Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bargain recipe of the week- Taco mac and cheese.

Bargain Meal of the Week

I am trying to keep the recipes simple this week. Mama's are tired, tired people! The kiddos are sure to love this recipe and you are sure to love the ease of preparation! I freeze half of this and have it at a later time reducing the cost. Happy Eating y'all!

Velveeta Taco Mac & Cheese

1 lb. ground beef (On sale $1.69 a lb) $1.69
1/3 cup Salsa ( On sale Natures Basket organic salsa on sale 2.79) .47
1 box Velveeta shells and cheese (On sale $2) $2

1 package taco seasoning .80

Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in 2 and 3/4 cups water, salsa and seasoning. Bring to boil; stir in macaroni. Cover; simmer 10 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Add Velveeta; stir until melted.

Top with crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onions and tomatoes, if desired.

Total Cost of Meal: $4.96

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Tilty cup review and giveaway!!

Recently I had been asked to product review the new Tilty cup. Its a cup that is DYE Free, BPA Free, PVC Free, Pthalate Free, pure polypropylene, and is dishwasher safe. Its design is supposed to help little ones learn to drink from a sippy cup with more ease and comfort.

When I received my Tilty cup in the mail I looked at it a long time..... it has this slant in the middle of the cup. I was wondering how it would work? It didn't take me long to realize that the little slant helped babies not have to tilt their head back or to tip the cup up. I don't know about you but one of the hardest things about getting my babies to start sippy cups is teaching them they have to lift the cup up. Often they get frustrated and so does big mama!

I also see the value in using it when you are trying to teach a child to go to a big cup. They don't have to tip it in the air and there is no valve so it would leak a little. They get the idea very quickly and drink from it like a regular cup. You could easily take the lid off after a week or so with more ease than a traditional cup.

Its not fancy but it my opinion very practical. You can get a 2 pack for $6 which makes it a great value as well!

To add to my excitement the Tilty cup people have given me a 2 pack to give away! If you would like the chance to win it, just leave a comment and I will draw the winner on Wednesday! Good luck girls!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meijer bargain recipe of the week- Quick and Easy Mexican Chicken

Bargain Meal of the Week

I love recipes that take 30 minutes or less. That's just about the amount of time I have to prepare dinner without someone being attached to my leg or throwing their little body on the floor in a heap of hunger. :) This recipe seems so simple that I had to try it out... happy eating!

Check out Stretching a Buck deals here to see more deals at Meijer. I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon.

Quick And Easy Mexican Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (Meijer chicken on sale $7.99 for 64 oz) $1.92
1 cup salsa (On sale $1 W/C free!)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (Sargento on sale 3 for $6) $1
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground cumin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees .

Heat a greased skillet to medium. Rub chicken pieces with garlic, salt, pepper and cumin to taste and add to hot skillet. Cook until brown on both sides and no longer pink (10 to 15 minutes).

Transfer meat to 9 x 13 inch baking dish or casserole dish, top with salsa and cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes (until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.)

Total cost of Meal: $2.92

Add Salad (Dole on sale .98) Total cost of Meal: $3.90

Add salad and frozen veggie (On sale Meijer brand 5 for $5) Total cost of Meal: $4.90

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kids crafts: Garden Rocks!

I love my little garden. What made it even more lovable this year is that my 3 year old helped me plant almost every seed / plant! He dug holes, placed the seeds and covered them up. To mark the spots where we had planted things we put sticks in the ground.

Fast forward a couple weeks later and the sticks are hard to see if they are still there. This makes it very difficult to know what is weed and what is a new veggie springing to life.

Since I am always looking for cheap crafts for the kids to do I killed two birds with one stone. I got out my outdoor acrylic paint that is both UV and water proof and some old paintbrushes. (You can find this at any craft store and usually on sale)
I sent my three year old on a rock scavenger hunt. ((If your super lucky this will buy you 10 minutes to read that chapter in the book you have been meaning to read!)) I then let both my kids paint their rocks any color, any way they want. I won't even get into the call to poison control when my daughter decided to test some out.... yes, I could win mother of the year. Good times.....

They had a ball! I even did my own rocks and almost had as much fun!! We let them dry and then we all marched out to our garden. We removed the sticks and placed a rock by each spot we planted something. Now we know exactly where to look to see if all our hard work payed off. We also have a very colorful garden!

