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Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentines Day is Coming!

Valentines Day is just around the corner. Do you have a gift for your partner yet? Make sure to check out EdenFantasys.com. They have a huge selection of gifts - you're sure to find something perfect for your loved one.

They have a lot of great deals going on right now! Some of their Valentine Gifts are Buy one Get one FREE! There is also a FREE gift with any purchase. Like them on facebook for another surprise.

Planning a romantic night with your honey? How about some rose petals to add some spice to your night? And what better way to add romance then with some candles.

EdenFantasys offers fast shipping. Orders are usually shipped next day and should be received within 1 to 5 days, depending on the shipping speed you select.

Make sure to head to EdenFantasys.com to pick out a gift for your sweetie for Valentines Day today!

Kids Clothes for as low as $1!!

Deal Pulp (a daily deals site like Groupon) is offering an extremely HOT deal right now. Get a voucher for a box of gently used clothing on thredUP.com for only $6!!

If you are new to Deal Pulp, you get a FREE $5 credit just for signing up! Use this link to get your $5 credit, making this offer only $1! Since these boxes usually go for $15.95, this is a HOT deal!

Why It's Fresh:
  • Pick a box of pre-loved kids clothes in the size and gender you need for only $6, and have it delivered to your door for free
  • The average box on thredUP contains 15 clothing items and includes top brands like: GAP, Carter's. Children's Place, Osh Kosh and Gymboree
  • 95% of the boxes reviewed on thredUP have been rated 3 or 4 stars (out of 4) by other moms
  • Need to de-clutter? Box-up your kids' gently used stuff and send it to another parent for free
Thanks Money Saving Mom!

Your Recipe, My Kitchen - Baked Chicken Taquitos

This recipe has not been on my "to make" list very long. In fact, I found it on the very first Your Recipe, My Kitchen. My boys love this meal. They have both asked for it since the first time I made it.


3 oz cream cheese, softned
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
Tortillas
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Mix salsa, cumin, chili powder, and garlic. Stir. Add chicken and cheese and mix well.


Spread 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the middle of each tortilla. Top with more cheese.


Roll up tightly. Place seam side down on a greased baking dish. Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other.


Brush the tops lightly with EVOO and bake at 425 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meal Plan 1/30 "End" of the Pantry Challenge

Officially, this past week marked the end of our pantry challenge. But, I have decided to continue this challenge for [at least] another month. This week, I will be posting more pictures of my pantry, so that you'll be able to see the dent we have made this past month.

Last week, our menu went almost as planned. I couldn't find any chili in the freezer, so I made some. I didn't add enough spices to it though, so it was a disappointment. Saturday night, C stayed at his cousins house, so hubby took A and I out to dinner at a restaurant I've been wanting to try. We did enjoy mini pizzas, tostadas, leftover BBQ pork roast, chicken Parmesan, and cheeseburgers.

With an upcoming icestorm paired with the fact that 3 out of the 4 of us either have colds, or are getting over colds, I'm making this an easy week filled with comfort foods!

This week, we are enjoying:


enchiladas
quesadillas
potato soup
enchiladas
porkchops
beef pot roast
leftovers

What are you eating this week? I'd love to come check out your menu!

Check out 100s of other menus at orgjunkie.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Date Night Idea #2

Sticking with the winter "theme" from last week, this weeks date night is snow tubing!

We actually went with the family, but we had such a blast we can't wait to go back just us two! We went to Whitetail, which offers single and double tubes. Tubing is so much fun! There were people of all ages having a blast! What a great way to connect with your loved one.



Afterwards, cuddled on the couch with some ice cream and watched a movie.

*This date night would be expensive - Whitetail charges $25 per person for 2 hours of tubing. We did go with a big group, and we had a discount rate. If you had a bunch of friends going (think group date!) you may be able to get a discount. (With Whitetail, it's 10 or more people)

Have you and your spouse had a great date night lately? I'd love to hear what you did!


Come back next week for another great date night idea!

Parents Magazine for as low as $1.50 a year!

Today's Eversave deal is Parents Magazine for $5 for 2 years. What a deal! BUT NEW Eversave members can sign up HERE and get a $2 credit to their account - making this deal only $3!!




Today's Save: Blue Dolphin

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Expires 11:59 PM - Jan 30, 2011


AND you can get $35 worth of Melissa and Doug, Klutz, and more toys and games from BrighterBeginningsToys.com for only $15!! ($13 with the $2 credit for new members!!)




