Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan July 26 - August 1

We are back from our summer vacation (which was almost a complete flop but that's another story). This week will include more summer training for teachers and another vacation bible school for our little one. So we have to plan things that don't require much time or effort. Here's what we're thinking:

Sunday - leftovers from vacation grilling

Monday - taco salad

Tuesday - sausage with peppers and onions over rice

Wednesday - Cornish hens with potatoes and carrots (crockpot)

Thursday - Hamburger Helper

Friday - mini ravioli with meat sauce

Saturday - BBQ ribs

Lunches will consist of sandwich leftovers from vacation and dinner leftovers.
Breakfasts will consist of frozen waffles, cereal, sausage biscuits, french toast and eggs, grits and toast.

For more meal plan ideas, visit Organized Junkie this week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy with Cucumbers

Right now as I type, I am preparing cucumbers for canning - pickles actually. My little one loves lime pickles and we have been paying nearly $5 a pint jar for these pickles. I decided to try my hand at making some pickles myself. Tonight makes my second batch. The first batch was awesome!

Here's the recipe that I used - lime pickles.

I didn't have a crock or enamel pot so I put these in a plastic trash can. Of course I washed it extremely well - LOL! I went by the recipe almost exactly for the first batch. I added a 1/2 stick of cinnamon to each jar, because that's what Mama used to do.

Tonight I changed things just a bit by adding a tablespoon of pickling spice and a tablespoon of cloves plus the cinnamon stick. This recipe is very easy to follow and proved to be successful.

I did do a better job of dissolving the lime in the second batch by stirring it more before I added the cucumbers.

As a precaution, I not only heat the jars but I also put a metal spoon into each jar as I am filling them with the hot pickles and syrup. My grandmother told me once that a metal spoon would absorb some of the heat and keep the jar from breaking. I don't know how much truth there is to that or if it is even necessary with canning jars, but I can say that I have never had a jar break with that metal spoon it it.

I wish I could share a taste of these pickles with you to encourage you to try it. They are so much better than those bread and butter pickles you buy from the store.

Enough for now. It's time to get up and get those pickles in the jars. I hope that some of my canning and freezing posts will inspire you to put up some food this summer.

Busy, Busy, Busy with Green Beans

Green Beans
My husband planted green beans at my mother-in-law's during the spring. They have now come and gone and we have put up about 7 quarts in the freezer and eaten several meals of them, too. These were Italian green beans (the flat ones).



Here's what I do to put these in the freezer:


  1. Wash beans well and snap or cut into one inch pieces.

  2. We snip away both ends as well.

  3. Cover with water and bring to boil.

  4. Boil for 10 minutes (until they change colors - darker green).

  5. Let cool.

  6. Drain and place in freezer bags. (My mother-in-law adds the juice but I don't.)

  7. Continue to cool until they can go into the freezer.

I don't put green beans in jars because I don't have a canner and was not very successful one earlier time that I tried it. Time is required for the beans to cool, but they are always good out of the freezer and so much better than those in the grocery store. Plus since we grew them, we know what chemicals weren't put on them.

When I cook these, I place them in a pot straight from the freezer and cover with water. I add onion, garlic, salt and a little piece of smoked meat (bacon or sausage) and cook until desired doneness.

Busy, Busy, Busy with Tomatoes


You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much in the last week or so. We have been putting up vegetables from our garden and some that we have gotten from local growers. Amanda at Coping With Frugality commented in this post that she would like instructions on what I did so I'll be starting posts on those.

Tomatoes

This first post is for tomatoes. We got several boxes from a local grower and did three different batches as they ripened.

After having several jars of tomatoes spoil last fall, I decided to freeze all of the tomatoes this season. We have plenty of room in the outside freezer and freezer bags are not very expensive (actually cheaper than jars).

  1. Bring water to nearly a boil in a large stockpot or dutch oven. This water will be used to scald the skins on the tomatoes. It doesn't have to be boiling but it does need to be HOT. I have found that scalding the skins doesn't waste as much of the tomatoes as cutting away the skins with a knife.
  2. Wash tomatoes and place in stockpot with hot water. Leave for a couple of minutes. When you notice the skins slipping, you can remove the tomatoes and add more. My husband and I do this together. He adds the tomatoes and removes them. Then I continue with the next step.
  3. Let tomatoes cool a few minutes and remove skins. Remove any hard core, stems, etc.
  4. Then cut up into the sizes that you prefer for later use. Add cut up pieces to a thick stockpot and boil.
  5. Tomatoes are blanched when they start to form a lighter red color foam on top.
  6. Let cool enough to handle(this may take a while) and scoop into freezer bags.
  7. Once cooled even more, bags can be placed in freezer.

If you don't have one of these canning funnels, get one. It makes getting the vegetables into jars or freezer bags much easier. I have a metal one like this and a plastic one. Either one is fine. The metal one belonged to my grandmother so I have kept it, but I probably use the plastic one the most.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan July 12-18

We found some great meat deals today at our local Harvey's and lots of garden items are coming in. Plus, I cleaned out the small freezer in the laundry room yesterday and found lots of "forgotten" items. So our menu this week will reflect all of that.

Sunday:
Chicken and dumplings, creamed corn, peas, sliced tomatoes - all found items in the freezer except for the tomatoes

Monday:
Blackened salmon (sale meat), baked potato, salad

Tuesday:
Fried bream and chicken gizzards (sale meat), cheese grits, coleslaw - my husband, father and little one went fishing today and caught 8 bream so we'll pair them up with some cheap gizzards and have a meal

Wednesday:
Salisbury steak (found item from freezer), Kraft homestyle macaroni salad, cucumber salad (garden)

Thursday:
Cubed pork chops (sale meat), stir fry vegetables, watermelon slices (garden)

Friday:
Taco salad with homemade salsa, ice cream bars (found item from freezer)

Saturday:
BBQ Ribs, corn on cob, (both found in freezer), fried okra (garden)

I would challenge each of you to dig through that freezer and refrigerator and locate some "lost" items for this week's menu. We recently found quite a bit of hamburger meat that had spoiled (freezer burned) because we had forgotten about it. Read about that here. That's just money being tossed away. So get up now and go check to see what you have that you have forgotten. You will thank me when you're saving money this week at the grocery store.

For more great menu ideas, visit Organized Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome


Several new people have decided to follow my blog in the past couple of weeks that I would like to welcome aboard. I try to welcome new followers individually through their email or blogs, but some of the newest followers don't have links for that. So welcome, welcome, welcome. I hope something here will be of assistance to you through your money saving ventures.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for July 5 - 11


This is what we are planning to eat this week. We have been working on vegetables all last week and eating from the freshness of our garden. In that process, we cleaned out the freezer and now know more what is available to eat.

Sunday - leftovers
Monday - Meat loaf, au gratin potatoes, sliced cucumbers
Tuesday - Fried turkey breast, stuffing, steamed cabbage
Wednesday - Chicken and rice, pickles, slaw
Thursday - Cubed pork chops, macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli
Friday - Fish sticks, frozen french fries, leftover slaw
Saturday - Grilled something

For more menu ideas, check out the links on Organized Junkie.

MckLinky Blog Hop

This week I am participating in a new blog hop. This blog is all about my experiences with trying to feed my family for less using the resources that I have available in a small town with no CVS or Walgreens and only 2 local grocery stores. I post about frugal ways that I have found that work and things that don't seem to be working for me. Join the blog hop and come back and visit my blog often.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, July 2, 2009

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday

Today for 5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday, I am listing things that we have been working on at our house in the kitchen.
  1. Store bought pickles - I made my first batch of old fashioned lime pickles on Wednesday - we have been paying $4.50 for a pint jar of these from a store we found in the mountains - I ended up with 10 pints - the ingredients cost me less than $7 (my neighbor gave us the cucumbers so all I had to buy was the lime and pickling spice - we already had enough vinegar and sugar) - saved us $38
  2. Canned tomatoes - we have put up several bags of tomatoes this week - I have decided to freeze them instead of putting htem in glass jars because I had too many go bad last fall
  3. Store bought eggs - our chicks have started to lay eggs (or at least a couple of them) - we had been getting 2-3 eggs a day - now we are getting 3-5 - and our rooster has started trying to crow (he sounds really sick but he is sooo cute)
  4. Appliances on the counter - how do I accumulate so much stuff on the counters and I have plenty of space in the cabinets
  5. Expired food - found way too much of this in the camper when I was cleaning out this week - I've got to devise a better plan for being sure that we eat this stuff up before it expires

To see what others are living without, visit here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DSL Problems

I haven't posted anything since last Friday because my DSL has been dying a slow death over the weekend. My provider is sending someone out tomorrow to check on it. Needless to say, I won't be doing much posting until it gets fixed. This dial-up connection just takes entirely too long.

I didn't submit my weekly menu but we are eating out of the pantry, frig and freezer this week. I'll go into more depth later in the week.

Good luck with your money savings this week.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Frugal Fridays - Freezer Food


This week I have been freezing green beans from our garden. Thus far I've gotten 5 quart bags. All of the hard work that we have put into the garden is now paying off and those beans will sure be good come winter.

Even if you aren't a farmer or have much space to garden, you can raise a tomato plant in a regular pot on your porch or outside entryway. The best part is that it doesn't take too many tomatoes to fill a quart freezer bag.
You might also consider buying vegetables in bulk from your local produce market (which are cheaper) and putting those up for the winter.
I generally freeze my vegetables because I have an extra freezer that we use for that. If you don't have freezer space, canning jars can be used for a wide variety of vegetables.
For more frugal tips, visit here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for June 21-27

This week's menu will be some of the same things from last week as we didn't get all of those eaten. My stepsister and her family were visiting my father and we went to see them a couple of times which interrupted our regular dinner meal. This week should be more on track.

I'd also like to say that I have been getting lots of great ideas for breakfast and lunch from the others who are participating in the Menu Plan Monday. I was reminded last week of quite a few things that we hadn't eaten in awhile. I want to start planning all three meals since I am out of school for the summer. I think this will keep us from running up town to the local restaurant or fast food place. Swimming lessons and vacation bible school are all over, so now we can start working on more of a routine for our day.

Anyway, here's our dinner plans for this week:

Sunday - Turkey, bacon wraps
Monday - Grilled chicken breasts, corn on cob, salad
Tuesday - Roast, gravy and vegetables, rolls, jello salad
Wednesday - Fried fish, cheese grits, coleslaw
Thursday - Salisbury steak, rice, peas and okra
Friday - Fresh pork roast, macaroni and cheese, leftover vegetables
Saturday - Taco salad with fresh salsa

See Organized Junkie for more menu ideas for this week.

Update: I added the link to the turkey-bacon wraps. I got this recipe from last week's Menu Plan Monday and we have eaten them for lunch and dinner. They are really good!

Friday, June 19, 2009

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday


Here are my 5 Things I Can Live Without for this Thursday that deal with groceries and grocery savings.

  1. vegetables and fruits that go bad in the refrigerator before we can use them - I thought I had a pretty good system for using these up but I cleaned out the refrigerator on Wednesday and found quite a few items that had rotted and were no longer useful
  2. expired coupons - wouldn't it be great if they never expired? - it seems that when an item goes on sale, my coupon has just expired - is that happening to anyone else?
  3. freezer burn - we bought 1/2 a cow last year and the remaining hamburger meat has gotten freezer burned - ugh!!
  4. stale potato chips - my 5 year old never seems to close them back up - I think I may need to just invest in individual bags or separate the big bag into ziplocs when we bring it home
  5. watermelon rind - we have been enjoying watermelons so much here lately - wouldn't it be nice if the rind was just as juicy and sweet as the rest of it?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for June 14-20

This is our weekly menu plan for this week. We're back from our camping adventure and now it is back to working at home (plus a few days of training at school).

Sunday - eat at Mexican Restaurant

Monday - BBQ chicken, fresh green beans from the garden, new potatoes, fresh corn on cob

Tuesday - Grilled hamburgers, frozen fries, salad

Wednesday - Fresh pork roast and rice, butter beans, sliced tomatoes, creamed corn

Thursday - Fried fish, coleslaw, cheese grits

Friday - Spaghetti, garlic bread, leftover green beans
Saturday - Sandwiches or breakfast food

For more summer eating this week, visit Menu Plan Monday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coupon Organization

I recently got an email requesting information on how to find out about the way I organize my coupons. I thought I had posted that information on this blog (it being a grocery savings blog and all), but I was wrong. Actually that information is on my declutter blog, since I used a declutter day to go through my coupons and find a way to get and keep them organized. I love this way. Read more about it here.

I am also going to include the spreadsheet format (in my sidebar) so that those who are not proficient with spreadsheets can access one that is already started. I'll include a page on the spreadsheet with instructions on how to sort it and how to add more lines as needed (quick way).



Let me know if you have questions or problems, because hopefully I'll be able to address those on the instruction page of the spreadsheet.



Update: I haven't been able to find a way to publish the spreadsheet where you can access the file and use it for yourself from the sidebar. I'll be glad to email it to you if you'll either comment or send me an email through my profile.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Money Saving Monday


What are we doing this week to save money on our grocery bill? Well, this week will be easier in some respects and harder in other. We are really busy this week with swimming lessons and vacation bible school. The easy part is that since we are camping out, we will have to keep to our menu (since that is what we'll have). The hard part is that I have to be really, really organized and be sure that we have everything we need so we don't have to make extra runs to the grocery store. I still think one of the best grocery savings techniques is to stay out of the grocery store.


So here are my goals for this week:


  1. One trip and only one trip to the grocery store

  2. Buy only what is on the grocery list and only put things on the list that are necessary for this week

  3. Plan meals around food that we already have

  4. Use real plates (stop buying the paper plates - even for the camper)

  5. Decrease paper towel usage - this has been hard for me - I can use a roll a day. We've purchased cloth napkins and more dish cloths which has helped, but I need to try even more to limit our dependence on these. They are so expensive!!

For more Money Saving Money, visit Beautiful2God.

Weekly Menu Plan for June 7-13


This week we will be camping out at our old house. Boo has swimming lessons and bible school and camping there makes us closer to these activities. Our weekly menu won't change much except that we will probably do more crockpot meals and meals that are quick and easy to get together because bible school starts at 6:00 p.m. I am also going to be adding a little more detail to our menu starting this week because our exchange student will start checking these menus out. We wanted her to be aware of the things that we generally eat.

Don't forget to stop by on Thursday to join up to my new meme entitled 5 Things I Can Live Without at my decluttering blog.

Now for this week's plan:

Sunday - Ham sandwiches, twice baked potatoes, leftover salad
Monday - Boneless, skinless chicken thighs and yellow rice, coleslaw, sweet pickles, saltine crackers
Tuesday - Creamy Crockpot Ham and Broccoli (recipe from Current's Fix and Forget: 50 Crockpot Recipes), sliced tomatoes, watermelon slices
Wednesday - Grilled hot dogs, leftover coleslaw, baked beans
Thursday - Crockpot roast, potatoes and carrots, biscuits or rolls (whichever we already have)
Friday - Fresh pork and rice, peas, steamed cabbage
Saturday - Leftover buffet


To see what everyone else is eating this week, visit Organized Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Money Saving Monday


Sometimes just having a plan can save us money. In my Google Reader this morning I noticed that Beautiful2God has a meme entitled Money Saving Monday. In this meme, she lists ways that she can save her family money during the week. I really like that idea so I am linking up this week.

Here are my plans for saving us money in the grocery store this week.


  1. Stay out of the grocery store. Here lately it seems that this is truly the best way for me to save my family money in any category - just don't go shopping.

  2. When we run out of bread or milk, make a list and send my husband. He is very good about only getting what is on the list. He doesn't look down any aisles for good buys or sale items. He grabs what is on the list and gets it done.

  3. Remember to thaw out the meat for the next day's meal. I don't know why I let this slide. I know that each night at supper we are going to need to eat again the next night. Like Nike, just do it.

  4. Keep the dishes clean. Do you know that lots of families tend to go out because the sink is full of dishes? Ours does. Who wants to cook a meal when you haven't cleaned up from the previous one? Use your dishwasher as the sink. Clean it out and then put all dirty dishes in it as they become dirty. Another tip that my grandmother always lived by (and they never ate out) was to wash the pots and pans all along during the preparation. When the meal is done, there are very few items left to wash and clean up is a snap.

  5. If we have a craving (or as we call it - a hankering) for something, put it on the list to have next week. Don't run out to the store to buy just one item, and especially don't go to the grocery store just for tonight's meal. I tend to buy too much if it's right after work. Of course, we have to add snacks for my 5 year old and all of us are thirsty.

So now I have a plan albeit a small one. I'm going to print this out and tape to my refrigerator door as a reminder of my plan for the week.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for May 31 - June 6


We didn't stick too close to our menu plan for last week. Lots of changes were made to our week and we just rolled along with them. I decluttered my freezer space inside today, so I now know what I have available for us in these locations. I am going to try to spend very little this week and eat some of the things that we already have. I have seen numerous posts lately about eating out of the freezer and pantry, and this needs to be done at our house - to save money and the food that is getting older.

Here are the plans for the week:

Sunday - eat out (Mexican Restaurant) - my husband took us out to eat since I was still not feeling well and he's cooked all weekend so he was ready for a break, too

Monday - Fried, cubed pork chops, leftover field peas with okra, boiled new potatoes

Tuesday - Chicken and yellow rice, sweet pickles, cabbage slaw

Wednesday - Pancakes and sausage

Thursday - Crockpot roast and potatoes (I may buy some carrots for this and may not), collards (from the garden), yeast rolls

Friday - Chicken with fettucine and peppers, fried okra, garlic toast

Saturday - Chicken strips, sweet potato fries, corn on cob

For breakfasts this week, we will alternate between oatmeal, sausage biscuits, cereal, and eggs, toast and grits. Lunches will consist of sandwiches with soup or salad and leftovers.

To see other menu ideas, visit Organized Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Also, plan to join in with my new meme this Thursday at my declutter blog, 5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday


Here are my 5 Things I Can Live Without for this Thursday.
  • Internet coupons that don't print correctly - I lost 2 this week by a printer jam and by not getting the bar code printed on it for some reason - then you can't get back to it to print again once the limit is reached
  • cleaning out the refrigerator - I have put this off so long that I'm growing more than science experiments. I think I have enough mold growing in there to provide antibiotics to a small, third world country
  • washing all those dishes after cleaning out the frig. Don't you hate this part? I think this is why I put if off so long. My mother-in-law used to invite over for dinner and as I was washing up the dishes she would clean out the frig. I thought those dishes would never end.
  • thinking of all the money I have wasted in the last year on groceries that spoiled
  • containers that don't have lids - am I the only one who can never find the lid to the container that I have just put leftovers in? I know it was there yesterday. It fell out of the cabinet on me.

For more 5 Things I Can Live Without, visit Declutter a Little Each Day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In-Season Recipe Swap - Saving Money by Using Our Garden


This week I was going to participate in the In Season Recipe Swap at Tammy's Recipes, but I didn't realize that lettuce was the main ingredient last week. I'm just a week behind, so what? I decided to post the recipe and link to the lettuce post anyway. This recipe is one way that we have been incorporating our home garden and saving money on groceries. All of the veggies in the recipe came from our garden except the onions (ours aren't ready yet).

I got this idea from a friend's party that we went to several months back. Someone fixed a layered salad and it was awesome. I decided to replicate the salad using what I had harvested from our garden. We had several items that needed to be eaten and this is what we did with them.

Our Garden Layered Salad

Lettuce (red and green leaf)
Tomatoes
Onions
Green peppers
Banana peppers, fresh not pickled
Crumbled bacon (I cheated and used the prepackaged kind)
Mayo
Sugar or Splenda

Put each of the first 5 items in order into the salad in layers. Sprinkle in bacon bits and cheese. Cover the top with mayo. Sprinkle mayo with a little sugar or splenda. I used about 3 small packets of splenda and it was great. Note: There aren't any measurements because you make to your taste.

Frustrated with Our Stores!!

I am so frustrated today. I went to our local Piggly Wiggly to buy a few items that were on sale through today. I had done my research and gotten my Internet coupons printed only to learn that they don't accept Internet coupons. I wanted to shout, "Could you just move into the 21st century, please?" I had already found out a week or so ago that our local Dollar General Store also doesn't accept these coupons. So I am so frustrated. I have wasted my time researching the sales, wasted more time printing the applicable coupons, and wasted my time shopping in their store. ARGH!!!!

Is anyone else having this issue? Is there any recourse for this? I know they don't accept any of the coupons from the card that you refill. They probably haven't even heard of such.

Don't get me wrong. I love the internet coupons because I can search for what I want that I know is on sale and then just print as needed. I think this store is really missing out on getting some good deals for their customers. I really don't feel as though I can just say I'll never return to that store. Driving elsewhere would cost me more than the coupons would save me AND THEY KNOW IT!!

Thanks for listening to me vent. I'm through now. Until the next time I run up on this and then I'll be frustrated again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for May 24-30

This week is our last full week of school (for the kids) and graduation is over. I'm hoping that it will be a little slower this week. We still have t-ball and plenty around the house to get done. This is what we're planning to have:

Sunday
eat at friends' home - more birthdays in our circle of friends
Monday
Fried turkey breast, sweet potatoes, speckled butter beans
Tuesday
Grilled hot dogs, cucumber salad, broccoli salad
Wednesday
BBQ Chicken Packet (found blog hopping the weekend), potato salad, collards from garden
Thursday
Crock Pot Roast, new potatoes from our garden, Italian green beans
Friday
Hot wings, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw (cabbage is ready in the garden)
Saturday
Fajitas, Spanish rice, refried beans, salsa and chips

Stop by my declutter blog and join my new meme on Thursday entitled 5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday.

For more weekly meal plans, visit Organized Junkie each Monday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Link A Thon at Momdot

I joined a Blog Link A Thon a week or so back at Momdot and part of the agreement for joining was to post the blog thinks on each of our blogs. They will be doing this every month or so. Watch for it and if you didn't get your blog listed in this one, maybe next time. These are some awesome sites, so check them out. Please let them know that you saw them in the Link A Thon.

