30 Days of Frugal Meals – Days 1-7!

I was trying to decide how to go about my “30 Days of Frugal Meals”.  My weekly grocery shopping trips always include items that are on sale, have coupons for, are sporting the discounted stickers, and so following Louisiana Bride’s meals wasn’t going to work for me.  So here’s what I did.

Thursday is when the flyers come out, but I’m still not receiving mine yet.  So early Friday morning (during my second cup of coffee, Ben’s nap and Chloe’s Dora movie) I scanned the online flyers to see what was available and made my list.

Because of 15% off Tuesday (items bought on 15% Tuesday are not always meal planning items), I knew I’d have to make two trips for groceries this week for sure.  This was my 15% off “Tuesday” (one location in Sherwood Park let’s us get our 15% off on the Monday so we can stack as well) using coupons:

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What did this get me, you ask?

– Free eggs
 – Free Lindt chocolate
 – Free Neumans Organic Alfredo Sauce
 – Free Eggo Minis x2
 – $1.99 Organic Milk x2
 – Free Batteries x8
 – Free Lays Chips x2
– Free Happy Planet Butternut Squash Soup
 – Free Happy Planet Juice x2
 – Free Melitta Coffee x2
 – Free Vaseline Spray x2
 – Free Tresemme Shampoo
 – Free Tresemme Conditioner
 – Free Catelli Pasta
– Free Quick Oats

Once my list was made and my coupons sorted, I threw some kiddie snacks into my purse and drove the 2 minutes to Superstore to see what treasures and goodies I could find.

#1 Sunday – Hamburgers & Hotdogs!

burgers

Because this was Ben’s birthday party we had to serve 16 people, but managed to still find a sweet deal! 

Breakdown:

1. Hot dogs (1 dozen) $2.97 (sale) x2

2. Hamburgers (8 pack) – $9.98 x2.  With this amazing deal from Superstore, we couldn’t go wrong.  All we had to do was buy the burgers!

3. Chips, juice, pickles, bunsFREE with burger purchase!

4. Hotdog bunsFREE from when we moved in!  My sister bought way too many and so we froze them.

5. Birthday cake – I made his cake with ingredients that we already had.

6. Beverages$2.50. I made iced tea ($5 container/used 1/2).

7. Veggie Platter – Ben’s godparents brought the veggie platter so we didn’t have to pay for it!

Cost of this meal to feed 16 people was under $30!

#2. Monday – Spinach Lasagna Rollups

rollups

I made homemade spinach dip using cream cheese and frozen spinach that I already had.  Toss in some onions and garlic and voila!  A really simple, healthy, delicious and FRUGAL meal! 

Breakdown:

1. Lasagna noodles$1.77/box

2. Spinach $1 – (already had it in the freezer)

3. Cream cheese$3 (already had it in the fridge)

4. Organic pasta sauce$1

Cost of this meal to feed 4 (with leftovers for Ryan the next day) was approximately $7!

#3. Tuesday – Homemade Mushroom Soup

soup

Last week at Superstore, there were a bunch of mushrooms for 50% off clearance.  When I saw that, I knew we’d be having mushroom soup this week (I ended up freezing some and giving some to a friend as well).  I used my cream coupon, bought no name stock, and already had butter, onions, spices etc to use for my recipe.  I can’t remember the exact breakdown for this meal, but remember the total.

It cost me approximately $6-$7 (out of pocket that week) to make 3 meals of mushroom soup instead of the regular $12-$13 it would have cost to make the same amount of meals.

#4. Wednesday – Sausages, Perogies & Salad

sausage

Breakdown:

1. Sausages – $13 but since we only used half the pack, I’d say $6.50

2. Perogies – $1.98

3. Organic Salad – under $2 (can’t remember exact amount).

4. Ranch dressing – FREE with stacking

5. Tomato – FREE from neighbours garden

Total cost of this meal to feed 4 people (with leftovers for all of us) is roughly $10.

#5. Thursday – Chicken, Pasta & Fresh Veggies

So my kids got sick starting Wednesday night and it was a loooooong night.  I was just happy to get a yummy and frugal meal on the table, and completely forgot to take pictures.  We BBQ’d chicken thighs, made pasta topped with butter and cheese, and had broccoli & cauliflower.  Chloe and Ben enjoyed it, and we even received a “Thank you for supper Mommy!” from Chloe!

Breakdown:

1. Chicken thighs – $10 (10 thighs).

2. BBQ Sauce – FREE (from a purchase earlier in the summer).

3. Pasta – FREE (from 15% off “Tuesday”)

4. Veggies – FREE (leftover veggies from the birthday party).

5. Cheese & Butter – 700g of cheese cost us $6.99 last week and butter $2.99.  We only used a tiny bit of each, but I’m not up for calculating that breakdown :P.

Total cost of this meal to feed 4 people (with leftovers for all of us) is slightly over $10!

#6. Friday – Grilled Cheese

Well, no one reeeeeally needs to see pictures of grilled cheese, do we?

Cheese – $3.50 (ish) for a package of Cracker Barrel Sliced Swiss.  MMMMM!

Bread – $0.89 for a LOAF of bread from Safeway (50% off sticker on it)

Total cost of this meal to feed 4 people is roughly $4.39.

#7. Saturday – Homemade Pizza

By this point I was starting to feel sick and hoping I didn’t catch what the babies had.  We made pizza dough in our bread machine and used some leftover Italian sausage, onions and cheese for the toppings.  This one is a little harder to breakdown because we made the dough at home.

pizza

Breakdown:

Dough – Unsure (10kg of flour was $6.99, yeast was $9, water was free)

Italian Sausage – “FREE” (cost was figured into what we made with this meat earlier in the week).

