Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Great Way to Save Money on Groceries

Have you heard about Angel Food Ministries?  It is a grocery relief program available to anyone and everyone in the US.  There are NO income requirements (a common misconception) and the food is all FIRST quality (also a common misconception).  You can order online or in person at your local host site.  You can pay with cash, EBT, and even credit or debit online.  You can order as much or as little as you want.  Our family has been blessed by this ministry for over 4 years now!

I love Angel Food pickup days!  Even though I know ahead of time what I am ordering, by the time 2 weeks have passed, I forget and it is like "grocery christmas" each month!  Here is what we picked up today:

1 supreme pizza, 1 pkg hot dogs, 1 lb ground beef, 1.5 lb beef double cheeseburgers (4), frozen carrots, frozen mashed potatoes, 1 doz medium eggs, 1 whole young chicken, 1 28 oz frozen meatloaf dinner, 1 32 oz frozen lasagna dinner, 1 16 oz can baked beans, 32 oz shelf stable 1% milk, 1 head green cabbage, 1 8 oz box cereal, 2 cinnamon rolls

And let's not forget the "bonus" items added by the host site we pick up from:

(these items are overages from a nearby food pantry)

If you are not familiar with Angel Food Ministries, you can check them out here:  Angel Food Ministries

We routinely order 1-2 Signature boxes each month for our family of 7.  At this time three of our kids are really light eaters and the baby, well doesn't figure in the meal equation yet, so this amount of food works for us.  As our kids get older, we will increase the number of boxes as needed, since the signature box is designed to feed a family of 4 for one week.

I challenge you to give it a try and let me know what you think!

Friday, July 30, 2010

How do you define comfort?

Our littlest guy has found a source of comfort lately...

or this

The best part?  It is always attached and we don't have to look for it in the middle of the night!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Frugal Friday Fun

Fun, cheap, easy things to do with or make for the kids:

Cute Skirt to make in a Snap - we made two, one for each girl

Play Dough made with Kool-aid - we are doing this today for the littles

Family Fun Summer Craft Ideas - lots of great ideas

Have a fun, frugal Friday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mmmm - cucumbers

Here is a recipe we have been using to enjoy our bounty of cukes.  Enjoy!

Marinated Cucumbers

6 - 8 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar or splenda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

Combine the cucumbers and onion in a bowl.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Pour over cucumbers and onion.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  This makes around 12 servings.

I usually slice up a few more cucumbers and add to the dressing still in the bowl as we eat what is already marinated.  We enjoy this version better than those with celery and mustard seed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Maybe I do have a green thumb?!

We have a joke in our family about my "black" thumb. 

You see...

I tend to kill plants. 

This year I have already killed the following:

a hydrangea (I was still pregnant - too distracted to keep it watered)
two purple fountain grass
half a flat of pink petunias (like I thought I would actually plant them before Carson was born?)
carrots (I got tired of waiting for them and pulled all the sprouts out)
two hanging planters of purple and fuschia petunias

So imagine how surprised I am that my garden is actually flourishing!  The 2 raised beds were my Mother's Day present.  Maybe it is all of the love that went into them that is producing all this bounty?!  Here is what we have growing in three raised beds:

1 yellow squash plant
1 bell pepper plant
1 jalapeno plant
1 banana pepper plant
2 cucumber plants
1 basil plant
1 roma tomato plant
1 cherry tomato plant
1 grape tomato plant
1 better boy tomato plant
2 "clearance" tomato plants from Lowe's - not really sure what they are!

The best thing - I have been able to pick something almost everyday for the last 2-3 weeks.

Today I picked our first yellow pear tomato, 2 grape tomatoes, 4 cucumbers and 2 jalapeno's.  It has been great to serve my family something I grew!  And guess what - they are surprised to be eating from the garden!

Oh - do I have dreams for next years garden...I see more raised beds...more plants...more bounty...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

National Ice Cream Day

Opened my email this morning and had a great surprise - it's National Ice Cream Day!  Thanks Cold Stone Creamery for giving me a reason to get up and get going today!

Monday, July 12, 2010

In the Good Ole Summertime

I can't believe how fast the summer is flying by!  I guess having a newborn and being sleep deprived will do that to a mom.  Here are a few memorable moments from the first half of our summer.  Enjoy!

Rick's 50th Birthday

Celebrating Riley (and Rick's) birthdays

Father's Day

And a fantastic family reunion

where the kids had a blast in Aunt Katie and Uncle Lin's pool.  What a great time!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things that make me SMILE

My hubby, Rick...

My kids...

Carson - 2 months
Ross - 11
Lily - 6
Haley - 10
Bryce - 4

and tons of things I don't have pictures of:

cucumbers and yellow squash from my garden
the bunny that likes to escape the heat in my cucumber plants
sidewalk chalk drawing on my driveway
flavored creamer in my coffee
homemade ice cream
rain when the sun is shining
butterfly kisses from my 4 year old son
warm cookies
hand made cards from my kids
clearance plants that are blooming like crazy
a phone call from a friend
nuzzle from my cat, Pearl

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th!  We started our celebrating last evening with phenomenal fireworks at the park behind our church.  Today we will celebrate our freedom at church and then have a delicious barbecue at my parents this afternoon.  Here is the menu:  Stuffed Burgers, Hot Dogs, Cole Slaw, Tomatoes w/ Mozzarella and Basil, Grilled Yellow Squash, Homemade Mac and Cheese, Chips and to top it all off Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.  Yum!

Enjoy your day!