This post was researched and written by my Mentee, Ashley Langston. Check back each month for more posts by her.

Background Info:

  • Pumpkins are a type of squash in the Cucurbitaceae family, and the cultivar originated in Mexico approximately 10,000 years ago.
  • The modern day version of the Jack-O’lantern is based off of the Irish myth of Stingy Jack and the Jack O’Lantern. Using pumpkins for Jack O’Lanterns became popularized by Irish immigrants who came to America in the 1800’s.

Health Benefits:

  • The bright orange color of pumpkins come from a high beta-carotene content, and in the body, beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A.
  • High in dietary fiber.
  • Good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and folate.
  • The seeds, pepitas, are high in protein, fiber and other nutrients. They may be eaten with or without the hull, and roasting or drying are popular methods of preparing them.

Nutrition Information: (1 cup, cubed)

  • Calories: 30
  • Fat: < 1 gram
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 1 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 1 milligram
  • Vitamin A: 2650 IU
  • Vitamin C: 12 milligrams
  • Calcium: 23 milligrams
  • Iron: 1 milligram
  • Folate: 21 micrograms
  • Potassium: 395 milligrams


  • Sweet


  • Fall and Winter


  • Firm pumpkins, that have a slightly hollow sound when gently knocked on.
  • No soft spots or bruises.
  • Firm bases.
  • Do not carry a pumpkin by the stem, as it can break off and damage the pumpkin.


  • Cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave cut pumpkins outside if there is extreme heat, a threat of frost, or rain.
  • May be frozen for up to 1 year in a non-metallic container. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
  • Pumpkin may be canned using a pressure canner, making sure to follow recipe directions carefully.
  • Pumpkin may be dried using a dehydrator and low oven, and kept in an air-tight container.
  • Pumpkin may also be used in chutneys, butters, and preserves. These items cannot be pressure canned, and may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  • Pumpkin rinds range from thick to hard, and peeling the pumpkin may be challenging.
  • To bake: Cut pumpkin into quarters with the rind on. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until fork tender.
  • Steaming or boiling: Cut pumpkin into chunks, and steam or boil until fork tender.
  • Make sure to scoop out the fibers and seeds beforehand.
  • Once cooked and cooled, the rind may be peeled off or the flesh scooped out.
  • The cooked flesh may be used as is, mashed, or pureed.
  • Pepitas may be seasoned, and roasted or dried for a healthy snack.


  • Add cooked and peeled, cubed squash to salads, casseroles, soups, stews, and stir-fries.
  • Cooked pumpkin makes a great main dish if stuffed and baked with vegetables, rice, and ground meat.
  • Pumpkin is a popular pie filling, and may be used in several desserts.




Background Info:

  • Glossy back vegetable that has white flesh and meaty texture
  • Member of the nightshade or potato family
    • Also includes tomatoes and hot peppers
  • Can be purple, green, white, or striped
  • May be  pear-shaped or cylindrical
  • Size can vary from the size of golf ball to a football

Nutrition Information (1 cup cubed and cooked):

  • Calories: 35
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams
  • Calcium: 7 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Potassium: 188 mg
  • Sodium: 2 mg


  • Smaller ones are often less bitter than larger eggplants


  • Summer


  • Look for shiny, smooth skin without bruises or blemishes
  • Pick ones that are heavy for their size
  • Find a green stem that is free of mold


  • Keep whole until ready to use
  • Store in the refrigerator crisper drawer
  • Use within 5-7 days


  • Wash and cut off ends
  • Leave the skin on
  • Sprinkle with salt after cutting into piece and let sit for 30 minutes
    • This pulls out some water and prevents eggplant from absorbing too much oil while cooking
    • Rinse afterwards to remove most of the salt


  • Bake, roast, steam, or saute
  • If baking whole, pierce the eggplant several times with a fork
    • Remove the flesh from the skin and mash or puree and combine with other ingredients
  • Often used as a meat substitute


