Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $52.14

Usually this would be my big week of shopping but with hubby deciding to pay off a credit card before the holidays and sales not being the greatest, I had to opt for a just getting the necessary things and no stocking up the stockpile! I even found myself this week getting a few items that were not on sale because they were necessary.

So without further ado, the breakdown of my shopping trip...

First stop: Meijer...

  • 4 bags frozen corn $3.56

  • 2 bags frozen hash browns $4.98

  • 3 loaves bread $3.19 (B1G2FREE!)

  • 6 boxes Mac & Cheese $2.67

  • 3.24lbs apples $3.14

  • 2 boxes hot cocoa $1.98

  • 2 boxes poptarts $1.67

  • 2lb block Velvetta $3.94

  • 4 cans Grands Biscuits $2.50

  • 2 bottles Juicy Juice $5.00

  • 1 bottle pancake syrup $2.99

  • 1 big box Kelloggs Frosted Flakes $1.50

  • 10 containers Yoplait Yogurt $5.00(forgot my coupon!)

  • 2 bottles Meijer 100% Cranberry Juice $3.34

  • 1-4lb bag boneless/skinless chicken breasts $7.99

  • 1-4pk Meijer Probotic Yogurt 90¢ (yes you are reading that correctly! I found it on markdown!!)

Total: $54.35
Total Savings: $35.12 (Meijer promotions $6.38; Non-Coupon Savings $23.69; Coupon Savings $5.05)

Second Stop: Family Fare... (milk was on sale during their 3 day sale for $1.99/gallon limit 2!!)

1st transaction...

  • 2 gallons milk $3.98
Total: $3.98
Total Savings: $2.40

2nd transaction...

  • 2 gallons milk $3.98

  • 1 pack tortilla shells $1.53

  • 3 lbs margarine $2.25

  • 1 can refried beans 97¢

  • 3lbs bacon $5.64 ($1.88/lb in the 3 day sale!)

  • 3.29lbs ground beef $6.22 ($1.89/lb)
I returned some pop cans so I had a $3.20 bottle refund to use towards my total!

Total after bottle refund: $20.18
Total savings: $14.62(including bottle refund)

Grand Total: $130.65
Grand Total OOP:$78.51
Grand Savings Total: $52.14

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

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Frugal Friday--Christmas Crafts

When you look out into your backyard and it looks like this....
Its time to really start thinking about Christmas!!!

So this week as part of our Thanksgiving-New Years school break, the kids and I have spent a couple hours each day working on different, fun Christmas themed craft projects.


We made homemade Holiday Felt Ornaments!!

To make these you need:

Gingerbread Man
brown felt
6" piece white rick rack(cut into 1" pieces for gluing on the arms and legs)
10" piece of red yarn

Christmas Tree
green felt
2-10" pieces of red yarn
gold chenille stem(form into a star and loop the bottom in the hole at the top along with one piece of the red yarn)

You will also need white glue, scissors and single hole punch. If you would like patterns to trace here is a gingerbread man and Christmas tree.


We got out the Magic Model Clay and made clay ornaments. I had enough clay for them all to do one ornament and then the rest of our craft time they played with the play-doh!


We created and designed our own Christmas cards! I have a bin of old greeting cards that have been sent to us over the years that I have saved so I let them take the different cards and cut out the shapes to trace(like my son did with a Christmas tree in the picture above) or just to cut out the picture and glue to a piece of construction paper to do their own design.


The kids helped me to decide what homemade goodies we were going to bake next week as we get our freezer stocked for the holidays and to also make our homemade goodie trays to give to our neighbors & friends for their holiday gifts.

For other frugal resources, head over to Frugal Fridays at Biblical Womanhood!

For other Christmas craft ideas, check out the following sites...
DLTK's Christmas Activities Page

Danielle's Place Christmas Craft Page

Family Fun's Homemade Christmas Gifts that Kids can Make Page

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Easy Dessert from the Pantry!!

Been invited somewhere where you need to take a dessert? Putting a meal together for a family and realize that taking a dessert would be a good thing? Or are you just in need of some chocolate?? I got a solution to your dilemma!!!

This is an easy dessert that you should have most of the ingredients in your pantry(well they are in mine due to the recent grocery sales and clearance Halloween candy!). A rough estimate of total cost for one pie is about $3.00!

Here is the original recipe...

NO Bake Cool Whip Pudding Pie

2 pkgs(3oz box) instant pudding, any flavor
2 cups milk
1 tub(8oz) Cool Whip
1 Graham Cracker Crust

Mix 2 packages of pudding and 2 cups of milk thoroughly. Gently fold in 1 container of Cool-Whip. Spoon into a graham cracker crust. Chill.

2 pkgs(3oz) instant chocolate pudding
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tub(8oz) Chocolate Cool Whip
1 Graham Cracker Crust
3 snack size Reese peanut butter cups, chopped

Mix 2 packages of pudding and 2 cups of milk thoroughly. Gently fold in 1 container of Cool-Whip. Spoon into a graham cracker crust. Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups. Chill.

2 pkgs (3oz) instant chocolate fudge pudding
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tub(8oz) Chocolate Cool Whip
1 Oreo Cookie Crust
6 snack size Reese Peanut butter cups, chopped & divided

Mix 2 packages of pudding and 2 cups of milk thoroughly. Gently fold in 1 container of Cool-Whip and 3 peanut butter cups. Spoon into a graham cracker crust. Sprinkle with 3 chopped peanut butter cups. Chill.

I think the next time I do this I am going to try Snickers bars or Milky Way bars! YUM! Oh and just in case you are wondering why I used mostly evaporated milk instead of just all "drinking milk" is because the pudding mixture comes out thicker and creamier rather than being a little watery!

I have seen a similar recipe using Jello Mix as well. However, I prefer chocolate!!

And since this is Wednesday, it works for me to fill my sweet tooth or to provide dessert to a friend who just had a baby!

For more works for me, head over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Christmas around the World

I have taken the time this week to work on gathering Christmas links(and even some book titles) so that I can focus with my kids this month on Christmas. We are taking a break from our usual school work until the beginning of the year so we can get baking and focus on the true meaning of Christmas along with having some fun!

Christmas Around the World: A Pop-Up Book by Chuck Fischer

Christmas Around the World Coloring Book by Joan O'Brien

Christmas in many cultures by Martha E.H. Rustad

Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Susan Titus Osborn, Christine Harder Tangvald, and Jodie McCallum

Other related posts:

Hanukkah Unit

Kwanzaa Unit

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday--Saltine Toffee

This is one of the recipes that I do every year to put in my goodie trays that I give to friends and neighbors. It is always a hit!


37 saltines cracker squares
1 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or a big Hershey Milk Chocolate bar
1 square (1 ounce) white baking chocolate
1 teaspoon shortening

Place crackers in a single layer in a foil-lined 15-in. x -10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. In a large saucepan, bring butter and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until mixture is thickened and sugar is completely dissolved. Spread over crackers. Bake at 350° for 7-8 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with chips. Bake 3-5 minutes longer or until chips begin to melt; spread chocolate evenly over top. In a microwave, melt white chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over toffee. Chill for 15-20 minutes or until set; break into pieces. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 1-3/4 pounds.

NO BAKE VARIATION of Recipe: instead of using sugar and butter, spread creamy peanut butter over the saltines and then spread melted chocolate chips or Hershey Milk Chocolate bar over the peanut butter and saltines. Chill for 15-20 minutes or until set; break into pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

For other tempting tummy recipes and more; head over to Blessed with Grace!

**photo courtesy of Taste of Home**

Kitchen Tips Tuesday

After Tammy's two posts about child size bread loaves, I decided to try my hand at it! The results...
My family loves them! For my family it takes TWO mini loaves to feed them some as a side to a dinner meal.

I cheat just a little bit in the bread making process in that I use my breadmachine to do all the "hard work". I put all my ingredients into the breadmachine for a 2lb loaf and put it on the "dough setting" and in 1 hour 20 minutes my bread dough is ready to make into loaves to let rise for another hour before baking. The dough is enough to make 4 mini loaves.

I have been working at building up my freezer stock of these mini loaves because I think I am going to be using them for gift giving in my holiday gift baskets and neighbor goodie trays this holiday season.

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

Monday, December 1, 2008

Celebration around the World--Christmas Unit Study

History of Christmas

Easy FunSchool Christmas Links recipes, activities and more

Reason for the Season Links

Christmas Songbook

Christmas Symbols

Christmas Unit Studies worksheets, lapbooks, notebooking pages, and library list

Christmas Links & Resources many links to activities, advent calendars, recipes and more!

Mr. Donn’s Christmas page

Idea Box's Christmas Page games, recipes, crafts and more

Teacher’s Guide to Christmas Links

Amazing Grace--Christmas unit study four week unit study with books, activities and links

Christmas Unit Study games, book list, activities and more

Christmas Unit study geared for jr. high and up

Christmas Symbols study a symbol every day of December until Christmas

Christmas Carols study

Homemade Gifts(just a few links!)

Just a sampling of BOOKS to Read:

The night before Christmas : a poem by Clement Moore

The Christmas story : from the King James Bible according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke paintings by Gennady Spirin

The candymaker's gift : a legend of the candy cane by Helen Haidle ; illustrated by David Haidle.

Celebration around the World--Hanukkah Unit Study

History Channel’s history of Hanukkah including a video clip

Hanukkah for Children crafts, recipes, traditions, quizzes and more.

