Here is a question for anyone that reads this blog that lives in the San Francisco south bay area (if there is anyone) – would there be any interest in meeting as a group so that I can answer any questions you have about how I do the couponing? If there are any individuals that think they would find this useful, I think it would also be beneficial for me to make sure I don't miss any important points in the basic guide I'm writing. If you think this would be worthwhile, please leave a comment or email me at

Plum Smoothie

I am back into my rhythm of starting my days with the fruit smoothies again which is good. Today it was plum again (plum, banana, ice and blueberry/pomegranate juice)

plum smoothie

Cookie Cutter Toasted Egg

When Niki (the one that finds all those great deals at the stores so you and I don't have to) heard about how much I enjoyed making the plastic bag omelet, she told me about the cookie cutter toasted egg shapes breakfasts that she makes for her kids. She explained how much her 3 year old loves them and since that is about my maturity level, I knew that I would love it too:

Heat a frying pan on med-low and lightly butter both sides of your bread slice. Use and small cookie cutter and press into the center of the bread. Then place the slice of bread in the frying pan with the shape beside it and crack the egg over the bread into the hole. When the bread is toasted and the egg whitens flip over and cook for about 5 min on the other side. That's it! Enjoy!

I lightly buttered both sides of a piece of bread and then spent half an hour looking for cookie cutters where I'm house sitting to no avail. I was hoping to do Santa Clause or a snowman, but ended up having to settle for a measuring cup to make a simple circle in the middle.


Once out, I placed the bread in the frying pan and cracked the egg in the middle.

bread and egg

I should have placed a little oil or butter in the center hole before the egg, because it ended up sticking and made it hard to flip (although I did eventually manage to do it)

fried egg bread circle

Once done, I placed it on a plate with a side of the roasted veggies and three strawberries:

egg bread circle breakfast

This was actually quite good, simple to make and was filling enough that it lasted me well into the afternoon without me getting hungry. When I did, I ended up eating my one allowed granola bar and some celery with peanut butter.

Peach Mango Green Tea Celsius

Since I got the Celsius peach mango green tea for free at CVS as part of a money making deal, I had to give it a try:


As I read the package, all I could think was “what a total scam!” In big letters:

BURNS CALORIES! Burn up to 100 Calories and more in each can!

Of course, the fine print basically says that the 100 calories came off of healthy aged college men and women over a three hour period when they exercised and didn't eat junk food. It also notes that none of the claims they make have been evaluated by the FDA.

The taste was OK, but a bit sweet for me (I ended up having to water it down). I'm sure glad I didn't pay anything for it.

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

I wanted to try a new recipe that had green beans in it so I could use some of the ones I had. I decided to give Easy Chicken Cacciatore a go. I started by cooking up the onion, garlic and bell pepper:

dinner veggies

I took part of the chicken I had previously cooked and chopped it into small pieces:

chicken diced

Then threw in the tomatoes, green beans and oregano:

dinner cooking

I realised afterwards I was supposed to put in whole peeled tomatoes (I chopped mine up and they were small so that it didn't give the tomato sauce effect at all). Still, I ended up with a plate of veggies and chicken, and although didn't look anything like Easy Chicken Cacciatore, still tasted pretty good:

chicken cacciatore

This is the current list of food I still have
This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Goal: 100 days eating on $1 a day
Current Money Spent: $48.85
Money Left to Spend: $51.05 ($6.17 must be spent at CVS, $1.50 must be spent at Safeway)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1396.37


The Beginning ::: Day 80: More Than One CVS Card?


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  1. You have almost all the ingredients for tacos (lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, onions, etc) – buy a pound of burger and a taco seasoning packet (or use the leftover hamburger helper one)
    and a package of tortillas and you are all set. It’s a little more than what you have been spending, but you have a pretty good cushion, and you will get at least 2, possibly 3 meals.

  2. I make cookie cutter eggs for breakfast quite regularly. Never thought to use a fun shaped cookie cutter. I just usually use a shot glass for the circle, but tomorrow I think I will use a cookie cutter.
    I wish I was close, I’d love to have a meeting.
    I am taking a load of things to the food bank tomorrow that I have gotten for free lately. The biggest thing I am working on lately is trying to find more Sunday inserts.
    Thank you for your blog…it has great information!

  3. What you call a cookie-cutter egg I’ve always called a hole-in-one. Thanks for the blog; I’m now addicted to couponing. By the way, do most of your grocery stores double coupons up to .99 in value? The Safeways and Giants here in the DC area do.

  4. My Dad used to make me eggs like that all the time because his father made them for him after having them in Europe during WW2.

    The cookie cutter is a good idea, although I’ve always used just an upside-down drinking glass.

    I would like to start a debate on the proper name for this dish however. I grew up calling it Toad in the Hole, while others contend that it is instead called Eggies in a Basket. I don’t think Wikipedia can agree on the name either, since on their Egg in a Basket page ( it includes a link to Toad in the Hole.

  5. @Chris

    Unfortunately, I live where there are no double coupon stores. Is it sad that one of my new goals is to do a shopping run in an area where double coupons exists?

  6. Your chicken dish looks fantastic! You’ve come such a long way from the beginning of the challenge. I really admire you for sticking to it and not giving up.

    As far as the name goes, I’m with Ted. I’ve always called it “Toad in A Hole”. Maybe its a regional difference? It might be interesting to start a poll and see what everyone says.

    Btw, have you ever tried to figure out how much you are spending per meal? All the calculating could be a headache, but it might be interesting to see just how little you are spending on a per meal basis.

  7. @Jeffrey. Not sad at all; I’m always happier to find a .75 coupon I’ll use rather than a $1.00 coupon, since it winds up being $1.50. I wonder why the Safeways here double coupons but not yours. All the more remarkable that you’ve been so successful with this challenge.

  8. In terms of your cookie-cutter egg recipe (which I’ve always called “Eggs in a Basket,” but it’s the same thing), I’ve had the EXACT same problem of forgetting to put butter in the pan. (My story here.)

    Also, you can just rip the middle of the bread out if you don’t have cookie cutters. It works just as well. Or, like you did, you can use any cup or little dish that’s the right size. Congrats on continuing with your cooking adventures!

  9. Egg in a nest is the name here. I just use the tip of a knife to cut a circle out of the bread. This was always one of my kids favorite breakfasts.

  10. I’ve always called them “eggs in a basket.” I lived off of these a couple of years ago- except I usually got a heart shape in the middle because I’m cheesy like that. They’re extra good with a bit of cheese on top.

  11. I really enjoyed your post. They made Eggies In a Basket in a movie I enjoy, ‘V for Vendetta’, and I always wondered how it was done! Thank you for unraveling this mystery for me, and I am glad you had such a great time – everything looked delicious!

  12. @Dana

    heh – when my sister saw that someone actually commented “Your chicken dish looks fantastic!” she almost had a heart attack 😉

  13. I have been following your blog for the last few weeks and have read the archives, and I must say that I really wish that we here in Australia had coupons!
    Something we do have though…and it may be of use to you is a series of books called 4 Ingredients or Less.
    Great easy recipes that are very cheap and very filling.

  14. It looks like you have most of the ingredients to make homemade baked macaroni and cheese…how impressive would that be? And you’d use up some of the cream cheese minis.

    Here is a recipe. You don’t have the mustard, but could probably make due with adding a little sauteed diced onion, some garlic and spices for flavor instead. Steamed broccoli on the side, and you have a meal.

  15. I just bake the egg with a soft yoke, toast a piece of bread, throw jelly on top and then put the egg on top of that. Runny yoke + jelly enhances the flavor immensely.

  16. A bit off topic here, but we thought of you with a good laugh when we went over the Rite Aid ad this week. Great moneymakers in the Single Check Rebate program, but there’s a down side: the nature of the products. Laughing about how much you debated whether to buy tampons to get peanut butter, we were trying to figure out if the moneymaking potential made it worth it to buy Dulcolax, another laxative called “Smooth Move,” a colon cleansing product, and a hemorrhoid treatment. We decided to be as bold as you were on the tampon front and bought all of them for the rebate moneymaking potential!
    Best wishes with your wonderful project!

  17. We grew up eating the cookie cutter eggs/bread – they were called egg in a nest back then. One of my faves as a child.

  18. This must be one of those egg dishes that has dozens of names. Like some of the earlier posters, my dad also made this regularly–and it’s a comfort food for me. He called it “Egg in a frame.”
    “Toad in the hole” in the UK is quite a different dish that includes sausage in batter.
    Your smoothies always make me envious.

  19. I live in the Fremont area and have turned quite a few friends on to your site and we would all love to have a “class” taught by the best!

  20. I love your site. A meeting would be awesome but I am in Texas! You could always do a Live meeting where it is a conference call and powerpoint presentation or you could make a video for You tube of your actual meeting to share.

  21. I’m originally from England and we called it “egg in a basket”.

    “Toad in the Hole” is basically yorkshire pudding baked in a shallow roasting pan with whole sausages added.

    We also called French Toast “eggie bread” and ate it with ketchup rather than syrup – I still like it that way!

  22. I agree with another poster – your smoothies look so delicious and decadent although all the ingredients are healthy. I should dust off my blender.

  23. a class on couponing might be popular at a public library, they could do the advertising for you, and it is free. Just call up a branch near you.

  24. We call them Egg in the Hole. They taste really good with a bit of maple syrup, kind of like a poor man’s Scotch Eggs.

    I’ve read from Day 1 through Day 80 over the past two days. It’s totally inspiring what you’ve been able to do, and while I have never used a coupon in my life, I am going to try. We have 5 people to feed – one construction worker, one teenager, one boy that eats like a teenager, plus me and the youngest. In Alaska it’s hard to find things you can forage, but there are a few things here and there. I am hopeful that we can bring our $1,000-$1,200/mo grocery bill to at least half!

    And your sister is totally a poor sport. ^_~

  25. “Here is a question for anyone that reads this blog that lives in the San Francisco south bay area (if there is anyone) – would there be any interest in meeting as a group so that I can answer any questions you have about how I do the couponing?”

    YES!!!!! YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! Oh, I would love that… I even have friends who would come to it!

  26. Funny to see all of the different names for your egg dish. I grew up with “Egg on an Island” and we used a knife to cut a square. Made them for the hubby and he thought they were the best thing. 🙂

    Love the blog, just tore through 80 days and feel like the scales have been lifted from my eyes!

  27. For anyone that is following the comments, there will be a meeting for anyone interested this coming Sunday:

  28. Pioneer Woman posted about this egg/toast dish a while back, and about its endless name variants. She included a whole series of step-by-step photos, too.

    I’m yet another person who has just discovered your blog and your challenge, and I’ve been reading the posts with much enjoyment. I’m heading back to school this fall, and we’re paying a lot more attention to our budget. Many thanks for posting about your process and progress!

  29. We always called your cookie-cutter eggs “Toads in a Hole” when we were growing up. Another friend of mine calls them “One-eyes.” So fun to see an old favorite among your cooking repertoire!

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