Sunday, December 4, 2022

Meal Planning Dec 5-10

Hi everyone!

PSA - Target store gift cards are 10% off today only!!! Limit up to $500. Clip the Circle Q (you will only receive discount if you clip the Q). You can customize the gc amount if you don't want the amounts that are listed. Just scroll to the end of the value boxes and select custom. Then type in the amount you want added. Deal can be done online & in store. You can purchase both digital and physical gcs. Mix & match

Brrrr. It's so cold and we only have 2 gas fireplaces working. We're without heat again. Sigh.  I'm trying to warm up as best as I can. Most blinds closed, extra comforters on the bed. I just don't like wearing layers though. I like to be free to move easily. I can't function with cold feet though. I can't even fall asleep if my feet are cold. 

I'm trying not to cook as much. We finished most of the leftovers, but since it's only 2 of us there's always too much food to eat. I woke up extra early again, so I decided to be productive again after my shower & coffee. By the time DS got up (just before 10), I already had most of the food done. Here's what I made today:

Monday : Chicken pot pie. Pick your own veggie sides & salad

Tuesday : Artichoke pesto chicken casserole and veggies

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : Same at Tuesday

Friday : Italian sausage on rolls/buns, baked potatoes, baked beans and/or salad. Or I'll pull some Sams chicken from the freezer and add salad to that. 

We always have salad fixings and I cook several different veggies. This week we have grilled brussel sprouts, broccoli, baked & mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, butternut & beetroot salad. 

I had some leftover pie filling, so I made some mini chicken pies for DS's lunches. 

I also made my Korean beef & broccoli stir fry. Sometimes DS will have it in a wrap with spinach & mozzarella cheese. So good!

Breakfasts : Bran apple muffins & cranberry pancakes. 

I didn't do much shopping for this week. I stopped at Kroger (Friday) for their Mission tortilla chips that's on sale. I needed eggs too and had a 40c mailer Q. Well, the 18ct eggs were $4.87!!! WTH?! I'm so used to buying the Kroger 18ct sale eggs (approx $1.49 - I can't remember the new sale price), so this was a huge shock to me. At Sams I saw 2 doz eggs for $6. Okay, not too bad but I figured Aldi would have a lower price and I needed to pick up bread there since Sams hasn't had my Milton bread for over 2 months now. Well a dozen eggs was $3.67 at Aldi!!!!!! No friggin way!! So much for Aldi's lower prices. I've noticed that their bleach (used to be $3.xx)is now over $5 too. I don't need eggs that desperately. I'll just pick some up next time I'm at Sams or Kroger. I never thought that it would be cheaper for me to buy beef than eggs. I know that there's bird flu in the UK, so that probably affects the egg prices, but we don't import eggs from the UK (at least not as far as I know).

My grocery spending for the first week of December came to around $100 overall. Not too bad, since everything is expensive these days. After seeing our carry out bill for last month, I decided that enough was enough. DS is just gonna have to get used to eating homemade food on Fridays.  Besides, my food tastes a lot better and is much more healthier. I'll splurge on him every other week, but our carry out bill was almost as much as our grocery budget for last month. Crazy! So I pulled fajita chicken from the freezer on Friday, cooked beans in the instant pot and made nachos with the tortilla chips I bought. I forgot to buy cilantro to make pico :( I added a salad to that and it was good! Easy peasy & our bodies didn't get any junk.

I also stopped at Wags for some Softsoap b/w that was on sale. 

I've been working on ordering photo books, so I can clear all the pics from my electronics. 

As mentioned before, I only bought bras and an electric razor at Kohls BF sale. I paid $173.54  for 8 bras and the razor. I earned $45 KC and $25 Y2Y rewards and submitted a $15 rebate for the razor. I bought DS 2 pairs of athletic shoes and some household items earlier last month, so my Y2Y had a good reward. Then I used the $70 to buy items to resell. This will recoup all my OOP cost. Yay!

I bought 3 more bras at Macy's when I ordered an item for DS's Christmas project and paid with a gc. I had some money left over, so I figured I might as well buy the bras, since the sale price doesn't happen often. I will say though that the quality is not what it used to be. You will notice quality issues with most things, since the world has been such a mess for the past few years. We are paying far high prices for inferior products these days. 

I also saw that Kohls had my favorite running shoes in wide sizes only on BF sale. This was very strange to me. I decided to check Meijer's BOGOF BF sale for the shoes and noticed the same thing. Only wide sizes available in that brand. Then it hit me. Remember that huge backlogs we had at the ports last year? I'm guessing that this is old inventory that they are now trying to move/get rid of (Earlier this year I read that some stores were having big sales on Halloween items and I thought it strange that they were selling halloween items that time of year). So why not let consumers think that they're getting a good deal. Sneaky, sneaky. Lucky for me, I understand a bit about manufacturing & retail. This is why I stock up during a good sale & don't fall for those phantom sales.

I did my annual makeup splurge at Macy's. I normally use drugstore makeup, but will buy the nicer brands once a year. Why? Because it comes with free bonus gifts (usually a gift bag filled with travel size makeup - sometimes full size makeup). Then there's the 15% cash back. I earned $10 Macy's rewards after purchasing the bras & DS's item. The reward was only good for a limited time. My favorite makeup brand then had Free gift with $37 purchase and they had huge discounts on that brand. No problemo. I added a bunch of stuff to my cart, used the $10 reward and paid $30.28 (incl tax) for the items. Then I earned $5.70 cash back through Rakuten. I took out all the items that I'll use and listed the rest. I will make back more than $30 and have a bunch of new makeup items to use. Win-win!

