Monthly Archives: February 2014

Weekly Menu ~ Meal Plan



Meal Planning again – WHY oh why do these people continue wanting dinner every single night??  AGHHHHHH

Good thing I pulled a turkey out earlier this week and I have that 20lb sucker roasting away as we ‘speak’!!  Stuffed and everything!  That is going to taste awesome after getting home from basketball!

I already have my plan for Rite-aid – (Click HERE) – check out this week’s GREAT deals!!

Then I checked all the TOPS deals and made this list – (Click HERE)!

Then the meal plan came to be ~



Monday:  Beef Tips and Gravy over Noodles

FINALLY our long awaited apt. at Kirsch Center for CK!  I hope to goodness we get some insight and HELP for him at school.  What a torturous experience it has been getting to this point, but I feel confident that we are on the right path FINALLY!!  I also have a meeting, in the evening, that I am very excited about…  girl time, networking… all my favorite things!!  I have leftover Beef and Gravy, in the freezer, from the Roast meal last week so will throw in the crock on low for K and kids.


TuesdayChicken “IN” Biscuits,  (LOVE this Pillsbury Recipe)

Boy Scout night…  Canoe training in the school pool… should be fun for one and all – LOL!!  By the way… scout fundraiser – Kutter’s Cheese SalePrices are better than retail!!  Check out the brochure HERE and let me know if you want a price list.  Other than Thin Mints, this is the only fundraiser I truly like!!!  Let me know what I can order for you!!  J

So dinner, oh yeah – I will take leftovers from the Turkey Dinner and make the filling for this quick easy dinner (making double the filling for the pot pie on Thursday) that has become a family favorite!!  We always have biscuits on hand!


WednesdayOur Favorite Chicken Salad (Click HERE)

Making this with turkey from the big dinner and using grapes and apples and serving on fresh croissants.


ThursdayChicken Pot Pie (Here is Pillsbury’s recipe)

Girl Scout Night…  Will make the chicken mixture Monday night for Tuesday’s Chicken”IN” Biscuits as well as a pot pie.  Using Pillsbury crust makes it so simple!


FridaySauce (My Recipe) and a Bowtie Skillet Lasagna (Recipe soon)

Basketball practice…  My day off… very much needed!  I plan on starting some spring cleaning!  Anyone else see crazy cob webs in places they shouldn’t be?  I am talking a cob web that created a barrier in my hall way that when I walked into it, I turned into a ninja, flailing my arms around like someone on attack….   Just me – ohhhhhh…. I never claimed to be a great cleaner – and clearly I missed the upper walls of the hall – sad, sad, sad….   LOL!!  So cleaning and another batch of sauce… for dinner and for next week when I plan to make some chili!


SaturdayDINNER OUT – Pizza and Wings anyone??

Basketball day… but first, a baby shower that I am so excited to attend  – I mean it’s another chance to see if the ‘Momma to Be’ wants me to be her mid-wife  – Hello Ms. Molly…????  Then we have a 6PM game so sure hope we can find some friends to go to dinner with!!  Maybe Batavia’s Original again??!!


SundayPork Loin Meal (Click HERE for my favorite recipe!)

Crock potting the pork with creamed soup… making smashed potatoes and string green beans – and of course my homemade applesauce!   YUMMMM, one of my TOP 5 favorite meals!!


Wow – feeling much better about ANOTHER crazy week ahead now that I have this all planned out… How about you?

 Big shopping plans?  What are you eating this week?? 


Best deals at TOPS this week ~ 2/23/14

pork loin

BEST buys at TOPS this week ~

I am not too thrilled with this week’s TOPS deals, but I know I always have to be ‘stock-piling’  – and I have dedicated $20 of my grocery budget towards stocking up! 


I scoped out all my favorite TOPS match-up sites – check these sites out:

Suzanne at Suzy Saver WNY

Tricia at Tricia’s Frugal Finds

And Christina at WNY Deals and ToDos


I found my favorite deals, and in addition to these items being on my regular list for the week, I will double up and stockpile the following items this week:



Smithfield Fresh Premium Pork Loin – $1.99/lb  

(I cut these in half and freeze, each ½ makes an awesome meal with tons of leftovers)



Kreher Medium Eggs dozen – $1.00  (Can’t hurt to have a 2nd dozen eggs… Breakfast for dinner or baking this week)



Wonderful Halos Sweet Mandarins 3 lb bag – $4.99  (Great snack – we all LOVE)

– $0.50 off ONE Wonderful Halos (SS 2/23/14)

= $3.99 after doubles


Prego Pasta Sauce Select Varieties – $1.67   (We like this ALFREDO and what a time saver!)

– $1.00 off ONE Prego Alfredo Sauce (SS 1/5/14)

= $.67 cents


Sugardale Bacon 12 oz – $3.00  (Good price on REAL bacon)

– $0.50 off ONE Sugardale Bacon, Ready Bacon, Brawurst, or Hot Dog (SS 1/26/14)

= $2.00 after doubles


Coffee-Mate Creamer – $2.79  (32. Oz – great price!  This is normally $3.99)

-$1.25/2 coupon (2/9 SS)

= $2.05 each!

What is your favorite TOPS deal this week??

Rite-Aid ~ week of 2/23/14, Great BUY and EARN deals!


Dear Rite-aid, I may be falling back in love!  …Or I may be desperate to restock some of my pilfered stock shelfs… either way, Rite aid is kicking up the deals to finish off the “BUY and EARN Promo”.  The first few deals are killer deals on their own but when you add in the estimated 25% value of the “Buy and Earn Promo” the deals are even better! 

 Take a look, over $50 worth of BUY and EARN products that will cost about $8!! 

 BUT – I will earn the next $10 UP reward making it all FREE!!!  WhoooHoooo

 Then there are also a few other super deals that are not part of the promo, but still great deals… keep looking!!




Colgate Toothpaste – $3.50      (Buy 2 / $7.00 value)

-($.50) Total 4.2 oz or 2-in-1 Colgate Toothpaste 3.5oz. – SS Insert 02/23

Buy one, get $3 +Up (limit 2)

= FREE!  

**Qualifies for Buy & Earn Promotion


Colgate Manual Toothbrush – $2.99     (Buy 2 / $5.98 value)

-$.50 Colgate Adult Or Kids Manual Toothbrush, Excl. Plus, Clean & Classic – SS Insert 02/23

Get $2 +UP Reward (Limit 2)

= $0.49

**Qualifies for Buy & Earn Promotion



Revlon “age defying deal” – 40% off, Spa Concealer $10.49 – 40% = $6.29

 -$3 Revlon face rite aid video values 02/2014

AND -$2/1 Revlon Foundation, Powder, Concealer, Primer, Blush and BB or CC Cream – SS 02/02/14

= $1.29 (for a $10 Foundation!!)

**Qualifies for Buy & Earn Promotion



GREAT Deals made even better for GOLD Members ~


Robitussin 4oz or 20ct -$6.79 (gold $5.43)     (Buy 2 / $10.86 value)

-$3/1 in ad coupon

AND – $3/2 from 2/9/14 RP

(DEAL = Buy 2 = $10.86 – $3 -$3 – $3/2 mfq = 2/$1.86)

= $.93 each!! 

**Qualifies for Buy & Earn Promotion


John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum – $9.99  (gold $7.99)      (Buy 3 / $23.97 value)

-$3 facebook coupon (Click HERE)

-$1 facebook coupon (Click HERE)

AND – $3 coupon from 1/19/14 SS

Get $3 UP wyb $10 (limit 2) * At Gold, you need to buy 3 = $23.97 – $9 fbq – $9 mfq – $6 UP


**Qualifies for Buy & Earn Promotion


OTHER Great Deals ~


Mucinex Allergy 24 ct – $7.50

-$5.00 Mucinex Allergy Product – SS Insert 02/23

AND -$2.50 Mucinex Mail-in-Rebate (SS 02/23/14)

= FREE after coupon and MIR!


Nivea Lip Balm (0.17 oz.) – $1.79    *TOTALLY need to restock on this!!

-$3/2 Nivea Lip Care Product, exp. 2/23/14 (RP 02/09/14)

= $0.29 ea. wyb 2 after coupon!


Select Snacks – PRINGLES – 2/$3 (Buy 4 = $6)

-$1/4 Pringles Full Size Cans (RP 01/26/14 #2)

AND – $1/4 Pringles Product (RA Video Values, Feb)

Get $1 +UP Reward wyb 2 (Limit 2)

=$2/4 or only $0.50 ea.!!   


Irish Spring GEAR deodorants  – 2/$8, $4 each     

-$1.50/1 Speed Stick Gear Anti/Deodorant – SS 01/26/14

Get $3 UP wyb 2 (limit 2)

 = 2/$2, or only $1 each

*Look for RA printed receipts offering additional $1 off, makes it FREE



The ABSOLUTE, BEST EVER Lasagna…. oooh, ahhhhh!!!!


The BEST Lasagna EVER!!

The crowds were chanting:  We Want Lasagna, We want Lasagna!  And so the Mama obliged ~ 

I started by getting my sauce (Click HERE for recipe) simmering in a crock and then I compiled this “gift of the Gods” dinner….  It’s a three cheese, 2 meat, hearty meal, that will enable you to get your family to do anything you ask! 

Once you have the sauce ready, the rest comes together beautifully and is truly phenomenal!!  Try it!! 

Again, HERE is the sauce recipe to start!  You have to make the SAUCE…

After the sauce is made – Here are the remaining ingredients needed:

  • ·         1 box lasagna noodles
  • ·         2 eggs
  • ·         1 container ricotta – 15 oz. regular size
  • ·         2 cups shredded provolone
  • ·         1 cup parmesan
  • ·         2 TBS Italian Seasoning
  • ·         4 cups shredded Mozzarella


Cook lasagna noodles as directed on the box, remember the oil so your noodles don’t stick – once you drain them, run cold water over them and separate and lay the noodles flat on a cookie sheet.

In a bowl, beat up your eggs, add ricotta, shredded provolone, parmesan and Italian seasoning; stir until blended.

Now grab your lasagna pan, you need a bit taller than the typical 9X13 so you can use all your ingredients and get that 4th layer in your lasagna!

Start the layers, cover the bottom of the pan with your hearty meat sauce, then layer with lasagna noodles.

Next layer is your cheese blend… spread it lightly on each noodle;  I use a teaspoon to drop the mixture on and spread as I go.

Cover with shredded mozzarella (about 1 cup for each layer)and then sauce it up…  spread the sauce thin as well (about 2 cups per layer).

Start again with your 2nd layer of lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, shredded mozzarella and sauce.  Continue on and you will have 4 full layers, ending with sauce on top.

You can make this up ahead and leave in fridge overnight, “melding” the flavors to bake the next day… or you can freeze the lasagna at this point to thaw and bake when you need /want it.

To Bake:  Place your lasagna on a large cookie sheet in a 350 degree preheated oven and bake uncovered for about 1 hour.  You may want to sprinkle a little more mozzarella on top just prior to removing from the oven (about 10 minutes).  Once removed, let set for 10-15 minutes before cutting; it is the perfect time to eat your salad!

Cut the lasagna and serve, all while listening to the applause and oohs and ahhhs!  Eat up!!  YUMMMMO



Money Monday ~ Step 1, The COMPLETE BUDGET


Okay – it’s time… time to for me to admit that, although I am an AWESOME deal finder and do-er, I take all of that savings and I blow it!  I blow it, my husband blows it, my kids blow it… we are broke!! 

We are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t ever seem to get ahead…  there has to be a better way, I have started researching the options and I have vowed to MAKE IT STOP!

Anyone that is on my facebook feed (go ahead, FRIEND me!) may have seen the highly commented post regarding the “ENVELOPE  SYSTEM”… this is where you put the CASH for all of your incidental expenses into an envelope and you pay only with the cash you have.  Once you are out of cash, you are done!  Now I know some people do this monthly, but I need to do it on a weekly basis because otherwise I would probably start out spending my monthly budget all the first week then be broke for three.  Just keeping it real – I know myself.

So – first things first, in order to know how much to put in the envelopes, you have to have a DETAILED, COMPLETE BUDGET.  Your budget has to be real… you have to know how much you have coming in and what every single one of your “fixed” living expenses are; your mortgage or rent, your utilities…. All the bills that must be paid monthly in order for you to have a home to live in.  Living expenses are deemed the most important because you must have a home to live in!  Then, category 2, any and all other bills you have monthly…. Car payments, loan payments, credit card payments…  These are bills you have to pay and honestly should work the hardest to pay off the soonest.  Third, you have to list all of your monthly incidentals… any and all things you would need money for weekly…  groceries, gas, spending money – absolutely everything you would need, or do spend,  cash for/on each week.

Now the biggie – does the money you bring in, cover all of your expenses?  If you are lucky, or smart, or good at budgeting, then YES it does and you can simply make yourself accountable for your expenses.  BUT if you are like me, and millions of others, you will see that your expenses (or list of items you spend $ on) take all – or more – of your income and you have a problem… with spending!  This is an uncomfortable position to be in, this is when you ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’, or use credit to buy gas and groceries and end up using your grocery and gas money to pay the credit card minimums.  Vicious cycle I tell you and frankly, I want off this ride!!  By making myself and my family accountable, we are going to get there!  If you do not have enough bring home income to cover all of your expenses, you have to either reduce your expenses or increase your income.  The thing is, you cannot determine what to do or how to do it until you see exactly what the full situation is.

Anyone that wants to also be held accountable can play along.  This is a step by step process and as stated, the very first step is the COMPLETE BUDGET!  So grab paper and pen, start your list, hit these main categories and add what you need to:

1.        Fixed Living Expenses – Mortgage/Rent, All Utilities

2.       Monthly Loan Pays – auto, bank loans, credit debt

3.       Weekly Expenses – gas, groceries, spending $

Get it all down – and while you are at it, make sure you have a file detailing all this pertinent info.  Once we started working on this, we realized my husband didn’t even know which bank held our mortgage…  Oh my!  Not to mention all my accounts are online and he would have no idea how to access them….  Not a good thought but one that needs to be addressed!

So – GO – get started now!  Together we will conquer this!  This week’s chore is to create the honest to goodness COMPLETE BUDGET and gather all pertinent information regarding any and all bills you pay.

Meet back here, next week on MONEY MONDAY and we will see what the next step in our financial planning session is…  HURRY, GO, DO IT NOW!!!!





Meal Plan ~ Weekly Menu

Loving my meal planning session this weekend, probably because I actually have time to do it!  Saturday I made ‘sauce’ and Lasagna (It was the BEST, I made extras of both for the freezer, Lasagna recipe this week) and Sunday I made the ROAST Dinner I had prepped in my crockpot.  I made 2 large Top Loin Roasts, wishing I had a third just for more leftovers, since I love the idea of “Cooking Once and Eating Twice” OR MORE!!

We also made our favorite cookies:  Peanut Butter Fudgie, Oatmeal,  No-Bakes (Click HERE for recipe)!

 I checked all my favorite blogs and made my list for the week –  You have to print cereal coupons – check out these deals – these beautiful bloggers do extensive TOPS match-ups to help us out, Check out:

Suzanne at Suzy Saver WNY

Tricia at Tricia’s Frugal Finds

And Christina at WNY Deals and ToDos


Then I made my meal plan for the week…



 Chicken Cordon Bleu

Monday:  Chicken Dish – Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-ups (Click HERE)

A holiday, day off… awesome!  I hope to play with another freezer meal, a new chicken dish… But I am for sure also making another round of our favorite Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-ups, to eat and for the freezer!


Tuesday:  Crock Pot Meal, Beef Tips

Boy Scout night…  Using left over beef from our Sunday Roast.  Shredded beef and gravy can be warmed in the crock pot while we are gone then mixed with pre-cooked noodles.


Wednesday:  Pasta Night; Left-over Lasagna for the Family

Date Night for K and I ~ dinner out with friends since Gramma and Bompa are coming to see the kids!   Love our monthly mid-week dinner tradition, it has turned into a favorite time out!!  Family gets leftover lasagna.


ThursdayPizza Night

Work Meeting Night…  OH BOY!!  K and the kids picked pizza as their easy meal while I am gone…  they better save me a piece!


FridayFun Night – working on a Baked Italian Torte

Basketball practice, and I am guessing a long night of finalizing the derby cars – LOL!  I found a recipe using crescent rolls and lunch meats…  will share if it’s worthy!


SaturdayOUT – Pot Luck

A full day of family fun… we have CK’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby and it’s a pot luck picnic.  What to make, what to make….???  I really enjoy these pot lucks because I always come home with a couple SUPER recipes!  So far my favorites are the Potato Sausage Bake, the Tortilla Pinwheels and the yummy Pudding Fruit Salad; all received from scouting friends.  We also have basketball, so let the running commence…. Watch my magic while I am in 2 places at once!!



Another fun filled day of basketball!  I plan on stuffing the turkey and putting it in the roaster to be ready when we get home.  Looking forward to leftovers for the following week; Chicken Salad, Tortellini Soup and Chicken and Biscuits!!


Wow – feeling much better about ANOTHER crazy week ahead now that I have this all planned out… How about you?

 What are you eating this week?? 


Peanut Butter Fudgy, Oatmeal, No-Bake Cookies

Read the rest of this entry

Weekly Plan ~ Menu (Meal) Plan



I was really struggling with my meal planning for this week because I had good intentions of making a huge roast today then having lots of left overs for the week’s dishes – it was all planned!  But my family wanted charcoaled steaks today and since we are so rarely home before dark these days, but we were today, steaks it was!!  AND – they were delicious!!  Like cut ‘em with a butter knife amazing, I tell you!! 

So I questioned my facebook BFFs again and man did they offer up dinner ideas… I took inventory (problem #2  I tell you)  I have turkeys and bacon and turkey bacon…. I have peanuts and sunflower seeds…I have a few left overs frozen from last week BUT I do not have the typical stash I normally do and that is because we have been gone on the weekends and I haven’t had any big cooking days.  Time to make that a priority again; it is just something you have to do!!

I perused the ads and planned my shopping deals:

This week at TOPS (Click HERE). See what HOT deals I will be getting….

And I noted, $1.49/# FRESH boneless, skinless chicken breast at Save-a-lot this week as well!  Will have to check those out and see how they look but should be worth a 20# purchase for sure!!  Grabbing them at that price would be awesome!

Then I completed our menu for the week ~




Monday:  Sausage Gravy over Biscuits

Over the weekend, we had one of our typical Sunday brunches and made extra biscuits and sausages and some hard boiled eggs to put together a quick hot weeknight meal.


Tuesday:  Steak and Chicken Fajitas

Boy Scout night…  We pulled a couple extra steaks and added the meat to our chopped chicken stash.  Monday night I will marinate the meats and chop the veggies and then we can fry it up quickly around our crazy Tuesday schedule!


Wednesday:  Baked Beans and Weiners

I made a double batch last time so just have to throw this batch in the oven and heat through.  Always good with a veggie tray; our favorites being carrot sticks, celery and peppers.


ThursdayMake your own Subs

Girl Scout Night…  Salami is on sale this week!!


FridayVALENTINES DAY – OUT to Dinner with friends, Surf and Turf – YEAH!!  Kids = Pizza

I have the day off so will make a yummy dessert with the kids  – heart sugar cookies or maybe dipped rice krispie hearts….??


A sauce making day (click HERE for recipe) and it is much needed!  I will prep the sauce in the am, simmer it all day, then make a few lasagnas.  One for dinner and 2 for the freezer!!


SundayRoast Beef Dinner

Finally, a roast in the crock will be awesome and I have planned to make a huge roast to have lots of left-over meat to make meals next week – or for the freezer (stay tuned…) The carrots are my favorite!


Wow – feeling much better about ANOTHER crazy week ahead now that I have this all planned out… How about you?

 What are you eating this week?? 




TOPS deals (including BONUS gas points) ~ week of 2/9/14


TOPS has some amazing deals this week… There are multiple BONUS Gas Point deals and some KILLER B1G1 Free deal!!   Here are my picks (I clearly need to fill in some prices!):    


BONUS Gas Point Deal – earn 200 BONUS Points wyb 6 items, this equates to $ .20/gallon or $6!!


