Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dollhouses are not for dolls........

The girlies got this gorgeous dollhouse from Uncle Duane & Aunt Misty for Christmas this year. They also got their daddy to let them have a kitty as long as they name it Galyeon. (sigh)

Well the girls decided that Gal needed a home more than their dolls did. For a better part of the day baby Gal has spent his time in this house, (and the roof too until they figured out a way to reach him).

Luckily he is a good sport and we have minor scratches.

$20.57 at Country Mart

Just a pic. I must go rescue our new baby kitten. The girls seem to think he's not an animal at all, but a thing that must live in their new dollhouse.

Total after coupons $20.57
and I'm adding this to Jan. totals since it will all be cooked in the new year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I got to shop at Aldi's! Yay!!

We went to see one of my MIL's this Saturday and she lives where there is an Aldi's! Yay! I wasn't able to get everything on my list for the next 2 weeks that I'll be off with the kiddo's, but I got a lot of it. Here is the pic of Aldi's. We spent $48.26.

We still have a few things to get from Wal-mart for some of the yummy appetizers I'm making for 2 Christmas get together s we're going to.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Country Mart Deals

My cashier did not seem too happy about the great deals I got, but oh well. I had saved the Vlasic pickle coupon a while back since it was a PDF file and I've gotten to use plenty of them this month.

7 Vlasic pickles on sale $2 - 7/$1 MC doubled = FREE
3 Betty Crocker cookie pouches $2.19 - 3/.75 MC doubled = .69 each
Orville Redenbacher Popcorn $2.99 -$1 MC doubled =.99
Kotex pantyliner $1.09 - .75MC doubled = FREE
Kotex pads $2.85 - $1 doubled = .85
Pillsbury cresent rolls $2.29 - .25 Mc =$1.79 (not great, but I needed it and still cheaper than store brand)
Best Choice cream cheese sale .99

Total before coupons -$33.58
Total after $7.49

Wags Deals

2 Sure Deodorant on sale $2.50 -$1.50 each WC then -2/$1 MC =FREE
2 Arm and Hammer Laundry Detergent $6.99 each -store coupon for each at $1.99 then -2/$1 MC = .99 each
3 toys for 13.98 (this was a filler and Christmas present)
Ornament 1.99 (filler and present for Secret pal)

Total before coupons $38.01
Total after coupons $21.40
Total after Wags gift card $17.98
- $5 RR towards next purchase =$12.98 OOP

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Goodwill Find

On a whim I decided to go to Goodwill before picking up oldest DD from school. I wandered over to the purses and found this! A Genna de Rossi handbag! These normaly sell at JCP for $60-$85. It is the exact size and color I wanted too. It didn't have tags but it is in perfect condition. No kidding this is exactly what I asked for for Christmas. And the best part-the price tag $6!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saved $24 at Wal-Mart

Okay we got a few "extras" that we probably didn't need, but my DH eats 2-3 snacks after the girls and I go to bed and can't seem to break this habit so we go thru a lot of snack stuff.

Here's what I got with coupons

3 Nestle Hot Chocolate $1.00 -3/.50 MC =.50 each
7 Vlasic pickles & peppers $1.00-$1.99 - 7/$1 MC =Free-.99 each
5 pkg Ouchless hair ponys $2.28 - 5/$2 MC =.28 each
3 Johnson buddies .97 -$3/3 MC=Free
SBDiet Pizza $2.50- 1.00Mc =$1.50
Yoplait Yogurt drink $2.50 - $1.50 MC= $1.00
STeamer corn $1 - .60 MC =.40 -thats cheaper than canned!
Energizer batteries $6 -$1MC =$5 not cheap but we really needed them

Other stuff we got that was not on sale-Ramen noodles, bread, Pop tarts, carrots, canned raviolis & spaghetti o's, ketchup, Qtips, Oatmeal creme pies.

Total before coupons $60.71
Total after coupons $36.79

This will defiantly make us thru the week and then some

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Menu Monday

I am so busy this week, but I'm trying to cook anyway. Monday I have a school board meeting, and Tuesday is a ball game and we still are trying to decide if we're going out of town for a birthday party or staying because of a big church event. Argh! Well, anyway here it is.

Breakfasts- Cereal w/ cold milk
Homemade Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread
Oatmeal w/ milk

Lunch-Me-Frozen Dinners
DH-Ramen, Mac n Cheese cups, or Soup
DD- Peanut Butter sandwiches, Lunchables, or Hot dogs

Dinner- Sunday-Tater Tot Casserole
Monday-Ham, Bean, Carrot Soup, Crackers, Cheese
Tuesday-Eat at Ballgame or sandwiches on the way there
Wednesday-Stromboli, Sweet corn
Thursday- Roasted White & Sweet Potatoes w/ onions, Broccoli w/ Cheesy Rice
Friday & Saturday- Going out of town

Friday, December 5, 2008

Em's Birthday

Here's the breakdown of costs for my daughter's 4th birthday party. We are expecting 40 adults and 15 kids. Our theme is Hannah Montana.

Invitations $1-Bought paper with a border at the Dollar Tree and printed them on my computer.

Location FREE-Our church's activity center

Decorations & Partyware $8- Some decorations were given to me by a friend, I bought balloons & streamers. I bought some plates, cups, etc at a garage sale & the rest at Dollar Tree.

Activities $16-Printed coloring sheets, played Pass the Microphone, and bought a pull string pinata.

Cake $7-Baked 2 cake mixes in star pan & iced them. Put 4 candles on top that spelled out her name.

Food $25- Crackers, cheese, & pepperoni tray, 2 kinds of chips & dip, Deviled eggs, Veggie tray, chocolate chip cookies, no-bake cookies, pop & juice

Favors $15- Girls got-personalized mixed CD, candy, Hannah Montana braclet, play dough, stickers. Boys got-pirate eye patch, kaladescope, magnifying glass, treasure map. Babies got- board book & fuzzy socks

Present $0-Since we spend so much on a party and she has lots of family & friends that give her gifts, we do not buy her one.


Homemade Birthday Cakes

My daughters birthday party is this weekend. We do not spend a lot of money on parties, but we have a great time by making everything simple and homemade. I save the most money by making my children's birthday cakes. With a birthday cake running anywhere from $15-$40 it's easy to see how much money can be saved by making your own.

1st, I use a box mix & icing because I can't make a good cake. This costs me about $3. If you make lovely cakes, you might save even more money than I do. 2nd, you DO NOT have to be a great decorator to make a cake. This homemade cake website is very helpful for people who have never decorated a cake before or who are just looking for ideas.
3rd, If you decide that you absolutely can not decorate a cake then look at buying a cake kit. You can simple bake and ice a sheet cake and stick one on top. Most bakeries, (I get mine from Wal-Mart) will sell them for about $5 a piece.

Here are a few cake decorating tips:
-To get a smooth look dip a knife in hot water and run lightly over iced cake.
-Freezing a cake and brushing the crumbs off after will help your cake not to have crumbs in the frosting.
-Use a ziploc bag with the tip cut out to make simple lines.

At the most your homemade birthday cake will cost $8. Over the course of your child's life this would save you $216!

No matter what the cake looks like, your child will love it and you will feel good that you made it yourself.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday to my Baby

1 year
2 years
3 years

Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

I started buying applesauce in a big jar because it's cheaper and I use it in the place of oil when I make cakes, muffins or sweet bread. Well, I had some applesauce that I needed to use and found this recipe for Applesauce Oatmeal Bread.

I love using oatmeal in breads so I gave it a try and it was delicious. I also had got boxes of oatmeal packets for less than a dollar a while back so I had plenty to use. I used Quaker Simple Harvest Vanilla, Honey and Almond oatmeal. I doubled it and got 1 loaf, 24 mini muffins, and 6 regular size muffins out of it.

Give it a try!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Heritage Cookbook

I greatly hope that my daughters will love to cook as much as I do. I am making a cookbook for each one of my girls with my recipes and recipes that I like. I'm including pictures and (my fav) side notes that tell why we like the dishes, that it's Daddy's favorite, or changes I made.
I'll put each page (printed off the computer, using Word) in a clear protector sheet, and in turn put that into a binder.
I'm also asking each grandma to contribute pages. When I finish I hope to have a cookbook that each one of my girls will treasure as much as I treasure them.
I encourage each of you to do the same for your children, no matter how young or old.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Menu Planning

This week will be very busy with DD's birthday and party preparations for Saturday. I'll be doubling some things I cook and morphing them into new meals.

Sunday-Potluck at church-taking Scalloped Potatoes

Monday- Porcupine Meatballs, Brown Rice, California Veggie Mix in Cheese Sauce
*note-make extra meatballs and rice for Tues. and Fri. meal

Tuesday- Meatball Subs, Baked Tator Tots

Wednesday- Hamburger Helper, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
*note- use precooked ground beef to save time

Thursday- Oldest DD turns 4! Go out and eat; her pick.

Friday-Turkey Enchiladas, Spanish Rice

Saturday- Sandwiches/Leftovers

Friday, November 21, 2008

$32.08 @ Country Mart

My pantry and freezer were almost bare! Luckily my in-laws took the girls home after the Thanksgiving party so I could clean, do laundry, and go grocery shopping! Now , DH likes to go to Walmart when I go so I just went to Country Mart, then will hit Wal-mart after our date tonight. Yay!

My free or almost free items were (keep in mind, all my coupons were doubled)

Reynolds Oven Bags $1.98 -$1 MC=Free
3 Starkist Tuna Pouches $1.19 -3/$1 MC=Free
Crisco Cooking Spray 2.49 -$1 MC =.49
2 BC Frosting 1.50 each - 2/.55 MC =.40 each
2 Parkay Butter Quarters $1.28 -.75/2 =$1.06/2
Mrs. Cubitsons Croutons .88 each -B1G1 =.44 each
Keebler Crackers 2/$4 - $1MC = 2/$2
4 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls $1.50 each -4/.25 MC =$1 each

I also got 4 lbs of ground beef, a 6 lb roasting chicken, potatoes, celery, onions, and sugar.

Total before coupons $54.41
Total after coupons $32.08

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Menu Planning

Sunday- Mini Meatloafs, Mac n Cheese, Corn

Monday- Ham, Bacon, and Cheese Pie, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots

Tuesday- Chicken Tenders, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday- Eat at Church

Thursday-Turkey Burgers with Homemade Hamburger Buns, French Fries

Friday-Egg & Sausage Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls

Saturday- Rotisserie Chicken, Potato Wedges, Broccoli Pasta

Almost free @ Bath and Body

My camera seems to have bitten the dust so here is a pic from Bath and Body Works website of what I got for FREE! I found a coupon, I think it was on MoneySaving Mom, that if you buy any product you get a Scentport or Wallflower kit free. So yesterday I bought I gift bag for $1.00 plus tax and got the Cinnamon & Clove Bud Scentport Starter kit free.
So now I guess I'm going to have to spend all the money I've been saving on a new camera!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

25.50 at Walmart on nothing.

No pic, but we went to Walmart last night to get milk and spent 25.50 on mostly junk. Here's what we got

4 bags chips
1 box candy
1 bottle tea
Goldfish crackers
Turkey burgers -at least these were on clearance for $1.80 for 4

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Homespun Haven

Over on Monica's blog , she is hosting Making Your Home a Haven. I haven't the time to post lengthy posts on it every day, but I've participated in a abbreviated version.

Tidy- I straightened my pantry to store more great stockpiles!
Clean- Did dishes, 2 loads laundry, sweep floors, picked up trash, and cleaned out my freezer. (hubby helped greatly on this one and I was shocked to find I have 14 bags of Steamfresh Vegetables! Guess I went overboard on those $1 off coupons ;)

Cared For- Lit candles all week to make our home smell good and feel cozy

Fun-Read books with the girls and planned a Family fun day on Saturday to Incredible Pizza, Krispy Kreme, and Build A Bear Workshop. Will post pics of that after.

Inviting & Giving- Plan to put together a Thanksgiving food basket for single, elderly person at church.

Thats about it! Hope your home is a haven.

All Things Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is getting near! Here are some really great Thanksgiving themed things that I hope to get around to doing this year. The great thing about being a teacher is you get a whole week off!
These cute Pilgrims Hats are from Family Fun

These are filled with chocolate & peanut butter chips!

This handprint craft is perfect for small children.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

$9.49 at Country Mart

2 Liter of Dr Pepper-on sale .99 each
2lb grapes-on sale 1.89
Michelina Lean Gourmet Frozen meals-on sale .77 each -$1/5 MC Doubled= .37 each
2 Bagelfuls-on sale $2 each -2 $1/1 MC doubled =FREE
Pillsbury Icing- 1.50
Red Gold Canned tomtoes-on sale $1 -2 B1G1=.50 each

Total before coupons $16.49
Total after coupons $9.49

Monday, November 10, 2008

Free website like Weight Watchers

Spark People is a great, free, website to help people lose weight.

My favorite thing is the nutrition tracker. I use it to track exactly what I'm eating so I know if I'm staying within my calorie & fat range.

You can track my progress here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Sunday- Church Potluck, I made Chili Sweet Potatoes & they must have been good because they were all gone!
Monday- Whole wheat Spaghetti, Sun dried Tomato & Basil Sauce & Cheesy Bread
Tuesday- Santa Fe Popcorn Chicken Salad, Baked Potatoes
Wednesday- At church (mac n cheese, little smokies from what I hear!)
Thursday-Ham, Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Corn
Friday- Hamburger Helper, French Fries
Saturday- Leftovers

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Busy Day

I had a lot planned to do today. Besides cleaning, mopping, and laundry, I have.......
Browned a pan of sausage, half to use today, half for another meal.

Made this coffee bean candle for my MIL using leftover bits of other candles & a pickle jar. Total cost was .83 for the coffee beans.
Made a Bubble Pizza using my homemade sauce, thanks to tomatoes from my mom.

Baked 3 loaves of Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

Boiled a big pan of sweet potatoes to make Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potatoes for our church potluck tomorrow
Keep checking back to see what I get done!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Holiday Recipes

I love to cook even more than usual around the holidays. Here are some recipes that I really want to try!

Spiced Sweet Potatoes (scroll down a little)

Bubble Pizza

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Onions

Cheesey Bread (minus the olives. I had this at church one time & it was awesome. A friend made it and substituted pepperoni for the olives since she knew I was allergic)

Banana Zucchini Bread

Chicken Salsa Salad (to use up the free popcorn chicken & dressing I got recently)

Monkey Bread

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Marble Buttermilk Pie

Marble Buttermilk Pie

1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
2 unbaked pie shells

Place 1 c. each of chocolate chips in unbaked pie shells. Mix remaining ingredients well; pour into pie shells. Cover crust edges with foil to prevent burning. Bake at 375 for 45 to 60 minutes or until pies are set. Makes two pies.

Menu Tuesday!

Sunday- ate at my moms- Ribs, Corn Casserole, Green Beans
Monday- Burritos & Cheese Nachos
Tuesday- Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Marble Buttermilk Pie (recipe to follow)
Wednesday- Beef Stew, Cornbread, Cheese Sticks, Banana Pudding
Thursday-Sandwiches, Chips
Friday- Spaghetti, Green Beans, Garlic Bread
Saturday- Sloppy Joe Casserole, Green Peas

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Little Mermaid
Ali Cat

I think they look great for homemade costumes.

Trick or Treat

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Witch Hat Cookies

Here's our trial run of the Witch Hat cookies for Emmy's school party. Take a chocolate cookie, (I used oreo halves), dab a little icing in the middle and stick a hershey kiss on it. Then take icing and pipe around and make a bow. They are so easy!
PS-ignore the dirty counter!

Chili Beans Recipe

3 cups small red beans, rinsed
3 cups black beans, rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 each green pepper, yellow pepper, and red pepper, chopped
1 beef bullion cube
2 tsp chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes
1 c. tomato juice
4 c. water

Dump all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours. I serve with sour cream, cilantro, cheese, & crackers!

Mission Trip

Here are some pics from my recent trip to Leon, GTO in Mexico. I met some great people, bonded with some great people and the food was amazing! Check out Barb & Shawns website here for more on their mission.

Our group at a church overlooking Leon

Fixing lunch for the kids at the orphanage

GTO, Mexico