Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Off the air for a bit

This week is finals for week for my kids (my students).  There are a lot of things to wrap up from this trimester and a lot of things to get ready for next trimester and  a whole bunch of students who put off getting help until the end.  Today I left at about 6:20 and got back at 9.  In order to not get completely out of whack, I will be offline until the weekend.  If you need to be inspired visit some of my favorite blogs on the bar on the right.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Worth Reading: Flirting 101

I'm always looking for ways to keep our love exciting... forever like newlyweds.  This article on flirting from At the Well in Pursuit of Titus 2, and yes I did say flirting, gives a list of many ways to keep your marriage exciting.  I believe that it is worth reading.

Free South Beach Living Smore Bar

Go here to sign up for a free sample of South Beach Living S'more bar.  This looks absolutely delicious and it is somewhat nutritious too!  I love getting free granola bars in the mail!

Thanks Bargain Briana!

Sign up to win a free wedding dress!

Win a free gown

Wedding season is coming up and if you are in the market for a wedding dress go here to sign up to win a wedding gown or up to five bridesmaid dresses from David's Bridal!

Restaurant.com Certificates 80% off!

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250

It's nearing the end of the month which means it is time for Restaurant.com gift certificates to go on sale!  My husband and I have used these with great success for cheap date nights.  A word of caution, make sure that you read all of the small print.

Now save 80% Off Restaurant.com $25 Gift Cert. orders. Use code SAVOR and Pay $2 thru 2/28/10.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 2/21-2/27

This is the last week of the second trimester, which means lots of students staying after school to take old tests that they have put off until now.  Furthermore, I will be preparing for the next trimester, so this week consists of many meals that can be made ahead of time.  My husband will almost be away for many nights working at my parents to help remodel their kitchen.  Here's the plan for the week:

Monday: Hamburger Noodle Bake (I actually made this today and it is in the fridge ready to bake for tomorrow.  I added Rotel and a bit of chili seasoning instead of the chili sauce.), salad, apples

Tuesday: Frozen Chicken Pot Pie (and here's my attempt), broccoli, grapes

Wednesday: Dinner at church

Thursday: Pizza Pasta Bake (I still haven't made this one, but it sounds like something my husband will love!), salad, apples

For more menu planning ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Frugal Fitness Friday: Yoga Today

Featured this week for Frugal Fitness Friday is the site Yoga Today.  This site has a lot of yoga information.  Each week they provide a free video.  These free videos are not just little short clips, but instead include an entire hour long class! 

I have to admit that I do not know a whole lot about yoga.  I was wary of it and it's Eastern religion connections, but I have tried some of the more "secular" yoga videos before and was excited about how my flexibility increased after just one or two classes (with a free video of course!).  So if you are looking to try yoga at no cost to you, visit Yoga Today and choose their free weekly class!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gratituesday: A Free Valentine's Day!

This last weekend was of course, Valentine's Day.  I have to say that I have never really been a huge fan of the day, but always tried to make the best of it.  When I was single I was known to dress from head to toe in reds and pinks for a girls only Valentine's Day party. 

Now that I am married I have tried to make it festive, but not necessarily in the "normal" Valentine's way (ie. expensive getaways to spas, hotels, and classy restaurants).  Last year my husband and I made homemade heartshaped  pizza (so incredibly gourmet of course ;)  and then camped out in our basement. 

This year I was able to have $40 worth of free flowers sent to my school (my husband was technically in charge of that one, but in order to ensure we got the deal I helped him a lot).  My students kept on asking who they were from- they forget that I am married.

On the night before Valentine's, I got out some romantic movies from the library and we watched 27 Dresses.  It was pretty cute, and even my husband stayed awake and liked it!

Then on Valentine's Day we went to church and went to Walmart afterward.  We picked up some groceries and while we were there we were able to go through and show each other our favorite Valentine's Day cards.  This was one of my most favorite things to do because I always have such difficulty choosing just one card and so I was able to show him all of my favorites and it didn't cost me a dime (even the expensive $10 gigantic Hoops and Yoyo card!).

Later that day we used a gift certificate to a random restaurant that we had received over a year ago for Christmas.  It's a very nice restaurant that is located in a really small town.  We had reservations for really early, so we ended up eating in a room full of people over 40 years older than us.  Somehow that made it even more special to be around so many couples that were still "keeping the love alive."

We also had a newbie waitress that was oh so awkward, but really that just topped off the evening.  For instance when I left for a moment to go the ladies room the waitress actually asked my husband whether I had gone to the bathroom.  Mind you there were only four other couples in the restaurant.  My husband and I laughed all of the way home.

For me and my husband, this was an absolutely amazing Valentine's Day weekend and we didn't spend a dime! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 2/15-2/19

Today is President's Day and I have the day off!  Yippy!  I thought about doing a crazy baking day, but instead I think I will visit a bunch of different family members and help my mom start packing up her kitchen (my husband is helping remodel it).

Also, I will finish my month off as planned (since I planned for the entire month), but starting in March I will be trying out some recipes that are good for people with high blood pressure.  This runs in both my husband and I's families, so I thought it would be good to start preventing it when we are young.  Here's the plan for this week:

Monday:  Crockpot BBQ chicken (basically I have a bag of chicken pieces, and I have poured BBQ sauce on top and put in the crockpot- my sil says this works great, but this is my first time, so we'll see!), sides: mashed potatoes, salad, clementines and cut up apples

Tuesday:  Freezer Egg and Sausage Casserole, (I have to admit I am a bit nervous on how this one will taste-I have never frozen it before.) If it bakes like it usually does it should look like this:

Recipe (this one can easily be changed depending on how much you want to make)
1 lb spicy ground sausage, browned and drained
1-1/2 c. to 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
8-10 eggs
6-8 pieces of bread, cubed
1-1/2 c. milk

Directions: Mix milk and eggs together.  Then add cheese and sausage.  Finally add in bread.  Pour into a 9"x13" pan and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday: Dinner at church
Thursday: Sloppy Joes (my dh's favorite), pickles, peas, and apples
Extra meal: Pizza Pasta Casserole (I still haven't made this one yet)

Go here for any of the following coupons that could be used on this week's meals:

$0.75/1 Dole Salad Mix
$0.55/1 Crisco Non-Stick Cooking Spray
$0.50/2 Green Giant Frozen Vegetables
$1/2 Litehouse Dressing Products
$0.30/1 Diamond Kosher Salt

Visit OrgJunkie for more menu planning ideas.

New Market Coupon Matchups: 2/15-2/21

Here are the New Market Coupon Matchups for the week of 2/15-2/21.

Land O'Frost Premium Lunch Meat 16oz $3
$0.55/1 Land O'Frost Premium Product, exp. 4-30-10 (RP 01/31/10)
Final Price: $2.45

Edy's Ice Cream, Yogurt, and Sherbet 48oz $2.88
$1/1 Edy's Product, exp. 3-15-10 (SS 01/31/10)
Final Price: $1.88

Tyson Fully Cooked Steak or Chicken Strips 6oz $2.99
$1/1 Tyson Grilled & Ready Frozen Product, exp. 4-3-10 (SS #2 1/3/10)
Final Price: $1.99

Silk Soy Milk $3
$0.75/1 Silk Soymilk printable
Final Price: $1.25

Lean Cuisine Classic Entrees & One Dish Favorites $2.50
 $1/3 Lean Cuisine Entree printable (IE) or printable (FF)
Final Price: $2.17 each when you buy three

Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough $2.50
$1/2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough printable
Final Price: $2 each when you buy two

Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables $1.25
$0.50/1 Select Birds Eye Steamfresh Items, exp. 3-7-10 (SS 02/07/10) doubled
Final Price: $0.25!!!!

Yoplait Light 4-6oz $0.49
$0.50/6 Yoplait Cups or Light Smoothie printable doubled
Final Price:  $0.33 each when you buy six

Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage Links and Patties $2.50
$0.55/1 Select Johnsonville Sausage Products, exp. 2-28 (SS 1/17/10)
Final Price: $1.95

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel Pastries $2
$0.55/2 Pillsbury Toaster Strudel Pastries printable
Final Price: $1.73 each when you buy two

Capri Suns $1.99
$1/2 Capri Suns, exp. 12-30-99 (KraftRecipes.com)
Final Price: $1.49 each when you buy two

Tide Mountain Spring Laundry Detergent 32 loads $5.99
$0.35/1 Tide Detergent, exp. 2-28-10 (P&G 01/17/10) doubled
Final Price: $5.29

Luvs Jumbo Diapers 30-40ct $6.99
$1/1 Luvs Diapers printable
Final Price: $5.99

I used DealSeekingMom's amazing coupon database to help compile this week's deals.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Frugal Fitness Friday: Livestrong

Ok, I'll admit that I did not get this posted on Friday.  However, this can be a lesson for all of us.  Fitness and posting about fitness is one of those areas where "better late than never" works.  For instance, this last week I just barely squeeked in my two days of working out (I ended up doing in Friday/Saturday), but that is better than not doing it at all.

The feature of the week is Livestrong.  Most of us first think of the plastic armbands used by this company as a fund raiser for research in cancer, but this organization has so much more.  On their site is a plethora of videos describing how to perform specific exercises.  They also have a large number of articles on every aspect of healthy living.  So if you are looking for any information on fitness and health go to Livestrong.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Market Deals: 2/8-2/14

Here are a few of the deals at New Market for this week:

Betty Crocker Frosting 12-16oz $0.99
$0.50/1 printable doubled
Final Price: FREE!!!

Eckrich Smoked or Polish Sausage 14-16oz $2.50
$0.55/1 Eckrich Smoked Sausage Product, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/31/10)
Final Price: $1.95

Johnsonville Summer Sausage 12oz $2.99
$1/1 Johnsonville Summer Sausage, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/17/10)
Final Price: $1.99

Tyson Any'tizers 18-32oz. $6.99
$1/1 Tyson Any'tizers Snacks Bag, exp. 4-30-10 (SS 01/24/10)
Final Price: $5.99

Oscar Mayer Complete Lunchable 11.4-14.6oz $2.50
$1/1 Oscar Mayer Lunchables printable (IE) or printable (FF)
Final Price: $1.50

El Monterey Taquitos 28-30oz $6.99
$1/1 El Monterey Taquitos printable
Final Price: $5.99

Nabisco Ritz Crackers 13.66-16oz $2.50
$1/1 Nabisco Crackers, exp. 3-31-10 (SS 01/24/10)
Final Price: $1.50

Betty Crocker Warm Delights 2.9-3.6oz $1.66
$0.50/1 Warm Delights or Mini Bowls printable doubled
Final Price: $0.66

Betty Crocker Brownie Mix 18.3-20.5 oz $1.50
$1/2 Betty Crocker Box Supreme Brownie Mix printable
Final Price: $1 each when you buy two

General Mills Cereal 14.8-18oz $2.50
$1/2 Select General Mills Cereals printable
Final Price: $2 each when you buy two

I used DealSeekingMom's amazing coupon database to compile this week's deals.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gratituesday: Wisdom to Pass Along

A few of my students this last week have constantly been asking "When are we ever going to use this?"  It's not a new question, and I normally respond with a real world example, such as designing a roof truss system or finding the heights of mountains.

The problem arises when I cannot give the bold student a "normal" example, such as something you would do everyday.  I teach Geometry, and honestly a lot of the details many people will never use.  I think I just heard a couple of my colleagues going running for paper bags so they won't hyperventilate.  I am one of the few math teachers that realizes that my students are not going to have to know how to find the measure of an arc to be successful.

However, I still believe that taking Geometry is an important class for all students.  Math teaches you how to analyze situations, and geometry requires you to look at everything from different angles (no pun intended). 

Furthermore, I grew up in a home with an information lover and I caught the bug.  If I could have a superpower it would be the ability to learn anything at an extreme speed.  The question has very rarely been for me, why should I know this, but rather why should I not know this?

I believe that every bit of information that we learn helps us to grow and makes us understand the world better.  I was really struggling with how to deal with this one class that kept on not wanting to learn anything.  All that I could think about was how silly they sounded when they were essentially saying that they wanted to stay ignorant.

Luckily, I was able to go and visit my parents and they were able to give me great advice in how to work with that class.  I am extremely thankful for their input.  I was able to make what seems to be a successful discussion about the importance of gaining as many skills as possible.

In conclusion, when in a time that I am unsure how else to go on, I am thankful that I have the ability to still ask my parents for advice (it's amazing how much they know:)  )

Monday, February 8, 2010

Worth Reading: Being Content

Go here for a great article on being content living with less.  As newlyweds, I believe contentment is something that is easy to struggle with.

Menu Plan 2/8-2/14

I won't be cooking much at all this week, but I decided that I would post anyway.  For a frugal Valentine's Day pizza go to the end.  Here's the breakdown:

Monday: Eat with my parents (my husband is helping my parents to update their kitchen, so we went over to talk about the design)
Tuesday:  Eat with my husband's parents (we haven't met with them for a while)
Wednesday:  Dinner at church
Thursday: Freezer sausage and mixed veggies casserole, fresh fruits and veggies
Friday:  I might whip up some Valentine's treats since I have the day off (I'll keep you posted)

Last year, my husband and I decided to stay at home for Valentine's Day.  We enjoyed the time together and made a heart shaped pizza, as cheezy as that is.  It is a great idea for those that don't need gourmet food for holidays.  I decorated up our table with a white bed sheet and some random decorations that I had from helping with elementary students.  We had a blast and paid only pennies for the evening.

We had wanted to travel, but couldn't stand paying the ridiculous prices they charge on Valentine's Day, so instead I got out our tent that we had gotten for a wedding gift and we "camped out" in our basement.  I completely decorated our vacation basement, a la It's a Wonderful Life.

Who says you have to spend a lot for love?

 A candlelight dinner for two.

If you would like to experience the heart shaped pizza :

First, pick out your favorite guy to spend the evening with.
Second, convince him that cooking can be fun.
Third, go here for the recipe for a pretty good pizza crust.  This is not the time to introduce him to a wheat crust.  You can also make homemade pizza sauce, or just buy some like I did last year (although since then I have made pizza sauce that I am still trying to perfect).
Fourth, spread the dough into a heart like shape, add sauce, cheese and all of your favorite toppings.
Fifth, bake and enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Markets Deals: 2/1-2/7

Here are the deals for the week (no triple coupons):

General Mills Cereal 8.9-12.8oz $2
$1/1 printable here
Final Price: $1 each

DiGiorno Pizza $5
$1/1 DiGiorno Rising Crust Pizza, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/24/10)
Final Price: $4 each

Tyson Anytizers & Crispy Chicken Strips 18-32oz $6.99
$1/1 Tyson Any'tizers Snacks Bag, exp. 4-30-10 (SS 01/24/10)
Final Price: $5.99 each

Johnsonville Summer Sausage 12oz $3
$1/1 Johnsonville Summer Sausage, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/17/10)
Final Price: $2 each

Armour Homestyle Meatballs 14-16oz $3
$0.55/1 Armour Meatball Product, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/31/10)
Final Price: $2.45 each

Claussen Pickles 20-32 oz $2.50
$1/1 Claussen Pickles, exp. 12-30-99 (KraftRecipes.com)
Final Price: $1.50

Nabisco Ritz Crackers 13.66-16oz $2.50
$2/2 Nabisco Crackers printable (IE) or printable (FF)
Final Price: $1.50 each when you buy two

 Kraft Velveeta 2lb $4.49
$1/1 Velveeta Cheese, exp. 12-30-99 (KraftRecipes.com)
Final Price: $3.49 each

Oscar Mayer Pepperoni 6oz $2
$1/1 Oscar Mayer Meats, exp. 12-30-99 (KraftRecipes.com)
Final Price: $1 each

Oscar Mayer Bologna 12oz $1
$1/1 Oscar Mayer Bologna, exp. 12-30-99 (KraftRecipes.com)
Final Price: FREE!!!

Gatorade Thirst Quencher (32oz) or Propel Fitness Water (24oz) $1 each
$0.50/1 Gatorade G2, exp. 3-31-10 (RP 01/10/10) doubled
Final Price: FREE!!!

Lipton Pasta Sides or Rice 4-5.6oz $1
$1/3 Knorr Rice and Pasta Side Dish, exp. 2-28-10 (RP 01/31/10)
Final Price: $0.67 each when you buy three

Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce 26-26.5oz $1
$0.50/2 Hunt's Pasta Sauce printable doubled
Final Price: $0.50 each when you buy two

Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta or Micro Cups 7.25-15oz $1
$0.40/1 Chef Boyardee Microwaveable Bowl, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/10/10)
$0.35/3 Chef Boyardee, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/10/10)  doubled
Final Price: varies

Eckrich Smoked or Polish Sausage 14-16oz $2.50
$0.55/1 Eckrich Smoked Sausage Product, exp. 2-28-10 (SS 01/31/10)
Final Price: $1.95 each

Bob Evans Roll Sausage 16oz $2.50
$0.35/1 Bob Evans Roll Sausage printable doubled
Final Price: $1.80 each

 El Monterey Burritos 32oz Taquitos 11.3-12oz $3.50
$1/2 El Monterey Burritos printable
 $1/1 El Monterey Taquitos printable
Final Price: varies

Cole's Garlic Toast 16-17oz $2.50
$0.50/1 Cole's Bread Product printable doubled
Final Price: $1.50each

Yoplait Original or Whips! Yogurt 4-6oz cup $0.50
$0.50/6 Yoplait Yogurt Cups printable doubled
Final Price: $0.30 each when you buy six

Dean's French Onion Dippz 16oz $1.50
$1/2 Dean's Dip, exp. 3-31-10 (RP 01/31/10)
Final Price: $1 each when you buy two

Jello Refridgerated Desserts 6pk $2.50
$0.60/1 Jell-O Refrigerated Mousse, Gelatin or Pudding Snacks, exp. 2-10-10 (SS 01/10/10)
Final Price: $1.90

Cheez-It 11.5-14oz $2.50
$1/2 Keebler Crackers or Sunshine Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers, exp. 2-7-10 (RP 12/13/09)
Final Price: $2 each when you buy two

Betty Crocker Brownie Mix 18.3-20.5oz $1.50
$0.75/2 Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix printable
Final Price: $1.13 each when you buy two

Luvs Jumbo Diapers 30-40ct $6.99
$1/1 Luvs Diapers printable
Final Price: $5.99 each

Old Orchard 100% Apple Juice 64oz $2
$0.50/1 Old Orchard Juice Product printable doubled
Final Price: $1 each

I used Deal Seeking Mom's amazing coupon database to help compile this week's deals.

Frugal Fitness Friday: More Online Workout Videos

The Frugal Fitness Friday feature this week is women-workout-routines.com.  They have several free online workout reutines.  They really are pretty good exercises, however I will warn you that they have kind of bizarre outfits on. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cheap Valentine's Date!

Holiday's at Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com is offering a great Valentine's Day promotion (who doesn't want cheap flowers?).

Now save 60% off Restaurant.com $25 Gift Cert. orders and receive a $15 FTD® Floral Reward. Use code BLOOM and Pay $4 thru 2/8/10.

February Freezer Cooking

Here is the starting point of my fun February freezer cooking: a huge pile of groceries.  It was sooooooo exciting to go couponing again! 

I was able to make four different freezer casseroles, and by I, I mean we!  Yep, my wonderful husband helped me out and we actually had a blast!

This is a picture of the beginnings of my pie crust.  Can you believe it?  I made a pie crust.  This happened because I forgot to buy extra pie crusts.  I called my mom and asked for the absolute easiest pie crust recipe that she knew of and she sent me this.

Note:  This is only strong enough to be used as the "bottom" crust.
Pat-in-pan pie crust

1 1/2 cups plus 3 T flour
1 1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt (I probably don't put this in)
1/2 cup veg. oil, canola etc.
3 T cold milk

Mix dry ingredients in the pie pan with your fingers until blended.
Mix oil and milk in a cup with a fork til creamy
Pour at once over flour mixture
Mix with fork til completely moistened
Pat dough with your fingers up the sides of the pie pan and across the bottom
Flute the edges.

Ta da!  There it is!  I'm not up to Julia's standards, but it came out wonderful as my first pie crust!

My husband helped make the filling for the chicken pot pies.  Go here for the recipe.  He did such a great job with the little direction I gave him.

I am definitely not a food photographer, but the filling was absolutely delicious.  Here's a picture of one of the final products (we already had one of the two pies for dinner!).

We also made a breakfast casserole (that we'll eat for dinner), and a sausage and mixed veggies casserole and even had some leftover chopped chicken that we used in sandwiches and wraps over the weekend.
There's the fruits of our 2 or so hours of work!

Monday, February 1, 2010

January Goal Check-up

It's the start of another month, so it means it's time to do a goal check up.  Go here to see my yearly goals.  Here's the run down:

  • Keep up with the one-year Bible reading plan.  I am amazed at how much I am learning.  I have to admit that I would slip a day or two, but I am currently caught up. 
  • My husband and I have started taking a class at our church and it is definitely pushing me to think about a lot of things differently. 
  • I just barely squeeked in visiting all four sets of grandparents.  This has been such a great experience, but it is still seems a bit unnatural.  I would really push all of you out there to try it.
  • I haven't yet attempted dinner for family yet.
  • Haven't read The Millionaire Next Door.
  • I have exercised twice a week!  I feel so much better!  However, I can still say that it takes so much effort to rip my body off of the couch and get up and move.  It really helps having accountability.
  • The only goal that I have kept this month in this category is creating hands on lessons.
  • At the beginning of the month we were at 48% of the small goal and now we are at 52.33%.  We were at 32% of the big goal and now we are at 34.89% of the big goal.  By the end of the year we hope to be at 89% of the small goal and 59.3% of the big goal.

Menu Plan Monday: 2/1-2/7 Hamburger Pie

It's Monday again, which means time to lay out my menu plan for the week.  I have to say that I actually have a tentative plan for the entire month of February!  In January I participated in the Eat from the Pantry Challenge, so I created a month long menu plan to ensure that I would have enough ingredients to last the month.  I ended up really enjoying having most everything already planned.  Therefore, this month I sat down and tried to create a tentative plan for the month and for my freezer cooking (I'll tell you more about that later).  Here is what I came up with for this week:

Monday:  Hamburger Pie (my husband's favorite and something he can make)-recipe below

Tuesday:  Crockpot beef and vegetables

Thursday: Leftovers

Sides include: lots of fresh fruits and veggies, salads, bread

Here's the Hamburger Pie Recipe.  It is about the simplest thing ever; my husband loves it and will make it.  It's not exactly gourmet, but I have to admit, it tastes pretty good!

Hamburger Pie Recipe

1 lb ground beef
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs-beaten
1-1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. bisquit mix

Directions:  In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, drain.  Press into an ungreased 9" pie plate.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cheese. 

In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and bisquit mix just until combined.  Pour over cheese.

Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

For more menu plan ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.


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