Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

Many people have shared this around the internet, but I had to, too. I was listening and remembering a time when various choirs I've belonged to have done the Hallelujah Chorus... but I started crying when I saw people who were obviously just onlookers occasionally getting caught up in it and singing along (about 90 seconds from the end, there's a mom sitting next to her little boy - who is standing on a chair to watch... she's taking his hand to make sure he doesn't fall and singing along!).

Great job! Amazing job! And mall acoustics... not too shabby!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You aren't going to believe this! Another ERGO giveaway!

Apple Cheeks Diapers is giving away an ERGO carrier! More information and ways to win can be found HERE!

I'm starting to think I need an ERGO tag!

Sweet crayon giveaway

Rachel's Reviews and Giveaways has teamed up with Gaddy Nipper to offer a giveaway. Gaddy Nipper upcycles crayons into adorable shapes in this gift set. We've done this as a family, and my kids always love the shaped crayons!

Enter the giveaway here!

Is it possible? Another ERGO giveaway!!!!

Rachel's Reviews and Giveaways is offering more opportunities to win and ERGObaby carrier! Hop over HERE and enter away!!!!

Another chance to win an ERGO carrier!

BabyBix is running a giveaway for an ERGO performance carrier AND infant insert! You can enter to win here!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chance to win an ERGObaby carrier!

Loves Jurn3 is giving away an ERGObaby carrier. You have many chances to win by going to this post and doing as many or as few of the entry options you choose on their form.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

LEMONS! (lemon glaze)

The Happy Housewife is looking for lemon recipes. I've already shared this one (which is incredible and just proves Giada is a GENIUS!). But I wanted to share this very simple one, too.

My mom used to glaze lamb cakes (pound cakes baked in a lamb-shaped pan at Easter) with a powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze. That's it! She would use as much lemon juice as it took to get the powdered confectioners sugar to the consistency she wanted, and then pour it over the cake (which was standing on a cooling rack over a drip plate). It's so simple, but it's SO good - it's almost like frosting a cake with lemon heads - super sour and super sweet at the same time! I would imagine some lemon zest in the pound cake batter would be incredible, too!

If you have some you'd like to share, go ahead and link away HERE. I personally can't get over the SIZE of their lemons - they're like grapefruit!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Win an Ergo Performance baby carrier

As if Ergo wasn't great enough, they have a new design that is lighter and cooler! Heavenly Hold is giving one away! Enter here for a chance to win.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fight Burrito Boredom

Qdoba is running a deal right now were you can build your own burrito (or something else - but I hear burritos have the best coupons) and end up with high value coupons at the end. You can play every day for 6 weeks. The coupons are only good for 2 days, so you can't really stock up. But yesterday and today I won "free entree with purchase of a drink" coupons. So Geof and I have free dinner tonight =)

Give it a shot - and let me know how you do!

Monday, August 23, 2010


As you may have noticed, my blog has received a facelift. When Courtney ran a giveaway about a week ago to win a chance at a premade blog template, I figured "what the heck - it has looked the same for a couple years!"


I'm so thankful to Courtney of Storing Up Treasures in Heaven and Lena of Premades For A Purpose. It looks great ladies! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Deck Garden

The Happy Housewife's post about home farming reminded me that I haven't posted anything about our deck garden here. We're renting and didn't want to tear up the back yard (though, if we were to purchase this house and use a lot of hard work hauling landscaping stone out, we could have a massive garden - almost farm - without taking away from the kids' play area. But I digress...). So I decided to do some research on container gardening and what could be grown in a small space.

The answer is: Quite a lot! Especially when you pair container gardening with companion planting.

This is the link to my facebook album for my garden. I started most of our plants from seed indoors using little peat pellets and a grow lamp, but I did purchase some of the tomatoes, herbs and flowers. If I start earlier indoors next year, I will not have to purchase as much - if any - plants. I will save seeds from the successful plants this year for next year's planting purposes. I hope to be able to move some of the herbs indoors for winter use, dry the rest, and can quite a bit of tomatoes and peppers (possibly just prep/freeze the peppers) to help with our family's grocery budget!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Please help a friend!

