My faith

I'm a Mormon.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Old Navy

Just a little note: Old Navy is having a HUGE sale! We got a zip hoodie for the baby for $5.80, and this heavy winter coat for next year (it's so cute!) for 16.00! Online the prices are even better! The coat is only $14.99!



So, if you're one who can't pass up a good deal, then you have to check this out!! :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Good Goal

A while ago (like 4 years ago actually) I was challenged to memorize the Family Proclamation. I never did. Recently, however, I have begun doing this, and it has been amazing. The truths are so basic and pure, and it explains the plan of salvation so perfectly. So, I challenge you to memorize the Proclamation to the world, and see if it doesn't help you in your life!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good ideas

The Claytons had some good ideas about how to save time in the kitchen, so I thought I'd post the link. Thanks Shalyse.

I have completely neglected this blog because I really didn't think anyone looked at it. Then I looked at the survey, so I guess more people than I thought have looked. So I will try and be more vigilant. Being a mom is hard. But I got a new mop today, so hopefully that will help motivate me to clean. You know, the novelty of new things! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bigotry

I have been quite perplexed the last few days in reading the response of the gay community to the passing of Proposition 8. Honestly, it is difficult to see your church, the center of your belief, come under attack. I was feeling very angry at people who, to me, seemed to act in the way they were accusing the entire LDS church of acting. I felt like arguing. I felt like leaving mean comments on blogs defending myself and my religion, as well as my values. I also felt a small worry that somehow these people would undermine the work of the church in helping Heavenly Father's work progress.

Then I remembered something said by Joseph Smith, and all my fears were washed away.
"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny(a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something) may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

With that, and remembering that the Savior commanded us to love our enemies, I am no longer feeling bitter towards people who would falsely accuse me of bigotry just because I want to preserve my freedom of religion. There are a million arguments to counter each argument made by the people who are upset over the passage of this amendment. But I don't need to sit and come up with brilliant arguments. There is work to do. There are people hurting, hungry, cold, in need of a friend. I can spend my time and energy helping instead of hurting others.

I also started to think "why don't we just let them do what they want?" Then I read this interview with Elder Oakes. I highly recommend it.

A recent BYU forum by a Princeton professor also sheds light on the issue.

So anyway, I am not bigoted. I am trying to love everyone. I'm not perfect. I get angry sometimes. But I will continue to stand up for what I believe. That doesn't make me a bigot, that means I have integrity.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Love and Logic Chapter 1

I thought I would summarize each chapter of Parenting with Love and Logic. So here we go.

Chapter 1: Parenting: Joy or Nightmare?

The authors start out with different examples of parenting situations where the child is obviously in control and manipulates to get exactly what they want. In the first scene, a little girls refuses to get in the car to go home until her parents coax and finally bribe her. The second example is a little boy at the airport whose mom keeps yelling at him to stay by her side so he doesn't get lost. He refuses to comply and continues to walk up to strangers. The mom is obviously flustered, and the author asks the little boy "what is your mom going to do if you don't get over there?" To which the boy responds "She's not going to to nothing." And then his eyes twinkle and his grin becomes wider (pp. 18)

The last scene is your classic grocery store scene with two brothers running around, knocking things down, putting treats in the cart when mom isn't looking. "Frazzled, harried, and broken, mom finally surrenders and buys off her precious flesh and blood with candy bars--a cease-fire that guarantees enough peace to finish her rounds."

These stories are examples of "Parenting: the Nightmare."

Before becoming parents, we look forward to it with optimism, picturing the times of tenderness and love, shared joys and disappointments, hugs and encouragement, words of comfort, and soul-filled conversations. (pp.19). "The sublime joys of parenting [in the previous stories] were obliterated by a more immediate concern: survival." Scenes like these happen to the best of us. (pp.19)

Parenting doesn't have to be a drudgery. There is hope. Love and Logic is all about raising responsible kids, and its a win-win philosophy. "Parents win because they love in a healthy way and establish control over their kids without resorting to anger and threats that encourage rebellious teenage behavior. Kids win because they learn responsibility and the logic of life by solving their own problems. Thus, they acquire tools for coping with the real world." (pp. 20)

The goal is to create a relationship built on love and trust. This strategy puts the fun back into parenting.

Crystal's thoughts:
I have seen parents at stores struggling to control their whiny kids. I don't know that "control" is exactly what I'm aiming for, but I don't think the author means authoritarian parenting where :what I says goes, end of story." It is based on establishing a respectful relationship and teaching choices. My friend told me "treat your kids good and they'll be good kids."

Parenting with Love & Logic Chapter 2



Chapter 2: Mission Possible: Raising responsible kids
"All loving parents face essentially the same challenge: raising children who have their heads on straight and will have a good chance to make it in a big world. Every sincere mom and dad strives to attain this goal. We must equip our darling offspring to make the move from total dependence on us to independence, from being controlled by us to controlling themselves." (pp.21)

In the world we live in, responsible kids are the only ones who will be able to handle all the difficult situations and choices. "Many kids arrive at their challenging and life-threatening teenage years with no clue as to how to make decisions. They 'know better' but still try drugs..., ignore good advice, and dabble with sex." (pp.22) Why? They haven't learned to make good choices.

