Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Favorite Things Tuesday

One of my most favorite things is the free genealogy software, called Personal Ancestral File (PAF), that the Latter-day Saints gives away. I have bought and used other software, and this one is just as good or better than those that I have tried. I've used it for years and I have never had a problem with the software. Not only that, but I can download it on any computer and easily reinstall it if my computer crashes. If I help anyone with their genealogy, they can download the software for free and I can send them a file that they can open up on their machine to add to it. For a small fee (less than $10), you can download the charting companion to use with the free software. It makes beautiful Martha Stewart type family trees that you can frame or give away as presents.

For more "Favorite Things," check out Sarah's blog at Fiddledeedee!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Myrtle Beach

We have decided to go to Myrtle Beach for a family vacation in October. We have never been but always wanted to try it out. We also got a fantastic deal on a hotel through Priceline. Has anyone been there or know anything about the area? What are the best things to do with three young children? Any good restaurants? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I've been tagged! Seven random things about me...

Brenda over at Queen of Good Intentions tagged me to write 7 random things about myself. The rules are to share 7 things, tag 7 others by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment so they'll know they've been tagged.

  1. I will work hard to learn something (read the directions/instruction manuals) if I think it will make life easier in the future (allow me to be lazy).
  2. I’m a Sci-fi nerd. I love to watch Star Anything (Trek, Gate, Wars, the list goes on). My favorites now are Stargate Atlantis and Eureka. If you throw in a little romance/comedy with the Sci-fi, I am in heaven. I have a difficult time enjoying Reality TV. The only one I like, and only for the final show, is the Biggest Loser. I married a man exactly like me which makes life great.
  3. When I am sick, I usually don’t look sick. When I met my husband’s family for the first time, I had bronchitis but they thought I was just antisocial. It did not bode well for future relations…
  4. I love researching genealogy. Not just my own but anybody’s. And if you have a tragedy/love story/evil ancestor, it is even better. Since I do research for a living, I am really, really good at it. I can usually find a needle in a haystack. I could probably find your great-great-grandfather in under ten minutes or tell you where to look.
  5. When I was a teenager, I was a caricature artist at a theme park.
  6. I worked for Congress for two years (in DC) and I hate, hate, hate politics.
  7. I took pictures (proof) of my kids having fun at daycare (which they had/have a lot of) so they can’t blame me for all their problems when they are teenagers because I sent them there. I know, working mother guilt…

I tag the following blogs:

Michelle at Leaving Excess
Justine at Justine's Grocery Brags
Maria at Thrifty Ways and Ideas
Marcy at Stretching a Buck
Carrie at Shoplifting with Permission
Dealdad at Dad of 2 Boys
Shynea at Penny Pinching Diva

Can't wait to read about everyone's randomness!

BTW, if you don't want to do this, it's cool too! It just seemed like fun to me!

Think Thin to Lose Weight

Here is my kind of post...just thinking about exercise makes you lose more weight! Gotta go...got some sit-ups to think about!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bakugan at Toys R Us!

Do you have a Bakugan fan at home? Does your little darling regale you with intimate detailed knowledge on the habits and traits of each Bakugan...to the point that you just nod your head numbly and say, "Oh, yes, that's really cool..."? Well, Toys R Us is having a sale on a Bakugan Arena for $29.99 until October 4th. It may be a good time to stock up for Christmas. If you have had to search for a Bakugan, you know that they are often difficult to find in stock.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Great Trip to Publix 9/25/08

Since I am leaving town for the weekend (going to see my brand new niece in Philadelphia), I decided to do a quick trip to Publix to use up some of my soon-to-expire coupons. The nice thing about only having thirty minutes to shop is that you have to follow your list exactly and don't have time to look for other deals, thus I probably spend less.

