Tag Archives: couponing

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

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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

 

 

 

SNAP Budget- FAIL

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I haven’t posted for the past few days.  I am embarrassed.  You see, I failed on a SNAP budget.  I truly thought I could do it.  Not only did I think I could do it, I thought it would be fairly easy. HA!  I laugh at myself.

Three days into it and I tossed in the towel.  While it’s true that weekly I don’t usually spend more than $150-$175 at the grocery store, every 4-6 weeks I stock up on things at COSTCO.  Moreover, we eat out once or twice a week -never anything fancy, pizza or sub sandwiches, but not meals that I count in my grocery budget. It makes a difference.  We were not off by lots of money but we were off by enough.  It got complicated and frustrating and I quit.  I am feeling very fortunate that I could just quit.

This experiment not only made it clear to me how hard it is to be on food stamps, it also made me realize how important food banks that can supplement SNAP are and why couponing for good is in fact, a good idea.

For more information on SMAP and protecting it, go here:

http://www.strength.org/blog/snap/stories

I did not find any great couponing freebies this past week but am hoping there will be some good ones in the ads tomorrow.  I’ll keep you posted.  Remember, the food banks need us!

Peace Out Coupon Scout!

Kate

 

Oh SNAP! Day 3!

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Day 3 we spent a total of $24.08 on food. We actually did it.  We were under our $24.85/day budget.  However it meant Jeff skipped breakfast, we ate leftovers and we did not have enough dinner for all of us.

Here’s how Day 3 broke down…

Breakfast – The shorties (CJ & Kylie had french toast sticks again…..you would thing they’d be sick of that by now)   Jeff didn’t eat breakfast today, Quinn had a peanut butter sandwich instead of a smoothie and I had a bowl of cereal– $3.85

No morning snack  again today so that also saved us a bit – seems like that has to go if we have any hope of staying on track.

Lunch: $.20

As it turns out Jack didn’t finish the box of pasta yesterday…he did today for lunch  – which was great for the budget- $0

Jeff had leftovers from dinner, also good for the budget. $0

I had $.20 can a of chili- $.20

Afterschool snack – $5.50

Jack and CJ had cereal, $1.50 ( 1 bowl of cereal each with milk – box of cereal $1.99, gallon of milk $2.19)

CJ  also had Special K crackers – $2.00

Quinn is on a field trip for school for the next two days and not here but we’ll act as if she is and add $2 for her after school snack.  Just to keep us honest.

Dinner – $11.28

CJ had a baseball game and I didn’t want to blow a bunch of cash at the concessions.   I decided to bring dinner to the park.  Jack helped me make the chicken nuggets and burned himself  which led to him dropping the tray full of nuggets.  We lost 1/2 of the bag.  Based on our budget for the week this is almost a tragedy.  We made the rest of the bag which was enough for Jack, Jeff and Kylie.  CJ was playing baseball so he didn’t get any and I sacrificed my chicken nuggets for the good of my family. – $3.99 for the bag

I also brought chips – $1.79 for the bag, a bag of apples but only Jeff and I ate apples – $1.00 and 4 packs of fruit snacks for the kids ($1.00), ketchup ($.50), water (I filled up bottles so that was free) and 3 diet cokes ($3.00)

Here’s a pic of our gourmet dinner:

Cj had a yogurt when he got home and he was given a Gatorade and chips at the game. $2.50.  And I made up for my chicken nuggets sacrifice with a bowl of cereal $.75.

We now have only $73. 71 left for the 4 days left in the week.  At this point it is clear that we are not going to make the entire week within our budget.  I have realized that I stock up on enough things that I don’t have to spend over $175 each week because at least once a month I do spend more.  That stocking up shopping trip allows me to spend less than $175 the other weeks …what these few days have taught me is that if I didn’t have the ability to stock up monthly, I’d be screwed.