Friday, February 29, 2008

Healthy Cheap Snacking

Since the Natural Mommy inspired me to think about healthy snack recipes, I've thought about several that are not only healthy (for the most part!), but frugal and easy as well.

Two that I've listed previously are Brown Sugar Granola and Hummus and now I will give you my very recently tried new favorite muffin recipe, Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins!

This recipe is adapted from one from, but the real name didn't print, so we'll pretend my name is the real one;)

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

1 cup old fashioned or quick oats (I used old fashioned)
1 cup buttermilk (I used powdered milk mixed with a tsp. of vinegar)
1 egg, beaten (be nice!)
1/2 cup brown sugar (or a little more if you love it like me)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Soak oats in buttermilk (or substitute) for 10 minutes or so. Mix egg, brown sugar and oil. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir all into oat mixture gently until combined. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 400degrees F for 16 minutes or until done.

Seriously, these are way more light and fluffy than any muffin recipe with wheat flour and oats I've used before. I even had one for dessert yesterday, they are that good in my opinion.

Visit Crystal for more frugal living ideas!

Come back tomorrow to see my sweet Albertson's deals.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nutritious first baby food

Or maybe green beans would be a better choice;)


Just hangin' out, chewin' on my fake teeth

First ride in the new fancy-schmancy stroller!

Oooo plastic, my favorite...

As soon as we got the technology set up to put pics on the computer directly from the camera, I somehow broke our camera. Hence the fuzzy edges on some of the pics.

Recipe: Brown Sugar Granola

Brown Sugar Granola

8 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2- 3/4 cup (loosely packed)brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
finely chopped nuts
(all measurements are approximations...feel free to vary!)

Mix brown sugar, wheat flour and rolled oats together in large bowl. Heat oil and honey (put oil in cup first to prevent sticking!) in a glass bowl or measuring cup until warm and can be stirred together. Pour over oat/flour/brown sugar mixture and stir until coated. Add nuts and check consistency. If mixture looks somewhat dry, add a few tablespoons of water and stir. Put it jelly roll pan so its no more than 1 inch deep. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, but check at 15. Serve over plain yogurt or with fruit and milk for a meal, by itself for a snack!

Another healthy snack idea, homemade (and very inexpensive)hummus is here.

For more healthy snack options, visit the Natural Mommy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Half Diet/Half Regular Soda Pop

I loves me some soda pop something fierce. I occasionally think to myself (after drinking way too much) "I should really quit drinking this, its not so good for me", but that usually doesn't last long. So as long as we've established that my soda drinking isn't actually good for me, we can move on to a tip that works for me. I drink about 2 cans of pop per day. I don't like the calories in regular soda, and its too sweet. Diet soda tastes too "fakey" to me so I don't like that so much either. So I get out 2 cans at the same time and mix them, one diet, one regular. I think it tastes perfect! Now if only I could get the "soda fountain" bubbly goodness at home;)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday...

How to use up lots of cheap beans: make a batch of my favorite healthy, high protein snack...hummus!


2 cups garbanzo beans
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic
1 TBS olive oil
1 pinch paprika (or more...we like 1/2 tsp or more!)
1 tsp minced parsley

Can add marinated artichokes, sun dried tomatoes if you so desire!

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with pita bread, crackers, veggies, or on homemade bread. Yum!

Or you can make chili, like we had for dinner tonight!

For more tips visit Tammy's Recipes!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (last week of pantry freezer month)

Monday: Chili and Cornbread (using up some of those almost free beans!

Tuesday: Apricot Barbequed Turkey (recipe from my lovely MIL, Karen!)with Brown Rice

Wednesday: Spinach Ravioli (from freezer-Costco)

Thursday: Stir-Fry Supreme with Brown Rice

Friday: Homemade Pizza and salad

Saturday: Enchiladas or Mexican Casserole, depending on mood;) (more beans!)
Sunday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (we presenting our upcoming mission trip to Papua New Guinea, our call to missions, etc. in front of our church during evening service, so we need an easy and quick meal!

Visit Orgjunkie for more menu ideas!

Hi Ho Hi Ho, its off to work I go...

...tomorrow. My maternity leave/FMLA is officially over, apparently, and I am back to work as a School Psychologist tomorrow. For those of you wondering what a School Psychologist does exactly, its not counseling, we have school counselors for that. I actually work with Special Education eligibility, doing some testing, some educational planning, lots of paperwork, keeping up with the laws (IDEA fun stuff) relating to disability rights, meetings, and problem solving. That's what I do in a nutshell, at least in my district.

My job is not that bad at all, although its not what I thought it would be when I began grad school. My boss is great and very supportive (and flexible...which is why I will get to do some paperwork at home!). I enjoy my co-workers (99 % of them!!) And its only a temporary situation, my working, until the end of the school year so we can keep our health insurance (hubby's work doesn't cover me and the munchkin). Even so, I am sad to leave my baby girl with someone else for so many hours. I want to tell myself that it will just get easier, but I somehow don't think it will (and maybe shouldn't?)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Don't Waste Your Life

Twenty five cans of beans oh my!

Yesterday I went to Safeway's savings rally again and got 25 cans of S&W beans for $2.00! Not only that, but I got a $20 catalina for next time I shop. I also got a bag of free Flat Earth Chips for free. I would consider that kind of a deal an okay departure from Pantry/Freezer Month, although if I keep getting almost free canned food from Safeway, next month will need to be a clean out the pantry month too;)

Luckily we eat a lot of meals with beans (we love Mexican type food!) and I bought a bunch of Garbanzo/chickpeas to make hummus, which we love. Any other bean recipe ideas?

Walgreen's was a bit of a bust, the two razors that have register rewards and/or free after rebate status/coupons were both gone from my two nearby Walgreen's. Instead we got the Volume XL limp plumber (Maybelline) which I had a $2 coupon for and a raincheck, so after rebate it will be a $2 moneymaker. I also got one jane lipgloss (only one even though it was BOGO....they only had one clearance) and some Glucerna cereal, which after register rewards and coupon was .75 cents a box.

Check out MoneySavingMom for more great deals!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Check those receipts...

Just a reminder to ALWAYS check your receipts (before you leave the store if possible!) The past two trips to my beloved Albertson's, I have found errors on sale/coupon prices. They have been great about refunds in the past, so I am sure when I show it to them, there won't be a problem. This is not like $0.10, either friends, although that happens too. My two receipt mistakes equal almost $4.00, so its worth the hassle for someone who is pinching pennies to ask for a correction;)!

By the way, did anyone get any good Albie's deals at their 12 hour sale yesterday?

On a side note, remember that today and tomorrow only, you can "double dip" on Walgreen's EasySaver Februrary AND March coupons and deals!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hurry over to Albertson's!

Albies has some good deals on staples such as Charmin TP($4.99/big package), Cheese($3.99/2 lbs), Grapes (88cents/lb, Butter(69 cents/8 oz, and Meat if you hurry! Its just for today. If you didn't get the coupons from the Albie's ad, ask customer service (that's what I did after noticing the ad display by the door!)

Happy Savings!


Any caption thoughts?

MEME of favorite posts

I've been tagged for a MeMe by Sarah! I haven't been blogging long (since the beginning of last month)so I don't have many posts to choose from for this first ever MEME! But its fun times so I will play along!

Here are the rules:
1) Post about the meme and link back to the person that tagged you.
2) Go back to your archives and link to your five favorite posts.
Link 1: Must be about your family.
Link 2: Must be about your friends.
Link 3: Must be about yourself.
Link 4: Must be about something you love.
Link 5: Must be whatever you want.
3) Tag five other people (at least two must be new acquaintances so that you can get to know them better).
4) Let the person know that you tagged them by leaving a comment saying something like: I've tagged you. Check out my blog for details.
5) Readers, don't forget to read the posts and leave comments - lots of comments.

1) My family: Here are some pictures of my sweet baby girl, M.E. Since we aren't sure how much is safe to share with the blogosphere, I will refer to her by initials or nicknames for now:) Here are some more because I can't resist!

2)Friends: Well, like Sarah, I haven't blogged much about my friends in real life, for various reasons, although its not because I don't love you! Mostly protection of privacy and the fact that most of them live in a land called "far far away"...."sniff sniff";( and I don't see them often. So for this entry I will also do as Sarah did and link to my best friend, that would be my husband! Here is my V-Day post to him.

3) Me (Rachael): 27 random and not so random facts about me.

4) Something I love: Bargain Shopping!!

5) Whatever I want: family news, for those of you just recently tuning in from Indy!

I am going to tag CC, Mrs. Taft, Denaye, Tami, and Shiona & Grayden!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Makeup Savings at Walgreen's!

This deal really works for me...not only did I get free makeup, but the coupons were worth more than the makeup, so I got practically free diapers as well...whoohoo! So here's how it works. Jane has a new line of makeup, and they really want you to try it so you will like it and wear it and buy it in the future. So right now if you go here, you can download a coupon for $2.00 off any purchase of Jane makeup.

Fortunately, Walgreen's is cooperating in this whole "buy it, wear it, love it" deal with regards to Jane makeup right now so the whole line is "Buy one get one free"! Some of it is even clearance price (at least at my store here in the Northwest) but regular price a few things are only $3.99, which when using two $2.00 off coupons, makes each one free! If you are in the market for mascara, the deal is even better for you! That is how I ended up with almost free diapers as well as makeup yesterday. Walgreen's allows you to use a Walgreen's coupon as well as a Manufacturer's coupon (in the handy-dandy booklet called EasySaver near the front of each Walgreen's store!). There are coupons for $2.00 off any purchase of Jane mascara. So my deal looked like this yesterday (or pretty close to it):

I bought:

2 Jane mascaras $4.99 (BOGO) (use 2 Walgreen's $2.00 off coupons, 2 Jane coupons $2.00 off)

-$3.00 (approx)
2 Jane lipglosses on clearance $ 2.69 (BOGO) (use 2 Jane $2.00 off coupons)

-$1.30 (approx)

Diapers $3.99 (with coupon found here)

$3.99 plus tax

Candy clearanced from Valentine's for 10 cents each X 5 (importan to match # of items with # of coupons for some the computer doesn't get cranky;)


Total: approx: $0.00 plus tax!

I bought milk and some other unmentionables, so my actually total wasn't $0, but I only ended up spending $$ for the other stuff! Very important: find a nice cashier who knows what he/she is doing!! Since the Jane coupons may need to be manually entered into the computer, a new cashier may not know how and may just try to tell you it won't work, so find a nice/experienced cashier instead. I have my favorites;)

For more info on the Jane deal and other great Walgreen's deals visit here, here and here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Saving on Organic and Soy Milk

Our family doesn't mind drinking plain old milk, but if something that's a little better for us is available (and affordable!) we'll take it! What I've been doing recently is looking at the organic/soy section of the dairy case to check for markdowns, just in case they have recently marked down one of those products. Last week while shopping the Savings Rally at Safeway, I happened upon a gallon of organic milk that was marked down to $2.00 (from $4.50, I believe) that had an expiration 5 days away! We drink a lot of milk, so we'd have it finished by then anyway! We also try to save on regular milk by using powdered in cooking/baking, and buying high-fat content milks and adding a bit of water.

What do you do to save on milk?

For more kitchen related tips, visit Tammy's Recipes!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Redbox and free french bread

Today's free redbox code is 44TKSW. You can sign up for the code to be texted to you on your cell phone every monday (mine comes at random times each Monday...does anyone else have that happen?) or you can visit Amy for your code every Monday! As Amy pointed out, and I figured out accidentally;), you can use more than one card (one credit and one debit card, both in your name for example) for each code (you need to check out each movie individually if you want more than one).

Our redbox location is at our Albertson's. I don't know if this is just happening to some customers or what, but each time I shop there (for the past three visits) I have gotten a printout on the bottom of my receipt to do a survey. If I complete the survey, I get a code for a free loaf of french bread. Its not huge, but hey, free food is cool. So baby and I are off now for our walk to Albie's to pick up our free movie and french bread;)

The kid

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday....gotta love that Turkey

Monday: Baked Potato Bar with Turkey Gravy & Salad

Tuesday: Tasty Turkey Casserole with Green Salad

Wednesday: Lentil/Barley & Ham Soup with Cheese Garlic Biscuits

Thursday: Spinach Pasta (frozen from costco) and leftover Cheese Garlic Biscuits

Friday: Homemade BBQ sauce and Turkey Pizza and Carrot Sticks

Saturday: Stir-fried Rice w/Sausage

Sunday: Grilled Cheese and Ham with Tomato Soup (we have a fellowship gathering for lunch, which is a heavy meal, so we need something lighter)

The Tasty Turkey Casserole is from last week, we did the Ranch Turkey Pasta Casserole instead last night. We went out to Red Lobster with my parents on Saturday night, so that meal (sitr-fried rice w/sausage)was postponed as well.

Soon to!!

My parents are visiting this weekend from "over the river and through the snow" (and over the mountains!). We experienced some internet difficulties, hence no posting yesterday. We got the internet back up and running and my dad hooked up his media device?? and now we can transfer pics off our digital camera straight to the! So check back soon for lots of family pictures!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pantry/Freezer month update

Pantry/freezer month is now half over, and the outcomes so far have been positive...the only drawbacks involve my lack of self-control! One of the great things has been that we've been able to save a bunch of money, and I have been able to think more creatively about meals. And I am finally using that massive turkey that's been hulking in our tiny freezer for severa months! Smells good...

...okay I'm back from my tryptophan induced haze.... and as I was saying, there have been good and bad aspects. The negative has been my lack of discipline in staying away from the bargains! Today I couldn't help myself and went to Safeway for their Saving's Ralley. Buy 25 participating products, get 20 bucks oyno(on your next order). Well, the 25 products in the promo are tricky, because they don't mark all of them correctly in the store, and some are marked that don't trigger the catalina coupon. So, you can guess what happened--I bought my stuff buy the cat didn't come out. Actually a $10 cat. did, but I should've gotten a $20 one. So after a trip back to Safeway and a manager that assured me that I must've made a mistake,(but couldn't get it to work either!) I got a "rain check" for $20 off my next purchase. I guess that is my punishment for falling off the pantry/freezer month for a trip to Safeway! But, never fear, I am back on the wagon...I learned my lesson;)

Visit Frugal Friday for more tips!

Rolling, rolling, keep those doggies rolling...rawhide!! Or something...

My baby learned to roll over today! She actually did a little rolling action when she was only 2 months old, but not on purpose, and only when she was furiously screaming on her tummy. She did it once while I was in the shower, then again after her nap in her crib. I didn't see her do it either time, but when I put her on her stomache in the kitchen, there she went! She'll be chasing me around the house before I know it;).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

10 reasons I love that cute guy of mine

Inspired by Mrs. Wilt, I thought I would tell our readers why I love my wonderful husband.

1. He commutes over 4 hours a day to bring home the bacon for us

2. Not only does he commute those 4 hours each day, but part of his commute is by bike, so its often in the rain

3. He laughs at my dorky jokes

4. He thinks I am beautiful (and tells me so!) even though I have some lovely pregnancy weight hanging on

5. He loves my cooking and is willing to eat all of my "experiments"

6. He does a great job leading our fellowship group (church) in Bible study

7. After work, he rarely relaxes, instead he helps me with dishes, plays with our daughter (and changes her diaper!) and helps around the house

8. He is SO good at fixing/figuring stuff out

9. He's got muscles and brains...what else could a girl want

10. Oh yeah, he's good looking too;)

And the best part...he loves me! Happy Valentine's Day Sweetheart!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Check those clearance sections

When out shopping, especially if you have your coupons with you, check the clearance sections. My last two shopping trips have scored some amazing deals by doing so! At Albertson's there were shopping carts with reduced merchandise, including Nestle Chocolatier Dark baking chocolate bars marked down from $4.99 to $2.00. I had a coupon for $1.50 off! Today at Walgreen's, the clearance section held several bottles of Studio Line hair products, which had IVC (instant Value) coupons for $1.00in the Walgreen's coupon book (EasySaver catalogue), and since they were only $1.29 on clearance, I got each of them for a little over .30, including tax. Combined with coupons, there are some great deals to be had.

So go out and scour those clearance sections! Go check out Works for Me Wednesday, temporarily hosted by Don't Try This at Home for more great ideas!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Family News

Off our usual topics of saving money and food:); I wanted to give family/friends a little update about our family life. Baby and I have a cold, but are hanging in there.

