Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Now That You Mention It Book Review

I was obviously spending a lot of time on the new release section reserving books that sounded good because another one came on my reserve shelf that I didn't remember and haven't even read the author before.  Now That You Mention It: A Novel by Kristan Higgins was the next book in my pile to read and I was interested in finding out why I picked it out.  I read the description on the back and it did sound interesting so I decided that I must have been thinking when I picked it out and started reading!

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family. Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

For some reason this one was in large print hard back but it made it really easy to read with less light but it was a little heavier.  Nora was an amazing character that we followed through the book and was really pulling for success.  It started with some of her current life and flashed back to different parts of her memory to give you a little information about how Nora became who she was.  I usually have a hard time with books that go back and forth in time but this book did an amazing job to make it perfectly clear what was going on.  I loved learning more about her past which just made you love her all the more while hoping that she gets everything she wants in life. She has moved to her hometown and is staying with her mom while recovering from getting hit by a car outside her work.  She built herself up so much from the time that she left her hometown that this is the first time she is going home in over a decade so it is interesting to see all of the changes in her and the people she knew when she was growing up.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Hawaiian Discovery Book Review

I had reserved a bunch of books awhile ago and was really far down the list.  They started coming in very quickly and I had a hard time keeping up.  I finished the last book and returned it quickly and there was two days to finish another book so I decided to return it instead of reading it because this was my next book on the shelf and I knew that I didn't want to wait to read it.  The Hawaiian Discovery by Wanda E. Brunstetterwas the second book in the great series that I was excited to get back to the warm island of Kauai.

Ellen Lambright mourned when her best friend, Mandy, moved from Indiana to Hawaii. But now Ellen has received the Amish church’s permission to go to Hawaii and help Mandy through challenging times. Rob Smith works on the Williams family’s organic farm, far from his past mistakes and burning regrets. When Ellen befriends Rob, the attraction is mutual, but her commitment to the Amish faith stands between them. Could a heartfelt discovery lead to forgiveness, reunion, and love? Or is Ellen’s destiny waiting for her in Indiana?

I thought that this was a great book because it so wonderfully followed the last book in the series.  It was in the wonderful setting of Hawaii where the Amish girl is traveling to help her friend who is going through a tough time with her husband, Ken, was injured from a shark attack.  Ellen is enjoying being in the small Hawaiian area and working in the chicken farm to help out while Mandy and her mother in law are in the hospital watching over Ken.  It is always wonderful to see the Amish people support each other even when far away from home.  Ellen stays for 7 months to help through a lot of unexpected surprises before returning home.  I loved the story and it had me at the edge of my seat waiting to find out what was going to happen until the end.  I hope that you check out this book and the first book in the series and enjoy them as much as I did.  

Monday, June 25, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 6/25

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Spaghetti with garlic bread
Wednesday- French Dip Sandwiches
Thursday- Grilled Chicken with white rice
Friday- Family Fun Movie Night
Saturday-Homemade Pizza
Sunday-Simple Fried Rice and Egg Rolls

I did pretty great last week with staying with my plan having Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday on the table just like the menu plan.  On Friday, the power went out so we thought we were going to have to go with another plan but it was only out for 1 1/2 hours so I decided on leftovers when the power came on to eat everything else in the fridge and clean it out.  We enjoyed our quick leftover meal instead of Homemade Pizza so I was just going to push it back until Saturday but we were out shopping late and didn't get home so I ordered a pizza online and we picked it up on the way home.On Sunday, we ate a late lunch of yummy homemade pizza so we didn't really need dinner so we ate leftovers.

This is the first week of basketball so that we are busy and hoping for an easy week of meals.  I have started to go through the cupboards but I still have to go through the freezer so hoping to come up with something yummy for Wednesday that I might have forgotten about or else I am going to cross my fingers to get to the store to get ground beef at the store on Monday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Club Babies Book Review

I don't really know how I signed up to get this book but there was a new sticker on the back and it came on my reserve shelf so I can only assume that I reserved it.  Book Club Babies (A Cherry Cola Book Club Novel) by Ashton Lee wasn't the first book in the series and I hadn't read any of the other books so it was a little hard to follow along with the characters and the small town to start off so it was hard to get into the book at first.

