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Archive for August, 2011


We are currently swimming in tomatoes.  Are you?

FREE honey (thanks to Swagbucks)$1.00 for orange juice & $4.95 for 4 1/2 gallons of milk.

More tomatoes, zucchini and a few cucumbers.  All free of course form the backyard.

Free Wild Blackberries!  Yumm!

Lot’s and lot’s of peaches for winter smoothies.  $37.92.  These will com in handy this winter when there are no good fruit sales to be had.

I also spent $6 on green peppers.  I seeded, sliced and tossed them into the freezer for winter stir fry dishes.

Monster zucchini, cucumbers, purple beans, and tomatoes. All FREE of course. 🙂

Free groceries and toiletries via Albertsons double coupons!  Man, I love a good sale.

I paid $1.50 for 3 boxes of WhoNu cookies, $.99 for Ocean Spray, $3.18 for 2 Minute Maid juice boxes,$.59 for Darigold sour cream, $1.00 for 2 Duncan Hines Glazes, $.29 for 1 Smuckers Hot Fudge Topping, 6 Boxes of Keebler granola bars $3.78, $.99 for 1 box of Wheat Thins Sticks, and the Gatorade was $6.00.

Total Spent This Week: $67.90

Total Spent Year To Date: $1,011.33

There are 123 days left in 2011. I have exactly $188.67 + a $100 Albertsons Gift Card left to spend if I plan on reaching my goal of only spending $1,200 oop for all our food, toiletries and dinners out in 2011. That breaks down to about $2.34 a day. Yikes!

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I went way over budget this week.  But I had a good reason.  I went on a trip!

But before I left for my little adventure with The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird…Last Tuesday I used 2 double coupons at Albertsons and picked up 2 Minute Maid 10-packs of juice boxes for $3.48.  Personally, I don’t think you are ever to old for juice boxes.  Even old people like them.

Crappy hot dog buns & bananas $1.93


Milk, and bottled water $8.06 Whop.T.Do.

Free thanks to an Amazon.com gift card from Swagbucks. 🙂 Too bad I can use my Swagbucks to fly to Italy and buy some Nutella there.  Now that would be REALLY fun wouldn’t it.

Free garden fresh produce and eggs from the backyard $0.

Once past security our first stop is always Starbucks. 1 Hot tea for me and a Passion Tea Lemonade for  The Girl $0. (Thank you Swagbucks!).

Once we hit downtown San Francisco… it was all downhill from there. 🙂 We decided to go to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory for lunch.  We ate a nice assortment of fruit and dairy products.


$18.93
for 1 hot fudge sundae and 1 banana split.


After stuffing our faces with ice cream, we decided to walk to China Town.

They have weird food there.

After snapping a few pictures in the market some lady started yelling at me in Chinese… From her hand gestures I gathered she did not want me taking pictures of pig feet.

So we purchased 3 bok choy, 2 peppers and 2 plums for only $1.42 and then high tailed it out of there.

We also went to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and purchased 6 fortune cookies for $1.00.

And on the last day of our little adventure… We went to In-N- Out. $12.03.

So even though I spent more (okay WAY MORE) than I had planned on spending, it was worth it. I got to spend the weekend with my favorite girl in the whole wide world. 🙂

Total spent this week: $ 46.85

Total spent year to date: $943.43

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I offered to take The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird and her friend the mathematician to the Renaissance Fair on Sunday.  Let’s just say I won’t be doing that again anytime soon.  Having never been to a Renaissance Fair I didn’t know what to expect… and to be totally honest… I didn’t even have time to think about it or what it would entail… So when we (The Girl) drove (because I was clipping coupons in the back seat of the car) into the parking lot/cow pasture and it was filled with tents and old rusty campers circa 1970… I was a little freaked out.

#1 I am not a camper. #2 I’ve been told I’m a VERY action oriented person… And so wandering around having to look at Medieval crap for an hour in a cow pasture and avoiding the concession stands like the plague…

Is not something that will make it to my top 100 things I want to do again list anytime soon.  Call me a snob… call me a clean freak… call what ever you want… just don’t call me and invite me to a renaissance fair.

Aside from the fact I don’t think I’d fare well in Medieval Times (no coupons, running water, soap) I did pick up milk and OJ @ Fred Meyer for $3.75 last Wednesday.

I also managed to score a sweet deal on some frozen food at Safeway!$1.47 for everything above.  I heart e coupons! 🙂

Garden fresh green and purple beans from the garden. Yummo!

15 zucchini and our first small basket of tomatoes.  We also harvested another basket of beans and a few raspberries but we forgot to take a picture. 😦

On Thursday I went in to place my order for this weeks round of double coupons at Albertsons and decided to see if the extra $2 Hamburger Helper cat was printing. I’m glad I checked ahead of time! I typically have all my transactions planned out and ready to go before I walk into the store on double coupon days. I needed to figure out how to make the best use of my catalinas so I could roll them into the next transaction. I paid $8.00 oop and got back $7 in catalina coupons and the $7 in catalina coupons were the perfect starting point for my double coupon shopping.

50 boxes of Hamburger Helper, 32 cans Progresso Soup, 8 Dryers ice cream, 6 V-8 Tea, 5 loaves of bread, 4 boxes Cheerios, 4 boxes Cocoa Puffs, 2 Sara Lee Pound Cakes, 2 Jamba Juice Smoothies, 2 Apple Juice, 3 packages tortillas, 2 Starkist tuna, 2 Tree Top juice boxes, 2 bananas and 1 Activia Greek yogurt.  I had 16 transactions and the key to this shopping trip was rolling my catalinas.  I was especially excited about this weeks Hamburger Helper money maker. It appears I’m baaaaack! 🙂

Albertsons Double Coupon Shopping $10.08Holy Cow Batman!

Total spent this week: $24.30

Total spent year to date: $896.58

How about you?  What was your best deal at the market this week?

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The best part of any race… All the freebies at the end! 🙂 Would you believe I scored 1 free bagel, 1 slice of pizza, 2 packets of Bio-Freeze, 1 carton of chocolate milk, 1 water bottle and a banana!  I think there might have been more… Geez, next time I’ll have to bring a bag!  Anyway… Here’s what I purchased this week.

Albertsons 2 gallons of milk for $5.98 and 2 packages of chips ahoy for free (with $1.00 off Nabisco coupons + a doubler) and 2 free doughnuts thanks to the Albertsons Summer Sweepstakes game. In a way I’m kinda glad the contest is over… I think I was starting to get carpel tunnel…

Crappy hot dog buns @ Fred Meyer $ .59

Fred Meyer $3.92. The Girl freaked out when I bought the cheese…

Free food and garbage bags thanks to Swagbucks!

Fresh fruit and veggies from the back yard.

Red, white and blue potatoes, a stalk of celery and some more zucchini (how much longer is zucchini season going to last?).

18 Sandwich rolls from Costco $3.35, grapes & melon from Safeway $4.31, Whipping Cream from Target $3.78, and everything else from Fred Meyer $18.67.  The Handsome Husband mentioned to Farmer Ted we’d be interested in a few boxes of corn… Let’s keep our fingers crossed Farmer Ted still likes baked goods. 🙂

The green beans finally made their first appearance.

But the highlight of the week: Lobster Dinner for only $10 (shipping fee) thanks to Groupon!

I bet you’re wondering how I pulled that one off.  🙂

The in-laws flew in for the weekend to celebrate my MIL’s 60th birthday and we I wanted to do something special without breaking the budget The Handsome Husband would of been just as happier if not happier to go to Costco and buy a bunch of steaks.  I signed up for Groupon about a year ago and since then I’ve been slowly earning $10 referral credits.

You know all about Groupon right?  Every time you refer a new friend to Groupon, you earn a $10 Groupon credityou can spend on anything you want.  Not only is Groupon a cool way to save money… it’s also a cool way to earn a little too.

Total spent this week $50.60

Total spent year to date $872.28

I think I may just have to lock myself in my house and hide the key in order to make it to January 1st without going over. 😦

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One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Morgan Freeman’s character  from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  “Get busy living… Or get busy dying.”  Life really is a gift.  You can unwrap the box each day and see the beauty inside… or not.

Someone laid an egg…

The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird and I think it was Martha our sweet…and feisty little Bantam hen.

I started planting my fall crops.  Have you?

We spotted blue orchids in the store today and thought they were weird and very unnatural looking.  But for some reason… blue hydrangeas seem completely normal.

I found a pair of Uggs at the thrift store for $10. Ten Dollars!  What a deal!

If you’re not doing anything between the hours of 7:30am and let’s say 10 am… Please send a few happy thoughts my way.  I’m going to need them… I’m off to do something crazy this morning with my friend the trouble maker… And I’ll take all the encouragement I can get. 🙂

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It has occurred to me that I have been seriously slacking in the blogging department as of late.  I never understood those people who said “Oh I wish I had time to do that.”  Now I get it.  I understand what they meant.  Only I don’t like it.

I’ve pretty much always been one of those people who can’t sit still.  It makes me uncomfortable.  Staying busy… makes me happy.  But lately a few more things have been added to my (already full) plate and I’m finding it hard to fit everything in.  I.AM.NOT.COMPLAING.  I’m just telling you… just in case you have been wondering why I haven’t been blogging away as usual.

I’ve decided I’m going to try and save a little Swiss Chard seed this year.  Dear Mr. H.  How do I do this?

I figure I have enough Swiss chard left to make 2 Quiches today… And I have a enough Swiss chard seeds on hand to start 2 flats for fall. Hopefully I can get to it later today.

My 8′ by 4′ garden box of cucumber plants is coming along nicely… SLOW… but getting there none the less.  I spotted a ton of 1/2″ cucumber starts… Maybe if I sang to them they’d grow a little faster. Hmmm…

Zucchini on the other hand… when is that ever a problem?  I seriously think there was a mix up at the seed factory.  These pale green zucchini are not the Black Beauty seeds I purchased (or at least they’re not what was pictured on the seed packet).  Does anyone know what variety this is?

I currently have beans in 3 stages right now… The dinner stage…

The give me two weeks and I’ll be on the dinner table stage…

And the fall harvest stage.  If I can keep Black Fatty and crew from escaping the chicken run and sneaking bites of garden goodness that is.

I’ve decided I’m going to dig up half of my volunteer potato patch this weekend.  Partly because my In-Laws are coming to visit (and they’ve NEVER dug up potatoes before) and because I want to get started on my compost pile for next years garden and I need somewhere to put it.  I have BIG PLANS for this space for next year.  I’m thinking I’ll expand the area to about twice the size it is now (during winter of course… that way I can work on it while the Handsome Husband is at work… and by the time he comes home it will be dark… That way… if I start on a Monday I’ll have all week to complete the expansion and he won’t notice it until the following Saturday! 🙂 Am I a genius or what! 🙂

In other garden news… I did end up planting those FREE potato seedlings in this garden box.  We’ll see what happens.  If all goes well… I’m thinking an early October harvest sounds about right.

Beets…

Celery…

And take a look at this… I was wondering what the heck I planted here…

As it turns out… It looks like I’m growing acorn squash!  Yipee!

So how about you guys?  What have you been harvesting this week?

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Caution: Back to school shopping may lead to a stop at Krispy Kreme.  My daughter and I bought 2 chocolate iced custard filled doughnuts for $2.58.  And they were worth every penny.

My neighbor Girl Girl was decorating a cake and called to see if I had any extra raspberries I’d be willing to trade.  Luckily did!  So I traded her a giant tub of raspberries for a box of graham crackers . I plan on using the Graham cracker this weekend for smores.

Later in the week I traded another neighbor zucchini & raspberries…

For some sugar, olives, garbanzo beans and chocolate.   I love bartering!

This week I also collected chive seeds from the garden (for next year).

I also harvested a basket full of green onions.

Swiss chard, (more) zucchini, a few cherry tomatoes, eggs and raspberries.

Did you stock up on blueberries last week at Fred Meyer?  At less than $2.00 a lb I did.  I paid $29.79 for 15lbs and divided the berries up into ziplock baggies and tucked them into the freezer to enjoy this winter when fresh produce deals will be few and far between.

I also stocked up on peaches. 31+ pounds of peaches for $31.78  These found their way into the freezer as well.  At $1.00 a lb this is a steal!  We will be able to enjoy peach pies and smoothies all winter long and not have to worry about paying  high prices at the grocery store.  Although this seems a little extravagant for someone who is trying to feed their family for $100 a month or less… in the end… (in my opinion) it pays to stock up. PLUS… If the Girl who thinks she’s a bird doesn’t have fruit… she will melt.

QFC had toothbrushes for $1.00 each.  Since this was part of their 10 for $10 promotion my store was heavily stocked with 2 giant cardboard displays. I used the $2.00 P&G coupon (now expired) to buy 8 toothbrushes.  I only had to pay the tax. which was $ .67.

2 Bell Peppers for zucchini relish $1.58.

Milk $ .47 & Try Me FREE Cereal from Rite Aid $ .44 (stamp).  I used my $2 in Rite Aid coupons ($1 July VV and $1 August VV) to help pay for the milk.

24 FREE Cans of tuna.  Thank you SWAGBUCKS! 


Albertsons Double coupons $22.52.  Wowza!  Talk about a spendy trip to Albertsons.

Total spent this week $89.92

Total spent year to date $821.68

(Only $378.32 for the rest of  2011 left in the budget!)

That’s only $2.50 a day left to feed a family of four.  Got any suggestions?


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