Here is what I bought:

10 Bird's Eye Voila Meals, regularly 4.99, BOGO
-9 Blinkie Qs $1.25/1
-1 MF Q $1/1
Final Price: $1.27 each

6 Johnson & Johnson Buddies Soap, $1.09
-2 MF Qs $3/3
Final Price: .09 each

6 Muir Glen Tomato Sauce, .85
-6 IP Qs $1/1
-1 Publix Q $1/2
Final Price: -.32 overage each

5 Kraft Salad Dressings, $2.69
-5 B3G1 Kraft Products (Kool Aid for the 3)
Final Price: Free

3 Crystal Light Drink Mixes, $3.50
-3 B3G1 Kraft Products (Kool Aid for the 3)
Final Price: Free

24 Kool Aid Packets, .20 each

4 Ocean Spray Juices, regularly $3.49, BOGO
- 2 MF Qs $1/2
- 2 Publix Qs $1/2
Final Price: .75 each

5 Smart Balance Spreads, $2.59
-5 Blinkie Qs .75/1
-5 Publix Qs $1/1
Final Price: .84 each

8 Dole Fruit Gels/Parfaits, regularly $2.07, BOGO
-2 MF Qs .75/1
-2 MF Qs $1/3
Final Price: .60 each

Pam Spray, $2.99
-MF Q .50/1 Doubled
Final Price: $1.99

Total before sales and coupons: $149.36
Coupons: 66.45
Sales: 44.07
Total savings: $110.52
Tax: $7.55

Final OOP: $38.84 (saved 74%)

It's a good day when you save more than twice what you spend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WFMW: MyFamily.com

I have always loved technology and will fiddle with any software or computer until I master it. So when my first son was born eight years ago, I found this new/cool website to build a family site to share pictures. It is MyFamily.com and is wonderful!! I pay around $100 a year for this private family website that is accessible by all my family with their own individual IDs and passwords. It also has an email account for each individual. One of the great features is that it has information on every one of the members including address, birthday and phone number. Thus, when you need to send a present or want a phone number, you just log in and get the info. The site will also email you when someone's birthday is near and when anything is added.

The page stores tons of information. I have the capability of uploading up to 8.6 GB and could purchase more if I need it. There are sections for pictures, recipes, family history/tree, family calender, chatting, and a file cabinet. I am sure there are other sections I could add but those are what we use. Any family member can post on the page. I currently have over 350 family recipes entered. You can search by a key word for recipes or pictures. So when I want to cook aunt Zelda's recipe, I take my laptop to the kitchen and just pull it up. In the eight years we have had the page, my family has added over 2,200 photos, and I still have plenty of room. I have even added videos and recordings of my children speaking. It has brought family members from all over the United States and Europe together. When someone has a baby or is ill, we all have instant access to the information or pictures. What is interesting is that my husband's family connected to me through a family tree, and I have access to their MyFamily.com site as well. When I want to post something like a picture, I can post to their website at the same time. It is very cool. Paying for this site is truly worth it!

For more tips and tricks, head on over to Works-For-Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sam's Club Auction

Did you know that Sam's Club has an auction site? Neither did I until my cousin mentioned what a great deal he got on a television by bidding at Sam's Club's auction site. It takes a bit of looking to find the link on the main page but it is there under featured services. So if you are a member of Sam's Club, check it out. You can look if you are not a member, just not bid.

MFT - Recipe Edition

It's Tuesday, and time for My Favorite Things! This week we are sharing a favorite recipe.

Crockpot Cranberry Turkey


Not only is it YUMMY - it's easy! You can use chicken breasts as an alternative to the turkey. I'm sure that I got this online but have lost the link as I just added the recipe to my family website.


Turkey Breast or Turkey Legs
1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce
1 pkg of dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup of orange juice
salt and pepper to taste


Put turkey in crockpot, mix rest of ingredients and pour over turkey. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. I fill the crock to the top with meat and double the mix and we have leftovers to put in freezer. I also make gravy out of the sauce and put over mashed potatoes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Redbox Free Code for 9/22/08

Monday's free Red Box movie rental code is CR654D. It will work until midnight tonight.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Coupons in People Magazine

While waiting for a Dr.'s appointment, I was reading a new issue (Sep. 22) of People. It turns out that on page 117 there are five high value coupons. When you purchase People's Magazine's Best and Worst Dressed issue (on sale as of the 19th), you can save on the following:

