Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm a Freschetta Fresh Connection Blog Member!

I am so excited, I was chosen as a Freschetta Fresh Connection Blog Member!

FRESCHETTA® Unsurpassed Fresh Taste In Frozen Pizza

The FRESCHETTA® Pizza brand was created with a mission to produce fresh-tasting frozen pizza using only quality ingredients. We strive to provide unsurpassed fresh taste in every pizza we make.
With real cheeses, flash frozen vegetables picked at the peak of ripeness and quality premium meats, FRESCHETTA® frozen pizza is a great choice, no matter the occasion. No other pizza tastes like FRESCHETTA® because no other pizza is made like FRESCHETTA®.
Now that’s Fresch™ - In your grocer’s freezer.        

In our house we love pizza, especially Freschetta!  Especially on a busy night, it is so easy and quick to pop a Freschetta into the oven and minutes later we are enjoying dinner!  As a Blog Member, I hope to bring you an insider's look at Freschetta and provide you with updates when new products are launched!

Why not Like Freschetta on Facebook with me and you can get a $0.75 off coupon of Freschetta by the Slice?           

July 4th Holiday Recipes

The July 4th holiday weekend is almost here!  We are gearing up for picnics, swimming, friends, family, good food, and of course FIREWORKS!  Still need some last minute food ideas for the long weekend?  Why not try some of my recipes I have posted?  Check them out and have a wonderful, safe, fun weekend!

Sausage Cheese Balls
Chopped Spinach Salad
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Cheesy Potatoes
My Most Tender BBQ Ribs and Sweet and Sassy Sauce
Grilled Pork Kebabs with Cucumber Sauce

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friendly's - BOGO 3 Scoop Sundaes!

Go here to print a coupon for Buy One Get One Free 3 scoop sundae from Friendly's!  Valid through 7-10-11!  Yummy!

My Favorite Stores to Shop

We are currently in a "busy" season of life in my household.  I have been extremely busy at work which has included some extra hours and travel.  This has its positives (we are obviously busy at work = sales!) however it also has its negatives (less time with my family).  The kids have also been busy with various activities, swimming, soccer, karate, and now T-ball.  With all this "busy-ness", we have had to adjust our shopping style lately. 

I have not been doing as much bargain/coupon shopping as I normally like, but we have found some new ways to save money which is currently working for us.  Here is my list of our top stores that we have been frequently lately:

1.  Costco - this one is new to us.  We put off getting a member for so long because I doubted we would use it.  Well I was wrong, my husband and I love this store and all it offers!  There prices on a lot of items can't be beat!  However we are still being very careful comparing prices and not just buying something because it "appears" to be a great deal.  They are the cheapest in town right now on milk ($2.28 per gallon) and eggs ($3.19 for 3 dozen).

2.  Aldi - this is always one of our favorite stores.  We continue to get a lot of our staples at Aldi's including fruits, canned goods, cereals, frozen items, and boxed snacks.  They have raised prices on milk (not happy) but are still the cheapest in town for bananas ($0.44/#), chicken noodle soup ($0.49 per can) and small cans of tomato sauce ($0.25/can).  They have also ran some $10 off a $40 purchase coupons in our Sunday ads (love them - more please?)

3.  Giant Eagle - my favorite store to coupon.  Lately, the coupon deals have been, uh SLOW!  I only shopped twice this past month.  The first time was to use 10% in Food Perks and the second time to use the catalinas from the first trip.  There truly have not been any great sales worth a stop.  I hope this changes!

4.  CVS - my favorite drug store!  I use to make weekly trips during my lunch break at work.  Lately the trips have been every other week.  Again the sales have been mediocre.  I have only been going when I truly see the value.  I will continue to work my Extra Care Bucks however!

5.  Walgreens - they are falling on my list!  Too many new rules with coupons!  I have had several instances where my Register Rewards failed to print and I had to return items because management would not honor.  I will still shop there if there are some good freebies, but they are not top on my weekly shopping list anymore!

