Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frugal Friday 10-31-08



Your Freezer is Your Friend!

I love cooking ahead and putting things in my freezer for another day. This week alone already I have chopped nearly two bags of red bell peppers and put in individual container/baggies in the freezer, onions, jalapeno peppers (from our garden), carrots I got for free from Target a week ago, plus a few containers of left over chili I made this week.

This is the first time I have frozen chopped bell peppers but thought I would give it a try. I love to grab a handful when I am making omelets and throw into the skillet first with some onions. It makes it so nice to have everything already chopped and measured so that all I have to do is get out the baggies, heat up the skillet and saute away!

Over the years these are a few things that I have done:

1. Shredded a crockpot cooked roast into small individual servings after mixing the roast with barbeque sauce. I flash froze the little piles of beef and then wrapped each one in saran wrap, smooshed the air out and then folded up the little packets of goodness and placed in a large freezer bag. When it came time to make lunch for the kids I took a packet out, placed it on a hamburger bun, added a little sauce, wrapped the sandwich back up and placed in the lunch box. The meat is defrosted by lunch time and it is very yummy.

2. Baked brownies and wrapped individually in saran wrap and stored in a large freezer bag. Makes it easy to grab and go. I have also started making brownie bites using mini muffin pans. I put three or four in a small snack bag and then once again place them into a much larger freezer bag. It makes it so nice. The kids love to eat these right from the freezer! I have done this with cookies too!

3. I have browned more than 50 pounds of turkey or hamburger meat all at once. I then will divide it out and season some with chili, taco, or italian seasoning. I also will add spaghetti sauce to some of the meat and freeze it in a baggie and lay it flat like a record album. They stack nicely in your freezer. I also brown the meat with onions and garlic. You can grab out a bag and make tostadas, quesadillas, tacos, pizzas, meat for spaghetti, and various of other ideas. It is a LIFE saver!

4. I have made tons of muffins and mini loaves of pumpkin, banana, zuchinni, and cinammon bread. I bake them up and place them in bags ready for the freezer. This weekend I will be making the pumpkin muffins that my kids beg for each year.

5. Calzones are a great thing to make and put in the freezer. They come in handy when families are busy heading to games or practice. They are super easy to make. I use frozen rolls to make mine but have also made them with a recipe I found online as well. I simply put some of my seasoned meat inside or pepperonis, cheese, a little sauce and seal them up and bake. They can then be reheated in the microwave or in a toaster oven.

6. I have also made meals such as lasagne, mexican lasagne, casseroles, etc to put in the freezer but more often than not I have components of meals that I can pull together at a moments notice.

7. When rotisserie chickens are marked down for a quick sale I pick all the meat off the bones and place in baggies in one pound increments. I have also then taken the bones and made my own chicken broth!

I am sure people that have a regular freezer feel that they cannot participate in this type of cooking. You are SO wrong! I do not have a freezer! I use the top of my refrigerator and have another fridge in the garage. We would love a freezer but ours died, full of food I might add, last year. We plan on getting one again. When I was a single mom I used the freezer on top of my fridge...it was all I had. Granted it was just me and my little boy but in those days I made entire meals and froze them. It was a God send for us! Since our family now consists of six people I do things on a much smaller scale until we get a new freezer. It can be done!! Give it a try. You will be so glad you did!

Today at Money Saving Mom there are great examples of what one can do when they have some time. Check out Crystal's baking day here.

For more great Frugal Friday ideas check out Biblical Womanhood.

Crockpot Mexican Casserole




Crockpot Mexican Casserole
1 lb Hamburger
1 Onion, chopped
1 4 1/2 oz Can chopped chilies
1 can Mild enchilada sauce
10 1/2 oz Golden mushroom soup
10 1/2 oz Cheddar cheese soup
10 1/2 oz Cream of mushroom soup
10 1/2 oz Cream of celery soup
1 package Doritos chips

Brown hamburger and chopped onion, pour off grease. Put all ingredients in crock-pot except Doritos chips. Mix and cook low 4 to 6 hours. Last 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, add Doritos chips and stir! YUMMY!! I double this for my crew.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WFMW 10-29-08



If you have teenagers you know they love facebook and photos. I have a facebook account and have had one for nearly five years....before it was cool. I work at a university and that is what prompted me to get one since our university was 'logging' onto the new culture at the time. Now my teens have facebook and Mom has the passwords and frequently checks it out and they have strict parameters, etc. Many of their friends are now my friends too. But this is not the reason for my post.

What has become really neat for me as a parent is snagging the photos that their friends, youth workers, Sunday School leaders, pastors, etc put on facebook that 'tag' my children. Tagging is placing their name on their picture so that it shows up in their photo area of their facebook. I have been saving all these pictures to my computer in hopes of doing something for each of my children. I save them into folders by child's name, year, activity such for example: a folder titled Seth, inside that folder are the years 2007, 2008; then inside the year folders are catagories: FOOTBALL, Church, School, etc.

I have finally decided what this busy working Mom can do with the plethera of awesome pics from every event they attend, school, sports, friends, etc. I have begun to make small flip books for each of them. I have the football books by year, the summer beach camp with church, school year, etc. Most free photo storage sites have this capability like snapfish and a host of others. I personally love snapfish! Right now most of these sites are running specials. The small flip books today were priced at 4.99. That is really reasonable!



I have also saved the pictures of all their groups of friends and I am making a collage print for each of them.

I really don't have lots of time to sit and make scrapbooks and while I love them and have a few in progress I find that the costs are just too prohibitive at this time in our lives. However, the thing that they love the most is having something that showcases all their pictures. They are portable and really make a neat, thoughtful gift.

With the holidays coming up I think this would be an awesome way to make a stocking stuffer or a cute gift for friends. If you would like to see more great ideas head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday ideas!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dolllar Wise and the Dallas Morning News

There is a great series that started today in the Dallas Morning News.

Even though I live in Oklahoma I read the Dallas Morning News each morning online. Lots of great information and they seem to break news quicker on national things than our local newspaper the Oklahoman. Matter of fact, many times they have the national headlines before MSN or CNN even has them online.

It is no secret if you read this blog that we are followers of Christ and Dave Ramsey. As he so often says, "It is God and Grandma's way of thinking when it comes to money." Who do you look to for inspiration in these tough economic times?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Simplify Your Holidays Blog Tour



Simplify Your Holidays Blog Tour

By Marcia Ramsland, The Organizing Pro
National Speaker, Media Guest, and Author of Simplify Your Holidays,
A Classic Christmas Planner to Use Year after Year (Thomas Nelson 2008)

Are you looking for a way to simplify the most stressful time of the year? Feeling like it’s impossible to keep up with all the demands of the coming holiday season? Marcia Ramsland, The Organizing Pro and author of Simplify Your Holidays, has found a way to change seasonal stress into intentional success! She believes everyone can find that calm and peace they are looking for.

Every year the holidays come around and we face them with mixed emotions. You have a great book title of Simplify Your Holidays, but how do you simplify the holidays?

I love the dictionary definition of “simplify” – “To make something less complicated and therefore easier to do.” I can’t think of a more complicated time in the year than the holidays. Why? Because we are already busy 24/7 and then we add another layer of complexity to our lives – the holiday season.

In my view as a Professional Organizer, simplifying your holidays is all about having a meaningful Christmas without feeling overcommitted or under prepared. And my motto is: If you do anything more than once in life, organize it and simplify it. That’s especially true for the holidays that come year after year like clockwork.

I can’t think of a more complicated time or emotionally challenged season, but I also know you don’t have to stress to get through it.

Were you always ready and organized for the holidays?

No way! Before I became “The Organizing Pro” I struggled with holiday pressures big time. I was stuck in the mall shopping for gifts at the last minute, standing in the rain looking for a “real” Christmas tree late in December, and staying up Christmas Eve wrapping presents. That was a stressful life I decided to change, and did years ago.

One day I sat down at the kitchen table determined to get control of the season. Looking at my calendar, it suddenly dawned on me -- there was an easy way to manage it all! It all hinged on one date and no, it wasn’t Thanksgiving.

Many people, myself included, have used Thanksgiving to trigger serious action steps for Christmas. It just didn’t seem right to commercialize Christmas by purchasing gifts before Thanksgiving. But that’s the problem. Waiting until after Thanksgiving does commercialize the holidays and puts us smack dab in the middle of a mall with throngs of shoppers.

3. So how did you change from frazzled to peaceful… and you now have a beautiful new three ring notebook, Simplify Your Holidays? And Sam’s Club just bought 15,000 of them! Good for you.

My first personal turning point came when I discovered one particular holiday occurs exactly eight weeks before Christmas -- and it’s NOT Thanksgiving. It is Halloween. That event is important to note because the next day you can kick off your holiday plan on November 1 every year.

Noting that November 1 is your springboard to begin the holiday season means you have eight weeks until December 25. Now you have a structure to easily organize and prepare -- with a good plan. You’re back in control whatever day it is.

Once I figured that out, I found you can organize your holidays no matter how many weeks you have left before Christmas. In my book I have an 8-week, 4-week, 2-week calendar plans you can choose to guide you whatever day you start. The Plans are like a “holiday compass” that people use year after year to stay focused and take the stress out of the holidays.


4. What else can you tell us to ease the calendar stress for the holidays?

My second discovery came when I noticed that almost all holiday events landed the three weeks of December right before Christmas. Children’s school parties, the neighborhood cookie exchange, church events, civic symphony concerts, friends’ Open Houses, and an office potluck luncheon the last day before vacation. ALL fell into the last three weeks before Christmas.

No wonder we are stressed trying to buy gifts and partake in the busiest social season of the year. All these things are good, but it’s plain stressful to be listening to the Hallelujah chorus thinking about how many things you have to pick up on the way home and still get on-line to purchase gifts with “expedite shipping” costs involved.


5. Ok, but the thing I dread is going to the attic and basement dealing with all those holiday decorations that take up so much room. What can I do?

I agree. My third discovery came when I tried to simplify my holiday decorations after the holidays. It just seemed too much to put it all up so I thought I’d simplify it.

But alas, I found even charities would not accept holiday decorations after December 25. They had nowhere to store them until next year. That was the next discovery – if I store holiday decorations for 11 months of the year, then why do we hesitate about getting them up?

A recent poll showed most people take down their holiday decorations the weekend after New Year’s Day. If that’s the case, what date do we need to put them up to enjoy them for 4-6 weeks? Especially when they are taking up valuable space for 11 months of the year.

The answer? Pick a date (or weekend) to put up your decorations early every year so they can be enjoyed. Typically it’s either the first weekend in December, or even Thanksgiving weekend to be ready to turn the lights on December 1. I found I’m happier the sooner I start and get full enjoyment of them for the season… and give some away each year.


6. Before you give us “A Dozen Gift Theme Ideas,” tell us what’s in your notebook and why is it considered a classic Christmas planner to pull off your shelf and use year after year?

Once I got organized I thought of every woman struggling to pull together meaningful holidays in an already busy life. So I created a hand made notebook years ago which my publisher picked up and is available right now on my website or wherever books are sold. This is a holiday planner you can pull off your bookshelf any time day or night and start the season.

The six tabs inside the three-ring notebook include: The Plan, Gifts, Cards & Decorations, Events, December 1-25 Inspiration, and Recipes. There are almost 200 pages of charts, table talk topics for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, room for photos, and even journal pages of “The Best Things that Happened This Christmas.”

Within those six tabs I’ve sprinkled “10 Tips from 10 Experts” covering things like 10 Money Saving Tips for Holiday Gifts, 10 Super Simple Holiday D├ęcor Tips, 10 Holiday Tips for the Working Woman, 10 Tips to Serve Fabulous Food and Impress Your Guests, 10 Tips for a Successful Event, and 10 Tips to Celebrate and Not Gain Weight!

7. Give us your plan to “Simplify with a Gift Theme” for this year, especially for the busy woman starting to think about the holidays.


Simplify with a Gift Theme
(Excerpt from Simplify Your Holidays, Marcia Ramsland (Thomas Nelson 2008)


Simplify shopping by visiting only certain types of stores for everyone on your list. Choose a giving “theme” for the year. Get a different gift in that theme for each person so it is personalized. For example, all the women get jewelry, spa baskets, certificates or robes. Men get sporting event tickets, restaurant certificates, or tools. Sweaters, CDs, DVDs or books all make a great theme for the year, too.


A Dozen Gift Theme Ideas

Sweaters for everyone
Favorite Restaurant or movie gift cards
Gloves and mittens
DVD's
CD's or books
Tickets to a play, musical, or retreat
Photo Book or digital camera
A trip or the latest technology
Favorite magazine plus a year’s subscription
Chocolate, nuts, or gourmet food basket
Spa, massage, or bath items
Jewelry, purse, or accessories

Keep track of where you get your gifts each year and head there first. They will have new merchandise that will probably work well for you again.

Remember a gift shows you had the person in your thoughts and a note on your card tells them why you thought they’d like it. Gift giving is a skill to learn. Keep working to hit the mark of delight and surprise with the receiver. With all your lists in one notebook, you’ll be able to do just that as you see what worked well before.


Question 8: Any last words of encouragement for the woman who wants to pull together a meaningful (and peaceful!) holiday season?

This is your year! The Simplify Your Holidays notebook will help you create that organized Thanksgiving and Christmas you’ve dreamed of with all your notes in one place! You’ll love its beautiful red cover, sturdy tabs, and attractive green charts.

To simplify your holidays, manage your time with our holiday plan and keep your notes all in this notebook. You will graduate from seasonal stress to intentional success!


Thanks for having me today. I truly believe you can simplify the coming holiday season and have a more meaningful season than ever!


Marcia Ramsland, The Organizing Pro

Speaker * Author * Media Guest Expert



P.S. Can you simplify your holidays this year? I truly believe so and am eager to know how you do it with my new book, Simplify Your Holidays. Start today by getting your notebook and downloading your FR*EE Master Gift List at http://www.organizingpro.com


WOW, thanks so much Marcia for your great ideas! I can't wait to get my own Simplify Your Holidays book!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Super Savings Saturday 10-25-08

This week has been a so-so week with bargains. I will be making a trek to CVS and the grocery store later on Saturday. However I am still finding great buys at the my favorite thrift store.

This past week my husband and I went to the store and found more awesome things for our sons and my husband. They had more great Ralph Lauren Polo brand shirts: a long sleeved polo, an awesome plaid long sleeved dress shirt, two more short sleeved standard polos, and two red sweaters by RL. But I think my husbands favorite buy was buy one pair of sunglasses get TWO free! They were one dollar a pair. One of those sunglass kiosks at the mall had gone out of business and the glasses were donated to the thrift store. I don't know about your kids but ours go through sunglasses like crazy. Of course they are picky but when the boys mow their customers lawns they don't have to always be stylin' and profilin'! LOL!

The shirts were anywhere from 5.00 to 7.00. We spent around 30.00. Once again one of the shirts had NEVER been worn! Still had the 65.00 tag on it.

We have not been to CVS in quite awhile. I am pretty stocked up and see no sense in getting more right now. I have a list for this next week so I am ready to hit the stores.

I am hoping to find canned beans, chicken broth, and veggies on sale this week at the grocery store. We are getting very low in our various types of beans we keep on hand. However, since we buy them by the caseloads they have lasted us for MONTHS. It should be about time for them to be on sale again. Let's hope so because it is now chili season and I use lots of beans in the winter.

For more Super Saving Saturday ideas head over to Money Saving Mom.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WFMW 10-22-08



I have already begun the prep for holiday gift giving for my teenager daughter to give to her friends. Actually it started last year at the end of the Christmas season. When I saw cute frames, photo albums, jewelry, and the like I snatched them up and put them in my gift closet. Last year I snagged some great little mani/pedi kids from Bath and Bodyworks that will be given to some of my daughter's sweet friends. Our son's don't really give much to their friends..only their closest buds and then they want to give iTunes cards. I think it is really more of a girly thing to give gifts. My daughter gives to around 15 friends something for Christmas. So this year we have all the little items gathered for her friends who are all 14 nearly 15 years of age.

The other thing I do is when Hobby Lobby puts their Christmas wrapping/bags/tags on sale at the end of the season I am thinking about all the gifts I will be giving the next year. Last year I bought the CUTEST bags and ribbon to use for my daughter's gifts to friends. I always look for something unique and not holiday looking. Last year we used red paper and leopard print ribbon. This year we are going for the hot pink with zebra ribbon look. We also make the cards by hand that go with each gift with items I have purchased for pennies when they have been clearanced.

It does not take a lot of dough to come up with precious, thoughtful, and cute presents for teenage girls. As much as they will love what is on the inside they are also all about how it looks on the outside.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Homemade Bath Salts
Small scrapbooks and stickers
Photo albums
Photo Frames
Personalized Shadow Boxes
Candles
Miniature Bath and Bodyworks Products
Manicure/Pedicure kits
JEWELRY
Personalized Journals
Devotion Books and a Journal

These are just a few ideas. For more Works for Me Wednesday head on over to Shannon's Rocks In My Dryer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gotta Love Free!!!!

I am sorry I have no picture I left my camera at work. However tonight I scored on the Target deals!

After work I went to my local SuperTarget and bought three one pound bags of Green Giant baby carrots which are on sale for 1.29. I also bought four Artisan Mini French loaves which were .99 cents a loaf. I then purchased eight boxes of 16 count Lipton tea bags which were regularly priced at 1.09. I used eight 1.00 off Lipton tea Target printable coupons, three 1.00 off Target Green Giant baby carrot coupons, and four .50 cent off Target printables for the Artisan Bread. I had a 5.00 gift card I received from the Kashi cereal deal several weeks ago. Before coupons the total was around 17.00 but after coupons the final tally was 3.18! I used my gift card and had NO OUT OF POCKET! WOO HOO!!! I walked out of Target and felt like a Queen! I am telling you if you are not using coupons or checking out these sites you are missing out on saving some money big time!
Check out:
Attention Target Shoppers
Common Sense with Money
Money Saving Mom

I am taking my parents tomorrow and showing them how they can save some money too!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Five Steps to Peace in Uncertain Financial Times

You would have to be stranded on a deserted island or in a cabin with no television or radio to not have heard about the financial mess our nation is currently in. I know many are struggling but most I believe are living in fear of the unknown or what could happen. Many are just not prepared. True there are those dealing with foreclosures, layoffs, and difficult circumstances in regards to either financial decisions they made or that were made for them. In my opinion it is only going to become more of a problem if people don't take control of their own futures and live as our grandparents did many years ago. Greed has taken ahold many families lives. It comes quietly veiled in numerous vacations throughout the year, using credit to purchase everything, and not teaching their children the value of a dollar. Of course this problem is on a much larger scale but what if people would have been living within their means for quite some time I can't help but believe we would not have such a crisis on our hands.

There are five things that I think would greatly help in a financial crisis. I know because they have worked for us.

1. GET RID OF YOUR CREDIT CARDS
Nearly eight years ago when we married my husband and me decided that we would not use credit cards. The only thing we have used in that time has been cash or a debit card. It was one of the best decisions we made as a new couple. It forced us to save for things and to have an emergency fund. It has taught us and our children a valuable lesson on needs and wants. I think the number one reason many are in dire straits right now is that they rely on their credit cards heavily. CUT THEM UP! We had fears about not having a credit card at first too. My parents worry that we don't have a credit card but we can do anything with cash and a debit card. Let me tell you that when January rolls around and everyone else is getting their credit card bills we are not stressed because our Christmas has already been paid for in cash. We are getting ready to have our eighth cash only Christmas and we can't wait!

2. START AN EMERGENCY FUND
It is critical that everyone has an emergency fund. Start out with a goal in mind of putting 1000.00 in a separate fund. We are Dave Ramsey followers/fans. We saw him in person shortly after we married. I had been listening to Dave as a single parent each day as I picked my son up from middle school. I began trying to implement his plan for getting out of debt. When I married my new husband shared my passion in this area. We worked diligently to set up a fund. Sure enough the morning we were to attend Dave Ramsey a storm blew through our town and took off some shingles and blew over our fence. We had money in the bank for an emergency and what insurance did not cover we were able to handle. We had little money when we married and my husband suffered through losing a job. He never went without work. He mowed lawns of which he still has his lawn business that our boys now run. He worked two jobs and odd jobs and we socked away the money.

3. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
You have to live within your means. You cannot become successful if you continue on the same path of excess. This may look like different things to other people. For me it meant cooking more at home, OAMC or once a month cooking, using coupons, shopping at thrift stores, not paying full price for anything, and making sure I evaluated need versus want. There was a time when we both stopped at our local convenience store or Starbucks and got coffee every morning. No more! There was a time when I would have NEVER shopped at TJMaxx or Ross let alone a thrift store or consignment shop! Horrors!! Believe you me these are a penny pinchers best friend!

4. GET RID OF DEBT!
It took us several years but we finally paid off over 54000.00 of debt! We only owe on our home and that is very minimal. We live in a very affluent town that has more McMansions that anything else. We do not buy into the standard "Keeping Up with the Joneses". We bought a home that fit our needs with four children and it was built in 1970! Our children are not giving each and everything new thing that hits the market. If you want to know a way to get out of debt that is precise and has worked for many people look up Dave Ramsey's website The Total Money Makeover and read about his Debt Snowball. It can be done!!!

5. BE DILIGENT
Do not get discouraged! We know how it feels to be way over our heads in debt. We know what it feels like to be out of work. Be faithful to stick to your plan. Make a budget and stick to it. Being frugal is not a bad thing. Having no credit cards or car payments....is a REALLY GOOD THING! WOW! Such freedom!!! I never knew you could have no credit card or car payment. Remember we have three that are driving in our home besides us. Our nearly seventeen year old son was given an old 92 beat up Dodge pickup by his grandparents. We helped him save to repaint it bright red. My husband, father in law, and son's primed the pickup to save money. The pickup now looks amazing! It gets from point A to point B and when he needs to take more friends or his siblings we let him borrow our 2000 Toyota Corolla. We have a 2001 Toyota Sienna Van too. The boys pay their own car insurance. They earn it each summer with their lawn business. We have taught them to be diligent. As parents more is caught than taught. What are you teaching your children about debt, things, wants, etc.?

Before any of the above more than anything for us is to go to our Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, and Savior. For our family putting Christ number one and tithing to His kingdom comes first. We would not be where we are now without His guidance or wisdom. He alone is the total source of our peace.

We live in uncertain times but as for our house, we serve the One that knows our future and for that I am very grateful.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fireproof Your Marriage











We had been anxiously awaiting the chance to see this movie. Finally last Saturday my husband and I were able to take some time to see it! It was one of the best movies I have ever seen! I cried, I laughed, I cried some more and the presentation of the Gospel on the big screen was incredible. At the end of the movie the entire theatre erupted in applause! Read this article from CNN that tells more about this incredible movie.

Kirk Cameron does a fabulous job in the movie. All the actors were great. I can't say enough about the music! Oh my goodness the music was fantastic! If you have not seen this movie...run to your local theatre and see it!!! What a joy to see the theatre FULL of families and couples as well as singles. This is a movie for everyone.

A few things I have read about the movie are 1. Kirk Cameron would not take anything for personal gain. His fee for the movie went to a terminally ill childrens camp in Georgia that he and his wife have; 2. He has also made a vow to not kiss anyone but his wife. A scene in this movie call for him to kiss the actress portraying his wife. Instead they used his OWN wife as the stand in. You can't even tell. It was awesome to think that he is protecting his own marriage by setting boundaries that most actors would think is ludicris.

We are taking our teenagers to see the movie next. We need more movies like this with a message that is positive! Go see it!!!

Here are some great resources:
Fireproof the Movie
Fireproof Your Marriage

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Super Saving Saturday 10-4-08

This week has been one of the most thrilling of the entire year since I began couponing!

I have had great times in the past with CVS but grocery stores not so much. First let me preface this by saying we have terrible grocery stores in Oklahoma....no Krogers, Randalls, Thom Thumb, Albertsons, Winn Dixie, Publix, Whole Foods, Lowes, etc., etc., We have Homeland, Walmart, and Mom and Pop stores. Last Tuesday I had a slew of coupons that were expiring that night. They were for things we used and some new things that I wanted to try for the kids. After work I hurried home and got dinner for my children and then headed out to our local Wal Mart SuperCenter.

Numerous things I received for free because I had duplicate coupons for the Kraft deal that was in the August All You magazine. I purchased Koolaid, a Kraft item, and received my free Wheat Thins, Kraft Singles, Oscar Meyer hotdogs, Crystal Light, and Kraft Dressing. I also scored on several items that only cost me .50 cents after the coupon such as Rozoni pasta, hairspray, and a few things for the childrens lunches. I had everything put in groups such as the shampoo deal I worked with Pantene (free product) and the Kraft deal. There was a huge line and I was hoping that things went smoothly.

Finally the cashier said, "That will be 84.78. I calmly told her I had coupons and handed them to her. She proceeded to take off the coupons and after several minutes she said those magic words, "Wow, you saved a lot!". I only had to pay a little over 42.00 for all the items! I had 42 coupons and I figured the average price for each item in my cart would have been around one dollar.

I was trying not to pump my fist in the air and jump up and down! The long line of people behind me started asking how much I saved with those coupons. It was thrilling!

My husband and I also tried using Homeland for some deals since they double coupons. At Homeland alone our purchases were 65% off of what they normal cost would have been and I was able to get free Dawn soap and Kleenexes! We also made our CVS run the same evening. When we tallied up our receipts we have saved just this week over 150.00 for our family!

I have been talking about it so much at work that I have a couple of friends now wanting to try out using coupons. My path to simplicity and frugality began out of necessity back when I was a single mom years ago but the one thing I did not do was coupons or CVS. Oh how much easier my life would have been if only I had known or had someone to come along side of me and teach me this wonderful discipline!

For more Super Savings check out Money Saving Mom!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Great is Your Name in All the Earth

Please head over to Baby Bangs and read Amanda's profound post. I have sent it to friends and family today and felt the need to share it with my blog friends as well.
Blessings,
Vickie

WFMW 10-1-08



Kitchen Organization is crucial in helping keep the flow going in a busy household. Two of the most important items in my kitchen that I rely on may seem better suited in an office than in the kitchen.

I use a 3" binder for all my recipes that either have been printed off of the Internet or have been given to me. I use clear protective pages to keep them from getting messy or ruined. I have used this method since the early 90s. I keep only the recipes that I have used over and over again plus a few that I really want to try but have not had the chance yet. I also keep my meal planning information in this big binder as well as my Once A Month Cooking plans. It is a very valuable part of my kitchen.

My second item is one I have mentioned at least a couple of times on WFMW...my kitchen notebook! My kitchen notebook is priceless to me! I like to create meals without a recipe quite often. One of my son's would ask me if I had written down what I had done so that I could re-create the meal. One day after watching one of our favorite cooking shows we saw the chef using a small notebook to write down his meal creation as it took place. BINGO! So I began to do the same thing. I keep it in my utensil drawer with a pen. When I am mixing up a creation I pull it out and write down what I have done so that I can make it again!

Both of these items are important to my life in the kitchen! For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas go to Rocks in My Dryer.