Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday's Walgreen's Deals

The $10 of $30 coupon (Friday only) at Walgreen's was too good to pass up. All the below items were $47.-- before coupons (after sales) but were $18.-- after sales, coupons and the $10/$30 coupon! I would've paid that much for just the diapers and haircolor (on sale) otherwise, so this was a great deal (for my neck of the non-CVS woods;)!

See how others did this week at Money Saving Mom.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Battle of the...Muffin? (part 4)

Linked by the always funny Mrs. Fussypants, is Karla, the coolest muffin-fighta in town. If you want to laugh and see my partner in fighting the post-baby flab, visit her here.

So I guess I better weigh in on my fight with the flab (on the frugal) now, huh? I think I failed to mention my worst enemy with the battle of the bulge somehow. Portion control is my arch-enemy in this fight. For some reason I have this notion that I need to eat ginormous portions of pretty much every meal to feel satisfied. I could exercise like a maniac, or I could eat a few spoonfuls less each meal...which would be easier? Hmmm, no contest. But eating a dainty little portion instead of bucketfulls o'food is always harder than I think it will be:)

Since this is supposed to be a post with something helpful in it, here are some things that work for me in controlling my propensity to bucketfull all-you-can-eat style noshing. First I like to satisfy my urge for large portions by eating a largish salad or a bunch of veggie sticks before the main meal. Then, I try to use a smaller plate at the main meal whenever possible. And since it is sometimes all about how my tummy feels with regards to volume, I will drink lots of water with a slice of lemon or lime in in. It keeps me hydrated, my tummy feeling full, and doesn't get boring as quickly as plain water. I also love me some icecream. Probably my #1 vice. I have gotten a couple Ben & Jerry's single serving icecreams over the past month (w/a coupon of course!) and that was perfect because I could eat the whole thing myself with reckless abandon, but it was still minimally damaging in my quest to fight the "mommy muffin".

Want to see more Battling the Bulge posts? Find them here, here and here.

Overseas Mission Plans Update

We've been a little bit silent about our mission plans since the big trip to Arizona last month. There was one issue we needed to discuss further with New Tribes Mission afterward regarding a set of doctrinal teaching statements they subscribe to, but don't advertise until later in the process of application. It was something that was not a big issue with us, just a difference of interpretation of what God's word says on the issue. Not the “hill we want(ed) to die on” so to speak. I probably will not be sharing the particular issue, just because it is difficult to “flesh out” in this type of forum, but if you know us in real life and want more particulars, feel free to ask.

Anyway, the Friday before last we found out that the above doctrinal issue is a big concern for New Tribes and we have been "unaccepted" from training further with them. From our understanding, this issue has created division with missionaries on the field working with New Tribes in the recent past. Although we initially felt blind-sided and heart-sick(and still do a bit) by the whole thing, we are taking comfort in the fact that God was in control and He knew this would happen(Proverbs 16:9). Now we are in the process of figuring out a plan B, since for 2 1/2 years we had been preparing for what we believed (along with our church's pastor and elders) was ultimately God's will in missions for us.

Looking back, we don't think we misread God's leading, but that He had a good purpose in taking us this direction. Not sure what exactly that good purpose is at this point (Romans 8:28-29) but that doesn't negate it. Unfortunately this also affects the trip we have been planning to Papua New Guinea not in that we cannot go (it is a New Tribes trip, but you don't have to be a member of New Tribes to go) but that we now need to decide some things about the future and need the time to sort things out and possibly get further training before we are accepted to another mission.

The first thing we need to consider is a way to earn money to live on (aka work for Daniel) which is further complicated by the lack of helicopter maintenance jobs in the area. We both had turned in our notices (mine effective at the end of this school year) to quit our jobs. The second consideration is God's leading with regards to overseas missions in the near future. At this point, after much prayer, discussion between us and our pastor and his wife, we feel that God continues to lead us to do missionary aviation. Because of this we need to continue to research and apply with mission organization(s). This will take some time as we need to go through the entire process once again.

We are blessed in that we have options, have no debt, and have a supportive family as well as church family. Our church family here has been so wonderful through all this, counseling and supporting us in numerous ways. Since first writing this, we now have more direction for the near future so I will share all that soon. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us during this time of uncertainty and change!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Safeway NW Deals for May 28th-June 3rd, 2008

Visit BeCentsAble and the Grocery Gathering for stores near you!

Safeway (NW) Deals for May 28th-June 3rd, 2008

Good deals (no coupons needed)

Fresh Express Green and Crisp Salad $1 each (some blinkie coupons are in stores for $1 off, making these free!)

Rancher's Reserve Boneless Beef Round Steak

Get more out of your economic stimulus check: cash it at Safeway and get 10% off your shopping order that day (valid 5/14/08-7/19/08).

