Triple Clicks

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!

I meant to get a post out last week with recipes I was cooking for Christmas, but things got a little crazy (ha! imagine that!)... So you're getting two in one. :) 

Our Christmas dinner was really simple.. Ham, shrimp, mashed potatoes, rolls, broccoli and pie and cookies for dessert. 

Ham- I put it in the crock pot with 1/4 cup vinegar and about a cup of brown sugar on Christmas Eve. Then all I had to do was pop it in the cooker portion as breakfast was baking and it was done by lunch time.. About five hours on high, but it could have easily been on low since it was falling off the bone by lunch.  

Shrimp- tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan, coat shrimp with italian seasoning (equal parts of garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, parsley), put shrimp in pan and sprinkle lemon juice on them. Cook until white, turn, cook until white (about five minutes on each side).  

Mashed potatoes-peel, cut, boil, mash. I add salted butter and sour cream to ours because that's how we like it. 

Broccoli-frozen broccoli, boiled in pan while potatoes cook. About ten minutes. 

Rolls-I had bought crescent rolls on sale, but then my mother in law gave us some, so we used those instead

Pumpkin pie-I just followed the directions on the can and made my own pie crust. 

Sugar Cookies-the kids and I made these Tuesday. I had planned on a cake, but Grace hasn't been feeling well so cookies were easier to do in parts.  Just a basic sugar cookie recipe, with cream cheese frosting on the top. The kids got to decorate their own and then eat them of course! 

For breakfast we had cinnamon rolls (remember those Pillsbury ones I got on sale?), eggs and bacon.. not like the kids ate many of those... I ended up eating them as the morning progressed...because who needs breakfast when you have presents? 

Friday my husband was off so we made pigs in a blanket for lunch, Eva was the only one that ate them in the roll.. Adrianna and Andrew looked at me like I lost my mind. But Grace enjoyed the crescent roll they took off.  

Today for New Year's Eve, I'm doing ham bone soup and a recipe for little smokies hubby found on Facebook...As long as I can find it, going to have to go searching on my Facebook page. We'll be in bed by 10, I guarantee it. 

That's all that's going on here this week. Have a safe night tonight! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shopping Trip December 18

Hey, we had good sales, but of course we added a few things at the last minute and I found coconut sugar at Sam's. :D So I went over. 

HyVee
Sour Cream 1.48
Sweet Cream Butter 4 at 2.68 each 10.72
Egg Nog 2 at 2.59 each 5.18
Cinnamon Rolls 2 at 2.00 each plus .02 gas reward 4.00
Crescet Rolls 2 at 2.00 ech plus .02 gas rewards 4.00 
Macademia Nut Cookie dough (it's cheaper than making from scratch) 2.50
Cool Whip 2 at .68 each 1.36
Frozen Broccoli 2 at 1.28 each 2.56
Frozen Corn 2 at 1.09 each 2.18
Frozen Mixed Vegetables 1.09
Hashbrowns 2.99
Diapers 5.99
Pullups 7.99
Fruit Snacks 2.00
Charmin 2 at3.99 each 7.98
Dr. Pepper 2 at .99 each 1.98
Folgers 9.69
Baking Powder 1.29
Baking Soda 5 at .69 each 3.45
Snack size baggies 2 at 1.59 each 3.18
Italian Dressing 3 at 1.99 each 5.97
Powdered Sugar 1.69
Root Beer 2 at .99 each 1.98
Evaporated Milk 1.69
Vanilla 1.88
Shrimp 15.99 
Lil Smokies 2 at 3.00 each 6.00
Cream Cheese 3 at 1.50 each 4.50
Sunflower Seeds 2 at 2.50 each 5.00
Yellow Onions 1.88 with .02 gas rewards 

Total 135.23

Sam's Club
Digirnio 3 Meat 3 pack 13.98
Digiornio Pepperoni 3 pack 13.98
Vinegar 2 pack 3.88
Eggs 36 ct 2 at 4.72 each 9.44
American Cheese Sliced 13.52
Bacon bits 10.35
Flour 3.76
Chicken Breast 9.02
Shredded Cheddar Chese 14.98
Organic Coconut Sugar 12.98
Bacon 2 at 8.68 each 17.36
Strawberry Jam 2 pack 5.78
Croutons 5.38
Creamer 5.87
Tomato Sauce 7.68
Diced Tomatoes 6.28

Total 163.49

Walmart
Engine Cleaner for van 1.88
Twix .74
Ham 15.65
Tapatio Sauce 2.98
Bandaids 1.97 and 2 at 2.47 6.91
Cookies N Cream Candy Bar .74
Pringles 8 at 1.50 each 12.00

Total 43.35

Dollar General 
Paper Towels 8 pack 5.00
Tortillas 3 at 2.00 each 6.00
Dish Soap 1.00

Total 12.72

Trip Total 354.79

As I look more closely at my receipts, I realize I was not careful and picked up the wrong containers with the shrimp and pringles as I had not planned on paying that much for things that were on sale-be careful when you pick things up!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ads are Out! Shopping Trip December 17

It's been a month already, Ads are out for my shopping trip again. 