Well, that will do it!  These are the stores I been shopping at most lately.  As with life, things change quickly and we have to change are shopping habits to adjust to our current lifestyle!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 27, 2011

I cannot believe it is almost the end of June!  We have been busy enjoying summer, I hope everyone else is too!  Here is what is on the menu this week.  I need some new menu ideas for summer, I am getting tired of hamburgers, hot dogs, and grilled chicken and I am sure more of that will be on the menu this upcoming holiday weekend!

Monday - Meatball Subs
Tuesday - Turkey, Bacon, & Avocado Subs
Wednesday - Tilapia and Garlic Bread
Thursday - Chopped Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken
Friday - Eat Out
Saturday - 2nd of July Picnic
Sunday - Dinner with In-laws
Monday - 4th of July Picnic

This post is linked at MPM on I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 20, 2011

Wowsers!  This weekend went so fast I hardly had time to even think about what's for dinner this week!  I love summer, but our weekends are booked solid!  This weekend we took the kids to Touch a Truck in our local community on Friday, my oldest got to go to a baseball game with his cousins Friday night,  we went to our friend's house at the lake on Saturday and then on Sunday we went to church and out to brunch with my parents!  Luckily I snuck in a nap on Sunday afternoon! 

This is going to be a "low-key" dinner week!

Monday - hamburgers on the grill
Tuesday - Pasta salad with grilled chicken
Wednesday - Breakfast for dinner!
Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday - Fish
Saturday - Eat Out
Sunday - Family Party!

This post is linked at MPM at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wiinner of Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Prize Pack

The winner of the Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Prize Pack is:


You should have received an e-mail from me, please respond within 24 hours or I will choose a new winner.  Thanks to all that entered!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father's Day Gift Card Special From Ruby Tuesday's!

Yum!  I can taste the Garden Bar now!  Check out this HOT deal from Ruby Tuesday for Father's
  • Purchase a $25 Gift Card and receive a $5 Bonus Coupon
  • Purchase a $50 Gift Card and receive a $15 Bonus Coupon!
Limit of $30 of Bonus Coupons per online order.  Offer expires on Father's Day.  Bonus Coupons e-mailed on June 20 and expire July 5.  Valid for online orders only!  Go here to order yours now! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Disney 2011 on a Budget – Day 3 Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you missed my posts on our visit to the Magic Kingdom or breakfast at Chef Mickey’s check them out! Our 2nd Walt Disney World park to visit on our 3 day tickets was Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Overall the experience parking and getting into the park was a lot easier than at the Magic Kingdom. We were getting a rhythm down of parking the car, walking to the parking lot shuttle and boarding the shuttle with 2 kids and a double stroller. I tried to get the first row of the shuttle car because it was larger. I then grabbed the kids and got them on board while my husband folded the stroller and boarded with it!

When entering the park we headed straight for Toy Story Mania!  My sister had been to Hollywood Studios in April and she warned us that they run out of the Fast Pass’s quick on this ride! So at 10:30 we got our Fast Pass’s for Toy Story Mania for a return time of 12:50 pm to 1:50 pm.

Our first official stop was Voyage of The Little Mermaid. We only had to wait about 10 minutes. My 5 year old loved the show. I liked it too; it was cute with special effects of water splashing on you! After The Little Mermaid we headed over to Disney Junior - Live on Stage!  We only had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated. Seating for this show was sitting on the floor with everyone else. I was a little disappointed that it was not “life-size” characters of the Disney Junior shows but just smaller puppets. However both of my boys enjoyed it and got to sing along with the gang from Mickey Mouse Club House, Little Einstein’s, Handy Manny, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates!

After leaving the Disney Junior show we got to meet Handy Manny. Only about a 20 minute wait to meet him. Next we headed over to the Studio Backlot Tour. We had to wait about 30 minutes, but we all enjoyed the tour.

