Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hanging it Up

It's time to say goodbye to this sweet little blog. I've enjoyed my time publicly helping my family save money and finding some great deals in our area, but after returning home this afternoon and finding our house burglurized it's time to put my family's saftey first.

It's an interesting thing having your house rummaged through. Knowing that other's have seen who you are without even knowing you. It's weird, the uncomfortable kind of weird. I've gone through a wide range of emotions today from being frustrated, angry, sad, even feeling bad for the little punks. It's not a feeling I wish on anyone.

What I do know is life isn't about stuff. Even though they took some things that carry alot of memories, I know my greatest gift isn't wrapped up in stuff, it's the life I look forward to after this one. (But it does stink that they did take our computer.)

Thank you all for following me on this journey. Feel free to enjoy the archives I hope you'll be blessed by something you'll find.

It's been fun!
Erica

Friday, October 9, 2009

Frugal Family Drive In Fun


I have wanted to go to a Drive In movie ever since I was little. When we moved to Wichita I was thrilled to find out we had a drive in movie theatre, Starlite Drive In Theatre, and I'm so bummed we've have yet to visit. Not only is a fun because it's a drive in but I love that they have two screen options one that is family friendly and the other that is geared for grown ups.

Now it wasn't awesome enough just to have a Drive In Theatre in our city but this Friday and Saturday night you can load up the family and watch 3 movies for $5.00 a carload. You can't beat that. Pop your own popcorn before you go, fill up your water bottles, get the kiddos in their pjs and you're in for a super frugal evening at the Drive In.

Go here to visit Starlite's website to see what's playing and to get directions

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Birthday Boys

Today is my husband's birthday and Saturday is our little guys birthday. Talk about a birthday week. I love birthdays and love to make a big fuss, unfortunately this year the fuss is going to have to wait. We'll be celebrating my husband's birthday tomorrow night. Complete with Tacos, the real kind & peanut butter pie.

This recipe was a favorite made by his grandmother growing up. It's easy to throw together and is a crowd pleaser.

Grandma Jean's Peanut Butter Pie
For a 9 inch pie
1 baked pie crust (you decide what you want to do. I tend to make my own, but store bought crusts work well too.)
1 large box vanilla pie filling
2 c. cold milk
1 container cool whip
1 c. chunky peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar

Prepare your pie crust, make sure you prick the bottom of your crust with a fork and bake according to recipe you are using.

Once this is baked and cooled it's time for the filling. In a small bowl cut powdered sugar into crunchy peanut butter using a pastry blender. You may have to add a little more sugar, you'll want a crumbly consistency. Save 1/4 c. of this peanut butter sugar mixture and set aside. Pour the remaining in the bottom of your pie crust.

In a new bowl mix 1 large box pudding with 2 c. cold milk, then add 1/2 container of cool whip and mix well. Pour on top of peanut butter crumbs.

Allow to sit for several hours. Just before serving top with remaining cool whip and sprinkle the peanut butter crumb mixture you set aside. Enjoy!

For more great recipes check out the Recipe Swap on Friday.

Erica

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dillons Deals 10/7-10-13

Wow there are some amazing deals this week at Dillons on staples that you won't want to miss out on. Let me know you see something I missed.

Produce
New Crop Granny Smith, Missouri Jonathan, Red or Golden Delicious .99 lb.
10 lb. Kroger Value Russet Potatoes 2.99

Meat
Farmland Whole Boneless Ham 1.39 lb.
Boneless Pork Loin 1.99 lb.
Pork Butt Roast 1.39 lb.
Hillshire Rope or Like Smoked Sausage 2/$6
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total=$5.00/2

Other Grocery Items
Kroger Brown or Powdered Sugar 1.00
5 lb. Kroger Flour 1.00 each
Kroger Cheese Bar or Shredded 24 oz. 3.00 each wyb3; 3.50 each wyb 2 3.99 each wyb 1
Kroger Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream or Dips 1.00
Kroger Vegetable Oil 2.00
4 lb. Kroger Sugar 1.88
Kroger Butter 2.00
Betty Crocker Cake Mix 1.00
Kroger or Private selection spices or extracts 25% off
7 Up Products .80 each wyb 5

Pringles 4/$5
Use .50/2 Fat Free Pringles (not sure if these are included)
Total=4/$4.00

Yoplait Yogurt 20/$10
Use three .50/6 MF or IP & .50/6 Cellfire & .50/6 Shortcuts eQ
Total=$6.00/20 containers of yogurt plus $2.00 will be donated for Breast Cancer Research

Pillsbury Biscuits, Crescents or Rolls 1.77
Use .50/2 MF & .50/2 Cellfire eQ & 1.00/2 Shortcuts eQ
Total= $1.04/2

Kraft Cheese bar or Shredding 5-8 oz or Singles 1.98
Use 1.00/1 Kraft Singles (from Dillons Mailer)
Total=.98 each

Household Products
Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent/Fabric Softener, or 2 in 1 Sheets 3.49

Kotex Pads, Liners or Tampons 2.50
Use 1.00/1 MF or .75/1 MF
Total=$1.50

Huggies 9.49
Use 2.00/1 MF or 3.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 Cellfire eQ
& submit for .75 rebate from Caregivers Marketplace
Total=$5.49 before rebate $4.74 after rebate

Sauve Professionals Hair Care 1.28
Use .50/2
Total=$1.56/2

10 Mega Sale
Buy 10 products and get $5.00 off your bill. Prices reflect the $5.00 deduction. Limit of 3 $5.00 savings per transaction.

Healthy Choice or Marie Callender's Entrees 1.88 each

Freschetta Pizza 4.49 each

Breyers Ice cream or Dove Ice Cream 2.49 each
Use .25/1 Unilever eQ Breyers

Sara Lee Pies or Cakes 2.99 each

Kroger Appetizers 3.49 each
Use 1.00/1 SC
Total=$1.99

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers 1.49 each
Use .50/2 MF or .50/1 IP below
Total=.50/1 or 1.98 each

Happy Savings!
Erica

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Worth Signing Up for

I've always intended to sign up for Farmland coupons, but always forgot. I finally did it a few weeks ago and boy was it worth the 2 minutes it took me. They sent me these beauties. Since farmland sausage was on sale this past week at Dillons for $1.00 I was able to get 8 packages of sausage for FREE! Stop what you're doing and head on over to Farmland and sign up for their coupons.
Also I'm a big fan of Vocalpoint. They send some great coupons usually with one FREE coupons and several high dollar coupons a long with it. I've loved stocking up on cereals using vocalpoint coupons. If your not a member I highly suggest you also take time to sign up for these. It's worth the energy.
Enjoy these fabulous coupons!
Erica

Friday, October 2, 2009

Frugal Family Friday-Craft Show & Fall Festivals

Aren't you enjoying these beautiful temperatures? I sure am.

This weekend is what I've been working like a crazy woman to get ready for and I'm very excited. I would love it if you would join the fun a the Lord of Life Lutheran Church Craft Fair and Fall Festival this Saturday October 3rd. The fun starts at 9 a.m. and ends around 2 p.m. There will be lots of booths full of handmade crafts, including yours truly. Please stop by my booth, I'd love to meet in real life.

On top of all the yummy crafts you'll find there will also be games for kiddos as well as a bounce House to get all that energy out. Paint a Pumpkin and eat some yummy food. It's sure to be a great family event and something for everyone.

The Lord of Life Lutheran Church is located at 11215 W. 13th. Street North (Between Maize Road & 119th St.)

I hope to see you there!
Erica

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dillons 9/30-10/6

Sorry for the delay but I've been sewing my little heart away. I finally finished last night around 2:30 a.m. and am so glad to be done. Now only little stuff left to do for my craft fair this weekend. Praise the LORD!

Here are the best deals I see this week at Dillons. Let me know if you see something I missed.

Produce
1 lb. Driscoll's Strawberries 1.99
10 lb. Kroger Value Potatoes 2.99
Ripe-N-Ready To Eat Hass Avocados or Red Peppers .99 each
New Crop Missouri Jonathan Apples 3 lb. bag 2.19

Meat
Fresh Ground Chuck 1.99 lb.
Pork Butt Roast 1.39 lb.
Farmland Whole Boneless Ham 1.39 lb. ($6.95 each)
Boneless Pork Sirloin Chops 1.69 lb.
Farmland Roll Or Link Sausage 1.00 each!!!
JC Potter Pork Rib-Bits .99 lb.

Other Grocery Items
12 pack Kroger Vegetables and Tomatoes 5.99
Bar or Shredded 24 oz. Kroger Cheese 3.99 (better than Aldi)
Betty Crocker Cake Mix 1.00
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 2/$1
Kroger Cottage Cheese or Sour Cream 1.98
7 Up products .80 each wyb 5

Pringles 4/$5
Use .50/2 Fat Free Pringles (not sure if these are included)
Total=4/$4.00

Cambell's Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soup 2/$1
Use .40/4 MF
Total= $1.20/4

Save $5.00 on Kingsford Match Light Charcoal wyb 3 Coca-Cola 12 packs 3/$12
Use 2.00/1 MF Kingsford Match Light
Save $7.00 wyb 3 coke 12 packs

Totino's Pizza Rolls .99
Use .40/2 MF
Total=$1.18/2

Yoplait Yogurt 20/$10
Use three .50/6 MF or IP & .50/6 Cellfire & .50/6 Shortcuts eQ
Total=$6.00/20 containers of yogurt plus $2.00 will be donated for Breast Cancer Research

Pillsbury Biscuits, Crescents or Rolls 1.77
Use .50/2 MF & .50/2 Cellfire eQ & 1.00/2 Shortcuts eQ
Total= $1.04/2

Kraft Cheese bar or Shredding 5-8 oz or Singles 1.98
Use 1.00/1 Kraft Singles (from Dillons Mailer)
Total=.98 each

Happy Savings!
Erica

Did you See it?

As I was browsing through yesterday's Eagle I spotted a great coupon. On the back of the Sam's Club insert there is a coupon for a FREE ONE DAY MEMBERSHIP expiring October 14th. This a great way to stock up on some basics at a great price without having to pay the membership fee.

Wondering what my thoughts are about Sam's? Go here to learn more. Make sure your read the comments too. Other's had some good thoughts that aren't the same as mine.

I'm very thankful I didn't have to beg a friend to buy a few things I was needing. This free membership came at just the right time. I'm looking forward to stocking up on a few things we can't get overseas!

Erica

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cloth Diapering

A few years ago I didn't think I would ever consider the idea of using cloth diapers, but I came around. Honestly it was the thought of possibly toilet training early that gave me the motivation to use cloth. From what I've read it's not uncommon for cloth diapered kiddos to train early. It's been a couple of months of using them and it's going great and not at all as bad as I once thought. It's much easier and doesn't take too much longer for diaper changes, I just change him more often.

Here are my 2 cents on cloth diapering:

  • Since I have been able to find some great deals on disposable diapers and we often go, go, go on the weekends I made the decision to only use cloth during the week and use disposables during the weekends and at night. I love our little system. It gives me a little laundry break and it's nice not to have to worry about bringing a wet bag everywhere we go. Remember you don't have to do it all the time.
  • One thing is for sure is cloth diapering takes some research and let me tell you there is a lot of information out there on cloth diapers.
  • At first glance we considered going with the basic prefold diapers. 2 features of prefold diapers drew me in 1. They were the cheapest option and 2. They dried the fastest. After reading a ton about these types of diapers I decided this wasn't the best fit for our little guy, even though it was the cheapest. He's very hard to change and never stops of moving. The thought of trying to use a snappy to close the diaper, and add a diaper cover was a little frightening.
  • I looked into All-in-one diapers but someday soon we'll be living in a land without dryers and I wanted something that didn't take a week in the winter to air dry. These are the most expensive and the most convenient, but not for us.
  • We went with a fitted diaper I actually found them at a garage sale. I had planned on making my own but I found a huge stack for $50 with about 10 covers of various sizes. AWESOME deal. The diapers we have can be used from birth to potty training and snap together very easily. I did purchase a few Velcro diaper covers because I felt they would be easier to use. I'm very happy with it.
The question your all wondering is, "Is it worth it?" This is a question you need to ask yourself. For us the thought of potty training early due to the awareness of what is going on under the diaper is worth the price. If my son trains at 30 months rather than 36 months that is 6 months of diapers I don't have to buy, $120 for 6 months of diapers, not counting the money we are saving using cloth diapers now. Since I found them at a garage sale they were much cheaper than if I had purchased them for full price. Plus we can use them for future kiddos without the extra expense of having purchase them again. I really haven't' seen a huge increase in our bills due to the extra laundry, it may be up a couple of dollars.

I'm not miserable using them, which a couple of years ago I thought I would be. It's working for our family. If you're wondering if you want to make the switch I'd highly recommend ordering a few and see how it goes a couple days a week, this way if you hate it you're not out a ton of money. There are various websites that do sell used diapers. (I used to think this was disgusting but then I researched how diapers were washed and sanitized and was okay with it.)

I also made my husband install a DIY diaper sprayer (he spent about $25 at Home Depot for all the parts). It's worth the extra expense to not have to touch the contents of the diaper in my opinion. Thankfully those types of diapers are few and far between. I only have to change one of those a day, sometimes two.

I'm never going to be one of those moms who are passionate about cloth diapering, but it's working for us and hopefully it will save us some money in the process. I hope this gives you a little insight into the cloth diapering world.

Erica

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick and Easy Meals for the week


This Saturday is my craft fair!!! I have a long to do list, but It's doable. So our menu is short and sweet this week.

Monday-Pigs in a Blanket, Salad & Steamed Veggies & grapes

Tuesday-BBQ Pork Roast in the Crock pot, Salad, Steamed Veggies & Watermelons

Wednesday-Dinner at Church

Thursday-Sweet & Sour Pork over Rice, Broccoli & Watermelon

Friday-My sweet husband is taking my son out so I can focus.

Saturday-Eating at the CRAFT FAIR & pot luck for dinner I'm bringing Spanish Rice & ???? Fruit or Salad

Sunday-HUBBY'S BIRTHDAY MEAL Fried Tacos, Chips & Salsa, Spanish Rice

Friday, September 25, 2009

Project Kitchen Aid

So I have a little secret for you. Well it's not really a secret anymore, we're moving in December! After spending a year and a half in the states it's time for us to return back overseas. We had really anticipated a move next spring, but more funding came in and we'll be able to return sooner than we expected. We're pretty excited and now I have a to do list longer than I've ever had in my life.There have been a few things that we have been saving up for but just haven't saved enough for all of them. This little beauty is one of them a 220 Volt Kitchen Aid! Since our electricity runs on 220 V we'll have to special order this one, which means they cost about twice as much, yikes. But it's worth it. I'm hoping to do well at my craft fair next weekend, at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church Craft Fair & Fall Festival, and try to make more etsy sales. I'd be happy to custom create something for you. Just email me or convo me at my etsy shop.

So now you know why my posts have been a little bit more infrequent. I've been working on a slew of post for the next month so I won't be silent, you'll just have to bear with me. Blogging is too big a part of my life to just up and quit cold turkey. I'm excited to see what the future holds.

Dreaming of my beautiful Kitchen Aid!
Erica

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dillons 9/23-9/29

I see some great sales on meat this week at Dillons and the Mix and Match sale is still going on. I hope you find some good deals this week, sorry for posting a day late. Yesterday was a full day. Let me know if I missed something.

Produce
3 lb. bag Jonathan Apples 2.19
Seedless Watermelon 3.99 each
Fall Acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash .99 lb.

Meat
Tyson Boneless Skinless Chicken breast fillets 1.99 lb.
Boneless Pork Loin in Bag 1.99 lb.
Boneless Chuck or Arm Roast 1.99 lb.
Pork Butt Roast 1.39 lb. (bone in, in bag)
HoneySuckle Whole Bone In Turkey breast 1.49 lb.
Pork Cube Steak 1.79 lb.

Other Grocery Items
Kroger Cheese 3.99 for 24 oz.
Cottage Cheese or Sour Cream 1.88

Kroger Delux Ice Cream 1.88
Use .75/1 Shortcuts eQ
Total=$1.13!

