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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Secret Ingredient Raspberry Jam

I tried a new jam recipe yesterday, and you'll never guess what the secret ingredient is!
Green tomatoes! I hate throwing out all the green tomatoes at the end of the season each year. In the past I've tried to get them to ripen inside and I've tried making fried green tomatoes. Maybe I didn't do it right, but both "experiments" were failures. This year was the same as every other--I had a big bowl of green tomatoes when I had to pull out my tomato plants.

This summer when I was making rhubarb berry jam, I stumbled upon a recipe for raspberry jam that used green tomatoes. I stored it away, anxious to be able to use my green tomatoes for a purpose this year!

Puree your tomatoes.I had 2 cups of puree, so I added 2 cups of sugar and brought it to a boil.Simmer for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.Remove from heat and add a 3 oz. box of raspberry gelatin. Stir until dissolved.Now can you tell the difference, that this isn't real raspberry jam? The tomato seeds look like raspberry seeds! And it tastes good, too! Pour into jars, cool in the fridge, keep in the freezer. Or you could probably can it, but I don't have a pot deep enough yet. Someday I'll tackle that! Looks just like the real thing, doesn't it?
I bet no one will guess it's made with green tomatoes!

Free Pancake for Kids at IHOP

Kids 12 and under can get a FREE scary face pancake on 10/29 at IHOP. It's a pancake with whip cream, a strawberry, 2 mini Oreos, and candy corn.
Thanks Katy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Roundy's Coupon Matches (Copps, Pick 'n Save, Rainbow))

Roundy's stores (Copps, Pick 'n Save, and Rainbow) double 5 coupons up to $1 per $25 order every Wednesday AND Saturday. However, THIS WEDNESDAY is double double daze AGAIN! Double 10 coupons per $25 order instead of just 5! There are several deals this week, so here are some printable coupon matches to help you make your list. Check your coupon stash to see if you can find more matches. For printing tips, click here. Questions? Feel free to email me!

$0.50/ea: Yoplait Light, Light Thick & Creamy Yogurt, 6 oz
$0.40/6 Yoplait Yogurt cups
$0.40/6 Yoplait Yogurt cups
BOGO free Yoplait Go-Gurt
$0.75/2 Yoplait Go-GURT Yogurt
$1.50/ea: Yoplait YoPlus Yogurt
$0.50/1 YoPlus Yogurt 4-pack
$0.50 ADC
BOGO free Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt
$0.50/1 Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt Multipacks
$2.50/ea: Hershey's Snack Size Candy
$1.00/3 REESE'S, KIT KAT, or HERSHEY'S snack size bags (9-22 oz.)
$1.98/ea: Nestle Fun Size Candy Bars (Limit 2)
$1.00/2 Nestle Fun Size bags
$0.98 each ADC
$0.68/ea: Bar S Meat or Turkey Franks
$1.00/2 Bar-S Beef Franks (if beef is included in sale)
Better than free ADC (coupon will double up to regular price)
$2.99/ea: Johnsonville Pork Sausage Links, Patties or Rolls
$0.55/1 Johnsonville Links, Patties or Rolls
$1.89 ADC
$2.50/ea: Wholly Guacamole, 7 oz.
$1.00/2 Wholly Guacamole products
$1.50 ADC
$3.99/ea: Wholly Guacamole, 14 oz.
$1.00/2 Wholly Guacamole products
$2.99 each ADC
$1.00/ea: Minute Maid Simply Juice or Lemonade, 12-13.5 oz.
$1.00/1 Simply Lemonade, Orange, or Apple Juice (Facebook)
Better than free ADC (you may have used this coupon last week on the full-size)
$1.89/ea: Zatarain's Dinner Mixes
$0.75/2 Zatarain's rice mixes or pasta mixes
$1.14 each ADC
$6.99/ea: Crisco Olive Oil
$1.00/1 Crisco Olive Oil
$4.99 ADC
$2.99/ea: Folgers Coffee
$1.00/1 Special Roast Can
$0.99 ADC
$2.00/ea: Hot Pockets Side Shots
$1.00/1 Hot Pockets (Facebook)
$1.00/ea: Cole’s Garlic Mini-Loaf
$0.50/1 Cole’s Product
Free ADC
BOGO free Jose Ole Taquitos, Mini Tacos, and Mini Quesadillas
$1.00/1 Jose Ole Product
$4.99/ea: Wisk 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent
$1.00/1 Wisk laundry detergent
$2.99 ADC
$6.19/ea: Scott Paper Towels, 6-12 Roll
$2.50, on 8 or more rolls of SCOTT Extra Soft Bath Tissue AND 4 or more rolls of SCOTT Towels

