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!!