I have a good friend, Melanie, who along with her husband run Portraiture by Melanie. They are awesome photographers with a great eye to make the ordinary, well... less ordinary =)

Please take the time to pop over to the Blogger's Choice Awards and vote for them. I've nominated them for Best Photography Blog. I'd love to see something great happen for this wonderful family and, if possible, bring even more business their way. The link to their site is available at the BCA link.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bamboo Bums GIveaway

Exploits of a Military Mama is giving away a Bamboo Bums cloth diaper.

Follow this link to learn more!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

GREAT deal on paper at Staples

Through Saturday, HP General use paper is on sale for $4.99 with a $3.99 rebate. There's a limit of 2 per household.

There's also a coupon on their website for 15% off all in-store purchases (excluding computers). Use that with the paper and get the 2, 500 sheet reams for $8.48.

Submit the rebate and get a check for $7.98.

Total of two reams of paper for $.50!!!!

There's a deal on HP Photo Paper as well. $9.99 with and $8.99 rebate. After the 15% coupon, you would pay $8.49... for a PROFIT of $.50!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Uninsured and taking prescription medications?

That's the boat I've found myself in. Sure, you can pay $30 a year to Walgreens and get their overpriced drugs brought town to just slightly more than everywhere else.

Or I can give you another reason to join Swagbucks.

I take a brand-name thyroid medication. I can't take generics on this medication for multiple reasons, so the $4 generics at the major chains won't work for me. We are currently uninsured, so I've been eating the whole cost of this medication - ranging from $18-23 a month depending on where you fill it. I've been filling it at Wal-Mart (and, coincidentally, I paid $23 one month and $18 the next without changing a thing). This month, through tomorrow, there was a coupon at for a free $25 gift card to Rite Aid if you transferred a prescription to them that you have never filled at Rite Aid before. So I decided to give it a go if the price was similar to Wal-Mart. It's quite a drive out to Rite Aid for me - about 40 minutes - but I was going to be in that area today anyway.

Their cost was $19.99 for 30 pills. I brought in this printout from the Swagbucks HealthAdvantage Program. I'm gonna be honest here: I figured for something that was free on the internet, it probably wouldn't be worth all that much. But in today's economy, every penny counts - I'll give it a shot.

I brought my prescription, my coupon, and my print out. I said, "I've never used this before - I don't know if it will even do anything for this prescription, but if you'd try, I'd really appreciate it." They said no problem - they had never seen it before, but they'll try running it at check-out.

It saved me $8.37!

I almost fell over when I saw that! I figured it might knock off $.50 - maybe a buck. But over $8 was HUGE to us. In the end, I got my $20 prescription for $11.62 - and got a $25 gift card!

I don't know if you even have to sign up for Swagbucks to use the discount card. I don't think you do. But I don't understand why you wouldn't want to. I have never paid them a cent of money, and in return for doing my internet searching through them, I've received $130 in Amazon gift certificates - and I'm not that far off from another $5 certificate.

I'll be really honest - I don't know if I'll keep going out to Rite Aid for this prescription or not. I went for the $25 gift card to get more supplies for our container garden (and spoil my kids a little). But with as great of a discount as I got there for this HealthAdvantage Program card, I just might go back if the discounts aren't as great at other stores. Where can you use it? It says it's is accepted at over 50,000 pharmacies nationwide. Here are a few of the "most recognizable" stores they list:

Duane Reade
Fred’s Stores
Giant Eagle
Rite Aid

So get out there, save some money through Swagbucks and their HealthAdvantage Program. I'm not sponsored by Swagbucks or anything - this is just a really happy user and fan spreading the word about a great free service offered by

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bubblegum Machine Cake Pops

Bubblegum Machine Cake Pops

These are SO adorable! I need to start stocking up on the supplies when I see them on sale... must try!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hooked On Phonics

HOP is having a sale on a lot of their materials right now, and some of their older stuff is in "overstock" for really cheap. On top of that, they have a code out that works on most sale stuff - HOP50 - that will take 50% off your order. I'm about to place an order for their older HOP K-2 program (audio CDs rather than the new one with DVDs) that will be $39.98 (before tax and shipping) rather than $199.95! The two friends I know that have used the program have used this version and love it.

Thanks to for this info bit!

My God is an AWESOME God!

I shared this on Facebook, and I know many of you found me from there. But I needed to share this here, too.

