Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fraudulent Coupons Again? Ugh!

I took the Nestle's Hot Chocolate coupons to Walmart today and was told they will not accept them because they have to be redeemed in El Rio, TX. They said any coupon with that address will not be accepted because they cannot be reimbursed for them. The CSM told me those were to be considered fraudulent. Has anyone else had this problem?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Menu Planning Monday (on a Tuesday)

I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday, so here is my menu planning Monday on a Tuesday

Monday - Chicken Ranch Wraps
Chicken, Bacon, Cheese and whatever veggies you love. Wrap them up in a warm tortilla and top it with your favorite dressing. You can use baked chicken or fried chicken strips. These are family favorites! (I put a whole chicken in the crockpot Sunday afternoon with just some water, salt and pepper and let it cook on low for about 18 hours. It is so tender this way and much cheaper than buying the boneless, skinless pieces.)

Tuesday - Buffalo chicken sandwiches, pasta salad and veggies

Wednesday - Roast, potatoes and carrots in the crockpot, rolls

Thursday - Chicken casserole (with leftover chicken from Monday's wraps), veggies and rolls

Friday - Homemade pizza with breadsticks

Saturday - Beef enchiladas and spanish rice

Sunday - Spaghetti, salad and breadsticks

Recipes for some of these can be found here. Since they are all family favorites, we eat them a lot!

Homemade Wrapping Paper

Throughout the holidays, I am going to try and post about many of the holiday traditions in our home that I try to include my children in. The first one for us is always our homemade wrapping paper.
If you go to your local newspaper or printing press, you can get an end roll (the end of a roll of printing paper) for next to nothing or even free. It looks like a roll of butcher block paper. Since I work part time for a newspaper, I can take mine home for free! (It also doubles as art paper in our house).
So, I spread out several pieces across our kitchen floor and tape down the edges, and I let my daughter's imagination run free! I give her colors, paint, stampers, glue and old Christmas cards. She decorates the paper with Christmas drawings and I use these to wrap presents for family members.
This also saves money on gift tags because you can write directly on the paper. Grandparents and aunts and uncles love to get presents wrapped in this handmade paper.
The only problem is that is takes forever to unwrap presents because nobody wants to tear the paper!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

$5/$20 purchase at Walgreens for Fri. and Sat. Only

Well, Walgreens has done it again! They have issued another $5/$20 coupon for Friday and Saturday. And its DOUBLE DIP days! I was really sad when I didn't get to use the last $5/$25 because we were all sick and I couldn't get there, but this one is even better! This one can also be used for photo purchases!
Anyway, go here to get your coupon and make Christmas shopping a little cheaper! Also, for those of you who don't know about Double Dip days, check here to read about it at From Wags to Riches. She can explain it much clearer than me!

Clearance at Target

Make sure you check the clearance racks at Target because when I was there this past weekend, I found so many things on clearance in the kitchen aisles. I was able to get a new stainless steel crockpot for 50 percent off, and I only paid $12.50! Love it!

Congratulations Freebies 4 Mom!

Congratulations to Heather at Freebies 4 Mom! She was featured on Inside Edition last night for all of the goodies she gets for free. Good for you!!!!!

Quick trip to Walmart for $2.08

Two Banquet Select Meals at $1.36 each
Two Toaster Strudels at $1.88 each
One Wet Ones at .99

Coupons Used
Two free Banquet Selects (Won from Money Saving Mom)
Two $1 off Toaster Strudels
One .75 off Wet Ones

Total OOP $2.08

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I have always enjoyed cooking with my daughter, and as she is getting older, it is becoming easier to do. Last night, she made dinner for us with biscuit pizzas. It is very simple, but she is much more likely to eat when she feels some ownership over what we are eating. Biscuit pizzas are super easy and minimally messy for younger children. I encourage anyone to spend the extra few minutes teaching your children to cook when they are younger, and it will definitely pay off in the end.

Biscuit Pizzas

One package of biscuits
One jar of tomato sauce or pizza sauce
Pepperoni or other pizza toppings

Preheat oven according to biscuit package instructions. Lay out biscuits on cookie sheet and flatten. Top with pizza sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni or other toppings. Cook according to biscuit package directions and serve.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Making some changes...what do you think?

I know it has been quite a while since I posted, but I have really been thinking about where I want my blog to go. I have been posting about deals since summer, but I really feel like I want to add to my posts. So, I am hoping to challenge or (even inspire :P) other moms to do more for themselves without taking away from their families.
I was thinking the other night about what life was like before my children came along. :) I would sleep late on the weekends, spend hours window shopping or trying on clothes, see two movies on the weekend or even spend two or three hours at a dinner with my husband!
Now I consider myself lucky if I get to sleep past 8 a.m., spot a cute t-shirt while racing through the aisles at Target or Walmart or even get to have dinner with my husband by myself at the local Mexican restaurant.
Don't get me wrong! I am not complaining. I love my life and love my children, but on those rare occasions when I am by myself (like now at 11:30 p.m. when everyone is asleep), I try to think about what I can do in those small patches of time when I am on my own!
A couple of Christmases ago, I asked for a book called "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy" by Lisa Whelchel. You remember Lisa, or maybe you remember her a.k.a. Blair Warner, on the Facts of Life. I began reading her books a few years ago when we began considering homeschooling. She is so down-to-earth and like me in many ways, I quickly gobbled up anything she wrote.
"Taking Care of the Me in Mommy" has so many tips for taking those small snatches of time and using them to renew yourself. She makes me feel better about taking time for me rather than feeling guilty about spending 20 minutes on myself.
Last weekend, my husband came inside after working outdoors for a while, and he offered to watch my girls so I could go out with a friend for a while. The only problem was that is was already 6 p.m., I was in my pajamas and I just didn't feel like getting ready to go back out. Also, the majority of my friends are also SAHMs who can't go out at the drop of a hat.
So, instead of just passing up the offer, I took him up on the chance to watch the girls, and I locked my bedroom door for a few hours. I took a bath and used all of my bath gels and bubbles that I keep hidden from the children! I lit great smelling candles and read a stack of magazines that had been piling up for a few weeks.
After an hour in the bathtub and another hour with lotions and soft pillows on the bed, I was so relaxed that I could have just fallen into bed to watch a movie. Instead, I was so mellow and happy, I spent the next hour reading Charlotte's Web, curled up in the blankets, with my 6-year-old. It was a great night. I understood what Lisa meant when she said that mothers are better to and for their families when they take some time for themselves.
I have really been thinking about what I can do for my family to enjoy them more and enjoy my life more, so I hope to be sharing more of those ideas with you as time goes along.
I will still be posting my deals and money saving tips, but I hope to help other moms who are a little burned out! Let me know what you think or what you would like to hear about.