Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday!

Spring has finally sprung here in the great state of Texas! The parks are full of people, dogs, activity and fun! I love watching the colors transform the surroundings...time to get to my flower garden!!!  But first.... It's Monday....time to set the week's menu and head to the grocery store. So here we go!

MONDAY:  Boy's Night Out and Girl's Night Out...It's not very often that we are able to do this, but everybody's schedules worked out so that our 2 sons could go out with Dad and our "not so little anymore" daughter and Mom are having dinner out together. Relationships are important! Don't forget to make special times together. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, just make time...

TUESDAY: Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken in Peanut Sauce     Mixed veggies and Salad                                    
WEDNESDAY:  Leftover Extravaganza (or as my kids say..."whatever you want")

THURSDAY:  Beefy Tortilla Casserole (one of my favorite spices is Cumin and this recipe is easy and tasty!)

FRIDAY: Hamburger Helper!  My husband and I have a dinner invitation, so I keep boxes of Hamburger Helper for my kids on hand because they are often on sale.(Hamburger Helper, not my kids!) The kids love it and are old enough to cook it up themselves, no problem!

SATURDAY: BarBQ Chicken on the grill - Kraft BBQ sauce is on sale at Albertsons this week! You pay just .25 cents each with coupons that are on or near the product at the store! No clipping necessary!
Pasta and Alfredo sauce - Last week I bought "Classico Four Cheese Alfredo" sauce that was on sale. Coupons made it a fantastic deal! So we are going to try it out with some Penne Pasta! And...Green Beans
SUNDAY: Resurrection Sunday! Have a Blessed Day!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to TRULY get more for your Money!!

This is a great time of year and I love the changing seasons (although in Texas where I live, if you didn't like the weather today, just wait a minute, it's fixin' to change!)...I also love great deals!

There are many things that you may not be aware of that are great money savers you receive as a couponer. Did you know that you can often purchase an item that actually costs less than the discount you get for the coupon?

Let me explain...
For instance, my store had "Weber Grill Marinade" on sale for $.89 each. I also purchased a package of pork chop steaks on special at $1.00/lb. (I used the Peppercorn marinade and put them on the grill....they were fabulous!) Anyway, back to the marinade. I had a coupon for $.50 which my store doubles. So they took $1.00 off at the register for my $.89 product. I bought 10 packages of the marinade, so I actually made $1.30 on that purchase!  

...That went to help pay for the jar of pickles that my son dropped on the garage floor...oh well, we can't be perfect!

I saved over $93.00 this week at the grocery store and spent $72.00 for my family of 5! And let me tell you, my teenagers can eat like nobody's business!!

Kroger is still having their awesome "March to Savings" special where you get $4 back when you purchase 8 items from selected merchandise. There's lots to choose from and coupons to match for SUPER savings!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Easy Menu Week!

I really  have been trying to get my menu plan posted earlier....Maybe next Monday I'll do better! :) Hope you enjoy these recipes! I planned a pretty easy menu for the week...enjoy!

Monday: Beef Stew - Now I must admit, I doctor this recipe a bit. I added a bit of spice with some Monterrey Steak spicy seasoning and a bit of Worcestershire sauce. Then I thickened the broth a tad by mixing a couple of TBS flour with water and adding it before serving.
Rotisserie Chicken on sale at the Albertson's deli. With veggies and biscuits

Loaded Baked Potatoes  - Adding toppings to everyones satisfaction!

Chicken Salad  Using left-over Rotisserie Chicken, boiled eggs, fresh veggies and the myriad of accumulated dressings we've gotten for free by COUPON SHOPPING!! And of course, home-made croutons (see post from Feb. 24th)

Pizza Hut - Having a special deal - $10 for any pizza, any toppings, any size!!

Saturday: Chicken Panini with Roasted Bell Pepper (I've used Rotisserie Chicken & left over Fajita Chicken and both are great!) I don't have a Panini Press, so I put the sandwiches in my electric skillet, put another pan on top with canned goods to weight it down and to press. Works awesome!

Sunday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup

Friday, March 19, 2010

Newspaper Coupons Not Working For You?

I would like to address a question from one of the Coupon Detective Subscribers:

QUESTION: Often, the coupons I see in our local newspaper are for items I wouldn't consider purchasing. Are there other places to search for coupons?

First let me say that I used to say the same thing! But when I became an avid coupon shopper I came to realize all that I had been missing. Yes, there are lots of coupons that I don't use, but the savings I receive from the ones I do use far outweigh the ones that I don't. And I now use so many of the coupons that I never thought I would ever use.

Sometimes I will try a product I've never used just because it's free or really cheap. I either find a great product that I'll continue to purchase, or an item my family really doesn't like. Any extras of that item usually get taken to our local charity. But I also found there are many products we do use on a regular basis. For example: vegetables, cheese, lunchmeat, frozen foods, toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, the list goes on and on.

Every week there are different coupons and I continue to find great products.

As far as other places to find coupons, you can go online and print coupons as well. (Most people know that by now....)

One really good site is  You just select the coupons you want to print. Check with your local grocer first to make sure they accept coupons printed from the internet. Some stores are a little picky. You may need to keep the coupon on the page you printed it on so that the web address is shown at the bottom of the page.  However, most stores are getting fairly friendly to the online coupon shopper.

When printing online you will only be able to print a dedicated number of times per coupon (usually 2). But you can often go to another site and find other coupons you can print for that product as well. Don't sell yourself short..

Have Fun Surfing the Web!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Come On Spring! I'm Ready To Heat Up the Grill!!

This weekend has been the most beautiful weather here in the great state of Texas! Makes me want to get the grill primed for cookin'! Enjoy these recipes...

Monday: Parmesan Crusted Baked Chicken -

Tuesday: Baked Talapia - (No recipe) This is simple and tasty. I spread "Can't Believe It's Not Butter" on each fillet and sprinkle Red Pepper on top (generously for my husband,  just a few for my daughter, and inbetween for the rest of the family) Then Bake at 350 in the oven until the fillets are done.
Serving with Veggies and Salad

Wednesday: Leftover Extravaganza!

Thursday: Sweet 'n Spicy Chicken  - Yum!!

Friday: Heat up the grill!! Burgers are on the menu to celebrate this spring-like weather!!

Saturday: Fajitas! I buy the pre-marinated Beef and Chicken Fajita Skirt Steak. There's nothing like it! Simple to throw in my electric skillet or on the grill. Then slice in thin strips and prepare whatever fixins' you like with your fajitas and you have a smash hit!!

Sunday: Red Chicken and Black Beans over Rice 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Prices Rise....Couponers Don't Panic!

If you have watched the news at all lately, you've probably seen reports on the rising grocery prices and ways to help save. First of all let me just say, "Don't panic!" And second, "Don't listen to everything you hear from the media."

My local news station did a report where they price matched 4 different stores. (Target, Kroger, Tom Thumb, and WalMart) They bought identical items at each store and found that Target and WalMart beat out Kroger and Tom Thumb, with Target slightly cheaper than WalMart.

If they had bought different products or even the same products at a different time, their findings would have been been different as well. For the most part however, this is probably fairly accurate if you head into your grocery shopping without a game plan.

However, the smart shopper who wants to maximize their savings will take some time to organize and head to the store with information and strategy. Usually, it's actually the more "expensive" stores that give you the greatest value when you buy at their sale price and also use a coupon. A lot of these stores will also double or triple coupons which give you even more savings.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu Planning Using The Deals You Already Have!

I want to take just a minute to share how I plan my menus. Since I've been coupon and deal shopping for several years now, I do things a little differently than when I first started out. But if you are just starting to coupon shop, you still have options, it will just take you a bit to have a stockpile of inventory.

First of all, I know what is available in my pantry, freezer and 'fridge from deals I've gotten in past weeks. So when I'm looking at my recipes, those are the ingredients I'm keeping an eye out for.

Then, I also know the great deals I will be getting when I grocery shop this week. So I add those to my scope as I'm perusing. If I find a recipe with an ingredient I don't happen to have on hand, I either put it on hold for another week or add it to my shopping list. But I don't stop there! I check to see if I have a coupon for that particular item either in my stash or online. It's very rare that I purchase anything that I don't have a coupon for or it is at least on sale. Check out the Academy if you don't have a system!

So, here is my menu for this week~
Monday -

w/ Fresh Tossed Salad

Salmon Croquettes - This one is a blast from the past! My mom used to make these when I was a kid. My sister and I would put syrup on ours! Some people think that sounds gross! But don't knock it 'til you try it! LOL! We'll also have Veggies and Brown Rice with this.

Spaghetti!  My daughter's favorite. I have to indulge her on occasion. Plus, Prego spaghetti sauce was on special last week, so there you have it!

Friday -
Leftover Extravaganza!

Chicken Pot Pie - You can change this up to your families liking in so many different ways! Or use leftover veggies before they go to waste.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup!

Let us know if you try any of these recipes and what you think. Or if you have a great recipe to share, that would be great too.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or sage advice of your own!