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Friday, January 29, 2010

Darcus Tori free earrings

Here is some info on the new freebie from Darcus Tori, plus some offers for 0.99.  You do have to pay shipping, usually $5-$6 per piece, but you can order as many free pieces as you want!

1. Add the earrings to your shopping cart
2. Use promotion code: 0801
3. Click the ADD button to activate the code.
4. Complete checkout.

Pink Diamond Stud Earrings   free!
Ruby Heart Pin   0.99
Heart Toggle Necklace and Matching Earrings  0.99

Monday, January 25, 2010

January grocery shopping

$83.29.  That's what I spent on groceries for this month.  I know, we have the rest of the week, but I don't anticipate hitting the grocery store at all..there is just no room!  I am amazed that although I really tried to 'Cook from my Stockpile' all month, we are still stocked!  My crazy frozen meal run at Target is cramming the freezer(30 Smart Ones meals for under $8 tax included).  We did not eat out as a family(I got a free Arby's once or twice!) so the $84 is accurate!  Amazed!  I made a couple large purchases:  chicken breasts and broccoli & cauliflower, which all got separated and frozen for later use.  I plan to keep doing this...plan meals according to what we have already, and just stock up on basics or freebies as they are available.

Now, my Walgreens & CVS spending...that's a whole other story.  I can overlook my spending there because most has involved rebates, and personal shopping that I'm doing for some friends.

Looking at my Excel Spreadsheet which tracks my savings, in the month of January so far, I have bought $2363 worth of groceries and toiletries.  After coupons, rebates, and personal shopping sales, I have a PROFIT of $, my cabinets are full, and several charities close to my heart got multiple donations!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I heart CVS!

Yes, I finally made my first voyage to CVS...loved it!  They are friendly, helpful, and coupon-friendly!
I got all this for 19.75 oop, but I have 2 items for Try Me Free at 4.99 & 6.99, making my oop 7.77, plus I have 6ecb left to use!  They may convert me from my Waggin ways,lol.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yummm...Fried Rice!

That yumminess is what I had for lunch today!  I am really stuffed because I ate it all!

My plate today was veggies only, but I'll share my recipe from dinner a few nights ago with chicken.
I'll probably never eat Chinese Take-Out again...this was too easy!

Rice, white or brown 1 cup dry
1 lb Chicken breast, cooked and diced(or use beef, pork, shrimp whatever)
1 bag mixed veggies(or broccoli, snow peas, caulilower)
1/2 c diced onion
2-4 T sesame oil
2-4 T soy sauce
garlic, powder or minced
ginger, ground

Having a baby who is very needy, I prepare things in shifts, then everything is ready when dinnertime rolls around.  ince the prep was done, this took about 15 minutes to finalize.  The other day, I baked several chicken breasts, then diced and cooled, separating into bags and freezing.  I used 1 bag for dinner, thawing in the microwave.  I cooked a bag of mixed veggies in microwave for 6 minutes.  I chopped a head of fresh broccoli and steamed in a bowl with 2 T water in the microwave 3 minutes.  I cooked the rice according to directions(1cup dry rice-2 cups water) in the microwave.
While the rice was cooking, I heated a skillet on med-high.  Place a couple T sesame oil, 1/8t ginger, 1/2 t garlic(or to your satisfaction) and a couple T soy sauce in the skillet.  When it's nice and hot, add the veggies, turning in the sauce/oil mixture so it doesn't burn.  Keep stirring for about 3-4 minutes then put all this into a large bowl.  Add just a bit more oil, soy sauce, garlic(ginger if you like), and then the meat;  again, stir to coat the pieces, and heat just til heated through;  put in the bowl with veggies.  The rice should be about done.  Add more oil & soy sauce to the skillet;  when hot, add the rice and stir, stir, stir.  Don't want the rice to stick!  When rice is nicely coated and somewhat 'fried', add to veggies & meat.  Stir these together and serve. 
You could add sprouts, cabbage, egg, mushrooms...I used what I had at hand!  We did NOT have leftovers when I made this!
I will make this again soon, but use noodles instead of rice for a 'lo mein' type dish...yum!  And, this probably only cost about $3 to make!


Apparently at some point in the last year I signed up for a free numerology/horoscope reading.  I got this today via email, and some of it made me think!

