Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hot Chocolate

My daughter had to write "steps in a process" in her second grade class. She's only seven, but of course her selection for the assignment was a recipe! (beaming here!)

In case the photo doesn't capture it:

Making Hot Chocolate
1. First you get hot chocolate miks and milk, a ovon (ummm... Microwave oven, love Mom) and a cup

2. Then you put the milk in a cup.

3. Next you heat it up.

4. Next you put the chocolate micks in the oven (in the cup, dear, with the milk, love Mom)

5. Finally you ster it and injoy it

Post Holiday Salad

I've been craving salads. I think it's carb overload from Thanksgiving. I don't crave salads often once the weather gets cold so I'm running with it.

I did something similar to this at work the other night:
• Fresh Express Veggie Lover's salad
• Marie's Ranch Dressing
• firecracker carrots from my canning with Gayle this summer
• Morningstar vegetarian buffalo wings

Today's lunch had a side of diluted Ocean Spray Cran-pomegranate juice, white earl gray tea for my husband and Tazo rest tea for me.

And I have to keep working on Nana's homemade cranberry sauce.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sausage Spinach Lasagna

I had a coupon for ricotta so I thought I'd make lasagne. I bought several cans of sauce for this lasagne only to find that by the time I got around to making it, my husband had used all but one can for pasta.

- one pound mild Italian sausage, ground
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- Italian seasoning, about a tablespoon
- 2 brown eggs
- 15 ounces ricotta
- 2 cups spinach
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan/reggiano
- 12 no boil lasagne noodles

Brown the sausage and add tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Let simmer.

In large bowl, mix both cheeses, eggs and spinach.

Layer into 9 x 13 Pyrex dish-- sauce, four noodles, sauce, think layer of cheese; noodles, sauce, cheese; noodles, remaining sauce.

I would have preferred double the amount of sauce. I didn't think to add garlic.

Cover with foil and bake for 60-70 minutes at 375. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes to let crisp.

Let stand before serving.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bread stuffing

This is my third year hosting Thanksgiving at my house. And despite this, somehow, I have never posted the Betty Crocker recipe for stuffing.

Usually, I make homemade bread for my stuffing, but this year I bought white bread from Bottom Dollar because it was cheap. Last night child and I watched an episode of Ugly Betty and ripped bread into cubes.

We have about 16 cups of bread.

- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery with leaves (I omit, I hate celery)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onions (I hate onions so I usually use chives from my garden that I froze)
- 9 cups soft bread cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium- high heat. Cook onions and celery for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.

Now, I'm going to probably use done fresh parsley that I froze from my garden as a substitute for celery. I have that country herb blend that I will probably use instead of straight thyme. But I won't mess with sage, because that's the key to that real stuffing flavor. I will mix fresh and dried, though.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cranberry orange bread

I decided to modify my cinnamon raisin bread into a cranberry orange loaf. I started with the Traditional White Bread from my 25th anniversary Betty Crocker cookbook.

- about 2 cups whole wheat flour
- about 5 cups unbleached white flour
- 1.5 tablespoons local honey
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons (or did I use a tablespoon?) yeast
- 1 cup triple sec, heated (plus more for bowl)
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup raisins and craisins

Mix the wheat flour and 2 cups white flour with the butter, salt, sugar, honey and yeast. Add liquid. Stir thoroughly with wooden spoon.

Add fruit and enough remaining flour until the dough is elastic and not wet to the touch. Need ten minutes.

Sprinkle light amounts triple sec into the bowl (straight from the bottle), and drop the dough in. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour.

Now, my house is always low so I preheat my oven to 200, turn the oven off and open the door and let most of the hot air out. Then I put the dough in and close the door.

The dough is ready when it doubles in size. Push a finger in and if the indentation remains, it's ready.

Knead again. Grease two loaf pans. Divide dough in half. Make rectangles, roll them tightly and then tuck the ends under. Put them in the loaf pans.

Preheat oven to 425. Cover dough and let rise 30 minutes. Until they double. I place my loaf pan on the burner where the oven exhausts so that hot air will keep it warm.

