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26 Jun 2009   ·   37
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: This week’s $13.56 shopping trip

Okay, so I’m pretty sure that this week’s shopping trip would win the award for the most-percentage-of-processed-food-and-packaged-items-I’ve-ever-purchased-in-one-trip, but I’m going to post the picture anyway. I promise that we’re not eating a diet of Eggos and Pringles and Mac and Cheese this week. Really, I promise. 🙂

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The truth is, that after scouring our pantry and freezer and refrigerator, we just really didn’t need to buy anything. So I decided to just hit some of the best deals and do a bigger stock-up trip next week.

Most of the items pictured were from my shopping trip on Friday to a local store which was having Double Dollar Coupon Days. I was actually planning to buy quite a few more items, but after scouting out the sales, piling my cart high with great deals, and getting ready to check out, I found out that they no longer accept internet coupons for the Double Dollar Days. Apparently, I missed that bright orange bold note at the top of the ad in my excitement of planning my shopping trip. Oh well!

On the bright side, I still came out spending $6.66 and saving $43!

And then my husband dropped by Target and picked up the Kashi GoLean Waffles (These were priced $2.50 at our Target so after the $1.50/1 coupon, they were $1/box) and 6 boxes of the Eggo BakeShop products ($0.50/box after coupons–see details here.). All totaled, he spent $6.90.

I’ll post our menu for this coming week on Monday to validate my statement above that we are eating something besides food straight from a box this week! 🙂

——————————–
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.

25 Jun 2009   ·   1,291
Money Saving Mom

Smoothies

At our house, we love to have homemade smoothies in the Summertime. Not only are they yummy and refreshing–especially on a hot Summer day!–but they can also be quite frugal. Yes, really, smoothies can be frugal!

Almost any kind of fruit can be used in a smoothie, but berries are especially good. During the Summer months when berries are in season and plentiful, the sales on them are usually abundant. Buy a little extra each week and wash, chop, and freeze them to have for later and you’ll save a bundle and stock your freezer with a nice variety of berries to use in smoothies for a few months to come.

I like to spread the berries on baking sheets after I’ve washed and chopped them and then stick them in the freezer until they are frozen. Once frozen, I transfer them from the baking sheets to freezer bags. This method prevents all of your berries forming into one big clump in the freezer bag and makes it much easier for you to get out a cup or two at a time to add to your blender for a smoothie.

Bananas

Another fruit which is a must-have in smoothies is bananas. Our stores sell bananas which are past their prime for a very reduced price. I buy these up and we eat what we can the first day and then chop and freeze the rest to use in smoothies and banana bread. This is a much more cost-effective way to add bananas to your smoothies and you can’t tell that a banana was a bit overripe if it is in a smoothie!

Banana1

Since I love experimenting in the kitchen, I find smoothies to be a great way to use up some of those odds and ends of produce from the refrigerator and freezer. From that little bit of leftover juice or yogurt which wasn’t used for breakfast the day before to the spinach from the garden which you have in abundance, almost anything can go into a smoothie so long as you put enough other things in it to “hide” it!

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The other day, I used the items pictured above to whip up some strawberry smoothies: some of the YoBaby yogurt, frozen strawberries, milk, and some Santa Cruiz juice.

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I always begin by adding in the frozen fruit and any fresh fruit, then yogurt or milk, and then liquids (either milk or juice). I add more liquid if needed and sweeten it with honey or sugar if it needs it (most of the time, we don’t add sweetener as the fruit is plenty enough!).

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And the girls just gobble it up!

We love strawberry smoothies, but another family favorite is our Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe which is posted here. I made it up on a whim one day and we all decided it was a keeper! If you’re a little more adventuresome, you might also try Green Smoothies. We’ve made these before and no one seemed to even notice the spinach in them!

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Would you like to try your hand at making smoothies? Just for fun, I’m giving away a Smoothie Kit on my blog today complete with yummy smoothie recipes, a small Hamilton-Beach blender (shown above), and Bone Health t-shirts.

