28 December 2009

Printable Coupons: Cheerios, Wonka Candy, Palermo’s Pizza and More

Printable Coupons: Cheerios, Wonka Candy, Palermo’s Pizza and More
There are some great new coupons available including a high-value Honey Nut Cheerios coupon. Now we just need to hope for a nice sale!

17 December 2009

Coupon Insert Preview – 12/20

Coupon Insert Preview – 12/20
If you buy a copy (or several) of the Sunday paper for the coupons, I wouldn't bother this weekend (or next). It looks as if because of the holidays, there won't be any inserts.

Bible in 90 Days ~ Will You Read with Me?

Bible in 90 Days ~ Will You Read with Me?

Have you ever read through the entire Bible? How about in 90 days? I'm afraid I'd have to answer no to both of those questions. I've read the entire New Testament, but not the entire Bible. Here's a link to a challenge to read through the Bible in 90 days. If you don't have the Bible that is mentioned, but it can be purchased on Amazon.com for $14.99. Or, you could do what one of the reviews on Amazon suggested---take your Bible, divide the number of pages by 90 and that would tell you how many pages you need to read each day.

Win free eyeglasses for your family!

Below you will find a link to a contest that you can enter to win free eyeglasses for your family. As if free eyeglasses aren't enough, this company makes them using environmentally-friendly methods.
You can read about how they do it at www.airwear.com.

I've never tried these glasses, but I entered the contest! Five of the eight of us wear eyeglasses and we could certainly make use of these!

Airwear Lighter. Safer. Greener. Contest

07 December 2009

Meijer deals

Meijer has the 1-lb frozen rolls of ground turkey as part of the 10/$10 sale. Also, if you are in need of socks or undergarments, if you buy 3 Hanes brand you get $10 off your order instantly.

06 December 2009

This is an update on the INternational Delight coffee creamers post---they definitely ARE made by White Wave Foods. I don't know how long the catalina deal is good for, but if you have the 2 coupons---or even 1---it's a money-maker at Meijer.

04 December 2009

International Delight Coffee Creamers---free!!!!!!

If you got the free coffee creamer coupons from Facebook, be advised that you can print 2 of them by hitting the coupon tab a second time. If you have a Meijer nearby, these may be a money-maker. I bought 2 of these, some eggs and some non-grocery items and received a $2 catalina from White Wave Foods.

If you plan to get these free at Meijer, check the label and see if they are made by White Wave Foods. If they are, pick up two and it's a money-maker!

02 December 2009

Amazon.com has the Green String 1.3 MP digital digital camera priced at $13.99 (reg. $39.99) plus free shipping! This is a great camera for a child and it holds up to 100 pictures!

Thanks, Coupon Gal for this find! I ordered one for my daughter's upcoming 9th birthday.

30 November 2009

Deal Alert!!

I don't know if this is chain-wide, but my Meijer has the refrigerated bottles of Coffee-mate coffee creamer for $0.99.
My 92-year-old grandmother is having to move from her assisted living facility into a nursing home because she needs more help taking care of herself than the assisted living facility can give her. We moved some of her stuff out of her apartment into my mom's house and on Thanksgiving we decided to bring out a box of old photos and letters to look through them. One thing I found really hit home and I thought would be a good thing to mention, this being the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season. It really made me think.

My grandmother has in her possession a number of photos, letters, and so on that belonged to her mother, who was born in 1894. We were enjoying looking at old photos of my great-Grandmother and her husband---we found a photo from 1912 when she was a schoolteacher, her wedding photo, some photos of my grandmother when she was very young, etc.--- when we came across some letters and newspaper articles.

One of the letters was written from my great-Grandmother's brother to my great-Grandmother and her family. It was dated mid- September 1918 and he was in France working as a mechanic for the US armed forces, during World War I. The letter itself was rather mundane; he mentioned things he had been doing and asked about a family reunion that had taken place. I read the letter, set it aside, and started looking through the other things.

A few minutes later, I found his obituary. It seems that he fell ill with "neuritis" and was in hospital for 2 weeks; he died on October 16, 1918---just about a month after he wrote the letter. I have no idea what neuritis is; perhaps it's one of those diseases that are treatable nowadays. I could not help but wonder how long mail would have taken in 1918 to go from France to the U.S. Possibly my great-Grandmother received his letter right around the time she learned of his death---that might explain why she kept the letter (and why my Grandmother did as well). But what really struck me was here was a young, apparently healthy man writing an upbeat, normal letter to his sister and her family. He had no way of knowing that within a month of writing that letter, he would be dead. None of us have any way of knowing how much time we---or those we love---have here on earth. It is a very sobering thought, and it should make us treasure every moment we do have with our families. Because the truth of the matter is, we don't know how long we will have them with us. I am thankful and so grateful to God for every day I do have with my family.
I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! Did you snag any great Black Friday deals? Not me! I had no desire to go out in the early morning hours and face a crowd of people! I spent the day at home. It was my fifth child's 7th birthday so we spent the day celebrating that.

28 November 2009

Free Gift Certificates from Restaurant.com

Free Gift Certificates from Restaurant.com
Thanks, Common Sense with Money! Restaurant.com is making it possible for you to give---absolutely FREE---$10 gift certificates for up to 30 of your friends per day!

Or, if you want to buy gift certificates for yourself, you can purchase them for 80% off when you use the code SAVE at checkout.

21 November 2009

more markdowns from Amazon.com

Are you in need of an "expensive" gift for a lady? Amazon.com has quite a lot of their jewelry on markdown up to 70%. Just go on their website, go to the jewelry section, and click on the On Sale Now tab in the upper right-hand corner. There are pearl necklace/earrings/bracelet sets for $9.99, sterling silver rings for under $10---and of course jewelry for much more. The pearl sets would make a nice gift for someone's mother or grandmother. I found a couple of really cute silver rings for my daughters.

The only thing you want to watch is that since many of the items are sold by outside vendors, shipping charges do apply. The ones I looked at were very reasonable, though, and at least one vendor (Peora) offers free shipping anywhere in the U.S.

20 November 2009

Amazon: Corelle Dinnerware for Four $18

Amazon: Corelle Dinnerware for Four $18

Thanks to Common Sense with Money for this find. Amazon has sets of dishes marked down to $18, not a bad price for service for four.

16 November 2009

Amazon: Over Twenty Five Magazine Subscriptions for $5 Only

Amazon: Over Twenty Five Magazine Subscriptions for $5 Only

Thanks to Common Sense with Money for this find! Magazine subscriptions would make a nice Christmas gift for someone on your list. It's even better when you can get them at such an amazing price!

Catalina deal at Meijer

There is some kind of catalina deal at Meijer on the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. I bought four packages of the baking sticks and two of the tubs, and received (4) $2 catalinas. Considering that it is on sale and there are coupons available, this makes a good deal even better.

15 November 2009

If you live near a GFS, they have an awesome deal on turkey. Spend $15 and you get a turkey for $0.39/lb.

12 November 2009

Tuesday Printable Coupon Highlights

Tuesday Printable Coupon Highlights
Andrea at Pueblo Penny Pincher has compiled a nice list of printable coupons.
I went to Walmart today to see if they were participating in the $20 Thanksgiving dinner specials. The least expensive turkeys I could find were Honeysuckle White for $0.60/lb (which is still cheaper than Kroger's and Cub's advertised deals last week). They have select cans of Green Giant vegetables on sale for $0.50/can. (I am not a huge fan of canned vegetables but I like to stock a winter pantry just in case I can't get to the store---either because of snow or illnesses.) Bagged potatoes are cheaper at Kroger, but they do have the Welch's sparkling grape juices for $2.97 (there were $2/1 printables available). I do think with the turkey even at $0.60/lb (which is cheaper than chicken ever goes around here!) you could put together a dinner for 8 for $20 or less, especially if you are willing to maybe make a dessert or two from scratch. Or, you could get one of the frozen pies they had on sale for a little over $3. I plan to make my own. I'm going to try making my own yeast rolls this year---hope they don't come out like rocks!

Corn Chowder

This is the kind of soup I like---easy to make with what you have on hand, and good!

2 cans broth (I usually use chicken)
2 cans whole kernel corn
1 onion, cut fine
2-3 cups diced potatoes
2 cans evaporated milk
1/2 stick butter or its equivalent in margarine (about 4T)
salt and pepper to taste

In large pot, combine first four ingredients. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in evaporated milk and butter, season with salt and pepper.

My grandmother used to make this. She always used the canned milk but you could probably use fresh if you wanted. If you have some leftover cooked chicken you could probably dice it and add that. I have seen several recipes for Chinese-style corn chowder and they usually include chicken. You might even use green onions rather than the plain white, if you wanted. You can use a little cornstarch to thicken it if you want.

Coupon Insert Preview – 11/15

Coupon Insert Preview – 11/15

Looks like there will be some pretty good coupons in this Sunday's insert! Click the above link to preview them, as well as to find out how to obtain the Redplum insert by mail if your paper does not carry it. I think my favorite coupon will be the B1G1 candy coupon! I like to use full-sized candy bars for stocking stuffers.

11 November 2009

Today is the first day in three weeks that I have NO children home from school sick! LOL, probably by next week we'll start another cycle of illness. I am hoping to go later this week and see if my local Walmart is participating in the inexpensive Thanksgiving dinner. I like to buy extra turkeys this time of year and freeze them for Christmas, New Year's, Easter, birthdays, and sometimes for a special dinner---just because!! I've found if I buy a smaller turkey, then we don't have leftovers for weeks on end!

I had to take the 10-year-old to the eye doctor and we found out she needs glasses. This is very difficult to handle for a girl who is beginning to take an interest in her appearance. We did pick out a really cute pair, but she isn't looking forward to their coming in. After the appointment, I took her out to lunch, just her and me. I wish we could do it more often (spending time alone with her, not picking out eyeglasses!). They grow so fast and she's at the age where the next thing you know, she'll be a teenager!

