Saturday, June 7, 2008

Weekly Shopping Trip--Meijer

After writing about the weekly Meijer's deals, I made my list of items to purchase, along with getting all my coupons ready and headed to Meijer. Here are a couple pictures of what I purchased minus the bread and freezer items (those items went straight to the freezer with us dealing with 90° temps)!




What I purchased with coupons and sale....

  • 5 bags of Chex Mix--Free (one was the 11th item free)
  • 2 tubs Betty Crocker Frosting--95 cents each
  • 4 bottles of Sweet Baby Ray's BQ Sauce--75 cents each
  • 1 pint Dove Ice Cream--99 cents
  • Betty Crocker Brownie Supreme Mix--$1.17 each
  • 6 tubes Grands Biscuits--90 cents each
  • 6 boxes Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks--$1.40 each
  • 1-6pk Trix Yogurt--$1.00
  • 1-6pk Yoplait Kids Yogurt--$1.50
  • 2-4pks Yo-Plus Yogurt--$1.00 each
  • 4 Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes--$1.17 each
  • 2 Lenders Bagels--75 cents each
  • 2-2liters Sierra Mist--60 cents each(with bottle deposit!)
  • 4 Old El Paso Products(1 can refried beans, 3 boxes shells)--93 cents each

This is what I got via sale prices...

  • 2 loaves bread--50 cents each (one loaf was 11th item free)
  • 2 pkgs hamburg buns $1.00 each
  • 1 box Snickers ice cream bars--$1.99
  • 1 box Dove ice cream bars--$2.34
  • 1-4pk Dannon Frusion--$1.74 (found this on dairy's clearance rack for 50% off!)
  • 4-8pks mini candy bars--89 cents each
  • 1 Meijer bagels $1.00
  • 3-2liters Pepsi Products $1.00 each
  • 1 -2liter Dr. Pepper $1.00
  • 5 quart pail ice cream $5.00
  • 4 boxes of 200 ct. Kleenex--$1.29 each
  • 2 bags Doritos $1.90 each
  • 1 pkg Angus Tip Steak $2.61 (found this on the meat's clearance rack)
  • 4 pkgs of Boneless/Skinless Chicken breasts at $1.99lb---$15.12
  • 3 lbs ground chuck $9.70---THE mistake of the week!!! I figured once I got home and had the package open and cooking it that the guy did not hear me correctly or punched it wrong on the scale at the meat counter as to what meat I wanted!! I asked for the ground round that was on sale for $1.99/lb instead he gave me the ground chuck at $3.19/lb!! I never pay that much for ground meat!!

I used a $5 off $75 purchase on my order.

Total after coupons with tax: $99.24

Here is the breakdown of the savings:
Meijer Promotions = $7.00
Total Non-Coupon Savings = $66.52
Total Coupon Savings = $22.10
GRAND TOTAL SAVINGS = $95.62

I also went to Family Fare this week and purchased $37.17 worth of groceries. I saved $18.04!

So my total for the week was $136.41! I saved $113.66 on my groceries this week!!


For other's great shopping trips, head over to MoneySaving Mom's Super Savings Saturday and BeCentsAble's Centsable Shopper Show N' Tell

Friday, June 6, 2008

Frugal Friday

It seems that each summer we go thru the dreaded list of statements and questions from my kids....

"Mom, I am bored!"

"Mom, there is nothing to do!"

"Mom, it is too hot outside can I play on the computer!"

"When are we going to do ___________?"

"Can I go ______________?"

Sound familiar?? I am sure that my kids are not the only ones that each summer try to test the patience of the loving parent that keeps them sheltered, clothed, and fed!

So this week I have been working at getting my "Summer jar" filled!

What is my "Summer jar"??

It is a canning jar with little strips of paper in it for those times(usually not very many!) when I have my kids come to me saying that there is nothing to do or they are bored or whatever statement they come to me with expressing their displeasure in not finding anything to keep them busy!

So here is what I have come up with so far...
  • play in the sand box with your little brother. (my 18mo loves the 8'x8' sandbox that my husband did up four summers ago!)

  • play board games together
  • play hide n' seek
  • play Legos
  • pick up sticks in the yard and driveway(we have a big silver maple in our front yard that is always dropping limbs)
  • sweep out the garage
  • wash the windows inside
  • clean the bathroom
  • vacuum the bathroom floors
  • do a Math quiz (I have a couple children who like "brain dump" their Math facts if we do not study them on a regular basis!)
  • help Mom with laundry
  • read a book (we are going to be participating in at least TWO different summer reading programs, our local public library and either Barnes and Nobles Summer Reading or Schuler's Books Summer Reading. I might try to do all three! LOL)
  • do a craft project
  • take your little brother for a walk in the wagon (we live towards the end of a cul-de-sac street so I let them walk within the limits that we have set for them)
  • dust furniture
  • organize game cabinet
  • fold laundry
  • extra 15 minutes of computer time
  • play with water balloons
  • pull weeds out of the cracks between the patio stones

Now to figure out other things to put in there!! If you were to have a jar what types of things would you put in it? I don't want to put too many of the chores/responsibilities that we do everyday, like setting the table, washing dishes, sweep kitchen floor, etc. because those are expected of them to do daily. I am looking for more of those types of things that would be out of the regular chores/responsibilities along with some fun things for them to as well.

For other frugal tips, resources or ideas; head over to Crystal's blog--Biblical Womanhood

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Homeschooling with Little Ones--Part Three

I have been doing a series on homeschooling with little ones. I was going to discuss my schedule that I do with my pre-k/kdg. child, but I will get to that in the coming weeks. This week, I want to back track a bit and talk more about those toddlers!

Being able to do homeschooling of older children with little ones takes training the little ones that they can not have Mom’s attention all the time. The training that you do with the little ones starts when they are infants and continues as they get older. Once they are toddlers they begin to realize that schedules and routines are just a part of the day.

**the links below in this post are no longer available!**
Over the last couple of weeks, Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood has been writing a series on “Successful Homemaking with Toddlers”. I have enjoyed reading her series because it fully has expressed how I have done my training with my little ones. Instead of trying to summarize it or re-write what she said I am just going to link the series here so you can take the time to read her practical ideas, thoughts, and encouragement. Enjoy!

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 1

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 2

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 3

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 4

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 5

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 6

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 7

Successful homemaking with toddlers-Part 8


Part Two of the series---keeping toddlers occupied

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Snack Turned To Science

Yesterday, my #2 ds decided that he was going to heat up a hard boiled egg for snack! So he peeled the shell off and put the whole egg on a plate to heat up in the microwave. He set the time for 10 seconds and when the time was up, he took out the egg and felt that it was still cold. So he put the egg back into the microwave for an additional 30 seconds!! He then walks away from the microwave to get a fork to eat his egg when it is done. At about the point of 15 seconds left, he and I both heard a LOUD boom coming from the microwave. We stop the microwave and open the door to find this(click on the pics to enlarge to see the full effects of an exploded egg).....


AND this...



The whole egg had exploded in the microwave!!!! It was all over! I could have put it all in a bowl and made egg salad with no chopping required!!! But I didn't! Instead we cleaned up the mess and we talked about why the egg exploded. I also explained to him that the next time he heats up a whole egg he needs to slice it first!

Works for Me Wednesday--"Mom I'm Bored Edition"

This week for Works for Me Wednesday, it is a themed edition "Mom, I'm Bored!". Looking for ideas to cure that dreaded phrase, especially heard during the summer months by kids everywhere!

My first thoughts when I hear "Mom, I'm Bored!" from my kids is to think about what chores need to be done and give them a to-do list to keep them busy for a while. However, I found that once they are done with the to-do list of chores they still come back and say the same thing--"Mom, I'm bored!".

So I have worked at putting together a list of fun things that they can do as well that I keep on slips of paper and in a jar. The kids can choose one thing per day out of the "Boredom Cure Jar" to do. If they have say, "I'm bored!" more than once during the day(this usually happens!), they don't get another pick out of the jar but they get more chores to do.

Are you wondering what things are in the jar, here is a list of things that we do to help overcome the boredom.
  • play board games together
  • go for nature walks--we have several area parks with nature trails.
  • bake goodies
  • visit grandparents--my parents live twenty minutes from us and they live in on an acre of land, which is great for exploring!
  • pretend we are at the movies---stick in a movie and do up some popcorn.
  • play hide n' seek
  • read books--we usually do TWO different summer reading programs, our local public library and either Barnes and Nobles Summer Reading or Schuler's Books Summer Reading.
  • brush up on the Math facts by quizzing each other. It always seems that my kids do a "data dump" when it comes to Math facts so we play the game who can get the most facts right in 2 minutes. :)
  • if we do any traveling, I like to make up a backpack full of goodies for them to do on the trip. I use some of the many ideas over at Mom's Minivan as well to fill the pack.
  • do a craft project
  • when stuck inside due to the weather, using our imagination to play games from tea parties to hide n' seek to I spy. An article of ideas to have fun indoors.

These are just a few of the things that we do to keep that "Mom, I'm Bored!" phrase at bay.

For many more ideas on what to do to keep boredom away, head over to Shannon's blog--Rocks in My Dryer to read what works for others.

Weblink Wednesday


The month of June is National Safety Month. TheNational Safety Council (yes there is such a thing! lol) is offering free on-line Standard First Aid, CPR and AED training from June 1-7 recognizing National CPR and AED Awareness Week. The opportunity is an easy and convenient way for people to learn or renew critical skills that could make the difference between life and death for a family member, colleague or any individual experiencing cardiac arrest. Please note: the free training does not include CPR and AED certification. Certification is available year-around through classroom and on-line courses conducted by state and regional chapters of the National Safety Council.

Throughout June 2008, National Safety Month activities will address the most significant reasons for unintentional injuries and deaths in the American workplace, on the road and in the home and community. We offer tools and materials that can help you and your organization Make a Difference in both on and off the job safety.

Week 1: June 2-6 Emergency Preparedness
Week 2: June 9-13 Distracted Driving
Week 3: June 16-20 Poisoning Prevention
Week 4: June 23-27 Falls Prevention


Along with my Safety Unit Study, here is a site with Safety Printables.

Another resource/book in regards to emergency preparedness that is done by FEMA is Are You Ready?

Hopefully these resources will help you prepare your family for emergencies or disasters.

For other web resources, head over to SoCalVal's blog--Homeschooling with Encouragement.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays


Everyone has a sweet tooth that needs to be "filled" on a consistent basis. During the cooler outside temps it is easy to just turn on the oven and heat the house up and bake our favorite chocolate concoctions. :) However, during the summer months turning on the oven makes the house turn into a sauna....so here are some no bake summer treats!


Lemonade Ice Cream Sandwiches

1-1/2 cups reduced-fat vanilla ice cream, softened

1-3/4 teaspoons sugar-free lemonade soft drink mix

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup reduced-fat whipped topping

8 whole graham crackers, halved

Place the ice cream in a bowl. Dissolve lemonade mix in water; stir into ice cream. Fold in whipped topping. Freeze for 20 minutes or until mixture reaches desired consistency. Spread about 3 tablespoonfuls onto eight graham cracker halves; top with remaining crackers. Wrap individually in foil or plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: 1 ice cream sandwich equals 106 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 3 mg cholesterol, 106 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat.


Banana Pops (I found this one at Living On A Dime a while ago, and I don't remember exactly but I think it was in one of their e-books or newsletters that I received.)

Slice bananas into disks

Roll banana discs into PLAIN yogurt (you can use vanilla yogurt, but I used plain because that's what the recipe said, and that was back in my super healthy days)

Add any kind of topping you wish. We rolled our disks in chopped pecans. I know that's expensive, but we love pecans so much. After freezing these we ate them AND YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE THE TASTE! It was like eating a frozen candy bar. Okay, maybe not that good, but they were sweet and refreshing, and I didn't have to put a limit on how many the kids could eat.

Other toppings that work well: chopped raisins, granola, any kind of nut (cashew, peanuts, almonds), peanut butter (this would be without the yogurt), and of course, melted chocolate or chocolate chips.

My son is not a fan of bananas, but he really liked this treat. You can even eat them plain. Oh, yeah, another topping we did was a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Believe it or not, it was good too! I will warn you that it's messy because of the yogurt. And super messy if the kids help! But you don't have the guilt of giving them something unhealthy, and it's a cheap "popsicle."


Peanut Butter "Toffee"
This is a recipe that I concocted using up some things I had in my pantry for a quick treat for my kids!

I melted some Hershey's chocolate bars. While the bars were melting in the microwave, I take saltines and lined a plate with them and then spread them with peanut butter and then took my melted chocolate and poured it over them and then set them in the freezer til the chocolate was firm. Then I broke them apart and ate! Yummy!

What are your favorite summer time desserts??

Feeling like being a little more adventurous, you can try my No-Bake Cheesecake or my Lunch Box Dessert--Layered Pudding Cups!

For more kitchen tips, ideas or resources---head over to Tammy's Recipes!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 6/1-6/7


**Another week is upon us so that means it is time for another menu plan! This is just a plan and it could change on the cook’s whim!

Last week’s menus were non-existent! My MIL was in town from Tuesday afternoon till Saturday morning. Hubby and I were gone Thursday thru Friday morning and then the family left for a day trip. So I guess you could classify it as a “vacation week”. A “vacation week” that ended with my 18mo getting stitches in his face!!

I have done my shopping for this week already so I should be set other than getting more milk in the house! Anyone got any good recipes for ground beef other than grilled burgers?? I got 14 lbs of it on markdown, so far I have made up some burgers for the freezer and some taco meat. I am thinking on getting some meatballs done as well but what else can be done??

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day. I am missing a couple of dinner plans this week because I need to take stock of my freezer inventory again! :) I will fill those in later!

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus, go check other delicious meal plans that have been linked at her site! **


Sunday (6-1)
Breakfast: eggs, sausage links, hash browns, and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: grilled burgers and fries
Snack: snack basket

Monday (6-2)
Breakfast: cereal and leftover cinnamon rolls
Lunch: leftover grilled chicken from last week
Dinner: spaghetti and garlic toast
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (6-3)
Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: sandwich, chips, cantaloupe and carrot sticks
Dinner: oven fried chicken (#5), mashed taters, corn
Snack: cookies & milk

Wednesday (6-4)
Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: leftover tacos
Dinner: updated--Tombstone Pizzas and fries, I just didn't feel like cooking tonight!
Snack: “mystery snack” updated--did some baking over the last couple of days so the kids had their choice of pudding rich ring cake, brownies, or jewish coffee cake.

Thursday (6-5)
Breakfast: bagels
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: steak/burgers, Potato Pockets, corn
Snack: snack basket

Friday (6-6)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwich, chips, and carrot sticks
Dinner: ???? updated---baked chicken, cheesy potatoes, and peas
Snack: homemade chocolate shakes

Saturday (6-7)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ?????(it’s the weekend anything goes!)
Dinner: chicken tender sandwiches or tilapia, mac & cheese, and green beans
Snack: ??? @ friends’ house updated brownies, peanut butter cookies

Meijer Deals 6/1-6/7

Along with the 10 for $10 get 11th item FREE Sale, Meijer also has other items on sale worth noting!

  • Pork Tenderloin $2.99/lb
  • Ground Beef from Round $1.99/lb
  • Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.99/lb
  • Thornapple Valley Bacon 2/$5
  • Milk-1 gallon 2/$5
  • Meijer 24 oz cottage cheese 2/$4
  • Meijer 16 oz sour cream 4/$5 50cents/1 Mealbox coupon
  • Doritos B1G1
  • Old El Paso Products 25% off $1/2 $1/2
  • Keebler Townhouse/Club/Graham Crackers 2/$4
  • Jif Peanut Butter 3/$5
  • Smuckers Preserves 18oz 3/$5
  • Campbell's Family Size Soups 2/$3
  • Dove, M&M, or Snickers Novelties 1/2 off
  • Yoplait Kids, Trix or Yo-Plus Yogurt 5/$10 (6/1 paper insert $1/1 Yo-plus, 4/20 paper insert Trix) $1/2 Trix and $1/2 Trix and $1/1 Yo-plus
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars 3/$5 65 cents/1 and 80 cents/2
  • Curves Bars 3/$5
  • Fiber One Bars 3/$5 60 cents/1
  • General Mills Milk & Cereal Bars 3/$5
  • Caribou Bars 3/$5
  • Betty Crocker Brownie Supreme Mix 3/$5 $1/2 and 40 cents/1
  • Betty Crocker Cookie Mix 3/$5 $1/2
  • Betty Crocker Frosting 2/$3 55 cents/1
  • Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks5/$9 80 cents/2 and 60 cents/2
  • Suddenly Salad 2/$3 (5/18 paper insert 50 cents/2) and 40 cents/1 and 40 cents/1
  • Multi-Grain Cheerios 2/$5 75 cents/1 and 75 cents/1
  • Honey Nut Cheerios 5/$9 60 cents/1
  • Live Active Cheese 2/$6 $2 coupon plus Money back guarantee
  • Live Active Cereal 2/$5 $3/1
  • Reddi-Whip 2/$4 (5/18 paper insert 55 cents/1)
  • Coffee Mate 2/$5 $1 or $1.50 coupon

You can find more coupons here for the Betty Crocker products!!

Also you can check out other deals for Meijer over at Beth's blog--Tea & Thee Grocery Gathering post. OR if Meijer is not your store for deals, head over to BeCentsAble's Grocery Gathering!!

Meijer 10 for $10 get 11th FREE Deals

WOW!! This week, I think Meijer has turned into a "dollar store" for the week. They have another 10 for $10 Get 11th item FREE Sale running this week!! Your choices are just about limitless! There are over 50 items in the sale!!!
  • Green Giant Frozen Boxed or Bag Veggies 60 cents/2 boxed
  • Totinos Pizza or Pizza Rolls 55 cents/1 and 55 cents/1
  • Aunt Jemina Breakfast Entrees
  • Lender's Bagels (3/9 paper insert 50 cents/2 coupon)
  • Meijer Waffles or Bagels or Breakfast Entress
  • Michelina's Entrees (select varieties) $1/5 Authentico
  • Ben & Jerry's Cups
  • Breyer's Pints
  • Popsicle Orange/Cherry/Grape Pops
  • Banquet Brown & Serve Sausage Links
  • Bar-S Jumbo Meat or Chicken Franks & Bologna 25 cents/1 (sign up required)
  • Bumble Bee White Albacore Tuna
  • Buddig Chipped Meats
  • Armour Lunchmakers
  • Dole Classic Iceberg Salad
  • 1lb Baby Carrots
  • 8oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 liters Pepsi Products
  • Propel Invigorating Water
  • Fitness Water
  • Sunny Delight
  • Meijer Crystal Quenchers(4/20oz)
  • Meijer Spring Water(6/.5 liter)
  • Jones Soda or 24C Vitamin Water
  • Glaceau Vitamin Water
  • Fuze
  • Bisquick Mix 20oz
  • McCormick SeasonAll or Black Ground Pepper or California blend Garlic(5/4 paper insert 25 cents/1 coupon)
  • Hamburger Helper $1/2 and $1/2 and 80 cents/3 and (4/20 paper insert 50 cents/2 coupon)
  • Betty Crocker Speciality or Flavored Mashed Potatoes
  • Rice A Roni or Pasta A Roni 50 cents/1 Nature's Way
  • Betty Crocker Cake Mix
  • Meijer Salad Dressing
  • Meijer Croutons
  • Meijer pitted Olives
  • Sweet Baby Ray's BQ Sauce(5/11 paper insert $1/2 coupon)
  • Hellmans Real Mayo 10oz.
  • Hellmans Tarter Sauce
  • Dole Canned Pineapple
  • Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (4/20 paper insert 30 cents/2 coupon)
  • Aunt Millie's Homestyle/Potato Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns
  • Meijer Old Fashioned Bread
  • Aunt Millies English Muffins
  • Chex Mix $1/1 and $1/1
  • Bugles
  • Combos
  • Pop Secret Popcorn (3ct)
  • Meijer Popcorn or Cheese Treats or Pork Rinds
  • Nabisco Go-Paks
  • Joy Liquid Soap
  • Sno Bol Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Renuzit Adjustables(5/18 paper insert 55 cents/3 coupon)
  • Arm & Hammer Ultra Max Deodorant
  • Aquafresh Cavity Protection or Tartar Control Toothpaste 75cents/1
  • Meijer Mouth Rinse

I think I got everything, however, I might have missed something, so check your area's ad!

For other deals at Meijer this week...read about them here!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Singing Sunday

You Are Awesome In This Place
by Hillsong United

As I come into Your presence
Past the gates of praise
Into Your sanctuary
Til we're standing face to face
I look upon Your countenance
I see the glory of Your Holy face
I can only bow down and say...

You are awesome in this place, Mighty God
You are awesome in this place, Abba Father
You are worthy of all praise
To You our hands we raise
You are awesome in this place, Mighty God