Monday, August 31, 2009

September Eating at Home Challenge

Lately, we've found ourselves wandering into restaurants and passing through drive-thru lanes much too frequently. All the usual excuses - we're too busy, it's easier, we're going to be out all day, etc. - are ever ready. But the truth, I suspect, has more to do with habit than anything else. In an effort to break that habit, we've decided on a challenge: No eating out during the month of September. No exceptions. No drive-thru coffee or oops I forgot my lunch and have to eat something stops. In the first case, we'll have to suffer through a caffeine-free morning if we don't make it ourselves. In the latter, a quick stop at the grocery store to nab an apple and cheese will be just as quick.

Hopefully, this coming month will not only break us of this bad habit, but also pad our savings account a bit and lighten our waistlines. Anyone want to join us in our new September = Eat at Home Month challenge?

Menu - Aug 31

Monday -
Fierro Chicken (using fresh green chilies)
Seasoned Rice
Green Beans

Tuesday -
Meatball Subs (Using meatballs & sauce from this recipe, I layer provolone cheese over three hot meatballs per brat bun. Spoon a bit of sauce over each. Then toast under broiler until browned and bun is toasted.)

Wednesday -

Grilled Pork Chops
Home Fries (I throw in diced onion and bell pepper.)

Thursday -
Taco Salad

Friday -
Baked Potatoes w/chives

Saturday -
Homemade Pizzas

Sunday -
Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs (This is a new recipe I'm trying out this week.)
Grilled Veggie Kabobs (seasoned zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, and cherry tomatoes)

For even more great menu ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hy-Vee Coupon Matchups

As I was browsing Hy-Vee's website for their weekly ad, I stumbled on a new (at least I've never noticed it before) feature: a coupon matchup. Check it out here if you're interested. Very cool!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu - Aug 17th

Teriyaki Pork Kebabs
White Rice

Grilled Chicken
Fettuccini Alfredo

Shredded Beef Tacos
Mexican Rice

Breakfast for Dinner
Scrambled Eggs

Bacon Cheeseburgers *
Potato Salad
Honey-Glazed Baby Carrots

Tomato Basil Soup
Grilled Turkey/Provolone Sandwiches with Tomato Slices

Marinated Steak
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Country Green Beans

* Just a quick note about my new love: bacon cheeseburgers. There's a little joint here in town that makes divine bacon cheeseburgers. Unfortunately, no one else ever wants to eat there because it's 1) a loud sports bar and 2) packed with college kids. So I set out on a mission to recreate that little slice of heaven. The key is Hy-Vee's double-smoked bacon (for perfect bacon, bake in the oven for 20 minutes instead of frying), sauteed onions, and bbq sauce. Keep the ketchup, mustard, and pickles for those ordinary burgers! Yummmm.

For even more delicious menu ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Free Back-to-School Calenadar with Coupons

Go here to get a free Nestle Back-to-School Calendar with coupons.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Reading Program Wrap-up

The summer is wrapping up, and school is underway. Hard to believe, isn't it?

In a rare, quiet moment among all the back-to-school hustle, I managed to corral all of the kids' reading loot from their summer reading programs. Although I outlined several programs here, we opted to only participate in two: the public library's program and Half-Price books. But as you'll see from the pictures, both kids made out pretty well! Here's what they got.

My 5-Year-Old's Haul:

from Half-Price Books
17 Books
from the Public Library
1 Book and coupons for the following:
1 Free Book at the Library Book Sale
1 Free Swimming Pass
$5 deposit when you open a child's savings account
1 Free Helium Balloons
1 Free Smoothie
1 Free Quiznos' Kids Meal
1 Free Taco John's Taco
1 Free CiCi's Buffet

*None of the coupons required purchases of any kind to redeem.

My 12-Year-Old's Score:

from Half-Price Books
8 Books
1 VHS Movie (not pictured)
from the Public Library
1 Canvas Bag
1 Book and bookmark and coupons for the following
1 Free Book at the Library Book Sale
1 Free Swimming Pass
1 Free Admission to Paintball Park
1 Free Quiznos' Kids Meal
1 Free Cold Stone Cone
1 Free Giant Cookie

As you can see, my 5-year-old is a bit more of a savvy shopper (and a bit less particular). She hit the clearance racks at Half-Price Books and found a lot of $1.00 books each time. Both kids wound up with a lot of new reading material and several treats. And we didn't even turn in the cards every week at Half-Price Books!