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Monday, November 30, 2009

Want $50 CASH?

How great would that be for the holidays? I know I could use an extra $50! Go here and enter for your chance to win $50. Good luck!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Habits

So I just read this post by Fishmama and I think it's a great idea. There is so much I want to change about my daily habits and I am not sure how to start. I will try to pick one thing per MONTH for right now. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but you've got to start somewhere right? ( And that's what this post said too! One thing a month) So for the month of December I will be trying to go to bed earlier. Right now it is 11:46 pm on a Sunday night ( in my defense... it IS football night. :D) I am exhausted and should have been in bed 2 hours ago. I know I will be exhausted in the morning. I want to try and get in bed before 11 every night. There was a few nights last week where I did this and I did notice a difference the next day. But then I get all worried about the house and getting everything done and I get to bed after 1 am. So my goal for the next month is to be in bed before 11 pm every night. Wish me luck (I'm going to bed now, the game's over. The Ravens won in overtime, if you care ;) )

Meal Plan Monday 11/29 - 12/5

Last week the menu pretty much went out the window. I made up a new one because hubby did not want turkey every night. We added baked potato soup in bread bowls. The Turkey-Green Chile Enchiladas were awesome, but too spicy even after some of the changes I made. I'm glad the boys didn't eat with us that night. Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Sunday - I went to see my grandpa who is in the hospital, so we ended up eating out, me at the hospital and the boys got pizza.

Monday - homemade pizza

Tuesday- Ultimate Chicken Fingers & veggie

Wednesday - Shepard's Pie (using leftovers!)

Thursday - Grilled Cheeseburgers

Friday- Beef Nacho Casserole ( I do mine a little differently but this is similar)

Saturday- [hopefully] leftovers


Check out other great mealplans at orgjunkie.com

25 days of Christmas

Instead of a "regular" candy calender this year, I came across an awesome idea that I had to give a try. I am so excited about it. I saw a this picture on flikr and hubby and I made up 25 origami envelopes. Inside the envelopes I am putting a slip of paper with each of the 25 activities we will do. Here is what we will be doing from December 1st through the 25th.

1. Decorate the Christmas tree
2. Christmas video with popcorn & hot chocolate
3. Make pine cone Christmas ornaments
4. Write letters to Santa
5. Christmas in our town (gingerbread house contest and all kinds of other goodies)
6. Crystal Snowflakes
7. Make magic reindeer food
8. Holiday Tabletop Christmas Tree (Kraft magazine Holiday '07)
9. Hand & foot print reindeer craft
10. Christmas bingo night
11. Christmas party at story time
12. Go see Santa & have pictures taken
13. Christmas cookies!
14. Make Christmas Trees
15. Dinner & a Christmas movie
16. Candy making day - fudge, and chocolate covered pretzels
17. Christmas party at school
18. PJ Day! Lots of Christmas worksheets, games, etc while mommy gets ready for the party!
19. Family Christmas party (extended family)
20. Wrap presents (Mom), Christmas "lacings" (kids)
21.Make Gingerbread house
22.Watch The Polar Express, Red and Green Dinner (everything is red/green!)
23. Drive around town to see all the lights & decorations (we used to do this as a kid and I loved it)
24. Christmas dinner
25. Merry Christmas! Spending all day with family.

There will also be lots of Christmas stories, online Christmas games, and Christmas songs! My hope is to create a fun memorable way to count down to Christmas and add some new traditions to our holiday season!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unemployed? Free Health Care!

Rona at BerryMorins Bits and Tips shared this post about:

Free health care for the unemployed through the end of 2009 on clarkhoward.com

This program ends on December 31, 2009 but if you have the flu, no health insurance and limited funds you'll still be able to get health care at Take Care Clinics!

Giant Trip

Giant Trip

(see the little one trying to eat the ice cream? he had a fit because I would'nt let him have it!)
6 - 1/2 gallons turkey hill ice cream - $12
2 packages hamburger meat - $17.42
1 Little Debbie cupcakes $2.50

Total before coupons - $ 31.92
Total OOP - $24.42

Total for the week: $38.96
Under budget this week by $1.04 (I had to change the budget to $40 because of some bills that came up)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Black Friday Shopping?

Are you going Black Friday shopping? I haven't decided yet... I have a sitter for the boys so in case we do decided to go they'll be take care of but I haven't seen much that I HAVE to get, you know? Especially with us being on such a tight budget this year. We have money set aside for it but I'm not sure I want to go. I always end up impulse buying on Black Friday. Always. So I'll probably go over budget. Anyway.
If you are looking for Black Friday ads, Thanksgivingblackfridayads.com is your place to go. Plan early, you can get in and out [hopefully] without much pushing and shoving. Have fun!

Giveaway

There's some awesome giveaway going on at Babybiz. She is giving away a Playskool Monty Rex Dinosaur. This giveaway ends 11/27 so hurry up and enter!

