Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chili Con Carne

This is a really good chili recipe that I adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe book.


1 pound ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp red pepper sauce
1-2 cans diced tomatoes
1-2 cans red kidney beans, or black beans

Cook beef, onion and garlic in 3 quart saucepan, stirring occasionally until brown, drain.

Stir in remaining ingredients except beans. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in beans. Heat to boiling. Simmer uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness.


Ritz Chicken Casserole

Here is an easy casserole that my family likes and we will be having this week.

Ritz Chicken

4 whole chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
8 oz. carton sour cream
1 tube Ritz crackers (I am using Club this week)
1 stick butter melted

Place cooked, cubed chicken in bottom of baking dish. Pour soup and sour cream mixed together over the chicken. Then combined crumbled crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle cracker mixture over the top of chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Menu Plan Monday 12/29

Hope you all have a healthy, happy New Year! I just started my Wii Fit, and I have a goal to lose 3 lbs. in two weeks. Not sure if this menu plan will really help, but I will watch portion size!

Hashbrown potatoes
steamed veggie

macaroni and cheese
steamed veggie


Pork Fried Rice


Ritz Chicken
steamed veggie
crescent rolls

Pork chops
pintos and rice
lettuce and onion salad

Have a great week!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kroger Deal on Life Water

If you like Life Water keep an eye out for a display at Kroger. The 20 oz. bottles of Life Water are 10 for $10 ($1 ea). I found hang tag manufacturer coupons on the bottles for $0.50. Kroger doubled those coupons, so I got them for FREE! I bought 21 bottles and paid $0.32 out of pocket! I love running across deals like that!

You can't beat 100% off!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 12/22/08

Merry Christmas!! Simple meal plans this week. Christmas Eve night is spent with my family and Christmas night with my hubby's family. Both gatherings are finger foods. Yummy and simple for everyone.

Hot dogs
Potatoes and onions

Chicken and rice
green beans

I am making:
stuffed mushrooms
Man-d00 dumplings
Homemade salsa
Homemade tortilla chips
Broccoli salad
Mandarin Orange cake

I am making
stuffed mushrooms
Man-doo dumplings
Broccoli salad


Breakfast for dinner or

Pork chops
steamed broccoli

Late in the week is subject to change. I need to inventory my pantry and freezer and see what I need to use up. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Go to I'm and Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas at Menu Planning Monday.

Publix 12/21

This is my first trip to Publix since November 3rd! I forgot how much you can get when Publix is having great B1G1 sales! Here is my transaction:

2 Revlon nail clippers $2.39 ea
...- 2 $2 MQ
...- 2 $2 Publix Q (overage)
4 Revlon emery boards $1.69 ea
...- 4 $2 Publix Q
...- 2 $1 MQ (0verage)
1 Sara Lee cinnamon roll $2.50
...- $1 Publix Q ($1.50)
2 Sara Lee pound cakes $2.49, $2.50
...- 2 $1 Publix Q ($1.49 & $1.50 ea)
2 Kellogg's Frosted Flakes $1.99 ea
...- 2 $1 MQ ($0.99 ea)
5 Betty Crocker potatoes $0.90, $0.89 ea
...- 5 $0.35 MQ doubled ($0.09 and $0.10 ea)
4 5 lb bags of Domino sugar $1.99 ea
...- 2 $0.40 MQ doubled ($1.19 ea)
...- 2 $0.35 MQ doubled ($1.24 ea)
2 Domino 10x sugar $0.69 ea
...- 2 $0.25 MQ doubled (0.19 ea)
2 Domino brown sugar $0.69 ea
...- 2 $0.25 MQ doubled (0.19 ea)
2 Can't Believe not Butter $1.24, $1.25 ea
...- 2 $0.50 MQ doubled ($0.24 and $0.25 ea)
1 Can't Believe not Butter spray $1.25
...- $0.50 MQ doubled ($0.25)
2 Scotch magic tape $1, $0.99 ea
...- $1 MQ ($0.49, $0.50 ea)
3 Mattel Hot Wheels $1 ea
...- 3 $1 Publix Qs (FREE)
2 Rondele cheese $2, & $1.99 ea
...- 2 $1 MQ ($1 and $0.99 ea)
4 Keebler club crackers $1.90 and $1.89 ea
...- 4 $0.50 MQ doubled ($0.90 and $0.89 ea)
4 Simply Potatoes $2 ea
...- 2 $1/2 ($1.50 ea)
2 Del Monte 50% less salt canned veggie $0.65 &0.64 ea
...- 2 $0.30 MQ doubled ($0.05 &0.04 ea
8 Del Monte canned veggie $0.65 & 0.64 ea
...- 2 $1/4 MQ (0.37 ea)
2 Pillbury cresent rolls $1.67 ea
...- 2 $0.35 MQ doubled ($0.97 ea)
2 Mt Olive pickles $1.40 & $1.39 ea
...- 2 $0.50 MQ doubled ($0.40 & $0.39 ea)
1 Pompian olive oil $3.50
...- $0.50 MQ doubled ($2.50)
1 Publix grape juice $0.01--Penny item!

Total before coupons was $85 something.

Total OOP $36.65...including tax. Pretty good.

It was nice getting back into the swing of things. I now have 40 lbs. of sugar....I think we are good for a while! :-)

Check out more Publix deals at Fiddledeedee--Publix Super Savers.

CVS 12/21

I went to CVS today after church to try to get some of the great ECB deals. Unfortunately, my CVS was already out of a lot of things but here are pictures of what I got.

This first transaction was $0.44 OOP. I got back around $20 in ECBs,

The second transaction was $1.98 OOP.
See the cute Wii mote candy dispensers--excellent stocking stuffers.

I ended up with with about $60 in ECBs (I still had some left over from Thanksgiving night). So I decided to buy a Christmas gift for me and my hubby. I got this GPS for $43.04 OOP! Yay!

I think I am done with Christmas shopping--now I just need to find time to wrap!

Kroger 12/20

I went to Kroger Saturday night to get a few deals. I have been taking a much needed break from the deal-seeking, but there were a few things I needed and I didn't want to miss. Here is what I got:

6 Cottonelle 4 roll packs $0.99 ea
...- $0.50 e-coupon
...- 4 $0.50 MQ (doubled)
...- 2 $0.25 MQ (doubled)
... got all six packs for $1.00
1 Wheat chex $2.49
...- $1.00 e-coupon
1 Corn Chex $2.49
...- $1/2 Chex cereal
1 Crispix cereal $2.40
...- $1 MQ
1 Daisy sour cream $1.39
...- $0.50 MQ (doubled)
1 Reddi Whip $2.00
...- $1 MQ
3 Goody ouchless hair bands $1.49 ea
...- 3 $2 MQ (overage!!)
...- $1 e-coupon (overage!!)
1 Duncan Heinz frosting $1.50
...- $1 MQ
1 Total toothpaste $2.50
...- $1 MQ
...- $1.50 cellfire Q

Total before coupons $34.45

Total OOP $5.34!!

The total OOP should have been lower. I should have had an e-coupon for the frosting and reddi whip, but for some reason they didn't show up. Oh well....


Monday, December 15, 2008

The Christmas Linebacker

My husband, Tom, was in charge of running the media presentation at our church this weekend during Return to Bethlehem. While visitors were waiting for their turn to walk through Bethlehem, they were entertained by live singing and videos between singers. Here is one video Tom showed that was the most popular.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Broccoli Salad

This salad is a family favorite around the holidays. We always have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Try it at your holiday gathering this year.

Broccoli Salad

1 bunch broccoli
1/2 cup white raisins
5 green onions (scallions), chopped
1/2 to 1 cup salted sunflower seeds
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup mayo
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Mix broccoli, raisins, onions, and sunflower seeds together. Make vinaigrette of mayo, vinegar, sugar. Pour over broccoli mixture. Crumble bacon over top.

You can make extra dressing if you don't feel like this is enough. Also, you can substitute craisins for the raisins.


Fresh Broccoli $0.33 at Target

Target has fresh broccoli and cauliflower on sale for $1.33/bunch. Go HERE to print a $1 off coupon to make each bunch just $0.33 ea. It is a great time to stock up for making Broccoli Salad for your Holiday gatherings or to put in the freezer for later.

Menu Plan Monday 12/15

We have had a great weekend at Return to Bethlehem. Very rewarding, but very exhausting. Here is my menu plan--done very quickly.

Roast turkey breast
mashed potatoes

BBQ pulled pork sandwiches
cheesy potatoes
steamed veggie

Spaghetti sauce

hot dogs
Rice a roni
steamed veggie

baked chicken
Spanish Rice

Canadian bacon

Chicken and rice
steamed veggie

Get more menu ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie by checking out Menu Plan Monday.

Have a great week!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 12/8

We have a very busy week. Our church is having "Return to Bethlehem"--a walk through live nativity. The whole family is involved. I am still working on organizing costumes, plus I have a very busy week at work. That is why you see a lot of easy meals!

Chicken Fajitas

hot dogs
baked beans

Canadian Bacon

Eating out (DD's Christmas concert)

Eating out-Return to Bethlehem

Saturday--Early--Return to Bethlehem
Homemade Canadian Bacon Pizza

Sunday--Return to Bethlehem
Crockpot Pork Roast(working while at church)
Mashed potatoes
Steamed veggies

Have a great week! For more menu planning ideas go to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My $40 Shopping Trip

Actually, I didn't quite spend $40. I am continuing to try to stick to a $40/week grocery budget--inspired by Crystal at Money Saving Mom. I also need to whittle down my pantry and freezer.

I went to Kroger, Wal-mart and Aldi's. I was really disappointed in Aldi's--I had hoped to get fresh fruit there, but they were almost totally cleaned out. I don't think the weekend is the best time to shop.

I only used 5 coupons today on my trip--three $0.55 Arnold bread Qs (1/2 price sale on bread--with coupon I paid $0.85/loaf), and two Steamers coupons at Wal-mart. I was pleased to find Canadian bacon marked down at Kroger. I spent a total of $34.67. Overall, not a bad shopping trip.

To see more money saving ideas, check out Money Saving Mom's Super Savings Saturday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sound Mind, Sound Mom Book Club

Tsh, at Simple Mom, is sponsoring the Sound Mind, Sound Mom Book Club. Go HERE to read about the 2009 book list. All of the books sound great. I have always been interested in being part of a book club, but schedule conflicts make it difficult. An online club sounds like the perfect solution. Check it out and I hope you will join in on the fun!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been reading a lot lately about homemade laundry detergent. I even heard it mentioned on a recent television show. I have been considering trying to make my own laundry soap mainly because my son is suffering from atopic dermatitis and I am trying to eliminate any source of allergies. Check out Mercedes' post at Common Sense with Money and see her recipe for laundry detergent. An added benefit it that it only costs $0.01/load!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday too Me!

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am taking the day off from work and have the house all to myself. Kids and hubby back to school. I think I will spend all day in my sewing room. Woo Hoo!

Menu Plan Monday 12/1

Here is my plan this week. After too much turkey and leftovers last week, I am trying to keep it simple and have a few different kinds of dishes.

Pork chops
mashed potatoes
steamed brocolli/cauliflower

Cream of Brocolli/Cauliflower Soup


mashed potatoes
steamed veggie


pork and rice
steamed veggie

Hot dogs
mac and cheese
mandarin oranges

Have a great week!

To see more menu ideas, be sure to visit I'm and Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.