Monday, November 18, 2013

Earn free gift cards (and more) with Shopkick!

I love it when friends show me knew apps to help me save money.  Shopkick is one of those apps!  What is Shopkick?  It's a free app that gives you "kicks" every time you scan a product or check in at your favorite store!  You can start redeeming your kicks for gift cards once you reach 500 kicks!  Invite 3 friends and get 2,000 kicks instantly!  Sounds simple, right?  That's because it is!  I have earned enough kicks to get myself $10 in Target gift cards, which you can use online or in-store!!  There are many more gift cards you can earn (including JCP, Amazon, Macys, etc) and actual items you can save for (anyone wishing for a KitchenAid Mixer?).  Check out this video that will help explain the app further:  

Sign up for Shopkick here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Jewelry Under $1......SHIPPED!

If you have saved up your gift cards all year from your favorite reward sites (like me), then Amazon is probably your friend right now.  If you are looking for some cheap costume jewelry for yourself or for gifts, then check out these favorites for under $1 SHIPPED!

Seahorse Pendant Necklace - $.89 $.96

Antiqued Bronze Octopus Necklace - $.49 $.65

Lady Cat Pendant - $.83

Vintage Owl Pendant - $.75 $.79

Owl Head Charm Stud Earrings - $.59 $.62

Vintage Champagne Cross Necklace - $.70

Vintage Eiffel Tower Pendant - $.80 $.93

*Prices are subject to change.*

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pumpkin Puree

This year my family got lots of pumpkins for Halloween.  I felt bad about just throwing them all once October ended, so naturally, pumpkin puree came to mind.  We go through a lot of pumpkin during the holiday season (which for me is from mid-October to the end of December!), buying all that pumpkin puree can be a bit pricey.  To make pumpkin puree, you're going to want to use sugar pumpkins, or pie pumpkins.  Sugar pumpkins are the smaller pumpkins (not the itty bitty ones) which have a sweeter taste to them.

To start, you're going to want to take an un-carved sugar pumpkin, wash the outside of it, and slice it into thirds (or fourths, whichever!).  Scoop out all of the seeds and stringy mess.  You can save the seeds for planting, or roast them (we did both!).  Once cleaned out, place them flesh side down in a baking dish.  I like to spritz the pumpkins with a little water before roasting to help keep them moist.  Roast them at 375 degrees (F) for about 50 minutes to an hour.  Your house will smell great during this time!

Once you have roasted them, the skin will peel off very easy while warm.  Put the flesh into a food processor, and puree!  I am new to canning, but I am almost certain you can not can pumpkin puree (please correct me if I'm wrong).  However, you can freeze your puree (which is what I did).

Besides pumpkin pie, you can use your pumpkin puree to add to cheese sauce for mac & cheese, or make breads, muffins, or cakes with it.

How do use your pumpkin puree?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Turn Your Swagbucks Into A Donation: Super Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund

I am always quick to post why I love Swagbucks; mainly because of what it does for me.  However, I love Swagbucks for another reason.....because they are always ready to help out in times of need.  Right now, you can turn your Swagbucks (as little as 5) into a donation to help the victims and families of Typhoon Haiyan.

In response to the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan, which has destroyed cities in the Philippines, cost so many lives and destroyed homes, and is still on Swagbucks now has a way for us to help those who need it most in the wake of this natural disaster.

Now you can donate Swag Bucks to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The organization GlobalGiving has set up a fund that will go toward recovery efforts in all areas impacted by the storm. This money provides food, fuel, shelter, and more for victims of the storm. 

The Swag Bucks you donate will be turned into a cash donation, given directly to the GlobalGiving Foundation-Super Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund project. Every Swag Buck you donate equals $0.01, and every bit helps, so click here to donate your Swag Bucks.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Double Stuffed Swagbucks!

It's a DOUBLE STUFFED day over at Swagbucks!  All day today, Nov. 4th, you can earn up to 40 bonus Swag Bucks!  Also, you can earn DOUBLE Swag Bucks when you visit the Shop & Earn stores.

If you are a Swagbucks member, don't miss out on this chance to earn extra Swag Bucks!

If you're not a Swagbucks member, today would be a GREAT day to get started!

I redeem my Swag Bucks for gift cards to my favorite shops (including Amazon, PayPal, and Walmart!).  Check out my post Shopping for Free to read about the gift cards I earn!

