Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip---Savings $63.50

I had my shopping intentions set of doing some stockpiling this week, but I got stopped in my tracks by my hubby.  He looked at the freezer and the pantry shelves and exclaimed that they were too full!  I don't have any pics to show you but it is safe to say that they are no where near as full as what they were almost a year ago!!  I am doing alot better with restraining myself, however, he thinks that we need to pull back more in how much we keep on our shelves.   So it is back to finding a happy medium in what is acceptable levels of a stockpile. 

So this week, despite the fact that there was some great deals, I refrained from getting the majority of them!  I still went shopping but had a bit of a different focus--getting items that we needed and not worrying about adding to our stockpile. The only coupon I used was for my hubby's new insoles for his work shoes.  So as you can see from my savings total, I shopped the sales this week for my savings. 

Here is a breakdown of my trip..  

Family Fare(1st trip):
  • 2 Snickers bars $1.00
  • 8 boxes 8ct Poptarts $14.00
Total: $17.22
Total OOP: $15.00
Total Savings: $2.22

Family Fare(2nd trip):
  • 10.98lbs whole chicken $8.46 (2 wholes @ 77¢/lb!)
  • 3 bags Fritos chips $7.00
  • 1 head lettuce $1.29
  • 1# California strawberries $1.88
  • 1 bag 61-70ct shrimp $4.99
  • 3 cans tuna $2.00
  • 4-64oz Indian Summer apple juice $7.00 (used a raincheck!)
Total: $52.35
Total OOP: $32.62
Total Savings $23.49

  • Dr. Scholls insoles $8.99
  • shoe laces $1.59
  • 2 bottles Meijer multi vitamin $12.99
  • 2 bottles Meijer kids multi vitamin $16.94
  • 6 candy bars $2.22
  • 6 Reeses cup eggs $2.04
  • 4 boxes Capri Sun $7.56
Total: $90.87
Total OOP: $53.08
Total Savings: $37.79 (Meijer Promotions $4.26; Non-cpn savings: $31.53; cpn savings: $2.00)

Grand Total: $164.20
Grand Total OOP: $100.70
Grand Savings Total: $63.50

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ultimate Recipe Swap---Breakfasts

Breakfasts at my house are pretty much routine.  Each day of every week is pretty much the same which can help to make things simple and frugal!  This month is "hot breakfast month" and with Happy Housewife's hot breakfast month challenge,  I have been diligently working at collecting some new recipes to work at adding to our breakfast repertoire.  Now this week, FishMama's themed recipe swap is Breakfast so I decided to share a couple of family favorites. And then check out other links there in the hopes of finding some more recipes to add to my "to make & try list".

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**

The other favorite around here is Buttermilk Pancakes. I make these at least once a week and the extras once cooled go into freezer for a quickie breakfast. 

Buttermilk Pancakes(it makes a triple batch!)
3 eggs
3 ¾ cups buttermilk
6 tbsp. veggie or canola oil
3 ¾ cups flour(I usually use 1 3/4 cup whole wheat + 2 cups white)
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt

Mix altogether. Cook on griddle till light brown.
**these freeze very well!!* 

Notes: sometimes I will add blueberries or chocolate chips to the batter for something different.

Looking for more breakfast recipes, head over to Life as Mom!
Looking for more frugal ideas, head over to Frugal Friday over at Biblical Womanhood!
Looking for more recipes, head over to the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap!

Thursday Thirteen--States

"I have lived in Michigan my entire life."  With saying that statement, one might think that I have never travelled outside of its borders, like what I did for our last family vacation.  But that is not the case, I have travelled to many of the fifty states and even taken the time to sit in front of their capitol buildings. 

For a few summer vacations as a teen, my family would do a family vacation.  Our goal for the vacations was to visit states that we had not visited the year before and to go through the capital city to find and see the capitol building.   

So for today's list of thirteen, I am going to share 13 of the states along with the capital cities that I have visited.

  1. Lincoln, Nebraska

  2. Jefferson City, Missouri

  3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  4. Sacramento, California

  5. Phoenix, Arizona

  6. Denver, Colorado

  7. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  8. Nashville, Tennessee

  9. Boston, Massachusetts

  10. Monteplier, Vermont

  11. Concord, New Hampshire

  12. Hartford, Connecticut

  13. Lansing, Michigan

Well there is thirteen, however, I could list TEN more(if you include our nation's capitol building)!!

My family did a lot of travelling around the country!  We financed our trips with collecting pop cans and bottles from alongside the roads so that we could cash them in to redeem Michigan's 10 cent deposit that is on those cans and bottles. 

For more lists of thirteen, head over to Happy to be at Home.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Writing Prompts: A Jar of Possibilities

Imagine the following scene with me:

Mom: “You need to write a story today.”

Child(with a blank stare): “ A story!?!”

Mom: “Yes a story!”

Child: “But I don’t know what to write about!”

Mom:“Well use your imagination! I am sure that you can figure out something!”

[Mom leaves the child to their thoughts! An hour later Mom goes to check the child’s paper, only to find there is nothing on the paper!]

