I’ve Moved

March 4, 2011

I have switched to Blogger. You will find all future posts here, at the NEW Pennies A Plate! Please check it out, subscribe or become a follower or bookmark the new link. It’s going to take me some time to transfer all the stuff from THIS blog to the NEW blog, so please be patient with me.


I GET IT! I saved over $25 with COUPONS!

January 22, 2011

I am giddy with excitement about my first planned coupon-shopping trip! I didn’t think this was possible. I’ve been following Mrs. January and wondering how in the world she does it! But now I’VE DONE IT! Let me share with you!

For all of this, I paid a whopping $9.26!!! Here’s how:

First, I organized all of my coupons, making sure none were out of date and sorting them by category. I became quite familiar with what I have as I went through this process.

Then, I looked at the weekly flyers and found items that were on sale that I had coupons for. I planned what I would buy and where and made sure I was getting a massive deal on each item.

Next, I went shopping!

Shopper’s Drug Mart

Clover Leaf Tuna on sale for $0.79 each.
I had 7 coupons for “Buy 2, Save $1”.
At Shopper’s price, that’s two cans for $1.58, minus my coupon, is 2 for $0.58, or $0.29 each!

Total paid: $4.05
Total saved: $7 (actually more, because these were on sale already. This is just what I saved off the SALE price!)


Zeller’s

Dove (4x90g) on sale for $2.99 today only
Coupon for $1 off makes it $1.99.

Gillette Shave Foam on sale for $1.79.
Coupon for Buy 3, Save $5.
Buying 3 at sale price brings it to $5.37, minus my coupon makes it $0.37 for all three, or $0.12 for ONE! WHAT A DEAL!

Bounty Extra Soft Paper Towel $1.99.
Coupon for One Free Package!

Total Paid: $2.88
Total Saved: $11.49


Superstore

Arm & Hammer Toothpaste on sale for $1.49
Coupon for Save $1
Coupon for Save $0.50
Coupon for Save $0.75
Bought 3 at $1.49 brings it to $4.47, minus the coupons brings it to $2.22.

THEN, Superstore always has a Deal of the Week. If the cashier forgets to mention it, you get it for free. Well, my cashier forgot, so I got a package of Halls Cough Drops that were on sale for $1.99 for FREE!

Total Paid: $2.33
Total Saved: $4.24 (more because this is what I saved off the already-on-sale price)

So, today I got a roll of Bounty paper towel, 3 cans of Gillette Shaving Cream, 4 bars of Dove soap, 14 cans of Clover Leaf tuna, 3 tubes of Arm & Hammer Toothpaste, and a bag of Halls cough drops, all for a grand total of $9.26!!!!

Not only that, but I didn’t even have to pay for the Superstore purchase out of my own money, because I took advantage of their deal last week of buying $250-worth and getting a $25 gift card. Today, my Superstore purchase came out of that gift card, so REALLY, I only spent a total of $6.93 of my own money today!!!! THIS IS FANTASTIC!!! It works out to MORE than $25 saved!!!!!

(Big thank-you to Susan for all the coupons you sent me! They sure are coming in handy!)

So, I’m convinced, now, that coupons really can help us Canadians! I hope to experience a few more of these victorious shopping trips in the future!


Taco Soup

November 2, 2010

1 large onion, chopped

1lb. ground beef or ground turkey

1 packet store-bought or 1/4 cup homemade onion soup mix (optional)

1 packet store-bought or 1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning mix (optional)

Two 14oz. cans chili-style beans (or just plain kidney beans)

2 cups corn kernels (if using canned, don’t drain them – the juice adds nice flavor to the soup)

One 28oz can diced or pureed tomatoes, or 3 cups fresh pureed tomatoes (or 1 can condensed tomato soup plus one can of water)

4 cups beef broth (optional, you can also just add enough water until the soup is the consistency you desire)

Salsa (optional, I add approximately 1/2 cup – 1 cup instead of adding other seasonings)
Taco chips and sour cream for serving

Brown ground beef and onion in a soup pot, breaking it up as it cooks. Stir in onion soup mix and taco seasoning, if using. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, and broth or water and salsa, if using; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 45 minutes. Serve with taco chips and sour cream.


Menu Plan Monday: October 31-November 6

November 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by OrgJunkie.

Breakfast
Pancakes, Fruit, Milk
Red River Cereal, Milk, Fruit
Coconut Oatmeal, Milk, Pineapple Froth
Eggs in a Nest, Juice
Apple Granola, Milk
Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal, Milk
Berry Banana Smoothie, Muffins

Lunch
Leftover Pizza, Fresh Veggies, Applesauce
Fish Sticks, Roasted Potatoes, Cooked Veggies
Ham Cubes, Cheese Slices, Fresh Veggies, Crackers, Dip
Muffins, Milk, Fruit, Juice, Veggies
Salmon Pitas, Veggies, Dip, Applesauce
Leftover Taco Soup, Tortilla Chips

Supper
at the Fall Fest – supper out
Apple Squash, Coleslaw, Brown Rice
Taco Soup, Cornbread
Pizza Casserole, Tossed Salad
Spinach Walnut Quiche, Cooked Carrots, Cucumber Salad
Chicken Fried Rice
Pizza, Fresh Veggies

More recipe links to come…


Friday Frugality: A Confession (with Links)

October 29, 2010

My Frugal Friday tip today is basically a couple of newly-discovered links. However, I have to post these links along with a bit of a confession…

Upon your first visit to my blog, I’m sure you discovered my adamant rejection of the concept of using coupons, particularly here in Canada. While I still have NOT used many coupons in the last few years, and while I still DO NOT use coupons in my weekly menu-planning, I am SLOWLY, slowly, slowly becoming aware of the value of taking some time to at least CONSIDER coupons. The reasons being the following links:

1. www.smartcanucks.ca
2. Mrs.January

A dear friend (Hi, Lana!) told me about SmartCanucks a few weeks ago. I was skeptical. Granted, most of the deals posted are not food related, but they are still good. The thing that won me over was my friend’s FREE PIZZAs. Yes, dear Canadians, Lana was able to get FREE MEALS for her family with the use of coupons IN COMBINATION with a sale at Superstore! Two weeks ago, a coupon for Delissio pizzas was posted. It was $5 off. With that coupon, and Superstores $4.99 Delissio pizza sale, Lana was able to get her pizza for free! I did not think this kind of thing was possible in Canada, let alone here in Alberta! (Ontario, maybe. But here?! I was surprised.)

Then there is Mrs. January. I found her blog through a link from another completely-unrelated-to-food-and-frugality blog. Mrs.January is Canadian and she uses coupons to save money on groceries for her family. She even stockpiles and gets tons of stuff for free. Again, I did not think this was possible in Canada. And so, I must confess I am being won over and I fear I may have to eat my words one of these weeks and remove my “Coupon Disclaimer.”

I am going to keep it up until I’ve actually tried the stuff I’m learning from these two blogs, though. I want to have something to show for it, you know?

Anyway, part of being frugal is being open to try new things, to keep learning, and to make mistakes. Frugality is a skill that one can never master, I don’t think. So check out the blogs I posted, maybe try some of the suggestions you find there, and feel free to post about your discoveries!


Works-For-Me-Wednesday: A Breakfast Menu “Routine”

October 27, 2010

Planning a menu can sometimes feel like drudgery. I find that I go through menu-planning phases – from the Mountaintop of Menu-Inspiration to the Valley of Absolutely NO CLUE! What works best for me is a sort of menu “routine.”

My weekly breakfast routine looks something like this:
– Saturday = pancake breakfast (cooked by my loving husband EVERY SINGLE Saturday)
– 3 hot cereal breakfasts
– 1 egg breakfast
– 1 muffin/toast breakfast
– 1 granola/yogurt breakfast

Within this outline, the details can vary, but it gives me a GREAT starting point.

The hot cereal breakfasts consist of some type of hot cereal (Red River, Cream of Wheat, oatmeal) with various toppings. Sometimes I’ll do a raisins and spice version; other times it’ll be a more exotic coconut and dried pineapple, etc. We usually have a glass of milk and a fruit alongside our cereal. It all depends on what is in my pantry and what’s on sale that week!

The egg breakfast has limitless possibilities. A personal favorite is a fried egg on English muffins with tomato slices and a glass of juice. The kids drink milk. I sometimes add a slice of cheese for the family if they’ll need an extra boost that morning. Or, scrambled eggs with all sorts of chopped veggies and basic buttered toast with a glass of juice. Or simply a fried egg with a muffin and a smoothie. Or biscuits and eggs and a fruit salad. Like I said, limitless possibilities.

The muffin/toast breakfast is a quick one. The muffins are prepared ahead of time so the morning of that breakfast, we can just grab one and go. I like to pair this breakfast with a smoothie or a fruit salad and a glass of milk. Very quick and simple is the key for this one. It usually ends up being our Sunday morning breakfast because we have to be out of the house much earlier than usual on Sundays.

The granola/yogurt breakfast is just that – homemade granola and yogurt with fruit. Another quick and simple breakfast.

So with my menu “routine” already in place, planning the breakfasts for each week are a little easier, even when I’m feeling uninspired. The routine is half the battle!

Stay tuned next week for my weekly lunch routine!

Works-For-Me-Wednesday is hosted by Kristen at We Are That Family.


Pizza Rolls

October 26, 2010

This is a VERY simple and versatile recipe. Great for lunches, after school snacks, or whatever.

Make one recipe of my pizza dough. Divide it in half. Roll out one half to about a 12×6″ size. Spread pizza sauce on it, then top with your favorite pizza toppings (nothing too chunky). Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Roll up as you would for cinnamon rolls. Repeat with second chunk of dough. Place, cut-side down, on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 435*F for 15-20 minutes.

My family is pretty unadventurous when it comes to pizza toppings, so I did one batch of pepperoni with mozzarella cheese, and one batch of ham with cheddar cheese.