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Monday, May 31, 2010

Tuesday Tag Along

Tuesday Tag-Along

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Meal Plan Monday - 5/30 - 6/4

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Ours was great. I spent Saturday with my mom and boys and some of my moms family. We cooked out at mom's house. Sunday, all of mom's family (from everywhere - Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York) got together for an all day cookout - in which we had burgers, chicken and much more on the grill. Around midnight, we had ribs on the bonfire - yum!

Last week we actually stuck to the meal plan the whole week! Go us! This week, I'm trying to cook from the pantry the next two weeks to save our grocery money for our beach trip! So all of our meals will (hopefully) be from our pantry.

  • Cook-Out with Family
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Pizza
  • Burgers on the Grill
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Chicken and Cheese Tostadas
  • Leftovers

Visit OrgJunkie.com for more menu ideas!

How did your week go? What are you eating this week? Leave a comment and I'll come check out your menu!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Grilled Pizza

 This pizza is amazing. Even hubby liked it. And it's perfect for summer because it uses the grill and doesn't heat up your house!

You need:
Pizza Dough
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Toppings - pepperoni, peppers, onions, mushrooms, whatever!

Preheat grill and spray with cooking spray. Roll your dough out on a clean and floured surface. Place pizza dough on the grill. When the dough bubbles, flip your dough (carefully!) Spread  pizza sauce  over the crust. (I usually add some spices also) Top with mozzarella cheese and whatever toppings you like. Turn off your grill and close the lid for about 10 minutes. Serve. YUM!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Always Open Your Bills!

I have gotten in the habit lately of throwing all my paper bills in a pile on my table. I don't open them most of the time. I pay everything online, so when I log in to pay the bill, it shows me how much is owed at that time. My cable bill (DIRECTV) is taken automatically out of our bank account. It is always the same amount (roughly $30) and I never open it.

Well, today the DIRECTV bill came and for some odd reason I opened it. It was $79! I called them immediately. And in less than four minutes, the customer service rep removed the extra charge. And I saved $43!

My tip for you today is to always open your bills! I would have never known about the extra charge had I not opened this bill. I would have been going nuts trying to figure out why the bank said I had less money than what I thought!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Grocery Budget Part 2 - Bread and Meat

In my first grocery budget post, I outlined my grocery budget of $25 a week for our family of four. Today, I thought I would share with you how I buy two items that there are rarely coupons for - bread and meat.

A few months ago, our family made the switch from white bread to wheat bread to 100% whole wheat bread. The only one still fighting me is C. He insists he doesn't like wheat bread, he only likes white. But if I tell him the whole wheat bread is the bread he likes, he eats it. So... go figure. I tried making sandwich bread from scratch. While the bread turns out wonderful, it is not sandwich quality. I can not slice it thin enough and it never seems to rise well enough to be "tall enough" for sandwiches. I have yet to find a recipe hubby will eat as sandwich bread. So I am forced to buy the store-sold stuff for now. (Any recipes would be appreciated!)

My trick to fitting 100% whole wheat bread into our $25 a week budget is to buy on clearance. Our Giant is constantly marking down loaves of Giant brand 100% whole wheat bread. The regular price for this bread is $1.79. The last time I was in there (and it's been a while), they had 8 loaves marked down to $0.90 each. I bought all 8 of the loaves and threw 7 of them in to the freezer. While that is only a savings of $0.89, that's almost like a buy one get one free sale. Which never happens (in my store) on the whole wheat bread. And in buying 8 loaves marked down, I saved $7.12. When the loaf we are using is finished, I just have to grab a $0.90 one from the freezer instead of running to Giant and spending $1.79 on a loaf.

I recently began buying grass fed beef. The brand our Giant sells is Laura's Lean Beef (which I LOVE). If you sign up for their newsletter, you can print off $1 coupons. (TWO per computer!) Once again, I watch for them to go on clearance and I swoop in like a hawk. :)  My last trip I bought 4 packages (all they had marked down). The most expensive package was $3.17. And I had 2 $1 coupons which brought my total for 4 pounds of organic, grass fed ground beef to $9.52 or $2.38 per pound. (Plus I had a $4 OYNO Catalina making it only $5.52 OOP) This meat sells regular price (again, at our Giant) for $4.99 a pound. So in this trip, I saved $10.44 on our meat.  

While this doesn't really seem like that much savings, over time it does add up. And the little savings here and there is what enables me to choose healthier options for my family.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seventh Generation - Review and Giveaway!

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know we have been trying to go green. We recycle. I make homemade laundry soap. I cook a lot from scratch. We garden. But the place that I most need help going green is with my cleaners. I know I could make up vinegar and baking soda cleaners but it's just so easy to get cleaning products for free. All I have to do is go to the store and stock up when there is a sale.

One day I was cleaning out the bathtub and I could barely breathe. The smell was so horrible. I opened a window but it didn't help at all. So I got to thinking. If I can barely breathe while cleaning the tub, isn't this affecting my boys too? And when I clean the kitchen, I can't shut the doors and open windows. Hmmm.. Maybe there is a good reason to switch my cleaner.

I contacted Seventh Generation and they agreed to send me a starter pack to review. I chose the Free and Clear Starter Kit. And let me tell you. I am never going back! I LOVE their products! There is NO smell in the cleaners that are "Free and Clear". The fabric softener has helped with As eczema. (I had been using my stockpiled Snuggle) (We also have made other changes to As life but I believe this small change has helped also)

My favorite product is the Disinfecting Multi-Surface which smells of thyme. C walked into the kitchen as I finished disinfecting it and said "Mooooom, something stinks!" I found the smell refreshing, it smelled like herbs. (obviously) But some people aren't too fond of it.

The paper towels are wonderful. While they are not as thick and cushiony as some of the other brands they work just as well. Better even because they are made from 100% recycled paper (minimum 80% post-consumer). I scrubbed three windows and some spots on the carpet with one of these paper towels and it still had no holes in it. Um yea. Tough!

Seventh Generation has agreed to give a Free and Clear Starter Kit to one lucky reader! The winner will receive:
Free & Clear Starter Kit

Disinfecting Multi-Surface
Disinfecting Bathroom
Disinfecting Wipes - 35 ct.
Please note: The Disinfectants have Thymol sent (from Thyme oil). These are NOT considered free & clear, but they are great for immune-depressed households or those with small children, hence why I’ve included them here. The scent dissipates quickly.
Laundry Detergent – F&C 32 oz
Liquid Fabric Softener – F&C 40 oz
Dish liquid
All- Purpose Cleaner
Auto-Dish Pacs
Glass Cleaner
Natural Paper Towels
Seventh Gen Recycled Bag

To enter :
  • Subscribe to Feeding Four via RSS, Google Friend Connect, or E-mail. (If you are already a subscriber, just let me know!) (3 entries - leave 3 separate comments!)
  • Visit Seventh Generation and sign up. (2 entries - leave separate comments!)
  • Visit Seventh Generation. Come back and leave a comment stating your favorite product.
  • Leave a comment telling me where you heard about this giveaway!
  • Change your Facebook status to mention this giveaway - leave a link to this site - come back and leave a comment with a link to your status.
  • Blog about this giveaway. Comment back here with the blog address so that your entry can be verified. (2 entries - please leave separate comments for each entry!)
  • "Like" Feeding Four on Facebook
Every entry will be verified. If your entry can not be verified it will be deleted.

The giveaway ends on June 3rd at midnight EST. I will pick a winner using Random.org. The winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner.

WFMW - Removing Cat Pee from your Carpet

Ok, so while this isn't exactly the most wonderful topic to discuss, if you have cats, I know you've probably been wondering how to get the cat pee smell out of your carpet. I know I was.

If you'll remember, the hubs and I JUST replaced our carpet. The main reason we did so is because the cat I have had for 15 plus years had decided to us it as her litter box. I couldn't send her to the pound, so when I can't watch her, she is locked in a room with a litter box. (I know this sounds cruel, but it is a rather big room. Much bigger than a cage would be.)

The other day, I was fixing dinner and she was... somewhere. I walked into the living room and there. on my floor. was cat poop. I was furious. I picked her up (she was on the couch) and walked outside. I [gently] set her down and walked away. Now, every morning I bring her outside, (to our fenced in backyard) and every night I bring her inside and put her in her room. I searched and searched and searched for a way to get the smell out. Because we just replaced the carpet and I am not doing it again. I found this recipe and it works! I was soooooo excited. :)

16 oz hydrogen peroxide
1 teaspoon dish washing liquid (I use Dawn)
1 tablespoon baking soda

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Soak the offending area. Let dry. (You may need to vacuum a white foam away once the area has dried) The smell should be gone!

This totally works for me!!

My 5 Things - 5/25

Last week, my "5" things was to get my living room cleaned out of all the yard sale junk that was in there. And I am proud to say that I did it! And I actually cleaned the rest of the living room and vacuumed it too! Go me.  :)

 This week my list is trivial things, things that should be done everyday. I have just been putting them off.

  1. Dishes. Although most of my dishes go in the dishwasher, the pots and pans and bake ware don't. Therefore they sit in the sink until I get around to washing them.
  2. Post a giveaway!   I have an awesome giveaway that I need to finish typing up!
  3. Plant the rest of the garden. I still have zucchini and a few tomatoes left to plant.
  4. Cut C's hair. It's too long. period. :)
  5. Figure out what I'm bringing to the party on Sunday!
Ugh. I dread that list! What are some things you need to get done this week?

