Grocery Deals 1/19/11

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

Last week after I got the meat, I went to Walmart and got some potatoes, onions and oranges. It did take me a little over my grocery budget, but I got back on track this week and I'm really glad that I have all that meat "paid for" already.

I picked up a gallon of milk and stocked up on some cans of beans at Walmart this week, grabbed 2 bags of frozen broccoli with free product coupons I had, and made the following trip to Farm Fresh:

I paid $5.79 for the items above, which was a 62% savings after coupons. Once I discovered how much I like boil-in-bag rice, I went back for some more!

I am doing better with my meal planning and doing better at still staying within my budget. This week's meal plan included crock-pot chili, broccoli cheese soup, Greek pasta and hamburger stroganoff. We always have enough leftovers that I usually don't need to plan for more than 4 separate dinners each week.

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Donating/Volunteering Opportunity

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Are you looking for an opportunity to donate some of your couponing stockpile, or to volunteer to help the homeless for just one day?

(some of the items we donated)

The Virginia Beach Homeless Advocacy and Resource Partnership will be holding their annual Project Connect Day of Services and Point in Time count of the homeless on Thursday, January 27, 2011.

What this is, is an event hosted at the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church where homeless can come and receive services such as flu shots, basic health checks, hot meals, haircuts, clothes, legal aid, etc.
The event is looking for individuals or organizations to "Stuff a Backpack" with items to donate to a homeless individual, or to volunteer their time at the event.

If you are interested in stuffing a backpack to donate:

  • You can donate already stuffed backpacks or individual items from the list.
  • Needed items include: Mouthwash (small), Toothpaste (small sizes for individuals, full size tubes for families), Baby/body powder, Tissues, Lotion, Shampoo, Toilet Paper, Bath Soap (includes body wash), Toothbrushes, Q-Tips, 1 Gallon Ziploc bags, Combs/Picks/Brushes, Multi-Functional Wet Wipes, Deodorant, Tampons/Pads, Razors, Shaving Cream, Conditioner, Socks, Gloves, Powder Laundry Soap, TShirts, Hats, Blankets, Heat Packs, Hand Warmers, Disposable Rain Gear, Small Flashlights/batteries, Bags, Sewing Kits, Manual Can Opener, Pull Top cans of canned meat, canned soup, or Nabs.
  • For more information about donating money or items and drop-off locations, contact Sharon Prescott at 757-385-5803 or

If you are interested in volunteering:
  • All volunteers must be 18 years or older
  • The event is January 27 from 5am-4pm (doors open to the homeless 6am-3pm) at the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church at 19th St. & Pacific Avenue
  • The VB HARP is looking for greeters, guides - this is the greatest need- (to escort consumers to various stations), food service workers and set up/clean up crews.
  • To volunteer, contact Natasha Wise at 757-385-5834 or

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Groceries 1/10

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Here is the ultimate boring grocery deals picture:

I got 10 lbs of ground beef from Bottom Dollar today for $17.14. It was $1.68/lb. Yes, I realize that this is most of my grocery money for the week, I've yet to see if I'm going to have to "borrow" from another week to help pay for this investment. :) It's going to take us a really long time to eat it all! Meatloaf, anyone?

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Meal Plans

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

I received the following very nice comment on my Facebook in regards to my previous blog post (the one of this week's purchases at Harris Teeter):

"You always do so good! Would you ever consider posting a sample weekly menu of what you guys eat? It seems like so many of the freebies aren't healthy or are random and not meal worthy so I'd love to see how you incorporate them into meals! I need inspiration!"

It's a great question, because honestly - the items in the pictures I post usually aren't healthy or are random. :) Well here's the secret - I don't post all my grocery trips, I only post the ones that look good! It's not very impressive to post when I grabbed ground beef at Bottom Dollar (which I plan to do tonight because it's on sale) or milk and whatever-I'm-desperate-for at Walmart.

What do we eat?

For breakfast, we almost always eat cereal, which I only buy when it's free. Sometimes I'll make pancakes, muffins, etc. using mixes I got free.

For lunches, we almost always have sandwiches. Sometimes I get peanut butter or jelly free, but most of the time we do pay out of pocket for our bread, lunchmeat, cheese, etc. We usually have chips and/or yogurt that was cheap or free with our lunch, and fruit. Since I can't eat the same thing every day in a row, I also take cans of soup (which usually only cost pennies) or leftovers a couple times a week as well.

For dinners, we eat a lot of pasta, a lot of Mexican, and a lot of casseroles. Those items use things that are free or really cheap, of course meat being the biggest expense. I think meat-based meals are pretty rare for us, and when we do have meat for the main dish, it's usually chicken. While the three categories above are what we eat the most of, the rest of what we eat is a very, very wide variety! I like to try new things but it almost always depends on what meat I have in my freezer at the time.

I actually haven't been meal planning much because I was spending more money when I meal planned ahead and bought items for my meal plan than when I had to make dinner only based on what I had on hand. I am starting over this year and have started meal planning in the past couple weeks. Here's what's on my plan this week:

1. Chicken Curry - I ended up using the recipe I found HERE which was a new recipe for me and turned out great!!! It's definitely going to be one of my staple curry recipes.

2. Peppered bacon and tomato linguine (Recipe HERE) which I actually ended up not making bc my bacon went bad (note to self, remember to put bacon in the fridge before leaving for work)

3. Corn, onion and bean burritos

4. Tuna Macaroni bake, I just took some generic recipes and used what I had on hand

5. Hot dogs... I know, but it's been awhile since we've had them and they've been sitting in my freezer staring at me every time I open it!

Did I miss anything? Any other questions or meal suggestions?

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Grocery Deals 1/5/11

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

Harris Teeter started the new year with Super Doubles, I guess so we can all keep our new years resolutions to stay within our budgets! Very encouraged by last year's numbers and my resolution to do more meal planning this year, I prepared for our trip and sent David today while I was at work.

He paid $11.07 for all the groceries in the picture above, saving $57.30, or 76%.

The breakdown is:
5 Old Orchard juices - $3.90
Coffee Mate creamer - FREE
2 Mueller's Pasta - FREE
Swiss Miss - FREE
2 YoCrunch Parfaits - FREE
Kashi crackers - 50c
Regina red wine vinegar - 35c
Finish detergent - 49c
2 Alexia frozen potatoes - 34c
3 Hunts tomatoes - 79c
5 Campbells Healthy Request soup - 60c
hot dog buns (we needed) - $1.17
Eggs (we needed) - $2.89

I used matchups from Southern Savers HERE and The Coupon Challenge HERE.

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