Friday, November 28, 2014

The Brothers Keeper Book Review

I picked out this book because it seemed like it was something totally different then I would normally pick.  Do you ever do that at a bookstore or the library?   I think that it is the only way to find new things.  It is how I found out that I like Amish fiction and mysteries.  I didn't used to read either but a book of each changed my mind.  It is always nice to read books that you like but it is also great to expand your reading base so that is why I picked The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton.

While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, archaeologist Grace Madison learns that her daughter has disappeared in France, and daughter-in-law has been attacked in Switzerland. But before the Madisons can save themselves, they must rescue an old friend. Navigating a deadly, four-thousand-year-old artifact trail that crosses three continents, they jeopardize hearts and lives against a foe as old as time--as time runs out.

I had a hard time getting into the book because the point of view kept shifting from one person to another.  The other problem was that there were way too many "main" characters so it was hard to remember which character was which.  Is that the mom or the daughter?  Is that the son or the boyfriend?  Having trouble connecting to the characters was my first problem but even farther into the book it was hard to connect with the premise that there would be an ex-CIA, Mossad, and MI6 operative working together.  It sounds like a bad joke with what do you get when the three of them walk into a bar.  I also just couldn't get into the idea that so many people were after the same thing but it started seeming more and more like Angels and Demon or Davinci Code with the hidden messages and clues from antiques so there is obviously a market for the genre.  I fought to pick it up and read it and every time found something different that gave me more trouble with the book.  After 150 pages, there was finally mention of the title and linking the book back to the title but it was too little too late.

I can say that I have been reading it for awhile and I am still not done but I can tell you that this isn't the book for me.  I have a hard time giving up on a book and always hope for an ending that brings it all together but I think missing the first book in this series, left me missing the mark on the whole book.  I felt like I was missing something the whole time and still haven't figured out what the missing piece is.  Have you read the book or others by the same author?  What do you think??

** I was provided a copy of the book for my honest review and opinion through the publisher at Litfuse Publicity.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 11/24

Tuesday-Chicken Stir Fry with rice and/or noodles
Wednesday- Cheese Raviolis with garlic bread or peasant bread
Thursday- Dinner at Sister in laws for Thanksgiving (in charge of mac and cheese, rolls and pies)
Friday- Chicken and Rice Soup or Potato Soup
Saturday- Leftovers/ Chinese Food
Sunday- Leftovers/Whole Chicken

My parents are coming into town for the holiday weekend so I am trying to find things that are flexible because there are many times that we are out all day and don't get a chance to get the food in the oven in time to have things on the table at dinner time but we often eat bigger meals when they are here so it is nice to make a whole chicken so that it serves four instead of using all the leftover chicken.We are also going to try to clean out the fridge before they get here so Monday night is the last night to use up any leftovers so dinner is up in the air.

My other goal is to defrost this freezer before moving so I was hoping to do it after Christmas so we have a lot to eat before then.  I am digging through the freezer and trying to put as many meals on the menu from the freezer as possible but I think that we are going to be down to a lot of little odds and ends like brown rice, enchilada sauce and diced onions.  I guess only time will tell but hopefully we will be able to work in a lot of the food so that defrosting the freezer isn't the worst job in the world.

What do you have planned for the busy time with family in town???  Any make ahead dishes or ideas??

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pound Foolish Book Review

I picked a book that was a little outside my normal book reading but there was a note that the author also wrote the Yada Yada Prayer group and it sounded like a fun loving book so I tried it.  Pound Foolish by Dave Jackson and Neta Jackson showed up early in my mailbox so I got a chance to get a little early start on it.

The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, POUND FOOLISH explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family.  In this book, Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and macho toys for outdoor men like himself. When the recession hits Greg's industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday.  Every decision he makes sends him farther behind and doesn't put him on the path that he is looking for wealth and prosperity.  Does he hit rock bottom when his wife decides to leave him?  You have to read it and find out!  

The book was very well written and had lots of great characters in it.  That being said, it wasn't really my type of book but I read it from start to finish.  There was too much God and Bible quoting for my tastes.  Although I like Christian writing and books, I would rather have any book show me the way to the conclusion instead of repeating Bible verses or messages through the church.  I was upset with Greg Singer's behavior through the book and not including his wife on any decisions that affected the whole family because he was insistent that the church told him to be the head of his household.  I am sure that made him a good characters because you were supposed to dislike him but it made it hard to read the book when all Greg kept doing was making bad decisions.  I dislike when people use religion to justify their behavior instead of just looking at the basics of good and evil to make a decision.  Overall a well written book but it wasn't my cup of tea.  If you like Christian fiction, feel free to pick up this and others int he series to see how you like them.

**This book was provided to me from the publisher through LitFuse Publishers for my honest opinion and review.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Free Calendars Now Available

I look forward to getting my Betty Crocker and Pillsbury calendars every year and last year I missed mine!!  I don't know what happened but I went on the website in December and found that they were already gone.  Darn it!  I marked it on the calendar this year to make sure to check at the beginning of November.  They weren't there at the beginning of November but they are now.

In order to get your free calendar, you need to be a member of and before 11/17/14.  What this means is that if you already have a log on because you print coupons there, you can go and get your two free calendars now.  All you have to do is log on and then enter in a little information on where they are going to mail the calendar. 

You will be very excited in 6-8 weeks when the new calendars with the great pictures and recipes appear in the mailbox.  I use one of mine for my meal planning.  The boxes are really big and let me write in a lot of details on what I am going to make and even leaves a little room if I have to cross things off and move them around.

I can't wait for mine!!!  How about you???

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane Book Review

My husband and I have been watching the Sleepy Hollow show on TV.  Have you??  It is a really good show and has you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next adventure.  They have lots of scrapes and troubles but Abbie, police lieutenant, and Ichabod, awoken from 200 year sleep, work together to solve the mysteries of the more supernatural.  This book is written from the point of view of Ichabod Crane and covers all of what happened in the first season of the show.

In "Sleepy Hollow," a supernatural twist on Washington Irving's classic short story, Ichabod Crane has been pulled two-and-a-half centuries through time to find that he and detective Abbie Mills are humanity's last hope in the war against evil as the two watchers. Passionate, intelligent, and wryly funny, Crane has always used journals to collect thoughts and documents that may prove useful later, and The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane offers an unprecedented look at the battle also raging inside his fascinating mind.

On the pages within, Crane shares new memories of the American Revolution; more amusing reflections on modern-day phenomena, from the Internet to Election Day; and private thoughts about Abbie, Katrina, and others. He also includes hidden case files; secret Freemason puzzles; selections from George Washington's mysterious Bible; and photos, letters, and drawings he has collected along the way. Filled with detail about past battles and vanquished monsters, as well as clues about those he and Abbie have yet to face, this journal is not just the ultimate repository for fans, but the key to Sleepy Hollow’s future—and the world’s.

I was really looking forward to the book and hoping that my husband was going to read it too.  When I opened to the first page to see how it started, I saw that it was written in the old English way that Icabod speaks and is very hard to get into.  The words don't flow as easily and quickly to read because you have to stop and make sure that you aren't missing words because of the difference in the cadence of speech but once you get into it, it is easy enough to follow.

I was also hoping for a little bit more then the show provided but reading the beginning of the book, I fear that I wouldn't get as much out of it if I hadn't already read the book.  They mention something that happened in the show over a 1 hour episode on one page so there isn't a lot of detail and I would think that if I hadn't already seen the show that I would be confused on what they were talking about with the lack of details.  If this was a book to go along with the show, I could see reading a certain section after watching the show on TV that week or reading the whole thing if you missed the season.  But to sit down and read it for more in depth information isn't going to bring you more insight into the show.  If you are just looking to extend the entertainment value of the show, this might be the right book for you.  I enjoyed the book and the funny musings of Ichabod about the new American lifestyles in contrast to what he remembers.

**This book was provided to me for my honest opinion and review from Blogging for Books.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 11/17

Monday- Tacos with saffron rice
Tuesday- Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes
Thursday- Sausage or Cheese Raviolis
Friday- Chicken Nuggets with homemade fries and tater tots
Saturday- Leftovers/??
Sunday- Leftovers/??

Although I had a plan in place last week, we did a lot of shuffling around.  Luckily, I was ready for the whole week so we were able to move a few things around and did leftovers one night instead of pasta because no one was interested in eating or cooking.  I am hoping for a little bit easier week with nothing planned to make it more crazy.  We already had our week with lots of afternoon and evening meetings and this week is looking pretty easy which should mean that I am a little more flexible but that usually means that I try to fit too much into one day so we will see.  The only thing that we are out of for the week is cheese so I will have to go to the store to get some.  We are also out of olive oil and almost all other oils in the house.

Having the menu plan in place will help me get dinner on the table even after I have done something in the day to take me off track.  I thought being a stay at home mom was going to give me more time and not less but I always seem to fill it up and get a lot less fun things done then I would hope for!!  How about you??

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quilted by Christmas Book Review

I have enjoyed the books in the Quilts of Love series that I have read so far so I was excited to get another opportunity to try another one. Quilted by Christmas: Quilts of Love Series by Jodie Bailey was the next to be offered through the publisher.  This one also had the added bonus about being about Christmas.  I really enjoy the books about Christmas because they help get me in the mood for the holiday season.  There are so many other things in normal life that pull us down and we aren't happy about the holidays coming because they are also so stressful but this is a really great holiday story.

In the book, Taryn McKenna believes she's easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree---something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches in the town that she grew up.

When Taryn's grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project---an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. She learned about love of others and the love for herself through the trials with her grandmother.

I enjoyed the book and even had to stay up to finish the book when I got close to the end.  I was laying in bed with a tissue, very past my bedtime, and hoping for a happy ending.  The book has great writing and great characters that you can really relate to.  I loved watching Taryn interact with all of the people in the town where she grew up and see how she acts like she hasn't grown up.  It is interesting to see how she changes through the book and it really makes you relate to her even more.  I hope that you add this book to your list of books to be read!!  I know that you will enjoy this and others in the series.

** I was provided this book from the publisher for my honest review and opinion from LitFuse Publishers.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Credit Card for Kids???

I saw a little clip from the Chew that had me thinking.  Have you heard of giving your child their allowance on a credit or debit card so that they can learn to budget?  Check out this clip!  The hosts and audience think that it is a good idea.  On the surface, I think that it is a good idea but then I also wonder what age kids start understand the concept of money instead of just having paper money in their hands. 

Tell me friends with younger kids think that you will use this in the future and any with older kids, is this what allowance has come to??  I really need some help on this because my husband and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to allowance because I never had one growing up so I don't agree to give one to my son.

There are tons of websites out there with advice every way including this one and this one to tell you what to decide and what cards to choose to do it with.  But just like with recipes, I prefer to go right to the source.  Would you pay your kids allowance to a credit/debit card and what age??

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Raging Heat Book Review

I was excited to see another book on the list at the library by Richard Castle.  Raging Heat (Nikki Heat)
by Richard Castle was the next book in the Nikki Heat series.  It came in off reserve and I got the email that it was on the shelf for me.  I was excited to see the new book coming home with me and it was hard to wait to start reading it.  I finally got to pick it up after I read a few books that I had in the pile before it and I was happy to be back with the characters.

In the book, an illegal immigrant falls from the sky and NYPD Homicide Detective, Nikki Heat's investigation into his death quickly captures the imagination of her boyfriend the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jameson Rook. When he decides to work the case with Heat as his next big story, Nikki is at first happy to have him ride along. She must endure Rook's usual wild conspiracy speculations and adolescent wisecracks, but after reuniting following his recent assignment abroad, she's glad for the entertainment, the chance to bounce ideas, and just to be close to him again and feel the old spark rekindle. But when Rook's inquiry concludes that Detective Heat has arrested the wrong man for the murder, everything changes.  Balancing her high stakes job with a complicated romance has been a challenge ever since Nikki fell for the famous reporter. Set against the raging force of Hurricane Sandy as it pounds New York, Heat battles an ambitious powerbroker, fights a platoon of urban mercenaries, and clashes with the man she loves. The action and twists in this book makes for questions up until the end so make sure you pick it up and find out what happens.

I love these books!  Although the difference between the Castle show on TV and the writing in the book by the character in the show is a little complicated, these books stand on their own.  If you leave behind the show and the characters, this series of books is still great writing and great characters.  I like to be able to take my time with these book but once you get into the book, it is like pausing a movie in the middle and waiting.  It makes you want to finish it quickly and sad when it is over.  Almost worth starting over and reading it again.  This book keeps you guessing from beginning to end because there are so many things that are up in the air until the last possible minute.  The action in this book would make a great movie and I promise that you wouldn't want to pause it either.  I hope that you pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did!!!  Don't forget the others in the series too!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Menu Planning Monday 11/10

Monday- Chicken Tacos with saffron rice
Tuesday- Leftovers Chicken Fried Rice (for husband) and Mac and Cheese (for son) and ?? (for me)
Wednesday- Red Baron Pizza
Thursday- Olive Oil Spaghetti with garlic bread
Friday- Chicken Nuggets with homemade fries
Saturday- Leftovers/Breakfast for Dinner

I have a crazy busy week with working two days, meeting with contractors , picking up my sister in law from the airport, book fair night, final walk through and the house closing.  I am hoping that this meal plan helps put the busy week in perspective.  I am hoping that it also means that there wasn't any crisis right around dinnertime.  I think that I am going to have a busy week but at least I have a menu plan!  How is your week shaping up??

