Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meijer, CVS, Walgreens

Gearing up for Smore season. Stocked up on church snacks.
Hershey's 6 packs 2/$5- $1MC= 2/$4
Meijer Graham Crackers: $2
Meijer Marshmallows: FREE
Goldfish Crackers: BOGO Free $2.39 for 2
Ritz, Triscuits, 2 Wheat Thins: $1.99 per box- $3 off 4 boxes
Total: $15.93 Total Savings: $16.96

Jump start to Halloween stock.
1. Vanilla Carmex $1.50 get $1.50RR
Total: $1.63 Savings $0.49

2. M&Ms 4/$10 get $5RR - $2.50MC
Wrigley Gum: $0.99
Total: $7.72 Savings $9.66

3. Pampers Cruisers $19.99 get $1RR - $1.50MC - $2.00SC
2 Hershey Bars for fillers: $1.79
Total: $15.19 Savings: $11.50

4. 2 Dozen Large Eggs $1.29 per dozen - $0.55MC
Total: $1.06 Savings $2.35

Total out of Pocket: $25.60 Total Savings: $24.00

1. Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief $4.99 get $1 ECB - $1.50MC- $1 ECB (from previous visit)
Total: $2.93 Savings: $3.80

2. 2 Gallons Dean Milk $3.19 get $1 ECB- $1 ECB
Total: $5.44 Savings: $1.00

3. 3 Boxes of Puffs at $0.99 - $2 ECB
Total: $1.23 Savings: $4.64

Total out of pocket: $9.60 Total Savings: $9.44

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Walking Away

I admit it; Couponing is ADDICTING! There is nothing quite like seeing your total and then watching it fall with each coupon swiped. It is a total rush and a very fun game. But, in order to not go crazy you have to give yourself limits. This week I had to limit myself : ( It was so hard to walk away from a fabulous deal! But, it can be done, I promise. I had scoured the ads. Meijer's looked pretty good. They were having a 10/$10 11th item free sale. So, I wrote down everything that I would buy. Then, I looked at the County Market ad. (I write my list by order of the stores I go to). I ended up crossing some things off of the Meijer list and putting them onto the County Market list. Grands Biscuits were $1 at Meijer and $0.88 at County Market. It was the same for; carrots, Knorrs Rice Sides, Hunt's Ketchup, and Tony's Pizza. Jackpot! I had coupons for the Grands and the Knorrs Rice making them $0.73 and $0.63 respectively. Here's the thing I already have 7 tubes of Grands and 5 or 6 pouches of the Knorrs Rice. While this is a GREAT deal I didn't need anymore. I needed to spend my grocery money on things that I really needed. This was fine in theory but when I got to the store it was very hard to rationalize with myself that I truly didn't need it and walk away! But, walk away I did. Now, someone else can enjoy this fabulous deal.

This doesn't just apply to groceries. Just because something is a "good deal" does not mean we have to get it. Ask yourself if you truly need it? Can you live without it? Do you have something that is already similar? Are you still going to love it in a year? If you can't answer an absolute "yes" to all of these questions it would be a good idea to walk away. If you do answer yes give yourself at least a 24 hour time limit before you purchase the item. The time limit gives the adrenaline time to wear off and you the time to make a sound decision.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Save Me

This was a pretty intense read. If you had to choose saving your child or three other children (who are closer) who would you save? Add into account that these three are bullying your child. What would you do? The heroine of this story has to make this decision and deal with the consequences. As the story evolves there is so much more to this story than what is on the surface. To discover what's under the surface check this one out at your local library! You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Girls Night Out

As moms we put ourselves last. It's what we do. We need to remember to take some time for ourselves too. I am really bad about this. I don't remember the last time I left the house by myself to do anything other than go to church, the store, or work. Last night was the first time in a long time and I totally needed it! I needed a break to rest and recharge my batteries. I forgot what it was like to go to the store and just look around without hearing, "I want it!" Here's a total shocker; I didn't have to share my food or ice cream! It was great! I totally love my child. He is my greatest blessing along with my husband of course. But, I am not just a wife and mother. I am also a person who every once in a while needs a break so I can be a good wife and mother. When I got home my husband could tell the difference and even suggested that I make it a regular thing. I think I will. Thanks Tiff for a great night! I can't wait to do it again!

