Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2 food tricks; grocery savings

March 13, 2013

My hubby packed his lunch today. The leftover lasagna temptation worked! My daughter took the other lasagna piece and the leftover red potatoes for her lunch. My son took leftover pasta, yogurt, and string cheese. There really wasn't any other leftovers for me to choose from. I really didn't feel like it, but I just had a lemon pepper chicken sandwich with guacamole. I figured that I should use up some bread seeing as I was heading to the commissary.

My pre-challenge commissary weekly average was $175. Today I spent $11.72 on toiletries and cleaners. I used to buy bounce dryer sheets. Last time that I had to buy more I did a little comparison shopping. I tried the brand sun instead. Well, that box is just about gone and guess what? I didn't notice a difference. I needed to buy more today and I got the prices to show you the difference. I looked at a box of bounce with 40 sheets. It costed $2.18. I looked at a box of sun with 100 sheets and it costed $1.75. At first glance, you may think oh, it is only saving 43 cents. Yes, 43 cents today. However, you then still have 60 more sheets at home. Totally worth giving it a try!

I spent $86.22 on food today. I have resisted buying jasmine rice for weeks seeing as I still have four other types of rice. I couldn't resist any longer and put it on the list this week. But those 5 pounds will last awhile. I also bought a few items this week that we didn't really need yet but my coupons were expiring today so I rather buy them this week at a discount than full price next week. I was going to buy 4 oranges. I remembered reading that it is cheaper to buy fruit by the bag instead of from the loose bins. I checked it out today. Sure enough. I could buy 4 loose oranges and pay 59 cents each totaling 2.36 or I could buy a bag of 10 oranges for $2.97. I went with the bag and it was like getting 6 more oranges for 61 cents! Another way I saved was with chicken. I was going to buy some sort of chicken. I compared packages and found that I could get a pack of thighs (with skin on) for $1.67. We don't like the skin but it can easily be cut off. The past few weeks my son has become obsessed with cinnamon toast crunch cereal. I only buy him the small box each week and when it runs out, it runs out. I noticed today that malt o meal makes a bag of their comparison of cinnamon toast crunch. Hmmmm. It just so happens that my son left about half a cup of cereal in the bottom of the box this morning. Oh yes! I am going to dump the malt o meal version into the brand name box and see if he notices the difference. I pay $3.00 for the name brand box with 12 ounces. I can get the malt o meal version for $4.49 for 28 ounces (more than double the brand name box). I will set aside the other half of the bag and refill his box again next week so I won't have to buy cereal next week. Be flexible at the deli. I wanted ham last week but the lemon pepper chicken was on sale so I went with the chicken. This week ham was on sale. Yay! Instead of $8.69 per pound it was $5.99. Does anyone know if lunch meat freezes well? I'm wondering if I can buy extra on sale weeks and then freeze it. One other deal on food items. I needed olive oil. We normally buy filippo berio oil for $3.29. However, pompeian oil was only $2.49 (plus I had $1 coupon making it $1.49). It is so easy to switch brands on items like that because you don't even notice the difference. I spent $2.14 on impulse items. I had a coupon so that I would get a package of frosting creations for free (actually it costed 68 cents but the coupon was for $1 so they paid me to take it) so my impulse item was 59 cents for a pouch of cupcake mix. I also bought something that I never do. There was koolaid in the plastic bottles (in a six pack) on sale for 85 cents plus there was $1 coupon if you bought three. I bought three and paid $1.55 for 18 drinks for the kids. I usually get them capri sun pouches for their lunches so I compared and honestly, the capri suns really aren't much healthier. The kids will be excited for a fun new drink. Nice incentive for them to pack lunches too!

I spent $10.16 on gossip magazines. After adding in their surcharge and taking out my coupons, I spent $108.49 out of pocket. That is a savings of $66.51. Our pre-challenge restaurant average was $80 a week. This week we only went to our friends opening of their restaurant and spent $37.42, which is a savings of $42.58. The kids saved $10 by packing lunches. Our total savings for this week is $119.09. Our grand total savings is $2,563.84 in 147 days!

My son has wrestling tonight so I needed a quick meal. Remember how I froze the leftover mini meatloaves? Well, tonight is the night to use them up. I also have several containers of lasagna sauce in the freezer. I decided on making spaghetti tonight with the sauce and just chopping up the meatloaves and using that in the sauce versus browning up a pound of beef. Shhhhh. I bet they won't even notice the difference. The container of lasagna sauce was small so I also added a pint of home canned spaghetti sauce. I let it simmer for awhile so all the flavors would blend and hopefully mask the meatloaf. I steamed some asparagus as a quick side. Remember the delicious garlic butter sauce for our baby red potatoes? I bought a loaf of italian bread from the half price bin today. We made our own garlic bread with the same garlic butter sauce (parsley, salt, pepper, minced garlic, butter). Yum! Our asparagus also took a little dip in the garlic butter sauce.

So what was the verdict with today's experiments? My son had a bowl of his "cinnamon toast crunch" after school. Little did he know he was eating the off brand. I could barely contain my excitement (I had to turn away) when he said "this is the best cereal in the world and I will never eat another kind". Ha!!! My daughter helped me get the garlic bread ready and I asked her to taste the sauce. She said "mmmmm those are really good meatballs. Next time put more meatballs". Ha!!! Today is awesome. My hubby said dinner was good and then I spilled the beans about the meatballs. I told them they were different tonight and to guess what they were. My hubby guessed meatloaf. I guess they didn't disguise themselves all the way, but enough for everyone to like it!


  1. Could you perhaps choose your favorite gossip magazine and subscribe to it, then just flip through the others in the checkout line? Not to mention the free celebrity gossip websites out there?

  2. Funny you mention the gossip magazines. I was thinking today as I calculated. Man, $40 a month on magazines. Nuts. However, I really can't imagine not having them. I like taking the paper editions with me so I don't think just using the websites would work for me. I should check into subscription prices though.