Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $140.80 plus

This week I made up for the lack luster shopping that I did last week!  There was some decent deals this week to snag so I armed myself with a list and my coupons and shopped at three stores this week.  I actually shopped at Meijer twice this week because of overlooking a couple of items that I had on my list!  Who forgets to get milk at the store when they don't have any in their fridge when they leave to get it???  I do!!!

The first time I went to Meijer this week, I can't believe that the cashier was even a cashier!  He was soooooo slow!!!  I got into the checkout line at 3:18 pm there was two people in front of me; one person he was halfway through her order when I got into the line and the other person only had about 20 items.  I had looked at the other lanes and they were filled even more so I stuck with where I was at and besides he had not dealt with me before and my stack of coupons!!  Well by the time it was my turn was 3:28pm, he finished my order up and I was walking out the door at 3:42pm!!!  I can't believe that I spent almost 1/2 hour in line on a Wednesday afternoon!!!  At any rate, I do not think I will be going through his lane again anytime soon.

Here is what I purchased this week:


  • 2.24lbs bananas $1.10
  • 2 boxes jiffy muffin mix $1.58
  • 1 trial size Sensodyne toothpaste $1.69
  • 2 gallons Hawaiian Punch $2.96
  • 1 jar Smuckers grape jam $2.49 (only brand I buy--not on sale!)
  • 10.81 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts $19.35
  • 3 bottles Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce $2.97
  • 1.77 lbs red grapes $2.19
  • 5 boxes Kleenex $3.95
  • 2 bags potato chips $3.78
  • 4 boxes Kelloggs cereal $5.96 ($1.49/box!!)
  • 2 bottles Miracle Whip $3.98
  • 1 lb I can't believe its not butter sticks 50¢
  • 6 tubes Pillsbury cinnamon rolls $5.10
  • 6 tubes Pillsbury crescent rolls $6.00
  • 6 pkgs Kraft cheese $4.96
  • 2 bags M&M candies $3.00
  • 2 pkgs Johnsonville sausage links $4.40
  • 1 Speedstick deodorant $1.50
  • 1 roll Reynolds foil $1.75
  • 1 bottle Suave lotion $1.17
  • 2 bottles Suave bodywash $2.59
  • 2 bottles Suave kids shampoo $2.83
  • 2 bottles Suave professional shampoo $2.33
  • 1 bottle Vive Pro shampoo 99¢ (reg. price $3.99 on clearance for $1.99 used $1/1 cpn!)
Total OOP with sales tax: $90.36
Total Savings: $87.79
Total without sales & coupons: $178.15

Meijer(2nd stop):
  • 2 gallons milk $4.58
  • 3 boxes Red Baron singles pizza $4.75
***used $4.00 off next shopping order Catalina coupon from last trip!

Total OOP: $5.33
Total Savings: $8.22
Total without sales & coupons: $13.55

Family Fare: 
  • 4 boxes jiffy muffin mix $2.76
  • 1 box taco shells $2.02
  • 2 pkgs Gortons fish fillets $ 11.23
  • 3.89 lbs ground chuck $7.74
  • 4 boxes 8ct. Poptarts $7.52
  • 2 pkgs Eckrich smoky links $3.45
  • 2 lbs deli turkey meat $4.44
  • 1 box Wheat Thin crackers 88¢
  • 4 cases(12pk) Pepsi products $14.36(with bottle deposit)
  • 2 Faygo 2 liters $1.74(with bottle deposit)
  • 1 box Bakin' Miracle $1.99
  • 2 bags Rold Gold pretzels $3.00
  • 2 pkgs Chi-Chi flour tortillas $4.38
  • 1 can refried beans $1.04
  • 5lbs Ida Red apples $2.99
  • 2 bags breaded chicken tenders $7.98
  • 5 qt pail vanilla icecream $4.99
  • 2 jars Ragu sauce $2.23
Total OOP: $84.74
Total Savings: $44.79
Total without sales & coupons $129.53

Save A Lot:
  • 4 bottles(64oz) apple juice $4.00
  • 2 cans beef broth $1.26
  • 4 cans cream of chicken soup $2.36
  • 2.26lbs ground beef from chuck $3.14 ($1.39/lb manager's special)
Total OOP: $10.76
Total Savings: Lots with shopping here!

Grand Total OOP: $191.19
Grand Total Savings: $140.80
Grand Total without sales & coupons: $331.99

This post is linked to: 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Homeschooling Hands On: Enhancing Reading Program

Out of my five children, I have two children that love to read, and it is very difficult to keep good books in their hands. A few years ago it got to the point that going to the library was a long, drawn out process! Not that I don’t like going to the library with my children, but when you try to look for good books for one child and have a screaming infant or an impatient toddler disrupting your concentration — all while everyone around you is staring at you…well, it makes for a rough visit!  


After a few times of that lengthy production at the library, I finally took the time to do some research for websites that had a list of good books. I found several websites that have book lists for different age levels. Each year from those lists, I make a reading list for my children and this has helped a lot in streamlining our trip to the library to get books every two weeks.


