Enter your e-mail address below to have new blog posts sent directly to your inbox!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fresh Food Deals: Eat Healthy & Save Money!



The following grocery deals are for the Dayton, OH and surrounding areas. If you spot a great deal on fresh/natural/organic foods or find a new printable coupon, be sure to let me know so I can spread the word. This is a weekly feature that will be posted on Mondays or Tuesdays, whenever time permits. Some prices are weekly advertised prices and others are unadvertised sales with varying end dates.

ATTENTION KROGER SHOPPERS! Kroger stores will NOT be doubling coupons after 2/28/13. They will be accepted at face value only. Any coupons you have for less than $1.00 you may want to use up in the next few days! Deals listed below that include such coupons will be marked as WND (will not double). After March 1st, these coupons will double at Meijer, just not at Kroger stores.



KROGER
Weekly Advertised Deals for Feb. 25-Mar. 3
$.97/lb. Red Seedless Grapes
$.97 Driscoll's Blackberries, 6 oz. (Organic $1.29)
$.69 ea. Red, Yellow, Green or Orange Peppers
$1.99 ea. Del Monte Cantaloupe
$.99 ea. English Cucumbers
$1.25 ea. Jumbo Mangos
$.99 Grape Tomatoes, 10 oz.
$1.29 Russet Potatoes, 3 lb. (Organic)
$2.50 Simple Truth Organic Salad Blends (Organic)
$1.00 Fresh Selections Mini Carrots, 1 lb.
$.99 Broccoli

10/$10 Kroger Frozen Vegetables
10/$10 Birds Eye Steamfresh Frozen Vegetables
10/$10 Freshlike Frozen Vegetables

10/$10 Creamette Pasta or Kroger Pasta Sauce
10/$10 Red Gold Diced Tomatoes

$.98 Rotel Tomatoes
$1.99 Boulder Canyon Potato Chips
$3.99 Simple Truth Organic Peanut Butter
$3.99 Bear Naked Granola or Cereal
$2.50 Simple Truth Organic Cereal, select varieties
$2.50 GM Cheerios ($1.50 with coupon thru 2/28)
-$.50/1 coupon HERE (print 2x) WND after 2/28!
10/$10 Chicken of the Sea Chunk White Tuna
$1.97 Simple Truth Organic Sugar or Brown Sugar, 24 oz.

$2.49/lb. Ground Beef 73% Lean (when you buy 3+ lbs.)*
$3.49/lb. Bottom Angus Round Roast*
$6.99/lb. Boneless Ribeye Steak*
$3.99/lb. Cube Steak or Stew Beef*
$3.49/lb. Honeysuckle Ground Turkey*
$.97/lb. Tyson Spilt Chicken Breasts, Thighs or Drumsticks
$2.49/lb. Assorted Pork Chops*
25% off Kroger Frozen Fish Fillets or Scallops (look for wild-caught Pacific/Alaskan fish, whenever possible)
25% off Kroger Shrimp

$1.97 Kroger 1/2 Gallon Milk, select varieties (limit 6)*
$3.79 Horizon Organic Butter Quarters, 1 lb. (Reg. $5.99!)
$1.99 Kroger Cheese, 6-8 oz.*
10/$10 Brown Cow Greek Yogurt, 6 oz.*
-$.50/2 coupon HERE  WND after 2/28!
10/$10 Dannon Oikos or Chobani Greek Yogurt (rBST free)*
-$.30/1 Chobani coupon HERE (print 2x) WND after 2/28!
*Local, organic, pastured meat, poultry and dairy products are the healthiest choice if you can work them into your budget. I have provided the prices listed above for those who are interested in conventional meat/dairy; however, we prefer to get our beef, chicken and eggs from local farmers or we opt for organic store varieties when necessary.
Unadvertised Temporary Price Drops 
$1.49 Huggies Pull-ups Wipes Tub (closeout--select stores?)
-$.50/1 coupon in 2/24 newspaper insert WND after 2/28!
$1.99/lb. Simple Truth Organic Chicken Drumsticks
$1.99 Simple Truth Cage Free or Organic Eggs
$1.50 Simple Truth Organic Half-n-Half, pint
$2.50 Chobani Greek Yogurt, 16 oz.
$2.69 Krema Natural Peanut Butter
10/$10 Larabars
-$.75/2 Kroger Plus eCoupon (see link below)
$6.39 Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, 15 oz.
$1.09/$1.19 Simple Truth Organic Regular/Whole Wheat Pasta, 1 lb.
$2.49 ST Organic Pasta Sauce
$3.59 ST Organic Quinoa, 16 oz.
$2.59 ST Organic Honey, 12 oz. squeeze bottle
$2.49 Stretch Island Fruit Co. Fruit Leather, 6 ct.
$1.67 Annie's Organic Mac-n-Cheese ($.97 w/coupon!)
-$.35 coupon HERE ~ Plus get $.75 off salad dressing & $.75 off bunny cookies or crackers
$1.67 Hormel Natural Choice Nitrate-Free Pepperoni* ($1.17 w/coupon!)
-$1/2 coupon HERE (print 2x)