May was National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month and the Milk Bone Health Program was going to give away this kit then, but since I had a baby in May, I’m a little behind here. But I thought it’d be fun to still give away this kit–especially since it’s a wonderful time of year to be making smoothies.

To enter to win this Smoothie Kit, just leave a comment on this post in the next 24 hours. I’ll randomly choose a winner once this giveaway is closed.

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The girls, enjoying their smoothies and sporting their “I {love} strong bones” t-shirts.

23 Jun 2009   ·   34
Money Saving Mom

Baking Day Round-Up

Done… finally! I'm so glad I started the Baking Day list yesterday afternoon because I only ended up having two hours this afternoon to finish up and those were with a fussy baby in the front carrier.

I'm definitely still figuring out how to do this caring for three little ones and trying to get anything else done thing. There are days when those two things seem mutually exclusive, but I'm slowly learning how to be more creative, more flexible, and to sometimes just chuck the whole to-do list and sit on the floor and play with my babies. 🙂 After all, they won't be little for long!

At any rate, today was a bit exhausting and I'm quite confident I managed to bite off a bit more than I could really chew in attempting a longer list of baking projects at this season of my life, but we survived and we actually enjoyed it. And believe it or not, the house is almost all cleaned (thanks to my husband's help tonight) and I'm heading to bed early!

But not before posting the final fruits of the Baking Day labors!

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Here's what we ended up making:

2 dozen Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 loaf Banana Bread
1 1/2 dozen Blueberry Streusel Muffins
1 loaf Homemade Bread
A double batch of Waffles
A double batch of Homemade Pita Pockets

By the way, the Blueberry Streusel Muffins are incredibly yummy, which is to be expected seeing as they came from Tammy's Recipes

——————————-

Did you have a chance to do any baking this week? If so, post about it
on your blog and leave your link below to your direct blog post. I'd
love it especially if you could share pictures and recipes so I can get
more ideas for my next Baking Day projects! And I'm guessing many
others would be inspired as well.

23 Jun 2009   ·   18
Money Saving Mom

Waffles and Banana Bread

After getting back from the errand and getting everyone situated for our afternoon Quiet Time, I mixed up the banana bread batter and stuck it in the oven. I’ve made a lot of various banana bread recipes over the years, but this recipe is hands-down the best one ever.

Like the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe, I wouldn’t say it is the most healthful banana bread recipe ever invented, but it sure is delicious! Plus, it freezes exceptionally well and makes for a quick and easy snack or breakfast.

I usually let the bread cool, then slice it, and stick it in a freezer bag in the freezer. We just pull out slices as needed. I often will pack a few slices for a snack if we are heading out for a few hours so we’re not tempted to run through a fast-food drive-thru lane for a quick snack.


 

After the banana bread was mixed together and in the oven, I made up the waffle batter and started baking waffles while I mixed up the Blueberry Streusel Muffins and cleaned up the kitchen.

Next up: Pictures of the Blueberry Streusel Muffins, the final results of my Baking Day efforts, and a Mr. Linky for you to share links to any baking you did

23 Jun 2009   ·   37
Money Saving Mom

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a stand-by at our house. I’m not sure that they are necessarily the most frugal muffins ever and I certainly know they aren’t the healthiest muffins ever, but they are sure delicious. And if you can get the pumpkin for $0.25/can and the other staple ingredients on sale or at Aldi, it can be rather economical.

These muffins freeze really well and can pretty much be eaten straight out of the freezer. We love to use them for quick snacks or for a special breakfast treat, and they are one of my husband’s favorite things for me to pack in his lunch.

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

23 Jun 2009   ·   23
Money Saving Mom

Homemade Bread and Homemade Pita Pockets

I began my Baking Day yesterday afternoon since I had a bit of time and wanted to get an early start while I had the chance. I first threw the ingredients for a loaf of Homemade Bread into the bread machine and while that was mixing up, I made up the dough for the Homemade Pita Pockets.

