Meal Plan Monday: Back to the Drawing Board

Meal Plan Monday

Um.  I had made this great meal plan for this week.  And then I purchased three of the roasts from Albertson’s at $1.99/pound.  And decided I needed to make one on Saturday.  And then I found this super awesome Roast Beef Debris recipe that I plan on even extending into today.  Needless to say, the meal plan went out the window before I could even post it.  I’m going to eat this roast until it’s gone, basically.  It really helped this weekend when Josh was on call and kept getting called in/working late.

The only problem with Crock Pot cooking in the summer:  Josh (and I, too, to some extent) REALLY don’t want to eat anything hot…because it’s so hot.  Kinda sad, huh?  Basically, we are all about the liquid refreshment when it gets this hot.

And I did sort of break the Please Don’t Heat Up the Kitchen rules with the Roast Beef Debris…because I broiled the bread.  But it is good golly fabooooo!  Think roast beef po boy dripping with juices…butter…mayo…creole mustard…and stacked with as many veg as you wish.  Which in my opinion means heavy on the tomato and red onion…and not so heavy on the shredded lettuce.

I’m going to post the meal plan as I think it’s going to go for this week.  By the way…if you live in an area where Walmart is stocking its French bread on rollback for $1…this Roast Beef Debris recipe makes excellent use of it (I used the sesame loaf).

Saturday:  Roast beef on toasted hamburger buns (kinda open face) with salad greens and dressing (I made the roast beef by slapping it in the slow cooker covered in fresh cracked pepper, a packet of brown gravy mix, a bay leaf, and about 1/4 cup dried minced onions on LOW until done.)

Sunday:  Roast Beef Debris, veggies from a reduced veggie tray at Kroger (mini sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, carrots, and broccoli) with southwestern ranch dressing to dip (We also had a bag of chips that we took with us at our picnic by the neighborhood pool…but we didn’t open them)

Yes, it did taste as good as it looked.  I used Zatarain’s creole mustard.

Monday:  Roast Beef Debris again (because I loved it so much and Josh said it would be okay to have again…I just don’t think he meant we would have it the next day), veg tray and dip (with cukes and green onions added)

Tuesday:  roast beef over rice, peas prepared in the slow cooker (from frozen)

Wednesday:  either leftover roast beef (or, I promise, this is the week for the Pesto Ranch Chicken) with Fully Loaded Potato Salad (both mentioned on last week’s meal plan)

Thursday:  Tamale Pie in the Crockpot (from Jyl Steinback’s The Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, page 79) or Pesto Ranch Chicken (I really feel guilty about not trying this one yet)

Friday:  Pizza Grilled Cheese prepared on the electric skillet outside

Saturday:  Grilled Lemon and Garlic Chicken from Inspired magazine (from Foodland), page 19

Sunday:  Taco Soup (from the Oak Alley Plantation Cooking cookbook, page 70)

As usual, I will be linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday.

What are you planning this week?


Cent Saving Saturday: Week 1 of Louisiana and Ontario Ads

Cent Saving Saturday

If you live in certain parts of Ontario and Louisiana, this is your lucky day…or not.  I’ve culled the sales for the prices I would pay for the items I would buy.  These prices are good for the northwest Louisiana area (for Kroger, Albertson’s, Super 1 Foods, or County Market) and for the North Bay area in Ontario for the rest.

Cent Saving Saturday tip:  if you are sale-obsessed, check out the ads/fliers online.  I know, for example, that Kroger’s ad goes live a bit before Wednesday midnight each week.  Most are available slightly before the day before or even the day before.  I use the ads sometimes to cure the bit of insomnia that messes with my head on Tuesday evenings.  In fact, that is how I usually bring the deals to you.  By the way, this tip works for all sale papers, not just grocery stores.  Black Friday will be upon the world (at least in the lower 48) shortly (in a few months), and the ads go viral online FIRST!

(And for those who have issues going out on Thanksgiving for “Black Friday” shopping, unless you are buying the big electronics such as TVs, many of the Black Friday ad deals may be purchased online.  One year, before Josh and I were married, many items were purchased at Walmarts online store an hour or so before the deals started in the store for items that eventually filled my married kitchen and linen closet.)

