How I Saved Last Week



My husband was on vacation last week and we were able to spend the last days of school vacation at some of our favorite places. One of our favorite places is the beach - the boys love playing in the waves.



Several years ago we were given some blackberries and I threw some of the seeds in the wooded area in our backyard. It is a shady spot and I didn't really think they would grow, so I was very excited when my husband said he found blackberries in the backyard! The blackberries are very small, but I'm hoping that I can transplant them to a sunnier spot and we will eventually have lots of blackberries right in our own backyard!

We picked 28 tomatoes, 21 cucumbers, 5 zucchini, a handful of green beans and bunches of cherry tomatoes from the garden.

I froze some very ripe bananas.

Our older son wanted a chocolate and strawberry cake for his birthday, so I borrowed a checkerboard cake pan from a family member and made a chocolate and strawberry checkerboard cake. He loved it!


How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - August 22




My husband is on vacation this week and we have some day trips planned, so lunches this week will be picnic-type lunches that we can take with us and dinners will be (mostly) simple.

Here's my meal plan for this week:


Breakfast

Cereal
Bagels, Bananas
Homemade Instant Oatmeal with blueberries
Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Pancakes


Lunch

Mac & Cheese
Cucumber Greek Salad
Egg Salad Sandwiches, Fruit Bars, Carrot Sticks
Italian Sandwiches, Fruit Bars, Carrot Sticks



Dinner

Hamburgers, Tuna Macaroni Salad, carrot sticks
Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos
Three Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Lasagna Rolls, salad
One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta
Oven Baked Fajitas, broccoli, rice
Chicken Quesadillas, broccoli
Leftover night

How I Saved This Week - August 20




We got a lot accomplished this week. The boys decluttered their toys and I now have a grocery bag full of toys to donate. I recycled many old magazines, that I can't remember why I was saving, and I organized the coat closet and threw away several pairs of old children's flip flops that I was saving "just in case" we needed an extra pair.

We picked 5 zucchini, 21 tomatoes, 29 cucumbers, a couple of pounds of green beans, beets and a lots of cherry tomatoes from the garden. The beets were an experiment this year and something I planted a little late in order to use up some free space in the garden. They were pretty small, but our whole family liked them and I am planning on growing more next year.

After a late start and something eating their leaves, the banana peppers finally have blossoms on them. I'm hoping that we have enough time left in the growing season for the peppers to grow to full size so that I can make pickled banana peppers. I made them for the first time last year and my husband especially liked them in sandwiches.

I made 2 batches of zucchini bread (I used 3 eggs, less sugar and 1/2 cup of applesauce to replace some of the oil and it still tasted great!), Refrigerator Pickles, and Roasted Tomato Sauce. The tomato sauce recipe is my favorite tomato recipe; it has a delicious smoky flavor and tastes great even though I don't add salt (for our heart-healthy diet).

I earned $10 this week by selling a pair of cleats on facebook.

I found a brand new backpack with the tags still on it at the second-hand store for half the original price and paid just $4.50 for it. It will be perfect for our younger son who needed a bigger backpack this year.



Our older son is turning 10 this month and he wanted to invite a few of his friends to his party. He used Avery's free Design and Print Online program and designed his own invitations. I thought that the options and images were pretty good for a free program and he really liked making his own cards.

I spent just a little over $55 for groceries this week. I bought chicken on sale for $1.69/lb. and used a coupon and paid just $.99/lb. for 3 pounds of chicken. I have used it in 3 of our meals.

I received a free magazine in the mail.


How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - August 15



We really enjoyed trying new zucchini recipes last week. Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls was a favorite that I will definitely make again! Here's our meal plan for this week:

On sale:

Chicken $1.69/lb.
Grapes $1.99/lb.
Broccoli $.99/lb.
Green peppers $.88/lb.
Eggs $.77/doz
Cereal $1.17 - $1.50 (with coupon)

From the garden:

Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Beets
Cucumbers
Zucchini
Green beans

From the freezer:

Hamburger
Blueberries
Chicken



Breakfast

Cereal
Waffles, bananas
Scrambled eggs, toast with blueberry freezer jam
Easy Baked Oatmeal with blueberries


Lunch

Chicken Caesar Wraps
Egg salad sandwiches
English Muffin Pizzas
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Hamburgers, fruit salad (leftovers from a party we went to)
Dinner Leftovers

*all meals served with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, apple slices, yogurt and/or grapes


Dinner

Skillet Cheeseburger Macaroni, green beans
Meatloaf Muffins, seasoned rice, beats, green beans
Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Chicken Taco and Rice Skillet, broccoli
Mediterranean Pasta Caesar Toss
Garden Vegetable Spaghetti
Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet

*All meals served with Refrigerator Pickles



Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved Last Week

We picked 3 zucchini, 5 pounds of green beans, 34 cucumbers, 9 tomatoes and several cherry tomatoes. I wasn't expecting to have dozens of cucumbers ready to be picked all at once! We ate a lot of raw cucumbers, sliced them in sandwiches, made cucumber and tomato salads and gave about half of them away.



We tried a few new zucchini recipes this week and they were all delicious. I didn't realize all the things you can make with zucchini! I made Zucchini Lasagna Rolls (so,so good!), Zucchini Blueberry Muffins and Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos, which earned rave reviews from the boys.

Food City had some great prices in their new sales flyer. I bought eggs for $.77/doz., salad dressing for $1.00 each, green peppers for $.88/lb., boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.69/lb and cereal for $1.17. You can find some of the best sales and coupon matchups here.

Summer toys are on clearance and I bought jump ropes at Walmart for $.50 each that I will put in Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.

It's always exciting when I'm surprised with unexpected savings. Our older son noticed a toy in the clearance aisle at Walmart that he really liked and I went back to the store to get it for him for his birthday this month. The price was marked as $9.88, but it rang up at the register as $5.00!


How did you save this week?