While the book lists have helped to streamline our time at the library, I also found websites that have helped us to get more out of our books other than just reading them. Here are some of the websites that I use either with my kids or for my resource on a weekly basis.
  • Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they’ve read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. Book Adventure was created by and is maintained by Sylvan Learning.
  • Book unit studies has a list of books that are “kid-friendly,” enjoyable books. Each of the books has a link that takes you to a lesson plan around that book, and there are comprehension questions, vocabulary, and activities to go along with each book.
  • The Children’s Literature Web Guide is an internet resource related to books for children and young adults. There are links to resources on authors, stories online, book discussion groups and more.
  • Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas for ways to use them in the classroom, and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes, and professional topics.
  • The Best Kids’ Book Site is a fun and interactive site where books, crafts, and web resources come together to give you a great resource. I love using this to find book titles about the holidays, seasons, or countries to go along with our unit studies that we do for history. I used this site to come up with crafts for my kindergartner as we made our way through the alphabet.
  • The Read Aloud Handbook is actually a book, but the author has set up a website with all the same information that is in the book, plus new reviews of books that are not in the latest edition of his book. He has a lot of different information on this site regarding reading and books.
Whether you homeschool or not, make reading something more than just reading a book. It’s really worked for us! Happy Reading!
**this post was originally published as one of my contributing articles at Happy to be at Home!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mom's Homestyle Chili

One of my favorite winter meals to make is a big pot of chili and Fritos! I love making my Mom's Homestyle Chili .  It is so easy to make with items that I keep in my pantry and aside from the spices I put in it there is only five ingredients!  It tastes so much better than the canned chili you get off the grocery shelves too.  I like to make a big pot so there is plenty of leftovers to makeover and use in other dishes, like nachos or for topping a baked potato.

My kids wish that I did not have to put beans into every pot I make but I just can't bring myself to make it without beans! It just wouldn't be chili and the beans add extra nutrients to the pot.  I have started taking 1/2 of the can of beans and mashing them or pureeing them in the blender so it appears that there is not a lot of beans in the pot. I found that pureeing the beans actually helps to thicken the chili so it is easier to use for nachos and baked potato topping.

Mom's Homestyle Chili

2 lb ground meat(venison or beef)
2 cans tomato sauce(15 oz)
1 can tomato soup
1 can red kidney beans(or ranch style beans)
3 medium size carrots, shredded
2-3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2-3 TBSP dry minced onions

Mix all together. Simmer in crockpot all day(4-6 hours) on low.

Notes: The carrots are used as the sweetener instead of sugar. You can add other veggies, like shredded zucchini, chopped green peppers, and celery; but I haven't been able to find a way to add them to my pot due to picky eaters.  You can adjust the amount of chili powder in the pot to effect the "hotness"/zing of the pot.

I serve this with a double batch of corn muffins or a bag of Fritos or sometimes both!

This post is linked to:

Menu Plan Monday 1/31-2/6

It was another week of success with menu planning!  I made it through the week without too much difficulty.   It is amazing me that doing something so simple like menu planning can actually reduce the stress that I feel on daily basis in keeping the household going smoothly.  I did end up switching out the meal on Saturday for something less time consuming.  Instead of having saucy pork chops served with rice and green peas, we had skillet pork chops, mac & cheese and peas.

Not much in the way of grocery shopping this week, however, I will be doing more grocery shopping as the week progresses because I am running out of several staples that I need to keep on hand, like meat and grape jam!   In case you are wondering, I usually do my grocery shopping a week ahead.  What I shop for last week is what I will be using this week, however the sales were not too great, so I had enough on hand to make it through the majority of last week without heading to the store. Now this week’s sale ads look a little better along with having had a payday so I will be doing grocery shopping to help finish round out our meals this week.

This week’s meals are simple meals.  No new meals this week, just sticking to some meals that I know the family will enjoy.  I have my church’s Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday and then hubby and I are taking a marriage building class at our church on Wednesday.  I need to make the meals for those days as simple and quick as possible with the rush of needing to get out the door on time.

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 really plan his lunches. I just take the next container of leftovers in the stack in the fridge that I have prepared ahead of time.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 300 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 (1-31)
Breakfast: eggs, sausage & bacon, hash browns, and donuts
Lunch: chicken tenders, chips and carrots
Dinner:  McDonald’s (after church)
Snack: snack basket

Monday (2-1)
Breakfast: cereal and donuts
Dinner:  veggie beef stew with homemade bread

Tuesday (2-2)
Breakfast:  waffles and sausage
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: creamy chicken served with rice and green peas

Wednesday (2-3)
Breakfast:  bagels and cereal
Lunch: sandwich & soup
Dinner:  baked chicken(#3) served with mashed taters & gravy, and corn

Thursday (2-4)
Breakfast:  Pancakes and sausage
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner:  cube steak served with crashed potatoes or mac & cheese, and green beans

Friday (2-5)
Breakfast:  cereal and toaster strudel
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner:  “Homemade Long John Silver’s”: oven fried chicken & fish served with French fries, and corn
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (2-6)
Breakfast:  Your Choice
Lunch: ????
Dinner: Taco Bar
Snack: popcorn

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Singing Sunday--What Faith Can Do

What Faith Can Do
by Scott Davis & Scott Krippayne
sung by Kutless

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it's more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That's what faith can do)
When the world says you can't
It'll tell you that you can!

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise