Friday, September 18, 2009

Delicious Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

My husband loves my soups :) This recipe is SO easy and SO cheap.

1 Bag of Green Giant Valley Fresh Broccoli Steams - Free after coupon
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom soup - $0.34 after coupon
3 Cubes of Chicken Boullion (or 3 cups of Chicken Stock) - $0.40
3 Cups of Water (omit if using Chicken Stock instead of Boullion) - Free
1 Can of Milk - $0.10
3/4 a pound of Cheddar Cheese - $1.25
Salt and Pepper to taste

In large pot boil water and add chicken boullion cubes. Meanwhile, microwave broccoli according to package directions. Once boullion cubes are dissolved, reduce heat to low and add steamed broccoli, can of soup, and one can's worth of milk. Heat everything through and add cheese. Leave soup on heat until the cheese melts and the soup has reached desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Eat. Yum.

Total Cost = $2.09

I'm making a second batch later to freeze in individual serving sizes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Meal Plan Monday - The Late Edition

Meal planning is difficult at my house. My husband works nights depending on what we have going on during the day, as well as when his shift starts, sometimes we have time for dinner and sometimes we don't. It's often tough to gauge how many nights I should plan for us to eat together. I just try and stick to the basics

Breakfasts - Cereal, muffins, baked oatmeal, cinnamon toast, yogurt and fruit

Lunch - Deli meat sandwiches, mac 'n cheese, homemade pepperoni pizza, grilled cheese, tuna sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, chicken nuggets, leftovers

Dinner - Sugar Chicken in the crockpot, sloppy joes, spaghetti, oven fried chicken, egg salad sandwiches

Side dishes - Strawberries, oranges, bananas, applesauce, fingerling potatoes from farmer's market, green beans from farmer's market, rice

Grocery list - Yogurt, strawberries, applesauce, bananas, bread crumbs (out of stale bread), hamburger buns, cereal, lemonade, salami, turkey (for sandwiches). I will also add in anything I can get free or really cheap after coupons (Skippy PB).

Things like organic strawberries and bananas I get every single week regardless of price because I know my 2-year-old will eat them, which is important to me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Silly Sunday!

Being that my husband and I are in the restaurant business, we don't often get weekends off, like most 9-5ers. Infact, we consider it a treat if Mike gets two days off in a row! So, whenever we have either a Saturday or Sunday off together, we like to look for some fun, family-friendly events, that are free or on the cheap.

This year, Lansing is celebrating it's 150th birthday and celebrating in various ways throughout the year. Today we took part in the fun with free children's events down by the Capitol building. For exactly $0.00, Alex enjoyed bouncing in a bounce house, riding a merry-go-round, playing with bubbles, and listening to stories and live music. We also got free balloons (including a monkey animal balloon), free cake and ice cream, and a free re-usable bag containing a coloring book, crayons and bubbles!

It was such a great time and definitely surpassed my expectations! I love free family events around town :)

Check out your town or city's website and learn all about the free activities you and your family can take part in. I would also suggest checking your local library for fun activities, as well as any local community centers.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Frugal Friday - Starting Back Up Again

So, I had taken a long break from couponing and deal-hunting. I just couldn't keep up with clipping all those coupons and feeling the need to score every deal I read about.

But, I've become frustrated with the amount I'm spending at the grocery store. And our stockpile has dwindled considerably. It's time to build it back up again!

I think this is a good week to get back in the swing of things. First off, it's the beginning of a new month. And secondly, there are a lot of great coupons coming out this Sunday! I'm actually quite excited to give it another try. I just have to remind myself not to feel overwhelmed with catching every deal under the sun.

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Frugal Vacation

So, this summer we decided we deserve a vacation. It's amazing how booking a vacation can raise your spirits and boost moral when you're feeling drained or sick of working. My husband and I are so excited to get away next week.

We live in Michigan, so we have lots of options when it comes to finding something to do within driving distance. We are surrounded by beautiful water and great vacation towns. This year we decided to venture to Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. It's a great little island, with unique hotels and inns, beautiful parks and beaches, and lots of things for us to do with our little one. Now, I'll admit that the hotels on the Island aren't exactly frugal. You can't find a Holiday Inn or Super 8. All the hotels have great character that are special to the island. But, we are going to do our best to save in as many other ways as possible.

