Friday, January 28, 2011

Big Ole Bag Of Chips

I ran into Cash and Carry to scope things out and found this 5lb. bag of chips for $5.72.   I'm thinking that's cheaper than Costco?  Wait!  Let me look up the Costco price....   Ok, the Costco price on the Queen Bee Coupons database for a 3lb bag: $3.35.  That's $1.16/lb.  At Cash and Carry, it's $1.14/lb, and you get 5lbs.  Not a huge difference, but if you're hosting a Super Bowl party, you'll want the 5lb bag! I also liked some of the meat prices (and quality) as we used quite a bit of meat from Cash and Carry for last months freezer cooking session.

thanks Queen Bee Coupons!

JC Penney 80% off Clearance

Just wanted to share that Penney's has their Clearance marked down from 50% to 80% off!  Yesterday I was able to pick up some clothes for the kids at the Northtown location and here's some of what I got:
The boys shirts pictured here are priced from $2.57-$3.37.  The girls were $1.97-$3.17.  The jeans were $4.37.  These items will be for next years fall/winter.  I wish I had more time, I think I would have found some more great deals!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cute Cash Envelope System

I just wanted to send a thank you to the ladies at New Creation Fellowship!  They bore with me as I presented info on getting out of debt and how to save on the grocery budget at the women's retreat last Saturday.  I was nervous, but excited to share, and of course I forgot some of my points, but I hope I was some help!

Anyway, I wanted to thank Denise K. for the project she put together for those of us that want to use the cash envelope system (or these bound envelopes can be used to organize coupons).  There's also a tutorial from Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs on how to make your own with scrapbook paper, just click here.  I'm so thrilled to actually have a pretty way to spend my money (as much as I dislike spending it!).  It sure beats my ratty envelopes with scribbled notes on them.

thanks Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs, Denise K. and NCF

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Debt Paydown Update

I was so happy to see that our current debt that we're working on in the debt snowball has now broken the sub-$2000 mark!  I loathe this debt (although it's not my least favorite one-that would be our second to last one.  I can't stand that one!) because it's on our 2004 van, and a reminder that we bought way too much vehicle.  We leased it!  For five years! What were were we thinking?  Anyway, we're now on our way to owning it and when this debt gets paid off, it's a tipping point for us-we'll really pick up pace on our debt snowball since the payment on our van is almost $400.

Our loan was at $8166 when we started knocking out debt 14 months ago.  I take in all rebates to the bank and put them directly on paying this debt down.  I've gotten to know the tellers pretty well with my sometimes sub-$10 checks because I take them in as they filter in, so lots of little trips.

image credit: photobucket

Recent Shopping Trip

I realized I haven't posted any of my shopping trips lately, so here's one I did this morning while everyone was waiting at home for a huge breakfast.  So here it is:

The first transaction came to $6.45, although I would have paid $18.45 if I didn't have coupons!  I went to Albertsons to see if I could find the Horizon milk for $2 for 1/2 gallon.  They were marked at regular price, but I did find the Horizon organic eggs for $3.99/doz (yikes! and that was marked down from $4.99!).  With my $1/1 and doubler, they came to $1.99-about the same price for regular eggs.  The cashews were $2 each, and with a $1/1 coupon and doubler, they were free.  I also used a $5 reward coupon to lower my out of pocket cost.  In all, I used $12 in coupons

The second transaction of yogurt came to $.87 for all three four packs.  They were $2.29 each, but with three $1/1 coupons and doublers (another $3 off), it made each yogurt $.29 each.  What I love about using coupons, is that if you use them enough it really adds up.

I came home and cooked up some 7 grain pancakes, eggs, sausage, hash browns and poured grape juice for everyone.  I love cooking for my family, especially since I bought a jumbo sized griddle on Black Friday.  I'd been looking for one for a few months, and I wound up getting one at Kohl's for $29 rather than the $42 one I'd been eying.  Making pancakes, grilled cheese, bacon is so much faster, and I can sometimes actually eat with my family instead of standing over a little griddle waiting for stuff to cook.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Andrew Peterson - Dancing in the Minefields (Official Video)

I just happened to hear this song in the car this morning which also happens to our 15th wedding anniversary! He could have been singing about us.  What a sweet song-beautifully done-take a listen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ground Beef for $2.45/lb

I just got an email from Zaycon Foods announcing their ground beef event!  If you haven't heard about Zaycon Foods, they are a Spokane Valley company that has 'sales events' every couple of months in various areas all over the country.  They sell chicken breasts and ground beef and will be adding more items such as fish, pork and turkey as they grow.

The last event they had, we got 40lbs. of fresh chicken breasts for $1.59/lb.  The meat was high quality and pick up was no problem.

Here's what they're offering this time around: Ground Beef, Super Lean (93/7) — 30 lbs for $73.50.  This is a great time to go in with neighbors or family and split it up and be stocked up for a while.  Also great for cooking groups!  Click here if you're interested in ordering.  Orders must be placed by 1/7.  If they ask for a referral you can use my blog's name: suckerpunchdebt.

Hot Choc-o-late!

I'm not a coffee drinker, but when we go out to meet friends, we often meet a Starbucks because it's cheaper than a full-blown dinner, we often have gift cards, and it's a great place to just talk.  So what does a gal get when she doesn't drink coffee in the middle of winter?  Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate.  Incredibly good!  Since I don't want to use much of my $50/month blow money on Starbucks, I found this great knock-off recipe.  It's from a really fun foodie blog called Savory Sweet Life (did I mention that I read cook books like novels?).  Here's some pictures from when I made it over break.  I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for the chocolate as I had quite a few in my baking stash from the baking sales in November.
Coat your glass with caramel.

Ganache=whipping cream mixed with melted chocolate.

Heating up the milk, getting ready to add ganache.

Top with whipping cream, caramel and coarse salt.

The finished product!

To get the full recipe, click on this link to Savory Sweet Life.  I don't know how much longer Starbucks will have this in their stores since it's a seasonal drink.  If you make this let me know what you think!

*Update: I've had a couple of friends tell me after reading this post that Starbucks serves this year-round, you just have to request it if you don't see it on the menu board.

December Grocery Totals

Another great month, but also some help from family during the holidays in the form of eating at both my in-laws house and at my folks place.  I'm not including anything spent past Dec. 29th in my totals and am including them in January's budget (since pay day fell that way), so I expect January to be a little higher.  While I still did doubler shopping at Albertson's (I even skipped a week!), I did the 'everything else' shopping at Winco.    Also, I think that freezer cooking and eating from the pantry is helping to keep my costs very low.  We actually made 20 freezer meals for December, and we still haven't eaten all of them.  What a time and budget saver!  Dinners around our house are a snap now. 
Total Spent on Food: $224.89
Manufacturer's Coupons Used: $24.71
Store Savings: $36.86