Thursday, March 25, 2010

Superbook Kid's Radio: Stream Christian Children's Radio For Free

I just came across this awesome is Christian Children's Music that is streamed for free HERE on CBN's Superbook website. My daughters, in particular, LOVE listening to children's music and I am more than thrilled when I find children's music that I also enjoy having on in the backround! I have been listening to this station for about an hour now and the songs are great! There are also free games for them to play too.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lessons Learned From Extreme Couponing...

Today I made my first charitable donation out of our stockpile! Ahhhhh...did it feel SO good to see my hard work paying off!

You see there is a man at our church that has been without work for quite some time. He is a painter and he has done so much to contribute his talents to ministry without monetary expectations. In addition, he is the primary caretaker for his 11 year old grand-daughter. He truly has a servants heart.

So today it was on my heart to make a contribution into his home. So, I prepared a tote with some groceries...toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, noodles, spaghetti sauce, cereal, jello and I made a tuna noodle casserole split into two meals that could be frozen if so desired.

Now I am not posting this to boast...I want to hopefully portray a very important point about the value of extreme couponing and stockpile shopping...(yes, that is what I am, what I do and what we are about here at MDM!) and it is...



1. I don't throw away any coupons that I view as unnecessary to my household (until expired and I'll give them away to the Military). True that! I never know what sales or deals are coming up and sometimes the best ones that work in my buying strategies involve products I would have never considered buying prior to couponing. Also there are so many, that if used properly, get you the items for virutally nothing. I will get these items simply because they are so cheap or free or sometimes I have to get these items to make it work to get the items I really want for free or close to it. It becomes a wash.

2. Not everyone knows how to extreme coupon and get things for free or close to it. This is a gift and a skill that can be used to not only help your family but bless others in need. I have learned that to me, an extreme couponer, I look at a tube of toothpaste as .16 cents but to most people it is $3.00.

3. Do you know that one of the reasons I started couponing so heavily is because my husband told me that we didn't have enough money for food!?! True that! Now this is getting personal but is true. It is a very scary place to is painful (and makes me uneasy to even speak about). However, this experience brings me to a place where I know how it feels to have no one to ask for help. We make far too much money to get any type of assistance and yet we still found ourselves in this then what? It is a silent goes unspoken. Since I am aware of this...I know the value of the small stuff. You know, that deodorant that doesn't really work on you...well,  if it was given to me during that period of struggle that would mean lunch for my four kids...SO I would have used it anyways. Means nothing to you but the world to someone else.

4. Lastly, I just want to add that just because you don't need it or want it NOW doesn't mean that someday you or someone close to you will. I think about the plethora of candles that I have acquired and the comments that I have received from family members..."I don't burn candles so I don't need to buy those...", "do you really need anymore candles..." ... the answer is "NOT NOW I DON'T but MAYBE SOMEDAY...they don't have an expiration date!" We live in tremulous times, I don't think you can have enough of the basic survival items (but that is just me thinking outside the box here).

You know, for me, extreme couponing started out as a means of survival (not a means of frugality, again for me that is) then turned into a hobby...AND is NOW not about me /us! That is the precedence of starting this blog to begin with. My husband says all the time, "now if we were only doing this from the beginning...think of all the money we would have saved!" Believe me when I say that the time to start is not during desperation!

So today, I say, hold onto those coupons and shop with a list derived from strategy vs. a list derived from personal desire. Here, on MDM, I talk strategy...math...stratego...planning...and it doesn't always make sense at first glance but it does in the big picture. It may take some trial and error...some learning and adjusting but ultimately your family will benefit, your budget will benefit and so will others as you will be able to sow into charity!

So today, I am blessed that I was able to make my first charitable donation with many more to come! Praise God!

Feel free to comment &/or add your own personal expreriences!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Home-Made Art Clay

One thing I have never purchased is art clay! Although the kids love crafting with it and they always love the little jars and bowls they created at school, I have just never spent the money on the this craft.

Well, just recently I had to make some for Kameron to bring into school. It was so cheap and easy to make (and they love it!!) so I thought I would pass the recipe along for those of you who may want it for a rainy day activity.

Basic Art Clay

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 3/4 cups warm water
*(if you want a specific color than add the food coloring to the water)

1. Mix all ingredients in bowl
2. Knead 5-10 minutes (I had to add quite a bit of extra flour as I kneaded)
3. Model
4. Bake 300 degrees until hard or air dry for a few days
5. Done...OR you can paint your art piece!

*If you store it in a Ziploc it will moisten so be prepared to add more flour upon use.


Friday, March 12, 2010

The Mystery Of Sleepwalking and Spiderman

I know most often I am posting about saving money in some shape or form but here is an experience I had last night with my 7 (almost 8) year old son, Kameron.
He has always been prone to sleep walking. Most often he'll do things like slide down the banister (YES! that is not a typo!), randomly come and sit on the couch, go to the bathroom, nothing too obnoxious...well except the sliding down the banister which I can't seem to figure out at all.

Well, last night he had an episode...

I was sitting at the kitchen table...blogging. My husband was sitting in the family room, right next to me playing a video game. We could hear footsteps that were unusually heavy, coming down the stairs and along comes Kam, head up-looking very serious-holding his Spiderman pillow.

Wondering what is going on and not realizing yet that he is not really there, I try to engage him in conversation in which he mumbles back something that doesn't make sense. OK--sleep walking it is! Disregarding me, he walks towards the couch where my husband is sitting and aggressively throws his pillow on the couch then turns around and briskly walks himself back to his bed.

I know he is sleep walking but I do try and engage him several times. Nothing!

So we followed him upstairs, where he laid himself back down, he covered himself back up and refused to sleep on his Spiderman pillow. DH tried everything....even lifting his head and sneaking the pillow under him...with his eyes closed at this point, he only inched his head farther away until it was in the corner of the bed.

So, I grabbed another pillow--draped in plain green, picked up his head and placed it on the green pillow. He snuggled in, no prob! Ha, Ha!

What?!? Was it the pillow? Was it Spiderman? How does the unconscious mind of sleep walking make decisions like this? OR is there 'the spirit of Spiderman' that was freaking him out?? OK now that is getting creepy and superspiritual but really....!?!

I told him all about it memory of the episode...only hilarious giggles of disbelief!

If you have experience, please do comment!
Although hearing real life stories is by far the best...if you are interested in learning more on sleep walking, click here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cincinatti Chili Recipe! Simple, Good and Cheap!

Next Week At Giant Eagle:

When you buy 2 -26 oz. Ragu jars you get box of pasta free!

Use this coupon $1.00/2 Ragu -- and final price is $1.50 for 2 Ragu's and 1 Pasta.

You may want to have this on your dinner menu for next week! I have made it and it is very good!

Cincinnati Chili (Compliments of Betty Crocker)
10 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey breast (or ground beef)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 jar (26 to 28 ounces) chunky vegetable-style tomato pasta sauce (use Ragu Garden Veggie)
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1. Cook and drain spaghetti as directed on package.
2. While spaghetti is cooking, heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook turkey, onion and garlic in oil 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink.
3. Stir pasta sauce, beans and chili powder into turkey mixture; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce over spaghetti.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No changes.

Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 5 servings (1 cup chili and 1 cup spaghetti each)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Perfect Home-Made Playdough

Today, I was searching for an indoor activity for the girls. Uhh...the winter indoor blues have set in and you know it is TIME for the season to shift when even the kids have had it.

Looking through the same of same old I realized that all the play-doh containers were in the play-doh container but empty. What to do...what to do? I decided to dig out the playdough recipes that I have and away we went cooking.

I don't know, maybe you are reading this and thinking, "duh, homemade play-doh that is so old" but I remember a time when I searched the web looking for one that actually worked. It always seemed that I would find one only to make it and it come out too gooey or something was just off. This recipe was given to me by a teacher and is comes out so soft and it is not sticky!

So anyways, if you are is a fabulous recipe for Homemade Playdough. It is cheap to make (got to stick with our frugal principles anyways :-), it is quick and easy (only takes about 5 minutes) and it comes out perfect!

Playdough Recipe
1 1/2 Cup Salt (in pantry~.15-.25c)
3 Cups Flour (in pantry ~.99)
3 Cups Water (I used warm water)(free)
6 Teaspoons of Cream of Tarter (in pantry ~.60)
3 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil (in pantry ~.10)
Food Coloring--about 10-15 drops/color of choice (in pantry ~.10)

Add food coloring to the cups of water. Mix all ingredients together in skillet or sauce pan. Cook over medium to low heat. Be sure to stir mixture constantly until it becomes solid. Remove from pan and let cool. Place in airtight container/baggie.

Fills ~9-10 containers of "Play Doh" cups for ~$2.00!

Also makes for a fun in the kitchen activity...Have Fun!

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