Today I'm going focus on how we plan to save money while driving. A few things on my list of ideas:

1) No need to buy a fancy portable DVD player. We recently looked into purchasing one and were shocked to find that they run you about $130. Yikes. We'll have our laptop to play any sort of DVD Alex might be interested in watching while driving up to the island

2) I have been saving the little toys that I find hidden under the bed or have lost the rest of their set. Although we don't tend to buy kid's meals at the fast food restaurants, Grandma does, so I have been stashing those toys in a box as well. When Alex starts to get bored while we're driving I'll pull out the toy box and let him have fun with all the little toys he's forgotten about.

3) Packing snacks to eat instead of going through the drive-thru will be the biggest challenge. My husband is very accustomed to getting fast food during our long drives. Infact, I think he looks forward to it. I plan to pack bagels, fresh fruit, chips and water to get us through the drive without having to pay for expensive fast food meals.

4) I plan on borrowing some books from the library as opposed to buying magazines to read. Magazines seem like such a waste of money. I usually read through one of them in about a half hour. Six dollars (or so) seems like too much for a half hour's worth of entertainment. I also plan to check out some books for Alex. He loves reading new books.

5) Our new car has cruise control that actually works! So that should help on gas milleage.

6) We will be sure to fill up on gas at a station close to our house, as opposed to near the exit of the highway. We all know gas stations near the highway can easily charge more for gas. Our drive home might pose more of problem when trying to find cheaper gas. But, we'll assess that situation when the time comes.

Have any ideas or suggestions? I could always use more input1

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfasts - Homemade banana bread, baked oatmeal, hashbrown patties, cinnamon toast, graham crackers, bananas, oranges, strawberries

Lunches - Homemade chili, homemade potato soup, tuna salad sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, deli meat sandwiches, homemade pizza, mac n cheese, leftovers, carrot sticks, bananas, oranges, strawberries

Dinners -
Monday: Oven-fried chicken, rice, glazed carrots
Tuesday: Shepherds pie from freezer, mashed potatoes, oranges
Wednesday: Brown sugar chicken, steamed broccoli, oranges
Thursday: Spaghetti, strawberries
Friday: Husband works at 5pm, dinner with parents?
Saturday: Breakfast for dinner

Re-purposing leftovers

Such a good dinner tonight!

We made oven-fried chicken. Rice. And glazed carrots. Even Alex gobbled up the oven-fried chicken, which shocked me! What's even better is I washed a few of the leftover carrots to get the glaze off, diced it up along with the one left over piece of chicken and then added it to leftover rice. I have lunch for Alex tomorrow - chicken "fried" rice.

I'm going to do a slight pantry challenge this week, as we have some pre-packaged food I want to get rid of. I've been avoiding purchasing a lot of pre-packaged food (like rice-a-roni and pasta-roni) because I'm trying to incorporate healthier, whole foods. I figure we'll just eat the remaining packages and then be done with them.

Oh. And meal planning didn't work out all that well for me this week. But, we'll give it another shot.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

3-Week Challenge Update

Well, we're on our way. I picked up 2 extra hours last Saturday and 4 extra hours yesterday. Plus $15 in returnables (bottles and cans)

Goal Amount = $540
Amount Remaining to Reach Our Goal = $210.83

(-) $17 in tips made last Saturday
(-) $80 in tips made yesterday
(-) $15 in returned deposits
Amount Needed to Reach Our Goal = $98.83

So, despite the fact that we are still shy of almost $100 to pay the bill, I will be sending the check today. My goal was to find unconventional ways to pay this bill (picking up extra hours at work, using rebate checks, cashing in our coins, recycling our cans & bottles) and I think I did a pretty good job. But, I'm pretty sure we are close to our 3-Week time limit and I would like to get the bill paid. Work has been VERY busy for my husband and he has been making enough extra money during his normally scheduled shifts so that we can afford to use that money to get the bill paid.

I'm glad we didn't have to turn to our savings account to pay it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tipster Tuesday - Don't Throw That Trash Out!

So, most of what filled Alex's Easter Basket this year, will be saved and re-used for next year. Including the grass.

No, we won't be re-gifting the books and flash cards over again. But, I am saving the plastic eggs that I filled with Junior Mints, as well as the cheapo toys that came filled with jelly beans and sour candies. We have lots of grass being that both Mike and I, as well as my parents gave Alex a basket. I imagine that some of the grass will get used throughout the year to stuff gift boxes, too.

