Thrifty Tip: Cook Extra

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The Secret Thrifty Mom's Know

Feeding a family of eight every night can be difficult.  Between school pickups and homework and work here on MSM- life is hectic and getting a home cooked meal on the table every night can be tricky.

Taking a family out to eat can be expensive and thrifty moms know that cooking at home is much more frugal than even calling out for pizza.

Here is my biggest secret to getting dinner on the table even on the craziest of days: My Freezer.

When I do make a meal I often double it up and put half it in the freezer (sometimes cooked and sometimes just prepared).  It makes life so much easier on those crazy nights.  Here are a few of my favorite meals to freeze extras of!

  • Fried Chicken: Bread as normal and freeze uncooked.  Thaw and fry/bake.
  • Lasagne: Freeze uncooked.  Thaw and bake as usual.
  • Rice: Cook and Freeze.
  • Sausage StirFry: Prepare and Freeze Uncooked.  Thaw and cook as usual.
  • Enchiladas: Prepare filling, roll into tortillas. Freeze individually.  Thaw, cover with sauce and bake as usual.
  • Shredded Chicken: Boil with onion, pepper and salt.  Drain, shred and freeze.
  • Shredded Beef or Pork: Slow cook with broth, onion, pepper and salt. Drain, shred and freeze.
  • Chili: Cook as normal and freeze.  Thaw and reheat.
  • Macaroni & Cheese: Cook pasta, mix with cheese of choice.  Freeze.  Thaw and cook as usual.
  • Bakes Pasta with Chicken: Cook Pasta and grill chicken.  Slice chicken, mix with cheese (or sauce) and pasta.  Freeze uncooked.  Thaw and freeze.
  • Taco Meat: Cook beef and add seasonings as usual. Freeze.  Thaw and reheat.
  • Hamburgers: Make patties.  Freeze individually.  Place in freezer bags.  Thaw and grill as usual.
  • Meatloaf: Make meatloaf as usual, Freeze Uncooked.  Thaw and bake.

A visit to a fast food restaurant can cost us $45!  Even calling for pizza can be $30 or more.  Making dinner at home can be so much less expensive, but it’s not always the easiest thing.  Using my freezer makes it easier and less costly.

A few tips:

  • The Dollar Tree has a great selection of disposable aluminum pans.  These make it easy to go from freezer to oven quickly.
  • A Food Saver is my best friend.  It makes the food last so much longer in the freezer.
  • Keep a list of what’s in there.  That will make it easier to know what you have on hand.

Share your tips with us!

 

Weekly Totals 8/4/15

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weekly totals

I used to write a post every Tuesday to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die!  I had $40.52 eft over from previous weeks’ budgets  so I have a total of $115.52 in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Running Total:
Value: $102.05
OOP: $25.60
Savings: 74%
Rebates Back: $2.50
Catalinas Back: $0
Left in weekly budget: $49.40
Left in Budget: $89.92

 

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7/29- I used this trip to stock up on some baby wipes for my sister (I know how fast twin mommies go through wipes!) and school lunches.

Kroger:
5 Birds Eye Protein- FREE (deal here)
5 Birds eye flavored – FREE (deal here)
5 Weber Seasonings (deal here)
9 Huggies Baby Wipes (deal here)
10 pepperidge Farm Goldfish
1 Smuckers Grape Jelly $1.56 after mega
2 ziplock bags (deal here)

Value: $102.05
OOP: $25.60
Savings: 75%
Get back $.75 mobisave for Huggies, $0.75 mobisave for Goldfish, $1mobisave smuckers
Final Cost: $23.10
* I have to submit for my $2 Catalina from Huggies
See all the Kroger deals here

Harris Teeter Popsicles: BOGO

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Sometimes the lowest price option isn’t always the best buy!  Harris Teeter has their store brand popsicles BOGO this week.  They have their 8 ct $2 BOGO making each one $1 and their 24 ct $3.99 BOGO making it $1.99 each.

Even at regular price the 24 ct is the better buy- $0.17 each versus $0.25 each.

I almost made a huge mistake and put 3 of the small boxes in my cart- because that $1 a box is so persuasive.  I got to the checkout line and it was like a light bulb went off “Jessie,” it said, “You are being an idiot!”  I hustled back to the freezer section and swapped the three small boxes for a large one.  Saving myself a little bit of money (and 2 extra boxes to recycle).

