Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Make Pork Chops

I got a bunch of pork loins on sale during Super Doubles at Harris Teeter and a few more with a great Evic special.  They were all under $3 for the package which is 24 oz (also known as 1 1/2 pounds).  That makes it $2 per pound!!  The normal price is $6.99 ($4.66 per lb) for one brand and $9.99 ($6.66 per lb) for the other which is way too expensive.  I would much rather just have chicken which I can always get for $1.99 per pound :)  But getting the great discount means that we get a variety of food options.

We normally put it on the grill and have a crispy sliced pork tenderloin but there is only so many times I can eat it the same thing.  Then the leftovers make a pulled pork sandwich so that we get two meals.  This week, I decided that I would take the pork loin and make pork chops.  This was marinated so I washed off the marinade and put it on the cutting board with my super sharp knife.

Then I cut it into pork chops and I got 12 chops.  They are a little small so I figure that it will be two per person.  I set aside 8 for tonight since we are serving 4 people.  I froze 4 of them to use another time.
I am going to Shake N Bake these tonight with mashed potatoes.  I think that it will make a nice change of menu and add in a little something for another frugal meal for four under $3 (I got the potatoes and veggies for free but had to pay something for the Shake n Bake).  I am excited to see if this becomes a family favorite!! 

Hope this helps you to save money if you see a pork loin much cheaper than the pork chops!!  It takes seconds to do at home and then you get to determine how thick or thin your chops should be.  The frugal decision to feed a big family or a small one :)

Best of Me Book Review

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks was on my wish list and I got it for Christmas.  I kept it at the bottom of the pile because all the library books came first.  The good, the bad and the ugly of having all those library books is that you don't get to read the books you actually asked for and wanted so much that someone went out and bought them for you!!!  I love Nicholas Sparks!!  I love all his books and I have read many of them more than once so it is no surprise that I loved it.

I always think that this one is even better than the last but I think that it is just because I just finished reading and living it.  I laughed, I cried, and I thought it was wonderful.  If you are not looking to cry, you probably shouldn't read a Nicholas Sparks book because they always end up there at some point or another.

The book was about a first love that was rekindled when the two are connected later in life over the death of a friend of both of theirs.  Their memories from their young love and their current lives make you understand so much about both of them.  Their weekend together is enough to make anyone believe in the power of love.  I don't want to give the whole book away but it is a great love story (don't forget the tissues).

I hope that you check it out at your local library or bookstore.  If you decided to read one, you will want to get the list of all of his books because I promise that they are all just as good.  If you have seen some of the movies and enjoyed them (The Notebook, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, A Walk to Remember, Message In A Bottle, and Nights in Rodanthe).  If not, you should check them out too :)  Let me know which one is your favorite!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 7/30

Monday- Olive Oil Spaghetti with oven fried zucchini (also known as Pasta Con Agilo E Olio)

Tuesday- Shake n Bake Pork Chops with mashed potatoes (cut from pork loin..posting on this soon)
Wednesday- BBQ Chicken Sliders
Thursday- Taco Rice with homemade tortilla chips
Friday- Italian Chicken with Pasta Roni
Saturday- Frozen Pizza/Leftovers
Sunday- Mystery Sunday

Can you believe that August starts this week because I can't believe it is already here!!!  Summer is almost over and this is the last month before my little man goes back to school.  Post power outage, I have worked so hard to clear out the freezer and pantry but I am still surprised when I can still pull together a meal with everything in the house.  We had very limited shopping July and we were still able to have lots of meals without too much headache. 

Have you ever found yourself in a rut with cooking?  Every time we have pork chops, we have stuffing.  Don't have stuffing in the house so what are we going to do?  We are having mashed potatoes!!!  They are super yummy to and we have the ingredients ready to go in the house.  We always have mac and cheese with sandwiches but what else can we have?  I am going to whip up another pasta dish because we have plenty of that to go around.  The Parmesan pasta dish goes with zucchini but I have edamame in the freezer so we are going to figure out how that goes in the dish.  It helps use up things that tend to sit in the freezer and pantry and expands our thinking. 

I highly recommend for every family to eat out of what is in the house for a little bit and see what you can make of it.  I am going in search of more recipes on what I should do with all the meatballs and brown rice that we have in the house :)  I have rearranged the pantry more times than I can count in order to make sure that I am using everything we have.  I hope that you will get creative too!!  Good luck and let me know if you need any help because I am always here with ideas.

Enjoy planning your menu this week!  If you need any more ideas, please visit the recipe tab at the top of the page to see some recipes that I have tried out recently.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Month End Coupon Printing

It is already that time again- the end of the month.  Time to total those receipts and make sure you clean out your coupons to make room for the new ones.

Check the following sites:
Make sure you don't miss a coupon!!  Keep this list for next month too because the new coupons are normally loaded at the beginning of the month so it is a great time to go back and check.  Please let me know if there are any other coupon websites that you like to visit and I will gladly add them to the list.  Hope you all had a wonderful month and I look forward to hearing all about it!!!

CVS Shopping Trip 7/29

I went through everything in the ad about a million times to figure out what I was going to get with my $10 ECBs burning a hole in my pocket.  My first item was the Coke for my husband.  Then, I added the CVS Children's Vitamins, CVS Painkillers, Tide, Suave Deodorant and Milky Way candy bars to my list.  Coupons in hand and off I went to CVS this morning at 8 am (which is when I used to shop when I went to the store every weekend).

Here is what I got:

Do you see anything missing from the picture?  Well, the Coke was on sale at my store for 4/$14 instead of 2/$9 as planned so I probably should have just gotten it but then I would have not gotten the Tide and gotten a smaller container of headache medicine so I opted to stay with my two quick transactions and not get the Coke.  Plus my husband loves Cherry Coke and they only had one so I would have had to buy other kinds that he didn't want and go to the other store and exchange it which is a headache.  I am going to check out how much a case of soda is at some other stores today and maybe pick one up later today as a special treat :) If not, I may use my $1 Green Bag Tag ECB to get one case!!
I finally spent my $10 ECBs and just in time since it expires tomorrow!!! I think that it was a slightly successful trip even if I didn't accomplish the mission.