2010 Numerology Forecast

Life Path Number 1 : Your PERSONAL YEAR NUBMER IS 4
A Four year has an underlying theme “work and more work”. You have find yourself with so much to do and it is far better to just get on with it in a systematic way rather than chop and change, or allow yourself to become “frozen” with panic.
This is an excellent year to make plans for the future – making decisions using the blending of head (analysis) and the heart (intuition) and learning to trust the process of your life.

Life Path Numbers 2 and 11: YOUR PERSONAL YEAR NUMBER IS 5
A Five year has an underlying theme of “freedom” and is likely to be fast and furious.
You may feel the urge to shake free of restrictions, travel or move your home base (whether relates to your working or spiritual life?). It is a time that you find your voice and perhaps even start singing “What About Me?”
If you develop some creative ideas this year, make them happen, especially if they are to do with business/sales promotion. Don’t expect anything serious to develop on the romantic front, but you are likely to attract the sort of people whom you won’t forget in a hurry.

A Six year has an underlying theme of “home and family” and you may find yourself placing a lot of emphasis on home, responsibility, “duty”, loved ones, relationships and friends.
You may be required to make major decision this year in connection with your stability and future – your foundations for the future. Think with your head more than your heart and you will make the right choice. Decisions to do with real estate are likely to be made this year and this regard, think carefully about where you will be really be happy in the long term instead of just considering things from an impulsive or emotional point of view.

Life Path Numbers 4 and 22: YOUR PERSONAL YEAR NUMBER IS 7
A Seven year has an underlying theme of “reflection” and in many ways it is a difficult sort of year to define.
This is a good year for retreat, learning and inner change rather than a year of major happening. From a love and romantic point of view, there is likely to be inner turmoil created by broken relationships. A word of warning concerning financial & business matters. Anything to do with investment, speculation or starting up any form of business venture is not likely to work out well for you during this period. Watch for a No 8 year and it is likely to purr along nicely.

A Eight year has an underlying theme of “independence and wisdom”. It is also likely to be a prosperous one.
Things won’t just come to you – you have to earned them or be working hard for what you want. This is generally a year of material gain – reward for past efforts, but is also a time to break free of the past and get on with your life.
If you are thinking of starting something new, or changing jobs, take advantage of the opportunities that surface as this year progression but make such decision in a hard-headed way, setting sentiment and emotions aside.

A Nine year has an underlying theme of “Endings” and it is case of coming ready or not. Many changes are set in motion during this year; however, many aspects of those changes will not always be evident until later the following year.
Now is the time to have a spring clean of your life and clear out all the things (and people) that are no longer serving your highest good in life. This is a year of reviewing as well as letting go. Endings in life should be viewed optimistically, because they always preceded new beginnings.
All relationships will be tested during this year and some will survive, but others won’t – don’t worry about this as those that go by the wayside were meant to.

A personal number One year has an underlying theme of “New Beginnings.” Therefore your resolution for this year needs to be “I am willing to change” even if by nature change is not your middle name. This is your year to put fear aside and look to the future with courage. Be your own Knight in Shining Armour and charge off into the sunset saying “It is all positive and I am an original and confident person.”
It is also a good year to make a career change or start a new course of study. Look for those new opportunities and consider your possibilities and pursue something totally new which will bear fruit over the next few years. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your plans. Keep pushing ahead and do what you intuition tells you is right.

A personal number Two year has an underlying theme of “A spiritual growth of sharing and co-operation with others”
This year carries the theme of “partnership”, but you will have to strive to maintain emotional balance and be willing to give and take. Many people find that their personal relationship are tested or challenged during a No 2 year. If you attempt to force things in any relationships or working life, you are likely to become confused and this in turn will cause trouble. Work with time, love and patience and keep things to yourself.
There is a need to be more loving and more accepting of those around you.

A Three year has an underlying theme of “giving” and one must be careful not giving out to the point of exhaustion during such a year.
The outcome of this year is very much in your hands. On a deep level, it is your attitudes that will be most important. If you are determined to have a bit of fun and enjoy good company, you surely will and the year will turn out to be one full of fond memories. Also, consider a change of personal style, such as a new wardrobe, hairstyle etc.
This is also the year in which you could be attending a lot of family type functions such as Coming of Age, Confirmations, Engagements or Weddings.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Salmon Patties

So, my intent was to try Salmon Patties, but due to cooking with a baby on my hip, or whatever I did wrong with the recipe, they did not form patties, so I just did a Salmon 'crumble'.  Again, a reminder that I do not follow recipes nor do I measure anything...consider yourself warned!

