Sunday, September 23, 2012

Menu Plan 9/23

My maternal grandmother passed so I didn't keep up with anything much for a week. Getting back into my new routine now.

Sunday 9/23- A lazy and cheap mac-n-cheese mixed with cut up hot dogs.
Monday 9/24-Spaghetti
Tuesday 9/25- Crockpot Chicken
Wednesday 9/26- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Thursday 9/27- Chicken dumpling
Friday 9/28- Tuna Cakes w/ salad
Saturday 9/29- Chicken Parmesan

All I need to buy for the week is milk for everyone (whole and 2%). Salad. And some more stuff I can't remember right now. (wow. My grammar skills are awesome.) I'm guessing I only need to spend around $25.00.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Homemade Drano

The sink in my downstairs bath was beginning to slowly drain down. I went to pull out some Drano to clear the clog and low and behold: No Drano! My car was in the shop and Big Dude was at work so I couldn't get to the store. After a quick search on Google I found this recipe:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Menu Plan 9/9/12

Last week's menu went really good overall. Friday night was a bust as I went at 6:30 to pick up some fast food (oops) instead of LO Chicken salad sandwiches. And Big Dude wanted crock pot roast chicken (again) Saturday so we had that and moved the Crock Pot BBQ ribs to Sunday night (Little Dude loved the ribs!)

Sunday 9/9- Crockpot BBQ beef ribs (Little Dude loved them!)
Monday 9/10-Chicken enchiladas with homemade refried beans (leftover black bean mix to use in tortillas also)
Tuesday 9/11- Chicken and spinach pizza with white sauce
Wednesday 9/12 (Big Dude's birthday)- Whatever he wants at home/out to eat
Thursday 9/13-Crab cakes and salad
Friday 9/14-Penne pasta with chicken and creamy white sauce
Saturday 9/15-Pulled pork bbq sandwiches

All I need to buy this week is milk, eggs, fruit, sandwich bread, and a few snacks. I'm gonna set my budget around $25.00 for the week. Last week I was over by 12 dollars. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Menu plan 9/2/12

First week of September menu plan:

Breakfast and Lunch aren't on here. Breakfast is just me and Little Dude all week long so I keep it simple. Scrambled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, etc. Lunch is either LO's or sandwiches.

Sunday 9/2-  Meatloaf (added in black beans, super yummy),mashed potatoes, corn
Monday 9/3 (Labor Day). Day got away from me. Leftovers.
Tuesday 9/4- Tilapia and Shrimp with broccoli.
Wednesday 9/5- Crockpot chicken, homemade gravy, mac-n-cheese, veggies. (save leftover chicken for round 2 meal)
Thursday 9/6- Blackbean burgers, homemade potato salad, veggies
Friday 9/7- LO Chicken Salad sandwiches (round 2 meal)
Saturday 9/8- Crockpot bbq beef ribs

All I need to buy right now is potatoes for Thursday night. I'll look at the sales adds tonight and see whats a good deal that I need to buy for next week. My budget for tomorrow will be around $60.00. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where have I been?

This month has gone by so fast. I can't believe it's almost over. At the beginning of the month Big Dude and I suffered a personal tragedy and it took me a few weeks to get better. Maybe one day I'll write about it, but not now.
 By the time I was better it was Little Dude's first birthday! I can't believe my baby is gone and now he's a toddler. I've got post lined up later detailing his birthday and his party and what not.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Free Fun Weekend

Wow this weekend is packed full of free fun stuff!
     First off I took Little Dude to a fire station tour with one of the local mommies groups. He even wore his cute fire truck outfit my dad bought him! He was either too scared to be put down, or walking away from everyone so I didn't get any pictures. I think I want to make this a yearly event. Once he's older Little Dude will really enjoy it. We got to see a fire fighter get dressed in all the gear to show the kids that it's not a scary monster. Little Dude was not going anywhere near the fire fighter once all the gear was on.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Emergency savings

We're a Navy family so 99% of "vacations" are a trip home to see relatives. For us this means a trip to Kansas to see my dad and step mom and a trip to Oklahoma to see my mom (and my siblings), big Dude's mom (and his siblings), and the rest of Big Dude's family. We were gone for 2 weeks and managed to almost empty our emergency savings. First off, on day one traveling to Kansas the AC goes out in my car. We were

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Easy Banana Bread Muffins

I love bananas. Little Dude loves bananas. Big Dude...not so much. But that may be due to his being allergic to them. Whatever, more for me. I had about 1/2 a bunch of bananas that decided to start going bad even though they didn't have those yucky brown spots on the outside. I knew we wouldn't eat them up before they were complete mush and since the weather dropped to the upper 70's (for the day) I decided to make some muffins!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Free Furniture

It seems this is the season everyone and his brother is moving. Luckily it's also the season for free furniture. I can't believe the stuff I'm seeing on craigslist this summer. I'm lucky to live in an area that has a very very active craigslist. With everyone moving there's lots of furniture staying behind. It's not always due to being a cheap piece that's broken either. Most of what I've seen it people not having room to take it with them. Bedroom furniture, kitchen furniture, living room furniture.
Other stuff is selling for cheap for the same reason. Dishes, pots and pans, older style t.v.'s, wall art. If your in the market for something and a little patient (and not too picky on style) you could get some great stuff for your home. I hope to find a dresser to switch out from Little Dude's room. He currently has a short long one and I want a tall skinny one to give him more floor space to play (I also plan on putting it in the closet where he can't get it as he as recently learned how to open the drawers and pull out EVERYTHING in them and make a huge mess).

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Where does the time go each day? We've got a friend PCSing soon so our families have been spending lots of time together before they are gone. We met a new family at Big Dude's command and have enjoyed what I can only assume is the first of many family get togethers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Little Dude climbs the stairs

Little Dude decided to show me who's boss when it comes to climbing the stairs!

                                           ....I don't think they make a baby proof product for this!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cracker stock up

I was looking at a preview of the Farm Fresh ad for 6/13 and I saw an awesome deal on the cover!

Go to and print the $1/2 Nabisco Cookie/Cracker coupon (print it twice). Wednesday Farm Fresh doubles coupons up to 1.00 so this coupon becomes $2.00! They're running a special where you buy 4 participation products and save 2.00 instantly. So this means the crackers are on sale for 2.00 each when you buy 4. After the coupons they become $1.00 a box! Great stock up price!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sears Outlet Tuesday Free Apparel Day 6/5/12

Here's my big score from yesterday's Sears Outlet Tuesday Free Apparel Day!
My friend's daughter is having a birthday soon so I went shopping for her birthday present. A few more outfits and I'll be done. My outlet store was also having a buy 1 get 2 free accessory sale. I got 3 belts for $4.00=tax! What a great deal! I really hope Sears Outlet keeps this program going for a long long time. It's awesome!

Farm Fresh and Harris Teeter trip 6/6/12

Had a great trip at Farm Fresh today! Being Wednesday the $1.00 coupons were doubled so that gave me some awesome deals.
Here's my haul from Farm Fresh today:

What I got:
(1)Crave cat treats: $1.59-.50 coupon doubled= $.59
(4)Ken's Dressing: On sale $1.00 each-(2)1/2 coupon doubled= All 4 free!
(2)Kraft Dressing: Sale $1.09-1/2 coupon doubled= $.18
(2)Kix cereal: $2.49-(2) .75 coupon doubled=$1.00 each
(4)Ocean Spray Cranberry and Cranapple Juice $3.99-Bogo coupon=$1.99 each!
(1) Sierra Mist 2ltr: $1.34-1.00coupon doubled= Free+overage!!!
(2)Kings Hawaiian bread: $3.49-1.00 coupon doubled= $1.49
     *I need to check my store. I could've swore the sign said they were $2.69 each, not the $3.49 they rang up*
(1) 1/2 gallon whole milk: $2.39
(1) 1 gallon 2% milk: $3.19
(2) Country Crock butter: $2.38-1.00 coupon doubled=$.38 each!
(3) YoBaby Yogurt: Sale 2/$5.00-2.00 coupon= $1.83 each!
(2) Beechnut stage 5 fruit pouches: $.99-1.00 coupon doubled= Free+overage!!!
Total+tax: $24.83
Total saved: $33.32 (59%)

I forgot to take a trip of my trip to Harris Teeter but it wasn't as impressive this week. All I got was 2 family size Stouffers lasagnas for $5.99-2.00 coupon=$3.99 each.

I had another great deal at Food Lion on some baby lotion and soap. I need to find my receipt so I can post about it.... I think I need to get more organized.

Friday, June 1, 2012

There's a what in my yard??

BOOM I heard yesterday shortly after 12 noon. Everyone on my street went outside to see what made the incredibly loud noise. I was greeted with the sight of a car. In my yard. Come again???? 18 year old+new car+speeding+left turn= big headache for me.

The nose is pointing to the direction he came from. He lost control after he turned and the car did a 180 and swung right into my yard.

                                           The bricks saved my tree (and himself from harm).

Thankfully no one was hurt and the kid is going to come with his dad this weekend and level out my new racetrack and turn it back into the weed filled front lawn it was.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Groceries week of 5/27

I'm trying not to go grocery shopping till next week so I can use up what I've got and start fresh next week to keep better track. I had to run out to Food Lion to get a 1/2 gallon of whole milk for Little Dude so I've only spent $2.37 (after tax). We just ran out of eggs today and cereal yesterday so breakfast will be something like oatmeal or toast for the next few days. Lunches have been leftovers or sandwiches. Tonight we're having spaghetti (yum!). I have everything I need in my pantry. It's one of those meals I try to always have the ingredients on hand for. I haven't figured out dinners for the rest of the week yet. I'm going to try and get a better post for next weeks menu and grocery shopping before the week is half through, promise!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What's the point of my grocery budget?

I have a budget of $300 a month to cover all food, animal food/litter, baby diapers/wipes, and household stuff (cleaners, garbage bags, etc). I actually thought I was doing a fantastic job keeping within my budget until I started tracking all our expenses on As I watched over the first few months I realized I was actually doing horrible! Starting May 27th I'm going to start keeping a written record here of what I spent and what meals I made for each week for the next month. I'm hoping this will show me where I'm failing at so I can fix the gap. Since my budget is supposed to cover all household stuff, 2 adults, a baby (who eats like a toddler), 2 cats, and 1 German Shepherd I have considered if I needed to raise it to $350, but I really really really don't want to.I know I can do this! (In my mind I'm thinking of the Little Engine that could "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can")

One of my favorite blogs is This lady is awesome and inspiring to me! She posted this deal: here and after printing my coupons Little Dude and I went shopping today. Regularly $8.99 a package * 2=$17.98. Minus sale price, store coupon ($2.00 each) and MQ coupon ($2.00 each) they come to $2.99 each * 2= $5.98(before tax). That's a huge savings!!

After tax I spent $6.68 cents. The cheapest the commissary had was $6.00 when I bought a package last week and used my $1.50 coupon from a Sunday paper (I didn't keep track of which one). That package is going back and I'll put my returning $4.50 back in my budget. Yes, you read the picture correctly and saw that I purchased a medium and large package. I don't know how often I'll actually get to a pool or beach this year so I got a package for next year. I figure is all else fails I can return the large for another medium for this year.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shutterfly is awesome!

Father's Day Damask Father's Day Card
Modern greeting cards and party invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.
I made this as a surprise for Big Dude for his very first Father's Day. I used Card4U and got it for free!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm still here

     I know it seemed like I fell off my blog wagon with no posts in a while, but I just took a short break. My grandmother is very sick. I wanted her to see Little Dude before she got much worse. Big Dude couldn't get time off work (someone has to make money!) so Little Dude and I took off in my car for a 20 hour drive. Traveling with a nearly 9 month old infant by yourself is no joke! Luckily he is a good travel baby and slept most the trip. He was teething tooth #5 and #6 so the nights were very hard as he kept waking every few hours even with the pain meds. But we made it there in one piece, had a good visit with my family, and made it back safe. I took some time off after I got back to rest and clean my house because Big Dude totally lived as a bachelor while we were gone. He also told me I wasn't allowed to leave again because he missed us so much (how sweet to hear!).
     So I'm getting back in the swing of things now. Today is Free Apparel Day from Sears Outlet! Last week I got Little Dude some winter p.j.'s for this coming winter. Free rocks!!!! Wonder what I'll get today?
     Big Dude fixed my ac in my car yesterday! It went out right before my trip (86 degrees and no ac, ugh). We took it to the auto shop last week and they did some shop magic and said the relay was broken and we needed a new one.

                                  It's the black rectangle near the purple thing. I'm so technical 

After hearing that Big Dude knew he could fix it. We went to an auto store and he looked for the relay we needed. They didn't have it in stock, but could order it for us. The cost of the relay was around $50.00.    WHAT?? It amazed me how one tiny part can cost so much. Big Dude thought that was a little high so we went home and he looked it up on the internet and found one for a big ole whopping $5.00. Biiiiiig difference! Even with the $9.00 shipping (I find it ironic shipping was more than the item), we still came out ahead. The part arrived yesterday so now my car blows nice cold air. And just in time for summer. Yay!
   Not done being Super Big Dude yet, we went to the hardware store and bought a ceiling fan for our bedroom as ours quit working (I'm seeing a trend here). Now we have a nice, quiet, ceiling fan that works helping keep us cool upstairs. Yay!

 My daylillies in the front yard are looking awesome right now so I cut a few to put in a vase inside to enjoy.

                                                                       So pretty!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sears Outlet Free Apparel Tuesday

     Live near a participating Sears Outlet? Are you a Shop Your Way Rewards member? (if not it's free). Check out the Sears Outlet facebook page for more information on how to get a free piece of clothing today (and today only). No purchase necessary.
     I've done this since I found out about it in February. It used to be every Tuesday, but now it's random Tuesdays in the month so I check their facebook page pretty regularly. I've always used my phone to show the coupon picture since my printer is on vacation. I've never had any problem showing them (sometimes they don't even ask to see it!), but if your going to do that call and make sure it's ok first.
     I do want to point out this coupon is for Sears Outlet stores, and not a regular Sears.  If your lucky enough to live near an outlet happy shopping!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Walgreens Free Prints Deal

I love when these great deals from Walgreens photo come out. Upload your photos to your account and buy 25 4x6 prints and get 25 free when you use code B25G25PIC at check out! If you choose pick up in store you can avoid shipping costs. If you don't have a Walgreens account don't worry. It's free to make one. Great offer to start working on prints for Christmas photo album gifts. Hurry, this deal is only available until April 21st.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Don't give up when it's broken

Ha! Here's the post I promised! Yay for me. Happy dance!
...There's carpet under all that pet hair?

     I have two long haired cats and one German shepherd dog. Needless to say, I could
vacuum the carpet in the morning and by evening you may not even be able to tell on some
days. Most the time I enjoy vacuuming. I used to beg my mom to let me vacuum (every parents
dream, a child begging to do chores!), However, I absolutely HATE vacuuming the stairs.
Just trying to lug the vacuum up and balance it on the stairs as I work my way down makes
me frown. I'm frowning now. I'm throwing glares at the stairs as I type. I hate to admit I
usually ignore the stairs until Big Dude gets so fed up with the hair that he winds up
vacuuming them (Thanks for vacuuming the stairs honey!).

     Since Big Dude is the one who vacuums them, he wanted to get a small vacuum for the
stairs. I heard phrases such as no more balancing the vacuum...safer...special pet hair
picker upper. (I feel the need to point out I'm paraphrasing here, Big Dude would never say
picker upper as it is not a manly phrase). So we got a Shark from the store. That special
pet hair head is magic! It looked like we got a new carpet. Amazing. I happily walked up
and down my clean stairs with a goofy smile on my face the first day.

     After about 2 months of having a super awesome vacuum the pet hair head died. It
wouldn't spin anymore. The head is clear so you can see the insides of it (brilliant idea!)
and I clearly saw no more spinning brush. I couldn't find the receipt and was fearing we
about to take a loss on the vacuum. It still worked suction and motor wise. The problem was
only with the pet hair head. So now we had a vacuum we bought to pick up pet hair that

     Big Dude decided to contact the company and see if we could get a replacement head. I
was expecting to have to pay for a new one plus shipping charges. I glared at that vacuum,
breaking so soon and not working like we wanted. Big Dude told me Shark was sending it out
to us in 4-6 weeks for free. FREE???? As in no money? No shipping charges? No trouble as we
didn't have our receipt?? YAY!!!!! I know happily looked at the vacuum sitting in the
corner. What a good company to stand behind their products and their customers!

     Five weeks later a box came in the mail from Shark. I opened that box like it was Christmas! My stairs are once again clean (again, thanks to Big Dude as I don't do them). I never would have thought the company would send out a replacement head, especially not one for no cost to me. I will definitely keep this in mind when I have to purchase a floor product in the future.
     Do you have any stories of companies standing behind their product when it fails?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Update Time! Don't you think as it's been almost 2 years?
      Anyhoo. So I quit my job in October 2010 to focus on school. Wouldn't you know it DH and I found out we were expecting in November? To add even more fun my best friend found out about her pregnancy at the same time too! She wound up having a beautiful girl and I had my adorable son. Both babies were born in August 2011 just 2 days apart.
     These past 8 months since he's been born have been crazy. My wisdom teeth were removed along with my gallbladder. I was really scared to go in for surgery for my gallbladder. I know it's a pretty routine surgery now and the chance for something happening to me was small, but I was still worried about leaving my little dude without a mommy.
     I'm hoping to add his birth story and some other posts at a later date (especially before my mommy brain starts to forget!). To keep myself accountable I'm going to set a date for it. So by...April 11th I will have another post done. See ya next week!