Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $41.68

Instead of doing just one trip this week, I ended up making a bunch of smaller trips in hopes of maximizing my savings. I ended up with several free items this week!! I didn't do too bad considering that I spent under $100 for everything including doing the Suave deal twice at Meijer this week. The Suave deal was buy 3 Suave products get 1-15oz Shampoo or Conditioner Free!

I also made a trip to Save A Lot this week for a free gallon of Chocolate Milk with $15 purchase using a coupon!

Here is the breakdown of my purchases:

  • 2 bottles Suave Kids Shampoo $2.84
  • 1 bottle Suave hair gel $1.66
  • 2 bonus size bottles Suave Body Wash $2.58
  • 1 bonus size bottle Lotion 67¢
  • 2 bottles shampoo FREE
  • 10.30 lbs chicken breast $20.50
  • 1 cantaloupe 98¢
  • 2 pkgs Keebler cookies $1.90
  • 2 pints Breyers ice cream $1.50
  • 2 lbs bacon $4.00
Total OOP: $37.23
Total Savings: $20.47
Total without sales & coupons: $57.70

Family Fare:
  • 6 dozen eggs $5.28
  • 8.21 lbs ground chuck $14.69
  • 1 head lettuce 88¢
  • 4 lbs sugar $1.77
  • 12 cups yogurt $6.40
  • 3 gallons milk $5.31
  • 2-12pks Faygo pop $6.38(with bottle deposit)
Total OOP: $40.71
Total Savings: $21.21
Total without sales & coupons: $61.92

Save A Lot:
  • 1 gallon Chocolate Milk FREE
  • 5.00 lbs bananas $1.67
  • 2 boxes breaded chicken tenders $4.98
  • 8 cans cream of chicken soup $4.72
  • 1 box cornstarch 79¢
  • 2 bags egg noodles $1.98
  • 5 cans evaporated milk $3.75
  • 1 box onion soup mix 69¢
  • 1 bottle worchestershire sauce 99¢
Total OOP:$19.57

Grand Total OOP: $97.51
Grand Total Savings: $41.68 plus the savings reaped from shopping at Save A Lot!!
Grand Total without sales & coupons: $139.19

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Golden Graham Smores Bars

The summer heat is still upon us so I was looking for something different in the way of a no bake dessert. I have a list of ideas but they all sounded boring the other day when I was looking for some sweetness.

I didn't find anything to fulfill my sweetness craving until I needed to help put a snack together for Vacation Bible School week at my church!

I love it when I can take things out of my pantry and put them together for a yummy snack that even involves chocolate! I also love the fact that my kids are old enough that they can make this snack without too much adult supervision in the kitchen.

Golden Graham Smores Bars

3/4 cup light corn syrup
3 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 pkg(11.5 oz) milk chocolate morsels
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. Golden Graham cereal (9 cups)

  • Grease 9x13 pan.

  • Heat syrup, butter/margarine, and morsels to boiling, stirring constantly.

  • Remove from heat, stir in vanilla

  • Pour over cereal; toss until coated.

  • Fold in marshmallows, 1 cup at a time.

  • Press in pan with buttered back of spoon. Let stand 1 hour.

  • Cut into 2 inch squares.

  • Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days(if they last that long!).

  • Makes 24 squares.

Overall this takes about 10 minutes to put together. If you get the items on sale like what I did, the cost to make these bars is about three dollars! Not bad!

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More Than Just PB&J Sandwiches!

A lot of people are starting to think about what to stick in their kids' lunches for this next school year. While I don't send my children to school, I still make sure that I have food for lunches that they are able to handle on their own. Other than the typical leftovers from dinner or that kid-friendly peanut butter and jelly sandwich, here is a list of lunch ideas that I have done for my family so that we don't get bored with the same old thing day after day!

Fried egg sandwiches

Mini homemade pizzas

Egg salad sandwiches

Chicken/Tuna salad sandwiches

Homemade pita bread stuffed with any number of things (esp. homemade chicken salad! Yum!)

Salad with grilled chicken

Hot Dogs/Coneys

Grilled cheese sandwiches

Chili beans, toss some cheese, salsa and tortilla chips and you got nachos

Make up a bunch of meatballs and freeze. Get some hoagie rolls and spaghetti sauce and make meatball subs.

Make up a bunch of spaghetti and let them have at it.

Egg burritos

Salad with a bit of chicken chunks and boiled eggs

Homemade tortillas throw in some chili

Leftover pasta with whatever. I've thrown leftover pasta and chicken together. Add chopped veggies or have them on the side, drizzle with a vinagriette.

Veggie Chicken noodle soup(leftover chicken and veggies with pasta and broth)

French toast and fruit

Pancakes and fruit

Bean and cheese burritos

Chicken quesadillas(cut up leftover chicken, add salsa or taco sauce to it, put on one side of a tortilla shell top with cheese, fold over tortilla shell, melt some butter or use olive oil in a hot skillet then put quesadilla in the skillet and lightly brown both sides)

Cheese quesadillas

Baked potatoes with leftover chili or taco meat

I hope that this inspires you to think outside that same old lunchbox and try something different for a change!

As for those nagging questions about packing and keeping things fresh, here is what I do:

Since I homeschooling my children right now, I only have to worry about packing hubby's lunch. However, should I get into a position where I am having to make "bag lunches" for my kids to take to school. Most of the items, I can make a day ahead. For the egg/chicken/tuna salad sandwiches, I would make the filling and put into a small container and then put the bread in a separate baggie and make sure that I included a plastic fork or spoon for them to make their own sandwich at lunch time so the bread doesn't get soggy. I just wrap most of my sandwiches, mini pizzas, or wraps in plastic wrap or put in a plastic baggie and stick in the fridge til I pack the lunch. Then I also have small little blue ice packs that I put in my hubby's lunch every day to keep the food cold and fresh.**

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Easy BQ Pork Sandwiches

Are you looking to feed a crowd any time soon?? If so, I have a great recipe for fixing and forgetting while you work at getting the rest of your food ready to feed all those hungry mouths!

Here is what you will need:
  • 1 boneless half pork loin
  • 1 or 2 bottles of BBQ sauce--I love Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ Sauce because then I don't have to add any other sweetener to the pot. If you don't use the Sweet Baby Ray's, I would recommend putting in a 1-2 tbsp. honey or sugar to give it more of a sweet tangy taste over a sour tangy taste.
  • 1 crockpot

Here is what you will need to do:

  • Take the pork loin and cut in half again so it is like two small pork roasts.
  • Put it in the crockpot
  • Pour the BBQ sauce over the pork loin.
  • Turn the crockpot on low. Let it simmer for 6-8 hours
  • About half way through the cooking time, taking the time to shred the meat with a couple of forks and add more BQ sauce if it looks dry.

  • When you are ready with the rest of your meal. Serve on hamburger buns. I love using whole wheat buns for making these pork sandwiches!

    If you are not serving a crowd and are just using this for a family dinner meal, I like having some kind of potato, usually fries and then a green veggie or salad as my sides to round out the meal.

    The BBQ pork is very freezer friendly too! Once it has cooled, put in a freezer container or freezer ziploc bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Peach Crisp

    A couple of weeks ago, I had purchased 10 large peaches while they were on sale and things have been so busy around my house that I haven't had time to think much less eat all the fresh peaches before they started going bad. So today I set out to take care of them so that they were used up and not trashed.

    One of the things that I made with them was Peach Crisp! Ohhhh sooo yummy and ohhhhhh soooo easy! I made it last year when I had fresh peaches and NOW after sampling it I realized why I was going to adjust the recipe! Fresh peaches produce LOTS and LOTS of juice, which if not contained with flour or cornstarch or something will result in a soupy mess. But I forgot to adjust the recipe so I have LOTS of peach juice in my peach crisp. It doesn't take too much away from the yummy taste if you use a slotted spoon to dish some up in a bowl. Highly recommend using a bowl over a plate!

    So you are probably wondering how I made this delectible dessert! I used my apple crisp recipe for inspiration and basically substituted peaches for the apples. Oh and instead of just cinnamon I added some pumpkin pie spice to add just a different flavor than just plain old cinnamon.

    Peach Crisp

    4-5 cups fresh sliced peaches
    pumpkin pie spice
    7 Tbsp. cold butter or margarine
    3/4 cup flour(use 1/4 cup whole wheat 2/4 cups white flour)
    1 cup sugar

    Slice peaches into a deep casserole type dish. Sprinkle the top of the peaches with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, and cold butter til a crumbly like a streusel type topping; put on top of peaches and spices.

    I don't measure the peaches...I just pick a pan no bigger than a 9 x 13 and fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full but I still measure out the struesel topping for it. The pan that I normally use for it is The Pampered Chef deep dish baker stone which measures 11-inches diameter and holds up to 8 cups....I just filled the baker to the top with peaches and then added the struesel topping and it isn't suppose to boil over in the oven but it did! Also you can use apples, cherries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries with this struesel topping to make a very delicious dish.

    What do you think??
    How would you thicken up the peaches to make this dessert? Do you think if I had added even a 1/4-1/2 cup flour to the peaches I would not have ended up with a "peach soup" under my crisp topping?

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    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    Menu Plan Monday 8/2-8/8

    Last week's menu plans went off without too much trouble. The only thing that didn’t get made was some homemade pizza because we have been dealing with the flu going through each member of the family so pizza is not the best meal to serve sensitive stomachs. We ended up at my parents’ house on Friday night and opted for bringing in Arby’s for dinner so there was less stress on me to have enough food for everyone.

    This week with my shopping trip, I saved more than I spent and added nicely to my stockpile.

    This week’s menus are quick and easy meals! This week is Vacation Bible School(VBS) at our church and hubby, oldest son and I are volunteering as workers along with three of the kids going to the week’s event and my youngest will be in the nursery. Our church is about 20 minutes from our house so we will need to be leaving around our usual dinner hour to get there to work. We will be using our snack basket a lot this week because snack will be on the road coming home from VBS.

    After VBS is finished on Thursday night, we will be going to my college alumni party at the beach. The food will be provided and we just have to come and enjoy it along with the fellowship.

    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 The Happy Housewife for hosting Menu Plan Monday this week as Laura-Organizing Junkie is on vacation! Need help with your menus; go check the over 300 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at The Happy Housewife's site or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists!

    Sunday (8-2)

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

    Lunch: leftovers

    Dinner: cordon bleu and chicken tenders served with fried potatoes, and corn

    Snack: snack basket

    Monday (8-3)

    Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel or leftover cinnamon rolls

    Lunch: leftovers

    Dinner: creamy chicken served over rice and peas

    Snack: snack basket

    Tuesday (8-4)

    Breakfast: waffles and sausage

    Lunch: sandwich & chips

    Dinner: roast, carrots and potatoes in the crockpot

    Snack: snack basket

    Wednesday (8-5)

    Breakfast: bagels, cereal, eggs

    Lunch: leftovers

    Dinner: pork chops served with mashed potatoes and green beans

    Snack: snack basket

    Thursday (8-6)

    Breakfast: French toast and sausage

    Lunch: sandwich & chips

    Dinner: cube steak & hot dogs, served with crashed potatoes, and corn

    Snack: snack basket

    Friday (8-7)

    Breakfast: cereal and toast

    Lunch: sandwich & chips

    Dinner: College Alumni Party/Picnic

    Snack: snack basket

    Saturday (8-8)

    Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”

    Lunch: ??? parents’ house

    Dinner: ??? parents’ house

    Snack: snack basket or popcorn

    Singing Sunday--Perfect People

    Perfect People
    By Natalie Grant

    Never let him see you when your breaking
    Never let him see you when you fall
    Thats How We Live
    And Thats How We Try

    Tell The world you've got it all together
    You never let him see whats underneath
    We cover it up
    with the crooked smile
    but it only lasts for a little while

    There's no such thing as perfect people
    There's no such thing as a perfect life
    so come as you are, broken and scarred
    lift up your heart and be amazed, and be changed
    by a perfect God

    Suddenly its like a weight is lifted
    when you hear the words that you are loved
    he knows where you are
    and were you've been
    and you never have to go there again

    There's no such thing as perfect people
    There's no such thing as a perfect life
    so come as you are, broken and scarred
    lift up your heart and be amazed and be changed
    by a perfect God

    Who lived, and died, to give you life
    to heal our inperfections
    so look up, and see love, and let grace be enough

    There's no such thing as perfect people

    There's no such thing as a perfect life
    So come as you are, broken and scarred
    lift up your heart and be amazed and be changed

    by a perfect God
    by a perfect God
    by a perfect God

    by a perfect God
    be changed by a perfect God
    be changed