1. http://www.notalwayscharming.com/
2. Fairy Blog Mother
3. Crazy Adventures in Parenting
4. Engineer a Debt Free Life
5. Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Girls
6. Good Golly Miss Blondie
7. SavvySuzie
8. For The Love of Baby!
9. http://lovemy2dogs.blogspot.com/
10. Blessings Abound
11. Coupons, Deals and More
12. Hairstyles For Girls
13. http://www.thedivinemissmommy.com/
14. A latte in the morning
15. KiddiesCorner Deals
16. 3 Kids and Us Mom Blog
17. The Ohana Mama
18. Coupon Queens of Laurel Run
19. Today’s Journey
20. http://confessionsofahousewife.com/
21. My Charmed Life
22. http://www.doublebugs.com/
23. http://3boys1girlandadog.blogspot.com/
24. New Sue Review
25. Suzanne Calling
26. Just For Me…and You
27. Time Slides By
28. Babes and Kids
29. Declutter a Little Each Day
30. Grocery Savings for Real Families
31. Life Starring Ellie and Eve
32. So Cute Crafts
33. Brea’s Mommy
34. Are Muffins Just Ugly Cupcakes
35. It’s A Beauty Filled Life
36. The crazy suburban mom
37. Donna’s World
38. Momma’s Gone Over the Wall
39. Mommy’s Quiet Time
40. Joyce (Saving My Cents)
41. My Trendy Tykes
42. The Not-So-Blog
43. Confessions From HouseholdSix
44. SiPPyCuPSand FiNGerPriNTS
45. http://www.couponmommie.com/
46. http://www.crackersandchaos.blogspot.com/
47. Giftfully Simple
48. Just For Fun
49. Digital Mommy
50. Me And Craig
51. Parenting Princesses
52. http://mylastshredsofsanity.blogspot.com/
53. Inside My Head
54. Petit
55. My Love Lucy
56. FreckleBox personalized gift
57. Baby Lulu Dress
58. Blog 4 Mom
59. 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
60. Jolly Mom
61. My Life My Journey
62. Maman And Gourmand
63. http://jessmalexander.blogspot.com/
64. The POSHpreneur
65. A Blog of Goodies
66. Christy aka The Write Gal
67. LookWhatMomFound
68. Peanut Butter & Smelly’s Dad
69. Lucy
70. Angry Julie Monday
71. The Mogul Mom Blog
72. Angela
73. Deal-ectible Mommies
74. Christy’s Creations
75. Lisa
76. http://www.booksnboys.blogspot.com/
77. Wannabe Supermom
78. Thre Craft Momma
79. Internet Toddler
80. http://lifeisasandcastle.blogspot/
81. Kristen of La Dolce Vita
82. Cranberry Fries
83. http://www.mud-bug.com/
84. The Mom Buzz
85. http://nightowlmama.blogspot.com/
86. Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls
87. Mommy Cracked
88. EclecticBird
89. Mama Mentor
90. Moomettesgram’s Musings
91. Moomette’s Magnificents Reviews
92. Moomettesgram’s Favorite Recipes
93. Diaries of a Domestic Goddess
94. Go Graham Go!
95. NerdFamily Things
96. NerdFamily Blog
97. Making Money Keeping Money
98. NerdFamily Food
99. Flying Giggles & Lollipops
100. http://themorrisbunchblog.com/
101. http://www.simplybeingmommy.com/
102. A Kindred Spirit’s Thoughts
103. Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House
104. D-Lo’s Lounge
105. Free Sample Freak
106. What Mommies Need
107. Mom of 2 Boys, Wife of 1
108. icefairy’s Treasure Chest
109. Cheaper Than Therapy
110. Therapeutic Reviews & Giveaways
111. Lily Bean Designs
112. Dirty Diaper Laundry
113. Dance Momma
114. JamericanSpice
115. Mombalance
116. A Pocket Full Of Buttons
117. Ordinary and Awesome
118. Reviews and Giveaways
119. Subjective Beauty
120. Tales From A Shopaholic Mommy
121. Mommiemayhem
122. IE Mommy
123. http://blasianbabynotes.blogspot.com/
124. Amber Woodward
125. Grammy Janet’s Place
126. Outnumbered 3 to 1
127. ShimmerMeBlue
128. Dev’s Favorite Giveaways
129. Joyful Money Saving
130. 1stopmom
131. A Modern Mama
132. PourSomeSugarOnMe
133. Fancast
134. Lollipop Baby
135. Lola & Ben
136. idoby2celebrants
137. Sue Jackson
138. Cackleberry Kids
139. Gifts By The Stars
140. Jemma
141. Handmade Kids
142. Ollie Rose
143. Babasfarmlife
144. Banquet Manager
145. Monkey’s Momma
146. This Mom Can Shop
147. EcoLabel Fundraising
148. Divine Chaos
149. baby kakes ink alphabet onesie
150. tee from recycle me
151. http://lizzie-q-homemaker.blogspot.com/
152. marla mandell bread (5/17)
153. ozone socks 5/15
154. Belly Bumps to Baby Hugs
155. Hip T
156. ThenComes Baby
157. Homemade Gourmet
158. Fresh Pure and Simple
159. MomDot Mom Blogs
160. MomDot Mom Reviews
161. Bloggers Give Charity
162. Organic Baby Resource
163. Potamus Prefers
164. The Army Wife
165. Through Hazel Eyes
166. Frugal Rhode Island Mama
167. Just Jingle
168. And Twins make 5!
169. Frugal Plus
170. Christie
171. What Happened To My House?
172. Miracles on Mama Street
173. Heck Of A Bunch
174. Blog Designs by Susan
175. mommy23monkeys
176. Hanna
177. Got Kids Need Valium
178. Womb At The INNSANE
179. Katie & Kimble Blog
180. http://adventuresofastayathomemom.com/
181. The Frugalicious Mommy
182. Penny Pinching Diva
183. Another day. Another thought or two
184. Beauty4Moms
185. http://www.evilflu.com/
186. Little Miss Julia
187. Mrs Zeee
188. Cheryl
189. Frazzle Dazzle SuperMom
190. Florida Mealtime Savers
191. Inspiration Station
192. Mommy’s Kitchen
193. Saving with MamaNordy
194. Saving SAHM Sanity
195. A Little Piece Of Perfect
196. Nodin’s Nest
197. Lil Miss Eco
198. Laryn Strickland
199. HeatherMama
200. The Gerber Babies Blog
201. WhateverSuccess
202. Women Who Win
203. http://theburbblog.com/
204. Happy Healthy Families
205. Sweeps4Bloggers
206. dramaqueensmum
207. The Mom Trap
208. Multitasking Mama
209. Mama Michies Musings
210. Little People Wealth
211. Belly Beyond
212. Kim Kihega
213. Mom Fuse
214. Juanita
215. Adopt a Do
216. On the Refriderator Door
217. Christine
218. Little Diva
219. My Household Junk
220. I’m Here….Really
221. http://greer5intexas.blogspot.com/
222. mary
223. http://www.nicolesnickels.net/
224. Lori Newman
225. http://kris-jay-caity-izzie.blogspot.com/
226. Debb
227. Shawn Ann’s World
228. Peke Moe -NZ made baby sleep sacks
229. A Simple Kinda LIfe
230. Sweet Serendipity
231. Bouncing Off The Walls
232. Jane Loedding
233. Msbuildingupdabenjamins
234. Msbuildingupdabenjamins
235. Msbuildingupdabenjamins
236. Musings from Me
237. Veronnica
238. The Adventures of Miss V
239. Mudd Kids
240. Mom Most Traveled family travel
241. Relishing the Dirt
242. Good, True and Beautiful
243. http://frugallivingandhavingfun.blogspot.com/
244. The Last Blog on Earth
245. A Wrestling Addicted Mommy
246. Rae
247. http://www.thesidelinesoflife.blogspot.com/
248. Dore’s Diaries
249. Blog by Donna
250. Lisette
251. Pillaging With Buffie
252. Mom of Faith
253. GODSOWN
254. flutterbyechronicles
255. shelley
256. Life In A House Of Blue
257. kristen
258. Alex the Fey Thriller Series
259. MamaCheaps!
260. Donalacasa
261. A Jewish Journey
262. http://learningtogetherhandinhand.blogspot.com/
263. BethinNC
264. Stuttering Shell
265. Don’t Blink
266. Life is Sweet
267. Lisa
268. http://www.sahmsue.com/
269. m.e (cathie)
270. Run DMT
271. Princess Ratbag
272. Michelle G
273. http://www.nathansfight.com/
274. Moody Mama Says
275. Laurie Ann
276. Cooking During Stolen Moments
277. A Simple Walk
278. Vanessa
279. middleagedmom
280. Ramblings Of A Wannabe Writer
281. Oh My Baby
282. Fordcast Sunny
283. Lisa Miller
284. http://www.thedivinemissmommy.com/
285. Bibs & Cribs {very cute stuff}
286. My Lil’ Budget Book
287. Misadventures in Baby Raising
288. My Mommy Said
289. Milk & Honey Mommy
290. Milk and Honey Mommy
291. Amy O’Neal
292. Parenting Children
293. A Girl And Her Life
294. MarieLynn Boutique Blog
295. Born Fabulous Boutique Blog
296. The Pitter Patter Boutique
297. Stephanie Deese
298. Brea’s Baby Boutique Blog
299. digiscrapping.net - Heather Manning
300. Kids Activities Blog
301. Two Little Whales Cloth Diapers & More
302. 3 boys & a dog
303. Karen ~Georgia Angel
304. http://mynotsohurriedlife.blogspot.com/
305. Shannon Blogs Here
306. A Virtuous Woman
307. Secrets of a Southern Kitchen
308. Dreamer
309. Lollipop Book Club
310. Mommie Daze Virtual Baby Shower
311. Heck Of A Bunch
312. MomSaves4U
313. Barely Domestic Mama
314. http://www.babylovingmama.com/
315. Professional Family Manager
316. Kathleen
317. Coaching The Family
318. Frugal Creativity
319. Easy Being Green
320. Dandelion Bubbles
321. Shelly aka The Attic Girl
322. Foxtoybox-Discovery Toys
323. http://beauty4moms.blogspot.com/
324. Colleen - Mommy Always Wins
325. Playground for Parents
326. World of Discovery
327. http://andbabymakesfourperrine.blogspot.com/
329. A Little Bit Nutty
330. Mahayla’s Mommy
331. Mommy Goggles
332. The Shopping Mama
333. If I Could Escape . . .


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

These are My 5 Things

Over at Declutter A Little Each Day, a new meme has been started entitled 5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday.

