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22 Oct 2011   ·   27
Money Saving Mom

Freebies In My Mailbox

Here are what freebies arrived in my mailbox this week:

Free Twinnings Tea samples

Free Kleenex Cool Touch samples

Free RedMonkey Seasoning samples

Free AXE Hold + Touch sample

Free can of Progresso Soup coupon

Free June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque

Free Infusium sample

Free $10 Babies R Us Gift Card plus Aveeno Baby sample

What freebies have arrived in your mailbox this week?

By the way, if you want to start getting great freebies in your mailbox, just start signing up for the freebies I post every day that interest you. Within 4-6 weeks, your mailbox will start filling up with great freebies!

22 Oct 2011   ·   46
Money Saving Mom

Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Easy Italian Breadsticks, Chocolate Banana Bread, Crockpot Tortilla Soup

I did a quick Freezer Cooking in an Hour session on Thursday morning while the children worked on some homeschooling projects at the kitchen table. I had picked really simple and easy recipes, so everything went off without much of a hitch.

11:oo a.m. — Set the timer and threw all the ingredients for the Easy Italian Breadsticks in the bread machine.

11:05 a.m. — Put all the Crockpot Tortilla Soup ingredients in the crockpot to simmer.

11:18 a.m. — Started making the Chocolate Banana Bread. Jesse called and we talked for a few minutes while I finished up the bread.

11:22 a.m. — Stuck the bread in the oven and sat down to finish our morning homeschooling lessons while yummy smells wafted through the house.

12:30 p.m. — I pulled the bread out of the oven and let it cool. Then, we taste-tested some Chocolate Banana Bread before I sliced the rest and froze it. (It was so good that I knew it wouldn’t last long unless I froze it right away!).

Later that afternoon, Kaitlynn helped me make the dough into Easy Italian Breadsticks and we baked those.

All together, it took me about 55 minutes total to make a batch of Easy Italian Breadsticks, a loaf of Chocolate Banana Bread, and a big pot of Crockpot Tortilla Soup that will last us for two dinners and one lunch. Being intentional about cooking ahead a little bit once or twice a week can really be a sanity-saver!

Note: The breadsticks and banana bread were fantastic. We thought the soup was just so-so.

Did you bake or cook anything to freeze this week? I’d love to hear about it and see a link to your recipe, if you have one.

21 Oct 2011   ·   71

Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

I saw this recipe on Pinterest the other day and knew I had to try it. It’s hard to go wrong with anything that has bananas, chocolate, and chocolate chips.

And the recipe, as expected, didn’t disappoint.

My little taste-tester agreed. 🙂

21 Oct 2011   ·   10
Money Saving Mom

48-Hour Giveaway: The Ultimate Guide to Freezer Friendly Meals Eook (10 winners) + $50 Amazon.com gift card (2 winners)

I was really excited to see The Ultimate Guide to Freezer Friendly Meals: Chicken ebook that two bloggers put together. It was well-laid out out, organized, and full of yummy-looking recipes.

Many of the recipes were ones that are already our family favorites or looked like something we’d love. I especially appreciated that the recipes were simple and used basic, normal ingredients (no leeks or mussels listed!).

I did want to mention that I was expecting all of the recipes in this ebook to be freezer recipes, but from what I counted, only 12 of the recipes actually included detailed freezer/thawing instructions. Many of the recipes just used frozen or fresh chicken and were intended to be prepared and served immediately. Most of them could have easily been adapted for freezing and I would have loved to see that element added to this ebook to make it live up to its name more.

But otherwise, I thought it was a great ebook and would be beneficial to someone who buys chicken in bulk or is looking for some tried and true chicken recipes.

Would you like to win a free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Freezer Friendly Meals: Chicken ebook? To enter to win a free copy or one of two $50 Amazon.com gift cards, just click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. 10 winners will be chosen and posted on Monday. This giveaway ends Sunday, October 23, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway

21 Oct 2011   ·   23
Money Saving Mom

Books Read This Week: The Rose Conspiracy, Forgotten God, Don’t Make Me Come Up There

The Rose Conspiracy — This is the second fiction book I’ve read this month. If you know me well, you know that is very out-of-character for me, but I’ve been trying to break out of my non-fiction rut a little bit. And Craig Parshall’s book was good enough to capture my attention and keep it. In fact, I knew I was going to enjoy this book after I didn’t want to put it down after the second page.

If you enjoy legal fiction, you should definitely check this book out. It’s intriguing, thought-provoking, and overall well-written. Some of the plot was a bit weak, but it was still very engaging.

Forgotten God — In typical Francis Chan style, this book will make you think, examine your heart, and plumb the depths of your beliefs about the Holy Spirit. You may not agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but I can guarantee you that it will make you think and re-examine Scripture in a new light. Highly recommended.

By the way, if you’ve not read Crazy Love, I’d heartily recommend that book as well. One of the best books I’ve read this year.

Don’t Make Me Come Up There — If you are a mom or care for children on a regular basis, you will find this book hilarious. Kristen is an incredibly gifted writer who knows how to communicate spot-on truth in a laugh-out-loud-funny manner. I hope this is the first of many books she writes. I will definitely be buying them all!

