Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I have a problem

My kids' fav: Honey Bun
Yesterday, my Goldfish crackers source sent me a message.

Taking orders for Goldfish BOGO free :-)

What?  You don't have a Goldfish source?

See, I used to be able to get Goldfish crackers for $1/bag.  They would go on sale for that price around here fairly regularly.  Now, the best price I can get is $1.67.  Regular price at my favorite grocery store is $2.39.  Two Thirty-Nine!!  Unacceptable.

So when Goldfish go on sale, my source always checks to see if I'm buying.  And she knows I'm always buying.  My kids love those things.  It's probably a good thing they don't go on sale around here anymore.

So in addition to the four boxes of Raisin Bran Crunch that I bought yesterday and that I have no room for (right now they're sitting on the floor in my bedroom closet), I've got 10 bags of Goldfish coming my way as well.

And I'm seriously contemplating buying more cereal this week.  That deal turned out to be even better than I thought, because the boxes of cereal I bought have free Redbox codes.

I definitely have a problem.


Local friends, you might want to check this one out.

County Market:
Buy 4 boxes of Kellogg's cereal, priced 4/$10.  Look for the boxes with free Redbox codes.  I saw free codes on Raisin Bran Crunch, Raisin Bran, and Frosted Mini-Wheats
Use 4 $1/1 Kellogg's cereal printable (when you redeem points)
If you don't have Kellogg's Family Rewards points, use 2 $1/2 printable coupons (you can print up to 2 of each of these):

Plus use $4/4 coupon from the ad or here (scroll down to the picture of a milk jug).  
Note--this coupon states: Buy Any Four (4) Kellogg's Cereals and SAVE $4.00 on any gallon milk, but the coupon will take off $4 regardless of the price of the milk.  It'll even work without the purchase of milk.  However, with all that cereal, you're going to need some milk, so why not?   :)   
Final price: as low as $0.50 each, plus four free Redbox codes (each worth $1.50) = better than free!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Menu plan for the week of...not sure on the date, but it's the second-to-last week of school

Y'all!  We have so much food in our house!  The fridge is full.  The freezer is full.  The other freezer is full.  The "pantry," which is really a closet in the hallway, but it's labeled "pantry" on the blueprints, so we'll pretend that's what it is, is full.  I know.  First world problems.  We are incredibly blessed to be able to eat whenever we want to.  But in an effort to reduce our abundant food stores, which have expanded to fit the available space and are threatening to invade unavailable space, this week I'm only buying produce, milk and orange juice.

And a few deals that are just so amazing I can't pass them up.

I know.  I have a problem.  I just can't help myself.  When I can get Raisin Bran Crunch for $0.50 a box, I'm going to do it, regardless of whether I have the space for it.

We have so much food, and yet, according to my kids, there's never anything to eat.  Hmmm. Wonder how that works.

In other news, it's the second-to-last week of school.  It snuck up on me again.  It happens every year, but somehow, every year, I'm surprised.

I am soooo not ready for summer.  And those teachers aren't doing nearly as good a job of keeping me distracted from the fact that I'm staring down 12 solid weeks of togetherness with my kiddos.  Love 'em.  But you know how they say absence makes the heart grow fonder?  Truth.

Anyway, even though I'm not buying much food this week, we will eat things, including...

Zucchini Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing | In Johnna's Kitchen
Zucchini "pasta" salad with creamy avocado dressing from
In Johnna's Kitchen

 The Best Low-Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe
The Best Low-Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust from
Gimme Delicious Food


Monday, May 18, 2015

Menu plan for the week of May 18

I was going to say that it's getting to be the time of year where I start thinking about making meals that do not require heating up the oven.  But the weather has been so sporadic that it's hard to say one day to the next whether or not I'm going to want to have that extra heat in my kitchen.  Luckily, pretty much anything that cooks in the oven can be made on the grill or in a slow cooker (love mine!), so even though I'm planning some oven meals this week, they can be easily adapted to not heat up my house.

You'll notice I'm planning to make donuts this week.  That's because the 1st Friday in June is national donut day.  (OK, why does my spell-check think "donuts" is OK, but not "donut"?  Personally, I think doughnut is how it should be spelled, but popular American usage dictates that donut be used...) 


You may have noticed that the 1st Friday in June does not occur during the week of May 18.

If you don't believe me, take a look at a calendar.  I'll wait.  Back?  OK.

So, considering that the 1st Friday in June is not this week, you may be wondering why I'm making donuts now (if you are not wondering why I am making donuts this week, you are my people).

