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Category Archives: About

THE CORN EPISODE

Anyone want to know what I did today?  I have corn coming out my ears.  My mom and I went together and got corn to freeze.  I did 5 dozen ears.  If you’ve never frozen corn, this is what you do:

Husk and silk.  
Boil for 4-1/2 minutes, cool in basin of cold water (or in my case, sink)
Cut the corn off the cobs, put in freezer bags
 

Sounds simple enough, right?  With kids, not so much. Can I bare my soul here and show you all what my kitchen sink looked like earlier today?

But it is a wonderful feeling that I now have 14 beautiful pints of corn to put in my freezer.  And I know what is in it.  And I know that no one accidentally dropped gluten in it.  And I know what it looked like before it went into the freezer bags.  And best of all, it was really economical.  Not free by any means, but really how little can you possibly pay for a bag of frozen vegetables?

I paid $12.50 for 5 dozen ($2.50 a dozen).  I got 14 pints.  That is $0.89 per bag.  Pretty decent.  And it tastes better.  Here’s my final product:

So now, I have a confession to make.  I had a REALLY bad day.  I got up at 5:15 to work (I work full-time from home, if you didn’t know, and NOT on my blog, that’s extra).  Kayla got up at 5:15 too.  I worked for an hour. Hannah got up at 6:15.  So I gave up.

Then I thought, we’ll go out.  Because sometimes it is easier to go out.  So we went to the garden.  And the park.  And CVS.  And the McDonald’s play area.  And the library.  And they were bad.  I got evil looks from strangers, like I am “one of those” moms.  You know the ones.  The ones that cannot control their children. And it rained.

Then we came home and ate lunch.  We were scheduled to go to my mom’s at 1 to do the corn, and I remembered at 11:30 that I had no freezer bags.  And the best deal was at Target.  And since I obsessively cannot do anything except the best deal, I took the 15-minute drive to Target, in the pouring rain, with both naughty children.

At least the Target trip was successful.  Here’s the breakdown:

40 count quart size freezer bags on price cut for $3.79
15 gallon size freezer bags on price cut for $2.39
Jif To Go $2.19 (I was FINALLY able to find this in stock!)
Three Dannon Activia 4 packs at $2.09 each
Two packs of Sharpie markers $1 each
 
Used:
$1/2 coupon from the 8/7 insert
Stacked with the $1/2 Target Ziploc coupon previously found here
Jif To Go free item coupon that I posted about here 
Three $1/1 Activia Target coupons found here
Three $1/1 Activia manufacturer coupons from my binder (that my hubby found at the doctor’s office – we pick them up wherever we go!)
Two $1/1 Sharpie Target coupons previously found here
 
Total Cost before coupons:  $18.53
Total Cost after coupons:  $4.24
 

And if anyone wants to know what I got at CVS, that was rather successful too:

Raisins $1.89 on sale
Gold Emblem Popcorn $1.37
Prilosec OTC $10.99 (with $2 ECB)
New CVS body wash
 
I used:
$1/1 Dried Fruit coupon from the CVS magic coupon machine
$2/1 Gold Emblem snack item product from the CVS magic coupon machine (Yes, this was for 11 ounces or larger.  I made a mistake, I guess popcorn is really light, but the cashier was not concerned and put it through anyway.  Whoops!)
FREE CVS body wash coupon previously available here
FREE Prilosec 14 count coupon that my neighbor gave me (she doesn’t use it, my husband does).  No idea WHY she gets such great coupons, she gets better coupons than I do, and she claims she has never signed up for any. 
 
Final Cost:  $0.26, plus got a $2 ECB from the Prilosec
I used that, plus my $5 Beauty Club ECB that printed when I walked in the store, to buy Children’s Ibuprofen, making it virtually free.  
 

Now, back to the story….

Got to mom’s on time, put kiddo #2 down for a nap, but guess who didn’t want to sleep at Grandma’s?  Was awake for a half hour until her sister went in, unbeknownst to me, and took her out of the pack and play because “she was crying”.  Gave up on the nap, packaged up all the husked corn, and went home for the nap.  Somehow I managed to get most of it done before she woke up.

So would you believe, now I cannot find the ibuprofen from CVS?  Somewhere in the course of my crazy day, it disappeared.  And I still have most of my day’s work to do yet today.

But, despite all of this, I am thankful.  Because my children are healthy enough to be bad.  Because I have 14 pints of corn in my freezer, when many people do not know where their next meal is coming from.  Because I got such great deals on the things I needed today.  Because I have family and friends who love me.  And because the God of the universe loves me.  Really, despite a crazy day, I should be very, very grateful.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in About

 

OUR SCHAR PIZZA REVIEW

I thought everyone might like to know what we thought of those Schar pizza crusts that I picked up for $0.75! (See post here.)  I usually make my own pizza recipe, an adaptation of my mom’s when I was growing up, which I modified to make GF.  But that requires mixing, rolling out, and rising.  These pizza crusts were SO easy.  I just pulled them out of the plastic, put them on a tray, put some plain tomato sauce, oregano, and cheese on top, and stuck them in the oven.  I honestly cannot remember the last time a gluten free meal was that easy.

Here they are, $0.75 worth of beautiful, easy GF crusts, getting ready to go in the oven.

I was a bit nervous at first.  They seemed VERY dense and thick.  However, the crusts have nice little holes drilled into them, which I think makes them cook lighter and more evenly.  They ended up very good.  The taste is excellent.  You almost cannot tell them are GF.  The texture does give it away.

Overall, it was an awesome break for me and so very easy to whip up, but my family still likes my pizza recipe better.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in About, Recipes

 

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MOMENTS FOR MOTHERS

 

I finally have time to sit down today and type a blog post.  And it really has nothing to do with saving money, or anything gluten free.  I wanted to introduce everyone to my friend Leah and her new book, Moments for Mothers.

I am so honored to have a friend with the talent and life experience to sit down and write a book!  I am so excited for Leah, my dear friend, and a wonderful wife and mother.

Leah has written an amazing book, just for moms (BUSY moms) who can’t sit down for more than a minute or 2 at a clip, definitely not for a large chunk of time to read a whole chapter.  This book will give you tidbits of humor and encouragement at any time throughout the day.

Check it out here on Leah’s web page.  If you want, you can pre-order a signed copy!  And you can also hear her interview with WJTL, our local radio station, Part 1 and Part 2, from July 7.

GO LEAH!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in About

 

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FUN IN THE HEAT WAVE

Just couldn’t resist posting some pictures of fun in the water!  Here are my kids playing with some neighbor kids.

And Hannah having her first popsicle – 3 pictures in succession!  Note her hand on the last one!

 

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2011 in About

 

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GARDENING 911

With a gluten free family, produce is a staple.  Produce is expensive.  I want to live frugally.  Therefore, if I want to feed my family inexpensively, I have to learn to garden.  Problem:  I AM TERRIBLE AT GARDENING.  My garden is pathetic.

I have tried to plant and maintain a garden for years.  Every year, I get just a few plants that actually produce. One year it was green beans.  One year it was tomatoes.  I had so many they rotted before I could get to canning them.  And this year, it is cucumbers and zucchini.

I live in an apartment, and you can sign up for a little 9 x 12 foot plot at the beginning of spring.  So I signed up for one, and did a few starters on my balcony.  When I planted them, they all died.  So I planted from seed in the garden.  I don’t think I spaced them right, and I don’t think I fertilized them enough, because out of the 30 bean and pea plants I planted, I have about 4-5 producing plants.  I planted some tomato plants, and they are starting to produce, but I think they are getting some sort of disease.  And I planted lettuce and spinach (several kinds) no less than 4 times, and never did any of them even pop through the dirt.

So I have to wonder, what am I doing wrong?  I weed (albeit not often), and I water every day (hmmm, well almost).  Here are some pictures of my garden after I weeded (actually I planted 3 gardens – 2 other plots were never used, so I “rescued” them).  Although can it really be called rescued?  Wouldn’t they have been happier in weedy oblivion?

I know, pathetic, right?  That half row of beans in the first picture, I actually planted as a whole row?  What happened to the other half of them, you ask?  I have no clue.  They just never came up.  Same seed packet. So in that huge blank space, I planted watermelons yesterday.  I hear they need a lot of water.  Good luck with that.

In the second picture, those are sunflowers in the back.  Then a (nonexistent) row of lettuce that never came up, then beans, and then (if you look really close) you can see the beginnings of cantaloupe.  Please, please, PLEASE grow!

Now for my success stories.  We are going to be eating a lot of zucchini and cucumbers.

I have 5 HUGE zucchinis on that vine, growing out of control, right now.  Why, oh why, cannot they come spaced apart a bit?  I think I am going to sell them at my upcoming yard sale this weekend.

And I won’t have trouble getting rid of how every many cucumbers that plant wants to throw at me.  Kayla could live off of cucumbers.

Now that you’ve listened to my sad gardening story, how about a little bit of humor?  All that money that my garden was going to save me, went straight to the doctor when I stepped on the sharp end of my rake (sitting spike side up, of course) which went halfway through my foot.  In my bare feet, of course, because who needs shoes around sharp gardening tools?

I’m about ready to give up, except who would water my cucumbers?

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2011 in About

 

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A FUN JULY 4

Here are some pictures of our July 4th celebration!  We took the girls to my parents’ for a picnic and outdoor fun, then came home for fireworks, literally in our backyard!

 

 

 

My mother is a gluten free pro.  She made a whole GF picnic (sans the rolls), even a big batch of my Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes, and they turned out even better than mine!

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in About

 

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SAFE AND UNSAFE FOOD LISTS

For those new to celiac disease and the GF diet, here are some links to safe and unsafe food lists (gluten-containing versus gluten-free).  I find this website to be very helpful overall.

Go here for a list of safe (gluten free) foods.

Go here for a list of unsafe foods (foods that contain gluten).

 
 

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