Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Monday

I'm so excited.  I've found a couple of new recipes that I want to try out.  UMMM.... looks delicious!  Also I'll be out of town for a few days at the end of the week, but I've included a few meals that I usually have on hand to give you a few ideas as well.  Enjoy!

Granola and milk, banana
Leftover Chinese, juice
Pizza Casserole, salad

Yogurt, pear, milk
Egg Salad sandwich, Tricuits, juice
Potluck: Taco Crescent Bake, Biscuits???

Cottage Cheese, banana, milk
Egg Salad sandwich, carrots and ranch, juice

Oatmeal, peaches, milk
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cherry tomatoes, juice
Homemade veggie pizza, salad
Granola and milk, fruit
Lentil Tacos

Yogurt, banana, milk
Birthday Party
Out to dinner with Mom

Apple Cinnamon muffins, milk
Egg Salad Sandwiches, pears, juice
Shepard's Pie

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Highlighting Giveaways...

I love giveaways... even if I don't usually win, it's fun to check out new products and see what's out there.  Here's some fun stuff:

Frownies Face Lift in a Bag

Be sure to check this one out!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Homemade Baby Food

I know.  I know.  It sounds incredibly complicated.  But really ... homemade baby food...  it's so easy and so economical.  You have to try this.

For my son, these are just a few tricks I learned...

1. Split peas: soak your peas overnight. Pop them in the crockpot in the morning.  Make sure they are covered with water during the entire cooking process.  These should only take a few hours to cook.  They're done when they no longer have a "green" taste.  I blended them to the texture I wanted with a wand blender.

2. Carrots: Again pop them in the crockpot with water or chicken broth, depending on what stage your child is at.  Cook until very tender and blend with wand blender.

3. Squash: Lightly drizzle a cut squash with a little oil.  Pop in the oven and cook.  Scrap out of the skin and blend.

4. Sweet potatoes: Just like the squash.  Prick with a fork, pop in the oven, and cook until done. Remove from skin and blend.

5. Potatoes: Same as sweet potatoes.  Can also use the microwave.  

6. Plums, nectarines, peaches, bananas, mango, etc: Remove the skin and pit.  Blend.

7. Avocado: My son loved these.  Remove pit and skin; blend.

With all of these, you can  thin them out as much as you'd like using either breast milk or formula.  You can blend them to the texture you desire and make them seasoned to your families taste.  They can also be mixed after you test each individual food for allergies.  We often cook peas and carrots together.  

This is really very easy.  I would usually spend just a few hours cooking a few things at a time, one in the crockpot, one in the oven.  I only ever bought green beans or applesauce (just regular no sugar added applesauce) or baby food for traveling.

Oh, one last thing... canned pumpkin.  My son loved it.  Not pumpkin pie mix, just plain canned pumpkin.  It's a little bitter to me, but even I started to enjoy the taste.  It's very nutritious and very economical.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mark your Calendars- Cheap Ice Cream

April 30th is $.31 scoop night at Baskin-Robbins.  Purchase ice cream between 5-10 pm and you can get up to 10 scoops for the $.31 price.  This is in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Association.  In some locations, you may even be able to donate.

This is a fun family event.  Last year, my husband was working so my then 18 month old and I went around 5:30pm.  We stood in line for at least 45 minutes.  While we waited, we had a great time visiting with our neighbors and the local fire department was there as well.  They gave the kids tours of the truck and scooped ice cream in the shop.  We had a lot of fun.

For more information, check out this page: 

Family style eating

As a family, we try to sit down and eat at least one meal a day together.  This is usually dinner in our household.  Although we stay busy with church, a 2.5 year old, work, and keeping up the house, we feel that this time together is important and we've made it a priority in our schedule. These are just a few of the many benefits of family style eating:

1. It teaches colors, shapes, numbers, language-- by creating the time to actually talk with our kids, we can teach them these and so many things.  Sitting down together at a meal opens up conversation and also teaches manners such as please and thank you.  Ask open-ended questions about taste, texture, smell, color, ingredients, etc.  

2. Sharing-- Kids learn about sharing items and taking turns.  

3. Motor skills-- Family style eating promotes development of motor skills in passing dishes and serving oneself.

4. Slows down eating--Slower eating allows you and your child to more readily recognize when you're full and prevent overeating.  This also models healthy eating habits for lifelong benefits.

