Thursday, February 23, 2012


I'm sure I get some funny looks when we are out eating and the straw in my kids' cups aren't the same ones my server delivered but I have found a silly little thing that makes life a bit easier when dining out, and my kids love it.


Bring Your Own Straw

And not just any straw but a "bendy" straw. You know...these!

I picked these up for $1 (maybe at Dollar Tree, or in the dollar section at Target...I don't remember) and they are fabulous!

Why would I bring my own straw? When you have toddlers and they are given a regular straw in their kids' cup sometimes they struggle with drinking out of it. They either have to move the cup off the table, down towards their lap, to take a drink, or tip the cup to be able to drink out of it. Either way, spills usually occur.

Plus, the kids think it's fun to have some little special treat just for them.

The best way, I have found, to transport straws is with a travel toothbrush holder! I think I found the idea in a Parents magazine one time so I can't take credit for it.

I have to cut the straws to fit into the holder but that's ok since they are usually going into kid size cups anyway.

Voila! They just stay in my diaper bag (or you can put them in your purse) and you can B.Y.O.S. too!

Love and bendy straws,


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Markdown Madness - UPDATE!

As I was typing out my previous blog post, and looking through my reciept, I noticed that my receipt didn't seem right. I was charged full price for 4 of my Downy products and the 2 Aveeno baby washes. Something didn't seem right when I looked at my original total but I thought it was just pregnancy brain at work.
While at the store, the cashier and I were talking about the markdowns and shared our excitement about it, then I realized I left my wallet in the car (yep, THAT was pregnancy brain at work). She suspended the transaction and I came back in. I also realized that I forgot to hand over 2 of my coupons (after I paid and was getting ready to leave...MORE pregnancy brain at work) but that was a quick trip to the service counter and no big deal.

Even with all of that, I didn't notice that I was overcharged!

Long story short (too late), I recieved an adjustment on 4 of the 6 items, and recieved my money back on 2 of them. The policy, regarding receiving a refund on items that ring up incorrectly (if you buy multiple of the same item they just refund one of them and adjust the rest), is very generous of King Soopers but not one I like to take advantage of. Even though I did have to drive 12 miles out of my way to go back to the store, all I wanted was to get my proper more, no less.

I did adjust my total amount paid in my previous post for what I WOULD have paid had I not been refunded for those 2 items. But my actual out of pocket ended up being $14.44...that seems really low so I'm not sure if another error occured when she was doing the adjustment but that's where I stand.

I just wanted to be honest, and also stress the importance of checking your receipt before leaving the store. 98% of the time I look over my receipt but every now and again (like today) I forget. Even better, if you can make sure to watch the screen as items are getting rung up then you can save yourself a trip to the service counter.

Love and price adjustments,


Markdown Madness!

I had to make a quick trip into the grocery store today because we were low on milk (we must be drinking more than normal...not a bad thing, really) and the kids needed some more yogurt. I always check the markdown areas to see if there are any good deals to snag. To my delight (but not to my weekly budget's delight) I feel like I hit the jackpot. Besides my 3 gallons of milk, here's what I found...

Yep, ALL of this was marked down!

It's a little tough to see the markdown stickers so here's the easy rundown...

Downy - the big 78 (purple) and 90 (blue) load bottles! marked down to $3.59 each - $1 off coupon = $2.59.
Yogurt - 1.09 for the Dananino and 1.39 for the YoBaby (no coupons for either of those but my kids like them and that's still a good price)
Shredded Cheese -  the big 1 lb bags for 2.69 each and a $1/2 coupon = 2.19 each
String Cheese - 2.69 - $1 coupon = 1.69
Aveno baby wash - 1.49 - $1 coupon = .49 each
J&J and soap - $1.29 - a $1.50 catalina they adjusted down for me = FREE
Orajel - $1.39 (no coupon but a great price)

If all of this was purchased at regular price it would have cost $ 3 gallons of milk for a grand total of $88.97.
My cost for everything (inlcuding the milk) was $23.94!! That included $10.79 in coupon savings and .30 in King Soopers savings, from the milk.

A note regarding coupons and markdown items - One of the managers was up front when I checked out and made a comment regarding not "normally" accepting coupons on markdown items. I have heard that in the past but, 95% of the time, my cashier doesn't bat an eye over running them through. So this is an instance that will vary by store, by the cashier and by the manager on duty. It's up to you to try using them...I figure it's always worth a shot! All they can do is tell you no and then you can decide if you still want to buy the item or not.

DON'T SHY away from the markdown areas! As long as you pay attention to the expiration dates, and the quality of the packaging, you will be just fine...and pleasantly surprised at the great deals you can find!

