Friday, July 31, 2009

Frugal Family Friday--something I love

How do you keep your children occupied while running errands? I have various tricks I use: certain toys, recently a small tape measure works wonders, spotting things in the store (Elmo & Cookie Monster), etc., etc.... These things work well but the best trick I've found is to give my little guy a snack. I typically use snack time to run errands just for this reason because we can kill two birds with one stone (Side note: when we are at home we reserve eating to the table.) But if you are like me you've had several crackers fall from those not quite developed little hands. I've picked up many bowls full of crackers in the past year.

I had seen these snack catchers at Target when my son was little and at first thought they were silly. It wasn't until we reached the toddler years did I see how genius this product was. I fbroke down and bought one and haven't regretted it. It really works and reduces our spills while we are out, which in turn reduces how much food we waste. I'd highly recommend one, and no one is paying me to say that.

So what's your favorite product for your children? I'd love to hear from you.



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recreating with Leftovers

I'm always trying to find new recipes to use up meat or veggies we have remaining from previous meals. Chicken Fried Rice is one of my go to meals when I have chicken and rice leftovers. It's ready in less than 30 minutes, so it's a fast meal to prepare too.

Chicken Fried Rice
Here's what you'll need:
Enough Rice Cooked Rice to feed your family(leftover rice works better than freshly cooked rice for this recipe)
  • Cooked Chicken ( I usually use around 1 c. add more for a larger family)
  • Oil
  • Veggies of your choice (Onion, carrots, zucchini, peppers, broccoli all make excellent choices)
  • A couple Eggs
  • Soy Sauce

Here's what you do:
1. Cut up your veggies
2. Heat small amount of oil in skillet and add your veggies. Cook until the onions are translucent and veggies are tender stiring frequently. (When using a variety of veggies it may be necessary to start things at various times. On this day I cooked my carrots first then added zucchini later since it doesn't take as long to cook.)

3. Once your veggies are tender add your rice, and chicken and a little more oil to coat the rice. Stirring constantly mix together. Meanwhile heat a small pan and scramble a couple of eggs. After you've done this add some soy sauce to your rice. I generally pour it over the rice mixture until I think it's had enough, but you probablly use 1/4 c. or less. Mix this together

4. Add the scrambled eggs and combine well.

5. Sit down and enjoy this easy tasty meal.

For more great recipes check out the Recipe Swap over at Grocery Cart Challenge on Friday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dillons 7/29-8/4

Dillons just keeps the good deals rolling again this week. The mega event has passed but the P&G Mix and Match sales looks like a great way to stock up on some essentials. These are the best deals as I see them, let me know if you see something I missed.

10 lb. bag Kroger Value Russet Potatoes 2.99
New Crop Fresh Colorado Green Beans .99 lb.
Red Ripe Seedless Watermelon 3.99
Northwest Sweet Red Cherries (includes organic) 2.99 lb.
New Crop California Bartlett Pears 4lb. for $5
Red Ripe Tomatoes on the Vine 1.99 lb.

Ground Beef 1.49 lb. sold in 5 lb flavorseal $7.45
Boneless Pork Loin 1.99 lb (I like to buy at this price)

Other Grocery
General Mills Cereal 2.99
Use 1.00/1 cellfire eQ & 1.00/2 MF
Total= $1.99 each

Kraft Easy Mac, Velveeta or Stove Top Cups 10/$10
Use BIGI Free Veveeta Cups

Household Products
Crest Toothpaste 10/$10
Use .50/1 MF or 1.00 MF

Speedstick or Lady Speedstick .88
Use 1.00/1 cellfire eQ Men's Speedstick

P&G Mix and Match Sale
Purchase 4 P&G products and recieve $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. It doesn't say how many times you can do this deal in one transaction. I'll make some calls and let you know. Prices reflect the $4 discount

Puffs Facial Tissue .99
Use 1.00/3 esaver

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
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

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

Happy Savings!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No fuzzy things growing in my fridge

If your family is like ours we are living on a tight budget. It's something we don't really think about any more, we've adjusted to making the most of everything we've been given. When we came back to the states it was very easy to overbuy at the grocery store. We had become accustomed to shopping throughout the week picking up things as we needed them (very easy to do when the produce stand is on your way home from work). It was a challenge to figure out how much our family could really eat each week. I was amazed at how much food we were throwing away. I could see the dollar signs add up each time I had to throw away more produce.

So after some mental notes of how much food we were tossing, I decided to get serious and figure out how much we really eat each week. I knew I had to plan more wisely. If you're like me and love spontaneity, planning a menu is a stretch, but after seeing how much we were wasting it was big motivator to start planning our side dishes as well.

I plan our main dishes monthly but I leave the side dishes, fruits and veggies, till I prepare my grocery list. I base this off of what's on sale for the week. I simply add in a few veggies to each meal so that I know how much our family will eat. Typically I try to include 2 veggies at dinner and one at lunch. We typically have fruit at breakfast and snack and occasionally dinner or lunch. I relied heavily on food pyramid when making this adjustment. This site is a great one for helping you figure out how much your kiddos need each day.

