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Monday, December 15, 2008

Will paint for food and other happenings

Ok seriously, i'm trying to be funny with the title of this post. But truthfully, as of last week God blessed us with the oportunity for Scott to paint full time now. So you see, he will paint for food. Well technically he will paint for money, but money buys food, right? Hence the title of the post.

This is something he has wanted to do for a few years now, but it has been too hard to take that leap of faith when you have a great job with a good paycheck. Especially when you have a family. Sometimes though, God likes to shake things up a bit. I like to think of us as baby birds who need to be pushed out of the nest in order to take flight. God chose to give us that push in the form of being part of a 10% company wide cut.

Neither one of us are upset about it, maybe just a little nervous on and off. Having 7 children to care for does that to you every now and then, even before you lose the security of a steady paycheck. We are actually thrilled to see what God does now.

The other happenings is some more good news. I'm actually feeling much better now. It took awhile to recover from the surgery and infection but that's ok. Sometimes we need to learn to lean on and trust in God more. Most of the time I feel so strong and capable, but I was quickly reminded of just how weak I could be. This is one passage of scripture that I have turned to recently.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

May you all have a blessed Christmas.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm ok

Alot of people have been emailing me asking me how I am doing. Well, i'm ok. I know that most of you know what has been going on but there are a few who don't who have asked.

For those of you who didn't know, I had an emergency appendectomy almost 2 weeks ago now. My appendix actually ruptured so I had to stay for a few days in the hospital. I am feeling better now, although my healing seems to be taking forever. This lady is not used to having to slow down. This week I am slowly trying to get back some form of our routine.

Thanks to everyone for all you have done and your prayers. Keep them coming since I started to run a low-grade fever lastnight. I am praying that there is no more infection.

One day life may be normal again and i'll return to blogging, but for now it's not so.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The blessings of teens

I just want to take a little time to give some props to my two oldest daughters.They are such blessings to me. Not just because they help around the house, because truth be told, with one of them I have get a cattle prod after her to get her to help at times. It is the relationship that we have that is a blessing. It is watching them blossoming into the young ladies that they are now that is a blessing. It is the honor that they bring to our family that is the blessing.

Many times over the years i'd get nervous thinking about parenting during the teenage years. I didn't exactly have the best relationship with my own parents as a teen. They still claim that I am the one that gave them gray hairs. Now I wasn't THAT bad, but it was rough for quite a few years.

With our own children, we have always been told that we have great kids in one sentence, just to be warned in the next that one day they'd be teenagers. Of course every teenager rebels and gives their parents trouble, right? At least it seems that many people think this way.

Scott and I have stayed up many a night talking about this, praying for our children and the wisdom to do what was right in raising them. We wanted it to be different in our family, (what family doesn't)? Not that we don't ever expect them to make a mistake. We just want to maintain a strong enough relationship to guide them through these years that lead to adulthood.

Although we are not all the way through the teen years and we still have many teens left to raise, I just wanted to say that I am really enjoying these years. All the years of training and teaching are really starting to show through.

One of the greatest moments was when I heard one of them repeating something that i'd taught them years ago to the little ones. I immediately thought, "Thankyou, Jesus. They actually were listening!" I am blessed indeed.

I just wanted to share a picture of my family. It is from Mother's day. I am hugely pregnant with Anna still in this picture, but it is all of us.



Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coupon Class


I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who attended the coupon class last week. I really enjoyed it.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I know it's overwhelming to hear it all at once and then go home by yourself and try to apply everything that was taught. Remember to start small and add more as you get the hang of it all. It's definately a learning curve.

For those of you who weren't able to make it or just need a refresher I plan on getting as much of it as possible on my blog. I'd like to do it in a couple of podcasts, if I could. It may take me a few weeks, but I aim to start on it this week. Until then, you can always check out my series that i've written on How I feed my family for $300 a month. It's a very condensed version of the class.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Planning Monday


I'm a little late in getting this posted, but better late than never! This menu cost me right at about $80.00. My weekly budget is $75.00 for our family of 9. Remember though, I was had to completely buy all new meat due to the hurricane that came through. It's ok though since I still had leftover money from my previous budgets.

Breakfast:
Monday: Waffles and fruit
Tuesday: Baked oatmeal
Wednesday: Muffins and sausage
Thursday: Eggs and biscuits
Friday: Pancakes and fruit
Saturday: Eggs, hashbrowns, and a meat
Sunday: Country ham and gravy over biscuits

Lunch:
Monday: Grilled hot dogs, homemade mac & cheese, and a veggie
Tuesday: Sandwiches and a veggie
Wednesday: Soup and crackers
Thursday: Fried ham, mashed potatoes, and a veggie
Friday: Baked potatoes and vegetable plate
Sat and Sun: We either eat leftovers, or a salad, or sandwiches

Snacks:
Monday: Banana bread
Tuesday: Fruit
Wednesday: Homemade cookies
Thursday: Veggie and cheese tray
Friday: Tortilla wraps---> Filled with peanut butter, banana, and/or honey

Dinner:
Monday:
Teriyaki chicken
Eggrolls
Fried rice

Tuesday:
Mini meatloaf patties
Braised radishes
Cheesy cauliflower casserole

Wednesday:--->It's supposed to be cooler, I can't wait!
Homemade chili
Cornbread

Thursday:
Crockpot ribs
Mashed potatoes
Corn

Friday:
Homemade pizza
Breadsticks

Saturday:
Smothered pork chops
Rice and gravy
Green beans
Yeast rolls

Sunday:--->Olive Garden night! I got the recipes from copycat recipes. It tastes exactly like the real thing!
Blackened chicken alfredo
Tuscana soup
Breadsticks

Olive Garden alfredo sauce:
Ingredients:
1 pint of Heavy Cream
1 stick of butter
2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
1/2 - 3/4 C. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Directions:
In a saucepan combine butter, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Simmer this until all is melted, and mixed well. Add the Parmesan cheese and Garlic powder. Simmer this for 15 - 20 minutes on low. You may wish to season with a little salt and pepper. I have done this with half and half, but we prefer the heavy cream. But I wouldn't try it with plain milk.

