Publix Trip 2/4/11

I normally shop on Wednesdays, when the sales start. But for some reason, I just couldnt bring my self to go to the grocery store when it was 74 degrees out again! So instead, we went for a bike ride, and Josh met some new friends. Friday rolls around, and its cold and raining. Perfect time to either sleep, or shop.

Usually Publix is pretty good about ringing up the orders. But for some reason, today, my total came to $30 uugh! I usually plan my shopping trips, so that I know exactly what I am purchasing and estimated total, but I think the rain just made me not want to do much of anything. Josh was being especially good today, so instead of making him continue to sit in the cart, I paid it and headed to the car to look over the receipt. Well, good thing I did, because I was over charged $29!!! Thankfully, they fixed it, after realizing that they charged twice for all of the mac and cheese, and gave me a refund. So, after that was corrected, my oop for today’s trip was $3.13. And thats more like what I normally spend.

So here is what was in my shopping cart:

Publix Shopping Trip 2.6.11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coupons should not expire…

Today was 74 degrees! While the high in WV was barely 35, I cant help be thankful for the the warm days ahead. I have never seen so many kids out in the neighborhood, as if they were being held captive all winter long. We had a blast. My husband and I washed the car, while Josh played with the neighborhood kids. He made some new friends, and after the sun had gone down, I was reminded that it is still winter and spring is still 49 days away as I felt that familiar winter cold air. He was so excited, and when we came inside told me that we should play again tomorrow. Guess what the forecast is for tomorrow? Yup. Rain. For the next five days!

Well its the end of the month anyway, which for me means time to clean out the coupons. Usually on the last day of the month or the first of the month, however you look at it, I go through my binder and clean out the expired coupons. I think coupons should not expire. When I first started couponing it agonized me to get rid of good coupons. It still bothers me, but I just keep reminding me that there will be more coupons for the same items, and hopefully next go round they will be a higher value and will have a sale within the coupon expiration.

I have a duplex binder I purchased at staples and it works great for my needs. It still needs some tweaking, but it is evolving with me and our family’s needs. I keep the clipped coupons in baseball holders on one side, and whole inserts on the other, three hole punched (which is where the tweaking is needed). Instead of clipping ALL the coupons, like I used to, I will keep the inserts whole for a period of three months, and at the end of the month, I will clip the oldest month. This way, its much easier to find the coupons when preparing for a trip, and I am not stuck clipping all those coupons every week.

I keep thinking though, if coupons didn’t expire, then I wouldn’t have to clip!

Glass gnomes?

No, I am not talking about the silly knicknack garden gnomes. I am talking about glasses. For drinking.

Maybe its just me, but I like to have complete sets of things. Not odd, mismatched, jumbled together dishes (except for coffee cups love variety). Or missing dishes.  At one point just a year and a half ago, I had 18 glasses in a matching set. I realized today as I was putting the dishes away, that most of the glasses are missing. I know where three went, they were broken. Two, my toddler dropped so we switched him back to plastic cups, and one I dropped. But, that still leaves 11 MIA. Where did they go?

I think the culprit is glass gnomes!

They also like taking my spoons….

Publix Trip 1/26

I like to multi-task. I dont like clipping coupons. And my family loves Netflix. Im not a big tv fan, but I do like to watch movies. So, while me, my hubby and little guy watch a flix on tuesdays nights, I grab my computer and print print print and clip clip clip. It takes longer this way, especially when we are watching an interesting movie. But, I feel less like I have wasted time.  But isnt watching movies sort of wasting time? Oh. yeah.

But saving money doesnt waste time! Which is why I Love Publix! I have worked out a shopping list for the start of the new ad tomorrow.  I think getting these things for cheap is worth an hour or so watching a movie! Here is what I am planning on getting. Hopefully everything will be in stock!

—We didnt shop till after lunch, so that may have contributed to somethings I originally planned on purchasing being out of stock, and since it was after lunch we were in a bit of a hurry. Which is why I didn’t have time to take pics either. Wednesdays are busy days! But I think I still got a good deal, and got some some staples to donate to our church’s food pantry.

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TEXAS! Here we come!

I think I cannot controll my excitement! My husband came home and askes my son if he has ever been to San Antonio, TX. Well, Josh is 4 so of course he hasn’t. I ask him are YOU going to Texas? He says, no, we all are! His company is sending him to San Antonio for a whole month of training! I am so psyched! Up until two years ago, South Carolina was the furthest south that I had ever been. Well for me Texas could just be the other side of the world! And I just have ten days to prepare!!! The homeschool mom in me is going nuts with all the opportunity that awaits! I think we will change our unit study next month!

I cannot wait to see what all the big state of Texas has to offer us! Look out, here we come!

 

Update:

So, looks like we are not going in February. Big Bummer. Not everyone was ready so they have postponed. But the boss did ask who had their passports! So who knows! I will be happy if we get to go somewhere! Just hope it really happens.  Deo volente!

 

Make it for less: Refried Beans

If you know me well, you know I am all for saving money. But I am also growing aware of what is IN our food. We also dont consume pork products. So about a year ago, I was looking for canned refried bean for Burritos, and the store brand I normally buy was out of stock (pre-couponing era). So I looked for the name brand and after reading the ingredients Lard (which is actually pig fat) decided to try and make my own.

