Saturday, July 31, 2010

Solo Photo Cup Contest

Solo is having an online photo contest through August 6.  The grand prize is $5,000 for posting the best photo featuring Solo products.  There are also two $1,000 runner-up prizes and daily and weekly prizes simply for entering.

Solo sent me a "Celebrate Summer with Solo" pack so we could enter the contest.  Included in it were some of the new Squared cups, items to decorate the cups with, flower seeds, and treats.  

My oldest is used to deliveries coming daily to our house due to this blog and Tupperware.  He asks every time if it is for him and sadly I have to almost always say no.  When this box arrived he was ecstatic when I told him he could use what was inside the box.  We immediately opened it and he couldn't wait to decorate a cup.  The above picture is him laying in our kitchen floor decorating the cup with a glitter pen.  He had a blast and was very excited to plant the seeds in his decorated cup.

Grab a Solo cup, take a fun picture, then head on over to the contest and enter your photo for a chance to win.  Hurry though as the contest ends this Friday, August 6.

Disclaimer: MomSelect and Solo provided me with the above prize pack.  No other compensation occurred.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Food Friday: The Unmotivated Edition

I'm sorry to say but I do not have a new recipe to post this week.  I've been extremely unmotivated in the kitchen lately and need some new recipes to get me going again.  

For this reason, for Food Friday this week I'm simply going to share with you my favorite recipe site -  Many of you already know this site well, as it was formally known as Recipe Zaar.  They recently changed their name and it threw me for a loop a few weeks ago when I was looking for a new recipe.  It is still the same great site as before but with a few improvements.  

This is my favorite site because the reviews are usually great and the message boards have some great ideas.  And no, they did not pay me to say any of this.  I simply felt the need to share where I like to search.  

Now, I'm heading off to find me a new recipe to try for dinner tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Couponing can seem like a foreign language at first but with time it does get easier.  To make this language easier on you, today I'm posting some of the more common abbreviations.

SS - Smart Source (coupon insert)

RP - Red Plum (coupon insert)

PG - Procter & Gamble 

GM - General Mills
WYB - when you buy (ex. wyb 4 items, this is the price per item)

OYNO - on your next order

Blinkie - coupon boxes located throughout the store that dispense coupons

BOGO - buy one, get one

Catalina - coupon that prints out at the register

ECB - Extra Care Bucks from CVS

Register Rewards - coupons that print at the register at Walgreens and are to be treated like cash on your next visit

There are literally hundreds more but these are the most common ones.  If there is an abbreviation you would like to know, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.

Stay tuned as next week I will discuss online coupons.

Top Price Cutter Deals: July 28-Aug. 3

Sorry for the delay - we took yesterday as a family day and headed to Branson for some back to school shopping at the outlet malls.

Here are the top deals at Price Cutter this week.  As always, feel free to leave a comment with any other deals or matchups you come up with.

Pork Loin -1.49

Red or Green seedless grapes - .99/lb

Peaches - .99/lb

Libby's Vegetables - 2/$1

Van Camp Pork & Beans - 2/$1

Pringles - .79
$1/4 (6/27 RP - **expires 7/31)
Final Price: .54 wyb 4

Lance Snack Crackers - 3/$5
Final Price: .67 each

Nutri-Grain Bars - 2/$5
$1/1 or .75/1 (7/11 RP)
Final Price: $1.50
Cap'n Crunch Cereal - 2/$3
$1/2 (5/16 RP)
Final Price: $1 each

Gatorade (64 oz) - 1.59

Hunt's Ketchup - .99
.20/1 (SS 6/20 - **expires 7/31)
Final price: .59

Friday, July 23, 2010

Food Friday: BBQ Bacon Pork Chops

This is an easy dinner that can be made in the oven or on the grill.  It also has received my husband's approval which, as most of you know, is huge.

BBQ Bacon Pork Chops

Pork chops
BBQ sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Brush BBQ sauce on both sides of pork chop then wrap bacon around the chop.  Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes, adding another layer of BBQ sauce half way through.  If you prefer a crisper bacon, broil a few minutes once pork chops are cooked through.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back to the Basics: Storing Your Stockpile

By now you are probably wondering where you are going to store all of these groceries you are buying for your stockpile.  Some of you have huge pantries and can store items there but not everyone has that luxury.  If you get creative, you can easily find places to store your items though.

