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.

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

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!

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!

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:
Canning Jars & lids (I used 12 lb. of peaches and it filled about 9 pint size jars)
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!

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.

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

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

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

Kraft Cheese 2/$5
Use 1.00/2

Big K 12 packs 1.77
Use .50/1 shortcuts eQ

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

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

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

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)

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

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

Hershey Supreme Brownie Mix 1.99
Use .75/2 MF & .75/2 shortcuts eQ

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

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

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

Happy Savings!

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.

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

Leftovers or Sandwiches

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


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!

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


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.


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.

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.

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

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

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

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)

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

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!

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

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

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!

$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)

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


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.


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.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Preserving Summer's Bounty Part 1-Freezer Jam

If you are like me the thought of canning can be a little bit intimidating. It seems like a long process to me, but I decided it was about time I learned how. The equipment can be an investment at first but it's something that can be used for years and years, and many times can be picked up at a garage sale or borrowed from friends when it's time to can.

This is the first in several attempts at preserving Summer's Bounty. I hope to talk you through each step as we learn together. I'm not a seasoned canning expert but merely a mom showing you it's not as intimidating as we once thought.

This week we'll start with something VERY easy FREEZER JAM!

  • You'll need about 4 c. crushed fruit. (I used about 3 lb. fresh strawberries, the package suggest 4 lb. but I had left over strawberries that I just added to our pancakes for dinner.) $3.00
  • Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin 1.85
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. Sugar .25
  • Containers to freeze in (I used Ball Freezer Jars 2.50)
1. Wash and hull strawberries
2. Combine sugar with the packet of freezer jam fruit pectin.

3. Crush your fruit. I used a food processor (I'm so in love with this machine) and pulsed it until the fruit was chopped. You'll want some fruit pieces so you don't want to puree it. If you don't have a food processor dice up the fruit and use a potato masher to crush the fruit. I've done this before and it turned out great.
4. You'll want this consistency.

5. Add 4 c. of your crushed strawberries to your pectin/sugar mix.
6. Stir for 3 minutes, making sure you scrap the edges as you stir.
7. Fill your jars using a ladle and leave about 1/2 inch at the top, it will expand in the freezer and you'll need the extra space. (These jars have a fill to here mark.) Leave your jam filled containers on the counter for 30 minutes so jam can thicken up.

8. Then place them in the freezer. This keeps frozen for up to a year, but I don't it lasts that long. It also keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. It's so much better than store bought and once you try it there's no going back. So go ahead give it a try and let me know how it turns out.
For more great recipes check out the recipe swap over at GCC.
FYI these are directions on the back of the package of pectin I wanted to show you it's not as hard as you think it is. The price turned out to be around $1.50 a jar. The next time you make these it will drop to closer to $1.00, since you don't have to add the containers in the price. It's even more economical if you grow your own fruit or are given some from friends or family.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dillons 8/12-8/18

Here are the best deals I see this week. I'm very excited about yet another eQ compatable with your Dillons card. Make sure you check out Unilever and add some eQs to your Dillon's card. Let me know if I missed any other coupon match ups.

New Crop Tree Ripe Colorado Peaches 1.19 lb.
Ripe Sweet DeVore Farms Home Grown or Rocky Ford Cantaloupe 1.67 each
New Crop California Red Seedless Grapes 1.67 lb.
Red Ripe Tomatoes on the Vine 1.99 lb.

Honeysuckle Fresh 93% Lean Ground Turkey BIGI Free reg. 3.59 each
Bar-S Meat, Garlic & Turkey Bologna or Meat & Turkey Franks 1.00

Other Grocery Items
Kroger Frozen Vegetables 1.00
Kroger Frozen Potatoes 1.66
Kroger Cottage Cheese or Sour Cream 1.99 (same as Aldi)

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter 1.77
Use .25 unilever eQ

Kroger Cheese Bar, Shredded, Sliced 1.88
Use .45/1 SC from Dillons Mailer
Total=$1.43 (Aldi has a better price)

Yoplait Yogurt 2/$1
Use .40/6 MF $ .50 wyb6 cellfire eQ

Pillsbury Biscuits, Rolls or Pizza Crust 1.00 wyb4
Use .40/2 MF Pizza or .40/3 MF Grands
Total=2.00/4 pizza crust or 3.00/4 Grands

Kellogg's Cereal, Fruit Snacks, Kebbler Chips Deluxe Cookies, Town House Crackers 2.00 wyb 4
There are various Kellogg's coupons out there. Check out the coupon printer at bottom of page for a few. I'll have to check out which exact products are a part of this sale.

Knorr Rice or Pasta Sides 1.00
Use two .60/2 MF & 1.00/4 unilever eQ

Ragu Pasta Sauce 1.66
Use 2/.75 MF & .75/1 unilever eQ
Total=$1.57/2 (.79 each)!!!

Hellmann's Mayo 2.99
Use .50/1 MF & .25 unilever eQ

Household Products
Maybelline Lip and Mascara 40% off
Speedstick or Lady Speedstick .88
Sharpie Markers 1.00
Top Flight Filler Paper .69

All prices reflect coupon doubling.

Happy Savings!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cheaper Ink

Wow is a replacement ink cartridge expensive or what! I always cringed when the levels on our printer ink were running low because I knew I needed to replace them soon, which meant spending an extra $20 for a black cartridge and close to $30 for a color cartridge.

Then I discovered refillable ink. I didn't know of anyone who used refillable ink so I didn't know what I was getting into, but since the price was half as much as a new one I decided to try. With coupon in hand I headed over to Cartridge World. Everyone was so friendly and they even set me up with a punch card so I could earn a free refill after I refilled 9 times. How beautiful, plus the total for a refill of a color and a black refill was less than what I would have paid for a new cartridge.
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of ink and I have not noticed a difference for the printing we do. We have done a lot recently including packaging materials for my Etsy Shop and everything has turned out the color and brightness I've wanted.

Refillable ink has won me over. Not only do we save money, but you we are reusing materials that would other wise end up in the landfill. This is the store I have used and you can find out through their site where the closest location is near you. I know there are others out there but this one just happens to be the closest and most convenient to us.

Happy Savings!
For more great ideas this week check out WFMW's home.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Winner is......

Comment #35 La Core Femme!!!
"Lovely apron. Great colors too.I love to bake so I would have to say cakes or cookies or treats are my fav. things to make in the kitchen. :)Thanks so much for the opportunity to win. I have my giveaway listed also. Hope you stop by and enter."

Congrats you are the winner of the Strawberry Limeade Half Apron. You have 24 hours to claim your prize or I'll draw a new winner. Please make sure you reply to my email with your shipping address and full name so I can get it in the mail ASAP. (You can email me at effortlesssavings(AT)gmail(DOT)com)

Thanks to everyone who entered last week's giveaway. I hope to have more in the future. Giving things away is too much fun. I was so hungry every time I read your comments. It looks like bread and sweets were common favorites. I'd have to second those.

If you are bummed you didn't win and are in love with this apron. I still have one available to purchase in my Etsy Shop for $15. I have been wearing mine this week and just love it. It makes dusting much more tolerable when you look cute while doing it.

Weekly Menu Plan

This week is another non adventurous week in the kitchen because after a week off from sewing it's time to get started again. I have several projects waiting for some attention, so I thought I'd keep meals simple this week and stick to things we already have ingredients for.

I also decided that since the Food Pyramid includes exercise I would start adding it to my menu plan too. I've been a little on the unmotivated side the last few weeks, and since it's too hot to run I bought a new DVD . I'm testing it's claims, so if anyone else is up to do the 30 day shred with me, we'll be in pain together. I love it already and it's nice that it's a killer of a workout in less than 30 minutes. (I got mine at Target.)

Kitchen To Do List This Week:
Freezer Strawberry or Peach Jam!
Maybe canning some peaches??? I'm still in the air about this one. I'm a little nervous even after reading a book about preserving fruits and veggies.

Yogurt, Smoothies, Cinnamon Toast on Homemade Wheat Bread, Cold Cereal & Waffles (from the freezer)

Leftovers like usual

Monday-(Rescheduled to this week) Crockpot BBQ meatballs, potato salad, Cooked Carrots & Frosty Orange Cream Dessert
Day 5 of The Shred (level One)

Tuesday-Blueberry Pancakes, little smokies, Garlic Skillet Potatoes
Day 6 of The Shred (level one)

Wednesday-Manwiches on Homemade Texas Toast, Potato Salad, Garden Salad
Day 7 of The Shred (moving on to level two!)

Thursday-Red Beans & Rice, Corn on the Cob & Watermelon
Day 8 of the Shred (level two)

Friday-Leftover Night
Day 9 of the Shred (level two)

Saturday-Grilling burgers & hotdogs, oven fries & baked beans
Day 10 of the Shred (level two)

Sunday-Spaghetti Carbonara, Tossed Salad, Peas
Rest day

For more great meal plans check out Org Junkie!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weekly $ Report

I've had an off week and I blame it all to lack of preparation. Usually before the month starts I have a nice little list of meals to make that I've seen on various blogs. This month I had nothing and we left to go out of town without even a thought about our menu. I felt rushed in menu planning even more so as I made my list. I even went to the grocery store with my shaky list still at home.

Thanks to my poor planning I've had to go back to the store twice this week. Despite this shaky ill prepared week I still came in under budget, $43.00. I'm hoping to do a lot of pulling from the pantry this coming week, we'll see how little I can spend since there aren't any great deals I feel I must stock up on.

Dillons $15.84 groceries

MS Little Smokies 1.99
MS Spinach 1.29
2 big boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios 4.98 combined (bummed my cellfire Q didn't work)
Plain Yogurt .50
Sherbet 1.79
Whipping Cream 1.39
MS Activia Yogurt FREE
Green Onions .64
Cheese 1.88

Aldi $25.23

Milk 2.35
1/2 gallon milk 1.41
Cucumbers .59
Seedless Watermelon 3.99
10 lb. bag potatoes 2.99
Cantaloupe .99
Eggs 1.09
Cabbage 1.09
Tortillas .99
Carrots .99
Cottage Cheese 1.99
Bread 1.29
2 cans Mandarin Oranges .45 each
Fudge for Ice Cream 1.89
Grape Jelly 1.19

Walmart & Target 1.92
.92 Bananas (Wal-mart)
1.00 Clearance Annie's Mac & Cheese (Target)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Frugal Family Fun

I heard about this event taking place at Sedgwick County park on the radio this morning and thought I'd pass it on to you today:

Children’s Mental Health Day Saturday August 8th!
Hosted by The KU School of Medicine-Wichita Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department
Saturday, August 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st North
to help raise awareness about mental health issues affecting children.

The event is free with a suggested donation of $3 for adults and $1 for children and there will be
moonwalks, dunk tanks featuring area school leaders, a fire truck to keep everyone cool, balloon animal demonstrations, face painting, various contests, and more.

What a great way to support an area that often receives little attention. Since my background is in Early Childhood Special Ed I know there are a lot of needs that the public is often unaware of.

So if you're scratching your head about what to do this weekend. Why not stop by.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


These were a treat we discovered when we lived overseas, SOUR CREAM ENCHILADAS. Now I'm not going to lie they are sinful filled with enough butter to last you for the month but once you try them I know you'll know it's worth the extra workout.

2 1/2 lb. cooked chicken chopped or shredded and seasoned with fajita or a little taco seasoning (I used a little bit over 2 c. and it worked fine since I added some black beans)
1 c. butter or margarine
1 c. flour
1 ½ cups milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
1 large white onion, chopped
2 c. sour cream
10-12 tortillas
Grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 green onion, chopped, for garnish

1. Prepare chicken with taco or fajita seasoning. (I added some black beans because we had some in the fridge.) And preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Start the sauce by melting butter over medium heat in saucepan. Once melted add flour and stir until smooth.

You'll want this consistency

3. Add milk and crushed bouillon cubes. Give it a good stir until it's nice and incorporated

4. Add chopped white onions. Stir and simmer for a minute or two. (It will start to really thicken up)

5. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

6. In tortillas, place desired amount of grated cheese, cooked seasoned chicken, a spoonful of sauce and some salt and pepper.

7. Roll tortillas and place side by side in 9x13 inch pan. After filling tortillas, pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas. Sprinkle with more grated cheese.

8. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes uncovered. When ready to serve sprinkle chopped green onion on top as garnish.

For more great recipes this week check out the Recipe Swap on Friday over at GCC.
P.S. Don't forget about my apron giveaway this week. I'll select a winner on Sunday so make sure you enter.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dillons 8/5-8/11

The P&G sale is still happening this week, so if you haven't taken advantage of this deal be sure to do so. I especially loved the price on Cascade. I'm stocked for the next couple months now. Let me know if you see anything I missed!

Northwest Sweet Red Cherries 1.99 lb.!!!
Fresh Green Beans .99 lb.

Fresh Ground Chuck 1.99 lb.
Kroger Value Pack Chicken Thighs .95 lb.
Tyson Fresh Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs .99 lb.
Pork Loin Assorted Chops 2.19 lb.
StarKist Chunk Light Tuna 2/$1

Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin Beef, Turkey or Ham Tubs 3/$9.99
Use .55/1 MF

roger IQF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Tenderloin 2.33 lb.
Use 1.00/1 Dillons Coupon

Other Grocery Products
Kroger Frozen Vegetables 10/$10

Betty Crocker Helpers 10/$10
Use .75/3 cellfire eQ

Post Cereal 3/$6
Use 1.00/2 MF

Pillsbury Biscuits, Rolls or Pizza Crust 1.00 each wyb4
Use .75/3 MF or .35/1 MF Grands or .50/1 MF from dillons mailer ex. 8-9 or
.50/2 IP found at bottom of page
Total=varies with coupon combo. I suggest using either two .50/2 IP making these $2.00/4
or using a combo of coupons using .35/1 MF, .50/1 MF & 1.00/2 IP making these $1.30/4

Household Items
24 ct. Crayola Crayons .59
Maybelline Mascara & Lip 40% off
Speedstick or Lady Speedstick .88
Top Flight Notebooks 4/$1
Top Flight Filler Paper .59

10 pack Bic Crystal Pens .50
Use 1.00/2 IP at bottom of page

P&G Mix and Match Sale
Purchase 4 P&G products and receive $4 off your order on non grocery items! It's very important that you have at least $4 worth of groceries to make this deal work. Prices reflect the $4 discount

Puffs Facial Tissue .99
Use 1.00/3 esaver Q

Charmin Bath Tissue 6.99
Use .25/1 MF & .25/1 esaver

Tide 4.88
Use 1.00/1 MF & .35/1 esaver

Downy Fabric Softener 4.88
Use 1.00/1 MF & .50/1 esaver

Cascade Dish Detergent 2.99
Use 1.00/1 MF & .50/1 esaver

Bounty Paper Towels 7.99
Use .25/1 MF & .25/1 esaver

Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner 4.99
Use 1.00/1 MF Expressions or Restoratives
or 2.00/1 MF Full and Thick
or 1.00/2 any & 1.00/1 restoratives esaver
Total=$2.99 Restoratives or Thick and Full or $8.98/2 for any

Herbal Essences Hair Care 1.99
Use 1.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 esaver
Total= FREE and $0.01 overage!!!

Natural Instincts Hair Color 7.99
Use 1.00 esaver

Always or Tampax 1.99
Use .50/1 MF or 1.00/1 MF & .50/1 esaver

Secret Flawless or Scent Expressions Deodorant 3.49
Use 1.00/1 MF

Gillette Disposable Razors, Mach 3, Venus, Sensor or Daisy Disposable Razors 5.49
Use 1.00/1 MF any Gillette
or 2.00/1 Venus & 2.00 Venus esaver or 2.00/1 esaver Mach 3
Total=$1.49 Venus or $2.49 Mach 3

Head & Shoulders Shampoo or Conditioner 5.49
Use BIGI FREE or $2.00/2 MF
Total= $5.49/2 or $8.98/2

Pampers Diapers or Easy Ups Training Pants 18.99
Use 2.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 esaver

Prilosec OTC Heartburn Relief 23.99
Use 2.00/1 or 3.00/1 MF or 7.00/2 MF & 4.00/1 esaver
Total=$16.99, or 17.99/1 or $36.98/2 ($18.49 each)

Duracell® Value Packs 8.99
Use 1.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 esaver

I know there are tons of other offers out there. I'd pull all your p&g product coupons that you use and see if it's a part of the sale, chances are they will be.

*All totals reflect coupon doubling. Dillons doubles coupons up to the amount of $1.00.

Happy Savings!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cooking for a busy school day

Last week I shared an easy go to recipe that is on the table in 30 minutes, Chicken Fried Rice. I know when school begins life starts picking up again. Evenings are now comprised of a variety of things and many of these involve evening practices and activities. It's easy to pick something up for dinner on the way home from practice, but that adds up in a hurry and some simple planning can reduce the amount of take out your family consumes during the school year.