This is the story of the husband of my friend, Jeney. He is currently in Haiti helping with the rebuilding efforts - both of buildings and of lives.

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Hey Just1ers - looking for a FREE item to include in your shopping trip. Well... at least free after full rebate (so you'll pay $.44 for postage).

Free Olay Quench body lotion

Purchase must be made between 3/19 and 4/16, and the rebate must be postmarked by 4/30.

If you happen upon a coupon for Quench before you purchase, you'll get the full price rebated BEFORE coupon price - so that coupon savings can go toward another Just1 purchase.

New to Just1? Click HERE for more information. Become a fan on Facebook HERE!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Moblog? Noblog...

I set up this account to accept posts from my cellphone, but for some reason they aren't going through. So you didn't get to see the cute edible Daddies that I made for breakfast a couple days ago. I'll work on it...

Otherwise, we've just been battling the sickies here for a few days. Yesterday my kids were running around in our yard in flip-flops in 60 degree weather. Today we've got snow. No wonder I'm sick.

Then again, I've got kids who touch everything... and a son who then picks his nose. Guess who is usually the first one sick - and the most generous. :/

Good thing he's cute.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Just1 deals at Rite Aid this week

Are you participating in Just1 and looking for inexpensive ways you can help?

Utah Deal Diva has a great Rite Aid list this week! Lots of scenarios. And I still have my $20 gift of savings certificate to use. I think I'll be heading there tomorrow before my moms' night out (that's right - no kids, no hubbies... I can't wait!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On a roll tonight

or rather... off one. I dropped a "famous" blogger off my blog roll today. It has been a long time in coming - I couldn't help but see cracks in the "perfect" exterior that weren't making sense. The constant attempts at being "real" were just too... fake. Too forced.

But it was hard! I hate to admit that, but it was hard to walk away from what so many other people think is the best thing since sliced bread. When every other post or tweet or update or photo was tightening a knot in my stomach, and when attempts to ask questions about what the blogger was supposedly about - just to get clarification - were going unanswered, I got to asking, "What's the point, Genevieve? Why are you hanging around?"

And I couldn't answer.

I guess it's part of my personal Mama Revolution (sorry, I really dislike the name Mommy!). I'm sensing a need for some personal shake-ups, and the first thing to go will be the stuff tying me down to the negative feelings. Too much crap in my life - too little focus on what (and Who) really matters.

I'm breaking free!

I've got an attitude about altitude

One little known fact about me. I used to be terrified of yeast. TERRIFIED. I would have nightmares about dough left to proof getting out of control and taking over my house. There's an episode of Pinky Dinky Doo where everyone in the family keeps adding baking soda to her fluffy buns recipe (because she forgot it once) - and the dough rises so quickly that the whole apartment building goes up to the moon and everyone in the building has to eat fluffy buns to bring it back to earth. Yeah... like that.

I eventually got over my fear of yeast and became a pretty good baker, if I do say so myself. Then, shortly after moving to the Oregon coast, I was diagnosed with celiac disease and had to learn the very different world of gluten-free baking. Oh, I still do "regular" baking for my family, but GF is a whole other ballgame.

Then? Then we moved to Colorado. 6000 feet up. You know those directions on the back of the cake mix that say "High Altitude Directions?" That's me. You have to reduce the yeast and up the flour and sometimes equally up the water, unless you don't. And extend the time. Or is it reduce the time and up the temp? AHHHHHH!!!!

In the interest of saving money, I've taken to baking most everything from scratch. I made up a batch of pizza dough the other day (finally... it was supposed to be on OAMC day). It worked out just fine - but this was the end result of the dough cycle on my gluteny bread machine...

The dough also rises and rises and...

It's not just a nightmare... it's REALITY!!!!

Adventures in kitchenworld

On Thursday, we took a family trip to Wal-Mart to get some pull-ups and an egg slicer (ours was broken in the move). While we were there, we did our normal shopping of the clearance meats. My husband found these steak medallions and wanted to try to find a recipe like something he had tried at Olive Garden. He even found a recipe right away!

Friday afternoon when he returned from work, he started reducing balsamic vinegar to make the glaze. Our house smelled like an Easter egg dying factory fire! My lungs were burning until we opened the windows and turned on the hood vent over the stove. Small price to pay considering he paid about $2.50 for the bottle of vinegar - and a bottle of the glaze was about 4 times that (for a *small* bottle).

