Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Amazon Gold Box Deal, Dual Charge Station for Nintendo Wii $11.99 in Black and White

Less than an hour left on this Amazon Gold Box Deal. Amazon Basics Dual Charge Station for Nintendo Wii in Black and White for only $11.99. If you have a Wii you know the remotes suck the batteries, these include the rechargeable batteries and charging station. This ships free with Amazon Prime.

Recipe to make Sour Cream out of Cottage Cheese if you are in a bind

You can use Cottage Cheese as a substitute if you run out of Sour Cream, here's what you need to do:
Put 1 Cup Cottage Cheese in your blender
Add 5 Tablespoons Milk (whatever you have)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Blend until creamy and you've got substitute sour cream!

Check out my recipe to make your own Dried Onion Soup Mix, mix with your substitute Sour Cream and you've got a quick, yummy dip!

Monday, January 30, 2012

ThredUP.... Buy and Sell boxes of used kids clothing and toys!

This is a cool site where moms swap kids clothes and toys. It’s easier than ever to hand-down outgrown children’s items and earn cashback. Use FREE USPS boxes or Concierge bags to de-clutter without leaving the house. Earn up to $10 for each great box you sell and up to $20 for each bag you stuff and return to them. Pick new boxes that start at just $9 and come full of great kids stuff. The average thredUP box has more than 15 items. It’s the best kids clothing deal anywhere

How did I not know about this?

So how is it possible that all these years I never knew that there were little push in tabs at the ends of rolls of foil and plastic wrap, I've been struggling with the rolls coming out as I try to tear off a sheet of foil or plastic wrap. Here I was thinking I was all that, yeah, I'm feeling pretty humble right now.

Genius ideas to serve cake and ice cream at a birthday party

Karen I thought of you when I ran across these since you are trying to put together a kids birthday party, I found these genius ideas and pictures at Real Simple.

Cut the ice cream easily with a knife, if it's really frozen dip the knife into hot water to make cutting easier.

Cut the cake easily with a piece of unflavored waxed floss, I can think of a few birthday's we've been to that were not at the persons home and they forgot to bring a knife, just ask somebody if they have floss in their purse.

Scoop out the ice cream ahead of time, put the tray in the freezer and then when you are ready to serve just take it out.

Easily cut a round cake, use a long sharp knife to cut a smaller circle inside the larger one, then you can serve the outside pieces with the frosting to the kids and the inside pieces to the adults because they usually want a small piece without a lot of frosting.
Thanks to Real Simple for these awesome ideas and pictures!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser Coffee K Cups on Amazon $ .38 each

I've had a few people ask me to keep my eyes open for good deals on K Cups, here's one from Amazon. Regular price $15.99 for 36, if you choose the subscribe and save option the price drops to $13.59  or $ .38 each, seems like a pretty good price for those. Remember to choose 6 months and then go back and cancel after your order has shipped.

Don't throw away your Crystallized Honey

One of my biggest pet peeves is honey that has crystallized and hardened! It seems like it happens so quickly and honey is expensive right now.

Here is my sad little bottle of crystallized honey, after it sits for a while especially in someplace cool it usually gets hard and crystallizes and honey is really expensive right now so don't throw it away. The best way is to put it in a bowl of warm (not boiling) water, it takes a little while but it tends to stay liquid for a longer amount of time,
You can also try the microwave, it's much faster but you have to be very careful and heat it in short bursts, 15 seconds at at a time until it's the right consistency. Be careful if it's in a plastic container like this one, if you heat it too long it can melt the container and you can burn yourself badly. I've noticed the consistency is a little different when you heat it in the microwave and it goes back to it's crystallized state as soon as the heat is gone.

 Another tip I love: If you need to measure a spoonful of honey or syrup, dip a metal spoon in hot water first, the honey or syrup won't stick to it.
You can also check out my post:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Make your own Baking Mix (Bisquick)

You don't have to buy baking mix at the store, make it at home and save money, here's what you need.
For every cup of baking mix that you need here's the ingredients, so you can double, triple, quadruple whatever you need to do.
3/4 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons Shortening
Mix dry ingredients, cut in shortening by hand or use a food processor if you have one. Store in an airtight container.

Read my post from earlier this month Make extra pancakes to keep in the freezer.

Are your weekends filled with Kids Birthday Parties? An alternative to a traditional gift.

Are your weekends filled with Kids Birthday Parties? If you have school age children it's seems like there is always a birthday party to go to and a gift to buy. Karen had a really great post It's the most wonderful time of the year  she was able to stock up on ton of birthday presents for the year by hitting up RiteAid's after Christmas sale, that is the way to go if you don't want to spend a fortune on gifts. Another idea I wanted share isn't always the cheapest way to go but it's stress free and in the long run will benefit the child more than some junky toy that will be broken in a month. I hate buying gifts, it's not about the money it's just the hassle of having to go to the store and stress out over picking the perfect gift and then wrapping and all that (I know things could be worse) but the easiest thing for me is to call the parents ahead of time and just say can I give you some cash for the child's savings or college fund. Kid's get so many toys for Birthday's and Christmas that they are overwhelmed and don't even play with half of them, obviously kids need toys so I'm not saying they shouldn't get any but if you know they are going to have a bunch than they honestly are not going to miss 1 less present to open, you can just give the parent's a little card with whatever amount you decide and you've saved yourself gas and time driving around and saved on wrapping supplies. Honestly don't you think the child will benefit more later on in life by having money to put towards college or a little bit in savings to buy a car rather than than a toy that has been long ago forgotten and thrown away.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I can't be the only one, right???

Do you ever have a chocolate or sugar craving so bad that you make a batch of brownies just to eat the batter and then you have to bake it in a smaller pan because you ate so much of the batter? And because you ate so much batter you can't even look at the brownies when they are done baking. Yeah that's me tonight, I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse that I always have brownie mix in my pantry from couponing, and do I worry about the whole raw egg thing Naaahhhhhhhh.
I'm living on the edge.

How convenient, I wish I would have had this at Christmas time.

   This would have been so nice to have around Christmas time.
UPS My Choice
It's absolutely free you sign up and get alerts before packages arrive, you can electronically authorize packages for drop-off, re-route to other locations, so if you are at work or you know you won't be at home you can have your package re-routed and many other options. You have to enter name, username, password, address.

This post is "sponsored content"

Has anybody tried Cuppow?

Just wondering if anybody has tried this http://www.cuppow.com/. I've seen pictures of Cuppow all over Pinterest and just wondering if it works good? It's right up our alley looks like you turn a small mason jar into a reusable drink cup by purchasing their BPA free lid for $7.99, Karen and love this kind of stuff, if there is anyway to reuse or reduce waste going into the landfills then we are all for it. I'd like to find out more about it before I say Yay or Nay. Anybody out there purchased one of these yet?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Free ebook Chicken Recipes To Die For

Free recipe ebook from Amazon: Chicken Recipes To Die For. I don't have a Kindle but I use Kindle for PC and just download the free books to my laptop and read it on my computer it's so simple and totally free. I'm always looking for new chicken recipes, we eat lots of chicken.

Kids can make a free Build-a-saurus this weekend at Lowe's

This weeks Lowes Build and Grow project is a Build-a-saurus! Saturday 1/28/2012 10:00AM at participating Lowe's, registration is required click Here to register.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I tested this, It doesn't work!

I've seen this on a bunch of blogs and Pinterest so I wanted to test it out for myself. From what I've read is that if you put a wooden spoon like this on top of your pot it keeps it from boiling over, well it still boiled over for me, I think it helped a little bit but it didn't stop it completely. More useless information to help you out!

Hurry! Super cheap coffee from Amazon, delivered to your door for free, as low as $3.83 for a bag of whole bean

Get 3 12oz bags of whole bean dark roast for $15.35, if you click subscribe and save it brings it down to $13.05 (select 6 months, remember you are going to cancel after it ships) When you get to check out put in promo code COMMUN92 which will bring it down to $11.51 for 3 bags 12oz of whole bean coffee shipped or $3.83 per bag. Go fast it could change at anytime. Let me know if you have questions, this can be kind of confusing if you haven't done it.

Get 3 12oz bags of Ground Cafe Special Price is $16.15 for 3, select Subscribe and Save option which will bring it down to $13.73. (Select 6 months remember you are going to cancel when it ships) When you get to check out put in promo code COMMUN92 which will bring it down to $12.11 for 3 bags delivered or $4.03 each. Hurry the price could change at any time.

Get a 1 yr subscription to Shape Magazine for only $2.99

Shape Magazine Subscription, $2.99 with Coupon Code:SAVINGS Click Here

Shape Magazine

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Impromptu Orzo Salad meal for less than $5.00

So the dreaded question every night "what's for dinner" I'm usually somewhat prepared, I've taken something out of the freezer or I have something in mind but tonight I was not, so I looked in my pantry and fridge and here's what I came up with.
 Orzo with chicken and vegetable salad
12.5oz Can of Chicken Breast $1.66
Orzo $ .35 I found it at Safeway discounted 50%
Baby Cucumbers $1.00
Grape Tomato's $ .75
Onion $ .10
Salt/Pepper/Parsley Flakes $ .05
Italian Dressing $ .25
Grand Total $4.16
I know there is a million other things I could have added, feta cheese, fresh parsley, but I didn't have those things so I just used what I had, it turned out pretty good and there is leftovers for tomorrow and it turned out to be one of my $5 Meals.

Here's a link to all of our $5 Meals, the whole meal for around $5!

Prepare, print and efile your simple tax return with TurboTax for FREE

I wish we could use this free edition of TurboTax . With TurboTax you'll get your biggest tax refund guaranteed, with 100% accurate calculations and free help and step by step guidance so you are confident your taxes are done right.• TurboTax Federal Free Edition• #1 Rated, Best-Selling tax software brand year after year• FREE preparation, FREE printing, FREE efiling for your simple tax return (when referring to TurboTax Federal Free Edition)• Easily get your biggest tax refund possible, guaranteed*• Free Audit Support Center and live online help• Guides you like a GPS through your simple tax return(when referring to TurboTax Federal Free Edition)
Click Here

A simple painless way to put a few dollars into savings or put more towards debt

What are your money goals for 2012? Pay down debt? Put more in savings or retirement? Start a college fund for your kids? I would have to say mine is to save more and put more in retirement. We are very fortunate and have been able to stay debt free other than our mortgage even with me staying home so I try to stash away every little bit of money that I can, I'm obsessive about saving I honestly get a bigger high from saving than I do from buying things. A simple way to do that is to save all your rebate checks and put them into savings, if you are a couponer like me you might get several rebate checks in the mail every month from various sources. I love getting checks in the mail, when I get them I just hang on to them (not too long because they expire) until I have a few to deposit and then I just put them in savings. I figure I survived that long without the money so I won't miss it. Of course this doesn't work for everybody, maybe your goal is to pay down debt so if that's the case you could use the amount that you get back in rebates every month to pay a little extra towards your debt.

Read Karen's post How I saved over $900 a year just by changing phone, cable and internet.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This is a Smorgastarta! Doesn't it look heavenly?

I don't know if I would ever have the nerve to make this plus I'm too cheap to buy all the ingredients but it looks absolutely divine, I love this kind of food and it is so beautiful to look at. Check out this awesome website I found Panini Happy, she tells you how to make this Smorgastarta plus over 100 awesome panini recipes.

