Frugal Fall Decorating

Update: I absolutely have loved this centerpiece, however the pumpkin turned into an awesome science experiment when we realized it began to grow mold inside the closed jar. Soooo, if you’re going to try this one out yourself, I recommend leaving the jar open or possibly just using it for a few days during the fall season! ;)

Frugal Fall Decorating

Is anyone else just itching to start fluffing up for fall?  To be honest, I’ve loved every bit of summer this year, but the minute I see a pumpkin I’m ready to pull out my fall decorations.

So this week when my friend Shannon sent a picture over of the glass container that she’d found at Walmart for $9.99, I knew I had to get started.  It’s exactly like this one at Amazon for $9.99, just a bit larger size, so either one would make such a nice centerpiece (and combined they’d be beautiful!)

 

Now, here’s my trick for those big ole’ jars.  Instead of spending a pretty penny filling them up, use some of your stockpiled canned goods as spacers . . .

Then I just filled the jar with dried peas, popcorn, and a pumpkin that I picked up at Walmart for under $10!

Looking for more frugal fall decorating ideas? Here are a few more of my favorites:

Frugal Thanksgiving Centerpiece

 

This post is linked up to Living Well Spending Less Thrifty Thursday. I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 
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Have You Antique Shopped Lately?

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This chalkboard table was $69

A few weeks ago while visiting my dad in Louisville, Kentucky, he took me to the most fun antique store (Sugar Babes Antiques ~ you can check them out here on Facebook) and they had so many wonderful items for sale, at incredible prices!  Like I shared last week, there are tons of items you can find secondhand for a fraction of retail prices, and so many of them make for some really fun shabby chic decorating.  Here’s what we found while we were there . . .  

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This cute oval table for just $59 (I think I’m a tad obsessed with this shade of blue. . . see HERE, HERE, HERE and even HERE)

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this bright yellow stool for $45 (I wish I had room for it in my kitchen!)

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This old refrigerator was so fun, but I forgot to get the price (oops!)

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My favorite find was this table for just $89 including the leaf and two chairs ~ such a great deal, and would be such a fun starter set if you were just starting out!

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I also loved this simple print for $23

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And this cane chair with so much character was just $35

 

Have you found any penny pinched furniture at a local thrift store, antique store, or yard sale? If so, I’d love to share your pictures! Send me an email at contact@passionatepennypincher . com (leave out the spaces), and if I share photos of you finds here on PPP you’ll get an $10 Amazon gift card.

 

In case you happen to be in the Louisville, Kentucky area, you can visit SugarBabe Antiques at 7511 Highway 329 in Crestwood, KY 40014.  They had so many unique items, and I definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area!

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Walmart September Savings

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I made a quick run to Walmart this morning, and found quite a few deals for you to add to your list this week! I’m usually not much of a Walmart shopper, but they do have some great deals on produce as well as some pretty good coupon deals. Here’s what I found:

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Grapes $.99/lb. (stock up price)

 

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Pillsbury Toast Strudel $1.98

 

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Bisquick $1.08

 

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Duncan Hines Frosting Creations $.84

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Fleischmann’s Yeast $1.42

  • $.40/1 Fleischmann’s 9/8 Red Plum insert
  • $1.02 after coupon

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Nestle Toll House Morsels $2.28

 

 

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Honey Nut Cheerios $2.78

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Frosted Flakes $2.96

 

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Del Monte Fruit Cups $2

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Hunt’s Snack Pack $1

 

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Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $2

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Green Giant Veggie Chips $1.98

 

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Glade Plug In Warmers $1.38

 

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Soft Scrub $2.77

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Comet $.93

  • Use $.35/1 Comet from the 8/25 Smart Source insert
  • $.58 after coupon

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Pampers $8.97

  • Use $1.50/1 Pampers or $2/1 Pampers from the 9/1 PG insert
  • $6.97 after coupon

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Huggies $8.97

  • $3/1 Huggies Little Snugglers from the 8/18 Smart Source insert
  • $5.97 after coupon

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Beech Nut Baby Food $.50

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Gerber Baby Food $.63

  • $1/2 Gerber product from the 9/8 Red Plum insert
  • $.13 after coupon

 

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Gerber Baby Food $1.98

  • $1/2 Gerber product from the 9/8 Red Plum insert 
  • $1.48 after coupon

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Heinz Ketchup $1.56

  • $.50/1 Heinz from the 8/25 Red Plum insert
  • $1.06 after coupon 

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  • Colgate $2.96
  • Use $2/1 Colgate Mouthwash from the 9/8 Smart Source insert
  • $.96 after coupon 

 

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Ivory Bar Soap 3 pack $1.24

  • $.50/1 Ivory from the 9/1 PG insert
  • $.84 after coupon

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Edge Shave Gel $2.44

 

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Band Aid $1.97

  • $3/3 Band Aid coupon from the 9/8 Smart Source or $.75/2 Band Aid
  • $.97 after coupon
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Target September Savings

Use everything above to make some an easy meal deal for just $3-$4 tonight!

