Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Entryway Organization

Right inside our back door (which used to be our entrance until the lock got hard to get your key in/out) is our furnace & laundry room. Our washer space is full with our stackable washer/dryer, our dryer space is full with our upright freezer. Since there's no "room" per se, it's just out in what should be a small hallway, there is no extra space for a bench/table, etc.

When bil replaced our furnace 3 years ago, he had to cut a hole in the wall, which he never re-covered. So, I had bought a sheet of pegboard at Home Depot (it fit perfectly), and made a "door" (so it can still be serviced) with the pegboard, hinges and a hook/eye latch. I bought pegboard hooks. Each child has a hook for their coats and one for their bookbags. They also hang any seasonally needed items there (hats, gloves, scarves, etc) and their umbrellas, it works perfectly, and takes up no more space than just a piece of sheetrock would have:)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pantry Dilemma/Organization

I didn't have a pantry or any cabinet space in my kitchen, so I bought one of those 9 cube organizers that have the fabric drawers you can buy.

Each drawer has a theme, larger groups may have more than one drawer......ex: baking drawer, pasta drawer, etc.

On top of the pantry are all my staples (flour, splenda, sugar, etc) in labelled clear lock & lock containers.

If you do have a pantry, you could still use the drawer system by getting clear plastic bins to use as drawers & sort by category. For my refrigerator and large upright freezer, I use this clear bin system.

For my small (over the fridge freezer), I only keep one weeks worth of OAMC meals, ice cream and ice.

I also keep an inventory of my pantry, small freezr, large freezer, fridge, spices, cleaners and bath products. I mark off things as I use them.

I use a master grocery list to mark things I need, and I can use my inventories to make sure I don't buy duplicates. Also, with this system, I am not running back and forth to the kitchen to see what I already have.

I update my inventories as I put the groceries away.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grocery Game 2/3

Last week at one of the grocery stores:

2 free clorox bleaches (reg 2.19 each)
4 clorox floor cleaners for 60c each (reg 2.39 each)
2 automatic air fresheners for $1.50 each (reg 11.99 each)
2 cottonelle fresh wipes for 1.00 each (reg 2.39 each)
2 pks. shout stain removing wipes for free (reg 2.49 each)
2 scrubbing bubbles flushable bathroom wipes for free (reg 2.99 each)
2 pledge furniture polishes for 60c each (reg 4.29 each)
an endust starter kit for 1.30 (reg 4.79)
5 sunsilk shampoos for 40c each (reg 3.99 each)
2 sunsilk styling product for .49 each (reg 3.99)
2 post shredded wheat cereals 1.50 each (reg 3.59 each)
6 swanson pot pies .50 each (reg. 1.00 each)
6 swanson mac & cheeses .45 each (reg 1.00 each)
4# chicken leg 1/4's .27/# (reg .69/#)

spent $ 23.73 including tax......wouldve spent $145.25 w/tax.......saved $121.52!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

OAMC Prepping meals for the freezer

I put mine in freezer bags (mostly gallon sized), food saver bags and casserole dishes.

Ziploc/Food Saver:
What you want to do after making it, is let it cool down first (before bagging). Then put it in the bag and get as much air out as possible, and get it as flat as possible. This way,
you don't get freezer burn (letting it cool down first & getting the air out) and you have more room (by getting them as flat as you can).

Casserole dishes:
I use this for things like lasagnas, or other casseroles that don't transfer to bags well. I usually make prepare them (without cooking and put in freezer). Now there's one MAJOR rule.........do NOT preheat your oven when using this method, or your dish could crack or explode. There are 2 ways you can cook your meal, you can either 1. thaw and then cook according to directions OR 2. don't thaw and just add about an hour or so to the cooking time (check every 15-20 minutes to make sure you are not overcooking).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tonight's dinner

Beef & Noodle Skillet, Veg-all, salad, bread sticks, oatmeal cookies, milk.

Beef & Noodle Skillet

Recipe By : Cherylann
Serving Size : 4
Categories : Main Dishes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 pound ground beef -- browned and drained
2 cans beef broth
8 ounces elbow macaroni
16 ounces Velveeta
1 cup salsa

Place beef in a 12" skillet; add broth.

Heat to boiling; stir in macaroni.

Boil until macaroni is tender; reduce heat and mix in cheese and salsa.

Heat through, stirring occasionally.


Recipe By : Cherylann
Serving Size: 32-48 breadsticks
Categories : Breads

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour -- divided
2 packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water
1 egg white -- slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon water

In large mixer bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt. Add 2 cups warm water. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. Turn out onto lightly floured surface.

Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm place until double (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Punch down; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half.

Cut each half of dough into 16 or 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope 8 inches long. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise until nearly double (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 375°. If desired, brush with egg white mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt or sesame seed. Bake for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 300° and bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer. Makes 32 or 48 breadsticks.

Freeze in packs of 6.

Crisp Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe By : Cherylann
Serving Size : 60
Categories : Cookies

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup flaked coconut
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies®

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, blending well, then vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; mixing well. Stir in the oats, coconut and cereal.

Drop by teaspoons about 2" apart on greased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets and cool on racks.

Yield: 5 dozen

Freeze by the dozen.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4/8 Grocery Game (post 1/2)

Don't know if any of you know about this website www.grocerygame.com ...

I paid $1 for a 4 week trial. What it does is matches the stores in your area sales (advertised & unadvertised) with coupons that come in your Sunday paper, store coupons and shelf coupons (you know those that you pull out of the little red machine at the store?).

It shows you things you can get free (sale & coupon together to make it free) and things that are worth stocking up on. Some things even with a sale don't make it worth buying (or she tells you to wait b/c there is a coupon coming up soon). Anyways, long story short after the trial period, it's $10 for the first store every 8 weeks (1.25/week) and $5 for each additional store (.625/week). To me, it's worth it, b/c I save over that Wednesday when I shopped.

Here's what I got at the 1st store:
2 6oz. Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice on sale 89c each and had 2 coupons for 75c off each = .28 total for both (14c each)
4 2-4ct. Orville Redenbacher popcorn on sale 1.25 each and 4 coupons (shelf) for 40c off each = 3.40 for 4 boxes of popcorn (16 packs) (85c each box)
2 rolls Bounty Basic Paper Towels 1.00 each 2 coupons for .25 off each = 1.50 total (75c each)
1 32oz. Greased Lightning 2.50 each w/ 1.00 off = 1.50
6 XXL Hungry Man Dinners 40% off each price varied - 2 1.00 coupons = ???(cant find receipts...will update later)
6 Totino's Party Pizzas 1.00 each = 6.00
34 6oz. Breyer's yogurt 50c each X 34 = $17 - $5.50 worth of coupons = 11.50 (or .338 each)

total including tax $38.47 total saved with sales & coupons $38.50.....I saved more than I spent.

2nd store:
3 6oz. Chex Mix sale 99c each 3 50c off coupons = 1.47 (or 49c each)

total spent = 1.53 including tax............saved 3.50 (again saved more than i spent)

I went to 2 other stores, but will post about those later.

I didn't go "grocery" shopping, will do that Saturday at w-m. I did pick up lots of cleaners & some other stuff that we could use.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring Fever

Yesterday we cleaned up outside, I tossed a whole long bed pickup truck full of stuff. Stuff like a gas grill, large toys that were broken, other stuff that we didn't need anymore that wasn't worth passing along.

Today, I tackled the playhouse, you couldn't even open the door there were so many toys.

I tossed 4 black trash bags and a large trash can full of toys. I freecycled 4 black trash bags of toys, a sit and spin, a keyboard w/stand, a tea cart, a play kitchen, a Dora fort (almost brand new), and a large car taht you push with your feet.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Share recipes

Want to get more of my recipes? Join my recipe group (yahoo groups)? You can share yours, too. Recipes are in the files section.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Decluttering My Desk

Well, everyone kept piling anything they didn't know what to do with (or didn't want to deal with on my desk). It was getting to the point, I had to move things to see the monitor.

Also, if I am sitting there, my kids love to write/draw and they'll bring me their finished products. Sometimes, I can convince them to go hang them on the freezer, but not always.

Well, I couldn't take it anymore, so I worked for 2 hours decluttering just the desk top & 4 shelves (the cabinet & 2 of the shelves were already done:)

I tossed a 13 gal bag worth of papers that didn't need to be shredded (school announcements, school papers, etc) and shredded one can's worth. I still have to re-tackle 2 of my 3 drawers again (the file drawer has stayed neat, b/c I can't shove stuff in there, lol). I also have to declutter the bottom cabinet (ugggh).

I will be working on this for this week, until it dries up some outside (raining since Saturday)so I can try to tackle some of the shed:)

It's 59 right now and partly cloudy, but hopefully it will stay dry today. I also want to get the old van cleaned out & sell it; get my van cleaned out, so it can be fixed and get the truck cleaned out. But first things first.....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Getting There........

Lately, as I've been getting things done and doing these little decluttering projects, the house has been getting way easier to manage (and just in time) :)

The kids are actually doing their share, too. They are straightening their rooms & making their beds before school, they are doing their routines without (too much) fuss, they are even doing their chores and making their chore jars get fat.

They actually look forward to getting their daily chore lists now. They also don't fuss too much when they pull a job they don't like, b/c #1 it's usually not that bad (since everythign is being kept up with), so it only takes a few minutes, and #2, they know it's only for a day.

DH has even been helping out more without even being asked:) Last night, he washed dishes, twice, and gave the kids their baths.

Everyone has been a great help the past few days, and our home is showing it (not just in cleanliness, but attitudes/spirits, too).