Saturday, August 13, 2011

Feingold Chocolate Cake

Thanks to the Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien, for the following FANTASTIC RECIPE!! Mix one box of Duncan Hines Dark chocolate fudge cake mix and one can of Libby's 100% pumpkin. ADD NOTHING ELSE!! Spoon in to cupcake baker & bake at 400 for 20 minutes. SOOOOOO DELICIOUS -- the best part is that they are low calorie for me and FG simple for my fantastic children!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kids Closet Time Savers...

Organizing closets has got to be one of my *least* favorite things to do, but I do it because if you can find the clothes you want you save yourself LOTS of time. I find that it's especially hard to organize my kids closets because I am rotating clothes in and out so often due to growth. I never know where to put the stuff that's too small, or too big and I usually end up trying to cram it all in. Last summer my son had things that he could have worn, but due to the fact I had everything jammed in I didn't even realize some of the items were there.


Invest in some plastic storage bins- they are so cheap and so worth it! Mine are actually fairly old, but still do the job. I have one stack of bins that are labeled "Too Small/ Charity" and another stack of bins labeled "Too Big". All of the items hanging are *just right* and in season. When I come across something that is too small or I know we won't wear anymore I throw it in the "Too Small" bin. When we receive hand-me-downs I put items in the "Too Big" bins. We are very fortunate to receive many hand-me-downs! I often buy items at the end of the season for my kids to wear the following year. Those items also go in the "Too Big" Bins.

Now days when I get calls from charities wanting me to donate used clothing, I simply empty the bin into a garbage bag, Voila! If you have an annual garage sale you could have a 3rd bin labeled "Garage Sale". Simple, easy, smart!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I {heart} FREE groceries!

I'm starting to get the hang of this whole couponing thing- and- it's not very hard or time consuming and the best part is we ended up with a ton of FREE groceries this week. Who doesn't like FREE???? I am a HUGE fan of FREE... here's just some of my scores for the week.

Wednesday is double coupon day at our local Rainbow. They will double up to 5 coupons and only coupons that are $1 or less can be doubled. In addition, you need to spend $25 in order for coupons to be doubled.

After perusing the Rainbow ad I came up with a plan:

Ritz Crackers OS for $2.50- MFG Q $1/1- Doubled= .50 a box
Wheat Thins OS for $2- MFG Q $1/1- Doubled= FREE
Band-Aids OS for $2- MFG Q $1/1- Doubled= FREE
3 Jello OS for 3/$1.98- MFG Q $1/3- Doubled=FREE + .04 Overage
Kraft Dressing OS for $1.67- MFG Q $1/1- Doubled= FREE + .33 Overage

I also purchased some of their Sale items:
Hamburger Buns= .49
Hot dog buns= .49
2 Roundy's sour cream tubs= $1.76
2 Roundy's Butter= $2.56

Total Food Purchase: $5.43

Now, I'm sure you are asking, "But what about the $25 additional purchase?". I bought a $25 gift card (I needed it for a gift anyway). If you didn't need a GC you could always buy a Rainbow GC for your next shopping trip, or if you have other shopping to do simply buy $25 worth of food.

From now on I will only shop Rainbow on Wednesday's!!! Yay for double coupon day. You may want to check with your local Rainbow, I'm not sure that all Rainbow's offer this AWESOME DEAL!

I also scored at Target this week by stacking Target coupons with MFG coupons to = FREE or significantly reduced.

100 Cal Packs $2.94- Target Q $1/1- MGF Q $1/1= .94
Wheat Thins $2.04- Target Q $1/1- MFG Q $1/1= .04
Ritz Crackers $2.54- Target Q $1/1- MFG Q $1/1= .54
1lb. Bulk Apples $1.49 per lb. Target Q $1/1lb= .49
2 Kraft Dressings $1.59 each- Target Q $1/2- MFG $1.50/1- MFG $1/1= FREE + .32 Overage
2 Kraft Cheeses $2.19 each- Target Q $1/2- MFG $1/2= $2.38 for 2

Total Food: $4.07

Some are from the Sunday paper, but most I printed on-line.

Kraft Coupons
Kraft is offering $50 in coupons for a limited time- PRINT THESE as many times as you can. Click on coupons tab

Target Coupons

Other MFG Coupons

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Meal Prep Time Saver

I recently discovered a fantastic time/budget saving tip and I'm embarrassed that I didn't think of it sooner because it makes preparing meals so simple and has cut our grocery bill substantially.

We buy ground beef when it goes on sale, or from Costco (Costco is $2.49 a lb). This week we got 10 lbs. for $1.99 a lb from Rainbow- this is a fantastic deal and from now on I'm not paying more than $1.99 a lb for ground beef. I use to pay at least $5.00 a lb before buying in bulk- that is just plain spending too much!

This week we took 5 lbs. of beef and browned it with onion and garlic and drained the grease. We bagged it up in 1 lb. lots using Zip-Loc bags and freeze until needed. We use this beef for tacos, meat sauce for spaghetti, hotdish and Sloppy Joe's! It takes all of 10 minutes to make any of the above and I've found that it takes a very short amt. of time to defrost, which makes life SO much easier while trying to cook and care for your kids.

With the rest of the beef we decided to make hamburger patties. Jalapeno Popper burgers and Buffalo Bleu Cheese burgers. See recipe for Jala burgers below. I freeze the patties using press and seal wrap so they are individually wrapped and then place in freezer bags with label and date. We ended up with 20 burgers and 2 lbs of beef left over for meatballs or whatever we decide to do with it.

Jalapeno Burgers:

1 lb ground beef

1 egg

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese

1 4oz can diced jalapenos

1-2 Tbsp. of Hamburger grill seasoning

Mix all ingredients in large bowl using hands. Make sure all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Form into hamburger patties and grill! Top with sour cream and salsa or melt mozzarella cheese on top.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Garage Logic...

If you know my kids at all, you already know that WE will be outside all summer long... of course I don't mind because I usually end up with a fairly good tan (albeit farmers) and it keeps them from creating disasters inside.

Last summer I found myself constantly running inside to get something i.e. sunscreen, band-aids, wipes, scissors (to cut Icees with of course) etc. and with an 18 month old and a 4 year old I don't feel comfortable leaving them while I run inside to grab something since they always gravitate toward the street.

This summer I knew I needed a soloution. I found an old shelf that use to be in my daughters room, bought some cheap plastic bins and went to work organizing and labeling. See above pic.

In the bins I have band-aids, sunscreen, snack-pacs, baby wipes (for sticky fingers), dixie cups, sidewalk chalk, swim goggles, sunglasses and mail key. I also have a paper towel holder, a scissors attached to a string for snipping Icees open, and a small garbage can since my kids are unable to reach the large trash container. We ran electrical so that I can keep my baby monitor plugged in on the shelf and so that we can charge our daughters John Deere. There just happened to be hooks beneath the shelf so we keep our bike helmets there. So far I am loving having everything at my reach, and not having to drag a screaming 18 month old in everytime we need something is priceless.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kraft Coupons

Print NOW!These are all high dollar coupons that you will actually use!

There is a Jack's Pizza coupon for $1/2, print 2 copies combine that with the Cub Coupon $10/4 (found in coupon book at door) you can get each pizza for $2. Not a bad deal!

a clean house...

Cleaning... oh how I hate. Every time I think I'm ahead a little person comes along behind me and spills a box of Cheerios. Seriously...

I can't tell you how frustrating this is, if you are a mom you know exactly what I'm talking about. Gone are the days when you cleaned your house and it *just* stayed clean. I've tried everything and most days I feel like I just chase my tail. I've discovered that you have to let the little stuff go and focus on the areas and things that will stay clean. For example, don't Windex all the little finger prints on a daily basis because this is all you'd do. Let the finger prints ride and dust your fixtures instead.

I've come up with a checklist of everything that needs to be cleaned in a months time. Each chore is broken down so that it will only take 5-10 minutes to complete. I keep the checklist on my counter and when I have a minute I pick something to do. By the end of the month hopefully everything is checked off. The items that aren't finished up at the end of the month on a weekend.

Here is a link to my list: