I'm trying to really get the hang of couponing.  I've been clipping coupons and using them at Publix and Kroger for a few months now and only saving about $20 per week and still paying around $100 every week.  I know - not very good...

Well, the past couple of weeks I've been shopping at Publix instead of Kroger and I've been better.  I don't know if it's the change in store or that I'm trying to be more strict in sticking to my list.  Right now I spend entirely too much time preparing for my trips but I think that will decrease soon now that I'm finally getting the hang of it.

Today was BY FAR my best savings day yet.

I took advantage of the +UP Rewards program at Rite Aid.  If you are not doing this then you are really missing lots of savings.

Here is what I bought:

Transaction # 1
-2 Dial Body Wash - Regular $5.49
        On Sale for $3
        (2) $1/1 Manufacturer's Coupons
        $2 +UP wyb 2
-2 Gain Dish Soap - Regular $1.49
        On Sale for $0.89
        (2) $1/1 Manufactuer's Coupons
     Total Due $5.53

Transaction # 2
-2 Nivea Men's Body Wash - Regular $4.99
        On Sale for $3.50
        $4/2 Manufacturer's Coupon
        $2 +UP wyb 2
-$2 +UP
     Total Due $0.18!!

Transaction # 3
-1 Nivea Men's Body Wash - Regular $4.99
        On Sale for $3.50
        $1/1 Manufacturer's Coupon
-$2 +UP
     Total Due $0.36

Total of all items before Sales & Coupons = $28.93
Total OOP Expense = $6.07!!!
Total Savings = 79%
Well, I have chickened out on my running for a while now.  Probably somewhere close to 2 months because of the heat and humidity.  It's been truely horrendous!  But my favorite weatherman said that the lows were going to get down into the 60's last night so what did I do? 

I opened my windows!!

And when I woke up this morning to the sound of music (literally) I decided that it felt amazing and I should be a trooper and get back to running.  So, I fed the baby and off we went. 

I didn't know quite where to pick up so I jumped back to week 2 and accidentaly did day 2 instead of day 1.  But that doesn't matter this week because all of the runs are the same.  It's 6 repitions of 90 second runs followed by 60 second walks.  I did pretty well.  I didn't get to totally finish the last run because the baby threw her pacifier down to say, "Hey Mom, I'm DONE!  Let's go swing."  So, we swang in order to preserve the peace at the track.

It felt really good to get back into it today.  I just hope the temperatures stay like this!!  We'll see.  There's a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving that a friend of mine asked me to run in with her so I'd like to be able to be finished by then.  My original deadline was in 2 weeks but that's not gonna happen.
Labels: 2 comments | edit post
Okay, I gave baking in my crock pot a shot yesterday and I have to say I was rather pleased with the results.  I made Chile Relleno Casserole

From what I've read in order to bake in your CP you put your food in a separate dish then place that dish in the CP and make sure it's elevated.  I guess this is for even baking.  I placed mine on top of some foil balls.  Then, since the foil didn't get dirty I threw them in the cabinet in an unused pitcher for use again at a later date, perhaps today.

It takes a lot longer to bake in your CP than it does in your oven but you have the added benefit of not having to heat your house up.  And any of those casserole recipes you have you can prepare in the morning and throw them in and dinner will be ready when you are.  I had mine on low for 2 hours then bumped it up to high for another 2.

Here are some pics.  Now, keep in mind that the casserole kind of looks like mush, but don't most casseroles?  And I am in no way a professional photographer.  I like to EAT food, not photograph it.  It doesn't usually sit still long enough for that.

I'm linking this post up to Tasty Tuesday that's hosted over at Beauty and Bedlam.  This is my first time posting there so I'm excited to look around at all the other tasty recipes!  Did I mention that I love eating?

Okay, the next two weeks are going to be busy for me.  I'm having a baby shower this weekend and my baby turns ONE next weekend so we're having her party for that!  I'm doing appetizers/finger foods at both so I have to figure out recipes for that.  Also, I'm crazy and decided to make the cake for my daughter's birthday.  I've never decorated a cake before so this should be interesting.  I'll post pics afterwards.

I heard last week that you could bake in your crock pot.  Now, I use my CP frequently in the winter but never thought to bake in it.  Today I'm trying it!  Why don't I use it more in the summer when I don't want to turn on the oven??

Monday - Chile Rellenos Casserole, black beans, mexi rice
Tuesday - Heavenly Hamburger Casserole
Wednesday - Sandwiches (Mommy's not cooking)
Thursday - Creamy Burrito Casserole
Friday - Pork Chops Yum Yum, Green beans, another side TBD

For my apps and finger foods I'm thinking of a few different things:

Spinach Artichoke dip (frozen, I know...)
Pepperoni Pizza Dip
S'mores Pops
Tortilla Pinwheels
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Whew, that's a ton of recipes!  If you have any appetizer recipes to share that would be great!! Post a link in the comments section or post the recipe there.  I would be eternally greatful...  Now, go on over to orgjunkie.com for tons of other meal plans.
Hello to my fellow bloggy friends...  I need some advice.  I'm hosting a couple of parties over the next several weeks and I'm going to be preparing some finger food/appetizer type dishes.  Do you have any tried and true recipes that you can recommend to me?  I have a couple but usually I'm taking an app to a party, not supplying all of them.  Here's one that I do regularly:

Tortilla Pinwheels

1 8oz pkg cream cheese - softened
1 8 oz tub sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 small can diced olives
8-10 tortillas

Mix first 5 ingredients together well and spread evenly on tortillas.  Roll up with ends open and place in dish and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill to set then slice and serve.  I usually serve with some salsa for dipping.

So, I was waiting on a small pot of coffee to brew tonight (either wine or coffee and I still needed to function so coffee it was) and looked over at my stove.  Well, the light was shining on my black stove just right and I could see all of the grease that had built up on it.  I wipe it down but never really realized that SO MUCH had built up.  I decided I had a couple minutes to do something about it.

Now, I'm not a maid or a good house cleaner.  I don't even play one on TV.  But let me tell you something...  Mr. Clean is my new friend!  I opened the cabinet to grab my standby Clorox wipes and saw a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser laying there and decided to give it a shot.  One word - WOW! 

Of course I didn't think to take a before pic of it but maybe if you look at yours you'll see what I'm talking about. (Or maybe I'm the only one that doesn't notice that part of the stove.)  The after is so shiny that I can see myself!!

This week Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work for me!!  Visit We Are THAT Family to view lots of other tips and tricks.
Hey guys!  Nicole over at Colie's Kitchen is hosting an amazing sounding giveaway...  Are you ready for it??  CAKE!!!

Daisy Cakes is giving away one of their 4 layer 24 Karat Cakes.  Did you see that?  4 layers of decadent cake and as if it needed to be any better than that, it's topped with cream cheese icing.  I ♥ cream cheese...

And if I haven't already tickled your sweet tooth, here's a picture of the cake:

Okay, now that you're drooling all over your keyboard go on over to Colie's Kitchen and enter the giveaway.

Well, summer is over here for the kids but the heat isn't!  It's so hot that I can't stand the thought of cooking and I really enjoy cooking.  It's tough but I'm trying to make things that don't require using the stove or oven too much.

Monday - Crock Pot Chops That Will Make You Eat Til You Pop! with mashed potatoes and green beans
Tuesday - We're getting the oil changed in the car so will grab a bite next door while we wait.
Wednesday - Pizza Roll Up Burritos
Thursday - Taco Soup and cheese quesadilla dippers
Friday - Grilled chicken salads
Saturday - Date Night (hopefully) or breakfast for dinner

Visit Orgjunkie.com for tons of other menu plans and recipes.

My daughter will turn 1 in LESS than a MONTH!  I can't belive it.  I'm starting trying to prepare for her party by brainstorming gifts I would like to get her and what I want her cake to look like.  She doesn't watch TV so she's doesn't have a favorite cartoon character or anything yet.  I mean, she may get overly excited to have a cake with Paula Deen on it.  That's the kind of stuff we watch :)

Still, I'm learning all about this first birthday party thing.  We're just planning on having friends over and I'm going to have a smash cake for her that will hopefully provide TONS of super fun pictures.  I'm having fun looking at ideas and pictures for this!  And to make things better.... my Mom and sister are flying in to celebrate with us!  Ooh, maybe I can put Grandma on cake clean up!  What? A girl can dream.

So, last week life happened and I didn't get around to every meal that I had planned so there will be some repeats this week.  I'm trying to watch our grocery bill and I've been couponing and saving between 20-30% each week but I'd like to try to still try to trim it back some.  This week I only bought a few staple items at the store and I'm going to be cooking from the pantry/freezer stock.

Monday - Chicken Ravioli Carbonara, Salad
Tuesday - Meatloaf Muffins, Mashed Potatoes, Green beans
Wednesday - Honey & Soy Chicken Thighs (maybe grilled though), Rice, Broccoli
Thursday - Meatball and Pepperoni pizza
Friday - Teriyaki Chicken and veggies (Okay, okay, it's from a box...)

Head on over here to see what Orgjunkie and the rest of the MPM crew are cooking up in their kitchens this week.

Morning everyone!!  This week my MIL and my SS are here and today is their birthday.  I've prepared a menu for them but I need to find out what they would like to have for their birthday dinner.  SS wants either a cheese omlette or crab legs.  Well, eggs are in my cooking realm - crab, not so much. :)  So we'll see how this goes.

With a couple extra mouths to feed I'm going to go for recipes and extra sides to try to stretch our meals farther because we usually have leftovers for dinner the following day since DH works 2nd shift.  So, here's my attempt for this week:

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
Chicken Ravioli Carbonara, salad, bread
Chicken Pot Pie - MIL's recipe
Grilled BBQ Chicken, Corn, Squash and Zukes
Pork Chops Yum Yum, Corn Bake, green beans (maybe)
Breakfast for Dinner

Corn Bake

1 Box Jiffy Cornbread
1 Can Creamed Corn
1 Can Whole Kernal Corn - UNDRAINED
1 8oz Tub Sour Cream

Mix together and pour in buttered or sprayed dish and bake at 350 until golden brown on top.