After doing this simple step it has worked well cutting out a lot of our waste. But there are times when our menu changed and we didn't get to all those fruits and veggies so I try to freeze most of it or toss it in a recipe. For example if I'm making spaghetti or something else requiring tomato sauce I'll dice up the tomatoes that are about to go bad and throw them in the sauce. If I don't have time I'll wash them, cut out the bad spots and put them in the freezer.

Here are a few ways I commonly freeze a variety of produce:

  • Spinach (cut up and placed in ziplock bags, make sure it's well dried)
  • Green, Red or Yellow Peppers (Sliced and placed in 1 c. ziplock bags)
  • Green onion (usually 1/2 c. placed in ziplock bags)
  • Onions (Diced, sliced or minced in 1/2 c. bags)
  • Carrots (Shredded or sliced, uncooked placed in 1 c. bags)
  • Celery (Sliced or diced in 1 c. bags)
  • Sweet potatoes (pureed and place in freezer containers or pour into ice cube trays, pop them out when frozen and place in a ziplock bag)
  • Zucchini (Shredded and placed in 1 c. bags)
  • Berries & peaches (Sliced peaches, most of the time I leave berries whole and place in a ziplock bag)
  • Apples or Pears (Turn it into Applesauce or Pearsauce then freeze in containers)
There are a few exceptions that do not freeze well such as potatoes and cucumbers. Although Gayle figured out a way to freeze her own hashbrowns. She's such a genius!

My best piece of advice for you to reduce what goes to the trashcan is keep an eye out on what's in your fridge. Because we've all found that fuzzy piece of fruit that is almost unidentifiable.
Best Wishes!
For other great tips and ideas check out WFMW over at We are That Family.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Meal Plan for the Week

I have a few new recipes planned for the week and oddly enough they all involve chicken. I bought a 10 lb. bag of chicken a while back and have been needing to use it up so it will free up some space in our freezer. I didn't really think about the lack of variety until I took a peek at our menu this week, oops. My husband is either going to enjoy every meal or be craving some red meat this week. We shall see.

Monday-Bruschetta Chicken Bake, garden salad & corn

Tuesday-Rotisserie Chicken in the crock pot over rice & squash

Wednesday-Chicken Fried Rice loaded with lots of veggies (using up chicken & rice from the night before), & fruit

Thursday-Chicken Blackbean Nachos with all the fixings and fruit


Saturday-Family reunion and I'm bringing hummus with veggies and crackers & homemade salsa (our family likes to eat when we get together)

Sunday-more reunion time I'm bringing Blueberry muffins & Reeces Squares.

Stumped at what to fix this week? Get some inspiration from several menus around the country. Go to Org Junkie to check it out.
Happy Menu Planning!

7 Years of Fun

7 years ago I GOT to marry this wonderful guy! It's been such an amazing blessing, even in the tough times. I'm so thankful the Lord has allowed me to be a wife. My prayer is that I may be my husband's crown as long as God allows us to live. If your marriage has hit some bumpy times let me encourage you today, it's worth it and fight for it!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weekly $ Report

We have enjoyed some special treats at our house this week due to the Mega Event at Dillons. I rarely buy juice and it's something that my husband really loves. The best part is I came in underbudget, $40.46 which is always nice, but I did forget to pick up a few things, so they will make to make it on this week's list.. Here's how I stretched my grocery budget this week.

Aldi $15.52
Whole Milk 2.35
Skim Milk 2.30
Unsalted Butter 1.85
Flour 1.46
Plums 1.74
Baby Carrots .99
Chocolate Chips 1.69
Bread 1.29
Eggs .89

groceries $21.07 & household products $4.55

2 boxes Ziplock bags 1.14 each
Ritz Crackers 2.75
Wheat Thins-Free
Red Grapes 3.29
Sugar 1.78
2 Velveeta Cups FREE
4 Ears of Corn 1.00
Green Grapes 2.52
*2 bags Chex Mix 1.00 each
*Sunny D Smoothie FREE
*Sunny D OJ FREE
*2 bags Kraft Shredded Cheese 1.29 each
*Keebler Cookies .99
*Fiber One Yogurt FREE
*2 packagesZiplock Containers 1.00 each

Braums 2.97
Whole Milk
Walmart .90

Friday, July 24, 2009

Frugal Family Fun Outdoors

Can you believe the weather we've been having? Is it really the end of July? This calls for some serious time outdoors. Our family has planned a visit to the Sedgwick County Park this weekend. I recently found a bike seat at a garage sale and can't wait to try it out. They have some great bike/running trails that we like to do together.

If you haven't check out this Boundless Playground you need to. Make sure you bring an extra change of clothes as your child will love playing in the water tables. It's located at 6501 West 21st North on the other side of the zoo, and of course it's free!

I also plan on washing our windows this weekend (not so fun), but while I clean our toddler will be painting the sidewalk using this easy sidewalk paint! It looks like we're in for a great weekend, something my little heart needs right now.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No Bake Desserts

This summer it seems I've been asked to bring a dessert to several different functions. Since I haven't wanted to use my oven much I've been trying to find no bake summer dessert recipes. I've stumbled on some keepers this year.

We've enjoyed the following this summer Reeces Peanut Butter Squares, Homemade Twix Bars, Homemade Thin Mints and French Silk Pie. I highly recommend all of these.
Today I thought I'd share how easy it is to make French Silk Pie, it's finished in about 20 minutes and will wow your guests every time. If you do take this to a picnic I'd suggest you keep some ice packs around the pie to keep it cool.

French Silk Pie
1-8 inch graham cracker pie crust
1/2 c. unsalted butter softened
3/4 c. sugar
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
Cool Whip
Hershey or other Chocolate Bar-room temperature

1. Prepare graham cracker crust. Combine 1 1/2 c. crushed graham crackers, 1/3 c. melted butter & 4 T. Sugar mix together then press in pie plate. Pop in freezer while you prepare your french silk pie.

2. Melt Chocolate in microwave on half power, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool

3. In your mixing bowl combine cream butter then gradually add sugar.

4. Combine Chocolate & vanilla to your butter and sugar mixture. Combine until mixed.

5. Add 1 egg and beat for 5 minutes.

6. Stop frequently to scrap the edges of your bowl. After 5 minutes add your second egg and continue beating an additional 5 minutes, stopping frequently to scrap the edges of your bowl.

7. Mix until all granules have dissolved.

8. Pour & smooth into pie crust and allow to chill for at least 1 hour.

9. Shave your chocolate bar, add cool whip to pie and top with chocolate shavings.

Enjoy! Check out other great recipes at the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap this week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dillons 7/22-7/28

It's another Week of the Mega Event! I took time to check out most isles to see what was included in the sale, but I'm sure I've missed something. Let me know what I missed or if you see any other coupon match ups.

Cantaloupe 1.67
Kroger Russet Potatoes 2.99 (10 lb. bag)
Northwest Sweet Red Cherries 2.29 lb.
New Crop Red Seedless Grapes 1.77 lb.
1 lb. Strawberries 1.88
Monterrey Whole White Mushrooms 2/$4

Fresh Ground Round 2.19 lb.
Honeysuckle Fresh 85% Lean Ground Turkey in 3 lb. roll 1.59 lb.
Cook's Shank Portion Ham (Bone In) 1.19 lb.
Kroger Shrimp BIGI FREE (Scans 50% off)
Kroger IQF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Tenderloin 2.33 lb.
Use 1.00/1 Store Coupon from Mailer

Other Grocery Items
Huggies Jumbo Diapers or Training Pants 9.49
Use 3.00/1 or 1.50/1 MF and 1.00/1 cellfire and 1.50/2 shortucuts eQ
submit for .75 rebate at Caregiver's marketplace
Total=$8.98/2 packages-$11.98/2 packages

Speedstick & Lady Speedstick .88
Use .75/1 cellfire eQ

Edge or Skintimate Shave Gel 2/$4
Use 1.00/1 MF

Neutragena & Clean & Clear Face Care 1.00 off

Aussie or Herbal Essence Hair Care 2.99

Buy 10 participating items, get $5 off instantly at checkout. No Limits on Rewards per transaction. You can Mix/Match from the list to get 10 products. Prices listed here reflect the final price after coupons and the mega event $5 instant reward. Best deals are in italics.

Sunny Delight Juice .50
Use .25/1 MF

Sobe Lifewater .50
Use .50/1 IP
Total=Free plus .50 overage

Coca Cola or 7-Up 2 liters .88

Sara Lee Honey Wheat Bread 1.49

Edy's Ice Cream 2.49

Kraft Cream Cheese .89

Chex Mix Snacks 1.99
Use .50/2 MF & .50/1 cellfire eQ & .50/1 shortcuts eQ

Keebler Fudge Shop Cookie 1.99
Use 1.00/2 or .55/1 IP from bottom of page

Jif Peanut Butter or Welch's Jelly or Jam 1.79
Use .55/1 MF Reduced sugar Jelly

Aquafresh Premuim Toothbrush or toothpaste 2.00
Use .1.00/1 MF toothbrush or .75/1 MF toothpaste

Colgate Navigator or Angle Edge Toothbrush 2.00
Colgate Total Toothpaste 4-6 oz 2.00Use .75/1 MF and .75/1 cellfire eQ

Kellogg's Cereal 2.49
Use 1.00/1 IP at bottom of page
Kellogg’s Rebate (buy 10 items in one transaction)
Total= $1.50

Doritos 2.27

Brawny Paper Towels 5.97
Use 1.25/1 6 pack MF
Total= $4.72

Advil Pain Relief 2.50
Use 1.00/1 MF

Duracell Batteries 2.50
Use 1.00/1 MF & p&g esaver & 1.00/1 p&g esaver
Total= $.50

Healthy Choice or Marie Callender's Entree 1.79
Use 1.00/2 MF or 1.00/2 IP here
Total=$2.58/2 ($1.29 each)

Oscar Mayer Ham or Turkey Lunchmeat or Beef Bologna 2.49
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total= $3.98/2 (1.99 each)