The reason I'm making donuts this week is that the 1st Friday in June also happens to be the last day of school for my kiddos this year.  That week is going to be crazy busy, so I'm putting it on the schedule this week in the hope that I'll get to it in the next two weeks.  If you also want to make donuts for national donut day, but are feeling intimidated, try this super easy recipe.

We've got activities this week, sometimes needing to be in more than one place at once, but thankfully, they're all later in the evening, so I can cook like a normal person (if there is such a thing) this week.

Here's what's on the menu this week:



What are you eating this week?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

This is how cheap I am: cute napkin edition

Little known fact: last year, one of my very favorite sisters in law gave me cute napkins every month.  She even matched the napkins to the month, which is actually kind of difficult to do for months like September and May.  

This is why she's one of my favorites: she knows what makes me happy.  It's the little things.  These monthly gifts made me so happy that this year, I'm doing the same for someone else.  Only different.  I'm not sure if she's caught on yet, which also makes me happy :)

Anyway, cute napkins.  Love them.  However, since there are usually 18 per package, cute napkins will last our family for less than 4 meals.  That makes me sad (it's a roller coaster of emotion when it comes to cute napkins over here).  So here's what I do.  I cut them in half.

I do!  I really do.  I unfold once, then cut along the fold, so instead of 4 squares of napkin, each person gets only 2.  I've found this is plenty for our family's needs.  Unless we have tacos, in which case this is plenty for 4/5 of our family's needs.  I'm good at many things, but eating tacos without getting them all over myself is not one of them.

In this way, that package of cute napkins will last for at least 7 family meals.  

You might have noticed I said they will last for at least 7 family meals.  'Cause here's what else I do.

Summer Pool Party Luncheon Napkins
If the napkins aren't used (which happens more frequently around our dinner table than it should), I put 'em back in the pile to be used for the next meal.  

I cut my paper napkins in half and I reuse them.  Yup, true confessions, here.  And just in case it makes you sad to use up the last of the cute napkins, a handy tip.  My public service for the day.
Soccer Luncheon Napkins : The Party Cupboard

A slightly more well-known fact (because I posted it to facebook, which confused some people): that same one-of-my-favorites sister in law recently sent me rocks.  In the mail.

That's how I know she loves me.  Love her, too.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Menu plan for the week of May 11

I picked up my order from Zaycon Fresh on Saturday, which means I have almost 40 pounds of 93% lean ground beef in my freezer right now.  Accordingly, I'm going to be making big batches of spaghetti sauce and taco seasoned meat this week to put in the freezer.  Because really, if you're going to eat spaghetti 6 times (and, let me assure you, we will be eating spaghetti more than 6 times in the next several months), why make 6 messes when you can just make one?  It's not that much more work to just sextuple a recipe.

Of course, some of you would say, why make a mess at all, when you can use Ragu?  The answer?  Because homemade sauce tastes so much better.  And you're still making a mess with Ragu.  You have to heat it up.

Anyway, I've gotta tell ya, I'm super impressed with Zaycon Fresh so far.  In case you're not familiar, Zaycon Fresh offers a range of fresh foods (mostly meat) to over 1,200 locations nationwide, direct from the farmer, or as near direct as they can get it.  The "catch" is, they only sell by the case, so you're committing to 20-40 pounds of meat at a pop.  Oh, and you also have to pick up your meat from the back of a truck in a parking lot, which some people might find a little strange.  

The driver yesterday was very polite and efficient.  I didn't even have to get out of my car (I did get out, but I didn't need to)--I just drove through the cones set up near the truck, stopped, and popped the trunk.  The whole operation took less than a minute.  The ground beef seems to be good quality as well, and the price was excellent.  Oh, and the weight was accurate, which I can't always say about my grocery store meat.  Yes, I weighed my meat when I got it home.

If you want in on high quality meats for low prices, check it out.  Right now, Zaycon Fresh has 93% lean ground beef, boneless applewood smoked ham, bacon, pork sausage links, hamburger patties, and boneless skinless chicken breasts for sale.  I've already placed my chicken order for June.  Can't get much better than $1.69 a pound.

In the meantime, here's what's on the menu this week:

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas from Jo Cooks
  • Chicken fajita quesadillas, roasted broccoli
  • Hot dogs & brats with buns, green stuff, grilled broccoli
  • Spaghetti or spaghetti squash with meat sauce, salad, green beans
  • Taco seasoned meat with tortillas and taco toppings
  • Pizza and cauliflower crust pizza (I'm making individual crusts and will freeze the extras), carrots, salad
  • Cub Scout year-end celebration 
  • Grilled bone-in chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies

Reese's Easy Freezer Friendly Oatmeal Cookies
Reese's Oatmeal Cookies from Mom on Timeout
What's on your menu this week?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Non-menu plan for the week of May 4

Well, y'all, it's starting to get busier.  Our spring sports have started up, and we're already getting the notices for end of the school year festivities.  That, coupled with some unplanned excitement over the weekend, has derailed my schedule, and I decided to go with a non-menu plan for this week.

I pick up our ground beef (from Zaycon Fresh*--check it out.  Very reasonable prices on high quality meats, for instance, boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.69/lb and 93/7 ground beef for $4.49/lb) on Saturday, so this week, I'll be using up as much of the freezer contents as I can to make room.

Zaycon Fresh

Said freezer contents, which may or may not make their way to our table this week, include chicken casserole with mashed potato topping, hot dogs and brats, taco seasoned beef/turkey, and bone-in chicken breasts.

I'm also hoping to make some kind of cookies, mini chocolate chip muffins, and chocolate frozen yogurt this week.  Yes, I know that I'm trying to make room in the freezer, and frozen yogurt will take up space in the freezer.  I just feel the need to make frozen yogurt, regardless of the consequences in the freezer-space arena.  Since my schedule has been derailed, it might not happen anyway.

My friends, it is possible that this is the beginning of sporadic summer menu-plan posts.  I was hoping to be consistent until much closer to the end of school, but this might be it.  Consider this fair warning.

What's on your menu this week?

*Referral link.  If you sign up through this link, and then order something, I will get a small credit to use on my next order, at no extra charge to you.  Thanks for supporting this site!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The House on Moody Avenue: A Review

I recently read The House on Moody Avenue, the ebook edition.  After reading the book, I honestly couldn't tell you what it's supposed to be about, so here's what Amazon has to say on the matter:
An eclectic assortment of humanity, with all their foibles and failings, lived in the house on Moody Avenue over a period of ninety years. I tell their stories. Lisette, her unshakable faith sustaining her, is undeterred in the face of adversity; Julia, a social-climbing snob, sees her world crumble when her children marry inappropriately; Clarence, a Casper Milquetoast bank clerk, absconds with a quarter of a million dollars; Frances, a country girl, comes to the big city to marry a rich man; Sammy, a black man, passes for white. Beatnik squatters, high on LSD, burn down the condemned ninety-year-old house, leaving it naught but a precious memory in the hearts of those who once sought its shelter.
I did not care for this book.  Considering that the unifying "character" throughout was supposed to be the house, it seems like the author could have done a better job developing the house's character.  I enjoyed the first story, of Lisette and her, but as the book progressed I found myself less and less engaged in the stories--I just didn't care, and I couldn't figure out what the author was doing and what the point was.  I kept reading, because I thought for sure the author would continue themes or characters or storylines in each section of the book, but no.  This was just a bunch of unrelated characters with random things happening to them.

Bottom line: skip this one.

I received this book for free from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe: A Review

If you could ask, and God would answer, one question, what would it be?  

After separating from her NFL player husband, Chelsea Chambers has come home with her 2 children to reopen her mother's coffee shop.  When her hard work, coffee and cupcakes fail to pay the bills, Chelsea finds herself in need of a miracle, which arrives on her doorstep in the form of an angel disguised as a competent, but clumsy and socially awkward employee.

Unknown to Chelsea, a battle for her soul is being waged supernaturally.  Chelsea's guardian angel has a plan to save her.  A bold plan.  A plan that's never been done before: the God blog.  Mysterious strangers show up to install free wifi in the coffee shop, but customers can only connect to one website: the God blog.  On the God blog, people can ask a question of God, one per customer.  Soon, business is booming at the coffee shop, and it seems like everyone will live happily ever after.  Until another disaster strikes.

The book started slow.  It was, to tell the truth, kind of hokey, but I kept reading, and I'm so glad I did.  After a few chapters, the story pulled me in and wouldn't let me go.  The storyline requires suspension of unbelief, but the characters are likable and real.  What really drew me in to the book was the concept of spiritual warfare constantly swirling around the characters, and the incredible lengths God's angels will go to protect God's people.

Bottom line: once you get over the hokey-ness, reading this uplifting story is like getting a hug from God.

I received this book from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

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