Garage.  We do not have a pantry in our house and use just a few cabinets to store our items in, therefore my stockpile is stored in the garage.  I happen to have a pantry cabinet in the garage as I already owned it from my days of apartment life.  We recently added a set of storage shelves too where a few shelves are for stockpiling and the rest of the unit is for my gardening supplies.

Closet.  Look in your closets and you can probably find some extra room either in the floor or on a top shelf.  Bathroom closets are also great for your toiletry stockpile.

Under the bed.  Buy some under the bed boxes and store your stockpile under your bed.  If you need more room, get some risers (like the ones college students use) and lift your bed a bit off the ground.

Plastic bins.  When all else fails, buy some plastic bins or boxes, fill them and store in random places around the house.  In tight places you can even throw a sheet or tablecloth over the box and use it as a nightstand or side table.  

Where do you store your stockpile?  I would love to hear any creative ideas you have.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Top Price Cutter Deals: July 21-37

Here are the top deals and coupon matchups at Price Cutter this week.  Feel free to leave a comment with any others you find.

Blackberries - 1.68 (6 oz)

Raspberries - 1.98 (6 oz)

Peaches - .99/lb

Green Peppers - .69/lb

Watermelon - .39/lb

Black Seedless Grapes - 1.69/lb

Gatorade - .79 (32 oz - limit 3)

Ozarka Water - 6 pack - 5/$5

Dr Pepper products - 2 liter - .90

7-Up products - 2 liter - .99

Kraft BBQ Sauce - .59 (limit 3)

General Mills Cereal - 5/$10
$1/2 (SS 7/11 & 7/19)
Final Price - $1.50 each

Kellogg's Cereals - 4/$10
Final Price - $2.00 each

Planters Big Nut or Nutritional Energy Bars - 2/$4
$1/1 (SS 6/20) & .75/1 (SS 6/20 & 4/25)
Final Price - as low as $1 each

Keebler Animal Crackers - 2/$5

Hiland Cottage Cheese 1.79

Hiland Ice Cream - 2/$3
Final price - .50 each 

Hiland Sour Cream or Dip - .79

Nature's Goodness baby food - 3/$1

New York Texas Toast Croutons - 10/$10

DanActive or Activia - 4 pack - 1.99
$1/1 (SS 6/20 & 7/18)
Final price - .99

Pork Sirloin Chops - 1.99/lb (family pack)

Bar-S franks - .89

Bakery fresh bread - 1.69

Hallam's Pure Raw Honey Bear - 2.99 (12 oz)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tommee Tippee Review

I've seen Tommee Tippee products in recent Toys"R"Us ads and wondered if they were a good product so I was excited when I was offered to review a few of the items.  Tommee Tippee is a popular brand in the UK that has just recently entered the US market.

The first item we tried was the water bottle.  I was a little skeptical when I gave it to my 13 month old because the water bottle is for a bit more advanced user and is recommended for 18+ months.  It turns out it was easy for him to use and he loves it.  I have a strange child in that he does not like cups with a valve in them so we have a hard time transporting liquids and we have to keep a close eye when he drinks at home to avoid spills.  This water bottle will be our new travel cup as the valve didn't bother him at all and it is spill proof.

Next, we tried the Explora Easi-Mat along with the weaning bowls.  I was excited to use the mat because it is supposed to keep bowls and plates in place.  Unfortunately, in about two seconds my toddler figured out how to undo the suction.  I love the concept for the mat and like that it can be rolled up for easy transportation but it did not work for my child.  I did like the weaning bowl and spoon though and like that there is a storage place in the lid for the spoon.  This would make an ideal bowl for on go.

Tommee Tippee products are all BPA free and are available at Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us.