DOWNLOAD COUPONS TO YOUR PLUS CARD AND SAVE $$ INSTANTLY! Click HERE to sign-up or sign-in and the electronic coupons will come off automatically at the register.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



MEIJER
Weekly Advertised Deals for Feb. 24-Mar. 2

Buy 10/$10, Get the 11th Item FREE!
Chobani Greek Yogurt, 6 oz.*
-$.30/1 Chobani coupon HERE (print 2)
Meijer Frozen Vegetables, 16 oz. (We LOVE the Petite Green Peas!)
Del Monte Fruit Naturals (produce section)
Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers
Greenhouse Cucumbers
Extra Large Avocados
Grape Tomatoes, pint
Meijer Organic White or Baby Bella Mushrooms, 8 oz.
Earthbound Farm Organic Mini Peeled Carrots, 1 lb. 
-$1/2 coupon HERE (print 2x)
-$.75/1 coupon from web  NO LONGER AVAIL. TO PRINT
Earthbound Farm Organic Green Onions
-$.75/1 coupon from web  NO LONGER AVAIL. TO PRINT
Strawberries, 16 oz.
Blackberries, 16 oz. (unadvertised)
Meijer Pasta Sauce, 24 oz. (AWESOME ingredients, including organic sugar!)
Meijer Green Box Pasta or Whole Grain Pasta
Meijer Naturals Salsa, 18 oz.
Meijer Canned Fruit in Juice, 15 oz.
Hunt's or Rotel Canned Tomatoes
Meijer Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, 5 oz.
Aunt Millie's English Muffins
Meijer Pretzels (We are partial to the ABC pretzels!)

$6.49 Meijer Wild Salmon Fillets, 16 oz. frozen
$5.99/lb. Meijer Cooked (50-60 ct.) or Raw (16 oz) Shrimp
$2.50 Bob Evan's Sausage Roll, Links, Patties (contain MSG)*
-$.50/1 coupon HERE (print 2x)
$3.49/lb. Angus Bottom Round Roast or Family Pack Steaks*
$3.99/lb. Ground Beef, 96% lean*
$7.99/lb. Boneless Strip Steaks*
$2.79/lb. Fresh Chicken Tenders*
$1.85/lb. Meijer Fresh Grade A Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts*

$2.50 Apple and Eve Fruitables, 8 pack
-$.55/1 coupon HERE (print 2x)
$2.79 Silk Soy, Almond or Coconut Milk, half gallon
$2.79 Minute Maid Pure Squeezed Orange Juice, 59 oz.
$3.69 Meijer Chunk Cheese, 14-16 oz.* (Great price!!)
$2.00 Kraft Natural Cheese, assorted varieties 5-8 oz.*
$3.49 Kraft String Cheese, 12 ct.*
*Local, organic, pastured meat, poultry and dairy products are the healthiest choice if you can work them into your budget. I have provided the prices listed above for those who are interested in conventional meat/dairy; however, we prefer to get our beef, chicken and eggs from local farmers or we opt for organic store varieties when necessary.
Unadvertised Temporary Price Drops
$2.50 Earthbound Farm Romaine Hearts 3 pk.
-$.75/1 coupon from web NO LONGER AVAIL. TO PRINT
$3.99 Applegate Nitrate Free Hotdogs, 12 oz.
$1.99 Stonefire Naan Flatbread (produce section)
$2.50 Blue Diamond Almond Thins (GF)
$1.25 Meijer Naturals Canned Tomatoes, all varieties 28 oz.
$4.69/$4.79 Maranatha Organic PB or Almond Butter
-$1 coupon HERE (print 2x)
$2.99 Snyder GF Pretzels
10/$10 Larabars
$1.67 Breakstone's Sour Cream (rBST free)
$2 Stonyfield Organic YoBaby or YoToddler Yogurt, 4 pk. ($1 w/coupon!)
-$.50/1 coupon HERE (coupon resets March 1st--print now AND then)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALDI (Don't forget that Walmart and Target will price match!!)
Weekly Advertised Deals for Feb. 24-Mar.2
$.49 Avocados
$1.29 Red Potatoes, 5 lb. bag
$.69 Grape Tomatoes, 10 oz.
$1.59 Navel Oranges, 4 lb. bag
$1.79 Blueberries, pint
$.69/lb. Lemons, 1 lb.

