Happy Ad Wednesday!

I KNOW. Cheepie, what are you doing? Posting in the wee hours of Christmas Eve, when you know you’ve got 48 hours of shopping, eating, wrapping, wrapping, wrapping, (opening Box of Wine) ( finding Die Hard on TV) wrapping, wrapping, eating, sleeping, UNwrapping, eating and eating more ahead of you?!?

It’s all for you Cheepsters. Here’s your Brief Holiday Update, brought to you by Cedar Pollen Everywhere!

HOLIDAY HOURS:

Store                         Xmas Eve            Xmas Day             Xmas Day +1
HEB                   6am-8pm                  closed                         regular hours
Sprouts             7am-7pm                   closed                         7am-10pm
Randalls           6am-8pm                   9am-4pm                     6am-12am
Whole Foods    7am-7pm                   closed                          7am-10pm
Central Market  7am-8pm                  closed                          8am-10pm
Wheatsville       7:30am-7pm              closed                        10am-10pm

Fiesta                6am-9pm                   closed                        7am-10pm

HEB and Randalls are having their sales this week from Fri/Tues, so shift a day. Sprouts is usual, and Fiesta didn’t have their new ad up.

Week 8 & Sunday Night Goal Post

A combo tonight, our of respect for the theater. When Tiny is in a production, sometimes, apparently, all to my surprise, I am sucked in and end up doing things like pulling apart garland to make stars for Santa to glide through, washing chocolate fountains (holy blick! do NOT sign up for this job, ever!), and figuring out how to get teenagers to stop playing dubstep holiday music. 

Seeing as these are all skills new to me, my normal scoreboard post is being combined this week with the plan post. Let’s see if that turns out to be what I should have been doing all along.

Week 8 Scoreboard

Here were the goals, with fruit and vegetables based on sales, and meat based on what I had on hand given the goal of getting the freezer emptied:

  • Mon: meatloaf, sweet potatoes, green salad. blackberries. peas.
  • Tue: pan-fried halibut, pineapple, couscous, green salad
  • Wed: sandwiches, veggie sticks and ranch, apple slices
  • Thur: End of Term Pizza Day!
  • Fri:  Oven Ribs, potato salad, bbq etc.

Here’s the actual:

  • Mon: meatloaf, sweet potatoes, green salad. blackberries. peas. 4 people. Score: 2 points.
  • Tue:  roasted chicken, peas, oranges, apples, rice. 5 people, not together. Score: 1.5 points.
  • Wed: baked ziti. salad was available, but not one of us wanted it. 5 people, not together. Score: 1 point.
  • Thur: Pizza Day! 5 people + extras. Score: 1.5 points.
  • Fri: leftovers and mayhem. 5 people attending. Score: 0.5 points.

I did follow the plan pretty well if you know me–that Wednesday? where I jumped ship? I jumped to Prince Spaghetti Day, which is the default.  On Friday, it was Refrigerator Buffet, which is normally a Thursday call. I also gave myself points for all of us eating at home, even if not together, as a start on the revamping of the scoring system. It’s a work in progress, so if you’ve got opinions let me know in the comments or on FB or Twitter.

Week 8

  • Score: 6.5
  • Plan followed?: 2/5
  • Effort?: low-to-middling

Sunday Night Goal Post!

The ‘goal’ I’m referring to in the title here is Family Dinner, and maybe I need to reassess that idea.  Clearly, getting more than 3 of us reliably to the table has been a struggle, and maybe that’s not the best place for my energy. I’m on week 8 and I’m not making a bar graph ( who am I kidding, as soon as xmas is over I am DAMN SKIPPY making a bar graph) of who shows up to dinner, but there are three reliables and two outliers, and there’s just no changing that.  So maybe the goal should be more ‘together’ rather than ‘dinner’.

I mean, I’d rather be playing Scrabble. So maybe I should start Family Scrabble. The goal was never all about the food, but more getting together. Dinner seems like not a great time for us to do that, and maybe I should find a together time that does work for us.  Possibly they all want to vacuum with me?

It’s a thought.

That said, we still need to eat, and follow a budget. And it’s a holiday week, with theater craziness to boot.  So this week’s meals are:

  • Mon: soup and grilled cheese, apples, carrot sticks
  • Tue:  beef curry, rice, spinach, pineapple
  • Wed: Dinner with friends
  • Thur: Dinner with family
  • Fri: Recover from all the group dinners.

I’m encouraged by the comments about the scoring, and considering a revamp. If you’ve got thoughts, let me know. Upping the daily score to 4 points, one each for: nutrition, people attending, following plan, and eating together, is something I’m thinking about.

Happy Ad Wednesday!

Time should be a completely objective thing, and not slip away like a stick thrown into a creek.  But it isn’t, and thus this week’s Happy Ad Wednesday is more of a Thursday post than a Wednesday morning post. These things happen, and I want all you Cheepsters to know that my daughter’s play will be all the better for it.  Sometimes, even Grocery Theory has to wait.

I’ll run through things quickly, and save all my wisdom and wit for later on, in case you’re sitting home, wondering when to put a bra on and head out to the store.

NOTE: HEB closes at 8pm on the 24th, reopens on 26th.

Fiesta

chicken leg quarters, large bag                             69c/lb (Fiesta limit)

bonelesspork loin roast                                       $2.49/lb

Haas avocados                                                      77c/ea

Red or Golden Delicious apples                            77c/lb

pomegranates                                                    $1.99/ea

Randalls

Honeysuckle White Whole Turkey Breast, bone-in, frozen             99c/lb  (limit 4)

Safeway Smoked shank or rump half ham, bone-in                  $1.89/lb  (limit 1)

HEB

boston butt pork roast, whole, in bag                                        $1.47/lb

Smithfield Premium Shank Portion Ham                                    $1.57/lb

HCF Split Chicken Breasts                                                        $1.47/lb

blackberries, 6oz.                                                                       98c/ea

organic gala apples                                                                 $1.47/lb   (DD)

Pink Lady apples or Bosc pears                                                98c/lb   (DD)

Sprouts

Halos, 5lbs                                                                               $3.98/ea

pineapples                                                                                 98c/ea   (C15)

red mangos                                                                               98c/ea

red or green seedless grapes                                               $1.98/lb  (DD)

organic Gala or Fuji apples                                                   $1.48/lb  (DD)

BSCB                                                                                    $1.99/lb

organic celery                                                                         98c/ea

Sum up:

Halos at HEB, though they’re on sale everywhere.

Apples at Sprouts.

Turkey breast (Randalls), and pork loin (Fiesta) are both at stock up prices.

Berries are not a good buy this week anywhere. If they’re a staple, consider pomegranate or pineapple as a change of pace.

Happy shopping all, and I apologize for the late post!  Cheep Cheep!

Sunday Night Goal Post

I realize that most of you are reading this on Monday morning (all 5 of you! I love you guys! You rock! I am having you all over for a Baked Ziti Extravaganza soon!), but I like the Sunday Night football reference of ‘Goal Post’ so I’m sticking with it. Cheepie likes birds (Cheep Cheep!)  and football, it seems.

I’m really working from the freezer for meat this week, given the space taken by turkeys. It’s also the end of the year, and while it doesn’t make sense, given I buy meat all year, I feel like I need to empty what I can from the fridge/freezer/pantry at this time.  So I want to use what I’ve got. 

I feel like I need to renew, so I’m trying to use up the pantry staples like dried beans and random condiments up, to make room. Room for what? Room for new things I find on sale and new projects!  I really want to start making vanilla, and I need to get Eldest on board with pancakes not from Bisquick. We’ve got everything to make pancakes right here, and she knows it.

So this week’s kind of plain plan, in between the big holidays:

  • Mon: meatloaf, sweet potatoes, green salad. blackberries. peas.
  • Tue: pan-fried halibut, pineapple, couscous, green salad
  • Wed: sandwiches, veggie sticks and ranch, apple slices
  • Thur: End of Term Pizza Day!
  • Fri:  Oven Ribs, potato salad, bbq etc.

Here’s hoping for the best. Cheep Cheep!

This Week’s Dinners, Week 7

The goals were simple this week, and made with the many school and social plans in mind. It was a partly successful week.Where partly is ‘if this were a class in school, you’d be getting quite a few notes home about not being precisely ‘successful’, young lady’.

Here’s the goal list:

  • Mon: salmon croquettes, rice, steamed spinach, sliced apples, carrot sticks
  • Tue:  soup & salad
  • Wed: Prince Spaghetti Day!  spaghetti and meatballs. possibly homemade tortellini if I feel ambitious. caesar salad. peas. fruit.
  • Thur:  Breakfast for Dinner. 
  • Fri: Movie Night!

And the actual:

  • Mon: salmon croquettes, steamed spinach, carrot sticks, apple slices, rice. 4 people. Score: 2 points.
    Tue:  spaghetti, cooked broccoli/cauliflower, carrot sticks, oranges. 3 people.  Score: 0.5 points.
  • Wed: sandwiches, leftovers. 3 people, not together. Score: 0
  • Thurs: meatballs, fishsticks, macaroni and cheese, cucumbers, apple and orange slices. 4 people, not together. Score: 0.5 points.
  • Fri: burgers at movie night. no supplement with healthy stuff. 3 people. Score: 1 point.

As ever, with DH coming home at variable times, and Eldest having two performances  this week it was tough.  We did manage to not eat take out, so that’s a step in the right direction. P. Terry’s was looming large in my mind on Wed and Thurs, but we ate at home, and that’s always been a tough call when I know we’ll all be happy with fries.

So I’m well back into failing range, but given a week involving banging up the car, working a fundraiser and planning another, and the general mayhem that the holiday season brings, like school posters needing supplies (?) and hosting an origami bird sale in the front yard (!?!), that I didn’t order pizza, pick up burgers, and then go right back to Conan’s for more pizza the night after that is a miracle indeed.

Week 7

  • Score: 4/10
  • Plan followed?: 2.5/5 (half point for spaghetti on the wrong night)
  • Effort?: low

Tune in later today for this week’s Goal Post!  Cheep Cheep!

Happy Ad Wednesday!

There is a lot of cheap citrus out there this week in the form of grapefruits and oranges.  The best deal is the California navel oranges at Sprouts, 20c/lb. If you want Texas oranges, Fiesta has juicing oranges (which is what they call oranges with thin peels and seeds these days; back in days of Yore, when Cheepie was young and dinosaurs roamed the earth, they were just ‘oranges’) for 38.8c/lb, provided you buy the 10lb sack.

Your call here, but you might as well get one or the other, because that’s cheap, and the Vitamin C can only help with the cedar fever that’s about to phlegm us all. What’s that? You’re not stuffy yet, and wondering how bad it might be, and facing down a neti pot you’d stowed away hoping never to see it again? Shut. It.

Once again, pork shoulders and picnics are at a stockable price. If you’ve got any intention of smoking pork in the next few months, tossing a shoulder (Randalls, $1.99/lb) or picnic (Fiesta, $1.79/lb) in the cart for the freezer is a sensible thing to do. If you’ve already got three turkeys in the freezer, because you went a little crazy, don’t worry. Picnics will be priced low for the month, because they are the perfect tamale filling.  If you need to cook a turkey to make room, hold tight, I’ll be posting ideas for those turkeys you might have stocked up on.

Apple Wars: I don’t know why we’re back here. But apple prices this week have me reconsidering how I organize this information. I don’t want you going to a whole different store for 50c. But I want you to know what’s there, and I want you to know organic prices, because apples are a DD fruit. Know that I’m working on a solution.

Apple Wars Sum Up: buy conventional apples at Fiesta; buy organic at Sprouts.

Sprouts:

California grown navel oranges                                    20c/lb

pineapples                                                                 $1.98/ea (C15)

Gala, Fuji granny smith or red delicious apples          98c/lb (DD)

organic Gala or Fuji apples                                       $1.48/lb  (DD)

organic curly kale or collard greens                             98c/ea  (DD)

organic baby peeled carrots, 1lb                               $1.50/ea

Wed only:

Halos,2lb sack                                                                  $1.98/ea

raspberries, 6oz.                                                                 98c/lb

Hass avocados                                                                   48c/lb (C15)

Fri-Sun only:

boneless skinless chicken thighs                                   $1.69/lb

jumbo Hass avocados                                                      98c/ea (C15)

R.W. Knudsen Just Cranberry Juice, 32 oz.                  $2.99/ea

25% off bulk items-bulk pices, bulk coffee and bulk bins!

Fiesta:

gala apples                                                                                     79c/lb (DD)

Libby’s brand canned corn, peas, or green beans, 14-15 oz        59c/ea

Fiesta All-purpose flour, 5 lb. sack                                              $1.49/ea

Texas juice oranges, 10lb. sack                                                  $3.88/ea

russet potatoes, 10lb sack                                                          $2.49/ea (DD)

chicken drumsticks, family pack                                                   79c/lb  (Fiesta limit)

assorted bone-in pork chops, family pack                                $1.59/lb (Fiesta limit)

sweet mandarines, 2lb. sack                                                     $1.99/ea (they spelled it)

 

Randalls:

gala, red or golden delicious                                                    99c/lb (DD)

Safeway spiral sliced half ham, bone-in                                $1.99/lb  (limit 1)

Safeway smoked shank or rump half ham                             $1.89/lb (limit 1)


CM:

honeycrisp apples                                                   97c/lb (DD)

blackberries, 6 oz.                                                $1.50/ea

15% off uncured and premium bacon

 

HEB:

assorted pork chops, bone-in, value pack           $1.97/lb (Fiesta is cheaper, but limit applies)

HCF chicken drumsticks or thighs, value pack          $1/lb     (see above)

boneless pork ribeye roast, whole in bag              $1.97/lb

blackberries, 6oz.                                                     97c/ea

bananas                                                                    39c/lb

Gala or Fuji apples                                                   98c/lb (DD) (Gala cheaper at Fiesta)

 

This week’s new word is buñuelos–Fiesta has cinnamon buñuelos, 10ct, for $2.99. I’m not sure what they are, but for 30c each I might go buy some. The photo looks a bit like the Magic Pop snacks, which in our house are called Bang Snacks because Central Market used to have that booth were a guy would make the Magic Pop snacks, and the noise made me jump out of my skin every time. I just don’t expect loud-ass noises when I’m rounding the corner from dairy to bread.

 

Mail Report:

Well hell’s bells, I got my flyers today, all in the correct number, and only about 2 hours after you’d think an ordinary postman might be home, kicking back, and posting to Postal Persons Anonymous about the dogs he hates on his route.

Shop well, stock up, and Cheep Cheep!

Sunday Night Goal Post

Last week went well in part because I stood in front of the open fridge and thought for a bit about how the week would go.  I realize it’s not optimal for this thinking to be done in front of an open refrigerator, but given that it got me from a 4 to a 7, I’m going to stick with it.  So give me a minute, here… Ok. Here’s my week, after looking at both the fridge and the pantry, and then remembering to ALSO check my calendar.

  • Mon: salmon croquettes, rice, steamed spinach, sliced apples, carrot sticks
  • Tue:  soup & salad
  • Wed: Prince Spaghetti Day!  spaghetti and meatballs. possibly homemade tortellini if I feel ambitious. caesar salad. peas. fruit.
  • Thur:  Breakfast for Dinner.  Pancakes and scrambled eggs, cinnamon toast and English muffins, berries and sliced tomatoes (those are for me)(yes, I’m going to slice them, put them on a plate like everyone will help themselves to some, and then eat them all myself with a bit of salt)(it’s not a crime)(at least not yet)(it’s ‘misrepresenting familial interest in vegetables’, at best, and I don’t think they’ve got that one on the books yet).
  • Fri: Movie Night! I will supplement cheeseburgers/chicken strips/fried cheese with fruit and veg. Enjoy a chuckle with me here, as we imagine me re-packing the cucumber rounds and cuties.

I think this is practical, and do-able, but I always think that on Sunday night.  Apparently, Sunday night is when I dream big, and somewhere about Wednesday my Dream Engine gives up and it’s all frito pie and P. Terry’s from there. So here’s hoping, my friends. Cheep Cheep!

This Week’s Dinners, Week 6

This week was a recovery week, given the holiday travels. Generally, we eat out too much on a recovery week, because DH and I feel an acute lack of tex-mex immediately on leaving Texas, and it takes us 2-3 doses to recover. My sub goal, after a perfect 10 for family dinner, was to just not eat out this week. Even with all my plans, we often eat out not as a whole family but as a subset. The Call of the Queso is a lure, among us.

Here’s the goal for this week, written after Monday’s supper, looking at a vacation-empty fridge and with an eye toward the pantry and freezer:

  • Mon: tri tip, salad, broccoli/cauliflower, applesauce, cucumber and carrots
  • Tue:  Taco Tuesday!  tacos al pastor, refried beans, queso,tortillas and fixings
  • Wed: Prince Spaghetti day!  alfredo noodles, roasted chicken legs, carrots, salad
  • Thur: egg drop soup, fried rice
  • Fri: pizza/calzone night!

And the actual:

  • Mon:   It’s possible for my self-esteem I should always make the plan after the fact. 4 people. Score: 1.5 points.
  • Tue:  Taco Tuesday! completely as advertised.  7:30 pm. 5 people. Score: 2 points.
  • Wed: Prince Spaghetti day! also as advertised. 7:15 pm. 4 people. Score: 1.5 points.
  • Thur: Refrigerator Buffet.Varied times. 5 people, different times. Score: 0.5 points.
  • Fri: Pizza Night. No calzones, which should mean zero points, but I’m a wuss. 8:30pm. 4 people. Score: 1.5 points.

This is a marked improvement from the Land of 4s!   In the land of 7.0!  This is a lofty area, indeed.

I think what helped me this week was standing in front of the empty fridge, and being able to plan from the freezer/pantry. I posted in front of a zero shopping idea, and it worked. I bought fruit and vegetables, but other than that it was a pantry freezer/week.  I should work on doing that more.

Week 6

  • Score: 7.0/10
  • Plan followed?: 4/5 (point off for Refrigerator buffet)
  • Effort?: middle

This is a definite boost, after the last two weeks.  Tomorrow’s Goal Post will be centered around what was successful this week–using what’s on hand, and supplementing.

Happy Ad Wednesday!

We’re back on an even keel now, after the tumult that a holiday on a Thursday can cause.  I hope everyone ate well, had excellent sandwiches, and is ready to stock up on the things that stores will use to lure us in over the next month. 

Stand fast, though! Don’t start buying toys at the grocery store unless they were toys you were planning on getting (and even then, be sure about the price)! This is how they bamboozle you–they trick you into thinking that since you’re there, you might as well buy toys, but we all know you don’t buy toys at the grocery store. Stay focused. Do not be distracted by the…hey wait. Is that an end cap pyramid of Andes mints? I need those. And my kid is obsessed with Shopkins, and I need that loomy thing, right?

