the blackest of fridays

Well, I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving. Jon and I celebrated with several good friends from camp. We made stops at several houses during the day and enjoyed spending time with what feels like family to us.

Yesterday, we braved Lancaster’s Black Friday for some great deals to start out our holiday season.

Our first stop was Target at 6:30 am. We walked around the inside perimeter of the store, walking beside the “waiting-to-check-out” line about halfway around. Fabulous. We were able to get some good deals, though. Psych season 3 was $12.99 and I found some nice sweaters for $8.99 each. We also picked up Monopoly Deal! which wasn’t on sale, but still not a bad price. I enjoyed learning the game the day before. I sent Jon to head to wherever he needed to while I waited in line. [His goal was a new laptop, and Best Buy was next door, so off he went.] After a couple calls, he said he was headed to RadioShack, but then ended up back with me after about 15 minutes of my line-waiting.

Next, we headed to Bed Bath & Beyond [we still have LOTS of wedding gift cards] where we picked up some items we’ll need to have once we move from our current furnished house. I grabbed a 10-piece cooking set with pots & pans, complete with bonus items: 5 glass nesting bowls for prep and a lidded brownie pan for $50.00. We got the start of Mom’s Christmas present, a yummy candle for us, and a 5-Quart Crock Pot Slow Cooker for $13.99. Good deals at Bed Bath & Beyond!

Next we went to the mall — JCPenney’s for a special item (Christmas for Amy) and RadioShack to check out computers. Didn’t have what Jon wanted there, so we ventured on. We hit some Staples and and Office Depot; still not the right model of the acer computer we were looking for. We stopped at Kohl’s and picked up some towels ($2.50 bath towels, $1.50 hand towels) and a new bedding set for ourselves — a 20-piece set; normally $299, but on sale for $99!!! Crazy good deal. And then we proceeded to wait in line for 2 hours before getting out of the store with our purchases. We also received $10 back on every $50 spent, which is a nice reward.

A quick trip to Walmart to pick up a 30 piece Rubbermaid storage set for $7.00 and all my shopping stops were crossed off.

We looked at several more RadioShacks in Palmdale to no avail. After making a few calls, Jon wanted to head to Victorville, but then we found out they were sold out of his computer, too. We knew the RadioShack in the mall still had their acer computer (the right model, but bigger than Jon wanted). The one downside is that it was the computer on display, but we finally decided to go with that one since everyone was sold out and we were told they wouldn’t be ordering more. It was a good deal, and ended up being $50 off the price we were told which was nice.

Funny thing is, we got the computer home and the CD drive won’t read a blessed thing. Jon called and we heard back from the manager today that they will order him a new computer to replace this one! Yay!

We both decided that Black Friday has good deals, but it probably won’t be worth it for a few more years at least. :)


.::moore savings::.

This week was a pretty good week of shopping deals in the Moore house. Most weeks, I get the Rite Aid ad on Monday and the rest of the ads arrive on Wednesday or Thursday—Stater Bros., Vallarta, and Albertson’s.

I’ve started a new system this week. I go through each ad and enter all the deals I’m interested in on an excel spreadsheet (a separate sheet for each store). I write down the item, specifying the size in its own column. There’s a separate column for the deal listed and another column labeled coupon. That makes it easy to see if I should have a coupon to match it up with. I can just fold the coupons inside the sheet and carry one thing around the store. It makes for a little more work on the front end, but it has helped me stick to my list better. It’s also nice to not have to carry around the ad.

Tuesday I headed to Rite Aid where I purchased the above. The toothpaste was $2.69 and will be free once I enter it online for a full $2.69 rebate! The deodorants (normally $3.49 a piece) were 99 cents each, and the Almay makeup was BOGO—16.00 for what would normally cost $32.00. [I was way more excited about that than Jon.] I also grabbed a Christmas tree and some lights which weren’t bad, but it boosted my total to “not that impressive.” :)

Wednesday, I went through all the other ads. Jon and I are working on a budget now, trying to get our grocery spending down to $150 a month, if not less. We went on a big shopping trip for the entire month a few weeks ago and spent right around $100 on that. There were some great deals this week, and most of the food we purchased won’t get used until December anyways.

Friday we headed down to Lancaster and stopped by Albertson’s. I was really excited about this trip. I was expecting to spend $36.31, but after adding a pie pan,—needed to bake a pie for our Pie & Praise Service on Sunday—some dish soap, flour, and oil, the new total was $53.36.

But check out what I got!

  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup: $.69 each = $1.38
  • Two 12 oz. bags Nestle chocolate chips: $1.29 each, coupon for $1.00 off 2 = $1.58
  • 32 oz. Kraft Real Mayonnaise: $2.99 = $2.99
  • Two 4 oz. Glade Candles: $3.00 each, coupon for $1.50 off 2 = $4.50
  • Four 12 packs soda (Coke, Pepsi, 7Up, Cherry Coke): normally between $6.50—7.50 each, in-ad coupon 4 for $9.00 = $9.00 (saving $7.00 total)
  • Two 8 oz bags Kraft shredded cheese: $1.77 each, coupon for $1.00 off 2 = $2.54
  • Stouffer’s Lasagna entrée (enough for both Jon & myself): $1.99 in ad, but I was charged $3.99 [grr . . . ]
  • 10 for $10.00 – (one of my favorite Albertson’s deals!)
  • Four 2 liter sodas (Pepsi, 7Up, Sierra Mist): $1.00 each = $4.00
  • 6 Birds Eye SteamFresh veggies: $1.00 each, 2 coupons for $1.00 off 3 = $4.00
  • PLUS the pie plate, dish soap, flour and oil.

[I’ll be honest, I’m still working through being overcharged $2.00 for the lasagna.]

Store Coupon Savings: $8.00
Manufacturer Coupon Savings: $5.00
Preferred Savings (store card): $38.46
Total Savings: $51.46
Total with tax = $53.36


bang•bang shrimp

I do wish I had a picture of this absolutely delicious dish! At Bonefish Grill, it’s served as an appetizer, and that’s where my family and I fell in love with it. My husband and I happened upon a Bonefish Grill on our honeymoon, and that was where he fell in love with it. I’m not gonna lie; it’s a fabulous dish, and it’s really not that difficult to make!

Here’s what you’ll need for the shrimp prep:

  • 18—20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each: onion powder, garlic powder, and dried basil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk

And here’s what you’ll need for the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar (I didn’t actually use this in mine)

First, mix up the fabulous sauce. If you can’t get your hands on a “chili garlic sauce,” just pick up a hot sauce and throw in one clove of pressed garlic. Cover this and set it aside.

Combine the beaten egg with milk in a shallow bowl. Set this aside, too.

In another shallow bowl (or any bowl . . . I used a big one, so there!) mix up the flour, bread crumbs, salt, black pepper, and all the spices. In all honesty, I didn’t have all those spices sitting around my house. So I used garlic powder, marjoram, and something else. Who knows what. I don’t think the spices will kill you. Just don’t use nutmeg or cinnamon or something silly like that. Gross.

Start heating some oil to 350 degrees F. (We cooked it in our 2″ deep frying pan. If you own a deep fryer, go for it!)

Coat the shrimp by tossing it with the dry breading ingredients. Dip it into the egg and milk mixture, and then once again into the breading. Once all your shrimp are breaded, set them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set the coating.

Once the oil has reached the right temperature, fry the shrimp for 3—4 minutes. (Ok, Jon and I used already cooked shrimp, so we didn’t worry about time. We just wanted to heat it.) Oh! On another note, make sure your oil isn’t too hot. Apparently our stove gets crazy hot, so we had 10 little black shrimp coals. We did not eat those. They looked yucky.

Ok, so after your shrimp is cooked, go a head and drain it on paper towels. Once all the little guys are fried up, spoon 1/4 cup of the sauce over the shrimp and gently stir it to coat. If you have someone who doesn’t like hot sauce, just serve it on the side. It actually makes a great dipping sauce.

If you’re all about presentation, cut up some iceberg lettuce and place the shrimp on top. Eat with chopsticks!

You can also buy pre-breaded shrimp to make this even easier. Then you only have to mix up the sauce and fry the shrimp!