*Saving you some money in the Rock River Valley*


Welcome to our blog! While a lot of our deals may be specific to the Rockford area, you'll find many deals that are also good nationwide! We hope that our blog will be fun, informative, and that it will help you SAVE SOME MONEY!

Read here about our "Coupon Ethics"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Freelance Friday - Favorite sites and farewell

Well, here it is, the last post of this blog! It has been a fun journey and it's been wonderful to be able to share with you all the cool stuff we've discovered. We'd like to send you off with some of our favorite sites that can hopefully help you in your quest for frugality, fun, and such.

Baby Cheapskate - for all frugal baby-related purchases, from diapers, to wipes, to toy and clothes deals

The Frugal Girls - a fun money-saving website

I Heart Organizing - probably one of my all-time favorite blogs, what I dream about organizing! She also has fun, free printables to help you get organized

SayMmm - a free website to help you with meal planning. This is not a blog but a site to help you organize your meals and recipes. It takes a little work at the beginning to enter your recipes (or links to recipes) but it will help tremendously in the long run. Make a weekly meal plan by choosing the recipes you want for the week and you can print out a detailed grocery list! So cool!

Kristie already mentioned some other of my favorites, so I won't repeat them.

Again, thanks to all of you for a fun blogging journey!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wacky Wednesday - Cleaning #2

So true . . . and so wonderful when you look at the big picture: let's be thankful for the little tornadoes that make this true! I prayed for 8 years for a "little tornado" so now that I have her, I don't mind the mess (too much) . . . but sometimes in the daily grind I need to remind myself that the messes are not a big deal :0) So this quote makes me laugh!



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Tips - In Home Workouts!

I enjoyed this post by Candace Cameron Bure's Roo Magazine titled: "How to get a Personal Trainer in the comfort of your home."  She has some great tips on how to get a great workout without the price tag of a personal trainer.

A great website she mentions is www.collagevideo.com, where you can see clips of different workout videos before you decide if it is something you will use and enjoy.  Also, try the library too.  They don't always have the video you want so the website above is another option!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Meals - An Easy Go-To Meal

Let me share with you one of my favorite go-to meals. I love it because it is tasty, easy, and doesn't take much preparation. Oh, and it uses the crock pot so you can sort of forget about it for a little bit - just make sure you start it up about 4 hours before you want to eat. I call this my "chicken over rice" recipe, though it is also delicious over egg noodles and with peas.

4 chicken breast halves
1 dry packet of Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 package of cream cheese
milk

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix water and Italian seasoning together and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3 hours. Mix cream of chicken soup and softened cream cheese together - add a little bit of milk to desired consistency (it will get a little bit runnier when it cooks, but barely). Pour over chicken and cook for an extra hour. If the sauce is still a little thick, add a bit of milk. Serve with (or over) rice.

The original recipe (from which mine is adapted) calls for serving this more as "chicken with sauce". But I like having it more as a sauce with chicken over rice. So at the 3 hour mark, when it's time to add the sauce mix, I cut up the chicken into small piece before pouring the sauce mix over it. Just my preference! Oh, and I often just put the chicken still frozen into the crock pot - I just make sure they are not uber-thick pieces!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fare-thee-well

Well, we think that the time has come to close down this blog. As many of you have noticed, this blog has become more about sharing cool posts we find on the internet and less about the good deals to be found. Most all of our posts lately have been other people's ideas and not fresh content of our own.

We believe there are a few reasons for that:

1. When we started this blog back in January 2009, there were oodles of great freebies and deals, especially at CVS and Walgreens, and later on Target. Kristie and I would go to those stores every week and often post the deals we found (oftentimes two or three bags' worth of stuff). Fast forward a couple of years, and the deals are rare! It used to be you could go to one store and get multiple deals at once on things you could really use. Now you're lucky if you can find one good deal at each store - and who wants to run to 3 different stores to get a good deal on a $3 item you might or might not use? Plus, now that Hilander was bought out by Logli, there aren't any more great deals to be had.

2. When we started this blog there not that many money-saving blogs out there. Now there are (I think) hundreds! Instead of reinventing the wheel about deals to be found (since they were few and nothing we personally were interested in), we started posting the deals from other sites, giving them credit for the work.

3. When we started this blog, Kristie and I were both in a different season of life than we are in now. Things have changed and our time has had to be devoted to other things than running around trying to find deals that aren't there.

All that to say that we feel like this blog is not "new and fresh" and that we really don't have anything to offer that other blogs don't already have. This is why we have decided to say "farewell" to the blogging world.

We wanted to thank you, our readers, for your support and encouragement throughout the years. We will be posting until the end of next week, Friday the 17th. We will be highlighting blogs that have been helpful to us and where we have gotten much of our information to post.

Have a great week!

Freelance Friday - Favorite Sites

Here are a few of my favorite money saving, recipe, crafting websites to read on a daily basis:

Freebies 4 Mom - If you love free samples and great freebie tips and coupons, check her out!

Stretching a Buck - This is a great money saving blog!

Weelicious - Wonderful, healthy, easy recipes for the whole family.

Confessions of a Homeschooler - This site has tons of free downloads/worksheets and great ideas for teaching kids at home or just keeping them entertained when you hear . . . I'm bored. :) It's not just for homeschoolers!

Money Saving Mom - The original pioneer in the money saving blog arena.  She has great tips on saving money, using coupons, freezer cooking, meal planning and so so much more.

No Time for Flash Cards - Fun crafts and projects for kiddos.

Totally Target - Yes, you know I am a loyal Target shopper so Totally Target is my favorite Target deals website!



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday Tips - Links to free printables

Just wanted to share links to some pretty cool free printables I've found lately. Go check them out (if you have Pinterest, you can click on the image. If not, click on the link below the image)!









Friday, August 3, 2012

Freelance Friday - Smoothie Help

So maybe this is old news for some of you - but I just "discovered" this and it has revolutionized my smoothie-making: make yogurt ice cubes!

I make my own yogurt and every once in a while a batch ends up runnier than I like it. I used to just deal with it and eat (or should I say drink) it, but always found it hard to feed to my daughter on a spoon. Last time though, since we were leaving on vacation and had a bunch left over, I decided to pour it into an ice cube tray, then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag.

Can you say "score"? I actually like the way my smoothies turn out better now! I don't need to add ice cubes and I find that the smoothies are creamier. I think I'm going to start looking for yogurt on clearance (usually with a close expiration date) so I can pay very little and make a bunch of yogurt cubes!

What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Munchies - Jello Cookies (and play dough)

I think this would be such a fun project to do in the kitchen with my daughter! Of course she's only 17 months old, so I may need to wait a little while, but it's definitely on my radar for later! Apparently the cookie dough is good as play dough also - so let your child play with some of the dough, form it or cut it with a cookie cutter and then bake it!



This weeks coupon match-ups.

Here are this weeks coupon match-ups:

CVS deals courtesy of Money Saving Mom.

Walgreen's deals courtesy of Deal Seeking Mom.

Target deals courtesy of The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday Tip - 25 at-home science experiments

These all look like so much fun that I pinned this on my Pinterest board to save for when my daughter is older. If your kids are starting to get bored and you can't wait for them to get back into the routine of school, these might be a fun way to count down the days until school starts and learn something in the process!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Muchies - BLT Deviled Eggs

Who doesn't love a deviled egg?!  This is a great variation on the usual deviled egg . . . a BLT deviled egg.  YUM!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Toddler Thursday - The Olympics!

We have been doing a study on the Olympics this summer and are getting the kids geared up to cheer on Team USA!!!  The first thing we studied was some of the Olympic symbols.

Then we made these paper plate Olympic rings!


Go USA!

Freelance Friday - Date ideas

I love this idea of a "date jar" - especially since it has ideas for different budget times. For us, some months are better than others as far as "extra money" goes, so these ideas are great! Plus, for an indecisive person like me, it would be super helpful!

There are 3 categories: 1. dates that take a little more money and planning, 2. cheap dates that don't take much planning and 3. "stay at home" dates that take no money. Go check it out on Life in the Green House blog!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Tips - Laundry Soap

I recently tried my hand at homemade powder laundry soap and I LOVE it!  It took me maybe 10 minutes and has 4 ingredients (actually 3 I left out the lavender oil only because I didn't have any and I needed laundry soap asap!) Go here for the recipe.

Also, a fantastic tip on the same website is using white vinegar in the laundry in place of fabric softener.  I have noticed a difference and vinegar is so much cheaper.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Munchies - Shakes for Breakfast?

If you like Chai and you like the idea of a shake for breakfast, this post is for you. This "shake" is quite a bit healthier than most and sounds delicious to me, especially for breakfast! I'm going to have to try it out!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday Tip - Frame within frame pictures

Do you need a fresh idea for picture taking? I thought these two ideas were pretty ingenious! Whether for an anniversary or for a "4 generations" picture, the possibilities are endless!






Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Munchies - Mini Meatballs

These are some deliciously easy mini meatballs:

8 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 c finely chopped onion
2 T olive oil, divided
1 egg
1/2 c whole wheat bread crumbs
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt

In a large skillet, cook mushrooms and onions and 1 T of olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and starting to brown, stirring once.  Remove and set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, beat egg with a fork.  Stir in bread crumbs, turkey, garlic powder, and salt.  Stir in mushroom mixture.  Shape into 12 to 15 balls. 

Now you can either cook on the stove top or in the oven.

Stove top:  Heat remaining 1 T olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat.  Add meatballs.  Cook 10 minutes or until done.

Oven:  Omit the last 1 T of olive oil and put in a foil lined pan with sides and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Freelance Friday - 30 Questions

I found this list while browsing on Pinterest . . . and thought that it might be a good idea for long rides in the car with my husband (like we will be taking this week). Or these could be fun questions to get conversation (and laughter) going on a date night - you might be surprised at the new things you find out about your date / spouse!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Munchies - No bake energy bites

Every heard of no bake energy bites? I posted a recipe for them last year in August . . . and found another one that I quickly tried out. If you need a quick bite of "something" to hold you over until supper (or maybe like the girl below - who must be hypoglycemic like me - to keep you from biting someone's head off), these are both great and very yummy recipes. Go check them out!



Friday, June 29, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tip - Tips for shopping at Target

 



Here is a great post on shopping tips for Target! It even has a clearance tip (what days things get marked down, how much, and when it's at its lowest). Check it out. Thanks MommySavers!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Freelance Friday - Easy Cleaning Schedule

Here's a nice and "easy" cleaning schedule that I think would work well for me. I have a similar one posted on my fridge, but I might have to give this one a try to see which of the two I like best. Make sure to go check out the entire post!



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Tip - Berry Ice Cubes

Here is a great way to get your kids (or anyone who doesn't like water, like me) to drink more water this summer. Or this can just be a great addition to your Independence Day celebration decor. Or . . . well, go check it out and see what you could use these yummy colorful Berry Ice Cubes for!


Thank for the great idea Super Healthy Kids!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Tips - Homemade Lip Gloss

Making Memories posted a recipe for homemade lip gloss . . . every little girls obsession.  It requires 2 inexpensive ingredients.  Check it out here.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Munchies - Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake Ice Cream Sundae

Oh me, oh my! Here's a good way to use your iron skillet! Wow - this looks good enough to eat right off the computer screen! My mouth is watering right now.

(Just FYI, the recipe is at the bottom of the post, after her story about camping).