Bake 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Nut Butter

I haven't cooked much or cleaned much or faced the fact that there's a major food-themed holiday tomorrow. I have enough trouble remembering to put on my socks.

Today's breakfast was fresh strawberries, Bolthouse farms blue (berry) smoothie, and wheat toast with almond-cashew-peanut butter.

The nut butter came from Target, the Archer Farm store brand. I love almond butter, but my daughter hates it. She prefers cashew butter. So this seemed like a good compromise.

What's weird is I can distinctly taste all three flavors.

I like Target's selection of nut butters. The jars are small, but that makes them a reasonable splurge and makes it fun to try new flavors. Like this one.

Nut butters are a quick, fun protein.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Perfumed Pineapple Oat Crumble

This is a favorite from the French cookbook my friend Jessica brought me. The original attempt (with way too much butter after the conversion from metric and translation) is here:

I did some alterations today, trying to make it heartier/healthier.

- 2 small pineapples
- real vanilla
- brown sugar
- butter
- flour
- oats

Cut the pineapple and 'perfume' with about 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Grease dish with butter. I used my Le Creuset skillet today.

Sprinkle with brown sugar. The original suggests 3 tablespoons. I didn't measure.

Arrange pineapple in the bottom of the dish.

Make sandy crumbs with remaining ingredients. The recipe suggests 2 more teaspoons vanilla, 2 cups flour and 2 cups brown sugar. And butter -- at room temperature.

I tried:
- vanilla
- one cup unbleached flour
- one cup oats
- one cup brown sugar
- 1/2 stick butter

Cover pineapple with crumbs and bake for 45 minutes at 350.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pre-Holiday Shopping (Hi, Bottom Dollar)

I finally remembered/ had time to go to Bottom Dollar. I had one of their "get $10 off any $25 purchase" coupons. Who can resist THAT?

Stores like this only save you money if you know exactly what you pay for your groceries. For instance: they charge $2.98 for Silk soy milk. Target charges $2.99. Fresh Express Veggie Lovers Salad was $2.49 at Bottom Dollar. The regular price at Target is $2.99, but it's usually on sale _most of the time_ for $1.99.

Bottom Dollar has lots of name brand merchandise. Lots of processed food. I don't typically use much of these items. I have to admit, I liked the variety of Bottom Dollar's fresh produce.

My mom came with me and I paid for everything and then she bought me a HUGE bottle of brandy in exchange for her victuals.

So, I bought:
- 3 containers (a quart each?) of mango nectar, $4.14 ($1.38 each)
- macaroni and cheese dinner, 2 @ 39 cents each
- big cans of yams, 2 @ 1.98
- black turtle beans (dry), $1.22
- light red kidney beans (dry), $1.14
- little red beans (dry), $1.06
- large can of tuna in water, 2 @ $1.98
- round top white bread (for stuffing), 89 cents
- pumpkin seeds, natural, $1.99
- crushed chili peppers, 99 cents
- Libby's solid pack pumpkin, 15 ounce can, 2 @ $1.29
- pineapple nectar, single serving can, 2 @ 44 cents each
- pear nectar, single serving can, 44 cents
- maiers Italian rolls, $2.79 (for mom)
- small bag of flour, $1.28
- 2 cans apricot nectar, 44 cents each
- bananas, 44 cents a pound
- pineapple (fresh, small, but ripe according to the pluck test), 2 @ $1.99
- green peppers (for mom, but I should have gotten some too), 2 huge ones at 50 cents each
- 3 lbs onions (for mom), $1.67
- 2 big bags of frozen broccoli spears, $1.98
- salted butter, one pound, 2 @ $1.98 each
- 64 ounces of half and half, $3.98
- 32 ounces whole milk, $1.18
- 12 large brown eggs, $1.58
- 18 large eggs, $1.46
- Kraft shredded cheese, 8 ounces, 2 @ 1.48 (for mom)
- huge loaf of French bread, $1.48

Total, after coupons: $45.25

Then we headed to Target. For more pre-holiday damage.

