Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Week 8 - Losing Coupons and The Meal Plan

Our weekly $50 didn't go as far as it could have this time. Sales and coupons aligned beautifully, but I still ended up paying retail for things I shouldn't have. (I feel like a total sucker) Argh!! I know my couponing friends feel my pain... 

Retail hurts. 

I blame my binder. (It can't be my fault, can it??) I had tucked away my special can't-wait-to-use-these-babies coupons in the front pocket of my binder. I wanted them easily accessible, you know? But there at the check out, I went to fish them out... and they were gone. Must have slipped out. Pepsi coupons, Milk coupons... Won't be doing that again.  ... now I understand why couponers use binders that zip closed! (even if I find them, they expire in two days...)

ANYway. Back to life.
This Week's $50 yielded... 

Yogurt  $1.99-1.00cpn           = $0.99 ea

Items not pictured:
2 dozen eggs, 500g block cheese, pepsi x2, health bars
Peanut Butter                         =$4.89
Sour Cream                           =$1.00
Gr. Beans $1-$0.50cpn          =$0.50
Hellman's 3.97-$1cpn            = $2.97
HL Fish Sticks $2.99-$1cpn  =$1.99ea
Pasta Sauce                          =$1.27
Taco Kit                               =$3.97
Gr. Beef $6.18-$4 cpn             =$2.18
Sandwich Meat (ham)  50%   =$1.99
Bacon                                  =$2.99
Butter                                   =$2.97
Mazola Oil 3.99-$0.75cpn     =$3.24
500g Chdr cheese                 =$5.49
Milk                                     =$4.49
Pepsi   2@4.49ea                 = $9.00

3 Health Bars                       =$ 0.74
Total so far                       = $47.28

Still to buy:
Eggs                                  = $2.00
Milk                                   = $4.50

What We Do Without (and what we do instead)

Bye-Bye Chips and Other Boxy Goodness...

Our nightly chip feast is no more. Not for the last two months anyway... (has it been that long already??)
[There are really reeelly good coupons available that would make some chips free, but they're held quite dear by their owners and I'm not willing to work too hard for them at this point. ... Besides... I did mention I've lost weight because chips aren't in the house?] 
Boxed goodies are a rare treat these days too. Crackers, chips and store bought granola bars just don't fit into the budget. 
Hello, Alternatives!

     * We make our own snacks. 
              -Homemade Crackers
              - Pita Crisps
              - Granola Bars
              - Popcorn (I'm munching on some now!) 

    *  We make healthy options available too
                   - carrots and dip
                   - apples and peanut butter (though we're at the end of our free apples...) 
                   - I feel like this list should be longer, but these are the only ones we eat, 
                     and then only sometimes.

    *  Not Snacking is an option too, and one I choose often when the only alternative is carrots... 

Bye-Bye Store Bought Bread!

We do buy store bread, but only when it's 50% off. Otherwise, I bake buns. 
[I try bread too, but somehow the buns turn out way better. I'd like to learn how to make different kinds of bread though; nice airy whole grain loaves. So far, they're mostly white. (they seem to rise better that way...) Ah well, I'll get it yet ;)]
Other Money Saving Alternatives:

Instead of                                                                We ... 

juice boxes                                                              refill water bottles
buying pasta                                                            homemade pasta (it's not as hard as it sounds!) 
wax Paper                                                               use cereal bags
using oil/butter in some baking/cooking                    save and use bacon drippings
buying produce, school supplies                              barter! (I've traded cookies for pencil crayons, 
                                                                               rhubarb for apples...etc)
buying sandwich/freezer bags                                   wash and reuse. (I haven't bought freezer bags   
                                                                               since last Christmas when I bought 6 boxes, and I 
                                                                               expect them to last until next Christmas. That's 2                                                                                
                                                                               years on 6 boxes!) 

And finally, 
Our Meal Plan

Breakfasts (in rotation) 

Bacon / eggs / toast


Pizza buns, carrot stix
Hotdogs at a friend's
Apple/peanut butter sandwiches 
Tuna torpedos
Beefy macaroni


Speedy Fajitas
Fish Sticks w/ Baked Potatoes
Fish Sticks w/ Rice Pilaf
Thai Tuna Wraps (homemade torillas)
Tuna Casserole




  1. This is awesome info, Kim!! Thanks! I'm feeling challenged ;) I'll have to do most of this homemade stuff after I move to the middle of no where. Homemade bread always tastes better anyway ;)

    1. Hi Ashley!

      I was just re-reading this, and realized that I spoke as thought this is my new life (I tend to etch goals in stone...)
      We do still buy bread, but it's a mixture of home-baked and store-bought at this point :) Progress, not perfection ;)


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