Thursday, February 5, 2009

Menu Strategizing with a Stockpile of Couponed Foods

Coupon shopping requires organization and strategy, in order to stock up on the best deals. But there's another side to this coin - the strategy required after the fact, when eyeing up a pantry and freezer composed almost entirely of your steals.

Today, our lunch (except for the milk) involved all couponed items. The meal also proves that you don't have to eat superbizarro processed food even while you rely heavily on coupons. Turns out, coupons can buy you fiber and nutrients.

In a toaster oven, I heated these two together:
  • 1/3 bag frozen squash, ~$0.17 - purchased for $0.50 after tripled coupon at Shopper's Food Warehouse (SFW)
  • 1 can Progresso black bean soup, bought 'free' during a 10/$10 sale at Giant with a $1.10 off printable coupon
Then, I added
  • 1 single-serve cup of Minute Maid brown rice ($0.30)
...and microwaved it all for 2 minutes. (The 2-packs of this brown rice has been going for ~$0.60 at SFW in the past few months whenever coupons are tripled.)

Meanwhile, I kept the toaster oven hot (450) and made a quasi-flatbread. I mixed:
  • 1/2 c. Heart Healthy Bisquick, ~$0.15 worth - box bought for $1.20 after tripled coupons at Bloom
  • 1 packet Quaker instant maple brown sugar oatmeal, ~$0.15/ea ($1.50 for the box of 10 after doubled coupons at SFW)
  • 1/3 c. milk, ~$0.15 or less.
- and poured this out as a single 'flatbread' pancake on parchment paper, baking at 450 in the toaster oven for 10 minutes. (The parchment paper was bought for free or near-free after SFW triples.)

Total estimated meal cost:

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Ebates and Swagbucks are both easy ways to earn rewards while doing what you normally do - web-searching through Google and shopping for bargains online!

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