Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Turkey Turnovers Recipe

This is a very yummy recipe that is fairly easy to make. This evening I made just 1/4 of the recipe since I didn't have enough stuff to make a whole recipe, and I didn't need all 12 turnovers :)

For the filling, you need:celery, onion, butter, flour, salt, pepper, milk, cooked & cubed turkey, parsley

In a saucepan or skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. butter and cook 1/4 cup chopped celery and 1 Tbsp. chopped onion until tender.

Stir in 1 1/2 Tbsp. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt & a little pepper.

Add 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. milk, cook and stir until thickened.

Mix in 1 cup cooked, cubed turkey and 1 Tbsp chopped parsley.
Remove from heat and set aside.

For the pastry:
flour, salt, butter, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream

Combine 1 cup flour and 1/4 tsp. salt in mixing bowl.
Cut in 6 Tbsp. butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and mix in 1/2 cup sour cream until dough forms.
(It's a pretty sticky, soft dough)

At this point resist all urges to taste the dough.
It will be begging you to taste it.

Shape dough into a ball and place on a well-floured surface.
I like to flour the top of the dough ball instead of the rolling pin.
Just my preference, though. You do whatever floats your boat and gets
your dough rolled out all pretty.

Roll dough out to a 12"x12" square.
Use the ruler that's in your kitchen drawer to measure.
You have one in your kitchen drawer, right?
Your kitchen is not complete without a ruler to use on food.

And now, imagine that I didn't forget to take pictures of the next two steps:

Cut dough into four 6" squares.

Divide filling and place filling in one corner of each square.
Fold dough diagonally over filling and seal edges with fork tines.
Or your fingers. Or get your kids to do it.

Place on a greased baking sheet and cut vents into the turnovers.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!!

Turkey Turnovers (whole recipe)
Yield: 12 turnovers

Filling:
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 - 2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
4 cups cooked, cubed turkey
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Pastry:
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups sour cream

In a large skillet, cook celery and onion in butter until tender. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add turkey and parsley. Set aside.
In large bowl combine flour and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Add sour cream, mixing until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half. Roll out one half of dough into 18"x12" rectangle. Cut into 6" squares. Repeat with second half of dough.

Place 1/3 cup of filling on each dough square. Fold diagonally to form a triangle; seal edges by pressing down with fork tines. Cut slits in top of turnovers. Place on greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Printable Land'O'Lakes Coupons

Thanks to Marcy at Stretching A Buck posting about this, I just signed up for the Land'O'Lakes Simple Rewards Club and was able to print off 2 coupons for $.55 of butter (I don't know if I could have printed off more, I didn't try it. Usually the limit is 2.).

There were other coupons available to me, too. They included:

$.55/1 Fresh Buttery Taste Spread
$1/1 Alpine Lace Deli Cheese (1/2 lb)
$.75/1 Half & Half
$.55/1 Butter Quarters (1lb)
$.55/1 Butter with Canola Oil product
$.50/1 Eggs

I wanted to pass the link along to you so that you could take advantage of this really great deal at Kroger this week, too!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Deals for the Week 3/29

If you find any deals that I missed, please let me know :) Happy shopping!

Kroger

Here are the decent - great deals I see in the Kroger sale-paper for this week. I don't post all of the sales/coupon matches since I don't consider everything to be a "deal". Sale prices may vary by region. I base my prices off of the Central Va. sales fliers. Our Kroger doubles coupons up to and including $.50, but it does vary by region. Contact your local store to learn their coupon policies.

Tyson Whole Chickens - $.59/lb **STOCK UP PRICE**

Perdue Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs - $.99/lb

Land-O-Lakes Butter - $1.99 **STOCK UP PRICE**
$.55 coupon = $1.49 Final Price **STOCK UP PRICE**
$.55 IPQ sign up here (can print 2) = $1.49 Final Price

Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1.00

Kroger Value Fries, 2# bag - $.99

PictSweet Frozen Vegetables - $1.00

Red Globe, Black, White & Red Seedless Grapes - $1.00/lb

Cantaloupe - $1.50/ea

Fuji & Gold Apples - $1.00/lb

Organic Red Delicious Apples - $1.00/lb

Kroger Value Red Delicious Apples, 3# bag - $3.00

Mangoes - $.50/ea

Yams - $.49/lb

Kroger Value Cereal - $.99

Kellogg's Cereal, select varieties - $2.18
$.70 coupon (10 oz or larger) = $1.48 Final Price
$1.00 coupon (11.2 oz or larger) = $1.18 Final Price

Del Monte Canned Fruit - $1.00
$1/12 coupon = $.92/ea Final Price (must buy 12 to use coupon)

Dole Canned Pineapple - $1.00
$.55/2 coupon = $.73/ea Final Price

Ragu Pasta Sauce - $1.50

Cheetos, Doritos, Fritos - $2.00

Ritz Crackers - $2.50
$2/2 coupon (expires 3/31) = $1.50/ea Final Price

Colgate Wisp Toothbrush - $1.00 while supplies last

***************************************

Ukrops

Ukrop's is a Central Va. locally owned grocery chain. They don't double coupons, but they do run good sales from time to time.

Food Club Butter - $2.00

Peter Pan Peanut Butter - $2.00
$1/2 coupon = $1.50/ea Final Price

Rice-A-Roni or Pasta-Roni - $1.00
$1/4 coupon = $.75/ea Final Price

Food Club Baking Sugars, 2# - $1.00

Kiwi - $.33/ea

Hershey's Easter Packaged Candy - 3/$5
Must scan UVC card at Savings Spot
limit 6 per (savings spot) coupon
$1.50/3 coupon = $1.16/ea Final Price
$1.50/3 coupon here = $1.16/ea Final Price

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, last week I only had Mon & Tues planned and I did NOT like not having a menu plan! We still ate of course, but I had to think and wonder and figure out EACH day what we were going to eat. Thankfully we still have plenty of leftover baked macaroni from the previous weekend so it got used up over several meals.

I actually sat down Saturday afternoon and came up with this weeks menu :)

Monday: BBQ pork ribs, Mac'n'Cheese (not baked), vegetable
Tuesday: Orange Stir-Fry Chicken
Wednesday: Meatloaf, Rice, Green Beans
Thursday: Turkey Turnovers, Peas
Friday: Leftover Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Saturday: Wedding reception
Sunday: Raspberry Pancakes, Fruit

I hope to post some of these recipes this week, as well.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My $.02 on Using It All

Yup, I mooched off of Phoebe and used her post title a bit :P She wrote a really great frugal post here, and I just wanted to add to it. I don't have much to say, really.

She talks about all the 101 things you can do with juice that you drain off canned fruits and veggies. She doesn't really list 101 things, but she's got a pretty good list going over there!

My addition would be "don't forget homemade bread!!" Just use them in place of the liquid called for in the recipe. Vegetable juice adds a whole new realm to the flavor, and fruit juice pumps up the sweetness a bit. If your using "heavy" syrup from canned fruit, you might even want to cut back your sugar amount a bit - or don't and just enjoy sweet bread. No, your not going to eat the bread and think "uggh, who put GREEN BEANS in this??!!". I promise, you won't taste green beans, potatoes (water from cooking potatoes), noodle water (from cooking pasta!) or your fruit cocktail. Why is it called cocktail? Wouldn't cock-tail be the tail of a rooster? Anyway.

So yeah. In addition to all those great things she listed that you can do with your juices, you can also put them in bread :) A few things to note: You just store the juices in the frige until you're ready to use them. I keep 'em until they get a "mother" - and that's only if I have way too much and can't get it used up fast enough - and then I'll toss it. Heh heh, my mom didn't hesitate to dump the stuff in mother and all. I don't. You can come eat my bread and not worry about it. I promise. All of us kids are still alive, so maybe it didn't hurt us any. I just prefer to use it BEFORE it gets a mother :P Fruit juice will also curdle your milk if you use powdered milk. It doesn't do it to "real" milk, and either way it doesn't effect the end result.