Sign up for Swagbucks HERE!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bacon, Mac, & Greens

Pasta has always been my go to meal; it's cheap, and you can add so many different flavors to it!  Mac and cheese is a favorite in my house.  Cheese is a great way for me to hide veggies that my kids would normally turn their noses up at; like collards and squash (or in this case, pumpkin).  Last night just so happened to be a mac and cheese kind of night.  I could write a big long blog post about how my great grandmother's uncle's dog came up with this recipe, but if you are here, you probably want me to get right to the point.  So here it is, my recipe for Bacon, Mac, & Greens:

1 box of noodles (I had rotini)
1 pound (or bunch) of collard greens (spinach would work here too)
1 large yellow onion
1 package of bacon (I had turkey bacon on hand, pancetta would work too)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup of cheddar or white cheddar
1/2 cup of Welsh cheddar
1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup of beer or ale
1/2 stick of butter
2 tbsp of pumpkin puree (or squash)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut your bacon into bite size pieces.  In a skillet, add your bacon.  If you use turkey bacon, add just a little oil so it doesn't dry out.  Cook until the bacon is crisp, over medium high heat.  Remove the bacon from the skillet (leaving your grease), and put to the side.  Next, chop up an onion into small pieces (about the size of your bacon pieces).  Wash your greens and remove the stem.  Cut into small pieces (I like to roll the leaves up and slice).  Add the onions to your greased skillet and begin to cook, over medium high heat.  After the onions begin to become translucent, add the collards, and add about 1/8 cup of water.  You'll cook those until the greens become tender, over medium heat.  Add a little water as needed if your greens become dry.
As the collards and onions are cooking, boil your pasta water (salt it too!) and cook your pasta until it is al dente.  Once cooked you will drain the pasta.  Save a few tablespoons of the pasta water, put aside.
For the cheese sauce, you'll begin by heating your beer and butter together; bring to a boil to ensure the alcohol is cooked out.  Next add the Velveeta (cubed), Gruyere cheese, and pumpkin.  Once the cheese has melted, add the hot sauce and Worcestershire.  Stir well.  Next, add your nutmeg, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix everything together (pasta, sauce, greens, and bacon).  Use your reserved pasta water to help keep the pasta and sauce from becoming clumpy.  Spread your pasta and cheese mixture into a greased baking dish.  Next, spread your breadcrumbs over the top of your mac.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until the bread crumbs begin to brown.
This recipe will feed 4-6 people depending on if you serve as a side or main course (and how hungry your bunch is!).  Make's a great lunch on day 2!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Turkey Trot 5k and the 100 mile Challenge!

Today is November 1!  So what does that mean?  Well, it means that yesterday, the kids (and I) pigged out on some late night candy.  It also means that today is day 1 of the Slap Dash Mom 100 Mile Challenge (yes, yes, there is a prize involved)!

It just so happens, that this month, right here in St. Louis, MO, there will be a super affordable 5k; the Twilight Turkey Trot.  The timing couldn't be better, right before Thanksgiving!  If you sign up for this 5k through LivingSocial, the cost is only $15 (50% savings!), or $29 for 2 people.  PLUS......(you're going to like this) through November 4, use coupon code FALLBACK5 and get $5 off of your registration!

Here's the details (taken from Slap Dash Mom's blog):

The Challenge

The challenge is simple! Complete 100 miles in November. That’s a little over 3 miles each day. The goal is to push yourself. If 100 miles will be too easy, do 125.. do 150.. but you will complete the challenge as long as you log 100. You CAN do 100. I have faith in you.

How You Can Complete it

You can complete your 100 miles in many ways! Walk, jog, run, crawl, swim, bike, skip, hop… you name it, you can do it. If you don’t have a pedometer, you can get one from Walmart for $5. If you don’t have $5 to get the pedometer, drive your car a mile up the road. You now have your mile marker. Drive it another mile. That’s your two mile marker. If you walk there AND back, that’s 4 miles.

Race details: 

Where: Forest Park, upper Muny parking lot
When: November 23, 2013
Time: 4:30 (race starts at 5:30)

You get a t-shirt and FREE coffee/hot chocolate when you register for this 5k.

To sign up for the St. Louis Twilight Turkey Trot, click here.

To find out how to participate in the Slap Dash 100 Mile Challenge, click here.