Sunday, May 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday is fast approaching. Let's just say I need to get back into the swing of things! My life just seems to be so crazy lately. Last week was TERRIBLE as far as my menu plan went. I didn't make anything on the menu. At all. We also ate out a few times. Ugh and double Ugh! Here's to hoping this week will be much better!

Monday: Spaghetti, garlic toast, green salad

Tuesday: Humpty Dumpty with Grands Biscuits, broccoli

Wednesday: Creamy Italian Chicken served over pasta, roasted asparagus

Thursday: Roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, cooked carrots

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Hamburger Helper, peas

Sunday: Leftovers

Thanks, as always to orgjunkie for hosting!


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crazy week

Holy COW! This week was a crazy one.

First of all, it was Memorial Day. Because I am part time I don't get paid holidays so I had to work Tuesday and Wednesday instead of my usual Monday and Tuesday. It totally threw off my routine.

Second, we got a HORRIBLE computer virus and I have been without Internet for what seems like FOREVER! It has been terrible and wonderful because I sure got a lot done around my house this week! :)

Third, I had my annual exam scheduled for last Thursday. Let me tell you, I SOOOOO do not look forward to it. Also, we are down to one car since my Jetta died in December and we haven't had it fixed yet. So I had to seriously plan to get to my exam by 10:30. Here's how it went...

++I got up EARLY to get my kids fed and dressed so we could drop my hubby off at work.

++Then we went to the park to kill time before my appointment. I got there at 8:00! It was nice to be the only ones waiting for the swings.

++Then I dropped my kids off at my aunt's house so I wouldn't have to take them with me.

++I drove back downtown for my appointment.

++I checked in and took all my clothes off and put on a silky robe (I love how my doctor's office does this!).

++My doc came in and we were chatting about life, kids, etc. Then there was a knock and the door. My doc was needed for an emergency but would be right back.

++Then I waited...
++...and waited...
++...and waited...
++...and read a whole Family Circle from cover to cover.

++Finally the nurse came in and said she wouldn't be back for an hour. I could have the LPN come in and finished or reschedule.

++Nothing against the LPN or anything...but I LOVE my doc and prefer for her to do my exam. I had one with the LPN in the past and it was awkward. So I rescheduled.

++I put all my clothes back on.

++Then I picked up my kids and stayed and chatted with my aunt while she made cookies (YUMMY!)

++Then I went and picked up my husband because he needed the car to go to a funeral.

Let's just say I was pooped after that day!

Also, Thursday my daughter started getting sick and Friday she was simply miserable and only wanted to be held. Poor baby, she is finally feeling better tonight.

Now that this is already a novel...I won't go on. Let's just say it was a good week for the Internet to be down!

I did do some shopping this week and I will post it, but it might not be until next week. I will report that I was under budget again - I only spent $33.95. I received a Walmart gift card as a gift so I used that to buy some things I don't normally buy. Stay tuned and I will share. I'm just too tired to do it tonight! :)

How was your week?


Monday, May 25, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

I LOVE FREEbies! Do you? Do you want some? Here you go...

...and don't forget to come back each Monday for a new list!

Have you joined the Quizno's Q club yet? Sign up HERE now and recieve a FREE Flatbread Sammie and a FREE cookie on your birthday! Yum!

Click HERE for a FREE "Law and Odor" kids coloring book from Arm & Hammer.

Check out some FREE potty training charts HERE. Click HERE for a FREE potty training DVD. I've got one to go!

Click HERE to sign up for Cool Savings. They really are COOL - you get FREE samples, discount offerrings, and coupons!

Sign up for Kraft Foods HERE for a FREE newsletter, recipes, and savings offers! Also, sign up for Kraft First Taste HERE and receive coupons for FREE items about once per month. I love KRAFT!

Sign up HERE for Shop4Freebies to get a FREE sample list in your inbox every day!

FREE Samples:

Crest Whitestrips

Aveeno Nourish+ Hair Care


Kotex Overnight

Playtex Gentle Glide

Prilosec OTC

Arm & Hammer Advanced White Toothpaste

Canada Only! Ocean Spray Craisins (+ a FREE red dress pin!)

Quaker Mini Delights

Parent's Choice Baby Formula

Whew! Another great week! Enjoy! Have a happy and safe Memorial Day!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Yay! Menu Plan Monday is upon us - and Monday is a holiday. Hooray! I love Memorial Day because we get two Saturdays together as a family. That is the best! Thanks again to my girl orgjunkie for hosting this each week. It keeps me accountable and I love it!

Here is the plan for this week:

Monday: Family BBQ. My assignment is dessert. I'm not quite sure what I am going to bring yet. Maybe brownies.

Tuesday: Spaghetti, garlic toast, peas

Wednesday: Tacos, fruit salad

Thursdsay: BBQ Pulled pork sandwiches (I shredded and froze the rest of the pork from last week's menu), home made rolls, oven roasted potatoes, green salad

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday:Roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, green salad


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip

I must say this week went VERY well, even though I went over my $50.00 budget. What else is new? I made several stops this week on different days and it was well worth it!

First it was Walgreen's on Monday: 1 Glade lasting impression - $8.99 (- FREE coupon I received for completing a survey) = FREE + I earned a $1.50 RR

6 pouches of Starkist Tuna - $3.84

Used $3.00 RR I received from buying some Benadryl (not a grocery item)
Net OOP: $1.61

Then I headed to Albertson's with my doublers from the Sunday paper.1 Quaker rice cakes - $1.99 (- $1.00 off coupon doubled) = .01 overage!

2 boxes Wheat Thins - $3.34 (Used B1G1FREE coupon) = $1.67

1 Hunt's ketchup - $1.00

2 gallons milk - $4.00

1 dozen eggs - $1.69

6 Grand's biscuits - $10.00 (- 2 $1.00 off 3 coupons doubled)(- $4.00 Alb savings for purchasing $10.00 in certain items) = $2.00 for 6 cans!

Net OOP: $11.25

Thursday night I decided to head over to Albies to take advantage of this weeks doublers. This is the best transaction I have had in a long time!

4 Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (my hubby's FAVE) - $4.00 (-2 $1.00 off 2 coupons doubled) = FREE

2 Kraft zesty Italian dressing - $3.00 (-2 $1.50 off coupons) = FREE

1 Hunt's ketchup - $1.00 (- FREE coupon I received in the mail) = FREE

2 Bar S hot dogs - $2.00 (- $1.00 off 2 coupon doubled) = FREE

My net total was $.02 overage but with the $.42 tax I paid $.40 OOP!!

Then I went to Fred Meyer. They have had some great deals lately.

1 15# bag potatoes - $2.49

2 pkgs hot dog buns - $.78

4 boxes whole wheat spaghetti - $3.16 (clearanced)

1 PS Ice cream - $2.99

1 Oscar Meyer Deli Creations - $1.29 (- $1.50 off coupon) = $.21 overage!

2 gallons milk - $3.98 (my family has been chugging this stuff lately!)

1 bunch bananas - $1.56

2# apples - $1.73

2#ish oranges - $1.41

Net OOP: $19.06

So I actually went to Walgreen's first because I new I wasn't buying anything cold, but this is the way the pics loaded - so anyway...

3 pkgs Pamper's - $29.97 (-3 $1.50 off coupons) = $25.47
Used $5.00 off $25.00 purchase
Net OOP: $21.97

My grand total for the week is $54.29 - not bad, just a bit over budget. My annual budget is $2,600 and so far I have spent $1,257.29 (BTW this includes a $15.89 rebate I received from the Unilever FREE turkey or ham promo, I added it back in to my annual total!)
How did you do this week?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Recipe Swap - Humpty Dumpty

I seriously don't know why this recipe is called Humpty Dumpty - but I had it all the time as a kid. I loved it. It is super duper easy and very good.

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can tuna, drained

1 soup can of milk

Pour all ingredients into a sauce pan. Warm over medium heat. Serve over toast or biscuits.

Check out The Grocery Cart Challenge for more great recipes this week!


Frugal Friday - Make a trade!

One great concept of the frugal lifestyle is trading. Trade something you can do/have for something you can't do/have. This is not a new has been done forever. I love a good trade!

Here is a recent example: I have a good friend who knows I love to trade. We have been trading babysitting forever. She is a licensed cosmetologist and is usually the person who cuts my hair. A few weeks ago she called me and asked if I wanted to make a trade. She would cut my hair if I would watch her kids on a Friday night! I gladly accepted!

Another example: I am part of a group of four women who trade off large cleaning projects. We meet every Thursday and one person's house and all work together for 2 hours on any project - weeding, cleaning, painting, etc. The kids just play during this time. This works great because it helps each of us to tackle a large task once a month!

Some other examples might be:
  1. Meals - one family cooks a meal for four families and drops the meals off one day per week. The rest of the week meals are dropped off from the other members of the group. My sister in law participated in a group like this and LOVED it!
  2. More food trades - Potlucks are also a great example of this, throw a great party and ask each guest to bring a side. I have even been to some fun "bring your own meat" BBQ's. You just bring what you want to cook for your family and a side dish. Everyone eats their own meat and shares the sides.
  3. Trade skills - My husband did hardwood floor for about 8 years. This is a skill that he could trade for landscaping, fencing, painting, or other skilled labor.
  4. Trade teaching - Teach someone how to knit and have them teach you how to sew. This can apply to any skill.
  5. Trade garden produce - If you had an abundance of tomatoes and a friend didn't have many tomatoes trade for what they grew that you didn't.

Obviously the possibilities are endless. Just be sure that the trades are fair to both parties. Don't allow yourself to be taken advantage of and don't take advantage of someone else!

How about you? What do you trade?

Check out more Frugal Friday ideas at Life as Mom!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Join the Quizno's Q Club!

Here's a fun FREEbie - click here to join the Quizno's Q club. Get a FREE flatbread sammie when you sign up and get a FREE cookie on your birthday! Cool!

$5.00 off a $25.00 purchase at Walgreens!

It has been a while since Walgreen's has offered these coupons. Hopefully they are back for good! Click on the image above to get your $5.00 off $25.00 at Walgreen's. The language on the coupon says that it $25.00 AFTER coupons, but can still be great deal. Use it for diapers, FREE after RR items, or more expensive items that are already a good deal (i.e. toilet paper!).


Works for me Wednesday - Peanut Butter Sandwiches

My husband is funny. He could care less about certain things and he becomes obsessive over others. Peanut butter sandwiches are one such item he becomes obsessive over. When we first got married he informed me that I made peanut butter sandwiches wrong.

I made them like everyone else...peanut butter on one side, jelly on the other. That is normal right? One problem with making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich this way is that the jelly soaks through the bread if it is packed in a lunch box. Ewwwww.

I started making sandwiches his way and I have never gone back. It is simple. Spread your peanut butter on one side as normal. Spread a very light layer of peanut butter on the jelly side like this: and put your jelly directly on top of that. Peanut butter is so oily that it stops the jelly from soaking the bread! So easy and...

It works for me!

Want more great ideas? Check out We are THAT Family!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Makin' some dough...

I was super excited to open the mail today and find my very first commission check!!!!
This is a terrible picture, I know, but you get the point!
I have been blogging for just under a year now and belong to several affiliate programs, but my earnings have never reached the threshold to actually get paid...until now!

So my plan is to put it into my car fund (my sad little car fund) - this check for $50.06 will almost double it! Maybe I can buy a door handle with that... :).
Anyway, the point of this post is that you are probably NOT going to get rich using affiliate programs, but if you use several - your earnings may just add up to something. Here are the affiliate programs I use:

My Savings Media - this is the company that sent me the $50.06. I love being an affiliate with them. They provide HTML and links for me to post on my blog that show ads and provide FREEbies for my readers. You don't usually get commission if readers *click* on the link or ad, but usually they have to sign up for something like a FREE sample, a newsletter, a subscription, etc. You get a certain amount for each "lead." The threshold for payout for My Savings Media is $50.00 and you get it about two-ish months after you earned it - so the commission I received is because I reached my threshold in March. I highly recommend this affiliate program for bloggers! It is very easy to use and heck - it made me a few bucks too! Sign up here if you are interested.

Logical Media - this is very similar to My Savings Media...even down to the look of their websites and they sometimes even have the same offers. I just look to see which one has a larger payout if I am going to use a certain ad or offer (most of the time they are the same payout). The threshold is $100.00, which I reached in April so I will be receiving a check probably sometime in June. Logical Media also offers a "super affiliate" program where you can refer other bloggers with your link and you get 5% of their commissions - for life! You can also have as many as you depending on referrals and your own commissions you have a great opportunity to earn some money. Sign up for Logical Media here.

I am also a user of affiliate program, the affiliate program, and Google Ads.

Even if you don't have a blog there are other ways to make some extra dough online. YouData - I am in love with YouData. Seriously, I sign in once a week, click on a few ads, and get some money in my PayPal account on Friday. It is so easy and I love that they pay right away. NO THRESHOLDS! I could go on and on about YouData. In fact, I already have :) - read my original post here. Basically you earn $.05-$.20 for every ad you read. Based on your profile, ads are made available for you to view. View it, it accumulates all week then they deposit what you have earned into your PayPal account. You can also refer others to sing up for YouData and earn $.01 for every ad they view up to 100. Sign up for YouData here using my link, then tell all your friends and start earning some cash. Again, you aren't going to get rich...but every little bit helps. Just think, if you refer 1,000 people, you could potentially make $1,000 off of them! Now that would put a dent in my car savings!

Then there is my favorite...

Swagbucks - This is a search engine (like Google) where you can earn "bucks" for your searches. Reach 45 "Swagbucks" and get a $5.00 gift card. That takes about a month. Get your friends to sign up and you get rewarded with a Swagbuck for every Swagbuck they earn up to 100. Right now I have 10 friends who signed up under me and are regular Swagbucks users. With my searches and their searches, I earn about 45 Swagbucks per week instead of 45 per month. So I earn a $5.00 Amazon gift card every week! Read more details and see how I use my Swagbucks - click here. And...pretty please...if I convinced you to sign up for Swagbucks...please click here and sign up then get your own referral link and share it with all your friends. You WILL NOT be disappointed!

What are you waiting for? Go start making a few bucks - and let it add up!

I know this can be a lot of information all at once, especially if you are not familiar with affiliate programs and/or you are new to blogging. I'd be happy to help explain the programs further and the benefits. Please feel free to e-mail me - saving some green @ gmail . com! I'd love to help!


Monday, May 18, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

Do you want some FREEbies? Here you go!

Get a FREE DiGiornio Flatbread melt today only to the first 10,000 here. Hurry!

Do you have a doggy? Get a FREE sample of Nutrish dog food by Rachel Ray here.

Get a FREE diabetes value pack from Quality Health here.

Click here to sign up for the Bisquick newsletter. Tons of FREE recipes!

Sign up here for a FREE drug discount card. Save up to 75% on prescriptions!

Want to learn how to be more GREEN? Sign up here for FREE eco-living tips from Ideal Bite. Fun!

Sign up here with Kraft Foods for FREE recipes and savings offers. Cool!

Get a FREE sample of Prilosec heartburn relief here. This one comes really fast!

Get a FREE sample of Aveeno Nourish hair care here.

Get a FREE sample of Pull-ups training pants here.

Get your FREE sample of John Freida hair care here.

Get a FREE sample of Tena light bladder leakage pads here.

Get a FREE sample of Hawaiian Tropic here.

Get a FREE sample of Sun Crystals natural sweetener here.

Looks like a great week for FREEbies! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One more small shopping trip last week...

I made a quick trip to Fred Meyer late Saturday and I am so glad I did! Here is what I ended up with:

3#ish bananas - $1.71

1 Oscar Meyer deli creations - $2.50 (- FREE coupon) = FREE I got the coupon for signing up for Kraft First Taste. You get a coupon to try a FREE product then you take a short survey after you try it! You can sign up here.

4 cans olives - $4.00

5 Finnish/Electrasol gel tabs - $14.95 (-5 $2.50 off coupons) = $2.45 SCORE!

2.25# apples - $1.53

3 tomatoes - $1.42

Net OOP: $12.68

This makes my total for the year $1219.39. My goal by year end is $2,600.00 (or $50.00 per week).

I don't plan on shopping much this week. Milk and eggs. Maybe some Albertson's doubler items...maybe!


Menu Plan Monday

Another Sunday night...time to plan next week's menu! All I desperately need next week is milk and eggs, so my plan is to eat from what we have to get my grocery budget ($50/week or $2,600/year)back in line for this year. Thanks orgjunkie for the motivation. I wouldn't do a menu plan without you! Without further is the plan for this week:

Monday: Hamburger Helper, peas (has to be quick and easy, this is a day I work)

Tuesday: Polish sausage in BBQ sauce, Lipton pasta side, broccoli (again work day) - and we didn't have this again last week!

Wednesday: Pork roast, mashed potatoes, peas

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Marinated chicken breast, fruit salad, broccoli, home made rolls(we are having company)

Saturday: Hot dogs on the grill, tater tots, pasta salad, baked beans

Sunday: Leftovers


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip

I had a pretty good week this week. There were some great sales and I had some good coupons! Woo hoo! First I went to Albertson's on Monday to take advantage of some FREEbies and double coupons:

The cute boy was FREE!

1 box Ritz crackers - $1.88 w/in ad coupon

2 Sara Lee bread - $2.58 w/in ad coupon

2 gallons milk - $4.00

2 2# chunks of cheese - $7.98

2#ish pkg boneless skinless chicken breast - $4.12 (-$3.00 off coupon from El Paso purchase last week) = $1.12

3 Kraft BBQ sauce - $1.00 (-3 $.75 off coupons) = $.25

3 Capri Sun Sunrise - $7.47 (-3 $1.00 off coupons DOUBLED) = $1.47

Plus they took off $3.00 for the Kraft Promo for the BBQ sauce and Capri Sun items making an overage of $1.28!

My Net OOP for all this was $18.28!

Then I went to Fred Meyer for some more great deals:

3#ish of apples - $2.09

4 loaves bread - $5.00

1 pkg thick cut bacon - $1.99 (on clearance)

2 pkgs Lay's chips - $3.34(w/in ad coupon) (-$1.00 off 2 coupon) = $2.34

2 Oscar Meyer Deli Creations - $2.58 (-$1.00 off 2 coupon) = $1.58

2 pkgs Bar-S hot dogs - $2.00 (-$1.00 off 2 coupon) = $1.00

4 Tree Top Apple Juice - $6.00 (w/in ad coupon) (-2 $1.00 off 2 coupons) = $4.00

2 Jimmy Dean sausages - $2.58 (on clearance)

2 Iceberg lettuce salads - $1.00 (w/in ad coupon)

Net OOP - $23.18

Finally, I went to Walgreen's (not pictured) for some distilled water and diapers.

3 distilled water - $2.07

2 Walgreen's Premium diapers - $8.99 (they were B1G1Free)

Net OOP - $11.72

My total for the week was $53.18 or $3.18 over. Ugh! Darn those diapers! So far this year I have spent $1,206.71. My annual budget is $2,600 or $50.00 per week. With the total I have spent so far, my average is about $61.00 per week, which isn't terrible - just more than my goal.

How did you do this week?


Friday, May 15, 2009

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

This is a very odd recipe and it seems odd as you are making it, but TRUST me. YUM! It is so good! Plus, you probably always have everything on hand to make this recipe!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
1 1/4 c. sugar (divided)
1 c. flour
7 T. cocoa (divided)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/4 c. hot water

Heat oven to 350. In a bowl, stir together 3/4 c. sugar, flour, 3 tsp. cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Pour batter into an 8 or 9 in square baking pan. Stir together remaining 1/2 c. sugar, brown sugar, and remaining 4 T. cocoa. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the batter in the pan. Pour hot water over top; do not stir.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Let stand 15 minutes; spoon into dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping.

Go visit The Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipes this week!


Frugal Friday - Copy Cat!

It is important for me to have a home that is comfortable and cute. I love to to decorate. Sometimes that can be hard on a budget. One thing I love to do is copycat items I see in magazines, catalogs, or online. Here is an example I did recently:

I saw these pictures in a Deseret Book catalog that came to my home. They were about $9.95 and were about 3 X 5 inches. If I wanted a set of them it would be about $30-$40! Yikes!

I wanted to make my own. To start I had some fabric remnants from a skirt I made forever ago. I drew the designs on with pencil. I actually clamped the fabric down on a TV tray with my husband's clamps to keep the fabric from moving around.

I had some embroidery floss, but no black and I couldn't find an embroidery hoop, so I set the project aside. A few weeks later we were getting ready to take a trip and I was looking for something in our storage room and I found an old cross stitch kit that I never made. It had some black floss and the embroidery hoop I needed. Score!

So I stitched these babies:

I think they turned out cute, but I'm not sure how I am going to frame them. I am either going to make small decorative pillows or frame them in black frames. I'm hoping my hubby can make them out of scrap wood. We'll see :).

This concept can apply to many items that you see in catalogs, online, or in magazines. It usually won't turn out exactly the same, but you can get something you like for less or in my case...nothing!

How about you? Do you have any great copycat projects?

Check out Life as Mom for more Frugal Friday ideas!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Works for me Wednesday - My Egg Slicer

I have an egg slicer that I use all the time.

Once in a while I even use it for eggs! I love to use my egg slicer for slicing anything soft that I want to be sliced evenly. Most often I use it for items like strawberries, olives, bananas (in pieces), and mushrooms.

Guess what? It works for me! Check out other great Works for me Wednesday ideas at We are THAT Family!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

FREE Stuff!!

Here is your FREEbie list for the week - get yours before they are gone!

Get a FREE sample of Healthifeet Foot Cream here.

Get a FREE recipe booklet from Farmer's Market Foods here.

Print this coupon for a FREE Orange Julius on June 19th!

Get a FREE sample of Cottonelle TP here.

Sign up with Kraft Foods to get FREE samples, FREE coupons, and FREE recipes here.

Sign up here to get FREE recipe ideas and tips from Bisquick!

Get a FREE sample pack from Quality Health here.

Sign up for Box Tops for Education here and earn cash for your school!



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Some weeks my menu plan just SAVES me! Last week was one of those weeks. I really appreciate orgjunkie hosting this! Here is the plan for this week:

Monday: (work day) Spaghetti, garlic toast, broccoli

Tuesday: (work day) Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup

Wednesday: BBQ Pork ribs, cheesy potatoes, green salad (didn't have this last week)

Thursday: Chicken/Stuffing casserole, green salad

Friday: Homemade pizza

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Polish sausage, boxed potatoes, corn (didn't have this last week)


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip

I did pretty well this week, I stayed under my $50.00 budget and spent only $30.82. If you have read my blog for any length of time you know that I am usually over budget and that I have a $2,600.00 annual budget that I am trying to stay under. If I go over one week, I try to make it up and go under the next week, etc. My year to date expenses are $1,153.52.

This week I hit up the Hostess Bakery Outlet and spent $9.30. I SWEAR I took a picture, but I can't find it and I lost my receipt. But I got 5 loaves of bread and a package of cookies that I know was $1.94. I got it because my son fell asleep in the car and when we got into the store he laid on the floor and wanted to go to sleep. I BRIBED him with some cookies in order to save myself the embarrassment. It was a fair trade!

I also went to Fred Meyer and got:
These were on sale for $3.88 each (4# packages!!), my net OOP was $8.23! I used them to make 3 pints of freezer jam. Then I cut up a bunch added some sugar and put in the freezer for future strawberry shortcake. Then we just ate the rest of them. I love strawberries! Try making a dip with some sour cream and brown sugar to dip them in. It is to die for!
Finally it was Walmart. Have I mentioned that I HATE Walmart? They are remodeling and everything was moved AND several items rang up wrong, but I didn't pay attention, but I still got some good deals. I spent $13.29 for all this:

2 Minute Maid juices - $2.84 - these were supposed to be $1.00 each, but they were one of the items that rang up wrong. My son was throwing a fit because I put something on the conveyor belt that he wanted to put there, so I was trying to get him to zip it! I should not shop with kids!

1 Frank's red hot sauce - $2.29 (-$1.29 off coupon) = $1.00 This was a FREE item coupon I got in my coupon train. They didn't have the smaller size so I got this.

8 Yoplait yogurt - $3.84 (- $1.00 off 8 coupon from Eat Better America booklet no longer available) = $2.84 or $.36 each

3 pkgs Lender's bagels - $3.00

2 Wheat Thins artisan crackers - $4.00 (-B1G1FREE coupon) = $2.00

2 Johnson's cotton swabs - $2.76 (- 2 $1.00 off Johnson's coupons) = $.76

2 McCormick marinades - $1.50 (- 2 $1.00 off McCormick coupons) = $.50 overage!

2 Kotex pantyliners - $2.00 (- 2 $1.00 off coupons) = FREE

2 Colgate toothbrushes - $1.92 (- 2 $1.00 off coupons) = $.08 overage!

Net OOP: $13.29

How did your shopping go this week?


Friday, May 8, 2009

Frugal Friday - Fun Mother's Day Idea

I was looking for a fun idea for my mom and my mother in law for Mother's Day that the kiddos could help with. I did some searching and finally decided to make some coffee filter flowers. I found this great site with some good instructions.

As I was reading the list of needed items I realized that I didn't have everything I needed. What is a frugal person to do? I looked around my storage room and craft supplies and ended up with this:

The only items that I had from the list were the coffee filters, the food coloring, and the clear tape. We ended up using:

  1. Floral wire instead of the wooden skewer
  2. I used recycled green tissue paper instead of green construction paper
  3. I used some recycled mauve tissue paper for the center of some of the flowers.
  4. The flowers are placed in a paper cup with 1/2 of a styrofoam ball cut to fit in the bottom.
  5. The paper cup is wrapped in recycled yellow tissue paper and tied with a recycled bow that was in my gift wrap box.

I didn't spend a penny and ended up with a cute gift that the kids will give to their Grandmothers on Mother's Day. I will make some cupcakes or sugar cookies and a homemade card to round out this gift.

I share this not necessarily because I think you should make it, but to encourage you to use your imagination to save yourself money. Look at instructions for craft projects and be creative with what you might be able to use instead!

Want to see more Frugal Friday ideas? Go check out Life as Mom!


Italian Pasta Salad

The weather is getting warmer (FINALLY!) and it is the season for barbecues and outdoor fun! I love a good BBQ potluck and I love to make this pasta salad. It is delicious and easy.

Italian Pasta Salad
1 12 oz. pkg rainbow rotini
1 medium tomato, diced
1 can olives, sliced
1 8 oz. pkg Italian blend shredded cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1 bottle fat free Italian dressing (I prefer Kraft)

Cook rainbow rotini according to package directions. Drain in colander and run cold water over it until is is cold. Pour into a large bowl add tomato, olives, and Italian cheese. Stir until well mixed then add Italian dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! Check out some other rockin' recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm going to have a meltdown...

I had kind of a hard day today and was feeling a bit run down. My husband took care of the kiddos while I took a quick nap.
Side note: I had pulled out "the good coupons" from my coupon binder and put them in a separate envelope in the outside pocket. My kiddos got into it...unbeknownst to my husband...and did this:To my good coupons (notice the $2.50 off Electrasol). I SERIOUSLY started to hyperventilate.

Favorite Blog/Site of the Week - Facebook

Let's just say that I was a little skeptical about Facebook before I joined. I thought it was for teeny-boppers and people who wanted to brag about themselves.

I actually joined about 6 months ago or so and I have enjoyed it. Here's why:

  1. I have reconnected with long lost dear friends. We're talking elementary school here!
  2. I have been able to reconnect with family that live far away. Like my cousin Nena!
  3. It is a great way to keep in touch.
  4. It is just plain fun!

Facebook is a social networking site where you can join groups, add friends, and become a "fan" of something. You are basically setting up a home page all about you. You can set it up to be public or private. You can add friends or your friends can add you. You can upload photos and videos. It is FREE and simple to use. You get regular updates of everything your friends are doing. I love it!

If you haven't already, I think you should join Facebook. You might just be pleasantly surprised!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Annual Goal Checkup

In January I made a few small financial goals for our family. So far, I think we have done pretty well. Here is the check-up:

Grocery Spending: My goal for the year is to spend $2,600.00 or less or $50.00 per week. So far this year I have spent exactly $1,132.00. We are basically 1/3 of the way through the year so I am a bit over, but I have done WAAAAAAYYY better than last year. I spent $6,111.87 or an average of $230 per week! Holy cow! I am happy with my progress on this.

$1,000 Emergency Fund: I am happy to report that I have $371.25 in my emergency fund and will have just over $1,000 by years end, which was my goal. I have $38.46 come out of each paycheck and it is deposited directly into that account.

Car Savings: This is not so good...I wanted to have $2,500 by the end of the year. I only have $81.24 in the account. I cannot afford to put away $200.00/month right now, so I am looking for ways to do this. My plan is to use any funds I get from the affiliate programs I participate in for this blog (I actually have a $100.00 check coming from Logical Media in the next few weeks!). I also plan on having a mega yard sale in a few weeks as well. I will put the money I earn from that into my car savings.

Christmas Savings: I have been putting $20.00 each week into an account for Christmas. This would give me $520.00 to spend on Christmas by the end of the year. I have spent some of this money on bargains I have found that I am saving for Christmas gifts, so the fund is sitting at $81.68 right now.

My husband has really jumped on board with the changes we are making in our spending habits and our other categories have come way down. We have done so much better with really thinking about our spending choices before we make them rather than just buying things because we feel like it.

So that's my story. How have you done with your goals this year? Check out what other bloggers are posting about their checkups at Money Saving Mom!


I'm a guest poster!

Guess what?

I am a guest poster today on one of my FAVE blogs - Super Coupon Girl!

Go check it out HERE to find out some of my ideas to save money with kids!


Works for me Wednesday - The Frugal Edition

This week on We are the THAT Family the Works for me Wednesday topic is Frugality. I tried to think of a fun topic to share. I wanted to share some exciting, creative, amazing way we save money. All I could think of was nothing. Nothing. NOTHING!

What I mean way that you can be frugal is to do nothing.

That may sound odd...but a lot of my philosophy about frugality is not about what I is about what I don't do.

  • I don't go to movies in the "expensive" theatres (Did you know that it is $9.50/person in my area!).
  • I don't run to the store every time I need an ingredient for a recipe. I improvise...or don't make it.
  • I don't spend my whole paycheck as soon as I get it. I let my credit union allocate some of it to my savings account for me. I do nothing.
  • I don't go grocery shopping every week. Okay, that's a stretch, but still not going grocery shopping once in a while saves money!
  • I don't get manicures, pedicures, regular haircuts, or massages.

I could go on and on...but I won't! What I will say is that many of the things we do to save money and be frugal are active, creative, and time consuming. Then there are some things that take no time at all! Do nothing!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What is your least favorite household chore?

For the past several months, I have had a poll posted in the upper left hand corner of my blog. It has been fun to see the different results. Most of the time I haven't been too surprised and this one is no exception. Cleaning has been on my mind a lot lately, especially because I recently did some spring cleaning. Here are the results: I voted for laundry. If you ever drop by my house in the middle of the day there will be a pile of laundry on my couch. It never fails. I save it until 3:00 p.m. when Law and Order: Criminal Intent comes on then I can watch and fold. It gives me something to look forward to. I also hate toilets, but I'd rather scrub toilets than do laundry. Seriously.

Anyway...for those of you that didn't vote - what would you choose?

p.s. be sure to vote on my latest poll - scratch cooking!

And...Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I did okay with my plan last week. I have decided to take a break from pizza making. I've been getting sick of it and my husband doesn't like the crust recipe I like to make, so no pizza until I find a killer crust recipe. Apparently, the greasier the better! Anyone have a good one?

Here is the plan - as always thanks orgjunkie for making me do this :)!

Monday: (work day) Sloppy Joes (these are in the freezer already), green salad, pasta salad

Tuesday: Chicken salad sandwiches on onion bagels, green salad

Wednesday: Polish sausages, mashed potatoes, green salad (gotta get rid of it by the 9th :))

Thursday: Tater tot casserole, green salad, corn

Friday: Macaroni Grill boxed dinner, green salad, broccoli

Saturday: Leftovers!

Sunday: Pork ribs, jello salad, potatoes of some sort


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Creamy Chicken & Chile Enchiladas

I made some super yummy enchiladas this week and I found the recipe on the back of the Old El Paso enchilada sauce can! I love it when I find a gem. You have to try these :)!

Here is the original recipe:
1 lb uncooked chicken breast strips
1 pkg cream cheese cut into cubes
1 can Old El Paso chopped green chiles
1 pkg old El Paso Flour tortillas for soft tacos and fajitas
2 cans Old El Paso green chile enchilada sauce
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1. Heat oven to 400. Pray 13x9 inch glass baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In 10-in nonstick skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in center. Stir in cream cheese and chiles; reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until blended and cream cheese is melted.

3. Spoon chicken filling onto tortillas; roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.

I made the following modifications:
I already had shredded cooked chicken in my freezer, so I used that. I warmed it in the microwave and heated the cream cheese, chiles, and chicken together in a pot.

I used one can of enchilada sauce. I think two would be to soggy.

I used Monterrey jack cheese, it was all I had - it was really good.

Check out some more great recipes on The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap!


Weekly Shopping Trip

Okay, so I didn't technically go shopping last week. I picked up a few items for our trip, but I didn't take it from our grocery budget, I took it out of what I budgeted for our small vacation. This helped to bring me back in line with my $2,600 budget for the year. I have spent $1122.70 so far for the year - the figure I posted last week wasn't up to date with Quicken, but now it is. This also included what I purchased this week. There have been 22 weeks so far this year so this ends up being about $63.00 per week. This isn't bad, but I know I can do better. I know that I can do this. Limiting myself to $50.00 has been difficult. I have been able to catch up, but some weeks $50.00 doesn't go that this week! I spent $104.63! I did get some major stock up items and diapers (I used my last diaper on my daughter last night and I had to go to WalMart at 11:00 pm!).

So here is the scoop for the week:
Albertson's on Tuesday (before their last awesome sale was over!)

6 cans enchilada sauce - $7.50

2 cans beans - $2.50

2 gallons skim milk - $4.00

1 family pack pork ribs - $7.78

1 family pack chicken breast - $7.09

3 pkgs ground beef - $8.34

Used $5.00 off if you spend $30.00 coupon I got in the mail.
Got $4.00 off for spending $10.00 on the Old El Paso stuff.

Net OOP: $29.91 + I recieved a $3.00 catalina for chicken or beef on my next purchase. I wish I knew that the Old El Paso would generate that because I would have purchased my meat in a different transaction! But I have it for next time.
My dad took me to Costco on Wednesday. He paid and I paid him back so I don't have the receipt. The total was around $33.00.

I got I got a ginormous box of 500 ziploc baggies for $7.99

A huge salad mix for $1.99

An enormous bag of Red Star yeast for $5.49 (or $3.99) or something

A humongous box of 700 baby wipes for $15.49 (I think?)

Then I was super excited to have enough Swagbucks to have $35.00 to spend at I used it to by 40 rolls of toilet paper. My net cost was $3.50! You really should sign up for Swagbucks - you could get FREE toilet paper too :)!

Finally it was my nemesis...Walmart. I don't know why I hate going there, but I do. I had to buy some diapers at 11:00 pm last night so I had no choice. I can't believe I let myself run so low! I was happy to find several great deals that my family will enjoy.

2 pkgs Luvs diapers - $13.94

2 bunches bananas - $3.00

4 tomatoes - $1.31

5 apples - $1.21

1 tillamook cheese - $5.50

1 Minute Maid limeaid - $1.00

1 Minute Maid lemonade - $1.00

3 pkgs Lender's bagels - $3.00

3 cans olives - $2.91

1 jar Nalley pickles - $1.76 (- $1.00 off coupon) = $.76

1 feta cheese - $2.37

Net OOP: $38.22

I am going to go easy next week. Probably just milk, eggs, and maybe some potatoes. We are pretty set for awhile :).


p.s. be sure to check out some other great trips on Money Saving Mom and Grocery Cart Challenge!

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