Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Smart Thinking Lifestyle Tips: Save Money On Groceries!

Thanks to Tervis for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website http://www.tervis.com to learn more about the world’s first smart cup.

How much did you spend at your last trip to the grocery store? $10? $100? $300?? Grocery shopping can be expensive. An average bi-weekly grocery shopping trip can easily top two or three hundred dollars. Even more, going to the store over and over throughout the week to pick up forgotten items can really add up. A few years ago my husband and I sat down and did a family budget. When we reviewed our expenses we were shocked that we spent so much on groceries and fast food. To save money, I decided to start planning all of our meals and shop with a grocery list...and STICK TO IT! I am going to share my process with you today. It has saved my family thousands of dollars just over the last few years.

To start, if you shop at one specific place go through their weekly ad for the really good deals and plan your meals around this. For example: when Albertson's does BOGO on their meat you can plan your dinners accordingly. If you use coupons, search for coupons that match the sale items to save even more money. I use www.coupons.com, and I also search The Krazy Coupon Lady database. You don't have to do this, but it can really save money.

Make a menu for the pay period. Plan out every meal, including snacks. You can use a chart like THIS one from the Tip Junkie website, or you can make your own. You can even go the easy route and write them down on a piece of paper.
To make things easier, plan on using every meal twice during the pay period, or make large portions for leftovers. To make things fun you can designate one night a week to be "Breakfast for Dinner" night. We do this every Thursday. It makes the menu easier to plan and guarantees and inexpensive meal.

Write down the ingredients you will need for your meals. These will go on your grocery list if you don't already have them in the house. This seems like a "duh" statement, but I can't tell you how many times I have been in the middle of making something, realized I forgot the ingredient, and ordered a pizza.

Make a grocery list and keep it organized. I make one list for food and one for non-food items like toilet paper and tin foil. This makes maneuvering through the store easier. If you know where you are going you are less likely to browse ans buy things you don't need. Stick to your list. Getting everything you need in one trip will save you extra trips to the store where you KNOW you will buy more than just that stick of butter you needed.

Estimate how much you will spend and only bring that amount in CASH. The thought of going over at the check out is enough to keep my impulse shopping in check and I usually come out at least $20 under budget.

This is a picture from a successful shopping trip last winter. 
I got all of my groceries AND Toy Story 3 for $100.

I know this seems like a lot, but after a few pay periods of following this process it will become part of your routine. The money you save will make it worth the extra time and can be used for the really important things..like yarn and hot glue. :P

Also, since most Target stores have groceries, find coupons online for general Target merchandise, including food.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Tervis, visit their website http://www.tervis.com.

NIghtmare Before Christmas Treats

What's this? What's this? It's The Nightmare Before Christmas on BluRay! In true Macy fashion, I am more excited about buying a new Disney movie than my kids. I can't help it! I absolutely love this movie. I remember when it first came out. I had one of the Nightmare Before Christmas watches from Burger King. I sure wish I had held on to that....
In celebration of our newest movie I set up a fun little snack for the kids. This literally just popped into my head when we got home from Target that night.
I had some mega marshmallows in the pantry and used a black gel icing pen to draw Jack's face.

I stuck toothpicks in the tops to avoid black frosting fingers.

Next, I drew a Jack face on styrofoam cups with crayon. This would have worked better with a Sharpie, but I didn't have one on hand. And yes...I know....styrofoam = bad, but you try making hot chocolate for half the kids in the neighborhood with only 4 coffee cups in the house.

Here you go. The whole shabang. 

It added an extra special touch to a fun family night. Who knows...maybe my kids will do this with their kids when they get older.


P.S. What is YOUR favorite Halloween flick?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tuesday Confessional Features: Halloween Costumes

This week's link party is definitely my favorite so far. I am loving all of the wonderful Halloween ideas! Here are some of my favorite costumes from this week's link up.

If you were featured it means you are a Big Deal, so don't forget your brag button!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Zombie Halloween Printable

I made this printable months ago and now I can actually post it. Who knows...maybe one day these posters will line the streets during the zombie apocalypse. :P

Click HERE to download

Happy Scaring!
 Linking up to:


Making Monday Marvelous Linky Party

Features from Last Week's Tuesday Confessional-10/10

Here are some awesome link-ups from last week's Tuesday Confessional. I'm loving how creative and amazing you guys are. Keep up the good work!

Release Me--Printable

Persona Designs--Printable

Nice work everyone! Don't forget to check back at 7pm for this week's Tuesday Confessional link party. As always, if you were featured grab a button and get your brag on!

Tuesday Confessional Features from the 10/3 Link Party

My poor blog. Have you been neglected? Yes you have! Mama's just too busy lately, but now you have my attention. Here are features from the last LAST week's Tuesday Confessional.

Great job everyone! If you were featured grab a brag button so everyone can see that you are a BIG DEAL!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Things I Have Learned This Week

1. Lactose intolerance and a milk protein allergy are NOT the same thing. I tried giving Philly Lactaid milk instead of regular milk and he was still sick to his tummy. Tomorrow I am switching to almond milk and we'll see how it goes.

2. My crock pot does NOT have magical powers. I was seriously beginning to believe that I could do no wrong with my beloved crock pot. I had a theory that if I put chicken and Skittles into that thing it would come out glorious. I may still test that theory, but after last night's dinner I know better. I just combined very simple ingredients and followed a recipe and it turned out AWFUL. My daughter told her brother she thought I had put poo into their dinner, and my poor husband finally said, "I can't do it." In retrospect, it was really funny.

3. No amount of yelling and swearing at the TV can get your team to the Championship Series. It's okay Yankees, I still love you.

4. Super Glue really does work in place of stitches. The other night I was sitting at my kitchen table with my sewing machine. The cord was behind me so I had to lift my leg over it when I sat down. This would have been fine, but I was holding my insanely sharp fabric scissors blade DOWN. My foot collided with the tip of the scissors and oh my coconut did it hurt. It hurt to walk on all day today and the wound kept opening back up. Tonight I went through 4 bandaids in 10 minutes and decided to just glue that puppy shut. It worked!

5. If your car door opener isn't working on your car...odds are it is NOT your car.  As I left the convenience store with my swimming pool of diet coke, I couldn't figure out why the car door opener wasn't unlocking my car. I finally decided to see if I had left it unlocked. To my surprise the door opened and I started to get in, until I heard a voice from the backseat yell, "What the hell are you doing??" I realized that this car was way too clean to be mine and apologized quickly. "SorryIhavethesamecar!" I rushed to my car, reassured by the empty Starbucks cups lying on the floor, and got the hell out of there. It was mortifying. Why do there have to be so many silver mini vans in Salt Lake? I swear I'm going to paint that thing hot pink.

So there is what I learned this week. I can only imagine what next week will bring. :)


Friday, October 7, 2011

What a Crock...pot Recipe!

I have become so addicted to my crockpot lately that I have decided to add a new page to my blog, titled "What a Crock!"

 Here, I will have links to all my crockpot recipes and I would like some of your recipes, too! If you have a post with a great crockpot recipe send me the link and I will place it on my page-along with the title of your blog so you get the credit. You can leave a comment here with your link OR you can send me an e-mail at Macy@craftyconfessions.com.
I can't wait to see what you've got cooking!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The End Of An Era

Today marks the first day that my son is officially weaned from nursing. I made it past a year, but I didn't make it to my goal of 18 months. I just couldn't do it anymore. From day 1 I have had problems with nursing. I got motion sickness every time I nursed him for the first 4 months. Motion sickness! I had never even heard of that until I got it. On top of getting sick and dizzy with every nursing, I constantly had plugged ducts and got mastitis over and over. For those of you who don't know what mastitis is, it is an infection in the boobie. And it hurts. Oh my dog does it hurt. It also comes with flu-like symptoms that knock you on your butt. This last time I got it was the last straw. It is hard enough to take care of 3 kids without feeling like you've been hit by a truck.
The decision came with lots of tears, changing my mind 20 times, and of course...pain. I know I have portrayed nursing as some kind of medieval torture, but in reality, it is the most amazing gift I have been given as a mother. Knowing that I can nourish my child with my own body is such a feeling of accomplishment. Even with all the baby weight I still loved my body because of my ability to keep my new baby alive. The other magical aspect of nursing came with the bonding. Staring into my son's big blue eyes while he ate was my favorite time with him when he was first born. I knew that he knew exactly who I was and that he could count on me. It made me feel loved, and needed, and that always outweighed the nausea and pain.
Alas, the time has come to say goodbye to this wonderful experience. My little Philly now sits in his highchair and eats with the family.

 He can rely on his sippy when he is thirsty, and he has learned that he can count on Mommy to care for him no matter where the food is coming from.

My days of being a human vending machine are over, possibly forever. I'll miss it and I'm sure I will cry about it for weeks to come, but on the bright side I can now cry about it with a glass of chardonnay.