But…enough of topics that are just going to serve to make people angry (although in our family Thanksgiving dinner is served earlier in the day and the women of the family go out to “gather” at the sales and the men watch the boys…with sometimes hilarious results…Muffin and my youngest nephew trying to escape out of windows when we call to check on them all…so that “Black Friday” shopping becomes a family bonding experience run with almost military/heist precision) , here come the ads.

(Although I must note that the Black Friday season of 2013 was derailed in our family by the Flu Epidemic of 2013.  At the end of the carnage…out of the nine of us…only Josh–who had to leave early to head back to work and has the immune system that I am in awe of–and my parents–who both had the flu shot–remained unscathed.  From now on, the flu shot is on all of our to do lists…in September.)

Now that I’ve made another group angry (I’ve particularly avoided discussing vaccination because of the condemnation issued by both sides of the “debate” and the vitriol expressed by both toward the other because I want to–try–to remain upbeat on here), let’s get on to the ads.


split chicken breasts (That means bone-in, skin-on) 99 cents/pound

blueberries, pint $1.50

gallon milk $3.49 (when you buy $10 worth of other items and limit three with orange juice and chocolate milk)

gallon orange juice (Kroger brand) $3.49 (see above)

eggs, large $1.25/dozen

Big K soda, 2 L buy 3, get one free (bringing the total to 67 cents/each)

sour cream, 16 ounce 10/$10


Hormel bacon, 16 ounce package $3.99 (Friday-Monday)

Pepsi 2 L 88 cents (From what I can see, there is no limit.)

Bottom round roast (Time to grind, make stew meat, and barbacoa/roast again) $1.99/pound (Again, there doesn’t appear to be a limit.  I should note that my sister who lives in the Baton Rouge area has mentioned to my mom that the $1.99 is only good for the weekend.)

Leg quarters 49 cents/pound sold in a 10 pound bag

Canned tomatoes, 28 ounce can 88 cents each

Nabisco Snack Saks 88 cents (limit 4)

Albertson’s Bread 88 cents (limit 2)

Hormel Completes $1.48

Celery 10/$10 each

Super 1 Foods

Boneless skinless chicken breasts, family pack $1.57/pound

County Market

Libbey’s canned vegetables 2/$1

Pork Loin $1.97/pound

Red Gold ketchup 68 cents (This is not as good as the 29 cents each I paid at Albertson’s last year, but it’s the best price I’ve seen this year.  We go through a lot of ketchup.)

Shawnee flour and cornmeal, 5 pounds $1.88

Bell pepper 2/$1

Cucumbers 2/$1

*My mom and I are going to shop and do lunch (and dessert) today with Muffin, and we are going to County Market to purchase pork loin.

And now…for the Canadian flyer specials:

No Frills

Coke or Pepsi 18 pack cans, 355 mL each (12 ounces) $4.77 (That’s $3.18 for 12 cans’ worth)

Whole seedless watermelon $2.97

Campbell’s condensed soups 2/$1

Irish Spring soap bars, 2 pack $0.97

Arizona lemon or green tea cans, 340 mL (24 pack) $4.97

V-8 vegetable juice, 1.89 L (64 oz.) $1.97

Strawberries, 1 pound package, $1.97

Clementines, 3 pound bag, $3.97

Roses, 1 dozen, $8.00

Lychees $2.47/pound (I recently found several recipes using lychees, and I can’t find them in the grocery stores here.  I’m going to have to try some of the ethnic grocery stores to find them—and will probably pay more than this per pound)

Bananas 57 cents/pound—Sadly, this is cheaper than our stores.

Mangoes, approximately 9 pound cases, $5.97

No Name bacon, 500 grams (a bit more than a pound) $3.97

Food Basics

Sweet Bicolor Corn 10/$2.88

Whole seedless watermelon $2.97

Coke/Pepsi, 24 pack cans $6.35

MIO, Crystal Light, or Kool-Aid liquid water enhancers 2/$5

Vachon Snack Cakes, multipack (Ah, Caramel, Jos. Louis, and others) $1.99

Bounty Paper Towels, single roll, 99 cents

Whole pineapple, $1.97

Green bell peppers 98 cents/pound

Roma tomatoes 98 cents/pound

Vidalia onions, 3 pound bag, 2/$5

Le Petit Charcutier pork picnic shoulder roasts $1.49/pound

Selection bacon, 500 grams $3.99

Oasis orange juice or juice blends (Muffin became fascinated by the orange-strawberry-banana when we were in Canada), 1.75 L (59 ounce) 1.99

Bananas 57 cents/pound

Beatrice/Sealtest milk bags (4 L…just over a gallon) $3.97

Sugar, 2 kg (just over 4 pounds) $1.97

Fresh Co.

Cherries $1.88/pound

Kraft (macaroni and cheese) Dinner, 12 pack $5.97

Rocchi Extra-Virgin olive oil, 1 L, $2.97

Compliments natural spring water, 24 pack (500 mL) bottles, $1.87

Signal potato chips 97 cents

Ontario seedless cucumbers 89 cents/each

Packham pears 99 cents/pound

5 pack garlic bulbs 33 cents/pkg (I would make a ton of roasted garlic or chicken with 40 cloves or something with this)

Red or green leaf lettuce 79 cents/each

Radishes, bunch 79 cents/each

Giant Tiger

Beatrice chocolate milk, 750 mL, 99 cents each, limit 4

Primo pasta, 1 pound, 68 cents

Giant Value mayonnaise, 890 mL $2

Giant Value cheese singles, 302 g $1

Giant Value burgers, 1 kg $5.00 (just over 2 pounds)

Rainbow peppers, 4 pack $1.97

Mini cucumbers, 6 pack $1.47

Tomatoes on the vine 99 cents/pound

Purina cat litter, 7kg (15.43 pounds) $5


Pork loin combination chops, bone-in $1.77

Romaine hearts, pkg. of 3, 2/$4

PC prepared mustard, 400 mL, $1.49

PC pickles, 500 mL $1.99

Whole wild pink salmon $2.99/pound

Green onions, bunch 3/$2

PC World of Flavors potato chips 3/$5 (Make sure you try the Poutine flavor!)

Knorr Sidekicks pasta/rice sides 99 cents

Minute Maid fruit punch frozen concentrates 79 cents

No Name French fries or frozen veg, large bag $1.99


Lean ground beef, value pack, ground fresh daily, $2.97/pound

What deals are you looking forward to this week?


Cent Saving Saturday: The Canadian Edition and a Cranberry Punch Recipe

Cent Saving Saturday

Today we are in Canada, so we will be missing the U.S. sales on this sales cycle.  My mother-in-law receives the sales flyers for the week on Thursdays (With the exception of Fresh Co., all of the sales start on Friday and run through Thursday.  Fresh Co.’s sales cycle is Thursday through Wednesday).  So, in honor of Canada Day on Tuesday (and in honor of the fact that my mother-in-law’s town is having their big Canada Day celebration today), I bring you Cent Saving Saturday, Callander/North Bay, Ontario-style.  (I noted the items that were my cost point down there or below.)  All items are in Canadian currency, and several use the metric measurement system.  For the benefit of my readers below the border, I am going to try to translate into customary units as well (except for those that seem to be universal, such as 2 L sodas).

Fresh Co.

Tostitos tortilla chips $2

Tostitos salsa or salsa con queso $2

Seedless Watermelon (9-11 pound average) $3 each

Dempster’s Whole Grains or Garden Vegetable Bread $2

Ocean Spray Cocktail $2 (64 ounce size)

Minute Maid orange juice (frozen concentrate) $1

Hunt’s Snack Pack puddings, 4 count $1

Del Monte canned fruit $1

Cavendish frozen french fries $1/bag

8 ounce package Ontario White Mushrooms $1

Ontario Romaine Lettuce $1/head

Pom 100% pomegranate juice 236 mL (8 ounces) $1

Anjou pears $1/pound

Laughing Cow cheese $2

4 pound case Ontario tomatoes on the vine $3

Target (formerly Zeller’s)

50% off all pools, water toys, and swim accessories

select Minute Maid frozen juice concentrates 2/$1

Giant Tiger

Maple Lodge chicken wieners $1

Catelli pasta sauce, 700 mL (24 ounces) $1

Minute Maid orange juice, 1.75 L (59 ounces) $2


Minute Maid, Five Alive, and Fruitopia juice cartons 1.75 L (59 ounces) 94 cents

Neilson 1% chocolate milk carton, 1 L 94 cents

Blueberries, 2 pounds, $4.94

Gala apples, 3 pound bag, $2.94

Wholly Guacamole $1.94

Maple Leaf hot dogs 94 cents

English cucumbers 77 cents each (I paid well over a dollar for some the other day in Louisiana)

Grape tomatoes, 10 ounces, 94 cents

Great Value potato chips $1.24

Great Value candy/chocolate bags 94 cents

Food Basics

Nestle Pure Life water, 24 pack bottles, $1.88

Blueberries,pint, 3/$5

Coca Cola/Pepsi 12 pk. 355 mL (12 ounces) $4.77 (This seems to be the lowest price city-wide because it is cheaper than the 3/$10 most places are offering.)

Ragu pasta sauce 99 cents

Selection bacon 500 grams (1 pound package) $3.99


President’s Choice potato chips (including the poutine flavor) 3/$5

Foodland (I will be trying out and publishing recipes from their new circular shortly, including one my mother-in-law tried yesterday at the cookout)

Whole or sliced mini Bella mushrooms $1.99

Shopper’s Drug Mart (For people south of the border, think CVS)

Coca Cola or Pepsi 6 pack 710 mL bottles (24 ounces each) 2/$5 (Saturday and Sunday only)

No Frills (My personal fave…home of the No Name brand as a store brand–possibly the cheapest store brand product I know)

Cherries $1.88/pound

Top sirloin steak $3.88/pound

Coca Cola/Pepsi soft drinks 2 L 3/$2.88 (less than 99 cents a bottle)

Farmer’s Market mini cucumbers (pickling), 8 pack, $1.88

Dole Classic iceberg or cole slaw salads 88 cents

Old Mill bagel or Wonder+ English Muffins, 6 count 2/$2.88

No Name chicken broth 900 mL carton (30 ounces) 88 cents

President’s Choice 2 L frozen yogurt $2.88

Post Cereal 340-550 grams (12-19 ounces) $1.88

Fruitopia, Five Alive, and Nestea cartons 1.75 L 88 cents (Yes, it’s cheaper than Walmart.  Take those flyers and price match!)

*I did look at the Kroger and Albertson’s sales papers for the week online, but most of these put their prices to shame!

As promised, here is a recipe (from the Foodland recipe booklet) that has only 2 real ingredients, both of which are on sale this week.  My mother-in-law made this recipe last night for a cookout she hosted; she made one batch and realized that she probably could have doubled it.  A single of the recipe makes roughly one gallon/4 liters.  Ocean Spray cranberry juice is on sale at Fresh Co. for $2, and No Frills has 2 L soft drinks on sale for 3/$2.88.  The upshot is that this can be made for less than the equivalent amount of gasoline to fuel your vehicle (whether you are in Canada or the U.S.).

Cranberry Punch

64 ounce bottle Cranberry Cocktail or 100% Juice Blend Cranberry (My mother-in-law used the Cran-Raspberry blend which made it fabulous!)

2 L bottle club soda, ginger ale, or lemon-lime soda (My mother-in-law used lemon-lime soda)

mixed fruit and/or herbs (My mother-in-law sliced up an orange and floated it in the mixture which flavored it nicely)

Chill both bottles thoroughly.  Soak fruit in the juice prior to making the punch.  Add the soda/pop just before serving as well as any herbs, if desired.  Ice may also be added to the pitcher/serving apparatus when the soda/pop is added.

page01By the way, this recipe was extremely Muffin Approved.  And everyone else approved.

What is your favorite punch to make?