Friday, July 31, 2009

Yard Salin' and Givin' Back

Tomorrow is the big day for the Pay it Forward yard sale hosted by the gals at Fabulessly Frugal that I posted abou HERE and HERE. For the past few days I have been helping out with sorting all the donations - and there were a lot - and baking. If you want to try some of my Grandma's Famous Snickerdoodles - you better stop by for the bake sale!

Now that all the dontations are collected and sorted and the baking is (probably) done - now all that is needed are shoppers! Please stop by the sale and say hi - and pick up a few things too!

Get all the details HERE.


Recipe Swap - Busy Day Ham Bake

I made this last week and promised to do a post if it was good. IT WAS GOOD! I had to improvise a little bit because I didn't have everything on hand to make it, but I'm sure the original was just as good as my improvisation!

Original Recipe - Busy Day Ham Bake (Taste of Home's 2002 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes page 144 - I got this at a yard sale for $.50 - I use it all the time!)

1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1 10 oz. pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 c. cooked rice
1 c. cubed fully cooked ham
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1 T. butter or margarine, melted

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Transfer to a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Toss bread crumbs in butter, sprinkle over the top. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through.

My version - Busy Day Ham Bake

1 can cream of mushroom soup (I didn't have cheddar cheese soup)
1 12 oz. pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 c. cooked rice (I had this already cooked and in the freezer! Try it some time!)
1 c. cubed fully cooked ham
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1 T. butter or margarine, melted
shredded mozzarella cheese

I followed the directions above except sprinkled cheese on top, then the bread crumbs.

It was good and so creamy.


For more recipes this week check out The Grocery Cart Challenge!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to Me!!

I can't even believe this...but it has been a year since I started Saving Some Green! What a year it has been! Here are some of the highlights of the past year:
  1. I have "met" some really great bloggers and readers through blogging!

  2. I have enjoyed the accountability that blogging provides. It helps me stay (relatively) within my budget!

  3. I now take pictures of my food so I can post it online. Somehow, it doesn't seem weird anymore - even to my family!

  4. I have enjoyed sharing the ups and downs of my life with all of you!

  5. I have made a few bucks!

  6. I have received a TON of FREE Stuff!!

  7. I have found my niche in the money saving arena - I'm not obsessed with getting every deal and I love that I am okay with that!

Not only that, but the last year has brought a lot of joy to my non-blogging life. I just surpassed going from working full-time outside the home to working only part-time two days per week. I started blogging as a way to fill up all the time I seemed to have when I was home. Now I can't believe I thought I had so much free time!

This year it has also been fun to see my husband transition into our "new" lives together. Instead of the weekends being rush, rush, rush we have enjoyed doing family activities together. I still don't think he is used to having dinner on the table when he gets home (almost) every day!

In the past year, my kids have grown so much! They have gone from this:

To this:

Sometimes it makes me sad that they are so grown up! We would also love to add to our family - and we are leaving that in the Lord's hands. I'm so thankful for my precious family!
Thanks to all of you for helping to make this a great year in my life and I look forward to many more!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Amazing Coupon Database

The Krazy Coupon Lady is a local Idaho blogger with a great coupon/deal website. She has taken things a step further to make things easier for all of us with her new Internet Printable Coupon Database. It is in alphabetical order by brand and I swear it has every printable coupon available anywhere!

Go HERE to check it out - then bookmark it (I'll also be adding it to my sidebar)! I have a feeling you will be using it all the time!

Thanks Krazy Coupon Lady for putting this together and maintaining it!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Frugal Friday - Putting the Word Out 2.0

A concept I learned from Amy Dacyczyn from the Tightwad Gazette (see my side bar if you don't own this book - it is worth EVERY PENNY!) was the concept of putting the word out. I have a lot of success with this (read some previous posts HERE).

I recently realized/discovered/thought about another great way to put the word out. Through the internet, especially Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging!

I have around 100 friends on Facebook - imagine the possibilities. I share a need with 100 people through my status update, one person (or some of the people they know) is bound to be able to fill that need! This is an exchange between me and my Aunt Judy about a need that she posted this morning.
Think of the time that she saved by not calling everyone she knows to try and find a high chair. I'm sure also that she wouldn't have thought of asking me because my baby that age where she could go either way - high chair or booster.

Try it - put the word out (digitally) and see what you end up with!

Check out more Frugal Friday ideas on Life as Mom!


Weekly Shopping Trip

It has been awhile since I posted a shopping trip. This doesn't mean I haven't been shopping. It just means that things were way too crazy and I didn't get around to it etc., etc., etc!

Just an update for the year...YTD I have spent $1,928.56. My goal for the year is $2,600.00 or $50.00 per week for groceries (food, household items, and diapers). I am a little bit over this budget (my average has been $64/week), however, I am still happy with my spending. Last year, I spent more than $6,000 for the year!

With that, I spent $48.52 at Winco, got quite a few items, and used no coupons. This picture looks like a big mess because I mostly got produce and bulk foods items, so a lot of bags! Here is what I got:

4 gallons Milk - $6.72 ($1.68 each!)

2.5#ish grapes - $2.48

bulk Parmesan cheese - $1.59

1 pint heavy cream - $1.43

2.9# bananas - $1.38

1 artichoke - $.68

2 2# blocks cheese - $7.96

5# red potatoes - $2.98

1 Breyer's ice cream - $2.78

1 wedge Parmesan cheese - $2.39

bulk Fetuccine noodles - $.94

bulk Great Northern Beans - $1.01

bulk cocoa - $3.13

3#ish onions - $1.62

Pork roasts - $8.68 ( I think there are about 4-5 boneless pork roasts in this big bag - it was $1.28/lb! Score!)

Net OOP: $48.52

About the bag of I was walking out of the store, a gal offerred me this 1/2 bag of ice that she couldn't fit in her cooler. Who am I to turn down a freebie? I'll figure out a use for it.

How about you? How did you do this week?


Recipe Swap - A Successful Experiment

For dinner earlier this week, I wanted to make some roasted red potatoes. I happened to also have a squash and a zucchini from our garden that was ready (YAY!). So I decided to roast them all together. The results were YUMMY! Here is how I did it:

4-6 red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges and separate
1 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
1 medium squash, cut into chunks

Put all ingredients into a large bowl, add 2ish tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Toss around to make sure everything is coated.

Place on large cookie sheet in a single layer and cook at 400 for about 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy! For more recipes - check out The Grocery Cart Challenge!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Favorite Blog/Site of the Week - Tasty Kitchen

A few months ago a reader left a comment about how I might like The Pioneer Woman's cooking blog. Not only did I like it...I LOVED IT! I have enjoyed the recipes, the humor, and have started reading The Pioneer Woman's other blogs.

She just recently started a new recipe site for sharing recipes and it is WAY COOL! It is called Tasty Kitchen. What is even cooler than that is that she is choosing recipes from the site and making them on her cooking blog. Right now she is on a Zucchini kick!

Seriously, this is a way fun site that I highly recommend.

What are you waiting for? Check it out HERE.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pay it Forward Yard Sale Details

A few days ago I posted about this fundraiser yard sale hosted by the awesome gals at Fabulessly Frugal.

They have worked out a lot of the details (location, drop off locations, dates, times, needs, etc.) and you can find them HERE. They are going to need a lot of volunteers and donations to really make this successful! There is also a link for cash donations for those outside the Treasure Valley. Let's all pitch in if we can/where we can!

For my local pals...I'm getting involved and would be happy to arrange to pick up your donations up for you until the 29th. If you would like to donate baked goods to the yard sale I can arrange to pick those up before the day of the sale. Please call or e-mail me!

Don't forget to get all the details so you can come and SHOP at this sale too! See, everyone can benefit from this!

Thanks again for your support!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tweet! Tweet!

Okay, so maybe I am the last blogger on the planet to sign up for Twitter...but I finally did it! I'd love some followers...what do ya say?

Click HERE to follow me! Send me an e-mail or leave a comment and I'll follow you too!

I am SUPER new to this(and feeling pretty dorky!) anyone a PRO-TWEETER that can give me some advice?


p.s. click HERE to get some cute FREE Twitter buttons for your blog!

The last can of soup...

Last year in September I bought a TON of soup from Albertson's on a great sale. I was sad to see that I pulled out the last can of Cream of Chicken soup to make for dinner tonight!

I still have quite a bit of Cream of Mushroom and Tomato, but I'm hoping for another great sale in September...I know to buy more chicken and less mushroom!


Monday, July 20, 2009

What it is all about!

Calling all locals!

I'm talkin' about Boise, Idaho (and the surrounding area).

Do you ever want to help those in need but don't know where to start?

The great gals over at Fabulessly Frugal not only know where to start - they know how to do it - and they need your help! Do you want to Pay it Forward?

I love this movie!

Here's the scoop... on Saturday, August 1st they will be having Pay It Forward Garage Sale & Bake sale to help a wonderful, caring, giving person in our own community who is in need. Rather than asking for cash donations (which a lot of us don't have right now!) they are asking for your stuff to sell. I know you all have stuff. I have stuff, and I'm going to donate it!

Check out the details HERE.

Thanks for your help!


FREE Stuff!!

Want some FREE stuff?? HuH? Do Ya?

Okay! I hope you enjoy the FREEbies available this week:

Sign up HERE to receive a FREE pedometer from Halton Hikes.

Fave Crafts is offering a FREE cheap and easy crafts E-book HERE and a FREE gardening E-book HERE.

Get your FREE sample of Kotex Overnight Pads HERE.

Get a FREE sample of Prilosec OTC Heartburn Relief HERE.

Walmart offers the BEST FREE samples! Click HERE to see what is available now! (Platex Sport, Viva Paper Towels, Goodnites Underpants to name a few!)



Sunday, July 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - July 20-26

Is anyone else wondering what happened to July? It is almost over! I am getting back into the swing of blogging after about a week off. I needed the break, but not planning my menu wreaked some serious havoc on my life! Never again! I love this planning thing too much - even though there are plenty of weeks I don't stick to it. It helps so much.

Here is the plan for this week:

Monday - Turkey sandwiches, pasta salad

Tuesday - Quick creamy Italian chicken (a version of this, but on the stove with cooked cubed chicken breast - I think it will turn out fine!), pasta, broccoli

Wednesday - Pork ribs in BBQ sauce, red potatoes, zucchini (I have some in my garden that are almost ready!)

Thursday - Busy Day Ham Bake (I'm trying a new recipe, so I'll post it on the Recipe Swap if it is any good!), rolls

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Hamburger helper, green beans

Sunday - Chicken Crescent Bundles, veggies

There you have it. I think it will be a pretty good week! Want to see some more menus? Visit Orgjunkie!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Recipe Swap - My Favorite Green Salad

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum...I love this salad with all my heart and soul. My mouth is watering as I write this! I combined what I love from the Olive Garden salad with what I love from the Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta(a local Boise gem) salad.

Here is what is in it...adjust the amount to what you and your family like:

  • Pre-bagged romaine lettuce salad
  • Olives (I like to slice them in 1/2)
  • Tomato
  • Thinly sliced red onion (YUM!)
  • Feta Cheese

I like to serve this with Cesar dressing, Italian dressing, or Ken's Greek dressing (YUM!).

Have I mentioned that I LOVE this salad? I hope you do too!



Freezer Cooking - Part Five - Resources

This is my 5th and final article on my series on Freezer Cooking. Check out the last 4 articles HERE. This week I'd like to talk about Resources.

So you are all jazzed about freezer cooking...where do you get the recipes?

  1. Swagbucks or Google it! You'd be amazed at how many links will come up!

  2. Frozen Assets: how to cook for a day and eat for a month by Deborah Taylor-Hough (check the I Recommend section in my sidebar)

  3. The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet – A Month of Meals Made Easy by Nanci Slagle (check the I Recommend section in my sidebar) I LOVE this book!!!!!

  4. The 30 Day Gourmet Website

  5. Dinner's In the Freezer

What about you? Where do you get your Freezer Cooking recipes?

I hope you enjoyed this series on Freezer Cooking as much as I enjoy doing it!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A break...

It seems like my life has been a bit crazy the last few weeks.

I just realized it has been almost a week since my last post. Apparently, blogging has been the last thing on my mind!

I hope to get back in the swing of things in the next few days.

Stay tuned!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Favorite Blog/Site of the Week - Absurdly Cool Freebies

I've got a secret...

Many of the FREEbies that I post here come from this great site called Absurdly Cool Freebies. I was approached by the site owner several months about to check out the site and I shared some info about it in previous posts.

I love this site, basically it searches the web for FREEbies all day then posts the links for anyone to see. Most of the FREEbies are great and don't require complicated sign ups, etc.

Go check out Absurdly Cool Freebies HERE and find some GREAT FREEbies for yourself!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Freezer Meals - Part Four - Other Modifications

This is part four in my blog series on Freezer Cooking. Read the rest of the series HERE.

This week I am sharing some ideas about what you can and can't freeze and other modifications you should make when considering freezer cooking.
1. Walk up and down the frozen food aisle and you can see most things can be frozen! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Chances are many of the recipes that you currently make can be frozen!

2. Mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, gravies, and other sauces alone will change consistency. They can be mixed with other ingredients with great success.

3. Cooked potatoes don’t freeze well in soups – although I have frozen twice baked potatoes and potato skins with great success. YUM!

4. Remember you can make more than just main dishes – freeze muffins, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, breakfast burritos for breakfast. You can also freeze cookie dough, cakes, cookies, or other desserts. Just don't freeze cakes that are already frosted, the frosting gets wierd.
What other modifications should I make with freezer meals?

1. Pasta should be undercooked before freezing. If you don’t do this, it can end up being overcooked in the thawing/heating process. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of soggy noodles!

2. When making foods you would normally bake (i.e. lasagna, casserole, etc.) prepare them up to the point that you would put them in the oven, then freeze– this way they taste fresh when you are ready to cook them.

3. When freezing individual items like cookie dough balls, muffins, twice baked potatoes, or bananas put onto a cookie sheet and freeze then put in a freezer bag. This prevents the items from sticking together and being difficult to remove when ready to use. I love doing this with cookie dough! When I taught this class at church, one of the attendees said that she froze Grands biscuits this way - these can be found for almost nothing from time to time, so that was a great tip!

4. You can take meals from freezer to oven, just increase your cooking time by about ½ and do not put glass dishes directly into the oven.

How about you? Any great tips on Freezer Cooking? Don't forget to come back next week for part 5!


Monday, July 6, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

Another week is upon us! Here are some great FREEbies available this week:

Did you get your FREE feminine products samples I blogged about last week? Don't fear, they are still available HERE.

Pregnant or Father to be? Check out Baby to Bee HERE for some great FREEbies!

Get a FREE Breastfeeding support kit from Enfamil HERE.

Get a FREE 2009 Entertainment book HERE when you reserve one for 2010. These are still good until November!

Sign up HERE for a FREE Prescription Drug Discount Card.

Get a FREE sample of Prilosec OTC heartburn relief HERE.

Sign up for CVS Photo Center HERE and get 50 FREE prints!

Get a FREE sample of Pull-ups HERE.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I hope that all of you have a Happy and Safe 4th of July! I am so grateful for the freedoms I enjoy:
  1. To worship as I choose
  2. To live where I choose
  3. To work where I choose
  4. To raise my children as I choose
  5. To be able to express my thoughts and opinions as I choose

Now go have a great time and enjoy the holiday with your family, friends, and loved ones!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Recipe Swap - Chocolate Waffle Cookies

During the summer I am all about recipes that don't heat up my whole kitchen. These chocolate cookies are cooked in the waffle iron, I usually always have the ingredients on hand, and they are delicious!

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

1/2 c. butter
6 T. cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. flour

Melt butter and cocoa in a small pan. Combine eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Mix well. Add cocoa mixture. Add flour, stir well. Drop by spoonfuls (I use the Pampered Chef small scoop) on a hot waffle iron. Close cover and bake on medium heat for 2 minutes. Frost with chocolate frosting (homemade or store bought). Makes about 2 dozen cookies. YUM!

Go check out some other recipes on The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap!


Frugal Friday - How I Save Money On Meat

I will admit, I love meat. When I think about what to make for dinner, I usually automatically think MEAT - VEGETABLE - PASTA or POTATO. I think that is the standard. Meat, however, is the most expensive part of the budget. I have found a few tricks that have helped me still enjoy meat in meals while still staying within my budget.

++Eat more chicken and ground beef. My target price for both of these is $1.99 per lb. When I see it for less than this, I stock up. There are many, many great meals that can be made with this type of meat. For a casserole, a little bit goes a long way. Check out my ideas HERE and HERE for uses for chicken and HERE for ground beef.

++Look for markdowns! The two stores I shop the most here in Boise, ID are Fred Meyer and Albertson's. Both of these stores mark down meat at certain times. I have found ground beef for $1.69/lb at Albertson's late at night. Usually on Saturday nights Fred Meyer has a ton of marked down meat. I have found some amazing deals this way. Figure out which stores in your area do markdowns and check them out!

++Shop the sales - then stock up! Watch for sales on other types of meat. I recently purchased pork roasts at Winco (a local grocery store) for $1.48/lb! Shop the sales and stock up!

++Shoot for a meatless meal once or twice per week. If you aren't eating meat, you aren't spending money on it! Read my article on going meatless HERE.

I'm sure there are other ways to save on meat - like buying a whole cow or something, but I don't have the room for that!

How about you? How do you save on meat?

Check out more Frugal Friday posts on Life as Mom!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

FREE {ahem} Feminine Products!

Let me tell ya, I have so many FREE samples of Tampax, Kotex, Always etc. that I haven't had to buy any (ahem) feminine products in a while. When they are available, I jump on them!

Here are some that are available now:

This is a new sample of Kotex that just became available. Get yours HERE.

Get a FREE sample of Platex Gentle Glide HERE.

Get a FREE sample of Carefree Ultra Protection Pantyliners and Stayfree pads HERE.

Get your FREE sample of OB tampons HERE.
Stock up, and enjoy! (I guess :))

Favorite Blog/Site of the Week -

This is just for fun, of course. I am not making any announcements! I just love this website to check out the latest names, celebrity names, etc.

I checked this site all the time when I was pregnant and we were trying to pick out a name. We had about a MILLION boy names but we couldn't agree on a girl name. It was from this site that I discovered that Faith Hill's real name is Audrey Faith. I like Faith Hill, but I'm not a die-hard fan but I loved the sound of her real name.

I presented the case to my husband, who informed me that we could not have any "feelings" as middle names - no Faith, Hope, get the idea. I was bummed, but he did like the name Audrey.

So, when we had our baby girl we named her Audrey Elizabeth. I attribute the idea for her name to Baby (and Faith Hill)! Go check it out!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Works for me Wednesday - My NEW Label Cloud

Do you like my new Label Cloud? I have seen these on other blogs and thought they were so cool. It puts all of your tags (topics for your posts) in alphabetical order and the size of the font indicates the number of times you have blogged about it. I love it.
I tried doing this on my own and I hoped there was some blogger widget that would help me do this. There wasn't.

This is why I am in love with searching for things online. You can find LITERALLY anything! If you want to do something, chances are someone else has posted how to do it.

I did a Swagbucks search and came across the step-by-step instructions HERE.

It was easy...and all I had to do was search the web and I found something that works for me!

Go check out We are THAT Family for other Works for me Wednesday ideas!

Now go add a label cloud to your blog!

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