Total OOP $1.51
Total Savings $46.31

Monthly Update:
Monthly Total OOP $50.89
Monthly Total Savings $181.66

Still hoping for one more trip to Harris Teeter and Target this afternoon to round out my shopping adventures for the month (plus the all important Coke purchase).  Hope that you are having a great end of month too :)

Weekly Goals 7/29

Talk about a busy week and I am not really sure why it was so exhausting but it really was.  I got a migraine that wouldn't leave for most of the week.  We kept all of our plans and went all over the place but I didn't have the extra energy to try to clean up and get things done around the house.  I was hoping to use the weekend and beginning of the week to catch up but it looks like my parents are coming into town.  I guess there is always August :) 

Last Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family- Lots of time with family this week
  • Go to While You Were Sleeping storytime- Since we ended up at the library the day before I was a little afraid about a revolt but it went okay even though he wanted to leave the activity a little early to look for books.
  • Go to playground and pool with friends- He had a blast although he is sure that his floaty makes him shiver... not getting in and out of the water so we left earlier then we planned.
  • Go to playdate at the park- Last minute change of park to change it up and we had fun regardless of the horrible heat and sweating like crazy.
  • Go to Movies based on books at library- We watched a new one to us Charlie and Lola and then had to read every book on the shelf.. actually I put a few back and set the limit at 10 because I was getting dehydrated!!  We brought home three and Daddy read them again that night.
Personal Goals
  • Cut coupons- I cut all my weekly inserts and all of the older Smart Source inserts on Sunday.  I left the Red Plum inserts to cut later in the week and finally got to half of them at the beginning of the week and the other half at the end of the week.  YEAH!!  I cut them all!
  • Shut off computer 5 nights to save energy- I almost forgot on Sunday and Monday but I went back and shut off the computer so the week was off to a great start.
  • Read ???  UGH, Nothing checked out of the library so I have a few books in a pile upstairs that I haven't read and I will pick from there- I read The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks first and then got Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor at the library and started reading it next.  Then I picked up The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie by Kim Carpenter, Krickitt Carpenter and Dana Wilkerson and finished it.  What a busy week!!!  Stay tuned for reviews.
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week- This has been another hard one to keep on top of because of sickness and busy schedule.  I have done okay (ignoring Wednesday)
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning- I have done a good job of getting everything into the dishwasher before bedtime but not the dishes in the whole sink but I have been getting it all cleaned out in the morning (ignoring Wednesday- you might see a pattern based on when my migraine started).  I did get everything cleaned up on Saturday night before I went to bed to get ready for baking on Sunday morning.
  • Go through more magazines- Done.  I went through the whole pile and now I have an empty basket by the front door waiting to be re-purposed.
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday- Done
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family- Done.  I have worked really hard on getting posts up ahead of time so that I would be able to post a few when I had a chance so that I would be ahead.  With the new recipes and books, I have already scheduled through the beginning of August.
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip- Done
This Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family
  • Go to playdate at the spray park (pending weather)
  • Go to Storytime at library
  • Go to Movies based on books at library
Personal Goals
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday
  • Schedule at least 7 posts so that can spend more time with family
  • Review book reviews completed during the week
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip

CVS Shopping Trip 7/28

I had wanted to get to CVS this week and get some of the fun specials that they had going on but it didn't look like it was going to happen.  I finally got out of the house after 9:30 on Saturday night so I was cutting it close even with a 24 hour store :)  I wasn't really sure what I was going to get at the store but I had the $10 ECBs burning a hole in my pocket!!!

Well, here is what I got...
I used lots of the great coupons that I got out of the red machine matched with a few manufacturers coupons.  All of the overage, I used to get the Kleenex that I needed.  I had an issue with the first transaction and I had to redo the whole thing and add more to cover the overage.  Then, I finally got the second transaction figured out and I was just starting, when the person at the self check out next to me clashed carts with me a few times trying to get his cart up to the register.  In the process, I saw some change on the ground.  I rang up my transaction and got all my coupons rang in and I saw that the change was still on the ground and the customers were all gone.  I picked up the change and it was $0.16.  It seemed like fate because my total was $0.14 so it covered the cash I needed :)  Gotta love when someone is watching out for you and paying for the CVS purchases for you!!!

I didn't end up using the $10 ECBs because at the last minute before I left the house, my husband told me that he really wanted Coke so I saved the money to use for Coke instead of the practical toilet paper that I was going to buy :)  I guess I know what I am going to be doing on Sunday morning!!

Total OOP $0.05
Total Savings $25.58

Here is my monthly update (although hopefully not the final with a few days left in the month to spend):
Monthly Total OOP $49.38
Monthly Total Savings $135.35

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Target and Harris Teeter Shopping Trip 7/28

Today after an unsuccessful trip to the Pirate singing guy who didn't show this morning, we took a trip to Target to get some stuff on my list and a few things for Dylan.  I got three of the Comet Stainless Steel Cleaners which were $1.99 at my store so using the store coupon and the manufacturer coupon, they were free.  There were two different kinds of cleaners but the gel cleaner was way more money so I got this powder cleaner because it was free.  The cashier called over the manager to examine the coupons and she questioned the product because it was different than the picture.  I pointed at the words and repeated them while pointing at the container that both said stainless steel cleaner and she accepted them.

Little man is now the proud new owner of some Chuggington train sets that were on the toy clearance (and a Thomas board game)!!  I love the toy clearance because I can get tons of things and spend very little money- kind of my favorite thing to do.  Total spent $39.64 (but I don't count that into the grocery budget since it was all toys that I spent the money on).  Even better news is that he loves the trains because they talk to each other and he will have tons of enjoyment from them.

Then we stopped at Harris Teeter to get some of my evic specials!!  First, the turkey for my husband's sandwiches which were on sale for $2.97 less a $1 coupon (normally $4.99).  Then, we grabbed the whole grain white bread for $0.97 (normally $1.69).  Lastly, we grabbed the Domino's sugar which was supposed to be 4 lbs and it was 5 lbs!!!  I was super excited when I realized that they were going to give it to me for the sale price of $1.97 (normally $4.65).

Total OOP $10.12
Total Savings $12.84

I added this to my monthly total and I am currently at my lowest monthly total since I started tracking my spending.  I was supposed to go to CVS and do a big grocery shopping trip today but it didn't happen.  I am going to see if I can make it over tonight to CVS to see if there is anything left for this weeks sale :(  I still have $10 ECBs to spend wisely so I will figure out how to best use them to get the most stuff!!

Total Monthly OOP $49.33
Total Monthly Savings $109.77

The Dirty Life Book Review

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball seemed like an interesting book so I put it on my hold list at the library.  I actually was going to go in and extend my hold but when the power was out, I totally forgot so this book came up shortly after the power outage.
 It was at the bottom of the pile since I was trying to get through all of the other ones that I checked out and I wasn't really sure that I wanted to get into it.  Luckily, I finally decided to pick this one up when I went to my girls night because I didn't want to get into anything to heavy before bedtime since it was 2 am already.  That said, I finished it in two days so it is a compelling and quick read. 

It was the most fascinating read about everything in the authors life starting with her city life being a writer meeting a farmer who she later falls in love with.  The way she writes really makes you feel like you are in the middle of her life (both the good and the bad parts). Each chapter goes through a stage in her life- later chapters being based on the seasons.

I don't know if I could give up the "normal" life to go work and live on a farm.  Even though the idea of raising and eating your own food sounds so appealing even though I am a super picky eater.  Since I can't even master a small garden, I am far from this self-sufficient life.  The idea of eating strange animal parts (liver, heart, etc) and blood pudding are not at all appealing to me.  I don't know if I could get over my issues enough to drink fresh milk and use fresh butter- somehow it seems safer to eat it from the grocery store :)  So for some people this book might be a whole lot of reality but to me it was a fantasy that I would love to do (in theory) but of course, I would be in the house making the bread and cooking food and not working the long, hard days in the fields like the author does :)

I hope that you check out this book at your local library or bookstore.  Let me know what you think because I thought it was a great book and wonder if other people have this dream too or if this is just another one of my frugal ideas :) 

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Coke Rewards Points

Here is a super good promotion for free points on the My Coke rewards website!!! 

Have a MyCokeRewards account?  Here is a chance to get an additional 30 points to add to your account! 

Use these three 10 point codes:

You can redeem MyCokeRewards points for a variety of rewards like free soda for only 40 points!!  I always use them to get more soda and more points :)  There are tons of new things added that you can browse through and see what you like the best but some of them take a ton of points!!

Enjoy your 30 points and good luck at some great rewards!

Taco Skillet Recipe

In my search of magazines, I found a recipe that I had everything in the house for so I decided to add it to the menu plan.

Check out the picture on the second half of the page, doesn't it look good?

I changed it a little by using part ground beef and part rice... always a frugal idea because it is super filling and less expensive :) But mine looked like this:

I even added some spices and additional rice when I saw how goopy it was but we went ahead with dinner.

At first taste it was okay, it tasted like enchiladas without all the fuss.  However, the longer we ate, the more strange the tortillas were in the dish.  We ended up picking them all out because they were soft and floury. 

I am not sure if I would make this again but if I did, then I would totally do it with corn tortillas or just add chips on top when serving.  This was my biggest failure as a frugal cook so far so I am a little disappointed but I will certainly change this idea in the future to make some sort of pan enchiladas or a Hamburger Helper replacement.  Sadly, I am sure that my mother in law would have liked it and finished off what we put in the fridge as leftovers.  Here is hoping that my sister in law comes soon and I can send it with her for lunch at work :)  I hate wasting food so I might end up eating it myself.

Let me know if you have tried this recipe before and what you thought!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrify Thursday: Donate Goods

Part of being green is to make sure that you donate items that you aren't using.  There are a ton of local and national donation centers that take old clothes and other household items, as well as new items for families in need.  For many years, we have donated many items to the larger and easy to access donation sites like Salvation Army and Goodwill but we have never had a local non-profit to support.

I am excited to say that we now have a local non-profit that we can support.  I was recently contacted by Community Engagement Specialist at Northern Virginia Family Services, Colleen Ross, to see if there were any things in my couponing stash that they might want or need.  I looked at the list and gathered together some things that we aren't using and we thought would be great to donate.  It was super easy to pull everything together and I am going to drop it off at their location in Oakton which is just a few miles from our house.  If you are in the Northern VA area and interested in donating, check out their list and see if there is anything you have around the house that you aren't using and give Colleen a call to set up a time to come by and meet her.

As often goes with life, it gets too busy to do everything we planned.  I had always planned on donating any extras but never got around to finding some place that was interested in taking the things that I had to offer.  I know that I searched the Internet and found lots of different places but there were so many restrictions on items such as one place was only going to take travel sized toothpaste and the other place took full sized shampoo.  Unfortunately, after a disappointing look around, I opted that I would rather waste things that drive all over Northern Virginia and spend more money on gas then I did on the few items that one location was interested in.  I am super excited to help the Northern Virginia Family Services and hope that you find a local non-profit that you can provide support through monetary or in-kind donations.

Here are some links to get you started:

Northern Virginia Family Services
Charity Navigator

Salvation Army
Purple Heart

When we replaced our car, we donated our old car.  So make sure you think of all of the consumer goods and see if you can donate new or used goods to make sure that other people are able to re-use the goods.  Please let us know if there are any other local non-profits that you support locally or nationally that you would like others to know and love :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pasta Con Agilo E Olio Recipe (Olive Oil Pasta)

The other night I was searching for a recipe to make something new with pasta and garlic while I was staring at the garlic that my mother brought me that I didn't use yet!

I remembered the back of the pasta box that I cut out to try.

I decided it was the perfect recipe to try. So I started the pasta boiling on the stove.
Then I started grating the fresh garlic with my neat microplane grater and tried to keep my fingers in one piece (those things are really sharp if you have never used them before and go both ways, unlike a cheese grater)

I also got the pan out to heat up the olive oil, garlic and oregano.

After the pasta was done, I drained it and added it to the skillet with the seasoned olive oil and mixed. 
Then topped with basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

Doesn't that look pretty?  Served with garlic bread on homemade bread made it the perfect dinner!

I will tell you that it tasted great and it was super easy to make so I highly recommend it for anyone to try at least once.  My husband really enjoyed it.  I might use more oregano next time since I won't have fresh basil forever, I thought that I would change up the recipe.

