Thursday, July 22, 2010

TOS Travel Kits Review

I have once again joined the TOS Crew to review homeschool curriculum and related items for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  I was given a free copy of the ebook The Old Schoolhouse Travel Kits for the purpose of this review and found that it is a delightful book with great ideas to get you inspired to help others by putting together creative and fun Travel Kits for your friends and their children.  It is 93 pages filled with ideas and motivation for a very nominal cost of $12.45.

At first when I received this ebook,  I was a little puzzled as to the purpose of such a book.  However, after spending time reading through the ideas and looking at the beautiful photos, I began to get inspired!  If this book was just about making Travel Kits for your kids to keep them occupied during a trip, it would fall a little short in my esteem.  However, the fact that it REALLY inspires you to think of opportunities where you can bless someone else with such a myriad of ideas is really phenomenal!  Reading through this ebook made me want to think of people I could bless by making them a fun and really useful Travel Kit.  It even gives you great ideas on where to find items for very little money to include to make your Travel Kit exciting for the recipient.  They encourage you to wrap each item so that it is a continual surprise to look forward to throughout the trip, thus increasing the child's (and adult's) anticipation of the next "gift".

So what is a Travel Kit?  Well, it is a bag, or box, or basket, or whatever filled with individually wrapped "presents" for the recipient to open along their journey.  These "presents" can be anything from snacks to toys to games to books to whatever item you can think of that the recipient would enjoy.   The possibilities are practically endless!  But the inspiration to begin is the blessing of this ebook!

This made me think of all the family trips we have taken and how much quicker the time could have passed if I had made Travel Kits like these for my kids.  You can make Travel Kits that fit into any budget, any length or type of trip, any age range of recipient and any theme you would like to come up with.  I believe the strongest aspect of this ebook is that it is the spark that starts a flame of inspiration and creativity in your mind so that you can come up with all kinds of ideas and ways to bless others with this project.  You can get your kids involved in blessing others in a very fun and creative way, too.  No matter how young or old your children are, they will really get into the spirit of blessing others when you enlist their help in planning, shopping, and assembling these wonderful Travel Kits. And think of the joy of giving they will learn along the way!

I know that some of you are thinking, "I am creative.  Why would I need this book when I could come up with my own ideas?"  Yes, that is what I was thinking....until I read through this book!  I don't know if I can adequately express the blossoming inspiration that flowed through my mind as I read this book.  I thought of people I would love to bless this way and ideas of items I could include in different Travel Kits for different folks.  It made my heart brim so full of wanting to bless others with these kits!  It really inspires you to think of ways to be a blessing to others.  THAT is what makes the price of this ebook such a great bargain.  For only $12.45 (and since it is an ebook, you don't have to wait for it to arrive in the mail) you, too, can be inspired to bless your friends and family in so many different ways that they will be remembering and talking about for a very long time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Great Sirloin Steaks for CHEAP!!!

Yesterday, I went to Basha's and bought a whole sirloin tip in a bag for $1.59/lb.  Then I went over to the butcher and asked him to cut it into thick steaks for me (yes, that is free!!).  I got 9 super HUGE steaks plus the end cuts for under $20 total!  I think I am going to marinate the steaks in something yummy and grill them next Friday when my brother and his family are visiting.  With baked potatoes and a veggie/salad, we can have an awesome steak dinner for about $25 for 8 people!!!  That sure beats eating out, even WITH a certificate from (the only way I eat out:-)!

I do believe I will go and buy another one before the price goes up!!LOL

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Best Grocery Deals in Phoenix Area This Week (July 14 - 20, 2010)

This week, to find the best deals on groceries, you just need to go to Fry's!!! They have a great $5 off when you buy 10 items promotion that you can couple with coupons and get some GREAT deals!! There are so few items at good prices elsewhere, that I hate to even take the time to delineate them:-)


Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts $1.77/lb
Strawberries $0.99/lb
Whole Pineapples $0.99 each
Fritos & Cheetos 4/$5
Kellogg's Cereal $1.99 limit 4
Blue Bunny Ice Cream Buy 4, Save $4 = $2 each

Pork Chops $0.99/lb
Sirloin Tip (whole in bag) $1.59/lb
Blueberries $1.27 12 oz.
Large Eggs $0.99/dozen
Bananas 4 lbs/$1
Rotisserie Chicken $3.99
Ground Sirloin $1.77/lb

Food City
Cantaloupes 6 lbs/$0.96
Valencia Oranges 6 lbs/$0.96
Roma Tomatoes 3 lbs/$0.98
Avocados 4/$0.99
Green Onions 5/$1
Cilantro 4/$0.99
Green Bell Peppers 4/$1
Chicken Thighs or Drums $0.88/lb
Bone-In Country Style Pork Ribs $0.99/lb
Dole OJ $1.99
Jarritos, Sangria or Sidral 1.5 liter sodas $0.79
Boneless Chicken Thigh Meat $0.99/lb
Red Delicious Apples 3 lbs/$0.99
Old Orchard Healthy Balance Cocktail $0.99

Boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.77/lb
93% lean ground beef $1.97/lb
Red Cherries $1.37/lb
Mangos 2/$1
Top Flight 70 page Notebook $0.15
Crayola Crayons 24 ct. $0.25
Gatorade 32 oz. $0.49
Kraft Shredded or Bar Cheese 8 oz. $1.38
Philadelphia Cream Cheese $0.99
Pepsi 2 liter $0.75
Tombstone Pizza $2.49
Rice A Roni $0.49
Dole 100% Juice Blends 64 oz. $1.49
Breyers Ice Cream $1.97
Hunts Tomatoes $0.49
Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies $1.49
Welch's 100% Grape Juice $2.49
Simply Potatoes Hash Browns $0.99 (by the eggs!!)
Dixie Plates or Napkins $1.49
Boulder Chips $0.99
(Lots of these items have coupons!!)

Pro's Ranch Market
Romas 4 lbs/$0.99
Mangos 4/$0.99
Cantaloupes 5 lbs/$0.99
Bone-in Split Chicken Breasts $0.98/lb
Powerade $0.47
Red Delicious Apples 2 lbs/$).99
White Onions 3 lbs/$0.99
Chicken Wings $0.98/lb
Kool-Aid Kool Bursts 6 pack 2/$1
Bananas 4 lbs/$0.99
Corn Tortillas 60 ct. $1.49

Dairy Glen Milk $1.88 gallon
Breyer's Ice Cream or Klondikes $1.99
Ziploc bags $1.49 w/in ad coupon

Watermelon, seeded or seedless $0.09/lb
Cluster Tomatoes $0.77/lb
Navel Oranges $0.88/lb
White or Yellow Peaches or Nectarines $0.88/lb

Happy Grocery Shopping!

How to Cook a Meal Without Melting!!

Well, it is 113 degrees here today and climbing still higher the next 2 days! Yikes! We are having company for dinner, so I HAD to cook a meal. So here is how I did it without melting (or running my oven for very long).

First, I put a whole chicken (that I got for $0.49/lb) in the crock pot over night to cook. This morning I simply unplugged it and turned it off. A little later when it was cool, I picked the meat off the chicken. Then I prepared my Enchilada Casserole which is simply layers of green enchilada sauce, tortillas, chicken and shredded cheese. Later, I will simply put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (while I run my daughter to roller skating - I won't even be here while the oven is heating the kitchen:-). And dinner will be served with a little salad and sour cream and hot sauce to top it off.

And I made two of them so I can put one into the freezer for another day when I don't feel much like cooking.

That's how I cooked a meal without melting today!!

How about you? Do you have any tips on meals you can make without heating up your kitchen?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Blackberry Freezer Jam

I had never heard of freezer jam until lately and several blogs have posted about their freezer jam. Well, I just had to try it because my husband LOVES blackberry jam and I don't like the stuff in it. Blackberries are still REALLY cheap here, so I bought $4.00 worth (8 cups!!) and made 8 jars of blackberry freezer jam. It is SO yummy and SO easy - I can't believe I never did this before! I bought the pectin that you don't have to cook for $1.69 each (needed 2) and used a total of 2 1/2 cups of sugar for 8 cups of berries. Seems a much better ratio than some of the other pectins require.

Now the question is, how long will 8 jars last??? Probably not until next year's blackberries. Oh well, it is a great way to make the best of the harvest while it is here!

Crazy for Cantaloupe!

I don't know about where you live, but here in Phoenix cantaloupes are selling for SO cheap!! 3 cantaloupes for $0.99 or even 8 lbs. for $0.99!! I have been eating a whole one for my lunch or breakfast - they are SO yummy! But at these prices, I wanted to have some for my fruity drinks long into the fall. So I bought a bunch of cantaloupes and cut them up and froze them!! Just put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they are frozen, then pop them into a ziploc freezer bag and you will have yummy ripe cantaloupe for your fruit smoothies!

Baking Soda and White Vinegar Really ARE the Wonder Products!!

As you may have noticed in my previous posts, I just got a jacuzzi/spa for my backyard. Well, it was used, so came with no manual on how to care for it. So, I was reading online to find out the best chemicals and products for testing and keeping the water sparkling clean and guess what??? The best products to use for pH balance is.......drumroll, please......baking soda and vinegar!! REALLY!!! If your pH is high, you just add a little white vinegar. If it is low, you just add some baking soda. Yeah, it is that simple! You also need some chlorine, too. Dichlor is the best kind and the folks that sold us the jacuzzi gave us some with it, so we are all set for a while:-).

I am SO glad I went ahead and bought 3 of the HUGE bags of baking soda last week at Sam's. I just knew it would come in handy (besides all the OTHER cleaning uses I already have for baking soda:-). And SO much cheaper than all those pH Minus and Boost products!! Yeah for baking soda and vinegar!! AGAIN!!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Sale

1776 was a spectacular year, and it's a smashing, save-more-money price! Grab your subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine during their four-day Fourth of July sale, and check out the craziest price on July 1 only! Receive a 2-year subscription, free Homeschooling with Heart tote bag, and five FREE E-Books for just $17.76! While supplies last. U.S. and Canadian residents. July 2 through July 4 the unprecedented savings continue. The sparks are flying at TOS Magazine . . . join in the celebration and savings! Get the details here.