Happy Ad Wednesday!

Smelts? I know it’s Lent and all the stores get their fresh fish on, but Fiesta has smelts for 99c/lb.  Smelts.  For 99c, I might head over and get some, and see what the internet has to tell me about cooking tiny shiny fish! I will obviously report back if this happens, but I’m still working on getting around to the pork dumplings from last week, so don’t hold your breath.

Then again, smelts. Maybe holding your breath would be smart. Your call.

Here’s the list of good deals this week:


strawberries (1lb), blueberries or raspberries (6oz)        1.50/ea (strawberries DD)

Earthbound Farms organic salads, 5-7oz         buy one get one free

organic Braeburn apples                        98c/lb (DD)

organic kale                                            98c/ea (DD)

bscb                                                      1.99/lb

Thurs & Fri ONLY

seedless watermelon          1.99/ea

organic blackberries, 5.6 oz.       98c/ea

Halo mandarins, 2lbs          1.98/ea

country style pork ribs         1.49/lb

cage free or omega-3 eggs  2.50/ea

bulk coffee, select varieties     6.99/lb


tomatoes                                               59c/lb

Ruby Red grapefruit                                7/$1

Fiesta long grain rice, 4lbs.                 1.69/ea

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

russet potatoes, 5lb sack                   1.49/ea


Rio Grande grapefruits, 15lb sack            3.98/ea

cantaloupe                                                 87c/ea (C15)

red or black plums                                 1.47/lb

Jonagold apples                                     67c/lb (DD)

red bell peppers                                      33c/ea (DD)

HEB organic strawberries, 1lb               2.98/ea (DD)

blueberries, pint                                     2.98/ea

County Post chicken drums or thighs      1.00/lb

pork butt roast                                         1.47/lb


boneless pork loin, whole                                     1.99/lb

Signature Cafe cheese pizza                                $5, Friday only


Muir Glen canned tomatoes, 28oz.                          2/$4

Cascadian Farms,organic vegetables, 16oz           2/$4

Sprouts also has a lot of buy-one-get-one ads going on.  BecauseScreen shot 2015-02-25 at 1.08.07 AM of the way the stores display their ads getting a photo up isn’t always as clear as I’d like, but here’s a try, so you can get an idea.  

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 1.08.27 AM

Last week I mentioned that Fiesta shouldn’t be using quotation marks. This week they doubled down, much to my amusement. It’s late though, and my taped episode of The Goldbergs isn’t going to watch itself, so stay tuned.

Happy shopping, Cheepsters!


Week 16 Goal Post

Four months! That’s crazy. But math doesn’t lie–16 weeks is four months and that’s how long since I started the Internet Dinner Accountability Program for Remedial Family Dinner.  I did abandon the whole ‘sit at the table’ idea, but overall we are eating out and ordering take-out less than we were before.  Eating at home is the first step!

I’ve also gotten completely out of the habit of creating more than one meal, which is a relief to the portion of my brain that had been devoted to ‘plain noodles for Tiny, noodles with pesto for Eldest, DH and I eat pasta with sauce and meat, and Boy gets meat and those other noodles he likes’.  That part of my brain has been busy for about a decade now, and is enjoying kicking back and spending time thinking about what kind of tape JLo’s got her closet stocked with to make her Oscar gowns stay right the heck where they’re supposed to be (gaffer tape? superglue tape? straight up magic tape? is she a WIZARD???), and how to make a centrifuge out of Lego.

Continue reading

Week 15 Dinner Score

The plan this week went pretty well. There was rearrangement, and we didn’t all eat together at all because of timing, but we all ate the dinner made with the exception of one skip night where DH and I ate out.  Call it a ‘mental health’ meal (where mental health involves Happy Hour priced fried jalapenos).

I did add in a night where Boy cooked dinner, and am working on adding a night for Tiny.  Eldest is now doing cleanup twice a week in lieu of dinner, since she’s not home soon enough to take over cooking for a night.  This is all part of my Everyone-Lives-Here-Everyone-Works-Here plan, which I’m hoping will eventually mean I don’t have all these piles of laundry all over the place.  Through food, I shall see laundry done. That’s an Erma Bombeck quote, right?

