Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seven Random Things--Favorites

Last week, my friend, Joy over at Five J's tagged me for 7 random things about me.

I thought I would put a slight twist to things and list seven of my favorite things.

Here are the rules of this meme:

  1. Post these four rules on your blog
  2. Write seven random things about yourself
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post
  4. If you’re tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Ice Cream: Moose Tracks

Favorite TV Show: Extreme Home Makeover

Favorite Food: My homemade Chicken Tacos

Favorite Restauraut: Red Robin

Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Favorite Book: A Woman after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George

It is soooo hard to tag others because I know that this 7 things tag has been going around for a while! So how about if you haven't been tagged recently give it a go...."You are it!"

IF you want to read more about me read my other tags!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly Shopping Trip---Savings $133.09!!

This week's shopping trip was very interesting in that I really was trying to get what I needed for 2 weeks of meals and not worry too much on stockpiling. My hubby asked me before I left if I have any idea how much I was going to spend. I told him "around $170"...well after sales and coupons it was $169.71 for everything I purchased and that included getting a turkey and some of the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner along with stockpiling a couple of things.

Here is the breakdown...

First stop....Family Fare:

  • 2 family pack bags breaded chicken nuggets $9.00
  • 4 bags Freshlike frozen veggies $3.16 (79¢ each)
  • 2 containers Breyers ice cream $5.49 (B1G1)
  • 2 containers Cool Whip 76¢
  • 7 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls $5.65 (81¢ each)
  • 6 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls $4.80(80¢ each)
  • 2 boxes Jello Instant Pudding $1.20
  • 2 Betty Crocker Cake Mixes $2.00
  • 8 boxes Jiffy Muffin Mixes $4.72
  • 2 bottles Juicy Juice $4.67
  • 1 bottle Ocean Spray Juice $2.67
  • 1 bottle Apple Juice $2.19
  • 1 box Nestle Hot Cocoa $1.50
  • 2 cans Cranberry Sauce $1.99 (B1G1)
  • 1 big can cut yams $1.50
  • 13.18lbs B/S chicken breasts $23.59 ($1.79/lb)
  • 4.06lbs boneless half ham $10.92 ($2.69/lb)
  • 2.30lbs cube steak $6.10($2.65/lb)
  • 1.85lbs beef stew meat $5.16 ($2.79/lb)
  • 48 rolls Northern TP $12.98
  • 2- 12 pks 7-up Products $6.19 (includes deposit)
  • 2-12 pks Pepsi Products $6.19 (includes deposit)
  • 7.90lb Turkey $5.45
Total: $131.06
Savings Total: $103.14

Second stop...Meijer:

  • 2 boxes frozen leaf spinach $1.56
  • 1 container Sara Lee cheesecake bites $1.99
  • 10lbs potatoes $2.29
  • 5lbs apples $2.97
  • 4 cans green beans $2.00
  • 4 cans green peas $2.00
  • 2 bags frozen Pillsbury rolls $3.25
  • 2 lbs Land O Lakes butter $2.95
  • 2 cans peaches $1.60
  • 2 cans pears $1.60
  • 1 bag frozen egg noodles $2.50
  • 2 pks Pillsbury cookie dough $3.00
  • 3 bags Ore Ida Hash browns $7.00
  • 1 bag Ore Ida Steam N Mash FREE
  • 2 markdown pks Meijer bakery donuts $3.94
Total: $38.65
Savings Total: $29.95
(Meijer promotions $2.34; Non-Coupon Savings $24.81; Coupon Savings $2.80)


For more savings stories head over to MoneySavingMom's Super Saturday Savings and Becentsable's Centsable Saving Stories.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All about "F"

After a couple of weeks of being busy, my daughter and I worked on the letter "F" this week.

We talked about how to escape the house if there was a fire. We talked about not playing with the gas stove or with matches and candles.

We read and talked about two different things from the Bible...Feeding the 5,000 and the fruit of spirit.

We colored several different flags and even talked about the difference of our state flag and the USA flag.

We ate french fries, french toast with a fork, and fruit.

We played leap frog with friends and football with brothers.

