Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Free Jazz Sampler Download at Amazon!

If you like jazz music, Amazon has a great jazz sampler to download, Green Hill Jazz Sampler. Download the entire album to make it free.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Publix Shop 9/22/12

OOP:  $59.85  (Saving 55%)

It's not the best week at Publix but there are still a few great deals available.  Prices are good through Tuesday. 

2 Chex Mix, 1.35
--(2).50/1 Bugles, Chex Mix, Pillsbury Baguette chips or Gardettos, 4.5 oz + printable (limit reached), doubled
Final Price: .35 ea

4 Yoplait Kids Yogurt, 4 pk, $1.50
-(2) $1/2 MF Qs from inside packaging of lunch boxes bought at Target
Final Price: $1.00 ea

Milk, 2.99
-Free WYB 6 products Running In Running Out Promotion (six above)
Final Price: Free

4 Johnsonville Chicken Sausage, 3.50
-(4) $1/1 MF Qs, 07-22-12 SS
-(4) $1/1 Publix IP Qs
Final Price: $1.50

4 Kraft Sliced Cheese, 2.50
-(2) $1/2 Publix IP Qs from coupons.com
-(4) $1/1 MF Qs from tearpad found at Publix several weeks ago
Final Price: $1.00 ea

2 Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 8 oz, $1.67
-(2) .50/1 IP Qs, doubled
Final Price: .67 ea

6 Minute Made Juice Boxes (2 pictured), 2.00
-(6) .75/1 Minute Maid juice boxes, 10 pk. printable
Final Price: 1.25 ea 

2 Jennie-O Sausages, 2.99 ea
-(2) $1/1 Publix IP Qs
Final Price: 1.99 ea

2 Gourmet Garden Spices, on sale 3.50
-1.50/2 MF Q from tearpad found at cooking station several months ago
Final Price: 2.75 ea

2 Quaker Oats, 2.79
-$1/2 MF Q from tearpad
Final Price: 2.29 ea

2 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, .65
-(2) .50/1 IP Qs
Final Price: Free+

6 Momma Francesca Parmesan Cheese, 3.49 BOGO (Rain Check)
-(6) $1/1 IP Qs
Final Price: .75 ea

3 Betty Crocker Pouches, 1.19
-(3) .50/1 IP Qs, doubled
Final Price: .19

Vigo Palm Hearts, 2.09

2 International Delight Creamers, 2.50 ea
-$1/2 MF Q blinkie
Final Price: 2.00

2 Dole Pineapple, .75
-.50/2 MF Q, doubled
Final Price: .25 ea

Filippo Berio Olive Oil, 4.59
-$1/1 Publix IP Q
-$1/1 MF Q hangtag
Final Price: 2.59

2 Lays Potato Chips, 3.00
-$1/2 IP Q from Facebook
-$1/2 Publix Q from small booklet mailed to me
Final Price: 2.00 ea

Land O'Frost Premium Lunch Meat, 3.99
-$1/1 MF Q from Kroger homemailer
Final Price: 2.99

-$5/$25 Harris Teeter Coupon

Total before sales/coupons:132.28
Sales: 20.13
Coupons:  52.30
OOP:  $59.85  (Saving 55%)

Oversized Cucumbers?

This year my 11-yr-old son worked on the Boy Scout garden to earn a badge.  If you have never done Scouts with your son, I highly recommend it.  It's inexpensive and teaches your son so many useful skills!  Just so you know, you do not have to have done Cub Scouts to become a Boy Scout.  My boys have done Cub Scouts, but I discovered that everything basically starts over when you move to Boy Scouts (badges, etc.).  I was actually happy because while I did as much as a working mom could do when it came collecting badges in Cub Scouts, he did not collect them all.  

Anyway, my son focused on the gardening badge during the summer.  He would go every Saturday and Tuesday to plant, weed, and pick vegetables.  Often I or my husband would help.  It was a great learning experience for the kids and for us as we have never gardened before.  They sold the vegetables a couple of times in our small town and the boys actually earned some money.

One Saturday toward the end of summer I was helping the boys pick vegetables and noticed a whole section of cucumbers that were huge.  I asked about them and was told that they were worthless as they had become too large to sell.  I asked to take a few and was told that I could have as many as I liked.  So I took a few home and cut them up to see what they were like.  They tasted like slightly bland cucumbers, not tart.  The white flesh was thicker than the typical store bought cucumber.  

