Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free pasta today

Today was my usual weekly shopping run. My major score today was 8 boxes of ronzoni whole wheat pasta for free! My grocery store had the pasta on sale 10 for $10. I got 2 buy 2 get $1 off coupons from in their coupon section and another 2 of the same coupons from my store doubles up to 5 coupons so all 8 boxes were free!!

All in all with my store savings card and coupons I saved about $30.00 on a $100.00 grocery bill. I haven't found a way around spending a ton on fresh organic produce yet. Here in Wisconsin we only have farmers markets 3 months of the year. My kids are major fruit eaters so that drives my bill up a bit.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pantry soup recipe

This is one of my favorite soups for those nights when I just don't feel like cooking. I always have all of the ingredients in my pantry and fridge so it is a quick throw together. Gotta give the credit to Giada on the food network, it is her recipe :)

1 jar marinara sauce (whichever brand you like and have a coupon for of course) ;)
1 small can of chicken stock or approximately 2 cups of homemade
1 can white beans (I use great northern I think) drained and rinsed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
Handful of pasta (elbows are preferred but whatever you need to use up will work just fine, even broken spaghetti works)
Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste


In a large skillet sauté the carrots in a little bit of canola or olive oil until slightly tender. Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Add the marinara sauce and chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and beans and cook until the pasta is done.

I usually serve this with a grilled cheese and both kids will actually eat it.


Today's shopping trip

So, I hit the grocery store bright and early with the kiddos this morning. I just love shopping again now that the holidays are done. The store was dead quiet (except for my angels of course). I have been going to the same store for about 5 months now and for some reason today I couldn't find anything. I scoured the aisles for honey and tofu (I have never tried tofu but I got a yummy recipe for a chocolate banana smoothie that uses tofu so I thought I would give it a try). After my kids free cookies had been eaten it was time to hit the checkout. I found the honey but gave up on tofu...maybe next week. Today wasn't my best day at the register but it wasn't terrible either. Managed to save $16.00 with coupons.

My prep work last night consisted of going over the sale flyer and planning my meals for the week based on what was on sale. I put together my coupons and my list and I was done!

Thanks so much Sheri for the coupon tips. I wish my store let me load them onto my savings card, it would be so much easier. And also to Alain, I am going to try making my own laundry soap for sure! What an awesome money saving idea :) I couldn't figure out how to reply to the comment thread. I guess I am having a mommy brain day. It just seems to be shut off...

Happy Shopping Everyone!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


If you have any questions about my method please comment here or e-mail me at

Or, if you have any other tips or tricks...I'd love to learn them:)

Coming soon...

I will be doing my shopping tomorrow so I will outline my prep work and store run soon!

Weekly (hopefully) I will outline any amazing deals, funny store stories (I have a ton), and general stuff that happens in the crazy life of a stay at home mommy...

Money in your pocket

Another way that I have seen people supplementing their income is to sell items or services that you enjoy making or doing anyway. A great crafters website is You can sell any handmade product for a very small fee. It is also a great place to find some very unique gifts at reasonable proices. One of my favorite etsy stores is Bashful Designs.

I have an online business where I make memory blankets out of clothing. It is a great way to be creative and make a little extra money as well. My website is

Not really a way to make money but we also have passes to the zoo and kids museums here. By the second or third visit they are paid for and the rest of the year we go for free. It is a great place to walk around and not cost anything.

Anytime you are buying a big ticket item or even not so big be sure that you are getting the best price. Most stores will price match as well. When I went to target optical to get a new pair of glasses I found a perfect pair but when she wrung me up it was around $400.00 including the exam. I wavered a little bit and asked the manager if there was any better pricing and she ended up knocking off $50.00 to make the sale. This won't always happen but it never hurts to ask.

Working the store

Another tip when shopping is to walk the outer aisles and avoid the displays. They usually don't contain the best deals. On the back aisles they have things marked 15-30 percent off of regular items from toothpaste to baby food. Also avoid the precut/pre chopped items. They are so much cheaper if you do the chopping yourself.

Get familiar with the prices of the products you use most often. That way when they go on sale you will know if it is really a deal. Generally things go on sale once every 2-3 months. But lately my store has been having a lot of milk and chicken sales. When those happen it is a good idea to stock up a little bit. I don't have 6 months of products stocked up or anything like that. I usually only buy what I need and what will fit in my pantry and fridge. I do have an extra fridge in the basement because when things like organic beef and chicken go on sale at whole foods I will go buy 6 months worth since I don't get down there all that often.