Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Treats

These are the baskets that my kids received for Easter. It's probably not what some people would consider dazzling, but my kids are happy just to get some candy. LOL Seriously though- Easter is for celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, not the Easter bunny. I bought everything from the dollar store and other discount stores. I spent $13.00 for everything. The girls and the baby got stuffed bunnies, the boys got nerf type footballs and a spinning top. They all got straws shaped like a bunny (a big hit with the kids), malted eggs, marshmallow bunny and jelly beans. Plus each of their "baskets" are actually a bucket to use in the yard this spring.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Dove Deal... CVS

Well here is my loot from CVS yesterday. I'm new to the whole thing but I did OK. I would have saved even more if I remembered my CVS coupon for $5.00 off $15.00. Novice mistake. ;)
I paid $0.78 cents for everything here out of pocket and got $5.00 towards my next purchase.
The conditioner was buy one get one free so that was $10.00. The deodorant's were $3.37 each and the soap was $2.50. I had three manufacturer coupons that took $4.50 off. I used $14.00 in Extra Care Bucks and paid 78 cents out-of-pocket. I got a gift card from the manager instead because my ECB's didn't print. He reviewed my purchases and said they should have printed.
I have some issues with the CVS thing because I have noticed that in my area the products that are so called "free after ECB's" are NEVER in stock. Not even one. I don't know when the best time to buy them are because I have been in the store on Sunday and they STILL weren't in stock. I have had staff offer "rain checks" but that is dumb because next month it won't generate ECB's. Frustrating. I have seen some of the deals that people do online and for me I think it's wrong to use two coupons for a product when one is free, even if no one catches it. I think those people are going to spoil it for the rest of us. I guess I will stay a casual user because I only want to buy things that I will use. For more information on saving at CVS click here:

Square Pizza???

It's easy to cut a square pizza into strips for toddlers.

Why square pizza you ask? Well, number one it's tradition for our family. My Aunt Ruth started the tradition back in the 70's when we were kids. I always remember her homemade pizzas with her canned dill pickles. Yum. Number two is the fact that you can get more slices from square pizza and my five kids devour both pizzas that I make. Number three is the fact that it's really easy to cut the slices into strips for my toddlers. They seem to find it easier to pick up and eat.
Friday night is pizza night in our house. We like to order out of course, but have you ever added up the cost per month of take-out pizza? When you spend $15.00-$20.00 dollars you don't think of it as $60.00-$80.00 dollars a month. I can make two pizzas for about $4.00 depending on which toppings we use. Here is my recipe for pizza crust. I buy my sauce for now.

Kelly's Pizza Crust

1pkg. dry yeast (or if you use bulk yeast follow label for equivalent)
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour
1tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil (I use olive)

Dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar, salt, and oil, mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 of the flour and beat until no lumps. Gradually add remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes. Cut in half and pat into 2 pizza pans. Brush tops with oil, add sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm Addicted...Frappuccino Recipe

I have to admit that I'm addicted to these little drinks. They are not as expensive as some of their other drinks, but the prices by me have gone up to as much as $1.99 each. I usually make this my treat when I go out to run errands. I realized that it was breaking my budget so I set out to make it myself. It tastes just like the real thing.

Here's my recipe:

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (can use double strength) *see note below
2 1/2 cups 2 % milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Dissolve sugar in hot coffee then cool it. Combine coffee mixture with milk. Stir or shake and serve really cold. Store in pitcher or covered container.

Notes: 1. To make "mocha" flavor add a pinch of cocoa powder (1/16 of tsp.) before combining.
2. To make mixture thicker like the real thing add 1 T. of dry pectin. It does not add any flavor and can usually be found near the canning products. I don't add it because it just adds expense.
3. If you really like a strong coffee flavor use 1/2 cup espresso instead of coffee.

This recipe makes 24 oz. each little bottle contains 9 1/2 oz. and can be made for less than a dollar depending on which coffee you use.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

More birthday pics....

The Flower Birthday Party

Olivia is turning 6 this week and wanted a birthday party with "Flowers and butterflies". It was a nice break from Dora for a change. I first saw her plates and napkins at the dollar store and they set the stage for the theme. I made her cake for less than $5.00. The candies cost the most at $2.00. Her shirt was from Target for $2.50 on sale and the flower headband was $1.00. We served shredded beef that Rick cooked in the smoker. We served it with buns and Rick's
BBQ sauce. We also had oriental noodle salad, cheesey potatoes, coleslaw and chips. I spent $12.00 on plates, napkins, tablecloths and a mum plant for decorations. It was a lovely party for about twenty people for less than $40.00 dollars.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Deals of the week...

We're just recovering from our second round of influenza. Everybody had it this time. I did however venture out to find these PJ's at Dollar General. I don't usually buy clothes there because even though they are affordable, I find that they don't wash well and pill easily. I try not to buy too many PJ's because they are so expensive and we usually wear light cotton pants or shorts and t-shirts to bed when it's warm enough. Blanket sleepers or sweats in the winter. I bought 8 pairs of PJ's for $24.37 including tax.