Love and madness,


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Special Day

I woke up this morning to hear the wind blowing and blowing (as it normally does out here). I peeked out the window and saw the snow that was coming with it and was less than thrilled.

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of winter. I think it's beautiful to have snow at Christmas but other than that I can do without it. I love spring and the rain that comes with it. I love summer and the warm temperatures and long days, and I love fall when the leaves change and there is just a little nip in the air. Winter....I can pretty much do without.

This time every year I am ready for winter to be over. I know we were very lucky the first few months and it was really mild. February has been fairly miserable and I'm pretty much done with it. Even my daughter, who loves playing in the snow, has commented about wanting it to be warmer.

Today I was really stuggling to figure out something fun to do with the kids. Since it's a holiday the library is closed (that was my first choice) and I don't have any grocery shopping or errands to do. I had originally thought about taking them out for lunch but all my outing ideas were canceled with the wind and snow.
Starting up the oven and doing some fun baking projects in the kitchen wasn't too exciting because we have some other treats laying around right now, but I still wanted to find something a little unique to do with the kids we had a picnic.

We are very much a sit at the kitchen table and eat kind of family, so this is something fun and different for them. The "blanket" is some fabric I found on clearance at Jo-Ann's a while back. It's a vinyl material and I just sewed a hem around it. Perfect for an indoor/outdoor tablecloth (I made it so it fits on a 6' folding table)...or a picnic blanket.

We had sandwiches (they had butter and jelly and I made myself a BLT), chips, apples, hardboiled eggs and cheese (they like to eat sliced cheese). All finger food and easy clean up. The kids loved it and asked if we could do it again tomorrow. :)

It's the simple things don't have to do anything fancy to make your day special.

Love and indoor picnics,


Friday, February 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Treats!

I love Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. She's so down to earth and I love how easy her recipes are. She has a show on Food Network and I love watching it! On one of the episodes she made these easy, scrumptious, Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. I tried them out the other day and they are family approved. I really wanted to share the recipe because it is soooo easy and good. Plus, there is no online picture so I took one of my own!

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars


  • 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • One 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the strawberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.

**The other great thing, for variety, you can use any flavor jam you want!**

Love and yummy treats,


Saturday, February 11, 2012

What a Heel!

If you are like me, the heel of your bread doesn't get a lot of love. I rarely eat it and, more often than not, it can get end up in the trash (or fed to the birds). Well, not anymore!

Want to know what I do with my bread heels? Make bread crumbs!

I haven't purchased bread crumbs in a very long time after I realized I was wasting money by A) throwing away part of my loaf of bread and B) paying money for bread crumbs!

Here's the process...

Take the heels of your bread and let them sit out for a couple days so they get stale/hard.

Break them up and little and put them in the food processor.

Pulse until your get the consistancy you want. You can make them really rough or very fine.

Put them in an airtight container (I loooove the OXO brand containers! I use them for quite a few things in my kitchen) and store!

It cannot be easier! If you like herb bread crumbs, just grab your dry seasoning of choice and mix it in (Italian bread crumbs are usually a favorite) when it's time to use it.
You can, obviously, do this with regular pieces of bread too but we usually don't have a problem eating a loaf of bread before it goes bad. It's just those heels that hang around and can get wasted at our house.

Love and using it ALL!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Give me a Quarter Back!

I just got back from my weekly King Soppers trip. There isn't much that's mind blowing this week but a few good deals so here's what I stocked up on...

Everything in the picture above cost me $21.70 plus I recieved $6.25 back from the King Soopers Quarter Back deal this week.
If you haven't checked it out, buy any of the participating items and recieve .25 back, on each item, in the form of a catalina. You must purchase at least 4 items to recieve the .25 back (guess they don't want to print out coupons under $1.) The nice thing is, unlike a Mega Event, you don't have to buy in multiples of 4, you just have to buy at least 4 items and you can rack up as many as you want after that. Also unlike a Mega Event, it doesn't come off your total at checkout, it's a coupon for next time. That doesn't bother me since I go to King Soopers every week.

Here are what my Quarter Back catalina's look like...

They don't expire until March 2nd so I have plenty of time to use them.

Hop over to Bargain Blessings to see the rundown on the sales and to find links to some of the coupons needed for some of the deals, and don't forget to read the comments! I found a couple good deals there (i.e. find the hang tags on certain A&W, 7-up, Sunkist products for $1 off the soda when you buy bananas...that makes the soda free!)

All in all I spent $58.18 and saved $47.84 plus I have $6.25 to use towards my next purchase. Not too shabby!

Love and Quarters,