Friday, August 31, 2007

Get Your Body in Motion!

Go Figure @ Multi-Tasking Moms

With school days in full strength we know the fall is coming soon! Our thoughts begin to turn towards removing the summer clothes from our closets and replacing them with the comforts of fall. Long sleeves and pants are the armor of the day. Good bye shorts and tanks, hello winter breezes. Many tend to let their health and/or exercise regimens fall to the side. The smell of baking is in the air, candy begins to fill our pantries in hopes for trick or treaters. Is that a turkey headed towards the oven? Ahem.. I digress! :)

We should be health conscious all year long. But what fun is that? We are approaching the time of year that the weather is a pure delight! But do not blink - it will be oh so cold before you know it. Why not rent a Space Walk for a day and jump away with your kids? Or go out with the kids to jump on that trampoline? Talk about family fun! You would be surprised at the aches you would feel after such a family fun time. Not to mention - bonds forged.

Ok, does that not work for you? Do you have the latest and greatest Wii game?? I have heard raves about how this game gets you up and moving. I am not a 'gamer' but I must admit, this is on my Christmas wish list! Or dance around with your child to some upbeat music. Try doing that for 10 minutes without a break! (I did this yesterday and, I must admit, my calves are throbbing. So you may want to stretch first.) Keep it fun!! The more fun, the better! If you include your child AND keep it fun, you are changing your life and theirs.

I was watching a re-run of Oprah last week and the guest was Dr. Oz. I love Dr. Oz! He just seems so logical and easy going! He was sharing a recent statistic. 1 of every 2 women will die of heart disease. 1 out of 2 women will die of heart disease! It is the number one killer of women.

Our diets matter, our intake of water matters, our exercise matters, our health matters, WE matter! Little changes do make a difference. You do not have to starve yourself to death or avoid every single food on the no-no list. Pick one thing and change it! Did you know getting your heart rate up 90 minutes per week will help your heart??? 90 minutes per week! That is nothing! We can all do that! We just need a buddy. Someone who will push us and get us up and moving. If we can make an effective change in our lives, we will change the next generation. Our daughters will become accustomed to an active lifestyle and may have less health scares than we do today.

As I was getting my morning tea, my mornings start with sweet iced tea. Not coffee! I know - the horror (My day used to begin with an iced cold Coca Cola! heehee). Anyway, as I was drinking my TEA, and thinking about this post, I thought - "It's not like this tea is going to kill me or anything." I do not know how to tell you what happened next. It was weird. I thought, I've heard that phrase somewhere before, and then I had the worst feeling!' YIKES, I felt unsettled in my spirit. Does it sound familiar to you? {"You will not surely die." said the Serpant.} Genesis 3:4. It may not kill me on the spot, but what is it doing to my quality of life today? What is it doing to my quality of life in 10 years? I realized that I can be like Eve, and throw caution to the wind, or I can take the little warnings I'm given and step into LIFE. We are accountable for our choices! This God Moment reminded me that there ARE consequences to our choices ladies!! Whether we like it or not.

Drink water - ok I'm guilty of filling my tank with sugary substances and carbonated beverages! Lets drink water!! Good ole H2O! I know it doesn't have that kick we need, but we can add a squeeze of lemon or lime and retrain our taste buds. Take baby steps but, like a baby, keep making new progress. Don't get stuck!! What if we all joined together, as a chord, that we could lean on during a weak time? Let's throw out the scale, rip the size tags out of our clothes and take one thing at a time! Let's get that heart rate up 90 minutes a week, for now, and celebrate that victory. Let's start with 32 ounces of water a day for a week and then increase it! We can all be honest here. None of us have arrived!

Let's beat this heart disease statistic! Let's link arms and accomplish these 2 small goals - 32 ounces of water a day for the next week and increase our heart rate (ie walk, jog, jump in a Space Walk, dance) for 90 minutes this week. Are you game? I know I am! I want to pass on a legacy of healthy choices and not health defying ones. Will you join me?? Can you drink 32 ounces of water EVERY DAY (7 days) this week? Will you get that heart rate up for 90 minutes this week, if so, sign Mr. Linky and share how you keep your workouts fun? I will post my accomplishments in 7 days and I ask you to do the same!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Controlling the Chaos in the Grocery Aisle

I was planning to post something else, but after reading WeaverMom's entry yesterday, I had to back her up! I have to agree 100%, having a meal plan is a HUGE time saver in our household too, but right now I can only handle one week at a time--I am striving to be as organized as WeaverMom and be able to have a 6-week menu. I just started to rotate them around since I've made my Handy Dandy Grocery List.

This has been another extremely helpful time saver for me. I look at my weekly menu , which look something like this

Then I grab my shopping list and start marking what I need for that week. (I keep a copy of it and save it for the next time I use this weekly menu, keeps me from having to do it all over again.)

After that, I fill in the rest of the necessities we need and VOILA! When Saturday comes I get just what I's fast and easy! (Fortunately we have another refrigerator in the garage, which really helps me to do a one-day-a-week shopping.)

So that is one way I control the chaos in our house, how about you?

PS~ don't forget to enter our Recipe Roundup!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Meal Planning - go for it!

What is your best time-saving tip?

Ah, this is an easy one - Meal plans! They save time on grocery store trips, and the nightly angst of "what's for dinner?" A meal plan seems so much harder and time-consuming than it actually is. It is a small investment for the amount of time you save.

I have a confession - I really hate going to the grocery store! What a waste of time! :) When WeaverDad and I first married and I was working full-time, the last thing I wanted to do at the end of a workday was go to the grocery store, walk around the entire store in uncomfortable "nice" shoes, stand in line with all the other people shopping for dinner, get home at 7:00 and THEN start cooking dinner. (I ate a lot of cereal when I was single. *wink*) And now that I'm staying home with the kids, I get to wear comfortable shoes and I can go to the store when I want to which helps, BUT, I get to bring the kids with me! Enough said, right?

I've done meal plans for 11 years now. As I write that, that freaks me out a little bit - but it's true. My husband can taste if meat has been frozen (I know!) so I shop by the week so that I can serve fresh meat as much as possible. I've done it several different ways. When we were first married, we ate out quite a bit, so I only planned 4 days a week. Then, 5. We moved to a place a little more remote and going out wasn't as easy, so I planned 6. Punkin arrived and we never went out, so I upped it to 7. Hubby was laid off, and I planned very carefully for awhile, checking the sales flyers and doing some bulk buying.

When SnugBug arrived, I found that I procrastinated going to the store because it felt like so much effort to plan the meals. So, I continued shopping by the week - but I planned for a month at a time. My original system was that I cut cardstock into 2x2 squares. I went through our recipes and wrote the names on the cards. Then I could lay them out on the table and arrange them as needed. I included cards that said "open", "new", and "out". After I arranged things for the month, I would transfer the names to a calendar page, and then when it came time to do my grocery list, I knew what to shop for! This worked well for me and I did that for almost 2 years.

Then, we started homeschooling and I started my business, and finding time to do the monthly meal plan became difficult. So, I came up with a 6 week meal plan. It's based loosely on this formula:

1 mexican
1 italian
1 meat & potatoes
1 fish
1 veggie
1 slow cook (for activity night where we don't get home until after 6:00)
1 easy

I don't plan nights of eating out, but I sure don't miss out on them when they are offered (or when I can finagle them.) I just skip a meal from the next week's list when I'm making my grocery list, and include the missed meal the following week.

And, since I personally find it easier to modify someone else's ideas instead of starting from scratch - here is what it looks like:

Week 1
Crescent Picadillo Bundles
Spinach Lasagna
Scallops & Rice
Veggie Night (example: spinach/ cornbread, pasta salad w/protein, corn)
Frozen slow-cook (straight from the freezer section)
Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato & Basil

Week 2
Fiesta Casserole
Hamburger Steak
Salmon, rice & veggie
Antipasto Plate
Slow cook pork chops
Soup & Sandwiches

Week 3
Beef Tacos
Brunswick Stew
Chicken Marsala
Tilapia, broc
Chicken Pot Pie
Hot Dogs & Rice
Frozen slow-cook

Week 4
Chicken Tacos
Bow-Tie Lasagna
S&B BBQ pork chops
Chicken Squares
Beef & Noodle Casserole
Roast, veggies
Tortellini w/ alfredo sauce, salad

Week 5
Frito Soup
Rotisserie chicken
New fish
Cheese Enchiladas
Frozen slow cook
Soup & Sandwiches

Week 6
Texas Hash
Simple Marinated Chicken
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
New veggie
Frozen slow cook
Mexican Chicken Salad

I know some of you use meal plans. Please share what works for you!

Happy meal planning!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mom Moment - The brain cells are gone

I was standing in my mother's kitchen on Saturday when she walked into the laundry room. I heard her ask out loud, "Now what did I come in here for?" There was a long silence as she thought for a few moments. "Oh yeah," she recalled out loud and began to dig around for something.

Now there was a time that I would have laughed out loud at her! As a teenager, this would have created many a joke for the rest of the day. But this time, I said nothing. You see, now that I have three children, I am becoming more like my own mother everyday. The conversation she was having with herself sounded all too familiar to me now.

My brain cells are clearly disappearing and I am reminded of that almost daily now.

Yesterday, I ran upstairs to get something. Once I got up there, I totally forgot what I went up there for. I stood around trying to think and for the life of me, never remembered.

I find that if something comes to my mind while talking with my husband, I have to interrupt and tell him right away or write it down. If I don't, I will probably forget it even when prompted to remember.

My oldest daughter has to remind me over and over to get her the things she asked me for. I can't get mad because my pattern in that I totally forget in the midst of all I am doing.

I have dialed a phone number and by the time someone picks up on the other end, I have completely forgotten who I called. Now, normally the voice helps me remember, but there have been times that I have to say, "Oh my goodness, this is Mary, who did I call?"

I was searching my car for my cell phone the other day and couldn't find it. I finally gave up and drove to my destination. When I climbed out of the car, my cell phone was found...IN MY LAP!

I had a great example of a mommy moment I thought of on Sunday and wanted to blog. For the life of me, I can't remember what it was!!!! Help! I have forgotten what I was supposed to include here. (I have dwelled on this post for 2 days trying to come up with it)

Is it just me or is anyone else losing their mind?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Recipe Roundup: 30-Minutes Or Less

One of the many things I've learned during my first year as a stay-at-home is that you don't suddenly get more time in your day to cook. Between picking up after a busy preschooler and keeping various appointments, there are days I simply forget to throw something in the crockpot for supper. Because the last thing we I want in this house is yet another delivery pizza night, I've been searching for quick and easy 30-minute meals.

I found the following recipe for Speedy Swedish Meatballs in "Semi-Homemade Cooking," by Sandra Lee. I made some adjustments to her recipe because I think her version uses unnecessary amounts of fats. And you know what? The recipe still tastes wonderful. If you're curious about what the final product looks like, visit Just Mom Cooking.

By the way, after you've taken a look at the recipe, scroll down to the fabulous giveaway we've got in store for you, courtesy of Practically Necessary.

Recipe Roundup @ Multi-Tasking Moms

Speedy Swedish Meatballs

1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 pounds frozen beef meatballs (for our family of 2 1/2, one bag would have been enough)
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 14-oz. can reduced-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 C. whole milk (I used 1 C. skim milk and 1/2 C. 2% milk because that's what we have in our house)
1/4 C. sour cream (I used non-fat sour cream)
1 pkg. (8.8 oz.) egg noodles (I used No-Yolk brand)

1) Heat oil in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a bowl.

2) Add flour to skillet and cook 1 minute, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Stir in broth and milk.

3) Return meatballs to skillet. Simmer until liquid thickens, about 5 minutes.

4) Remove skillet from heat. Stir in sour cream.

5) Cook noodles ina pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm. Drain.

6) Transfer noodles to a large bowl. Spoon meatballs and sauce over noodles. Serve immediately.

Now it's your turn. Share one of your favorite recipes that you use when you need to make supper in 30 minutes or less. Just use Mr. Linky to link to your blog. If you don't have a blog, share your recipe in the comments section.

****Another Awesome Sponsor***

Kerry at Practically Necessary is sponsoring this Recipe Roundup and is giving away this beautiful hand-crafted apron to one lucky multi-tasking mom. (Sorry, MTM contributors, we're still not eligible for all the wonderful prizes.)

Front view

Closeup of pocket

To enter, just leave a comment by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, September 2. Winner will be announced on Monday, September 3.

Good luck!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More new happenings at MTM!!

