Upcoming Zaycon Deliveries + New Product | Buy Fresh Meat in Bulk For Less

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Looking for a quick way to kill your grocery budget?  Take a trip down the meat aisle.  Premium cuts are outrageous, and budget cuts are usually poor quality.  In fact, at most of my grocery stores, all cuts are poor quality.

You’ve probably heard me talk about Zaycon Fresh before and how much it helps our grocery budget while keeping my picky palate happy.  If not, check out this post detailing the service and my experience: ZAYCON FRESH: THE BEST AND CHEAPEST WAY TO BUY FRESH MEAT

I noticed over the weekend that Zaycon has added a new cut of meat to the delivery schedule.  They’ve added 80/20 ground beef (often referred to as ground chuck) to the December deliveries for just $2.99/lb.  I adore the 93/7 beef, especially for tacos, sloppy joes, casseroles, etc., but I prefer a little fattier cut for burgers and meatballs.  I’m thrilled to have the option to order both!

They have several deliveries coming up this fall.  Each area has a different schedule, so make sure you sign up to see events in your area.

You must order early, and it looks like all events are open for orders now.  The dates shown below are the general pick-up dates for the entire country.  Pickup is at a single day and time for each city.

October 2nd-16th (October 7th-8th for SWMO locations)

  • Frozen Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets (25lbs)
    $6.99/lb X 25.00 lbs | $174.75/case
  • Frozen Premium Alaskan Cod
    $5.49/lb X 25.00 lbs | $137.25/case
      SOLD OUT
  • Bacon – Hickory Smoked, Medium Sliced – 36 lbs
    $3.79/lb X 36.00 lbs | $136.44/case
  • Pork Sausage Links
  • $2.79/lb X 20.00 lbs | $55.80/case

October 23rd-November 21st (November 3rd-4th for SWMO locations)

  • Chicken Breasts (Fresh Boneless Skinless)
    $1.89/lb X 40.00 lbs | $75.60/case

December 4-th-18th (December 9th-10th for SWMO locations)

  • Carvemaster Boneless Applewood Smoked Ham
    $3.49/lb X 20.00 lbs | $69.80/case
  • Fresh Ground Beef, Lean (93/7) – 40 lbs
    $3.99/lb X 40.00 lbs | $159.60/case
  • Fresh 80/20 Ground Beef – 40lbs
    $2.99/lb X 40.00 lbs | $119.60/case

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ZAYCON FRESH

 

Zaycon Fresh: The Best and CHEAPEST Way to Buy Fresh Meat

Zaycon

You’ve probably heard me sing the praises of Zaycon Fresh for years, but I realized that I’ve not updated the original post in a very long time.

Zaycon is a company that works directly with meat producers to bring customers prime cuts of fresh meat in bulk and skip the middle man.  This results in the freshest meat possible at a great price.

They offer events for many locations throughout the year.  All you have to do is sign up, look for an event in your area, and purchase the items you want.  Each event has a specific delivery date.  To pick up, all you have to do is visit the location.  It’s all set up as a drive thru, so you just need to roll down your window, show your receipt, and they load it for you.

When you purchase meat at the grocery store, it typically takes 21 days to get from the producer to the shelf.  With Zaycon, it seems to average 6-8 days.  The pack date is plainly stamped on the box.

We raise a lot of our own meat, but Zaycon is a close second.  Once you try it, you’ll definitely not want to go back to grocery store meats… especially the chicken!

I get asked a lot of questions about the Zaycon meats, so I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A to help answer them.  If I miss something, please comment or ask in our Facebook group.  I’ll do my best to answer!

Alicia, I’m really picky about meat.  How can I believe you that this is actually good?

Do you buy your meat in a grocery store?  If so, you probably aren’t that picky.  I worked in a butcher shop for several years and we farm.  I process almost all of our meat myself because most aren’t up to my standards.

Is this hormone free?  The chicken breasts look very large.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually illegal for any chicken producer to administer growth hormones.  There are several types of chickens that are bred to grow to a large size very quickly.

How hard is this to process?

It’s only going to be as hard as you make it.  Because most items arrive fresh, you can package and freeze them with no worries.

When I process chicken, I typically halve the breasts (they are a butterfly cut), then I filet each one to thin it.  This speeds up thawing.  There’s occasionally a piece that needs a bit of trimming.  If I have extra time, I will slice strips for fajitas and dice some for quick stir fry, jambalaya, soups, etc.  It takes me about 30 minutes per case to process and package it into freezer bags.

The bacon is very easy to pull out pieces and bag separately.

The sausage links are frozen, and they fit perfectly into a quart bag.  Because they are flash frozen, you can also freeze the entire box if you have room and just pull out what you need.

To process the ground beef, I simply slice burgers off of the roll, place on a cookie sheet between layers of parchment paper, and freeze.  I usually make up a batch of meatloaves or meatballs, because that is hard to do with meat that’s been frozen.  To freeze batches of ground beef for tacos, soups, casseroles, etc., I cut a roll into 10 equal pieces (that’s 1 lb hunks), place into a quart freezer bag, and flatten.  They store easily in the freezer and take up little space.

Some people prefer to make up freezer meals, marinate the meats, etc.  This will drastically increase the time you spend processing, but will speed up dinner time in the future!

What happens if I don’t have time to process it the day I receive it?

I mentioned above how much faster it gets to you than the grocery store.  The driver picks it up at the producer just before he starts delivering.  I actually kept a chicken breast in the refrigerator the last time I bought to see how long it took to ‘go bad’.  It was 13 days before it started even smelling like grocery store meat.  You know, that icky ‘it smells like meat’ smell.  It took 16 days before it was at the point that I wouldn’t consider cooking it.

Most of the meats have a ‘use by’ date stamped on the box.  The ground beef I picked up on August 13th says to use or freeze by the 25th.  That gives me plenty of time to decide how I want to freeze it.  It also gives me almost two weeks to enjoy the fresh, never frozen meat!

I just can’t bring myself to buy meat from a truck.

You do realize that this is the same type of truck that delivers your meat to a grocery store to sit in their cooler for weeks, right?

How’s the ground beef?

I was finally able to coordinate a beef delivery last week, and to say that I’m thrilled with it is an understatement.  This is 93/7 ground beef, which means that there should be a fat content of 7%.  The most inexpensive cut you see in the grocery store is 73/27, which means that there should be a 27% content.

I actually bought a package of inexpensive ground beef at $3.99 to compare with.  The Zaycon beef was $3.99/lb, but I bought it with a coupon code that dropped the price to $3.59.  I drained over 40% of the weight off of the store bough beef.  That meant a pound of meat ended up weighing 9.6 oz once it was done cooking.  Then I cooked the Zaycon beef.  I drained ZERO!  Maybe a couple of drops, but it wasn’t enough to make much of a difference.  I ended up with just under a pound of cooked meat.

What does this mean?  That the store bought meat with a lesser taste actually cost me $5.60 per pound of cooked meat, while the Zaycon cost me $3.59 and tasted so much better.

I also decided to make up some identical burger patties.  I cooked one and left one raw to compare the size when the first one was cooked to well done.  Both still weighed almost exactly the same, but the shape was off a bit where the cooked burger plumped up. Here’s the difference:

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How can I store this to make it last the longest?

Some people love to use their Food Saver to process theirs, but honestly, I’d rather not use mine.  It’s expensive, time consuming, and a hassle.  Because there are events for each cut at least twice a year, I can plan my orders to keep from having a large excess that’s frozen for a long period of time.

I usually just package mine in Glad brand freezer bags.  They don’t break down as badly as the others over time.  I prefer the quart, which will hold two large chicken breasts, 4 breast fillets, sausage links, and 2 lbs of ground beef.  They are the perfect serving sizes for my big eaters.

Can I share with a friend?  A 40 lb box of chicken seems like so much!

Of course, but I’ll warn against it. Each box is divided inside so that you can easily distribute.  One of the biggest complaints I get is that someone ordered one box to split and loved it so much that they couldn’t stomach buying meat at the store to get through until the next event.  20 lbs of chicken might last a couple a few weeks, but it doesn’t go very far for families.

Can I order at the last minute?

Even though they give a ‘last day to order’, almost all of the items sell out long before that date.  They can only fit so much on a truck!  Get your orders in early to avoid missing out completely.  Trust me- I speak from experience.


We sometimes buy meat at the store to supplement if we run out of Zaycon, because obviously we can’t grow it all- and not near at these prices.  In recent weeks, almost every package I’ve bought has went bad within 2 days of purchase, and long before the ‘use by’ date.  I’ve doubled up on my Zaycon orders this fall to prevent me from throwing out any food.

