Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Decorating On A Budget: Use What You Have

Inspired by a post at The Inspired Room, I wanted to try something a little different in our kitchen - I took the doors off of a section of cabinets.  After scrounging around the house for a while, this is what I came up with:

I had bought the jars a year ago for a project that I never got to.  I monogrammed them with B's that I got for free when I ordered a gift from The Simple Stencil and then filled them with chocolate morsels, marshomallows and pecans (great way to make more space in my pantry).

I placed my growing collection of cookbooks neatly on two shelves, used the two tins for hidden storage, put the flowers from my front door in a pretty pitcher and added some pictures of my girls and a few other little things I found around the house and Viola! - Free, instant makeover!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Publix Deals This Week

This picture is from just one of my trips to Publix over the weekend.  I spent $13 and saved over $50!  I got paid to get the Scrubbing Bubble, the popcorn was free, the Dentyne = .14 each, the Ricotta Cheese was just .59, the Parmesan Cheese was .99 and the Smart Taste Pasta was just .25 each!

Unfortunately, I still have not gotten to my Freezer Cooking for the month.  And seeing as how the month is almost over, it doesn't look like it's going to happen.  I was fully prepared to get some meals done over the weekend, but the 10 lbs of ground beef I bought to cook with spoiled over 2 days because the temperature on my meat drawer was set to the vegetable setting.  Very sad moment for me.

On the bright side, I still have enough to cook for the rest of the month with grocery money to spare.  And by May 1st I plan to be ready for a HUGE Cooking/Baking Day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My First "Pretty" For Our New House

These make me smile. You'll have to ignore the sad lack of color on our walls, but I could wait until they were painted to show these off! So pretty!

Melissa at The Inspired Room had these on special at her Open Sky a couple of weeks ago. She has some super cute ideas for different ways to use these. I had been saving money from rebates and rolling coins just for these! I put them by the front door for us to hang our keys on. The only problem is I think our keys are too ugly for them! I'm going to have to find a way to prettify all of our keys (my husband is cringing as I write that).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Enjoying the Weather

We seemed to have completely skipped Spring this year! We went from snow one week, to 85 degree temperatures the next. We have been taking advantage of the nice weather (before it get too hot) and spending as much time outside as possible.

Our favorite new way to do that: Eating dinner outside!!
Winston especially enjoys being outside!

It's the perfect time of day - not too hot, not too sunny!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Freezing Meals Experiment Results

March is over and our freezer is much less full than when we began. Was my little experiment successful or a complete failure? Here are my results:

Did we save money?
Yes and no. We were still around $300 for the month, but only because I went crazy stocking up on cleaning supplies and Tide laundry detergent and Downy fabric softner (this is the first time EVER that we've been able to afford to use fabric softner!) I think I counted 7 bottles of Tide this morning! However, we did save money by not eating out nearly as much as we were before. If I didn't feel like cooking, I didn't have to! There was already something waiting.

Did it save time? YES!!!!
My kitchen has never been easier to keep clean. I ran the dishwasher every 2-3 days (sometimes still have empty). My counters and floors were cleaner because I wasn't pulling out ingredients to cook every day and night.

Over all, I feel like it was a great success. I did find a couple of recipes that I wouldn't use for freezing again (Tacos in Pasta Shells). We still have about four meals left and even got to share some with others during the month.

I'm getting ready to whip up some more meals next week and shooting to stay under budget for April!