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mothering Bracelets

I subscribe to a magazine called Above Rubies, a magazine dedicated to encouraging mothers, raising children, and healthy living. I recently found out about these Bracelets of Encouragement and wanted to share them with you. Each bracelet has a positive affirmation for wives and mothers to remind you of your calling as a wife and mother. These are the bracelets that are available:


You can order just one bracelet with the phrase of your choice for $2.50, or you can order a bundle of 8 bracelets for $12. Better yet, you can customize your set of 8 bracelets and order 1 of each, 2 of one, three of another, or all 8 of the same! What a fun way to promote motherhood! Shipping is a flat $1.50.

Want an even better deal? Sign up as a preferred shopper and you will get an email with a code for 10% off!

Mailbox Monday--New Freebies!

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekly Groceries

I did pretty good at Roundy's this week, only spending $18.90. These items were $1 or less: Pasta shells x4, Bush's Grillin Beans x2 (free), Reach toothbrush (free), eggs x2, broccoli, Simply Orange Juice x2, Welch's Healthy Start Juice, kleenex x2, and milk x3 (though I "paid" for them last week). I also bought 2 packages of spare ribs, bananas, and pancake mix x4.

Then I went to a one-day meat sale and spent $26.93 on chicken, ground beef, eggs, chocolate milk, ice cream, and puffcorn. So this week I spent $45.83 on groceries.

We also went to the apple orchard this week and spent $13 on 26 pounds of apples, with which we made applesauce and apple crisp! We've already eaten and given away most of the applesauce and all the apple crisp, so I'm thinking we need to go back to the orchard to get more apples, now that I have so many helpers to process them!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Easy Apple Crisp

I like making apple crisp because I don't have to mess with a pie crust, plus I LOVE the crunchy toppings of crisps! This is my favorite recipe, adapted from Pampered Chef.

About 8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (enough to fill a 9x13*)
1 stick of butter, melted
1 package of yellow cake mix (18 oz)
4 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls cinnamon
A touch of nutmeg (if desired--I love nutmeg!)
chopped nuts (if desired--my family prefers it without)

Put prepared apples into baking dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over apples. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve alone or with ice cream or whip cream. Yum!

*I used the Deep Dish baker and had enough left over to make another small crisp in a pie plate.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CSN Review--End Tables

I was given the opportunity to do another review for CSN Stores, so this time I ordered some end tables. We've been in dire need of some end tables for quite awhile. We'd been using some my husband had from his bachelor days because we've had a hard time finding something to fit in our space, and the last one was literally on it's last legs!

Ordering from CSN is very easy (once you decide what to get!). As I mentioned before, they have options for narrowing your search, which really helps. I have called their customer service and talked to two different people, and they were both the friendliest customer service reps I think I've ever interacted with! Not that you want to have issues with your order, but if you do, never fear! :-)

The tables were pretty easy to assemble and they fit perfectly in our limited space. I don't know if we would have found a better match, and it was a lot easier to look online than to go to several different stores looking for something that would work for us. Thanks CSN!

*I received a gift code for the purposes of doing this review. My opinions are my own and no one else's! :-)

All You Magazine--$0.83 per issue!

Reader Rae Ann emailed me with a great deal on All You magazine--only $0.83 per issue! All You comes with a bunch of great coupons every month, and is definitely worth subscribing to if you can get it for under $1 per issue, as you will likely save at least that much each month with the coupons inside.

This is a fundraiser for her daughter's kindergarten, but since it is such a good deal, she wanted to share it with all of you, too! Simply click here and then search for All You. Select whether you would like a new subscription or a renewal. If you select 30 issues, you can get it for $25, which comes out to $0.83 per issue. There is no tax or shipping. Thanks Rae Ann!

Easy Homemade Applesauce

Cut up about 12 apples and put them in a pot. We peeled most of the skins off, but there were little bits here and there, which is fine. Add 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and about 1 tablespoon each of cinnamon and lemon juice (I don't really measure--I'm a lazy cook that way!)