Olive Garden zuppa tuscana soup:
Ingredients:
1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
1/2 package Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits or 6 slices bacon, crumbled
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. Kale or Swiss chard chopped
2 cans Chicken Broth
1 qt. Water
1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp fennel seed
Directions:
Brown sausage in large pot. Place in bowl and put off to side after done cooking. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot, and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste, and fennel seed and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat, add kale and cream. Heat through and serve. Please don't skip the fennel seed. It is what really makes the dish turn out just like the real thing!

For more great menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Planning Mondays.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Works for me Wednesday: How to hang a picture in the perfect spot

I've always had a hard time in the past hanging something on the wall in just the right place. I would pick out a spot and then when all was said and done I would find that either the picture was too high or too low.


Well one day, after listening to me complaining about how a new mirror I just bought was hung too low, my ingenious husband came up with a great idea on how to solve my problem.

To do this the first thing he does is to stick a thumb tack through a piece of masking tape, (sticky side facing the tack). Next he then tapes it onto the picture. You now have the thumb tack sticking out facing you. We then pick out a perfect spot for our picture on the wall. He then pushes the picture against the wall right in the spot we chose, (this sticks the tack into the wall), and pulls it right back out. It leaves a tiny hole in the wall, obviously. After that he hammers a nail right into the tiny hole he just made and then hangs the picture. Voila, now my pictures are in the perfect spot every time.

For more Works For Me Wednesday posts be sure to visit Shannon's blog, Rocks In My Dryer.


Fresh Eggs!


This is for all you local people who keep up with my blog. We have 11 layers now! It's about time all the girls started laying since they are 6 months old now. What that means though, is that we have a bit of an excess. Even my large family cannot eat all the eggs we are getting.

As of right now I have about an extra 2-3 dozen per week of brown eggs, depending on how many we use. If you want fresh eggs instead of store bought, here's your chance. I don't charge a set rate, just a small donation to help cover feed costs if you can. If not, then it is our blessing to you. You can just email me or even talk to me in person if you want. I do have a few egg cartons, but those things are expensive so keep yours if you can. Have a great day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Planning Monday:


I actually planned a menu this week! I don't know if the motivation for it is because I have a class to teach on menu planning and budgeting this week, or if it's because i'm just so ready to get back to normal life again. I normally have a budget of $75.00 per week for my family of 9. This weeks menu cost $100.00 since I was out of so many things.
So maybe this week isn't as frugal as usual but don't worry, i'm still on budget since I had leftover money from previous weeks. I am also still stockpiling a few things that I have coupons for. I have enough bottles of salad dressing to last the rest of the year or more. I was out of anything that wasn't perishable because of the hurricane so that's why it's a bit more this time.

I do have to say that it is so nice to eat cooked food again. We are all so tired of sandwiches here. You just have no clue.

Breakfast:
Monday:
Waffles and fruit
Tuesday: Baked oatmeal
Wednesday: Muffins and sausage
Thursday: Eggs and biscuits
Friday: Pancakes and fruit
Saturday: Eggs, hashbrowns, and a meat
Sunday: Country ham and gravy over biscuits

Lunch:
Monday:
Grilled hot dogs, homemade mac & cheese, and a veggie
Tuesday: Sandwiches and a veggie--->sorry kids!
Wednesday: Soup and crackers
Thursday: Fried ham, mashed potatoes, and a veggie
Friday: Baked potatoes and vegetable plate
Sat and Sun: We either eat leftovers, or a salad, or sandwiches

Snacks:
Monday:
Banana bread
Tuesday: Fruit
Wednesday: Homemade cookies
Thursday: Veggie and cheese tray
Friday: Tortilla wraps---> Filled with peanut butter, banana, and/or honey

Dinner:
Monday:
Crockpot chicken--->recipe below!
Rice pilaf
Corn on the cob

Tuesday:
Baked tilapia
Butter and garlic green beans
Salad

Wednesday:
Mexican bar night--->we have tacos, burritos, enchiladas, mexican rice, refried beans. Everyone just chooses what they want.

Thursday:
Family syle chicken
Roasted squash and zucchini
Yeast rolls

Friday:
Baked italian sausage and peppers
Green beans
Twisted breadsticks

Saturday:
BLT's
French fries

Sunday:--->one of our favorites! I can give recipes if you'd like.
Mini meatloaf patties with mushroom gravy
Braised radishes
Cheesy cauliflower casserole

One of my easiest recipes that I cook on a busy day is crockpot chicken. It only takes about 5 minutes to get started and everyone here loves it. I used to make it without the thyme and rosemary, but it has made it so much better since we started adding these herbs. We use dried herbs out of our garden, but you can use fresh also if you'd like.

Crockpot Chicken:
1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of water
salt and pepper
garlic powder
Thyme
Rosemary

Directions:
Put chicken in crockpot. Add canned soups and water, mix as well as you can. Season top of chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary. I just eye it. I might use about 1 tsp of each. Cook on high for about 6 hours or until done. I usually debone it after it's done cooking since I have little ones.

For more great menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Planning Mondays.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't know whether to laugh or cry

Our trip to visit family in Houston has been great so far. We have been enjoying their outdoor kitchen, sitting in the jacuzzi, and visiting with family. It's been really nice. That is until we heard the news that hurricane Ike has decided to follow us here.

We have been following the news and were so sure that Ike was headed south of here so we decided to stay. Now the county we are in is talking about mandatory evacuations tomorrow. We are actually considering staying put here if the road conditions are like they were for Rita. Evacuating the Houston area is a disaster waiting to happen.

So now, either our trip will be cut short, if we can even leave, or we will be going through yet another hurricane. God be with us. Please pray that we will be safe whatever decision we make.

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's official....

I'm exhausted. Yes, this supermom is just plain ol' worn out. The middle of night feedings, broken bones, illness, hurricanes, and now surgery this morning on the before mentioned broken bone have all taken their toll. Life happens at times.

Although this is a tough season I still find rest in my Lord. I draw strength and comfort from God's word.

Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I was reading a book to the younger children the other night before bed. It is a book by Max Lucado named, You Are Special. It is about a wood carver who has made a village of wooden people. One little wooden person cannot do anything special so he has no self worth. By visiting with his maker everyday he learns how much his maker loves him and just how special he is. While my issue is not with self worth, I was reminded that when I meet with my maker I find rest and peace. God can even use a children's book to give encouragement when you need it.

So, for all you locals who know me personally, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am ok, I am just busy taking care of life right now.

Oh, Rebekah did fine during her surgery. She is just in quite a bit of pain right now. We are trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. Just praying that her finger will be healed after this. Love you all.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

We've been out of commission here for awhile. Hurricane Gustav decided to pay a little visit. We had lots to do to prepare beforehand. We were going to leave, but decided to stick it out. The kids were scared, but we kept them occupied with new board games and color books. We fared out really well compared to alot of people here. We just have to fix our fence that we lost and our master bathroom window.

I am happy to report that although shaken and quite irate, all of our chickens made it through just fine. In protest though, they decided not to give us any eggs for a few days. After we gave them fresh shavings, food and water I think they may have calmed down a bit. We are slowly starting to get eggs again. If I didn't know any better, I would think that the children were more concerned for the chicken's safety than our own.

It is actually a beautiful day here today so i'm hoping that we'll dry out and get some more work done. I need that fence back up so that I can let the kids out in the yard again. We all are tired from a long week.

In other news, we are getting Beka's cast off today. Hopefully the finger will have healed and won't need to be re-casted. I know the other children are ecstatic since she has discovered that it can be used as a weapon. Her new nickname is "the club".

Hopefully soon i'll be able to get back to blogging on a regular basis.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's broken!

Well, there's a first time for everything. We have experienced another new first in our house. A broken bone. You would think that with 7 children that we'd have had our fair share of broken bones. Nope, we've been lucky. Until yesterday that is.

Our little 2 yo daughter had to be the first to try this. She is a little bundle of energy, to say the least. She is also fearless. I'd love to say that she was doing something reckless and wild, as is usual for her, but she was just helping mommy clear away the lunch dishes off of the table.

Of course to help mommy she did have to pick the ceramic plate that my 14 yo daughter just had to eat off of. Imagine a very petite, 24 pound 2 yo carrying a large, and quite heavy I might add, ceramic dinner plate almost above her head. Could she walk slowly to do this? Of course not. She was at a full sprint heading for the sink. Then, imagine a small rug placed in front of the kitchen sink that had one end flipped up. You see where i'm going with this, right?

Needless to say, she tripped over the rug, the plate flew out of her little hands and landed firmly on one of her fingers like a guillotine. After a few hours at the local after hours clinic and a couple of xrays we found out that her finger is indeed broken. Now we have an appointment to see the orthopedic doctor this Friday. That makes 2 appointments that day and it's my birthday. Happy birthday to me. Ha!

You can't really see how bruised it is here. Poor baby.




Isn't she cute with her splint on? Note: This is one of the rare moments that we caught with that splint on.

Hopefully things will calm down here soon. At least everyone is well again. So, does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep a splint on a very determined not to wear it 2 year old?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anna....again

It's Anna....again.

It seems as though we can't get rid of the sickness here. I had 2 of the other children sick a few weeks ago with a cold and then I got sick with laryngitis. I am finally just now getting my voice back. I'm sure the children are none too thrilled about that.

I tried so hard to keep it from doing an entire sweep of the household by disinfecting everything, having everybody washing hands constantly, washing bedding. You know the drill.

I actually thought we were over it, but it seems as if I passed my sickness onto Anna. Poor little thing. She now has croup. For any of you moms who have experienced croup with your children, you know how dangerous it could be in a 2 month old. In fact, her pediatrician said that Anna was the youngest case of croup she had ever seen. Of course it had to be Anna. Infants as young as she is just don't usually get croup.

I am by no means an alarmist when it comes to using the doctor. I use one when we really need it. Not for every little thing that comes our way. When she sees us, she knows that I have tried to treat at home and it's beyond what I can do.

After much deliberating, we put her on a dose of steriods. From working as a nurse in NICU for years I know that steriods is an "avoid it unless absolutely necessary" type drug in little ones. It suppresses their immune system. When you have to decide between airway and immune system though, airway wins everytime. :-)

A few hours after her first dose she already sounded better. Not 100%, but at least there is no more stridor. *Stridor is that horrible noise they make when they breathe in and out during a bad case of croup.* Her doctor and I am positive that we would have been in PICU with her if we hadn't started the meds as early in the day as we did with her. We're not out of the woods yet, we still need to keep an close eye for the next night or two but she did well lastnight.

So, if you could just think about us and say a quick prayer for Anna. She sure has kept this experienced mom on her toes.

Just for fun here's a picture of her from last week. She sure has grown. She's up to 11 lbs now.





Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grocery Gathering - Albertson's DFW 8/13 - 8/19


Sorry I didn't get this post up a bit sooner but I have been sick since this past weekend....ugh. I'm still not 100%, but at least my voice is coming back. There is not much in the way of great deals, but you could get a few decent deals with the right coupons.

3 day sale: 8/15 - 8/17:

Large shrimp $3.99/lb.

2 Liters Coke $.99/ea.

Bar S hotdogs $.78/ea
- $.25/1 IP here

I will add more if I see more anymore good deals. Please stop by and visit Becentsable, who hosts the Grocery Gathering, for more great grocery savings.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - Beauty From Pain


This is my first time participating in Then Sings My Soul Saturday. The song I wanted to share is a song that has been on my heart alot lately. It is a song by Superchick called "Beauty From Pain."

Just recently I have known a few people that have suffered horrible losses. Many other people have been going through really hard times. All suffering silently in their lives. I hope that this song is as encouraging to you as it has been to me. While we may not understand why, we have the promise that one day God can bring beauty from our pain.



For more encouaraging songs make sure you visit Signs, Miracles, and Wonders for Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

"Where do you get all your coupons?"


I have had quite a few questions asking me where I get all my coupons lately. I actually have a variety of places that I get them from. The two places that I get most of my coupons is from my local Sunday paper and I print them from various websites. I do also get a few from tearpads or blinkies found in the grocery store and I am part of a coupon train.

In the coupon train I receive an envelope of coupons and then I mail out, in another envelope, the ones I can't use with more I have added to the next person in my group. All of these sources combined is how I get about 90% of my coupons.

Now, for a really great up coming deal that I know I need to get multiples of, I have been known to buy a few coupons from ebay. I really have not used it very often because I find that the hot coupons are REALLY overpriced.

Really though, the absolute best way I have found to get more than one of a coupon I need is to just simply trade with other couponers. I trade coupons that I don't want for coupons I need. I have traded coupons, coke points, Similac checks, and even stamps for other coupons that I need. Since I have started this I have noticed a huge savings at the stores.

I am not overly obsessive about it. I just trade when I need, and help others when I see that they need something I have. It works great and saves everyone money, which is what we all want. Happy couponing!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer blowout sale!

Have you heard the big news? TODAY ONLY you can get an incredible ebook package from MoneySavingMom.com--over $100 worth of money-saving ebooks, homemaking helps, and encouragement for only $5.97! That's a great price and I'd highly recommend you run over here and check it out.

What makes this deal so good is that this ebook package includes the ecourse Supermarket Savings 101--this course alone is worth much more than $5.97 and will teach you how to drastically reduce your grocery bill. If high fuel and food costs are discouraging you and leaving you strapped for cash, you definitely need to buy this ecourse. You'll learn how to cut your grocery bill by up to 50% or more and have fun saving money at the same time!

Supermarket Savings 101 is the course that I took that got me started. It taught me how to set a grocery budget, how to menu plan more effectively, how to use coupons, and shop at CVS and Walgreens. I have cut my groceery and household items budget from $750-$800/month down to under $300/month for my family of 9. Yes, that includes diapers, cleaning supplies, and toiletry items. When I ordered it I paid the same price for the Supermarket Savings 101 course alone. That's what makes this such a great deal. It is SO worth the tiny investment. I saved more than $5.97 on my first grocery trip.


Go here to read more about this huge sale! Hurry, though, the price goes up tomorrow--get this money-saving ebook package at a ridiculously low price while you can!

Grocery Gathering - Albertson's DFW 7/30 - 8/5

It's time again for my Grocery Gathering post. This week is a continuation of the Mega sale so if you missed it last week you still have time to get in on the great deals. Of course, as usual anything that could be free will be red.


Mega sale 7/23 - 8/5:

BUY 10 participating items and receive $5 off instantly, mix or match any items:

Final price of $.50 each:
Pictsweet Vegetables 12-16 oz
Glaceau Vitamin Water 20 oz
Powerade 32 oz or Glaceau Vitamin water 1 liter--->Free Powerade!
- Powerade $0.75/1 from 06-08-08 Smartsource insert
- Powerade $1.00/1 from 07-13-08 Smartsource insert
- Powerade $1.00/2 tearpads
Daisy Sour Cream 8 oz--->Free sour cream!
- $0.50/1 from 06-01-08 Redplum insert
- $0.60/1 from 06-01-08 Redplum insert
Albertson's Olives 5.75-6 oz
-French's Mustard 14 oz--->Free mustard!
- $0.50/1 IP here or here
- $0.30/1 from 06-22-08 Smartsource insert
- $0.50/1 from 06-22-08 Smartsource insert
- $1.00/2 from 06-22-08 Smartsource insert
Hormel Chili 15 oz
Libby's Vegetables 14.5-29 oz
Music Mountain Water 6 pack

Final Price of $1.00 each:
Albertson's Diced Green Chilies 7 oz
Albertson's Elbow Macaroni 16 oz
Albertson's Butter 8 ozHamburger, Tuna or Chicken Helper 5-9 oz
- $1.00/3 or $.75/3 from 06-08-08 Smartsource insert
- $1.00/3 IP here or here
Country Crock Spread 16 oz
- $0.25/1 or $1.00/2 from 05-18-08 Redplum insert
Knorr Vegetable Rice or Noodle 4.9-5.4 oz--->Free if you use the IP Q's
- $1.00/1 IP here
- $0.60/2, $.75/2, or $1.00/3 from 05-18-08 Redplum insert
Albertson's Picante Sauce 16 oz
Albertson's Pasta Sauce 26 oz
Sara Lee Whole Grain White Bread 26 oz
Albertson's Extra Wide Noodles 16 oz

Final Price of $1.50 each:
Country Time Lemonade on the Go 10 ct or 10 quart
Lean Cuisine Entrees 5.25-10.38 oz
- $1.50/3 IP here
- $1.00/2 IP here
Oscar Mayer Fast Franks 10.2 oz
Capri Sun Ready to Drink 10 pk 6.75 oz
Kool Aid Singles 10-12 ct
Nabisco Snack Sak 8 oz
South Beach Tide Me Over 7 ct--->Free with IP Q!
- $2.00/1 IP here
-$1.00/1 from 7/27/08 Smartsource insert
Albertson's Ice Cream Bars 15 oz
Oscar Mayer Mini Beef Hot Dogs or Mini Cheese Hot Dogs 10 oz
Kool Aid Jammers 10 pack
General Mill Cereals Cheerios 14 oz, Honey Nut Cheerios 12.25 oz, Golden Graham 12 oz, Multigrain Cheerios 9 oz or Cocoa Puffs COMBO 11.7 oz.
- $.75/1 IP here for Cocoa Puffs Combo
- $1/50/3 or $1.00/2 from 06/22, 06/29 or 7/13 Smartsource inserts
Kool Aid 8 quart or Sugar Free 12 qt
Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 6-10 ct.
-$0.80/2 IP here, here, or here
Pillsbury Toaster Strudels 10-11.5 oz
- $1.00/1 IP here, here, or here
- $1.00/2 IP here and here
- $1.00/2 from 07-13-08 Smartsource insert
Crystal Light 8 qt or On The Go 10 ct

Final Price of $2.00 each:
Nabisco Teddy Grahams 9.5-10 oz
Nabisco 100 Calorie Granola Bars 5.88 oz
Oscar Mayer Fast Franks Smoked Sausages 8 oz or Fast Franks Beef hot Dogs 10.2 oz
Mt Olive Spears 24 oz
Tombstone Pizza 17.7-29.51 oz
Nabisco Ritz Bits 7.5 oz
Kraft Salad Dressing 24 oz
Lean Cuisine Dinner Entrees 6-10.5 oz
Post Cereals Honey Bunches of Oats 14.5 oz, Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles 13 oz, Raisin Bran 20 oz, Alpha Bits 13.5 oz or Honeycomb 14.5 oz
Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts 16 oz
Bertolli Pasta Pouch 13.5 oz
Albertson's Orange Juice 64 oz
Nabisco 100 Honey Maid Sticks 8.5 to 10 oz
3 day sale:
$1.99 ground beef
$.99 Dozen eggs (limit 2)
PRE SEASONED Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, BUY ONE GET 2 FREE
Other deals I see:
PILLSBURY Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls 5 ct. - 10/$10--->Free if your store triples!
- Pillsbury Sweet Rolls Or Grand’s Sweet Rolls $0.30 /1 from 7/13 Smartsource

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Planning Monday: Using my stockpile!


From doing a bit of stockpiling the last week or two I am able to do this menu almost completely for nothing. I did have to buy a bit of meat(only because my freezer went out and I lost my chicken), and of course fresh fruits, veggies, and milk. This menu was just a little over $30.00. Since my budget is $75.00 a week, that leaves me about $45.00 to stock up even more with all the great grocery sales. You can see a few of the deals i've been getting here.

Breakfast:
Monday: Waffles and fruit
Tuesday: Baked oatmeal
Wednesday: Muffins and sausage
Thursday: eggs and biscuits
Friday: Pancakes and fruit
Saturday: Eggs, hashbrowns, and a meat
Sunday: Country ham and gravy over biscuits

Lunch:
Monday: Grilled hot dogs, homemade mac & cheese, and a veggie
Tuesday: Sandwiches and a veggie
Wednesday: Grilled chicken salad
Thursday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and fruit
Friday: Baked potatoes and vegetable plate
Sat and Sun: We either eat leftovers, or a salad, or sandwiches

Snacks:
Monday: Banana bread
Tuesday: Fruit
Wednesday: Homemade cookies
Thursday: Veggie and cheese tray
Friday: Tortilla wraps---> Filled with peanut butter, banana, and/or honey

Dinner:
Monday:
Chicken and stuffing
Corn
Yeast rolls

Tuesday:
Sloppy joes
Coleslaw

Wednesday:
Chili cheese enchiladas
Mexican rice

Thursday:
Chicken and stuffing
Corn
Yeast rolls

Friday:
Pizza
Cheese bread

Saturday:
BBQ at my sisters house

Sunday:
Roast
Potatoes and carrots
Salad

For more great menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Planning Mondays.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Great deals at Target and Albertson's this week!

So, the sales have been a little dry lately but this week more than makes up for it. I have hit up target and Albie's this week and I still have quite a bit more shopping to do at Albertson's befor the 2 week mega sale ends. I can't forget CVS and Walgreen's either. I have given away so many bottles of Pro Vive this week. Of course we did keep a few for ourselves.

My first stop was Target to use all those great Electrasol coupons that I had. I was able to get 40 boxes of Electrasol. I have already given some away to help other people save a bit of money, but I should have enough to last me till the end of the year. I only have 30 pictured, but that was after I started giving away a few.

Total before coupons $111.60 + tax. Total after coupons $20.60.

My second stop this week was Albertson's for their mega sale. I still have at least 4-5 more transactions to do. I will have 35 more Powerades, 10 bags of frozen veggies, 10 more cans of Hormel, 10 more sour creams, and 15 more mustards. Oh and a few South Beach drinks. All for less than $5.00 OOP. Here's what i've picked up so far.

Total before coupons and promotions $96.20. Total after coupons $4.00 OOP.



Total savings between the two stores was $183.20. I should be well stocked after this in a few things. Anyone need any mustard? :-)

Making the transition to home - Part 4

Look at that picture. Wonder what it's all about? Maybe it's classes to teach you how to be a homemaker. I know what you're thinking. "Why in the world would anyone need classes to teach you how to be a homemaker?" It's pretty funny, eh? Or is it?

Before I get started I wanted to just quickly mention that if you missed my previous posts you can read them here, here, and here.

Back to that picture. I was just kidding, but maybe it would be nice if we all had classes to teach us how to better at staying home. I was really great when I worked outside of the home, but I failed dismally when it came to my job at home. It took me quite awhile to learn The truth is that eventhough I am no longer working outside of the home I still don't leave all of the responsibility of providing for the family to Scott. It really does take both of us to make it work. In fact the Bible says that I am to help my husband.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:18

So, what exactly is a helpmeet? According to Strong's Concordance, the Hebrew definition of the words "help" and "meet" are the same, help. Webster's 1828 Dictionary gives the definition of the word help as; "To aid; to assist; to lend strength or means towards effecting a purpose." The same dictionary gives the definition of the word meet as; "Fit; suitable; proper; qualified; convenient; adapted, as to a use or purpose."

Roughly translated, God tells me that I am to assist my husband towards accomplishing our purpose. In this case that would be staying home. Not only that, but I am to be qualified. That means I need to have the knowledge and skills necessary to help. We both work, but in different ways to fulfill our purpose that we set together.

There are many things I have done to assist Scott. I have taught myself how to take that money that he makes and stretch it. First, I learned how to budget. I learned to cook meals at home. I learned how to make a menu. How to shop for food using coupons. I think of creative ways to save us money and to conserve energy. Thinking outside of what is considered the norm for today. I do not waste anything now. I have learned how to reuse things. I am learning to sew and now can make a few really cute clothes for the younger children. I have learned to garden. By learning these skills I am helping to insure that we succeed.

Staying home is real work. When I worked as a nurse I had to train for years just to get a degree. I then had to take education hours to keep my license up every year(still do). I also had to go skills fairs at the hospital I worked at just so that they could make sure I was competent at the basic skills necessary to be a nurse. We should take our job of staying home just a seriously as our outside jobs, always learning new skills so that we can be successful managers of our homes.

You do not need to do everything I have done. Think about your own home though. In what ways can you, by learning how to do something new or becoming better at something you already know how to do, help to make sure that your home can survive on one income? I will say again that it is important for you to be skilled at caring for your home. Your part at home is just as important as your husband's part in providing monitarily. Be creative, think outside of the box, and most importantly, pray for God to help you. He is always faithful.

Next time I want to talk about working at home to bring in some extra cash. It is a hot topic right now with so many of women doing it. Y'all have a great day!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grocery Gathering - Albertson's DFW 7/23 - 7/29

It's time again for my Grocery Gathering post. I am SO excited about this week. We have all been waiting for a good week for awhile. This is it! This post is going to be a work in progress since I just wanted to get the Mega Sale posted so you can get all your coupon matchups done in time to get busy shopping.

"What is the Mega Sale," you ask? Well, it is just that. A mega sale! The great thing is that this sale lasts two weeks. Of course, as usual anything that could be free will be red.

Mega sale 7/23 - 8/5:

BUY 10 participating items and receive $5 off instantly, mix or match any items:

Final price of $.50 each:
Pictsweet Vegetables 12-16 oz
Glaceau Vitamin Water 20 oz
Powerade 32 oz or Glaceau Vitamin water 1 liter--->Free Powerade!
- Powerade $0.75/1 from 06-08-08 Smartsource insert
- Powerade $1.00/1 from 07-13-08 Smartsource insert

Daisy Sour Cream 8 oz--->Free sour cream!
- $0.50/1 from 06-01-08 Redplum insert
- $0.60/1 from 06-01-08 Redplum insert

Albertson's Olives 5.75-6 oz
French's Mustard 14 oz--->Free mustard!
- $0.50/1 IP here or here
- $0.30/1 from 06-22-08 Smartsource insert

- $0.50/1 from 06-22-08 Smartsource insert
- $1.00/2 from 06-22-08 Smartsource insert

Hormel Chili 15 oz
Libby's Vegetables 14.5-29 oz
Music Mountain Water 6 pack

Final Price of $1.00 each:
Albertson's Diced Green Chilies 7 oz
Albertson's Elbow Macaroni 16 oz
Albertson's Butter 8 oz
Hamburger, Tuna or Chicken Helper 5-9 oz
- $1.00/3 or $.75/3 from 06-08-08 Smartsource insert
- $1.00/3 IP
here or here
Country Crock Spread 16 oz
- $0.25/1 or $1.00/2 from 05-18-08 Redplum insert
Knorr Vegetable Rice or Noodle 4.9-5.4 oz--->Free if you use the IP Q's
- $1.00/1 IP here
- $0.60/2, $.75/2, or $1.00/3 from 05-18-08 Redplum insert
Albertson's Picante Sauce 16 oz
Albertson's Pasta Sauce 26 oz
Sara Lee Whole Grain White Bread 26 oz
Albertson's Extra Wide Noodles 16 oz

Final Price of $1.50 each:
Country Time Lemonade on the Go 10 ct or 10 quart
Lean Cuisine Entrees 5.25-10.38 oz
- $1.50/3 IP here
- $1.00/2 IP here
Oscar Mayer Fast Franks 10.2 oz
Capri Sun Ready to Drink 10 pk 6.75 oz
Kool Aid Singles 10-12 ct
Nabisco Snack Sak 8 oz
South Beach Tide Me Over 7 ct--->Free with IP Q!
- $2.00/1 IP here
Albertson's Ice Cream Bars 15 oz
Oscar Mayer Mini Beef Hot Dogs or Mini Cheese Hot Dogs 10 oz
Kool Aid Jammers 10 pack
General Mill Cereals Cheerios 14 oz, Honey Nut Cheerios 12.25 oz, Golden Graham 12 oz, Multigrain Cheerios 9 oz or Cocoa Puffs COMBO 11.7 oz.
- $.75/1 IP here for Cocoa Puffs Combo
- $1/50/3 or $1.00/2 from 06/22, 06/29 or 7/13 Smartsource inserts
Kool Aid 8 quart or Sugar Free 12 qt
Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 6-10 ct.
-$0.80/2 IP here, here, or here
Pillsbury Toaster Strudels 10-11.5 oz
- $1.00/1 IP here, here, or here
- $1.00/2 IP here and here
- $1.00/2 from 07-13-08 Smartsource insert

