Monday, September 28, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

I sort of forgot it was Sunday yesterday...I 'knew' it was Sunday, but I forgot about setting a goal this week...

I did not get my exercising in like I wanted. I did do some abs, but that was it. So I hope to do better this week. I am finding it hard to find a time to fit it in, so I need to work on that :)

I did get back into our house routine, so atleast I didn't fail on that :) This week I want to get into cabinets and clean them up. I noticed there was some baking soda all over the inside of spice cabinet, so I need to check them all and clean them out. My wonderful son went through and cleaned all my countertops last night-so I now feel my cabinets deserve the same treatment :) He also cleaned my washer and dryer (on the outside). Isn't he sweet?!

And I need to post about our apple unit study! I have everything I need to get it started and we will begin that today :) I will post links I found that were very helpful tomorrow :)

Friday, September 25, 2009


I don't know what it is about this time of year...I want to curl up with a nice cup off coffee or hot cocoa in front of the fire. Or, I crave those wonderful comfort foods-soups, stews, chilis, meatloaf and mashed potatoes-oh, I could go on and on! Alot of these meals are terrific in the crockpot and so easy to start in the morning and let cook all day without much or any fuss at all! You could even make a big batch of some of these to freeze for meals later on. Or, even use some for quick and frugal lunches for the week. I have even used my crock to make big batches of chicken, burrito/taco meat, etc and froze it in serving sizes for the freezer! Works like a charm with very little work on my part. Of, I have placed chicken in a freezer bag with marinade, froze it for a later meal. All I have to do is take it out the night before to thaw in the fridge, and dump the chicken in the crockpot (throw out the marinade).

Do you have a crockpot? If you don't, you should really check into getting one. They can be a very good investment and, even though you are cooking for long periods of time, they do not use alot of electricity. Depending on your crockpot, it can cost about 10-15 cents per 8 hours to operate-that, vs an oven, which can be about 20 cents per hour. That can be an amazing savings, just right there. But, think about this can use your crock to cook up tougher cuts of meat and have them come out fork tender and juicy!

Sometimes it does take some playing around with recipes to make them work. Also, I found with some crocks, you might want to watch them a bit the first few times you use them. I have had crockpots for much of my married life and grew up with a mom who used them. A few Christmas' ago, my husband bought me a fancy one. I found it cooked faster than my not-so-fancy crock and burned my food. So, I always set the timer on my crock to the highest setting. Yesterday, I made meatloaf in the am which I put in the crock since we would be gone most of the day. When I got home around 5, the meatloaf was just starting to burn on the edges, but very slightly....but it had only been cooking for about 6 hours! I had set it on the highest setting I could-at 10 hours. But, I know my crockpot well enough now to know certain things would need the higher setting in order to not burn.

You can find crockpots at stores like Walmart, Kmart, Target, etc. Or you can find them at thrift stores too! Perhaps a friend is giving one away that they do not use anymore or they got a new one. If they offer it to you-take it!!  Free is always nice and you can experiment! Crockpotting is also a nice way to cook in the Summer and keep down the heat in your home :)

If you are unsure about recipes, or you lost the book to yor crock, or, perhaps, you are burned out on what to make, here are some really great sites with some yummy recipes to check out!

Campbells' Crockpot Recipes
AllRecipes Slow Cooker section
365 Days of Slow Cooking blog
A Year of Slowcooking

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hiland Coupons

Go here and sign in or register (it's free:) to get print off Hiland coupons for dip, cottage cheese, brick cheese and ice cream square. Yummy!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What in the World is a Unit Study?!!!

Unit Studies can be a fun and frugal way of homeschooling your child. Or, if you are not a homeschooler, they can be a fun way to extend your child's learning at home-especially over the summer. But, what exactly is a unit study? A unit study is a theme-based or one topic idea which includes most or all subjects. For instance, perhaps your child is interested in horses. You can use this subject to teach math, science, art, history, and even some language arts. It can take a bit of research to get it started, but once you figure out how to find your info, it becomes easier and easier to plan out the unit studies.

We will look deeper into the theme of horses--we did this when my kids were younger and turned it into a lapbook-I will post about lapbooks later on. But, you can easily make notebooks with your unit study as well. For the horse unit, our math included learning about how horses are measured-by hands. We converted this into inches, and then I measured each child. From there, we converted the inches back into hands and made a chart showing how many hands high each child was. We also used the measuring tape to show how high different breeds of horses were. This math was converting inches, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and just basic measuring :) Lots of math right there, huh? For History, we learning the impact of horses on different time periods. What were they used for? When were the first horses ever used? When were the introduced into the U.S.? How does that compare to how they are used today? Another chart was made and placed into our lapbook. For art, we got the book "Leonardo's Horse". It was about Leonardo DiVinci's bronze horse statue he made. Not only did this book give us art direction-it also provided science on bronzing. And, I suppose it also gave us some historical teaching as well :) See how this works-you start in one area and easily branch out.

Now, not all unit studies will provide you with every lesson-not all will give you a math opportunity. Not all will provide you with history. But, if you plan it correctly, most of them will! And, as I said before, as you do more and more of these, they will come very easy to you. And, don't be surprised when your child  comes up to you with their own ideas for unit studies!

To help you learn more, I have found some really great links:
Unit Studies Homeschooling  goes right to the unit study page-lots of great info on getting started, notebooking, etc..

A to Z Home's Cool Unit Study links

Goal Setting Sunday

My DH is off visiting his mom and will be home tomorrow. I can see the house needs straightening so he can come home to a nice clean home :) We will work on that a bit today and tomorrow.

Im hoping to start walking this week. I can really see drawbacks since I have not been exercising and I know walking will be a nice and gentle way to start back up. I will add in some abs and weights a couple times a week-probably alternating that with my walking days. Nothing strenuous, but I am tired of feeling achy all the time and I hope this will bring my body back to feeling strong again!

And this week, I hope to fall back into our regular routine. Last week was very busy with extra activities and we are trying to keep busy this weekend in order to not miss my DH too much :) We need to settle back into school work and regular chores!!

And, finally, I think I am going to start a monthly goal, of which I will post once a month :) We are going to start some unit studies in our school work. I did these alot with my oldest kids when they were younger. Matter of fact, for a couple years, it was our major form of learning. I would either find subjects that seemed interesting, or I would follow their interests. Or, we would use Five in a Row curriculum which was just terrific!! I plan to start these back up again for my youngest two kids. They never really got to experience these and hopefully they will ahve as much fun as my older 3 kids had :) This month, because it is a tradition for us, we will focus on apples! I will post the activities we do as well as some links we use for our unit study later on. I will also post here in a bit more info on unit studies if you are interested in doing these with your kids (you do not have to be a homeschooler to do these-any family can have fun with these :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reasor's Sales and Coupon Match Ups 9/16

Here are some sales and some coupons match-ups I was able to find in the Reasor's ad this week :)

Dawn Dish Soap $1.00 each-.25cents/1 out of Home Made Simple coupon book =.75 cents

Luv’s Diapers $13.99 for a case -$5/1 Coupon (get coupon from Luvs)=$8.99

Land O Frost Lunch Meat $3.98 -.50cents off 1(8/09 RP)=$3.48 each

Im missing a bunch of coupons from the month of August, so if you find other deals you would like to share, please feel free to comment!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

102 Days Til Christmas!!!

Yikes! It is coming up fast and I have not started any sewing-not that I have alot to do but I don't want to be rushing my sewing at the last minute in December and would rather take that time to do some fun Christmas things with my kids!

Here are some more ideas for things you can make for Christmas gifts:

21 Free Sewing Patterns

Christmas Craft Projects including some kids can make :)

Crochet patterns

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

I made 2 big batches of waffles this week and that gives us about 2 breakfasts-lol! I will have to quadruple to recipe next time-or even more-in order to have a nice stash in the freezer :) I think I would like two waffle makers if I were to do that, though...waffles take a long time to make!

This week I am going to focus on getting my hubby ready for a trip he is taking to visit his mom in California. We also have shopping later in the week and a homeschool activity, so we will be busy this week!

My kids are doing great at making their own goals in school work. I was really wanting my oldest two to be resposible for their own, but this has trickled down to my 6th grader who has decided to start essays. I was shocked when he came up with an idea all on his own. So, we will be working together to accomplish that this week. This is his first essay, so he will need the guidance :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Goal Setting Sunday

I got quite a bit of my desk cleaned off-cleared out some coupons I had printed off and put some recipes in the recipe book. Still needs some work, but it feels better already :)

This week, I want to make a big batch of waffles to put up in the freezer. Perhaps some pancakes too. We have a fridge w/freezer in our garage that I know would love to be fed :)

What are some things you do to stay ahead of busy times? Feel free to comment. Or, do you ahve a goal you plan to work on this week? Please share! I would love to hear what others are doing!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

P & G Coupon Booklet Sign Up from Sav-A-Lot

Go here to sign up for a free coupon booklet from Sav-A-Lot for P&G coupons :)

Aren't Coupons Just for Junk Food?

I get asked this question all the time! You won't believe how often I get asked this :) If you coupon and share about your experience, I bet you have been asked this too. Or, I get told that there are better deals at Aldi. Yes, I know that as well :) I think there is a taboo that comes with people's thoughts on couponers-they must be buying only name brands all the time, they must be spending more than if they would just buy store brands, it has to be all junk or processed foods...
The only 'junk' or processed foods in my cabinet or freezer/fridge from this last shopping trip are-

snack packs for my husband's lunches (which I save right there when he takes a lunch instead of buying)-bought these with a coupon and it equals out to about 25 cents per package and will last him about 3 weeks.

frozen item-bought with coupon and it cost me only $1-this will be a quick dinner for DH one night when he doesn't want to eat leftovers-lol! He is not a leftover sort of guy unless I disguise it.

another frozen item-bought with coupon and it cost a $1-another quickie dinner for DH.

mac and cheese-store brand that I bought with a rancheck issued for a sale from 2 weeks ago. Quick meal for a busy night accompanied by good veggies and a protein.

Now, I know I have other processed things-these are just a couple deals I wanted to share. But I do have far more healthy things in my kitchen than processed. Yes, some were bought at Aldi, but some were bought using coupons and getting better deals from other stores with those coupons.

Frozen peas-used a coupons from and got the peas for 75 cents. These will last us a few meals.

Dish soap-big bottle, used coupon from and got it for 78 cents. This should last me over a month!

soy candles-free with coupon from a previous Sunday insert-and they smell so lovely!! Will be nice to light up when the cooler weather comes in :)

seasoning salt-also a coupon from free and it cost me only 36 cents-almost free :)

Basically-what I am trying to say is that coupons are out there for things you need or want-they are not just for cakes, frostings, junk foods, etc... And you can find some good deals. My trip to one store saved me about $2-not alot, but combine that with my trip to Walmart and I saved about 25% or more on my total shopping trip this paycheck! We have a budget of about $300-$350 each paycheck (depending on what I might need to stock up on or what we may be out of that particular week) and this time around, I kept my bill under $300. To be a bit more precise, it was right around $286-and that was with a special trip to Reasor's last night to pick up some sodas on sale for Labor Day and  for my DH's lunches. I am stocked up on ground beef for probably the whole month. I have a whole chicken that will make one meal this paycheck and a soup later on when the weather is a bit cooler. I have preformed burgers from Aldi for Labor Day cookout and some will be left over for another meal or quick dinner for DH. I even was able to buy a couple items for when the Holidays come-Im trying to stock up now so money will not be so tight during those times :)

Junk food-nope! Not even close! No good deals-hey, free candles are fun (and if there are no scents you might like-how about adding them into a present for a friend-or use it in a gift basket ;), and it is always a blast to buy items for less than a $1 or for almost free!! It does take time to learn all this coupon stuff when you start out, but it does add up! I estimated if I save even $20 per paycheck-paid bi-weekly-I can save us $520/year! That could make a nice family vacation for us! Or, it could be put aside into an emergency fund. Right now, it is blessing us to make it paycheck to paycheck :) Eventually, I hope to tuck away atleast half of what I save and keep it for a goal-like Christmas, a family trip, whatever we can decide on :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Food Pyramid Sales and Coupon Match Ups 9/02

Here are some sales and coupons matches from Food Pyramid:

Fresh Ground Round-$1.69/lb

Seedless Watermelon-$2.99

Lay's Chips-2/$3

Dutch Farm Cheese-block or shredded-2/$3

Ekrich jumbo franks or bologna-1b-99 cents


Pepsi, Mtn Dew and other Pepsi products-5/$12 w/ coupon on back of ad
Chinet Plates 12-36ct- 2 for $5-$1/1 (6/28 SS) = 1/$1.50

Hiland Sour Cream or Dips- .99cents-$.45/1  (7.12 SS) doubled = .09 cents

Pork Butt Shoulder Roast-99 cents/lb

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reasor's Sale and Match Ups-9/2

Here are the some deals for Reasor's this week :) If you did not get any Oklahoman Sunday papers this month, you might miss out on quite a few of these deals :(

Tomatoes on the vine-97 cents/lb

French Bread-10 for $10

London Broil Steak-$1.99/lb


Reser's Potato or Macaroni Salad 3lb $2.50 - $1.00 Printable  (you must sign up for their site-but that's ok, right ;) = $1.50 each

Pepsi and Mountain Dew 12 Packs- In ad coupon- Buy 4 get 5th one free= 5 for $12.00

Fresh Ground Beef-$1.68/lb

Blue Bell Ice Cream 1/2 Gallon - $4.00- $1.00 Printable (sign in or join their site, then click on "EXTRA SCOOPS")= $3.00 each

Kraft Cheese Chunks or Shreds -$1.66 each- $1.00/2 (8/9 RP Oklahoman)= $2.32 for 2 or $1.16 each

Philadelphia Cream Cheese- $1.25 each- $1.00/2 (8/9 RP Oklahoman)= $1.50 for 2 or 75 cents each

Kraft Singles- $1.50 each- $1.00/2 (8/9 RP Oklahoman)= $2.00 for 2

Nabisco Snack Crackers- $1.66 each- .75 cents/2 (8/23 SS Oklahoman)= $2.57 for 2 or $1.29 for each

Hiland Dips 16oz - .99 cents each- .45 (7/12 SS)= .54 cents each

Hiland Sour Cream -16oz  .99 cents each- .45 cents  (7/12 SS)= .54 cents each

Folgers Coffee-34.5 oz-$5.99

Totinos Pizza Rolls- $1.25 each- .40cents /2 (7/12 SS)= $2.10 for 2

Old Orchard Juice Concentrate-$1.33 each- $1.00/4 Printable here= $4.33 for 4 or $1.08 each
Crest Toothpaste -$1.88 each- .50 cents(8/30 PG)= $1.38 each
Kotex Pads -$2.79 each- $1.00 (7/19 SS)= $1.79 each
Oral B Indicator Toothbrushes -$1.69 each- B1G1 (8/23 RP Oklahoman)= $1.69 for 2 or 85 cents each

Suave Body Wash -$1.79 each- .50 cents (8/2 RP Oklahoman)= $1.29 each


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Eat lots of Dannon Yogurt? Then you will like this! Buy Dannon products (different amounts for different savings) and get money saving coupons for future purchases :) Don't forget to use coupons you might already have to buy those first products!