Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Giveaway Winner

This month's winner of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God is:  A Joyful Chaos (link above).

March's giveaway will be short and sweet. Watch for it! :)

New/Improved Price Book & Coupon Organizer

After wrestling with my price book in the front of grocery baskets for a few weeks, a woman with a smirk on her face waltzed past me in the store with a large box of coupons that were filed in alphabetical order.  A light bulb immediately popped up above my head as I saw that there was indeed a better way to do this! Here are some pics of my new box.  Each item (listed by brand name) is written on an index card with current prices.  On the back of the card is an envelope that holds coupons for that item.  Set up took a little while, but when it came time to hunt for coupons to match up with items on sale, it was much easier and faster.  The box fits easily in the front of the basket, and there should be no more wrestling in the grocery store for me. :)  Happy day!





Friday, February 19, 2010

Lots of Clearance Sales!

On the 17th, I posted an article from IngDirect about major chains dumping many brand name items; well, it must be true.  Go to your local WalMart, Target, and/or KMart and marvel at all the clearance sales not listed in their flyers!  This is both good and bad news for the consumer.  It's good because, when combined with coupons, these clearance sales can make for spectacular deals.  It's bad because it will mean fewer choices in the stores and an even bigger monopoly for the almighty WalMart.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New - Blog Categories

I finally figured out how to categorize my blog posts, making it easier to find past posts on specific subjects.  Whew!  I am pleased to say that the most frequent subjects were modesty and anti-feminism :)

New Price Book



With the economy the way that it is, it has become necessary for me to use a price book once again.  When Amy Dacyzn began the Tightwad Gazette as a newsletter, I followed her in starting a price book and cutting corners wherever possible.  After a while, I had the prices of most things memorized and need my price book less frequently and eventually gave it up altogether.  Today, I made a new one.  As you can see from the photos above, the front section has a small calculator, a necessary evil for middle-aged brains like mine, and a pocket divider labeled "Today."  This pocket will hold the day's shopping list and any coupons I use.  The subsequent sections of the notebook are divided by category, much like a coupon holder would.  Each divider has a pocket for that category's coupons and each section holds a columned sheet for pricing.  I decided to make a separate page for items that I purchase on a regular basis, like milk.  Each sheet has the date purchased, the brand (if applicable), the store that the item where the item was purchased, the size (how many ounces, etc.), the unit price, the comparable generic price available at that store, if I had a coupon & the value of it, and the final price.  It may seem like a lot of work or too much (or too little) detail, but these are the questions that run through my brain when determining whether or not something is a good deal.  I think this or any other price book would be a good project for a lady in waiting or newly married.  If you have a price book, please comment below how yours is different, as I'm always open to new ideas.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Congratulations to Toteally Posh! chose her as the winner of my first giveaway.  There's still time for my February giveaway, so be sure to enter.  The next giveaway will have a much shorter time frame, so pay careful attention. ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today's Grocery Trip :D

Red Velvet Cheesecake!

I was sent this recipe from McCormick.....It's wonderful! :D  This cheerful double layer cheesecake is an indulgent new take on the traditional Red Velvet Cake.
Makes 8 servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Refrigerate: 3 hours
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
2 eggs
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon McCormick® Red Food Color
1 prepared chocolate crumb crust (6 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed just until blended.

2. Measure 1 cup batter into medium bowl. Stir in melted chocolate and food color. Pour into crust. Top with remaining (plain) cheesecake batter.

3. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.

4. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Test Kitchen Tip: Drizzle cheesecake with chocolate or hot fudge dessert topping just before serving.

Here's mine:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Creative Storage

I was looking at creative storage ideas and stumbled across this photo....I want one! :)

Planning Menus

For the past 25 years, my husband & I have had discussions about what's for dinner.  Haven't we all?

"What's for dinner?"
"Chicken breast & vegetables with rice"
"I don't want a lot of stuff.  Let's just have chicken and mac & cheese."  Or  "I've had a rough day; can we eat something fun" translation: "I want something unhealthy that's qualifies as comfort food.

These conversations are now coming to an end.  I have his word on it.   This past week, my husband's blood work and EKG all came back with telltale naughty signs that we need to make some changes for the better and soon.  We had a little conversation about our daily "dinner" conversations, and he has agreed to not change my menu provided that I plan a weekly menu and post it for him at the beginning of the week.  I agreed to do so and not compromise on veggies.  We're both happy with this arrangement, but the ball is now in my court to plan ahead a little bit more.  If you've never planned out a menu there is a good weekly menu printout available HERE.  (Be sure to check out the rest of her blog as well; it's worth your time.)  So, here I am, winding up this week and definitely thinking about next week's menu.  This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Can't Miss Deal!

Now through February 14th 2010, use coupon code HEART at check out and get 80% off of your gift card purchase. You can get a $25 gift card for $2.
Right now is offering a FREE bonus $15 FTD credit with every order.
1- Visit
2- Enter your city & state or zip code
3- Find your favorite restaurant & add the gift certificate to your cart
4- Enter coupon code : HEART
6- Check out & print your gift certificate
*This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.

Hat tip to:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

There's Still Time for the Giveaways :)

I just received my giveaway copy of Passionate Housewives!  I'm so excited because I purchased a copy for myself as well.  Can't wait to dive into it!  There's still time to enter February's two giveaways.  You can find them HERE and THERE

Singles' Awareness Day

It's that time of year again when singles, young and old, bemoan the fact that they are indeed single.  It seems that every generation whines particularly about "all" their friends having someone.  Well, I've got news for you.  It doesn't stop when you find yourself in a relationship, because then it will be that "everyone" is getting married.  When you're married, you're suddenly the only one not having a baby yet.  It never stops.  There will always be someone else who is "better off" than you.  There will always be someone whose blog is better than yours.  Ladies, if we find ourselves impatient in any of these life stages, then our eyes are focused on the wrong thing.  Our eyes need to be on God who will provide everything we need to accomplish all that He calls us to do.  Although they can be very joyous indeed, none of these life events will make us content in and of themselves.  Our contentment should and in fact, can only come from God.  It is only through our enjoyment of Him can we ever be truly happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.  When that happens, it doesn't matter in what stage of life we find ourselves; we will be happy and that is a beautiful thing that brings glory to God.  Sure, getting married is the normative plan for God's children, but if you are not content right now, in this very moment with where God has placed you, then you will not be happy married either.  Let's search our hearts' attitudes toward God because that is with whom our complaint really is.  You trust God with your eternal life, why not with this earthly life?

~Philipians 4

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Coupon Lingo

BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription

Blinkies List

These coupons should start appearing in your stores between Saturday 1/30 & Thursday 2/4 for grocery stores, 2/6-2/11 for drug stores & 2/13-2/18 for dollar type stores.

These are in no particular order:

Garnier Herbashine hair color $1/1 exp 2/28/10 tearpad - doesn't say dnd

Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-lift product exp 5/1/10 tearpad - doesn't say dnd

Kellogg's $1/2 frootloops, applejacks and/or cornpops cereal (10oz or larger) exp 3/6/10 dnd5

LaChoy creations (any variety) $1/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Any Celestial seasonings tea $1/2exp 3/7/10 dnd5

Sadler's dinner for 2 (any variety) $1/1 exp 3/6/10 dnd5

Scott extra soft bath tissue .75/two 4pks or one 6pk or larger exp 4/10/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Dial for men body wash $1/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Keebler town house crackers $1/2 (11.7oz or larger, mix or match, any flavor) exp 3/6/10 dnd5

Smart balance sour cream .55/1 exp 4/15/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Any Egg beaters .65/2 exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Eggbeaters .35/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd9

Kleenex .55/any 3 facial tissues or any 1 bundle pack of kleenex facial tissue exp 4/24/10 dnd5

Kleenex .50/any 3 facial tissues or any 1 bundle pack of kleenex facial tissue exp 4/24/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Keebler $1/2 chips deluxe cookies (14.5 or larger, mix or match, any flavor) exp 3/6/10 dnd5

Scott .75/2 or more naturals moist wipes tubs or refills exp 4/10/10 dnd5

Scott .75/4 or more rolls of scott paper towels long lasting rolls or mega rolls exp 4/10/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Pedigree dry food for dogs $1/1 any size bag exp 3/7/10 dnd9

Pedigree dentastix $1/1 exp 3/29/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Kraft $1/1 package of Kraft deli deluxe cheese exp 3/31/10 dnd9 & dnd5

Kraft $1/2 packages of Kraft or Cracker Barrel natural cheese (shreds or chunks) exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Red Baron .75/1 any red baron pizza product exp 5/6/10 dnd5

Land o lakes eggs .50/1 exp 4/28/10 dnd9

Johnson & johnson $1/1 (shows red cross) products exp 5/31/10 dnd5

Curly's pulled BBQ $1/1 exp 4/30/10 dnd5

$1/1 Softsheen-Carson products (let's jam, roots of nature, darl & lovely, optimum care, optimum oil therapy, sportin waves) exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Tampax .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Dollar General coupon - no numbers under the barcode)

Tampax .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Family Dollar coupon - no bar code)

Always pads or liners .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Family Dollar coupon - no bar code)

Always pads or liners .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Dollar General coupon - no numbers under the barcode)

Silk half gallon (64oz) .55/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Journey of a Thousand No's

My husband has for many years had trouble with his weight (not many of us hasn't) largely because he has a sedentary job and works 60+ hours per week.  His job is very stressful, and often finds comfort foods as his proverbial "carrot on the stick."  To help himself become more healthy,  he has begun what he calls his journey of a thousand "no's."  Every time he says "no" to food that is bad for his health, it counts as one step.  He keeps track of how many things he has abstained from, and when he reaches 1,000 he hopes to find himself healthier and lighter.  I'm sure this principle could be applied to much more.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Product Review: Publix Triple Berry Cereal

Let's face it.  Even those of us who rarely bought generic or store brand products because of the difference in quality are now being forced to tighten their belts and buy the cheaper products.  Wouldn't it be nice if someone who wasn't paid by the product gave you a review BEFORE you purchased and/or wasted money?  This week, I bought Publix Triple Berry cereal to try.  Here are my thoughts, scrambled and short though they may be:

  • Crunchier than Cheerios, but not in a bad way.  I actually liked them better than the name brand.
  • Lots of berries! Definite plus here!
  • Would I buy them again? Yes, I'll even go so far as to say that I would choose them over the name brand based on taste alone.

Make Your Own Dusting Cloths

Want your furniture to shine every time you dust but don't want the expense or time it takes to polish?  I recently discovered how to make your own oiled dusting cloths.  Here's what you need:

  • 1/4 cup of lemon oil
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • soft, reusable cloths (I used handiwipes so that they didn't get mixed in with other cloths)

Mix lemon water and hot water in a bucket and soak cloths (4 or so at a time) for 10 minutes.  Wring out and hang to dry.  When cloths are dry, store in an airtight container.  Doesn't that smell lovely?  Dust away! :)  When cloths are dirty, simply wash and reoil.  I was able to use a whole package (36) of handiwipes in the one recipe, so I'll be dusting for awhile before I have to reoil any cloths. :)
Here are snaps of what I finally chose for the wall that started the whole calendar art prints project.  The larger picture is from my calendar.  The frame originally held a print that was a painting of doors in a French village.  I liked the print, but it just seemed lifeless to me.  The two pictures on either side were purchased yesterday at Kirklands for $16 (for the pair).  I thought about using some of my other calendar prints, but as my daughter said, there were too many women on the wall. ;)  The bookcase by the window is all cookbooks.  I know that's an odd place for cookbooks, but we have a teeny house, and I LOVE my cookbooks :)

Sign Up for the Eat Better America Coupon Booklet and Receive $10 in Coupon Savings

Sign Up for the Eat Better America Coupon Booklet and Receive $10 in Coupon Savings

Free 1/2 Gallon of Chocolate Milk Just for Entering!

Follow the link above and enter to win free milk for a year will be able to print out a coupon for a free 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk just for entering!!!  What a great deal!

Keeper of the Home : A Year of Herbs: Ginger

Keeper of the Home : A Year of Herbs: Ginger

Oh, the wonderful things for which you can use Ginger! I'm so glad I saved mine. :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Decorating on the Cheap with Framed Calendar Prints

I love beautiful calendars.  Last year's calendar had such beautiful art work that I decided to take some frames that I had in the house and frame the prints to give some rooms a new look.  The prints that are hanging are not crooked; I just held the camera crooked.  :)

Monday, February 01, 2010

February Giveaway: Passionate Housewives Desperate for God

This month's giveaway is the wonderful book, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.  I told you that you would have to work for this one a little, but it's easy.  There are three ways to win.  Choose all three, and you are entered three times! :)  Simply subscribe to this blog, be a Facebook fan of this blog, or follow me on Twitter; then, leave me a comment that you which options you chose.  Giveaway closes on February 28th @ 6:00 pm est.  It's not too late to enter my January's giveaway, either.  Winners will be announced on this blog.  Some have commented and the Facebook fan page, and that counts as well.  On February 14th I will also give you a peek at next month's giveaway & assignment.