In the colorful small town of Cherico, Mississippi, librarian Maura Beth McShay is preparing for an exciting new installment in her own life story—with some help from the Cherry Cola Book Club.

Overseeing the opening of Cherico’s new library has been a labor of love for Maura Beth McShay, made extra challenging by the fact that she and Jeremy are expecting their first child. And there’s another plot twist on the horizon: Jeremy’s sister, Elise, has taken a sabbatical to have a baby and will be staying in Cherico during her pregnancy.

It’s an unlikely move for the fiercely independent Elise, one that’s causing her some anxiety. Jeremy, who’s supposed to be birthing the Great American Novel, is instead testing his wife’s patience with his incessant “sympathy pains.” Resourceful as always, Maura Beth decides to use her new library as a venue for “Expecting Great Things” meetings—a sequel to her beloved book club. The weekly gatherings allow townsfolk to share hopes, fears, and practical advice about parenting and pregnancy, along with anecdotes both poignant and hilarious. And amongst the revelations and new friendships, Maura Beth, Jeremy, and the rest of the Cherry Cola Book Club prepare to meet their newest members.

After finally getting down to the main characters, I was able to start following the book and enjoy the premise but I think that if I had this to do again I would start at the beginning of the series.  The book is set in the small town of Cherico and there are three pregnant women that are members of the book club.  They start an off shoot group for the pregnancy that is focused on classes and information about pregnancy.  They are going through this process together and growing and learning from each other.  There are a few twists and turns but overall a good story with great ending.  I was glad that I read and I have to decide if I am going to read the other books in the series before this one.  I hope that you check out this book and the others in the series.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Falling For You Book Review

I was excited to get Falling for You (A Bradford Sisters Romance) by Becky Wade.  I had a hard time finding enough time to read it so I ended up staying up late and waking up early because I didn't want to put it down and I had to find out what happened next!!

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance. When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

I was excited to get to read another book by Becky Wade because I have really enjoyed her past books.  This book was a great story with wonderful characters.  Willow was moving home to escape her career and take a much needed break.  She was enjoying working in her family bed-and-breakfast and doing something totally different then she normally does while modeling.  Corbin is recovering from an injury that has taken him out of the NFL and he is recovering in the same small town.  He enjoys remodeling his home and living with his father while recovering.  The two used to date and meet again while at home and there is a new friendship that grows.  It is interesting to see the changes in them from their relationship in the past and the new one that they build.  I hope that you check out this book for yourself because you have to pick it up to find out some of the surprises that happen.

** I received a copy of my book for my review but all opinions here are my own.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 6/18

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Spaghetti with garlic bread
Wednesday- Grilled Chicken with white rice
Thursday- Fried Rice with roasted corn and Egg Rolls
Friday- Homemade Pizza
Saturday-Leftover Night
Sunday- ??

Last week was off  to a great start with Monday and Tuesday happening without problems.  I forgot to take out chicken so it was a last minute thaw on the chicken but I got it made.  Thursday we went to the pool after school and stayed late so instead of the planned meal I made a leftover feast for a family fun night.  I used the ground chicken on Friday night to make Salsa Sloppy Joes which was a lot different with chicken but still tasty since I wasn't in the mood for more tacos.  I grilled some baguettes that I got for free for our rolls and we had it with mac and cheese because my son wanted it after a few hours in the pool.  Saturday we went out to breakfast with my sister in law and she treated to the meal.  We went to a pot luck for lunch and when we came home no one was hungry so my husband had a little leftovers and my son had chips and salsa before bed.  Sunday for lunch I made the fried rice that I didn't make on Friday for lunch which was tasty.  My husband and son made the pizza for dinner.