Yoplait Yogurt 20/$10
Use three .50/6 MF or IP & .50/6 Cellfire & .50/6 Shortcuts eQ
Get coupon back for 3.00 off your next purchase wyb 20 (look for a little red and white sign under the yogurt to verify that your store is running this catalina. Our dillons is running this deal)
Total=$6.00/20 containers of yogurt plus you'll get $2.00 towards your next purchase ($.30 ea)

Mix & Match 10 Nestle or Kraft Sale
Save .50 per item wyb 10 products in sale. You must buy 10 products in a single transaction. Prices here reflect discount being taken assuming that you have purchased 10 products

Digiorno pizza 3.97
Use 1.00/1 MF
Total=$2.97

Kraft cheese 1.79
Use 1.00/2 MF Kraft singles
Total= $1.29/1

Hot Pockets 1.49
Use .50/1 MF
Total= $0 .49

Lean cuisine 1.79
Use 1.00/5 MF
Tota= $1.59 each

Oscar Meyer bologna, salami or hot dogs 1.49
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total=$0.99 each

Philadelphia cream cheese .99/1
Use 1.oo/2 MF
Total= $0.49/1

Nabisco snack crackers 1.87
Use .75/2 coupon
Total=1.37/1

Velveeta 3.99

Jello Pudding or gelatin .77
Use .50/2 MF
Total=$0.27/1

Planter's peanuts 1.99

Nestle Morsels 1.99
Use .50/1 MF
Total=$0.99!!!

Coffee Mate Creamer 2.49
Use .50/1 MF
Total= $1.49

Oreo Cookies 2.49

Kraft Salad Dressing 1.49

All prices refect coupon doubling. Dillons doubles coupons up to $1.00 in amount.

Happy Savings!
Erica

Recipe Review

I only have a few recipe reviews for you this week, since our life got a little hectic I haven't been in the kitchen as regularly trying new recipes. For the most part all of the recipes I tried were winners.

Grilled Pizza! YUM. My husband and I had a blast tag teaming this dish (It really takes a couple of people). It seriously reminded us of Pide, turkish pizza. We loved it. The first batch burned, but then we lessened the length of time we needed to cook them. We were using a charcoal grill and it was very hot, we also weren't able to close the lid as the recipe suggests because we found this led to the pizzas burning.

We also used the suggestion other had made about this recipe and placed the shaped dough in the freezer for 10 minutes before putting it on the grill and this helped a lot. it was much easier to work with this way. We seriously had all the pizzas finished in 10 minutes and it made a lot of pizzas (I think around 8). This will certainly be a fun summer dish in our house.

Kristie's Magically Moist Chicken got the approval of both my husband and myself. I really loved this meal because my husband made it, all I did was lay out the recipe. I did forget to mention to my husband that our oven heats up much hotter than normal so it was a little drier than I think it would have been if we would have lowered the heat a bit. But I was impressed, who would have thought of combining mayo and spaghetti sauce? Chicken Breast is very hard for me to keep moist and I like the idea of coating it in something to keep the juices in.

The Blueberry Overnight Coffecake was a great change in the breakfast pace in our house. I don't think I've made coffeecake for breakfast since our first year of marriage. Since it had blueberries it was a big winner in my son's eyes.

There you have it. A big thanks to those who originally posted them. Our family loved trying them and I hope you do too.

Erica

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Clean Dishes when you travel

Here's my little secret of how we do dishes while traveling. I squirt a bit of dish soap on a thick paper towel, fold it up and place it in a Ziploc bag. When it's time to wash something I simply grab a paper towel, get it wet and wash away. When I'm finished I simply toss the paper towel away. I've washed too many sippy cups using this technique in airport bathrooms, gas stations, hotel rooms and now hospitals. It's an easy way to avoid having to bring a stack of paper products with you whenever you travel. (Plus it doesn't count as a liquid on airlines) Lighter, greener, traveling works for me!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meal Plan


It's another odd week for our family, we're in two cities for a few days, but we're making it work.

Here's the plan:

Monday- Chicken Parmesan Fingers over Garlic Spaghetti, Cooked Carrots & Salad

Tuesday- (Breakfast) Blueberry Overnight Coffee Cake
Veggie Hamburger Soup in the crockpot for my husband & biscuits (take a little with us for dinner)

Wednesday- Leftover Soup for hubs (Spaghetti for us)

Thursday-Hubs enjoying dinner with friends (Grilled Cheese & Canned Soup for us)

Friday-Eating at a football game, I'm assuming it will be burgers.

Saturday-My husband's 10 year reunion!

Sunday- With Family

I told you it was a little weird week. I'm looking forward to some normalcy, but from the looks of the next month this might be normal. I hope your meal plan looks better than mine this week. Need some ideas check out Meal Plan Monday's Home over at Org Junkie.

Erica

Friday, September 18, 2009

Being a Family

As much as I love doing things together as a family, today I was reminded once again of how important it is just to BE family. This morning as I was cleaning up the morning dishes my son came and set up a little "picnic" in the middle of the kitchen floor. He brought two bowls, two cups and two plastic peach slices. He set everything up, folded his little hands and started naming off the list of people to pray for. I glanced over and his little eyes met mine and then he asked me to sit down, he even said please! So for the next 5 minutes we had a little picnic. It was a precious part of my day and such a great reminder that being a family involves me engaging him in his world. I want to BE more of a family and DO less this weekend. How bout you?

Enjoying those gifts God has given me!
Erica

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dillons this week

I planned on posting the Dillons deals this week but then life happened. I am completely overwhelmed right now, my to do list is longer than I'd ever imagine, I'm trying to get so much done while I'm home but I feel like I'm sinking. So instead of spending an hour figuring out the best coupon match ups check out this site. Most of it is the same, but there are a few variations on meat and produce prices for the Wichita area. The Mega Sale looks the same though, you should be able to stock up on several useful items through this sale. What a blessing!

Happy Savings!
Erica

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Catching Those Fruit Flies


In our rush out the door last week I forgot to throw the ripe bananas in the freezer. We were greeted by a swarm of fruit flies when we returned. So I made my fruit fly catcher, here's what you do.

  1. Take an empty glass jar, I'm sure plastic would work too, but I've always used glass.
  2. Create a funnel with a piece of paper and trim it as needed. Place it in the jar and make sure it is a good fit.
  3. Fill your jar with water till it is about 1 inches from your funnel. Add a little dish soap and a piece of fruit.
  4. Add you funnel back on and tape it on.
  5. Sit back and watch how this magic device attracts your fruit flies.

Beautiful, this Works for Me Wednesday!

Enjoying a lot less Fruit Flies! Erica

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to the Kitchen

The last few days we have been enjoying "tasty" microwaveable meals in the waiting room of the hospital. I am very thankful there was a microwave for visitors, it certainly was a blessing. But I think we are all dying for some real food, the kind that the veggies are not rehydrated.

Since my dad had his transplant he has been doing very well. We have felt the hand of God working the past few days. He truly has taken our worries away. Since our toddler cannot go into my dad's room we returned back home and I'm very thankful for this little break.

This week's menu will reflect a few things I picked up at my parent's house that needed to be eaten before they spoiled. Which include lots of produce!!! I had to change up my original menu a bit, but thankfully don't have many things to pick up this week at the grocery store.

Breakfast:
Bagels &Fruit
English Muffins & Fruit
Toast & Fruit
Cold Cereal & Fruit

Lunch:
Leftovers

Dinner:
Monday-Sausage Cheese Balls, Zucchini, Side Salad & Watermelon
Tuesday-Hot Dogs, Coleslaw, Corn on the Cob
Wednesday-BBQ cups, Coleslaw, Corn on the Cob
Thursday-Tuna Burgers, Peas, Side Salad
Friday-Kristie's Magically Moist Chicken, side salad & peas
Saturday-Wedding
Sunday-I have no idea, hopefully I'll have some leftovers around

Now I better go tackle that heaping mountain of laundry. For more meal plans check out Org Junkie.

Happy Meal Planning!
Erica

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's Go Time

I'll be out of the blogging world until next week. We are headed to the hospital for my father's liver transplant. I'm not feeling nearly as prepared as I would have hoped to right now. I had to make an emergency trip to Target and Dillons but looks like I have enough snacks to make it through the weekend.

I better go finish packing my suitcase.

I'd love it if you could pray for my dad and our family right now!
Erica

Dillons 9/9-9/15

Here are the deals I see this week at Dillons. Let me know if you see something I missed.

Produce

New Crop California Green Seedless Grapes .99 lb.
Red Ripe Roma Tomatoes .99 lb.
Home Grown DeVore Farms Seedless Watermelon 3.99 each

Meat
Kroger IQF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Tenderloin 2.33
Farmland Bologna, Cotto Salami, P&P Loaf or Meat Hot Dogs 1.10 each
Farmland Roll or Link Sausage 2/$3
Farmland Pre-Sliced Turkey or Ham or Turkey or Ham Cubes 2/$7
Kroger Value Pack Chicken Thighs 1.19 lb.
Fast Fixin' Chicken $1
Farmland Fresh Ground Pork 1.99 lb.
Bumblebee Tuna 2/$1

Other Grocery Items
Kroger Marinades $1
Frito Lay Snacks $1
Kroger Frozen Vegetables $1
Duncan Hines Brownie Mix $1
Kroger Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream or Dip $1
Sun Chips 2.48
Cheetos 2.20

Kellogg's Cereal 3/$9 & FREE Gallon Milk
Use 1.50/2 IP below on frosted Mini Wheats
Total=$7.50/3 boxes & Milk

Keebler chips Deluxe or Sandies Cookies 3/$6 & FREE Gallon Milk
Use $1.00/2 IP below
Total=3/$5 & Gallon of milk

Kroger Deluxe or Breyers Ice Cream 2.27
Use .25/1 unilever eQ Breyers
Total=$2.02

Simply Potatoes .99

Kroger Cheese 1.88
Use .45/1 SC from mailer
Total=$1.43 (cheaper than Aldi)

Big K 12 packs 3/$6
Use .50/1 shortcuts eQ
Total=$1.50/1

Reese's or Hershey's Chocolate Candy 2/$1
Use .55/1 Reese's or BIGI FREE
Total= 1 FREE or .50/2

Betty Crocker Cake Mix 2/$2.50
Use .50/cake mix & frosting
Total=$2.00/2

Country Crock Margarine Spread 2/$3
Use .50/1 unilever eQ & .55/1 IP here
Total=1 FREE


Household Products
Bounty Paper Towels $1
Use .25/1 MF & .25/1 esaver eQ
Total=$0.25

Charmin Bath Tissue 1.88
Use .25/1 MF
Total=$1.38

Pampers Jumbo Diapers or Easy Ups 9.47
Use 2.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 esaver eQ
Total=6.47

Purex Detergent 3.49

Renuzit Adjustables

Happy Savings!
Erica

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Look before your Leave

Mistakes happen, and they also happen while ringing up your purchases. I can't tell you how often I've had to jump into the customer service line because of an error in how things rang up. I've been charged for the wrong type of produce, charged twice for purchasing only one item or full price when the item was marked down. I try to check my receipt before I head out the door to eliminate any return trips. Inevitably when I don't check my receipt there is a problem. Just last week I purchased a baby item on clearance at Target, my toddler was hungry and we were in a hurry and I didn't check my receipt. Later that evening as I glanced at my receipt of course there was an error, I was charged full price instead of the clearance price, which forced me to make another trip to Target. Even when the error is not in my favor it's my responsibility to correct it, because it works both ways! I defiantly want to pay for what I purchase and not cheat stores out of the money due them. Most of the time they look at me like I am crazy, but they always appreciate the honesty, which helps build a healthy relationship with the stores I frequent often.

Visit WFMW for more great tips this week.
Erica

Monday, September 7, 2009

Recipe Review

I found a great new way to cook a roast, the Mexican Pot Roast is the way to go! I'm usually not a fan of roast, they are palatable and an affordable cut of meat but don't care for the roast flavor, anyone with me on this one? I'm in love with this recipe, check out my modifications to transform this into a crockpot meal. It was so tender and the best part is my toddler also gobbled this up and he's not a big meat eater.

The Quick Crescent Bake was also yummy. I didn't add the chips and it tasted great, but I can see how the chips would give it a little more crunch. For all my friends abroad, this would be a great way to make a Mexican meal without going to the trouble of making tortillas. I think it would also be just as good use a thin layer of biscuits instead of crescent rolls. Two thumbs up from all members of our family for this recipe.

The Slow Cooker Ratoutille was a great way to use up some veggies and a great meatless summer meal. I did add more salt than recommended and I added dried herbs to the top of the veggies as I cooked it in the crockpot. We enjoyed this with some grated mozzarella cheese on the top and served it over some steamed brown rice. As expected my toddler wouldn't touch it. I think he has a veggie radar or something. He poked around at the rice and drank his milk, that was dinner.

The Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo was awesome. I added some spinach to sneak in some additional veggies and for the first time in a long time my toddler gobbled it up the spinach too. I took a chance and used reduced fat cream cheese and it turned out fine. Word to the wise wait until your noddles are just about finished to start your sauce, this recipe cooks fast. Loving adding this new quick meal to the the mix.

The Zucchini Crisp was better than I anticipated and my toddler actually ate a piece of zucchini, he was enticed to try it by the blueberries, but he the boy ate zucchini. Let me pause to remember such monumental moment. If I make it again I'd cut the zucchini into smaller pieces to resemble sliced apples and I'd use all the crisp topping for the top. I'm not a big fan of mushy crust and the juice made the crust very mushy. It was great with a little dollop of ice cream on top too.

Those are all the new recipes I got to this past week and I think I found some winners. Thanks for all the fabulous people who I've linked up to. Our family enjoyed your recipes. Thanks for sharing.

Erica

Sunday, September 6, 2009

This Week's Menu


I'm loving 3 day weekends, which means a short work week too. Our week's kind of goofy but I'm excited for it none the less. I'll admit I've not put any thought into what we'll have for breakfasts or lunches. I guess I better get thinking, let me know if you have any good ideas.

Monday-Grilled Pizza! (Can't wait to try it!) w/corn and side salad and watermelon
Tuesday-Eggplant Parmesan, over spaghetti noodles, salad & watermelon

Wednesday-Dinner at church to kick off kids program

Thursday-Sausage Cheese Balls, Cooked Carrots, zucchini

Friday-Leftovers or breakfast for dinner

Saturday-Going to a dear friends wedding.

Sunday-Muffaletta (we usually toast ours and since we're not big olive eaters I use capers), chips, peas

For more great menus check out Org Junkie!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekly $ Report

No pictures again this week, I still haven't figured out what is going on with our photo program. I'm hoping to get it solved very soon.

I spent $47.99 between Target and Aldi this week and $10 at the farmer's market. Which brings my total to $57.99. I'll have to watch my budget a little closer the rest of the month.

Here's how I spent our grocery money this week:
Publish Post

Dillons $31.06
2 Green Peppers .71 each
Red Bell Pepper 1.42
Head of Lettuce .99
Tomatoes 2.25
Chicken Breasts 6.77
Angel Hair Pasta .97
Linguine 1.50
Penne Noodles 1.50
Organic Grape Juice 3.59
Bread .74
Cinnamon Toast Crunch .99
Trix Cereal .44
Spiderman Fruit Snacks .50
Fiber One Bars 1.29
Nature Valley Bars 1.19
YoPlus FREE
2 Boxes BC Brownies 2.23/2
Warm Delights FREE
Nature's Valley Clusters .49

Aldi $16.93
Zucchini 1.79
2 jars Spaghetti Sauce 1.09 each
Tomato Paste .39
Butter 1.89
Frozen Corn .95
2 bars of Cheese 1.49 each
Margarine .69
Grapes 1.58
Cantaloupe .99
Watermelon 2.49

Farmer's Market $10.00
2 eggplant 2.00
1 large zucchini 1.00
1 dozen eggs 2.00
1 small jar of honey 4.00
Cucumbers 3/1.00

Have A Great 3 day weekend!
Erica

Friday, September 4, 2009

Frugal Family Photography

A friend of mine recently pointed me in the direction of Masterpiece Studio & Gallery. If you are looking for some fun pictures of your kiddos here is a great way to do it. Every other Saturday he is running a special promotion on Children's photo sessions for $36. Your session will last about 10 minutes and a few days later you will receive a disk of touched up photos for TOTAL-FREEDOM usage. Which means you get to print the ones you love and have a variety, wherever you want. These photo shoots will take place in Yoder, Kansas, every 1st and 3rd Saturday from 9am to 1pm. You get the images burned to CD for TOTAL-

Here are the upcoming themes:
Sept. 5: Grandparents Day special - kids with grandparents
Sept. 19: Dough Boys & Girls - taken at the Yoder bakery. Lots of dough and flour to play with (and fly in the air!)
Oct. 3: Balloons galore - colorful balloons all around
Oct. 17: Boxcar Blues- On location in the boxcar at the end of Yoder main street... dress in hobo gear
Oct. 31: Monster Cuties - Halloween costumes
Early Dec. :Santa in the studio

Sounds fun and a great deal at that. If you decide to take advantage of this great deal make sure you tell them you heard about it from Effortless Savings!

