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31 Weeks to a Better Grocery Budget Video Series: How to Plan a Weekly Menu, Part 2

I’ve stooped to new lows, folks. I shot this right after working out, so I’m still in my workout clothes with “workout hair” and no makeup.

I planned to keep these videos really real so that you could feel like you were just coming into my home and we were chatting over coffee at my kitchen table. But I usually do try to change out of my workout clothes and put on make up before someone comes over. But oh well! 🙂

Websites referenced in this video: and

This Week’s Menu

(Seasoned Baked Potato Wedges ready to go into the oven.)


Orange Cream Smoothies, English Muffins
Homemade Granola Parfaits
Raisin Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit
Cold Cereal, Juice x 2
Overnight French Toast Casserole, Fruit
Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls, Scrambled Eggs, Juice


Leftovers x 3
Macaroni & Cheese, carrots
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, fruit
SmartOnes meals, frozen veggies
Cheese Quesadillas, frozen veggies


Chili Burgers, Seasoned Baked Potato Wedges, Frozen Vegetables
Brown Bag Burritos (from the freezer), Green Rice Casserole (from the freezer), Fruit
Lasagna Casserole, Broccoli, Bread Machine Buttery Rolls
Whole Grain Chicken Soup With Rice,* Olive Garden Breadsticks,* Apple Slices
Homemade Chicken Salsa Pizza, Tossed Salad, Double Chocolate Brownies
Dinner Out
Dinner at Extended Family’s House

Super Savings Saturday: Target Trip #2: Spent $6.25, Got $20 back!

Today’s Target trip was similar to yesterday’s, only I paid a lot less out of pocket since I rolled the gift cards I had earned yesterday!

Market Pantry Pasta — $1.02
Buy 2 and use $1/2 Target coupon
$0.52 each after coupon

Market Pantry Salsa — $1.34
Buy 2 and use $1/2 Target coupon
$0.84 each after coupon

Market Pantry Cheese — $1.94
Buy 2 and use $1/2 Target coupon
$1.44 each after coupon


BirdsEye Vegetables — $1.02 each
Bought 6, used 2 $1/3 Birds-Eye or Steamfresh Varieties (IE) Printable (FF)
Free after coupon and gift card

Market Pantry Vegetables — $1.02 each
Bought 8, used 2 $1/4 coupons
$0.06 each after coupons and gift card

Old Orchard Juice — $1.19 each
Bought 3, $0.48 each after gift card

Weight Watchers SmartOnes — $1.80 each
Bought 10, used $5/10 Target coupon (no longer available) stacked with $4/10 manufacturer’s coupon
$0.19 each after coupons and gift card

Green Giant Frozen Vegetables — $1.27 each
Bought 2, used 2 $0.50/1 Green Giant coupons
$0.06 each after coupons and gift card

For some reason, I ended up having to buy 29 items to get the $20 in gift cards. When the cashier scanned the last item, it didn’t prompt her to give me the final $5 gift card, so I had her scan another juice and then it prompted it. Not sure what all went on there, but I’m not going to complain that I ended up having to buy an extra item!

I used the $25 in gift cards that I earned yesterday to pay for my total, so I only ended up having to spend $6.25 out of pocket and then I got back $20 in Target gift cards.

Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways? If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

We Paid Cash! :: Laptop and TV

We paid cash!

A testimony from A. Ellis

My husband and I wanted to purchase a new LED television to replace a very old, very tiny 19” television in our bedroom, but decided it was definitely a “luxury” expense that would wait until we had saved up to pay in cash. In the meantime, we window-shopped the electronics stores and settled on the approximate type we hoped to purchase.

My high-school daughter also needed a laptop (we homeschool) so I needed enough to cover that (first priority) and the television (second).

How We Did It

I started shopping eBay and Craigslist for gift cards to the large electronics store where we planned to purchase the television. At the time, Bing was giving an extra 8% rebate for eBay purchases. Each time I found a gift card that would net me at least 15% off face value including all rebates, plus fees and postage, etc., I would purchase it using eBay rebate points (2%), Mr. Rebates (3%) and the Bing cashback program (8%). Example: I bought a $500 gift card for $475 ($25 off) + rebates (another $61.75 off) = $388.25 for a $500 gift card.

Once I had enough for the laptop, I waited a couple weeks for a sale on an appropriate model, and bought the loss-leader on the front page of the ad. Cost: Less than $250 (before tax) for a $589 laptop computer.

It took about eight months of being in the “right place at the right time”, but I finally accumulated about $2000 total in gift card value (for which I paid a total of less than $1485 after all rebates were factored in). We then waited until we received a coupon for a “free $50 gift card with purchase over $500” and started shopping for the TV.

Two weeks later, almost every LED TV in the store was featured in some type of “package deal” in which extra merchandise was included in the sale price of the TV. We settled on a LG 47” 1080i HD 120Hz LED television which was packaged with a LG Home Theater system including blu-ray player and five speakers, and an internet connection thumb drive, all for $1399 (regular price of TV alone $1699).

The gift cards I had saved up and purchased over time at a discount covered the price plus tax, and we had enough left over to buy my son a video game he had been wanting with a “10% off one full-price item” coupon (they wouldn’t allow use of this coupon on already sale-priced item, I tried!) and we also received the extra $50 gift card for a future purchase.

Total cost (with 8.1% tax): $1128 for a complete home theater system with a sale price of $1512.32 including tax (and original retail of well over $2000)

A. Ellis, B.S., M.Ed. is a mom of 5, one married, two high school, two 3rd grade and lives in Arizona.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

Free ebook: Time Management 101


In the past year, I’ve received numerous emails from women begging me for my “secrets” to time management. They ask me to please share how I manage to seemingly “do it all”.

Every time I get an email like that, I wish I could invite the woman to my home. Because seriously, I think it’s easy to make bloggers out to be someone they are not when you’re basing all your conclusions of them upon the little sliver of their life that they share on their blog.

I know, because I’ve been guilty of it myself. I’ll read a woman’s blog, see the pictures and ideas she shares and begin to wonder if really and truly she might be superwoman’s clone. And I feel badly because I don’t measure up in any stretch of the imagination to this blogger. When in reality, I know good and well that every single woman has their strengths and weaknesses and no one has it all together.

–from the first chapter of Time Management 101

Thanks to the help of the wonderful Money Saving Mom® team, I’m excited to bring you a brand-new downloadable ebook, Time Management 101.

This 66-page ebook is a revised and edited compilation of my Time Management 101 series.

I hope it will be an encouragement to many of you! And if you know of someone you think it might be a blessing to, feel free to share the link or print out a copy and give it to them.

It’s in an easy-to-read, downloadable format. Just fill out the form below and you’ll get a copy in your email soon!