CLICK HERE TO SEE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA

How You Can Fix Your Grocery Budget in 2015

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It’s no secret that couponing has lost most of its magic.  Food prices are up, coupon values are down, and store policies have gotten very strict. A large portion of the coupon classes I’ve taught over the past decade focused on how to shop at grocery stores and avoid the overpriced big box stores. Many chose to switch their shopping to the Kroger family stores, which have recently closed in most of the local market.  It’s a rough loss, especially since shopping options are limited enough in my local market, but that doesn’t mean that you have to throw in the towel and pay full price!

Over the past couple of years, things have changed so much in my life that couponing became one of the first things to go.  Limits were imposed that made it difficult to justify the drive into town.  We began growing and producing more of our own produce and meats.  We also welcomed baby #3 into the family, which was a big adjustment considering our older children were pre-teens and teenagers.  We battled a long illness and are still battling chronic carsickness with him, which has greatly limited the time I have to shop.

Instead of blowing my budget, which seemed almost inevitable, I’ve settled on a combination of alternate savings techniques that have not only kept my budget in tact, I’m actually spending less money AND saving a ton of time.  Here’s how I’m doing it:

Shopping the Sales I’m not a supporter of price matching, but I am a big supporter of many of our local grocers.  We have a fantastic selection of mom and pop stores who run much better sales than any of the larger chains.  They have fantastic produce and meats, along with offering a pleasant shopping experience.  If you don’t have time to shop at multiple stores, pick the store that has the best prices and sales on the items that your family normally buys.  Don’t be quick to regard a grocer as ‘expensive’, because some of the more high end stores offer more competitive pricing- not only in their sales, but as everyday prices.  You won’t know until you go!

Knowing Your Prices This is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to save money on anything.  If you’re not aware of the retail price, you won’t be able to judge how much you’re saving.

Purchasing in Bulk In recent years, we shied away from warehouse stores because the prices were no longer competitive enough to justify the membership fees.  While many items are still not a bargain, some are highly discounted.  If you family’s tastes revolve around some of the deepest discounts, you can save quite a bit.  It’s always important to know your prices and break down the warehouse price to identical sized packages to have an accurate comparison.  Some of my favorite warehouse buys are butter, cheese, frozen biscuits, peanut butter crackers, packaged deli meats, and greek yogurt.

Meal Planning By planning your meals around the store sales, you can easily cut your grocery bill in half.  If chicken is on sale, base your menu on your favorite chicken dishes.  Not only will this save you money in the store, you will save time by having a dinner plan in place each night, and you won’t be making additional trips to the store or grabbing dinner out.

Freezer Cooking This is an extension of meal planning that allows you to prepare multiple meals in a short amount of time and freeze them for future use.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be providing detailed meal plans for both fresh and freezer meals.

Prime Pantry Amazon has a relatively new service for members of Amazon Prime.  This service allows you to order many grocery and household items at prices lower than discount stores, and they ship straight to your door.  Many of the items have coupons available, and some are as low as FREE after the discount.  I order items such as canned veggies, wipes, flour, sugar, and spices from Prime Pantry. We’ve created a Facebook group dedicated solely to Prime Pantry deals,.  If you’d like to join, click here: Prime Pantry Deals Facebook Page 

Subscribe and Save This is another free service that allows you to purchase discounted items from Amazon.  These deals are often hidden, so we have a group dedicated to finding them just for you!  We find some fantastic ones- such as  Kahlua Coffee for $2, Udderly Smooth for $1, 5 lb bags of gourmet coffee for $8, a 6 pack of 24 oz bags of organic brown sugar for $2.44, and so many more!  You can join this group here:  Subscribe and Save Deals II

Gardening  This will be our fourth summer in this home, and we have been working on an orchard and expanding the gardens every year.  This year, I’ll be spending more time documenting my garden and harvests, along with sharing recipes and preservation techniques for seasonal recipes.

Farming We raise chickens for eggs and the occasional meat, and we also raise pigs.  Doing so doesn’t necessarily offset the cost of purchasing in-store, in fact, it’s often the opposite, but it does make me more comfortable in what I feed my family.  We also utilize Zaycon for boneless chicken breasts and other bulk meat purchases.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be bringing you more in-depth articles covering these topics so that you, too, can take full control of your time and budget.  In the meantime, don’t forget to request to join the Prime Pantry and Subscribe and Save Facebook groups!  We only approve new members once a month in each group and there are limited spots available.  Get your name on the list now, so we can approve you when there’s space.

I will also be booking a limited number of workshops throughout the year, including The Ultimate Grocery Savings Workshop (which focuses on how to cut your personal budget with and without using coupons), and our popular work at home series, Sensible Earnings.

If you’d like even more details on the above, make sure to join The Sensible Family facebook group- it’s filled with great ideas from like minded readers!

Important Changes to Walmart Price Matching Policy

If you price match at Walmart to save on your groceries, you might be in for a shock when you check out this week.  Walmart has now altered their price matching policy to eliminate matching of store brand products.  According to the revised price matching policy, you can still match produce and meats, along with name brand items, but no store brand or private labels will be matched.  I know this won’t affect as many of you since you’ve been taking advantage of our Amazon household deals group!

If you’d like to read the full policy, click here:  Walmart Price Matching Policy.  We scan the policies regularly and post updates on our Facebook page, make sure to like us so you don’t miss an important change!

If you’re looking for a way to save on your household items without couponing, check out our Subscribe & Save group. We find the hottest Amazon deals (coupons, too!) and you can have your items shipped to your door at no charge.. for CHEAPER than couponing!!!  Save time AND money!

If you’re gearing up to save money on your holiday shopping, check out our HUGELY POPULAR site Extreme Christmas Savings and its Facebook group.  The Facebook group is already kicking off with fantastic deals for its TENTH holiday season!

*UPDATE* Introducing Savings Catcher From Walmart | Effortless Refunds if a Competitor Has a Lower Price

*UPDATE*  As the program rolls out nationwide this week, it looks like they’ve added to the eligible items.  I just got this email:

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Walmart’s new program, Savings Catcher, is now available in all areas.  All you have to do is enter your receipt data, and the program will scan local competitor’s ads and refund any price differences on a Walmart gift card.

Entering your receipt is easy.  You can enter your receipt number online, scan the barcode via the Savings Catcher section of the Walmart app, or register your phone number within the app and enter it upon checkout for automatic entering.

The inclusion list is vague, as it doesn’t state exactly which stores and ads are included.  There are several excluded items, such as store brands, meat, produce, and many general merchandise items.  A screen shot from the FAQ is attached below.

I don’t shop at Walmart often, but I did make a stop this weekend.  I’ve entered my receipt and am currently awaiting verification.  I’m curious to see how this pans out!  Have you used the program?

Why Price Matching May be Ruining Your Grocery Budget

Price Matching

What?!?!  GASP!?!?  Yes, I’m going there.  I know, you thought you found the perfect alternative to couponing.  You’re saving hundreds of dollars… or are you? {Please note, the following post is based around more than a decade’s worth of pricing analysis and experience in the Southwest Missouri region.}

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while now.  If you’ve taken a class, you’ve heard my spiel on why price matching isn’t always the best solution.  If not, pay attention! 

Before I shatter your world… or you just pretend that I’m wrong without doing any further research on the topic, I want you to imagine this:

You own a small business.  You work extremely hard to provide great customer service and competitive pricing.  You put out weekly sales and advertise them to the entire community.  You may even take a loss on some sale items, but you want customers in your door so that you can prove your worth.  You buy excess inventory so that everyone is able to take advantage.  Then no one shows up.  You’re stuck with the inventory, you wasted your money advertising,  and your books took a huge hit.  Your next sale won’t be as good, because you’ve got to offset the losses.

Now, let’s imagine you own a large business.  Instead of spending your money advertising to provide discounts to all of your customers, you only offer them to a select few who take the time to ask for them. {That’s called Price Matching}

To offset the difference, your prices on unadvertised items raise.  The prices are less than competitive, but no one realizes it.  Why?  Because they’ve got the price matching bug.  They think they are saving a fortune!  It’s definitely marketing at it’s finest.  The little guy is running your ads and sales, and you only have to give them to the customers that request it.

Here’s the truth:

1.  You aren’t in on any top secret deals… you’re getting the exact same deals you would if you shopped elsewhere, but you’re missing out on some very important discounts, such as manager’s specials, markdowns, and grocer pricing.

