Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mama knows best - Coupon limits

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!

Oh my goodness! I have not done a Mama knows best in... forever! I just couldn't let this pass without sharing with y'all!

I was checking out at my local Kroger. I had gotten a couple of things that had peelie coupons located on them. I didn't bother peeling them off, however because they were for products that I was not going to purchase. ( It was on a pack of blueberries and was for ziplock containers) The cashier asked me if I wanted to use the peelie coupon. I explained to him that I didn't purchase the ziplock containers so I couldn't.

He then informed me that I could indeed use the peelie even if I had not purchased the second item, as long as I purchased the item that the peelie was on. He ripped it off and scanned it and sure enough I was given the discount on just the blueberries! I asked how it was possible ? He informed me that the manufacturer pays for the coupon already. So as long as you buy the product that the peelie was on they go ahead and give you the discount.

Then he goes on to tell me that they also except expired coupons because the manufacturer pays them anyway. I was so excited to learn about these two things that I just had to share!!

Do you have a money/time/sanity tip to share? E-mail me at !

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sometimes it takes a couple of sparkly bugs

If we had nicknames as mamas, mine would arguably be "The hammer". I am from the camp of with much love comes much discipline. I am a believer of bedtimes, asking to be excused, routines and using your manners. That being said, I got a lesson on breaking the rules one night with a barefoot little cherub and some bugs.

I had just gotten home from ladies group at church on Wednesday night. I snuggled with my little ones as I laid them in their beds. My oldest was last. I sat there talking to him about what we did today. What he liked and disliked, when he cut me off mid sentence. He threw his arms around my neck and told me "I missed you mama". Forget that I have been with him 6 days in a row with no break. I was gone 2 hours and he felt it important enough to tell me he missed me. I whispered into his sweaty hair that, I too missed him. We did our final bear hugs (compete with grrrs) and I closed the door.

I had changed into my jammies and was doing the final pick up in the house when a light out the window caught my eye. I stopped and saw that the back porch was being lit with the occasional lighting bug saying hello. I quickly was thrown back to a time of hot barefoot nights of glass jars and giggles. I thought of my precious one in bed and how he had probably never seen the wonder of a lightning bug. All because of the hammers bedtime rules.

I reasoned to myself that his little body needed his sleep and how grumpy he would be in the morning. Then The One who loves my precious boy even more than me whispered to my heart. "Get him up".

I found myself tiptoeing to his room. I whispered that I had a surprise for him and to follow me. We walked hand in hand to the back porch with a glass jar in my other hand. We sat quietly on the back porch steps as I tried to explain the magic of a lightning bug. His eyes lit up as he would shout " There's one!!!" and frantically point, only to see another and another. We ventured off the porch in the dusk to try to catch us a lightening bug. We never did catch one but the grass was cool against our bare feet and the air felt good against our warm skin.

We sat back on the porch, my boy and I, this time in silence. I was thinking of the fierce love for my children that was so intense it almost chocked me. I knew that I would always remember this moment. He obviously was thinking Owls. He busted out with...

"Mama, where are the owls?"

I tried to keep a very serious face as I explained that we were city folk and owls were out in the country. He pondered that for a moment then responded with " Oh yeah, they are with the wolves and coyotes" My heart almost burst with unyielding love as we sat there discussing the animals that were in the woods and country before we fell back in silence.

That is when he let out the biggest man toot and burst into a fit of giggles.

Thank you Lord for that boy of mine.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Giant Eagle Bargain recipe of the day - BBQ Pot Roast

Bargain Meal of the Week

Pot Roast is on sale this week at Giant Eagle. I love roast but it always makes me think of fall! I found this recipe and though ewwww! Everyone that has tried it says that it is AWESOME!! It has more of a summertime feel because its BBQ. I have been told to shred the leftover meat in the remaining sauce and have pulled BBQ beef sandwiches later. That two meals for the price of 1, which works for me!!

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

BBQ Pot Roast

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound boneless beef chuck shoulder steak, cut 3/4 inch thick (On sale $1.67/lb) $1.67
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup tomato sauce $.75
1 medium onion, sliced $.50
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice (On sale $1/2) $.30
3 tablespoons ketchup
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

Combine salt and pepper; rub over steak. In a Dutch oven, brown steak in oil on both sides. Add the water, tomato sauce, onion and garlic. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over the meat. Cover and simmer for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until meat is tender.

Total Cost of Meal: $3.22

Add Salad (Fresh Express on sale $1) Total Cost of Meal: $3.97

Add Salad and Veggie (Giant Eagle frozen veggies on sale $5/4)
Total Cost of Meal: $5.22

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meijer Bargain Recipe of the Week - Chicken Puffs

Bargain Meal of the Week

I look for several different things in a recipe. I like it to be somewhat kid friendly. I don't care for ingredients that you have to search high and low for and when there is not 105 ingredients! This recipe meets all my standards and I think it sounds awesome!! I hope its as yummy as it seams! Happy Eating Y'all!

I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon.