A dollar might not seem like much but think of everything we get for under a buck: pasta, cereal, baby wipes and more!

It’s a perfect example of why looking at all the size options is important.  Sometimes the bigger one is the better buy and sometimes the smaller one.  Do a little math and don’t be swayed by the lowest out of pocket cost- spending a little bit more might get you a whole lot more!

You can see these Harris Teeter deals and many more here.

Why I just Spend over $20 on Ketchup & Mustard

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Yes I just spend $22.58 on ketchup and mustard at Lowes Foods.  But I have a really good reason why!

Here’s the deal at Lowes Foods

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Buy (1) Heinz Ketchup, 38 oz $2.50
Buy (1) Heinz Mustard, 14 oz $1.50
Use $0.50/1 Heinz Yellow Mustard – 6-21-15 RP; Includes 14 oz or Larger Only; Maximum of 4 Coupons Of Any Kind For The Same Product In The Same Shopping Trip (exp 08/15/15)
Use $0.25/1 Heinz Tomato Ketchup – 6-21-15 RP; Includes 32 oz or Larger Only; Maximum of 4 Coupons Of Any Kind For The Same Product In The Same Shopping Trip (exp 08/15/15)
Pay $2.50
Submit for $1.00/1 Heinz Ketchup – MobiSave Rebate
F
inal Cost: $1.50

Earn $0.15 Fuel Rewards (at 25 gallons that is $3.75 in savings)

So following their coupon policy – I bought 8 ketchup and 8 mustards and used (4) $1/2 Ketchup & Mustard and (4) $0.50/1 Mustard and (4) $0.25/1 Ketchup.  I paid a total of $22.58 out of my pocket.  I earned $1.20 in Fuel Rewards.

When I purchase 25 gallons (fill up my van and some of my husband’s car)- it will save me $30 at the pump.  Right there I basically get $7.42 in FREE gas.

I plan to do this transaction twice and my out of pocket will be  $45.16 at Lowes Foods – leaving with 16 Heinz Mustard and 16 Heinz Ketchup.  I will spend approximately $2.50 at the gas station for a total of $47.66 out of pocket for 25 gallons of gas.

Normally for 25 gallons of gas I will spend approximately $60 at the gas station.

So for me it was a no brainer- 32 bottles of condiments AND 25 gallons of gas for $47.66 OR 25 gallons of gas for $60.

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This type of deal isn’t for everyone.  In fact when I shared this in our Facebook group I got comments similar to “SMH.  I’d never pay for mustard. I get it free” – well I got it for BETTER than free when you look at the BIG picture.

That’s what makes MoolaSavingMom.com unique- we don’t just show you how to put a coupon with a sale to get a free mustard.  We show you how to put coupons with a sale and a promo to get TONS of free condiments AND discounted gas.

MoolaSavingMom is about getting MORE for your money. It’s about spending LESS and getting more.   If your only looking for free mustard- you’ll find that here…but you are missing out on some of the best tips I have to offer.

Weekly Totals 7/7

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weekly totals

I used to write a post every Tuesday to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die!  I had $60.89 left over from previous weeks’ budgets  so I have a total of $135.89  in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Running Total:
Value: $135.86
OOP: $45.03
Savings: 66%
Rebates Back: $7.45
Catalinas Back: $3, $4
Left in weekly budget: $29.97
Left in Budget: $90.86

Harris Teeter 7/1

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5 Rice Works
3 Herdez Salsa
3 Nature Harvest Bread
4 Bacardi Mix
6 Sargento (2 trans)
3 Magic Shell
8 Jiffy​
7 Hoffmann Hot Dogs $5.99 – $5 peelies = $0.99 each

value: $135.86
OOP: $45.03
Left with $7 in catalinas
Savings; 66%

How I Processed 80 lbs of Chicken in About an Hour

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How to process 80 lbs of chicken in an hour

 

I LOVE my Zaycon chicken but having those boxes of chicken sometimes overwhelms me- but now that I have my system down I can process both cases (80 lb) in about an hour! And I hate wasting anything so I try to use as much of the chicken as I can but I also don’t like fat or gristle at all.

Here are the tips that work well for me!

First, gather the supplies.

Food Saver: I’ve used freezer bags because I like to brine my chicken but find that the bags aren’t really great at holding that much water and chicken.  The bags became really thin and developed holes and leaked everywhere when they thawed.  So I switched to only using my food saver.  It takes up much less space in the freezer and they don’t thin out like freezer bags have. Shop for Food Savers here.

Tongs: Trust me on this!  When you are processing chicken your hands get slippery and having tongs lets you place the cut chicken into bags without getting bacteria all over the outside of the bag.  I prefer silicon tipped tongs – they don’t tear into the chicken like metal ones and are less likely to tear the bags.  Shop for tongs here.

A super sharp knife: A sharp knife makes it go so much faster!  I have a similar set of non stick knives and love them! Plus they are so pretty!  Shop for knives here.

Cutting Board: There is a lot of chopping and slicing with cutting all that chicken.  It also gets pretty wet so a non slip cutting board with a grove keeps lots of the mess contained.  Shop for Cutting Boards here.

My process:

I start by making bags for my Food Saver.  You can purchase prepared bags. But since I freeze in different quantities, I prefer to make custom size bags. Each 40 lb case had about 36 breasts in it.  With my family I make portions with 3,4 and 5 breasts.  So I needed about 15 bags total for both cases I purchased.

[Read more...]

Meal Deal Idea: Harris Teeter

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Here is a meal deal idea for Harris Teeter this week 6/24 – 6/30.

(3) Old El Paso Taco Shells $1.25 each
(2) Ortega Taco Seasoning $0.95 each
(1) lbs Chicken Breast, $1.99/lb fresh meat case
Lettuce $1.49
(1) Kraft Shredded Cheese B1G1 $1.89 each
(1) Vine Ripe Tomato $1.55
HT Sour Cream, 10 oz $1.00
Old El Paso Refried Beans $1.00
Herdez Salsa $2

Total Due $16.57

Use $0.50/1 Old El Paso Refried Beans
Use $1.00/3 Old El Paso Products; Excludes Refrigerated, Frozen, or Soup Products
Use$0.55/1 Herdez Salsa Product

Pay $12.47

Submit for $0.20/1 Tomatoes – Ibotta Rebate
Submit for $0.25/1 Tomatoes – Checkout 51 Rebate; May vary by account; Pick Your Own Offer Participating Item; May Only Choose 1 of 5May vary by account; Pick Your Own Offer Participating Item; May Only Choose 1 of 6
Submit for $0.20/1 Shredded Cheese – Ibotta Rebate; Includes 4 oz or Larger only

Pay $11.81 (Left over: 2 boxes Taco Shells, 1 pk Taco Seasoning, Lettuce)
Cost: $2.95/serving

How I make it:
Low boil chicken for an hour or so with salt, pepper and garlic (or use garlic powder).
When cooked – shred and mix with taco seasoning.  Serve in taco shells with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream.

 

 

Weekly Totals 6/30

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weekly totals

I used to write a post every Tuesday to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die!  I had $83.30 left over from previous weeks’ budgets  so I have a total of $158.30 in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Running Total:
Value: $447.80
OOP: $97.41
Savings: 78%
Rebates Back: $7.45
Catalinas Back: $1.50, $1.50
Left in weekly budget: -$16.51
Left in Budget: $60.89

6/24

Harris Teeter

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Value: $95.97
OOP $10.54 (used $5 Catalina)
Savings: 89%
Getting back $4 from Ibotta 
Final Cost: $6.54 – savings 93%

 

6/25

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Harris Teeter
3 OxiClean
5 Coke 12 pks
2 Gatorade 8 pk
4 hefty plates
Starbucks Iced Coffee
Sambazon Energy
Herdez Salsa
2 Snackwells
Rubbermaid Drink Bottle
End Dust (used peelie on bottle)
2 Hefty Bags
Wright Bacon
Marked down Chicken
2 Spice Hunters
2 Sauer Rub

Value: $151.25
OOP: 33.31
Savings: 78%
Got back: $1.50 for Energy Drink, .20 bacon, $1 Starbucks, .75 Starbucks
Final cost: $30.60

6/28 Harris Teeter

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12 Yoplait Singles FREE
3 Colgate Toothpaste FREE
6 Dial Bar Soaps .25 each
3 Playtex .39 each
Barilla Pronto $.19
Huggies Diapers $4.99

Value: $72.86
OOP: $15.67

Submitted for .20 Ibotta Yogurt, $2 MobiSave Playtex, ..75 Colgate Mobi Save.75 MobiSave pasta, .20 Ibottaa Diapers, $2 MobiSave rebate Huggies
Final Cost:$9.77
Saved 86%

6/28 Kroger

 

Value $127.72
OOP: $37.89
Submit for .75 Pampers Wipes MobiSave, .20 Ibotta Bananas
FInal Cost: 71%

Weekly Totals 6/23

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weekly totals

I used to write a post every Tuesday to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die!  I had $65.59 left over from previous weeks’ budgets  so I have a total of $140.59 in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Running Total:
Value: $130.37
OOP: $57.29
Savings: 56%
Rebates Back: $1.50
Catalinas Back: $25
Left in weekly budget: $17.71
Left in Budget: $83.30

6/17

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Harris Teeter
4 Oreos
1 Gal Milk (used $4 off Oreos + Milk- no longer avail)
5 Florida Natural OJ
3 Cheerios
1 Lucky Charms
7 Gushers
Fiber one
Nature valley
2 Mazola
2 Men + care
Value: $106.97
OOP: $33.89
Submit for : $0.20 OJ Ibotta , $0.20 Milk Ibotta, .60 MobiSave OJ and $0.50 Oreo MobiSave
Final Cost: $32.39

(I have to go back to get $4.98 back since the ad is showing $3.50 for the bar soap and they rang up $5.99.  Thanks to my hubby’s request for Corona when my total was off I just attributed it to the beer…)

Kroger 6/22

10 pks Huggies Wipes $2.19
Paid $23.40
Got back $25 in Catalinas
(gave most of the wipes to my sister)

Weekly Totals: 6/16/15

Any post on this website may include Affiliate Links. See my Disclosure and Privacy Policy here.

weekly totals

 

I used to write a post every Tuesday to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die!  I had $195.03 left over from previous weeks’ budgets  so I have a total of $270.03 in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

I am also going to share the meals I serve every night so you can get to see what a stockpile can do! I will update this post daily!

Running Total:
Value: $583
OOP: $204.44
Savings: 65%
Rebates Back: $2.75
Catalinas Back: $6
Left in weekly budget: -$129.44

Left in Budget: $65.59

Meals:
Wed: Pizza Out to Celebrate Some Great report cards
Thurs: Breakfast for dinner
Fri: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with homemade potato chips
Sat:Left overs
Sun: Chicken Tacos
Mon: Shrimp Alfredo
Tues:

6/10

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Kroger:
30 pks Keebler Cookies Mega Sale $.99 each
5 Mio $1.99 Mega Sale Got $3 Catalina
4 1/2 gallons milk $1 each
5 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (1 missing) .99 each Mega
5 Old Orchard $.49 after Mega and Q (2 missing in pic…going to check car!)
5 Glad Containers $.50 after Q and Mega

Value: $192.49
OOP: $61.48
Savings; 70%
Got $3 Catalina back from Mio
$1 Ibotta Rebate back
*yes I know that’s a lot of cookies but I’m honestly not done yet! These all have exp dates to Jan ’16. With 5 kids packing lunch everyday – we can easily go through an entire package+ in a week!

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Harris Teeter: (sorry no real pic had to run to school event)
10 pks cokes B2G3 used (3) $1/3
2 Lysol Toilet B1G1 used $1 TearPad
6 Nabisco Crackers B1G1 Used .75/2
3 Mazola Spray
3 Butterball Sausage .29 after store peelie and .75/1
5 Hormel Bacon B2G3 used $1/1
2 Tropicana OJ eVIC
3 Smuckers Toppings
1 Glad Containers
3 Challenge Butter

Value: $171.77
OOP: $57.04
Savings; 67%
$1.75 Ibotta rebate back

 6/12

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Kroger

5 Oxi
2 loaves bread (mark down)
2 hamburger rolls (mark down)
6 Welch Fruit Snacks 40 ct
6 1/2 gallons milk
25 Keebler Cookies
4 Mio

Value: $218.74
OOP: $85.92
Got back $3 Catalina
Savings: 61%