We looked at books and colored pictures of flowers and fish. While we were at the doctor's office last week we watched the fish in the fish tank!

We spent time together with family and talked about some day living on a farm.

We did up a mini book on words that start with F along with other letter F activities.

We finished off the week with putting together a file folder into a shutterbook of letter F pictures.

Weblink Wednesday

Do you like homemade gifts from others?
I like to make gifts from my kitchen for friends, neighbors and even my relatives!

Warning: Please keep the drool to yourself! and don't read the sites on an empty stomach!

Works For Me Wednesday

Are you thinking about getting a new cell phone for Christmas? If so, do you know what you are going to do with your old one? Do you have a cellphone that doesn't work anymore that is just collecting dust? Don't let it sit in a drawer or on top of your fridge collecting dust!

Recycle them!! I know of two places that would LOVE to have your old cellphones!


CellPhones for Soldiers --it is a non-profit organization founded by a couple of teenagers from the Boston area. They take old cellphones and send the phones to a place that recycles them and in turn the teens take the money and turn it into prepaid calling card minutes for the troops stationed overseas! You can find prepaid postage labels at their site along with a printable donation page for tax purposes. OR you can find a local drop off site for your old cellphone. OR you can send them the phone on your dime.


Safe Haven Ministries--this is a Christian non profit organization that provide a safe place for women that are victims of domestic violence. The money they get from recycling the phones provides every one of their every client who needs one gets a cell phone for 911 use. You can find the address and more information here for this ministry.

Getting rid of clutter by recycling my old cellphones works for me!

To find out what works for others, head over to Shannon's blog--Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blessings from a Friend!

So I had a friend that I don't get to see very often email me a couple of weeks ago to ask me if I could use some clothes for my boys! I told her "sure", I could use some clothes especially for my "growing weed" aka oldest son! In her email, she told me that she would be in my area in a couple of weeks, well she came by on Friday with her "loot"! Her "loot" consisted of a 10 gallon tub without its lid, an 18 gallon tub without its lid, and 2 1/2-13 gallon trashbags of clothes!(I wish I had gotten a picture of the stash before I went through it all!)

I feel overwhelmed and extremely blessed by all that she brought to us! It was like Christmas around here for all four of my older kids. I took the time to go through everything and divided it into piles of the different sizes. Here are the results...

Here is a purse/bag that she made out of a pair of old jean shorts and a Land's End parka! My daughter loves the purse! As for the coat that fits my daughter for this winter, which she needed!

These are all the shirts that fit my oldest son! Actually there is a sweater, a hooded sweatshirt, long sleeve and short sleeve shirts. The shirts are either dress shirts or knit shirts!

These are the stacks of 24 dress/cargo pants, 6 pairs of jeans, 5 jean shorts, 4 dress/cargo shorts, and a bathing suit that are for my oldest son, who happens to be in 16/18 slim or 27x30 student size pants!! If you have boys, you know that getting second hand pants with no holes is a rarity! Well out of all of these there was only a couple that really looked loved the rest were in excellent condition! There was even a pair with the tags still on the pants!

This is the stacks that will fit son #2!! There is a sport coat, a hooded sweatshirt along with several shirts and pants. There was a pair of pants in his stacks with the tags still on too!

These are the stacks for son #3!! There was 2 sport coats and a dress overcoat, along with several sweaters, shorts, pants, short and long sleeve shirts!

Now for the results of what I kept and what I decided to pass on because one doesn't need a TON of clothes! Most of the pants in son #3's stash were size 8, which is one size too small for him so those pants I am giving to another friend who has 4 boys!

All those pants and shorts for oldest son, I went through them with him and we are going to be keeping about 1/2 of them! The rest are going to other friends, whose oldest only had one pair of good jeans that fit him.

So while it is sooo fun and overwhelming getting all these clothes for my children, I know that the excess of my blessing will be blessing someone else in return. I told my friends who I gave the excess to that if they didn't want them or couldn't use them they were to bless someone else or make sure they ended up in our church's clothing closet ministry.

Kitchen Tip Tuesday--Pantry Meals #2

I was asked again to bring a meal to a family at my church. When I do meals for others I usually make more of what I am fixing for my family's dinner. However, today I am doing something else to take to the family. I am doing one of my pantry meals! I have talked before about pantry meals and the benefits of having items on hand.

So today I thought I would share with another one of my pantry meals!

On the menu....

Cheesy Tuna Mac

1 box Mac & Cheese dinner

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp. butter/margarine

1 6oz can tuna in water

1 can cream of chicken soup

2-3 tbsp. minced onions

2 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook the macaroni according to package directions; drain. Stir in the milk, butter and contents of cheese packet. Add soup, tuna, onions and spices. Mix togther. Cook covered at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until heated through.

With taking this to the family, I will have it put altogether and cooked for the 20 minutes so that all she has to do is bake it for the additional minutes to heat it through.

To go along with the main dish, I will have a bag of frozen peas, homemade crusty rolls(do the dough up in my breadmachine and bake it in the oven) and frosted sugar cookies.

French Bread or Crusty French Rolls(2 lb loaf or 18 crusty rolls)....
11 1/2 ounces of 80° water(1 1/4 cups + 3 Tbsp.)
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast OR 2 tsp. bread machine/fast rise yeast

Add liquid ingredients to bread machine pan. Add dry ingredients. Put the butter/margarine in the corners of the pan. Set machine on dough setting. Once done, place dough onto floured surface. Let rest for 15 minutes. Shape dough into bread loaf. Let rise for 30 minutes. Put on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 15-20 minutes or til golden brown.

Notes: I didn't grease my cookie sheet, because of using my stoneware cookie sheet. I used 2 tsp. of instant yeast(some of the 2-1lb.packs that you can get at Sam's Club for cheaper than buying the 3 packs of yeast in the grocery store!)

The cookies are sugar cookies(used a cookie mix pouch that I got in my deal shopping) and about 1/4-1/2 container of store bought frosting for the whole batch of 24 cookies and then harvest/autumn sprinkles.

Just to give a breakdown on the cost of the meal...
  • Cheesy Tuna Mac $2.50
  • Crusty Rolls $1.00
  • bag of frozen peas 50¢
  • 12 frosted sugar cookies 63¢
Grand Total: $4.63
**prices are all "deal" prices!**

Monday, November 17, 2008

Help Wanted! Recipe Needed!

After seeing Happy Housewife's post about wanting a granola recipe! I thought I would post my own help wanted ad!

Does anyone have a tried and true hot chocolate recipe?

Now that the weather has turned cold here in the midwest, the kids are begging me for some hot chocolate but I don't want to go out and get a canister of hot chocolate that will sit in my cupboard after just one time.

So can anyone help me with a great recipe, please leave it or link to it on your blog in the comment section. If you don't have a blog but have a great recipe, you can email as well.(to email me go through my profile)

Oh and if you can help my friend, Happy Housewife, with a granola recipe, I am sure that she would appreciate it.

Menu Plan Monday 11/16-11/22

**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 menu plan started out really good but starting with Thursday’s dinner and on it ended in shambles! It is a good testament of not only planning ahead but not liking the plans you have in place. So last Thursday, I didn’t have anything planned and waited until that 5pm time to come up with something which meant something quick so it was homemade burgers and fries. Thankfully I had premade burgers in the freezer and bulk purchase frozen fries. For Friday, with all my appointments I forgot to pull meat out of the freezer so it was another quick grab of pre-made frozen meat this time it was pork chops, two boxes of mac & cheese and a veggie. For Saturday, we decided that we were going to go to Fazoli’s for Sunday lunch so fixing homemade pizza was NOT an option for Saturday as planned so again I went for something quick and got Hamburger Helper Salisbury Dinner using frozen browned ground beef. Knowing that one box of Hamburger Helper would not be enough for my family of seven, I made up some elbow macaroni and then took the leftover sloppy joes from earlier in the week and mixed the two together to make goulash! I served the two with corn and crescent rolls!

This week's shopping trip consisted of stockpiling because payday was at the end of the week. So I will be heading into the stores in the next couple of days to get meats back into my stockpile!

The first couple days of this week’s menu will be using the rest of my meat stockpile. Also for this week, I am taking a meal to a family from church on Tuesday. I am going to take them: Cheesy Tuna Mac and homemade french rolls.

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Usually with our lunches I serve carrot sticks, and some kind of in-season fruit along with juice or water to drink. Hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day along with several items for snacks.

If you are looking for some inspiration on meals you can find links to my menu suggestion lists over in my right side bar down by Organizing Junkie's button.

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 Laura-Organizing Junkie's site! **

Sunday (11-16)
Breakfast: eggs, sausage or steak, hash browns, and banana muffins or jewish coffee cake
Lunch: Fazoli’s
Dinner: pizza rolls and fries
Snack: snack basket

Monday (11-17)
Breakfast: waffles and sausage
Lunch: sandwiches and chips or leftovers
Dinner: Saucy Chicken, rice, and peas
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (11-18)
Breakfast: cereal and banana muffins
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: roast, carrots and potatoes and homemade french rolls
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (11-19)
Breakfast: muffins, cereal and eggs
Lunch: sandwich & chips
Dinner: Chicken Club Sandwiches, fries and carrots
Snack: cookies & milk

Thursday (11-20)
Breakfast: French Toast (from the freezer)
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: baked lemon pepper chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and biscuits
Snack: snack basket

Friday (11-21)
Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel or toast
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner:homemade pizza and breadsticks
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (11-22)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ??? probably leftovers!
Dinner: beef in gravy(using leftover roast from Tuesday), noodles, and green beans
Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Singing Sunday

What a Friend We have in Jesus
by: Joseph M. Scriven & Charles C. Converse

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

Meijer Deals 11/16-11/22

Just a reminder, that I am using a West Michigan sale ad and my Meijer does NOT double coupons! Also check Mealbox for new food coupons!


Save $9 OFF your choice Meijer, Meijer Gold, Butterball or Honeysuckle Grade A Hen Turkeys 11-16 lb avg. fresh or frozen turkey with additional $20 purchase---limit 1.

Save $15 off Grade A Tom Turkey 16.1 lbs and up fresh or frozen with additional $20 purchase!

Buy 2 Hellmanns Mayonnaise 30 oz jar get 1 Knorr Soup Mix 1.8-8.9 oz FREE!

Buy 2 Maxwell House Ground Coffee 33-39 oz get 1 Meijer Dozen Large Eggs FREE!

General Mills Cereal - Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Grahams, Total, Wheaties, Multi Grain Cheerios or Kix---Buy any 4 General Mills Cereals get $6 off instantly at checkout.

Buy 3 Ore Ida Items (20 oz or larger excluding Steam & Mash products) get 1 Ore Ida Steam n Mash 24 oz FREE!

Buy any Loreal Bare Naturale Item get a second FREE!


Deans Ice Cream 56 oz ~~ save 50%

Del Monte Vegetables 11-15.25 oz can 6/$3

Meijer Milk gallon 2/$5

Hillshire Farm Rope Style Smoked Sausage, Cheddarwurst or Brats 14-16 oz pkg 2/$4

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes 5/$5

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix 8.5 oz 6/$2

Louis Kemp Imitation Crabmeat or Lobstermeat 8 oz pkg 2/$3

Meijer Family Pack Fresh Grade A Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.99/lb

Michigan Russet Potatoes 10 lb bag $2.29

Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce 16 oz can 5/$5

Odoms Tennessee Pride Roll Pork Sausage 16 oz pkg 2/$4

Sara Lee Frozen Desserts ~~ save 50%

Sweet Seedless Navel Oranges 4 lb bag ~~ buy 1 get 1 FREE!