It is nice to have such an easy meal on hand that can be thrown together so quickly and easily.  Overall just Thursday and Friday got mixed up and it was because we were at the pool for both so the summer schedule begins where I have to fight to get time to make us food before we are all hungry.  It was almost an exhausted call for pizza but I pulled through with a quick change to the plan with things on hand at home.  The first week of real summer is starting next week so I am sure that changes will be made frequently and I might switch to the 7 meals planned and pick the day as we go along because that is sometimes better in the summer because I never know what night is going to be the night that the weather is so nice that we are at the pool for so long it puts a kink in dinner fixing.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Middle of June Shopping Update

I shopped until I dropped this month already early with super doubles being a 5 day event.  I was glad with all of the things that I got but I certainly got a lot of treats with the ice cream and candy.  I was excited about the chicken nuggets that I got because that was going to be used soon since I finished most of the chicken nuggets that I bought in an earlier super doubles.  It is super helpful to have around and I have used it in salads, wraps and on pizzas.  I haven't met a chicken I can't turn into a new dish!  I was thinking that after super doubles that I wouldn't need to go back to the store but back I went!! 

We had friends move and they gave us a bunch of their food so we filled a freezer and lots of stuff in the fridge so I have to do a good job to use everything in the house and stop shopping!!!  Hoping that I can stay out of the store more on the second half of the month but check out what I got so far.

Below is a picture and the amount spent for each of my transactions.  Some transactions are pictured together because I did more then one trip at the same store or went to different stores before coming home or to cut down on pictures.  Hope it makes sense with all the break downs but feel free to ask questions.

Harris Teeter $7.88

Off to a fast start with super doubles.  I ran in to get Blue Bunny the first day of the sale because it is always hit or miss after that.  I did this as three transactions to make sure that I kept rebates straight but it was well under the coupon limit to do together. I did $5.25 in rebates already so amazing to get that money back.

Harris Teeter $4.91

I got the Little Noses and Hi Chew free after sale and coupons.  I got the Whole Fruit bars for $0.50 and got a $1 rebate back from Checkout 51.  The Cabot Cheese was $0.99 each and I wish that I could have gotten more coupons to print but only one would print.  The Perdue Chicken was $1 per package so those were great bargains.  I am going to try tacos with one and see how we like it because I have never used it before but what isn't better with taco seasoning (especially for $1)!!

Harris Teeter $0.08

I printed coupons and didn't bring them all to the store so I grabbed these and was pretty happy to get all the flavors that they had.

Safeway $0

Stopped to get a freebie that appeared on my card.  They didn't have it so the manager subbed this drink.

Harris Teeter $0.15

Grabbed some more freebies and the coupons didn't scan so they had to override and the price ended up higher then when the coupons scan...bummer!!

Harris Teeter $0.08

Tried it with the original ones to see if it worked and the coupon scanned without any problem.  It is a mystery why the totals are different and why the one doesn't scan when it is pictured on the coupon and it says any one.

Harris Teeter $5.71

Favorite trip ever because everything was in stock and I found clearance bacon!!  It was shelf price $7.99 and on sale for $3.99 with meat stickers for $3 off so I paid $0.99 per package so I grabbed four.  Got free Sweetart gummies, free Wewalka Pizza Dough, Free Wewalka pie crust and free Wewalka Puff Pastry.  I got the Blue Bunny for $0.64 per bag.  The Zevia soda was left in the car so it wasn't in the picture but I realized when I went to put things away that my husband didn't find them in the trunk and I now have more free soda.  I put in this for $2.30 in rebates from Ibotta.

Harris Teeter $1.22

Three free pizza dough, Two Pie Crusts and One Puff Pastry all free!!  The potatoes were all that paid for and we really needed them so I was excited that I remembered to get the potatoes.

Aldi $25.40

I went to Aldi's to get the things that were on the the list for the month.  We were almost out of milk, garlic salt and turkey so I figured that I would get everything on the list so hoping this lasts awhile!!

Harris Teeter $0.15

I went to get the freebies again and it rang up the same way because the coupons didn't scan.

Harris Teeter $0.08

These worked well and scanned easily.

Harris Teeter $3.96

I went to the store to get my last two coupons of Wewalka pie crust and pizza dough for free.  I also had two more Hi chew coupons.  I grabbed two different Coleman Chicken Nuggets so I spent a little more money but I was afraid that I wouldn't make it to the store again and it might not be in stock so I went a little crazy and bought them.  I decided to grab the corn because it was $0.79 after coupon and I couldn't find a deal on peas which I had just used all of in them from home.  I put in a rebate for $3 in Ibotta so it was a great trip!!