It’s been almost a month that the Multi-Tasking Moms blog has been up and running! It has been a great time for us and we hope you have enjoyed it too. Now that we’ve had some time to see what the interests are for the blog, we want to introduce some new theme ideas we’ve planned for you!!

We are going to feature a Recipe Round-Up every Monday. Be sure to get your recipes ready for Mondays so you can link back to us. This week we’ll kick it off with “Dishes Under 30 Minutes.”

“Mommy Moments” will be our theme for Tuesdays and this will include some reviews, heart to heart mom struggles, as well as fun and heartwarming stories.

Wednesdays, we will continue with our "Wednesday with WeaverMom" as well as our "Guest MTMs" and "Featured MTMs." We just had our first Guest MTM this past Wed!!

Something we're all learning to do is how to “Control the Chaos.” So, we’ll bring you some of our best tips and hints for shopping, schedules and all good things for around the house!!

We’ll continue our “Go Figure” theme on Fridays keeping you updated with the current trends in health and fitness and sharing our ideas for ourselves as well as our families!

We’ll end the week with a Saturday them of “Seeking Him.” Here, we will share devotionals and as well as stories and situations where God has taught us something and where we grew in faith and trust.

We are really excited about these new theme ideas and we hope you are too! See you back here on Monday!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Go Figure

I for one know that I need to get into a better routine of exercising at least 5 times a week.

I'm glad I'm not alone, it's always nice to have support, someone to encourage and motivate you to keep you going.

That's why we decided to start a new feature called Go Figure!

Every Friday we are going to share tips on exercise, weight loss and health.

We'd love for you to join us and let us know what works for you.

Here are my exercise tips for the week:

Go outside for walks and get the fresh air.

We love to get outside and walk together as a family.


Go out and purchase one of these exercise balls.

I try to do 50 - 100 sit-ups 5 times a week.

While I'm doing my sit-ups I have my 5 year old count with me.

I'm helping her learn to count to 100 at the same time I'm exercising.

Now that is multi-tasking!

I do many more exercises on the ball too.
My exercise ball also came with a exercise tape.

This ball comes in handy when you don't have time to
get outdoors and walk nor time to get out to a fitness center.

Please feel free to sign Mr. Linky below and share your exercise tips with us.

Happy exercising everyone! Good luck to you!

Walk Slim Winner and Round 'Em Up

And the winner for our 1st Go Figure contest is........Kay in PA!
Congratulations Kay!

To all that entered and missed our first contest sponsored by Leslie's In Home Walking, don't fret, they'll be back:)

Here's the tip Kay shared:

One things I have found helpful in losing weight, besides replacing my beverages with water and herbal teas is cutting back on my carbs, and eating only healthy carbs when I do have them. My midwife had me do this while I was pregnant (I could only have 80g carbs a day and 80g of protein) and I actually lost a total of 12 pounds during the pregnancy bringing me 25 pounds lighter than I was when I started. I still have a ways to go because of the weight gain from my previous pregnancies (I was 80 pounds over weight), but I feel as though I have a head start and I know where my problem is....white sugar and white flour and to much of it!

Thanks for the tip! I know cutting back on white flour has helped our family, we're still working on the sugar.

Oh, and for those who are curious to know the answer to the contest bonus question:

Leslie Sanson is the spokesperson for which company?
Answer: Easy Spirit you cand find the answer HERE (then click on bio)

In the meantime, we're gonna need you to roundup your 30 minute-meal recipes, they are Practically Necessary;)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I've Found Heaven, And It's Called Laundry

Yes. You read the title of this post correctly, and no, I haven't lost my mind. On the contrary, I think I've found a slice of heaven.

Oh, sure, there was a time (i.e. before child) when I hated doing laundry. I would instead let the laundry pile up until I ran low on undergarments just so I could read one more chapter in my book, write one more entry in my journal or just putter around the house. I still let the laundry pile up, but I do it so I can have some quiet time.

Take yesterday, for example. My hubby was at home, grading finals, and was therefore able to keep an eye on our son while I "set up shop" in our basement family room. I took with me a tall glass of raspberry iced tea, set up the ironing board and iron in front of the TV and tuned in to HGTV. I hung out downstairs while load after load was washed and dried, and then I did the ironing.

For 2 1/2 hours it was just me, my thoughts, my tea and a few really expensive seaside homes -- on TV, of course. As I ironed I dreamed of one day owning a home that overlooks the ocean. Each puff of steam from my iron became the various features this home would have: large windows, a grand open staircase, a massive kitchen with center island, a large library. You know, all the essentials in life. ;-) I thought about whether this home would be in Ireland, Oregon or Hawaii; about whether it would be Edwardian, Mediterranean or, heck, a mansion. I didn't care.

Do you know what was the best part about this experience? Unlike in "real life" I can control the volume in my basement hideaway. I love my family dearly, but a girl's gotta have time to daydream, right?

Yes, it was pure bliss. I think next time I'll take an umbrella drink with me and really relax.

-- Originally posted by Just Mom on May 16, 2007.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ring that Dinner Bell

First, let me say that it is an honor to be the guest blogger today. I admire all the multi-tasking moms here that make this particular blog a fun place to go for helpful hints and the opportunity to network with each other.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Diana and I have my own blog, sunshine on my shoulders. I have been married 26 years to a wonderful husband and we have a 19 year old daughter and 17 year old son. I am also a youth worker. Sadly, I am not very good at multi-tasking. I could have used a blog like this when my kids were young.

I was once at a baby shower where we were asked to give one piece of advice to the new mother. After a little thought, it came to me. It didn’t sound very profound. In fact, it sounded a little silly compared to some of the other answers. But ever since then, I give this simple piece of advice out whenever I can and to whoever will listen because i feel it's a pro-active way the family can work at remaining a close-knit unit.

The piece of advice is this… eat dinner together as a family, at a dinner table, every night that you can. Make it a priority in your family.

This may not sound very profound and yet, I believe, it truly is. It sounds so simple, and yet it has such a powerful and positive effect on the family unit. This time is an opportunity to come together to spend time in fellowship with each other and to learn how to interact as a family. I feel this is important in a world where the family unit can be so easily split apart.

In my family, we would ask the kids what they learned that day, or, what their favorite or worst part of their day was. They could then ask us the same thing. It was a time where we were all on equal footing, where we talked and listened, where we could come together on a daily basis to learn, laugh, and love.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Not every meal was enjoyable. Some were downright miserable. There were definitely times where I wanted to ship my kids off to some other family. But that’s part of being a family and there’s lessons there for both children and parents. Don’t let the hard times distract you from the good that is being accomplished in the long run.

