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Meal Survey

9 Sep

Last night, Ed came home from work and was in the mood to make his own pasta sauce.  So, he got to work within minutes while our home filled with the smells of his homemade, impromptu sauce recipe.

Ed’s Homemade Sauce

It’s rare that we have white pasta anymore these days, but Ed opted to use the white rigatoni noodles to match with his special new sauce.

In the sauce we have lean ground beef, 1 can Muir Glen Organic tomato sauce, 1 can Muir Glen Organic tomato paste, 1 can diced tomatoes, minced fresh garlic,  chopped onions, brown sugar to taste.  These are all the ingredients I am aware of.

It was very tasty!  Sweeter then your traditional pasta sauces, but I wasn’t complaining.

After dinner, we cleaned up and headed to Wegmans for a little shopping.

We were really in need of some fresh items around here, so that was our main goal, plus a few treats.

In my cart we have,

  • Wegmans Bagged Garden Salad
  • Fresh Mushrooms
  • Roasted Garlic Hummas
  • Whole Grain Wheat Thins
  • 3 Oranges
  • Green Grapes
  • Baby Carrots (Free with $10 purchase)
  • Bananas
  • Wegmans Cereal (Free with $10 purchase)
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese ($1 off $5 cheese purchase, original price $5.04, coupon price $4.04)

We spent $19 on the above purchase which was much more then I wanted to spend today, but when I shop with Ed, he is quite convincing of items we “need”.  (Wheat Thins, hummus)  He did cook a good dinner, so I budged this time 😉

After dinner, I spent some time out with a dear friend for the evening before calling it a night.

Meal Survey

I love filling out survey’s and have to limit myself to not posting a survey everyday.  There are just so many fun ones out there.  I came across this one on Paige’s website and decided to post it for a fun Sunday post.

Breakfast Questions!

1. Favorite cereal as a child?

Golden Grahams.

We never had these around much, but they were always a hit for my taste buds when we did.  I can taste them now.


2. Coffee or Tea? With milk or without?

Tea, green, iced, hot, no milk, no sugar.

I am a Tea Lovvaaaa!  Although since my work schedule changed last year (wake up at 5AM and work 9.5 hour shifts), I will include a mug of coffee with Vanilla Almond Milk with my breakfast on occasion.

3. The one food you eat most often at breakfast?

Bananas!  I eat them on the side, in my oats, in my smoothies and in cold cereal.

Warm Oats with Fresh Raspberries and a Banana

Funny part about this question, is when I was a kid, I ate a banana split and that night came down with the stomach flu (you know how that goes).  I didn’t eat bananas for at least 2 years after that.

I think I’ve more than made up for those two years.

Lunch Questions!

1. Sandwiches are generally considered a “lunch food.” If you had to choose between a grilled cheese and a peanut butter and jelly, which would you pick?

Grilled Cheese.  I prefer a warm(er) lunch over a cold sandwich any day.

Ed is also allergic to peanuts.  So, Sun Butter has taken the place of my peanut butter fix and I haven’t looked back.

2. You can only put four ingredients in your salad (not including greens); what do you throw in the mix? Additionally, which greens and dressing do you pick?

Only four?!?  Chicken on salad is always a winner.  Some kind of shredded cheese (feta would be encouraged).  Carrots.  Dried fruit, such as cranberries or blueberries.

Dressing – Balsamic

Greens – Spring Mix, Spinach or Romaine

3. One food you can’t live without at lunch?

Yogurt.  I always have yogurt in my lunch bag at work.  Preferably Chobani or Yoplait.

Dinner Questions!

1. It’s the end of the day. You’re tired, hungry, and your fridge is empty. If a fast food (from a chain) is your only option, where do you go and what do you order?

This is a really hard question because I am not a chain restaurant person…at….all.  We try to avoid chains of any kind and find unique and local restaurants.  Pizza Hut would probably be the go to choice though.

Or Taco Bell…Fourth meal?

2. TV/computer on or off while you’re eating?

Preferably off…but Ed and I have opposite schedules most days and we currently don’t have a kitchen table.  So, we eat at our coffee table which sometimes turns into watching a rerun of the Big Bang Theory or Modern Family while eating.

3. The one food you eat most often at dinner?

One?  One ‘type’ of food is vegetables.  I always incorporate a vegetable (fresh, frozen, or canned) into our meals.  It’s my motherly instincts coming out.

Yes, Ed does get the “don’t forget to eat your vegetables” lecture at dinner time.  I’m not proud.

Dessert Questions!

Choose between these two American desserts: cheesecake or apple pie?

It really depends on the meal, but I would have to say cheesecake.  We currently have a Cheesecake Factory gift card in our date night box and it has been whispering “Key Lime Cheesecake” every time I look through it.

Needless to say, if Key Lime Pie was an option for this question, there would be no contest.

Choose between these two foreign desserts: tiramisu (Italy) or flan (Spain)?

Tiramisu.  Ed and I split a tiramisu on one of our first dates together.  When we see it on a menu, we always try to save room for dessert to recreate the memory.

Ice cream: cone or cup?

Cup!  I’m way to messy of an eater and a slow eater at that.  I’m a melting mess when I have a cone.

Plus, I think of cones as “wasted calories”.  In the words of Ali Vincent, “If you can’t taste it, don’t waste it.”

Feel free to leave your answers about these meal questions in the comments section! 

Also, the Recipes and Workouts pages were updated today 🙂

In My Cart – Harris Teeter

24 Aug

As I have pointed out before, I enjoy saving money using coupons and shopping sales for everything.  Not only do my husband and I save money for school, a down payment on our first home, and fun times to be had, the thrill of savings a serious amount of money is actually a lot of fun to me.  Seeing our savings grow and “shopping our cabinets” for dinner instead of spending our time rushing to the supermarket or wasting time (and calories) on take out is essential for this house.