2.  You may even think you’ve found a solution that allows you to skip looking at the ads.  Woohoo- you’ve saved yourself three minutes and cost yourself a fortune.  I’ve been monitoring a couple of price matching websites that focus on local stores.  They are leaving out some of the best deals and posting some of the worst.  Over the past few weeks, there have been dozens of items that were priced well BELOW my stock-up prices that didn’t make the list.  And there were others that were actually priced much higher that did.

3.  You sure showed them… you saved on your cereal, but your milk cost $2 more.  Several local grocers offer regular prices that are MUCH less than the big box store that price matches.  You can’t take advantage of those prices because a.) you have  no clue they exist because you won’t go elsewhere; and b.)  they aren’t advertised.

You’re probably paying $1 more for your bread, $1.50 more for sugar, $1 more for flour, $1 per bag of chips, $3 per container of cottage cheese, $1.50 more per dozen eggs, and your produce is more than doubled.  Don’t forget about things such as pet food, cleaners, paper goods, and even wine!  They are all usually cheaper at a grocer… except Price Cutter, very few things are cheaper there and the quality is a whole ‘nother story.

4.  There’s a possibility that you’re making prices raise for your next shopping trip.  Prices are always rising and there are so many excuses, reasons as to why that’s happening.  From a business owner’s standpoint, I tend to believe that price matching  may have something to do with it. 

We have a lot of small, locally owned stores.  If they are stuck with a ton of inventory from a sale, they’ve got to offset that loss somewhere.  The sale might not be as good the next time around.  Some stores have even went as far as changing the unit of measurement so that the items aren’t price matchable.  In order to price match, an item must be sold in the same manner.  You may have noticed that some stores are now pricing produce by item instead of weight.  Some are bundling them in odd package sizes, such as 4 packs or 20 ounce packages.  This may be an effort to combat price matching.

5.  But you’re saving soooo much time, right?  Wrong.  I can drive to Springfield, do my shopping at a grocery store, and be home before I’d ever even find a parking space at my local big box store- much less the amount of time you wait in line!

6.  Your health may depend on it.  Did I really just say that?  That’s so dumb… but I’m right.  I’m going to just touch a bit on this, as it’s the subject of an upcoming post.  The layout of a store has a very strong influence on your purchases.  Many grocers are laid out so that you spend a larger portion of your budget on fresh meat and produce.  Many big box stores are set up so you spend your budget on prepackaged and processed foods.  It’s all in the layout of the store.  Start pay attention to the items you buy at different stores and how the layout affects your purchases.

7.  Impulse, impulse, impulse.  Sure, you went shopping for groceries.  You came home with groceries, and flip flops, a toy, a few art supplies, a new outfit, a futon, three novels, a video game, a lava lamp, a pillow, two candles, and a bicycle.  Okay- that may be a slight exaggeration, but you know exactly what I’m talking about.  If you don’t see it, you don’t buy it.  If you don’t buy it, you’ve still got your money.

So, Alicia, now that you’ve finished your rant, do you mind telling me if there are any good things about price matching?

As with anything, moderation is key.  You have to value your time over money.  If it’s worth spending more to avoid driving 5 miles out of your way, go for it.

There are a few circumstances when I feel it’s okay to price match.  Remember, this is just me, and I see all of this from a completely different perspective than the average consumer.

1.  If it’s a store that you have absolutely no intention of visiting.  These stores run sales to get you in the door so that you become a regular customer.  There are so many mom and pop retailers here that aren’t within a reasonable drive (30+ miles).  If it’s not feasible to do your business there, it doesn’t hurt as badly to ‘stick it to the big guy’.

2.  If you want to buy a large quantity of an item.  Remember, a lot of the ridiculously low prices are actually costing the store money.  They can’t afford for you to buy dozens of an item.

3.  If the quality is subpar.  One of the finest examples of this is Aldi avocadoes.  They often run them for 29¢, but they are the size of golf balls.  The big box stores will match and have much larger, fresher ones.

4.  If club points are required for purchase.  Often times, you may not have enough points accumulated to take advantage of a special deal.  Big box stores will match the price without requiring points.

5. If the advertising store is known for not carrying a sufficient quantity of the advertised items.  There is a local chain that has locations that don’t even stock many of the items in their ad or provide them in extremely limited quantities.  If that’s the case, it’s quite reasonable to match their prices elsewhere.


 

To sum everything up, there are some instances where price matching can save you money… but it’s no special, top secret technique.   You’re simply purchasing items at sale prices.  This method has been around for decades. 

Remember, I’ve been doing this a very long time.  I am fortunate enough to see the benefits and repercussions from several sides.  The bottom line is that it’s your job to do what you think is best for your family- but it’s my job to provide you with the information to make the best possible decision.

As with any method of saving, you’ve really got to pay attention to make sure you’re really saving  money.  The best way to do this is to price the items you typically buy at several stores to see who routinely offers the best prices.  You might be surprised! 

Dillons to Cease Doubling Coupons Effective August 21st

All good things must come to an end…  It was announced yesterday that Dillons will no longer be doubling coupons in the SWMO area.  I’ve been in contact with the media relations manager over the past couple of days to get all of the details for you.

Dillons stores have decided to roll out the New Lower Prices campaign that has already been adopted by Kroger stores in several regions.  This program is an attempt to offer all customers additional savings instead of just the 15% who use coupons. 

You will notice that prices on thousands of items will decrease across the board.  The prices of everyday items will be comparable, if not less than, to discount store prices.

The following is the updated policy:

Dillons Coupon Policy Effective August 21, 2013

This document is subject to change and revisions, as needed

Store Management has the right to accept, decline, or limit the use of ANY coupon(s).

Store Management has the right to limit the quantity of coupons and /or items purchased in a single transaction, by a single Customer, or in a single day.

Coupons will be limited to no more than five (5) paper manufacturer coupons for the like products, each coupon value considered (1) coupon in the same transaction.

Coupons will be limited to redemption from products currently on-hand at the store location.

Limit one manufacturer coupon (paper or digital) per item purchased

All coupons will be accepted at face value

It is our practice to discourage the use of expired coupons

Only Pharmacy competitor coupons will be accepted

Couponed items will not be sold to vendors

Internet Coupon Restrictions/PAH Coupons:

  • “Free item” Internet coupons can be accepted if all purchase criteria is met?
  • Only one Internet coupon per item will be accepted
  • In some instances, Internet coupons may be limited to two (2) coupons per customer in a single day.?

Internet coupons that display characteristics below will not be accepted:

  • Blurry
  • Out of proportion
  • Do not scan properly
  • Appear to be altered in any way

My take:

I’ve said for quite some time that those who abuse the system will end it all for everyone.  Too many were using coupons to fund their stores and garage sales.  To those of you:  I hope the long term results were worth it.

I have heard from several who live in the areas that have previously implemented this program and they are happy with the changes.  After looking at this week’s ad, I can see why.  There are some great prices on fresh and necessity items that typically don’t offer coupons.

What do you think of the changes? 

Zaycon Foods is now taking orders for nationwide chicken delivery!

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Zaycon Foods is now taking orders for chicken nationwide!  This is the ONLY way we’ll buy chicken, we grow the rest of it.  It’s also the most competitive pricing you’ll find.

The concept is really neat, too!  You just pre-order your chicken by the case.  When you order, you can select a location for pickup.  Be at the location on the date/time specified and you’ll be able to ‘drive through’ the line and pick up your purchases.

For more detailed information, read through this post I’ve written:   Amazing Chicken Sale and Giveaway from Zaycon Foods!

They are also holding a sausage and ham event now- the sausage was voted #1 by Cooks Illustrated!

You’ll have to register with Zaycon Foods to see all locations, prices, and pickup dates.

This sold out in just a few days the last time it was available in SWMO.  Get your orders in quickly so you don’t miss out.

Get Fresh Louisiana Seafood in Missouri for Your Super Bowl Party- Live Crawfish, King Cakes, Shrimp, and More!

I love helping out local businesses that I feel bridge a gap in our community, and Big Pop’s Fresh Louisiana Seafood does just that.

For years, we’ve had our shrimp flown in, made the drive for crawfish, or just skipped seafood altogether.  We just couldn’t get good seafood here, everything is produced in countries with little to no food regulations.

A couple of years ago, a chance occurrence led us to Big Pop’s.  He was just starting out delivering shrimp to the Ozarks, setting up at small farmer’s markets and by home delivery.  Over the past two years, he has grown into a full fledged seafood and Cajun market.  He takes specialty orders, keeps many products on-hand, and even has fresh fish flown in from time from time.

He’s gone now to Louisiana so he can bring back live crawfish and King Cakes in addition to his normal market fare.  He will be set up at the Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks on Republic Road from 9-3 on Saturday to help you with all of your Super Bowl and Mardi Gras needs. 

