Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gourmet Rice Krispies Treats



Here's another easy recipe for you families that want a quick sugar fix. These yummy treats are super easy and sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Gourmet Rice Krispies Treats have layers of sweet and salty goodness. Chocolate and peanut butter combined to perfection. Now, I know Valentine's Day has passed, but we're still in the month of love, so my treats are in cute heart shapes.



Don't these look fantastic?



Gourmet Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies Treats Recipe from ricekrispies.com

3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows

-OR-

4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 9 x 13 pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into desired shape.

For the filling

1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
Extra peanut butter
Extra milk chocolate chips

Combine on stove on meduim-low until smooth.

Spread a layer of peanut butter and then the chocolate mixture on half of the Rice Krispies Treats. Then stack another Rice Krispie Treat on top. Spread another layer of the chocolate mixture on top and decorate with milk chocolate chips. Enjoy!

This recipe will be featured on Grants Pass Macaroni Kid & Medford Macaroni Kid. Check out Macaroni Kid to find all of the kid friendly and family friendly events and activities in your area!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Last Minute Gooey Nutella Brownies



For the Momma that's always on the go, these are the perfect last minute goodie to throw together for guests or in the kiddos lunches. They are quick, easy, and best of all... Delicious! They only have three main ingredients and endless options for toppings.



I chose to top them with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped mixed nuts. They are to die for!! Other toppings that would be wonderful are chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, white chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips. The cute little white, pink, and red M&Ms would be a yummy Valentine's Day treat for your honey! No matter what topping you choose, these are sure to be a huge hit!

Last Minute Gooey Nutella Brownies

1 cup Nutella spread
2 large eggs
9 tablespoons flour
1 cup your choice of toppings

Preheat oven to 350ยบ

In a medium bowl, whisk Nutella and eggs until smooth. Add flour and whisk until completely incorporated.

Spread batter into a greased 7x11 brownie pan. Sprinkle generously with your choice of toppings.

Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist/wet crumbs stuck to it (you’ll want these nice and fudgy). Cool completely on cooling rack. Serve immediately or store for up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature. Enjoy!

This recipe will be featured on Grants Pass Macaroni Kid & Medford Macaroni Kid. Check out Macaroni Kid to find all of the kid friendly and family friendly events and activities in your area!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saving Money on Baby Essentials


Photo by 114bberry

With our upcoming new little bundle of joy plus recent decreased income, we have really been looking into ways to save and be more frugal.

I have just implemented taking inventory, menu planning, and couponing. So far, it is going very well and I can't wait to look into other ways for our family to live more simply and frugally.

One blog post that really caught my eye is Saving Big Money On Your Little Ones

In this post I found many things that I already plan to do, things I want to implement, as well as others that I am really interested to look into more. Here are some of the highlights.

Stick to the Essentials
The first step is to really think about what things are truly essential for babies and young children. Sticking with less baby stuff from the beginning will save you money and save your sanity trying to organize, and store, and clean so much stuff.

Buy Used
Find what you need second hand. There is so much baby stuff out there that can be bought like-new or gently used.

Saving Money on Baby Essentials

Diapers
Use cloth diapers, and one way to ease the cost is to buy used diapers. Not into cloth diapers? You can save lots of money on diapers by using coupons and following sales at big box retailers, drugstores and even online. The idea of elimination communication is intriguing to me, if not mostly for the reason that it would save money.

Wipes
Instead of purchasing the more expensive actual cloth wipes, you can buy thin cotton baby wash cloths from the store and they work great. Another option is to make your own cloth wipes.

Clothing
With a little bit of effort you can save a lot of money by building a complete wardrobe of quality used clothing for your kids. Hand-me-downs are another great option for kids clothes.

Toys, Baby Gear and Other Kids Stuff
For baby items that you will be purchasing new, make sure that you always shop the sales, and use any and all coupons that are available.

Once you have an idea of what your essential items are, keep your eye out for a second hand item that would work for you.

What are your essentials for a new baby? Do you have any money saving tips for new babies and young children?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coupon Shopping Trip #2



Today was another successful day!!! I know... two shopping trips in two days, not very frugal, but I'm just getting the hang of this and I needed time to go home and figure out some deals. Which, I think I'm a little too consumed by this right now because last night, laying in bed, while trying to fall asleep, all I could think about was what deals I was going to get today!

So, a little about the deals... This week the items I got are not the healthiest, which is one of my goals right now, but I wanted to get some stock up for over the next several months. Hopefully next month will have more healthy items.

Here are the details:

Transaction 1
10 boxes Hamburger Helper $10
$5 Catalina (from 8/15 trip)
$2 Catalina (from 8/15 trip)
Total: $3.00
Received $5 & $2 Catalina

Transaction 2
8 Totinos $10.00
2 $1/4 Coupons
$5 Catalina (from T1)
$2 Catalina (from T1)
Total: $1.00

Transaction 3
2 Dreyer's Ice Cream 2/$6
Total: $6.00
Received $4 Catalina

In the end, I did not get a Catalina coupon from the totinos, which I thought I was going to, but I think I had to buy 10 to get it. :( Also, I should have done my transactions in a different order. I should have done the ice cream second and the totinos last, then I could have used my $4 catalina coupon. Oh well, live and learn. It was only my second time.

And for anyone not familiar with what a Catalina coupon is, here's a picture:



All in all, here's what I got:
10 boxes Hamburger Helper
8 Totino's Pizzas
2 Dreyers Ice Cream
For a total of $10 + $4 Catalina coupon toward my next purchase

Baby Steps: Simple Frugal Living



I've been working to get back into a routine here at our new home. Finally I feel caught up and like I am able to continue with my normal routine. I got off track for quite a while between moving and becoming pregnant and having no energy or motivation to keep up. While it wasn't like I let our home fall apart, it just wasn't up to the standards I set for myself.

So, now that I'm back in my normal routine, I've felt much more like myself and like I can relax in our home. As you saw from my last post, I have also incorporated couponing. I am really excited to see how much I can save our family on our monthly bill. I made a coupon binder and can't wait to fill it up with coupons!! I have also been in the process of making a homemaking binder with all of our home routine info, as well as food inventory and our menu plan details. I'm so excited because I know all of this hard work will pay off!

Well, off to go pick some berries with the kiddos. We will be making some Berry Crisp and possibly some Blackberry Freezer Jelly. I will also be freezing some of them and I will be doing a post on a simple way to freeze and store them for later months.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Inventory, Menu Planning, & Coupons... Oh My!!!: My Journey to Living Life More Frugally




So, after getting many AWESOME tips frome some family and friends, and then reading online and watching videos, I set out to go on my first "couponer" shopping experience.

I first went to Albertson's where I stacked coupons for my first time! (So exciting!) Here are the details:

Hamburger/Tuna/Chicken Helper 10/$10
$.80/4
$.75/3
Albertson's Double Coupons used on both
Total: 6.90 = .69/box

A1 Steak Sauce SALE $3.99
$1/1
Albertson's Double Coupon used
Total: 1.99

Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins SALE $5.99 (bought 2)
Total: 11.98


TOTAL Shopping Trip: $20.87 but I also got 2 Catalina coupons at the register. One for $5 toward next trip, and the other for $2 toward next trip. So, I get to use those next time!!! Plus I got 2 Catalinas for Box Top points that I already input online. Yay! Love helping out the local schools.






My next trip was to Walmart, which I didn't really get a whole lot and I still need to go through everything for a bigger trip, but here's what I got so far:

Huggies Size 1 Diapers $8.97
$1.50/1
Total: 7.47 = .15/diaper!

Schick Razors $5.97
$1/1
Total: 4.97 = .83/razor

Suave Deodorant $.97
$.75/1
Total: .22

TOTAL Shopping Trip: $12.66
Not as good, but still excited about it. :)

So, I will be getting together more coupons soon and can't wait to see what my next trip will be like! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple Healthy Snacks for Busy Mommas



Here are a few of my “one handed” snack favorites.

(Some take a bit more prep-work than others, so choose what works best for you. If you have help available at times, hand them this list! If you have a chance, make a big batch ahead of time & stash it in the fridge.)

Hard-Boiled Eggs + a bit of Sea Salt (If you have an extra moment, you can mix them into egg salad.)

Homemade Fruit and/or Nut Snack Bars (Here's my favorite recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/playgroup-granola-bars/detail.aspx), I like to add extra things to it, but it is a great base recipe. I stash a couple bars in car compartments or diaper bags.

Homemade Trail Mix, with nutrient-dense nuts, dried fruit, coconut, & a bit of good dark chocolate or a savory-seasoned mixture (Buy ingredients in bulk for best cost economy; your toddler will be glad to help pour into a mixing bowl for you.)

Smoothies - Frozen berries (I will be writing a post soon on an easy way to freeze berries) or pre-diced fruit pieces are easiest, so you don’t have to chop up anything; just pour ingredients into a blender.

Natural Jerky - Dehydrate your own or purchase from your favorite local farm or meat market.

Cheese Slices/Cubes - You don’t have to buy special cheese stick packages; a regular block of mozzarella will tear into pieces just the same.
 
Prepared Sandwich - Prepare a sandwich or two ahead of time, cut it into quarters, and then just grab a piece from the fridge when you need a small bite to eat.

Toast + Avocado + a bit of Sea Salt (Scoop out with a spoon)

Baked Yam + a sprinkle of Walnuts, Butter, & Sea Salt or Raw Honey - For simplicity, bake it whole in a baking dish or crockpot. (Or make baked sweet potato fries. Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spicy-baked-sweet-potato-fries/detail.aspx)

Cottage Cheese - Eat plain or stir in some fresh berries. (A mere 1/2 cup contains a whopping 14 grams of protein, plus good probiotics!)

What are your favorite healthy snacks?