Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Faves in the Kitchen

I have a lot of cooking to do each week with a big family, which a) I enjoy b) I've cut down on dinner prep with freezer cooking c) have a few kitchen gadgets I couldn't live without.

This first one is the Misto M100S Gourmet Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer (I got mine on  I know this isn't a new concept, and I've had other types over the years, but this one rocks!  It really does spray a fine mist which is what you want for coating cake pans, muffin tins when trying to cook with less fat.  You have more control over how much fat goes in your meals, along with zero propellants (unlike Pam).  When you use the Misto, you push the top down several times to add pressure in the base and then spray.

The second gadget I received as a gift: a pair of scissor salad choppers from Pampered Chef.  This do-dad has become a great help when prepping salads, nuts, olives, really anything that needs chopping.  You hold them vertically and put the food to be chopped in a bowl and then go to town making a scooping/chopping motion.  We eat Greek salad several times a week with our dinner, and the time it saves me cutting up the feta, olives, and lettuce makes it a snap to get it on the table.

This is my all-time favorite gadget!  My Vidalia Chop Wizard by Progressive (I purchased it at Bed Bath and Beyond with a 20% off coupon) has made my least favorite job in the kitchen almost fun!  I'm not a perfectionist, but I do know that evenly cut onions cook evenly as well, and look a lot better in a dish.  When setting out onions for our chili as garnish, I have this perfectly cut bowl of tiny-dice onions.   I also use this to dice potatoes and carrots for soups and hash browns.  So many uses!  Apparently this is an 'As Seen On TV' product, which I have to be honest-I usually laugh at:)  Just not this one;).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

My kiddos Valentine's are all safely packed away in their backpacks ready to be delivered!  Phew!  It took quite a while to get all those names written out for my younger boys, but they did it.  It was interesting to hear what they had to say about their classmates as they wrote them out.....  :)
Here's to the historical meaning of Valentine's Day, too!  May you have a wonderful day!  ♡♡♡

image credit: photoxpress

Rite Aid Trip

I really like shopping at Rite Aid!  I used to think it was a pretty junky store, but I'm able to get stuff our family needs every week for very little out of pocket.  So here's what I got today:

4 Hershey's Chocolate bars, $.50 each
1 Gain dish soap $.87
2 jars of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce $1.50 each
2 GE CFL bulbs $2.99 each
2 Boxes of Ziploc Freezer Bags $2.50 each
1 Box Gain dryer sheets $4.99
1 Theraflu $4.99
1 Bayer Aspirin $5.99
Total = $35.24 including tax

$27.10 in coupons (this includes coupons from ads, Video Values and UP Rewards)
$4.53 from a Rite Aid Gift Card
= $3.61 Out of Pocket
and I got $9 in UP Rewards good on my next shopping trip!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Boy's Sweats at Walmart

Just a quick head's up: I was able to pick up a great deal on sweats, sweatshirts and a t-shirts today at Walmart.  Here's what I got:
 I paid $2 each for the sweatshirts/sweatpants and $3 each for the long sleeve t-shirts. They had quite a few left in the boys section at the north side Walmart, but I'd go today or tomorrow before they're gone.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

January Grocery Totals

Total Spent On Food: $369.15
Manufacturer's Coupons Used: $119.55

A month within budget ($400 for food/household), but higher than I'd like.  I included in my total a $50 gift card we got to Winco.  I used it to stock up on staples like sugar, butter, eggs and milk.  I buy milk four gallons at a time, so if I'm not getting a discount, it's $8 a shot.  Every time I have a very low month, it's followed with a higher month, so it all averages out-it just feels better to be spending in the $200's rather than the $300's!

image credit: khnaruto/photobucket