Mom:“Why don’t you have your story written like I said for you to?”

Child: “I told you that I didn’t know what to write about!”

Mom: “Well you need to write a story!”

[Mom leaves the child alone and a bit frustrated!]

Do you have this happen with your child? Do you want to put an end to this scene happening in your home school adventure? If so, I have the solution to this problem!

To find out the solution go read the rest of my article over at Happy To Be At Home!

Works For Me Wednesday--Lunch Containers

My dh gets me up every day at 7am to fix his lunch for him. He loves for me to fix his lunch! He loves to take leftover dinners in his lunch. Not only does it save us money cause he eats out less but it is also a way for me to show him that I love him. Needless to say getting up that early most days is not my idea of fun! My brain is in a fog so it is hard to think straight!

So I decided that when I go to put leftovers from a dinner away. I would use some of my containers that fit into his personal size cooler that he uses as his "lunchbox". So I use either disposable plastic containers or tupperware containers to put homemade tv dinners in for his lunch. The containers are not divided containers just regular storage containers that can go in the microwave. One of my favorites is Ziploc brand Snap N' Seal containers. They have a "salad size" container that works great for a meat and a side dish. I cut up the meat and make sure that there is even butter(if needed) on the rice or potato so that it is ready for him to pop in the microwave at work. Any veggie or fruit or dessert leftovers, I put into their own single serve container or ziploc sandwich baggie.

Then I have these containers stacked in the fridge so that it is just a matter of pulling out the containers on the top of the stack and slipping them in his lunchbox. So despite my foggy morning brain, I can still get his lunch ready for him to go in the morning without really having to think which leftovers need to go in his lunch.

Also having these containers/meals already made up makes life a little easier on everyone else. Because if there is more than one serving of dinner leftovers the rest of us know that it is fair game to eat as a snack or for a lunch for those of us at home. It also makes my fridge not looked so cluttered and items don't get to the back of the fridge and forgotten.

Doing up these containers with dinner leftovers, works for me!

For more works for me, head over to We are THAT Family! (the new home of WFMW!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gratituesday--The Love of my Life

After the event of the weekend and the fact that I don't talk much about my hubby here, I felt lead to do so today!

I am so grateful to the Lord for the man I married because: 

  1. He is a great provider!

  2. He loves me for who I am! (even with all my little quirks!)

  3. He loves the Lord!

  4. He is my best friend!

  5. He loves our children!

  6. He helps me figure out the wording to insurance policies and other fine print on important documents! (I can handle the every day financial matters but making sure we have the right coverage on things is "over my head"!)

There is more that I could say about the man, who I affectionally call "honey" but I don't want to get all mushy on you so I'll save that for another time. 

I am just so grateful that despite his accident, he was not hurt where he could not be with me and the kids today!  

Thank you, Heavenly Father for keeping a safe hedge around my hubby on Saturday!  We can eventually replace our material losses but we can't replace a husband and father that you have put in our lives.

To read about more gratitude, stop by Heavenly Homemakers

Easy Crockpot Pork Chops

I made these for dinner earlier this week and they were awesome!!  The pork chops just fell apart and they were not dry at all(something that I have trouble with doing)!!

Easy Crockpot Pork Chops

6-9 pork chops, browned
2 cans cream of chicken soup(or cream of whatever soup)
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/2 can water

Brown pork chops in a skillet.  Once brown put in the crockpot, dump the packet of dry onion soup mix on the pork chops.  Dump the 2 cans of cream of whatever soup on the pork chops and onion soup mix.  Make sure that the cream of whatever soup is covering the pork chops.  Rinse out soup cans with 1/2 can of water and pour onto the pork chops. Turn crockpot on low and cook for 6-8 hours or cook on high 4-6 hours. 

Notes: I put this together last night before Sunday evening church to eat when we returned but before I turned it on, hubby decided that we just pick up fast food on the home. I put the stoneware insert of my crockpot in the fridge and then today put in my crockpot on low. 

The gravy is thick enough to serve it over rice or potatoes. I chose rice and green beans as my sides for Monday night's dinner. 

This post is linked at: 

Monday, February 23, 2009

When Reality Hits...Truck Meets Concrete!

After 12 years of marriage and five kids with just one vehicle, we were graciously given a Ford Explorer by my mother-in-law in the fall of 2007.  She was getting a new vehicle, so instead of trading in the Explorer to get her new vehicle, she blessed us with the Explorer.

The Explorer has been my hubby's vehicle for his trips back and forth to work and for those times when we have needed to be in two different places at the same time.   The Explorer only can seat four people out of the seven family members, and it wasn't a 4x4 for using in the Midwest winters, but it still worked for when we needed it most. 

Well this past Saturday, hubby took it to go to an appointment along with going to Menards to pick up more supplies for our basement playroom "face-lift" project.   He left while the weather wasn't the greatest!  We were under a "Winter Storm Warning"!(for those of my readers who don't know much about "winter storm warning"--it actually is NOT the type of weather to be driving in unless absolutely necessary!!  There usually is LOTS of snow and the snow is usually coming down so fast that road crews can't keep up with the roads, hence slick roads aka "slip n' slide roads"!  But here in West Michigan, that warning usually doesn't stop people, including hubby and me, from going out on the roads even if they don't need to be there!)