Ineffective parenting styles:
1. Helicopter parents: their lives revolve around their children. They hover and rescue children from bad choices, resulting in children never learning how to deal with consequences. These "loving" parents think they are making it easier for their kids, but their children aren't equipped to deal with the challenges of life. These parents aren't secure in imposing consequences. When their children hurt, they hurt too, so they bail their kids out. The real world is not like this. Normal events of adult life (disease, traffic tickets, bills...) don't disappear because a loving benefactor bails us out. (pp.23)

2. Turbo-attack helicopter model Parents: Parents who no longer recue and defend, but "fly in with guns blazing and missles locked in to attack anyone who held their child responsible for his or her actions." Kids end up blaming others for their lack of success.

3. Drill Sergeant parents: They love their children, but try to control with fierce discipline. They MAKE their kids do the right. (Sound familiar...?) These kids end up never having to think or make decisions. They become very susceptible to peer pressure

Effective parenting style of Love and Logic:

The Consultant Parent
* Especially effective with teenagers
* Kids need guidance and firm, enforceable limits
* Encourage children to think about behavior and help them feel in control of their actions by giving them choices within those limits.
* Important for teens who resent guidelines and rebel at firm limits.
* Let reasonable, real-world consequences do the teaching.
* Parents become advisors and counselors more than police officers.

The Paradox of Success and failure




Crystal's thoughts: Helicopter parents are the bane of any schoolteacher. These parents think their child should get an "A" and a pat on the back no matter what they do! And everything is the teacher's fault!! These parents LOVE No Child Left behind!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to make a quiet book.

I have seen lots of moms with quiet books at church, and my friend posted this on her blog. I'm going to try and make one for Alana!
http://theideadoor.com/Printables/how_to_make_an_lds_quiet_book_by.htm

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fleece Throws

Walmart has oversized fleece throws for $3.97! I was pretty amazed by this and bought 6, figuring I could use them for Christmas gifts. Who doesn't love to cuddle under a big soft blanket and read when it's cold outside?

I realize I have been MIA lately. I have goals to continue with the calendar, but we have had some changes around her lately, and I've been less worried about planning meals in advanced. My only problem with planning ahead is that I often don't want to eat what I planned to make for that night. Oh well. It's a good skill and I should probably just get used to eating what's for dinner. :)

Homemade Cream of Wheat



I really love Cream of Wheat, but it is SO EXPENSIVE! I was shocked when I went to buy a box the other day and found out it cost almost $6 for a tiny box. Sob. So I decided to try my hand at making my own, and it turned out REALLY yummy. It is much creamier and "wheaty" tasting than normal Cream of Wheat, but it was fantastic. I think I am going to try making Cream of Rice next. Here is my recipe:

2 cups water
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups coarsely ground wheat

(I have a Nutrimill grinder and I put it on the low and coarse settings. You want it to be the coarsest you can get it-- but not as coarse as cracked wheat. I think you could do it in the blender, you'd just have to let it blend till it got the right consistency. )

Bring water, milk and salt to a boil. Turn down the heat (or turn it all the way off) and slowly add the wheat while stirring constantly. If you got to fast or don't stir enough you get clumps-- ick. It thickens pretty fast, and then you just stir it until the desired consistency.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ten Suggested Steps for Debt Elimination and Financial Peace

This is from an LDS perspective but it's great advice for all and easy to adapt to your indiviual situation.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Free Money! Really.

I've been meaning to post this on this blog for a LONG time, but haven't ever gotten around to it. I REALLY wish that I had known about this program 3 years ago!!

In case you didn't know Utah has a program called The Utah Individual Development Account Network (UIDAN). This is a program to help low income families ( click here for income limits) and individuals save money to use towards:
  • Home ownership for first-time home buyers;
  • Post-secondary education or certified vocational training for the account holder (institution must be accredited);
  • Small-business development or business capitalization;
This is how the program works:

After taking the required 8 hours of Basic Financial Management Training, you can open an account with as little as $15. You can save up to $1,500 in your IDA (Individual Development Account), and UIDAN will match it 3 to 1, giving you an additional $4,500. After particpating in the program for 3 years you would have a grand total of $6,000 to use toward education, home ownership or opening a small buisness.

There isn't really a downside to the program, the only rules are that:
  • You must put at least $15 into the savings acount each month;
  • You are not allowed to put more than $62.50 a month into the savings account;
  • You must particapte for a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 36 months;
  • The money can only be used for the three above mentioned reasons;
  • You need to attend a personal finance and money management workshop series;
  • Must complete asset-specific training for selected asset goal prior to purchase;
  • Required to give support to others in the program through on-going peer support meetings;
  • Have regular contact with a case manage;
  • Agree to address any credit issues that would inhibit your success to purchase the desired asse;
  • Agree to abide by the program’s rules and responsibilities as described by the program staff and in the written materials receive.
All in all, it really sounds like a wonderful program. If you are already saving for one of these three things, you might as well use this program and get FREE MONEY!

Also, if you are interested in other first time homebuyer programs (nationwide and in Utah) I posted a list on my blog.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Keeping up with the times.

It can be difficult to stay current on the issues facing our world, especially if you have little ones to care for, a job, or a life. My husband is an accounting student and recommends yahoo finance to keep up with economic issues. I think it is important to be educated on the economy, especially since things that happen in one place affect everyone else (thanks to free trade and a global economy...) The economist is also a good place to look for information, and the articles are educated but understandable.

Home Preparedness

I keep meaning to add a new post. I will post the next 2 weeks of meals as well as a shopping list soon. Please tell your friends about this site, I'd like to see it really get off the ground and be helpful to people!!