Here are my 5 things:
  1. Stores that won't accept Internet coupons (this is so aggravating when you get to the counter and find out that your savings aren't what they should be).
  2. Bogus coupons from the Internet (this is probably why those stores don't want to accept the coupons because they have been cheated at some point).
  3. Expired coupons (do they expire too fast or what?) - it seems that the item goes on sale just after the expiration date.
  4. Newspapers that don't include all the coupon ads - ugh!
  5. Leftovers that spoil in the frig because I forgot about them (I really need to get a better system for this - any ideas?).

Head on over and leave your list. See what others can live without.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for May 17-23

This week is going to be a real bear with high school graduation activities plus t-ball, we don't have a spare night that something isn't going on all week. Just thinking about is making me stressed. We're going to keep things easy, easy, easy this week.

Sunday - eat at friend's for birthday celebration
Monday - Senior/Faculty Party - eating there
Tuesday - Ribs (only because we had taken them out for Sunday pm and then changed plans), potatoes, squash
Wednesday - Hot dogs, baked beans, potato chips
Thursday - Ham sandwiches, pasta salad, green salad from garden
Friday - something in the crock pot because it's graduation (I'll decide later and pick from the freezer)
Saturday - Grilled chicken, cucumber and tomato salad, corn on cob

For more menu ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday. Having a plan saves me money every week. We know what to thaw, what to buy, and what to cook and we even have the flexibility to swap around nights if that's better for us.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Best Weekly Deal

Thus far this week my best weekly deal was at my local Piggly Wiggly. I had to go in for some shredded cheese on Wednesday in order to make the enchilada casserole. While there, I noticed their Wednesday "Pig Deals." I got a 40 oz Heinz ketchup for $.99 (picked up two of them) and the Piggly Wiggly brand vegetable oil for $1.48 (picked up two of them as well). I didn't have any coupons for these items, but the prices were over 1/2 off even with no coupons.

Other weekly deals can be seen at Saving Our Cents Saturdays. Check them out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tried and True Recipes Work for Me

In my quest to save grocery money, I have made a discovery that really works for me - sticking to recipes that are tried and true.

My husband tends to be a picky eater, but my 5 year old will try anything and eats everything except beets (and he did try them). In previous weeks when I tried to plan menus, I would think that we continued to have the same old thing - chicken, hamburger, pork, chicken, hamburger, pork. I have tried to dress up these meats with new recipes. Some of which have been good, but mostly my family really likes what they like. So to save more money and utilize leftovers more efficiently, I have decided to stick mostly to the recipes that we know we like. This Wednesday that is what Works For Me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for May 10-16

This week's menu will need to consist of things that we already have because I am still working on the $30/week grocery challenge. Here are our plans:

Sunday (Mother's Day) - eat out - Mama ain't cooking today
Monday - Boston Butt slices, sweet potatoes and onions, fresh collard greens from the garden
Tuesday - Breakfast Hoagies, fruit
Wednesday - Enchilada Casserole (several of the ladies that I work with have ranted and raved about this recipe as well as this site), watermelon slices
Thursday - Grilled hamburgers, potato chips
Friday - Blackened chicken strips, corn on cob, sliced tomatoes, garlic bread
Saturday - Ribs (didn't cook this last week), potato salad, cole slaw

For more menu ideas for this week, check out Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Eat From the Pantry Challenge Update - Week 1

This week's challenge to Eat from the Pantry went pretty good for us, mostly because I stayed out of the stores. I wanted to spend $30 this week and only went over by $8 if you don't count my husband getting us supper at Hungry Howie's last night. I had a bad sinus headache and the meat for the evening wasn't thawed. When he volunteered to "do" supper, I gladly accepted.

We will be having our moms over for supper tonight and I will have to spend another $5 this afternoon. All in all, I am very pleased with how the challenge went for us. It made me more cognizant of what I was spending knowing that I would have to be accountable for it today.

Our Salsa Recipe Saves Us Money BUT...

My husband loves salsa and making it at home has been a big money saver for us! Our recipe is better than any of the jarred stuff we have found in the grocery store, but we eat out (probably more than we should) at our local Mexican restaurant and would love to be able to make salsa like that at home. The only thing we have been able to get out of them is that it is made with canned tomatoes. Here is our recipe (which seems to me to be missing something). Any idea what? Don't get me wrong. This recipe is good but it just seems to lack something and I can't put my finger on it.

1 can of diced tomatoes (plain)
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
Jalapeno pepper rings (from the pickle aisle) - usually 5-8 - depending on how hot he wants it
Fresh cilantro
Garlic powder or minced garlic - cover the top with the powder or a good Tbsp of the minced kind
Lemon pepper seasoning - probably 2 tsps
Salt and pepper to taste

We put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend away. Then salt to taste.

By the way, my husband loves the salsa, but I love the guacamole. Any of you have a wonderful recipe for that?

I have linked this post up the Tempt My Tummy, so head on over for more recipes.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan for May 3 - 9

With only a few dollars left in my $30 a week challenge, I'm going to have to get creative with this week's menu. I do have quite a few things in the freezer, the pantry and on hand. Now it's just a matter of putting together what I have to make meals.

Sunday - Ham salad (made with leftover ham, cream cheese, and mayo) - it's very similar to this recipe except I add a little bit of mayo to make it more spreadable, boiled eggs, green salad

Monday - Hamburger Helper (haven't decided on the flavor yet - it was on sale a few weeks ago at our local grocery), fresh broccoli from my garden, rolls

Tuesday - Swanson Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (didn't have this last week), noodles, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday - Boston butt slices, green beans, consomme brown rice

Thursday - Hot dogs, baked beans, slaw, potato chips

Friday - Grilled leg quarters, mashed potatoes, speckled butter beans, creamed corn, deviled eggs, pecan pound cake (this will be our Mother's Day feast for our moms - I'm being treated to a trip to the beach on Sunday)

Saturday - Ribs (loved the way this recipe looked), baked potatoes, salad or slaw (whichever is left from the week)


Visit Menu Plan Monday at Organized Junkie after 11:00 p.m. Eastern Sunday for more meal plans and ideas.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Okay, so I have found some good deals but I have spent more than usual this month. So starting tomorrow, I am joining in on Learning the Frugal Life's Pantry Challenge. I would like to spend no more than $30 a week on groceries this next month. I have plenty of food in the freezer, pantry and even a few items coming along in the garden so this challenge shouldn't be too hard. I'll keep you updated.