Harris Teeter $10.52

I decided to go again and got this in two transactions but had to pull stuff back out of the freezer to take the picture so I put it in one picture.  Interested in trying these new chickens.  Seems like a quick and easy dinner item to make so hoping they are tasty.  The shelf price was $10.99 and I paid $1.49 so I was excited to get these new treats.  Amazing rebate for $6.25 to put more money back into my account!!!

Shoppers $0.13

I went to get my freebie of the Shark Fruit Snacks and then I saw an extra $0.50 off so I decided to get extra for the overage but it didn't work out that the overage came off.  I got the Honey Nut Cheerios which had an electronic coupon and I used a printable coupon to get them for free.  I had an electronic coupon and printable coupon for the yogurt to get that for free.  There was another electronic coupon that didn't come off which is why I used the second printable to get everything for free.

Harris Teeter $1.99

I went to get my free Taste and Tell Promise Land Milk.  I also grabbed the free bread, free Sweetarts and free dental floss.  I grabbed the Sour Patch Popsicles that were on sale and had a blinkie coupon so they were $0.84.  The best part is that I got to turn in the Popsicles and the dental floss for Ibotta rebates for $3.75 ($2 for popsicles, $1.50 floss and $0.25 any item)

Harris Teeter $8.56

I grabbed more of the free bread because I used three loaves at one pot luck and I still had other events to go to so the bread will come in handy!!  We were running low on turkey and this is one of my husband's favorites so I grabbed two packages which were $2.49 after sale and coupon.  The Tide was amazing deal for $1.47 after sale and coupon.   My favorite deal was the free ice cream which ended up being a money maker when I put in a rebate for $1.50 for the ice cream and got a $1 bonus rebate.

Harris Teeter $6.82

It was the last day of the sale and I finally got around to checking the chex mix only to find out that they were out of the flavor that I wanted.  I grabbed regular instead of bold but checked the Bugles on the app and grabbed four bags of them with the same coupon and all of them were $0.50 each per bag and exceptional for our vacation so they went into the food bag I set aside for vacation.  I got the Sweetarts and bread for free after sale and coupon.  I went a little over the top with the third package of lunch meat but it was $2.49 after sale and coupon which is an amazing deal.  I got Coleman chicken nuggets for $1 and turned in for $1.50 rebate and $0.25 any item rebate.

Giant $1.40

I went to get my chocolate bar freebie which they were out of and they told me to come back on Friday but I requested a rain check.  I got free cat food...don't have a cat but I was hoping for overage which I didn't get.  I also got freebie of Limoncello Seltzer with no overage.  I grabbed the Kernel Seasonings which I use on my oyster crackers which was on sale for half off.  I got to the register and it didn't ring up half off and the lady there went back and told me all the other flavors were on sale and that one wasn't but while she went back to check the other lady rang up a store coupon to make the sale.  I told her she could take it off if she wanted but the other lady said she already fixed it so I should take it.  Ummm, okay but really why is just one flavor not on sale!!  They don't know and can't explain it but left the store with my rain check and an renewed understanding on why I hate shopping at Giant. 

Shoppers $0.06

I went to get my free candy bar on the last day and tried to checkout at self checkout which I can never get to work so they did it at the self checkout station but at least they had someone there to help.

Safeway $0.18 

It is never my favorite stop but I got two freebies with the ICE drink and the Chobani yogurt.  I used the coupon to get the second yogurt free too.  I got a coupon in the mail to get the Deer Park free but they don't seem to carry it anywhere so I grabbed it at my least favorite store.  The coupon wouldn't scan and neither of my electronic coupons worked so I knew that I was paying nothing but tax but I had to have customer service come over to approve coupons and tell them what was wrong.  I think that the person behind me in line wasn't happy but she hung in there and customer service finally got everything to work and I paid only tax and left the store.

Giant $0.02

My last stop in my three freebie stops and I got the free chocolate bar which I ate for dessert that night.  It was much smaller then I thought but glad that I grabbed it!!

Total Retail $499.83
Total Saving $420.53
Total OOP $79.30

I put in for an amazing amount of rebates this month and I already have $25.05 thought Ibotta and $1 through Checkout 51.  I am doing well with the rebates and even following through when the items are put back on the account and not forgetting (which I normally do).  I am also scanning all my receipts on Fetch to get the points there to buy a gift card soon.

Eating Out

We haven't really eaten out this month but we went to a pot luck for basketball and instead of grilling they decided to buy pizza so we chipped in $10 for pizza.  We don't have a lot of plans for this month but the summer is starting so it will most likely go to pizza at the pool or when we get home because of not enough time to make dinner before we need to eat.  We have had lots of pot lucks so mostly just making things to bring to them and not having to cook so that has been really nice!!!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 6/11

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Spaghetti with garlic bread
Wednesday- Grilled Chicken with white rice
Thursday- Ground Chicken Tacos
Friday- Fried Rice with roasted corn and Egg Rolls
Saturday- Pot Luck Party
Sunday- Homemade Pizza

Monday and Tuesday meals on the table and even got a meal made for a friend who is moving.  Neither one of us remember what we ate on Wednesday but we have bets on leftovers.  I did make the Ground Chicken Tacos on Thursday which were tasty.  I was super glad to find a great use for the $1 ground chicken sale.  We went to the pot luck for basketball and we chipped in $10 for pizza so that will be coming out of our take out budget for the month.  We ended up going to another pot luck the next night and we ate there.  We moved Homemade Pizza to Sunday and enjoyed that with a little leftover buffalo fried rice for my husband.

Hoping to make it through a busy week this week with an easy meal plan.  We are transitioning over to summer and I am sure there are going to be some changes to the meal plan with summer starting.  Hope you are having a great summer!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Book Review

I got a recommendation from my mom's group so I reserved this book at the library.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel by Annie Barrows was a collection of letters.  It wasn't the best book to start off because it was hard for me to get into but then I couldn't put it down.  A lot like 84 Charing Cross Road which was another collection of letters that I read last summer and enjoyed!!

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.  Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.  Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

It took me a little bit to get into this book but I enjoyed it once I was in and was sad when it was over.  All of the characters were amazing and you really wanted to get to know all of them.  It was interesting to learn about how the war was different for different people.  Juliet was writing letters to lots of friends and making new ones a long the way with all of the people in the island of Guernsey.  Juliet was instantly connected to them because someone bought a used book with her name inside it and her life was instantly changed.  By the end of the book, you can't even remember why Juliet found the amazing people on this little island but you know that her life is forever changed.  Make sure you pick up the book and follow along these letters to see how her life changes.  I was drawn in and couldn't put it down with horrible stories of war and wonderful stories of overcoming.  I was so glad that I got to read this book and I hope that you do too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

May Reading Review

I have been reading a lot of different books because I am stopping getting a lot of books from the library and trying to read through the books that are on my shelf that I haven't read since I picked them up from wherever I found them.  I was hoping to make more of a dent in the vast quantity of books but I haven't gotten there yet.  I know that if I keep at it, I will get the shelf cleaned up soon.... okay not soon but within the next few years if I keep chipping away.  Sadly, I didn't get that many read this month but maybe this summer!!

Below are all the books that I read for the month of May.  If you click on the title, you will link back to my original post with the summary and my review of the book.  I hope that you find a few books that will be on your reading list soon.

by Lori Wilde

by Laura Scott

by Valerie Hansen

by Beverly Lewis

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Buried Secrets
by Barbara Cameron

Total Books 2018

January   8
February  10
 March    10
April     11
May   6

Total Read  45

Currently Reading:

Monday, June 4, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 6/4

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta- Mini Cheese Raviolis and Spaghetti
Wednesday- Grilled Chicken with white rice
Thursday- Ground Chicken Tacos
Friday- Pot Luck Party for Basketball
Saturday- Homemade Pizza
Sunday- Fried Rice with roasted corn and Egg Rolls