Next we headed over to the Sunset Ranch Market for lunch. It was again beginning to get really hot, so we made we were well hydrated!   After lunch it was time to go on Toy Story Mania! This was by far the best ride we went on! My five year old wanted to go on it again, but at that point the Fast Pass’s were already all gone and the wait was up to 60 minutes. After Toy Story Mania, we went and watched Beauty and the Beast -Live on Stage. It was in a covered outdoor theater. It was a little hot, but at least it was shaded!

We were then able to watch the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun parade. It started at 3 pm. We had to stand in the sun and it was HOT!! The parade was great and we got to see most of our Pixar Pals and sing along to 5-4-3-2-FUN! After the parade, we decided to leave the park.

I really enjoyed Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park was more laid back and we got to see and do all of the things that were on our list! By the time we got back to our condo, we just made frozen pizza and then enjoyed an evening swim!   We went to bed earlier because Disney’s Animal Kingdom was on the agenda for the next day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 13, 2011

Be sure to check out my Chex Muddy Buddies Prize Pack Giveaway which ends on 6/17!

Monday - Asian BBQ Chicken
Tuesday - Hamburgers & French Fries
Wednesday - Chopped Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken
Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday - Eat Out
Saturday - Picnic with Friends at their Lake House
Sunday - My Most Tender BBQ Ribs with Sweet & Sassy BBQ Sauce for my Husband and Dad!

This post is linked at MPM at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Review & Giveaway!

Recently, I had the chance to try Chex Mix Muddy Buddies.  I have made this in the past, but now Chex Mix is offering it year round!  My family is a big fan of Chex Mix, but I think Chex Mix Muddy Buddies is by far our favorite.  One night after dinner, I told the kids that I had a special dessert for them!  They were so excited when everyone (including Mom and Dad) received a bowl of Chex Mix Muddy Buddies for dessert!  Let's just say that the bag did not even last one night in our house.  We LOVE Chex Mix Muddy Buddies!

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies offers a unique combination of Corn Chex cereal, peanut butter, and chocolate, dusted with a powdery sweet coating.  It´s the same delicious snack you´ve been making at home for years, now conveniently packaged and sharable for all occasions.  Plus, it´s made with 50% less fat than regular potato chips so you can enjoy the taste without the guilt. Yum!

Now for the GIVEAWAY!!

One lucky reader will receive a Chex Mix Muddy Buddies prize pack pictured above! 

To Enter- Main Entry:
Leave a comment on you plan to take advantage of Chex Mix Muddy Buddies now that it is offered year-round!

Bonus Entries (Must complete Main Entry First) - be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry!
1.  Follow Spend Less 2 Save More (Link on Sidebar)
2.  Like Spend Less 2 Save More on Facebook (Link on Sidebar)

Giveaway is open until 11:59 pm on Friday, June 17, 2011.  The winner will be notified via e-mail and their prize pack will be sent out via MyBlogSpark.

I was provided the above Chex Mix Muddy Buddies gift pack compliments Chex Mix through MyBlogSpark.  This did not influence my review of this product.

Groupon Partnering with Grocery Ghain

 Groupon which disclosed plans to hold an initial public offering last week, has been looking at new industries where it can apply its group-buying model in a large-scale way. Recent efforts include national partnerships with Live Nation and Expedia to sell discounted tickets and travel offers.
Groupon has offered deals for grocers in the past. Last year, it offered a discount for upscale market Fox & Obel in Chicago. But the new partnership with Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y is the first time a multi-store grocery retailer has run a Groupon deal. Big Y operates 61 stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts. In addition, Big Y is the only retailer in any industry that has fully integrated Groupon deals into its loyalty card program.

"The grocery retail industry is a fantastic opportunity for us that has been largely untapped," Darren Schwartz, Groupon's senior vice president of sales, said in a statement.