(WEDNESDAY ONLY!) $1.69/lb. Fresh Chicken Breasts, 5 lb. avg.*
$3.99/lb. Wild Caught Salmon
$3.59/lb. Fresh Ground Sirloin, 90% lean*
$1.19/lb. Kirkwood Fresh Chicken Thighs, 3.5 lb. avg. weight*
$2.69/lb. Kirkwood Fresh Chicken Tenderloins, 1.5 lb. avg. weight*

$2.89 Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Original Cheese, 4.5 oz.

*Local, organic, pastured meat, poultry and dairy products are the healthiest choice if you can work them into your budget. I have provided the prices listed above for those who are interested in conventional meat/dairy; however, we prefer to get our beef, chicken and eggs from local farmers or we opt for organic store varieties when necessary.

Have you spotted any other good deals I should add to this post? Is there a store where you frequently shop that could be added to this list? I love to hear from you--please leave a comment below!

Please DO NOT post these deals on your own blog or website without first getting my permission and then linking back to my site. Reach me via e-mail at these_precious_days@yahoo.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ThesePreciousDays.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meal Plan Monday ~ Feb. 24 - Mar. 2



Here is what's on the menu at our house this week. Items in BLUE are recipe links. Gluten-free meals are noted with GF. Ingredients marked with an * are on sale this week. For the best local grocery deals this week and coupon match-ups, click HERE.

Dinner

Monday (GF)
White Chicken Chili (Make a double batch for freezer.)
Pumpkin Custard with Real Whipped Cream



Tuesday
Beef & Bean Enchiladas (Make extra meat for taco salad.)
Raw Veggies with Avocado* Ranch Dip
Strawberry* Mango* Smoothies

 
Wednesday (GF)
Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry w/Carrots*, Peppers*, Gr. Onion*, Broccoli* & Mushrooms*
Brown Rice
Cantaloupe*


Thursday (GF)
"Unstuffed" Peppers* with Quinoa*
Blueberry* and Banana Yogurt* Parfaits

Friday (GF)
Mini Meatloaf Muffins
Twice Baked Potatoes*  (Make a double batch for freezer.)
Steamed Asparagus
Frozen Grape* and Blueberry* Kabobs


Saturday
Mom's Night Off ~ Out to Eat After Church


Sunday
Crockpot Lasagna Rolls w/Marinara Sauce (Make a double batch for freezer.)
Mixed Greens* Salad with Ranch Dressing
Fudgy Almond Flour Brownies (GF)

____________________________

Breakfast ~ Meals served w/milk (raw/organic or almond*) & fresh fruit
Oatmeal x2
Leftover Pumpkin Custard with Real Whipped Cream
Cold Cereal* w/Raw Honey (Simple Truth Organic Os)
Peanut Butter, Carrot* and Banana Muffins (GF)
French Toast with Pure Maple Syrup and Bacon
Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit Bites & Scrambled Eggs

____________________________
Lunch ~ Meals served with water and raw veggies
Annie's Homegrown Brand Mac-n-Cheese*
Homemade, Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets
English Muffin* Pepperoni* Pizzas
Natural Peanut Butter* & Raw Honey Sandwiches x2
Turkey and Cheese* Sandwiches
(GF) Taco Salad (Romaine*, Beef/Bean Mixture, Cheese*, Salsa*, Sour Cream*, Avocado*, Tortilla Chips)


What's on the menu at your house? Trying any new recipes?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Homemade Thin Mint Cookies (GF)


I {big, puffy heart} love Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies! The thin, crunchy cookie. The pepperminty flavor that stays in my mouth long after the cookies have made their way to my tummy. The chocolate on top of more chocolate. Is there really a better way to eat them than frozen? Definitely not!

Back in January, like many others, I began getting the 247 daily Facebook status updates from the Brownie and Girl Scout moms...trying to help their little princesses reach their cookie sales goals. (Well, maybe not quite that many. Ha ha!) Back in the day, I would have bought 3 or 4 boxes. I would have stashed them in the freezer and tried to make them last until Easter. I would have filled my body with partially hydrogenated oils and loads of refined sugar. But that was then...and this is now. The health-conscious me refuses to consume the evil chocolate demons until those naive Little Brownie Bakers (check the box...that's the real company name!) stop using trans fat in their delicious cookies. Enough ranting...it's time to start baking. 

In my opinion, the only way to get yummy, guilt-free, real food (year round!) is to make it yourself. That's exactly what I did. After some internet searching, Pinterest browsing and experimenting--I came up with a pretty spot-on recipe that would give the Girl Scouts a run for their money. My husband said these were unbelievable (he is a hard core Thin Mint fan!) and my son gave them 100 thumbs up. Ha!


For the cookies you will need honey, oat flour, cocoa powder, butter or coconut oil, salt, and peppermint oil or extract. Mix all of the ingredients until well combined and refrigerate the dough, as you would sugar cookies. Roll out the dough to the thickness of a graham cracker. These are thin mint cookies...not thick mint cookies. :)

I have tried two different methods of rolling the cookies out, including the flour-the-counter and transfer-to-a-cookie-sheet method, and I will tell you that using parchment paper is the only way to go! Begin by tearing off a sheet of parchment paper slightly bigger than your cookie sheet. Here's a tip for you! Place a portion of the parchment paper over the edge of the counter and use your body to firmly hold it in place. That way when you begin rolling out your dough away from you, the parchment doesn't scoot all over the place. 


I used a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter on my cookies, because that is all I had, other than a tiny one inch cookie cutter that seemed way too small. I figured when choosing between a "too big" cookie and a "too small" cookie--it was best to go big. Right? I would guess the original Thin Mints to be around 1 1/2 inches in diameter if you want an exact replica.

These cookies don't really spread at all when baking. Cut them and then remove the extra dough from around the cookies by gently peeling it away. You do not need to move or rearrange the cookies at this point. Simply place the parchment paper and dough onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Reroll the scrap dough using the same method and continue until all cookies have been cut out and baked.


Thin Mint cookies have a distinct "crunch" when you bite them and to get that crunchy factor, you want these to be thoroughly baked until the edges are dry to the touch and they are very matte looking. They may have some small bubbles that come to the surface while baking, which will be hidden by the chocolate when they are dipped. Keep an eye on them! They will go from "done" to "burnt" in a matter of 2 minutes. Depending on the thickness, they should take between 8-10 minutes in a standard 350 degree oven. Start checking them at 6 minutes and every minute or so until they are done. Mine were slightly soft, but hardened as they cooled.


While your cookies are in the oven, go ahead and begin melting your chocolate. I did mine in the microwave, but I have also placed a glass bowl into a shallow pan of water on the stove (being careful to keep water out of the chocolate!) or in a double boiler. Chocolate must be melted at a very low temperature and stirred frequently to avoid scorching. You will add 1/8 t. of peppermint oil, or 1/2 t. extract, to the semi-sweet or dark chocolate to give it that perfect minty flavor.

Peppermint oil can most likely be found with the candy making supplies of your local craft store. People use oils for flavoring hard tack and other candies because it is 4 times more concentrated and blends easier into things like chocolate. I have not personally used peppermint extract (alcohol and peppermint oil) and cannot attest to how it would blend with the chocolate; however, other recipes I looked at called for extract and claimed that it worked just fine.

If your chocolate is too thick, you can add a bit of coconut oil or non-hydrogenated palm shortening (Spectrum brand is available at both our Kroger and Meijer stores). Begin with 1 teaspoon and add up to 3 teaspoons if required. If the chocolate begins to thicken up while you are dipping your cookies, you will need to reheat it. Use a fork to dip the cookies down into the melted chocolate and then wipe some of the excess off the top with a knife or the back of a spoon. You are going for a very thin coating of chocolate on these. Tap off the extra chocolate back into the bowl and drag the fork across the edge to remove any remaining drips. Carefully place cookies onto waxed or parchment paper and allow to set up. This process can be sped up by putting them in the freezer for a few minutes.

Pour yourself a glass of milk and chow down! My family insists on eating these frozen and I agree they are at their yummiest in a frozen state. However you like to eat your Thin Mints, please make sure you come back and let me know how you liked them!


Thin Mint Cookies (GF)

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies (2 1/2 in.)

For the cookies:
1/4 c. unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
1/3 c. honey
3-4 drops of peppermint oil or 1/8 t. peppermint extract
1/4 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/8 t. salt
1 c. oat flour* (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour would also work)

For the chocolate coating:
12 oz. good quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate**
1-3 t. coconut oil or palm shortening (if needed)
1/8 t. peppermint oil or 1/2 t. peppermint extract

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the softened butter or coconut oil, honey and peppermint oil/extract. Gradually add the cocoa powder, salt and flour. Mix until the dough comes together and place the covered bowl into the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours to chill.

2. Roll out half the dough at a time to the thickness of a graham cracker on floured parchment paper. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out the cookies leaving them on the parchment. Remove the excess dough from around the cut cookies and reroll onto a new sheet of parchment paper. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

3. Place the cut cookies and parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake until cookies are firm around the edge and matte in appearance. Watch them carefully, as it is hard to tell when they are burning due to their chocolate color.

4. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals or on the stove top in a double boiler at low heat. Alternately, use a glass bowl placed inside a shallow pan filled with water. (Do not permit water to come into contact with melted chocolate!) Stir frequently. Add peppermint oil/extract to the melted chocolate and stir. If the melted chocolate still seems too thick to dip your cookies, add between 1-3 teaspoons of coconut oil or palm shortening to thin.