  • “Eggplant”. (2018, August 24). Retrieved from https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/cauliflower
  • “Eggplants”. Retrieved from http://eatfresh.org/discover-foods/eggplants
  • “Eggplant: Nutrition. Selection. Storage”. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/eggplant
  • Kirkland, Louise. (2009). “Eggplant”. Retrieved from https://extension.umaine.edu/publications/4307e/

Grocery Store Savings – 4/10/17 Publix


Original Price: $2.59 for 1 box of popcorn         I paid: NOTHING

Smart Balance Microwave Popcorn: 1 box that is on sale for $1 each + one $1 of 1 newspaper coupon

  • That’s $0 per box!
  • Whenever I’m watching tv I seem to want to munch on something. Popcorn is a whole grain and can be a healthy snack as long as you don’t load it up with oil, butter, or salt. I had 2 coupons so I grabbed 1 of each flavor and will see how they are. You can always add some of you own herbs and spices that don’t have salt to give it flavor while keeping it healthy.


Original Price: $7.98 for 2 packages of fresh mozzarella       I paid: $1.99 for 2 packages

Galbani Fresh Mozzarella: $3.99 BOGO + two $1 off 1 printable coupon

  • That’s only $1 per package and each package has 8 servings it only $0.12 for each serving of mozzarella!
  • This will go great with some basil and tomatoes to make a caprese salad
  • I can also add this to some vegetables for a side dish
  • Serves as a great snack


Original Price: $3.98 for 2 bags of green beans                          I paid: $1.99 for 2 bags

Publix Green Beans: $1.99 BOGO

  • That’s only $1 per bag and each bag has 5 servings making it only $0.20 for each serving of fresh green beans!
  • People say that it’s hard to get fresh produce to fit in their budget but if you wait for the sales you can get a good price
  • This will be a great side dish for lunch and dinner


I found the savings here:

    • True Couponing Website
    • Publix @ Gateway Mall 7999 Dr MLK Jr St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
    • Tampa Bay Times newspaper

****Keep in mind prices may vary at different Publix locations

Grocery Store Savings – 1/9/17 Publix

2017-01-09 Truvia.png

Original Price: $7.58 for 2 boxes of Truvia sweetener packets         I paid: $0.79 for both boxes

Truvia Sweetener packets: $3.79 BOGO + two $1.50 off 1 newspaper coupon

  • That’s only $0.40 for each box which has 48 packets each making it only less than $0.01 for each packet
  • I use these every day in my coffee and even bring them with me on vacation because I prefer the taste of stevia over any other sweetener


Original Price: $3.49 for 1 package of chicken sausages        I paid: $1.50 for 1 package

Al Fresco Apple Maple Chicken Sausage: $3.49 on sale for $2.50 + one $1.00 off 1 newspaper coupon

  • Each package has 7 sausages making it only $0.21 for each sausage
  • I have friends who choose not to eat pork that introduced me to these and I absolutely love them! It has the perfect mixture of savory from the chicken with sweet from the maple and crunchy from the apple. I use them for breakfast and even take them on camping trips. They can be frozen too in case you decide to stock up.

2017-01-09 Birds Eye Veg.png

Original Price: $4.96 for 2 bags of vegetables        I paid: $1.48 for 2 bags

Bird’s Eye Steamfresh vegetables: $2.48 BOGO + one $1.00 off 2 newspaper coupon

  • That’s only $0.74 for each bag which has between 3.5 to 4 servings (depending on which vegetable you buy) making it only $0.18 to $0.21 for each serving of veggies
  • There are all kinds of vegetables and even some starches like pasta and rice. It’s nice to have a backup handy when you’re craving certain vegetables are not in season and therefore not as cheap to purchase fresh. It’s very easy too, just pop into the microwave while you finish up the rest of your meal.


I found the savings here:

    • True Couponing Website
    • Publix @ Gateway Mall 7999 Dr MLK Jr St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
    • Tampa Bay Times newspaper

Grocery Store Savings – 11/13/15 Publix

IMG_1765[1]Original Price: $5.74 for 2 containers of oatmeal                           I paid: $1.87 for 2 containers of oatmeal

Quaker Oats: $2.87 BOGO + one $1 off 1 newspaper coupons

  • That’s only $0.94 for each container of oatmeal which holds 13 servings making it only $0.07 for each serving
  • This is obviously a great breakfast option or will be useful during the holidays for baking


Original Price: $6.42 for 2 bags of granulated sugar           I paid: $2.41 for 2 bags of granulated sugar

Domino Sugar: $3.21 BOGO + two $0.40 off 1 newspaper coupons

  • That’s only $1.20 for each bag of granulated sugar which has 151 tablespoons making it less than a penny for each tablespoon 
  • Sugar is used for all sorts of baking, especially during the holidays


Original Price: $5.72 for 4 cans of vegetables                                I paid: $1.96 for 4 cans of vegetables

Del Monte Vegetables: $1.43 BOGO + 1 $0.40 off 4 newspaper coupon + 1 $0.50 off 4 Publix coupon in store flyer

  • That’s only $0.49 for each can of vegetables which has 3.5 servings making it only $0.14 for each serving
  • These are great for some side dishes or to add to recipes


Original Price: $2.78 for 2 boxes of brown sugar                       I paid: $0.89 for 2 boxes of brown sugar  

Domino Brown Sugar: $1.39 BOGO + one $0.50 off 2 newspaper coupons

  • That’s only $0.45 for each box of brown sugar which has 38 tablespoons making it only $0.01 for each tablespoon
  • This will be great with the oatmeal I purchased or any other treat I may be baking

I found the savings here:

  • The Krazy Coupon Lady website
  • Orlando Sentinel Sunday Newspaper
  • Publix @ Winter Park Village – 440 N Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL, 32789-2914

Delicata Squash

Background Info:

  • Also known as the sweet potato squash
  • Torpedo-shaped and grooved
  • Has green stripes that turn pale orange as it ages

Nutrition Information:

Taste & Texture:

  • When cooked it has a buttery flavor and creamy texture with a maple syrup-like sweetness


  • Midsummer through fall
  • Peak months are September through November


  • Make sure it’s firm, heavy, and unblemished
  • The ideal weight is 1 pound although they can grow up to 3 pounds


  • At room temperature, in a dark and dry place
    • Should last 2-3 weeks or longer
  • Do not put in the refrigerator


  • Has a delicate and edible skin therefore it doesn’t need to be peeled
  • Scrub with a vegetable brush under cold water to remove dirt
  • Cut in half and remove the stem
  • Remove the seeds and strings


  • Young, Grace. “Seeking Squash.” Weight Watchers. November/December 2015. 69.

Grocery Store Savings – 8/27/15 Publix

Bird's Eye Veggies & Margaritaville Shrimp

Original Price: $27.75                                     I paid: $8.86

Bird’s Eye Steamfresh Flavor Full Vegetables: $2.59, 50% off + one $1 off 1 newspaper coupon

  • Originally: $2.59 for 1 bag of vegetables
  • I pay: $0.29 for 1 bag of vegetables
  • Each bag has 3 or more servings making it $0.10 for each serving of vegetable 
  • This will be perfect add the end of the week if I need to add some veggies to a meal and I happen to be out of fresh produce

Margaritaville Shrimp Scampi: $9.99 BOGO + 2$1 off 1 printable coupons

  • Originally: $19.98 for 2 boxes of shrimp scampi
  • I pay: $7.99 for 2 boxes of shrimp scampi
  • That’s only $4 for each box and each box has 2 servings making it $2 for each serving of shrimp scampi
  • I’ve made this meal many times. You cook the shrimp per package instructions, then add some cooked noodles of your choice and some veggies for a delicious and fast pasta dish

I found the savings here: