Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two Easy Side Salads

I love mayonnaise laden salads like potato and macaroni, and I make them pretty well, but let's face it - they aren't very healthy. Not only that, but they don't travel well, and by the third summer cook out they become quite monotonous. I have made many a veggie, pasta and Italian dressing salad as well, but we aren't really big fans of Italian dressing and they are just too mundane. This weekend I hit the jackpot and now have two fantastic salads to add to my recipe box.

The first one I just threw together as yet another desperate attempt, and lo and behold they loved it. I hate writing down recipes and I don't usually do exact measuring when I am creating a dish, so here is the approximate ingredients. Just toss it all together and adjust to your own taste. I recommend refrigerating a few hours - to overnight.


1 12 oz Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts - drain 1/2 the liquid
1/2 a 12 oz Jar Roasted Red Peppers
1 6oz Jar Green Medium Pitted Olives (not stuffed olives or use black olives)
1 15.5 oz can Kidney Beans - drained and rinsed (I might use cannellini next time)
2 5oz Cans Tuna - drained
1/2 of an 8oz Jar Basil Pesto
1/2 a bag Wacky Mac Veggie Shapes Pasta - cooked and drained

The second salad, PEANUT COLESLAW is the one pictured above and comes from a blog I stumbled upon this weekend, The 99 Cent Chef. I'm not sure what exactly intrigued me about this recipe, but I couldn't wait to run out and get some cabbage. I doubled his recipe, used both kinds of cabbage, extra light tasting olive oil, and Mr. RBT and I both thought it needed a little salt as well. The final result was a smashing success and is being devoured as I type.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today was our second snow day in a row and it's still snowing. I have officially had my fill of snow and winter. I am ready for sunshine. For garden weeds and grass that needs mowing. For salads for dinner because it's too hot to cook. For box fans in the window to ease the stagnant heat enough to be able to fall asleep. For days and days of such torridness, I would pray for snow to come again! ;-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Check That Receipt Update

I went back to Wal-Mart last night and ended up getting the same cashier as before. As it turns out I was paying attention, and she did scan my coupons. I had two more Muir Glen Organic Tomato coupons last night, and after she scanned them she checked the register, sure enough they just didn't show up. She said, "I knew I scanned them before!" Even more reason to check your receipts, know exactly how many coupons you use, and what the value of them is.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Check That Receipt

I try very hard to pay attention during checkout, but I get distracted quit easily. HaHa It never seems to fail that when I do, I find a mistake on my receipt. Yesterday, I was having a great shopping day at Wal-Mart. My total was approximately $85 and after coupons should have been about $23, but instead came out to $29. Turns out the cashier forgot to scan 6 $1.00 off coupons. Always look your receipt over before you leave, and don't be afraid to speak up- politely, of course!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gift Journal

I have been keeping a gift journal for so many years I don't even think about it, and am surprised to learn most of my mom friends do not keep one. Any notebook or journal will do, but a small one has the benefit of being easy to hide and will slip into my purse - if I'd ever remember to take it with me when I go shopping. I also like one with enough pages to last for a few years. Then I can reference back to previous years and avoid giving someone the same thing. Yes, I have done that and it is very embarrassing!

So what do I write in it? For my immediate family (husband and kids), I have sections not only for Christmas and birthdays, but also for every holiday I buy stuff for, such and Easter and Valentine's day. I also track back-to-school supplies and ALL the clothes I buy for the year. I list what I bought for each person and how much I spent. This really helps me stay in budget. I also list the full price of the item, as this really helps me to not over spend. I might have only spent $10 for a gift for my niece and feel like maybe I should get something else, but if I see the retail price was $40, I won't be tempted to over spend. I only give Christmas and birthday gifts for extended family and friends so I track their items on the same page. That way I can see at a glance what I gave/am giving them for both occasions. For items I bought, but haven't decided who I want to give them to yet, I just list them all on one page and then cross them off as I assign them.

One last section that is often overlooked, and can eat away at a budget, is gift wrap and party supplies. I would also include cards, craft supplies, and decorations for particular holidays. These items I especially try to find during 80%-90% off clearance sales, because they can wreck havoc on a budget.

I am really not a very organized person and I am sure someone with much more enthusiasm could find a better way. The idea is just do what works for you.