5. One at a time, dip the cooled cookies into the melted chocolate and using a fork. Scrape some of the excess chocolate from the top of the cookie with the back of a spoon or a knife. Tap gently and drag the cookie across the side of the bowl to remove extra chocolate drips. Place dipped cookies onto a clean piece of parchment paper and allow to dry completely. (This can be sped up by placing cookies in the freezer for a few minutes.) If the chocolate thickens up while dipping your cookies, reheat until it returns to dipping consistency.

*Make your own oat flour by placing rolled oats into a blender or food processor and grinding until you get a fine powder.

**To make this dairy-free or vegan, use Enjoy Life! brand chocolate chips (or other dairy-free chocolate).
To make this paleo friendly, you could use a 100% cacao baking chocolate (but that might be very bitter!). You might be able to add a bit of powdered stevia or experiment with another type of sweetener or just eat the cookies plain.


Enjoy!


No-Guilt Chocolate Chip
Cookies (GF)
Fudgy Almond Flour
Brownies (GF)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Easy Hot Cocoa with Pumpkin Puree


My kids begged me to make them hot cocoa this morning and in an attempt to score some extra kid love, I agreed. Of course, I am always looking for ways to sneak in some additional nutrition or remake a recipe to be healthier. The pumpkin flavor is hard to detect in this hot cocoa and my little taste testers raved about it!

Canned pumpkin is on sale this week and I have been looking for other ways to work it into my children's meals because it is high in fiber and vitamin A. I typically add a couple spoonfuls to their applesauce along with some cinnamon and we love pumpkin waffles. I still cannot believe these muffins with pumpkin or carrot, peanut butter and banana are the most popular recipe on my blog! 

Seriously though, you can only use so much pumpkin. If I have a partial can, I freeze one tablespoon portions in an ice cube tray and pop the pumpkin cubes out into a freezer bag. That way I can add a cube to this hot cocoa, a bowl of oatmeal, applesauce or use multiple cubes when baking. {16 T. = 1 cup} No ice cube tray? Simply freeze one tablespoon blobs onto a cookie sheet and freeze!

Easy Hot Cocoa with Pumpkin Puree

Serves 2+

2 c. milk*
2 T. pumpkin puree
2 T. honey or sweetener of choice (more if desired)
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 T. cocoa powder
marshmallows for serving (optional)

Mix pumpkin, honey, vanilla and cocoa in a small saucepan to form a thick chocolate paste.

Turn stove to med-low and gradually whisk in the milk. Heat until not quite simmering.

Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows for serving. This makes 2 adult size or 3 child size servings. Add a little brewed coffee for a grown-up mocha treat!

*Feel free to use a non-dairy milk, like almond milk, and adjust the sweetness as needed.

For a single serving--Mix 1 T. pumpkin, 1 T. honey, 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 T. cocoa in a large mug. Stir to form a paste. Gradually pour in 1 c. of milk, stir well and microwave 1-2 min. until hot. Stir again and add marshmallows.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Living the Lutz Life: Why I Should Never, Ever Roller Skate & 100 Days of Homeschooling

 
The bigger they are...the harder they fall. In my lifetime, I have broken my foot swing dancing, crashed a moped into a pine tree, fallen down a large flight of stairs at a school assembly (I was the teacher!), gotten a permanent dent in my shin from skiing and even burned my knee once on a sandwich maker (It was college-don't ask! Ha!). And that is only a small sampling of my klutziness. The point is that I am an accident waiting for a place to happen. This was proven yet again, last Tuesday, when I took Jackson for his homeschool gym day at the roller skating rink.
 

 
 We were having a great time until I fell I down an itty bitty 3 inch "ramp" at the get on/get off point of the rink. I was so busy taking pictures that I lost my footing, rolled backward and wiped out something major--jamming my elbow AND my camera into the very hard floor. I wish I could have seen it, because it was probably hysterical! I put on my best "brave mommy" face and sucked up the impending tears (It really hurt!). After some elbow ice, the hokey pokey and a few more laps around...we called it a day. Although my elbow was not broken, my camera was.


Without a working camera, my blog plans for the week were at a stand-still. I will make it up to you this week--I promise! My sister and my niece came over on Thursday to help us celebrate Valentine's Day and Jackson's 100th day of kindergarten. (Thanks for taking the pictures, Erin!)

 



For our 100th Day Celebration the kids made a tower using 100 cups, played a game to see how many dice rolls it would take to reach 100, made snack mix using ten each of ten different snack foods, and drew a picture of what they would buy with $100. We also decorated homemade sugar cookies to share with their grandparents for Valentine's Day. It was a really fun day that Jackson had been looking forward to for months.

