Monday, March 31, 2014

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 17

Today's challenge included a quick clean of the bathroom, and to clean out and reorganize the kitchen cupboards. The bathroom was super simple as I had just cleaned it yesterday, the cupboards on the other hand, took forever, since we have 34.  But I got through it all, here is an after of one of the the cupboards...
As for purging items, here's what I came up with 9 items...

Linked to Money Saving Mom!

Menu Plan Monday: 03/31/2014

11 more days until Baby Rogers is due!  I cannot wait!  I'm still working hard in the nursery, keeping up with laundry, and trying to keep the house clean, but other than that, I'm pretty tired, so I am trying to rest as much as possible.  I kept the menu pretty simple this week again, that way Joe could help out if I need it.  Here's what were eating this week...

Breakfasts: Cereal for Me, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for Joe

Lunches: Leftovers, Sandwiches

Sunday - Chili
Monday - Chopped (leftover and frozen) Beef Roast with Mushrooms, Onions, and Gravy, over Egg Noodles, with Rolls
Tuesday - Baked Fish Patties, with Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese
Wednesday - Onion Gravy Pork Chops, with Mashed Potatoes
Thursday - Leftover Buffet
Friday - Working at Joe's Grandfather's house, so we'll probably eat with him
Saturday - Nachos

Extras: Possible some Brownies, but we'll see.

For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 16

Today's challenge invovled a quick pick-up of the house, and vacuuming the air vents throughout the house.  Since today was my normal cleaning day, I pick-up the house before I get started.  Here's an after of the kitchen, much tidier without a bunch of junk on the table :-)

The air vents took a little longer, as I had to wait for my husband to do them, since they are all up near our 10 foot ceiling.  But with only 7 to do, it didn't take long.  He also did the duct work as well.
As for purging 7 items, that was simple today, I working in the nursery going through my sewing/craft stash.  Needless to say, this is all going out for sale!  There's at least 50 items in there, YEAH!
Linked to Money Saving Mom!

March Budget Update

This month I started off with an additional $49 in the grocery budget, which is always nice!  We cashed in our coin jar the end of last month, so into the grocery envelope it went. Even with the extra money, I still managed to go over budget for the month, by $1.23 - ugh!  Well, April should be easier.  The baby is due the 10th, so I don't plan on doing too much shopping after that.  We have very well stocked freezers, as well as a full pantry, so there isn't really anything we need, other than probably more diapers!  Here's how the month worked out...
  • Week #1 (+ Saturday 03/01 $19.56): $74.44 OOP, Earned $25.72 ECB's, $10 CVS Gift Card, $20 Target Gift Card, $5 Amazon Gift Card from Swag Bucks, and $99.99 from Amazon
  • Week #2: $77.06 OOP, Earned $25 ECB's, $7.99 MIR, $63.58 Wal-mart Gift card for a return, $5 Amazon Gift Card from Swag Bucks, and $15.04 from Amazon
  • Week #3: $65.85 OOP, Earned $38 ECB's, $2.49 MIR, $8 in Catalina Coupons, $5 Amazon Gift Card from Swag Bucks, and $23.97 from Amazon
  • Week #4: $46.23 OOP, Earned $20 ECB's, $8.99 and $15 from MIR's, $5 Amazon Gift Card from Swag Bucks, and $30.02 from Amazon
Grand Total OOP for March: $263.58
Total Earned: $433.79
Amount Remaining: $1.23 Over budget, even with the leftover from February added in - boo!  But we are very well stocked for when Baby Rogers decides to come, and I have everything I need for my labor bag.  I finally feel prepared, which means that the baby will probably take it's sweet time getting here :)  Anyway, it all balances out in the end, so here's to doing better in April! 

Weekly Spending Report: 03/23-29/2014

This week I went over my monthly budget, but with the baby on it's way in just two weeks, I did a lot of stocking up, and I feel good about what I purchased, and the price I paid.  It's good to have easy meals and snacks on hand for after the baby comes.  Here's how the last week of March went down...
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip: $5.28 oop, Earned $20 ECB's, and $8.99 MIR
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $22.50 oop
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $8.80 oop
  • Saturday's ALDI Trip (no picture, 2 boxes Pop-tarts, 1 bunch Organic Bananas, and 1 pkg String Cheese): $9.65 oop 
  • Saturday's Bath and Body Works Trip (no picture, 2 hand soap, used free item coupons from Facebook): Zero oop
  • Earned $15 MIR for my Contacts  
  • Earned $5 Amazon Gift Card from Swag Bucks
  • Earned $30.02 from Amazon
Total OOP: $46.23
Total Earned: $79.01
Total Remaining:$1.23 Over Budget -- Boo!  Hopefully April will be better :)

Linked to Couponaholic! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday's Giant Trip

Tuesday Joe and I stopped into Giant to pick up some necessities as well as a few great coupon deals.  It was nice to be able to do some coupon shopping, it might be my last trip before the baby comes.  Only 3 weeks to go.  We'll have to wait and see, here's what we ended up with...

2 boxes Mrs. Paul's Fish Fillets $5.99 ea - BOGO Free Sale - $1/1 MC x 2 = 2/$3.99
1/2 lb VA Baked Deli Ham $4.05
2 tubs Land O Lakes Olive Oil Spread $2.19 ea = 2/$4.38
3 bags Cascadian Farms Organic Frozen Blueberries $3.59 ea - $0.75/1 doubled to $1.50 ea x 3 = $2.09 ea or 3/$6.27
1 box Blueberry Pop-Tarts $3.19 - $0.69 Sale = $2.50
2 boxes Back to Nature Organic Mac and Cheese $2.59 ea - $1/1 MC x 2 = $1.59 ea or 2/$3.18
1 bottle Gold's Horseradish $1.99 - $0.49 Sale = $1.50
4 bottles Dawn Hand Renewal Dish Soap $1.39 ea - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 x 4 = $0.39 ea or 4/$1.56
+ $0.22 Tax
- $7 Catalina Coupons used to Pay
- $0.15 Reusable Bag Credit 
Total OOP: $47.32 - $24.82 Savings/Coupons = $22.50, Savings of 52%!!!!

Tuesday's CVS Trip

Tuesday Joe and I also stopped into CVS to pick up some great coupon deals.  We had an AWESOME trip, and I did do two transactions to make the most of my ECB's.  Here's how it went down...

Transaction #1: 
1-24 ct Cool Mint Zantac $10.79 - $1.80 Sale - $2/$10 CVS Stomach Coupon - $4/1 MC - $8.99 MIR = FREE + $6 Money-maker!
1 Jumbo pk CVS Size 1 Diapers $9.29 - $2.30 Sale - $3 ECB's = $3.99
1-10 ct Zarbee's Seasonal Relief $9.99 - $2.99 Sale - $1/1 MC (from previous sample pk) - $7 ECB's = FREE + $1 Money-maker!
6 Reese's Eggs $0.99 ea - $0.24 ea Sale - BOGO Free Sale x 3 - $1/3 MC x 2 = 6/$0.25
+ $0.45 Tax
- $14 ECB's used to Pay
Total OOP: $2.68, Earned $10 ECB's and $8.99 MIR!

Transaction #2:
2 tubes Physician's Formula Concealer $9.79 ea - 20% off CVS Coupon $3.92 - $7/1 CVS Coupon - $10 ECB's wyb 2 = 2 FREE + $1.34 Money-maker!
+ $0.94 Tax
- $7 ECB used to Pay
Total OOP: $2.60, Earned $10 ECB's!

Total Spent: $5.28
Total Earned $20 ECB's and $8.99 MIR!

Linked to Simply CVS!

ALDI Deals, Starting 03/26/2014

Here are a few of the AWESOME deals this week at ALDI...
  • Weds. 03/26 ONLY: SimplyNature Fresh 85% Lean Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef 1 lb $4.49 ea
  • Organic Baby Carrots 16 oz $1.29 ea
  • Organic Grape Tomatoes 10 oz pkg $1.89 ea
  • Avocados $0.79 ea
  • Multi-Peppers 3 pk $1.99 ea
  • Mini Cucumbers 14 oz $1.29 ea
  • Grapefruits $0.39 ea
  • Pears 28 oz $1.49 ea
  • Mangoes $0.79 ea
  • SimplyNature Apple Multi-fruit or Apple Banana Fruit Squeezies 12.7 oz $1.99 ea
  • SimplyNature Yogurt Squeezies Mixed Berry or Strawberry Banana 4-3.5 oz pouches $3.69 ea
  • SimplyNature Pancake Mix Oatmeal or Whole Wheat 16 oz $1.99 ea
  • SimplyNature Unsweetened Apple Sauce 46 oz $1.89 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Brownie or Vanilla Cake Mix 15-15.25 oz $2.99 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Black Beans 15 oz $0.89 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Sharp Cheddar 8 oz block $3.49 ea
  • SimplyNature Shredded Cheese Mexican or Mild Cheddar 8 oz $3.49 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Toasted Oats Honey or Original 9-10 oz $1.99 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Reduced Fat 2% Milk $3.39 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic 100% Apple Juice 64 oz $2.49 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey 12 oz $3.19 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Diced Tomatoes 28 oz $1.49 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Free Range Chicken or Low Sodium Chicken 32 oz $1.79 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Salsa Hot, Medium, or Mild 16 oz $1.99 ea
  • SimplyNature Uncured Pepperoni or 4 Cheese Pizza 13.2-13.3 oz $3.49 ea
  • SimplyNature Organic Fruit Bars Chunky Strawberry, Creamy Banana, or Creamy Coconut 10 oz $2.69 ea
  • Fit and Active Sugar Free Preserves Assorted Varieties 13 oz $1.99 ea
  • Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen French Bread Pizza Three Meat or Extra Cheese 11.75-12.5 oz $1.99 ea
  • Clancy's Garden Veggie  Crisps Jalapeno Ranch or Tomato Basil 4.5 oz $1.49 ea
  • Sweet Additions Monk Fruit Sweetener 2.82 oz $2.99 ea
  • Millville Chewy Yogurt Granola Bars Assorted Varieties 6.1 oz $1.79 ea
  • Easy Home Heavy Duty Black Shelving $39.99 ea
  • Easy Home Toilet Seat with Soft Close Round or Oblong $14.99 ea
  • Easy Home Multifunctional Shower Head Assortment $12.99 ea
  • Stout Stuff 10 piece Garage Starter Kit $24.99 ea
For more information about shopping at ALDI, visit their Homepage!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday: Chocolate Chip PB Oatmeal Bars

My husband's favorite flavor combination if you haven't guess by now is peanut butter and chocolate.  If it resembles a PB cup, he's there.  So, I try to make things that include the two ingredients, and if I can add something healthy in the mix like oatmeal, I count that as a double win!  These Chocolate Chip PB Oatmeal bars are tasty, and very filling.  They have plenty of sweet without being candy-like, and actually have a more savory taste from the PB, which I like.  The bars whip up quick, bake for only 20 minutes, and then get topped with a fast and tasty glaze, so go make yourself some, like right now...

1/2 c unsalted softened Butter
1/2 c Sugar (I use Raw)
1/2 c Brown Sugar
1/2 c PB (I use Creamy)
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 c Flour (I use unbleached)
1/2 c Quick Oats
1 c Chocolate Chips (I use Milk)

1/2 c Powdered Sugar
2 tbsp PB (I warm mine a little to make it easier to mix)
2 tbsp Milk

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream butter, and sugars together until fluffy.  Add PB, vanilla, and egg.  Beat until smooth.
2.) Mix together dry ingredients, except chocolate chips.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.
3.) Spread mixture into a greased and floured 9x13" pan.  Bake 20 minutes in preheated oven.
4.) Mix together glaze ingredients until smooth, and drizzle onto cooled, pre-cut bars.  Allow glaze to set slightly.  Store bars in between wax paper in an airtight container.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: 03/24/2014

This week is again jam-packed with working on preparing for our little one.  I'm hoping to get about half my large 'To Do before the baby comes' list crossed off and done.  That list doesn't include my weekly cleaning, running a bunch of errands, going to the eye Dr, and working at Joe's grandfather's one day, which also all need to get done.  Needless to say, it's going to be a BUSY week!  I kept the meals super simple, since I'm 37 weeks pregnant, sometime has to give, so easier meals it is.  Here's what's on the menu for this week...

Breakfasts: Cold Cereal for Me, Apple Pie Bread for Joe (*new recipe)

Lunches: Leftovers or Sandwiches with Chips and Fruit

Sunday - Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Ground Sausage for Joe, and Garlic Bread
Monday - Smoked Ribs with French Fries (Joe's also going to smoke a chicken as well to have for lunches this week, and to put some away in the freezer)
Tuesday - Fruited Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Chips
Wednesday - Pot Roast (Leftover from the freezer) with Onions, Mushrooms, and Gravy over Egg Noodles
Thursday - Working at Joe's Grandfathers, so we'll eat out with him, where ever I have a coupon :-)
Friday - Dinner at a Friend's House!
Saturday - Homemade Pizza

Extras: Homemade Brownies
Freezer Cooking Plan: Shredded Smoked Chicken, Brownie Mixes, and Apple Pie Bread

For more AWESOME menu plans, visit Org Junkie!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 15

Today's challenge involveda wipe down of the TV and computer screens.  That was super quick, so I spent the rest of the day working in the nursery, only one corner left!  I thought I share the product we use to clean our TV and computer screens, instead of clean black screens :)

I delcuttered a lot of old and duplicate pictures, and misc paper trash from the nursery.  Enough to fill a whole box, definitely 100+ items, gone!
Linked to Money Saving Mom!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Glade Wax Melts

I was given the chance to review the Hawaiian Breeze and Apple Cinnamon Wax Melts from Glade.  I have been an avid wax melts user for years, so I was VERY excited to hear that Glade had come out with their own.  I love the simplicity of being able to drop a cube in my wax melter on my counter, and have the house permeated with an amazing aroma.  I stuck with scents similar to ones I already used, and that I knew my husband and I would probably like.  We tend to stick with cinnamon and apples in regards to candles and such, as they cover the kitty smell we sometimes have the best.  Plus they just smell tasty.  :-)  Glade's Apple Cinnamon Wax Melt did not disappoint.  It was not overpowering, but did a great job of giving the house a nice pleasant smell.  As for the Hawaiian Breeze, I already use Glade's candles in that scent, so I knew it would be a hit.  I love the Springy-freshness it brought to the house.  Kind of like that first Spring day when you can open all of your house windows, and everything is so sunny and fresh, and it makes you smile!  Overall, I feel that the new Glade Wax Melts are a great product.  They come in a variety of scents, a little something for everyone.  They also last a good while, making them a good value as well.  And, of course, they are super simple to use, and can be used in the wax melter you already own that matches your decor - always a plus!
Let me know if you've tried the new Glade Wax Melts, and what your favorite scent is.

I am a BzzAgent, and received Glade coupons to purchase the Wax Melts to try, however, all opinions expressed are my own.

Weekly Spending Report: 03/16-22/2014

This week I was able to do a LOT of stocking up for the baby.  Diapers and baby soap at CVS, and laundry detergent and baby wipes at Giant!  I also stocked us up on some more post-baby foods, including frozen pizza, and cheese slices for grilled cheese sandwiches, and of course, more bottled water.  I spent some of the money we received at the shower on the baby items, and used money from the grocery envelope for the rest.  Here's how the week went down...
  • Tuesday's Target Trip: Zero oop, used Gift card to Pay. Earned $2.49 MIR
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip: $5.83 oop, Earned $22 ECB's
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $20.41 oop
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $28.96 oop, Earned $6 in Catalina coupons
  • Thursday's CVS Trip: $1.95 oop, Earned $6 ECB's
  • Thursday's Giant Trip (no picture, just 2 boxes Pop-tarts, 2 pkgs Kraft Singles, and Bananas): Zero oop (was $5.20, but used baby shower money to pay), Earned $2 in Catalina coupons
  • Thursday's Good Will Trip (bought 3 larger sized baby outfits, all 50% off, and 1 brand new pk baby scissors, nail file, and clippers for $1): Zero OOP, used baby shower money to pay (was $4)
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip (no picture, 2 newspapers, 2 pkgs Fiber One Brownies, 2 boxes Generic Zyrtec, 1 Medicated Body Powder, and 1 Snickers): $7.96 oop 
  • Saturday's CVS Trip (no picture, just 1-40 ct Advil PM on clearance, and used a $1.50/1 MC): $0.74 oop
  • Earned $10 ECB for completing a Survey
  • Earned $23.97 from Amazon 
  • Earned $5 Amazon Gift Card from Swagbucks
Total OOP: $65.85
Total Earned: $77.46
Total Remaining for March: $45.00

Linked to Couponaholic! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 14

Today's challenge involved cleaning the mirrors in the house (and glass doors, which we don't have any of), and organizing the utensil drawers.  Both easy enough and quick. Since clean mirrors are a little boring to photograph, I just took pictures of the afters of my utensil drawers, one for baking items

and one for cooking/prep items.

I also managed to get rid of 7 misc. junk items from around the house.

Linked to Money Saving Mom!

CVS Trip #2

It's rare for me to make two trips out in a week, but I have some serious late-pregnancy energy going on, so I decided to stop out to CVS and visit my favorite CVS ladies, and get some good deals while I was there.  Here's what I picked up...

4 boxes Kleenex Tissues $1.77 ea - $0.78 ea Sale - $1/2 CVS Coupon x 2 - $1/4 MC = 4/$0.96!
2 pkgs Stride Gum $1.57 ea - $0.57 ea Sale - $1 ECB wyb 2 = 2/$1
2 Travel Sized Eucerin Lotions $1.27 ea - $5 ECB wyb 2 (does not exclude travel sized) = 2 FREE + $2.46 Money-maker!
+ $0.45 Tax
- $4 ECB used to Pay
Total OOP: $1.95, Earned $6 ECB's!

Linked to Simply CVS!

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 13

Today's challenge was a quick clean of the bathroom, and cleaning off the tops of the kitchen cupboards and fridge.  The bathroom was easy, so I got that out of the way first, then it was onto the top of the fridge.  I skipped the cupboards since ours go all the way to the ceiling.  
Bathroom after...
Top of the fridge after...

I also managed to get rid of quite a few things from our office desk, like 23 pieces of misc paper clutter - wahoo!

Linked to Money Saving Mom!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tuesday's Giant Trip

We also stopped into Giant on Tuesday to pick up some great deals, and I received some surprise catalinas that I can use towards next week's groceries - score!  I did 2 transaction to make use of the 1 catalina that I knew I was getting from the Kellogg's, and because Giant will only double 4 like coupons in a transaction.  So, here's how it went down...

Transaction #1:
4 boxes Kellogg's Mini Wheats Cereal $3.69 ea - $6 off instantly wyb 4 - $1/2 MC x 2 - $3 OYNO Catalina Coupon = 4/$3.76
4 Pampers Wipes $2.55 ea - $1.21 x 2 and $1.22 x 2 Sale - $0.50/1 MC x 4 doubled to $1 ea = 4/$1.34
 + $0.21 Tax
- $0.10 Reusable Bag Credit
Total OOP: $25.17 - $16.96 Savings/Coupons = $8.21 oop, Savings of 68%!!!  Plus Earned $3 Catalina!

Transaction #2:
2 Digorno Frozen Pizzas $7.69 ea - $2.69 ea Sale - $2/2 MC - $1 OYNO Catalina Coupon = 2/$7
2 pkgs Kraft Singles $3.99 - $1 ea Sale - $0.75/1 MC doubled to $1.50 x 2 - $2 OYNO Catalina Coupon = 2/$0.98
7 pkgs Pampers Wipes $2.55 ea - $1.21 x 3 and $1.22 x 4 Sale - $0.20/1 MC doubled to $0.40 x 4 - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 x 3 = 7/$4.74
4 boxes Kellogg's Pop-Tarts $2.49 ea -$0.99 ea Sale - $1/2 MC x 2 = 4/$4
2 cans Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes $1.99 ea - $0.75/1 MC doubled to $1.50 x 2 = 2/$0.98
2 Purex Laundry Detergents $4.55 ea - $2.56 ea Sale - $1.50/2 MC = 2/$2.48 ($1.24 ea!)
+ $0.67 Tax
- $0.10 Reusable Bag Credit
- $3 OYNO Catalina from Transaction #1
Total OOP: $64.92 - $44.17 Savings/Coupons = $20.75, Savings of 68%!!!  Plus Earned $3 in Catalinas!

Tuesday's CVS Trip

This week at CVS Joe and I were able to pick up some AWESOME deals.  I rolled my ECB's and was able to stock up on some necessities, like diapers and bottled water (not pictured).  I split my order into 2 transactions to make the most of my ECB's.  Here's how it went down...

Transaction #1
3-24 pks Basics bottled H2O $3.99 ea - $1.55 ea Sale = $2.44 ea or 3/$7.32
3 Jumbo Pks Pampers Diapers $11.99 ea - $3 ea Sale - $2/1 MC x 2 - $1.50/1 MC
+ 2 bottles Johnson's Baby Wash $4.49 ea - $1.49 ea Sale - $0.75/1 MC x 2 - $10 ECB wyb $30 = all for $15.97
+ $2.18 Tax
- $4/$20 CVS Coupon 
- $5 ECB's
Total OOP: Zero, used baby shower $, Earned $10 ECB's

Transaction #2:
2 Crest Sensi-Relief Toothpastes $5.99 ea - $1 ea Sale - $1/1 MC x 2 - $4 ECB x 2 = 2 FREE!
2 Crest Pro-Health Toothpastes $3.79 ea - $0.80 ea Sale - $1/2 MC - $2 ECB x 2 = 2/$0.98
3 boxes Kleenex Tissues with Lotion $1.77 ea - $0.78 ea Sale - $0.40/3 MC = 3/$2.57 (about $0.86 ea)
1 Glad Wax Melt $4.39 - Free item MC up to $3.49 = $0.90
+ $1.40 Tax
- $10 ECB's from Trans. #1
Total OOP: $5.83, Earned $12 ECB's for next week!

Linked to Simply CVS!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuesday's ALDI Trip

Our last stop Tuesday was ALDI.  I had a little extra money in the grocery envelope, and they had some great mark downs, so we picked up a few snack deals to stash for later, and a few things that we needed for our meals this week.  Here's what we ended up with...

1 dozen Eggs $1.79
2 tubs Cream Cheese $1.49 ea = 2/$2.98
1 Ricotta Cheese $1.79
1 pkg Sliced Deli Cheese $1.99
4 bags Gardetto's Snack Mix $0.99 ea = 4/$3.96
3 boxes Organic Animal Crackers marked-down to $0.99 ea = 3/$2.97
1 box Thin Wheat Crackers $1.25
1 bag Kettle Chips $1.79
1 box Granola Bars $1.89

Total OOP: $20.41

Tuesday's Target Trip

Tuesday we also stopped into Target, mostly for milk, and to use up a few coupons.  I picked up a great deal on unbleahed flour!  I also got a HUGE, AWESOME, new dish rack.  I used gift cards to pay, so no oop for me.  Here's what we ended up with...

3-5 lb bags Gold Medal Unbleached Flour $1.22 ea = 3/$3.66!
2-1/2 gallons Organic 2 % Milk 3.59 ea - $1/1 Target Coupon x 2 = $2.59 ea or 2/$5.18
2-5 ct boxes Mucinex Allergy $7.49 ea - $2/1 Target Coupon x 2 - $5/1 MC x 2 - $2.49 MIR = 2 FREE + $1.51 Money-maker!
2 bags Market Pantry Bagels $1.34 ea - $1/2 Target Coupon = 2/$1.68
1 Large Metal Dish Rack $10.98 - $5.48 Clearance = $5.48
+ $0.33 Tax
Total OOP: $17.31 - Used gift card to Pay, so zero oop for me!

ALDI Deals, Starting 03/19/2014

Here are some of the AWESOME deals this week at ALDI...
  • Weds. 03/19 ONLY: Roseland Fresh Pork Roast Kit 2.75 lb $6.99 ea
  • Weds. 03/19 ONLY: Kirkwood Fresh Chicken Breast Roast Wrapped with Bacon 24 oz $5.99 ea 
  • Gala Apples 3 lb bag $2.29 ea
  • Grapefruits $0.39 ea
  • Strawberries 1 lb $1.59 ea 
  • Bananas $0.44/lb
  • Pineapple $1.39 ea
  • Cantaloupe $1.29 ea
  • Fit and Active Healthy Meals 5-Cheese Lasagna or Chicken Alfredo Florentine 8 oz $0.99 ea
  • Bremer Single Serve Entrees Macaroni and Cheese or Fettuccine Alfredo 8-8.5 oz $0.99 ea
  • Clancy's Corn Chips Big Dippers, or Chili Cheese 9.25 oz $1.19 ea
  • Clancy's Butter Twists Tub 22 oz $3.49 ea
  • Happy Farms Preferred Feta Cheese Crumbles Mediterranean Herb or Reduced Fat 4 oz $1.99 ea
  • Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen Pizza Rings Cheese or Pepperoni 19 oz $3.99 ea
  • Season's Choice Whole Onion Rings 16 oz $1.89 ea
  • Season's Choice Frozen Strawberries or Blueberries 12-16 oz $2.29 ea
  • Season's Choice Crinkle Cut or Seasoned French Fried Potatoes 32 oz $1.89 ea
  • Crane Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands $39.99 ea
  • Holmes Hepa-type Air Purifier $34.99 ea
  • Dupont Allergen Air Filter $6.99 ea
  • Huntington Home 2 pk Allergy Pillow Protectors $4.99 ea
  • Huntington Home Twin or Queen Allergy Mattress Protector $14.99 ea
  • Huntingotn Home Allergy Bed Pillow 20x26" $4.99 ea
  • Welby Hot/Cold Therapy Pk Assortment $4.99 ea
  • Gardenline Bird Feeding Station $9.99 ea
  • Gardenline Bird Feeder Assortment Assorted Varieties $7.99 ea
  • Gardetto's Original 8.6 oz $0.99 ea
  • Steak-umms Sliced Steaks 21 oz $4.99 ea
For more information about shopping at ALDI, visit their Homepage!

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 12

Today's challenge involved cleaning the microwave and the stove.  Both took very little time.  I wiped down the stove and washed the spoon rest and burner covers while I was at it.  Everything is nice and shiny now!
 Then it was onto the microwave, which got a wipe down, and the cover and bacon maker inside got washed as well.  Our microwave is very old, so it's kind of stained on the inside, so this is as clean and sparkly as it gets, but I'm pleased, and that's really all that matters.  :)
I also pitched 10 dried up chap sticks that I found in my stock-pile - whoops!

Linked to Money Saving Mom!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 11

Today's challenge involved a quick pick-up of the house, which I do every Monday before I do my weekly cleaning, so that was simple enough.  Then it was onto the silverware drawer.  I still have not figured out how so many crumbs get in a drawer where you only put clean silverware?!  Does anyone else know?  Anyway, this is the after, no crumbs, and a nice sparkly clean utensil holder.  I also tossed some misc paper clutter and clipped coupon inserts, more than 7 for sure.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: March 17th 2014

This week Joe and I are going full force on the nursery as well as our spring cleaning.  I've been working a little at a time to get rid of excess clutter as well as get things deep-cleaned before the baby arrives in just 4 more weeks!  Since I knew doing all of this while being 8 month pregnant was going to make me tired, I planned simple meals that I knew I (or Joe) could manage.  Here's what on the menu this week...

Breakfasts: Cold Cereal or Oatmeal for Me, Butterscotch Banana Bread for Joe (same recipe as link, but made with butterscotch chips instead of chocolate)

Lunches: Leftovers, or Deli Sandwiches with Chips

Sunday -  Bacon Cheeseburgers with Baked Onion Rings
Monday - Pasta with Red Sauce, Ground Sausage on Joe's, and Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Ham and Cheese Egg Scramble with Toast
Wednesday - Shake and Bake Chicken, Jasmine Rice, and Steamed Vegetables
Thursday - Working at Joe's grandfather's, so we'll probably eat out with him
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Smoked Ribs with Baked French Fries

Extras: Homemade Butterscotch Chip Cookies

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Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday: Pumpkin Streusel Bread

Pumpkin Streusel Bread is amazing, even if it isn't Fall!  This bread whips up quickly, freezes wonderfully, and stays deliciously moist.  It also takes ingredients that I keep in the pantry on a regular basis, and you probably do too.  Here's how you can make 2 loaves for yourself...

1/2 c Butter, Softened
2 Eggs
1 c Brown Sugar
2 c Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Salt
1/2 c Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1 c Pumpkin Puree

1/2 c Flour
1/3 c Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
4 tbsp Cold Butter
3/4 c Chopped Pecans (optional)

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans, set aside.
2.) Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla and pumpkin, mix well.
3.) Mix together the dry ingredients, add them to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combine.  Add milk, mix to incorporate.  
4.) Pour batter into greased loaf pans.  
5.) Combine streusel ingredients in a bowl, combine using a pastry cutter, or two knives, until streusel is crumbly.  Sprinkle crumbs over batter in loaf pans.  
6.) Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes or until the center is done.  Cool in pans 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Store in an airtight container.  P.S. These freeze wonderfully as well.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday's Freezer Cooking Results: Stocking up for Baby!

Since I've been pregnant, there are two pieces of advice that keep popping up.  Not only in everyday conversations, but all over the web as well.  #1 Sleep when the baby sleeps, and #2 Stock your freezer/stock-pile for after the baby comes.  Since these two have been repeated over and over again, I decided to take heart and tackle what I could before the baby arrived.  With a month to go, I think my nesting urges have finally kicked in, not that I feel amazing or anything, but I do have a drive to get things done.  Stocking the freezer was high on the list, because after all, you HAVE to eat!  This week at the store I stocked up on ground beef, day old rolls, and over-ripe bananas.  I also had 6 lbs of onions in the cupboard from a couple of weeks ago that needed to be used up.  Since I had just straightened the freezers last week, I decided this week was the time to refill them.  So I made up a plan, and here's how it went down...

First up on the freezer stocking 'challenge' was sweet breads.  I ended up with 3 large loaves to freeze, and 1 to slice for the week, plus 8 mini loaves to freeze.  I made 2 batches Butterscotch Chip Banana Bread (same recipe as link, but with butterscotch chips instead of chocolate), this made 2 large loaves and 4 minis.  Then I made a batch of White Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, which made 2 large loaves.  And lastly, 1 batch Banana Crumb Bread, which made 4 mini loaves.  Joe was very pleased to have so many breakfasts in the freezer, and so was I. 
Next up was processing the beef I bought earlier this week.  I had a little over 3 lbs to work with, so I first made up hamburger patties.  Two for dinner Sunday, and 4 for the freezer.  Then I took the rest (about a 1 and 1/2), and fried it up with onions, and was able to get 5 meals worth for the freezer.  This is what I use when I make Crock-pot Lasagna, or Spaghetti, or even Taco Meat.
Since I needed diced onions for the beef, I went ahead and diced or sliced the rest of the 6 lbs I had bought a couple weeks ago while I had the food processor out, and froze them for future use.  I got 7 meals worth of diced onions, and 8 of sliced to freeze.

Last, and most easiest on the agenda was making Garlic Bread for the freezer.  It's so easy to make, and is such a nice addition to so many meals.  I bought marked down rolls from Giant twice this week, so I made 3 meals worth (6 rolls) earlier in the week, and again Saturday.  Here they both are, ready for the freezer.
Overall I feel very accomplished.  Hopefully I can do another round next weekend.  I am praying my nesting drive keeps up and I can get some serious stuff done!

Anyone else stocking their freezers?  If so, what are your favorite items to stock?

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 7

Today's challenge involved a quick pick-up of the main living areas in your home, as well as wiping down all the baseboards in the house.  Since I just cleaned the house yesterday, the house was still picked-up, so I moved onto wiping baseboards.  Needless to say, this took me a while, probably would have even if I wasn't 8 months pregnant.  However, it is nice to have everything nice and dust-free. 

I also worked ahead on the dresser drawers, I checked all 20, but I only needed to clean out 2. I did one today, and I'll do the other tomorrow.  Today was my purse/scarf drawer.  I keep a minimal amount of both, only what fits in the drawer, but it still gets too full sometimes.  Here's the after...
I removed 8 items to get rid of as well...

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40 bags in 40 days Update #2

I decided to join along in the 40 bags in 40 days challenge to help decrapify the house before baby Rogers arrives in April.  Here's how week #2 went...

Day #5: Quick house pick-up, and weekly house cleaning.  Items decluttered: 6 coupon inserts, 2 empty toiletry bottles.  Here's an after of the kitchen, so sparkly clean!

Day #6: Dusted the baseboards, and worked on cleaning out a dresser drawer.
 This is the after, plus the 22 items I got rid of.

Day # 7: Wiped down all of the door handles, and cleaned another dresser drawer.
 This is the after, now I can get the drawer shut again.  I also removed 8 items to get rid of.

Day #8: Wiped down the light switches, and did a quick pick up of the bathroom.  Here's the after of the bathroom, so nice and tidy.  I also ditched 7 misc toiletry/medical items.

Day #9: Dusted the Ceiling Fans and Lights.  Items Removed: 7 Misc coupon inserts/papers

Day #10: Did a HUGE freezer cooking session, so cleaning today for me.  Items Removed: Zero