So, take some time for yourself. Daddy's need one on one time with the kids too. It's great for bonding. Go take a walk or wander around a store, go to dinner or ice cream, watch a movie, or whatever interests you. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The reaction I normally get when people find out we don't have TV is, "Really? Why not? How can you live without it?" We still physically own 2 but, we use them to watch movies. Truthfully, it's not that hard to do without TV. The last time I had cable was when I lived at home. I was a poor college kid and to me cable was a luxury that I could do without. Plus, in Nursing School there was no time for TV. When Josh and I got married we survived with a rabbit ear antenna. I worked nights so I slept during the day and Josh worked and went to school. Neither of us had time for TV. We did get one of those converter boxes when TV switched to digital. But, it shorted out before lil man turned 1. We made the decision not to replace it. So, that ended my evenings of Rachael Ray, Oprah, Friends, and all the other nightly WB TV watching. It was extremely difficult at first. I had to figure out what to do with all of this time I now had. When you quit watching TV you realize how much time you were really wasting. So, what are the benefits of not spending  time in front of the TV?

1. I do not have to worry about lil man hearing inappropriate language or seeing any violence or adult content. Let's be real TV programs now are nothing like they were when I was growing up. We have more control over what we watch with movies.

2. I don't hear, "I need, I want" for any toy or product being advertised on commercials. This definitely benefits the budget.

3. We spend real time as a family. We talk at dinner time. We take walks, ride bikes, play outside, garden, and work on projects together.

4. We read a lot in the evenings. We want lil man to love books as much as we do.

5. Our house projects get completed a little bit faster.

6. I have learned to sew and do all kinds of crafts. Plus, I've taken up blogging about it all.

7. No cable or satellite bill.

I am not saying that we never ever watch TV. My guilty pleasure is watching Grey's Anatomy and I can watch that online. We do watch movies but, we have been better able to control our time. When we had the box it was so easy to just leave the TV on and just let it flow from one show to the next and completely tune out.

I feel that we have tuned out the TV and tuned into life.

I challenge you to go one week without any TV. I guarantee it will change your life!

Monday, August 15, 2011

8/15 Shopping

Cantaloupe $0.99
Peaches $0.29each x 4
Plums $0.29each x 3
Bananas $0.43/lb x 2.23lbs
Strawberries $0.99/lb x 2
Red Grapes 2lbs $1.98
Iceberg Lettuce $0.99
Applesauce $1.29
Ground Turkey $1.49/lb x 2
Total Spent: $13.33

#1: Pampers Cruisers $19.99 get $3ECBS plus I had a $2.50 MC
The Magic Coupon Machine game me 2 awesome coupons; Free CVS Brand Fabric Bandages and a Free Hershey's Bar! Obviously, the chocolate didn't make it home. Honestly, it almost didn't make it to the car!
Total 1: $19.62 Savings of: $11.28 Plus got my $3 ECBS

#2 Dean's Milk $3.19 per gallon. CVS allows ECBs to be used on dairy!
Total: $0.22 plus I got $1 ECB!!

Sweet Corn 4/$1
Oral B Stages $1.89 - $0.50MC
Oral B Toothbrush $1.89 - $0.50
Total $4.12

Blue Rhino Propane Tank. If you exchange your old tank it is $18.99 then there is a $3 mail-in-rebate  making it $15.99. Not a bad deal.
Total with tax: $20.65

Friday, August 12, 2011

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream

This summer Aldi sold a Crofton Ice Cream Maker for $19.99. It does not require rock salt. You freeze the insert and that's it. Once the insert is frozen you place it in the maker and then add your cold ingredients and 20-30 minutes later you have delicious ice cream.
I bought blueberries when they were $1.66/pint. My husband loves blueberries so, I bought 3. With them I made this ice cream and 2 batches of blueberry pancakes. I have never had blueberry ice cream. I found the recipe when I googled, "blueberry recipes." I had all the ingredients and it sounded awesome. It tastes just as good. If you have an ice cream maker you will definitely want to try this one!

2 cups whole blueberries, washed
1 cup sugar or splenda, etc
1 Tbsp water
2 cups heavy cream or half and half

Boil blueberries, sugar, and water until sugar is dissolved and berries are soft. I used a potato masher to smash the berries. Strain mixture over a bowl. Discard the skin and seeds that are in the strainer. Next, stir in the cream. Refrigerate mixture over night.

