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Gretchen’s $74 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan


5 pkg Strawberries – $0.99 each

1 loaf White Bread – $0.95

1 loaf Wheat Bread – $0.95

2 bags Frozen Peas/Corn – $0.79 each

1 bunch Asparagus – $1.79

1 bag Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.85

1 bag Frozen Broccoli – $0.99

2 Half & Half – $1.55 each

3 dozen Eggs – $1.07 each

1 bag Sugar – $1.57

1 can Black Beans – $0.48

1 container Cottage Cheese – $1.59

1 box Crisp Rice Cereal – $1.45

1 canister Quick Oats – $2.39

1 Pineapple – $1.39

1 gallon Milk – $2.39

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $0.89

1 pkg Flour Torillas – $1.25

0.94 lbs Roma Tomatoes – $0.89

1 Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

1 bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $2.75

1 bag Powdered Sugar – $1.29

Total: $43.55


1 Bisquick Baking Mix – Marked down to $0.99

1 Nature’s Path Cereal – Marked down to $1.49

1 Kroger Popcorn – Marked down to $0.89

2 Nature Valley Granola Bars – Marked down to $0.99 each, used $0.50/2 e-coupon – $0.74 each after coupon

1 pkg Kroger Ground Beef – $8.37

2 pkg Nabisco Oreo Cookies – $1.49 each after e-coupon (no longer available)

1 pkg Kroger Flour – $1.59

6 pkg Annie’s Mac & Cheese – $0.79 each, used 2 $1/3 printable – $0.45 each after coupon

3 pkg Kroger Cheese Slices – Marked down to $1 each

1 Love Good Fats Bar – $2.49, used Free Ibotta rebate – Free after rebate

4 Ragu Simply Sauce – $0.89 each, used 4 $0.75/1 Checkout 51 rebate AND $0.25/1 Ibotta rebate – $0.07 each after rebates

1 Malt O Meal Cereal – $2.99, used $1/1 e-coupon AND $0.25/1 Ibotta rebate – $1.74 after coupon and rebate

1 bag Apples – Marked down to $0.99

2 pkg Philadelphia Cream Cheese – $1.49 each

2.36 lbs Bananas – $1.39

1 Green Leaf Lettuce – $1.69

Used $0.25/1 Ibotta rebate for any receipt

Total after coupons and rebates: $31.31

Total for both stores: $74.86

Menu Plan for This Week


Cereal, Eggs, Toast, Oatmeal


Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches x 2, Turkey Sandwiches, Tossed Salad Bar, Mac & Cheese, Cheese/Crackers/Fruit/Veggies, Papa John’s Pizza (using a gift card)


Barbecue Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits, Asparagus, Oreo Cheesecake

Lasagna Casserole, Homemade Bread, Steamed Peas

Pancakes, Eggs, Fruit Salad

Tacos, Sliced Strawberries

Hawaiian Haystack Bar

Homemade Cheese Pizza, Breadsticks, Tossed Salad


Life update: Pregnancy (week 29) + our brand-new hedgehog!

29 weeks!! And what a week it’s been!


Well, this week has definitely been different than what I anticipated! Silas woke up with a high fever on Tuesday morning and all three kids ended up coming down with Flu B over the next two days.

So we’ve been quarantined at home all week and Jesse has been playing round-the-clock nurse to all three kids. He’s been a saint and it’s been so hard for me to not be able to help do much to take care of the kids (it’s dangerous for a pregnant woman to get the flu).

The kids have never all been this sick at the same time, but they’ve been such troopers. Jesse has them on this regimen of elderberry, vitamins, homeopathics, and baking soda baths + lots of fluids/rest + Tylenol/Motrin every time their fever spikes.

They’ve all had such good attitudes despite being miserable. We’re so hopeful that they only have a few more days of fevers before this runs its course.

So none of that was about highlights or pregnancy, but it’s where we are at this week. That said, the highlight has been that I only got a touch of a fever and between rest, fluids, and elderberry, I seem to be dodging the flu bullet so far. And also, I am SO grateful that Jesse has stayed well!


The baby has had the hiccups multiple times this week. I kept waiting for it to happen because I remember all my other babies often having them!

Also, the movements are getting more pronounced and it seems like there’s constantly some baby body part poking out underneath my skin. It has made it that much more real and helped me connect with this child even moreso.