If you like shellfish, within the next month, now is your time to fill your craving.  While it's still expensive, it's a little cheaper than the rest of the year.  

HyVee has special sales for crab, lobster and shrimp. Personally, we are taking advantage of the shrimp.  

Here's the ad links. Have fun! 

Wal-mart
Sunshine
FarewayFareway OnlineFareway Special Sale
Hy-Vee


Personally, I've been a little disappointed with Fareway. For quite awhile after they opened, they had the cheapest meat prices around. But now they don't, I haven't shopped there in quite awhile. It's just not conducive to our budget.  

We have two special meals happening this coming month. Christmas and Eva's birthday.  For Christmas I am planning ham, shrimp, potatoes, vegetables, pumpkin pie and cake (my Eva can't have cherries or pumpkins, so that's the alternative of choice this time).  For Eva's birthday we're doing her favorite food, pizza, and the requested Thomas the train cake.  I plan on finding a different train from Thomas to put on top since I made a Thomas cake for Andrew last year.   

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's staying Cold Now

I saw a higher temperature today and actually believed it would happen.  

But it didn't. So now we are staying cold and despite us keeping out tomato sauce, we miss chili.. So we are going to try chili.  

Grace has been trying out finger foods, she much prefers this to baby puree-can't say as I blame her much. I scramble her an egg a day and she gets some handfuls of boiled, finely chopped mixed veggies, some fruit-mostly bananas for now, and cheerios. This child could survive off cheerios. 

I found some sausage in our freezer, so the kids and I had pizza today.  

Pizza dough
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt

Beat about 25 times until mixed then let rise for 5 minutes. 
Bake at 425 for 8 minutes, add your toppings, bake for 10 more minutes.  

Pizza Sauce
15 ounce can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano 
Bring to a boil then simmer for at least 1/2 hour. The longer it simmers, the more flavor transfers to the tomato sauce.  

Chili
4 pounds hamburger
4 cans tomato sauce
4 cans diced tomatoes
4 cans chili beans or one bag pinto peans- make sure you prepare these according to instructions on the bag
4 tablespoons chili powder

Bring to boil then simmer until you are ready to eat. 

Our favorite topping include, shredded cheddar cheese, tabasco or louisiana hot sauce, saltines and rice. My husband likes rice under his chili, then mixes that, cheese and tabasco all together and dips with the crackers. The kids and i just do cheese and crackers, although the tabasco does add a nice flavor.  

Stay warm! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This and That and the Other

Well, I told you I was going to set a reminder on my phone to do a blog post, and it worked! Imagine that. :)  

There are a lot of things going on here lately, Andrew is recognizing letters and numbers everywhere and can tell us what they are and some of them he can tell us what sounds they make. I guess you could say I'm on the unschooling bandwagon, which works just fine until I have to register with the state in a few years as homeschooler. My understanding of unschooling is that you teach through life experiences, cooking is math, bible study is reading, reading comp, math, histoy (heck, you could homeschool with JUST the Bible and get A LOT out of it).   

A must for me to stay awake is coffee. I love my coffee-just ask anybody, coffee and me are buds (think of Lorelai from Gilmore Girls-yep, that's me!). But sometimes, just plain black coffee gets a little boring.. So I go to my cupboard and flavor it up a bit. My favorite concoction this week has been Chocolate Caramel Coffee. 
Squirt of Chocolate Syrup, Squirt of Caramel Syrup, Tablespoon of powder creamer. Fill the coffee cup and stir, top with whipped topping and more caramel if you have it around. 

When I was at my mom's my sister joined forces and craft supplies and made our babes barettes and hair ribbons. That was fun. :)  Now I have something to keep Grace's hair out of her face and I can make more when I get more ribbon if I want. I'm hoping she'll tolerate it when she's two instead of a wrestling match just to get it brushed like I have now with Eva. Thanks to Pinterest, we got some good ideas and instructions on how to do it. 
My finished barettes. 


Here's my Pinterest board that has most of the instructions I used. My sister's girl doesn't have any hair, so she mostly crafted flowers from the ribbon to attach to elastic bands. 

Have a good week! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving

I realized this morning that I completely forgot to post last week from my shopping trip. I'm sorry. It's been a crazy week.  We took a road trip and the kids and I got sick.. So we are finally back here.  I hope you were able to find some awesome deals on Thanksgiving food last week.  


So I figured I'd give you my meal plan for Thanksgiving. It's no big spread as I'm hearing many of my friends are doing, but it's something.  

Bone in Ham 
Rolls 
Mashed Potatoes
Corn
Pumpkin Pie
Banana Cream Pie


A lot of our favorites have been eliminated thanks to the food allergies. I have a really hard time eating foods in front of my kids that they can't have.. So I just eliminated the sweet potatoes.  

The rolls will be if I remember them... I never do, so we'll see. The ham gets thrown in the crock pot with brown sugar in the morning and by the time the Macy's parade is over, lunch is done. :)   Mashed potatoes and corn are pretty simple. 

I'm making the pies today. My husband really wants pumpkin with whipped topping of course (which was on sale for .67 a container). I've never made banana cream pie before.. but I needed something for Eva since she can't have the pumpkin and there's a can of that in the cupboard and I plan on eating it with Eva so she's not the only one eating something different.  

Also today I'm making cinnamon rolls for breakfast/brunch. We usually eat lunch pretty early... but we get up really early too..so it throws everything else out of whack.  So I'm hoping the cinnamon rolls will keep the kids happy until lunch is done.  

How I plan on my morning going, is getting all the prep work done by the time the parade starts-including washing and chopping the potatoes.  That way all I have to do is turn on burners and throw the rolls in the oven and things will be done when the parade is done.   We are still working on what traditions we want on Holidays for our family, but I think cinnamon rolls during the parades is a great start.  

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. I'm putting a reminder on my phone to do a post every week...so barring sickness, I'll be better about doing posts. :D 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Frugal Holidays

Everybody looks to save money around the holidays.  Probably more so around this time of year than others.  So here are some tips we try to use. 

Save up for gifts throughout the year
     You could really do this tip a few different ways. Some people buy gifts throughout the year, then stash them around the house until Christmas. Which works great unless you have curious children (who doesn't?).  Some people save up money throughout the year, then buy closer to the holidays when there's more of a selection for toys, less time to hide the stash this way.  There are also some banks and credit unions that have a 'Christmas Savings Account' to help you save the money.  We've done both here and there, labeling boxes or toys as they come in as to WHO is getting it (that way we don't forget...it's been known to happen).  Either way you do it, shop the sales. You still get the same toys you want, but for cheaper. Amazon has daily deals, Shopko has quarterly deals. Ebay has great resources, too. You never know what you can find on Ebay for a good deal. 
     If you do stocking stuffers, raid the Dollar Tree or other dollar aisle in your favorite store.  They have some great things there for cheap.  

Save on food by shopping the sales
      Shop the sales. Shop close to the holiday and shop the sales. I really can't say this enough. I use holiday sales to stock up on spices, because they are usually really cheap this time of year. If you like canned pumpkin, many stores have it for REALLY cheap this time of year.  Same with turkey, ham, potatoes, yams-all the holiday staples.  Keep a closer eye on the ads and get what you need and like for cheap as they go on sale.  Whipped Cream freezes, buy a lot, stick it in the freezer, then thaw as you want it. 

Use discount stores for holiday decor and party supplies (warning, I plug our ebay store in this one.. I want the stuff out of my house and I know my mother in law feels the same)
      This isn't one we use to buy as I'm not really the decorating  type, but we do put product online with our ebay store as per the holiday (check us out).  Dollar Stores have quality decorations and they are budget friendly.  Paper plates (decorative or not), napkins, cups, centerpieces, place cards. You name it, you can more than likely find it.  It certainly can't hurt to look, right? 


That's really all the tips I can think of right now.  Don't throw your budget out the window just because it's the holiday season. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Cold Out There!

Fall is officially here. I think we did pretty good, we walked around town, many times a week from about April to last week. I was hoping to take a walk today, and while the toddlers and I would be fine, I just don't feel comfortable with keeping the baby in the 20mph COLD wind that long. So it is with a sad face that I put the stroller away, sprayed with vinegar to keep it safe from the millions of spiders in my basement.. Or at least that's what I should do. It did get sprayed, and the basket did get emptied (we keep blankets in the bottom to protect eggs on walks home from the grocery store).. but it's still sitting in the bottom. 

My baking has been put on hold until I can make it to the store because we are missing key ingredients here and there. 

We have cocoa mix  and hot tea bags in the cupboard ready for cold days. Windows are covered in plastic to help keep the cold out, and then patched because of a stupid cat.. 

I have many crochet and sewing projects lined up to keep me busy, and of course school. 

We haven't done much school on paper the last few weeks, but the kids have been making shapes and letters with their hot wheels and matchbox cars.. So they have been 'doing school'. 

Dennis and I are brainstorming ways to to save money. We feel stuck with our monthly bills, and most of them we can't change, but we are looking into ones we can.  We have Google TV and Google Chromecast to switch to to eliminate the satellite TV bill, along with subscriptions to Hulu and Netflix. We are working on the cell bills, but not entirely sure what we are doing there as only one provider that has reception in our area.  

Dry Cocoa Mix
1 Cup Dry Milk
1 Cup Dry Creamer
1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa 
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Blend on high for 2 minutes to make the grains fine, then use 3 tablespoons per coffee mug cup of hot water.  
Add to leftover coffee for a homemade mocha, or add some vanilla for vanilla flavored hot chocolate. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Homemade Crunchy Granola Bars

I know, I still haven't put on my grocery savings from last week.. To say it's been crazy around here, is an understatement.  Friday the van decided it wasn't going to work right and so hubby stayed home from work. Saturday we had to back to the city.. Sunday was church and some baking... And now we are to Monday already, some popcorn chicken is cooling and freezing, bread is rising, coconut oil is getting soft to make cookies (ok..it will in a bit when I'm done here because I just remember it OOPS).  

I spent $350, but we did get some extras here and there. 

One of the things my hubby wanted to try for snacks was homemade granola bars, we can get them in bulk at Sam's for a good price.. but they have additives and since it's something we KNEW I could make, we decided to go from scratch.  I found a recipe on Pinterest and went to town. :) Fairly simply, just a little time consuming. 

I did alter it a litte, but I imagine you could make just about any flavor you wanted to using this as a base. 

Ingredients: 
7 cups old fashioned rolled oats 
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven  to 375. 
Line a 18*13 inch rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil. 

Combine oats, oil and salt in a large bowl and mix until the oats are evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until pale gold about 20-25 minutes. Remove the oats and lower oven temp to 300. Leave the foil on the pan, you'll need it again.

Combine honey and brown sugar in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve sugar. (I just left the heat lower and kept an eye on it until the honey was not crystallized anymore and brown sugar was dissolved). 

Combine oats, honey and brown sugar in a large bowl and stir until combined.  Transfer the granola mixture to the pan and press down to make a firm, even layer. Bake until golden brown 35-40 minutes. 

Cool in the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes then cut. Allow to completely cool. They won't be hard when you first take them out, they harden as they cool.  

Can be kept for 2 weeks. 

The original recipe has cinnamon, nuts and vanilla in it-so I suggest looking at that, too. She also says to spray the foil before putting the sugary mixture back on the pan, but I didn't have anything stick..so that's up to you.  


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ads Are Out! Shopping Trip October 23

Hello! 

It's that time of month again, ads are out! I can't say as we have many good sales this week, but it is what it is. 

Happy Ad shopping! 

Hy-Vee
Fareway
Sunshine Foods-Hartford





Friday, October 17, 2014

This and That

Not too much out of the normal has been going on around here. I severely underestimated how much flour I would need this month, so I'm almost out of flour, with not enough to make much of anything. 

The kids have been doing school most days.  I put their art stuff and some extra worksheets in a three drawer tote so they can get them without getting in the organized school stuff.  I printed off some shape sheets that I plan on having them cut out and paste on some old cardstock I have sitting around. 

I'm sick and tired of turkey lol, but we have another week of it to eat.  

I made a pair of sweatpants, but I didn't do the waist band right.. So when I get it figured out WHAT I did wrong, I'll use my good fleece instead of scrap material and share.  

I've also been working on replacing the leg elastic in the pocket AIO diapers (All In One, One size.. they fit from around 8 pounds to 30 ish pounds thanks to a bunch of different snaps and the pockets mean I can stuff enough to last if I can't change her every few hours, such as nights).  They are four years old and needed new elastic. Thanks to a tip from a friend, it's pretty easy. Fold the diaper inside out, find the ends of your elastic, Rip the stitches out of one end, then I attach the new elastic with a safety pin in between, stuff the safety pin into the elastic casing on the diaper, rip the stitches from the other end and start pulling. You'll pull out the old and get the new in place all in one move if the safety pin holds up.  Easy, but hard on the fingers and time consuming. 

Grace's hair is getting in her face already and I don't want to cut it.. So I've been looking up ways to make some hair bows that will actually stay. I don't think I have on hand what I need, but the supplies look fairly cheap and the process easy. 

Next week is shopping week, and under hubby's request I am waiting to see the ads to meal plan (I'm going a little insane with this method....)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What Meal Plan?

Yep. Only took me a week lol. I attempted a meal plan this week... But out of two days, I've done one of the meals on the meal plan. So I give up for this week lol. 

Our meals are sort of up in the air right now, so I'm taking what we have in the fridge and making meals from that as the turkey thaws. 

I have been keeping up with baking, but have to go to the store today to do much more as I only have one egg left.  Bread, cookies and popcorn chicken are all on the list for week.  

I'm also in the process of making Grace some warmer soft-soled baby shoes with the weather getting cold.  But I must admit, compared to last week, I feel like I'm being lazy. I did get the bathroom scrubbed(minus the clogged up sink) and have been keeping the kids' rooms cleaned.. I have to clean our room deeply and go back to the hardware store tomorrow to get plastic to cover the windows. This will help keep the drafts out during the winter and into the summer, hopefully the cat won't shred them this year, just find them in the hardware department at your favorite box store or at a hardware store.  3M Makes the best in my opinion, but I have used other brands. 

Have a good week y'all! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Popcorn Chicken!

As we were meal planning last week, hubby decided that he wanted popcorn chicken for lunch again.  I found a recipe on Pinterest months ago that I tried, and everybody LOVES it.  You can look at that here.  I know the original poster (who is linked to in the recipe) has a printable version.  

I know from trial and error (and running out of corn flakes), that you don't want to just use flour for the second coating, it just doesn't work.  

With most of this batch, I am baking them, letting them cool, then putting them on a cooling in the freezer to flash freeze for about 10 minutes, then throwing them in a freezer bag. I have about 20 pounds of chicken breast I'm making into popcorn, so this will keep it fresh. Warm it up in the microwave for a few minutes and you are good to go. 

I think it's good just plain, the kids like it dipped in ketchup and hubby prefers BBQ sauce. 
If you get really adventurous (and love spicy), mix Arby's sauce, Arby's horsey sauce, honey mustard and a squirt of sriracha sauce. Shake it all up so it's coating the chicken and eat with a fork. Now there's some good chicken. But in the interest of my baby's belly, I'm not even trying. LOL 

Enjoy! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Meal Plan September 28-October 4

So I'm trying something new this month with the planning... I had a list of meals once I saw the ads (using sales and what I had in the pantry). So now, every week, I'm going to make a meal plan, along with a baking list for each day. 

Sunday-Breakfast-Eggs, bacon, pancakes
       Lunch-Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, apples
       Supper-Ham, Potatoes, Vegetables 
Monday-Breakfast-Egg Burritos
       Lunch-Burritos, popcorn chicken
       Supper-Leftover ham, potatoes and vegetables
   Baking List-Popcorn Chicken, Bread, Chicken broth, mix trail mix
Tuesday-Breakfast-same
        Lunch-popcorn chicken, fruit
        Supper-Tacos
   Baking List-Tortilla, Blueberry Coffee Cake, Pear Turnovers
Wednesday-Breakfast-egg burritos, coffee cake
        Lunch-Popcorn chicken
        Supper-Leftover
   Baking list-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thursday-Breakfast-same
         Lunch-same
         Supper-Ham Bone Soup
   Baking List-Take ham off bone, hamburger buns
Friday-Breakfast-same
       Lunch-Popcorn Chicken, PB & J
       Supper-leftovers
   Baking List-Bread
Saturday-Breakfast-eggs, bacon, pancakes
         Lunch-hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries
         Supper-Roast Beef Sandwiches

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Shopping Trip September 27

Boy oh Boy did we get some good sales!!

We decided we were going to cut out the processed foods a little at a time. Snacks came first.  We will slowly be cleaning out the cupboard with the process foods we already have. 

Sam's Club
Vinegar 2 at 3.88 7.76
Beef Patties 19.88
Mixed Nuts 14.98
Bacon 2 packages of 4 lbs 11.36 each 22.72
Corn Tortilla 3.50
Eggs 3 dozen 3.89
Chicken Breast 10.23
Chicken Breast 11.52
Hot Dogs 3 pounds 5.16
Sliced Cheddar 11.98
Smoked Ham Deli 6.98
Flour 4.69
Sugar 3.98
Brown Sugar 3.90
Whole Dill Pickle 4.62
Cat food 18 pounds 8.98
Total of 153.54

Dollar Tree
Banana Chips 4
Pretzels
Paper Towels 2
Liquid Dish Soap 2
Total Of 9.54

HyVee
Butter 2 at 3.99 7.98
Baking Cocoa 2.69
Baking Powder 1.58
Baking Soda 2 at .69 1.38
Instant Dry Milk 8.28
Minisweet chocolate chips 2 at 1.88 3.76
Ground Beef 4 at 2.99 each 11.96
Cheddar Cheese Dip 2.88
Carrots 4 at .88 3.52
Total of 46.67

Sunshine Foods
Sour Cream 2.29
Frozen broccoli 3 at 1.00 each 3.00
Frozen Corn 3 at 1.00 each 3.00
Picante sauce 1.50
Nacho Cheese sauce 2.50
Round Roast (3.99 per pound) 8.14
Round roast 10.13
Turkey (Buy a 12-14 lb turkey, get potatoes, onions and celery free) 12.71 lb at 1.19 a lb 15.12
Boneless Half Ham 2.99 per lb 23.20
Potatoes 5 lbs 2 at 2.49 each 8.58
Total of 79.15


Trip Total of 288.90
I'm doing the happy dance. :D 

Have a good weekend and I'll see you next week with my meal plan and extensive baking list. :) 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ads Are Out! Shopping Trip Septemter 27!

Hello Hello! Well, we're back at meal planning and grocery shopping again. How to months go so fast? 

I got excited when I looked at the Sunshine Food Store Ads this week. They have some awesome meat sales going on that I will definitely be taking advantage of. Can't say much for the other store, and Sam's hasn't come out with their instant savings yet so no comments there. 

Here's the links. Happy Ad shopping! 

Dollar Tree
Sunshine Food Stores (Sioux Falls store) Be sure to print off the ad coupons or grab an ad as you go inside. 
Fareway Food Stores (weekly)
Fareway Food Stores (Online)
HyVee Be sure to check out all the ads here, they have sales on pet care. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Preschool

I have my plans set. We have done a few worksheets, but not many. 

For the most part, I'm getting my worksheets for the kids from resources through Free Homeschool Deals.  Jamerril Stewart gathers some awesome resources.  Mama's Learning Corner has some awesome resources she shares as well.  

My plans for each letter are 

  • Learn the letter. I have a sheet with a block letter, with an animal that starts with that letter. We will color and have things to paste onto the page. I found stickers at Dollar General that I plan on using. (1+1+1=1)
  • We will learn a nursery rhyme song. (The Teacher's Guide)
  • We will practice what sounds the letter makes and find things in the toy box that start with that letter. 
  • We have Bible stories that go along with the letter. (Bible Fun For Kids Blog, Mama's Learning Corner) I read a corresponding story while they color pages to along with. Sometimes they join me in reading instead of coloring. 
  • We will sing a Bible song, these are songs I got from my mom who used to teach preschool in a church. She kept all the songs on index cards and gave the index cards to me. We don't remember all the tunes, but we can make them up. :) 
  • We will practice number, writing uppercase and lowercase and work on shapes, I have a preschool learning book from a box store for this. Along with worksheets from The Measured Mom for extra practice in writing letters.

I anticipate that all this will take about two or three weeks of two school days a week to get through. I'm not rushing anything and I know my four year old gets bored really quickly. 


Hope this gives somebody else some other ideas. We are looking into curricula for structure when we get into needing a structured program, but this works for now as he is still learning basics. For the worksheets, I print off one copy, mark it with a small, red 'm' in a corner to know that's my master copy, then make copies from there. That way I know I have it and I won't have to go find it. 

We do want to add something about character traits in the mix, but haven't found what yet.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Family Planner

I have been feeling very disorganized and disheveled lately, so I've been working on getting a planner fixed up to keep track of everything going on. 

My problem is that I wanted everything in one spot, but nothing you can buy at the store will keep everything in one spot.  

I needed a place for a lot of things

  • Keep track of bills
  • Keep track of spending
  • Keep track of school lessons (which are pretty lose, but I want to start now so it's not completely foreign when we have to report to the state)
  • Keep a calendar...seriously, I have four different calendars running around that have events on them, that's not productive for anybody. But I not only want a monthly, but a weekly.
  • Meal planning
  • Grocery List


I think that's everything. I also need to able to label and find things quickly. So I'm raiding our store supply of binder labels. 

I did do an internet search of free printables and found a few websites where I'm utilizing what they have. (Here) When I started saving sheets, I realized that I bought a bundle of books and printables a few of my blog sites that I follow were offering in the spring... Hello DUH. So I am also using a few of theirs, which I can't share because of copyright, but the one that I'm sticking with for sure helps me keep track of bills and where I'm not using how it's intended, it's helping us see how much in bills we are spending.  

So I'm getting my notebook set up. I have a separator sheet, labeled with the month, behind that I have the monthly calendar, with a weekly planner page for each week.  Then comes the bill tracker sheet (lists the bills, date due and I fill in the amount paid under the month paid), grocery list (notebook paper), meal planner (notebook paper), a notebook sheet I can fill out if we do bills when I'm not on the computer-then I can enter in my check register spreadsheet when I get on.  

I'm trying this method out until the end of the year. If I like it, we will keep going with it, or tweak until I do like it.  

I'm using a binder I got from my mom that she had stashed around the house from somewhere. It has two pockets on each of the inside covers. So I use a pocket for bills that need paid, a pocket for my WIC folder and that's all the pockets I'm using right now. I have a shipping envelope (5 inch by 7 inch) with holes punched in it in the front of the binder to hold receipts. 

Hope this gives you some good ideas to get you started if you are working on your own planner. I did pin some ideas and I believe the website I used are on the board, you can check that out here


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Creamy Chicken and Rice with Fruit Salad

I found this recipe via Pinterest from Tasty Kitchen. Oh man, it's good!!! 

It does come out very much like a soup by the time it's done,  so beware. :) But it's good!! And the kids love it, which is a major plus. 

Our menu for the night was Creamy Chicken and Broccoli with Rice, rice, biscuits and fruit salad.



Creamy Chicken and Broccoli with Rice
6 chicken breast
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of cheese soup
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (I just used water)
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoo cajun or creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
4 cups cooked white rice ( I make enough for one meal at a time)
4 cups broccoli (one 16 ounce bag of frozen veggies, I used gree beans)
2 cups sour cream

Put everything but sour cream, broccoli and rice in crock pot. 
Cook on low for 6 hours or hi for 4 hours. 
Remove chicken and add broccoli. Start your water for the rice.
Shred chicken then put back in. 
The broccoli needs to cook for about half an hour, which is about as long as it takes rice to cook. 
Just before serving, stir in sour cream. Serve over or beside rice. 


Biscuits
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup butter or coconut oil (we prefer butter because of the flavor)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk (I used 1 1/4 cup water)
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cream of tartar. Cut in butter. Add milk and stir until moist. 
Add 1 cup of cheese and 3 tablespoon parsley for cheese biscuits. 
Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes. 

Fruit Salad
Dice 6 apples
Dice 4 oranges 
About 1 cup coconut 
About 1 cup raisins
About two cups whipped cream 

Add whatever fruit you have in. This is what I had, Do the citrus last so the juices will be over the rest and prevent browning. Mix it all together and let chill until ready to serve. 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Apples!

My sister has an apple tree. Yummy yummy. She shared apples with us last time we were down. As soon as we got home, I cut up a bunch of the apples and froze 3 quarts worth, I have one more quart in the fridge (I have plans for those) and I baked apple crisp with the last. The kids are slowly working on what is left and I go through them everyday and cut up what is getting bruises.  


The apple crisp recipe I used came straight from a Betty Crocker cook book and can be used with any fruit you have on hand. 

5 cup sliced apples (the recipe says to peel them, but I left the peel on)
2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ginger or cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped nuts or coconut

Thaw fruit if frozen. Do not drain. Place in a 2 quart square baking dish. Stir in the granulated sugar (I left this step out and it tasted just fine). 


For topping, in a medium bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, flour and nutmeg. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the nuts. Sprinkle topping over fruit. 


Bake in a 375 oven for 30-35 minutes (I should have given it five more minutes as the apples weren't quite done).  Or until fruit is teder and topping is golden. If desired, serve warm with ice cream. 



It's apple season! Check in your local area to find an orchard or a friend with too many apples, I know there's an orchard around Sioux Falls where you can pick your own for so much (but I've never been, so don't know details). 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shopping Trip August 28

Hello All! It's been crazy around here... We were out of town and Grace is in full swing teething mode. Poor thing is waking up way too early. :( 

We didn't do too bad with the groceries this time. 

HyVee
Sour Cream 1.58
Sweet Cream Butter 4 at 3.99 each -3.02 special by the store total 12.94
El Monterey frozen burritos 5 at 3.88 each 19.40
Frozen corn 3 at 5/ 5.00 each 3.00
Penne garlic chicken frozen meal 2.99
Tai Pei Chicken meal 2.68
Tai Pei orange chicken 2.68
Totinos pizza rolls 5.99
Cheddar cheese soup 2 at 1.68 each 3.36
Cottonelle 12 pack 5.88
Folgers 9.99
Cream of mushroo 2 at .94 each 1.88
Honey Graham cereal 2.58
Auto Dish Detergent 3.78
Plastic wrap 2.49
Quart storage bags 8.99
Refried beans 2 at .99 each 1.98
BBQ sauce 3 at .69 each 2.07
Ruffles 3.34
Hot dogs 3 at 5/ 5.00 3.00
Egg Roll Wraps 3..29
Total of 110.13

EarthGrains Bakery 
8 loaves bread
Dill pickles
Soy Sauce
Donuts
Sweet Snacks
Total of 23.81

Sam's
French FRies 6.98
Beef Patties 19.88
Batteries 12.98
Yogurt 2 18 packs 7.48 each 14.96
Cod Fillets 11.98
Chicken Nuggets 9.98 -2.00 coupo 7.78
Whole chickens 2 pack 11.39
Corn Tortillas 3.57
Cat litter 11.64
Vinegar 2 pack 3.68
Nutty Bars 3.48
Bacon 2 at 11.78 each 23.56
Chicken Breast 10.32
Deli Meat Ham 6.98
Sliced Cheddar 11.98
Ketchup 3.64
Miracle Whip 5.78
Hamburger buns 2.79
Granola Bars 8.98
Goldfish 9.33
Dorito 50 pack single serving bas 11.98 -2.00 store coupon 9.98
Total of 213.71


Final Total of 347.65 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ads Are Out! Shopping Trip August 28

Some of my favorite bloggers keep posting about how good the organic deals are at Costco. Hope we can get there soon. In the meantime, we are still shopping at Sams, HyVee, the Dollar Tree and the bakery outlet this time. I'm debating Sunshine.. LOL

Here's your ad links (and even for the new Walmart on 60th, I must say, It's tempting)..

Hy-Vee
Fareway
Sunshine Foods
Dollar Tree
Walmart


Happy Ad Shopping!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Changing The Diet

We've had some major hits to what we can eat at our house. 

Hubby has been having some stomach problems, so we have to take out if not eliminate the majority of tomato/cheese combinations. Bye bye pizza and spaghetti.  

Eva is what makes things challenging. She has an allergy to beta-carotene.  Basically nothing red, orange or green can enter her stomach without it making her sick. Do you have any idea how much food that eliminates?? You just tell me a fruit or veggie that ISN'T one of those colors. It's HARD. 

Add to that everybodys intoleration of dairy products and this is making meal planning SO MUCH FUN! (Insert sarcasm) 

Luckily, we have figured out with Eva the various amounts of certain food she can have and how often. In the meantime, we get a hurting stomach and fun clean-up for mommy. (again, there's sarcasm there). But every once in awhile we let things slip and I feel bad.  The only way to figure this out is keeping a food journal. I keep track of what she eats when  (and I do mean EVERYTHING), then write down if she has a reaction. With cantaloupes and carrots, it's been within hours and lasted for days from a small amount. With watermelon, the effect wasn't realized until we added cantaloupe to the mix. (And there went the smoothies, out the window...) 

In the meanwhile, I am working on meal planning for this week and trying to keep in mind all the allergies and intolerances so we don't have sore stomachs to deal. So far for this month I have 

  • Egg Rolls (I'll share the recipe when I get batteries in my camera)
  • Sweet Hawaiian Chicken
  • Chicken and Broccoli over Rice
  • Tacos


Now. Only 10 more meals to figure out! Happy meal planning! 


Monday, August 18, 2014

Grandma's Birthday Dinner

I was excited at the prospect of trying out my adult cake making skills. I'm learning through the internet on how to decorate cakes. It will make it cheaper in the long run with birthdays. 
I made a basic buttercream icing for the flowers two days before. 


1/4 cup butter
about 1/4 cup water (supposed to use milk, but we are all allergic-especially grandma)
a splash of vanilla 
powdered sugar
Cream the butter, water and vanilla together. Add sugar until it reaches the consistency you want. Remember if you are adding food coloring to add more sugar because the food coloring will make it runnier. For the flowers, I made purple, pink and yellow. 
I used my Pampered Chef cake decorating kit and went to work. I think they turned out pretty good, but I definitely need some practice. :)

For the cake, I cheated and used a cake mix we had sitting the cupboard. I had heard that if you add a splash of vanilla to it, it will make it taste like it's from scratch. I didn't notice a taste difference, but it certainly didn't hurt it any. 
 

 That's my coconut oil melting, don't look at the messy counter lol
 Of course Andrew and Eva had to help, it was for grandma, after all. 

I put coconut oil and flour on the cake pan before baking so the cake would pop out easier. Then followed the box instructions for baking-but with my crazy oven it took more like 45 minutes.



For the cake icing, I did a cream cheese icing with less sugar than the recipe called for, I just added until spreading consistency. 

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
Powdered Sugar
Soften the cream cheese and butter. Cream together then add powdered sugar. 



I did add some green to it for a border and some yellow for the words since My words wouldn't come off the wax paper. 

Added my premade flowers and wa-la. :) 

Dinner was steaks, potatoes and broccoli. 
I cooked the steaks on the griddle (we aren't much for outdoor grilling around here), steamed the broccoli and baked the potatoes....And forgot the rolls. So now I have a tube of biscuits to do something with. 


It turned out pretty good and the steaks were pretty juicy. :D I didn't do too bad. And grandma loved it-which was the important part. 

Grandma's Birthday Dinner Shopping

This last Saturday was my mother-in-law's birthday and we wanted to do something special for her. We were thinking it would be cheaper to just do dinner at home, but in the end (thanks to small town prices), all we saved was the gas money and some stress on my part with keeping two toddlers and a baby happy in a restaurant for an hour. 

The menu for grandma's birthday party:
Steaks
Baked Potatoes
Broccoli
Birthday Cake
Dinner Rolls


The shopping trip. 
I did this in town since hubby decided last minute to stay home. 
Cream cheese 8 oz 2.19
Broccoli cuts (frozen) 1.69
Powdered Sugar (2) 1.69 each 3.38
Ball Tip Steak (not the best, but it's what they had) 3 steaks for 19.83
Top Sirloin Steak (for daddy and grandma-I had to mix and match what I bought) two steaks for 22.44
Baker Potatoes .59/lb at 2.32 lbs 1.37

We were also running low on a few things, so had to buy some stock up items..
Coconut 1.65
Pretzel snacks 1.19
candy (I'm a sucker lol) .24
Deli meat 4.00
Hot Dogs 2.00

Total of this trip was 63.56

Two days later I realized I forgot the rolls...so back we go
Grands Biscuits 1.99
Cinnamon Rolls 2.45
Rootbeer .99
Nut roll (told ya, I'm a sucker) 1.00
because of store policy I had to get enough to be over $5 to run a debit card....
Total 6.82

So I spent $70.82


But we were ready to have a good little party with yummy food.