Coupon filled Sunday papers cost $2 in my city.  When I started couponing I found out that our local paper ran a promotion allowing people to subscribe to the Sunday paper only and get a second paper for $1.50.  I missed the boat on that one and thought I'd be forever doomed to spend gas money buying $4 worth of newspapers every Sunday.

On my trip to Bi-Lo today, a gentleman named Rico was selling weekend subscriptions (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and a free Monday paper during football season) for $13.80 a month. When I signed up I also got a $10 Bi-Lo gift card and a couple extra coupon inserts for my trouble.  People that sign up for a week's worth of news home delivered $16.25 will get a $20 gift card.  This deal is for people not currently subscribing to the Post and Courier magazine.  It's a month to month subscription that automatically renews.  If you cancel your subscription before six months has passed you'll be on the hook for the cost of the gift card.  Rico's going to be at Sam Rittenberg store til 6 pm today. I'm starting a basic coupon class at church in a couple weeks and wanted to pass on the information.  If you can't come to the store, you can contact him by phone at 1-859-368-3773.

Can't wait to have my Sunday paper waiting for me in the morning!  Also, my daughter.

This new subscription also means that we'll get Business Review, Health and Science, Fashion and High Profile features in addition to the laundry list of features in the Sunday paper. My daughter's gonna love getting fashion trend information that she can turn into cute outfits she makes herself.   We'll also have more newspaper that can be used as mulch in our garden or even to clean the windows.
Wholly Guacamole souped up with fresh avocado, cilantro, salsa and lime juice!
As I said, tortilla chips are one of those guilty pleasures we crave at our house.  Salsa or this easy guacamole recipe (filled with heart healthy avocados) are healthy dips that balance the chips.  While I was making the Red Curry Chicken, my daughter threw this guacamole together in less than 10 minutes.  We like our guacamole to be chunky, which is why we mixed the whole avocados ($.97 at Harris Teeter) with the free Wholly Guacamole, also from Harris Teeter.  The .$79 cilantro and salsa were a couple deals from Publix.  *We'll mash the last two avocados we bought and freeze them for later use along with the other two packs of Wholly Guacamole.
2 packs Wholly Guacamole
2 whole avocados, chopped
1 cup salsa, (Ro-tel tomatoes would work too)
1 bunch cilantro washed, dried and chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
healthy food couponing
Healthy food couponing isn't free yet - except for Harris Teeter's double coupon deal on guacamole.
When I use food coupons, I won't be able to  boast the same low out of pocket (oop) numbers as other food coupon pros because I'm seeking out as much healthy food as possible. To me, healthy couponing means finding coupons that help me buy the same kinds of healthy foods that filled our pantry before I started couponing. Don't get me wrong, we do pick up a few comfort food items like tortilla chips, pancakes, waffles, garlic bread, dump cake, and ice cream every now and then, but for the most part, if I can't incorporate it into a healthy meal, it'll stay at the store. My general food coupon rules help my husband manage diabetes (without insulin) and keep the rest of us pretty healthy too.  That's worth the trade off.
kashi red curry chicken recipe
Who knew this $1 E-Vic deal find could inspire an easy international recipe?
I just wanted something quick and tasty while I watched the finals of the first season of Master Chef.  Tender crisp vegetables, grilled chicken and a mind blowing red curry sauce on a bed of whole grains and brown rice?  The funny thing is, if Harris Teeter didn't have the E-Vic special that made Kashi meals $1, I never would have tried it. Inspired by Whitney Miller's decisive win, I had to recreate this masterpiece for our Friday night meal.  Just like in baking tech class, I used the ingredient list on the back of the Kashi box to get as close as possible to the original recipe.  But, I didn't have several of the ingredients, specifically the kale and bok choy for the red curry or any of the grains for the pilaf.  No problem.  The beauty of cooking at home is the freedom to make changes based on what's available.  For the kale, bok choy, I substituted yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant leftover from Monday's grilling and sauteed carrots as a sweet potato replacement.  Instead of the Kashi pilaf mix, I used the Basmati and Jasmine Rice (Uncle Ben's Ready Rice) packs I'd gotten on sale at Publix.  For the sauce, I used several of the flavors highlighted on the box - curry (which is a blend of coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper), sesame seed oil, coconut cream (coconut milk worked in its place) with extra cumin, garlic, ginger for good measure.  A humble can of tomato soup was the perfect addition for the red sauce.  Sugar content in the coconut milk and tomato soup will burn if the heat is too high, so I added a can of water to give the sauce time to simmer and thicken.  Here's the approximate list of ingredients for you to try.

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1 large eggplant, diced
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp each ground cumin and curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can water
  • large handful of cilantro chopped

Over medium high heat, saute the carrot in 2 Tbsp vegetable oil for a few minutes turning to brown evenly on both sides.  I added about 3/4 cup of water to steam them - this allows them to soften up a lot.  Once the water has evaporated, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil and the remaining vegetables and saute for another 8-10 minutes, until the other veggies soften.  Add the chopped chicken, cumin, curry, ginger, garlic, turmeric and sesame oil.  WHEN YOU WANT FLAVORFUL MEALS, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL INGREDIENT IS SEASONED BEFORE ADDING THE SAUCE.  I then added the coconut milk (don't worry if it's thick) the tomato soup and used the tomato soup can to add more water.  Let the curry simmer for another 10 minutes.  Add the cilantro about 5 minutes before you finish the dish.  The rice cooked up in the microwave in no time.  All I can say is restaurant night is back in the Jenkins household!
grilled chicken and eggplant sandwich
My sad attempt not to dirty any extra dishes.
Back in my Cleveland days, I had an AMAZING grilled chicken and eggplant sandwich at some restaurant near my law school job.  Every now and then I think about making that sandwich, get busy and forget.  Last night, I wanted to do something with the B1G2 free boneless skinless chicken breasts I scored at Harris Teeter on Sunday night ($2.01 a pack after using $1 off chicken Sara Lee bread tear off q's I found during my visit). The chicken was partially thawed when I got it home and not wanting to refreeze it, I stuck it in the frig.  Fast forward to last night, and on our way home, I remember all that chicken in the frig.  Grilled it all, along with most of the veggies I had in the frig.  It wasn't until we got back in the house that I realized what I'd grilled.  Anyway, it was it good.  Wanna know how to make it?  Wrote a song about it, wanna hear it, here it go:

(To the tune of McDonald's Big Mac song)

'Half grilled chicken breast,
roasted eggplant,
grilled onions,
seasoned lightly on a Sara Lee bun.'

My 11 year old sous chef helped get our homemade bbq grill going and chopped the veggies for gilling. The kids topped theirs with a little ketchup, hubby and I enjoyed ours with some roasted garlic bbq sauce, extra veggies on the side and that was dinner.  Big hit with us, hope you like it too!

G, what happened to the rest of that chicken?  I'll play around with a couple breasts tonight, but the rest is going in the freezer for future meals this month.

homemade bbq grill
That's our $25 homemade bbq grill! We built it by making a pallet frame that supports 2 washtub style cans. We use the big one for grilling and the small one for smoking (as it has a lid). Haven't grilled in forever, nice night to start again.
Late night Harris Teeter run: Got all this and 2 gallons fat free milk and 2L soft drink for about $80.
Harris Teeter E-Vic deals
Here's another view of the Harris Teeter shopping trip spoils. If you're not signed up for E-Vic, do it now. I got 2 of the cereals and the two bagged salads for $.97. Two Kashi dinners sold for $1 each. Non-EVic deal 2 bagged avocados also $.97 each last week.
sara lee tear off q's help save $$ on meat
Thanks to Sara Lee tear off q's in store, I got $1 off deli meat that was on sale AND 3 packs of B1G2 free boneless skinless chicken breasts at $2.01 a pack with a couple $1 off chicken Sara Lee q's!
As a former nutrition coordinator, I've been hiding veggies in food for a while - pretty evident based on the recipes I post.  It's a simple variation of the Cauliflower 'Mashed Potatoes' carb counters picked up from the Zone Diet.  Looked like potatoes, but they were too wet for my taste.  So I started mixing cauliflower and potatoes together, whether they're mixed with fresh potatoes (I always leave the skin on the potatoes to boost the fiber content), instant potatoes or a combination of the three, always awesome.  They're flavored with about 4 cloves of garlic, poultry seasoning, pepper, salt and a little butter.  When I worked in a Kids Cafe, kids of all ages devoured these potatoes and always asked for seconds.  They're a hit at our house too.  A super healthy way for people living with diabetes to dine on a reasonable portion of mashed spuds.
emergency food box filled with food coupon buys
Food coupon pros can put an emergency food box together in minutes.
"If there is a lesson to be drawn on this anniversary, it is this: we are one nation bound not only by grief but also by a set of common ideals. By giving back to our communities, by serving people in need, we reaffirm our ideals." President Obama

If you don't know what you can do to give back to your community, Feeding America offers a great idea with packing an emergency food box for yourself and for a family in need this September.  For the unschooled, non-couponing community that sounds like an expensive order but if you're taking advantage of those B1G1 free sales, you're up to the challenge! Shoot, you already have everything you need in your surplus to pack a couple boxes today, am I right? Over the course of our food coupon journey, our family's been blessed to do just that for two other households.  We've also taken some awesome ladies on one-on-one couponing 101 grocery shopping trips. Two basic coupon classes are on the horizon at the Dream Center and at Metanoia this fall.  Teaching someone to save money and get more food using food coupons is a free gift that keeps on giving.

You don't have to be on staff (which I'm definitely not) to reach out and love on someone in your life or a perfect stranger in the time that it take to get your q's together for your next shopping trip.  If you want more ideas on what you can do to take Hunger Action this month, check out Feeding America's Hunger Action Month webpage.
Bought all this w/2 boys in less than 40 mins
By last Friday, my family worked it's way to the end of our cereal reserves when this sale came along.  Even I dreaded having yet another bowl of Raisin Bran.  By taking advantage of the B1G1 sales, stacking competitors q's (Earthfare and Whole Food $1 off Cascadian Farm products with $.75 off manufacturer's q's, our Granola cereal cost only $.24 a box), the cereal practically paid for itself!  We ended up with 4 boxes of Raisin Bran Crunch - deliciously different animal from the plain Raisin Bran; 2 plain Raisin Bran (may make muffins and share the rest with our chickens; 4 boxes of Golden Grahams and 3 boxes of Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Raising Granola. Thankfully my local Publix takes almost any competitors q's - my store does not honor E-Vic deals because they aren't printed like a traditional coupon.

Can't pass up any week that includes a variety of fresh produce on sale. NUTRITION NOTE:  Buying produce in season - $.99 or less per pound - is the most popular tip for eating healthy on a budget.  I caved and bought a pack of Kraft Deli slices that weren't on sale (about $2.39 after q) to cash in on the Publix deal of getting $1 off produce.  So for my either my yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, eggplant or okra was free).  I used 2 more Earthfare q's to get $2 off the beef wyb 2 Snyders flavored pretzel nibbles.

Can't wait to get back to you with the recipes that develop from this week's bounty!  Check back soon!

Easy Recipes for Cheap Living
Last Updated November 26, 2010
Web Site Content by Mrs. Germaine Jenkins (
Easy Recipes for Living Well on a Budget