I thought there must be something you could do with them so I started researching recipes.  I discovered that this one canning recipe, Cinnamon Cucumbers, came up over and over again.  It was often accompanied with fond memories of childhood and grandmothers so I knew I had a winner.  It actually required oversized cucumbers to work.  I had plenty of those!  So I went back to the farm and picked bags of them.

Someone online recommended buying a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket for this three day process which is what I did.  In the future I will probably purchase a large stock pot that is not plastic but if these had turned out awful, I did not want to invest a lot of money.  


The first thing you have to is clean, skin and cut the cucumbers.  Some recipes have you cut them like rings, but since this was my first attempt I went the easy route.  You have to cut the seeds off the center and slice to bite size.

Put in 5 gallon bucket until it is about half full.

Mix 2 cups pickling lime and 8 1/2 quarts cold water. Pour over cucumber rings. Let stand 24 hours. 


Drain. Wash and put in cold water. Let stand 3 hours. Drain. Put in large cooking pot.

Mix 1 cup vinegar, red food coloring (used half a bottle), 1 t alum, and add enough water to cover. Simmer 2 hours. Drain. Return to five gallon bucket.

While cucumbers are boiling, mix 2 cups vinegar, 10 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 1 package red hot cinnamon candy, 8 cinnamon sticks. Bring to boil. Make sure all Redhots are dissolved.  Pour over cucumber rings. Let set overnight.

Notes: Numerous people online had difficulty finding Redhots.  Apparently Walmart carries them but I found them at Dollar Tree.  Because they were in small packages I used two the first time.  I have made the recipe three times now, the first exactly as the recipe requires.  I have found that as I boiled the cucumbers, when I doubled the vinegar and alum it turned out better.  You can find alum in the herb/baking section of the grocery store, not in the canning area).  Also the first batch did not have enough liquid to completely can all the cucumbers (probably because I had a ton) so in the next two batches I doubled the liquid (4 c vinegar, 20 c sugar, 4 c water, 4 packages red hots, 16 cinnamon sticks).


Drain off liquid; heat and pour back over cucumbers.  

Day 4

On last day, heat cucumbers in sauce to simmer, pack in jars (with or without cinnamon stick in each), and seal in water bath for 10 minutes.

These turned out great!  They taste like crunchy cinnamon apples.  You actually would not know that these are cucumbers.  This would make a great side dish, particularly during a holiday.

Here is the original recipe from Cooks.com:

2-3 gallons cucumber rings
8 1/2 qts. cold water
Red food coloring
1 tsp. alum
2 c. water
8 cinnamon sticks
2 c. pickling lime
1 c. vinegar
2 c. vinegar
10 c. sugar
1 pkg. red hot candy

Mix 2 cups pickling lime and 8 1/2 quarts cold water. Pour over cucumber rings. let stand 24 hours. Drain. Wash and put in cold water. Let stand 3 hours. Drain. Mix 1 cup vinegar, red food coloring, alum, and add enough water to cover. Simmer 2 hours. Drain.

Mix 2 cups vinegar, 10 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 1 package red hot cinnamon candy, 8 cinnamon sticks. Bring to boil. Pour over cucumber rings. Let set overnight. Drain off; heat and pour back over cucumbers. Do this for 3 days. On 3rd day, pack rings in jars; seal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For the Locals: Touch a Truck

Even my older kids love this event. Your kids get to touch trucks and climb all over inside and out. It is actually very interesting. The last time we went there were large semi type trucks that you could see the apartments in behind the driving area. I always wondered what those looked like. This is a great event to add to your calendar!

Touch A Truck
October 13th, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the parking lot of Thompson Station Church, 2604 Thompson’s Station Rd.
Kids can climb on and sound all the horns and whistles on 40 different trucks. Entertainment, crafts, prizes and concessions.
Contact for more information: 615-302-0971, ext. 16.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Sorry for no posts lately. We have been visiting family in Florida to attend my Great-Grandmother's 100th birthday party! Thought I would share one of my favorite views...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kroger Mega Trips!