All I can say is---between Urgent Care visits, doctor's visits, emergency dentist visits with tooth-pulling, and eye exams with having to buy glasses---right now I am very thankful we have health insurance! My heart goes out to those who through job loss, cutbacks at work, or whatever reason, are trying to get by without health insurance.

09 November 2009

Target: Free Fancy Feast Appetizers and Weekly deals

Target: Free Fancy Feast Appetizers and Weekly deals
If you have a cat, he/she will thank Common Sense with Money for this find---free Fancy Feast at Target! I think I will pass on the deal---I bought Fancy Feast for my cats and the little beasts loved it so much that anytime I even looked at the cabinet where it was kept, they turned into nagging, whining little creatures wanting their treats!! (It's hard to take cat nagging at 6 AM when you're trying to get your children up and ready for school.) But, if you do buy the stuff, why not get it free?

$20 Thanksgiving dinner

Hip 2 Save and several other sites are reporting that Walmart has the following deal---a $20 Thanksgiving dinner (that you cook yourself)!!

For $20, you get: a 12-lb Jennie-O Turkey (at $0.40/lb), 3 cans of Green Giant vegetables, 2 cans Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, 3 boxes Stove Top stuffing, 1 5-lb bag potatoes, one 12-ct package Sarah Lee dinner rolls, and one 22-oz pumpkin roll cake.

You may want to double-check with your Walmart to be certain they are participating---it is reported that the deal is nationwide, but some people are saying their Walmarts do not know about it. If your Walmart IS participating, this is a pretty awesome deal!! It's enough for eight and with the baking deals this time of year, you could add a few extra desserts for not much more money.

07 November 2009

I haven't been posting much at all lately because I've had sick kids! None of them have caught the swine flu (yet) but it seems they've caught everything else that's been going around---one gets it, passes it on to the next, and so forth; by the time the last one gets over it, someone else gets something else and the cycle starts again.

In addition to that, I had to rush the four-year-old to the dentist because I was brushing his teeth and noticed part of one tooth was discolored. I thought he had gotten something on it but it wouldn't come off, so I looked more closely and realized that very high up on the gum he was getting an abcess!! It looked just awful so I hurried him to the dentist. They said that there was a huge abcess under the gum that was beginning to go through the skin. It wasn't a cavity---he must have fallen and damaged the tooth. They had to pull it. He was a brave little fellow about the entire situation.

I'm telling you this for your own information---if you have small children, and they fall and hurt their mouths, even if it doesn't seem all that serious, keep a close eye on them. The dentist told me this probably happened a while ago and that children commonly do not complain about tooth pain. I had never heard of such a thing! I am glad we caught it when we did, before the infection spread and turned serious. It was bad enough they had to give him antibiotic, which they don't normally do for children, according to our dentist.

04 November 2009

Printable Coupon: Save $1 off Scotties Facial Tissue

Printable Coupon: Save $1 off Scotties Facial Tissue

Thanks to Common Sense with Money for this find. Please note, if you leave the box that asks if you are a regular Scotts user checked yes, you get a $0.50 coupon. Change it to no and it pulls up the $1/1 coupon.

31 October 2009

apple cream pie

1 unbaked pie crust

2-3 cups chopped apples
2/3 cup sugar
2 T flour
1 cup sour cream
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt
1 egg

Mix together the sugar, flour, and salt, then add the cream, vanilla, and 1 egg. Mix until smooth. Mix in the apples, pour into pie shell, top with a crumb topping (1/3 C sugar, 1/3 C flour, 1/2 C butter). Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes. This pie is REALLY good (not to mention easy)!!!!

29 October 2009

How do you handle Halloween?

Here's a topic I thought might be good for discussion: If you have (or had) children of the age to trick-or-treat, how do you handle Halloween? Do you allow them to trick-or-treat?

It was never an issue with my older children---we lived in Los Angeles at the time, and for safety reasons I and many parents chose not to participate in trick-or-treating. We attended a very large church that had a huge Harvest party, so the questions never came up.

However, my younger children are now asking why they cannot trick or treat. I feel that as a Christian it is one of those issues of conscience that aren't clearly spelled out in the Bible, and one must decide for oneself, but my concerns with the safety issue remain and I do not feel I can allow them to trick or treat. Unfortunately, Harvest parties do not seem to be very common where we now live and the younger ones are wondering why I don't allow them to trick-or-treat.

So I am curious as to how others handle this. If you are a parent, do you/did you allow your kids to trick-or-treat? Why or why not? If you are not a parent, would you?

My current method of handling it is to buy them candy myself, tell them I don't feel it is safe to go around begging candy from strangers, and hope they let the matter drop. (On a side note, their father is very much against Halloween.)

I would love to read any comments anyone would care to leave, both for and against!!!

27 October 2009

It looks as if the $2/1 candy coupons on Coupons.com have been reset. I was able to print another 2 copies of each.

26 October 2009

Restaurant.com 80% off sale

Restaurant.com is offering certificates at 80% off when you use the code TREATS at checkout.

Potato Leek soup

This one is great for those chilly Fall days!

4 good-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 leek, washed well and chopped (discard green part)
chicken broth to cover the potatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the potatoes and leeks in the broth until the potatoes are tender. Take a potato masher and mash them enough so that they are mashed up but still a little chunky. Add just enough milk or cream to make the soup look like a cream soup and heat gently.

20 October 2009

Restaurant.com has 70% off on their gift cards, use code PUMPKIN at checkout. Plus, according to the e-mail they sent me, get a free $10 gift from Lobstergram (no idea what that is!!!!) with every order.

Swine Flu information

Web MD has some very interesting information on the Swine Flu and the vaccine in its Cold and Flu section. Under the article entitled "Is the Swine Flu vaccine safe?" you can find a link to each of the vaccine makers' list of ingredients, if you care to know what is in the vaccine. There is also an article about the increase in deaths of children/teens (some of them previously healthy) from this disease.

I had not made up my mind about the vaccine, but I tended to be more opposed to it than not. After reading the second article, I am rethinking my position. I will have to decide soon, though, because my childrens' schools plan to administer the vaccine in early November.

If anyone has any more information on the topic, I would greatly appreciate it. Some of what you find on the Internet is biased either against or towards it. It can be difficult to sift through all that and find unbiased, factual information.

Update on Kroger Deal

If you plan on doing the $4 off Nature Valley deal at Kroger (buy four NV granola bars or Fiber One bars) be advised that the Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters are part of the deal. I could not find them listed anywhere in the ad but there were shelf signs, and sure enough the deal worked. There are $1/1 printables and e-coupons currently available as well as $1.60/1 printables that were available, if anyone is still holding them for a sale. The price of the clusters minus the $4 for the deal is $1.50, so combined with coupons it is $0.50 to free!!!!

I did the deal twice (you can do it twice per transaction), buying 5 granola clusters and 3 granola bars, 10 Birds' Eye veggies at 4 for $5, 8 packages of Kroger cheese at 4 for $5, 2 pouches of Starkist tuna, 1 Alouette Brie cheese, and one 24-pack of Kroger String Cheese. After Kroger Plus savings and coupons, I spent $22.09 and saved $65.11!!

When I think back to the days when I believed couponing did not make that big of a difference on your grocery bill, I have to laugh.

19 October 2009

Starkist pouch product coupon

Coupons.com has a $0.50/1 Starkist tuna pouch coupon! Love those tuna coupons---these pouches are staples in my daughters' lunchboxes. They love tuna---to the dismay of their classmates.

If your store doubles, this would mean free/very cheap tuna.
Old Navy is offering an online discount: Save 15% on $75, 20% on $100 and 25% on $125. Enter code SAVE123 at checkout. Their prices are for the most part reasonable, especially on childrens' outerwear.

13 October 2009

"God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Messiah died for us." (Rms 5:8)
"He died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God." (Rms 4:25)
"Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son." (Jn 5:22)

Sin separates us from God but the Messiah came to bridge the gap between man and God by means of his death on the Cross. When He rose from the dead, He gained complete and total victory over death and it is through His death and resurrection that we gain eternal life.

Jn 5:22 is especially interesting. It is not God the Father who does the judging. Rather, it is God the Son (Messiah Jesus) who is the one that grants forgiveness and does the judging. That is why it is so necessary to study His Word and to obey it---if we love Him, we will do as He says.

Prevent Childhood Influenza: Seasonal Flu Vaccine Recommendations, Influenza Vaccination Resources

Prevent Childhood Influenza: Seasonal Flu Vaccine Recommendations, Influenza Vaccination Resources

Posted using ShareThis

This is a link to an e-mail I received that I found rather interesting. My family normally does get the seasonal flu vaccine and we are planning to do so again this year. (I have not made a decision about the H1N1 vaccine, though.) Of course each family must make their own decision---we have not gotten the vaccine some years and not gotten the flu, have gotten the vaccine and gotten no flu or a mild case, and one year (the first year that we got the vaccine, in 2003) we got the vaccine, every one of my children got very bad cases of the flu, the youngest at the time (who was 1) got pneumonia as a complication, then I got the flu and had a miscarriage besides! (Though probably not because of the flu) So, it's no guarantee that you won't get the flu even if you do get the vaccine, but from our experience, most years we get a mild case if at all. (2003 was the exception, it was also that year the flu was very serious and children were dying from it.) If you aren't yet sure, you might want to check out the link and see if it's helpful.

12 October 2009

Free Music Download: The Best of the Most Relaxing Classical Music In The Universe

Free Music Download: The Best of the Most Relaxing Classical Music In The Universe

Thanks to Common Sense With Money for this---Amazon.com is offering a free music download!
There is a very interesting set of articles on ankerberg.org (which is John Ankerberg's site). Back in the 80's (yes, some of us remember the 80's!) he, along with John Weldon and Walter Kaiser, published a book called The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible prophecies that prove God exists. This book examined the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah and proved that they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

It was through that book that I came to faith in Christ. It is a very valuable book to read if you are searching for the truth, if you want to be able to explain why Jesus fulfills the Biblical requirements to be the Messiah, or if you want to strengthen your faith. Faith in Christ is not a blind faith---the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah are many, some are quite specific and, taken together, they all point to Jesus.