$2/1 New Vaseline Clinical Therapy moisturizer
$2/1 Ragu Pasta Sauce
$2/1 Hellmann's Mayo
$2/1 Bertolli Pasta Sauce in a Pouch
$2/1 Korr Rice or Pasta Sides

So if you enjoy People Magazine, this could be a great deal!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chocolate Chip Crispy Cookies

If you are like me and have a stash of free or nearly free cereal through couponing or CVS, here is a great recipe for you! I actually got this recipe long before I started my adventure in aggressive money saving. I was a technology teacher and the home economics teacher was always having bake-offs with her students. Her classroom was across from mine. As teachers, we got to sample the finished products and vote on the winners. This was one of them that I liked so much that I got the recipe. It just so happens that one of the main ingredients is Rice Krispies.

Chocolate Chip Crispy Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 In small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2 In large mixing bowl, beat together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add flour mixture, mixing until combined. Stir in Rice Krispies cereal and chocolate chips .
3 Drop by level tablespoons onto cookie sheets coated with vegetable spray.
4 Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove immediately from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks. Allow to cool before eating for crispness. Store in airtight container

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harris Teeter Triple Coupon Trip 9-18-08

We desperately needed coffee at our house (think walking zombies without it) so I was very happy that Harris Teeter's triple coupon weekend started today! I found out two important things today at my H.T. lunch time trip. One, you don't need to purchase two products to get the sale price, and two, you can only use three like coupons per trip. I had a nice cashier but a hovering manager who made me aware of the latter.

However, I did leave with some great deals. The triple coupons go through the 21st if you wish to do the same. Here is what I purchased:

3 Folger's Coffee (have you noticed that the sizes of their coffee bricks have shrunk!?), regularly 3.99, on sale $2.50
-3 MF Q's .25/1, tripled
Final Price $1.75 each

3 Large Dole All Natural Fruit, $2.39
-3 MF Q's .55/1, tripled
Final Price .74 each

Lipton Tea Bags 16 ct, $1.19
-MF Q .50/1, tripled
Final Price - Free

4 Ortega Taco Seasonings, $1.29
2 MF Q's .75/2, tripled
Final Price .17 each

Small Coffee Mate, $1.99
-1 MF Q .50/1, tripled
Final Price .49

2 Bumble Bee Pink Salmon Packets, regularly $2.49, on sale $1.99
-2 Blinkie Qs $1/1
Final Price .99 each

3 Spaghettios, regularly $1.19, on sale 3/$2
- 1 MF Q .40/2, tripled
Final Price .27 each

1 Nesquick Chocolate Syrup, 2.19
-MF Q .50/1, tripled
Final Price .69

3 Lg Green Tabasco Sauces, regularly $3.49, on sale $2.99
- 3 MF Qs .50/1, tripled
Final Price $1.49 each

Total Before Coupons & Sales: $59.19
Coupons: 31.63
Sales: 8.54
Final OOP: $19.02 (Saved 68%)

Pumpkin Pointers

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving! Here are some great tips on using pumpkins as they will soon be all over the grocery stores. Do you have any great recipes for pumpkins? I am always looking for new ones to try!

*Don't Eat Jack! Field pumpkins -- the kind sold for carving Jack o' lanterns -- are bland and watery compared to the sweeping array of other pumpkins and winter squash varieties sold specifically for eating. For baking and cooking, choose from sugar pumpkins or cheese pumpkins, or other winter squash such as butternut, acorn, delicata, Hubbard, kabocha or dumpling -- all are similar in texture and flavor and can be used interchangeably in recipes.

*Puree Your Pumpkins! So how do you turn a thick-shelled squash into a pile of puree ready for pies, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream, soups and sauces? It does take a bit of time, but it's super simple! Cut the pumpkin in half or quarters and scoop out the guts and seeds. Now you can either bake it at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about an hour or microwave it on high for about 7 minutes per pound, until the pumpkin flesh is soft. Let it cool enough to handle it, then scoop the flesh out of the shell. Puree it in the food processor or push it through a sieve and it's recipe-ready!