I am glad I did.

This recipe is much cheaper (unless you are couponing, in which most cases the canned stuff is free), and to me, since I know what is going in it, a bit healthier. Or maybe thats just my OCD mind at work!

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Not Refried Beans

1 1/2 cup dry pinto beans

2 tbsp Taco Seasoning (or more to taste)

6 cups water

Salt, to taste

Rinse beans in collander and remove any dirt or debris.

Soak Beans, two options

Overnight Soak:In a large pot add 6 cups water. Soak in large pot 6-8 hours, or overnight. Drain soak water and rinse beans.

or

Quick Soak: In a large pot add 6 cups water and beans. Bring to rapid boil, then boil for two minutes. Let beans soak in water for one hour. Drain soak water and rinse beans.

To cook beans:

In a large pot add soaked beans and 6 cups water. Bring to simmer (not boil) and simmer for 1-2 hours to desired tenderness. (for almost refried beans I like mine pretty tender)

Or in a pressure cooker, follow manufactures instructions on how to use your pressure cooker for safety.  (Usually takes less than 15 minutes)

Here is a great link for information on cooking beans

Once beans are cooked, drain beans, reserving some of the liquid. In a Kitchen-Aid mixer (loving mine!) places beans, 1/4 cup reserved bean liquid, salt and 2 tbsp taco seasoning in the bowl. Using paddle attachment, mix on a low speed, adding more liquid as needed to achieve desired thickness. Mix for 2-3 minutes until most of the beans are mashed.

If you do not have a stand mixer, go buy one! You will love it! If all else fails, places beans, seasoning, salt and liquid in a large bowl and mash/mix with a fork. A pastry blender works well too.

This recipe makes a little over one 15 oz can of refried beans. Most recipes for refried beans will at this step have you fry them in a pan with oil, but after trying both ways, I can tell no taste difference in the fried beans and the non fried. So save the oil for something else and have a healthier meal.

OMAC for small freezers

Want to try OMAC? Dont have a deep freezer? You can do it!

There’s no need running out and buying a deep freezer, just another applicance to add to the rising electric bill, even though I know my hubby would love to have one! Depending on what your current stock in your freezer is like, you should be able to fit everything just nicely.

First things first. As mentioned on many websites and book on OMAC, prep is key to making sure your cooking day runs smoothly. That should include cleaning out your fridge and freezer. Organize your freezer items by type, such as stack boxes together, place bags of veggies or ziplock bags on the same shelf. I prefer to keep my raw meats on the bottom (im just weird like that I worry about dripping meat juice even though its frozen). Access what is old and needs to be tossed or composted, and evaluate how much room you have left over. It may be that you only have enough room for a week worth of meals. But a weeks worth of not cooking and enjoying more time with family is good enough for me!

Meal Planning Central

Here you will find all about my meal planning, and what we are having for dinner

I finally got a Kitchen-Aid!

I finally got a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer!

Or mixer machine as little J calls it. My husband had been wanting to get me one of these for a long time. Being that he is a man and men like to have the most powerful tools, he got me the Kitchen-Aid Professional 600. This baby is 6 qts, 575 hp, and can handle up to 14 cups of flour!   Now what in the world am I going to make that calls for 14 cups of flour?? Well, I think in the years to come I will appreciate fully its raw power to handle that all. We got a sweet deal on black friday online so I am glad we waited, and that he takes his time to do the research.

So now what do I do with it? Seeing that it cost more than twice my weekly grocery budget, I am feeling the need to use it for EVERYTHING to sort of justify its cost (golly am I really that bad that I have a justify a gift? sheesh). The first month I came up with a few things this mixer is great for making my life easier. Like pulling chicken, or pie making. I think the mixer needs its own page here. I am going to come up with 101 useful and time saving things the mixer is great for and post them here. Obviously, as the mixer comes with a cookbook, there are already some ideas there like basics, making bread, making cookies etc. I am going to try to look out side the box and get creative with this gal. Lets see just what she can do!

  1. Making frosting (main reason I wanted one of these!)
  2. Make eggnog
  3. Pulling chicken (instead of having to shred it with forks, use the paddle and mix on low)
  4. Mashing beans for homemade refried beans (use paddle and mix till desired consistency)
  5. Mixing pie crust (use paddle just don’t over mix) instead of using fork or pastry blender
  6. Make coolwhip/dream whip
  7. Look nice in my kitchen (okay so that’s not really useful but it should be here because it DOES look great sitting there!)
  8. Homeschool Projects: Dinosaur Eggs
  9. Another Homeschool Project: Volcano

I feel the need to bake something!

More to come…..

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Its really easier than you think. And tastes better than frozen, of course all homemade tastes better IMO. My mother in law and husband taught me the basic ingredients years ago, and I just added a homemade touch.

For the crust you can use store bought, OR you can try this super dooper easy pie recipe. Trust me, once you see how easy it is to make pie crust you will never go back to frozen. The taste is flaky and rich, with no additives or preservatives… bonus! I found this recipe when searching for a recipe for homemade poptarts at bakememore using Peabodys pie crust recipe. I have added some easy instructions to make this simple for you.

I will add photos next month when I make these again for OMAC cooking.

Heres the recipe:

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