Last week was a little crazy but we got dinner on the table every day!  Monday was Chicken Fries, Chicken Nuggets and fries because I couldn't get the wraps made.  I made spaghetti on Tuesday.  I made grilled chicken and white rice on Wednesday.  We had another crazy freezer incident with another freezer in the basement.  I went down to grab the meat that I hadn't taken it out to defrost it and the other freezer that I didn't defrost last month was making a horrible noise.  I thought that my son might have left the freezer open when he took the popcorn so I checked and the temperatures were off and things were starting to thaw.  I quickly grabbed things that were thawed and put them into the fridge and the things that weren't into the already jammed freezer next to it.  It was on a day that I had a jammed packed schedule so I was hoping nothing would explode while I was gone.  One of the thawed items was cheese raviolis so I made mac and cheese for my son and fried cheese ravioli on the side on Thursday night.  Friday brought the French Dip Sloppy Joes from the Thursday plan and I made a new creation with leftover rice by adding some chicken stock and chicken powder to make a yummy chicken rice.  Saturday brought homemade pizza which my son helped make.  Sunday we had a huge breakfast with waffles, bacon, sausage (did I mention that the freezer thawed), and hash browns.  We went with a lower key dinner of leftovers so that I could clear the fridge out a little to plan for next week.  Super glad that I had enough flexibility to get meals on the table every night without the plan.

Hoping for a good week!  I planned out most of the month of June really quickly but I didn't take a freezer inventory because it is a hot mess.  I am hoping to be able to make enough room in the freezer for a little breathing room because there is so much that I can barely close either freezer.  Here is hoping that I can fit everything in and make it through the month with some more yummy meals on the table.

Friday, June 1, 2018

May Grocery Shopping Spending and Eating Out Totals

My family budgets $160 per month for the 3 of us to purchase all of our household goods including groceries, paper goods and personal care items.  I shop sales, use coupons and do the best that I can to stretch that budget as far as I can through the month by paying the least for items that I can.  In addition, I have a $40 budget for eating out for the month.  It often is very challenging but I do my best to stay under budget with under $200 total per month for all our food.

I make most of our food from scratch including meals and baked items like our bread, rolls, breakfast treats and desserts which helps stretch foods between trips to the store (or towards the end of the monthly budget).  We like to use everything that comes into the house so stale chips, pretzels and bread turn into bread crumbs.  Ends of veggies go into the freezer to make chicken broth when I get enough chicken bones.  The best is turning leftovers into new meals to make sure that they are all used up.  We try to use all these low prices items from these monthly trips to make lots of yummy meals.

Below are all the trips that I made to the store this month and a picture of what I got in each one.  The pictures at the beginning of the month just have the total because I described them all in this post here.  For the rest of the month, the amounts I spent and breakdown of how much I spent on each item is in the description.  For some reason, I missed a beginning of the month picture and breakdown so I included that as well.

Harris Teeter $9.23

Aldi $2.04

Safeway $0 

Giant $0.29

Harris Teeter $8.87- $4.46 (removing diapers for gift)= 4.41

Harris Teeter $1.88

Harris Teeter $8.36

Harris Teeter -$0.90

Harris Teeter $7.19

Harris Teeter $8.40

Harris Teeter $0.69 

Shoppers $0.08

Harris Teeter $28.18 

Harris Teeter $19.52

Giant $0.32

Harris Teeter $5.19

I went to the store to get the free pineapple and Lindt chocolate bar.  They were out of the other freebie so they gave me a second free chocolate bar.  I had a coupon and clearance on the Old El Paso which made them $0.39 each on yummy taco shells.  I went a little crazy with the olive oil but it was $1.89 and we love to dip bread in seasoned oil in the summer so I decided it was a great price to stock up (saving over $4 each).

Safeway $0

Target $0 (used pay pal)

Harris Teeter $6.38

Harris Teeter $3.41

Harris Teeter $3.41

Harris Teeter $3.41

Aldi $6.32

We were out of milk, butter and shortening so I went to the store to grab the minimum.

Giant $0.37

There was a freebie on the Body Armor Sports drink so I figured that my husband and son would like it so I grabbed it.  I was hoping for overage but I didn't get any but I grabbed two bananas anyway.  My husband enjoyed them the next week for his breakfast and snack.