- two up and up fabric softeners, $3.99 each
- Cheetos, one crunchy regular and one crunchy jalapeño (with plans for my famous Cheetos broccoli on thanksgiving) $2.50 each
- tostitos spinach dip, on sale for $3
- Ocean Spray cranberry pomegranate juice, 2 @ $1.99 each
- Marie's ranch dressing, 3 @ $1.65 each (normally $3+ each)
- Fresh Express veggie lover's salad, 3 @ $1.99 each
- Bolthouse smoothies, 2 at $3.49 each (one mango-cherry and one blue)
- big jar of Market Pantry peanut butter, $5.09
- 16 ounces of almond-cashew-peanut butter, $5.99
- Kraft Italian dressing, $2.19
- kitchen basics, one vegetable stock and one beef stock, $3.04 each
- market pantry tomato sauce 16 ounce can, 2 at 57 cents each
- Archer Farms buffalo blue cheese dip, $2.99
- market pantry no boil lasagne noodles, $1.65
- market pantry brownies, 4 packages of four brownie bites, 49 cents a package
- pecans, $3.99 (normally $5.69)
Anyone else notice the skyrocketing cost of pecans?
- Hershey baking cocoa powder, $2.59
- SURPRISE for my husband for Xmas, $4.99
- 1 pound strawberries, $3.04
- 6 ounces raspberries, $2.09
- frozen strawberry slices, $2.29
- Silk vanilla almond milk, $3.19
- silk very vanilla soy milk, $2.99
- Silk unsweetened soy milk, $2.99
- 9 yogurts, 62 cents each
- market pantry whipped cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon, $1.29
- 4 boxes of tissues, $4.99
- Purina One salmon cat food, $10.99 minus $1 off coupon
- Archer Farms whole wheat bread, $2.59
- Archer Farms coffee, $6.49
*had a coupon for $2 off the bread and coffee*
- the BIG pack of 24 Scott triple rolls of toilet paper, $14.99 minus $1 off coupon plus free Kleenex hand towels

Subtotal: $138.31
Team member discount: -$13.86
Red card discount: -$6.22
Tax: + $1.31

Total: $119.54

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grilled cheese with apples

Simple but hearty and flavorful. That was tonight's dinner.

- butter
- wheat bread (two slices per person)
- one large apple, sliced
- two slices Morningstar breakfast strips (vegetarian bacon)
- extra sharp cheddar
- mozzarella
- Market pantry sweet potato fries

Put the fries in the oven.

Heat the Le Creuset skillet with a generous tablespoon of butter. Add the apples and cook until soft. Move to plate.

Heat vegetarian bacon.

Butter one side of bread, place in pan, layer with cheddar, then apples, then bacon, then mozzarella. Top with another slice of bread and make however you normally like your grilled cheese.

I burned mine, but they were so good my seven-year-old didn't care.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Venison Stew

I started a stew this morning and quickly discovered I had none of the ingredients.

I chopped my venison cubes into bite-sized chunks and cooked them over medium-high heat in the Le Creuset skillet with some canola oil, fresh ground pepper, and country herb blend.

When that finished, I added about a half cup of balsamic vinaigrette. Then, in my Le Creuset cassoulet, I placed a can of condensed beef vegetable soup, about four cans water and another half cup of vinegar in my Le Creuset cassoulet.

I added the meat and its juice into the cassoulet and let it come to a boil and then reduced it to a simmer. I also threw in two carrots, nicely chopped.

It turned out to be one of my best stews.


Found this recipe online:

And now I'm off to the kitchen, knowing full well i have none of the proper ingredients... But I must try!

Details to come.

Okay, initial reaction: this was incredible. Now next time I want to follow the directions because that would be mind-blowing.

What I made:

- one large can pear halves, drained (seven halves)
- one apple, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup triple sec
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened soy)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg white
- 1 pinch salt
- 2/3 cup unbleached flour

In large bowl, mix fruit, alcohol and lemon juice. Soak for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Take deep dish 10-inch pie plate and butter liberally. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar.

Arrange fruit on bottom of pie plate. Reserve liquid.

Take eggs and egg white and cream with the remaining sugar. Add remaining ingredients, including the reserved alcohol from the fruit. It will be runny, as this is more of a custard than a cake.

Bake about 50 minutes until the clafouti puffs and turns golden. It will deflate some once cooled.

Cool 20 minutes before serving. Best served warm.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Top Round Steak

This is a combination of recipes I found online to do something a little different with the one pound top round steak I bought at Target for $3.50.

In my large Le Creuset skillet, I placed the steak, with about one teaspoon of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

On the steak, I scattered the following:
- 1 clove diced garlic
- about 1.5 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- about 2 teaspoons country herb blend
- about two teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- about one teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- about two teaspoons lemon juice

I threw one can of potatoes around the steak and plan on baking it for about an hour. I placed my large pfaltzgraf platter over the top as a cover.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Almost vegan chili

A batch of chili is something that can never be the same twice. Not in my house.

I started with a Le Creuset cassoulet with a tablespoon or two of canola oil and a pinch of minced garlic. I added the following spices, while the pot heated over medium-high:
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Indian chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa

- one 15 or so ounce can of Italian seasoned tomatoes

Heated to boiling.

Added 2 grated carrots.


Added about 20 ounces of Pacific Foods organic Homestyle tomato soup. And about 1/4 cup diced pineapple in juice. (a single serving cup I got on clearance on Target)

Boiled, covered, simmer for an hour.

Now, I'm adding three varieties of beans: 1 pound red kidney, about 10 ounces black and 10 or so ounces of white. I made all of these from dry beans, which is why I added the soup for liquid. The Betty Crocker recipe suggests using the sludge from canned beans.

Red kidney beans

I'm reeling from shock as I realize my family has eaten two pounds of black beans in two months.

Today I'm making kidney beans as my husband accidentally opened a can of petit diced Italian seasoned tomatoes last night, so I'm figuring I have to make a pot of chili.

This is my first experience using dry kidney beans and I'm surprised how quickly they wrinkle in hot water.

I'm using the quick soak method: rinse, add water (6-8 cups per pound), boil for two minutes, cover and remove from heat. Let sit one hour.

Reduce sodium intake and save money!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pet supply shopping at Target

I had several coupons for Target expire, and I needed a few cat items so we picked up some odds and ends after my 12-4:30 shift. Child needed Zyrtec.

I had a budget of $70, but spent $92. Had to transfer some funds from savings. I literally had to walk out of the store before I finished in the Market section.

Too many good deals. And how can you say no when you can eat them?

- Archer Farms imported from
Belgium, dark chocolate covered biscuits (sounds like Petit Écolier to me), two boxes on clearance for $1.18 each
- ground Italian sausage, about a pound, on sale for $1.55 (regular $3.09)
- fresh express Veggie Lovers salad, regular price, $2.99 on sale for $1.99
- Campbell's condensed Cream of Chicken soup, on clearance for 35 cents, regular $1.02 (for some reason my daughter begged for this)
- pretzel rolls, $2.49
- beef round steaks, 3, $3.35, $3.18, $3.52 (normally $5.49)
- three boxes of Boo Berry cereal, on clearance for $2.26 each, minus $1.50 coupon
- green giant vegetables, on sale 10/$10, five boxes
- two boxes of green giant vegetables at $1.37 each
- frozen strawberries, $2.26
- Very Vanilla Silk, $2.99
- one block of Market Pantry mozzarella, one block extra sharp cheddar, $2.19 each
- sauve shampoo, 97 cents
- cetirizine, the big bottle, $12.49
- Kleenex, two boxes, $1.39 each minus a 50 cent coupon
- 7 lb bag of Purina One urinary health cat food, $10.99 minus $2 coupon
- 40 pounds of Tidy Cat, $11.99 minus $2 coupon
- Morningstar breakfast patties, 3 boxes at $3.29 each
- two Market Pantry family dinners (one orange chicken and one chicken tamales), $5.49 each minus $1 coupon
- tampons, 2 40-count boxes, $6.99 each minus $1.50 coupon and a free box of 36-count pantiliners

Total: $109.77
Minus team member discount: $11.78
Red card discount: $4.90
Tax: $1.11
Final total: 94.20

Spaghetti and meatballs

I thawed out the last of our ground beef when I got home from work last night so my husband used the Betty Crocker cookbook to make meatballs.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oddball Brunch

- leftover steak fries, reheated in the oven
- sweet potato fries with a side of real maple syrup
- Pacific foods, home style tomato soup
- morningstar breakfast patties
- grape juice with bubbles

Friday, November 4, 2011

Simple crôque monsieur

When we had that **REALLY** unhealthy shopping trip last Thursday, I picked up the basic makings for crôque monsieur, my favorite French sandwich which I hated when I visited Paris as a 20-year-old.

