Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $84.12

It has been a busy week here!!  Not only have I homeschooled four of my kids but I have also had to work in the schedule TWO church drama practices, TWO soccer practices, TWO soccer games, a dentist appointment, a bible study, the suburban in the shop for just half a day, and then you can not forget the usual keeping of the house, people fed and grocery shopping.  Whew!! PLUS, hubby and I have been working at painting walls, moving cabinets and re-doing the drop ceiling in our basement family room/playroom/school room/the room we spend 85%-95% of our waking moments in each day!! Oh and this isn't your average size room either---this room is half our basement wide and end to end of our ranch size house(about 300 sq. feet) And to think that I have to do all again next week!  Oh I also paid bills because of payday and did a baking day

I made it to the stores this week and ended up spending close to $150 plus also doing my monthly Sam's run.  I have been doing a pantry & freezer spring cleaning and have been successful enough that I was already running out of things that are "staples" at this house! There is still several more things that I would love to work into the menus so that will be happening in the next couple of weeks. 

Here is a breakdown of what I purchased this week...

Family Fare:
  • 4 gallons milk $7.96
  • 3 boxes poptarts $7.00
  • 2 lbs margarine $1.50
  • 4 boxes fruit snacks $6.25
  • 1.99 lbs bananas $1.17
  • 4.99lbs ground beef $10.45
  • 1.40lbs beef strips $4.89
  • 1.29 lbs thin cut bottom round steak $2.96
  • 6 bags of 50 % off Easter candy $8.44
  • 24 ct. Northern TP $5.99

Total OOP: $56.97
Total Savings: $31.90
Total without coupons or sales: $88.87

  • 3 double pks. Kotex pads $13.00
  • 1 pkg. ziploc snack bags $1.79
  • 1 pkg. 40ct. ziploc quart freezer bags $2.44
  • 2 pkg. 150ct sandwich bags $3.00
  • 6 boxes Kleenex $7.50
  • 3 bags Rold Gold pretzels $5.00
  • 2 boxes frozen spinach $1.78
  • 2 boxes frozen green peas $1.50
  • 2 cartons lemonade $2.00
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup $1.00
  • 1 cantaloupe $1.50
  • 2 lbs bacon $4.00
  • 2 jars pasta sauce $2.20
  • 3 bags chocolate chips $5.00
  • 2 whole chickens(10.47lbs) $6.16 (59¢/lb on meat markdown!)
  • 1 pkg sausage links $1.79 (meat markdown, reg. $2.99)
  • 6 boxes Kelloggs cereal $8.50 ($1.42/box)
Total OOP(with tax): $90.17
Total Savings: $52.22
Total without sales or coupons: $142.39

GRAND TOTAL(without sales or coupons): $231.26

Now I have enough meat in my house to get through until next payday!! So all this food should last my family until the end of the month!

For more savings stories head over to MoneySavingMom's Super Saturday Savings or to BeCentsAble's Centsable Savings Stories or Grocery Cart Challenge.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

If I had to choose a cookie with no chocolate in it, this cookie would be THE one I would choose!  When I make these I try not to eat the whole batch of them myself!  So I put the majority of them in the freezer to pull out for another time.  Sometimes though I catch myself pulling just one right of out the freezer and eating cold.

Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) butterscotch chips


PREHEAT oven to 375° F. 

COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. 

BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Glimpse into Sonshine's Day Revisited

If you have been following my day today(follow link for my full to-do list), I just had to show you a picture of my dinner!!!!  It is done and waiting now for me to drain some of the juices off to make some homemade beef gravy to go over the beef and potatoes.

Instead of making some honey oat bread, I am making up some french bread. The ingredients are in the breadmachine doing their thing.  I love having a breadmachine it makes breadmaking or roll making easier for me!

Here is the results so far for my day!!  The muffins are done!  The double chocolate cookies are done!!  For the double chocolate cookies, I used two of my 50¢ Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes!  Each bag said to use 1 egg, 2 tbsps. water, and 1/4 cup oil.  Well this momma put two bags into one bowl and used 2 eggs, 4 tbsp. water, 1/4 cup canola oil, and 1/4 cup natural applesauce!  The cookies came out soft and chewy and cakelike!  I love 'em!!  

I also remembered that I had picked up a package of 24 Nestle Ready to Bake Easter Chocolate Chip Cookies for 64¢ at the store the other day so I baked those while I had the oven on this afternoon!

I did not have to call my mom cause she called me!  I still remembered though to tell her "Happy Birthday!"

School is finished for the day!  The kids are outside on this bright and sunny 60° day playing kickball in the backyard with their neighbor friends.

It looks like the bill paying is going to have to wait until later after dinner!!  I just love online bill paying cause I can do it anytime I can get to it!

Now I am off to work on getting those pork chops in the freezer and to drink a glass of water! Along with getting beef gravy made and the french bread in the oven. 

To see what other's baked today or yesterday, head over to MoneySaving Mom!

Glimpse into Sonshine's Day

What I have accomplished so far today:

--hubby's lunch fixed and he out the door for work
--kids' breakfast (scrambled eggs, & bagels & cereal)
--got my younger two dressed
--"referee" the morning chore routine
--got 3 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away
--got 3 loads of laundry folded and put away (these loads were sitting in a basket waiting for me, since no one else knows how to fold!)
--put a second coat of paint on baseboard trim in the playroom.
--fixed/heated up lunch for the kids and me
--browned some burger to freeze before it went bad in the fridge.
--showered and dressed myself
--schooled the three older ones(actually kept them on task as they were doing independent work this morning).
--paid three out of 10 bills that are due this pay period. Hubby only gets paid twice a month so we divide our bills between the two pay periods.  Then I pay bills on payday and then I don't have to worry about them until the next payday. Pay bills(including tithe) first, then am able to know what we have left for gas for vehicles and groceries. 
--got dinner(roast, carrots, & potatoes) in the slow cooker and it turned on to cook! :)

Still need to do:
--pay the rest of the bills
--make honey oat bread
--make double choc. muffins
--make double choc. cookies
--divide up the pork chops for freezer
--finish school with the boys
--call my mother to wish her Happy Birthday!

I'll be back to update my list!

Works for Me Wednesday---Sharing Leftovers

Every once in a while I will fix a meal that my picky eater kids really do not prefer to eat but my hubby and I enjoy for some thing different. 

Such was the case last week when I fixed homemade chicken pot pie for dinner.  I asked the kids if they were willing to try it again and they assured me that they would try the pot pie.  I had one say that they would prefer it as soup over pie. So I set aside some of the filling for that one child and put the rest into a 9x13 pan with a pie crust top.  I know not a true potpie but it allows those that do not want to eat the pie crust the option of just setting it aside. 

Dinner was served. My older two boys really enjoyed it.  One of them even commented that they liked it better with the crust than without it.   I still had several "hold outs" in wanting to eat it, however the rule is at my house that you have to eat was fixed--no cafeteria menus are available.  

With several just eating the small portion that they were served there was much of the chicken pot pie left as leftovers.  Knowing that my kids would not eat the leftovers of this meal, I decided that I would put the leftovers into individual serving containers rather than in one big container. Putting the pot pie into individual servings allows me to put them in the freezer for hubby's lunch later or to be able to share the extras with my elderly parents, or my elderly neighbor, or hubby's co-workers.  

This works for me because I do not have to worry about the leftovers going to waste and others are able to enjoy someone else's cooking and not go hungry!

For more Works for me Wednesday, head over to We are THAT Family!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Out of the Pantry Brownies

One of the box mixes that I just can not seem to get rid of in my house is brownie mixes! However, during my spring cleaning event,  I have decided to work at getting rid of them! I decided to make up some brownies but did not want them to be just "plain ol' brownies".   So I used a couple of my odd n' end items to spruce them!