Help make this embarrassed mom feel a little better by sharing a time you were "less than graceful" in the comments below!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Fresh Food Deals: Eat Healthy & Save Money!



The following grocery deals are for the Dayton, OH and surrounding areas. If you spot a great deal on fresh/natural/organic foods or find a new printable coupon, be sure to let me know so I can spread the word. This is a weekly feature that will be posted on Mondays or Tuesdays, whenever time permits. Some prices are weekly advertised prices and others are unadvertised sales with varying end dates.

KROGER
Weekly Advertised Deals for Feb. 18-24
$.99 Crisp Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce
$.79/lb. Sweet Potatoes
$.99 Onions, 3 lb. bag
$1.69 Grape Tomatoes (organic)
$2.50 Blueberries (organic)
$1.99 Cantaloupes
$1.88 Pineapple
$.99 Broccoli
$.79 Tomatoes on the Vine
$.99/lb. Asparagus
$2 Strawberries, 16 oz.

10/$10 Kroger Frozen Vegetables
$2 Nature's Path Frozen Waffles
$2.99 Breyer's Ice Cream (look for one with less than 5 ingredients!)
-$1 eCoupon--see below

$3 Kettle Brand Potato Chips
10/$10 Simple Truth Organic Beans, 15 oz.
$1.99 General Mills Cheerios, etc. ($.99 w/coupon!)
-$.50/1 coupon for original Cheerios (and others) HERE 
-$1/2 eCoupon--see below--but you cannot use both together!

$1.88/lb. Tyson BLSL Chicken Breast or Thighs*
$3.49/lb. Private Selection Angus Whole Eye of Round Roast*
$3.79/lb. Ground Round*
$6.99/lb. T-Bone Steak*
$5.99/lb. Wild Caught Cod Fillets
$5.99/lb. Jumbo White Shrimp (21-25 ct.)

$1.99 Simple Truth Cage Free Eggs*
$2.50 Kraft Chunk Cheese, 8 oz.*
-$1/2 eCoupon--see below
$2 Dannon Yogurt, 32 oz. (rBST free)*
$2.99 Silk Soy, Almond or Coconut Milk
-$.55 Blinkie coupon available in some stores
$2.49 Fage Greek Yogurt, 17.6 oz.*
$2.99 Earth Balance Buttery Spread
*Local, organic, pastured meat, poultry and dairy products are the healthiest choice if you can work them into your budget. I have provided the prices listed above for those who are interested in conventional meat/dairy; however, we prefer to get our beef, chicken and eggs from local farmers or we opt for organic store varieties when necessary.
Unadvertised Temporary Price Drops
$4.29 Horizon Organic Butter, 1 lb.  (reg. $5.99) 
$6.39 Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, 15 oz.
$1.09/$1.19 Simple Truth Organic Regular/Whole Wheat Pasta, 1 lb.
$2.49 ST Organic Pasta Sauce
$3.59 ST Organic Quinoa, 16 oz.
$2.59 ST Organic Honey, 12 oz. squeeze bottle
$2.49 Stretch Island Fruit Co. Fruit Leather, 6 ct. 
$1.67 Annie's Organic Mac-n-Cheese ($.97 w/coupon!)
-$.35 coupon HERE ~ Plus get $.75 off salad dressing & $.75 off bunny cookies or crackers
$1.67 Hormel Natural Choice Nitrate-Free Pepperoni* ($1.17 w/coupon!)
-$1/2 coupon HERE


DOWNLOAD COUPONS TO YOUR PLUS CARD AND SAVE $$ INSTANTLY! Click HERE to sign-up or sign-in and the electronic coupons will come off automatically at the register.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MEIJER
Weekly Advertised Deals for Feb. 17-23
$.99/lb. Apples, most varieties
$1.99/lb. Gala or Fuji Apples (organic)
$.99 Cantaloupe
$.99/lb. Pears
$1.69/lb. Anjou Pears (organic)
$1.49/lb. Seedless or Seeded Watermelon Chunks
$3.99 Red Grapefruit, 10 lb. bag
$1.25/ea. Mango
$2.99 Kiwi, 2 lb.
$1.99 Potatoes, 10 lb. bag

$1.25 Campbell's 100% Natural Soup
$3 Kashi Cereal or Granola Bars
$.50 Meijer Naturals Canned Tomatoes
$2.50 Meijer 100% Pure Pumpkin, 29 oz.
$1 Creamette Pasta, 16 oz.
$5.99/lb. Meijer Whole Bean Coffee
$3 Stacy's Pita Chips, 8 oz.
$3 MorningStar Farms Products
$2 Meijer Organic Baby Puffs
$1.25 Plum Organic Baby Food Pouches ($.25 w/coupon!)
-$.50/1 Facebook coupon HERE
$2.50 Plum Organic Tot Puffs, Little Cremes, Bistro Bowls, etc.