Super Coupons are BACK!

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.49/lb (Frozen)

Strawberries 4lbs/ $4

Eggs (lucerne) $1.00

Coupon Deals

Yoplait Yogurt 4 to 6-oz $0.50
Use $0.40/2 coupon from 05-18 S1
Final Price $0.30 each

Red Baron Classic Pizza Or Thin Crust. 15.9 to 28.54-oz $4.00
Use $0.75/1 coupon from 04-13 S
Final Price $3.25

Oscar Mayer Deli Shaved Chicken Breast Strips 6oz BOGO $2.00
Use $0.55/1 from 05-11 S
Final Price $1.45

Oscar Mayer Deli Singles or Lunchmeat 4.6 to 6-oz $1.66
Use $0.55/1 from 05-11 S
Final Price $1.11

Reddi Wip Whipped Cream Aerosol 7oz $3.00
Use $0.50/1 coupon from 05-18 S1
Final Price $2.50

Tostitos Tortilla Chips 9 to 13.5-oz $1.88
Use $0.55/2 coupon from 05-18 S1 (for Scoops variety AND Tostitos brand dip)
Final Price $1.61

Tropicana Pure Premium 64-oz $3.00
Use $1.00/1 coupon from 04-20 RP
Final Price $2.00

Flicks for Free Promo: Spend $40 on participating products, get 2 free movie passes! See add for full list (I will be checking for more deals this week as I have the time...if you see any please leave a comment!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back from Camping by the "Lake"

Besides my 11 year old cousin getting bit on the head by a dog, our camping trip to Lake Wenatchee w/my family was uneventful. My cousin is fine by the way, after a short trip to the Leavenworth hospital.

We continued our annual tradition of trying to beat my dad at mini-golf and just as tradition dictates, he beat us all. Twice. The sad part was that we always say that the loser buys icecream afterwards, but we change it to the winner buys after he wins. This year the store was closed, so no icecream. I felt like it was justified pleasure in my battle of the bulge since I got more exercise this past weekend than I had the past two weeks combined! We had fun "hiking" on a forest rode to the top of a hill to a small beautiful cemetary and took Punker-Nootie on some walks (while she cried-the stinker!).

Other than that, it was the quietest we'd seen the campground on Memorial Day weekend in well, forever. Don't know if it was the rainy weather report or the gas prices, but we didn't mind. After a weekend of lots of exercise, but plenty of junk, we are back on our normal food routine. Here is our menu plan for the rest of the week.

Tuesday: Leftover turkey tetrazinni from the freezer w/homemade bread and salad

Wednesday: Grilled Cheese & Hamburger soup (didn't have this last week)

Thursday: Chef Salad with sourdough bread

Friday: Pizza night! And Salad.

Saturday: Tacos (I might attempt homemade tortillas!)

Sunday: Turkey Ham and Red potatoes and wax(ed?) beans

Lunches: Leftovers

Snacks: Fruit, PB granola or toast (we have a ton of bread from this parents sent us home with leftovers)

Breakfasts: French Toast

Friday, May 23, 2008

Working it at Walgreen's ($5/$20 purchase day)

My husband and I each did a transaction at Walgreen's utilizing the $5/$20 coupon that was good Friday only. The first transaction we took advantage of the buy one Walgreen's brand diaper pack, get one 50% off. We got a total of 120 diapers for $16.50, plus 2 rolls of Reynold's foil for $5 total (2/$5). Our total was a little over $20 for those 4 items. We used the $5 off coupon, two RR and my Walgreen's gift card to pay for all of it. $0 out of pocket!

The second transaction I bought some stuff we needed anyway: Ketchup $2.50(for camping this weekend), 4 packages Deerfield cheeses (8 oz) $1.50 each and then took advantage of some coupon and Free After Rebate Deals (FAR) such as Adidas Deoderant (free w/coupon) Pert Plus (BOGO free coupon, plus $2.50 rebate (final total $1 for 2), Nexcare coldsore lip treatment $8.99 but its FAR), walgreen's lightbulbs (FAR). Overall we ended up spend $5 out of pocket for all that, and will get almost $12 back on my giftcard next month! Visit Money Saving Mom at her new home on Typepad to see how others did with their shopping this week!

We'll be camping on Lake Wenatchee this weekend, so I will most likely see you all on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can't figure it out: Fried Chicken

I love fried chicken. It was one of the few real cravings I had when expecting my daughter (who is trying to eat my shoe now...I'll be right back...)

Disaster averted. So I have a confession to make. I have no idea how to make great fried chicken. We rarely go out, but I almost forced my poor husband to pull over and buy me some finger-lickin' goodness several times when I was preggo. So I need your help to figure this one out. Do you have any recipes to share (the foolproof the better!)? And for those of you following the battle of the bulge series, yes I am still battling that bulge, but we eat more healthfully the majority of our meals. So share on, peeps!

Our more-frugal-than-normal Week

Although many would call my us a little odd for our normal frugal practices, this week was unusally frugal. We saved on car expenses by taking the car to a tech college and walked everywhere while it was repaired, learned to cut hair ourselves, and kept our phone bill from spiraling out of control. Let me walk you through our week.

Cheaper auto expenses: We found our that our car needed a rather expensive repair so we didn't rush to the autoshop to get it repaired, but rather took it to the local auto college for a repair, saving us several hundred dollars (we still pay for parts and shop time, but the shop time is very cheap). While the car was in the shop I walked the 2 miles to work and Daniel brought the baby to me to nurse halfway through the workday (thus getting lots of fresh air!).

Home haircuts: We are also on the path to cutting all of our own hair and a wonderful lady from our church offered to teach me how to cut Daniel's hair. She came over and gave me a lesson yesterday! We'll see how it goes next time when she's not doing the majority of the work;)

Keep our phone bill in check: Another thing that we did that was frugal in a strange sort of way was to keep track of our cell phone minutes. We have been making an unusually high number of calls this past month due to traveling and a major unexpected change in our future plans and we thought it would be good to check our phone minutes (something we usually don't do). We found out that we were already over by several hundred minutes (an additional $150 was about to go on our bill!). Instead of just paying for it, Daniel was able to temporarily add minutes with a new plan for an additional $10 per month. Although not cheap, its certainly better than $150!

For more frugality fun, visit Biblical Womanhood!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Safeway NW Deals for May 21st-May 28th

Visit BeCentsAble and the Grocery Gathering for stores near you!

Safeway (NW) Deals for May 21st-28th, 2008

Good deals (no coupons needed)

Canteloupe 2lbs/$1

50% off Beef Ribeye steak or Rancher's reserve Beef T-Bone Steak

Chicken Thighs/Drumsticks/Leg quarters $0.88/lb

Buy any 2 coke 12 packs/get 2 coke 12 packs plus 24 pack water free! Combine this with the current Buy 3 Hallmark card deal, get free 12 pack of coke deal for the potential to get lots of coke for free!

Corn 6/$2

Get more out of your economic stimulus check: cash it at Safeway and get 10% off your shopping order that day (valid 5/14/08-7/19/08).

Coupon Deals

12oz Kraft Singles 2/$4 (if selected variety is on sale)
Use coupon for $0.55/1 from 05-18 S2
Final Price $0.95

Orville Redenbachers Microwave Popcorn 3ct BOGO $1.70
Use coupon for $0.40/1 from 05-18 S1
Final Price $1.30

Morningstar Farms 5.25 to 16-oz $3.00
Use coupon for $0.75/1 05-04 RP
Final Price $2.25

Nalley Pickles 46oz BOGO $2.20
Use coupon for $1.00/2 from 05-18 S2
Final Price $1.20

Flicks for Free Promo: Spend $40 on participating products, get 2 free movie passes! One deal I noticed might work well (besides the popcorn see above) would be to buy the 24 packs of coca cola if you have some Earth Day coupon booklet coupons for $1/1 24 pack of coke left. This products is participating in this promo in two ways, so you not only get the movie passes if you spend $40, but also a free bucket of popcorn when you buy a large coca cola fountain drink. Great deal if you drink coke and go to the movies a lot (or are in the need of a cheap date;) Sure deoderant would also work well if the free counts in a BOGO instance (there are BOGO free coupons out and Sure is a participating product).

Any other good deals out there that you see?

Little Laundry Helper and Bookworm

Our little Punker is at it again. Daddy was working with her nearby and she rolled to the bookshelf, neatly pulls this Bible study off the shelf and rolls onto her back as if to read it.

This is a great book, dad. You should really read this.

Another one of her favorite activities is to play with the drying rack. Its lightweight so she can push it around easily and make it fall down. So now she thumbs it and pushes it around until it topples down on her. Then she chews on it. All good fun.

The feet are the tastiest morsels of the drying rack.

Reusing Disposable Cups

Don't get me wrong, I love to go out for coffee (or pretty much anything). But due to budget constraints that is not usually an option. Besides-have you noticed that when you go out frequently it takes some of the fun out of it? It becomes such a treat when I go out once every so often instead.

One of the things that I enjoy particularly about going out to my favorite coffee place is the cup. I don't know what it is, but I love using their disposable cups way more than I like using my regular ones at home. So when I am craving the "going out" experience it helps me to put a smoothie (even a green one...pictured above) into a recycled disposable coffee cup. And for some reason, it just tastes better! I know, a little weird. But it works for me!

I am hoping that no one tells me these cups are the kind that leach chemicals out, then what will I do?;)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Making Do in the Kitchen: Part 3

I've shared several of the strange and kind of fun (I think anyway!) ways we make do in our kitchen to save A)time and B) $$money. Saving these two things helps to save my sanity as well! Another way we regularly make do in the kitchen is by creatively using ingredients that we have on hand or regularly stock so that we can subsitute something less costly (to us anyway!) in a recipe we are using. This is illustrated well by our weekly "pizza habit".

The original recipe is found here. Thank you Crystal at Biblical Womanhood for sharing such an awesome recipe on her blog! We have transitioned from trying out a new recipe every week (practically) to only using this recipe because it is SO good and SO fast! I made a minor change or two, but this is pretty much Crystal's recipe other than that.

Crystal’s Homemade Easy Pizza

1 TBS yeast
1 cup water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TBS oil
1 cup white flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Knead for 5 minutes, adding flour if necessary to make it smooth and elastic. Roll out into circle (1/2 inch thick) on pizza stone or greased pan. Top with favorite toppings (our current favorite—again thanks for the idea from Crystal! Is BBQ sauce with cheese and either hamburger or chicken) Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

The "making do" part of our weekly pizza habit is the topping portion. Although Daniel and I both love hawaiian pizza (pineapple and canadian bacon), we don't usually have that since for us, that would mean an extra $3-4 for toppings! Instead we have developed a taste for new and unusual toppings that we already have on hand and/or are cheap to us. The above BBQ sauce idea came out of this, since I got about 15 bottles for $0.10 each a few weeks ago. I would have never thought of it without the idea from Crystal and since then we've expanded on the money saving idea. We do this by using ground beef, which is currently cheap to us, and half cheddar cheese (instead of all mozzarella) since that is on sale more frequently.

Other topping ideas that may be "out of the box" for your family: hamburger pizza (use a tomato base, but put ground beef, cheddar, tomatoes, top with lettuce after cooking), taco pizza (use salsa, chicken, cheddar and whatever else your heart desires), or even a fruity dessert pizza (with a sweet cream cheesey base and apples, struesel topping, etc. on top).

How have you been "making do" in your kitchen lately?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Menu Plan for the Week of 5/19-5/25/08

Lots more menu plans can be found @ Orgjunkie every week!

Monday: Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and cooked carrots

Tuesday: Breakfast Casserole with leftover cooked carrots and fruit

Wednesday: Shrimp Alfredo with whole wheat pasta and Salad w/ homemade french bread

Thursday: Hamburger soup with leftover homemade french bread

Friday: Homemade Cheese Pizza and salad w/free dressing
Saturday: we'll be camping near Leavenworth, WA w/ my family for Memorial Day!

Sunday: still camping!

Lunches: Leftovers from the night before (each recipe usually makes 4-6 servings, so this makes plenty for lunch with only 2 of us eating real food at this time!) or grilled cheese

Breakfasts: Muffins, Toast made with homemade bread, and we're bringing some homemade cinnamon rolls to the campout

Snacks: Cold Cereal (from our good deal stash---we don't like it for breakfast!), carrot sticks w/dressing, popcorn, apples, green smoothies, granola bars

Desserts: dark chocolate or fruit

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Freebies: all in a day's work

Here's a quick rundown of today's freebies. This isn't all I bought today, but in the interest of not pulling everything back out, I will post the best stuff, the free stuff! I went to 2 stores (Walmart and Albies) for our shopping today, but plan to go to Safeway tomorrow.

Today's (partial) freebie list:
Ken's lite onion dressing
Johnson's buddies soap
Redbox movie (used the code "highlife")
Diet 7up
2 boxes Kashi cereal

I would have gotten some more goodies for free or almost free at Walmart, but unbeknownst to me they were remodeling and nothing was where I expected it to be! I was on a time budget, so my hunting down of the bargains was limited:)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Battle of the Bulge on a Budget: Part 3

Part 1 of Battle of the Bulge with links to free online tools and resources is here.

Part 2 talks about a great book I read recently called Love to Eat, Hate to Eat and my exercise journey.

Here is my most recent tip for battling the bulge (on a budget): Dark Chocolate! So I am sure most of you think that is the last thing anyone should eat when trying to lose weight, but it seems to be one of the few desserts I can eat and not go overboard. But here's the caveat: it must be very dark chocolate with a high cacoa content. So much so that its very intense and not super sweet. I've found that less than 150 calories worth does the trick, and more than that starts to taste strange and bitter. Of course this won't work if chocolate is a "trigger" food that prompts over-eating for you, but for me chocolate doesn't. Ice cream, crackers, chips are all like that for me, so I just don't keep those in the house most of the time. But dark chocolate (bought with sales and coupons in individual packages in a larger bag) seems to work well for me!

As far as my previous strategies, the green smoothies are still a go, and I have found that they do help with cravings and energy later in the day. They do have a tendency to gross out co-workers though, so be discreet;) I good combo I tried yesterday was 1 1/2 frozen banana, one chopped up apple and 2 good handfuls of baby spinach (with plenty of water).

Exercise starting to pick up, my lovely friend Mariah and her family are visiting the area so we are starting to walk (and hopefully work up to jogging) together with our babies. Daniel and I have been taking evening walks to the park too, so gradually my health health and stamina seem to be improving. I even went out to jog yesterday morning (although I only lasted for about 12 minutes;)! So...progress.

More frugal tips that you can ever use can be found here!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Turkey Tetrazinni

Now that I've finally figured out how to spell tetrazinni, I can share this recipe! We had this for the first time when I the wonderful ladies at our church brought meals to us after the birth of my lovely daughter, M.E. I had never even heard of this recipe, but I loved it! It can be made with turkey or chicken, but could be a great way to use up an abundance of post-thanksgiving turkey. It is also a very inexpensive meal, since the main ingredient is spagetti, which can be found 2/$1 at times. We have substituted whole wheat spagetti in this recipe with great results, although it ups the cost a bit. Enjoy!

The original recipe (or one of the many I used to find a way to make it the way I liked) can be found here. Enjoy!

Turkey Tetrazinni

1 package uncooked spaghetti (we used whole wheat penn and it was great!)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cup milk
1 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (I omit most of this because of cost. But if you have it...use it!)
3-4 cups chopped turkey or chicken
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13X9 baking dish/pan. Cook pasta until al dente (just barley done). Drain and put in the baking dish/pan. Meanwhile, melt butter and cook garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Mix in broth and the milk and stir well, waiting for it to come to a boil. Stir in the parm. cheese and take off heat. Mix broth/milk mixture with cooked turkey and noodles. Top with remaining cheese (I used a little romano and cheddar and it was good). Bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until sauce is thickened and heated through (bubbly). Watch for the top layer of noodles if you don't use spaghetti because they will get dried out quickly. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!

Safeway NW Deals for May 14th-21st 2008

Visit BeCentsAble and the Grocery Gathering for stores near you!

Safeway (NW) Deals for May 14th-21st 2008

Good deals (no coupons needed)
50% of meat sale! Fresh Ground Beef (80% fat/20% lean), Beef top sirloin steak, pork loin, split chicken breast

BOGO mini watermelons (2/$5.99)

Tomatoes on the vine ($0.99lb)

Get more out of your economic stimulus check: cash it at Safeway and get 10% off your shopping order that day (valid 5/14/08-7/19/08).

Coupon Deals
Johnsonville Smoked Sausage Links 14 to 16-oz BOGO $2.25
Use $0.75/2 from 04-27 S
Final Price $1.88

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers 6.6 to 7.2-oz $1.66
Use coupon for $0.55/1 04-13 S
Final Price $1.11

04-06 RP Keebler Mix N Match BOGO 9 to 18-oz (coupon is for Keebler cookies) $1.00 2 $2.25 $1.75

Orville Redenbachers Gourmet Popping Corn 3ct BOGO $1.60
Use coupon for $1.00/1 from 04-27 S
Final Price $0.60 (this is also reported to be a part of the Flicks for Free this could be a great deal if it works out to be the before coupon prices counting toward the total!)

Suave 22.5-oz. Shampoo or Conditioner $1.59
Use coupon for $1.00/2 from 04-20 RP or $1/1 from Earth day booklet
Final Price $1.09 or $0.59!

Oscar Mayer Maxed Out Lunchables 14.1 to 15.75-oz $3.50
Use coupon for $0.75/2 from 04-27 S
Final Price $3.13

Yoplait Yogurt 4-6oz $0.70
Use coupon for $0.40/6 from 03-30 S
Final Price $0.63

Land O Frost Premium Deli Style Lunchmeat 16-oz $2.99
Use coupon for $1.00/1 from 05-11 RP
Final Price $1.99

Flicks for Free Promo: Spend $40 on participating products, get 2 free movie passes! One deal I noticed might work well (besides the popcorn see above) would be to buy the 24 packs of coca cola if you have some Earth Day coupon booklet coupons for $1/1 24 pack of coke left. This products is participating in this promo in two ways, so you not only get the movie passes if you spend $40, but also a free bucket of popcorn when you buy a large coca cola fountain drink. Great deal if you drink coke and go to the movies a lot (or are in the need of a cheap date;) Sure deoderant would also work well if the free counts in a BOGO instance (there are BOGO free coupons out and Sure is a participating product). I believe Tava beverages are as well and you can access a coupon here.

Any other good deals out there that you see?

Freddies and Albertson's deals/coupons

At Fred Meyer (here in the NW), there are free little magazines in the Natural/bulk foods sections called "Naturally Preferred" out right now with several coupons for natural/organic products such as one for $1 off any Organic Valley dairy product. There are also $1 off any Kashi Go Lean cereal and $1 off any 2 Amy's products.

Also, Albertson's has Ken's salad dressings for $2/4 right now and some new $2 off Ken's dressing coupons came out last week (making it free!). I'm not sure if the spritzer's are on sale as well, but there are coupons out for those too. Other deals you see?

Edited to add Angela's tip: all Small & Mighty laundry detergent is on sale for $2/each if you buy $15 of the participating products. Stack it with a $1/1 from a Sunday paper a while back or the printable from Money Saving Mom's site AND use a Safeway double coupon, each bottle ends up being $.50! (I don't have the Safeway double coupons here...but a great deal for those who do!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Making Do in the Kitchen: Part 2

Some of the ways we save time and $$ in our kitchen has to do with not running to the store for last minute forgotten items. Once in awhile when company is coming and I absolutely need something very specific I still make the last minute made dash, but other than that we don't do those last minute trips anymore.

We accomplish this a number of ways, but the method to our (my) madness is by creatively substitutely ingredients! Below is a picture of my awesome hubby, who is currently a (short-term) SAHD aka "dirty diaper changin' dude";) as he illustrates this point with a recent foray into multi-grain bread making.

I was so impressed by his ingenuity that I had to share! He needed some whole grains (wheat berries or something like that) for one of the ingredients along with cornmeal. He decided to throw some uncooked barley in a coffee grinder in place of the grain he was missing and he used some cornbread mix instead of the missing cornmeal. Since the cornbread mix had salt and baking powder already in it he made some adjustments to the recipe he was following. It wasn't the fluffiest bread we'd ever eaten, but it was good!

Another thing we do is related to pizza toppings thanks to Crystal at Biblical Womanhood. I will share more making do tips on that subject next week.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Menu Plan for the Week of May 12th-19th

Menu Plan for the Week of May 12th-19th 2008

Lots of menu plans can be found here every week!

Monday: Teriyaki Chicken and Rice with Salad

Tuesday: Turkey-Ham (Jenni-O), mashed potatoes and asparagus w/homemade bread

Wednesday: Crockpot Baked Potatoes with Chili and whole wheat bread

Thursday: Whole wheat pasta with turkey-ham carbonara sauce on top and salad

Friday: Homemade BBQ and Cheese Pizza and carrot sticks

Saturday: Spinach Lentil Soup (we made a cream of crab soup instead last week) with homemade rolls

Sunday: Ham, potato and cheese casserole with frozen mixed veggies

Lunches: Leftovers from the night before (each recipe usually makes 4-6 servings, so this makes plenty for lunch with only 2 of us eating real food at this time!)

Breakfasts: Muffins, Toast made with homemade bread

Snacks: Cold Cereal (from our good deal stash---we don't like it for breakfast!), carrot sticks w/homemade hummus, popcorn, apples, green smoothies

Desserts: strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar or cookies of some sort

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to our two (grand)mommies!

The pictures in the stroller were taken on M.E.'s 7 month birthday! She has two bottom teeth, can rock back and forth on all fours, eats lots of different fruits, veggies and cereal, sleeps (usually) through the night now, and has a favorite blankie. M.E. wants to say that she loves and misses both her wonderful grandma's that take such good care of her and her mommy and daddy! We love you!

Albertson's and Safeway deals this week

Albertson's total $7.75
4 packages Live Active Cheese (mark-down, plus 3 $1 off coupons, plus $3 off Kraft)
1 package coffeemate creamer (free with coupon I got in the mail)
1 package Yoplait kids yogurt (free with coupon from the mail)
2 packages Hershey's bliss dark chocolate (2/$5 plus BOGO coupon)

* I was all excited to do the "cereal/granola bar" deal (which works out to $1 each after you buy 10) but they were out of ALL participating cereals! There was a sign that said they would restock today, so I am hoping to still get some good deals (mostly on granola bars which I have coupons for!)

Safeway's total $5.--
12 Hallmark cards
2 packages Dasani water bottles
2 packs diet coke
2 powerbars
* I had $6.50 in "on your next order" catalinas for this order, but that only went toward the cards. The diet coke and water were free! I also got a $5.00 off your next order catalina back and one for $1.25 off X?# of powerbars next time.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Battle of the Bulge on a Budget: Part 2

As I promised 2 weeks ago, I would like to talk more about how to be fit and lose weight on a budget. For better or for worse, I am talking to myself as well! Some of the things I have done this past couple of weeks include: trying green smoothies and reading a great book: Love to Eat, Hate to Eat. I've also started incorporating regular exercise back into my routine, thanks to the fact that my wonderful husband, Daniel is staying at home with our daughter (for the next 2 months until we go to Papua New Guinea).

I won't talk too much more about the Green Smoothies right now because I had to take a week off from them due to our trip to Arizona. Breakfasts were provided for us in our trailer and lunch/dinner were with missionary families. We pretty much ate what they served us (and we had lots of good food!;)

I do want to talk about the great book I checked out from our church library, Love to Eat, Hate to Eat (by Elyse Fitzpatrick). It is an excellent book that talks about the scriptural reasons we don' t eat as we should. It also discusses Biblical solutions for our sinful eating habits. Having sinful eating habits is not something most of us like to think about. That makes me uncomfortable, but in a positive way. I not only do not eat with a thankful heart, but I hold food up as an idol of sorts. This occurs when I eat more than I should or for the wrong reasons. Check out this book!

The last area I want to touch on is exercise. I have an advantage in that I actually like to exercise. I even have enjoyed running on occasion in the past. Running hasn't been a common occurence for over a year now though due to pregnancy and a C-section recovery, but I fully intend to start again soon. The thing I love about running (or jogging) is that it gives you so much "bang for your buck". You get a good workout in a short amount of time and all for the cost of a pair of good running shoes. No special equipment required. Seriously, its addicting! I hated it until I took a class on jogging in college. We had to jog every day for a grade. At first, it was torturous. After a while, I began to look forward to it. Now I love the feeling a good workout provides. Try it!

My husband has agreed to wait on taking our daughter out on a walk until I get home from work everyday so I can benefit from the exercise too. So far it has been a great way to spend time as a family and get that much needed exercise. I think exercise can be such a tough thing for new moms in particular to get a handle on since we have a little one tagging along. Exercise videos are a great option that talked about yesterday.

All that said, how is my personal "battle of the buldge" going? Although I don't have any tangible results yet, I feel like its going well. I have incorporated more veggies/fruits into my diet with the green smoothie inspiration and have increased my exercise. Some setbacks have been the week with little control over what I ate and starting back to work full-time and the stress that goes with that. But overall, things are moving in the right direction;)

How do you maintain health or "battle the buldge" on a budget?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Safeway NW Deals for May 7th-13th, 2008

Safeway NW Deals for May 7th-13th, 2008

Visit BeCentsAble and the Grocery Gathering for stores near you!

Also be sure to check out the giveaways BeCentsAble is hosting, which we are a part of!

Good deals (no coupons needed)

Rancher's Reserve Beef Ribeye Steak($4.99/lb)

Safeway Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast or Thighs ($1.99/lb)

Pineapple $2.99/each

Fresh Broccoli($0.99/lb)

Pepsi 24 Packs 2/$11

Coupon Deals

Dove Chocolates 2/$6
Use this coupon for BOGO free
Final Price $1.50 each!

Betty Crocker Cookie Pouches $1.00 each
Use $0.50/1 coupon (from?...exp. May 10th...thanks Angela!)
Final Price $0.50 (and I believe these are a part of one of the promos?)

Check back for more after 10am pacific time!

Flicks for Free Promo: Buy $40 worth of participating products to get 2 free movie tickets, to a movie of your choice.
Check for a list of participating products here:

Score for the Team Promo: This one I have actually done. Buy 4 participating products (see store or ad for list) and receive $5 of your next order. I bought 4 3lb apple bags for $10 total and got the $5 catalina. I used it on the next deal, which can be combined with this one (Score for the Team lasts until 5/13). This is a "rollable" deal, which means you can use your "on your next order" $5 off coupon to do the deal again and again.

Hallmark buy 3 card deal: This deal can be awesome on multiple levels. I did it with some success yesterday, but did not find all of the coupons mentioned at Hot Coupon World. Right now several promos can be combined: buy 3 get 1 free Hallmark cards (some are as cheap as $0.99), plus buy 3 cards get a free 12 pack of coke/dasani water, plus I noticed this week's ad had a buy 3 Hallmark cards get a free votive candle holder set! These can be combined with the above Score for the Team Promo for the rest of the ad week when you buy them in groups of 12. For example, buy 12 $0.99 Hallmark cards(for under $10 after the Buy 3/get 1 free), get 4 packs of dasani 12 packs for free, plus get 4 votive sets for free (with 4 coupons if they will take them!) and then get a $5 off your next order (because dasani is a participating product in the Score one for the team promo. Just make sure you give them your coupons at the end of the transaction. If you can find them, there are reportedly some gihradelli chocolate coupons out there (free!) when you buy 3 Hallmark cards. I was unable to locate these, but got the free dasani, cheap cards and the $5 off your next order. If you need cards (who doesn't?) this can be a great deal!

Any other good deals out there that you see?

Dust Bunny Patrol to the Rescue!

How did I get here again?

Maybe I can roll my way out...
Hi guys!

Okay mom and dad, get me outta here!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pictures of our Recent Garage Sale

This is the garage sale we had at my parents' house a few weekends ago. We got rid of a ton of junk and had some fun (making some $$ in the process). Our girlie thought it was tons of fun.

The three of us, sharing some private joke (so private we don't even know what it was!)

A picture of all the lovely treasures, ready to be sold.

Now they are all gone!

Redbox code for Cinco De Mayo

I just realized its been awhile since I've posted one of these, but today's Redbox code for a free rental is GL437A! I believe this works everywhere, but it only lasts until midnight tonight.

Has anyone seen the movie "the business of being born?" I am anxious to hear what people think!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Menu Plans for the Week of May 5th-11th

Menu Plan for the Week of May 5th-11th

Lots of menu plans can be found here every week!

Monday: Pork Ribs (country style) with BBQ sauce, sweet potatoes and salad

Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Chicken & Veggies over Rice

Wednesday: Mexican Casserole

Thursday: Tuna Fettucine and Salad with homemade rolls

Friday: Homemade BBQ and Cheese Pizza

Saturday: Spinach Lentil Soup with homemade rolls

Sunday: Pasta Carbonara with mixed veggies

Lunches: Leftovers from the night before (each recipe usually makes 4-6 servings, so this makes plenty for lunch with only 2 of us eating real food at this time!)

Breakfasts: Muffins, Toast made with homemade bread or oatmeal

Snacks: Cold Cereal (from our good deal stash---we don't like it for breakfast!), carrot sticks w/homemade hummus, popcorn, apples, green smoothies

Desserts: oatmeal raisin cookies and whatever the new SAHD plans, who prefers the title "dirty diaper changin' dude:)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wal-Mart Freebies are here!

We just got home from our trip to McNeil AZ for our New Tribes Mission evaluation and, our mailbox was FULL of cool freebies from! We received: Fiber One, a Huggies diaper and some baby wash/lotion, 2 Hallmark cards, Frizz-Ease, Simple Harvest, True Orange and Gillette bodywash. We also received a free copy of American Baby! Yay for free samples! Freebies4Mom is a great resource for these samples, Wal-Mart or not.

Friday, May 2, 2008

NTMA: our last day

We're in! We've officially been accepted to train as NTMA missionaries! Here are some pics of the Arizona campus and a few of the baby and I.

NTMA Evaluation: Fun day out with the girls and finished projects!

Because of a slight brain malfunction on my part, I didn't bring my camera on our girls only outing yesterday. Even so, we had such a good time! 10 of us ladies from NTMA (evaluees, ladies who are only weeks away from their overseas assignment, or those who are here in AZ to stay) went to Bisbee, AZ, a quaint little "hippee" town with a great coffee shop to tour the shops and have delicious coffee. Another girl and I spent most of the time in the car changing and nursing our babies, but it was still fun! Funny things that stood out to me on the way to Bisbee: 1) we are in the middle of nowhere. Seriously...just miles and miles of desert like fields. 2) lots and lots of border patrol. The Mexico border is just miles away, so apparently there are lots of illegal immigrants around these parts. 3) the copper mines. A huge canyon that used to be a thriving copper mine in its day. A cool tour I'm told, but I probably won't ever see it because I have a mild clausterphobia(sp?).

After that all the girls, plus a few more went to another nearby town, which is a lot bigger...there's even a WalMart:) There we dined at El Chef, where a large plate of good food was $5.00! The 12 ladies had 4 babies, and 3 on the way between us! Another 6 or so small kiddos were back at home with the daddies or with a friend. We sat at a table next to 6 border patrol, a new experience for me.

Daniel finished his projects and is completing some misc. projects around the hangar this morning. We'll find out whether we are accepted to continue on with NTMA this afternoon, if not we could still work with New Tribes, just in a different capacity. The Lord knows what He has in store for us! I will work on posting those promised pics and an update later today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

NTMA Evaluation Week Update

Hello from (still) sunny Arizona! We experienced our first major wind storm yesterday and the mobile home we are staying in was rockin'! I thought we were about to be blown away a la Wizard of Oz several times!!

But I still am loving the sun and clear skies here. Today is an exciting day for all of us. Baby M and I are going to coffee and to some little shops in a nearby town with the other "evaluee wife" and a sweet missionary lady here (who spent a significant amount of time in Papua New Guinea during their overseas career) in a little bit, and Daniel is done with his major projects as of today. He still has "shop time" where he will work on misc. projects with the mechanics here, and we will do our last interview this afternoon (besides the final interview which will tell us their thoughts on our candidacy with New Tribes...or not;).

Pictures of the hangar and some others to come later today or tomorrow!