Friday, March 27, 2009

No Post Friday

So I had grand plans to do a post about different kinds of Easter Baskets ..... that being said my princess baby has been up screaming since 4:00am. So..... seeing as she is laying on me right now I don't think I am going to get much done today.

Please come back tomorrow as I share how I organize my coupons and different Easter basket themes / ideas.

I hope you have a better Friday than us!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Giant Eagle Bargain Recipe of the week- Beefaroni

Bargain Meal of the Week

I am going back old school for this one. No fancy recipes or ingredients but something that the kiddos will love. (I hope you do too !!) It always makes too much for my family so I make the recipe in two trays and freeze one. Then the cost of the meal is cut in half! Happy Eating!


1 pound ground beef (On sale $1.99 a lb) $1.99
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (Sargento on sale 2 for $5) $2.50
1 jar tomato sauce (Del Grosso Pasta on sale 4 for $5) $1.25
2 tablespoons butter
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked elbow macaroni (Barilla Pasta on sale 10 for $10) $1
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until evenly browned. Drain.

While the ground beef is cooking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, and stir in butter. Transfer to a large casserole dish, and mix in the ground beef, tomato sauce, and Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through and bubbly.

Total cost of this meal: $6.74 ($3.37 if you freeze half)

Add mixed veggies ( Steamfresh on sale 10 for $10) $7.74

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WFMW- Bringing Spring to my Kitchen!!

This week I have decided to share how I decorate for spring.... in my kitchen! I try to make things nice and fun for my family which means decorating for whatever holiday is coming up! In this case I try to make things look fresh and "springy" inside while the real flowers grow on the outside. It seems to lift all of our spirits!

When I had kids I started decorating more with each special occasion. My kitchen , however was left out. I could never figure out how to make my kitchen look decorated without cluttered! This is what I came up with....

I bought some plain cream canisters when I was starting out on my own. (I think I got them all for around $10) For each holiday I adorn my plain jane canisters with ribbon, twigs, leaves, shamrocks, cinnamon sticks, you name it. Birthday parties are no exception. I will take red bandanna's and tie them around the canisters for my son's cowboy birthday party. For my Daughters princess party, its pink tulle.

Its just a small ,cheap way to make me smile when I walk in my kitchen and the kids seem to like it. And making your family smile works for every mama!

For more WFMW tips from other mama's visit We are that Family!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CBS 10tv newscast

In case you missed the local news last night, here is my 2 minutes of fame :)

Be careful little ears what you hear.....

"Be careful little ears what you hear".... this is a lyric from one of my favorite new songs by Casting Crowns. It instantly sprang to mind this week with my babies.

Children amaze me. They are such little sponges. Its where the things that they absorb come from that makes me take pause.

My newly 1 year old started hissing at me this week. You heard me right, Hissing! I was changing her diaper and out it came. A hiiisssssssss. She is not a big fan of diaper changes so she was obviously expressing her dismay with the hisssssss. My first thought was where in the world did she get that from? We don't hiss at each other. We do not own a snake and we steer clear of the hissing cockroaches at the zoo. All the same I am thanking the Lord above that she does not contain venom because after 456 hisses I would be six feet under by now.

My almost 3 year old has said some of the funniest things I have ever heard this past week. Once again I am wondering where he got it from. I was complimenting him the other day about how much he helped me plant some flowers. He put his head down in mock embarrassment and said "Oh Shucks". Shucks? Ok Beav..... Then I was putting him in his bed for naptime the other day. I tucked the covers in around his shoulders and he looked up at me and said "my little body doesn't need rest".

I laughed because it was amusing to me that he said such a thing. Then it started to sink in. They are listening. To EVERYTHING. I did a mental walk through of my day and cringed. I thought of that driver that cut me off. I had little eyes and ears watching me in the backseat, trying to figure out how to treat others. They are studying our every move to see how they should act. Talk about pressure... sheesh. I think that is what makes parenting so stinkin hard. Its not just what you say to your kids. Its what you say to others, how you act and where your priorities are. Its a great reminder to me that I am accountable.

So maybe next time a driver cuts me off, I will just smile at them.

Ok, maybe I will let out a little hisssssssss too.

Meijer Bargain Recipe of the week- Marinating Chicken

Bargain Meal of the Week

The weather is starting to get warm here which means one thing.... grilling! With Chicken being on sale, we have taken this opportunity to start grilling again. I thought I would share my own chicken marinade which is so easy and cheap! Not much of a recipe but once you have it you will never by store bought marinade again! Happy Eating!

Summers Chicken Marinade

1 cup Light Italian dressing (Use the Kraft coupon on the isle tearpad for $1.50 off) .50

1/4 cup Soy sauce

3 Tbs cup lemon/lime juice

1 lb chicken ( On sale $1.99 a lb) $1.99

You don't actually have to use measurements for this recipe! I just shake the dressing on the chicken followed by the soy sauce and lemon juice and then flip chicken and repeat. It only needs to marinate for about 30 minutes. ( I told you it was quick and easy!)

Total cost of this meal: $2.49

Add veggies (Birdseye steam fresh veggies on sale $1.50) Total cost of Meal: $3.99

Add veggies and biscuits ( Pillsbury Grands on sale $1.25 w/c- .65) Total cost of Meal: $4.64

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday- Pineapple edition

This week Kroger has Pineapple on sale for $2.99. There is just nothing like a fresh pineapple!! When its on sale like this I buy a couple. I not only have it on hand as a snack, I also bake with it!! I have included my favorite recipe. Enjoy!!

Pineapple Upside down cake

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 fresh pineapple - peeled, cored and cut into rings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Melt the butter. Brush a little bit of the butter on the inside of a 9 inch cake pan.

Mix 5 tablespoons of the butter with the dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice. Place this mixture in the bottom of the cake pan. Arrange the pineapple rings on the brown sugar mixture in a decorative pattern (be creative). Set pan aside.

Stir together the flour, salt, white sugar, and baking powder.

Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until stiff but not dry.

Beat two of the egg yolks until lemony yellow. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup pineapple juice, vanilla, and remaining melted butter. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour batter over the top of the brown sugar and pineapple rings.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then cover pan tightly with a serving dish and invert so that the pineapple side is up.

For more tempting recipes visit Blessed with Grace!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saving money at the Grocery store!

If you are visiting my site for the first time- WELCOME!

I am a real everyday house-mama who is trying hard to save money, time and sanity! I post recipes, bargains, real life stories and crafts /activities for the kidlets. Many of my readers has been asking me how I save so much money grocery shopping so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you how I grocery shop.

I used to go to the grocery store and pick things off the shelf that looked good to me. I never used a coupon. I spent a fortune and got home and had nothing for a complete meal. I ended up going back a couple more times for ingredients that I needed. (Which meant more money!!)

When I decided to stay at home with my baby, I started to menu plan. I would plan out 6 meals ( We have pizza on Fridays) including meat, side dishes and bread. At first the thought of planning a whole weeks meals seemed overwhelming to me. Then I started to see how much time and money it saved me!

Since I had a list of all the ingredients that I needed for that week, I was less tempted to spend on extras. I also had everything I needed for the week, so no more wasted trips! The most wonderful part of the meal planning is the fact that I never opened the fridge and whined to my husband " what are we going to have for dinner?". Many times that whining would lead to going out to eat or eating junky food.

So here is how I do my menu planning. There is no wrong or right. Each person does it differently and you should use what works for you! Here's some tips:

-Shop the ads for the week. (For this example I will be using this weeks Kroger's sales ad.)

- See what corresponding coupons you have. There are some awesome sites such as Stretching a Buck that does the sales ads and coupons for you!

-See what you already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. So many times I have enough in my freezer that I do not need to buy meat for a week. I try to take advantage of the B1G1 roasts and the really cheap meat deals so when its not on sale, I won't spend a fortune.

- Use the most of your ingredients. If you have a recipe that calls for carrots try to plan another meal or side dish that uses carrots so there is no waste. ( I hate throwing out food!!)

-Don't buy something just because you have a coupon!!! If you won't use it, then keep movin sister!

- Get the most out of your meats. Butterfly your chicken and you get 2x as much out of it! (Your portion size will be more appropriate as well!) Do a roast and then use the leftover meats for tacos, soups and samwiches.

Here is an example of how you can shop the sales ads and coupons and save a fortune!

