Friday, August 30, 2013

Frankies Corner-She's at it again

     Here you go Frankie's getting camera shy lately.

                                          Oh brother Humans and their toys and I thought I was bad.

                                              Save me Conor Ma's gone camera happy
No pictures, No pictures

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Whimsical Cats otherwise known as the bane of Frankie

Good Morning all,  I hope everyone is having a great day.  I love cats real and collectible.  You can be thrifty when getting your collection.  I've found all kinds of cats at various places to collect and it didn't cost me a lot of money.  A couple of them were from people who knew I collected them and gave them to me as gifts. They are easy to display as well.  The only problem I have is Frankie hates them. So here they are my cats.

                                                          Here's my baby frankie

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Paid only $.05 for small trip to CVS

Hi all, I had to do a small run to CVS for Frankie.  He loves his can cat food and I had gotten the $3 coupon in my email.  So, I went shopping and here's what I got for $.05.

2 Charmin rolls of toilet paper were on sale for 2/1.99  coupon machine was spitting out 1.49/2  coupons
4 can friskies
1 pepsi
1 bottle water

Total before sale/coupon/ebt   $9.11           after sale/coupon/25 %  $1.92   after ebt   $.05

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Family Fun Recipe--Homemade Mongolian Beef

Since the kids are back in  school.  I wanted to do a simple recipe that the whole family can help cook.  As my Conor says mom you cook to many Asian dishes.  I can't help it I love Asian food.  It's easy and quick and so yummy.  I love my wok.  I am such a Hoisin junkie.  Can't get enough of this sauce in my food. The recipe originally came from the taste of home magazine but I have altered it for my families taste.

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs beef sirloin tips
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
5 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl stirring to mix cornstarch real well.
Set this aside
After you have chopped beef into bite sized pieces you can put into wok or large frying pan
before doing so add 2 teaspoons Olive Oil.  Cook until no longer pink.  Set aside and keep it warn. I like to put in the microwave for a minute.
Put your onions in the same pan with the rest of the olive oil.  You don't want to cook it to much.  It needs to be crisp so only 2-3 minutes.  Add the sauce to the onions but make sure its all mixed up.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  It should thicken up.  Then you add the beef and heat through.  Serve over rice this can feed 2-3 people.

                                                Enjoy the recipe it one of my favorites.

Murder Mystery Cooking will return next week.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The E-Readers VS. Real Books--How will this affect the kids?

Good Morning all, I wanted to ask your opinion of the ongoing debate about the E-readers vs. Real Books. If your a fan, you know that I'm an avid reader and lover of all things book.  Don't get me wrong I like the idea of being able to get anything new to read instantly.  I've been looking online and a lot of titles are free.  Which with the way the economy is going, this is a bonus.  I worry kids wont have the experience of sitting down and enjoying a good read.  What I mean by that is the look, feel and sense of reading a real book. It's an intimate experience.  I love going to the bookstore and finding a book I've been trying to find forever.  I'm a big fan of Leanne Sweeney's Cats in Trouble series and my favorite used bookstore finally had it. You also have the added interaction with other book lovers.  Kids need that social interaction.  Story times at the bookstores and libraries give an added bonus to the kids.  But you can argue their are hidden health benefits to an e-reader.  Kids don't have to carry fifty million books around in a backpack.  Those of us whose eyes are not great can change the font and lighting on an e-reader to improve vision.  Books carry a sense of history with them.  I remember the movie " The Day After Tomorrow" where one of the Character's saved the first book "The Gutenberg Bible".  He says this book represents the age of the dawn of reason. How about we be reasonable and contribute to both mediums.  Keep that sense of history and buy the used books and pass them down to our kids.  But also get the e-reader and  a lot of books to encourage more reading.  You can give more in depth commentary at my face book fan page

                                              Frankie Says I'd Rather Watch A Video

Since I also try to help everyone save money.  Check out amazon's free kindle books under the book tab and get their daily deal alerts. The used bookstores take trades and give 10% or more back on books depending on the book brought in the store.  Coke rewards currently is offering a Barnes and Noble e-card. When last I checked it was out of stock but keep checking.  Hope this helps and everyone have a great day.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Frankie's Corner-Gotta Have Shades

Eyes the Windows into the Soul

                                       How do Humans sit on this thing without falling through

                                                               Gotta Have Some Shades

Meat Savings at Save Mart and Coupon Tips

Good Morning all, Hope everyone is having a great day. Save Mart extended their meat sale and I'm just getting around to posting this trip from earlier in the week. I like Save Mart because they also put more discounted meat out on the racks.  So you get more bang for your buck. So here's what I got from the sale and a few coupons.
                                                                                            regular price     sale price
Post Fruity Pebbles (I know not meat but the boys love it)     $4.49                 $2
Banquet Link Sausage                                                        $2.39              $1 bought 2
rib eye steak                                                                      $8.14              $5
rib roast                                                                             $6.38              $5
country style ribs                                                                $6.67              $5    
fryer thighs                                                                         $9.95              $5
ground turkey                                                                     $6.99              $5
pork loin roast                                                                    $7.30              $5
Tyson precook diced chicken                                              $9.99              $5 bought 2

Discounted meat
Farmland Ham Cubes                                                           $4.99             $1.99
Fryer Drumsticks                                                                  $4.65             $2.92 plus $1 off coupon
Fryer Drumsticks                                                                  $4.71             $2.96 plus $1 off coupon
Land of Frost Lunch meat                                                      $5.79              $2.99 bought 2 used $2/2

TOTAL   $100.61                                   After sales and coupons $53.85  a 46% savings

Here's the second half of the post.  I've had some nice people ask me where do you get the coupons.
Well first off before you go and actually shop, I try to do a preliminary run and see if their are any unadvertised specials in the store the day before shopping. Now on to the coupons.

1.  Sunday Newspapers- get as many as you can and sign up for email showing you whats coming out.
You can get them at the $1 stores also check for any local small papers.  My town as a small paper that comes out on Wednesdays. Its free and I get a couple of those papers and their filled with coupons.

2.  A coupon run-I go to the stores and look for tear pads (coupons next to a product that tear off) and blinkies (coupon machine with blinking light hence the name).  I was told by one of my favorite cashiers who's been in the business awhile go to the high end grocery stores.  They put out a lot of coupons to entice people to buy more from their store.   I don't typically shop at Safeway but I have noticed they have a lot of coupon tear pads and blinkies.

3.  Online Coupon Services-There are alot of places you can print coupons from for instance,,  just to name a few.  

4.  Face book Coupons-I just started doing this method.  Manufacturers love social media and on their face book pages you can find printable coupons.  So check your favorite companies face book pages.

5.  Take it old school- What I mean by that is call them.  Customer service people are so nice.  To give an example the Friskies people are very helpful.  Frankie the Siamese is Anti veggie.  I did not know this when I bought a bag with greens in it.  I woke up one morning to find all these green bits left in the bowl.  I'm like what is this and I called Friskies and they told me veggies.  They graciously sent me a free coupon, $1 off coupon and the little snot even got a toy from them.  It pays to call customer service.

6.  The All You Magazine-If you have not discovered this magazine its a gold mine of coupons.  You can only find it in wal-mart.  It's worth it.  You can also get this for free by using the Coke rewards program. You save your points and get a year subscription for free. 

7.  Snail Mail- I have not done this recently but it does work.  You send a nice letter telling them how much you like product or if some problem, 9 times out of 10 you will get coupons. One time I told Hormel my kids inhaled their hot dogs I got gift certificates for fresh meat.  So give this method a try and this should increase your coupon stash and help save money.

                                             This is just some of the meat bought.
Another key to helping save money is organization. This is something I'm struggling with all the time. I use the accordion check book holder and a smaller one for my purse.  I've been hearing about my coupon keeper and will probably get one from amazon.  I'm interested in hearing what method everyone uses for their coupons.  So let me know what you use and I hope these tips help you save some money in these crazy economic times. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chocolate Flapjacks and Murder

Good Morning all,  It's that time of the week were we get to try a little something, something with a dash of murder.  So if you like breakfast foods this is the recipe and books to read.  So give the recipe a try and if you don't like that one, she's got plenty more in the book.  The name of the murder mystery is "Eggs Benedict Arnold" by Laura Child's.  This book is the second one in a series of books about a group of women who open a  restaurant in a small town.  You know how small towns can be--it can be murder.  Because the restaurant is the center of town social scene the ladies become involved in murder especially the head proprietor.  The name of the restaurant in the book is the Cackle berry Club and they mostly serve Breakfast items.  Henceforth our recipe today is Chocolate Flapjacks.  Now who doesn't like chocolate.

Now here's what you'll need.

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour

Gather all your ingredients don't want to have to go looking for anything.  Conor was able to help me before he went to school. So we had fun making this recipe.  Melt your butter in your frying pan.  Then stir in the cocoa powder.  In a large mixing bowl,  beat the eggs.  When thoroughly beaten add sugar, salt and vanilla.  Be sure you mix this up real good.  Then add the butter/cocoa mixture to the flour mix.   When that's all mixed up your ready for the frying pan.  Drop silver dollar sized pancakes in your pan.  Make sure pan is well oiled and not to hot.  These cook fast so keep burner all low.  I burned a couple until I got the right temp. Recipe says to cook 2 minutes on first side then 1/2 minute on other side.  If it looks firm and bubbly before the 2 minutes flip them.  They don't call them flapjacks for nothing.  When done you can eat them with syrup or get really decadent and add strawberries and whipped cream.  Have a great day and happy cooking.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Saving Money and getting your Kids ready to Join the Workforce

     Our your teens and college students who are in their last year of school ready to go to work.  Do they have a professional wardrobe.  Are they even ready to go to an interview.  Besides having 20 copies of their resume and diplomas in hand.  Our they ready clothes wise.  When I was in college, the program I was in wanted everyone to dress professionally once a week.  This was to help them get a professional wardrobe started and help them get in the idea of how to dress for an interview.   I've had to scramble a few times when the boys were in programs that required particular clothes.  This is how you can help them get a professional wardrobe and save money doing it.
     First off,  what will they need to get started.  Both young men and women will need basic blazers in either navy, black or brown.  Shirts don't have to be colorful some basic white button down shirts.  Young women can either get skirts, pants or pantsuits.  Young men can get the basic black dress slacks and khaki's.  Shoes don't need to be fancy but definitely no open toed.  Personally I prefer flats and the program I was in wanted heels.  I tried it one time.  I wore two inch heels and had a rolling back pack filled with fifty pounds of medical books (well maybe not fifty pounds it just felt like it).  My classes were on the third floor and the only way to get there was to go up three flights of ramps.  I felt like I was going to fall over.  I told the director I don't care if you dock me for this I'm not wearing heels.  My motto whatever looks good and feels good is the best way to go.  You want to be relaxed not more self-conscious then your already going to be. 
     Finding the clothes they are going to need, I would start by checking the goodwill and thrift stores.  Start by going to goodwill and thrift stores in the better part of town.  A lot of nice things that may have not been worn or only worn once end up at goodwill.  I'm talking designer clothes at a fraction of the cost.  When your shopping this way look for holes, stains and tears that can be easily repaired.  Otherwise pass on the items.  These stores will also have discount days.  Goodwill has 1/2 sales on holidays and some thrift shops discount at the end of the month.  So check them out.
     Consignment shops are another area to hit for clothes.  They only take clothes that are in good condition.
You can also take their old clothes in and get store credit and get what you need.  But be warned these stores are very picky about what they take.  It has to still be in season.
     E-bay is another area to get clothes.  You have to be careful about sizing.  You can get a large lot of clothes at a fraction of the cost.  But be careful what you get.  Yard sales are another place to check for clothes.  But again check for stains, tears and missing buttons.
     Big box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Sears etc. have clearance racks check these often.  Look online for discount codes.  Kohl's occasionally sends out a $10 gift card in the mail go check the racks.  Go online and look for codes for your favorite stores.  Target has that wonderful little promo every week where you buy such and such item and get a $5 gift card. You can save them then go shopping the clearance racks.
     Another place you can check is the clothing banks.  Some college career centers have clothing banks where you can get one suit for free.  I got a lovely navy blue barely worn bolero jacket and pants. So give it a try. Hope this helps save some money on college.

                                           Ma call friskies I'm ready to go to work

                                           Stickem up and Dress for Success

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Frankie Says Mom Saved alot at Wal-Mart

Meowy Morning, mom is out of it.  So, I am in charge of the blog today. Mom had to go on a toiletry run yesterday and a few food items.  Like she says my boys can eat.  But mom uses these little papers called coupons that save money whatever that is?  She had one for me one time and it smelled like my food. I let her know I liked it.  Okay here's what mom got from Wal-Mart.

2-Shaving Creams
3-Bayer Aspirin
2-Colgate Toothpaste
1-BIC Twin pack of 10 razors
2-Raybern Philly Cheese steak sandwich
1-Serenity Pads
1-2 Gallon Milk
1-6 pk bottles of diet Pepsi

 Before coupons/Food card  $30.79    After coupons  $11.90     After food card $2.92

Hope this helps everyone to save money the Colgate was not marked and it scanned at .50.   Have Meowy Day

                                           Darn it she put away the sandwiches

                                           Something smells good?

                                           DIY anyone had to help maintenance man fix light.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's Back Murder Mystery Cooking

Good Morning all,  We are finally back to cooking from our favorite mystery authors books.  First off,  I was supposed to be doing a corn bread recipe but it called for a cast iron skillet.  I don't have one.  Please help where does everyone find theirs for an economical price--coupon queen here so talk to me people.  So here goes, we are making a salad recipe from Livia J. Washburn's book "The Christmas Cookie". This is a really great book.  It involves an annual cookie contest, a Snoopy neighbor and of course murder.  Our amateur sleuth is a miss Marple type makes for a lot of  fun.  So enjoy, it has a lot of more fun recipes in the back.

                                                 Peachy Keen Salad

1 can pineapple chunks, drained
5 peaches peeled, pitted and sliced
1 lb strawberries rinsed, hulled and sliced
1/2 lb. seedless green grapes
1/2 lb. seedless red grapes
3 banana's peeled and sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar


Juice from 1 small lime
1/2 cup pineapple juice

I adapted this recipe to fit my families size because this will feed 20 people don't need that much.  Yes, the boys are teens who look like they are NFL linebackers.  Did not need that much salad maybe for a party. I cut the fruit sizes in half.  First off, rinse off all the fruit again its better to be save then sorry.  Has your draining the pineapple keep the juice you'll be using it in the dressing.  I picked off any bad grapes as I was putting them in the bowls and then added the pineapple.  I sliced up the peaches did not skin.  Skin is good for you.  Added the sliced banana's and strawberries.  I took one sugar packet and sprinkled on salad and poured dressing over it and tossed until completely mixed. Love this salad for the added benefit of the bromeline in the pineapples nice natural anti-inflammatory agent.  Enjoy your salad and have a great day.

This post is linked to "Real Food Wednesday's" #sthash.iNI1Y4e4.dpuf

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Savings Tips Tuesday--shopping at Dollar Tree and CVS

I decided I would start posting my savings and shopping trips to help everyone save money.  Everybody loves to save money especially in this economy.  I made a recent trip to dollar tree with coupons.  Yes, they now take coupons but watch the sizing on the products.  That will get you every time. Sometimes its best to make a run in and look around to see what items are there that you have coupons for those items.  You can get school items for the kids. Here's what I got from them:

2-Thesaurus books
1-package Bic pens
2-reach dental floss
3-Palmolive 14oz liquid dish soap
1-Disposable gloves
1-Stor-it cover ups

Total before coupons  $12.96       Out of Pocket $8.96

Saved $4 using coupons on the $1/1  pens which were free, $1/2 dental floss, .50/1 dish liquid.  If your kids don't mind their is a .75/1 Colgate they have the cinnamint ones available.  My kids don't like them. Be sure and sign up for their Value Seekers Club. They have tips, crafts and recipes as well has sweepstakes going on now.

                                          My CVS Trip

Did not have as many coupons has I would have liked too.  But I think I did okay.  If  you are new to CVS you can use your food stamps and still get the ECB coupons from purchases.  I still get asked that question.  
Here's what I got this trip:

2 bags candy snickers and m&m
2 Cheetos bags
2 large sized Cheerios boxes
2 fruity pebbles boxes

I used $1.50 in coupons and spent $21.24.  I got $6 in Extra Care Bucks. Turned around and got these items for $1.70 used $8 in ECB's.

Saving for trip $12                       Out of Pocket $1.70

Still learning and sharing everything with everyone enjoy your day.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kids back to school-What about the pets?

Good Morning all,  It's back to school today.  The boys went to their youth group meeting the other day and Frankie was sitting by the front door anxiously waiting for them to return.  This got me to thinking what's going to happen when school starts.  Pets love us and give us comfort. In the case of cats their purring as a calming soothing effect on the human central nervous system.  Some of them are our therapist--Frankie falls into that category.  He's Conor's form of therapy for anxiety.  Unfortunately, Frankie will never be licensed my AMA because he hates men.  Yes, he loves Conor and kyle but anybody else who's male gets pawed and bit.  My maintenance man jokingly calls him my attack cat.  So, what do you do for your pets.  If your home try to give a little extra attention.  Make sure they have plenty of food and water. If no ones home put the radio or TV on for them to not feel alone. I do this because Frankie is a Snowshoe and they don't like to be left alone.  He lets me know he's not happy about it. When you come home, talk to them and praise them.  Have the kids when they come home, give extra special attention until pets get used to idea. In Frankie's case, he gets to go for a walk on his leash several times a week.  Here's the pic's of Frankie enjoying himself.

Did you say go bye, bye?


Walks over please change the water, I need a drink.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Shopping Trip at CVS and SaveMart Savings

Good Afternoon all hit CVS and SaveMart today.  Here's What I got at CVS

This contained: 2 scissors
                       1 package paper
                       12 roll big pack angel soft
                       2 bags circus peanuts
                       2 elmers glue
                       1 lemon water
                       1 paper mate package pens
                       1 package bottle2pen love these
                       1 bic wite out
                       2  packages dividers

 TOTAL   before coupons/sales/e-gift cards     $42.63              AFTER   $15.91


Their having the  pick 5/$25 meat sale always a good deal.  Here's what I got.

Here's the break down:  11 packages of meat
                                      2 Pop tarts packages
                                      1 Kellogg's Cereal
                                      2 bags candy
                                      3-12 oz sodas

TOTAL  $103.87                                    After sales and coupons  $76.72

If you have not done swag bucks do so that's how I saved at CVS alot this time used the ecards from the program.  Have a good weekend.

frankies corner--Do Your Cats Watch TV?

Get That Thing Outta My Face

                                           Ah!  Can't A Cat Have Any Fun Make It Spin Mom.

I have to ask the question do your cats watch TV?  Well, Frankie can be caught watching TV, but wouldn't you know it he's camera shy.  We discovered this while watching Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.  His poor little eyes got so big when he heard and saw the crows. He crawled under his favorite blanket and wouldn't come out for quite a while.  Yes,  Frankie is also a Foodie (so is everybody else in this family).  Please help me,  HE LOVES GORDON RAMSEY.  He will sit in front of the TV and watch Master Chef with his paws out in front. I guess because everybody else is watching it too.  Maybe we should call him Frankie the Foodie Cat.  Have a good weekend and next week we'll try for pic's of him on his leash.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Celebrate Hostess with a Trifle

I decide since our favorite snack was back on the shelf to make a trifle in honor of  Hostess.  It was going to be a Twinkie Trifle but everybody is wiping out the shelves at Wal-Mart.  So we did a little substitution with some of the ingredients to make this for everyone to enjoy.  I got interested in Trifle's when I was in the military, my boss had been stationed in England and learned all about them.  She made one for x-mas and I got to try it.  It was in such a pretty crystal bowl I decide I wanted one too.

 Here's a list of the ingredients I used in my trifle.

                                                   2 boxes of hostess cupcakes
                                                   2 boxes of strawberries hulled
                                                   1 carton premade chocolate pudding
                                                   1 can whipped cream

I started by cutting the cupcakes in half and layering the trifle bowl. I put the bottom pieces on the bottom of the trifle dish.  I layered the top pieces around the edge of the bowl.  When the first layer was done, I put the strawberries in and then spread a layer of pudding on top (2 cups per layer of pudding). The using a circular motion put the whipped cream on top.  I repeated the layer of strawberries and pudding.  Then I spread another layer of whipped cream and voila topped with a strawberry.  Their you go enjoy your trifle.