Friday, October 30, 2009

ICM Halloween Party Tomorrow!

If you are still looking for something to do with the kids tomorrow in the Iowa City are and don't have Hawkeye tickets the ICM is having their Halloween Party tomorrow. Should be a good time with lots of activities. Some stores at the mall will handle out goodies too. This was up on the webpage:

Date: October 31, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: The Iowa Children's Museum
You and your little goblins, superheroes and princesses are invited to the best Halloween celebration in town! Have fun with costumed museum staff as you dance the Monster Mash! Visit the not-so-scary Haunted House for a thrill! Win Halloween prizes, play Putt-Putt Pumpkin Golf, Make a Pasta Skeleton and Create a Candy Corn Picture Frame. But that's not all ... play Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin, Skeleton Scavenger Hunt and more! Celebrating Halloween at your favorite place to play is great fun for all the little ghosts and goblins in your life! Join us from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, October 31st. All activities are free with museum admission.

For more details go to:

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


In select stores now for a limited time. Spend $40 and earn a $20 off Place Cash Certificate!!!

Spend $40 before discounts and tax in a single transaction to earn a $20 off coupon good off your next $40 purchase during September 29-October 31st. The offer cannot be combined with other promotions but with all the great Fall Sale items at The Childrens Place it is an awesome deal! Plus, new holiday preview lines are out NOW in stores and the full holiday line will be out starting September 28th. So you can buy your fall essentials (which just had major markdowns!) and use the coupon on some great winter necessities like hats and coats or even holiday dresses!
Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy 4th From Disney!

Disney's Store is having 4th of July Sale thru the end of the week (Sunday July 5th at 11:59 pm PT). Go to to shop and get 15, 20, 25, and even 30% off! Also, they have a special promotion for $5 shipping when you spend $89 or more.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Sweet Treat for Baby

And its not loaded with sugar either! We just purchased this Swirlin' Surprise Gumball Machine from Fisher Price and the boys love it. It features 4 fun roll-a-round "gum balls" that roll and spin on the floor. When you pull the lever the machine drops them and plays music and flashes. Our baby boy enjoys catching the balls. Our older three year old loves it too and likes to help the baby put them back in again. It is sure to be a toy that stays around for a while. And even better, Fisher Price has a big line of Roll-A-Round ball toys that are compatible with the balls.

ToysRUs sells it for $22.99 here:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Johnson's Baby Product

YAY for one bottle of soap for babies! Johnson's just rolled out a new 2-in-1 baby product that is both a bubble bath and a baby wash. It has that same wonderful baby smell and fills the tub with bubbles still. We used it last night during the boys bath and they loved the new bottle. In fact, our 3 year old loves that its BLUE bath soap. The baby however, was just happy to splash and play with the bubbles as usual.

Friday, June 12, 2009 Sale is running a sale right now on TONS of items ranging from baby gear, clothing, formula and of course diapers. The sale ends July 2nd. And as always they offer FREE 2-day shipping when your order is more than $49.

Go here to check it out the special coupon codes and promotions they are offering.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ICM Pajama Party Saturday June 13th!

The Iowa Children's Museum in Coralville, Iowa is having a "Pajama Party this Saturday from 6:30-9:30 PM. This is a great activity for older children and a fun way for parents to get a little free time to shop or enjoy a dinner without kids. You have to register your child before hand so make sure to call by tomorrow afternoon.

This is the description off the ICM website. The description doesn't say what the age limit is, but typically these events are for children ages 5 and up. Go to for more information or call the ICM to register your child.
ICM PJ Party!
NEW evening drop-off program for kids!
Saturday, June 13th, 20096:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Kids! Put on your pajamas and come play at The Iowa Children's Musuem without Mom and Dad! ICM staff will provide outstanding fun and games, as well as an evening snack!
Cost is $20/child
Members receive 10% off
Reservations are required
To register, please contact Lori at 319-625-6255 ext 209 or

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great Father's Day $10 Gift Card Offer at Target

Check out this week's Target ad if you are still looking for a great father's day gift idea. Target is offering a $1o gift card when you buy a pack of golf balls and any golf apparel item. This would make a great gift for any dad that loves to golf or would be great for anyone who just enjoys golfing. The offer is good thru this Saturday. Go to and view your local ad for more information about this promotion.

North Liberty, IA Fun Days

North Liberty has their annual Fun Days Celebration this week Thursday--Sunday. The parade is Friday evening and the event will conclude on Sunday with fireworks. There are LOTS of family activities to enjoy as well as live music perfect to listen to on a warm summer night.

For a listing of events and more details visit this website:

Monday, June 8, 2009

JJ Cole Diaper Bag

Well it was finally time to retire the old diaper bag. It was stained, ripped and torn to pieces. We finally had to put it down. RIP old diaper bag, but we will not miss you.

At least we won't any way because I found a new one that I love. This JJ Cole Collection diaper bag clips onto your stroller or shopping cart. Plus the diaper changing mat has a magnetic clasp, so it folds back together very neatly with little fuss. How cool is that?

I got the polka dot pattern one but more styles can be found here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Homemade Yogurt Pops!

Every summer Thomas and I make our own popsicles from fresh seasonal fruits and yogurt. All you need is your favorite yogurt flavor, fresh fruit if you would like, something to use for the mold and popsicle sticks. To keep it super simple I like to use the yogurt containers, although you can even buy molds for super cheap at Target or Walmart. Just dice up the fruit into small pieces and blend with yogurt in a blender. You can also use ice cream, sherbert, juice or smoothie mixes and ice chips. Then pour your mixture into the cups, add a popsicle stick, and freeze until solid. Depending on how big they are, it shouldn't take more than 4 hours to freeze. Best part is, these make a guilt free snack that is perfect for a hot summer day! The bonus is they are budget friendly and kids love them too!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

IPTV Kids Day May 30th at the Blank Park Zoo

I'm thinking of doing this with the boys in Des Moines this weekend. IPTV is having a Kids Day at the Zoo. Kids can meet Dan Wardell from the Kids Clubhouse and "Duck" from Word World from 10-4 PM. There will be other activities as well. It looks like it will be lots of fun, especially if the weather stays nice. Maybe we will make the drive out there and see some animals and have some fun!

More details can be found here at:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Awesome FREE Target $5 Gift Card Offer

Every once in a while Target offers a FREE giftcard with a select purchase. It usually isn't worth my time unless it involves Pepsi products or snack foods my husband and kids will eat up before I can tell them I bought them.

Well this week Target will give you a FREE $5 gift card when you buy any combination of 5 select Kellogg's snacks at $2.33. The offer is good on Cheez-it 9 oz pkgs, 12 ct Pop Tarts, and 11.5 oz Fudge Shoppe cookies. Since Cheez-It hands down have the least sugar I had to go for those. Not to mention how we happen to love them so much!

I happened to have a $5 gift card from a previous deal so that made each box roughly $1.33, plus I got another gift card out of it! Hurray for cheap snack foods!

Our Budget Saver of the Month: $40/week Groceries

As part of overhauling our family budget this month, I cut back at the grocery store.

For the first week of May, I spent $61.01. This week was a little higher than most because I was taking advantage of a big sale to stock up for the month. I also had to replenish a lot of our pantry items that were running low. Not a bad deal though, since I was able to completely stock up for the month at some very low prices at HyVee.

The second week of May I spent a whopping total of $21.79. I didn't have much to buy this week but took advantage a sale on bagels for $1 and some inexpensive meat and grilling items.

I skipped out on grocery shopping the following week. Our refrigerator was full of items still and this became our "No spend" week of the month. We also had lots of leftovers to use up.

This week I spent the most but I made it worth my money. I made a trip to HyVee and spent $33.01 on groceries. Not bad, since I had to replenish a lot of necessities from not shopping the week before. It was a great weekend to shop with all of the Memorial Day sales. There were some fantastic snack and pop deals at Walmart, Target, and Kmart so I took advantage of those. All together I spent about $20 on pop and $10 on snacks for our many trips to the park that we take in the summer. I also picked up some Organic Gerber baby food items at ToysRUs (BRU has the same deals). That totaled $10 but I won't have to buy baby food for a LONG time now.

Everything averages out to under $40 a week! Which is a HUGE change for us. We had been spending about $50-80 a week, sometimes much more if we were stocking up on items. And that didn't include pop. So we did a fantastic job this month. I will of course still be on the look out for this Wednesday's ads from Fareway and HyVee. I am hoping for some great sale prices following Memorial Day weekend. :-)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pepsi 12 packs on sale at Kmart

Pepsi product 12 pks are on sale for 4 for $9 at Kmart through tomorrow 5/26. If you haven't already taken advantage of this offer and need some pop for the weekend, head on over to get some cheap pop. We stocked up on some diet pepsi, which we drink religiously around here!

Also, some Walmarts have Pepsi and Mtn Dew 24 packs for $4.98. Yesterday I picked up some for my husband. This doesn't beat the Kmart deal but if you can't get there before tomorrow's holiday you can try Walmart for inexpensive pop.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pampered Chef Stoneware!

I'm so excited to cook with this! I got this covered baking dish from Pampered Chef. It can be used in the Microwave and in the Oven. Plus it comes in cranberry red which is my favorite kitchen color! LOVE it!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pop Your Own Popcorn!

Love popcorn but hating paying up to $3 a box on just 2-3 microwaveable bags? Get your own popcorn machine and save money! Our popcorn machine is a Waring Pro machine we got at Tanger Outlet at a Kitchen Store. The outlet has a coupon for 20% off any item in any store every month and we took the opportunity to buy ours at $99 and pay only $79!
If you do the math, each of those popcorn bags will cost you on average of $1 a bag at a bare minimum. To buy a 4 lb bag of kernels costs under $3 and to buy pour over butter costs no more than about $4, and will last you approximately 3 months. So buy the popcorn machine on sale and your cost over 3 months is $86. If you eat 7 bags a week like we do (we would normally pop 2 bags to fill up a large bowl) it takes you about 3 months to break even. And you still have a popcorn machine. So if you LOVE popcorn for movie nights like we do you can expect to save money around the 4th month into your investment. Don't eat that much popcorn but enjoy a couple bags a week? You will break even around 7 months.
Popcorn machines make a great gift and you can even shop for them online. Check out Amazon here at: to check out our popcorn machine.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bella Tunno Binkers!

These pacifier clips are so cute! They clip on to your child's clothing and come in TONS of different designs. We have two we ordered through Baby Gap's home collection. They start at $8 but are very well made and high quality!
Bella Tunno also sells a number of other baby products as well. You can check them all out at:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fisher Price Precious Planet Jumperoo!