Erica

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Leeker's 12 Hour Meat Sale-Valley Center

I just found out about this amazing meat sale going on tomorrow at Leeker's in Valley Center.
801 S. Meridian

The sale starts at 8:00 am and ends at 8:00 pm and it looks like there are many great deals to be had.

Here are some of the ones I see:
Boneless Whole Pork Loin 1.49 lb.
80% Lean Fresh Ground Beef 1.59 lb.
Bone-In whole Pork Butts .99 lb.
Fresh Pork Spareribs 1.29 lb.
Whole Boneless Beef Brisket 1.79 lb.
Farmland Pork Sausage 1.09 each

I hope a few of you can catch some good deals on meat through this sale.

Happy Freezer Stocking!
Erica

Mexican Pot Roast-Crockpot Modifications

Oh my stars, this is a great recipe. I'm usually not a fan of pot roast, I have bad memories of the bland dry after church roast growing up. Mom I was thankful for it, and still am, but never really crave a roast.

Here is the original recipe. This is how I made it into a crockpot dish.

Crockpot Mexican Pot Roast

4 lb. lean, boneless chuck pot roast (mine had a bone and I trimmed off some of the fat)
1 large can stewed or whole tomatoes (I just pulled out 5 frozen whole tomatoes covered them with water and microwaved them for several minutes. I drained some of the water, but left enough to cover them and them mashed them.)
Jalapeno Peppers to your liking (I added 5 and you could hardly taste them)
3 T. dry taco seasoning mix
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 c. boiling water
2 T. tomato paste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 t. Pepper

Wash your roast and add it to the bottom of the crockpot. Next heat your water and dissolve 1 bouillon cube, then add your 2 T. tomato paste and mix breaking up the paste. Pour this over your roast.

Add your can of stewed or whole tomatoes. I used frozen tomatoes so I had to heat those up so they could defrost. I poured off some of the water before I removed the skins. Then I smashed them. Pour this over the roast.

Add jalapenos, onion, taco seasoning and garlic powder and pepper to top of roast.

Add enough water to barely cover your roast then put the lid on. Cook on low for several hours. I cooked it on the low 10 hour setting. I served it with tortillas but it would be great over rice too.

Enjoy!
Erica

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dillons 9/2-9/8

I hope you were able to stock up during the Mega Event. This week looks like a good week to stock up on meat. Let me know if I missed anything.

Produce
Fresh Nebraska Sweet Corn 3/$1
Home Grown Seedless Watermelon 3.99 each
Ripe Sweet XL Cantaloupe 1.67 each

Meat
Ground Fresh Fresh Ground Chuck 1.99 lb.
Farmland Whole Boneless Ham 1.59 lb. sold in 5 lbs. 7.95 each
Fresh Tyson Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets 1.99 lb.
Boneless Pork Loin Chops BIGI FREE regularly 5.49 lb.
Boneless Pork Tenderloin in Bag 1.99 lb.
Chicken Leg Quarters .55 lb.
Honeysuckle Fresh 85% Lean Ground Turkey 1.59 lb.

Ball Park Meat, Beef or Angus Franks BIGI Free Regularly 3.79-5.19
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total=$2.79-4.19/2

Other Grocery Items
Pepsi Cola 12 packs 2.40 wyb 4, get 1 free

Kellogg's Cereal 3/$9 & get gallon milk FREE wyb 3!
not sure if these are a part of the deal ??? Kellogg's Rice Krispies UseBIGI FREE & 1.00/1
Total=$5.00/3 & Gallon of Milk

Keebler Chips Deluxe or Sandies Cookies 3/$6 & get gallon milk FREE wyb 3!

Breyers or Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream 2.27
Use .25/1 Breyers unilever eQ
Total=$2.02

Kroger Vegetables 10/$10

Kroger Marinade 10/$10
Use .35/1 SC from Dillons mailer
Total=$0.65

Hunts Ketchup 10/$10

Simply Potatoes .99

Sunny Delight 1.00
Use .25/1
Total=$.50

Wonderful Pistachios (10 oz.), Walnuts or Almonds (1 lb.) 3.99

Household Products
Charmin Bath Tissue large roll 4 pack 1.88
Use .25/1 MF & .25/1 p&g esaver eQ
Total= $1.13

Kotex Pads, Liners or Tampons 3.00
Use B1G1 Kotex produce receive one Kotex Overnight Pads FREE or 1.00/1 MF
& 1.00/1 cellfire eQ
Total=$2.00/2 or $1.00/1

Happy Savings!
Erica

Monday, August 31, 2009

August Recipe Review

I tired several new recipes this month and a few will make it into our family favorite cookbook. Here's to expanding it by a few more pages, cheers!

I now have a new go to summer salad. The Cuban Chicken Salad was very good. I loved how all the seasonings and spices combined to create this yummy tangy dressing. Then you pour it over your crunchy lettuce topped corn, black beans and grilled chicken. It melded beautifully. It was also a very pretty salad. I even poured the extra dressing over the corn and black beans and mixed it all together and it made a great little salsa. That we enjoyed for lunch the next day.

The Italian Squash Boats were good, but not great reheated. I always struggle with finding meatless meals besides salads in the summer. This is one I'm going to hang on to, especially since gardens tend to produce a bunch of zucchini every summer.

The Frosty Orange Creme Dessert is a keeper too. I agree with Ashley you need another layer of orange sherbet to offset the sweetness of the cream layer. I made mine in a 9x13 inch Pyrex and it worked well. When making this again I plan on sandwiching the layer of cream goodness between two layers of sherbet making this divine.

The crockpot rigatoni was a flop. It was incredibly dry and I even added more sauce than it recommended. (To be fair my crockpot cooks a little on the fast side.) I didn't start it until 1:00 cooking it on low (8 hours) and the noodles on the outside were pretty crunchy by dinner time. My toddler wouldn't touch the noodles. I did however add some more sauce and water to it the next day and it was better than the first night we had it. If you make this add some water to your sauce and I recommend using 2 jars of spaghetti sauce, one for each layer and make sure you cook it on low, the next time I'll use the 10 hour low setting and only cook it for 4 hours.

I hope to do weekly recipe reviews from here on out. Right now I have the Mexican Pot Roast cooking away and it smells so good. I'm pretty sure my husband is going to be so happy when he walks in and smells what's for dinner. I sure hope it tastes as good as it smells.

Better late than never

I'm sorry to all the allergy suffers out there right now. I'm in the same boat, sneezing constantly, miserable and hating ragweed with a passion. So I didn't get to my $ report this weekend. The weather was beautiful and we took out little guy to the farmer's market and then to the air show and when I got home I was exhausted from sneezing. There will be a day when these allergies will be gone, I'm looking forward to that day.

So in light of this I'll keep this $ report short and sweet. This past week I spent $47.42 on groceries and I spent $197.66 for the month on groceries. Right on target and a smidgen under!

I did stock up on milk at target, 4 gallons @ 2.09 each= a great deal. I was also able to get some more lunch box goodies and a few boxes of brownie mixes. I love these in case there is a church funeral or I am asked to bring a dessert and I don't have time to do something from scratch. My hunch is that the Mega Event will continue another week because I received some coupons promoting the mega event and they expire the 19th. I think I'm stocked on all the junk our family can handle for a while.

Excuse me while I get another tissue.
Erica

P.S. Sorry no pictures but we're still working on the computer problems.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Menu for the Week


Here's my meal plan for the week. I do have several new recipes (asterisks beside them) including sourdough bread, I can't believe I've never made it before. I'm really excited to give it a go. I'd appreciate any tried and trusted sourdough recipes you'd like to share with me. I'm a little intimidated by what I've read, but that's half the fun, right!

