Friday, May 27, 2011

Pantry Raid

One of the things that I do miss about not having satelite or cable is the Food Network. There are a few shows on PBS that I enjoy - L's Italy and America's Test Kitchen but I can't say I've ever cooked a recipe from either for them. I was searching around Netflix last night looking for something, anything to watch and I found a show from 2007 called Pantry Raid. I have no idea if the show is still on the air but the first season is on Netflix. After watching a couple of them it inspired me that I could whip up something from our pantry without having a recipe. My husband is the throw something together from the pantry kind of person, not me. I need a recipe and I get in a rut of not having something ready for dinner because I didn't have the right ingredients for a recipe. As I type I have steamed corn and a salad from lettuce and radishes that I picked this morning waiting for the breaded pork chops that are in the oven. I did it! It's not a fancy dish, but I put something together without having a recipe.... and the oven is beeping me. Time to eat!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coupon Savings: Walgreens Register Rewards

Boy, I really go in spurts around here about what I write about. You can tell what's on my mind this week - saving more money! I'd talk about the happenings of my garden but it's drowning in rain this week. But thankfully we don't get as much of the severe weather as my home state of Kansas. My heart goes out to all of the people around the midwest and the south that have lost their homes and friends and family to all of these spring tornadoes. Sometimes you feel helpless not having much money to help but I know I can continue to pray for them.

I did a little more coupon shopping today. Two transactions at Walgreens and one at CVS because I found another Sobe coupon! Everything shown below cost me $33.53 and the total savings listed on the receipts is $35.13. I look at these shopping trips where people would get all of this for free and I see where you can really save the most money is if you already have Register Rewards or Extra Care Bucks to put toward your purchase because in today's transactions I earned a total of $15 in Register Rewards to use next time! Like yesterday at CVS, I had Extra Care bucks which made the Sobe 6 for the price of 1. The 6 I got today were about the price of 2 because I didn't have the extra savings.

Can't you tell what a grey yucky day it is in the photo? Normally my kitchen is nice and bright and sunny!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coupon Savings: 6 for the price of 1

It's been about a year and a half now that I've been couponing off and on. I really got into about the time that my husband started his current job after his 2009 lay off. I just wish I would have started it while he was laid off but in 2010 I was laid off too so after those 2 big life changes I'm glad to have the skills to save us some money. I'm not extreme about it, I don't buy things that we won't use. Depending on how many of a particular item I buy we sometimes give some to Grandma because she does so much to help us and why not save her some money too!

CVS is having a BOGO sale this week on Sobe drinks. I'm not crazy about them but my husband likes them and with vitamins and no calories, they are definitely better than soda and he can take one to work with him. I just wish I had another coupon and more extra bucks to use on them!

Here's the breakdown:
They are $1.69 each so 6 of them would have been $10.14
With the BOGO sale the price was down to $5.07
I had a $1.50 off 5 manufacturers coupon plus $2 in Extra Bucks bringing the total down to $1.92 with tax for 6!

Yes, one is missing because Mr. took one to work already!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Favorite Season

When asked the question of what is my favorite season my answer has always been fall, mostly because of that's when the air cools after the heat of the summer and well, I really don't like the heat but as L and I were walking around our yard I couldn't help but think about how much I love spring too, since all of my flowers and plants pushing their way through the earth into gorgeous blooms. And of course I love starting my vegetable plants while so many people tell me oh you could just go buy those at the store and plant them. Nope, I love to nurture a plant from seed into vegetables for my family to eat. I'm still doing my daily photo but I post it just for my family but here are the past few days of spring around my yard.

A lonely tulip in a mass of iris.

L did a Mother's day project at church which made me feel like I had a preschooler already which makes me both happy and sad... I'll get into that another day!

Our beautiful flowering tree which was planted where we can't see it which makes me oh so sad when spring comes. It's on the side of the house that faces the neighbors house where we never go. I only get peeks of it from our bedroom window. We did not plant it, otherwise I would have picked a better spot! We were told is was an ornamental peach, but I have no idea if that's right or not.

My beautiful bushes!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I need your remodeling opinions!

A little over a month ago we put our 866 sq ft starter house on the market. We had 3 showings scheduled - one was a no show, one said cute house but too small but all of them said the price was too high. We bought when the market was higher 7 years ago and know we can't move down on the price as much as they want us to so we've been doing a lot of praying and both my husband and I have gotten some answers, basically that we need to be content with God's plan, it's His timing, not ours. So... this leads me to something we've been thinking about for awhile. We were in a house awhile ago that had a very similar sized kitchen and living room as ours and they had recently cut a hole/pass through in the kitchen wall into the living room and both my husband and I really liked how it opened up the two rooms to each other.

Now we haven't checked to see if it's structural or mechanically possible yet but we're thinking about cutting a large hole in the wall or taking it out all together. Right now the lonely fridge has it's home on the wall. (It was doggie dinner time) If we took the whole wall out it would be up to the end of the white wall - that's where the hallway starts so it's not a huge section but enough that we're thinking it would really open the rooms up.

So we're thinking the fridge can make it's home in the eating area... since that's the only other wall in the kitchen!

This is the other side of the wall in the living room. Ah my bare room, since the house is off the market now I'll be getting some of my collections and things back out. My shelves and walls are just too bare. And the rest of our couch is in the basement!

This is all there is of the living room... yep, that's it. We're thinking if we took the carpet up and it was all one big room our table could go by the big windows.

What do you think?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Make-Shift Greenhouse

Since I can't plant the warmer vegetables in the garden yet, L's room has turned into a greenhouse thanks to a couple of old decorator tables that were stashed in the basement. I have room for 3 of the little plastic green house trays in the kitchen window but these are the only two windows that get this beautiful warm growing sunlight during the day.

We did have a frost warning a couple nights ago and we covered the strawberries just in case since they are in full bloom. I've never planted strawberries before but I know the first year some people pinch of the blooms to send more energy to the plant for next year and some people leave them. I opted to leave them even if we only get a handful of berries.