5. Socialization-- Learning to take turns in conversations, using polite manners and not interrupting each other... there are all socialization skills that can be learned at the dinner table in a family style setting.

6. Personal hygiene-- Time to sit down together also encourages time spent together washing hands before a meal and brushing teeth afterwards.  This is a great time for you to model some of these behaviors for your child.

7. Personal responsibility-- Setting the table, washing hands, cleaning up the dishes... these are also skills that promote personal responsibility in your child.  Through these tasks they learn that they are part of the family unit and not there to simply be served.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great coupon giveaway

Worth checking out!!!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Creating a Print Rich Environment

Have you ever thought about creating a "print rich environment" in your home?  It's great for building your child's pre-reading skills.  Here a few helpful hints on how to get started:

1. Label, label, label- Label everything that you feel comfortable with.  Sure it seems a little silly at first to put "door" on your front door, but once you get started, labeling can be fun. Using your computer and a basic word processing program, you can quickly make labels for dozens of things in your home.  Go crazy!

2. Signs and charts- These don't have to be anything fancy.  The dollar store usually cares a lot of this stuff.  From ABC charts to maps of the US, posters of colors and shapes, decorate your child's room with education material that will make letter recognition an everyday activity. Remember to keep these items at a child's eye level.

3. Point out letters & numbers in everyday items- When you stop at a stop sign, point out the letters that make up the word.  Read labels in the grocery store.  Recognize numbers on money and checks.  Use reading time as a chance to recognize the letter of the week.  Allow your child to cook with you and utilize box instructions, recipes, etc.  If you clip coupons, look for numbers and quantities while planning your shopping trip.

4. Plan playful experiences- My kids love to read before nap and bed times.  Use this time to look for letters that your child recognizes.  Play board games together, pointing out numbers and letters as you move around the board.  Look for the same numbers and letters in the instruction manual.

5. Create a name tag for your child to be used at meal times- You can also create a "mock place mat" with printer and contact papers.  Draw the times for a place setting on the printer paper and label them with the correct words (plate, fork, spoon, knife, cup, napkin).  Cover in contact paper and place on the table.  This will help your child learn to set the table and recognize the words for everyday items.

6. Utilize your calendar- Help your child to learn numbers by teaching them about the calendar. Point out important dates and talk about how many days until the event arrives.  Use this as a counting lesson.  Also if your lifestyle allows, post a daily schedule with times and events as they occur throughout the day.

7. Create a writing center in your home- Make writing materials available, such as pens, markers, crayons, paper, pencils, envelopes, stamps, etc.  Encourage your child to draw, scribble, form letters, keep a journal, write to relatives, play post office, etc.  Write with your child and model your own writing skills as well.

I hope these ideas will help you get started in developing your own print rich environment in your home.  Remember these are just a few starting points to get your creativity going.  If you think of more, don't be afraid to try them.  It's all about getting your child to recognize and see the letters around them.

For more Works for Me ideas, check out

Monday, March 24, 2008

Menu Monday

At in-laws

At in-laws and
eating leftovers for dinner

Cereal, apples, milk
Egg salad sandwiches, Triscuits, juice
Potluck:  Chile Relleno Casserole

Yogurt and berries, milk
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, juice
Chicken and broccoli pasta, green salad,

Oatmeal or cream of wheat, milk
Egg salad sandwiches, apples, juice
Baked Potato bar

Cottage Cheese, fruit, milk
Leftovers or Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrots and ranch, juice
Family in town; going out

Cereal, fruit, milk
Leftovers, Triscuits, juice
Softball Tournament: Ball Park Food

Family in town
Beef Burrito Skillet, green salad

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Keeping Track of Baby Socks

This one is really simple, but a lifesaver in my house.

Hearing all the young moms around me talk about loosing baby socks, I knew I need to devise a plan before my son was born.  Then it hit me, the easiest solution.

A lingerie bag...

We store our baby socks in two bags: one dirty, one clean.  When a pair needs to be washed, I just pop them in the dirty bag.  On laundry day, the whole bag goes into the wash.  So they're never in separate loads of laundry or forgotten in the bottom of the washer or mysteriously eaten by the dryer.  They're always right there and ready to use. 

That's what works for me.

For more tips and ideas, check out

baby socks in lingerie bag

Activity Wednesday

Rainbow Ice

1. Fill your ice cube tray.
2. Allow child to drop food coloring into each tray.
3. Use primary colors and show them how colors combine to make new colors.
4. Freeze your ice cubs.
5. Melt the ice in cooking oil.
6. Rainbow swirls will fall to the bottom. 

Use this as a science lesson as well, explaining that oil and water don't mix.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Teaching Tuesday--Easter

We picked up several books at the library this week.  Easter books.  Wow!  Easter already.  So I found one that I want to recommend.

The Easter Story by Carol Heyer

This book is really good.  It's slightly graphic.  It chronicles all the events of holy week and events prior as well.  While my e year old wasn't ready for the length or depth of this week, it's a good book for children between 5-7 years.  So check it out leading up to Easter.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Menu Monday

Hey, are you ready for a new week.  I figure most of you know what you're making for dinner tonight already.  It is after all St Patrick's Day.  However, I chose to verge from the normal path and go with a "Green" themed dinner.  Check it out!  As for the rest of the week, I'm in a bit of a slump.  I need some new ideas.  Maybe I'll spend some of nap time today, searching the internet.

Cottage cheese, fruit, milk
Leftover pea soup, bread, juice
Pasta with broccoli and pesto, green salad, kiwi, and pistachio pudding

Yogurt and fruit cocktail, milk
Tuna sandwiches, baby carrots, juice
Potluck: Chicken and rice a roni casserole

Eggs, toast, and milk
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pears, juice
Homemade veggie pizza

Yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit, milk
Leftovers, juice
Vegetarian stir-fry, rice, pot stickers

Cereal and milk, bananas
Egg salad sandwiches, crackers, juice
Shepard's pie, salad, bread

At in-laws

At in-laws

As you can see we will be spending two days at my in-laws this weekend.  But here are some old standby meals that I would probably use if I was going to be at home:

Taco Ring
Lentil Tacos
Homemade pizza
Chicken Noodle soup

For Sunday here are some options if attending a family event:

7-up Salad
Shrimp Cocktail
Seafood Salad
Cheddar and Garlic Rolls
or a family favorite dessert

Do you have a dessert that you traditionally serve on Easter?  Share it with us.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Just for Mom Friday

Who am I?

Have you ever heard God ask that of you?

Who am I?

I know I have.  Often in the hustle and bustle of picking up toys and making dinner, of changing diapers and being married, I forget that knowing God should effect every part of my life.  Being a Christian is not an isolated part of who I am.  Rather it's the core of who I am.  Or should be. 

So in an attempt to remember who God is in my life, I'm starting a list of "who" God is.

Wonderful Counselor--whether I'm considering buying a new car or how to discipline my child, his counsel is the one I should seek first.

Almighty God--able to move mountains, change circumstances, and move the unswerving will of a two year old.

Prince of Peace--every decision made in line with the will of God will bring peace.  There may still be uncertainty, but there will be peace.

Holy One--willful sin is not permitted in his presence.

Shepard--it's in my own best interest to be guided by Him.

ABBA Father--His guidance is gentle, but firm.

Merciful, Full of Grace, and Just--the paradox of God.  On one hand, demanding justice for the oppressed and the wronged, while offering mercy and grace to those 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

St Patrick's Day Fun-- Part 4

Glassy Shamrocks

1. Cut out a large shamrock from construction paper and lay in a soda flat or somewhere to contain the "mess."
2. Pour a small dot of light karo syrup in the center of the shamrock and add a few drops of green food coloring.
3. Allow your child to "finger paint" until the two are blended across the shamrock.
4. Let dry.  When dry, the syrup will be smooth as glass.  Fun to hang in the window.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Teaching How Long to Brush Teeth

Dental hygiene is not exactly high on my 2 year olds priority list.  However, it is on mine.  So how do we get him to comply with the nightly teeth brushing?  One simple trick...

We sing!

From the time that we started brushing my little guy's teeth, we've been singing the alphabet. Not once, not twice, but three times.  There's nothing magical about the number; it's just what we've found works for us.  He knows it's going to be the same thing every night.  We don't cut it short because we're running out of time.  And we don't add to it because we've missed a night.  No, the number of times is always the same.

