Couponing in Lissa Land: Week of 5/8

May 10, 2012

This week was a quiet shopping week – thank goodness! I worked 60 hours last week, had Sunday off, worked Monday, had Tuesday off, and now am onto my normal 3-day workweek. The upcoming 4 day weekend never looked so good! What with all the working and sleeping on my nights off and never being on a day schedule for 2 weeks, I was very happy to see no great deals at Rite Aid and no doublers at Albertson’s to hassle with. I’m definitely under budget this week, which is Just Fine! All my grocery excitement was focused on my reclaimed food boxes this week. Let’s get to it:

Grocery Outlet – $4.50

This was a quick shop on the way home from work on Tuesday morning. Really just stopped in for $1.50/lb strawberries and mangos were $0.50 each! Mangos are finally coming into season and I have been dying to get some so was happy to find them at my “buy” price. Really wished I had waited to pick up the strawberries though…….

Reclaimed Food – FREE!

This week was even stronger for the reclaimed food boxes! I called the local small grocery store on my way home from work and spoke to the produce manager I talked to last week, he was VERY happy to put together a box for me to pick up an hour later. Then I stopped by the natural co-op and this time their compost bins were nearly empty! I very excitedly pulled out the produce on the right: 2 pablano peppers, an orange, an organic pink lady apple, and a pound of strawberries! Seriously, there was ONE strawberry in the bin that was starting to get soft, the others were PERFECT. And very possibly organic. I never eat peppers so I was googling what kind they are and recipes for them when I got home. Found an AWESOME recipe for mango & pablano pepper quesadillas that I paired with chipotle pinto beans and corn on the cob.

The box on the left was from the local grocery.  4 ears of corn (perfect) 1 pound of strawberries, and 6 roma tomatoes. I plan to wait until next week when I pick up boxes again to see if I get more tomatoes, then I’m going to make tomato sauce — perfect timing as I just used the last of my storebought sauce in eggplant lasagna last week.

Staples – FREE!

2 little bags of pistachios – free! yay for free nuts!

Rite Aid -$11.71

A 16lb bag of dog food (bought w/ coupon + rewards = $1.89 OOP) and a 3L box of pinot grigio to celebrate the awesome free produce. Drank too much, had a terrible hangover at work on Monday, drank more on Tuesday and felt like crap. Poured the rest out yesterday before work. In general, I need to drink less. In particular, this brand seems to not sit well with me at all, much more severe effects than normal.

Weekly Total:  $16.21! Wayyyy under budget! And if I had skipped the wine and extra strawberries — incredible! Also so busy that I didn’t go out to eat at all. Last week went to Denny’s w/ coworkers but I had a coupon for 10% off the total check and the other girls paid me in cash for their share so even after tip, I only paid $2.50ish for my meal!

Food for thought……

This meal cost me $0.40 to make. TOTAL. It contains nearly no processed food at all and fits into my SB diet guidelines. It is the result of simple couponing and easily obtained free produce discards. This week, I made 4 of these meals for dinners. Here’s how:

S&W Chipotle beans – 1/3 can per serving. Bought a few weeks ago at Top Foods w/ coupon for $0.25ea. I got 26 cans and these are great as a simple side or in chili.
Corn – 4 cobs free  this week in my reclaimed food box
Mango & Pablano pepper quesadilla – For 4 quesadillas:

-8 taco size tortillas from Albertson’s free with  coupon & doublers in Feb/March. I have about (8) 10-pks of these in the freezer right now.
-1/2 pack of Philadelphia LF cream cheese free from Albertson’s last year – I still have 4 packs leftover
-2 pablano peppers free this week in my reclaimed food box
-1 mango for $0.50 this week from Grocery Outlet
-about 1cup of shredded cheddar cheese from Safeway – $1.50 for 2cups a couple weeks ago with coupon

I wanted to highlight this meal because it is a great example of how to combine items from a stockpile that were obtained for dirt cheap and/or free along with random weekly produce that you may get either as discards, from a gardener friend, or from a CSA box. Eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. Couponing doesn’t mean you have to eat all processed. And it DOESN’T have to be complicated! Simple transactions and steps can have big and thrilling payoffs.

Happy hunting!

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