What’s Cooking For Dinner Tonight? A Peek Into My Crock-pot…

This video gives you a quick glimpse at what I have cooking in my crock-pot for tonight’s dinner.  Yes, its soup. It is delicious soup loaded with black beans, green peppers, onions, smoked sausage and cooked in chicken broth I reserved from recently cooking split chicken breasts.  Oh, I added some seasonings, too.

Soup, stews and chili are a great option for this time of year!

My Top 5 Favorite Reasons to Make Homemade Soup and Chili

1. It makes a hearty and filling meal. I will dip it into bowls, add shredded cheese, add a side salad and dinner will be ready.

2. You can load it up with veggies from your freezer, pantry, refrigerator or even a previous dinner’s leftovers. This type of meal is very flexible and allows you to work with the items that you have on hand at home.

3.  It doesn’t require the more expensive types of meat.  You can easily use shredded chicken (from your cooked split chicken breasts), smoked sausage, cube steaks, ham or leave out meat altogether (just make vegetable soup). Also, as I mentioned above about the veggies, the meat portion can also come from a previous night’s leftovers. Just chop up the meat and add it to the soup to create a new meal.

4. Soup and chili can be cooked in the crock-pot, so it is a busy person’s ally. Add the ingredients first thing in the morning, set the crock-pot to the “slow cook” setting and dinner will be ready (and your house will smell great) by dinner time.  I would estimate that I use my crock-pot once a week for various different recipes. It is nice on days when my boys and I have something to do after school and I know I won’t have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

If you are a person working outside of the home, a crockpot can especially be a lifesaver.  When I was still working outside the home, I loved using my crock-pot and having dinner mostly made by the time I got home from work. When you have something hot, cooked, healthy and READY when you get home, it eliminates the thought (and expense) of picking up takeout or throwing together a less healthy, convenience meal.

5. A big crock-pot full of soup tends to make plenty of leftovers either for dinner another night or that I can eat for lunch the next few days. I love preparing dinner once and having it last for several meals.

CVS Candy Deal Scenario (Great Time to Get Started Shopping for Easter Candy)

If you want to save some money, now is the time to start shopping and collecting things for your children’s Easter baskets.  Click here to view last year’s post showing how much was spent on my boy’s Easter basket candy! It really does help to plan ahead.

Here is an easy way to score some very inexpensive candy at CVS this week:

Transaction #1 –

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bunny, Cadbury Egg or Reese’s Egg Single – $.87 (3 – Day Sale – Sun, Mon & Tues Only)
Pay $.87, receive $.87 in CVS ExtraBucks at check out for your next transaction (see below)

Transaction #2 –

Pretzel M & M’s – $2.50
Coupon – 1.00 off ONE M & M’s Pretzel Candies (use two of these) – Click here to print!
Coupon – $.87 CVS ExtraBuck from first transaction
Pay $2.13, receive $1.00 CVS towards your next transaction!

Your total out-of-pocket amount for both transactions will be only $3.00, plus you will have $1.00 to use towards your next shopping trip at CVS (so it is like you are spending only $2.00).

The cashiers do not mind you splitting your order into two transactions. Customers do it all of the time to maximize their savings.  When I was new to couponing at CVS several years ago, I would go one day, receive my ExtraBucks and then stop back by a few days later to do the second transaction. Not needed!  Just split your order at check out.

Hot Walgreen’s Deal on Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops

If you are heading to Walgreens this week, I wanted you to be aware of this great deal!

Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops – $8.00
Coupon – $1.00 off – Click here to print!
Total – $7.00, plus receive an $8.00 Register Reward for your next purchase!

This essentially makes the Blink eye drops FREE, plus you have a $1.00 overage.

(Note – This coupon states “Redeemable at Walmart;” however, it is a manufacturer’s coupon that can be redeemed at any store that accepts coupons.  It is NOT a “Redeem ONLY at Walmart” coupon).

Today’s New Printable Coupons – Keebler, Frigo, Dole, Jose Ole, Jiffy Lube & More

Click here to print the following new coupons (found under zip code 98021):
 
$.70 off ONE box of Keebler Club Crackers (excellent coupon especially if your store doubles)
–(Note to Harris Teeter shoppers– The Keebler Club crackers are on sale through Tuesday, Jan. 31 for $2.99.  After this coupon is doubled, a box will only cost $1.59).
 
$.40 off ONE package of Frigo Cheese Heads String Cheese
 
$1.00 off cream cheese when you purchase ONE box of Keebler Toasteds Crackers
 
$1.00 off ONE Jose Ole brand item (16 oz. +)
 
$1.00 off Spot Shot carpet stain remover
 
$2.00 off InStyle Magazine (February issue)
–(The cover price of this magazine is $3.99, so after the coupon is applied, it will cost only $1.99).

Click here to print  a coupon for$12.00 off ONE Jimmy Lube Signature Service Oil Change (found under zip code 98021)!
Click here to print to print a coupon for $.95 off TWO Dole frozen fruits. This is an excellent coupon especially if your store doubles coupons up to $.99.

Click here to print to print a coupon for $1.00 off ONE Post Honey Bunches of Oats Fruit Blends!  I have a feeling since this is a brand new cereal flavor that there will be plenty of upcoming sales to match this coupon with.

There are several other new, great coupons on Coupon Network. Click here to print the following:

$.75 off ONE Dean’s Heat & Eat Dip

$.85 off THREE Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice

$1.35 off TWO Axe Body Sprays/Antiperspirants/Deodorants

$1.50 off TWO Nescafe Taster’s Choice Items (20 – 24 ct. stick packs, etc.)

$1.85 off THREE Nestle Coffee-mate Creamers

Snack Time Saturday – Simple Recipe to Make No Bake Energy Bites

I tried out a new recipe today for No Bake Energy Bites.  Thanks, Teresa, for sending it to me!

Ingredients:

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup MINI chocolate chips

1tsp vanilla

1 cup coconut flakes (optional)

1/2 cup ground flaxseed (optional)

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

After mixing, place mixture in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes.

Finally, make bite-size balls out of the mixture.  Keep refrigerated after making.

My Recipe Notes

I will double this recipe the next time I make it. I can imagine the twenty energy bites we made will disappear quickly at my house.

I didn’t include coconut flakes and flax seed (since I didn’t have those on hand at home).  Also, I didn’t have the mini chocolate chips, only the regular size chips left over from my holiday baking so I used those instead.

This is super simple, yummy and fun to do with the kids.  After I refrigerated the mixture, my six-year-old made the actual energy bite balls.

Here he is hard at work 🙂

Homemaking Mom Reader Tip – HOT Deal on the HOT Sauce at Harris Teeter!

Here is a great tip submitted by Homemaking Mom reader, Katy!

“The BOGO packs are also BOGO! Use two $0.75 q’s and you get 4 for $0.28 or $0.07 each! At my store they aren’t marked. It was a total suprise.”

New Pet Food Printables – Fancy Feast, Alpo, Mighty Dog & Cat’s Pride

Quite a few new pet food coupons popped up this morning.  I don’t have any pets, but I thought these could help those of you that do:

Fancy Feast – $1.00 off eighteen (18) 3oz cans of Fancy Feast® Elegant Medleys®

Fancy Feast – $1.00 off twenty-four (24) 3oz cans of Fancy Feast® Gourmet Cat Food

Fancy Feast – $1.00 off one (1) 3 lb or larger bag of Fancy Feast® Gourmet Dry Cat Food

Fancy Feast – $1.00 off four (4) 2oz trays of Fancy Feast® Appetizers for Cats

Purina® ALPO – $1.50 off ten cans of Purina® ALPO® Dog Food

Purina® Mighty Dog – $2.00 off twelve Purina® Mighty Dog® cans or 12ct variety pack

Cat’s Pride Cat Litter – $1.00 off

(Harris Teeter shoppers – The Mighty Dog canned dog food is on sale for $.70.  If you use the $2.00 off coupon above, it will cost $.53 each when you purchase twelve.  Also, the Fancy Feast gourmet cat food is on sale for $.65 per can. After the $1.00 off coupon is applied, it will cost $.60 per can when you purchase twenty-four.  The Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys are on sale for $.90 each.  After the coupon listed above is applied, it will cost $.84 each when you purchase eighteen).

Since I have never purchased pet food, I have absolutely no idea if these are good deals….just passing along the sale matchups.

New Printable Coupon – $1.00 Off M & M’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies

Click here to print a brand new coupon for $1.00 off ONE M & M’s pretzel bag (9.9 oz. +)! Found under zip code 27107.

(Harris Teeter shoppers – The M & M “medium bags” are on sale through 1/31 for $2.50 (down from the regular price of $3.55).  After this coupon is applied, it will make each bag only $1.50. Also, I have a feeling with Valentine’s Day around the corner there will be plenty of candy sales to pair this with)!

UPDATE – I just noticed on my Harris Teeter weekend deals email that I have an E-VIC special for the M & M’s.  They are only $1.97 through Tuesday. With the coupon above, it will make them only $.97 a bag. These E-VIC offers vary by cardholder, so you will need to double check and see if you got this offer, as well. Limit 2.

$60 Weekly Grocery Challenge – My Total Dropped from $188.48 Down to $67.52!

      

What is the $60 Weekly Grocery Challenge?  

Each week my goal is to spend approximately $60 for food, drinks, groceries, toiletries, diapers and medicine for my family of five. Then, I report on this blog the items that I bought, the best sales and coupon match-ups that I found and hopefully by doing so, help you stretch your family’s grocery budget, as well!   

How Did I Do This Week?

Harris Teeter – Spent $67.52, Saved $120.96

Harris Teeter Shopping Trip

Spent $67.52 (including tax) for $188.48 worth before VIC card and coupons! 

Here is my receipt showing a savings of $120.96:

Click here for my Harris Teeter weekly deals and coupon matchups list for 1/25 – 1/31!

A Few Notes About This Week’s Shopping Trip:

I purposely went a little over my $60 goal this week since there were several great stock up price opportunities on items my family needed and/or regularly uses.  For example, I purchased six jars of peanut butter (my boys go through this in a hurry and my six-year-old loves it for school lunches), four packages of shredded cheese (will last several weeks), two bottles of laundry detergents ($2.99 or less is my target price and I was COMPLETELY OUT at home), etc.

– One of my favorite deals this week I just “happened” upon in the dairy department.  The gallons of HT whole milk were on sale for only $2.00 each at my store.  The sign stated “while quantities last.”  I feel confident that this was a deal specific to my store since I noticed that all of the whole milk on the display were only 3 -5 days from the “sell by” date (no problem using it up in that time frame at my house). Just keep your eyes open for these types of deals when you are shopping.  I see mark downs all of the time in the produce, meat and dairy departments.

– My HT E-VIC coupon for the Campbell’s Select Harvest didn’t deduct AND the HT gingerale 2 liter that was on sale for $.67 each (according to the front page of the ad) rang up $.97??? I didn’t notice these errors until I looked over my receipt prior to typing up this post, so my total paid this week should have been a little more than a dollar less. Just letting you know so that you are aware for your own checkout. 

Just try to always watch items as they are scanned, as well as your coupons as they are scanned.  I notice errors on my receipt often (but, I abolutely LOVE HT for so many reasons, so regardless of small errors it is definitely where I will continue to grocery shop).

If I notice errors that amount to more than a few dollars I will stop by customer service (who is always helpful and friendly). If the error is a small amount, I will just let it slide.  I am curious, though – what do you do (leave your input in the comments section)?

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I post pictures of my weekly Harris Teeter shopping trips and show you how I keep my family’s grocery budget to $60 per week! 

Did you find any great grocery/drug store bargains this week? 

If you have a blog, link up below. If not, feel free to comment on this post with your grocery savings!

Today’s New Coupons – Ball Park, Johnsonville, Snapple, Complete, Coffee-Mate, Enfamil & More

 Click here to print the coupons shown above (found under zip code 90210)!

Then, switch to zip code 23234 and print the following:

Finally, switch to zip code 75034 to print the following coupon:

Other New Coupons:

Click here to print the coffee creamer coupons shown above!

New Enfamil Coupon:

$5.00 off ONE Enfamil