Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Project Pink Dresser

So recently a friend of mine gave me this awesome dresser.  As you can see, it needed some love. 

Friends don't let friends have ugly dull pink dressers....

I was soooo excited when I got it.  I couldn't wait to make it over for Anya's room.  This was my vision:

But you know kids and their darned opinions.  My daughter wanted a pink dresser. 


If we were going to have a pink dresser, it was going to be bright.  Like, pepto bismol bright.  Rust-Oleum makes such a color, so we picked up 2 cans of spray paint from Home Depot.

I started by removing the drawers and sanding them down.  Then I started painting. 

New color vs. old color

Drawers removed, dresser sanded and painted

I got some really nice silver knobs from Target for $16.99.  I tried to find some vintage ones on etsy but I was too inpatient.  If I do find some I'll put them on and post a new picture.

Overall I am very pleased with the outcome.  I really wanted a teal dresser, but down the road I can always sand and paint again.

See the pink paint on the garage floor?  My bad.  I messed up my husband's man cave.

The pink actually looks really good in Anya's room, so I'm glad I let my 4 year old choose. 

Total cost for project was less than $20.00!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Homemade laundry soap

I got this recipe from none other than the Duggar Family website.  Hey, they're nuts in my book for having that many kids, but they sure know how to be fantastically frugal!

Here's what you will need:

5 gallon bucket w/lid
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda*
1/2 cup Borax
1 bar of soap (they suggest Fels-Naptha soap, I used Yardley on my first try)
Hot tap water

See my coupon inserts on the table?  OMG I love my coupons.

First you will grate the bar of soap.  I don't have a food processor so I used and old fashioned hand grater.  It didn't take that long and my hands smelled super when I was done!

Add the soap curls to a small pot of boiling water, stir until they are dissolved  and the mixture is nice and bubbly.

Fill your 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot tap water.  Then add the pot of soap mixture to the bucket.  Fill the bucket to the top with hot tap water. Stir well (or if you have a 4 year old you can make them do it).  Put the lid on it tightly and leave overnight.

**if you let your kids do this PLEASE make sure they are careful.  That's hot water right there, folks

The next day, remove the lid from the bucket and give it a good stir.
Note: The first time I did this I used Yardley soap and it turned out much different.  Not sure why it looks like this, but I'm sure it has something to do with the soap.

This is how it should look once stirred completely.

Now use an old (cleaned) laundry soap dispenser, fill it half way with the soap mixture and the rest of the way with cold tap water.  Give it a good shake each time you are doing a new load of laundry, as the mixture will naturally settle and you won't get the maximum amount of soap when you dispense.

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here ( Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Target - 20% off Circo apparel item

Target has a printable coupon for 20% off Circo apparel!

I was at our local Target two days ago and a lot of the Circo line was on the clearance rack so I'm about to head back for some great deals!!

Sort coupons by "apparel and accessories" and print away!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Connect 4 Travel Game @ Target for .99

My daughter loves this game and when I saw this deal, I knew I had to jump on it!

Print two coupons and head to Target, pick up the travel size game for $4.99 and get it for .99 when using the $4 off coupon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Freezer Cooking Day (recipes included)

I am notorious for playing Barbies/dolphins/felt dolls with my daughter all day and thinking that dinner will miracuously come together. never does and we end up eating thrown together left overs at 8:00 pm.

So...I shipped my little drama queen off to play with friends for the day and got down to business in the kitchen.

Hello, freezer.  Are you ready for your new friends??

Note to self: Organize freezer before starting mass cooking.  Whoops.


Here are the recipes I printed to try out:

Green Rice Casserole
Lasagna Casserole
Southwest Roll Ups
Honey Pizza Dough

Oh wait.  Hold up.  Before all this, I used Money Saving Mom's Ingredients Planner template and Master Prep List template.  These gave me a really good start.  Although I have a lot of fine tuning to do before I can whip out all my recipes without my kitchen and head exploding, these were a great help.


I started by cutting up my onions, then cooking up my meats and rice.  As those were finishing, I chopped up the green pepper (for the meatballs) and grated all the cheese.  I like fresh grated cheese better than pre-packaged.  It seems to cook up better and it's cheaper.  I then cooked my noodles and started on my lasagna casserole.

I'm not sure why, but even when doubling the recipe, it didn't seem like I had enough of the meat and cheese mixtures to layer up two casseroles.  I would suggest tripling the meat and cheese portions of the recipe, it would have saved me a trip to the store for more cottage cheese and spaghetti sauce.

Daisy helping clean the meat mixture bowl.  Good girl!!

After topping off the casseroles with cheese and popping them in the freezer, I started on my southwest roll ups.  These were extremely easy to make.  I hope they taste super yummy because I can whip them up quick!  I wanted to eat the beans/cheese/salsa/chicken mixture out of the bowl.  I will be serving the roll ups with the green rice casserole for dinner this weekend.

The last item on my list was the pizza dough.  I was thinking of investing in a $200.00 KitchenAid mixer for this recipe, but quickly realized that was a dumb idea, considering I was trying to SAVE money.  So I settled for a new hand mixer complete with dough hooks, making the process of kneading the dough so much easier.  I froze 3 portions of the dough mixture and used one for dinner.  It was delicious!

Stocked freezer!!

After 5 hours of cooking, I had produced 2 lasagna casseroles, 4 balls of pizza dough, 16 southwest roll ups, 1 batch of green rice casserole and 48 meatballs.  I used the eggs from our chickens and the tomatoes from our garden, so that saved me a nice chunk of change.  My grocery bill was a whopping $60.00 and I estimate these meals to last us 2 weeks.  Yay!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FREE (that's right, I said FREE) Cascade tablets @ Target


I about fell on the ground when I saw this deal.  Don't worry, I didn't drop my coupons (I wouldn't DREAM of it, some crazy might steal them, but that's another story for another day).

Trial size Cascade for 97 cents.  If you have the 8/28 or 7/31 P&G Brand Saver there is a coupon for $1.00 off.  Target no longer honors the entire amount of the coupon if it exceeds the price of the item, but they will still honor the 97 cents. 

Go forth and fill your carts, my friends.  Luckily I picked up 15 copies of the paper this weekend so I'll be stocking up on these babies!!

FREE sample of Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers

We don't currently have a need for diapers in our household, but I'm taking advantage of every free offer I can find to build a stockpile for baby #2.

Hold up.  No.  I'm not pregnant.  Just want to have diapers on stand by. 

Moving on.

Follow the link to sign up for a free sample!  No membership requred!

Thanks to Money Saving Mom!!! 

Lolcat of the Day

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE LOLCATS!

Something about their cute widdle faces and the horribly spelled captions makes me snort-laugh.

Here's todays feature creature:

OMG! ADHD kitty loves shiny stuff!!!

Awesome Sauce (homemade tomato sauce)

I had to do something with my mounds of tomatoes, so I decided to make and freeze some sauce. 

It seems like the easiest thing in the world to do, but before this I had never done it before.  Here is a short tutorial.  Let us begin!!

You will need:

5 pounds tomatoes.  (I prefer Roma tomatoes as they have less water and thus take less time to cook.  But you can use whatever you have.)
Large cooking pot
Potato masher

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and add tomatoes.  Let them boil for approximately one minute, then remove and insert directly in to a bowl of ice water.  This will make the skins peel off easily.  Peel the skins, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. 

Place the (squozen? squozed? squeezed?) tomatoes in a collander while you do the rest, this will allow them to drain a bit more liquid as you are working.

Transfer tomato mixture to large  pot and heat over medium heat, stirring often to prevent the tomatoes from burning and sticking to (thus ruining) your (expensive Calphalon) pot. 

After the tomatoes have cooked down a bit, I use a potato masher to break up any chunks that are left. 

For added smoothness, I add the mixture to the blender and puree for about 1 minute. 

Then transfer back to the pot and cook on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.

That's some good lookin' sauce!!

To freeze the sauce, allow to cook and pour sauce in to a freezer bag.  Squeeze out all of the air that you can, then what I do is close the bag tightly, stick a straw in the corner of the bag (leave a portion open for the straw) and suck the excess air out.  Then quickly seal the bag.  Lay the bag flat and freeze.

Awesome Target Trip (deals included)

Went to Target today and got some AWESOME deals!  The lady behind me in line said she didn't mind the long wait because it was neat watching my transaction.  Awwww, first compliment I've gotten that didn't involve "crazy coupon lady holds up line".  Yay me!

well hello there, ladies

Here's the breakdown:

Febreeze $2.50 each and $5 target gift card wyb 5
I had a $1.00 off coupon for each so I spent 50 cents plus got the $5 gift card. 

Pantene on clearance for $1.46 each. 
I had 5 coupons for $3/2 making them free!

Nivea body wash $3.99
I had a manufacturers coupon for $2.00 off and a store coupon for $$1.00 off making them 99 cents each

Renuzit spray $1.97
I had a coupon for $1.00 off making them 97 cents each

Rimmel eyeshadow $2.49
I had a manufacturers coupon for $1.00 off and a store coupon for $2.00 making it free!

I used my $5 gift card from the Febreeze purchase making my grand total $8.47 for all the items!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things weren't always this way

I loved my job.  Working 7 to 4, being with adults, having my own time.  It was perfect.  I went home to my daughter, spent a few hours with her, put her to bed and started all over.  We had all weekend to play together and that was enough for me.

In March 2011 I unexpectedly lost my job.  What would I do now?  Fighting past the tears and anger, I started applying for jobs left and right.  My first interview came 4 weeks later.  As I was getting ready to leave, my daughter asks why I'm going back to work.

I tell her, "Mommy has to work so we can have money for things, like our house and food."  She asks "and my toys?" "Yes, and your toys".  She runs off, and comes back 10 minutes later with an arm full of Care Bears, Littlest Pet Shops and a Zhu Zhu Pet.  Tears in her eyes, she wails "Mom, I'll sell all my toys so we can have money so you can stay home with me!"

I cried the whole way to the interview, and the whole way back.  I decided that day that I would be staying home with my daughter. 

I never wanted to stay home.  I never wanted to be a "frumpy mom who played with her kids all day and got no adult interaction."

I am learning to love it, and, to be able to afford it, learning to live simply.  It's been tough, but worth it when I wake up and join my daughter for breakfast at the table every morning.