We ended up making a lot of changes to the recipe for my celiac and to get the kids to eat it and still get some of the good stuff =) Plus my husband doesn't like green onions, sun dried tomatoes were too expensive, and we forgot the parsley. Do I sound like an allrecipes reviewer yet ;)

We used Trader Joes GF rotini noodles. We didn't have any alfredo on hand, so I made my knock-off (2 cans goat milk that we have left over from when my daughter received it through WIC, "enough" Parmesan cheese - a cup maybe?, and some garlic powder). Then we added the fresh spinach (cuz that's what we had). We knew my son would pick it out of the sauce, so I had the brilliant idea to break out the immersion blender and make it un-pick-outable!

We're still out of propane, so my husband did the medalions on the Foreman grill. Before this, he used the salt-caking technique here to make them much more tender (and they really weren't too salty at all!) It turned out to be a good thing, because they probably would have fallen through the grill outside.

The end result? The kids didn't like the balsamic glaze (we didn't think they would - we didn't put it on their bowls but let them try ours). They *loved* the "alien slime pasta" with "stinky cheese" sprinkled on top. They even ate some of the steak (they love beef, but they aren't big steak eaters).

And... it turned out BEAUTIFUL! Don't you think?

Steak Gorgonzola à La Olive Garden

Close up...
Steak Gorgonzola à La Olive Garden close

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stop faking it!

One of my bloggy-friends wrote a great post about the fake mommy blogs. No, not the ones that are supposed to be fictional... the kind that are more old-school Jon & Kate + 8. You know, everything's perfect, our lives are in order, our kids are always obedient and would you mind taking off your shoes and putting that on a coaster?

I want to join in the revolution! I'll start with the comment that I left on her post, and I'll be sure to post more in the coming days, too.

This? This right here?

This is why I love reading your blog. I wish I lived closer to - wherever you live - because I would love to have a cup of coffee with you. I could have written this post (other than I have NO desire to become a vegetarian =) ).

I can't **stand** the fake bloggers. There's one in particular (whom I won't name) that so many people just love to bits... and I don't get it! I mean, I'm not a hater like many - I'm not going to start joining all the ______ is a faker blogs that have popped up, I don't care about bank records and police reports and all that, well, crap.

Just be real! And don't *force* your "real" posts, either. Don't build them up to be this monumental revelation that we'd all better sit down for... and I'll tell you on Thursday. You don't have to give me your SSN, your phone number or address, heck - I don't even care if you use your real name! But don't paint this picture of the perfect family - and then be shocked when others call you on it.

Wanna know a secret? We have this MASSIVE beach towel - I think they call it a beach blanket - that we got for our honeymoon. It's under one side of the dining room table - the side where my two kids eat. If we shake it out once a week, we're doing pretty good. And sometimes? We just put it back down there after shaking it instead of washing it. =)

And my kids... usually only get a bath once a week. But we do brush their teeth before bed every night! And I try to get the carpet-fuzz dread locks out of my daughter's hair as soon as I see them.

Keep being you, Courtney! That's who I want to see... and that's who Christ wants to see!

So come on - join with me! Go grab that button at the bottom of her post, and lets pledge to show more of the real and live a life less fabricated!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Slowly throwing in the towel

OAMC Button

Well... I'm tired =) I didn't get any new cooking done since my last post, but I got a lot of "bagging and tagging" done, transported meals to our freezer in the garage, brought the rest of the stuff up for the lasagnas that will be put together after the kids are in bed... and I *may* still take a stab at the GF tortillas.

So, I didn't finish my whole list, but I still got a LOT more accomplished than I thought I would or could. I'll try and get a picture up before we start using it all up, but my list of what's available for dinners now:
1/2 gallon of chili (previous mega batch)
2, 24 count meatballs that just need reheating and sauce
2, 4 cup bags of cooked brown rice
2 dinners of sloppy Joes
3 dinners of Chef Mis-er-ly
6 dinners of beef tacos
4 dinners of beef stew
3 quart bags of split pea soup (I'm the only one that likes it... so this is 6-9 meals for me!)
4 rice side-dish mixes

By the end of the night, I'll have:
3 pounds of chicken nuggets
1 wheat lasagna (3-4 dinners)
1 gluten free lasagna (8 meals)

I hope to be able to continue on my list tomorrow - but we are also making the soups for soup supper on Wednesday night. I've got more planning to do!

