We’re no strangers to brinner- breakfast + dinner- around my house. In fact, we probably have it at least twice a week. I love it because most breakfast options are fast and frugal, which are two huge factors I use in determining what we’ll be eating each week.
The other thing I love about the meals in my brinner rotation is that they can all be easily customized. One meat can be subbed for another, vegetables can be switched out based on what you have around, and using a specific kind of cheese isn’t that important.
All of the above apply to this sausage, egg, and cheese crescent roll bake. You could easily use bacon or ham instead of sausage and add any kind of veggies you like (to the whole dish or just to a portion). I use a cheddar cheese blend, because that’s what I usually have on hand, but most anything would work.
sausage, egg, and cheese crescent roll bake
adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff
1 small can of crescent rolls (you only need four rolls; you can always buy the regular size and find another use for the leftover four)
1/2 pound ground sausage, cooked and drained
3/4 cup shredded cheese
2 tablespoons of milk
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced onion
You don’t have to clip coupons to reduce your grocery bill. These 3 easy ways to save money at the grocery store really are simple, and the savings adds up surprisingly fast.
By now, I think we’ve all watched, or at least heard of, the TV show Extreme Couponers. As someone who uses coupons, I watched the show when it first premiered. I was fascinated by the women- and the men- who ventured into the grocery store and emerged five hours later with carts full of groceries and a 98% savings.
If that scenario sounds like something you do on a regular basis, this post probably isn’t for you.
If you dislike clipping coupons, but enjoy saving money when it requires minimal time and effort on your part, then you should keep reading.
Below are the three things I do after every grocery shopping trip to save money. Actually, to be accurate, it isn’t saving money so much as it is getting cash back. So while you’ll end up paying the same amount while you’re at the store, you’ll accumulate cash back that can be deposited straight into your bank account.
ibotta is a free app that allows you to accumulate cash back. Before you shop, browse ibotta’s offers for specific items. To unlock the cash back rebate for each product, you just have to complete easy tasks like taking polls, watching brief videos, and scanning recipes.
After your trip to the grocery store, scan the bar code on the items you bought and upload an image of your receipt. ibotta will credit you for the rebates within a few hours. When you’ve reached a minimum of $10, you can cash out into a PayPal account or redeem your earnings for various gift cards.
Who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls? I know I do, and I even make them on occasion. I’m not afraid to work with yeast and there’s just something about a warm homemade cinnamon roll that defies description.
But this is real life. Sometimes it’s 10 p.m. and you remember, as you’re about to climb into bed, that you promised a group of students you’d feed them at your 7:30 a.m. meeting. And since cinnamon rolls are certainly not happening, you rack your brain for a simpler solution. Something mouth-watering, yes, but something that comes together quickly.
That’s where these cinnamon roll bars come in. The base is a box cake mix, so it doesn’t take too many more ingredients for them to come together. I love to bake the bars the night before, then whip up the frosting in the morning and frost them right before I walk out the door.
These bars are so easy, yet so moist and rich, that they could easily become a new make-ahead holiday favorite. Or, if you really love the people in your life, make them this weekend.
Cinnamon Roll Bars
adapted from Cookies & Cups
For the bars:
1 box white or yellow cake mix
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (I’ve used light or dark; both work fine)
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cinnamon
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling (optional)
For the frosting:
1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Welcome to the first installment of What I’m Loving Wednesday, where I plan to share things that I’ve been loving lately. “Things” is a purposely generic term because I’ll be sharing pretty much anything that strikes my fancy: songs, food, beauty products, other blogs, photos, TV shows, clothes, books, quotes, articles. If I’ve liked it, it’s fair game to be included in a What I’m Loving Wednesday post.
Let’s begin, shall we?
zoya nail polish
I stopped by Ulta a few days after Christmas. I was all set to buy a new OPI polish when I discovered a bottle of Zoya polish on a clearance shelf. It was a nearly identical shade but half the price of the OPI. I bought it and just got around to using it. I painted my fingernails Monday night- while watching Oregon lose the National Championship- and now, two full days later, they’re still perfect. That might not sound like very long, but it’s better than any OPI or Essie manicure I’ve ever given myself.
Redeeming Love is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it every couple of years and just finished reading it again. If you’ve never read it, you must. Immediately. If you have read it, then you know why I love it and you should think about reading it again. And again and again.
Note: this post was written two years ago for another blog of mine. I feel like, now that I work full-time outside the home, the feelings that inspired me to write this are more present and relevant than ever.
I’m fairly new to my role as a stay-at-home mom; I’ve only been doing this since the beginning of the year.
To be brutally honest, I haven’t quite figured out if I’m cut out for this. I firmly believe that not everyone is, and that’s okay. Right now, I’m just thankful that I have the opportunity to find out if being a SAHM is for me.
One evening earlier this week, as I was standing at the stove stirring scrambled eggs, something occurred to me: how often have I used the phrase “just a minute” in the last few weeks?
Every month is the same. I use my big magnetic calendar to record our family’s activities and meal plan for the month. I use a dry erase marker and it works quite nicely, because I can erase and rewrite things as I go.
But then I put the calendar back on the side of the refrigerator, and there it sits for the next four weeks. Sure, I look at it often. To know what’s for dinner, to see what we have happening each week. But after several weeks on the fridge, when the end of one month comes and it’s time for me to plan the next, I encounter the same problem.
The marker won’t erase. No amount of elbow grease behind the eraser can get the marker to budge, and water doesn’t work either. I know I can buy the special spray made especially for this predicament, but, when possible, I prefer to do things frugally and without the use of harsh chemicals.
So instead of buying the spray, I use one simple ingredient that I’m guessing can be found in nearly every kitchen in America: baking soda. I just lay the board flat, sprinkle it with baking soda, and then drizzle water over the top. A few swipes with a rag or a paper towel and the marker comes right off.
If you wanted to make things even easier, you could even make a paste of baking soda and water and store it in an airtight container. That would cut out the additional step of dripping water over the baking soda and creating a paste right on the board.
What frugal hacks do you know that only require basic kitchen ingredients? Do share!
(Note: this post contains affiliate links. When you click those links and make purchases, you support me, this blog, and my family.)
Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. I love salty foods, and I love to be able to munch on something while I’m working or watching TV, so popcorn is a natural fit.
My reason for making it myself, rather than buying bags of microwave popcorn from the grocery store, is two-fold. First, this homemade method is so much less expensive than the store-bought variety. Second, those pre-made bags are loaded with preservatives and chemicals. While I’m not a poster child for natural, organic living, I do try to make healthy choices when I can, especially when the healthier option is cheap, easy, and, in my opinion, even better tasting than the other option.
After popping a bag of this popcorn, you have a blank canvas just waiting to take on whatever flavors you’re in the mood for. My current favorite is butter, kosher salt, and garlic powder. I’ve been known to toss in a little Parmesan cheese, too. I’ve also enjoyed my popcorn with cinnamon sugar and with chili powder and garlic salt (not all in the same batch).
homemade microwave popcorn
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1 brown paper lunch bag
toppings of choice: butter, coconut oil, kosher salt, cinnamon sugar, garlic powder, brewers yeast, and Parmesan cheese are a few that I’ve either tried or had recommended to me
The other day, I made what I consider to be a brilliant discovery.
I don’t remember what I was originally looking for, but I noticed that Walmart sells, in their bakery department, fresh loaves of French and Italian bread for $1. ONE DOLLAR. When I saw the price, my mind buzzed with possibilities. Oh, the things I could make with a $1 loaf of bakery-fresh bread.
So, of course, I bought a loaf.
French bread pizza can, of course, be made using homemade bread; I make it that way often. But even those, like me, who love to bake, sometimes need a go-to meal that’s easy to throw together and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. When that’s the case, this pizza fits the bill.
The only ingredient you really have to have is the bread. Beyond that, you can use- or not use- whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you have around. I find that this meal is a great vehicle for leftovers. If I have chicken and vegetables in the fridge from a meal earlier in the week, I’ll chop them up and call them pizza toppings. And, unlike a traditional pizza recipe, this one easily accommodates eaters with different preferences. Just give each person their own section and let them customize the meal.
French Bread Pizza
1 loaf of French (or Italian) bread, homemade or from a bakery
toppings of choice
winstead wandering is my new blog. I’ve been blogging for a few years at Mother on a Mission, but I’d been considering a name change for almost as long. The tagline of that blog is still accurate; I am on a mission to make the world the kind of place- and to be the kind of mom- my kids deserve.
But the blog began to morph away from the in-the-trenches-SAHM posts (especially when I began working full-time again) and contain more recipes and frugal living tips, and I was beginning to itch for an outlet for my teacher side. I’ve created classroom material, developed strategies, and gained hilarious stories that I wanted to share somewhere.
When it comes to blogging, or specifically to writing, the tip write what you know is thrown around a lot. Well: I know Jesus and faith. I know marriage and college sweethearts and hard times. I know toddlers and picky eaters and diva daughters. I know teaching and high school students. I know miscarriage and c-sections and VBACs. I know computers and spreadsheets. I know travel and Oregon and wanderlust. I know cooking and baking and the joy of feeding people. I know books. I know frugality and the fight to have more with less.
Instead of attempting to narrow down my focus and make the thoughts in my mind fit into a blog-shaped box, I decided to create a new blog, with a name that reflects the wanderings of my mind. Which is brings us to winstead wanderings: the random wanderings of one who is not lost.