Chicken Puffs

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed (On sale $2/lb) $2
3 tablespoons chopped onion .25
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 (8 ounce) package cream cheese $1
6 tablespoons butter
3 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough (On sale $1.50) $1.50

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, slowly cook and stir skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, onion and garlic. Cook until onions are tender and chicken is lightly browned.

In a medium bowl, blend chicken mixture, cream cheese and butter until creamy.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Unroll croissants and divide in half to create 12 rectangles. Place approximately one tablespoon of the chicken mixture on each rectangle. Fold into balls.

Arrange balls on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Total Cost of Meal: $4.75

Add green beans (On sale $1/lb) Total Cost of Meal: $5.75

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

WFMW- School Countdown Jar

My 3 year old lives in the now. (Note to self: act more like my 3 year old :) ) He only really grasps things that are going to happen today. If someone would slip that we were going to go to grandma's on Friday, he would hound us starting from the moment the words his his little ears. We would get "You said we were going to grandma's" and "Can we leave now". Its hard to explain time to a toddler!

My little man is starting pre-school in the fall. To say that he is excited is a major understatement! During our interview with the school, he cried....... because school wasn't in session. He wanted us to leave and him to stay at school.

I then decided the only proper course of action was a countdown of some sort. Something to get his mind wrapped around the time left until he could proudly march up to those double doors. This is what I came up with:

I placed the letters and let him go sticker crazy with some school stickers I found in my stash. I then counted how many days until he started school. We sat down together and I let him count out piles of 10 M&M's until we had the right number.

I explained that he could eat 1 M&M each day. When there is no more candy then it is time to go to school! Of course he is excited about the candy but it also lets him visibly see how close he is to going to school. It has stopped the constant "Can I go to school today?" questions... and that works for this mama !!

For more great WFMW posts visit We are that Family!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kroger bargain meal of the week- Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops

Bargain Meal of the Week

Here is a grilling recipe that sounds absolutely delicious! It gets rave reviews, so I am super excited to try it. As always let me know if you try it so that I can know how it turned out at your house!!!

I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon. To see all the Kroger deals click here.

Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup apple juice (Juicy Juice on sale w/c $1.49/ea) $.10
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
6 boneless pork chops (On sale $1.78 a lb) $2.67

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, apple juice, oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt , and pepper. Bring to boil. Combine water and cornstarch in small bowl, and whisk into brown sugar mixture. Stir until thick.

Brush grate lightly with oil before placing pork chops on the grill. Cook over hot coals for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Brush with sauce just before removing chops from grill. Serve with remaining sauce.

Total Cost of Meal: $2.77

Add Baked potatoes (On sale 10 lb bag $2.99) Total Cost of Meal: $3.45

Add baked potatoes and grilled asparagus (On sale $2.48) . Total Cost of Meal: $4.69

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Free Mocha Mondays at Mc'D's

I am not sure about you, but on Monday's I need a little extra umph in my energy level !!

McDonald's is going to help us all out by giving away 7-8 oz iced or hot mocha's from 7 am to 7 pm. They will be running the promotion through August 3'rd.

Stop by and get yours today!! ( I will be posting a reminder every Sunday night so that you can cruise through the drive-through on your way to work or your playdate :) )

YEAH McDonald's !!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Teachers View - Stay-cations, Southern Ohio

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 and just great ideas! This week she continues to talk about great stay-cations here in Ohio!If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at

Stay-cations – Southern Ohio

It’s now cool to vacation in your own state. Think a vacation in Ohio is about a much fun as dental work? Think again! There are some hidden gems in this great state and deals to be had. Here are some ideas for visiting Southern Ohio.

Here’s a “steal” in Cincinnati – book a night at a Cincinnati-area hotel and get ½ price Reds tickets! There’s a ton to do in Cincy – relax at Fountain Square, head to the Freedom Museum, or take a ride on a riverboat.

If your family is like mine – quirky museums are right up your alley. Jump US 33 South from Columbus to start your journey. Stop at the AHAA Hands-On Adventure Children’s Museum in Lancaster (740- 653-1010). Next, tour the Columbus Washboard Factory in Logan (, then continue on US 33 into Nelsonville and visit the Pencil Sharpener Museum (call 740-753-4634 to schedule a tour), both of which are free!

There are also some package savings to be had! Coco Key Water Resort and the Newport Aquarium have partnered as well as the Cincinnati Zoo and Kings Island. Check out and for more information.

Always popular with the kids: The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway in Nelsonville. My grandparents used to take us on train rides here! The trains run all year long with seasonal programming.

Menu Plan Monday

I am so excited that the two large zucchinis on my counter are going to be used up this week! I love zucchini, but I don't always know what to do with it. I can't wait to try out these bargain recipes. Let me know if you have any yummy zucchini recipes! Have a yummy week y'all!!!

Monday: Cheeseburgers, Corn on the cob and salad

Tuesday: Parmesan Pork Tenderloin, Rosemary potatoes, Grilled asparagus

Wednesday: Ground Beef Curly Noodle, Green beans, crescent Rolls

Thursday: Leftovers- If its not movin you can eat it!

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake over noodles, salad, garlic bread

Sunday: Marinated pork Kabobs with peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, baked potatoes