Couponing for the Rest of Us

Valentine Cupcakes: Strawberry Shortcake Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Valentine's Cupcakes.//

It’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day recipes!!  How fun it is to bake Valentine cupcakes, especially if your kiddos are old enough to help!  It’s so easy to make your kids feel super special as we countdown to Valentine’s Day by making Valentine’s themed desserts, dinners, snacks etc.  Stay tuned, as we have lots of fun Valentine’s Day ideas to share with you!!

Y’all are going to love this yummy Strawberry Shortcake Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe guest post from my friend Sadie!! She is an amazing baker if only she lived closer to me I’d love to have one of these Strawberry Shortcake Red Velvet Cupcakes right now!!!  There is just something about scrumptious cupcakes – the perfect balance of cake and frosting that makes them irresistible.


Sadie is a blogger that loves to cook. Her Kid-Friendly Tofu Nuggets are always a hit. For more recipes, you can follow her on Pinterest!

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New Years Eve Appetizers: Kid-Friendly Finger Foods (Sausage Balls & Smokies in a Blanket)

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Jamie here, whether you’re throwing a little family New Years Eve party or a bigger gathering – you’ll always need to have some “Kid-friendly” finger foods on hand – here are my two favorite recipes for quick and easy party food that my kids love to eat (and me too!)

Sausage Balls:

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Now let me start by saying that these are NOT the sausage balls that are super-greasy and brownish – but a more biscuity version that works well for parties or for an easy Christmas Morning finger-food breakfast!

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Recipe: Yummy Oreo Cheesecake Bites

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Does anyone else love Pinterest? I see so many DIY décor ideas for my home, crafts that my kids would love, and recipes  I want to try I could get lost for hours. We’ve asked our friend Tori Vest, self-professed Pinterest-lover, crafter, cook, and DIY extroidair to help us out. Take it away Tori…..

I found this delicious recipe on “Handle The Heat” blog! These fun snacks are not only delicious, but also fast and easy! The mixture of Oreos throughout the cream cheese blend makes a flawlessly scrumptious dessert!

If you like this……PIN IT!

Oreo Cheesecake Bites
Dessert
Makes 30 cheesecake bites.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Package of Oreos. (I used the off-brand, and they worked great!)
  • 2 packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Line 30 muffin tins with cupcake liners and put 1 whole Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake slot.
  3. Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  4. You will probably have to scrape the sides of the blender bowl several times.
  5. Gradually add sugar, vanilla, sour cream and salt.
  6. Lightly beat the 2 large eggs, and slowly drizzle eggs into the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Take about 12 Oreos and break them by hand into small pieces.
  8. Divide the batter evenly into each cookie-lined cup until each up is about ¾ full.
  9. Bake, rotating pan half way through, until the filling has set, this will take about 22 minutes.
  10. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely and then put them in the refrigerator to cool for about 4 hours, or over night.

 

These are such a hit with kids and adults! My only suggestion before eating these would be to make sure that you and self-control are on the same page! Because only eating 1 of these is quite a task! I hope you enjoy this delicious treat!

Follow Time 2 $ave on Pinterest Here!

Resurrection Cookies & Jelly Bean Prayer Jar (Teach Kids About Easter)

Photo courtesy of WomenLivingWell

If you have a little spare time this evening, you may want to make one of these treats with your kiddos to help teach them about Easter in a way that easily grabs little minds and hearts.

I’ve included the recipe for Resurrection cookies below. It’s a great opportunity to hang out with the kiddos, bake cookies, spend time talking to each of them while sharing the Easter story.   Hope you enjoy, we’d love to hear about your family’s experience. If you already have your own traditions in place we’d love to hear yours too.

It’s important to me to teach my kids the true meaning of Easter.   In order for them to hear me, I have to be intentional, otherwise they will hear the Easter message that is all around us.  Think about the last time you walked into a store was Easter stuff was everywhere?   The number of items available is never-ending - toys, candy, kitchen towels, hand soaps, tablecloths, decorations etc… you get the point. The store doesn’t sit back passively hoping that we’ll look for Easter items in their store.   It’s a very intentional plan on their part, they know if we see it, it will grab our attention.In saying that, have I made an effort to create an environment where they can learn the true meaning of Easter on their level?   What message do I want my kids to receive?  When they look back 25 years from now what memories are the most special to them?   Toys come and go, but the things that cannot be measured are those that leave the largest imprint on their lives.To be honest, my children wake up on Easter morning to a basket full of my their favorite healthy snacks candy & chocolate.  I don’t have all the answers, there are all things I want and intend to do but haven’t been consistently successful. Even so, every ounce of effort we make is an investment in their hearts – no matter how small.

Easter Story or “Resurrection” Cookies

Things you’ll need:
1 cup whole pecans                                     1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites                                                 pinch salt
1 cup sugar                                                   zipper baggie
wooden spoon                                             tape
Bible

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important – don’t wait until you’re half done with the recipe!)
  2. Place pecans in zipper baggie & let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. 
    - Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3
  3. Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
    - Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.  Read John 19:28-30.
  4. Add egg whites to vinegar. 
    - Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.  Read John 10:10-11.
  5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. 
    - Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
  6. So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.
    - Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him.  Read Psalms 34:8 & John 3:16.
  7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. 
    - Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Read Isaiah 1:18 & John 3:1-3.
  8. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.
    - Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
  9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seat the oven door.
    - Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27:65-66.
  10. GO TO BED!
    - Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.  Read John 16:20 – 22

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface & take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.  Read Matthew 28:1-9 & Rejoice!

Jelly Bean Jar

Fill a jar with jelly beans and attach this poem using ribbon. (Click HERE to download poem)
Red is for the blood He gave. Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright. Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made. White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for His hour of sorrow. Pink is for a new tomorrow.
And handful of jelly beans, Colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, a promise, A loved one’s treat!
Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Here are 3 different designs here for The Jelly Bean Prayer.  This sounds super easy and mess free!!    Thanks Mama Jenn.

Recipe Box: Chocolate Chip Cookie Candy Pizza

 

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I don’t know what ya’ll do with Halloween candy at your house, if you have any suggestions I’m all ears.  I’ve come to the realization that I’ve got ISSUES with “fun sized,” candy treats.  Every time I walk by, my hand has already grabbed a piece before my brain even knows what has just happened.

Now, I’m not saying I’m ready to give it up cold turkey.  I just need larger portions that scream “I’M AT LEAST 10,000 CALORIES” to help motivate me to say no.  I could tear through every one of those little snack sized candy bars in the picture above.  By themselves they don’t stand a chance.  However, if I add the candy to a Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza, I see it totally different.  There’s no way to trick myself into believing that it’s just a little miniature fun size bar anymore.

 

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1. Go through your Halloween candy and unwrap all the candy you want to use to make your cookie pizza.  I used Kit Kats, Twix, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, and M & M’s.

 

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2. I used an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix.  Follow directions on box, and pour into round pan. (it doesn’t matter what shape you use rectangle is fine too)  Don’t fill the pan more than half full or you’ll have cookie everywhere.

 

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3. I used muffin tins for the rest of the batter.

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4. Follow directions on package, however add approx. 8 minutes to the cook time.  Check to make sure that the oven is preheating.

 

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5. Take the muffin tins and cupcake holders out of the oven and immediately pour chocolate chips out of the bag on top of each.  If you don’t have any nut allergies in your family,   Add 1 TB of peanut butter to the chocolate chips.  Allow to sit on the hot cookie pizza for two or three minutes, then gently spread out the chocolate or chocolate/peanut butter “icing” across the surface.  I just used a spoon nothing fancy.

 

Follow the steps listed above if you are using muffing tins.  I just sprinkled a couple of chocolate chips in each tin.  Then, if you want to add peanut butter add a tad to each muffin.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Basic Recipe and Extra Seasoning Options

I love roasted pumpkin seeds.  My family roasted our leftover seeds every year – and every year that familiar smell filled the kitchen – warm and nutty.  If you have never roasted your pumpkin seeds before – here are the most basic instructions – along with a couple alternate versions so you can “Shake things up”!

Basic Recipe for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds:

*This recipe is for a medium pumpkin – and about 1 cup of seeds.

  1. After gutting your pumpkin, rinse and drain the seeds – making sure to remove all the stringy bits.
  2. Lie them flat on a paper towel to dry – patting them as dry as possible.
  3. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and preheat oven to 325.
  4. Dump dry seeds onto cookie sheet and drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil over the top, stir to coat. (Or you can use melted butter)
  5. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt until evenly coated.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. (Check on every 10 minutes and stir)

 

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Extra Options:

Instead of just adding salt – add different spices like:

  • Garlic & Cumin & Chili Powder & Cayenne powder
  • Cinnamon & Sugar
  • Parmesan & Herb
  • Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and garlic salt
  • Taco Seasoning or Chex Mix Seasoning packets

You can even brine pumpkin seeds in salt water for 1 day before roasting so they can soak up that yummy saltiness!

Menu Monday: Frugal Party Guide & Recipes!

Clever and simple Halloween Party idea: Use Pringles for tombstones to turn ordinary brownies/cakes into ghoulish brownies or create a whole graveyard on top of a cake!  – Thanks to Pringles for this cool idea!

 

We frugal foodies have unique challenges that normal shoppers don’t.  This little segment aims to help by offering:

  • Stockpile-cooking ideas
  • Clever Casseroles in which to hide your leftovers from the hubby & kids
  • Kitchen tips & tricks
  • And really, everything but the kitchen sink!

Our very own “Deal Detective Kim” takes the time to compile her recipes and tips for us (aspiring food writer that she is) – so take it away Kim!

I talked about this last year, after the fact. For the newbies, and to give the rest of you an advance heads up, here’s the Deal Detective’s guide to party planning on the cheap!

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Pantry Cooking: Lighten-Up! (Eat light while couponing)

 

We frugal foodies have unique challenges that normal shoppers don’t.  This little segment aims to help by offering:

  • Ideas for cooking from your stockpile or from what’s on sale
  • Clever Casseroles in which to hide your leftovers from the hubby & kids :)
  • Kitchen tips & tricks, and Freezer-cooking recipes

Thanks to DealDetectiveKim - who writes our weekly segment … take it away Kim!

It’s almost Memorial Day, and you know what that means–bathing suits are headed our way!  I don’t care who you are or what you look like, EVERYONE stresses over this.  I am no exception.  For many years, I was blessed with metabolism that moved at warp speed.  I ate anything and everything, and got totally spoiled, and then MY BODY BETRAYED ME!!  The last 5 years or so, it’s crept up, bit by bit.  My friends are kind, they swear they can’t tell a difference, but I can.  I am already struggling with not being able to eat all I want, when I want; the last thing I want is for it to get out of control–to wake up one day and realize my health is at risk because of the food choices I make.  So since last week I’ve been working on limiting my calorie intake and seeing what I eat and how much.  No chips.  No dip.  No candy bars (well, OK, but just ONE!).
I read an article by a former Biggest Loser competitor who’s also a police officer HERE Crazy hours, even crazier schedule, and he lost 133 lbs, most of it on his own after he was eliminated from the show.  His biggest tips were:
1. keep track of what you eat–every bit of it and
2. plan ahead for 5 meals/snacks a day, no more than 400 calories each.  (5×400=2,000 calories/day, which is all we all should be having anyway!)
Can you do this and still coupon?  Yes, you can!  Thursday for lunch I had a hot dog–plain with mustard, which was around 300 calories; for dessert I tried one of the new Skinny Cow crispy bars (100 calories).  I got everything at Bi-Lo: catalina for free Southern Home buns, Ball Park franks were BOGO and I used $1/1 coupon.  Someone else had not taken their BOGO Skinny Cow singles candy catalina, so I snagged it.  I’ve been drinking Crystal Light.  By the way, I started to get the all-beef hot dogs, thinking they’d be better for me, but believe it or not, the plain cheaper franks were 10 calories fewer AND had less fat–probably because they’re a mix of beef, pork, and turkey.  So watch your labels!
Thursday night for dinner I had:
Fantastic Feta Chicken
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast (130 calories)
  • Lemon juice (0 calories)
  • Fresh or dried oregano (0 calories)
  • Fresh ground black pepper (0 calories)
  • Feta cheese (90 calories for 1/4 cup crumbles; I used way less than half of that on one piece of chicken)

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