He loves having his teeth brushed and it's become an enjoyable part of our routine.  Plus, he here's the alphabet.  And that's what works for me.

For more "Works for Me" ideas, check out every Wednesday.

St Patrick's Day Fun-- Part 3

Shamrock Caterpillars

1. Cut out 5 shamrocks (or however long you want to make your caterpillar).
2. Draw or craft a face on one.  Here's where you can be really creative.  Googly eyes, markers, cotton, dried beans, pipe cleaners, glitter... the sky's the limit.
3. Glue the shamrocks together, slightly over lapping with the stems pointing down.  These are the legs.
4. Don't forget to add antennas.

Activity Wednesday

Who doesn't love finger painting?  It's a great texture activity, very creative, and just plain fun. What could make it more fun?  

What if you could "eat" your finger paints?

I spend so much time telling my son not to eat things.  Don't eat the Play-doh.  Don't eat the crayons.  Take you mouth off the shopping cart handle.  What did you put in your mouth?  Here's something that our little ones can play with AND put in their mouths.

Pistachio Pudding Finger Paints

Instant pudding is so easy.  Just follow the directions on the box.  Couldn't be simpler.  It comes in so many colors and flavors; the possibilities are endless.  And why pistachio?  For St. Patrick's Day, of course.  So the next time you need a fun activity for your child AND a snack, why not whip up a batch of pudding?  Sometimes it's fun to play with your food. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

St Patrick's Day Fun-- Part 2

Want to treat your kids to some gold coins, but know that money doesn't grow on trees?  Here's a fun treat to add to your St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Gold Coins

Ritz crackers
Peanut Butter
Butterscotch chips
Wax paper

Spread peanut butter between two ritz crackers.
Dip these small "sandwiches" into melted butterscotch chips, coating the whole cracker.
Allow "coins" to dry on wax paper.
Treat your kids to a fun afternoon snack.

Teaching Tuesday--St. Patrick's Day

Wow, March is busy!  I can't believe St. Patrick's Day is less than a week away and then Easter is less than a week after that.  On top of it, I'm hostessing a Mary Kay party, going to a scrapbook event, traveling with two kids, playing in a softball tournament, and juggling hair cuts and 3 month old pictures, all before the month's end.  This year has flown by.
How did last week's alphabet review go?  If your little on is anything like mine, you're finding that they could use more time to work on these letters.  So keep reviewing and let's have some St. Patrick's Day fun this week.  We checked out a Sesame Street video this week from the library.  It's called "Learning about Letters."  It's really good.
I'm learning so much about St. Patrick's Day that I never knew.  When I was growing up, St. Patrick's Day was all about "green" food and pinching the boys.  There's so much more to the holiday.  History, tradition, culture.
I've ordered a bunch of books from the library and I'm picking them up later this morning.  I can't wait to see what my little guy thinks.  I'm sure the stories will be flowing out of him when Daddy gets home.  I'll be sure to update after we've had a chance to look through a few of these books.
There's also lots of internet sites you can check out for everything from history lessons to craft activities surrounding the holiday.  Depending on the age of your child (or your own interest in the topic), you can find quite a variety of resources.  These are just a few:
Hope this helps and you have fun exploring the holiday with your kids.

Monday, March 10, 2008

St Patrick's Day Fun-- Part 1

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd post a few ideas this week that you can do in your own home, either next Monday or adapted to use throughout the year.  So who's up for a little dessert?

Shamrock Shakes
2 cups milk
2 scoops of lime sherbet
2 ripe bananas

Blend together.

Couldn't be easier, right?  Hum... makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Menu Monday

Here's what going on at our house this week.

