Cent-Saving Saturday: Back in the Swing of Things

Cent Saving Saturday

Yes.  I know.  Things been busy.  Not an excuse, I know.  Plus, some things have happened that shake my confidence in people.  One thing, however, does remain the same:  our sales cycles start on Wednesdays.  The consistency there is to be much lauded.

The sales this week are pretty fair.


strawberries, 1 pound 99 cents

Kroger cheese 2.99/pound

Private Selection bacon $2.99/pound

Kroger canned tomatoes or beans 2/$1

asparagus, $1.99/pound

Oscar Mayer Lunchables (small) 10/$10

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 7-Up, or Dr. Pepper 2L bottles $1 each when you buy multiples of 5

Ritz Crackers $1.75 wyb 5

Kraft Mayo $2.49 wyb 5


Capri Sun $1.99 wyb 5

Jello gelatin or pudding snacks 99 cents wyb 5

Hershey’s, Mars, or Nestle’s singles candy bars 49 cents wyb 5

Super 1 Foods

boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.47/pound

What are the great deals where you’re at this week?

Cent Saving Saturday: Meatless Meals?

Cent Saving Saturday

Yes, I know it has been forever since the last CSS post.  It’s not that I’ve forgotten CSS posts.  It’s just that, for the most part, sales in our area have been kind of “meh.”  Okay, but nothing to write home (or a blog entry) about.  And, I was stumped on what to write as the main part of the blog entry.

And then…I tried a recipe that a reader had recommended.  It was as if the heavens opened, the birds tweeted softly, and cotton candy started dancing.  Not really.  But close.  Yes, it was that awesome.

It was a recipe from Serious Eats, “Baked Ziti with Two Mozzarellas and Parmesan Cream Sauce.”  We ate it last Sunday.  It was Muffin Approved.  It was Josh Approved.  It was Me Approved.  Daisy really wanted to make it Daisy Approved.  I love it because even though Serious Eats says that it makes six servings, we are still eating on it.  I’ve eaten it for dinner a few times (because the meal plan went to “hockey sticks”) as well as lunch and even (for those of you who don’t know of my secret vice of eating leftovers from the day before for breakfast) breakfast for several days.

It makes A TON!  It’s awesome!  Which brings me to my focus for this piece.

You can save money through meatless meals.  The baked ziti does use some pretty pricey ingredients, but I managed to find them mostly on sale.  And, did I mention the recipe makes a ton?  After we pigged out on it Sunday, there were still two plasticware containers FULL and a plate for me for lunch the following day.  The cost-per-serving is tiny.  And, it freezes well in individual servings and reheats well.

What about other dishes?  We’ve all heard the anti-frugalista’s lament:  eating frugally only allows you to eat rice and beans.  Rice and beans make a complete protein, first of all.  And, moreover, if you use a very tasty bean recipe, beans and rice can be pretty awesome.  And, they can be used for burritos (with the beans left whole or smashed to become “refried”) as a reinvented leftover.

Scary thought:  I just realized that I have very few meatless meals listed on the blog, other than the Crockpot Baked Ziti and Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese.  So, to my readers, I issue you this challenge:  what are your favorite meatless meals?

Now, on to the show (with the recipe and the week’s deals).

Baked Ziti with Two Mozzarellas and Parmesan Cream Sauce

Source:  Serious Eats (altered only slightly)

Baked Ziti Whole

1 1/2 pounds dry ziti pasta (I used a pound of ziti and a half pound of penne before I realized that I had purchased another pound of ziti)

4 cups tomato(-based pasta) sauce (I ended up using 6 cups or three jars), divided

2 cups shredded low-moisture part skim mozzarella

2 cups diced fresh mozzarella, divided (I bought one of the eight-ounce balls, and it was sufficient)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups heavy cream

2 ounces Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese, about 2 ounces, grated to a “snow drift” with a microplane

fresh basil leaves, torn, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rack should be in the center.  Boil pasta in salted water (think seawater is what I was always told) for 6 1/2 minutes.  The pasta will not be al dente!  It will finish cooking in the oven!  Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water.  Drain pasta.

In the hugest mixing bowl you have, no…seriously, combine the following:  pasta, reserved pasta water, shredded mozzarella, 1 cup fresh mozzarella dice, 2 1/2 cups of pasta sauce (I used one jar, a total of three cups), salt, and pepper.

Scrape into a large flat baking dish, either rectangular or squarish.  Press down into an even layer. Drizzle remaining sauce over the pasta.  (I used another jar, so another three cups, but I love things saucy).  Scatter remaining fresh mozzarella artistically over the top.  COVER WITH ALUMINUM FOIL!  (Guess which step I forgot the first time for about five minutes until I read through the next instruction that says to uncover the ziti?)  Bake 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, gently simmer cream over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle in Parmigiano-Reggiano into cream and whisk until completely melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt. Keep warm.  Taste repeatedly then castigate yourself that there may not be enough sauce left for the ziti.  Then, cover up your guilt by tasting again.

Increase oven to 450°F, uncover baked ziti, and cook until just starting to brown on top, about 10 minutes. Let stand for the longest 10 minutes of your life–not kidding here. Top with basil leaves, spoon onto plates, and drizzle with Parmesan cream. Serve immediately.

Baked Ziti Plated

Guess what I’m having for breakfast?


whole chicken, drumsticks, or thighs 79 cents/pound, limit 2 chickens or packages with $10 purchase

red, yellow, or orange bell peppers 99 cents each

Kroger milk or orange juice, one gallon $2.99

Kroger sour cream or cream cheese 10/$10

Bartlett pears 99 cents/pound

Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, or 7-Up 2 Liter, $1 each when you buy 5

Betty Crocker cake mix 10/$10

Old Orchard juices, 64 ounces 10/$10

Lunchables 10/$10

Kroger frozen waffles, 10/$10


Best Choice flour or sugar 99 cents (limit 3, Friday-Sunday)

Prego Pasta Sauce, 99 cents wyb 6

Campbell’s chunky soups, 99 cents wyb 6

Red Gold salsa 99 cents wyb 6

Kraft 8 ounce salad dressing 99 cents wyb 6

Red Gold tomatoes (canned) 29 cents wyb 6

Hormel chili $1.49 wyb 6

boneless skinless chicken breast $1.47/pound

strawberries, 1 pound package 2/$4


pork butt roast, 99 cents/pound, limit three packages

Jonagold, Fuji, Granny Smith, or red delicious apples 10 pounds/$10

What are the deals in your area this week?

Cent-Saving Saturday: Labor Day Week!

Cent Saving Saturday

It’s Labor Day weekend, and the sales are a bit better this week.  The last few weeks, they’ve been very “meh,” so I’ve stuck to primarily Kroger, with a bit of Walmart thrown in for fun.

This week, I at least have something to post about each one of the four big ones:  Kroger, Brookshire’s, Super 1, and Albertson’s.


Gebhardt refried beans 69 cents (limit 4)

Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce 99 cents (limit 4)

Capri Sun juice drinks $1.69 wyb 6

pork shoulder 99 cents/pound

boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.79/pound (Thursday-Sunday)


Calypso lemonade–free Friday digital download coupon

Corn 8 ears/$1

ground chuck $2.49/pound

personal watermelon $1.99

cheese 2/$3 (So, basically, this means a pound of cheese for $3.)


orange juice, gallon 2/$7

Del Monte fruit cups 2/$4

Super 1 (The Big Winner This Week)

Pepsi 2L $1

Coke 12 pack $1.98 (limit 3 with $20 purchase)

Hormel chili 19 ounce (large can) $1.48

Van Camps Pork and Beans 50 cents

Vlassic Pickles $2

Leg quarters 49 cents/pound

3 pound back yellow onions $1.49

Plums 1.25/pound

What are the deals where you are this week?

Cent Saving Saturday: On Patriotic Sunday

Cent Saving Saturday on Sunday

I know it’s Sunday, but I warned you that it was coming.  Our home Fourth of July festivities are actually going to occur next weekend on the 11th.  So, many of these deals will be put to use on Saturday.


St. Louis Style Ribs $1.47/pound

blueberries, pint 99 cents

Kroger cheese, 16 ounce $2.99

Johnsonville breakfast sausage links $2.99

Santa Cruz organic lemonade/limeade, 32 ounce 10/$10

Betty Crocker cake mix or Cool Whip 10/$10

p$$t granulated sugar $1.89

Skinner Pasta 19 cents each wyb 6

Minute Maid Fruit Drink 99 cents wyb 6

General Mills cereal $1.49 wyb 6

Minute Maid orange juice $1.99 wyb 6

Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce 99 cents wyb 6


strawberries, 2 pounds $4.29

Essential Everyday frozen vegetables 88 cents

Eckrich meat franks 99 cents

85% lean ground beef $2.88/pound wyb 2+ pounds

corn 4/$1 (limit 8)

Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper 12 pack 4/$10 (limit 4)

Kool Aid Jammers, 10 pack $1.49

Kraft salad dressing, 16 ounces $1.49

Kraft mayo $2.49

Albertsons 4 day sale (Thursday-Sunday)

boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.77/pound (limit 10 pounds)

Bar-S meat franks or Albertsons buns 79 cents (limit 4 each)

Super 1

Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, 7-Up, Dasani Sparkling 12 pack 4/$10

chicken leg quarters, 8 pound bag 39 cents/pound

red, orange, golden bell peppers 97 cents each

10 pound bag russet potatoes $2.45

Kraft BBQ sauce 88 cents

Hormel chili 19 ounce (big) can $1.48


Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, 7-Up, Dasani Sparkling 12 pack 4/$10

cherries $1.79/pound

Tropicana Twister Punch 99 cents

What are your deals this week?

Tip Tuesday: Stroll the Grocery Aisles to Find Hidden Deals

Tip Tuesday

During our most recent Kroger visit, I had to purchase store-brand Chex cereal to make Churro Chex Mix (recipe forthcoming with a pic next week during the in-laws’ visit).

Muffin was, for once, being very well behaved on our grocery trip.

I looked down below the store-brand Rice Chex, and I noticed that the smaller (12 ounce or so) boxes of Multi-Grain Cheerios were marked $1.  I remembered that they were on sale (for the coupon sale) at Albertson’s for $1.99 for the same sized box and also remembered thinking that it was a great deal.  Cereal for $1 a box was too good to pass up.

Muffin really wanted the cereal, but it wasn’t until the next morning at breakfast that I realized why.  On the box is a picture of a bowl of cereal with milk and a raspberry.  Muffin was very disappointed that his bowl of cereal did not have a raspberry in it.

He did like the cereal, however.

That’s happened a lot lately, these “unadvertised” in-store specials.  Our local Kroger has also been selling a dozen large eggs for $1.50.

So, the tip for the day is to peruse your grocery store aisles for these great deals.

Also, check the aisles for clearance items.  Sometimes, you can find a real steal at places (Target is one of the best, as is our local Brookshire’s).

How do you find great deals in-store?

Cent Saving Saturday: The Kroger Friday Download

Cent Saving Saturday

I know that some of you may not have a Kroger in your area, but you may have a grocery store that has a card loyalty program.  I really am not in favor of the card loyalty programs.  It punishes (or at least, inconveniences) tourists to the area.  It’s a hassle to keep up with the card.  (I, who have yet to manage to not misplace a driver’s license for its four-year tenure EVER can attest to this.)  Right now, I have way too many cards I have to shuffle through to find the card I want.

But the Kroger card has a neat thing that I will try out for the first time this weekend (having procured another card and tied it to my online account).  They have Free Download Friday.  This Friday, it was one of those Snapple Straight-Up Teas.  Today, I will try it out for sure.

But that’s only one of the really cool deals this week.


