Saturday, October 30, 2010

Energy Audits

Just a shout out for my cousin's boy, Mark, who recently started a home energy audit business. He's a good guy. If you're interested in having Mark do an energy audit of your home contact him at or check out his blog at . He is licensed in Arizona and Utah to do these audits. Check out for energy saving tips.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Here's to...

Licks on the chin from my puppy, warm cookies or muffins just out of the oven, homemade cards, being saved by a friend, friends helping and volunteering because you procrastinated for whatever reason...thank you, you know who you are. Here's to hugs from a child, hugs from a "not so little anymore" child, lunch being brought unexpectedly by my hubs, my best friend. Here's to being able to make and eat soup in the fall without sweating your brains out, to warm, out of the dryer clothes that warm your outsides, here's to thoughts that warm your soul. Here's to love and goods times and here's even to the not-so-good-times that make us stronger. Here's to the promise of a new day! I will get the new budget menu out tonight or tomorrow, promise.

Friday, October 22, 2010


So, trying to get out the door this morning at 6:07 for Seminary when my daughter finally remembers that she needed a current event for a class at school today. She goes on the computer and of course, it's slow or freezing up or whatever. Murphy's Law, the computer never works when you really need it right now. She gets frustrated and says something in an agitated manner and I say something snarky about waiting until two minutes before we had to leave to do homework. All the while this is happening, I am bringing the newspaper into the house. She says something dramatically to the effect of, "Fine, I just won't do it, I just won't do it!" I say, "Go do it, I'll wait, it's fine." Then I ask, "I can come home and look it up while you're in Seminary, just tell me what you need." She replies, "No, I just won't do it, it's fine, let's go." Then, the old double "DUH" happens. I had just brought in the newspaper. THE NEWSPAPER. Remember those? So I grab the paper, grab some scissors, and viola, we're in business. Feeling stupid, but in business. She cuts out an article while I'm driving and she gets to Seminary in time. It wouldn't be fun I guess if we didn't have drama once in a while when getting ready for school/Seminary.

Other things going on around the house. The hubs has decided that he needs a new hobby and has taken up mini lathe turning of pens. You buy the "blanks" at the Rockler wood store or you can make your own blanks out of scrap wood. So far he has made a pen out of tulip wood, and one out of walnut. And the coolest material by far he's done, a pen out of a corn cob. Yes, you heard me right. You can buy the corn cob blanks at Rockler. They're treated with something to stabilize them so that they don't disintergrate when they are on the lathe. Also, you can buy acrilic blanks, or blanks with coffee beans, or spaghetti or wheat in them. When he gets the corn cob pen finished, I will post a picture. Blue corn cob Closer look at blue corn cob penYellow corn cob penCloser view of the yellow corn cob pen, but sorry, it's fuzzy. Tulip wood pen Walnut wood pen

Also my little dog is going blind in one eye. I feel like a dog nurse lately meeting scheduled medicine giving. I have pill dispensing and eye drop giving to a dog down to a science. I slip it underneath an animal cracker bit and she scarfs it down. The pills, I mean, not the eye drops. Cream cheese, chicken, peanut butter also work really well. Again for the pills, not the drops. I can just hear someone reading this saying, "No wonder she has an eye problem with all of that peanut butter in her eye." Ha.

On to putting the groceries away and then working on the budget menu.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

If you don't think....

That it pays to buy groceries on sale, let me tell that it does. I just went to Bashas' before the sale this week ended to get a few things that I couldn't this morning because they were doing some work in the store. I bought 10 packs of bacon and 10 boxes of pasta for $25-something. I SAVED, let me repeat, that I SAVED $52! Can you believe that? Always buy on sale if you can.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu with what's on sale for the week of Oct. 13-Oct. 19


1-Pop tarts, Juice
2-Yogurt, toast
3-Cold cereal, milk
5-Muffins, yogurt, raspberries
6-Cinnamon rolls
7-Cold cereal, milk

1-Bologna sandwich, doritos chips
2-PB&J sandwich, grapes
3-turkey sandwich, strawberries
4-PB&J sandwich, cheetos
5-Turkey sandwich, nutri grain bars, bugles
6-Tomato soup, cheetos
7-Hot pockets, coke

1-Mac & Cheese, crescents, asparagus either steamed or roasted
2-Cheese omelett, salad
3-Spaghetti, garlic toast, salad
4-Hot dogs, buns, carrot sticks, baked beans
5-Chicken and dumplings
6-Bacon and tomato sandwiches

