Welcome New Baby: Get a $10 Grocery Gift Certificate From Oakhurst Dairy


As part of their Welcome New Baby program, Oakhurst Dairy sends parents of newborns a note of congratulations along with a $10 gift certificate to use on groceries of their choice. 

To receive the $10 gift certificate, go here, scroll down to the Welcome New Baby section and click on "contact us".  Under Reason for Contacting select "General Inquiry" and fill in your information along with a message explaining that you are a parent of a newborn.

This offer is available to residents of Maine and New Hampshire and is redeemable at AG Food Stores, Amato's, Big Apple Convenience Stores, Bozzuto's, C&S, Circle K, Dead River Convenience Stores, Hannaford Supermarkets, IGA, Maritime Farms, Market Basket, Shaw's Supermarkets, and Stop & Shop.

A Homemade Christmas: Easy Felt Christmas Decorations




I received a FREE copy of the December issue of Family Circle magazine this week and noticed these felt Christmas decorations.  Even though Christmas is almost here, I am planning on making some of these and saving them for next year!

You can get all the instructions and download the templates for FREE on the Family Circle website.

A Homemade Christmas: Recycle Old Christmas Cards

Every year after the Christmas tree is taken down and the Christmas decorations are put away, I always come face to face with a dilemma.  What to do with all those Christmas cards?  It seems like such a waste to throw away all those beautiful cards that people so thoughtfully sent to us.

In anticipation of this problem this year, I decided to do a little research and I was able to find some fun and easy ways to reuse Christmas cards.



Since I like to crochet, I liked this idea from favecrafts.com.  Make a crochet border around old Christmas cards in order to make Christmas ornaments or to decorate photo albums.


NoBiggie.net shows how to make Christmas tags out of old Christmas cards.



There are many great ideas on eHow.com including, donating them to the St. Jude's Ranch Recycled Card Program, using old cards as postcards, using several old cards to make your own card, making placemats, and saving them for crafts to do with children.

Homemade Dough Ornaments: A Fun Christmas Craft for Kids




My oldest son and I had such a wonderful time making these homemade ornaments!  Not only are these fun to make, but they are very inexpensive too. 

I've included all the directions to make these ornaments below:







What you need:
2 cups flour
2/3 cup salt
3/4 cup water
Rolling pin
Cookie cutters
Metal spatula
Baking sheet
Straw

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Gradually stir in water until mixture forms a ball {in both batches that I made I needed to add a little more water than what the recipe recommended}.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead for 3 to 5 minutes. 

Roll out to approx. 1/4 inch thick.  Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.  Using a metal spatula, carefully lift dough shapes and place on a baking sheet.  Use the straw to cut out a small hole for the ribbon.  Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes to an hour.  Cool completely.  Remove from pan and decorate!


Decorating supplies:
Paint
Paintbrushes
Ribbon
Glitter
Glue

I was able to find a paint/paintbrush kit and the glitter at the Dollar Tree.  The ribbon I found at a craft supply store for $.25 and I was able to get the glue at Walmart this past summer for $.15. 


The $2.40 that I spent to decorate these ornaments was well worth the money.....





Dough recipe from Company's Coming: Gifts from the Kitchen by Jean Pare

Buy One, Get One FREE Old Orchard Juice Coupon




  
   Log in or join the Old Orchard Fan Club and send an
   e-card to a friend to earn a Buy One, Get One FREE
   coupon for you and your friend! 






Thanks, Money Saving Mom

Save $10 off $20 In-Store Purchase at Sears


Spend $20 or more in apparel and accessories and save $10 with this coupon.  Coupon is valid in-store December 15 and December 16 only.  Please read the bottom of the coupon before printing as some restrictions do apply.

Homemade Glitter Snowflake Ornament

In the past, my idea of decorating for Christmas was putting ornaments on a tree and lights in a window.  But this holiday season I've been on a mission to find inexpensive, easy decorating ideas that even the most uncreative person {that's me} can do!  Read about some ideas that I've discovered here.





This gorgeous snowflake idea is from Christine & Co.  All you need is self-adhesive chipboard shapes and glitter.  That's it!  Be sure to go to Christine's website to get all the details.

While you are there you can also check out her recipe for chocolate covered peanut butter balls....YUM!

Homemade Holiday Cone Trees




Make these cute holiday trees with styrofoam cones {these are between $3 - $4 at Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts}, wrapping paper and ribbon.

Skechers For The Whole Family--Up To 80% Off



6pm.com has a great selection of Skechers for the whole family for up to 80% off.  Order by December 14 and get flat rate shipping of $6.95.  If you shop through Ebates, you can also get 2.5% cash back on your order.

4Inkjets.com: Up to 20% off + FREE shipping + 13.5% Cash Back!


Get up to 20% off and FREE shipping at 4Inkjets.com when you use coupon code ENDYEAR at checkout.  FREE shipping is available on all contiguous U.S. orders.  Shop through ebates and get 13.5% cash back!  Sale ends 12/15 at Noon EST.

Homemade Paper Ornaments







I just love these ornaments!  All you need is Christmas paper, brads, and ribbon to make these cheap and easy Christmas ornaments.  Go to Crafters Anonymous to find out how!








Thanks to A Vision to Remember for
sharing this great idea!

Meal Plan Monday













Here's what's cooking in my kitchen:

Breakfast
Cold Cereal w/Milk & Raisins
Bananas
Waffles
Blueberry Cream Muffins {I thought I would try this recipe as I have some sour cream that I need to use up!}

Snacks
Fruit
Yogurt
Trix Cereal {Sometimes I will buy the sugary cereals and give them as a snack}
Graham Crackers

Lunch
Grilled Cheese w/Tomato Soup
Ham Sandwiches
Rice w/Veggies
Leftovers

Dinner
Mon:      English Muffin Pizzas
Tues:     Marinated Chicken
Wed:     Chicken Quesadillas & Brown Rice w/Carmelized Onions & Peas
Thurs:    Tuna Noodle Casserole
Fri:        Chunky Potato Soup {see recipe below}
Sat:       Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
Sun:      Leftovers

Chunky Potato Soup
This creamy soup is perfect for cold, winter nights.  I usually double this recipe as the leftovers taste even better!  This soup is wonderful with homemade biscuits.

What you need:
3 med. red potatoes
2 cups water
1 small onion
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. flour
crushed red pepper flakes {optional}
ground black pepper
dash of garlic powder
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed cooked ham  {I sometimes use cooked, chopped bacon}

Directions:
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add potatoes and cook until tender.  Drain, reserving liquid.  Set aside potatoes.  Measure 1 cup of cooking liquid, adding water if necessary; set aside.
  3. Peel and finely chop onion.  Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion to saucepan; cook, stirring frequently until onion is translucent and tender, but not brown.
  4. Add flour to saucepan; season with pepper flakes, black pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Stir until well combined.
  5. Gradually add reserved cooking liquid, milk, sugar and bouillon cube to onion mixture and stir well.  Add cheese and ham or bacon.  Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes stirring frequently.  Add potatoes and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes longer or until heated through.

$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning.

Post submitted to: Menu Plan Monday

P&G $20 Mail-In Rebate


Spend $50 on Olay, Venus, CoverGirl, Secret, Pantene, Herbal Essences, and/or Clairol products and get a $20 rebate by mail.  Offer is limited to U.S. residents and is valid from 11/23/2010 to 12/31/2010 and must be postmarked by 1/14/2011.  Go here for more details and to print the rebate form.

If you were able to use the $5.00 Olay coupons at Walmart, you've already got a great start on this rebate!

Meal Plan Monday













My family and I had a busy week last week, so I've planned some simple meals for this week.  Here's what's cooking in my kitchen:

Breakfast
Cold Cereal w/Milk
Waffles
French Toast
Bananas

Snacks
Fruit
Yogurt
Sunbelt Snacks
S'mores Goldfish {On Rollback for $1.00 at Walmart!}

Lunch
Terriyaki Rice w/Veggies
Grilled Cheese w/Tomato Soup
Turkey Sandwiches
Leftovers

Dinner
Mon:     Turkey Pot Pie
Tues:     Chicken Fajitas {I cheated this week and bought the Old El Paso boxed meal!}
Wed:     Spaghetti w/Ground Sausage & Homemade Garlic Bread
Thurs:    Melt In Your Mouth Meatloaf w/Baked Potatoes & Veggies
Fri:        Chicken Quesadillas
Sat:       Baked Chicken Marinated with World Harbors Island Mango Marinade {$.50 off 1 printable coupon!}
Sun:      BLTs


$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning.

Post submitted to: Menu Plan Monday

Being Thankful = Big Savings


In July of this year, my husband and I made a commitment to find ways to spend less.  Since then I have learned a lot of things that have helped us lower our grocery and household expenses. 

In the past few months, I have learned that you can save by using samples, making things last longer, ignoring directions, shopping at the local bread outlet, bringing our own lunch, and even buying coupons on ebay.  But the biggest way that I have saved is by learning to be thankful.

Before we started trying to save money, I would rush out to the store whenever I thought we needed something.  I often felt stress just thinking about all the things that I thought we needed, but couldn't afford to buy.  Just a few weeks after we decided to cut back on expenses, I noticed that I was constantly asking myself, "do we really need that?", "can we get by without that?", or "do we have something else that we can use instead?" 

And then I started to think about all the people in this world that don't have even the simplest things that we consider necessary in order to survive.  How often do I take things for granted and am not thankful for what I have?  Why can't I sacrifice just a little in order to save money and stay debt free? 

Here is how we are saving by being thankful:
  • Now, instead of going into debt in order to replace my 11 year old vehicle that is losing it's paint and starting to rust, I am thankful that I have a vehicle that I can use while my husband is at work.

  • Instead of buying a new computer to replace our ancient, slower-than-cold-molasses computer that still has the old humungous screen that takes up almost the whole desk, I am thankful that I have a way to keep in touch with friends and family.

  • Instead of complaining about washing dishes by hand because our kitchen is too small for a dishwasher, I am thankful that I have a home that keeps me safe and warm.

  • Instead of worrying because my son doesn't have a pair of "church shoes", I am thankful that he has a perfectly nice pair of sneakers that fit him and doesn't have holes.

  • Instead of wishing that we could go out to Olive Garden tonight, I will make a simple meal at home and be thankful that we have food to eat.

  • Instead of complaining because it has been over 6 weeks since my last hair cut, I am thankful that I have hair {and that I don't have any grays--yet!}

I still struggle at times to be thankful, so I try to constantly remind myself of what I gain by being thankful.  Not only have I saved money, but perhaps the biggest blessing of having a thankful heart is being content with what you have.


Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of joy, love, and laughter!


Meal Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Edition {with recipes}














This year we are hosting the family Thanksgiving meal.  Here's what I'm planning on serving:

Appetizers/Finger Foods

Since this is my first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal, I decided I should have a few snacks on hand in case it doesn't go according to plan.  If the turkey takes longer than expected or something is overcooked and I have to start over again, I will have something for people to snack on while they're waiting. :)

Cheese & Crackers
Hershey's Kisses {This is a last minute addition since they are $1.00 per bag at Rite Aid this week!}

Main Course

Herb Roasted Turkey {from Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving Recipes Free Download}

Side Dishes

Fresh Herb and Sausage Stuffing {from Women Living Well}

What you need:
10 cups cubed stuffing bread (near deli)
½ cup butter ( ¼ for sautéing and ¼ to melt over top)
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 roll of Italian Sausage
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3 eggs
cooking spray
pepper to season

Directions:
  1. Fry sausage in a skillet; drain.  Remove from pan and keep warm.
  2. In the same skillet, add 1/4 cup butter, chopped onions and celery and cook until tender.
  3. While the onions and celery are cooking, prepare the herbs by removing the thyme leaves from the stems and chopping the sage and parsley.
  4. Combine broth, 3 eggs, and water in a medium-sized bowl.  In a large bowl, combine stuffing bread, herbs, sausage, and sautéed onions and celery. Add the egg mixture and stir well.
  5. Place all ingredients into a prepared 9x 13 pan . Melt 1/4 cup of butter and pour over top of stuffing and sprinkle with pepper. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 25 mins, uncover and bake another 25 mins until lightly browned and cooked through.
Oven Roasted Potato Medley {from Great American Recipes}

What you need:
2 sweet potatoes
4 Yukon Gold potatoes
8 new potatoes
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes.  Scrub the new potatoes and cut into cubes. {Instead of new potatoes, I usually use 3 to 4 red potatoes and peel and cube them.}
  2. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan.  Add enough lightly salted water to cover the potatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes for 3 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.
  3. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a large nonstick baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with tarragon, salt and pepper.  Roast the potatoes until browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.
Broccoli Casserole

What you need:
1 pkg. frozen or fresh broccoli
1 8 oz. pkg. of grated velveeta cheese
1 tube crushed ritz crackers
1 stick butter, melted

Directions:
  1. Cook broccoli; drain. 
  2. Put broccoli in a casserole dish and stir in 1 tsp. melted butter and grated cheese.
  3. Mix the remaining melted butter with the ritz crackers and sprinkle on broccoli and cheese.
  4. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Orange Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

What you need:
One bag of cranberries
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest

Directions:
  1. Rinse cranberries, discard any that look shrivelled or brown. 
  2. Put all ingredients together into a medium-sized pot and heat over medium heat.  The skins will begin to open and they may begin to spit.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer about 10 minutes.  Most of the berries will pop open and the sauce will be quite "jammy".  Let cool at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator.  Can be stored for a week or so.  Makes just over 2 cups.

Homemade Rolls - my sister-in-law is bringing these!  Thanks, Megan!

Gherkins

Dessert

Blueberry Pie {One of my aunts, who happens to be a great cook, told me that blueberry pie made with tapioca is much better than with cornstarch or flour.  I am using the recipe that is right on the back of the box of tapioca.  Since this is my first-ever blueberry pie, I am hoping that it comes out ok!} 

What you need:
4 cups blueberries
1/4 cup minute tapioca
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:
  1. Mix fruit, tapioca, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a bowl.  Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie crust.  Fill with fruit mixture.  Dot with 1 tbs. butter.  Cover with top crust; seal and flute edge.  Cut several slits in crust.
  3. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven 45 to 50 minutes or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly.  Cool.
Turtle Pumpkin Pie {I don't remember where I found this recipe, but I love that it is no-bake!  I would recommend making this about an hour or two before you serve it.  I have noticed that the crust gets a little soggy if it is made too far in advance.}

What you need:
1 graham cracker crust
1/4 cups + 2 tbs. caramel topping
1/2 cup + 2 tbs. pecan pieces
1 cup cold milk
2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tub whipped topping

Directions:
  1. Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.
  2. Beat milk, dry pudding mixes, pumpkin, and spices with whisk until blended.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping.  Top with remaining whipped topping.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour.  Top with pecans and drizzle remaining caramel with a fork.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Swag Bucks: Print and Redeem Coupons to Earn Bucks!

Do you want to earn more "bucks"?  Now there is a new way to earn!  Every time you print and redeem a coupon, you will earn 10 swag bucks!  Sign in to your account and click on the "earn" tab on the toolbar at the top of the page.  Then click on "coupons".  After the coupons are redeemed it will take 8 to 12 weeks for the Swag Bucks to show on your account.

Are you new to Swag Bucks?  Register for an account and start earning Swag Bucks to redeem for great prizes!


Thanks, Money Saving Mom

Recipe: Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

When my husband and I were first married, baking for me was mixing up a box of brownies and putting it in the oven.  So when my new husband asked for chocolate chip cookies {his favorite} I knew I needed to learn to bake...and quickly!

I started out using the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips, but they always came out "flatter than pancakes."  So I decided to start experimenting and this is what I ended up with:


Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes:  Approx. 3 dozen

What you need:
3/4 cup butter, softened                   1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar                  1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar     2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. maple extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 + 2 tbs. flour


Directions:
  1. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and maple extract in a large bowl with mixer until creamy.  Add eggs; beat well.
  2. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.
  4. Enjoy!

$1.00 off 1 Pine-Sol Coupon

    

     I LOVE Pine-Sol, but usually don't buy it because
     of the price.  I was so excited to see this new coupon
     for $1.00 off 1 Pine-Sol!

Meal Plan Monday: Slow Cooker Edition {With Recipes}


Since there have been some good deals on chicken this past summer and fall, I have been buying extra for the freezer. 

Now it's time to clean out the freezer in order to make room for the turkey, so I'm getting out my trusty slow cooker this week to help me make some great meals!

Here's what's cooking in my kitchen this week:



Monday:  Melt In Your Mouth Meatloaf {Thanks to Melissa's Bargain Blog for sharing this recipe}
Served with Veggies

What you need:
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tsp. dried, minced onion {I like to grate an onion with a hand grater}
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbs. ground mustard {I don't usually buy this...whenever a recipe calls for this, I just squeeze some mustard in}
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  Crumble meat over mixture and mix well {mixture will be moist}.  Shape into a round loaf; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Spoon over the meat loaf.  Cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.
UPDATE:  This was amazing.  Even my picky eater ate this {the only "meat" he will eat are hot dogs and chicken nuggets}!  I am definitely keeping this recipe in my recipe book.
___________________________________________________________________________________


FREE Wholly Products at Walmart, Target, Hannaford


Print this $4.00 off 1 any Wholly Guacamole, Wholly Salsa or Wholly Queso coupon to get FREE Wholly products.  Please be aware that this coupon expires 11/14/10.

People have found these products for under $4.00 at Walmart and Target.  A Hannaford.com search at my store showed that they sell the 7 oz. Wholly Guacamole for $2.99.  I'm a little unsure if Hannaford will accept this coupon as I have never tried using a high value internet printable coupon at Hannaford before. 


Thanks, Hip2Save

Veterans Eat FREE at Applebee's On November 11

Applebee's is honoring our veterans with a FREE meal on Thursday, November 11.  All veterans and active duty military will dine from a special menu, that includes bacon cheeseburgers, Fiesta Lime Chicken and Double Crunch Shrimp.

For complete details, including methods of verification, go here.

Meal Plan Monday













Here's what's cooking in my kitchen this week:

Breakfast
Cold Cereal w/Milk
Oatmeal
Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes {from the freezer}
Bananas

Snacks
Fruit
Goldfish
Sunbelt Blueberry Granola Bars {Get these for $.76 each at Walmart!}
Ritz Munchables {Get these for $.98 at Walmart!}

Lunch
Terriyaki Rice w/Veggies
Grilled Cheese w/Tomato Soup
Turkey Sandwiches
Leftovers

Dinner
Mon:     Chili w/Cornbread
Tues:    Corn Chowder w/Salad
Wed:    Chicken Quesadillas {great way to use up leftover chicken}
Thurs:   Cranberry Chicken w/Baked Potato
Fri:       Slow Cooked Mac & Cheese {get Kraft cheese for $1 each at Walmart!} w/Veggies
Sat:      Baked Chicken w/Veggies & Potatoes

Sun:     Leftovers

$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning.

Post submitted to Menu Plan Monday

$.50 off 1 Hood EggNog Printable Coupon



  
  
   If you are planning on buying EggNog this holiday
   season, make sure you print this coupon for $.50
   off ANY 1 Hood EggNog!
  





Thanks, Money Saving Maine-iac

Meal Plan Monday













Here's what's cooking in my kitchen this week:

Breakfast
Oatmeal
Cold Cereal w/Milk
Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes {from the freezer}
Bananas

Snacks
Fruit
Yogurt
Sunbelt Fruit & Grain Bars {Get these for $1.00 each at Walmart!}
Ritz Munchables {Get these for $.98 at Walmart!}

Lunch
Teriyaki Rice w/Veggies
Mac & Cheese
Ham Sandwiches w/Tomato Soup {you may have noticed that we have tomato soup every week...I have a very picky eater and this is one of his favorite things to eat!}
Leftovers

Dinner

We are having a few meals that include bacon this week because I was able to get turkey bacon for $1.98 at Walmart.  I don't buy bacon very often because of the price, so this was a nice treat for us!

Mon:    Tuna Casserole
Tues:    Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta w/Veggies
Wed:    Bacon Terriyaki Chicken & Brown Rice w/Carmelized Onions & Peas
Thurs:   Chicken Tacos & Rice
Fri:       Marinated Chicken w/Veggies
Sat:      Baked Chicken w/Veggies
Sun:     Leftovers or Quick Sandwiches

Dessert
Molasses Cookies {from last week}
Pumpkin Turnovers

$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning.

Post submitted to Menu Plan Monday

Recipe: Molasses Cookies


If you like soft, chewy molasses cookies then you are going to love this recipe!  These molasses cookies also make wonderful holiday cookies.

Molasses Cookies

Makes: Approx. 3 dozen

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves {optional}

Directions:
  1. Cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg and molasses and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight {I like to wrap dough in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator}.
  4. When ready to bake, remove dough from refrigerator and roll into 1-inch balls.  Roll in sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

My Rite Aid Receipt: Week of October 24

I did just a short trip to Rite Aid this week.  Here's what I got:

(2) Halls  $3.00
(2) Right Guard Sport  $3.29 {BOGO}

Subtotal:  $6.29

Coupons used: 

-$1.00 off $1.00 purchase Nov. VV printable coupon
-$.50 off 1 any Halls Oct. VV printable coupon
-$.50 off 1 Halls 30 ct. Nov. VV printable coupon
-$1.00 off 2 Halls 20 ct. or larger from 10/10 newspaper insert
-$2.00 off 2 any Right Guard printable coupon {no longer available}

Total after coupons: $1.29

-$1.00 +UP Reward {print on receipt and can be used on any non-prescription purchase}

GRAND TOTAL:  $.29 + $.22 tax = $.51

Meal Plan Monday













I love the convenience of having a meal plan.  Here's what's cooking in my kitchen this week:

Breakfast
Oatmeal
Cold Cereal w/Milk
Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes
Bananas

Snacks
Yogurt
Applesauce
Fruit
Cheese Nips {Get these for $.50 each at Walmart!}

Lunch
Chicken Nuggets w/Veggies
PB&J and N&J
Grilled Cheese w/Tomato Soup
Leftovers

Dinner
Mon:    Apple 'N Onion Chicken w/Potatoes & Veggie
Tues:    Baked Chicken w/Homemade BBQ Sauce & Veggies
Wed:    Chili w/Cornbread
Thurs:   Pizza
Fri:       Fettucini Alfredo w/Sweet Potato
Sat:      Spaghetti
Sun:     BLTs

Dessert
Molasses Cookies {Look for the recipe on Wednesday!}

$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning.

Post submitted to Menu Plan Monday

Save $2.00 off Emergen-C Pink


Print a coupon for $2.00 off one Emergen-C Pink {30 ct. or larger}.  Coupon expires 12/31/2010.

Make sure you print two--Rite Aid sometimes has a Buy One Get One Free sale making these just $4.50 each after sale and coupons!

P&G Samples and Coupons You Won't Want to Miss!













Request these samples and coupons from P&G brandSampler by mail:
  • Crest Samples and Coupons
  • $5.00 off any 1 Align
  • $2.00 off any 1 Bounce Dryer Bar
  • $1.00 off any 1 Bounty
  • $1.00 off any 1 Charmin Sensitive
  • $2.00 off any 1 Covergirl Clean Foundation
  • $2.00 off any 1 Duracell Batteries
  • $4.00 off any 1 Febreeze Flameless Luminary Starter Kit
  • $2.00 off any 2 Head and Shoulders Shampoo and Conditioners
  • $2.00 off any 1 Nice 'N Easy or Natural Instincts
  • $2.00 off any 1 Olay Total Effects Body Wash
  • $5.00 off any 1 Olay Regenerist Face Moisturizer
  • $1.00 off any 2 Multigrain Pringles
  • $2.00 off any 1 Secret Flawless Renewal
  • $2.00 off any 1 Tampax Pearl {18 ct. or larger}
  • $1.00 off any 1 Tide Stain Release OR
  • $3.00 off any 1 Tide Stain Release {medium or large size}
  • $3.00 off any 1 Gillette Venus Embrace

Thanks, For The Mommas

Freezer Cooking: Marinated Chicken

This recipe from Money Saving Mom is so quick and easy. 


3-4 boneless frozen skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce {I used worcestershire sauce}
1/4 cup agave nectar {I used honey}
1 garlic clove


Directions:
  1. Put the garlic clove in a freezer bag with the frozen chicken.
  2. Mix the soy sauce {or worcestershire sauce} and liquid sweetener together and add to bag.
  3. Put in the freezer until ready to use. 
  4. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake at 350 degrees for approx. 40 - 45 minutes.

NOTES:  The original recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but I used chicken thighs as they were on sale for $.89/lb.  It does take a bit of extra time to remove the skin and extra fat, but for that price I was willing to spend a little extra time with the preparation.

Lucky Leaf Pie Filling: $1.00 Coupon!



Starting tomorrow Wednesday, October 20 at 12 noon EST, "like" Lucky Leaf on facebook and receive a $1.00 off any can of Lucky Leaf pie filling coupon.  This offer is only available until 12:00 EST on Friday, October 22.

You can also get a coupon for $1.00 off  any 2 Lucky Leaf pie filling here.

FREE Freezer Cooking Video Tutorials

Do you want to learn more about freezer cooking?  Shelley from One Roast Vegetable has created a series of video tutorials entitled, "Fresh from the Freezer: Healthy Meals for Busy People."

In these short video tutorials, learn step-by-step how to successfully use your freezer to help make meal preparation easy.

Sign up today and get started by watching the introductory video!

New White Cloud Coupons--Get Bathroom Tissue for $1 each at Walmart!


Print a coupon for White Cloud when you sign up to receive their newsletter by email.  Choose from 2 coupon options:


$1.00 off 1  White Cloud Green Earth Bathroom Tissue or Paper Towels

$2.00 off 1  24-roll pk. of White Cloud Bathroom Tissue or any 2 White Cloud or White Cloud Ultra 12-roll pk. combination.



Use the $2.00 coupon and get White Cloud Bathroom Tissue 4-pk. for $1.00 each:

Buy 2 White Cloud Bathroom Tissue 4-pk.  Price: $2.00 each
  -$2.00 off 2 any White Cloud Bathroom Tissue printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00 each wyb 2

New Hannaford $5.00 off $50.00 Purchase Coupon And More!

Hurry!  These coupons expire October 31.  The new printable coupons available at Hannaford.com are:


$5.00 off $50.00 Purchase

$1.00 off 1 Large Pumpkin

$1.00 off 1 Nabisco Halloween Oreo Cookies

$1.00 off 1 Hannaford Pizza Bites 20 oz.

$2.00 off 1 Hannaford Frozen Party Wings 5 lb.



Thanks to Money Saving Maine-iac for the coupon information.

Free Wisk Sample



Get a free sample of New Wisk with
Stain Spectrum Technology from Target!

Meal Plan Monday


I LOVED having a meal plan last week.  There was no frantic racing around the kitchen to try to find something for supper!  I'm pretty sure my hubby also enjoyed coming home to a wife who was calm and had supper ready and waiting. :)

The best part of all?  We saved money because there was NO eating out.  And since I planned all our meals ahead of time, I knew exactly what I needed from the grocery store so there were NO extra mid-week trips to the store.


Here is my plan for this week:


Meal Plan Monday

Before I had children I was always very organized.  I had lists for everything and always carefully considered every purchase that I made {no impulse buying!}.  Fast forward 4 years and 2 kids later...I am lucky to have a grocery list!  I am now a "grab and go", "fly by the seat of my pants", "wing it" kind of girl.

My current meal plan: about 1 hour before my husband comes home {sometimes 30 minutes!} I run to the refrigerator or freezer {oops, forgot to thaw} take out some chicken, pour some kind of sauce on it and stick it in the oven.  A side dish of veggies and biscuits or bread completes the meal.  I usually alternate that with pasta and a casserole dish.

My husband has never complained about our limited variety of meals, but I definitely need a change!  This week I have found a few new recipes I would like to try and I'm going to try planning our meals for the week.  Doing this will help me get organized in the kitchen and help us save a little more money at the grocery store.

Here is my meal plan for this week:


More FREE Gain!



at Rite Aid:

Gain Dish Detergent Price: $.89
  -$1.00 off 1 from 10/10 newspaper insert
Final Price: FREE







at Walmart:

Gain Dish Detergent Price: $.97
  -$1.00 off 1 from 10/10 newspaper insert
Final Price: FREE





Go to Sunday Coupon Preview to see what coupons are coming in the Sunday Paper!

Get Free Samples from Target



Target is offering free samples of Glad Odor Shield Trash Bags and Tide with Acti-Lift.  These go very fast!

Nexcare $1.00 off 1 Coupon {.pdf}



Get a coupon for $1.00 of any 1 Nexcare product!  Coupon expires 12/31/2010 and is a .pdf file {save to your desktop and print as many times as you need to.}  Use this coupon at Walmart to get Nexcare bandaids for $.50 each!

Today is Mega Swag Bucks Day!



 Ways to Earn:
  • Download the swag bucks toolbar and get 1 swag buck per day.
  • Watch the "From TSG" button on the toolbar for new codes to enter and earn more points.
  • Instead of entering a web address in the address bar, enter it in the swag bucks search bar to increase your chances of winning!
If you haven't signed up yet, do it today and start winning!


Recipe: Baked Chicken Lasagna Rolls



Baked Chicken Lasagna Rolls

Makes: 8 rolls

2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley {or I use about 1 - 2 tbs. dried}
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups shredded chicken breast
8 lasagna noodles cooked according to package directions
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  1. Mix together first eight ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  2. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on countertop.  Lay noodles flat on top of plastic wrap and top each with a layer of ricotta or cottage cheese mixture and 1/4 cup of shredded chicken.
  3. Fill the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish with 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce.
  4. Starting at one end, roll each noodle and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  5. Cover noodles with remaining spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with reserved mozzarella cheese. 
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
NOTES: Cook noodles just until "al dente."  If the noodles get too soft, they are much harder to roll {I've learned this from experience!}.  When these first come out of the oven they may look very messy, but once they cool you will be able to lift these out of the pan very easily and neatly.  This recipe can easily be doubled.


A New Discovery and a Few Values at Walmart Today

Shopping at Walmart with two young children is not my favorite thing to do {you can read about my shopping days at Walmart here}.  Today was no different as I walked into Walmart armed with snacks of all flavors and enough juice to hopefully keep the screeching to a minimum. 

And that is when I noticed them...the Shop Rite carts.  These wonderful inventions are attached to the cart and have two seats so that the children are facing forward with seat belts so that they can't fall out.

There was no more worrying about children touching things, throwing things, or falling out of the cart.  No more worries about children wondering away, breaking things, or bothering other customers with all their noise.

So while I was enjoying a peaceful shopping trip, I was also able to find a few Walmart Values:

Crush 2 liter Price: $.98

Ocean Spray "Ruby" Juices Price: $2.00

Total Plus+ Omega 3s Cereal Price: $2.50
  -$1.00 off 2 from 9/19 newspaper insert
Final Price: $2.00 each wyb 2

Trix Cereal 9.6 oz Price: $2.00
  -$1.00 off 2 from 9/19 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.50 each wyb 2

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Price: $2.58
  -$1.00 off 1 from 9/12 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.58

Pop Tarts Whole Grain Strawberry or Brown Sugar Price: $1.78 
-$1.00 off 3 coupon from 8/29 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.45 each wyb 3

Sunbelt Fruit and Grain Bars Price: $2.00
  -BOGO printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00 each wyb 2

Wheat Thins Stix Price: $1.98
  -$1.00 off 1 from 9/19 newspaper insert
Final Price: $.98

Old El Paso Heat and Serve Side Price: $1.50
  -$1.00 off 1 coupon from 8/22 newspaper insert
Final Price: $.50

Ragu Pasta Sauce 26 oz. Price: $1.50
 
-$1.25 off 3 coupon from 9/12 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.08 each wyb 3

Progressive Soup Price: $1.50
  -$1.00 off 4 from 9/12 newspaper insert OR
  -$1.00 off 4 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.25 each wyb 4

Healthy Choice Steaming Entrees Price: $1.78
 -$1.00 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $.78

White Cloud 4 double rolls Price: $2.00
  -$1.00 off 1 from 8/8 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.00

Whiskas Cat Food Trays Price: $.55
  -BOGO coupon from newspaper insert
Final Price: $.28 each wyb 2

Follow the Directions...Or Not

I have often wondered if companies exaggerate.  Let's use laundry detergent as an example.  They put those handy measuring caps right on the bottle for us, but do we really need to use that much detergent to get the laundry clean?  And what about those very handy, extra large laundry sheets {the brand name shall remain nameless}.

My husband and I have made an extra effort to find ways to save money over the last couple of months and I have learned a very important lesson.  You don't have to follow the directions!  Now I know that in school we were taught to follow directions, but it's time to break free of those rules and start saving!  At my house we only use about 1/2 the recommended amount of laundry detergent and I have found a way to make the box of laundry sheets last for 120 loads!

You may be interested in reading Five Ways Companies Trick Us Into Buying New Stuff on mint.com.  It will give you a few more ideas on how you can stop following the manufacturer's directions and save money!

Freezer Cooking: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies


Our youngest has a peanut allergy so I adapted this Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie recipe so that our whole family could enjoy them.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies

Makes: About 3 dozen

1/4 cup {1/2 stick} butter softened
1/3 cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick oats
12 ounces {2 cups} chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Cream butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, vanilla, and applesauce mixing together until well combined.
  2. In medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and oats.  Add to wet ingredients and mix well.  Add chocolate chips.
  3. Place by heaping teaspoonfuls {or tablespoonfuls} onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly browned. 
NOTES:  I took out the peanut butter and used applesauce to replace some of the butter that was used in the original recipe.  The result--a healthier, very moist, soft cookie.  Instead of regular applesauce, you can also use unsweetened applesauce to lower the amount of sugar in the recipe.

To freeze: Cool cookies completely and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Put in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and put into freezer bags or containers.








Our youngest keeping busy in the kitchen while mommy was making cookies.

Saving on a Summer Trip


In the spring we discovered that Thomas the Tank Engine was going to be at the Boothbay Railway Village this summer.  Our oldest is a huge Thomas the Train fan and we were very excited to take both the boys to the "Day Out with Thomas" event.  With our new commitment to spend less, we were able to find a few ways to save on our trip.
  • We noticed the special offer in the {very} fine print. Children under 2 years of age were able to ride for free. Our youngest is not quite two yet, so this was like getting a "4 for the price of 3" deal. When you are going on vacation do a search first to look for coupons or other special offers.  You may be surprised at what you find!
  • We packed our own lunch. I estimate that we saved at least $15 by bringing our own lunch, drinks, and snacks. We do this often if we are going on a day trip, and we have found that with a growing family this saves us between $15 - $25 each trip.
  • We used cash. My husband and I believe strongly in using cash and only keep debit cards. By not having credit cards, we don't have the temptation of buying more than we can afford. {i.e. While I was ordering our tickets, I also had the option of ordering a gift pack for the boys for an additional $20 each which I had to decline.}

Save on Printer Ink

I have been printing a lot more coupons online to save money at the store, but I have also been using a lot more printer ink! I have shopped around for the best price and service and really like 4inkjets.com.  They sell remanufactured ink cartridges for just a fraction of what you would pay at the stores and I have had very fast delivery.

Right now you can get 10% off your order using coupon code SUMMERTEN at checkout {excludes OEM ink and toner} and free shipping on contiguous U.S. orders over $50.  Sign up and order through Ebates and receive 13.5% cash back on your order!