I doubled the recipe for the Homemade Pita Pockets and, in the process, discovered that it seemed to be a recipe not entirely suitable for doubling. The dough was a little difficult to work with. But that wasn’t all–since you are only supposed to cook two pita rounds at a time, by the time the last half of the rolled out pita dough rounds were ready to be baked, they had risen too much and then fallen, making them not bake as well.

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However, despite all of this, they turned out yummy–just not as beautifully-looking as they usually do!

homemade pita pockets

It was also when I was baking the Pita Pockets that I realized this
whole Baking Day thing was probably not the greatest idea ever seeing
as it 100 degrees in the afternoons here this week. So heating up my
whole kitchen was not the brightest thing to do. Oh well!

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Next up: our favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

23 Jun 2009   ·   19
Money Saving Mom

Baking Day: Introduction

After taking a hiatus from my usual Baking Days, I'm back into the swing of things again around here with another fun and busy Baking Day planned for today.

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Banana Bread
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Homemade Bread or Rolls
Waffles
Homemade Pita Pockets

For those of you who are new here and wondering what a "Baking Day" is, basically it is a day that I set aside every few weeks to bake up a bunch off stuff for the freezer. I usually make up muffins, waffles or pancakes, bread, and I sometimes cooked up chicken, rice, or ground beef as well.

I've found that spending a few hours of dedicated time one morning once or twice a month preparing food for the freezer saves me a lot of time in food preparation over the next few weeks. Plus, it saves us quite a bit of money since it allows us to have breakfast at the ready for a busy morning, snack foods available to grab on the way out the door, and makes dinner prep a snap on those days when I don't have time to spend in the kitchen.

If you've never baked up things for your freezer, I'd highly recommend it. You might find it becomes a time-saver and life-saver in your home as it has ours! You can scroll through some of my previous Baking Days here for more ideas and recipes. And stay tuned today as I'll be posting updates on my progress complete with recipes and pictures.

22 Jun 2009   ·   17
Money Saving Mom

This week’s menu and planned Baking Day

Mpm12

I'm finally getting back into the swing of baking and cooking around here and it feels so nice after taking an extended break after Silas was born. I'm hoping to have another Baking Day tomorrow so I planned for that when making out our menu and grocery list for this week. If you'd like to join in the Baking Day tomorrow, I'll be posting some pictures and recipes throughout the day and a Mr. Linky round-up at the end of the day. Stay tuned for that!

Here's the plan for what we'll be eating around here this week:

Breakfasts
Oatmeal, blueberries
Strawberry smoothies, muffins
Granola over yogurt with blueberries
Cereal, peaches x 2
Waffles, cantaloupe, yogurt
Scrambled eggs, toast, juice

Lunches
Layered nacho dip with chips, fruit
Homemade pigs in a blanket, cucumber slices, apple slices
Leftovers
Macaroni and cheese, peas, apple slices
Cheese quesadillas, carrot sticks, cantaloupe
Baked potatoes with cheese and broccoli
Tossed salad with bard-boiled eggs, crackers and cheese

Dinners
Chicken Tetrazinni, tossed salad, homemade bread, green beans
Grilled steak, corn, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, homemade bread
Meatballs, twice-baked potatoes, homemade bread, sliced cucumbers, green beans
Grilled salmon, baked potatoes, corn, tossed salad, fruit salad
Farmhouse Chicken, fruit, tossed salad, homemade bread
Pizza Night (at church)
Dinner Out

Snacks
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Crackers and cheese
Apples
Carrot sticks
Granola bars

Baking Day Plan
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Banana Bread
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Homemade Bread or Rolls
Waffles
Homemade Pita Pockets

For those who may have missed it, you can see what we purchased at the store this past week here. However, do remember that that is not all we're using to make the above food and meals since we shop using the "Buy-Ahead Principle".

See more menu plans for this week over at Organizing Junkie.

