Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Purses!

My sweet hubby took me out to lunch for my birthday today, then we went to Reed's, a local shop here in Starkville because he wanted to buy me a new purse for my birthday. Well, they had retired patterns on sale for 50% off. So I ended up getting one bag in a retired pattern (Java Blue), and one not retired pattern (Purple Punch).

I absolutely LOVE both of them!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 21-27

It's been a busy month at the McHacker house! I have a couple of things I want to write about, but just haven't had (taken) the time to do so, but I will get to them. Since it's Monday, I figured I would post a Menu Plan. I haven't really been sticking to a plan lately since I was out of town for a week and Mr. McHacker was out of town more than half of this month so far. But it looks like things are getting back to normal now, so it's time to get back to a plan.

Monday 6/21
Lunch - Salad
Supper - Beef pot roast with potatoes and carrots

Tuesday 6/22
Lunch - Guacamole and chips, leftovers
Supper - Barbecue sandwiches, fried squash

Wednesday 6/23
Lunch - Leftovers or salad
Supper - Chicken quesadillas

Thursday 6/24
Lunch - Salad
Supper - Pepperoni and salami calzones

Friday 6/25
Lunch - Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
Supper - Red beans and rice with sausage and cornbread

Saturday 6/26
Lunch - Leftovers
Supper - Eat out

Sunday 6/27
Lunch - Sloppy Joes
Supper - Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rouge Magazine

I love checking my mail and finding freebies and coupons. Today, I got a beauty magazine from Proctor and Gamble, called Rouge. It's sent out once per quarter, and has beauty tips that promote their products, which is okay. The best thing about it though, is that there are several coupons in it.
Since P&G products go on sale fairly often, you can save some money with these coupons. This time it contained:
$1 off Olay body wash or lotion
$1 off 1 Crest toothpaste, rinse or Oral-B toothbrush
$1 off Zest, Ivory, or Safeguard bars
$1 off Natural Instincts hair color
$1 off Secret Soothing Effects
$1 off Olay facial moisturizer
$1 off Perfect 10, Root Touch -up, or Nice 'n Easy
$2 off Venus Embrace or Breeze razor or cartridges, or Venus bikini kit
$2 off any CoverGirl Simply Ageless product
$10 off Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects with Advanced Seal

Go sign up here to start getting Rouge.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This week's CVS deals

There are lots of ladies who blog about CVS deals, and do a much better job of it than I do. Money Saving Mom is one of the best of them. But I'm going to share the deals I'm taking advantage of this week. Some things I bought yesterday, the others I will pick up today or later in the week. I break up the transactions to roll the Extra Care Bucks, but also to scan my Green Bag tag more often. It can only be scanned once per day, and after 4 scans, you get a $1 ECB.

Transaction 1:
Crest Pro-Health toothpaste $3.50 + .25 tax = $3.75
(There is a .75 coupon out there, I had used mine already.)
2 Right Guard deodorants $2.99 each + .42 tax = $6.40 - $3 off 2 coupon = $3.40
(You can get the coupon HERE. Last I looked, it was on the last page.)
Total = $7.15
Get back $7.50 in Extra Bucks

Transaction 2:
Schick Hydro razor $8.99 + .63 tax = $9.62 -$5.00 coupon (from last Sunday's paper) = $4.62
U by Kotex $4.99 + .35 tax = $5.43 - $1.00 coupon = $4.34
Total = $8.96 - $7.50 ECBs from 1st transaction = $1.46
Get back $8.99 ECBs

These I will do today or later in the week:

Transaction 3:
Clear Care contact lens solution $14.99 + $1.05 tax =$16.04 - $3 coupon (from last Sunday's paper) = $13.04
2 Pantene products 2/$6.97 + .49 tax = $7.46 - $2 coupon (from free sample) = $5.46
(There's also a $1 off 2 coupon from the 5-2 paper)
Total = 18.50 - $8.99 ECBs from last transaction = $9.51
Get back $6.00 ECBs

Transaction 4:
(All of these coupons came from inserts in the Sunday papers.)
4 Mentos gum @ .99 each + .28 tax = $4.24 - 4 $0.55 coupons = $2.04
1 Carefree liners $1.00 + .07 tax = $1.07 - $1.00 coupon = $0.07
1 Always $1.00 + .07 tax = $1.07 - $1.00 coupon = $0.07
1 Taster's Choice instant packets $1.00 + .07 tax = $1.07 - $0.50 coupon = .57
2 Cover Girl lip products $4.99 (Buy one, get one free) + .70 tax = $5.69 - $2.50 off 2 coupon = $3.19
Total = $5.94
This is where I can choose to give them the $6.00 ECBs, and lose 6 cents, or find a really cheap "filler" and pay a few cents after using the ECBs. I'll probably grab a candy bar or something .50 or less.

Total for the week, about $18.62 for about $64.00 worth of stuff, about a 71% savings.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pokemon bag

Today is my nephew Quin's 9th birthday. I love this kid! He has to be one of the sweetest, most loving children in the world.

I knew I wouldn't see him on his birthday, so last time I was at my mom's, I left his present there. He loves Pokemon stuff, so I got him a bunch of little Pokemon action figure things (which I didn't take a picture of). There are 15 of them, so I figured he needed something to keep them in, so I wanted to make a drawstring bag to go with the toys. I meant to look for some fabric at Joann's in Meridian, but completely forgot. Luckily, found a twin size sheet at a thrift store that was perfect (and it only cost $2!). So I threw the toys in, put some tissue paper coming out of the top, tied the drawstring, and just let it be the gift wrap too.


Back:I hope Quin has a very happy birthday and enjoys playing with his new Pokemon toys.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bread machine rolls

The other day, my mama asked me for the recipe I use for making rolls in my bread machine, so I thought I would share it with y'all and give Mama step by step instructions.

Here's the recipe:
Basic Dinner Rolls
Warm water - 7 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp.)
Bread flour (I just use regular all-purpose and it works fine) - 3 cups
Dry milk - 2 Tbsp.
Sugar - 3 1/2 Tbsp.
Salt - 1 tsp.
Butter (or margarine) - 3 Tbsp. cut into 6 pieces
Yeast - 2 tsp. active dry, OR 1 & 1/2 tsp. fast rise (I use 1 & 1/2 tsp. of Fleischmann's yeast for bread machines)

Add the warm water to the bread pan.
Add the flour, right on top of the water.
Sprinkle the dry milk on top of the flour.
Sprinkle the sugar in next.
Then and salt to the pan.
Tap pan to settle dry ingredients, then level dry ingredients, pushing some of the flour mixture into the corners.
Place the pieces of butter around the outer edge of the pan on top of the dry ingredients.
Make a slight well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast.
Place the bread pan in your bread machine, making sure it's locked into place. Choose the dough cycle (to do this on my machine, I have to push the "Program Bread Select" button until it shows "Dough"). On my machine, the dough cycle takes 1 hour and 20 minutes, yours is probably similar. Now go do something else while the bread machine works its magic, it should beep when it's done. During this time, take a minute to lay out a piece of wax paper and sprinkle a little flour on it.

When the machine beeps, take out the bread pan and flip it over on top of your floured surface, making sure to remove the little paddle from the dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
After letting the dough rest, the you can shape however you like. This time, I wanted some rolls to use for burger and sloppy joe buns, and a few for eating with other meals, so I made a few large rolls and a few small ones. I like to use a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, but if you don't use parchment paper, just put your rolls on a greased sheet.
After shaping the rolls, let them rise until they are close to double in size, about 45 minutes to an hour. At this point, you can brush then with melted butter or a beaten egg white (but I usually don't). Bake them in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 15- 20 minutes, or until golden brown. After taking them out of the oven is when I like to brush them with butter. They're best right out of the oven, but will be good for a couple of days.
It does take a little time to make them, but it is so worth it. They taste better than store bought, and have to be healthier for you, since you know exactly what went into them and know there's not a bunch of preservatives and artificial junk in there. If you have a bread machine, I hope you'll make some, you'll be glad you did.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I just wanted to take a minute and say Happy Mother's Day to my mama, Wesley's mom, my sisters, and friends, and all of the other mothers out there. You are all wonderful, precious women and I love and appreciate you! I hope you have a great day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spring wreath

The weather has been so nice and spring-like this week that it made me want to clean things up a bit outside. Every few months I like to freshen up the wreath that hangs on the front door. I keep the same grapevine wreath and just change the ribbons or whatever I decide to put on it. It was looking kind of sad since (embarrassingly) I didn't even change it for Christmas, so it still had autumn thing going on. I know, pitiful, right? So I went to the Dollar Tree (love that place) and grabbed 3 rolls of wired ribbon. I cut the ribbon from each roll into 4 equal pieces (so altogether I had 12 pieces) and formed each piece into a bow and tied it in the middle with a piece of thin white ribbon (I thought it looked good with the polka-dots). Then I took some florist wire and attached the bows to the wreath. It was easy-peasy and only took about an hour to make. I don't know (or care) if anybody else likes it, because I think it is adorable.
I hope y'all are having a great weekend!

May 2-8 CVS and Walgreens shopping trips

I took advantage of some of the good deals at CVS and Walgreens last week and thought I would share it. Sorry I didn't get it posted sooner, so y'all could get the deals too. I have a couple of friends who are learning to coupon, so I thought I would go step by step on how I did my transactions to get the most value for my money and Extra Care Bucks (ECBs).
Instead of getting everything at once, I make multiple transactions to "roll" my ECBs so that I have as little out of pocket expenditure as possible. To learn more about how to shop for deals at CVS, go HERE and HERE. A tip from me is to get a Green Bag Tag, every 4 times it's scanned, you will get an ECB for $1.
When I make my list each week and calculate my expense, I take the sale price, add tax, then subtract the manufacturer coupon or CVS coupon to get the price of the item. Then I add the price of all of the items in the transaction for a total, then subtract the amount of ECBs to get the total out of pocket expense. I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but this works for me.

1st Transaction:
Venus Spa Breeze razor - On sale for $9.99 + .70 tax = $10.69 - $ 2 man. coupon = $8.69 - $6 ECB from last week = $2.69 got back $6 ECBs.

2nd Transaction:
Olay Total Effects body wash $7.00 + .49 tax = $7.49 - $ 2 man. coupon = $5.49
Carefree liners $3.99 + .28 tax = $4.27 - $4 off CVS coupon (that printed when I scanned my card at the kiosk) = .27
Colgate Total toothpaste $2.99 + .21 tax = $3.20 - .75 = $2.45
Crest 3D White toothpaste $3.99 + .28 tax = $4.27 - .75 = $3.52
Total = $11.73 - $6 ECB from 1st transaction = $5.73 got back $9 ECBs

3rd and 4th Transactions:
2 Sensodyne Pro-namel toothpastes $4.49 each + .63 tax = $9.61 - $2 in man. coupons = $7.61
Sensodyne Pro-namel isoactive foaming gel toothpaste $4.99 + .35 tax = $5.34 - .75 man. coupon = $4.59
Total = $12.20 - $7 ECBS = $5.20 got back $6 ECBs
(I actually gave him all $9 worth of ECBs, but one $2 one didn't get scanned and it was a big hassle. They ended up printing me out a new $2 one to replace the one he didn't scan.)

Dr. School's insoles $9.99 + .70 tax = $10.69 - $2 man. coupon = $8.69 - $6 ECBs = $2.69 got back $3 ECBs

5th Transaction:
2 Folgers decaf. coffees 2/$7.00 + .49 tax = 7.49 - two .75 man. coupons = $5.99
Bounty 6 big roll $6.49 +tax = .45 tax = $6.94 - .25 man. coupon = $6.69
Charmin 20 roll (The 16 roll were on sale, but they ran out and this rang up as the same price, yay 4 free rolls!) $9.99 + .70 tax = $10. 69 - .25 man. coupon = $10.44
Tide $5.97 + .42 tax = $6.39 - $1 man. coupon = $5.39
Dawn Hand Renewal .97 + .07 tax = $1.04 - .50 man. coupon = .54
24 pack of Gold Emblem water was free with the purchase of the Procter and Gamble products.
Total = 29.05 - $5 ECBs = $24.05
(Actually I wrote down $23.91 in my checkbook register, so I'm not sure why there is a 14 cent difference, and I can't look at the receipt because I just sealed it up in an envelope with the form for the P&G coupon booklet!).
I never spend that much, bet we were getting low on tp and paper towels, so it was worth it.
So now I have $0 ECBs. I did that on purpose, so I can try to figure out the best deal scenarios for next week for someone just starting out.
Total spent at CVS this week = $40.22

Walgreens Transaction
Walgreens' has this policy that you have to have at least as many items as you have coupons. I had a Walgreens coupon from the weekly ad for the Russell Stover, and I also had manufacturer coupons for them, as well as 2 Register Rewards coupons from last week. So altogether, I had 5 coupons, so I knew I needed to have at least 5 items, even though I really only wanted the chocolates. Since M&Ms and Mars candy was on sale for 49 cents each (without a coupon) I knew those would make good "filler" items. (When I need "fillers" I try to get things that I will use, I can use the M&Ms in cookies). Adding the M&Ms gave me 5 items, so now I had the same number of items as I had coupons.
2 boxes Russel Stover chocolates $4.49 each with Walgreens coupon + .63 tax = $9.61 - $2 in man. coupons = 7.61
3 bags M&Ms .49 each + .10 tax = $1.57
Total = $9.18 - $8 in Register Rewards (from last week) = $1.18

I don't know if any of this has helped anyone, (there are so many others out there who are better at this than I am) but I hope it may help somebody understand a little better about how it works. I'm going to try to post next week's (5/9 - 5/15) deal scenarios a little earlier.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Menu plan and other stuff

So I know yesterday was Monday and I didn't do the menu thing, so I guess it's better late than never.
Tuesday- Eat out (A friend's husband is out of town, so we're having dinner with her, just to give her some company. I know how lonely it can be when you're husband's out of town.)
Wednesday- Cheeseburgers on bread machine rolls, potato salad
Thursday- Chicken spaghetti, rolls
Friday- Sloppy joes on bread machine rolls
Saturday- Baked chicken, broccoli with cheese sauce
Sunday- Lasagna (from freezer)

I didn't get any posts made last week because I spent the week at my Mama's since Mr. McHacker was out of town for a conference. I had a good time and really enjoyed spending time with her and my nephews, niece, and Nana.

I want to write more, but I have eleventy bajillion things left to do today. One of which is clean up a bunch of Nerds that I spilled earlier. It's kind of reminding me of the gumball incident of 2009, but not that bad. I guess that's what I get for eating crap like that. I grabbed the dustbuster to vacuum it up off the rug, but the battery was too low, so I plugged it in to charge up and took that time to write this post. If it's not charged up yet, I'll just use the broom, even though I hate sweeping stuff like that up from carpet. Anyway, I hope y'all are all having a good day!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

For I was hungry...

I'm not usually one to post Bible verses and such on here, but this passage spoke to me in a real life way this week. We met someone who needed help, and he asked for it in the name of God, and I remembered verse 35 and could not say no. Whether the man's story was true or not, it was obvious that he needed help and I pray the Lord will bless him. I thank the Lord that He gave us the opportunity to help someone who was in need.
Don't overlook those around you who are in need, you never know when God may use you to be a blessing to someone else.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cotton District Arts Festival

Last Saturday was the Cotton District Arts Festival. It was fun, but I didn't take enough pictures. We're lucky enough to live next to where all of the activities were taking place, so we didn't have to worry about parking and pesky things like that. On our walk, The first thing I noticed was that the irises that I had been waiting to see bloom, were in bloom. This picture doesn't do them justice, they were much more beautiful in person.
So we're about to walk into the madness.
We walked around and looked at all the booths and various things for sale. I saw a thousand things I wanted, but weren't in my price range. It was lots of fun to see what everyone had made and was selling, and it gave me lots of ideas of things I would like to make myself. This is where I didn't take enough pictures :-)
There's always a bagpipe parade, which I think is pretty awesome.
After we walked around till we were tired, we went to a cookout at the house of a friend who lives down the street. That was a lot of fun because it seems like all of our friends stop in there at some point during the day, so we were able to visit with several friends while we were there. Then we went home and I took a nap so that I could be rested up for the music festival that night. I'll write about that soon (hopefully tomorrow).

Here are some pictures from last year's CDAF. I never posted them last year, so better late than never, right?
The crowd.

Bagpipe Parade

I don't remember what group/club sponsored this, but there were all of these bulldogs that people had painted to represent various movies. They were auctioned off as a fund raiser of some sort. I love them and took lots of pictures of them.

They didn't have the painted bulldogs this year, but they had lots of other cool stuff. If you've never been, you should come to Starkville for the Cotton District Arts Festival next year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

This week

I had every intention of posting every day this week, but you know how life gets in the way. So I'll use this post to catch up.

Monday was really busy with housework and the typical housewife life, but I did get my Menu Plan Monday post up.

Tuesday was going to be my "free day" to get caught up on sewing projects and reading, so I slept in and was just getting started with my day when I got a text from a teacher friend.
Her - "Is there any way you can have the cake here in the morning? She's leaving at 10."
Me - "Nobody told me when you needed it or anything, last I heard about it was before Easter. Mrs. M was supposed to get back to me about it. What does it need to say and how do you want it decorated? I can get it there no earlier than 8:00."
So then there were a few more messages and she told me what they needed. So I went to the store for some supplies and spent the rest of the day baking and decorating the cake. (So much for my free day, huh?) So here's the cake, and since I had a little batter and icing left over, I made some cupcakes for some of my other friends at the school since I know they could use a little something to brighten their day.

Wednesday after I took the cake to the school, I spent the rest of the day doing more housewifey stuff. Mostly going through coupons and sale ads and making lists. Also, I made chocolate covered strawberries. They were delicious and we ended up eating all of them that night. I know we shouldn't have, but oh my goodness they were good.
Thursday (yesterday) was a pretty good day. I got a lot of shopping done and got some great deals on stuff at CVS. Also last night I went to a floral design workshop thing that was sponsored by a group on campus that a friend of mine is involved with. I've always been interested in floral design and would love to take an actual class at some point. I learned a few things, so I'm glad I went.
So that brings us to today, Friday. So far, so good. We ate lunch with friends today. The guy that Mr. McHacker works with and his wife (who works in the same building) are friends of ours and I always enjoy it when we're able to eat lunch together. Tonight is supposed to be date night, but since the weather is supposed to get pretty bad later this evening, we're probably postponing it, which is fine with me since we ate out for lunch.

I wanted to write about last weekend in this post, but it's already getting too long, so I'm going to hit publish on this one and call it done and go ahead and start working on the next one and get it ready to post for tomorrow. I hope y'all have a great weekend!