Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 "Earnings" and savings


Swagbucks: $290.00 in Amazon gift cards
                   $15.00 in PayPal money

Irazoo: $50.00 in Amazon gift cards (didn't start this one until June)

Listia: $65 in Wal-Mart Gift Cards and about $75 worth of merchandise: books, DVD's, clothes, toys, coupons.
The main thing I "sold" in this site were Coke codes and Dr. Pepper promotional codes. Not a bad profit for trading codes/trash. I am notorious for picking up Coke codes up off the ground.

My Points: roughly $100 in Gift Cards (Wal-Mart, CVS, Pizza Hut)

Toluna: $80.00 (cash)

Mindfield Online Surveys: $60.00 cash/PayPal

Received in promotional items: about $500.00 worth of merchandise: Wii Games, books, Gift Cards. All from review sites or HouseParty.com
Paperbackswap.com savings: $234.00
Swapadvd.com savings: $80.60
I stopped buying papers for most of this year, instead I got most of my coupons in trade on Listia, Chocolate Soup, Kizoodle and I bought some with my PayPal money on TheCouponClippers. I also received a few free item coupons using my points earned thru RecycleBank.

It is difficult to say how much I saved with coupons this year, but I would say in the $500 range, including free item coupons and regular X amount off coupons.
Facebook is definitely a tightwads friend because many companies are offering exclusive coupons and freebies (of which I benefited greatly! lol) I just received a free bag of Purina One dog food from a FB promo. My dog is quite happy! My favorite is probably my large area rug from Natural Home Rug.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Uses for Canned Biscuts

 I am a big fan of cheap, canned biscuits because they are versatile and easy to prepare. Here are a few of my uses and a link for more recipes.

 Donuts or Donut Holes
     If you want donuts, use a medicine bottle or something small like that to make a hole in the center and fry them in oil (about 3 minutes each side). If you don't feel like going all out, just cut each biscuit into quarters and fry them as donut holes. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar mixture or try this easy chocolate sauce
        2 cups powdered sugar
        1 tablespoon vanilla extract
        1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
        3 tablespoon milk

        2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

         Blend with spoon until smooth. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30-60 seconds, stirring often              Add to sugar glaze mix. (recipe taken from Miserly Moms)

Mini pizzas
     Make your own "bagel bite" like mini pizzas. Flatten the inside of the biscuit with the spoon of a ladle or a medicine bottle. Fill with pizza sauce, bits of leftover sausage, pepperoni and cheese. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until bottoms are brown and cheese is melted.
 Or use rolling pin to flatten all the biscuits and place them, overlapping in a Pyrex pan for a large pizza crust.

     flatten the biscuit with a rolling pin and fill (just a dollop!) with pie filling (cherry, apple, peach) on half of the dough, fold over the remaining half and seal with a fork. Fry until lightly golden brown (on both sides) and drain on paper towel or brown paper bag.

 Bread sticks
    Take 1 biscuit and roll between your hands to make a stick. (think back to your play dough days)repeat with remaining biscuits.  Brush with melted butter and add some garlic salt. Bake in oven at 375 for 5 minuets.

 Pigs in a blanket
     For regular hot dog wienies, simply flatten a biscuit with rolling pin, and wrap around hot dog and bake. I also use the little smokey links to make appetizers. Just flatten out the biscuit and cut in half before wrapping. You can also wrap breakfast sausage links.

Sugar biscuits
   Lightly fry a biscuit (whole) and then roll in granulated sugar. These are very similar to the sugar rolls you can get at a Chinese restaurant.

Clover Leaf Rolls
 These were a hit at our Christmas dinner!
 Take one biscut, divide into three pieces, roll each piece into a ball and place them in a greased muffin tin.
 Here are a few more ideas from Yahoo! Answers which has some of the same as above ( tightwads think alike!) and  then click HERE for the ever useful dumpling recipe that uses canned biscuits.

Friday, December 17, 2010

JANE4girls $800 Annual Budget For A Family of 4: FREE Excedrin Coupons

JANE4girls $800 Annual Budget For A Family of 4: FREE Excedrin Coupons

Psst… want to save up to $46?

Hey! I just learned a clean little secret about Lowe’s. They have quite the selection of cleaning products plus air and water filters to help keep your home spic and span inside and out. And they’re sending out up to $46 in savings so you can really clean up. Get your coupons before they’re gone! Go to vocalpoint.com/Lowes.

Tightwad Tip: Snack Bag


 This time of year is really busy for most folks, and we tend to stay in the car shuffling from one activity to another. And then we get caught out and your kids are crying because they are "starving to death". Most of the time we turn to the drive-thru to get a quick snack, or even a meal. This can add up to lots of $$ (especially if you have a larger family like mine, or teenagers. Of which I have both)

Our solution is a Snack Bag. It's nothing real fancy, in fact it's one of the free diaper bags I received in the hospital after sprout #4 was born.
In this bag I keep:
paper plate
cups (either reusable or paper)
some cutlery
Most of these are leftover birthday party supplies.

some of those drink add ins, like KoolAid or Crystal Light
non-perishable snacks: pretzels, cereal bars, animal crackers,etc) And this is where most of my free samples end up as well, small boxes of cereal, crackers, etc
wet wipes
a disposable sippy cup for the youngest sprout
a few plastic grocery bags  for trash

This way I have some snacks, or I can make a quick, cheap picnic meal from the grocery store, or the store deli (Kroger has a fried chicken deli meal w/chicken, potato salad and rolls for $5.99 which may be regional) or if I plan ahead and take the making for sandwiches, all I have to remember is the food.

I recently acquired a small cooler that will hold just a few canned drinks or 4 bottles of water. We have been trying to remember this when we go out, because inevitably someone is also "dying of thirst".
Ahh, teenagers.

I used to keep a case of bottled water in the back of the car, but then there were reports of chemicals leaking into these when left in a hot car so we got out of the habit. In winter this is not a concern, so I can tell I am about to buy more water! Each child has a reusable water bottle that I generally nag them to fill and take with us when we go out, but they almost always forget, or only 1 child has theirs and the others are, well, you know. (see above comment^)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blogging for Books: Book Review, Tandem by Tracey Bateman

"Tandem" opens with lots of mystery that grabs the reader and makes you want to read more.

Six months ago the small Ozark town of Abby Hills was the scene for 2 gruesome murders, and then a house fire that claimed another victim and the life of the killed. Or at least, that is what the people believed.

Lauryn McBride is preparing to auction off the contents of Marcus Chisom's home, and the home itself for her family owned auction house. She is very troubled with running her business and caring for her father, who has Alzheimer disease. Lauryn finds some 100 year old letters and sets out to return them to the decents of the family. Amede Dastillion is quite happy to receive the letters and leaves her home in New Orleans in hopes of finding her long lost sister, Eden. You see, the letters were sent to Eden from Amede over one hundred years ago. How is this possible? They are vampires of course!

Soon after Amede and her companion arrive, animals are discovered killed and drained of blood. Soon, town members are discovered dead in the same manner. Everyone is afraid that the killer was not killed in the fire, and accusations fly. Lauryn must balance her need to complete the auction to pay for her fathers medical treatment, and caring for him as he slips farther and farther away into the last stages of Alzheimer's.

While I found this a compelling book, it is very general to call it Christian fiction.The Christian elements are small, and not presented to the reader in a preachy fashion, but they are not very clear either. It does display the eternal struggle of good vs evil.

I found the pace a little hard to follow, since it changes perspectives between characters often, and there are several other main characters that are trying to tell their story as well. But I finally "got into it" about a third of the way through, and I do not regret reading it, but don't feel 100% confident recommending it, at least as a Christian novel. The ending took me a little by surprise, which is always a good thing in a suspense book, but I also felt there were several things left unanswered. Since "Tandem" is a sequel to "Thirsty", I can only assume the writer plans on writting another book in this series.

Overall, it was a good read!
This review is of a book that I received free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for the purpose of reviewing it on my blog.
You can too by joining Blogging for Books