*Save those Seeds! Picking through those pumpkin guts is worth it in the end for a big bowlful of toasted seeds for snacking. First rinse the seeds in a colander and blot them dry with paper towels. Toss them on a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and the spices of your choice. Try chili powder, ranch dressing mix, lemon pepper, curry powder, Cajun seasoning, cinnamon and sugar, or just plain salt. Roast them in the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Backpacks at Target

Just FYI, Target has their school backpacks currently 75% off. I picked up a couple for about $4 each. These were the nice ones with wheels. There were other theme ones (like Spiderman) for around $3. It's a good time to stock up for next year's back to school season.

Taking a Larger View of Our Current Economic Circumstances...

In a time when all we hear in the news is how bad our economy is and how low the opinions of Americans are concerning our future, it is nice to read a different point of view. Check out Millionaire Mommy Next Door's recent post.

Funny Politics

Regardless of what party you are, you will enjoy this...too funny.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What I would have looked like in 1968!

Here is an interesting activity! Go to YearbookYourself.com and upload a front-facing photo of yourself, and they quickly turn it into yearbook photos that span decades, showing you hairstyles and clothing styles that you might have worn if you graduated in any of those years.

I did this yesterday and since Economic Endeavors mentioned it today, I thought I would share!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CVS Deal Scenarios for week of 9/14/08

Transaction 1:

Excedrin Express Gels (20-ct.) at $3.99, GET $3.99 ECBs (limit 1)

Aleve D Sinus & Cold or Sinus Headache at $3.99, GET $3 ECBs
$1/1 Aleve D printable
or -Aleve MF Q .75/1, exp. 10-31-08

Purex at $2.99, GET $1 ECBs
$0.50/1 Purex Laundry Detergent, exp. 10-31-08 (SS 8/10/08)

-CVS $2/10

Total before coupons: $10.97
Total after coupon: $7.47
ECBs Earned: $7.99

Transaction 2:

BUY $10 of CoverGirl Cosmetics, GET $3 ECBs (limit 1)

Covergirl Wetslicks at $3.99
-2 BOGO Cover Girl Lip Product, exp. 9-30-08 (P&G 8/31/08)
-2 $1/1 Cover Girl Product, exp. 9-30-08 (P&G 8/31/08)

-CVS $2/10

Total before coupons: $15.96
Total after coupon: $3.98
ECBs Earned: $3.00

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Saturday Morning Baking - Cinnamon Rolls! Mmmmmm...

Do you need something yummy to cook on Saturday morning? Here it is! This recipe is fantastic! It has a five star rating on Allrecipes with over 2,000 reviews. My husband's office demands that I make it now for special occasions when they all bring in food. My sister uses this recipe with the same response. My picky eater kids love, love, love this!

Here it is:

Clone of a Cinnabon
By Marsha Fernandez

* 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 2 eggs, room temperature
* 1/3 cup margarine, melted
* 4 1/2 cups bread flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

* 1 cup brown sugar, packed
* 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
* 1/3 cup butter, softened

* 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.

2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

3. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together with mixer until smooth the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Harris Teeter has a Great Promotion!

Honestly, I didn't even know that my Harris Teeter had a pharmacy. It is tucked away on the far wall and is about the size of a postage stamp. However, after I got their e-mail with their current promotion, I took the opportunity to find the pharmacy. Right now you can get a FREE $25 Gift Card with your First Prescription PLUS Save $10 off your next Harris Teeter purchase, for EVERY prescription filled through September 30, 2008!

So this is what I bought after I filled my prescription, of course!

10 bags Chex Mix, $2.69, BOGO
-2 IP Qs .60/1 doubled
-8 MF Qs .50/1 doubled
-$4 Pillsbury Promotion buy 10 get $4 off
Final Cost: Overage of about .10 each

6 Pringles, regularly $1.39 on sale .99
-2 MF Qs .30/3 doubled
Final Price: .79 each

5.7 lbs Ground Beef, on sale $1.59 per lb
Final Price: 9.08

2 Cantaloupe, $3.99, BOGO
Final Price: 2.00 each

2 16 oz Strawberries,
$3.99, BOGO
Final Price: 2.00 each

3 Red Bell Peppers, regularly 2.99 each, on sale .99 each
Final Price: .99 each

8 Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, 1.79 BOGO
- 2 IP Q's $1.10/3
-1 MF Q .50/2 doubled
Final Price: about .50 each

Large Tropicana OJ, regularly 5.29, on sale 4.89
- 1 MF Q $1/1
Final Price: 3.89

Gallon of Milk, 3.59

Pork Spareribs, on sale 7.22

Pork Spareribs, on sale 5.42

Also used:
-$10 for filling prescription
-$25 Gift Card

Total before sales and coupons: $117.78
Final OOP after sales, coupons & gift card: $16.00
Also got a CRT for $3 off next purchase

$10 off of $40 Coupon at Walgreens!

Go HERE to print your coupon. It is good for Friday, September 12th and Saturday, September 13th. It's a good opportunity to purchase the rebate items if you have not already!

Free TV Shows on iTunes!

iTunes offers 10 select TV show episodes in HD. Note, you will need to have newest iTunes 8 installed to play these episodes and be able to click the links.

Available Shows:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WFMW: Julienne Peeler

Works for Me Wednesday

Several years ago I wanted to cut down on the carbs that we eat. While researching recipes online I came across someone who absolutely loved their julienne peeler (which I had never heard of). If someone cared that much about a product, I decided that I would have to try it. So I found it at Bed, Bath and Beyond but you can order one on Amazon. It is fantastic. I was not a lover of zucchini but I became one with this product. It slices up like spaghetti. Once you have sliced up your zucchini, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasonings (I use a rub for fish that I got at Costco which is wonderful) and bake in your oven at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

For more great tips, check out Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How I Used $4.16 Three Times!

I thought it might be fun to trace my spending and see how long I could spend the same amount of money. So here is how it happened.

On Sunday at Walgreens:

First Transaction:

Crest Mouth Wash, 4.59 - MF Q .75/1
Final OOP: 4.16
This produced a $4.50 Register Reward (Walgreens' money)

Second Transaction:

5 Newspapers, .95 each
Total 4.95
Used my $4.50 RR
Final OOP: .45

From those newspapers, I took out the Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamer's coupon ($1/1). I actually got six of those coupons as there was an extra insert in the papers.

Publix on Monday:

Final Transaction:

7 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamer Peas, regularly $1.80, 50% off - 7 IP Q's $1/1, making them each overage -.20 (had another coupon from the delivered paper at home)

5 Muir Glen Tomato Sauce, .85 - 5 IP Qs $1/1 making them overage of -.15 each

Bag of Pretzels, 2.39 - 1 MF Q .75/1

1 Uncle Ben's Ready Made Rice, 1.95 - Free Mailed Coupon

Freezer Pops, 2.39, Penny Item making them .01

Total before Coupons: $25.76
Total after coupons: .13 plus tax. (and an exclamation from the young cashier saying she had never seen that before!)

Thus, my original $4.16 bought Mouth Wash, Newspapers, and 6 packages of Vegetables, as well as multiple deals in the future from the many coupons in last Sunday's paper. I love this game.

Monday, September 8, 2008

FREE Redbox Movie Code for 9-8-08

Monday Free Red Box Movie Rental Code is 99ZA7Q. It will work until midnight tonight.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

It's Super Savings Saturday time over at Money Saving Mom, so I thought I would post my shopping adventures on Friday. All this for under $70!


Here is what I bought:

2 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamer Corn, regularly $1.80, 50% off - 2 IP Q's $1/1, making them each overage -.20

2 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamer Peas, regularly$2.40, 50% off - 2 IP Q's $1/1, making them each .20

2 Berry Burst Cheerios, 4.29 each - 2 Mailed Free Coupons, making them free

2 Silk Soy Mochas, 2.69 each - 2 IP Qs $2.25/1 making them .44 each

2 Avocados, 1.50 each

3 Sarah Lee Breads, $2.00 - 3 MF Q Free Item making them free

5 Muir Glen Tomato Sauce, .85 - 5 IP Qs $1/1 making them overage of -.15

Total before coupons and sales: $37.99
Total OOP after coupons and sales: $5.71 (85% savings)
Check out Fiddledeedee for other great Publix deals.


