Saturday, July 31, 2010

Garden Picking

The garden slowed down a little this week however I was able to pick a few things that made for a fresh salad with our dinner. This included:

A bunch of lettuce
Some cherry tomatoes
2 cucumbers
1 zucchini

I have lots of tomatoes and a few of my bigger ones are turning orange so hopefully next week we will have some tomatoes. I also have some jalapeƱos and green peppers that will be ready next week. I can smell the salsa already!

My cucumbers have been strange this year, they have all been short and fat. However they have tasted great so I guess size does not matter. A great lesson in life!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Easy Seasoned Potatoes

So there is really no recipe for this but this is how I make my potatoes:

Cut 6-8 potatoes into slices or chunks and toss with olive oil and spread into pan. Season the potatoes with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bake for 1 hour at 350, stirring occasionally!

Free $15 Babies“R”Us/Toys“R”Us gift card when you buy Pampers - July 30 & 31

Babies R Us & Toys R Us is having a 2-DAY Super SALE Friday, July 30th and Saturday, July 31st. Receive a FREE $15 gift card when you buy ANY 2 Pampers value boxes of diapers (92 - 252 ct.).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

So this was a family hit! Even my 4 year old ate a whole sandwich! Here is the quick and easy recipe!

1-3# pork roast
1onion, chopped
½ can chicken broth
2 cups BBQ sauce (I used KC Masterpiece)
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce

Trim any fat off of the pork. Scatter onion on the bottom of the Crock Pot and put the pork roast on top with broth, Cover and cook on low for 71/2 – 8 hours. Remove roast and shred the pork. Skim off any fat in Crock Pot and return shredded pork to Crock Pot. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 1 hour. I served on toasted buns with my Easy Seasoned Potatoes and corn on the cob!

Check out more recipes on Life As Mom!

Back to School Supplies for $10

Check out the article and news segment on WEWS Channel 5 from blogger Stacy Smith from Saving in Akron.  She shows you how to get your school supplies for $10!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Smoking Hot Marc’s Deals at Select Stores 7/27/10 – 8/02/10

WOW, Marc’s is celebrating a Grand Reopening at their Medina store and they are extending their grand opening deals to the Medina, Brunswick, and Strongsville locations (yes I am a little excited). There are some great deals that are worth stocking up on since you normally do not see prices this low!

Cantaloupe - $0.99
Beefsteak Tomatoes - $0.69/#
Blueberries pints – 3 for $5
Gala Apples - $0.89/#
Celery - $0.99
Cucumbers – 2 for $1
Cabbage - $0.29/#
Green Peppers - $0.89 ach

Hillandale Farms Medium Dozen Eggs – 2 for $1 (I am picturing Egg Salad Sandwiches, Deviled Eggs, and French Toast in our future dinner plans)!
Dairymens Iced Tea Gallons – 5 for $5
Hillandale Shredded Cheese – 3 for $4

85% Lean Ground Turkey - $1.49/1.2# package
Sugardale Hot Dogs or Bar S Franks - $0.99

Coke 2L – 4 for $3
Pepsi 12 packs – 4 for $10

Ruffles – 2 for $3.99
Cheese Nips – 3 for $2
Home Pride Wheat or Wonder Classic Bread - $0.87
Nickles White or Italian - $0.83

Freschetta 12” Pizza - $3.95

Giant Eagle Deals 07/29/10 – 08/04/10

Please note, I use the Cleveland, Ohio area Giant Eagle Advertisement as well as the SS (Smart Source), RP (Red Plum), P&G (Proctor & Gamble), and GM (General Mills) coupon sections. Deals and coupon values/availability may vary by region. My final prices are calculated using the NE Ohio coupons doubling coupons up to $0.99. I may not include ALL sale items, but the ones I feel are a good to GREAT deal!

My additional sources of coupons include the magazines, All You and Ladies Home Journal. Be sure to register your Advantage Card at Shortcuts and Cellfire to load more coupons onto your GE card!

Red Grapes - $0.99/#
Peaches - $1.49/#
Pears - $1.59/#
Tomatoes, Green Beans, or Green Peppers - $0.99/#
Cabbage – $0.99/3#
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $0.99/#

Dole Fruit Jars, Fruit or Gel bowls – 5 for $10
Use $0.75 off Jars from May All You (x7/31/10)
Use $0.75/2 off Gels from May All You (x7/31/10)
Final Price = $0.50 - $1.25

Lipton Iced Tea 12 Packs – 2 for $9
Club, Sandies, or Cheez-Its – 2 for $5
GE Tasty Grains – 2 for $4
Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Honey Maid Grahams or 100 Calorie Packs – 2 for $5
GE English Muffins – 2 for $3
Brownberry Whole Grain Bread or Entenmann’s Donuts – BOGO
Wonder Classic White, Italian, Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes, Twinkies or Ho Hos – BOGO
Crystal Light Sugar Free Drink Mix On-The-Go – 2 for $5

Juicy Juice 6 packs or Nesquick Chocolate Milk 4 packs - 2 for $6
Use $1/2 Juicy Juice from 8/1 RP 2
Use $1 off Nesquick from 8/1 RP 2
Final Price = $2 - $2.50 each

Jell-O Gelatin or Pudding – 10 for $10
Keebler Pie Crusts – 2 for $4
Ghirardelli Premium Brownies – 2 for $4

Betty Crocker Cake or Brownie Mix – 4 for $5
Use $0.75/2 Brownie Mix from 6/27 SS or printable
Final Price = $0.50 each

Betty Crocker Frosting – 2 for $3
Betty Crocker Muffins – 2 for $4
Hershey’s XL Bars – 4 for $5
GE Marshmallows – 10 for $10
GE Graham Crackers – 2 for $4
Barilla Pasta – 4 for $5
Bumble Bee Tuna Cans or Pouches – 10 for $10

Hunt’s Ketchup - $1.85
Use $0.20 off from 6/20 SS
Final Price = $1.45 (or see free deal below)

Velveeta, Kraft Deluxe or Deluxe Homestyle Dinners – 2 for $4
Valu Time White Bread - $0.75
Valu Time Wheat Bread - $0.99
Chex Cereal – 4 for $10

Betty Crocker Warm Delights or Bisquick – 3 for $5
Use $0.75 off warm delights from 6/27 SS
Use $0.50 printable
Final Price = $0.17 - $0.67

Chex or Bugles Mix – 4 for $8
Use $0.50/2 Chex from 6/13 SS
Use $0.55 printable
Final Price = $0.90 - $1.50 each

GE Tortilla Chips or Salsa – 2 for $4
GE Gourmet Sandwich Rolls or Wheat Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns - $1.69

GE Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or wings - $1.99/#
Tilapia - $4.99/#
T-Bone Steaks - $5.99/#
Pork Shoulder Western Style Ribs - $1.99/#

Ball Park Franks – BOGO
Use $0.75/2 from 8/1 RP

Colgate Toothpaste 6.4 oz, brushes, or Wisp – 2 for $3
Use $1 off Toothpaste from 7/11 SS (x7-31-10)
Use $0.50 off Toothpaste from 7/25 SS
Use $0.50 off Wisp from 7/25 SS
Use $0.40 off Toothbrush from 7/25 SS
Final Price = $0.50 - $0.70 each

Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza – 5 for $10

Eggo or Cinnabon Pancakes or Breakfast Pizza – 2 for $4
Use $1/2 from 7/25 RP
Final Price = $1.50 each

Healthy Choice All Natural or Select Entrees – 5 for $10
Stouffer’s Easy Express Skillet Meals - $3.99
Hot or Lean Pockets – 6 for $10
Weight Watchers Smart Ones Breakfast Entrees – 2 for $5
GE Fries or Tater Treats 80 oz – 2 for $10
Green Giant Frozen Valley Fresh Steamers – 3 for $5

Totino’s Pizza Rolls – 3 for $9
Use $0.40/2 from 5/30 GM
Final Price = $2.60 each

Fiber One Frozen Muffins – 2 for $7

Wanchai Ferry or Macaroni Grill Bagged Meals for Two - $5.99
Use $1.50 off Wanchai from 6/20 or 7/15 SS or printable
Final Price = $4.49 each

GE Half Gallon Milk or Iced Tea – 4 for $5
Breakstone’s Cottage Doubles – 10 for $10
Gold Peak Tea or Lemonade – 2 for $4
Kraft Chunks or Shreds 16 oz – 2 for $8
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Promise Margarine – 2 for $4
Sargento Sliced Cheese – 2 for $5
Horizon Single Serve Milk – 10 for $10
Breakstone’s Cottage Cheese – 2 for $6
Int’l Delight Creamers – 2 for $3
Pillsbury Grands – 4 for $5

