Coupon Crazies.

Lately, with all the back to school, football, and fall promotions, I've been able to secure some amazing deals of free, REALLY cheap, and extrememly low priced items. It's amazing how much money we're saving by sticking to the budget, and truly shopping the sales.

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Krazy Coupon Lady
A Full Cup

For the Budget, I am allowed $220 a month to feed us. Yes, that DOES seem like a lot for a mere two people, but it also includes the mass amounts of water, gatorades, juices, sodas we drink to keep hydrated in the desert. Also, we've been having a Friday Night ritual of all the youthin Leaders and friends and all come over to our house and eat my stunning cooking (hah). Last Friday we had 17 people total, including the Marine and I. It never FEELS like that many people, though. We all cram into the dining room (which is quite large) and sit around the dining room table, the futon, or the banquet table we have set up each Friday ( I said it was a large room!) Of course, if I had counter stools, people could sit there...but I have two weeks to figure that out.

(We're taking the youthins to Six Flags this upcoming weekend as a ministry to their show them that Church isn't always boring... and yes, we're not just "entertaining" them to keep them attending, which I can vouch for since I TEACH them each week.) So, I can look around at counter stools and see what will work best for our budget/space/PCS choices. So far, most places have had a counter area for stools, we just never utilized it.

Anyhow. Last Friday I cooked up a BUNCH of food. It was originally going to be a Turkey and Thanksgiving type feast. However, the turkey somehow managed to cut it's package open at the top and had a dried out section...I was NOT going to make everyone sick, so Mr. Turkey got tossed (along with the $4.80 I paid for him in November last year!) Mr. Marine said not to worry about it since I've saved more than that on groceries lately. So, plan B. I went to the grocery store since all I had was 2 chicken breasts, and 2 pork chops in the freezer.  (I was doing good on clearing it out!) SO I went to Fry's, the local Kroger chain. Pork tenderloin: 4lbs for $7.03(outside of pork-ville, N.C., that's a HUGE bargain!), Frozen chicken breasts: $4.97 for 3 pounds ~ 10 chicken breasts(everyone loves chicken), organic RED seedless grapes: 0.77/pound, tres yummmy.

Next Day:
I went to Albertson's around 0800 (8a.m.) because I had a dream about their meat being on sale (ground beef, and yes I KNOW I am crazy haha.) I went, checked out their produce section: red and green seedless grapes for $0.79/pound wahooo. Picked up some pretty grapes, roma tomatoes, head over to meat section, see the halos glimmering down from Heaven on their 'expires tomorrow' meat stand: There were about 8 packages of ground beef awaiting customers. They are typically packed into 4-6 pound packages for $0.99/pound! (And the normal tag reads $1.99/pound). I picked up roughly 16 pounds of ground beef for $16.00! I head over to the chicken area because I scored a $2.00/off fresh chicken(min. $4.00 purchase) coupon in my inbox the day prior. I check out boneless/skinless because that's all I ever eat, but the price was jacked up to $2.99/pound. I don't think so! Off to the other chicken choices: thighs, legs, drumsticks: $0.79/pound, this could work. I was checking out the drumsticks, but the package didn't hold enough weight for $4.00.. next up:chicken THIGHS with skin, and bones, and everything else I deem unworthy to be shoved into my mouth and digestive track. Perfect, a package for $4.13, containing EIGHT chicken thighs. Into the cart it goes. So, after my ordeal, I score chicken, ground beef, cream cheese, donuts(hey, I was hungry), bread, loads of grapes, vegetarian boullion, and whipped cream for $40.00! (nothing else had!)
 Dinner included:
*Homemade Mashed potatoes
*Homemade Green Bean Casserole
*BBQ chicken thighs (in crockpot)
*Marine's Recipe: Mini Slider Burgers (with bacon, cheese, jalapeno ranch)
*Homemade Chicken Salad on sliced    hot dog buns
*Foccacia Cheese bread
*Homemade Red Pepper Pasta
*Homemade Apple Crisp x 2
*Spice Cake with Buttercream frosting
*Drinks: Homemade sweet tea, Fruit Punch Kool-Aid, Dr. Pepper, Voltage Mt. Dew, and Manzanita Apple Soda.

It was soo much fun making everything, cleaning it up, warming it up, and presenting it only to clean it up and put leftovers away :)
My kitchen was a DISASTER. my house looked like a frat party: blue cups everywhere, soda cans everywhere, plates of food...But, it's okay. I'd figure people would have more manners, but the Marine and I are the oldest in the group as the ages range from 18.5 years old to 31, yet all get along incredibly well.

I also saw "WHAT IF" in a special pre-viewing screening and returned home @ exactly 7:00 p.m. when everyone was suppose to be there It's a good thing that most everything was made, just needed some heating and grilling of the burgers and BAM: dinnner in less than 20 minutes later.