$100 gift card giveaway!

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. vs. 30

Today is one EXCITING day at the Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman blog!

A few post ago, I announced the winner of the homemade soap giveaway. To see that, check it out here. In that post, I told my readers/fellow bloggers that if anyone had something they wanted to donate for a giveaway to contact me. I had two people who donated something!

The first giveaway that I am doing is…”drum roll please*…..

A $100 gift card!!!!!!!!!

Dria Mitchell, one of my readers, is subscribed to a hair company called NuMe. To learn more about this company, check it out here. Basically, they sell hair products and styling tools.  Since Dria is a shopper with their company, they often send her baskets full of products. This past month they sent her this $100 gift card and instead of using it for herself she wanted to donate it to this blog…what a gal! Dria, by the way, is one fashionable, classy lady. To follow her on Pinterest, click here.

So this $100 gift card will be given away to one reader. In about a week, I will be announcing the winner. You could use this gift card for anything from a straightener to shampoo/conditioner to hair extensions. So this is what you have to do to be entered into the giveaway: (if you have already done some of these steps, just do the ones you have not already).

1. Leave a comment on this post with your name, email (so I can contact you if you win), and what post you like on this blog.

2. “Like” Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman on facebook.

3. Subscribe to Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman via email or RSS on the right side of the blog.

So, let’s do this! Enter now.

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rise and shine casserole.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. vs. 11

Rise and shine readers! Today I’m going to share with you a recipe that is great whenever you open up your cupboard on Saturday morning and think, “Oh my gosh, I need to go grocery shopping because I don’t have anything to eat this morning!” (or evening if breakfast for dinner tickles your fancy).

There won’t be as many step-by-step photos with this recipe because it’s really about utilizing the food you have (whatever that may be) and making it into a delicious casserole.

Here are some important ingredients:

-Milk

-Eggs

-Bread

-Cheese

-Salt/Pepper

(most people normally have these in their home on any typical day).

Here are some extra ingredients that will make this even more tasty:

-Cooked bacon

-Green peppers

-Mushrooms

-Onions

-Ham

-Sausage

-Basil, Rosemary, Thyme

-Brocolli

-Corn

Here are the basics to make this casserole: (I halved all of this so it would save me some ingredients).

(for a 13 X 9 casserole dish)

1. Oven should be on 350 degrees.

2. 6-10 eggs beaten

3. 6 slices of bread in cubes

4.  2-3 cups cheese (I used cheddar).

5. 2 cups milk

5. dashes of salt/pepper

* Mix all of these ingredients together. Add more cheese for the top. Cook in the oven for about 50 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Nothing special really. Just a mixture of foods that taste good together. The Mister really liked this meal.

*This is part of the Homestead Barn Hop.

*This is part of Fingerprints on the Fridge link party.

 

menu planning and store sales.

 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. vs. 18

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the importance of menu planning and how beneficial it can be for you and/or your family. To see that, check it out here. Well, I recently have been trying to improve the way I do menu planning.

Planning meals is a great way to be organized and save money; however, if you use it to try a lot of new recipes with all of these ingredients that you don’t have/are expensive, then your grocery bill sky rockets..and you wonder: “How did that happen?!”

A couple of days ago, I shared a website with you all about how to find recipes using whatever is already in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. It was called “What’s in your fridge?” This was a challenge to utilize what food you already have and plan your menus around that.

Well, today I want to talk about how to plan your menu based off store sales. This is another money-saving tip with your grocery bill. Before making your menu, get an inventory of what you have in your home, as mentioned before. THEN find out what your local grocery stores have on sale that week. After that, decide what’s for dinner in the upcoming week.

Here are ways to find your local store sales:

1. Store fliers/weekly ads.

These can be found online, in newspapers, or in the store.

Here are the links to find the grocery stores’ fliers  that may be in your area:

Aldi

CVS

Dierbergs

Dollar General

Dominicks

Jewel Osco

Kroger

Meijer

Save-A-Lot

Schnucks

ShopRite

Target

Walgreens

Walmart

2. Sign up for emails through Money Saving Mom

This is a great resource and a little bit more convenient than the first option. Money Saving Mom allows you to go to her store deals link and sign up for any local store sales. Then every week, she will send them to your inbox. It’s that easy!

3. Talk to others. 

If you have friends who are also wanting to stay on a budget, get a system where you each share sales, coupon, etc with each other. My mom calls me frequently just to tell me that blueberries are on sale at one store or pork loins are $1.99 a lb at another store.

What to do next?

Once you know what stores have sales, plan your meals.

For example:

At Kroger this week, Ragu Pasta Sauce is on sale for $1.49. At Aldi, Happy Farms Shredded Cheese is on sale for $1.79.

I already have ground beef, spaghetti noodles, onions, eggs, diced tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper at home.

So I can purchase the sauce and mozzarella cheese on sale and buy cottage cheese regular price (or look online for a coupon).

Then I have all the ingredients I need for Lasagna Casserole from Money Saving Mom.

Also, for lunch, I can plan to eat cottage cheese 2 days that next week and find another recipe where I use mozzarella cheese for another dinner that week.

See how that works? It saves you more money rather than just picking out  a recipe that looks good and having to buy most of the ingredients in that recipe.

Use what you have in your home, shop the sales, AND go to multiple stores. Go where the deals are!

You may say, “Well, doesn’t it use more gas whenever you go to multiple stores?” Yes, but if they are all within just a few minutes within one another, it is more cost effective to shop at different stores (wherever the deals are) rather than stay at one place in fear of using a little bit of gas.

What are ways you are able to save a couple of bucks on your grocery bill? 

Remember: It’s about spending less so you can give/save more.

* This is part of the Somewhat Simple link party.

monkey bread.

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household… vs. 15a

A few nights ago I decided to make baked bananas for my two roommates. Well, I had just bought a bag of bananas. They were neon green in color. They weren’t quite ripe enough. But I thought, surely if I bake them, they will still taste okay. Basically, I was too impatient to wait a few days because I really wanted to eat bananas with honey and cinnamon on top THAT INSTANT. Let’s just say: bad idea. Whenever I went to peel it, the peeling looked like a corn stalk. Still yet I thought: it probably doesn’t taste that bad. One bite into it changed my mind about that too.

At this point, my two roommates and I could practically taste sweet goodness in our mouth. We all three had been so excited to eat a little dessert that night. So, I thought…what should we make instead?

As I shared with you in my post yesterday, there’s this website called My Fridge Food. You can here about how awesome it is here.

Anyway, we put in the items that we had in our pantry, freezer, and refrigerator and then narrowed it down to “dessert.”

Monkey bread came up…and we had all of the ingredients! Sounds like it was meant to be.

So monkey bread is what we made.

I would definitely recommend making this. For 3 reasons: It takes very little ingredients, it is really really delicious, and it seems like you spent hours on it when really it was about 30 minutes.

Here are the ingredients…

Step 1: Cut the biscuits in half (if they are small) or in quarter pieces (if they are big).

Step 2: Mold the pieces in little balls and roll them in a sugar/cinnamon mixture. (about 1/2 cup sugar with a few dashes of cinnamon).

Step 3:  Form balls into pan (a bundt pan is best, but we didn’t have one) to create the bread. Then pour a boiling mixture of butter and brown sugar  (about 1/2 cup butter and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar) over the bread.

Step 4:  Smash the balls together so they aren’t so uniform looking.

Step 5: Bake on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (or until brown) and let cool before you dig in. It should look something like this…

Serve and enjoy!

* This is part of the Blue Cricket Design link party.

what’s in your fridge?

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household… vs. 15a

So last night my roommates shared with me this wonderful website that solves all of my problems! Well, kinda.

I love to plan weekly meal menus. However, whenever I do that, I find myself wanting to get recipes that require ingredients that I do not currently have. Well, I often want to do those recipes so badly, that I can’t stop thinking about it. So I just buy the ingredients (which in turn means I spend more money than I need to, when I have food in my refrigerator/pantry/freezer already!).

This website is called My Fridge Food. On the home page, you can do a “quick find,” where you just put main items that you have. Or you can click on “Use detailed kitchen” and put in pretty much any item you can think of that you have in your home. Then whenever you click the magical “Search for recipes” button it will bring up all the recipes that you can make with the food you already have! It will also pull up recipes that you have most of the ingredients for and let you know the one you are missing (in case you think you can substitute or for something or leave that ingredient out). Is that a miracle or what? Okay, maybe I’m a little too excited about this. However, there are SO many benefits to this:

Benefit #1: If you didn’t have time to make a menu for the week yet, simply put in your ingredients and quickly find something to make for your meal.

Benefit #2: You can actually utilize the items you have in your home.

Benefit #3: You can learn new ways to cook. You may think something like, “I didn’t know I could make that using that!”

Benefit #4: It’s organized. And you all know how much I appreciate that.

Benefit #5: It’s suspenseful. Okay, yeah this seems kinda silly. But as I was putting in all the food I had, I found myself getting impatient and excited all at the same time wanting to know what the magical search button would come up with.

Benefit #6: It’s free! I mean, what more could you want?

So props to whoever made My Fridge Food. I wish I would have patented it myself.

Let me know if you try it and if you like it!

Coming soon: Monkey Bread post….a recipe spontaneously found on My Fridge Food!

 

an introduction to couponing.

She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. vs. 20

So I have this friend. She’s probably one of the most hospitable people I know. Whenever I am sick, she brings me a “care package” of vitamins, hot cocoa, soup, etc… She also will randomly bless with me with beauty products. And almost every time I go to say, “thank you,” she lets me know that most of the items she was able to get couponing! And instead of keeping them for her and her hubby, she wants to bless me with them. Gosh, what a friend. So today she is the guest blogger giving us some tips and a simple introduction to couponing. She doesn’t have a blog; however, she will see your feedback through this blog. So give her some love and let her know what you think!


How would you like to start saving money on your grocery bill? Well after the famous TLC show, Extreme Couponing, I decided I would give it a try. I thought that if I could start saving just $50-$100 a month, it would be worth it.  That is a savings of $600-$1,200 a year! Sometimes when we can see the big picture, it makes it more worthwhile. On average, I usually spend about 2 hours a week. However, some weeks I don’t spend much time at all, especially during the holidays. But its up to you how much time you will set aside for this. The more time you put into it it, the more money you will save.

Here are some helpful hints just to get you started:
Where to find them: Start by ordering your Sunday paper. The Southern Illinoisan (for our local region) has a special 20 for $20. If you live in this area, go to their website. Trust me… you will make that dollar up in no time. You can also ask family and friends to save their Sunday coupons for you. Once you have your coupons you can cut the ones you use and put them in a small coupon booklet that you can keep in your purse. You have no idea how many times I am at the store and see something on sale that I have a coupon for! Since I had it with me, I was able to use it. You can also store them is by putting a date on the front of the paper with a marker. There are many websites like Coupon Mom that give helpful tips on couponing.  On her website, all you have to do is go to the store you like, and she will give you a rundown on all the sales with the dates on the coupons for it. Another great resource is Money Saving Mom.

Know Your Stores: Get to know 2-3 different stores and their policies. This will take time and effort, but once you have it down its not that bad. My three stores are Kroger, CVS and Walgreen’s because they are close to home. I also like the drugstores because of their rewards programs. Coupon Mom has a Drugstore video that explains how to save at these stores. Kroger also has what they call “manager’s specials”. These are items that have been price-reduced. If you don’t know where they are located, just ask a clerk. I usually like to go through the items and see if I have a coupon for it. I have gotten some great deals that way.

 Develop a Stock Pile: Buying items when they are at their lowest price is great. However, when you do this, you often accumulate a lot of stuff. You may be thinking, “I don’t have that kinda space!” Well, I don’t have a big home either, but you don’t have to. All you need is a small space in your pantry and/or your closet where you can store these items. If something is on sale, I try to buy at least six items or more. These items are usually nonparishable items like pasta, can goods, beauty products, etc…. My husbands loves that he can just go in our closet and get toothpaste, body wash or deodorant when he is out. It’s like having a little store in your house. Of course, this will take time to build up, but it will be worth it. 

Expired Coupons: What to do with your expired coupons? Well, you can donate them for military families to use. They are allowed to use expired coupons for up to 1 year after the expiration date on base and at the commissaries abroad. Now you don’t have to throw away an expired coupon. Just go to Coupons to Troops.

 Donate: Once you have been doing couponing for a while, you can donate to a local food pantry, family, or friends. I think the best part about couponing for me is that I get to share with others the blessings God has given me.

-Mayra Miranda McHugh

And the winner is…

*Drum roll please……*

Erica! She is the winner of the soap giveaway. About a week ago, I posted about a soap giveaway here. Amy, from A Blossoming Life, was so gracious to donate some of her homemade soap for our giveaway.

Erica: You’re one blessed gal to get some of this homemade goodness! I hope you enjoy it. Once I ship it to you, let the readers here know what you think and give Amy a shout out too 🙂 I’m sure she’d love it.

Readers: There will be more giveaways in the future! So keep checking back.

Bloggers: If you have some crafty project, homemade item, or anything cute and creative you would like to donate to this blog for a giveaway, let me know! I’d love to have you advertise with here and bless one of the readers.

first feature: cozy home scenes.

Hello readers! I have exciting news. I was featured in a blog by Shannon called Cozy Home Scenes. Every Monday she has a Cozy Home Party (link party). I started participating this last week. And then she decided to feature my post Pie in Mason Jar.

Shannon  has a love for making all things in a home cozy. Her blog gives recipes, home decorating ideas, crafts, and lots of creative goodness.

Check her out and give her some lovely comments!

homemade mozzarella sticks: skinny style.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. vs. 27

I did it. I finally made homemade mozzarella cheese sticks. About a month ago, I found this recipe on Skinny Taste: baked mozzarella cheese sticks. Baked= healthy. Well, they are semi-healthy. They are even called “skinny mozzarella sticks.” Needless to say, I’ve been swooning over these.

Well, these turned out surprisingly well! However, it did take a long time. The assembly part and baking part, not so much. The freezing part was time consuming. Oh well, it was worth it when I had that first warm, cheesy bite.

Here are the cast of characters:

Breaking it down:

  • 12 sticks mozzarella string cheese (I recommend skim-milk cheese for a healthier version)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 5 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • olive oil cooking spray

Here’s how you make it:

Step 1: Cut the 12 mozzarella sticks in half (to make 24 sticks).

Step 2: Freeze em’ (don’t skip this step!).

Step 3: Set up assembly station.

Put beaten egg in one bowl, flour in another bowl, and italian bread crumbs, panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley in another bowl.

Step 4: Take sticks out of freezer, and dip them in flour first, egg second, and crumbs third.

Step 5: Put the assembled sticks back in the freezer.

Make yourself some hot tea while you wait and watch a short tv show. Or go to Sarah’s blog and leave her a nice comment. Both options are good.

Step 6: Put foil on a baking pan and spray with the olive oil mist.

Step 7: Lightly spray the mozzarella sticks with the olive oil too.

Step 8: Cook on 400 degrees. Cook them on one side for 5 minutes. Turn them over and cook the other side for 5 minutes. Take out of the oven. And smile at your cheesy creation.

Step 9: If you’re feeling it, serve with marinara.

So let me know if you make these and how they turn out! Also, what are other homemade recipes you like to make?

*This is part of Fingerprints on the Fridge link party.

*This is part of Homestead Barn Hop.

*This is part of The Girl Creative link party.

calorie-burning activities.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. vs. 30

As you can tell, I like to cook. This also means that I like to eat. Food is a wonderful God-given creation. So that means it’s important that I like to work out just as I like to eat. I am by no means an expert on this topic. However, I do have a passion for working out and staying fit. Some of you may have a new years resolution to work out. Getting a work out routine is essential, but sometimes you can burn a few calories throughout the day, before you even get to the gym after work. Rather than giving you a new workout routine for you to “shed those calories,” I thought it would be helpful to give you little things that you can do at the office, grocery shopping, or while at home that burn calories. If you combine these small tips, with a workout routine, your body will sure appreciate you. And you will appreciate it too.

Disclaimer: Working out is extremely important for your physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Please do not replace this with a workout routine.  It’s good to do these little things throughout the day in addition to a regular routine.

11 Activities That Burn More Calories

1. Take the stairs.

Every day I go to work, I walk up three flights of stairs. I use to be breathing pretty heavily by the time I finally reached the top. Now, it actually feels good and gives me a burst of energy.

2. Don’t email or instant message a co-worker (unless that’s the office etiquette), instead walk to their desk.

I have worked a lot of desk jobs. It can go two ways: you sit there all day…and feel really sleepy about mid-day OR you sit there for a bit, get up and move, talk to others, and then not feel quite as sleepy.

3. Park towards the back of Wal-Mart parking lot.

Yeah, be that person. You can just pretend it’s that you want to preserve your “nice” car, even if it is a junker. Sport it. Park in the back. And if you can, carry your bags to the car instead of using a cart to pack em’ there.

4. Clean your house.

With my height and weight, I burn 133 calories per hour just by cleaning. I’m sure there’s an hour worth of cleaning you can do. Put on some music while you do it.

5. Pace while you are on the phone.

If you are chatting with your family long distance or catching up with a friend, just simply pace back and forth. It really doesn’t take that much effort, and it keeps your metabolism going.

6. Drink water.

H2O, in general. is good for our bodies and helps us lose weight. Whenever you drink water, your body works to absorb it and burns calories while it’s doing that work.

7. When you walk, make it brisk.

Instead of lazily dragging your feet, walk briskly. Not only will you burn more but also feel more energetic.

8. Ride your bike.

If you are meeting a friend for lunch just a few minutes away, jump on that bicycle. It helps the environment too.

9. Do the dishes, instead of putting them in the dishwasher.

If I do the dishes, I burn 69 calories per hour. Even if you do it fifteen minutes, it’s something.

10. The day the sun starts shining a little brighter, give your car a bath.

Yes, it takes more time to actually wash it yourself instead of taking it through a car wash. But let’s face it, a car wash costs anywhere from $5-10. And if you get a friend to wash it with you, you can dump the soapy bucket on them after you’re done. Now how fun is that?

11. Don’t just do one of these little activities, combine some or all of them.

Being fit is really a mindset. If you say, “I am going to ALWAYS pace when I am one the phone,” that’s great. However, I don’t know if you will feel or even see many results. The idea is that you take these tips and combine them to have a more healthy lifestyle. Think on a daily basis, “How can I change what I’m doing?”

Also, if you aren’t happy with your figure, I want you to know that God made you in His Image. Beautiful. Yes, take care of your body. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Embrace yourself, love handles and all.