Saturday, June 14, 2008

Weekly Shopping Trip--Saved $92.71

IF I had purchased everything that I bought at full price it would have cost me....$222.87!! However, I walked away this week with only spending $130.16!! AND to top it off I didn't have any coupons or gift cards to use for anything that I purchased! I know that it seems like a lot of $$$ to be spending for one week but my freezer was bare so I needed to get meats for meals! So how did I pull this shopping trip off with no coupons and still come under my $150/weekly total. Here is how....sales and meat markdowns!!!

I went to Meijer and Family Fare this week!

At Meijer I purchased...

  • 3 pkgs 1# bacon--$5.67 ($1.89/lb)
  • 4-4# bags of quick frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts--$29.96 (B1 bag G1bag FREE)
  • 1 bag Cheetos--$2.69
  • 1 bag Fritos--FREE (Cheetos, Fritos, and Rold Gold Pretzels--B1G1)
  • 2 gallons Hawaiian Punch--$4.00
  • 3 pkgs Handi Snacks--$5.00
Total Savings--$39.71

At Family Fare I purchased...

  • 6 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups--$1.98
  • 2 Snickers' bars--$1.00
  • 2 King Size M&Ms--$2.00
  • 6 boxes Kleenex--$10.00
  • 2.90lbs Family pack NY Strip Steak--$17.37 (Father's Day meal!)
  • 3.61lbs Beef Roast--$7.32(50% markdown)
  • 3.10lbs Top Round Steak--$7.79(40% markdown)
  • 1.44lbs Sirloin Tip Steak--$4.30(40% markdown)
  • 1.64lbs Pork Loin Chops--$4.90(40% markdown)
  • 3 pkgs Azteca Tortillas--$3.73
  • 4 pkgs Eckrich Smoky Links---$8.00
  • 2 loaves Aunt Millie's Old Fashioned MultiGrain Bread--$3.19 (B1G1 Free)
  • 3 lbs stick margarine--$1.95
  • 10lbs potatoes--$4.49
  • 3.41lbs bananas--$2.01
  • 2.51lbs red grapes--$2.21

Total Savings--$53.00

Grand Total--$130.16
Grand Total Savings--$92.71

To see how much others saved this week, head over to MoneySavingMom's Super Savings Saturday and BeCentsAble's Show N' Tell!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Strawberries Galore!

Here in the upper Midwest, it is starting to be strawberry season, finally!! I love strawberries! I love strawberry jam, strawberries and ice cream, strawberry muffins, strawberry desserts, chocolate dipped strawberries and even strawberry smoothies!

Since strawberries are now the "in season" fruit around here, I am going to share a few tried and true strawberry recipes.

First off, my friend, Marcy posted some strawberry recipes that she has tried, like her "Berry Freezer Jam". I haven't tried making strawberry jam myself but her recipe looks very similar to the one that my Mother used to make when I was growing up! It looks yummy, so do the other two recipes! Thanks Marcy for sharing!

One of my favorite magazines, Taste of Home, has several cool summer treats linked on their homepage! The treats are all some that I have done and they are very good!!

Another recipe that I have tried from Taste of Home is Strawberry Muffins...

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled (I have even used canola oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the first four ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, butter and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberries. Fill muffin cups coated with cooking spray or lined with paper liners two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

One other muffin recipe that I have tried that my kids seem to enjoy is these fun Strawberry Muffin Cones...

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 carton (6 ounces) strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
15 ice cream cake cones (about 3 inches tall)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
Colored sprinkles

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, beat eggs, yogurt, oil and strawberries; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Place the ice cream cones in muffin cups; spoon about 3 tablespoon batter into each cone. Bake at 375° for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely. In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip muffin tops in chocolate; decorate with sprinkles. Yield: 15 servings.

Notes: These muffin cones are best served the same day they're prepared. Muffins can be baked in paper liners instead of ice cream cones.

Don't have time to make strawberry jam, what about making some strawberry butter!! Yummy on some wheat english muffins!

The best dessert using strawberries is my no-bake cheesecake instead of using pie filling for the topping using fresh sliced strawberries! I recommend that you make the cheesecake and then serve the fresh strawberries on the side or put the strawberries on the cheesecake when you are ready to serve it.

Lastly, a dessert that I am going to be making this year is my friend, MJ's Strawberry Trifle!! It sounds sooo yummy and it is also a no bake type dessert for the "dog days of summer"!

