Friday, October 19, 2012

Scouring the cupboards and freezer

Money is super tight right now until the end of the month.  So much so that I'm really really going to have to keep the next grocery shopping trip to a bare minimum. I made a menu plan of  as low cost meals as possible, but then decided I'd better take a good look in the freezer and actually see what is hiding in there that could be dinners for next week.  Found 3 things! Some chicken breasts I can use to add to a rice and veggies recipe I have, a bag of Gorton's fish fillets (dinner tonight) and a frozen skillet pre-made meal stuffed in the back of the freezer. Whew! I already knew the beef tips and gravy Hormel meal was in the freezer. I stocked up on a couple of these earlier when I got them on sale and with coupon for $2.99. That will help the grocery bill this week a lot.  I also found a coupon online for $3 off Fresh Express salad, so that should make it free and help fill out a couple of meals.

Fortunately I'm already pretty much stocked up on pantry basics and things for side dishes with the meals. I have enough in the cupboards for my work day lunches brown bag. We are completely out of laundry detergent, but DH has mentioned he wanted to try something different than what we have used the past umpteen years. He doesn't feel like the clothes smell very fresh anymore.  Instead of forking over $11 for a box of our usual, I'm going to try Gain - the grocery store has it on sale for $4.99 plus I have a $1 off coupon and another .40 off with a store coupon. I was so surprised DH wanted to try something new. Once he finds something he likes or it's just what he's always been used to, he's impossible to try anything new (I think this goes along with his OCD tendencies), so I'm happy to get some cheaper laundry detergent. It's a smaller size (I usually get the biggest) but still a good price to try something new out.

I'm also going to wait and go shopping tomorrow morning while DD is at work, so I'm not tempted to buy anything that is NOT on my list! Especially snacks.  We can make cookies or cake from scratch this weekend with ingredients we already have.  DS has not been home all week, so I still have milk, peanut butter, pop and chips left from last week. My goal is to spend less than $50.

DH has been trying the weight loss shake for his lunches the past week and a half.  This was paid for a couple of weeks ago for the next 30 days, so I don't need to add his usual lunch stuff of bread, lunch meat, cheese, and chips to my grocery list. Guess what? He was down 5.5 pounds the first week! Overall, since he last went to the doctor and was weighed 5 weeks ago he has lost 12 pounds. I know this will help him feel better, at least as much as he can, by getting some of this excess weight off.  The Lyrica medicine was the cause of the last 10 pounds or so he gained so quickly. Glad it's gone!

Here's the dinner menu for the next week:
Fish fillets
Club sandwiches
Chicken/rice/mixed veggies
Tuna Casserole
Chicken w/rice skillet meal
Beef tips and noodles


  1. Yeah, I don't think you have to buy the most expensive laundry detergent to get clean, great smelling clothes. I have been using Arm & Hammer, and did you know you can add just a shot (1/4 Cup to a full load) of white vinegar to nasty stuff (our exercise clothes, underwear, etc.) - and it works great! A friend just recently told me that. Another money saver I do is cut my laundry sheets up into strips - about 4 per sheet. Works just like you threw the whole one in there - saving you on your usage of them. Oh - and if you have soft water - don't use as much detergent - a little goes a long way (read that in a magazine somewhere). Good luck with the frugal meals - they sound great! And I am hoping that your hubby gets some relief from the back pain - I totally know the frustration/pain he's dealing with (it becomes all consuming). If he continues to lose weight, maybe he can start to do some exercises - I've found that core/lower back strengthening/stretching exercises have really helped my pain level - brought down from an 8 or 9 to a tolerable 2 or 3. (And this has been going on for 8 years and counting! I was suicidal at one point.........seriously! I thought I was going to go crazy with the pain.) But just a thought. He has to do what he feels he can/wants to do. Have a great weekend!

  2. Try cleaning your washer also. I use peroxide and hot water cycle to clean out the drum. Remember that you don't need to use a full cup of detergent for any load of laundry. Studies have shown that all the soap doesn't wash out of our clothes in the first place, so we should use less to begin with.

    As for the tight food budget, I can relate. I try not to go shopping with my daughter because the "I wants" make the total go sky high. I have begun telling her that I will buy all of the basics and a couple extra things but if she wants something specific she will need to purchase it herself. Good luck.

  3. Wow, where did you get the $3 off salad coupons? That's a great offer! And you can definitely navigate through. I've been at that crossroads when I really dont have a lot in the pantry or otherwise, yet I'm either out of funds or not wanting to go shopping... It really helps to have some of those bare basics at hand (chicken, rice, beans), that in a pinch, should give you enough meals to wait out the tide.

  4. Tanner, I found the coupon on a freebie website and this is the link directly to the coupon Remember, you can print twice :)

  5. I need to go though our freezer too. I found some shrimps yesterday for dinner. I was really happy! We are on a bare bone budget too for the rest of the month, and with my parents coming next week, it will be a challenge!