the simple saver

coupon savings made easy

Menu Plan Monday July 26, 2010

Filed under: Healthy Eating,Meal Plans — thesimplesaver @ 10:10 am

Time for another week of great, homemade food!  Our favorite last week was the Fruit ‘n’ Feta Spinach Salad…so yummy!!  The Peanut Butter Raisin Balls are also keepers.  We got a lot of potatoes from the Farmer’s Market Basket so we’ll be using those up this week.  Here’s what we’ll be trying:

Monday:     My Favorite Burger, Oven Fries

Tuesday:     Cornmeal Oven-Fried Chicken, Turnip Greens

Wednesday:     Almost Famous Potato Salad, Festive Spinach Salad

Thursday:     Honey-Grilled Chicken Breasts, Potato Leek Soup

Friday:     Multigrain & Veggie Dish, Leftovers

Saturday:     Grandma’s French Tuna Salad Wraps, Fruit

Snacks:  Homemade Popcorn, LARA-like Bars 


Deals for the Week July 24, 2010

Filed under: Deals,Publix — thesimplesaver @ 9:28 am

Couponing is hit or miss these days since we are being very choosy about what we buy.  Some weeks are great and others…not so much.  This week was a good one!  Take a look at what I got:

(The picture quality is horrible…sorry!  We’ve misplaced our camera cord so I have to use Photo Booth.)

1 container of sea salt

2 bottles of vinegar (great for homemade dressings!)

1 bottle of extra virgin olive oil

2 packages of razors  (Free plus overage!)

6 tubes of toothpaste  (Free!)

4 toothbrushes

4 containers of men’s deodorant

2 – 1/2 gallon cartons of milk (These were free!  Yay!)

2 pizzas (These are NOT for our meal plan!  They are for friends & family who visit who do not care for our way of eating. =) )

Register Totals:     $81.37

Total Savings:     $69.29

Final Price:     $12.08!

Saved 85%!!



My Firsts! (#2) July 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thesimplesaver @ 10:26 pm

School is starting back soon but I am busy incorporating whole, natural foods into our diet!  My preparation for teaching Calculus this year will have to wait one more day.  =)  Here are my firsts for the week!

Foods we’ve tried:  Tofu & Artichokes – I used tofu in a lasagna and I was NOT impressed.  Mark gave it a 3 out of 5.  Not sure whether I am going to throw in the towel with this one or try it in another recipe.  I cooked artichokes in a chicken dish and they weren’t half bad!  I don’t think I’ve ever had artichokes prepared without spinach and cheese being involved.  I am a fan!

Homemade Applesauce – I made my first homemade applesauce…and there’s no added sugar…yay!  I cooked the apples in the crock pot so it was really easy.  I blended the apples after they were cooked which made it a little too runny.  Tasted great though!  I’ll have to perfect it with the next few batches.

Healthy Oatmeal Dish in the Crock Pot – Epic Fail!  I found this recipe that sounded so great but apparently I cooked it too long.  It was burnt and tasted horrible.  I will definitely have to try again with this one!

Homemade Popcorn – My hubby LOVES his popcorn!  When I first suggested that we cook our own, he was not excited.  He was, however, a good sport about it and cooked a batch for himself.  That’s all it took.  He now LOVES homemade popcorn.  He still has to have the shaker seasoning stuff but I am secretly on the hunt for a healthy alternative…shh, don’t tell him! 

Sourdough Starter – I started my first Sourdough Starter this week.  I am at a complete loss as to what to do with this silly thing…you have to feed it every 24 hours…weird.  Thankfully, I am following THIS BLOG that tells me exactly what to do every morning.  And eventually I am going to make some fresh bread…another first!  I’ll keep you posted about how this works out!

Pantry/Freezer Overhaul – Mark & I took a few minutes this morning to go through our pantry and freezer.  We made a “give-away” pile and a “trash” pile.  We looked at the ingredients on our food items and made decisions accordingly.  We got rid of most of the items that would not be considered “Whole Foods”.  White pasta, canned soups, salad dressings, etc.  It felt so great to go through everything and make decisions together.  We made some exceptions since we do have a grocery budget to stick to and we cannot buy everything new all at once.  For example, I have some Imitation Vanilla Extract for baking.  We decided that I could use this up and simply buy the real thing next time we need it.  We also decided that Mark could keep his beloved Heinz ketchup…haha.  I am scouting out recipes to make my own but it will be a tough job to convince him to switch.  =)



Meal Plan Monday July 19, 2010

Filed under: Healthy Eating,Meal Plans,Uncategorized — thesimplesaver @ 6:09 pm

Our meal plan was thrown off a little last week.  We had family in town on Monday & Tuesday (yay for sisters!!) and we were out of town with friends from Thursday to Saturday (yay for the lake!!).  Getting back on track…here’s our meal plan for this week!