Save - A - Lot Trip

We headed to Save - A - Lot today to get dog food - we were out.because I noticed the other day they had their dog food (the brand our dogs eat) for $6.99. I bought a bag a few weeks ago at Giant (on sale) for $7.99. Here's what we got:

2 - 17.6 lb bags of dog food
1 Imperial butter sticks
9 cans cream of mushroom
bananas
Total: $14.54
Look over here for the rest of the grocery trip.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 11/23 - 11/28

We did a pretty decent job of sticking to last week's menu, except for the meatloaf (which I couldn't find in the freezer) and fish. We had chicken soft tacos instead which were amazing. Colin, Aiden and I all had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

As for this week... We had our Thanksgiving dinner at home tonight. Even though we go to our families houses for dinner on Thursday, I like to cook one for us at our house. I chose tonight to do so because Edward was home to watch the boys while I was in the kitchen. And he carved and deboned the turkey and even helped me clean up! I love when all four of us are in the kitchen together. :)

Since we had our 21 lb turkey tonight, and there is a LOT of turkey leftover (and that's even with feeding almost all the dark meat to my dogs) there is a few turkey recipes on the menu. Come back later in the week for recipes and meal costs or email me. :)

Sunday - 21 lb Turkey, stuffing, peas, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, Pillsbury Grands! biscuits, homemade gravy - $3.46 - I kid you not. We used our free turkey from Giant, coupons, and veggies from the garden. I also have 6 cups of turkey broth(plus a stock pot full of more that needs to be bagged and frozen). Plus all the leftover turkey.

Monday - Smothered Turkey Sandwiches (come back tomorrow for the recipe!)

Tuesday - Turkey-Green Chile Enchiladas

Wednesday - steamers, french fries and a veggie

Thursday - Thanksgiving!

Friday - probably dinner out or at my parents as most likely we will still be with family out of town with our families.

Saturday - Turkey Quesadillas

Check out orgjunkie.com for more menu plans!

Save - A - Lot Coupon

Since there is a brand new Save-A-Lot in town, I wanted to share this coupon with you. It's for $5 off your $20 purchase... I'm new to Save-A-Lot so I'm not sure of their coupon policy... but as I learn I will share with you because I am planning on shopping there quite often.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rotel Coupon Reset

There is a $0.50/1 can of Rotel HERE. (It's on the third header) You can print two. Hold these for a sale to get your can FREE!!

Crocs for only $8.49 SHIPPED!!

Crocs Deal of the Week are Crocs Sports team for only $9.99 each. Use code secondchance to get 15% off and free shipping. These Crocs Beach and Cayman include not only NFL teams but also college football teams, as well as baseball teams. I just bought hubby a pair for $8.49 shipped! Sign up for Ebates.com and get 5% back!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giveaway

There is an awesome giveaway going on now at Common Sense with Money. She is giving away a Merry Madagascar Prize Pack. This includes a $25 Walmart Gift Card, Merry Madagascar Plush Toys, Throw Blanket and Kelloggs and Kraft goodies. I know my sons would love to win this!!! Make sure you enter for your chance to win also!

Chicken Corn Chowder in Bread Bowls

I know this is a horrible picture, but oh it was SOOO good! I started with this recipe and twisted it into my own. Enjoy!

Chicken Corn Chowder

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cubed peeled potato
1 can of corn
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup 2% milk
1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast

In a large saucepan, combine the broth, potato, corn, garlic, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually add to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat. Add the chicken; heat through. Serve in bread bowls.

Peanut Butter & Fudge Swirl Pie


My favorite pie is any one that has peanut butter in it. This is the first recipe I found in my recipe box so I thought I'd share this one. I found it in a Kraft magazine a few years back.


Peanut Butter & Fudge Swirl Pie


You Need:
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups thawed Cool Whip
1 Oreo Pie Crust
1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

Beat cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter in large bowl with mixer until blended. Stir in cool whip. spoon into crust; drizzle with fudge topping. Swirl gently with knife. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
This post is linked to Love the Pie Party

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gratituesday

I am so thankful for coupons! I have bought so much stuff over the past 8 months and paid full price for almost none of it. I have bought most of my kids Christmas presents (on a budget!) for half of what I paid last year. And I have gotten them more. My family has been able to try so many new foods that I was able to get cheap with coupons. I am able to keep my budget under control (when I don't get carried away!) and have been buying more food then ever. My family jokes that when they run out of something they'll come to my "store" to get what they need. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful things I have learned these past 8 months, especially how to use my coupons!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meal Plan Monday 11/15 - 11/21

Last week's menu was shot. LOL. We ended up eating out FOUR days. Monday we had to visit the doctor because Colins ear drum ruptured. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we went shopping. Hopefully this week we'll do better. We have to! We're out of money! Check back later in the week for recipes and meal costs.


