Tag Archive | convinence

Earth Day 2012~ a new beginning for us

There was a time a few years ago that we were extremely frugal. During the early recession years, my husband’s business barely existed at all. We were barely making it by. Well in the last two years are business has picked back up a little more every year. There was a time when I would see my husband watching TV everyday to now when I barely see him because he is working SO much. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining!

But with the increase in income has come the decrease in frugality. We buy fast food all the time. We buy little snacks and toys for the kids every time we’re out. I use to be very good about reducing waste but that seems to have stopped also. We are big recyclers around here but that is limited to newspaper, bottles, cans and cardboard, even though we can recycle more.

Grocery shopping use to be extremely tight. I fed a family of 7 for about $400 a month, that was 4 adults and 3 little kids. Now I have 3 adults, 3 teens and a toddler and can’t seem to spend less than $600. I want to get back to homemade and less processed no matter how good of a deal it is.

So beginning Earth Day 2012 our family is making changes!

I am stepping up our recycling to include envelopes, cans and anything else I can recycle.

I am pledging more homemade and less processed.

I am also going to try homemade cleaners to reduce the amount of chemicals in my home.

Reduce energy use. Less drying clothes in the dryer. Less wasting water. Lights out in an empty room (that’s mostly my kids). Open windows on a nice day. And push the air up a few more degrees and set out fans instead.

Less paper plates. I have to admit we use paper plates every day for lunch and sometimes for dinner or breakfast depending on what we are having.

We are also bad about wasting food. I always make too much and then most leftovers get thrown out. I am trying to work on reusing them in other recipes and not throwing out so much.

This is a huge challenge since a lot of this falls on me and with a family of 7 nothing is ever easy but I am ready and really excited to get started!

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The price of cereal! Outrageous!!!

Yesterday I decided that I wasn’t going to cook. We had leftovers and plenty of things to eat. We little did I know that my kids were going to devourer a brand new box of Frosted Flakes that I just bought yesterday morning!

1 box of cereal + 4 kids= EMPTY

That was $5 they just gobbled up in one meal! I was shocked!

Shocked that my kids eat like they haven’t had a meal all day!

Shocked that my $5 was gone so quickly!

Shocked that I spent $5 on ONE box of Frosted Flakes, which if you ask me is pure sugar!

When I was venting to hubby, he says well use coupons! Seriously did you just say that to me!!! I questioned his sanity at this point, since he tells everyone I am the coupon queen. If looks could kill, Hmph!

I then informed him that a coupon that says a dollar off of 2 or 3, which seems to be the new cereal trend, isn’t saving a whole lot at $5 a box!!!

Even with BOGO sales it is still expensive when a whole box is gone in ONE meal!

Then it made me question why are we buying $5 boxes of sugar? Why am I buying them if they eat it in one sitting? Because if I don’t then I have to listen to complaining! I personally HATE cereal, always have and always will. But my hubby and kids~ obsessed and will eat 3 times a day if I let them.

So that is why I chose to keep buying $5 boxes of sugar.

And will continue to complain when it last 5 seconds after hitting my front door.

And complain about the coupons sucking.

But the prices of cereal are still OUTRAGEOUS!!

 

Recipe~Baked oatmeal

I found this AMAZING oatmeal recipe.  I have been making this for years and it is a no fail recipe. The best part is it is just a basic recipe. You can add extras to turn it into your favorite flavor of package oatmeal. Whatever strikes your mood, I added grated apples to the recipe and it was so good!

Oatmeal~

3 cups of quick cooking oats

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 stick of butter, melted

2 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

Sprinkling of Cinnamon to your liking

Any other add ins you would like

Combine all ingredients, including add ins or add them after baking which ever you prefer. Mix well. Pour into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until set. Immediately spoon into bowl and add milk.

After I add milk I personally like to warm it up for 15 seconds in the microwave but others in my family don’t. It’s all a preference! Which is what makes this recipe so good!

I have been MIA

Life has been crazy outta control around here, as does happen with a large family. We’ve had busy schedules with the kids, crazy work schedules with the hubby and all kinds of housework. Plus homeschooling and then a few unexpected turn of events in life have cause me to keep putting off blogging. BUT I”M BACK!!!!!

And in my absence I have been testing products, recipes  and creating up a storm!

I think when I started this blog I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in. I have so many things I could make this blog about. But in the end I think it is best to stay true to me and my family.

I love my family and being a mom.

I love cooking in every form, trying recipes and creating new ones.

I love being frugal, couponing and getting free stuff.

I love trying new products that I got very cheap or free from various companies.

So these are all things you will find on my blog.

I am NOT going to be posting deal after deal like you see on other blogs because I don’t have that much time. I totally respect the other bloggers that do that but its not me.

So I hope you will continue to follow me and enjoy everything I have to offer!

Jeanette

UPDATE~ Product Trial Batter Blasters

After my post I emailed the company to let them know about the defect. They were very apologetic and said that this does happen from time to time because of mishandling during shipping or stocking the shelves. But have offered to send me 2 VIP coupons. I thought this more than makes up for the half of can wasted.

So in the end I give this company an A+ for good tasting pancakes and amazing customer service!

Shopping to feed the tribe…How do I do it?

So we are awful with staying on a budget, but when it comes to food, I think I am finally getting the hang of it. For the longest time I would shop at just Walmart, then all those reports came out about the milk and what not so I quit. And then I was shopping at Sweetbay, but lets just say I found something in my pork chops one day that just totally grossed me out. So I shopped at Publix for a couple of years. But they are the most expensive grocery store in our area. Now I shop for the majority of my groceries at BJ Wholesale.

Another thing I do is Coupon! Yes, I am one of those people with the notebook trying to score cheap to free items. But in this economy and with a large family you have to stretch your money in all places. Couponing is amazing. No, I don’t go all Extreme Couponing and buy 200 bottles of mustard; just to realize we don’t eat mustard. No, I can’t get my total down from $2000 to a penny. But what little bit I use saves me in the long run and over time adds up to be huge.

But how do I combine my coupons with a wholesale club?

BJ’s accepts coupons! They even mail you out store coupons every month to use with manufacture coupons. Plus at the store they have more store coupons that get switched out every 2 weeks. Saving you even more. I also upgraded my membership to the plus which allows me to receive 2% back on certain purchases~ food one of them. Every 6 months I receive a gift card with my rebate. And with the amount I spend I actually get my membership free with the 2% back.

Now the upfront out of pocket may seem crazy, $10.99 for 4 packages of bacon. But when you break it down. The best deal I can get from the local stores is 3 for $10 and this is rare. For an extra $0.99 I got that 4th package of bacon. Enough for a month or more depending on our bacon cravings. Milk, eggs, butter and oj are a few items that are always cheaper and they sometimes put coupons out for those items also. Very rare with a regular grocery store. They have an amazing organic selections. I have organic spices for $3-5 for a huge bottle!

Non-food items are also a better deal. I originally started shopping here because we had just added little man to our tribe and was looking for diaper deals. Every month you can count on some kind of diaper coupons in the monthly savings book. And a lot of the diaper boxes have manufacture coupons that you can use combined for the next time. I always get about $5 to $10 off a big box of diapers which is priced about the same as a smaller box at Walmart. My printer ink is a much better deal also instead of the 2 for $70; I am getting 3 for $70. They just started offering Forever Stamps at a discounted rate. I just recently started filling up the gas tank when I am there because again $0.30-$0.50 cheaper. And propane tanks are $5 cheaper for a refill.

More money out of pocket upfront but the items last longer and break down to be cheaper. Why am I going to go the store to buy toilet paper every month and pay a $1 more a package, when I can buy the industrial package store it, pay less in the long run and not have to buy more for a few months?

Product Review~ Batter Blasters

This morning I decided to try out my Batter Blasters. This is a product I wouldn’t normally buy due to my large family. But I saw a buy one get one (BOGO) deal plus had coupons making it a dirt cheap deal. So I thought “why not, sounds like fun.”

For those of you who don’t know what Batter Blasters are, they are pancake or waffle batter in a Redi-Whip type spray can. The price for one can is about $3.99. With my BOGO deal and coupons, I was able to get 2 cans for $1.99. But was it worth it?

The directions on the can state to shake can, turn upside down and push nozzle to spray batter on hot griddle or skillet.

I did this but the can didn’t state how much to put on the griddle so in my opinion the pancakes turned out a little small compared to what I usually make.

Another thing, the batter didn’t bubble up the pancake batter usually does, telling you it is time to turn so the first batch came out a little too dark for most of my family. Thank God for Bri who likes them dark!

I have 7 people in the house to feed breakfast too. So I didn’t think 1 can would be enough with the pancakes being smaller.  SO I got out the second can.

Half way through the second can, disaster struck! The spout wouldn’t quit spraying out batter and then it started sputtering and then it burped and then died. The spout wouldn’t do anything. I lost half a can of batter because of a packaging default.

The good news is while the can was uncontrollably spewing batter I moved the batter along the griddle enough to make my lil man a hummingbird pancake. He was thrilled!

In the end, the pancakes tasted good but the batter was very sticky and hard to flip over. The cans were fun until the volcano erupted then disappointing because my money went in the garbage. The pancakes came out significant smaller causing my large family to eat more and the leftovers were much less than if I made my homemade pancakes.

For my family this deal was not worth it. Maybe if I had younger kids, but I have 1 teenager and 2 preteens that eat like horses. So batter blasters is one item I won’t be buying again.