Peapod Grocery Haul – $28.09 Per Week Budget/Meal Plan

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I can’t even begin to explain how much I am loving Peapod right now, and how much of a bargain it has been for me and my family. When it comes to feeding myself and my husband healthy and wholesome meals (for the most part ūüėõ ) for very little money, this really is where it’s at.

So, just to start, I’d like to let you know that my order came out to over $100. About $20 of those dollars went to household items such as toilet paper, dish soap, and cat food to last the month. The rest? Food for nearly 3 weeks.

It could last a bit longer depending on how much we actually end up eating on a day-to-day basis. We also aren’t quite at bare fridge/freezer yet. We have a 3-4 days, if not more of meat in the freezer. We also have frozen vegetables, and leftovers in the fridge. Regardless, I calculated this food plan for 21 days.

I’d like to also throw it out there that I will probably be going to the street markets once a week and spending a few more dollars on fresh fruit for snacking and smoothies. I might also pick up some rice. I also took it upon myself to “shop the pantry”, therefore there are some items I will be cooking with over the next 3 weeks that I already have at home.

Though my meal plan is still sort of a rough draft, this is what I have in the works right now:

Breakfast:

  • Waffles
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal (in pantry)
  • Smoothies

Lunches:

  • Sandwiches
  • Smoothies
  • Leftovers

Dinners:

  • Italian sausage, Peppers, and Potato Bake x3
  • Spaghetti & Meat Sauce x3
  • Beef Stew x2
  • Teriyaki Chicken x3
  • Spanish Chicken Stew x2
  • Classic Roast Chicken x3
  • Tacos x2
  • Chili x2
  • Oven-baked Fish Fillets x3

The idea behind this meal plan, (and for the most part, all of my meal plans), is buying and cooking in bulk and eating leftovers for 2-3 consecutive dinners. It is also using the same ingredients, with different seasonings, for many different dishes. Stews are very inexpensive to cook and it makes a TON!  The stews, as well as the Italian sausage bake will all incorporate the same vegetables. Chili and tacos are both very low-cost, especially if you buy your beans dry and cook them in bulk for the week. (However, this week, I did buy them canned because they were less than 60 cents a can.) The fish fillets are indeed frozen Рvalue size bag of 12 for $3! Teriyaki chicken is very low-cost and simple as well. It only calls for (the cheapest cuts you can find) chicken, soy sauce, sugar, and a few fresh ingredients such as garlic and ginger which I keep on hand.

This is really handy for families who have differing work schedules and don’t spend a lot of time at home during meal time. It not only saves time and money, but when it comes to soups, stews, and chili, it really does get better the longer it cooks and the more times it is reheated on the stove.

I honestly really enjoy the process of cooking, but I realize that a lot of people just don’t have the time/don’t want to invest the time in cooking when they could be investing that time in doing something else (leisure activities, for example). I’d rather be spending my free time playing video games than cooking and cleaning! No lies here!

 

 

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Key Foods Haul $60 2-week Budget

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This morning my husband and I trekked to Key Foods, about a mile away from our apartment. I’ve only been here a few times and already I can tell this is going to be¬† new favorite neighborhood grocery store! (I also just found out they deliver to Brooklyn!)

They have an awesome selection of generic, as well as premium foods. In terms of bargains, the best was hormone free/organic chicken thighs for less than $1/lb this week. They also had some nice cuts of chopped steaks and pork chops for less than $2/lb.¬† Key Foods offers many mark downs and manager’s specials on both meat and produce. As you can see in my photos, I scored both mark down veggies as well as meats.

If it wasn’t so far away (and it wasn’t soooo damn hot outside!), I’d definitely be heading down there more often. I can’t seem to locate my receipt, so here is a list of what we purchased:

  1. Gal. of Milk
  2. Pure Leaf Sweet Tea
  3. Jelly Rolls
  4. Peach Pie
  5. Prelude Popcorn Chicken
  6. 5.5lb Hormone-Free Chicken Thighs
  7. 3lb Pork Loin
  8. 1lb Cubed Steaks (4 total)
  9. Jennie-O Turkey Kielbasa
  10. Oscar Myer All-Beef Hot Dogs
  11. lb Lemons
  12. Earthbound Farm romaine lettuce
  13. Carton of White Button Mushrooms
  14. Veggie Medley – Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli (fresh)
  15. Jumbo Yellow Onion
  16. 12 Pack Poptarts
  17. Bag of Berry Colossal Crunch – Generic Cereal (Captain Crunch)
  18. Town House Butter Crackers
  19. Best Yet Angel Hair Pasta – Whole Wheat
  20. Italian Village Cheese Ravioli – Frozen
  21. Friendship Sour Cream
  22. Key Foods Paprika

Meal Plan:

  1. Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
  2. Chicken Noodle Casserole
  3. Creamy Mushroom Chicken
  4. Raviolis
  5. Meat Jun
  6. Teriyaki Steak
  7. Smothered Pork Chops
  8. Breaded Pork Chops
  9. Kielbasa Stir-fry
  10. Homemade Corn-dogs

Lunches – Sandwiches/Salads, leftovers

Breakfasts – Cereal, Pop-tarts

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Reminder: Check A-L-L Grocery Catalogs!

 

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When I load up my Flipp app, there are literally hundreds of catalogs that pop up. On a regular day (or week), I usually don’t bother looking at any of the catalogs for stores that I don’t frequent. To be honest, I am probably missing out on deals I’m not even aware of. In truth, it is kind of a pain to skim through tons of catalogs, but in the long run, you do save money. Effort always pays off.

 

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Minimalist in Manhattan Update

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Hey gang,

Summer is officially here! What does that mean? Seasonal fruits popping up at your grocery stores, BBQ-ing, and outings with family and friends to local parks and beaches, among many other things. I’ve noticed some very obvious changes in sales at our local grocery store that has somewhat made budgeting difficult over the last few weeks. Aside from eggs and cold cuts (such as hotdogs), everything has been insanely over priced!

Before I meal plan for the week, I’m going to check out all the catalogs for nearby grocery stores that I don’t usually shop at to see if prices are any better.

Anyone else experiencing a spike in prices?

-Jocelyn

 

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Easter Haul: Staying Conscious In The Mist Of a Sale

When I go shopping, I always ask myself – will I wear this regularly? Even more importantly, I ask myself – what will I wear this with? Even if I love this piece of clothing, this shade of lipstick, or this pair of earrings, if I can’t foresee myself wearing this item right now -I won’t buy it. I only buy something because I love it.

Just because I have a gift card, doesn’t mean I should buy it. Just because it’s dirt cheap, doesn’t mean I should buy it. Today was a great example of this conflict. I have been doing quite a bit of shopping lately and I’m starting to notice¬†how much consumerism can¬†bother me. Spending money makes me feel guilty.¬†Have you ever felt this way?

I admit, I’ve been stressed down to my bones due to life’s usual ups and downs, and retail therapy – wearing something new, really brightens my day!

Truly¬†– minimalist or not, you should not feel guilty about treating yourself to something you love. Every once and a while, buy yourself something you love. It is a form of self-love. When we dress ourselves, we are loving ourselves and expressing ourselves too. When I wear a colorful floral top, or a bright shade of pink lipstick, I’m saying – hey! you know what? today I’m going to have a bright and colorful day.

Before I get anymore philosophical on ya –

Here is what I managed to snag off several $5 and $7 clearance racks!

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Floral print “swing” tops by Ambiance Apparel from Rainbow Shops, NYC.¬†
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Thick marble open-front cardigan (mid arm length) Рbrand unsure, Velvet elephant print (hippie, bohemian) wide-leg yoga pants by Hot Kiss. Super soft denim jeggings by Sapphire Red.
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Copy-cat perfume/body spray of Carolina Herrera fragrance.

 

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Life Update – 3/11/16

Hey all,

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t posted anything since Sunday. I had such a busy, stressful, and hectic week taking care of other things, I barely had any time to write!

Never too busy to fit¬†in some retail therapy, though! ¬†ūüėČ I picked up quite a bit of stuff at Marshall’s in River Plaza, Bronx, NY, as well as at a nearby Payless. Here are a few pictures from our adventures taking the train in and out of Manhattan and into the Bronx via the 1 train:

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Recently, the strap on my favorite (and only) purse popped and broke ūüôĀ I was sad to see it go, but I replaced it with this beautiful Christian Siriano cross-body tote from Payless for half off of $44.99!

Christian Siriano cross-body tote from Payless

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It is slim, yet roomy, lightweight, and very comfortable to wear. My previous purse was a cross-body bowling bag from Forever 21 that was very bulky and heavy.

I also spend nearly 2 hours at a Marshall’s a few days ago and now I gotta say I’m in love with this store! I went there with the intention to find a really nice birthday card for my best friend and a new pair of shoes for my husband and left with more than I came for – but for the sake of this trip, that is not a bad thing!

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Men’s athletic shoes, children’s clothes, bag of fudge, flavored ground coffee, jug of chai latte, and a cat-nip cat toy! That wasn’t all of it either!

I had never been to a¬†¬†Marshall’s until the other day. It is a lot like a Ross. My husband has been way overdue for a new pair of shoes but we’ve put it off for such a long time because of the cost. When it comes to shoes, we knew we needed to invest in something of¬†good quality, otherwise he’d wear it out too quickly.

When it comes to something you’ll be wearing everyday – all year long, it’s a good idea to shop around for something that¬†will last – that’ll save you a lot more money in the long run. If you can manage it financially, always go with the better quality product. In any situation, it is always best to shop around because it is likely you can find a good-quality product at Walmart prices if you do your homework first ¬†(coupon, look for sales, ect.).¬†

I’m sure you can guess how happy I was to snatch up these Under Armour athletic shoes for less than $25 bucks at Marshall’s! Under Armour is a great brand, but it is on the pricier side. Their shoes are generally in the $80-150 range, so we really landed a deal here.

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Last but not least, here is another dollar item from my Wish.com order that finally arrived in the mail. How cute are these markers? They double as stamps (heart, lips, flower, and cloud). How adorable is that!?

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FYI – If you follow my Instagram¬†or Twitter account, you can get a small glimpse into my everyday life. A lot of details don’t make it into the blog, but I am quite active on¬†my other social networking sites.

Over the weekend, I’ll be adding another column/tab on my blog for flash sales and ongoing deals. I will also be posting a new meal plan along with their recipes. I can’t wait to share with you folks my husband’s delicious homemade lasagna recipe!

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Wish.com, Shopmissa.com, & Hollar.com: The Review

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The nature of online shopping is evolving into this very flexible and very convenient way of being a consumer. I think as people move further into the digital age, we will be doing virtually everything online, and almost everything will be accessible online as well.

The idea of an online dollar store is an interesting new trend that I am very eager to learn more about. The two main websites that dabble in this concept is Shopmissa.com and Wish.com. Miss A is a literal dollar store where everything is actually $1. According to my knowledge, there is currently no other website like this out right now. If you do know of another online dollar store, please let me know in the comments because I would love to know about it!¬†Shop Miss A specialize in cosmetics and accessories. If you really dig and take your time, you’ll run into a few gems. Their collection is huge, and I really mean it when I say huge. They probably have hundreds of each type of cosmetic item, as well as accessories. They also sell some of your favorite drug store bands such as E.L.F (Eyes, Lips & Face). It would take you hours to get through looking at everything.

Wish.com has been around for a while. In fact, Wish.com was incredibly popular many years ago. Did you know that you couldn’t actually purchase anything from this website when it first launched? It was more of a We Heart It type of app. However, today, that is not the case –¬†it is much more like Groupon.

My advice? Don’t be afraid to buy from foreign¬†discount stores such as these – that sell very low-priced merchandise. (aliexpress.com is another fairly popular discount store) Though keep in mind: you will wait quite a while to receive your items in the mail. Your packages will more than likely be shipped overseas from China via Chinapost and take a few weeks to get here, if not more. Also, quality of the product is a total hit or mess.

Hollar.com is a¬†new discovery for me! This website, in my opinion, is a best-kept secret, that isn’t really a secret – just new to the market.

Hollar is a discount store that sells well-known brand merchandise – not generic or “bootleg”. Prices start at $2 and almost everything in the store is under $5. They have almost anything you can think of! It is a small-scale department store with an impressive variety of products. Just to give you an idea of what you can buy: I purchased Tupperware, a cat collar, glitter gel pens, earrings, a box of brown rice tea, and a scarf, just to name a few!

Do you have a favorite online store than you frequent? I’ll love to hear about it!

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