Would you like to know how much you’re really saving by using coupons? Or track your expenditures to make sure you’re sticking with your budget? You can download the free 2011 Savings Tracker (available in both Excel and Google Docs format) and do just that and more!
I gave myself the last four weeks “off” from bargain shopping and using coupons because I was feeling uninspired and motivated to bargain shop and use coupons and because I wanted to spend that time focusing on other Christmas-related things and activities.
It was so nice to have an almost complete break where I didn’t clip a coupon, look at a sales flier or open my coupon box up. We just shopped mostly at Aldi, used up stuff from our pantry and freezer and ate lots of super simple meals.
The break very much re-energized me and brought back my bargain-shopping motivation and my cooking and baking inspiration. In fact, I’ve been whipping up a lot of new recipes and stepping outside my comfort zone in the kitchen.
I even bought fresh cilantro yesterday (something I’ve never purchased before!) in order to make fresh Pico de Gallo. For those who know me well, you’ll know that this is very out-of-character from the way I’ve been the last year or so. Hmm, maybe I’ll even start making my own homemade tortillas at this rate? 🙂
I’m so excited to have rediscovered my long lost love of cooking and baking and how cathartic it can be to putter around in the kitchen and make delicious food for my family! Expect quite a few new recipe posts here in the near future.
In the mean time, I’m going to go eat some of the delicious Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal I made for breakfast! I’ll share this week’s menu this evening.
FOR MORE COUPONS, search our comprehensive Coupon Database for manufacturer coupons, printable coupons, eCoupons, and more!
Looking for a super simple recipe to take to a Christmas gathering this weekend? How about some Oreo Pie?
Cool Whip sent me a basket of ingredients and encouraged me to try a new recipe using Cool Whip. Truth be told, we prefer making our own whipped cream with real cream. But I had fun looking through Cool Whip recipes and choosing one to try. I finally decided to go with the Oreo Pie recipe, considering everyone in our family loves Oreos.
Did I mention we love Oreos? Just to prove this statement, I’ll confess that it took me three tries to actually get the pie made, because the first two packages of Oreos I bought were consumed before I could so much as attempt to make the pie. And it wasn’t just the children who were responsible for the disappearing Oreos.
15-Minute Oreo Pie
- 1 package Oreos
- 1/2 stick butter (or margarine)
- 1 1/2 cups cold milk
- 2 packages (4-serving size) vanilla-flavored instant pudding
- 1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed
Crush 24 to 30 cookies (I’d recommend doing this in a blender or food processor. I tried using a rolling pin and ziptop bag and it was a bit more time-consuming than it likely would be in a blender.) Mix with melted butter and pressed onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
Beat milk and pudding together until thick (approximately 1 to 2 minutes). Carefully stir in whipped topping and blend well.
Crush or chop at least 12 Oreo cookies and fold into the pudding mixture. Spoon onto crust.
Garnish with Oreos and refrigerate for at least four hours.
My husband declared this pie “delicious!” despite the lack of real whipped cream. However, his first question after telling me it was good was, “Do you think you can make it with real whipping cream?”
Yes, we’re real whipping cream “snobs” like that. 😉
We have a yearly tradition of making this Christmas Candy. It’s the easiest stuff ever to make, it is inexpensive and it’s addicting!
I originally found the recipe in the book Queen of the Castle: 52 Weeks of Encouragement for the Uninspired, Domestically Challenged or Just Plain Tired Homemaker. It was called “Crookies” in there, but we’ve re-named it “World’s Easiest Christmas Candy.”
All you need is brown sugar, saltines, butter and chocolate chips.
Lay one sleeve of Saltines out on a cookie sheet (you might want to spray or grease the pan first, though I’ve not had trouble with it sticking, but some mentioned in the comments they’d recommend this).
Melt one cup brown sugar and one stick of butter in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat until a gooey mixture forms. Pour this mixture over the saltines and spread around with a spatula to generously coat them.
Pull out of the oven and pour two cups of chocolate chips over the crackers and let them sit for a few minutes until they are starting to melt.
Spread the melted chocolate chips evenly over the crackers and then stick in the freezer for around an hour (until chocolate hardens).
Once chocolate is hardened, lift off the cookie sheet with a metal spatula and break into pieces.
Put into gift baggies and store in the freezer until ready to give as gifts.
World’s Easiest Christmas Candy
- 1 sleeve Saltine crackers
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups chocolate chips
On a baking sheet, spread out Saltine crackers. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until gooey. Pour over crackers and bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, or until bubbly.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let sit for a few minutes until chocolate chips begin to melt. Then, spread over crackers evenly with a spatula.
Stick in the freezer for an hour, or until chocolate hardens. Break into small pieces and put into gift containers or baggies. Store in the freezer until ready to eat or give away.
Moms By Heart has round-up of free printable gift boxes and bags.