Dreyer's ice cream

Buy 8 deal
1-Shake n pour pancake batter, .99
2-Betty Crocker cookie pouch, .99
3-Betty Crocker muffin mix, $1.99
4-Pillsbury crescent rolls, $1.49
5-Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, $1.49
6-Cinnamon toast crunch or another kind of cereal, $1.49
7-Progresso chicken broth, $1.49
8-Bugles, $1.49

Albertson's 1/2 gallon milk, .88, buy 4 at $3.52
Raspberries, .88
Bar S jumbo meat franks, .88
Carrots, $1/2# bag
Chicken, .88 lb, fam pack, I've allowed for $9.00

10 item deal
1-Hunts Pasta sauce, .69
2-Barilla pasta, .69
3-Sunny D, .69
4-Tillamook cheese, $1.29
5-Tillamook cheese, $1.29
6-Cheetos, $1.59
7-Tyson bacon, $1.99
8-Tyson bacon, $1.99
9-Nutri grain bars, $1.99
10-Hot dog buns, nature's Own, $1.29

Red seedless grapes, .77 lb., buy 2 lbs.
Red bell pepper, .99, buy one

Baguette, .75
Private Selection mesquite smoked turkey, $4.25 lb., buy one lb.
Fry's large eggs, .84, buy 2
Kroger yogurt, 3/$1, buy 9
Bush's baked beans, 10/$10, buy one
Kroger Value bread, .88, buy 4
Buy 10 deal
1-Dreyers ice cream, $2.77
2-Coke, .79
3-Coke, .79
4-Kelloggs Poptarts, $1.49
5-Oscar Mayer bologna, $1.49
6-Hot pockets, $1.49
7-Hot pockets, $1.49
8-Kraft Mac & cheese, .49
9-Kraft Mac & cheese, .49
10-Doritos chips, $2.49

Campbell's tomato soup, 2/$1, buy 2 cans

Strawberries, .97
Cucumber, .49
Asparagus, $1.49 lb.
Sweet onions, .77 lb.
Romaine lettuce, .77
Cluster tomatoes, .88 lb., buy one lb.

Items not on list:
flour, for dumplings
peanut butter
spices, herbs

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


For those of you who have never heard of the Make-A-Mix cookbooks, let me tell you, that they have been around since 1978. I remember hearing about it about a year or two later and loving my paperback copy which I still have. I only mention all of this because I was able to see a demonstration by two of the authors, Karine Eliason and Nevada Harward, this past Tuesday. Their presentation focused on the importance of family meal time in a structured way, around the dinner table. If you find that you don't have time to cook each night you might want to check out their books, which give ideas for saving money and time with mixes that you make yourself at home on a day when you have time to cook. I wanted to put a picture of the books somewhere on this post but for fear of breaking copyright laws if you want to see them, then go here:

Also check out their website with the link on my Favorites blog list or at: Some great ideas for Halloween on there.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Homemade doughnuts

This recipe is brilliant. Brilliant, I say. I was strolling over at "$5 dinners" and found this
I am loving the convenience lately anyway of refrigerated biscuit dough in the tubes. When I made the Monkey Bread I was pleasantly surprised at how it tasted like a yeast dough when cooked in that way. I hope to try this soon and get a few photos of my own up with this post.

Perfect for fall weather and Halloween time, can you imagine a cup of hot spiced cider with this, or a even a cold glass of apple juice, oh yeah. This is the simple recipe in my own words:

Angie's Homemade Donuts
from the blog, "$5 dinners"

2 tubes of refrigerated biscuits
oil for frying
sugar for coating afterwards Line up the biscuits, use a pop bottle cap to cut out the center.Fry doughnuts and centers in hot oil, being careful not to start a fire or splash wicked hot grease on yourself. When golden brown on both sides, transfer to a paper towel lined plate, and while still hot put in a brown grocery bag with sugar and/or sugar and cinnamon and shake until coated. Or, if you would prefer to frost or glaze your donuts, omit the sugar coating step and make a simple glaze.Above photo shows a plain glaze made out of powdered sugar, vanilla, water and a touch of butter. I think that I would have to make a chocolate glaze to top mine though. With sprinkles on top.
Above, chocolate glaze, no sprinkles. These turned out small because they were from the smaller biscuits. We liked them a lot. They taste different than a bakery donut, but we liked them enough to do it again. They fry up quick, it maybe took me 30 minutes from start to finish. That included making two different kinds of glazes and glazing them. And watching part of "the Price is Right"!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Few things get scarfed down in this house with the same intensity as this and a loaf of good french bread toasted to perfection do.

from Sue S.
3 T. Basalmic vinegar
5 Roma tomatoes
2 T. finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 T. chopped garlic, or to taste (I use garlic salt or powder)
1 T. Olive Oil
Mix together everything, then drizzle the olive oil over all and toss.
Slice french bread, brush or drizzle with olive oil, and then put under the broiler to toast. Put a spoonful of mix on the bread and eat. Yummy!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Menu for the week with what's on sale for Sept. 29-Oct. 5


1-Pancakes, syrup, apple juice
2-Cold cereal, milk
3-Cold cereal, milk, banana slices
4-Panckaes, syrup
5-Creme Brule French toast. See recipe at cloud on right under eggs or breakfast. Use a french bread for this.
6-Cold cereal, milk
7-Pancake, syrup

1-PB&J sandwich, granola bar, mini carrots
2-PB&J sandwich, pudding cup
3-Bagel with cream cheese, apple
4-PB&J, granola bar
5-Pasta salad, grapes, crackers
6-Chicken Noodle soup, apple, crackers
7-Tomato soup, crackers

1-Banquet Meat Pie, salad
2-Taco soup, see recipe at cloud on right under soups. Tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese as toppers. Use garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper as the seasoning instead of buying a packet of taco seasoning.
3-Fish filets, frozen vegetable
4-Pasta salad, french bread. Pasta, Kroger ranch or italian dressing, zucchini dices, blanched broccoli.
5-Ground beef and bean burritos. Use garlic salt and chili powder as seasoning. You might want to add an extra package of cheese onto your grocery list at $1.25 per package.
6-Vegetable lasagne, salad. Use some of the blanched zucchini and broccoli and red pepper and onion. Make a while sauce and layer vegetables and lasagne noodles together and top with cheese.
7-Macaroni and cheese, fresh green beans, hot dogs either whole or cut into coins, french bread. Leftover vegetables if any.

French bread, .99, buy 2
Iceberg lettuce, .49, buy 2
Smucker's grape jelly, $1.29
Zucchini, $1 lb., buy .50 worth
Santitas tortilla chips, $1.77
Albertson's frozen vegetables, 10/$10, buy 1 or add a dollar to the total and buy 2 if you need to
Ground beef, $1.97 with 5 lb. minimum, 5 lbs. at $9.85

Gala apples, 2 lbs./$1, limit 6 lbs. Buy 6 lbs. at $3.00
Bashas' milk, $1.68, limit 2, buy 2
Seedless grapes, .79 lb, buy 2 lbs.
Red bell pepper, .99
Del Monte vegetables, 2/$1, buy 1, buy corn
Del Monte tomat sauce, 2/$1, buy 1
Buy 2 cans of tomatoes, I've allowed for $1/can, buy 2 fifteen oz. cans at $2
Buy 5 Promotion
1-Aunt Jemima pancake mix, $1.59
2-Aunt Jemima pancake syrup, $1.59
3-Life cereal, $1.59
4-Life cereal, $1.59
5-Quaker granola bars, $1.59

Half and Half, $1.99
Onions, 2#/$1, buy one at .50
Fresh green beans, .99 lb.
Hunt's snack pack pudding, 10/$10, buy 1
Campbell's chicken noodle soup and tomato soup, buy two of each at $2.00
Kraft mac & cheese, 5/$4, buy 2
Triscuit or wheat thins crackers, 2/$4, use coupon from the ad and get a dollar off, so 2 for $3
Banquet pot pies, .44, buy 4 at $2.64
Dole bananas, .48 lb., buy 3 lbs. at $1.44
Eggs, I've allowed for $1.39/doz., buy 2 doz.
Lasagne noodles, I've allowed for $1.99

Langer's apple juice, .99
Barilla Pasta, 10/$10, buy 1
Kroger salad dressing, 10/$10
Kroger bar or shredded cheese, 4/$5, buy 1
Kroger mini carrots, 10/$10, buy 1
Gorton's fish, 2/$7, buy 1
Kroger sour cream, $1
Broccoli or cauliflower, 10/$10, buy 1 lb. of brocc.
Bar S franks, 10/$10
Bush's beans, 10/$10, buy 2
Kroger cream cheese, 10/$10, buy 1
Kroger bagels, 10/$10, buy 1
Pillsbury brownie mix, 10/$10, buy 1
Kroger value bread, .88, buy 2
Kroger value peanut butter, $1.50
Four tortillas, I've allowed for $1.99

Items not on the grocery list:
herbs, spices
brown sugar
taco seasoning packet
fresh tomatoes