Stir and bring the mixture to a boil, then cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples should get nice and soft and your kitchen should start smelling wonderful!
You can mash the apples in the pot for a chunky applesauce, but we prefer it pureed. Scoop the apples and water into your blender (or food processor). You may have to occasionally stop the blender and stir the apples. Puree to your level of smoothness/chunkiness.
Serving it warm is oh, so good!
It's fine to freeze applesauce, which is what I do since I don't know how to can (I used plastic containers for freezing).It should keep for several months in the freezer.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The girls and I went to the apple orchard with a couple friends and had a great time picking and eating apples! I have many eager pickers, so we had a large amount of apples picked in a VERY short amount of time (less than 30 minutes). We bought 26 pounds of apples--it could have EASILY been twice that, but I cut the girls off, thinking to myself, "who's going to process ALL these apples?"

Here is F eating an apple almost as big as her head--she has probably eaten her weight in apples today!

I'm admittedly not the best about training the girls in the kitchen--it's generally easier and faster to do it myself. But I decided there was no time like the present, so after feeding the baby, we all set to work! H, G, and M eagerly washed, peeled, and sliced up apples alongside me, while F ate ANOTHER apple! They were all great helpers, and within about 3 hours we had processed about 25 pounds of apples and made 4 pots of homemade applesauce and an apple crisp! I'll post our pictures and recipes in a separate post. :-)

Yum! Don't you just love fall? What's your favorite apple recipe? I have more apples left (probably 8 pounds--I bought some at the store last week), so please leave me a comment--I'd love to try a new recipe! I'm especially interested in recipes that will freeze well. Does anyone know how to make freezer apple pie filling?

Free Orange 'N Creme Fruitista Freeze

Print off a coupon for a free Orange 'N Creme Fruitista Freeze from Taco Bell, no purchase necessary! This offer is valid until 11/25 or until 500,000 coupons have been redeemed. You can print 2 coupons per computer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weekly Groceries--Pizza Savings!

No pictures again this week, but boy, did I shop! I went to Roundy's twice this week and did a total of 6 transactions--once I realized just how great a deal the DiGiorno pizza was after the surprise catalina, I HAD to go back to buy more on Saturday! They were advertised as 2/$10, buy 2 get a free gallon of milk, which I was willing to pay. But when I bought 2 on Wednesday, I got a catalina that took the full $3 off milk (even though it was $2.45), PLUS I got a $1 catalina that was able to be doubled, essentially taking off a total of $5, making the pizzas 2/$5--an unbeatable deal for DiGiorno! (Since I was buying the milk anyway, I counted the $3 milk catalina toward the pizza--my husband laughs at my "voodoo economics", but I think it's legit!)

After I explained how good a deal it was, my husband told me to go back and buy 8 more pizzas--and he made room for them in the freezer (he loves his pizza)! We have found that we really like the stuffed crust DiGiorno, and are replacing our monthly Pizza Hut splurge ($24 for 2 pizzas) with DiGiorno ($5 for 2 pizzas with this deal), which will save us $95 over the 10 pizzas!

That being said, I blew the weekly budget and spent $86.85. This next week's total should be lower, because I still have 4 free milk catalinas and 2 $1 OYNO catalinas (that can be doubled), which will take off $16 from next week's order, so I should be able to remain on track for the month.

I took advantage of the Pillsbury deal, spend $25, get $10 OYNO and free milk (for buying cookies). I bought 2 Grands biscuits, 2 Pizza Crust, 6 Crescent rolls, and 4 cookies and I ended up paying $0.34 TOTAL after catalinas and coupons! I just now realized I was charged for an extra pizza crust--I should have checked my receipt more carefully--Oops! Those items would have all been better than free if I hadn't been charged for the extra pizza crust--$1.66. Oh well.

These items were free or better than free: Oatmeal x2, Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls x2, Reach floss, YoPlus 4-packs x2, Mentos gum x5, and a donut (free after perks).

These items were $1 or less: string cheese x 11 ($1 is my stock-up price), Dannon yogurt 4-packs x3, Dannon 32 oz x2, El Monterey Tornadoes, FlipSides x4, Keebler cookies x2, Fiber One yogurt 4-packs x2, Lysol toilet bowl cleaner x2, Hunt's tomato sauce x4, RoTel tomatoes x3, Oreo Fudge Cream cookies x2, bread x2, and the above Pillsbury items.

I also bought milk x4, bananas, lettuce, chicken breasts x5 lbs, Cascade x2, Nature's Source toilet bowl cleaner, whipping cream, and pizzas x10.

Roundy's Coupon Matches (Pick 'n Save, Copps, Rainbow)

Roundy's stores (Copps, Pick 'n Save, and Rainbow) double 5 coupons up to $1 per $25 order every Wednesday AND Saturday. There are several deals this week, so here are some printable coupon matches to help you make your list. Check your coupon stash to see if you can find more matches. For printing tips, click here. Questions? Feel free to email me!

General Mills Cereal Deal Buy 6 cereal, get catalina coupons for free milk, eggs, 4 Yoplait yogurt cups, and Toaster Strudels
Coupons available:
Various General Mills cereal coupons here and here
More cereal coupons (the same as above) and here
$0.40/6 Yoplait Cups here and here (if you can use these with the catalina)
$0.50/2 Toaster Strudels here (and more of above coupons) (if you can stack with catalina)
**I am doubtful that this will be as good a deal as it has been in the past with the $10 off and free milk. See my separate post explaining why.
$0.55/ea: Yoplait Light, Thick & Creamy or Custard Style Yogurt, 6 oz.
$0.40/6 Yoplait Cups here and here
$0.42 each ADC
$2.00/ea: Yoplait Trix or For Kids Yogurt
$0.75/2 Yoplait Go-GURT Yogurt or Yoplait Trix Multipack Yogurt
$1.25 each ADC
$1.99/ea: Yoplait 32 oz. Yogurt
$0.50/1 Yoplait Yogurt 32 oz
$0.99 ADC
$3.99/ea: Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin Deli Shaved Lunchmeat
$1.00/1 Hillshire Farm Deli Select Lunchmeat
$1.99 ADC
$3.19/ea: Kellogg's Cereal
$1/2 Kellogg's Mini-Wheats
$1/3 Kellogg's Cereal
$5.99/ea: Caribou Coffee
$1.00/1 bag of Caribou Coffee (Whole Bean or Ground)
$3.99 ADC
$1.50/ea: Campbell's Chunky Soup
$1.00/2 cans Healthy Request varieties of Campbells Chunky soup
$0.50 each ADC
$1.00/ea: Old Orchard Frozen Juice
$1.00/4 Old Orchard Frozen Juice Concentrates

$1.00/4 Old Orchard Frozen Juice Concentrates
$0.50 each ADC
$0.89/ea: Kleenex Facial Tissue
$0.50/3 KLEENEX Facial Tissue
$0.56 each ADC (this is a GREAT price!)
$3.00/ea: Welch's Healthy Start Juice
$1.00/1 Welch's Healthy Start 100% Refrigerated Juice
$1.00 ADC
$3.00/ea: Simply Juice
$1.00/1 Simply Juice
$1.00 ADC
$8.98/ea: Huggies Jumbo, Supreme Jumbos, Overnites or GoodNites
$3.00/2 HUGGIES Snug & Dry Diapers
$1.50/1 HUGGIES Snug Dry Diapers
$7.48 each
$1.19/ea: Idahoan Potato Pouches
$1.00/1 Idaho Potatoes
Better than free ADC! (coupon will double to take off up to regular price)
$2.50/ea: Vlasic Pickles
$0.55/1 Vlasic Pickles
$1.40 ADC
$0.99/ea: Heinz Gravy
$1.00/3 Heinz Homestyle Gravy
$0.32 each ADC
$13.99/ea: Pedigree Dry Dog Food
$3.00/1 PEDIGREE Healthy Longevity, Healthy Joints or Healthy Weight
$2.00/ea: Windex, Fantastik or Scrubbing Bubbles Cleaners
$1.00/2 Windex Glass Cleaners
$0.55/1 Windex Multi-Surface product
As low as $0.90 ADC
$3.00/ea: Glade Holiday Candles, Plug-Ins or Refills
$1.50/2 Glade 4-oz. Jar Candles
$1.00 on any Glade PlugIns Scented Oil twin refill or two single refills
$1.00/2 Glade PlugIns Scented Gel products
As low as $0.75 each ADC
$3.50/ea: Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Refill
$1.00/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Power Sprayer refill
$1.50 ADC

Monday, October 18, 2010

Roundy's General Mills Cereal Deal--A Deal?

Roundy's has a different General Mills cereal deal this week. You might wonder if you can hit your target price for cereal (mine is less than $1 per box) with this new deal.