The book had gone out of print, but now you can obtain each article from the website. If you do not wish to purchase, or wish to see them before purchase, you can read a summary of them first or even get them as a PDF.
Said by my four-year-old to Kitty #2, who was on top of the hamster's cage and ready to try to bat the little critter: "Bad Kitty! If you kill that hamster, you'll go to Kitty Jail!"

LOL, if there were such a place, Kitty and Kitty #2 would have been there long ago!
Restaurant.com is having another 80% off sale on gift certificates. Enter code FOUR at checkout.
This is good through today, 10/12/09.
Allyou.com has some great coupons including $1/2 Ronzoni Smart Taste and B1G1 Pounce cat treats.

09 October 2009

Facebook Herbal Essences coupon reset

Moneysaving Mom reported that the widely-anticipated free Herbal Essences coupon that had been offered through their Facebook page has been reset and is now working properly. I tried it and as of 6:50 this morning, was still able to get through. They are going through with the original plan to give out a certain number of coupons over several days' time.

08 October 2009

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life." (John 6:47)

Anne Frank video

I could not get this to link, but it would be well worth your time to take a few seconds to do the following: Go onto Youtube's website, and in the search box, enter Anne Frank: the only existing film images. It will bring up a short video taken in July 1941 of Anne Frank's neighbor leaving her apartment building with her new husband (they just got married). Nine seconds into the film, Anne Frank can be clearly seen leaning out of the upstairs window (where she lived) to watch.

It is my understanding that this film (taken after the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, but a year before the family went into hiding) was given to her father and ended up in the possession of a Dutch museum which decided to post this on Youtube for everyone to watch. It's very sad because in the couple of seconds she can be seen, she looks like a normal, young teenaged girl happy to be watching her newly married neighbor---but we all know what happened to the family soon thereafter.

I hope the world NEVER forgets what happened to Anne Frank. Every one of us should praise God every day that we are free to live and worship as we choose, but we should never take that freedom for granted.

(The Anne Frank House website (annefrank.org) also has this video available to view.)

07 October 2009

Wendy's Halloween coupon booklets

Thanks to Katie at Cincinnati Cents for this info---Wendy's has available a booklet of 10 coupons, each of which is good for a 6-oz frosty, costing $1. This would be a nice alternative to candy to pass out on Halloween (or for childrens' Halloween parties at school).

06 October 2009

I was looking in the cupboards today for a snack to give my four-year-old, hoping to find something fairly healthy to hold him over until dinner tonight. I asked him, "Would you like some peanut butter crackers?"

"No," was his response. "I'm a vegetarian."

Vegetarian? He clearly doesn't understand that concept. "Vegetarians eat peanut butter," I told him.

"No they don't," said he. "It's disgusting."

Now, I KNOW where he learned THAT word. It's my 12-year-old's response to anything green on his plate.

I just kind of shook my head. What was I thinking, offering peanut butter to a four-year-old "vegetarian"? I found some fruit snacks and tossed him a packet. "Here, eat these."

He took all the fruit snacks out of the packet and, being a four-year-old, had to inspect the shapes and sort them by color before he would actually eat any of them. Soon I found that the green ones had been pushed in front of me. "What's this?" I asked.

"I don't like the green ones. I'm a vegetarian."

I tried explaining what the word vegetarian actually means, and that most vegetarians actually eat a great many green things. Of course, he's four years old. His only response to that was, "Green things are yucky."

"All right," I asked. "So what can the little vegetarian eat?"

"Rice Krispies treats," was the immediate response. "With peanut butter on them."

"What?!" I tried not to laugh. "That's disgusting. I thought vegetarians couldn't eat peanut butter."

"They can eat it on Rice Krispies treats," he said.

I don't know where he comes up with these things. We sometimes do have Rice Krispies treats, but never with peanut butter on them. Chocolate, yes. Peanut butter, no.

"Can I have some tuna?" he asked.

I knew what would happen with the tuna. He wouldn't eat it---he hates tuna. He would "accidentally" drop it on the floor, conveniently in front of the cats. They love tuna more than anything, and my children know this. The cats, of course, take full advantage of that fact.

"No, you can't have tuna," I said. "Just eat your fruit snacks."

He went back to playing with his fruit snacks. He's four years old. Anyone who's ever had a small child must know that fruit snacks make great little toys.

I started looking for something to make for supper tonight. I've been ill lately and so have some of the children, so planning ahead for supper has not been a priority these days. I've just been fixing whatever I can find that I have on hand.

"So what sounds good for supper?" I asked. "What can vegetarians eat for supper?"

"Rice and meat and bacon," he said.

I suppose that answer makes perfect sense to a four-year-old.

Printable Coupons: Starkist, Pop Secret and Playskool

Printable Coupons: Starkist, Pop Secret and Playskool

Here's the link to the toy coupons (sorry, I forgot to add it the first time! I'm a little distracted this morning---the cats are being really bratty and bothering our new little hamster every time I turn my back. They're worse than children!!!!).

Thanks, COmmon Sense with Money! (Note: The Starkist coupon may be zip-code specific---I couldn't find it---hope you can!!)

More great toy coupons

If you want more of the great toy coupons that were available, go to Playskool.com and you should be able to print off two more copies of each. I'm hoping for a really awesome sale---these would make great toys to donate to a women's shelter or a toy drive.

Donate Expired Coupons to Military Families Overseas

Donate Expired Coupons to Military Families Overseas

If you are like me, you probably have more than a few coupons sitting around that either are expired or that you will never use. Here is something worthwhile to do with them: Toni at The Happy Housewife will assign you a military family overseas that you can send these coupons to. Prices in commissaries overseas are higher than here in the States, but they can use both newspaper coupons and IPs and they accept expired coupons (up to 3 months expired). I would encourage everyone to click on the link above and sign up to start sending your unused coupons to a military family overseas. (Postage for military overseas addresses is the same as postage here at home, by the way.)

This is a great way to help other people and it will only cost you the postage. I know I have a lot of diaper/baby food/formula/dog food coupons that we will never use, among other things. They can't take store-specific coupons (such as Target), but they can use manufacturer's coupons for basically anything else a grocery store sells. I was so excited to learn they take IPs. Sometimes I print a coupon but never get the chance to use it---at least this way I won't feel it is such a waste of ink and paper.

So please, sign up to do this and encourage your family and friends to do the same!!!!!

04 October 2009

Free Sample Oregon Chai Latte

Free Sample Oregon Chai Latte

Thanks to Common Sense With Money for this find. I've never tried this particular brand, but chai is very, very good. The sample should arrive in 2-4 weeks.

Meijer ad

This week's Meijer ad may not be the BEST week for coupon matchups, but they're having a pretty awesome 10/$10 get the 11th free sale on some of the Meijer brands. Included in this sale, among other items, are the Meijer-brand fruit snacks (great for lunchboxes) and my all-time favorite, the 1-lb rolls of frozen ground turkey. With the sale, these come out to $0.90/lb. I use them in place of ground meat for almost everything. In this case, there's no guilt in being cheap because the ground turkey isn't just cheaper than ground beef, it's also lower in fat than ground beef. Ground turkey makes a pretty amazing spaghetti sauce, chili, sloppy joe's and tacos. I very rarely buy ground beef anymore---I stock up when this is on sale and use this instead. Since it takes at least 2 lbs (more like 3 if we're having tacos) of ground meat to feed a family the size of mine, this comes out quite a bit cheaper than using ground beef (and it's healthier, but we just won't tell them that).

03 October 2009

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Eph. 2:4-9)

I am so glad it is by grace I am saved! If it were dependent upon my own efforts and "good" works, I could never attain salvation. Praise God, though, Jesus has already paid the price on the Cross and now I am freed from the power of sin and death, free to love and serve Him.

02 October 2009

SheSpeaks program

If you haven't yet registered for She Speaks, I would give it a try. I registered a couple of months ago and kind of forgot about it, but recently they have made me two offers---a shopper's survey (the reward is a $10 Starbucks gift card---can't pass that one up) and an Alouette cheese program (they send you a coupon for a free cheese and some other $1-off coupons) to try the cheese and give them your opinions. Go to shespeaks.com and sign up, then wait for some offers! It's a great way to try new things.

CVS: Free Neosporin Lip Balm

CVS: Free Neosporin Lip Balm

Thanks to Common Sense with Money for this link to $3/1 coupon for Neosporin lip balm. When you combine this with the $2.50 clip-free CVS coupon, you get the lip balm free!
If you are a coffee lover, don't forget the Starbucks taste challenge---Via coffee (which is an instant coffee) vs. my all-time favorite, Pike Place Roast. You'll get a coupon for a free tall brewed coffee if you participate. I probably won't be going because cold and flu season has begun at our house already---I have one ill, another looking as if he's getting it also, and four more who undoubtedly will get it too! So I guess I'll sit this one out, but have fun at the taste test!!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

My study Bible has an interesting note on this verse: the word "looking" in verse 2 comes from the Greek aphorao. Apo means away from, and horao means to see. It means setting one's undivided attention on an object---in this context, it means having eyes for no-one but Jesus. I love the last part of the passage---Jesus not only is the author of our faith, but also its completion. There is nothing more that needs to be done---He paid the price IN FULL for our salvation through His death on the Cross, and the sacrifice which brings us salvation is completed. Nothing we do can ever bring us closer to salvation, because it has already been bought and paid in full by Jesus Himself. We need only accept His gift of salvation. I would say He is more than worthy of our undivided attention!!

30 September 2009

Starbucks Via Challenge / Free Coffee and Coupon

Starbucks Via Challenge / Free Coffee and Coupon

Thanks to The Happy Housewife for this find! From October2-5 you can go into Starbucks and taste Starbucks Via coffee next to Pike Place roast and try to guess which is which. Not only that, but you get a coupon besides!

A Starbucks taste test? Now, that's my kind of challenge!!

29 September 2009

Burger King and Wendy’s: Trick or Treat Coupon Booklets

Burger King and Wendy’s: Trick or Treat Coupon Booklets

Looking for something to pass out on Halloween other than candy? Check with your local Burger King or Wendy's and see if they're offering these coupon booklets. MacDonald's is supposed to have one as well, and don't forget that Frische's offers a coupon booklet with 8 coupons, each good for a free kid's meal. Each of these booklets costs $1.

28 September 2009

BlackFinn Restaurants: Free $25 gift card

BlackFinn Restaurants: Free $25 gift card

Here's a link to a $25 restaurant gift card if you live near a Black Finn Restaurant. Thanks, Common Sense With Money!

Free Lysol sprays at Meijer

If you are planning to do the following deal to get free Lysol Neutra-Air sprays at Meijer: Sale price 2/$3, use (2) $1/1 and (1) mealbox coupon---please note that the double packs (the 2-for-1 packs) are also included in the sale price and work for this deal! So, rather than getting 2 free sprays using the coupons I mentioned, you get 4!!!!

27 September 2009

Mycokerewards.com coupon for free 12-pack

For a limited time, if you have 240 points collected at mycokerewards.com, you can get a coupon for a free 12-pack of Coke!! I have nowhere near that much, but if you've been saving up for something good, now might be a good time to redeem your points.

Printable Coupons: Cheerios, Bagel Bites, Pedialyte and More

Printable Coupons: Cheerios, Bagel Bites, Pedialyte and More

Thanks, Common Sense With Money! Here are some great high-value printables. Can I just say, FINALLY another $1/1 Cheerios! It's the only kind of cereal one of my boys will eat!

25 September 2009

Kids eat free!!

Have you checked out Mykidseatfree.com? You enter your state and then the city you want to search, and it pulls up a list of restaurant that offer free deals for kids. This would be a valuable site for anyone with children or grandchildren (or nieces, nephews, etc.). The nice thing is if you are going on vacation you could find out ahead of time where your family could eat inexpensively.

It's Hip to Save!: FREE Sample: Kotex Overnight Pads (New Link)!

It's Hip to Save!: FREE Sample: Kotex Overnight Pads (New Link)!

Thanks to Hip2Save for this find! Here's a new link for a sample of Kotex Overnight pads. The nice thing about these is they often come with a high-dollar coupon that comes in handy when Walgreens or CVS runs a deal on these items.

24 September 2009

Walmart” Free Honey Bunches of Oats

Walmart” Free Honey Bunches of Oats

Thanks, Common Sense with Money! Here's a link to a $2/1 coupon for Honey Bunches of Oats. Although Walmart's prices vary by region, many people are saying their Walmart has the cereal marked down to $2 a box. Even if yours doesn't, you likely could get it very cheap.

23 September 2009

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." (Heb. 1:3)

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Col. 1:15-17)

I believe I posted both of these verses before but they are just so powerful I had to post them again!!

Free Redbox Movie Rental at Meijer through 9/24

Free Redbox Movie Rental at Meijer through 9/24

Thanks to Common Sense With Money for this find! I've never rented anything from Redbox but this might be a good time to try it. The promo code is 9MEJR24.

22 September 2009

Leapfrog.com markdowns

If you have a son or daughter who likes Leapfrog products, here's an idea for a relatively inexpensive Christmas gift---Leapfrog.com has a number of items clearanced to $9.99, including Tag books, Leapster games, and other products. Some of the Leapster games were originally over $20, so it is a good markdown. I am officially finished with the Christmas shopping (yes, already!) for five of my six children. The one remaining child is 15 and I can't picture her playing with Leapster products!! But, if you have young children you are shopping for, you might want to check out their website and see if there's anything you want.
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity rests in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority." (Col. 2:9)

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Co. 2:13-15)

20 September 2009

The Things We Do For Our Children

I went in my daughters' room this morning to check on their "roommate", a dwarf hamster who resides in a pink plastic cage shaped like a princess castle. Immediately upon entering their room I could not help but notice a horrible stench.

Oh, no, I thought. It can't be.

Let's just say the hamster was NOT my favorite pet of the four. She was ill-tempered and her favorite response to being petted was to grab onto your finger with all her tiny might and hang off of it. Still, she was our first pet and the family loved her.

I shook the castle slightly, hoping I was wrong, but I wasn't.

I took the cage downstairs and was trying to decide what to do with the hamster's body and the cage, while trying to explain to my 6-year-old and 4-year-old why the hamster was not moving, and trying to comfort the hysterically crying 8-year-old. My other three children just watched.

We finally decided to put the hamster in the only box we could find that matched her size, an empty Kool-Aid singles box. I talked my husband into digging a hole in the back yard and we buried her. The younger four children marked the grave with a strange assortment of rocks, flowers they picked from my garden, and a handmade marker with her name. Oh, and her food bowl---filled with more flowers.

Then, I made the mistake of reminding them that we had all agreed that when the hamster died, we would not replace her with another. They don't make very good pets, after all. They're nocturnal, they don't play like a cat, they aren't friendly like a bunny. And, they love to hang off your finger with their teeth. None of those things make a good pet.

My 8-year-old started crying even harder. But we loved her anyway, she said.

That was true---and then I started thinking about that.

Doesn't God love us anyway, even when by our very human nature we do the most UNLOVABLE things? Even when we don't love Him? Or, when we say we love Him, but our actions say that we don't?

Yet, He still loves us. He proved that point on the Cross.

I looked at my 8-year-old and suddenly all my reasons for not getting another hamster sounded very stupid. I asked her if she really wanted another hamster. She nodded, too upset to say anything else.

My husband kind of rolled his eyes---he knew what was coming. We loaded the family into the van and went to the pet store, hoping we could find one hamster that all six children could settle on.

The most difficult part turned out to be convincing my 10-year-old that we were getting ONLY another hamster, not a hamster and another bunny, and convincing my 12-year-old that Kitty and Kitty #2 most certainly would NOT agree to another cat being brought into our home. Choosing a hamster was actually quite easy---we found a black and white fellow who let my son pick him up WITHOUT latching onto his finger! The pet store guy said he's friendly, so we took him at his word and decided to adopt him.

We brought him home and put him in his new home. (Luckily, we had a spare cage, so the little fellow does NOT have to live in a pink castle!) He made himself right at home, getting food from his bowl and stashing it away (hamsters hoard food), climbing around the cage, playing on the wheel...He even let us pet him and it did not bother him. He seems as if he'll make a fine pet.

But, do you know what? Even if he doesn't, we'll love him anyway.
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, in him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)

17 September 2009

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities: all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:15-17)

16 September 2009

Meijer.com $5 off coupon code

I have never shopped on-line at meijer.com but for anyone who does, they have an offer: Write 5 reviews in September and you get a coupon code for $5 off in October.

Keebler snack crackers sale

Keebler snack crackers (both the peanut butter kind and the cheddar kind) are on sale at Meijer this week for $1.67 a package. These are nice for kids' lunch boxes and there is a $2 off fresh fruit WYB 2 packages of Keebler or Austin snack crackers (it was in pamphlets available in stores a month or so ago). This would be a good week to use those coupons since both the crackers are on sale and Meijer has 3-lb bags of apples for $1.29. I believe there were manufacturer's coupons available for the crackers as well (we used them long ago---my children LOVE these in their lunch boxes!), so if you have those the deal would be even better.
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." (Hebrews 1:3)

Free sample of Myoplex

Go to www.eas.com to download and print a coupon for up to $3.89 a Myoplex bar, shake, or 4-pack bottles.

Meijer coupon

If you live in the Dayton, OH area and only buy the Dayton Daily News on Sunday, you may want to pick up a copy of today's paper. There is a $5/$30 Meijer coupon at the end of section A good from 9/16 until 9/19. I am assuming you can use this BEFORE other coupons, because the fine print does not say you cannot.

15 September 2009

Sears $10 off coupon code

Sears.com is offering $10 off junior department purchases when you enter the code 17SEARSAPPAREL at checkout. There are a number of tops priced around $10 but please note that the promo does not apply to shipping or tax. Ex. If you order a shirt for $6.99 you will receive a discount of $6.99 and still pay the full shipping. Still, it can be a decent deal. I purchased a hoodie for my daughter for $14.99 and only paid the $4.99 extra plus the shipping.

WHO Warns of Severe Form of H1N1 Virus - Health News | Current Health News | Medical News - FOXNews.com

WHO Warns of Severe Form of H1N1 Virus - Health News | Current Health News | Medical News - FOXNews.com

Posted using ShareThis

I found the above article to be quite interesting. Of course you have to take any form of news with a grain of salt, but to be on the safe side, I would make sure I am well-stocked for flu season. Another thing---make sure your friends and family know that they should be as well (it is a good idea in case of any kind of emergency). When my family lived in earthquake country (i.e. the West coast) this was constantly repeated. I am surprised at how many people who live in the Midwest, when they hear of a big snowstorm coming, must rush out to the stores to prepare.

My take on this is, even if the virus does not turn out to be really severe in this country, the news media likes to play up things, which could potentially cause a minor panic or run on the stores. So please, advise your family and friends to prepare at least a small stockpile.

14 September 2009

Coupon Alert: $5 Luvs Diaper Coupon

Coupon Alert: $5 Luvs Diaper Coupon

If you have a child in diapers, you'll want to read this post. The deal is only good 9/15!

Nature Valley Nut Clusters: High Value Printable Coupon

Nature Valley Nut Clusters: High Value Printable Coupon

Here's a link for $1.60/1 Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters! Have you tried them yet? They're yummy! Thanks, Common Sense with Money!
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1)

Cheap Kool-Aid Jammers at Meijer

Kool-Aid Jammers are part of the buy5 get $5 off promo. They run $1.69 each but there are $1/2 coupons available in the Meijer coupon booklet typically found near the place where they have the store circulars.

12 September 2009

90% off restaurant.com extended

Use the code NINETY at checkout and get a gift certificate for 90% off. This offer has been extended until 9/13.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)

This is a good verse to carry us over in those difficult times when we have trouble sensing God's presence in our lives. It is a real comfort, knowing that we can rely on God even when we can't "see" him in our situation. God promised that he would never leave us nor forsake us, so even in those times when we feel totally alone, we can be assured that God is still with us. He still loves us, no matter what, and even when we walk away from him (spiritually speaking), he still is trying to draw us back to him.

10 September 2009

More Meijer deals

Cinnabon and Nutrigrain bars are $1.99 each; there are/were internet printables available which would make the Cinnabon bars $0.99 and the Nutrigrain bars $1.50 (the coupon is $1/2). Select Keebler cookies are $1.99---pair them with the IPs to get them for $0.99 each and use the Kellogg's Fuel for School (pamphlets of coupons which were available on the Keebler displays a few weeks ago) to get $2.00 off a gallon of milk when you buy 2 packages of cookies. Wheat Thins Flatbread crackers are part of the Nabisco 2/$4 deal; use the IPs which were available to make them $1 each. (We've been wanting to try these---now is a good time.) The Fuel for School pamphlets also have a $2 off store brand coffee when you buy 2 boxes of Nutrigrain bars.

I made a trip to Meijer this afternoon and bought 10 Lysols cleaners, 1 gallon of milk, 2 packages of cookies, 2 boxes of Wheat Thins Flat breads, and one bag of Purina One cat food. Used IPs for all of the cleaners, $2 off gallon milk WYB cookies, IPs for the Wheat Thins and the Keebler cookies, $5/1 Meijer.com Purina One coupon, $1/1 cat food coupon attached to the bag, and Meijer mealbox coupons for $1/2 Lysol sprays (I had 2 but I miscounted the sprays I would buy while printing these so I should have used a third). My OOP was $5.11 (incl. $0.64 tax), savings total was $41.07. I love these Lysol 1/2 off sales!!!


I've added a poll to my blog just for fun. If you want to vote, that would be great! This is just for my own information.

Campbell's labels for education

Don't forget! Besides clipping Box Tops from General Mills products, please also clip those Campbell's Labels for Education from participating products. Just a few of those products include Campbell's soups, Soup At Hand, Microwaveable soup bowls, V8 juices, Campbell's pork and beans, Goldfish crackers, Swanson broths, Chunky soups, Spaghettios, Prego sauces, Select Harvest soups...Each label has a value of either one or five points which participating schools can redeem for things they need. If you don't have children in school, collect them anyway and give them to your local school! They would be glad to have them. Schools need quite a lot of points to get anything but if they can collect enough points, they can get some pretty nice things. Like everyone else in this economy, they need all the help they can get!

turkey chili

For 4 servings:

1 lb ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 can tomatoes (we like Rotel)
1 cup canned or cooked dried beans
2 t ground cumin
1 t ground red pepper (we use ancho)
1-2 t oregano
1-2 t garlic powder
1 t adobo powder (can omit if you don't have this)

Brown the turkey and onions in a little olive (or other) oil; while it browns, add the adobo seasoning. After this is browned, add all the other ingredients and enough water to cover. Simmer at least a half hour and preferably much longer, adding a little more water if necessary. Adjust the seasonings to taste. My kids like this topped with sour cream, grated cheddar, and a few oyster crackers. Not so healthy, but good.

Prayer needed

I received a forwarded e-mail, one of those friend of a friend-type things. It is regarding an 8-year old boy named Sam who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage 4 osteosarcoma. This young man is in desperate need of prayer for his healing! Please, pray for him and ask others to do so as well.

09 September 2009

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and whose spirit is no deceit." (Psalm 32:1-2)

Printable Coupons: Hunt’s, Rotel, Peter Pan Peanut Butter and More

Printable Coupons: Hunt’s, Rotel, Peter Pan Peanut Butter and More

Go to this link for some great printable coupons! Thanks, Common Sense with Money! If you shop at Meijer, there is a Mealbox coupon for $1/4 Rotel tomatoes that you could stack with this one. The sale price this week at Meijer for the 10-oz. cans is $1.03---stack the manufacturer's coupon and the mealbox coupon and you get the tomatoes for a little over $0.50/can.

The $1/4 Hunt's pudding coupons are good for the 4-packs that are part of the 10/$10 deal at Meijer this week as well. I stocked up on a lot of those---oldest son just got braces put on and his gums are really sore.

Free sample Curel Itch Defense Moisture Lotion and More

Free sample Curel Itch Defense Moisture Lotion and More

Here's a link to a free sample of Curel Lotion, thanks to Common Sense with Money. I haven't tried this lotion yet but it looks like pretty good stuff.

Restaurant.com 90% off certificates

Use code NINETY at checkout for 90% off the certificates. According to couponmom.com it is good for 99 hours (?!) beginning 9/09/09.
Great news!! The $5/1 Purina One coupon is still available at meijer.com! Originally the coupon expired 9/5/09, but the new one is good until 12/31/09! It's good for cat/dog/kitten/puppy food, 3.3 lb or larger bags. I don't know what the dog food costs, but the small bags of cat food are priced just over $6. Cheap cat food till the end of the year! Some of the bags have $1/1 manufacturer's coupons---these DO combine with the Meijer coupon; I tried it and the cashier confirmed that it did.

08 September 2009

"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:18-19)

What a wonderful Savior we have! He was obedient (unto death, says the Bible) in order that we might be made righteous. It's nothing we can do in our own power---it's all because of Him!!

Meijer deals

If you plan to take advantage of Meijer's 10 for $10 get the 11th free sale, Meijer brand frozen rolls of ground turkey are also a part of the deal. I like to stock up on them---if you buy 11, it comes out to $0.90/lb. I haven't seen ground beef that inexpensive in a long time. We use ground turkey in place of ground beef in tacos, chili, spaghetti sauce, and so on. It tastes just as good and is lower in fat. I very rarely use ground beef anymore---I stock up when Meijer has these sales and use ground turkey (or lentils)!!

On another note, if you are using the printable Green Giant coupons to score some free or cheap frozen veggies at Meijer this week, there is a catalina deal going on. I had two separate transactions, both including the following: 4 boxes of the frozen veggies and 3 bags of the Valley Fresh Steamers. In both transactions, I received a $1 catalina from General Mills. The cashier wasn't sure which combination had generated the catalina but you might keep it in mind if you're shopping at Meijer for veggies. I noticed there is one Meijer in my area that posts the catalina deals on the shelf but the others do not.

Deal Alert!!

Keeping the Kingdom First reports that the American Girls store online has 4 DVDs marked down to $5 each! If you have girls at home, I am sure you are familiar with the American Girls book series which also have DVDs and very expensive dolls to go along with the books. $5 for a normally $19.95 DVD is a good deal if you have daughters or nieces you are Christmas shopping for. I ordered the Felicity and Samantha videos (daughters already have Kit and Molly) and plan to set them aside for Christmas.
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." (Romans 5:6-11)

I praise God that He did not leave it up to us to try to find our own way to God. I know from my own life that I can never be good enough---I am constantly messing up and failing. When I try to do good, more often than not I end up doing the opposite of what I want or know I need to do. Thank God, though, that we do not have to rely on our own "good works" to make our lives right with Him. He has already paid the price for our reconciliation. We only need accept His beautiful gift, offered with His wonderful grace and mercy to all who would receive it.

07 September 2009

Jungle Jim's deals

There are some good deals at Jungle Jim's this week if you live in the Cincinnati area.

Pepsi OR Coke products, 12-packs 5 for $10 with in-ad coupon
Lance's 8-pack peanut butter crackers (reduced fat type only) $0. 99 (if you have the Kellogg's $2 off fresh fruit wyb 2 Lance's crackers, it is an even better deal)
Juicy Juice, 2/$3
selected varieties of dried beans in the India section are marked down to $3.49 for the 4-lb packages!!

04 September 2009

Frugal living tip

I just bought a pound of split peas for $1.19. Most dried beans, at least around here, are under $1.50/lb. The package says there are 10 servings in that one pound. When was the last time we could buy meat for $1.19 a pound, and how many people does one pound of meat serve? (If it's boneless meat, the answer is 3 to 4 people)

I am not a vegetarian, but I like a relatively healthy diet and a wide variety of different foods. So many people, when they think protein, think of just meat or poultry. It is much healthier to cut back on one's consumption of meat and get at least some of one's protein from dried beans or other vegetarian sources. Not only is it better for your health, but it is better for the environment. Meat production is incredibly wasteful in terms of land use and water use.

When many people hear the word beans, they think of refried beans and ham and bean soup. The truth is there is a whole world of delicious recipes for beans/lentils other than those two (I admit I like refried beans, but hate ham and bean soup). There is also a great variety of beans---lentils (red, yellow, brown, green), split peas (yellow and green), lima beans, chick peas (white and red), black beans, limas, pintos, black, navy, canary beans, pink beans....the list goes on and on. We would all be doing our own health a favor by learning some new ways to enjoy them.


I love falafel, but the dried mixes are so expensive and frankly not all that tasty. Here is a recipe I found for homemade falafel.

3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and ground (or mashed up)
1 t salt
1 T dried parsley flakes
1 t garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
a little paprika, to taste

oil for frying

Combine everything except oil and mix well. Shape into 1" balls. Flatten slightly.

Heat oil in a skillet (about 1/2" depth of oil). Fry a few at a time until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Serve stuffed into a pita bread, garnished with Tahini sauce, or on a plate garnished with Tahini sauce and some Greek salad on the side.

Falafel is a very tasty dish which is eaten throughout the Middle East.

Restaurant.com 50% off sale

Restaurant.com is offering another sale---this time, if you enter the code MENU at checkout, you get 50% off. That means you'll purchase a $25 gift certificate for $5 rather than the usual $10. Read the fine print because there is normally a minimum amount you must spend (usually $35 for the $25 certificates). Still, it can be a very good deal, especially if you have a larger family.

03 September 2009

Bean chowder

Dried beans are a good source of low-fat protein. They are also very inexpensive compared to meat. This is a vegetarian take on clam chowder.

1 cup dried white beans (navy or baby limas work well)
5 cups water
1 chopped onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 1/2 cups potato, cubed
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups milk

Soak beans overnight or by the rapid-soak method. Bring to boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. They should be partly tender but not all the way cooked through.

Add everything but the milk and cook 30-45 minutes longer, until beans and vegetables are tender. Remove 1 cup soup and puree.

Stir the milk gradually into the puree, then slowly stir this back into the soup. Cook over low, uncovered, until slightly thickened and heated through. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Note: The original recipe called for 1 cup canned drained tomatoes. I omitted it because some of my children won't touch a tomato (except in the form of pizza sauce) but you could try it with the tomato if you like. I like a traditional white New England clam chowder and just can't picture putting tomatoes in this.

02 September 2009

"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's (Adam's) sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:15-17)

This is an often-repeated theme in the Bible: sin entered the world through Adam, bringing with it not only the physical manifestations of sin (sickness, death, war, etc.) but also spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God. However, God in His infinite mercy provided a way of atonement: Jesus Himself paid the price for our sin so that we may be made right with God. We in ourselves cannot possibly make things right, but Jesus has already done it for us!! We need only accept this gift. When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and become a Christ-follower, we are made right with God and will spend eternity with Him.
International Delights coffee creamer is on sale at Meijer for $1.49 each, and when you buy 2 you get a $2 catalina. THis would make them $0.49 each after the catalina, but if you have the $1/1 printables that were recently available, it becomes a money-maker.

01 September 2009

If you're buying the Purina One cat food with the $5/1 Meijer coupon, make a good deal better by looking for the small bags with the pull-off $1/1 manufacturer's coupon. These can be combined with the Meijer coupon to get the cat food for free.

31 August 2009

"But right now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the law and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,l and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." (Romans 3:21-25)

This sums up the whole of the Gospel. All of us have fallen short of God's standard---every single one of us. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God---but in His infinite mercy, He himself provided the way. God sent His one and only Son to be made the sacrifice for our sins. The only thing we need (or can) do to be reconciled with God is to accept the price that Jesus Himself paid on the Cross. Eternal life is a free gift offered to us by God Himself---free to us, because Jesus Himself paid the entire price. No other love on this earth could ever compare to that!

Last Week for Meijer Purina One coupon!!

The Meijer $5/1 Purina One cat/dog food coupon is good until 9/05 and the cat food is on sale for $5.99 (small bag) until 9/05. If you need cat food, now would be a good time to stock up. (Note---it is one coupon per transaction so if you want more than one, you have to do separate transactions.)

This is really good cat food. My cats love it. When I first bought Kitty the pet store people talked me into buying the "premium" food you can only get in the pet store (you know, 6-lb bag, $19.99) citing all the terrible things grocery store cat food does to a cat. When I bought Kitty#2 it quickly became clear she had digestive issues. We tried three premium brands, and then we tried the Good Life, but the digestive issues remained. I decided to try this food because, frankly, it was so cheap after the coupon. The food looks just as good as those horribly expensive premium brands we were buying, the cats like it really well, but best of all---Kitty #2 has not had any digestive issues since we switched over!! I would recommend this food to anyone.

Nabisco/Kraft mail-in offers

A few weeks ago, Nabisco made available a $55 back-to-school savings booklet. I just received mine in the mail, and besides the coupons, there are two $20 mail-in rebate offers. One is good from now until 12/31 andthe second is good 1/1/10-6/30/10. For both, you buy 10 Nabisco cookies and crackers, 5 Kool-Aid Jammers or Capri Sun, and 5 Kraft Easy Mac single cups. I do not believe these need to be in a single transaction because each form says to mail in your receipts with prices circled.

I am mentioning this now because if you sent away for the booklet but haven't yet received it, you can still start looking for coupon matchups to make this deal worthwhile. For instance, Meijer right now has Capri Suns on sale for $1.65, and when you buy four you get a $3 catalina coupon. Meijer mealbox also has $1/2 Kraft Easy Mac coupons.

27 August 2009

Vocalpoint coupons

Vocalpoint members: Check your mailboxes! I just received a packet from Vocalpoint with Kashi coupons: one for a free box of Honey Sunshine cereal and five for $1.50/1 box. If you received these coupons, or if you receive them this week---Meijer has several varieties of Kashi cereal, including Honey Sunshine, on sale for 2/$5. With the $1.50/1 coupon, that would be $1 per box!!

If you are not yet a member of Vocalpoint, go to their website and sign up. It's a great program where you get to try new things. Every so often they send their members samples or a packet of coupons, usually including one for a free product. (I should have mentioned that this last packet came with a sample-sized box of the cereal---great afternoon snack for one of the kids. We just won't tell them it's healthy.)

Schwan's $10 free food

According to Deal Seeking Mom, the Schwan's $10 free food offer is still available if you have not yet taken advantage of it. I ordered the meatballs a few weeks ago. We received them within a week and they were of very good quality (though, at $8.99, more expensive than if I bought them at Meijer or GFS). If you decide to take advantage of this offer, do remember one thing: most route salesman work largely or solely based on commission, so they are going to want to keep selling you things. This is not to say that you must buy from them if you do not like the product or it is too expensive. But please understand, if they seem persistent, they are not trying to harass you---they are trying to make a living. My husband works as a route salesman with a different company, and he has daily contact with salesmen from quite a number of companies. Most all of them are saying the same thing---sales are considerably down.
Here's a tip for you---don't forget to check the clearance racks at your local supermarket for some great deals! It's hit or miss, of course, but sometimes you can find a really great deal---especially if your supermarket lets you use coupons on clearance items. Yesterday I found an entire shelf of Dawn Direct Foam and Dawn Plus dish soap marked down to $1.70. With the $1.50/1 coupons from the coupon booklets which were recently available, the Direct Foam dish soaps were only $0.20!! This was at the Meijer on Springboro Pike, for those of you in the Dayton, OH area. Many stores also have freezer clearance items available from time to time---you just have to search for them.

26 August 2009

Stockpiling for Flu Season

It seems the media lately keeps talking about the possibility of a flu pandemic this coming season. While no-one can predict the future and panic benefits no-one, a little preparedness certainly does not hurt. For a few years now the government has been urging people to be prepared for the possibility of a flu pandemic, and whether or not it happens this season really isn't the point. The point is this---every family should have an emergency preparedness stockpile regardless of whether or not we are expecting a pandemic. (If you live in southwestern Ohio, you will recall a certain windstorm last year convincing many people of the benefits of being prepared.)

One thing that is certain, in my household at least, is that the new school year brings with it flu, strep, colds, and lots of other fun things. But in my family, not just one child gets sick. No, it goes through all six, and some years, once a virus has finally passed through all six---one of them comes down with something else and we go through the entire cycle again!! Ever had several children ill with a high fever or digestive upset, yourself ill as well, and no Gatorade or canned soups/other bland foods anywhere in the house? Been there, done that. You don't want to, believe me.

I would urge everyone now to kind of take inventory of your stockpile and see what you have/what you need. Consider that if there were a rush on the stores, you might not be able to obtain the things you need even if your children aren't sick and you could actually go to the store. I looked at ours---we're fine if the kids want to eat lots of cereal, rice, and brownie mixes (actually, they would probably enjoy the latter). I even have several large cans of Gatorade mix, as well as a ton of Koolaid mixes and Kraft mac&cheese from this summer's Meijer promotion. However, children's Tyelenol and bottled water are another matter entirely!! Make a list of what you think you might need if you were required to survive for, say, 2 weeks (a month or even three would be better) without access to a grocery store. Check it against what you have, and start adding to the stockpile. This way you can start looking for the best prices now, long before you ever need it. Consider, also, that if a situation did arise, you would probably be inclined to want to share with those around you who have NOT prepared, and set aside a little extra above what you think your family might need.

If you are not sure where to start...pandemicflu.gov is a website that, by the way, has for a few years now been urging every family and business to be prepared. Their concern is more flu preparedness, but their list of supplies to have on hand would work well for any kind of emergency. If you need ideas on what to stock, visit their website check out their recommendations.

25 August 2009

Restaurant.com 80% off sale

Restaurant.com is offering 80% off their normal prices when you enter the code TASTE at checkout. A $25 certificate, which would normally cost $10, will now cost $2 with this promotion. There is a minimum amount you must spend, usually $35, to be able to use the $25 certificate. Even so, this could make for an inexpensive dinner. For a $35 bill, you would only spend $12 (the $10 above the certificate value and the $2 you paid for the certificate) plus tip.

24 August 2009


I like to make foods from different parts of the world so the children are exposed to a little more diversity than they would be otherwise. This dish is from Iran. I believe Iranian cuisine offers some of the tastiest dishes in the world. There are many different khoresht dishes. They are basically a thick sauce served over rice.

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs stewing beef
1 cup dried split peas or lentils (the yellow kind works well)
3-4 onions
1 lb potatoes
cooking oil
small can tomato paste
2T lime or lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon (minimum) spices (paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin---whatever you like in whatever combination you like)

Soak peas or lentils for about 3 hours, then drain.

Peel and slice onions. Fry in oil. Cut meat into small pieces and fry until color changes. Add 3-4 cups of water and bring to boil. Let simmer slowly for an hour or so until meat is tender. Add more water if necessary.

Peel potatoes, cut up into small pieces. Add potatoes, split peas, salt, pepper, spices and tomato paste. Simmer until done. Add lime juice near the end. During cooking, add more water if needed. The end result should not be dry, nor too watery---it should be a thick, rich sauce full of meat and vegetables. This is served over white rice. I have found that Basmati rice works the best.

If you are a vegetarian, you could adapt the recipe by omitting the meat and either increasing the potatoes, or better yet, replacing the meat with eggplant or with portobello mushrooms. If using eggplant: fry them slowly with the onions, adjust the water (it should cover the vegetables but not look too soupy), and simmer only until tender. Then, proceed as in the original recipe. If using mushrooms: I would probably just saute them lightly and add them with the potatoes and such.

Jungle Jim's

If you live within driving distance of Fairfield, OH you might want to check out this amazing supermarket called Jungle Jim's. They have a huge selection of groceries from every part of the world, including the United States, and their prices are quite reasonable. Jungle Jim's does accept manufacturer's coupons, and they also have a selection of coupons available to print in-store. On Wednesdays, senior citizens can get a 5% discount with their Golden Buckeye card.

Here are some selections from this week's advertisement:

milk $1.88
Crystal Farms cheese 4 for $5
Edie's ice cream $2.49 (48 oz)
Hunt's snack pudding 4-packs $0.89
Swiss sweet tea $1.25 minus in-store $0.75 Q=$0.49!
Peter Pan peanut butter, $1.89
Eggo waffles 4 for $5
whole tilapia $1.49/lb
pork tenderloins B1G1
chuck roast $1.99/lb
ground chuck $1.79/lb
pork country-style ribs $1.49/lb
family pack split breasts $1.49/lb
Nickle's bread $0.89
tomatoes $0.99/lb
bananas $0.39/lb
grapes $0.88/lb
red potatoes $1.99 5-lb bag
watermelons $0.29/lb
sweet potatoes $0.59/lb
jumbo avocadoes 5 for $5
Kellogg's cereal $1.79
Pillsbury brownie mix $1.49
Hunt's ketchup $0.99
Starkist tuna $0.69/can
Hunt's 14-oz cans tomatoes $0.89
Empress canned pineapple $0.79
Cottonelle bath tissue $5.89 (12-ct double rolls)
Softsoap hand soap $0.99
Tidy cats litter $5.49 (14 lbs)

Jungle Jim's has a fantastic selection of teas and fresh produce from all areas of the world. If you want, for example, fresh Chinese broccoli, they have it. Like Korean Kimchi? They have several varieties. Rices from India, or different kinds of lentils? They have that as well. My family makes the trip down there every so often---that is where I buy most of my teas---and when we do go, I buy all of our groceries for that week there. Their prices are very competitive---and often better---than my local Kroger or Meijer. This is especially true if you are buying something that you usually don't have coupons for, such as fresh produce, meats or milk, or if you are looking for something out of the ordinary.

Fried plantains

Plantains look like oversized bananas, but they must be cooked. They are at their best for cooking when they are soft and the skin is well-speckled with black.

1 or 2 large plantains
butter or oil for frying

Peel the plantains. Slice them lengthwise, then crosswise, and then into strips. Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan; add the plantains and fry them slowly until golden. Some people like to add a little cinnamon to them, but if they are well ripened, they are just as good plain. These make a good side dish along with rice and beans.

Black beans

My husband's aunt makes beans this way and they are delicious!!

1 cup dried black beans (or you can use pinto)
1 onion, chopped
several cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch beet greens or fresh spinach, washed and chopped

Soak the beans several hours or overnight. When ready to cook, bring to a boil and cook them with the onions and garlic until beans are tender and liquid is reduced. The beans should not be dry, but the liquid should be reduced and kind of thick. When the beans are tender, add the greens and cook until done. Season to taste with salt.

For refried black beans: Omit the greens. Heat oil or shortening in a pan until hot; saute some chopped onion and several cloves of diced garlic until soft; add beans and enough liquid so they aren't too dry. Mash with a potato masher or fork. When they are well mashed, you can add grated cheese, cover and reduce heat to low until cheese is melted. This works for pinto beans as well, but black beans are especially delicious refried.

Meijer cat food sale

Meijer has the 3-lb bags of Purina One cat food marked down to $5.99 again. I checked meijer.com; the $5/0ff coupon is still available. Go on meijer.com and look under the heading "pets." This is really good cat food and for $0.99 plus tax, it is a great deal!! The coupon is valid until 9/05.

23 August 2009

Meijer bonus box tops

From 8/23 to 9/3, if you buy 8 Box Tops 4 Education items you get 50 bonus box tops, or if you buy 12 you get 100 bonus box tops to give to your school of choice!! Several of the Box Tops items are on sale this week...Nature Valley granola bars, Betty Crocker fruit snacks (though the prices for both are better at Kroger this week with the mega-sale), Pillsbury Grands, Betty Crocker brownie mixes and Warm Delight, Total Cereal, and Toaster Strudels, to name a few. Combine these with coupons and, depending on the item, you could get a good deal PLUS get extra box tops for your school. You don't have to buy 12 of the same item.

This would be a really good way to help your school earn money for extra stuff. Schools, just like everyone else, are having a really difficult time in this economy and can use any extra help. If any of these items are something you would use anyway and you have coupons, you might want to consider doing this as a way to help your school.

22 August 2009

"One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." (Ps. 27:4)

20 August 2009

Meatless Cincinnati Chili

You will need: 16 oz. brown lentils, (1) 15-oz can tomato sauce, 2 cans vegetable broth (or beef broth), 2 bay leaves, 2 t (minimum) cinnamon, 1/4 cup chili powder, 1 t cumin, 2 whole cloves (or 1/4 t ground), 2 whole allspice (or 1/4 t ground), 2 t (or a little more) Dutch-process cocoa, 2 T vinegar (or a little less, to taste) (I generally use at least 3 t cinnamon; taste the sauce as it simmers and adjust the seasonings as necessary)

Put the broth in a pan, bring to boil and add lentils. Reduce heat; stir in the other ingredients and simmer at least an hour and a half, checking often and adding more broth or water if necessary so lentils don't get dry.

This is served over spaghetti, with chopped fresh onion and grated cheddar cheese on top.

Note: If you love Cincinnati Chili but absolutely hate lentils, you can still make the chili healthier by using ground turkey rather than ground beef, or you could use soy crumbles (meatless ground beef). I like the lentil version very much and even a couple of my kids liked it.

19 August 2009

Kroger mega sale

Thanks to Cindy at The Happy Homemaker for this idea! Betty Crocker Fruit snacks and Nature Valley Granola bars are part of the promo. There are IPs and newpaper coupons available and when you buy 5 of either one, you get a $3.50 catalina. So, if you bought 5 of each, you would get the $5 off for the promo and get 2 $3.50 catalinas. Use coupons and it is a pretty good deal! These items make good lunchbox items for those heading back to school, and of course clip the Box Tops from the packages!

When I went to Kroger I had originally planned to get Honey Nut Cheerios, using coupons along with the promo for really cheap cereal. Unfortunately, Honey Nut Cheerios is not included in the promo but if you have any coupons for the original flavor, they are a part of the promo.
"'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who was, and is, and is to come, the Almighty.'" (Rev. 1:8)

Later in Revelation (see Chapter 22, starting vs. 12) he repeats the phrase and adds (vs. 16) "I, Jesus, have sent my angel..."

It can't be any clearer as to the true identity of Jesus. Those religious groups that claim he was just a man, not God, have not read these verses. It's astonishing that the God of the universe would have come to earth and paid the price Himself for our sin, so that we might live with Him throughout eternity. None of us deserve it, but praise God He was willing to do it!

18 August 2009

Another restaurant.com discount!

Now through Monday, 8/24, you can get 70% off the price of a restaurant.com gift certificate when you enter the discount code PALATE at checkout. That would be $3 for a $25 certificate (they normally sell for $10). Read the fine print; there is a minimum you need to spend on most.

I had purchased a couple of certificates a week ago when the discount was 80%. We used one of them this weekend with no problems whatsoever. Our large family rarely eats out because of the cost involved; this brought it down to a much more reasonable amount. I am thinking these would make excellent Christmas gifts!!

17 August 2009

Walmart eyeglass sale

If your child needs new eyeglasses, Walmart has select youth frames starting at $9. The lenses for youths (ages 18 and under) are $29 and I was told that this deal is good through the end of the month. It is my understanding that if the child is 18 or under, even if he/she cannot use the youth frames (ex. a middle schooler or high schooler who needs adult size frames), he/she is still eligible for the youth price on the lenses, but you might want to double-check that. Their frames, even when not on sale, are quite reasonably priced.

Walmart deals

I don't usually shop at Walmart but we did go this weekend. There were a couple of deals that I thought were worth mentioning. Keep in mind that Walmart's prices can vary.

---Peaches, $0.69/lb
---fresh corn on the cob, $0.18 each
---cantaloupe, $0.50 each (normally $2.50) (stock up and freeze)
---select 2-liter sodas, $1.00 each (this includes Dr. Pepper; if you have any of the $1/1 coupons that were printed inside select 12-packs, this would make for free Dr. Pepper)
---school supply deals are still going on, including $0.05 70-page spiral-bound notebooks (I buy enough of these this time of year to last us until next year's school supply sales start---we use A LOT of these)
---check out the clearance aisles; we found sun tea pitchers on sale for $3
---Good Earth tea $2.68 (the only other local place I have found this tea is the health food store, and they charge considerably more for it. Walmart has the Original, Original decaf, Chai, and several other varieties)

14 August 2009

"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.'" (Matthew 3:16-17)

Restaurant.com 60% off sale!!

The 80% off gift certificate sale is ended, but from Friday 8/14 to Monday, 8/17 you can get restaurant.com gift certificates for 60% off!! That's $4 for a $25 certificate (they normally sell for $10). Enter the promo code CHOW at checkout to get the discount. This would be a good way to eat out pretty inexpensively or to give as gifts. Just be sure you read the fine print under each certificate's description; there is a minimum purchase (usually $35 for the $25-value certificates). Of course, if you have more than, say, three people in your family, reaching $35 (before the discount) is no trouble at all!!

12 August 2009

"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'" (John 4:13-14)

11 August 2009

Back to School

Well, school is set to start in just a few short weeks!! Did this summer go fast or what? If you have a student going into a grade where they start band or orchestra lessons (for us it is sixth grade), you will have to make the decision as to whether you want to rent an instrument or purchase it. Your child's music teacher will show you the options, but keep in mind that they likely will not show you ALL the options.

I have a daughter in orchestra and a son in band, and we purchased both the violin (actually 2, since she started with a 3/4 and now uses a full size) and the clarinet. We spent less on the three instruments than some music stores charge for one full-sized violin or one clarinet. We got them new, not used, and they are of excellent quality.

You of course will want to explore all the options, but I will tell you that I was not impressed with the idea of renting or rent-to-own unless you are confident your child will drop out of the music program after, say, the first year. I was leery of garage sales and e-bay, and the music stores in our area charge outrageous prices for USED band and orchestra instruments, let alone new! The option we used was to go on musiciansfriend.com. They have a wide range of instruments from beginner's level to advanced, and if you are not happy with your purchase I believe they have a money-back guarantee. We never had to use the guarantee because we were more than pleased with what we bought. Both my daughter's orchestra teacher (who discourages buying an instrument on-line) and my son's band instructor had very good things to say about the quality of the instrument. I would strongly encourage you to check out this option if you need to purchase an instrument for your child.

Kellogg's coupons

Just a quick note---Meijer has select varieties of Kellogg's cereal for $1.88. I had a coupon for $1 off cereal and another one for $1 off fresh fruit WYB cereal. Meijer would not let me use both. I don't know if the coupons themselves are coded not to accept both, or if the Meijer cash registers are. The cashier did say they have a new coupon policy. She did not elaborate except to express her dislike of it.


(This is an Irish dish. It takes a little time, but I think it is well worth the extra effort.)

several large potatoes (one per person is good)
2 medium leeks, washed well and sliced
about 1/4 a head of cabbage or equal amount of kale, washed and chopped
1 cup milk

Boil the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until they are tender, as for mashed potatoes. Bring another pan of water to the boil and boil the cabbage. In a smaller saucepan, heat the milk (do not boil it) and simmer the leeks in it for about ten minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the potatoes well (you can peel them or not, as you like). When they are mashed, add the drained cabbage and stir it in. Then, add the hot milk and leeks, and beat the mixture with a wooden spoon just like for mashed potatoes. You can add a little more milk if necessary, and butter for flavor. It should be of about the same consistency as mashed potatoes.

The traditional way to eat this is to make a well in the middle of your colcannon, and add melted butter to the well. You dip forkfuls of it into the well of butter and enjoy. It's quite tasty like that, but it would be healthier (and almost as tasty!) to skip the melted butter.

The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat

This afternoon, one of my daughters came to me and said, worried, "I can't find Kitty!" To which I replied: "She's a cat. She's hiding somewhere."
"But I've looked everywhere and I can't find her," said my daughter. "Maybe she got outside." (Our cats are indoor cats; they are not allowed outside.)
"She can't have gotten outside," I told her. "We haven't opened the door all day."
"But she's gone!"
I decided it might be wise to look for Kitty, not so much to calm my daughter but because of the fact that this particular Kitty is a quite resourceful and naughty little creature. There's really no telling what clever little tricks she could pull if left to her own devices long enough. I'm not talking just shredding rolls of toilet paper or other normal cat antics. No, Kitty is much more creative. (That being said, she is not above shredding rolls of toilet paper when the mood strikes.)
Now rather worried myself, we proceeded to look in all of Kitty's favorite resting spots---the window perch, on top of the bunny cage, under the sofa, in the bathtub, in the pantry behind the cereal boxes---but we found no Kitty.
By now, my daughter had calmed down. Apparently having thought through the situation and deciding it could be to her advantage, she asked, "If we can't find Kitty, can we get another cat?"
"We have another cat. Kitty #2 is nice, most of the time."
"But I need 2 cats and we can't find Kitty, so we'll need another cat." This coming from the girl who is a cat magnet. It isn't even funny when we go into a pet store. ALL the cats want to come home with my daughter, and of course she's in total agreement with them.
"Kitty is here," I told her. "She'll come out when she's ready to play." I fervently hoped she was napping, and not involved in more creative endeavors.
"Maybe she's in my room," suggested my daughter.
Oh, not a good thought. Kitty is banned from her room because Hamster resides in that room, in a pink plastic cage shaped like a princess castle. On the rare occasion that Kitty manages to get into that room, she can be found gazing into the castle with a longing, hungry look in those cat eyes. With a hard enough swipe at the tower part of the castle, Kitty might just have herself a furry little snack.
We searched the room, but no Kitty. We searched the other upstairs bedrooms, which we keep closed during the day because the cats are not allowed in there. (That, of course, is why they can often be found lounging outside the bedroom doors, awaiting the opportunity to get in.)
We went about the rest of our afternoon and evening. My husband came home about 9 and my daughter tried to sweet-talk him into another cat. (Wrong person to ask---he detests cats. Kitty once held a staring contest with him and he thought she was about to attack.) When he learned she was nowhere to be found, he looked pretty nervous. I imagine he was picturing her lurking around in our room, ready to pounce on him in the middle of the night. She is, of course, mischievous enough to try something like that.
Just, then, who should come prancing into the room? Kitty. The white part of her face was gray with dust. I have no idea where she'd been all day, nor do I care to know. It's like my Mom always says---some things you're better off not knowing.

10 August 2009

A Decent Cup Of Tea

Warm a teapot (I got mine in a thrift store very cheap) by rinsing it well with warm water. As you are doing this, bring a kettle of fresh water to a rolling boil. When the teapot is warmed, put in looseleaf tea (1 spoon per cup PLUS one extra) and add the boiling water. VERY IMPORTANT: While the tea is steeping, wrap a tea towel or some other small towel around the pot. Steep it according to how strong you like it; I usually do it for 5 to 7 minutes. If you want a really good cup of tea, please---no tea bags!! Use a good quality British or Irish tea. (I get mine from Jungle Jim's. It costs more than Lipton's, but I figure if I am very careful in the rest of my grocery shopping, it evens out.)
"But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'"

What an amazing passage---there was Stephen, about to be martyred for his faith in Jesus, and God granted him this vision of the Savior standing at God's right hand. It must have given him strength to endure what was about to come, but if you read a little farther, it says that Saul was standing in the crowd watching. Saul, the persecutor and murderer of Christians who later became a follower of Christ---may have approved of Stephen's stoning, but as he stood there and witnessed to what he saw, perhaps a seed was planted in his heart. That is speculation on my part, but the vision Stephen had is powerful indeed. He lived his faith to the point that he was willing to be martyred. Most of us will never be called to martyrdom, but I think of how many times I have failed to be a good witness with my actions or my words, and when I think of Stephen, I am inspired to do better. I may never be called to die for my faith, but every day I am called to die to myself and live for Jesus.


Very thin steaks (skirt steak works) or you can use skinless chicken meat, pounded thin

Dip each steak or chicken slice in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs. Fry these in a little hot oil until done. (If you use seasoned bread crumbs it is better) Serve these in one of two ways: on a plate with refried beans and Mexican rice on the side, or serve as a sandwich on a thick roll, topped with tomato slices, avocado, and mayonnaise.

This is one of the recipes my mother-in-law, who is from Mexico, taught me. She said that in Mexico they use sour cream (or the equivalent) rather than mayo. I tried it---it's good. This recipe cooks really fast and it's VERY easy.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:6-10)

I think this is a struggle for most all of us---some of us to a greater extent, some to a lesser extent. We live in a society that values material things, good looks, and worldly success above all else. For those who don't measure up in one way or another (by the world's standards) it can be really difficult. The Bible, however, makes it clear that this is NOT God's standard for success. I am so glad that in Jesus I can be free of all these worldly desires if I choose to live my life through Him on a day to day basis. God provides all of our needs (but not always our GREEDS!!) and I truly believe our society as a whole would be much better, and healthier, if we started seeing people the way God does---as His precious creation---rather than judging them by our worldly standards.

Paw Points club

Have a cat (or more than one)? If you like Fresh Step litter, then go to their website and join the Paw Points club. Every time you buy their litter, you get a code off the package and enter it to earn rewards. Up until the end of September, the 20-lb boxes---which normally are worth 50 points---get double the point value.

I have tried several different litters, most infamously a huge bag of litter from a pet store for under $4.00. It was so big I could hardly lift it, and it lasted forever. That was unfortunate, because it was the absolute worst litter I have ever used. It not only didn't clump, it didn't help with odor control. I am not kidding, you about needed a gas mask to approach that litter box---and I clean it on a regular basis.

Fresh Step so far has worked the best for us (one of my cats has tummy issues so ODOR can be a real problem). If you use it, sign up for the club and earn points. I'm collecting points to earn a free bag of litter.

09 August 2009

restaurant.com certificates

According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, restaurant.com is offering an awesome deal on gift certificates through August 13th. You type in your zip code on their website and it pulls up a list of participating restaurants. You can order discounted gift cards through them---but when you type in the promo code PORTION, you get an 80% discount---which means if the certificate normally costs $10 (for a $25 card), you end up paying $2. You print these right from your computer, but you want to be sure and read the fine print which is listed in the description of each gift certificate, because there is a minimum order (usually around $35). I did order one, it printed out fine and only charged me the $2, but I haven't tried to use it yet.