Hubby just found out the helicopter company he works for is closing, which leaves his job's future as a big ?? We need wisdom and direction for the next few months as it seems he may not be needed at his job much longer since the work is dwindling. I could go back to work full time at the school district, and he could stay home with baby for the remainder of the school year, but that's not our favorite option. He has one job lead in the area, but only one(in his field). Since we are going to Papua New Guinea for the summer, and not coming back permanently after that, we aren't able to move to find a new job for him. The short time period would negate any benefits moving would hold for us.

Proverbs 9:1-6 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars...“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, [10] and live,and walk in the way of insight.”

Our munchkin is starting to show interest in toys, and is getting better at using her hands. She is showing keen interest in the food mommy and daddy are eating. Right now we plan on waiting until she's 5 months old (when I will be going back to work keep insurance)to start solids. She sleeps well at night, going to bed at around 7:45, and sleeping until anywhere from 3:30am to 5:30am then going back to sleep for another 3-5 hours. She takes three 30(ish) minute (power;)naps during the day and is at her best in the mornings. She loves stroller rides, shopping trips, and hates baths!

Other than that, we continue to be involved with the youth at our church and hubby is leading our fellowship group from church through a study on John Piper's "Purifying Power of Faith in Future Grace". On March 2nd, we will be speaking in our church service about our upcoming trip to Papua New Guinea and our plans for overseas mission work with New Tribes Mission.

Kitchen Tip Tuesday...

Saving H2O while doing dishes
We have had the rare priviledge of handwashing our dishes at the last two places we've lived. Actually, truth be told I am starting to like doing dishes by hand...a little;)

To save water when handwashing, don't just let the rinse water go down the drain, fill up the sink (1/2 way may be all you need) with hot water and dip the dishes into the water to rinse.

Albertson's deals-through tomorrow

Albertson's is having their buy 10, get $5 off deal again. This time there are plenty of coupons out for the items. You can end up with 10 items such as: Green Giant veggies, Cheerios snack mix, cake mixes/frosting, Totino's pizza rolls, etc. for around $5 total (or 50 cents apiece) if you use coupons from here.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday! Week of 2/11/08

Monday: Bacon Macaroni Bake

Tuesday: Grilled Cheese w/lunchmeat and tomato soup (free lunchmeat from this deal)

Wednesday: Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Thursday: Turkey and Mashed potatoes (from last week...I forgot to thaw the turkey!)

Friday: Homemade Pizza (our usual Friday tradition)

Saturday: Stir-fried rice with sausage

Sunday: Tasty Turkey Casserole (recipe from my lovely MIL, Karen!)...forgot to thaw turkey didn't have this either!

Tasty Turkey Casserole
6 c. fresh broccoli florets
1 c. water
6 c. cubed cooked turkey breast
1- 10 3/4 oz condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 c. (8 oz) sour cream
3/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese
In a large saucepan, combine broccoli and water. Boil; reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Transfer to a 13 X 9 baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spring with turkey. combine soup and sour cream. Spoon over turkey. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings.

Visit Orgjunkie for more great menu ideas!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Rachael's Tasty Calzones

Here is my calzone recipe, which is adapted from several recipes I read on and uses my favorite pizza dough recipe from Crystal.

Rachael's Tasty Calzones
1 recipe homemade pizza crust such as this one
1 cup ricotta cheese (full fat works best)
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup meat (sausage, cut up pepperoni, whatever)
1 cup veggie --chopped spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, your choice
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped tiny

Make pizza dough, and separate into fist sized balls. Roll out into ovals that are approx 8 inches long. Mix all other ingredients together. Put 1/2 to 3/4 cup on half of each dough oval and fold over, sealing edges well. Put on baking sheet or pizza stone and bake for 15 minutes at 415 degrees. If there is too much filling, save if for the next nights dinner and mix with cooked pasta in a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350, topping with cheese the last 5 minutes of bake time (voila! 2 dinners in one!)

** We had this for dinner last night with carrot sticks and topped each one with creamy caesar dressing. I doubled the pizza dough recipe, but it was way too much. We will be having calzones for the next 3 meals! (there are only two of us eating:)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Today's deals

Munchkin and I went to her 4 month check up today (and got some great deals on the way!) and boy is she a big 'un;) For the relatives and friends reading this blog, I'll add her stats before the deals! She was 14lbs, 12oz, (76%ile), 25.75 inches (94th %ile) and I forget her head width, but it was in the mid 50th %ile. On to the deals!

Target: free string cheese and free Flat Earth Chips! We also got some clearanced hand soap for $2.80 (huge bottle plus dispenser)

Walgreen's: Almost free Jane makeup! Some of the Jane Makeup is still clearanced, including the blush, which was marked down to $2.19! I picked up the last two for under .50 total! According to Centsible Shopper, Walgreen's is having their BOGO (buy one get one free) deal again starting Feb. 17th, which when combined with this coupon will make the regular priced makeup free, with possible money back (which would need to be applied to other items in your order). I was able to purchase several Jane items this way (two Jane manufacturer coupons on a BOGO deal) at Walgreen's last month, so don't be afraid to try it! It does depend on your cashier as to whether they can get the coupons to scan or not, so try to pick a well-trained one:)

Frugal Friday--birthday's out--for adults or kids

We celebrated my birthday this year very inexpensively with a little help from some birthday clubs! Since I had signed up for birthday freebies throughout the year last year, a week before my birthday I received free certificates for Coldstone icecream and a free burger from Red Robin! Hollywood Video also has a birthday club with one free rental on your bday. Since of course it would be no fun to celebrate by myself, hubby and I went together, so we needed some $$ for this. Here is the breakdown of what my birthday cost going out to eat, to icecream, and renting a dvd!

Lunch at Red Robin: We ordered two burger/fry meals(each about $10), I got a coke, and I got a free sundae which we shared, for $17 (including a good tip)

Icecream at Coldstone: Love it size icecream: Free...except for some change for a tip!

DVD from Hollywood: Free!

My husband also wanted to buy me flowers, and I like potted ones better, so I picked out some tulips at Safeway, where we also got this for free!:)

Check out Frugal Fridays for more ways to save!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Great Deals at Safeway!

If you have a Safeway or affiliate near you, take advantage of their Sara Lee (and related products) deal going on right now. I read about it on imommies first when hot dogs/kielbasa/buns were on sale and bought a few last week.

Tonight, hubby was wanting to buy me some flowers for my birthday (it was yesterday, but we celebrated today since he took the day off for a dr's apt.) and I saw tulips in the Safeway ad that I liked, so since the frugal in me cannot separate itself and purely be romantic, I told him about the Sara Lee deal. So the first transaction was 5 Hilshire Farm lunchmeats, which were on sale for $2 this week. We paid $10 and it produced a $10 catalina for our next transaction. The second transaction we paid a dollar and change for my beautiful tulips and a bottle of our fav dressing, Newman's Own Lite Caesar. So we basically got 5 packs of lunchmeat for free, since we were buying the tulips and dressing anyway.

For the record, hubby brought me cut flowers for a long time when we were first married, but I like the potted variety better because I can enjoy them longer even though they aren't as "romantic":)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Twenty Seven random facts about me:

1. favorite holiday: Thanksgiving (I like to eat:)

2. I have lived in 4 different places in the same town since hubby and I married 3 years ago, an apt., a condo, a house, and now a 4-plex.

3. favorite color: purple since I was a wee one

4.undergrad major: Economics (it was the least amount of credits to graduate)

5. graduate degree: School Psychology (it was has the most credits of any M.S.)

6. I LOVE veggies of almost any type

7. tried to plant a garden last summer for first time, and I grew 1 cucumber out of 5 different packs of sees

8. I Read "Tightwad Gazette" when I was a teenager, and was hooked--I really weird thing for an upper middle class teen to be interested in!

9. I am mildly afraid of slugs

10. I wrecked my first car

11. I got my first grey hair when I was fifteen. I have dyed my hair ever since.

12. I love to bake, and like to cook, but I always deviate from my recipe

13. The feeling of air-dried towels is creepy to me, like nails on a chalkboard

14. We don't have a tv, on purpose, but when at my parents I love TLC and HGTV

15. I have green eyes, but everyone assumes they are brown

16. I have never broken a bone

17. I had never been admitted to a hospital until I had munchkin

18. We trained with the Bradley Method and hired a doula for our "planned natural" birth, but I ended up with PIH (or pre-eclampsia) and was induced and ended up with the c-section and every drug in the place! So much for plans!

