Costco vs. Grocery Store

We have a Costco membership that we share with my mom. I recently found this website that. This woman basically looked at everything Costco sells and tells you what price you would need to find at a grocery store to make it cheaper. Love it because some things I know now to always get at Costco and some things just go ahead and stray away. Wanted to share the link with you!

See her lists here!

I am so excited to find Save Money, Live Joyfully!


Baked "Ziti"

This is not the best picture ever but this is a great recipe. It's easy, healthy, affordable, and delicious. It's like the trifecta of food since it lives up to all my requirements. I had serious doubts about Mr. C eating it but he gobbled it down. I am super excited about this one and I'm sure I'll be making it again. I made 2 different casseroles. One with beef and without it for myself. i'm sure if you wanted more protein in the vegetarian one you could always add boca or other soy style crumbles but I just ate the veggies. This recipe is very forgiving. I'm sure any other spices/veggies you want to add would work great.

Here it is:

1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce 
1 cup of mozzarella 
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 lb of ground beef
parmesan cheese 
garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half. 
3. Scoop out all of the seeds.
4. Lay face down on cookie sheet and cook for 40 min.
5. Take out of oven, set the oven to 350, and let cool.
6. While it's cooling chop the onion and brown the ground beef
7. When it's cool with fork scrape out all of the spaghetti like you are raking. 
8. mix together all of the ingredients except 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
9. Sprinkle it on top. 
10. Cover with foil and cook for about 25 min. 
11. Enjoy!

I am linking this to Ultimate Recipe Swap: Pumpkins and Squash


CVS this week

I made multiple trips to multiple CVSs this week because I have been hunting the elusive Huggies Slip Ons. There was a great coupon a couple weeks back. I had the same problem the last time they had a great deal and missed out on them. My normal CVS doesn't sell them so I went to one out of the way and they were out! Ugg. Anyway I finally went to the one by my work and I got them and did end up with fabulous deals. I probably could have skipped the sippy cups but I'm sure it'll be a product that we use.  

Spend $25, get $10 ECB
Buy 2 Huggies Slip On Diapers @ 18
2 playtex bottles BOG50% @ 8.24
2 Similac Ready to Feed Formulas @ 10
  • Use (2) $3/1 Huggies Slip On Diapers 9/11/11 SS
  • 2 playtex bottles- 2 $2 off coupons
  • Use 2 $3 off 15 from cpn machine
  • Use 2 $1 off Huggies CVS cpn from cpn machine
  • Use 2 $5 formula checks I got in the mail. G doesn't even use formula. We are giving these away.
For the baby deals that is like paying $8.24 and getting back 10 ECB. Yup a money maker on things we need!

Buy 1 Gold Emblem Candy Corn, Autumn mix or Pumpkins 8oz Get ECB @ $0.99

Buy 1 Revlon Super Lustrous Lip $5 ECB @ $6.49
I also got the diet mountain dew @ 1.77
-2 facebook cpn for free drink or candy
-.34 25% off cpn
= .57 money maker
5 2 packs of mandarin oranges on clearance @ .25 each= 2.25
-.71 25% off cpn
1 travel container of qtips @ .57
1 nail polish remover @ 1.99

Total after coupons= 19.25
Use in ECBs 6.79, 1, .99, 5
Pay out of pocket 5.47 before tax. I have 28.69 left.

That’s like 3.74 for my purchases! I told you before I’m not sure I’m getting the best deals ever there but I know I am this week!


Accountable Cvsing

I'm sorry to do this but I'm becoming one of those people. I've been doing the CVS deals for about 3-4 months and I'm not entirely convinced about the amazing savings due to my poor money managment skills. I think we are doing well but I need to keep better track of our money. So, I'm going to start using my blog to do that and keep me accountable. Here's what I got this week at CVS. I spent $70.28 (note the $50 itunes giftcards) and got back $29.50 in ECB to use on my next trip. I had $16 in ECB from last week that I used. And a $5 off $25 coupon along with a bunch of other coupons. My largest cost were the shakes and the bandaids both Mr. C asked for. I use a combo of SouthernSavers.com and Simply CVS for the matchup. Now this is not the smartest way to do these deals. I actually thought I could use ECB on giftcards so I did one LARGE transaction and planned on using them right away on the giftcard but found out that was not ok so I have ALOT to spend in the future but that's ok. I think it's a good jumping off point to begin blogging about it.