So start saving your juices and stop pouring your money down the drain :) Once you get used to the "fuller" flavor of bread made with the juice, if you make a batch without it, it will taste bland. I promise. We could always tell when Mom didn't use juice. And think of all the additonal vitametavegamins your getting!!

PS: With Easter coming up, this would be the perfect time to make a batch of white bread and use the juice from canned beets. Beautiful PINK bread. Yes, we had pink bread from time to time growing up, too. Or you can use it in wheat bread and not really notice the pink.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Picture Catch-Up

Here's a bunch of pictures that I've been wanting to share but didn't take the time. I decided tonight was a good night to post them since I didn't have anything else great and profound to share :)

Remember the 8" of snow we got the beginning of March? I was very glad to have these. Good ol' knee-high Tingly rubber boots.

Here is our 5th Wedding Anniversary Meal: Meatballs, Rolls and Chocolate Fondue :) We used the Hershey's Kiss fondue pot that Rachel gave me for my birthday last year. Let's see, clockwise from the fondue: Marshmallows & Banana, Rolls, Angel Food Cake (with blue sprinkles since our wedding color was blue), Meatballs, Strawberries & Pineapple. Yummy. And a belly-ache.
In my deep cleaning, I found this: A Tupperware sandwich container holding my precious Lego pieces. Click on the picture if you can't read all the warnings that I wrote on the lid in grease marker (anybody remember those? Do they still sell them?)
Here is one of the main reasons I have sworn off ever making another wedding cake. I was up till about 1:45 in the morning making the replacement for this cracked up dude. You may notice that I was using an oven rack as a cooling rack - compare the cake size to the oven rack. It was a big cake. It took lots of flour and sugar. It was not fun to have to mix up another one.
A day later, the finale of my wedding cake making. Lucy (my sister) has agreed to cherry pies instead of cake. Shew, at least 1 less sibling that I'll end up making or helping to make their wedding cake whenever they get married.
One of the reasons I DO like the spring time change. On normal days, we have to get up before the sun rises which means I got to see this one the other day. You can't see it very well in this small picture, but there was a huge sunbeam shooting straight up from the sun ball. This is what I see out my kitchen sink window :) If we end up moving to town or the city, I will miss this view.
Here's what happens to Murphy when he comes visiting. He gets drop-kicked off the back steps. Murphy tried to move in under the guise of our water heater springing a leak (thankfully not a huge one so nothing was damaged and we didn't have to replace it RIGHT NOW). Daniel, in all of his manly testosterone-ness, wanted to drop it off the steps - and wanted pictures to capture the moment :) Please pretend you don't see all the other stuff that has been drop-kicked off the back steps. It will be gone next time you see a picture of the back door. I promise. We are in the midst of remodelling. Have some mercy. Empty boxes and storm doors have to go somewhere!
Daniel had a birthday! He helped fry the Country Fried Steak. I like it when he wears that shirt ;) I like seeing his big, manly muscles ;) It makes me feel very mushy inside.
Here is our low, low, low cholesterol birthday dinner. Salads (sorry, the color is terrible), sausage gravy, country fried steak, corn muffins, biscuits, salad dressing, honey and butter. I had a stomach ache later that night from all the grease. I wonder why. I think it was worth it, though. It was SO good.
And yet another beautiful sunrise. This one was Wednesday morning. Daniel rolled over to turn off the alarm clock and said "Miriam, you've gotta see the sunrise!". I crawled over him and looked out the window, then ran to the kitchen to take this picture. I didn't even crawl back in bed after this. I wanted to but didn't. Aren't you proud of me? I had to stay up and figure out my grocery plan. It was very important. That and pay bills.

Goodnight :) Thanks for visiting. And all you gals that have been "lurking" for the past while and recently left me your first comments? Thanks for de-lurking:) I love getting to know my readers. Any of you that are still lurking? Please feel free to de-lurk and let me know what your thoughts are. I love comments!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grocery Shopping Trip 3/25

Kroger:

(2) Big Red Gum - FREE
(2) FREE coupons

1 lb. butter - $1.99

Lettuce - $1.05

(2) Kraft cheese - $1.50ea.

Kroger Sour Cream - $.79

(4) DelMonte Fruit Cups - FREE
(4) $1 coupons

Onions - $1.99

3lbs. Rice - $2.69
$.50 coupon, doubled to $1

(6) Hunt's Snack Pack Pudding - $.50/ea.
(3) $.50/2 coupons, doubled to $1/ea.

(5) Quaker True Delights Granola Bars - $.50/ea.
(5) $1 coupons
$4 off for buying 4

(3) Quaker Omega 3 Granola Bars - $.50/ea.
(3) $1 coupons
$4 off for buying 4

Total OOP: $19.48
Total Saved: $41.28 or 70% (WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!)


WalMart:

GV Cornstarch - $.82

Saur's brand Cumin - $2.16
$.50 coupon

GV Onion Powder - $1.62

Suave Hairspray - FREE, $.83 moneymaker
FREE coupon, up to $3 value
cashier scanned it at the $3

Total OOP: $4.00
Total Saved: $3.50 or 47%

Whole Trip OOP: $23.48
Whole Trip Savings: $44.78 or 67% (Yipee!)

ETA: I totally forgot to check our egg supply before going shopping. We had to stop on our way home from church Wed. evening and I bought a doz. from W/M for $1 ($1.03 w/ tax. They were on sale.). So I still came in under my budget :)

When will it end?

Warning: Whining ahead.

I feel like our checking account is going through a draught! Well, I guess it kinda is, really. And I know I should count my blessings instead of sheep (White Christmas anyone?), but the sheep are "baaa-ing" a little loudly right now. I just finished paying our bills. And we don't get anything but the bare bones bills. In trying to wean ourselves (Daniel) off the credit card, I have been using the debit card for stuff I would have used the CC for. So our CC bill was very small. Only a few tanks of gas, some home improvement and an automated donation that happens every month. **sorry, that was a rabbit trail** And I still had to move money from our emergency fund to the checking account because after paying the bills we were in the r.e.d. Add on top of the that "Minimum Balance Requirement so we don't charge you and arm and a leg and take your firstborn", and I had to move alot. A lot in my book anyway. We've now hit the $1,000. mark for using money out of our emergency fund. Yuck, yuck, yuck. And I know that it is NOT a bottomless pit.

THIS is one reason why we are so eager to move and have either (a) no debt or (b) a much smaller mortgage. That way we don't have to keep throwing our money to the loan sharks and lining their pockets with interest. When I look at how much interest we give away every month/year, I could go barf in the jon. That's why I don't look very often and just keep paying the mortgage payment every month.

So yeah, I'm just sitting here wondering when, when, when will Daniel's work be back to normal and the money will be right there, waiting in the budget for me to write a check to pay the bill and not have to figure out how much I'm going in the red by writing the check?

I guess I better start counting my blessings, huh?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Daniel!

Today is Daniel's birthday :)

Very early this morning (for me) I had to get up and make a pie for someone, and then I had to leave and go to MOPS. Daniel didn't have to go to work so he got to sleep in :) That's always nice to do on your birthday.

This afternoon he went and bought a new toy :) We've been in need of a lawn mower for some time. The one that we got for free just kept having more things go wrong with it and it was falling apart. Daniel found one on Craigslist for $200 and went and looked at it this afternoon.

He brought it home for $150!! It is a 1989 something or other and needed carburetor work. Which Daniel promptly fixed quickly and easily as soon as he got home! I haven't checked it out yet, but hopefully it will last us some time under Daniel's knowledgeable TLC. It came with some spare parts and the original owners manual.