On June 7, Groupon subscribers in Springfield will receive an offer to buy a Big Y "Shellfish Grill Pack," valued at $39.99, for $24. Shoppers that buy the voucher will be asked to enter their Big Y loyalty program membership number. When they buy the shellfish package, the deal is automatically credited at the cash register.

Ohh - I hope this comes to Giant Eagle!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Disney 2011 on a Budget – Day 2 Chef Mickey’s!

So after a full day at the Magic Kingdom, our Day 2 agenda was a little more laid back! We had reservations (be sure and make them 180 days in advance!) at Chef Mickey’s at Disney's Contemporary Resort at 9:10am and then we planned to spend the rest of the day at The Windsor Hills Resort pool!

To get to Disney's Contemporary Resort, you have to go through the main Magic Kingdom gates. I thought they would charge us for parking, but we told the attendant that we were going to Disney's Contemporary Resort and he let us right through. Parking was free at the hotel.

 We arrived at Chef Mickey’s on the fourth floor of the resort and the kids loved to watch the Monorail zipping through the hotel! We had to wait in line to get our picture taken with a life size Mickey by a photographer, and then we were quickly seated at our table. Right away the boys started to spot Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto! They were so excited! The waitress explained to us that each character makes their way around the restaurant and comes to every table.

The food was delicious! They had an incredible buffet with pancakes, Mickey shaped waffles, omelets, fresh fruits, cereals, potatoes, breakfast meats, and much more! We got our food and began to eat. Before we knew it, here came Mickey right to our table. The boys got to hug him and we got lots of pictures. We then had Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto all come to our table! By far this was the absolute BEST way to meet the characters!

We were also able to purchase a packet of pictures that were taken when we entered Chef Mickey’s. The package cost us $29.95 plus tax, but you received a 5x7, 3-4x6, and a few pictures of the characters in a keepsake book. I kind of felt like I was on a cruise ship!

 he meal was on the expensive side, $32.95 for adults, $15.95 for my 5-year old and my 2 year old was FREE! All in all it was well worth the money to see the look on my boys’ faces. I think this was one of their favorite parts of the whole Disney trip and perhaps mine too!

The boys, and us had the best time at Chef Mickey’s. I definitely recommend a character breakfast as a “must do” on your Walt Disney World adventure!

After breakfast, the boys wanted to ride the Monorail. So we were able to jump on it at Disney's Contemporary Resort and ride the complete loop. They loved it! Nice relaxing time and you were able to see the other hotels on the Monorail loop.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 6, 2011

So as predicted by me, June came in VERY HOT!!  Luckily the last few days it has cooled down a bit.  However the boys have already been enjoying their summer vacation with trips to the playground, mini golf, and eating ice cream outside.  I love this time a year!  Looks like there will be a lot of grilling this week!

Monday - Tacos
Tuesday - Grilled Marinated Chicken
Wednesday - Steak Night!
Saturday - Picnic with College Friends and Families - We are serving Hamburgers & Hotdogs!
Sunday - Eat Out!

This post is linked at MPM on I'm an Organizing Junkie!

"Don't Take Life So Seriously!"

"Don't take life so seriously!"  As we went to church as a family this morning, these were the words our priest said to end his homily, "don't take life so seriously"!  Wow - this really hit home for me.  Sometimes I get so caught up in making sure everything in perfect, every penny is budgeted, every tooth is brushed, and every dish is washed!  "Don't take life so seriously" has been on my mind all day!  So today instead of taking life so seriously we...
  • Ran through the sprinkler,
  • Ate cookies before dinner,
  • Had a squirt gun fight,
  • Played with water balloons,
  • Enjoyed an extra scoop of Cool Whip on my Strawberry Shortcake,
  • Kissed my husband and told him he is an amazing Dad,
  • Sat in a lounge chair at my Mother-in-Law's and enjoyed the sunshine,
  • Let my sister-in-law cook us dinner,
  • Just played with the kids!
What an amazing day we had!  There is always tomorrow to do the laundry, wash the dishes, and pay the bills! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grocery Circular Roundup

All You is offering a new free grocery-saving service on All that just launched today.

It is called Grocery Circular Roundup and lets you search by zipcode for all local circular deals, filter grocery deals by retailers and/or food category, and even pinpoint what’s on sale and where from an existing grocery list that you type in. Using the search features it’s also a great way to coupon stack, and you can print coupons directly from the list as needed. Here is the direct link – it should automatically “locate” you, or simply enter your zip code and it goes to work.

Behind the scenes, the site is powered by Grocery Server, a grocery search engine that pulls grocery deals from all across the US in real time. We have some good deals discussions on our Facebook page and the occasional giveaways, so swing by and join us if you get a chance.

Free Donut at Dunkin Donuts - 6/3!

So apparently, June 3rd is National Donut Day!  Who knew?  The good news is that now I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow on my way into work from Dunkin Donuts!  Find your closest location here!

Cue the confetti—Friday, June 3rd is National Donut Day!
Celebrate with a FREE donut on us, with any beverage purchase1.

It's just our way of thanking YOU for making us America's favorite donut shop.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Disney 2011 On a Budget - Day 1 Magic Kingdom

Our first Disney park we hit was of course The Magic Kingdom!  We arrived at our condo My Magic Home Near Disney at The Windsor Hills Resort on Saturday, May 7th and took a day off to relax.  We hit The Magic Kingdom on Monday, May 9th!
Everything I read was this time of the year was a down time, however the park was very crowded!  From the time we parked the car, got on the Monorail and then into the park, it was almost an hour wasted!  The lesson we learned?  Take the Ferry Boat!

We headed first to Adventureland and road The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  My husband and son got right on, no wait!

The next stop was the Jungle Cruise!  One of my favorite rides.  We had to wait about 20 minutes, no problem!  Last stop in Adventureland was the Pirates of the Caribbean, first time ridding this ride and we all really liked it! 

Next we headed over to Frontierland and right away we spotted Woody and Jessie!  Two of our favorite characters and on our "must see" list!  We had to wait about 45 minutes to greet them but in the meantime I went and got the FastPass's for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!  We got our PhotoPass card from the photographer.  Disney's PhotoPass Service gives you professional photographs of your Walt Disney World vacation. View the photos online, order prints and create custom photo keepsakes.  Give the card to every photographer and even ask the photographer or helper to take pictures with your own camera!

After greeting Woody and Jessie, we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and then got our FastPass's for Splash Mountain.  This left us just the right amount of time to get some lunch.  By now it was HOT!!  High was 90 and all sun!  I asked a friendly Disney Cast Member for a cool place to eat and she pointed us right to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.  Lesson #2 - always ask Cast Members where to eat.  It will save a lot of time looking for something to eat!  It was cool inside to eat, but half the park was in there!  Crowded!

After lunch we rode Splash Mountain and The Walt Disney World Railroad around the park.  We then headed to Fantasyland!  We rode It's a Small World, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, and Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.  Now it was off to Tomorrowland.  It was getting late in the day, everyone was hot, and getting a little moody that this point.  We had to skip a few rides!

In Tomorrowland we rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and we got to meet Buzz himself when we got off the ride!

We finished up with riding on the Tomorrowland Speedway twice (my five year old loved driving, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and Stitch's Great Escape.   This was my least favorite.  I had no clue what this ride was but it turns out it really wasn't a ride at all and my five year old was quite frightened by it!  We then headed to the front of the park to get some dinner before the Main Street Electrical Parade which started at 9.  We then spotted Pluto!

We then wanted to eat someplace inside to be cool, however I did not realize you needed reservations for all of the sit-down restaurants, Lesson #3 - make reservations ahead of time for dinner, you will want a cool place to eat!  We ended up eating foot-long hot dogs at The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland.  We ended our day watching the Main Street Electrical Parade with a front row seat near the park entrance!