I by the way think I'm going back to CVS again for the Finish Dishwasher Detergent. I'll update again if I do.

I by the way did go back to CVS. Got 4 Jet Dry and 3 Finish Dishwasher tablets for and only paid tax using my haul of ECB!  I wasn't sure if i was going to go but dishwasher detergent is definitely something we use. Lots of people were getting airwicks because they were free and gave you extra ECB  and I even had the cpns but knew that dishwasher detergent was a way better deal for us.

What we're eating

I'm trying to be more type A with our food. I thought we did really well but we have been eating out  alot. I'm on weight watchers and have been for a while and seem to do really well with the structured week but terrible @ home. So, I'm trying to do all of our cooking over the weekend so I do better during the week.

Friday: We had homemade pizza with salad. Not the healthiest but it was super tasty. I used whole wheat crust.

Saturday: Sweet potato fries, green beans, and chicken fingers. This is not really all that healthy but was quick

Monday: Ribs, barbeque tofu, corn on the cob, watermelon, whole wheat rolls and salad

Wednesday: Crockpot Indian food. Indian Spinach & Tofu and Tomato Curried Potatoes. The spinach recipe is one of the only crockpot recipes that my husband ever asks for me to make.

Thursday: (i'm crockpotting 2x this week because I don't have any leftovers for lunch!) Salsa Chicken tofu & black bean soup.

Great Deal

I wrote a post this week about cooking that isn't quite finished and haven't got around to putting up yet. You wouldn't believe the amount of blogging that I do that I never finish. Anyway, I really am trying to eat healthy and save money and just talked about it in this week's unposted post. Today's living social deal is a fabulous one for this.

Living Social Whole Foods Deal

Pay $10 and get $20 to spend at Whole Foods. Works at all US locations. I am super excited because we eat LOTS of produce but really have a hard time finding deals on it.


My pledge

Without giving any details I need to tell you about a session I had that was eye opening. Let me backtrack a bit...

A couple months ago I read on an article about childhood hunger. Well, I assumed that with food stamps that most of the families that I work with are ok. Actually, no. Recently I had a session with a family and my client's mom told me that she is going hungry and only eating 1 time a day because she is barely making ends meet. Not to be too much of a social worker here but it baffles my mind that this can be happening. As president Obama said yesterday "We are Americans." But yes, she has food stamps and goes to food banks but it's still so limited that she only eats once a day.

So, I begin to question more and this is a pretty common story around here. It's a rural community with limited resources and when they're gone, they're gone. On top of that I think I recently read that 20% of food in most american households goes to waste. I think both myself and Mr C have always believed that you just shouldn't throw out food. But yes we are both guilty of it. No more. I can't solve world hunger but I can do my part.

Here is my pledge:
1. I am continuously working on only eating foods we have and buying foods that we will use.
2. I am planning on going through our pantry and if there is anything we will not eat. Lets donate it.
3. This is something I try to do and depending on the week I do better or worse about it. At the grocery store or CVS I spend about $1 extra out of our budget each week on items to donate. I'm sure you're thinking. Just $1. Well, it's what we can afford and after coupons my $1 a lot of times I think really makes a difference. So I am going to consistently spend my $1 on food and see where it gets me.

So, why don't you join me? Get a cardboard box and put it in your pantry. You can fill it each week with your finds. Go through the pantry and throw in there the raspberry chipotle barbeque sauce (guilty as charged). Next time you are at the grocery store pick up $1 worth of nonperishable food items. If you coupon pick up the stuff you don't want but is a great deal. If you don't coupon I'm sure you can find at least 1 item that is $1 or under. I know you are thinking one item isn't going to make a difference but it could if we all do it.