Dannon Activia or DanActive 4 pk 2/$4
50/1 cpn 09-21 S(cpn for Dannon Activia) and $1/1 cpn 09-21 S(cpn for DanActive)

Ore Ida Steam n Mash Potato 24 oz frozen 3/$7
$1/1 cpn 09-21 S

Ore Ida Hash Browns 20-30 oz frozen 3/$7

Armour 1877 Summer Sausage 16 oz pkg $2.49
35/1 cpn 09-28 S

Campbells 25% Less Sodium Soup 10.75 oz can 5/$5
40/2 cpn 10-05 CA

Knorr Rice or Pasta Sides 4-5.7 oz 5/$5
60/2 cpn 10-05 RP and $1/5 Mealbox cpn

Argo Corn Starch 16 oz or Baking Powder 12 oz $1.29
45/1 cpn 10-05 S1

Campbells Cream Soups 10.75 oz can 4/$3
25/4 cpn 10-12 S

Land O Lakes Butter Quarters 1 lb pkg or Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil 15 oz tub 2/$4
50/1 cpn 10-12 S(cpn for LOL butter with Canola Oil only)

Orville Redenbachers Microwave Popcorn 10 ct or Minis 10 ct ~~ save 30%
40/1 cpn 10-12 S

Eckrich Meat Franks or Bologna 16 oz pkg 2/$3
$1/2 cpn 10-26 S

Keebler Toasted Crackers or Wheatables 2/$4
$1/2 cpn 11-02 RP

Campbells Kid Condensed Soup 10.5-11 oz can 5/$5
40/4 cpn 11-02 S

Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese 8 oz 4/$5
55/2 cpn 11-02 S

Keebler Pie Shells 6 oz 3/$4
25/1 cpn 11-09 RP

Kelloggs All Bran Crackers 2/$4
$1/2 cpn 11-09 RP

Kelloggs Cereal - Rice Krispies, Crispix, Cocoa Krispies, Rice Krispies Treats, Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks or Froot Loops or Corn Pops 3/$7
$1/1 cpn 11-09 RP

Frenchs French Fried Onions 6 oz can 2/$5
50/1 cpn 11-09 S

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 8-13.9 oz 4/$5
25/1 cpn 11-09 S and $1/2 Mealbox cpn

Pillsbury Sweet Rolls 8-13.9 oz 4/$5
40/2 cpn 11-09 S

Pillsbury Biscuits or Rolls frozen 2/$4
40/1 cpn(biscuits) and 75/2 cpn(rolls) 11-16 S

Hellmanns Mayonnaise 30 oz jar or Easy Out 24 oz btl 2/$6
50/1 cpn 11-16 RP and $1.50/2 Mealbox cpn

Ragu Pasta Sauce 13.5-26.3 oz jar or pouch 3/$4
50/2 cpn 11-16 RP and $1/2 Mealbox cpn

Hersheys Packaged Candy 10.5-14 oz ~~ buy 2 get 2 FREE!
1.50/3 cpn 11-16 S

Progresso Broth 32 oz chicken 3/$5
$1/1 cpn 11-16 S


Osteo Bi Flex Product ~~ buy 1 get 1 FREE!
$5/1 cpn 06-29 RP

Suave Lotion 18 oz $2.29
50/1 cpn 09-21 RP

Suave Shampoo or Conditioner 22.5 oz $1.25
1.50/2 cpn 09-21 RP

Knox Vitamins ~~ buy 1 get 1 FREE!
$4/1 cpn 10-05 RP

Aquafresh Toothpaste or Toothbrush 1 ct 2/$5
$1/1 cpn 10-12 S (cpn is Aquafresh Premium Toothbrush only includes Gel Flex or Deep Action)
Theraflu Medicine ~~ save $1
$2/1 cpn 10-19 S

Vanity Fair Napkins 40-100 ct 2/$4
50/1 cpn 11-09 RP

Dixie Ultra Plates or Bowls 2/$4
35/1 cpn 11-16 RP

Suave Shampoo, Conditioner or Styling Products 14.5 oz $1.67
$1/2 cpn 11-16 RP

Sundown Vitamins ~~ buy 1 get 1 free!
$1/1 cpn 11-16 RP

Sunsilk Shampoo, Conditioner or Styling Products 12 oz $2.49
$2/2 cpn 11-16 RP

Delsym Liquid 3 oz or Tablets 14-28 ct ~~ save $1
$2/1 cpn 11-16 S

Jet Dry Rinse Agent 8.45 oz $2.99
50/1 cpn 11-16 S

***Please take the time to check out your local ad, which you can find here!! IF Meijer is not your store of choice, head over to BeCentsAble's Grocery Gathering!!***