Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th!!!

God Bless America

Words and music by Irving Berlin

"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. "

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

**Enjoy this day and holiday weekend with your family! Remember that our freedom wasn't free! Men and women have given their lives for us to enjoy this freedom and hence this day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $108.10

As I have stated in the last few weeks, I have been trying to keep my weekly grocery budget around $100. After having several people ask me more question about my weekly budget, I did some figuring of the numbers and found that what I was stating was not the reality of the numbers. Instead of my budget averaging around the $100 mark it actually has been averaging around the $125 mark, which isn't bad for meat and potato loving family of seven. However, I still feel that I can work at lowering that average as the rest of the year progresses. So that is my goal for the next 6 months, I am going to work at getting my average weekly budget down to $100 or less!

This week's shopping trip was a little higher than anticipated however, my plan is to see how far it will actually stretch. I am going to be sitting down later today to figure out a menu for the next 12 days to see if what I have on hand will go that far. I know that my milk and eggs will not go that far but I am pretty sure that my pantry and freezer items will stretch beyond the 12 days.

Here is a breakdown of my trip this week:

  • 3 dozen eggs $2.97
  • 1 can whipped cream $1.39
  • 6 cans lemonade $5.34
  • 1 box onion soup mix 69¢
Total: $13.06

  • 3 gallons milk $5.94
  • 1/2 gallon buttermilk $2.39
  • 2 boxes Jiffy muffins $1.42
  • 2.39 lbs peaches $2.34
  • 4 bags Steamers frozen corn $4.00
  • 2 cartons lemonade $2.00
  • 4 boxes brown & serve sausage $4.00
  • 2 Lunchable Juniors $1.00
  • 4 Lunchables $4.00
  • 1 bag flossers FREE
  • 2 boxes Teddy Grahams $2.98
  • 2 bags potato chips $3.98
  • 14 ears sweet corn $2.00
  • 3 pks hamburger buns $2.84
  • 1 carton I can't believe its butter 9¢
  • 1 variety pack Nabisco snacks $2.00
  • 3 pints blueberries $5.01
  • 2 -64oz Old Orchard juice $3.34
  • 2 pks fresh raspberries $3.33
  • 2 bags frozen breaded chicken $9.98
  • 8lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast $15.98
  • 4 boxes Kelloggs cereal $6.00
  • 2 boxes General Mills cereal $4.34
  • 2 cartons Breyers ice cream $5.00
Total OOP: $94.02
Total Savings: $76.80
Total without sales & coupons: $170.82

Family Fare:
  • 4ct Soleil razor refills $2.29(with tax)
  • 2 boxes brownie mix $3.25
  • 2 lbs bacon $5.00
  • 8.79lbs ground chuck $17.49
  • 2.59lbs bananas $1.53
  • 5-12pk cases Pepsi $15.95(with bottle deposit)
Total OOP: $45.51
Total Savings: $31.30
Total without sales & coupons: $76.81

Grand Total OOP: $152.59
Grand Total Savings: $108.10 (amount does not include the savings from shopping at Aldis!)
Grand Total without sales & coupons: $260.69

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cherry-Apple Bran Muffins

I stepped out of my "box" of always having to follow someone else's recipe and I did some experimenting in the kitchen today!! I had bought some fresh cherries a couple of weeks ago and got tired of me and one child eating them fresh so I decided instead of letting them go to waste that I would use them up by making up some muffins.

Okay, I looked at my tried & true banana bread recipe to use as base for my experimenting but overall this recipe is totally something that I whipped together on my own to use up the fresh cherries that I were in my fridge that I got a couple of weeks ago on sale.

Here is the recipe:

3 eggs
2 sticks butter or margarine(I used a stick of each)
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour(I used 2 cups white, 1 cup whole wheat)
1 1/3 cups bran flakes, crushed
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups cherries, pitted & pureed(about 1# cherries)
1/2 cup applesauce

Remove pits from cherries. Put in the blender and coursely puree. (I used my Kitchenaid blender on the "chop" setting for 30-45 seconds.) In a mixing bowl, cream eggs, sugar, and butter/margarine. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, bran flakes, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Add cherries and applesauce. Stir or mix well. Bake in oven at 350° for 35-45 minutes. Makes 24-27 regular size muffins.

Results: These got a 6 out of 7 from my family! My hubby did not like them that well BUT he is not a big fan of muffins that don't have chocolate of some sort in them. My kids inhaled their muffin and were asking if they could have another one. Since I was filling my freezer, I let them have their one and the rest were put in the freezer to pull out for a compliment/side for a breakfast or to have as a snack!

This post is linked at:

No Bake Summertime Dessert Collection

This week I have been blessed with cooler temps so I have been working diligently to fill my freezer with yummy goodies! I know though that the cooler temps are not going to stay...its summer in the Midwest after all!

The dog days of summer will be back and heating up the kitchen is usually not an option! Instead of heating up the kitchen to fill the abundance of the "sweet tooth" at my house, I find no bake desserts work for me! Most of the ones I do are not very labor intensive and the kids love to help me put them together.

Here is a list of the no bake desserts that I rotate through during the hot summer days!

  1. Banana Pops

  2. Lemonade Ice Cream Sandwiches

  3. Peanut Butter Toffee

  4. No Bake Cheesecake

  5. Layered Pudding Cups

  6. Layered Pudding Pie

  7. No Bake Cool Whip Pudding Pie

  8. Haystacks

  9. Peanut Butter Freezer Bars

  10. Fruit Salad

  11. Homemade Chocolate Shakes

I am always looking for other no bake desserts to add to my collection. Do you have a favorite no bake dessert that you like to do??

This post is linked at:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Baking Day Accomplishments!

I did not get everything done on my list today. However, I did get much of it done and there are at least two more days this week that temperatures are going to be around the 70° mark so I should have plenty of time to finish the list and maybe even add a few more things to the list!

Here is more of what I got done today...
A box of brownies from the pantry!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins! Thanks to Crystal-MoneySavingMom for sharing the recipe! These are soooo yummy!! My kids are inhaling them and even making comments like "I am going to have one before they are all gone!". I did change the recipe some in that instead of 1 1/2 cups oil I only did 1 cup oil. I also used 1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice instead 1 tsp cinnamon.

After making my mini loaves of bread today, I kept the bread machine humming with another batch of dough to make these yummy honey oatmeal rolls! I use my honey oatmeal bread recipe and the dough setting on my bread machine and then when the cycle is done just make as many dough balls as I can! Today there was a total of 17 rolls out of 2lb loaf recipe.

I wanted to take the time to show you the way I freeze my homemade mini loaf bread. Once the bread is cool, I wrap the whole bread loaf in just foil and then I stick two mini loaves in a gallon size ziploc bag and suck the air with a straw and label the bag. This way I can stick in the freezer and not worry about freezer burn on the bread. Also this way allows me to take the bread out of the freezer and the plastic bag and right to my oven to warm up to go with a meal. Or to thaw without the bread getting mushy from water with it being frozen. I also like doing the bread this way because it is easy to take out just one loaf to use as well.

So this is the end of the baking day! Even though my initial list did not get completed I feel like I accomplished a lot of baking along with watching my five children and making sure that they were fed throughout the day.

This post is linked at:

Baking Day Progress!

Earlier today, I made a list of goodies that I wanted to get baked today and either in my freezer or available for us to munch on throughout the week.

While the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are baking I thought I would show you pictures of my progress so far!

This picture is everything I made this morning before lunch! I did two chocolate chocolate chip cookie mixes and one rainbow chocolate chip cookie mix from the Betty Crocker cookie mixes that I have stashed in my pantry!!!

This is the amish friendship chocolate bread! I had two cups of starter in my freezer that needed to be used up so I made this yummy bread!

I had NINE bananas that needed to get used today so that the fruit flies wouldn't find them and become a nuisance in my kitchen! I decided since we love banana bread I would make some in a variety of sizes! I made triple batch of banana bread and ended up with 21 minis, 12 regular, and 6 big muffins along with two loaves of bread.
The 6 big banana muffins is the batch that I put chopped walnuts in the batter. My hubby and oldest son like the muffins with nuts so these will be a nice morning breakfast for them with a side of eggs.
Then finally so far is the 4 mini loaves of honey oatmeal bread! These will be nice addition to our meals this week or for me to do some mini sandwiches for the kids.

There is still brownies, jello cake, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, orange juice muffins and the cherry muffins. The pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are baking now! Off to go check on them!

**You can see the rest of the day here!!!**

Baking Day

The temperature outside is only in the mid 60s today!! NO more 80° or 90° days for a few days, so I am taking advantage of the cooler weather to get some baking done to stock the freezer with goodies!

On my list today:

  • Banana Bread and Muffins--bananas that need to be used!
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Chocolate Bread
  • Jello Cake
  • Honey Oatmeal Bread
  • Rainbow Chip Cookies(mix from pantry)
  • Double Chocolate Cookies(mix from pantry)
  • Brownies(mix from pantry)
  • Cherry Bread or Muffins(new recipe, using fresh cherries that need to be used!)
Stay tune....I'll post recipes and pictures as the day progresses!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 6/28-7/4

Last week's menu plan went pretty smoothly! I ended up having to use my oven one day because I did not have anything planned so I went for the frozen pizzas that I had stashed in my freezer for a quick meal/lazy day meal. Other than that the oven stayed off for the week which meant I did not even bake anything!

For this week’s shopping trip was for just the essentials this week! Actually, I did pick up one deal at Meijer that was too good to pass up. I got 25 envelopes of Kool-aid, five boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese, and 5lbs of sugar for 29¢!!! Thanks to coupons and sales!

This week’s menus are tried and true quick family meals! I need the quick or fix and forget type meals this week because I am in the planning stages of getting a couple of baking days done this week so that I can stock my freezer with baked goods while the outside temps are in the low 70s. So when Mother Nature decides to turn up the heat outside again, I have yummy goods to pull from the freezer to enjoy.

For this week’s lunches that are listed below are for the kids and me! Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or carrot sticks along with fruit juice or water. Hubby usually takes a dinner leftover along with various snacks for his work lunch so I don’t take the time to plan his lunches. He just takes the next oldest leftover on the stack in the fridge.

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 (6-28)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage/steak, hash browns, and muffins (from a box)

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner: mini pizzas, chips, and carrots

Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Monday (6-29)

Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: chicken rice casserole and homemade bread

Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (6-30)

Breakfast: waffles and sausage

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner: cube steak served with crashed potatoes, and corn on the cob

Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (7-1)

Breakfast: cinnamon rolls, eggs and sausage

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: roast, carrots and potatoes

Snack: snack basket

Thursday (7-2)

Breakfast: Pancakes

Lunch: sandwich & chips

Dinner: ???---probably leftovers

Snack: snack basket

Friday (7-3)

Breakfast: cereal and toast

Lunch: sandwich & chips

Dinner: spaghetti served with homemade garlic French bread

Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (7-4) Happy 4th of July!!!

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”

Lunch: ???

Dinner: ??? cook-out and fireworks!

Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Singing Sunday--Savior, Please

Savior, Please
by Josh Wilson

Savior, please take my hand
I work so hard, I live so fast
This life begins, and then it ends
And I do the best that I can, but I don't know how long I'll last

I try to be so tough
But I'm just not strong enough
I can't do this alone, God I need You to hold on to me
I try to be good enough
But I'm nothing without Your love
Savior, please keep saving me

Savior, please help me stand
I fall so hard, I fade so fast
Will You begin right where I end
And be the God of all I am because You're all I have

Everything You are to me
Is everything I'll ever need
And I am learning to believe
That I don't have to prove a thing
'Cause You're the one who's saving me