The plan:

  • Mon:  grilled cheese, tomato soup, strawberries, cucumberphoto 1
  • Tues:  Taco Tuesday! pulled pork tacos, fixins, beans, fruit & veg
  • Wed:  linguine with clams, garden salad, garlic bread, fruit
  • Thurs:  sesame chicken, pork dumplings, rice, veggie stir fry, pineapple
  • Fri:  venison stew, egg noodles, garden salad, homemade rolls, fruit

The actual:

photo 2

  • Mon: exactly the plan. 3 points.
  • Tues:  pulled pork, chicken, rice and beans, carrots and strawberries. 3 points.
  • Wed:  sesame chicken, rice, broccoli, plums. 3 points.
  • Thur:  chicken strips, carrots, peas, strawberries, rice noodles (Boy cooked dinner!). 2 points.
  • Fri: grilled sandwiches, leftovers. 1 point.

12 points is a damn fine week. I’m happy. And do you see that meal with the homemade chicken nuggets and peas? That’s what Boy chose to make! He was a grphotoeat sport about it. I gave him the protein/starch/raw veg/cooked veg/fruit plan, and he chose the foods to fill in.  He breaded the chicken and cooked it, and we both had a good time in the kitchen getting him familiar with pan-frying and getting all the food ready at once.

And then he also wanted to make a cake. In his defense, he mostly wanted to make the cake, not dinner.  We’re doing a new thing where his dinner day is Thursday, though, and so the cooking doubled up on us.  He made this cake.  The stress level was pretty high (spoon in the Kitchen-aid is NOT a good thing!), but the cake is wonderful, and he’s so happy with it. 

Plan post coming up, along with the long-promised Clearance Rack Index! So stay tuned, Cheepsters!

Cheep Cheep!

Posting for Amusement’s Sake Only

Tonight, I worked out.  I will be sore tomorrow. My abs, they will have me creaking about, because this post was hard work, people.  Look what I had to do:

photo 3

I had to go back to 1992, make a bar graph and drag that sucker right into the future! The things I do for Cheepie!

In reality, I created that graph on my Mac, and the only way I could get it from the Numbers (Apple’s answer to Excel) format to Will-Post-To-WordPress format was to take a freaking screenshot of the file, crop it in iPhoto, and then take a photo of it with my damn phone.

Nothing like a bunch of incompatibility to make a girl feel like laughing.  And all of this for a graph that I can only conclude needs more data before any real trend can be identified–though overall there is an upward slope indicated.  So this is good. 

I gave up the ‘sit at the table all of us right now at once’ thing somewhere in there, and that’s part of the uptick. I did go by percentage to normalize between the 10 point scale and the 15 point scale.

To avoid this ab workout in the future, software will be acquired, charts will be charted, and graphs will be graphed.  Just give me a bit.  I think that phone’s got powers.  The kids all seem to think so.

Trader Joe’s Silly Thing This Week

I like Trader Joe’s. The prices for things like milk and eggs aren’t crazy, so I can stop in to browse and still buy the things I actually need.  The people working there seem happy.  There is free coffee, the kids like hunting for the stuffed armadillo, and even if it is $3 now, Two-Buck-Chuck is a deal. 

Then when I’m done, I can leave the parking lot and go in whichever direction I need to. That shouldn’t be a plus, but given how HEBs seem to manage to make that a struggle, I feel like noting it as a positive.

Their ad system is different from other stores, though, and it’s amusing to me.  They don’t have a weekly ad, but a monthly one. Products get essays about them, because TJ’s loves their products.  Not to mention weird old-timey cartoons: 

Cupid Bag

What’s not to love there?  But having me click and load four pages before I can find a thing and know how much it is is more than I can happily deal with, so I’m picking one product a week from them to highlight.  If ‘highlight’ means ‘mock in a loving way’.

This week’s product is the Inner Bean, a companion to a product I am unfamiliar with called Inner Peas (Hi-yoooooo! is what DH would say here).  It’s a snack, where black bean puree is mixed with rice flour and sunflower oil and baked. 

Inner Bean

 Sounds like a party in a bag, right? A party where there’s likely not a lot of beer and BBQ, but maybe it is your kind of party.  If it is, you can get these bean-pod shaped wonders for $1.49 per 3 oz bag. 

Of course they’re bean-pod shaped. Otherwise the humor inherent in pretending baking bean dip is a good snack treat is completely lost.

Happy Ad Wednesday!

HEB is still running the special I find so strange, which is ‘buy Duracell batteries and get a free gallon of milk!’ Normally, the things they throw a combo coupon at make sense.  Cookies would make sense. Buy cookies, get milk. Heck, buy brownie mix, get milk–that makes sense too.  Is the appeal of free milk supposed to lure me into stocking up on batteries?

Citrus is still cheap this week, though not like the weekend Fiesta sale a few weeks ago.  HEB has the cheapest organic apples, and Fiesta the cheapest conventional.

Fish is on sale everywhere, because of God, which is fine by me. If we could arrange for a religion to go ahead and strongly suggest the consumption of Macadamia nuts every May, thus causing a few weeks every year when they get cheap, I’d be fine with that, as well.  Maybe I can get Scientology on that, help them rehab their image.

Randalls has Cornish Game Hens again for $5 per twin pack on Friday.  Tell the kids they’re fat grackles! If that’s not your thing, go ahead and buy whatever chicken part you like most, you can find all of them for a buck or less per pound. (No Mom, not necks and backs. Stores don’t even package them up any more, as far as I can tell. Haven’t seen them in years.)

And finally, as a sign of spring, asparagus is on sale, with HEB having the cheapest, and Randalls the most expensive, surprising no one at all.


Safeway chicken thighs, drumsticks, or split breasts          99c/lb

Safeway chunk light tuna pouches, 2.6oz                           69c/lb

assorted bone in pork chops                                               $1.99/lb

Several cereals/granola bars/fruit snacks are ‘Buy 4 for 1.49’ or ‘Buy 4 for 1.99’ each, with your store card.  If you need to stock the pantry for breakfast or school lunches you could take a look.

Friday only:

Rinaldi pasta sauce, 24 oz jar                                                $1/ea

Sprouts (don’t forget, last week’s specials still in effect for today only)

asparagus                                                                          99c/lb

organic red, yellow or orange bell peppers                   $1.50/ea  (DD)

red or green bell peppers, cucumbers                             50c/ea (DD)

organic kale                                                                     $1.50/bunch (DD)

bulk dried cranberries                                                     $2.99/lb

assorted bone-in pork chops                                           $1.99/lb


large avocados                                                                79c/ea (C15)

red potatoes, 3lb sack                                                   $1.49/ea (DD)

Texas juice oranges, 5 lb sack                                      $2.99/ea

Braeburn apples                                                               88c/lb (DD)

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

boneless pork loin roast                                                $1.99/lb (Fiesta limit)


asparagus                                                                          97c/lb

blackberries, 6 oz                                                              97c/ea

organic red delicious apples                                             98c/lb (DD)

assorted bone-in pork chops                                        $1.97/ea  (limit 2)

HCF bbq seasoned chicken leg quarters                       77c/lb

HCF chicken drumsticks or thighs                                    $1/lb

beef shoulder roast                                                        $2.97/ea

Earl Campbell’s hot links, 14-16oz                                 $1.97/ea


heirloom navel oranges    99c/lb         (not the cheapest oranges, but if you’re a fan this is 45% off)

The $1.99 pork loin at Fiesta is the deal I’m making sure to get this week. I haven’t seen them at that price in a while, and I have room in the freezer.  I cut them in thirds and vacuum seal, but they will fit in a gallon freezer bag.

Shop on, Cheepsters!

Kettle Chips, check yourself!

While not about a deal, this email I just sent to Kettle Chips is grocery related:  

Hello, Chip People.  I am writing with a concern about a sack of Spicy Thai chips we purchased last week.  