But, rest assured... I will be hitting up the drug stores for their clearance items. Because yes, I am addicted to Holiday clearance sections.

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfasts - Any combination of the following: homemade banana bread, cinnamon toast, hashbrowns, graham crackers and fruit

Lunches - Anycombination of the following: tuna salad sandwiches, bbq pulled pork sandwiches, salami sandwiches, mac n cheese, homemade pepperoni pizza, bean soup, potato soup, carrot sticks, fruit

Dinner -
Monday: Pork Tenderloin, asparagus, potatoes
Tuesday: Bbq pulled pork sandwiches, glazed carrots, oranges
Wednesday: Crockpot brown sugar chicken, rice, broccoli
Thursday: Mushroom white pasta, oranges
Friday: Mini meatloaves from freezer, rice
Saturday: Chicken enchilada casserole, oranges
Sunday: Shepherds pie

Friday, April 10, 2009

3-Week Challenge Update

My husband typically works 5 days a week, but will often pick up a 6th day if someone asks him to work for them. So, yesterday would have put him at the 6 day mark and as a result I am going to be counting that as additional income... although I would usually just add that money into our "regular" mix.

So, I will be adding $120 into our 3-Week Challenge (he makes cash tips) and probably around an additional $40 that will be added to his pay check (although I will be waiting to add that exact amount because I can't remember how much he makes hourly and how much will be taken out for taxes, etc)

So as it stands...

3-Week Goal = $540
Amount that remains to reach our goal = $330.83

(-) $120 in additional tips my husband made yesterday
New Amount = $210.83

As soon as we get our paychecks I will figure out how much to add for his hourly pay. Plus, I will be picking up 2 additional hours at work on Saturday. Not a ton, but every little bit counts. So, as soon as I figure out how much I make I will be adding that in as well.

Getting there!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Organic on a budget?

So, one of my goals is to start incorporating more whole foods and organic foods. And less processed and pre-packaged foods. My dad recently had a very mild stroke and he has started eating and living a lot healthier. It has inspired me to do the same. It was definitely a wake-up call for the whole family.

As we all know, it's difficult to eat organically on a budget. Really difficult. Fortunately, the Kroger I shop at frequently often has organic markdowns. And I have also decided that it's worth it to me to add a little bit more to our grocery budget in order to get some organic food. Not all organic. But, some.

I came across this really helpful list. It gives a rundown of the fruits and vegetables that have the highest and lowest pesticide load. So, when I'm at the grocery store thinking about which fruits and veggies to buy organic, I refer to this list... knowing that it's ok to buy non-organic produce that has the lowest pesticide load.

Pesticide Load

Toddler Tip Thursday - When Wasting Water is Good!

So, I recently discovered this... have I been in the dark? Is this something all mothers know about? Where have I been?

Today I was able to clean the kitchen from top to bottom, all while my toddler hung out with me and played. The. Entire. Time. I put the sink on a low trickle, plugged it up and added a little dish soap. Throw in some plastic cups and a spoon, and you've got an hours worth of toddler fun!

I even got to scrub down the appliances and cupboards!

Now, normally I don't condone wasting water. Especially since I just posted about how I have been able to reduce our water bill by $50. But, I promised myself I would work even harder (is that possible?) to save more water to make up for what we went through today while Alex played.

It was great. My only problem is not having a sink in every room! Well, thats probably actually a good thing or we would be wasting tons of water. But, as you know you should never leave a small child unattended when playing in the sink. So, while my kitchen is sparkling, the rest of my house is still a mess.

You win some. You lose some.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tipster Tuesday

So, one thing I have been trying really hard to do, is re-purpose leftovers... as in, not just eating the same 'ol meal twice. But, instead taking the leftovers and turning them into something new and delicious :)

On Sunday I made this delicious roast. I used a 1.75# roast, so we had a big hunk leftover... and I turned it into a super easy Beef Stroganoff for dinner tonight.

Here's what used:
Leftover roast, diced into small pieces (less than 1#)
Can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of diced onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
Pinch of thyme (mainly because my husband likes to add a pinch of thyme to EVERYTHING)
Olive oil

I sauteed up the onions in some olive oil. Then I added the garlic and the diced beef. I let it saute for a minute or so to heat the beef through then I added the can of soup and milk. I eyed the amount of milk to get it to the consistency I wanted for the sauce. Then I added a bunch of pepper (we like pepper), salt and thyme. Voila! If you let it simmer for a bit, it will thicken up (if you prefer i that way) or you can add more milk to thin it out before serving.