Organic Pasta Sauce – $1

Onions – Aprx. $0.33 (the bag of 6 medium onions was $1.97)

Cheese – $6.99 for 700g.  We used about half the block so, apx $3.50.

Total cost of this meal to feed 4 people (with leftovers for Ryan on Monday) was over $4.88.

PHEWF!  That was a lot to type up.  This week’s meals cost approximately $73!

Hopefully this post wasn’t too long and boring for you.  I think I’ll try doing a post daily now instead of weekly.  That might be better for all of us.

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Saving on Organic Food is…Easy?

It’s actually easier than I thought.  It takes some searching, planning and patience, but I’m learning that it’s not all that difficult.  Last night I had to run out to the grocery store to get a few items for brunch today, and found a few surprise items.  Normally I try not to buy what is not on my list, but we’ve made room in our budget for “stock up” items.  I didn’t really stock up with these, but they were at a stock up price.

cheese

The cheese was $6.99 (!) which is roughly $5 off regular price: I am kicking myself for not getting more.  The yogurt was “priced to clear”, but the expiry isn’t until September 5th!  Regular price it is over $5 but I got it for $2.18 after using this $0.50 coupon:

coupon

So far, it’s not been hard to make The Big Switch (and I wasn’t planning on doing yogurt yet)!  It takes planning, couponing and hunting when grocery shopping!

7 Quick Takes (vol. 13)

Well it’s Friday again, but I couldn’t tell you what the actual date is.  Ok, I looked and it’s the 16th: how is this month half over already?  Is it just me or did this summer fly by really fast and already store have back-to-school, Halloween and yes, even CHRISTMAS items!

~1~

The line thing is still messed up.  I really miss my squiggle line that comes before and after my numbers.

~2~

It’s been exactly one week since we got the keys to our house and it’s flown by.  We’ve managed to unpack all the essential boxes, and now I’m keeping busy organizing, purging, sorting, storing, and exploring Sherwood Park.  Every day we’ve tried to get out and find something new to do; sometimes it’s just finding where the stores are.  The weather has been really nice so we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy spending time outside in our beautiful 1/3 acre back yard: the kids love it!  I was so excited to find a raspberry bush back here!

outside

berries

~3~

Ben has discovered the toilet and thinks it’s his own personal little splash pool.  Gross.  Today he threw his toy in the toilet AGAIN!  The doors will need to stay closed and all the lids down.  It’s just not cool fishing inside the bowl to get his toys.

toilet

~4~

I love Joe’s clothes from Superstore. Love.  Them.  Not only are they adorable, they are crazy affordable especially during seasonal clearance, which is when I stock up on clothes for the kids!  I got all these outfits for $70 and there is still $80 in our spring/summer 2014 budget for more (we still need swimsuits, shoes, hats, shorts).

clothes1 clothes2

(I found a couple more outfits that I bought AFTER these pictures were taken.  I got 12 outfits for Ben and 16 for Chloe!  Not bad for $70!).

~5~

Tonight we’re having a simple supper.  Home made bread, deli roast beef (50% off), organic tomatos and lettuce from my mother-in-laws garden.  We might have to finish the meal with maple frozen yogurt covered with the rest of our blueberries.  Then I’m heading out for a much needed girls night which will include the essential wine, sushi and chick-flick.  Bring it.

~6~

My little Benjamin is turning 1 in less than 2 weeks and I’m trying to think of what to do for a simple, little party.  I think we’re going to keep it simple with family and a few friends coming over for a BBQ and playtime.  My parents hinted that they bought him a swing set and everyone else is buying him some sort of ball: he loves balls and anything ball shaped (including a funny little preference for his banana being cut in circles instead of crescents).

boy

~7~

I have a laundry shoot in my house.  So.  Cool.

shoot

Don’t forget to link up with Jen and the other fabulous quick-takers like Christy (I love her quick-take that talks about her son and Starbucks lol).  They likely have significantly more interesting blogs than I do: today I’m just rambling.  Actually, most of my quick-takes are ramblings aren’t they?

Still Going Strong!

Despite the fact that it’s been super busy the last week with moving and running, we have still managed to keep buying organic and staying within our monthly grocery budget ($400/month).

org1

Costco is awesome for finding organic foods: the tomato sauce was $8.99, the peas $7.49 and the fig bars (delicious btw) $8.69.

figThere are a lot of fig bars in the box!  Two per package.  They may not be organic, but they are GMO free which is very important to me now too.

Companies That Have Sent me Coupons for Organic Products…

I emailed a whole bunch of companies asking for coupons so I can try their organic products.  So far I’ve received coupons from Organic Meadows and Eden.

coupons

I have tried neither of their products, but am definitely open to something new!  I’ll be doing some digging to see if there are other upcs for these products/companies so that I can maybe stack them!

Eden also decided to send me PLENTY of reading material (I’ll get right on that…AFTER the move!).

eden

Some things I am learning from doing this big switch is:

1. It’s not hard to find organic food that is in our local grocery store and is decently priced!

2. Don’t be afraid to try something new!  Like I said above, I’ve never tried products from Eden or Organic Meadows, but I’m willing to try!

3. Sometimes you have to go without and that’s ok!  Maybe we won’t be buying as much produce this week as we would if we bought non-organic, but that’s ok!  We know how to sacrifice and don’t need to have everything!