3-Day Sale

boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99/pound

cherries $2.49/pound

All Week

Carolina ground turkey 99 cents (limit 6) with in-ad coupon

Ritz crackers and Oreo cookies $1.99 (limit 4) with in-ad coupon

Challenge butter $1.99 (limit 4) with in-ad coupon

Essential Everyday shredded cheese $1.79 (limit 2) with in-ad coupon

Ragu 99 cents wyb 6

Lipton iced tea bags, 24 count family size $1.49 wyb 6

celery $1.29

pint blueberries $1.99 with in-ad coupon


green beans 99 cents/pound

milk/orange juice, gallon $2.99

Old Orchard apple juice 99 cents wyb 5

peaches/nectarines $1.28/pound

Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, or 7-Up $1 wyb 5

Kroger cheese 32 ounce $5.99

Hostess snack cakes $1.99 wyb 5

Kraft/Sargento shredded 6-8 ounce cheese $1.99 wyb 5

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh lunch meat $2.49 wyb 5

Kroger sour cream 24 ounce $1.49 wyb 5

red, yellow, or orange bell peppers 88 cents

red seedless grapes 88 cents/pound

Nature’s Own honey wheat bread 99 cents with $10 additional purchase, limit 2

Super 1

whole chicken 77 cents/pound

green beans 87 cents/pound

5 pound bag potatoes $1.45


3 pound bag yellow onions, buy 1 get 1 for a penny ($2.99/2)

cucumbers/extra large bell peppers 2/$1

What are your deals this week?

Cent Saving Saturday: Stay Home!

Cent Saving Saturday

This may sound redundant, but the best way of saving money?  To stay at home, of course.  This works if you are not addicted to online shopping and QVC (and you know who you are…if Amazon sends you a fruit basket–that you don’t order–every Christmas as a thank you, you are NOT saving money by staying home).

No, I’m talking about staying home and finding stuff to do around the house.  Like cleaning.  Yes, I know that’s more than a little of the pot calling the kettle black, but you cannot clean your house if you are not at your house.  Trust me, the day someone figures out how to do that, I will be the first to sign up.  I guess you could always hire someone to clean your house, but I’m one of those people that would have to pre-clean before hiring anyone, which kind of defeats the purpose AND it proves that leaving the house costs money.

You can also OAMC (once a month cooking or freezer cooking).  Our biggest money drain by leaving the house is eating out.  In the summer, it’s easier, because I’m home.  I can make Josh’s lunches, and Muffin and I can graze the fridge and pantry.  During the school year is when things get kinda hairy.  That’s why leftover Thursdays now exist because for some reason Thursday is the easiest day to explain away the need to stay home and cook (rather than eat out).

And the other big drain on our income by leaving the house?  This is much less of one than last year at this time, but gas money.  I paid $2.33 for gas the other day and still managed to put $30 into my tank.

That’s why (besides the insane heat and humidity…am I truly already missing the flood rains?) even in summer, I try to only make one grocery run.  Here are the deals for this week:


whole pineapple 99 cents

pint blueberries 2/$5

Kroger cheese $2.99/pound

Eddy smoked sausage 2/$4

Kroger sour cream 10/$10

Pringles chips 10/$10

Kroger cheese slices 3/$5

Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up 2 L $1 each wyb 5

Pepsi 6 pk bottles 5/$10

strawberries, 1 pound 2/$4

boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99/pound

cucumbers 2/99 cents


boneless bottom round roast $1.99 pound, limit 10 pounds with $10 additional purchase

corn 10/$3

Red Gold tomatoes 39 cents wyb 6

Red Gold ketchup 39 cents wyb 6!!!

Hormel Compleats $1.69 wyb 6 (I buy these because they are shelf stable and I can keep some in my filing cabinet at work if I forget my “good” leftover lunches)

50% off Keebler crackers/cookies and Sunshine Cheez-Its (This depends on the original price, of course)

Red Gold salsa 10/$10

limes 5/$1

Super 1:

Brookshire’s bacon $2.97 (Best bacon ever!)

Capri Sun $1.88


Brookshire’s thick sliced bacon $6.99/3 pounds

Brookshire’s orange juice 2 gallons/$7

Fairly good deals for the week, over all.  Have a great one, everyone!