Here is a good site called home preparedness. I plan on checking it out soon. Let me know what you think.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ham & Elections

Ham is expensive. Why didn't I know that before? I'm not sure, but I will be changing all the gcal meals that have ham in them. I couldn't afford it...

With all the hype surrounding the Presidential Elections, it's easy to forget that this year is a Utah constitutional officials election year also. Many of you probably noticed that Chris Cannon was finally ousted from his seat by not even making the Utah Primaries. I know my dad is glad about that. When I voted in 2004 (this is sad to admit) I didn't know anything about who I was voting for other than Bush & Huntsman (my mom was upset that I voted for Huntsman, since she is also a public educator and knew of his intention to push private school vouchers, but as I mentioned before I think it's turned out alright, I can imagine Huntsman running for President in the future, though who knows if he'd get nominated...?)

ANYWAY, for those of you in Utah, I found a site that at least tells who the candidates are. Utah County is in the 3rd Congressional District. (So is West Valley!)

I also think that regardless of your state, you can go to uselections.com and find out who is running. I'm sure you can google and find campaign websites from there for most candidates. I'll let you know what I find. At this point I am pretty unbiased as far as the state elections go, and I'm pretty sure Huntsman will win again by a landslide, he seems to be pretty popular (at least, I haven't heard anything negative!)

OH! And if you still aren't registered to vote, there is time! Go to Rockthevote.org and fill out a form, which you can then print and mail. SO EASY! NO EXCUSES for NOT voting!!!!

(I'm starting to think I should get a master's in poli-sci or econ or something!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Delicious dinner

Here is what we had for dinner. I highly recommend it, the meatloaf was amazing, and the breadsticks were simple and delicious! Meatloaf is a great quick meal because you just mix it and bake. The breadsticks took maybe 10 minutes of my own time to make...total (I just had to wait 20 minutes for them to rise, during which time I played with Baby Girl!)

Brown Sugar Meatloaf:

1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C ketchup
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
3/4 C milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 C finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)

Preheat oven to 350
Lightly grease a 5 x 9 loaf pan
Press the brown sugar into the bottom of pan and spread with ketchup
In a mixing bowl thoroughly mix all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf
Place loaf on top of ketchup
Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hr or until juices run clear.

Fantastic breadsticks (click for recipe!)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Meal plans

I updated the meal plan calendar. I realized that some of the things on the meal plan can be quite expensive, and I figured out a couple of ways to help that.
1. If you have a small family, cut the recipe in half. You won't have to buy as much.
2. have leftovers every other night and cut out half of the meals.
3. Substitute things you don't have (i.e. feta cheese, pork...) for things that are cheaper that you may already have. Chicken can really be used in place of pork. You really don't have to use a lot of cheese in recipes, but look for sales on cheese, you can find lots of good deals.

Here is the shopping list for 2 weeks. 2 of the weeks look the same. That is because I can't go shopping until next Saturday, so I put the meals up, then realized I'll just me making stuff that's in my cupboards until I can shop. :)
One of the recipes called for "baking mix" I don't know what that is...

One last thing: the great thing about pantry staples is that you can buy them once and they last forever...

Sept 28-Oct 11 Shopping List

Produce:
4 Medium Zucchini
1 Medium/Large Onion
Fresh Garlic (to taste)
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/3 large orange, juiced and zested
5 carrots, sliced
4 potatoes, quartered
1 cup chopped celery


Protein
b/s Chicken
Pork Tenderloins
6 slices cooked ham
6 (4 ounce) links sweet Italian sausage
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham

Dairy:
8oz Feta Cheese
24oz Mozzarella Cheese
Cheese
Apple butter
1 cup milk
6 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream

Frozen:
10oz Frozen Chopped Spinach
cups apple juice
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas

Canned/non-perish
28oz Pasta Sauce
Lasagna Noodles
Salsa
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

Pantry Staples:
Olive Oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 cups baking mix

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hi everyone

I'm new as a contributor so let me start off and write what I do to save money on groceries and other expenses. I have a 4 daughter's and a husband. We home school, raise chickens and struggle to make ends meet like so many others.

1. I do NOT have teenage boys. That's my biggest reason on why I can save money...lol

2. I make a menu for 2 weeks. I buy groceries for what we need to make meals for the next 2 weeks. Of course the menu is more like a guideline because we are always switching days. I take that grocery list with me and stick to it.

3. I make most everything from scratch. I never buy processed or already prepared food. They cost more and aren't healthy for our bodies. Just making more stuff from scratch, I've dropped my cholesterol by 40 points.

4. I half ground beef. For example, when I make spaghetti I will cook up a pound of beef and put half in the freezer for a future meal and use only 1/2 pound for the spaghetti.  If you like your spaghetti with more meat you can use wheat as an extender which nobody would be able to tell and you'll get some great nutrition from it. I also do that for tacos.

5. I do not use coupons. I can't because of my daughter's food allergies. I can't be picky on what brands I use so nothing I ever need has coupons. I have found that since not using coupons, I'm not missing out. Plus most those foods with coupons are highly processed, sugar, and expensive stuff. I will use a Campbell's soup coupon every once in awhile even though Britney can't have soup.

6. LEFTOVERS!! We eat leftovers for lunch whenever we can. Since I home school, I don't have to worry about having stuff to pack lunches or deal with lunch money.

7. We don't buy soda or alcohol. I know of friends who have quite the expense in those areas. We also don't buy too much fruit juices, mostly because they are loaded with sugar. We love orange juice at our house.