Read-Alouds:

Paul Revere — I read this book when I was a youngster, so it was fun to get to enjoy it with my children. The Imagination Station: Showdown With the Shepherd — Another book in our well-loved Imagination Station series. And once again, the children were so captivated by it that I could have read the whole thing in one setting!

Currently reading: EntreLeadership, He Heard Hannah, Kisses from Katie, In Search of Balance,and listening to Purple Cow audiobook. You can see all of the books I’ve read in 2011 so far here. Read all of my book reviews here.

Have you read any good books recently?

(Note: The Amazon.com links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

21 Oct 2011   ·   63

Easy Italian Breadsticks in the Bread Machine

Reader Amy R. sent me this recipe and said “I wanted to share this recipe with you… It is definitely our family’s favorite bread. My husband calls them ‘Better than Olive Garden Breadsticks.'”

Better than Olive Garden Breadsticks? This I have to try!

So yesterday, I threw all of the ingredients in the bread machine before we started our homeschooling lessons.

A few hours later, the dough was ready to be rolled into breadsticks.

I was running short on time, so I rolled some into breadsticks and the rest I just rolled out and sliced.

Kaitlynn enjoyed helping me roll her own “breadsticks”.

The verdict? These were very delicious. I’m not sure that the sliced dough option worked as well as the breadsticks I actually rolled into “ropes”, but I will definitely be making this recipe again in the future.

The whole family agreed that this recipe was a keeper. Best of all, it is so simple!

21 Oct 2011   ·   9
Money Saving Mom

Natural and Organic Coupons and Deals

Natural and Organic Deals

Natural and Organic Coupon Roundup: $1/1 Back to Nature, $1/1 Good Earth Tea, $1/1 Non-Dairy Dream Beverage (Almond, Coconut, Rice), $1/1 Glutino Genius Gluten Free Bread (Facebook offer), $2/1 Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin Care Product (Facebook offer), $1/1 Barbara’s Bakery, $1/2 Muir Glen, $1/1 Hain Celestial product.

Zevia Natural Soda 6-Pack As Low As $0.50 or Possibly Free: Using this $3/1 Zevia coupon, you should be able to get a 6-pack for as low as $0.50-$1, or possibly even free, depending on the price you find it for. I’ve seen prices reported between $3.50-$4 at Whole Foods, and as low as $3 at Target.

Gluten Free Planning and Cooking Ebook for Free: Amazon is currently offering the Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free: Planning and Cooking Simple Gluten-Free Meals ebook for $0.00. Note that this could change at any time, so check to make sure the price hasn’t gone up before you purchase it. (Thanks, The Frugal Greenish Mama!)

Nursing Bras for $9 Each Shipped: Right now at Zulily, A Mother’s Love nursing bras are 50-55% off. Get two bras for $11.99, plus $5.95 standard shipping, making it $17.94 shipped or just under $9 each. Shipping costs remain the same if you order more than two, bringing the cost down further.

Natural Cold Remedies Free at Rite Aid: From now until tomorrow night (Saturday, October 22, 2011), Rite Aid has 4 natural and/or homeopathic cold remedies free after UPR and rebates — Zarbees Natraflu, Similasan Kid’s Cough and Cold Relief, Arnicare Pain Relief, and Organix Cough Drops. See details here. (Thanks, Organic Deals!)

Sample Natural and Organic Products for Free: If you are a US resident, love sampling new products and don’t mind giving feedback, you may want to sign up to be a Savvy Sampler with Naturally Savvy. Products are all supposedly natural/organic. Not everyone who applies will be chosen. (Thanks, Frugal Greenish Mama!)

Stephanie Langford loves to share ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they’ve been given. She writes at Keeper of the Home, and has written two books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed and without going broke.

Find more Natural & Organic tips and deals. (Note: Some of the links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

20 Oct 2011   ·   75
Money Saving Mom

Five free holiday card samples

TinyPrints is offering five free holiday card samples. I’m not sure whether these will come pre-filled out or not, but it’s worth taking a minute to sign up for–especially since there are so many creative ways to recycle Christmas cards.

Here’s how to get your five free cards:

::Login or sign up for a TinyPrints account.

::Choose five different holiday cards you’d like to order and click the orange “Order Sample” button next to them.

::Go to checkout and use coupon code 5HOLIDAY and choose to have them shipped to your house. Your order should be free.

Thanks, Common Sense With Money!

(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

20 Oct 2011   ·   6
Money Saving Mom

Ink Garden: Personalized Photo Mug for $5.49 shipped

InkGarden is offering a free $13 credit when you use coupon code ForFree at checkout. This can be used to get a free personalized notebook, mousepad, ceramic mug, notepad, note cards, and more. Shipping is extra and runs from $3.29 to $5.49.

My favorite deal is the Personalized Ceramic Mug that will be $5.49 shipped after the coupon code.

This offer is for new customers only and cannot be used in conjunction with other offers. Expires December 31, 2011.

(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)