stretchingcents

Really Big Salads

Tonights dinner is straight out of a Seinfeld episode (anyone know what I’m talking about)   I had a bunch of leftover veggies from a veggie tray I made this weekend and  a little ham (not quite enough for a sandwich) so it only took about 5 mins to assemble some REALLY BIG SALADS.  I think we had more toppings than greens but that’s the best way to eat a salad in my opinion!  I don’t really have a recipe for this but here is what we used in our salads:

  • Bagged Salad
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Carrrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Motzerela Cheese
  • Homemade Croutons (I’ll post a recipe later)
  • Hard Boiled Eggs

I don’t have a cost for this meal since I was using mainly leftovers.  I would guess it was really cheap though!

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February’s Menu

Just like last month, I have 11 meals I will be cooking on repeat.  I’ve kept a few from last month, but added a few just for something different.  Last month I based my plan around the cheapest and easiest meals I knew how to cook.  This month I planned around what items I already have stocked up.  I went shopping Sunday for everything I would need except fresh fruit and veggies and it cost just under $60!!  Here’s the list:

Dinner:

  1. Really Big Salads
  2. Spaghetti Casserole with salad
  3. Fried Deer, French Fries, and Broccoli
  4. Chicken Fettuccine
  5. Breakfast for Dinner
  6. Connie’s tater tot casserole
  7. Pot pies and Rice
  8. Chili with cornbread
  9. Ramen Stir Fry
  10. Potato Soup
  11. Pizza

Lunches:

  1. Frozen pizza
  2. Chicken Nuggets
  3. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
  4. Leftovers

Stay tuned for recipes!

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Results of January’s cooking plan for a month…

Last month I tried something new where I would plan my meals for an entire month and see if it saved my any time or money.  I realized a few days in I never planned anything for lunch on the weekends, so for February I’ll add that into my plan.  We had a few splurges such out eating out at O’Charlies one night, and buying a dozen cupcakes from The Cupcake Company, but every month there is always some sort of splurge.  Anyway….did I save time or money? Yes!  I loved having a plan when I got home from work.  Most of my meals were done in under 30 minutes which was amazing!  We also ended up about $60 under budget for food this month.  I’ve decided I will be keeping this up!

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Free Ragu at CVS

After a few weeks of not seeing any great deal I had to have at CVS…this week I’m pretty impressed with my buy!  Here’s what I got:

  • 6 jars of Ragu normally $2.19 but on sale for 3/$5 or $1.67 a jar.  They also have a promotion where if you buy $10 of select products you get $5.00 off next purchase.  I also used 3  $1/2 coupons from the 1/29 Red Plum.
  • 3 American Greeting cards at $0.99 each plus $3.00 off next purchase.  I had a coupon for B1G1 free but I left it at home.  If you printed one a few weeks ago when I posted…be sure to use it!
  • 1 Cadburry egg for $0.87 and $0.87 off next purchase
  • I also used at 25% off purchase coupon that printed at the red box when you walk in the store.  It says on my receipt it only saved me $0.75 which I’m pretty sure it wrong but I didn’t feel like asking about it.

Total before coupons and sale: $17.10

Total after coupons: $10.11

Then I used $3.00 in ECBs from a previous week, and paid with my CVS cash card from a few weeks ago

Grand Final: I paid nothing and earned $9.87 in ECBs for my next purchase 🙂  (and I still have about $3.00 on my CVS cash card)

*Note- if you don’t have any ECBs from previous weeks, you will end up paying about $11.00 and earning $9.87 in ECBs.  This mean you will basically pay $0.20 per jar of Ragu if you also buy the egg and cards!

 

**If you go to the CVS off port republic, there was only 1 Ragu left after me.  The CVS’s in harrisonburg get new stuff in Tuesday nights, so plan to go either late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday.  If they are out be sure to get a raincheck!!

 

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Cheap Diapers at Target! Get this coupon fast!

