About Me

Who Am I? Family of 3 adults plus 1 pet kitty on 1 income trying to live like I have an unlimited budget & I have to STOP!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

HELP!! Pricing

I am having a Park wide mobile home yard sale this weekend and I need some help pricing a few of the types of crochet projects I have made just for something to keep my hands busy while at work and while watching TV at night I am not looking to get rich just make some $$ to do dinner out w/ dd daughter.

I know from a Craft fair I went to last year people wouldn't even purchase a 4 piece baby layette set for $20 (crib size blanket,baby sweater, baby hat and booties all matching sets) or a nice shell baby blanket full size for $10.00 so this is why I need your help.

I also know you take the price of supplies so say $3.00 and times that by 3 times the amount plus time however around here $9.00 for a pair of baby booties is a little too high!!

Here a pictures of the items I have currently made to sell..


Supplies used? To make 10 about $ 3.00
1 ball of yarn $2.28
1 roll of ribbon $.33 cents on sale

SOLD- 1 set per Ziploc baggie


Supplies used to make 10 this is an estimate size I didn't figure out the amount of yarn..

To make 10 about $ 3.00
Girls bracelets- $1.50 for 10
Yarn $2.28

Towel rings sold 3 ways

  • Individual rings- per baggies
  • Set of 2 rings-per baggies
  • Individual rings w/ holiday towel

Thanks for your input

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four


DD herb potatoes just a little bite of oil and any herbs you want bake
at 350 *F for 30 mins or until golden brown.

10 packets of ranch to use up so I decided to see what else I could use ranch in. Well to may suprised you can use oven potatoes. YIPPIE!!!!

My family loves to make up large batches of baked potatoes in the crockpot at one time this will make dinner prep less then 30 mins for potatoes eating a few different ways.

We use them in different ways since DD who is Lactose intolerant now has to have different types that exclude dairy so each person can have what they desire.

1. Baked potato- w/ the fixings
2. Chili Baked Potato w/ the fixings for lunch
3. Broccoli Cheesy Baked potatoes
4. Herbed Oven Baked Potatoes
5. OvenFries
6. Burritos- Cheese & Sour Cream & Salsa


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350*F

8 x 8 pan or larger lined w/ foil for quick clean up spray w/ PAM or use a pastry brush w/ oil to coat pan.

Step 2

Dice up as many pre-baked potatoes as desired we usually like leftovers so I may do 4-6 for 2 people.

Pour them into the greased pan & drizzle w/ oil (used oil in place of butter) and sprinkled w/ chili powder

Mix up to coat the potatoes into the preheated oven they need to go bake approximately 15 mins before the next step..

Cheese & Ranch

Since I had a small amount of potatoes I eyed balled how much ranch to use and how much chili powder I needed to use the end of this bottle so I could start getting to the packets that also need to be used up in the pantry cabinet.

Ranch & Chili Podwer

Step 3

After the 15 mins drizzle ranch dressing over the potatoes & top w/ shredded cheese.

Back into the oven for another 15 mins until the cheese is nice & melted.

Serve while hot.



Good but still missing something??? however this recipe I would use again maybe adding green onions & using hotter chili powder to give it some kick.

Ménage à trois of Meatloaves


Remember growing and eating mom's meatloaf once a week with mashed potatoes and some kind of veggie side dish and if it was a special dinner mom would add biscuits.

My mom was the kind that always made meatloaf the same way ground meat,liption onion soup mix packet, 1 egg, milk as needed and crumbs of some kind.

As I got older I to made meatloaf the same way until I was unable to use those cute little packets of Lipton's due to MSG plus the cost really ad's up!!! So I grabbed an onion diced it and was happy w/ that.

I have tried another meatloaf recipe from AR Site Brown Sugar Meatloaf that had great reviews we loved it but I want to try yet again another one well I couldn't decided on which one...from the site... So I picked 3 different ones and decided to make mine into muffin size with those 3 recipes.

My camera battery decided today of all day's to kick the bucket so much for nice pictures to go with this blog. I have a few pictures..

Let's get started
with the 3 that I picked!!!

But first I have also need to talk about a new ingredient I decided over 6 month ago to try that has been taking up space in my pantry just waiting to be used in this type of recipe... what is it your asking yourself right??

TVP!!! Your most likely going what the heck is that? Well let me explain as well as give you a few links to review about this along w/ recipe ideas to use
TVP =Texturized vegetable protein AKA textured soy protein



For my family of 3 person family to make meatloaf I normally needed 2 pounds per meal this allowed for leftover's for lunch the next day trying to stretch every meal as much as possible & without waste I had purchased the TVP to add to meatloaf in place of 1 pound of meat :O) since TVP was under $3.00 a bag at my local Sprouts which is a health food type store here and I it didn't need to be frozen or anything just stick it on the pantry shelf.

Step 1

Turn oven to 350 *F

Soak 1 cup of TVP in 1 cup of bowling water or broth in the 4th large bowl for 5-10 mins.

Grab muffin liners & muffin trays I used foil type in-case they decided to get to greasy/leaky and sprayed w/ PAM but you could use a pastry brush w/ oil as I have done this before as well to grease the cups.

Step 2

3 bowls to put each meatloaves ingredients & measured all the ingredients for each batch into there bowls.

Used my mini food processor to mix these ingredients up well and also to extra finely chop the apples and pickles since my dd is picky..

Step 3

In a 4th bowl with the TVP went 1 pound of thawed ground turkey.

Mix these 2 items together WELL.

Then divide the mixture evenly into those other 3 bowls and mix those up well.

Step 4

1/4 cup per muffin cup for each mini loaf I was able to get between 6-8 per batch.

They shrunk so don't worry about drip-age unless you use BEEF or Pork Meat in place of Turkey.

If you use any sauce type topping like BBQ or Ketchup you will have drip-age.

Step 5

Baked 45 mins as dd loves her meatloaf over baked & crunchy out the outside.


DD & I would normally only eat 2 muffins per meal so the rest went to the freezer for quick dinner grabs later in the month currently we have now 6 meals in the freezer and it only took a few extra mins to prep & cook a large batch over a small batch.


Cheesey Apple Oatmeal Meatloaf -Nice taste will make again :O)

Meatloaf with a Ranch Twist- too sweet w/ brown sugar

Dill Pickle Meatloaf- No pickle flavor like we assumed would be there however it has a nice flavor and we will make again. :O)

DD & I would normally only eat 2 muffins per meal so the rest went to the freezer for quick dinner grabs later in the month currently we have now 6 meals in the freezer and it only took a few extra mins to prep & cook a large batch over a small batch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dinner Kit


DD & I decided to try this quick bagged dinner $5.98 using a $1.50 off well lets started by showing you what was in the kit it self.


This is the sauce & rice packet.


This is the veggie in the bag they measure about 1 cup


Yes where is the chicken? I say less the 1 cup for 2 people?


This is the whole dinner kit nicely made up in 14 mins


I purchased the nice sweet Chili Sauce for only $1.29 at Trader Joe's and dd picked up a small box of potstickers for $2.00.

Verdict on the dinner kit: Nasty it was a waste of $$ food ended up in trash tasted nasty..

Misc Deals


I recently went to McDonald's w/ me dd who likes their chicken wraps however I ended up w/ 3 extra condiments when we were done eating & since they don't take them back & reuse we will. They can be easily add to any wrap that we make from home to take w/ out lunches.


We stopped at our local Goodwill store and came across this great deal on Food Wrap for only $2.99 a box for 500 sheets since we make alot of wrapped foods for lunches this was & is perfect since they are less then 1 cent per wrap.

Food Deals


$14.95 regular price & Clearance price $ 7.47 = Difference of $7.48

$6.99 regular price and $3.50 is the clearance price for the cheesecake
$.99 regular price and $.49 is the clearance price for the cilantro
$3.99 regular price and $1.99 is the clearance price for the ground chicken
$2.98 regular price and $1.49 is the clearance price for the apples

I used a good portion of the cilantro in my southwestern egg roll and froze 2-1 cup container of cilantro for quick use in a recipe later so basically for 49 cents I'll get 3 meals out of this batch of cilantro.


Taco Salad from the ground chicken

The ground chicken was divided half one into the freezer and the rest into a frying pan for quick taco salad for 2. These are the ingredients that got added but this is a picture of my dd plate before we added our own ingredients of the following.

  • Chow Mein noodles in place of croutons dd can't eat them and we had tortilla chips but decided to not open an unopened back right now
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Catalina Salad Dressing
  • Sour Cream
  • Green Onions
  • Pepperoncini
  • Salsa

Apple Blossoms/Apple Dumplings/ Mini Apple Pies

Depending on what you want to call them...I searched online for a quick recipe that was close to what I was looking for so I could use up a few pie crusts we had frozen in the freezer...
Apple Dumpling Recipe


When I read the recipe I thought first lots of ingredients then I thought well I will just wing it my way as usual. To keep it simple so this is what I used only. For 2 people I decided 2 baggies of the apples quickly diced and 1 crust for 2 mini pies..


Grab what ever pan you go that fits in your oven since I use my toaster oven I grabbed my biggest pan so I could fit both crusts on the sheet and cook at one time.


Into the hot oven 375*F oven for 35 minutes & out popped 2 nice apple pies to serve w/ vanilla ice cream.

Stretch a rotisserie chicken?? Part 2


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Finish getting all the usable chicken meat off the rotisserie chicken there was a lot more then I realized there would be so I had to create a double batch of the mix :O) Just say YUMMY!!! In to the mix went lots of different ingredients but I find I tend to use what I have on hand more then follow the recipe to the T in my house that doesn't happen much..
Original Recipe Link

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The basic player to create this nice little roll are wonton wraps if you want a real egg roll texture if not you can use tortillas we use the tortillas most of the time since we usually have them on hand around the house and this allows me to use up any leftover meat egg rolls. You could use leftover ground meat as well in place of the diced up chicken.

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First open the oven & make sure you don't have anything hiding in there like I do (pots/pans/casserole dishes it's a great storage place since I only use the oven usually in the winter if I am baking since our summers here in Phoenix are usually a little too warm to use it.. Preheat oven to 400*F.

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I use a cutting board to assemble the wraps on for 2 reasons
1- Messy & the filling eces can be just dumping back into the main bowl.
2-Quick Clean up when finished

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I keep a small little bowl w/ water in it along with a pastry brush to *Glue* the wrap closed better however I prefer to just dip my fingers in the water and keep rolling the brush can be a royal pain too dainty for me. DON'T OVER STUFF YOUR ROLLS!!

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I am not perfect I forgot to tell you to either parchment or foil line a cookie or 2 depending on how big your sheets are and then spray w/ cooking spray. Then place all your rolled wraps on the sheet close together is fine just leave enough space so they don't cook & stick to each other.

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The spray butter works to golden the wraps you could do an egg wash however I for whatever reason find the thought of egg washes yucky.I just do a quick spray/mist over them.

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Bake the wraps for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Since I will be reheating these in my toaster oven when we eat these later in the month I don't cook them more then needed since I will be reheating them for 10-15
minutes in a 350 *F toaster oven.


While making 20 wraps I ran out I still had enough mix leftover so into 3 tortillas for quick lunches or dinner one night. (THESE I DIDN'T BAKE THIS TIME) but I have before.


This is how nice and golden brown they should be when you pull them from the oven I then allow them to cool completely.


Then when cool I wrapped the burritos in saran wrap since these may get grabbed for a quick lunch wrap or enchiladas style one night.

The wonton wraps I just drop into the freeze bag once cooled and usually for a family of 2 we will usually eat 2 or 3 each per meal so that is how I package them. So all we have to do is grab out only what we need this cuts down WASTE!!.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How the Hell to stretch a rotisserie chicken??

Today I needed a quick meal due to a small mishap at my house that was already planned for dinner. DD left the chicken breasts out to thaw some before putting them in the frig however when I got home from work several hours later they were still sitting out and warm..So into the trash they had to go & off to the store I needed to go grab something quick to make for my lunch we decided on a rotisserie chicken since they are precooked and were on sale this week for $3.99 at my local store & they were cheaper then a whole chicken in the meat dept that was yet to get cooked and it was still cheaper then a whole chicken on clearance as well. Can you say can't beat that deal? I have also previously pick one up on clearance for $2.99 just a few weeks ago cold in the deli dept which was nice as well for quick chicken noodles soup after we used most of the meat for other meals.


Meal 1 and 2 from that old bird

While shopping for a few things I also grabbed 2 onion/cheese rolls from the bakery for 2/89 cents & decided to use 1/2 of one breast to make 2 sandwiches on those rolls. :O) Can you say YUMMY!!! One sandwiches was for my breakfast and the other was for my dinner at work tonight. I think it was better then going to Wendy's and getting a Chicken Sandwich there for $3.99 minus all the grease.... You can see the picture I am posting below of the quick sandwich I made I also like that I can control what goes on the sandwich for condiments & how much :O) plus all those items where free from the frig so the price for 2 sandwiches I would estimate was less then $2.00 I was able to create 2 nice sandwiches.

Meal 3 from that old bird

The other chicken breast well be put to go use by my dd for a quick chicken wrap for lunch today. But since she only used a small part that will be used as well for meal # 4. But the price for her lunch would also have been around $2.00 since she just used the chicken meat & purchased a head of lettuce for $1.00 which she only used a little bit & the rest will go for other uses this week. We had on hand in the frig at home tortillas and condiments needed to complete the meal.


Meal 4+ from that old bird

Tomorrow I plan to make a batch of Southwestern Eggroll Recipe to freeze for quick meals later in the month the cost for this will be a little higher but under $3.50. The wonton wraps where $2.50 per package & I will need to stop at the Dollar store tomorrow morning & grab a bag of spinach for $1.00 to use in the wraps as well as for me to eat for salads.


Stretching Meals is hard for most people since most people see food and tend to eat everything in meal #1 & don't try to stretch that food into more then one or two meals. With a little planning which is mostly just using your BRAIN!!! you to can create simple meals & stretch foods you would normally not think about doing I have to stretch my budget as well as the food so this part of menu planning is second nature but for people who have just run to the store every time they want something & not think it thru this is what cause your budget to be over every month..
Yes I went to the store 1 time for 1 issue in the month that was not necessary however for me was budgeted it as I picked up other things needed in this trip today that I planned to do on Monday morning now I can sleep in since I work nights :O)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Frozen Meals?


This recipe goes together well I have used both tortillas and wonton wraps I pre-make them for quick dinners as well as to make sure my dd has something to eat on the nights I work 12 hours if I didn't have time to make dinner before I got to work I know she can grab this out thaw it and reheat it in the toaster oven in 30 mins. The part I like best is I can make huge batches of say 20 + and know they are always ready and waiting for me in the large freezer outside.

What I love about this recipe is I don't have to use those boxed mixes to get a nice side dish. I use to go thru 2 boxes of mixes for every dinner say $2.00 per meal this I can keep the ingredients on hand which most of them I already do plus I can change the tomato part to what ever I have on hand and it always turns out great and freezes well this allow me to just be able to grab & nuke straight from the freezer.

Crock-pot Recipe is great and this allow me to be able to make this on my day off and portion control them out for quick grab and go lunches as well as larger amounts for dinners. I have used the recipe to make both Pinto beans and Black Beans with no issues.. I plan to try it with others that I have hiding in the cabinet as well just to use them up..

So back to dinner I was able to pull everything out to thawish around noon & all I have to do is either nuke or place in the oven for 30 mins I could even nuke the burritos however I prefer them crunchy that is why they are in the oven plus I can then pour enchilada sauce that I have on hand that is frozen as well just for this type of quick meal if I want it enchilada style. I love having these quick meal available in the freezer for nights when we can't decide what to eat just like today...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken


Click Here for Recipe

I had to omit a few of the ingredients that I didn't have on hand that I felt
where OK to not have in the is recipe..
1 tsp of dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley.


I am not a person who likes to grab a tablespoon or a teaspoon out to measure things every time I cook I just eyeball it. I did 3 quick squeezes of each of the honey & mustard and mixed it up in this little bowl. I cut the visible fat from the chicken and salt/peppered it.


I had lined a small toaster oven tray w/ foil for quick clean up I sprayed w/Pam and laid the chicken pieces close together. I then w/ a pastry brush basted the pieces w/ the Honey Mustard Mixture then sprinkled it w/paprika.


Baked this as directed re-basting half way threw and plated this up w/ herbed potatoes.


DD & I decided it was good but not great and not bad is that a helpful description? It is something we would make again thou..

Don't have time Bull Shit!! Part 3

My Sunday was only sleeping & preparing my lunch since I got off work at 0400 and had to leave my house by 2 PM to return and I didn't get the Chicken Soup noodles boil & the soup in the freezer it had to waited to Monday. (see how life happens)

But Monday I was a little low key do to still being sleepy as I went to be at 0400 am

9 am-11 am
  • Woke up and washed leftover dishes from weekend
  • Filled a soup pot w/ boiling water to make egg noodles for the Chicken Soup from Sat
  • Grabbed a pot and dropped some oil in the bottom to also fry up the ground turkey dd pulled out that was thawed on counter to make Crock-pot lasagna
  • During this I accidentally got side tracked while still waking up and I realized my pot would need more oil and as my oil bottle I keep on the counter was empty and needed refilling I set off to do just that forgetting the pot on the heat and was medium/high .I had not dropped the meat in to start cooking but off I went to filled the bottle to my great surprise I smelled smoke as it was filling the kitchen & realized I really burnt my pan BAD!!! Super Crap!!!
  • Off to grab a new pot to restart this plan new oil & new pan w/ turkey frying.
  • The noodles were done so drain & cooled them down really quickly
  • Grabbed the crock-pot out frig that contained Chicken noodle soup w/ out noodles along w/ containers to put the soup in I layered the Soup/Noodles into the containers and ended up with 4 soups for lunches and 2 larger containers for dinner night.
  • For Cleaning the pantry challenge I am doing I grabbed Lasagna noodles, Garlic/Italian Seasoning/Jar of Sauce and from the frig shredded cheese and I grabbed the crock-pot and finished the lasagna and into the crock-pot it went by 10 am & turn it on
  • Cleaned out extra freezer space donating to Grandma's house all the beef/pork products in the freezer no-one here will eat since dd is now unable to eat them.
  • Into the freezer space went the 6 containers :O) of Chicken noodle soup
  • You guessed it back to washing the remaining dishes and trying to remove the burnt stain from my pot.
11 am -2 pm
  • Picked up dd from school
  • Dropped off food at grandma's house
  • Thrift shopping at a local store I would be driving past (books & yarn for crafts)
  • Costco to pick up Microsoft Office 2010 for $119 for DD computer great deal
2pm-6 pm stuff around the house & relaxed tried to nap

6pm-630pm- Started Pillsbury French Bread for dinner w/ Lasagna & plated food

7pm -11pm watched TV w/ dd and worked on crochet projects to sell


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Don't have time Bullshit!!!! Part 2

Last night on the way home I stopped at Fry's picked up 2 (3lb) packages of boneless chicken breast for $5.00 each. Took them home put them in the refrigerator for thawing maybe by morning.

5 am

I got up to go to the restroom I decide since I was up I would grab both crock pots drop the chicken in them & get them started well I took a few extra mins from my rest time to place 4 of the breasts into Ziploc baggies & threw them in the freezer as they were still frozen and DD could use them later for quick meals.

520am-9am sleep more since I am still fighting this summer cold.. and I have to work tonight for 12hrs


Pulled the sheets off the bed

Started my work clothes and get them out of the clothes line

Filled up 5 containers w/ my 6 pound ketchup deal I got at Costco for $ 2.50

Shredded the 2 pots of cooked chicken w/ DD help bagged it all up got 24 snack sizes bags 1.5 cups extra
put it into a gallon ziploc baggie & into the freezer it went

DD peeled up 6 carrots while I was shredding up the meat

Grabbed out a box of chicken broth from the pantry

Grabbed out a pre-diced frozen celery from the freezer

Skimmed the crock-pots of (fat from the chicken) I poured all the extra broth into one crock pot

In Crock pot went that extra 1.5 cups of shredded chicken/carrots/dehydrated onions/celery to make soup for 2-3 hours dd will place it in the frig after it cools when I get up in the morning I will boil noodles allow them to cool & add them to the soup & portion them out in containers to freeze I assume I will get at least 6-8 bowls or more of quick made soup.


Spent time w/ DD at the Library and got some movies to watch & a few books

Went to Target I wanted to price check a few things picked up some Ziploc products on sale & used coupon

Went to Fry's and pick up Toilet Paper on sale & used coupons and cookies in the clearance rack for snacks

1 pm-2 pm

Watched TV w/ DD and made Mashed Potato quesadilla for breakfast (shredded cheese/potatoes/sour cream & onions)

Packed my lunch/dinner/snacks- leftover meatloaf/mashed potatoes/frozen corn/Asian Chicken Salad and 2 cookies that I picked on clearance Rack at Fry's today (also grabbed a bottle of Ketchup to leave at work)


Quick ghetto pictures but you get the point

Friday, September 10, 2010

Don't have time Bullshit!!!!

People are always saying they don't have time to cook dinner or lunches I say Bull here is why I say this it only takes planning this is what I was able to do in just over 2 hours.... Last night around 5 pm DD took a pound of ground turkey meat out of freezer to thaw in the refrigerator for dinner for the next night...

I woke up at 730 am

  • Turned the toaster oven on

  • Grabbed the Ziploc baggie of thawed meat & large mixing bowl.

  • Grabbed a box of stuffing I got on clearance for 69 cents for a box of 2 stuffing mixes :O) dropped 1 packaged mixture into food processor to mix up to smaller pieces

  • While that was spinning I sprayed a 8 x 8 glass pan w/ oil.

  • In large mixing bowl I dropped the meat/one egg/fresh ground pepper/dehydrated onions and when the food processor stopped I poured half of the mix into bowl mixed up well

  • Then spread it out in the prepared pan and into the oven it went.

  • The bowl into the sink to soak.

  • Large pot was filled with hot water placed that on stove turn burner on.

  • Located my 5 lbs bag of potatoes peeled half & diced them up & into the boiling water they went. The others got washed and into the crockpot lined w/ foil those went (turned on as I walked out the door for work since those are for dd when she got home to handle putting in the refrigerator for herb/oiled potatoes this weekend.

Then at 800 am

  • Started a load of laundry

  • Located my to-go meal container as I have several styles & lunch box for work.

  • Checked my emails and a few websites

  • Located my clothes for work

  • Got all my work stuff into the car

  • Washed the dishes

Then it was 9 am

  • Mashed potatoes needed my attention so I drained them mixed them w/ butter and sour cream and very little milk.

  • Filled my to-go container and had 3 -1 cup portions of mashed potato containers for the freezer & 1 cup for mashed potato quesadillas for breakfast tomorrow am

915 am

  • Pulled out the meat loaf to cool before cutting some turned off the oven.

  • Went to get dressed for work

  • Prepared breakfast Chicken Wrap in to foil & in plastic baggie to go

930 am

  • Cut meatloaf into 4 pieces.

  • 3pieces into a container & into the refrigerator

  • 1 pieces into my to-go container along w/ frozen corn from the freezer

  • Grabbed my little mason jar filled it w/ tablespoon of butter/shredded cheese and green onions

  • Poured water into the meatloaf pan to soak

  • Loaded my lunch box w/ Chicken wrap/meatloaf plate/mason jar/ silverware

Already and done by 945 am :O) and off to work and dinner for dd & me already done..see pretty picture....


Rice Cooker 10-10-2010


This meal was quick I shredded /picked apart a rotisserie chicken dropped all the dark meat into the rice cooker w/ a 32 oz box of chicken broth from the pantry/diced carrots and celery/2 shakes of minced dehydrated onions along w/ Fresh ground Pepper. Plugged the Rice cooker in and this rice cooker is very basic it only has 2 settings cook or warm. From start to bowls to eat was 45 mins.

** Picture was hard to take since the soup was boiling & steaming up my camera lens **

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sept Spending

Sept 5-11 Total $73.35
  • CVS $ 14.52
  • Walgreen's $ 1.68
  • Fry's $27.92
  • Fry's $25.33
  • Grocery Outlet $3.90

Grocery Outlet

Week of Sept 5 Paid $3.90 Saved $3.15

  • 2 cans of mushroom 50 cent each
  • 1 large can of baked beans $.99
  • 1 box Keebler Pretzel Crackers $1.49
  • 1 Marshmallows $ .34 cents each