19. Was in a school play and lots of church dramas growing up, but always feel like I am going to have a mild heart-attack before I go on stage

20. I love to read.

21. I love to excercise...even run

22. I haven't run in almost a year, due to pregnancy/childbirth

23. Love fake cheese, gross I know

24. I had my first boyfriend (my husband now) when I was 23

25. I have been to China and England on mission trips...and would go back to China in a heartbeat

26. I love changes...of most any type

27. I slept through taking part of the SAT

Yay for 27:)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (1st week pantry/freezer clean out)

Monday: Homemade Pizza with salami/cheese and carrot sticks on the side

Tuesday: Pasta Lasagna
Wednesday: Enchiladas

Thursday: Golden Potato Soup and Cheesy Garlic Biscuits (we had this on the menu for last week, but had tasty Jambalaya with the biscuits instead when we had company)

Friday: Homemade Calzones, Salad

Saturday: Turkey and Mashed potatoes

Sunday: Tasty Turkey Casserole (recipe from my lovely MIL, Karen!)

Tasty Turkey Casserole
6 c. fresh broccoli florets
1 c. water
6 c. cubed cooked turkey breast
1- 10 3/4 oz condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 c. (8 oz) sour cream
3/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese
In a large saucepan, combine broccoli and water. Boil; reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Transfer to a 13 X 9 baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spring with turkey. combine soup and sour cream. Spoon over turkey. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings.

Mold Mold Go Away...

Hubby found a mold infestation in one of our closets on Saturday morning. As the morning wore on, he found MANY more places were our apt was growing significant amounts of mold. Apparently the humidity in our apartment, combined with the drop in temp a few weeks ago created a perfect environment to grow lots and lots of lovely mold:) We found it in several closets, and in dark places behind furniture on all the outside walls of our apt. So instead of "what should we do this weekend?" we spent the both days turning each room upside down.

So far we've:

Thrown a full garbage bin full of moldy stuff away (clothes, wrapping paper, books, etc.
Found out we have to keep our apt temp at almost 70 degrees to keep the mold away (from our landlord)
Cut back on drying clothes on drying racks to decrease humidity
Shower with the window wide open to cut back on humidity
Bought a humidty reader ($30)

At first it seemed to be a major setback to our frugal living adventure. But, maybe no so. The moral of the story is well... during it all hubby and I managed to work together, (our house is still completely torn up:) although we had to apologize to eachother several times after boughts of frustration! As we threw away a picnic basket I love after finding it was covered in mold, we remembered where our treasure really is, and its not in our stuff. We really LIKE our stuff, and feel like we need most of it, but as Jesus said, "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust (nor mold;) destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:20-21)

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Tribes Interface Video

See the newest Interface video for the trip we'll be taking this summer here.

Last Shopping trip (pantry/freezer month)

Today marks the first day in my adventure in living from the pantry/freezer for a month. Its just my husband, myself and my 3, almost 4 month old daughter, so this is an easier feat than it would be in some other households!

Yesterday I did my last shopping trip for a month. I got the deals I talked about in yesterday's post and they were great, although some of the Walgreen's deals I had been planning on getting weren't available, sadly. I am excited about the free hotdogs/buns not because our family loves them, but because I can donate some of them to our church's Superbowl Party, where the youth group is doing some fund raising for their Spring Retreat.

The best deal I got yesterday was actually at Fred Meyer, and was a deal I came across looking through the ads: $6 of any 9 Kraft products. I got 6 packages of shredded Kraft cheese, 3 packs of cream cheese, a package of reduced salad, a gallon of milk, and a loaf of bread all for $10 and some change. Even the checker said what a great deal all that was!

The only not-so-great part of my shopping trip was being out with my munchkin shopping for almost 4 hours (went to 4 stores). Her nap had to be on the road, along with a feeding and diapering in the chilly car (what fun!). Which is why I don't like to drive anywhere any more than every other day.

All that rambling to say that I will start posting menus from my eat from the pantry/freezer for a month at least every few days, so check back to see how it went!

**Thanks to Sarah, for explaining linking to this newbie!