Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a way to end the summer!

I'm sad to see summer go but even more sad about the way it ended! Not with a big BBQ as we usually do but instead sick and in bed. Rooster and I have a cold for the past week. He missed a day of school and has been getting better. On the other hand, I've done nothing but sleep and cough and blow my nose for a week. Enough is enough! I guess I should count my blessings because Tater and Twitch haven't got it yet. They will probably wait until I'm better and pass it back to me.

Here's to hoping we all have a healthier fall and winter!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Organize your coupons

There are several ways to organize your coupons. The first method I used was a binder system. I cut out every coupon (yes, every single coupon from my 5 copies of the paper!) and placed them in a binder that was filled with baseball cardholders and divided into categories such as; dairy, bread, paper products, meat, toiletries etc. You could use whatever categories suit your needs.

Prior to a shopping trip, I pulled out the coupons I needed and put them in an envelope but I took the binder with me. I was able to find deals that I wasn’t aware of and had the coupons with me to use. However, I spent 2-4 hours on Sunday cutting out and organizing the coupons. I figured the amount I was saving on extra deals wasn’t enough to justify me spending that much time getting them ready.

I have since switched to a filing system. I use manila folders and file each Sundays coupons in their own folder labeled with the date. I only cut out the coupons I need prior to going shopping.

FYI: Many oversea military bases can use expired coupons.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Using coupons to save and make money

I was never a big coupon user. It just made no sense to me to spend time cutting out coupons to save a couple of dollars a week. About a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the Pinching Your Pennies website and my life has never been the same. That may sound a little dramatic but I went from spending around $150 a week on groceries to spending $40 a week. Not only do I save money I also have an incredible amount of food storage and toiletries built up.

The key is using multiple coupons to purchase items in bulk when they are on sale. I currently get 5 copies of my local Sunday paper and I’ve traded and purchased coupons off of Ebay when there is a great deal.

Very rarely do I pay for toilet paper. I never pay more that 25 cents for toothpaste, more than $1 for cereal or $1 for deodorant. My kids joke that they need to go to the store (which is the basement) for a new tube of toothpaste.

You can also make money using coupons. Recently, my local Wal-Mart had Powerade on sale for 60 cents. I had coupons for 75 cents off each bottle, so I made 15 cents on each bottle I bought. It my not seem like a lot but I had 30 coupons so I made $4.50 and got the Powerade for free. Not all stores will let you take the full value of the coupon but my local Wal-Mart does.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Halloween is my favorite holiday! Next month I'm hosting Bunco at my house so I get to go all out with decorations and food.

I'm going to make bat wings, brain on a plate(mashed potatoes in a brain mold), some kind of a veggie or salad, alien autopsies (a drink) and pumpkin cheesecake.

I made the bat wings for Rooster and Tater's kids Halloween party last year and they were a hit, at least among the kids that dared to eat them.

Barbecued Bat Wings

4 pounds chicken wings
2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cups molasses
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
Hot sauce to taste
Black pepper
Black paste food coloring
Blue paste food coloring
Green paste food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil the chicken wings for twenty minutes in a large pot. While the wings are cooking, prepare the sauce. Whisk together the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth in a large roasting pan. Add enough black, blue, and green food colorings to the sauce to make a dark black sauce. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.

Drain the wings well and add them to the sauce and toss to coat evenly, poking the wings liberally with a fork.

Bake for 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 450 degrees. Toss the wings in the sauce again to coat evenly. Bake until the sauce is thickened and slightly blackened, flipping the wings over occasionally, about another 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My turn for cooking

Wow! It was little stressful to have 3 families waiting on me for their dinner. We agreed that drop off time would be 5:00 and when I checked my chicken dish at 4:00 the chicken was still raw. Had a minor freak out but recovered and managed to have all of the dinners delivered by 5:20. Wahoo!

Overall it went well. I hope everyone enjoyed their dinner. I'm sure I'll enjoy the next two days.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dinner Exchange

I’m so excited! My neighbors and I started a dinner exchange group and last night was the first night of the swap. There are 4 families included in our swap. I cook dinner Tuesday night and Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday I get to sit back and wait for dinner to come to me. It was so nice not to stress out about what I was going to make tonight and dinner was great! My good friend/neighbor made ravioli soup, rolls and pumpkin bread for dessert. Yum!!

I’m not sure yet whether or not it will save me actual dollars but the convenience and the change in meals will be fantastic.

My suggestions on starting a group would be to look really close at the families you want in the group. You really need to be able to communicate freely with everyone. If someone brings a dinner a family doesn’t like we know that we can say that it didn’t work out so well and not have hurt feelings.

We also meet a couple of weeks ago and talked about things our families didn’t like and came up with a calendar of meals for the next 6 weeks.

I’ll update tomorrow with my feelings after I cook dinner for 16 people but for now I think it is going to be great!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Welcome to my blog. My goal is to share information I've learned about saving money on groceries and everyday items as well as any information I find as I attempt to find a WAH job.

I'll share stories of being a mom to two great boys and the trials and happiness we find as we try to make sense of the crazy life we live.

Thanks for joining me! Feel free to leave me any comments or suggestions.