Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday....

Yesterday the kids were kind enough to share with me what they would like to eat this week so here is what our menu for the week is looking like....

Monday - Filled jumbo pasta shells, salad, bread & grapes.
Tuesday - Tacos or taco salad
Wednesday - Either leftovers from the past couple of nights or spaghetti
Thursday - Homemade chicken strips, corn on cob, mac n cheese & salad
Friday - French bread pizza
Sat - Dinner @ mom's
Sun - Dinner @ mom's

This weekend my sister is coming in, which means the majority of the time will be spent at my moms, which is why I do not have to be concerned with cooking dinner at home Sat. or Sun.

Along with each meal, we will have either fresh fruit or veggies with ranch dressing (pretty much the only way the kiddos will eat them)

Also, I apparently will be making banana bread - this has been requested by three of my children! Fortunately, when I went to the grocery store, I came at the right time (which seems to never happen) and was able to get a huge bag of bananas for just pennies a pound because they had been marked down due to them being very ripe. I brought them home, cut them up, put the slices on a baking sheet and threw them in the freezer, once frozen I will put them in baggies. They will be nice to have when I make banana bread or muffins in the future.

As I have stated before, eating out will be a thing of the past for us soon so I am looking for new recipes, especially kid friendly recipes. If you have one please do share.. you can leave it in the comments!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our Bathroom Floor is Done!!!

That is our old subflooring (I think that is what it is called) we **think** that may have been mold growing on it - Y.U.C.K

This is what is under the sub flooring

New sub flooring = no mold!

Ceramic tile laid..

Ceramic tile, laid, grouted... toilet in! Now we just have to get new baseboard in there!

A close up of the new tile!

KMart is doubling coupons again!

I did really well a couple of weeks ago when KMart doubled coupons ( see the deals I got last time here ) and they are doing it again this week. They are doubling up to $2 (so your $2 coupon would be worth $4). There were some great Procter and Gamble coupons in this weeks paper, so I guess I will for sure make a trip there. They also are advertising that if you spend $25 in health and beauty, a $5 coupon will print out at the end of your transaction. I will post how I do!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chik - Fil - A Free Sandwich on Labor Day...

All you have to do is wear your favorite sports team logo and you will receive a free chik-fil-a original sandwich!! Read about it on their website here.

CVS Deals

There were a few deals that I really wanted to get in on this week. I hit the CVS by our house on our way to a family get together, but to my dismay they were out of what I was looking for. Fortunately, the town we were heading to, had a CVS. Brian was wonderful enough to let me run in there to try to score my deals before getting to his aunts house. I did score... here is my run down

2 Glade Sense and Spray starter kits, on sale for $5 each - I had 2 $4 off coupons, plus received $3 in ECB (extra Care Bucks)

2 Kotex 16 count pads - $1.49 each - I had $1 off coupons for each

4 Reeses Peanut Butter cups - 2 for $1 - I had 3 .55 off coupons.

1 CVS brand antibacterial hand soap - Free w/ coupon e-mailed to me from CVS

My final cost after coupons $4.11, however, I did receive $3 back in ECB for the Glade deal above, so the official cost for the above items $1.11. Needless to say I was excited!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Our Bathroom

is getting a new look! I am so excited!
Brian is putting down ceramic tile in our bathroom. It is going to be nice once he is done. To complete this project, he had to take up our toilet. Did I tell you we only have one bathroom? Did I tell you that this project is about a 2 day project? All I can say is I have never been so thankful to live no more than a mile from my mom. I will post some before, during and after pics once completed. I will also let you know about the Lowes employee that probably thinks that Brian is stalking him considering how many trips he has had to make up there in the past 24 hours - non too happily I might add. Hmmmm I wonder if now is a bad time to ask for the kitchen to be tiled, afterall, we are proud owners of a tile saw!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Recipe...

at least for me.....
Eryn, my oldest, has been requesting chicken and dumplings forever now. I had never made them, wasn't really sure how to go about making homemade dumplings. Then I found out, I don't have to make them homemade, you can used canned biscuits!! Who knew!
So yesterday afternoon, I had Brian take a whole cut up chicken that I had bought, put it in the crock pot with some water, chicken broth and a packet of Lipton soup. It slow cooked the rest of the day while I was at work. Once it was done, Brian deboned it for me, while I took Ash to baton. When I got home I took the canned biscuits and rolled each one out really thin, quartered them and dropped them in the chicken, I added a can of cream of chicken soup to thicken it up a bit. Fifteen minutes later it was done and so good! This is definately a thumbs up for my family! Eryn who is one of my pickier eaters, told me that she loved it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Menu Planning

Before we decided that I would be leaving my current position, we really had to take a look at our budget (if that is what you want to call what we had going) and see exactly where the money that I was bringing home was going. Much to our dismay, one thing that we saw was the amount of eating out we did, whether it be Brian and I grabbing a bite to eat on our lunch breaks or me just running through the drive through on the nights that Brian is at work. Feeding our size family at even the cheapest of fast food places is not so cheap!
Realizing that eating out will have to be a thing of the past, I am thinking now is the time to start practicing living with a menu plan. This not only will do wonders for our budget, but eating out is just plain unhealthy!
I am also hoping to incorporate new recipes into my meal plans that my family will like.
My goal is to have our menus for the week planned out and posted by Monday... I have found another blogger who does Meal Planning Mondays - check her out right here. She along with other bloggers will share there menus for the week with recipes, so I am sure I won't have any problems coming up with new things!

The last week for Arby's wednesday Deals!

Tomorrow is the last Wed. that Arby's will be giving away freebies. The special up is a free roast beef & cheddar sandwich with the purchase of any size drink! Gotta love free!

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to look 16 again.....

according to my 7 year old.....

She decided that I need to look 16 again, I would like to look younger, not sure about 16 :) so these were her suggestions

** I need to no longer wear red or pink toenail polish. Apparently the more youthful look would be black nail polish and then top them with pink polka dots...hmmm

** The key to wearing makeup is to look like you are not wearing makeup. She did get that dead on! Hopefully when she is 16, she will remember that.

Then finally she asks me if exercise causes weight loss or weight gain. Why I didn't see where this was going, I am not sure. Anyway, I tell her that exercise generally causes you to lose weight, but that sometimes a person can gain weight, because the fat turns to muscle. I went on to tell her that kind of weight gain was good. She very seriously tells me her last tip for looking 16 again...

**Mom, you need to exercise.

I know she is right, so maybe tonight after I eat what I hope is a chili cheese burrito from Taco Bell (hey, I forgot to lay anything out for dinner..oops) I will exercise.......

Saturday, August 22, 2009

RoboForm for Contests and Freebies

If you like to do contests or to sign up for freebies on the web, then I am telling you, you have to download RoboForm. Once downloaded, you enter all your information that is usually required when signing up for freebies or doing contests. I like doing both contests and freebies, but it always seemed so time consuming to fill out everything, now with Roboform, I just click on one button and all required fields are filled in for me! I love it and just had to share!

Mary Poppins at the Fox Theater?!

Oh my what an adventure we had today. We were given four tickets to see the musical Mary Poppins at the Fox theater, they were great seats.. the Fox Club section - until today that really meant nothing to me, I had never had Fox Club seating before. Brian was unable to go because he had to work, so my mom kept our youngest, and I took the three older ones.
Now typically I do not like to drive into the city, usually I have Brian, mom or mother in law with me, they know their way around much better than I do. However, I really feel like that this is a fear I just needed to face and get over. Once I quit work, it will be these free or very discounted tickets that I will rely on to keep us entertained, right? I said a quick prayer that I would find my way and there would not be any issues getting us there... and of course, there weren't any at all. The free parking permit that was with the tickets could not have been any better, I mean we had up close and personal parking, I was amazed.
We walk in and immediately I see what exactly it means to have Fox Club tickets. The Kohls pants and Kohls shirt I was wearing might as well as have been a $5 thrift store find, ( ok, not the best metaphor - I actually love thrift store finds)My point being, me and my crew were underdressed at least compared to the people in the Fox Club section.
After getting over that we find our seats, which is actually a table that seats all four of us. We are just getting seated when who else would show up other than our black tie wearing server! Ummm, I didn't exactly come there to eat or even drink for that matter, but I could tell it was definately expected. I asked him to give us a minute that we needed time to make a selection, ok, so I really needed time to find the cheapest items on the menu and see how little we could get away with.I decided that each of the kids would get a Coke to drink and they could share an order of the chicken tenders. Simple enough.
I am curiously watching the people around me, ordering meals, sipping on wine and dressed to the nines. I really wanted to get pics of the kids sitting at the table with the placard that said Fox Club on it, but unsure of the etiquitte, I was waiting till it appeared that noone was paying attention to us, that somehow never happened.
Finally, the show starts, it gets dark, I can hide, my kids can enjoy the drinks the tenders and most importantly the show. The show itself was good until Mary Poppins took the kids for a stroll in the park and had several statues come to life and dance, that wouldn't be a problem, except they were NUDE.. ok now I don't think the actors themselves were nude, I am sure it was a costume, a silver - grey costume made to look like a nude statue... full grown adult men and full grown women if you get my drift. Pretty sure that wasn't in the original Mary Poppins!! I just said a prayer that the kids didn't notice, although the Fox Club seating is very exquisite, it is very high up seating, balcony seating, so my hope/prayer is that the they were not able to see the anatomically correct dancing statues. They never mentioned it, so hopefully my prayers were answered.
The kids are eating their tenders, all four.. you do the math with three kids and four tenders. I wasn't hungry at all, the one time in my life I cannot eat the stinkin' fourth chicken tender. They were really good about it though, they just divided that last tender. What good kids I have. We had one little lack of etiquette moment, when one of them ran out of Coke and what else is there to do, but slurp and slurp. Fortunately, I managed to get them to stop before I felt any glaring eyes on me.
So they are all done eating, enjoying the show, when Ashlyn looks at me and says "mommy, my tummy hurts"... I looked at her and said the typical mommy my tummy hurts response "ok, just sit real still for a minute and I bet you will feel better". That response didn't work this time.. she looks at me and said "no mommy it hurts reeeeeaaaalll bad" and then it started, you know the gag, the cough, that sound you hear right before someone throws up. I never moved so fast and elegantly in my life ( I couldn't do the usual jump up, the yelp, the hurry run to bathroom speech, because, remember where we are at) Speaking of bathrooms, ummm have no clue where it is at, doesn't really matter though, it is too late. It is all down the front of her, it is in a napkin in my hand, for whatever reason I thought I could catch it. Bad idea!!! So we finally get to the bathroom, I am in there cleaning her up as best as I could, when here comes my other two running into the bathroom... I don't even want to think how they exited our seats!! Once she is cleaned up, I ask to pay our tab, which, by the way was $18 for 3 Cokes and four chicken tenders, not including the tip and as quietly as you can with a 7 year old who just threw up and totally hates the fact that her clothes are wet now, a 5 year old who is very upset that we are leaving, even though just 5 minutes prior to this whole episode wanted to know how much longer the show was, and a 10 year old who needs a constant reassurance that this was just Ashlyn's acid reflux acting up and that she is not going to throw up too... right mom, right? We left. That was our day today..I am pretty sure that the staff will find out who exactly owns the seats we sat in and will politely ask that they see to it that we are never given those seats again! Oh well, somehow in the midst of it all and before Ash got sick, we had fun!

KMart Double Coupon Week....

KMart doubled coupons this week, so of course, I gathered my coupons up and decided to head on up there. I have to say I even impressed myself.... my total before coupons...$54, my total after coupons...$22, I had $32 dollars in savings, plus to sweeten the deal, a $5 coupon printed for me to use on my next shopping trip!! I typically do not go to KMart except at times like this when I know I can get some really good deals. Anyway, I decided to go on my lunch break this afternoon so that I could use my $5 coupon. I gathered several things that I had coupons for, my total before coupons was $16, my total after coupons including the $5 coupon was.... are you ready? .28 cents!! I couldn't believe it. However, much to my dismay I had no cash at all on me, so I actually had to use my debit card for it. I was almost embarrassed. Below is a quick run down of what I was able to get

Sure deoderant - final cost..... .79 x 5

Pert Plus Shampoo/Conditioner ..... .49 x 2 & 1.49 x 1

Ziploc Bags..... $1.00 x 4

The New Bounce Fabric Softener Bar....$3.49 x 1 - this actually was not a good deal, I could have bought it at WalMart for $2.79 with my coupon. Oh well, you live and learn.

Chinet Plates - Free after coupon

Friskies - Free after coupons x 3

There are some other things I bought (see below), but off the top of my head cannot recall the final price. I know the price was great, but I do not want to put down something inaccurate.

Quilted Northern Toilet Paper
Edge Shaving Gel
Skintimate Shaving Gel
Cheerioes Snack Mix

Anyway, I had a great KMart run and am excited to be able to add to our stockpile!

A Little More About Me.....

As briefly stated before, I am a mom to four beautiful children. Married to Brian for twelve years.

I am currently working outside of the home full time as an administrative assistant. While I am compensated well money wise, it doesn't come close to reaping the same benefits as the more challenging "job" I have.... my title, mama, mommy, just depends who needs me and why.

This blog has a two fold purpose. The first purpose is to be a journal of sorts, a way to keep track of what is going on in our lives, a memory book for me. As any mom can attest to, time flies, memories become foggy... the bottom line is I. WANT. TO. REMEBER. IT. ALL.
Our children are still young, but they have made me laugh, they have made me cry (from laughing so hard) they have taught me things about life (shh, don't tell them that, they are still young and under the assumption that mommy and daddy know everything) Anyway, here is where I can keep my memories to read and reread for years to come!

The second purpose is a blog of a journey. Brian and I have come to the conclusion that my working outside of the home is not benefiting our family other than the extra money it brings in.
We have examined where this extra money is going and was very surprised to learn that with some adjustments we can make it on one income. Now, having said that I can't / won't just up and quit my job, that is the ultimat goal, but we have a few smaller ones that we need to reach before that can happen, increasing our savings, stockpiling what we can, etc.
This blog is where I will keep track of reaching these goals, posting any money saving tips, ideas, coupons, etc. that I come across.