That's better...

My body forced a nap on me. I fell asleep shortly after writing that last post and slept an interrupted 2 hours. I finally woke up when my husband took a call from the moving company that moved us on our two big moves - the last one being just before Christmas. It appears the people whose belongings were in the other half of our truck just opened a mirror box that had some wedding pictures in it - and it's not theirs. I'm sick to my stomach thinking that some of our wedding pictures are missing, but we still can't confirm that it's ours. The company is playing middle man and will call us back (our mover was less than stellar - but the company was/is great!)... and we get to dig through the downstairs bedroom and the garage that are both, just about, wall-to-wall boxes while we await our final (please?) move to our own place. Just another bump in the road.

Now? Back to work!

Maybe we'll just do Atkins

OAMC Button

Seriously, I've done NOTHING with the bready stuff. No pizza crusts, no bread (though we still have a loaf in the freezer, and I make it pretty often - it's like a natural Glade home fragrance =) ), not even the tortillas, and they're super easy!

But I've knocked out most of the rest of the list. I haven't boiled the lasagna noodles (again with the starch!), but the rest is ready to go! The chicken nuggets are absorbing the butter milk and waiting for me to bread and bread and bread and bake and bake and bake!

Didn't have coffee... kind of afraid to have it now for fear of it keeping me up too late tonight. But I'd like to kick out a few things in the bread department yet. Going to make the tortillas after I feed the kiddos lunch. I'd *like* to still get at least one pizza crust (each) done, too - but that needs more of my attention because of the altitude issues as well... making sure it's not a big gooey ball!

Our house smells like some eclectic diner. Or the home of someone who can't decide what to eat! We have the mingled smells of beef stew, split pea soup, tacos, sloppy Joes and "Chef Mis-er-ly." I need to get something bready going to try and neutralize the smell of confusion!

Plus - I still have to bag up the soups... and take the immersion blender to the pea soup (and pray it doesn't a'splode!). The tacos have been simmering for for-ev-er... gotta stir them and set them aside to cool.

Did I mention a nap? Because I'm starting to think that is no longer an option but a requirement! The hubs is out to get our mail... and get more freezer bags =)

Half(ish) way there!

OAMC Button

About to start pounding the life out of some (dead) chicken breasts. I'm actually quite surprised at how well this is going...

... but I'm also finally starting to get tired.

Time to brew some coffee, make sure both crock pots are off, toss some food in the general direction of my kids (just kidding - they're eating grapes right now and will have hard boiled eggs in a few seconds... plus I'm brewing some (decaf) tea for them right now. Did I mention that they never went back to sleep once the girl got up at 5:45?!?! I do believe that is the definition of insanity - especially since they normally get up sometime between 7-8.

And... in the 20 minutes since I started writing this, I dozed off, my kids got in trouble for getting into the homeschooling supplies, and it's turning out to be just as crazy as I thought it might get.

Next part of the plan - get coffee started, get some pizza dough in each bread machine (one is a dedicated gluten-free machine... for my new readers, I have celiac disease, but I'm the only one in my family that eats GF because GF flours, pastas, etc are much more expensive and much more time consuming to make), and get that chicken abused and drowned! =)

Why does cooking have to be so noisy?!?!

OAMC Button

I blame it on coffee. I don't usually have much caffeine. Especially since moving from sea level to 6000 feet, caffeine seems to **really** effect me. But the coffee at church today was SO good. And the young woman who normally finishes off the pot gave up coffee for Lent. So even though I had my normal cup during Bible study... and filled up again (in my defense, our church building is pretty cold and I usually have two cups of decaf tea)... I finished the last cup while the kids and I were waiting for Daddy to finish teaching confirmation.

That's right, I haven't had caffeine in... weeks. And then I had THREE LARGE CUPS yesterday. At first I wrote today - because I still haven't slept (though I did snooze on the couch for about 20 minutes around 3).

But the things that I had hoped to do in preparation for today's big cooking day? I couldn't do them. Because they're loud. I can't pound the chicken with a mallet for the chicken fingers/nuggets. I can't be rolling out tortillas and pizza dough on our wood table because *that's* loud. Did I mention that our kitchen/living room is right over the master bedroom where my incredible husband is trying to sleep? Yeah.

So, I added to my list. I had found a couple rice mix recipes in a gluten-free cookbook I recently received, and I wanted to try them out. They're quiet to assemble, easy to walk away from when the 3 year old wakes up because she peed in her pull-up... only to find out she didn't really, but she did wake her brother who now also needs to go potty. And will you tuck me back in when I'm done, Mama?

I got 4 different rice side-dish mixes made up: Herb rice for chicken, Herb rice for beef, Beef rice, and (the one I'm really excited about) Curried rice! I just need to type up the instructions that go along with them and attach them to the little glass pint canning jars that house them for now.

Got 5 of 10 pounds of ground beef browned, the soup and stew are almost done, and the 8 cups of brown rice had the distinction of being the first things added to the freezer! Even took a picture of me and my first bag of freezer food - but Blogger hasn't returned my text to let me post it here. In time. It's a good feeling to be ticking things off the list.

Everything that needs to be done either requires making wake-up-someone-sleeping noise or needs and electric outlet (two of which are absorbed with crock pots right now). I don't want to blow a fuse (flip a switch?). So I think it's time for me to curl up on the couch and take a little more of a nap. And then when I get up? COFFEE =)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

OAMC/Freezer Day Update

OAMC Button

Just to try to keep it simple, and since I know I have some people following me from, I'll be updating THIS post below as the day goes along.

And, as promised, I'm cheating and have already started =)

I'll come back - probably not until it's over - and break down Saturday's shopping trip, too. I hit some AWESOME sales that allowed me to get all that I needed for March's freezer fill day, as well as a bunch of produce and extra chicken for about $120! Since my goal has been $40-50/week, under $30 rocks my socks!


If you're unfamiliar with Just1, click on this link for more information.

Free and inexpensive donation items found around the web for the week of 2/28-3/6
(Will update and add as deals are found)

Rite Aid
Satin Care Shave Gel – $1.99
Use $1/1 coupon from the 2/17 P&G insert
Submit for $1 Single Check Rebate
Free after coupon and Single Check Rebate

Carefree Ultra Pantiliners 16 count – $0.99
Buy 2 and use $1/2 coupon from the 1/31 RedPlum insert
$0.50 each after coupon

Suave Shampoo or Conditioner – $1.99
Use $.50/1 coupon from the 1/3 RedPlum insert
Submit for $1 Single Check Rebate
$0.50 after coupon and Single Check Rebate

Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser – $7.99
Submit for $7 Single Check Rebate
$0.99 after Single Check Rebate

Reach toothbrush or Floss – $0.99 after in-ad coupon
Use $1/1 printable
Free after coupons

Lindsay olives – $0.99 after in-ad coupon
Buy 2 and use $1/2 printable
$0.49 after coupon

Nivea Lip Care – $0.99 after in-ad coupon
Use Buy One Get One coupon from the 2/7 RedPlum insert
$0.50 after coupons

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My first (real) attempt at a OAMC freezer-fill day

OAMC Button

I read posts on Money Saving Mom all the time about her freezer cooking days. I'm always saying I'm going to give it a try. I even gave it a half-hearted try when we first moved here (as in, while standing among mountains of cardboard boxes).

It didn't work.

I'm good about making a double to quadruple batch of things when cooking and freezing the extras... tacos, chili, soups. But I've never really hunkered down to say I'm going to just spend all day in the kitchen.

So... I'm gonna give it a shot!

I'm in the planning stages right now, and I'll keep editing this post until I have my real menu down (and I'll do another with my prep list). If I'm being honest, I'll probably get a head start on some of this Sunday night, and there's a good chance that one or more of the "dough things" will get carried over to either Sunday night or Tuesday - since there will be a lot of breadiness going on and will have to separate wheaty from gluten-free (thank goodness for two bread machines!).

Current running ideas:
1-2 batches GF pizza dough
1-2 batches wheat pizza dough
1-2 batches brown rice tortillas (experiment with recipe below - 2 only if it works!)
1-2-3 batches wheat tortillas
1-2 Best Bread Machine Bread
1-2 baked brown rice first OAMC foods to be frozen!
Whole wheat lemon poppy seed muffins (if time allows)

Rice mixes for quick side dishes:
1 Herb Rice (chicken)
1 Herb Rice (beef)
1 Rice for Beef
1 Curried Rice
all from Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food for Kids: 150 Family-Tested Recipes by Sheri L. Sanderson

Outside the all-starch-festival...
Double batch of Slow Cooker Beef Stew cooling in crock to bag and freeze
Slow cooker split pea soup ditto
2 lasagna (1 wheat, 1 GF) (meat filling was made a few weeks ago and frozen. It is thawed in the fridge, I'm using spaghetti sauce, and I've got everything else ready... just need to do it!)
1-2-3 GF Oven fried Chicken nuggets/fingers I replace crumbs with crushed rice or corn chex! (chicken breasts have been pounded and chopped and are soaking in buttermilk in the fridge - and we keep a bucket each of crushed corn and rice chex)
1-2 Sloppy Joes*
Bacon, Egg and cheese biscuit cups I'm going to make these later in the week
1-2-3 Chef Mis-Er-Ly's beefy macaroni* I made a double batch, but was enough for 3 freezer bags - so it counts as 3
1-2-3-4-5-6 pounds beef taco filling Cooling to be put away =)

*As much as I would love to put away completely finished sloppy Joes and Chef Miserly's dish, I can't claim that I'll still have the energy. I will, however, start out by browning a bunch of ground beef and refreezing it after that. At least it will be ready to grab and throw into whatever recipe needs it. Never mind =)

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 pounds ground beef, browned Done

Now to see if I have any sanity left over with which to complete this undertaking!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking for some photos?

This isn't necessarily a budget issue, but a friend of mine has an etsy shop where she's selling some of her photography. She's an awesome person, raising a family of 10, and a portion of all sales are going to Haiti relief efforts.

Please check out her shop!

Monday, February 15, 2010


My friend, Jenn, is starting a new blog with a humanitarian angle. The idea being, if I surmised correctly, that if you can't feel all the hungry, you can feed just one. When you're shopping for your family, you can pick up just one extra thing to donate to a food pantry or shelter.

I told her that I'd be more than happy to help collect ways in which those of us on a limited or fraying-shoe-string budget can do the same. I've left her a few comments already, but I figured I'd just compile a big list here and then link over rather than be obnoxious =) And once her site goes live, I'll happily link it, too!

(Edit - it's live!)

These are all the deals I've found this week where you can get much needed supplies (not covered by food stamps) for $1 or less - with the exception of cheap diapers that run under $3.

At Kroger affiliate stores this week
Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste (4.2-4.6 oz) – $1.67
$.50/1 in the 1/31 SmartSource insert (exp 2/20/10) or $1/1 in the January All You
$0.67 each after coupon (Kroger stores double coupons up to $1)

At Target this week
Satin Care Shave Gel (travel size) – $0.97/ea
Use $0.55/1 or $1/1 in 2/7 P&G insert
Final Price = FREE or $0.42/ea

Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit to Go – $0.97-0.99/ea
Use $1/1 in 1/3 Red Plum insert (exp 3/31)
Final Price = FREE

Band-aids (8-10 ct travel size, Hello Kitty & others) – $0.97/ea
Use $1/1 in 1/3 Red Plum insert (exp 3/31)
Final Price = FREE

Johnson’s Buddies Soap – $0.97-0.99/ea
Use $1/1 Johnson’s Baby in 1/3 Red plum insert (exp 3/31)
Final Price = FREE

Right Guard deodorants (trial size) – $0.99
Buy 2 and use $2/2 coupon here and here
Free after coupon

At Wal-Mart this week
Many Walmart stores have Malt-O-Meal cereals priced at $1. Use the $0.75/1 Malt-O-Meal printable coupons here, here, and here to get these for $0.25 after the coupon.

At Walgreens through 2/27
Buy 1 Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste (6.4 oz.) regularly priced at $2.29
Use the $0.75/1 coupon from the 2/7 P&G insert (expires 2/28)
Stack with $1.50/1 Walgreens coupon from the February coupon booklet available in stores (expires 2/27)
$0.04 after coupons

At CVS this week:
Buy 1 Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield Toothpaste or Rinse at $3.50, Get $3.50 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $2/1 Rice coupon or $0.75/1 toothpaste coupon from the 2/7 P&G insert
Free plus up to $2 overage after coupons and ECBs

Buy 1 Aussie Conditioner, Shampoo, or Styler at $2.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $1/1 from the 2/14 RedPlum insert
Free after coupons and ECBs

Buy 1 Colgate Advanced Toothpaste at $2.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $1/1 from the January All You Magazine
Free after coupons and ECBs

At Rite Aid this week:
Use $1/1 coupon in the 1/3 RedPlum insert
Submit for $2 Single Check Rebate
Free after coupon and Single Check Rebate

Halls Cough Drops–$0.99
Use $0.50/1 printable coupon
$0.49 after coupon

Dove Deodorant–$1.50
Use $1/1 Dove Deodorant coupon from the 1/31 RedPlum insert
$0.50 after coupon

Extra Soft White Lightbulbs –2 for $4.00
Buy 2 and use $3/2 in-ad coupon
$0.50 each after coupon

Huggies Jumbo Pack Diapers or Training Pants–$8.99
Use $2/1 printable Huggies Coupon or use $2/1 printable Pull Ups Coupon
Stack with $1/1 Pull Ups or Huggies Video Values Coupon from January
Submit for $3 Single Check Rebate
As low as $2.99 after coupons and Single Check Rebate

(Thanks Stretching A Buck, The Krazy Coupon Lady, Money Saving Mom, Mommy Snacks, The Thrifty Mama, For The Mommas)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Great deal on Turkey Sausage at Target

I was at Target tonight to try and fill a raincheck on some Jennie-O Turkey Store Original Turkey Breakfast Sausage Links. They were on sale about a week ago for $1.65 (regular price $3.29). They were on sale for $.82!!!! It was marked February 9 and 10 only, so there's only one more day to get in on it. But I thought I'd pass it along. I was at the Super Target in Parker - and they are giving rainchecks at this price, too (I bought the 5 they had left and got a raincheck for 5 more).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yeah... it's slow here

So, we moved. It's been crazy. We came here to find housing - then went back to Oregon, packed a house, and drove back here... in 13 days. Then came Christmas, New Years, and trying to get a routine of some sort down. And let's not forget UNpacking. Otherwise all the "fun" of packing would be lost, right?

I was worried about making the transition to new stores, new area for finding bargains. I'm WAY behind on cutting out my coupons - they're all stacked up in a bag. But I've found a few great deals, so I'm encouraged. I was able to get 2 gallons of organic skim milk for $1.09 total (including tax - something I keep forgetting to figure in after living in sales tax-free Oregon). Our local Safeway has one section where they put all the sell-by clearance foods (other than meat) rather than having to hunt them down. I've done some price matching in our local Wal-Mart. And today I hit the 75% off clearance stuff at Target in Parker and got some really great stuff for next winter for the kids - including a winter coat for M (regular $35 - I got it for under $9), a **beautiful** Christmas dress that will fit her for the next 2 years for under $5, and 3 really nice sweaters for R for about $3.50 each. Sweats for $.98 a piece, a long-sleeved turtle neck black shirt for M - there were many more things I could have picked up, but we're trying really hard to watch our budget and pay off some bills. For myself, I used a birthday gift card from G's wonderful sister and got some "fur" lined suede mittens that were 50% off. I'm SO excited!

I've taken a gluten-free tour at our King Soopers (that's Kroger here) and scored a bunch of coupons there. Our natural foods store (Vitamin Cottage) has amazing prices on their bulk supplies, many of which are GF as well, AND they accept coupons (that's where I scored the milk deal!). I've even found some local bloggers to help the process along. We're blessed.

So, while we're not really in that much of a better financial place than when we were in Oregon (G's call is part-time and the search for additional employment hasn't been fruitful), we're going to make it. And it's wonderful to have a happy husband again because he's back doing what he loves... and freeing me up to do my job at home (wife and mom) which I love as well.

I can't promise this blog will be bustling with activity again soon, but I'll be sure to post if something incredible comes up. After sending out our *slightly* late Christmas cards. But hey, they were all free... and we're waiting on our free change of address cards. So it's worth being a little late in my book to save that chunk of change.

Happy 2010!