Monday, December 24, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Oh, and while you're at the website sign up to win the $500 sweepstakes!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Then she proceeded to hand me a few feet long receipt with a lot more ECB's attached(I haven't even looked to see how much money I made)!
My teenage son calls my CVS run my moonshine run because it's like I'm doing something illegal! Hey, getting all those good deals is hard work. It takes time to research the sales and match the coupons. Let alone trying to match the amount due at the end of the deal with the amount of ECB's that are my wallet.
Speaking of ECB's, people ask me a lot how I keep up with them, because they get them too, but forget about them. My answer to that is this: Every time I get ECB's I tear off my receipt and wrap the ECB's around my Extracare card so I can't forget or lose them and stick them in my wallet!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Sugared Pecans are yummy!
I snuck in a picture of banana nut
bread made in the bread machine.
The bread machine was smoking
because I also used it to make this
french bread. This was the first
time I've ever attempted french
bread and the man said it looked
like it came from a bakery. I love
him! I think the eggwash brushed on
top gave it professional touch.
Now I'd never even heard of a baguette
pan until I read it in the recipe for this
french bread. Of course, I had to be
creative so I put the 2 long round loaves
in a 9X13 glass Pyrex and put each
loaf against the long walls and placed a
Pyrex meatloaf pan between the loaves.
Now when the loaves started to rise
they rose up and not out! I never knew
this bread was so easy to make. I will
definitely be making this for my MIL.
She luuuves bread.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
- 8-10 medium potatoes
- 1 8oz. cream cheese
- 1 8oz. carton sour cream
- 1/3 cup dried chives
- 4 Tbsp. Butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel, chop and boil potatoes until fork tender(about 30 minutes). Mash potatoes and add cream cheese, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper and beat with mixer until smooth. Dot with butter. Transfer to casserole dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Men really love this recipe. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Myself and 3 year old riding in the car listening to the radio(country). 3 year old says "Mommy I like dada's music" I ask "what is dada's music?" 3 year old makes head banging gestures and says "da na na na na na na"
I love the way he makes me laugh!
The shift seems to be for the patient to foot more of the bill. For example, we used to have a flat copay for an inpatient visit to the hospital. Now we pay a percentage of the bill based on the insurance plan picked. One plan requires you pay 10% out of pocket the other 20% where the annual cost is higher for the 10% plan. This could amount to thousands of dollars for a major surgery and lengthy hospital stay!
My company also has a FSA for health care costs, where one designates how much they want to go into the account at the beginning of the year. A debit card is issued to use for any health care related costs not covered by insurance. The money is deducted from the paycheck tax free weekly or biweekly, based on how you are paid. This is truly a good service, but if there is money left in the account at the end of the year it is forfeited. So you would only want to select an amount you are almost sure you will spend for the year.
Even with skyrocketing health insurance costs I feel very fortunate to have health insurance. No one ever expects to get sick, but that's why we are insured to protect against a catastrophic event. I personally know some people that don't have it and it has devastated them when a huge hospital bill came in the mail. One family I know had to sell a property they owned to pay the bill.
I don't know what the future holds when it comes to paying for health care, but for now it looks like the consumer is going to have to have deep pockets if they get sick.
Another way I have tried to make laundry day easier is over the past few years I have started replacing all my towels as they wear out with white ones. I can wash them with all the other whites and I can bleach them and they stay clean and fresh looking. I don't buy the big huge bath towels either. We really don't need a bath blanket as we are not elephants. I actually prefer the smaller bath towels for wrapping my hair in when I get out the shower, because they stay on tighter.
My latest way of trying to make the laundry process easier is to take the laundry directly upstairs when it is dry and fold it on my bed and put it away as I fold. Even if the item needs to be ironed I will hang it up in the closet and iron when I have the time. I wish my washer was upstairs it sure would make life a lot easier!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
And a special bonus was when I got home the fedex guy had brought my Victoria's Secret Deal. I was really impressed with the scarf and glove set. The single Beauty Rush lip gloss was marked $7.99 alone. I haven't tried on my sweater yet, but it looks nice.
There are a lot of Dove products on sale this week at CVS. There is a free Dove tote with samples you get free(well$3.99 for shipping) for buying $15 worth of products.
Also,Gold Emblem snacks are on sale so don't forget to use this coupon for buying $10 worth.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
If I'm out or just need to stock up on meat I will just run in and check the meat section for any decent buys that day. I plan my meals around what cut of meat I have bought the week or weeks before on discount.
On my last meat run I got 2 packs of 1lb. ground chicken. 2 packs 1 1/2lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs, 1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts and 3 NY Strip steaks(splurge for $5,originally 17.50!) all for $17.
The week before I got a great deal on Perfect Portion Chickens breasts originally priced at 8.99 on sale for 7.99 but had a $5 off sticker on the outside of the package! That was about .50 for one boneless skinless perfectly portioned chicken breast. What a bargain.
Now the cheapest way to save on meat is to go vegetarian and not buy meat, but my husband would not live without meat. However, lately I have been trying to sneak in a meatless or low meat meal a week. This week we had Black Bean Quesadillas. He raved about how good they were.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
~the first few sips of hot coffee (tastes so good)
~the sound of the birds outside the window
~watching the squirrels run around and gather acorns(I guess that's what they are doing)
~the quiet in the house after everyone is off to work and school and my 3yo is still sleeping
~last but not least...the smell of 3yo morning breath saying "mommy I waked up this morning" and a warm little body on my lap and sweet little arms wrapped around my neck.
Thank you God for these simple pleasures!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
After reviewing all the options I finally chose iGObanking. Their current rate is 5.17% APY. It is very easy to set up an account, as I had my brick and mortar bank linked to this account and when I want to add money to my savings account it is drafted from that account. It takes about three days for the transaction a complete, but that is what I was looking for with this account. I did not want easy access to the money. This account is for long term savings for things like cars and appliances.
Another feature that was appealing to me was PayPeople. This option allows money to be sent or received to or from family or friend. A shared secret code allows the recipient to obtain the money that is being sent.
Overall, I like iGObanking because of the great interest rate, ease of use, and free transfer fees. The account can be opened with only $1 and there are no monthly service fees. Also, if you know that you want to save a certain amount every week or two weeks a recurring transfer can easily be set up.
Don't delay start saving today!! Works for me!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
- Kenmore Elite front load washer. We all know how expensive the front loaders are. I've only had mine a 1 year and 10 months and I have had nothing but trouble from the thing. No problems out of the dryer so far.
- Pampered Chef measure all cup. Sounded like a great thing. However, measuring dry foods with it is not that easy. I'll stick with my Tupperware measuring cups.
- Pampered Chef Ice Cream dipper. Worked well until I put it in the dishwasher.
- Oreck vacuum. This is a very fine vacuum as far as picking up dirt, but I wish it had attachments. My handle is breaking on it because it falls backwards if you leave it to move furniture or a rug. I wish I had bought a Dyson for about the same amount of money.
- Land Rover 1998 Discovery. Let's just say I wish I'd bought a Honda.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
So, in that same spirit I would like to list a few of my favorite things.
- Miracle Thaw-a metal sheet(aluminum, I think) that defrosts meat in a couple hours on the counter. I know there were reports about it not being safe because meats are sitting out at room temperature to defrost, but honestly we've never had any problems thawing meat this way. If I'm shorter on time I use the microwave's defrost option.
- Pampered Chef classic scraper. Let me first say I am not a big fan of Pampered Chef parties after a consultant stalked me about hosting a party (I still get emails from her 7 years later!) Doesn't stain or get bent out of shape! I've had this one for years and love it.
- Pampered Chef rice cooker. Microwaved rice comes out perfectly every time. I never cook rice on the stove anymore.
- Pampered Chef nylon pan scraper. I use one of these everyday. It originally came with a baking stone(broken) used to scrap it clean. However, it works great for removing baked on food from other baking dishes and pans and even dried food spills on counter tops.
- Swivel sweeper. I bought mine at CVS about a year ago and love the little thing. Gets under tables with ease and picks up everything from salt to dog hair. Because of its design it cleans right up to the base boards! You won't replace your regular vacuum with the Swivel Sweeper, but for the quick jobs it fits the bill.
- Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals foundation. I love, love, love this makeup. First off, it lasts forever. Secondly, my face never breaks out when I use this foundation. Lastly, it covers so well and yet I don't even look like I'm wearing makeup. I bought it off EBay last time I needed a replacement and it was much cheaper than buying from QVC or ULTA or even the infomercials.
- Craftsman Tools. Enough said. What else could be said about tools that if broken will be replaced by just taking it to the store for another one. Tools that are guaranteed forever. Wouldn't it be great if everything we bought had a lifetime guarantee!
Next time I will post about some of my not so favorite things that I wish now I had not wasted my money on.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Sidebar: Stockpiling is a great way to fill your pantry now for when times are more lean. However, you have to be careful when you have an abundance of groceries the "there's more where that come from" mentality can lead to using more than is really needed.
Monday, October 8, 2007
On a different note I wanted to share a Coconut Cookie recipe I made last week. These were marvelous.
Tip: Put a piece of bread in the cookie jar to keep homemade cookies moist. I usually use the end piece as we don't eat those anyway!
- Double a recipe and freeze half. Use the frozen meal instead of fast food for a quick meal when you are short on time.
- Shut all cabinet and closet doors. Don't pay to cool/heat "dead" space.
- Try living without one convenience item for a short time. Paper towels or paper plates are a good items to try and avoid. Even a week without them saves money. If you do use paper towels for drying hands don't throw them away. Save it for wiping up a spill. And after a paper towel dries works great to clean windows.
- When using oven, turn off the oven 5-10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Use less of everything! A smidgen of toothpaste is enough to clean our teeth. Use 1/2 lb.- 3/4 lb of ground beef in a recipe that calls for a pound and "bulk" it up by adding rolled oats while browning. No one will know it is in there! Use half the recommended amount of laundry detergent.
- Wash clothes in cold water. They will get clean.
- Dilute liquids. Things like dish soap, shampoo, and even ketchup can easily be diluted.
- Write down every meal you cook this week. You just started a meal plan!
- Unplug appliances that are not being used.
- Hang laundry to dry on a the line or on small drying racks.
I would love to hear what small things others do to save money.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I started my fall baking with the best pumpkin bread recipe I've ever made.
2/3 c. shortening
2 2/3 c. sugar
1-lb can pumpkin
3 1/3c. flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp.baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 c. chopped pecans/walnuts
1 c. raisins(opt.)
Cream shortening and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin and water. Blend in dry sifted ingredients. Stir in nuts and raisins gently. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. This makes two 9x5 loaves.
Tip: After greasing the pans then sugar them as you would if you were flouring the pan. This makes the crust of the bread even more yummy!
Monday, September 24, 2007
The old adage "out of sight out of mind" holds true in my kitchen
when it comes to containers. Juice made in colored containers goes
bad before it gets used because my family can't see what's in there.
Bags of beans lay unused in the bottom of my cupboard because
frankly, I forget about them. So, my solution is to make a gradual
change to clear containers. I picked these up in one shopping trip
to the thrift store. Glass is my first choice for storing dry goods.
But these clear Rubbermaid containers will work great for liquids.
I made OJ in one of them and my husband actually drank two glasses
one evening. So my theory that if it can be seen it will be consumed
is already proving true. Also, check out the clever uses for glass
containers at thehomespunheart.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tip: Add a few drops of essential oil to your pine cones and place in a storage bag for a few days. Place them in baskets and/or bowls around your house for a fragrant treat.