For Daniel's birthday dinner, I made "Grandpa's Country Fried Dinner" - as it's known at Cracker Barrel anyway :) I'd gotten some cubed steak a couple weeks ago on markdown, and we made Country Fried Steak. And of course sausage gravy, biscuits and cornmeal muffins. And a salad to "water down" some of the cholesterol and carbs :P Ha ha. I made a peach cobbler for dessert... but we forgot to eat it!

We finished watching Anne of Green Gables this evening and I posted my Deals for the Week. I got a decent amount of stuff done today, but still didn't get everything on my list done. Tomorrow morning I have to mix up stuff for another order that a lady made Saturday afternoon. I think next time somebody wants to order so much on such short notice I'll charge them an extra fee. One of the pains, I guess.

Happy birthday, Honey!!

Deals for the Week of 3/22

Kroger

Here are the decent - great deals I see in the Kroger sale-paper for this week. I don't post all of the sales/coupon matches since I don't consider everything to be a "deal". Sale prices may vary by region.I base my prices off of the Central Va. sales fliers.Our Kroger doubles coupons up to and including $.50, but it does vary by region. Contact your local store to learn their coupon policies.

There really isn't much this week, but I also put this together while watching Anne of Green Gables :) If you see something that I missed, please leave me a comment and let me know.

White or Red Seedless Grapes - $1/lb.

Cabbage - $.45/lb.

Mangoes - $.50/ea.

Cantaloupes - $1.50/ea.

KRAFT 6-8oz. shredded or bar cheese - $1.50/ea.*
*stock-up price!!

Hunt's Snack Pack Pudding - $1.00
$.50/2 coupon doubles to $1 = $.50/ea

Quaker Cereal or Select Quaker Granola Bars, Select Varieties
Sale Price 4 for $10. Buy 4, get $4 off.

Limit 1 reward per transaction.

*$1/2 Captain Crunch Cereal Coupon = $1/ea. Final Price (WYB 4)
*$1/2 Life Cereal Coupon = $1/ea. Final Price (WYB 4)
*$1 Life Cereal Coupon here** = $.50/ea. Final Price (WYB 4)
$1 Fiber & Omega 3 Chewy Oat Granola Bars Coupon = $.50 Final Price (WYB 4)
$1 Simple Harvest All Natural Multigrain Chewy Granola Bars Coupon = $.50 Final Price (WYB 4)
$.75/2 Chewy Granola Bars Coupon = $1.13/ea. Final Price (WYB 4)
*$1 True Delights Granola Bars Coupon = $.50 Final Price (WYB 4)
*$1 True Delights Granola Bars Coupon here** = $.50 Final Price (WYB 4)
*These items are pictured in the ad
**The page said "may take up to 1 minute to print", my computer took several, so be patient :)


****************************************

Ukrop's
This week Ukrop's gets another "shout out" from me. They have a true stock-up deal on chicken this week. And some other decent sales, too :)

Ukrop's is a Central Va. locally owned grocery chain. They don't double coupons, but they do run good sales from time to time.

****Whole Chickens - $.68/lb****
****STOCK-UP SALE!!!!!****

Kraft Salad Dressings - $1.50

Ball Park Hotdogs - $2.00
$1/2 coupon = $1.50/ea.

Planters Peanuts - $1.50
(you have to scan your UVC card at the Savings Center to get this sale price)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

FREE Cheerios Coupons

I just joinged A Full Cup by way of Andrea's blog. Since it's Saturday morning and I have nothing better to do (ha ha!) I decided to browse the site a little. It looks pretty cool! I was browsing their coupon database and came across this really great promo!

Go here, sign up and get (6) $1 Cheerios coupons (while supplies last, offer through 3/31/09).

This could come in really handy if a good Cheerios sale comes up :)

I have never used a coupon database before, I just always cut my coupons and go with that, but after last night's coupon class I think I'll start giving the coupon database method a try. I don't understand it enough to try and explain it. Ha ha. If I find that I like it and understand it better, then I might.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Friday!!!

Last night we got alot more stuff boxed up. Not up into the attic yet, but it's boxed and ready, and the room is looking better each time. I'm telling you, it looked like a major packing explosion before we started. Mostly just boxes of stuff that never got unpacked and I would go digging through from time to time to find something or other, or stuff getting chucked into the room to get it out of the way and there was no other place for it.

This morning I mixed up Homemade Chocolate Pudding before I went to Tapestry @ church to help with the childcare. I was subbing in the 3-5yr olds, and we had 4 boys and 1 girl. Wow, they were energy balls! Or maybe just boys :P Cars and trucks vrooming everywhere, running, jumping, see-sawing, talking... :) It was a good time, though. We had a good quiet time reading a pretty lengthy book about the Easter Story, and then we sang some action songs (Father Abraham), played Red Light, Green Light, then they picked out books and I read them to them until the moms came.

Daniel worked this morning and is home this afternoon. He left a bit ago to borrow his dad's lawn mower and mow our yard. We have a ton of broom-grass in our yard about a foot tall and it looks pretty messy. Our mower broke last fall and so about 1/3 of our front yard is mowed and the rest of the yard is hairy :)

I am co-teaching a coupon class this evening! Another lady in our church who has been couponing MUCH longer than I have and I are doing it together. It's the first time for both of us and we're doing it with several ladies from our Sunday School class. I haven't had or taken the time to prepare much for it, so I'll be shooting from the hip :) I'm going to talk about Kroger and she's going to talk about CVS. I hope it goes well.

Since I need to take a food item to the party tonight, I am going to make and take a chocolate torte (ETA: I'm sorry, I thought "torte" was the wrong word - I mean trufle. Thanks for bearing with me.) using the wedding cake layer that broke into pieces on me last weekend :) I froze the cake and will cut it into pieces and layer them with the chocolate pudding. And my beautiful glass torte bowl that we got as a wedding gift is of course packed in a box full of those kind of things in the attic :P And have been since we moved here :) So I'll be using a plastic bowl instead.

I am SO ready to have a place big enough to be able to enjoy our things. I know that we can't just have it handed to us on a silver platter, but I'm ready for a bigger house.

Anyway, I need to get off here and get stuff for supper out of the freezer, get the cake out of the freezer, and then get to cleaning on the house IN CASE the guy that might be interested in buying it wants to stop in this weekend to see it. He is going to call and talk to Daniel this evening and let us know if he's interested or not. I hope he's taken note of the super-low interest rates that are out there now and that he's as eager to buy as we are :P Haha!!

See ya later!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Day In the Life...

I was so excited yesterday when I realized that the frogs are singing again :) The back of our property is a little swampy when it rains alot, and behind our property it's even more swampy, and it seems to be the Chicago for frogs. I love it when they start singing :) They usually sing all summer and it's just so pretty sounding.

Last night after we got home from church I worked for a little bit in the spare bedroom and managed to find several boxes of "stuff" that could go up in the attic for temporary storage. Material, the sewing machine, a box of Hershey's tins, the trinkets from on top the piano, a box of our "papers" from when we were both kids (coloring pages, stuff that we probably should throw out, but I went through it 5/06 - yes, I marked the box - and got it down to a nice, small box of things), a box of Daniel's treasures (a key ring full of keys that who knows what they went to but it was one of his treasures as a kid, his green plastic pencil box, his first laptop...), and other random stuff.

We still don't know where things are as far as selling our house, but we are supposed to hear this week if "the guy" is interested or not. So I'm trying to get it more suitable to show him if he says "hey, can I come look?". And of course if he doesn't, then we'd put it on the market - which would mean even MORE fine, detailed cleaning, packing and "make it look good" would have to happen.

I think I'm home all day today, which will be nice. The towels and sheets that I hung on the line yesterday afternoon are still out there, and I need to start today's laundry. Tonight's supper will be taco salad, so I need to dig a pack of refried beans out of the freezer. I also need to repackage the hamburger that I bought yesterday, and freeze the milk.

