Friday, January 23, 2009

Menu Planning

One of my new year's resolutions this year is to be more diligent about planning out a weekly menu. I decided I wanted to do this for a few reason....
1. I get tired of trying to think something up at the last minute
2. I get tired of once I do finally think of something I go to the cabinet/refrigerator only to find I'm missing a key ingredient.
3. I think it will help us spend our money more wisely.
4. It will help us use items before they go bad. It seems like we are always throwing out potatoes, carrots, celery, etc. because we didn't end up using them all and they spoiled.

So I finally decided to sit down today and plan out a menu. I first did a quick inventory of what we already have on hand in effort to try to make a menu around what we already have vs. planning a menu and then going out and buying what I needed. My plan was to come up with a dinner menu for Monday-Friday. So far I have come up with a menu for the next two weeks out of mostly the items we already have. Ironically Money Saving Mom was having a guest post today on "How I Save Money by Planning a Menu" that was pretty interesting. I also found a website today called Supercook that you can go in and enter all the ingredients you have on hand and it will come up with various recipes you can make out of those items. It also allows you to set up an account so you can go in and add additional items as you buy them or take items off as you use them. Each time you add or remove an item the recipes are automatically adjusted.

If you have any favorite recipes that your family enjoys please feel free to share as I'm also trying to add to our limited menu rotation.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Day

Today was a good day, not because someone came to visit, not because we had somewhere special to go but because I had the day off and got to hang out with Caleb. I love days like today when he just smiles and laughs all day, when he takes both of his naps without any fuss, when we don't have anywhere we have to rush around to get to on time but when we just get to hang out together. He woke up in a snugly mood from his nap this afternoon, which I love, and we just hung out in his room for a while and snuggled and read some books. He thought it was funny when we were reading the touch and feel farm book and I would rub the fur on his nose and toes. He kept taking the book and gesturing for me to rub it on his toes again and would just smile and laugh. He helped me take the clothes out of the dryer, hung out with me while I swept the floors, enjoyed doing puzzles and thought it was fun to eat animal crackers together in the kitchen floor. He loves it when I tickle him and has the best little smile and laugh. I just love days like today and hope that I never forget them. Today was a good day! I love you Caleb.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free Suave!

Sign up today to get a coupon for a FREE bottle of Suave shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, styling aid, body wash or body lotion (up to $3 value). This offer ends today at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I love getting stuff for free! Here are some of the things that I've gotten free this week:

1. 2 pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream from Walgreens (sorry this coupon is no longer available to print out).

2. 4 Reese's Whipps candy bars from Walgreens (used the in store ad coupon and coupons from last Sunday's paper).

3. A 25 pack of Electrasol gelcaps dishwasher detergent at Walgreens thanks to a coupon from last Sunday's paper and a $1.50 rebate they are offering. I'll actually end up making $0.66 off this deal since you can earn an additional 10% on your rebate if you have it put on a Walgreens gift card. Here's how I made money...... the item was $3.49 - $2.50 coupon from the paper = $0.99 - $1.50 rebate = $0.51 overage + $0.15 (extra 10% off of $1.50 rebate for putting it on a gift card) = I made $0.66 on my gift card plus walked away with a box of free dishwasher detergent gelcaps.

4. 2 Melissa & Doug brand wooden puzzles from Pampers Gifts to Grow program. For those of you that use Pampers diapers or wipes they have a code on them that you enter and earn points through their Gifts to Grow program. I think the shipping on their products is a bit high, especially since you have to ship each item individually, but around Christmas they were offering free shipping. They didn't have much of a selection at that time but I was able to redeem some of my points for a couple free puzzles (free shipping!) for Caleb. I wish now I would have gone ahead and redeemed all of my points and just put back extra puzzles for gifts. This is the first time I've seen them offer free shipping since I've started collecting points.

5. Today I was able to get Caleb 3 pairs of pants for next winter and a pair of shorts for $0.22 at JCPenney thanks to some gifts cards that they were giving out with any purchase you made right before Christmas.

For those of you that are interested I've added a couple new websites to my frugal blog roll on my sidebar (Coupon Cravings and Common Sense with Money).