March 31, 2011

Homemade Donuts

I wanted to share a recipe that has been passed down from my husband's side of the family. Homemade donuts!! It's super simple to make them, and fairly cheap.

All you need to make these tasty treats is a package of biscuits from the store, vegetable oil, and sugar.

All you need to do it use a bottle cap to make a hole in the middle of the biscuit, and you've got donut holes!

While you are preparing the biscuits for donuts, heat up the oil in a saucepan on the stove.

Then add the biscuits to the oil. When one side of the biscuit is cooked, then flip it over and let the other side cook.

When they are cooked, place them on a plate with sugar on it and roll them to coat them.

Then, eat up!

March 29, 2011

Lack of Blogging Lately

Hello readers! I just wanted to give you a little update on why I haven't been blogging as much as I would like lately. I've started a part-time job at Metri-Tech a couple weeks ago, and that has taken up much of my evening time. While I enjoy my job and enjoy that paycheck every two weeks, I also miss the time that I could be spending with my family. I guess it's just one of the things that I will have to sacrifice for now. My job is only temporary till June, so this job is giving us extra spending money for later.

Also, my youngest sister has recently moved in with us for the summer. She has found a job in Savoy, IL and will be staying with us until school starts up for her in August. It's so nice to have adult company around the house and she's very good with the boys. It's just nice to have her around!

Since the weather is starting to warm up, I've been doing little projects around the house outside. I have big plans for rows of corn in our backyard, two raised beds, along with our normal garden beds. So, that also has been taking up some time that I could be blogging.

I appreciate your patience as I try to accomplish so much in (what seems like) such little time.

March 25, 2011

Grocery Shopping this week = $15.26

I tried hard to stay out of grocery stores this week, because I knew that my budget was tight this week. I went over my $40 budget last week, so this week I only had $11 to work with.

Here's what we came home with:

County Market = $15.26

I will take out $4.26 of next weeks budget to cover for the overage. Stay tuned!

March 19, 2011

Grocery Shopping this Week = $53.38

I headed to County Market two times this week. It's tempting to go there more often, because I pass it on my way to work, and they are open 24 hours.

The picture below was using most of my in-store County Market coupons.

Total for picture below: $18.41

This was my second trip to County Market. I stocked up on more cheese and got some fruit snacks for really cheap!

Total for picture below: $25.07

I also went to Schnucks, because of a General Mills Catalina Coupon that printed $3 when you bought 5 items.

Total for the picture below: $12.05
I got back $6 in Catalina coupons to use on my next purchase.

Total spent this week on Groceries: $55.53

This is based on a $40/week grocery budget.

(Last week I went over my budget by $13.38, and this week I went $15.53, so I will only have $11 for fresh fruits, etc. for next week.)

------- Not Included in Grocery Budget --------

I also wanted to let you know that I got a great deal in the clearance section at Schnucks on Mattis. The Green Works bottles were only $1 each! The air fresheners were $0.75 - $0.50.

Total spent for the photo below: $8.05

March 14, 2011

Update On Our Garden Plants

I just wanted to update you all on how our garden seeds are growing indoors.

The peas that we planted in the baseball card holders are doing GREAT! I know that they love the colder weather, so having them hang on a cold door is a plus.

It's even fun to teach the boys about the roots that they can see through the holders.

Here we have some Yellow Pear Tomato plants that have sprouted, and doing well:

Other than this, we're still waiting on the regular tomato plants, the pepper plants, and some flowers that I thought I'd start indoors this Spring. Have you planted anything yet, and how are they doing?

March 11, 2011

Walgreens Run = $1.25

I was excited to see a deal on Children's Medicine this week, especially since our kids have been sick all week with a fever and cough.

Here's what I snagged at Walgreens for only $1.25:

For more information on this deal, check out MoneySavingMom's post on how to get this medicine for real cheap.

Grocery Shopping this week = $53.38

This week was kinda rushed, because I started my new job this week, so I'm not really sure what I bought. I stuck mostly with Schnucks this week, because they had some good deals. I also went to Big Lots when they had the 20% off entire purchase day.

Schnucks: $3.86
$1/bag chocolate chips, had 2/$1.10 off 2 coupons.

Big Lots = $10.68
I only saved $2.67 with the 20% off discount.

Schnucks = $38.73
Here's Z-man in the photo, he was sick that day, and I think all that food was overwhelming to him. I saved $31.75 (said my receipt!).

Total spent for one week: $53.38. We usually only have a budget of $40/week, so I will take out the overage in next weeks groceries. Thanks for stopping by!

March 9, 2011

Homemade Suet for Birds

My neighbor recently broke her ankle, and has asked the boys and I to feed her birds in her backyard everyday. Before I met our neighbor, I didn't know anyone who loved birds more than her. She has tons of birds who frequent her backyard for the plethora bird food she provides. These birds range from cardinals, to tiny baby birds (I'm not a bird person...yet!).

Anyway, we were talking one afternoon about the suet bird food that she puts out for the hummingbirds. She mentioned that I should try to make my own and see if the birds will come. I said that I usually have bacon and ground beef grease leftover whenever we cook, and sometimes I wish that we could reuse it. So, therefore, I am experimenting with that idea.

I've heated up the leftover bacon grease, combined some peanut butter, oatmeal, nuts, and cheap bird food to it. Then I froze it to make it solid. Then I cut it into fourths. I then hung up a netted bag in our tree, so that the birds can eat it (instead of the rats! Eww!)

So far, through my experimenting I have seen a couple of birds on our deck, but they weren't really interested in the suet. The squirrels are a different topic! They are sniffing around, and playing with the bag I hung in the tree. I think they're more interested in the peanuts and peanut butter than anything else.

Here's another blog I found that tried making suet as well:

March 5, 2011

Our Garden Is Started!

I'm happy to say that our garden has been started, indoors, of course! This is my absolute favorite time of winter...when I get to start our seeds for Spring! Last year we started a few days earlier than this year, but I'm sure we'll be fine in the end.

We planted a ton of tomatoes, a ton of peppers, some peas in the baseball trading card holders, and some flowers.

I'm experimenting with the flower seeds that I collected last year, to see if they will actually grow. If so, I won't need to buy any annuals from garden stores this year!

I'm also experimenting on growing peas in baseball card holders. I found this idea in the recent Family Fun magazine that came in the mail. All you need are baseball card holders, some suction cups, and a hold puncher. We'll see if they grow! I'm just afraid that the window is too cold. That's why I put pea seeds in them, because I know that they like the colder weather.

I'm very excited about our garden this summer, because we're planning on having a few raised beds. So that means, there's going to be a lot more room for our veggies to grow!

Have you started digging in the dirt lately?

I.D.E.A. Store in Champaign

Last night was the first night that I entered the I.D.E.A. Store here in Champaign. My husband has always told me that I need to go there, and so last night, my husband, the boys and I ventured out. It is kinda in an odd location, and the door is on the side of the building, facing away from Springfield, but it's very earth-friendly inside! It's kinda like you're walking into a garage sale (in a good way!). There are so many random items that people donate, that you never know what you'll find in there.

Last night I found 8 red, glass bottles to go on my bottle tree in my garden. They were priced at $0.25/piece! Very reasonable!

I've accumulated 18 bottles now for my bottle tree that I will be making in the Spring. The volunteers at the I.D.E.A. Store were very helpful in giving me ideas and resources to make my bottle tree. They even said they'd like to see pictures whenever I finish my project!

This is what I'd like my bottle tree to look like eventually:

I got 4 (nearly new!) spools of thread for $1. I also got a garden book for $2, and a mesh bag to put my homemade suet in for the birds outside (post to come on that project as well). I also grabbed some used felt to make a pizza game for the boys to play.

So, if you have time, and are in the area, I highly recommend that you check out the I.D.E.A. Store to help you be creative!

March 4, 2011

Grocery Shopping = $49.70

We made a trip to Aldi's this week to stock up on some extra meals this past week. When I need to stock up, Aldi's is the place for me. I just need to watch my budget when I go there.

This week I spent $45.31 at Aldi's, and I have about 10 meals planned out with those groceries!

Schnucks = $0.88

County Market = $3.51
*Sorry, no photo*

We bought some red grapes that were on sale for $0.99/lb. Also, we picked up some tomatoes for some BLT sandwiches.


Total spent for last week was $49.70. We have a usual $40/week reserved for our grocery spendings, and since we only spent $25.42 on groceries last totals out in the end.

A total of two weeks groceries was $75.12, making $4.88 leftover change. Not too bad!

Big Lots: 20% off Entire Order This Sunday 3/6

Just wanted to give all my readers a heads up that Big Lots is taking 20% off your entire order this Sunday, March 6th. Just print out this coupon and head to their store this Sunday and stock up on snacks, furniture, garden supplies, and more!

I'm excited about this coupon, because I need to stock up on snacks in our home, and this is a GREAT store to do this at! If any of you Chambana moms want to join me, just let me know!