Growing up, my mom was consistent with preparing healthy and balanced meals on a daily basis.  We always had to drink our milk (which I would often fight) and any other drink was not acceptable.  It’s something I appreciate now and implemented in our daily dinners as well.

I went to Harris Teeter this week for fresh produce and yogurt on the brain.  In addition, I was on the search for some special ingredients for a super-secret anniversary dessert this weekend for my husband.  The stereotype with using coupons is that they are all for products “people don’t use, don’t need or unhealthy items”.  This week was not a week we needed to worry about meat as we are stocked up quite nicely for a while on that.  In addition, I had to keep in mind that we were leaving for Ohio next Thursday for the long weekend.

“We can’t come back to fuzzy grapes now can we?”

My cart after I came home.

The above picture before coupons and sales would have cost $93.82.  Coupons and sales applied, it cost me out of pocket, $38.75.  In addition, I received $2.00 off my next order which brings my final total to:

$36.75!  A 60.83% savings!

I’m already saving for the next shopping trip.

My cart included:

Everyday Foods – 10 Yoplait yogurts, 2 bags of whole wheat bagels

Fresh Fruit – grapes, peaches, apples, plums, bananas, watermelon (not all pictured)

Vegetables – corn on the cob, bagged salad, sweet onion

Meal Items – 2 boxes of mussels, lunch meat

Snacks – 3 boxes WhoNu chocolate chip cookies, goldfish (I didn’t plan on getting these, but this is an inside joke between Ed and I and they were on sale), Fiber One brownies, 4 boxes of Simply Go Gurt (We like to eat these frozen)

Baking Items/Misc. – Cream of Tartar (for a special anniversary dessert I’m planning), brown sugar, white vinegar, plain gelatin

Check out that price…Ouch!

For just under $37, I think I did pretty well.  I’m no “Extreme Couponer”, but I do believe that I can live a pretty healthy lifestyle saving on items other than mustard, cereal and candy (common coupons).

So, there is my cart breakdown for this week.

Now I ask you…

“What’s in your cart this week?”

Freebie Friday

17 Aug

After my morning post, I spent the early afternoon running some errands and cashing in on some birthday freebies that came in last month.

First stop, Columbia Mall.  I am not a fan of the mall mostly.  We still have some gift cards from our wedding nearly a year ago and I had some birthday gifts cards that I received.  I thought I’d try and “declutter” and use them up.

“Shouldn’t be to difficult, right?”

Wrong!  The reason I am not a fan of malls is because I’m a terrible shopper.  I second guess everything and I’m very budget savvy.  So, when I realized that most of the stores I was going to usually have coupons every other week (Macy’s, Bath and Body Works) I decided to wait.  I did cash in on a couple girly freebies though.

Aveda and Victoria’s Secret

The Aveda was a “Free Full Size Product” for my birthday and the Victoria’s Secret was a Free “No Purchase Necessary” item.  Does anyone else get these as much as I do?  I’m not complaining, but I get these seriously every other month.  The Aveda product is a “total body cleansing wash” that was infused with lavender citrus.  Oh, and it smells so, so good!

Next stop, Dunkin Donuts for my Free Birthday Drink!  Silvia was my cashier and she was very serious about me trying the iced latte after I asked for iced tea.  After this mornings smoothie, I wasn’t feeling the coffee.  She then switched to the Coolata and I accepted with the choice of Strawberry.

“Free Strawberry!”

I have to say, Silvia knew what she was talking about!

“I approve this beverage.”

Last stop was Wegmans for a little shopping for the weekend.  The Wegmans by us just opened this summer and they keep sending free product coupons in the mail.  I needed bananas and peppers and find they are the cheapest there, so I made the trip.


The above picture cost out of pocket, $13.71.  The breakdown worked out like this:

  • Basil Vinaigrette Dressing – Free w/ $10 purchase
  • Wegmans Romaine Salad Mix – Free w/ $10 purchase
  • Mega Pack of Red Peppers – $5.49 (At my other grocery store, these are 2/$5 on sale.  Wegmans price is 6/$5.49 and they taste great!)
  • (4) Wegmans Greek Yogurts – After $1/4 coupon, $2.56 or $.64 each
  • A Bunch of Bananas – $1.40 (At my other grocery store, these are $.69/lb. Wegmans price is $.49/lb.  Yes, the price makes a difference for me.  I go through a lot of bananas!)
  • Wegmans Vanilla Ice Cream and (3) 16 oz. bags of frozen veggies – $4.46 for all four products after $1/$5 of frozen food products

I love coupon shopping and considered starting a couponing blog like the so many that are out there.  However, those men and women work hard!  There are so many great deals out there and I love learning from them, but coupon blogging is not for me.  I’m going to stick with lifestyle blogging instead.  Here are a couple of my all time favorite coupon blogs:

  • The Krazy Coupon Lady – Great reference for pharmacy stores, big box stores (like Target and Walmart) and certain grocery stores.
  • Couponing to Disney – Great ideas on how to use the money saved from couponing to pay off debt or saving for your next family vacation.
  • The Frugal Girls – Great at home savings tips and tricks.

I am a firm believer that buying things you need and will use with coupons and stocking up is okay because it frees up the money in the grocery budget you need for your fresh items.

“Like more bananas!”

Once I was done shopping this afternoon, I came home to knock out my assignments for this week so I can enjoy the rest of my weekend school free!

Tonight I have some personal business to attend to that I have been putting off.

Cheers to the weekend!

Question of the Afternoon:

How do you cut cost at the grocery store?

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