Trader Joes $3.58

We love our blue cheese and Trader Joes has the most flavorful one so I always grab theirs because the container lasts me months!!  We were totally out so I had to grab some more to restock.

Shoppers $0.08

Another freebie day with Fage yogurt and Power Crunch.  I tried to get the Fage that I loved but they said that I could only get the circle kind like the picture even though the other one was all variety and 5.3 ozs which was all the instructions.  I gave up and ran all the way back to get the circle one and forgot to pay attention to the rebate that I was trying to get so I didn't pick the one that went with the rebate but I will use this so I give up!!

Harris Teeter $3.81

I went a little crazy at the store and got 4 six-packs of soda, Chloe's Popsicle, Ken's Salad Dressing, and LaBrea bread all for free!!  I got three lemonade for $0.50 each and Quaker granola bars for $1.50 per box.  I did a return of a bottle of water that I got before that opened and the credit was put towards this meal.  I turned it in for $3.35 in Ibotta rebates.

Harris Teeter $0.16

I went to get my yummy taste and tell free tea.  I also planned on picking up free bread and free Popsicle so I was super glad to see that they had both! I paid only tax.

Harris Teeter $0.14

Great freebie and paid only tax!!  YEAH!

Shoppers $0.06

I love this candy so I was excited to get it and even shared it with my husband.  YUM!

Giant $31.47

I went a little crazy and grabbed all of the chickens that added up to a little over $30 to get the $5 off coupon with the already great price of $1.99 per pound.  After getting it all, it worked out to $1.69 per pound so we will have plenty of chicken to last the next few months (as soon as I cut and freeze it all).  We also grabbed the two freebies of Chobani yogurt and Happy Baby food.  There was Ocean Spray for $1.88 limit one sale, I never understand those sales but I grabbed our one to put in our stockpile.  I was a little worried with how much I spent but then I realized that I still hadn't subtracted the diapers so I was grateful to still be under budget and keep shopping.

Harris Teeter $5.24

I still had ton of money left in my budget ($2.52) so I went to grab more of the freebies for the week with the Chloe's Pops and Sour Dough Bread!!  I decided that I was going to get the Dominos sugar which was on sale for $1.97 limit 4.  I thought that I only had one coupon so I was only going to get two but I found a second coupon so I decided to go crazy and get 4.  I used the $0.75 off 2 coupon so that they were $1.22 each after sale and coupon.  I shot through my budget for the month but I figured it was worth the extra sugar.

Harris Teeter $0.14

I decided that I needed to get a few more boxes of Chloe Popsicles that were $0.01 after sale and coupon on the last day of the sale.  

Total Retail $874.09
Total Savings $711.23
Total OOP $162.86

Overall I think that it was a great month even if over budget $2.86!!  I got a ton of deals and stocked up on a few things that we needed while getting a few rock bottom deals.  I am most excited about the ice cream, Cran Grape juice, McCain frozen potatoes and Cheez Its because we will really enjoy them.  I loved free bread, candy, butter and Frank's sauces.  I know that all of my purchases will go far over the summer to make lots of meals to share with friends and family.  I also have less time to spend at the store in the summer since I have my helper at home so great news that I got lots of great trips to the store to stock up on lots of things.

I went a little crazy this month with the rebates and have gotten $30.35 in rebates and bonuses.  I will also get some for the Cheez It and Pringle purchases through Saving Star through my 1% bonus but it is so slow that only $0.56 has been added so far this month.  I am still waiting on $1 for the Barilla pasta through Saving Star and maybe some more of the smaller rebates.  The even better news is that I finally pressed the button and got my rebate check from Checkout 51 for $73.55.  I also transferred $41.85 from Ibotta to PayPal.

Eating Out

We got a take out pizza from Pizza Hut after spending the whole day out with my son's race and then an event at my husband's school.  We enjoyed our pizza and spent $8.47.  I thought that it was tasty treat with a really low price so we enjoyed it on two aspects. Super low under budget and happy to end the month on that note which makes up a little for my grocery overage.