Crystal Light 8 qt or On The Go 10 ct

Final Price of $2.00 each:
Nabisco Teddy Grahams 9.5-10 oz
Nabisco 100 Calorie Granola Bars 5.88 oz
Oscar Mayer Fast Franks Smoked Sausages 8 oz or Fast Franks Beef hot Dogs 10.2 oz
Mt Olive Spears 24 oz
Tombstone Pizza 17.7-29.51 oz
Nabisco Ritz Bits 7.5 oz
Kraft Salad Dressing 24 oz
Lean Cuisine Dinner Entrees 6-10.5 oz
Post Cereals Honey Bunches of Oats 14.5 oz, Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles 13 oz, Raisin Bran 20 oz, Alpha Bits 13.5 oz or HOneycomb 14.5 oz
Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts 16 oz
Bertolli Pasta Pouch 13.5 oz
Albertson's Orange Juice 64 oz
Nabisco 100 Honey Maid Sticks 8.5 to 10 oz

Other deals I see:
C&H 4 lb sugar 3/$5.00
- $.30/1 from ? insert

Purell hand sanitizer 10/$10.00
- $1.00/1 from 04/27/08 Redplum insert

Suave shampoo or conditioner 10/$10.00--->Free if your store doubles!
-$.50/1 from 07/13/08 Redplum insert


Of course if I see any other good deals I will add them. Please let me know if you see anything deals or coupon matchups that I may have missed. For more great grocery deals visit the Grocery Gathering, hosted by Becentsable

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Menu Planning Monday: Building my stockpile!


Life since the baby has come has been full, but I am slowly getting back in the swing of things. I have fianlly been able to take advantage of some of the sales again so I am getting my stockpile back up. Because of that I have only spent about $50.00 on this week's menu.

That still leaves me $25.00 to snatch up any other good deals that I may find to add to that growing stockpile. My goal is to be able to "shop" out of my stockpile and just shop for fresh foods that can't be stored and of course more deals. This is the way to never pay full price for anything again. It's how I am able to keep my food budget so low. Check out this stockpile to see what I'm talking about. Wow!

Breakfast:
Monday: Waffles and fruit
Tuesday: Breakfast casserole
Wednesday: Muffins and sausage
Thursday: Homemade cinnamon rolls
Friday: Pancakes and fruit
Saturday: Eggs, hashbrowns, and a meat
Sunday: Country ham and gravy over biscuits

Lunch:
Monday: Fried ham, homemade mac & cheese, and a veggie
Tuesday: Sandwiches and a veggie
Wednesday: Grilled chicken salad
Thursday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and fruit
Friday: Baked potatoes and vegetable plate
Sat and Sun: We either eat leftovers, or a salad, or sandwiches

Snacks:
Monday: Banana bread
Tuesday: Fruit
Wednesday: Homemade cookies
Thursday: Veggie and cheese tray
Friday: Tortilla wraps---> Filled with peanut butter, banana, and/or honey

Dinner:
Monday:
Chinese Stirfry
Fried Rice
Eggrolls

Tuesday:
Cheeseburger pie
Green beans

Wednesday:
Mexican bar

Thursday:
Chicken and stuffing
Corn
Yeast rolls

Friday:
Pizza
Cheese bread

Saturday:
BBQ

Sunday:
Rosemary pork tenderloin
Potatoes and baby carrots
Salads

For more great menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Planning Mondays.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Grocery Gathering - Albertson's DFW 7/16 - 7/22

It's time once again for my weekly Grocery Gathering post. I am covering Albertson's DFW region.

There are many 10/$10 sales out there. I won't be covering them all, just the ones that have good coupon matchups. Remember, you do not have to buy 10 of any one item. They will ring up for $1.00 each. Any deals that could be free will be in red.

Outside Wrapper:
Select General Mills cereals 6/$10.00
-There are $1.00/2 or $1.00/3 Q's from the 6/08 or 6/22 Smartsource inserts
*There is also a $2.00 catalina that prints if you buy 5 boxes of cereal!*

Other deals I see:
Fresh Express slaw or shreds 10/$10.00

Rice A Roni 10/$10.00--->Free if your store doubles!
-$.50/1 IP here

Allens or Veg All frozen vegetables 10/$10.00--->Free if your store triples!
-$.35/1 from 4/06 smartsource insert

Purell 2 oz hand sanitizer 10/$10.00
-$1.00/1 from 4/27 Smartsource insert

Of course if I see any other good deals I will add them. Please let me know if you see anything else that I may have missed. For more great grocery deals visit the Grocery Gathering, hosted by Becentsable.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My blogging break

I have taken a much needed break from blogging since Anna was born. I have been busy loving on my children, adjusting, and resting. Basically just taking it easy.

While I have enjoyed my break, I have also missed blogging. I have had so many ideas pop into my head that I started writing them down so I wouldn't forget. Of course, the first thing I aim to finish is my Transitioning to Home Series. After that I hope to tackle some organization topics for those of us who are impaired in this area.

This is the time of year when organization becomes top priority here. I have to organize our school year, extracurricular activities that the children will be doing, household maintenance, and of course the never-ending cycle of clearing out clutter. Having a large family in a rather small house means I am constantly going through things we have and minimalizing. Is that even a word? Anyways, I love to be organized, I HAVE to be organized. So, since I get so many questions on this I thought it would be great to share some things I have found that have worked for my family.

So, here's to coming out of hiding and getting back to blogging.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Grocery Gathering- Albertson's DFW 7/9 - 7/15

It's time once again for my Grocery Gathering post. I am covering the Dallas/Ft.Worth region for Albertson's. I wish I could say that I am excited about this weeks ad, but i'm not. I detest their BOGO sales. Many of the prices at my Albertson's are inflated for the sale. You still can find a deal if you look hard and have coupons. Just remember, on a BOGO sale you can use 2 coupons in most places! I'll start with the outer wrapper.

3 day sale 7/11 - 7/13:
Green grapes - $.99 lb.

Pepsi products 2 liters- $.99 ea.

Albertson's large eggs - $.99 dz. (limit 2)

Aquafina 24 pack water - $4.99 ea.

Pictsweet Frozen veggies - 2/$1.00 (limit 6)

Huggies box diapers $17.99 ea.

10% off all frozen foods- I like to save all my frozen food items that are on sale for the 3 day sale. That way I save even more.

Huggies sale:
Spend $20.00 on any Huggies, get a $4.00 instant rebate. This could be a pretty good deal if you have coupons to match.

Heard through the grapevine:
If you buy 3 Planter's products, you get a $4.00 catalina to use on your next purchase. To do this deal, use the Planter's $3.00 coupon when you buy 3 Kraft products. There are many inexpensive Kraft products that you can buy that makes this deal sweet!

Of course if I see any other good deals I will add them. Please let me know if you see anything else that I may have missed. For more great grocery deals visit the Grocery Gathering, hosted by Becentsable.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grocery Gathering - Albertson's DFW 7/2 - 7/8


It's time again for my weekly grocery gathering post. I am covering the Dallas/Ft.Worth region for Albertson's. This week is the 4th of July sale. It has some pretty good deals in it. As usual, all deals that could be free will be in red! There are quite a few deals that could be free this week. I'll start with the outer wrapper.

Albertson's boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders - $1.88/lb.

4 day sale from Thursday, July 3rd - Sinday, July 6th:
Ribeye steak - $4.99/lb. with an additional $20.00 purchase (limit 1)

Cherries - $2.99/lb.

Blue Bell 1/2 gallon or 12 count cups - $3.79 ea.
- $1.00/1 half gallon IP here--->You have to join the website to print this coupon

Hillshire Farm smoked sausage - $1.88 ea.
-$.35/1 or $1.00/3 from the 6/22 Redplum insert

Other deals I see:
Kraft BBQ sauce - $.79 ea.Ball Park all meat hot dogs $.99 ea. (limit 4)
-$1.00/2 from 6/29 Redplum insert

Allen's frozen vegetables - 10/$10--->free if your store triples!
-$.35/1 from 4/06 Redplum insert

French's mustard - 10/$10

-$.50/1 IP here or here


Hunt's ketchup - 10/$10--->Free after rebate!
- Free rebate up to $3.00 for any Hunt's ketchup 24 oz or larger here

Bic Soleil 2/$8.00---->Free after coupon!
-$4.00/1 from 6/22 Smartsource insert

Post cereal deal:
Post cereal - 5/$10 - Minus $3.00 instant rebate when you buy 5!
-$2.00/1 Just Bunches cereal IP here --->scroll to the bottom of the page
If you can print 5 of these, then this will be free plus overage!

Huggies deal:
Buy $20.00 worth of Huggies products in a single transaction, receive a $4.00 instant rebate.
There are $1.50 coupons for the diapers and bath products out there. There are also $.75 coupons for the wipes. I don't know how much each product is, but you should be able to get some good deals by matching up coupons.

Of course if I see any other good deals I will add them. Please let me know if you see anything else that I may have missed. For more great grocery deals visit the Grocery Gathering, hosted by Becentsable.



Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Works for me Wednesday: Some of my easiest recipes!

This week is the Five-Ingredients-Or-Less recipe edition of Works for me Wednesday. I am excited about this week since I am always on the lookout for easy and delicious recipes.

I have a very simple recipe I want to share that only takes me about 1 minute to prepare. You really can't get any easier than that. This is the recipe that I save for busy nights that I know I won't have time to cook a complex meal. My recipe is for crockpot chicken. I have been making this for many years now and have added just a few ingedients to make it taste even better.

Crockpot Chicken:
1 whole chicken---> For those of you who gross out over chicken bones you can use boneless breasts. You just have to cook it until you can pull it apart with a fork.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup or cheddar cheese soup
Thyme
Rosemary

Directions:
Put chicken in crockpot. Open both cans of soup and pour over chicken. Add about 1/2 can of water. Mix it up a bit. Sprinkle thyme and rosemary over top of chicken. As much or as little as you want. Cook on high for about 4-6 hours. This depends on the size of your chicken.


After it is cooked I usually take it out and debone it, but we have also just served it in pieces. The chicken will literally be falling off of the bones by this point so it is easy to get the meat. This is about as simple as it gets folks. Enjoy!

Chili Cheese Enchiladas:
Flour or corn tortillas--->As many as you need
Chili--->I use leftover chili that I freeze, but you can buy ready made chili
Cheddar or mexican blend cheese
Diced onions--->optional
Jalapenos---->optional

Directions:
Put chili in large pan and heat over low-medium heat. I actually add a little water to thin it a bit because you dip the totillas in it. Preheat the oven to 350 F. After chili is heated dip the tortilla in the chili to coat thoroughly. Put tortilla in a 9 x 13 dish and then take a spoonful of chili and put it in the tortilla. Sprinkle either cheddar or a mexican blend cheese over the chili. Wrap it up and then do another. Once I have all of the tortillas made I take whatever chili is left in the pot and pour it over the top of the enchiladas and then top with more cheese. Hubby and I both love diced onions on top of ours so I will put those too or even jalapenos. I usually bake them for about 10-15 minutes. It's really just to melt the cheese. That's all there is to it.


For more easy recipes, be sure to visit Rocks in my Dryer for Works for me Wednesday.