Brighter Beginnings Toys

Today's Save: $15 for $35 worth of Melissa and Doug, Klutz, and more toys and games from BrighterBeginningsToys.com

Expires 11:59 PM - Jan 31, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

What's for Lunch? 1/28

Need some inspiration for your children's lunchbox? I will be sharing what I have packed in C's in the hopes that it will help you when you struggle! (C has school Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday, so I will be sharing 2 to 3 times a week)


Today he took : turkey, cheese & spinach wrap, pretzels, blueberries, marshmellows, and a thermos of water.

Eversave - $15 for $30 at Shoebuy.com **HOT**

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's Cooking Thursday *New Linky* Mini Pizzas

Welcome to the new What's Cooking Thursday! A place for you to link up whatever it is you've been cooking at your house! Not a blogger? Leave your recipe in the comment section. Look for a featured recipe next week. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you'd like, all I ask is that you link back to What's Cooking Thursday!







Every Sunday night is pizza night in my house. Lately, we've been making mini pizzas, little pizzas for each of us. The reason I prefer mini pizzas over one big pizza is because one - the kids each get their own pizza to make. Usually, they help me make the big pizza and argue over who gets to spread the sauce, who gets to add the cheese, etc. With mini pizzas, they each get to do everything! Also with mini pizzas, we can customize each pizza. Hubby likes peppers, ham, and pepperoni on his. The boys just like cheese and pepperoni. This time, I decided to go a different route and make a BBQ Pork Pizza. (It's so simple - spread BBQ sauce on the crust, add some pork BBQ and sprinkle with cheese)



The pizza crust we always use is as follows:

2 1/2 cups flour (I usually use 1 cup white whole wheat, 1 1/2 cups white)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water

Combine water, honey and yeast in large bowl. Let set 10 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. Add flour and olive oil. Knead 10 minutes. Let rest 45 minutes to an hour*. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll dough out to desired size. Add desired toppings, bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

*I have let rise longer and there is no issues. I have also allowed NO time for rising, and it turns out fine.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Friendly Wednesday 1/26

Welcome to Feeding Four's Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!
Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up last week!
Please feel free to grab the button (located in the right side bar) and add it to your blog to get more bloggers to participate in the blog hop!!


 
How to Participate:


Follow the hostess - Feeding Four. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog.
Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar so we can get more bloggers to join! The more blogs that join, the more fun it is for all of us!

Enter your information into the linkup below.

Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!

Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!

Winner!

The winner of the Lysol Giveaway is :

JJ said... 65

I would use these wips in my daughter's diaper bag so I could wipe down those dirty restaurant tables before she sat down.


Congratulations! I will be emailing you shortly.

Thank you to all who entered. Have you entered the Tropical Traditions Whole Wheat Flour giveaway yet?

Keeping My Grocery Budget Under Control - Meal Planning/Shopping My Stocks

Last year, I started a "series" on my grocery budget. That series made it for a whole two posts. This year, I am determined to share every way I keep my grocery budget so low while feeding us so well.

One of the ways I feed our family of four (hubby and I, and our two boys - aged 5 and 2) on $25 a week is by meal planning. Every Sunday when we sit down to eat lunch together, I make sure to have a pen and paper handy. I take suggestions as to what the boys want for dinners for the week.



I then take that list and head to the stockpile. If there is a dinner on the list that I have all the ingredients for, that dinner gets to stay. If there is a dinner on the list that we really want, and I only need one or two ingredients for (usually the item I need to buy is sour cream), it gets to stay.

With the remaining meals (if there are any) I make a list of ingredients I don't have. That way, when I am looking at the grocery ads I can make a list of the ingredients we need to make the meals we want. I will wait until these items hit their rock bottom price and stock up.

Through out the week, I glance at the meal plan and pick a meal. I already have all the ingredients for that meal in the pantry/freezer which means I don't have to run to the store to grab something. And we all know when you run to the store to grab one thing, you more often than not grab something else too. Plus, since all my meals are already planned out, it resists the urge to pick up take out.

Meal Planning is fairly simple, just takes a few minutes to get done. And it saves me a lot of money each week!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's for Lunch? 1/24

Need some inspiration for your children's lunchbox? I will be sharing what I have packed in C's in the hopes that it will help you when you struggle! (C has school Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday, so I will be sharing 2 to 3 times a week)

Today he took : turkey, cheese & spinach wrap, goldfish, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, 2 cookies and a thermos of water.



What are you/your kids eating for lunch?

Your Recipe, My Kitchen - Lasagna!

I love lasagna. But, usually I'm too cheap to buy the cottage cheese to make the lasagna. I'm not sure why, I mean, it's only like $1.50, but I just don't like to buy it. This lasagna uses cream cheese instead. When I first read the recipe, I thought "gross!" (I'm not a fan of cream cheese), but I wanted to try it to see if it tasted anything like "my" lasagna.

This lasagna is so good! It does take a few extra steps to prepare, but the end result is so worth it!! This recipe used a lot of things that have been sitting in our pantry/freezer for a while. And we got 2 dinners and three days worth of lunches out of it!


1 pound ground beef - $1.99
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
3 cups pasta sauce - homemade - free
1 cup chicken stock - homemade - free
8 ounces cream cheese, softened - free (coupon + sale)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese - $1.05
lasagna noodles - free (coupon + sale)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese - $0.14

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Stir in pasta sauce and spices; simmer for 2 minutes. Season to taste.Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add cream cheese, turn heat to low, and whisk until smooth, about 6 minutes.

Spoon 2 tbsp of pasta sauce into bottom of the pan. Place a layer of lasagna noodles and top with half the meat sauce. Sprinkle 1 cup grated mozzarella over the meat mixture. Top with 3 or 4 lasagna noodles.
Pour the cream-cheese sauce over the noodles and cover with another cup of grated mozzarella. Arrange 3 or 4 lasagna noodles over the cheese, then spoon remaining meat mixture over noodles. Top with the rest of the mozzarella and the Parmesan. Bake until brown and bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

I served this with SnoWhites French Bread and a salad.

Total lasanga cost : $3.18 (divided by 3 - 2 meals and 3 lunches = roughly $1.06 a meal)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Earn $30 with Ebates!

Right now Ebates is offering an awesome $30 Referral Bonus when you refer 3 friends who sign-up and make a qualifying purchase through Ebates!
What is a qualified referral? A new user to Ebates who makes a qualifying purchase of $25 or more earning cash back between 1/1/11 and 2/28/11. You can read more about that here.
You can also earn more rewards- the rewards get bigger with the more friends you refer.

Join Ebates today and start referring friends!

Meal Plan 1/23 & Pantry Update

One more week to go in our pantry challenge!! We're doing so well this month. I feel like we're just getting started with the pantry clean out, so I'm pretty sure we'll be continuing our challenge into February. So far this month, we've spent $19.89 on groceries.

I can't really see a difference (yet) in our menus. We're still eating the same as we were last month when I was doing my "normal" shopping. Last week,we enjoyed Mini Pizzas, Beef Nacho Casserole, Lasagna - twice (recipe coming tomorrow), Chicken Fajitas, Fish Fillets, and BBQ Pork Roast. It was a good week!

This week we're enjoying:

mini pizzas



chili (from the freezer)
BBQ Pork Roast (leftovers from last week)
Chicken Parmesan
undecided - new recipe

What are you eating this week?
Check out 100s of other menus at orgjunkie.com.

What's Cooking Thursday *New Linky*

I have decided to host a weekly link up called "What's Cooking Thursday". Every Thursday, starting this Thursday, there will be a linky where you can link up any recipes you've been making!




I can't wait to see what you have been cooking! Hope to see you there!

Happy Cooking :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Date Night Idea #1

One of our resolutions this year as a couple is to reconnect. That means bringing back our "dating life". Now with a strict budget, 2 young kids and living an hour from any family, date night has to take on a new meaning. There will be some times where we do get a sitter (my mom) and go out, but it won't be every week.  I'd like to share some of our date night ideas with you to hopefully help you and your spouse have some fun date nights!

Last week, we had a bunch of snow. We went outside to let the dogs out after the boys went to bed and had a snowball fight! It was totally out of the blue, but it definitely made both of us feel like kids again. We then went inside, made some hot chocolate, snuggled on the couch and watched a movie.



What are some things you like to do for a date night?

Groceries 1/22

I hate shopping in the cold. It has been FREEZING here. Really, I think today was like 26 degrees, plus the horrible wind chill, but it's wayyy to cold for me. I waited until hubby got home to run to the store so I didn't have the kids to buckle and unbuckle.


I needed milk this week, so I took advantage of the awesome cereal deal at Giant this week. Buy 4 boxes of General Mills Cereal, get $6 off AND a Catalina for a FREE milk! Since the out of pocket was less than a gallon of milk, it was a no brainer. I did this deal twice. I still have a Catalina for a FREE milk to use.


