Sunday, December 7, 2008

Menu plan monday 12/8-12/14

This is going to be a clean out the fridge week. I want the fridge to be cleaned out before we leave for our trip to China.
raspberry, banana, and peach smoothies
frozen waffles
sausage and biscuits
toast and jam
asst fruit

mac and cheese and hot dogs
crackers and cheese, summer sausage

squash chili mole
curried honey dijon roasted chicken with roasted potatoes
polynesian pork roast with rice and macaroni salad
Christmas party
Breakfast for dinner

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Forks part II

La Push
Hannah was not having fun. she was very scared of the huge waves!
The weather was so terrible at La Push. We could hardly see anything.


Views of the river

I thought that this looked like the view from the movie, when Edward and Bella are up in the tree.

We went over to Forks today! The kids had the day off from Chinese school,and the weather was ok, so off we went.
It is quite a drove over there, about a 440 mile round trip from our house. The kids watched movies while we drove, and I listened to Twilight on my Ipod. The scenery is just breathtaking! I thought that it would be much the same as my area, but with all the water it is really different.

Menu plan monday 12/1-12/7

toast and jam
berries, bananas.

pb & j
tuna salad

taco lasagna
beef and broccoli and rice
cranberry apricot pork loin with orzo
potato soup with rolls
baked potato and salad bar

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Italian Stew

1 lb stew meat cut into small peices
1 lb Hot sausage browned
1 onion diced
4 ribs celery diced
3 cloves garlic minced
6 potatoes diced
1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
4 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1 T dried basil
3 bay leaves
1T dried oregano
1 t dried rosemary
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste~ about 1 T each
Add all the ingredients except for the canned tomatoes to a large, at least 6 quart, crockpot. Puree the tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Pour over other ingredients in the crock pot. Cook 4-6 hours on high or 5-10 on low. This stew would freeze very well without the potatoes

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu plan monday 11/24-11/30

sausage patties
carrot cake muffins
rolls and jam

Italian stew

Butternut squash pasta with spinach and bacon

Beef Enchiladas

mashed potatoes
sweet potatoes
roasted brussel sprouts with apple cider dressing
pumpkin pie
homemade cranberry sauce
pumpkin mousse


Turkey broccoli casserole

Apricot cranberry pork loin with apple wild rice

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Menu plan monday 11/17-11/23

Monday~ muffins and fruit
turkey and rice soup

Tuesday~ cereal and fruit smoothies
White turkey chili and cornbread

Wednesday~ eggs and toast
spring rolls and rice

Thursday~ cereal and fruit
mini turkey meatloaves, mini penne and marinara

Friday~ sausage patties and eggs
burgers and salad
tin foil dinners

mommy's nite out ~Daddy's nite cooking

Aloha chicken and rice
Potstickers and edamame

snacks~rice crackers and hummus, black bean dip, or almond butter
carrot sticks
apples and pb

Monday, November 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 11/10-11/16

This is a very crazy week for us! The kids are out of school through Thursday, and I am on a restricted diet for the next two weeks. It seems that I came home with a bug from our Europe trip~yuck.

cereal and fruit
Orange and rice with broccoli

pb&j picnic in the car on the way to the musuem
clam chowder

scrambled eggs and bacon
tuna sandwiches
mexican stuffed shells

sausage biscuits
Chef salads

cereal and fruit
spaghetti and breadsticks

hot cereal and hot chocolate
out to eat

ham and cheese muffins
grilled chicken and rice
left overs

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Winner dinner

Hannah told me that this dinner was a winner! So here it is

I made this recipe for meatballs, except that I just pan fried them in a little olive oil

This recipe for alfredo sauce

and this one for breadsticks from Sherry on pinching your pennies

Honey Whole-Wheat Breadsticks
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour (I use all whole wheat, but you could do half all purpose flour, half whole wheat flour)
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 t. salt
1 cup warm water (120 degrees-130 degrees F)
2 T. olive oil or cooking oil
3 T. honey
1 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/4 c. of the flour, yeast, salt and garlic powder; add warm water, oil, honey. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. Let the dough rest in the bowl for a few minutes.On a baking sheet coat the bottom with a tablespoon of olive oil. Using your hands, shape dough into 10-12 breadsticks. Place on pan and roll in olive oil the coat breadstick. Place in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. I like to sprinkle corse salt on top right before baking. We love to dip these in honey or soup!!

Along with some steamed broccoli, this was a very balanced dinner~4 out of 5 of us had seconds.
(PS, I couldnt have leftovers~I couldnt eat it! I am on a detox diet.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 11/3-11-9

pumpkin coffee cake and hot cocoa
Creamy chicken and potato soup

Fruit smoothies
Six layer dip and quesadillas

Waffles and fruit
Turkey apple meatballs, fettucine and broccoli

hot cereal and fruit
Taco salads (sweet pork)

Muffins and cocoa

cereal and fruit
Dinner~out to eat with the kids

Cranberry pork roast

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Firecracker Beef

This was a great recipe,I had all the ingredients on hand. The kids loved this one! I made a simple chow mein for the side. I added sliced celery, onions, garlic, and shredded cabbage, a little soy and a few drops of oyster sauce to the noodles.
Here is the recipe for the Fire meat. I did not have any leeks so I left those out. I used grated carrots in it too. I think that the dish was a bit too salty, next time I will use a little less soy sauce. I used skirt steak for the meat.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 10/27-11/2

Monday~Pancakes and waffles
Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob
Tuesday~Pumpkin muffins and fruit
Firecracker beef with chow mein
Weds~cereal and fruit
Thai curry and basmati rice
Thurs~ smoothies and waffles
Taco casserole with spanish rice
Fri~Biscuits and gravy
Sat~Biscuits and jam
Lamb roast, tzaki sauce, red potatoes,
Cream cheese chicken, rice

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beautiful Rolls

I put together this recipe the weekend and asked my girls what I should call it. They decided on beautiful rolls! So here is my latest creation!

2 cups warm water
5 T yeast
2/3 cup sugar
Let sit til bubbly

2 cups warm buttermilk
2/3 cup oil
10-12 cups flour one cup at a time
1T salt
2 eggs

I made it in my Kitchen-aid and it was almost over flowing, if you don't want to knead by hand you may want to cut the recipe in half.

Divide into two and let it raise til double, about 40 minutes. Shape in desired sizes and place on baking sheet, let them rise again for 30-40 minutes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 10/20-10/26

Last week was a slow one here, A was out of town and we still had a bit of the flu. I only cooked twice last week, so I have a lot to make up for this week!

smoothies and fruit
Steak, mashers, corn, and homemade rolls

pancakes and fruit
Black Bean lasagna
Pumpkin snickerdoodles

cereal and hot chocolate
Beef and noodles

pumpkin muffins
spaghetti and garlic rolls


muffins and cider
White bean apple chili with cornbread

Sunday~biscuits and gravy
Autumn chicken salad with foccacia bread
Leftovers for dinner

Friday, October 17, 2008

$5 off at Whole Foods

Here is a printable coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase at Whole Foods. It expires on 10/22/08

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Unadvertised Deal at Albertsons

Attn Soy Milk drinkers:

The Pearl organic soy milk is on sale for $1 each. When you buy 4 coupons worth $3 will print out at the checkstand. You can use these coupons for the next four that youbuy so the total for them will be 4/$1. Look for containers that have "peelie" coupons on them for $1, that will make them totally free.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Welcome to couponing!

The easiest way to get started with coupons is to get the Sunday paper. I will buy 2+ copies depending on what is included that week. I watch for the "blinkie" machines in the store and collect those too. Keep those coupons that you get at the check-out, these are great coupons to have. Other types of coupons are tear-pads. These coupons will be near the product, take some, but be considerate of others. Peelies are coupons that will be stuck to the product. These are meant to be used on that product when you purchase it.

The next step is to get organized. Decide how you want to organize them. For some people a small accordian file, or a recipe box with indexed cards works well. I prefer to use my zippered binder with baseball card holders to hold the coupons.

Now you need to clip and file your coupons. I clip everything that I know I will use, everything that I can trade, and also the coupons for new products that are coming out. I try to clip and file every weekend. As I am filing I will pull out the coupons that have expired also.

I divide mine into categories. Some prefer to organize by aisle or by product alphabetically.

Here are my categories:
Baby and kids
Candy and gum
Canned goods
Cereal and Bread-I divide it between manufacturers
Cleaning products-I include laundry soap here
Cosmetics and body care-make-up, deodorants, body soap and lotions,
Dairy-milk, yogurt, cheese, butter
Hair care-shampoo and conditioner,
Juice and soda
Medicine- also put first aid items here
Mexican and Ethnic
Pasta-rice, packaged meals,
Plastic and paper goods- bags, paper towels, toilet paper,
Refridgerated Non dairy- cookie dough, biscuits, pudding,
Sauces and dressings-pasta sauce, salad dressing, bbq sauce
Snacks and chips
Razors and shaving
Store coupons-Each store has a page Target, Safeway, Albertsons,

The easiest way to start your shopping is to take a look at the store circulars for the week. They will most likely come in the mail in Tuesdays, or on wednesdays if Monday was a holiday. Take a look at the ad and make a note of the things that interest you.

Next go to

Go to Forums

Then to your state forum.

The shopping lists should be posted there for you to print out. The shopping list will show you what is on sale and the coupons that match up to it. The sale items are rated on a 5 star system with 5 being the best. Be selective about what you choose to buy. The biggest mistake that new couponers make is buying things that they won't use, or buying too many! I was also guilty of this!

