Tag Archives: Grocery store

Our Little Family.

21 Nov

It’s not often that the three of us go out together. If we are all home then usually one person stays with Emma and the other will run errands or one of us will take Emma out while the other stays home. Since a majority of the time Brian and I are both working there isn’t much time that we have together that overlaps and when we do we like to spend it together being lazy and enjoying each other’s company.

My schedule this year has picked up and we’ve been working a majority of four days a week instead of three – which I am not complaining about all! I love providing child care and watching the girls play together. Brian’s schedule is a normal Monday – Friday schedule but he has most Tuesdays off.

Almost every Tuesday I dedicate to running errands, getting groceries, and getting ready for the next week. I like to do all those things during the week because it’s so crowded on the weekends so it’s much more relaxing to go while everyone else is busy. Saturday’s and Sunday’s are when I get to work in the studio or we have family events. It’s a rare occasion around here when we don’t have at least one thing to do on the weekend.

Thanks to thanksgiving break this week and last Tuesday doing 99% of my errands for two weeks – this Tuesday was going to be an easy day. I only had one errand to run and we were all going out as a family together 🙂 Since this doesn’t happen often I like to soak it up and enjoy it!

I spent the morning getting ready, doing my hair and make up (which hardly happens), getting Emma ready, and cleaning up the house so we’d come home to no chores. Once we were all in the car I snapped a picture of Emma:

I think she was pretty excited about going out with both of us. We went to Harris Teeter to pick up rolls for Thanksgiving and a few other things. Watching Brian push her in the cart and chat with her was adorable! I don’t know what it is about men and their children but it makes my heart melt!

After wiping one Harris Teeter out of rolls we realized we needed to make another stop at a different Harris Teeter. Emma found it amusing that we were going to another grocery store!

It wasn’t much but I loved it.

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How I Coupon

9 Oct

Today’s post is going to be about how I coupon. There are so many different ways to coupon and so many different techniques for saving money, so I decided to share mine!

I keep my coupons in a binder that has a billion pockets in the front. It holds coupons that aren’t necessarily for the grocery store but that way all my coupons are together. I have a divider for my grocery store points cards, a section for the coupons I want to use currently, and the notebook pages for my lists of what I need. Behind those are how I sort my coupons – I use sheet protectors to keep everything organized and easy to flip through for searching.

I start out with the latest pile of coupons from the newspaper and my binder. I thumb through the coupon pages and if I find one I like I take the entire page out. If there’s coupons on the back that I like also I dog-ear the page to remind myself when it comes to sorting time! After I’ve gone through and separated out all the coupons I want – I throw away the excess pages.

Once I’m down to my small pile of coupon pages – I sort by expiration date and get them ready to add to my existing coupons. Before I add them in I go through and take out the coupons that have expired or are going to expire before I make it to the grocery store. Once I’ve done that I take the empty sheet protectors and add them to the back so they are ready for new pages.

Then I start adding in the new pages. For the coupon pages that have a coupon I want on one side and nothing good on the other I will put it in the sheet protector with another facing the opposite direction. That way when I’m flipping through I look at both sides and there’s something I want on each side. If I have dog-eared the coupon page because there’s something on either side – I’ll put that page in the sheet with nothing behind it so that when it’s flipped I see the back as well.

Because my mother-in-law is awesome and gives me her coupons that she doesn’t use – sometimes I’ll have multiple sheets. As you can see above on the left hand side I have multiple Domino coupons. I pile them together and put them in one sheet protector. Since they have the same expiration date it keeps me from flipping through pages of the same coupons and if I decide I want more than one I just peek in to see how many pages of that coupon I have!

This works great for things we buy often like crescent rolls and yogurt. It may have an expiration date of 12/31/2012 and I have three different pages of that same coupon and expiration. I’ll use one each time I make a run to the grocery store so I save three times and I’m only hogging up one sheet protector.

Once I get all the coupons in their sheets by their expiration date, I take a look at my two weeks grocery list. This is a list I came up when I was sick of trying to figure out what all ingredients we had and what dinner I could make out of it. I spent a day gathering breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner ideas and wrote down what ingredients I needed for each meal. You can check out my list of meal ideas here!

This list keeps me from standing in front of the refrigerator trying to figure out what we have and it gives me a full two weeks worth of meals for each day. Plenty of options!! Another thing I did to make this as easy as possible, I put what I buy in order of the how I go through the grocery store. This keeps me from having to read the whole list while I’m in the grocery store trying to make sure I didn’t miss anything. (Yes I’m that annoyingly organized about it!)

After I make the list of what we need to restock for the two weeks – I flip through the coupons and see which ones match up with what I’m buying. Sometimes there’s a lot! Sometimes there’s nothing. Each time I find a coupon that’s expiring that we might not necessarily need but I’d like to use the coupon so I’ll buy it. I keep these off to the bottom right so that I know if I’m hitting my budgeted amount I can take those items off my list since we don’t really need them.

After I’ve pulled out the ones I’d like to use on the next trip – I cut them out so it’s not a huge piece of paper and count up all my savings off my coupons. Then I put them in the pocket and all I have to do when I’m ready to go shopping is grab my notebook!

This two weeks I’ll be spending about $80 and with coupons alone I’ll have saved $14. Once I get there and buy everything on my list and use my points card I end up saving another $10-$15 dollars. After my grocery run – I’ll update at the bottom here and let you know how much I saved exactly!

How do you organize your coupons?

If you are interested to see how I prep my food after grocery shopping – I have a post called Preparation Meets Opportunity about it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Making Food Easy

20 Aug

One thing that this family does not have – is a good grasp on food and making our grocery trips the best. Part of my budgeting is couponing. Part of my couponing is not buying things we don’t need. Part of my problem is I don’t know what we really do need..

So to solve this problem I made lists upon lists upon lists: Are you ready for this?

First off – I grocery shop every two weeks or less if possible. So I needed to make 14 different meals for each three meals a day.

Breakfast:

  1. Waffles
  2. Cereal
  3. Pancakes
  4. French Toast
  5. Sausage Biscuits
  6. Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwhiches
  7. Oatmeal
  8. Muffins
  9. Banana Bread
  10. Yogurt & Granola
  11. Cream Cheese Bagel
  12. Oatmeal Smoothie
  13. Breakfast Bar
  14. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Then I separated lunches in two sections. One for the girls and one for me because we obviously eat different lunches!! Brian’s left out of the lunches since he buys lunch each day at work and he has his staples on the weekends that are always in the house.

Girls Lunches:

  1. Pizza
  2. Fish Sticks
  3. Ham & Cheese
  4. Quesidilla
  5. Hot Dog
  6. Raviolis (Mac N Cheese)
  7. Chicken Nuggets
  8. PB & J/Banana
  9. Cheeseburgers
  10. Chicken Noodle Soup
  11. Egg Salad Sandwiches
  12. Meatball Mini Bites
  13. Tortilla Roll Up
  14. Pasta Salad

Lunches for Me! (Note: There are a few main course meals in here because Brian refuses to eat them – so I make them for lunch and just portion myself appropriately)

  1. Chicken Potatoes & Carrots
  2. Chicken Rice & Veggies
  3. Enchiladas
  4. Taco Soup
  5. Beanie Weenies
  6. Rotel Chicken Wraps
  7. PB&J
  8. Ham & Cheese
  9. Pizza
  10. Vegetable Soup
  11. Quesadilla
  12. Egg Salad
  13. Tortilla Roll Up
  14. Leftovers

And finally the easiest to think of meals – but the hardest to get myself to cook them.. Dinners!

  1. Spaghetti
  2. BBQ Chicken & Pasta
  3. Steak Bites & Potatoes
  4. Tacos
  5. Baked Ziti
  6. Teriakyi Chicken Rice & Corn
  7. Lasagna
  8. Breaded Chicken & Pasta
  9. Sloppy Joes
  10. Chicken Cacciatore
  11. Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwhiches
  12. Quesadillas
  13. Chicken Cordon Bleu & Pasta
  14. Easy Chicken

You’ll notice some of these meals are repeats of lunches but since I have two weeks I can do one meal for lunch and the next week for dinner. That way we don’t get sick of it but honestly they could be eaten for lunch or dinner!

Okay!! So now that I have the list of food and my grocery list all set I needed to come up with a prepping plan to make it easier for the rest of the two weeks easier.

Prepping Plan: I hope to do a majority of my cooking on Sunday. The meals that probably won’t get prepped on Sunday will just be made the day I want to eat them and the leftovers saved for another meal 🙂

Fully Prepped Meals:

Chicken Potatoes & Carrots (throw everything in the oven and cook for 30 min)

Chicken Rice & Veggies (will probably be made the day I want to eat it and saved for another day of eating)

Taco Soup (This batch makes enough to last a loong time and is frozen. Will only have to make this every 3-6 months.

Enchiladas

Vegetable Soup (again frozen)

Tortilla Roll Ups (refrigerated and easy peasy)

Muffins

Banana Bread

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – which might be knocked off my list depending on how irritating they are.

Partial meals to prep:

Meat Sauce: (3 meals)

Red Sauce: (2 meals)

Crockpot chicken in broth for meals: 8 meals worth (lunches & dinners) this makes it easy to pull out a cooked piece of chicken, shred it, and cook it in a quesadilla with some cheese and veggies. Same with other meals – just heat up with whatever sauce you use and it’s ready to go. I think I’ll be splitting this up into a weekly event where I crockpot four meals worth and divvy it up for certain meals then repeat on the next Sunday.

Hard Boiled Eggs: 6-8

Along with the meals are of course, fruits, veggies, pretzels, crackers, and a few other snacks/sides! But now that I have a serious list of what we are going to eat for the next two weeks and enough choices to not get sick of things, I am thinking our grocery list will dwindle down without all those unnecessary foods that never get made into meals or go bad before I actually use them.

Let’s see how this goes 😉

On Wednesday I’ll be posting about my prepping that I did all day Sunday 🙂 and I’ll let you know if it was worth all the trouble.

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

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Daily Life: Cooking Queen!

25 Jul

There’s something about me you should probably know. I’m not the best cook ever. Boxed meals with instructions are some of my best meals. I make an awesome Parmesan Chicken & Fettechini Alfredo – but the Alfredo is the only thing I make from scratch. Taco soup is probably my favorite meal – but it’s all cans, seasoning packets, and a pound of hamburger. Enchilada’s – now that’s another story!

I got creative and adventurous when I was in high school. My dad was living in D.C. my senior year, my sister at college, and with my mom working she said she wasn’t cooking meals anymore so it was up to me to make dinner for myself or I was left to PB&J’s and deli sandwiches. Well PB&J’s and deli sandwiches get old after a while and when you’ve grown up having a hot HUGE yummy meal every night – you start craving the madness and get adventurous. I took out one of my mom’s recipe books – ran to the grocery store for a few things – and made the BEST enchilada’s EVER. I didn’t exactly follow the recipe and I think that was my favorite thing about it. I was so proud of me not following directions and making something so amazing!

Luckily I married a cook who was great at making a million different things and since then I haven’t really had to cook anything. Maybe a few lunches and then some box dinners when he needs the night off. This new job of B’s? Yeah he’s never home for dinner. After a week of eating traditional meals that I can make – boxed dinners and a few things I am okay at – I wanted something different. I pulled out some chicken, butter, and breadcrumbs. Defrosted, rolled in butter, dipped in breadcrumbs. In the oven they went! Boiled some pasta, made some tomato sauce with garlic, pepper, and a few other spices. Added LOTS of cheese and watched it melt 😀 (My favorite part of cooking!!) Got some brocoli and cheese out since E needs some veggies and TADA! There you have it!

I sat down assuming it might taste blahh like most of my meals from scratch end up tasting and surprise! It was actually good 😀 and E ate a good amount – minus the broccoli….

Either way – I am super proud of me and I know B would be too 😀

 

Yummm.

Love Always,

J

Daily Life: My Husband Must Think I’m Crazy

10 Jun

Last night B went to bed a little later than usual yet I stayed up like a crazy person! Then once I got in bed I finished reading my book 😛 The part in which he must think I am crazy.. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. Yeap.. four hours of sleep. Usually I only wake up super early when I have a ton on my mind or I was drinking the night before. In this case it was neither. I just woke up with some serious energy and I am ready to start my day! Although there’s not much that I can do at 5:00 a.m. when my sewing machine is broken and the grocery store doesn’t open this earlier (even if it did E doesn’t wake up this early!).

So what do I do when this happens? I sit in the dark living room writing a blog post 😛

Most of the time when I do wake up this early I end up falling asleep on the couch an hour later but today might not be the same. Once B gets out of the shower I am going to hop in and then make my grocery list and cut coupons. I plan on making some sweet deals today!! Let’s hope it works out 😀

If all goes well today I plan on spending the day with E on the deck in her pool and me laying out getting a tan!! We all know I could desperately use one 😉

Hope everyone else is having a relaxing Friday as well!

Love Always,

J

Daily Life: Gift Cards Please?

28 May

Hey everyone! After my past few days being like a rollercoaster I have finally hit inspiration mode! I’m not sure exactly what it is but I can’t stop coming up with brilliant ideas! Well, I hope they are brilliant 😀 Nothing else gets me more motivated than seeing something so thrifty and well made. My next project is going to include recycled gift cards. I have a few of these just lying around in miscellaneous places. I know one of them has like two bucks on it.. but the store is like an hour away and I rarely go! So if you live in Northern Virginia and are weird like me and actually have empty used gift cards send them to me!!

Let’s see how many I can get!

Totally off subject, has anyone been watching extreme couponing!? I dvr’d this show and watched two of them this morning before house shopping. As much as I would love to have a stockpile of food and get as much of it as possible for free I doubt I could ever actually do it. One of the things I noticed with these couponers is that they get packets and packets of the same coupons. Although I have an amazing mother in law who thankfully gives me her coupons I don’t think two packs would cut it. Nor do I have the time to cut a zillion coupons!! I am thinking about at least checking what my grocery store is putting on sale to see if there are coupons to make it free but instead of buying 100 things of toothpaste, I’ll stick to two 😉 Another thing to notice about this show is that they never buy staples like bread, milk, and perishable items. Only one girl so far actually bought stockpiles of frozen foods. She might have been one of my favorites because I just stockpiled my freezer with fruits and veggies. But keep in mind I bought one bag of each from Sam’s and they’ll probably last me 6 months 😀 So when I say stockpile I mean two bags. Haha. Who knows maybe instead of saving thousands of dollars, I’ll just save a hundred or so.

Also completely random: I am crocheting a “sailor” striped inspired scarf. I’m not exactly sure if they are that much in style, but I love them. I’m also going to try to put pockets on them. I saw this scarf that had pockets on the ends so you could put your hands or maybe a cell phone in it. Super cute so lets see if I can pull it off 😉

Lot’s to do! I’ll be busy tomorrow.

Love Always,

J

 

 

Daily Life: Just what I needed!

27 Apr

 Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Today was exactly what this girl needed! A break from the chaos but still a day of getting things done!

I had P today and she came a half hour early and left a half hour later. Her daddy is out-of-town and her mom is trying to “make it work”. Poor thing!! That’s okay with me though, I’ll either get an extra hour pay or get an hour off early soon. Not to mention that little P was in a great mood all day (except for a little mishap at 3:30 where she was cussing me out in baby babbles because she was tired.. whoops! Yeap, I tried everything but nap time then realized – wait a minute, she woke up a half hour earlier during her last nap time.. duh! The child is just needs some shut-eye!)  So overall work was a fairly easy day.

I got a good walk (stroller time) with the girls this morning and walked a lot further than I usually do which means endorphins for this mommy! Yay things that put me in a good mood 😀

I spent some serious me time while both the girls napped and read until I fell asleep too! Shut eye for mommy is a double plus!

And with all that activity going on I still managed to clean the entire kitchen, get the patio cleaned up and cushions put away for the crazy storm coming, and pick up after the little mess makers! Hoorayy!!

I also got a break on dinner. B and I ordered pizza and E apparently thought that was a wonderful choice and devoured it. No cooking, no cleaning, for fixing something for baby! This is just a perfect day for me.

Now I am relaxing on the couch, watching a recorded Property Virgins (I love that show) and enjoying the warm weather and cool rain with my patio door wide open.

Tomorrow is my day off/running errands day and I am excited for that too! We are stopping by JoAnn‘s for some crafty things, Babies R Us to pick up a potty and pull ups for E, heading to Lowe’s to trade in my cushion for the right size, maybe Sam’s to pick up some bulk things, then the grocery store. Hooray for food in the house!! It’ll be nice to have choices again instead of scrambling to find what we have left..

A couple other pluses – B is going golfing this weekend, and next week will be starting practicing tennis for a tournament with the guys in our country club! He hasn’t played in a while but I know he really misses it so it’ll be exciting to see him doing something he loves.

Saturday I might be going to an author signing at One More Page Books for Amy Brecount White who wrote the book Forget-Her-Nots.

There’s a lot to look forward to and maybe even some craftiness!

Hope you have a wonderful week and weekend with your family too!

Love Always,

J

Daily Life: Sunshine I need you in my life!

16 Mar

For the past few days I haven’t been feeling my best. I think this up and down in weather is really giving my sinuses a ride! Other than that I have been up to the usual! Watching three little girls grow, being crafty, and  planning (wish listing) what I want for the patio. Friday my dad is going to be power washing it for me and then we are going to Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Babies R Us to see who has the best prices for miniature fences for kids 😛 That’s right we are putting up a little fence around the patio so E doesn’t go running like wild and disappear 😉 I am also taking a look at a few outside fun things to do like this outdoor table that has a side for water and a side for sand! Super fun!!

As for crafting, I have slowly but surely made every scarf longer except I am still working on one, then it’s back to making new colors. I ordered silver, cream, light brown, dark brown, light purple, dark purple, and a light pink. After I do solids with short rows I am going to take a friend’s advice and do long row solids, then mix up the colors 🙂 I am super excited! By the end of this month I should have one of every color completed! If I can do that every two months I’ll have around 130 scarfs made in my year goal 😀 Holy Cow! That’s a tun of scarfs!!

Tomorrow is my every other Thursday running errands day. I’ll be at the grocery store for most of the morning then I am going to Hancock Fabrics to pick up a few things of yarn. I found this really awesome website that I can order yarn for super cheap so when I only need one or two I am just going to Hancock Fabrics but when I get 10 or more, heck yes I am ordering from www.knitting-warehouse.com those prices are just too great to beat!

I also finished reading Pretty Little Liars #2! Lets just say with being sick I literally didn’t want to do anything at all. So reading, napping, and crocheting where pretty much all I did 😉 I’ll be putting up a book review about that later.

Love Always,

J

Daily Life: Mission complete!

3 Mar

Today is my day off (aka my running errands day). Every other thursday is grocery, sams club, target, michael’s, joanns, and the awesome sub place by joanns day 🙂 It’s also B’s payday! 😉 I love getting everything bought and done in one day. It saves me from having to get E all dressed up and ready multiple times and getting her in and out of the car seat! I get it all over with and then I get quality time the rest of the two weeks to do whatever else needs to be done. It’s also awesome during the winter times because it minimizes on the going outside when it’s cold!!

It took me a while to get used to buying groceries for two weeks and enough craft things to keep me busy but still give me the option to have choices of what craft I want to do next. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and it seems like it’s gotten a lot easier. I know how a good stash of basic foods, crafts, and miscellaneous stuff to keep me busy so the spending every other Thursday has gone down (thank you!!) which means our savings is going to be loving me! I even got to buy a few extra special treats this week since we weren’t buying that much! Yumm chocolate 🙂

Now for two weeks of seriously crafty time and much needed relaxation, that is on my days off of course! P comes over tomorrow and I am excited to see her. We had an amazing day yesterday! With both girls napping at the same time for a good 2 1/2 – 3 hours each, it felt like luxury. I even finished a bright blue scarf and am now onto this serious awesome orange color. Once I get done with the orange I’ll snap a few photo’s so you can see. Right now  I am just stocking up on as much as I can make then I’ll probably put them up for sale sometime around October on my Etsy page.

The other thing I’ve been doing is making report cards for P and S for when they come over. That way when their mom comes to pick them up she knows what all we did that day. I’ll snap a picture of that one I made too! I’m hoping that I can find my way towards making cards once I get all my cricut cartridges in because I really love handmade cards!

I’m going to be one busy mom these next two weeks 😉

Love Always,

J

Deceptively Accomplished

20 Jan

Wow. I can’t believe I actually got it all done! Today was my grocery store run and start of deceptively delicious trial and let me just say I am exhausted!! I spent less than I thought I was going to (Thank Goodness!) and it took me about 2-3 hours to get everything ready to try out these new meals! If this becomes a habit I think it’ll take me about an hour like Jessica says, but since I am new to everything it took a little longer, and I had a little “help” to keep me distracted 🙂

Mommy’s little helper

I hid the puree’s in the back bottom shelf so B wouldn’t see them 🙂

Our seriously stocked refrigerator!

And super stocked cabinet!!

I am really tempted to see if we can live off all this food and NOT have to go to the grocery store for four weeks (except for milk I can only get away with two weeks on that one). That would be AWESOME!!!

Tonight I am making chicken cacchetori, which is not on the deceptively delicious list and I won’t be deceiving anyone. It’s just really easy to make and after a long day of cutting, steaming, baking, and blending, easy sounds fantastic.

I also plan to do Absolutely Nothing else except for crocheting (and playing with E) if I can get away with it. T’s blanket is getting pretty far! I am halfway through the fourth skane and originally didn’t think I would make it to the fifth by the end of the month! Looks like I will be making it after all 😉

Getting excited about the bottom part of the blanket. That’s where the fun is going to come in 🙂

Love Always,

J

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