I know I have been very absent for a very long time, but I’m doing my best and hopefully you are still with me :) I have been fairly busy at work and in my free time I’ve been getting involved in a new hobby… couponing! To some of you this is probably not a shock because I instagram and tweet about my couponing ventures but it’s definitely something that I’m really enjoying. I so far have been doing a good job of resisting clipping coupons for items I don’t need and I have not bought anything we don’t already use. So no hoarding for me!
One of the things I really love about couponing is it almost makes meal planning easier! Instead of planning our meals for the week based upon what sounds good, I go through the stores’ circulars and find things that are inexpensive and plan that way! It makes a world of difference. It makes planning the meals less confusing and allows me to feed Matt and myself on the cheap :)
Above you can see what a coupon clipping night looks like. I clip all the coupons from my paper inserts (I get one paper, and sometimes take the inserts out of the mailroom recycling bin when people throw them out). I then organize them into categories and put them into my coupon organizer. I also try to take advantage of grocery store deals like Kroger online coupons or Harris Teeter E-vic coupons (online) and Harris Teeter (“HT”) rotates “Meal Deals” which are sometimes really awesome so you should check them out on the HT website if you live near a Harris Teeter.
One Meal Deal from a month or so ago was Turkey Chili (1lb ground turkey, 1 pack of chili seasoning, 1 can of beans, 1 container of sour cream, and 1 bag of shredded cheese…all for $6.99!). I used that Meal Deal to make a batch of my tomato-less chili a few weeks ago. We don’t typically put cheese on our chili, so I got the mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar and used it to make lasagna and, you guessed it, this pizza!
This pizza was honestly so easy to make that you could make it every night practically! It’s so simple, and thanks to couponing, it was SO cheap. I’ll give you the recipe and also tell you how I got everything on the cheap! I’m no couponing expert and I’m not an extreme couponer (I only buy things I use and my stockpile is relatively small), but I am happy to answer basic couponing questions that readers may have and am happy to help!
- 1 pizza dough (in deli section at HT, was on sale ten for $10 (10/$10), so I bought 2 for $2…you don’t have to buy all 10 to get the deal! Many people don’t know this and I thought I’d mention it!)
- 1 pack of chicken breasts or strips (these were on sale for $2.99/lb. at HT)
- Approximately 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella (I got this bag as part of the HT Meal Deal, so I already had on hand)
- 1 bottle of Franks Hot Buffalo Sauce (these were on sale 2/$4, which means that one bottle is $2… I had a coupon for $.75 off one (1), which HT doubled to be $1.50 off one (1), so the bottle was FIFTY CENTS!)
- 1 container of plain greek yogurt (about a cup), these were on sale at HT 10/$9!
- Crumbled goat cheese, approximately 1 oz., this is just to sprinkle over the top so you can use however much you want! I already had this on hand, but this is the most expensive part, so if you are trying to save money, you can skip this :)
- Place chicken and buffalo sauce in a slow cooker, set on low. Cook for about 3 hours, maybe more. You want to be able to shred it up a bit with two forks, but not totally shredded like pulled pork.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- After shredding up the chicken into medium size pieces (see picture to right), add in the greek yogurt and mix in well (all of this still in the slow cooker!)
- Before taking the chicken out of the slow cooker, roll out your pizza dough (I rolled it out directly onto my pizza stone)
- Sprinkle the mozzarella onto the pizza dough
- Spoon the chicken, and some of the sauce (but not too much sauce), onto the pizza
- Crumble the goat cheese on top
- Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown
This pizza was phenomenal. Even Matt loved it, and he is never into pizza for dinner. He likes a hearty dinner and pizza doesn’t usually give him that, but this pizza definitely did. There is a lot of chicken on it and it has the right amount of spice, because the greek yogurt kind of tones down the spice level of the buffalo sauce, but it’s still hot. I brought it to work for leftovers and it was fantastic!!
Below, I’m going to share with you my latest haul and my “stockpile.” At first I was really not into the whole stockpiling thing because I thought it was basically like glorified hoarding, but because I only stock up on stuff that we use, it actually has turned out to be extremely convenient. We never run out of the things we need, like TP or laundry detergent etc. Matt can just go in the pantry and find his favorite spaghetti sauce or cranberry juice. It’s made shopping a whole lot easier!
So this next picture is my latest “haul”. This was the biggest trip I have made, and that had a lot to do with the fact that many of my coupons were expiring! I used the almost expiring coupons to stock up on things we use all the time, like laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and dishwasher detergent. The coupons I didn’t use I left next to the corresponding products in the hopes that someone else could benefit from those coupons. I had other coupons that were expiring that I held on to, because you can actually donate them to military personnel and they can use them at the commissary for up to 6 months past the expiration date!! I prefer this kind of a donation, rather than buying products I don’t need and donating them, because we live in a small place and don’t have room for stuff we won’t use. All the red stickers on the products indicate that they are on clearance. I paired the clearance items with manufacturer coupons and saved BIG on a lot of these products. Some of the items were free (the Bounty DuraTowel was free with the purchase of the Bounty paper towels and the Lysol Wipes were free with the Clorox Toilet Wand Refills, which we were out of anyway!)
Below is my pantry stockpile. I have lots of cereal (Cheerios, Mini Wheats, and Special K). I have about 18 jars of pasta sauce (Matt has spaghetti almost every day!), 16 boxes of pasta, Motts applesauce (Matt eats it every morning), lots of peanut butter, and Matt’s favorite cranberry juice.
Dental Care has all the toothpaste, floss and spare toothbrushes. Soap has all of the Dove soap bars that Matt loves. Medicine contains the medicine that we use most often (just one box of each thing). I also keep my contacts in there :)
Here you can see all of our medicines etc. ZzzQuil, NyQuil, Advil, Bandaids, and Thermacare heat wraps (I have chronic back/neck pain). To the right you have all of the feminine products.
Here we have the Q-tips, deodorants, razors, lotions and body washes. I wrote the expiration dates on the deodorants so we can use up the ones that expire first in the right order! You have to keep in mind when you create your stockpile that many medicines and toiletries expire, so don’t buy 100 deodorants unless you are planning to make a donation. I would recommend donating to a women’s shelter or a local church who help the poor. Just my .02!
So there you have it! Again, I’m not an expert but I’m happy to answer any questions about couponing that I know the answer to :)