Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill: Part 1

Last month I saved all of my receipts from my grocery trips to see how much money I saved by coupons alone, the total was $434.00! So I want to share with all of my frugal minded friends how to save LOTS of money on your groceries. First, I love coupons but I am not an "extreme" couponer. The most papers I buy are 4 at a time and that is ONLY if the coupons are REALLY good that week. Normally I buy 2 every Sunday after Church inside of Ingles. Some of my family and friends give me coupons too, and I love them even more for it ;) I do buy plenty of things without coupons, it is not realistic or healthy to buy coupon only items. You can't find many coupons for meat, produce, or milk. The biggest way to save on these things is to shop around sales. I get a lot of my families meat from my hubby and my dads deer hunting. Meal Planning is VERY important, if you don't meal plan START! It prevents wasting money and food which helps feed your family for less. For example: Plan spaggetti with salad, tacos and chilli for supper. BLT's for lunch and pancakes with bacon for breakfast in one week. You then have cheese and sour cream for the chilli and tacos, ground beef for all 3 suppers, lettuce and tomatos for your salad, BLT's and tacos. Bacon to top your salad, go on your BLT's and go with the pancakes...Plan the rest of the week the same way making all of the menu ingredients work in other meals. Plan your meals with your weekly ad paper in hand so you know what can stretch your budget the most. A trick I have with stretching ground beef: In all recipes that call for 1pound (other than tacos) reduce it to half a pound and add a veggie that works with your meal. When I make chilli I add onions. In spaggetti I add peppers and Onions. To stretch fresh milk I use evaporated milk mixed with water in cooking, baking and gravy. With produce, buy in season fresh fruits and veggies. Out of season produce is priced best in cans and frozen plus you get lots of coupons for canned and frozen produce :) I hope this helps!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Relaxation: Mommy's Way

My family and I are enjoying our winter getaway as I write...I have had an amazing time. I am super refreshed and it got me to thinking about all of the things that have made me so relaxed (other than getting away from the day to day stuff) I can do them all at home. I know now that to make myself a better Mommy I have to fit some "ME" time somewhere in my insane and weird schedule. With my hubby working a schedule of 24 hours at work and 48 hours at home I have always thought it was too hard to fit in...I am MAKING it a priority (as you should!) at least once a week after the kids are in bed. I have figured out as moms we tend to put our "me" time last or even feel guilty for wanting it. We have to refresh ourselves or we are going to be hateful old goats all the time! Or at least very grouchy most of the time. Here are a few ideas for you ladies, for after the kids are in bed or at nap time. First: The next time you are out take $10 out of the grocery budget and get yourself a couple face masks (or google the ingredients for a homemade one) buy or swap a good magazine with a friend and get a bag or box of your favorite chocolate...Put all of the above in a small plastic container. Label it "Mommy's Sanity Box" find a few more things along the way to add to it. Now...Pick a night when the hubbys favorite tv show comes on (or in my case a night that he is at work) and put the kids to bed early.

*Lay out your most comfy Pajamas

*Light your favorite candle

*Sit your magazine/book on the bed

*Turn some relaxing music on

*Take a long hot bath or shower

*Get dressed and get under a warm blanket

*Put your mud mask on (skip this step if you're not in the mood for one)

*Sit back, snuggle up, eat some chocolate, read and RELAX.......

***~Ladies, you DO NOT have to be a mommy to deserve some "me" time. Label your box "____'s sanity box"

~GIRLS: What do you do for a good session of "me" time? Please share in the coments below ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

After Thanksgiving "Overwhelmed Syndrome"

Thanksgiving is over...I had two days of family,fun, and food :) but when I came home I looked at my house in all of its caotic glory. Thats when the feeling came rushing, from my head to the pit of my stomach. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. That feeling of dread/hopelessness with how much cleaning and laundry you're about to get started on after a few hectic days of rushing, entertaining and cooking. I call this Overwhelmed syndrome...Then I started thinking of a few things to do tonight to get myself ready for the task ahead. With just one day to get these things done before church Sunday I want to stay ahead of myself (and the three munchkins!) So here are a few of my tried and true time savers, tips and tricks to help you when your household hits you with "Overwhelmed Syndrome"

~The Night before...

*Put at least 3 sippy cups per little one in the fridge ready for the kiddos to grab when they get thirsty.

*Put a few snacks in bowls with lids in the fridge for them to grab too. (cut up grapes or strawberries work well)

*Plan an easy meal day! Cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, leftovers for lunch and Crockpot soup with crackers for supper. (take your leftover turkey add some chicken stock or make a stock from your turkey bones add peas,carrots,onions and celery then 20 min before serving add egg noodles.)

*Load the dishwasher.

~Catch up day

*Drink a cup of coffee and pray for God to give you grace first thing in the morning! :)

*Make a list (realistic) of what you want to get done and stick to it!

*Start a load of laundry.

*Unload the dishwasher so you can load it as the day goes by.

*Take 15 min to pick-up each room in your house.

*Start your list :)

*When it's time to fold your laundry make yourself a glass of ice water, and watch your favorite tv show while you fold.

*Make your kiddos clean their room and lay down for a nap (if they dont nap make them do "quiet

time" with a movie or a few books on the bed.)


*Smile at what you have accomplished.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Thanksgiving Cookie Crumble Apple Pie Recipe

Every Thanksgiving my Mom cooks the turkey and the sides, I am always in charge of dessert. About 4 years ago I made this pie, my Daddy has made it a must have ever since. Everyone likes Apple Pie and Cookies! So I'm sharing my recipe :) This makes two pies.

~Pre-heat oven to 325°

* 6-8 medium apples peeled and sliced
* 1Tbs lemon juice
* 1Tbs sugar
- Mix and set aside

Cookie Crust: (see note below)
*1/2 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/2 cup butter or margarine
*1 egg yolk
*2 cups self rising flour
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
*1 egg white, beaten
- Mix sugars, butter, cinnamon and yolk until creamy. Slowly add flour until mixed well. Press into bottom of 2 well greased pie pans. Brush top with egg white to seal crust. Add filling.

Cookie Crumble Topping:
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 1 cup flour
* 1tsp cinnamon
* 1tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Mix all ingredients together well until they resemble clumpy crumbs. Crumble on top of both pies.
~ Bake pies on middle oven rack @ 345° for 1 hour or until top is golden brown.

I hope you enjoy!
**Note- if you are pressed for time a store bought crust works just fine, just brush the top with egg whites to keep crust from getting gooey :)

In the spirit of Thanksgiving :)

What are you thankful for? I am thankful for many things, I am a seriously blessed girl. First and foremost, I am thankful that God saved a sinner like me :) I'm thankful for my amazing hubby and my 3 beautiful babies. I'm thankful for my friends, the ones that have stuck by me, cheered me up when needed and love me no matter what. There are a couple of you and you know exactly who you are. I am thankful for my home, and the fact that it is indeed a home :) I am thankful...just plain thankful!
Tell me what you are thankful for this thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

About my little family

I refer to my crew as "my little family" not because we are small in number, but because all 3 of my babies are under 5years old. X is 4, he is like having my own energizer bunny he doesn't stop for ANYTHING! He slows down just a little when its time to eat or use the bathroom. Thats it! He is my helper, he loves to bring me things for his little brother and sister (I love it too) He amazes me daily with how smart and funny he is. Z is 3, he is 17 months younger than X. He is my snuggler. He can keep up with his big brother no problem, but he stops to "lay on you" a few times a day. He looks just like his Daddy and acts like him too :) He comes up with the funniest things and stories ever, he thinks "the big bad wolf" is real and constantly makes sure to ask me "If the big bad wolf comes to eat me YOU will shoot it" and I reply "Yes honey I will but hes not going to come to eat you he is not real" we have this conversation at least 3 nights per week. M is 15 months old, she just started walking about 3 weeks ago. She has her brothers (and us) wrapped around her finger. She tries to keep up with the boys but they are just to fast for her. They stop to play with her sometimes. Z is super protective of her. She looks just like me and it amazes me. She is a mommys girl most of the time but when daddys around she has him wrapped around her finger. My hubby is the best man I know. He is loving, caring, sweet and the best husband and daddy God could have possibly gave to us. I love him with everything in me. He is my hero. I am the luckiest girl alive :) I strive to be what God wants me to be but I fail daily. I am a homebody. I love to bake, I love to write, I love to read and I love to coupon (not as extreme as a lot of people) I do it to save the money that my husband works his tush off to bring home and to allow me to be blessed to stay home. Its fun too lol :) This is my family :) Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 18, 2011


My normal morning starts out like this...My hubby wakes me up @ about 5am, I pack his breakfast, lunch and dinner (he works 24 hour shifts at the fire station). We wake up the babies, X is 4, Z is 3 and M is 15 months. We do our morning devotional, pray and tell Daddy goodbye for the day. Then we go back to sleep for a bit, otherwise everyone is super cranky :) This probably sounds like a normal morning for most of you. If it does stop for a second and thank God for blessing you with a beautiful family! I am thankful for normal mornings. I am thankful for everything God has blessed me with. I am thankful most of all for my salvation :) I hope you can say the same. I am happy with the life God gave me, I have 2 handsome boys, a beautiful baby girl and a hero for a husband and I am blessed enough to stay home with my family every day. You want to hear the kicker? I am 24 years old, I married my love when I was 18. I was still in highschool (no I wasnt pregnant, not even close lol). I am a young wife and mom living by Gods grace and Titus chapter 2. My life is hectic and disorganized at times but I am happy and my family is happy...Isnt that all that matters anyway?