The Deli Chicken – 4 people – $4 – 4 meals

My kids have always called me the “Queen of Leftovers”. I’ve gone through many lean years where we simply couldn’t afford to throw food away, so every leftover managed to find it’s way into a future meal. The trick was always to do it in such a way as to let the kids believe it was a “brand-new” meal, and not leftovers. We never did do much “fast food”. First of all, it is very expensive and secondly most of it is seriously lacking in nutrition.

One of the best “fast foods” that we have done is the deli chicken. You’ve seen them at most grocery stores.. a fully cooked, ready to go roasted chicken. The price is usually under $6 and can often be less. Check with your favorite grocery store and ask them to call you at the end of the day if they have unsold chickens. One of my friends gets them for as little as 99 cents, but usually they are just offered for around $4.00.

Here’s how you can stretch a chicken out to get 4 meals for a family of four, plus a tasty dinner for your dog. Continue reading »

Appliqued Hand Towel

I recently hosted a fat quarter challenge and had several fun new ideas. This one was created by my friend Sandra in Australia. You can find her web site here: Creatables by Sandra

Cut a hand towel in half and overlock the cut edge.

(please note if you want a longer towel you can use a full length one and just cut the bound edge off one end and overlock that)

Here is a scanned image of the pattern piece that you cut out of the fabric or fat quarter, Continue reading »

Almost Free & Very Unique Stickers

Go to your local party goods store (or any store that sells helium balloons) and ask them for a few of their old balloon or party supplies catalogs.  They will probably be delighted to donate them.  Inside these pages are hundreds of full color photos of

balloons all just the right size for stickers… cut out your favorites and run them through this delightful little sticker maker.    Sticker Maker

Don’t stop there… with your own sticker maker, you can use cut outs from gift wrap, scrapbook papers, even photos..

Basil for a year … Almost Free

John and I go through a lot of basil.  I use it in all my tomato based dishes, from pizza to spaghetti, and all my sauces and salads.  I also use it for pesto, and basil oil and vinegar.  This is a great tip for having basil all year long for just a dollar or maybe two.

In the Spring, go to a farmers market or fresh food store and purchase one bundle of fresh basil.  When you get it home, carefully pinch off all of the lower leaves and branches, leaving only one or two leaves and the center small leaves on each stem.  Next, cut off the bottom 1/2 inch from each stem and put the stripped stems into a glass or jar of fresh water.  Set them into a window where they will get some light, but not in direct sun.  Continue reading »

Play Date Cards for Your Children


Summer is here, and the kids are all out of school.  Well, most of them, and the rest will be out very soon.  For the next couple of months, you will be constantly listening to the kids telling you they are bored while sitting in front of seemingly endless cartoons or video games. 

What’s a mom to do?  Those trips to the park let the kids meet and play with other children, but wouldn’t some pre-arranged play dates make a lot of difference in your days this summer? 

Here is an easy solution.  Print up some play date cards for your child.  Make sure you do not include any information that could lead someone to your home, but a special e-mail address, or your cell number can be included as a contact number.  The card should have your child’s name (first only is fine), and best day(s) and times for play dates.  The card could be something like this:


Let’s Have a Play Date

My name is John, and you can reach my mom at:

The best times are Monday and Wednesday afternoons


You can find some perfect little printable cards  HERE 

Each time you go to the park, library, or other community event, your child can take a few cards and give them to his/her playmates.