Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 4 oz package instant chocolate fudge pudding
Mix all ingredients in a large ziploc bag. (great for your little helpers!) Add 1/4 -1/2 cup of mix to 8 oz boiling water. Enjoy with a candy cane stick or mini marshmallows! Store mix in an airtight container.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
3 boxes Cheez-Its - $2.00 a box and used 2 .75c coupons per box
7 boxes Keebler Cookies $2.00 a box and used 2 $1.00 off 2 boxes and 1 $1.00 off 3 boxes
Total out of Pocket - $15.50 plus I got $10 gift card back that I turned around and used on some Christmas goodies! Basically each box cookies and Cheez-Its cost me .55c. Can't beat that!
Next up was a CVS trip! They are having a promotion - spend $50 in iTune cards, get $10 in ECB. I got 2 $25 iTune cards for my nephews for Christmas. I used the $10 ECB towards Pull Ups - on sale for 8.97 plus $1.00 coupon, and 3 large candy canes for stocking that were .99c each. Out of pocket - a little over a $1.00 (not including the itune cards).
I also did a Price Chopper run this evening and did quite well there too. Not to bore you with specifics - I did score some good deals and spent $97.00. Add that to my Sunday weekend run and the Target and CVS trip, I am over my $125 target but I feel we are pretty stocked up and unless the stores have great deals this weekend, we will only need some basics.
Macaroni and Cheese Recipe 1
Macaroni and Cheese Recipe 2
I also cooked up some brown sugar twists. Again, my husband and I thought they were fabulous - my kids not so much! I found a recipe for breakfast hot pockets. My oldest son loves eggs and I thought this would make a great, healthy, fast breakfast. I presented the idea to him, even suggested he help make them with me, his answer... a big NO THANK YOU MOMMY.
Whenever I read the various money saving, frugal living blogs, it never amazes me what these kids eat! Beans and rice, vegetables, stews, baked potato bars,foods my kids would never take a "no thank you" bite of. Are my kids the only kids like this? I make every effort to serve some different foods every few days and we insist the kids take a "No thank you" bite before they decided they aren't going to eat it. It drives me crazy!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Speaking of grocery stores, I ran out to the store tonight, it is a new month, and got our groceries for the week. I brought my oldest son with me and what a help he was! we kept a running tally on a calculator and he got so into it. I told him our budget was $125 and he really was very conscience about it. When we were done and at $120, I told him he could pick out one snack for himself for the week and one for his brothers. He made sure that the two snacks did not add up to more than $5. With coupons, we brought it in at $123. I think I need to bring him with me every week. He definitely kept me to our budget. That leaves me with $527 for the rest of the month. I do have some baking to do this weekend to help us stay away from the store bought ready made foods that are over priced. I think I will have each boy help me again with a recipe. It worked out really well the last time and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! Now time to marinate those chicken breast and get them in the freezer!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I actually got to everything on my list in one day! I am pleased with all I accomplished today. I have cookies and muffins for snacks and lunches this week. We had individual pizzas for lunch and I have 6 more in the freezer. The freezer mash potatoes won't actually even make it to the freezer - I am bringing them to work for a Thanksgiving luncheon. As for the cheese crackers, well they ended up in the garbage can. No one liked them, including me. Oh well, I figured it was worth a shot. I also got a little one one one with the boys too. My youngest helped make the muffins, my middle son helped with the cookies and my eldest helped with the crackers. I even got to use some of my new appliances today - food processor and pressure cooker. I made frozen chicken breasts in the pressure cooker and it only took about 15 minutes! Tomorrow will be the land form project, Christmas crafts and house cleaning!