I have to admit, we don't eat as much fruits as I would like. My 2nd daughter is allergic to most fruits and vegetables and its hard to keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand when I only go to the store twice a month. I like to take $5-$10 and hit the Farmer's Market every week or so and I hope next summer I can have my garden in full force (we have neighborhood cats which like to dig up gardens). 

Other ways I save money include using cloth diapers.  I have the same diapers from when I started cloth diapering Bmy 2nd daughter so I really save money every time I use a cloth diaper instead of a disposable.  I nurse into toddler hood.  We couldn't afford formula right now. Plus it saves on co-pays to dr. offices.

We bargain prices at most places. Even Sears you can get bargain prices.  We got a new TV earlier this year and Jeff bargained to get the floor model. We research prices before we set foot in a store. We recently got a 2003 Dodge Caravan Minivan for $6000. Don't be afraid to walk out if you don't get the price you want. It's a lot harder to do it in person but its so worth it when you get a good deal.

Look around your house and sell what you can on craigslist or local new stations websites which have free classifieds. Not only will you have some extra cash but you will declutter your house. I just got rid of all our baby stuff.  Also buying stuff used has been nice. We got a super nice bed for my 3 year old of off Craigslist for super cheap.

I believe in good karma(blessings). So de junk your house. Most people can get rid of 1/2 the clothes in their closest. Make a big donation day to your local thrift store and you will receive good karma or blessings. De junking your house always feels good.

I try to hit Target, Old navy and other stores at the end of the season when they have 75% off. I pick up clothes for the next year.

One year I bought Christmas gifts for the next year right after Christmas. It was great since so many toys were clearanced. We also bought Christmas Decor after Christmas. We have a bunch of wrapping paper that only cost pennies. I hope to do that again this year. It helps when I have a daughter who has a January birthday.

For Phone service we use Magic Jack.  It's less then $20 for a whole year. It's nice not having a bill each month for phone service. We used to not have a land line but we our babysitters needed a way to contact us in case of anything.
 

OK so to be fair, I have to admit to stuff I don't save money on and the biggest one is getting my hair cut and colored. But to be fair, I kind of have to keep up in that area because I do go on regular auditions for acting. I'm not going to lie, it's expensive to keep up.  However, I do use a nail school to get my nails done. $15  for a full pedicure!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Shopping list.

*Edited to say*: I realized I didn't include things on the list that I have in my cupboards or food storage (rice, noodles, oats, beans, etc...) I'll update the list tonight. Sorry.

I found a great web site that gives meal ideas. I realized I can just copy and paste those, and change what I don't like (a lot of them aren't too healthy). Then I just go through each recipe and copy/paste or type to my shopping list. Technology is so fabulous! And I'm getting much better at this whole meal planning thing.

The # 1 thing to do is go through your cupboards first and see what you already have. Even if you don't have the exact ingredient, you can modify a recipe.
Anyway, I've updated recipes for 2 weeks. Feel free to add to the calendar for the future, maybe if 1 person takes a day we can keep a couple weeks ahead, then I can look and post shopping lists. We can definitely help each other save time and energy! :)

PantryStaples & non-food
-Light bulbs
-Chocolate chips
-Vanilla
-Sandwich bags
-Rubber-tipped baby spoon
-parsley
-pesto
-can of coke
-bbq sauce
-

Produce
Apples
Peaches
Grapes
Celery
Carrots
Tomatoes
Potatoes
Green onions
Green bell pepper

Protein & dairy
-16 b/s chicken breasts
-1 doz eggs
-package bacon
- 5 lbs ground beef
-2 pot roast (pork or beef)
2 lbs ground turkey
-sour cream
-Cottage cheese
-cheddar cheese (2 lbs)

Frozen
-Peas
-green beans
-broccoli caul. mix
-pie crust(I will make my own for the quiche)

Canned/non-perishable
-sugar*
-flour*
-Tomato sauce*
-veggies*
-fruit*
-Black beans*
-Kidney beans*
-pinto beans*
-Cream of Chicken*

Tomato soup
Onion soup mix
Egg noodles



*=case lot sale

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Women of God

I posted this on my family blog, but thought this would also be an appropriate forum. I'd appreciate any comments if you remember the talk.
Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.

Oh, how we pray that every young woman will grow up to be all the wonderful things she is meant to be. We pray that her mother and father will show her the right way. May daughters of God honor the priesthood and sustain worthy priesthood holders. May they understand their own great capacity for strength in the timeless virtues that some would scoff at in a modern, liberated world for women.

Meat Extender

I realized that most of the recipes I use call for meat. Meat can be very expensive, so I suggest a few ideas to get protein without going overbudget.

1. when a recipe calls for 1 lb, use 1/2 that. You'll still get a bit of meat, but it will go twice as far!

2. Beans are a GREAT inexpensive source of protein, and have the added bonus of fiber!

3. The egg. Eat them. You can beat them and add to soups for more protein.

4. Use Wheat as a meat extender. Here's how: Simply crack the wheat in a blender, grinder, or mill on a coarse setting. Cook your hamburger, drain the fat, then add 2 cups of water and a half cup cracked wheat. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes, then add to your favorite recipes. Try it as a meat extender for hamburgers, meatloaf, lasagna, pizza, spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, chili, or soups. And again, wheat is SO good for you!

5. At costco, ground turkey is cheaper than ground beef, and has only a fraction of the fat (18 grams vs. 27 grams)

6. Never pay more than $1.89/lb for b/s chicken breasts. They are always on sale somewhere. Plan in your food budget to buy extra when they are on sale.

7. B/s thighs are cheaper, and juicier, than breasts. A little more fat to cut off, but try them!

On the subject of meat: here is a great way an old roommate taught me how to separate ground meats. Get quart-sized ziplock bags, and put the desired amount of meat inside. Before sealing, squeeze the meat flat to fill in the entire bag. This way, you can stack the bags of meat easier, and they thaw MUCH more quickly!

How cool is Google?

I've posted the calendar to my monthly meal planning at the bottom of this blog. All you have to do is click on the meal, and it will take you to the recipe. I'm still working on getting a full month's worth of meals that I enjoy, are easy, and are cheap, but check back. I will post a shopping list when I am done, so you can go through and see what you have, and what you need in order to do the recipe. I will do the shopping list in 2-week increments, because I have to shop that often to get fresh produce anyway. If you'd like me to share the google calendar with you, leave your email as a comment. That way you can access the calendar. :) Happy cooking!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Make Room To Give

Measure your charitable donations in terms of percentages of income rather than dollars for example:

Tithing: 10%
Humanitarian: 5%
United way: 3%
Slush Account: 3%
Others: 1%

This will help keep on budget in regards to charitable donations.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kmart & Smiths

If anyone needs baby stuff, Kmart is having a great sale right now. They have clearance on summer clothes, which is great! Also, high chairs, strollers, carseats, swings, bouncy seats, etc...

We got a booster high chair (you just attach it to a chair) for 16.99. My friend Rosalee got a little gym for $25. Just FYI

ALso, Smiths in Provo is having their case lot sale, and many things are definitely worth it, especially for food storage. 24 case can of beans: 10.48
24 case can of veggies: 13.99

Sugar, flour, fruit, tomatoes, mushrooms, peanut butter, jam, tomato sauce, cream soups, canned chicken, and many other things are on sale! Everything is while supplies last!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yummu pancakes

I have been meaning to try this recipe for a while. I made them today and they were quite good. Probably the best pancakes I've ever had. Next time I'll add more ricotta.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cheesecake Recipes

Who doesn't love cheesecake? Especially if you're stressed?! Chalyse Clayton had these recipes on her blog and I thought I'd share it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stress busters

If the next articles leaves you feeling stressed about how stressed you are, then read here for some ideas.

High Stress

10 High-Stress Personality Characteristics
Recognize Chronic Stress...Then Do Something About It!
-- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer

Stress has been so ingrained in our days and in our culture, that we probably don’t even recognize it any more. We may believe that the general underlying sense of uneasiness we feel is normal and acceptable. Or we might blame the tension and stress we experience—in traffic, at work or at home—more on what’s happening “to” us than what’s happening “within” us.

The problem with this attitude is that it brings on a sense of helplessness, that there’s nothing we can do about stress other than cope. This thought alone is a source of stress, isn’t it?

When you realize that the stress you experience may have something to do with you, it helps you take control and start to solve the problem. Here are 10 personality traits that are symptoms of being highly stressed. Some are characteristics that, by their nature, add even more stress to your life. This list will help you recognize if you are highly stressed and give you ideas for doing something about it.

How many of these qualities do you exhibit?


1. Over-planning each day. Do you feel the need to stick to a strict schedule? Do you live in fear of falling behind or overlooking a task?

2. Doing several things at once. With too much to do and not enough time, it’s easy to think that “efficient” means doing everything at once. He who chases two rabbits catches neither.

3. Extreme need to win. Do you feel like a failure if you don’t come out on top—even when the only competition is your own expectations?

4. Excessive desire for advancement. Highly stressed people need confirmation from outside sources that they’re doing okay and performing well.

5. Inability to relax without feeling guilty. Do your weekends become opportunities for “accomplishment” and “getting something done.”

6. Impatience with delays. When you’re under pressure, everything in life takes on urgency and the additional burdens to get everything done as fast as possible.

7. Overcommittment. Are your chronically late or forgetful of commitments? Does your schedule cause problems in personal or professional relationships?

8. Chronic urgency. See #6. Now!

9. Highly competitive drive. Have you forgotten what it’s like to have fun for fun’s sake? Have you “grown up” so much that playtime actually causes you anxiety?

10. Compulsion to overwork. Is your office more familiar to you than your backyard? Do you find yourself missing out on what you might otherwise deem “meaningful”?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tongue Of Angels

I participate in my Relief Society book club once a month. For the month of August we read two great articles about speech. I wanted to share a few things from book club.

The first article was from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, called the 'Tongue of Angels.' The second was a speech by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, called 'Words that Hurt, Words that Heal: The Ethics of speech.'

Here are a few quotes from both talks:

" Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for certainty, and if you know it for certainty, then ask yourself, 'Why should I tell it?'" Joseph Telushkin

"It is not within everyone's power to be beautiful, but all of us can make sure the words that come out of our mouths are." Joseph Telushkin

"Our words, like our deeds should be filled with faith, hope and charity. Words are sacred and must be spoken with care and by constraint of the Spirit" Elder Holland

"How is it that such a lovely voice which by divine nature is so angelic, so close to the veil, so instinctively gentle and inherently kind could ever turn to be so shrill, so biting, so acrid, so untamed that the people they love retreat beyond a barrier more distant than they could imagine." Elder Holland

"May we work on being a little more perfect in how we speak to each other and how we speak of ourselves." Elder Holland

The reason I loved the articles we read is because I can't think of an area that frugal mom's(and frugal dad's) can work on. I know I can do much better in how I speak about others and myself! I hope we can speak with "a new tonge of faith, hope and charity, which is needed so much in this world." Elder Holland

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Maceys & Smiths deals

Maceys
Bakery, Breads, etc Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Bakery,etc. Chocolate Chip Cookies ( B1G1F ) (Buy One Get Second One at 100% Off) 18 ct WOW! 50%
Beauty and Personal Hygiene Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Herbal Essences Hair Care Styling, Shampoo or Conditioner, Buy $25 of PG products and recieve a FREE $20 ebags gift certificate 6-12oz WOW! 30% 60% $2.00/2
PG 8/3-13 Sale: $2.50
w/Coupon: $1.50
Beverages - Soft Drinks, Bottled Water Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Shasta Soda Select Varieties 2 liter !!! 40% Reg: $1.29
Sale: $0.69
Powerade Drink 32oz WOW! 50% Free $1.00/1
S 7/13-32 Sale: $0.69
w/Coupon: $-0.31
Powerade Drink 32oz WOW! 50% Free $0.75/1
S 6/8-22 Sale: $0.69
w/Coupon: $-0.06
Breakfast Foods Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Western Family Instant Oatmeal Assorted 12-15oz !!! 50% Reg: $1.99
Sale: $0.88
Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks Select Varieites
Savvy Shopper notes: Also (S6/15) 4.5-9oz !!! 30% 40% $0.50/2
S 7/13-9 Sale: $1.25
w/Coupon: $1.00
Kelloggs Fruit Snacks or Yogos 4-9oz WOW! 30% 70% $1.00/1
V 7/13-8 Sale: $1.67
w/Coupon: $0.67
Western Family Toaster Pastries Assorted 14.6oz WOW! 50% Reg: $1.79
Sale: $0.88
Chips and Pretzels Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Pringles Chips All Varieties, Excludes Fat Free Buy $25 of PG products and recieve a FREE $20 ebags gift certificate 145-170 gr. WOW! 30% Reg: $1.39
Sale: $0.89
Dairy Case Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Meadow Gold Milk Asst. Pints !!! 30% Reg: $0.99
Sale: $0.67
Frozen Foods Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Western Family Orange Juice Frozen, Asst 12 oz WOW! 20% Reg: $1.25
Sale: $0.99
Frozen Foods Chicken Nuggets or Patties 10lb WOW! 10% Reg: $15.89
Sale: $12.90
Meat Counter - Beef Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Meat Counter Chuck Tender Roast or Steaks lb WOW! 30% Reg: $3.29
Sale: $1.99
Nuts and Snacks Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
General Mills Bugles or Chex Mix 7.5-8.75 oz !!! 10% 50% $0.50/1
S 6/15-7 Sale: $1.25
w/Coupon: $0.75
Packaged Deli Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Dailys Big Buy Bacon 16oz !!! 30% Reg: $1.89
Sale: $1.25
Packaged Foods Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Western Family Easy Sides Microwaveable Asst. 4.3-4.4oz WOW! 40% Reg: $1.29
Sale: $0.69
Pet Supplies Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Western Family Canned Dog Food Assorted 13.2oz WOW! 50% Reg: $0.79
Sale: $0.34
Produce Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Produce Plums Red or Black lb !!! 50% Reg: $1.99
Sale: $0.99
Produce Strawberries Wednesday Sale Only 1 lb pkg. !!! 50% Reg: $2.89
Sale: $1.25
Produce Peaches lb !!! 30% Reg: $1.59
Sale: $0.99
Produce Broccoli lb !!! 20% Reg: $0.99
Sale: $0.79
Produce Grapes Seedless Red or Green lb WOW! 40% Reg: $1.89
Sale: $0.99
Produce Dept Tomatoes Red Cluster lb. WOW! 40% Reg: $1.89
Sale: $0.99
Service Deli Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Gold N Plump Chicken Fried or Baked (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 breasts or (5 legs, & 5 thighs) Wednesday Only Sale 8-10pc WOW! 20% 40% $1.50/1
S 7/13-14 Sale: $5.00
w/Coupon: $3.50


Smiths
Bakery, Breads, etc Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Grandma Sycamore Bread White, Wheat or Sun Grain 24oz WOW! 30% Reg: $2.29
Sale: $1.50
Baking Supplies and Seasonings Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Pillsbury Fudge Brownies Fudge or Classic Chocolate 19.5oz WOW! 50% 70% $1.00/2
V 7/27-9 Sale: $0.95
w/Coupon: $0.45
Beauty and Personal Hygiene Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Crest Toothpaste Regular, Tartar, Baking Soda/Peroxide or Smooth Mint 6.4oz !!! 60% 80% $1.00/2
PG 8/3-16 Sale: $1.00
w/Coupon: $0.50
Beverages - Soft Drinks, Bottled Water Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Big K Soft Drink 2L !!! 40% Reg: $1.09
Sale: $0.63
Breakfast Foods Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
General Mills Caribou Bars Price when you buy 4 7-8.9oz !!! 60% Reg: $2.99
Sale: $1.00
General Mills Chex Mix Bars Price when you buy 4 7-8.9oz !!! 60% Reg: $2.99
Sale: $1.00
General Mills Fiber One Bar Price when you buy 4 7-8.9oz !!! 60% Reg: $2.99
Sale: $1.00
General Mills Milk n Cereal Bars Price when you buy 4 7-8.9oz !!! 60% Reg: $2.99
Sale: $1.00
Kelloggs Fruit Snacks All Varieties 4.8-9oz !!! 40% 60% $1.00/2
V 7/13-8 Sale: $1.50
w/Coupon: $1.00
Nature Valley Granola Bars Price when you buy 4 7-8.9oz !!! 60% Reg: $2.99
Sale: $1.00
Kelloggs Fruit Snacks All Varieties 4.8-9oz WOW! 40% 80% $1.00/1
V 7/13-8 Sale: $1.50
w/Coupon: $0.50
Cereal Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Malt O Meal Cereal Price when you buy 4, Marshmallow Mateys, Tootie Fruities, Golden Puffs or Frosted Mini Spooners 21-27oz WOW! 60% Reg: $3.29
Sale: $1.00
Cleaning Supplies and Detergents Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Electrasol Auto Dish Detergent Powerball 20-26ct WOW! 40% 80% $2.25/1
S 7/13-37 Sale: $2.99
w/Coupon: $0.74
Dairy Case Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Mountain Dairy Milk Whole Vitamin D, 2%, 1%, Skim or Skim Royale Gallon !!! 20% Reg: $3.39
Sale: $2.50
Kroger Brand Orange Juice Gallon WOW! 40% Reg: $4.59
Sale: $2.50
Frozen Desserts, Novelties Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Kroger Brand Deluxe Ice Cream All Varieties 56-64oz !!! 30% Reg: $2.99
Sale: $1.88
Cool Classics Twin Pops All Varieties 18ct WOW! 50% Reg: $1.89
Sale: $0.88
Frozen Foods Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Kroger Brand Frozen Waffles All Varieties 12.32oz !!! 40% Reg: $1.99
Sale: $1.00
Packaged Deli Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Smiths Flour Tortillas 16-20oz !!! 40% Reg: $1.79
Sale: $1.00
Pillsbury Crust All Varieties 4-12oz WOW! 50% 70% $0.35/1
S 7/13-10 Sale: $1.00
w/Coupon: $0.65
Pillsbury Rolls All Varieties
Savvy Shopper notes: Also $0.30/1 4-12oz WOW! 50% 70% $0.35/1
S 7/13-10 Sale: $1.00
w/Coupon: $0.65
Packaged Foods Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Dole Fruit Bowls All Varieties 4ct !!! 20% 50% $0.75/1
S 5/18-28 Sale: $2.00
w/Coupon: $1.25
Produce Size Savvy Rank w/o Coupon w/ Coupon Coupon Info. Prices
Produce Corn Yellow or White each !!! 50% Reg: $0.69
Sale: $0.33
Produce Grapes Red, Seedless 1lb WOW! 50% Reg: $2.29
Sale: $1.00
Dole Classic Iceberg 1lb WOW! 40% Reg: $1.99
Sale: $1.00

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Savvy shopper deals

WOW! Reams Foods (Springville) 7/28-8/02:

Kiwi = $0.10 ea WOW

Cantaloupe = $0.29 lb WOW

Bananas = $0.29 lb WOW

Broccoli & Cauliflower = $0.69 lb WOW

Roma Tomatoes = $0.79 lb WOW

Red, Romaine and Green Leaf Lettuce = $0.69 ea WOW

Artichokes = $0.79 ea WOW

Zucchini & Yellow Squash = $0.49 lb !!!

Cucumbers = $0.33 ea WOW

Cello Whole & Sliced Mushrooms = $0.99 8 oz. pkg. WOW

Radishes & Green Onions = $0.33 bunch WOW

5 lb. Cello Carrots = $2.50 !!!

Fresh Express 12 oz. Tossed Salad, 16 oz Cole Slaw, 9 oz. Spinach = $0.99 WOW

ALL WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!
Springville 489-0684

Monday, July 28, 2008

Email List

If you would like to be emailed when this blog is updated, leave a comment with your email address!

Meal planning edited...

I realized when I went shopping for the meals I planned that I spent about 2 weeks worth of food budget, which isn't bad, but I don't usually shop 2 weeks at a time. We've already made 2 bonus trips to the store to pick up things I forgot, so we're a little over our average weekly budget. Jenny's comment made me realize how I really should be more creative with the foods I already have. I have lots of rice. And oats. And wheat. It's a good thing our ward does montly canning!

Anyway, I'm already planning a new menu, and I haven't stuck to the menu I made because I don't always feel like making or eating what is scheduled. So I guess it's good to be flexible. Taco Salad ended up being LAST night! So if I can avoid going to the store again this week I'll be in good shape!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lower Monthly Car Insurance Payment

I have a tip in saving money. Its by lowering your monthly car insurance payment.

To lower your monthly premium, request a higher deductible and ask for automatic monthly withdrawals. This can lower your car insurance premium by $20.00 a month. You can put the $20.00 that you are used to paying your insurance premium into a savings account. This savings account can be used as a slush fund to purchase unexpected gifts, presents, house necessities, emergencies or what ever you want to use the money for.

Friday, July 25, 2008

2 week planning.

Meal plans for the next 2 weeks.
Several nights we have planned to eat leftovers from the previous days. I always make enough to serve 6. Also, since we have a wedding coming up, we'll be eating with family a few of those days. So I only have 9 days planned. I linked some recipes that are very similar to the ones I used. And I'm all about changing things to suit my tastes, or experimenting if I don't have a desired ingredient! And frozen fruits and veggies will save money, because they won't go bad before you can use them!! :)

Day 1: Leftovers from Rosalee's baby shower!
Chinese chicken salad
Pasta Salad (rotini, 1/2 c mayo, 1/2 c. italian dressing, shredded carrots, cucumbers, diced ham, black olives) You can really add anything to it!
Potato rolls

Day 2: Cajun Cabbage
1lb. ground beef
med onion, chopped
1 can tomatoes, 1 can chilies
1/2 c uncooked rice
1/2 tsp garlic (or 2 cloves fresh)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper
4-6 drops Tabasco sauce
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 c shredded cheese
In skillet, brown beef with onion, pepper, and garlic. Drain fat. Stir in tomatoes, rice, and seasonings. Spread into ungreased casserole dish. Top with cabbage and cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 65-75 min until rice is tender. YUMMO!

Day 3: Grilled chicken with avocado, tomato, and corn salsa
1/4 c lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 ripe avocado diced
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 c thawed or canned corn kernals
1/4 c chopped red onion
1/4 c cilantro (I omit this, I don't like cilantro)
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 c shredded lettuce

Mix lime, oil, sugar, and salt in med bowl. Add avocado, tomato, corn, onion, and cilantro. Toss to coat. Heat great or broiler. Season chicken with spices. (can coat with olive oil if you'd rather roast) Grill and cook thoroughly. Divide lettuce among 4 plates and top each with chicken, then salsa.

Day 4: Omelets with sausage, peppers, tomato, onion. Hashbrowns (I use cheese grater and dice onions, then cook over low medium heat for about 15 min in canola oil for the HB's)

Day 5: Chicken Manicotti

Day 6:
Taco Salad

Day 7: Chilli & Baked potatos

Day 8: Lasagna

Day 9: Stir-Fry

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thanks Jenny

I just read Jenny's comment on my last post. I have since calmed down a bit, and with all of our car trouble, it seems like maybe the Lord was helping me know it was ok to take out student loans.

Anyway, Karen Kent told me about a great site called savvy shopper deals. It is through the daily herald, and I already found tons of great coupons. They list the coupons in ABC order, and you can find almost anything that is on you shopping list. You just have to make sure the store accepts them. You also can sign up for emails that will tell you about the great deals!!

We don't get paid until Friday, so I'm trying to be really creative with our meals. We have potatoes, lots of rice, frozen veggies, and things like that.

Tonight, I'm thinking of making wheat pancakes with hash browns.

We have a steak leftover from the Dearden cow, so maybe tomorrow we'll have mashed potatoes with corn and meat.

Thursday we'll be in SL, so maybe our families will feed us.

Friday...I'll have to brainstorm something. Maybe I can use leftover meat in a stir fry with rice?
I'll go shopping then, so I need to plan out the next 2 weeks worth of meals. I'll post what I plan just to give ideas to anyone who happens to read this!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Not doing so well

I just looked at my goals today, and it seems that they require a lot more work than I realized! Planning meals takes a lot of time, especially if you are going to cook with what you have, shop the ads, and use coupons!

After talking with Jenny about this blog, I considered changing the name. I was thinking about what I really want to accomplish this blog, and also thinking about parenting and families and provident living. The church has a great site, providentliving.org... But I really would like to encourage people to come unto Christ, while reaching out to moms, dads, students, families, and everyone who would like to implement better money and time management skills, as well as be better parents!

So, today is the 4th of July. Alana is sleeping. Stuart is enjoying some time with his brother, and I'm procrastinating doing the dishes. I still haven't made the bed, and I have laundry to fold. I really need to find the motivation to do these things.

I'm also incredibly stressed (and driving Stuart nuts) about our finances. We just found out we have to replace the fuel pump in our car (Click here for THAT story)and last week I ordered a crib for Alana that will arrive at Walmart this week. If I don't go pick up the crib, matress, and bedding set, then I'll be refunded the $220. But I REALLY want to have a crib for her. So where do I draw the line between wants and needs? She is fine sleeping in her pack n play, but my back is killing me from bending down. Since when did a bed become a want and not a need? I'm also really thinking I need to get a job. The thought of having $30,000+ in student loans really freaks me out. If Stuart would make 6 figures when he graduated, it wouldn't be as big a deal. But I don't want to be paying student loans off for 20 years!

So, this post is kind of a vent, kind of a stress relief. I think I'll go read a book!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Try again

So, I have been reading a book that I recommend so far. It is called "The Cheapest Family on the Block". I'm learning a lot about how to be frugal. As Stuart is in his last year, and I'm going to try pulling of staying home full time, we need to save every penny. I wish we had been more frugal up to this point, but it's not like we spend everything we have, there just always seem to be demands, such as registering a car, new brakes and tires, utilities, health care, etc...

I have a few goals now that I am rededicated to being frugal:
1. Plan meals and go shopping only 2 times a month
2. Use only 1 tank of gas a month. Sorry, honey, that means walking to school.
3. Be content with what I have. I really don't need new clothes, or a digital camcorder, although those things would be nice.
4. Pay off debts. We don't really have much, just my small student loan, but I'd have more peace of mind knowing it was paid off.
5. Retire at 50. Ha ha! That's a long shot, but that really is our joint goal, because we'd like to serve lots of missions.


I have many more goals than that, but mostly I want to concentrate on the first 4.
I'll try to post weekly meal plans along with categoried shopping lists. Also, I'll share any good deals I find in ads or coupons. Feel free to post any ideas... :)