 I deduct $1 per item to show the value of the gas points (buy 6 save $6 on gas)… since I am buying the gas anyway!  Then I highlight the net cost and have listed the items that are buy worthy!!  These are items that are at or below my BUY PRICE for the items listed!


Folgers ground coffee select varieties 27.8-33.9 oz can – $6.99

-$1/2 from the 2/2 rp

-$1 value from gas points = $ 5.49 each


Quaker instant oatmeal select varieties 11.5-15.1 oz box  – $3 each

-$.75/2 from the 1/12rp rp

-$1 value from gas points = $ 1.25


 Smuckers preserves 10-12oz  -$ 2.00

-$1 value from gas points = $ 1.00 each


Quaker chewy bars shows dips (my fav) -$ 2.50

-$ .75/2 from the 1/12 rp

-$1 value from gas points = $ .75


Hungry Jack pancake mix – $2.00

-$1 value from gas points = $ 1.00 each


Hungry Jack syrup original or lite 27.6 oz – $2.99

-$1 value from gas points = $ 1.99 each


McCormick perfect pinch -$2.50

-$ 1.25/2 from the 1/12 rp (expires sunday so one day only)

-$1 value from gas points = $.88 each


OTHER Great Deals:

Roasting Chickens – $.99/#


Pork Tenderloin – BOGO = $??


Sliced Salami – BOGO = $??


Thomas english muffins BOGO @ ??

-$ 1/2 from the 1/19 ss

= ??


Tropicana farmstand juice – $3

-$ 1/1 from the 1/19 ss

= $2


Ragu Pasta sauce BOGO @??

 -$ 1/2 from the 1/26 rp

= ??


Bison sour cream or dip -$1.50

-$ 1/2 from the 1/26 rp

= $1 each


Celantano Pasta BOGO @

-$ 1/1 from the 1/26 ss

= $ ??


Sorrento Stringsters BOGO @ $4.99

-$ 1/1 in the 1/19 ss

= $3.99 or only $1.98 each


Snapple 6 packs BOGO @ $6.49

-$ 1/1 from the 1/5 ss

= $5.49 for 2 or $2.75 each


Knorr pasta sides – $ 1

-$ 1/2 from the 1/26 rp

= $.50!


Nissin big cup noodles  -$.33

-‘buy 3 get 1 coupon’ from the 2/2 ss

=$.25 cents each


Keebler fudge shop cookies BOGO @?? 


Kelloggs Cereal  – 4/$10 – $2.50


Tops Pretzels – BOGO – $2.49

= $1.25 each


Tops Mini Bagel Bites – BOGO – $2.49

=$1.25 each

Tasty Tuesday ~ Let’s talk Chicken… 7 GREAT recipes!

Chicken – let’s talk chicken…   Do you have a FAVORITE chicken dish?  Care to share??   I am working on a project and I needed to come up with 50 uses for chicken – any type – so I did what I always do… Took the question straight to facebook!!  I am a HUGE lover of facebook… My husband says its cuz I am sooo nosey!  But I do truly think if you use it for good and not evil, it is an amazing tool!

Anyhow, my friends had well over 50 ideas in a matter of minutes… NOW – to compile the actual recipes… 

AND then I remembered;   I cook…  and I have a blog…  and I have actually posted a few amazing chicken recipes! 

So see below for all I have so far… all tried and true and awesome, if I do say so myself (just click the links below the pictures):


Italian Roast Chicken – whole roaster


EASY, BEST EVER Chicken Salad


BEST EVER Chicken Tortellini Soup


Cheesy Chicken Taquitos


Chicken Wing Pizza

Picture 036

Chicken Roll-Up Wraps

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups


Also – already in the works; Chicken Wing Dip, Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken and Biscuits.  We are working STEADILY on the FREEZER MEAL section and so far have 4 DELICIOUS recipes to post with about 8 more to try so far.

And now back to these amazing ideas people are posting on facebook…. Stay tuned, things are about to get all delicious up in here!! 

PLEASE remember to comment with your FAVORITE chicken dish!!