I took one of the five boxes of brownies that I had in my pantry along with the dozen mini Heath bars and a dab of carmel ice cream topping out of my fridge to make up the brownies. 
First, I unwrapped all the mini Heath bars and put them back into the small Ziploc bag.  Then I took my rolling pin and let out some frustration on the Heath bars to crush them! 

After I crushed the bars, I made up my brownie mix as instructed on the box.  If you don't want to use all the oil that the box calls for you can do 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 oil.  I didn't have any applesauce so I just used the oil actually I didn't quite have the 2/3 cups like the box says but didn't add any extra water or anything and the brownies came out fine. 

Once the brownie mix is stirred well and ready to pour in the pan...Pour about 1/2 of the brownie batter in your slightly greased baking pan.  Then take your crushed Heath bars(or you can use any kind of candy, like leftover Easter candy!) and spread over the top of the batter.  Then drizzle carmel ice cream topping over the Heath bars. Then pour the other 1/2 of the brownie batter over the top of the Heath bars and carmel topping. 
Now your brownies are ready to cook!!  Cook according to the box instructions---350° for 28-30 minutes. 
Once they are cooled...cut and enjoy!  One thing I noticed in doing the brownies this way when I cut into them is that ALL the Heath bars and the carmel soaked into the brownie batter as it cooked!!  I was hoping that the Heath bars would do like what mini chocolate chips do being stirred into the batter. My thinking is that I did not use enough of the Heath bars or that I crushed them too finely or something???  

Despite having all the Heath bars and carmel topping "melt" into the batter, the brownies tasted wonderful!!  They came out nice and thick and rich!!  They made great brownie sundaes for the family!!

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Menu Plan Monday 4/12-4/18

Last week's menu plan went pretty smoothly!  I am feeling pretty good about handling meal prep throughout the day so that meals are ready to eat by 5pm each day because of soccer or drama practice.  We haven’t had to grab take out yet because of my “slipping” up and not having something ready to eat in time. YEAH!

This week’s shopping trip was purchasing items that I need for meals as I am working at doing a pantry & freezer spring cleaning event for the month of April. My spring cleaning event is going well! You can read an update of the last eleven days here.  Yesterday, I took a bag of items that I bought but decided I was not going to use after all to my church’s food pantry to help those families that are faced with unemployment. Anyone else looking to do spring cleaning in their pantry & freezer? I would love for you to leave me a comment!

This week’s menus is the second full week of my spring cleaning event so that means meals are starting to get a little creative in nature. I still need to keep things relatively simple this week as it is another busy week of practices. I have LOTS of browned ground beef in the freezer but not a lot of chicken so I am going to be looking for some good ground beef recipes that isn’t tacos, spaghetti or chili! Anyone have some good ideas??

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 along with various snacks 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'ssite or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists! 

Sunday (4-12)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage or steak, hash browns, and cinnamon rolls

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: roasted pork loin, served with mashed potatoes & gravy, and green beans

Snack: snack basket


Monday (4-13)

Breakfast: cereal, toaster strudel, yogurt

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: chicken rice casserole served with homemade bread

Snack: snack basket


Tuesday (4-14)

Breakfast:  French Toast and sausage

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner:  ???maybe leftover pork loin???

Snack: snack basket


Wednesday (4-15)

Breakfast: bagels, eggs and yogurt

Lunch: chicken nuggets and hashbrowns

Dinner: roast, carrots and potatoes

Snack: cookies & milk 

Thursday (4-16)

Breakfast: mini cinnamon bites, eggs and yogurt

Lunch: sandwich & chips

Dinner:  homemade pizza

Snack: snack basket


Friday (4-17)

Breakfast: cereal and banana bread

Lunch: out with Grandma to celebrate her birthday!

Dinner: grilled burgers served with fries and corn

Snack: ice cream night                                          

Saturday (4-18)  

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”

Lunch:  ???

Dinner:  ??? maybe shredded beef sandwiches with the leftover roast!

Snack:  snack basket  or popcorn