Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, peas (I wasn't able to make this a few weeks ago when I originally planned it, but I have leftover stuffing, so I want to use that.)
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes (This is a day I work. The sloppy joes are actually already made in the freezer, I just have to pull the meat out and heat it up!), chips, fruit salad (orange sugar free jello w/mandarin oranges, topped with light whipped topping - so good!)
Wednesday - Tuna Helper cheesy pasta with peas added. I love to dress up these boxed dinners. They can be ready so fast and are really good. See this post about things I do to dress them up!
Thursday - Smoked Sausage, Onion Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli
Friday - Christmas Party at Church - dinner will be served! Yay!
Saturday - My work Christmas Party - dinner will be served! Yay!
Sunday - Leftovers
I am really excited for the two freebie nights! I love when I can just show up - I do have to bring a dessert to the church party. I can handle that!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Here is what I ended up with:
2 Bounty Basic Paper Towels - $2.98
2 Russell Stover Chocolate tins - $15.98
3 Sure Deodorant - $5.97
Total before coupons: $26.43
Coupons I used:
Walgreen's IVC $1.50 off Sure - I bought 3 so it took off $4.50
3 $1.00 off 1 Sure Deodorant
1 Bounty Basic Coupon took off $1.20 (were on sale w/coupon for $.89)
Total after coupons: $17.66...
...and I will get a $10.00 ($11.00 for adding it to my gift card) rebate for the Russell Stover Chocolates so my net for all this stuff is $6.66!
I am really excited because I needed 2 $10.00 of less gifts for my gift exchange at my work Christmas party this next week. I think the chocolates will work perfectly!
If this doesn't make a whole lot of sense...find out more about how to play the Walgreen's game by clicking here.
Friday, November 28, 2008
For the past four weeks for Frugal Friday, I have written about one of my favorite phrases - "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!" This week I would like to share some ways to "Do without!"Looking at my lifestyle compared to others, there are many things I am doing without.
- hip clothes
- new vehicles
- cable TV
- nice furniture
- a laptop (but I want one sooooo bad!)
- I could go on and on...
However, because of my choices there are other things I am doing without (or will be doing without as soon as we accomplish our goals):
- stress over money
- keeping up with the Jones's
In many cases, doing without also means you free up money that you can use to pick up bargains and yard sale finds. There are many things that I would never pay full price for, but I have an abundance of because I picked it up at a yard sale:
- Books - I do have some books I purchased new, but most of them are yard sale finds. A few years ago I happened upon the mother lode of children's books for $.20 each! Yes, that's right and I bought about 40 of them. My son and daughter has an extensive book collection, none of them were purchased new.
- Kids clothes - granted, I do get a lot of hand me downs from family (THANK YOU!), I have purchased tons of clothes at yard sales for my kids. If I was purchasing their clothes new, they would have about 1/4 of their current wardrobes.
- Kids toys - ditto above, my kids have a lot of toys. This is only because I pick them up at yard sales for less than $1.00 (most of the time). Any new toys they have were gifts.
- My food stockpile - the frugal lifestyle I have chosen has also allowed me to build up a great stockpile for the future.
The best part about 1-3 above is that when I am done with most of these things, I can sell them at my own yard sale for at least as much as I purchased them for making the use of them FREE! (Of course that won't work in all cases, but if you pick up your stuff at the lower end of the spectrum of prices, you can usually re-sell it for at least the same price.)
So there you have it - doing without???? Is it really doing without?? I would say it is more like doing without the things that don't matter, so you can focus on the things that do as well as be thankful for what we do have!
So you've got all that turkey leftover...what are you going to do with it?My senior year of High School I took a class called "Senior Foods" it was an easy A and just a fun class where we did a lot of cooking. One week we cooked a turkey, then made all sorts of stuff with the leftovers. I came across the recipe cards from Senior Foods and found those recipes. Here are some fun things to do with leftover turkey...
Lucky Seven Sandwich
4 slices rye bread
4 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices tomato
8 crisp lettuce leaves
8 slices of crisp bacon
4-8 slices of turkey breast
Thousand Island Dressing
This is an open-faced sandwich. For each sandwich, place 1 slice of rye bread on a plate. Top with 1 slice of Swiss cheese, 2 tomato slices, 2 lettuce leaves, 2 strips of bacon, and 1 or 2 turkey slices. Top each sandwich with a generous portion of Thousand Island dressing. Makes 4 sandwiches. Yummy!
3 cups cubed cooked turkey (I would use less)
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
4 hard cooked eggs, diced
2 cups chopped celery
2/3 cup uncooked minute rice
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. onion juice (who has onion juice? I would use 1/4 c finely chopped onion)
1 cup mayonnaise (I would use less)
1/2 tsp. salt
dash cayenne pepper
4 cups crushed potato chips (I would cut this in 1/2)
Combine all ingredients except potato chips. Mix lightly then put 2 cups of potato chops in mixture. Spread into a 9x13 pan. Put the rest of the potato chips on top. Bake 30-35 minutes at 375. Makes 8-10 servings.
Of course you can also make:
- Turkey Sandwiches
- Any recipe where you would use cooked cubed chicken breast
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- An aquarium - there are some HUGE fish in there!
- An "African" animal scene complete with a Rhinoceros and Zebra (I think the Zebra was stuffed and the Rhino was a sculpture).
- A "Mountain" animal scene with a Polar Bear, Grizzly, Buffalo looking thing, and so much more!
They also have some great sales - we picked up a fun gift for my husband's Dad for Christmas. Woo hoo!
Monday, November 24, 2008
- Get a FREE sample of Tampax Pearl here.
- Get a FREE shopping list from Marie Callendar's Sautes here.
- Yummy! Get a FREE Turtle Chex Mix Bar here.
- Get a FREE $10.00 coupon booklet from Betty Crocker here.
- Click here to join the Huggie's Baby Network - get FREE coupons, samples, and a FREE potty training DVD!
- Click here to get your FREE Home Made Simple coupon booklet - $27.00 in coupons for FREE!
- Click here to get some FREE coupons for Minute Maid frozen novelty products!
- Get a FREE Mr. Clean mini eraser here.
- Love granola? Get a FREE sample of Bear Naked Fruit & Nut Granola here.
**Please note that I have shared some of these samples before, so if you have already signed up for them, you may not be able to again!**
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday - Skillet Beef and Broccoli, Rice, mandarin oranges
Tuesday - Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole, fruit salad, peas (i.e. sugar free jello with fruit in it :))
Wednesday - Meatloaf, Twice Baked Potatoes (both are make ahead items that I made and are already in the freezer!), green beans (canned)
Thursday - Everything! Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday - Leftovers!!
Saturday - This is my husband's birthday, so we are going to Famous Dave's!
Sunday - Macaroni Grill Boxed Dinner, broccoli, rolls
It depends on how many leftovers we have from Thanksgiving - we may be eating leftovers all weekend!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Butternut Squash Bisque
1 large butternut squash diced (I usually slice it, then remove the peel from the slices, then dice)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
3 cans of chicken broth (or chicken stock or vegetable stock, whatever you want)
1 cup skim milk
salt and pepper
Put the squash and carrots in a large saucepan or stockpot. Cover with chicken broth (if it doesn't cover the squash and carrots, add some water). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until vegetables are soft. Meanwhile, saute onion in butter. Add to simmering squash and carrots. When vegetables are soft, remove from heat. Remove vegetables from pan to blender or food processor in batches until all soup is blended smooth. Return to pan, add milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat through (do not boil) and serve.
Check out the other great Souper Saturday recipes from my previous posts here.
Want to find some more great recipes? Check out the Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap! This week she has a recipe for home made Windex! Check it out!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here is the breakdown:
9 cans of FM vegetables - $4.50
1 5# bag of FM sugar - $2.89
2 Cottonelle TP - $1.98
2 FM eggs - $3.70
2 Tums - $7.38
1 reduced family pack of Sirloin Steak - $4.17
1 FM butter - $2.49
8.42 pounds of bananas - $2.11 (these were on sale for $.25/pound! Nothing is wrong with them!)
2 Daisy Sour Cream $3.00
1 bag doritos - $2.75
2 FM whipped topping - $1.18 (these were $.59 for your first 2, additional at $.79)
1 10# bag of potatoes - $2.98
Total before coupons: $40.79
Coupons I used:
Fred Meyer Store Coupons:
FM veggies 3 for $1 took off $1.50
10# bag potatoes $1.48 took of $1.50 - this was in the additional insert.
Tums for $2.99 took off $1.40
FM eggs and butter 3 for $5.00 took off $1.19
Cottonelle TP 2 for $1.00 took off $.98 - this was in the additional insert.
FM sugar $.99 took off $1.90
2 $.50 off Daisy Sour Cream
1 $1.00 off 2 Tums
$3.00 off meat purchase
Net OOP: $27.32
I was super excited about this trip, especially the bananas! My plan is to cut some of them in pieces and freeze them for smoothies or banana bread or muffins of the future. I got the idea from Money Saving Mom here. For the potatoes (because I already had 10 pounds) I am going to make several dishes of Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes to freeze for later.
Here is a scenario:
Buy 6 Jolly Time Popcorns for $10.00
Use 2 $1.00 off coupons or
Use 2 $1.50 off coupons
Net OOP: $8.00 or $7.00
Send in certificate for $10.00 in Albertson's gift cards. Congratulations, you just made $2.00 or $3.00!
**this is updated from my original post, I tried to print the coupons and was only able to choose one or the other. Still a moneymaker, just not $5.00. I also happen to have 2 $.75 off 2 coupons that I got from a previous box of Jolly Time, so I will use those and 2 $1.00 off coupons to make a $3.50.**
I think "Make it do!" has a lot to do with being creative to make what you have work. We live in a society where people want things now! They don't want to wait so they purchase things on credit, like furniture, a vehicle, or day to day stuff. I think about how, as newlyweds with no money, we had to "Make it do!" As I look around my house and think about the things I do, there are several instances where we continue to practice the philosophy, "Make it do!"
We desperately need a shade for our kitchen window. We have a valance, but during certain times of the day, the sun shines right in the window and blinds anyone sitting at the kitchen table. We looked at blinds that would work for this window, but found they were very expensive. I plan to make a shade, but for now our shade is an over sized towel (above). It isn't pretty, but for now it works perfectly!
Speaking of uses for towels...the door from our kitchen to our garage has a huge gap in the bottom (that brings the cold in and the heat out). We should either A. get a new door, or B. put some sort of weather stripping there, but again that is an expense. The solution, a rolled up towel fits perfectly and keeps the cold out!
Another example would be the month of October when I had a $100 budget for the whole month. There were many times I wanted something more "fun" than what I had, I had to make it do. We ate things that weren't necessarily restaurant quality or utterly delectible, but we decided to "Make it do!" (and we lived!).
By the way, we are also making it do with the UGLY green trim in the kitchen (as you can see from the pictures) - there are ugly green cabinets to match along with ugly green sponge painted french doors. We won't be getting new cabinets and trim, we are going to paint. It is quite an undertaking, so we are taking it slow - and "Making it do!" for now!
So...what about you? What are you doing to "Make it do!"?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
- Make a menu - decide what you want to serve. I love to stick with the traditional dishes (green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, rolls, etc.).
- Make a plan - scope out the best deals on the ingredients that you will need (French Fried onions are $2.50 this week at Walmart, use the $.50 coupon from recent inserts to get these for $1.00!, canned veggies are 3 for $1.00 at Fred Meyer this week, stock up on some green beans!).
- Make assignments - that's right, make your Thanksgiving meal a potluck! Assign a dish or two to each family. This will take the stress of cooking and paying for the food off of one person.
- Make items ahead - This will also save a ton of time, try Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, putting together your green been casserole the night before, use your slow cooker, etc.
- Make it fun! - This year I am going to make Turkey Cookies with my nephews and nieces using candy corn I got for $.19 per bag at Walgreen's last week.
- Make it about family - and all the things you are thankful for. After all, isn't that the reason for Thanksgiving?
How about you? What are some of your strategies for saving money and time at Thanksgiving?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This is 6 pounds of ground beef that I have divided into 13 meal size portions for my family! I usually brown half of it and bag it as is, then make 1 meatloaf, and either taco meat or sloppy joes with the rest. I bag all of them into individual ziploc bags then put all the bags into a one gallon bag in the freezer. Here is what I was able to get this time:
2 bags of sloppy joes (2 meal sized portions for all of us)
3 bags of taco meat (3 meal sized portions for tacos or taco salads)
7 bags of cooked ground beef
This saves so much time!
Here are some quick meals you can make with a bag of ground beef:
- Hamburger Helper - read what I recently wrote about how to dress up a boxed dinner here.
- Spaghetti - add to a jar or can of spaghetti sauce
- Haystack Casserole - a family favorite, get the recipe here.
- Taco Soup - also a favorite, get the recipe here.
- Beef Stroganoff - Thaw ground beef, add a can of cream of mushroom soup, a 1/2 c. of sour cream, and 1 envelope onion soup mix. Heat through, serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice. Yum!
I love the convenience and time savings this provides, it also allows me to stretch my meat budget by pre-portioning meals. Also, say it with me...it works for me!
Check out Rocks in my Dryer for other great Works for me Wednesday ideas!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Mercedes over at Common Sense with Money is giving away the coolest Campbell's Holiday Gift Basket - just share a fun way to use Campbell's soup in a recipe other than soup. Check it out here.
Andrea over at Mommy Snacks is giving away the coolest customized coloring book - go sign up here.
Denise at The Centsible Sawyer is having giveaways all week, check out her rockin' blog here.
Jane4Girls is giving away a Yoplait Kids gift pack. Check it out here.
With lower savings rates and higher fees, it made me wonder...why would anyone want to be a customer of a bank??? Below I will list some of the reasons that I think people choose banks and how being a member of a credit union just makes more sense.