22 Jun 2009   ·   59
Money Saving Mom

Ask the Readers: Best deal on an mp3 player?

Ipod
I'm wondering how to find the best deal on a good mp3 player. Are there any great deal-comparing sites, coupon codes, or sales I
should know about? Also, I'm interested in thoughts on brands, styles, and models? What do people have and what do they like and dislike? -Linnea

Personally, I'm not a bells and whistles kind of gal (bet you could've guessed that!) nor am I a techno-geek, so I have an Apple iPod Shuffle 1 GB. I love it and use it every morning when I work out. It works great for exercising since it's so lightweight and can just clip onto your clothing.

However, the iPod Shuffle has very little memory (or is it called "space" or something else? See, I'm no techno-geek!) compared to other mp3 players and absolutely no bells and whistles. But it serves the purpose I use it for perfectly so I'm happy as a lark with it. Oh, and I got a really great deal on mine–I earned it free through Swagbucks (thanks to extra points earned from some of you signing up with my referral code on the sidebar!). Otherwise, I'd likely still be living in the "Dark Ages" and using a CD player or radio when I work out! 🙂

For those of you who have mp3 players or
ideas for where to purchase them inexpensively, I'd love to hear your
input. I'm sure Linnea's not the only one who could benefit from it!

20 Jun 2009   ·   24
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: Stock-up shopping trip

I'm a little late in getting this posted today but for a good reason–I slept in until 9:30 a.m. this morning! And I went to bed before 10 p.m. last night so that's what you call one good night's sleep. Of course, since I have a nursing 7-week-old, I was up at least 4 times to nurse him during that stretch of sleep, but I still haven't gotten anywhere near that kind of sleep for at least a few months. Needless to say, I feel great! 🙂

I hit Aldi and Dillons last night for the weekly shopping trip. I had discovered when planning our shopping trip that I had quite a bit of wiggle room in our $40/week budget since I'd been under budget or we'd skipped shopping a few weeks in the last two months. So I decided to use a bit of that extra money to stock up on some of the good deals.

All in all, here's what I bought at the two stores:

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I initially had gone to Aldi to pick up strawberries since they were on sale for $0.99, but they were all out. So I just got the blueberries (on sale for $1.49/pint!) and cantaloupe (on sale for $0.99 each!), plus cheese, apples, bananas, cucumbers, chocolate chips, tortillas, carrots, baking soda, tortilla chips, refried beans, and frozen veggies. All totaled, I spent $24.84 there. I'll likely freeze some of the blueberries and the apples and cantaloupe will last us two weeks, likely, since we still have quite a bit of fruit in our refrigerator from last week.

At Dillons, I mostly just hit the good deals. We bought more Santa Cruiz Strawberry Lemonade at $0.66/jar since it was still on sale and we found we really liked that kind. We also bought milk (on sale for $2.50/gallon), Kraft BBQ sauce ($0.08 after coupons), Kraft salad dressing ($0.19/bottle after coupons), Texas Toast croutons ($0.69/bag after coupons), Daisy sour cream ($0.65 after coupon), round steak (reduced to less than $2), Capri Sunrise Drinks ($1.11 after coupons–a splurge but my girls love these on a hot Summer day!), Barbara's cereal ($1.39/box after the clearance price and a coupon), Sara Lee bread ($0.99 after coupon), yogurt ($0.06 each after coupon), and Wheat Thins and Ritz crackers ($0.87/box after coupons).

In addition, I stocked up on quite a bit of shampoo and conditioner. I usually don't like to buy Suave, but our stock is running low and I've not found any exceptional deals on higher quality shampoo and conditioner, so I think Suave will just have to do for now. It was $0.50/bottle after the sale and coupons. Plus, I had a store catalina for $4/$20 any health and beauty items so I bought some free Suave deodorant, Skintimate and Edge shaving gel ($1 each after coupons–my target price for these), and hair gel which my husband needed. All of these items helped push my total spending (before coupons) to over $20 on health and beauty items, so I got an additional $4 off these already low prices!

One of my uncharacteristic expenditures of the shopping trip was buying the Shout. It was not on sale and I didn't even have a coupon for it. However, if you follow me on Facebook, you know that we had a few major catastrophes this week–including 4 bottles of finger paint spilled on our carpet (we found out that the "washable" label is a misnomer!) and neon orange silly putty running through with a load of laundry (it bedecked an entire load of laundry with permanent bright orange polka-dots!). Due to these mishaps, we managed to go through close to an entire bottle of Shout in a week. So, since we cannot seem to live without Shout–otherwise we have all sorts of ruined laundry–I decided it was worth paying full price for!

My total at Dillons was $27.42. Altogether I spent $52.26–and I still have quite a bit of extra grocery cash left. But seeing as our cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer are so well-stocked right now, I think I'm going to get to funnel some of that into savings. I'll wait until the end of the month to see how things pan out.

Stay tuned on Monday for our menu plan for this coming week!

———————————-

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.

19 Jun 2009   ·   18
Money Saving Mom

Guest Post: Using Skype to Save the Family Money

skype_logo

Guest Post by Karen at Saving The Family Money

In December of 2007, our cell phone company let us down and we decided to cancel them. Long story short, they changed my phone number without permission, and it was a customer service nightmare trying to get it resolved.

After long discussions with my husband and a lot of research, we decided to give Skype a try. I first heard about Skype on the Clark Howard show. I had always heard him talk so highly about it, that I thought it was worth a try. My husband is tech-savvy, so he was excited about testing the technology and seeing if it would work for us. I’m happy to say it is still our main line after 16 months.

The Technology–Skype is free software you can download onto your computer that allows you to talk over the Internet to anyone else with Skype–anywhere in the world. I wish we would have had Skype when my sister and her husband lived in Japan. It would have been nice to video chat for free anytime. Now we use the video chat with the grandparents and it’s fabulous. They enjoy seeing the kids more frequently and the kids think it's fun to see them on the computer!

The Money–The exciting part for me is we are only paying about $6 a month for our home phone service (no taxes)! Imagine the savings if you did this for your family. Although my sister is now in the same city, she signed up with Skype and is also using it as her main line.

Purchases

Skype has changed their pricing format a couple of times over the last two years. They've changed their subscription names for the bundles, so when you research it online, it can be confusing. Despite the changes, it has remained a cheap deal. There are three main levels of pricing:

  1. You can do Skype-to-Skype for free. (Includes video chat, IMs and file transfer capability, but only to other Skype members)
  2. You can upgrade for $3/month and get what I'd call "Skype-to-Phone," to be able to call normal (non-Skype) land-line phones and mobile phones. Voice mail also comes with this package.
  3. Lastly, you can pay for an actual number, so folks can call you. (This is where Skype becomes a land-line phone replacement.)

It's nice because you can take those baby steps to test the service before you commit. Even after you commit, you can choose short monthly service plans.

The Ease and Convenience–My husband got hooked quickly because of the conveniences Skype offered. He loved how it worked on both PCs and Macs. I appreciated all the options Skype had; it's been a pretty seamless change and we use it 100% of the time now.

Over time, we've used a USB Handset, USB Headset,and even bought a Skype phone that works like a cordless. Yes, that's right, you can buy an actual phone so you are not bound to the computer to use the service. It can be worked into your home and used like a "normal" phone. I've even taken my laptop on location, where Internet is available, and by simply plugging in my headset, I've been able to receive and make calls.

Please note: Skype cannot be used for emergency calling. My husband
has a work-issued cell phone so in case of an emergency, we would use that.

Karen has had so much fun saving her family money that she is blogging about it at Saving The Family Money, in hopes that it will benefit other families.

18 Jun 2009   ·   33
Money Saving Mom

A Frugal Father’s Day: Share your links!