I'm also still plugging away with my 30 day shred, level three. I'm hoping to add some 2 mile jogs in this week. I've really missed them.

Breakfast: Same old, same old, might make some homemade yogurt again this week. We really enjoyed our smoothies and I really enjoyed the variety of mustache colors on my toddler's face each morning.

Lunch: Salad, leftovers, and sandwiches

Dinner:
Monday- *Mexican Pot Roast (modifying for Crockpot), mashed potatoes & salad

Tuesday-(Doubling for friends w/ a new baby) *Quick Crescent Taco Bake, Rice, Fruit & Amish Friendship Bread
Wednesday- * Slow Cooker Ratatouille over Steamed Rice & fruit

Thursday- BLTs on *homemade sourdough, steamed zucchini (I'm using this starter for the sourdough, but using potato water)

Friday-Leftovers or *Kristie's Magically Moist Chicken, Rolls Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salad
Saturday- Pasta Party: Garlic Spaghettii, Marinara Sauce, & Alfredo Sauce, penne noodles & another fun noodle(maybe bow ties) with tossed salad & French Bread (I'll freeze my leftover sauces) & either zucchini crisp or chocolate peanut butter pie

Sunday-*Zucchini, Corn & Tomato Saute w/ leftover bread and salad

For more great meal plans check out Org Junkie.

Happy Menu Planning!
Erica

Friday, August 28, 2009

Frugal Family Fun-Wichita Flight Festival

I'm loving this weather and getting pretty excited for fall! What better way to spend Saturday than outdoors and at the Wichita Flight Festival, it starts at 10 am and also is going on Sunday at Jabara Airport.
photo courtesy of Free Foto

Since there are planes flying over our city constantly my little guy loves them. Just this morning he was clapping as one flew overhead. This weekend's flight festival will be an event sure to please and the best part is the day events are free. I know there will be other things that include a price tag, but if you just want to go out and check out the planes and watch some fun air shows you can do that all for free. What a great way to celebrate the Air Capitol!

Happy Flight Trails!
Erica

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Preserving Summer's Bounty-Part 2 Canning Peaches

Oh my goodness have peaches just been amazing this year or what! My toddler has been in love and has requested peaches almost every morning for breakfast. I wanted to make sure we still had a few when they were no longer in season, so I decided to try canning a few. This is the first canning I had done by myself and I was little nervous. But it wasn't too bad and it was very satisfying hearing the pop of the seals once my work was complete.

you'll need:
Peaches
Canning Jars & lids (I used 12 lb. of peaches and it filled about 9 pint size jars)
Sugar
Water
or pineapple juice
Large Pot or Canning Pot
Something to lift your jars out of the water, they sell specific tools and chances are you know someone who has one.

First thing first is to get your water bath going. I don't have a canner so I used a large pot. Bring your water to a boil and add your jars using this cool little jar picker upper. Let these jars sterilize in the boiling water for about 10 minutes. Add your rings and lids for 5 minutes to not quite boiling water. Make sure you set a timer so you won't forget about them. If you have a dishwasher with a sterilize feature you can simply do this, unfortunately I don't.

While those are sterilizing wash your peaches and boil another pot of water. Fill an additional bowl with COLD water, I added some ice cubes to make sure it was COLD.

Drop several peaches into your boiling water for about 30-45 seconds.
Then use a slotted spoon and add them to the cold water and let sit for about 2 minutes. This process shocks the peaches making them very easy to peel.


Once you shock the peaches remove the skins. It's very important to let them sit for a few minutes in the cold water. Trust me if you try to peel them before this point you'll have problems. I finally figured this out 8 lbs. into peeling my peaches. The last 4 lbs. went much better. If you want to maximize the entire peach, save the peelings in a little bowl and make some peach honey with them later.

Once you've peeled your peaches it's time to slice them as you desire. You can half them and remove the pit, slice them, or dice them it's up to you. I sliced them. Then add some lemon juice or Fresh Fruit over your peaches to prevent them from browning. Give it a good stir coating all your peaches.
Now it's time to prepare your syrup or your juice you will pack your peaches in. Add 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Slowly add your sugar and bring to a boil then allow to barely boil for a few minutes, so you'll need to lower your heat.


Next you'll add your peaches to the barely boiling syrup and barely boil for 5 minutes.


Now you're ready to fill your jars. Use a nifty little canning funnel and you'll avoid some spills. Add your peaches to your jars and fill them tightly, leave about 1 inch to 1/2 inch of the jar unfilled. Once you've added your peaches. Make sure to cover them with syrup.

Next run a knife or the little canning tool along the sides of your jars to release any air bubbles.


Wipe the lip and threads of the jar clean with a wet clean cloth and add your sterilized lids and tighten the ring on the jars.

Add filled and closed jars to a boiling hot water bath. You need enough boiling water to covers the jars by 2 inches, as you add your jars the water will rise so don't fill your pot will boiling water, don't ask me how I know this. Boil covered for about 20 minutes if you live above sea level, 30 minutes if you live below sea level. ( I have no idea why this is underlined, I can't seem to fix it, so just ignore it)


Remove jars with your handy little jar grabber and allow them to cool untouched. You'll hear the beautiful clicking of the seals as your jars cool. It's a very satisfying sound. Store your jars in a dark cool place and enjoy these tasty treats all winter long.


Make sure you check out the Recipe Swap on Friday over at GCC.

Happy Canning!
Erica

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dillons 8/26-9/1

It appears I am having some computer issues. After spending several hours yesterday trying to figure out what was wrong I gave up. I'll save yesterday's post for next week assuming I can figure out how to get my pictures and videos off of my camera.

In the meantime here are the best deals I see this week at Dillons. The mega Event is continuing another week so take advantage of the new cellfire coupons. It's been nice to have something special to add to my husband's lunch box. It's been a long time since we've had granola bars at our house. Even though they aren't the healthiest thing in the world it's nice to be able to mix up the lunch box with them.

Produce
New Crop California Red Seedless Grapes .99 lb
Red Ripe Seedless Watermelon 3.99 each
New Crop Colorado or Eastern Peaches 1.49 lb.
Colorado or California Bartlett Pears 1.29 lb

Meat
Kroger IQF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Tenderloin 2.59 lb.
Pork Loin Assorted, Center Cut or Loin Cut Chops BIGI FREE regular price $3.29-$4.19 lb
Farmland Fresh Ground Pork 1.99
Pacific Salmon Fillets 2.99 lb.

Other Grocery Items
Simply Potatoes .99

Breyers or Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream 2.27
Use .25/1 Unilever eQ
Total=$2.02

Kroger Cheese 1.77
Use .45/1 Dillons Mailer
Total=$1.32 (cheaper at Aldi)

Kraft Cheese 2/$5
Use 1.00/2
Total=$4.00/2

Big K 12 packs 1.77
Use .50/1 shortcuts eQ
Total=$1.27

Household Products
Cottonelle Bath Tissue 5.99
Use .50/1 MF & .25/1 cellfire eQ

Tampax Pearl 3.99
Use 1.00/1 MF & .50/1 esaver eQ
Total=$2.49

Kitchen Towels or Dishcloths 1.00

Mega Savings Event!
Mix and Match any 10 items and save $5.00 instantly off your order. You must purchase multiples of 10 products in order to save $5.00 and use your Dillons card. Prices reflect 5.00 instant savings.

Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits, Crescents or Cinnamon Rolls .99
Use .50/2 IP Crescents from coupon wigdit at bottom of page & .50/2 Crescents shortcuts eQ
.35/1 Grands MF or .40/3 Grands MF & 1.00/2 Grands shortcuts eQ
.75/3 Cinnamon Rolls, Grands or Crescents .40/2 Cinnamon Rolls shortcuts eQ
Total=.49/2 crescents; .28/2- FREE Grands' 1.47/3 Cinnamon Rolls

General Mills or Quaker Cereal 1.99
Use .50/1 Total IP below & .75/1 shortcuts eQ
Use .55/1 Trix MF & .55/1 Trix shortcuts eQ
Total=$0.24 Total & .44 Trix

Betty Crocker Helper .99
Use .75/3 MF or .75/3 IP below & .75/3 shortcuts eQ
Total=$1.22/3

Pepsi Cola .88

Green Giant Vegetables .65

Totino's Pizza Rolls 2.69
Use .55/2 shortcuts eQ & .40/2 MF or .55/2 IP below
Total=$3.83-$4.03/2

Nature Valley Granola Bars, Quaker Instant Oatmeal 2.49
Use .40/1 IP Nature Valley Granola Bars (print below) or .70/2 MF & .40/1 shortcuts eQ
or .50/1 MF & .75/1 Nature Valley Pomegranate & Cranberry or Dark Chocolate & Nut Bars
Total= $1.29 Granola Bars; $0.74 Pomegranate & Cranberry or Dark Chocolate & Nut
Valid 8/14 – 9/6 Nature Valley Granola Bars: Buy 3 and receive a $1.50 Catalina; Buy 4 and receive a $2.50 Catalina; Buy 5 or More and receive a $3.50 Catalina.

Tostitos Tortilla Chips or Salsa or Queso Dip 2.28
Use 1.00/2 MF Chips (received from Dillons mailer)
Total=$3.56

SoBe Life Water .50

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 1.99
Use .50/1 fruit shaped snacks shortcuts eQ & .40/1 cellfire
.50/2 shortcuts eQ fruit by the foot, stickers, gushers, rolls ups & .50/1 cellfire
Total= .59/1 fruit shaped snacks or $2.49/2 fruit by the food, stickers, gushers, & roll ups
Valid 8/14 – 9/6 General Mills Fruit Snacks (Fruit By The Foot, Shapes, Gushers, Roll-Ups, Stickerz): Buy 3 and receive a $1.50 Catalina; Buy 4 and receive a $2.50 Catalina; Buy 5 or More and receive a $3.50 Catalina.

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel 1.99
Use .55/2 MF & .50/2 shortcut eQ
Total=$2.48/2

Yoplait Yogurt 2.19
Use .75/2 MF Kids Yogurt or $.40 IP below & .80/2 shortcuts eQ & 80/1 cellfire
1.25/1 IP Fiber One here or .75/1 IP below; 1.00/1 Fiber One Yogurt cellfire eQ
1.00/1 IP YoPlus below or Use .50/1 MF & 1.00/1 cellfire eQ
Total=$1.78/2 Kids; .06 overage-.19 Fiber One; $0.19 YoPlus

Cascadian Farm 3.99 cereal or 3.29 granola bars
Use 1.00/1 MF
Total=$2.99-2.29

Hershey Supreme Brownie Mix 1.99
Use .75/2 MF & .75/2 shortcuts eQ
Total=$2.23/2

Betty Crocker Warm Delights 1.39
Use .50/1 MF & .50/1 shortcuts
Total=FREE plus $0.11 OVERAGE!!!

Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes 1.69
Use .40/1 MF & .40/1 shortcuts eQ
Total=$0.49

Fiber One Muffins 2.69
Use .50/1 MF &

Kroger or Aunt Jemima Syrup 2.99

Baked Lays 3.29

Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters 2.89
Use 1.00/1 MF or IP below & 1.00/1 cellfire eQ & 1.00/1 shortcuts eQ
Total= FREE & .11 overage!!!

Chex Mix Bars 2.49
Use .50/1 MF & .60/1 shortcuts eQ & .60/1 cellfire eQ
Total=$0.29

All Prices reflect coupon doubling. Dillons doubles all coupons under .50 and coupons over .50 "double" to $1.00.

Happy Savings!
Erica

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meal Plan


The weather lately has been amazing. I just want to stay outside all day long. I had expected August to be a bit warmer, but I'm not complaining. I have several crockpot meals this week and they are already making me very hungry.

I forgot to add my workouts last week but I'm still plugging away at the 30 day shred and I think I'll be ready for level 3 this week, how scary.


Breakfast
Banana Bread (making extra to freeze)
Smoothies
Homemade Yogurt
Cold Cereal
Breakfast Cookies (making extra to freeze)

Lunch
Leftovers or Sandwiches

Dinner
Monday-Pork Carnitas (modifying to put in the crockpot) served with tortillas, blackbeans, salsa, & rice

Tuesday-Baked Potato Bar (cooked in the crockpot) with pork as topping, broccoli & cheese served with a side salad

Wednesday-Spaghetti Alla Carbonara, didn't get to this a few weeks ago, salad, squash

Thursday-Tamale Pie in Crockpot (didn't get to it last week), tomato wedges, salad & fruit

Friday-Leftovers

Saturday-Grilling Pork Chops, some sort of veggie and salad

Sunday-Pizza Omlets & steamed veggies (Salad for dinner)

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie.
Happy Meal Planning!
Erica

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weekly $ Report

I spent $56.46 this week on groceries. I would have come in under budget but decided to head to Dillons for a second trip and get some snack food in light of the big surgery this week and not knowing if we would be home. With that said here's what I purchased this week. Sorry no pictures this week, I'm have some computer issues. I told you it's been one of those weeks.


Aldi $24.53
Skim Milk 2.30
Whole Milk 2.35
Onions 1.29
Zucchini 1.79
Sliced Pepperoni 1.99
Flour Tortillas .99
Parmesan Cheese 2.39
Large Eggs 1.09
Graham Crackers 1.29
Iceburg Lettuce .79
Tomato Paste .39
Chips .99
3 bags frozen corn 2.85
Cheese 1.29 each


Dillons trip one 19.13
Peaches 4.03
Romaine Lettuce 1.58
Cilantro .99
2 jars of Ragu 1.82
Popcorn 1.39
Pasta 1.69
Cornmeal 1.09
Blackbeans 1.89
Ground Turkey 1.74 each


Dillons trip two $12.80
2 MS Organic Whole Milk 1.49 each (froze for next week)
Closeout Sweet Potato Fries 1.59
Bread .78
2 pkgs. Crescent Rolls .02 overage
2 pkgs. Grands Biscuits .24 each
3 pkgs. Nature's Valley Granola Bars 1.33 each
2 pkgs. Fiber One Bars 1.09 each
Fiber One Yogurt FREE


Erica

Friday, August 21, 2009

Frugal Family Fun-Yoder Heritage Day


I have been wanted to visit Yoder, an Amish Community outside of Wichita, since we moved to Wichita last year. It seems like our weekends have filled up and we have yet to make it there. I've heard amazing things about the food at Carriage Crossing so I was very excited to see that Yoder Heritage Day is this weekend. The event if free and there will be activities all day long including a parade, several musical preformances, buggy races, tractor pull and many more. If you don't have plans this weekend I suggest making the trip, maybe we'll bump into each other. To find out more information about Yoder Heritage Day check out this website.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coming Up for Air

This week has been one of those weeks, you know the kind when everything breaks and life hands you a million things that weigh heavy on your heart. So rather than finishing my post on how to can peaches this morning I prayed.

Right now my father-in-law is in the middle of a quadruple bypass surgery. My husband made the 5 hour trip to be there while the little guy and I sit here and pray. I'd appreciate your prayers for our family right now. On top of this my father is waiting on a liver transplant.

Before my husband left last night we joked that it would just make the week complete if my dad got a call today saying it's to book it to the hospital for his transplant.

Thanks for understanding. I do have a couple of posts that are scheduled so I won't be completely silent for the rest of the week.

Erica

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dillons 8/19-8/25

Here are the deals I see this week at Dillons. I'll check out the Mega Event later today and find out the other products a part of this deal and share them with you. Let me know if I missed any coupon match ups.


Produce
Fresh Colorado or Michigan Green Beans .99 lb.
Home Grown Nebraska Sweet Corn 3/$1
Home Grown DeVore Farms Red Ripe Seedless Watermelon 3.99
Fresh XL Green Bell Peppers .77 each
New Crop Colorado Peaches 1.19 lb.


Meat
Fresh Ground Round 1.99 lb.
Tyson Fresh Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs .99 lb.
Oscar Mayer Original, Bun Length, Lite or Jumbo Meat Franks 4/$10
Farmland Boneless Pork Loin Chop 10 chops for $10



Other Grocery Items
Breyers or Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream 2.27
.25/1 Breyers unilever eQ
Total=$2.02

Coca-Cola 10/$10

Simply Potatoes .99 each



Household Products
Always Pads or Tampax Tampons 14-60 ct Pads or 20 ct Tampons 2/$6
Use .50/1 MF & .50/1 esaver eQ
Total=$1.50-2.00 each


Mega Savings Event!

Mix and Match any 10 items and saving $5.00 instantly off your order. You must purchase multiples of 10 products in order to save $5.00 and use your Dillons card. Prices reflect 5.00 instant savings.


Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits, Crescents or Cinnamon Rolls .99
Use .50/2 IP Crescents from coupon wigdit at bottom of page & .50/2 Crescents shortcuts eQ
.35/1 Grands MF or .40/3 Grands MF & 1.00/2 Grands shortcuts eQ
.75/3 Cinnamon Rolls, Grands or Crescents .40/2 Cinnamon Rolls shortcuts eQ
Total=.49/2 crescents; .28/2- FREE Grands' 1.47/3 Cinnamon Rolls

General Mills or Quaker Cereal 1.99
Use .55/1 IP below.50/1 Honey Nut Cheerios shortcuts eQ 1.00 Honey Nut Cheerios cellfire eQ
Total= .49-FREE

Betty Crocker Helper .99
Use .75/3 MF or .75/3 IP below & .75/3 shortcuts eQ
Total=$1.22/3

Pepsi Cola .88

Green Giant Vegetables .65

Totino's Pizza Rolls 2.69
.55/2 shortcuts eQ & .40/2 MF or .55/2 IP below
Total=$3.83-$4.03/2

Nature Valley Granola Bars, Quaker Instant Oatmeal 2.49
.40/1 IP Nature Valley Granola Bars (print below) or .70/2 MF & .40/1 shortcuts eQ
.50/1 MF & .75/1 Nature Valley Pomegranate & Cranberry or Dark Chocolate & Nut Bars
Total= $1.29 Granola Bars; $0.74 Pomegranate & Cranberry or Dark Chocolate & Nut
Valid 8/14 – 9/6 Nature Valley Granola Bars: Buy 3 and receive a $1.50 Catalina; Buy 4 and receive a $2.50 Catalina; Buy 5 or More and receive a $3.50 Catalina.

Tostitos Tortilla Chips or Salsa or Queso Dip 2.28
Use 1.00/2 MF Chips (received from Dillons mailer)
Total=$3.56

SoBe Life Water .50

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 1.99
Use .50/1 fruit shaped snacks shortcuts eQ & ..40/1 cellfire
.50/2 shortcuts eQ fruit by the foot, stickers, gushers, rolls ups & .50/1 cellfire
Total= .59/1 fruit shaped snacks or $2.49/2 fruit by the food, stickers, gushers, & roll upsValid 8/14 – 9/6 General Mills Fruit Snacks (Fruit By The Foot, Shapes, Gushers, Roll-Ups, Stickerz): Buy 3 and receive a $1.50 Catalina; Buy 4 and receive a $2.50 Catalina; Buy 5 or More and receive a $3.50 Catalina.

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel
Use .55/2 MF & .50/2 shortcut eQ
Total=$2.48/2

Yoplait Yogurt 2.19
Use .75/2 MF Kids Yogurt or $.40 IP below & .80/2 shortcuts eQ & 80/1 cellfire
1.25/1 IP Fiber One here or .75/1 IP below; 1.00/1 Fiber One Yogurt cellfire eQ
1.00/1 IP YoPlus below or Use .50/1 MF
Total=$1.78/2 Kids; .06 overage-.19 Fiber One; $1.19 YoPlus

All Prices reflect coupon doubling. Dillons doubles all coupons under .50 and coupons over .50 "double" to $1.00.

Happy Savings!
Erica

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What time is it????

I'm not sure about you but I'm terrible at knowing what time it is. I haven't owned a watch in over 4 years and most of the time I rely on my cell phone for a quick check at the time. Occasionally problems will arise when I must get something done for dinner and I just plain forget leaving not enough time to get it done.

One day I decided to set the alarm on my phone for things that needed to get done during the day and I've been doing it since. It's especially helpful when I have to start bread for dinner in the middle of the afternoon. I will confess there have been many times I have forgotten and it's too late to get it going in time for dinner. This new little reminder has saved the day and helped get dinner on the table as planned.

photo courtesy of www.freefoto.com



This definitely Works for Me this Wednesday! Now I'm off to set my alarm for some homemade yogurt.
Erica

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Menu for the Week

I'm excited to try quite a few new recipes this week. It's very strange to go almost 2 weeks with only 1 new recipe. New recipes I'm trying have an asterisk beside it so I can't vouch for them yet, but they looked pretty tasty when I found them. There have only been a couple of recipes I've tried over the past year that didn't make it into our cookbook. I love adding to our family favorite cookbook and hope these will be keepers.

Here's the game plan is this week:

Nothing special for breakfast or lunches. Cold cereal, leftovers, pretty boring.

Monday: *Crockpot Rigatoni, Homemade French bread, Garden Salad & Cooked Carrots

Tuesday: *Italian Squash Boats, w/ leftover loaf of french bread, & side salad

Wednesday: *Cuban Chicken Salad w/ chips & fruit

Thursday: Tamale Pie (modified and cooked in crockpot), tomato wedges (hopefully from garden) & fruit

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: (Our for lunch) Grilling Pork Chops, Side Salad, Deviled Eggs & steamed zucchini

Sunday: *Greek Zucchini Pie & fruit (Popcorn and snack food for dinner)

For more great meal plans check out Org Junkie.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Weekly $ Report

I spent a little more than I thought I would this week, but wanted to freeze some more jam and can some peaches. I couldn't pass up these sales on fruit. So in light of that I spent $50.78 this week on groceries. Here's what I bought!

Dillons
$19.10 Food & $15.58 on Household items

2 flats of Ball Jars $13.08
$1.49 on funnel
Lettuce 1.58
Garlic .40
Peaches $11.65
MS Salad .69 (not pictured)
2- MS Wheat Bread .39 (not pictured)
MS Skim Milk .88 (not pictured)
Annie's Mac & Cheese 1.14 (not pictured)

Aldi
$29.13
Cottage Cheese 1.99
Ketchup 1.19
Cheese 1.29
Lunch meat 2.99
Flour 1.45
Milk 2.30
Cantaloupe .89
Margarine .69
Jello .33
Evaporated Milk .75
Sweetened Condensed Milk 1.39
Strawberries .99 each
Frozen Corn .95
Peanut Butter 1.29
Chips .99
Hamburger Buns .79
Bread 1.29
Hot Dog Buns .79
Eggs 1.09
Walmart $2.55
Bananas .88
Brown Rice 1.52

Blessings!
Erica

Friday, August 14, 2009

Get Ready Dillons Shoppers!

Did you get some coupons in the mail from Dillons recently? I was pretty pumped to see the Mega Savings Event will start on Wednesday. Get ready for some good coupon match ups. Make sure you load those cellfire and shortcuts coupons too. I'll be patiently waiting on next week's ad to come out. I just wanted to give you a heads up.

Blessings!
Erica

Frugal Family Organization

My little guy knows how to make a mess. Recently I've been trying extra hard to help him focus on putting his toys away after he is through with them. It's slow progress but he's been doing a great job consider he's not even 2 yet.

One of the things I've done since he was little was hide a few of his toys and rotate them out. I was amazed once I dumped out his toy box last week at how much stuff was actually in there and some of it was still hidden. I quickly understood why he was a little overwhelmed and didn't really play much with what was in there. He had WAY TOO MANY CHOICES.

So I broke out a box of ziplock bags and started sorting everything into categories. Similar items were grouped together. Now I had a group of music instruments rather than a random assortment of things all over the house.



I filled another plastic tub with items that were too big for ziplock containers.

I also happened to find some fabric cubes at the Dollar Tree and knew they were perfect to help us organize his things. So while the little man was napping I took pictures of all of his toys that I had grouped. Then I added a label to the pictures.

I printed them on cardstock and covered them in contact paper. Next I added a piece of velcro to fabric cubes and placed the opposite side on the laminated picture card.

My plan is to swap out toys every two weeks. Currently he only has 5 cubes of toys and one cube of books in the play room. I've already noticed that he plays with the toys he has more and there has been a lot less wondering around looking for something to do. Another perk is there is less to clean up now. I'm very thankful I put the work into this project I can see it .



P.S. You might have to remove the labels until it's time to pick up as they might seem like great toys. You just never know.