Friday, July 31, 2009

Menu Planning and Saving Money

Courtney from Homemaker Hero asked me to guest post for her. I hope you enjoy this post about Menu Planning and perhaps feel encouraged to try it for yourself, if you do not already do it :) And, please, take a trip on over to Homemaker Hero to enjoy Courtney's money saving advice, cute decorating ideas and many more things she shares :)

Do you plan your menus for your family meals each week? Perhaps you should think about it if you don't. I truly believe this is one area within our budgets where many people can lose a lot of money-really waste a lot- if they do not plan ahead. It is simple to do and can help save you time, money and headaches.

I shop for my family's meals every two weeks. Usually, I try to plan my meals around sales and coupons that will give me the best deals. But, because I am planning for approximately 14 days worth of meals, I know there will not be enough sales out there for all 14 days. I know there are certain meals I make that are pretty inexpensive for my family of 7 and put those meals down first in my planner. Other days are left blank for those store sales I will encounter the week I go shopping. I also have learned to plan for our lunches and breakfasts. This has saved me from trying to scrounge up whatever I can in order for my kids to eat during the day-which, in all honesty has happened more than once!! YIKES!

One thing I did when I started menu planning was to think of all the meals my family enjoys. I wrote them down in the very front of my notebook for easy reference. As time has gone by, I have added new meals. I have over a month's worth of different meals, some very frugal, some a bit more expensive. If I am stumped on a meal, or see a special on meat, I will refer to that list and see what I can make during the week.

Do I adhere to a certain day for a certain meal-such as, Sunday-Pizza, Monday-tuna patties, etc? No, I really do not. That has never worked well for my family because we do not know if we will be in the mood for that meal on that day. But, if there is a day when I know we will be busy, I will mark that day down for an easy meal such as spaghetti or something in the crockpot.

But, how can this save you money? Think about how often you have run in the store needing one thing and purchased so much more than you intended! I remember one time we went for something for dinner. It was only going to be quick freezer pizza because we were tired and mom didn't want to cook-ugh! We came out with so many extras. What could have been a $10 bill for us was over $30!! That could have been gas later on in the week, or perhaps placed into savings for something else down the road! Or, for some, how far it is to travel to the store and the wasted gas. Plan your meals ahead of time and you can skip this extra trip!

How about those days you are tired and don't want to cook? Perhaps instead of heading to those Golden Arches, you will look through your menu plan for the week and cook something fast. Or, plan one day for leftovers from the other meals during the week-that has been a lifesaver for us here on days I am too busy to cook, or too tired. Plus, those leftovers are almost free food! How great is that?! Or, plan to cook extra of a meal that freezes well and have it on hand for those busy or tiring days. If you are used to eating out once a week, and instead, planned your meals, you could save yourself quite a bit of money! Try it for a month and stash that money in a hiding place...see how much you have saved!! I think you will be impressed!

Many bloggers are terrific at posting their weekly menu plans. You can check theirs out. And, once again, you do not have to plan in such a way that you must have that tuna casserole on Saturday night-just put it on your menu plan and have it the night it works best for you. Try a new recipe once or twice a month-it might quickly become a family favorite. There are many recipe sites out there-one of my favorite is

Being frugal in all areas of your finances is a job well worth it in the long end (or even short end ;) and I wholly believe it is a task God intends me to take on to bless my family and Him. Menu planning is one area where I really believe I have been able to save my family a lot!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reasor's and Crystal Farms Cheese Deal this Saturday!

Reasor's is having a 12 hour sale this Saturday. I didn't notice any really good deals, but they have the Crystal Farms 8 oz blocks of cheese on sale for 4/$5. Last Sunday's paper had 55 cent of coupons for the cheese :) Makes each 8 oz block 70 cents each :) Hopefully you stocked up on atleast a couple papers from Sunday :) (they are still 2/$3 for the Tulsa World Sunday edition).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

I did not get my porch cleaned off as I had planned--BUT, I did get the small grassy area in front of the porch hoed. I have been wanting to do this for awhile since people will step there and the grass was worn in spots. And, then, it is hard to mow-we do not have a weed trimmer, so it gets too looking rather ragged. I want to get some nice creeping plants-thyme, phlox, whatever, or perhaps go another route with plants-not too certain, but, I do know that it already looks much nicer than it did before :)

Hopefully this week will be the porch cleaning ;) It's my goal. I also want to go around, a room a day, and dust my baseboards. I think I did that last Spring, and they need it again.