Here are a few things I like to do to make sure we aren't tempted by takeout:

  • Build quick meals into your menu plan every month. I like to highlight the quick meals so if I'm crunched for time unexpectedly I can rearrange what we are having so that dinner is ready by 6:00.
  • Use your crockpot. I try to use my crockpot as much as possible during busy times of the year. It's just so easy to throw everything in and let it go.
  • Use freezer meals. If you have time fix a few simple meals every month and store them in the freezer till you are ready to use them. Just pull them out of the freezer and once its thawed and reheated you'll have an instant meal.
  • Always have simple meal ingredients on hand! I always keep ingredients around for Spaghetti and Brinner (Breakfast for dinner). These are two of my most frequented go to meals when I'm in a pinch. Did you even know you can cook ground beef while it's still frozen. It will take a little longer but it's possible because we've all forgotten to take the meat out of the freezer before.
  • Make sure you have prechopped veggies ready to be added. I like to freeze mine in ziplock bags and so I just have to dump the onions, peppers, or carrots in the dish I'm preparing. It cuts prep time in half when you already have the ingredients ready.
(And just so you don't think we never pick up dinner on the way home, we did that yesterday, Little Ceaser's pizza. This is because I had a dead gross thing in a trap in the kitchen and I refused to go in there until it had left. Life happens and sometimes take out is necessary!)
For other great ideas check out WFMW School Edition.
Make sure you enter my giveaway this week for an sweet apron. Entering is as simple as leaving a comment. Go here to enter.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Monday Meal Plan

We had such a fun and relaxing weekend being around family and enjoying some time out on the water. Thankfully we even brought home a few leftovers, which we will add to our meals this week!

You'll want to check out my giveaway this week too. I am giving away an apron from my etsy shop, From Head 2 Toe. Entry in this giveaway is as simple as leaving me a comment. Go here to enter. The giveaway closes Sunday at 10:00 p.m.

Back to meal planning, here's what I came up in the car ride home today. Since I didn't have a computer or cookbooks it's very simple. I can't wait for a low key week in the kitchen.

Cold Cereal

Leftovers like always

Monday- Tamales (given to us by my parents), Chips & Homemade Salsa, Spanish Rice & Grapes
Tuesday-Spaghetti, Green Beans, Salad & Homemade French Bread
Wednesday- Doubling to bring to friends with a newborn BBQ meatballs, Cole slaw, tossed salad & Frosty Orange Cream Dessert
Thursday-Sour Cream Enchiladas (recipe to come), tomato wedges, side salad
Saturday-BBQ Pork Loin (marinating in Teriyaki sauce, then grilling), veggies & fruit
Sunday-Baked Potatoes with cheese and broccoli and a side salad

Stumped at what to fix, check out hundred's of menu plans over at The Happy Housewife.

Happy Menu Planning!


Apron Giveaway

Most of you spend plenty of hours in the kitchen every week. Many of us also have the pleasure of having some pint sized helpers as well. My latest sewing creations are something I know you'll love. A few aprons are finally finished and ready to be purchased from my etsy shop From Head to Toe. I have one women's half apron finished just like the one featured in this week's giveaway and several aprons for children ready to be shipped. This week I'm also offering free shipping. So take advantage of it now. All aprons are $15.
I was tickled to see it was Apron-fest over at one of my favorite sites Apronista. I decided to join in the fun and to create an apron just for this occasion. This little beauty, a half adult women's apron, which I like to call Strawberry Limeade and could be yours.
You have three ways to enter this giveaway. Please make sure you enter them in three separate comments, and give me a way to contact you if you are not a blogger. I will choose a number and the more comments you post the more chances to win.

1. Leave a comment telling me one of your favorite things to create in the kitchen.

2. Visit my Etsy Shop From Head 2 Toe then come back and comment about what you like, or what you'd like to see.

3. Become a subscriber to Effortless Savings or add me to your blog roll, if you are already a subscriber or I'm on your blog roll just post a comment telling me so.

This giveaway will close Sunday August 9th at 10:00 p.m. central time. I can't wait see who wins! Check out Apronista for more giveaways this week.

Good Luck!

P.S. I also have a few Baby Topichiki's (shoes) and nursing covers still available. If you live in the Wichita area and would like to pay cash for anything you see send me a message and we can certainly arrange a place to meet.