Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still Recovering

I am still recovering from Black Friday shopping...Here is the low-down:

Kohls @ 4 AM: left without buying anything b/c the line to check out was a 3 hour wait!
Target: went to score the 19.99 DVD player for the in-laws as their's wasn't working on Thanksgiving day
Toys R Us: they were out of the Princess baby that I wanted, but I did score a science kit, moon sand, and a VSmile 3 workbooks that were NOT on my list :)
Fashion Bug: went in for the 6.99 doorbuster sweaters and bought a LOT; in fact I am taking 2 things back on Thursday.
Elder Beerman: a HUGE surprise for my hubs (who s a subscriber) and a set of towels for my aunt
John Deere Store at the Mall: new hat and 2 pr socks for my JD boy! (not oin sale eiether)
CVS: robe for my mom-in-law
Meijer: couple cheapies for my hubs - most everything I had my eye on was gone by the time we got there.

Then on Saturday, I went back to Kohls, to Tractor Supply, and to WalMart. Paid a little bit more for what I needed, but it was worth it! (And, did I mentioned that I paid with CASH?) :)

I think that I am almost done with Christmas shopping. Hoping that wrapping goes as easily!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FREE item (up to $13) at Bath & Body Works

Go HERE to print a coupon for a FREE item at Bath & Body Works with a $10 purchase.

Thanks, Saving and Stewardship!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A question...

How are you cutting back this holiday season? What are you giving up? What are you changing?

Let's encourage each other with tips.

Veggie Tales DVS for FREE (Pay $2.99 to Ship)

I highly recommend this deal. We previously did this and ordered "The Ballad of Little Joe." Today, we did it again, and bought "Abe and the Amazing Promise." You pay $2.99 in shipping. The newsletter is actually informational; telling release dates and the like. The DVD's come directly to your home in about a week. It's really a great idea and I applaud Big Idea for getting God's Word out there into homes!

Go HERE to see all of the nitty-gritties...and enjoy some veggies for Christmas!

Thanks, Moms by Heart, for this reminder.

$9 Glasses!!!

Please go HERE to visit my friend, John's, site and see how he purchased perscription glasses for only $9!

His site @ Johnopolis encourages DIY projects, budgeting, and great finance tips. John and his family are currently working through Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. They reside in Haskins, OH.

Thanks, John, for allowing me to share your site and your savings!

Homemade Cranberry Orange Relish

This is a recipe that I received from my Grandma Stewart. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without this relish. My in-laws always request it, and I oblidge because it is SO SIMPLE!

Combine in food processor:

1 bag FRESH cranberries
1 large seedless navel orange - peel and all
1 c. sugar (I use 3/4 c., see note)

Process until combined. Transfer to bowl and let flavors combine for 24 hours. Serve cold with Thanksgiving turkey.

(NOTE: I have tried this using Splenda - my husband's father is diabetic - and it does not come out the same. I would recommend cutting the actual sugar instead.)

I always make a double batch of this as it goes over well due to its fresh taste. We love the leftovers on toast with cream cheese for breakfast the next morning.

You can also freeze a batch to save for Christmas dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Top Ten - Thanksgiving Style

I am thankful for...

10. A place to call home
9. My church and its mission
8. Unlimited long distance
7. In-laws that I actually like
6. Finances that allow me to stay home with my children
5. Freedom - both political and spititual
4. Friends who have become family
3. A patient, unwavering, faithful spouse
2. Answers to prayer: Grant and Reagan Grace
1. "God with us," who delights in me, and has no beginning and no end!

Get Motivated Monday

In honor of Thanksgiving, there will be no "official" challenge this week. I would; however, advise you to compile a list of the Top Ten things that you are thankful for and share it with your fellow readers.

Oh, and how are you doing with the 30 day giving challenge?

"How can I thank You? There is just no way. How can I thank You? Lord, how can I repay? For Your kindness, for Your tenderness, for Your constant presence here with me..."
-----------------------------------------from "You Have Been So Good To Me" by Sara Groves

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FREE Christmas Cards

I just ordered 100 FREE Christmas photo cards through the website

I used a promo code of "newbaby" to get the first 50 5x7 cards free.

Then, I placed a second order with the promo code "freebies4mom-1109" to get 50 more 4x6 cards free.

According to my receipts, the order will be delivered in 3 days via FedEx!

This offer expires today. It is well worth your time. I didn't even pay shipping or tax and my order was $65 worth of merchandise!

Thanks to My Frugal Adventures for the heads-up on this deal!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fab Five on Friday

Fab Five on Friday

1. The day after Thanksgiving, Old Navy is having a sale on adult jeans $15; kids jeans $10!

2. Keebler’s is offering a $10 toy voucher (check) when you purchase 5 boxes of their specially marked Christmas cookies. Go HERE for details.

3. All You magazine is offering a 2 year subscription for $29 through!!! For those of you who are not aware, each issue contains well over that amount of coupons alone!

4. I found a new blog this week that I LOVE! Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge feeds her family of 6 for $60/week – that’s what I’m talking about!

5. From the gals at UCreate, a potential Grandma gift at our home. Check out the magnetic recipe holder here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER

Do you know those sugar cookies in the store with frosting and sprinkles? The really soft ones? Well, this recipe is the closest that I've found...and boy, they are YUMMY!

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Cream together in large mixer:
1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar

Then add (mixing well):
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon juice

Add the following dry ingredients, mixing well:
4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda

Add to dough:
4-6 T. milk

Roll out dough on a floured surface (1/2" to 3/4" thickness) and cut in desired shapes.
Bake at 375-400 for 8-10 minutes.

Ice with your favorite frosting and sprinkles!

Freezer Cooking with a Turkey

With the great turkey sales right now, why not buy an extra turkey and freezer cook with it? By doing this you can cut your budget and have ready-made meals for the hectic holiday season.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking...

Turkey Noodle Casserole
Turkey Enchiladas
Turkey Rice Soup
Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Turkey Stuffing Casserole

Why not take the time to cook a turkey and make some meals for your family this month?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Christmas Challenge

Are you having trouble making ends meet this year? Is the Christmas budget lean? Are you overwhelmed at the thought of "being Santa?"

Never fear, my friends, I have a challenge for you...

Can you...Would you...Could you...

*live off of your stockpile in December and use your grocery budget for gifts?

*have two meatless meals a week in December and use the leftover cash for stuffing stockings?

*make a monthly meal plan that utilizes staples from your pantry (things you already have) and slash your grocery bill?

*freezer cook in advance (this month) using items on sale in November (turkey, baking products, etc) to have ready-made meals in December?

If you are up to the challenge, think about how wonderful it will feel to have a cash-only Christmas!!!

Stay tuned to see some of the ways that I am slashing the budget for the holiday season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Movie Night?

Is the night right for a movie?

You can get a free rental from Redbox today through 11/19/09 at Meijer only using this code: 7CMEJR9

Don't forget the popcorn!

A Look at the Why Behind the Journey

I think that today may be a good day to remind myself why I am couponing and saving...

1. I want to honor God with my finances by tithing and GIVING on top of my tithe.
2. I want to be able to stay-at-home with my children and provide them as much of me as possible.
3. I want to pay down/off debt. Specifically, 1 credit card, 2 small auto loans, and HUGE student loans.
4. I want to be able to finance my children's education. I want to have options other than our local public schools.
5. I want to finance a family vacation. We have not traveled out of the tri-state area in over 6 years and it is time for an adventure!

Because of these goals; therefore, I will...

1. Add NO debt, period, by living a cash-only lifestyle.
2. Learn patience and the blessing of waiting.
3. Coupon, rebate, shop sales only for our groceries/toiletries.
4. NOT be brand or store loyal.
5. Garage sale, consignment shop, accept hand-me-downs greatfully.
6. Trust that God will provide for my needs and be content with what He provides.

***Why are you on this journey? Let's encourage each other today...

I close with a song that's been on my heart lately. It is by Sara Groves. Listen to it if you get a chance.

He's Always Been Faithful

Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed,
in awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me

I can't remember a trial or a pain
he did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret
in serving God only and trusting his hand


This is my anthem, this is my song,
the theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.



Monday, November 16, 2009

Get Motivated Monday

OK, I have a confession. I am not motivated to do anything this week! There, it's out...

However, regardless of what I feel like doing, I will get motivated because THANKSGIVING IS NEXT WEEK!!!!! UGH!!!!

Here is my list: get laundry caught up for travels, get house cleaned for company, get menu organized, and start Black Friday list...

How will you get ready for Thanksgiving this week?

2 FREE Card Games at KROGER with Cpn

Go here to see how you can get 2 FREE card games for Christmas at Kroger this week. Thanks, Saving and Giving!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Start Working on that Stockpile!

Here are some great deals on staples from Target this week. If you have the extra cash in your budget, this would be a great week to work on your pantry stockpile!

Betty Crocker Potatoes .79
Use $1/2 from 10/4 SS
Final Price: .29

Heinz Gravy .79
Use $1/2 from 11/1 SS
Final Price: .29

Del Monte Canned Veggies .45
Use $1/8 from 11/15 RP
Final Price: .32 each!

Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.19
Use $1/3 from 11/15 RP
Final Price: .86 each

Swanson Chicken Broth 14oz cans .49
Use $1/6 from 11/8 SS
Final Price: .32 each

Campbell’s Soups .49
Use $1/8 from 11/8 SS
Final Price: .24 each

CVS Hot Deals!

Here's what I will be looking for at CVS this week!

Suave Body Wash or Hair Care 3/$6

Use .50/1 MQ (3 times)

Get $2 ECB

Final Price: $2.50 for all 3

Scope Outlast Mouthwash or Crest Scope with Whitening Toothpaste $3.49

Get $2 ECB

Use $1/1 MQ

Final price: .49

Buy Cover Girl Simply Ageless Foundation and Blush and get $10 ECB

Use Buy a Foundation, Get a Face Product free MQ

Also, use $1/1 MQ

Ageless Foundation $13 + Ageless Blush $10 = $23

Use $4/20 CVS coupon

Get $10 ECB

Final Price: $2 OVERAGE!

Duracell 4pk $2.99

Get $1 ECB

Use $1/1 MQ

Final Price: .99

Spend $12 in Glade Products and get $4 ECB back.

Includes:Sense and Spray $6- use $4/1 MQ

Lasting Impressions $6

Sense and Spray Refill $3- use $1/1 MQ

Plug Ins Refill $3

Glade Essential Oils Candle $3

Scented Oil Candles or Refill $3- use free refill when you buy candle MQ, and use Buy 2 refills, get 1 free MQ

{Deal idea}Buy 2 Sense and Spray at $6 each

Use (2) $4/1 coupons

Pay $4 and get $4 ECB back = FREE!

Trident Layers Gum $1

Use Buy One Get One Free MQ

Pay .50/each

My Little Pony Deal - Cash Only Christmas

Go HERE to see how you can combine the My LIttle Pony coupon with a Toys R Us sale of Buy 2, Get 1 free to get a great deal on ponies for Christmas!

Thanks, Couponing to Disney!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Update on the 30 Day Giving Challnege

You may have noticed that I have been absent this week. I apologize for not being here - but I am greatful that I could be "there" for a dear friend who lost her mother Monday evening. Please know my heart and that by sharing this that I am not boasting, but acknowledging God's work through me and my willingness to be His hands this week.

I spent most of Monday evening/Tuesday early morning at the hospital with my friend and her family hoping for a miracle and then, grieving a terrible loss. For those of you who are familiar with Strengths Finder, my number 1 strength is empathy; therefore, I too felt the loss right long with them, and I felt it hard. It brought back a lot of memories of loss in my own life...but I am so glad that I was there!

Tuesday I spent the day making calls for meal plans to provide the family with meals for the next three weeks. The responses were overwhelming - so many people offered to help!

Wednesday I started work on the funeral meal, had church, and a little time with the kids...

Thursday was the shopping extravaganza for my son's 5th birthday party... Yes, my baby is 5! Our family also went to the funeral home for calling hours.

Friday was the funeral dinner until about 3 and Grant's party started at 6! Our pastor dressed up as Woody from Toy Story and our worship leader and his weife were Buzz and Jessie! It was priceless... Our church is truly a community of family.

Today, I am still in my jammies at 3:18 pm, enjoyed a movie with the family, and am going to a Thanksgiving meal with friends tonight.

I'm really tired, but thankful for my life and my friends who are my family...I am blesssed!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Applebee's Supports our Veterans

On Veteran's Day 11/11, Applebees will be giving free entrées to all active duty military and veterans! You will need to show proof of service for this offer.

This is just one more reason that I love Applebee's!!!

Abbreviations - Shmebreviations!

For all of your who need a little help with the abbreviations in coupon land:

BOGO or B1G1 = Buy 1 Get 1 Free
B2G2 = Buy 2 Get 2 Free
Catalina = coupon that prints from the register with your receipt
ECB = Extra Care Bucks (CVS)
FAR = Free after Rebate
MIR = Mail in Rebate
MQ = Manufacturer's Coupon
OOP = Out of Pocket
P&G = Proctor & Gamble coupon insert in Sunday's Newspaper
RR = Register Reward (Walgreens)
RP = Red Plum coupon insert in Sunday's Newspaper
SS = Smart Source coupon insert in Sunday's Newspaper
TQ = Target Coupon

Hope this helps you on your journey!

Lunch for $2!

Did you know that this month is Customer Appreciation Month at Subway? To appreciate us, Subway is offering either cold cut combo or meatball 6" subs for only $2 until 11/30! Call your local franchise to see if they are particiating first and then enjoy a sub for lunch or dinner!

Are you Game?

Go HERE to see how you can get 7 games for under $4! A great idea for toy drives, family gifts, or for Santa to bring! Thanks, Moms by Heart for this great deal!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 1 Update - 30 Day Giving Challenge

Week 1 of the 30-Day Giving Challenge is over. How have you stretched yourself this week to give to others in creative ways?

Some of the things that we did this week (while living the hotel-life) were: gave a really generous tip at a restaurant, opted to not have our room serviced (to give the maids a break one day), and had friends over to swim in the hotel pool.

I felt extremely challenged in my giving this week as we were out of the norm. I did; however, give an exceptional amount of TIME to my kids (playing games, reading books, working on spelling, etc) and my spouse (having a private lunch date, trying to be less demanding about his schedule this week, etc)

I received multiple blessings in phone calls from friends, laundry help from my mother-in-law while we were away (she did all the curtains and our leftover laundry), and a dear friend packed my kids lunches for school since we didn't have much space in the hotel fridge (thanks, Meliss!)

I personally plan on upping my giving this week in creative ways. Will you join me?

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9

Friday, November 6, 2009

We're Home

We are home and after I get the curtains rehung and the dust dusted up, I will update you with some great deals and my first week of the 30 day giving challenge!

Expect a LARGE grocery bill from me tomorrow - I may just go over budget! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Well, we have progress on the house and I am stealing a couple of seconds on hubby's laptop to write... The windows are in. The doors are done. Garage doors tomorrow... Hopefully we will be home by Friday afternoon. If we are, I promise you will hear from me. If not, we'll see if I can steal away another couple of seconds! Love to all my readers - thanks for being patient with me!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Get out Your Binders and Let's Go Krogering

This is GREAT week to go Krogering. Here are my top 5 deals:

5. Cheese-Its .99 each (use 1.50/2 MQ and pay .24/each!)

4. Nestle Toll House Morsels 1.99 (use .50 MQ and pay .99!)

3. Hormel Chili .79 each (use 2.00/3 MQ and pay .12/each!)

2. Bumble Bee Tuna .49 (use .55 MQ {doubles} and get 2 for FREE!)

1. Carnation Evaporated Milk .50 (use .50/2 MQ and get BOTH FOR FREE!)

*Also Coke 2 liters are .79 this week...a good price for our caffiene lovers! :)

How to Send Your Coupons to the Troops

Check out this post on sending your expired coupons overseas to m military families (where they can use them up to 6 months past the expiration date...)

Thanks, Saving and Giving, for reminding me of this great opportunity!

November's Meal Plan

Since we will be out of the house for a week this month, my 20 days may be overshooting it a bit, but here goes...

1. Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
2. Corn Chowder w/Ham and Homemade Bread
3. Homemade Chicken Fingers, Fries, and Corn
4. Pasta with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad
5. Crockpot Pork Chops, Broccoli Cheese Rice, and Froz. Broccoli Medley
6. Chili and Cornbread Cake
7. Pancakes and Turkey Sausage
8. Taco Night with Queso Dip and Chips
9. Shredded Chicken Sandwiches, Church Potatoes, Dirt Pudding
10. Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn
11. Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Bread, Caesar Salad
12. Sloppy Joes, Chips, and Jello Salad
13. Fish Sticks, Fries, and Applesauce
14. Homemade Pizzas (Cheese and BBQ Chicken or Hawaiian)
15. Turkey and all the Trimmings - Happy Thanksgiving!
16. Leftovers, Duh!
17. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
18. Idaho Tacos (Using Leftover Taco Meat)
19. Hamburger Helper and Green Beans
20. Pizza Pasta Bake, Breadsticks, Brownies