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Monday, January 24, 2011

Is unstale a word??

Being that I am a stay at home mom, I try to be as frugal as I possibly can.  Some may call it cheap and if that's what they want to call it, fine - it doesn't bother me.  I am smart with my money and being so allows us to live on one income very comfortably (and we spend a week in Disney each year ;)  So today when it was lunch time and the boys wanted to open a new bag of chips, I decided to see what was open already.  They have a bad habit of opening things and putting them away without closing them properly.

I found 3 opened bags of pretzels and one nearly empty bag of cheese puff things.  2 of the bags of pretzels were super stale.  I have a mind to force them to eat them since they are the reason they are stale in the first place.  All it would take is to ask for a little help until they get the "closed tight" thing down.  Instead of doing that though, I decided to try something that I had read in one of the frugal blogs I read - rebaking them.  I took a couple handfuls, put them on a microwave safe plate and hit the 30 second button.  That wasn't enough so I hit it again, 3 more times actually.  After 2 full minutes in the microwave, we all tried them and agreed, they were perfect once again!!  I read you can do this in the oven on a cookie sheet at 375 for 20 - 30 minutes as well.  It took 4 plates for all the pretzels we had but now we have a ziplock bag full of fresh pretzels and not a garbage full of wasted food!  I doubt the word unstale is in the dictionary but we made these snacks unstale again. 

I think that maybe some of these packages that are harder to keep closed will automatically go into a ziplock upon opening from now on but it's good to know there is a way to save them too!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thomas Bagel thins

I was given a free coupon to try Bagel Thins by Thomas'.  My store only had the plain ones, I was hoping for the Cinnamon Raisin though.  My family loves it when I make bagel pizzas.  I usually make them on Thomas' mini bagels but I thought it would be easier to make them on these since there is a bit more surface area to work with.  I needed lunch for 4 boys (2 little, 1 overgrown).  I made 3 of the bagels into pizzas, and then 3 more at their request.  The next day, there were 2 bagels left and when I asked what they wanted for lunch - bagel pizzas rang loud and clear!!  So in 2 days, they are gone.  These "pizzas" are so easy to make - I had leftover sauce from spaghetti, added some frozen peppers and onions that I had in the freezer for the overgrown boy, topped them all with mozzerella cheese, and baked in a 400 degree oven for 12 - 15 minutes (I used my toaster oven). Delicious was the response from everyone!!  I have a couple of $1 off coupons, if you would like one, let me know -first come, first serve with them!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I live for deals!!

The link below is to a site called living social, a site with daily deals - todays deal is great if you shop on amazon at all (which I do all the time lately - I even just bought Ragu Sauce there!!)  Anyway, you can buy a $20 gift card for $10, today only.  (I am only sorry that it's one per customer) You can sign up on amazon for 3 months of free shipping by signing up to be an amazon mom too. 

Gift card link
https://livingsocial.com/deals/21336?ref=conf-jp&rpi=391134

Amazon mom link:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup/welcome

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today was an icy day - I love it when the ice forms on the windows in pretty pattern.  I don't love it, however, when we have to go out in it.  We had our homeschool co-op planning meeting for our second session.  It doesn't start until March but we like to get things planned out.  Our leader is wonderful - she gets us going and keeps us on track.  We have a lot of fun classes and activities planned for the spring session and I'm sure the kids will love it!

 
These cold, icy days are making me very excited about our annual Florida trip in just a few short weeks.  We take the boys down to visit grandma and grandpa and it's my excuse to spend a few days at Disney.  The boys have fallen as much in love with Disney as I.  It is the one week of the year that there are no outside distractions - no phones, no school (although the learning is priceless while we're there), no church responsibilities (we love what we do but it is nice to have a little break), no telemarketers, etc etc etc.  For one short week, the world stops spinning and we are in our happy place.  We visit with characters, roam the 11 countries of EPCOT, go on safari in Africa, spend a little time in Asia, eat yummy food, swim, walk a million miles, and just spend time together!!!  Grandma and Grandpa usually spend a day with us and this year, Uncle Tom might come down while we're there too!!  The photo above was taken last year on Primevil Whirl at Animal Kingdom - the boys don't know it yet but it will be closed this year for refurbishment.  This is one of our most favorite rides so that will be disappointing but everything else we love will be open so we can't complain, too much ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fun in the sun???

 I guess the saying should be fun in the snow but it's too cold, in my opinion, to have fun out there today!! When I opened the window to take these photos, a strong wind was blowing, snow was falling down and blowing up, and it was just plain bitter out there!!  Aussie has been wanting to learn to ride the snowmobile on his own - so today was the day.  I started crying when I saw him out there.  HIs big brother used to do the same thing - around and around the house for hours on end.  He didn't care that he didn't go anywhere - he was driving all by himself!!  Aussie used to watch him out the window and say "there he goes again!!"  Now it's his turn to be out there and he is beaming with joy!!  I am glad that since we have to deal with all this cold, white stuff, the kids can enjoy it.  I am longing for days of flip flops and shorts but it's a long time off (except for our little tropical break to my paradise next month!!)     
Aussie on trip 502 around the house and field on my MXZ440

 Daddy is doing the best he can to keep the little guy happy since he's not big enough to ride alone, he is in his glory being pulled behind on the sled!!
                                          Gizmo says - let me in - it's too cold out here for me!!

                                         One more shot of my big boy!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bears and Bargains

It has been forever since I have been used this blog - I hope to start using it more often so that I can share my deals with everyone.  About a week ago, I asked people in my email list if they weren't using their coupons, if we could have them.  As part of our homeschooling, I have been trying to teach the boys to spend their money wisely - even on things that they ask for at the grocery store.  I started using coupons a little bit over the last few months but got to thinking that I could do more and we could not only save more, but give more as well.  So we are going to make donations to our local food pantries for the giving back part.  I think that kids today are growing up in such a me society and I want to be sure that my kids don't fall into that pattern.... 

This picture is all the things that I got this weekend using coupons - I paid a whopping $6.72 and I have $8 in reward money left to start with next week.  I should have another $7 but they didn't print.  I emailed them and if they determine it was a computer error, they will send those to me as well.

 The photo is hard to see everything but included are:  8 boxes of Special K cereal, 2 boxes of Fiber Plus cereal, 5 cans select Harvest campbell's soup, 4 packages of Stayfree, 2 bags of Oberto Jerky, 3 tubes of colgate toothpaste, 1 package Thomas' Bagel Thins, 6 packs of Trident gum, 1 pack Orbit gum, 2 bubble tape, 2 King size Whatchamacallit candy bars (needed them to use all my coupons or the computer would've shown a negative balance and you can't do that - they were buy 1 get 1 free, that's why I got two), and 2 of the new Tylenol pain cremes.  I should go back to my receipts and see what the totals were before coupons and rewards - I know my Walgreens purchase was just over $32, and I paid $4.32 there.  The rest of it was spent in Rite Aid but all in all, I am happy with my first major couponing experience.  The boys were totally impressed when, at one store, I had to give them 42 cents and we had two bags full of cereal, gum, and soup lol..

 The second reason for me hoping to keep this blog up more is so that we can share photos with my mom.  For some reason, she can never open them when I send them to her, so I hope she can see these ones.  The boys got Build a bears this year - Andy for his birthday (with a coupon) and Austin got his in December when we went to NYC with Matt before he left for Iraq.  They also each got one as an early Christmas present.  They had the moose on sale on Black Friday for $5.  We bought them unstuffed and surprised the boys with a trip to Lights on the Lake and a quick stop in Build a Bear.  Grandma got them each an outfit and they also got a gift card, so here are some of their Christmas Clothes.
Andy's Doggie and Moose - he just bought the scarf and hat and he's wearing Buzz Lightyear's pants.  His moose has an elf suit on. The sign in the background was made by Austin, it says "Hi grandma and grandpa"
Austin's bear is wearing his gift card purchase - a hoodie and jeans and his moose has the clone trooper costume from grandma.  His antlers are to big for the helmet, so it's on his arm.

Bob just drove off on his snowmobile again - he's enjoying this snow a lot more than I am.  I like it when I can be on the inside looking out at it :)