Ten months later…

Well. I certainly had plans for Cheepie this year, demonstrated by the last post.  Look at that lovely list of ideas.  I still like ’em all, but have managed to accomplish exactly zero of them! Not even my weekly lists.  I have been posting on Facebook and Instagram more often, but not here.  2019 has been a year of refocusing, and I think I’m finally ready to get back to my small contribution to the internet.

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That’s my planner, and while it’s now full-up after a scheduling session, very little of the time blocked off is anything I’d choose–it’s mostly stuff for other people. This blog has always been one of the things I do just because I like to, so this week I’m making time for it.  Hopefully every week, but we’ll start with this one step.

So, what have I been doing lately on the budget-friendly front?

  • I’ve been on a push to eat what we’ve got in the freezer, always a way to trim a bit from the grocery budget.
  • I’ve made a lot of soup stock, turning it into gumbo (leftover chicken & leftover sausage), carrot ginger soup (Sprouts had that 3lb bag of organic carrots on sale) and something we’ll just call ‘Need to Eat This Up Now with noodles’ soup.
  • The kids eat a lot of granola, so I started making it.  Teen Boy is fond of it on yogurt and Tiny prefers bars. Tiny also wants all granola to have chocolate chips, and I’ve found that I can use the tiny chips and that way use less and make the bag last longer.
  • The day-old bread rack is one of my favorite things.  I made a breakfast bread pudding with bacon and cheese and a marble rye.  I was out of crackers, and a sourdough made a ton of little toasts to eat with dip when friends came over.  A cheese focaccia can be sliced in half and turned into a pizza in no time.

I’ll post a couple last-minute deals you can catch tomorrow later on tonight. In the meantime, I hope you’re glad to see me posting!  Cheep cheep!

Planning Ahead

You wouldn’t believe the number of unpublished drafts I’ve got stacked up, waiting for their time.  I thought a post lining up some of my goals for Cheepie next year might help me sift through them and make something like a schedule that I could follow.  God knows the ‘post the deals once a week when I feel like it’ plan pretty much let things go to pot!

Remember when I did the meal plan for each week, and posted it and gave myself imaginary points on how ‘good’ I did for each day’s dinners? Yeah, we’re not doing that again. That was harsh!  There are many topics I would like to get more work done on, so I’m going to get them down in this post.  See one you like? Let me know, so I can bump it up on the priority list.  Got a suggestion? Share away–I’m open to thoughts on this.

  • Store Reviews by locationAcbryz9Ki
  • Super-cheap dinners based on the sales
  • Unit Pricing
  • Happy Hours deals that can be a dinner out
  • Farmers Markets / Alternate grocery sources

 

My hope is to have the ad roundup posted each week, and then pick one of the other topics to post about as well.  I’ve had a cabbage/potato/onion cheap weekday dinner post hanging around waiting for a photo for so long!  I’ve taken so many unit pricing disaster photos, but haven’t shared them yet.  Then there’s my personal ranking of stores, which I remember every time I try to leave the Brodie HEB.  

I think 2019 is going to be a great year for Cheepie, and I hope you stick around and find it useful!

 

 

Favorite Food Moments, 2018 Version

Here are some of the interesting, funny, and just plain weird grocery moments from my year. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019 for all of us.!

Turns out I do like making Mac and cheese in the Instant Pot, because skipping the straining step makes it simpler for kids to do!

Fried Munster cheese. Why is this not done more often?

 

2018’s drink was the Moscow Mule. Applications being accepted for 2019.

 

Beets. I didn’t see it coming, but this year was the one where I became a beet-lover.

 

Still laugh whenever I think of this.

 

This one banana, ticked at the world.

 

These were just the prettiest, sweetest figs.

 

Gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread, so much cheaper when home-made!

 

Throwback packaging with futuristic pricing. $1 more per can!

 

Who decided this? They were wrong.

 

I can’t even remember what flavor this was because it is so unrelentingly gray.

 

Three pounds of boil-in-a-bag goulash. Who buys this? I mean, I think it’s boil-in-a-bag. The label can’t be the only boilable part, right?

 

I know who buys this.

 

$10 for baking spray is too much. Even if it is duck fat. Also: I feel like this would clog.

 

Cheese Glut 2: Electric Boogaloo.

 

This was just next to the register when I went to quickiemart for coffee. There were different flavors. It was tough to cope.

 

My favorite, a Christmas gift of cheese!

 

I finally got my coffee routine, bean, and gear all sorted out this year. Whew.

 

Fiesta, I love you.

 

Tiny donuts…or are they?

I came up with three ways to cook this giant daikon radish. I’m very, very sure I do not like daikon radishes.

I have read a lot of grocery circulars. Probably more than anyone not actively involved in their production. This wins them all.

Thanks to everyone that has supported me over the years. I hope 2019 is a blessing to everyone that reads this. Be well, Cheepsters!

Last Minute Ad Roundup

Yes, these are only good for tomorrow and Wednesday, but I’ve got some time, and maybe you do too!  Hours for tomorrow are normal at all four stores I’ve listed.

Don’t forget the black eyed peas for luck, and the greens for wealth! I know I need all the help I can get.  Evidence: this gift from a friend. It’s a rock to help bring me wealth. It has a manual. Which I am totally going to read.

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So here’s the short list for this week. Happy Shopping, and Happy New Year!

HEB

HEB Prime 1 brisket                                   $2.99/lb

seasoned chicken drumsticks or thighs    99c/lb

 

Randalls

avocado, 6 ct                      $2.34/ea

pork butt roast                   $1.69/lb

 

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Yes, a splurge, but it’s so good!

 

Sprouts

mandarins, 2lb bag                      $1.88/ea

organic Fuji or Gala apples         $1.48/lb

Chameleon Cold brew, 32 oz       $6.99/ea

 

 

 

Fiesta

red seedless grapes                        99c/lbScreen shot 2018-12-31 at 6.44.35 PM

red mangoes                                   50c/ea

chicken drumsticks, large bag     37c/lb

 

 

 

Weekly Flier Links:

Imperfect Produce Review

I’ve tried several of the meal delivery services, and they are fun, but between the huge amount of packaging and the cost they’re just not something I can reasonably fit into my budget/conscience. But I do love getting packages, and I love puzzles, and you know I love groceries.  After seeing the Imperfect Produce ad on Facebook about a million times, I decided to give it a go.

Imperfect Produce is a weekly delivery of a box of produce to your door. The day depends on your zip code, but they seem to cover the entire Austin area.  You can choose the box size, and whether you want organic or conventional produce.  I’ve been scheduled for a medium organic box for the past two months.

Screen shot 2018-12-29 at 6.19.51 PMTheir hook is that they’re selling the produce that for one reason or another isn’t acceptable to grocery store buyers.  This sounds like a bad plan, but most of us don’t work within the specific parameters that stores do.  I’m happy with a apple that is small, or a pear that has an odd line on the skin.  A sweet potato that’s weirdly knobby, or a beet that is oddly huge, is fine eating in my kitchen. The hope is that getting this produce sold will help farmers, save resources and reduce waste.  My account has an ongoing tally of the ways these purchases help.

One of the things I really like is that it is completely customizable. I can remove items that were assigned to my box, and can choose from organic or conventional produce to add during the ‘customization phase’ which is four days long.  The price for each addition/removal changes the total as I go.  If I want to skip a week, it’s a simple click.  I really enjoy customizing, completely forgetting what I’ve ordered, and then wondering what I’ll cook with my cool box of veggie loot.

This is a look at the average costs, from their website.  For a medium box, the cost is about $2/lb for organic produce, which is a price point that pushed me to give it a try. I do try to stick to the dirty dozen for produce, and I’ll scan the conventional list to see if their prices have deals.

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Here are some photos of one of the boxes I got, some detailing the ‘flaws’.

 

The flaws here were: surplus, scarring, spotting. Every time you order you can see why it’s not ‘acceptable’ for purchase, as well as the source of the item. It’s great for people trying to source within the USA, but it’s not a service that’s providing local produce so don’t expect that.

I’m really happy with this service. I am in stores less, which helps me save. I’m buying more organic options of the Dirty Dozen than I would, which is better for my family. And I usually get some random thing that gives me a project–a 1.5lb daikon radish for example (look for a post on that soon)!  I’ve skipped weeks, but overall I’m really happy when my box arrives.  I open it up and start plotting how I can get all these veggies eaten, and I love that kind of puzzle.

NOTE: This was not compensated in any way. I haven’t received anything from Imperfect Produce at all, I just tried it and wanted to share.

Sprouts Coupon

You know me, I don’t do the coupons. But if you’re not on the mailing list, you will miss this, so I’m sharing. 

I just called, and it’s perfectly fine to use on items that are on sale this week, or on a Manager’s Special, or on the clearance rack (!), according to the person I spoke to at South Lamar.  So if you need to stock up on something they’ve got on sale, bonus time!

I’m really hoping to get the ad roundup posted this week–I know I’ve been slacking.  Hopefully you know how to boil water and didn’t need me there to tell you to not freak out and buy eleventy million cans of LaCroix because you forgot how to work a pot, and I’ll give you a list of stuff to buy and cook with a minimum of SFW (Scary Flood Water).

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You should just be able to show this on your phone and get the discount, so find some great deals and get the extra discount! Cheep cheep!

Happy Ad Saturday!

File_001 (4)Here’s the list, and I think we’re in the between-seasons lull where all the stores are re-setting from summer to fall.  Yes, I know that the Halloween stuff is all out already, and some Christmas stuff, but the actual food is still peaches and watermelons slam up against pumpkin patches.  What I’m getting at is that deals are thinner on the ground than usual, but I’m here to walk you through it.

In addition, if you’re looking for a grocery diversion, you should really hit Central Market up.  Someone has seriously committed to the ‘Passport United Kingdom’ theme, and it’s possibly more extensive than the Hatch Chile Infestation.  There are banners, flags, and staff with brand new shirts.  If anyone splurges on the haggis ($12.99/lb) I officially request a report.

Here’s the list. Happy shopping, Cheepsters!

Randall

half sliced pork loin, bone-in                                          99c/lbFile_002 (1)

Lucerne cheese, 6-8oz                                                       B1G1

Kellogg’s cereals, selected varieties                               $2.50/ea  (limit 4)

Sat/Sun/Mon ONLY:

      Tropicana orange juice, 89oz                                           $3.99/ea (limit 2)

       Jenni-O 93% lean ground turkey, 1lb                              $2.50/ea

 

HEB

cucumbers                                                                           38c/ea

HEB smoked sausage rings, 13-14oz                             $1.99/ea

(y’all. I looked. This was seriously it. There were some ok sort of deals, but I’m Cheepie. I only list the dead low price.)

 

PocoLoco

boneless skinless chicken breast                           $1.77/lb

pork end for tamales (likely butt/shoulder)        98c/lb

 

Sprouts

red seedless grapes                                                   77c/lb

red bell peppers                                                        77c/ea

eggplants                                                                     77c/ea

rolled, quick, or steel cut bulk oats                       69c/lb

Sprouts brand tofu, 14oz                                         99c/ea

 

Fiesta

limes                                                                                15/$1

chicken leg quarters, jumbo bag                              47c/lb (usually at least 10lb)

beef ground chuck, family pack                               $1.97/lb

boneless skinless chicken breast                               97c/lb

Fiesta chunk cheese, 16oz                                            $2/ea

Sat/Sun ONLY

         Fiesta bacon, 12oz.                                                          $1.99/ea

         Fiesta shredded cheese, 8oz.                                         $1.25/ea

 

 

Weekly Flier Links: