Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Plan - July 31st - August 6th

I cooked two whole chickens yesterday so I spent time today de-boning them and making stock.  I love how my house smells while the stock is cooking.  Since I have meat from two chickens we will be eating a few meals with the leftover meat.  It should save me quite a bit of time since the meat is already cooked and cut up.

pancakes & bacon
minced ham & eggs
cereal/oatmeal X 2
breakfast burritos
baked oatmeal
french toast & bacon

eat out X 2
Leftovers X 4
sandwiches, chips & fruit

chicken tacos
tater tot surprise
grilled tomato basil pizza
chicken pot pie
won tons, rice & veggies
pumpkin pancakes & bacon
ribs & grape salad

CVS Trip July 31st

Total Spent $2.22
Total Saved $14.39
The magic coupon machine gave me a $2 off coupon for CVS chips so I grabbed some while I was there.  I planned on getting a Bic Soleil razor as well but they were out of stock.  I have a bunch of women's razors in my stockpile so I didn't even bother getting a rain check.

1 Gillette ProGlide razor (Reg. $10.99, Sale $9.99 - $4 Q = $5.99, Earn $6 ECB)
2 Skinny Cow candy bars (Reg. $1.19, Sale $.99 - B1G1 Q = .99, Earn $.99 ECB)
CVS chips (Reg. $2.57 - $2 CVS coupon = .57)

I paid with a $6 ECB and $2.22 (including .67 tax) OOP.  I earned a $5 & .99 ECB.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Freebie Friday- Crest, Pantene & Garnier Fructis

I got a couple great freebies in the mail this week.  Walmart sent me this great Crest package.  It contained a sample size Crest Pro-Health toothpaste, mouth wash and floss along with some coupons.  These will come in handy on our trip to Disneyland.
 I also received a sample of Garnier Fructis and a coupon as well as a coupon for a free bottle of Pantene.  The Pantene was a Facebook offer a few weeks back.  I love getting free full sized items.
Did you get any fun freebies in the mail this week?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thrifty Thursday- Target Toy Clearance

Total Spent $47.12
Total Saved $123.97
One way I save money is to buy toys ahead and save them for when we are invited to birthday parties or for gifts for my own kids.  When we get an invitation I let the kids "shop" in my stockpile for the gift for their friend.  It makes it much easier to not have to rush out to the store to find a gift and we are able to give a better gift then we would normally had I paid full price.
One of my favorite places to purchase toys is at Target during their toy clearance sale.  Twice a year in January and July Target will clearance out a lot of their toys to make room for up and coming toys.  Today was the day they marked them down to 75%.
We are pretty well stocked up so I didn't pick up a whole lot but was excited to find a couple Hot Wheel tracks.  My oldest is really into Hot Wheels so I will give him one for Christmas and save the other for our gift stockpile.
If you haven't yet, rush out to Target and see if you can find some clearanced toys.  I really wanted to get Lego's but my store only has them at 30%.  I am hoping to pick some up once they are marked down a bit more.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crafting with your Kids: Pudding Painting

The other day my boys were complaining that they were bored and hungry.  After giving it some thought I decided to let them paint with pudding.  I figured this would keep them busy for a bit and also provide them a snack.
 I started by making some vanilla pudding as per the instructions.  When it was ready I divided it into 4 bowls and added a few drops of food coloring. I then let them stir the pudding to mix in the color.  I had hid the color under some pudding so they had no idea until they mixed it that it would change color.  That was a big hit.
 Once the colors were mixed I put a glop of pudding on their hands and let them finger paint on cardstock paper.
 My little guy was the most adventurous with trying all the colors.
 Until he realized he could eat it.  After that he would add huge glops and just eat it.

Once the creations are done let them dry. 
This was a lot of fun and definitely one we will do again in the future.

Linking up to Wow Me Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Red Kidney Bean Salad

One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to get out all my salad recipes.  It is so nice to have some on had to add to sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers.  This is a simple no cook recipe that is best made the day before.
3 (16 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 pinch sugar
salt & pepper
 Mix mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
 Add onions and stir well.
 Add the celery, beans and relish. Mix.
Chill overnight.
 I served mine with sausage and apples.  It was also great the next day with my sandwich.  It is a yummy, filling salad.