Um, should I admit that almost all I’ve been craving is cheeseburgers?? I have no idea where *that* came from, but Jesse ran to Burger King last night because the cravings were getting pretty ridiculous and for some reason I really wanted a Burger King cheeseburger.

Here’s the crazy thing: I don’t even know if I’ve ever had one before. I can’t even remember ever going to BK in the last decade, but man, the cheeseburgers (yes, I ate two!) tasted SO good!!

Weight gain: 21 pounds

Meet the newest member of the Paine family – Theodore Quiller. (AKA Theo.)

We’ve taken at least 90 videos/pictures of him since we got him and he’s so active that he was basically a blur in most of them. So this was the best we got!

We already love him so much and are excited to have another hedgehog again!

(Theo’s middle name is in honor of Quill, our first hedgehog who died in December from Wobbly Hedgehog Disease.)

3 Quick Ways to Earn 89 Swagbucks

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Want to earn some free gift cards to give you some wiggle room in your budget? I highly recommend signing up for Swagbucks.

Swagbucks is one of my favorite ways to earn free gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more! There are lots of ways to earn — printing coupons, watching videos, signing up for offers, taking surveys, and more.

Go sign up for Swagbucks here. And then be sure to check out my Swagbucks review for more info on the program, plus tips & tricks on how to use Swagbucks and how to make money on Swagbucks.

Looking for ways to earn more Swagbucks? Three ways I earned 89 Swagbucks today were by doing the:

Sam’s Club Offer —  Find this under the Discover/Rev Universe Tab. I only had to type in my email address on the first page and it credited me 40 Swagbucks pretty much immediately.

GrubHub offer — Look for this under the Discover/Rev Universe tab. Sign up and get $10 off from GrubHub. I just had to input my email address and it credited my 14 Swagbucks almost immediately.

Weight-Loss offer —  This was advertised on the homepage and it offered 35 Swagbucks for signing up. You did have to jump through a few hoops and it took me probably two minutes (I just said no to all of the offers.) but the pending credit is showing up.

A few other offers to look for, if you haven’t already done them:

The CareDash Hospital Review is a simple review you fill out about your experience at a hospital. If you’ve had any experience at a hospital in recent years, you should be able to do this. It was easy to fill out and my 50SBs showed up as pending as soon as I confirmed my email.

The HomeAdvisor offer is great if you are considering or want to price the cost of home repair or renovation work from local contractors in your area. It credited as soon as I filled out the short form.

Also, if you have not joined the Swagbucks Swaggernauts Group on Facebook, I highly recommend requesting to join. I check it out periodically to get ideas for new offers to do that credit quickly.

Do note that many of the people on that board are hardcore Swagbucks users and seem to have a lot of time on their hands! But it is still a wealth of great tips for quick wins on Swagbucks!

How many SBs did you earn today? What are your favorite ways to earn SBs?

Looking for more ways to earn free gift cards? You can earn free gift cards from Shopkick and Fetch Rewards. And here are 15 More Ways to Earn Extra Money.

Brigette’s $92 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6


1 gallon 1% Milk – $0.97

1 gallon Whole Milk – $0.97

1/2 gallon Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.65

1 canister Quick Oats – $2.36

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk – $1.09

1 3-lb bag Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.85

1 pkg Frozen Broccoli Florets – $0.95

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99

2 pkgs Sliced Deli Meat – $5.70

2 pkgs Fresh Chicken Drumsticks ($0.69/lb) – $9.35

1 pkg Deli Sliced – $1.33

1 2-lb pkg Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $4.19

1 2-lb pkg Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $4.99

3 cans Green Beans – $1.12

2 pkgs Fresh Broccoli Crowns – $2.58

2 pkgs Zucchini – $3.98

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $1.99

1 bunch Bananas – $0.59

3 bags Fresh Asparagus – $4.17

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 Cauliflower – $1.99

1 pkg Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.19

2 3-lb bags Pink Lady Apples – $5.78

1 carton Raspberries – $1.39

3 cartons Strawberries – $2.97

1 box Corn Flakes – $0.99

1 box Crispy Oats – $1.15

1 box Rice Squares – $1.49

1 pkg Flour Tortillas – $0.95

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.65

1 pkg Chocolate Chips – $1.29

1 can Baking Cocoa – $1.79

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust – $0.85

1 32-oz carton Egg Whites – $2.95

1 dozen Eggs – $0.98


Harris Teeter

2 jars Peanut Butter – $1.98

1 tub All Natural Harris Teeter Ice Cream – $1.97

1 Eggland’s Best Eggs – $1.84, used $0.50/1 EggLand’s Best Eggs, exp. 2/17/20 (SS 11/17/19) (doubled) – $0.84 after Coupon

5 Yoplaits Yogurts – $1.85, used $0.50/5 printable (doubled), plus receive 35 points from Fetch Rewards ($0.35) – $0.50/5 after Coupon and Rebate

1 jar Barilla Pasta Sauce – $1.44, used $1.00/1 Evic – $0.44 after Coupon

4 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars – $5.88, used 2 $0.50/2 printable (doubled), plus receive $2.00 catalina wyb 4 – $1.88/4 boxes after Coupon and Catalina

Total: $7.61

Grocery Total for the Week: $92.83

Weekly Menu Plan


Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Oatmeal, Cereal, Toast, Fruit, Yogurt, Scrambled/Fried/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Smoothies


Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Apples, Cucumbers x 3

Cheese Quesadillas, Bananas/Strawberries, Grape Tomatoes/Carrots x 2

Leftovers x 2


Barbecued Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Heart-Shaped Biscuits with Strawberry Jam, Strawberries. Asparagus, Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Pie (Valentine’s Dinner)

Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Green Beans

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes, Butterhorns, Grilled Peppers/Zucchini/Onions, Ultimate Double Chocolate Brownies and Ice Cream (Company for Dinner)

Crockpot Italian Chicken, Broccoli, Tossed Salad, Easy Italian Breadsticks

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Baked Potatoes, Asparagus, Broccoli

Date Night Out (Kids eat Grilled Cheese, Broccoli at home)


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2 Books I Read Last Week, 1 Book I Didn’t Finish (+ the classic movie we watched)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page.

Here are the two books I finished last week…

The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships

If you enjoy all things Enneagram, I definitely recommend this book. It’s an in-depth at each number on the Enneagram and how that number relates and differs with other numbers.

I found it insightful, enlightening, and just downright interesting. And while I’d studied a lot about the Enneagram, I learned quite a few new things — especially when it comes to how to better relate with other numbers, communicate with them, and help them to feel seen and valued.

It also definitely, definitely confirmed what I already knew to be true: I’m an Enneagram 8 through and through! Also, it sparked some great conversations between Jesse and me about how we interact, how certain things I do can make him want to shut down (he’s a 5), and how we’ve both grown so much healthier as people in the last 10 years.

The only thing I will mention is that if you’re new to the Enneagram, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book. Instead, I’d start with a book like, The Road Back to You.

Verdict: 4 stars

Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message

I’ve been to one of Donald Miller’s Story Brand workshops before and it made an indelible mark on how I approach marketing and communication with customers in our business. This book was a good refresher to listen to.

If you are a blogger, a business owner, an online entrepreneur, or have any say in the marketing or oversight of the company you work for, I would highly recommend this book. It will likely challenge the way you think when it comes to marketing and change the way you approach doing business.

The best part is that this book gives you a really clear-cut action plan and walks you step-by-step through out to implement it. So you don’t just read about the great ideas; you actually know how to put them into practice in your business!

Two things I did want to mention: 1) I think this book would be better to read a physical copy of than to listen to as it’s more hands-on and has projects for each chapter. 2) I was a little turned off by the multiple promotions for Story Brand products and services. I understand that the goal was likely to get people to want to invest into some of the higher priced products that Story Brand offers, but I found it to be a turn-off — and it almost merited me bumping the rating of the book down to 3 stars.

Verdict: 4 stars

Book I Didn’t Finish

The Atomic City Girls — Unfortunately, this book was a big disappointment to me. I had high hopes for it, but within an hour or so of listening, I quickly discovered it seemed more focused on the romantic story and details of that than the actual historical details of Oak Ridge. Yes, there were some historical details, but the book continued to sound more and more like a soap opera or tabloid and started going into details about the character’s loves lives that felt too edgy/raunchy for me… so I ended up quitting it. Does anyone have a book to recommend about Oak Ridge that is interesting but also much more historically rich?

Classic Movie We Watched Last Week

The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it.

I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!)

Last week, we watched the 1950’s Disney version of Treasure Island. Both girls had read this book in school, so they found that made the movie more interesting.

It was a little slow and long (even though it was only 1 hour and 35 minutes, it felt long), but overall we mostly enjoyed it. I will say it’s probably been one of our least favorite classic movies so far.

What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list??