$2.99/lb. Angus Beef Ground Chuck*
$1.77/lb. Half Boneless Pork Loin*
$3.49/lb. Angus Chuckeye Roasts or Steaks*
$7.99/lb. Angus Boneless Rib Eye Steaks*
$4.99 Meijer BLSL Frozen Chicken Breasts, 2.5 lb.*
$1.27/lb. Meijer Split Chicken Breasts*
$2.98 Oscar Mayer Nitrate-Free Hotdogs and Lunchmeat*
$3.99/b. Meijer Frozen Wild Caught Cod Fillets
$4.99/lb. Meijer Frozen Wild Caught Ocean Perch Fillets
$8.99/lb. Fresh Wild Caught Walleye Fillets

$5.99/lb. Heini's Greek Yogurt Cheese (deli dept.)*
$4.99/lb. Meijer Colby Jack Cheese (deli dept.)*
$.99 Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt or Dannon Oikos Yogurt ($.50 w/coupon!)
-$.50/2 coupon for Stonyfield HERE
$2 Kraft Chunk Cheese, 8 oz.*
$2 Meijer Butter Quarters*
$1.99 Meijer Milk, gallon*
*Local, organic, pastured meat, poultry and dairy products are the healthiest choice if you can work them into your budget. I have provided the prices listed above for those who are interested in conventional meat/dairy; however, we prefer to get our beef, chicken and eggs from local farmers or we opt for organic store varieties when necessary.
Unadvertised Temporary Price Drops
$2 Stonyfield Organic YoBaby or YoToddler Yogurt, 4 pk. ($1 w/coupon!)
-$.50/1 coupon HERE
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALDI (Don't forget that Walmart and Target will price match!!)
Weekly Advertised Deals for Feb. 17-23
$.99 Onions, 3 lb. bag
$.25/ea. Cucumbers
$.69 Whole Mushrooms, 8 oz.
$.69 Roma Tomatoes, 20 oz.
$.69 Green Peppers, 14 oz.
$1.99 Mandarin Oranges, 3 lb. bag

$2.69 Fresh Mozzarella, 8 oz.
$1.99 Parmasan or Romano Shredded Cheese, 5 oz.
$.99 Lasagna Sheets, 9 oz.
$.99 Penne Pasta, 16 oz.
$1.69 Spaghetti, 32 oz.
$.59 Diced Tomatoes, 14.5 oz.


Have you spotted any other good deals I should add to this post? Is there a store where you frequently shop that could be added to this list? I love to hear from you--please leave a comment below!

Please DO NOT post these deals on your own blog or website without first getting my permission and then linking back to my site. Reach me via e-mail at these_precious_days@yahoo.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ThesePreciousDays.

Meal Plan Monday ~ February 18-24



Here is what's on the menu at our house this week. Items in BLUE are recipe links. Gluten-free meals are noted with GF. Ingredients marked with an * are on sale this week. Check out these amazing grocery deals!!

Dinner

Monday (GF)
Grilled Grassfed Organic Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms*
Oven Baked Sweet Potato* Fries
Spinach Salad with Ranch Dressing
Chocolate Banana Bon Bons

Tuesday (GF)
Fiesta Lime Chicken
Steamed Broccoli*
Pineapple*

 
Wednesday 
BLAT Wraps (Bacon, Lettuce*, Avocado & Tomato*)
Kettle Chips*
Cantaloupe*


Thursday (GF)
Nitrate-Free Sausage & Potatoes* w/Cheese*, Mushrooms*, Onions* and Peppers
Blueberry* and Banana Yogurt* Smoothies (with Spinach....shhhh!)

Friday
Homemade Nitrate-Free Pepperoni* and Mushroom* Pizza
Raw Veggies with Ranch Dip
(GF) No-Guilt Chocolate Chip Cookies


Saturday
Mom's Night Off ~ Out to Eat After Church


Sunday
Southwest Chili Cornbread Casserole (made with beans* and tomatoes*)
Sauteed Green Beans
Cherry Crisp with Homemade Real Whipped Cream
____________________________


Breakfast ~ All meals served with raw, organic milk or Silk brand almond milk* & fresh fruit
Oatmeal x2
Cold Cereal w/Raw Honey (Simple Truth Organic Os)
Smoothies and Homemade Granola Bars
Pumpkin* Waffles with Pure Maple Syrup
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
Turkey Sausage Gravy & Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

____________________________
Lunch ~ All meals served with water and raw veggies
Annie's Homegrown Brand Mac-n-Cheese*
Applegate Farms NF Organic Beef Hotdogs (dang these are pricey!!)
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Natural Peanut Butter & Raw Honey Sandwiches x2
Grilled NF Turkey & Cheese* Waffle Sandwiches
Nachos w/Organic Corn Tortilla Chips*, Chicken & Cheese


What's on the menu at your house this week? Is this post helpful to you?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Living the Lutz Life: Penguins, Movie Night & Newport Aquarium


This is a new weekly feature for 2013, giving you a peek into our day-to-day life and serving as a digital journal for me and my family. Take time to savor these precious days and don't forget to take LOTS of pictures! 
 

I didn't post Living the Lutz Life two weeks ago, because it was a super lame week and we didn't really do anything. Well, I shouldn't say we didn't do anything. I had a bad chest cold most of the week and we had just begun our penguin unit, so there wasn't much to write about. (Not that there are boatloads of people who read these posts, but I know there are a handful of you who do! Thank you!!)

On the last day of January, Bill and I took Jackson out for some one-on-one time to see the movie Wreck-It Ralph. Taking the kids out once a month, individually, is one of my monthly goals. Our first stop was to Hobby Lobby, so Jackson could make his very first purchase with his own money. He had been saving Christmas money and after much consideration, decided to buy a 16 inch Yoshi backpack. It was so cute to watch him go to the register with his stuffed Yoshi and plunk down his entire bank in front of the cashier. (Don't worry, we had previously counted it all and put it into an envelope labeled with how much he had to spend. We even used a 40% off coupon!) Of course, his new pal had to come and sit with us at the movie. Wreck-It Ralph was very good, much better than either Bill or I expected, and as soon as the credits started rolling Jackson leaned over and asked when he could see it again!


Last week we wrapped up our P-p Penguin Unit for Kindergarten. We had such a great two weeks learning about penguin species and living out our words to remember: I show love to everyone, especially my family. Some highlights from the unit were...

  • Bill and the kids put penguin "eggs" on their feet and waddled around, pretending to be Emperor penguins, before eating gummy fish from a pretend ocean.
  • Jackson and Charlotte went out to play penguins in the snow (including sliding down the slide on his belly!) and experiment with icebergs and glaciers in a tub of water.
  • I read the book Penguins, Penguins Everywhere! to Jackson and made a color copy of all the penguin illustrations in the back of the book. Then Bill helped Jackson put all of them onto a large world map, showing him where in the world penguins live.
  • We made a balance scale out of two paper cups and a wire coat hanger. Jackson put various objects into each side of the cup in an attempt to balance it. Then we wrote out some picture "equations" showing what was in each cup. Jackson practiced the concepts of heavy, light, equal, plus, add, more and less.

 
We finally wrapped up the chapter book, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and decided to celebrate with a movie night. The 2012 Jim Carrey movie has pretty much nothing in common with the book, other than the characters' names and the fact that Mr. Popper received a penguin. In spite of that, both of the kids thought it was hysterical. We ate homemade pizza for dinner and had black and white ice cream (vanilla with made-from-scratch Magic Shell) for dessert.
  

Last Sunday, we took the kids down to the Newport Aquarium. Jackson was simply in shock that after we crossed the bridge spanning the Ohio River, we were magically in "Tucky". Just like that...a brand new state. Ha ha! I haven't been to the Newport Aquarium since my first year of teaching waaaay back in 2001. A lot has changed since then and they have added some new areas and exhibits. Bill and I made the decision to never ever go to a museum or aquarium on a weekend again. Ever. Wowzers...that was not our smartest parenting move!
 
Even though it was crazy crowded, we were pretty happy to take advantage of the Winter Family Days promo where 2 kids get in free with each paying adult. That saved us a ton of money! This promotion is running through the end of February, so if you are looking for a fun family trip I would recommend going in the next couple weeks (but not on a Saturday or Sunday!). I would also encourage you to buy and print your tickets at home if you want to skip the outdoor ticket buying line. Another lesson learned!
 
 
Jackson and Charlotte enjoyed seeing Mighty Mike, the biggest baddest gator in the country, who is only there for a limited time. I absolutely love, love, love that picture above where he is putting his arm around her because she was a little scared. What a good big brother she has! Another highlight was the rain forest area where both kids got to sit on Bill's shoulders and feed tropical birds with cups of nectar. Jackson cracked up when one of the birds left a present on a lady's head! Ha ha! They loved the jellyfish room, seeing a real octopus, the Penguin Palooza exhibit and Jackson proudly admits his favorite part of the whole trip was the gift shop. Seriously?! Gotta love kids!
 
Have you ever been to the Newport Aquarium? What did you think? I'd love to hear any tips or tricks you have for saving money at museums and aquariums!