Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't fallen off the earth. I have been super busy with work and home stuff. Nothing fun, unfortunately. We are in the process of re-doing our master bedroom. This includes painting over cranberry walls, re-painting trim and crown molding, replacing the carpet (thanks to Dad for this AWESOME b-day present!) and eventually getting new-to-us furniture.
I am also planning a garage sale before it gets ridiculously cold to help pay for before said home improvements. And in the middle of all that Miss Peyton's birthday is the first week of November, which means Christmas is repeatedly ringing the doorbell like the annoying kid no one wants to play with! Whoa. I"m feeling more overwhelmed just talking about it. At least my meals are planned.
I noticed something the past couple of weeks. The grocery store that doubles coupons is significantly higher priced (in my mind) than my regular grocery store. I was going there for my coupon deals, and then my "regular" store for the rest of my groceries. Well, I have been getting so many good deals at the "expensive" store I have been able to build our menus around what I'm getting for pennies. This, in conjunction with their ".99, expires this week " items, I haven't needed to go to the cheap store. Today I got organic salad mix, organic eggs, and orange juice, all for .99. OK, we ate the salad for dinner tonight, eggs used to not even have an expiration date (or be refrigerated-ask your mother), and the orange juice doesn't expire until the end of the week. I think a couple extra days for OJ won't kill us. Point is- grocery stores that take internet coupons AND double them totally rock. So, the menu plan........ (Thanks for letting me ramble. Hubby is not impressed by my good deals anymore. He wants to know why I paid .99 for anything. "You mean it wasn't free??")
M- Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
T- Chicken fajitas, refried beans, rice
W- Eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuits
T- Chicken strips, mac & cheese, green beans (Church fall festival!)
F- Jack O' Lantern pizza, salad (Trick or Treating!)
S- Sesame chicken w/ broccoli
S- Tacos, black beans, rice (Peyton's b-day party!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Target deals

I had a cart full- literally! I spent 37.00 but I saved $75! Here's the rundown:

16 bags carrots- FREE
8 loaves Earth Grains bread- FREE
App. 8pds of "steak"- app. $8
2 lbs grapes- $2
4 packages Ortega taco seasoning- 1.27
2 family size boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats- 1.04
9 buddies bars- FREE
2 bags of ruffles- $5 (hubby threw them in)
2 reusable bags- FREE
2 shredded cheese- $4
2 3-pack Horizon singles- 3.78

I think that's all. Plus tax is about $37. I use the quotes on steak b/c I would never eat chuck steak or eye of round steak for "steak" But it's great in the crock pot for beef tips of beef stroganoff. Cheap is good!

PS- Does anyone know if you can freeze baby carrots and bring them back to normal for raw eating? TIA!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

CVS this week- 10/5

I did not step foot in a CVS last week. I did drive thru, but that doesn't count. Tomorrow looks like an exciting morning for my house! I love when I get to get some good deals before church starts! Thanks to Crystal for these scenarios and deals! Visit her here:

Buy 1 Colgate MaxFresh at $2.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $1/1 coupon from 9/28 SmartSource insert
Use $1/1 coupon from CVS Reinventing Beauty booklet
Free plus $1 overage after coupons and ECBs

Buy 1 Breeze2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System at $14.99, Get $10 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use up to $30-off coupon from 3/16 or 6/1 SmartSource inserts
Free plus possible overage after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Bic Soleil at $5.99, Get $4 ECBs (Limit 5)
Use $2/1 printable coupon
Free after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Always Infinity (14-18 ct) at $4.98, Get $4.98 ECBs (Limit 1) Free after ECBs

Buy 1 Vitamin Water at $2.29, Get $2.29 ECBs (Limit 1) Free after ECBs

Buy 1 Gillette Shampoo or Conditioner at $4.99, Get $1 ECB (Limit 5)
Use $2/1 coupon from 9/28 PG insert
$1.99 after coupons and ECBs

Free or cheap deals- no ecb needed.
Colgate Toothbrushes--on sale for $0.99
Use $1/1 coupon from September All You magazine
Free after coupon

Aquafresh Toothpaste--on sale for $0.99
Use $0.75/1 printable coupon
$0.24 after coupon

Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water (3-liter)--on sale for $1
Use $1/2 coupon from 8/4 Red Plum insert
$0.50 each after coupon

Hope you enjoy your trip!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Walgreens $5/20

Go to Walgreen's tomorrow! Yes it has to be tomorrow. First print this
Then, do this
1 Oral B toothbrush 4.49
1 Fusion razor 8.99
5 Softsoap 3.49
1 Barbie toothbrush 2.99 (stocking stuffer)
- $5 easy saver q softsoap
- $4 fusion 9/28 P&G
- $3 softsoap ips (I was able to print 3)
- .75 oral b 9/8 P&G
total 20.66
-5/20 Walgreens 2day coupon = 15.66
+tax= 23.?? oop
Get back
$4 register rewards for Fusion
$4.49 rr for Oral B
$10 rr for Softsoap
So if there is anything I need I have $18.49 to spend at Walgreens- woo hoo!

I had to get something to push me over the $20 mark and Peyton was begging for a Barbie toothbrush-loudly. This was a great deal for me because I got my last bottle of body wash out a few weeks ago and was wondering how I was going to score more for free. This is pretty close to free!
Thanks to Mercedes and Hot Coupon World for help in compiling this scenario.
Visit Mercedes each week for great Walgreens deals.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Homeland 10/1- 10/7

Nothing to get too excited about this week. In fact, I think I will sit this one out.

Quilted northern $1 ip/ $1 9/21 RP= 4.49
Crest toothpaste $1 9/28 pg= .50
Oral B toothbrush $1 9/28 pg= .50
All Quaker on sale (-$3 in ad q if you buy 5)
Quaker Instant Oatmeal boxes -(2) $1/2 9/7 ss, -3 in ad= $5 ($1 a box)
" " Oatmeal Squares -.50 9/7 ss= $1
Chewy Granola Bars -$1/3 9/14 ss, -$3 in ad= $1 a box
Oatmeal to go .55 9/7 rp= 1.40
Life Maple Brown Sugar $1 ip= FREE
Yoplait $1/8 ip= $2/8 or .25 each
Land o Frost .55/1 8/10 rp= 1.40
Wright bacon $1 8/17 ss= 3.89
Eckrich smoked sausage .75 ip =1.48
Luzianne .75/2 6/29 ss= 1.25/2
Progresso .50/2 9/7 ss= 1.00
Macaroni Grill $1/1 ip or 9/7 ss= 1.50
Easy Mac $1/2 ip= FREE
Smart Balance $1 ip or 9/7 rp= .69
Jell-o $1/2 8/17 ss= $3/2
Fast Fixin $1 ip= 3.49
Farmland Ham $2/1 = 1.88
Right Guard $1 8/10 ss= FREE
Keebler Chips Deluxe .55/2 9/28 rp= 3.90/2

All the ip (internet printed) coupons can be found here: http//

Total prices are after doubling coupons. Make sure the coupon will double. I haven't checked them all!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Menu Plan Tuesday

Sorry I am behind this week. We had a busy weekend and my normal Saturday chores got moved to Monday. I am still working on my 30 day meal plan for October. All the recipes this week can be found in previous posts. Just click on 'recipes' or 'menu planning'.

Monday- Red beans and rice, smoked sausage, salad

Tuesday- Chicken fajitas, rice, refried beans (I missed making these last time I planned.)

Wednesday- Lemon garlic crockpot chicken, green beans, rice, salad

Thursday- Broccoli and Chicken casserole, salad

Friday- Homemade pizza, salad

Saturday- Hot dogs, mac and cheese, carrot sticks

Sunday- Roast with potatoes and carrots

Have a good week!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Free grapes at Target!!

I love free stuff. Free fresh items are almost unheard of! This week Target has their grapes on sale for $1/pd. There is a coupon for $1 off grapes on their website. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Homeland- stockpiling trip. 9/28

I was going to post a pic but my camera is broken. My 3 yr old said, "Mommy, are we going to take a picture of the groceries? I have ruined her!

Tonight I got.....
30 bags of Lipton rice
6 boxes of wheat thins
7 bottles of Kraft dressing
3 bags of chex mix
4 bottles of Dawn
2 refried beans
3 grands biscuits
1 cascade rinse aid
More kool-aid than we will ever drink

total: 13.40
total savings: 118.51

I did buy some of the coupons I had so I spent about $10 on that. I was going to get Easy Mac but they were out.

A picture would have been much more impressive. The best thing about this trip is that we will use all of the items I got, eventually.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oh I wish.......

Got this in an email regarding the Big Bailout...


I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in
a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000
bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman
and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to eve ry person 18+ as a
We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.
So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.
That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college – it’ll be there
Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car – create jobs
Invest in the market – capital drives growth
Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks
who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company
that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it...instead of
trickling out
a puny $1000.00 ( “vote buy” ) economic incentive that is being proposed by
one of our candidates for President.

If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail ou t every adult U S
Citizen 18+!

As for AIG – liquidate it. Sell off its parts.
Let American General go back to being American General.
Sell off the real estate. < BR>Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it
up and clean it up.

Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

Sure it’s a crazy idea that can “never work.”

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion
We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5
Billion is returned
instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.
Kindest personal regards,
T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

Don't know who this is, but what a great idea. Maybe this guy should run for office!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday- with recipes

Monday- Spaghetti Pie, Salad, Garlic Bread
Spaghetti Pie
6 oz. spaghetti
2 tbsp butter
1/3 c. Parmesan
1 egg
1 pd. ground beef
1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce
1 c. cottage or ricotta cheese
1/2 c shredded mozzarella

Directions: Brown the ground beef, drain, and add spaghetti sauce. While the ground beef is browning, cook the spaghetti according to package directions and drain. Add butter, Parmesan, and egg to the hot spaghetti. Place the spaghetti mixture in the bottom of a greased pie plate. Spread the ricotta over the spaghetti. Spread the meat sauce over the ricotta. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Spread the mozzarella over the pie and bake until melted. Let stand 5 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve.