Hanukkah Resources links to recipes, activities, and more

Hanukkah at Idea Box games, crafts, and recipes

Education World's lesson plan

The Dreidel Game lesson plan

Hanukkah lesson plan geared 4th and 5th graders

All about Hanukkah Spiritual insights, stories, lessons, and fun, including a user-friendly Chanukah how-to-guide

Hanukkah Kids' Resources

Day by day guide of Hanukkah

Hanukkah practical guide

Hanukkah recipes

Customs and background of Chanukah

Hanukkah History

Hanukkah coloring pages and worksheets

menorah craft

Chanukah on the net , e-cards, coloring pages, recipes, history and more

Hanukkah activities

Crayola’s list of crafts, activities, and lesson plans

Chanukah’s crafts and activities

Books& More

Celebration around the World---Kwanzaa Unit Study

Kwanzaa Resource Page --unit study, lapbooks, notebooking pages, activities, and library list

Kwanzaa resources ---many links to activities, recipes, and more

activities of Kwanzaa symbols (older kids)

Kwanzaa lesson plan geared for 2nd-3rd graders

History Channel’s online resource about Kwanzaa, including a video clip.

Mr. Donn’s Kwanzaa page

Teacher Planet’s Kwanzaa Resource Page

Idea Box's games, recipes and activities

Kwanzaa resources

Kwanzaa games and coloring pages

Kwanzaa recipes

Kwanzaa fun at Billy Bear’s Playground

Teacher resources

Kwanzaa Crafts

Primary games' Kwanzaa fun

Kwanzaa crafts

Kwanzaa lesson plan geared for upper grades

Lots of Kwanzaa resources

Kwanzaa at the Holiday Spot geared to primary grades

colorful site of resources for elementary grades

Celebrate Kwanzaa with Kids

Kwanzaa Printables & Worksheets

Kwanzaa Books & more
  • The Story of Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington
  • Seven days of Kwanzaa: a holiday step book by Ella Grier; pictures by John Ward.
  • Celebrate Kwanzaa by Carolyn Otto
  • The seven days of Kwanzaa by Melrose Cooper
  • Kwanzaa: why we celebrate it the way we do by Martin Hintz and Kate Hintz.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 11/30-12/6

**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!

I did not do a great job in planning last week's menu plan, I had several days were I was pulling from my freezer those “quick dinners” that took less than 45 minutes to prepare and be ready to eat. I guess that isn’t too bad, because I saved us money and we didn’t resort to ordering take out! We only ate McDonald’s for lunch one day last week while we were out of town at the Air Zoo!

This week's shopping trip was almost non-existent!! I had a $5 off $30 coupon to Aldi’s that I just couldn’t waste so I went there for a few things. Sometime this week I will need to get to Sam’s for my monthly run and then to the regular grocery for a few things as well. Since it is cold and snowy in my neck of the country, I have planned my week of meals from my pantry and freezer just in case I do not make it to the grocery store or to Sam’s.

There are no leftovers from T-day, I used what I had in some potato cakes!

This week on Wednesday I have the privilege of making another meal for a church family, who just had a baby (their firstborn!). I am excited that I might be able to hold a little one again along with easing a new mom’s stress for dinner.

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 (11-30)
Breakfast: eggs, sausage or steak, hash browns, and jiffy muffins
Lunch: sandwiches and chips
Dinner: leftover spaghetti and meatballs, crescent rolls
Snack: snack basket

Monday (12-1)
Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: ham, macaroni & cheese, green beans
Snack: cookies & milk

Tuesday (12-2)
Breakfast: waffles and sausage
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: roasted pork loin, mashed potatoes, and corn
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (12-3)
Breakfast: bagels, and cereal
Lunch: sandwich & chips
Dinner: Chicken Veggie Stew (making some into potpie), Honey Oatmeal
Snack: snack basket

Thursday (12-4)
Breakfast: French Toast
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: cube steak/hotdogs, Crashed Potatoes, and peas
Snack: snack basket

Friday (12-5)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: fish/chicken nuggets, fries and corn
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (12-6)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ??? probably leftovers!
Dinner: homemade pizza or burgers(haven't made up my mind!)
Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Singing Sunday

Everything Glorious
By David Crowder

The day is brighter here with You
The night is lighter than its hue
Would lead me to believe
Which leads me to believe

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
What does that make me?

My eyes are small but they have seen
the beauty of enormous things
Which leads me to believe
there's light enough to see that

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours

From glory to glory
You are glorious You are glorious
From glory to glory
You are glorious. You are glorious
Which leads me to believe
why I can believe that

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours

From glory to glory From glory to glory
You are glorious. You are glorious.
You are glorious. You are glorious.