Anyway, he called me to let me know that he had completed all of his errands and was heading home.(awww isn't that sweet!?) We hung up and I continued getting lunch prepared....I flipped one grilled cheese sandwich on my griddle and my phone rang again with his "tune".  I picked up the phone half heartedly thinking "what now?!", but said "hello!". His response was....
"Honey, I have been in an accident! I am okay!  I am on the highway in the hammer lane and I need to get to the shoulder of the road."  We hung up and I started shaking!  I do NOT handle this kind of stress very well!  Praise God he is okay!!
He calls again telling me that he is sitting on the side of the highway. The Explorer is not driveable to home because it is leaking fluids and he has 3 out of 4 lights smashed!  So I need to come and get him! is snowing like crazy!!!! There are parts of area highways CLOSED because of accidents and he wants me to come and get him! OH and don't forget too I am still shaking from the news!!

I told him I would be there shortly!  I hung up and took a few deep breaths!  I prayed for calmness while driving and told my 12 1/2 year old son I was leaving him in charge for about a half hour to go get daddy from the side of the road.  I grabbed the camera, my purse along with bundling up and got in our van and headed for accident scene. 
I found him with no problems and hugged him right there on the highway!!  The police was already there and was in the process of writing him a ticket for "not driving with care".   Hubby was just merging on to the highway and the truck lost traction in the snow! 

Hubby called the court today to contest the charges. So for now he is waiting for his summons for the hearing and he doesn't have to pay the ticket.  The truck is only worth around $3,000 but the repairs are going be close to $5,550 so the insurance company is claiming it a "total loss".

So long life with two vehicles!!!  Back to the life, I led for 12 years of taking hubby to work a couple of days a week so that I could have the vehicle to take kids to appointments or to the library, or even to do grocery shopping at less busy time of the day.

Life will go back to two vehicles but first we will pay off our debt that we have been working on diligently!  Oh what a weekend!

For those interested....Hubby's version of the action on the highway...
Was merging on the highway, a car coming up on me fast so I gave more gas to get moving.  Rear end got loose the left, then to the right, shot me across 3 lanes of highway and into the median wall on passenger front corner, spun around hit passenger’s rear corner then spun the rest of the way around to be facing the direction I should be driving in the fast lane.

When I came to a stop I noticed my foot was wedged between the gas and the brake.  Waited for traffic to clear then nursed it to the shoulder.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2/22-2/28

Last week's menu plan went pretty smoothly despite having to rearrange meals to different days than what I had initially planned them. I also found a recipe for homemade cornbread/muffins that we really enjoyed this past week!! It is a copycat recipe of the Jiffy Corn Muffins that I have been buying for years!! According to my crew, they taste like they are from the box! Although hubby can tell they are homemade not from a box!

This week’s shopping trip was restocking my bulk items at Sam’s Club along with going to Meijer and Save A Lot for sale items and to finish off meals.

This week’s menus are in need of some inspiration!! Payday is Friday so I need to hold out until then to get more meat in the house. I have LOTS of browned ground beef in the freezer, so I am looking for some more recipes that call for ground beef!

Lunches listed are for the kids & me. Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or baby carrots along with fruit juice or water. Hubby usually takes a dinner leftover for his work lunch.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 400 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists!

Sunday (2-22)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage, hash browns, and boxed chocolate donettes

Lunch: pizza


Snack: snack basket

Monday (2-23)

Breakfast: cereal, toaster strudel, and yogurt

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: crockpot pork chops, rice, green beans

Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (2-24)

Breakfast: waffles and sausage

Lunch: pizza rolls

Dinner: seasoned chicken breasts, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn and biscuits

Snack: muffins & milk

Wednesday (2-25)

Breakfast: bagels, eggs and cereal

Lunch: sandwiches & chips


Snack: snack basket

Thursday (2-26)

Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel

Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches & chips

Dinner: chicken tenders or fish sandwiches, fries, and corn

Snack: cookies & milk

Friday (2-27)

Breakfast: Pancakes

Lunch: sandwiches & chips


Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (2-28)

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”

Lunch: ??? probably leftovers

Dinner: burgers, fries, and carrots

Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Singing Sunday--There Will be a Day

I haven't posted a "Singing Sunday" song for a few weeks because I haven't felt like singing much!  However, I have been singing this song off and on all week long so I thought I would share it with all of you!! I will be so happy when we see Jesus face to face and then trials of this world will be over! I have been going through many trials over the last few weeks and I need to remember that Jesus is my strength when the goings get rough!

There will be a Day
by Jeremy Camp

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth, 
That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you're walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you've walked out all alone


Troubled soul don't lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that's in store
Outweighs the hurt of life's sting

I can't wait until that day where the very one I've lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I've faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing