Friday, April 29, 2011
I hung out at the markdown/clearance shelf for about 20 minutes as I checked to see if I had coupons for various items. The funny thing is that I have more chance of bumping into someone I know there than I do at my own Safeway. I spent just over $30.
Dannon Light & Fit 4-pack: $1.99 sale (50% off clearance)($1.00/2 MC) = $.49 each
Danimals 6-pack yogurt drinks: $1.29 each clearance price
Lean Pockets: $2.50 (50% off clearance)($1.00/3)($.50 double MC) = $.75 each
Yoplait: $.60 sale (50% off clearance)($1.00/10) = $.20 each
Whole Fruit Bars: $3.49 (50% off clearance) = $1.74
Luvs: $12.99 (50% off clearance)($2.00 MC) ($.50 double MC) = $4.49
Chapstick: $1.79 ($50% off clearance)($1.00/3 MC) ($.50 double MC) = $.40 each
Axe hair stuff: $4.49 (50% off clearance) = $2.24
Infusium Shampoo: $6.99 (50% off clearance)($2.00 MC)($.50 double MC) = $.99
Children's Sudafed: $6.11 (50% off clearance) = $3.05 each
Vitamin D for scars: $9.99 (50% off clearance) = $4.99
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Fieldwork Seattle is a consumer marketing group that I sometimes participate in focus groups and studies for. It's always easy, usually fun, and pays well. They are looking for people to participate in a diaper study.
I did this study last month and it was very easy. You go to a short orientation sometime on April 28 or 29th at their office at Carillon Point in Kirkland. It takes about 20 minutes and they have options all day long. Then you are given 15 days worth of diapers that you'll have to use for kiddo, save in a provided Ziploc, and drop off periodically through the study. At the end of 15 days you get a $150 Visa gift card.
If you are interested in participating, please fill out the form here. They will contact you to let you know if you have qualified for the study.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
At Top I got:
18 lbs of apples - $.59/lb (for applesauce)
3.5 lbs of oranges - $.59/lb
turkey franks - $.50 each
5# potatoes - $.69
green onions - $.50
vegetable oil - $2.99
2# stawberries - $2.98
At Albertsons I got:
6 yogurts - 3/$1.00
Baby Food - $.89 each ($1/4 MC doubled) = $.39 each package of 2
Baby Food - $.89 each ($1/4 MC doubled) = $.39 each package of 2
Orange Juice - $2.50 ($1 MC doubled) = $.50
I know I could save major money by making my own baby food, but I just don't have time. It's going to be enough to make applesauce this week!
I basically put this half ham in a deep pan, covered it in foil, and baked it about three hours. Nothing special. I have had some marvelous ham over the years prepared by my excellent mom, aunt, and grandma but of course, don't know how they made it. So I looked up some other ways to dress a ham: With cloves & brown sugar With pineapple, cloves, brown sugar, honey, & maple syrup With brown sugar, mustard, & peach preserves (you could also use apricot preserves) With a Coke I love allrecipes.com and these are all from that site.Katie
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Awhile back I was thrift shopping or garage saling with my mom and aunt. One of them picked up a lamp shade for a few bucks. When we got home, the lamp shade was promptly put atop my lamp and it was completely transformed. I had no idea the intended purpose of the lampshade when it was purchased, but these ladies are always quietly making improvements to my decorating - I think they are quiet about it because they don't want to tell me how lacking my skills are and they don't want me to protest too loudly that I don't need this, that, or the other thing as I tend to do. Anyway, the lamp turned out great! A huge improvement for a couple of bucks.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
These photos simply don't look nearly as exciting as they Should given how excited I was about sending all of this away, but Oh! how wonderful it was! We've taken things to an event in the city where we used to live, too, and there were similar set ups. Basically you drive into the big parking lot that's being used for the event and stop at various stations to unload your cargo in the appropriate place. It's sort of like a big obstacle coarse that you traverse very slowly. This time we were able to recycle/get rid of: expired prescription drugs, three bags full of styrofoam packing peanuts, another bag full of styrofoam 'blocks' that come with electronics, batteries, computer speakers, cable boxes (a friend's), a hand mixer with a burned out motor, a microwave, broken Christmas lights, a broken halogen lamp from college!, a 4' metal pipe, a 12' plastic pipe (in pieces), a plastic drainage box (dug up in the yard), and a wooden pallet (also a friend's).
It feels so great to have all this out of the garage! And even better knowing that it's all going to be recycled and/or properly disposed of!
Most cities (especially here in the metropolian seattle area) have recycle events. They are often advertised in a local paper, a mailing to residents, or as an insert with one of your utility bills. My city has this event three times a year. Check out your city's website to find out what your city does. Katie
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
1 pound boneless, skinless turkey or chicken - cubed or shredded
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
4 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. celery seed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 pie crusts
You can see in the photo I have containers of turkey that I had just been saving for this occasion. I also found six large frozen baked potatoes when I was surveying the contents of my freezer, so that helped. I also used corn instead of frozen peas because I had a huge Costco can of corn in my pantry and I like corn more than peas anyway. Those plastic containers covered in ice on the right are chicken broth.
Here is a photo of Eve helping me with food prep. She sliced all the celery.
1)In a saucepan combine chicken, carrots, peas, celery, and potatoes. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
2)While veggies and chicken are boiling use another saucepan to cook the onions in butter until the onions are soft & translucent (4-5 minutes). Stir flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery seed into onions. Slowly add the chicken broth and milk, simmering over low heat until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
3)Preheat oven to 425.
*At this point the chicken & veggies are probably done and ready to be drained.
4)Pour the hot liquid mixture over the chicken & veggies and mix well. Your pie filling is ready!
5)Put one pie crust in your pie plate and fill it up. Cover with the second pie crust and seal the edges, cutting way excess dough. Cut several slits in the top of the crust for steam venting.
6)Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is warm. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Working on the filling:
I ended up filling our freezer swap tins without a bottom crust and putting store-bought crust on top. I had planned to make my own crust, but I ran out of shortening and I had frozen store-bought crust in the freezer. I used it because I was basically out of time with my swap buddies arriving about an hour after I realized I didn't have shortening.
I made 8 batches of the pie filling and easily filled 8 pans for the swap. I threw the rest in a big tupperware container and put it in the fridge for later. The next day I used the cooled filling to make all these additional pies. The cooled filling worked well to fill the bottom crust because it didn't cause sogginess the way the hot mixture might have.
So I ended up with many, many meals in my freezer, but I was so happy to have them as over the next three weeks I delivered four meals to families with new babies and I had a main dish all ready to go.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday - Creamy chicken bake (freezer meal)
Monday - dinner out
Tuesday - Baked ham (half ham in freezer)
Wednesday - Mac'n'cheese pie with leftover ham
Thursday - Sour cream chicken (freezer chicken, frozen chicken broth)
Friday - Easy turkey pot pie (turkey pieces from freezer)
Saturday - Chicken enchilada casserole (corn tortillas and chicken from freezer)
Sunday - lunch out
Monday - french toast with sausage (freezer sausage)
Tuesday - bagels
Wednesday - grilled cheese
Thursday - quesadillas (freezer chicken)
Friday - pbj
Saturday - chicken nuggets (mom out)
one breakfast - Waffles with strawberry syrup & bacon (freezer bacon & strawberries) Katie
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Today I spent $24.11 on the groceries pictured below. I also have vouchers for $3 to spend in the next two weeks at Albertsons so it's like these only cost $21.11.
Here's what I bought:
Teriyaki sauce - $1
Shortening - $4.79 (OUCH!)
Pasta - $1 each with $1 Voucher printed = $.66 each
Dressing - $2.99 ($1 MC) with $1 Voucher printed = $.99
Organic Milk - $5.79 ($3.99 coupon for milk from last week) = $1.80
Squeezable yogurt - $2.00 each with $1 Voucher printed = $1.50 each box of 8
Formula - $5.89 ($5 coupon) = $.89
Dole lettuce - $1.50 ($.75 MC) = $.75
Bananas - $1.93 ($.69 free 1 lb coupon) = $1.24
Cucumber - $.79
Romaine - $.89!!!
Tomatoes - $1/lb
Onion - $.69/lb
Crackers - $1.29
Overall I was pleased with what I got today, but I didn't find any great deals in the clearance sections and I wasn't able to buy much in the way of produce. We're running low on my canned fruit so I need to start buying more fresh fruit for breakfasts. Maybe next week!
I also got a good deal on diapers at Albertsons. Their large boxes of Huggies diapers are on sale for $19.99 with a $5 voucher printing at checkout. There are also $3 off Manufacturer's Coupons available at coupons.com. I used one today and got a box of 80 diapers for only $11.99.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Next, I arranged all of the items in the bucket. I had intended to include a roll of paper towels, too, but it wouldn't fit. Rats!
Finally, I wrapped the bucket with cellopane and tied it with a piece of pink gauzy fabric that matched the bucket. I also used some silver star wire to make it a bit fancier. You can see DD#3 there in the picture. She liked the noise the cellophane made.
Baking - Registry baking pans & utensils, baking powder, soda, vanilla, cinnamon, a couple of recipes
BBQ - Registry BBQ tools, bottles of marinade, spice rubs, apron, a couple of recipes
Bathroom - Registry bathroom accesories arranged in registry wastebasket, handsoap refill
New Home - welcome mat, air fresheners, extension cord, light bulbs, plunger (for good friends!), small box of nails, thumbtacks, magnets, drawer organizer/small baskets
If I have the funds to shop from a registry I like to see what is listed that would serve as a basket. For example, the bathroom wastebasket, a deep pot or bowl, or if I'm really lucky, an actual decor basket! Then I find two or three other registry items (if there's enough budget left) that can go into the 'basket' and supplement with a few other things of my own choosing.
Any other good ideas for wedding gift baskets?
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
February & March were full of blessings. I actually kept a list this time, but as ever, I'm sure I forgot some. A friend gave us a really nice crib mattress, 10 days spent away from home with family helped the grocery budget, my cousin treated me and the girls to lunch, I got to have pizza twice in February (a huge treat), the girls received a fun toy from an aunt for no occasion, a friend gave us diapers, we set up Eve's new bed which was a gift from a friend, I got formula samples from four friends and coupons from ladies in my MOPS group, my grandma gave us a whole bunch of Easter decorations, a friend gave me a $3 cash coupon for a grocery store she doesn't often visit, a friend volunteered to babysit so DH & I could have a date, I got 16 days of free diapers and a $150 VISA gift card for participating in a diaper study, I got a $25 grocery credit for a transferred prescription, a friend bought me couple of cute tops she found for a bargain price, and finally, we were able to eat out twice as a family through mystery shopping. Isn't all that stuff amazing?! We have wonderful people in our lives and God is good!
My goals for February were mostly accomplished. I was able to spend close to $20 each week on groceries and I used up lots of my freezer and pantry stockpile. I wanted to blog 3 times per week and I think I managed that for the most part. I also wanted to keep having consistent Bible study and I think I've managed that for the most part as well. I did file the business taxes, I did file the personal taxes, and I did use cloth diapers much more including times away from home.
In April I want to:
1. Use the clothesline 25% of the time - about 15 loads of laundry
2. Take DD#3 and DD#4 for portraits, take all four girls for portraits
3. Keep blogging consistently
4. Empty the garage freezer completely (super-challenging but I'm going to try!)
5. Keep up Bible study even though the one I've been involved in at church has ended.
6. Sell at least 3 things to help with the goal of paying off student loan debt.
7. Finish a tax return for a friend.
8. Finally send Christmas cards - Ha!
We have two big expenses this month including an airline ticket to my aunt's wedding that costs $400 and a plumbing repair at our rental property that we anticipate will be $500. These big costs translate into negative cash flow for us. To help mitigate that I agreed to use only $40/week for my household allowance this month. That's gas, groceries, coffee, outings with kids, stamps, thrift stores, etc. Pretty much I'll be buying very few groceries, some gas, and that's it. I already had to dip into the money I had set aside for bulk-buying groceries so I hope I'm more successful in weeks to come than I was this first week!
Wish me luck and/or say a prayer for me.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The packages are all labeled and put in the freezer until I need them for a meal at a later date. It's a much faster dinner preparation when the meat is already cut up and ready to toss in the pot, too.
Note that for the larger packages of meat I used recycled cereal bags. They're nice and thick and do a great job of preventing freezer burn with the added bonus of not paying for new Ziploc bags.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Dinners: Sunday - Turkey (didn't make it last week, as planned)
Monday - Sunday - Pork Loin (freezer meal that is oddly shaped)
Tuesday - Teriyaki Chicken (marinating in freezer)
Wednesday - Taco Soup & cornbread (frozen cornbread, chicken, tomatoes, & black beans)
Thursday - Dinner at a friend's house
Friday - Dad dinner Chips & Dip (dip in freezer)
Saturday - Sausage Soup (frozen chicken stock, sausage, tomatoes)
Sunday - pizza (freezer)
Monday - quesadilla (frozen chicken)
Tuesday - Nachos
Wednesday - pb&j
Thursday - mac'n'cheese pie (from freezer)
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - lunch out of town (take a freezer meal to share)
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Turkey sausage - $1.99 clearance
Sour Cream - $1.50 ($.40/2 MC) = $1.30 each
Cottage Cheese - $1.69 clearance
Case of Ramen - $2.99 = $.13 each
Cereal - 3/$5 ($1/2 MC x3 doubled) = $.67 each and 2 coupons for FREE milk
Darigold Sour Cream - $1.29 coupon ($.40 MC) = $.89
Formula -$.79 & $.49 each after $5 coupons
Dole Salad - $1.49 ($.75 MC) = $.74
Romaine - $1.29!!!
Bread - $.99 clearance (Vita-bee sweeteened with honey, my favorite)
Mayo - $1.89 (I was completely out)
Onions - $.48/lb
Orange - $.50/lb
Small frozen pizzas - $.50 clearance
Frozen veggies - $.50 clearance
Red Baron pizza - $3.44 clearance ($1.00 MC) = $2.44
Friday, April 1, 2011
The long-sleeved onesies and shoe socks were purchased on clearance at Target. The Johnson's vapor bath was purchase for under $2 on sale with a coupon and the Gymboree tights were purchased brand new at a yard sale for $1. The basket was a $.25 yard sale purchase and the paper filling was recycled from another gift.
I generally reuse gift bags when possible, but this one was a little too wrinkled to use for a gift again. Instead I cut out one of the cute elephants to use as a gift tag.
Overall I thought it turned out pretty well and it only cost about $12. I generally try to 'theme' gift baskets and this was an assortment of little girl necessities for a fall baby. Tights, vapor bath, and long-sleeved onesies are all cold weather items and I always try to give shoe socks or little shoes for a girl because I always loved receiving them.
Other theme ideas for baby baskets:
First Aid - thermometer, mylicon, infant tylenol, nail clippers, infant q-tips, . . .
Bath Time - baby wash, baby lotion, wash cloths, towel, bathrobe, q-tips, bath toy . . .
Animal - outfit or sleeper with an animal on it paired with a toy of the same animal
Girly Girl - Frilly outfit, ruffle bum tights, fancy shoes, headbands/flower bands, . . .
Diaper Time - diapers, wipes, diaper cream, baby powder, changing pads . . .
I made a diaper cake once, too. It was a fun way to give diapers and lots of goodies, too. Here is my friend, Amy, with the cake I gave her. It had hair things, a baby swimsuit, socks, baby wash, tights, and a couple of other items adorning it.