You can PAY ME to take this stuff home… It’s okay! March 31, 2011

Filed under: HATE WASTE PROJECT — LovemyMartel @ 5:39 pm

Not only FREE, but I MADE money on this transaction. How?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Sale 2 for $5. -$2/2 e coupon and (2) .55 off coupons (double to 2.20) OOP .80 for both boxes

6 boxes of Betty Crocker Potatoes (that we will never eat, I’ll donate) sale $6.00 – (6) .55 coupons (double to 6.60, – 50/s e coupon= I MADE  1.10 to take these home!!

5 jars of Vlasic relish- Sale $5 – (5) .55 coupons (double to 5.50) again, I was PAID .50 to take these home!

Soo, with the potatoes and the relish, I made $1.60, minus my cereal at .80 – I took home all this stuff for FREE and the .80 carried over the the gallon of milk I purchased.

Thank you coupons!


Love Food, Hate Waste – Week 1 March 27, 2011

Filed under: HATE WASTE PROJECT — LovemyMartel @ 2:13 pm

Well I’m not sure if I should feel excited or defeated. I blew past my $99 budget this week, but I didn’t get groceries last week, so I’m not sure if it’s a success for two weeks, or a failure for one week… I also got non-food items on this bill. I won’t really know my own break down until I go through it here. Let’s see how I did!

Goal $99 (riiiight)

Claussen pickles 3.00

Claussen relish 1.50

2 cans of Manwich 2.00

2 gallons of milk 5.36

Simply Lemonade (shelf 2.50 -1.00 off coupon) FINAL PRICE 1.50

Garlic bread 1.50

( I HATE these things, but hubby has a few days off from work this week… so I got them for him, yuck)

Oncore Lasagna 3.00

Oncore Chick Parm 3.00

Oncore Salsbury steak 3.00

Kellogs Special K 2.50

5 lbs potatoes 2.99

2 boxes cheese nips 2.00

6 packs of Uncle Bens Ready Rice 6.00 (a STEAL!! These are usually 2.19 a piece)

Bananas 1.36

2 bags Sargento Cheese (shelf 4.00 – 1.50 worth of coupons) FINAL PRICE 2.50

2 pillsbury biscut rolls (shelf 3.00- .60 in coupon) FINAL PRICE 2.40

1 cantaloupe 1.50

Sweet onion 1.17

2 Packages of mushrooms 3.00

2 Bob Evans sausage (shelf 6.18- 2.00 coupons) FINAL PRICE 4.18, which is a steal because these were on SALE, marked down from 4.59 a roll.

Snackwells cookies for Josh’s lunches 4.99 (I wish I had a coupon for these)

2 packs hot dog buns 1.78

Hamburger buns .89

Wheat bread 2.99

Hot dogs 1.19

Cheddar brauts 3.00

Deli Roast beef 6.99

Fresh tilapia 7.11

Gnocchi 1.99

3 lbs chicken tenders 7.98

Pot Roast 5.36

whole turkey breast 7.75

THINGS I BOUGHT ONLY BECAUSE I HAD A COUPON – I did MUUUUUCH better. I usually have half my list of this

Honey Mustard Dip (shelf 2.59- $1.50 coupon) FINAL PRICE 1.09, or I’d never have bought this

36 packs of kool aid (shelf 4.68 – coupons) FINAL PRICE 3.12

TOTAL GROCERY ITEMS $109.69, that’s right…. I’m over by 10%!! I don’t feel TOO bad about this though because it was for weeks, since I didn’t go last week. I can do better. =)

Non- Grocery

4 cans Alpo (shelf 3.00 – 2 BOGO) FINAL PRICE 1.50

Glade premium aerosol (shelf 2.59 – 1.00 off e-coupon, -1.00 off regular coupon) FINAL PRICE .59

Viva paper towel (shelf 2.00 – 1.20 off coupon) FINAL PRICE .80

4 sticks Right Guard deodorant shelf 15.96 – 2 BOGO coupons) FINAL PRICE 7.98

Sunday paper 1.75

Tampax (shelf 3.59- $1.00 E-coupon) FINAL PRICE 2.59

TOTAL NON GROCERY 15.21 + tax for 28.89 of product. Saved 13.68


Total amount of product before coupons, etc. =171.64, not one of my best money- saving trips, but ohhh well. I’m just proud I didn’t buy stuff just because I was getting a good deal. Ok, so I bought 4 sticks of deodorant… My hubby uses it! It’s not like it will expire, but my coupons were about to! Can’t throw 8.00 away!


Love Food, Hate Waste Project March 24, 2011

Filed under: HATE WASTE PROJECT — LovemyMartel @ 2:49 pm

…A Money Saving(FOOD) Budget Project…

My husband and I spend way too much money at the store. I’d say we spend more a month in food than our house payment (this includes dining out, of course).

I’ve managed to identify our main problems (or what I THINK they are):

Problem No. 1: I go to the store without a plan. I toss things into my cart without a menu in mind, then I get home and have a hard time putting together a meal, so we go out.

Problem No. 2: I can’t stop going out to lunch! This sounds harmless, but $7-$8 a day two or three days a week really adds up (two days a week is about $60 a month)… shameful, I know. 

Problem No. 3: Boy do I love to cook. I also love to entertain and refuse to have someone come to my house and not be properly cared for. I also refuse to let someone’s birthday, a mother’s day, etc., go without proper food. I guess it’s the Italian in me, or I got it from my mama- whatever the reason, we spend an insane amount on food when we host a party, have a birthday or whatever else comes up.

Problem No. 4: I started couponing. I am obsessed. While I am getting some AMAZING deals, some free things and TONS of stuff for cheap- I find myself buying products I either don’t need or already have a stock pile of  simply because they are cheap. For example: I won’t need to purchase body wash for a year I’d say, but, if I find it for cheap, you better believe it’s going into my cart. So, after all is said and done, my groceries are in my cart (the ones I NEED), and my “deals” are in there, I waltz out with probably 50% of items I don’t need. I MUST start buying only what I need. I’m going to have a hard time with this. I love a good deal.

…So, here’s the project plan:

  • Decide on a weekly/biweekly budget. Please include how many people  you’re using this budget for.
  • Commit to at least one blog post per week about the project. Include your menu, what you purchased, etc. Be sure to include your budget and what you actually spent!
  • Coupons count! Since I love them, I want to incorporate them into this project. I am hoping this project will get me more serious about my coupons, while teaching me to only purchase what I NEED at the same time.

Sounds simple enough, but I am already worried. I have such a hard time passing up going out to dinner, out to lunch, or tossing an “extra” item (or 10 extra items) into my cart. I’m also terrible about just going for lunch meat and coming out with $45 worth of stuff.

So, how to determine a “reasonable budget”.. Well, I googled it.. here’s where I’m getting my figures from:

Reliable source? Ehh, who knows, but it’s a start. So, for one male, one female- it budgeted us at $105 a week. Sounds reasonable. Considering I was spending about $150 a week before, this plan would save me nearly $200 a month. Just for my own challenge purpose, I want to be UNDER $100, so I’m shooting for…. $99 a week. I’ll see how this pans out.

Good luck! I can’t wait to hear your stories and see the outcome!


I can’t stop blogging

Filed under: Uncategorized — LovemyMartel @ 1:20 pm

I’ve always been a talker. I feel like I have a lot to say, but no one to say it to. I can’t stop blogging. I also can’t figure out how to search for other blogs I like, follow people and to just generally get the hang of this thing. Oh, well. I have fun anyhow just typing what is on my mind.

I’ve only been doing this less than 72 hours and I’m addicted to typing blogs for only myself to read.

I WILL figure this site out! =)


My baking soda obsession

Filed under: Uncategorized — LovemyMartel @ 11:09 am

What can I say? I love baking soda with a passion. It’s inexpensive, natural and works for EVERYTHING.

You can bake with it. Use it to clean with. It will freshen your house. It will clean your laundry… and by golly, it will whiten your smile.


I make the baking soda into a  paste by adding water. I scrub sinks and counters with it. I also use this paste if I have a pan that just won’t come clean. It’s gentle.


Add it to a load for extra freshness or scrub your carpet with it. It neautralizes dog/kid/other odors instead of just covering them up.

and my favorite… YOUR SMILE

Gross as it is, after brushing with toothpaste, I brush with baking soda paste. It gets all the extra stains off your teeth for a whiter smile. For me, works better than expensive strips, bleaches and other whitening product. I use it daily.

I wonder what else I will do with baking soda.


Perfect Fried Chicken

Filed under: Recipies — LovemyMartel @ 9:27 am

I hate frying things, it gets so messy and you never seem to be able to get that smell out of your house. Thanks to a little trial and error and a tip from the internet, I’ve discovered a delicious new frying trick that doesn’t leave that smell: shortening. Who knew.

8 pieces of cut up chicken (if the breasts are large, I cut them in half so they cook evenly)

1 quart buttermilk

1 cup hot sauce (I sure do recommend Franks Red Hot)

4 minced coves of garlic

2-3 cups AP flour

1/2 cup corn meal

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper


paper towels

Rinse chicken. Put buttermilk, hot sauce and minced garlic in a large bowl and mix. Add the chicken and cover. Let this chicken marinate 24-36 hours. The buttermilk makes the chicken tender and juicy while the hot sauce and garlic add an amazing flavor.

After marinating is over mix the flour, corn meal, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a separate bowl.

Dredge the chicken in the flour mix. Let set for 5 minutes or so for the flour to adhere to the chicken. If there are any wet spots after sitting, re-dredge.

The chicken will fry in a large pot in shortening at 350 for about 12-14 minutes. It will be golden brown when done.

Take out and set on a cookie sheet with a paper towel under it.

Chicken will be super hot, super juicy and super delicious. The best part no fry smell in your house when you use shortening!!!!


3-2-1 Reduced Fat Carrot Cake March 23, 2011

Filed under: Recipies — LovemyMartel @ 1:37 pm

I did say REDUCED fat CAKE. That’s right the cake, not the frosting is reduced fat. I’ll tell you what, it’s the best carrot cake I’ve ever had, though.

Three cups of flour

Three eggs

Two cups shredded carrots

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups (adding in 1/2 cup increments, sometimes it doesn’t take all two cups, sometimes it needs a bit more) APPLESAUCE!! This takes place of the oil and will leave you with the most moist cake ever!

One cup white sugar

One cup brown sugar

1 half (does that count? haha) tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt (dont omit this!)

You can add walnuts, pecans if you like. I dont.

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Once smooth, add carrots by hand. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, depending on oven. I like to bake in 2 round cake pans so I can mak 3 layers of cake and the most delicious cream cheese frosting ever

P.S.  Don’t like carrot cake? I use this SAME EXACT recipie for zucchini bread, omitting 1/2 cup of the brown sugar.  I also omit the baking POWDER. Don’t believe me? Try it. And for an extra special treat, I add mini chocolate chips to my zuchini bread. It’s wonderful!


No butter in this one, so that cuts back.. a bit!

(2) 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temp

2 tsp vanilla

 1+ cup confectioner’s sugar (depending on how sweet you like it. I dont like mine very sweet at all, so I go very shy on the sugar)

Cream the cream cheese with a blender. Add vanilla. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Enjoy!