Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Making returns

Spent a big chunk of the day at w stores making returns.  Worked well in my favor even though I had to drive north of Hartford to do it all.  $65 back on my credit card for shoes & pants ordered in the wrong size, $100 store credit at store 2 (fine will use on the kids anyway), hit the petstore on the way home for pet food.
Tomorrow it's kohls - returning a jacket I bought and don't like after hubby says it's goofy looking, and returning a gift I was given (doesn't fit in the kitchen). I will use those funds toward new spring shirts or something for the kids - they grow out of their clothes just as fast when they are teens, how come I didn't know this?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wiped from the weekend

Whew!  I'm wiped out - spent a chunk (80%) of it cleaning house.  We've been on the go so much that just a quick surface clean was all that was happening if that did.... This weekend was spent deep cleaning several areas of the home, bathrooms, kitchen, living & dining room.  Master bedroom will be this week as well as a closet that's just gotten out of control.

Also had to help youngest with makeup schoolwork from being sick last week.  It's been a long time since I've done middle school math - thankfully there's a website from the publisher of the textbook that has great lesson reviews!

Now I'm ready for bed but it's a little early still.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Using it up - cleaner edition

Still trying to use up cleaning supplies that have been lurking around.  There's about a pint of PineSol left - it works well, but oh god the scent sends my stomach churning.  I may look for a small bottle of a different scent once this is gone.  Still have 3/4 gallon of SimpleGreen concentrate - it works well and it's better for the environment, also a good degreaser.  Will probably stick with SimpleGreen, vinegar and ammonia as my standbys once this use it up fest is done.  And the toilet squirt cleaner I get at Walmart/dollar tree.

Even though it has snowed a melting snow all day, my mind is on spring  cleaning and what has to happen to get it all done.

I'm also making my list of home improvement tasks to tackle while hubby and kids are at a conference this summer for 10 days.    Help me make a choice....
1. Repaint both kids bedrooms and trim and rearrange furniture (includes installing closet organizer systems)
2. Strip all wallpaper in main living area and repaint walls & trim

Please vote in the comments area.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mondays hens (still eating them)

Mondays freezer find of 2 Cornish game hens & 4 regular drumsticks  ala crock pot turned into chicken orzo stoup. It's like a thick soup.  Large dinner helpings for 4 of us, 2 lunch portions and 1 dinner portion tonight for me. I still have enough meat to make a chicken casserole for tomorrow night.

I'm amazed at how much meat was on those little birds.  Luckily for me I had a quart of crockpot chicken broth in the freezer to finish out the stoup with.  I didn't have a can or box of chicken broth in the pantry - shocker!!  Haven't been that impressed with the store bought stuff lately....

We did pasta and frozen meatballs last night kids had those leftovers tonight - doing what I can to eliminate throwing food away , My pet peeve.

Need to perfect meatballs

I can't eat another processed frozen meatball.  I tried a new to me brand Cooked Perfect - on sale with coupon purchase.  Needless to say I'm not impressed.
This means I need to prefect my homemade meatball recipe and get some made and into the freezer.
Meatballs and sauce are a staple here - well meat sauce is the staple and BJs changed the recipe in their meatballs (we don't care for the change).  I will be working on this over the next couple months I'm sure.

First step is to find good sale on super lean ground beef. Off to find the flyers

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Unexpected trips

One kiddo home sick = unexpected trip down 95.  Just some nasty virus - hope there is minimal sharing to occur here.

Since I was driving by the Xpect in EastHaven we stopped - oranges and bread.  Also grabbed some green grapes for the oldest child.

Saw they had RE brand twin fleece blankets for 4.99/ea.  we are truly all set with fleece blankets but these are nice ones.  They had bunches of them in either red or black.  I passed but I would let you all know.    They are the ones that usually sell at Target for much much more.

Looked but didn't see Any signs posted about when that store will be closing...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Freezer Cleanout Cooking...

Borrowed the idea from Frugal Queen and her bottom of the freezer cooking post.
Hubby and I sorted the freezers (above the spare fridge & small chest) yesterday, we unearthed a couple packs ancient meats - of course they weren't dated and were heavily freezer burned looking - those were tossed out, along with some burger patties that were now white and ice crystals in the bag, undated so out!    But in the sort we came across a pack of drumsticks and a twin pack of Cornish game hens bought last winter.  The hens were $.98/#.  That's all thawed and cooking away in the crockpot - will debone when done and use for pot pie & soup this week.

We bought the hens (3-4 twin packs) thinking the kids would get a kick out of eating them - we both grew up eating them and it was a fancy 70s thing to have this little chicken on the plate.  Our kids were not impressed.  In fact the youngest was nearly in tears equating them to veal chickens - even though we assured this child these were fully grown birds.

Rather than waste them - they'll sub in for their larger cousins.  The drumsticks are in because I like dark meat in soup and there were only 4 in the pack.

Also saw in the freezer:
Pies from band fundraiser - dessert for Easter dinner done!
A few Banquet pot pies (the little ones)
3 Celeste individual pizzas (I will eat those for lunches or dinners next time they are all away)
2 OS Roaster birds
2# bag of shrimp - Easter appetizer done!
2 packs of ground turkey - taco soup night & 'meat' sauce
1 London broil in there....hoping I can get to the grill soon if the snow ever melts
2 packs of steak - again, stupid snow!
Hot dogs - weekend lunches

Will need a deal on frozen veggies soon - I have enough packs for this weeks dinners, then it's canned.

Friday, March 20, 2015

This is Spring?

I think the calendar printers goofed....we have 5" of new snow!
Hubby and I HAD to go out and shop for an event tomorrow when he got home from work.  It was extremely slick on 95 as we got home.  No more than 30 mph.

It's been a super busy week here - I see next week being more of the same -

At least when it's busy like this I don't have time to spend cash - the silver lining.

Next week includes a trip to the vet (that essentially takes up the day), school runs, mountains of paperwork to complete and pass along to the new task doers (volunteer stuff I'm unvolunteering from), hubby traveling for work, completion of an art project for a different volunteer gig and meeting to Help plan a fundraiser.  (One day I'm going to just show up with a monetary donation and just enjoy myself while others do the rushing around)

Hopefully I will have some super cool posts about a fantastic bargain I found along the way....

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Thank God It's Sunday
Busy weekend here - I'm looking forward to the normalcy of a busy Monday-Friday.  At least I know what's expected baring any curveballs.

It's going to be a week of the usual errands made during my commute, meals cooked, laundry washed and preparing for another weekend (next week) of volunteer training.

The big errand is picking up corned beef tomorrow (shoprite 's were yucky looking for the $) I may just bite the darned bullet and get one at the local butcher - Way more expensive but hopefully less fatty mess?

Might even try to make soda bread tomorrow - feel free to add a prayer for my success, I've never made it or attempted to before

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Little things add up

2 Take & Bake pizzas from wallyworld cost me $15 last night.  (I knew once I got home I wouldn't want to drive back out for a Friday night easy dinner).  That's half the price of going out for take out pizza in town.  It's good (not as good as in town place though).

Errands were combined all week into my daily commuting.
No running out trips for a thing or two = less gas used.

All the washing caught up with  = less stress for my Sunday evening

Little things

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Finally some marked down produce!

I went to a Shop Rite that is out of my usual travels today (yes, a trip go Xpect and PriceRite were planned, but the best made plans usually get wacked out at the last minute). I was picking up my .29/# cabbage and carrots for next week.  Walked by the marked down produce cart as they were stocking it.  Picked up a box of white mushrooms 24 oz for $.99 and 50.6 ounce pack of zucchini for $.99!  I can see one of the zucchini needs a trim but for that price I'm ok with it.  I gave to seen it for less than $1.99/# lately.  

Also got some Ralston quick grits for $1.29 (same price as PriceRite), fab detergent was on sale this week, which was on my list for there too.  I just picked up 4 to keep my detergent stock where I like it.

Bummer was the carrots I bought are from Israel.  I try to buy veg grown in the US or Canada only - not a big deal, it wasn't a giant bag.

Did get a register coupon for free eggs before 3/28 with a $10 purchase.  Which I'm sure I will have before then - just must remember to use it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The list groweth!

My shopping list is growing still.
It was one full side (2columns) of a steno pad sheet (my favorite list paper).  Today it increased to a page and a half, on the back.  Since Thursday will be my big shop day 2-3 stores on top of regular errands near the capital I need to have a game plan.

Some of the items added today were ziplock baggies - I've run thru my stash bought on sale with a great coupon that doubled from last year.  I'm out of freezer bags in both sizes, snack bags and sandwich bags.  Also running low on kitchen trash bags.
Totally out of parchment paper, about 10 ft of plastic wrap, 1/2 roll of foil, out of white vinegar, Clorox regular and clorox2.

That just the non edibles: that list is on the front of the page.  Trying to sub in as many pantry items as possible - but out of shape pasta, yet have 5 boxes of no bake lasagna sheets (it's on the menu now).  Need to pick up cold cereal, pretzels for lunches, fruit, fresh veg, St Paddys meal ingredients.

I haven't had a proper trip to the grocer since early January so this is going to hurt the wallet.  We've been eating down the freezers, pantry and just stopping to get dairy and a few fresh veg.  It's good but still, hopefully if don't faint at the register.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Menu Plan for the week

Monday: quiche & LOB
Tuesday: kielbasa & potatoes - frozen veg
Wednesday: 15 bean soup with ham and cornbread
Thursday: Chicken of some sort, frozen veg
Friday: pizza (in the freezer already)
Saturday: not sure yet
Sunday: Chinese chicken

I have a Rite Aid trip to post about

Reading Sluggy and wondering how she does it....

I went to Rite Aid tonight while the oldest was at practice, I was thirsty & wanted to see if there was anything good from my list of needs on sale.
I came out with:
2 130 ct bottles NatureMade multi vitamins BOGO!  11.99 yay!
2 16oz bottles Lubriderm lotion BOGO 50% off so total of 8,49 & 4.25 (good for eczema child)
And a 16 oz bottle of chocolate milk for me
No bonus coupons but that's ok - those were some good deals for me so I'm happy.

I do have a growing list for Walmart, Aldi and Xpect - most likely Wednesday or Thursday.  Trying to push it out as much as possible.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dammed Dams!

Well, my big fear of winter has reared it's head...again, we've gad this before and it's a total pain in the behind.

In the form of a drip over my shower (could be a worser location). It's an ice dam.  Hubs and I spent over an hour trying to clear the area that is a problem, cut channels to the gutters and put in the required ice melt - a total pain in the butt.  Hopefully this is the extent of the damage.  Getting a tea and slice of leftover pizza before going go the back of the house to re-roof rake the other problem area.  Then off to dollar tree to hopefully find pantyhose to put ice melt in and lay in the gutters.

Right now the area is clear and running like a faucet - I'm hoping Mother Nature sends us a kind slow melting spring soon so that the snow can get into the ground and not cause huge flooding issues.

If I ever win the lotto - I'm going to put a new roof on - with a steeper pitch and different gutter system.  And replace the 2 car garage with a 3 car garage, spot for each car and one section for all the other stuff that makes getting 2 cars in ours impossible.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pantry update

We have been working on eating from the pantry - for the most part we are doin well with it.
I did run to the store to pick up potatoes,broccoli crowns (sale) milk and sandwich bread.  While I was there I picked up 2 boxes of saltines also on sale and we had been out of for a week or more.

The downside of this eating down of the pantry means that the restock could be a big ticket.

We have another snowstorm day off from school, it's a good time to really work on that list.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Switch hitter dinner

Quiche was the plan for tonight.  Until pulled the egg box from the fridge to find that they had frozen!  Seeing as I wasn't sure when that happened - I pitched them out and it was meatball and pasta. Drawing on the pantry & freezer. Had some big y meatballs in the freezer (buy one get two special). Also used onsale jar of sauce.   Fast and easy.

Quiche on the menu tomorrow - if we don't get dumped on by snow and I can get out to buy eggs

Dear Mother Nature,

Dearest Mother Nature,
Enough!  We get it- our forefathers and us to some degree have messed up the earth and now are paying for it with climate change - but could you quit with the snow?  Please?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Simple meal

Freezer fries, turkey kielbasa and apple slices for dinner.  Fast & easy
Lunches for the kids were leftovers from last nights dinner (I had yogurt & granola)

That was pretty much the extent of my cooking today - I do have plans for tomorrow to cook though. Homemade chicken nuggets,  frozen veggies & some kind of starch - have to see what's on sale or in pantry.

Back to normal - a newish normal....

Last week found me battling a cold & exhaustion. & post school break re-entry to the real world, all while I prepped for my annual crafting girls getaway.  Today finds me with a snow day from school (thankfully).

I think physically I'm on the mend - the days of airborne, Zicam and many mugs of lemony tea did the trick.

Mentally I feel restored - amazing what a weekend away, crafting with the girls can do for your spirits - and all the meals were included.  I really need to do this more than once a year.

Today's snow day is what the kids and I both needed - these teens have been running around and need rest to stay healthy.  I have a meeting tonight so I love the no commute time  & can use that time go prep for the meeting.

This week is about getting the house back in order and running at peak financial condition - we let a few things slip and I want to get spending behaviors back on track before those become habits we need to break.  The menu plan board is back on the fridge for starters.

Wish me luck.