Linked up to Tasty Tuesday and What's On Your Plate!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Mantel

I just realized I haven't shared my summer mantel.  I left it pretty simple and used greens and blues.
 I used the wire tree from the spring mantel as well as the cloche.  I found some cute candlesticks at a yard sale for $1 and added green candles.  I found the birds, turtles, mushroom, snail and picture at a local store called Real Deals.
 The glass jar with rocks I got as a gift a couple years ago.
 I just love the cute snail.
I am having so much fun decorating my mantel for different holidays and seasons.  Do you change the decorations on your mantel for the holidays?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menu Plan - July 24th - 30th

My oldest son starts kindergarten tomorrow.  I am so excited for him.  He picked out a backpack and has been wearing it around for a week.  I try to do a special meal on big days like that so I am going to make him a fun lunch.  The rest of the week we will be eating from our pantry.  With having family in town I wasn't able to do a full grocery shop and just had enough time to pick up the basics.

sausage, apple and cheese fritata
cereal/oatmeal X 2
eggs, toast & fruit
egg in the hole
muffins & fruit

eat out
sandwiches, chips and fruit
left overs X 5

Eat out
tater tot surprise
pork chops, carrots and mashed potatoes
meat loaf, green beans and au gratin potatoes
quesadillas & fruit
roasted chicken & veggies

CVS Trip July 24th

Total Spent $3.87
Total Saved $25.24
Transaction #1
3 Softsoap Foam (Reg. $3.49, Sale $2 - $1 Q = $1, Earn $3 ECB when you buy 3)
1 Renu contact solution (Reg $9.99, Sale $7.89 - $2Q - $5.89, Earn $6 ECB)
My total came to $9.96 ($1.07 being tax).  I used a $7.99 ECB from a previous transaction and paid $1.97 OOP.  I earned a $3 and $6 ECB.

Transaction #2
1 Papermate pens (Reg. $2.27, Sale $1.99, Earn $1.99 ECB)
1 Kotex U Tampons (Reg. $4.89, Sale $3.49 - $1 ECB = $2.49, Earn $2 ECB)
My total came to $4.48 ($.42 is tax).  I paid using a $3 ECB from transaction 1 and 1.90 OOP.  I earned a $1.99 and $2 ECB.

Save Mart Trip July 24th

Save Mart:
Total Spent $26.99
Total Saved $27.85

I ran to the store this morning to pick up milk eggs and bananas and came across some great meat deals.  If you notice...I forgot the milk.  :(
Jif To Go Peanut Butter (Reg. $2.69- $2.29 Q = .40)
2 Nabisco Crackers (Reg. $2.49, Sale $1)
2 dozen Eggs (Reg. $1.79, Sale $1.50)
Bananas (Sale $1.61)
Cube Steak ($4.39, Clearance $2.95)
5 Fryers (Reg. between $5.18 & $4.89, Clearance between $3.18 & $2.89)
Sausage Links (Reg. $1.69)
2 Johnsonville Ground Sausage (Reg. $3.99, Sale $2.99 - $1 Save Mart Q - $1 Mfr Q = .99)

I also had a $1.50 off $15 purchase store coupon which brought my total down to $26.99.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Target Trip July 22nd

Total Spent $3.49
Total Saved $22.00

I made a quick trip over to Target to look for a fan.  While I didn't find the fan I was looking for I did find a great deal on a pair of jeans for my husband.
Levi's Jeans (Reg. $24.99, Clearance $6.24 - $3 Target Q = $3.24)
Scotch Tape (Sale $.50 - .50 Target Q = Free)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Freebie Friday

I got some great freebies this week in the mail.  I received a Glad Odor Shield with Febreeze garbage bag and 5 $.50 off coupons from Vocalpoint.  The garbage bag smelled really good and cut down on garbage odors.  I also received a full size box of Fiber One 80 cereal and 10 $1 coupons to share from Pssst.  It is really tasty cereal.  My boys have been choosing to eat it for snack.
 Target sent me a coupon for a free 8 pack of Jif To Go Peanut Butter.  I also received a sample from Fiber Choice along with a $2 coupon.

Thrifty Thursday

My friend and I were able to get away for a couple hours last Saturday to hit some yard sales.  I found a great yard sale with several Baby Gap items for $1/piece.  They were the perfect size for my little guy.  I also found some sweats for my big guy.
 I got a big white sheet to make my little guys Halloween costume.  He wants to be Zero from the movie "Nightmare Before Christmas.".  I also found some red and white stripped material.  I will use this to make some of the pirate hats for my oldest son's birthday party.  He has requested a pirate theme.

I also got a candle stick, two reindeer decorations, several Cars cars, finger puppets, a Sesame Street felt book, two books and a big boat.
I won't be able to go to any yard sales this week due to having family in town but I hope to be able to stop by a thrift store or two.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crafting with your Kids: Building a Boat

We recently bought my little guy a play kitchen.  What we had left was a big box perfect for building a boat. 
 After the boat was assembled the boys used water colors and painted the boat.  They were so proud of their creation that the played in it continuously for several days.  I just love free entertainment.
Next time we build a boat I will put the cardboard side facing out to make it easier to paint.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Target Trip July 19th

Total Spent $59.51
Total Saved $202.54

I went to Target to pick up a birthday gift and some school supplies for my son.  I was stoked when I found the summer section was marked down to 90%.  Even more excited to find that some of the stuff could be used for my sons birthday party.
Ajax dish tabs (Reg. $3.49 - .75Q = $2.74)
2 Ortega taco seasonings (Reg. $.69 - $1/2Q = .19 each)
Ortega taco shells (Sale $1.50 - $1Q = .50)
dozen eggs (Reg. $1.19)
2 pillows (Reg. $2.50 - $2 Target Q = .50 each)
clear shower curtain (Reg. $2.34 - $1 Target Q = $1.34)
Ice Cream maker (Reg. $29.99, Clearance $2.99)
9 Salad Plates (Reg. $1.79, Clearance .17 each)
3 bowls (Reg. $1.79, Clearance .17 each)
4 tumblers (Reg. $1.99, Clearance .19 each)
32 water bottles (Reg. $1.99, Clearance .19 each)
Doll (Reg. $24.99, Clearance $12.48)
2 Hot Wheels Cars (Reg. $1.07 - $1 Target Q = .07)
Dive Sticks (Reg. $9.99, Clearance .99)
2 Soccer Balls (Reg. $6.99, Clearance .69 each)
Golf Caddy (Reg. $5.99, Clearance .59)
Ball Set (Reg $7.99, Clearance .79)
3 Spider Balls (Reg. $2.99, Clearance .29 each)
7 Tune Wands (Reg. $2.00, Clearance .20 each)
Foam Rocket (Reg. $2.00, Clearance .20)
3 decorations (Reg. $2.00, Clearance .20 each)
3 pr boys underwear (Reg. $6.59, Sale $5)
Boys socks (Reg. $6.49)
2 white glue (Reg. $.20)
2 pkgs glue sticks (Reg. $.40)
Copy Paper (Reg. $3.49)

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to freeze bell peppers

I recently received these bell peppers in our CSA (community supported agriculture) basket.  I didn't have the need for them in my weekly meal plan so I decided to freeze them to use at a later date.

Start by washing and drying the peppers.
 Cut the peppers in half and take out the seeds and stems.
 Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the peppers for three minutes.
 Place peppers in a bowl of ice water for three minutes to cool them quickly.
 I am going to use them for fajitas so I cut them into slices.  You can also leave them in halves. Place the peppers on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for a couple hours to flash freeze.  Make sure they are laid out so they won't stick together.
 After a couple hours take them out and put them in freezer bags.  Suck out as much of the air as you can using a straw.  Label the baggies with the date and place in freezer.
When you are ready to use them just pull out the amount you need and thaw.

Linking up to Tasty Tuesday and What's on your Plate!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Serving Tray Redo

My mom purchased this serving tray at a yard sale recently for a dollar.  While she liked the style of the tray, she didn't like the color and how scratched up it was.  I offered to fix it up for her.  I decided to repaint it and line it with scrapbook paper.
 Once the piece was clean and dry I painted it with two coats of primer.
 Before I painted a final coat I figured out the placement and measurements of the scrapbook paper.
 I used my paper cutter to cut the paper to size.
 I painted two coats of satin black spray paint.  I didn't bother with the middle since it would be covered with paper.
 The size of the tray is longer then standard scrapbook paper so I had to use two sheets.  I painted on Mod Podge and laid the paper down.
 I smoothed the paper out to make sure to get all the air bubbles out.
 I let the piece dry for a couple hours then spread on a thick layer of Mod Podge over the top.  It goes on white but will dry clear.
 I think it looks great in my moms new kitchen.  I just wish I had one for myself.

Menu Plan - July 17th - 23rd

This week lettuce was on sale 3 heads for 99 cents.  That is one of the best prices I can find it so I decided to plan a lot of salad meals to help keep our grocery budget down for the week.  We also have family coming in town at the end of the week.  We tend to eat out a lot when we have visitors.  Not sure if it is just easier or if it is because we are always out and about at meal times. 

Monkey Bread and Cantaloupe
Eggs and Toast
Waffles and Fruit
Sausage Balls and Eggs
Muffins and Sausage Balls
Pancakes, Bacon and Bacon

Eat Out
Left over salad and fruit
Left over pizza
Tuna Sandwich and apples
Left over salad and grilled cheese sandwich
Left over Spaghetti

Cobb Salad
Hash browns, Bacon and Eggs
BLT Salad
Baked Spaghetti, French Bread and Salad
Eat Out
Cook Out

Friday, July 15, 2011

Freebie Friday

I didn't receive very many freebies in the mail this week but I was able to score some other freebies.
This Swiffer Duster is the one mail freebie.  I have been using it for a week and really like it.  So much easier then my old method of dusting.  Even my boys enjoy dusting with it.
 Border is running their summer reading program.  Read 10 books get a free book.  Fill out the form here with the books you have read and take it into the store to receive your free book.  This is for kids 12 and under.

My husband is a coffee drinker. While I don't drink coffee I do try to get him coffee as cheap as possible. One of our favorite places to get coffee is Cost Plus World Market.  They have a great program where you buy 6 bags of coffee then you get one free.  What makes the deal even better is on Wednesdays each bag you purchase counts as two.  So if you purchase coffee on Wednesdays, you only have to buy 3 bags before you earn your free one. 

What fun freebies did you score this week?