Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: traveling back from Chicago- eat on the road

Tuesday: Falafel with cucumber sauce, tomatoes with feta

Wednesday: Spanish Rice and Beans

Thursday: Arugula Salad with fresh tomatoes, roasted garlic and parmesan, pan-fried Parmesan Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Risotto

Friday: Chicken Piccata, slow cooker potatoes and onions cooked in olive oil a la Uncle Angelo, salads

Saturday: Bacon and Tomato Pasta, romaine salad, Apple Pie

Sunday: Chicken in Sour Cream made with homemade onion soup mix ( I use very low sodium beef bouillon), Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Basil in Balsamic Vinagrette

Day care snacks:

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Hundreds more menu plans found here!

Monday, August 30, 2010

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

By: Diane O'Brian

How you choose to budget your money can differ just as each person’s preference for egg preparation. But I believe in the importance of having a budget. Setting a budget is the first step to saving money. If you don’t know how much you spend on what, then it is really hard to know where all of your money goes. There are many money management programs that can help you budget your money.

To figure out how you like your eggs, I mean budget programs, here are some guidelines:
• Check reviews in computer magazines and on the Internet to narrow your choices.
• Compare features and prices of programs. Free programs can work as good as the ones that have a cost.
• Stick with the basic versions of programs unless you want to use a program to monitor investments.
• Compare planning and budgeting features in each program.
• Find out which program your bank recommends or requires if you wish to integrate with your bank.
• Compare options for exporting your information.
• Compare ease of use.

Here is a list of some free money management programs:
Money Manager Ex (Windows and Linux)
MS Office templates (MS Office Suite or Open Office)
GnuCash (GNU/Linux, *BSD, Solaris and Mac OSX)
Pear Budget (all platforms)
Buddi (all)
Wesabe (online)
Mint (online)

I can’t speak from personal experience about any of these programs except mint.com. This is the money management site that my husband and I use. It is free, easy to use after initial setup, accessible from any computer with a login, and secure (according to my tech husband). Prior to mint, I had created a customized excel spreadsheet for my budget-Mint is a lot less leg work. I guess I like my eggs over easy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Today's Finds, Honey Baked Chicken, Corn and Tomato Pie, and Calzones

Best deals this week: Cheerios for $0.48 a box, V8 Juice for $2, Muir Glen tomato paste for $0.19, Good Start Formula for $9.99 (on sale at BRU for $19.99 minus $10 manufacturer coupon).

Goodwill finds: five pairs of 2T and 3T pants, one pair of shorts, five 3T shirts for fall, all for $22. I also found a play construction helmet for $1.29. The majority of these were Gap, Gymboree, and The Children's Place, with a few Osh Kosh pants.

Honey Butter Glazed Carrots (using dairy-free margarine of course)

Honey Baked Chicken. Easy and delicious. Also made dairy-free.

Uncle Angelo's marinara sauce. Now have a couple quarts in the freezer for future use. The secret is the wine.

Calzones with Uncle Ang's sauce.

This was so, so very good. Summer Corn and Tomato Pie. Make it now while there are still farm fresh tomatoes and corn! Biscuit topping and savory inside. Very buttery and rich, and absolutely amazing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Deal Roundup

One month of Proactiv for $4.

FREE Pilot Frixion Pens at Walgreens.

B1G1 Athenos Feta. This is usually pretty expensive, so a good deal!

Rent textbooks at Barnes and Noble. Wish they had this when I was in college.

FREE Purex sheets in Walgreens.

List items for free on Ebay through September 7th.

40% off Old Navy kids through tonight!

FREE Campbell's Soup at Target.

Enormous list of current FREEbies!

Subscribe to Parents for $4.69. They often have great amazon.com diapers coupons.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Deal Roundup

FREE 8 x 10 collage at Snapfish.

$5 off $15 at Fridays.

80% off at Restaurant.com through today.

$10 Target Gift Card with new or transferred prescription.

Office Depot: crayons, pencils, glue, and 2-pocket folders for $0.25.

Staples: Hammermill Copy Paper for $0.01 after rebate, Electric pencil Sharpener for FREE (regular $15.99), notebooks for $0.01.

Kroger: 10 SoBe Lifewaters for FREE, Betty Crocker Warm Delights for FREE, General Mills Cereal for $0.48 a box, Chex Mix $0.49, Country Crock $0.20

Kroger: Carefree Pantiliners $0.50, Dial Bar Soap or Hand Soap $0.30, Right Guard Deodorant FREE, Bumble Bee Tuna $0.49, Del Monte Tomatoes $0.79, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls $0.69 each, Smart Balance Sour Cream $0.49

Kroger: Cascadian Farm Cereal $0.99, Sunny D $0.09, Nature Valley Granola Bars $0.29, notebooks $0.15

Meijer: Jimmy Dean Sausage $1.27, Lean Cuisine 6 for $8 plus FREE Market Creation Dinner, Dole Salad Blend $1, FREE Aunt Millie's Buns, Meijer Shredded Cheese $1.50, Malt-o-Meal Cereal $0.79, Rice-A-Roni $0.80 (or make this homemade version for much less!), Mount Olive Pickles $0.42, Planters Peanuts $1.50, Breakstone Sour Cream $0.49, Mayfield Ice Cream FREE after rebate.

Meijer: FREE Crystal Lite, Barilla Pasta $0.64

CVS: FREE Blink Tears, FREE Zegerid OTC, FREE Crest Pro-health products, Purex 3-in-1 Sheets $0.99, Head and Shoulders Shampoo $1, Tide 2x Ultra $7.96, Pop Tarts $1.17, M & Ms $0.26, FREE Right Guard, FREE Pilot Pens

Walgreens: Pantene Hair Care $3, Head and Shoulders $0.50, M & Ms $0.16, Campbell's Cream of Chx or Msh Soup $0.29, FREE Strident Gum, Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaner $0.75

FREE 2-year subscription to Bridal Guide Magazine

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: both working late, Homestyle Mac N Cheese free from Kraft First Taste. Shall I be daring and add SPAM?

Tuesday: Falafel with Cucumber Sauce, Sliced Tomatoes

Wednesday: Honey Lemon Marinated Chicken, Chicken Seasoned Noodles, fresh veggie crudites

Thursday: Tomato Bisque, Green Salad with Julia Child's Vinagrette

Friday: Mujadarah, cucumbers

Saturday: Veggie Cheese Wraps, Beer Bread

Sunday: Chicken in Homemade Crescents, Carrots

Treats: Oatmeal Banana Bread (I used dairy free trans-fat free maragarine for half the shortening, and applesauce for the other half)

Homemade Popcorn with Orville Redenbacher Kettle Corn Seasoning


Hundreds more menu plans here!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, and Parmesan

Tuesday: working til 9PM, simple Toasted Cheese

Wednesday: Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes, Honey Baked Chicken

Thursday: working late again after Dr appt, Sloppy Joe in slow cooker

Friday: Corn Chowder

Saturday: Pasta With Bacon and Tomato

Sunday: Spanish Rice and Beans

Snacks: Banana Oatmeal Bread, grapes, strawberries in soy yogurt

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Birthday to You!

By: Diane O'Brian

In honor of my husband’s birthday this month I decided to put together a list of all the restaurants he will (hopefully) be getting free food from. What better gift than free food on or around your birthday!

To receive all offers listed below (unless noted otherwise) you must first sign up for their e-club. All items listed below are free-no purchase necessary, with the exception of the BOGO entrees.

b'd's Mongolian Grill- The word on the web is that it's a free stir-fry

Benihanna- BOGO entree

City Bar-b-que-Free dessert

Coldstone Creamery-Free scoop

Fazoli’s- Free dessert

First Watch-Free entrée

Graeters Ice Cream- Free scoop (no e-coupon, but must show ID)

mccormick and schmick's –If you own a preferred customer card you will get a credit for a free entrée for that month. You may also get emailed a free dessert.

Moe’s Southwest Grill-free burrito

Noodles and Co.-Free entrée

Qdoba-BOGO burrito

Red Robin-Free burger

Ruby Tuesday- Free burger

Starbucks-Free drink

There are many other offers available with purchases, so if there is a restaurant you frequent, or plan to visit on your b-day, it may be worth it to see if that restaurant has an e-club.

Also, don’t hesitate to mention to your waiter/waitress that it is your birthday and ask if they offer a discount or free dessert. You may get a pleasant surprise!

Please note that this is a current list as of 8/2010 but offers could change or vary depending on where you live.