Saturday, February 28, 2009

Random Thought for the Day

One thing I really love is musicals, any musical will do. They all have a romantic story behind them and are such fun to watch. Wouldn't it be fun if our life was a musical? You could be out shopping for dried beans and powdered milk and bust into a song and dance. Imagine how great that would be.

My favorite musical of all time is "Sound of Music". Although lately we have been watching "Mama Mia" quite a bit. Actually April has been watching that every morning before school & "Sound of Music" before she goes to bed. She is a musical junkie too. We have so much fun watching them - just singing and dancing along.....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Creative Home Mixes

There are so many mixes that have come about over the years to make our lives easier and more convenient. Often these items don't seem expensive until you actually figure what it would it cost you to make the mixes yourself.

One such convenience item is Shake 'n Bake. You may think the box at the store is reasonable. I honestly haven't priced it lately, but I'm sure it's somewhere in the $1 to $1.50 range. However you can make the same stuff at home for probably less than $0.50. The main ingredient is bread crumbs. Keep the ends of your bread loaves in a plastic bag in the freezer till you have enough for a cup. Grate them into an freezer safe container. Use 1 cup for this recipe, store the rest in the freezer for another use.

Home version of Shake 'n Bake
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour (I use a 50/50 mixture of white and whole wheat)
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp pepper
4 tsp onion powder
1/2 cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use as needed. You may want to adjust the amounts of the spices to your taste.
Another convenience item that gets expensive is instant oatmeal packets. I usually make our own packets, using sandwich or snack ziploc bags from the Dollar Tree to store them. The measurements of the additions to the oatmeal are going to vary according to what you like. Some people like more fruit or they like their oatmeal pretty sweet. The measurements I have below are simply guesses cause quite honestly I don't actually measure - I just add whatever ingredient till I think it's looks right.

Apples & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
1 container of instant oatmeal (I do like to use Quaker Oats because it doesn't get as gummy.)
2 cups of dried apple chunks
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Peaches/Blueberries/Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal
1 container of instant oatmeal (again... I'm partial to Quaker)
2 cups dried fruit
1/2 cup non-dairy powdered creamer
1/4 cup sugar
Honey Mustard is yet another example of overpriced convenience food (well, condiment). It's so easy to make. Again - taste it as your making it and adjust the measurements to your taste.

Honey Mustard
2 cups dijon mustard
1/2 c honey
1/2 cumin (to give it a little smokey depth to the flavor)

Mix well. Store for up to a month in the fridge.
Honey Butter

This is by far the easiest thing to make. Simply mix together equal parts of honey and butter. It's easiest if the butter is softened. Whip together and store in an airtight container in the fridge.


I hope you can benefit from at least one of these. By the way, the Honey Butter & Honey Mustard could be mixed and put into a cute jar, add a spreader, and pretzels and you have a great gift for someone!

If you want some other great recipes go check out The Grocery Cart Challenge!

February Budget

Boy am I close to my budget. I had $5.58 remaining for our February budget. We did have to buy milk and luckily the price of milk has gone down considerably. I picked up 2 gallons of milk to get us through this week for $2.29 each. Our new remaining balance is $1 even. As of right now we do not need to buy anything and shouldn't have to through the weekend. On Saturday I will have to go pick up the Angel Food we ordered for this month. I will pay for my March order and deduct that from my March budget. Right now I'm not sure what I will get for my order.

One great deal that I came across this month and somehow forgot to blog about was a fantastic deal on whole chickens. On Friday the 13th our local Hy-vee had whole chickens for $0.59 a pound!!! I haven't seen it that cheap in over a year. I picked up 5 of them before I even went to work. When I got off work I brought them home to put in the freezer. I was truly hoping to have more room in the freezer so I could go buy more (there was no limit) but I could only fit 4 of them into the freezer. So we left one out and smoked it for supper that Sunday. It's not very often that a deal that great comes along it seems.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Disasterous Supper

Tonight we were supposed to have leftover steaks, potatoes, & peas for supper. However I spent most of the day freezing my rear off (oh, wait - it's still there. Darn!) so by the time I got off work I wanted nothing more than a nice warm bowl of lentil soup. When I got home I cut up the onions, carrots, & celery. I sauteed them in the pan and added some broth and the lentils. Everything was going terrific. I brought the lentils up to a rapid bowl to cook them quickly - well, somewhat quickly. I fixed a small salad to eat while the lentils cooked. Of course Layne & April were going to have no part of lentil soup so Layne had the leftover steaks & April had cereal. When I finished my salad I put my dirty dishes in the sink and lifted the lid to my lovely lentils to give them a stir. Only to notice a burnt smell coming from them and my spoon hitting burnt bottom. They boiled dry and burned in the time it took me to eat the salad. I was so disappointed that I almost cried, seriously. So instead I had a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, still good and warm. But sadly disappointing since I wanted lentils.

So tomorrow night we will have tuna melts............... and lentil soup. I have to try again - you know how it is!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekly Menu

Monday - Leftover steak, potatoes, peas

Tuesday - tuna melts

Wednesday - grilled cheese & tomato soup

Thursday - French toast w/ lite syrup

Friday - chicken breast & a green salad

Saturday I will go pick up our Angel food boxes and start to plan our meals for next week.

Weekend Happenings

Friday I left my cell phone at work. Boy did I feel strange without it at first, but honestly it was kind of nice not having it. Not that I get lots of calls anyways! April also stayed overnight at my mom's house that night. Which meant my husband and I could spend a whole night full of passion together. As if that really happened!! In all truthfulness I spent a good part of the night cleaning April's room and dusting it. Yes I know April is old enough to do it herself, and on rare occasions she will. But I want it thoroughly cleaned because I could tell her allergies had been bothering her and thought a thorough cleaning would help out.

Saturday we did a whole lot of nothing, other than sitting and looking at each other. Which was actually kind of nice. We spend so much time on the go and with both Layne and I working full-time outside the home that it's nice to just sit here and spend time as a family. We decided that on Sunday we would go see Coraline in 3-D at the theatre so we would go to the early service at church.

Sunday April came up to our bed around 5:30. At 6 she woke me up saying "It's 6:00 mom. It's time to get up." Okay, that would be a great gesture if I didn't have my alarm set for 6:30. So twice more I had to go through her waking me up to tell me the current time. On the way to church I told her that since I have an alarm clock for what time we need to get up I don't need her to wake me up every 10-15 minutes to give me an update on the time. : )

Church was great - although I do like the contemporary late service better. After church we went to my mom's house so I could use her printer. Back in December I had bought some make-up through E.L.F. online (Eyes, Lips, Face) and they had sent me a code to get a free movie pass which would actually work for our local theatre. Since we were wanting to go to the movie I thought I'd use that pass towards this movie. So I got online to use get the movie pass, except that when I went to check out and entered the code they had sent me an error popped up that it had already been used. So I couldn't get my free movie pass. Which was very disappointing.

When we got to the theatre to buy our movie passes it was $9.50 per ticket because of the additional charge for 3-D glasses. I told the gal there that we didn't need glasses because we had some (from when my mom took April to Nightmare Before Christmas). She said that it didn't matter because they can't discount even if we don't need them. Which is a crock. It would have saved us $2.50 per ticket for the glasses. First no free movie pass, then an extra charge for glasses when we didn't need any. It certainly was not working out to be an affordable outing! But the movie was really cute and 3-D was kind of neat, but not worth the extra $.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Update on budget

Unfortunately I haven't kept that great of track of my grocery budget this month. Tonight I decided to pull together my receipts to see where I stand.

My starting budget is $120. I purchased some boxes of Angel Food for a total of $52. Then I spent $27.72 for our sushi meal (I did also buy $15 worth of bagels but I used our entertainment budget for that. I also have spent $45.02 on various groceries through the month. So my total is $139.74 ($9.74 over budget) and the month isn't over yet. I did end January with $15.32 still in the grocery account. So that does help to offset the deficit from this month. But only leaves me $5.58 between the 2 months for the remainder of February. Yikes! that means if I buy 2 gallons of milk my budget is completely gone.....

Grocery Shopping Trip

Tonight I had to go to the grocery store to pick up some chicken broth and half & half for potato soup that I am taking to work tomorrow. I tried taking a picture but my camera was dead and the cell phone picture was completely worthless. So I am sorry....

Here is what I got:

1 quart of half & half
2 Bistro Linguine Meals (coupon buy 1, get 1 free)
2 boxes of Cinnamon toast crunch (coupon for $1 off 2)
1 Helper meal
1 box Hy-vee honey oatmeal crunch
2 cans chicken broth
4 pkgs. ramen noodles
Western French salad dressing (coupon for $0.75 off)
1 red bull (I always wanted to try it to see if it really gives me energy...)
2 - 1 lb rolls of Farmland Sausage (2 - $0.75 off coupons)
Cascade Crystal Clear (FREE w/ coupon!!)
Hy-vee softener sheets
Joy lemon-lime dish soap (coupon for $0.30 off)

My total was $31.46 before coupons.

After coupons my total was $22.88!! Yay for me!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cream Soup for the Frugal

I don't know about you guys, but I like to use cream soups in recipes on occasion. However I don't like the price of the cans of soup. Sometimes I can find them on sale for a decent price, but sometimes they are over $1 per can. A few years ago I came across this recipe for Homemade Cream Soup that works great and is super cheap.

Homemade Cream Soup
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken bouillon granules
2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix ingredients well and store in an airtight container. (contents equal 9 cans of cream soup)

To use in a recipe instead of cream soup: Combine 1/3 cup of dry mix with 1 1/4 cup of cold water in a small saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened. Add to casseroles or other recipes like you would a can of any type of cream soup.

Weekly Menu

The last couple weeks I have had no creativity when it comes to menu planning. I am planning on going through some cookbooks this week to get my creative juices flowing. Here is my weekly menu for now, most of which came from Hillbilly Housewife. (But it is definitely subject to change!)

Monday - Steak (leftover) & eggs

Tuesday - Hillbilly Goulash

Wednesday - Chicken breasts, rice, & corn

Thursday - Lentil pottage

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Alfredo Lasagna - maybe.....

A rant

My BIL recently split with his girlfriend of 8 years. This was his 2nd serious adult relationship. His first was a marriage to my girlfriend. I became friends with his new girlfriend. I knew that the demise of his marriage to my friend was not her fault and I never blamed her for it. Over the course of time I was just as close to #2 as I was with #1. We spoke almost daily.

Unfortunately he has now moved on to #3. I am having a truly hard time accepting this. I do not blame #3 any more than I did #2. I guess I am a bit angry that I am in this position again. I get caught smack dab in the middle because even though he may be through with #1 and #2 I am still their friends, this is a particularly hard situation when I have to listen to MIL and FIL make comments about how this was her fault because..... They know that #2 and #1 were not completely to blame, however most of the blame from them has been placed on the girls because it's easy I guess. Which when you are a parent of one of the party's involved I guess is to be expected because you usually only really know 1 side.

I have not met #3 and honestly I'm not looking forward to meeting her which is inevitable. I'm just hoping to put it off as long as I can. I find myself not liking her for 2 reasons right now. 1. She allowed him to move in with her after 1 month. 2. She has a son that lives at home who is 7 years old, AND SHE ALLOWED HIM TO MOVE IN WITH HER AFTER A MONTH. I guess for me that sends off some real warning signs. Knowing someone for 1 month is in no way shape or form enough time - especially when you have an impressionable child at home. I don't mean to judge, really, but I have to keep reminding myself that each person's circumstances are different.

Okay, I'm done ranting. Thanks for listening.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hamburger Sausage

Several years ago my father-in-law gave us his recipe for hamburger sausage. It is like summer sausage - but much better than the store bought items. I decided that this recipe should be the one I post for The Grocery Cart Challenge recipe swap. It is so easy to make (it does take a total of 3 days to finish the sausage though) and it does make 3 rolls out of each batch. Keep 1 and give 2 away as gifts if you'd like. With a box of crackers and a cute bag - perfect!

Hamburger Sausage

5 lb hamburger (you want it to have some fat, 70-80% is perfect)
3 tsp garlic salt
4 1/2 tsp pepper
4 1/2 tsp mustard seed (I usually add a bit extra though)
2 tsp liquid smoke
5 heaping tsp Morton Tender Quick

Mix all ingredients together. Place in doubled plastic bags. Refrigerate for 3 days, remove & knead each day. On the 3rd day knead & shape into 3 rolls. Bake on a broiler tray for 8 hours at 150 degrees.

The reason for the double bags is to make sure it stays sealed well. When you cook it you need the broiler tray so the excess fat can drain. After you have cooked it either refrigerate it or freeze it.


So the bookmarks didn't get made. April was very grouchy when she woke up and didn't want to make them. I suggested we make some for her to take to school for her birthday in a couple months and she agreed. So for now the bookmarks will have to wait. Sorry!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Diva Cup

Gayle over at The Grocery Cart Challenge is giving away a Diva Cup. For anyone not familiar with the Diva Cup it is a small plastic cup that is used to catch your menstrual flow. I really hope she picks me!!!

(Ryan, your the only guy that I know that actually reads my blog. I hope this particular post hasn't damaged you! You know I love ya little bro!)

Valentine's Day for the frugal

This year I get to help with April's party at school. I am so excited to be a part of this. April decided she'd like to make Valentine's Day bookmarks for the kids in her class. I gathered all the items after supper for us to make these; however she fell asleep and I am now waiting for her to wake up so we can make them. I will post a picture later of a finished one. : )

Layne and I don't really do much to celebrate Valentine's Day. It really is a bit of a gimmick and is an invented holiday to get consumers to spend money. This year I did decide to pick up a little something for Layne, nothing extravagant though. I wanted to get him something that he would actually enjoy, not something typical of Valentine's Day. Since Layne likes to exercise I bought him an assortment of different health bars, a package of new t-shirts (which he desperately needed!), and a 4-pack of energy drinks. I put the items in a gift bag that we already had at home and I will make him a card. I spent about $15 total for his gift and I know it is something he will use and love. He likes the bars and drinks but doesn't like to buy them because they are a bit spendy. I think it will be a nice surprise. (He doesn't read my blog, so my secret is safe. Of course he probably will read it since I posted something I don't want him to read!)

If you are into buying the stuffed animals and chocolates a great place to go is a dollar store. We have a Dollar Tree about a mile from our house that has the cutest stuffed animals and a lot of the same chocolate candies as they have in the Walmart Valentines section.

Another great idea is to make some homemade coupons to giveaway. Great suggestions for coupons could include: a car wash, the recipients favorite homemade meal, a movie rental, baked cookies or cake, babyitting services - you get the idea.

Now go create a Valentine for that special someone frugally!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting the most out of your freezer

I'm sure you all know there are many things you can store in your freezer. Having a well stocked freezer is a wonderful tool to help you stay in your budget.

A freezer is not only good for storing extra meat and pizzas. You can make your own 'T.V. dinners'. Start off with a few freezer safe containers (that have individual compartments if you want) and anytime you have at least one serving left over from a meal you can make a t.v. dinner out of it. Not only will it be healthier for you than the premade ones you buy at the store, but you'll save even more money because 1. you won't be throwing away leftovers and 2. you won't be tempted to buy those frozen boxed dinners just because of the convenience.

If you have a garden your freezer will become your best friend. You can freeze most veggies, although a lot of them need to be blanched before you freeze them. Some veggies can't be frozen, or rather, they shouldn't be. This would include veggies such as cucumbers and avocados. Fruits freeze wonderfully also.

There are also foods that you can freeze that a some people don't know about or think about. Such as milk, just pour a little liquid out of the container to allow for expansion before you freeze.

Cheese is another food that freezes rather well. Particularly if it is grated. If you need a handful just pull it out of the freezer. If it clumps up just knock the bag on the counter to break the cheese apart.

Another food is eggs. Seriously! You can freeze these - just NOT in the shell. Crack each egg into a compartment of an ice cube tray. Pop out of the tray when frozen and into a freezer safe bag. Just take out and thaw to use, however you do need to make sure you use them right after they are thawed because they will go bad very quickly.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I caught a segment on NBC last week about people going shopping and leaving with a whole cart of stuff and only paying like $1.50. I want to know where these people live...... Seriously, I do. I can tell you where they don't live........... : ) Really I do wonder though. I admit I am very jealous about this and would love the chance to go shopping somewhere that doubles coupons weekly, where I could go buy a cart of stuff for $1.50. Someone please give me that chance!!

My husband thinks coupons are usually pretty stupid - well sometimes. He laughs and jokes when he sees me pouring over the ads and my coupons. I usually do okay, but rarely save more than $10 per trip. Sometimes I get really lucky and do save more than that, but that is very rare.

One thing about coupons is that they do you no good if you don't have them with you. I try to remember to take them with me anytime I walk out the door cause you never know when you'll end up stopping by a store. I used to just take them when I knew for sure I'd be going to the store, I've come to learn that if you don't have them you will typically end up stopping by some store where you have this great coupon for....sitting at home. So now I take them almost everywhere - yes there are times I still forget, I just put off my purchase if possible till I have the coupon with.

Another thing about coupons, it's crazy to use one just because you have one. I used to do that a lot. On occasion I still do - if it's a great coupon for a product I've always wanted to try. I do clip most all of the coupons out of the paper and save them - just in the hopes that the local Kmart will decide to have another Double Coupon week.

To really save use coupons on items that are already on sale. For example, if you have coupons for $0.35 off of pizza rolls wait to use them till the item is on sale for $1 before you use them. Then you can get the pizza rolls for $0.65 and really save. Most items come on sale at some point, and grocery stores tend to have the same products on sale every so-many weeks.

A great way to get coupons is by writing or emailing a company that has a product you really like and/or use frequently. I've emailed several companies and have had them send me coupons just for me providing them feedback. I emailed Campbells about how much my daughter loves their soups (she really does!) and they sent me several coupons for free product. I also emailed Farmland and told them how much our family likes their lower sodium bacon, they sent me a bunch of $1 off coupons. I saved those coupons till our local Hy-vee had Farmland bacon on sale for $2 and stocked up using my coupons. I bought 6 packages of bacon for $1 each!

If you contact a company about a complaint on a product it's important that you have the packaging from the product still available. About 6 years ago (when my daughter was in diapers) I bought a package of Huggies. A couple of the diapers were defective. I called the company and was able to provide them the information stamped on the package (that gave them info about where they were manufactured, the date, and the time). They sent me coupons for $11 off a package of diapers! They also sent several coupons for $1 off any Kimberly-Clark product. Which I believe I used to get some paper towels for free. : )

Do you have any good couponing strategies that you'd like to share?

Swedish Pancakes

After I posted my menu for this week Michelle asked what a Swedish pancake is. A swedish pancake is a very thin pancake, a lot like a crepe. My mom used to make these when I was younger frequently - they were and still are one of my favorite foods! Here is my mom's recipe:

Swedish Pancakes
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter

Beat eggs, stir in milk. Add flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter last. Mix till smooth (you'll get them smooth quicker if you use a mixer or blender). Heat a skillet or griddle on medium-high heat. Add batter to hot greased skillet. (About 3 Tbsp = a 9" pancake.) Serve with syrup, jelly, or fruit.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekly menu

It's hard to make up a menu when nothing really sounds good. The only foods I'm craving right now are fresh fruits. So here is a rough draft of our menu for the week.

Monday - seafood alfredo

Tuesday - Swedish pancakes, bacon

Wednesday - grilled cheese, tomato soup

Thursday - manicotti with marinara sauce

Friday - steak, veggies, salad

Saturday - homemade pizza

Where to buy books when your on a budget

Last week when we went out of town we stopped at a Borders. It's one of my favorite stores and we don't have one where I live, so it is a real treat to get out of town to where they do have one. I was looking through the shelves of books and even looked on their computer to see what books I may want to purchase. I actually ended up buying a book for my husband and one for my daughter. I did find several book that I was interested in, but either they didn't have them in stock or they were more money than I wanted to pay. I made note of several of the books that I was particularly interested in and decided to see if I could find them online cheaper.

I don't know how many of you know about It's a great site to buy books (even textbooks), cd's, and even movies. I looked for the books that I had come across at Borders and found EVERY one of them for a fraction of the price. I haven't actually bought any of them yet, but I have started looking into the reviews on them to see which ones I want the most.

I know there are other sites that sell used books, but this is the only one I have used so I feel that it is currently the only one I can recommend. I have always found every book I'm trying to find on that site. It's also a great place to sell your used books! I've probably about $200 in the last year selling books that I had laying around the house.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Easy ways to save money in the kitchen

When setting budget for groceries it needs to be realistic. It's amazing what convenience items a you can do without when they are really trying to save money. Trying to live frugally and within a budget will test your creativity. But you can do it!

One of the things I used to do was to stretch our milk by mixing 1/2 a gallon of reconstituted powdered milk with 1/2 a gallon of 2% or whole milk. Some people say that the straight powdered milk & water mixture doesn't taste different, I don't buy that - to me it DOES taste different but is barely noticable (if at all) when you stretch it by mixing the powder/water mixture with an equal part of milk. I say used to because right now, at least for me, it doesn't save me enough money that it's worth the bother. A large box of powdered milk at Sam's Club is about $14. If you reconstituted the entire box you should get about 5.5 gallons (or 22 quarts). The total for me per gallon works out to about $2.55. I can buy a gallon of milk for $2.79 a gallon. Personally I can justify spending the extra $0.24 for that bit of convenience.

Some great place to save money in the kitchen is by making your own spice mixtures. You would be surprised by how much you could save and how many different mixtures you can come up with. I save my old spice containers to reuse with my mixtures. Here are a few recipes to get you started, you can mess around with the measurements to personalize them to your taste.

Taco Seasoning
6 tsp chili powder
4 1/2 tsp cumin
5 tsp paprika
3 tsp onion powder
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Seasoning Salt
8 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp pepper
2 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

Italian Herb Mix
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme

Most of these mixes can be made with spices you already have around the house. If I need to replenish my supply to be able and make more mixes or I need more of single ingredient spices I usually will hit our local Walgreens. They are often on sale for 2/$1 and sometimes even 3/$1 (with a coupon)!

Do you have a great tip to save money in the kitchen you'd like to share? If so leave a comment for me so that I may post it.

Update on my appointment

I had my appointment today. The verdict? My months of pain and and stiffness (sometimes to the point of complete immobility) is probably caused by sleep deprivation and possibly a thyroid problem. I'm not real sure if I believe that, but hey - I'm not a doctor. So I will be seeing my family doctor in a few weeks for a sleep test and a review of my meds. I'm glad it's nothing serious but was really hoping for a real diagnosis. (sigh) Hopefully they will find something trying this route. I'm getting desperate for some relief!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This weeks menu plan

I have only been planning my menus for a few weeks, and only posting them for a couple weeks but honestly I can already see the benefits.

1. We always know what we are having so we no longer have the "What sounds good to you?" "I don't know, what sounds good to you?" conversation.

2. Since we know what we are having we can have meat defrosted or whatever preps done prior to cooking that are necessary.

3. Less waste. Since we know what we are having and know which meals typically yield leftovers we can plan accordingly.

4. Huge money savings. We can make fewer trips to the stores. Which means less chances of being tempted to buy things we don't need.

With that said here is the plan for this week.

Sunday: chili & homemade cinnamon rolls (Which didn't turn out that great. What did I do with the awesome recipe I made 2 months ago?!?!?

Monday: French Toast & fruit

Tuesday: Leftover chili

Wednesday: Not sure. Depends on when we get home from my appt at UNMC.

Thursday: Chicken fajitas (from last weeks menu - ended up eating leftovers the night we were to eat these)

Friday: ribeye steaks, pan fried potatoes & onion, corn or peas

Saturday: Sushi night!!! My brothers & their spouses are coming over & we are going to make sushi & play guitar hero. How fun is that going to be?!?!

Tip for today: I've been seeing a lot of information about Tea Tree Oil lately and what a great product it is. Here is a link I came across when googling Tea Tree Oil. It says it is great for acne. I mixed several drops in with my witch hazel astringent. I will keep you posted on how well it works. I've only used it a couple days now and don't really want to recommend it for acne till I've used it for a lot longer. : )

The only good thing about the Super Bowl...

I don't know about you, but I don't really care about football. The only good thing in my opinion about the Super Bowl is the snacks. Since we are staying home, by ourselves, we didn't really make much for snacks. Actually all I made are pickle roll-ups. You know, dried beef with cream cheese and pickle, sliced into coin sized pieces. Yum. I could eat hundreds of these all by myself. I'm not kidding.

We also have a pot of my husband's yummy chili (he makes the best I swear!) and some homemade cinnamon rolls (which I'm really hoping turn out okay). We had everything on hand to make the snacks, the chili, and the rolls.

Check back tomorrow when I post the menu for the week!

Saturday's Bargains

Saturday evening I headed to our local Hy-vee. It was just a few minutes before 8pm; and yes, the time was part of my strategy. I knew I only had $15.32 remaining for the month of January and I knew that I wanted to pick up on some deli meat (1/2 price after 8pm) and some Dannon kids yogurt drinks (I can never think of the name of these things) that were on sale 2/$3.

See, the great thing about going at that time, besides the 1/2 price deli meat, is that there is almost no one there. You can take your time and actually compare prices without feeling rushed or crowded. Here are is my purchase:

1 lb of Sara Lee premium roast beef (usually $6.50 a pound, 1/2 price): $3.25 total
.75 lb of Delusso Genoa Salami (usually $6.00 a pound, 1/2 price): $2.21 total
2 packages of the Dannon smoothies: $3.00 total
3 boxes of Fiber One cereal bars: $8.00 total before coupons, $5.00 after coupons
1 box of Fiber One toaster pastries: FREE with the purchase of 3 boxes of bars

Total purchase: $13.46

Month of January: Under budget by $1.86!!!

Wish me luck in February!