Some of you are saying, “but we do this and will continue to do so.” Great! I will tell you, though, that as the kids grow older and schedules get crazier, it will get more and more difficult. I would like to impress upon you to continue to make the family dinner time a priority, even through these more hectic times.

You might be surprised to know how many families out there don’t eat dinner together or eat in front of the t.v. set instead of the table. There are various reasons for this and I don’t want to judge. I ask those of you who fall into this category to take small steps in trying to get your family together for family dinners. You might be very surprised at the results.

I just read a survey where the top answer, from 13-24 year olds, to the question, “what makes you happy?” was spending time with family. When your children are young, this is pretty easy. As they grow up, it gets more difficult. Why not have something in place that you can keep consistent through their childhood, into early adolescence, and into young adulthood. I don’t think you’ll ever be sorry.

Thanks to multi-tasking moms for having me over and thanks for reading what I had to say today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Keeping it Clean

I hate to clean. I LOVE to organize but hate to clean. (make sense?) In my mind, cleaning just didn't work for me:

I am home with 3 little children and do NOT have time to clean. They need me.

I am just not good at it.

I am too tired at night to clean. I need time to relax.

We should have a housekeeper. (oh yes, my favorite one)

Oh yes, the list goes on. I had plenty of excuses, but they weren't keeping the house tidy.

That being said, I am pretty good at daily chores. I load the dishwasher and run it nightly. I keep the counters fairly clear. Our house is regularly picked up and straightened.

It's those darn weekly/monthly cleaning jobs that were being neglected. Instead of keeping up with the bathrooms, vacuuming, and dusting, I would go crazy trying to clean before guests were coming over OR I would get fed up with the mess and spend a evening cleaning while my husband had to watch the kids. Something had to be done.

I finally put my foot down and stomped on all of my excuses! I had to get things organized. The time had come to put on the cleaning lady hat, so I did what I know best...I made a list. (yes I love lists) I wrote out all of the things that had to be cleaned on a weekly basis in my house. Then I took each of them an assigned them a day that made the most sense. I was able to cover all of it by Thursday, so that left me Friday with nothing to do.

Take a break, right?

Nope, not this cleaning lady! Friday is used to rotate in cleaning tasks that don't need to be done weekly.

The result:
Monday: (basement focus)
Laundry gets completed and folded and maybe put away!
Vaccum and dust basement
Empty all small trashcans in bathrooms (our trash day is Tuesday)

Tuesday: (upstairs bathrooms
Clean toilet, sink, and mirror in both upstairs bathrooms
Refill toilet paper rolls in both bathrooms
Put away any remaining laundry

Wednesday: (main level)
Vaccum and dust main level
Clean toilet, sink, and mirror in main level bathroom

Thursday: (upstairs level)
Vaccum and dust upstairs

Friday: Shopping Trip to BJ's
1st Friday- clean all kitchen appliances (microwave, toaster oven, etc)
2nd Friday - organize fridge/freeze and pantry as needed
3rd Friday - wipe down all cabinets
4th Friday - chores as needed - windows? OR break!

Sunday PM - Sort and begin laundry
*Husband vacuums main level and washes laminate floors. Then week 1 cleans tub and shower and on week 2 cleans the bathroom floors. Yes, he does a GREAT job! The man cleans better than I do.

I have been using the schedule for about 3 months now and I love it. It has worked wonders for our house and my life. I don't have to spend time on Saturdays cleaning at all, which I love. My house is ready for guests pretty much anytime without me having to quickly scrub out toilets!

The goal is to get these things done during the day with the kids, but that doesn't always happen. The nice thing about the schedule is that I know exactly how to focus my time once the kids go to bed. I can immediately get my cleaning task done and then relax. (or blog...he he)

My favorite cleaning resource is Real Simple Magazine's Cleaning Section. Visit and poke around. It is a great place. If you don't know what should be cleaned in your house daily, weekly, and monthly, then you'll find it there!

So get cleaning ladies and if you have a tip, please leave a comment. I would love some more cleaning ideas!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Health Food Snob

As soon as our first baby reached the age where she began to try solid foods, I went overboard with healthy eating. Completely overboard! Not only did I make all her baby food from scratch with organic vegetables, fruits, etc, but I wound up ordering organic, all-natural food for me and my husband: raw cheeses, freshly ground grains, sprouted get the picture. We were saturated in health.

Fast-forward four years (and two more children). I had become a health food snob. I am embarrassed to admit to you that I actually looked down on moms I knew who took their kids to a certain restaurant with golden arches. I shuddered at the mere thought of my kids eating there.

Then we moved: we left the earthy, bike-riding, tree-hugging state I had lived in all my life, and moved thousands of miles away, to a small town where organic was a relatively new term and considered a fad instead of a way of life. Not to mention the prices were outrageous. What did I do?

Well, I cried. Multiple times. Then I started cooking with things I never thought I would use again. Brand-name items. Fruits and vegetables without an organic label. I bought regular old bread in a plastic bag. And guess what? My kids, well...they grew! And seemed healthy. It was a miracle! Or so I thought.

Fast-forward 3 more years. We moved again... back to the earthy, bike-riding, tree-hugging state I had lived in most of my life. Once again, everything super-healthy was at my fingertips.

But, guess what? I’m not a health food snob anymore. I learned something important: that I don’t need to be obsessed with what we’re eating- and it can definitely be an obsession (for me). Everything in moderation is my new motto.

Now that you have taken the time to read this boring detailed post, I’ll add one of our favorite and super-easy (and healthy but not obsessively healthy!) family dinners below.

Quick Chicken and Black Bean Burritos

Ingredients: (go organic if you desire)

10 whole wheat tortillas
2-3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 can black beans
1 cup shredded, low-fat cheese (your preference)
1 jar salsa (I like Trader Joe’s varieties)
assorted cooked veggies (I use leftovers)
Optional: lettuce, salsa

Lay out tortillas. Mix refried beans, salsa and black beans in a bowl. Spread and top with chicken and veggie, then top with cheese. Roll and bake in a 350 oven for 8-10 minutes. Top with shredded lettuce and salsa, and serve with a fork. Freeze leftovers for a quick lunch.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What's up @ MTM?

The winner of the momAgenda contest is:

is Michelle at Michelle's Food Page

Congratulations! Please click on the little envelop to the right and send us your address. Thank you everyone who participated in this contest. Be sure to check Saturday's post, for another great contest.

What's Up?

Multi-Tasking has been an understatement lately for this group of MTMs. We've been working on ways to make this site more beneficial for each of you while keeping ourselves on track in our own homes.

Emails and on-line chats have been extremely common this week - and we're ready to give you just a sneak peak at what fresh, new and exciting things we have coming your way.

This coming week we are going to feature a Guest Multi-Tasking Mom - please check back on Wednesday to see who she is!

We also want to let you know that next month we would like to feature one of you Multi-Tasking Moms out there on our blog. We want to know how you multi-task. Please share with us your family's favorite recipe, how you schedule your day or a wonderful cleaning product you can't live without and why. (If you need more suggestions, just have a glance under our categories section.) One of you will be chosen Friday, August 31, 2007. We will post the Featured Multi-Tasking Mom on Wednesday, September 5, 2007.

Lastly, we are looking to try out a 'schedule' of weekly topics. Food on Monday, Exercise on Tuesday or maybe that should be the other way around - lol - but, you get the idea.

In addition to our weekly topics, we have decided to limit our posts on Sundays - to allow everyone to get the rest and relaxation we need to gear up for the coming week. We may offer occasional posts here and there, but not every Sunday. We all know it is important to rest as our Creator designed us to!

We hope to see you tomorrow!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Go Figure

After having a baby 3 months ago, I realized that I really need to lose weight and try to get my figure back....I'm not expecting miracles, but at least I'd like to get back to a healthy weight.

I'm glad I'm not alone, it's always nice to have support, someone to encourage and motivate you to keep you going. That's why we decided to start a new feature called Go Figure!

Every Friday we are going to share tips on exercise, weight loss and health. We'd love for you to join us and let us know what works for you.

I'm not a fitness guru or anything, but I'll clue you in on the 2 things that have always worked for me, walking and Nutter Butters water! Several years ago when I first tried to lose weight, my dear, sweet mother bought me a set of Away the Pounds tapes off of an infomercial....I know what you're thinking....well, not really, but I'll tell you what I was thinking. "Nothing works like they say it does on TV!" But since I had the tapes and no money came from my pocket, I thought I'd give it a shot....and guess what ladies, it worked!!!!

I'm not talking about 10 pounds in 10 days, I'm NOT an infomercial-LOL! It took a good 3-4 months to lose about 30 pounds, one reason I liked the tapes so much was because Leslie (the creator of "In Home Walking") wasn't FAKE!!! I did make an effort to eat healthier and drinking water was a big part of it. It wasn't easy, believe me, but I managed by the grace of God to stick with it and now I'm going to try to do it again! Are ya with me, because I have some great news!

Leslie Sansone's In Home Walking has agreed to sponsor us! That's right, they are helping us kick off "Go Figure" by donating Leslie Sansone's Walk Slim System!!!

How great is that! Are you excited?! I know I am!

Now I know you are all just dying to get your hands on this, so here's what you gotta do to enter.

1. Add our "Go Figure" button to your sidebar...yep another button-LOL!

2. Blog about this contest and link Leslie Sansone's website.

3. Share a weight loss tip you know, that will help others.


A. You MUST email us the answer! (Subject line: Go Figure Contest)

B. You can only look for the answer ON HER SITE! (No cheating, let's play fair.)

C. If you get the answer correct, your name will be entered twice. Good luck moms!!!

4. Leslie Sanson is the spokesperson for which company?

5. Don't forget to sign Mr. Linky.

The winner will be chosen next Friday....Go Figure;)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chores - Who wants to do 'em?

Laundry, dishes, dusting, laundry, dishes, dusting, laundry, dishes, dusting...the list goes on and on and on. The daily necessities of life. All the things we need to do but it is all so, well, repetitive.

I have to admit that part of me gets a little frustrated sometimes, when I stop and look at my laundry or my dishes. I think, "I know I just washed this yesterday." If I allowed it to, it could leave me feeling very frustrated. Instead, I try (not always successfully) to be thankful that I have a family who can make me smile when they run, play and get dirty! And I've gotta admit, that hubby gets the dirtiest!

Last year, as I began to home'pre'school my son, I decided it was time for him to start carrying his weight in the house! LOL He had been doing certain chores, but I decided it would be beneficial to document it and so we began a chore chart. I talked it over with hubby and we decided on certain 'chores' we felt he could handle and that he should do everyday. We also chose chores that didn't have to happen everyday, but he should get rewarded for doing.

Here is the chart we established:

Each time he completed a chore, he marked it on his chart. The 3 chores at the top: making his bed, cleaning up toys and brushing his teeth are the 3 we had him do each day. If he did all 3 for 7 days, he received a chore dollar. With the 4 "extras," he needed to do 10 total from the bottom of the sheet for another chore dollar. I don't do laundry or dishes everyday, so I didn't feel it was far to make them an everyday chore. Also, we only did preschool 3 days a week, so I didn't have that every day either. I thought about making his memory verse daily, but I felt that I needed a break too!

Here's a sample of our chore dollars:

He could use his chore dollars to purchase parent-approved items when we were out and about. He worked very hard, saving up several weeks for some much-wanted items. One chore dollar does not equal a real dollar. In fact, I'm not sure if we ever did set an amount that they were worth, but hubby and I always discussed purchases first. One time our son used one chore dollar for a pencil and one for an eraser. One time, 4 chore dollars bought a new DVD, one we were planning to purchase as a family. We liked the idea that he worked for the movie.

For our family, this has been a way to make chores more fun. Each family needs to decide what chores their children are able to do, but here is a great article to help get started: Children’s Chores ~ The Heart and Mind of A Servant

And here is a book to help you put it all together. I have personally not used it, but I know many who have and speak highly of it, so I wanted to pass it along: Managers of Their Chores by the Maxwell Family

As our son gets older and along with his siblings, I would like him to start learning how to save money, by having a "bank" for savings, one for "spending" and one for "tithing." For more about this topic, visit Crown Financial's website. They also have a 2-part article about children and finances: here and here.

We'd love to hear your ideas for your children and their chores or about how you teach them to save money!


The contest has been extended. Don't miss it!