This jumperoo is super cool! We decided to try it after seeing how much my nephew Noah liked his. My almost 5 month old LOVES to bounce around in it! I'm suprised we never had one with our other son. We got it for 15% with a mailer coupon from BabiesRUs but Amazon and Target have it at decent prices right now too. Its great for newly mobile babies and has 3 different settings for height which makes it the perfect toy to "grow" with your baby.

BabiesRUs Sweepstakes

BabiesRUs is having a Mother's Day sweepstakes. No purchase is necessary. Go here to enter and read more about the details: You must enter by May 9th!

Friday, May 1, 2009


I soooo want to buy more babylegs for Oliver. I think they are addicting!!! We have a green froggie polka dot pair and they are super cute on him with his chunky little thighs. Plus, we have hardwood floors and they protect his knees so well. If our Target carried more styles and color options I would totally buy them all! If only I could sew I would be able to make my own. I am so tempted to buy a bunch online at I won't, but might invest in some when he starts crawling everywhere.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Iowa Children's Museum

Calling all fellow Iowan moms! If you have not visited the Iowa Children's Museum in Coralville, Iowa then you really are missing out. The museum is in the Coralville Mall outside of Iowa City, IA off of I-80. Admission is $6 for ages 1-59 and $5 for seniors 60+. Infants under 1 are FREE. Also, the last Friday of every month is FREE admission as part of Family Fun Night in the mall. If you decide you love the museum as much as we do, get the Family Pass. It is $100/family (includes 2 adults and all children) and comes with several discount offers. So for our family of 4 (with our baby under age of 1) we simply must go 6 times a year to meet that price. That is only 1 time every other month, which is a great value!

Regular admission or the family pass covers a wide variety of activities for children of all ages. Some of the activities kids can do are:
  • See real fish and turtles

  • Put on their own puppet show with TONS of puppets

  • Build with legos and blocks

  • Visit the construction room

  • Go down slides upstairs or through tunnels

  • Plant and harvest their own "crops" in the farm room

  • Visit the motion room with all things related to physics

  • Play at the Thomas the Train table

  • Visit the special exhibit room that changes annually

  • Read books or listen to stories in the reading area

  • See several shows that vary month by month

  • Do MANY kinds of arts and crafts projects

  • Build their own "pizza" in the pizza eatery

  • Grocery "shop" in the mini grocery shopping center

  • Pretend to be a doctor, dentist, or ambulance driver at the health center

  • And much much more!

To learn more visit Click on the membership tab to see all the details about the family pass. Also note that the children museum is not open on Mondays and has special hours that are different from the rest of the mall on the other days.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Barbecue Season is Here!

Tonight the warm weather finally got to me and I cooked up some great summer barbecue items. We ate a yummy potato salad and oh so good turkey sloppy joes. Both recipes are really great for graduation parties, showers, and grill nights. Enjoy!

Potato Salad

You will need:
A large 10 lb bag of potatoes, I use russet but some like red potatoes just as well
8 eggs
Mayonnaise or light mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Sweet relish
1/2 an onion, very finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
Alternative seasonings--dill, paprika, etc.

  1. Bring to boil a large pot of water. Add potatoes one by one carefully (unpeeled or cut). Boil for 20-25 minutes. Potatoes should be tender and skin should come off easily. Drain water and let cool.
  2. In a smaller pot place eggs in gently. Cover with 1 inch of COLD water. Add a pinch of salt or 1 tsp. of Vinegar. Place on high heat for 15-20 minutes. When eggs are fully hard-boiled switch to a bowl filled with ice water OR alternatively set pot in sink and run very cold water over, draining hot water from pot. Let eggs cool.
  3. When potatoes are cooled, peel with a potato peeler. Dice potatoes into pieces of desired size. I like 1 cm x 1 cm cubes. Place into large bowl and set aside.
  4. Once eggs are cooled, peel them. To remove shells the easiest hit eggs on bottom of counter or sink peeling bottom first. Rinse under water.
  5. Dice up eggs. Add 2 cups of mayonnaise, 1/8 cup of dijon mustard, 2 tsp. vinegar, 2 tsp. parsley and 1 tsp of sweet relish. Stir together.
  6. Add mixture to potatoes using a spatula. Add in onions. Mix together. If too thick add 1 tsp of water or vinegar at a time to thin out. If too thin, add more mayonnaise until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to your preference.
  7. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Keep refrigerated when not in use in air tight container for optimum freshness.
Turkey Sloppy Joes (I double this recipe)

You will need:
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bbq sauce
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 an onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red pepper (optional)
Ground Pepper

  1. Brown ground turkey in skillet. Once meat is no longer pink, season with ground pepper. Put on medium-low heat and saute onions stirring every couple of minutes.
  2. Mix all other items in a small saucepan, stirring frequently. Bring to a simmer. Then pour into skillet with meat and onion. Stir well together so all meat is coated in sauce. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Serve as a sandwich on toasted bun or texas style thick toast. You can also add shredded cheese and lettuce. Great for reheating up and very easy to do in a crockpot on low heat settings.

Walmart Reusable Grocery Bags

Our family officially went "green" this weekend.

My husband and I agreed to buy our first reusable shopping bags at Walmart. I was surprised to find that they are actually very durable and have lots more room than your average plastic bag. In just one blue tote we were able to fit to large bags of Ruffles chips, bread, english muffins, and hot dog buns. And there was still plenty of room left for lots more!

We figure we use on average 8+ plastic grocery bags every time we go shopping for groceries (not even including basic toiletries or non-grocery shopping items). And if we go shopping on average 4 times a month that is 32 bags minimum a month and 384 in a year!

Now the trick is to keep them on hand so we can use them each time. We stored all 4 bags in the trunk of our van for when we go grocery shopping. I can't wait to use them the next time we go grocery shopping.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hyvee 3 Day Sale

Today was a great day to pick up some basics at Hyvee! A LOT of items were very cheap in their ad this week. This week was supposed to be our "no spend week" but Hyvee has a 3 day sale going on thru tomorrow (Saturday). Since I had to run in to pick up some necessities anyway I went ahead and did some light shopping. Plus, we have company coming into town this weekend so we wanted to get some meat to grill out since the weather is just so amazing today! Hard to believe it is almost 90 degrees as I type this!

Here is what we got for under $55

2 gallons of Country Fare skim milk @ $2.25 each
1 Hyvee sour cream @ 58 cents w/ in-ad coupon
1 Hyvee strawberry yogurt @ $1.77
1 Country Fare cottage cheese @ $1.48
1 Hyvee eggs @ 97 cents

2 Jacks frozen pizzas @ 1.99 each
Grocery & Pantry Items
6 Taco seasoning mixes for at 3 for $1 = $2
1 Hyvee White Sandwich bread @ $1.18
8 boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese @ 48 cents each

Fresh green beans for 99 cents/lb
2 lemons @ 2 for 59 cents
Oranges for 69 cents/lb

Chicken Family Value Pack @ 97 cents/lb
Ground Turkey 2 for $3
3 Ribeyes @ 5.99 each

They were sold out of their 3 for $1 baked beans and Kraft Singles for $1.99. But it was still a good trip for us. Next week is another "no spend" grocery week and we are going to try and stick to basic items again. Barring no amazing deals you won't see me heading out anywhere for groceries! :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I love Hotslings!

Seriously I don't know what I did without this product when my first son was little! It is so awesome. I can pop the baby in the sling and be free to do dishes, vacuum, and cook. It honestly has kept my house running these days! It comes in different sizes and you can find the sizing directions and wearing guide online.

I have the Tokyo print Everyday Collection sling. I love it!

Go to for more information!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's For Dinner Monday!

It was a bit chilly today so we cooked up so comfort foods today. There is nothing like Mexican Goulash and Cornbread so we made big batches of both! It was so yummy!!!

Here are the recipes and some pictures:

1 chopped up green pepper
1/2 chopped up white/yellow onion
3 Roma Tomatoes, seeds washed out, diced
1 lb ground beef
Mexican seasoning (I use a liberal dash of Emeril's Southwest Seasoning)
Dash of Garlic (if using fresh-1 clove)
1 can (16 oz) petite diced (crushed can also work) tomatoes (do not drain)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can corn (drained)
2 cups of elbow macaroni
1. Heat up olive oil in skillet. When ready brown beef in LARGE skillet.
2. In a large pot bring water to a boil, add elbow macaroni.
3. Add to skillet pepper, onions, and fresh tomatoes to browned beef. Season. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Vegetables should be well-sauteed.
4. Reduce to low heat and add remaining ingredients to skillet. Heat up in skillet for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside when done (all items should be well cooked and hot).
5. Drain macaroni in strainer. Return to pot once cooled. Pour skillet mixture into pot and fold items together so noodles and meat and veggie sauce are well-mixed.
6. Serve warm or cold.

2 packets of Betty Crocker Corn Meal Mix
1/2 cup of cornmeal or whole wheat flour
2 spoonfuls of sour cream
2 Eggs
1/2 cup of Milk
4 tbsp of butter (melted)
1 can of creamed corn
Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheeses (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 11x11 baking dish with non-stick spray or Crisco.
2. Mix together all ingredients except shredded cheese. Do not over mix, should have dry crumbles.
3. Pour into pan. At this point you can lightly sprinkle over the shredded cheeses if you would like. Bake in oven for 15-20 minute until golden brown.
4. When its done use a knife around the edges of the baking dish to "cut out" bread. Flip immediately over a cutting board (so corn stays evenly distributed and keeps it moist. Remove from pan completely and let cool for at least 15-20 minutes or until cool.
5. Cut and serve.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

BOGO 1/2 off Shorts @ Gap Kids and Baby Gap

We are set for this spring and summer as far as apparel but for those of you that still need to get out and buy some shorts for you kids, Gap has a great promotion right now on shorts. When you buy 1 pair of shorts you can get your 2nd pair of equal or lesser value for 1/2 off! The offer is limited to Gap Kids and Baby Gap lines. However this is really great for older kids if you need shorts for school uniforms or if you just love Gap's toddler and baby denim collection like I do!

One more option is that some of the 2 for $20 collections seem to be included in the offer online so you might be able to knock that down to 2 for $15 instead!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kohl's Cash April 22-27!

That's right! All of you that love to shop Kohl's will be happy to hear that Kohl's Cash is back April 22nd-April 27th both in-store and online. The redemption period runs April 28th-May 6th. Also, they have some great clearance offers so if you have been waiting for a good sale this is you chance to do some shopping and get a deal. Happy Shopping!

I had to share this amazing offer from! Right now they are offering an additional 70% off gift certificates to local restaurants. Use the code: FEAST to get 70% on the gift certificates. The offer is good for a limited time.

We used it to buy$25 gift certificates at $10. We bought 4 total and with the additional 70% off we got $100 in GC's for $12!!! The best part is they are to my favorite local restaurant! Their are some restrictions on each restaurant but it ends up being a good deal. For the restaurant we picked you have to spend $35, have a 18% gratuity, and the gift card is not good towards alcohol.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Designer Floral Kimono! So Cute!

During my free time I love to find cute baby clothes. Check out this kimono style romper at Asian Baby Style! This is so cute for little kids. Its only available in 3-6 months and 6-12 months in a floral pattern but they have lots of other cute Asian designs on their website.
To find this product go to:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to freeze strawberries!

What is more enjoyable in spring than fresh strawberries! We bought LOTS of super cheap strawberries recently at HyVee. And this week they are selling a 4 lb package for $4.68. So here is how you can make those strawberries last for you to use year long:

Step 1: Wash strawberries in cold water and use paper towel to pat dry. I also let mine drain in a strainer over the sink for 5 minutes. Make sure to toss or use any that show any sign of major discoloration or damage--the freshest kind work best. Then use a knife to remove the tops, stems, and leaves.

Step 2: Place berries on a baking sheet, cut side down so that they lay flat. They should be close together but not touching each other. For an easy clean up place nonstick wax paper on the baking sheet.

Step 3: Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until well chilled, then transfer sheets to the freezer for 6 hours or overnight.

Step 4: After they have been frozen you can remove the berries from the baking pan and place them into a freezer proof ziploc bag or airtight freezer container.

Step 5: Mark container with the date you froze or bought them.

TIP: Strawberries last up to 1 year after freezing if done immediately, but I recommend no longer than 6 months. They are really great for smoothies among other things!

Kmart Double Coupon Event--Davenport, IA

Kmart is offering double and triple coupons again at select locations around the US. I didn't believe it myself so I emailed customer service to find out if it was true. Unfortunately the locations are limited in my state. However my husband happens to be traveling through the one city that week so I am going to make him pop in if there are any good deals with matching coupons to use.
Here is the email customer service sent to me:
Thank you for contacting Kmart regarding the Kmart Double Coupon Event. We appreciate you interest in this promotion.
Our next double coupon event starts on 4/19/09 and will run until 4/25/09 . The following IA store is participating: Davenport

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

EASY 1 Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Dinner

We made this yummy chicken and rice combo tonight. It was delicious and super easy to do.

1 Family Size pkg of Chicken Drumsticks (2-3 lbs)
1 can of Swanson chicken soup stock (I used garlic flavored)
2 pkgs of Uncle Bens 6 oz. boxes of wild rice (any flavors work)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
Assorted Seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika, emeril's original essence, etc)

What I did was combine all of these ingredients in a covered baking pot for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I placed everything but the chicken in and stirred it up well with a spoon. Then I laid the chicken in and seasoned it how I like it but you can also use your own favorites. I then used the same spoon to pour some of the sauce over the chicken a couple times. I checked on it every 20 minutes to stir the rice and flip the chicken. I baked it for just over an hour but if you use closer to 2 lbs instead of the 3 we used it will be done right at 1 hour.

Hope you enjoy!

Weekly Groceries for under $55

Cooking at home this month has made me much better at grocery shopping! We have not dropped a dime to eat out since March 31st with the exception of Sunday night on our long drive home from Easter weekend. This week I spent under $55 on a total of 37 items at HyVee. My total was $54.76 with tax and it included:

1 dozen eggs
1/2 gallon orange juice
2 4 packs of Imperial margarine sticks
2 pkgs of Birdseye frozen peas
1 pkg of frozen spinach
4 Jack's frozen pizzas
4 cans cream style corn
4 cans green beans
1 loaf of Sarah Lee white bread
2 boxes of Stove Top chicken stuffing
1 gallon skim milk
1 Roberts sour cream
1 Kraft Velveeta cheese
4 pkgs of California strawberry
3 lb pkg of baby carrots
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 lbs roma tomatoes
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Chicken Drumsticks
1 lb ground beef

Not bad! Normally I would have to buy at least 1 more gallon of milk but since we were out of town for the weekend, we still had a gallon left to use. I'm enjoying this challenge this month of cooking at home and trying to cut down on grocery costs. I have been trying lots of great new recipes and searching sale ads for the best prices. Its been quite the fun quest so far! I think we might try to make this a regular thing for our family.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

DSW Clearance Event

DSW has a promotion for 30% off all clearance thru next Monday, April 13th, 2009. Use the code SPRING30 to save.

Also, DSW will give you free shipping when you spend $29 or more. Use the code FSDSW.

Bonus tip: sign up for their DSW rewards card and get a coupon for $10 off your next purchase and receive special offers.

Shop now at:

How to create & maintain an ORGANIZED coupon book!

I recently redid my coupon book. Here is a few tricks of how to keep couponing as simple as possible for your next trip out to the store:

1) Create a coupon book: For beginners start with a mini file fax arranged by type of coupons you most frequently use. I started with Target coupons, BRU coupons, and common baby products. For the more advanced couponer or grocery couponer--use a 3 ring binder or very large file fax. Use clear baseball card holders to contain your coupons.

2) Decide how to organize your coupons: Organize your coupons and divide them up into categories or groups by expiration date, brand name, product type, or by store name. If you have LOTS, alphabetize your coupons. I use a few of these strategies. First, I separate store brand coupons from my manufacturer coupons. Then I alphabetize each category. Within each letter I group together items by brand name. So for instance my target coupons are grouped A-Z and on the "C" page I have all my Clorox branded products grouped together.

3) Utilize folders: For when you don't have time put your coupons where they belong, slide coupons into a closeable pencil bag or folder. Then devote 1 hour a week to "maintaining" your coupon book. This will also allow for time to throw out expired coupons. I also have a folder for random coupons. This is because I receive TONS of emails with coupon codes to retailers. If something interests me I print it out and put it in my book for just in case I need it. By doing this I can keep my mailbox from getting too full of retailer emails, but I can still enjoy the special offers they send out. Also, use a folder or the front pocket to keep store ads incase you need to refer to it while at the store.

4) Store your coupon book wisely: To store my coupon book, I like to use a tote bag. I have one bag set aside next to my purse for when I walk out the door to go shopping. Also, you can hang it on a hook next to your keys by your main entryway. I also keep a spot in between my front seat clear for my tote bag to easily fit into next to my purse. This way my coupons are not getting in my way at home or in my car.

5) Keep what you need with your book: I keep a pair of scissor and a grocery pad and pen with my coupon book. If I need to cut a coupon out on the fly I have it right there. The pen and paper is for me to write out a makeshift list if I am on the go. Also, its a good idea to have a calculator if you are using coupons to budget.

6) Don't shop without a plan: Flips through advertised sales in your newspaper ads as well as online. Once you have a list of deals you would like to get, you can then from there check your coupons. Also be sure to check blogs and websites like for additional special deals or ways to save you more money.

7) Make your grocery list functional: After you have sorted through your coupons write up your grocery list. Instead of just listing the item though, list with it the brand name and the specific of the coupon. For example if you have a coupon for $2 off/4 cans of Progresso microwaveable soups write: Buy 4 PROGRESSO microwaveables *Use coupon* instead of soups. Also be sure to include sales prices if they are applicable.

8) Still frustrated with your coupon book? Create a table of contents! I have a cheat sheet at the front of my coupon book that tells me where I can find something. If you would like you can type up an alphabetical list to tell you wear to find what you are looking for.

Get this free download from Walmart!

Dealseekingmom originally posted this and its a really neat deal so I have to share it with all of you too! Walmart will allow you to download Still Feels Good by Rascal Flats for FREE. Its a good song too! I really love it! And make sure you check out the rest of her blog, its filled with deals and freebies!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I heard about this on several different baby blogs. Get a sample 3 pack of free Huggies diapers! Only available is sizes newborn-2. Huggies will also send you a coupon! Go to this website to get yours:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Got my new Huggies and Target Baby Coupon Mailers today!

I love getting coupons. When I think about it, I think coupons might actually make me spend more money than I need to to have that amazing deal you know?!

But I haven't always been a coupon junkie! Until about a year ago I had no idea places would send you LOADS of coupons if you just sign up for them. Usually all you have to do is give them a couple of the following: your address, email address, and full name. Sometimes they will want you to fill out a rewards or "loyalty programs," survey. But its usually just a couple questions of why you enjoy their product(s). If you ever get asked by a cashier to join a rewards program, and the program is free, do it!!! I get coupons and promotional or special sale offers monthly, sometimes even as much as every week from companies. Here are a couple of my favorite rewards programs:

1) Your bank--most banks will let you earn rewards for using your debit card. You have to look into your bank's specific conditions, but a lot of the time you can earn cash back or gift cards and travel miles for just using your debit card for every day things you need anyway.

2) Hallmark Rewards--Hallmark has one of the BEST reward programs I have ever run across. You get coupons and deals every month and for the points you earn you can get an "upgraded status" that earns you even more rewards. They have a program you pay for as well but unless you shop there a LOT, its not really necessary. Also--at the end of the year they tell you how much you spent with them--which is great for helping you budget for the next year.

3) Perks Place at The Children's Place--With this swipeable pass you earn point on each person. Spend $150 and get $10 back. Best of all its free, you don't need to get their store credit card! And they will also send you exclusive coupons in the mail.

4) BabiesRUs and ToysRUs--you can sign up for a rewards membership online. They track how much you spend and send you coupons for $ off any purchase and will send you coupons in the mail along with a booklet of upcoming sales.

5) Gap Credit Card--This is quite the investment and normally I would say DON'T do a credit card. But if you are like me and like to order things online--this credit card has free shipping offers. I save myself about $100 annually off of shipping costs and don't have to drop $100 to get the "free shipping" bonus that most stores make you use. And because this a store I frequent ALL the time, I save money by shopping online so I won't overbuy. Because we all for that trap on at least one item. But if you do a credit card, make the purchases worthwhile by not carrying a balance. ALWAYS pay your balance in full.

6) Huggies, Similac, Enfamil, Pampers....anything baby! You can sign up for vouchers and coupons at all of these websites.

7) P&G Coupons--Proctor and Gamble will let you sign up for mailer coupons at their website. These are very handy and can save you money on things ranging from Tide to Cereals.

8) Barnes and Noble Rewards--If you read a lot of books this is a great offer. But it ALSO can save you money off of toys, puzzles, calendars, music, and dvds. Can't afford the annual $25 membership? Try and find someone who has one because you just need to know the phone number to look up the account. For instance I have frequently let my mom or closer friends use mine. Best part is you always get 10% off. And often times they run promotions of up to 40% off or send out coupons to your email address. This is especially great for purchasing textbooks if you are a student. Barnes and Noble has special section online for getting reduced price text books that are old or new. You get to use your discount and they will sometimes throw in free shipping.

9) Your most used grocery product--Mine is Rogers Dairy, I eat their yogurts and drink their milk DAILY. I checked out their website and discovered they also have coupons they mail out occasionally. All I had to do was give them my address and they send them to me in the mail.

10) Target--when you register for a baby registry or wedding Target will send you coupons after you have "completed" it. After my wedding, target sent me a coupon for 20% off anything remaining on my registry and I could still access it. I needed a new camera since mine broke. So I added it and saved $50 plus got free shipping. Also, you can sign up for coupons and even print some off online at

BONUS TIP: Any place that asks for your email address wants to send you a coupon! So always give them it. For instance, Bath and Body Works, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Victoria's secret will always ask for your email address. When you give it to them they sign you up for email offers and send you coupons. Banana Republic actually gave me one for 20% off online! You can also find most of these offers by googling but companies are getting smarter about encoding them and limiting them by using bar codes so my best recommendation is to sign up for your favorites yourself. Take advantage of all the great deals to be found out there, especially in this economy when companies will do back flips to keep you as a customer.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Got my Free Diet Dr. Pepper Today!

Have you got your FREE Diet Dr. Pepper yet? I have. Request your coupon for a free 2 liter or 16 oz bottle at Your coupon will arrive in the mail in as few as 7 days!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

10 Ways to Save Money this Spring!

  1. Declare a spending freeze--no shopping except for bare necessities and stay out of the malls and stores. See how long you can stay away from your favorite place to shop.
  2. Cheap entertainment-- Don't pay when you can have fun for free. Try game nights, movie and popcorn nights, walks to park, and getting books from the library.
  3. Pantry-only cooking--no grocery shopping except for basics like milk, eggs, butter for 1 week during the month
  4. Drive less--don't go to places that are not necessary and save on gas money. Plan any trips out so you are not wasting time driving back and forth.
  5. Drink less sodas and pops--switch to waters, koolaids, and crystal lite instead. You can even try making your own lemonade for a nice spring treat.
  6. No eating out--cook at home instead or bring a lunch to work. Try some new recipes to keep yourself from getting bored.
  7. Clean out the closets--sell items for cash or give away. An extra bonus: this declutters your home and you will have your spring cleaning done!
  8. Pay with cash--Try to not use your debit card and pay with cash. You will be more conscious of what you spend when paying with cash.
  9. Use coupons--Utilize your local newspaper and clip coupons and plan plan plan to save money at the store. Also try looking online for coupons or savings codes.
  10. Invest wisely--To make it all worthwhile put 90% of the savings into a savings or power checking account to earn interest. Then treat yourself to something nice after 1 month of saving money!

Yummy Taco Foldovers!

I needed to use up some ground beef from the freezer and didn't have a lot on hand. So I decided to make taco meat and use it to make taco foldovers. I used crescent rolls (you could also use your own homemade dough), shredded cheeses, and the seasoned taco beef to make them. I also set out sour cream, queso dip, and salsa for dipping with the foldovers and some tortilla chips. To make the queso dip I used up the remaining meat, added some velveeta cheese, spices and some salsa and green chilies and then microwaved them for 2 minutes. Together everything was delicious! My 3 year old ate over 1/2 of the foldovers and my husband wants me to make them again sometime instead of our regular tacos that we normally have once a week. Next time I am going to sneak in some green and red peppers and try it with fajita seasoning and chicken!

If I had a million dollars....

I would give it all to families trying to rebuild their homes in Cedar Rapids, IA. Cedar Rapids had record flooding last summer and still isn't back to normal. The downtown area is empty and its a sad sight to see. These families could use money like this to rebuild their homes, clean up their community, and make their neighborhood better for their kids again. This is an investment everyone can benefit from. Our kids will benefit and will give back more than a million dollars in gold.

If you give a mouse a cookie brings me back

Today I love reading this book to my son. It was my favorite as a child and now I can read it to my son too. We also try to make chocolate chips cookies and drink milk before reading it. It's just great to have before bedtime and goes perfect with this book!

I love this book because it reminds me of Kindergarden. What person doesn't remember reading this book in class as a child? Even better is now the book has its own series. So when my 3 year old asks for another book I will just read another one!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

AMAZING stroller hooks!

These are so awesome!!! Every mom needs 1 or 2 sets of these! My husband and I were always agitated when we went shopping at the mall because our double stroller had no where to store our bags. The storage bin on our stroller is under the two kids seat and a pain to get to. But we found these at Babiesrus and oh my I am so so so grateful to have found these! We tested them out yesterday and this morning and they hook right on to our bar and our shopping bags easily fit on the hook. Even our bulky diaper bag still stays on them. I might just have to buy another set because they are just that helpful!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Need a new baby wearer

So I'm looking for a new sling or baby carrier. I have a hot sling but I feel like I need a little more versatility. I looking at this Moby Wrap. I like the moss and aqua colors, but feel like black or navy blue would be more practical. I think it would enable me to keep up with my 3 year old more since the baby wants to be held a lot. Plus it holds up to 45 lbs, 35 comfortably, and will likely last until this baby doesn't want to be held so much anymore. I can't wait to get one, it will be the perfect thing to have this spring and summer when the weather warms up and we go to the park again. And its only $40 so I can definitely afford it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In love with Pandora

So I recently rediscovered Pandora. If you have not yet heard of Pandora, basically it allows you to listen to music for free online. You type in a song or artist you love and it plays similar songs in that genre. You can set up your own "stations" and decide which music you like or dislike. Based on that, Pandora makes new recommendations for you to listen to and compiles a list of music they think you might enjoy. So if you type in Lily Allen, it will play a song by her and then continue to play music based on what you rate 'like' or 'dislike'. And for those of you that want to buy the music you really love, Pandora can link you directly to iTunes or Amazon to buy that cool new song or album you just have to have. Make your own account and Pandora will record your preferences for you to listen to wherever you log in at. The best part is its free and you can enjoy whatever you want when you want to.
Try Pandora now at:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Janie and Jack Friends and Family Offer!

Janie and Jack have a friends and family sale this weekend from March 27-March 29th, 2009. Enter the code JJFriend for 25% your entire online purchase. They are also offering free shipping off of orders greater than $100.


1. FREE SHIPPING OFFER: Offer valid between 3/27/2009 12:01 a.m. ET and 3/29/2009, 11:59 p.m. ET. Free standard U.S. shipping applies automatically to orders of $100 or more at checkout. Shipping rate is calculated from merchandise subtotal (less discounts, if applicable) and does not include tax or purchases of gift cards. Valid on each shipment with a merchandise subtotal of $100 or more. Promotion not valid on international shipments. Not valid for cash. No shipping adjustments on previous purchases. Offer is non-transferable. Not valid at Janie and Jack shops. Janie and Jack reserves the right to change this promotion at any time. Not combinable with any other offer.

2. FRIENDS & FAMILY: Coupon is valid for one transaction only and only one coupon may be redeemed per customer. Valid only on listed dates. To redeem online, enter: JJFRIEND into the promotion code box at checkout. Online orders must be placed between 3/27/2009 12:01 a.m. ET and 3/29/2009, 11:59 p.m. ET in order to receive discount. Discount will not be applied toward shipping charges, taxes, gift cards, in-store phone orders or donations. Original coupon must be presented and will be collected at time of in-store purchase. No adjustments will be made to prior sales. Purchases made with this offer are not eligible for a price adjustment. May not be combined with any other offers. Coupon may not be redeemed for cash. Lost, stolen, expired, or destroyed coupons will not be replaced. Offer may not be transferred in any way. Use of this coupon constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions, except where prohibited by law. Janie and Jack reserves the right to change these terms or cancel this promotion at any time. Employees will receive their standard employee discount on all regular priced items and the Friends and Family discount on all sale items. Not valid at Janie and Jack Outlet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Free Shipping at Target

I LOVE Target!

My husband and I ordered this highchair from Target last week. Only we ordered a cherry colored version of it. We decided after watching Jon and Kate +8 that we wanted to try using a wooden high chair instead of a big bulky plastic one for this baby. The plastic ones are more than double, sometimes triple the price of this one at $39.99. We waited for it to have a special or promo code for free shipping and ordered it first thing on Monday last week. We got our highchair in the mail today and it is gorgeous. I couldn't believe it only took my husband 10 minutes to set up and the wood is very high quality too! Target still is offering free shipping on select items for a limited time, so if you know you need something order it now!

Link to highchair:

Monday, March 23, 2009

FREE Bath and Body Works Item! Thru 4/12

Print off this coupon to get a free Bath and Body Works Signature Collection item up to $12 when you spend $10 or more! Good thru April 12th!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have discovered how to make my homemade cleaning product smell better!

I use 1 part vinegar and 1 part baking soda and water to scrub down my bathroom and kitchen. I had been putting Dawn lemon-scented dish soap in it and using a spray bottle. But I switched to using fresh squeezed lemon and orange juices instead. Not a lot, but just enough to rid it of that vinegar smell (about 2 tablespoons). I love using the orange the best, it gives off a super clean scent in my kitchen! Plus my son loves oranges so one more orange a week is an easy and cheap buy for me since I buy the big bag of oranges every time I go to the grocery store! I just dump my mix every couple of days or so if I have any leftovers so I can clean out my sprayer to keep it from getting clogged. When I dump it, I also use that to clean my kitchen sink!

Yes I might be a shopaholic but....

I am a very good one! Today I headed to our outlet mall and found some AWESOME deals. I have bought Thomas's entire fall/winter wardrobe for next year for super cheap and am proud to say I am done for a while. And I am going to list them here for you because I like to share!

Old Navy--They had a whole wall of infant and baby items for $5 each. It didn't include toddler sized items (only up to 24 months included in the sale) but I needed some spring and summer items for Oliver so I picked up some 1 pieces, shorts, and Oliver's Easter outfit. Oliver's Easter outfit from head to toe totalled only $20! And its going to double as his baptism outfit so I totally scored!

The Children's Place--They did it again! All the winter clearance items were $2.99 and under. So for $25 I was able to get 5 pairs of corduroy pants, 2 matching velvet blazers for next Christmas AND some footed pjs for next winter! And I earned rewards points by swiping my Children's Place Perks pass. So I will be earning my next reward very soon! LOVE it!

Carters Outlet--I love Carters rewards cards. I get the email offers and they always send me $10 off coupons but this time I also got to use 2 $10 off a $35 purchase coupons that they gave me for shopping a couple weeks ago. I still have one left to use and they are good through April 4th. All together I saved $30 making my total $60. Everything I had was 70%+ off so I got lots of inexpensive finds for both boys next winter and fall.

Back from a long vacation!

Its been quite a long hiatus for me these last couple of months. Oliver is now here and Thomas has kept me busy too so things are different in our wild household. But....I will be posting my bargains again!!! That and *ahem* all the pretty things I would love to buy but my husband would scream at me if I actually did. :-)