Now through July 23, all Explora items are buy one, get one 50% off at

Follow Tommee Tippee on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: I was provided these products to review on behalf of Tommee Tippee and the Mom Bloggers Club.  No other compensation occurred.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Food Friday: Fresh Strawberry Bread

I first discovered this recipe a few weeks ago when strawberries were on sale at rock bottom prices.  I knew it was a keeper when my non-strawberry liking 4 year old grabbed part of a loaf and started chowing down on it and telling me how much he liked it.  

One word of warning though, this needs to be made as a loaf and not as muffins.  I love putting quick bread recipes into muffin tins so I have quick and easy breakfast items on hand for my kids but when I tried it with this they did not hold up well as the bread is very moist.

Fresh Strawberry Bread
Originally from RecipeZaar

1 cup sliced strawberries
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

1. In a bowl, place the sliced strawberries and 2 Tbsp sugar.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to create a syrup from the berries.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, eggs, strawberry slices and their syrup.  Dump the strawberry mixture into the flour mixture and mix just until blended.

4. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (9"x5") and bake for approximately 50 minutes. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to the Basics: Stockpiling

The way to save money with groceries is to buy ahead when items are on sale instead of waiting until you actually need them and paying full price.  Sales tend to cycle every 12 weeks so the rule of thumb is to buy enough to last you 12 weeks.  It takes trial and error over time to know how much to buy but do not let that stress you out.

When creating your stockpile, do not go overboard.  Simply buy what you need each week and then as your budget allows, pick up a few of the items that are at rock bottom prices.  Over time, you will be buying less and less needed items and more and more for your stockpile as your stockpile will be full of items you use often.

Stay tuned next week for when I discuss where to store your stockpile. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Top Price Cutter Deals: July 14-20

Here are the top deals at Price Cutter this week.  If you find any others, please post them in the comments section.

Pork sirloin chops or sirloin roast - .88 lb

Peaches, nectarines, or black plums - .98 lb

Blue Bunny ice cream - $1.48 (limit 2)
Final price: .48

Spiral notebooks - 10/$1 (limit 10)

Elmer's glue sticks - 4/$1 (limit 4)

Elmer's school glue - 4/$1 (limit 4)

Post Cereal - 2/$4

Borden Singles Cheese - $1.98
Final price - .98

Pamper's Wipes (180-230 ct) - $5.99
$1/1 (RP 6/20)
Final price - $4.99

Coca-Cola products - 2 liter - .90

That Was Fast!

Thanks for hanging in there with me while my computer was being fixed.  It only took a week and a half and they fixed more than they said they would!  It is nice to have a fully working keyboard and a screen that isn't falling apart.

Price Cutter deals will be posted this afternoon and I'm hoping to get the next post up tomorrow in the Back to the Basics series.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Food Friday: Garlic Vinegrette

This is an easy salad dressing that really dresses up a salad.  I usually make it for potlucks but I had some dressing leftover that I've been using all week and it is delicious.  The recipe is originally from the Weight Watchers' Simply the Best cookbook and they suggest serving it with mandarin oranges and almonds.

Garlic Vinegrette

2 Tbsp minced parsley
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced (I use a microplane grater instead)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp water

Combine all ingredients in a container with a tight fighting lid, cover, and shake.  Serves approximately 4.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Top Price Cutter Deals: July 7-13

I apologize for the delay in getting these up, I'm borrowing my husband's computer as my son destroyed my keyboard and then the frame around the monitor started cracking.  Best Buy has it for the next 2-4 weeks! 

As always, if you come across any other deals add them in the comment section.

Eggs - .49

Ken's Salad Dressing - .99 (limit 2)
$1/2 (7/1 SS)
Final Price - .49

Cheerios (18 oz) - .99 (limit 2)
$1/2 (7/1 SS) or .50 (6/27 SS)
Final Price - as low as FREE

General Mills Cereal -  5/$10
$1/2 - (6/6 SS)
Final Price - $1.50 each

Eggos - 2/$3
$1/2 (6/20 RP)
Final Price - $1.00 each

Friday, July 2, 2010

Food Friday to Return Next Week

My child decided to destroy the keyboard on my laptop yesterday so Food Friday is taking a week off.  See you next week with all new posts!

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