Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day late Deal Diva 7/30/13

OK, we all know that saying and I was more than a day late.  Just wasn't paying attention in all the whoop-la of army son being home.  Actually I didn't shop on Friday like usual.  I had shopped on Wed. with army son and still didn't get much due to the awesome meat deals from two weeks ago.  Also, I had planned all my sons fav's for when he was home, so had laid them in stock as well : )

I did happen to have the occasion to check out our towns new, and only, liquor store.  I am happy to report it was neat, clean, well stocked and comparative prices.  They even had a very nice display of our county's very own Short Mt. Moonshine, original and apple pie.  The young man behind the counter was courteous and friendly.  The even have a great mini-bottle selection, for all you cooks out there that don't need the whole big bottle!  I will defiantly be a repeat shopper and am glad they are here.  Could have really used them two years ago on Christmas Eve when I realized I didn't have the rum for the eggnog!  :P

Blessings, Beth

Monday, July 29, 2013

My two sons

This past week has been lonnnnng - LOL  First there was the two week wait for army son to come home.  He still has to report to the local recruiter everyday (shaking my head).  Then on top of this stress, youngest son was sick for almost two weeks straight.  Today is day two out of the last 14 where he has not vomited, yet.  Sigh, good times.  But they are, we are all together under one roof : )  There is over ten years between my two sons but they have a strong bond and much in common.  Even their baby pic's looked similar.  They both love video games (Pok√©mon rules) and as twin son often laments, "your my only brother".  That's right, my two sons have three sisters - LOL  I guess they tend to cling together.    Army son will be gone in a week for S. Korea and a year long overseas deployment.  I try to not let that sadness cloud my joy while he is here.  I take heart in even the small nuisances  that let me know he is home, like leaving the shower turned on after turning off the water.  It is also hard to let him go and not hug him tight until time to return him to the airport.  He is here, there, everywhere; seeing friends and enjoying himself.  I hate sharing.  I keep picturing him as when he was 2 going on 3, sooooooo cute!

My two sons, two of God's greatest blessings.  Beth.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good as gold

I post a few weeks back about my volunteer sunflowers and the birds making their own feed.  Well the sunflowers are about done and the birds are making the most of it.  Here are a couple shots, through the screen - sorry, to prove my point.
Goldfinches are one of the few little/light birds that can sit on the flower without bending it.

He just reached down and plucks!
I was going to say I love being right, when it dawned on me that this has nothing to do with me.  God made this circle of life.  Birds eat seeds.  Drop seeds.  New flowers grow.  Birds eat seeds . . . God has it all handled, neither He nor the birds need as much help from us as we assume! 
Blessings, Beth

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cracking the code

I have been working for the past few days on a project for my oldest niece.  She saw some cup cozies on FB and wanted to know if I could make her some.  How hard could it be right?  Righhhhhhhhhht - LOL  So spent not the past few days taking care of a sick kid, but being frustrated more than a person has a right to; by yarn.
I searched the net for both knit & crochet  patterns.  Tried a few, rejected a few. 
Here are some of the rejects : (
So I took the best of what I found and cobbled it together and made my own.  I might have cracked it!

Here is what I made today. 
Not to bad, might try a couple more.  I would like to make a set of six for my niece.  They might also come in hand for last minute holiday gifts.  Oh!  That means a trip to mecca ~ Hobby Lobby, for some holiday colored yarn!
Blessings, Beth

Saturday, July 20, 2013

No deal for the Diva 7-20-13 & Dinosaurs

Hey there, finished up my weekly shopping today at the $GM.  I am sad to report, no screaming deals, but because of my awesome score last week - none really needed.  However I did score a couple more Christmas gifts, and the one I ordered on-line last week, arrived today as well : )  Remember, only 158 days to the big event.  I hurriedly wrapped them before army son arrives (he snoops big time), and am now almost out of Christmas wrapping paper ~ bummer.  I had stocked up last  year at UGO, 50 cents a roll.   Will start keeping my eyes peeled again.

I also wanted to share a quick mention of these Answer in Genesis (AIG) DVD's I ordered a couple of weeks ago (on sale - LOL).  If you have ever tried to explain to people/children why the earth is only thousands of years old instead of millions or how dinosaurs got onto the Ark, I recommend these DVD's (which come with study guide) and the AIG Web site.  If you are still a bit confused by these ideas, I first recommend the Creation Museum and their web site:  www.crationmuseum.org .  I had become frustrated trying to find good info / documentaries for the twins without the words 'millions of years ago' or 'primordial ooze'.  Fixed that by buying my own.  Hate the expense, but will be sharing these with many like minded folks and my home school support group.  I have been to the museum twice and we will be taking our family vacation there next year.  Always something new and exciting to see and do!

Blessings, Beth

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

I mentioned the other day that we had spaghetti  squash for dinner, and thought I would mention it again as it will soon be in season and very affordable.  I know some folks think it's a tad time consuming to cook, but you can always cook ahead and reheat when ready.
Simply slice squash in half and scrape all the 'guts' out, like you would with a pumpkin (another awesome squash).  Pour a cup of water in a shallow pan/dish, cover and bake at 350 for one hour.
When done, pop cover and let cool to touch.  Then simply scrap the string - like 'spaghetti' into a bowl, using a fork for best results.

Voila'  A beautiful bowl of squash for dinner.  Serve along side your favorite meal or use it as a zero - carb replacement for noodles. I have used it with both a red sauce and a white sauce, both yummy and no leftovers (the real test in my house).
Blessings, Beth

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

mini post ~ 3 Bean Salad

Warm Wednesday to ya all.  Though I would share this frugal find real quick.  Tis picnic and family reunion time again, and if your like me you enjoy certain cold salads; but not everyone in the family does.  Case in point; 3 bean salad.  I make a mighty mean one from scratch, but only hubby and I eat it.  So when you weigh out the cost . . . and it doesn't freeze.  Really, how many servings do you want in a 2-3 day period?  So if you want only enough for a taste for a couple folks; canned is fine.
Found this at the local Save-A lot.  Pretty healthy looking list of ingredients and only $1. 

It tasted yummy too.  Got my craving out of the way. 
So, just thought I would pass this along for family's with picky eaters or even a quick & cheap pot luck take along. 
Keeping it real, clean, crafty and posted on good deals!  Blessings, Beth

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bacon ~ the new white meat

Good Monday all!  I have discovered that Monday mornings are a great time to look for reduced food items at the local stores, in my town.  I scored BIG time today.  I guesstamate that I brought home around $200 worth of meat and only paid about $85!  I know, right?  LOL
First stop was Piggly wiggly, I went in to pick up my new fav. sausage.  I left with that and 12lbs. of boneless/skinless chix breast - reduced.  Headed over to the Dollar general market and  everything, and I do mean all meat, was reduced.  Think someone over ordered for the 4th?  I grabbed 12 ground beef chubs, 4 chuck pot roasts (3lbs.) and 9 4ct. burger patty pk.  All reduced.    To quote Phil Robertson, "happy, happy, happy".  I praise the Lord I had the money in my grocery budget, to buy ahead like that and for a huge chest freezer in my basement!  LOL
So here is my new find and I find I can use it in just about anything.  It is delish!  Only place in town I have seen it is the Pig.

MSG Free!  Sooooooooooo important.  I am super sensitive to it and get very ill, very fast.
Hubby used it to make one of our breakfast fav's : Sausage - egg cups.

Slice the sausage chub into 12 circles and place into muffin tin.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Then crack an egg into each cup, sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Add a dusting of shredded cheese and bake another 15 minutes.

Am I the only one to notice that bacon is everywhere now a days?  I have even seen it in ice cream!  Uhm, no.  I draw the line there.  I feel that would ruin perfectly fine bacon and amazing ice cream.  Seems to be the new craze.  What's next, bacon nuggets at McD's?
Blessings, Beth

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mini post ~ birthday yarn

 Today is Miss Debbie's b-day!  She is my neighbor and her daughter is my dd 's BFF - since Kindergarten.  She is amazing.  She is strong.  She is a single mom.  We have taken them 'into our pew' so to speak, and do everything together.  In effect, they are family, for better or for worse.  If more folks could just do this, as the bible commands, then I have to believe we would need a little less help as individuals from our government.

So, about two weeks ago Wal-Mart had this great cotton yarn on roll back, 2 oz. for $1.47 (a 50 cent saving) and I snagged some for me and some for the church tweens I am teaching to crochet.  I loved the distress look on this yarn and would like it in a throw, but is to course and really only good for towels and wash cloths.

So, that is what I did.  I found a great free pattern on-line and made these dish towels and wash cloths for Miss D's b-day gift (well part of it).  It was easy peasy and I enjoyed digging around in my button jar  - LOL  It took 3 balls to make this, with some leftover. I whipped it up in 3 days, not working to hard at it (after all I have like 6 things I am working on).  Would love to do more of these. Let me know if you want to join me and stitch awhile : )

Blessings, Beth

Friday, July 12, 2013

Grocery Shopping w/the Deal Diva 7-12-13

It's that time of the week folks, to see what the cat dragged in - LOL Today we did drag in a cat!  Well a kitten at least.  Hubby rescued it from inside a car engine in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot.  The owner didn't want it, had no idea where it came from; heck she didn't even know how to pop her own hood.  Glad hubby was with me.  Said kitten is now on craigslist with two families interested.  Praying it is out of here ASAP.  Our own furry friends are not happy at all!
OK, back to business.  This is what I found this week in the 'boro.
I know, I know, susage is soooo not healthy.  Sometimes you just need a little pig fat with your breakfast.  Found this great deal at UGO.  Family size 16 link size Jimmy Dean, only $1.59.  Great with some eggs in the a.m.

This is my Kroger find.  We went to what I call the 'ghetto' Kroger this time since we were in a time crunch and it was closer.  Glad I did.  I felt like I struck out at UGO, but made a rebound here.  Best finds were the Greek yogurt, chocolate milk and the chicken.  The yougurt was reduced to $1.99 a 4 pk. and the 1/2 gal. of choc. milk were $1 each.  We only drink real milk if I find a deal like this.  I can't drink it, but it made a nice treat for the children at lunch time. 

I dithered over the chicken tenders.  This is a dollar more than full price for the Wal-Mart store brand, but it is organic free-range.  As you can see I won out, I am worth it - LOL  Will try to live with the pk. - 2 meal deal.  Maybe some nice stir-fries.  I did get that cool stir - fry cook book at the library book sale . . .  hmmmmm

I also wanted to point out that Kroger is the only store in my area, short of going into Nashville, that carries aluminum-free baking powder.  Yes, that is important to me.  There is a link between aluminum  in our bodies/blood streams and Alzheimer's.    I have to many other health issues to not take this precaution.  It is also in our deodorant - I know right!  However, I have yet to find a good natural replacement that will stand up to the southern humidity
 : (

Love this, Everything French bread.  I make it into home made garlic - cheese bread.  Only $1.18 for a DIY!  If you were to buy the same, ready made for the oven, $2.69.  On the other hand, I am making bread in my machine as we speak (to go with the chix soup mentioned in yesterdays post) - no funny noises yet= and it only cost about .65 cents.  So there ya go. 

There is that beautiful bread!  Anyway, there are just something's I just CAN'T compromise on, no matter how much it hurts financially.  Here is two, maple syrup and peanut butter.  Well actually the pb is a compromise, it's full of legumes, which bread fungus.  I did find this store brand  at Wal-Mart, that contained NO rapeseed oil - PTL!  I can live with that for now.  As for the syrup?  It it's not real maple, it's just corn syrup - yuck.  I will make the pb last all month and most likely the syrup as well.
That's it for today folks.  I guess the moral here is to talk a walk on a different path once in a while and help a friend in need, even if it is inconvenient
Blessings, Beth.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chicken little

I believe that you should never have to come home from the grocery store crying, or having an anxiety attack.  I am here to tell ya friends that today I did.  I ran into $GM to grab the sale potatoes (which they were out of - natch.) and then decided to check out the other two local stores, never know what screamin' deals you will find.  All I found was first overwhelming sadness and then anger.  Every store had reduced meat, which in my opinion makes the food it's actual real price/value, but it didn't look appetizing at all.  When I saw one pound of beef stew meat was reduced to only $4.65, I was floored.  I need at leat two for my crew and who should have to pay $10 for stew meat?    I could go on about this indignation forever, but I won't, your welcome.  I came home upset.  Talked it out with hubby(he is a great listener) , wondered if we need to eat less meat?  Less food?  Where will it end?  My family has been consistently downsizing for the past ten years.  Hubby and I have prayed on this and believe that all along God has been preparing us.  It is going to get worse, not better, and we will be prepared.  It might not be a zombie attack (although I feel most our government could pass for brainless masses converging on the innocent), but we will need to fall back on our old ways and values.  Believe it or not, I know folks who can't cook from scratch; such as dry beans.  This fast food nation is going to crash and burn.  I am grateful God has  prepped our hearts, soul and minds.

All that said, here is that reduced chicken leg quarters I picked up.  I cooked both packages and will get 3-4 meals from this.

First I roasted in the over with butter and Italian herbs, ate for dinner that night.

Second, I boned the leftovers and made chicken salad for lunch.  Piggly Wiggly had grapes on sale this week 99cents a lb.  A sign from above!  LOL

Third, put all the bones in the crock pot and made chicken broth.  I freeze half.

Fourth, made soup with remaining broth; supper yummy in this season of ark building here in the south.

There you go, one example of how I make it all stretch and use the knowledge God gave this Proverbs 31 women to take care of her family.

Blessings, Beth

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Taste of Tea

Popped into the store this morning to pick up Army son's favorite tea, and one of mine also.  This is the only red tea I enjoy, even though HP said red tea was best for me.  I prefer green tea, hot or cold, which she said is fine; just that red was best and NO black.
This had a new package, so almost missed it.

This is my favorite hot green tea.  It has a strong flavor and the cranberry is great for UT health.  I also take cranberry pill supplements a few times a week for the same reason.  Nobody wants a UTI! This has good flavor but I do prefer Trader Joe's organic brand.  However, I get to Trader Joe's about once every 2 years.  Feel funny going for just one thing, I am headed over that way at the end of the month.  Thinking I will grab enough to stock up for the rest of the year : )

Oh, and remember that Ovaltine?

Here is mine and hubby's cups this morning, can you guess who's is who's?  LOL 
Hubby on left and my acacia tea on the right.  The Ovaltine is alright, not coffee, not hot cocoa.  I had mine a few days ago with some almond milk, but tasted similar to hubby's with water.  I think hubby likes it better than I.  I forgot that Ovaltine also has fiber - get my drift?  I was coming down with my migraine too, so not sure what was the culprit, just know I am a tad suspicious now - LOL  Don't think I will drink it on days when I have to leave the house in the a.m.  ; )

Just keeping it real - and clean - LOL  Beth

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Shephards Pie

Just want to mention that this was to be a post last week, but time ran away (with the rain water), don't want you to think I am feeding my family old food ; if you are actually keeping track of what I post or FB about : )  That said, I made my first SP around 22 years ago and it has become my go to for using leftovers.  I have no hard and fast recipe: meat, veggie, sauce, potatoes.  Last week I had a dish of left over bbq ribs and a big bowl of leftover chili.  I stirred this together and added some peas.  Tossed it into a 9X13 glass casserole, topped with about 2 cups mashed pot (about 4 servings) and baked for 20 min. at 350.  Just need to heat through.  Then I tossed the remains of a bag of shred. cheese on top, and broiled for 3 minutes ~ Voila'.
Before the broiling begins.

Finished and ready to eat.  Kids (and hubby) never turn down anything with potatoes and cheese!

Twin son and I love hot food, twin son maybe more than I at this point of my life - LOL  This is our super big bottle (bought at the UGO).  He kept the bottle right next to his bowl when we had the chili!  That could explain our need for the enzymes - see previous post : )
In twenty odd years I have never made it the same way twice, never had a complaint and never had any left over.  Just let your creativity take over, and yes it is fine to use can veggies or instant pot.  I am not the food Nazi; well not at your house anyway.  LOL
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, July 8, 2013

mini post ~ enzymes

Good Monday morning all.  What a week-end!  We spent Sat. building an ark.  Then early, and I dooooo mean early, Sun. woke up sick with a migraine : (  But here I am today and I have come to look at all things in prospective; If I'm not vomiting, then it's a good day!

Anyway, just wanted to share this info on the digestive enzymes my family and I use.  I had a friend inquire last week, so thought I would share.  Since I try (and am successful thanks to Obamacare) to use mostly natural remedies, my HP recommended these to me and man they really work!  Take these with your meal and avoid painful/debilitating cramps, gas and other intestinal issues that arise due to bad digestion.  They also have som good stuff in them to, like probiotics, so win-win.  They work fast.  Everyone in my home has used these at some point, and they work every time.

That's it.  Now I am off to take more pictures for my Etsy store.  Then start cleaning the house in anticipation of army son due home at the end of the week.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, July 5, 2013

Weekly shopping with the Deal Diva

Good Friday all.  Sorry about the font and color, I seem to be having some computer issues that I believe were cause by Bad Piggies - Ha!
I always try to do my weekly shopping early Friday morning, just seems to be the best time to find reduced deals.  So thought I would take you along today.  I spend $100 a week on groceries for the 5 of us, and $60 every two weeks on paper products, pet food, and anything else you can't eat! LOL  This was pet food week.
First deal I found was at the Piggly Wiggly, sale item, butter 2/$3.  We won't eat fake butter.  I can't afford grass fed butter, so this is my compromise.  Reg. price is around $3 each.  Sale is good through tomorrow.

Made a stop at our local Save - a lot.  I found reduced hummus (bought 2) and Colby cheese chunk.  Both with be used for lunches.    I have had there brand hummus before, and not bad, not bad at all for that price.

This I picked up yesterday actually, at our Dollar General Market.  Deal: Ice cream 2/$6 and 2 free Sunkist/7up 2 litters.  This was our End of school - happy July 4th treat.  It really perked up a rotten rainy day.  Sale runs through tomorrow.

This was also purchased at our $GM, today.  I was despairing of finding a deal on chicken, as that was the only meat I needed to buy this week and only found reduced beef in the 'boro.  Popped in here on the way home for pet food, and Voila'!  There are two packs there in the bag, leg quarters.

I read many lables today (well more than usual) on all type of latte' - hot cocoa products.  Today I am 3 weeks coffee free, but I still miss it.  Not much out there that doesn't either contain caffeine or junk.  Saw this, read this, thought I would give it a try.

Notice that the Ovaltine is 99.9% caffeine free, and claims to have over 12 different vitamins and minerals.  Will keep you posted on flavor.
I took twin son shopping with me today.  I usualy take twin dd, for some mom and me time.  She got up on the wrong side this morning and had to go back to bed.  Twin son, who usually prefers to stay home with the teens and play video games, decided to come.  I was a little dubious of the idea because of his SPD, but he did better than I thought.

When all was said and done, I hit the mark at exactly $160, which includes this computer game and is an example of why staying on budget is so important , and why not to bring twin son again any time soon!  This does not include the gas I had to put in the car to get to the 'boro, but I make hubby pay for gas out of his money; not my grocery fund.  I let the neighbor borrow money for gas earlier in the week (after hers was stolen from her purse at work), so when she pays me back today that will be covered too.  We live on a little less than $20,000 a year and budgeting is a big deal.  If it weren't for hubby's car jobs on the side, which God always provides right when we need them most, we wouldn't be able to home school; and that is a choice that God has blessed many times over. 
Thanks for sharing your time with me.  Blessings, Beth Ann

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th All!

I always say I am blessed to live here in the south and last night was exception.  Our sleepy little burg celebrated a day early to accommodate the horses coming into town for the big show (horses don't like big booms, coincidently neither does my doxie).  That's how we roll, big on horses down here : )  Weather wise it also worked out fabulously, as it is raining cats & dogs (not talking Chihuahuas either) as we blog.  There was a bit of sprinkling (I didn't melt!) but it passed and a great time was had by all.
Treated to great music by the Cash Kings

Bounce Houses for All!  Remember no shoes, poor Eli was in tears when he accidently grabbed someone else's and didn't realize right away - LOL

Who is this grown-up beauty?

He got a 'real' hair cut, and no longer looks like my 'baby' :(  Matter fact he saw me downloading this pic and had no idea who 'that' kid was - LOL

They treated us right, free food!   Hot dogs, chips, soda/water, and watermelon.  Hey, never said healthy; just free : )

The teen-agers.

Who is this mystery lady under the hat?  She seems to be worried about melting!

My camera doesn't do it justice.

Red, white & blue

Big ending!  All over until next year.
Thanks for joining in my photo essay of the best 4th. in middle TN.
Blessings, Beth Ann