You can see his pricing, menu, and more by visiting their Facebook page at Big Pop’s Fresh Louisiana Seafood  They are also running a giveaway for a Super Bowl Party Pack- the winner will be drawn on Friday.

Zaycon Foods is Bringing Chicken to 48 States- Missouri Ordering is Open!

I think this is the most requested deal I post!  Everyone loves the quality and price- it’s the best you’ll get short of the farm (and a whole lot easier) and the cheapest you’ll find in local stores. 

Zaycon Foods will be bringing fresh, boneless, chicken breasts back to Missouri at the low price of $1.69 per pound.  Delivery is the last week in October (actual date is dependent upon location).

You must buy in 40lb cases, but it’s fresh and can be refrozen.  It’s packaged in 4- 10lb bags per case, making it easy to divide.  Many of my readers have split cases or just bought one and have kicked themselves because they don’t deliver on a regular schedule.  Most are buying 3-4 now, just to get through to the next delivery!

To view ordering information for your area, sign up here: Zaycon Foods

My Shopping Trip: Beautiful Flowers and Empty Wallets

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After hearing how gorgeous the hanging baskets were at the Strafford greenhouse, mom and I decided to make a trip.  They were absolutely gorgeous- and just $20!

Because we were in the area, we swung by Harter House to get groceries.  They have such great prices, and this week is 29¢ Mars candy bars.  With boys that will only eat Three Musketeers and Snickers, this is a great sale.

We’ve been trying to eat solely out of the stockpile, and quite honestly, I’m getting burnt out.  Do you ever get ‘chef’s block’?  That’s where the only things I can think of to fix are tacos and pasta.  Needless to say, everyone’s getting a little tired of it.

I don’t like to spend money on groceries at all, and over the course of four stops today, I spent $90.  That will feed us for a month, but it seems like a lot of money for just one trip.  I guess I’m a little cheap, because when asking around I noticed that a lot of my friends would be thrilled with $90 a week, much less a $90 month. 

How do I do it?  As we discuss in my Ultimate Couponing workshops, I buy ahead.    Instead of buying one of everything, regardless of price, I pick up several of an item that is at a rock bottom price. I count each week’s expenses as my grocery budget, it’s just allocated differently by meal.

What did I buy today?

Harter House

  • 20 Candy Bars
  • Crisco Oil
  • 1 lb Zucchini
  • 1 lb Fresh Green Beans
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • 8 Boxes of Cereal
  • 1 lb. Genoa Salami
  • 1 lb. Pepperoni
  • 9 lbs. Boston Burger
  • 2 cartons (16 ounce) Sour Cream
  • 1 carton (16 ounce) French Onion Dip
  • 8 Handi Snacks (4-pack)
  • Pita Bread

Penny Pinchers

  • 4 lbs French Fries
  • 2 lbs Potato Wedges
  • 5 lbs Biscuit Mix (like Hardees, not Bisquik)
  • 2 packages of Honey Buns
  • 48 Yoplait Yogurt
  • 1 Loaf Sara Lee Bread
  • 1 Package Sourdough Buns

Walmart

This is because they are the ONLY store in the area that carries frozen, chopped spinach in a bag and Sargento cheese.

  • 3 packages of spinach
  • 3 boxes of elbow noodles
  • 1 box Shell pasta
  • 20 candy bars (because Harter House had a limit of 20)
  • Sargento Cheese
  • 2 Kings’ Hawaiian Rolls

I’m sure there were other items that I’m forgetting to list.  These items are almost all that we’ll need to get through the month.  I do need to stop by our local store for deli meat, milk, and produce throughout the next couple of weeks.

What do you think?  What’s your weekly grocery budget?  Do you shop per meal or in ‘chunks’ like I do?

Fresh Louisiana Seafood + FREE Crawfish Tasting

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If you’re out and about in Springfield today, stop by Big Pop’s Fresh Louisiana Seafood in front of the old Blockbuster in the Food 4 Less shopping center to for a free tasting of fresh crawfish that arrived straight from Louisiana yesterday.

They will have live oysters, live crawfish, and the biggest shrimp you’ve ever seen at great prices. They are offering tons of specials today, swing by and see what’s going on! Tell them I sent you to get those monstrous shrimp for $8/lb.

My Trip for the HyVee Freezer Deal

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Better late than never, right?  Every year, around the first of March, HyVee runs a sale on a deep freeze.  It’s a 5 cubic foot chest freezer, priced at $199.  Big whoop, right? That’s $40 more than anywhere else.  Well, this particular freezer comes with $200 in FREE product coupons, which can be redeemed immediately.  You get $200 worth of groceries and a deep freeze for just $200. 

Sure, there were coupons for things we don’t normally buy, but they were all items that we would definitely use. 

Here is the full listing of coupons included, courtesy of Kansas City Mamas:

    • (2) Sunbelt Granola Bars Fruit & Grain Family Packs (7.2oz to 11oz)
    • Tombstone or Brick Oven Pizzas (12 inch)
    • Red Baron Deep Dish, French Bread, or Pagoda Express
    • Digionro or California Pizza Kitchen Pizza
    • Post Shredded Wheat or Grape Nuts (15-24 oz)
    • Crisco Olive Oil (16.9 oz)
    • Emerald Premium Nuts (10 – 11oz)
    • Ziploc Storage/Freezer Bags (15 ct – 75 ct)
    • Birds Eye Blended Vegetables (10 oz – 16 oz)
    • Breyers Ice Cream or Frozen Dessert
    • Hy-Vee Ice Cream Pail (4.5 quart)
    • (3) Grand Selections Frozen Vegetables (12 – 16 oz)
    • (3) Hy-Vee Frozen Apple or Grape Juice (12 oz)
    • Snickers or Twix Ice Cream Bars (6 – 12 packs) Maximum V
    • (2) Hy-Vee Cheese Sticks, Cream Cheese or Cheddar Jalapeno Snacks (8 oz)
    • Seapak Snacks or Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks
    • Tontino’s Pizza Rolls (90 count)
    • Macaroni Grill or Wanchai Ferry Frozen Entrees (24 oz)
    • (3) Hy-Vee White Bread Dough (2 lb)
    • Hy-Vee Potato Patties (45 oz)
    • (2) Dannon Activia (4 packs)
    • (5) Mars Singles – M&M, Dove, Snickers, Three Musketeers, or Milky Way
    • (5) Nestle Single Bars – Skinny Cow, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, or Nestle
    • (3) Handi Foil Basics (1 – 3 count)
    • Duracell – AA/AAA (4 count), C/D (2 count), or 9V
    • Scotch Brite Sponges (3 pack)
    • Kodak Fun Saver Camera
    • Dentyne Ice or Trident White (80 count)
    • 5 Hour Energy
    • Nature Made Vitamins
    • Land O Frost Deli Shaved Meats
    • Klements Brats
    • Hormel Natural Choice Lunchmeat or Chicken Strips
    • Tyson 5# Tenders
    • (2) Hallmark Cards
    • Tones Spices
    • Healthy Choice Frozen Dinners or Marie Callender Frozen Meal or Pot Pie
    • Old Orchard Frozen Juice
    • Mr. Dells Hash Browns
    • Super Pretzels and Cheese Filled Pretzels
    • Don Miguel Mexican Snacks / El Charrito
    • Mrs. T’s Pierogis
    • 8th Continent Soymilk
    • Johnsonville Smoked or Cooked Sausage
    • Fast Fixins or Fast Classics
    • Jones Dairy All Natural Golden Brown Pre-Cooked Sausage
    • Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets
    • (2) Banquet Bag Chicken (24 – 26.5 oz)
    • (3) Banquet Pot Pies

 

This wasn’t a quick trip.  My brother and I both wanted one, so we called up the Springfield store.  They had 3 left, but wouldn’t hold them.  Since I’m an hour away and it was 7:00 p.m., I wasn’t about to gamble on that one.  I called Osage Beach, who took the payment over the phone and had everything ready to go when we got there.  We just had to pick out our items.  This took well over an HOUR!  Checkout was pretty quick. I was definitely glad we picked the Osage Beach store, as we were the only shoppers there.  Springfield is always PACKED, even in the middle of the night.

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It was pretty hard for me to wrap my cheap head around the fact that this was $200 worth of groceries- but it was.  I’m always too cheap (and healthful minded) to pick up quick-fix stuff, but this will save us a fortune in eating out.

HyVee also offers a similar deal in the early summer with a gas grill, and another around back to school time with a mini-fridge.  The freezer deal is always around the first of March for three days.  All in all, I’m glad I did it!