Unfortunately you can't use coupons at Aldi's but they usually have the lowest prices on produce and staples which rarely have coupons.

Here is what I bought:

2 dozen eggs, 1.29 each
1 bag of apples, 3.89
3 cans Tuna, .57 each
1 Moo Tubes, 1.89
Milk, 3.29
6 Cream of Chicken/Celery, .49 each
4 Cucumbers, .39 each
1 Bag of Sweet Potatoes, 1.99
Bananas, 1.53
Grapes, 2.98
1 Bag of Onions, 1.69
Celery 24 ct, 1.09
Green Peppers, 1.49
Watermelon, 3.99
2 All Purpose Flour, 1.79 each

Total OOP: $39.37


Okay, so I still had some Pop Tart coupons left, as well as a bunch of Keebler cookie coupons. Since I have two kid birthday parties coming up very soon, I decided to stock up as they are either free or extremely cheap. I took advantage of their sale, buy 4 for $9 get a $5 gift card.

So this is what I bought:

10 Poptarts, on sale 4/$9
- 5 MF Qs $1/2,
- 10 Target Coupons .50/1
(the combination of these coupons and the $5 gift cards makes these free)

12 Rice Krispies, on sale 4/$9
- 6 MF Qs $1/2

14 Keebler Cookies
- 7 MF Qs $1/2

2 Glad Freezer Bags, on sale 2.39 each - 1 Peelie Q $1/2

1 Pepsi, 1.32

Also used: $40 in gift cards from previous purchase

Total after coupons: $25.98
Total Gift Cards Returned: $45.00
True OOP: $20.98 (Total + Gift Cards Used - Gift Cards Earned)

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Husband's Favorite Recipe!

This is a man's man's recipe and I like it too!

Mexican Casserole

1 Chopped Onion
2 lbs of Ground Beef
Cream of Chicken Soup
Cream of Potato Soup
Can of Red Enchilada Sauce
1 Small Can of Chopped Green Chiles
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning
Mushrooms (optional)

Large Bag of Cheese - Sharp Cheddar

Heat oven to 375. In frying pan, brown the beef and onion, and drain. Add all other ingredients except Cheese and Tortillas. Simmer to bubbling.

Cut tortillas into bite size pieces. Grease large pan. In layers, place tortillas (sprinkle lightly with water), meat mixture and cheese. Repeat. Cheese should be the last layer added. Bake for 30-45 minutes until cheese is slightly browned.

Number Of Servings: Great for a large family or group.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

CVS Trip 9/4/2008

I haven't been to CVS in a little while since my last rather miserable trip when I got a cashier who was in a really bad mood (normally she is very nice, just not that day). However, when Centsible Savings posted her information on CVS Hidden Deals, I couldn't resist. I usually go to the college campus CVS but decided to try a different CVS today (so glad). It was a great trip. My cashier, Penny, was very nice and helpful. I made a mistake on the Colgate (bought the 6 oz instead of the 4 oz, my bad) and there were a few things out of stock, but otherwise the deals went well. I was a little fearful about the two items mentioned by Centsible Savings, but they rang up exactly as she described though they were not advertised or marked as such.

Here is what I bought:

5 Dawn Plus Hand Renewal Dish Soap, regularly $2.39, on sale .99 - 5 MF Qs $1/1 making them free
2 Goody's Powders, 1.29
1 Purex Orig 2X 50 oz, regularly 5.99, on sale 2.99 - 1 MF Q .50/1 making it 2.49
1 CVS 50 Ct Cotton Swabs, .99 - 1 CVS Emailed free item
1 Covergirl AmazeMint Lipstick, 5.99 - 1 MF Q $1/1 making it $4.99
1 Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste 6 oz, 3.29 - 1 MF Q $1/1 making it $2.29

Also used $2/10
5 ECBs

Total before coupons and sales: $32.37
Total OOP after coupons and sales: $6.53 (saving 80%)

Earned ECBs: $9.57 ($1 for Purex, $2.58 for Goody's and $5.99 for Cover Girl)
Thus, I actually paid $1.96 for all the above (OOP + ECBs Used - ECBs Earned)

Hurricane Season Shoes for the Ladies...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday Morning Funny...

