Cent Saving Saturday: The May Houston Edition

Cent Saving Saturday

We are still in travel mode, so I’m going to go ahead and post about Houston sales, as well.  Even though our sales at home are nothing to sneeze at this week, Houston puts all things to shame.

Seriously.

I must be living wrong.

Next time I come, I’ll just bring a REALLY big cooler and have at it.

We begin with the hometown standards, Kroger, Albertsons, and Super 1.

Kroger

split fryer breasts 99 cents/pound

large Haas avocados 99 cents

red cherries $2.48/pound

milk or orange juice $2.99/gallon (Aldi runs it here for milk at $1.99/gallon!)

Oscar Mayer bacon $3.49

Yoplait yogurt (or, as my phone autocorrects Yo plait) 39 cents

Kroger cheese $1.99

Hostess donettes 3/$5

Kroger frozen vegetables 10/$10

Kroger sour cream (pint) 10/$10

sweet corn 6/$2

green beans or red onions 99 cents/pound

pineapple 99 cents

Albertsons (Friday-Sunday)

Boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99

eggs 99 cents (limit 2 with $10 purchase)

Albertsons (all week)

Chef Boyardee cans or cups 88 cents

Gebhardt (autocorrect to He hardy) refried beans 88 cents

strawberries, 2 pounds $3.98

Essential Everyday cheese $1.88

Lysol wipes $1.88

lemons/limes 25 cents

Roma tomatoes $1/pound (I bought some at Aldi for 69 cents!)

Michelina’s frozen dinners 75 cents

Essential Everyday string cheese 25 cents

Pepsi 2L $1 limit 6

Essential Everyday gravy and seasoning mix 25 cents limit 8

Jello instant pudding 50 cents (to make pudding pops with Muffin)

Morrison corn kits cornbread mix 50 cents

Super 1 Foods

pork butt $1.17/pound

John Morrell thick bacon 3 pounds $6.97

Russet potatoes $1.95/10 pound bag

red, orange, or yellow bell peppers 85 cents each

And, now for the Houston part:  (Be prepared to weep)

Aldi

Happy Harvest 3-bean salad 99 cents/can

Tuscan garden marinade 99 cents

Specially Selected goat cheese log $1.99

Specially Selected pepperoni marinara or roasted garlic with tomato and basil cheese $2.99

Specially Selected Brie cheese round $2.99

Benton’s graham crackers $1.39

Baker’s corner marshmallows 89 cents

Specially Selected strawberry or black soft licorice $1.99

Clancy’s cheese curls 99 cents

Little Salad Bar Hummus $1.99

Clancy’s vegetable chips $1.99

Clancy’s Big Dipper tortilla chips $1.79

Benton’s caramel coconut fudge cookies $1.79

Roma tomatoes one-pound package 69 cents

organic grape tomatoes $1.69/10 ounce clamshell

avocados 39 cents each

red grapes 89 cents/pound sold as 2 pounds

bananas 39 cents/pound

mangoes 29 cents/each

cantaloupe 79 cents/each

Texas sweet onions 35 cents/pound sold as 2 pounds

Friendly Farms milk gallon $1.99 (limit 4)

Fit and Active light string cheese, 12 count $2.79

H.E.B. Plus! (H.E.B. is the parent company of Central Market.)

Boneless pork loin whole in bag $1.47/pound

County Post boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.47/pound

southern peaches 87 cents/pound

Cutter insect repellent 97 cents

The Salt Lick salsa $1.79 with $2 in-store coupon

Pepsi or Diet Pepsi 2L $1

Randall’s 

fresh baked dinner bread 89 cents

Ten sodas (like Dr. Pepper and 7-Up Ten), 79 cents (2L)

Randall’s has something called 5-Dollar Friday:

Oscar Mayer deli lunch meat, 1 pound $5

Hostess single serves (cupcakes, Twinkies, etc.) 5/$5

P. F. Chang’s Dinner for 2 $5

2L Coca-Cola 5/$5

Food Town

boneless chicken thighs $1.49/pound

Mrs. Cubbinson’s croutons, bag 55 cents

K C Masterpiece barbecue sauce 88 cents

limes 12/$1

jalapenos 89 cents/pound

cucumbers 3/$1

relish 88 cents (not sure which brand anymore because autocorrect changed it to DSL)

Casa Fiesta refried beans 2/$1

assorted Lunchables 99 cents (autocorrect to lunch ambles)

To save time when I searched Wednesday morning, I typed the grocery deals into the Notes app on my phone.  As you can tell, autocorrect made things especially humorous.

What are the deals where you are this week?

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We Plan Wednesday: When the Best-Laid Plans Turn into Carpe Diem

We Plan Wednesday

Monday, Memorial Day, was our first full day in Houston.  While Josh was at work, Muffin and I had planned to go to the Houston Galleria for shopping at the LEGO store.  (Muffin had several weeks of cleaning his room bribe allowance burning in his metaphorical pocket)  The main reason for going to the Galleria the first day out?  Because the weather report said rain (heavy horrific rain) every day of our trip, so I had pretty much given up on outdoor activities.

So…when the sun shone brightly in between puffy white clouds and blue skies, I jumped at the chance to take Muffin to Galveston.  Muffin had been to the beach at his grandma’s (the beach of Callander Bay).  This was his first experience of dipping his toes (well, it ended up being more than that) in the Gulf of Mexico.

With the storms that threatened the area churning up the waters of the gulf, the “surf” was very surf-y.  As in, the waves took the water level easily from ankle deep to waist deep in a matter of a wave rolling over the shore.

Muffin loved playing in the sand and the surf.  His sunburn of a few days ago from a local splash pad didn’t worsen, but I discovered that I obviously don’t self-apply spray sunscreen well.  Ouch!  Or, rather, OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!  Here are some of the best Muffin shots:

Here is where he made tracks he made:

And how he made those tracks (See the scary waves behind him):

And I would like to take this moment to thank Crocs for creating great shoes that are beach (and dress sandal friendly):

He loved crumbling the sand in his fingers:

Everybody Free!  and enjoying the waves!  (See how the sky is good-weather blue and not scary storm blue?  Flash forward a few hours and that all changed.)

Yup…five seconds before the water was ankle deep on him…and now:

And higher…

Upon arrival:  walking along the Galveston Seawall (along Seawall Boulevard):

We parked in the Walmart parking lot beneath the palm trees.  Here is Muffin in front of another vehicle, holding a palm frond, and pretending to be a palm tree.  “I’m a palm tree; look at me!”

Again…beautiful blue skies.  And then…that night, Houston (downtown especially) flooded.  And we are promised much more rain for the remainder of the trip.  Help!  Our Thursday plans of the museum district (free hours at the fun ones like the Children’s Museum and the Natural Science Museum) may be shot to hockey sticks.  And Saturday’s plans of IKEA and Central Market may be gone to the suds…or the floodwaters…as well (sob!).

So, the moral of this We Plan Wednesday post (just as with a previous Meal Plan Monday post) is:  If a better opportunity for fun and excitement presents itself in a timely (or untimely) manner, take the opportunity!

I’ll fill ya in as the trip progresses!

Tip Tuesday: The Travel to Houston Edition

Tip Tuesday

Unlike when we travel to Canada, we won’t be needing our passports for this trip.  However, as we will be gone nearly a week, the “long pack” applies.  You know, how you can get away with a small rolling (Small Rolly) suitcase for a family of three for the weekend or a tiny (purse-sized) duffel for a single person traveling (I still don’t know how you did that Mom on the trip to Dallas.  Kudos to you!)?  Yeah, that doesn’t work for a week-long travel excursion.  Big Rolly has to come out, possibly with the help of his friends Small Rolly (so that he doesn’t feel left behind), Tiny Duffel and/or Electronics Backpack, as well as Medicine Baggy and the girls.

A weekend trip allows you the freedom to pack light.  A week-long trip?  You have to pack for contingencies and what-ifs!

Yes, I know that there will be shopping in Houston, that there are probably more Walmarts and Targets and the like than here.  But what if I’m too tired to move when we get to the hotel?  What if we all get sick and can’t leave the hotel?  Contingencies, people!

I’m a bit OCD about trip packing.  I literally have to pack everything I think I could possibly need for the next week.  Because there is nothing worse than the “Oh, man, I should have packed X, Y, and Z!”

That probably could be considered a psychological problem.

And, yes, for those who didn’t miss it who are looking at me with condemnation, I am one of those parents who brings electronics on trips.  The drive to Houston (especially the first half) is not very picturesque (and since I’m driving the car and Muffin is the only other passenger–as Josh has to drive his work van–Muffin will have his choice of electronics).  And Minecraft, regardless of my personal feelings on the matter, has taught him spatial recognition/learning, hand-eye coordination, and many other things.

We also plan on packing Josh’s meds, adult ibuprofen, Muffin ibuprofen (to prevent fevers/febrile seizures), antihistamines (both adult and child), and sunscreen.

Again, contingencies!

 

Meal Plan Monday: A “Fake” List

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Memorial Day and Happy May 2 4 weekend!

Yup.  You got that right about the title.  A fake list.  I have no idea what we will be eating this week; we will be in Houston, after all.  But, at the beginning of the month, I made a calendar-style meal plan for the month of May, so let me let you see what we would have had.

Saturday:  Fuji Chicken (Mandy’s Recipe Box), rice, egg roll

Sunday:  Another Lazy Sunday Casserole (Kayotic Kitchen), fruit

Monday:  something grilled for Memorial Day

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup (Foxes Love Lemons), bread

Wednesday:  Country Club Chicken (Kayotic Kitchen), green vegetable, bread

Thursday:  leftovers/hot dogs

Friday:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, green vegetable

Saturday:  Grilled Sticky Chicken Skewers (It Is a Keeper), grilled veg, bread

Sunday:  Egg Roll Stir Fry over rice (Meal Planning 101)

So…that’s the fake menu for the week.  In reality, the Saturday of Fuji Chicken became clean out the fridge.  The Saturday of Grilled Sticky Chicken Skewers will either be dinner on the road or grilled hot dogs.  I might attempt the Egg Roll Stir Fry on Sunday; who knows?

While on vacay in this hotel room, I plan to make a preliminary June menu calendar (Josh already has his schedule for June, so I will plop things in).

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Cent Saving Saturday: Memorial Day Grocery Deals

Cent Saving Saturday

Happy Saturday, everyone!  And Happy Memorial Day weekend!  Are you planning to travel this weekend?  We are, but not in the family vacay kind of way.  Josh is going to Houston for a week to work, and Muffin and I are accompanying him for a mini Muffin-and-Mama vacay.  As such, I am not spending that much on groceries this week, although there are some great deals.

Kroger

raspberries, 6 ounce, 99 cents

St. Louis Style ribs $1.88/pound

Kroger cheese, 6-8 ounces, $1.88

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce 88 cents

Kroger hamburger buns 88 cents

strawberries, 1 pound, $1.88

mangoes 2/$1

cucumbers or bell peppers 2/$1

Eddy smoked sausage 2/$5

Kroger sour cream 10/$10

Albertsons

whole fryer chickens, 69 cents/pound, limit 3 with $10 purchase (Thursday-Sunday)

pork baby back ribs $1.99/pound (Thursday-Sunday)

sweet corn 8/$2

Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper 12 pack cans 4/$10, limit 4 with $20 purchase

Albertson’s hamburger or hot dog buns 79 cents (limit 4)

Super 1

leg quarters 39 cents/pound (sold in an 8-pound bag)

avocados 2/$1

So, those are the deals for the week!  What are the deals where you are?

Meal Plan Monday: The Insane Week

Meal Plan Monday

This week could be subtitled “Why am I even bothering to meal plan?”

Mother’s Day is this week (yesterday, in fact).  My aunt’s funeral (after a brief battle with cancer) is today.  My (and my mom’s) big Mother’s Day present is this weekend (in the guise of a trip to Dallas–I think we all desperately need to get away).

So, why am I meal planning?

The easy answer is to give a reboot to the dishes that were planned and not tried last week (the cheeseburger tater tot casserole, crock pot pizza potatoes, and smothered chicken).

In the end, it might be best (and easiest) to go with that.

The more complicated answer?  I love making lists.  A meal plan is a list.  Lists give me some (possibly imagined) amount of control in my crazy world.  And the possibility of three new dishes to try will hopefully lift my spirits a bit this week.

For whatever the reason, surface or deep-seated psychological, I am making this meal plan and (hopefully) making it stick (at least better than last week when even nuking things on leftover Thursday seemed to take too much emotional and physical energy).

Note:  The new recipes are linked in the MPM post here.

Saturday:  Mother’s Day dinner out at Chimi V’s  (Their Mexican apple pie is to die for!)

Sunday:  Josh grilled smoked sausage, peppers, and onions, as well as hot dogs and chicken for later this week.  We ate this with a baked ‘tater.

Monday:  Smothered Chicken with a green veg and bread

Tuesday:  Cheeseburger Tater Tot casserole, hamburger salad

Wednesday:  breakfast for dinner

Thursday:  leftovers/hot dogs

Friday:  Crock Pot Pizza Potatoes

Saturday:  Dallas!  Dinner at the hotel!

Sunday:  meal made from items at Central Market (maybe another cheese board?)

And, so, that’s it.  Hopefully it all holds true.

Meal Plan Monday: A Cinco de Mayo Chipotle-Inspired Feast

Meal Plan Monday

Sunday dawned with two slow cookers percolating in the kitchen (Big Bertha sported pork loin, potatoes, and carrots for Sunday dinner; and ‘Red was filled to the brim with seared beef roast chunks and Ninja’d sauce for Chipotle Barbacoa, much cooled from the version tried last year, using only one chipotle pepper and only one teaspoon–rather than a tablespoon–of the accompanying adobo sauce).

I looked a lot more productive than I felt.  Since before spring break, we have been passing around a spring cold.  Having suffered from a sore throat since Wednesday (causing me to miss Wednesday services at church), the cold settled in my sinuses (and, sorry to be TMI, produced copious amounts of mucus that had to be blown out seemingly every second) by the weekend.

As a result, I didn’t get the tater tot casserole prepped (nor did i get all the chopping for the pico, corn salsa, or cilantro for the cilantro-lime rice).  I did something both Saturday and Sunday that I rarely do:  I took a nap.

But, here’s the meal plan for the week (thank goodness for the productivity of my slow cookers).  I told my mom that I would really like a third (or even a fourth) slow cooker; I could really have been productive while sick on Sunday if I had more.

Saturday:  Home-Alone-(the movie)-Inspired Filthy Animal Pizza from Foxes Love Lemons

Sunday:  my mom’s pork loin, potatoes, and carrots in the slow cooker (with a side of “fried” apples)

Monday:  Smothered Chicken from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, vegetable, bread

Tuesday:  Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Chipotle Barbacoa, Cilantro-Lime Rice, Chipotle Corn Salsa, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole in bowls

Wednesday:  Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole from Michelle’s Tasty Creations and salad

Thursday:  leftovers/hot dogs

Friday:  Crock Pot Pizza Potatoes from Kayotic Kitchen, salad or green veg

Saturday:  Josh is off to grill!

Sunday:  Citrus grilled shrimp (recipe and pictures forthcoming) or Josh’s lasagna (recipe and pictures forthcoming)

What’s your plan for the week?