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Getting back on track

After work today the hubby and DS came by to pick me up and we did the weekly shopping - I was greeted from the back seat with a hearty "ah wee wah!", Wonderboy-ese for "I love you!", so my night started off quite well :)

I have pulled back a bit on the coupon shopping - the sales on things we actually use haven't been great, and I'm realizing that I really need to start keeping a price book.... Couponmom is helpful in guiding me towards the better deals, but the prices in my area tend to run a bit higher than what she posts for my supermarkets and I need to be the expert for my area. I have to figure out whether it will be better to do an Excel spreadsheet or pencil-and-paper, but at least I have all of my receipts for the last 3 months.

It wasn't a banner week like last week, but the overall cost was $75.98 and a big chunk of that was meat for the freezer and spices and stuff for the pantry. Here's the overall breakdown:

Price Rite: pasta, salsa, frozen spinach, chili powder, curry, fajita seasoning, green apple, cheese (2 pounds), water chestnuts - TOTAL: $18.07

Stop & Shop: paprika, parsley, crushed and diced tomatoes ($1 each), Ziploc bags, 2 packages drumsticks (on sale $0.99/lb) - TOTAL: $21.56 ($8.94 store savings, $1 coupon)

Shaws: Bananas (on sale $0.39/lb), sugar (on sale $1.99/5 lbs), chicken dogs ($1 pkg), Tin foil, plastic wrap, pork tenderloin (on sale $1.88/lb) - TOTAL $36.35 ($31.67 store savings)

The pork tenderloin was a big expense, but well worth it - this was a whole 10.50lb tenderloin. I rung up the store butcher and had him slice it into 1-inch chops...which didn't cost me anything extra! Pre-cut boneless chops go for between $2.50 and $5.50 a pound and are only a half inch thick at most. Mine are thicker, it's a better cut of meat, and I can either sliced the chops down to half an inch, or butterfly and stuff them. All for less than $2 a pound and the willingness to think outside the meat package. My lesson learned? Make friends with the supermarket meat guy :)

I took stock of my freezer, and realized that I have enough meat down there (including today's purchases) to cover me for over 30 dinners. More, considering that I am trying to include at least one pasta and one vegetarian dish each week to help cut costs. I might hop on board if there's a crazy meat sale in the next few weeks, otherwise I need to focus on eating out of the freezer and the pantry, and keep making stuff from scratch instead of buying the convenience version. Who knows...I might actually get daring and try my hand at a loaf of bread :) Not too bad for a former city girl...

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