Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mama knows best! - Uses for those Syrup Containers

Every Saturday I will be featuring Mama Knows Best series. We as mamas have to be innovative and thrifty all in the same beat. Somehow we find new ways of doing things that save us money, time and maybe if we are really blessed.... sanity!

Its for more than just Syrup
I had a great coupon for a $1.00 off Hungry Jack Syrup. They come in these handy little jugs that you can microwave. ( I was astounded when I married my hubby that he liked his syrup cold but that's another post!) When we ran out of syrup we dish washed the jug because it seemed that we could use it for something.

We found that we could indeed extend its use. We keep it in our children's bathroom. It holds a ton of water and the pour spout is perfect for rinsing children's hair without getting in their eyes. It holds so much water that you can get the child's hair completely rinsed. I know its not a big thing but it sure has cut down on tears around here!!

Got a great idea? Send me yours at . I will gladly give you and your blog recognition for your creativity as a mama!

But their so cute when they sleep!

I have 2 under the age of 3. I .... am..... tired. Most the time I function fine. I am a schedule girl. We stay on the schedule and everyone stays sane. Its getting to be so very fun now that my daughter is starting to "play" with my son. When I hear them giggle my heart does a little pitter pat dance. When she takes his monster truck, however, I just hear alot of angry noises.

There are those days that are all monster truck moments. It seems like instead of my sweater and jeans I should have put on my white and black striped shirt and whistle. And it hasn't even begun yet!! I know I am not alone. My friends and I have talked about how some days all we say is "NO!!", "Stop That!", "Use your words", "Say Please", and "You don't talk to Mama that way!". (In fact, some days I think I live on coffee and prayer alone. )

I LIVE FOR BEDTIME on those days. I look at the clock wistfully. I say to myself..... "Just three more hours! You can be a great mama for three more hours". Its around this time my daughter decides to have the blowout of the century and leave a "poo trail" throughout my living room. I want to cry. I want to laugh. I want a live in housekeeper.

Bedtime does come and that's a whole struggle in itself. My toddler has discovered the power of the "just one more" stall tactic. You know..... just one more book, drink of milk, hug, kiss. Its like a marathon just to get him into his crib. After praying and songs, I shut his door and let out a sigh. I can actually sit down for ten minutes, watch my shows, stare into space, use the restroom ALL BY MYSELF.

Its about 30 minutes after both kids are in bed that I start to miss them. Yes, you heard the crazy lady right. After the horrific day that I had, I actually long for them to be in my lap. I miss the smell of their hair. The way my daughter snuggles into my chest. My son and the way he makes me laugh until my sides hurt.

The really bad nights are when I watch a show that involves a child getting hurt, having surgery or - gasp- dying. Or my hubby and I will be talking about the kids and what funny things they did that day. It makes my heart hurt. I want to wake them up and spend time with them. I realize that I love what I do. I just needed a little break to recharge.

Its about this time that I tiptoe into their rooms and just look at them. I start to tear up as I watch my big boy suck his little thumb. My daughter as she clings to her grungy pink blanket. Until they start to stir. That's the point that I fall to the floor and remain motionless. I am not that crazy to actually want them to wake up......

Friday, January 30, 2009

Odd Lots to get more grocery items

I just got the scoop that Odd lots was getting a TON of name brand grocery items. I know what your thinking... Odd Lots for groceries? Well let me tell you that I have gotten many grocery items there and they are great! In fact they are so confident in their items that they guarantee freshness on all grocery items.

I am almost positive that they also take coupons which is extra savings for you!
Listed below are some examples of the great deals that you can check out!

Zatarain's® Rice, 8.8 oz.$1.30

Gerber® Graduates® Lil' Entrees® Mashed Potatoes & Turkey , 6 oz. $1.50

Campbell's® Cream Soups - 15.4 oz. Mushroom or 16 oz. Chicken $1.25

Campbell's® Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soup, 16 oz. $1.00

Chef Boyardee® Pasta & Meatballs, 14.75 oz. $1.00

Swiss Miss® Hot Cocoa Mix, 6 - 1 oz. packets $1.00

College Inn® Organic Chicken Broth, 14.5 oz. $0.60

Wasa® Whole Wheat Crackers, 10.9 oz. $1.70

All Seasons Ranch Salad Dressing, 16 oz. $1.50

Curad Sensitive Skin® Bandages, 30 ct $1.00

Kleenex® Tissues with Lotion, 180 ct $1.90

Hefty® OneZip® 1-Gallon Storage Bags, 8 ct $1.20

Scotch-Bright® Lint Roller, 56 sheets $2.50

Arm & Hammer® Liquid Laundry Detergent with Bleach, 50 oz. $3.50

Pup-Peroni® 50 Calorie Dog Treats, 4.8 oz. pouches $1.50

Brand Name Cereals $2.00

Party Supplies - 20-ct Paper Plates, 24-ct Napkins or 1 Table Cover

CHECK IT OUT!!! Bargain recipe- Giant Eagle

I have decided to start something new... and I think very exciting.
My girl over at Stretching a Buck is so kind to list all the deals at Kroger, Meijer and Giant Eagle each week. She outlines what is on sale in correlation with coupons. This is wonderful. I often, however, come home with bags full of great deals not quite sure how I am going to put them together for a meal.