I would purchase these items at the store this week:
3 Cheese ( On sale $1)
Tortilla Chips (On sale $1)
Black beans (On sale $1)
Ro-Tel diced tomatoes (On sale $1)
Refried beans (On sale $1- use a coupon and they are .50 each when you buy 2)
2 lbs of Hamburger ( On sale $1.77 a lb)
Sour Cream (On sale $1)
Bread/buns (On sale $1)
Rotisserie chicken (On sale $4.99 -you get 2 meals out of this!)
Carrots (On sale $1)
3 lb bag red skin potatoes (On sale 2.99)
Salad (On sale $2.50)
Pasta ( I buy Kroger brand for .99)
2 Hunts pasta sauce (On sale $1)
4Pillsbury breads(On sale $1- use coupons they end up being .30 - .50 each!)
Pork Roast (On sale $1.79 a lb)
Kroger mac and cheese ( On sale .44)
Green Giant veggies ( On sale $2)
Milk ( I can usually find manager special for .99)

Total grocery bill: $34.27

Meal #1 - Taco salad, re-fried beans
1 lb hamburger ($1.77)
Ro-Tel tomatoes ($1)
Black beans (.50)
Salad ($1.25)
Cheese (.50)
Tortilla Chips (.35)
Sour Cream (.25)
Re-fried Beans (.50)
Total cost of Meal: $6.12

Meal #2- Rotisserie chicken, roasted carrots + red skin potato wedges w/ seasoning, rolls
Rotisserie chicken ( $2.50)
Roasted carrots (.50)
Potato wedges (.99)
Crescent Rolls ($1)
Total cost of Meal: $5

Meal #3 - Pork Roast, Mashed red skin potatoes, mixed veggies
Pork Roast ($1.79)
Red Skin mashed potatoes ($1.50)
Green Giant mixed veggies ($2)
Total cost of Meal: $5.29

Meal #4 - Homemade Chicken noodle soup, Biscuits
Rotisserie chicken ( Boiled in water and seasoned to make broth ) ($2.50)
Carrots (.50)
Celery ( I had leftover from last weeks menu)
Onion ( Also had leftover from last week)
Garlic (Found in my fridge)
Pillsbury Biscuits - (.50)
Total cost of meal: $3.50

Meal #5- Pasta with meat sauce, salad, french bread
Hamburger ($1.77)
Hunts pasta sauce ($2)
Kroger Pasta ( $1)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (.25)
Salad ($1.25)
French Bread (.50)
Total cost of Meal: $6.77

Meal #6 Shredded BBQ pork samwiches, Mac and cheese
Leftover pork from Roast ($1.79)
BBQ sauce ( From my fridge)
Buns ($1) - I can use whats left over for samwiches for lunch
Kroger Mac and cheese (.44)
Total cost of Meal: $3.23

Whew! That was loooooong! I hope it helps in some way to shed some light on my methods of saving money. My hubby used to look at me like I was crazy until I started saving 30 - 50% of my entire grocery bill!

Do you have a helpful tip? Leave a comment to share with others!

Menu Plan Monday- 3 meats, 6 meals!

I am soooo excited about this weeks menu plan. Whenever we cook I feel like we always have meat leftover that ends up going bad in our fridge. This week I am only buying 3 meats and getting 6 meals out of it!

(After stocking up on B1G on both beef and pork roasts I am really getting a great deal! We also butterfly our chicken. It makes it easier to cook and is more appropriate portion sizes.)

Monday: Pot Roast, Green beans, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls

Tuesday: Grilled chicken breast, baked potatoes, asparagus

Wednesday: Shredded beef tacos, re fried beans, baked tortilla chips with fresh salsa

Thursday: Pork roast, homemade mac and cheese, broccoli, cheddar rolls

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Chicken-tomato-basil pasta, salad garlic bread

Sunday: Shredded BBQ pork samwiches, Baked fries, salad

For more great menu ideas visit I'm an organizing junkie!

Kroger Bargain recipe of the week- Black Bean soup

Bargain Meal of the Week

This week Krogers has a ton of Mexican ingredients for $1! I found a recipe for southwestern black bean soup using most of the ingredients on sale. It sounds delicious and I am assured that it is kid friendly !!! Happy Eating!

Check out Stretching a Buck deals here to see more deals at Kroger. I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand.

Southwestern Black Bean Soup

1 pound ground beef (On sale $1.77 a lb) $1.77
1 package taco seasoning mix .99
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained .89
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, undrained (On sale Bush's $1) $1
1 can diced tomatoes (On sale Ro-Tel $1) $1
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sour cream (On sale $1 ) .25
shredded Cheddar cheese (On sale $1) $1

In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the ground beef and drain the excess fat. Add taco seasoning, and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a slow cooker over low heat, combine the corn, beans, tomatoes and water. Mix well. Add the seasoned meat and the sour cream. Raise heat to high setting and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with shredded cheddar cheese.

Total cost of this meal: $6.90
Freeze leftovers for a yummy lunch and reduce the price of this meal!