Monday, March 30, 2009

A Need to Focus?

Today I don't have much time to blog, and haven't blogged in a few days. But I spent some time looking around on some of my favorite blogs and they seem to have something that mine doesn't: A solid focus. Whether it be family life, saving money, or crafts, they focus on one thing. Mine seems to go all over the place depending on what mood I'm in that week or day. I'll continue thinking about a focus...ooh what's that over there?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beadie Pattern for the Day

Here's today's beadie pattern. A more traditional "beadie critter," but still thinking about spring.

Click here: Rainbow Beadie

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beadie Pattern for the Day

I've decided to post a beadie pattern every day. My ultimate goal will be to make and photograph one of my beadies that doesn't have a picture yet. But for now, I will post one that has a picture.

This one reminds me of spring--remember making daisy chain bracelets when you were a kid?

You can find the pattern here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Scrapbook Pages This Week

Here are some of the scrapbook pages I have made this week.

The first one is from our 2008 Walt Disney World trip. I got some good pictures of the street entertainers that were out before the Block Party parade at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The next three are from our 2005 trip. I am finally finishing up this album. With the completion of these three pages, I think all I have left to do for this album is the cover page and the ending page. Maybe one other page, since I seem to be a page off in my MGM Studios section of the album. This album is about 70 pages big. Very thick and unwieldy!

My earlier Disney trip albums (2000 and 2004) are two albums, and I am afraid that, even with trying to limit the number of pages I did to a bare minimum (yeah, 70 pages is a bare minimum, I take over 1,000 pictures per trip), I will have to split my 2005, 2007 and 2008 albums into two albums as well, just to avoid too much strain on their spines.

I had fun fitting a little scrapbooking into my week. I find it relaxing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our Dinner Tonight: Turkey Delight

Tonight, I made a recipe that I have made many times. I've been making it since I was a child. But this was the first time I've made it in a long time, and I made an important change in it.

My two youngest children have autism, and about 2 years ago we switched to a new pediatrician who is very interested in autism and in particular he subscribes to a lot of methods used in the DAN philosophy (Defeat Autism Now). We haven't been able to follow everything he has suggested (vitamin B12 shots at home, organic food), but one we have followed pretty well is to avoid fish or seafood, due to the possibility that mercury contributes to their symptoms. So we don't have tuna, fishsticks, anything that is fish or seafood when we are at home. At first it was hard because D's favorite lunch food was a tuna fish sandwich. We've had to switch him to other meats. For a while it was Spam Spread, and now it is canned chicken or turkey with mayo.

So back to my story, I haven't made this particular casserole in a long time because the original recipe calls for tuna fish. But finally I thought I'd try it with turkey. And it was pretty good! So here is the recipe:

Turkey Delight (original recipe with tuna in parentheses)

1 large can turkey or chicken meat (2 cans tuna)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (2 cans cream of mushroom soup)
1/2 cup milk
1 large bag potato chips (10-12 oz.)

Crush the potato chips. You can do this by opening the bag and then crushing the chips right inside the bag, or by putting it in a bowl and letting the kids mash it up with their clean hands. Next, add the remaining ingredients and mix it all up. Add a little more milk if it is too dry. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Put casserole in pan and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

When we were still making this with tuna, we found that we liked the flavor a little better if we used 1 can cream of mushroom and 1 can cream of chicken. I might try this next time with one can of each, just to see what it's like.

It seems weird to put potato chips in a casserole but it's really good! I hope you'll try it.

I'm Going to Albertsons Today

UPDATE: I did the shopping, but discovered that Albertson's is apparently no longer taking competitors' doublers. Which I guess explains why they now have their own doublers...but now I am limited to doubling 4 coupons there, but they double up to $1 (the ones from Safeway and Thriftway only double up to 50 cents). So I spent $2.40 more than I had planned. Sigh....

Today I have planned a little trip to Albertsons. Their new sale for the week has just started and they have some pretty awesome deals, plus I have coupons. Here's what I'm going to buy:

10 Kellogg's cereals or poptarts. Sale $15 when you buy 10. I have 4 coupons for Frosted Flakes that I printed online from (you have to register), for $1 off when you buy 2. Albertson's has 4 double coupons in their ad for doubling up to $1, so that will give me $8 off. Then I have a coupon from the Feb. 22 Sunday paper coupons for $1 off two poptarts. Using the double coupon thing from the Thriftway ad will give me another 50 cents off. Total for 10 boxes of cereal--$5.50

3 Hot Pockets. These are on sale for 2/$3, first 4, and I have a coupon for $1 off when you buy 3 (I got this from the coupon printer at Fred Meyer, but I think it will work since Albertsons takes coupons from other stores). Using another double coupon slot from the Thriftway doubler will give me $1.50 off total, so the total price I will pay will be $3 for 3 boxes.

2 Totino's Pizza Rolls. These are on sale for $1 each, and I have 2 35-cent coupons for them, and using the last two doubler slots for the Thriftway doubler will make the total cost for both boxes 60 cents.

Total spent: $9.10

A note about the printables: does limit how many times you can print out a coupon (2 times in one visit) but you can go back on another day and you might be able to print out more. My visits there were a couple of weeks apart.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coupon Musings

Last week I didn't do much couponing because there were some things that I had to get as far as groceries went, that weren't on sale and didn't have coupons, so I went to Winco. Winco has the best prices overall for regular groceries, and if you don't have time or don't want to look for sales or coupons, this is the place to go to at least help with your grocery budget a little.

Next week I'll do better. I've already got my eye on several things at Walgreens.

This past week I also did a lot of pondering on the attitude of some Walgreens managers toward those who enjoy finding bargains using sales and coupons. Some managers will not allow you to use a Walgreens coupon that you find in the Sunday ad or the Easy Saver catalog thing, combined with a manufacturer's coupon. I find that a little sad. I don't think it should matter to the manager; if we use a manufacturer's coupon they're going to get their money, it will just take a little longer because it has to come from a clearinghouse.

The thing that I find ironic, is that Walgreens ads actively encourage this kind of bargain shopping. They offer things that are free after rebate, etc., and proudly advertise them in their ads. But then managers get mad because, I suppose, they feel that the people who are buying these things should spend a lot more money than just buying the coupon/sale/free after rebate things, and a lot of them don't. I think I do my share to support my local Walgreens so I don't feel bad when I get 2 Sense n' Spray air fresheners for free with a small overage that helps pay for the rest of the items I'm buying. I guess I can see them being a little mad when people come in repeatedly and only buy the deals and never shop there for anything else. But like I said they will get at least some of their money when the clearinghouse gets the coupon.

People are trying to stretch their dollars as far as they can. When I am a cashier I am one of the ones helping them use their coupons. The other day I had a customer who had walgreens coupons, manufacturers coupons and a register reward from a previous purchase. The cash register wouldn't accept the register reward, it was giving me an error message about coupon value exceeding purchase price which I knew wasn't true. I remembered that you couldn't have more manufacturer's coupons than items and that register rewards count as a manufacturer's coupon. So I told her she just needed to buy one more small item and she would be able to use her register rewards. She threw in a 33 cent caramel and voila, it worked! She was so grateful for the help. I know that she'll be back.

OK that's enough rambling for today. I'll let you know what deals I'll be getting in a post tomorrow.