When I went to Giant to get the cereal, there was no strawberries to be found so I had to make an extra trip the next day. The things I do for my boys. ;) When I walked in the door, you would have thought I brought chocolate home or something. The boys went nuts! They hadn't had blueberries in a few days and they hadn't had strawberries since New Years. It was so cute. I can't wait until May when we can go strawberry picking again.

Total OOP : $10.30 (plus I have the $4.50 Catalina for a gallon of milk)

Friday, January 21, 2011

2 Boxes of Checks $4.05 Shipped & 12% Cash Back!

Are you in need of checks? Then check out this awesome deal from 4Checks.com! Buy two boxes for $4.05 shipped or two boxes of duplicates for just $5.05 shipped! Just enter the code DE0378 at checkout.




Go through Ebates and receive 12% cash back on your purchase from 4Checks! If you are not currently an Ebates customer, go HERE to join. You'll receive the 12% cash back AND a $5 sign up bonus! This will make your checks FREE!
**Make sure to remove the EZ Shield Fraud Protection from your order to get your final price down to $4.05.

Today's Eversave Deal - $15 for $30 of Menu Planning Services from SavingDinnerShop.com




Today's Save: Saving Dinner

Today's Save:$15 for $30 towards menu planning services from SavingDinnerShop.com

Expires 11:59 PM - Jan 24, 2011




Bonus Save: Frecklebox

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It's Mega Swagbucks Friday!


Need some extra cash? How about making money to surf the web! Seriously, it's that simple. Sign up for Swagbucks and get points when you search the web. Turn those in for prizes! My favorite prize is an Amazon.com Gift card!


Every Friday when you use Swagbucks to search the Internet you could win anywhere from 50-5000 Swagbucks! An $5 Amazon gift card is worth 450 Swagbucks. So get searching and earn some Swagbucks! (You can earn Swagbucks any day of the week, on Fridays you have the chance to win extra!)

New to Swagbucks? Sign up HERE and get 30 Swagbucks just for signing up!

Don't forget to become a fan of Feeding Four on Facebook - I share Swagbucks codes there that are worth extra Swagbucks!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread

Here lately, I have been making bread every other day. I've been playing with different recipes, trying to find one we enjoy the most. Tonight, I made this one and there wasn't much left after the meal.


You'll need:
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 1/4 white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dry milk powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water

Combine water and yeast in a medium bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, or until mixture has doubled. Add remaining ingredients and knead 5-10 minutes. Let rise for 45 minutes. Shape into 2 loaves and let rest 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake 25-28 minutes. Slather with butter and jelly and enjoy!

(this is actually a picture of THIS bread)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today's Eversave Deal- LUNCHBOXES and MORE!
















Today's Save: Frecklebox

Today's Save:$15 for $30 worth of perfectly personalized children's presents from Frecklebox.com

Expires 11:59 PM - Jan 21, 2011




















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How to Make the Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate

I love hot chocolate, but I could never figure out how to make a cup that tastes as good as the cup I would buy at the gas station. (AC&T has amazing hot cocoa!) I was at a friends hous the other day, and she made some hot chocolate that was better than what I normally buy. This is how I will make my hot chocolate from now on!

You'll need equal amounts of milk and water. Microwave milk until warm, add hot cocoa mix and hot water. Mix well. Add marshmellows and stir. Serve.

How do you make your hot cocoa?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Friendly Wednesday 1/19

Welcome to Feeding Four's Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!

Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up last week!

Please feel free to grab the button (located in the right side bar) and add it to your blog to get more bloggers to participate in the blog hop!!




How to Participate:


Follow the hostess - Feeding Four. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog.

Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar so we can get more bloggers to join! The more blogs that join, the more fun it is for all of us!

Enter your information into the linkup below.

Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!
Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Your Recipe, My Kitchen - 3 Cheese Chicken Pasta

Tonight's Your Recipe, My Kitchen Recipe comes from two different sites. I was going through my recipes, writing down what I wanted to try and realized two of them were almost exactly the same. The first recipe I referenced was from Kingdom First Mom, the second from Tablespoon.


You'll need:
8 oz. pasta
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 jar spaghetti sauce
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package. Stir chicken, spaghetti sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes - bring to boil. Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes or until chicken is warmed.

Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in spinach. (notice the nice orange color?)


Cook for a minute, until spinach wilts slightly. Pour chicken mixture over pasta, and mix.


 Top shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Enjoy!


This post is linked to Your Recipe, My Kitchen.

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