Saturday, June 29, 2013

Orange Chicken

I love it when I can find new and tasty recipes.
I love it even more when they are simple and easy to prepare.
The beauty of this dish is that it can be prepared two different ways, depending on how much time you have to spend in the kitchen or just what method you prefer!
Options, people. How great is that?!?


3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2/ Orange Marmalade
1 TBSP soy sauce

Crock Pot option:
Place chicken in crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5.
Cook chicken alone, in it's own juices
After the time is up, drain the excess juices
Mix together the sauces and marmalade, pour over chicken.
Cook in crock pot an additional 30 minutes.
Serve warm with side of Fried Rice.

Skillet option:
Cook cubed chicken in skillet until no more pink.
In a medium sauce pan mix together other ingredients
Transfer cooked chicken into sauce mixture and let simmer about 5-10 mins or unitl heated all the way through.
Serve warm with side of Fried Rice.
Super yummy dinner, my hubby asks for this all the time and I have no problem making it since it's so easy! I love having the option of planning ahead and letting it cook all day in the crock pot, or whipping it up really quick on the stove.
Plus we have totally cut down our ordering of Chinese takeout!
Hope you all enjoy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Get paid to Shop?!?!

A while back, I stumbled on something that is "Super Duper Awesome"
( words my 2 year old would use)
The wonderful world of Ebates. 
Ebates is an awesome "cash back" site that pays YOU for shopping online.
They offer percentages of cash back for shopping at certain stores.
For example right now, they are offering 2.5% cash back at Carters
and 2/0% back at Old Navy.
If you are going to shop online, you might as well make money doing it!
All you have to do is go to first and then just search the
store that you want to buy from.
You can even use Amazon which right now is offering up to 3.0% cash back!!!
So, head on over to Ebates right now to get signed up and start
making yourself some money!
I know that I am using all the money I am getting back for
 Christmas shopping this year!
Please use this link so that I can get credit for referring you :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cleaning your Dishwasher

I'll be the first to admit that when I first got married, I didn't know all the things that went into being a good housewife.  Sure, I had watched my own mother do it for years. I had done my fair share of chores and jobs around the house. But I really didn't know about the nitty gritty, the maintenance, the behind the scenes jobs, ect.
Like cleaning your dishwasher, for example. 
I had no idea that it was something that needed to be clean. I mean, it does the cleaning!
But food, gunk, and who knows what else can build up over time. This can cause your dishwasher to not clean as efficiently and cause grime and spots to appear on your dishes or leave them not as clean as you would like.
So about once a month I will run my dishwasher through it's own wash cycle. It's super easy to do and will get your dishwasher back in tip top shape!
1. In a dishwasher safe bowl, place about 2 cups vinegar and place on the top shelf.
2. Sprinkle about 1 cup baking soda all over the bottom of the washer.
3. Turn it on the hottest setting and let it go through a wash, empty of any dishes.
4. Once the wash is done I will take a cloth and wipe down the sides, bottom, and outside of the dishwasher.
5. Step back and enjoy your sparkling washer and cleaner dishes!



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Freezing Grapes

Sometimes there are good deals, and sometimes there are GREAT deals. 
This week ( June 18-22) Red Seedless Grapes: 

This deal is going on at Rancho Markets ( located in several locations across the Salt Lake Valley).  Instead of driving on down to Rancho, I stopped at my local Walmart and price matched them. Since the deal was so good, I bought several bunches of grapes. 
They were priced at 1.98 per lb at Walmart so I saved 75% on grapes today!!!! 
When prices are this good, I always buy a little more than I normally would. But I don't want my produce to go bad. 

Did you know you can freeze grapes? 
Yep, you can. 

1. Wash grapes
2. Dry grapes and pick off vine.
3. After they are completely dry lay them flat on a cookie sheet and place into freezer. This is so they freeze individually and don't clump together
4. Once completely frozen, transfer to a ziploc freezer bag.
5. Grapes should keep for 2-3 months. ( If you can make them last that long!)

Learning to freeze food is one of the best ways that you can save money. 
Plus with all this hot summer weather, a handful of frozen grapes sounds like the perfect healthy, refreshing treat that I need! 

Hope you enjoy! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches

There is nothing I love better than an easy to throw together dinner. 
Especially one that is made from yummy fresh ingredients. 
So if you are looking for a quick, yummy, summer dinner 
then look no further! 

2-3 chicken breasts 
2 green peppers (sliced)
1 medium onion (sliced)
favorite seasoning ( I just used Lawry's) 
dash of onion powder 
provolone cheese 

Place butter in bottom of crock pot. Place sliced onions then 1 sliced bell pepper. 
Layer chicken on top. Sprinkle with seasonings. 
Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high 2-3 
When done cooking shred chicken and serve on buns and top with Provolone cheese ( and since I like a little added crunch I will add the rest of the uncooked green pepper on top)

recipe  adapted from  Food Family Finds 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Deal this week!

0.19 each? Are you kidding me! This is an amazing deal and one of the very many reason why I love price matching so much.
There are some great deals going on this week and this is just one of them.
*Cucumbers 0.12 @ Rancho Market
*Fuji Apples 0.49 lb @ Rancho Market
*Red Seedless Grapes 1.29 lb @ Winegars
*Store Brand Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (Fresh) 1.89lb @ Lees Market
*Nutella 13 oz 2.99 @ RiteAid.
These were just my favorite finds for the week.
To see where I get my price matching list click here if you live in Utah.
To see how much you should be spending click here.
If you are new to price matching and deal shopping click here to see tips and tricks to take the stress out of it.
Happy Shopping!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 6/10-6/15

I'm a little late getting this up because I was a little late planning my weekly menu.
I usually have my menu planned by Thursday or Friday for the following week so that I can get my shopping done by Saturday.
For whatever reason, last week totally got away from me and I am just now planning my menu!
Better late than never!

Monday: Salsa Chicken
Tuesday- Orange Chicken/Fried Rice
Wednesday- Bubble Up Pizza
Thursday- Sloppy Joes
Friday- Crock Pot Chicken Philly Sandwiches
Saturday- Date night

Here's to hoping that everyone has a fabulous week and don't forget to head over to OrgJunkie to check out other awesome menu's from today's link-up!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Confession. This recipe comes from the minds of my little sister and a group of 14-15 year olds.
Another confession. It's freaking yummy!
It came about from a young men/young women's activity.  They were split into groups and given a few food items and had to come up with a dinner. This pizza was the runner up that night.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Pizza crust. ( For this one, I'm lazy and use store bought crust. If you have a crust recipe you love, by all means use it!)
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1/4 cup pasta sauce
2-3 chicken breast, cooked and cubed
green pepper
red onion
mozzarella cheese

In a skillet cook and cube chicken. Set aside.
Combine bbq sauce and pasta sauce together. ( if you like it more tangy add a bit more bbq sauce).
Roll out pizza dough. Pre-bake if needed.
Cover dough in pizza sauce, chicken, cheese and other toppings.
Bake in oven according to crust directions. ( Usually about 8-10 minutes)
Seriously simple and seriously tasty. Just the way I like it! This makes a great weekend night meal to be followed by a family night movie :)

$$$ Grocery Budget $$$

Last week I had the pleasure of welcoming another friend into my home to teach them a little about how I menu plan and how I do my grocery shopping. I absolutely love sharing my knowledge with others and told her as she left to get back to me with any questions she might have.
Not ten minutes later she called me and asked,
"How much should I be spending
 on my groceries anyway?"
This is such a good question, and one that I am so glad she asked. I think the vast majority of us just go to the grocery store and buy what we need to. We think of groceries as a necessity and therefore is just a cost we must pay.
Saving money at the grocery store will only come if you have a number in mind ( aka budget) and stick to it!
So what should that number be? I've done a bit of research on the topic and while everyone's situation is different I found a good guideline by which to go by.
$100/per person/per month
For example, a family of 4 would have a grocery budget of $400 per month or $100 a week. Now if that number freaks some of you out, I promise you are not alone. If your grocery budget is way over this, think of ways that you can slowly get it down. Try decreasing your grocery budget monthly or weekly by 5%.
The key here is to make this a slow/gradual change. We don't want to treat this like a crash diet that will fail in a few weeks. We want to make a lifestyle change.
$100 a month per person is totally doable, but it will and does take work.
*Make sure you are menu planning. This saves you time and money!
*Don't be a brand snob. Try the store brand. It is always cheaper and just as good. When your favorite brand does go on sale or has a coupon stock up so that you don't have to pay full price.
*Shop the deals and/or price match at Walmart. Most store ad's are found online and are updated weekly. You can also look for sights that have gone through the ad's already. Use google. It is your friend!
*Stock up when things are on sale. Recently chicken was 1.59/lb.  I stocked up and now I have enough to last me until the next time it goes on sale. The trick is to never pay full price for anything!
*Learn what foods you can freeze. This is helpful for when you are stocking up on produce and can't use it before it goes bad.
*Double your recipes.  Last week I made BBQ chicken sandwiches. I doubled the recipe, are half and tossed the other half into the freezer for a meal down the road.
*Leave the kiddos home. How many times have you been at the store and your toddler starts having a meltdown. You grab a box of fruit snacks off the shelf open one and fill the kid's mouth with them to keep them quiet? ( please say this isn't just me!) That costs you money right there! Buying something not on your list. It also will save you time not to take them along since you don't have to act as entertainer, discipliner, and mommy. You can just be a savvy shopper!
*STICK TO YOUR LIST! I've said it before, and I will probably say it 100 times more. Never go shopping without your list, and never buy anything not on your list. Every.Single.Time. I have strayed from my list I have gone over budget. Every. Time. Your list is there to help you, keep you organized and accountable.
I hope these suggestions and guidelines help. Getting your grocery bill down is so rewarding and it's so much more fun to spend (or save) that extra money on fun things instead of just food!



Friday, June 7, 2013

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (Crock Pot)

This blog has been consolidated with my "other" blog in an effort to simplify, streamline, and make my life easier.
You can find the recipe at Life as Mrs. Larson by clicking the link here.
Sorry for the inconvenience!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My 10 tips for Organized Shopping and Price Matching

If you're like me, you want to save some money on your groceries, but you hate couponing. For me couponing took a lot of time and energy.  They were usually for items I didn't use or need and I often forgot to take them along. When I did take them I would often come home only saving a few cents. Since my goal wasn't to stock pile a garage full of toothbrushes ( who needs that many toothbrushes anyway?) I soon gave up on couponing.
Determined to find a way to save and lower my grocery bill I learned to Shop the Deals and to Price Match.

Shopping the Deals is simply to look through the ad's to find the sales and best deals of the week at multiple stores in your area. This can be a great way to get the very best price for your groceries.
But wait! You don't want to spend all day and drive all around town just to save a few bucks? What if I told you that you don't have to!?!
This my friends is where the wonderful world of Price Matching comes in.

Price Matching is available at Wal-Mart. Their policy states that if you find the same item for a lower price, they will match it at the register with no ad needed!

Price Matching has saved me anywhere from 30%-50% on my groceries. I've been at this for a while now and had to learn the ins and outs. I got discouraged at times but I have now perfected my system.  It's easy, organized, efficient, and dare I say FUN?!
Let me share with you a few tips and tricks to get you price matching and saving your family some money!

1. Look through the ad's.  Most stores have their ad's online. Store ad's run through different days.
Don't have time to look through all the ad's? Try ( Local to Utah only. If you are out of state, just try googling price matching lists and you can usually find something!)
Rachel is super duper awesome and has all the deals ready for you on her website!
Her site has been a lifesaver/timesaver for me so be sure to stop over there to take advantage of her awesome service. Just be sure to leave a comment that I sent you!

2. Plan your meals. You can do this before or after looking through the ad's. I do a little of both. When I was first starting out it was easier for me to plan my meals and then search the ad's to see if what I needed was on sale. Now that I am in more of a flow I am able to plan my meals around the deals.

3. NEVER, EVER, shop without a list.  If you do, I promise you will spend more time and more money at the store. I shop with my grocery list and price match list.
On my grocery list I have a little * by the items that I will price match. I also write down the original price of an item so that I can calculate my savings once I get home.
4. No Kids. At least for your first few price matching trips. If this means you have to shop at 10:30 p.m. then that is when you should shop. Leaving the kids at home will help you to concentrate, get you through the store faster, no tantrums, and as an added bonus a little break for you!
5. Shop Organized.  As you can see in the list above that I categorize my grocery list. That way I can get through the store quickly and not miss anything and have to go back. I start my trip in the produce section and work my way back around the perimeter of the store. Produce > Meat> Cheese>Diary> Frozen> back down through the aisles ending with the bread section so that it doesn't get smashed flat.
6. Use stickers, post it's, or labels. I take along a sheet of labels with me. When I come to an item that I am going to price match I simply write the price and the store that the price was found at. I stick it on my item. This saves so much time at the register and your cashier will love you. I promise, they have told me!  
7. Match store brand to store brand. If Western Family is on sale then you would buy the Great Value brand at Walmart. Make Sense?
8. Make sure your ounces/lbs match up.  When price matching it must be an identical item. So make sure that if the 18oz of peanut butter is on sale that you get the 18 oz and not the 32 oz.
9. Be courteous and friendly.  First thing when I start loading my groceries on the belt is let the cashier know that I am going to be price matching some items. I try to put items that I am not matching up first and leave all the matching to the end. Also good so that I can watch and make sure prices are being entered correctly.
Let those who get in line behind you know that you are price matching. That way if they don't want to wait they can choose another line. ( I've even been known to let those behind me know that they can get lower prices on some of their items that I see in their cart!)
10. Be confident and don't get discouraged/overwhelmed. Be confident when you are at the register, and review the policy before you go so you don't run into any trouble. ( as a side note, I have never had any trouble, but it never hurts to be prepared!)
Don't get overwhelmed. This took me many months to get to a comfortable level of price matching and organized shopping. Maybe start slow. Instead of trying to price match your whole trip, just try a few items. Give yourself time to learn.
If you need to, ask for help! I've already gone on two personal shopping trips in the past month to help others learn the ropes of price matching and organized shopping.
If there is one thing that makes me happy like saving money's helping others save money! Don't hesitate to ask for help!
I hope these tips and tricks help you out. Now get out there and start saving your family some money!
If you have any questions, need something clarified, or have tips of your own please leave a comment!
Linking up today with ABowlFullOfLemons

Monday, June 3, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 6/3 edition

Yay for the start of another week! I know most people usually don't like Monday's but I do! It's the chance to start over, have a clean slate, and try to be better this week.
I've got a bunch of things and house/yard projects to get going on so I'm excited for the new week.
Of course to simplify my tasks and not stress and worry about dinner and the dreaded panic that comes along when you look at the clock and realize is already 5:00 I love to MENU PLAN!
Menu planning really is such a life saver for me, if you are not already doing it.......YOU SHOULD! I promise it will change your life.

Here's on my menu for the week.

Monday: Beef Tacos
Tuesday: Crock Pot Italian Chicken over Egg Noodles
Wednesday: BBQ chicken sandwiches with Potato Salad
Thursday: Crock Pot Salsa Chicken with Rice
Friday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Saturday: Date Night.

Breakfast and lunch ideas for the week are:
Green Smoothies

PB and J
Turkey wraps
Chicken/Strawberry Salad
Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Hope you all have a great week and enjoy the start of summer! Today I'm linking up with OrgJunkie again for Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Baked Chimichangas

I don't know about you, but here in my kitchen we love ourselves some Mexican food. This past Saturday I decided to try out a new recipe that I had pinned a while ago on Pinterest ( you can find the original site here ).
Let's just say that it did not disappoint and will be going into our regular rotation for meals.
The best part is that Chimi's are usually fried in oil, but these little babies are baked.
It was made even more exciting by the fact that earlier in the day we were able to score a free patio dining set from my grandparents.  It needs a little TLC and some touch up paint for rust spots, but it's perfect and was free!
We got to sit outside and enjoy the summer weather and a delicious dinner as a family. It was absolute perfection.
Here is the recipe for Baked Chimichangas:
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheese ( I used Mexican blend.)
1 1/2 TBSP taco seasoning
3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
8 tortillas
cooking spray
garnishes ( green onions, salsa, sour cream, guac, ect....)
Mix together {softened} cream cheese, shredded cheese and taco seasoning.
Fold in shredded chicken
Divide into tortillas and fold up edges
Place in sprayed cooking dish ( I used a 9x13) seam down
spray top of tortillas with cooking spray or brush with butter.
Cook at 350* for 15 minutes
Turn over and cook another 15 minutes.
Serve hot with topping of your choice. ( I thought they were delicious with salsa, cheese, green onions, and a side of guac.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rotten Bananas?

It's true my friends, there is no such thing as a rotten banana. Which is fabulous because I had a ton of bananas from my last shopping trip (5 lbs to be exact) and these little beauties have just been "tanning" away in my kitchen for the last few days and today was the day we turned them into something delicious.
 ( Or "De-dish-yus" as my two year old would say.)
I've gone through a few different banana bread recipes in my day and have been tweaking them, I will continue to do so but today I would like to share with you a healthy/healthier recipe with you.
Here is what you will need for

3-4 brown or black bananas
1/2 cup applesauce (insider tip: the little individual applesause pack that you buy for your kiddos are exactly 1/2 cup!)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9x5 baking pan
2. In a mixing bowl, combine applesauce and sugars.
3.Add in eggs and then bananas and vanilla
4. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients and add them into the mixture
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes ( check with a toothpick )
6. enjoy the tasty aroma filling your house!
7. Let it cool and enjoy!

I wanna know!
What other things do you like to make with "rotten" bananas? 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicken Fried Rice

 Dinner Tonight was quick, easy, and tasty! The best part was that no Chinese restaurant was involved!
This recipe is a new favorite in our house. It can be used as a side dish or like tonight we made it our entire meal.
The secret to this dish is the seasoning mix. One day I would like to make my own, but for now and for those of you who like to keep things simple, a mix it is.
 I found this one for 0.70 at Walmart and I really like the taste.
Without further ado, the ingredients
Chicken- I used 2 chicken breasts cut up into bite size pieces
Rice- 2 cups
Carrots- chopped
Green Onions- chopped
2-3 eggs- scrambled
soy sauce

Cook rice and set aside. Brown chicken and scramble eggs.
In a skillet heat oil and brown the carrots and green onions
Add rice, chicken, and eggs.
Stir in seasoning and 2 tsp soy sauce
add in peas and any other veggies.
Serve hot and enjoy!
( chopsticks optional!)

Go ahead and add this recipe to your pinboard !
You    can follow me on Pinterest , here!
Linking up today with Joyful Homemaking for Think Tank Thursday  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Try It Out, Tuesday!

I hope you are all having a great Tuesday after a wonderful 3 day weekend.
Its been raining all morning and we've just been taking it easy and I've been recovering from yesterday's 5k run.
I'm 12 weeks out from having my baby girl and I've only been running, ahem attempting to run, for about 4 weeks now. I must say I am pretty proud of myself for being able to complete a 5k. Granted it was incredibly slow and I am totally sore and tired today, but I did it.
Okay, enough about that.
Let's get talking about this Try It Out, Tuesday thing. I'll be honest with you right now and say that I have spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest. ( follow me here ).

In an effort to actually use my pins and limit the amount of time spent on just browsing I have started to try out those pins. I will be posting about the triumphs and/or epic fails of the pins that are all over my boards.
First up, I'm sure you have all seen pins all over the place similar to this one: 
The cleaning power of Vinegar is simply amazing. My shower doors had seen better days and for the past few weeks I have tried many different cleaners, and lots of scrubbing to get the soap scum off.
Here's a look at the residue left on the shower door. This is taken from the inside of the shower, looking out.
Gross, huh!
It was getting to the point that when I was showering I was unable to see out of the shower. Usually not a big deal, but when I am hurrying and trying to keep an eye on my mischievous toddler, I need to be able to see out!
Desperate, here is what I tried.
3/4 cup white vinegar ( warmed up in the microwave )
3/4 dish soap. I used dawn because that is what I had on hand. But I hear that any can work.
I poured into a squirt bottle and squirted all over my shower door and windows. I let it sit for about 30 minutes.
When I came back I literally just had to wipe off and rinse.
Did you catch that?
NO scrubbing!
Okay, mostly no scrubbing. There were a few little tough spots that needed a little bit of muscle, but for the most part I just rinsed and it was good to go!
This picture does not do it justice. But trust me on this. Vinegar is simply awesome!
The best part is that it is WAY cheaper and safer than all those store cleaners!
So if you have been wondering about this pin, I give it a HUGE thumbs up. It totally works.
Go ahead and try it and let me know how it works for you!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Today I am linking up with Laura over at Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday. Make sure you head on over there to see what others are cooking up this week.
As you know, I am a huge believer in Menu Planning for many many reasons. So I was very excited when I came across this link up and I can't wait to get started.
So, what's on the menu this week?!

Monday: Since it's Memorial Day and also my SIL's 17th birthday we will be out celebrating. ( Hooray for a day off from cooking).
Tuesday: Crock Pot Italian Chicken and Red Potatoes
Wednesday: Chicken Fried Rice
Thursday: Taco Night
Friday: The boys are having a movie night, so the girls decided to have a girls night too. Most likely eating out this night.
Saturday: Baked Chimichangas
Sunday: Eating with Family ( someone else is cooking, yay!)

This week is pretty easy peasy, since I have 3 nights were I am off the hook.
As for breakfasts and lunches this week we have a few choices.


Turkey Wraps
Cheese and crackers
PB and J

I try to completely plan out my dinners for the week and then just have a bunch of suggestions for breakfast and lunch that I know I have ingredients on hand for.
Happy Menu Planning, and I hope everyone has a good week!

As always please comment to let me know you stopped by!
Also let me know what other things you would
 like to see going on at Messie Jessie Kitchen

Friday, May 24, 2013

Frugal Finds Friday!

Welcome Back!
I can't believe it's been a week already, and a crazy one at that. I feel like I have been running all over the place. But it's been good.
Yesterday we had the new H&M open up at Station Park and I am so excited about it.
I'm just loving all the new stuff at Station Park and how my little hometown of Farmington is just growing up :)
I still remember when we got our first stop light!
Okay, back to Station Park.

For those of you that are local and looking for some frugal family fun, look no further!

This month they kicked off Family First Mondays. These are being held the first Monday of every month.
This month is was a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party and my little boy loved it!
There was music and dancing, games, face painting, he got a foam sword and a pirate hat and had so much fun!
The best part? Completely FREE!
The event is put on by Radio Disney and Macaroni Kid and will continue through October. Here is the event schedule:

June 3 Monster University Mash Up
July 1 Beach Party Bash
Aug 5 Plane’s Powwow
Sept 2 Sofia the First Shindig
Oct 7 Doc McStuffin Day

The party starts at 5:30 and goes until 7:00. Located in the Village. ( In front of the Movie Theater and by the fountains.)

Also happening at Station Park is an all new SUMMER CONCERT SERIES!

Starting June 29, every Saturday Station Park will host a FREE outdoor concert!
Another perfect frugal outing for you and your family!
Here is the summer line up:
June 29, Party Crashers (Top 40)
July 6, Eclipse (A Cappella)
July 13, Kahuna Beach Party (Beach Boys Tribute)
July 20, Blue Moon Swamp (CCR Tribute)
July 27, The Long Run (Eagles Tribute)
August 3, Imagine (Beatles Tribute)
August 10, Hit Explosion (70’s & 80’s)
August 17, Radical Revolution (80’s)
August 24, No Limits (Top 40)
And for today's last frugal find for family fun ( try saying that 5 times fast) look no further than Cinemark.
While I was perusing all the fabulous things to do at Station Park I stumbled upon the Cinemark Summer Movie Club ( click here to find a participating theater.)

Every week this summer a Cinemark theater near you is featuring a family friendly movie for just $1.00!
Here are the films that Station Park is offering ( click above link to find out about your theater)
*Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
*Horton Hears a Hoo
*The Smurfs
*Ice Age
*Dolphin Tale
*Happy Feet
*Alvin and the Chipmunks
And there you have it. A whole slew of free or cheap family things do keep you and your little ones ( or big ones) busy this summer.
*disclaimer: all opinions in this post are my own and I did not receive any compensation. I simply love Station Park and all the fun things to do and wanted to pass them along to you, my local readers.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Frugal Finds Friday!

Welcome to the first installment of

Today I had a fabulous day out being all thrifty and such and got some really great finds today.
One of my favorite places is Kid to Kid. In case you don't know, they are a store that buys and sells gently used kids clothing. The best part is, the give you cash or store credit on the spot!
Today I was able to trade in a bunch of pants and some sweaters that my little boy had outgrown and I got some fabulous store credit. With that I was able to get my little boy new swimsuit trunks and my little girl SIX {6} new outfits and a fancy little bow.
 After my store credit all I owed was $10 more dollars. Pretty fabulous right! 10 bucks for all that!
While I was there they had just got in a light pink double jogging stroller. It was a bit dirty ( light pink is a color that will show dirt easily) and they were trying to get it clean while I was there.
They priced it very low because it wasn't very clean.
As I was leaving they had just priced it at $79.99!!!
I almost turned around and bought it right then and there since I have been in the market for a double stroller.
Instead I took a picture and sent it to my husband to get his opinion, and left.
I'm so glad I didn't impulse buy, because I went home and jumped onto trusty to view their classifieds to make sure I was getting the best deal possible.
3 pages in and I found a grey and yellow ( much better colors ) double jogger just 10 minutes from me.
The best part.....
It was priced twenty dollars lower at just $60.00!!!
I decided the shopping gods were being very generous to me today and I jumped on that deal!

My Fabulous Finds!
I'd say that my Frugal Finds this Friday were quite successful.
Do you have any frugal finds or shopping tips? I'd love to hear 'em!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

HOT DEALS this week ( 5/14-5/21)

Hello All!
This week there are some pretty good deal out there to be had. Since I did my big shopping trip last week I won't be posting a whole pricematching list, but here are some of the HOT deals that I found.

* To find these deals you can shop at the stores listed, or if there is a Walmart close by you can simply price match to get all these great deals.
Simply say " This ( name of item ) is ( this price ) at ( this store ).  The cashier will then adjust the price for you at the register. It's as easy as that!

* SB= Store Brand. If you are pricematching at Walmart you would just get the Great Value Brand.

Happy Shopping, and as always if  you have any questions PLEASE ask them. I love to help you save on your groceries!

Frozen Foods
Birds Eye Steam Fresh Veggies 10-12 oz  $1.78 @ Winegars
Green Giant Steamers 12 oz $2.00 @ Smiths
Tyson Chicken Nuggets or Patties 32 oz $3.99 @ Smiths ( GREAT DEAL)

Store Brand Peanut Butter 28 oz 2.99 @ Winegars
Motts Applesauce 6 pk $2.00 @ Riteaid
Kraft Mayo or Miracle Whip 30 oz $2.99 @Walgreens
Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce or Marinade, 16-18 oz. $1.00 @ Albertsons
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, 5 ct $3.99 @ Harmons
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese 7.25 oz  .79 cents @Walgreens
Cheetos 8 to 9.75 oz $2.50 @ Walgreens
Doritos Tortilla Chips, 10-11 oz. $2.33 @Albertsons

Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper 12 pk products 3 for $10.00 @Walgreens
SB) Water 24 pack $1.99 @ Smiths

(SB) Cottage Cheese, 16 oz. $1.25 @Winegars
(SB)Sour Cream, 24 oz. $1.59 @Winegars
(SB) Yogurt .33 cents @ Smiths
SB) Milk gallon excludes whole milk $2.00 @ Harmons
(SB) Cream Cheese 8 oz $1.00 @ Smiths
SB) Large Eggs doz .99 cents @ Smiths
SB) Cheese Block or Shredded up to 8 oz $1.79 @ Smiths

Quaker Cereal 13-14.5 oz $2.50 @Riteaid
Quaker Granola Bars 8 pk $2.50 @Riteaid
General Mills up to 11.8 oz $1.66 @ Smiths
Kellogg's Cereal u to 18.2 oz $1.88 @Riteaid

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Lunchmeat 7 to 9 oz $2.67 @ Target
Tyson Frozen Chicken $6.99 @ Target

Leaf Lettuce, Red, Green or Romaine .69 cents @ Dicks
Onions, Medium Yellow .33 cents lb @Winegars
Corn .24 cents ea @ Rancho Market
Red Apples .49 cents lb @ Rancho Market
Pineapple $1.99 ea @ Rancho Market
Fuji Apples .88 cents lb @ Sprouts
Strawberries .99 cents lb @ Sprouts

Quilted Northern Bath Tissue 30 pk $14.99 @ Target
Bounty Paper Towels 8 pk, Charmin Bathroom Tissue 12 pk $6.97 @Riteaid
Q-Tips 300ct 1.99 @ Lee's Market
Lysol Wipes 75 or 80 pk  $4.50 @Walgreens

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Price Match List ( Sample)

 New ads just came out today ( and last night) and I just finished making a new price match list for dates May 8-14. Below is a sample price list from last week. If you are interested in this weeks price list just let me know and I can get it to you.
If this list looks awesome, but you have no idea how to use it, I CAN HELP!!

Last week I started doing one on one shopping trips to show you the ropes of pricematching. Last week my girl was able to save $25.00 or 33%!!!!!
I would be happy to accompany you on your shopping trip or have you tag along on one of mine. Just contact me for details!!

With my list last week I was able to save $45.oo or 40% on my shopping trip.
Now, isn't it time you started saving too???

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The 2 week meal plan

Welcome to Part 2 of " Where do I Start."
The way I do my meal plan is to plan every two weeks.
There are several reasons why I do it that way.

Number one is that I plan along with our pay schedule. I shop at the beginning of our pay period and if I do things right, I won't have to shop again until the next paycheck.

Number two is that it saves time. With a toddler and a newborn getting to the grocery store is a hard task. Especially if I want to go alone. ( Which I HIGHLY recommend.)

Number three is that it saves money. Shopping twice a month with your list in hand will eliminate impulse spending on things you don't really need. How many times have you gone to the store for milk, and walked out with three bags full of junk?

When I'm planning out our meals, I make sure to check our calendar to see what the next two weeks look like. If we have any nights that we will be out and need to have a quick dinner, if the hubby will be in school all night, if my day looks busy and it needs to be a crock pot day, ect... This will help you to be efficient and plan for your families needs/schedule.

I also make sure to plan our "fresher" meals for the beginning of the cycle, ( Think dinner that involve produce that will go bad before the two weeks are up like fajitas, salads, ect) and plan meals that won't "expire" or go bad toward the end of the cycle.

I keep my meal plan or menu visible in my kitchen. This serves as a good reminder through the day/weeks and helps keep me on track. Having a visual reminder is very helpful to me and it doesn't have to be fancy. It was be a list on your fridge, a whiteboard, whatever!

Additonal tips:
Use your meal plan as a guide instead of a strict schedule. Most the time I am good at following the plan exactly as I wrote it down, but some days I might not be in the mood for what's planned that day. Simply switch two of the meals, but always choose something on your menu so that you aren't going out and spending additional money.

Plan for date nights or nights out. Everyone likes to go out to eat, and you still should. I plan for one date night a week. Usually Friday or Saturday where we can go out to eat or order pizza or something.

Plan your side dishes as well.

If two weeks seems daunting or too much for you to handle, start with one. This is about having a plan that works for your family.

Start with planning just dinners, so that you aren't overwhelmed. When you've got that down then you can start planning for lunches and breakfasts. When I am planning my menu I plan out all my dinners and have 3 or 4 suggestions for lunches and breakfasts.

Forgive yourself and move on if (and when) you have an off day and forget dinner. It happens to all of us.

I hope this gives you a starting point for fixing your dinner woes, if you have any questions feel free to comment below and I will address them promptly!

Happy planning everyone!

Monday, May 6, 2013

My grocery deals this week

There were some awesome deal going on last week, especially on produce!
Here's a peek at my loot for the week.
2 avocados
10lb bag of potatoes
green onions
3 lbs apples
5 lbs bananas
2 lbs grapes
2 packages strawberries
5 lb frozen chicken
32 oz turkey lunchmeat
3 packages tortillas
3 42 oz bags of cereal
granola bars
gallon milk
2 loaves bread
12 pack Dr Pepper
peanut butter
12 count paper towels
12 count toilet paper
Total cost would have been $111.74
My cost with price-matching ( and a coupon for milk and lunchmeat ) came to
That is 40% savings my friends! I can't tell you how excited I was when I left the store. ( and so were the people behind me, when they saw how much I saved! )
If you are interested in saving up to 30-50% on your groceries leave me a comment with your questions!  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Madison's First Price-Matching Trip!

Last Thursday I had the absolute pleasure of having three lovely ladies in my home.  We talked about the power of meal planning and preparing before you go to the store and about how price-matching or ad-matching can cut your grocery bill by 30-50%.
The first time out grocery shopping a new way and using price-matching can be a little overwhelming. I know this because I was there once.
I offered to accompany my friend Madison on her first price matching trip.
I had a blast and she totally scored for her first trip and now she has the confidence to do it herself and continue on with the savings.
Here is a little breakdown of her trip.
3 bags Malt O Meal cereal
1 box Life cereal
2 lbs ground beef
 one loaf of bread
2 dozen eggs
tortilla chips
frozen fries
2 gallons of milk
green onions,
goldfish crackers
2 boxes pasta
 BBQ sauce
2 lbs apples
 cream cheese
 cottage cheese
seedless grapes


All of that would have cost her 72.90.
However with a little prep she was able to walk away only spending
That is 33% savings without clipping a single coupon!
Way to go Madison!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where do I start?

It's 5:00.
Your kids are getting irritating and restless because they are hungry.
Husband is expected home and any minute and is no doubt tired and hungry too.
You are standing in your kitchen, staring into your fridge or pantry, scratching your head.
Eventually you end up feeding the kids cereal or mac and cheese and your husband picks up take out on the way home.

Sound familiar?
How about this one?

You notice you are out of milk so you run to the store.
You leave the store with milk, a candy bar, a bag of popsicles, the new issue of People magazine, a box of cookies, package of fruit snacks, and $30 less in your bank account.

Been there too?

Let's do one more, just for good measure.

You just went to the store yesterday and spent a good chunk of change. Now you have no idea what to cook for dinner, and have nothing to make for breakfast. You think to yourself, "what in the world did I buy?"

I'm pretty sure we have all been there. The above statements could basically describe my first few years of marriage. ( Especially the takeout ). So about 18 months ago, after being a SAHM for 6 months and learning quickly that living on one income was hard, I decided to do something about it. I've come a long way in those 18 months and I feel like I am in a really good place, grocery budget wise.

So, where do I start?
You start with a plan. I'm going to give you some homework. But don't worry, you'll thank me later! 
Today I want you and your family ( or spouse if it's just the two of you) to write down a list of all the dinners you enjoy.
That's it.
After you have compiled a list of dinners that you all enjoy ( and that you enjoy cooking ) you can begin to impliment a meal plan.
A meal plan is the KEY to your success in saving money on your groceries. Without a plan, you have nothing.
So, after you have your list if you are feeling ambitious, go ahead and plan out a menu for 1-2 weeks.

That's your homework for today. Come back tomorrow and we'll talk about a meal plan and planning your shopping list!

The Start of Something New

A few days ago I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook.

 I had TONS of response about it, mostly people saying how amazing it was and asking to learn my ways. 
I've been working at this budget/meal plan/price match thing for about 18 months now and I would LOVE to share all that I have learned and how I am able to save on my groceries ( and spend it on better stuff!) 
I've spent the last 4 days working on presentations, handouts, meal planning, lists, lists, and more lists. I've even had a few dreams about shopping and pricematching. 
I've now had the opportunity to have 4 awesome girls in my home to teach them about how planning ahead, pricematching and preparing can save you tons and tons of money! 
I'm really so excited to help you out with your grocery shopping needs and I will be using this blog to bring you tips and tricks, meal plan ideas, recipes, and so much more! 
I will be continuing to go over my method at my house as long as there continues to be interest. If you have any questions at all, PLEASE PLEASE ask me! I'd really love to help you save! 
Here is to an exciting new future! 
Please let me know what you would like to see on this blog. 
Help with menu planning?
What is pricematching and how does it work?
Sticking to a budget?
How much should we be spending?
Please leave a comment with any questions and I will get answers up on the blog ASAP!