Posts tagged ‘Target’

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

it’s in the bag

target tree

If you’re not already saving money at Target plan to start soon.  Along with smaller stores such as Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmer’s Market, Target will be giving a 5¢ credit for each reusable bag shoppers bring with them.

USAToday had the full story

The Target program, which will roll out on Nov. 1 at all 1,700 Target stores nationwide, could save billions of plastic bags. The chain posts upwards of 1.5 billion transactions annually — most ending up in more than one bag.

A pilot test in 100 Target stores earlier this year resulted in a hefty 58% reduction in plastic bags used, says Shawn Gensch, vice president of marketing. “The best-case scenario is that we’ll have 100% success and every consumer will use a reusable bag.”

I’ve been using my own bags at Target for a while, now I just get paid for doing it.  What’s not to like.

 

Monday, June 29, 2009

monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

Yet another week of staple based foods.  I’m looking forward to having some more fresh fruit in the house, but until then the un-perishables will have to make do.  Let’s see what we’ll be eating…

Monday:  pesto pasta with shrimp (didn’t have this last week, can’t even remember why)

Tuesday:  pork sirloin chops in tomatoes and capers

Wednesday:  pizza

Thursday:  chicken in orange sauce

Friday:  fried rice

Saturday:  a nice big salad (hoping to be on a regular schedule and home to eat produce)

Sunday:  crepes (both savory: unknown and sweet: Nutella)

If you haven’t tried Nutella I dare you to.  And then tell me it didn’t change your life.  I introduced the husband to crepes and Nutella a few years ago.  It changed his life.  I think it’s part of why he was so happy to honeymoon in Paris.  To walk down the street carrying a hot, fresh crepe slathered with the dark, rich, hazelnut goodness that is Nutella…now that is living.

felix

Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $43.24 (savings = $0.10)

Trader Joe’s – $22.13

Target – $14.71

Farmer’s Market – $4.50

A grand total of $84.58.  It’s either the Nutella or the Farmer’s Market that put us over.  Either splurge was totally worth it so I’m not even going to question it.

eating out

We had a great meal out last week.  We will probably have a few more in the upcoming weeks, considering the influx of visitors we have coming and the likelihood that I will not be completely thrilled with cooking every day, what with a toddler running around and (hopefully soon) a newborn draining my last ounces of energy.  (Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait.  Seriously.)

We do try to limit our eating out to less than once a week though, more like 2-3 times a month.  With what looks to be our future dining out adventures how do I take this bump in stride?

Restaurant.com

I can’t recommend it enough.  $25 gift certificates for only $10.  A few weeks ago we bought several certificates to some of our local restaurants (they are all independently owned) and have used two with visiting guests.  Both experiences were great.  No hassle.  The staff was always accommodating and never questioned our using the certificates.  There are, of course, some restrictions depending on the price of purchase and the establishment but nothing that would make it anything less than a great idea.

And what’s better than a great idea at 80% off?  Quite often  the site offers their certificates at a discount.  As much as 80%.  That’s getting $25 worth of food for only $2.  All while supporting local establishments.  There’s a win-win I’ll put my money on.

Go.  Eat.  Save.

Update:  A reader brought an error to my attention.  My math is sleep deprived too.  If the gift certificates are offered at 80% off it’s a mere $2 for $25 worth of food.  Don’t forget to read the conditions ($35 minimum purchase, Sun-Thurs or such things), but what a steal.

Restaurant.com is offering a current promotion (supposedly ending tonight 6/30/09) for 70% of purchase price plus a $10 gift certificate.  Use code RECIPE during checkout.  Grab the family or some friends and go support a neighborhood eatery.

Monday, June 15, 2009

monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

Where do these weekends go?  I have such big plans and then before I even know it, it’s Monday morning.  I’m really trying to get some of the great posts I have planned written and up.  At least I think they’ll be great.  I guess you’ll just have to wait and decide for yourself.  I will have Friday’s hint fully realized shortly, after all, it’s obviously a tie to Father’s Day coming up.  (sorry just thought of that one as I was writing and couldn’t delete it!)

Before we get there though, I know you are all dying to know what the menu is for the week.  Let’s see what we’ll be eating…

Monday:  beans and cornbread (in true calimama fashion I don’t follow this recipe exactly but it’s pretty darn close, and easy, and good…)

Tuesday:  tacos

Wednesday:  pizza

Thursday:  WOHO (wife on her own)

Friday:  cheeseburger stuffed potatoes, salad

Saturday:  london broil, veg TBD

Sunday:  buttermilk pancakes (every week the pancakes seem to get bumped, but I’m determined to keep trying)

Once I finally got the whole pizza stone issue resolved I was anxious to test my skills.  The final decision (with me as judge and jury of course), my skills need a great deal of refinement.  But the pizza I made last week was really quite good.  So good in fact, before we even finished eating I had decided to make it a weekly tradition of dough wrangling.  The kneading part was a little bit of a challenge (okay, yes, I might have mentioned to the husband that we weren’t having pizza that night much less any other while I was fighting with it doing it), but once I got things under control it all went quite smoothly.

I’m a huge fan of plain, cheese pizza but this homemade thing has me thinking about toppings I would never try in a restaurant.  Unfortunately, my childhood favorite of ham and pineapple (I don’t know why but this is very popular in Canada) will not be a staple as the husband doesn’t like ham.  Ahh well, I like the pineapple part best anyway.  I can work with that.

What are some of your favorite pizza combos?

felix

Each week I look for ways to stay within our budget.  Sometimes I even consider re-evaluating what that budget is or what it covers.  I think I think too much.  I’m not leaving nearly enough time for day dreaming about living in the French countryside or how I would spend a million dollars.  I mean isn’t that what you do with your mental free time?

I’m going to take another look at this budget issue but for now I’m keeping it as is.  Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $29.83 (savings = $0.15)

Ralphs – $34.40 (savings = $41.59…seriously?!)

Trader Joe’s – $19.30 (savings = $4.04)

Bakery Outlet – $9.87 (savings = $4.18)

A grand total of $93.40.  Over budget, but considering I saved over half as much as I spent I feel pretty good about it.  The bakery was for three bags of flour and we got two boxes of English Muffins free.  I can’t believe how much flour I’m going through and the outlet has the best price for times like this when I’m not catching a sale.  And as the husband has an English Muffin pretty much every single day with breakfast the freebies were a major bonus.

With my new flour I did make English Muffin bread which turned out excellently (according to the English Muffin expert), so I hope to be making that more and buying muffins less.

If anyone who actually knew me read this blog they would be convinced aliens had taken over my body.  Cooking, staying home with a kid all day, baking bread?  What happened to the girl with the plan?  The daily double latte?  The high heels and manicures?

Mr. Dylan, you were right.  The times, they are a-changin’.

Monday, June 1, 2009

monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

I’m really looking forward to this week.  I don’t know why.  Maybe something unexpected will happen.  Or not.  But I think it will be a good week.

Let’s see what we’ll be eating…

Monday:  spaghetti and meatballs, salad, artisan bread

Tuesday:  we’ll be eating out with friends

Wednesday:  open face sloppy joes, corn on the cob

Thursday:  whole wheat pancakes (thanks to The Frugal Girl for the recipe)

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  brown rice salad with tuna

Sunday:  chuck roast, veg to be determined by sales flyers

I bought a head of romaine lettuce and haven’t touched it yet.  I’m expecting salad for lunch several days this week.  And lots of bread!  I just made my second loaf of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, WOW!  It’s so good I can’t wait for dinner to eat more.  I imagine making at least one more loaf this week.  And I also feel like as good as it is, I have a lot of room for improvement.  I can hardly imagine how good it’s going to be.

I’m not getting paid to say this…”try this bread, it will change your dining.”  I am thinking about menus based on what can be served with bread.

felix

More over budget.  No excuses.  Let’s just see the damage.

Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $52.18 (savings = $0.15)

Vons – $7.68

Trader Joe’s – $22.68

Target – $16.15 (savings = $5.00)

Bakery Outlet – $8.47

A grand total of $107.16.  We had house guests.  The husband went to the store.  There were some deals too good to pass up.  Blah, blah, blah.  I have to get this under control.  I don’t like setting guidelines and then continuously not meet them.  It’s a pride thing.  I’m full of pride don’t you know.

felix

My mother-in-law was kind enough to make 4 dozen of her oatmeal chocolate cookies on Friday night for us to sell at a local Relay for Life event on Saturday.  Apparently they sold very well, even with an entire table of baked goods by the local women’s group.  I’m not surprised though, they are amazingly good.

I hope to have that recipe up for you later today.  Look for it.  Especially if your husband doesn’t cook but says he will bake.  It’s the best treat ever.

I think I’ll go have one.  (Okay, so not all 4 dozen made it to the Relay.  They weren’t counting.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

The weekend has really snuck up on me.  Or I guess I should say Monday has really snuck up on me.  How can it be here already?  I’m not ready.

But then again, I’m hardly ever ready or on time.  Even though I hate being late.  But that’s for another post.  (I’m kidding, I would never bore you with such inane personal blabbering.  Okay, yes, I probably would.  But I won’t.  I promise.)

Back to Mondays.  Monday means the week is ahead.  The whole week stretches ahead.  Unused.  Unspent.  Waiting to be completed.  Oh, the things I could do with a whole week.

But I guess I’ll stick to what I will actually do with a week instead of daydream about things that won’t ever happen.  Although, I’m a big fan of daydreaming.  And sometimes my dreams do come true.  Hmmm, maybe that means the husband will make more of his wonderful oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies this week.  A girl can dream.

Let’s see what else we’ll be eating…

Sunday:  leftover brown rice salad, (somebody else’s) leftover Thai peanut salad, leftover fruit salad

Monday:  burgers, beans

Tuesday:  hibachi shrimp (ok, the sauce will basically be the same as the recipe, and it will have shrimp)

Wednesday:  london broil, corn on the cob

Thursday:  baked pasta with spinach and tomatoes

Friday:  we’re at a memorial service

Saturday:  in-laws are coming, menu is undecided (ohhh, the pressure)

Sunday:  most likely eating out with extended family

Yes, I know.  My week has two Sundays.  That’s how I get so much accomplished.

Really, I just decided it was strange to post on Monday about a menu that basically happened in the past.  Next week you’ll see the week starting on Monday.  Unless it’s one of those weeks where we just eliminate Monday.  Sometimes they are just better when skipped.

felix

Last week’s grocery bill was over budget and I blamed Costco.  This week is really over budget.  I blame…  Hmmm, I’m stuck on that one.  I could blame the husband for telling me at the last minute that we needed laundry soap (and hand soap and dish soap).  I could blame the non-coffee coffee tasting drink I tried on Tuesday and then found at the store and which happened to be on sale and I happened to have a coupon from Tuesday but didn’t really need.  I could blame myself for spending more than I budgeted.

But there is no blame here.  I live without blame.  How could I have blame when I have a husband who does the laundry? (and makes cookies)

Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $33.49 (savings = $1.10)

Vons – $34.28 (savings = $30.25 not bad!)

Trader Joe’s – $14.65

Target – $27.33 (savings = $7.75)

Bakery Outlet – $2.09 (savings = $4.18 3 boxes Thomas English muffins for the price of 1, love it)

A grand total of $111.84.  On an $80 budget that’s really not great, but considering our savings was $43.28 by shopping sales and using coupons I say it’s almost kinda good.  Like my English sometimes.

felix

That coffee-like beverage I mentioned…

Teeccino

It’s considered an herbal coffee – a blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts.  No caffeine, no acidity.  Lots of flavor.

Unlike instant coffee substitutes, Teeccino brews just like coffee in all types of coffee brewers. We prefer the term “herbal coffee” or “coffee alternative” to “coffee substitute” since no one calls herbal tea a “tea substitute”, now do they?

I can’t say Teeccino is inexpensive.  Although I haven’t priced coffee beans recently either.  I love coffee but gave up caffeinated years ago and haven’t had a taste for it during this pregnancy.  Now that I’m almost to the stage of sleepless nights and constant feedings it will be nice to at least feel like I have something to help me pull through.

At $8.99 a bag it might be a splurge but if you find it on sale and have a coupon it’s not a bad deal for a great alternative to tea.  We drink a lot of tea.  I like alternatives.  I only wish I had grabbed more of those coupons.

*Teeccino has never heard of me.  (Except the guy giving out the samples, but I’m not even sure he’d remember me.)  They didn’t pay me to tell you how great I think their product is.  I did it out of the goodness of my heart.  I like to share.  You probably know that about me by now.  (But if someone at Teeccino see’s this and wants to send me lots of free product I stand behind what I said.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

I recently wrote how much I am enjoying the menu planning.  And then last week I had no menu at all.  This week was a bit of a struggle.  It’s kind of like going to the gym.  (Not that I do that either.)  If you take a day or so off it is so hard to get back into the habit of going.

I’m definitely glad I have a menu for this week, I think it will be much easier to just look at the list and pull the corresponding ingredients from fridge or freezer each day.  But I’m still lacking in the creativity department.  Gotta kick that up a notch next week.

Let’s see what we’ll be eating…

Sunday: hoho (husband on his own)

Monday: vegetable casserole with tofu topping

Tuesday:  no cooking, we’re out at a jobs in the new green environment conference

Wednesday:  burgers, corn on the cob

Thursday:  chicken strips, sauteed carrots

Friday:  waffles

Saturday:  shrimp in creamy tomato sauce

felix

To round out the week we had a major shift in our shopping trips compared to last week, for which I am very grateful.  From 10 stores to 3 was a huge improvement for my frazzled brain.

Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $41.88 (savings = $0.15)

Target – $12.03 (coupon savings + $2.00)

Costco – $29.64

I know I said last week that Costco would be a monthly (or less) trip and yet here we went again the following week.  I confess, it was due to my poor cupboard sweep.  In the list making last week, I did not note that we needed apple juice.  As that is a staple in our house (Toddler L gets a shot in his water), it just makes sense to buy it at the best price.

So back I went.  Unfortunately, by going back I opened myself up to a request from the husband.  Beer.  I’m not opposed to having beer in the house.  I’m opposed to being denied the occasional beer if it’s in the house.  (Six weeks and counting!)  But when you have a husband that doesn’t ask for much and makes (from scratch) your favorite cookies, you let him buy beer.  Even when it puts you over budget.  Luckily, (at least when I can drink it) he has good taste in beer.  And again, that usually means the best savings are at Costco.

At a final tally of $83.55, we did pretty well.  Not the “way under budget” I was hoping for this week, but as $12.67 of that was beer (he split a case with a friend – all to help the budget, what a guy), I am not too upset.

felix

I am really excited about some ideas to put the design back in compact by design, so stay tuned to see what that ends up being.

Monday, April 27, 2009

monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

The second week home after a vacation or even a three day weekend is when everything starts to feel normal again.  I’m starting to feel normal.  I’m trying to build up my routines.

Boy #2 is due the end of June.  I have about 9 weeks of routine before all hell breaks loose again.  But in the meantime I’m making my lists, checking them twice…oh, wait, that’s another story.  Back to my story.  Grocery list, check.  grocery shopping, check.  Menu plan, check.

Let’s see what we’ll be eating…

Sunday:  leftovers

Monday:  chicken breasts, mashed cauliflower (I love this dish, it’s like mashed potatoes but healthier)

Tuesday:  boneless pork sirloin chops, sautéed carrots

Wednesday:  pancakes

Thursday:  WOHO (wife on her own)

Friday:  pulled chicken sandwiches, green beans

Saturday:  tuna pasta (not sure if this is going to be traditional with cream of mushroom soup or something lighter with flaked tuna, oil and some veg.  I guess it depends on the weather that day.)

felix

Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $9.09 (this was all of our produce [minus the bananas] and eggs for the week, amazed even me.)

Vons – $24.96

Trader Joe’s – $10.95 (I can’t believe how little I shop here now, I still don’t want to live without a TJ’s nearby but they used to be my go-to for almost everything.)

Walgreens – $22.41

Target – $7.86 (no food but household items that I consider part of the budget)

99¢ Store – $2.00 (potatoes AND bananas!)

Lots of stops this week but with a final total of $77.27 I think it worked out to shop around for the deals.  All of these stores are within a couple miles and typically on our way home from some other outing.

felix

I came across this picture essay from Time.com about the foods and budgets of families around the globe.  Although it’s quite old it’s definitely worth checking out.  Can you guess which is the American family?

eats-1

eats-2

eats-3

Friday, January 30, 2009

a look back

me-mirror

It’s almost the end of the month and it is the end of the week.  It sounds like a good time to take a look at where we’ve been.  Or how far we’ve come.  Or what we’ve done.  Or haven’t done for that matter.  But you get the idea.  We are a month into this here Compact year.  How’s it going so far?

Well, ever since I wrote that post about forgetting my bags I haven’t forgotten my bags.  I guess I just needed to verbalize my issue.  I should keep that in mind.  Maybe I’ll just start writing about all my problems.  Hmm, I might lose a few of you.  I think I’ll stick to the topic at hand.  What was that again?

I’ve also been doing a lot of cooking at home.  And I mean a lot.  More than I ever thought I would want to do.  And guess what?  I’ve been enjoying it!  Shhh, don’t tell my husband.  I cook, he does laundry.  If he thought I enjoyed the cooking we might have to change our deal.  And it works so well for me.  But in addition to actually enjoying my cooking I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can go to the farmer’s market, buy a bunch of different produce and actually make real meals out of it.  It’s kind of a learning curve you know?  I started with fruit and have worked my way up to cabbage, bok choy, various lettuces and so much more!  What’s next?  No, not that.  It won’t happen.  If there is any baking going on it won’t be me.  I’m quite happy with my Organic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Trader Joe’s.  A handful of those a day and I am golden!

We’ve had to buy four birthday presents this month and I was able to find great gifts (at least I think they were great, I hope the getters did too!) all at our local thrift and consignment stores.  I think we’ve been to Target twice and it was for soap, toothpaste, kleenex (I know, I know, I use hankies but husband just can’t get on that bandwagon, what’s a girl to do?) and Nature Babycare wipes.  All in all, I think we’re doing great on that front.  I was also able to score 11 linen napkins at the flea market last Sunday for only three bucks!  And I really like them to boot!  Got a new (circa 1979) bookshelf to be used as a TV stand in a friend’s apartment too.  A coat of paint and that will be one sweet find.

That friend’s apartment…it’s a design job I’m doing.  More like a favor really.  A favor she’s doing for me.  I’ve wanted to spruce up this place for years.  Now’s my chance.  And my first order of business (after finding the bookshelf) was to select all low VOC (actually Dunn Edwards NO VOC!) paints.  It’s truly the best.  Playing with furniture, fabric and paint in an eco-conscious way with someone else’s money (on a budget – I like a challenge).  This rocks!  Okay, I know that was a major digression.  Back to my Compact accomplishments.  (Wow, does that sound like a pat on my own back!)

We’ve been back to Walser’s with all of our pre-sorted recycling.  Did you know they even take the metal hangers that (annoyingly) come from the dry-cleaners?  They are so great.  Really.  And yes, we dry-clean.  My husband’s work shirts.  I don’t iron.  Not like that anyway.  I know it’s not environmental (although we do try to use the green cleaners) but that’s why I try to do so much else.  I am working to find the balance.  I take small steps.

And to keep things honest and real – I’m ashamed to say I threw away some celery today.  Granted the whole thing only cost me a dollar at the farmer’s market.  But still, I’m not happy about it.  I was making soup and had taken as much as I could use for that already.  The rest was so limp it bent like a willow branch in a strong wind.  I couldn’t think of a use or how to save it until I could think of a use.  I’m sorry.  I feel terrible.  I just thought you should know.

To end on a positive note though, I will say that I am really looking forward to the next month of this adventure.  And the one after that.  And I promise to have more pictures tomorrow.  Pictures make everything so much more fun don’t they?  Well, to hold you over until then I will leave you with this…

what's the message?  no message.  just a pretty picture.

what's the message? no message. just a pretty picture.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

reality hits

I’ve been pretty good the last year about not being in stores where I don’t plan to shop and not wandering the aisles at random of the stores I have been in. I find it only makes me depressed. Or inspired by the great designs. Although that’s only helpful if I use that inspiration for something and not just wish I had thought of that great pillow idea or covet someone else’s pottery prowess. But I digress. Which isn’t that unusual, get used to it if you plan to check in on me regularly.

Yesterday I had to go to Target for my mother-in-law. Now Target I can typically handle. I keep to the hair products, baby wipes, pre-packaged box dinners (don’t tell my mother-in-law), and the occasional trip through the beauty aisle. I keep it safe. Boring I know, but at least I don’t leave with an $80 cart every time I’m there. And with post-baby memory, that can be a couple of times a week when I forget two of the three things I went for in the first place. Sorry, more digression. We had spent the day hanging lots of family pictures and “de-cluttering” the curio shelves so off I went to find some new picture frames for my MIL. I found myself smack in the middle of my danger zone. All that great new wall art. The plethora of vases, they don’t even have to be great vases, just lots of them sparkling together. And the mirrors. I’m a sucker for mirrors. Several times I caught myself thinking “ooh, that’s great.” Or “hmm, that would be perfect for our bedroom.” And then it would hit me “not this year.” Followed closely by the thought “or ever?…what have I gotten myself into?” It was an awakening for sure. I intend to head to the nearest consignment store when I get home so I can fulfill my shopping urge. Wait, that doesn’t sound very compact-y when I say it out loud. I guess I will just have to take the lesson for what it is…I am a long way from free of the mass consumption that pervades our society. I guess I will have to find something to create at home to fill my need for something new and wait until there’s something I actually need before heading out to that consignment store. Who knew Target could be such an educational experience?