It was SOOO good. I am always proud of myself when I try to make something new and my husband likes it, because he can be quite the critic (he likes everything to be prepared the way his mom made it growing up). This dish was certainly a hit!

Anyways, my tip for today is to re-purpose your leftovers whenever possible. I took a roast that cost less than $4 and stretched it into two frugal meals. In addition to that, it makes meal planning easier! Next time we make a roast, I know that I can always use the leftovers to make stroganoff... it'll make another dinner a no-brainer.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfasts, any combination of the following: homemade buttermilk banana bread, hashbrown patties, cinnamon toast, bagels, fruit

Lunches, any combination of the following: homemade pepperoni pizza, tuna salad, egg salad, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, pasta salad, deli meat sandwiches, fruit, leftovers


Monday - mini meatloaves from the freezer, mother-in-law's brown rice, strawberries
Tuesday - beef stroganoff (from Sunday's leftover roast), oranges
Wednesday - shepherd's pie, oranges
Thursday - something my husband will cook that is yet to be decided, asparagus
Friday - potato soup from freezer, rye bread, oranges
Saturday - brown sugar chicken in crockpot, green beans,
Sunday - easter dinner with grandparents

$3.50 Bras!

I have been desperate, I mean DESPERATE, for new bras. It's just so hard to shop for them when you have a toddler!

I came across this deal on Lane Bryant Catalog has a code for 50% and free shipping on orders $40 and over. Now, most of their stuff is not my style at all... but their bras are excellent deals if you're a big busted woman!

Check out the bras on clearance, some as low as $6.99... take an additional 50% off and you've got a bra for $3.50! I just got 5 bras for $30... can't beat that at Kohls!

Use code L04069 at http://

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Beef in the Crockpot

My husband often gets sick of eating chicken and ground beef at most meals, so I try hard to come up with frugal ways of serving beef. I do this by purchasing meat on sale, or on Manager's Markdown at Kroger. My mother-in-law taught me this recipe using a chuck roast, a fairly frugal cut of beef. I usually try and find the smallest cut, being that it's just my husband and I that will eat it. Or, if the cuts are on the larger side I will take them home and divide them into meal size portions.

Keep in mind this recipe is for 2 adults, but can be EASILY adjusted for more people.

1# of chuck roast
2 potatoes peeled and diced
1 small onion cut into chunks
3 carrots peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
2 cloves of garlic smashed or finely chopped
Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Trim chunks of fat from roast. Put the cut potatoes, carrots and onions on the bottom of the pot. Plop the roast on top. Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce on the roast (about 6 shakes). Top roast with garlic, salt and pepper. Squeeze a layer of ketchup on top of the roast. Pour about a cup or more of water into the bottom of the pot. You could also use beef broth instead of water.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Note: I try not to make the chunks of potato too large for fear that they won't finish cooking in time (a tip from a woman in the grocery store). I personally haven't had issues with potatoes being undercooked, but she has and it has made me paranoid.

My husband LOVES this dish. He is really into comfort food.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saving on Utilities

We pay our water bill to the city quarterly (is this normal for most areas?). This last quarter I managed to shave off about $50 from our bill!

I simply paid close attention to the amount of water I was using to wash our dishes. Mainly making sure not to leave water running while I was scrubbing. I also started using a different setting on our dishwasher. I'm not sure if it uses less water but it certainly is washing our dishes faster than it used to. I have also been doing less laundry. I work very hard at re-folding clothes that aren't dirty. My husband has a tendency to wear clothes for only a few hours before he has to go to work each night, then tossing those perfectly clean clothes in the dirty laundry.

This summer I would really like to look into coming up with a rainfall collection barrel. We didn't water our lawn last year because we moved into our house too late in the summer and our lawn was already a field of dandelions. No point in watering the weeds! This year we have already been working hard to improve our lawn and make it gorgeous... but I don't want to spent a ton on watering our lawn and garden.

Unfortunately, the start-up costs for a rainfall collection system are higher that I'd like. And possibly a bit complicated for us... we're not handy people. But, it's something I've started researching and I would really like to have.

We'll see I suppose.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding more money for the 3-Week Challenge

So, today I managed to find $59 more dollars to put towards our 3-Week $540 Challenge.

Mike's Grandma, a very generous woman, sends us $200 each month. Generally, all $200 is used to pay our car payment, although we technically only owe $161.00 each month. I just always pay the extra $39 to get ahead a little bit. So, I used the extra $39 to instead put towards our $540 Challenge.

Also, I randomly found $20 underneath the basement stairs! Gotta love it! I was TOTALLY tempted to use that money for more groceries, but I held strong and forced myself to find something to make from what we already have on hand... and dinner turned out just fine and more of all, Alex loved it.

So there. $59 more dollars!

Total Goal Amount = $540
(-) $146.17 in found change
(-) $4.00 SCR from Rite Aid
(-) $39 from Mike's Grandmother
(-) $20 found in the basement
New Total after all deductions= $330.83

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My 3-Week Challenge - Updated

A few months back, my husband took a trip to the emergency room and yesterday we received a bill for the portion that was not covered by our insurance... $540, yikes! Now, I could just write a check and take the money out of our savings account, but I have decided to challenge myself to come up with more creative ways rather than just taking it right out of savings. I figure 3 weeks is a good amount. The bill doesn't have a due date but I would like to pay it in a timely manner... treat it like a utility.

Some ideas I've come up with already:
-Cash in on our various piles of change around the house. I estimate this will be around $80
-Cash the Rite Aid rebate checks that have been sitting around the house - $14
-Return our bottles and cans - Estimated $7
-Ebay. We have a few giftcards we are unable to use, AMC and TGIFridays because we don't have any locations near us. Plus I might look into selling some of Alex's old baby stuff.
-Have a Pantry Challenge where I stay out of the grocery store for a week and instead put that $60 into this challenge
-Ideas? Obviously this isn't going to cut it but I hope to come up with new ideas as we go along.

Amount = $540.00

(-) Change collected around the house $146.17
(-) Rite Aid rebate check (could only find one) $4.00

Amount left til we reach our goal = $389.83

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Roasted Chicken Chicken went bad so we ate Brats, brown rice, and asparagus
Tuesday - Brown sugar chicken, broccoli, fruit salad
Wednesday - Pork in crockpot, mashed potatoes
Thursday - Sloppy joes, glazed carrots, potato chips
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Freezer shepherds pie, fruit salad
Sunday - Freezer soups (asparagus or potato)

Also on agenda - make breakfast burritos for freezer, make asparagus soup out of left over roasted chicken, make homemade bread to add to our meals?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Fridays - Discount on gift cards

So, in April I have a "gift card" wedding shower to attend. The frugal part of me has been agonizing over what to do about it, as we all know it's easier to save money when you're able to purchase a gift at a discount, but much more difficult to purchase a gift card at a discount.

So, today I bit the bullet and used up all of the $5 Amazon giftcards I have racked up through SWAGBUCKS and I will use it to buy a Target giftcard on Amazon (I didn't have enough SWAGBUCKS to purchase a Target giftcard). I am slightly disappointed, as I had wanted to use my SWAGBUCKS on a Starbucks giftcard (I have completely given up spending money at Starbucks). But, thats life!

Anyways, if you have any other ideas on how to purchase gift cards at a discount, let me know! I had looked into websites that allow you to "swap" giftcards, as well as purchasing them on Ebay. This proved to be the easiest and least expensive (although I did have to "spend" my Swagbucks)

New members, use code "MOMMYSNACKS" when you sign up and get 2 free bucks! Just enter it in during registration in the box for swagcodes.

Search & Win

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Easy Potato Soup

I really enjoy couponing and deal seeking, but sometimes with a 2 year old who refuses to behave in a store, I don't get to score as many deals as I would like. So, I have starting working really hard on cooking from scratch and using more whole foods to cut down on food costs.

Anyways, lastnight I made potato soup and it was yummy!