I like to pull all the coupons that I plan to use for my shopping trip before I go to the store. I put them in a small pocket. I still take my binder in the store with me, you never know what deals may suprise you.

Top ways to save money at the grocery store
1. Look at the grocery ads! I plan my meals for the week based on what is on sale that week. Also plan to stock up on items that are on sale.
2. Clip coupons for the items that you know you will use and for items that are new in the stores. An item will most likely be introduced at a great discount.
3. Don’t be brand loyal. Generic or non-name brand items are usually the same quality.
4. Look at shelf tags and compare prices carefully. Sometimes you have to buy multiple items to get the sale price.
5. Ask for a rain check if an item is out of stock.
6. Sign up for savings cards at your local stores
7. Keep an eye out for stores that you may not usually shop at

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 10/13-10/18

I will be trying hard to post this every week from now on. It makes my life much easier when I have a plan.

Mon~oatmeal, hot cereal and fruit
Honey lime enchiladas
refried beans
spanish style rice

Tues~Fruit smoothies
Spaghetti and mini meatballs
Garlic cheese biscuits
caesar salad

Weds~cereal and fruit
Chili and baked potatoes

Thurs~sausage and biscuits
salad and baked potato bar

Eating out on the way to Portland

Saturday~snacks, fruits for our trip. Eating out in Portland

Dinner only~leftovers

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

more of Spain

No not apartments, its a cemetery!

Dessert anyone?
A little Flamenco for your entertainment!
Thats DH showing his moves unvoluntarily, but he was really good!

Bell Reco~a countryside manor from the early 1800s.

Another wonderful dinner! Its a good thing that we walked most of the days or else I would have come home very fat!

Our trip to Portugal and Spain

interior of the church
Nativity scene on the outside of the church
Crucifixtion scene on the outside of the church
La Sagrada Familia church~it has been under construction since 1882, they expect that it will take 20 more years to complete.

This was our one major splurge on the trip, we had a wonderful dinner on the waterfront. We shared two grilled plates. I forgot to take pictures of our appetizers, and DH had eaten all of his mussels and clams before I remembered to take this picture. On my plate I had grilled pork, lambchops, steak, sausage, rabbit, chicken, and veggies. Total meal with three courses, drinks, and dessert was $128! I am sure that we have never spent that much on dinner for ourselves! I was a great birthday present! Thanks honey!

DH managed to find an Aikido Dojo in Barcelona. It was fun to watch him through around that very large man.

A street market in Barcelona.
We had Paella at this restaurant in the gothic quarter in Barcelona. This restaurant has been open since 1835.

Sintra City View, that is a castle on top of the mountain. It was built in the 1500s.
The view from our room at the Four Seasons.
This is the Quelez Palace, just outside of Lisbon. We had a wonderful dinner in that beautiful golden dining room. The meal was fabulous!

My Dh is a very hard working man! He earned this fabulous trip to Europe. We had a wonderful time seeing all the sights and spending time with other leaders in the company!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Learnin' the lingo

I was shopping with my son tonight and he came running over to me and said he had poop on. When you have a two year old, that is not a good thing to hear! I was looking frantically trying to find the poop, when he held out his hand and gave me a coupon ("poopon") he had found on the shelf! It looks like I have another frugal shopper in training!

Creamy White Chili

This Chili was fantastic! I thought that adding the sour cream was really weird when I read the recipe, but I had all the ingredients on hand, so I gave it a try. It turned out so great, I made two batches and DH ate one all by himself. I made this two ways too. The first one I used sour cream and milk, the second with plain yogurt and milk. We could not tell the difference between the two. I also added a hand ful of chopped fresh cilantro at the end, it finished it off very well. I served this with cornbread.

Marie Callendars cornbread.
1 yellow cake mix prepared according to directions minus and oil
1 cube of butter melted
1 cup of cornmeal.

Mix and bake 35-40 in a 9x13 cake pan.

Creamy White Chili
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil)
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.

My changes:
I used fat free plain yogurt in place of sour cream and milk in place of the whipping cream.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu plan monday 9/15-9/21

I decided that it easier for me to just pick 7 meals to have during the week, rather than decide on the nights beforehand. It is hard to tell what your day is going to be like a week in advance!

So we will be having the standard breakfast fare this week, and for lunches P and I will be having mostly leftovers and salads because the girls will be in school.

Green chicken chili
Black bean chowder
Mini dogs and Mac and cheese
Clam chowder
Chicken with crescent rolls and gravy

The sky is not falling yet...

The sky is not falling but...Today should be an advanced wake up call for those you that do not have your financial house in order. There has never been a more vital time to make sure your own finances are prepared for what could be coming in this country. The time for needless spending and wants over needs has truly passed. It is a sad example that major financial institutions cannot even make wise choices. I will be working even harder over the next months to make sure that we are prepared for anything that may come. I will diversify my investments, have plenty of cash around, and be truly diligent about stretching my grocery dollar to the max.
Please share any ideas that you have!

Price: 10,917.51 Chg: -504.48
Price: 1,192.69 Chg: -59.00
Price: 2,179.91 Chg: -81.36
S&P 500

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kids Sale

My friend told me about this new consignment shop. I will not be selling at this one, but if you want to sign up here and let them know that Tiffany Henretty referred you!

Friday, September 12, 2008


For those of you that think my coupons are always perfectly organized...they are not!

By the way, I took this picture three days ago, and they are still there!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Crockpot Dinner Party

I decided to have some friends over for a dinner last night. It was great to spend some time with them! I cooked all the main parts of our Mexican meal in the crock pot. I love my new one!

Salsa Chicken

2 pounds chicken
1 cup salsa

My chicken was frozen so it took about 3 hours on high to cook.

Beef Brisket Enchilada Style
4 lbs beef brisket
2 cups red enchilada sauce

Salt and pepper the beef, cover with sauce. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until the meat shreds easily.

Pork Barbacoa (Sweet BBQ Pork)
3 lbs pork roast
1 cup red enchilada sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 small can dice green chilies

Salt and pepper pork roast, cook on high for 4-6 hours until tender. Shred meat removing and excess fat. Add the sauce, sugar, and chilies and cook for 1 more hour.

Crockpot pudding cake~from scratch
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 t baking soda
2/3 cup cocoa
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 t baking powder
2 eggs

Mix everything together in a mixing bowl and beat for 2-3 minutes until fully combined. Pour into greased crockpot.

1/4 cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
Sprinkle over the top of the cake
Pour 1 1/2 cups hot water over the cake.

Cover and cook for 2 hours on high.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crock pot pudding cake

1 cake mix prepared according to directions on box
1 small box pudding
4 cups of milk

Prepare the cake mix and pour into crockpot. Mix milk and pudding together and pour over the top of the cake. Cook for about 2 hours on high.
I used a dark chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding. I think that you could make this cake a lot of different ways!

Menu Plan Monday 8/25-8/31

I know that it is Tuesday, I am a little late in posting. Hopefully I can get into a better routine and actually get this posted before Monday!

Hot Cereal
Grilled cheese
Beef and Broccoli and Chow Mein

Cereal and toast
soup and leftovers
Black Bean Chili

Carrot Muffins and chilled peach soup
leftover chili and chips
silly spaghetti cupcakes with garlic bread cups

Chocolate chip muffins
leftover spaghetti
Chicken lettuce wraps PF Chang style

Chucks for donuts
leftoversCalifornia Pizza Kitchen

Pulgogi and clear noodles
leftovers for dinner

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Check out these stores

I love to explore stores in my area. I have found a few that are really great and some that I will never go to again!
The ethnic stores have been a great find for me! The local Asian food store has great produce the my husband loves like Chinese Broccoli, baby bok choy, fresh bean sprouts. Also many types of tofu, baked, fried, flavored, and soft. If you are not a fan of these things, check out the meat dept! The ground beef and pork was almost half the cost of my regular grocery store and it was also much fresher. Chicken in all shapes and forms was very cheap too. Don't be afraid to pick up spices and sauces to experiment with.

What to look for there:

Asian stores
Produce:baby bok choy, chinese broccoli, cabbages, english cucumbers, fresh bean sprouts
tofu and soy products
meat: ground beef, ground pork, whole chickens, chicken wings and drumettes, chicken drum sticks, flank steak, pork roast
Spices: dry mustard, chili powders, dried onion and garlic
Sauces: Soy, chili sauces and paste, Hoisin sauce, Hawaiian BBQ sauce, Plum sauce
Canned: coconut milk, baby corn
Noodles and rice

Mexican Stores
Produce: Mangoes, papayas, pineapple, melons. potatoes, onions, garlic, avocados, fresh cilantro, yams and sweet potatoes
Meat: beef flank steaks, beef roasts, whole chickens, ground pork
Pantry: spices and dried chilies, cornmeal, tortillas and tortilla chips,
Sauces: chili sauces, tomato sauces, enchilada sauces, chili verde sauce
Canned: tomato sauces, canned chilies, salsas, canned pork, canned chicken.

Where have we been?!

We have been out of town for a week! It was so much fun to visit friends and family in our old home town. We miss our family there, but not the weather! It was nice to get out of the heat and back to the 70 degrees that we love here at home.
I have a new recipe for you to try, sorry no pics though!

Mexican Shredded Beef
1 beef roast, the one we used was about 4 lbs
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
fresh garlic
1 can of mexican style stewed tomatoes

The roast we used was frozen, just season the roast the best you can. Add the roast to the crockpot with the garlic cloves, we used 4. Add the tomatoes and let it cook for 6-8 hours until very tender. Shred and eat. You could make enchiladas, taquitos,or just serve it with rice.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Look what Oprah left on my doorstep today! I was so excited, I entered online a long time ago, I didn't think that there was any chance I would get one. So cool!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Easy Breadsticks

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 T yeast
2 T sugar

Mix and let sit for 10 minutes until bubbly

Add 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup real parmesan cheese

Mix until the dough forms a ball. Let it rise for 20 minutes in a bowl covered.
Sprinkle some cornmeal on your pan and shape your dough into the desired size and shape.
Pour on 1/4 melted butter
3 chopped cloves of garlic
1/4 dried parsley
1/2 real shredded parmesan cheese

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with marinara sauce

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sausage Potato Soup

This was one of those nights were I had a bunch of misc things in the fridge that needed to be used up so I created this soup. It was pretty good, the kids thought the sausage was too hot and next time want me to make it with bacon instead.

1 lb hot sausage
1/2 onion
3 celery ribs
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
a handful of baby carrots sliced thick
1/4 oil or grease
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half and half
2 cups milk
8 potatoes~I used gold fingerlings, but russet or reds would have been better
salt and pepper to taste
3 bay leaves

Brown sausage and then add the veggies to soften and slightly brown. My sausage was pretty lean so I kept the grease in it. If you want you can drain the grease and use oil instead. When the veggies are soft and the sausage is browned add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the milk and/or half and half, potatoes, and bay leaves. Simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

I served them with breadsticks

Easy Cheesy Breadsticks
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 T yeast
2 T sugar or honey
Mix together and let sit for 10 min til bubbly

3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 real grated parmesan cheese

Add the salt and cheese to yeast mixture. Add the flour 1/2 at a time until the dough has formed a ball.
Knead dough 10 times. Sprinkle cornmeal on your pan. Roll out on baking pan. I used my round stoneware.
Melt 1/4 butter, add 4 cloves garlic chopped. Pour butter mixture over the dough evenly. Sprinkle 1/4 dried parsley and more parmesan to taste on top.
Bake at 350 for 15-20.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sticky Coconut chicken (Shrimp and Salmon)

Sticky Coconut Chicken from Leigh Anne

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 cup canned coconut milk

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (I let mine marinade four about four to five hours). Grill on barbecue.


3/4 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Be patient because it takes a little while. But once it starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice.

I made this using salmon and shrimp. I did not marinate the salmon, just used the glaze on it. This was very good! A even ate it cold! I served this with brown rice and garlic green beans

Monday, July 14, 2008

Target deals

I got all of this tonight for $20.06!

If you want any details, post a comment.

Safeway summer savings

I just realized how great of a deal this was! I didn't really notice in the paper, but saw it on another blog. I have done 3 orders so far, here we go #1. Total cost was $46.06. I know that sounds like a lot but that averages out to 1.84 for each item, then I received a $20 catalina to use on my next order, if you add that in it makes everything $1.04 each.

My second order , there is a six pack of soda missing, the kids attacked it! I used the $20 catalina in this order and the total came to $15.04, total for each item .60. Another coupon printed out which I plan to go use tomorrow.
This was a very fun shoping day, let me know of any scenarios that you come up with!
Well, I made it to the book sale on Saturday...without my wallet!!! 40 minutes of driving for nothing! I will not do that again!

Friday, July 4, 2008

All books $1

Half price books Warehouse Sale
All books $1

July 12th and 13th

Half Price Books prices just got better. Join us at our warehouse for a sizzling book sale.Everything will be $1 or less. Merchandise will be restocked on Sunday. So come to the Summer Saleand fill your shelves with great books, movies and music at great prices. See you there!

9241 Greenwood Ave N.
(just north of 85th on the west side of Greenwood in Seattle)

click here to check for a sale in your area.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Free or Cheap movies for the kids this summer!

These movies are free on Tues and Weds. All movies start at 10 am.
Crossroads Regal Cinemas
1200 156th Avenue NE
Bellevue ,WA 98008

07/08/2008-07/09/2008Everyone's Hero (G)Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (PG)

07/15/2008-07/16/2008Arctic Tale (G)Firehouse Dog (PG)

07/22/2008-07/23/2008Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (G)Happily N'ver After (PG)

07/29/2008-07/30/2008Doogal (G)Shrek The Third (PG)

08/05/2008-08/06/2008Jonah: A Veggie Tale Movie (G)Bee Movie (PG)

08/12/2008-08/13/2008Pirates Who Don't Do Anything - Veggie Tales (G)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PG)

08/19/2008-08/20/2008Nancy Drew (PG)

08/26/2008-08/27/2008Charlotte's Web (G)Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep (PG)

Click here to find free movies in your area

You can movies for $1 in your area here, they also have specially priced kids packs for $3.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gouda Mac and Cheese with Spinach

Gouda Mac and Cheese with Spinach
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 T flour
¼ c butter
2 cloves garlic minced
2 flour
2 cups fat free milk
½ t salt
½ t pepper
½ cup shredded gouda
1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
5 cups fresh spinach, wilted or steamed
4 cups cooked pasta, if freezing cook 2 min less than shortest time on package
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.
Place bread in food proccessor until coarsely ground, Melt butter in large saucepan over med heat, add garlic and saute for one minute. Add flour cook one min stirring constantly. Gradually add salt, pepper, and milk stirring contstantly until well blended. Bring to a boil and cook until thick Add cheeses stir until melted. Add spinach and pasta to cheese sauce. Pour into a 2 qt baking dish sprayed with the cooking spray. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 15 or until bubbly, or wrap well and freeze. To cook after frozen thaw and cook at 350 for 15 min, or from frozen 1 hour.
gluten free if made with rice pasta and rice flour.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Making meals healthier.

I recently discovered the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I saw her on a few shows promoting her book and decided to give it a try. I really like her concepts; She adds food purees to her dishes. In most cases you cannot even detect that they are there. M's favorite brownie is the one that is made with spinach puree! Here a few of the ideas that I have come up with on my own.

I add sweet potato, carrot, or squash puree to my tomato based dishes like spaghetti, lasagna, meatloaf, chili, and taco soup.

I add cauliflower puree to my alfredo sauce, potato soup and most recently I added it to my white country gravy when I made biscuits and gravy.

This is Jessica's Mac and Cheese
1 1/2 cups elbow pasta
non stick spray
1 T olive oil
1T flour
1/2 c nonfat milk
1/2 cup butternut squash or cauliflower puree
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar (low fat is great)
4 oz non fat cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 t paprika

Boil the noodles til al dente (slightly firm)
While the noodles are cooking coat a large sauce pan with the non stick spray and heat over med heat. Add the oil and then the flour, and cook stirring constantly until the mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned.
Add the milk and cook stirring every now and then until it thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Ass the veggie puree, cheddar, cream cheese, and the seasoning. Stir until cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the noodles and serve warm.

Cook noodles for two minutes less than the shortest time on the package. Mix with sauce and freeze. Thaw in fridge and heat in the oven.
Gluten free when made with rice pasta, and rice flour.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fajita Brisket

Fajita Brisket
Fajita Brisket
1 3-4 lb beef brisket
2-3 bell peppers
2 large onions
2 T chili powder
2T dried oregano
1 T ground cumin
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Salt and pepper all sides of the brisket and put in the crockpot with the spices and water. Thinly slice the onions and peppers and put on the top. Cook 4-6 hours on high and 6-8 on low. Shread meat and serve with tortillas, rice, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and salsa

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mom, can I have a snack?

Mom, can I have a snack? How many time a day do we here that? I am trying to solve that problem. I am washing and cleaning all of my fruit as soon as I get home from the market. I put the fruit where it is accessible to the kids. I just discoved these They are amazing! I bought mine at Walgreens for $9.99. Here is a $5/20 coupon that you can use there tomorrow.

I also buy the small snack size baggies at the store and divide up the kids favorite munchies. The staples that I always have are: goldfish, Apple Jacks, Cheerios, raisins and nuts, Chex, and Fruit Loops. In a drawer in the fridge I keep pudding cups, yogurt, and jello cups.

The kids still have to ask me for a snack, but they can get it themselves!

Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken
Salsa Chicken2 lbs chicken ( I used breasts.)
1 cup salsa/ 1 1/2 cups if you are using breasts
1 can black beans drained
1 cup frozen corn
I put my chicken in frozen with all the ingredients.
It took about 6 hours to cook through on low. This would be a great base for burritos!

I found this recipe on

Monday, June 16, 2008

Meatball soup from Amber C.

Meatball Soup- Amber C.
8 cups water and 8 cubes beef boullion cubes or 4 cups beef broth and a 24 oz tomato juice plain or V-8 style.
2 T olive oil
5 oz frozen spinach
1 cup celery chopped
½ onion chopped
1 c carrots chopped
2/3 t dried basil or 1 1/3 fresh
½ t oregano
2 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
19 oz cheese tortellini
10-15 meatballs, home made or not
Saute celery, onion, garlic, and carrots in olive oil and then add everything else and simmer 30-40 min uncovered. If you are going to freeze this cook the veggies, add the broth. Cool and when you thaw it add the meatballs and tortellini.There was not a drop left in the pan from this one! Everyone loved it, the kids had several servings each. I served it with a baguette that I had broiled with ricotta, garlic, and basil spread on top.

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna
1 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning
½ cup water1 can refried beans
1 ¼ cups water
1 ¼ cups salsa (I like mild Taco Bell brand)
1 cup sour cream
1 4 oz can olives sliced
2 cups monterey jack cheese ( I like a mexican blend)
Lasagna noodles uncooked (not the no cook kind)
Brown the ground beef with the onion. Add taco seasoning and water simmer 5 min. In a baking pan, layer in the following order: noodles beef, cheese, noodles, beans, sour cream, olives, noodles, cheese, beef. Combine water and salsa and pour over the top.Thaw, bake covered for one hour, uncover and bake 10 more minutes with ½ cup reserved cheese. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting. I like to serve this with some fresh lettuce and tomatoes, and some spanish rice. For another flavor use corn or flour tortillas instead of the noodles, and use the salsa only, not the water

Mom's Beef Stroganoff

Moms Beef stroganoff
This is great hearty meal, one of my favorites. Serve over rice or wheat egg noodles.
2 pounds top round steak sliced thinly or stew meat cut into small chunks.
2 cups beef broth2
T butter
2 T flour
1 cup sour cream
Lemon pepper and salt
Brown the meat well and season with the lemon pepper and a little salt.
Remove from the pan and melt the butter. Mix with flour into a paste and cook for one min. Add the broth slowly while whisking constantly. Cook for 5 minutes until thickened. Take off the heat and mix in the sour cream until there are no white streaks. Add the meat back to the mixture and freeze in a gallon bag. Thaw and heat in a sauce pan over med heat on in a crock pot on low.

Variations:You can thicken the broth with a cornstarch slurry or use brown gravy mixes. You can also use this as a base for beef stew and add carrot, potatoes, corn and onions. Add satueed fresh mushrooms just before serving.Use small meatballs or deer steaks instead of the beef steaksWhen you thaw it, it will look kind of chunky or curlded. Just keep heating and stirring and it will smooth out.

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili
1 package turkey
1 onion
1 bell pepper
1-2 cloves garlic
2 T cumin
6-8 T chili powder to taste
2 cans black beans
2 cans kidney beans
2 cansred beans
64 oz low sodium V-8 or tomato juice
Brown turkey with onion, pepper, garlic, 1 T cumin, 1T chili powder, and salt and pepper. Add to crockpot with drained beans and tomato juice. Add chili powder to taste and add the cumin. Simmer on low all day.

Raisin Bran Muffins

Raisin Bran Muffins
From Sparkpeople
3 cups raisin bran2
cups buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in ¼ cup water
Grease muffin pan
Preheat oven to 375C
ombine all ingredients
Bake for 20 min
Cool and freeze, grab one and microwave for 20-30 seconds for a fast breakfast!
I have also used Cranberry total in this recipe.

Baked Spinach and Ricotta Rigatoni

Baked spinach and ricotta Rigatoni
1 lb rigatoni
1 T olive oil
4 T butter
1 large shallot and 2 cloves garlic
½ cup flou
r½ cup white wine (or chicken broth)
2 cups milk
Pinch nutmeg,
Salt and pepper
2 10oz frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed of excess water
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs lightly beaten
8 oz mozzarella grated
Cook rigatoni for 2 min less than shortest amount on label,(only for freezer prep cooking) if you are having it fresh cook pasta al dente, drain and toss with olive oil.
To make white sauce: Melt the butter over med heat add the shallots and garlic for a few min until softened but not colored. Add the flour and stir until a soft paste forms. Gradually whisk in the wine and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer whisking constantly and cook until thickened, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Let cool slightly.Transfer cooled sauce to a large bowl and add the spinach, ricotta, and eggs. Mix in rigatoni and transfer to a 9 x 13 greased pan I do two 8x8 pans. Top with grated mozzarella. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 min. Remove foil and bake for 20 min or until cheese is browned and center is no longer runny.

Freezer Burritos

Freezer Burritos Courtesy of Vince and Sarahbug!
Recipe:2 Cans (10 3/4 oz) Campbells Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
2 Cans (4 oz) Diced Green Chiles
1 Can Refried Beans
1 Can Salsa Refried Beans
2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken
2 Cups Rice
10-20 Large Flour Tortillas
Cook the Chicken and Rice separately then combine with the Soup, Chiles, and Beans.Season to taste.Split as you like among 10-20 Tortillas (15 makes a good size burrito)Wrap in foil and freeze.I would guess that these would stay good for a few months at least but, as ours never last longer than a few weeks, I have no idea.
They reheat very nicely (remove the foil first!) and are quite filling on their own with no sides.
Reheating time is about 1.5 Minutes thawed and 3 Minutes frozen.Nutritional Information

(Approximate, Based on 15 Burritos)
Calories: 340Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 52g AND, because this is a Penny Pinching thread, the approximate price per burrito (again based on 15 burritos) is One Dollar.

Lazybear's Black Bean Lasagna

Black Bean Lasagna
This delicious lasagna surprises the palate with black beans, cumin and fresh cilantro, bringing a southwestern flair to a traditional Italian classic. This recipe freezes well, is great for potlucks and continues to be one of my most requested recipes. Yield: 8 servings
INGREDIENTS:1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese or equivalent amount yogurt cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Organic Monterey Jack cheese or soy cheese
2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (26 ounce) jar prepared organic pasta sauce
½ teaspoon ground cumin
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions (if you are freezing this there is no need to cook the noodles).
Drain and set aside.
Mix together ricotta or yogurt cheese, spinach, cilantro, sea salt and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
In a large bowl mash beans with a potato masher or fork; stir in pasta sauce and ground cumin. Spread a thin layer of this mixture on the bottom of an oiled 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Layer 3 noodles, 1/3 bean mixture, half of spinach mixture and 1 cup cheese.
Repeat layers, ending with remaining bean mixture.
Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Uncover and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese melts. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

Teriyaki Sesame Chicken

Teriyaki Sesame Chicken
15 0z teriyaki sauce
6 T sesame oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1 lemon juiced
1 T honey
1 T sesame seeds
2 pounds chicken (thighs or breasts)
Mix sauce together and add chicken. Freeze in bags in the serving amounts that you will use. Thaw and grill. -
I really prefer boneless skinless thighs for this recipe.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Mini turkey meatloaves
1 package lean ground turkey
1 med zucchini shredded
1 onion finely chopped1
red pepper finely chopped
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg beaten2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
BBQ sauce (optional)
Mix together until just mixed. Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased muffin tin. Freeze or bake for about 25 min at 350 with BBQ sauce on top.

South of the Border Lasagna

South of the Border Lasagna
From Menus 4 Moms
1 lb ground beef
1 15 0z can tomato sauce1
8 oz can tomato sauce1
1 ¼ oz package taco seasoning
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies
8 12 in four tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
Brown ground beef with salt and pepper and drain off fat.
In another pan simmer tomato sauce and taco seasoning for about 10 minutes.
Reserve ¼ cup sauce.
Add meat and chilies to remaining sauce.
Place two tortillas in a greased 9x13 pan.
Layer with half the meat sauce and half of the cheese, make another layer ending with the cheese and pour the reserved sauce over the top.
Freeze or bake at 350 for 30 min. Serve with lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, and guacamole

California Thai Flank steak

California Thai Flank Steak
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ rice wine
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 T sesame oil
½ small red onion sliced
¼ cup each chopped fresh mint and basil (thai basil if you can find it.)
3 T sliced fresh lemon grass
3 T crushed peanuts
3 T chili paste (I use sriracha)
1 T ground coriander
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 lbs flank steak.
Mix all marinade ingredients together and then add meat. Freeze all together. Thaw and drain off marinade. Grill steak until it reaches desired doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve on a salad or with rice.

Citurs Marinated Pork Chops

Citrus Marinated Pork Chops
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 lemons
2 T basalmic vinegar
3 T honey
1 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp paprika
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
6 boneless pork chops.
Combine and freeze, thaw and remove chops from sauce. Grill until done, or brown on one side on a pan and add the marinade. Flip chop and cook until done. Remove chops and cook sauce until thickened.This is great with cous cous.
You can do this with chicken breasts too.

Quick and Easy Alfredo

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce
½ cup butter1
8 oz package cream cheese (fat free is ok)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups milk (skim fine)
6 oz grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff)
Pepper to taste.
To serve thaw and heat while constantly stirring. Serve over pasta.
Cajun shrimp alfredo.Grill one pound shrimp. Add to thawed sauce with Cajun seasoning to taste. I use about 1 T.
Serve over pasta

Chicken Tetrazinni

Chicken tetrazzini
2 cups chopped chicken
1 lb spaghetti cooked 2 min less than shortest time on the package
2 can fat free low sodium cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk
2 cups of italian blend cheese
1 tsp (or more to taste) of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste2 T dried parsley.
Heat soup and milk together, add cheese and melt together.
Mix with the remaining ingredients and put into two one gallon freezer bags.
Thaw and bake at 350 covered for 30 min.

You could also substitute Tuna

Freezer meals

I started getting interested in packaging my own meals for my freezer when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter. I knew that things were going to be getting busy around my house. It just happened that Deanna Buxton was a guest at our church's Enrichment night. She taught us all about her system of cooking and freezing meals.

I really liked her method, although I have changed things to fit my lifestyle. These are a few things that I do.
1. I usually just double what we are making for dinner that night and put one in the freezer.
2. If I get a great deal on a protien I will buy a lot of it and make a bunch of meals with it.
3. I have a girls nite with my good friends and each of us prepare a freezer meal to share.
4. I freeze a lot of meals in gallon freezer bags,I make my casseroles in disposable 8x8 pans.

I will be adding more tips to maximize your freezer soon, in the mean time enjoy these recipies!

My first post!

Welcome to my (other) new blog! I want to share all my ideas for frugal living and saving money here with you.
I will try to post everyday, but you know how life can be! If you would like to know more about something just let me know!

Welcome, welcome, I hope you enjoy the time you spend here!