In case you want to try and can't read the recipe above, here it is:

Pasta Con Aglio E Olio

1 package spaghetti (I used thin spaghetti)
6 tbsp olive oil, vegetable oil or butter (I used olive oil)
4 tsp finely chopped garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder (I used a little of both)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In small saucepan over medium heat, heat oil; add garlic, salt and oregano.  Cook 1 minute or until garlic is lightly browned; do not burn.  Toss hot pasta pasta with oil mixture, season with salt and pepper, if desired (I topped with basil and Parmesan cheese).  Serve immediately.  Makes 4 servings.

Variations:  To with chicken, seafood, beef or pork pieces and/or favorite cooked vegetables.

SHORTCUT:  Looking for a quick and easy meal, add the olive oil to the pan and a spoonful of pesto sauce.  Add a few more seasonings to taste like basil, oregano, or hot peppers.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we have!!  Happy Cooking!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Help Book Review

I wasn't going to start this book until I heard that we were going to watch the movie at Girls Night!!  I had to get ready and fast.  I started The Help Deluxe Edition by Kathryn Stockett on Tuesday afternoon and got about 60 pages read before I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.  I was trying to figure out how many days it was going to take me to read it if I kept up that pace but on Wednesday, I read through a bunch more and got to over the halfway point.  I had faith and with a little luck and a lot less sleep, I could get this done before Saturday night movie night with the girls!!  HAHA!!!  I finished the 444 page monster book by Thursday night :)  My reading has really paid off because I am as fast as I was in college.

I thought it was a quick read that was a page turner.  My mother in law said that she had a little trouble getting into it with the dialect but I think that whenever it was confusing, I skip over things (the main reason why I almost failed my essay on the Jungle by Upton Sinclair in high school.. all the names were Russian and I couldn't keep them straight).  However, with this book, it didn't matter because it was just a few added words to make it sound more Southern (hear that with a southern accent because I can't figure out how to write that into the word).  I loved the story and I am super glad that I hung in and got it out of the library after having to return it last time because there was someone else who had it on hold before I even got to start it :(

For those of you who don't know what the story is about, it is a story about a bunch of people in Jackson, MS and their lives.  Each chapter in the book is written from a different perspective which I sometimes find hard to follow but I re-adjusted at the beginning of each chapter to make sure I knew who was talking and then I was fine.  There are a group of white southern society ladies and a group of black maids (aka the Help) and this follows the issues that they went through during the time of all of the racial tension with the local and national news during the early 1960's.  I hate to give too much away but you really get to know each character so well and either love or hate them very strongly by the end of the book.  Since I wrote my college thesis on racism, this book was something that I really connected with and appreciated but I think regardless of the subject matter, the character development makes the book worth every 444 pages :)

I think that you should get this very heavy book from your local library or bookstore.  Make sure that you are going to read this at home because it takes up a lot of room in a bag or suitcase and I don't think that it is a great beach reading book (mostly because of the weight of the book and not the weight of the subject material).  I hope that if you haven't already read it, that you check it out.  Please let me know what you thought!!  Did you see the movie??  I still haven't but I can't wait to see it soon :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Harris Teeter Shopping Trip 7/23

I had some evics that I thought were good bargains so I decided that I better get them before the sale was over.  I crossed my fingers that they would still have stock of everything that I wanted.  They did- except I really wanted the garlic herb marinate and they only had Teriyaki but I am sure it will be yummy so I got it.

I got the Smithfield Pork Roast for $2.97 after sale and coupons.  The 18 ct Harris Teeter eggs for $1.77.  The Rold Gold pretzels would have been a really great deal at $0.97 minus a $0.75/2 coupons that I had printed but it didn't double :(  Still only $0.62 a bag!!  Great news is we only had pretzel rods left which it turned out, my son didn't like (or refused to try). 

Total OOP $9.24
Savings $14.61

My son was super excited with his trip in the red car shopping cart with the kids sugar cookie and a sample chocolate cookie.  He picked out the pretzels and checked out all by himself.  He told me in the morning that the grocery store was his favorite place to go.  I think that means that I might have taken him to the store too many times right??  When a three year old knows that we can't go if we don't have coupons, you know that he is learning the right way :) Of course, he does like the library and taking out tons of books and DVDs so we went there after we were done shopping.  What could be better in one day?!

Safeway Shopping Trip 7/23

There was a deal on Honey Nut Cheerios and since they are a favorite of my husband and son, I decided to brave the wilds of Safeway (against my better judgement).  They were on sale for 4/$10 and there was a coupon that could be loaded using the Just For U account or there was a coupon to cut out of the paper to make them $1.88 each (limit 4).  I loaded it and cut it just in case- better to be prepared with Safeway.  I printed my coupons from coupons.com that were $0.50 this morning so that I was ready to go.

My son and I arrived at the store in the afternoon around 3:00pm.  I knew that I was pushing this errand at the end of the busy day with a tired kid but I figured that I would zip in and grab them and run to self check out and it would be done.  It never works out that way with me and Safeway. 

First, they don't have fun carts so it is hard to keep a tired three year old in a boring regular cart, especially with out the Harris Teeter samples and cookies to distract him.  I got to the aisle and there were only a few boxes left and they were on the very top shelf at the back.... little me being only 5 foot 3 inches had to climb on the lower shelves and grab the boxes.  In the process, two other boxes that were crowding the Honey Nut Cheerios came down with them.  I picked the other boxes up and put them back on the shelf.  I was disappointed to find that there were only three boxes left and I was hoping to get the limit which was 4.  Then I saw that there was one other box left on another shelf so I grabbed it. 

I handed all four boxes to my son who was trying to climb out hoping that all four boxes would keep him in his seat.  He did his ohhs and ahhs and then put them in the back of the cart and asked what else we were going to get.... umm, nothing- just cereal. 

We headed quickly to the empty self check out lines and rang everything up only to realize that the coupons have the new coupon code and Safeway hasn't updated the self check out to read them.  UGH!  The lady came over to ask me if I had changed my card over (aka signed up for Just for U) to which I replied "Do you mean the Just for U program? YES. I have these coupons and they won't scan because of the barcode, can you help me or do I have to go to a normal check out?"  Mostly nodding and pointing but she might have grunted and said cashier.  I told her to cancel my transaction and we went to wait in one of two lines that was open with cashier.  Some other guy came up and asked what happened but I had already thrown my stuff in the cart and was heading to the other check out.

As soon as we were third in line at the check out, my son decided that he had to break free from the cart.  He asked to get down and proceeded to shop at the end aisle.  He picked out Captain Crunch cereal which I most certainly would have bought him if I had a coupon but without it, he would have to be sadly depressed which he was for about ten second and then he started cleaning up the Safeway shelf.  Yup, this is what my three year old does for entertainment and fun while at the grocery store- his favorite place to go. 

First person was finally gone, after she sent her daughter to get some water that she had a coupon for and forgot to get and had a long conversation with the cashier about her native language.  She used coupons and I was interested in seeing her total before and after but I was too far back so I missed the fun part of the trip.  She left all the coupon inserts that she didn't use in the bottom of the cart... assuming they didn't have any coupons, I left them when I saw them in the cart return. 

Second person put her stuff on the belt and stood waiting for her turn.  She took her money out of her wallet and dropped it on the floor, picking it back up as I saw that it was $100 bill.  She didn't speak English so the cashier tried to speak a little Spanish but the lady was not interested in her efforts and did not speak at all, only nodded yes and no.  She handed over her Safeway card and the total dropped to around $14 and she handed the cashier that $100 bill.  I am amazed that anyone is carrying that much money in their wallet so I try not to stare.

Finally our turn to go, did I mention that as soon as the aisle started to close off, I had to hold my 30 pound toddler while the other people checked out because he refused to get back in the cart?  The cashier rang up my stuff and put it in the reusable bag.  Rang through the coupons and the e-coupon was added back on at the end.  UGH!!  Why bother having them?? 

OOP was $3.66
Total savings $12.45

I left the store and checked my receipt on the way home, even though that is against my rules.  Since I was just worried about getting home with a tired toddler and because Safeway receipts are so hard to understand that you need a calculator :)  It turned out that they range up as expected at $0.88  (or $0.92 each including tax).

Menu Plan Monday 7/23

Monday- Whole Chicken
Tuesday- Italian Chicken with Pasta Roni
Wednesday- Shredded Chicken Tacos
Thursday- Parmesan Spaghetti
Friday- Meatball Sliders with mac and cheese
Saturday- Buffalo Chicken Pizza/leftovers
Sunday- Chicken Patty Wraps/Grilled Pork Loin

I worked really hard to stretch what was left in the house through the month and I think that I might actually make it.  Adding the pasta in the rotation once a week certainly helped with that!!  In the winter, we did pasta more often but it isn't something that comes into my mind in the summer.  With the few lighter sauced pasta dishes, it has really helped to keep them "summery." We also have been adding in pizza or pizza rolls but I am quickly running out of gluten flour and yeast so August might be more of a challenge :)  Here is hoping for some great stock up sales!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Harris Teeter Shopping Trip

I had to run into Harris Teeter the other day because we were totally out of lunchmeat!!!  A horrible state of affairs in this house.  I ran through the quick list of options of what to give my husband for lunch the next day but realized that I had plenty of time to stop by the store to grab some turkey after a puppet show at the library :)

We successful grabbed a green "race car" (although my my son thinks it is a race car because all the other ones are, this is really a rocket ship but please don't tell him because green is his favorite color and race cars are his favorite things).  Then we got sample cinnamon powdered sugar doughnuts and the kids sugar cookie!  It was like things were going right for us today.

We drove towards the next stop to get the lunchmeat and I saw the big bags of discounted bananas so I went running towards them.... okay, not really because I had a two hundred pound cart in tow so I slowly made a three (or four) point turn and made it over to the discount rack.  They were marked $0.29 per pound which is the best my store gets.  I picked up one bag to see if there would be enough to make two loaves of banana bread and there was.  An older couple came by and started trying to have a conversation with my son which went something like this... 

"Hi, aren't you cute?" said the nice old lady

"Yes, I like cookies!" said little man

"Oh really, what kind of cookies do you like?"  said the nice old lady

"I like cookies!" said little man

Me, trying to pay more attention to the bananas then my son... realize that he is telling me that he would like a cookie because they are all safely tucked in my pocket and he had finished the sample doughnut!

"He likes the Harris Teeter sugar cookies," I say while pulling the cookie out of my pocket and handing it to my son.  "He also likes banana bread too which is why I am trying to pick out enough to make a few loaves.  These are pretty good looking bananas too."  Sadly, meaning that it would take at least a week for them to be bad enough to make banana bread.

Have you ever found that now that you have kids, you share too much with other people in the store?  Lady gave me a strange look and continued to try to talk to a little boy who was shoving cookie in his mouth.  Could the conversation have been over now, of course not!

"I think that this bag looks good so we are going to get these ones buddy, okay?"  I said putting the bag of bananas in my cart so excited at my $0.64 worth of bananas and asking a question of a three year old.

Nice old lady still looking at me, says "I would never eat those." 

Umm, I am not sure how we got there but I tried my best to make a fast get away but I had the wrong cart so a three point turn later, I was at the lunchmeat section getting the lunchmeat.  Then, we quickly left the store via the cereal aisle to see what the deal was on the cereal.  Nothing great so we got lunchmeat and bananas. 

Total OOP $3.63
Total Savings $2.56 (plus banana savings not counted)

Monthly Update:
Monthly Total OOP $26.31
Monthly Savings $69.87

I have one trip to Harris Teeter and CVS planned this week but nothing else on my list.  I can't wait until Triples or Super Doubles to see if I can get some great deals and stock back up the pantry and freezer.  I have to get some food back in the house eventually so we will see if I get it done this month or next with the deals available.  Hope you are finding more deals then I am this month :)

Weekly Goals 7/22

Last Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family- We had a great week together and enjoyed
  • Go to Puppet Show at the library- We had a great time at the show and Little Man laughed the whole way through and then picked out more DVDs from the library.... we have more DVDs then books right now.
  • Go to singing group at library- This was super fun for mommy and I think that Little Man liked it even though he was soaking it in and not singing or dancing (did have to take some headache meds)
  • Go to guitar playing guy at library- Little guy didn't dance as much this time but he still enjoyed seeing his friends and singing and dancing.
  • Go to Movies based on books at library- As always, Little Man loves the movies at the library.  This week we have been watching the Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly (last week's movie) over and over so I know that it sticks in his head.  When we got there, he asked where Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly was and I told him that we were going to watch something different :)
Personal Goals
  • Cut coupons- I cut out all of my coupons from the papers and got tons of coupons from my friends so now I have a pile of coupons to go through and cut :)  I am going to try to do it between this week and next to get my coupons all back in order.
  • Shut off computer 5 nights to save energy- Did a great job at this!!  I forgot one night but got it done every other night.
  • Read Love in Disguise by Carol Cox- I sort of started reading another book when I went to my girls sleep over and got pulled into it so I was reading both books but I am just reading the one now and it is super good.  I finally finished on Saturday.
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week- I kept everything clean all week so I guess I will keep the job another week :)  I hate a dirty kitchen but it is such a thankless job.
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning- My wonderful husband has been doing the dishes almost every morning to help out which has been super nice.  We tried to do the
  • Go through more magazines- I went through a bunch more magazines and filled up the recycle bin.  I need to get a little more done to be happy with my progress but I figured with my busy week, I wouldn't make it to finishing all of them but I made a big dent :)
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday- Done
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family- Done
  • Write review of Love in Disguise by Carol Cox when completed and send link to publisher- Done
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip- Done
This Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family
  • Go to While You Were Sleeping storytime
  • Go to playground and pool with friends
  • Go to playdate at the park
  • Go to Movies based on books at library
Personal Goals
  • Cut coupons
  • Shut off computer 5 nights to save energy
  • Read ???  UGH, Nothing checked out of the library so I have a few books in a pile upstairs that I haven't read and I will pick from there
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning
  • Go through more magazines
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Love in Disguise Book Review

Love in Disguise by Carol Cox was my first choice book from Bethany House doing my first review.  I decided to try something that I wouldn't normally read.  This book is historical fiction and although I normally like them when I get into them, I don't normally pick them because they aren't the first thing that I am interested in.  Do you have that problem that you limit the books you read based on what you think that you will like?  I don't normally get mystery novels either!!  It is always best to try something different because you might love it and I did!

The book starts out in Chicago, Illinois in 1881 with Ellie Moore who quickly signs herself up for a cross country trip to Pickford, Arizona to be a detective (in disguise under the identity of Lavinia Stewart) to learn who is stealing from a group of miners.  Other characters join her to help her solve her first case, each a more exciting character addition than the last.  The story is entertaining throughout and had me guessing until the end who the bad guys really were.  There are so many twists and turns to follow, it kept me on the edge of my seat reading.  I don't want to ruin it for you but I think that it was a great read that you should check out.

Spoiler Alert:  She falls in love while in disguise :)

Although the book category is historical fiction, I do believe that this book has too many weird mentions of God throughout.  It almost seemed like the author was trying to get more religious people interested in a book by placing it in the story but I thought it was a good flowing book without the thought that God saved them from death and God brought them together.  Anyone who has religious upbringing would conclude a higher power where they felt necessary and not where the author forced religious writing to fit into plot line.

Even though I thought the religious references were over the top, I liked the plot and characters enough to overcome the confusion over the strange religious placements.  I hope that everyone checks this book out and sees what they think!!  Check it out at your local library or bookstore and I look forward to getting your opinion.

If you would like to receive review copies of books, you can sign up with Bethany House, too!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Love in Disguise from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Made from Scratch Book Review

Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich was sitting on the shelf at the library and seemed like another interesting read about how to live a more frugal life.

I didn't even read the chapters before checking it out of the library so I was obviously not even sure what it was about.  After reading the table of contents, I wasn't even sure if this was for me but since I already had it, I figured that I should go ahead and try it.  Check out the table of contents:
  • Chickens
  • Grow Your Own Meal
  • Beekeeping
  • The Country Kitchen
  • Old Stuff
  • DIY Wardrobe
  • Working House Dogs
  • Angora Rabbits: Portable Livestock
  • Homemade Mountain Music
  • Outside the Farm
  • Want More?
The author has chickens, bees, rabbits and work dogs all in her rented apartment.  None of these things are on my list of to dos or ever even want to try but I still found the book fascinating.  I really do want to lead a more organic life but I am not going vegetarian (like the author) or having a small farm (like the author).   However, I couldn't stop reading the book and checking out the next thing that the author was doing in order to have a more "handmade life."

The book gives great instructions on each of the topics and suggests starting by getting to know other farmers through farmer's markets, hiking groups and other local farms.  The best ideas are the easiest and sometimes we just need a reminder to be more of a part of a community.  There are instructions on how to order chickens or bees online.  There are interesting details on gardening and tips on how to make homemade greenhouses to start from seeds inside during the winter.  There are interesting tips of thrift stores and buying used which the author uses everyday to get quality, older goods.  Although I am not signing up for learning the banjo, I might start a garden or knit a scarf to make me feel like my actions are making a difference.  The recent power outage makes you realize how much we rely on grocery stores and other people for our living.

The author also shares a bunch of recipes through the chapters including a family recipe that she always associates with fall.  I hope to try it this fall as well... hope you check it out to see if it might be a new recipe for your family's cookbook.

Jackapple Cake

3 large apples, peeled and diced *
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 to 3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c honey, heated
1/4 c cider
1/2 stick butter, softened
3 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour

1/3 stick butter, melted
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

* Braeburn or Gala, if you use a smaller variety, like Fuji, you'll need to use four.  Do not use Red Delicious.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix the apples with the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and warm honey.  Set the mixture in the fridge for 2 hours.  When the apples have absorbed all the sugar and spice flavors, add the wet ingredients (cider, butter, eggs, oil, vanilla) and mix well.  Add the flour, 1/2 c at a time, and mix well after each addition.  Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 9 inch cake pan.

To make the topping, combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon into an easily spreadable paste.  Use a pastry brush to slather it over the batter, making a sugar crust that will bake into the top of the cake.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  check after 25 minutes.  When a knife or toothpick comes out clean, it's done.

I hope that you check this book out at your local library or bookstore.  I think that even if you aren't interested in this lifestyle, you will be interested in this book.  I know that I was :)  Let me know what you think!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pizza Dough Recipe

I have been searching for a new pizza dough recipe for a long time.  I used to use the Fleishman's Pizza Dough yeast but I ran out and they don't seem to carry it at Harris Teeter anymore :(  In my attempt to be as frugal as possible, I am using what I have which is the yeast for the bread machine.  I looked around for a bread machine recipe so that I would just throw everything in and get a pizza crust out and I thought that I would try this one from Good Cheap Eats because the bun recipe was so good!! 

Here it is mixing up in the bread maker:

Here it is on our plate and ready to eat:
White Pizza for me
Buffalo Chicken Pizza for my husband

I was going to take a picture of the whole pizza but it looked so yummy that we cut it up and started eating first.  The crust was really great and I can't wait to eat the second half that I froze.  This is a go to recipe for great pizza dough so I hope that you try it to... you won't be sorry!!  I am just sorry that we are out of flour and I can't make anymore until I get a little more.

Pizza Dough


1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons honey
4 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon yeast

Combine ingredients in the bread machine pan according to the order recommended by your machine’s manufacturer. Set on dough and start the machine, checking after ten minutes to make sure all the ingredients have been incorporated and not stuck to the side of the pan.

When dough is ready, divide into portions. This makes 2 large crusts. Shape each portion into a flat round. Place on a cookie sheet or pizza pan that has been sprinkled with corn meal. Spread pizza crust with sauce and top with cheese and toppings.
A preheated oven is key to a great crust. Up to an hour before baking, set your oven to 475 degree (but okay if you don't have as long). Bake pizzas for 8-15 minutes, depending on their size. Use the shorter baking time for smaller pizzas, the longer time for larger ones.

Note:  Let dough rise for 30 minutes and then package extra dough in plastic bags to freeze.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thrify Thursday: Making Homemade Bread

Many years ago, my husband bought me a bread maker which I was totally scared of.  I made the two box mixes that he bought with them and some quick bread recipes.  I found it really wasn't worth making quick breads because it took more to clean then my pottery loaf pans that go directly in the dishwasher. plus it left that weird dent in the middle of the loaf of bread that wasn't worth it for those breads so it went back into the cabinet to take up a lot of room.

During my quest to become more frugal, I pulled that bread maker out and made a basic bread recipe.  It wasn't great but it still made the house smell great and it helped me learn how to cut fresh bread.  In case you haven't attempted the cutting of a loaf hot out of the oven, it is very difficult to cut a thin slice of bread.  The first bread recipe gave me the courage to pay for the more expensive ingredients- bread flour, whole wheat flour, honey and gluten.

After a wonderful bread knife that I received for Christmas and a much better bread recipe (whole loaf pictured here), I think that I could make this bread all the time.  I was still working on the cutting as you can tell from the picture of really thick bread slices.  The great part is that if over six months, I have learned how to quickly throw together this bread and slice it much better.  For those of you who don't already have a bread maker collecting dust, try to make a loaf using your mixer and see if you think it isn't the best thing that you have eaten!

In order to keep the bread fresh, I cut it when I need it instead of all at once.  My family likes soft and squishy bread and this helps keep it that way.  The even better part is that it keeps fresh much longer and I don't have to worry about trying to match up breads that aren't too thick for a sandwich :) 

If I am out of bread for my husband's lunch the next day, I throw it in the bread machine and it is all set for the morning without having to run out to the store.  They say that the way to stop spending money is to stop going to the store so that you don't get anything not on your list.  The even better thing is that I don't have to go out of my way to stop at the store and I am giving my family bread without preservatives and other ingredients.  The bread maker is my crockpot for carbs producing yummy bread at the drop of a hat!!

I hope that other people use this thrifty measure to make the budget stretch a little farther and enjoy some home cooked bread.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Home Economics Book Review

I put in a inter-library loan request when I saw this in the new book section on the library website.  Home Economics by Jennifer Mcknight Trontz is a compilation of information from the 1900 to 1940's. 

It is fascinating to see that most of ideas from the early 1900's is still applicable today.  The chapters are broken down into the following categories or chapters:
  • Successful Economical Living
  • Kitchen Arts and Sciences
  • Care of Clothing and Textiles
  • Management and Furnishing of the Home
  • Leisurely Pursuits
Although this information is aimed at young wives on how to start a household in the 1900's, I believe that it is applicable to all people looking to find a compact glossary of what to do with every part of the home- our own Guide to Miss Manners.  It tells you the cuts of beef that are best for different types of cooking, how to set a table, and how to get out stains.  There are also some different information that is less applicable today like darning of fabrics and how to take care of  a sick person (and make milk toast).  It teaches people many things that you didn't learn from your parents (or mother) that was passed down through the generations previously.

Something that I talked about with a friend of mine just last week was trying to get a clean home without actually cleaning.  Sadly, it doesn't happen because unless you hire someone to do it.  Since I am a frugal homemaker, our family does the cleaning ourselves.  There is a chart on page 137 of the Plan of Household Work.  Hopefully this will be helpful in your pursuit of keeping your house clean (but you aren't going to catch me washing my windows every month).  I know that there are many other lists on blogs that might be a little more modern :)

To Do Everyday
  • Straighten up and dust living room, dining room and bedroom
  • Wash dishes, sink and stove
  • Put away dishes
  • Empty waste baskets
  • Straighten up kitchen cupboards
  • Make beds
  • Sweep kitchen
  • Empty garbage

To Do Twice A Week
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom thoroughly
  • Evaluate refrigerator and cupboards for shopping needs
  • Sweep outdoor porches and walkways

To Do Once A Week
  • Launder, iron, and put away clothes
  • Clean living room, dining room, bedrooms, and hall thoroughly
  • Clean laundry and basement
  • Change bed linens

To Do Once A Month (or more often)
  • Clean kitchen and dining room cupboards or buffet
  • Wash windows (more often if the air is sooty)
  • Wash mirrors
  • Polish silver or plate
  • Polish brass candlesticks or other articles
  • Wash piano keys
  • Clean dresser drawers
To Do Every Six Months
  • Wash or clean woodwork
  • Brush or Dryclean draperies
  • Wash painted walls
To Do Once A Year
  • Clean papered walls with wallpaper cleaner
  • Beat carpets or large rugs
This is one of many lists in the book that are truly interesting and makes you think.  There is another chart about making homemade cleaners and meal planning.  The funny pictures and quotes are enough to make you laugh your way through the book.

I found it to be an interesting read and I would recommend it to anyone to read (mostly aimed at women since men had no duties in the house at that time).  Please check it out at your local library or bookstore.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

After a long power outage, the first thing that I wanted was home cooked yummy baked goods.  I decided to use my slightly frozen blueberries to make muffins.  It was a great after dinner treat and a great way to clear out the freezer to make my freezer nice and clean. 

The batter looks a little purple from all the berries but it still cooks up to a nice pretty white muffin.

The batter usually makes 16 muffins which I normally forget and fill my two 6 muffin cups and then I have to get creative with the remaining batter.  I decided on a coffee cake and made a strudel to go on top from the recipe that I used on the pumpkin bread the other day.  Strangely, the topping sank to the bottom of the pan.  I was a little worried about how it was going to turn out when I saw that it was not really on the top of the cake as I expected.... we just decided it was upside down cake.  It was still super yummy so even failures are yummy in baking.

This is a recipe that I got from my mom ages ago and it is the recipe that I always use for blueberry muffins.  I will write the recipe so that other people can understand it since my mom's recipe is written a little strange and most people don't follow recipes with her directions... I have had years of training.  I hope that you enjoy too!!

Never Fail Blueberry Muffins

1 1/4 c sugar
2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 c milk
1/2 c melted butter
1 c blueberries

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix liquid ingredients in measuring cup (or another bowl).  Add liquid ingredients all at once to flour mixture.  Work quickly only to mix.  Do not beat smooth.  Add blueberries.  Put in greased muffin tins.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 7/16

Monday- BBQ Pork Sandwiches (leftover Pork Loin) and all other leftovers in the fridge
Tuesday- Chicken Kiev and Cordon Bleu with rice
Wednesday- Chicken Fajita Wraps
Thursday- Pasta with sausage
Friday- Whole Roasted Chicken
Saturday- Pizza Roll/Sloppy Joes
Sunday- BBQ Chicken Sliders/Leftovers

With the power outage and fear of loosing all the food in the house, I am trying to work all of the food in the house down to nothing before going to the grocery store to stock up.  I can't believe that we are going to use our last bag of boneless chicken and whole chicken!!!  I have used up lots in the pantry to use the stuff that always seems to move to the bottom of the stack during this mission.  This might be the last week that I can fill the week with things from the house so you should start to see more shopping trips soon :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekly Goals 7/15

This has been a tough week because we started hard core potty training over the weekend- take no prisoners and don't go back to pull-ups!  I have three bags of pull-ups in the closet just in case plus we are using them at night for now.  I am excited to say that we used the bathroom out of the house this week and didn't fight about it.  I am super excited that we might actually have this done before school starts so that he will be back in his class with his friends!!!  Might have to go door to door to friends at school because I think that he is starting to doubt the whole thing about having to not be in diapers for school.

This Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family- Might not be quality time since it is potty training week but there certainly is quantity.  I think that my son is ready to revolt!!
  • Go to storytime at the library- We cancelled storytime on Monday because we were trying to work on the potty training thing and leaving the house is tough when you are going every 30 minutes.
  • Go to the Dentist with little man- We went to the dentist and got our new toothbrush, balloon, zebra, dinosaur, stickers, and a clean bill of health!!
  • Go to see singer at library- Little man loved this and sang and danced his way through it!  All the way until the end when the crowd started to clear and he realized how far he danced away from mommy and I got a huge running hug :)
  • Playdate with friend at our house- We had a great visit with friends and the two highlights that he told Daddy when he got home were that he wouldn't leave his friend alone when he wanted to go to the other room and his friend went potty and then he went potty (and he shared his stool).
  • Go to Movies based on books at library- This is a really fun thing to do because it keeps us out of the summer heat and entertains us with stories that we later get the books for and read.  I really think that little man is enjoying seeing all the stories on the big screen and in the books.  I sort of wish we had the scholastic DVD set that they are using.  It might be a really practical baby shower gift going forward for me :)
Personal Goals
  • Cut coupons- I got all my coupons cut early this week so that I could clean up my coupon basket because it was such a mess.  I sorted through all my expired coupons and got everything back into the basket.
  • Girls night with dinner and sleep over- After complicated planning and complex schedule juggling, we are getting all four girls together over the weekend to cook dinner, watch movies, and eat junk food- no kids allowed!!
  • Shut off computer 5 nights to save energy- I started to shut the computer down on Sunday night and I got distracted...I actually used the intercom on the phone so that my husband could shut it down.  I remembered to do it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday without too much trouble.
  • Read Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich- I finished the book early in the week and wrote the review.  It should be posted soon!
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week- I did a horrible job this week trying to continually keep the house clean because I was constantly on bathroom break duty but I did the best that I could.  I didn't touch a thing on Wednesday (and sadly, Tuesday is a little blurry but I give myself 70% that I cleaned up at least the counters).  Here is hoping that next week goes better.
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning- I did this one night and then baked and made more of a mess that I still had to clean up and then we did them another night and I made tons more dishes in the morning.  Both still better then coming down in the morning to a pile of dishes!!  Just wish that they would stop appearing and they would self clean and put away.
  • Finish going through magazines (or at least make progress)- HAHA!  I didn't do anything all week and then realized on Thursday when I was talking to my friend that I hadn't done anything all week.  UGH!  Why do I find this project so troublesome?  Finally picked up a few on Friday night to go through them and made some folders to organize the articles that I pulled.  Feeling better about it and just wish that I did a few earlier in the week.
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday- Done
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family- I am scheduled way ahead so I am super excited to have more than 5 posts ready for next week too!!!
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip- Done
This Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family
  • Go to Puppet Show at the library
  • Go to singing group at library
  • Go to guitar playing guy at library
  • Go to Movies based on books at library
Personal Goals
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning
  • Go through more magazines
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family
  • Write review of Love in Disguise by Carol Cox when completed and send link to publisher
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip