Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thrifty Thursday- Need Clothes?

Summer season is around the corner! For my family that means new summer wardrobes for the youngsters. It appears all 3 of them ages 12, 5 and 2 all hit growth spurts and sadly last years summer clothes are in plastic bins ready to hit the resale shop.

Yesterday I headed to Kohl's and found some great sales. I bought a great shirt for $6 for me! If you sign up for their email club you get $5 off your next purchase.

Macy's is having a friends and family sale. With this coupon you get an additional 25% off! They are already having some great sales so this is like icing on the cake.

Target is my go to place most of the time. I always find something when I am in a rush

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wasteless Wednesday- Are you ready?

It seems everywhere I look I see SWINE FLU. As a mother of 3 children yes it worries me. We live in Texas and Mexico is right next door. I saw on our local news an elementary school was closed up a few cities north of us.

So what is my point? It reminds me to be prepared, illness with children are common and it happens to all of us even if it's the common cold.

My #1 Tip is keep a medicine cabinet or basket up to date. Check for old and expired medication throw it out. Once you use up the below medication make sure you pick up more the next week even if everyone is well.

You will thank yourself at 3 am when your child wakes up with a fever and vomiting. No late night trips to Wally World.
  1. Keep extra prescription medication on hand (for us asthma med's for little miss)

  2. Always have ibuprofen or Tylenol for adults and children. Here is a coupon for $2 off Tylenol

  3. Keep Stomach over the counter medication like Pepto or Tum's in the medicine cabinet. Here is a free sample of Prilosec to keep handy.

  4. Have an extra bottle of electrolyte drink (Pedilyte) for the kids. When someone has the throw-ups it is hard to leave the house to pick some up. I also keep can's of Sprite in the fridge in the garage. That always calms my upset stomach. I also found this recipe online for Homemade Pedilyte : Stir together all of the following ingredients:2 quarts water,1-teaspoon baking soda,1-teaspoon salt, 7 Tablespoons sugar,1 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid

  5. Stock up on crackers, granola bars and can goods when they are on sale. Those are the gentle foods and easy to make when your family has illness.

  6. Have an old school thermometer, remember the one's with mercury inside? Those always work and don't need batteries. (If you ask your doctor should give you a free one)
So next time your child is on mother induced bed rest you will be able to pull out your mommy medical bag and make everything better :)

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Baskin Robbins 31 cent sale!

An almost freebie!
I will be getting a scoop of Strawberry Cheesecake. It is the best ice cream ever! It even has big chunks of cheesecake all wrapped up in strawberry love :)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesdays Tip- Get Excited and Make Things

Something a little different for Tuesdays Tip. I saw and responded to this same post on Chrissie Grace's blog. I am very excited to be getting something special from her. She is a wonderfully creative person, check our her blog!

Those of you who have been reading for a while, know I love to make things and paint. Now 5 of you have a chance to get something from me. Now keep on reading....

Five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me. I am going to do a drawing for the 5 recipients tomorrow.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It'll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be.
5. I reserve the right to do something strange
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for 5 to respond to your blog.
7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you.
IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward.

I can't wait to see who responds so I can get busy crafting, I plan to share my frugal creations along the way! Posh Josh I know you read, you cannot enter!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Painted Wood is Pretty Party!

Oh how I love to paint. I paint almost everything.. just ask my husband aka Posh Josh.
One of my favorite home decorating blogs A Soft Place to Land featured some tips on how to paint wood furniture. She was also apart of the Life in Grace, Painting Wood is Pretty Party. So I had to join in on the painting fun. Go visit her site and see her fabulous kitchen transformation. If you have some great painted wood projects join in on the fun!

Let me share my all time favorite painted wood project. Look at the GlamRbaby's custom chairs! This is the fabulous finished product for her photo shoot. The photos were taken by Johnnye Bower Photography.

The chairs before the cushions. After seeing this photo I decided to add some more pink layers to the pink chair.

Before a Spanish style chair found in many Mexican food restaurants here in Texas.

Remember a couple weeks ago when my husband was out of town I painted some shelves and an ugly old printer stand? Yes painting is my cheap therapy!

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Menu Monday- Pantry Purge

Pantry and Fridge Purge- We've got some food accumulated I need to get rid of. This weeks menu are those easy items we have a busy week on the go.

Monday- Sadlers Brisket and French Fries (We didn't eat it last week)
Tuesday- Leftover Brisket and Baked Potato's (We missed this last week too)
Wednesday-Nacho's, Ground beef, re-ried beans, black beans, cheese and homemade guacamole
Thursday-Fish Sticks and mac and cheese
Friday- Make Your own Pizza

What is your favorite fast and easy meal to make?

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Freebie Friday

One of my fabulous readers Amanda sent me this photo of a dress she made for her super cute little girl. She got inspiration from this post. She did a great job! Her daughter is going to be very cute today in this great dress! Thank you Amanda for sharing!

I am very excited about this weekend.... big garage sales. The swanky neighborhoods around town have some great sales. We will be hitting them early Saturday morning. Last year I found some great items. I hope to be sharing some of my finds next week.

Free bug spray and sunscreen- We are looking forward to days in the sun! After dark it seems we get lots of mosquitos, no fun.

Free Whole Foods Bag- This is a freebie offered for Oprah viewers. Go get yours while supplies last.

Free Huggies Diaper- Try the new 1:2 size for babies up to 15 pounds. Well... that excludes my baby. I should stop calling her a baby she will be 2 in a few weeks.

Free Photo Card- Kodak has some easy steps to get your free card.

Free Nail Care Kit- From Fungi-Care. This would be really handy to keep in your purse or your car.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thrifty Thursday- House Smell?

I like my house to smell great, all the time. Something about walking through the door and a whiff of a yummy smell, so welcoming. Somehow it makes me think my house is always clean.

If money was no option I could spent hundreds a month on expensive candles, warmers, plug ins and other junk. What are my favorite smelly frugal products?

  • Glade Plug-in's - I can always find some of coupon for Glade. I've used the Vanilla smell and now that it is spring I am rotating to the Hawaiian Breeze.

  • Candles- Wal-mart carries inexpensive and highly effective candles. Try the candlelite brand. I discovered the Coconut Lime smell. It is EXACTLY like the Bath and Body works coconut lime verbena which is $20. The wal-mart one is only $5.

  • More Candles- Kirklands in my opinion has the best candles. The jars are about $7 and they last at least a month. When the candle gets low about 1/4 left I stop burning it and put on my candle warmer.

Candles always make a nice gift for a female co-worker, friend or relative. Yes, my friends often receive candles as gifts. A great place to find discount boutique candles for gifts is Ross and Tuesday Morning.

When I want to splurge on a candle I purchase... Tyler Candles in Vanilla Rumba. I will purchase the votives and melt in my candle warmer as a frugal alternative to the big candle jars.

What is your favorite home candle scent? My all time favorite is the cake smell.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wasteless Wednesday- Garage Sale Finds

Remember this photo of a garage sale find ($5 for all 3 shelves) that started this?
So I didn't put them in the living room I found a great empty space in the dining room.
The shelves turned this blank wall....

Into this great wall!

A little can of spray paint did the trick! Plus a $20 trip to wally world (wal-mart) for frames.
Garage sale season is upon us so be on the look out for good home accent pieces.
Remember anything can be painted and transformed!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesdays Tip- Freezer Food

Freezer Food Recipe Exchange

I am always looking for great freezable recipes. I am known (often) to get tired of cooking and decide to just go out to eat. When we go out to eat I tend to overeat and pick high calorie choices. We also spend money at least $30! If only I had a live in cook and nutritionist here at home. Oh yeah we do... it's me mom.

For those nights I don't want to cook I like to have a meal in the freezer ready to pop in the oven.

Favorite Freezer Ready Meals: Jen's Mexican Lasagna and
Chicken Tetrazzini (I found this recipe in Southern Living)
What you need:
1 (16 oz) package of thin spaghetti
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 cups cooked chicken (I use boiled chicken breast or rotisserie chicken shredded)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (reduced fat)
1 can of cream of chicken soup (reduced fat)
1 can of cream of celery soup (reduced fat)
1 (8oz) sour cream (light)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Cook pasta
  2. Toss cooked pasta with chicken broth
  3. Stir chopped chicken and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl
  4. Add cooked pasta
  5. Spray 2 cooking dishes (11 X 7 ) size with cooking spray
  6. Fill cooking dishes
  7. Top both with cheese
  8. Put in freezer
  9. When ready to cook set out on counter for about an hour to defrost a little
  10. Cook covered with foil at 375 for 45 minutes or until bubbly (I check every 15 minutes)
What is your favorite freezer meal? Please post a recipe on your blog and leave a comment here so we can find your recipe.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Monday & Kitchen Reveal

Kitchen Reveal
Lot's of info today! I was reminded by a friend I never posted after photos of the kitchen. You remember I wrote so much about. If you missed it, read about it here. Here it is!!! I absolutely love it! Remember the before:

After... good bye teal blue and white

Special Thanks!

I want to thank some of my wonderful friends at church, your kind words about my blog warm my heart! Yesterday as I dropped little miss of at the nursery some of my nice friends commented on my blog. To think that people read and put to use some of my little tips brings such a smile to my face. Thank you ladies for your kind words!

Menu Monday

What's for dinner this week? I am trying something a little different... more leftovers. Keep reading you'll see what I mean. This is a little way to save some extra $$$.

Monday: Beef Taco's and Knorr Spanish Rice and Ol El Paso Fat Free Beans

Tuesday: Leftovers as Taco Salad

Wednesday: Sadler's Beef Brisket and Tator Tot's

Thursday: Leftovers Brisket on top of Baked Potato's

Friday: Back to Make your own Pizza! I discovered Wal-marts Take and Bake Pizzas. They are really good and you can get a large cheese for $6. I then buy my own topping and we each add our own flavors. Easy and cheap!

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Freebie Friday

Free sample of Pre-school goodies- this company is providing samples of their pre-school curriculum. Great for home school moms.

Prilosec Sample- BBQ season is upon us. Time to get the heartburn relief med's.

Doggy Sample- Free sample of Better than Ears dog treat. Now that is one interesting name!

Quaker Rice Cakes- I love the little chocolate covered ones!

Princess Places DVD- Get your free DVD! They have a preview on this website. My little miss is going to love a princess DVD! We have so many Thomas and Blues Clues it is time for a girly one.

Jergan's Natural Glow- Free sample of the moisturizer with self tanner. Count me in I look like a ghost!

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thrifty Thursday- Sewing Fun

With Posh Josh out of town I have been a busy girl. Painting, cleaning and now sewing!! We visited Jenny's today she makes Bella Bowz. We've been talking about sewing some little girls outfits with her extra ribbon. The kids had a play date, we even saw Milla (she has the best kiddy blog). Her mom Ashlee also makes cute bows. Whenever I need bows I am lucky to have 2 very talented friends for special bows. Thanks girls!!!

I turned a green $5 Wallyworld (Wal-mart) dress into a boutique style dress. Then I actually made my first dress!!
I used white Pre-Smocked Shirred Sundress Fabric. It was so easy to make since the top comes smocked and fitted. You just seam up the back and hem the ends. I sewed ribbon to hold up the top. Jenny has a new monogram machine so she did a monogram for Madeline. I love it! I can't wait to make more of these dresses.
Madeline modeling her new dresses. See a close up of her new green zebra dress.

She feels to pretty! She loves her new dresses!

More modeling poses next to the painting mom cannot find a place for.
I've also been doing some re-arranging!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wasteless Wednesday- Don't Trash It

We have this ugly side table. This is something you could easily find by the trash. It has functioned in Josh's fraternity room as a beer table (pre-Jen). Served as a lamp table in various apartments we've lived in. Finally it has been a printer table next to my computer for the last couple years. It's hidden in a corner no one really sees except for me when I am on the computer. (Which is more time than I will admit)

Not very attractive! Instead of trashing the table I painted it. Much better! I primed it first then spray painted it black. Total $6. I also spent some time cleaning out my desk = FREE

I would like to pick up some black frames and put some family recipes above the printer table.

This is what the desk area looked like before we bought the house. I removed the wall paper. Then textured and painted the walls. This teal and white look was so 1990!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesdays Tip- Store Brand vs. Name Brand

Store Brand vs Name Brand

Great Store Brand Items

  • Cheese Crackers (like Cheese Nips) a big box is $1.25 for store brand and almost $3 for name brand . I always keep a big bin on hand. The kids love these for snacks
  • Canned Veggies and Frozen Veggies- honestly we can tell no difference between store and name brand.
  • Pasta Noodles - pasta is pasta unless you are purchasing the flavored noodles or whole wheat
  • Rice- in my opinion same thing as pasta
  • Granola Bars- We get these on a weekly basis. Save at least $2 by purchasing the store brand.
  • Kid's cereal- Another big saver! We get the copy fruit loops and cheerios.
  • Shredded Cheese- Great and tasty! The only downside is they do not make 2% in most store brands.
  • Milk- I've always wondered what makes these different. They have the same expiration's dates and ingredients. ????
  • Ice Cream- If you go with the Wal-mart brand. My husband actually did a study on this in grad school. In many taste tests the store brand out preforms the name brand. In my opinion they did not compare it with Blue Bell Ice Cream. That stuff is heavenly!
  • Name Brand, worth the extra $$$

    • Soft Drinks - Nothing is better than a real Diet Coke!
    • Paper Towels- Extra thickness and higher quality gets the cleaning job with half the product. My favorite is Viva.
    • Diet Drinks and Diet Bars- I've tried the store brand slim fast and diet bars. Not good! Worth the splurge for taste!
    • Salsa- At our house we only purchase Pace Salsa. It's made in Texas Ya'll!
    • Girly Monthly Visitor Products- Need I say more?
    • Mac and Cheese- Kraft and Velveeta have mastered their taste and texture.
    • Chips- I've made the mistake several times of purchasing store brand chips. I get lots of moans and groans from the kids. Nacho Cheese Doritos and Cheese Puffs are weekly staples in our house for packed lunches.

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    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Menu Monday & Easter Showoff

    I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I am a proud mom so I have to show off my kids in their Easter best. Their wardrobe was provided by Nana (thank you!) She buys them Easter clothes each year as a special treat. The girls love pink and Dude Man... not so much. He pitched a huge fit when he realized his shirt was pink. Here is how the morning went:

    Dude Man: I am NOT wearing that shirt. Why can't I wear my blue one like dad? But mom... ahhhhh.... pink is for girls... ahhhh. Tell Nana I don't wear pink.
    Frugal Jen Mom: Let's think the shirt is light red ok?
    Dude Man: OK mom... it's not pink it's light red then. I still don't like it. I will wear it but I won't like it.

    Can you tell in this photo he is starting to dig the pink shirt ahem ... I mean light red shirt?

    Now on to the Menu Monday. Posh Josh is doing some traveling.. do you see any changes in our menu?
    Monday: McDonald's
    Tuesday: Sandwiches or Mac and Cheese
    Wednesday: Nacho's and easy guac
    My easy guacamole:
    2 cold ripe avocado's - remove skin and mash
    1/2 cup Pace medium salsa
    Mix them together and enjoy this yummy green goodness!
    Thursday: Frozen Pizza - Tony's was on sale
    Friday: Out to eat, Posh Josh choice

    PS: This week I have some frugal home decorating projects to complete! Fun!!!

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    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Happy Easter

    I hope you all have a Happy Easter with your family today! For those of you who read my family blog I was a little worried Dude Man would be sick for Easter. We have a tradition (3 years running) of the stomach bug. Dude Man made a quick recovery so we are all heading to Easter church today! Whoo! We've broken the bad tradition. On to a normal one like going to church and hunting eggs.

    Happy Easter from me and Little Miss! We got this free 5 X 7 at Wallyworld when we were grocery shopping. Sorry it was too late for me to post the freebie :( This Easter Bunny was super creepy. His eye was falling off and he sat really close to me. What can I expect it was free and it was Wallyworld.... right?

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    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Another Freebie

    I found this freebie and had to share. It was too good to wait on.... Free Wings from Wild Buffalo Bill's

    This is a new popular chain. I've heard some Jonas Brothers sightings at the Grapevine location. (They live in Westlake, about 10 miles north of us) Kate is always on the lookout for them around town.

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    Freebie Friday

    Spring is here, that means lot's of samples and coupons!!! Have you noticed how fat the coupon stash in the newspaper is? I need to do some spring cleaning of my coupon mess.

    Free Dry Erase Paint Sample- This is a great freebie for crafters. You could make little dry erase board for the kids. When I get my sample I will feature a little craft.

    Free Dog Tag- Mighty Dog is offering a free citizenship kit and dog tag for all you dog lovers out there.

    Free sunglasses case- Summer is on it's way. This is a great freebie to throw in your beach or pool bag. Such a bummer when you reach in and find broken sunglasses.

    Sample of Gillette Body Wash- Girls surprise your husband with a sample.

    Free Hunt's Ketchup coupon plus more- Sign up for simple and delicious, get coupons in the mail. We go through a bottle of ketchup a week. We love this stuff, just like salsa!

    Free sample of energy stuff- I can always use extra energy. Remember I have 3 kids!

    Free Huggies Diaper- Moms always enjoy free diapers. If you don't have little one's in diapers order a sample and give to a friend with diaper kids. The samples are for size Newborn - Size 2. (Adrien I will be giving you my diaper samples for little Adley :)

    More Emergen-C samples- This is the time of year (in Texas) people get sick. If you have allergies Texas in the spring is a bad place. Get a sample and get well!

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    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Thrifty Thursday

    Custom cakes from bakery's can be really expensive. A 1/4 sheet cake at Target runs $22 with a custom design. At our birthday parties we need at least a half a sheet. So what is our cost savings tip? Cupcakes!

    My mom bought this fabulous cupcake tower (on sale for $10). I've used it so many times. I even put muffins for showers and corn bread cupcakes for entertaining.

    I've found so many sites for cute cupcakes. Check them out and

    Total cost for my cupcake tower $2!! I watch the grocery ad's and purchase the mixes when they are on sale for $1. Then when it is party time I pull the mixes out of the pantry.

    Extra tip I substitute applesauce for oil. Keeps the cake moist and saves the calories!

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