Friday, November 7, 2014

Becoming Bea Book Review

I got Becoming Bea (The Courtships of Lancaster County) by Leslie Gould through the publisher for my review.  I was excited to say yes to this opportunity and even more excited to see if pop into my mailbox.  I love to read Amish fiction and this is a series and author that I hadn't had a chance to read yet.  I knew that it was a little while before I needed to post my review but I had to read the book and couldn't put it off any longer.  I prefer reading the books and posting the review right away but I just couldn't help it!

In this book, Bea Zook knows she needs to learn patience toward others because she is quick to anger which is not common in the Amish community. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.  She changes her own personality as she grows more confident.  One person she'll never be able to find peace with though is her childhood friend, Ben Rupp. Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her and frequently says things just to upset her and get her reaction. Their friends decide to try and bring the couple together to show them that the bickering is actually them caring for each other because someone you don't care about can't affect you as much.  Make sure you pick up this book and find out how it works out!!!

I enjoyed the book so much.  My biggest complaint is that it was so good that I had trouble putting it down and therefore, it was over too fast.  The great writing and great characters drag you into middle of the situation so that you feel like you are living in this small town with the other characters.  I am going to have to look for more by the author, especially the first three books in this series.  I am usually not one to start series in the middle but when given the chance to review this book, I jumped at the chance because it sounded so interesting.  I wasn't wrong and I wasn't disappointed!!  I hope that you check out this book and see if you need to add it to your reading list too.  Let me know if you have read this or any other books in the series so I know where to read next!

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please feel free to click here.

More about the author: Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 CBA bestseller The Amish Midwife, a 2012 Christy Award winner; ECPA bestseller Courting Cate, first in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; and Beyond the Blue, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She and her family live in Portland, Oregon.

**  I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review from Litfuse Publicity.

Review also posted on Amazon

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Not Getting Off the Saving Track

I was trying to write a note this week about saving some money and I don't have anything to say except that I have been totally out of touch because we are working on buying our new house.  I don't know what I have done recently to save a little money but I know that I have to continue planning and make sure that I stay on track during this stressful time. 

How do you do it??  When things get busy, how do you make sure that you stay on track with saving money and not going over budget?

I have had a tough time sticking to a menu and making up things at the last minute before dinner.  When you are busy all day and then come home, it is the last thing that I want to think about to get in the kitchen and make dinner.  Especially since I have a five year old who isn't really interested in eating that much so we end up lowering what we are going to eat most nights to what is interesting to him so that he will eat it too. 

Do you have picky eaters at your house??  Any ideas on what works for you?

I am working to sell as many things as I can through Craigslist and eBay before the move to get rid of things and make a little money.  It takes a lot of work to do all of those things especially when you are already busy.  I have lots of baby stuff to get rid of and other things around the house.  We are hoping to take a big batch to Salvation Army before the end of the year on the things that haven't sold to get a nice tax write off too.

Any eBay or Craigslist tips?  Any ideas on hot things that I should be looking for to sell?

I am also looking forward to the holiday season.  We have Thanksgiving coming which we are going to my sister in law's house so we are out of most of the work but I will probably be bringing some sort of food with us.  The great news is that I have the stress off of me for that.  I am going to most likely have guests for Christmas so I am sure that things will be a little crazy.  I try hard to make good decisions and not go crazy with holiday shopping but I think that with all of the house things going on that this might take a back shelf and I am worried.

What do you do to make sure you stay on track for the holidays?  Do you set a budget for the holiday or just a list of the people you need to buy for??

Any tips to get me to stay on track will be greatly appreciated!!  Hoping that buying lots of things for the house and the busy schedule isn't going to throw me off track so comment and give me great ideas on what to do to stay on track.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October Budget Review

This month was a little crazy in the shopping department and I can't really figure out why except there were a lot of good deals out there that I didn't seem to be able to pass up.  I tried to make it to the store to get most of the deals although the end of the month came a little too quickly and the expiration of many of the coupons that were burning a hole in my pocket.

I was hoping to get a few more trips in to get some freebies but then the month got even more busy when we walked through a house and found our new house!  We wrote the contract and amazingly it got accepted and ratified quickly (which in this area is hard because there are multiple bids on all of the houses).  We did the home inspection and they found nothing major wrong with it so we did the happy dance and we are moving forward with closing on the 14th.  I can't believe how quickly this is moving but we are excited to start our new life in the new house!!

Sadly, this is putting some confusion in the shopping plan because we don't know when we are really going to be moving.  We are going to be doing renovations on the new house while still living in the old one so it is going to be a little bit still but I am hoping to cut down on the shopping trips for the next couple months but I do have to buy a turkey when they go on sale this month for Christmas dinner.  This is the time of year that I usually stock up on baking supplies so I am trying to make some decisions between getting the items on sale and having to move 40 lbs of flour.  I guess you will have to stay tuned to see what wins!!

$47.40 Aldi

I seem to need a once a month trip to Aldi's and I get most of the items I need for the month like lettuce, potatoes, butter, crackers and some chicken fingers in this trip and they lasted for most of the month.

$14.38 (and $10 on gift card) Giant

I needed to get toilet paper and paper towels so I was looking for a good deal so that I could get something with my $10 gift card and it turns out that I found a deal if I bought three things so it took me a little bit to put together the best deal but I was excited to get this and spend so little out of pocket with the instant $7 savings, sale prices and coupons.  I was a little sad when I realized that I forgot to spend the $5 off $15 that I had in the car!!  Saved it and used it at Harris Teeter because they take competitive coupons.

$2.98 CVS

We were out of the Advil and I was going to get the small size which would have been free after coupon but they were totally out and it was the end of the coupon.  I grabbed two of the regular ones that were buy one, get one half off and I used my ECBS, coupons and another coupon that came out of the machine to get a bargain of a deal since these are $7 each.

$13.27 Harris Teeter

Last day for the Giant coupon so I worked really hard to get my total after coupons up to $15 which is a challenge.  Before coupon total was well over $60 so I thought I was fine but it came down to $11 so I had to grab another whole chicken which ended up being free after the coupon for $5 came back off.  Should have used it at Giant when I had the chance but we got lots of great deals and saved over $100 on all of this!!

$28.63 Harris Teeter

I might have gone a little overboard on this deal but I got a bunch of Christmas presents for my cousin, brother in law, and mom so I am still putting it up to a good deal.  As well as getting a deal on toilet paper which we need to stock up on and my son's oatmeal.

$0.97 Harris Teeter

I used a rain check for the apple sauce, Domino Quick Dissolve, Lipton Family Size Tea Bags and black pepper on this transaction to get the most bang for my buck during super doubles. I bought the Dove to use the overage to pay for the rest of the deals (mostly the pepper).

$1.76 Harris Teeter

I couldn't pass up free microwave popcorn, hot sauce, hair spray, tissues, rice and shampoo.  There was some overage so I had to get a few things to fill the difference like the Windex and the Domino (used a rain check).  I actually had to run back in the store and get the Domino's because my total went negative...not sure what happened but great excuse to get some sugar because it will never go to waste in this house.

$4.33 Harris Teeter

I used a rain check to get the applesauce and the Mazola spray because there still weren't a lot of deals on the shelves because stock was low.  I got the deal on the pierogies which are a yummy new flavor.  I got to the end and didn't use all the coupons so I added the three Glade plug ins which were free after coupon and the hot sauce.  Sadly, I messed up the other parts of the deal.  I should have had another ZVR come off the Excedrin to make it a good deal but I didn't return it because at least it wasn't full price and I know that I am going to need it.  I got the Bertolli meal and the Torta to try and get the rebate back from Checkout 51 for $2.50 but I messed it up!!  I got $1 for the Torta but the other one was supposed to have two meals to get the other $1.00 and then if it wasn't done by that day then I lost the bonus $0.50 for having them together but the good news is that even though they weren't the bargain that I was aiming for, we ate them already during our busy nights so they got enjoyed.

$2.10 Harris Teeter   

I used a rain check and coupons to get the Applesauce free and the Finish super cheap.  The Puffs were on sale and free after coupons so this was a really great deal and I got to stock up on Finish which we are almost out of!!

$1.26 Harris Teeter

I went to another store and got a few deals that my store was out of including the Vidal Sassoon shampoo and conditioner.  I used the rain check to get the Domino's Quick Dissolve and GoGo Squeeze Applesauce free.  I got one box of Lipton and one Bayer and the Puffs free after coupon.  I wanted to get the Sierra Mist since we were going to have a few people over and it seemed like a fun drink but these were still pricey after coupon so I got the Jif Hazelnut Spread with a rain check to get the overage from the ZVR to put money towards the Sierra Mist.  I had some trouble at the check out because they didn't want to accept my rain check but I got some sort of approval and they took it after much debate.  Then my Sierra Mist coupon didn't double fully and I tried to explain how I would still be paying and the coupons was doubling to the price of one and not two.  I was about ready to give up and give them two more coupons so I could at least get the right price from the computer when another manager came over and gave me the additional $1.50 that I was looking for.  Thank goodness and this is why I always go to the same store because I know that they understand and I very rarely have any trouble.

$0 Giant

I got a coupon in the mail to get a free reusable bag.  There were reports everywhere that they were out of them and they wouldn't get them back in until after the coupon expired so I headed to the store to get the one thing while I was out because I knew that I still didn't have my act together for the trip that I should be doing.  I had a hard time to deciding but the one with the orange had an apple on the other side and the eggplant had lettuce on the other side.  I decided on the fruit instead of veggies.  What do you think??

$0  ($8.56 on gift card) Giant

I went to the store to get lunch meat and corn tortillas but it turned into a race to the finish line when my contractor called and said he was at the house early.  I had to grab what I had and run to the checkout.  I got five ham, one turkey and the tortillas and the price was crazy high because I couldn't find the coupon for the turkey.  Oh well, I have a gift card and I went with it because I hadn't had lunch meat for my husband in days.

$0 ($1.29 on gift card) Giant

I went back to use my rain check for the spaghetti sauce when I realized that the coupons were going to expire on 11/1.  It is a good thing that I went through all my coupons before the end of the month or I would have missed 10 jars of free pasta sauce.  I also grabbed another package of Mission tortillas which had a coupon on them for $1 off so they were only $0.99.  I luckily still had some gift card left so there was no money out of pocket.  I only have $0.15 left on my gift card :(

$2.16 Harris Teeter

It was the last day of the month and there were some big value coupons expiring so I ran to HT to get some money makers to pay for two Red Baron pizzas.  I was excited to get a bunch of freebies which will most likely be used for Christmas gifts.  I am super glad to have two emergency pizzas in the freezer for some busy nights coming up in the next few weeks at a great price.  We might have already eaten one :)

Total Retail $792.36
 Total Savings $673.12
Total OOP $119.24

After the month is over, I am happy with all the things that I have gotten and super excited to see how much I saved.  Here is hoping that I am not sad in a few months if we have to move lots of food.  I know that I got lots of great deals so I might be donating a bunch with the upcoming Scouting for Food where the Boy Scouts come to the door to pick up things for the local food pantry and my favorite charity with other things around the house.  I hope that you had a great month too.  Even if you didn't have a good one last month, this is the perfect time to have a good November!  Good luck and best wishes!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October Reading Review

I got off to a slow start with a very busy month but it ended up being a pretty good month with reading.  There is one book that I read this month and the review isn't going to posted until next month so there is no link to the original review but the rest will have a link to the original reviews in case you want to see what they are about and whether you are going to add them to you list.

by Beverly Lewis

by Beverly Lewis

by Beverly Lewis 

by Robyn Carr

by Leslie Gould
(link not active until Nov 8th)

by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin

Books Read for 2014

January     8
February    9
March       6
April          6
May          8
June          13
July          10
August       9
September  9
October     6

Total Books   84

Currently Reading:

Raging Heat
by Richard Castle

Monday, November 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 11/3

Monday- Breakfast for Dinner- Pancakes and Eggs
Tuesday- Salsa Sloppy Joes and mac and cheese
Wednesday- Chicken something (maybe chicken and rice casserole)
Thursday- Chicken Nuggets with homemade fries
Friday- Three Cheese Pasta with meat sauce and garlic bread
Saturday- Leftovers/Whole Herb Roasted Chicken with stuffing and corn
Sunday- Leftovers/Soup and Grilled Cheese

My parents are headed through town and will only be here one night for dinner so I am taking that opportunity to make a whole chicken since I just bought four after using all of the ones in the freezer.  I have a little ground beef, chicken tenders, and whole chicken.  I am going to use up as much of the items in the freezer to try to clean it out before moving.  Now I am just hoping to come up with some ideas on what to make because it certainly has been me mostly looking at the blank sheet and trying to figure out what we are going to eat.  The rest of the week is a little more up in the air depending on whether I make it to the store to get a few essentials or have to make due with what is in the house until I have time next week because I am getting into the schedule with driving my son to his new school, have to take my sister in law to the airport and two days at work.  Hoping to come up with a good routine for this new change and see what I can get done with my "free" time.