General Mills Cereal Deal
: Buy 6 cereal, get catalina coupons for free milk, eggs, 4 Yoplait yogurt cups, and Toaster Strudels
Coupons available:
Various General Mills cereal coupons here and here
More cereal coupons (the same as above) and here

Unfortunately, you don't get the $10 off like you did with past deals (usually $10 off and at least 1 gallon of free milk--approx $13 value). This one is just shy of a $10 value, IF it takes off the full amounts listed and not just the sale amounts (will it take $3.29 off your bill even if the milk is $2.45?) Likely the price of the cereal will be around $18-$23 for 6 boxes before your cereal coupons. So how do you know if it is a good deal or not?

Here's what you do: add up your 6 cereal, AND the cost of milk, eggs, 4 yogurt cups, and Toaster Strudel (even though you aren't buying them in the same transaction). Then take off your doubled cereal coupon values and the values of the catalinas and that will give you your total OOP (out of pocket expense). Is your OOP divided by 6 less than your per box target price?

The problem is we don't know if the catalinas will take off the actual amount or the full allowed amount (will it take off $2.45 for the milk if that's what you paid, or will it take off $3.29, giving you overage on the milk to apply toward the cereal?) Since we don't know, to play it safe I'd basically call the catalina items free, in which case you are paying for the cereal minus the doubled cereal coupons. Unless you get overage from the catalinas, it won't make your cereal any cheaper--since you have to buy those items, it's not money off your purchase. Does that make sense?

That being said you *might* be able to use coupons for the "free" items (yogurt and toaster strudels) in addition to the catalinas (not sure if that would work or not) in order to make this a better deal. Anyone want to try and give us a report?

Coupons available:
$0.40/6 Yoplait Cups here and here (you'd have to buy 2 extra yogurt cups)
$0.50/2 Toaster Strudels here (you'd have to buy one extra Toaster Strudel)

When all is said and done, I am doubtful that this will be as good a deal as it has been in the past, unless you were going to buy milk, eggs, yogurt AND Toaster Strudels anyway. Here's hoping they bring back the old deal!

Mailbox Monday

Freebies to start your week!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mega Swagbucks Day

Today is Mega Swagbucks Day, so be sure to head over and do a few searches! You can win more than once per day. Also, take a quick minute to click on "Trusted Surveys", "Daily Polls", and "NOSO" to get 6 easy swagbucks, because those values are doubled this week!

If you haven't started searching with Swagbucks, sign up and get 30 free Swagbucks to get your account started. It doesn't take long to earn enough for a $5 Amazon gift card--so search to earn free stuff!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Christian Fiction for Kids

H and G love to read which is great, but sometimes it can be hard to know what books are good for them to read, since I can't keep up with them. Here are some Christian Fiction series that we have found for them to read:

Young Cousins Mysteries, series by Elspeth Campbell Murphy. Fun mysteries with an emphasis on godly character traits. Very early chapter books, age 4-7.

The Three Cousins Detective Club, also by Elspeth Murphy. Similar to, but are longer than the above series, but still early reader chapter books. Age 5-8.

The Ruby Slippers School series by Stacy Towle Morgan is about 2 homeschooled girls who travel to different countries with their dad who is a missionary. They encounter a mystery in each book. My daughter H loved these books because the main character is homeschooled! :-) Age 6 and up. I believe there are 6 books.

Katie's World by Karen Mezek, about a young girl whose parents are missionaries, and she visits a different country in each book, encountering a mystery. Ages 6 and up. I think there are 6 books.

The Elizabeth Gail series by Hilda Stahl. About a young foster girl who is adopted by Christian parents and becomes a Christian. I read these books when I was younger and loved them, and my daughter loves them too. (H is 7 now). My only caveat--Elizabeth Gail does age in this series, so she does encounter love in the later books. So the first several books are fine for age 7 and up, but the later books you might want to wait. I think there are about 21 books.

The Spirit Flyer series by John Bibee (age 9 and up, I would think--my husband and I read these) Great Christian spiritual imagery, about a special bike that can fly. Along the series, the kids' eyes are opened to the spiritual realm and unseen battles that are being fought. There are 8 books, good for boys and girls.

The Mandie series by Lois Leppard--my daughter is about to start this series, and now they have movies out for the first two books, which our family has enjoyed watching together for family movie nights. I'm not sure how many books there are, but at least 40. Probably age 8-12.

And of course the Laura Ingalls Wilder books are great, and everyone knows about those, right? :-) But did you know about the Little House Chapter Books for earlier readers? These are books with shorter stories and chapters that introduce Laura and Mary in their earlier years. Age 4-7.

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