Broccoli Pesto…Yummy…..Really!

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In addition to couponing, I am trying to feed my family more whole, healthy foods.  It’s sort of counter intuitive to couponing, as much of what you get as a coupon queen is processed and/or canned.  In all honestly, if I can get my family to eat whole, healthy foods 1/2 of the time, it will be a big  improvement.  At some point I will try to up it to 80% of the time but I don’t want to shock their contaminated systems. The current goal is to make 3-4 whole, veggie laden meals per week.

Last night I made whole wheat pasta with broccoli pesto.  I thought it was delicious.  The kids were not as excited about it as I was but they did all eat some which was probably more broccoli than any of them have had in 2012.

It was super easy to make and I was able to use a few items I purchased with coupons – the whole grain pasta, broth and mozzarella cheese were all insane deals I brought home thanks to those handy dandy coupons.

I based my recipe on one I found in The Good Housekeeping Family Vegetarian Cook Book but I made quite a few changes.

Here’s what I did:

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

1 package whole wheat rotini

1 head fresh broccoli

1 cup broth (I used beef broth because I had it on hand but I think any broth would do – use vegetable broth if you want to make this a vegetarian recipe)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes

1.  Cook pasta per package directions.

2.  Steam broccoli

3. In blender, add cooked broccoli, broth, parm, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and blend until smooth.

4. When pasta is cooked, drain, toss with broccoli pesto, mozzarella cheese, sundried tomatoes and serve.  Sprinkle top with extra grated Parmesan.

Leftovers also made quite a tasty lunch!

Peace Out Coupon Scout!

Kate

Why Not Give, Instead of Buy, on Black Friday?

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I have received email after email about the great deals I can get for Black Friday.  Many of these fabulous deals started at 8pm Thursday, THANKSGIVING DAY!!!  Seriously?  Is nothing sacred?  Are we supposed to move our Thanksgiving meals earlier in the day so we can rush out with the hoards of people to trample each other for the one $39 Blu Ray player?

It’s bad enough that soon Christmas decorations will make their appearance on store shelves right after Labor Day.  Can’t one holiday, the one holiday where we are supposed to count our blessings by the way, remain untouched by consumerism?

My family and I went on a Thanksgiving walk yesterday at 1pm.   There were people already in line outside of a Best Buy store that wasn’t opening until midnight.  I couldn’t believe it.  Their entire Thanksgiving was going to be spent in line at a store, instead of with family or friends.   Perhaps these folks don’t have family or friends you say….I answer with, is it any wonder when their priorities are so whacked?  If they were alone on Thanksgiving, these people could have volunteered at a food pantry or soup kitchen.  They could have spent the day holding babies at a hospital or playing games with wards of the state who are relegated to group homes.

The same is true for today, Black Friday.  Why is it so important to get more and more crap?  Maybe we could change Black Friday from a day of buying to a day of giving.  We could change the name to Fabulous Friday and instead of spending 24 hours shopping like turkeys with their heads cut off, we could spend the day helping others.  Now that would be a Freaky Friday indeed.

 

Another 3 bags donated! Yahoo!

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Last week was an insane week at Publix.  Check out my receipt:

 

Yup, you saw that correctly.  I bought $81 in groceries for $9.  Most of what I purchased were items to donate.  Publix even paid me $.80/bottle to purchase body lotion.  You’ve got to love that.  I bought vitamins, chocolate chips and some body lotion for my house.  Without coupons  those items alone would have cost me well over $9  so everything I donated was essentially a bonus.

Because of the stellar week last week, I was able to donate 3 more grocery bags of food.  Normally, I would have waited until I had collected more bags but I had stuffing and mashed potatoes so I wanted to make sure those items made it to the food bank before Thanksgiving.  Yesterday Jack and I brought boxes of stuffing, boxes of mashed potatoes, cough drops, cookie mix, body lotion, cans of Campbells Soup and more (but I sadly can’t remember what as I am getting old) to the Lawrenceville Food Co-Op. It was another feel good moment for both Jack and me and we are looking forward to collecting more items to donate again soon.

If you coupon, I really recommend grabbing a few great deals weekly to donate.  You’ll feel great!  I promise!

8 Grocery Bags Donated!!!

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Today, my 14 year old son, Jack, and I made our way to The Quinn House where we delivered 8 full bags of groceries.  All items I obtained for free or almost free via couponing.  (Except for the one giant bag of Halloween candy which we did get for free via the generosity of our neighbors but I didn’t coupon for it.  Instead I dressed my kids up and sent them door to door and look at all the candy they brought home ).

The Quinn House is a local organization that helps homeless families and operates a food bank.   If you live in Lawrenceville and are interested in donating food items check it out http://www.thequinnhouse.com.  They need items year round and not just during the holidays.

We were met at the door by a Quinn House resident who was very appreciative and both Jack and I returned to the car with big smiles on our faces.   Previously I have donated my couponed goods to food drives and the like.  I have not delivered directly to the food bank and seen where these items are going.   It felt good to donate and I was glad Jack felt good too.

It got me thinking that I need to make giving part of my children’s daily lives.  What do you do to teach your children about giving to others in need? I’d love to get some ideas.

Peace Out Coupon Scout,

Kate

What Do Food Banks Need?

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I did a very unscientific survey online of items that Food Banks need.  Here is what I came up with.  Interestingly, you can extreme coupon to get many of these items.

Baby items – such as formula, baby food, diapers
Baking Supplies – flour, sugar, oil, vanilla, seasonings, etc
Beans, canned & dried
Cake mix & frosting
Canned Fruit
Canned meals such as chili, soup, pasta, Pork & Beans
Canned meats such as chicken, tuna
Canned Tomatoes
Canned Vegetables
Cereal, Cold & Hot
Condiments – ketchup, mayo, mustard
Coffee and tea (including iced tea mix)
100% Fruit Juice
Jelly
Kid friendly convenience foods, like granola bars, individual apple sauces,fruit snacks
Macaroni & cheese
Pasta
Pasta Sauce
Peanut Butter
Powdered milk
Processed cheese spread
Rice
Salad dressings
Saltine Crackers
Vegetable oil

Remember, people can’t buy non-food items with food stamps, so even if they are also getting food stamp assistance, items such as the following will come in handy:

Cleaning Products
Feminine products
Laundry soap
Razors and shaving cream
Shampoo
Soap
Toothpaste
Toilet paper

There was one other common theme on the websites.  As we near the holidays, many people will be donating to food pantries.  Many pantries then run out of items by summer. Couponing for good entails the constant picking up of those few extra items each week while at the store….allowing us to give year round and not just as we near the holidays….just one more reason to coupon for good!

What items have you found to donate this week?

Peace Out Coupon Scout.

Kate

This Week’s Haul

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2 boxes of muffin mix ($.36/each)

6 jars of baby foor ($.06/each) (I think my husband panicked when he saw the baby food jars…hee, hee)

3 toothpaste (FREE)

Not a huge haul but every little but adds up, right?

I just received an email from Care 2 Action emphasizing how many charities will be overwhelmed with requests for help as the holidays approach.  Food Banks in particular will be hard hit.

What can you do right now to help?  I know what I’m doing.  I am going to keep on couponing for good.  If I can pick up 10 items each week, that will be close to 100 items by Christmas…see every little bit helps!

If you have any ideas of other simple, easy ways to help others, let me know.  If we all do just a little we really can make the world a better place.

Peace Out Coupon Scout,

Kate

 

 

 

This Week’s Goodies

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There are a few super cheap/free things that are worth picking up and donating this week:

Publix has  Betty Crocker Premium Muffin Mix, on sale as a B1G1 which comes to $1.39/box.  If you use the -.50/1 Betty Crocker box muffin mix from the 9/09 Smart Source insert and your Publix doubles coupons like mine does, these should come out to less that $.39/box.  Certainly worth picking up a few to donate (or keep if you like muffins)

Kroger has a few things worth picking up to donate this week too:

Angel Soft Bathroom Tissue is on sale for $1 a 4 ct.  Use the 25/1 Angel Soft bath tissue PRINTABLE  and with the double coupon, you get a 4 ct for only 50¢.  Yahoo!  The only downside is that you can only print out 2 coupons.

Field or Fischer’s Lunch Meat, Bologna or Hot Dogs, $1.  There is a -.50/1 Fischer’s hot dogs, bologna, lunchmeat in the 8/19 Smart Source insert making these FREE. I LOVE FREE!!!!  Although, I am not sure about donating refrigerated items to the food pantry.  I am going to pick up a bunch of these and find out though.  I’ll post as soon as I get some info.

Once again toothpaste is free – I don’t think I’ve paid for a tube of toothpaste in over a year.  Crest toothpaste is on sale for $1.00 and there is a $0.50 off coupon in the 09-30 Proctor & Gamble insert.  Double that coupon and voila – free toothpaste.  A great item to donate.  Especially since you know there will be free toothpaste again soon.

I hope this list helps you find a few things to donate to a food pantry this week.   I firmly believe that if we all did just a little we could really make a dent in hunger.   We all agree that no one should go hungry, so just grab a few coupons and grab some items to donate.  Click here if you want more info on how you can help end Child Hunger in America-

Peace Out Coupon Scout!

Kate