In honor of Sunday being Father's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of our frugal ideas for making this a special day without breaking the bank. Reader, Lucky, emailed me with many of the great links below to get things started out.

::Perhaps you could consider surprising that man in your life with Breakfast in Bed? Berry French Toast is a great recipe and it can be inexpensively made if you use day-old Italian bread and only one kind of berries. Lucky said she often makes it up the night before and then just pops it into the oven to bake. Breakfast pizza is another delicious option. Or there's always just some of your classic standbys.


::And what about making some homemade gifts? There's paper airplane cards or notepads. Or perhaps you could check your stockpile and see if you could come up with some items to put together a car-washing kit? Looking for more creative and inexpensive ideas? Janet at The Money Jar has an extensive list here.


Those are just a few ideas and links to get things started. I'm going to open up the floor and let you share you all celebrate a frugal Father's Day at your house. Either leave your ideas in the comments section or post your ideas on your blog and leave your link below. I'm anxious to hear what creative things you've come up with!


17 Jun 2009   ·   27
Money Saving Mom

Is it Possible to Lose Weight on a Budget?

Salad

photo by Anushruti RK

Jessica, from Losing Weight on a Budget, recently wrote me about how she is losing weight on a budget:

After giving birth to my first child I started eating healthy and lost over
50 pounds. That being said I also lost a lot of money doing it. The cost can
really get out of control if you let it. By the time you buy all of the
special frozen meals and prepackaged snacks your wallet will definitely feel a
lot lighter.

After I gave birth to my second child, I wanted to lose weight again but I put
it off for several months because my family is on a strict budget and I really
thought that I couldn’t afford to eat healthfully again. This made me very depressed
and I continued to gain weight.

Finally, at the end of last year I decided that
enough was enough. I felt really tired all of the time from not eating right or
exercising and I knew that I needed to do something about it. So this is where my
journey began. On January 1, 2009, I began my journey of losing weight on a
budget.

I plan my menu every week and stick to it, I clip coupons, I do
without some of the convenience foods that I used to enjoy, and I definitely
go out to eat less. I even started a blog here to keep myself accountable and to share my ideas
with anyone interested in losing weight on a budget.

I have also tried a many new recipes which are
healthful and low in cost. Right now I am on a bean kick. I have found several
great bean recipes that cost very little but are low in fat and very high in
fiber. I am loving the fact that I can feed my family a hearty filling meal for
just a few dollars.

I have lost 17 pounds in my
first 10 weeks and I have no plans of stopping until I meet my goal. I love the
fact that not only am I losing weight but I am becoming healthy and so is the
rest of my family. It is such a great feeling to be able to teach my children
about eating healthfully and budgeting money all at the same time.

Jessica's story was quite inspirational to me–especially since I'm currently working on losing the rest of my pregnancy weight (14 pounds to go!). You'll not want to miss her post here on ten ways to save money while losing weight.

What tips or tricks do you have for losing weight on a budget? I'd love to hear! I blogged here last year
about some of the things which have helped me lose my pregnancy weight
without spending a lot of money and Tammy also has some great ideas here.

15 Jun 2009   ·   11
Money Saving Mom

This week’s menu

Mpm12

I'm trying to slowly ease back into cooking after taking the last few weeks off because we were blessed with so many delicious meals after the birth of Silas. (Can you believe our church friends and family brought us almost a month's worth of meals? How incredible is that?!)

However, as many of you know, I cooked up a bunch of food before Silas was born so our freezer is still rather stuffed with casseroles, breads, and so forth. I'm planning to use a few meals from the freezer each week over the next few weeks and then make some simple meals from scratch the rest of the days. By then, it should be about three months after Silas' birth and things should be pretty back to normal around here.

I can't even begin to express how much of a help the meals we were given were or how nice it is to know our freezer is still packed with meals! If you have the chance to cook up food for your freezer before a big event like the birth of a baby, definitely take the opportunity. You won't regret it! Not only has it saved us time to have food already made up, it has also saved us a lot of money since we're not tempted to order carryout or buy convenience foods.

