Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: 2/29 - 3/6

Lots of good deals on seafood everywhere- now is the time to stock up if you’re interested.  Also intriguing deal at HyVee- if you buy a Haier chest freezer for $199, they give you $200 worth of coupons. However, I have not seen the coupons so I have no idea if its worth it or not. If there are a lot of coupons you use, or if they are for store brand items that would be better. They are selling the SAME freezer at Dillons for $159, with no coupons. Worth investigating if you’re interested! Haiers are supposed to be good freezers.  It is the same size of freezer as mine and I LOVE having one!

Avocados- $0.19/ea @ Aldi
Broccoli Crowns- $0.99/16 oz @ Aldi OR Checkers
Brussel Sprouts- $0.98/lb @ Checkers
Carrots- $1.98/ 5 POUND bag @ Checkers
Celery- $0.68/ bunch @ Checkers
Grapes (Red or Green)- $0.79/lb @ Aldi
Mushrooms- $0.69/pk @ Aldi
Onions - $1.69/ 3lb bag @ Aldi OR HyVee
Potatoes (Red)- $2.49/lb @ Aldi OR HyVee
Red Bell Peppers - $0.68/ea @ Checkers
Strawberries- $1.68/lb @ HyVee
Tomatoes (Roma)- $0.79/ 20oz @ Aldi OR HyVee
Tomatoes (Grape)- $0.68/ 8 oz @ Checkers

Cheese (shredded or block)- 3/$5 @ Dillons
Coffee (Folgers Country Roast) - $6.77/ 34oz @ HyVee OR $6.99 @ Dillons
Kellogg’s cereal & bars- 50% off at Hyvee, 29% off at Checkers
Soy Milk- $2.39/64 oz store brand @ Aldi, OR $1.29 7th Continent w/ coupon @ HyVee OR Silk $2.29 w/coupon @ Dillons
Tortillas (Flour, 6”)- $1.49/20 pk @ Aldi
Tortillas (Flour, 10”)- $1.29/8pk @ Aldi
Tortilla chips (rest. style)- $1.49/ 13oz @ Aldi
Mexican-style diced tomatoes (like Rotel)- $0.59/can @ Aldi
Yogurt (non-fat Lemon or Banana)- $0.39/ea @ Aldi
Yogurt (Greek, Kroger brand)- $0.80/ea- 5/$4 @ Dillons

Wondering what to do with all those veggies? Check out Romance on a Dime's coordinating recipe! Four Cheese Vegetable Lasagna

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: Produce & Dairy

Good deals on cheese this week- did you know you can freeze cheese? (Shredded freezes best, in my opinion.) Speaking of freezing- I blew my grocery budget this month by $50! Major, I know- but I can tell you that I spent $20 on 10 lbs of ground beef, $12 on 8 lbs of chicken breasts, and another $10 on 6 Smart Ones frozen meals- big purchases but were great deals for stocking up my freezer. Not sure what I spent that other $8 on.  Probably bags and bags of Cuties clementines (best price on these is at Aldi, btw.)- I love those things!
Annoyed with the HyVee ad this week- some pages arranged by COLOR rather than type of food. Seriously?

Apples (Organic Pink Lady)- $2.98 / 3lb bag @ Checkers
Asparagus- $1.48/lb @ Checkers
Baby Carrots- $0.99/ 1 lb bag @ Checkers OR Aldi
Bell Peppers (asstd)- $1.29 / tray of 3 @ Aldi
Broccoli Crowns- $0.79/lb @ Aldi OR Checkers
Clementines (Cuties)- $4.99/ 5lb box @ Target
Grapes (Red seedless)- $1.48/lb @ Checkers
Kiwi- 4/$1 @  Checkers OR 5/$1 @ HyVee
Lemons 3/$1 @ Checkers
Mushrooms- $0.79/8oz @ Aldi
Onions (Yellow)- $0.79/3lb bag @ Aldi
Pineapple (whole) - $1.99/ea @ Aldi OR Dillons
Tomatoes (Roma)- $0.58/lb @ Checkers
Yellow Squash or Zuchini- $0.48/lb @ Checkers

Balsamic Vinegar- $1.99/ 16oz @ Aldi
Butter - $1.98/ lb box @ Checkers
Cheese (block)- $1.79/ 8oz @ Aldi OR $1.66/ 8oz @ Dillons
Cheese (shredded)- $2.99/16oz @ Aldi
Chicken (split breast, thighs, or drumsticks) - $0.89/lb @ HyVee
Cottage Cheese or Sour Cream $1.99/ 24oz @ Dillons
Coffee (store brand)- $6.99/ 32 oz @ Dillons OR Aldi
Dog Food (Iams, Beneful, Pedigree)- large bags on sale @ Target OR HyVee
Milk (store brand)- $2.88/gal @ Dillons
Olive Oil- $2.99/ 17oz @ Aldi
Pesto sauce - $1.99/8oz @ Aldi
Soy Milk - $2.39/ half gal @ Aldi (regular price) OR $4.99/ 2 half gals @ Dillons
Tomatoes, Italian style diced (canned)- $0.59 @ Aldi
Tuna (store brand)- $0.48/can @ HyVee

Friday, February 17, 2012

Some new Pinterest recipes:

I'm looking forward to the weekend for many reasons, including trying out some new recipes! The first 2 are recipes I tried already earlier this week (all in one meal!). The last 3 are new to me (found on Pinterest of course!) that I'm planning to try this weekend.  Trying anything new this weekend?

Baked chicken fingers- these were super tasty but a bit messy to make. (Chicken was on sale last week.)

Roasted new potatoes and asparagus- REALLY good, and easy to do! (Asparagus was on sale last week.)

To try this weekend:

Chili's-style salsa: (tomatoes are on sale this week)

Smashed & Baked potatoes (still have half a bag of potatoes left from last week):

Cheesy Broccoli Bites (I think these will be perfect with turkey meatloaf & smashed potatoes):

Thursday, February 16, 2012

DIY Dried Apples

This is an idea I found on the blog Going Home to Roost: DIY Dried Apples! And it was the perfect time to do it because there are such great deals on apples right now! It was pretty easy, by far the most laborious part was slicing up the apples, but that still only took about 15 minutes for 6 apples. Here is my version of DIY Dried Apples:

Pre-heat your oven- the original directions said to heat to 140, but my oven only goes down to 170, so that's what I did:

Then, you cut up the apples (I cut up 6 Gala apples) into slices/wedges about 1/4" thick:

As you are slicing them, put the slices in a bowl of water & lemon juice. I used about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per 2 cups water.

Once all your apples are sliced, lay them out on cookie sheets- no need to spray them, they won't get stuck (I cover my pans with foil to make clean-up easier!):

Then, put them in the oven to bake for 4 to 6 hours. About halfway through, flip them over. When you get to 4 hours, check on them occasionally. You want them dry, not burned up. The thickest pieces should feel slightly damp and bendy, and look something like this:

Let them cool, then place in an airtight container. They should be good for a few days. Or if you want to keep them longer, put them in the freezer for 2 days, and then after that they should keep up to 6 months in an airtight container.  Our dried apples didn't hang around that long, we ate them up. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: Fresh Foods & Kitchen Helpers 2/15 - 2/21

Hi all, here are your deals for this week. I tend to track things that I personally buy. Is there anything you all would like me to keep an eye out for or to include in my list? My current investigation is the best price on tofu. Anyone have insight on that?

There are great deals on apples everywhere! Dig out your apple-based recipes and get cooking.  Betsy from Romance on a Dime (another Lawrence blogger!)  just posted an amazing looking Crockpot Applesauce recipe! Or try DIY Dried Apples!

Apples (Red Delicious organic)- $0.98/lb @ Checkers
Avocados (Hass)- $0.88/ea @ Checkers
Baby Carrots- $0.99/lb @ Aldi (everyday price)
Bananas- $0.19/lb @ Checkers on THURS
Brussel Sprouts- $0.99/lb @ Checkers
Cantaloupe- $1.60/each @ Aldi
Grapes (green or red)- $0.79/lb @ Aldi
Grapefruit- $0.29/ea @ Aldi
Oranges- $0.77/lb @ HyVee
Pears (D'Anjou)- $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Tomatoes (hot house)- $0.78/lb @ Checkers

Chicken Breasts (split w/ bone)- $0.98/lb in econo pk @ Checkers
Chicken Leg Quarters- $0.59/lb @ Dillons
Ground Beef (80% lean)- $1.98/lb in 10lb econo pk @ Checkers
Hot Dogs (Bar S Jumbo)- $0.99/pk @ Checkers

Extra Good Deals:
Creamer (Coffeemate)- $1.99/ 16oz @ HyVee
Edamame- $1.49/ 16oz @ Aldi
Eggs- $0.99/doz @ Dillons
Hummus - $1.69/ea @ Aldi (everyday price, and it's GOOD!)
Mac & Cheese (store brand)- 3/$1 @ HyVee
Rice, Brown - $1.79/2 lbs @ Checkers (everyday price)
Smart Ones Frozen Meals- 6/$10 ($1.66/ea) @ Checkers
Soy Sauce- $0.99/ 15oz @ Aldi
Sparkling Flavored Water (store brand)- 2/$1 @ HyVee
Yogurt (store brand)- 3/$1 @ HyVee
Yogurt (A.E. Greek)- $0.88/ea @ HyVee

Photo from

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: Stock Up & Save! (2/8-2/14)

Lots of good deals this week- not as many produce deals but lots of good prices on other staples, especially at Hy-Vee. Also I cannot recommend highly enough that people invest in freezers. You can usually find used ones at good prices, and they pay for themselves very quickly on your food savings, because you can buy in bulk when you get a good price.

Asparagus $1.88/lb @ Checkers
Bananas- $0.19/lb @ Checkers (THURSDAYS)
Broccoli (Crowns)- $0.68/lb @ Checkers
Celery- $0.77/bunch @ HyVee (coupon*)
Cucumbers- 2/$1 @ HyVee
Grapes- $0.89/lb @ Aldi
Lettuce (Iceberg)- $0.78/head @ Checkers
Oranges (Navel)- $0.39/lb @ Aldi
Potatoes- $1.18/ 5lb bag @ Checkers
Strawberries- $1.88/lb @ Checkers
Tomatoes $0.68/lb @ Checkers
Zucchini & Yellow Squash-  $0.68/lb @ Aldi

Cake Mix (D. Hines)- $0.99/box @ HyVee
Beans (Kidney or Chili)- $0.49/can @ HyVee
Chicken (Whole)- $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Chicken (Boneless Breast)- $4.88/ 2.5lb bag @ Checkers
Cottage Cheese- $1.49/ea @ HyVee (coupon*)
Eggs- $1.18/doz @ Aldi (reg. price) OR @ HyVee (coupon*)
Lentils (dried)- $0.79/16oz @ Aldi
Peanut Butter (Peter Pan)- $2.18 @ HyVee
Pizza Crust Mix (Jiffy)- 2/$1 @ HyVee (coupon*)
Popcorn (Orville Red.) 2/$3 @ HyVee
Pork Loin (boneless)- $1.88/lb @ Checkers
Soup (Tomato or Chicken Noodle)- $0.33/ea @ HyVee
SmartOnes frozen meals- 5/$8 @ HyVee (coupon*)
Sugar (granulated)- $1.99/4lb bag @ HyVee (coupon*)
Yogurt (Reg. & Non-Fat)- $0.39/ea @ Aldi
Yogurt (Whipped Mousse style)- $0.49/ea @ Aldi
Yogurt (Greek style)- $0.89 @ Aldi
@HyVee check if you need paper towels, plastic baggies, foil, laundry detergent, etc. because they are having good sales on lots of these types of items.

Wondering what to make with your bargains? My friend Betsy at Romance On A Dime (another Lawrence, KS blogger!) is posting a great recipe using deals from this week!  Roasted Potato, Sausage, and Veggies

*HyVee had lots more coupons in their weekly circular that usual, so make sure to grab one if you are headed that way.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pinterest Projects

It's no secret that I love Pinterest. I liked it from the start, but something amazing has happened- I've actually been DOING some of the things I've pinned! Have you tried anything you've pinned? Here are some of the projects and recipes I've done so far:

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Monday, February 6, 2012

TurboTax is NOT FREE.

Just a quick note of warning- Turbo Tax is NOT FREE despite what they say in all their advertisements. If your family makes more than $31,000 a year you will not qualify for the Intuit Tax Freedom Project.  When you go to the TurboTax website, they will make you think you are getting it for free until you spend hours putting in all your info, and then they will charge you $29.95, even if you don't file your state return with them.

I figured out how they can say it's "Free E-File":  the fine print from their website says "Free Efile Included — Free efile is included with your purchase of TurboTax Online federal and state products."

 It is really NOT FREE if you have to buy their package to get the "free" service. Ugh. Just trying to save you all some time and money. I ended up paying it because I didn't want to spend hours entering all my info elsewhere.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Using up my leftover yarn.

From, see link above.
I started knitting a "patchwork" style blanket to use up some leftover yarn, using an idea from Readymade magazine (I actually have the print magazine, but here it is online!) However, I find the time estimate of "half a day" to be absurd! Maybe I am a really slow knitter, but it takes me about an hour to knit a square 20 stitches by 20 rows- and that is a LOT of squares! I expect this to a winter-long project, not a day-long project.

This is a great frugal project because I am using my leftover materials (and possibly some from friends!) that are just sitting around making clutter to make a functional item or even a cool gift. Furthermore, it makes good use of my time, because I can do this while I watch stuff on Netflix.

I'm hoping it will end up looking granny chic/modern vintage rather than random old knitted blanket.Wish me luck!

What projects have you done to "use up" leftover materials from other projects?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: Basics & Baking (2/1-2/8)

This week I'm stocking up on my pantry basics and a few baking treats for Valentine's Day. Here are the best prices I've found for Lawrence. Prices good 2/1- 2/7 unless otherwise noted.

Asparagus- $1.98/lb @ Checkers
Avocados- $0.29/ea @ Aldi
Bananas- $0.44/lb @ Aldi or $0.19/lb on Thursdays @ Checkers
Broccoli- $0.99/16 oz @ Aldi
Cauliflower- $0.99/head @ Aldi
Green Onions- $0.77/bunch @ HyVee
Kiwi fruit- 5/$1 @ Checkers
Onions- $1.89/3lbs @ Aldi
Peppers (Red Bell)- $0.78/ea @ Checkers
Potatoes (Russet)- $1.98/10lbs @ Checkers
Strawberries- $1.98/lb @ Checkers
Tomatoes (Hot house)- $0.78/lb @ Checkers
Tomatoes (Roma)- $0.79/lb @ HyVee

Beans (Kidney or Chili)- $0.48/15oz @ HyVee
Cheese (shredded or block)- $1.66/8oz @ Dillons
Frozen Vegetables (variety)- $0.72/16oz  w/ printable coupon @ Target ($0.99 without coupon)
Lentils (dried)- $0.79/16oz @ Aldi
Tortillas- $1.28/pk @ HyVee
Tuna (canned in water)- $0.59/can @ Aldi

Cake Mix (Red Velvet, & others)- $0.99/ea @ Aldi or $0.99/ea @ HyVee
Eggs (grade A large)- $1/29/doz @ Aldi or $1.18 w/ in-ad coupon @ HyVee
Frosting (all flavors)- $1.29/ 16oz @ Aldi
Soy Milk- $2.39/ 64oz @ Aldi
Sugar (White)- $2.79/5lbs @ Aldi

We go through a lot of brown rice at my house, and I have not yet figured out the cheapest source in town- anyone know? 

February: Month-by-Month Guide to Sales

Here's your monthly reminder: stores are cycling into their February deals, be on the lookout!

National Canned Food Month: Canned Fruit, Pie Fillings, Vegetables, Meats: Tuna, Chicken, Salmon

National Hot Breakfast Month:  Malt O Meal, Oatmeal, Eggo Waffles, Syrup
Valentines:  Chocolate, Hershey’s, KY Lubricant, etc

Chinese New Year: Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Noodles, Canned Water Chestnuts

Seasonal Produce:  Artichoke, Asparagus, Raspberries, Potatoes, Strawberries, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Kale, Kiwi, Avocado, Spinach

Thanks to Grocery Sale Cycles- When Do Things Go on Sale? from Living Richly on a Budget for this info! Check out their blog for lots of great frugal tips.