Daniel's birthday is Monday, and I have his birthday dinner figured out, but I need to find out what he wants for "cake". Last year I made a Nectarine Torte or something like that. It was really good! I may ask if he wants a cobbler or pie since I have plenty of cherries and peaches on hand and it wouldn't take anything that I don't have here already.

Yesterday Daniel decided that we need a new water heater. The corner of the pantry that the water heater is in is also where Daniel's been storing all of the remodelling stuff - trim, extra drywall pieces, etc. Last weekend he found that some of the drywall (just 2 small pieces) were wet, but he couldn't find where the water heater (or the plumbing to it) was leaking. Yesterday he found that it is rusting on the top around the main "out" line. He priced a new one from both Lowe's and the supply house that his company works with, and of course the supply house is cheaper :) He called Lowe's first, and then after he hung up with them, he said "Duh, if I have connections, I might as well use them!" and called the supply house. It will save us about $40 to get from the supply house.

Well, I just finished breakfast (peaches and a slice of cinnamon toast) and I need to get moseying along. It's another pretty day today, so I'll probably open a couple windows again :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip 3/18

Kroger
Gal. Milk - $1.99 - markdown
3lbs. Ground Beef - $4.92 - markdown
Sandwich Meat - $2.49 - markdown
2 OJ - $2.92
Value Sliced Cheese - $1.28
2 Head Lettuce - $2.10 (STOCKUP SALE!!)
Cream of Chic. Soup (not pictured) - $.79
Tomato - $1.37
1.25lb. Grapes - $1.25
Total OOP - $19.49

Ukrop's
(2) Lay's Chips - $3.00
Total OOP - $3.08

CVS
1 Irish Spring Body Wash - $4.99
(2) Soliel Cartridges - $6.99ea.

Coupons:
$.50 Irish Spring
(2) $2.00 Soliel
$2.00 ECB
$4.00 ECB
$5.98 ECB

Total OOP - $2.84
Total Savings - $16.48 or 85%
EARNED $10.99 in new ECB's!

Whole Trip OOP - $25.41
Whole Trip Savings - $16.48 or 39%

I did my CVS shopping yesterday since the Irish Spring ECB deal was only through Tuesday and my ECB's expired the end of this week and I wanted to roll them with something that would get me close to the same in ECB's back. I was also in dreadful need of a back cracking, so I combined my chiropractic visit with my CVS run and didn't feel like I was wasting gas on just one errend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

Today on my list of things to do (my list for each day is the same every week) was "Clean the frige". Usually this means pull out the stuff a shelf at a time and wipe it down, sort through what's in there, and put it back. It's always a good reminder to me of what's running out or in there that I can use in a meal.

Today I finally got around to it after supper, and I was embarrassed at how much bad food I had to put in the slop bucket. Green beans, mashed potatoes, peas, and part of a pork roast were a few of the things. I felt so wasteful. Those are all things that I should either eat for lunch, or incorporate into another dinner. And I didn't. Oh well. Tomorrow's a new day with no mistakes in it. (Tell me, tell me! What movie is that from???)

I have started to do things a bit differently with cooking vegetables, though. Instead of cooking the whole quart Ziploc bag full of whatever, I cook 1/2 of it. That's pretty much what we eat in one meal, and MOST meals I only cook enough for 1 meal anyway, unless it's a casserole. There are exceptions, of course. Like tomorrow I'll make spaghetti, and it'll be enough for 2 meals, but I have leftovers planned for 1 dinner. Maybe I just need to plan "clean the frige" meals once a week :P

Yesterday Daniel hung the 2nd pantry door (there is one door between the pantry & hallway, and another door between the pantry & kitchen), and it was so nice to be able to close the pantry when the washer was running and have it be relatively quiet :) I could actually listen to the Dave Ramsey Show online with the computer sitting on the dining room table and I didn't have to drag it around with me to wherever I was working for the time.

Yesterday and today, with it being cloudy and wet outside, instead of running the dryer, I hung the laundry on the drying rack to dry. I've done it a couple times before and it takes pretty much most of the day for the clothes to dry - depending on what the items are. Yesterday it was Daniel's jeans - a few of them were still damp this morning in the pockets, so I laid them on the bed to finish drying. Today was Daniel's whites. I have 2 door-hangy thingies that you can fold out and they hold 9 hangers each. I hang his t-shirts and work shirts on hangers and hang them to dry, and then his socks and undies get draped on the drying rack. Surprisingly, even with the shirts hanging somewhat close together, they are dry by late evening and I can fold and put them away. The undies and socks take a little longer since they are thicker material, but they'll probably be dry by the time I go to bed and I'll put them away then.

I don't HAVE to do this, but I'm really trying to not use the dryer to keep our electric bill from being sky high.

Anyway, that's my rambling for the day :)

Menu Plan for 3/16-3/22

Sunday night I sat down and scribbled down a menu for the week. Last week was crazy. Make it crazy with all caps, bolded, italicized and underlined. We were gone EVERY EVENING but Friday. No wonder I am worn out! LOL! We ended up eating most dinners with Daniel's parents, so not much of last week's menu was used and I'm just dragging it over to this week.

Mon - Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Tue - Fried Rice
Wed - Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad
Thur - Taco Salad
Fri - Pork BBQ, Mac'n'Cheese, Green Beans
Sat - Chicken Quesadillas (with Homemade Tortillas)*
Sun - Leftovers

*This will be a new recipe. A friend of ours made chicken quesadillas for a church lunch a couple Sunday's ago, and this recipe looks similar to what hers tasted like - which was VERY yummy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Deals for the Week of 3/15/09

Kroger is at it again :) For the third week in a row, they are doing their $5 Rewards sale when you buy any combination of 10 participating items. It seems the other sale items are pretty much the same, too. Happy Shopping!

Kroger
Kroger is having another $5 Rewards Week when you buy 10 participating items!! I love these sales! Remember that you can have up to 3 rewards per transaction, so if you are going to buy more than 30 participating items, you can do it in 2 transactions. And remember to stick to your budget! :) That's the hard thing for me to do when these sales go on.

Here are the decent - great deals I see in the Kroger sale-paper for this week. I don't post all of the sales/coupon matches since I don't consider everything to be a "deal". Sale prices may vary by region.I base my prices off of the Central Va. sales fliers.Our Kroger doubles coupons up to and including $.50, but it does vary by region. Contact your local store to learn their coupon policies.

Items included in the $5 Reward when you buy 10 items are marked (WYB 10), and the prices that I list are AFTER the $5 rewards ($.50/item). Remember that it doesn't have to be 10 of the same item - you can mix and match the participating items.

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks, Select Varieties - $1.49 (WYB 10)
$.50 (Stickerz) coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.49 Final Price
$.50/2 coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.99 ea. Final Price

Ken's Salad Dressings or Lite Accents Spray - $1.49 (WYB 10)
$1.00/2 (Dressing) coupon = $.99 ea. Final Price
$1.00 (Spray) coupon = $.49 Final Price

Dole Fruit Bowls - $1.69 (WYB 10)
$.75/2 coupon = $1.32 ea. Final Price

Doritos - $1.99 (WYB 10)

Nature Valley, Fiber One or Cereal Bars - $1.99 (WYB 10)
$.50 (Nature Valley) coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.99 Final Price
$.50 (Fiber One) coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.99 Final Price

Advil, Tylenol or Motrin Pain Relievers 20-24ct $2.50 (WYB 10)
$1.00 (Advil C&S, A&S or Childrens Cold) coupon = $1.50 Final Price
$1.00 (Advil PM) coupon = $1.50 Final Price
$1.00 (Tylenol) coupon = $1.50 Final Price

Kellog's Cereal - $1.99 (WYB 10)
$.70 (any) coupon = $1.29 Final Price
$1.00 (Frosted Flakes) IPQ here = $.99 Final Price

Freschetta Pizza - $3.99 (WYB 10)
$.75 coupon = $3.24 Final Price

Colgate Toothpaste - $1.00 (WYB 10)
$.75 (toothpaste) coupon = $.25 Final Price

The following are part of a buy $15 of participating items, get $5 off your order:

Hellmann's Mayonnaise - $3.50
$.60 coupon = $2.90 Final Price

Lipton Tea Bags - $3.00
$.75 coupon = $2.25 Final Price

And now, just regular sale items:
Kellogg's PopTarts - $1.67
$1.00/2 coupon = $1.17 ea. Final Price

Lay's Potato Chips - $1.99

Pepsi Products - 3/$10
FREE Diet 12 pk. Can of Pepsi Products WYB (3) 12 pks. of Pepsi Products in a single transaction.

Kroger Eggs, 18ct. - $1.67

Quaker Instant Oatmeal or Simple Harvest Cereal - BOGO
$1.00/2 coupon

Cameo & Golden Delicious Apples - $1.00/lb

White Seedless & Red Globe Grapes - $1.00/lb

Kroger Value Red Delicious Apples, 3lb bag - $3.00

***********************************

And I've never done this store before, but they have some really great deals this week, so I'm gonna add them this time:

(Drum roll, please)
Ukrop's Grocery
*this store is pretty much only local to the Richmond area. They don't double coupons.

Lay's Chips - $1.50
**THIS is a deal!!**
You have to scan your UVC card at the Savings Spot
limit 6 per coupon

Food Club Shredded or Brick Cheese - $1.67

Pepsi Products - 3/$10
Buy 3, get (1) 12 can pack of any diet soda FREE

Friday, March 13, 2009

Time for a break??

I dunno. I might just give up blogging for a day or two. I'm so tired.

I've gone somewhere EVERY.DAY.THIS.WEEK. Today I haven't been anywhere, thank goodness.

When I get back, I will show you why I'm giving up the wedding cake business.

It looks something like:
A cake that broke into 5 pieces while it was cooling.
Staying up till 1:45am to bake the replacement cake.
Not being awake enough to remember to let it cool a whole 10 minutes before dumping it out of the pan (maybe it was 5? I don't remember), and it started to break.
Dashing into the bedroom to roust Daniel from his very deep sleep so he could help me flip the cake back into the pan so hopefully it would "heal". ha ha.
Going to bed and falling asleep.
Hearing "clatter clatter" in my sleep and thinking "oh, the bread machine cut on".
Hearing more clattering, and realizing that I wasn't even MAKING BREAD.
Hearing clattering some more, and really waking up and knowing that we'd caught the mouse that decided to move in.
Waking Daniel up AGAIN so we (he) could dispose of the mouse before it ran off with the trap and died, got stuck under the frige or whatever. I'm not afraid of a dead mouse, but I don't care for a mouse that's caught and still alive.
Going back to sleep at 2:30 after disposing of the rodent. (Note: we have never had rodent troubles before in this house. This is not a regular occurrence!)
Working on the cake all day today - and it's going pretty well. I'm just completely shot. To the point that I'm tempted to skip the wedding if I'm still this tired tomorrow. I think the week has caught up with me.

I think I deserve a break. I'll see y'all sometime. I know I won't be able to stay away forever.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Calling All Bloggy Friends

I'm probably going to end up thinking out loud here, so consider this a warning. Count yourself a true bloggy friend if you don't get bored outa your gourd and stop reading before the end :P

So it's kinda official. We want to sell our house and move. You probably wonder "where?".

I'd love to move to Elizabeth's town and let her "drag" me to the stores with her. And I could go hang out with her when there's 3' of snow on the ground and it's going to snow some more.

I think it would be a ton of fun to move to Washington and live close to Gayle and Emily. We'd become best buds, and if I ever needed a cup of sugar, I'm sure they'd let me raid their stash. And I could get in on all of Emily's really cool homeschooling science experiments!! I hated science, but her experiments make it look fun!

Or we might just move out to Oklahoma and figure out a way to hang out at Ree's place where I could watch her cook and be her photographer and use her really cool camera.

I'd love to hang out with Liz or Sarah, but Sarah's new hobby/job might make it a little cramped. And speaking of Liz, look at what she gave me the other day!!


Ain't it cute??

Anyway, back to the topic at hand... Soooo.... since it's not really a good time for Daniel to be switching jobs, we're gonna just stick around here. Two things (that might become 3 or 4 or 5 or...) that we really want: More house and less debt. No debt would be amazing! Yeah, I thought there might be a third thing come up. 3: We don't really want to have two mortgages going at the same time (I think Dave Ramsey would scowl at us). Which means we need to have a contract on this place before we put a contract on another place.

It's kinda stumping to me how that will work out... but I know God can work it out. It stumps me because I feel like if we get a contract on this place, then we'll be under pressure to find a place to move, and neither one of us wants to move under "have to" pressure.

Now on to the cool part. We found a house. We really, really, really like it. It meets 99% of the "requirements" list that we made. The 1% that it doesn't have? 100 acres :P It's on 1 1/2 acres, which is still big enough that you don't feel all crammed up. The un-cool thing about the cool thing is that we don't know if we'll be able to get it or not. There's a couple things we need to find out about the place for sure (read: it's a very, VERY old house and we want to make sure the septic business works). And we don't have a buyer for our place. An acquaintance expressed interest a while ago, and we're hoping to find out soon if he really is interested.

So... can I get you guys to pray with us about this? We have our wants and then we also try to keep in mind that this could NOT be the place for us. And what if everything keeps checking out for the "new" (old) house, but we still don't have a buyer for ours? Basically we're praying that God will open or close doors as is His will for us, and that we'll be able to see it all clearly and accept whatever His will is... but we always add a P.S. that sounds something like "but we really do like this house and think we want it!!"

And the whole job thing that I've been hashing around for the past several weeks? Thanks 100% for all the comments y'all have left me. They've been great "thinking" material and I really appreciate you guys caring! In general, y'all keep giving me the same advice: Do what makes you happy. That's the nutshell version :P Sooooo... I think I'm just gonna keep on hangin' out here on the farm (LOL, it's a far cry from a farm!) cookin' and cleanin' and bakin' and bloggin' :D And trying to keep the "what-if-itis" at bay. Ya know, that's one thing that I have trouble with in making this decision... all the "what if's". But ya know (Sorry, y'all, I keep saying "y'all" and "ya" - I just gotta keep up my country-woman twang here. You know "y'all" is really pronounced "yaaawwwwllll"), if something does come up and it's totally obvious that I need to go make a little money? I can always do it then. In the meantime I need to get off here and get started on MY LAST WEDDING CAKE!! I told Daniel last night that I can NOT wait for Monday, because on Monday I will NEVER had to make a WEDDING CAKE again!!!!!!!!!!! (Just watch - one of my sisters will want me to make their wedding cake. ha ha) And you know what I plan to start doing next week? Packing. Yup. If I want God to send the rain, I'd best get ready for the rain. I forget where I heard that little ditty from, but it's basically the idea of "If you want God to do X, then be prepared for X!"

Oh, and I need to pass on the award, huh? Let's see...

Elizabeth. I know Liz gave it to you, too, but I love reading your posts about your small town life :)

Gayle and Emily. Y'all are Mom Role-Models! I want to be a cool mom like you when we have kids. Especially if it means I'd get to eat chocolate.

Sarah. You're a nut. Your blog makes me laugh almost every time I read a new post.

Now here's what you do when you get the award:
Display the award on your blog.
Leave a comment to those you gave it to, letting them know they have it.
Link back to the person who gave to you.
Pass it on to 10 or fewer bloggers who you think demonstrate great attitude and/or gratitude.