I'm especially excited about our menu this week because our little container garden is finally starting to produce lettuce. I'm looking forward to lots of fresh tossed salad this week as a result. Hopefully, our tomatoes will start ripening soon as well. There's just nothing as good as a fresh-from-the-garden tomato, is there?!

Here's this week's menu plan:

Breakfasts
Cereal, juice
Granola over yogurt with peaches
Toast, scrambled eggs with hashbrowns and cheese, strawberries
Oatmeal with brown sugar and peaches
Strawberry smoothies, toast
Pumpkin waffles, peaches
Cranberry muffins, yogurt, strawberries

Lunches
PB&J, carrot sticks, cheese, fruit
Tossed salad with hard-boiled eggs, whole-wheat toast
Baked potatoes with steamed veggies and cheese
Crackers, cheese, fruit, carrot sticks
Homemade mac and cheese, steamed veggies
Leftovers x 2

Dinners
Grilled Salmon, baked potatoes, tossed salad, corn on the cob, homemade bread, strawberry shortcake
Turkey sub sandwiches, fruit salad, cucumber and tomato salad
Marinated steak, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, homemade bread, fruit salad
Lasagna casserole, green beans, fruit salad, french bread
Beef hot dogs, corn on the cob, fruit salad, twice-baked potatoes
BBQ Chicken Pizza, fruit salad, tossed salad, ice cream
Dinner out

Snacks
Cereal
Fruit
Veggies
Muffins
Crackers/cheese

By the way, we spent $41 on groceries this week. You can see the groceries we purchased this week here, in case you missed it.

Check out more menu plans for this week over at Organizing Junkie.

13 Jun 2009   ·   25
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: This week’s $41.40 shopping trip

I'm so excited to be more back into the swing of coupon-shopping again; how I've missed it!

This week, we just hit Dillons. I'd planned to hit Aldi, too, but we didn't get out of the house in time. However, I was very happy with what we ended up with from our Dillons' shopping trip and we likely really wouldn't have saved much more to have taken the extra time to hit Aldi, too.

Here's what we bought:

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My favorite score for this week was the six bottles of Santa Cruz Organic juice that I got for $0.66/bottle (they were on sale for $1.66 and I had coupons for $1/1 from organic coupon booklets I picked up at the health food store). {Edit: I just found out from Lorrie's blog that there is a PDF coupon available here, too! So if you have a Kroger store and your juice is on sale and you didn't get any of the organic coupon booklets, you can use that coupon to pick up some juice very inexpensively!}

All in all, we spent $41.40 for all the groceries pictured above. According to our receipt, we saved $76.92. However, I pretty much never pay full price for most anything, so those numbers aren't exactly accurate. But it's still fun to think how much using coupons and stocking up on the sales really does save us money compared to paying full price.

We're under budget for this month, even though I went a little over our $40/week grocery budget. We've spent less than $40 for the past four weeks, so I still have some surplus to work with.

And speaking of our grocery budget, as many of you know, we raised our grocery budget to $60/week while I was pregnant to accommodate for more splurging, quick foods, and buying extra protein. There are seasons of life when you just need to cut yourself some slack when it comes to couponing and budgeting and much of this past year (with moving, a big job change for my husband, pregnancy, and a number of other factors) was definitely one of those seasons.

But now that I'm almost recovered from pregnancy and the birth and am feeling much more energetic, we've decided to lower our grocery budget back down to $40/week–at least on an experimental basis. I wasn't sure if we'd be able to do it, since we've moved to a new town with fewer stores to choose from and no CVS at all, but I'm enjoying this new challenge! And so far, it's going a lot better than I anticipated!

I'll post this coming week's menu on Monday so stay tuned for that! And if you're new here and wondering how on earth we'll get a week's worth of meals from the groceries pictured above, be sure to read my post here which explains more how I grocery shop.

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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.

Note: 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.