I have decided to start having a recipe post using all (or mostly) sale items from Giant Eagle, Kroger and Meijer each week. Shortly after Marcy posts her deals, you will find a recipe using them here. I will post one recipe per store so that no matter where you shop there is a corresponding meal.

Here is my first bargain meal and its for Giant Eagle: I will not expense spices since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon. Check out Marcy's Giant Eagle deals here to see specifics.

Quick chicken and Noodles- This recipe is quick and kid friendly!!

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts ( On sale for 1.99 a lb ) $1.99
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups chicken broth ( 4 cup or 32 oz on sale for .75 w/c ) $ .38
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 oz frozen mixed vegetables, thawed ( Steamers - $1.00 w/c ) $1.00
1 (12 oz) package wide egg noodles ( On sale for $1.25) $1.25

Total cost of meal: $4.62

Add Crescent rolls ( w/c $1.00) Total Meal: $5.62

In a medium skillet, saute chicken breasts over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, or until browned. If the chicken sticks at all, you can add a little of the broth. When chicken is browned, remove from skillet and cut into 1 inch cubes. Sprinkle with garlic powder.

In the same skillet heat the broth, basil, pepper and vegetables. Bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked noodles and return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and simmer all together, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until chicken meat is no longer pink and noodles are soft. Serve.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bertolli coupons

I LOVE Bertolli bagged dinners.... I know what your thinking. Frozen bagged dinners are gross and expensive. I think that about alot of them on the market. Bertolli, however tastes like something you would order at a fancy Italian restaurant. When my hubby works nights I DO NOT COOK!! This is perfect for me and the kids and has veggies!!!

You can usually get them at Walmart for under 6.50. I just found coupons for $2 off. That's a meal for under $5.00... WOOHOO!!! Go to the site below to download your coupon. Maybe you can take the extra time you save and take a bath :)

New feature: Mama knows best!

We as mamas have to be innovative and thrifty all in the same beat. Somehow we find new ways of doing things that save us money, time and maybe if we are really blessed.... sanity!

I am going to be starting a new Saturday post called Mama knows best. I will be featuring great ideas that everyday mamas use that save them time and money.

It can be the great way you found to store baby shoes or how you organize your coupons that saves you headaches.

Send me your great ideas at

I will gladly give you and your blog recognition for your creativity as a mama!

The first post will be this Saturday.... stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WFMW - Under the bathroom sink organization

There is nothing more scary to me than what lurks underneath a bathroom sink. I am suppressing a scream right now. When my husband and I got married, I joyfully moved into the home that he purchased. I was buzzing around adding decorative touches, dreaming of our life together. I then made the mistake of opening his bathroom cabinet.

Stuffed inside I found random rolls of toilet paper, old used razors, a shaving cream can that was empty, mouthwash, rolled up toothpaste tubes in various states of use and a hammer. ( A hammer- really? ) I started to break out in a cold sweat. I had about 156 beauty products to stuff in there somewhere. How was this going to work?

I discovered that there is no better purchase for a bathroom than a tiered lazy susan and some hooks.

I use the hooks to hang hair dryers, mirrors and any other corded appliance. I use the tiered lazy susan to put all my our sprays, washes, soaps and lotions. It keeps everything we need handy. If you can't find it just give it a spin and wahlah! Its tiered so you can put the little bottles on top and they won't get lost. AND THAT WORKS FOR EVERYBODY!!

For more great Orginization ideas check out I'm an organizing Junkie!!!

Free Panera Coffee today

Don't forget to stop in a Panera near you to get your Free Coffee Today.
( If you are in Central Ohio - you may want to make sure the store near you is participating before trekking out in this weather!! :) )

I saved $75 at Kroger- here's how...

So I could hardly sleep last night. My hubby says I am addicted and I am! I used information here about the sales and coupons at Kroger. Then add the mega sale in which I got $10 back. This is what I got....

Before coupons and saving $161.13... after .................. $ 85.16!!! I am so excited.

Everything here I got for free or under .39. ( Except the cocoa and biscuits which were AWESOME deals)

The cookies -Free

The steamers- .9

The Reese's Whipps bars -FREE

The Colgate toothpaste - FREE

The Eggo waffles - .39

Suave body wash- FREE

Loreal kids Shampoo- FREE

Snapple- Free

The Hershey's cocoa- $2

A 4 pack of biscuits ( 10 in each tube) - $1.73

This was my best shopping trip so far on my coupon adventure and there are few reasons why.

