Square Watermelons

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My friend Heather from Massachusetts sent me this video about Japan’s production of square watermelon.  What a waste.  Growing the watermelon takes up water, nutrients, etc. that could otherwise go to growing actual consumable food.   As much as 1/3 of the food produced in the world each year goes to waste.  They grow these watermelon knowing full well they are not going to be eatable, so they instantly become part of that statistic.  I get that they look cool, but do we really need to spend $100 to have a square inedible fruit conversation piece.  I don’t get it.

Anyway, you all know how I feel about food waste.  The average American family throws away nearly $1500 worth of groceries each year.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather have that $1500 to, I don’t know, fly someplace new.

What do you think?  Cool or wasteful?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Free Kindle Books, TOMS Shoe Sale, Pet Treats, Recipes, Coupons, and More

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lucy the puggle dog

This little snuggle puggle didn’t want to get out of bed this morning… in fact she’s still laying in her little pink egg bed. What a  life she has.  I wish I could lay in bed all day too. ;)

Have a great Tuesday everyone,

Mavis and Lucy

New Balance Shoes

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 45% Off New Balance Running Shoes

free kindle books

Available  eBooks I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

toms shoes sale

Zulily has Toms Shoes on sale with savings up to 35% off PLUS free shipping on orders over $65. New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up and get this deal!

dog supplies on amazon

I just ordered Lucy the Puggle Dog another bag of her favorite Paragon Whimzees Alligator Dental Treats and found a few more deals for our furry friends:

jane leggings

Snag a pair of White Plum’s Print Leggings {33 styles to choose from!} for just $10.99 a pair.

crazy 8Today and online only, Fall Favorites are 40% off at Crazy 8!

How-to-Save-Money-on-Amazon-10-Secrets-to-Saving-Big

Oh Amazon, how I love thee! I especially love saving money on Amazon. Check out my 10 Secrets to Saving Big on Amazon. Find more cool tips and money savings ideas on my Money Saving Tips Pinterest Boards.

basebanner300x250asianwoman

Pinecone Research has by far the best reputation among survey companies. You evaluate new product ideas in the comfort of your own home and earn points for each survey, which can then be exchanged for cash!

white pillow cases

Need a new set of pillowcases? Amazon has the Utopia Bedding 2 Standard Size Pillow Cases 20″ x 32″ on sale for $7.99 and they ship FREE with Amazon Prime.

yoga journal magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 9/9/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

maidenform-logo1

Through 9/11/14 get Maidenform Bra’s for only $10 each! Go HERE to check out the sale.

Euro-Cuisine-YM80-Yogurt-Maker

Amazon has the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker on sale for $24.99

Butternut-Squash-Salad

This Butternut Squash Salad recipe was the first time I ever tried butternut squash in an actual green salad. It certainly wasn’t the last! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

silverware deals

Get an Oneida 20-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set for just $24.99 shipped! There are 3 styles to choose from.

boho braclet

Amazon has the Bohemian Palace Vintage Style Leather Bracelet on sale for $3.43 shipped. This would make a fun inexpensive gift for a teen girl.

Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care Toilet Paper

Get 32 Double Rolls of Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care Toilet Paper for just $15.66 when you clip the $2.00 off coupon and use the subscribe and save option at checkout. Only $13.80 if you order more than 5 subscribe and save items that arrive in the same month.

Barilla-Spaghetti-2-lb

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Ground Beef Freezer Meal – Taco Casserole

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Freezer Meal  Taco Casserole

This recipe is awesome. You should go make it. But not if you have a Monkey Boy who will then beg you for endless amounts of Doritos so he can dip them in this meaty, cheesy casserole of awesomeness. Although secretly, even though I’m not a Doritos lover, there’s part of me that can see how a Dorito dipped in this would be amazing. But let that be our little secret.