Fill ice cream maker 2/3 full and turn it on until mixture is thick.
Place in freezer for 2-4 hours before serving. This allows it to be firm.

Serve in a waffle cone or bowl and enjoy! It's the perfect remedy for a hot summer day!

Dry Erase Calendar

This is one of my favorite new things! I am striving little by little to have our family go paperless. The last project that I showed was the dry erase board found Here. I promised to follow up with this calendar. I followed the tutorial on Infarrantly Creative found Here. I love hers more! Mine is not magnetic, yet. I haven't found the metal for the right price. Total cost of this project $4!! Here's how I made mine;
16x20 picture frame bought at a garage sale for $4
Black Spray Paint for the frame
Cream-Colored Cardstock
Polka Dot Ribbon
For the grid I used our old calendar. I set the glass on top of it and used a black Sharpie to trace it. I added a 6th row of squares so I would never have to double the numbers on one square. Make sure when you put the glass in the frame that the Sharpie side is not facing out. It will wipe off.
An alternative would be to use vinyl instead.
I plan on making it magnetic and adding Magnetic numbers. I also want to change out the cardstock for some neutral fabric.
Another tip is to buy fine tip dry erase markers. They are much easier to read. I bought a multi-colored pack so, I can write Pay Day in green and Birthdays in Red, for example.
Now, go have some fun and make your own personal dry erase calendar for your family!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Under Construction

If you haven't noticed I've been making major changes to the blog. I am doing this myself through trial and error. Please be patient with me as I make these changes to make the site more organized. My OCD has kicked into overdrive!

If you click on the Kitchen tap it will take you to recipes that I have on this blog plus a list of great websites for recipes. I will be adding more pics above the links as I go. If you would like to submit any recipes to be featured please contact me at nestingmadesimple@gmail.com Hope you enjoy the new layout and that it's easier to navigate.

Have a great weekend!


Book Review: Might as Well Laugh About It Now

If you are looking for an upbeat, lighthearted, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud book, this is it. I found this at our public library. I like Marie Osmond and I was curious about the title so, I checked it out. One great thing about the library is, if you don't like the book you aren't out any money! Well, the title certainly delivered. I loved sharing the stories with my husband and also with, Mika, during our 5:30 am walks. It definitely gave us something to laugh about that early in the morning. I also learned the importance of a Sharpie as a necessity to a woman's cosmetic bag. If you want to know why you are just going to have to read the book. Some things you just have to read for yourself!


My momma asked me for my recipe so, here it is;

1lb ground beef or chicken
green pepper
Enchilada Sauce
Cheese, shredded

Brown your meat, onion, and pepper. Spoon it into a tortilla. Add a couple tablespoonfuls of the enchilada sauce. Roll it up and place it seam side down in your 9x13. Do this until your pan is full. Now, spoon the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tops of the tortillas. Top with shredded cheese. Now you can either bake it until the cheese melts and serve with sour cream or you can freeze them for later! Don't forget to line your 9x13 with foil if you are going to freeze them and they are great for a very easy clean up!

Garden Bounty

One great way to save money is by having a garden. This year we doubled the size of our's. We planted 2 types of tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, lettuce, onions, peas, green beans, and corn. We have had great success. I love sitting down to dinner and enjoying fresh snapped beans, peas, or corn, along with a fresh salad with tomatoes all from our backyard.

Fresh picked lettuce

Lil man thinks they are leaves and that he is eating something forbidden which makes it more fun for him! Hey, if he'll eat it I don't care what he calls it.

Fresh green beans. They have done great this year! Can't wait to enjoy them from the freezer in the dead of winter.

Sweet Corn. If my husband had his way his garden would consist of sweet corn and zucchini only. So, far we have gotten a dozen ears. The squirrels have declared war on our sweet corn and have been stripping the stalks and breaking them in half. I'm waiting for my husband to camp out there in a lawn chair with his BB gun. Hasn't happened yet.

First Little Girl Dress

I have never attempted to make clothes before and I found an adorable pattern The Abbey Dress made by Shwin & Shwin. She has the most adorable little girl clothing and shoe tutorials. What's great about this dress is it can be worn as a top the next year.

So, here's the finished product and I think it turned out well especially for my first try. I want to make the pleated mary jane shoes too so someone hurry up and have a girl for me to dress!

Cake Mix Cookies

Orange Cake Mix Cookies

1 box (18-19oz) Cake Mix any flavor
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp of water
1/3 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Combine cake mix, egg, oil, and water. Drop onto cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar if desired.

Makes 3 Dozen

Lil Man giving his seal of approval!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


We go through 2 gallons of milk per week! Did I mention that we are a family of THREE? I can't imagine how many gallons everyone else is going through. My husband keeps joking that with milk prices rivaling the price of gas (ridiculous) that we should invest in a cow. Too bad we live in town. It would be tempting. I have been researching other ways to save on milk. I found an article that shared a way of saving on milk that I had never even considered. The article can be found Here.

Another tip about saving on milk is buy it when it is the cheapest. Right now the cheapest I can find it is $2.19. If you are really super duper lucky you can once in a blue moon find it for $1.99. When you buy it at these prices STOCK UP! You can FREEZE Milk! The trick is to drink a glass before placing it in the freezer to allow for the liquid to expand as it freezes. If you don't you will have a serious mess.

If you have any tips on saving on milk I'd love to hear them!

Freezer Cooking Day

After I lugged all the meat into the house I got busy! Lil man thought it was a holiday because I let him watch movies to keep him entertained while I was in the kitchen.

The Pork Blade Steaks were seperated into 2 freezer bags, labeled, and dated. There were 4 huge steaks in the package and that will easily make 2 meals for our family.

I did the same thing with the Pork ribs.

There were 2 Pot Roasts in the package so one was placed in the freezer while the other one was thrown into the crock pot. Might as well conquer dinner now. I cut up 3 potatoes and dumped in some carrots too and "POOF" dinner is done!!

Now the 8lbs of hamburger. Out of it I made;
1 Meatloaf
12 extra large meatballs
4 hamburger patties
6 Enchiladas
1 Lasagna
1lb cooked taco meat
2 (1lb) bags of unseasoned cooked hamburger (to be used for spaghetti, chili, sloppy joes, etc.)

Extra Large Meatballs



Pot Roast

My Freezer. We have a chest freezer in the garage too.

From all of the meat we will get a total of 13 meals, plus leftovers. The total of the meat alone was $36.02. When you divide that by 13 it comes out to $2.77 per main course. When you divide that by the total number of people you are feeding it becomes even smaller! In our family that's 3, which makes it $0.92 per person! On top of the money it saves it also saves me TIME! The most dreaded question of my day is, "What's for dinner?" Now we just have to pull something out and pop it into the oven. No prep work involved and minimal dishes!  You might say this is time consuming but, it really wasn't. I started at 9am and had prepared everything, stuck it in the freezer, and did all the kitchen clean up by 12pm. Plus, there were many interruptions and also lunch during this time. Don't get me wrong I was really tired after and took a nap when my son took his. Later that night I froze 1 quart of corn and 3 quarts of green beans from our garden. Then, I made homemade blueberry ice cream. This is not a normal cooking day for me. I hope this encourages you in your efforts to freezer cook.

IGA Meat Sale

I have slowly worked myself into freezer cooking. I started out with little things like chopped onions and peppers. Now, I'm doing main courses. Yesterday, lil man and I went to IGA. This is his fav place to shop because he gets to drive the car at the front of the cart plus, the cashiers always give him a sucker. They were having their family pack meat sale. This is my fav sale! Here's a run down of what I bought;

Hamburger 8lbs- It was on sale for $2.49/lb but, I got there early and got the reduced price meat for $1.99/lb = $15.52

Pork Blade Steaks - $3.76

Beef Chuck Pot Roast (2)- $8.48

Pork Boneless Ribs- $8.26

Pillsbury Biscuits 10/$10- I bought 6 and used 2 $0.30MCs, making them $0.90 per tube

Parkay Stick Margarine 10/$10- I bought 2 and used a $1.00MC, making them $0.50 each

Hamburger Helper 10/$10- I bought 8 and used 2 $0.80 off 4 MCs, making them $0.80 per box
I haven't bought Hamburger Helper in a long time but my husband likes to make it when he cooks so, if I get a night off of cooking I won't complain!

I spent a total of $47.32    According to the receipt I saved $17.90 or 27%. But, they didn't include the sale meat into that so, I saved more than that!