Sunday - Red Robin for lunch, eggs for dinner


Monday - lasanga and salad


Tuesday - porkchops and scalloped potatoes


Wednesday - chicken corn chowder in bread bowls


Thursday - steak, mashed potatoes, corn and salad


Friday - meatloaf


Saturday - possibly sister in law's house for dinner or fish if at home

Check out MPM for more great menu plans.

The Weekend - 11/15

Well, I worked on my big outside freezer last night. (Well, Edward did all the work, I just wrote down what was in it.) It's not really "organized", but now I know what's in it. I had no choice but to "rearrange" it. I bought a turkey at Wal Mart and got the "free" one from Giant and there was no room for either of them. Plus, we had to pickup Colin's fundraiser which meant 4 tubs of cookie dough needed to be stored until I could get them to their owners. We did a roast chicken Saturday night so there is homemade chicken stock and leftover bags of shredded chicken needing to go into the freezer also. I have four pages worth of food that I need to organize. And another list that needs done. Slowly but surely I will get my "problem" under control.
We also got ALOT of Christmas shopping done this weekend. I went shopping Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. Colin is DONE. (OK, I have to order one thing for him, but other than that he's done.) Edward is DONE. Aiden is ALMOST done. I still have our family parties to buy for but this year there is a $5 per person limit for presents. How sweet is that? The best part will be trying to find something awesome for the person we exchange with for only $5... I'm excited!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My "Problem"

OK. So I have a problem. A really big problem. I am SO unorganized it's not funny. My husband has started to say things to me. We've argued about it. I can't find things. Like, anything. Pants for Colin are who knows where. My keys were being lost every single day. Papers we needed to sign for our house? Coupons? Hah. Your guess is as good as mine. So. I'm trying to change and become more organized. I'm going to be posting things on here as I want to get them done and hopefully airing out my "dirty laundry" to you will make me change. I'm trying.
Over the weekend, Edward and I tackled the filing cabinet. I had been throwing everything into the back of it and not actually filing anything. It took us FOUR HOURS. But it's done.

I also cleaned out my inside freezer.
Before:

After:



I took the advice of someone on WFMW (I'm not sure who, sorry!) and made a list of what is in the freezer. When I add something I write it on the list, when I take something out, I cross it off. Once I get it looking neat I'll post a pic. Right now it's a mess. (But really, would you expect any different of me?!)
I still need to do the big outside one, but hopefully that will get done this weekend. Providing the boys are feeling okay.






I also need to clean out the fridge....

We still have A LOT to do. And Edward wants to help. We need to get rid of a lot of stuff. So I have a lot of things I'll be working on the next few weeks. I'm going to be BUSY.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gratituesday

I am also thankful for my boys. Today, my post is about Colin.
Although he drives me CRAZY sometimes. I love him to death. The other day, I put a plate on the floor to feed the dogs and went about my business. Colin picked it up when the dogs were finished and put it in the sink.
Aiden is (obviously) not allowed to play with knives. When I forget to shut the dishwasher, Aiden likes to unload it for me. Colin yells for me and stops Aiden from touching the dishwasher saying "you might get hurt" to his brother.
Before Aiden was born, Edward and I were a little worried about Colin being jealous of him. Before Aiden, Colin had all the attention, we spoiled him WAY too much. (But he still turned out great!) He was so excited to be a big brother and he still is! He isn't perfect but he's the best big brother I could ask for. When I need him to play with Aiden or watch him for a second, he is more than willing. He is an awesome kid and I am so glad that he is mine.



Giveaway @ 5 Dollar Dinners

There's an awesome giveaway going on at 5 Dollar Dinners. A $100 Visa Gift Card to 1 lucky winner! Winner will also receive a copy of the Holiday Recipe Guide booklet, as well as several free item coupons for Carnation Evaporated Milk. I don't know about you, but I'm planning on doing a lot of baking the next couple of months, (see all the flour and sugar?) and this would REALLY help me out. Head on over HERE and enter for your chance to win!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meal Plan Monday - 11/8 - 11/14

This week we're trying a few meals from the 1 bag 5 dinners from Kraft magazine. All the meals sounded yummy but I did tweak it a bit for our family. (This link does not have these meals on it, I'm not sure why. These meals were in the Fall '09 magazine) Check back during the week for meal costs!

Sunday - pizza - probably cost about $1 for two. homemade pizza crust, leftover sauce and cheese. toppings from the garden.

Monday - One Dish Chicken Skillet

Tuesday - Sloppy Cornbread

Wednesday - VELVEETA Cheeseburger Mac

Thursday - VELVEETA Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice (I'm going to try this in the crock pot)

Friday - Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Saturday - My parents are coming for dinner. Not sure the menu yet... any suggestions?

Check out all kinds of menu plans at MPM.

The Weekend

We had a BUSY weekend. We did some shopping, cleaned out some of the house that has needed our attention (ahem.. filing cabinet) and played a lot of board games. Friday was rough. Aiden had a fever Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Friday night Colin was in tears because his ear hurt him so bad. I was up most of the night trying different remedies. (A homemade heating pad plus Tylenol finally did the trick) Saturday morning everyone was fine. We headed to Sam's Club to meet Edward's aunt (I don't have a membership) so I could get some flour for all the baking we'll be doing in the next few months. (Colin is already asking me to make Christmas cookies!)

Sam's : 1 package 12 steak rolls - $2.88
25 lbs Domino Sugar - $14.19
25 lbs All Purpose Flour - $7.58
Total : $24.65

We then headed to Target to look for Halloween stuff. We did great. We also took advantage of the buy 2 Wii games get 1 free.



4 (more) boxes Fruit Loops $4.98
4 Halloween shirts (for next year) - $0.59 each
3 Halloween shirts (for next year) - $0.39 each


4 costumes (for Christmas presents, Colin loves to play dress up) -$1.99, $1.29, $1.00, and $0.99
(Like the ninja costume? It'll go great with the Ninja sword set I got on Monday!)

I haven't gotten a picture of the Wii games yet, but I will try and sneak them back out to get a picture of them. We got 6 games at $14.99 each, 2 were free. Plus I had 2 coupons for $10 off 2 Wii games. We got 6 games for $39.96 or $6.66 each!

Target Total : $53.22
Total Savings: $132.29!!


Edward ran into Wal-Mart on our way home to get something for hunting and I asked him to pick up a few things for me. The boys were asleep in the car so I stayed with them.

Kraft Marshmellows - $0.75 (Wal-Mart brand was $0.98!)
1 packages M&M's - $0.50 (I ate the last of Colin's Halloween ones)
6 packages hotdogs - $5.28 ( - three $1/2 Bar S products)

Wal-Mart Total : $3.53


This post is linked to the Grocery Cart Challange.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giant Trip

I went to Giant to get a few things I needed and here's what we walked out with:

1 pack Huggies diapers
2 pumpkin place mats (clearanced)
1 dozen eggs
1 pumpkin pie spice
1 nutmeg
3 80z bags mozzarella cheese
1 Giant apple juice
1 juicy juice
1 country crock butter
1 2.5 oz package Bumble Bee Tuna
1 package Little Debbie Cupcakes
muffin wrap thingies (lol I'm not sure what they're called right now...)
Washing soda

Total before savings (including bonus buys) : $45.35
Total OOP: 26.41
Total Savings: 18.94 (41%)


So. I am over my $50 grocery budget this week. By $10.60. Then I had to pay for Angel Food this week which was $30. But I got a really good "deal" on that. (More on that later) If I subtract the Christmas gifts which were $8.98 and take Angel Food off of next week's groceries (which is when we will pick them up), I only went over by $1.62. Not too bad.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grocery Trips

The boys and I packed up and went to Aldi and Target this week. There was a great cereal deal at Target, I want to go back and get more but I'll have to see what comes up this week. (And where the budget stands) Here's what we got.

Giant:

2 loaves of bread (and coupons to use at Target!) - $0.99 after sale and coupon.


Aldi:
2 boxes stuffing mix
bananas
1 beef broth 36 oz
1 sour cream
1 cream cheese
3 loaves white bread
1 package hamburger buns
2 packages flour tortillas
2 apple juice 64 oz
2 cans cream of chicken
1 gallon of milk
1 package pepperonis
Total: $20.23
Target:

Christmas present for Colin (to go with the ninja costume)

Supposed to be Christmas present for Colin (I let him keep it for now)


5 boxes of fruit loops
3 boxes of Kellogg's Special K red berries
1 box Sesame Street snacks
1 note book
2 trucks

(I also bought 2 light bulbs that were supposed to be $1.28 after coupons but ended up being $15. They were returned)
Total from Target: $12.97
Total on Monday: $34.19
I still need to go back to Giant to get a few things and I have $15.81 to do so with.
This is linked to The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

This is week two of meal planning for two weeks.... We did OK last night. There's been pork chops on the menu for two weeks now and still haven't had them. I didn't want to go BBQ pork chops again so I'm looking for a new recipe... not sure what I want to do. (found one on MPM!) The menu has changed a little bit since last week, but it's basically the same. Check back for recipes and meal costs
.

Sunday - Pot Roast (slow cooker!) (makes enough for two meals)
Monday- Enchiladas (makes enough for two nights and hubby would eat these every night if I would make them for him)
Tuesday- Pork chops
Wednesday- Enchiladas
Thursday- pizza
Friday- Chicken Fajitas
Saturday- Leftovers (pork roast)


Come back tomorrow for grocery trips!

For more great menu plans, head on over to MPM

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