I lent my Barefoot in Paris cookbook to the owner of my favorite Mexican restaurant (MexTex Trio) so I had to wing it... Which considering I had heavy whipping cream instead of heavy cream.

I started with two tablespoons of butter in my Le Creuset tiny saucepan (I love Kev and Tracy for giving me their cast-offs).

I blended in one tablespoon flour with a silicone spatula. Then, over low heat, I added about a cup of cream. Pinch of nutmeg. Pile of shredded domestic Swiss, mild stuff.

Toasted eight slices of bread in the oven 3-4 minutes each side at 450, piled black forest ham on one side, topped with more cheese and about a tablespoon of the sauce. Topped each sandwich and poured sauce all over them.

Transferred to a smaller cookie sheet and drained cheese sauce back onto them from the big one.

Bake for about 10 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown.

* I tried tuna on some. It's boring. Ham is better.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Update: Casseroles and First Post from Blogger iPhone App

As any of my even casual readers can attest to, my blogging quality and frequency has deteriorated in the last year since we canceled Internet at home.

Today I finally downloaded the Bloggee application for my iPhone, since web-based blogging has continuously and consistently failed.

Test. Testing. 1... 2... 3...

Awesome. I saved and published at this point and it seems to have worked.

Now, on to the food...

Since our TV dinner night, we've eaten horribly. Trick or treat at the grandparents brought pizza. A weekend of mommy and daddy working extra hours meant quick food. A smowstorm while Daddy was working OT meant hot cocoa and cookies. Halloween brought more pizza and candy. A visit to the hospital meant burgers and fries.

It had to end.

We all had gas and belly aches.

But it's still crazy around here. So I've been experimenting with steam-in-bag vegetable based casseroles. Half prepared, half wholesome.

Last night was Steam in Bag Broccoli Mac And Cheese.

- one bag steam-in-bag broccoli in four cheese sauce from Archer Farms
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- cooked elbow noodles
- pinch nutmeg
- about three ounces Swiss cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour

I melted the butter, stirred in the flour and added the cream making a smooth base for my cheese sauce (over low heat).

Added the cheese and nutmeg.

In another pan, the one I planned on baking in, my new Le Creuset cassoulet! ... Anyway, mixed noodles and prepared broccoli.

Added my mild cheese sauce.

Stirred and baked.

And today's hot lunch is Scalloped Potato Asparagus Bean Bake.

At my initial glance (see photo) it appears I have made cheesy, salty bean stew. Alas, Alack.

- packaged mix for three cheese scalloped potatoes
- heavy cream
- boiling water
- Green Giant steam-in-bag asparagus
- black beans white beans

Prepare scalloped potatoes per package instructions, except substitute cream for milk.

Add prepared asparagus.

I added made from dry black beans and white beans for a protein source that wouldn't add more sodium.

Bake according to package instructions.

I had to have added way too much water...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lots of shopping

  This is the second or third time I started this blog entry. The interface has been eating my entries, whether I hit 'save' or 'publish.' Last time I got as far as about 700 words before losing everything so now I'm typing this in Pages on the iPad with the hope of copying it into Blogger when I take my husband back to his office at one.

The iPad failed as well, so I'm guessing it's a mobile application failure.

Last week (and I suppose today too) was the end of the month. I dread the end of the month. It's the budget make-or-break time. I knew I had spent my allotted budget ($300 on dining and groceries combined) going into the final week, so as long as I didn't spend any money on food we'd hit the goal.

I made it to Thursday. By Thursday, we had eaten close to everything in the house. My plan for dinner was to make a tuna rice casserole. I had broccoli in cheese sauce in the freezer, plenty of rice for the steamer and a big can of tuna. Except I had class until 2:30, had to pick up the child at 3:15, and retrieve the husband from his office at 4:30. So the rice never got steamed. And with 40 minutes to steam the rice and another 40 or so to bake, it looked like the casserole wasn't going to happen unless I wanted to have dinner at 7 pm. I would seriously have a hunger meltdown before then.

We went to Giant. Figured it would be cheaper than eating out. And potentially quicker. I was thinking Crôque Monsieur sandwiches, but then daughter asked for TV dinners. I was astounded.  TV dinners??? We get them about once a year, or maybe every other year. I said okay. I'm apparently crazy.

So, everything in this shopping trip probably qualifies as completely unhealthy, unnecessary and impulsive.

We bought:
- Cool Ranch Doritos, on sale for $3 (did not get opened until Sunday night, watching old episodes of True Blood)
- two packages of microwave popcorn, one butter and one kettle corn, $1 each
- Dole Romaine bagged salad, $2.50 (these were for the tortoise. I should have picked up a second bag because the greens looked so good...)
- Stauffers beef tips in bourbon sauce, $3.29 (this was my dinner. It was edible, but not enjoyable, and the sodium content had me drinking water for hours afterwords.)
- Edwards frozen key lime pie, $5.99 (yum!)
- Hungry Man popcorn chicken dinner, $2.79 (this was what my daughter picked and man did it look like a school lunch.)
- Hungry Man Salisbury steak dinner, $2.79
- black raspberry ice cream, $2.69 (still unopened)
- spinach white pizza, $4.29 (this was our appetizer and our green vegetable component)
- 8 ounce block of Swiss cheese, pepper jack, sharp cheddar and Vermont extra sharp cheddar cheese, 4 @ $1.67 each
- one dozen extra large eggs, $1.79
- sliced Italian bread from the bakery, $1.99 (still gunning for those Crôque Monsieur sandwiches, hence all the cheese too)
Total: $39.79

Saturday, in the middle of our freak snow storm that dumped 10 inches of snow and made the roads a slushy slippery mess, I went to Target for groceries, with my daughter who just got out of dance class and thought the aisles of the store were a great place to practice your jazz routine. I quickly convinced her otherwise.

This sounds more normal for us:

- market pantry diced tomatoes, seasoned, 3 cans at 57 cents each
- market pantry petite diced tomatoes, 2 cans at 53 cents each
- raspberry salsa and summer fruits salsa, one was $2.79 and the other was $2.99
- Barilla whole wheat rotini, three at $1.16 each
- market pantry petit peas, one can at 77 cents
- market pantry unsweetened applesauce in the individual containers, $1.67
- large bottle of canola oil, $3.39
- gold medal unbleached flour, $2.79
- market pantry whole wheat flour, $2.99
- frozen vegetable blends, steam in bags, $1.67, $1.66 and $2.29
- Silk pumpkin spice, 4 at a clearance price of $1.36 each
- horizon heavy whipping cream, $2.49
- horizon organic half and half, $2.99
- archer farms yogurt, 10 at 55 each, minus a 50 cent coupon
- ricotta $1.87 minus a 50 cent coupon
- 2 boxes of Kleenex, one extra soft and one with lotion, $1.59 and $1.57 minus a 75 cent coupon
- 40 pounds of cat litter, $15.59 minus $1.50 coupon
- 2 boxes of Morningstar breakfast patties, $3.49 each
- 3 varieties of Gardein vegetarian products, $3.99 minus $2 coupon
- now I have two mysterious Market Pantry items left, and all I can remember is sweet potato fries of which I bought two bags, they were either $1.97 or $3.09 and what the other item is... Who knows?

Total: $89.74
Minus team member discount: $9.42
Minus red card: $4.02
Tax: 82 cents
Final total: $77.12

But the story doesn't end there. In the tail end of the storm, I had to go to work and my daughter asked for hot chocolate. So my husband drove me in and they bought:

- Archer Farms Peanut butter cup hot chocolate, $3.99
- Archer Farms salted caramel hot chocolate, $3.99
- Silk soy milk, $2.99

Subtotal: $10.97
team member discount: $1.10
Red card discount: 49 cents
Total: $9.38