Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Costco Time #2 in One Week!

I am actually a little embarrassed to even tell every one that yes, I did go to Costco TWICE in one week ... I've even had to set the kids and friends straight that there were to be no more cracks about it ... they were having a little too much fun with it ;-)

Ok, let's get to it and share what I bought ...

carton of 5 hour energy (kirkland brand) $34.99 less $7 (I hate these things but Hubby likes them, as much as I keep telling him that they really can't be good for him)
Kirkland brand laundry pods $16.99 less $3.50 (stopped using Tide about 4 months ago after trying this brand!)
2 gallons whole milk $3.49 each
10 lbs old fashioned oats $7.89
3 dozen xlarge eggs $4.89
20 lbs basmati rice (really) $20.99
10 lbs organic brown rice $13.99
Rice Cooker $29.99
20 inch floor fan $34.99
2 bottles of acid reflux (one too many margaritas lately?) $8.49 each
large bottle of Allertec (store brand Zyrtec) $14.99
large package of sponges $12.49 less $2
freezer ziplocs $11.99
EsterC vitamins $11.79
toothbrushes $13.99 less $4
4 pack sunscreen $15.99 less $3
twin pack tin foil $15.99
3 pack qtips $8.99
3 pack of vacuum sealed sour dough bread $7.99
tampons $13.49 less $3
combo pack ziplocs $10.99
olie oil $11.39
10 lbs frozen chicken breast $22.99 (this is cheaper than sale chicken lately)
large tub of roasted garlic hummus $5.99
twin pack pork tenderloin $14.17
2 4lb packages of organic broccoli $6.49 each
beef franks (deli style) $10.99
wedge of medora cheese $12.12
4 lbs (or so?) of italian sausage $13.99
2 containers of mango & peach salsa $5.39 each less $1.40 each
toothpaste (5 pack) $14.99 less $4.50
2 packages of cooked bacon $12.99 each
twin pack of grey poupon $6.99
half and half $2.09
twin package of organic raisins $8.69 less $2
and ...
3 packages of Naked Smoothies ... the price on shelf said $4.99 but they rang up as $14.49 ... when they went to do a price check, the sign was gone as the manager had pulled it down because it was a mislabeled price ... but being Costco, they honored it ...

Grand total: $594.49 LESS the $85 credit they gave me back (the cashier rang the void up instead of voiding it out so I had 2 $43.47 charges instead of the charges and voids).

Still. Way too much spent at Costco this past week.

I am staying FAR FAR AWAY from all stores this week!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week 82 Using What We Have

Ahem ... and we have a LOT of stuff to be using around here ...

The Pantry Challenge was a failure. Well, I shouldn't say a complete failure ... I did start to get the top pantry organized, and we did use stuff up out of the freezers and pantry ... but I also added things which was supposed to be one of the main reasons for a challenge!

Now that I've been to Costco two (yes 2!) times in the past week, I think I need to just make every effort to stay out of the stores ... I'm still working on getting the pantry inventory list up and finalized ... then it will be time to tackle the freezers ...

Hubby was gone all last week and flies home on Thursday night ... I completely missed that he was going out for 10 days, not the 4 I had thought he said. Uggg. I was pretty sick and thankfully, FINALLY on the road to recovery ... actually getting lots of stuff done now! At long last! The menu plan last week was NOT followed but we all did eat at home for 6 of the 7 nights, and all breakfast and lunches were prepared at home, so I would say the week was a success in that sense!

I'm not really making an official meal plan this week, other than lots of salads and trying to use up whats in the fridge that needs to be used before it goes bad ...

I have a few new recipes I'd like to try out but honestly, I don't know if I'll have the time to try them ... I want to get the pantry and freezers finished up and put away the rest of the food that's still sitting on the counter from the Costco trips (rice, oatmeal, chips, etc.) ...

What are YOU planning to make this week? I am looking forward to linking up with Organized Junkie Menu Plan Monday ... go check it out!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

It seems that I've been trying to clean out the freezers and pantry for E V E R, doesn't it? Honestly, I'm trying NOT to buy anything to put in either places, but sometimes, these things just jump out at me ... so imagine my surprise when I went to make this recipe back on Memorial Day and I had NO corn, either canned or frozen?? I would have sworn I had a bag in the freezer but nope ... someone must have used it up!

So, I had Hubby pick up a few cans one day and then I picked up a few cans another day and now I have FOUR cans. Perfect.  Black beans, yeah, we have them but after this recipe, I'm down to ONE lonely can!

Any way.

This is almost like my Hurricane Food Storage Use Up Salad that I posed eons ago .. except I like this one just a tad bit better ;-)



Here's what you need to make ... and by the way, it's not just for holiday bbq parties!

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 can of golden corn, rinsed and drained well
1 large tomato, diced (and drained if really juicy)
small bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped *totally optional if you have which I did!*
juice of one lime
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
green onions, sliced thin (are you continually growing your green onions?)
1 tbs cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

Note: I dumped the beans and corn right in the colander and then rinsed well. As they were draining, I added in the tomatoes and let them sit for about an hour or so in the sink to drain well.


In a large, non-reactive bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and salt together. Dump in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Cover and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, stir before serving.

Enjoy!

Looking forward to linking up with some great blog hops ... make sure you check them out! In and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysKitchen Tip TuesdaysShow Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWhat I Whipped UpWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday ObsessionsFrugal Food ThursdayShowcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseFoodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopFriday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchI Gotta CreateShow and Tell SaturdayShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday ShowcaseSavory SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayDinner Time RecipesShow Me What You GotMade By You MondayHunk of Meat MondaySweet Sharing MondayWhat’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterMotivated MondayTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money Monday, Lou Lou Girls

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Frugal Activities #22

I really like doing this post weekly as it keeps me a little more focused and accountable, for the most part :-)

This past week, I was so excited to have a real frugal week ... after all, Hubby was traveling from Monday to Thursday ... I had plenty of food in house to eat and I didn't have a whole lot planned as I was still on the road to recovery (which I think I can honestly say I am now!) ... but then ... life interrupted!

Hubby was going to be gone until NEXT THURSDAY! O M G. I must have really been out of it when we were talking about this trip all that time. I thought he was going for 4 days and to think I would have driven to the airport at 10:30pm for nothing ... I still can NOT believe that I messed that up!  So ... with that ... here are a few of the Frugal Activities I did this past week:

1.  Did my own nails ... I haven't been doing them at all and decided to go ahead and give myself a mini-manicure after going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to go pay for a manicure and pedicure. Trust me, I still want to do it but I opted to do it myself.

2.  Prepared all 5 work days of breakfast and lunch instead of going out. Same for dinner for the 6 days ... one night me and Princess went to our favorite little pub for dinner ... it was a night to spend some time with her.

3.  Invited a girlfriend over for appetizers and drinks on Wednesday night. We haven't had a whole lot of one on one time in a while so it was good for us. We had delicious Peach Vodka Sea Breezes with what I had on hand ... same with the lunch meat, chips (Costco) and homemade salsa.

4.  Paid the water bills, cell phone bill and cable bill online.

5.  Borrowed a book from my boss to read to keep myself occupied ... I'm hoping to finish it this weekend, poolside, so he can have it back before he leaves town on Thursday (oh, the same day Hubby comes back, FINALLY).

6.  Avoided buying more beer, opting to use what is already in the garage fridge. Not my favorite but its already here and on hand. Probably good to clear it out of the fridge.

7.  This falls into both categories: went to a new country bar with my girlfriend on Friday night ... frugal in that its close to home and it's reasonably priced, fun dancing and listening to the live band. See why it wasn't so frugal below.

8.  Drove Hubby's zippy car all week, getting 40 miles per gallon IN TOWN as opposed to my Tahoe's 10 miles per gallon (this is enough incentive to make me really focus on selling the Tahoe and applying that money to the principal of the mortgage).

9.  Finally got more of the Pantry organized and will be updating the Pantry/Freezer Inventory page soon.  I think I will keep the inventory open to the general population, just for 'kicks' ... we have a LOT of food (hence, the push for a pantry challenge!) and we make and consume a lot too ... Saturday afternoon there were 8 early 20 year old kids/adults here in the pool ... like Princess said, "hey, there are a ton of chips to be eaten!" ... was thankful the Boy's girlfriend bought some yummy mango salsa.

10.  Accepted 5 more fresh mangoes. Now that I'm not sick (YES!) I can process them and freeze ...

11.  Noticed that the Naked Juice rang up as $14.97 at Costco. That was not what the sign had said, which is WHY I bought 3 packages ... the sign had said $4.97 each.  After going back and forth with the cashier and asking for a price check, he "voided the 3 and said that he could add them back on if the price is what I said.  Took the girl a LONG time to check the price, come to find out, it was a misprint on the shelf and the manager had taken the sign down after hearing several other people complain. Thankfully, Costco is great to their customers and they honored it. Which made me look at the receipt again to see that the cashier added the $45 instead of voiding it ... so I paid $15 for the 3 packages and have a credit of $90 to watch for on the AE bill.

12.  Set up the Greentree Servicing online ... they suck. I wanted to make a $100 payment on the site to apply as principal only to the mortgage and they wanted to charge me $12. Really?? So I made an online payment through my bank account and will have to wait for the statement to confirm it's applied to the principal.

And then, of course, some of the NOT so Frugal Activities:

1.  Costco. Yes. I know I'm suppose to be on a 2 week Pantry Challenge ... but I needed a few things and THOUGHT Hubby was coming home Thursday so stocked up on veggies and stuff. Ugg. Told the kids we are going to have to eat like little pigs so nothing goes bad. They are fine with that, I'm sure ;-)

2.  Ran out of house one morning and left the master bathroom light and fan on all stinkin day. Uggg.

3.  Went out with girlfriend to a local country bar. Should have been inexpensive entertainment, BUT we opted to do a lemon drop shot and a few Baby Guinness's ... tab for the 2 of us for, oh, 4-5 hours (yes, we really closed the place down, both of us were amazed and thankful we switched to water early!) was $93. Them Baby Guinness's use Cafe Patron and Baileys which can make the cost go way up on the shot.

4.  Ahem. Costco. Again. Uggg. I really think I need to just stay away from there for a while now.

Ok ... I need to go finish the top pantry (one shelf left) and then root around for something to eat ;-)

Looking forward to sharing this over at The Prudent Homemaker and The Money Propeller!

Easy Package Tip for Freezing Raw Chicken

This isn't really rocket science, BUT if you are one of the millions of people who cringe when it comes to handling raw chicken ... here's a pretty nifty tip for you:

Cheap-o fold over plastic sandwich bags.

Yup.

Did you know that your hand can slide right in to one, almost as if it was a glove??


Sort of creepy, I know, and I do apologize! But I'm just trying to show you that it's a fairly decent size bag.

So anyways.

Turn your bag inside out and slide your hand inside the 'glove'

Pick up one lonely, slimy, raw chicken breast with that bagged hand.


That's one big chicken breast, isn't it?? Honestly, I would normally trim that baby a little as I don't like the little fatty pieces that get left behind. But I'm trying to show you a cool trick so read on:

Next you want to take your other hand and holding the flap piece of the bag (the piece that you would fold over if it was a sandwich) and just turn the bag right side out, right over the chicken ...


Wholly Batman! Did you notice that my hand NEVER EVER touched the raw chicken?? How cool is that!

So now all you need to do is just sort of fold the bag over the chicken, making it a somewhat secure wrap ...


And because I NEVER said I was a perfectionist, these are just ok with me to stick in a large freezer ziploc bag and freeze.

I did 5 lbs like this ... way better than freezing a 3 or 4 pk of breast that will clump together and be a mess to thaw quickly. This way, you can pull out one or two as needed for stir fry, fajitas, whatever ...

When you are ready to cook some chicken, simply pull out however many you need, toss in the shoebox and let them defrost. No more solid masses of chicken breasts to defrost!!

I used to love buying the prepackaged, individual frozen chicken breast in it's own little bag ... they were single serving sizes and it was perfect to pull out a few for dinner. Then I discovered the flash frozen 10 pound bags at Costco but those were still a little expensive. After I found this technique, I'm looking forward to chicken sales again!

Looking forward to linking up with some great blog hops ... make sure you check them out! In and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysKitchen Tip TuesdaysShow Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWhat I Whipped UpWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday ObsessionsFrugal Food ThursdayShowcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseFoodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopFriday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchI Gotta CreateShow and Tell SaturdayShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday ShowcaseSavory SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayDinner Time RecipesShow Me What You GotMade By You MondayHunk of Meat MondaySweet Sharing MondayWhat’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterMotivated MondayTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money Monday, Lou Lou Girls