Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rosemary Garlic Chicken

I decided that I was going to finally use the wine chicken broth that I had in the freezer to make some yummy Rosemary Garlic Chicken (and try to clean up the freezer which is a loosing battle).  It is a simple recipe that you can use to make chicken with any flavor you would like but I chose rosemary and garlic because those are super tasty together.

First step is putting a little oil in a pan and put on low to heat.  Make sure that there is enough to coat the bottom because it is hard to have the chicken stick to the bottom and try to fix later but just in case leave the olive oil bottle near the stove.

Here is the messiest step but the important one- coating the chicken with breading.  I like to use Bisquick because it makes a little thicker coating but if this isn't something you have around the house, flour also works or cornstarch.  Pour the Bisquick in a bowl and add a little bit of ground black pepper to taste.

I coated the chicken in the breading and putting it in the oil in the pan.  Make sure you turn the oil up to medium heat when you add the chicken.  I left the chicken in while I was breading the other chicken tenders and cooked them until the bottom was browned before flipping them.

Cook all of the chicken on both sides until completely cooked through.  Remove from pan and keep on a plate to rest.  Add the garlic and rosemary to the pan until they are fragrant.  I use the microplane to grate my fresh garlic into the pan because it blends right into the sauce.

Add the chicken broth (or other broth of choice) to the pan.  I used one that had wine and herbs in it so that it had lots of flavors already in it but all chicken broths would be great.

Cook until thickened (or the people at the dinner table are too hungry to wait anymore).  Add the chicken back into the pan to heat through.

Serve over egg noodles or other pasta or rice of choice.  We used No Yolks Egg Noodles which were on sale at Harris Teeter so I stocked up when they were really cheap.  They are quick and easy and really filling.  About half a bag was plenty for us.

Here is what our plates looked like when we served it all up.  The noodles got lots of the flavorful broth and so did the chicken so it was really tasty!!  I hope that you try this for yourself soon.

Rosemary Garlic Chicken

1/4 c Bisquick (or flour with a little salt)
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Ground black pepper
4 thinly cut chicken tenders
3 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chicken broth
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon or True Lemon powder
Pat of butter

In a shallow bowl, mix Bisquick and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Dredge chicken cutlets in seasoned flour; shake to remove excess.

Warm 2 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat (can add rosemary stalks for more fragrant cooking but remove when making sauce). Add breaded tenders and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate; cover loosely. 

Place skillet over low heat (add 1 tbsp oil if there is none left).  Add garlic and 1 tbsp rosemary; stir for one minute.  Add chicken broth and lemon zest and juice, scraping up browned bits in the skillet.  Raise heat to medium, boil until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and add a pat of butter.  Return chicken to skillet, turning to coat.  Serve hot over noodles or rice.

Dear Mr. Knightley Book Review

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay was a book that was on my list to get through Litfuse Publicity Group.  I got an e-mail and decided that I would say yes even though I didn't know any information about the book or anything.  I was excited to see the package arrive on my door step and eager to start reading.  I picked it up and read it really quickly.  I think that I might have passed up a good night of sleep to continue to find out what was going on with the characters because I was on the edge of my seat (or bed in this case).  I think that you will find the same when you pick up this book and check it out.

This book was letters written from Samantha Moore, who is a 23 year old orphan, to a generous benefactor who is paying to put her through college at Northwestern University Journalism school.  She writes frequent letters to her anonymous donor about everything going on in her life.  She covers her feelings by quoting classic literature to people, most who miss the references but in her letters to Mr. Knightley, she is open and honest about everything.  The story progresses to have twists and turns for Sam who grows and learns to be more comfortable with herself by dealing with the issues in her past.  I hope that you pick up this book to find out how she grows and changes to become more secure with herself and a better journalist.

I didn't know what to expect from this book because it was just a compilation of letters.  How could you enjoy a book with only letters?  Sam has the ability to paint such a perfect picture other life through those letters that you barely remember that you are only reading letters and are not actually with her step by step through her life.  It is amazing how much she reveals about herself and learns from writing letters and articles for her classes.  This book should make everyone want to write a journal or become a pen pal just to expand their life a fraction of what Sam did in the book.  Through her writing, she changed her whole life and I hope that you check this book out at your local library or bookstore soon!  It is a book that is hard to put down and then sad when you get to the end because there isn't anymore left.  I hope for another in the series to find out what happens next to the great characters the author develops.  When you read it, please let me know what you think!!

* Please note that I was provided this book for my honest review through the publishing company and Litfuse Publicity Group.  All opinions here are my own and I have shared my review on Amazon and NOVA Frugal Family.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Parting Book Review

The Parting (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher, Book 1) by Beverly Lewis was on the shelf when I went searching for a new series while I was at the library, as well as the next two books in the series.  I was excited to get the whole series to bring home so that I could read one after the other and not have to reserve them and wait for them to come in.  I don't know if you do the book reserves at the library but it really is great as long as you plan ahead.  It is like getting exactly what you want every time you walk in the library but some stuff has long lines so you have to be patient.

Nellie Mae Fisher is dealing with the loss of her sister (and best friend) while trying to run her bakery and find someone to spend her life with.  At the same time as she is dealing with lots in her life, her parents are interested in learning more from the Bible which is not allowed by the Ordnung.  They have both been caught by the saving grace of God and are being threatened by being shunned.  Nellie Mae had met Caleb and they were courting and soon to be married.  She thought that she was going to be loosing her family to a shunning when things quickly changed.  It is an amazing transformation but you have to pick up the book and see for yourself what happens.

This book was set in 1966 but didn't seem a lot different then the current world in the Amish community.    It was different then some of the other Beverly Lewis books and it focused mainly on one family.  Usually the books change to a lot of different people in the community but this family had a lot of different things going on within them with the changes to the church, dealing with the death of a sister/daughter, and trying to find someone to share their lives with.  I thought it was a great coming of age story in the Amish community and gave lots of interesting issues with staying with the Amish faith.  I hope that you pick it up and see what you think about this start to this interesting series.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Make Baking Mixes in a Jar (or bags)

I love making mixes in the jar for me to use and I plan to make some this winter for gifts (especially with Black Friday shopping coming up tomorrow).  Are you thinking ahead to making holiday gifts?  I am!!!  I bought sets of cookie cutters after Christmas last year so I am going to match them with cookies in a jar or another mix like pancakes to make a nice teacher gift and gifts for friends.

Everyone is looking to make their life easier and have tasty treats.  These thoughtful treats can be whipped up when the family needs them to add to their meals and you can make as little or as much as you need to make a complete present.

Make a nice basket with pasta, sauce, and baking mix or beer bread and jelly (trust me that it is yummy).  I was thinking about a Mexican basket with corn bread mix and the neat Old El Paso sauces and maybe some tortillas.  I am planning on doing a few baskets for the holidays so I have been looking for options from breakfast to complete meals.

Here is where I showed you how to make the corn bread jar.  I started making these jars so often that I asked for this this neat canning funnel for last Christmas which I love. 

But don't worry if you don't have a canning funnel because I used to roll a piece of paper and tape it so that everything went into the jar and not on the counter (or you could pour slowly but that is too much patience for me).

The sad part of the corn bread recipe is that it doesn't fill up the whole large jar and is too much for the small jar.  I know that many people think of the jar cookie mixes that have the pretty layers and those are great but these are even more functional.  I normally mix mine up and as long as they fit in the jar then I am pleased and I am sure whoever gets the gift will be as well.

I make a recipe for honey beer bread and that fit perfectly into the larger jar so I highly recommend that recipe and you can throw in a can of beer if you think they would need it (if they aren't normally beer drinker).  The only thing they would need is honey and butter to put together a tasty treat!!

Scones or Greek Yogurt Scones is another great one.  Depending on whether you are giving this gift to someone who loves to bake or only likes baked good, you could do only the dry ingredients or you could blend in the butter and the toppings so that they only have to add the last few liquid ingredients.  Of course, that means that it needs to be refrigerated (or frozen) until use so not good to wrap a ahead and sit under the tree so decide how your friends and family would appreciate this one mixed up.

I keep some jars in my cupboard for everyday use including two cornbread, two scones, and one other one that changes (from beer bread to applesauce bread and more).  It helps to have the jars already mixed with the dry ingredients because you can make the meal just like using a boxes mix.  Make a few for yourself and a few for gifts.  If you use the same thing over and over, use a label maker to attach a label that can be reused.  If you change yours up, use a dry erase marker on the glass and it will wash off when you need to change it.  I also label with a small post it note but they don't often stay in place so

If you are looking for something a little easier to put together, grab a packet of seasoning and a bag or box of pasta and write a helpful shopping list of the items that they will need to finish making dinner.  I bought the McCormick Gourmet Spice packets and the McCormick recipe inspirations (one found with the spices and the other found with the gravies and other packets).  It will save time and money (and lots of thought) so that they get a neat little dinner from a quick and easy basket.  It would be great for the holidays or even for family with a new baby!!

Now I am going to have to start brain storming labels to put on my jars and bags so that all the gifts are ready to go with instructions. I will certainly share if I come up with anything pretty but usually functionality wins out because I put it off for too long and then it is time to give gifts and I am not ready!!  Fabric over the top and ribbon would also be pretty so we will see how creative I get with the decorations for my function jars.

I hope that this helps you come up with some great ideas and recipes to make a neat basket for holiday gifts for friends and family.  Enjoy this fun and frugal activities to make lots of great gifts for friends and family (and maybe a few for yourself)!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kid Math: Bean Thirteen

Bean Thirteen by Matthew McElligott was in the library under the math section.  My son and I were searching for interesting books that were also educational.  This book jumped off the shelf with it's interesting cover and did not disappoint.  We knew nothing about it and it was a well written and interesting book.

In the book, Ralph and Flora went out to pick beans for dinner.  After getting twelve beans, Flora decides to pick one more.  Ralph told her not to do it because it would make "unlucky" thirteen.  When they got home, they separated the beans into two piles and there was one left over.  Ralph said that it was leftover because it was unlucky.  Flora decided to invite a friend for dinner.  Then, they made three piles but there was still one bean left over!  They decided to invite another friend and make four piles but there was still one bean leftover.  They invited another friend and made five piles but the problem got worse because there were three beans left over.  They added another friend and changed the piles again when the door bell rang.  Ralph got very upset and bumped the table.  The beans went flying every where.  Ralph picked up the beans in a bowl while Flora greeted the friends at the door.  All of the bugs sat down to eat and took what they wanted to eat.  It worked out perfectly and all the beans were eaten.  But then Ralph realized that someone ate bean thirteen.  But who??

My son thought the book was really funny and really liked the math.  The beans are on the page so you can practice counting and see how all of the beans that the bugs take add up to thirteen.  It is amusing that there is one left over and that Ralph and Flora can't figure out how to solve the problem.  The numbers were fun to play with and then we decided that we needed to do a fun activity.

We decided to do our own bean activities.  I looked on the internet and found this fun activity to recreate what the bugs did in the story.  I made up a sheet where you divide up 18 beans just like her sheet but with a little more space in between because my son still writes his numbers pretty large and I had a whole 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper to fill.

  I pulled out some small paper plates and these little glass beads that I had in my craft supply box.  You can do this with paper circles and rocks (or even beans but they are a little small for small hands) from the yard so use what you have!  

My son took the glass beads and separated them on to the plates.  Starting with two plates (just like in the book) and working his way up to nine plates.  At first, he had trouble understanding that he should put one bean on each plate and tried to put the number he thought should go there.  By the time he was working with five plates, he figured it out!  

At the end of each round, the best part was that he got to practice his number writing on the results of the round.  He was thrilled to fill in the spaces with the answers when he would have been miserable practicing the same numbers without such a fun activity.  Do you have a little one that needs to practice number writing?  This is the great way to practice writing in addition to the joy of counting!

When get got through with one round on the plates, we counted how many beans were left to see if they were more or less then the number of plates that we had out.  It was another good lesson because greater then and less then is harder to understand but with the "beans" in their hands, it is much more concrete.

We took a break to read the book again and then he went back to playing to pretend to be a bug.  He got out the entire container of glass beads and asked for more plates.  I was trying to fix dinner at the time but I told him to work with the new beans and figure it out with the same plates.  He played with them all the way through until dinnertime!!!  What a great activity!  

I suggest making multiple sheets with different numbers and seeing how they like to play and count.  Making the sheets ahead of time would be key but I wasn't prepared for the excitement over the project.  Plus I was caught preparing the project when we had to start and I was still working on the papers while he was at the table trying to start.  I can't get anything over on him.  I hope that you enjoy this great book and fun activities.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cinnamon Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

I decided to make muffins because I had some apples in the fridge that were going bad and I wanted to something different with them then making my regular applesauce bread.  I had just seen this recipe on Cookin' Chicks and decided that it was the perfect use for my apples and a great solution to breakfast.  I have been waiting on breakfast and eventually making bad decisions because I am starving.  These will certainly help me have something to grab in the morning.

First, I made the applesauce by cutting up the apples and putting them in the blender.

It took a little bit to get them going but they mushed up quickly after they started.  I suggest adding a little bit of apple juice to them if you are going to use apples instead of just store bought applesauce.  I ended up with 2 cups of apple sauce from the apple that I had so I decided to double the original recipe to use all of the applesauce that I had available.

I pulled out all of the ingredients that I needed (except the milk) and got started.  I realized when I went to grab the milk that we were getting low so I thought it might be better to use the French Vanilla creamer and skip the vanilla since I had that available and that would still leave milk for my son's breakfast. Do you see the applesauce on the right of the picture??

I mixed the liquid ingredients in a bowl and I was a little worried that I had too much liquid.

Then, I added the dry ingredients to the same bowl.

I mixed until they were combined and it looked a lot of oatmeal.

Then, I spooned the batter into greased muffin cups.

 My family doesn't like toppings most of the time so I didn't double the recipe for the toppings.  I mixed the topping in a bowl starting with melting butter in the bowl.  I added the brown sugar and cinnamon.

 Then, I added the oats.  I was totally out of quick oats so I used the oats.  Doesn't this look pretty?

I put the toppings on some of the muffins so that I could taste it but it only covered 8 muffins and the recipe made 24 muffins so plan accordingly if you want the topping on all of your muffins.

I baked them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes because my oven does run hot so they cooked quickly.

I hope that you mix these up for your family and enjoy this tasty treat for yourself.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins


3 cups quick oats
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup French Vanilla creamer (or 1 c milk and 1 tsp vanilla)
6 tbsp oil (canola or vegetable)
1 egg

Topping for 8 muffins 
triple if want for whole batch

1 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup quick oats
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, creamer, oil, and egg. Add the quick oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt to the liquid ingredients stirring until just mixed. Pour batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, quick oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Sprinkle the topping over the muffin cups. Place muffin tray in a preheated oven, 400, and bake for about 14-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean once inserted in center of muffin.

Month End Coupon Printing and Organization

Can you believe that it is already the end of the month?  I am not sure where the time has gone but that is what the calendar says!  Of course, don't take my word for can check your calendar too. Remember to print coupons because some go away at the end of the month....also remember to check back in a few days and see what new ones have appeared!!

Check the following sites:
This is a good time to remind you to clean out all of the expired coupons and put them in the recycle bin!!  I try to remember to clean out my coupon basket but I usually end up going to the store and realizing that so many are expired that I can't find the ones that I am looking for before I get organized.  Make sure that you get cleaned up so that you can find the coupons you need to save money!!  I love to do this a few days before the end of the month to make sure that I don't miss using any that might expire at the end of the month.

Make sure you don't miss printing 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!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 11/25

Monday- Olive Oil Pasta with garlic bread
Tuesday- Worcestershire Chicken with chicken rice or white rice
Wednesday- Baked Potato Soup
Thursday- Thanksgiving dinner:  Herb Butter Chicken with sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, and rolls
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- Leftovers/???
Sunday- Leftovers/???

This week is the end of the month and a holiday so totally up in the air.  We are going to be trying to figure out what is going on this week and again how many people we are serving.  We will play it by ear as the week goes on and hope that we can flip out meals or add side dishes so that we have enough to feed whoever shows up at the table :)

We did decide to go with Thanksgiving Dinner even if we don't have company.  I bought a chicken and we are going to do all the fixing.  I used a rain check on the whole chickens for $0.69 per pound that I had at Harris Teeter and got a turkey at $0.57 per pound but we are saving that for Christmas.  We are going to have a smaller dinner and it will be just as yummy because there is no reason to have a big bird and waste all that meat but putting it in the freezer right away.  I hope that this makes Thanksgiving a little easier and less of a mess but only time will tell!!

Hope that you and your family have a great week planned with friends and family.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekly Goals 11/23

I am exhausted.  I think that this week was really long or else I tried to put a little too much in to it.  I got a hair cut and got my son's hair cut too.  We got lots of things crossed off the list and I am ready to start another busy week.  I am hoping that we can make it through all the holiday madness and enjoy Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  I hope that you and your family have a good holiday and enjoy a relaxing week!!!

Last week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with family- Wow!  So much family time this week with my son because he was awake and ready to go all the time!  I mean all the time whether it was 5 in the morning or 8 at night.  We did great at doing games and activities together as well as the boys cleaned up the leaves outside while I made dinner a few nights. Grandma and Grandpa are back so my son is super excited to see them.
  • Get to preschool on time everyday- We got to school on time everyday and we were even a little early this week.  It was cold so we took out the car blanket for him to snuggle under while we were sitting waiting for the line to start moving.
  • Work on Turkey projects with son and P week- We made the rhyming turkey, went to turkey storytime, made a turkey puppet and did the turkey die rolling game.  In addition, we did the pasta pumpkin for P week and did a few other activities.
  • Playdate with a friend after school (? depends on the grandparents plans)- We got to go to my son's school friends house on Tuesday after school so he was excited to play.
Personal Goals
  • Cut coupons- I was super organized this week and got my coupons cut and my printable coupons cleaned out and new ones filed on Wednesday while my son was in school.
  • Get coupons on Friday- We went to a storytime at the different library and they had papers before we left so I got all of the papers that I needed.
  • Organize and back up pictures on computer- I worked on this project and got a bunch done and then I took a little break.  I actually sat and downloaded the pictures all to the backup hard drive on either Monday or Tuesday night while watching TV.  I got all of the pictures organized and cleaned up.  There are now more that need to be filed so I am hoping to do this more regularly but I am super excited to be caught up and more organized.
  • Teaching new couponer the basics- Long day and we moved it to next week.
  • Early Education class through the county- This is my third class through the county and this might have been the worst one that I have been to because I just don't feel like they covered anything that needed to be addressed for the subject matter.  We sat there for an hour and a half and learned mostly nothing so I was a little sad that I wasted my time.  I should have asked more questions at the end but I asked one and they were a little confused on the answer so I figured it was better to cut my losses and not waste anymore time.
  • Go to Jazzercise (? depends on the grandparents plans)- I went on Thursday because it was the first day that I had a chance to make it with grocery shopping on Tuesday and lots of things to do on Wednesday so I forced myself to make it there.
  • Shut off computer 6 nights to save energy- I got my computer shut off every night and even most of the day which might explain why I am terribly behind on my blog and getting things posted (or I could blame it on my parents visit).
  • Finish reading The Parting by Beverly Lewis- Finished and review should be posted next week.
  • Start reading a new book that just came off reserve at the library (after actually making it there to get them off the reserve shelf)- I started with the Robyn Carr book because it was smaller and soft backed so that I could carry it with me instead of the big clunky hard back by Nicholas Sparks which I will be reading next.
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 5 days of the week- I cleaned up every day and tried to do my best to stay ahead of the mess of having lots of people in the house and lots of cooking and baking.
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning- I washed a lot of dishes and I don't really remember how clean the kitchen was every night but I think that we got them all done when my parents left which was Sunday but after that was a little bit of a blur.
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday (schedule 7 posts so that can spend more time with family)- I got up one post a day but it was hard this week with nothing scheduled ahead of time because running out of time most days but I got it done.
  • Review book reviews completed during the week (if done)- Reviews should be posted next week.
  • Work on a few posts to work ahead for the coming week- I worked on my Kids posts and my Thrifty Thursdays but nothing else.  I have a lot to do to get next weeks posts up so that I have more time to spend with my family.
  • Post Sunday Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, Kid Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday Tip- Everything posted per the schedule.
This week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with family and extended family
  • Get to preschool on time the one day
  • Thanksgiving program at my son's school
  • Storytime at the library
Personal Goals
  • Cut coupons
  • Get coupons on Friday 
  • Organize and back up pictures on computer 
  • Teaching new couponer the basics
  • Go to Jazzercise on Thanksgiving
  • Shut off computer 6 nights to save energy
  • Finish reading The Hero by Robyn Carr
  • Start reading the new Nicholas Sparks book from the library
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 5 days of the week
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday (schedule 7 posts so that can spend more time with family)
  • Review book reviews completed during the week (if done)
  • Work on a few posts to work ahead for the coming week
  • Post Sunday Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, Kid Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday Tip 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Not So Middle of the Month Budget Update and what you can get for your budget

Well, this month went out the window.  I totally missed the middle of the month budget update and I totally missed the budget.  My husband reminded me that I went over it last November so I pulled out the notebook with last years totals and he was right.  This year seems to be worse then last year and I might have lost all ability to stop shopping!!!

There are still a few sales that I want to hit and I figure since I already blew through my budget, what is the harm in doing a few more trips.  Well, that really isn't what I am thinking but who can pass up on free sugar and $0.97 bread flour.  I really can't!!!!  Plus, there is a huge deal starting at CVS on Sunday with lots of free things but those always do cost money out of pocket to get them.