We are extending our contest for the momAgenda planner. Click here to enter. A winner will be randomly chosen on Sunday, August 19, 2007.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Being a Wife

My name is Tarrah and I just wanted to start off by telling you a little about my husband & I. I am from Washington state (close to Seattle) and this is where I met the man I would later marry. We met on June 14, 1999. I remember how amazing his eyes were & how sweet & laid back of a man he was.

Now I came from a broken up family, my parents divorced when I was in elementary school and we never had any other family in the same state as us. Sam's family is very large and pretty much everyone is still married. So as a young couple we new nothing about being married, we just knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other.

Almost a year after being married we moved from San Diego to the East Coast. I know what your thinking, what a huge difference. But we wanted to be closer to his family and we felt the Lord calling us over here. When we finally settled in Vermont we found a church and joined a married couples bible study. To this day, we both still talk about that study and what it did for our relationship. We were the youngest couple, everyone else had been married for 5 - 25 years, and oh what knowledge they had. There was one couple that was a real blessing for us, when we are going through something we still look back on their relationship & remember some of the things they told us. One of those things was this:

Wake up each day and pray about what you could do that day
to honor & respect your spouse

They were an amazing couple! They had been married for somewhere around 10 years and they seemed to still be newly weds. We wanted to be just like them throughout our marriage.
But oh how that was not the case for a little while. We went through some rough times. We had a child, didn't have enough time to spend with each other, had differences and didn't know how to talk about them, financial issues, and just time trying to really get to know each other and accept each other for how we are.

I think right now, where we are after almost 6 years of marriage, we are more in Love than we have ever been. I thank the Lord for this time of growth, for putting people in our lives (good & bad) who have been an example to us.

God has given me such a huge desire to be the best wife I can be to my husband! This has been on my heart very heavily this past year and what a difference it has been in our relationship. The man is the head of the household and provides for his family in many different ways. And us as wives & mothers, we provide a warm & welcome home, a place where the family is taken care of and feels comfortable, we make our home a home.

Here is a list of things that have been a focus of mine as a wife and a stay at home mother. These are also some things that my husband has told me he is very thankful for. There are also a couple resources that have been a blessing for us as a married couple:

In our second year of marriage we attended a Weekend to remember conference put on by Family Life. If you have not heard of this conference or have not yet attended one, I highly recommend it. We had not had children yet and it was still such a wonderful weekend. We hope to go to one again soon.
I work very hard to make my home a warm, welcoming, happy place for my husband to come home to. I think all too often we forget that they have also worked all day and we just think of how hard & long of a day we have had with the kids. I am too often guilty of this. I get jealous that he gets to leave and go to work and I cant wait for him to get home so I can hand off the kids to him & try to get stuff done for myself. I have really stepped back & realized that they work just as hard, if not harder sometimes. They are called to provide for their family, that is a huge calling to have on yourself. Here are some ways to do this:

* No matter how hard of a day you have had, greet him at the door with a smile and a hug, ask him about his day & don't forget to listen

* Don't throw the kids at him right away, I truly believe men need a few moments to gather their thoughts when they get home. I have also found that by doing this, they will start to need less & less time to gather those thoughts and will be right there with the kids.

* Home cooked meals! The way to a man's hear is through his stomach. When he is not home at night I slack in the dinner department but if he is going to be home I make sure he has a good meal to eat.

* Don't forget that men love machinery & tools. To mow the lawn, work on cars, chopping wood, doing projects outside. These are things that make them feel good and make them feel like they are taking care of their home, it doesn't mean they don't want to spend time with you. Jump in there and work with him or just sit in the area with the kids to keep him company. My husband has told me many times how much he appreciates that.

* I give my husband little lists to do around the home, like fixing things, and he is one of those wonderful husbands that gets it done right away for me. He tells me all the time that he wants to make those things a priority for me because I take care of the home for him.
* Ask your husband if he needs anything or if you could do anything for him. He may not need anything and you may need a lot, but after a while you will see a huge difference.
* Flirt with him. They love a quick kiss as your passing eachother or a quick pat on the butt :). And don't forget to tell him you love him.

* Pray for him! A friend of mine got me a book a while back & it is my absolute favorite. The Power of a Praying Wife touches many different areas to pray about for your husband. She is amazing at describing men and how the bible tells us to pray for them. She gives at least 10 bible verses about each subject and she has a written prayer at the end of each. It has really made me pay more attention to how my husbands thoughts & feelings work. It's also great to go back to every day and pray for certain areas that I feel led to pray about.

* Another book I highly recommend is Night Light by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson. It is a devotional book to do with your husband. It has prompted many different conversations and guided us through how to discuss them. This has really helped us each talk to each other more before little things get too big.

If you are at all in a hard place with your spouse, I pray that there will be quick healing. God is an awesome God & can heal the worst of situations. Look to him in all situations, find a mentor couple or a group of married couples. It is amazing when you can work through the hard times & see how much you have grown together as a couple & family.

If you have any other thoughts or great resources you would like to share, please leave us a comment, we would love to hear them.

God Bless

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Organize homeschool day

I homeschool my 3 children 8, 6, and 3. I am looking into the Weaver curriculum and I was wonder how you manage your homeschool day.

This may not be the answer you are looking for - but it's trial and error! You just experiment some and find what works for you. So much of what makes your day flow well, your children learn, and you not burnout depends upon the personality of your children, of you, the hours your husband keeps, and other myriad of details. And, it sounds a little cliche - but don't forget to pray about it!

That said, I'll share how I do it - hopefully others will too - and there will be some ideas that will work well for you.

First, let me introduce those who have no clue what we are talking about to the Weaver curriculum a little bit. Weaver was developed by a homeschool mom. It is a unit study curriculum - which means that it takes a topic and all of the subjects are tied into that topic. It is based on the bible, it is hands-on, and it is multi-level - which means that you can teach your 3rd grader and your 1st grader the same material at different levels. The "core" curriculum includes bible, social studies, science, health, some art, field trip ideas and project ideas. It does not include math, reading, phonics, writing or penmanship - though there are separate Weaver programs available for everything but math.

So, let's say you are studying the days of creation. On the first day God created light. You might discuss and learn about rainbows, color, mirrors, shadows, light bulbs, and Thomas Edison. And you will likely do some type of project - for a little guy you might draw his shadow at different times of the day on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. The older guys might do a report on Thomas Edison or build a sundial. (Lots more info on the Weaver curriculum here. The email list is active and wonderful.)

I divide my day into 4 sections - the Weaver "core" which usually lasts for 1 -1 1/2 hours at the 1st grade level, math, penmanship & reading/phonics. We read aloud most days, and I try to spend part of the day outdoors if weather permits. (She also takes piano, gymnastics, we do an art lesson at home once a week, and she attends a homeschool "enrichment" program once a week.)

I let her chose which "section" to do first if she completes her morning chores (make her bed, pick up her room, get dressed and one additional small chore that rotates daily) and is ready to go when I say - usually around 9:00. Occasionally, if I have a long reading assignment for that day, I will ask her to do that first when her mind is a little more fresh, and then let her choose the order of the rest. My daughter is very active and needs "recess" time and frequent breaks.

So, here is how my mornings typically look. I'll include my early morning routine also in case it's helpful.

5:45- 6:30 - exercise
6:30-7:00 - time with God
7:00-7:30 - computer time, organize day, check emails, deal with any work issues
7:30-8:00 shower
8:00-8:30 breakfast
8:30-9:00 housekeeping chores
9:00-11:00 school (usually with a 10 min break)
11:00-11:30 lunch
11:30 - 1:30 finish school
1:30 -3:00 rest time

The state of Colorado requires the equivalent of 4 hours a day so I have structured that much time into the day. However, in reality, I don't watch the clock that closely. I just go until she is "done" and not absorbing anymore anyway. Sometimes we do math after supper because her brain gets "full" in the mornings. I know it averages out as we read together often, she helps me cook, we discuss things in the car, etc...

So, those of you that homeschool - how do you manage your day?

Have a question for WeaverMom? Email me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Keeping Track of Them ... *AND* Me Too!

“Honey, do you know when I need to be at the Petersen’s? I just scheduled the Johnson’s on Tuesday.”
“Mama, after my soccer game on Saturday, I need to go to Johnny’s birthday party!”
“Mom, I want to go spend my birthday money but Kris says I can’t cause he is going to Spanish class. Tell him Spanish is canceled.”

For some reason, my family believes I am a walking calendar. The person who can see it done. They never ask about scheduling conflicts, they rarely ask if it can be done, they just assume if I am told or its dropped off on my desk it will magically get done.

In case anyone is wondering ….. I work 2 part-time jobs. One, running my husband’s company, scheduling his projects and maintaining the books. Thank fully, he has a full time job and this is just side work. The other for Google, which I should be starting in a few weeks. I attend college classes twice a week for 4 hours a night plus have 8-10 hours of homework during the week. I homeschool 3 kids … 2 who are in the “learning to read stage.” Kris has scouts, soccer practice, a soccer game, and Spanish class each week. Zac has scouts, soccer practice, and a soccer game. Ben has scouts. We have doctor appointments, dentist appointments, field trips, homeschool co-op days, and community service days. I volunteer as a homeschool mentor, am president for a local homeschool support group, and write on several blogs. Did I mention that hubby, Kris, and I all have volunteer commitments at church, too?

If you are not tired in reading the list …. I am. The question is, How do you get all of the schedules to correlate so that a parent is always there to chauffeur a child, projects completed on time and somehow find a little down time? There is a method to this madness but instead of sharing my schedule and scheduling tips, I thought I would share my SECRET WEAPON!

Okay …. Now please leave a comment below with your guess on what the SECRET WEAPON is below and I will get back to you sometime and let you know if you are right or not. Hope you all have a great week! : -)




Not funny?? Okay fine! I will share with you! It’s the MomAgenda. Yes, its another day runner but this one is made for moms! I am not sure what I ever did without it. Okay … I do know but I don’t want to remember!! You can go to the website to take a look at samples of this and to buy it. Other places like Amazon carry it as well.

Description: Each 2 page spread equals a week. The days are at the top of the grid. There is 2 mini-monthly calendars and an inspirational quote. Then there is a big section (row) about ¼ of the page called my week. That’s for all your appts. Then there are smaller areas under the label “kids.” There are 4 spots. The last little spot (half of a kids section size) labeled dinner. You can meal plan here too! Each day has lines for you to write your appointments on. There are a ton of neat features about this book but one of the best is that it lasts for 18 months. No more post-it notes everywhere for the appointments that roll over into next year. There are party and vacation planning sections. Notes and more! Plus each section is a different color of paper. It makes my girly heart smile! In a house full of boys, I need a little something for me!

How I Use It: My kids each have their own section as does my husband. Husband is the last one.

The Weekly Section: In black ink, I write in all the standing appointments. Make sure you note the times. Classes, sports, scouts, games, church … these all don’t move. Also in black are dentist appointments, doctor’s visits, and hubby’s business projects. In blue, I add in the things that are scheduled but moveable or cancelable. Field trips, birthday parties, play dates, things of that sort. Whichever parent is driving … gets an appointment logged in for them as well for the same event. Things that I would like to do or are tentative go into the book in pencil. There are special blackout days in my book. That’s where I write just one appointment under my things to do and then scribble out everything that is beneath that for the day. This means there is a family event happening, everyone is attending, and no…. we can’t do anything else that day! In the column where you write in hubby and kids names … under where it says my week … I list my homework assignments due that week. In colored ink, I write in my other to do things on the days I plan to get them done. So … looking at my book for this week. I have written in green on Tuesday library and a delivery is due, Thursday is grocery shopping, and Friday I am off to Sam’s Club, the carwash, and Old Navy. I also have back to school shopping to do on either Saturday or Sunday. Its written overlapping the two days. That means hubby wants to go with us for shopping. I write notes in the border using >, *, ~, and other icons and then write my notes in the border around my week. You will often see my grocery list, things to purchase on sale, directions, or questions to ask the doctor.

The Monthly Section: I plan out my homeschool plans here very vaguely as there are days when I think a spontaneous trip to the lake for a nature walk is more fun than spelling. Bad Mama …. I know!!! So …. I make my plans in pencil. And map out more of my goals than actual lesson plans. So for August you will see MUS– K27, Z19, B4 at the end of week 2. What does that mean? Am I playing bingo with myself? Nope … that says that by the end of this week I want Kris to be in lesson 27 in his math (Math U See Gamma), Zac to be in lesson 19 (Math U See Primer) and Ben to be in lesson 4 (Math U See Primer). I know MUS is the name of their math program no need to spell it all out. You will also see things like 14C3 11CB or something similar at the start of each of our school weeks (and probably a lot of erasing marks too! That is the week number and core level that I am working with the boys in. (YES! I have my own language!! Do not try to read my book without the instruction manual to go with it!) I work on a month at a time planning … you never know when life will get in the way.

Dinner plans: I try to keep a master list of what’s in my freezer. It never works as hubby is bound to take something out and not mark it off the list. I need a smart freezer that will tell me what is in it and what I need to buy …. But that is me in my fantasy land. I look at the weekly adds, see what I have in the freezer to go with it and then make my plans for the week. Then I write in the menu and wala! Dinner is planned for the week. I try to do a majority of the cooking once a week (its frees up a lot of time!) and Friday night is left over night. Whatever is in the fridge is dinner! : -)

My book is always open and on my desk. If I leave the house, it goes with me. For some reason, only moms can see this magical book as my husband and sons have never seen it! I am the walking calendar. They think I keep it all straight in my head. Shhh!!! No one tell them my secret. Now … it can be your secret too!!

has agreed to sponsor us in a contest so that one of you Multi-Tasking Moms can also own a fabulous momAgenda Desktop Planner!

*click above for more color choices*

All you have to do to enter is, put our button on your sidebar,

blog about this contest and please link to momAgenda in your post
then, come back here and sign Mr. Linky.
We will randomly choose a winner on Friday, August 17, 2007.
Sunday, August 19, 2007!

Good Luck Moms!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I am in love and his name is Baking Soda!

I must say I LOVE the smell of clean!! But I have recently come to appreciate a few of the basics that our Mothers cleaned with, back in the day. It all started when we were packing up and getting ready for our recent move. We had boxes everywhere and were feeling like we were making major progress by packing up so early. One afternoon, my kids went downstairs to the play room to watch a movie. It was a quiet moment for Mom to relax and maybe get a few things done.

I tiptoed down the stairs to peer in on my precious ones and found this:

JB = My 2 year old guilty son. He found a loose Sha*rpie lying around!

Wall = OMgoodness
Futon = Yikes
And Buzz = the least of my concerns! Cue the exhale! :)

So I realized quickly that my spray bleach cleaners were of no help to me. I was in need of real help! I began googling to find a cleaning product, for removing Sha*rpie ink, and was amazed at some of the simple suggestions.

The first one was BAKING SODA!!! You know the stuff you can buy BIG boxes of for $.35?! There were other suggestions but I tried this one. I took a baby wipe and baking soda and began my doubting journey of exploration. Guess what - it worked! I know it says on the box - for cleaning but I never used it for a cleaner. The only problem was the wall was so beautifully decorated that I had too much to scrub. So we did paint the wall instead. But the baking soda took the Marker right off of the Futon with little effort.

With my new love for Baking Soda fresh on my mind, I decided to use it when cleaning my tub or to remove scuff marks. My newest discovery is my new love and, I must say, I have about 4 boxes of the stuff lying around now! I am going back to the basics! I used the Baking Soda to scrub my tub at our prior home and it never looked cleaner. I wanted to leave the tub with a sparkly clean, so I followed with a towel, dried off excess dampness and sprayed Windex. My tub actually went 'Ding' when I looked at it! haha No, but really it shined! I felt freed from the $2 and $3 a bottle cleaners.

At our new home we have the baking soda in the pantry, ready for a mess, and Ammonia! Ammonia gives the clean smell I like but, once again, it is cheaper than the other stuff. Ammonia is my disinfectant and baking soda is my stain remover! Counter-Top Disinfectant recipe = 2 Tbsp. ammonia, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup vinegar, and water. Put ammonia, alcohol and vinegar in a spray bottle and fill with water. **NEVER NEVER NEVER USE AMMONIA WITH BLEACH - THIS CAN TRULY BE DEADLY!!!!***

I mean really! Who can not love a product that is so economical and useful!!! And the ammonia is the same - economical and useful. Have you read the label on a bottle of Ammonia lately?? They boast of cleaning all areas of the kitchen and bathroom, as well as windows, washing machines AND dryers. You can use it on woodwork, painted walls. Put it in the oven overnight and spills should just wipe off with ease!! Not to mention both products are safe for using with laundry! I tell you I'm smitten!

As with any new relationship, Baking Soda and I are still learning things about each other. I tried my new love on our green hard surface luggage, to remove smudges, and it took a bit of work to get the white discoloration out of the grooves. After several attempts to wipe clean with water, I tried Windex and then we finally had luck with Armor All. So you may not want to use Baking Soda on dark colored surfaces, it isn't easy to wipe off without a touch of residue remaining.

As for my son's art work, both my son and the surfaces came clean with a little scrubbing and Buzz... well, we needed to keep him as is, for a souvenir!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Shopping Tips

Who doesn't love a good sale or getting in on racks of clothes that are clearanced out?

Tip: Hit up the end of the season clearance sales.
This weekend when we went shopping at an Outlet Mall.
We hit many great clearance racks in every store.
Since it is the end of the summer season, everything is clearanced for very reasonable prices.
Most items we purchased were around $2-$4. Some were a bit more.
We found shorts and tops for $2-$4, jeans for $7 and dress slacks for $10.

Tip: Hit Crazy Days sales.

You can find some really good deals that way too.
In our town we found a few great deals at Crazy Days.
We found shirts clearanced for $5 and jeans for our daughter clearanced for $2.

Tip: Check out the weekly sales ads.

I am big on looking in the weekly sales ads and using coupons from the sales ads.
Even when I'm shopping for groceries, I use coupons when I can.
Some stores will double your coupons too, which helps out.

Tip: you can even get the coupon on-line if you don't get the sales ad in the mail.

Just find the stores website and see what there offers are by bringing up the weekly ad
or searching their sites for coupons.

Tip: Make out a list before going out shopping.

I have my shopping list made out ahead of time.
I use an envelope filled with my coupons from each stores sales flyer already cut out.
I list each store that I plan on going to and then
each potential coupon that I could use at each store.
I don't end up purchasing at each store.

Tip: By using certain store credit cards
you'll get coupons periodically for discounts in their stores.

Tip: Shop on-line when you can.
You can also hit up end of the season clearance sales this way too.

I don't use a coupon for everything.

I just wanted to give you some ideas on how to
save money by: using coupons when shopping and hitting the clearance sales racks.

Does anyone else have any other shopping tips to share with us?