Tuesday- Boneless Pork Ribs, Baked Beans, Corn, Rolls
Recipe from COOKS.COM

3-4 lbs. country style ribs (boneless)
1 lg. bottle BBQ sauce
1 thinly sliced onion
Brown sugar
Garlic powder

Place ribs in 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with garlic. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven. Lower temperature to 250 degrees. Drain fat from meat. Sprinkle with a little more garlic and brown sugar to taste. Pour BBQ sauce on top with thinly sliced onion. Bake 3 more hours at 250 degrees. Don't over cook.

Wednesday- Peppery Beef & Veggies, Beef Rice (Lipton sides), Egg Drop Soup
This recipe looks involved but if you read through it, it's not so bad.

4 oz. thin spaghetti
1/2 c. water
3 tblsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
non stick cooking spray
1 c. fresh or frozen pea pods, halved crosswise
1/2 c. chopped green or red sweet pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tblsp. cooking oil
3/4 pd. lean boneless beef, cut into thin bite size strips

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small bowl stir together soy sauce, cornstarch, black and red pepper. Set aside.
3. Spray a cold wok or large skillet with non stick cooking spray. Heat over med-high heat. Add pea pods, green or red sweet pepper and garlic; stirfry 1 minute. Add mushrooms; stirfry 1-2 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove veggies from wok.
3. Add oil to wok. Stirfry beef in hot oil for 3-4 minutes or until done. Push the beef to the sides of the wok. Stir sauce and pour into center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return veggies to wok; cook and stir all ingredients 1 minute. Toss with spaghetti. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday- Chicken Flautas w/ black beans, Rice, Guacamole

6 10-inch tortillas
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp. cooking oil
2 c. shredded chicken
1 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. bottled salsa
1/2 c. shredded Mexican cheese
Cooking oil for frying
3 c. shredded lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 350. Wrap tortillas tightly in foil. Heat in oven about 10 minutes or until heated through.
2. Meanwhile, for filling, in a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in the 1 tsp. hot oil until tender. Stir in chicken, black beans, 1/2 c. salsa, and cheese.
3. For each flauta, spoon about 1/2 c. filling across each warm tortilla about 1 1/2 inches from one edge. Roll up tortillas as tight as possible. Secure with wooden toothpicks.
4. In a very large, deep skillet, heat 1-1/2 inches of cooking oil to 365. Fry flautas, 2 at a time, for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Keep fried flautas warm in a 300 degree oven.
5. To serve, remove toothpicks. Halve flautas crosswise. If desired, serve with lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.

*Baked flautas: Prepare as directed. Place flautas on a large baking sheet and brush with 1 tblsp cooking oil. Bake in a 350 oven for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Serve as directed.

Friday-Pork tenderloin, broccoli & cheese rice, salad, rolls

Saturday-Sesame chicken w/ broccoli
Speedy Chicken Stir-Fry
8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini), uncooked
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. each: ground ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts

COOK pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 min. of the pasta cooking time.

MEANWHILE, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.

DRAIN pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon evenly into four serving bowls; sprinkle with the peanuts.

Sunday-Crockpot roasted chicken, mixed veggies, garlic red potatoes
I love this site. I have gotten lots of great recipes from it.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

CVS this week- 9/21

Ok so I got some decent deals today but I am most excited to tell you that the Malt o Meal cereal is clearanced 75% off! I don't need any more cereal, but for .25 a box I am thinking of building the kids a fort in the living room! It will be like a gingerbread house, only cereal boxes. I know how this going to go. This week they will be excited. Next week, they might have a couple of bowls for a snack. Next month, they will be giving it to the mail man. I sure hope he likes 'Froot Loops'.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Target dealios!

I like Target. I don't shop EVERY SINGLE deal there because I end up wandering through the kids clothes and shoes and buy things I don't need. Therefore I save nothing, and spend money I wasn't planning. I know I need to work on my self-control. However, I have 2 deals that I can only get at Target and they are too good to pass up. I will be putting on my blinders. "They do not need more clothes. They do not need more clothes. 75% or not, they do not need more clothes."

Deal 1-Iams dog food
If you signed up for the free Iams dog food coupon a few weeks back, you should be receiving your coupon anytime. I just got mine today. On 's Target coupon generator there is a coupon for $5 off any 6lb or larger Iams dog food. My free coupon states 'free up to $7'. If you combine it with the $5 coupon you can get a good size bag for a few cents. Woo Hoo!

Deal 2- Barbie lunch pails
Remember when we bought all that Skippy peanut butter at Target? Remember the $5 off Barbie sportswear peelie on the creamy variety? I made a mental note of these at the time. Well, now the Barbie lunch pails are on sale for 4.98. I guess they are considered sportswear b/c the coupons are being reported as working. These will make good birthday gifts. I love really good free stuff!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Homeland deals 9/17-9/23

Quite a few good ones this week. The final price is after the doubled coupon.

Tyson Any'tizers 3.50 ($1/1 All You Sept) =1.50
Pop Secret 1.50 (.60/1 ip) =.30
Special K Bars 2.00 ($1/1 Vocalpoint) =FREE
Crest 1.66 (.75/1 8/31 PG) =.16
Rice krispie treats 2/$4 ($1/2q SS 8/3K) = $1 each
Cheerios 2/$5 ($1 ip)= .50 each
Rice A Roni 10/$10 (If you have any of the .50 ip's this is free. They are not available anymore.)
Yogos 2/$4 ($1 ip) =FREE
KC Masterpiece 1.50 (.75 ip) =FREE
Easy Mac cups 1.00 ($1/2 ip) =FREE
Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies 2/$5 ($1/2 ip) =2/$3
Vive Pro 2/$7 ($1/1 7/13 SS) = 1/$1
Lean Cuisine 50%off- PSA? ($1/1ip) = close to free of free
Dole Fruit Naturals 4/$5 (.55/1 8/10ss#3)= .15 each
Dole Salad Kits 2/$5 (.50/1 9/14 SS)= 1.50 each

These are the best deals I see. Anyone else have anything to add? BTW- Most of the ip's are on smart source. Google the others.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday- with recipes

Monday- Dirty Rice, Green Beans, and Cornbread

No recipe here. I buy the Zatarain's box mix.

Tuesday- Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice, Black Beans

2 pds. chicken
1 bell pepper
1/2 red onion
1 1/2 tblsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 c. olive oil

1. Slice chicken into 3-in. strips approximately 3/4 inch wide.
2. Slice bell pepper lengthwise, approximately 1/2 inch wide.
3. Slice onion into 1/2 inch wide strips.
4. Mix all spices together in a small bowl.
5. Pour olive oil into large bowl; add spices and mix well.
6. Marinate meat, pepper, onion, in olive oil- spice mix for 10 minutes. Be sure meat and vegetables are coated well.
7. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add meat and veggies. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday- Breakfast for dinner

Bacon, eggs, and Cinnamon Rolls

Thursday- Parmesan Chicken, buttered noodles, salad, garlic bread

From Kraft

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

PLACE all ingredients in large resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing and cheese.

REFRIGERATE 30 min. to marinate, laying bag flat so chicken pieces do not overlap in bag.
PREHEAT oven to 425ºF. Remove chicken from marinade; discard bag and marinade. Arrange chicken on foil-covered baking sheet. Bake 20 min. or until cooked through (165ºF).
Make Ahead
Freeze bagged chicken and dressing up to 3 months. Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and marinade. Place frozen chicken in single layer on foil-covered baking sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF).
Variation - Asian Sesame Chicken
Prepare as directed, using KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing and substituting 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds for the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Friday- Homemade Pizza, Salad

Saturday- Stir fry veggies & chicken, fried rice, egg drop soup
I'm using the stir fry sauce I talked about a few weeks back. Easy and yummy!

Sunday- Crock pot Chicken, Green Beans, Chicken Rice, Rolls

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar turkey gravy
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free herb seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Directions

    1. Place chicken and gravy into a slow cooker. Season with paprika, seasoning blend and soy sauce. Cook on high for 4 hours or for 6 to 8 hours on medium. Tear chicken into pieces. Serve over rice, noodles or potatoes.

    Enjoy! Have a good week!

    Drugstore Deals 9/14-9/20

    I don't normally shop Walgreens. The whole rebate thing seems like a lot of work to me. If I didn't get so much at CVS I might feel differently, but I enjoy the instant gratification of CVS. However, the last couple of weeks Walgreens has had some great Register Reward deals (these will be referred to as RR). I totally missed the Robitussin deal from last week but I will be paying more attention from now on!! Here are the best deals I see for the week at both stores.


    Excedrin Express Gel Tablets 20 ct 3.99 get 3.99 ecb= FREE (limit 1)
    -$2 7/13 SS
    $2 printable

    Purex detergent 2.99 get 1 ecb (limit 5)
    -.50 8/10 SS

    $3.00 ECB wyb $10.00 worth of Covergirl Limit 1 (eyeshadow 2.99, lashblast 6.49, wetslicks 3.99, aquasmoothers line 5.49)
    Cover Girl Lip Product B1G1F (9-30-08) P & G 8/31/08
    Cover Girl Product, any $1 (9-30-08) P & G 8/31/08

    $5.00 ECB wyb $10.00 St Ives products Limit 1
    Buy One Elements Product Get One Free (expires 10/31/08) SS 8/10
    $1/1 St. Ives bodywash or lotion (expires 10/31/08) SS 8/10

    $3.00 ECB wyb Aleve D Sinus & Cold or Sinus Headache @ $3.99 Limit 1
    Aleve, any 20 ct.+ .75 (10-31-08) V 7/27/08
    $1.00 off Aleve D printable FREE after ECB

    Colgate 2-n-1 4.6 oz, or Max Fresh Original 6 oz ($2.99, or 99c after Super q)
    $1/1 Any Colgate Max Fresh, All You September
    $.75/1 Any Colgate 4 oz.+, 8/24/08 SS
    $1.50/1 All You magazine June, July,and August
    1.50/1 printable at

    Irish Spring 8 pack bar soap or 18 oz body wash ($3.99, or $1.99 after Super q)

    Twin Pack Speed Stick Ladies or Mens ($3.99, or $1.99 after Super q)
    $1/1 Men's Speed Stick Printable

    Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap 12 oz ($2.99, or 99c after Super q)
    $.35/1 Softsoap Liquid Handsoap, any 7.5 oz or 12 oz. 8/24/08 SS

    There is also some Glade coupons out there for a Glade deal. I have tried to read and read other forums about this deal but I gotta tell ya, I am too confused to explain it. If I figure it out, I will edit this post. If any of you know how to do it, please post it in the comments section.

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    30 days of meals- September

    OK here it is. For all that have asked for my 30 days of dinners, here we go. It's actually 28 because the last Monday is on the 29th. That's when I'll start October. I am not going to post the recipes now. Just know that I will post them each Monday, with Menu Plan Monday.

    1. Chicken and Veggie Stir fry, Chicken Fried Rice, Egg Drop Soup*
    2. French Dip Sandwiches, corn, buttered pasta
    3. Chicken quesadillas, Mexican rice, black beans
    4. Broccoli & Chicken Casserole, salad, garlic bread
    5. Jambalaya & cornbread
    6. Pizza & Salad*
    7. Grilled pork steaks, (hot dogs for the kids) grilled corn, twice baked potatoes
    8. Chili and cornbread
    9. Breakfast casserole & biscuits
    10. Lemon Garlic Chicken, green beans, rice, rolls
    11. Tostadas, Mexican rice, black beans
    12. Sandwiches & salad
    13. Spaghetti, salad, & garlic bread
    14. Beef Stroganoff, peas, rolls
    15. Dirty rice, green beans, cornbread
    16. Chicken fajitas, rice, black beans
    17. Bacon, eggs, hash browns, cinnamon rolls
    18. Parmesan chicken, salad, buttered pasta, garlic bread
    19. pizza, salad*
    20. Chicken and veggie stir fry, fried rice, egg drop soup*
    21. Crock pot chicken (quick chick), green beans, rice, rolls
    22. spaghetti pie, salad, garlic bread
    23. boneless pork ribs, baked beans, corn, & rolls
    24. pepper beef & veggies, beef rice, egg drop soup
    25. chicken flautas, rice, guacamole
    26. Pork tenderloin, broccoli and cheese rice, salad, rolls
    27. sesame chicken, steamed broccoli
    28. crock pot roasted chicken, mixed veggies, garlic red potatoes
    29. This is the last Monday of the month so I will make my new plan, starting today, for October.
    * These items repeat.

    Menu Plan Monday- with recipes

    Sorry I am late in the day posting this. I had to work this morning and we are attempting to re-paint our master bedroom. I always forget how much I dislike painting until it's time to do it. Without furthur ado...

    Monday- Crockpot chili and cornbread

    No real recipe here. I just make the chili on the back of the McCormick package and let it simmer in the crockpot. It makes the meat so tender! When you use canned beans, make sure you put them in about an hour before your meal time so they aren't mush. Jiffy cornbread. It's the best!

    Tuesday- Breakfast casserole, biscuits

    I haven't made this but I got the recipe from one of the many posters on I also have a roll of sausage I got for free, so that helps.

    Breakfast Casserole

    7 eggs
    2 c. milk
    8-12 slices of bread (whatever you have on hand)
    8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
    1 lb. of sausage
    Seasoning of your choice (italian, sage, etc)
    Salt to taste


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8x11 or 9x13 pan with oil.

    Slice crusts of bread and cube. Place in pan.

    Beat eggs and milk. Pour over bread. Using fork, lightly mix bread untill all cubes are soaked.

    Brown sausage while bread cubes are soaking. Drain grease. Layer sausage on top of bread mixture. Layer cheese on top of sausage. Sprinkle seasoning on cheese.

    Bake for 45 min. Serves 6-8.

    Wednesday- Lemon Garlic Chicken, green beans, rice, rolls

    This is the same recipe I posted a couple of weeks back. I make this in the crockpot and it's a family favorite.

    Thursday- Tostadas, mexican rice, black beans

    These are just flat tacos. You can find the tostada shells with the crispy taco shells. Cover with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes.

    Friday- Bagel sandwiches, salad

    Hubby's late night at work.

    Saturday- Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread

    Hubby usually gets home late this night as well. The longer the sauce cooks, the better it is so I can feed the kids early and keep it hot for him.

    Sunday- Beef Stroganoff, peas, rolls

    I love this recipe. It's SO, SO good, and way easy!

    Beef Stroganoff

    1-2 lbs stew meat
    1 package lipton onion soup
    1/2 can sprite
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    *8 oz sour cream, for after cooking
    *white rice, for after cooking

    Place first four ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 6 hours.

    1 hour before cook time is over, remove sour cream from refrigerator. When cook time is finished, add room temperature sour cream, and stir. Serve over white rice.

    I have received a few requests for my 30 day dinner plan so I am going to post it asap. I will still post each week on Monday, with the recipes. WHat are having at your house this week? Please post your comments!

    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    New Kraft magazine

    The very nice people at Kraft must have read my post about making a 30 day meal plan because they sent me a magazine full of recipes- for free! No, seriously, I have been receiving the Kraft Food & Family magazine for a few years now and it is awesome! I have gotten many a recipes from their publications and I still have every issue! It is a bright, colorful, helpful magazine with lots of quick and easy meals. They send it out every quarter, or season, for free! What's better than that? To sign up, just copy and paste the link. There are even a few coupons in this issue.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Task complete...

    After reading the's Menu Plan Monday posts for the past two evenings, my 30 day dinner plan is finished! Thirty meals with no repeats is A LOT! (I don't know how Rachael Ray wrote the 365 -no repeats book. Aye, yi, yi!) OK I shouldn't say no repeats because we are having pizza 3 times, but I'm still pleased with the plan. Actually I am feeling VERY ORGANIZED today. I printed a blank calendar and (in pencil) I wrote in all my dinners, important school dates (progress reports, school pics, P/T conferences), when my step-daughter will be here, any evenings that I have to work (few and far between, but I am getting into my busier time of year at work), etc. Now I can glance at the day and know what it will hold instead of digging for the 5 million notes to realize that I already missed something because I remembered the date wrong. I only did this for September, as to not get overwhelmed, but I am already finding it helpful. I showed it, and explained it, to hubby. I'm hoping we can all be on the same track this month. Is there something easy you do to help keep your family more organized? Please share!

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Menu Plan Monday- with recipes

    I finally did it. I spent 39.67 at the store today. Under $40! But then I remembered I had to get milk and eggs. And butter. Darn it! So, my goal of a $40 a week grocery budget is still in the distance. Sigh. Here's the plan for this week.

    Monday- Chicken and Veggie Stir-fry, Chicken Fried Rice, Egg Drop Soup

    I found a recipe on for stirfry, but I forgot that I had found it. So I bought some stir fry sauce at the store. I'll stick with the sauce, and let you know how it turns out. If you've never made egg drop soup, it is ridiculously easy. Basically, you boil chicken broth, beat an egg and drop in forkfuls into the boiling broth. I know, too easy right?

    Tuesday- French Dip Sandwiches, grilled corn, butter and garlic pasta

    I am using the leftover roast from Sunday for these. Broil some hoagie rolls, add provolone and use the juice from the roast to dip. Yummy!

    Wednesday- Chicken quesadillas, rice, and black beans

    I made extra chicken when we had fajitas last week for these. Add some fresh grilled onions to the chicken and cheese. I make these like a grilled cheese sandwich, only with tortillas. Put a little olive oil in the pan, and wait for the cheese to melt. Then cut into quarters.

    Thursday- Broccoli and Chicken Casserole, Garlic Bread, Salad

    I posted this recipe a few weeks back. (Click on recipe link.) I really like this one because I can keep the ingredients on hand all the time. Everything is in the freezer, or pantry.

    Friday- Sandwiches, Soup and Salad

    Saturday- Homemade pizza, salad

    I know I am going against all the other ladies here but I have a secret. I use Jiffy pizza crust mix. SHHHHHHHHHH! It's only .48 a box, and I don't have to measure anything. If I had a lot of time on my hands I would pre-measure these into ziploc bags but I have kids. And a job. And pets. And a hubby. Maybe one of these days when I get a day to myself, this will be one of the things I will do. Until then, I will spend .48!

    I do not have Sunday planned because this week is the end of my first attempt at a 1 month menu plan. I really enjoyed not having to think of a plan each week. I just looked at my week at the beginning of the week, and got the things I needed. This seriously cut down on the thinking time. It only took me about an hour one afternoon to write the plan for the month. I think I will do it again for September!

    Please link us to your menu plan on the comments page. I have 30 meals to write. I know I need some inspiration!

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    Ok here's a good deal.

    I feel like a good deal involves me looking feverishly for my coupons, so I had to post this one. Target has their easy mac cups on sale for .70 each. I'm not sure if this is a clearance price, or just a sale price. The post I read didn't specify. Either way, I think the regular price of these at Wal-Mart is .77. There was a $1/2 Easy Mac coupons in last Sunday's paper, as well as on That makes the cups .20-.27 each. This is enough for my 2 girls to share for lunch. If you have any of the All You coupons left, this would be a great way to redeem them. Who really needs all that Kool-Aid?? I would much rather have something we will eat!

    *If your grocery store does double coupons up to a dollar, this would be an even sweeter deal. Considering the original price, of course.

    Just to let you all know, I did try this today and it worked like a charm. The cups at my Wal-Mart were .75 each. I am now the proud owner of 20 easy mac cups! And 1 Crystal Light, 1 package of natural hot dogs, a family size box of wheat thins, and 1 box of low fat fudge bars. I found you could print the easy mac coupons on a couple of websites besides, so I was able to print 8 total and I had 2 from my own newspaper inserts (8/24 rp, in case you were wondering). The fudge bars weren't free but they were reduced to $1. Much cheaper than skinny cow. I hope they taste as good. I spent a total of $8.05. Not too bad for 3 full sacks of edible items!

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Pardon the pause....

    Sorry I haven't been posting much this week. Blame it on Stephenie Meyer. She is the author of the "Twilight" saga. I am completely engrossed in book 3 of 4 right now. It doesn't take me long to read her books so hopefully after book 4 I will be able to focus on the blog again! If I see or hear of any a-mazing deals, I will be sure to post them. It seems they have been few and far between recently- unless you live in those really cool parts of the country with good grocery stores. Ah, a girl can dream....

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Menu Plan Monday- with recipes!

    If you notice a couple of repeats this week it's because I changed some things around last week. Wednesday we went out to dinner. My BIL works at an Italian restaurant so we get his employee discount ever now and then. Thursday I had the raging headache I told you all about so we ate out of the freezer, and Saturday my dad treated us to dinner. Here's the plan for this week.

    Monday- Boneless Pork Ribs, Twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Veggies

    Recipe from COOKS.COM

    3-4 lbs. country style ribs (boneless)
    1 lg. bottle BBQ sauce
    1 thinly sliced onion
    Brown sugar
    Garlic powder

    Place ribs in 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with garlic. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven. Lower temperature to 250 degrees. Drain fat from meat. Sprinkle with a little more garlic and brown sugar to taste. Pour BBQ sauce on top with thinly sliced onion. Bake 3 more hours at 250 degrees. Don't over cook.

    Chicken Fajitas, Mexi Rice, Black Beans
    Fajita Marinade
    1/3 c. fresh lime juice
    1/3 c. soy sauce
    1/3 c. vegetable oil

    I use whole chicken breasts to grill and then I slice it into fajita strips. You can add your onions and peppers to this marinade as well, just make sure you cook them completely. If you need more marinade than this just do equal parts of all three ingredients.

    Wednesday- Hot Dogs, Brats, Baked Beans, Corn

    Thursday- Jambalaya

    Friday- Leftovers

    Saturday- Homemade Pizza, Salad

    Sunday- Roast, Potatoes, Carrots
    I cook my roast in the crockpot. If you would like the the recipe it's on as "the easiest pot roast ever". I am making a larger roast than we will eat and using the leftover meat and potatoes to make stew on the next Tuesday.

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    CVS 8/24-8/31

    The deals are not plentiful this week. I may stop by tomorrow when I'm out and about. Here are the best deals I see.

    5 ecb wyb Stayfree, Carefree, or OB for 2/$9 (Limit 1)
    BOGO up to 6.49 6/29 rp

    1.49 ecb wyb Kotex Lightdays for 1.49 (Limit 1)

    .75 off 7/20 SS, $1 off any in ALL YOU, $1 off 7/31 SS, $1 off Printable

    $3.00 ECB wyb Playtex Gentle glide 18 ct or Sport 16 ct @ $4.99 Limit 1

    $1.00 off Playtex Gentle Glide Plastic Applicator Tampons, any 18 ct. or more V 6/22/08 exp 9/21/08
    $1.00 off Playtex Sport Plastic Applicator Tampons, any 16 ct- V 6/22/08 exp 9/21/08

    There is also a pack of Playtex Sport 36 ct tampons w/ a free intuition razor on sale for $5.99. No eb but if you need a razor this would be better to use your coupons on.

    If there are any other deals I missed please include them in the comments section.

    Friday, August 22, 2008

    Freebie Friday

    I apologize that I can't copy links on here. Just copy and paste the address to your tool bar.

    Wal-Mart (more than one freebie)

    $5/20 Walgreens plus other coupons, good today and tomorrow only.

    Free Cascade Rinse Agent (enter to win a dishwasher too!)

    Bounce Awakenings Dryer Sheets

    10 free tokens to Chuck E. Cheese. This is a printable reward calendar. Looks really cute! Chuck E Cheese had printable valentines last year with free tokens on them so you may want to save this site!

    If you have other freebies, or really good coupons, feel free to post them in the comments page! Happy Friday!

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    New template....

    I changed my blog template! I think this one is easier to navigate and more user friendly. Please take the poll on the right and tell me what you think!

    Why I love my freezer...

    I am constantly talking about how much I enjoy my meal plan. I have only been meal planning for a few months so the excitement of it is still new to me (and my life lacks some serious excitement!). So, what happens when you don't feel like eating what is on the meal plan? Or, in the case of this evening, you get a terrible headache and cooking is the last thing you want to do. Fast food is not really an option around here (besides being expensive, it just isn't good when you are used to having homemade food every night). So, I went to the freezer. The last time we had BBQ sandwiches I took the left over meat and put them into individual portions and froze them. I still had some buns in the fridge so after a few minutes in the microwave, we had BBQ sandwiches. Remember the All You Kraft coupons? Well, I bought mac and cheese for just such occasions as tonight. (Hubby makes the best boxed mac and cheese. Seriously, it's his claim to kitchen fame.) I sliced up a cumcumber and dinner was served. No money on fast food and dinner was ready quicker than it would have taken me to drive to Mickey D's. Not to mention healthier. I didn't go by the menu plan but with a little stockpiling it all worked out!

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Menu Plan Monday- with recipes!

    Since I got a good response to including my recipes with our meal plan for last week, I decided to try it again this week. I actually made a Google calendar for the next 3 weeks. It was much easier than I would have thought. I must have been creative today! I posted a link on the left. I will continue to post the recipes for the week on Mondays, except for the obvious things like Spaghetti or Tacos. Please click on the poll at the left and let us know how you do your menu plan.

    Monday- Soft Tacos, Mexican Rice, Re-fried Beans

    Tuesday- Spaghetti Pie, Salad, Garlic Bread
    Spaghetti Pie
    6 oz. spaghetti
    2 tbsp butter
    1/3 c. parmesan
    1 egg
    1 pd. ground beef
    1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce
    1 c. cottage or ricotta cheese
    1/2 c shredded mozzarella

    Directions: Brown the ground beef, drain, and add spaghetti sauce. While the ground beef is browning, cook the spaghetti according to package directions and drain. Add butter, parmesan, and egg to the hot spaghetti. Place the spaghetti mixtur in the bottow of a greased pie plate. Spread the ricotta over the spaghetti. SPread the meat saude over the ricotta. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Spread the mozzarella over the pie and bake until melted. Let stand 5 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve.

    Wednesday- Crockpot Lemon Garlic Chicken, Rice, Green Beans, Rolls
    This is a family favorite. I could make this once a week and even the kids wouldn't complain.
    Lemon Garlic Chicken

    1 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp season salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    4 chicken boneless skinless chicken breast
    1/4 c water
    3 Tbsp lemon juice
    2 garlic cloves minced
    1 tsp chicken bouillon

    Combine oregano, salt, pepper and rub into chicken. Place water, lemon, garlic and bouillon in crockpot. Place chicken on top and cook 4-5 hours on high.

    Thursday- Homemade Pizza, Salad

    I think this week I may try BBQ chicken pizza with colby jack cheese. Instead of pizza sauce I will use BBQ sauce.

    Friday- Leftovers
    I know I had that rant about how we don't eat leftovers, blah, blah, blah, but this past Friday night we had a smorgasboard of leftovers and it was kind of fun. Like a mini buffet. Plus it got my refrigerator cleaned out. Too reduce waste, I think we will start doing this once a week. Hubby gets home so late on Friday and Saturday nights that it's hard to plan dinner.

    Saturday- Sesame Chicken with Broccoli
    Use your free dressing, thanks to ALL YOU, to make this dish. It is SOOO good and easy!

    Speedy Chicken Stir-Fry
    8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini), uncooked
    2 cups small broccoli florets
    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
    1/2 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
    2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    1/4 tsp. each: ground ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper
    1/3 cup chopped PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts

    COOK pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 min. of the pasta cooking time.

    MEANWHILE, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.

    DRAIN pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon evenly into four serving bowls; sprinkle with the peanuts.

    Sunday- Grilled Pork Steaks, Twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Veggies, Rolls

    Feel free to copy and paste any recipes your family might enjoy. If you put anything on your own blog, please post a link back to mine. Thanks and enjoy!

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    CVS Deals 8/17-8/23

    Here is how I will do the deals this week. Normally I probably wouldn't buy much of this stuff but I do need most of it. We have no back up body wash and I am out of mascara, bleach, and Wet Jet pads. I have to take baby wipes, clorox wipes, and bandaids for "school supplies" next week so I am taking advantage of my CVS gift card that I got for a transferred prescription. I am starting with $0 ecb this week.

    Transaction 1
    Schick Quatro 7.99
    Playskool Baby Wipes 2.50
    - 2/10 CVS q
    - 4 Schick
    - 1 Playskool
    Total oop 3.50
    get 5 eb

    Transaction 2
    Bandaid/ Neosporin deal 10.00
    I don't know prices on the things I need so hopefully I won't have to spend much more than $10.
    - 2/10
    - 1 Neosporin
    - 5 ecb
    total oop 2.00
    get 5 ecb

    Transaction 3
    Revlon mascara 7.99
    Maybelline mascara 4.99
    - 2/10
    - 1 Revlon
    - 1 Maybelline
    - 5 ecb
    total oop 4.00
    get 5, 2 ecb

    Transaction 4
    Maybelline 4.99
    Bleach 1.50
    Suave 3/$5
    - 2/10
    - 1 Maybelline
    - 2 Suave
    - 5 ecb
    total oop 1.50
    get 2 ecb

    Transaction 5
    Wet Jet Pads $?
    Clorox wipes $? (I think these are in a 2 pack with ecb on the label.)
    - 2/10
    - 2 ecb
    - 2 ecb
    total oop ? (I will update tomorrow.)

    Before my final transaction I will spend 11.00 oop and get back 19 ecb plus get the stuff I need! I so heart CVS!

    *If you want coupon matchups check out 's coupon database. They have an AWESOME search engine for any and all coupons. You just type in the item you are looking for a coupon for and it will tell you when and where to find it. It is free to join and they have great forums as well.

    Farmers Market

    Peyton and I hit our local farmers market yesterday. I have to say I enjoy the idea of walking around and buying home grown fruits and veggies but people are definitely proud of their work. And, no, nothing was organic. I got to thinking as I was wondering around in the warm, breezy morning, aren't the fruits and veggies at the grocery store home grown SOMEWHERE? There aren't any cucumber molds that I don't know about is there? I did pick up a few things; blueberries, squash, zucchini, fresh corn, and cucumbers. I spent around $15 and I can chop up the squash and zucchini for side dishes. However, I think I will plant my own garden next spring and enjoy the morning in my PJ's.

    * OMG! We had some of the fresh corn tonight with our BBQ sandwiches and baked beans. It was the most amazing corn I have ever eaten. It was so sweet and crisp. My step-dad joined us for dinner and he asked me what I put on the corn to make it so sweet. Uh, just butter, salt and pepper. Peyton ate an entire gigantic ear! I paid about .62 an ear but it is SOOO worth it! I can't wait to try the squash and zucchini!

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    Free Chick-Fil-A- September 1st

    I L-O-V-E Chick-Fil-A. Unfortunately, it is really expensive fast food, and hubby doesn't like it. (I think he may be a communist because he doesn't like cobbler either.) With our food budget being sliced almost in half, there is no going out this month. FREE Chick-Fil-a! Bonus: You don't have to dress like a cow!
    Free three-count order of Chick-n-Strips while supplies last, eligible participants should visit participating Chick-fil-A locations from 10:30 AM until close on Sept. 1, 2008 wearing at least one visible article of clothing that contains any football team logo or collegiate logo and mention this Promotion.

    ELIGIBILITY: Offer available only to legal U.S. residents of AL, AR AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NM, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV, and WY. Limit one per person.
    Go Sooners!

    (From Chick-Fil-A's website)

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Freebie Friday

    If you haven't bought the ALL YOU magazine yet, go and buy it! Most stores have their KoolAid packets for around .10 each. In the All You magazine there are coupons for FREE Wheat Thins, dressing, hot dogs, crystal light, and kraft singles, when you buy 3 kraft products. KoolAid is made by Kraft so you can get all that stuff for 1.50, plus the price of the magazine (1.77 here)! WooHoo! My kids don't drink KoolAid but I read on another post that you can use the lemonade flavor to disinfect your dishwasher. I guess that isn't technically FREE but it's pretty close. The magazine is loaded with other great coupons as well, and some great recipes.

    Free Purina One dog (or cat, I think) food. Since we got our puppy on Mother's Day I have bought 1 bag of dog food. Everything else I have gotten for free by signing up for coupons! Call this number Call 1-866-894-BARK (2275). It takes about 2-3 minutes...FULLY automated

    Do a survey for $74 in P&G coupons.
    This is pretty painless but takes a few minutes.

    FREE IAMS Dog or Cat Food coupon
    If you do any coupon trading this would be a good one to have if you don't have pets.

    With our drastically reduced grocery budget this month, these coupons will help out
    a lot!

    I'm not sure why but blogger is not letting me post links to any other sites unless I put it on the right side of the page. Until I figure this out, you can cut and paste the link to your toolbar. If anyone knows how to fix this problem please let me know! I am not very techie!

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Use it up!

    In my quest to reduce our grocery budget, I have realized how much I waste. Since I have started making a weekly meal plan we never eat leftovers. Seriously, never. Nope, not even for lunch. I wish we did. I grew up in a house where we lived on leftovers. I learned to cook big. I have been trying to scale back or at least incorporate leftovers into another meal during the week.

    Yesterday I bought a 5-lb. bag of potatoes. I don't think I have ever finished using a bag of potatoes, except at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I read a post on another blog (I'm sorry I don't remember which one!) about freezing twice baked potatoes. I love twice baked potatoes, but they are kind of a pain to make. Well, yesterday I took the bigger potatoes out of the bag and made once baked potatoes. And then I froze them, individually. They will be twice baked once they are baked again. Hubby asked me how to warm them up. I suddenly realized I don't know how to warm them up. I guess I will thaw them in the microwave and them bake them like normal. If any of you freeze twice bakes please tell me the best way to warm them.

    EDITED TO ADD: I researched and you can do all the steps except baking a second time if you want to freeze them. When you want to thaw them you just put them in the microwave for 10 min. and then a 350 oven for 15-20 min. Don't forget the cheese on top! Here's the recipe I use from



    * 4 large baking potatoes
    * 8 slices bacon
    * 1 cup sour cream
    * 1/2 cup milk
    * 4 tablespoons butter
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    * 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
    * 8 green onions, sliced, divided


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
    3. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
    4. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
    5. Bake for another 15 minutes.

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Menu Plan Monday

    I am only including dinners this week for Menu Plan Monday. Our breakfasts and lunches are usually grab and go and don't change much from week to week, so I will spare you the boring details. I will, however, include recipes, for the non- obvious items, like Spaghetti. Feel free to copy and paste any you like to your own word document.

    Monday- Chicken and Broccoli Casserole, Salad, Garlic Bread
    Broccoli and Chicken Casserole
    4 oz. dried med. egg noodles
    2 c. chopped cooked chicken
    1 10 oz package chopped broccoli, thawed
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 c. milk
    1/2 c. Swiss cheese, shredded
    1 tsp dried basil
    1/8 tsp. pepper

    1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well.
    2. In a 2-qt. casserole stir together noodles, chicken, and broccoli.
    3. In a medium mixing bowl stir together soup, milk, cheese, basil, and pepper. Stir into noodle mixture.
    4. Bake, covered, in a 350 oven for 40-45 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with paprika.

    This recipe also freezes well, so make a double batch!

    Tuesday- Crockpot Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Rolls
    Crockpot Chicken
    3-4 frozen chicken breasts
    No salt chicken seasoning, like Mrs. Dash
    1 tsp. soy sauce
    1 can Campbell's Turkey gravy, or the like

    Sprikle seasonings over chicken breasts. Add soy sauce and gravy.
    Cook in crockpot for 4 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low.

    Wednesday- Chicken Enchiladas, mexican rice, black beans
    Recipe: (from Lisa, gypsygirl, on Here Comes The Stork)
    Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
    4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into pieces
    16oz sour cream
    16oz shredded cheese, divided in half
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    10" flour tortillas

    Warm soup and sour cream on stove. Keep a little bit aside to top enchiladas before baking. Add chicken to mixture, add 1/2 cheese to mix. Spoon into flour tortillas and roll up into enchiladas, place in baking dish. Cover with rest of sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

    Thursday- Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread

    Friday- Sandwiches (hubby works late)

    Saturday- BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Baked Beans, Corn on the Cob
    BBQ Pork Sandwiches
    4 lb. Pork Roast, or tenderloin
    1 can Beef broth
    1 small bottle of BBQ sauce. I use Sweet Baby Ray's.

    Put roast in crockpot and cover with beef broth. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
    Reove roast and trasfer to a 11x13 casserole dish. With two forks, shred the meat. Cover with BBQ sauce and cook for 30 minutes in a 350 oven. Serve on hamburger buns.

    Sunday- grilled burgers, leftover baked beans, and salad

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Menu Planning

    Since tomorrow is "Menu Plan Monday" I thought I would post a link to the printable menu planner I use, every week. I had a hard time finding a plan that worked for me so I hope this helps a few of you.

    Of course when I plan my menu for the week, I always check to see what I have on hand. For example, this week I have 2 packages of ground beef, but only 1 chicken breast, which is all cooked, and in my freezer. I know I only need 1 cooked chicken breast for things like pizza or a casserole. I also have a block of swiss cheese in the freezer and egg noodles in the pantry. So, one night I will make chicken and broccoli casserole. All I have to buy for dinner that night is a package of frozen broccoli. I also have an extra lasagna and chicken enchilada casserole in the freezer that I made the last time I made those 2 dishes. Suddenly, my reduced grocery budget for the week doesn't seem so daunting.

    Check under 'Sites I Love' for the link to the 'Printable Menu Planner'.

    Friday, August 8, 2008

    I'm baaaack.....

    I know I said I would be checking in but we had a terrible internet connection while we were gone. And we were super busy. And I actually slept past 9am. WooHoo! We had such a great time. We did go out to eat one time but it was after we had to leave the theme park b/c of rain. Every ride was shut down, not to mention it was cold and wet. So we saved the ticket money, and went to lunch and to ride go-carts and play mini-golf.

    My vacation tips for anyone planning a frugal vacation
    1. Go somewhere close enough to drive in one day. Duh.

    2. Stay somewhere with a full kitchen. I know, it costs more. But not that much more. And trust me, it is worth having enough space for everyone to spread out and you can COOK!
    3. Prepare your meal plan before you leave home. Prepare and freeze meals, like lasagna. You can pack it in an ice chest. If you have a good ice chest, it will still be frozen, even 8 hours later. Make sure you plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. If you don't bring enough food you may as well not bring any at all.
    4. If you must eat out, go get ice cream! This saved us every night. Most tourists towns have a mom and pop ice cream shop. The nostalgia of an old time soda fountain is not lost on children. We went to a different one each night and only spent around $10 each time. MUCH cheaper than feeding a family of four, 3 meals a day.
    5. Look and ASK for coupons. I incorporated our back to school shopping into this trip since the town had an outlet mall. We had gotten a travel guide at the gas station, free. Inside there was a coupon for a free coupon book, regularly $5, to the outlet mall. When I got Peyton's clothes, I asked the cashier if they had any coupons in the book. They didn't. So I asked if she had any coupons laying around. She said "Well, I have a 15% off. Would that be okay?" OKAY? That would be so awesome!! Just by asking, I saved over $20. With the coupon book I saved $10 off $50 when I bought Madison's clothes, 10% off hubby's clothes. Just by paying attention to the free travel guide I saved almost $50 on stuff I was going to buy anyway.
    Then when we went to play mini-golf, in small type at the bottom of the score card was a coupon for free ice cream to the winner of the round. Savings: $4.75!

    That's all the tips I have for now. I hope it helps some of you. I know it is late in the season for summer vacations but these are good tips for any season of travel. What tips do you have for a frugal vacation?

    Monday, August 4, 2008

    Menu Plan Monday- Vacation Edition

    We are living for vacation tomorrow! Hooray! Hubby won the trip from work so that means we got a free-ish vacation. The condo we are staying in has a full kitchen so I am cooking as if we were at home, to save money. Second, there is a theme park nearby that has a 2-day special. If you go the first day after 3pm, you get the second day free. And kids under 4 are free. Hopefully we will create some good family memories and not break the bank. I cooked like a crazy woman today and tried to prepare as much here as possible, so I don't have to take a lot with me. And then I filled the freezer. Wheeee! I think I may start cooking meals and freezing them once a month. I feel so accomplished! I'm starting with Tuesday b/c it's after midnight on Monday.

    Breakfast- cereal
    Lunch- Picnic lunch (we're hoping we can find a nice rest stop so the kids can run around)
    Dinner- Lasagna, salad, garlic bread

    Breakfast- poptarts (CVS freebie)
    Lunch- Turkey sandwiches and Spaghetti O's
    Dinner- Lemon Garlic Chicken, rice, green beans, garlic bread

    Breakfast- granola bars
    Lunch- Tuna salad sandwiches, lunchables for the girls
    Dinner- Chicken enchiladas, rice, black beans, corn

    Breakfast- yogurt
    Lunch- (on the road)
    Dinner- Homemade pizza, salad

    Lots of snacks for vacation! I would love to not spend ANYTHING on food.
    moo tubes, granola bars, bagels,
    nutty bars, homemade cookies, strawberrys,
    grapes, carrot sticks, mini donuts,
    mandarin oranges, cucumbers,
    chips, krispy treats,
    popsicles, & crackers

    I will try to check in while we're gone. Have a good week!

    Sunday, August 3, 2008

    FREE Professional Haircare

    One thing that I really have a love/hate relationship is the price of hair care. I love to go to the salon for a cut and color, and grown up conversation. Then I have to pay.......EEK! Dave Ramsey would be so ashamed. To make matters worse, they want me to come back in 6 weeks. Well my friends, I may have discovered the greatest thing since hair color in a box, which I can NOT do. Hubby and I and the girls were at the mall today (I went to pick up a book that I had ordered with the Borders $5 off code) when I walked past Regis and noticed a sign. It said something about hair models, blah blah, inquire inside. The nice lady told me that they use 'hair models' to teach new techniques to their staff. This time they are doing foiling highlights, any color you choose, free of charge. Since I was the first to sign up, the instructor will be doing my hair. I don't know how often they do this but I'm hoping to get on some sort of list so they can call me when they need a model. I will let you all know how it turns out and if I get any more info the day of the services. Wish me luck and call your local salon!

    Saturday, August 2, 2008

    Popsicles for breakfast?

    In my quest to be the coolest Mom ever I let the girls help me make these today. Actually, I was reading FishMama's blog and felt guilty for being so grumpy the past few days. My girls LOVE to help me cook. I think it's because I'm usually OCD when it comes to cooking. Anyway, we went to Target, got the ingredients and made the pops. Peyton wants a pudding pop at least 2 or 3 times a day. I was watching Martha Stewart this morning and she made these popsicles. With the ingredients, I would let Peyton have these for breakfast or snack time. They are in the freezer now. Hopefully they turn out.

    1 1/2 c. organic yogurt (I used vanilla, Martha used plain)
    3 tbsp sugar
    2-3 ripe bananas
    1 c. fresh blueberries
    1/2 lemon's juice

    Puree the peeled bananas in food processor. Add yogurt, sugar, lemon juice. Puree again. Add blueberries and quickly puree. (You want the blueberries to stay a bit in tact, like in muffins.) Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for 8 hours.

    They are basically just frozen smoothies. My kids don't like bananas so I used some frozen strawberries and peaches. We buy the gigantic bag of Dole frozen diced fruit at Sam's. It doesn't have any sugar added so it's great for smoothies and such.

    Fun with Friends-on the cheap!

    Whenever we are feeling the pinch of our budget, I sometimes feel like "Whoa is me, I get to have no fun". Then I have a game night. I've only done this a couple of times but it really is a lot of fun. There are a few of us that get together at one house (we try to alternate) and eat dinner and play games. This would be perfect for couples but we usually just have ladies. It's great to sit around with friends and relax and chat. It's also great because we don't have to hire a sitter (the kids come and play together or stay home with Daddy), we don't have an expensive food tab (the host cooks dinner, something cheap and easy), and it is lots of fun!
    I read over at about a cooking club. I think this is a great idea! Basically, a group a friends get together once a month and trade frozen dishes. You would make enough dishes for everyone to take one (i.e. 8 friends, 8 dishes). This would really fun if you incorporated themes, like Mexican food in May, pie in November, cookies in December, etc. I will definitely be working on my friends to start a cooking club.
    What ways do you have "grown-up" fun on the cheap? We are always talking about how to entertain our kids for less but us parents need some fun too! Post your comments so we can all learn from your ideas!

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    My Homeland trip

    I know I posted the deals yesterday but this is the first time I've been owed money at the GROCERY STORE! It has happened at CVS numerous times but this was exciting. Homeland will only double one of the same coupon per transaction. No problem, I will do multiple trasnactions. It's not like I haven't done it before.

    Transaction one-

    Notebook paper .50
    Boneless Pork Ribs 3.99 (reduced for quick sale)
    Pickles 1.00
    Shred cheese 1.50
    Pickles 1.00
    Glue Sticks .50 (for Peyton's preschool class)
    Sour cream 2.00
    Iced tea 1.04
    creamer 2.00
    Secret 1.00
    Pillsbury dinner rolls 1.00
    Pillsbury french loaf 1.00
    1.00 pickles
    .60 tea
    .44 tea
    1.00 creamer
    1.00 creamer
    1.00 secret
    1.00 secret
    .35 rolls
    .35 rolls
    .35 french loaf
    .35 french loaf

    Total oop 9.03

    MQ 4.30
    BonusQ 3.14
    Homeland card savings 15.83
    Total savings 23.27 (74% off)

    So then I do transaction 2. I had 3 more creamer coupons and 1 more tea coupon. Here's where planning better would have come in handy. She rings up the tea and 1 creamer. My total after coupons was -1.06!! I just handed her my other two creamers with their coupons. My total oop was 1.28, which is great but if I had thought better I could have used some of the items I didn't have coupons for, like the pork ribs, on the second, third and fourth transaction and had close to 0.00 oop. I'm still okay with it because I am still learning the grocery store coupon game, but I was so frustrated with myself for not paying closer attention.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Homeland Deals 7/29- 8/5

    As you know we don't have the AMAZING grocery store deals that some of you have in other parts of the country. We do have Homeland, who doubles their coupons. So when they have decent deals, like they have had the past couple of weeks, it is worth posting about. Especially since Homeland is not included in the Grocery Gathering! Here are the best deals I see so far.

    10/$10 Sale
    Pillsbury Crescents (-0.35q)=$0.30
    Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (-.30q)=$0.40
    Pillsbury bread (French loaf shown) (-0.35q)=$0.30
    Hamburger Helper X3 (-$0.75q)=$1.50/3
    Hormel Chili/Tamales X2(-0.55/2q)=$0.90/2
    Lipton Flavored Teas X2(-0.75q)=$0.50/2
    Jello Sugar Free Singles (-0.55q)=FREE
    Secret (-0.50)=FREE
    Old Spice Deodorant X2(-1.00/2)=FREE
    Kraft Jet Puffed Strawberry Mallows (-0.30)=$0.40
    Mt Olive Dill Chips (-1.00/2)= FREE

    10/$15 Sale
    Skintimate Shave Gells (-0.55q)=$0.40
    Best Choice Shredded Cheese (no coupon but great price)
    Easy Mac (no coupon but great price)

    10/$20 Sale
    Daisy Sour Cream 24oz. (-.50q)= $1.00
    Coffee-Mate Creamer (-1.00q)= FREE
    Nature Valley Granola Bars (-.50q)= $1.00

    Misc. Sale Items
    Taste Escapes lunchmeat $2.19 (-$1q)=$0.19
    Pilgrim’s Pride chicken Breast Tenders $2.99lb (-0.55q)
    Luzianne Tea $1.25(-0.60q)=$0.05

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    School Supplies.....for pre-school?!?

    So, Miss Peyton is enrolled in pre-school for the fall. 2 days a week for half a day. Today in the mail I get her school supply list. Seriously? I should have been hitting up the 1 cent sales everyone has been running the past few weeks. I have had to take snacks and baby wipes in the past for Mother's Day Out, but this list looks like it's for elementary school. Tell me if I'm over reacting.

    1 box wide washable markers
    1 bottle white glue
    2 large glue sticks
    1 pair child size scissors
    1 3-ring binder (1 1/2 inch with view front)
    2 pkgs page protectors (approx 30)
    2 boxes baby wipes
    1 roll paper towels
    1 box kleenex
    1 pkg party favors for treasure chest
    1 backpack
    1 box band aids (GIRLS)
    1 can white shaving cream (BOYS)

    I don't even want to know why they need shaving cream. Does that seem like a lot for a 3 year old class, 2 days a week. Not to mention that the price is not exactly cheap, and I already paid a $35 enrollment fee + a $25 enrollment fee for MDO. What are those fees used for? Preschool teachers, enlighten me please!!

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    Ok, first of all, to you lucky people who have Kroger or any other grocery stores who double coupons along with their awesome sales, this post is not going to impress you. I live in Oklahoma where there are no chain grocery stores except Homeland, and their good deals are few and far between. But this week they had a ton of 10/$10 deals. And they double coupons. And I had LOTS of coupons, thanks to eBay. To make a long story shorter, I got 18 bags of natural Ragu pasta sauce and 30 bags of Knorr Lipton sides for $24.67!! I saved over $65! And I got lots of stuff we will use. The pasta sauce was .50 each after sales and coupons and the sides were .33 after sales and coupons. Before the flaming begins, I did not clear the shelves of either. I am really hoping we like the pasta sauce (it's new). If not my poor college student BIL will have lots of spaghetti!

    Menu Plan Monday

    Hubby and I don't eat breakfast and the girls are not big breakfast eaters. By the time they get hungry it's close enough to lunch time that we have lunch and a decent size snack later in the day. So, here is our lunch, snack, and dinners plans for the week.

    Monday- Lunch- Mac and Cheese, Grapes
    Dinner- Lemon Chicken, Rice, Green Beans
    Snack- Yogurt

    Tuesday- Lunch- Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Chips
    Dinner- Chicken Alfredo, Salad
    Snack- Juice Bars

    Wednesday- Lunch- Spaghetti O's, Grapes
    Dinner- Grilled Hot Dogs, Corn, Salad
    Snack- Smoothies

    Thursday- Lunch- Leftover Hot Dogs, Chips
    Dinner- Tacos, Rice, Black Beans
    Snack- Grapes

    Friday- Lunch- Chicken Noodle Soup, Toast
    Dinner- Homemade Pizza, Salad
    Snack- Pudding

    Saturday- Lunch- Grilled Cheese, Chips
    Dinner- Leftovers from the week (Hubby works late and I clean all day!)
    Snack- Smoothies

    Sunday- Lunch- out after church
    Dinner- Sub sandwiches
    Snack- Juice Bars

    If you are wondering why my children's lunches consist of really quick, somewhat processed foods, let me explain. I work. Not at home. Well, in addition to my outside job I work at home, but not for money! My girls are here with a babysitter most days when it's time to eat lunch. Therefore, I have to have things available that anyone can warm up and that my children will eat when I'm not here to tell them they don't have the choice of not eating.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    CVS Sunday

    I was so excited to go to CVS today. With a 3 year old usually in tow, it just hasn't been worth it the last couple of weeks. I'm always surprised with my out of pocket b/c I think I know what it will be and then I'll be blessed by the coupon printer. Since I didn't have any extra bucks to start with (GASP!) I scanned both of my cards (Yes, I really do only have 2 cards. Really.) to see what would spit out. Much to my surprise I had 3.50 in extra bucks on one card, from my Spring spending. And I got a $2 off $10!! Here's what I did...... FYI- My CVS didn't have the DVD's. And the Revlon was in the back b/c they "haven't changed their cosmetics yet". This is when it's good to know your cashiers and make nice with them. My cashier said, "Follow me, and you can get what you want out of the box. I'll just tell everyone else that we don't have the makeup."

    Transaction 1
    Revlon 9.99
    - 2.00 m q from 7/20
    - 2/10 crt q
    - 3.50 ecb
    Total OOP 2.84
    ecb- 9.99

    Transaction 2
    Scott towels 4.99
    Stayfree 4.50
    Stayfree 4.50
    Schick Intuition 3.99
    Gobstoppers 1.00
    - 1.00 scott m q 7/27
    - b1g1 stayfree m q 7/20
    - 4.00 schick m q 6/29 (? on date)
    - 9.99 ecb
    Total OOP .31

    I sooooooo heart CVS!! When I left CVS I hit Target to check out their shoe clearance. I got 2 pairs of sandals and a pair of fall shoes for Peyton, for next year, and super cute pair of wedge sandals for me, all for $14!!

    What great deals have you gotten recently? Post it in comments! You could be helping a fellow frugal friend.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    "Buying" Coupons

    I have found the wave of the future!! Figure out the sales a few days in advance. Go to ebay and find 20 of the 1 coupon you need to make your deals even better. Click Buy It Now. They come to your mailbox in a few days. I'm in love! Nothing to keep up with and no searching through your box of coupons for half an hour to get one coupon. MUCH less mess too. I don't use a lot of coupons at the grocery store b/c they don't take internet coupons and they don't double coupons so it really isn't worth it unless it's an amazing coupon, like the $1 off powerade. Instead of feverishly running around digging through the neighbors recycle bins (Oh yes I did!) I just ordered them off ebay for $2.50. That's 20 free powerades plus 2 cases of dasani for a positive of .70!! (The powerades at the grocery store are .68, and I got the overage.) That, my friends, is no fuss couponing. In fact, I haven't even opened my Sunday paper from last week!!

    Really Stinkin' Hot Summer cleaning...

    So I'm guessing by the 100 degree weather that I missed Spring cleaning. Today I cleaned out both of my refrigerators. What an exciting life I lead. However, it was nice to see what I had lurking in the back of the freezer. I found 6 bags of those Dino Bites that everyone got for free a few months ago. Woo Hoo! I knew they were there but I wasn't sure how many were left. I spent the morning cooking and organizing so hopefully it will help on next week's grocery list. When I went to the store yesterday there were quite a few things that I buy regularly that had gone up significantly. (Tortillas up .67, salsa up .44, swiss cheese slices up .50. Again the excitement is unbearable.) Guess this means I will be shopping Aldi even more. Unfortunately, my family can't live on Powerade alone, or electrasol.......

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Dave Ramsey style date......

    Only someone who has "blow" money can truly appreciate this. Hubby called last night and asked if I wanted to go see 'Sex & the City'. My first thought, "Movie theater? Expensive. Not to mention that we have to get a sitter..." So instead of ruining my husband's sweet gesture of an adult evening out, I say "Oh yes, that sounds like fun! It will be a lot of blow money though." In true FPU form he says, "Well, we can split it. We'll go dutch!" Keep in mind that we split our blow money so hence the splitting the movie. It's so funny how our thinking has changed. Back in the day we would have paid the sitter, gone to a nice dinner, gotten pizza for the kids, bought popcorn and candy and soda, and easily dropped $200, just to see a movie. We still spent a ridiculous amount of money last night, $44, including a bean burrito for Peyton, sitter, and popcorn and a coke but that's our big night out for the month.

    Monday, June 9, 2008

    Menu Planning

    I know, I have been M.I.A. for a while. It seems like since my mom's passing I can't come up with much that seems important enough to write about. However, this blog helps hold me accountable. Therefore I am going to try, again, to get back into the swing of writing. I am starting to feel like a normal person again so hopefully it won't be such a daunting task. I am posting my menu plan for this week. A menu plan really helps me to only buy the things at the store I will actually use for the week and it also makes it easier for me to cook. I know that sounds weird. When I can just go to my plan and see what the meal for the evening is it seems easier to make it. I know I have all the ingredients and I don't have to come up with something off the top of my head. When I have to "create" something, I am more apt to go to the drive thru. I don't plan breakfast and lunches as much as I do dinner b/c I work outside of the home and I just send the girls lunches. Hubby and I don't really eat lunch. I may grab a snack or sandwich when I get home before dinner but not enough to have a formal plan. On the weeks I know I will be home with the girls, all day, I do plan breakfast and lunch b/c I know that will cut out grabbing McD's while running errands. I find my kids eat better when I have a schedule and not just grab junk on the way out to play. For all of that being said, here's the plan for this week........

    Quick Chick (from
    Garlic Red Potatoes
    Green Beans

    Soft Tacos
    Mexican Rice
    Refried Beans

    Grilled Chicken (marinated in Zesty Italian dressing)
    Rice a Roni Chicken rice

    Sesame Chicken w/ steamed broccoli & vermicelli

    Chicken Quesadillas
    leftover mexican rice
    leftover refried beans

    Frozen Pizza (Red Baron's new Garlic Crust pizza's are SOOO good!)

    I do all my house work and laundry on Saturday's and it seems like by dinner time I am exhausted. That is bad combination for not eating out. So instead of planning on cooking something I planned the frozen pizza. All I have to do is preheat and put it on a baking stone. I can make the salad in the morning and dinner is done! I know myself well enough to know I will go out b/c I don't want to 1. cook and 2. mess up my clean kitchen! I also always keep and couple of cans of Spaghetti O's around in case my kids won't eat what I'm making. 59 cents is worth it for them to not talk me into going out. If you participate in Menu Plan Monday leave a comment! I always like to see what other people are having. New ideas keep staying home exciting!

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    Garage Sale

    Yesterday and today I had my first garage sale w/o my mom. She was seriously THE garage sale queen. When her and my step dad moved from the house I grew up in she had a week long, entire house "garage" sale. She made almost $5000!! Off of a bunch of J-U-N-K. She must have been smiling down on me b/c everytime I would say "5 more minutes" another group of people would come and buy more. I made enough to get a new kitchen table! And still have some to put towards our snowball. I know, I should have put it ALL to the snowball but our table was falling apart and if I have to stick to a menu plan, we need a place to eat. It was a super deal, as far as tables go. I spent $199 for the table and 4 chairs. Solid wood, with a dark cherry finish. I am in love! I also got a protection plan for when my children scratch, ding, dent, burn, marker, crayon, and stab my new table they will bring me a shiny new one for 5 years. tThey just don't know how destructive my kids can be!

    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    Gas Prices!?!

    I know I haven't posted since everything with my mom. I came and just haven't been inspired to share anything. I feel like we have strayed from Dave's teaching a bit. No credit card usage and our emergency fund is still in tact but we could have put much more in savings this month. Instead we have been sort of careless. Hopefully May will be the month to get our focus back.
    I was over at one of my fave blogs,, and was inspired to write a post. (thanks angie!) I noticed that she only spent $304 on gas last month. Then I realized that I said "only". How depressing. Our gas budget was $360 but it was stretching too tight by the end of our month (10th-10th). So we bumped it last month to $400. That seemed to be the magic number.
    We have 2 cars, a small mini van and a 4 door sedan. We used to have a Tahoe and the price of gas was more than our payment. That was last summer. I can only imagine how much it would be now!
    Gas prices here are 3.50-ish/per gallon. I can just about fill up my van on $40. That lasts almost a week. I drive about 20 min to work, not sure how many miles. Plus all the household errands. I do try to plan my route so I'm not driving in circles.
    How are gas prices in your area and what is everyone's monthly gas budget? FYI- when I started writing this post on Saturday morning, gas was around 3.40. What a difference 3 days make!

    Sunday, April 20, 2008

    In Loving Memory......

    I know a lot of you have been praying for my mom and I haven't been updating. My mom went to be with her Lord and Savior on April 13th. After 16 days in ICU we made the decision as her family to let her go be with my grandparents in heaven. Her services were last Thursday and they were just what she would have wanted. Actually, she wouldn't have wanted that much attention focused on her. There were so many flowers we lost count around 40 arrangements, not including the family flowers. The chapel held 200 people and they were setting up chairs in the room just outside the chapel because the chapel was full 20 minutes before the service was to start. Such a testament to the amazing woman she was!

    I am beyond sad but I know her struggle is over and that she is in her perfect place. And I know she is watching over us, especially Peyton.

    I am in the process of getting back to my frugal ways. I went to CVS this morning and saved 167.00, spent .11 OOP, so I haven't lost my touch! I am hoping to share the secret with my sister, if she doesn't get frustrated with it. We all know it takes a couple of weeks to get into the groove of saving. I did a lot of cooking and freezing today so hopefully I will start cooking again instead of blowing our food budget. We actually stayed really well within our budget considering everything going on. We even had the money to contribute to flowers, the soloist, and the lady who did a slideshow for us. That, in itself, was an amazing feeling. I couldn't have handled any more stress after spending 16 days at the hospital with a 3 yr old most of the days.

    I know my mom was proud of my money saving and new budgeting so I will continue to do those things so she can watch me with a joyful heart and not a worried heart. Thanks to all of you who were praying for her recovery, but instead she got the ultimate reward. I just wish it had come later for us.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    Mom update 4/2

    There has been no news to report. Nothing has changed. The doctor said today that it is a "grave outcome". Nice choice of words, huh? Please continue to pray for a miracle. Her seizures that were supposed to last 4 days are still happening (we're on day 6) and there is no projected time line of when they will stop.

    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    Mom update

    Here's a picture of my mom (Phyllis), Lee and Peyton from last summer.

    Today seemed to be more promising but when the neurologist did an EEG it showed her brain to be seizing. We couldn't see the seizure they were only happening in her brain. This is just more sign of brain injury due to lack of oxygen. They put her under heavy sedation and 2 other seizure medicines to stop the seizures so we are back to waiting for another EEG to see if her brain continues to do this when not under sedation. The neurologist said that it is "bad and not what we want to see". I am trying to get this out to as many people as I can so she can be lifted up in prayer. A miracle is all we can hope for at this point. I will update again ASAP.

    Thanks to Angie at for the link on her blog. I hope it will reach more people through her as well. Thank you, too, to all the kind posts I received yesterday. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Please pray for my mom....

    This has NOTHING to do with frugal living. It is a purely selfish post. I posted a while back that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. FFwd- she had a masectomy (sp?) a month ago and she has had to have 2 more surgeries since, both times to clear the drain tube. She is 67 and 3 times of anestesia (again sp?) in a month has taken it's toll. She was in the hospital 2 weeks ago with pneumonia and was released. This morning she was having trouble breathing but sent my step-dad to work as normal. About 30 min. after he left she called him and told him she couldn't breathe. He told her he was on his way. At 8:12am she called 911. The fire dept were first on the scene at 8:17am, and she was in cardiac arrest and not breathing. We know that she had gotten to the front door to unlock it but we think when she went back to her room she collapsed on the floor b/c that's where they found her. She is in ICU now but not responding, and not breathing on her own. Her lungs "look really bad" and are filled with fluid. To make matters worse, she was at the cardiologist yesterday and my step-dad asked him to listen to her lungs and he told him he didn't hear anything abnormal. HELLO?? Even the ER doctor said, the fluid couldn't build up like it is overnight. It had to have been like that for days. The neurologist said that she is showing signs of serious brain damage to her brain stem, which is the worst kind. Basically, IF she wakes up she isn't going to be the same person that we know. I am praying for a miracle but she wouldn't want to live like she is now. If God decides for her to be like she is now I just want him to take her. I don't want my step-dad to have to make any decisions regarding keeping her as incapacitated. I'm hoping she will wake up tomorrow and be okay but I am preparing myself for the worst. Please just keep her in your prayers, as well as my step-dad. He is beside himself and blaming himself for not being there. He loves her so much. If anyone else has been through this and has any encouraging words I would really appreciate hearing the story. Thanks if you got this far..........

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    My frugal wedding gift.

    I used the Linens & Things offer I posted about a couple of weeks ago to buy a wedding gift today. I got them a crockpot and I am putting togetther a collection of crockpot recipes to go with it. I would love to have any of your recipes to include along with mine. I plan on getting an empty binder and adding sheet protectors with my tip of organizing my recipes. I will add recipes for their crockpot. With my 20% off coupon, free shipping, ebates return, and the $20 gift card I will get in a few weeks, the crockpot cost me .79!! That is a cheap gift! I can afford to get a REALLY nice binder for the recipes. =) Post your recipes!

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Happy Frugal Easter!

    We will be headed to my Hubby's family for a chilly day of eating, fellowship, and eating. I always bring lots of food but this year it was actually economical, thanks to coupons and just plain old paying attention. I am making mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, baked beans (Peyton's favorite!), and deviled eggs. I got a 5-pd. bag of potatoes at Target for $1.79, thanks to my $1 off coupon I got from I got my green beans, pork & beans, and eggs (.99 a dozen) from Aldi. I already had Cream of Mushroom soup, brown sugar, molasses, and the other ingredients I needed. I figure I spent about $10 for all the ingredients I needed to make our Easter dinner contribution. Not bad for 4 dishes.
    Our ultimate deal of the day is the free gift we received from our Lord and Savior. What an amazing gift to be forgiven! Now that I have my own children I understand better the idea of giving His only Son. Praise God!
    Everyone have a wonderful day free of hustle and bustle to get the best deal and just revel in the gifts that you have. Happy Easter!!

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    Saving money- my new full time job?

    Am I the only one that gets worn out by all the couponing and saving? I am in no way complaining but by the time I check moneysavingmom, thriftyfloridamama, afullcup, herecomesthestork, then moneysavingmom again, then organize my coupons, make my shopping list, and get out the door, it's after noon. And I started at 8am! And today was a slow day. Not a new CVS day. Between Saturday night and Sunday morning CVS planning, I'm a wreck. I WON'T even allow myself to delve into the Walgreens world b/c it seems confusing to me and I really don't want to know how to do it. It would just involve more of my time. By the time Peyton and I hit WalMart (in case they had more nuggets even though I got 9 bags), CVS (In case they got toothpaste. I already have plenty but I NEED more. And I had to get a couple of birthday gifts.), Aldi, and Target (for the grocery items I needed that they had on sale, that I couldn't get cheaper at Aldi) it was 4pm when we got home. 8-4 is a full time job. I only spent about $40 total for all 3 stores and got MUCH more than that in retail value, but my day was gone. I LOVE saving money but as I sit here in an exhausted stuper I wonder if I really save money in comparison to the time I put into it. WHO CARES? It IS fun!! And I might use 5 tubes of toothpaste before CVS puts them on sale again. =)

    Free Chicken Nuggets!!

    With summer quickly approaching I have been thinking of ways to cheaply entertain my children. I spent some time on yesterday finding cheap craft projects because I (thought) I had a code for 15% off and free shipping. Alas, I found out you had to spend $60 to get the deal. I thought of including some neighbors in on the deal, as all the little girls on our street run in a pack from Memorial Day to Labor Day but instead I decided to crash my Dave car into a curb. I am okay but the wheel is not. In case your concerned about the curb, I think it's gonna make it. I distinctly remember Dave-o saying $1000, because most insurance deductibles are $500. I hate it when he's right, which is ALWAYS! At least God has brought us to a place where we can not stress about $500, and focus on getting the free Dave car fixed. Thank goodness my parents (who we got the original Dave car from) were gracious enough to let us borrow another Dave car until the original Dave car is fixed. I promise to stay away from curbs! So needless to say, my focus shifted from funfilled 100 degree days of crafting to anything free. Free food is good, and Sprout online has craft project ideas. Can't get anymore frugal than that. (Thanks to Krystal at and for first posting this deal. I had already discovered the frosting during the cupcake weekend.)

    Fast Fixin' Dino Bites are on sale 2 for $2.00 at Wal-Mart this week. Go here,,to get your $1.00 off coupons. Just sign up for their Fanatics club, and they will send 5 coupons to your printer. Go back and refresh the page to print 5 more! Then, look around on their site, and there is a place,, to print another coupon. Again, backspace and refresh the page and you'll get yet another. That makes a total of 12 coupons! I just got my 12 free bags today, and we had them for supper tonight. Don't forget to get your $0.33 frosting while you're at Wal-Mart!

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Kitchen Tip Tuesday (on Wednesday)

    I totally missed Tuesday! After work I came home and slowly but surely got sicker and sicker. I think I have the stomach thing Peyton had- woo. She keeps bringing me "the bucket" and saying "throw up, Mama", and rubbing my arm or back. She is such a sweet baby. Anyway, on to the tip.

    I have all my recipes stored in a 3 ring binder with page protectors in order of apps, salads, main dishes, sides, bread, and baking (desserts mostly). When I have a new recipe I add it to the stash, and when I need to get one out I just pop open the binder, and have one page to work with. If it gets splattered I can wipe the page protector with a damp cloth.

    Back to bed for me!