Friday, April 30, 2010

Loaves and Fishes: God's Daily Provisions

Stepping back in time, I wanted to share the story about how the Lord provided a FREE place for my family to live when I was in the fifth grade.  My Dad had been student pastoring a church in NC for 4 years (and also going to Duke Seminary part-time) and so we lived in the church parsonage (it was fully furnished and a wonderful home).  My Mom stayed at home with us when we weren't in school.  It was our 5th year in NC when my Dad felt like God was calling him to go to Seminary full-time and step down from his role as pastor so he could devote his time to studying & classes.  Since that would mean we'd have no income, Mom re-entered the workforce for the first time since my sister and I were born.  She found a job as an assistant teacher in a mentally handicapped class at a middle school. 

Leaving the church meant we would have to leave the parsonage.  Without money to buy or rent a home or furnish it for that matter, we prayed that God would somehow give us a free place to live for a year.  Out of nowhere, a couple in our church called my folks and said they had a house in the mountains of NC that they wanted to renovate for a year and wondered if we would occupy their farmhouse rent free while they were away!  Talk about providing!  So, we gratefully moved into this beautiful, old, fully-furnished farmhouse and made ourselves at home. 

It was such a blessing and to top it off, we tried to pay the electric bill one month but when the meter reader guy came out, he explained with a very puzzled look on his face that somehow a bug got stuck in the meter and he wasn't able to charge us because nothing had registered!  Another praise!

Such a sweet year of faithfully trusting God to provide for our family of four, not knowing where we would go at the end of the year!  It just so happens that God called my Dad to pastor a church in Crestview, Florida that next year so it meant a big move and lots of faith!  That's were I spent my middle school and high school years.  Wonderful memories!

Do you have a loaves & fishes story to share?


Happy Friday friends!

We just got done registering our baby girl for Kindergarten!  Sniff, sniff.  It's so stinkin hard to believe she's already five!  She's so ready and will do great!  It was so fun for her.  The school is fantastic and we saw a few people we know so that's a plus.  They took the kids (and parents) on a scavenger hunt around the school and gave the kids goodie bags filled with fun things (a Eric Caryle book, Caprisun, fruit snacks, pencils, crayons and stickers).  Brit's ALL about a goodie bag!

Off to workout, clip some coupons and then to PetSmart and CVS after dinner to hit a few sales.

What are you doing this weekend?

Sunday coupon preview

I love getting to see what's in the Sunday paper a few days before it comes out! It really helps me pre-plan and get my menu together before hitting the stores. Harris Teeter is still running triples until 5/4, so I might make another run after I clip Sunday's coupons.

Here are some of my favorites:

.50/1 BirdsEye Steamfresh Vegetable, Pasta or Rice (5/30)
$4 off Adult Zyrtec - 24ct or larger (exp 7/02)
$3 off Children’s Zyrtec (exp 7/02) (GOTTA LOVE ALLERGY SEASON IN MIDDLE TN!)
.75/1 Sara Lee Hearty & Delicious bread Buns or Rolls (exp 6/19)
$1 off Covergirl product
.75/1 Crest toothpaste 4.0oz or larger liquid or gel

Thanks, SouthernSavers!

Click here to see the insert variation in your area!

Want free newspaper coupons? Check-out Freecycle! I tried signing-up yesterday but had technical difficulties.

Old Navy 30% Off This Weekend

Today through Sunday, enjoy 30% off everything in stock! Hoping to get there tomorrow to check-out the deals. Little man could use some more summer shirts. Who knows what else we'll find! *This offer isn't available online, in-store only!

Did you find any good deals?

Thanks, Faithful Provisions!

Fun Fruit & Veggie Motivator for Kids

This is a GREAT craft to do with your child(ren). It's always a challenge in our house to get the kids to eat more fruits and veggies. So, Britain and I got out some old magazines and started clipping pictures of fruits & veggies. We made a pouch out of cardstock, glued the picture cut-outs onto smaller pieces of cardstock and glued popsicle sticks on the backs. I made a deal with them. The goal is to eat at least 4 fruits & veggies per day. When they reach 50 (I'm keeping track), we'll do a fun family outing together to celebrate. I'm thinking Monkey's Treehouse, JumpZone, the Zoo, etc.

It's really been a great motivator! The challenging part for me is to stay on top of it! It really helps to have a visual reminder in the kitchen that we can all see. I love challenging them to try new fruits/veggies they haven't had before. The staple fruits and veggies we keep on hand at our house are: bananas, grapes, apples, baby carrots and strawberries.

You'll need:
Popsicle sticks
Glue (Elmer's works fine)
Magazine cut-outs of fruits and veggies

How do you motivate your child(ren) to eat or try new fruits and veggies?

Generous Living

God has given Chris and I both the desire to live generously but most of the time, we feel "restricted" in our giving because we live paycheck to paycheck. So, until we have money overflowing in the bank (ha!), I'm really going to buckle down and start saving up on toiletries, feminine products, food and misc. items to give to local ministries in our area. I'll be posting about my stash as it grows! This past December, I was able to get a free Diabetic kit and it's still sitting in my closet doing no one any good! Excited to build my stash and bless others!

Money Saving Mom posted about some freebies at Target this week that would make for GREAT giveaway items.

What do you do with your freebie stash?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sweet CeCe's

If you live in or around Franklin, TN, chances are you've been to or heard of the hottest place (in my opinion) in Downtown Franklin, Sweet Cece's yogurt shop! It's located at Five Points across from Starbucks. You'll find us there at least once a week. It's becoming a regular family outing most Friday nights. We switched it up and took the kids and Britain's friend tonight since it was a gorgeous night.

It's the cutest little shop, I just love the way they've decorated it. There's not a ton of seating but there are benches and tables right outside on the sidewalk and if you walk down to the Episcopal Church just past the Fire Station on West Main (a few doors down from Sweet Cece's), there's a beautiful courtyard that our kids love running around in.

The yogurt is delish and pretty healthy (see WW points for some of the flavors below and the nutritional info here. And check-out these yummy toppings! My kids like putting cereal on their yogurt! Me? I prefer warm chocolate sauce and choc/peanut butter candy toppings. But now that I'm back on WW, I got a cup of the No sugar added vanilla yogurt (1 cup serving size is 4 pts) and a spoonful of sliced strawberries! A yummy & healthy treat!

When you go, be sure to ask for a punch card. After the 9th punch, you get one FREE! And Tuesday's are two-punch Tuesday's! Also, if you go between 5-6PM Mon-Thur, you can BOGOF! I love that they're open until 11PM on Friday & Saturday nights...makes for a great ending to a date night!

*All points listed below are for 1/2 cup serving size*
Non-fat Country Vanilla (2 pts)
Original Tart (1 pt)
(In addition to the staples)
Classic Chocolate (2 pts)
Georgia Peach (2 pts)
Blueberry Burst
No Sugar Added Vanilla (2 pts)
Very Berry Sorbet
Chocolate Covered Cherry
Dulce de Leche

Maybe we'll see you there!

"Mommy Moment" Contest by Mom's Best Naturals

I'm a HUGE fan of Mom's Best Naturals cereal. All 4 of us eat their Mallow Oats (the healthy version of Lucky Charms without all the chemicals and unheatlhy oils) like it was going out of style! Kroger has them on sale right now for $1.99/box!!

Check-out this GREAT contest here! I just submitted my entry. Want to know what you win if you're chosen?

*The Grand Prize winner will receive $500 cash award, Flip Cam, Eco-friendly shopping tote, and a year's worth of free cereal.
*3 First Place winners will receive an Eco-friendly tote and a year's worth of free cereal.

I don't know about you but I do it for the cereal alone! Make sure you submit your entry before May 2nd.

FREE dog treats at PetSmart

Get FREE milkbone essentials dog treats at PetSmart (priced at $2) when you use this $2/1 coupon.

Our mini-schnauzer LOVES it when the kids give him doggie treats. We happen to be out so I'm gonna head out this weekend and take advantage of this deal! Scoutiepants (as we call him) deserves some yummy treats! He's a good sport with the kids!

Thanks, Moneysavingmom!

*Sweet pic of Britain and Scout when she was around 2 months old!

Tea Party in a basket

Thanks to Lifeasmom for posting about this wonderful gift idea. These would be great for Mother's Day, teacher gifts, birthdays, thank you gifts or even blessing a friend unexpectedly! The list is endless! Check-out this tea party gift basket here.

Mission Tortilla coupon

Soft tortillas are a staple in our home. We have them almost every week - whether it's soft tacos, turkey roll-ups or just to munch on. Chris likes the flour best but I try to keep the fridge stocked with the whole wheat version since they're healthier. So excited about this .75/1 coupon here! Thanks, Hip2Save!

Loaves and Fishes: God's Daily Provisions

God is so faithful to provide for ALL our needs if we seek Him! Matthew 6:33 happens to be my family's verse growing-up. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you."

Every time we would see 6:33 on the clock we would praise God and think about what this verse means. Even last night, I glimpsed at the clock on the stove right at 6:33pm and smiled. From early on in life, I remember how God faithfully provided the smallest thing, even a dozen eggs, on up to a free house for a year and even free cars! Nothing is TOO small for God!

I've decided to start posting a section called "Loaves and Fishes: God's Daily Provisions" so I can share what God's doing in our lives. And from time to time, I'll also share stories about past provisions.

This is actually yesterday's provision. A friend randomly decided she wanted to give Britain her daughter's plastic mat (for Kindergarten naptimes) when her daughter moves up to 1st grade this fall. I asked if I could pay her for it and she said it was given to her and she wanted to pass it along. Thank you Lord for a free mat! I truly feel like the only way to "pay" people back sometimes, is to give to others and share the love! Although the world would laugh, I believe no request is too small for God!

Weight Watchers friendly Whole Wheat Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Britain and I love baking together! We've made two batches of these yummy muffins this week. And they're perfect for those of us on Weight Watchers - only 2 pts each. Plus, it's a fun way to "sneak" a little zucchini into our kids diet. Brit loves grating the zucchini! These are such sweet teachable moments with her. So thankful I have a little lady who loves helping me in the kitchen and knows what a zucchini is and isn't afraid to have it in her muffins! I watched a bit of the Jamie Oliver clip here and was floored that there's kids who have no clue what tomatoes and other veggies are. I believe it starts with healthy eating at home.

Enjoy these scrumptious treats!

Whole Wheat Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

1/3 c sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c quick oats
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c shredded zucchini
2 TBSP oil
1 egg, beaten (I used a FF Egg Substitute)
3/4 c skim milk
1/2 c chocolate chips

*Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line muffin tin with cups or spray with cooking spray.
*In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
*In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, oil, egg and milk.
*Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moist.
*Add chocolate chips.
*Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.
*Cool on cooling rack and serve.

Calories: 78 cal
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fat: 3 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 8 grams
Sodium: 40 mg
Potassium: 95 mg

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Welcome to FRUGALadee! Please read the 'About Me' section up top to find out who I am and why I started this blog. Today is my first day posting so see below for today's posts. I actually got really post-happy and went a little crazy!

Please note: Since I work during the day, I'll do most of my postings early in the morning (while the house is quiet) or in the evenings after the kids go down. Therefore, you'll see multiple posts at a time so be sure to scroll down for the latest additions.

So thankful you stopped by!

Brooke, The FRUGALadee

Treasure hunt for Organic coupons

Trader Joe's is my FAVORITE place to shop for organic/all natural foods. However, they don't take coupons and the closest store is about 30 minutes away. I don't get there often, maybe once a month. So, I'm on the hunt for organic coupon sites and resources. I've found that Kroger's organic section is growing and I find some really good deals most weeks. Here's my organic coupon roundup to make the savings even sweeter! Click here, here, here, and here for coupon sites and resources.

FREE Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

We're slowly trying to phase out of traditional light bulbs in our home. Not only to save money in the long run, but more importantly to save energy. Target has 4 pk GE Reveal Light Bulbs on sale for $2. Stack with this $1.50 Target coupon (search under Household) to get them FREE or next to nothing. Here's another GE printable coupon.
We have 2-3 boxes on hand that I've gotten FREE at Target because of great deals like this. also has a $1 off coupon for any GE Energy Smart light bulb product at Walmart.

Now, here's how you can sign-up to get 2 FREE energy efficient light bulbs. Thanks Faithful Provisions for posting about this great deal.

Grease be gone!

Hmmmm, what do you do with unwanted grease drippings and how do you dispose of them without an icky mess?

I've struggled for years with what to do. I've dumped them down the drain (a BIG no no!); I've saved them in a coffee can and tried refilling it until the smell grossed me out! Even with the lid closed, the smell was unbearable! Most of the time, I just drain the drippings into a bowl, let them harden overnight and then wipe them into the trash the next day. However, it's hard to get that greasy mess out of the bowl - so you either have to rinse it out with your hands (ick!) or put it in the dishwasher with a filmy substance still in the bowl. Well, my ingenious husband, has come up with an INCREDIBLE way to dispose of unwanted drippings! And it's the simplest method ever! Why didn't we think of it sooner?

Simply line a bowl with a square piece of tinfoil. Be sure it covers the bottom completely and hangs over the sides a bit. Drain the drippings out onto the foil, let them harden overnight and the next morning, fold up the foil and toss it in the trash! Ingenious I tell ya!

Harris Teeter Triples

I was at HT before 6AM anxiously waiting to get my deals! Normally, by the time I make it to HT for triples, everything's picked over. Not today!

Here's what I was able to get:

Ortega Taco Seasoning .99 each (.75/2, tripled $2.25 off) = 4 packets for FREE
Mentos gum $1.49 (.55 Q, tripled $1.65 off) = 4 bottles of gum for FREE
Viva Single roll $1.99 (.60 Q, tripled $1.80) = 2 rolls for .38
No Yolk Noodles $2.29 (.75 Q, tripled $2.25 off) = 2 packages for .08
French's mustard $1.95 (.50 Q, tripled $1.50 off) = 1 bottle for .45
Welch's grape jelly $2.49 (.55 Q, tripled $1.65 off) = 1 bottle for .84
Scrubbing Bubbles $3.89 (.75 Q, tripled $2.25 off) = $1.64
Greenworks Cleaner $2.99 (.50 Q, tripled $1.50 off) = 2 bottles for $2.98
Birdseye Steam Fresh corn $2 (.50 Q, tripled $1.50) = 1 package for .50
Total: $9.65 (plus $1.59 sales tax)

*My bill would've been less if I didn't get the 3 cleaners BUT tripling those coupons was still cheaper than buying them at Kroger with just one coupon.

Kelly at Faithful Provisions, has a GREAT post HERE about triple and super double coupon strategies at Harris Teeter.

FOR WIVES: Critical or encouraging?

What would your spouse say?

I get regular e-mails from Nina Roesner, Founder of "Daughters of Sarah." Her program focuses on biblical training for married women. Here's the article I got in my inbox today and thought it was worth sharing. Far too often, I can be more critical than encouraging toward Chris. These are excellent tips that really focus on the positive qualities of our spouse.

You can sign-up HERE to receive free marriage tips in your inbox.

*Hot* JCPenney Deal

Now through May 9th, you can get $10 off when you spend $10 or more at JCPenney stores or on

Check-out the details here.

Chris has one pair of really comfy Nike Dri-fit socks that he loves. So I used this deal to buy him more socks since he's on his feet all day. I chose to buy them in store so I wouldn't have to pay for shipping. Brit and I were in and out of the store in under 10 minutes while my parents graciously stayed in the car with little man. You'll pay $5.95 for shipping if you purchase items online. I only paid $1.98 for a Nike 3-pack. A GREAT deal! Maybe you could use this discount to buy a Mother's Day gift. Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Weight Watchers Sloppy Joes & Roasted Potatoes

I made this tasty meal last night. It's a favorite in our house but I think my hubs is a little burned out on sloppy joes. Does that mean I make them too much? *wink* This is an EASY meal to make. So easy I made it for a friend and her family after she just had a baby awhile back. She said her kids devoured these. And the BEST part is, you'd NEVER know they were the healthier version. Delish!

WW Sloppy Joes

Makes 5 servings; 6 Points


1 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast (I used 1 lb lean all natural beef)
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
8 oz can, no salt added, tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp low-salt Worcestire sauce
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp dark brown sugar

Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium high heat
until hot. Add turkey breast, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until turkey is
browned, stirring to crumble. Drain in a colander and set aside. Wipe drippings
from skillet with a paper towel. Return turkey to skillet, add tomato sauce
and the rest of the ingredients. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Delicious on whole grain hamburger buns (be sure to add the points!).

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic

**I omitted the garlic!

Makes 8 servings; 1 Point (serving size 1 cup)

1 pound tiny red potatoes, halved
1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Arrange potatoes and garlic cloves in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and garlic is soft. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the peels onto the potatoes. Mix together.

Per serving: 64 Calories, 3.4 g Fat, 0.7 g Fiber, 7.8 g Carbohydrates, 0.9 g Protein, 136 mg Sodium