Yoplait Splitz, Go-Gurt or Fiber One Yogurt – 3 for $6
Use $0.50 off Fiber One from 6/20 or 7/11 SS
Use $0.75/2 Go-Gurt from 6/13 or 7/25 SS
Final Price = $1 - $1.25

GE Wheat or Flour Tortillas – 4 for $5

Pepsi or Mountain Dew 24 cans – 2 for $11
PowerAde – 12 for $10
Coke or Sprite 2L – 4 for $4
Pepsi or Aquafina 24 oz 6 packs – 3 for $9

GM Supersize Cereal, Fiber One, or Nature Valley Value Packs – 3 for $10
Use $1/2 Nature Valley from 7/11 SS
Use $1/2 Cereals from 7/18 SS or printable
Use $0.50 off Cheerios from 6/27 SS

Purchase $12 and Get $4 off OYNO:
Edy’s Ice Cream – 4 for $10

Edy’s or Haagen-Dazs Cups – 10 for $10
Use $1/3 from July All You

Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream or Drumsticks – 2 for $6

Purchase 20 and Get $2 off OYNO:
Yoplait Cups – 20 for $10
Use $0.40/6 or $0.50/8 from 6/20, 7/11 or 7/25 SS

Purchase 1 and Get 1 FREE Hunt’s Ketchup 24 oz instantly:
Hebrew National Franks or Knockwurst – BOGO
Use $0.75 off from 6/20 RP

Purchase 2 and Get $2 off OYNO:
Tide 24-40 loads – 2 for $12
Use $1 off from 7/4 PG (x7-31-10)

Purchase 4 and Get $3 off OYNO:
Capri Sun 10 Packs – 4 for $8

Purchase 2 and Get $5 off OYNO:
Charmin Ultra 30 Big Rolls - $13.99
Use $1/2 from 7/4 PG (x7-31-10)

Bounty 12 Giant Rolls - $13.99
Use $1 off from 7/4 PG (x7-31-10)

**Beginning July 29th – FREE diabetes medications which in clued Chlorpropamide, Glimepiride, Glipizide, Glyburide, and Metformin!**
Happy Shopping!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 7/26/10

Monday - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches - Recipe to follow
Tuesday – Chicken Wraps
Wednesday – Shake - n - Bake Pork Chops
Thursday – Hamburgers & Macaroni Salad (recipe to follow)
Friday – Steaks on the Grill
Saturday – Wedding
Sunday – Eat Out

Money Answer Book - Dave Ramsey

So I am on this money saving kick and I read another one of Dave Ramsey's books, "The Money Answer Book"!  Okay so perhaps I am becoming a little obsessed with budgeting and saving money.  My husband reluctantly told me this morning that he thought his drill was about to blow up.  I think he thought I would say, "No - you cannont buy another drill".   I surprised him and said, "I know you use it all the time, we can get another one."  He was shocked!

Anyways, this is another great book.  Dave tackles 100 tough questions on paying debt, budgeting, and spending.  It was a great, quick read filled with lots of great insight.  A couple of the things I learned:
  1. Dave does not ever recommend buying new cars because they lose so much value, you are much better off paying cash for a 2 year old+ vehicle.
  2. When buying life insurance, make sure to buy term life, not whole life policies!
  3. Everyone needs a will!! (I second that)!
  4. Make a budget to tell where your money goes, don't look back at the month and wonder where your money went!
  5. Invest 15% of your pay in retirement once you are out of debt and have a 3 -6 month Emergency Fund.
The book focused on the 7 Baby Steps laid out in his other book, The Total Money Makeover!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just a Reminder...

Oh - I feel so much better now.  We have had days upon days of 90+ degree heat.  I needed a little reality check to enjoy the weather!  It is suppose to only be a high of 82 tomorrow and I am exicted!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Total Money Makeover

So I finally decided to read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. A lot of the bloggers I follow live by the principles and “Baby Steps” that Dave has developed. So I decided to check the book out at our local library and read it over our vacation to see what it was all about and if my husband and I could adopt some of his principles.

First of all the book was very interesting to me and I found I could not put it down! It was definitely an eye-opener on many of the points he makes about “myths” and “truths” in today’s society. The motto of the book is “If you will live like no one else, later you can LIVE like no one else”! It is about making sacrifices today to secure your future in retirement later in life. There are also some wonder Budget sheets and debt worksheets in the back of the book for your use. I have already made copies to look more closely at our finances and budget.

One of the items from the book we will definitely be adopting is a stricter budget. My husband and I have always used a budget but it has been loose. We have decided to tighten it up a little bit and pay more attention to where our money is going every month. It also has some great insight on life insurance, saving for retirement and saving for college.

So if you are wondering like I was, the “Baby Steps” that Dave lays out are as follows and they MUST be completed in order to be successful!

1. Save $1000 as a Starter Emergency Fund FAST
2. Start the Debt Snowball
3. Finish the Emergency Fund
4. Invest 15% of Your Income in Retirement
5. Save for College
6. Pay off Your Home Mortgage
7. Build Wealth

I was disappointed in how much he downplayed the importance of college. His book made me feel like he did not see the value in a post high school education. My personal feeling is that you should encourage your children to attend college or at least obtain some type of training post high school. I feel that this is a MUST in today’s society. Yes I am sure there are exceptions of successful people without degrees, but I feel this is the exception not the rule. I consider an education as a security policy. You need that degree to back you up in case something happens to your job. A lot more doors open when you have a degree. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree and have had a very successful career since graduating college 10 years ago. My husband had a bachelor’s degree and will finish his MBA in December. Education is a strong pillar in our family and will always be!

Even if you do not have credit card debt, I highly recommend reading this book. Imagine paying off your house and no longer having to make mortgage payments! Or even better paying cash for a house if you are currently renting! Dave maps out the road to success to make this happen!

Dave would probably not agree with my family taking yearly vacations. But this is something my husband strongly agree on doing with our children. We plan and save throughout the year so we are able to give our kids a yearly vacation. Some of my most vivid memories as a child are our family vacations and I am striving to give my kids the same types of memories. You only live life once so you need to enjoy it. If you can afford it then I say go ahead!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Life is Beautiful

As my kids were playing outside today, I was able to capture this wonderful picture of a butterfly. It really made me think how beautiful life is and how sometimes I forget to count my blessings. I have a wonderful husband and two healthy little boys. My family is my life and God has blessed me with so much in my life. I need to learn to step back from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life and just thank Him for all that he provides for my family. I often get tied up in thinking all of the things I have to get done today. When really a quiet day spent playing in the backyard is all my family needs.

I need to constantly remind myself to slow down and enjoy life. Kids grow up way to fast. I cannot believe I have a 4 ½ year old and a 19 month old and have been married to my husband for almost 8 years now. Where does the time go? It seems like time just goes faster and faster once you have kids. I want to cherish every moment I have with them. I often get caught up in making sure that we constantly have “fun” activities planned for them and that they get to experience all that life as to offer. But really in the end they are just as happy swinging and playing tag in our backyard!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

1 large zucchini
2 tbsp chopped onion
1# Italian Sausage
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp basil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups spaghetti sauce

Scrub and cut off ends of zucchini, cut in quarters.  Cook in boiling water for 7 minutes.

Brown sausage with onion.  Mix in bread crumsb, mozzarella, eggs, parsley, and basil.  Put zuchinni in 9x13 pan and spread mixture inside the sheels.  Dot top of the mixture with butter and sprinkle on parmesan cheese.  Cover with spaghetti sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 miuntes!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Crystal Light Pure Fitness at Target

If you got the Crystal Light Pure Fitness pack from Vocalpoint you should have gotten three $2 off coupons with the samples.  My Target had them marked down to $1.97 per pack making them FREE after coupon!

Rite Aid Money Maker Week of July 18th!

July 18 - 24 may be a good week to shop Rite Aid.  The high-light is this $5 Money Maker!

Dulcolax Balance 14 does - $9.99
Use $5 coupon from May All You
Submit for $9.99 SCR
Final Price = Almost $5 Money Maker!

Dr. Natura Colonaide Kit - $22.99
Submit for $22.99 SCR

CryoSTAT Hemorrhoid Relief - $8.99
Submit for $8.99 SCR

Traditional Medicianls Smooth  Move - $3.69
Submit for $3.69 SCR

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Giant Eagle Deals 07/15/10 – 07/21/10

Please note, I use the Cleveland, Ohio area Giant Eagle Advertisement as well as the SS (Smart Source), RP (Red Plum), P&G (Proctor & Gamble), and GM (General Mills) coupon sections. Deals and coupon values/availability may vary by region. My final prices are calculated using the NE Ohio coupons doubling coupons up to $0.99. I may not include ALL sale items, but the ones I feel are a good to GREAT deal!

My additional sources of coupons include the magazines, All You and Ladies Home Journal. Be sure to register your Advantage Card at Shortcuts and Cellfire to load more coupons onto your GE card!

Peaches - $0.99/#
Blackberries– BOGO
Pineapple - $3.99

Del Monte Canned Tomatoes or Fruit – 10 for $10
GE Pasta, Noodles, or Salad Dressing – 10 for $10

Betty Crocker Potatoes or Hamburger Helper – 10 for $10
Use $0.75/3 Hamburger Helper from 5/30 GM or 6/20 SS
Final Price = $0.50 each

GE Fruition 1L – 5 for $3
Propel or G2 Packets – 2 for $6
Lays or Sun Chips – 2 for $6

Chips Ahoy, Teddy Grahams or Ritz Bits Sandwiches – 2 for $5
Use $1 off Chips Ahoy from July All You
Final Price = $1.50

Chex Mix – 2 for $6

Keebler Town House, Baker’s Treasures or Vanilla Wafers – 2 for $5
Use $1/2 Town House from 6/6 RP
Final Price = $2

GE Pretzels - $1.89
Shearer’s Tangos – 2 for $6
Hershey’s Syrup – 5 for $10

Smucker’s Ice Cream Topping or Magic Shell – 2 for $4
Use $1/2 from 5/16 RP
Final Price = $1.50 each

Fisher Nut Topping – 2 for $3
Use $1 off from 1/10 or 6/20 SS
Final Price = $0.50

Cake Mate Decors – 2 for $3
GE Ice Cream Cups – 10 for $10

Reddi Whip – 2 for $4
Use $0.35 off from 6/20 SS
Final Price = $1.30 each

GE Whole Grain White Bread – 3 for $5
Starkist Chunk Light Tuna – 5 for $4

Good Season’s Dressing 4 pack – 2 for $5
Use $1 off from 6/20 SS
Final Price = $1.50

GE Pasta Sauce – 2 for $3
Rice A Roni or Pasta Roni – 8 for $10
Eight O’clock Coffee - $3.99
Thomas Plain English Muffins or Entenmann’s Little Bites – BOGO
Home Price Wheat, Wonder Italian or Hostess Donettes – BOGO
Juicy Juice 64 oz or 8 Packs – 2 for $5
GE Bagels – 2 for $5
Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups, or Fruit By the Foot – 5 for $1-
GE Buns - $0.99
GE BBQ Sauce – 10 for $10

Cooked Cocktail Shrimp - $5.99/#
Whole Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin - $1.99/#
Fresh Boneless Chicken Breasts - $1.99/#

Kahn’s Franks – BOGO
Use $1/2 from 7/1 RP

Oscar Mayer Regular or Junior Lunchables – BOGO
GE Lunchmeat Tubs – 2 for $7

Cottonelle Bath Tissue 12 double rolls or Viva Paper Towels 6 rolls - $5.99
Use $0.50/2 Cottonelle from 7/11 SS
Use $0.85 off Viva from 6/20 SS
Final Price = $4.29 - $5.49

Colgate Total Toothpaste 8.2 oz – 2 for $3

Breyers Ice Cream – BOGO
Freschetta Pizza – 2 for $11
GE Waffles or Pancakes – 5 for $10
Tombstone Pizza – 3 for $10
Philly Swirl Novelties – BOGO
GE Fries or Tater Treats – 4 for $10
GE Veggie Blends - $1.79

GE Shredded Cheese – 4 for $6 (GREAT stock-up price)!
GE Half Gallon Iced Tea – 4 for $5
GE Cream Cheese – 4 for $5
GE Fruit Drinks – 4 for $5
Tropicana Pure Premium or Trop50 – 3 for $9
Coffee-Mate 32 oz – 2 for $6
Dannon Activia, Danactive, Danonino, or Danimals – 3 for $6
Parkay Spray or Sleeve – 4 for $7
GE Dips or Sour Cream – 2 for $3
Daisy Cottage Cheese 16 oz – 2 for $5
Stonyfield Probiotic Yogurt – 2 for $4
Dean’s Milk Shake Chugs – 10 for $10

Coke or Sprite 12 cans or 8 12-oz Packs – 3 for $10
Stouffer’s Entrees, Panini, Flatbread Melts, Stromboli, or Toasted Subs – 4 for $8
PowerAde – 15 for $10
Pepsi or Mountain Dew 2L – 5 for $5
Kool-Aid 8 qt or Fun Fizz 8 ct – 3 for $4

For Every 4 Purchased, Get $0.15 in Bonus Fuelperks (Valid 07/15/10-07/28/10):
30 Favorite Cereals – 4 for $10 (Ad shows, Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cheerios, Honey Bunches, Mini Wheats, Honey Nut Cheerios, Life, and Special K)

Purchase 4 and Get $2 off any Gallon of Milk Instantly:
Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies or Sweet Moments – 4 for $10

Purchase 20 and Get $2 off OYNO:
Yoplait Cups – 20 for $10

Purchase 4 and Get $1 off OYNO:
Totinos Party Pizza or Pizza Rolls – 4 for $5

Purchase 2 and Get $5 off OYNO:
Cheer or Gain 2 z 64-80 Loads - $9.99

Happy Shopping!

The Garden Has Sprung!

So after being away for a week, we were surprised by the progress of our garden. When we got home we had to weed and weed some more. I think weeding is a never ending battle no matter what! But it is worth it when you get freshly grown veggies from your own backyard! So we were able to pick:

6 zucchini
5 green peppers
1 cucumber

I already whipped up 2 loaves of zucchini bread, check out my recipe here. I am also making my stuffed green peppers for dinner this week. I am working on a recipe for Sausage Stuffed Zucchini that I will put up later in the week. Stay tuned for more updates as our hard work begins to come to light as we begin to pick our veggies. I have A LOT of green tomatoes and some little jalapenos so I am hoping for some fresh salsa in the weeks to come. This is my absolute favorite dish of summer!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Zucchini Bread

The garden has sprung and we picked 6 HUGE zucchini yesterday. I was able to make 2 loaves of zucchini bread that is currently being devoured by my boys. Here is my recipe!

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Beat eggs until frothy. Add oil and sugar and mix. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. In another bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined.

Grease and flour two loaf pans (or I use the Pam For Baking Spray). Pour half of the batter in both of the pans. Cook for 60 minutes at 325. Enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lack of Posts

I apologize for my lack of posts last week.  My family and extended family took a wonderful beach vacation to the Outer Banks, NC.  What a wonderful place for a family vacation.  The beaches were beautiful and the atmosphere was very laid back and family friendly!

I am back this week so I will resume my normal postings as well as continue my series on Vacationing on a Budget.  If you missed the first 2 posts check them out here and here.  I will also share some tips from out "Budget Friendly" vacation!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 7/12/10

Another week, another menu plan!
Monday - Shake N Bake Pork Chops
Tuesday – Jambalaya
Wednesday – Stuffed Greens Peppers with Garden Fresh Peppers!
Thursday – Spaghetti & Meatballs
Friday – Hamburgers on the grill
Saturday – Day at the Lake with Friends
Sunday – Eat Out

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Like Mountain Dew on Facebook

Like Mountain Dew on Facebook and the message reads:

Whether you are a green DEW drinker, avid Diet fan, DEWmocracy supporter, or even a Pitch Black fanatic... THANK YOU! We just reached 1 MILLION fans! To show our appreciation, we will be offering a unique offer for just our Facebook fans. Stay tuned... more to come!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vacationing with a Budget – Plan Ahead and Start Saving

The best way to vacation is to have the money set aside and ready to go for vacation. This way you will never miss the money and when you return from your wonderful vacation with your family you will not have leftover “vacation” bills! Like I indicated in my previous post, my husband and I have committed to taking our boys on a vacation every year. We put money aside every month for that vacation. If you save just $100 a month in your vacation fund, in a year you will have $1200 for a vacation! In my mind that is more than enough for a “budget friendly vacation”! So do you want to vacation next summer? Then make the commitment NOW and start your vacation fund!

So how do we save for our vacation? We use Smarty Pig! This site is amazing! You can set up saving funds for all kind of reasons, vacations, new home, new car, education, anything! So you can start your vacation fund today for only $25. Then all you need to do is set up automatic withdraws from your current savings or checking account to be automatically deposited into your Smarty Pig Vacation Fund! How easy is that? You will not even miss the money! We set up a monthly withdraw which occurs the day after my paycheck is deposited. So it is like the money was never there! The best part is, your Smarty Pig account will earn 2.15% in interest. I have not seen an interest rate like that at any of our local banks. Plus if you withdraw money from your account in gift cards you get a bonus!

When you get back from your vacation, start your next year vacation fund! I would even make it a bonus if you come home with leftover vacation fund money, buy something special for the family deposit it into next year’s fund!

Can you guess the beach above?

Stay tuned for more tips...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

WOW - 4th of July already?  I cannot believe how this summer is speeding by!  I hope you are enjoying your summer and you enjoy this festive holiday.  Hopefully you will be able to experience it with the awe of a young child!

Happy 4th of July 2010!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vacationing with a Budget – Budget Friendly Tips

Welcome to my new summer series, Vacationing with a Budget! I love a good vacation. Sand, beach, pool, what could be better? My most prominent memories of childhood are often the ones we had while vacation. My family always made it a point to take a vacation every year. We often visited beach locations such as Florida, Virginia Beach, and Myrtle Beach. My husband and I have also made a commitment to take our boys on vacation every year. I believe that everyone works hard all year long, and you should definitely treat yourself to a much needed break! A vacation can get expensive, but if you have a budget and keep it in check, you are less likely to break the bank and still have a fun, memorable time! Here are a few of my “vacation-friendly” budget tips:

1. Plan Ahead and Start Saving – If you are able to put away $100 a month for a year, then when vacation time rolls around you will have $1200 for vacation spending! Check out Smarty Pig for sending up your own vacation fund!

2. Pick a location that is drivable – If you have kids that would require separate plane tickets, then your best bet financially is to drive! We live in Ohio so if we wanted to “fly” to a beach location such as Fort Myer’s Florida, it would cost us approximately $1140. (3 tickets @ $380 a piece plus 1 lap child). But we could drive to Myrtle Beach for approximately $400 (estimating $160 in total fuel costs, $200 for a hotel room stop half way and incidentals).

3. Choose a Condo over a Hotel Room – This is the only way we travel! Check out websites such as HomeAway and VRBO for condos. They are often cheaper than a hotel room and you save significantly on meal costs since you have a kitchen. We have also traveled with a group of families and split the cost of a house.  If you do choose a hotel (or need one as a stop) book ahead of time through EBATES or Shop At Home to get a percentage back!

4. Limit Eating Out – So if you follow tip #2 & #3, then this tip is so EASY! Pack food from home that you already got on sale! We usually pack a box full of boxed and canned items as well as a cooler full of meats and other frozen items. We also take plenty of water, juice, and other beverages. It is so easy to just grab cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and grill out for dinner! Plus it is so much easier than getting the kids bathed and then going out to dinner for a 2 hour affair! Watch for my next post on Food Packing for Vacation!

5. Do Laundry While on Vacation – Okay this sounds weird, but actually it will save you $$! Choose a condo with an in suite washer & dryer. You can now pack lighter and go home with clean clothes! Throughout the year I save all those free detergent samples I get in the mail and then take them on vacation with us. The last day of our stay, I do all my laundry in the condo. So we now pack clean clothes and will not have to catch up on laundry at home!

6. Limit Expensive Activities – Choose a condo that is beach front with a “cool” pool and your kids will never want to leave! We normally only do about 2 activities which involve an additional cost. We call these are “rainy day” or “break from the sun day” activities. This could include going to the movies one afternoon, a local aquarium, shopping mall, touring historical landmarks, or a dinner theater activity.

Can you guess where my son is in the picture above?

Stay tuned as I break down each of my tips further!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Blog with Substance

Wow - I just got an award from

The Rules:

•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.

•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words

•Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

My blogging philosophy: "Spend Less 2 Save More"

The 10 blogs I am giving this award to are