Simply Orange or Minute Maid Juice 2.99

TRESemmé Shampoo or Conditioner 3.00

Ken's Salad Dressing 1.99

Kraft Salad Dressing 1.19

Kroger Cake Mix 2/$2.50

Betty Crocker Brownies (not supreme) 1.99

Pepperidge Farms various cookies 2.29

Ziplock Containers 2.00
Use 1.50/2 or .55/1 MF
Total=$2.50/2 or $1.00/1

Welches Juice 2.99

Juicy Juice 2.05

Eclipse gum 1.99

Nutrigrain bars 1.49

Special K Bars 1.49
use .75/1 IP Chocolatey Pretzel Bars from at bottom of page
total= $0.49

Quaker Dipps & Granola Bars 1.70

Frosted Mini Wheats 2.49

OCelo Scrub sponge 3.50

Scotch Brite Scour pads 1.50

Gain 10.20
Use 1.00/1 MF

Cheer 10.49

Kraft Cheese bars or shreds 2.29
Use 1.00/1 MF Naturals

Fiber One Yogurt 1.99
Use 1.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 cellfire eQ or shortcuts eQ

YoPlus 1.99
Use .50/1 MF
Total= .99

Yoplait Trix 1.99
Use .35/1 MF & .80/1 cellfire eQ

Daisy Sour Crea 1.69
Use .50/1 MF from Dillons Mailer

Kotex $2.50
Use 1.00/1 MF

Carefree 2.00

Cheerios Snack 1.99
Use .50/1

Snyders Pretzles pieces and pretzles 2.19

Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts 3.09
Use 1.00/2

Happy Mega Savings!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Decluttering Round these Parts

I'm giving our house some organizational TLC this week. This afternoon I have hired a baby sitter to come and watch our toddler while I put in a little elbow grease. I have hefty goals this week which include washing windows, dusting baseboards and cleaning carpets. I didn't get to my spring cleaning so we'll call it summer cleaning.

I the midst of being busy often organization takes a back seat, so I end up hunting through things two or three times before I find what I'm looking for. I've come to the realization that it's stealing too much of my day. I'm hoping to adopt some new habits to help me combat the clutter.

Here are some of my ideas:
I really struggle with putting it away. I usually have stacks of laundry cluttering the ironing board making it impossible to use. So they get shifted and before you know it I'm surrounded by clean laundry. I've made a commitment to put it away after it's folded and you won't believe how well it's working. I also committed to doing a little at a time, 2 loads a day max, this way I'm not overwhelmed. This one has been easier than I thought.

I really hate having a sink full of dirty dishes and since I LOVE our dishwasher I rarely do them by hand. The problem is I often forget to start the dishwasher. This usually happens because I'm waiting on a dish or two. My solution is to use the delay feature. This also worked well when we were going out of town and I wasn't quite ready to start it, but I knew I wanted it to run while we were gone. What a clever invention, no more waking up to a dirty dishwasher.

Catch All basket
I keep a basket in our kitchen that I use to gather items that don't belong in the kitchen, since that is our gathering point. It usually is overflowing with everything from bills to toys and typically takes me a good hour to get everything in it's place. I'm going to commit to put these items away every other night so it doesn't pile up.

Tackle the Storage Boxes
We are in the process of purging things we don't need to keep, our garage sale pile grows daily. We've saved a couple large tubs of keepsakes along with a lot of our college text books and to my horror all of my core curriculum notes from undergrad and graduate school. Since I don't foresee me teaching in the next 10 years I really don't see a need for these things and so much has probably changed I don't know what good they will do me. I'm imagining we'll have to make a trip to the recycling center this weekend. The goal is to get everything into fewer plastic tubs and labeled.

So that's what I'm up to. I'd love to hear how you declutter or how you organize your life because it's not my strength. For more great tips check out WFMW's home.

Off to Clean!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meals for the Week

We had such a great weekend with family. Our newest little family member is sure a sweetie. I'm starting to think that there is never a normal week, last week was VBS and this week we have a lot of random things going on, so our menu will include more eating out than we usually do.

Smoothies & Toast
Cold Cereal

Monday- Biscuits and Gravy, Garlic Potatoes & Cantaloupe

Tuesday-Dinner with my MIL, she'll be in town any suggestions on where we should go?

Wednesday-Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak & Italian Herbed Bread (I didn't get to this last week, but I'm soooo looking forward to trying it) with some steamed veggie

Thursday-Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Saturday-Grilling Chicken Legs, baked beans & Corn

Sunday-Celebrating 7 years of marriage to an amazing man. I'll probably fix him one of his favorite meals for lunch sour cream enchiladas or fried tacos, but shhh don't tell him.

Dessert of the week: Homemade Thin Mints

Check out other great menus this week over at Org Junkie

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekly $ Report

I had $40 to spend this week and I'm officially under budget this week by .04! Whew...$39.96 I DID IT. It's always a stretch when I have to make up ground in our budget and a nice little juggling act of figuring out what our true needs are for the week. Here's how I spent my grocery money this week.

Aldi $21.97
Skim Milk 2.30
Whole Milk 2.35
1 lb. lunch meat 2.99
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup .59
Bread 1.29
Tortillas .99
Strawberries .99 each
Cheese 1.29
Mustard .69
Green Peppers 1.69
Eggs .79
Nectarines .29 each
Cantaloupe .99 each

Walgreen's $4.07 food & $3.61 household products
Align CenterMac & Cheese .51 each
Honey Nut Cheerios .99 each
3 pads of paper .99
Markers 1.99

Dillons $10.58
Pringles $1.14 each (bummed I didn't have another coupon for these but I needed the cans for VBS this week)
Sausage 1.50 each
Bread .78
Graham Crackers 1.38
Milk Chocolate Chips 1.99
lunch meat .59

Walmart $1.75

Bananas .88
Maragarine .77


Frugal Family Zoo Fun

If you don't have a zoo membership and have been wanting to visit the zoo you'll want to take advantage of the B98 Listener Appreciation Day this Saturday July 18th. If you pick up a discount pass from various area businesses you can enter the zoo for $2 a person all day long. This is quite a discount as a regular adult admisson is $11.
Go to the following places to pick up a discount pass. You must have this discount pass to enter the zoo at the $2.00 rate.
Freddy’s West 8621 W 21st Street North (21st and Tyler)Wichita, KS 67205
Freddy’s Plazzio11525 East 13th (by Warren East Theatre) Wichita, KS 67206
Freddy’s East310 N Rock Road (South of Central on Rock ) Wichita, KS 67206
Freddy’s El Dorado1809 W CentralEl Dorado, KS 67042
Sports Time Fan ShopEAST - Cambridge Market
9747 E. 21st St. Wichita, KS 67206
(316) 264-6655
Sports Time Fan ShopWEST - New Market Square
2441 N. Maize Rd. Wichita, KS 67205
(316) 722-3000
One Day Jewelry and Repair Harry & Oliver 1547 So. Oliver
One Day Jewelry and Repair Maple & West 240 So. West St.
*Those entering without a discount ticket will be charged FULL admission. Discount tickets will not be available at the Sedgwick County Zoo so you'll need to get them ahead of time. The zoo allows you to bring in your own food, so pack a picnic and make it a day trip.
Happy Animal Adventures!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Easy Crockpot Pulled Pork

I bought this massive pork shoulder because I had a coupon for $6.00 off any pork product and it was the best price I saw on pork, but unfortunately and had no idea what to do with it. I haven't cooked much pork since it was hard to find where we used to live, but I'm rediscovering the deliciousness of pork once again. Thanks for all your recipes. I look forward to trying some of them in the future.

I was set to make this into a Mexican dish but unfortunately I remembered I didn't have cheese and in our house that won't fly. I didn't have the car the day I made this and was rushed for time before I had to get to VBS, so I went to plan B, Kalua Pork. I poured in some apple cider vinegar and some apple juice to cover the roast (thanks to the convenience store across the street) and a smidgen of liquid smoke, maybe a teaspoon.

Cooked it on low for about 8 hours. It came right off and shredded beautifully. It's the most meat my toddler has EVER consumed and he ate it plain. I made up some plain brown rice in the rice cooker and by this time I was craving BBQ sauce, so I served the pork over the rice I added some BBQ sauce on top.

The verdict: Yum and it was excellent on sandwiches tonight. This is such a great recipe and one that is easy to throw together in less than 5 minutes. It gets 5 Stars from us, try it and see how many stars your family would give it.
For more great recipes check out the Recipe Swap over at Grocery Cart Challenge on Friday.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dillons Deals 7/15-7/21

I'm so excited about the Mega Event going on right now at Dillons. It looks like a great week to pick up a few extras that help change up my husband's lunch box. Please let me know if you see something I've missed.

New Crop Green Seedless Grapes .99 lb
Northwest Sweet Red Cherries 2.99 lb.
Northwest Golden Rainier Cherries 3.99 lb.


Boneless Pork Loin Chops BIGI Free
Pacific Salmon Fillets IQF 50% off

Kroger IQF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Tenderloin 2.59 lb.
Use 1.00/1 SC from Dillons Mailer
Total=$6.77 (okay price, I like to buy when it's around 2.00/lb.)

Ball Park Original, Lite or Bun Size Meat Franks 4/$10
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total=$2.00 each

Other Grocery Items
Pringles 1.39
Use .50/2 MF & .50/2
Total=$1.28/2 ($0.64 each)

Kraft Cheese Singles 1.47
Use 1.00/2
Total= $1.94/2 (.97 each)

Kroger Sugar 1.78/4 lb.
Use 2.00 off any sugar when purchase 10 Kool-aid
Total=$1.28 for 10 packets of Kool-Aid and 4 lb. sugar

Household Products

Ball Canning Products 25% off
Use 2.50/two cases of ball or Kerr Jars or .75/2 packages lids

Huggies Jumbo Diapers or Training Pants 9.49
Use 3.00/1 or 1.50/1 MF and 1.00/1 cellfire and 1.50/2 shortucuts eQ
submit for .75 rebate at Caregiver's marketplace
Total=$8.98/2 packages-$11.98/2 packages


Buy 10 participating items, get $5 off instantly at checkout. No Limits on Rewards per transaction. You can Mix/Match from the list to get 10 products. Prices listed here reflect the final price after coupons and the mega event $5 instant reward. Best deals are in italics.

As seen in our ad

Sunny Delight Juice .50
Use .25/1 MF

Sobe Lifewater .50
Use .50/1 IP
Total=Free plus .50 overage

Coca Cola or 7-Up 2 liters .88

Sara Lee Honey Wheat Bread 1.49

Edy's Ice Cream 2.49

Kraft Cream Cheese .89

Chex Mix Snacks 1.99
Use .50/2 MF & .50/1 cellfire eQ & .50/1 shortcuts eQ

Keebler Fudge Shop Cookie 1.99
Use 1.00/2 or .55/1 IP from bottom of page

Jif Peanut Butter or Welch's Jelly or Jam 1.79
Use .55/1 MF Reduced sugar Jelly

Aquafresh Premuim Toothbrush or toothpaste 2.00
Use .1.00/1 MF toothbrush or .75/1 MF toothpaste

Colgate Navigator or Angle Edge Toothbrush 2.00

Colgate Total Toothpaste 4-6 oz 2.00
Use .75/1 MF and .75/1 cellfire eQ

Kellogg's Cereal 2.49
Use 1.00/1 IP at bottom of page
Kellogg’s Rebate (buy 10 items in one transaction)
Total= $1.50

Doritos 2.27

Brawny Paper Towels 5.97
Use 1.25/1 6 pack MF
Total= $4.72

Advil Pain Relief 2.50
Use 1.00/1 MF

Duracell Batteries 2.50
Use 1.00/1 MF & p&g esaver & 1.00/1 p&g esaver
Total= $.50

Healthy Choice or Marie Callender's Entree 1.79
Use 1.00/2 MF or 1.00/2 IP here
Total=$2.58/2 ($1.29 each)

Oscar Mayer Ham or Turkey Lunchmeat or Beef Bologna 2.49
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total= $3.98

Simply Orange or Minute Maid Juice 2.99

TRESemmé Shampoo or Conditioner 3.00

I also saw this site and this site earlier this week that had additional products that are a part of the Mega Event at Kroger this week. I'm not sure if they carry over to Dillons, I"ll check it out and let you know what I find out.

Happy Savings!

Dillons Deals Up Later

Hi Frugal Friends,

I have been working on the Dillons deals but unfortunately I didn't have enough time this morning to finish. There are some great coupon matchups this week. It will be up this evening.

Thanks for understanding. I'm off to VBS.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Flubbery Fun

I try to add some sort of sensory play with my son every week and I've been putting off making flubber for quite some time and decided to give it a go, since school supplies are very cheap right now. This is so simple to make and your children can even help make it.

Here's what you need:

4 Bottles liquid School Glue (please, please, please to remember to use washable school glue)
Liquid Starch (not the spray kind)
Food coloring if you wish
Ziplock bag

Pour 2 bottles of glue in a bowl, if you want to add some food coloring do so now. I left mine white because you can also color on it with markers and it turns it an interesting color and is lots of fun.
Next dump in 1/4 c. liquid starch and start mixing it with a spoon until it's combined. It will be very runny, add another bottle of glue to your mixture.
Once it starts to glob together touch it and see if it is sticky. If it sticks to your hand add another 1/8 c. of liquid starch and this time use your hands to squish it together. You'll need to work the mixture till it isn't wet and doesn't stick to your hands.
A rule of thumb when making flubber: if it's sticky add some more starch, if it's runny add more glue. (Even though you technically only need three bottles of glue I like to have an extra bottle of glue around just in case I need it.)
That's it. Now the fun begins. My favorite things to do with flubber is to color it or use scissors to practice cutting skills.
Since glue is cheap right now I'm guessing this whole project was $1.00 or less to make one batch. it will keep for several weeks in an airtight ziplock bag, toss it when it gets sticky, or you can always try adding a little more starch. I've never had a problem with this coming out of clothing, as longs as you use Elmer's school glue.
This Sensory goo definitely works for me! Check out other great Ideas at WFMW.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu for the Week

Thanks so much for all the great ideas of what to do with the hunk of pork I had taking up too much room in my freezer. All of your ideas made me very hungry. I wish I could make every single one of them this week, but I now have plenty of ideas for the future. This week I only have $40 for groceries so I had to do something I already had ingredients for, which is all of the things you've suggested. Whatever I'm in the mood for that day will grace our plates. I'll share on Thursday what we had.

We've been having lots of cold cereal and toast for breakfast recently and I'm feeling the need to change it up a bit. I made some blueberry muffins along with banana muffins this morning, which will help give us a little variety this week. I'm also hoping to make smoothies and toast. My toddler hasn't tried these yet and he's doing great drinking from a big boy cup so we will see how it goes.

VBS is this week so it's crockpot week! Perfect timing because it's stinkin' hot out.

Monday-Crockpot Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole, Steamed Corn on the Cob & Strawberries

Tuesday-BBQ Pulled Pork or Carnitas or Kalua Pork??? (let me know which one you would choose. See comments in the post below for more info)

Wednesday-Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak on Italian Herbed Bread

Thursday-Dinner for VBS


Saturday-Getting to meet my newest niece


Dessert for VBS Workers
No Bake 5 Ingredient Reeces Peanut Butter Bars

For more great menus be sure to visit Org Junkie.

Happy Menu Planning!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What do I do with this hunk of pork?

I bought this at Dillons a couple weeks ago and it's been taking up a huge space in the freezer. I'm hoping to do something with it this week, but I don't have a clue how I'm going to fix it. I really would like a crockpot recipe for this beast. It's a Pork Shoulder Picnic, and I have no clue what that means. I'd love some ideas, because right now I'm clueless.
Thanks for the Help!

Weekly $ Report

I've been misplacing things recently: the checkbook, my library card and now my receipts. Thankfully I wrote down how much I spent at each store but unfortunately I don't know how much I spent on each item. It's no surprise I was overbudget since I bought soda and a bunch of blueberries at Aldi. I guess I'll have to pull from what we have this coming week. This week I spent $64.67, since I was under by about $5 last week, this means I'll have about $40 to spend on groceries this coming week.

Dillons $36.96

Aldi $20.73
Blueberries were .99, so I couldn't pass up that deal. Unfortunately my toddler broke out into hives due to them. He loved them and I'm really sad about this little allergy. So I've had to enjoy these when he's asleep, or else he starts begging for some blueberries.

Braum's $6.98
2 gallons whole milk
1 dozen eggs
Have a great Saturday!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Technical difficulties

I want to apologize that my post have been a little varied recently. I've been busy working on sewing projects for my Etsy shop and preparing for VBS. I have tried to schedule my posts, meaning they post automatically. Unfortunately this little feature has not been working, I'm hoping to check into this, but in the meantime I'll try to get on in the mornings to make sure my posts have actually posted as I have told Blogger to do so.


Frugal Family Fair Time Fun

What a great way to spend some time outdoors this weekend than to head on over to Cheney for the Sedgwick County Fair. Admisson is free for your typical fair stuff and you can purchase a fair button in advance for $2 at any Legacy Bank location in Wichita. Click here to find a location closest to you. For more a schedule of the festivities check out the official Sedgwick County Fair website.

Lovin' Me Some Sedgwick County Fair!


This is one of my all time favorite meals. Couple this is a nice warm homemade loaf of french bread & a crisp garden salad and I'm a happy girl.


1-8 oz. pkg. Manicotti
1 T. vegetable Oil
1-15 oz. carton part skim Ricotta Cheese or 15 oz. low fat cottage cheese (blend it a bit so it has more of a ricotta texture)
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 t. Salt
¼ t. pepper
1 T. chopped fresh Parsley
2 eggs
2 ½ c. spaghetti sauce

Boil Manicotti according to pkg. Add oil to water. Meanwhile Mix Ricotta Cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, parsley and eggs.

Drain Manicotti and run cold water over it. After you have drained your manicotti use a knife and make a slit the bottom half of the manicotti shells open.

Place the cheese mixture in the middle of the opened pasta noodle and wrap the pasta back around the cheese forming a tube once again. Place the filled manicotti noodle seam side down in a 3 qt. Casserole dish, and pour sauce around Manicotti.

**Or you can skip the boiling part and fill the uncooked ricotta shells using a spoon and a knife. Add 1 c. water to your sauce and boil it before preparing as the instructions above state. Increase your baking time to 400 degrees. Follow the same baking time as cooked pasta.

Bake in covered and preheated over of 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes. Add a little mozzarella cheese on top and enjoy!

And just because I love you so much, here's my make ahead secret:

I like to fill these uncooked shells and put them in the fridge till I'm ready to use them. All that's left is to heat up the sauce with a bit of water. It makes it very easy to throw this meal together when it's time to get it in the oven. Which usually is a needy time of day for my toddler.

For more great recipes check out the Recipe Swap over at Grocery Cart Challenge.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dillons Deals 7/8-4/14

Here are this week's Dillons Deals. Let me know if you see something I didn't.

Northwest Sweet Red Cherries 1.99lb
Ripe Sweet Cantaloupe 1.67
Driscoll's Strawberries 1.88 each
Red Ripe Arkansas Slicing Tomatoes 2/$4

Pork Loin Assorted, Center Cut, Loin Cut Chops or Pork Steak BIGI FREE (reg. $2.69-4.19 lb.)
Honeysuckle Fresh 85% Lean Ground Turkey 1.59 lb sold in 3 lb.
Kroger Original, Thick or Low Salt No Sugar Sliced Bacon 4/$10
Chicken Leg Quarters .55 lb sold in 10 lb. bags
Farmland Roll or Link Sausage 2/$3 (good price)
Farmland Bologna, Cotto Salami or P&P Loaf or Meat Hot Dogs 10/$10

Ball Park Beef Franks 2/$6
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total=$5.00/2 (2.50 each)

Farmland Smoked Rope Sausage 4/$10
Use 1.00/2 MF
Total=$4.00/2 ($2.00 each)

Other Grocery Items
Kroger Value Cereal .99
Kroger Value Frozen Dairy Dessert .99
Coca-Cola 10/$10
Kraft Cheese Singles 1.47
Kroger Canned Fruit .88
Kroger Peanut Butter 2/$3

Sunny Delight 1.00
Use .25/1 or .55/1 IP

Gatorade Sports Drink 4.98
Use 2.00/2

Pringles 1.39
Use .50/2 MF & .50/2
Total=$1.28/2 ($0.64 each)

Keebler Chips Deluxe Cookies 2.50 wyb3

Lay's Potato Chips 2.99
Use .55/1 wyb 1 jar of Frito Lay dip

Household Products
Pampers Jumbo Diapers 9.49
Use 2.00/1 MF & 1.00 esaver Q on Swaddlers, Sensitive, Cruisers or Extra Protection

Cascade Dish Detergent Gel or Powder 3.99
Use 1.00 MF & .50 p&g esaver Q
Total=$2.49 (great deal)

Always or Tampax 5.79
Use .50/1 MF & .50/1 esaver Q

Gillette Clear Shield Deodorant 3.99
Use 1.00/any Gillette MF & 1.00/1 esaver Q

Gillette Fusion Razor 8.99
Use 4.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 esaver Q
Total= $3.99

Herbal Essences or Aussie Hair Care 2.99
1.00/1 MF & 1.00/1 esaver Q Herbal Essence or
2.00/1 esaver Aussie
Total= $0.99

Puffs Plus Facial Tissue 60 ct 4/$5
.25/3 easaver Q
Total=$3.50/3 ($1.17 each)

Bounty Paper Towels 4/$5
Use .25/1 MF & .25/1 esaver Q

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

All prices reflect coupon doubling.

Happy Savings!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cheap & Easy Cards

I don't remember the last time I actually purchased a Hallmark Card. I used to love that place, but I've been a bit taken back by the prices recently. I can think of several other things I would rather spend $5 on than on a card that will most likely be thrown away.

Instead I tend to make my own cards. A few weeks ago I was working on sending a package to our niece who was having a birthday and as I went through my stash of finished cards I realized I didn't have a single card for a child's birthday. I was pressed for time and needed to run the package to the post office so this is what I's so simple.

Using the same wrapping paper that I wrapped her gift in I traced a blank card (or you make your own by cutting a piece of card stock in half and folding in in half). I cut out the rectangle and glued it to the front. Added a 'wish' sticker from my scrapbook stash on the front. Just like that my card was ready to go.
For more great ideas check out Works for Me Wednesdays over at We are THAT Family.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Deals you don't want to miss

I received an e-mail about this awesome offer. If you need to print some pictures here's a great way to do so inexpensively. I've been very pleased with snapfish and I'm looking forward to getting a few photos printed.

K-Mart is doubling coupons up to and including $2 once again. You are limited to 10 coupons per coustomer/day and your total must add up to $25 before coupons. Money Saving Mom has compiled a nice list of freebies.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weekly Meal Plan

I hope you guys had a great 4th of July Weekend. We had a blast seeing family once again this weekend, and am thankful to have today to recover from all the festivities.
This week I'm trying quite a few new recipes I can't wait. The new recipes have an asterisk beside them. I'll let you know how they turn out. Feel free to try them and let me know what you think.
Monday-*Garlicky Pasta w/ fresh tomato & Basil, green beans & fruit
Tuesday-Manicotti, Salad & zucchini, & French Bread
Wednesday-*Chicken and Squash Saute with Rice (didn't get to this last week)
Friday-*Sliders & Oven Fries & Steamed Veggies
Saturday-*Grilling *Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin, biscuits w/ honey butter, zucchini & fruit
Sunday-Leftovers or Hot Dogs
For more great meal plans check out Menu Plan Monday's home.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Weekly $ Report

I went to Dillons twice this week. The first one I sort of cheated and did my shopping a little earlier than this week, because I had a few coupons that were set to expire and I wanted to be sure I got the 10 items that I had planned on. Sometimes when I wait until Monday the best coupon match ups are gone. With this being said I spent $46.71 this past week on groceries & $14.50 on household products. I love coming in underbudget!

Dillons Trip #1 approximately 8.00 (I lost my receipt)

Breyers Icecream 1.69
2 packages Hot Dogs .49 each
2 boxes brownie mixes 1.35 each
2 jars Ragu .86 each
1 bottle of kraft BBQ sauce .31 overage!
2 cans of manwich .30 each

Aldi 15.04

10 lb. Potatoes 2.99
Cinnamon Rasin Bagels 1.39
Bread 1.29
Onions 1.19
Cheese 1.29
4 pack Strawberries .99 each
Frozen OJ 1.25
Hamburger Buns .79

Dillons trip #2 $22.67 groceries & $14.50 household Products

Match Light Charcol 8.99
3 Cans Van Camps Pork & Beans .30 each
KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce 1.59
2 packages Kraft Singles .97 each
5 lb. Pork Shoulder 4.66
MS Silk Soy Milk .49
Horizons Organic Milk 1.79
Butternut Squash 2.?
Duncan Hines Cake Mix 1.69
Pillsbury Frosting 1.39
3 lb. Peaches 3.00
Huggies Diapers 5.49

Walmart approximately $1

5 lb. Bananas