Monday:     Fruit ‘n’ Feta Spinach Salad, Garlic Mashed Cauliflower    (Before today, I didn’t eat salad and Mark hated mashed cauliflower…both changed after lunch!  Yum!)

Tuesday:     Chicken with Artichokes, Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday:     Broiled Cod, Potato Leek Soup (Mark’s favorite!)

Thursday:     Tofu Spinach Lasagna    (I don’t recall ever having tofu before but I am so excited to try this recipe…hope it turns out great!)

Friday:     Dijon-Crusted Chicken Breasts, Corn on the Cob

Saturday:     Healthy Quesadillas (filled with veggies, shredded chicken, beans, & cheese) with Sour Cream and Homemade Salsa, Fruit

Snacks:     Peanut Butter Raisin Balls


My Firsts! July 7, 2010

Filed under: Healthy Eating — thesimplesaver @ 9:48 am

Mark & I are trying to transition our diet to as many whole, natural foods as possible.  This is definitely a process and we are just beginning.  We are busy researching, reading, and learning about nutrition and how foods affect our bodies.  A lot of our new knowledge is simple common sense…eat what God created for food!  Since I am a teacher and it is summer, I am “playing” all day with new ways to cook and prepare food.  Here’s a look at what I have accomplished this week: My Firsts!

Homemade Taco Seasoning using this RECIPE.  I decided to make my own so that I can control the ingredients and have no added sugar.

Homemade Chicken Stock using this RECIPE.  I used the rotisserie chicken recipe because Mark’s parents bought one when they were here this weekend.  The stock was so simple to make and doesn’t have lots of additives like the store bought kind.  And it’s cheap!  After I made the stock, Mark happened to look at a store bought box we had in the fridge…it has MSG in it!  Yuck!  Homemade sounds good to me!

Cooked Dried Beans using this RECIPE.  I cooked black beans & kidney beans and I was amazed at how much cheaper it is to buy the dry beans!  We’re going to need the extra room in the budget as we begin to buy healthy meats.  I chose to freeze mine since we don’t need them for a recipe this week.


Meal Plan Monday July 5, 2010

Filed under: Meal Plans — thesimplesaver @ 11:17 am

After the junk food of July 4th, I can’t wait to get some healthy meals cooked this week!  I’ve also thrown some new snacks in the mix.  Here’s what our meals will be…

Monday:     Company-Ready Crusted Salmon with brown rice

Tuesday:     Baked Pasta & Veggie Casserole, Corn on the Cob

Wednesday:     Balsamic Chicken Breasts, Wild Rice with Cranberries and Caramelized Onions

Thursday:     Balsamic Roasted Carrots, Potato Leek Soup

Friday:     Tilapia & Lemon Sauce, Sweet Peas Parma

Saturday:     Italian Style Chicken Breasts (with tomatoes, spinach, & mushrooms), Fruit

Snacks to try:     Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Easy Whole Grain, Fruit, & Nut Energy Bars


Recent Deals July 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thesimplesaver @ 8:21 am

Here is an update on the deals that I have purchased over the past two weeks or so!  I’ve found some really great stuff that we will eat and/or use.  Enjoy!

4 Pantene styling products

4 Apple & Eve bottles of juice

4 bottles of dish liquid

2 tubes of toothpaste

1 bottle of shampoo

2 power bars (that we ate before I took the picture!)

Register Totals: $53.09

Total Savings: $41.66

Final Price: $11.43

Saved 78%!


4 packages of Deli Flats

4 tubs of Curly’s BBQ Chicken (not the healthiest but it’ll do in a pinch!)

1 bottle of juice

2 salad dressings

2 tubs of sour cream

4 containers of egg substitute

4 bottles of Sandwich Shop mayo (gave one away before the picture)

Register Totals: $66.11

Total Savings: $54.30

Final Price: $11.81

Saved 82%!