These chips are usually flavored with whatever goes into the Spicy Thai blend.  This is an important part of the chip, especially in our family.  These chips are purchased by my husband specifically so that I won’t eat his chips, which he can than ration out among however many chip-eating sessions he feels is appropriate. Without the Spicy Thai seasoning, we’re left with just chips, and he’s got no snack defense at all, upsetting the normally tranquil atmosphere of our home.
Continue reading

Week 15 Plan Post

My recent weekly scores have me thinking about attempting a return to the Family Dinner table.  It really didn’t work for us on my last attempt, and when we did all sit down the stress level (me) and eat and run with minimal talking (everyone but Tiny) were just a horrible way to end a day.

The weekly meal plan, where everyone eats what’s served, and some of us eat together and others later has been working. There are days where I’ve thought about hollering everyone over to the dinner table, but I’ve held off, because I don’t want to push my luck. Having everyone say ‘thank you’ for a meal and not ‘I don’t like this’ or ‘Do I have to eat this?’ is a big step toward my own peace of mind. I don’t want to mess that up! 

I am considering picking a day and calling it Family Night, so that once a week we’re all at the table. Maybe next week. I’ll keep you posted.

Here’s the plan:

  • Mon:  grilled cheese, tomato soup, strawberries, cucumber
  • Tues:  Taco Tuesday! pulled pork tacos, fixins, beans, fruit & veg
  • Wed:  linguine with clams, garden salad, garlic bread, fruit
  • Thurs:  sesame chicken, pork dumplings, rice, veggie stir fry, pineapple
  • Fri:  venison stew, egg noodles, garden salad, homemade rolls, fruit

Items on sale that I’m using this week: strawberries, ground pork, pineapple, cheese.

Also this week I’m staring a ‘Stock the Freezer’ plan. When I started the blog, I’d decided to work on utilizing my freezer and pantry, and that’s been successful. So now I can start stocking back up!

This week’s project is pork dumplings.  DH and I both love them, and while you can buy them in a giant sack at Costco for about $10, they’re tastier when you make them at home.  Ground pork is on sale at Sprouts for $2.99/lb, which isn’t as cheap as buying the pork briskets at Fiesta for $1.99 and grinding my own but in the interest of not having it be an all day project I’m going to buy the ground pork.

They freeze better than anything, and you can steam them, fry them, or boil them when you’re ready for a batch. Just put them on cookie sheets and slide into the freezer,  and then fill freezer bags up with lovely frozen pockets of yum. The recipe I’ve linked to makes 100 dumplings, and it’s a process that’s easy to break up if you’ve got some helpers.

Until next time, Cheep Cheep!

Week 14 Dinner Score

It’s tough following a perfect week, especially knowing how hard pulling that week together was. This week I did cave to a night out, but it was a totally fun night and worth it! Scoring, I’ll accommodate the fact that I had a great night out with my husband in the scoring.

  • Mon: Refrigerator Buffet
  • Tue:  chicken soup, rolls, garden salad, apples.
  • Wed:  Prince Spaghetti Day! pasta, sausage, caesar salad, blackberries.
  • Thur:  pork fried rice, pineapple, snap peas.
  • Fri:  macaroni and cheese, fruit, veg.

Actual:photo 1

  • Mon: Refrigerator Buffet. 3 points.
  • Tue: chicken soup, fresh baked rolls, salad, berries. 3 points.
  • Wed: mac and cheese, chicken tenders, apples, broccoli, carrots/snap pephotoas/bell peppers with ranch. 2 points.
  • Thur: pizza, apples, carrots, bell peppers. Date Night for me and DH. 2 points.
  • Fri: chicken pasta Helper (one skillet meal with pasta and sauce). 1 point.

I love this! 11 points. That’s great. I’m going to hit up a bar graph for the last 14 weeks and see how I’m doing weekly and monthly.  So excited!

A bit off…

photo 2

…but still a square meal. There’s still pasta involved.  It’s no freshly rolled noodles with sausage, which was the goal, but it’s not takeout or pizza.

Cheepie calls that Winning Wednesday!