And, the exercising did not go --again! Im going to try for one day this week-just one. If I can meet that, then atleast I am starting. Perhaps after doing one day, I will feel energetic enough to work out a 2nd day :) But, I need to get started...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunmaid Cookbook

Sunmaid is offering a free cookbook with about 45 pages of yummy recipes to try in your home. I love raisins in baked goods, so I am excited about getting this! Check it out here.You an get this offer by calling, writing or clicking on the Order Now button :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Old Orchard Juice Coupon

Use this coupon (click on the 2nd square) to get $1 off 4 containers of Old Orchare Juice which is on sale this week 10/$10 --making each can of juice 75 cents each :) Im stocking up!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Food Pyramid Sales and Coupon Match-ups 7/22

Not a whole lot going on at Food Pyramid this week-but what they do have is worth the extra trip for me this time :)

FP-Ground Round-$1.69/lb
red or green seedless grapes-87 cents/lb
Hamburger Helper-.99 cents-- .75 off on purchase of 3 (SS 7/19)= $2.22 for 3
Hiland Sour Cream .99 cents -.45/1 (SS 7/12) *coupon doubles*= .09 each
Bar-S bologna-99 cents

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reasor's Sale and Coupon Match Ups for 7/22

Here are some of the sales I found this week-of course, check your own Reasor's ad to be certain you have the same sales going on or to see if there is something your family might eat that I would never dream my family would :)
They are having a big 10 for $10 sale this week-lots of goodies :)

Ziploc Bags 2/$4.00- $1.50/2 Printable coupon here: = $2.50 for 2

Hunt's Ketchup 24oz $1.00 each- .20 (6/21 SS)= .80 cents each

Michelina's Frozen Entrees $1.00 each- $1.00/5 Printable here = $4.00/5

Old Orchard Frozen Juice Concentrate 1.00 each

Hamburger Helper $1.00 each- .75/3 (6/7 SS)= 75 cents for each or $2.25/3

Pilgrim's Pride Split Chicken Breasts $1.48/lb- .55 cent printable here:= .55 off total price of chicken

Tony's Crispy Crust Pizzas $1.00 each- $1.00/2 Printable coupon here: = $1.00 for 2

Kellog's Cereal-select varieties-if you printed off coupon for $1.50 off 2 boxes of Mini Wheat from Red Plum (it is telling me it is expired now, but you might try it at Red Plum) the sale is 6/$10-this will give you a price of about $1.83 for both boxes!

18 ct medium eggs-$1.00

drumsticks or thighs-10 lbs/$10

Roma tomatoes-10/$10

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nabisco Coupon Booklet/Calendar Still Available

Go here and get your coupon booklet for $55 off Nabisco products throughout the year :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

Well, I never got around to going to the park or splash pad. I helped my husband all week with some auto repair work he is doing. It was quite messy at times and I wanted to clean some parts for him to help speed up the process. I was hoping he would be done and not have to work on any car stuff yesterday since it was his birthday, but that did not happen for him.

This week, I am going to get back to exercising. I have taken a break from it-or, should I say, gotten lazy-and I can really feel back aches starting again. I had really felt much stronger while I was exercising and I need to get back into it.

I also am going to clean off my front porch. There is some dust on my screen door that I want to clean off and I am also going to work a bit on scraping off the glue that was holding down outdoor carpet on the porch floor. It was so hot for awhile that I did not want to even take on this task, but I think little by little I can get some of it done in the mornings while it is a bit cooler in our area :) Never thought I would say the 90's are cooler-lol!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

KMart Coupon

Go to and print off the KMart coupon for $5 off $50 worth of clearance merchandise. This could be a great way to stock up on some clothes for the kids for next year! And, we still ahve quite a bit of summer/warm temperatures left...could be an easy way to stock up on some school clothes too :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some Deals for the Day

Here are a couple deals-some are reminders (the wonderful free chocolate :)

Go here to get coupons for Minute Maid Frozen Treats-

Free Chocolate Friday-you can do this up to 4 times per household during the duration of this giveaway

Free Goodnights sample--you can also get some valuable coupons with this freebie

Walmart's Free Samples

New link for Always Infinity sample-I love these!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

Well, I didn't post any goals last week...but still got something huge done :) I was able, with help, to move all the wood from our patio to the shed. It took my oldest two kids to help me. We made a game of it, picking a number and carrying that much wood before we would stop for the day. Thankfully, it was not as hot, but we are now back up to those HOT temps again -so I am glad we got that done. Hopefully, I will get my table and benches sometime this week since my husband is on vacation.

My goal this week is to relax a bit. Perhaps take my kids to the splash pad, a walk in a wooded, local park, whatever, and just enjoy things for once :O)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Soda deal at Reasor's in Owasso

I imagine this could be at any of the Reasor's so you may want to check :) They have their 7-up 2 liter sodas on sale right now 10/$10. This includes A&W Root Beer, Sunkist, Diet 7-up and Diet A&W. Then, there are those nice coupons I told you about a few months ago-buy 2-2 Liter bottles or multipack and get $1 off. Great deal for the 2 liter bottles :) I found mine at the end of an isle near the frozen foods :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reasor's Ad Sale and Coupon Matches

Go Here for the ad

Here are some of the good deals:

Cascade Gel or Powder $2.99- $1.00 (P&G 7/5)= $1.99 each
Swiss Tea Gallon $1.29- $1.00 (6/21 SS)= .29 cents each
Smucker's Toppings $1.77 each- $1.00 (5/17RP)= .77 cents each
Blue Bunny Champ Cones $3.50 each-$1.00 coupon in Reasor's ad= $2.50 each

Go to Hiland to join and get coupons for the following:
Hiland Sour Cream 16oz $1.15- .45 printable = .70 cents
Hiland Cottage Cheese $1.66 each- .35 printable = $1.31 each
Northstar Ice Cream Sandwiches $3.50 each- .55 printable = $2.95 each

Hot Pockets/Lean Pockets products 1.50 each (might be a coupon for this,but I cannot find it)
Head lettuce-$.57 each

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Check Those Coupon Dates!

A new month is a great time to go through all your coupons. I like to do it when I am making a grocery list every two weeks-mostly checking those coupons I have placed in my coupon notebook in the Use This Trip section. But, I did have several that expired on June 30th and some that expired on July 3rd, 6th and 10th (which I am going shopping until the 11th). So, I cleaned those up.
One thing I do with expired coupons is to give them to my kids. They like to play store with them and they use the amounts on the coupons as the 'prices' for that item pictured. Of course, you can also send them to military families who are able to use them in the comissaries. If you know of a military family you can do this with, please bless them :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Made Simple Coupon booklets again

Go here and sign up to get another Home Made Simple coupon booklet. These are great and have some very good money saving coupons in them-as well as some cleaning tips :) There is usually a coupon for a free Cascade Rinse.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Free Head and Shoulders sample

Go here and get a free sample of Head and Shoulders. For some reason, my kids just love getting these :)

Goal Setting Sunday Add-on

I almost forgot! Our neighbors are giving us a wonderful cement table and bench set. They have had it for years and years and no longer use it anymore. It is very heavy and needs to be repainted-which I will enjoy doing :) We plan to get it next weekend since we will need my husband's truck in order to move it-it is extremely heavy! But, in the mean time, I will need to move all the wood from around our patio. I want it to be nice and clear back there to give my husband room to carry these heavy peices :) I will post pictures of the table once we have it in place and of course, pics after I have it repainted (which may have to wait until temps are a bit cooler).
So, my big goal this week is to move all the wood to around our shed and away from the house. Hoping to get the major part of this done today since it is a cooler day and a nice breeze is blowing :)

Goal Setting Sunday

I still did not exercise this week-ugh! Might not happen for me until it gets cooler-lol!! Im staying active in other ways though, so atleast Im doing something :)

I did complete a couple projects this week-really deep cleaned the kids' bathroom and ours-I realized I had not mopped our little area of tile floor in my bathroom since we moved in-gross-I know!! But, it wasn't too filthy, and I have swept it often-plus we have a little bathroom rug down on the tile, so it really was not that dirty :) Still, made me feel good getting it done. Won't let it go another year!

My oven is working again-it has been out since our a/c went out-actually, the day the a/c was fixed, the oven went out-lol! So, it has been nice to have an oven again. I think I might make some bagels and pita bread this week ;)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Free Nexcare Bandage sample

Go here and get a free sample badages. These are targeted toward those who regularly donate blood and I believe have the word 'Give' on them, so if you are one of the amazing people who donate blood, jump on over and get your free bandages!! What a great way to spread the word about donating blood!!

Free Pack a Kraft Smile Savings Booklet & Calendar

Go to Nabisco World and register (or sign in) to get a coupon booklet with over $50 in savings from Nabisco. This comes to your house and you can opt to get a confirmation email sent to your inbox so you know this is legit :) Will be nice for saving on those lunch box items (which you know will be on some nice sales when school is ready to start back!!).
Be sure to allow the NabiscoWorld newsletter to be sent to you as well. This is often a time to get a heads up on special promotions or coupons :) I highly suggest this for any company that offers this and you want coupons from.