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

Ingredients

2 cups cooked rice
1 lb ground beef {I used Zaycon ground beef}
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 can {15 oz} black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can {8 oz} tomato sauce
1 cup corn {I used frozen}
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 cup cheese, shredded {cheddar or Monterey jack work best, but use whatever you have on hand}

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

Preparation

Brown the beef with the onion until beef is cooked through. Add the bell peppers and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in rice and all remaining ingredients except cheese together in a large roasting pan. Let mixture cool completely and then transfer to a gallon freezer bag. Place cheese in a small sandwich bag and then place in the gallon freezer bag with meat mixture. Freeze flat.

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

When ready to prepare, thaw in fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish and set aside.Pour mixture into prepared dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cheese. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy.

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

*This recipe makes 1 9×13 pan. When I make this I will typically triple the batch. :)

You can skip all the spice ingredients above and make your own taco seasoning! Here’s my Taco Seasoning Recipe.

Looking for more make ahead meals? Check out the complete list of Freezer Meal Recipes.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Prevent Freezer Burn

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How to Prevent Freezer BurnThere is nothing worse than going to all of the trouble to prepare and freeze food, only to pull it out with freezer burn, though.  Here are a couple of really simple ways to prevent freezer burn and get your through the winter:

  1. Don’t skimp on the freezer bags/containers.  Make sure, at the very least, the bags are labeled “freezer bags”.  I personally like Ziploc and have no problem spending the extra money for them.
  2. Make sure your food is completely cooled before you put it in the freezer.  The cooling process can cause condensation on your food, if you throw it straight into the freezer still warm, it will lead to faster freezer burn.
  3. Consider buying a separate freezer, if you don’t have one already.  The freezer on your fridge really is designed for items that will be used up faster, because you open it and close it more frequently.  All of that opening and closing causes temperature fluctuations, which lead to…yep, you guessed it:  freezer burn.
  4. Consider double wrapping  items that are more prone to freezer burn {think:  meat and bread}.  Wrap the item with freezer paper  and then put it into a ziploc bag.  It’s double the protection.
  5. Make individually sized freezer bags portions.  If you freeze all of your items in one large bag, everytime you get it out of the freezer, use some, and then return it to the freezer, you create a fluctuation in temperature.
  6. When you load your freezer, make sure to put the newly added items toward the back, so you can use the items that have been frozen the longest first.

How about you, how do keep your frozen food fresh?

~Mavis

How to Freeze Soup, Sauce, and PureeYou might also be interested in How to Freeze Soup, Sauce, and Puree.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Gear Up for Fall Giveaway – $100+ in WomansWork Garden Gear

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WomansWork Garden Gear Giveaway

The air is crisp and you’ve dragged all your sweaters out of the back of the closet. Gone are the flip flops and beach towels. Bring on crunchy leaves, pumpkin pie and fall gardening cleanup!

Okay so maybe you’re not exactly looking forward to prepping those big summer gardens for fall, but WomansWork is here to help!

The peeps at WomansWork are hosting an AWESOME Gear Up for Fall Giveaway that includes some great gear to get that garden fall/winter ready! I’ve talked about how I love so many WomansWork products before: their Digger Gloves and Nitrile Weeding Gloves are my favorite!

kidsworkbasketTheir products are high quality and last, unlike some of the cheap stuff you’ll find at a big box store. The neighbor kids love their Kidswork Gloves.  And I’m newly obsessed with their spa products. They are geniuses for adding those, because as gardeners, we work our fingers to the bone sometimes. A little pampering after never hurt!

paisley-farmersmarketbag_imAnd guess what? The totally awesome Gear Up for Fall Giveaway includes all of my favorites! {I mean seriously, how adorable is the Farmer’s Market Bag ?!}

digger-gloves

WHAT YOU WIN:

A Garden Gear prize pack worth over $100 that includes:

One pair of Digger Gloves
3-pack of Nitrile Weeding Gloves
One pair of Kidswork Gloves
Eco Watering Spout
Bulb Garden Wheel
Lavender Mint Hand Cream
Farmer’s Market Bag

HOW YOU WIN IT:

Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here. You have FIVE ways to enter: 1 required and 4 bonus entries. That means you can leave a total of FIVE comments below for FIVE awesome chances to win.

1. *REQUIRED ENTRY* What item in the prize pack would you be most excited about winning? The gloves? The hand cream? The Farmer’s Market Bag? Leave a comment below letting us know your answer.

2. *BONUS ENTRY*  Do you like/friend/follow me yet? Pick one or all and like me/follow me/subscribe to me via one of these forms of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PinterestYouTube and/or Google+! Leave a comment below with the name of the site you followed, ie. “liked you on Facebook and Instagram.” Only 1 comment/entry regardless of if you follow me on all 6 sites. Which you totally should anyway.

3. *BONUS ENTRY*  Start spreading the news. Share this giveaway with your peeps via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Google+! If you don’t do the social media thing, just send out an old fashioned email about this awesome giveaway. Leave a comment below letting me know how you shared it.

4. *BONUS ENTRY*  Head on over to my Facebook page and leave a comment on one of the posts or pictures there. Come back here and leave a comment below letting me know which post or picture you commented on.

5. *BONUS ENTRY*  Subscribe to my daily emailed newsletter. It’s an easy peasy way to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Plus, I’m way too busy gardening to spam you, so your email address is safe with me. Leave a comment below letting me know you subscribed.

THE FINE PRINT:

5 entries per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

This giveaway is only available to US residents.

This giveaway ends Sunday, September 14th at 6pm PST and the winners will be announced in the Monday, September  15th edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize. If  you do not claim your prize within 48 hours the prize will be forfeited..

Good Luck! I hope you win.

Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How I Feed My Family for $100 a Month – Week 35 of 52

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albertsons shopping trip

Albertsons $7.86

Talking about an easy peasy shopping trip! $0.49 a can for beans and $0.99 a bag for 3 pounds of granny smith apples? Heck yeah I’ll stop by and pick some up. No problem.  I was hoping to get 12 cans of black beans but they were all sold out, so I just picked up what they had and got a rain check for later. I don’t know what it is about black beans, but I’m totally addicted to them.

QFC shipping trip

QFC $9.73

Monkey Boy’s dreams came true last week. :) Captain Crunch, Cheetos, Ritz crackers and chili. Giddy up! The HH was in Alaska for business for a few days so it was just the two of us. I ate freezer meals for lunch and dinner and enjoyed vegetables from the garden while Monkey Boy was on a 4 day preservative high. We should all be so lucky. Ha!

Oh, and I totally did not intend to buy REDUCED FAT peanut butter!! Grrr, I hate when that happens. Would it be weird if I took it back and asked to exchange it? Have you done that before?

smith brothers milk

Smith Brothers Farm - Sponsored

Now that we’re going through less milk around here my plan is to stock up on butter for the holidays.

Life is good.

How did you do this week? Find any deals?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $17.59
Total Spent This Year $ 1182.01
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $38.98

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

Smith Brothers Farms Logo

One Hundred Dollars a Month is proudly sponsored by Smith Brother’s Farms, my family’s favorite milk. Check out their website HERE and learn about the over 100 top quality products Smith Brothers Farms can deliver to your porch box.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Free Kindle Books, Deals on Deodorant, Glade Coupons, Roper Boots, Kids Stuff and More

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lucy the puggle dog

Happy Monday from Lucy the Fuzzy Puggle Dog. :)

I gave her a bath this morning and she was just so cute munching on her chewy stick that I just had to take a picture. I LOVE that dog!! Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

sandisk memory

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 60% Off Select SanDisk Products

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

amazon health and beauty

A few Amazon Health and Beauty Deals:

How-to-Save-on-Prescription-Drugs

Prescriptions drugs are tricky, because unlike a new pair of shoes, you’ve gotta buy them. Sometimes you’re at the liberty of the drugstores as far as how much you pay. But never fear. Here are some tips on How to Save on Prescription Drugs. Find more cool tips and money savings ideas on my Money Saving Tips Pinterest Boards.

roper tall boots

6pm is having a great boot sale with styles for everyone. Here are a few of my favorites:

cellphone bag

Keep those Cell phones safe with an Everydaysource Cell Phone / PDA Waterproof Bag for just $2.06 shipped. These would make a great gift/stocking stuffer for kids that do sports!

better homes and garden magazine subscriptionGet a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens for just $5.99 a year plus 3 Free gifts.

31801_NG300x250toluna

Not only can you earn money by taking surveys when you sign up for Toluna, but you can also test products before they become available on the market.

easter basket stuffers

Fun stuff for Kids:

football nail stickers

Amazon has Football Nail Stickers for just $3.99 shipped!! What a fun way to support your High School or Professional team! Go HERE to choose your team.

shutterfly-photo-book-code

Shutterfly is offering a FREE  20-page 8×8 hardcover photo book  through {9/10} when you use code BOOK4FREE at checkout. You will have to pay a $7.99 shipping fee}. These make great gifts!!

Butternut-Squash-Pasta

This Butternut Squash Pasta is like spaghetti on crack. Plus, it is nutrient packed goodness.  Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

Glade-Fall-Collection coupons

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 35 of 52

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menu plan ideas

Even though I don’t make a weekly menu plan, I still love the idea of having a bunch of recipes right in front of me to choose from. Here are a few recipes from my recipe collection I thought you might like:

whole grain raspberry bars

Breakfast Ideas 

Whole Grain Raspberry Bars – Plan on enjoying the last of the raspberries with this tasty recipe.  {Pin for Later}
Blueberry and Banana Oat Bread – If you have never combined banana bread and blueberries, you are in for a super pleasant surprise.  {Pin for Later}
Granola with Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds and Mango – Making your own granola is soooo easy, and it will save you a fortune.  Plus, you can cut out all of the weird preservatives that store bought granola typically has.  {Pin for Later}
Easy Spinach Frittata - Frittatas are awesome, because they are easy to make and they taste great fresh out of the oven or cold.  It makes for an easy week-long breakfast. {Pin for Later}

Easy-Crock-Pot-Meals-Southwest-Chicken-ChiliSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

Southwest Chicken Chili - If you plan on hosting any football get-togethers, this chili is the perfect menu item.  {Pin for Later}
Honey Chicken and Rice – Chicken and rice is almost as common as milk and cookies at our house.  This recipe will not disappoint.  {Pin for Later}
Sweet and Sour Meatballs – This easy freezer meal only requires you to reheat and make rice.  It doesn’t get much easier.  {Pin for Later}
Crock Pot Corn Chowder - This is a great hardy fall meal.  {Pin for Later}

easy-summer-recipes-grilled-corn-roasted-pepper-and-black-bean-saladSoups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

Chicken Pot Pies – These are perfect for those busy evenings when everyone in the family needs a hot meal at different times.  You can make them and they can bake them.{Pin for Later}
Ritz Cracker Chicken – These little nuggets make little fingers happy. {Pin for Later}
Grilled Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Black Bean Salad – Throw some flour tortillas out and voila, dinner is served.  OR, do what I did, and just eat it straight out of the bowl.  {Pin for Later}
Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar – I usually make these around Thanksgiving time, but the HH loves this dish, so I thought I would throw it out there for anytime of year.  {Pin for Later}

peanut butter protein ballsCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

Roasted Red Beet & White Bean Hummus – This is a great way to incorporate beets into your diet.  This hummus is awesome.  {Pin for Later}
Peanut Butter Protein Balls - If you haven’t tried these yet, stop everything and make them.  They are one of my favorite snacks to have on hand when I need to run out the door, and a grab and go snack that will stick with me is in order.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Peach Fruit Leathers – These are perfect to throw in school lunches.  {Pin for Later}
Ginger Peach Freezer Pops – These are straight delicious.  I think the ginger gives them an adult flare, which means I feel justified in eating 2 at a time.  {Pin for Later}

how to dry basilCanning/Preserving Recipe of the Week

How to Dry Basil - Drying your own basil is ridiculously easy.  And it is the best way to preserve your gardens flavor all year long.  {Pin for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Looking for more recipes? Check out my recipes boards on Pinterest

Also, be sure to check out:

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Canning Ring Pumpkin

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Canning Ring Pumpkin

With most of the canning done, and extra canning rings lying around, I thought I would make a canning ring pumpkin for the table. It’s cute, festive, and takes about 2 minutes—my kind of craft.

Canning Ring Pumpkin

You’ll need:

  • Canning rings {all the same size}
  • String {to tie the rings together}
  • 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Some scrap fabric or paper cut into the shape of leaves {enough for 2 leaves}

cinnamon sticks

Directions:

String the canning rings together in a straight line.  Once all the rings are on, tie them together tightly, pulling them into a round pumpkin shape.  Then, stick the cinnamon sticks down into the pumpkin and add the leaves.

How easy is that?  And so cute and homesteady {that’s a word, right?}.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Ways to Combat Empty Nest Syndrome

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10 Ways to Combat Empty Nest Syndrome

Are any of you out there facing an empty nest in the near future?  It’s so weird.  You’ve spent countless years as Mom and Dad, and now, it’s just the two of you–like the beginning, only you’re older, wiser…and maybe a wee bit more crotchety :) ?  I kind of knew this was coming last year, so I set a plan in motion to help ease the transition.  It involves me having projects…lots and lots of projects {read:  distractions}.

Aline from facebook shared an article from the New York Times recently about life after raising children.  The author talks about facing her new identity.  For 30 years, her primary association with herself was as a mother…now, as she faces her last child transitioning into adulthood, she wonders what it means for her.  In the end, she puts a positive light on the whole subject, offering empty nest-ism as a chance to redefine yourself in a completely new light, unrestricted by dependents.  I could totally identify with her sentiments, though.  I’ve been a “mom” for so long, I am having to find new ways to occupy my time.

In case you’re finding  yourself in the same boat, here are a couple of tips to combat the downsides of empty nest syndrome:

  1. Renew or make new friendships.  Plain and simple, this is a time to find deep, noncompetitive friendships that will sustain you through your quiet days.  Plan a weekly meet-up for coffee–like your own personal playdate.
  2. Dive into new hobbies or spend more time on old ones.  Travel has ALWAYS been important to me, and I plan on continuing to make it my focus.
  3. Date your spouse.  Raising kids is nutso sometimes, and that person you agreed to go through life with sometimes doesn’t get the attention they deserve.   Now you’re really in together, though, in a quiet house with the rearing complete.  Get to know each other again.  Go to the movies, go out to dinner, go for walks in the evening…whatever.
  4. Let guilt go.  When the days are quiet and the stresses are gone, it’s easy to obsess about all of the things you could have done differently…or more of, but what’s done is done.  Worrying about it simply won’t change it.  Let it go, my friends, let it go.
  5. Go back to school.  Maybe you never finished your degree, or you would like to make a career change and couldn’t because of the kids.  Now you can.  On the upside, you are already really good at buying school supplies and checking homework :) .
  6. Establish new traditions with your adult children.  They maybe gone and living life, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t still a piece of them.  Host monthly Sunday dinners if they are close, visit them often, or plan a weekly phone call/email session.
  7. Embrace the silence.  I bet you a million bucks that no less than once a week when the kids were home you wished for silence.  Now you have it.  Don’t feel bad.  You’ve earned it.  You’ve done your time.  Incorporate R&R into the day.
  8. Exercise.  Exercise is a pretty solid suggestion to whatever you’re facing as long as you are able.  It releases those feel-good hormones.
  9. Make new goals.  This is not the end.  It’s the beginning–and with us all living waaay longer, we hopefully still all have several decades of quality living.  Sit down with your spouse and decide what your goals together will be…retire in the Florida Keys, travel, buy a cabin?
  10. Still a couple of years away from an empty nest?  Plan now.  Make the most of the final years your kids are at home.  Spend quality time.  Send them off knowing them fully.  Make plans for when they do leave–you’re not wishing them gone, you are preparing.

Any empty-nesters out there?  I know you have tips…make sure to leave them in the comments.

Good luck, fellow empty-nesters.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel