Friday, March 14, 2008

Savings Total--$90.63

I went to four stores(not including my Sam's Club run) and saved $90.63!!!! This isn't as great as the last time I did major grocery shopping all in one day but it is still good!! This time I stuck myself out there and went to CVS and Walgreens for things rather than just shopping at the grocery stores.

My 1st CVS run(picture above)

1 Garnier Shampoo reg. $4.29/sale $2.99 plus $2 ECBs plus $1 off coupon
2 CVS Aspirin 81mg 32 count reg. $1.99/sale 99cents
4 bags M&Ms buy 1 at $3.49 get one free

Total OOP(out of pocket)= $11.25
Total saved =$11.28

I don't think I did too bad for my first trip "CVSing"!

My Walgreens run(picture above)

2 Walgreens brand Children's Tylenol $3.99/each
2 Walgreens brand Daytime Cold/Flu 20 count-Buy one at $4.49 get one free(normal price is usually $4.99)
2 Kotex Maxi Pads 2/$5.00 minus $1.00 off coupon (plus I got $1 off my next shopping order)
Jane Cosmetics buy one get one free
I got Mascara $4.99 and concealer $3.79 and then I used 2/$2 off coupons found
2 White Rain Shampoo bonus size bottles 19.95oz $1.00/each
1-8 count pkg. Kleenex brand mini packs $2.00

Total OOP = $23.05
Total savings = $18.86

I was going to get toothpaste that was on sale at Walgreens but the one I went to was totally out so the clerk gave me a raincheck!! I know that isn't the best that I probably could have done but I think it is a good start! I am definitely stocked up on a few things.

Now on to the grocery stores(sorry no pics)....


Bananas $1.31 (2.22lbs/59cents)
Green Cabbage $.37 (1.96lbs/19cents)
Red Grapes $1.40 (1.82lbs/77cents)
Golden Delicious/Gala Apples $2.11 (2.13lbs/99cents)
1 head of lettuce $.99
3 Meijer Mac & Cheese $1.00
6 Meijer Canned Green beans $2.00
6 Meijer Canned Green peas $2.00
4 Aunt Millies Butter Top bread $5.98 (buy one @ $2.99 get one free)
2 Tombstone Pizzas $5.00
2 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls $3.00
2 bags Meijer QF Boneless/Skinnless Chicken breast $14.98 (buy one get one free)

Total OOP = $39.94
Total Saved = $36.70

The total saved would have been 40 cents more if I had remembered to give the cashier my coupon for the cinnamon rolls!! UGH! I had a crying baby with me so I was trying to get thru the check-out to get him home for a nap!

Also you probably wondering why I got the cinnamon rolls and pizza in the first place. Those are a couple of convenience items that I keep on hand for those times when I don't feel like cooking or need something quick before rushing out the door! :)

Family Fare(local Spartan brand store)

They have a sale this week with certain items 10/$10!
The items I got:
2-64oz Spartan Apple Juice
3-32oz Gatorade
2 Spartan Canned Sliced Peaches
2 Spartan Canned Sliced Pears
1 Dole Pineapple Chunks
3 boxes Spartan Fruit Snacks
Total $13.00
Plus I got:
3 boxes frozen Spartan Leaf Spinach $.88
1 box Spartan Cornstarch $1.29 (this was a need item not on sale!)
3 pkgs fresh ground chuck $17.00 (On sale for 1.69/lb, I got 10.06lbs and put in the freezer 11 burgers, 7 meatloaf patties, 50 meatballs, and 2 containers of cooked = 7 meals for us!!)

Total OOP = $39.43
Total saved = $23.79

Grand Total OOP = $113.67
Grand Total saved = $90.63

Between the chicken, ground chuck, and the meat I already have in the freezer plus of course my pantry we have enough to get us thru til the end of the month without having to grocery shop for anything other than WIC items(milk, eggs, etc.) and fresh produce(on sale if not we use the canned fruit!)

Frugal Friday

This week for Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood, Crystal is sharing about keeping things simple and how a simple family outing that only cost a few dollars can be the most memorable thing.

It can be difficult to find simple, low cost family outings for my family. It can be difficult just trying to get a family of seven out the door to do an outing! LOL Most of our family outings are either to do shopping(usually the grocery store! UGH!) or to relatives' for a visit. However, hubby and I are trying to incorporate other things to do as a family.

Here is some of the things that we like to do...

When the weather is nice and there is not a bunch of snow on the ground, we like to go bike riding. So we are not just seeing the same scenery all the time biking through our neighborhood, we will load the bikes up into our trailer and go to one of the paved rail trails (old railroad lines that have been turned to bike trails) or to one of the local parks that has bike trails and just ride around. If we are at a park, we will stop and let the munchkins play on the playground for a while.

When the weather is not so nice, it can be rather expensive for a family of seven to go to the movie theater to watch the latest flicks. So instead we wait for Dove Family Film Festival, where the kids can get into the movie for free and go see a family friendly flick! OR we rent movies from the local video store for $3.00 and then have a movie night at home where we watch the movie and pop some popcorn or have homemade chocolate milkshakes.

If we want to visit a museum or other places that would cost a small fortune for a family outing, we watch for discount days or we plan our visit as a mini vacation. We also found getting a local zoo membership which is about the price it would cost our family for just one visit was a simple way to visit other zoos for free or at a discount! However, the kids got a little bored just going to a bunch of zoos/same zoos over and over so we didn't renew our membership for this year.

One other thing that we enjoy doing as a family is having friends over for a cookout together. It is hard to do cookouts when there is tons of snow on the ground, but once the weather turns nice and we can get the grill dugout we invite at least 3 different families from church every other week for a mini potluck. We have the families each bring their own meat to grill and then a dish to pass. I provide tableware and meat for my family and also a dish to pass. This way, I don't have to worry about breaking my budget to provide food for everyone! There is a enough food for everyone!! During the hot months, we have our Intex pool up and so the kids have fun with the other kids in the pool and some of the grown-ups have fun playing horseshoes. Everyone that has come over has commented as to how nice it was just to have a relaxing afternoon/evening with friends. The women also say that it was nice not having to worry about cooking for night as well!

This is just a few things that a family of seven does to keep life simple and to enjoy life together.

For other frugal, simple ideas or tips, head over to Biblical Womanhood!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Cleaning!

Do you feel like this lady already??? Spring cleaning is just around the corner! Or maybe you have already started working out some of that clutter! Well at any rate it is time once again to do a deep clean of your house and get those winter blues and bugs out!

I have started spring cleaning by working at getting rid of some of the clutter that has seemingly collected(read multiplied!) during the winter months. I haven't gotten to where I am going room to room and deep cleaning yet. That will come in the next few weeks as the weather starts to change from deep freeze to comfortable temperatures and refreshing breezes.

In my quest to stay organized during spring cleaning and making sure that I have covered all the basis I have found a few places that have free printables available or just encouragement to stay strong and get the work done!

Frugal Hacks ---Amy from Mom Advice shares some links along with her free printables that will help you tackle things in just one hour's worth of work! Very motivating!

Organized Home --articles on organizing spring cleaning along with some printables to use as well. They also have some printables to use to get those Spring Garage Sales off the ground!

Good Housekeeping --great spring cleaning tips!

Organizing Spring Cleaning --steps to planning on to get that spring cleaning done!

Now that we know how to plan and attack the spring cleaning, and we have our checklists in hand. Lets attack!!! Find those cleaners that we have in the cupboard just waiting to be used and lets get busy decluttering and cleaning the winter doldrums out of our houses!!

So what are your favorite cleaners to use around the house? Once you are done cleaning do you light scented candles or do you just open the windows to let the fresh, crisp air into the room??

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

Its time again for another WFMW over at Rocks in my Dryer!

Picture this....leaving your house with a purse, diaper bag, 3 ring Household Notebook binder, water bottle, and baby in your arms! All I can say is what an armload! LOL

Several years ago, my hubby decided that I needed to lighten my load a bit so he got me a used/like new Palm Pilot to use and store in my purse. I could then leave my household notebook at home and it helped to lighten my load going out the door with baby in arms. My Palm Pilot was "my brain" some days because I stored my grocery list, datebook, and notes(like what kool-aid flavors every one likes or that recipe that I would find in a magazine sitting in a doctor's waiting room that I just had to try).

After a few years of constant use, my Palm Pilot died! Money was tight at the time so the likelihood of me getting a replacement was slim. So I resorted back to the big arm load of things or just carried a writing tablet with all my info in it. Well the writing table didn't hold up too well from constant use! Also the writing tablet wasn't very good at keeping dates in for appointments.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago, hubby is looking through some computer classified ads at one of the "computer geek forums" that he frequents and he finds that someone is selling their like new Ipaq! He decides to snag it as a gift for me for Valentine's day! I know not your typical Valentine's gift! LOL I am one that is a bit on the practical side when it comes to getting gifts. I would rather get something that I can use instead of something that just sits on a shelf and/or takes up a lot of space. I just love having my Ipaq!

I can now store my grocery lists, calendar, and lists of notes all in one place again without having to waste a bunch of paper or tablets! I can slip it into my purse and take it with me to the doctor's office or the grocery store or where ever and have everything I need to make it through! I can even make appointments for the kids and not double book them!

So having an Ipaq/Palm Pilot is what works for me in getting thru the daily grind! For other tips, resources, and ideas of things that works for others that just might work for you, head over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Weblink Wednesday

First off I want to thank all the ladies for their warm welcome thru the comments left last week. You were such an encouragement to me! I also found that you posted sites that I hadn't seen before!

Now on to the links for today! We are going green! With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, I thought I would share the links that I plan on using for our unit study.

Easy Fun School --I love how many different unit studies you can find on this site. They are so throurgh with their resources.

St Patrick's Day Unit Study --a week long study about the history of the day, geography of Ireland and even an Irish recipe to try!

St. Patrick's Day Lapbook --this is a link to the lapbook resources over at Homeschool Helper(one of the sites that I shared last week!).

Irish Theme --lots of links to resources all about St. Patrick's day and Ireland. There is even a link to listen to midis of bagpipes!

For more links to resources, head over to Homeschooling with Encouragement!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

I love finding ways to use up leftovers so the food doesn't go to waste. Other than just reheating the leftovers again to eat or making them into soup here is some ways that I use them.

1. Roasted Chicken and Gravy can become several different things. I shred the chicken and add it to the gravy and make "Stewed Chicken Sandwiches". OR I combine the two and add leftover veggies to it and make Chicken Veggie Stew/Soup or Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Noodle Soup.

2. Boiled or Baked Potatoes become Seasoned pan fries.

3. Roast, carrots and potatoes meal becames Veggie Stew. Or I take the leftover roast and add bq sauce to it for sandwiches. The leftover potatoes I cut up and make Cubed hashbrowns.

4. Chicken and Rice Casserole leftovers make a good base for homemade Chicken rice soup.

5. Roasted Pork Loin gets bq sauce add to it for BQ Pork sandwiches. OR I make up some chicken gravy and heat up the pork in the gravy for Pork and Gravy.

6. Spaghetti sauce gets used for Pizza Sauce on homemade pizzas.

7. Mashed Potatoes get put in a skillet with a pad of margarine and seasoned with seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder for some seasoned potato cakes.

8. Taco meat(beef or chicken) gets made into taco salad, or put on top of a plate of nacho chips, or gets used in making quesadillas.

9. Extra noodles(spaghetti, egg, elbow macaroni, etc) gets made into a pasta salad.

10. Burgers make into Salisbury Steak OR break them up and make hamburger gravy or use in spaghetti, chili, or goulash.

For other kitchen tips and ideas head over to Tammy's Recipes!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

**This is just a plan and plans have the ability to change at the cook's discretion!
Despite having a menu plan last week, there was several changes due to the menu not sounding very good. Do you ever get tired of eating?? That basically was what happened around here! Plenty of food in the house but nothing sounded very good to eat! We dined out once but the rest of the time I did my best to fix things that it had been awhile since we had eaten it just to help with a variety of things.

This week’s plans are kid-friendly meals!

Lunches listed are for the kids and I as hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus, go check others out at her site!**

Breakfast: eggs, hashbrowns, sausage links/steak, and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: chicken tenders and fries
Dinner: beef gravy over noodles or rice*, peas or salad, and bread
Snack: sandwiches(before evening church)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage, leftover cinnamon rolls
Lunch: Mickey D’s
Dinner: sloppy joes(recipe below), fries, and corn
Snack: snack basket

Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, and carrots or salad
Snack: snack basket

Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: biscuit pizzas, breadsticks, and salad
Snack: “mystery snack”= going to do some baking and kids can have samples for snack

Breakfast: bagels and yogurt
Lunch: leftovers or soup
Dinner: chicken club sandwiches, pan fries, and green beans
Snack: snack basket

Breakfast: French toast and bacon
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: lemon pepper pork chops, rice and peas
Snack: ice cream

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ?????(it’s the weekend anything goes!)
Dinner: smoked turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, and bread
Snack: popcorn

*Note on the Beef Gravy---I made my own gravy with beef broth rather than using a mix.

**Sloppy Joe Recipe
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 can tomato soup
¼ tsp. yellow mustard
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
2-3 tsp. minced onion

Stir all together. Simmer till heated through. Serve on hamburger buns.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Singing Sunday

My Everything
by Scott Krippayne

When the moon shines bright on a sleepless night
I call Your name
When the sun’s first rays offer up their praise
I do the same
For Your mercy is new every morning
And Your presence will light up the dark

You’re the air that I breathe
You’re the strength that I need
You’re my everything
You’re the hope that I find
Everywhere, all the time
You’re my everything

When I’m reaching out
You break through the doubt
That clouds my heart
When I’m lost and confused
You carry me through
To where You are
Oh, You offer life everlasting
And a love that is one of a kind


All the joy and the peace I have known
Oh, it comes from Your hands alone