Another Great Deal for This Week

I know this is a grocery savings blog, but I had to share with you the best deal I have found all week. We are getting a new bedroom suit and we needed king size sheets. I happened to notice that a Target was directly across the road from the furniture place so we went in to get a few items that had been listed on some other blogs as sale items (Kraft mayo, Kraft salad dressing, Quaker snacks, 100 calorie snack packs, etc.). I decided to take a detour through the linens just to see what was available and am I ever glad I did. I found 450 thread count king size sheets (with 4 - not 2 - pillowcases) for $35.98. These had been marked down $20. I got two sets since my preschooler is still at the age that we have an accident or sickness occasionally.

We stopped by Wal-Mart on our way out of town for some cat food (he's very picky and only eats the Wal-Mart brand) and I decided once again to detour through the linens. I found sheets there for $35 but they were 250 thread count.

I'm really excited about the new furniture, but I'm ecstatic about my savings for the linens.

To see more exciting deals for the week, visit Getting Ahead.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Walgreens and CVS Deals This Week

I've mentioned before that we don't have a Walgreens or CVS in my small rural town - only a grocery store and a locally run pharmacy (non-chain). However, on Sunday we ventured into a large town about an hour and a half away to look at some furniture and stopped in at both a Walgreens and a CVS. Since I'm relatively new at this couponing thing, I didn't have any register rewards or extra care bucks that could be used. Here's what I was able to get.

Walgreens:

3 12pks of Diet Mtn Dew (for the hubby) $11.00 with $3 RR
1 8pk of Brawny Paper Towels $6.49
2 Mazola Extra Virgin Olive Oil at $3.49 each (these were almost twice that at the grocery store)
1 Reynolds Wrap 20 sq feet $.99
2 Aquafresh Toothpaste $1.99
2 Colorsilk Hair Color Products $1.99
3 General Mills Cereals $7.00 - $1 coupon

Total Out of Pocket Expense with Tax $42.95

Walgreen coupon savings: $9.40
Walgreen advertised savings: $16.37
Mfg coupon savings: $1.00
Total savings: $26.77


CVS

2 cans of Pringles marked down to $.75 minus $1/2 (made these $.25 each)
2 Crest toothpastes at $1.99 minus 2 $.75 coupons (made these $1.24 each) plus earned $2 ECB
2 Zooth toothbrushes on sale for $1.99 each minus Buy 1 Get 1 Free which subtracted $3.29 the original amount of the toothbrush (made these $.35 each)
1 Always Infinity on sale for $4.49 minus $1 coupon (made this $3.49)
2 All Laundry Detergent - buy 2 for $7.49 minus $.35 coupon and $.45 coupon (made these $3.35 each)

Total Out of Pocket Expense with $15.78

My receipt says that I saved $23.26.

Okay, ladies. I am hooked. I can see now how couponing can save you quite a bit of money. I did much better this week at CVS, but even with the higher OOP at Walgreens I still feel like we got some really good deals. The paper towels alone were lower than I have seen these in quite a while. I had decided I just wasn't going to pay $10-$12 for 6 or 8 rolls of paper towels. And I paid almost twice that earlier last week for EVOO at the grocery store so I stocked up even though I didn't have a coupon for it.

I can see where this couponing can be addictive. My husband kept asking how much more toothpaste did I think we needed. LOL! I tried to explain that this had to last until we had coupons that were just as good and a sale just as good. By the way, all but one of the coupons that I used were set to expire on 4/30. Not only did I save money but I got rid of some of the coupons that weren't going to be good much longer.

I do realize that I could have saved a little more if I had broken it up into 2 transactions at each place. I decided to forego the 2nd transaction at Walgreens because my little one had just had enough of shopping (you know what I mean) and then I didn't even realize that we were going to get any ECB at CVS. Those items were just on sale and I had good coupons, too.

Weekly Menu Plan for April 26 - May 2

This week I am going to challenge myself to spend no more than $30 for groceries. That will include trips for milk, bread, etc. This may be a little difficult because on Tuesdays and Thursdays (our t-ball nights) I am trying to feed 7 people instead of just 3. We have invited my little one's grandparents over each night before the game (or after as the case may be on this Thursday). We call him "Boo" so I may refer to him at times by that name. Anyway, here's the plan.

Sunday - Grilled cheese sandwiches, Tomato Soup (or I may try this recipe) - freeze leftover soup for later in the week

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Campbell's Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings, Field Peas, Fruit Salad

Wednesday - Quick Beef and Rice, Steamed Cabbage, Biscuits

Thursday - Swanson Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, Ceasar Salad, Garlic Bread

Friday - Easy Hodge Podge Soup (this recipe is from the ebooks available from my blog - I have listed this one below) - I'm going to use any leftover tomato soup and vegetables from earlier in the week instead of the canned items that it calls for

Saturday - Grilled steaks and hot dogs, roasted potatoes, salad


Easy Hodge Podge Soup
1 lb Hamburger
1 Chopped onion
Salt and pepper
1 cn (10.75-oz) tomato soup
1 cn (16-oz) mixed vegetables
1 cn (16-oz) kidney beans
1 Box (14.75-oz) spaghetti
Brown hamburger and onions. Drain excess grease. Add tomato soup and half a
can of water. Stir in vegetables. Run knife through spaghetti to cut strands. Add
to soup mixture. Bring to boil, simmer 15 minutes.

For more Menu Plan Monday, visit Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Best Deal of the Week

As I've stated before, we don't have any drug store chains like CVS or Walgreens here in our small town, but this week I found my best deal at our local pharmacy. They were having a buy 2 for $1 sale for the month of April. Here's what I got:

2 bathroom wipes
2 kitchen wipes
2 acetominophen caplets (60 each)
2 ibuprofen caplets (30 each)
2 sinus headache PE caplets (18 each)

I also got some calcium antacid (50 tablets) for $1 and 2 children's acetominophen chewables (30 tablets) for $1 each - these are nearly $4 at other stores.

They had lots of other cleaning and medicinal products on their new $1 aisle.

For more weekly deals throughout the week, visit Saving Our Cents Saturday.

AND THE WINNER IS...


Tara and Minding Momma. Since I don't have either one of your emails and couldn't access them through your profiles, please email me through my profile and I'll send the two ebooks right away.

Congratulations and thanks to all who entered.




Photo courtesy of Fotosearch.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for April 19-25


These are the plans for this week.

Sunday: Ham, rice with pork backbone (my mother-in-law cooked this for us), leftover potato salad, sliced tomatoes

Monday: Baked flounder, cheese grits, baked beans, fresh pineapple slices

Tuesday: Spaghetti, cucumber slices, garlic bread

Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, speckled butter beans, stir-fry mushrooms and onions, fresh sliced strawberries and bananas

Thursday: Hamburger casserole with potatoes and carrots (I'll post the recipe later as an update - this is something a lady at work cooks and she's going to get me the recipe early in the week)

Friday: Grilled chicken breast sandwiches, potato logs (oven fried), marinated tomatoes and cucumbers (the tomatoes at our local produce market have been wonderful)

Saturday: Fried venison steak, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, steamed baby okra

Oh my! My mouth is watering already!

To see other wonderful meal ideas for this week, visit Menu Plan Monday at Organized Junkie.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for April 12-18

This week is going to be a bit of a struggle for us. We are starting t-ball and have several practices and games coming up. I also want to try and stay out of the grocery store. I've scoured the frig, freezers and cabinets and here's what we'll be having.

Sunday lunch - Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, cookies
(we had lunch with the grandparent and decided grilling would be easy for after church)
Sunday dinner - Grilled chicken fajitas, homemade pico de gallo, tossed salad
Monday - Leftover hotdogs, chips, sliced cucumbers
Tuesday - Pork chops and consomme rice with mushrooms, field peas, corn bread
Wednesday - French's Crunchy Onion Chicken, broccoli, baked potatoes
Thusday - Blackened salmon, stir fry veggies, leftover coleslaw
Friday - BBQ pork sandwiches, oven fries, fried okra
Saturday -Spiral sliced ham, pasta salad, green beans

If you'd like more meal planning ideas, visit Meal Plan Monday.

I'm extending it to Friday, April 24th.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for April 5-11

Here's what we'll be having this week. I picked the Chicken and Pork Bag 1 from Kraft Foods 1 Bag 5 Dinners - see earlier post. We stopped by the grocery store on the way home from church for some milk and a few other items and found pork chops and chicken on sale. Hence, that is what we'll be eating this week. Since the Kraft site only gives 5 dinners, I had to come up with 2 of my own.

Sunday lunch: Hamburger steaks (from leftover grilled hamburgers), gravy, rice, steamed cabbage, garlic toast

Sunday dinner: Steaks, oven fried potatoes, salad

Monday: Saucy Italian Pork Chops, brown rice (tomatoes and mixed vegetables are included in pork chops)

Tuesday: Creamy Chicken Macaroni with broccoli, apple slices

Wednesday: Stove Top One-Dish Chicken Bake with Mixed Vegetables, fruit salad, relish tray

Thursday: Quick and Easy Pork Chop Skillet, scalloped potatoes, green beans

Friday: Digiorno Thin Crust Spinach, Mushroom and Garlic Pizza, salad

Saturday: Smoked ham (got on sale from our Sunday morning grocery visit for $6 - originally $21 - was marked down), sweet potato casserole, collard greens, creamed corn

If you want more menu planning ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. And don't forget to check out my giveaway that was added this week.

Share Your Frugal Links Again

I want to do another sharing post for frugal links. I know I have found so many out there and would of course be interested in more. Add your link below and be included in my recipe ebook giveaway. Be sure that your site is about frugality and/or saving money. No Adult Content, please!

Free Recipes Giveaway

I have two e-books that I have added to my site for purchase, but this week I am going to be giving both of these e-books away to two lucky winners!

To enter, you may do any or all of the following:

1. Comment on this blog post

2. Subscribe to the blog. If you're already subscribed, you have already been entered.

3. Add your link to my Mr. Linky for frugal sites (the new one for today). Please be sure that your site is a frugal or money saving site. If not, it won't count.

I will choose the winner on Friday, April 24th. Good luck.

Update: This giveaway is now closed and we have two winners.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dying Produce? Nearly Out of Date Leftovers? Use them NOW!

Do you have produce in the frig that is nearly dead? Maybe you have leftovers that have one more day before they need to be tossed. Go through your frig each day and find these things. Use them up NOW! They are already paid for and will only fill up the landfills if they go unused.

We have used this tactic this week. It has modified our menu plan somewhat but no drastically. We actually had dessert one evening because the strawberries that I bought a week or so ago were starting to mold. Not all of them, mind you. Just a few on top and in the middle. I threw the bad ones out (or to our chickens and they just loved them) and served the rest with whipped cream.

We grilled hamburgers today for lunch and the leftover burgers are going in the crockpot on Sunday with some gravy to make hamburger steaks. I'll add a few side dishes and Sunday lunch will be a snap.

Think of all the ways you may be able to use up some of those dying, decaying, nearly rotten things in your frig. We all have them so save a little money this week and use them up. Your budget and the trash guy will thank you.

One Bag and 5 Dinners from Kraft Foods


If you are in a money crunch and/or menu planning crunch, try the 1 Bag 5 Dinners at Kraft Foods. There are 4 choices of types of dinners: Chicken and Beef, Chicken and Pork, Chicken and Seafood, and Healthy Living.

Once you choose which types of dinners you want, then you have several samples within that choice. Five dinners are included with recipes and a shopping list for Monday - Friday. Everything that you need should fill one grocery bag.

We've used this before and most of the meals are good. Best of all, the service is free and you know that when you leave the store you have everything you need to cook for the week. If you're in a money crunch, try to pick dinners that include things you already have on hand.

I am going to use this site for my next week's menu planning. Check out their site and then back here on Sunday to see what we'll be eating this week.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday


For me, this is Spring Break Week and we are off from school. I have been tackling all kinds of things this week. Yesterday, it was my awful home office desk.

Today, I am tackling my kitchen cabinets. With my husband and little one helping to put away dishes from the dishwasher, I have noticed things don't always end of in the "right" place. Every thing has a place but who knows where that place may be today.

Keeping my kitchen cabinets organized keeps me out of the restaurants and fast food lanes. When I know where everything is located, it is so much easier to get started on meal at home. This tends to save us money because you all know that eating at home is so much cheaper than eating out.

What are you tackling today? If you need ideas, visit 5 Minutes for Moms.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Menu Plan Weekly for 3-29 - 4-04


Sunday - Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs (we do this a lot on Sunday evening and then eat the leftovers for lunch during the week - we usually grill some venison sausage links and eat those as well), baked potatoes

Monday - Hamburger Goulash (ground hamburger, stewed tomatoes and elbow macaroni), salad

Tuesday - Fried cubed pork chops, broccoli casserole, 3 bean salad, bread

Wednesday - Grilled chicken, potato salad (will we ever finish all these potatoes), corn on cob, fried okra

Thursday - Pancakes, leftover sausage, fruit

Friday - Fried fish (bream from the river), coleslaw, cheese grits, hushpuppies (I've been eyeing these fish in the freezer for several months and now that it has warmed up we'll pull them out and have a feast).

Saturday - Garlic lime chicken (browse toward the bottom of the link for the recipe), scalloped potatoes, sauteed spinach with garlic, bread

You can check out other menus at Menu Plan Monday over on I'm an Organizing Junkie.