Thursday, December 29, 2011

More And More Crafting

Last night I went through my stash and got up ALL of my green yarns. There are some very interesting shades. Some are muted, muddier greens while others are bright, neon greens. I brought them out to the living room and started on Project Linus Afghan #6. I am not sure how this one is going to turn out with all of the different hues but, I guess since they are all shades of green, it should work right? I'll post pics when completed.

I think this is how I will be pulling the colors together for the next few Project Linus afghans, by color. I do have some variegated yarns but am not sure of how to incorporate those into afghans yet.

Also, when going through my stash (Hubby had a great idea of organizing the closet RIGHT before Christmas), I found some sock yarn I completely forgot I had bought (along with a LOT of other yarns I don't remember purchasing). So, I CO some socks for me! The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in the Martinique colorway. Green, blues, fuchsia and purple stripes! LOVE the colors! But why did I put it away never to be made into luscious socks? Who knows but already I am to the heel turn on the first sock, knitting toe-up of course so I can make them as tall as possible! I will also post pics when complete.

Hoping you all have a fun, festive and safe New Years this weekend! I know I will be home, getting tipsy with the Hubby and listening to my favorite 80's music until midnight (who knows, I may even decide to break out the old dance moves)lol! Can't wait for the wine and rum to flow (no, I am not a lush, just love to occasionally let loose)!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Project Linus Afghan #5....Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Just finished afghan #5 for Project Linus. This one the color combination worried me. That was until my teenaged daughter told me the colors go great together! So, I trusted her in this one. It reminds me of chocolate dipped strawberries hence the name. LOL

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Been Crocheting Away!

After finding our local chapter for Project Linus, I immediately got busy crocheting some afghans! I got my inspiration from Linda of Alottastitches and all of her beautiful afghans she makes for charity. Mine are nowhere near as beautiful but I think they will be just as loved by the child that receives them! Here are the ones I made so far!

Afghan #1:

Afghan #2:

Afghan #3:

Afghan #4:

All four were made with yarn from my stash. I'm not sure if #3 or #4 is my favorite so far. I hope to be able to finish 1 more before December 31st!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SO Happy!

I have been crocheting for 30+ (gulp) years and knitting for about 10. And I have been looking for a local charity to donate to. After searching for a while I finally found one in my area!

Project Linus

Project Linus Raleigh Chapter

My son Phillip (who was stillborn in 93) and my daughter Summer were both born at Wake Med. Also, Duke hospital saved Summer's live last Dec 21. She was hemorrhaging internally from a ruptured blood vessel ( a blood vessel that wasn't supposed to be there) and they caught it in time! So, both hospitals are close to my heart.

I will be posting photos of the afghans I make for donation as Linus Blanket #1, Linus blanket #2, etc... My goal is to donate 12 afghans over next year. 1 a month! I hope I can accomplish it with everything else I have going on!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu:

We did our shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner today. Here what is on our menu:

*Bacon Crescent Appetizers
*Cheese Ball With Crackers
*Deviled Eggs
*Roasted Turkey with Rosemary, Lemon & Orange
*Mashed Potatoes
*Green beans
*Cranberry Sauce
*Pumpkin Pie
*Apple Pie

It just going to be the 5 of us so, I may be over cooking! But, the leftovers will be great! What is on your menu for Thanksgiving?

Week Of Crafting

Been having a lot on my mind lately. Marriage problems that we are working through, my children getting older, finding out that I have to have 2 root canals and a couple of Jeff's long-time friends passed away (1 was murdered, 1 passed due to cancer) both were in their 40's. So, what do I do when I need to straighten out my own thoughts? I knit and/or crochet! It gives me time to really think and sort through things. I don't know why, just seems to help if my hands are busy. Here is what I am working on at this time!

The BIG UGLY! Wide enough for a king size bed. Using whatever yarn I have!

A beanie for Jeff:

And Michael's Beanie:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What a Weekend!

Whew! What a weekend! Saturday we went to Ray Price Harley Davidson's open house. This was my first biker event even though Jeff has been riding a bike for over 20 years. I really enjoyed myself. I use to ride with him when we dated AGES ago but, just recently started riding with him again about 3 months ago. LONG story but... Ladies, if your man is REALLY into something, and I mean PASSIONATE about it, get involved too..if not, you will be missing out on some GREAT wifey points!

Once I decided to enjoy was a blast! Riding on the back of the bike was so fun. The other bikers were SO very nice. I have to admit, I WAS scared about all of the "rough" biker crap that is out there at first. But, it's SO not true! I think I have become a convert FAST! I bought some boots and a new jacket (the pink line of course). We had some really good BBQ, heard some great music, met some really nice people and bonded quite a bit.

Then we rode to the Fair Grounds for a car show. It didn't take long for Jeff to find someone who had a Charger in the show to strike up a conversation with. 2 hours later I had to drag him away, lol. His wife and I clicked and had conversations about the kids, cars, hobbies, etc... during that time. It was actually a good time.

Then we headed to our local tattoo parlor per Jeff's request. we have been talking about getting a matching tattoo for a few weeks now. Nothing with each other's name's or sappy crap like that but, something that represents our children. Something that would MEAN something to our family. We have decided that it has to include hearts and wings, perhaps even a halo to represent the son we lost. We found some things that were close to what we had in mind but nothing exact. So, we are going to ask our oldest son to sketch something for us. I think it would have more meaning. Now Jeff has to decide where he wants his put. I already know mine will be over my heart, I don't care how much it hurts. (I've given birth 5 times with no pain meds, the ink will be a breeze)! LOL

That was MY weekend, how was YOURS?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Re-Thinking The Bedroom

Yes, you read the title correctly. Here lately, I have been looking at my bedroom and it is REALLY starting to bother me. I have SO much in there that really should be addressed. Bins (and I mean HUGE bins) of yarn stacked half-way to the ceiling, my collection of dolls, an elliptical machine, play pens, a basket of clothes that need to be put away, my Hubby's desk, two sets of filing cabinets and ALL the paperwork that needs to be shredded. These are items that keep my bedroom from being a tranquil oasis for Jeff and I.
I REALLY need to tackle the problem, have for a LONG time, but where to start? That is what gets me every time. WHERE do I put all that yarn, my collectible dolls, the play pens, etc. The reason they wound up in my room to begin with is there was no where else to put them! But, I SO want my bedroom to be a romantic, relaxing environment! I would LOVE to walk into a room like the ones pictured below:

Don't they just look SOOOOO inviting? Now, how to get the junk out. I don't have the $ to go out and buy all new everything. I have to work with what we already have. I could swing new paint but, that is about it. The wheels are turning!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bad, BAD Blogger!

I cannot believe it has been almost 3 months since my last post! BAD BAD BLOGGER!
Lots has been going on here at the Jenkins house. My oldest daughter moved out, then moved back home. Boy troubles with my youngest daughter had taken over for a bit and my Dad wound up in the ICU after a kidney stone surgery that went awry! Life is NEVER dull. But, things are calming down and my Dad is back home after a BIG scare for all of us.

I decided to re-name my blog. There is just too many other interesting things to write about besides couponing. So, there will be some changes. I plan to post a little of everything. Crafting I am doing at the moment, family things, daycare happenings and funnys, recipes I fall in love with and of course, couponing and managing the house. Maybe some marriage helps here and there too....who knows! (we know after a few years, we can all use some ideas there). I hope this rounds out the blog better also. Makes it a more interesting read for you. So, sit back and enjoy the ride, let me know what you think!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

We are going to my youngest son Robert's Graduation from AIT this week in Fort Eustis, VA so, the menu will only be 3 days this week. We leave out Thursday morning and will not be back until sometime Sunday. I can't wait to see him!

Here is my SHORT menu:

-Breakfast: Eggs/Ham/Toast/Milk
-Lunch: Turkey and cheese Sammies/Carrot sticks/Grapes/Milk
-Dinner: Ham/Mashed Potatoes/Salad/Tea
-Snacks: Dry Cereal/Juice
Cheese Sticks/Juice

-Breakfast: Waffles/Banana/Milk
-Lunch: Ravioli/Salad/Applesauce/Milk
-Dinner: Leftover Ham/Pasta Salad/Green Beans/Tea
-Snacks: Rice Crispies Treats/Juice
Carrot Sticks/Ranch Dip/Juice

-Breakfast: Cereal/Peaches/Milk
-Lunch: PB&J Sammies/Banana/Milk
-Dinner:Rosemary Garlic Chicken/Rice/Salad/Tea
-Snacks: Cheese crackers/Juice
Oatmeal Cookies/Juice

Of course I don't indulge in the starches follow low-carb and have either coffee or crystal light to drink!

For more menu inspiration, go on over to Org.Junkie and get inspired!

Update on Low-Carb and Great Deal This Week!

Sorry it has been a month since my last post. Life has been crazier than usual.

Low-carb is still going strong. I have lost 27 pounds. I seem to have hit a plateau the past three weeks and that is ok. I found a bread by Merita that only has 5 grams of carbs per slice. It doesn't have much taste but beats using lettuce for sandwiches.

On the couponing side. It seems like the great deals I was finding are getting fewer and further between. I did, however, find a GREAT deal on playtex tampons this week at Food Lion. They are on sale for $2.99 for a box, I had $2.00 off coupons and got them for $0.99 a box! I stocked up with as many as I could get.

That is my great seal for the week! What was yours?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week #2 Down and I Cleared a Shelf Shopping!

Week #2 low-carb down! I've lost a total of 16 pounds and have lost 8 inches off of my waist in two weeks! The cravings have completely gone. My appetite has returned to normal. and I feel great! I get to add berries and nuts this week! WooHooo! Only 31 pounds to go!

On th couponing front...I cleared my first shelf yesterday. Did I feel bad??? Not at all! Food Lion had the Bic Soleil razors on clearance for $3.99 each, and I had $3.00 off coupons! So, I bought all they had! I had been there week after week and someone else had cleared them out before I even got there so....I grabbed them up. With 3 women in the family, they will be used quickly.

I spent $65 total this week. Saved $125! Still sticking to budget!

Will post my Menu later after the daycare kiddies go home! Have a GREAT day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Week #1 Of The Low-Carb Down!

Today marks the completion of week 1 on low carb! I have lost a whopping 10 pounds! I have shed the excess water I was having to take medication for and now do not have to take the meds at all! I have more energy and seem to be sleeping better. And the cravings have vanished!

I am eating more now that I ever did before! Seems like I am always putting something in my mouth where before I was skipping meals and snacks TRYING to lose a couple of pounds (never worked).

I found a great mock chocolate "pudding" recipe that has been a life saver for the sugar cravings! Here it is for you!

-2 Tbsp. whipping cream
-1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 packet splenda
-1 or 2 drops of vanilla extract

Mix all the above ingredients until a "mouse" consistency is reached. Enjoy! Only 3 grams of carbs and SOOOOO good for a chocolate or sugar craving!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Here is the menu for the week. don't forget to head over to Org.Junkie for lots of new ideas!

*Daycare Breakfast Choices:
-grilled cheese/pears/milk

*Daycare Lunch Choices:
-PB&J/carrot sticks/dip/apple slices/milk
-pizza/green beans/pineapple/milk
-tuna salad sandwich/corn/fruit salad/milk
-hot dogs/fries/banana/milk

*Daycare Snack Choices:
-oatmeal cookies/juice
-cheese and crackers/juice
-dry cereal/juice
-graham crackers with peanut butter/juice

I will post my Low-Carb Menu in a bit...the daycare kiddies are calling! LOL


-scrambled eggs/ham/coffee
-omelet made with onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese
-sausage with cheese and slices tomato
-egg salad stuffed celery sticks
-ham with swiss cheese and asapragus

-Chef Salad
-chicken salad on lettuce cups
-hamburger patty with sliced mushrooms and swiss cheese/ side salad
-hot dogs no bun/ baked turnip fries
-leftover buffet

-Chicken stir-fry without rice
-BBQ ribs/ green beans/ roasted broccoli
-meatloaf/ mashed cauliflower/ squash
-lemon-pepper chicken/ tomato slices/ side salad
-chicken alfredo served over spaghetti squash/ side salad

-Hot & spicy pork rinds
-cheddar cheese and pepperoni slices
-celery stuffed with cheese
-pepperoni chips
-vienna sausages

Sunday, July 10, 2011

5 Days In with Low Carb & Shopping Trip

Today is 5 complete days of my new low carbohydrate diet. And I must say that it is going better than I expected. The first 2 1/2 days I CRAVED my daily popcorn fix but nothing else. I did give in on Wednesday and had a snack sized bag (only 16 grams of carbs total), but since then the craving has seemed to disappear.

I have lost 10 pounds in 5 days! The swelling in my stomach,legs and ankles has completely gone away! I have lost 6 inches off of my waist so far! I feel so much better! It's hard to believe that removing high-carb foods has made such a difference!

We did our weekly shopping today. I made sure I bought enough for me to snack on if needed (one thing I learned this past week). Salmon and a lot of fresh veggies were added to this week's list.

We decided to not worry about too much couponing this trip. Mainly what we needed was fresh veggies, meats and dairy. here was our total for the week:


Not our usual savings but as I said, a lot of it was veggies. We stopped at the produce stand and I splurged on tomatoes, green beans, squash, celery, romaine, mushrooms, cantaloupe for Jeff and some onions.

We also picked up oxy clean, fabric softener, low-carb wraps,a variety of cheeses, chicken, ham, milk, heavy cream, eggs, pickles, pepperoni, creamer, splenda, oil, salmon, tuna, deviled ham, and crystal light. There were some snacks for the kids in there also that I got on-sale combine with coupons. All and all not that bad considering that I had everything I needed besides MY needs LOL

I will work on my menu plan tonight and have it posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How I Plan To Do Low-Carb

I've been thinking about this whole low-carb diet. At first I was so bummed. I mean, I am not a sweets person at all so, going without cookies, candy, etc.. isn't a problem (I don't eat them anyway). But the bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc... is where I know I am going to have the problem.

At first I was just dreading it. Thinking about all of the foods I am not going to be able to have. Then I realized that I was looking at it all wrong! Instead of concentrating on the "forbidden" items, I should concentrate on the allowed items. And, maybe try to recreate some lower-carb versions of my high-carb favorites.

For example, this morning I was trying to figure out what I was going to have for brunch (I do not usually eat my first meal until 10am or later). The box of cereal was so tempting and would be quick and easy. But, a no-no now. So I started thinking about my options. I didn't feel like any type of eggs at all! I opened the fridge and pulled out some leftover grilled chicken breasts from last night. Hmmmm, what to go with? I spotted the tomatoes and knew! I made oven roasted tomatoes topped with garlic, basil and melted mozzarella cheese. It was SO Yummy! Like bruschetta without the bread lol. Even my youngest daughter had some and liked it (she is the only other person in the house that eats tomatoes).

Tonight will be easier. Hot dogs with chili, onions and mustard (no bun) and homemade low-carb coleslaw for me. Regular hot dogs with corn on the cob for every one else. Tomorrow I may have eggs for breakfast...may not. LOL

So, I am starting to switch my thinking about what to eat and when. There is no reason I cannot have dinner for breakfast! And by substituting some ingredients I may be able to still enjoy some favorite foods. We will see. I am searching the web for good low-carb inspiration now (:

Week #1 Of The Low-Carb On A Budget Challenge.

Starting the low-carb challenge today. This is going to be interesting. We did our weekly shopping yesterday and of course, I had to buy extra meats and veggies. Luckily shopping with coupons helped make it cheaper for us. What did I have to buy extra?
* Beef to add to my salads
* 1 package of boneless chicken breast
* Extra Eggs
* Bacon (usually only buy occasionally)
* Roma Tomatoes
* 1 head of cabbage
* Mushrooms
* Pickles (to replace my usual popcorn snack daily)
* 1 bag of stir-fry veggies

That is in addition to what I normally have to purchase. We spent a total of $75 for the week! And, here is the Menu Plans for the week (1 for me and 1 for everyone else). For tons of new menu ideas, please check out Menu Plan Monday's at The Org.Junkie!

Breakfast Choices:
*Banana Nut Bread/milk
*Blueberry pancakes/sausage/milk

Low-Carb Breakfast Choices:
*Cheese omelet/coffee
*eggs with swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms/coffee
*Bacon and Eggs
*Tomatoes toasted with mozzarella cheese and basil
*leftovers from the night before

Lunch Choices:
*Sweet & Sour Chicken/rice/milk
*Ravioli/fruit salad/milk
*Hot dogs/fries/apples/milk
*Ham & Cheese sandwich/carrot sticks/grapes/milk

Low-Carb Lunches:
*Grilled Chicken/Salad
*Cheese Steaks without the bun/salad
*Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo using Spaghetti Squash
*Leftovers from the night before
*Chef Salad

Dinner Choices:
*Ribs/Pasta Salad/Green Beans (no pasta salad for me)
*BBQ chicken/mashed potatoes/corn (chicken and salad for me)
*Spaghetti and Meatballs (using spaghetti squash for mine)
*Lemon pepper chicken/rice/green beans (no rice for me)
*Eat-out night

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week #4 Menu Plan & New Challenge

I am preparing for a new challenge next month. The doctor has put me on a low-carb diet to help treat my PCOS. So, I am going to challenge myself to stick to budget while eating low carb. I'm contemplating on keeping the budget $75 or bumping it up to $100 to cover the cost of the extra proteins and veggies that will be the bulk of my diet. I'm calling this challenge the Low-Carb On A Budget Challenge!

This week's Menu plan is going to be a usual for my family. Nothing really exciting or new. For TONS of more menu ideas, please check out the great site Org.Junkie!So here is the last Menu for the $75 a week Challenge:

Breakfast Choices:
-cold cereal/banana/milk
-blueberry muffins/milk
-English muffins/applesauce/milk

Lunch Choices:
-turkey sandwiches/green beans/apple slices/milk
-baked chicken/pasta salad/milk
-PB& banana sandwiches/corn/milk
-grilled cheese/mixes veggies/fruit salad/milk

Dinner Choices:
-Italian chicken/yellow rice/green beans (Tonight's Dinner)
-Smoked pork tenderloin/macaroni salad/corn
-BBQ Chicken/potatoes/side salad
-Pork loin chops/rice/salad
-Chicken Fajitas/corn
-HM pizzas/salad/milk

Snack Choices (all snacks are served with 100% fruit juice):
-cheese and crackers
-chocolate chip cookies
-veggie sticks and dip

That is the plan for this week! Now to start preparing for my upcoming challenge!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Last Shopping Trip For the Challenge!

Today I did my last shopping trip for the month! We really didn't need much, just some meats, kitty litter, bread, lunch items for Kirstey, etc. Food Lion is having a great promotion going on right now and it's our one store we shop at every week, so I did buy items for my stockpile too.

Here is what I got:
-2 boxes of microwave popcorn (my FAVORITE snack)
-2 packages of Chips Ahoy Cookies
-2 boxes of Town House crackers
-1 package of English Muffins
-1 loaf of bread
-4 boxes of Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats (3 different varieties)
-1 box of Tetley Tea bags
-2 Hormel Complete's Meals (Kirstey's lunch)
-3 Hormel Completes Kids Meals
-2 lbs of long grain white rice (long-term stockpile in case TSHTF)
-1 lbs of dried pinto beans (long-terms stockpile in case TSHTF)
-46 Yakisoba Noodle meals (long-term stockpile in case TSHTF
-1 brick of Maxwell House Coffee
-2 bottles of A-1 Marinade
-1 jar of Vlasic Dill Pickles
-2 packages of brown gravy
-1 whole chicken
-1 whole pork loin
-2 Lunchables
-1/4 lb deli turkey
-1 1/2 pound fresh peaches
-1 1/2 pound bananas
-4 frozen burritos
-1 package klondike Crunch bars
-1 bottle of pine sol
-1 aluminum foil
-1 Tidy cats Kitty Litter (24 lbs)
-1 package of Scott paper towels (8 rolls)
-1 each Aussie Shampoo and Conditioner

Total Retail: $144.66
Total OOP: $74.61
Total Saved: $70.05

Here are the Month Totals:
OOP: $290.06
Retail: $596.37
Total Saved: $306.36

I spent in a MONTH what we use to spend a WEEK! And we have eaten just fine, maybe better than before. And my stockpile is growing too big for my cabinets! And, if you consider that I am use to spending $1,000 a made a HUGE difference in being able to get caught up on our bills! I saved $700!

I plan on keeping this up! Maybe not $75 a week, but I think $100 a week is a great number for us. Now to celebrate!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What A Week!

My Hubby, Jeff, Was in a car accident Tuesday. He is fine, thank goodness. A woman ran a stop sign and he hit her at 55 mph. He then slid another 130 feet... hitting some road construction equipment and taking out a 6 foot cinder block pump house. His work van was completely ruined. But, he walked away without a scratch. Either that man has nine lives or extremely good luck!

Unfortunately the people in the other vehicle weren't as lucky. There were 4 people in the car. A woman driver - age unknown, her mother who is 50 and two children ages 5 and 2. All The were thrown from the car but the driver. No one had a seat belt on and the children were NOT in car seats or booster seats( even though there were car seat in the car)! The two children landed in the middle of the highway! We still do not know the conditions of everyone in the other car. I can only hope and pray that everyone is ok.

Please....anyone who drives a vehicle and is responsible for children.... remember that YOU have to make sure those sweet babies are safe! You as the matter what! They cannot do it themselves.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week #3 of The $75 A Week Challenge

Since today was Sunday, we did our weekly shopping. We only went to our local Food Lion, we didn't feel like spending all day shopping and the deals weren't THAT great this week anyway.

I thought there would be no way I could meet the $75 this week with Kirstey moving back home and being TOTALLY out of meats but I came pretty darn close!

Total Retail: S250.29
Total OOP: $87.15
Total Saved: $167.14

Only $12.15 over budget for the week and $5 of that was a watermelon that Jeff HAD to have and with it being Father's Day I couldn't say no. LOL

Total for the Month so far: $217.45
leaving me with $82.55 for the rest of the month.

Next week is Super Doubles at our local Harris Teeter. I hope to hit the deals, buy our "needs" and still be under or right at budget! We will see how that goes.

Also, Robert will be visiting July 4th. He gets a 4 day leave from AIT! We are planning a cookout with the whole family coming. I hope to still keep budget. I have about 8 packages of hot dogs in the freezer so, I know 1 of the items I will be serving. Maybe a macaroni salad of some type since I have so much pasta in the stockpile. I have TONS of canned veggies thanks to this week's .33 cents a can sale.

So I KNOW part of the menu!
Hot Dogs
Sweet Potato Fries
Macaroni Salad
Fried Corn (a Southern Thing)

I'll add to the menu as I see great deals the next two weeks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Weekend

Here it is, another weekend with Jeff being on call. I hate it when he works 70+ hours in a week. Not only do I miss him but, I worry. Since he works in commercial HV/AC, he can get injured VERY easily if he isn't paying 100% attention to what he is doing. And when you are exhausted, it's hard to give 100% of your attention to anything.

I ordered some new toys for the daycare yesterday. I had been wanting to get either a climber with a slide or some cozy coupes for a LONG time. I finally broke down and bought two of Fisher Price's version of the cozy coupes. One is pink and one is teal. I hope the daycare kiddies like them! I will purchase a climber/slide next month if I have the funds available. Luckily every toy I purchase is 100% tax deductible as a business expense!

I have already started planning this coming weekend's shopping trips. Again we will need a few basics. Sugar, bread, eggs, milk, juice, kitty litter, etc. This week we will definitely have to buy meats. I am down to only 1 package of ground beef, 3 packs of hot dogs and some ham in the freezer. And since Kirstey has moved back home I need to make sure I have things for her to pack for her lunch. I so hope there are some great sales! LOL Even if there isn't, I'll make it work. I am doing my best to stick to my $75 budget! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week #2 Menu Plan

Sorry I completely forgot to post this week's menu plan. It's been busy-busy here with my daycare (I am open 24/7) and Jeff worked 30 hours just this past weekend (on top of his regular 40). So, yesterday we were both exhausted.

My oldest daughter called last night informing me that she is moving back home. Hopefully I will still be able to keep the food bill to $75 a week or less. I am going to try my best!

So, here is the plan for the week. This is not just for my family but for the daycare kiddies as well. When running and operating a daycare, you HAVE to have a plan. If not, you'll have five 2 year olds all screaming "eat-eat" and you desperately trying to throw something together last minute. LOL- Believe me NOT a good start to the day! lol

*Cold cereal/milk/apple juice
*Cinnamon buns/peaches/ milk
*HM blueberry muffins/milk

*PB&J/carrot sticks with dip/milk
*Mac & Cheese/green beans/fruit salad/milk
*Hot Dogs/sweet potato fries/ grapes/milk
*leftovers from dinner
*HM mini pizzas/salad/milk

*Oven fried chicken/mashed potatoes/succotash
*Taco salad
*Chicken stir fry/ rice
*Meatloaf/ baked potatoes/roasted root veggies
*BBQ chicken/fettuccine alfredo/green beans
*Leftover night

Snacks:(ALL snack are served with 100% juice)
*HM cookies
*Veggies and dip
*cheese and crackers
*HM granola
*Dry Cereal (the kiddies LOVE it)

That's the choices for this week! Got to find some new recipes for chicken and ground beef LOL.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week #2 of The $75 A Week Challenge

Well, this week's shopping is done and I did pretty good. First we went to Walmart. Total retail was $59.08, OOP was $38.54 for a total saved of $19.50. I had to buy cat food which was $20 of the total but, it will last at least 2 weeks (hopefully 3). One of my best unadvertised finds was Finnish Quantum tabs on clearance for $2.97...paired with three $1 off coupons so I got them for $1.97 each box!

Second store was Food Lion. Total retail was $108.54, OOP was $66.53 for a total savings of $41.99. My we had to pick up kitty litter, bread, flour, freezer bags, tea, sugar and some other odds and ends. One of my best unadvertised deals I found were Borden Sensations cheese was marked down to $1.66 each. I had four $1 off coupons so I picked them up for $0.66 each! Then there was the canned kitty food that I got for $.25 a can! Our outside kitty gets dry and wet to keep her weight up. She is SO small (only 4lbs.) compared to our giants in the house (my kitty Little Bit is 12lbs., Sabrina is 9lbs, Mysti is 12lbs., Felix is 34lbz, and Rupert is 42lbs).

So, total OOP for the week is $105.07
Last week's total was $25.23
Total for the month so far: $130.30 or an average of $65.15 per week.

So far so good at $300 or less for the month of June! Next week I know I will have to buy some meats but, hoping to use my $ off Catalinas I got today to help cover the cost.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Challenge Is Helping!

Well, I wouldn't have believed it if it hasn't happened to me but, just following the challenge has helped us get current on some bills we were behind on for a while. First, the electric got shut off. We got it paid up (the same day) PLUS have a $150 credit towards next month! Then, this past Thursday, the cable got turned off. Again, we got it current the same day. We had been living a month behind on both for a LONG time.

Then, today Jeff informed me that we should have enough money this paycheck to get current on the mortgage! He has worked a LOT of over time this past week and will have a GREAT check! So, we will be current on ALL of our bills! I can't even remember the last time this has been true!

How has the challenge helped towards this? Well, if I had spent my normal $150 - $200 for groceries each of the past couple of weeks, we wouldn't have had the extra funds to get current! We also had some extra $ so my youngest daughter, Summer, could go take a road trip to the beach with some friends for the weekend (parents are supervising of course). It was her 17th birthday this past Tuesday so we figured it was a great birthday gift.

It's been a great experience so far. I have learned a lot about the way we consume everything and has me thinking. Wonder what the next couple of weeks hold!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So Far-So Good!

We are mid-week through the first week of the challenge and I must admit, it is going a LOT smoother than I expected. We haven't had to make any more trips to the stores, and still have tons of items in the stockpile to choose from!

I have run out of a couple of staple items. I am out of AP flour after Friday night's pizzas. I am out of freezer bags for storage. And I am down to my last 4 tea bags (I don't know what I am going to do without my sweet tea)! But, I am not making a trip to the store until our normal shopping days (Saturdays and/or Sundays). When I use the last of the tea bags (tomorrow) I will make Kool-Aid and coffee (so I don't go through caffeine withdrawl).

I am surprised on how well the homemade pizzas went Friday night. With Jeff being from New Jersey, he is very picky about his pizza! And his comment of my Italian Sausage pizza being "pretty good" is the best compliment I could hope to get from him. And the Hawaiian pizza, the daycare kids even loved it! And they both had whole wheat crust and cost me less than $5 a pizza to make!

The only downside to the challenge has been that I am having to plan things out more and I am spending more time in the kitchen preparing meals. Which isn't a bad thing. At one time I LOVED to cook BIG meals. But, over the years as I had more children and started my daycare, meals just became routine.

And, I can't believe it but I still have PLENTY of food choices for next week! I thought by now we would be running a lot lower than we are! So, next week it shouldn't be too hard to keep my budget of $75!

So Far So Good!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Week #1 of The $75 A Week Challenge

After the wrench thrown into our budget this week, I am glad we had already decided on this challenge. Jeff did the first shopping trip for the week today for me since I have the daycare kids (I am NOT krazi enough to try to shop with a bunch of 2 year olds in tow). I will add any trips to the store to this post as the week progresses (I know I am going to need more milk).

2-64oz bottles of apple juice
10 packets of Kool Aid
2 baby wipe refills
3 lbs. of rice

Total Retail: $13.64
Total OOP: $5.11 (yep... that's right)

Trip #2-Food Lion: (Jeff forgot the coupons in his truck!)
1 lb. Mozzarella Cheese $2.49
1 bottle white wine $7.99
1 gallon 2% milk $3.79
1 package of U by Kotex Tampons $4.69

Total this trip: $20.12

Total for the week OOP: $25.23! Well below the $75.00 limit.

I have also worked out the menu plan for the week. Here is the plan:

Dinner: HM Sausage Pizza,HM Hawaiian Pizza,Salad

Breakfast: Cinnamon Buns, Juice, Milk, Coffee for me
Lunch: Turkey Sandwiches, Salad, Peaches
Dinner: Rosemary Garlic Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Brownies

Breakfast: Eggs,Toast,Cantaloupe,Milk,Coffee for Me
Lunch: Chicken Salad on Lettuce, Bread and Butter, Milk
Dinner: HM Spaghetti and Meatballs,Salad

Breakfast: Cereal, Milk, Juice and Coffee for me
Lunch: Open faced Meatball Sandwiches, Green beans, Juice
Dinner: BRINNER Eggs, Country Ham, Biscuits, Maybe Pancakes

Breakfast: Omelets, Peaches, Milk, Coffee For Me
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit Cocktail, Milk
Dinner: Cajun Pork Chops, Rice, Corn

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Bananas, Milk, Coffee For Me
Lunch: Ravioli, Mixed Veggies, Applesauce, Milk
Dinner: Chicken Casserole, Green Beans

Breakfast: Waffles, Pineapple, Milk, Coffee For Me
Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese, Green beans, Juice
Dinner: Leftover Buffet

Breakfast: Cereal, Milk, Juice
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches, Salad, Milk, Fruit
Diner: Meatloaf, Roasted Potatoes, Corn

Snack choices for the week:
Pretzels with honey mustard dip
Cookies and Milk
Carrot Sticks and Ranch Dip
Cheese Crackers
Apple Slices with Peanut Butter-Honey Dip

That's the plan! Turned out I have a lot more than I thought-LOL

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What A Day!

Today started out as usual. The daycare kiddies arriving, getting them fed and starting the day's curriculum. Lunch and nap time came without a hitch. Then all heck broke loose! The power went out-right in the middle of the kiddie's TV time and Sponge Bob was on! They really it the roof! I called Jeff to see if he knew what was going on. Our electric bill was due today so I had a sneaking suspicion. Sure enough, even though Jeff had set the payment to be transferred today... they STILL turned off power! So, in order to get it turned back on, we had to pay $300! We had set the original payment to be transferred at the end of the day so we had to try to cancel that transaction, and no go! So, even though we paid them in FULL with the $300...they will be getting the original amount that we had budgeted on top of it! Which usually wouldn't be that bad but, the mortgage is coming out tomorrow and now there isn't enough in the bank to cover it! ARGGGGG!

So, it looks like I will be WAY below my $75 budget because we don't have it! BUT, on s good note now I see how my stockpile is going to save us! I have so much stocked up that milk and juice will be the only things I have to buy for the whole week! I am still going to get my free deals this week but nothing else for the stockpile. I am going to have to get creative with our Dinner menu but, it may actually be fun! Already thinking ahead, preparing for my $75 a week challenge, I cooked a whole chicken yesterday and got 3 meals worth of chicken and 8 cups of broth made and in the freezer.

This challenge is going to start out with a BANG! LOL

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This Coming Week's Plan!

Okie Dokie, I've looked over all of my local grocery store's sales ads and have come up with a list on needed/ stockpile items for the week.

From Kroger:
**3 Minute Maid Punches ...$3.00
**? 5 lbs. of Kroger Ground Beef....$10.00
**? 10 lb Bag of Kroger Leg Quarters.....$6.00
**3 Snuggle Fabric Softener (stockpile)....$9.00
**3 1lb bags of Mahatma Rice (stockpile).....FREE
**6 bottles Old Orchard Juice (Stockpile)....$6.00
**15 packets Kool Aide (Stockpile).....FREE

Total At Kroger: $34.00

From Food Lion:
**2 Green bell Peppers....$1.50
**1 loaf of Nature's Own Bread.....$2.00
**10 Bottles of Power Aid.....$7.00
**1 Scott TP (12 roll)....$6.00
**1 Scott Paper Towels (6 mega rolls) $5.00
**1 Gallon Milk....$3.00
**3 bottles Purex Liquid Laundry Detergent (Stockpile)....$6.00

Total at Food Lion: $31.00

That would leave me with $10 left for the week for fresh fruit/ veg at our local road-side stand (less than 1/2 a mile from my house).

That is the plan!


I have been debating all day about the laundry detergent, chicken and ground beef purchases. I have very limited freezer space and I have 3 packages of chicken, 5lbs of ground beef, 3 lbs of pork lion, 1 lb of italian sausage, 1 package of steak, 2 three-pound packages of spiral sliced ham left over from Easter and 7 packages of hotdogs. We eat chicken every other night due to it being Jeff's favorite protein source! And the laundry detergent....I have a 6-month supply! Do I really need the extra for the stockpile this week? Is $1.99 a bottle low enough when I could buy more fresh produce with it?

I am down to my last package of TP and paper towels. And I know that we need more fresh produce. But I have tons of canned veg and fruit. My goals for the next month are not only to spend $75 a week or less on QUALITY meals, but also to continue to build my stockiple at the same time! ARGGG! HELP!!!!!

Blog Hop!

The Planning Stage

The past couple of days I have been really thinking over my $75 a week Challenge. The Dear Hubby (Jeff) is skeptical if I can do it. I have inventoried my stockpile, the fridge and freezer to make sure of what I have already. the only problem I foresee is with the pet supplies. Having 6 cats that ONLY will use Tidy Cats kitty litter (with 3 litter boxes) and all pets on IAMS brand food, that may be my major challenge to work through.

I Have plenty of staples, the only items I should have to purchase for the month are: milk, eggs, juice, fresh fruit, bread, lunch meats, cheese, meats on sale, rice, popcorn (my favorite snack), TP, paper towels and the pet supplies. I follow the USDA guidelines for all meals and snack since I run a daycare. We usually don't keep a lot of junk in the house. Once in a while I may serve chips or cookies but it is not a daily occurrence.

I have also started looking at the amount we waste (leftovers usually get forgotten). I will have to either cut back on the amount I cook at Supper time or, will have to make sure the leftovers are turned into a new meal because my family doesn't like eating the same thing two nights a week. I have been pouring over my favorite cook books(Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O' Dea and The $5 Dinner Mom Cook Book by Erin Chase) for ideas. I now how some great new recipes to try while using my leftovers.

The new sales ads come out today for my local grocery store so I will start planning this weekend's shopping trips and next week's menus. Now the Challenge begins!

Monday, May 30, 2011

My $75 A Week Challenge!

     After talking fiances with the Hubby (Jeff), we realized that things are getting tighter and tighter here at the Krazi household. Being a SAHM/ Home Daycare owner, I don't bring in very much to help. Or, at least to me it's not very much, I make in a month what Jeff brings home in a week. And with Jeff's overtime hours getting harder to come by, making the mortgage is getting hard. So, with some thought I have decided to give myself a challenge of spending $75 or less a week for our groceries for 4 people, the daycare kiddies (other daycare supplies NOT included), 6 cats, 1 dog and 1 hamster. Usually we spend at least $150 on groceries and HBA a week so, I will have to be super mindful about my purchases.

     I have decided on some basic rules for myself.
  1. If I do NOT spend the whole $75 one week, what is left can be added to following weeks.
  2. I HAVE to make a menu plan for ALL meals, not just Dinner.
  3. I CAN buy for my stockpile but it still comes out of the same $75.
 I have a decent stockpile of a lot of items that we use regularly. This challenge will also help me get more creative with our menu.
     I am going to follow this challenge for 1 month, starting 6/5/2011...this coming up Sunday. This will give us an extra $300 than can go towards other financial obligations. And who knows, maybe I'll extend it if feasible.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Week's Deals

Here are the deals I will be going after this weekend! I hope to find most or them (sometimes the shelves are empty).

*Pasta Sauce- 12 jars
*Pasta- 12 boxes
*Ketchup- 8 bottles
*BBQ Sauce- 8 bottles
*Salad Dressing- 6 bottles
*Mustard- 8 bottles
*Eye shadows (for .99 cents) 4

These are just SOME of the deals that I've got my eyes on right now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FREE Online Coupon Class!

From The Coupon Posse!

Think you might need to take a class?  First rule of couponing: Don't spend money on something you can get for FREE!  You can take a totally FREE online Coupon Class!  Do it from your own home at your own leisure!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coupon Insert Preview 5/1/11

Coupon Insert Preview 5/1/11


All expire 5/31/2011

Align $3.00/1
Always Pad, Clean or Feminine Cleansing Cloth $0.50/1
Always Pantiliners (34 ct. or higher) $0.50/1
Always Infinity $1.00/1
Bounty Towels or Napkins $0.25/1
Cascade $0.25/1
Cascade Rinse Aid $1.00/1
Charmin $0.25/1
CoverGirl product $1.00/1
Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express or Professional Effects Whitestrips $10.00/1
Crest Rinse 440mL or larger $0.75/1
Crest Pro-Health or Crest Sensitivity Treatment and Protection Toothpaste 4.0 oz. or larger $1.50/1
Crest 4.0 oz. or larger (excludes Crest Cavity, Baking Soda, Tartar) $1.00/2
Dawn $0.25/1
Dawn PLUS $0.50/1
Downy Liquid Fabric Softner or Dryer Sheets $0.25/1
Downy Liquid Fabric Softner or Dryer Sheets $0.50/1
Febreze Fabric Refresher $0.50/1
Febreze Air Effects $0.50/1
Febreze Noticeables Refill Pack $1.00/1
Febreze Candle $1.00/1
Febreze Set & Refresh $0.50/1
Buy any ONE Febreze Noticeables Refill, Get any ONE Warmer FREE up to $3.29
Get ONE Fixodent Cleanser FREE up to $3.00
Fixodent Adhesive or Fixodent Cleanser $0.50/1
Gillette Series Shave Preps $0.55/1
Buy any ONE Gillette Bodywash, Get ONE Gillette Deodorant FREE (excluding trial size) up to $4.99
Herbal Essences OR Aussie product (excludes trial size) $0.50/1
Metamucil product $1.00/1
Mr. Clean Products (Liquid, Spray or Eraser) $1.00/1
Mr. Clean twin pack or TWO any other items (spray, liquid, eraser) $1.50/1
Natural Instincts Hair Color $2.00/1
Nice N Easy $2.00/1
Buy any ONE Old Spice Bodywash, Get any ONE Old Spice Bodywash FREE (of equal or lesser value) up to $3.99
Old Spice products (1.7oz or larger) $1.00/2
Oral-B Pulsar, CrossAction, Advantage OR any TWO Indicator OR Cavity Defense $1.50/1Oral-B Satin, Glide Floss 25M or more or Glide Floss Picks 30ct or higher $0.75/1
Pampers Diapers or Pants $1.50/1
Pampers Diapers or Pants $2.50/1
Pampers Wipes 60ct+ $0.50/1
Pampers Wipes 60ct+ $1.00/1
Pampers Easy Ups Trainers, UnderJams Night Wear or Splashers $1.50/1
Pantene products (excludes trial size) $3.00/2
Prilosec $1.00/1
Buy any ONE Secret, Olay PCC and Olay H&B together save $4.00
Secret $1.00/1
Buy any ONE Secret Clinical Strength, Get $4 off any ONE Gillette Clinical Strength Deodorant
Buy any ONE Secret Deodorant, Get $3 off any ONE Olay Bar, Body Wash, In Show Body Lotion OR Hand & Body Lotion
Swiffer Starter Kit $2.00/1
Tampax Pearl or Tampax Pearl Compak (18 ct or higher) $1.00/1
Tampax (18 ct. or higher) $0.50/1
Tide Detergent $0.35/1
Tide Stain Release $1.00/1
Tide Stain Release 26-50 oz powder, 15-34 ct duo pac or 36-68 oz liquid $3.00/1
Tide To Go $1.00/1
Venus Disposables 2ct, 3ct, or 6ct , Simply Venus 4ct, Daisy3 4 ct or 8 ct, or Daisy 10 ct, 12 ct or 18 ct $3.00/2
Venus razor $2.00/1
Buy any ONE Venus Cartridge, Get $5 off ONE Olay Facial Moisturizer

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harris Teeter Super Doubles

I've seen over the web in a few areas that Harris Teeter Supers Doubles may be happening next week! Keep your eyes open locally!

Coupon policy during Super Doubles
* HT begins super doubling coupons at 7:00 AM on the first day of the sale. 24 hour stores do not super double coupons before 7:00 AM on the first day.
* HT will Super Double coupons worth up to $1.98 face value. A $1.50 coupon will double to $3.00. A $1.00 coupon will double to $2.00. A $2.00 coupon will not double at all and will only be taken at face value ($2.00).
* HT will super double/double up to 20 coupons per day. Period. End of story. Spouse's cards registered with the same address are linked because the policy is 20 per household, per day. If you have 20 $1 coupons and 20 .75 coupons, only 20 total will double. They will not double 20 under $1 coupons and super double another 20 coupons that are over $1.
* HT policy is to double up to 3 identical coupons (as long as you buy the product required for each coupon, of course). So, if you have five $1.00 coupons for a product, the policy is to only super double the first three.