It looks like this is a good week for diapers at Target!  They are running a deal where if you buy 2 big boxes of Pampers or Huggies you get a $15 target gift card back.  Combine that with 2 $3.00 coupons from the 1/08 Walmart coupon insert, and 2 $5.00 coupons from Target (click on the “bodega” banner at top) and you should have a pretty good deal.  I would print the target coupon fast before they are all gone.  I think the total will be:

29.99 a box, so 2 for 59.89

– 2 $3.00 coupons

– 2 $5.00 coupons

– $15 gift card

= $28.98 for 2 big boxes or 14.49 each!  I’m almost 100% sure this is cheaper than any store brand!

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Almost like Lakeside Cheesy bread

Last week Zack and I ate on campus at Lakeside.  When I was at JMU I thin all my dining money went to lakeside because of their awesome Cheesy Bread.  I was so happy to find it hasn’t changed in over 5 years!! This week we decided to try and make our own cheesy bread and came pretty close.  I think my crust was better, but theirs was cheesier (a very easy fix!)

I followed my pizza crust recipe.  While the crust was baking for about 5 minutes, I pressed 2 cloves of garlic into a microwave dish with 2 tbs of butter.  I microwaved the garlic butter in 20 second increments until it was all melted.  When crust was just getting crusty on top, I took it out of the oven and poured the butter mixture on top.  I then topped it was mozzarella cheese (maybe 2-3 handfuls).  Next time I think I’ll add more cheese!  I also sprinkled a little oregano, basil and pepper on top.  I put it back in the oven until the cheese was bubbly and just starting to brown.

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Weekend Coupon Preview 1/29

This week I actually bought 4 papers.  I’m thinking I’ll be able to get some free Mars candy and CVS as Valentines gets closer, and maybe some free toothpaste and Cascade.  Here’s the link so you can see what inserts should be in the paper this week.

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Another free card from tiny prints

There is another chance to get a free valentines card from Tiny Prints.  The offer is good through January 25th, and use coupon code TPGFREE17A.  Combine it with the code freeship12 to get free shipping too!

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Salmon and Spinach Pasta

The only good thing about Zack being out of town for a couple days is that I can eat salmon.  When we were first married I made a REALLY awful salmon dish and now he won’t eat any salmon out of a can thing I make.  I can’t remember exactly what I made, but it was sort of a salmon spaghetti.  So far it has been the only dinner I’ve made that he just couldn’t eat.  Anyway- I have gotten better at cooking with salmon and tonight I made my favorite dinner for when Zack is away.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can salmon
  • about 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbs butter
  • egg noodles
  • about a 1/4 onion finely chopped
  • oregano
  • chicken bouillon
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • salt
  • Parmesan cheese

To Make:

  1. Boil water
  2. Add noodles and set timer for 7 minutes
  3. Chop onion
  4. Add spinach when timer has 5 minutes left
  5. Put onions in a small skillet with 1/2 tbs butter, a little olive oil, a few shakes of pepper, and a few shakes of garlic salt on med-high heat
  6. When onion are starting to turn clear (about 1 minute) add entire can of salmon (be sure to drain out the liquid first)
  7. When timer goes off, drain noodles and spinach
  8. Add rest of butter, onion, salmon, and about 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon and 1/2 tsp oregano to pot.
  9. Mix until butter is melted.
  10. Add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese till it tastes good!

The cost: I don’t have any real idea.  My sister gave me the salmon awhile ago because she had more than she could eat.  The noodles might have been a dollar, and maybe $0.50 on spinach?

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Applesauce Brownies

What do you do when you really want brownies but have no eggs?? Google until you find a solution!

About a year and a half ago we made some really bad applesauce….it was the perfect consistency but had absolutely no flavor!  Since we spend an entire day working on it, I couldn’t just throw it all out, and I had heard you could use it in baking.  Yesterday I finally found a way to use it!  I substituted the applesauce in for the eggs in a regular brownie mix and it turned out perfect!  I can’t taste any difference!  They are a little on the crumbly side, but that is probably my fault since I used too big of a pan and they came out really thin.

To substitute: Use 1/4 c applesauce and 1 tsp baking powder for each egg

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