- Convenience - many people like to "see" their bank. For what? If you sign up for direct deposit, use an ATM/debit card, is there ever any reason to go to your bank? (What about all those rebate checks you get in the mail? Take a once a month trip to deposit all of them or mail them in!) Yes, credit unions probably have fewer locations, but do you really need to "see" your financial institution?
- ATM access - people want to have access to their money. It's true. For me, ATM's are the least important way for me to access my money. My credit union is part of a large ATM network, so I can get cash for FREE just about around every corner. Not every credit union has this feature. Use your ATM/debit card to get cash back at the store - you are going to Walgreen's anyway, right? Something else, stores like Walgreen's and Albertson's make a deposit each day for all the cash and checks they have received throughout the day. Banks actually charge merchants to deposit cash - so the less they have to deposit, the less they have to pay. Getting your cash back at the point of sale saves you time and the merchant money!
- My parents always banked here - to that I say, so what? You have to take control of your finances, and if you are paying anything to have an account, you are paying too much. Read the fine print and find out exactly what you are paying and compare it with a credit union - you will almost always pay less or not at all!
- I can't join a credit union. - Yes you can! Nowadays, credit union membership is open to everyone. If you cannot join a credit union through work or family, check your yellow pages for a community credit union.
- It is such a hassle to switch. - It will take some time, especially if you have automatic payments set up, but a few minutes or hours of time will save you hundreds of future dollars, isn't it worth the hassle? Many credit unions also offer "switch kits" to help you with the process of contacting your other bank and people you pay. When you go to open your account, find out how the credit union can help!
As you can see, there really is nothing stopping your from joining a credit union but yourself! It's time to ditch the bank and get hooked up with a credit union. You won't regret it!See my other posts about credit unions here.
Monday, November 17, 2008
FREE Fred Meyer reusable shopping bag for the first 2000 customers
FREE coffee and donuts from 7am-11am all three days
FREE cake Friday, November 21st, 12pm-2pm
FREE treats 12pm-2pm
- 11/22 Pizza and Soda
- 11/23 Root Beer Floats
- 11/29 Hot Dogs and Soda
- 11/30 Sundaes
FREE clowns 11am-5pm 11/22, 11/23, 11/29, 11/30
Coupons in the coupon booklet (good 11/21-11/23):
- Save $10.00 on $50 purchase, Save $20.00 on $100 purchase, or save $30.00 on $150.00 purchase
- Save $3.00 on any meat department purchase $3.00 or more (I should be able to get some FREE meat!)
- FM 5lb sugar $.99
- Colgate Toothpaste $.99 (FREE after $1.00 off coupon from Sunday insert - there might be a $1.50 All You coupon too??)
- 50% off all Amy's kitchen frozen products (I don't know what these are, but I'll check it out)
- Buy one get one FREE Poinsettias
- $7.99 Debbie Meyer Bags
- $3.99 18 gallon Rubbermaid tote
- 30% off ink cartridges
- Take an extra 30% off Apparel
- Take an extra 20% off all color cosmetics
Get a FREE coupon book with $27.00 in coupons from Home Made Simple here.
Sign up for the EverSave Newsletter here and get a FREE cookbook - sweet! I love cookbooks!
Sign up for the Huggies Baby Network here and get FREE samples, coupons, and a potty training DVD! (I need this!!!)
Love noodles? Me too - request a FREE sample of Original Pho's Vietnamese Noodles here.
Get a FREE sample of Nutra Sweet no calorie sweetener here.
Request your FREE sample of Dove Shampoo here (LOVE this stuff!).
Are you stinky? Get a FREE sample of Degree Deodorant here. (You can request it even if you are not stinky!)
Get a FREE sample of Glad food bags here.
Get a FREE Breath-A-Licious dog bone here.
Get a FREE sample of Pedigree Good Bites dog treats here.
Go here for a FREE $5.00 off Eukanuba!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday (this is a day I work) - Haystack Casserole in the crock pot.
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - (this is also a day I work this week) - Grilled Cheese sandwiches, tomato soupThursday - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole - this is just something I made up from some other recipes, but it is really yummy. Take about 1 cup each of cooked cubed chicken and cooked cubed ham. Place in the bottom of an 8x8 casserole dish. Add 1 can cream of chicken soup and about 1 cup grated Swiss cheese (or whatever cheese you have). Stir. Prepare 1 box of Stove Top stuffing according to package directions. Pour over the top of the ham/chicken/cheese/soup mixture and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Friday - Lasagna
Saturday and Sunday - these are leftover nights for us.
Of course I will add veggies and/or bread as needed to these meals.
I hope this helps me to stay on track!