Here are this week’s deals. Kale, raspberries, and avocados are all at their best prices. Yes, I know stocking up on avocado doesn’t work, but you could just invite me over to eat guacamole for dinner. What, you don’t do that? Just me? That’s cool.

HEB:

Sanderson Farms whole chicken                                      97c/lb

HEB brand Easy Melt (Velveeta), 32oz                          $4.97/ea

California navel oranges, 8lb. sack                               $4.98/ea

organic gala or red delicious apples, 2 lbs.                  $2.98/ea (DD)

extra large Hass avocados                                              97c/ea  (C15)

cameo or jonagold apples                                               77c/lb  (DD)

organic celery                                                                     2/$3  (DD)

Sprouts:

Halos,2lb sack                                                                  $1.98/ea    (NOTE: last time, my kids ate maybe six out of this sack, despite loving Halos normally. Look at what you pick up, and make sure none are mushy or weird.)(Double NOTE: that advice could apply in other situations, as well.)

raspberries                                                                        98c/lb

Hass avocados                                                                 48c/lb (C15)

organic fuji or gala apples                                            $1.48/lb   (DD)

Fiesta:

Fiesta brand vegetable oil, 1 gal                                 $4.99/ea

drumsticks                                                                      88c/lb (Fiesta limit)

Randalls:

Nothing. Not a damn thing. There are some $5 Friday ok deals, but it’s not worth a trip this week.

CM:

organic kale:                                             87c/bunch (**DD**)(seriously, if you eat kale, eat it organic, and stock up now)

MAIL REPORT:

From now on, these posts are going to involve a Mail Report. Because I have nobody else to share this hilarity with. I got 14 Fiesta ads today, and 6 HEB ads. This, after months of either not receiving ads at all, or getting them Thursday at 7pm.  We are sooooo making paper mache masks of Chef Boyardee this week!

I know it’s just me and the other old people that really want to get their flyers on Tuesday in the mail like it’s been forever. It has often frustrated me that I haven’t gotten them on Tuesday, or even by Wednesday. Having a dozen of the same flyer is not helpful, and I’m now worried that the folks down the street a bit haven’t gotten theirs because I’ve got a weird rogue mailman throwing flyers about willy-nilly.

It’s not such a worry that I’ll start knocking on doors asking if people need their flyer. Yet. But if 50 HEB flyers are in my mailbox next week I’m recording video on the iphone and we’re hitting the streets, people.

Getting back in the swing of things feels good, and I hope you find things to stock up on. Cheep Cheep!

Monday Night Goal Post

A delay, but I’m giving this week a go, keeping in mind that this week I’m going to try to get better than a 4. I can retroactively already give myself a point for tonight, so I’ve got a realistic shot at reaching this goal.

Small steps, my Cheepsters. That’s how I’m going to get everyone on board this week.

That, and possibly queso at every meal.  Queso is not technically a food, more of a substance, but I’m willing to waive the requirement that all the food served must be food, especially since I never made a hard commitment to that rule (having only just thought of it) (after remembering Velveeta is a ‘cheese product’).  Mmmmmmmm, cheese product.

This week’s non-lofty, completely adequate chance at a score of 5.0 plan is as follows:

  • Mon: tri tip, salad, broccoli/cauliflower, applesauce, cucumber and carrots
  • Tue:  Taco Tuesday!  tacos al pastor, refried beans, queso,tortillas and fixings
  • Wed: Prince Spaghetti day!  alfredo noodles, roasted chicken legs, carrots, salad
  • Thur: egg drop soup, fried rice
  • Fri: pizza/calzone night!

See what I did there on Wednesday? Alfredo–it’s like sneaky queso that you eat on noodles!

This is a week of stuff I could make in my sleep, with items mostly already in the house. I really think I can get an upwards trend started. This makes me happy, because I refuse to make a bar graph of the weekly scores until it’s going up, and this is hard, because I LOVE making bar graphs.

Wish me luck, and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to navigating the holiday season, and hope we all find great deals.  Cheep Cheep!