 

I thought the deals this morning were looking pretty pitiful, so I decided to hop away from my computer and make a quick Target run to see if they had any great deals with all the new mobile and printable coupons that have popped up over the last week. Goodness gracious, they were stocked with bargains! I’ll post my pics of the entire trip later today, but here are all the deals to get you ready to shop too.

 

First, if you have a phone that receives texts, you’re going to want to send the following codes to the phone number 827438:

  • OFFERS
  • upup
  • LUNCHBAG
  • FRESH
You can also check out all the Target Cartwheel coupons available (there are a jillion . . . okay, maybe not a jillion but it sure feels like it!) I actually didn’t use these when I was shopping this morning because I was in a hurry, but if you have a few extra minutes they’re worth checking out.

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Up & Up Hand Soap $.98

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Up & Up Ibuprofen $1.04

  • $1/1 Up & Up Pain Relief when you text upup to 827438 
  • $.04 after coupon

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Up & Up Cotton Balls $.97

  • $.50/1 Up & Up Cosmetic Cotton Item when you text upup to 827438 
  • Use 5% off Cartwheel coupon
  • $.43 after coupon

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Edge Shave Gel $2.44

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Onions $.85 each (I bought 2)

  • Use $1/1 fresh vegetable when you text FRESH t0 827438 
  • $.35 each after coupon

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Ground Beef $2.49 per/lb. (great price!)

  • Use $1/1 Ground Beef when you text FRESH t0 827438 
  • $1.49 after coupon

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Smucker’s Uncrustables $2.94

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Market Pantry Pasta $1.39

  • Use $.75/1 Market Pantry Pasta
  • $.64 after coupon

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Market Pantry Pasta Sauce $1.52

  • $.75/1 Market Pantry Pasta Sauce 
  • $.77 after coupon

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Smuckers Toppings $1.99

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Market Pantry Fruit Cups $.98

  • $1/2 Market Pantry Fruit Cups 3
  • $.48 after coupon

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Market Pantry Peanut Butter $2

  • watch for hangtags for $.50/1 Market Pantry Jelly, Marmalade or Preserves on canisters

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Jif To Go $2.49

  • $1/1 Jif to Go (manufacturer coupon on Target site)
  • $1.49 after coupon (Aldi had them for $2.49 a few weeks ago, but you can’t use coupons there so this is a much better deal!)

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Reynold’s Baking Cups $1.14

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Wet Ones Wipes $2.29

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Up & Up Facial Tissues $1.39

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Up & Up Aluminum Foil $1.49

  • $.50/1 Up & Up Food Storage Item  when you text upup to 827438 
  • Use 5% off Cartwheel
  • $.91 after coupon

 

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Up & Up Nail Polish Remover $.97

  • Use $.50/1 Up & Up Nail Polish Remover  when you text upup to 827438 
  • Use 5% off Cartwheel app
  • $.42 after coupon (this one did not automatically come up for me, however I asked at customer service and it should have, so hopefully it will work for you without any issues!)

 

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Bananas $.24 per banana

  • $1/1 fresh fruit when you text FRESH t0 827438
  • Free after coupon

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Clearance Binders $.69

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Lots of school clearance marked 30% off

 

See all the top deals at Target this week, and create your Target shopping list before you shop.

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How We Furnished Our Dining Room For $150

I love pretty things. I love pretty fabrics and pretty colors and pretty rooms . . . and pretty everything. But more often than not those pretty rooms come with a price tag that’s not in our family’s budget. so I’ve spent years coming up with ways to make a beautiful home and still stay on track.

 

Last week, when I finally changed the seat cushions on our dining room chair cushions (you can see how much I changed the dining room with just paint HERE), and it really is just a perfect room (for us.) It’s fully stocked with hand-me-downs, but each one kind of tells a story, and I love it just the way it is.

 

Here’s how we did it:

  1. Our dining room table was free.  The dining room table is from my husband’s grandparents home, and we were the only ones in the family who had a place for it seventeen years ago when we bought our first home. It was nothing like what I would have chosen (although it is pretty traditional), and for years I wished we could afford a prettier new table. But, over the years it’s grown along with it, and I’m so thankful that we didn’t waste money on an expensive table at a time when we really couldn’t afford it. I also love when my father-in-law comes to visit, and reminds me that he spent hours doing homework on that very same table. 
  2. The toile curtains were also handed down.  My friend Nancy (who blogs at Real Food Allergy Free), called a few years ago and asked if I’d want black toile curtains from her grandmother’s home as they were selling the house and no one else was interested. They fit my windows exactly, and I really do love them. (And those sweet silhouettes of my children? They were my souvenir from Disney World last year ~ and I think a complete steal at $45.)
  3. My neighbors had the small desk in the corner out by the street for the trash to pick up one day. It was a lighter oak stain, so I spent a few dollars re-staining it to match the room, but it’s made for some great extra storage space.
  4. The Kentucky Morning Turn Out print in the picture was a gift to my husband before he and I got married. Other than re-matting it about ten years ago, I haven’t done anything to it and I love that it reminds me of Kentucky whenever I pass through.
  5. I had a Southern Living party years ago and the Southern Living Plate rack was a hostess gift. (Sometimes hosting a party is worth it!)  I just use my everyday dishes on it ~ nothing fancy.
  6. The centerpiece was an old urn I found in the clearance bins at Hobby Lobby seven years ago, and I’ve updated the flowers a few times. My guess is I’ve spent about $20 on items to fill it.
  7. The set of lamps on our buffet were purchased on sale at Kirkland’s for $30, and have been re-painted (with spray paint) at least 3 times. Gotta love what a can of spray paint will do!
  8. The chairs. Oh my heavens ~ the chairs! I have loved and hated these chairs, but right now I’m pretty much in love. They’ve been re-covered four times since we got them (they came with the table), and while I’ve dreamed of having slipcovered chairs, just changing the fabric to a fresh print has made them so much more bearable. I bought the fabric for $20 at Hobby Lobby, and while it’s pretty trendy for this oh-so-traditional girl, I figure when it gets dated I’ll spend another $20 and do them over again. (I love the power of re-covered chairs almost as much as a fresh coat of paint!)
  9. We spent $50 to add wall panels to the molding, which makes such an impact on the room. My husband is pretty good at wielding a jigsaw, so it took one day a few years ago, but was worth every bit of time and money that we spent on it.
The biggest change this last week was just the chair cushions . . . . here they are before:

 

And just $20 made such a difference . . .

If you’ve struggled with loving beautiful rooms and living on a penny pinched budget, I encourage you to look for ways to fluff what you already have ~ it’s amazing what you can do without spending much at all! Next week I’ll be posting some amazing finds I found at an antique store (which is a great place to start if you don’t have anything), and I’d love to hear how you’ve saved while decorating your home too.

 

 

This post is linked up to Living Well Spending Less Thrifty Thursday.  I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe {Slow Cooker}

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you goAlso enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 

Have I mentioned lately I love Mrs. Potts? I don’t know about you, but our afternoon schedule this fall is about to make me bonkers, and if it weren’t for her doing the cooking at least one night a week I’m pretty sure we’d rarely manage a real meal around here. Thankfully all I have to do is throw in the ingredients in the morning, and she finishes up the work for me throughout the day!

 

 

When a friend of mine shared this Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup recipe with me,  I couldn’t wait to try it.  It makes a ton of soup (seriously ~ my large crockpot was filled to the brim last night), so you can easily make a batch up now, enjoy leftovers later this week, and still have some to pop in your freezer for another busy night. (Success!)

 

(And, if you really want to treat your family, try out these Olive Garden Breadsticks too. My daughter Reagan is just about to lose her first baby tooth ~ I know I’ll be glad to have this picture of that wiggly bottom tooth one of these days!)

 

Olive Garden’s {Slow Cooker} Pasta Fagioli Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 (10 oz) cans beef stock
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 5 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce optional ~ we left this out)
  • 1 20 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz pasta

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef.
  2. Drain fat from beef and add to the slow cooker with everything except the pasta.
  3. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
  4. Add pasta and cook an additional 30 minutes on high or 45 minutes on low.
  5. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (we love the DiGiorno brand) and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 9/4/13):

  • Mueller’s Pasta BOGO $1.59 at Publix, use $1/2 Mueller’s Pasta
  • Kraft Grated Cheese BOGO $3.60 at Publix
  • Del Monte Tomatoes BOGO $3.50 at Publix
  • Publix Ground Round $3.99/lb.
  • Swanson Broth On Sale $2 at Publix
  • Ragu Pasta Sauce $1.50 at Publix, use $1/2 Ragu Pasta coupon from the Best Meals Happen At Home insert
  • Celery $1 at Kroger
  • Carrots $1 at Kroger
  • Ground Chuck 80% in 5 lb. roll $13.45 at Kroger
  • Prego Pasta Sauce $1.67 at Kroger

Recipe adapted from Food.com.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HEREThis post is linked up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less. Thanks for the opportunity to link up!

 

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$5 Burlap Monogram


I’ve had this Burlap monogram picture pinned on my Pinterest inexpensive crafts board since I first started pinning, so when I was looking for an easy front door idea for fall I knew I had to try it out! A few years ago I’d used a canvas to make this front door monogram, so this was an easy way to give it a freshened up look. 

 

Here’s what it cost to make:

  • Burlap $1 (used 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby)
  • 14″x18″ Canvas (I already had one, but you can get them for $3-$4 at Hobby Lobby)
  • Sharpie Marker $.25
  • Ribbon $.50

As I was trying to figure out how I would paint the monogram on, it occurred to me that I have a jillion Sharpie Markers floating around thanks to this year’s Back-to-School sales. So, here’s what I did:

  • Stapled burlap onto canvas ~ I actually doubled the fabric so that it was nice and thick. (I colored in the monogram before stapling it the first time, and it was hard to get it straight, so I’d recommend stapling it down first so you can get it pulled nice and tight before working on.)
  • Used a wooden “H” as my stencil (I just used the one from my last door hanger), you can get them for $1.99 at Hobby Lobby if you don’t have a steady hand ~ I don’t so this definitely helped!)
  • Colored it in with the Sharpie.
  • Done!
 

{I really do love how much better our porch looks now that we fluffed it up a bit this summer ~ it’s amazing what a little paint can do, but you can tell we still need to sweep around here!}

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

This post is linked up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less and Follow Our Thrift. Thanks for the opportunity to link up!

 

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Homemade Chicken Tenders With Zax Sauce

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

 Zax Sauce

My family is addicted to Zaxby’s. Well, let’s just say my husband is addicted to Zaxby’s, so we all tag along for the ride.

 

If you’re not from the South, you’ve probably not even heard of a Zaxby’s, but when we moved to Alabama we noticed they keep fried chicken finger chains on just about every corner. Since Zaxby’s is our favorite (especially since they send us coupons every once in awhile), we frequent it quite a bit.

 

We all love the Chicken Tenders with Zax Sauce, however it’s far from the healthiest meal on the planet (clearly!) So I decided to see if I could mimic it at home, with a few healthy twists  My family loved it (my son actually proclaimed it better than Zaxbys), and it was an easy way to please everyone and enjoy a simple meal at home. Here’s how to make it at your house too . . .

 

Zax Sauce

Homemade Chicken Tenders

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs (you could also use crushed Ritz Crackers or crushed Rice Krispies)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and pour into pie plate or shallow bowl.
  2. In a separate shallow bowl, mix together flour, bread crumbs and seasoning salt.
  3. Dip chicken strips in butter, then dredge in bread crumb mixture.
  4. Add chicken to lightly greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes in oven at 400.
  6. Serve with barbecue sauce, honey mustard sauce or Zax sauce (see recipe below.)
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Zax Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used fat free mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate at least two hours.
  3. Serve with Chicken Tenders ~ enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 8/28/13):

This post is linked up to Living Well Spending Less Thrifty Thursday (thanks for the opportunity to link up!) Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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How I Learned To Love Doing Laundry

{If you’re just here for the deals (I understand!) scoot on past to the next penny pinched post. But, if you need a little encouragement in your daily work today, maybe this is just for you!}

 

I do a lot of laundry around here. My guess is that in the last thirteen years since having children, at an average of 4.5 loads of laundry per week, I’ve done just over 3,000 loads of laundry now that I’ve claimed the awesome title “mom.”

 

And most of those days (ummm . . . almost every single one?) I’ve begrudgingly folded tiny socks, turned shirts inside out, and of course fluffed (and re-fluffed) pants or pretty pink dresses in hopes of never plugging in an iron.

 

Last spring though, I had one of those lightbulb moments as I folded. It dawned on me that I could use those few minutes to pray for my family members as they’re out in the world each day, away from our secure home.

 

Our laundry room

As I fold their socks, I pray that God will guide their footsteps while they walk through the halls at school.

 

When hanging up their shirts, I pray that He will help them put on the full armor of God in a world I can’t protect them from.

 

When folding their pants, I pray that God would place them in just the right spot in their classrooms or at work today.

 

And when putting their clothes away I pray that God would inhabit their room and make it a safe place where they sleep peacefully that night.

 

 

It’s helped take some of the dailiness out of one of my most mundane tasks, and reminds me just how blessed I am to have crazy abundance in my (sometimes monotonous) everyday daily life. (I have machines that do all the washing and drying for me ~ how on earth can I complain?) And it’s given me a way to re-connect not only with my family as they’re out and about, but also with a God who loves them even more than I ever could.

 

This was my children’s first week back at school, and I think I’ll always have a difficult time watching them go. But this is something tiny I can do, that gives more purpose to the work He’s granted me here at home while they’re gone. And while my prayers are nothing fancy (at all!), this is a simple way I’ve been able to pray specifically for each one of them throughout the day.

 

Have you found ways to pray for your make a “daily” job more meaningful while working at home or in a job outside your home?  I’d love to hear your tips and suggestions too!

 

{On a side note, I will not be sharing this post with my hubby who occasionally offers to fold laundry . . . . I wouldn’t want to rob him of his opportunity to help!} ;)

 

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

Oh my heavens, you’ve got to make thisSeriously.

 

I worked diligently Sunday coming up with a menu plan for the week and making a grocery list. I was even so ahead of the game that Tuesday afternoon I left the house for carpool duty at 2 and returned at 6 with dinner in the oven, all baked up and ready to go. {We have an oven that you can set ahead of time ~ such a nice gift when I remember to use it!}

 

It was perfect. And easy. And, to be honest, all that organization even impressed me. ;)

 

Ummmm . . . until my hubby walked in the door, took a deep whiff, and said “Hmmm. . . are we having Mexican?”

 

To which I excitedly replied “YES!!!”

 

He then informed me that he’d had Mexican ~ for the last two days ~ while on business meetings for lunch.

 

Here’s a hint to all the men out there {all three of you}:  never, ever {EVER!}, tell your wife-that-cooks-and-cleans-and-shops-and-taxis-your-children-around-all-day-long that you’re not all that excited about her cooking because you’ve had something similar ~ with other living, breathing adults ~ for lunch. It just doesn’t bode well for you. ‘Nuf said.

 

You can bet he’s eating leftover Mexican again tonight. ;)

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package taco seasoning (I used the store brand)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 oz can green chilis
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used mozzarella because that's what was in my fridge)
  • green onions
  • sliced olives
  • tortillas (10-12)

Instructions

  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Place chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Pour garlic powder, green chilis, lime juice, taco seasoning, and water on top of chicken. Cook on low 5-6 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  4. Shred chicken (it should shred easily.)
  5. Mix together can of cream of chicken soup and sour cream.
  6. Put half of the sour cream mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 casserole, and mix the other half in with the shredded chicken.
  7. Place about 1/4 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla along with 2 tbsp shredded cheese.
  8. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in casserole dish.
  9. Repeat again with all the tortillas.
  10. Pour enchilada sauce over the entire casserole and then cover with remaining cheese.
  11. Top with green onions and sliced olives.
  12. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional five minutes.
  13. Enjoy!
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Note: This is the BEST slow cooker Mexican chicken I’ve ever made, and you could easily use the recipe for taco salads or regular tacos.  When I make it again I’ll double the slow cooker part of the recipe, and freeze the meat to easily have dinner on a busy night!  Also, be sure to pick up sliced black olives, not chopped black olives. Oops.

 

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 8/21/13):

 

Looking for more slow cooker recipe ideas? Here are a few of my favorites:

 

This post is linked up to Crock Pot Ladies Slow Cooker Saturday – thanks for the opportunity to link up!  Recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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