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Archive for December, 2010

December Grocery/Toiletry Show and Tell…

In preparation to 2011’s $100 a month self imposed challenge…For December I gave myself a whopping $150 allowance for the entire month.

And I failed…

I actually spent $183.38

Here’s what I purchased…

Target had Kashi Bars on clearance… plus I had $1.00 off coupon for each box…plus I was able to use a few Target store coupons as well…

The nuts were $1.00 a can after coupons and the t.p was only .67 cents. The bread was from Panera (gift card) and the Terra Chips were $1.50 with coupons…


FREE Pencils & Lip Gloss!

(5) $25 Restaurant.com Gift certificates for $8.50…
I was thinking ahead to 2011 and how The Handsome Husband would FREAK OUT if we don’t go to any restaurants… So I think it was a smart move.


Costco is evil.
I paid $18.99 for a giant lemon tart… and ate 80% of the thing…
And yes, I went at lunch time so I could score a FREE SAMPLE lunch…
PLUS… I remembered to put the sporks in my pocket!


.67 cent ice cream


The pizza’s were free… the little smokies were .50 cents each and went into the freezer for an unknown party… The the jello & cherries were for a Jello Salad.


My neighbor Girly Girl and I bartered… I got fruit!


The Handsome Husband came home with FREE salmon…
Who am I to complain?


I exchanged (returned) a gift at Costco…
And came home with steak instead.


I picked up 4 boxes of whole wheat pasta for free…
And traded Mrs. Hillbilly for 2 smoked duck breasts wrapped in bacon.


The Handsome Husband and his Man Food


Pineapples (.99 cents each) & FREE pasta


For the most part we only eat organic meat…
But Monkey Boy wanted to make his famous burgers one night and I didn’t have time to defrost our organic buffalo meat… So I picked up some hamburger patties and buns at Albertsons…
After the first bite… the Handsome Husband and I gave each other a weird look…
Let’s just say… I don’t think I’ll be buying hamburger meat from the grocery store any time soon again… There is a BIG difference!


$1.99 for Charmin… Awesome deal!


I LOVE RITE AID


Looks like we have enough batteries for the next 2 years!


Double Coupons…


More Double Coupons!


It’s never too early to shop for Christmas…
I plan on giving someone on my Christmas 2011 list… a years supply of Tide…
I’m thinking 180 packets should be enough…


I scored 9 boxes of FREE instant Coffee Plus a FREE cookie mix at Safeway…


Bagels & Chocolate…


FREE nail polish…


I had a weak moment and bought a few things at Costco…
BAD MAVIS….


I found a coupon for a FREE bag of cookies on the ground!
And… and… the fruit & onion were FREE because of my Fred Meyer Rewards Card!


I LOVE me some FREE panty liners!

A years supply of shampoo & conditioner for Mavis and family…
How cool is that?

 


I think I was desperate for a little interaction with a cash register…
So I bought a few pieces of fruit… okay so maybe I went for “free sample hour”… but who’s gonna rat me out? Huh? Huh?


I scored 6 FREE Tubs of “Tuscan Flavored” butter @ Fred Meyer…
And YES… I know that paying $3.99 for 12 bottles of Green Tea is stupid…
But I consider this to be a proactive move on my part…
If I don’t include a drink in the Handsome Husbands lunch, he’d probably buy something from the vending machine…

*********

That’s it!

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Ummm….

There’s one minor detail I have overlooked…

Garden Seeds…

How the heck and I suppose to pay for those?

In order to GROW FOOD… I will need to BUY seeds…

And isn’t it only fair that SEED money comes out of my GROCERY BUDGET?

The only two options I have come up with so far are:

Option #1
Dress in all black and perform mime skits in the local park…
But… I’d probably get beat up for that.


Option#2
Loose change…
Last night The Handsome Husband came home from work and emptied his pockets… and as luck would have it… along with his daily notes and lint from his pocket… was a QUARTER!!!! I squealed and I ran off with it… and hid it in my secret hiding place. Then today… I found a nickle on the ground! Hot diggety dog!

The way I see it…
I have about 60 days to come up with a solid plan before I need to start purchasing seeds…

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Sibling Rivalry… Alive and Kicking!

Ever since I can remember…
I have always been the “Present Elf” in our family…
I even wear a special costume…
It’s a title I plan to take to my grave.
I and only I pass out the Christmas gifts…
When a certain person (who shall remain nameless)
Tries to touch the gifts… tries to “help” …they are scolded…Not only by ME… but by my parents as well.

Every Stinkin Year…

So…
You can imagine how tense it can be at certain family gatherings…

This year… during our annual game of 31 it was as tense as it has ever been…

When I was a kid we use to play with 3 nickles…
Years later… when my kids were old enough to count…
I taught them how to play… with quarters.
And over time… the buy in became larger… finally about 3 years ago… we started playing with 1 dollar bills.

But this year…
My Mother decided to up the ante…
If you wanted to play… the buy in was (3) $5 gift cards…
Kids included… If they wanted to play… then they had to pay…
It was Go BIG… or GO HOME…
Winner take all…
The Prize… $135 in various gift cards…

After about an hour… the field was whittled down to only 2 players…
Mr. Plaid Shirt… and The Handsome Husband…The whole family surrounded the remaining two players…

Mr. Plaid Shirt even tried desperately to use hand signals…
It was a tense nail-biting 5 minutes…

Seriously tense… with $135 in gift cards on the line I kept eye balling Mrs. Plaid Shirt (who was standing behind the Handsome Husband I’ll have you know) to make sure no cheating was involved…


The game went on and on…

And on…

Until finally… a winner…

Who won $135 in gift cards?*

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The Handsome Husband…

Wooo hooo…

What did he win?

$15 to Panera

$15 to Jamba Juice

$15 to Starbucks

$15 to Fat Burger

$15 to Target

$15 to Burger King

$15 to Mc Donalds

$15 to QFC

and

$15 in Washington State Lottery Tickets…

Handsome Husband… YOU.R.MY.HERO

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How To Make An Edible Arrangment…


I was thinking I would be able to whip this up for under $15…But it’s December…Translation: No Local FruitHere’s what I bought:

2 Pineapples $1.98
2 Cantaloupes $4.40
1 Honey Dew Melon $3.47
4 Apples FREE
1 Orange BARTERED
4 Bananas .68 cents
4lbs. Grapes $6.99
2lbs. Strawberries $7.98 (Major Rip-Off!)
Bamboo Skewers $1.49
Green Floral Foam $1.50
————————————-
$28.49

I made a few mistakes…

I only needed 1 pineapple, and 1 cantaloupe…not 2 each.
I also only needed 1lb of the strawberries, 1/2 the grapes and the bananas were a no go.
Also… I forgot I needed kale… So the poor Handsome Husband had to run to the store for me rather early on Christmas Eve…

*****

Okay…

Here we go…

STEP #1

Find a suitable container…


Several years ago I lifted this from my parents house…
And it’s been in my bathroom ever since…

Originally I was looking for a red container…
But this was FREE…
And hey…
I knew my Mom WOULD LOVE IT…
After all…I did swipe it from her house…

Lay out your fruit…


Size it up…

Find an inspirational picture on the internet…

And get started.


Stuff green floral foam in container a secure it in place (I used rocks)


Cut your cantaloupe in half…
This way…

In half again…

And each half into 6ths…

Trim the guts

Do the same with the honey melon…

Spear your fruit with bamboo
skewers…

Wash the strawberries and lay them on a towel to dry…

Skew the grapes…

Originally I had The Handsome Husband trim the sides of the pineapple…

But then we figured out it was completely unnecessary…
Use some sort of flower cookie cutter…
I borrowed this one from my neighbor Girly Girl…

Use a melon ball cutter thing to cut half circles out of the extra cantaloupe.

Place some floral foam in an extra container and secure it in place…
You’ll need this for the fruit you intend to dip in chocolate…

Skew the berries…

Practice with a not so perfect strawberry…
I used dipping chocolate that I found at the grocery store in the produce section.

Dipping bananas proved difficult… I think they were too moist.

We also dipped the apples slices in white chocolate…

And a few marshmallows…
The Girl Who Thinks She’s Bird added a few sprinkles for a festive look.

You don’t want to lay your chocolate dipped creations on a flat surface…
Otherwise you’ll have flat spots…
This is why you need a second container…

After I had assembled all the fruit on skewers…
I began to stuff the bottom of the container with kale…
Which was a mistake… so I removed it…

I also realized that I needed to raise the center of the bouquet…
So I built up the center with extra floral foam.

When I ran out of skewers I started to fill the top of the container with kale leaves… and also added a few leaves here and there in the center to hide any exposed skewers…


And that was it!


A helpful serving tip:
Place a tall glass next to the fruit bouquet for the fruitless skewers.

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Merry Christmas Chickens…


Merry Christmas Chickens…

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A year supply of toilet paper…

Does it get any better than that?

************* ********* ***** *** ** *

Oh wait…

maybe it does…

A year supply of Panera too!


Suhhweeet!

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I don’t know about you…
but I love winter break…


I’m sure Monkey Boy’s future wife will appreciate that I taught him how to wash the dishes… and fold the laundry… and HEY… he can even cook a few things.


Do you ever wonder what your kids do when you’re not in the room…


I never really thought about it until I saw this little gem when I uploaded the pictures…


The Handsome Husband brought home some frozen salmon last night…

I get sooo excited when he brings home FREE food…

He brings home some pretty random stuff at times…

A case of banana’s, boxes of cookies, giant pumpkins,

It’s a crap shoot…

*****

In other news…

Girly Girl called me yesterday…

Mavis… where are you?

On my way home

When will you BE HOME?

In 30 seconds…

Do you have any yeast?

Yes…

How much…

Plenty…

I need some… what do you wanna trade for it?

Fruit… I could use from fruit.

You go it!


The girl who thinks shes a bird shrieked with delight when she saw the cherries…


I also stopped by Albertson’s…


And Rite Aid…
I scored a bunch of Ice Cream for .67 cents a 1/2 gallon…


And I also stopped by Costco…

Costco is EVIL…


The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird made some homemade applesauce with the bartered apples…


I’m really hoping that the fruit basket works out…
We have all the supplies and will be making it tomorrow…
Wish me luck!


Surprise Surprise… we had salmon for dinner


I simply baked it with brown sugar and garlic butter

See that roll…
The Handsome Husband came home with a bag from Panera…
The bag had 2 rolls in it… and he handed me the bag and said “Here… maybe you want to use these for dinner.”
Very suspicious…


We also whipped up “Baked Pineapple” to bring to Granny’s house…
She’s serving Ham…


And we made wafer cookies…


Delish…


I wonder what my refrigerator will look 3 months from now…


Yesterday was crazy…
Then again… I’m pretty sure yours was too…

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