5 cups of diced potatoes
1 cup of diced carrots
1/2 cup of diced celery (could obviously use more but I didn't have much to work with)
1 small onion diced (the small onions that come in the bags at the grocery store)
1 can of corn
1 can of condensed cream soup (I used chicken)
3 cups of milk (I used whole)
1 8oz. bag of cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
A pinch of oregano
olive oil

Boil diced potatoes until they are soft. Saute diced carrots and celery in olive oil. Don't use too much oil or it'll make your soup oily... I probably used 1 maybe 2 tablespoons. If you keep the heat low enough on the stove top while you're sauteing, you don't have to worry about burning because you used less oil. I sauteed for about 15 minutes, then added the onion and sauteed another 10 minutes. In a soup pot, I combined all the ingredients and seasoned it with the spices. Serve as soon as the cheese is melted throughout the soup.

So tasty. My husband is a food snob to the highest degree, so when he enjoys the dishes I make, I know they are good!

I would make an entire second pot to put in the freezer for later if I had enough veggies on hand.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Deals I'm diggin'

There are a couple things that are worth a trip to Meijer, IMO.

First, varieties of 10 oz Vaseline lotions are on sale for $1.99. Infact, I found ones with 30% more that was included in the sale.

Vaseline Lotion @ $1.99 (sale price)
-$1.50 MFQ
=$0.49 lotion

This is a good deal for me, being that I am not an avid CVSer, and even so, I don't tend to see many good lotion ECB deals as it is.

Coffee filters are also a great deal this week.

40 ct Melitta filters @ $0.99 (sale price)
-$0.50 Mealbox Q
=$0.49 coffee filters

These are the brand I use for my coffee machine. I looked at the 100 ct box I have in my cupboard right now and the price tag says $3.59.... so $0.49 for a 40 ct is a good deal in my book.

I also picked up some free frosting, as it's Alex birthday this month. As well as $0.45 Skippy Peanut Butter (I missed out on the Wags deal recently)

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I think today is the last day to submit your Walgreens January rebates. I got in just under the gun lastnight. Although, I will say that in the past I have forgotten to claim the rebates in time and they automatically did it for me and even reloaded my gift card instead of sending a check.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Frugal Friday

How I saved money this week:

-Made homemade Valentines made out of cardstock I never use. I cut them into heart shapes and Alex colored them. I hope to make it to Walgreens to see if they have any cute stickers to add... which will be free using my Wags GC.
-Started religiously re-folding clothes that haven't been worn, or have been worn but aren't dirty. I am making it a huge priority to reduce utilities and I am trying desperately to cut back on laundry. So far I have noticed a HUGE difference in the amount of laundry I'm doing. It's nice.
-Bought a pair of jeans on clearance at Kohls. My old jeans were starting to get holes. I REALLY wanted to get a pair of jeans that were full price (come on, I thought EVERYTHING at Kohls is on sale, apparently not) but opted against them. I don't regret my decision.
-Initially Mike and I thought we would need a tax-preparer this year so we contacted someone who had been recommended to us who said they would charge $200. We opted trying Turbo Tax instead and it worked just fine.
-I have been allowing Mike to pick up extra hours at work, which ofcourse, comes with a price that I pay at home... a more tired husband who is not around as much to help me out. As a mom of a toddler, sometimes I feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I don't get a break at some point during the day.... but today I opted to let Mike sleep in because he's over tired from work. Hopefully I won't regret that decision tonight when Mike goes back to work.
-My parents took a trip to Vegas and my mom struck gold at a Dillards in AZ... she AND MY DAD (even he was super excited over all the great deals) bought lots of clothes for Alex, including 2 winter/fall jackets. The help they provide is a HUGE money saver for us. I certainly don't ever expect anything from them but am very grateful for all they do.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This stuff has been getting me out of bed each morning for a week... well, that is if you don't count the ::almost:: 2 year-old that is pushing me. Anytime I'm feeling extra sluggish, I remind myself of the baked oatmeal I have portioned out in the freezer. It's sooooo yummy.

1/4 cup of oil (I use vegetable)
1/2 cup of apple sauce
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups of oatmeal (I use instant - not the microwave flavored kind but the kind that comes in a canister - but would prefer to use old fashioned b/c I believe it's healthier for you....)
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of milk (I use skim)
Optional: Handful of blueberries, but you could omit this or add any sort of fruit you enjoy (apple, strawberries, banana, dried fruit, nuts)

Mix ingredients in order listed. Pour into greased 8x8 baking dish (I spray it with PAM). Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes depending on how crispy you like the edges. Serve warm topped with a LITTLE brown sugar and a couple dabs of margarine. After it's cooled I make individual portions and put them into ziplock baggies for freezing. They are perfect zapped in the morning!