For more WFMW ideas vivit We are that Family!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kroger bargain recipe of the week- Grilled lemon herb pork chops

Bargain Meal of the Week

Kroger has pork loin on sale for $1.78 a lb which is an awesome price!! If your anything like me you just stand there staring at the big log of meat. The only way I have made a pork tenderloin is the way God intended... in the crockpot! So I am going to be brave, march my tushy up to the butcher and ask him to cut them into pork chops. Happy Eating!

I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand.

Grilled Lemon Herb Pork Chops

1/4 cup lemon juice .80
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 (4 ounce) boneless pork loin chops (Pork Loin on sale $1.78 a lb) $1.78

In a large resealable bag, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper. Place chops in bag, seal, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Turn bag frequently to distribute marinade.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Remove chops from bag, and transfer remaining marinade to a saucepan. Bring marinade to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill pork chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side, basting frequently with boiled marinade, until done.

Total Cost of Meal: $2.58

Add Salad (Dole on sale .98) Total cost of Meal: $3.32

Add Salad and White corn (Green Giant sale 10 for $10) Total cost of Meal: $4.32

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Teachers View- The gifts that teachers really want!

I am blessed to live next to a elementary school teacher who loves my kids and we love her!! She has multiple education degrees and is the first person I run to when I am worried about speech, development or anything learning related!! She has agreed to write a weekly post for me on some common concerns involving little ones. If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at

School’s Out for Summer!

A couple of weeks ago, Summer and I were out garage-saleing when we happened upon a house that was selling a collection of what I like to call “Teacher Gifts”, a retired teacher was selling her apple-themed dynasty. Summer asked me what teachers really would like as gifts. Here are some ideas if you are considering giving your child’s teacher a gift.

Just a note: teachers never expect gifts and it is not anything you have to do.

* Skip the apple-themed gifts. Yes they’re cute, but most teachers have enough.

* Teacher store gift cards are great as are book store gift cards. You wouldn’t believe the amount of their own money teachers spend.

* Most anything homemade, especially if it can be frozen. I like a small loaf of banana bread as much as the next gal. One of my students presented me with a whole Strawberry Pie from Bob Evans because she remembered on the first day I had told the class my favorite food was strawberries. Awesome gift because I got to share it with my family.

* Restaurant gift certificates are a welcome excuse to not cook in the summertime.

* Books, kids’ books for the classroom or something I might like to read.

* Paper or fun post-it notes. I go through a lot in a school year! Cool paper like card stock or colored copier paper are fantastic ideas.

* Something from the whole class – a planter with the kids’ fingerprints, a photo frame with all their names on it or a collection of stories from the year usually are enough to bring tears to my eyes.

* The most treasured gifts I’ve ever gotten are hand written letters from students. I’ve kept them year after year and look at them when I need a pick-me-up.

Menu Planning- Ready, Set, Grill!!!

We have been having some awesome 80 degree weather here in Ohio! It makes me want to grill! ( Well not me, but it makes me want my hubby to grill!) I am excited to get to grill and use some of my bargain recipes at the same time.. woohoo! Thank you to all those who have served our country and those families that have supported them. Happy Memorial Day!!

Monday: Italian Chicken bow tie pasta, corn on the cob, salad,

Tuesday: Honey grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, Baked potatoes

Wednesday: Leftover night- If its in the fridge you can have it but Mama's not cookin!

Thursday: Tacos, Spanish rice, re fried beans

Friday: Pizza Night

Saturday: Southern grilled BBQ ribs, beans, coleslaw, rolls

Sunday: Club samwiches, baked fries, carrot and celery sticks

For more menu plans visit !

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Giant Eagle Bargain recipe of the week- Italian Chicken bow tie pasta!

Bargain Meal of the Week

I saw this recipe and loved the simplicity of it !! It sounds yummy and quick :) Perfect for that outdoor picnic...Happy Eating!

Check out Stretching a Buck deals here to see more deals at Giant Eagle. I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon.

Italian Chicken Bow Tie Pasta

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked (On sale $1.69) $2.12
1 (16 ounce) package farfalle pasta (On sale Barilla 4 for $5 ) $1.25
1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing (On sale Kraft w/c .17) .17
1 tomato, chopped (On sale 1.99 a lb) .33

Add 2/3 cup salad dressing to the cubed chicken and stir together.

Cook pasta per package directions. Drain and rinse. Add the pasta to the chicken and dressing and toss. Pour enough dressing on to coat everything (or to your taste) and add the chopped tomato. Toss to coat. Ready to serve!

Total cost of this meal: $3.87

Add Corn on the cob ( On sale 12 for $1.92) Total cost of Meal: $4.83

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!