For other frugal tips, recipes, or resources, head over to Biblical Womanhood!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday--Quiet Time

Being the mother of five(11 and under) and homeschooling, there is nothing more wonderful than having peace and quiet in the middle of the day!!

How do I accomplish that middle of the day peacefulness??

I have trained my munchkins from a very early age that the first two hours AFTER lunch is "Quiet Time" every day(including the days in the summer when we are not doing school)!

When my munchkins are infants and toddlers(usually up to age 3) that is when their afternoon nap is every day.

When my munchkins are about 3 1/2 years old to about 6 years old that is when I would tell them to go into their rooms and unto their beds with a stack of books to look through til the timer goes off. The timer is only set for a 1/2 hour because that is about how long they stay put in their beds before coming out and asking "Can I get up?". I am still working with my almost 5 yo dd in staying put til Mommy comes in to get her! The rest of the two hours is spent playing quietly in the playroom. There is to be no banging of drums or any other objects! If there is talking that is necessary we use a quiet "library voice". NO yelling at anyone!

When my munchkins are 7 years old to teens, I instruct them to find a book and read for at least a 1/2 hour after lunch. Yes, I have a couple of avid readers and they read the afternoon away or at least complete a book from beginning to end in one afternoon! But I do not care because reading is good and it is quiet! After they are done reading their 1/2 hour they are able to get on their computer for a 1/2 hour and play games.(There is no arguing over "the" computer because my hubby has built a computer for each of the four older ones.) Once they are done with reading and the computer, then it is time to find other things that are quiet while the little ones finish up their naps! This is when they usually will pull out board games or find other quiet games to play.

I love having this "Quiet Time" each day!! Here are some things that *I* do for my "Quiet Time"!!

  1. read a book
  2. read the Bible
  3. pray
  4. make phone calls
  5. write blog posts
  6. get my shopping lists done, coupons cut, and menus planned
  7. plan weekly school schedules
  8. grade papers
  9. bake goodies
  10. balance the checkbook
  11. laundry
  12. nap
  13. think

Daily "Quiet Time" is what works for me! To read about what works for others, head over to Shannon's--Rocks in My Dryer!!

Inexpensive Summer Ideas

After making my own "Mom I'm bored" list and reading several ideas over at Shannon's(Rocks in My Dryer), I decided that I would take the time to link some of those frugal/inexpensive ideas that I found to keep those summer boredoms away!

Amy over at Mom Advice has a list of things from the dollar store to keep on hand in a basket to keep kids busy.

Head over to Thrifty Fun for a list of ideas to keep boredom at bay and not spend a fortune to do it!

Also Family Fun and Kaboose has lists upon lists of ideas for family summer fun!!

Summer fun for the whole family ideas and activities to keep the family having fun!

Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy your summer!!

For other weblinks, head over to Val's--Homeschooling with Encouragement!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mom's McBiscuits"--44 cents Breakfast Sandwich

Jenn over at Frugal Upstate has started a frugal food series and part one is about the "Incredible, Edible Egg"! She has a bunch of different frugal recipes that you can do using eggs and has even invited others to share recipes that use eggs!

I am going to share my breakfast sandwiches recipe around my house we called them "Mom's McBiscuits" or "Mom's McMuffins"! (for my faithful readers I have shared this before)

" Mom's McBiscuits or McMuffins"

1 tube of Grands Biscuits, baked (85 cents)
1 dozen eggs, cooked ($1.19)
6 slices bacon, cut in half and then cook(54 cents)
5 slices American cheese(55 cents)
2 sausage patties (42 cents)

I made these this morning here is how I put them together. I baked two tubes of biscuits last night for dinner. We ate one for dinner, the rest I cooled and put in a ziploc bag. I also went ahead and cooked a pound of bacon and a package of 8 sausage patties. Before I cook the pound of bacon, I cut the bacon strips in half. Before I cooked the sausage patties, I took the time to flatten them so they looked like mini, thin burger patties(you can see them in the pic below in the container on the left).

Then this morning I took the time to cook the eggs. I just cooked them on the stovetop(scrambled them and then let them set some before turning so I would end up with big egg patty that I cut up to fit on the biscuits) or you can do it like what Mandy does for cooking your eggs instead of cutting them into strips like what she does I would cut them into squares.

So now that everything is cooked for the sandwiches, it is just a quick assembly line. Cut the biscuits in half. Put a 1/2 slice of cheese on one side of the biscuit(I usually fold the whole slice to make 4 squares and then put 2 squares on one sandwich). Put a egg patty on top of the cheese(this will help melt the cheese on the sandwich and help to make it so the egg doesn't fall off the biscuit). Then put your choice of meat on top of the egg. Top with the other half of the biscuit and Voila! A yummy inexpensive breakfast sandwich!! This morning I made 6 Bacon McBiscuits and 2 Sausage McBiscuits, hence the list of ingredients! Only 3 were eaten this morning, the other 5 were individually wrapped and put in the fridge for later consumption!

You can also make these sandwiches with a package of 6 English Muffins($1.00). The sandwiches would cost 62 cents each instead of 44 cents. And you would only get 6 sandwiches instead of the 8 sandwiches with the ingredients listed above.

To reheat the sandwiches, stick the whole sandwich in the microwave for 20 seconds!

Side note....These can be frozen too!! Just let them cool and double wrap! You can put a frozen sandwich in the microwave and heat for 30-40 seconds! or you can let it thaw in the fridge and then heat for 20 seconds in the microwave.

**prices are figured using sale prices for the items used, or bulk pricing as in the case of the cheese slices**

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

Every now and then, I get a comment or asked the question as to why I take the time to plan out my weekly breakfast meals. So for today's kitchen tip, instead of an actual tip, I thought I would answer that inquiry.

If I don't plan weekly breakfast meals, I find that I forget to buy what I need for breakfast at the store! There have been several times that I have come to put groceries away only to find that there is no breakfast foods to be found in my house!

If I don't plan out weekly breakfast meals, I find my kids would just eat the same old thing every morning. Then at the end of the week, they are complaining that there is nothing in the house to eat for breakfast.

If I don't plan out weekly breakfast meals, I find that my kids are hungry one hour after eating breakfast because they did not have enough to eat!

If I don't plan out weekly breakfast meals, my kids(and hubby for that matter) would not be self-sufficient in the kitchen! With a plan posted, I find that my kids will look at the plan see what is on the plan and start fixing what is planned without my constant supervision.

Those are some of my reasons for taking the time to plan my weekly breakfast meals.

If you are looking for some creative ideas for your breakfast table, check here! OR you can try my my 44 cents breakfast sandwich!

For other kitchen tips, recipes, or resources, head over to Tammy's Recipes!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 6/8-6/14

**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 went well. There were a couple of days with no plan but I was able to overcome and still get something on the table for dinner without getting “take-out”! I have enough leftovers for hubby’s lunch this week but it looks like the kids and I will be having more sandwiches or I will have to fix something for them.

I have done my shopping for this week already so I should be set other than getting more milk in the house! For the first time ever, my oldest son is at church camp this week so I have one less mouth to feed for four days. So for the four "left behind" I am going to do kid friendly meals!

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. 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 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at her site! **

Sunday (6-8)
Breakfast: eggs, bacon, hash browns, and biscuits
Lunch: leftover spaghetti from last week
Dinner: Steak N’ Shake
Snack: cake and milk

Monday (6-9)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwich, chips, grapes and carrot sticks
Dinner: Salisbury Steak with Gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and honey oatmeal rolls
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (6-10)
Breakfast: pancakes from the freezer
Lunch: cheese quesadillas
Dinner: creamy chicken (#1), rice, peas, and biscuits
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (6-11)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice” (I have a WIC recert. Appt)
Lunch: sandwich, chips, applesauce and carrot sticks
Dinner: grilled chicken, potatoes, and corn (not sure what kind of pototoes to do!)
Snack: “mystery snack”

Thursday (6-12)
Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: chicken nuggets/fish, fries, and carrots
Snack: snack basket

Friday (6-13)
Breakfast: cereal and muffins
Lunch: sandwich, chips, and carrot sticks
Dinner: homemade pizza and breadsticks
Snack: homemade chocolate shakes

Saturday (6-14)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ?????(it’s the weekend anything goes!)
Dinner: grilled burgers, pan fries, and corn
Snack: popcorn

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Singing Sunday

by Matthew West

Take a look at the mountain
Stretching a mile high
Take a look at the ocean
Far as your eye can see
And think of me

Take a look at the desert
Do you feel like a grain of sand?
I am with you wherever
Where you go is where I am

And I'm always thinking of you
Take a look around you
I'm spelling it out one by one


I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow I'll say it again and again
I love you more

Just a face in the city
Just a tear on a crowded street
But you are one in a million
And you belong to me

And I want you to know
I'm not letting go
Even when you come undone


I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow I'll say it again and again
I love you more


Shine for me
Shine for me
Shine on, shine on
Shine for me


I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow I'll say it again and again
I love you more