Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mama knows best- Christmas now!

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 know its hot and your kidlets are running around in their bathing suits. I should be writing about an awesome iced tea or cool lemon aide. Being the freaky freak I am, I have decided to write some tips on Christmas shopping.

Oh you heard me right sister! Would you believe that I am almost done Christmas shopping? It sounds totally ridicules but I already feel less stress concerning the holidays. I can bake more with my kids and shop less. My pocket book also will thank me when I don't have to spend a HUGE lump sum in one month!


The end of July, August and September are the best months to toy shop for your kids.

A Target employee told me last year that in preparation for the upcoming holiday stock they start to clearance almost all their toys to make room!! That adds up to just a ton of savings for you!!

* Start in the toy isle and look for special clearance or red tag deals.

*Make sure you hit the end racks at the back of the isle. (This is where they are alot!!)

* Find the special clearance section. Many stores such as Wal-Mart has a separate Clearance section. Ask a rep where yours is. (I found a ton of toys in my Wal-mart area for $5!!)

* Every time you shop just glance at the selection because it will change!

If you pick up a couple toys, books or games that are on clearance every time you shop you will be done a whole lot quicker than you think! Your pocket book will not be hit all at once and you will enjoy the holidays more!!!

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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gian Eagle Bargain recipe of the week- Lowfat Baked Chicken

Bargain Meal of the Week

Have you ever gone to restaurant and had the yummy pina colado chicken or shrimp. It's chicken and its sweet and it works! I found this recipe and was sort of skeptical. It however has gotten rave reviews. One reviewer even said they put some blueberries and raspberries on top! Kiddos love them because their sweet and you love them because they are halfway decent for you!!

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

Lowfat Baked Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (On sale $1.99/lb) $1.99
4 cups Vanilla non-fat yogurt ( Giant Eagle on sale 20/$10) $2
2 cups frosted flakes cereal (On sale 4/$7) .44

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Crush the Frosted Flakes crumbs in a ziploc baggie.

Dip the chicken breasts in the yogurt, coating both sides. Roll in crushed crumbs to coat all sides, then place in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Total Cost of Meal: $4.43

Add fresh Green beans (On sale .99/lb) Total Cost of Meal: $5.43

Add scalloped potatoes (Betty Crocker on sale 8/$10) Total Cost of Meal: $6.23

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WFMW - Messy Parties!!

I cannot take credit for this fantabulous idea! My friend came up with this one and I am so grateful she included us in it!

Kids, even the best of em', get bored in the summertime! To shake things up, my girlfriend April, invited us to a "Messy Party". I was totally in, although wondering what we were getting ourselves into. OH MY GOODNESS, was it fantastic. The kids had a blast, took great naps and the mamas got the chance to catch up! The whole idea is to let them get messy, explore textures and just have a great time!

My friend set up stations in her yard. The first station was paper plastered the whole way across her garage. She then had big plastic containers of washable paints and a bucket of different shaped sponges. We just let the kids go wild! They put their hands in it and kept looking back to make sure it was ok :)

Next station was a oatmeal mixture where they could put their hands and feet in "goo" and screech... good times!

Station #3 was whipped cream and pudding that they could body paint with. They loved getting their hands in it and painting each other and themselves! Since everything was edible, mamas didn't have to worry about it getting in their mouths. I will spare you the "after" pics with our kids covered like rainbow children :)

(She also had a baby pool and sprinkler set up so if the kids ever got too dirty they could just jump in and clean off! )

We completed the day with cool lemon aide, sandwiches and brownies. To say that the kiddos had a great time was an understatement! I have to say that my friend has made me a fan of messy parties!! There is something so freeing that after telling your little one not to get dirty 546 times to finally tell them to go at it! And that works for this mama.....

For more great WFMW Ideas visit We Are That Family!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meijer bargain recipe of the week- Fried corn with Smoked Sausage

Bargain Meal of the Week

This is one of my more expensive recipes that I have posted. It does however have 4 veggies in it, so I think its well worth it ! It is packed full of flavor and the kiddos will love it...Happy Eating Y'all!

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

Fried Corn and Smoked Sausage

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped .25
1 green bell pepper, chopped .99
1 red bell pepper, chopped .99
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces (On sale w/c $1.50) $1.50
1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn kernels (Freshlike on sale $1) $1
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Accent
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and smoked sausage in the butter until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the corn and reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until the corn is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, accent, and pepper; toss to combine. Serve hot.

Total Cost of Meal: $4.73

Add Fresh green beans (On sale .99/lb) Total Cost of Meal: $5.73

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Kroger Bargain meal of the week- Zesty Chicken and Potatoes

Bargain Meal of the Week

This weeks recipe uses things I already have so its "winner, winner, chicken dinner !" :) It seems easy enough and sounds yummy. Feel free to experiment with spices in the dressing. I have some fresh rosemary leftover, so I may add some to the dressing to give it some UMPH!! Happy Eating Y'all!

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

Zesty Chicken and Potatoes

1 cup fat free Italian-style dressing (On sale and w/c - $.08) .04
1 Tbs lime juice .10
1 Tbs lemon juice .10
1 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
3 potatoes, chopped (10 lb bag on sale $2.99) $.45
2 cloves garlic, quartered or minced
5 chicken thighs (On sale $1.19/lb) $1.78

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.

In a bowl, mix the Italian salad dressing, lime juice, lemon juice, and rosemary.

Place potatoes in the baking dish. Distribute garlic evenly throughout dish. Place chicken on top of potatoes. Pour the dressing mixture over the chicken and potatoes. Seal dish with aluminum foil.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until potatoes are tender and chicken juices run clear.

Total Cost of Meal: $2.47

Add Fresh Green Beans (On sale .99/lb) Total Cost of Meal: $3.47

Add Green Beans and Grilled Zucchini (On sale .99/lb) Total Cost of Meal: $4.47

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Teachers View- Mom I'm Bored!!

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! If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at
Mom, I’m Bored!

We’re halfway through summer, which I can’t believe. If you’re kids are anything like the family I am nanny-ing for, they’re starting to get BORED. Here’s some of the ways we’ve bet the boredom this summer.

1. Change locations

Always go to the same pool or park? Switch it up! If you always go to the same metro park, pick a new one. Always going to the same pool? Try a different one. In my town we are fortunate enough to have two community pools and for some reason, the kids are dying to go to the “other one”, even though it’s really just a pool and doesn’t have the water slides and lazy river the other one does. Most pools offer reduced rates in the evening, so even if you’re membership is somewhere else, you can still enjoy the pool.

2. Try something in your hometown you’ve never done.

I’ve lived in my hometown for over 20 years, but there are still things about it I’m just discovering. I had no idea that we had a historical park that does educational programming and offers tours all summer long. I’ve only been driving by it forever! So this summer, we’ll be checking out Weaver Park - three bucks for adults, dollar for kids.

When I told my dad I’d never been to the Statehouse, he was floored. Now there is even more reason to go as the museum as reopened after renovations. Best of all: it’s free!
3. For a day, kids rule.

One day a summer, I let each kiddo pick the day’s activity. It’s totally up to them, whatever they want. The only catch - it has to cost under $20 for all five of us. So far this summer, we’ve done lunch at McDonald’s then pool all afternoon and Homestead Park with ice cream at DQ. From listening in on conversations, I think we might be going to Michael’s and getting craft kits soon and possibly, the dollar movies and Graeter’s.

4. Happy Hour at Sonic Drive-In.

From 2-4pm drinks and slushes are ½ price at Sonic. Great way to beat the summer heat. There are only a handful in Columbus and they are relatively new. My kiddos had never been to a Sonic and loved pulling up to a stall and having our drinks delivered. Total cost: Under $5.

Reminder: Get your free Mocha today!!

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 !!!

Menu Plan Monday!

I have to admit that this week is going to be CRAZY!! My son is going with our neighbors to her "camp-out" VBS, I am working our VBS and my hubby decided this would be the week to pick up an extra shift! I am very thankful for the quick recipes I have menu planned out this week. Hope you guys have a yummy week!
Monday: BBQ pot Roast, Mashed potatoes, Green Beans, Crescent Rolls
Tuesday: Chicken Puffs, Broccoli, Butter Noodles
Wednesday: Breakfast for sipper- Scrambled eggs, sausage, toast
Thursday: Shredded Beef BBQ Sandwiches (From the BBQ Pot Roast), Tator Tots, Salad
Friday: Pizza Night!
Saturday: Grille Brown Sugar Pork Chops, Grilled peppers and asparagus, Rice
Sunday: Leftover night - If its not movin you can eat it but Mama's not cookin!