I have decided to have a baking weekend this weekend. I really have a relatively manageable list of items to make - half of which a already made(with the help of some little boys). I guess it pays to get up at 5am! Here's the list
Chocolate chip cookies - DONE and in freezer
Chocolate chip muffins 1 doz - DONE and in freezer
Pizza dough MADE 9 PIZZA SHELLS - in freezer
Freezer mash potatoes - DONE
Cheese Crackers - DONE
I am also planning on doing some Christmas gift crafts with the boys and my oldest has a land form project we are going to start tomorrow. I am so happy this is a slow weekend - just a field trip with our Tiger Cubs to the library. This has to be the first weekend in awhile that we have not been running around. I should also try and get some housework and laundry done!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My new command center. I am determined to get a handle on all of the paper, notes, and schoolwork that comes into this house during the school year. Thus my new command center was born. The boys put their agendas, school papers, and homework in their assigned bin when they first get in the house. They also have to put their lunchboxes on the counter, backpack in the basket and hang their coats up on their hooks. This helps contain some of the clutter. After following this system for 2 months now, we are just starting to get it down. My middle soon will unpack without being asked. My oldest son forgets to do with this without a reminder from me but this is also the child who currently has NO coats at home because all THREE of them are sitting in his classroom.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Setting up your worm bins:
You can basically use any type of plastic bin or make your own out of wood. I choose to use a plastic bin a friend gave me . She had used worms in the past to compost until she got chickens. Now the chickens eat all of the leftover foods. Added some dirt and shredded newspapers to create a layer approximately 6 inches deep. Sprinkle with water to moisten and add your worms!
Get Your Worms:
Red Worms are apparently the best kind to use. I ordered mine online and received them in the regular mail. They were wrapped up in a box and placed in a brown paper bag. I put the entire package in the bins since it all could be composted. I ordered one pound or approximately 1000 red worms. I split my bins after 4-5 months and now have two very full bins.
I usually feed the worms every week or so. I feed them all of our fruit and vegetable scraps. I store the scraps in a canister in the fridge. I bury the scraps in a different spot each time and then cover it with shredded newspaper. I usually don't have a problem with the bins drying out, but sprinkling a small amount of water over the shredded newspaper helps. I keep my bins over an empty container that the excess water can filter into. This vermicompost tea is awesome to use in your gardens.
I store my bins outside out of direct sun until the threat of the first frost. At that point, I transfer the bins into my three season room and cover with an old comforter.
I have only harvested the vermicompost once but found it to be a relatively simple process. Simply dump the entire contains of the bin on newspaper that has been place in direct sunlight. Wait for about an hour. The worms do not like the sunlight and will go to the bottom of the pile. Scoop the top third of the vermicompost and return the remainder to your original bin. Add scraps and shredded newspaper and the worms will begin the process again. Mix the harvested vermicompost into your garden soil. You will most likely lose a few worms along the way but considering the amount you typically start with and the fact the worms begin to reproduce after 6 months, it is nothing to stress about.
I think that my worm bins are pretty cool and I am planning on using them for a Tiger Cub Activity in the near future.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
For those of you who haven't heard of the book, it is set in the future after we, Americans, have pretty much destroyed all of our technological advances of the past 2 hundred years. People are forced to live lives similar to the 1800s. It really makes me what to do back to a simpler time but still have some of the technology we have know, like medicine. Anyways, I highly recommend this book and am crossing my fingers that it wins.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Banana Bread 2X
Chocolate Chip muffins
Roasted crockpot chicken
I have a lot to do today!!!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
World Made by Hand byJames Howard Kunstler
I have read Skeletons at the Feast about a year ago and really enjoyed it. I just finished reading Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and loved it. I think it is going to be difficult to decide on what book to vote for. Because of this program, I have read some really awesome books that I most likely won't not have read or even heard about to read. I try to vote on the book that best fits the reason for the program not just because I liked it. The trouble I have been having is I can't really find a good description of the purpose for the program. According to my library's website, the purpose is to "encourage the entire community to join together in reading, discussing, and participating in programs associated with THE SAME BOOK!" To me that is too vague for me. Oh well, I still have some more reading to do and I still have time to ponder the most appropriate book, in my mind at least, to vote for.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Lunch- turkey or pb
Dinner - roasted chicken
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
As for my grocery budget, I decided to track the monthly spending, not weekly spending. I have just over $260 left for the month out of $600 so I think I am good. I will certainly still try to bring it in under an average of $125 a week.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Colgate 360 Toothbrush - $2.99
Tone Soap -3 bars -$1.88
Toothbrush coupon - $1.00 off
Tone Soap Coupon - $1.00 off
Total with tax - $3.26
Got $3.00 in ECB PLUS another $4.00 in ECB!!!
2 Secret Deodorants - @2.99 each
Secret coupon $1.00 off
ECB - $3.00
Total with tax - $2.46
Got $1.00 ECB
4 Progresso Soups - $3.19 each but it was B1G1 free
Used $1.oo off coupon
Used $5.00 ECB
Total with Tax - .38!
This transaction is the best I have every done. Think of it - 4 soups for .38. That is like a little less than .10 a soup. WooHoo! It did help that I got that random $4.00 in ECB.
Breakfast - muffin tops or toast
Lunch - Both Big boys are buying at school!
Dinner - Pieorgies (husband teaches and we have a scout meeting at 630)
Breakfast - Muffin tops or toast
Lunch - Choice of turkey or Peanut Butter sandwich
Dinner - Chicken (tiger cub meeting at our house at 6)
Breakfast - cereal or mini bagels
Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich
Dinner - Left over Chicken (soccer practice starting at 530)
Thursday - Husband's Birthday!
Breakfast - Pancakes or toast
Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich
Dinner - Chinese Food (Oldest son has b-day party to go to at 5 and I have Meet the Teacher Night at my work)
Breakfast - Mini pancakes or mini bagels
Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich
Dinner - Dinner at parent's to celebrate our October birthdays - husband and oldest son
Breakfast - Cereal or toast
Lunch - ?
Dinner - meatloaf
Again all of our dinners include a vegetable, fruit and some type of carb. Lunches also include a fruit, crunchy snack(pretzels) yogurt, and maybe a cookie for dessert. I am having trouble coming up with lunch choices for the boys to bring to school. They seem to enjoy the turkey or peanut butter sandwiches but I am getting tired of making them. I guess I feel they need more variety but the two older boys buy their lunches sometimes and my younger son eats lunch at the babysitter's three time a year. So I guess they are getting the variety there!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Anyways, for those who are unfamiliar with this cash only system let me break it down for you. Step one figure out how much you spend a year on different categories. Let's take birthdays as our example. Say you have four people in your family and you budget $100 per person for their birthday(this has to include gifts as well as any party expense involved) The total figure would be $400 a year. The next step is to break it down by month - $400 divided by 12 is $34 a month(rounding up). So each month you would put that amount in your birthday envelope. Sounds good until you get to the stage I am at. New envelopes I am thinking of creating are: school expenses, cub scout expenses, home decorating(not to be confused with my home maintenance envelope), my work expenses, and husband's work expenses. Hopefully I will get the hang of this cash only system!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Bounty Paper Towels 6 big rolls(still need to wean myself off of these!) $6.00
Batteries AA 10 pack $10.00
Tide 2X $6.00
6 boxes of Puff Tissues $6.00
I had to think about buying the Tide detergent- if you read my Grocery Shopping trip Part II you will remember I bought 2 bottles of Arm and Hammer detergent. I am trying to work on my stockpile and I was getting low on detergent. A friend just told me about a homemade recipe for laundry detergent that I am thinking about making but I just couldn't pass up this deal. I also had to think about the paper towel purchase. I am trying to wean my family off of paper towels (an extra expense plus not the greatest for the environment). We did have a situation this week were the dog got an entire batch of sugar cookie dough. I arrived home Friday to three huge messes and the paper towels can in handy. I certain was not going to use my cleaning rags on those messes and then wash and reuse them - too disgusting! So for the time being I will try to limit my family's use of paper towels to the before mentioned type of messes, otherwise I have a nice stack of cleaning rags.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Since I am still new at this menu planning, I have only included the main dishes for lunch and dinner. as I get better at it, I will have a more detailed account of each meal! Each dinner usually has a vegetable, fruit and some sort of carb. Lunches usually involve yogurt, fruit, and something crunchy (pretzels), and a dessert (cookie or granola bar)
muffin tops or mini bagels
Chicken thighs in crockpot, potatoes
Cereal or mini bagels
The boys and I have the day off so I don't have to pack lunches but I am stuck. Maybe we will eat out.
Leftovers from Sunday
Hubby teaches at local college so he will not be in attendance for dinner
cereal or mini bagels
Turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
cereal or mini bagels
turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
Soccer practice so dinner must be quick
Toast or Mini bagels
Turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
Leftovers from Tuesday
Cereal or toast
Turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
No me tonight - I am going to the Warrensburgh, NY garage sale! - I am thinking Hot Dogs and Mac and Cheese for the boys!
Sat - depends on what I end up buying at the grocery store Thursday.
Here is what I purchased at Price Chopper for this week:
2 Arm and Hammer Detergent - B1G1 Free
13 Yoplait yogurts
4 Friehoefers hearty breads - B1G1 Free
2 Betty Crocker Chocolate chip muffin mixes
3 lbs Bananas
3 Lean Cuisines frozen entrees
Price Chopper brand nuts
Price Chopper brand animal crackers
Price Chopper brand chocolate animal crackers
2 Price Chopper brand ice cream cones - B1G1 free
12 pack Capri Sun juice boxes
3 Birds Eye stream frozen vegetables
4 pack of Yo crunch yogurt
1 gallon Clear value milk
1 gallon Price Chopper brand milk
Price Chopper brand pretzel rods
Purina One dog food- 18 lb bag
Trix yogurt 6 pack
6 Campbell Select Harvest canned soups
Price Chopper brand flour
Price Chopper brand 6 individual applesauce
Colgate toothpaste for kids
Price Chopper brand oatmeal
Deli Cut Turkey lunch meat
2 lbs granny smith apples
2 pack vacuum cleaner bags
Total before Member advantage savings: 155.37
Advantage savings: -$35.91
Total out of pocket spent: $107.42
This brings my weekly grocery bill to $131.57 but I did earn .30c off my next gas fill up! I now have $39.28 left for the month with only a few days left. I did budget $150 a week; the first 2 weeks I was over budget and the last two weeks I was under budget so I guess I am still on average at $150 a week. I definitely am going to shoot for $125 a week next month!
Eggo Muffin Tops - 1 box $2.26
Daminal Crush cups - 3 4-packs $2.00 each
Kellogg's Fruit Loops - 1 box 2.98
Kellogg's Apple Jacks - 1 box $2.98
Flinstone Vitamins - $6.74
Country Time Pink Lemonade Mix - 1 container $2.28
Goldfish Crackers - $1.65
Package of Budget Saver brand 18 pack popsicles - $1.64
Thomas' mini bagels - $2.28
Walmart brand cottage cheese - $1.34
Total before coupons: $30.15
Coupons used -
$2.00 off two Kelloggs cereal
3 $1.00 off Danimal Crush cups
$1.00 Flintstone Vitamins
Total after coupons: 24.15
This brings my monthly total to: $456.30 I have 143.70 left for the month so I am totally going to come under budget this month. I will post my Price Chopper shopping trip later - I did get some great deals there!
This is hysterical. If it had been presented this way, I don't believe any of us would have done it!!!!
Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop
JOB DESCRIPTION :
Long-term team players needed for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers..
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION :
Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE :
None required, unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION :
Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left..
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.
AND A FOOTNOTE - THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!!