I've decided to sell all the birthday freebies I got. Okay, I'm keeping the WHBM I bought another pair of shoes, because it was really hard to spend my birthday reward. This has never happened before. Normally I can walk away with at least 3 items for that $25. Not this time. I didn't need or want another pair of shorts, so I opted for some sale shoes. It's genuine leather anyway, so I'm a happy camper. 

To the new readers or those who haven't been following my blog for a long time. Please understand that I'm not a cheapskate nor am I broke. I enjoy playing the retail game. It's fun beating the stores at their own game. Everything is crazy expensive these days, especially groceries. By saving in certain areas, we are helping to offset the high cost of inflation. Everybody needs to eat, so there's no getting around high food costs (actually there is a way. Save in other areas, but you get the idea. We can't keep up with the rising food costs). In most cases you will find that people who are frugal are financially independent. They know that by being frugal, they are keeping more money in their own pockets and increasing their net worth this way. I know that there's a misconception about frugalists. I try to save on whatever I can, but also splurge on things that make me happy without paying the high price tag. Sure, it takes a bit of work but my son & I can still enjoy nice things without breaking the bank. 

My coffee machine carafe broke. I have the worst luck with these carafes. I don't even know how they break. I will just notice a crack when I clean them. I do know that I knocked it against the kitchen sink once before and broke it in the process. The first time this happened, I looked for a replacement online. Found one at Kohls and have kept a spare in the pantry ever since. So I went to the basement, got my new carafe & voila! Fresh coffee again. Now I have to wait until Kohls sends me a 40% off Q again so I can buy a new replacement carafe. See how my crazy shopping eventually pays off?

I'm practically done with Christmas shopping. We normally spend a lot of money on DS for Christmas. We only have one child so we go all out. However, he doesn't care for everything that we buy. He mainly wants electronics, so that's what I got him. My latest Rakuten check paid for 2 of his gifts. I still need one more thing, but I have gcs for those (Ibotta, Target circle bonus, IGC). I'm just waiting on Target to do annual sale on that item. So this year, I spent 60% of what I normally do & that includes a new laptop for him. Go me! :)

Some of the items I purchased for him are collectibles. I've known for years that some of the stuff I purchase will eventually be good resellers for him. I've told him before that he's sitting on a gold So when I saw the latest items, I bought 2 of each. Boy am I glad I did, because the items were sold out 2 days later. About 2 years ago, I started a storage tote with the extra collectibles for him. This is not like the beanie baby craze. This is something that will never go out of style. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about. So I've been filling the tote with the extras that I buy. The used ones are already worth good money for him. However, I know that brand new in packaging items sell for so much more. Just call it an investment for DS :)  Buy low, sell high. Especially, since the ones I got are limited edition items. I already saw that someone had one of those items I bought, listed for $1500.00!!! Yes, that's One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars. I paid $13 for the item, but it's been discontinued, so rare now. 

Some free friendly advice. If you purchase Apple items, always save the boxes. Do not throw them away. People will actually pay good money for the Apple boxes, because it increases the value of their used items. I still have the boxes of our Ipads. Gosh, I just realised that I bought them in 2013. I can't believe we've had it that long. My screen is cracked, cause I never bought a case for it (I don't know, but DS's one is still in perfect condition. 

I paid my CC early. My payment is only due in January, but I just wanted to get that done since I'm ready to be back in savings mode and I'm practically done with shopping. I've already started my $1 & $5 bills savings for next year. It's never too early to start saving for next Christmas.

I'm saving some of my discounted Target gcs for next Christmas too. They usually have good sales on all kinds of things, so the gcs will come in handy if I need anything. 

Now I'm ready for a nap. I feel like I've put in an 8 hour workday

Have a great week peeps! I'll try to write another post later this week. 


  1. They just don't make those carafes like they used to and in some cases the cost of purchasing a replacement is more than buying a new machine.

    You really did have a busy shopping trip, but awesome savings.

    God bless.

  2. What an amazing blog post! Such great advice. Thank you for the inspiration you provide. 😊

    I have my apple boxes for both my phone and my iPad in my closet. They are definitely worth more with their boxes.

    Kudos to you for eating at home on Friday. We are eating out much less here too. It seems to me that the prices have went up while both the quality and quantity have come down, which isn’t for me. I will vote with my pocketbook and reject this trend.

    1. You're welcome Belinda & thank you for your kind words! I'm happy to hear that you still have your Apple boxes. I've always saved the boxes for our various Apple products too.

      Restaurant prices are shocking these days. Portions are smaller and in many cases, the food isn't even up to par. I love to dine out & I'm not afraid to spend money on it, but I at least want food that looks & tastes good. Like you, I choose to vote with my pocketbook.

  3. At one point, I was very confused! But, I knew it would all work out. Tommy had four carafes. I mentioned taking them to the thrift store and he thought it was crazy--"who would want old carafes?" I have a box for Shiny Bright ornaments that I need to sell. I am a box saver. I had all the boxes for my children's toys. Forty years later people could not believe i had boxes in such good condition.
    Eggs were $7.89 for 18 eggs. I almost had a stroke. But, eggs are good and still a good bargain. I don't even look at the price of bananas anymore because I will buy them regardless.

    1. I'm amazed that Tommy has so many carafes, cause I tend to break mine. He'll be surprised at how many people buy replacement parts for their kitchen appliances. People are buying replacement parts, instead of paying more for a whole new appliance. I always save the boxes for a few months, just in case an item breaks.

      Yikes on the egg prices!! That is crazy! I just paid $5.xx for 18 eggs at Kroger and thought that was expensive. Bananas are fairly inexpensive here. I'm surprised that your prices are so much higher than ours. I assumed that things were cheaper in the south.

  4. We only eat out at a few choice places because of the quality.

    1. We are so much alike when it comes to food Lori. I'm extremely picky about food.


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