Friday, July 29, 2011

Raley's: Grocery shopping... matter how much I hate doing it, it still must be done!  I don't really hate it, but if it was something I never had to do again, I don't think I would be mourning the loss.  That being said, my strategy for grocery shopping is pretty simple.  I shop the ads, which come out on Wednesday, and try to pair my purchases with an in-store or manufacturer coupon when I can.  I also compare prices, and I'm pretty good at remembering what store has a cheaper "regular" price of an item I usually buy.  I'm not sure why that is since I can't remember numbers to save my life, but I'll just count that blessing and move on.

I'm lucky that I live in an area where I have quite a few choices of where I can do my grocery shopping, and the stores are in very close vicinity to each other.  It saves on gas and allows me to shop at all of the stores in a very short time.

The bulk of my grocery shopping is done at Winco, but unfortunately they do not have weekly ads and I have to play it by ear.  They have excellent markdown sales and a huge selection of bulk foods.  I buy dried cranberry/almond granola in an 8.5 lb. box for $13.97.  So much cheaper than making it.

My Friday grocery shopping is done at Raley's, which is definitely NOT the cheapest grocery store, but I always find some good sales on things we use.  Here is a look at my list for this week:

Bulk - Fruit/Nuts/Seeds  
Dry Roasted Sunflower Seeds With Sea Salt Bin #531   $1.99 LB. (valid until 08/16)

Tombstone Pizza Selected varieties 20.5 oz. to 22.85 oz.   4 FOR $10 (valid until 08/02)
I’ll pair this sale with a coupon for $1.50/3 pizzas with a final price of $2.13 per pizza.

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Selected varieties 4.58 oz. to 11.5 oz.   5 FOR $10 (valid until 08/02) paired with a $1.00/5 will make them $1.80 each.  

Fresh Limes  SAVE UP TO $2.04 on 6   6 FOR 96¢ (valid until 08/02)

Green Onions, Cilantro or Radishes  SAVE UP TO $1.68 on 3   3 FOR 99¢ (valid until 08/02)

Juicy Mangoes  SAVE UP TO 60¢ EA.   39¢ EA. (valid until 08/02)

Roma Tomatoes  SAVE UP TO $1.10 LB.   69¢ LB. (valid until 08/02)

Keebler Sandies, Grahams, Club Crackers or 100 Calorie Packs 11 oz. to 16 oz., 4.24 oz. to 4.62 oz. Buy 4 or more single item 2.49 BUY MORE SAVE MORE   $1.99 EA. (valid until 08/02)   I‘m pairing this with a manufacturers coupon for $1 off any 3 Keebler products, so my final price on 4 is $1.74 each.  (I don't usually keep these on hand, but we have a camping trip coming up and these are handy) 

Lärabar Selected varieties 1.6 oz. to 1.8 oz. In our Natural Foods Dept.   99¢ (valid until 08/02) I‘m pairing this sale with a coupon for $1.10 off of a purchase of 4.  Final price for 4 bars is $2.86, or 72 cents per bar.

Raley’s also has e-coupons, which are available if you register on their website.  They send a weekly e-mail with a link to the e-coupons and  Freebie.  This week if I spend $20 (and looking at the list above that’s taken care of!) then I will get one Oroweat Sandwich Thins free with the coupon.

I’m also using two of the other e-coupons, one for Jennie-O Turkey store Turkey Bacon 12 oz for 1.99, and I can purchase up to 2 at this price.   The other is $1.00 off 1lb. Bulk Banana Chips.

So, there's a peek into my Raley's grocery shopping experience.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Every Vote Counts!

And, no, I'm not talking about politics, or electing our officials in this wonderful country.  I'm talking about the Johnsonville/Wal-Mart Brat Burger Recipe Contest.  And I've entered it.  With this recipe.  Please click over here, scroll down, and vote for my

Italian-Style Pesto Brat Burger

Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 pkg. (32 oz.) frozen Johnsonville® Italian Sausage Patties (6 patties)
1 loaf crusty sourdough bread
2 roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 pkg. pesto sauce, or homemade pesto sauce
6 slices mozzarella cheese, regular or "fresh"
sliced red onion
Fresh ground black pepper

Steps: Grill the bratwurst patties according to directions on package. Cut sourdough bread into 6 portions, and slice each portion in half through the middle to make "buns". Heat on the grill until toasted. Top bread with burger, slice of cheese, 1 or 2 Tablespoons of pesto sauce, 2 slices of tomato, sliced red onion, and some fresh ground black pepper. Top it off with other half of bread.