This morning my three year old daughter was insisting on dressing herself. My husband complimented her saying that by her dressing herself she was becoming a big help to mommy and daddy in the mornings. She responded quickly, "Just mommy, duh!" I'm still laughing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Poptarts, Anyone?

My kids love Poptarts. I know, probably not the best food in the world, but they eat it which is a plus, and there are no trans fats. So I have been saving some coupons for them for just the right sale (preferably free). Target has a fantastic sale going on right now. It is especially great if you wanted to send in for that $10 Kellogg's Rebate. Basically if you buy four participating Kellogg's products for $9 you get a $5 gift card back. If you couple that with manufacturer coupons and store coupons, you get a really good deal.

So this is what I bought:

20 Poptarts, on sale 4/$9
- 10 MF Qs $1/2,
- 20 Target Coupons .50/1
(the combination of these coupons and the $5 gift cards makes these free)

4 Rice Krispies, on sale 4/$9
- 2 MF Qs $1/2

8 Keebler Cookies
- 4 MF Qs $1/2

1 Party Mix Cat Treats
- 1 Free Coupon

Total after coupons: $48.84
Total Gift Cards Returned: $40.00
Final OOP: 8.84

How Much Should You Spend on Food According to the Government?

Here is an interesting cost estimate as of July 2008 of what the government believes you should spend on food. The Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans each represent a nutritious diet at a different cost. The Thrifty Food Plan is the basis for food stamp allotments. None of the plans include other non-food items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc. For the liberal plan, my family of five would spend $287.40 per week. Wow. The things I could buy...Okay back to reality. The thrifty plan for my family of five would be 149.30 per week. If you added what I pay for my children's school hot lunches and throw in occasional take-out, I could probably hit the thrifty plan. I would consider our diet to be nutritious and balanced most of the time. My goal is to keep our food budget (including non-food items) between 400 to 500 per month. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I go over. What do you think of the government's numbers?

Thanks Laura!

Recently, Laura from My Road to Riches gave me this fantastic award. What an honor! Now, I get to pass it on to some deserving blogs! This is a wonderful way for fellow bloggers to show appreciation and share their own audiences and spread the word. I have really enjoyed reading other blogs and have learned so much from everyone. It is great fun for me to keep up with what other bloggers are doing, how they are doing it and their blog site designs.

This award recognizes a blog’s creativity and overall contribution to the blogger community.

Once you’ve been selected, please follow these guidelines and pay it forward:

  1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.
  2. Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it.
  3. Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
  4. The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the “Arte y pico” blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.
  5. Please post these rules.

Here are the 5 blogs I'm passing the award to:

Centsible Savings

Money Saving Mom

Queen of Good Intentions

Stretching a Buck

Frugonomics 101

Monday, September 1, 2008

In Honor of Labor Day...

Rocks In My Dryer is hosting a fun meme today. In honor of Labor Day, it's about...well, labor. To play along, leave your Mr. Linky at her post here. Hey, I'm not going to pass up the chance for some sympathy!

How long were your labors?

Kid #1, 10 hours

Kid #2, 12 hours

Kid #3, 33 minutes

How did you know you were in labor?

Kid #1, woke up in the middle of the night, got up and my water broke. It was snowing. Stopped on the way for juice.

Kid #2, knew I was in labor all afternoon, took my time to get to the hospital, very casual.

Kid #3, was watching TV at 38 weeks along, got up to go to bed, water broke, and I was instantly in deep labor with contractions one minute apart (totally out of no where). Packed #1 and #2 in the car, medical personnel met us at the door and I delivered my daughter while my husband was parking the car.

Where did you deliver?

At a hospital. Where the drugs are.


For the first two. The third was all natural, not by choice though I would probably prefer that if there was a next time.



Who delivered?

#1: My doctor.

#2: My doctor.

#3: Three nurses, pretty much caught! Crazy.