1.) Don't be afraid of managers specials. I got 2 packs of cookies marked down to $1 and the expiration date was a year away!!

2.) Look for red and white tags that say CLOSEOUT. That is how I got my toothpaste, shampoo and body wash for free. They were already half off or more due to the closeout. Combine that with my coupons that double and wahlah... FREE!

3.) You have to take all your coupons with you... I know I know this is a pain in the tushy. It was the only way I got my free stuff. I didn't know what closeout deals they were going to have so unless I took everything.....

4.) You have to go down every isle. There was stuff that wasn't on my list but I got it for free. I'll take it!

Happy Shopping!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Deals you just can't pass up!!

So I have found some great deals this week. ( and I haven't even been to Kroger yet!! ) I thought I would share......


They have kids summer shorts and tops on sale for $3.50 each. I stocked up on shorts for little miss because that is a great price!

They also have Gerber Graduates on sale. I NEVER see these on sale at the grocery store. You moms who buy your weight in PUFFS know what I mean..... I also love those Gerber toddler meals for the babysitter.


Assorted MAKEUP - selected items 50 - 75 % off. Then use your coupons from the Sunday ads and its additional savings. I am talking primo stuff here. Almay powder mineral foundation, Revlon Lipsticks, Cover Girl mascara's. You name it they have it. I got a Revlon lipstick that was $7.99 for less than $3.00!!!

Ivory soaps- They have a 3 pack on sale for 99 cents. Use your Sunday ad coupon and get it for .80. That should last my husband a month... woohoo!!
Lysol- They have a buy 2 for $5. Then use your $1.00 off Lysol wipes and your .50 off Lysol spray coupons and get 2 big products for $3.50!!

Pottery Barn Kids-
Pottery Barn kids is having a huge on-line sale where items are 30 -75% off. Click here to see all the goodies!!

Coupon Codes
Birthday Express- Enter NVV-567 for $10.00 off your order of $75. Offer expires 2/9.

Don't forget to get your free cup of coffee from Panera on Wednesday!!!

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

I love getting cake and cookie mixes for free with sales and coupons. I then look at my overstuffed pantry and wonder what I am going to do with it all! This is a perfect recipe to use some of your cake mix. I made these and they are delicious.... the whole family loved them!

Click on the icon above to see more great recipes!!

Chocolate Caramel Brownies Check Spelling

1 package (18 1/4 to 18 1/2 ounces) devils food or chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup undiluted evaporated milk, divided
35 light caramels
1 cup (6 ounces)semi sweet chocolate morsels ( I use minis)

Combine cake mix and buts in large bowl; stir in butter. Stir in 1/2 cup evaporated milk ( batter will be thick). Spread half of batter in greased 13x9 inch baking pan.

Bake in preheated 350 oven for 15 minutes.

Combine caramels and remaining evaporated milk in small saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are melted. Sprinkle morsels over baked layer. Drizzle melted caramels over chocolate morsels, carefully spreading to cover chocolate layer. Drop remaining half of batter in heaping tsp's over caramel mixture.

Return to oven; bake 20 to 25 minutes longer (top layer will be soft). Cool completely before cutting.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Making a Happy Home

I found a awesome blog that features Making a Happy Home Monday. The thought behind it is that you find a spot in your house that you need to work on to make your home a little happier.... I couldn't agree more!

This week I choose to help our home entertainment system. We recently upgraded our tv stand.We went from my husbands college, missing a door ,fake wood stand to a beautiful roomy version. We had a nifty system of organization. Throw our videos in there somewhere and then shout alot when we couldn't find them. With the new stand I wanted a nice way to organize everything. I went to Michaels and bought 2 beautiful baskets. ( I used my half off coupon for extra savings).

I cannot believe how much better everything looks and this makes EVERYONE happy!

For more great happy home ideas click on the icon above.

Menu Plan Monday

The stomach bug swept through our house last week leaving in its wake.... well not alot of meals being eaten. That being said, we are repeating some meals from last week since we didn't get to them. There is a delicious taco bake that everyone in our family loves and is so easy to bake..... Have a yummy week!!

Monday: Hungarian stew over noodles, crescent rolls

Tuesday: Grilled chicken over rice, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday: Leftovers.... if its in the fridge you can have it but mamas not cookin

Thursday: Taco bake ( recipe below)

Friday: Pizza night!

Saturday: Chicken stir fry with rice and egg rolls

Sunday: Beef stroganoff, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls

Taco bake

1 lb ground beef
1 can/ package of corn
1 can dark beans
1 pack of taco seasoning
1 roll of buttermilk biscuits
Shredded cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef and drain. Return to skillet and add taco seasoning per directions on package. Add corn and beans.
Place mixture in 9 x 13 dish. Space out biscuits on top of mixture and bake at biscuit temperature.
A couple of minutes before the biscuits are fully coked, remove pan and add as much cheese as you would like. When biscuits are fully baked and cheese is melted, your done!