Menu Planning Monday: Vacation week!!

fresh bread image

Last week I showed you the cost for a couple of my recipes: Tomato Basil Pasta Salad and Crockpot Baked Potato Soup.


This week I have two more!! First up, our Braised Chicken Gumbo, which only costs $3.04 (plus the cost of brown rice) to make the meal!



Last week I also made  Bean & Cheese Freezer Burritos. Since I made up a bunch, the total came to $22.09, but it only costs $0.74 per burrito! (If you want to cut the cost even more, you probably could put less cheese in it.)



Menu Plan

This week’s menu plan is a little different. We will be on vacation, so we don’t necessarily have set days in which we are making these meals.



Easy DIY Yogurt

Healthy Granola




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Healthy Grocery Savings Tip #1: Buy & Cook up Dry Beans

cook your own beans

Since we’ve been eating healthier (less meat, more beans) I discovered that cooking your own beans will save three times the amount on beans! Now only that, but it’s a little bit healthier too.



Canned vs. Cooking your Own Beans Nutrition

Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, whether they are canned or  dry. They are high in B vitamins and iron and low in fat.

Despite the benefits of canned beans, dry beans (cooking them on your own) are the winner nutritionally:

Lower sodium: Dry beans, purchased in bags, contain no extra sodium. By contrast, canned beans are quite high in sodium (1/2 cup of canned beans contain about 20% of your daily sodium requirement). If you’re watching your sodium intake level for blood pressure concerns or other health reasons, stick with dry beans. More natural: Canned beans can last several years

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Giveaway: Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne Simpson

the grocery budget toolbox image

It’s finally giveaway time!!


For all of our married lives, we’ve lived on two part-time salaries. We have learned to live wisely, making the most of our income and learning to live without certain things.


I have had a passion for learning to make things from scratch and eating healthier. This has also helped save money on groceries. I have enjoyed reading others blogs and soaking up as much about my newest passions that I can. That’s why I was so excited to hear that Anne from Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy was going to be writing an ebook on a grocery budget. She has a wealth of knowledge on this subject and has gathered great resources for this ebook.  Anne teaches you what to prioritize and gives a lot of information on finding affordable healthy food!!


She gave me a copy her book

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Menu Plan Monday & Once a Month Shopping Cost Breakdown

grocery shopping

We did it!!

For the month of May we took on a “once a month grocery shopping budget plan”. Here’s what it looked like:

First week: Spent $121.22 ($30 at CostCo and the rest at Checkers/Aldi)

Second week: Spent just under $25 (bought mostly produce)

Third week: Spent $22 (bought mostly produce)

Fourth week (+ the 4 last days of May) : Spent $31.44


What we drove to the grocery store:



What we spend our money on: Week one: April 30th – May 6th

CostCo trip

$6.75 for 25 pounds flour $4.35 for 32 ounces Cheddar Cheese $1.99 for gallon of skim milk $13.50 for Perrier (my husband is now drinking Perrier instead of Pepsi!) $1.19 for dozen eggs (I took a friend to CostCo and we split 3 dozen eggs) $1.08 for 5 Aluminum pans

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Money Saving Mom's Budget review & Giveaway!!


“Streamline your life and cut the clutter. You might have great intentions, but if you’re drowning in clutter, it won’t work.”


The Money $aving Mom’s Budget

I have been a follower of the blog Money Saving Mom, by Crystal Paine for a little over a year. Her blog was one of the first blogs I started reading. It was after reading Crystal’s blog and others that I first wanted to blog more myself. I have been so inspired by her over this last year.

So it came as no surprise to my husband when I wanted to buy Crystal’s book The Money $aving Mom’s Budget as soon as it came out last January. However, since I’m the type of person that loves to live a full and busy life, I didn’t get very far into reading it. (I tend to put reading last on

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Semi-Extreme Couponing: Baby Step #2

This is part of a Cutting you Grocery Bill Series. So far, I’ve touched on the process to build a weekly menu based on sale prices/coupons, my buy-price listcoupon sourcescoupon lingo, and how to organize your coupons.

Last week, we started with the first baby step – pick one store and get to know their coupon policy. Print it off if you have to. Ask the store manager the questions we talked about earlier.


Creating a List

This week, let’s work on creating the first coupon shopping list. It is important to keep in mind that this list will be little more than a practice list intended to get our feet wet.

It’s okay if you haven’t built up a good coupon stock pile yet! There are plenty of printable coupons to chose from as well!


1. Pick a coupon resource website.

They are

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Semi-Extreme Couponing: Baby Step #1

Your Assignment:

- Pick ONE store you want to start using coupons at and get to know your store’s coupon policy like the back of your hand.

Many stores have a written policy on their website (I have links to several at the bottom of this page), but if you can’t find one, call the […] […]

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Organizing your coupons!


This is part of my Cutting your Grocery Bill series. After my rant at being sometimes frustrated with coupons, I decided to write this series. So far, I’ve touched on:

- the process to build a weekly menu based on sale prices/coupons

- my buy-price list (knowing how much to pay for item(s) and paying […] […]

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Couponing 101: Lingo

Last time in my Cutting Your Grocery Bill series, I talked about where to get coupons. Starting in November, I will be regularly posting about printable coupons again every Thursday and some Sundays. Onto Week Two: Coupon Lingo and a Few Tips & Tricks As coupon inserts in the newspaper are one of the main sources for coupons, I wanted to go over abbreviations for these categories.

Sunday Newspaper abbreviations:

GM = General Mills PG = Procter & Gamble RP = Red Plum SS = SmartSource

*Date for insert is typically in very small print on the spine of the insert.


CVS and Walgreens lingo:

ECB = Extra Care Bucks – CVS in-store credit/money  RR = Register Reward – Walgreens in-store credit/money IVC = Instant Value Coupon – found in the monthly Walgreens Easy Saver booklet (you can find those in store)


Other Money Saving terms:

B1G1 or BOGO

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Couponing 101: Beginnings

Three weeks ago I started this new series with 5 tips on How to Cut your Grocery Bill. I also showed you this awesome app I found that makes menu planning and grocery list making so much easier!! Last week we talked about knowing your local sale prices.

This week, I wanted to address coupons. Few disclaimers:

– I am no coupon expert. Though I am new to couponing, that means the learning process is still fresh to me, so I can share baby steps to couponing. – I don’t have all the answers or the perfect system, but I can show you what I’ve learned works for me and refer you to some “coupon experts.”

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