Scrambled Eggs, fruit, milk
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, salad, juice
Pea soup, homemade bread,

Creamy Apple Oatmeal, milk
Tuna sandwiches, fruit, juice
Potluck: Chile Relleno Casserole

Cereal and fruit, milk
Egg salad sandwiches, salad, juice
Brushetta Chicken Bake, salad

Yogurt, cottage cheese, milk
Leftovers, juice
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Scrambled eggs, milk
Egg salad sandwiches, Tricuits, juice
Gingerbread waffles, bacon, 

Potluck: Monkey bread
Tuna sandwiches, fruit, juice
Black Bean Soup, homemade bread

Cereal and fruit, milk
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrots and dip, juice

Friday, March 7, 2008

Frugal Friday

Just a few tips for stretching your budget:
1. We buy only 7% fat ground beef and it can get expensive.  When I'm making casseroles, I cut the meat nearly in half.  Sloppy joes, shepard's pie, hamburger helper, any casseroles that call for 1 lb of meat, get 1/2 lb. of meat.  Our family doesn't even miss it.
2. We cut juice.  When I mix juice concentrate, I add 4 containers of water, rather than 3 containers.  I cut it further when I serve it to my son.
3. Add beans to your salads.  It adds protein to your meal and cuts back on some of the more expensive, perishable fresh produce.
4. Make a turkey.  We have ours in the freezer from Thanksgiving sales.  Use every last scrap of that turkey.  Make enchiladas, soup, casseroles, etc.  We get tons of meals out of this.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Around the Home Thursday

I've been trying to gather information on what snacks my kids should be eating and how often they should be eating.  My husband and I are having a debate about whether or not our son should be having a snack after his nap, even though it's close to dinner.  And it got me thinking about how monotonous our snacks have become.  We seem to eat the same stuff all the time and I've been looking for new ideas.  This is what I've discovered. 

1. Between the ages of 1-5, children should be getting  5-9 servings of fruits and veggies in a single day.  What constitutes a serving?  The serving size should be about the size of a child's fist.  So as they grow, so does their serving size.  This helps me a lot.  I hear those visuals "The size of a deck of cards."  That never makes sense to me.  Now I can sit a deck of cards next to my hand and see they are the same, but the hand comes with me.  Maybe my serving sizes will be more accurate now as well.

2. Allow grazing.  Preschoolers should be eating up to 10 small "meals" a day.  Now these aren't 4 course meals, but a little something here and there.  Grazing allows them to all the nutrients they need through out the day.  It keeps their metabolism and blood sugar steady.  A fun idea I read was to make grazing trays.  For children 1-2 years old, fill ice cube trays with snacks. For older children, fill muffin tins. Things like raisins, eggs, apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, etc.  Provide 1-2 dipping sauces such as guacamole, hummas, salsa, yogurt, peanut butter, etc.  Make it available to them throughout the day.

3. Educate them early on about healthy choices.  The more you expose them to healthy snacks and educate them, the more likely they are to continue these healthy habits later on in life.  The snacks and foods they are exposed to now will train their taste buds for the future.  The reverse is true as well.  Eating junk food at an early age will train their taste buds as well.

4. Make nutrition fun for them.  Provide them with "apple wheels" and "broccoli trees."  See nutrition through 2 year old eyes.

5. Never use food to bride or appease your child.  This connects food with emotions.  Emotional eating can become a lifelong problem.

Here are some great snack ideas that I've come across.  Feel free to comment with any additional ideas you've tried.
frozen bananas on stick, dripped in yogurt
baked chips
granola bars
sunflower seeds
fig newtons
frozen fruit bars
frozen grapes
fruit juice (in moderation)
fruit shakes
Wheat Thins
light popcorn
homemade popsicles

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Activity Wednesday

Now that the weather is getting nicer, I'm looking for opportunities to get the kids and I out of the house.  Even for a short while.  Recently we took a walk through the neighborhood and into a local park.  When we got home, we continued the adventure with a short activity.  

Nature Walk

paper bag
somewhere to walk
tape/glue stick/ glue
things to collect

1. Bundle up the kids and go for a walk.  Take a paper bag with you and collect items that interest your child.  Anything goes!  Leaves, sticks, grass, rocks, feathers, litter???, flowers, seeds, nuts, pine cones, anything.
2. Return home and cut the paper bag open.  Cut it flat to lay like a giant piece of poster board.
3. Adhere items of interest to the paper bag.  Use whatever type of glue is best for each piece.  Label each item as you adhere it.  Talk about the texture, color, size, location of each item.  Talk about why your child chose each item.  Ask open-ended questions and allow your child to explore language with you.
4. Display your poster at child's eye-level and continue to revisit it, again asking more open-ended questions.  Repeat activity again and again.  

Moving into a Big Boy Bed

If you haven't checked out Rocks in my Dryer yet, you are missing a fantastic site.  I just discovered it not long ago and I'm loving it.  There is some amazing tips and tricks.  Each week the author asks readers to post their best ideas to share with each other.  However, this week is different.  This is "Backwards Wednesday."  We have been challenged to post a problem that we are facing and ask for advice.  So here's my question:

I have a 2 1/2 year old boy that will need to move into a "big boy" bed soon.  I know that he's very young.  However, I also have a 2 1/2 month old daughter that will need his crib within a few months.  My son has never tried to climb out of his crib and he seems to be very attached to it.  How can I get him excited about moving into a bigger bed?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Teaching Tuesday--Let's Review

After completing "ABC," it seemed like a good time to review the letters we've already been learning.  If you're like me, you may be running out of room on your fridge with those three big letters hanging there.  After this I'll probably move one or two of them on to the wall in my son's room.  But for now, they're still hanging there.

You may find that you're having a hard time "teaching" each letter.  So I did a little research and found a short article that explained 5 steps that most teachers go through in introducing and reviewing the alphabet.

1. Hold up the letter for you child to see.  Again this is continually accomplished by posting it on the refrigerator.
2. Repeat the letter 3-5 times.  Then have your child repeat it after you.
3. Teach the sound of the letter.  "Jimmy, A says Ah or A."  Repeat the sound a couple of times and give an example of a familiar word that starts with that same sound.
4.  Double sided flashcards are great for this.  Review.  "What is this?" "A" "What sound does it make?" "AH for "Apple"  If you don't have double-sided flash cards, you can use household objects.  Visual aids are a great asset.  It makes the lesson very concrete for you child.
5.  Do a final check.  "What is this?" "A" "What sound does it make?" "AH." "What word starts with A?" "Apple" 

Additional suggestions:
Have your child sit at the table and trace the letter with his/her finger.
Print coloring sheets from the internet and have them available for your child at their art area.
Provide material that they can glue onto these coloring sheets: beans, macaroni, cotton, etc.
Again, continue to point out words that start with the three letters we've been learning.  Look for them in books, on signs, when you're talking about your day, in songs, etc.  Just use this week to reinforce what your child has been learning.  It will take time to absorb everything we've been teaching them so be patient.  They are little sponges and are taking things in even when we don't realize it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Menu Monday

Here's what I'm cooking up this week:

Yogurt, banana, milk
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tomatoes, juice
Turkey and rice casserole, salad, peaches

Creamy Crockpot Apple Oatmeal
Leftovers, carrots, juice
Potluck: Shrimp Macaroni Salad

Toast and jelly, fruit, milk
Egg salad sandwiches, Triscuits, juice
Brushetta Chicken Bake, salad, french bread

Cereal and milk, 
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, salads, juice
Stuffed Stromboli bread

Toast and jelly, milk
Leftovers, apples, juice
Shepard's pie, salad

Gingerbread waffles, milk
Egg salad sandwiches, tomatoes, juice
Black Bean Soup

Cereal and milk, peaches,
Leftovers, juice
Potluck: Chicken and Chiles casserole

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bargain Hunting...

I went bargain hunting this weekend.  I'm always trying to find ways to cut our family expenses.  Most days I feel like I'm doing a good job; other days I know I fail miserably.  However, I've been frequently checking Money Saving Mom and attempting to cut even more.  So Saturday, with my notes in hand and two kids in tow, I trompted a few blocks to the nearest Walgreens and this is the outcome.

Garnier Nutriste night cream--$12.99-$12.99 rebate=$0
Colgate Total Toothpaste --$3.79-$3.79 rebate=$0
Garnier Fructis Hair Milk--$3.99-$3.99 rebate= $0
minus $5 RR
Tax=$ 1.51
made $3.49

passed on the Yes to Carrots Body Butter, but it is also $9.99-$9.99 rebate =$0

This was how Rite-Aid turned out:
Garnier Fructis Shampoo-- $2.99-$1 peelie-$2.99 rebate= made $1
Act Mouthwash--sale $5.99-$3 rebate=$2.99
Hand Lotion--$6.99--clearanced to $1.74

OOP=$4.51--not too bad, hopefully will get better with practice

so between the two, I almost broke even.  not bad!
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