Here's the basics:

1 can pink Salmon(recipe called for 2 cans tuna, but I don't do tuna...)
1 6oz box stove top mix
1/3 mayo
couple celery stalks
1/2 shredded cheddar
2 T pickle relish
1/3 c water
1/3 c carrots

So, scratch most of that..I used what I had readily available, and it was tasty...Nice to cook from the stockpile! 

I actually made up my own dressing mix because I don't buy stove-top...I dried some cubed wheat bread in the oven, let it cool, then added sage & thyme.
I took half of that and added it to the flaked, drained salmon.  All the while I was sauteeing the diced onion & celery in a little butter til it was transparent.  I added the relish, sauteed onion & celery, & mayo to the bread & salmon, and I threw some Parmesan in there(sounded good!), stirred it up.  I let this sit in thefridge until my hubby was almost home from work.  I sprayed a pan with nonstick cooking spray,  then I attempted the patties, but upon realizing they were not cooperating, I just tossed all the mix into the pan and cooked til heated through and a little browned, about 6-7 minutes.  I served a couple serving spoonfuls of this on a bed of rice, with  lovely green salad...voila!  Easy, cheap(maybe $3-$4?) and we have leftovers for tonight!  I think for the leftovers I may spice things up, literally, with a bit of chili powder, and maybe throw it back in a skillet for a couple minutes to crisp it up again!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Bought How Much????

A friend forwarded me an Excel Spreadsheet program to track my spending & saving since it's the beginning of the New Year.  I love the program, by the way, and I think it will be very helpful in me getting my spending under control.

Under control.  Ha.  Most of you that 'know' me and my style of shopping, and you know me to not spend money, right?  I total 0.00+tax every time I shop, right?  Yes, you are right.  Problem is, in this state, you are taxed on the pre-coupon price. 

Just to get an idea of my spending habits, I looked through my checkbook ledger for last month.  My many, many transactions added up to almost $150.  Eek!  This was all Walgreens and Target and Homeland, which means 99% of my transactions were $1 or less + tax, many times 0.00+tax.  Figure that out, and it means that I purchased around $1500 worth of items in December 2009...really?  What did I buy? $1500 x 8.517% tax=127.76, which allows me to account for about $20 in after coupon, pre-tax purchases, which is probably pretty close to accurate(I didn't have a coupon to make everything free).

I'm a little speechless.  I'm a little embarassed.  I'm a little impressed(secretly).  Needless to say, I'm going to cut back on my spending a little.  Then again, I look at it this way:  $150/month for groceries and toiletries is great!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

This was a great recipe to use up some items I already had on hand!  Remember, I don't measure things very often, so don't follow it exactly!

approx 1 lb cut chicken breast(you could use raw, but I baked some a few days ago and froze half of it, then used the frozen pieces in this dish) approx 2.00
bag frozen mixed veggies approx 0.99, but I probably used a coupon and got it almost free
several potatoes, cut into chunks approx 0.50(I took a 10# bag I bought for 1.39 and cut up, tossed with oil & salt/pepper, then baked til almost cooked, then separated into meal size portions and froze in bags for later use)
1 can chicken broth 0.69, but I know I used a coupon to get this for free!
1/4 cup flour
1 cup water
salt, pepper, thyme to taste

I threw all of this into the slow cooker and let it cook on high until an hour or two before I was ready to serve dinner.
Then I realized it wasn't very thick and mixed a few more Tablespoons of flour with some more water, and added that and a little more salt & pepper to the pot.
When the mix was hot & bubbly again, I mixed up my biscuits.  You could use storebought, in a can, but I didn't have any, so here is the recipe I used:

Drop Biscuits/dumplings
2 c flour
1 T baking powder
2 t sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 c melted butter
1 c milk

as I melted the butter in the microwave, I mixed together the dry ingredients(you could add some herbs or seasonings to this if you wanted to add a little extra oomph!).  Then I added the butter & milk, stirred until everything was moist but still lumpy. 

Then I dropped spoonfuls of the biscuits into the hot liquid and let them cook about 20 minutes.  You can check to see if the dumplings are done with a toothpick or knife---it should come out clean when ready.
And you can see this was very inexpensive to make, probably less than $5, even counting the flour, butter & milk.  Plus, it will give us about 6 generous servings.