Thursday, January 21, 2010

Giant: Free Cottage Cheese

This week at Giant the Breakstone's Cottage Cheese doubles are $1 each. There is also a Catalina promo for $5 on your next order when you buy 5, making them free!

The $5 catalina coupon beeps and doesn't come off on subsequent transactions no matter what you do, so my store has been giving me the cash in exchange for them. Yesterday I did 3 back to back transactions of 5 cottage cheese each, paid the $5 cash out of pocket (each time), then the self check out/customer service worker took the catalinas and gave me $15 cash.

I believe this promo ends 1/24, but the cottage cheese doesn't expire until March. My kids don't like the jelly stir ins, so we only open the cottage cheese part. It makes a very easy snack to throw into the lunch box!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Sorry I missed posting last week's meals. I'll post them below this week's current menu.

While I'm not participating *really* in the Eat From the Pantry challenge, I have been trying to use up what we have and have gone back to my cash only grocery system which I got away from after baby #5 was born. I'm amazed how much just using cash and being intentional in my tracking has saved us!

This week I'm cleaning out the freezer.

Sunday: Leftover Italian pasta soup (from last week), biscuits, canned peaches and sliced apples. Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins for dessert.

Monday: Stromboli (ham or pepperoni), carrots.

Tuesday: Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, peas. Here's the full article for "fool-proof" grilled pork tenderloin. Includes brining tip and cooking instructions.

Wednesday: Chicken mushroom casserole (from freezer), broccoli, 5 minute Artisan bread.

Thursday: Pulled bbq chicken sandwiches. (shredded chicken from the freezer and homemade burger rolls from the freezer as well.) sweet potato fries, raw veggies.

Friday: Baked salmon, rice (make extra for Saturday), peas.

Saturday: Pork fried rice (with leftover tenderloin from Tuesday)

And last week:

Saturday: Trader Joes orange chicken, rice, brocolli

Sunday: Chicken pot pie, mashed potatoes, fruit.

Monday: Tomato, basil, spinach chicken over pasta.

Tuesday: Italian veggie soup, homemade rolls

Wednesday: Burgers, fries, apples

Thursday: Marsala chicken, leftover pasta from Monday.

Friday: Black beans and rice. (mix 1 can black beans with one can tomatoes and diced chilies)

Saturday: spaghetti and salad at 8isgreat's house.

As always, for more ideas check out Org Junkie!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help for Haiti

Like you, we've been shocked by the images we've seen this week from Haiti. This weekend lots of bloggers are joinging together to raise money for the relief efforts.

I thought I'd share how my husband and I decide on the amount of money we can give. We each take some time to think and pray about the amount of money we should give and settle on a figure. (alone) Then one person goes first and says the dollar amount they thought of. In 10 years of marriage I would say it's been the exact same amount about 95% of the time!

If you'd like to donate and need a reputable organization, please consider Catholic Relief Services. They are a great organization and do wonderful work.

Also, I know lots of Catholic churches are having a second collection this weekend specifically to aid the work of CRS in Haiti. We've told our kids about it and they want to help too, so they are going to be doing extra chores this weekend to earn money that they can put in the collection basket themselves.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weekly Meal Plan

I'm trying to get back on the wagon for posting weekly meal plans. This what our week looks like:

Saturday: Aidelles Basil Parmesan Chicken meatball rice soup, apple slices.

Sunday: Chicken Fettucine alfredo, peas, bruscetta, and birthday cake.

Monday: Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes (or baked sweet potato), corn.

Tuesday: Sirloin steak green salads, dinner rolls, strawberries.

Wednesday: Taco bake

Thursday: Leftover soup from Saturday and grilled cheese sandwiches and apple slices.

Friday: Spaghetti, green beans and garlic bread.

Harris Teeter Super Doubles

I'm not a Harris Teeter shopper (like 8isgreat is) but thought I'd link up to a very thorough post about HT Super Doubles finds:

Mrs. Moneysaver

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some last minute Amazon finds

Guess Who Extra, normally $27.99, now $9.99.

Strawberry Shortcake cloth Madame Alexander doll, normally $44.95, currently $9.99.

Set card game, normally $14.99, currently $5.99.

Melissa and Doug Cutting Food box. Was $19.99, now $9.99.

If you signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime (or have it already) all of these things can be delivered in time to be under your tree on Friday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homemade Christmas

In our family we have the tradition of the kids making gifts for each other. In the past they've come up with some great ideas and been able to pull them off with a bit of help from Mom.

Most were made from things we already had around the house, which makes them cheap too!

Hits from last year included:

Sleeping bags for their favorite stuffed animals:

Just sew up a fleece into a rectangle.

A car mat.
(the 3 yr old made this for the 5 yr old. He drew the path for the car, I cut it out and he helped me use the machine to sew it up. I cut out the houses and he glued on the windows.)

A tutu and a "dancing hoop"/crown:
For the tutu just cut long lengths of tulle and tie onto elastic. For the hoop tie different lengths of ribbon onto quilting/embriodery hoop.

The oldest sewed fleece pillows for each of her brothers. (no picture.)

The 5yr old made a "no-sew" blanket for the one year old to use in her car seat. (no picture) She liked playing with the fringe and it kept her cozy!

The almost 7 yr old made a resuable lunch bag for her dad's lunches. She sewed up a rectangle of fabric and added a drawstring.

This year the 6 yr old has made crayons for the almost 2 year old. He took all the broken bits and pieces of crayons, removed the paper and placed similar colors in the individual cups of my mini muffin pan. Tutorial here.

He also made a sacrifice chain for his big sister. She's been wanting one, and now she'll have one made with love by her little brother! Tutorial here.

The 4 yr old has made a decorated picture frame for a holy card of the 7 yr old's favorite saint:

He also has made a game for his nearly 2 yr old sister. (It's an idea 8isgreat gave me when my oldest was nearly 2.) He took a clean, empty parmesan cheese container, decorated it with stickers and cut drinking straws to place in it. Now she can shake them out and put them in individually through the tiny holes, or more than one at a time through the larger opening. She LOVES dumping stuff out and putting it back in so I know she'll really like this toy.

This year my almost 8 year old made a "Black Apple" doll for her little sister. She did most of it herself, tracing and cutting the pattern, picking out fabrics, sewing it up and stuffing it. It's all done (but the face to be painted). I'd love to share a picture of it but it's hiding in the same room as the almost 2 year old is sleeping in, so a link to the tutorial on Martha Stewart will have to do.
This is from Martha:

I also got into the act of homemade gifts last year. I'm no sew-er but I play one at my kitchen table this time of year!

I made:

Felt food:
There are lots of free patterns and ideas you can find just by searching "felt food" online. If you make some I'd suggest using wool felt since it will hold up better.

A frog bean bag/lilypad counting game:
I saw this idea and got the frog pattern somewhere online, but I can't remember where now.

Capes for each of the three biggest:
I found a free pattern online.

A babydoll "miracle blanket".
I looked at our regular miracle blanket and tried to size it down:
A baby doll sling. Really eay, just sew a loop of fabric and fold in half:

Bean bags with a drawstring bag. (no picture of the bag)
I think I cut these 4x3 inches and used yellow lentils to stuff. I started with black beans, but you could see the beans through the lighter colored fabric. These have been the biggest hit around here. They've become doll pillows, are hidden by one kid for the others to find, are used to help teach my almost 2 year old her colors, and thrown all around. (They love to hear the "splat" they make!)

Crayon rolls.
There are lots of tutorials online my my no sew-ers eyes start glazing over when I read words like "interfacing", so I just tried to wing it and used felt. They turned out cute. The one pictured was one I made earlier for a gift. In the ones I made for the kids I used regular fabric for the outside. (I put "Twistables in my kids's rolls.)

Eye Spy bags
I looked at several tutorials online and took bits and pieces of each and found what worked best for me. This is a quiet activity the kids like to pull out of the toy cabinet from time to time.

Appliqued Number Tshirts
Each kid got a tshirt with their age number appliques on.

Felt tic tac toe set.
Similar to this one on etsy, but I used felt backed baseball flannel fabric for the "o"s and used my ric rac cutters on the felt and made the "x"s stand alone, not on other circles. I also made it a pouch (sewed 2 pieces of felt together and made one longer so it could fold over and velcro to the back to hold all of the pieces inside.

I do have more ideas of things we've made or are making, but it's taken me two days to get this post together already and I just want to get it posted while it still might be of help to someone!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Melissa and Doug items at Amazon

In case you missed the Melissa and Doug birthday cake for $7.99 it's currently back for $9.99.

Also the Cutting Food Box is down to $14.99 and that's the lowest it's been for at least the two weeks that I've been monitoring it!

Also--AC Moore has all Melissa and Doug items "buy one, get one free" which would make each item $10. They run this sale regularly and every time I've tried to get them everything has been sold out by the time I get to the store. If there's a week the Melissa and Doug stuff isn't on sale it's possible to use your 40 or 50% off coupons.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toys R Us: Rose Petal Cottage, Sweet Lily castle

Toys R Us has the entire line of Rose Petal Cottage, Sweet Lily Castle, and market place line at least 70% off this week. The Sweet Lily Castle that's selling for $118 on Amazon is $29.99 in the store.

The Rose Petal Cottage rings up $14.99

The Cherry Blossom Market is $10.49.

The food sets are $5.10, the washer and sink sets are $9 and and the baby set (crib and changing table are $12.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

For your doll lover

American Girl Doll Tees: Sparkling Shirts Make Your Doll Shine! was $19.99 now $11.66 and qualifies for free shipping.

This looks like a neat craft kit for your favorite doll lover.

This will find it's way under the tree this year for my oldest. I actually picked it up at Michael's using a 40% off coupon a few weeks ago, but this comes up a bit cheaper and there's no tax and it qualifies for free shipping! Since I already bought one at Michaels I plan on keeping that onefor my daughter to bring to a friend's birthday party and I'll ship this one from Amazon to my in-law's house so that's one less thing for us to have to pack and bring!