such as Ibotta, Jingit, Shopmium, Checkout 51, and Saving Star.

I check each of those after a trip to the grocery store and upload receipts to those for matching offers. Most of those have a PayPal option as well, which I often choose.

This has been a hard year for us, both emotionally and financially, with little money to throw around. But with using my precious free time (I don’t have much as a mommy to 2 preschoolers and an infant) I have been able to make a bit of extra cash to purchase some helpful items for my daughter and my family as a whole.

Thank you!

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Letting you in on a secret we’ve been keeping…

I hinted around about it last week, but the cat’s officially coming out of the bag tonight. And I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited and, well, a little scared, too. :)

But it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and do things that scare you a tiny bit, right?

So, here’s our big news: my team and I are currently developing a line of organizational and inspirational products!

If all goes as planned, we’ll be launching this product line in-stores nationwide in 2015! It’s a little bit mind-blowing to me at this point how all of this has come together — especially because it’s the realization of a long-time big, crazy dream of mine!

We’re working with an amazing company on this and I cannot wait to tell you more about this company, their commitment to giving back and making a global impact, and the story of how this product line came to be.

Would You Fill Out This Quick Survey?

We want to do our best to meet YOUR needs with this product line, so we’d love your input. Can you take a few minutes to fill out this simple survey for us?

All answers are anonymous. Feel free to skip any question that you don’t know the answer to or would prefer not to answer.

Click Here to Fill Out the Survey

Thank you so very much! And thank you for being on this journey with me and for all of your support over the years. You all bless me each and every day.

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Ask The Readers: Frugal Toddler Clothes?

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Today’s questions is from Sara:

What is the best, most frugal store or website to buy new toddler clothes?

I’ve been blessed to have a friend supply nearly all of my daughter’s clothes through hand-me-downs, but now that friend is moving away, and I’ve been caught off guard.

I have tried shopping clearance sales and thrift stores, but everything is out of season at this point, and we’re headed quickly towards cold weather with only three long-sleeved shirts. I am employed out of the home full time, so time is a precious resource as well.

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask Money Saving Mom® readers? Read the submission guidelines and submit it here.

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