Photo courtesy of Panini Happy

Get Rachel Ray Magazine for $4.99 for 1 Yr

Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine Subscription, $4.99 with Coupon Code: 'EVERYDAY': (Up To 4 Years!) Click Here I love her recipes!

Tanga Magazine Deals

Washington State Winter Weather Insurance Coverage

Hopefully you don't need to use this but in case you do, I found this on www.wadisasternews.com
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has published a comprehensive question and answer sheet on Winter Weather Insurance Coverage. It can be found on the Commissioner’s website at http://www.insurance.wa.gov/consumers/tips/winter_weather.shtml. The office has also set-up a consumer hotline number to report problems with insurance companies. The hotline number is 1-800-562-6900.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Free 8x10 Photo Canvas from Canvas People

You can get a free 8x10 photo canvas from Canvas People or $35 off larger sizes. Just pay shipping and handling which starts around $14.95. I've never had one of these done but I'm thinking this could be a really cool Valentines gift for someone, you could do a cute picture of the Kids for the Grandparents or surprise your Husband with a picture of yourself or even just a family photo from Christmas to put on the wall, I could think of a million ideas for gifts. Check out Canvas People for details or click on the link below.

Cheap music at Amazon

Ok this is a crack up, Amazon has a page of One Hit Wonders for $ .69, who thinks this song is painfully annoying? ......Me!!!!

They've also got  Over 1000 Albums $5.00 each to download This would be a good one:

Feeling Sentimental

Thanks to our wonderful fans for giving support and wishing us well, one of our fans was actually offering us a warm place to stay in our area (Louise you know who you are). There are truly amazing people in this world. We are safe and warm with our power restored, not having things like heat and light really makes you appreciate the simple things in life. I know there are people that go through worse things in our country and in the world so I need to remember how truly lucky I am. I will speak for myself and say I need to be more grateful for the people in my life and the luxuries that I have been able to enjoy, it's easy to complain and whine about trivial things, there are worse things than the cable being out or not having the latest gadget. I hope I continue to use events in my life good and bad as learning experiences and always appreciate the life I have been given.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ok, Don't judge the box wine until you've tried it!

OK I know those of you that drink cringe when you hear the words box wine, believe me I was one of those people until I found Black Box Wine. I have only tried the Cabernet Sauvignon and I love it, each box holds the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine and it stays sealed inside the bag so it doesn't go bad. They also have a Chardonnay and a Merlot that I would like to try. I wouldn't even look at box wine until a good friend introduced me to it and now I'm hooked. I usually pay $16.99 for the box so that comes out to $4.25 per bottle which is unheard of and just an FYI when the spout stops pouring make sure to open the box and take the bag out and "tip it" up to get the remainder of the wine out, you get about 2 more glasses out of it by doing that.

Save money and paper by printing on scratch paper

I hate wasting paper, I have been able to score some good deals on paper but I still try to conserve as much as I can when I'm printing coupons. Do you get these money mailers where you live? It's just a packet of coupons and advertisements for local businesses that comes in the mail, so I save them and print coupons on the back, they are the perfect size. If you really look in your junk mail you can find a lot of paper to print your coupons on. Anybody have more creative ideas to save paper?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Using a whole chicken for multiple meals-Part 3

So now that you have your chicken cut up and you’ve started your chicken stock it’s time to make your meal(s). I enjoy boneless skinless chicken breasts naked, as I like to call them, so I just cooked the breasts up in a fry pan to take for my lunches at work. The meat made about 5 lunches for me.

I’m not a fan of the dark meat or meat with skin or meat on bones but my husband loves it. I fried up the wings in a pan with a bunch of livers that I purchased in the markdown section of the meat department and had stored in the freezer. This may not be appetizing to some but there are many other options to use these parts to your liking.

I had purchased a large package of mushrooms at Costco that I needed to use before they went bad. So I found a recipe to make with the thighs and mushrooms at foodwishes.com . The instructional video is an experiment using only these two main ingredients. The recipe says to use the breasts with the skin on but since I removed the skin from the breasts to make for my lunches I figured I could do the same thing with the thighs/legs.

Preheat your oven to 400. In a Stainless Steel pan (I don’t actually have a stainless steel pan but just make sure you use a pan that can go in the oven) add some oil and add the chicken skin side down. Sear the meat skin side down on medium high until its golden brown only adding salt and pepper. Turn the chicken and add the mushrooms around it. Sautee for approximately 5 minutes.

Put the entire pan into the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches 160 degrees. USING A POT HOLDER remove the pan from the oven and put it back on the stovetop. Remove the chicken and put on a plate covering loosely with a foil tent to allow it to rest. Sautee the mushrooms for 5 minutes on medium heat. REMEMBER THAT YOU PAN HANDLE IS HOT! Add ½ cup water to the mushrooms and stir, scraping the chicken “bits” off the bottom of the pan. When the water has reduced by half, turn off the heat and add 3 Tablespoons butter and the juices that have accumulated from your resting cooked chicken. Stir until the liquids have thickened into gravy. Did I mention your pan handle is HOT?

Voila’ you have chicken and mushrooms with gravy.

There is a reason I mentioned the hot pan multiple times. As I had the stock simmering all day, the breasts cooking in one pan, the wings and liver in another, a counter and sink full of dirty cutting boards and knives, a whining toddler who was arguing with my husband about washing his hands before dinner and finishing the  chicken I had just pulled out of the oven, I grabbed the hot handle and burned my palm and 2 fingers. You’ve got to give me credit though. I wrapped my hand in a wet towel and finished cooking and plating my meal. Tears and all. L

Ultimately the meal was a success and I had lots of leftovers for our lunches the rest of the week.

This is just a few of the many many ways you can use your whole chicken to make multiple meals but the point is I paid $4.52 for the chicken, $1.50 for the livers about $1.00 for the mushrooms and approximately $2.00 for the ingredients to make the stock. I made 7-9 servings for my family plus the stock for $9.52. That’s around $1.19 per serving.

The internet is full of thousands of recipes so try different ways to cook your cut up chicken. That whole chicken can be made into a variety of recipes and multiple meals. It’s a GREAT way to save a few bucks. I did all that on Sunday and we can eat the leftovers all week.

Try something new and let me know how it turns out. Be sure to share the recipe so we all can try it! 

One of the most unique money saving ideas I've ever read!

You've got to read 20 Unique Ways to Save Money. Some of the ideas were really unique, I thought this one was the best, save money by Potty Training your Cat. I don't know why I think this is so funny!

Are you dreaming about being somewhere warm right now? I know I am!

Are you wishing you were somewhere warm and tropical right now? If you've been thinking about a cruise but weren't quite sure, you can get started today with your FREE Vacation Planning DVD from Disney Cruise Line. Click Here I can tell you from experience that cruising is the most fun you could ever have, I've never been on a Disney Cruise but I can imagine that it would be absolutely magical for a child!
Disney Cruise-Planning DVD

Perfect lunch for a cold snowy day

Macaroni and cheese, tuna fish and peas. That covers everything right? You've got your protein, veggie, carbohydrate and a little calcium. What's with kids and mac and cheese, they would eat this for every meal if they could!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Using a whole chicken for multiple meals-Part 2

Part 2 – Making homemade chicken stock with the bones from your chicken

Check out Part 1 – Cutting up a whole chicken to see how I got to this point.

I really wanted to make my own chicken stock. Michelle has done it several times but I never have so this was a great opportunity to use the bones from the chicken along with a few veggies. There are lots of recipe’s you can pull up on the internet. I found one at foodwishes.com that looked fun.

In a stock pot put the leftover chicken bones and parts
1 Onion (the video says leave the skin on for color)
Garlic whole cloves
Celery chunks
Carrot chunks
Bay Leaf

Bring it to a gentle boil (not rolling) and then turn it down. Scoop off all the foam from the top. 
Let it simmer – some recipes said 2 hours, this one says 12. I let it simmer for about 8 hours. I also replaced water that had evaporated throughout the day.

Remove the large pieces and strain out the smaller chunks

You can eat the veggies or use them in another recipe.
Let it cool in the fridge and then skim the fat off the top.

Use right away or put it in freezer safe containers to use at a later date.

Now I have homemade chicken stock in the freezer ready whenever I need it. 

Had to try the 7up biscuits that are all the rage on Pinterest

So if you are on Pinterest (if you don't know what Pinterest don't ask because it's just one more thing that will suck all your free time because it's awesome) anyway if you are, I'm sure you've seen the 7up biscuits pinned a million times and read that they are the best biscuits ever so I had to try to satisfy my curiosity. Here's what you need:
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7up ( I only had sierra mist so I used that)
1/4 cup melted butter
Heat oven to 450
Cut sour cream into Bisquick, add 7up, mix well. Melt butter into 9x9 pan, pour mixture into pan and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Very easy not much to it, use the rest of the sierra mist to make yourself a cocktail! Below is the finished product and it was good but not to die for or the best biscuits ever, not really sure what all the hoopla was about? Maybe it's just me, try it yourself let me know what you think.

Customizable Crockpot

Today is a crock pot kind of day here in Washington, the snow is coming down and not expected to stop. So I was thinking about making something warm and yummy in the crock pot  and I stumbled across this, it's not free or cheap but I thought it was kind of fun. For only $49.99 you can customize your crockpot with family pictures and a cool design, I don't know if I would want to spend $49.99 on a crock pot but it would be a fun gift for Grandma or Mom or anybody who enjoys crock pot cooking.
Here's the link: http://www.crock-pot.com

Here's one that has been customized courtesy of http://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/ this site has a ton of crock pot recipes!

Monday, January 16, 2012

1 Year Subscription to Taste of Home for only $3.99, hurry ends soon!

 Get a Taste of Home Magazine Subscription for only $3.99 for 8 issues with Coupon Code: SAVINGS Click Here  A lot of good ideas and recipes to make delicious dinners at home instead of eating out! Hurry don't miss out, this offer ends January 18
Taste of Home

Genius runs in our family (can you tell)

I'm convinced genius must run in our family, obviously from her Father's side (I'm not worried my husband doesn't even read my posts). So it's our first snow today and here she is on the left enjoying nature's beauty at it's finest in a way only a child could understand . Then rewind to a month ago to the picture on the right when we had our first frost......hmmmmm I'm sensing a theme here. Did we take away the binky too soon? Is she not getting enough to drink? Do we need to see a specialist? Should we move to a warmer climate???


Using a whole chicken for multiple meals

Part 1 – Cutting up a whole chicken

You may have noticed by our posts that Michelle is a much more experienced cook than I. My family has some weird food “issues” and working full time doesn’t leave me much time to experiment with new recipes. Last weekend I made it my mission to do something different. You may know by now that it’s super cheap to buy a whole chicken. I never pay more than $.99 per lb and recently stocked up when they were $.88 per lb. I paid $4.52 for this chicken. I really didn’t know what to do with a whole chicken besides crock pot or baking it. My husband (who has some diet issues that prevents him from eating too much red meat) is getting a little tired of the same old baked chicken.

Although this may seem basic to some, I hope many of you find this information useful.  I really didn’t know how to cut up a whole chicken to make the most of meat. So I started my research online. Through my favorite recipe resource allrecipes.com I found a great video on how to cut a whole chicken, to show me how easy it is. I have some “issues” touching raw meat but thanks to my spic & span latex gloves I got on clearance at Rite Aid for $.25 hee hee, I’m all good. I cut up the chicken per the video instructions and it went relatively well. The skin came off the the breast easily and there were very little areas where you had to cut through the bone. The picture doesn't show the back bones and the wings.. I used those too. Too be continued...



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