The good news is that I have saved a lot and gotten lots of things that we needed.  Are you ready for the list of everything that I got?  Just a reminder that the month isn't over but I wanted to make sure to get this list up with a week left in the month to hopefully talk myself into stopping shopping!!!  Good news is that a busy November will keep me out of the stores in December.  There are less deals to be found and lots of other things that need to be done.

Potatoes 20 lbs
Kashi Go Lean Cereal 2
Wegman's Mac and Cheese 4
Tetley Tea Bags 18
Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 7
Cheese Its 2
Wheaties Cereal 1
Furmano Canned Tomatoes 24
Celestial Seasonings Pumpkin Tea 5
Kikkoman Soy Sauce 4
Maruchan Ramen Noodles 2
Aldis Vanilla Wafers 1
Aldis Nacho Tortilla Chips 2
Aldis Mini Pretzels 1
Molly McButter 2
Mentos Gum 7
Werther's Chewy Caramels 2
Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice 15
Vintage Seltzer 3
HT Seltzer 2

Gallon of Milk 4
Boneless Chicken Breast 3 packages (?? pounds)
Frozen Turkey 13.85 lbs
Split Chicken Breasts 3 packages (around 12 pounds)
Whole Chickens 4 (around 12 pounds)
Hormel Pepperoni 2
Country Crock Tubs 2
Margarine 3
Celery 2
Cooked Perfect Chicken Bites 4
El Monterey Burritos 8
State Fair Corn Dogs 3
Tombstone Pizza 2
Hormel Rev Wrap 4
Sister Schubert Hawaiian Rolls 4
Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls4
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 4
Immaculate Biscuits 3
McCain Fries 4
Liberte Yogurt 7
Chobani Greek Yogurt 2
Chobani Champion Yogurt 1
Oscar Mayer Turkey (16 oz) 2
Land O Frost Turkey (16 oz) 1

Pillsbury Bread Flour 4
Gold Medal Bread Flour 3
Domino Sugar (4 lbs) 1
Dixie Crystals Sugar (4 lbs) 2
Giant Light Brown Sugar 1
Wegman's Flour 2
Libby Pumpkin 2
Mazola Cooking Spray 3
Lindt Chocolate Bar 2
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt 1
Diamond Crystal Sea Salt 1

Personal Care/Paper Products
Angel Soft Tissues 8
Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues 6
Cottonelle Toilet Paper (9 mega rolls) 1
Dawn Dish Detergent 1
Cover Girl Eye Shadow 2
Scope 1
Tresemme Shampoo 1
Secret Clinical Strength 1 (for Christmas present)
Axe Body Spray 1 (for Christmas present)
Nice and Easy Hair Color 4 (for mom- exchanged for flour)
Children's Advil 1
Children's Mucinex 2
Pampers Pullups 1
CVS Rapid Release 24 ct 2

Total Retail $775.13

Total Savings $592.00

Total OOP $183.13

I am currently $23.13 over budget for the month with a week left to go including a holiday for which I forgot to buy the veggie when I was at Aldi's so it isn't going to be getting any better.  I have a few more trips to get fit in over the next 7 days and I am a little worried on my final number.  How are you doing so far this month???  Stay tuned and here the final month totals with pictures after all of the shopping is done next week!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Last Minute Kids Crafts for the Holiday

I can't believe that we have most of the week off school next week but I knew it was coming.  We only have the Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday to go to and the rest of the week is up to mommy to fill with crafts, activities and more.  I was trying to fit in a few final crafts before the holidays when I realized that I should have saved them until next week when he would be totally bored and want more to do.  Oh well, at least now I can share some of them with you!!

Rhyming Turkey

We used paint chips to make the rhyming words on and I cut the top and the bottom and cut on the side with the color names but I did miss two when we were working so quickly.  We attached the chips to the toilet paper roll.  I used eye stickers, a little orange triangle for the beak and my son drew the waddle because he is really excited that he learned the term.  I did use some clear tape on the back to make sure that everything stayed attached.

Coffee Filter Turkey

The back piece is a brown coffee filter folded in half and my son colored it with markers.  We attached it to turkey body and put the Popsicle stick on in between the two.  He drew on the eyes, beak, and waddle.  He was excited to have a turkey puppet.

Pasta Pumpkin

We used a bag of the Wacky Mac pasta which has all this pasta in one bag (which I got for free after sale and coupon).  My son decided that he needed to separate the pasta before working with it but he came up with a design and when he was done with the sticking, he poured the shells around to fill the spaces.  He enjoyed making it but it took a long time to dry because we used white glue instead of glue stick to make sure that they stuck on there.

Activity Sheets

We also did a few activity sheets where you had to roll the die (or dice) and put a dot or color the spot to help with addition and subtraction.  We did the turkey but there are lots of others on the download from A Cupcake for the Teacher.  She has some great print outs on her website and I got them on Teachers Pay Teachers.  If you hadn't checked out this neat website, it has things for kids and lots for free or a small fee and signing up is free.  Make sure you also check out the Cupcake for the Teacher blog because there are tons more activities to keep the kids entertained while they are on break from school.

I hope that you try a few of these fun activities and craft and enjoy your holiday break!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Harris Teeter Shopping Trip for a Turkey

I was on search for a turkey deal but there weren't that many good ones available this year and I felt like they took longer to come out.  Sadly there weren't a lot of deals this year but I wanted to get a turkey to have for Christmas dinner.  I know from the last three years that the only deals for turkeys were around Thanksgiving and then you see only deals on hams through the rest of the year.  I dislike ham a lot!!!  We usually do a turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas but this year we are not going to be a chicken for Thanksgiving since it is going to be just the immediate family and I didn't have a chicken either.

I had a rain check to get whole chickens for $0.69 per pound (limit 4 chickens) and another one for $0.99 per pound (limit 3 packages) for split chicken breasts which I was planning on using so that I would get my total up high enough to only need a few more things in order to get to the minimum $40 order before turkey in order to get the turkey on sale for $0.57 per pound.   I added up the cost of the chicken items and it was a little under $30 so I was pretty close to getting the turkey sale price.  I also had one rain check left for the Dixie Crystals sugar for $1.87 and there was a printable coupon so it was $0.37 for the 4 pound bag.  I wasn't sure if the $40 total needed to be before or after coupons and in my excitement, I went a little over board!

We were totally out of turkey lunch meat so that was first on my list to get. The Oscar Mayer had a $1 coupon on the front of it and it was $0.50 cheaper then the Land O Frost so I bought two of them and one Land O Frost because it had a longer date so it should make us through all of December but I am not holding my breath.

There was a deal on the Kashi Go Lean cereal on my evic specials so I got two limit $1.97 and used the $1 printable coupon off each plus got the $1 evic zvr coupon so they were $0.47 each.  A super good deal on a really expensive cereal so I was excited to get something special for myself since no one else eats that around here.

I grabbed the Tetley tea which after coupon was $0.29 per box.  I also got a total impulse and not necessary biscuits (two packages in case you can't see them) because I had the $1 coupon so they were only $0.50.  My rule is usually that we don't buy biscuits unless they are free or a money maker but I really wanted to make doughnuts while my husband is home for his mini-vacation so I guess we will be making them now that I splurged.

My second splurge was the Werther's carmels which I really didn't need but I thought would be good to make some blondie brownies that my mom found a recipe for so we will see if they stick around long enough to be used for the brownies or if they are eaten instead.

I don't know if you can tell but I was up and down aisles as things occurred to me and didn't really do the best job and getting things in order but I got everything in the cart and still had a few coupons to spare so I added a few freebies that I had on my list like the Mentos gum, Kikkoman soy sauce, Molly McButter and the Diamond Crystal Sea Salt.  On the way down one of the aisles, I saw the yogurt I needed for my son because he declared that morning that he didn't like blueberry yogurt and only liked strawberry which we were totally out of so in the cart and it was on sale and there was a coupon so it was only $1.

Then, I went down the aisle to get the Angel Soft tissues and the Kleenex (because it was supposed to print a catalina for $1.50 off my next order).  I realized that I had 19 coupons that doubled and only one coupon left to use so I added the Cottonelle to my cart which had the cart piled to the top and I was started to get a little afraid but I made my last stop to pick up the Harris Teeter and Vintage seltzer because they were under $0.20 each.....probably didn't need 5 bottles but I was already over board.

Total OOP $62.17- $2.53 cash back for missing catalina and zvr coupon= $59.64

Total Savings $92.48 + $19.01 chickens + $20.29 split chicken + $3.64 Dixie Crystals +2.53 Cash= $137.95

This might be the most that I have saved in a long time without super doubles or triple (maybe even with them) but I got a lot of great deals and although it was an overwhelming trip with so much to plan for and so many things to get.  I had the great use of three rain checks to get my total to what I needed for the turkey sale.  It did save me an additional $5.70 to spend the total and get the turkey for Christmas but I think that I might have still gone a little overboard.  Especially because I didn't have that much left in the budget and we did need milk, pepperoni and some more Cranberry Juice to finish out the month.  I guess we will see where this month ends up :)

Thrifty Thursday: Using Your Leftover Turkey

Are you already sick of turkey sandwiches?  Okay, probably not but it is always good to plan ahead.  My husband likes to make sandwiches the next few days and then quickly looses interest in the turkey and it sits in the back of the fridge until it goes bad and we throw it out. 

Now, I take my leftover turkey and freeze it until my husband misses the taste of the turkey.  I mixed up a really easy turkey and saffron rice soup.  It was so easy that I didn't even think about it as a recipe but it can be made on the stove or in a crock pot easily.

I made two batches of this yummy soup (and took no pictures).  First, I used a little turkey stock and chicken stock.  On the second, I used chicken stock because I used up all the turkey stock.  I make my own but you can use the kind from a box or can if you don't make your own....but I swear it is really easy to do.  Here is mine and it comes out a little different every day.

I like to freeze it in containers or bags so that I can use it later for things like this recipe.  I used to freeze it in bags and then I had a leaking problem so I started freezing them in the disposable plastic containers because then there isn't any problems with leaking.

I cut up the turkey into small bite sized pieces and added them to the broth.  I wish that I had a picture but it looked like cut up turkey so it wasn't really impressive.  I cut the carrots and the celery and put them in a pot.

I make the saffron rice ahead of time which you can pull from the freezer or the fridge and throw into the pot.  I use the Mahatma Saffron Rice because I got them for free at the store and they add a great flavor.  You can use any rice you want but I made it both times with this rice and it was great!!

I simmer it on low until everyone is ready to eat and each person can season to taste.  My parents like it as it is but my husband loves to add pepper (but he likes to add pepper to almost everything).  It is great to throw together for the day after Thanksgiving and leave in the crock pot so that any family still in town can just grab their soup when they want to for lunch or dinner (or in between shopping trips).  I hope that you throw together some turkey and rice soup or freeze some ingredients to make it later in the winter!!  It makes a great lunch or dinner for the cold winter days.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kids Math and Reading: Zero Is The Leaves on the Tree

Zero Is The Leaves On The Tree by Betsy Franco was in the same section with other math books that we were checking out and I decided since we were going to have L week at school that it would be a good thing at home.

In the book,  the beginning of the book talks about how zero is the shape of an egg.  On each page, there is something that is zero.  The are zero balls in the basket at recess, zero leaves on the tree in the fall, zero ducks on the winter pond.  Each page has easy to read words and great pictures.  My son read the book by himself and really enjoyed that he could read it by himself.  It was easy for him because of the easy words and not a lot of each page so it didn't get too overwhelming.

We went on a leaf hunt and my son picked out a bucket of the leaves from the yard before we even read the book.  He had a great time filling the bucket and picking out lots of different kinds of leaves.  Great time to talk about how all the leaves are on the ground and there are none or zero on the trees.  It is counting and science all in one!

So we decided to made leaf rubbings.  We did one at first and the paper moved so we got out our handy plastic place mat so that I could tape the paper to the top so that he could flip it up and put the leaves under the paper.  This was way more successful then our first picture and we did at least five pictures.  Then, my son got out the glue stick and glued a few to another picture that he made so that they looked like clothes on a person.

 At school, it was L week so they made an L with leaf stamps for their morning work which he also enjoyed.  I don't have the neat stamps or else I would have made this neat craft because it is super easy but can also be done less expensively at home for one or two kids with stickers instead.

We did a lot of other fall activities including cutting and putting together this book.  I found a website called, Serving Joyfully, that had lots of fun fall activities including this book (click here).  I printed it out and my son cut it and chose that we should have three staples on the side to put it together. 

After we put it together, my son read me the book and we did the activity page where he wrote the answers to the questions.  I was pretty excited because he wrote all the answers himself and looked in the book for the spelling so he was super happy and proud that he finished the whole thing by himself.

Serving Joyfully fall activities also had a memory match and domino game in their print out.  I cut up the memory pieces and we have played memory match a few times since then and he refers to all of the people in the picture by name so I know he remembers the story and is super proud of all of his cutting.  Make sure you check out the great website to get these activities and more!!

I hope that you check out this book and do a few of these fun activities!  I know that you will enjoy it because it will keep your kids entertained for at least a few days with all the different things to do.  I hope that you check it out the next time that you are at the library or bookstore.