Tuesday Tag-Along

Here's how it works:
  • Create a new Tuesday Tag-Along blog post. Include the Tuesday Tag-Along button by copying and pasting the code above. (You are also welcome to copy and paste these instructions in their entirety, or any portion of this Tuesday Tag-Along blog post!)
  • Add your blog name and the URL of your TTA post to the MckLinky.
  • Follow Twee Poppets, the hostess blog listed in the first slot. Twee Poppets will follow you back! (Note: If you want Twee Poppets to follow you back, you MUST leave her a comment saying that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog!) 
Visit Twee Poppets to read more about Tuesday Tag-Along!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Giant Coupon Matchups 5/23 - 5/29

These are the best deals and coupon matchups that I see at Giant this week.

Giant Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.79/lb

Blueberries $1.50

Corn on the Cob 10/$2

Sweet Baby Rays $1.00
$1/2 off Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce (5/23 SS)
$.50 each after coupon

Hellman’s Mayo $2.49
$0.75/1 Hellmann’s or Best Foods Product
$1.49 after coupon
Suddenly Salad $1.25
$0.40/1 Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Mix
$.45 after coupon

Reynolds Wrap $2.99
$1/1 Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil (excludes 20, 25 and 30 sq. ft)
$1.99 after coupon

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Meats $3.00
$1/1 Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Meats
$2.00 after coupon
Wacky Mac Pasta $1.00
$0.50/1 Wacky Mac (5/16 SS)
FREE after coupon

Ragu Pasta Sauce $1.69
$1/2 Ragu (5/23 RP)
2 for $1.19 each after coupon
Lawry’s Marinades $2.00
$0.50/1 Lawry’s Marinade
$1.00 after coupon

Fillippo Berio Olive Oil $4.99
$1/1 Filippo Berio Olive Oil
$3.99 after coupon

Keebler Wheatables 3/$6.00 must buy 3
use (3) $1.50/1 Keebler Wheatable Nut Crisps or Wheatable Crackers
3 for $.50 each after coupons

Hefty One Zip Bags 2/$4.00
$1/2 Hefty OneZip Bags
2 for $1.50 each after coupon

Bacardi Mixers $2.19
$1/3 Frozen Bacardi Mixers
$1.86 after coupon

Sargento Cheese $2.79
$1/2 Sargento Natural Sliced Cheese (5/23 SS)
$2.29 after coupon
Scrubbing Bubbles Power Sprayer $6.99
$5/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Product (4/11 SS)
$1.99 after coupon
Ball Park Franks $3.99 BOGO
$0.75/2 Ball Park Products (5/2 RP)
$2.99 for 2 after coupon

See any deals I missed? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Whew. I'm so glad the yard sale is over with! My living room is back to normal! My baby sister came up to help me out and I am so glad she did! We did pretty well. When we brought everything over to my hubby's work, we had to use both our car and our truck. Bringing it home we just had our truck packed, nothing in our car.

Last week, our menu went well. When we ate pork chops, I made 2 extra pork chops so that we could have enough for a pork stir fry. Weell. That didn't work out. So we had bourbon chicken that was in the freezer. We didn't actually have turkey for dinner either. I just shoved it in the oven one afternoon, thinking it would be done in time for dinner. Turns out it wasn't done until 2 hours after we actually ate. (We had hot dogs)

This week, I'm not really sticking to the menu I had originally planned. I don't have all the fixings for enchiladas so I'm not fixing them! And I'm not sure there is any steak in the freezer. Oops. Plus, I'm thinking we might be at my mom's house for dinner at least once, maybe twice. And then there's our annual family picnic on Sunday! We look forward to this picnic all year.
  • Grilled Chicken, Mexican rice, peas
  • Grilled Pizza (recipe coming later in the week)
  • Chicken Ring (recipe coming later in the week)
  • Turkey-Green Chile Enchiladas
  • Cheeseburgers on the Grill with Corn on the cob!
  • Grilled Chicken Salad (using leftover chicken)
  • Mom's house :)
Visit OrgJunkie.com for more menu ideas!

How did your week go? What are you eating this week? Leave a comment and I'll come check out your menu! Leftovers

Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Have Sirloin on a Rump Roast Budget - Guest Post

Today I am excited to share with you a guest post from one of my favorite foodies. Michelle blogs about how she is feeding her family All Home Cooking. All Year Long. After you read her guest post, you have got to go check out some of her recipes! They are to die for!

How to Have Sirloin on a Rump Roast Budget
Yesterday, at my local grocery store, I purchased ground sirloin for the same price as the bulk-packed ground beef. You know the one: it’s very…erm…marbled with fat, scarcely any red at all, but rather a strange pinkish-brown color. The pack that the butcher prices lower if you buy in bulk? Yeah, I bought ground sirloin for the same price.

I didn’t use a coupon.

It wasn’t on sale. (But if it was on sale I could have bought it for even less than the mystery meat!)

And now, I’m going to share my secret with you. Are you ready?

Pass by the ground meats section and head for the roasts. Pick one up, walk over to your friendly butcher, and ask him to please grind it for you.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Had I purchased the ground sirloin from the ground meats section, I would have paid nearly $4.00 per pound. Because I picked up a roast at $2.69 a pound, and asked my butcher to grind it, I paid $2.69 per pound.

You come here to the Feeding Four blog and learn all about using coupons and maximizing your grocery dollar by pairing coupons and sales. This little tip of mine will help you where coupons seldom can: in the fresh meat department! You can use my little trick on just about anything. Ask them to cut a roast into steaks for you. Grind some boneless, skinless chicken breasts into ground chicken.

You can even buy a large, fully-cooked ham and ask them to slice it for you! Bye-bye, deli prices!

When you come home, feeling rather smug about your new trick, why not put that freshly ground beef to good use? Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Cheeseburger Enchiladas

Serves 4

What You Need:

• 1 lb ground beef
• ¼ cup diced onion
• 1 can diced tomatoes (or diced tomatoes with green chilies), drained
• ¼ cup sour cream (plus more for serving, if desired)
• 12 corn tortillas, warmed
• 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (I like cheddar)
• Lettuce and tomato for serving, if desired

How it’s Done:
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef with the onion, then drain off any extra grease. Set aside.
2. Puree the diced tomatoes with the sour cream.
3. Spray an 8” square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Dip a tortilla into the tomato-sour cream mixture. Sprinkle a little ground beef and cheese (reserve ½ cup of the cheese) in it and roll it up. Place, seam side down, into the baking dish. Continue until all tortillas have been filled.
5. Spread remaining sauce and cheese over the top of the dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
6. Let the dish stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream. Enjoy!

Michelle writes about cooking from scratch with real foods each day on her blog, All Home Cooking. All Year Long.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rachael Ray's Stoneware Baker Set Review

Were you around when I asked how many dishes you had?

I received my Rachael Ray's Bubble and Brown 2-Piece Stoneware Baker Set in the mail a few week ago and since then I have been using it constantly! I love the set! I got mine in chocolate and it is such a pretty color.

It is so versatile. When I first used it, I made broccoli casserole. The smaller dish looks small. I didn't think the casserole would fit into it but it did with room to spare! The set is so easy to clean. I think my favorite part is that it is dishwasher safe. (You know how much I hate to do dishes!) I let the dish set overnight filled with water (and all the baked on cheese) and threw it in the dishwasher the next morning. It came out all clean!

It is so much better than my old casserole dish! Last night, we made rice for bourbon chicken in it. And it turned out perfect.

I would recommend this set to anyone! It is one of my new favorite "things" to use in my kitchen! Visit CSNStores.com to order your set!

Free Icecream on 5/22!

This Saturday (5/2) from 11am-4pm you can pick up a free ice cream sundae at Wal-Mart. Check to see if your Wal-Mart is participating HERE.

Come have a free ice cream sundae* with Breyers new and exclusive flavors, and Blue Bunny Premium Ice Cream and new All Natural Frozen Yogurt topped with Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, Reddi-wip, and Fresh Strawberries.

*While supplies last.

My AWESOME Target Trip 5/20 :)

I ran into Target today for Green Works Laundry Detergent and Kraft 100 Calorie Cheese Bites. And what a surprise, they had neither. But I saw they had 85% lean hamburger on sale for $1 a pound! BUT there was none left. Just as I was leaving, a gentleman pulled up with his stock cart loaded with hamburger and said "Do you need some hamburger? It's only $1".  So I bought a case. :)

People tell me they don't use coupons because can't find the deals I get. Or, they don't make coupons for the stuff they buy. I only used three coupons today. And one of them was on the cat litter. I got slamming deals today. You just have to be aware and don't be afraid to ask someone in the store for help! If I hadn't have ran into the stock man with the hamburger, I was going to ask the cashier for a rain check. They also had a ton of steak and chicken on great sale prices and some of them had $3 off coupons on the packages. Just keep your eyes open in the store! You too can get great deals on meat and produce!

Plus Target had some really good deals on a lot of other stuff too! I only used three coupons in this transaction and paid just $21.67! (all on a giftcard made it feel even better!)

2 Oscar Mayer Bologna - $1.99
18 lb hamburger meat - $ 18
Stonyfield French Vanilla Yogurt - $.75
Bananas - $.95 (I thought they were $.19 a pound, they were $.19 each!)
3 bags of shredded Carrots - $1.08 ($.36 each!)
Tidy Cats - $1.77
2 list pads (teacher gifts) - $2
1 bike horn (C graduation gift) - $1

Coupons Used:
$1 off Tidy Cats
(2) $2 off any Oscar Mayer Meat
3 $.05 reusable bag credits

Total OOP: (giftcard)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

WFMW - Cheap Pizza Sauce

I have been making homemade pizza for about a year. According to my hubby, I'm just now getting the hang of it. :)
One of the ways I make our pizza even more frugal is to use Ragu (or any spaghetti sauce) instead of the pizza sauce. I jut add oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic powder to season the sauce. My family says this actually tastes better than the "regular" pizza sauce.

Pizza sauce is $.69 a can around here (or it was the last time I bought it). I usually can get one pizza from a pizza sauce can. From a jar of Ragu, I can get at least three pizzas! And because I stockpile Ragu at a rock-bottom price, I only pay $.40 a jar.

Using Ragu for pizza sauce works for me!

Tuesday Tag-Along

Here's how it works:

Create a new Tuesday Tag-Along blog post. Include the Tuesday Tag-Along button by copying and pasting the code above. (You are also welcome to copy and paste these instructions in their entirety, or any portion of this Tuesday Tag-Along blog post!)

Add your blog name and the URL of your TTA post to the MckLinky below.

Follow Twee Poppets, the hostess blog listed in the first slot. Twee Poppets will follow you back! (Note: If you want Twee Poppets to follow you back, you MUST leave her a comment saying that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog!)

Visit Twee Poppets to read more about Tuesday Tag-Along!
thanks Michelle!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My 5 Things - 5/18

Well. I actually just have one REALLY BIG thing to do this week. And that is to prep for the yard sale on Saturday. I am a really big procrastinator. I have been putting this off for a month. The stuff has been sitting in the corners of four different rooms and now it is all in my living room. At least now I have to go through it. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Grocery Shopping for the Month

I went out last week to get my shopping done for the month. I got almost everything on my list (and lots of extras!) I only have to get sour cream but I figure (hope!) there will be a sale that I can combine with a coupon for when I need it).

4 Schick razors
1 package Oscar Mayer turkey bacon
80 ct Cascade
Tidy Cats cat litter
Total OOP: $15.03 (on a gift card) and I received $10 in gift cards from the razors

1 Schick razor
2 right guard deodorants
2 cans tuna
1 crest rinse
1 CVS shampoo
1 Reese's
Total OOP : $.92

4 Swiss Rolls
3 Oatmeal Creme Pies
2 Cosmic Brownies
hamburger meat
Total OOP : $18.05 (on a gift card)

Sam's Club:
5 lbs mozzarella cheese
5 lbs cheddar cheese
2 lbs strawberries
36 ct eggs
32 ct go-gurt
55 lbs dog food
total OOP: $53.55

Overall I think I did really good. Technically, I only spent a little over $54 for the whole month. I do need to go out tomorrow and run a few errands but hopefully the total won't be over $20 and it's all for my garden. And maybe a Rite Aid trip. :)

Meal Plan Monday 5/16 - 5/22

Aye. This weekend has been C.R.A.Z.Y. I have been without my computer since Thursday so I've been going crazy tonight trying to get caught up. I have so many posts to get up and I'm hoping to get them up tonight and tomorrow between running errands!

Last week the menu was pretty easy to stick with. Up until Friday night, we pretty much stayed with the plan. Friday my parents took us out to eat and Saturday we ate at their house (thanks mom!) The pork roast was actually some kind of beef roast and was wayyy over done. We didn't have pizza or hotdogs. We did have leftovers though! Which is rare in our house - we usually just eat the leftovers for lunch.

And I DID get my monthly meal plan done. It took me a while but I got it done! So this week all I have to do is copy the meals from my monthly plan to my weekly plan and BAM! I'm done!

This week we're eating:
  • Burgers on the Grill
  • Porkchops
  • Turkey (trying to clear out some freezer space)
  • Chimichangas (with leftover turkey)
  • Pork Stir Fry (using leftover porkchops)
  • Pizza
  • Hotdogs
Visit OrgJunkie.com for more menu ideas!

How did your week go? What are you eating this week? Leave a comment and I'll come check out your menu!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010 Garden Update #1

I am so excited to share with you pictures of my garden this year. There isn't very many pictures yet because it's been so cold here and I'm afraid to plant much. I have hot banana peppers, zucchini, spinach, basil, chives and parsley seeds planted, they should be sprouting any day now. And no pictures of my tomato or bell pepper plants yet because frankly, I forgot about them! We have them planted around the side of the house this year.

Here's my strawberry plants. I'm so excited about these this year because we transplanted them. Everyone told me they wouldn't get fruit this year because we moved them. But we already have strawberries growing!

Onions. New to me this year. A friend offered me some onion bulbs (sets?) So I planted a few. We'll see how I do with them..

Our pumpkins. We grew some last year, but they did not get big at all. We ended up using them to paint faces on. Then I cooked them up and pureed them to add to stuff. :) We bought big ones to carve.

Lettuce started. It's actually ready to be planted but I'm afraid the cold will kill it!

And that's it so far! I bought broccoli plants this weekend, and a squash plant. I would love to grow some potatoes... We'll see what the market has if I ever get there.

Are you growing a garden this year? What are you growing?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Winner of the Easy Lunch Box Giveaway!

The winner of our Easy Lunch Box system Review and Giveaway is......


Michelle said...
I heard about your giveaway on my Blogs I'm following page on my Blogger dashboard. :)
May 3, 2010 2:25 PM

Congrats! I'll send you an email, if you don't respond within 48 hours, I'll have to pick a new winner.

Bummed because you didn't win? Cheer up! There is more giveaways coming very soon!

FREE/Cheap Sunscreen @ CVS

This week at CVS there is an Extra Care Bucks offer on all Hawaiian Tropic Products. Buy one, get $5 in ECBs back. The sun care sticks are included in this and they are priced at $6.99. Some people are finding a $2/1 peelie coupon on the product or on a tearpad found in thestores. Use these to get them for FREE! If you can't find these coupons you can use the coupon for $1/1 Hawaiian sun care product from 4/25 SS insert to pay $.99 for one after coupons and ECBs. These sticks should be near the sun care section. I will be looking for them when I go to CVS Friday!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FREE Rouge Magazine Subsription

Today in my mailbox I received my first issue of Rouge Magazine. If you have not yet signed up yet for this magazine, it is completely FREE! It is put out by Proctor & Gamble. You can go HERE to sign up. Each magazine contains several P&G Coupons,so for FREE, I think it is definitely worth subscribing.

The coupons in this issue are:
(all manufacturers coupons & all expire 6/30)

$10/1 Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects

$1/1 Secret Soothing Effects

$1/1 Olay Facial Moisturizer, Any

$1/1 Perfect 10, Root Touch Up or Nice ‘n Easy Product

$1/1 Olay Body Wash or Lotion

$1/1 Zest, Ivory or Safeguard Bar

$1/1 Natural Instincts Product

$2/1 Venus Embrace or Breeze razor or cartridge or Venus Bikini Kit

$1/1 Crest toothpaste 4oz+, Crest Rinse 440ml+ or Oral-B Manual Toothbrush

$2/1 Cover Girl Simply Ageless Product (Includes Foundation, Sculpting Blush, Concealer & Corrector Products)

New Mambo Sprout Coupons!

Mambo Sprouts has released some new coupons! Some of them include:
  • $1/1 Organic Valley Yogurt
  • $1/1 Ian’s products
  • $1/1 Barbara’s Bakery Cereal Products
  • $1/1 Glutino Pretzels

 These coupons and more organic product coupons can be found at Mambo Sprouts

Monday, May 10, 2010

Giant Coupon Matchups 5/9 - 5/15

These are the best deals and coupon matchups that I see at Giant this week.

Pepsi 6 packs 5/$11.00

Lance Sandwich $2.00

$1/1 Lance Homepack Sandwich Crackers 8 ct
$1.00 after coupon
Betty Crocker Helpers $1.00
buy 3 and use $0.75/3 Betty Crocker Helper Meals (4/11 SS)
$.75 each after coupon

Ken’s Steak House Marinade BOGO
$1/1 Ken’s Marinade (5/9 SS)
Dole Fruit Crisp $1.79
$0.75/1 Dole Fruit Crisp
$.29 after coupon
Lay’s Potato Chips $3.00 ( Buy 2, Get $2.00 off instantly)
$2.00 each after instant savings

Post Shredded Wheat $2.50
$2/1 Post Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat or Grape Nuts Cereal
$.50 each after coupon
Thomas English Muffin BOGO
$1/1 Thomas Select March 2010 All You Magazine

Kellogg’s Cereal $2.50
$1/1 Kelloggs Cereals (3/28 RP)
$1.50 each after coupon

Almond Breeze Milk $2.50
$1/1 Blue Diamond Select (2/28 SS)
$1.50 each after coupon

International Delight Flavored Coffee Creamer $1.50
$0.55/1 International Delight Coffee Creamer
$.40 after coupon

Dannon Crush Cups $2.00
$0.75/1 Dannon Danimals Yogurt (5/2 SS)
$.50 after coupon

Starkist Chunk Light Tuna $1

$1/2 Starkist Pouch May 2010 All You Magazine
2 for $0.50 each after coupon
Ken’s Salad Dressing $1.66
$1/2 Ken’s Salad Dressing or Lite Accents (5/9 SS)
$1.16 after coupon

Scottie’s Facial $1.00
$0.50/1 Scotties Facial Tissue 60 – 264 ct Single or Multi Pack
Free after coupon

Hartz Crunch n Clean $2.69
$1/1 Hartz Crunch ‘n Clean dog biscuits (May 2010 All You Magazine)
$1.69 each after coupon

Hydro 3 Razor $5.99
$5/1 Schick Hydro Razor (5/9 SS)
$.99 after coupon

Nivea Lip Balm $2.00
$1/1 Nivea Lip Care .17-.35 oz (5/2 RP)
B1G1 Nivea Lip Care (May 2010 All You Magazine
2 for $1.00 after both coupons

My Grocery Budget

I have had a lot of interest in my grocery budget. Lots of questions as to how I do it. At $25 a week for a family of four, is it really possible? For us, yes it is. There are a few key factors in keeping my grocery budget under control....

Want to know how I manage my grocery budget? The first post in my soon to be series is a guest post at Crystal and Comp. Enjoy!

My 5 Things - 5/10

  1. Send rebate to Verizon
  2. Find more for yard sale - still have more to do
  3. Find recipes for OAMC - now I have to plan my list
  4. Clean "cat" room - of course now it needs done again
  5. Clean out the back porch - the dogs have already made a mess of it!

 This week I need to:
  1. make grocery list for OAMC
  2. Clean my bedroom!!
  3. Vacuum living room
  4. Put stuff on Ebay (I have a pile I need to go through and list)
  5. Make a menu plan for the month.
This post is linked to 5 Things to Do.

What do you need to get done this week?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Meal Plan Monday 5/9 - 5/15

(photo credit:kraftfoods)

I made the Southwest Roll-ups that were on our menu last week and they were a huge hit! I was a little worried when fixing these because of the beans, but C and A both actually ate one, hubs and I both ate two and half! We finally ended up making pizza at home and of course, it was a hit. I believe the boys each ate a piece and a half. We didn't have burgers or pork chops. We did end up eating out once. Friday, hubs had a tooth pulled and wasn't really hungry so the boys just had grilled cheese and I had leftovers. I love those easy nights.

Meal Planning has become a chore for me. I hate sitting down and having no ideas for meals. Hubs and the boys aren't helping either. They want tacos, burgers and enchiladas. And that's it. I have decided to go back to my old way of meal planning. Planning a month at a time. I then shop for the whole month in one day. It saved me a lot of headache and a lot of money. I stayed out of the stores and I am not stressing on Sunday nights trying to plan the whole week. It's already done! I'm looking for some new recipes. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

This week we are eating:
Visit OrgJunkie.com for more menu ideas!

How did your week go? What are you eating this week? Leave a comment and I'll come check out your menu!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WFMW - Backwards Edition

Works For Me Wednesday is backwards this week! So instead of me giving you a tip, I'm asking you something!

So my question for you is : how do you keep up with everything? I feel like I am constantly behind in something. If I play with my boys, I'm letting the house work slide. If I do the housework, I'm neglecting the boys. And "me" time? Forget it! There is no such thing around here. I can't seem to find a balance between everything.

I know that since I do have two boys under five (and one who is twenty five) my house will never be "clean". But I want it to at least be presentable!

So PLEASE share with me how you keep up with everything! My house, my hubby and my boys will thank you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Target Trip

4 Benadryl Itch Sticks
1 DiGiorno 200 Calorie Pizza
1 Pillsbury Brownie Mix

Total OOP: $.05 (if I had my reusable bag, it would've been FREE!)

Coupons used:
(2) $5/2 Benadryl
(1) FREE DiGiorno Pizza

WFMW - Free Product Coupons

A few weeks ago, I shared with you Hubby's Pillsbury Pizza. I told you I had some issues with the pizza crust having some holes in it. What I didn't share with you was the fact that the Pillsbury pizza crust was aleady falling apart when I opened the contatiner. I made it work anyway because hubs would have had a cow had I not. But I made sure to email Pillsbury and tell them what happened. And they sent me these:

I was made sure I was not mean or rude in my letter. I simply explained what had happened and that we were upset with the product performance.

I have also emailed a company when I was thrilled with the product and I have recieved coupons from these emails also. Taking a little bit of time and letting companies know what I think of their product is a great way to save money because it results in coupons!

Emailing companies works for me!

Free Sample -3 Pack of Pampers Cruisers!

Log into your VocalPoint account to request a free 3 pack of Pampers Cruisers.

You must be a member to request the sample. These usually come with great coupons!
I personally love these diapers. And that's saying a lot because I was not at all found of Pampers before.
Have you tried the new Pampers Cruisers? What do you think of them?

Herbs in Your Garden

Whether you have a huge garden or just some containers on your windowsill, herbs can add a lot of benefits to your garden. Not only do fresh herbs taste great, they offer a lot of nutritional value. And they help your garden look pretty.  Not sure what to plant? Try one or two below.

Basil - Just two teaspoons offers five percent of your daily magnesium requirement. Magnesium helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve functions, keeps your heart beats steady, supports a healthy immune system and keeps your bones strong. Goes great in pizza sauce and lasagna.

Cilantro - Helps reduce bacterial contamination in meat and helps promote healthy digestion. Goes great in tacos and salsa.

Dill - Helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and relieve indigestion. Goes great in tuna salad.

Parsley - Just two teaspoons will give you one hundred and fifty percent of your daily vitamin K. Vitamin K helps maintain healthy blood clotting and bone health. Goes great in pizza sauce and salad.

Rosemary - Helps cut cancer risks, fights carcinogens created when meat is cooked above 400 degrees. Goes great in marinades.

Thyme - Just two teaspoons offers almost twenty percent of your daily iron. Used in tea or cough syrup, thyme helps to relieve dry coughs and sore throats. Also goes great in salads and salad dressing.

I already have basil and parsley started in my garden. I'm thinking of adding some thyme and maybe some rosemary.

What herbs do you grow (or plan to grow) in your garden?

Monday, May 3, 2010

My 5 Things - 5/3

  1. Send rebate to Verizon - uh.... yea this NEEDS to get done.
  2. Clean out our closet
  3. Organize coupon area
  4. Start decluttering for yard sale. - I started.... didn't finish
  5. Buy stamps!
 This week I need to..
  1. Send rebate to Verizon
  2. Find more for yard sale
  3. Find recipes for OAMC
  4. Clean "cat" room
  5. Clean out the back porch 
This post is linked to 5 Things to Do.
What do you need to get done this week?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Meal Plan Monday 5/2-5/8

Last week's menu didn't go as planned. The bourbon chicken was, as always, amazing. We didn't have the ham and potato casserole. Instead we had ham, scalloped potatoes and green beans. We didn't have honey mustard chicken pasta. And we went out for pizza instead of making it. I'm in a meal rut. I don't know what to fix and I don't really want to be in the kitchen when I could be in the garden or playing baseball with my boys. I need to get shopping for OAMC. That way, I have meals in the freezer!

I asked hubby for some meal ideas this week, so most of this is his request. I agreed to most of his meals because I wanted to try some new ones too. I figure if he's happy with most of the nights, one or two new meals won't hurt him  :)

Southwest Roll-ups - I might have to change this up a bit to make it so the boys will eat it
Chicken Fajitas
Pizza (homemade this week!
Steak, broccoli casserole
Burgers on the grill

Be sure to check out Orgjunkie.com for other great meal ideas!

How did your week go? What are you eating this week? Leave a comment and I'll come check out your menu!

Giant Coupon Matchups 5/2-5/8

These are the best deals and coupon matchups that I see at Giant this week.

Friskies Party Mix Cat Treats, $1.25
$1/1 Purina Friskies Brand Cat Treats
$0.25 each after coupon

Stouffer’s Red Box, $2

$2.50/1 Stouffer’s Easy Express Meal (click on “News”)
FREE after coupon

Lloyd’s Pork, Beef or Chicken Barbeque, $4.99
Get a FREE Giant 2-liter soda, Giant rolls and Giant Festingos when you buy 1

BOGO Oscar Mayer Meat Bologna, $2.69
$2/1 Oscar Mayer
$.69 each after coupon
Ortega Taco Sauce, $1.39

$0.75/2 Ortega products (4/18 SS)
2 for $.64 each after coupon

Ortega Taco Shells, $1.67
$.75/2 Ortega products (4/18 SS )
2 for $.92 each after doubled coupon

Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix, $0.67
$.75/2 Ortega products (4/18 SS)
2 FREE after doubled coupon

Uncle Ben’s Country Inn Flavored Rice, $1.25

$.75/2 Uncle Ben’s Products
2 for $0.25 each after coupon
Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel, $2

$.55/1 Satin Care Shave Gel (5/2 P&G)
$.90 after doubled coupon

See any deals I missed? Feel free to share them in the comments.

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