Friday, July 30, 2010

Softball and Other Stuff

Mike was very excited to be able to play church softball again this year. He hasn't played since we lived in Pittsburgh. He is doing great...the best player on the team if you ask me. It has kept us busy but will soon be over with play offs next weekend. Last game, they were short players so I actually played. I didn't do too bad considering that I hadn't even attempted softball since high school. Mike said that qualifies me for the play offs, so who knows...maybe I'll even sign up for the team next year. Also, Mike has had magic shows on 3 Saturdays this past month (July). Last weekend, we had a graduation party for his niece, and this coming weekend we have a family wedding to attend. Things have been busy...but, good.

Frugal Friday: What a Stash!

I can't help but bragging a little bit over these deals I've found over the last couple weeks...the net total on all of this after tax was $4.03 !!! Here's how I did it...
KMart = $6.63 for school supplies (colored pencils $1, gluesticks $.25, crayons $.25, erasers $.50)
Staples = $4.11 after rebates (pens $.01, highlighters $.25, gel pens Free after rebate, (2) reams of paper $.01 after rebate, backpack Free after rebate)
CVS = $1 profit (2 packs of M & Ms for free, Kotex $1 profit after coupon and ECB)...they also have 6 x 8 photo books for Free after ECBs this week, but I haven't decided on what I want to do with that yet...they are nice to have on the coffee table or to give as a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift.
Kraft flavored mayo packets free by mail
Rite Aid = $5.71 profit (Dulcolax, Motrin PM & Zegerid $4.71 profit after coupons & rebates, Colgate toothpaste $1 profit after coupon and +UP reward, Reach toothbrush Free after rebate)
...AND, it appears that Rite Aid's new +UP program has no limit so you could potentially get unlimited Free Colgate toothpaste this week with a raincheck! (Even the clerk told me there was no limit on the raincheck!)
We will use most of it, and what we won't use can be passed on to bless others. Several of these items are great for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes..

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fourth of July Family Fun

I'm finally getting to posting these pictures. We had a wonderful time with my family at Heritage days and celebrating the 4th of July... On Saturday, we went to the Heritage Days in the park. There were lots of activities and demonstrations...spinning wool, grinding corn, heritage wooden toys, panning for gold, alpacas, wood craver, weaving, and a native American teaching the kids games and making bead necklaces. Then as part of Heritage Days we rode on a school bus to visit the train (which the kids enjoyed since they had never been on one). What a full day of fun activites (all for free)! On Sunday afternoon, we had a picnic and the kids played in the sprinkler - of course, our family always dresses in red, white, blue attire which I think makes it more fun. Later in the week, on the way home my sister and her family stopped at our house. We spent an afternoon at the beach, which at one point we had to ourselves because it had started to rain. We do enjoy having the beach walking distance from our house. It was a fun time...even playing in the rain!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Meal Planner Monday: Cuban Black Beans and Rice

I was searching for an idea for dinner and came across this in my Weight Watchers cookbook...
2 (15 1/2 oz) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped (or about 2 green onions)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup drained petite diced tomatoes (or freshly chopped cherry tomatoes)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
- Cook the rice according to the package directions.
- With a fork, coarsely mash 1 cup of the beans, set aside
- Heat the oil in a large suacepan over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the whole and mashed beans, the tomatoes, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens slightly and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the lime juice and hot pepper sauce. Mix well. Serve over rice.
Optional: I cooked a couple boneless chicken breasts and cut into strips to finish off the meal. I used Old Bay seasoning on the chicken - Jamaican Jerk or other Cajun type seasoning would be good, too. It was a delightful summer made me think I was in the Caribbean.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Frugal Friday: Shop Your Way Rewards & Auto Expenses

June was an expensive month. Besides the work we've had done on our house, Mike had over $2000 worth of work done on his car this month for it to pass state inspection. When you have a car that's 8 years old and another one that is 11 1/2 yrs old you have to expect these things. However, when you figure the average cost invested in a new car over its lifetime, we figure $2000 is ok to invest into a used car if that means delaying a new car purchase for a couple of years. Hopefully, this is the more major repairs for awhile. Some consolation to this expense is that like many other stores, Sears/Kmart now has a rewards card. For everything you buy, you get 1% of the purchase credited to your "Shop Your Way Rewards" card. You can use your "rewards" at any time in store or online. So, by using our credit card and "Shop Your Way Rewards" card, we get cash back and store credit on the same purchase.