I have generally not been impressed with Kroger lately but this Mega sale coupled with the Kraft catalina rocks! Now is a great time to stock your freezer with cheese. For those of you who have never frozen cheese before and think that is strange, keep in mind that all those frozen pizzas have cheese on them and you don't think twice about that cheese! Really, most of the time you can't tell the difference if your cheese has been frozen. Just fyi, the Kraft catalina rolls. Go here to see current catalinas including the one for Kraft. Below you will see three trips, the last two using the Kraft catalina.

OOP: 9.08 (Saving 80%)

All prices listed after Mega Deal applied.

Trip 1:

Mega Deals:

2 Capri Sun, 1.69
-(2) $1/1 IP Qs, NLA
Final Price: .69 ea

15 Kraft Barbecue Sauce, .49
-(5) $1/3 MF Qs
Final Price: .16 ea

2 Boulder Canyon Chips, 1.79
-(2) $1/1 IP Qs
Final Price: .79 ea

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, 1.49
-.50/1 eCoupon
Final Price: .99


Kroger Bread, .88

3 Seafood Snackers, .79
-(3) .50/1 IP Qs, doubled
Final Price: Free

Total before sales/coupons: 41.47
Coupons: 11.87
Sales: 20.52
Total OOP: 9.08 (Saving 80%)

Trip 2 & 3 Combined, Total OOP: $12.43, Saving 83% (with $7 OYNO Catalina remaining)

Trip 2:

Oscar Mayer Bologna, 1.67

7 Kraft Cheese Slices, 1.49
-(7) $1/1 IP Qs, NLA
Final Price: .49

2 Kraft Mayo, 2.49
-(2) .55/1 MF Peelie Qs (found this trip)
Final Price: 1.94 ea


Radishes, on sale .79

Carrots, on sale .79

3 Heinz Ketchup, 1.00
(3) .50/1 MF Qs, doubled
Final Price: Free

Total before sales/coupons: 39.63
Sales: 15.42
Coupons: 12.10
Total OOP: 12.11
Received: $10 OYNO for Kraft Purchases and $2 OYNO for Kraft Mayo

Trip 3:

8 Kraft Cheese Slices, 1.49
-(4) $1/2 MF Qs blinkies
Final Price: .99 ea

2 Kraft Mayo, 2.49
-(2) .55/1 MF Peelie Qs (found this trip)
Final Price: 1.94 ea

-$12 Catalina from last trip

Total before sales/coupons: 33.62
Sales: 26.20
Coupons: 7.10
Total OOP: .32 (Saving 100%)
Received $5 OYNO for Kraft purchase and $2 OYNO for Mayo. I actually purchased the wrong size Kraft slices which was not part of the catalina deal but still part of the Mega deal. The slices must weight 12 oz not 10. I tested it on a later trip and it worked fine with the 12 oz and resulted in a $10 OYNO.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Super Easy Smoked Sausage and Beans Crock Pot Recipe

I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens Crock Pot Recipe Book that I purchased at a second hand store. On a very busy day last week I tried it out, and it was a winner especially for the guys! It will definitely be added to our favorites.

Smoked Sausage and Beans

1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can great northern beans drained
1 can butter beans
1 lb smoked turkey sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 cups catsup
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t bottled hot pepper sauce

In a 3 1/2 to 5-quart crock pot combine all ingredients and mix.

Cover; cook on low 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

*The only thing I would do differently for my family of five would be to add another can of beans and a second package of sausage.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dollar Tree Now Takes Manufacturer Coupons!

Dollar Tree is now taking Manufacturer Coupons! Go HERE to view their coupon policy. I would suggest that you print it and take it with you as the cashiers may not know, which is often the case when coupon policies change. I foresee some very cheap or free soap in the future!

Link Love: How to Freeze a Year's Supply of Herbs

This was the first year that I have had a garden. Some things worked out and some not so much. I am still learning. One of the plants that worked out really great was mint. Apparently it grows like a weed and will actually take over your garden bed of allowed. One of the best parts of mint is that is will return year after year with out replanting. I have to admit that I planted it so that I could make my own Mojitos but have found many other recipes to use it in! Now that it is turning fall, I wanted to store some of the herbs that I successfully grew in my garden. Kevin Jacobs at A Garden for the House has a fantastic post about how he stores his herbs. I just love the cigar idea. Check it out!