Here's a picture:

And here he is with his Bro's, Coleslaw and Cornie:

Don't forget to vote! And Vote again! Thank you, from the bottom of my pesto-lovin' heart.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's the final countdown...

do-do-do-do, do-d-do-do-do!  It really is the final countdown, only four weeks until school starts back up.  It's a vicious cycle; waiting for summer vacation, then anticipating the start of the school year.   Here are some of my best tips for getting back into the swing of things and surviving the school year.

  • Be Prepared!  It not only works for Boy Scouts, but for being ready for the school year, too!  Get the supply list for your child's class as soon as possible and shop the ads for school supplies.  Having a Master Lock ready for the locker or paper and pencils for the new desk can boost their confidence on the first day of school.  If there is a sale on facial tissue, stock up!  Joe's class ran out last year.  Mostly because he had a cold for half of it.  
  • Be Informed!  Bring your calendar and notebook with you on back-to-school night.  Trust me on this one.  My hubby decided to sign me up on some committees, and I didn't find out about it until I got e-mail notices for meetings.  Most teachers have their year pretty well mapped out in advance.  Jotting down the dates for the 100th day party, the Friendship Feast and the class play will make it easier to plan around and get time off of work to participate.
  • Be Brave!  Bring the checkbook.  Chances are you are going to have to pay for P.E. uniforms, ASB cards, and countless other things that will add up to a small fortune.
  • Be Involved!  Get to know your child's teachers.  Chat with their classmate's parents.  A little bit of friendliness goes a long way.
  • Be Available!  The hardest thing at our house is to get a child who has been in school for 8 hours to want to do his/her homework.  We have some down time after school, then try to get the homework done while dinner is being prepared.  That way I can help when help is needed and not be peeking over their shoulder the whole time.  Most schools have grades available on-line, so keeping tabs on whether homework is getting done/turned in is fairly easy.
  • Be Calm!  And carry on.  Sometimes that's all we can do.

I wrote this post to enter a contest for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.   All opinions are my own!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby's First 100 Days: A book review

My babies are not babies anymore.  In fact, Monkey, who IS the baby, is going into 2nd grade this year.  I'm not sure where the time has gone, and I know everyone says this, but it seems like yesterday that I was bringing the oldest home from the hospital.  Even though I have 6 younger brothers and sisters and did a lot of babysitting, I had no clue how much hard work and how exhausting it was going to be. (And it still is!)

After reading the book "Baby's First 100 Days" by Margaret Stephensen Meere, I realized how valuable this book would have been for me to help muddle through those first few months of having a brand new, tiny, human being who was entrusted into my care.  

Margaret breaks the beginning of the book down into chapters dealing with Tired Signs, Crying, Sleeping, Feeding, and Settling. What she learned by observing newborns and infants is translated into a common sense approach to parenting the newborn and infant, and getting to know the nuances and signs that communicate what is going on with the baby.

In the Nurturing the Newborn Parent and Having Fun sections, Margaret gives us more pearls of wisdom like, "Schedules are flexible—so stop for friends and family on the way and have fun. You are on the journey of your life."  She also reminds us to take the first 5 or 6 weeks to heal our body, and to get to know the little bundle that takes up all of our time.

Reading through "Baby's First 100 Days" was like a walk down memory lane. I was able to think about each of my kids as they were going through the different stages that were discussed in the book, and learn some great new advise along the way.  I also realized that I had one genius baby "who hardly ever cried. They burp
on cue, fart discreetly, and smile the moment they are born."  In fact, she cried so little that when she did we were so surprised that we would laugh for a minute! 

I would definitely recommend Margaret's book to any new parent, no matter if they had 1 child or 10 children.  My baby sister is due any minute with her second baby, and this is a must read for her.

Disclaimer:  I received an electronic copy of "Baby's First 100 Days" from Cedar Fort, Inc. to read.  I was not compensated in any way for my review, I'm just expressing my own opinion. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What's for Dinner, Week ?

I haven't been keeping up with posting our menus, but that doesn't mean that I'm not still planning them!  I did this week's planning while basking in the gorgeous sunshine and slight breeze of the near perfect weather we had yesterday.  The kids swam at the pool here in town with their friends and the much loved diving board.  I sat outside the pool on a towel and admired the dragonflies flitting here and there, especially the one that landed and hung out on Joe's flip-flop for a log time.  Speaking of flip-flops, remember when we called them "thongs"?  Does anyone call them thongs anymore?  Probably not, but it's one of those weird things I like to wonder about.

Menu for the week:
Roasted Pork Loin ($1.88/lb. last week) with a dry rub of Creole seasoning, Potato salad made from leftover baked potatoes we had on Sunday, Thai Cabbage Salad because I had a chunk of cabbage, cilantro, and a pepper I needed to use up, and a green salad.  (I love to incorporate leftovers into something completely different than the original meal.  It's a challenge sometimes, but the family doesn't know that they're eating leftovers, sometimes, and there's less wasting of food.)

Taco Salad--So easy on a busy night!  I've got corn, beans, tomatoes, cheese, onions, seasoned turkey burger, avocados, salsa, sour cream and a variety of toppings.  Some like Ranch, I like Green Taco Sauce.  Besides being easy, this meal was inspired by the huge $3.25 bag of Doritos from Costco that gets us through many a lunch and at least one dinner.

Pork loin sandwiches (leftover pork loin from Monday with Kinders BBQ sauce left here by my friend Cheryl) roasted baby carrots, green salad 

Cheese Tortellini and peas with homemade pesto, green salad

BBQ'd hamburgers and hot dogs, macaroni salad (I think I'll try Paula's), and raw veggies and chips 

Hope you have a great week, and stay cool! 

I'm linking up here:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Top Ten reasons I'd love to visit Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is located smack in the middle of the east coast, the Atlantic Ocean, and in the South.  Three places that I have never been.  But I could visit it all in one fell swoop by going to Virginia Beach!

Here are my Top Ten Reasons I'd Love To Visit Virginia Beach:

10.  Virginia Beach.  It has BEACH in the name.  Really, what more can I say.

9.  Miles of pristine beaches, state parks, wildlife trails, and meandering waterways. (from the website)
We'd love to visit the Fishermans Island National Wildlife Refuge.

8.  Like I said above, I've never been to the East Coast.  Ever.  I have been to almost every state from Wisconsin and Missouri over to California and Oregon, but not east of the Midwest. (Have I confused you yet?)   I've always wanted to go to the East Coast in the fall, too, to see the fall colors, and visiting the beaches of Virginia Beach would be an amazing bonus!

7.  My hubby and the kids would love to do some fishing there! We haven't been fishing in forever, and Andy and the boys really enjoy it!

6.  We are history buffs and would love to show the kids some of America's founding history, like the lighthouses at Cape Henry, or retrace the footsteps of our forefathers at First Landing State Park, or call the notable Adam Thoroughgood House home for the day.

5.  Real Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean seafood!  Yum!  Fresh seafood at the local restaurants, and the seashore to eat it by.

4.  Free beaches!  Not the same as the "free" (nude) beaches here on the west coast.  The 3 beaches at Virginia Beach are no cost, not even for parking.  What a deal!

3.  Strawberries.  Virginia Beach produces more strawberries than any other Virginia city. And we sure do love strawberries! And strawberry shortcake, and strawberry pie, and strawberries and cream, and strawberry smoothies, and just plain old fresh strawberries and sugar.

2.  Virginia Beach features a fireworks show twice a week through the summer, not only for Independence Day.  Sounds pretty cool, right? The kids--and the parents--would really enjoy that!

1.  According to Monkey, the beach is where Heavenly Father lives.  So I'm thinking that Virginia Beach would be pretty heavenly.  How much more could we ask for?

If I ever do get that trip to the East Coast, Virginia Beach is on my short list for sights to see and relaxation.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...