The End.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip 3/11/09

Kroger
(6) Sargento Shredded Cheese - $1.32 ea. after coupon
used (2) $.50/1 coupons, doubled to $1.00 ea.
used (2) $.50/2 coupons, doubled to $1.00 ea.
Gallon Kroger Milk - $1.99 - markdown
1 lb. Kroger Rice - $.99
(2) Colgate Toothpaste - $.25 ea. after coupon
used (2) $.75 coupons
(2) Colgate Toothbrushes - $.25 ea. after coupon
used (2) $.75 coupons
(2) Kroger Value Tomato Soup - $.47 ea.
Kroger Potato Chips - $1.50

Total OOP: $15.12
Total Savings: $23.48 or 61%

WalMart
5lb. All Purpose Flour - $1.88
5lb. Bread Flour - $2.14
Great Value Veg. Shortening - $3.68
Wheat Gluten - $1.94

Total OOP: $9.88

Whole Trip OOP: $25.00 (EVEN!)
Whole Trip Savings: $23.48 or 48%

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To Do or Not To Do??

So I mentioned the other day (Monday) that I was going to stop by the feed store on my way home from MOPS and inquire about the seasonal position they are looking to fill. I wimped out when I was driving past and didn't stop in. I've been thinking about it all Sunday, yesterday, and today.

Where is the line between
"Going to work because you should but you don't want to"
and
"Going to work because you need to so you will"

?????????????????????????

Anybody? *tap*tap* Is this thing on??
(Sorry, I totally stole that one from Pioneer Woman. Don't look at me!)

A. I'd (we'd) love the extra money.
B. We're in a position where extra money would be nice - even a good thing.
C. We don't NEED the extra money.
D. We're not in dire straights.
E. I just cannot get "pumped" about going to work. I worked there before - it's not totally horrible, awful, can't stand it ever again.
F. I would much, much rather stay at home and cook rice and beans and be happy than go to work and cook rice and beans and an occasional hot-dog and be unhappy.
G. But if there ain't moo-lah to buy the rice and beans then I wouldn't be able to stay home and cook rice and beans and be happy.
H. But right now there is moo-lah to buy rice and beans (and I can stay home and cook...)
I. I just had my 3rd piece of Ghirardelli chocolate for the day.
J. I discovered mouse poo in the utensil drawer this morning. And in the stove drawer this afternoon.
K. "I" & "J" aren't related to the topic at hand. Well, "I" could be.
L. It doesn't take much livin' on love, and there ain't much comin' in right now... so since it don't take much, we can make it, right? (I know, bad english. I hope no english gurus are reading this.)
M. Maybe this is just another mountain to climb, another stream to ford? Random fact thrown in here: This was our wedding recessional, only on the piano and a little more jubilant than this version :) I still think it made an awesome wedding recessional, esp. when you consider the text and that you're starting a new life - dream - together!!
N. I'm running out of pros and cons right now. I might come back later and add some more if I think of more.

Menu Plan for Week of 3/8

I worked this up Saturday evening, but Sunday night and Monday just didn't have enough time in them for me to post.

Monday - Supper at my sister's
Tuesday - Chicken Divan
Wednesday - Fried Rice
Thursday - Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad
Friday - Pork BBQ, Mac'n'Cheese, Green Beans
Saturday - Chicken Quesadillas
Sunday - Stuffed Peppers (Sunday School Potluck)

Deals for the Week of 3/8/09

Edited areas marked **.

I'm sorry this is a little later than usual! A good friend of ours passed away Saturday, and there was visitation/viewing Mon, Tue & Wed from 2-8. We really wanted to make it to one of them, and were hoping that Daniel would get off work in time one day to do that. And yesterday he did - just barely. It was a 4-hour round trip, so on the way (since it was still daylight) I clipped Sunday's coupon!! I'm sure that people passing us on I64 thought I was nuts. I had coupons spread all over the dash and was chopping away with my scissors :P

Kroger is having another $5 Rewards Week when you buy 10 participating items!! I love these sales! Remember that you can have up to 3 rewards per transaction, so if you are going to buy more than 30 participating items, you can do it in 2 transactions. And remember to stick to your budget! :) That's the hard thing for me to do when these sales go on.

Here are the decent - great deals I see in the Kroger sale-paper for this week. I don't post all of the sales/coupon matches since I don't consider everything to be a "deal". Sale prices may vary by region.I base my prices off of the Central Va. sales fliers.Our Kroger doubles coupons up to and including $.50, but it does vary by region. Contact your local store to learn their coupon policies.

Items included in the $5 Reward when you buy 10 items are marked (WYB 10), and the prices that I list are AFTER the $5 rewards ($.50/item). Remember that it doesn't have to be 10 of the same item - you can mix and match the participating items.

Ken's Salad Dressings:
- 16oz. Bottle - $1.49 (WYB 10)
Buy 2, use $1/2 coupon = $1.00/ea. Final Price
- 7oz. Lite Accents Spray - $1.49 (WYB 10)
use $1.00 coupon = $.49 Final Price

Doritos, Select Varieties 11.75-12.5oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
Lay's Kettle Chips, Select Varieties, 8.5-9oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
Snyder's of Hanover Pretzels, Select Varieties, 10-16oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
no coupons, but this is a decent deal for name brand - Kroger brand "Doritos" run $1.89/bag

Pepperidge Farm Baked Goods, Frozen, Select Varieties, 9.5-19.6oz - $1.49 (WYB 10)
use $.40 coupon, doubles to $.80 = $.69 Final Price

Country Crock Margarine Spread, Select Varieties, 10-15oz - $.99 (WYB 10)
use $.25 coupon, doubles to $.50 = $.49 Final Price

Nature Valley Bars, Select Varieties, 5.3-8.9oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
use $.50 coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.99 Final Price

Fiber One or Cereal Bars, Select Varieties, 5.3-8.9oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
use $.50 coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.99 Final Price

**Sargento Cheese Shredded & Slices, Select Varieties, 6.6-8oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
buy 2 shredded, use $.50/2 (shredded) coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $1.49/ea Final Price
use $.50/1 (Artisan or Specialty Blends) coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.99/ea Final Price
The Artisan/Specialty Blends weren't pictured or mentioned in the ad, so I didn't want to list the coupon as a "deal" and then those cheeses not be on sale! I was so happy to see that they were! $.99 for 8oz of cheese is a REALLY good deal! Usually 8oz of cheese goes on sale for $1.67.


Kellog's Cereal, Select Varieties, 8.5-18oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
use $.70 (any kind) coupon = $1.29 Final Price
use $1.00 IPQ here = $.99 Final Price

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks, Select Varieties, 4.5-9oz - $1.49 (WYB 10)
use $.50 (Fruit Stickerz) coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.49 Final Price
use $.50/2 (any) coupon, doubles to $1.00 = $.99/ea Final Price

Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes, Select Varieties, 4.6-7.2oz - $.99 (WYB 10)
use $.40 coupon here, doubles to $.80 = $.19 Final Price

Colgate Toothpaste 6.4oz or Toothbrushes, Select Varieties - $1.00 (WYB 10)
use $.75 (toothpaste) coupon = $.25 Final Price
use $.75 (toothbrush) coupon = $.25 Final Price

Tylenol Extra Strength, Select Varieties, 20-24ct - $2.50 (WYB 10)
use $1.00 coupon = $1.50 Final Price

Johnson & Johnson Baby Care, Select Varieties, 2-15oz - $2.50 (WYB 10)
use $1.00 coupon = $1.50 Final Price

Diet Pepsi or Pepsi, 12pk 12oz Cans - 4/$11 or $2.75/ea
Note: You don't have to buy 4 to get this price

Tyson Split Chicken Breasts - $.99/lb

Kroger 1/2 Gallon Milk - $1.25
Note: They mark down the 1/2 gals to $1.19 if you're not afraid of markdowns and can find some

Red, Ripe Strawberries, 16oz - $2.00

Ripe, Sweet Cantaloupe - $1.00/ea.

Kroger value Onions, 3lb bag - $1.99

Fresh Green Cabbage - $.45/lb

Cameo & Golden Delicious Apples - $1.00/lb

White Seedless Grapes - $1.00/lb

Kroger Value Red Delicious Apples, 3lb bag - $3.00

Sweet Gala or McIntosh Apples, 3lb bag - $2.99

Sweet Bartlett Pears - $1.00/lb

Hopefully I won't have to come back and edit anything that I typed in totally wrong or that I missed the deal! Happy Shopping!

I'd love to hear how your shopping trip goes if you use this list as a general guide! And of course, let me know if you find a great deal out there that I don't have up.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - March 9, 2009

For Today, Monday March 9, 2009
Outside my window... The sun isn't up yet, but the birdies are singing!! Since the living room windows are open, I can hear them quite well :) It is a beautiful morning, about 67°.
I am thinking... I got to thinking last week that "Murphy" seems to be trying to "sneak into the spare bedroom" (Dave Ramsey line if you're totally in the dark. Referring to "Murphy's Law"). The dog ran out of dog food. Daniel's truck needs inspected. AND new tags. My car got another ping in the windshield that turned into a crack when it was super cold one night. The auto insurance bill came in the mail. Sorry, Murphy, we're gonna kick your butt and not let you in!!! On a more serious note, I'm also thinking and praying for the neighbor family we had growing up (and who are still neighbors to the family farm). The mom passed away the other night having lived a wonderful, long life. They had LOTS of kids (15??), so there's LOTS of aching hearts right now.
I am thankful for... I have been thinking about this more and more lately, how thankful I am that Daniel's boss (and the company owner) is a Christian.
From the kitchen... I need to do some serious cleaning in there today. I have a wedding cake to make this week, and I need to really get the place spic and span before I start.
I am wearing... Why is this always one of the questions? My bathrobe.
I am going... To MOPS later on this morning. That's why I'm not dressed yet. On my way home I'm going to stop by the feed store and check out a possible lead for a little work this spring. I'll be sure and let you know if anything comes from it. We're thinking and praying about it.
I am reading... I want to start reading Titus this week.
I am hoping... That Daniel's company has as much work this week as they did last week. That Murphy will stop knocking. That the wedding cake process goes super duper smooth (Yay, this is my LAST wedding cake!). That MOPS goes well this morning. That I can totally stay on top of my daily to-do lists this week. That... that... that.... too many things to list.
I am creating... My daily goal is to be continually creating a peaceful, restful, welcoming home for my husband and all who may enter. Sometimes it doesn't look like it and I don't feel like it, but that's my overall goal each day.
I am hearing... "It Is Finished" on the radio. Just a few songs ago they were playing "Beyond the Cross". It is getting closer to Easter.
Around the house... I dread opening the washing machine. There is some laundry in there that never got dealt with beyond being washed. And that was a few days ago. (See the end of "I am creating...").
A few plans for the rest of the week... Survive making my last wedding cake. And keep on top of the house work at the same time. Survive making my last wedding cake. And it turn out good and not have any goofs or rocks thrown in the process wheel. Survive making my last wedding cake. Hoping that it's not a stressful experience. Survive... Survive... did somebody mention stress? Who, ME?! There is a reason for the emphasis on "last".
One of my favorite things... Combined with A picture thought I am sharing with you...
Daniel's hands. I love them :) They are so big and yet my
smaller hands fit inside them perfectly :)
These hands work very hard for me every day.
They are so strong and yet they can play
beautiful music on either the piano or guitar.
And they belong to my HUSBAND!!
And we just celebrated our 5th Anniversary on Friday :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Menu Planning

Phoebe over at Cents to Get Debt Free is hosting her Finding Freedom Friday again this week, and the topic is menu planning. After you read my post, make sure you go over and check out Phoebe's and everyone else's posts :)

Here's my take on it.

How many weeks do you plan at a time?
Usually just one. I've done 2 at a time before, but I usually end up waiting till the last minute to figure it out and don't take the time to come up with 2 weeks worth :) I think it would be GREAT to menu plan a whole month like Erin does!! I wouldn't have to think about "what to have" for a whole month!!

How do you keep track of it all?
I scribble down meal ideas on a scrap of paper, then figure out what days to have what. I usually try to have a simpler, easier to eat, 1-dish type of meal on Wednesdays (since I never know if Daniel will be home to eat or I'll have to take supper to him at church), so I always keep that in mind. I also make sure and plan at least one day for leftovers if any one meal is going to make enough that there will be leftovers. Then I simply write on each day in my day planner what the meal is. I like doing this because I can look back and re-use ideas if I'm stumped.

How do you decide what to eat?
I start off thinking about what meats I have available - beef, poultry and pork - and then I think about what form those are in. Do I have a roast? Or maybe I want to make drumsticks. Or porkchops. Then I think about what kind of sides to make with it. One day I went through the "Meats" "Casseroles" and "Vegetables/Sides" section in my cookbook and made a list of meal ideas using every meat and main dish recipe (it's my "own" cookbook so I know all of the recipes). Sometimes I look at that to get ideas. Once I have a general idea, I mentally or literally look through the freezer, frige and pantry to see what we have on hand. I might not have X to make Y with, but I have Z and could make W with it. Or whatever. I try not to plan a meal that I have to buy a lot of stuff to make it work (another beauty of stockpiling is that you're likely to have everything on hand!). If there is a meal I really want to make but would need to buy a lot of stuff for it, I add those things to my "want" list and gradually work at buying those things as the budget allows.

How has it helped you?
Wow, it helps SO MUCH. First off, I don't have to think EVERY day "what should I make?" and then have to figure out if I have the stuff to make it. I love being able to look at my day planner, see what the meal is, and know that I have everything I need to make it. Menu planning also really, really helps me with our grocery budget. If I didn't menu plan, I would "need" to keep a ready supply of many things because of course I'd never know when I'm going to want to make something that takes whatever!! This way, if I'm out of Cream of Mushroom, it's ok!! I just wait until I need it in that weeks menu, and then add it to the grocery list and usually only buy what I need (if there's extra room in the budget then I do buy extra). I used to shop this way: I'm out of mushroom soup, I'll buy 4 cans. I'm out of chunky pineapple, I'll buy a couple cans. I'm out of .... taco seasoning, I'll buy a couple envelopes. Not anymore :) I buy as I need it - if I didn't stockpile it already when it was on a really great sale :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip for 3/4

Kroger
1/2 Gal. Milk - $1.19 (Markdown)
*(3) Pints Kroger IceCream - $.49/ea.
(2) Kroger Orange Juice - $1.46/ea.
1lb. brick Kroger Butter - $1.99
*(4) Armour Meatballs - $1.44/ea. after coupon
used (4) $.55 coupons
*(3) Pepperidge Farms Garlic Bread - $.69/ea. after coupon
used (3) $.40 coupons, doubled to $.80/ea.
Kroger Pretzels - $1.99
Kroger Tomato Soup - $.47
(3) Cottonelle - $.33/ea. after coupon
used $.50 coupon, doubled to $.99
used $.50/2 coupon, doubled to $.99
Banana - $.19
18ct. Kroger Eggs - $1.99
(2) 1lb. Kroger Macaroni - FREE after coupon
used (2) "Free Pasta when you buy Armour Meatballs" coupon
Total OOP - $21.02
Total Savings - $23.58 or 53%

Food Lion
1lb. Strawberries - $2.49
Total OOP - $2.55
Total Savings - $.50 or 16%

WalMart
1 head lettuce - $1.38
Total OOP - $1.41

Whole Trip OOP - $24.98
Whole Trip Savings - $24.08 or 49%

*These were part of a "buy 10 get $5 off at the register" sale. I wasn't going to initially buy the ice cream and had other items in mind, but when I got to the store and started shopping, I realized that those 3 other items were part of a SEPARATE "$5 off" sale. Bummer. I really wanted the meatballs (not only are they cheap, but I could get the free macaroni!), and so I got the ice cream to make up the 10 items. It turned out better that way, anyway, because the original 3 items I was going to get would've put me over my budget. This way I was able to get everything I wanted and still come in RIGHT under the wire! :) I'm happy.

Food Lion Deals 3/4 - 3/10

NOTE: The sales I am listing are from our Central Va. sale-paper. It could vary by region. You can go to Food Lion's website to see your local flier.Food Lion does not double coupons that I am aware of. If you want to know your local store's coupon policy, contact their customer service and ask them about their coupon policy.You can also sign up here for their weekly shopper's companion email. It always includes 4 coupons that you can print and use at their store. Limit 1 print per household.

There's not much exciting this week, but here's the few things I see:

10lb. bag chicken leg quarters - $.79/lb

Duncan Hines Cake or Brownie Mixes, Select Varieties - $1.00
use $.35 Brownie coupon = $.65 Final Price

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Deals of the Week - 3/2/09

EEK!! I was in Kroger today and realized that I'd mis-read their ad. Changes are below.

Kroger is having another $5 Rewards Week when you buy 10 participating items!! I love these sales! Remember that you can have up to 3 rewards per transaction, so if you are going to buy more than 30 participating items, you can do it in 2 transactions. And remember to stick to your budget! :) That's the hard thing for me to do when these sales go on.

Here are the decent - great deals I see in the Kroger sale-paper for this week. I don't post all of the sales/coupon matches since I don't consider everything to be a "deal". Sale prices may vary by region.

I base my prices off of the Central Va. sales fliers.Our Kroger doubles coupons up to and including $.50, but it does vary by region. Contact your local store to learn their coupon policies.

Items included in the $5 Reward when you buy 10 items are marked (WYB 10), and the prices that I list are AFTER the $5 rewards ($.50/item). Remember that it doesn't have to be 10 of the same item - you can mix and match the participating items.

~Pepperidge Farm Baked Goods - $1.49 (WYB 10)
use $.40 coupon, doubles to $.80 = $.69 Final Price

~Hormel Pepperoni, 6 - 8oz - $2.50 (WYB $25 of Hormel prod)
use $.55 coupon = $1.95 Final Price

~Hormel Chili with Beans, 15oz - $1.00 (WYB $25 of Hormel prod)
Buy 2, use $.55/2 coupon = $1.45/2 or $.73/ea. Final Price

~Hormel Compleats, 10oz. - $2.33 (WYB $25 of Hormel prod)
use $.75 coupon = $1.58 Final Price

~Chi-Chi's Salsa, 16oz - $2.00 (WYB 10)
use $.55 coupon = $1.45 Final Price

~Armour Meatballs, Select Varieties 14 - 16oz - $1.99 (WYB 10)
use $.55 coupon = $1.44 Final Price
**use coupon (3/1SS) for FREE PASTA - up to $1 value - WYB any 1 Armour Meatball product** I think this is for any pasta, it doesn't specify a brand or type.

~Haagan Dazs Ice Cream Select Varieties 4 - 4.25oz,
Nestle Lemonade Frozen 12oz,
and Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream Select Varieties pint - $.49 (WYB10)
if you're like me and end up needing some "filler" for the 10 items, I got the Kroger Deluxe pints

~Kroger Shredded or Bar Cheese, Select Varieties 8oz - $1.67

~Dannon Activia, La Creme or DanActive Yogurt, Select Varieties 4 - 6pk. - $2.00
use $1.00 DanActive coupon = $1.00 Final Price
If this variety: use $1.00 Activia Fiber coupon = $1.00 Final Price

~Kroger Butter Quarters, Select Varieties 1lb - $2.50
not a stock-up sale, but an ok price

~Kroger Canned Vegetables, Select Varieties, 11 - 15.25oz - $.60

~Kroger Value Red Delicious Apples, 3lb. Bag - $3.00 ($1/lb)

~Cameo & Golden Delicious Apples - $1.00/lb

~Sweet Gala or McIntosh Apples, 3lb. Bag - $2.99 ($1/lb)

~Organic Red Delicious Apples - $1.00 each

~Sweet Bartlett Pears - $1.00/lb

~White Seedless Grapes - $1.00/lb

They had this sale last week, too, and my store didn't have white grapes, but they had their red grapes marked the same.

~Kroger Value Russet Potatoes, 10lb. Bag - $3.99
this is a decent deal, I bought 10lbs for $2.99 in Jan.

~Fresh Green Cabbage - $.45/lb.

~Organic Bunny Luv Carrots, 5lb. Bag - $3.99 ($.80/lb)

~Cottonelle Toilet Paper, 4rolls - $.99
use $.50/2 coupon, doubles to $1 = $.99/2 or $.50/ea. Final Price
use $.50 IPQ here , doubles to $.99 = FREE Final Price

Monday, March 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I know I'm doing a weird thing (for me) and planning and posting a menu that goes from Mon - Sun!! But I had some down/bored time on Saturday and planned a menu! Actually, we were at Focus on the Family's Focus on Marriage simulcast at our church Saturday, and Daniel and I ran the book table, so there were times we were sitting there doing nothing, and nothing going on. We joked that since we were in the very back of the room, and it was a marriage seminar, we could sit back there an make out :P Don't worry, we didn't.

It did strike us both funny, though, when an older lady (probably 70's) was looking at the books, pointed to one and said, "that one is basically the theology of sex". After she left we looked at each other and cracked up. You don't hear that word from people old enough to be your grandparents very often!!

Ok, back to the menu...

Monday - BBQ Wings, carrot and celery sticks
Tuesday - Sweet'n'Sour Chicken, Stir-Fry Vegetables, Rice
Wednesday - Hamburger Pot Pie
Thursday - Pork Chops, Macaroni
Friday (our anniversary) - Meatballs, Carrot Sticks, Chocolate Fondue
Saturday - leftover Hamburger Pot Pie
Sunday - Breakfast for Dinner

February Review

Wow, February is over! I'm not sure where it went, but the days on the calendar just flew past.

Having been over budget several times in January (mostly due to bad coupon experiences), I knew I was going to need to be really careful in February to make sure and not go over. And I didn't :)

Total spent: $88.86 (averages out to $22.22/week), $11.14 under budget.

While I'm really happy that I didn't go over budget in February, I'm also hoping that March will be a little nicer to the pocketbook (meaning: hoping Daniel's company will have more work). It's looking like we'll have to dip into our Emergency Fund to help pay the next round of bills :( That's what the Emergency Fund is for, but it's one of those things that you want it there for when you need it but you don't want to touch it. I'm sure it's a mental thing that "if I dip into it once, it'll all be gone in a *POOF*." And of course it won't all be gone in one poof :P

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow

It is still snowing quite nicely out there :) We had probably 3 inches when we got home from church about 8pm, and it was still coming down pretty heavily.

This afternoon when we got home from church...
looking out over our back yard.
Rascal-Boy :)
Daniel said he's really happy about the snow.
When we got home from church this evening...
Using higher exposure and slower shutter speed.
Our evening church service was cancelled after we'd already gotten to church, so we came home and had Pigs-In-A-Blanket and Fruit Salad for supper, and now we're watching The Man From Snowy River. What a great movie!! I love it and it's been a long time since we've seen it. It's been a long time since we've watched a movie, period :)
And it's getting to the exciting part, so I think I will get off and pay more attention :) I hope you're all having a great Sunday evening!!

IT'S SNOWING!!!!

YAY!! It just had to wait until March to do it :) It's hard to imagine that it was 70° on Friday and now we're supposed to get a couple inches of the stuff.

I'm so excited!! Finally, some snow :) I took some pictures when we got home from church, I'll have to post them later. It's time for a quick nap before we have to head back to church.