Friday, February 18, 2011

Savings Angel

Welcome to another week of my SavingsAngel report - if you don't really care about couponing or seeing what I saved just skip this post.  I do this for my benefit so that I can track my savings over the next few months.

As I filled my cart this week I kinda got discouraged.  Why?  Because I had set a goal for myself to save more than I spent and I really didn't feel like I was doing very well.  Look at all of that stuff though! I also didn't plan my menu as well for next week as I usually do because the week got away from me so I felt scattered while shopping.   So, as usual, when I got home I went through my receipt and added everything up.  Here are the totals:  Full retail for the items shown (and a large pack of TP that I forgot to put on the counter) would have been $120.64.  I paid $54.83.  Now for you mathematicians, you already know this but guess what?  I saved . . .. $65.81!!!!  Yep, I did it - I saved more than I spent.  I was so excited!!!!  My big savings were the following:

4 bags of Chex mix would have been $9.16 but I paid $2.00
4 boxes of pasta would have been $6.08 but I paid $2.00
1 container of Cooking Cream Cheese would have been $2.99 but I paid $0.50
6 bottles of baby shampoo/wash would have been 19.44 but I paid $10.54
3 bottles of Children's Triaminc would have been $16.08 but I paid $6.97

Here are some better pictures:
 See the Deli Creations - even the meat guy stopped and said something about what a great sale they were; than I mentioned I had a coupon for $1.00 off and he asked me how I managed that! LOL  I got both of those for $1.00 - they would have been $5.00
There are several things I would not have bought had they not been on sale and I had a coupon - the Sweet Moments, even though they tempted me many times, and the Cooking Cream Cheese.  I'm anxious to try them both to see if they are worth the hype.  My kids love the fruit cups so those will get eaten and we were out of baby wash - so I was thankful for a sale and great coupons!!

I thought I would also share items that I will not buy again: 

1) Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwich's - it isn't so much that they didn't taste good but I don't think they are worth the cost, even on sale/with a coupon.  (I believe I got them for $3.99)  I actually pulled the egg off (gross!) and by the time they were cooked, the cheese had melted into the bread so I ended up adding another slice of fresh cheese.  Over all they tasted ok but I would rather pay $1.00 at McDonalds or pay more and make up my own with fresh eggs and sausage.
2.  Meijer fruit snacks - My kids love fruit snacks (thanks Grandma! hahaha)  So when I was shopping last week, I compared prices and decided to try the Meijer fruit snacks.  I won't do that again.  I do not eat them usually anyway but I decided to taste one and they tasted like feet smell (seriously!) I had to go brush my teeth.  Josh still ate them like it wasn't a big deal but I just can't stand giving my kids something that I know doesn't taste well.  Thankfully the GOOD fruit snacks were on sale this week :-)

**Please note that the above is only my opinion - I've had many products by Meijer and Jimmy Dean that are fantastic. 

Weekly Challenge - Recipe Binder - Follow-up

On Sunday, A Bowl Full of Lemons posted the weekly challenge which was to create a Recipe Binder.
Feel free to check out my original post here.

Here are the steps to the final product - my new Family Recipe Binder.

 I am so thankful that Toni posted links to be able to print the cover sheet, back cover sheet and binder sheet for my Recipe Book - they match my kitchen perfectly.  So, after printing those, I attached them to some red scrapbooking paper and inserted them into my new white binder.
 I picked up some insertable tabs to use for dividers. Than, proceeded to go through all of my recipes that I had set aside to type up but now, don't have too!
 For the categories "Main Dish" and "Holidays" I, again, borrowed Toni's idea and put them all under one heading but than used tabs to divide them a little more.  I created these sheets as well and printed them on card stock to hold the label, which I placed along the top edge.
 The recipes from magazines, I just attached to paper using double-sided tape and stuck them in the binder.
 The finished binder!!!
 I also organized this cupboard by moving out the plastics, moving the cookbooks to the first shelf and putting my cookie/candy supplies in here as well.  That is as far as my painting project got - I took off the cabinet door and bought the supplies LOL Maybe this weekend I can get this one cabinet done!!

I had to let go of my perfectionism in this project.  I did not alphabetize my categories but rather put them in the order I used them the most; I also did not worry about typing up recipes all in the same font but just put the ones I had in the binder.  What a HUGE stress reliever.

Here are my categories:
Current Week - I will move any recipes for the current week to this tab so they are easy to find.)
Main Dish
Crock Pot Meals
Snacks and Appetizers
Muffins and Breads
Soups and Stews
Odds and Ends (Like Play Dough and other non-food or odd recipes)

I am linking this finished product up over at:

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Years ago, at a Bible Study that a group of friends and I had each week, one of the girls made this recipe for our snack.  It was a huge hit!  I love to make it in the summer with lots of fresh blueberries but, we also get the craving in the middle of winter so I watch for blueberries and pick some up!

First, combine the sugars, butter,  and cream cheese in a mixer.  Mix until smooth.
 Than add egg whites and vanilla; mix until smooth.
 Add in all of the dry ingredients and mix.
 Finally, fold in the blueberries.
 Spread into a bundt pan or a 9 x 13 pan.  (A Bundt pan works well and is so pretty but . . I don't currently have one!) Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
 The final product.  (I actually think I pulled it about 3 minutes early but it is still SOOO good!

Here's the Recipe:
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Heather Kliewer
1 cup and 1 teaspoon sugar                        1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar                                   2 cups blueberries
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a bunt pan or 9x13 baking pan w/spray oil.  In a large bowl, beat 1 cup sugar, brown sugar, cream cheese and margarine until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.  In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Add to cream cheese mixture.  Fold in blueberries.  Pour the batter into pan. Topping:  Combine left over sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter.  Cook 1 hour in bundt pan or 30-35 minutes in a 9 x 13 pan

I'm linking up over at: