January New Year Pantry Challenge - Page 7 - Mothering Forums
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#181 of 224 Old 01-14-2009, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we are in the middle of a crazy winter storm right now. it's been snowing literally ALL DAY LONG. ugh. i think we've had about 4-5 inches of snow with a high of 12 degrees : and the low tonight is supposed to be -5 degrees : i'm anticipating that school will be canceled tomorrow.....or at the very least there will be a delay.

soooo, tonight for dinner we're having tomato soup and grilled ham/swiss or turkey/provolone sandwiches and romaine salad.
If you want to throw tomatoes at me, go ahead, I know I would. But thankfully this is the storm that dodged us! I was so not in the mood for the kids having snow days this week! If it makes you feel better, the wind is like a knife against your cheek here but we only got 1 inch of snow.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#182 of 224 Old 01-14-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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If you want to throw tomatoes at me, go ahead, I know I would. But thankfully this is the storm that dodged us! I was so not in the mood for the kids having snow days this week! If it makes you feel better, the wind is like a knife against your cheek here but we only got 1 inch of snow.
LOL!

i don't blame you AT ALL for being happy to be spared by all this snow. ugh!

: : vicki ~ wife & mom of 2 amazing kids
live well ~ laugh often ~ love much
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#183 of 224 Old 01-14-2009, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL!

i don't blame you AT ALL for being happy to be spared by all this snow. ugh!
:


Thanks! MY DD loved watching the tomato!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#184 of 224 Old 01-15-2009, 08:40 AM
 
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I did well yesterday. Pat myself on the back.

For breakfast I took the previous two days' leftover GF pancakes and muffins, dried out and half-eaten, and turned them into fabulous bread pudding. I scanned several recipes and made one that included 6+c crumbs, 3 c. hot water, 2 tbsp margarine, 1/4 c. maple syrup, 3 eggs, a dash of salt, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp. cinnamon. Most of my recipes called for way more eggs/margarine/sweetener/etc, but even pared down this recipe was great and three of my four kids loved it (typical, LOL - the picky one had PB). Best part, it was ALL GONE by lunchtime. One kid is now begging me to make this a three-day rotation so he can have more. LOL!

I also mixed up a gallon of plum juice from the unsweetened plum juice I canned last summer. A bit of maple syrup and water and it's good.

We had a weird day and didn't eat at regular times, but lunch was canned herring (happened to have, had to use it up), dried nori, broken corn-thins that are no good for sandwiches, and nuts/raisins. For dinner I made bacon rice, which is just brown rice, bacon, frozen green beans, onions, and tamari.

Er, looks like we need more veggies/fruit in the mix. Winter is tough for that, but I'm working on it.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#185 of 224 Old 01-16-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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We have been doing pretty well eating out of the pantry. I did go to the store for fruits and veggies, but that was about it.

I roasted a chicken the other night and used the broth and stuff to make soup today. Since it was -10 this morning when we woke up and about 3* now, i think it will be perfect for dinner. I'm going to make some homemade yeast rolls to go with it. I have some random half packages of egg noodles in my pantry to use in the soup.
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#186 of 224 Old 01-16-2009, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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School closed today. This is what I get for making fun of the storm we missed. Its 15 below so all schools closed.

Maggie is doing her own pantry sort of challenge. She was taking things out of the cabinet. She found in the back- some old dried apples and finished them off.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#187 of 224 Old 01-17-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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We did great today, despite a minor crisis at home. (Our furnace went out and we needed a repair in the middle of the night.) I feel really good that we didn't resort to fast food for our meals when we are so tired, especially since we dropped major money on the repair.

To heat up the house last night, we made tea and brownies.

Then in my exhaustion I grabbed a brownie and pretzels for breakfast. And for lunch I dished out some leftover squash and orange soup. And for dinner DH made sweet potato quesadillas. He really wanted to skip making dinner, but I would rather spend out dine out dollars tomorrow night, when we have a sitter. It turns out he wants to make a nice dinner tomorrow, so we're ahead on both days.

I'm thinking I might stock the freezer with some of my favorite brown rice chili. We've got all the ingredients, and it's a perfect cold weather food.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#188 of 224 Old 01-17-2009, 01:54 AM
 
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School closed today. This is what I get for making fun of the storm we missed. Its 15 below so all schools closed.
yep, same here. and although the kids were thrilled to not have school, it only got up to 0 degrees today.... : it was -17 when my hubby left for work this morning.

i did make it out to grocery shop though. picked up romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples (gala and golden delicious), grapes, blueberries, blackberries, salad dressing, yogurt, swiss cheese, fish, chicken, coffee, coffee creamer, kidney beans, granola bars, and bread. basically just got what we needed.

the kids are each spending the night with a friend tonight, so dh and i ran some errands to pick up stuff for our kitchen remodel and then had dinner out.

tomorrow night we have a couple's retreat after church and i'm making chili in the crockpot to take, so dinner will be there.

we're doing pretty well with this challenge!

: : vicki ~ wife & mom of 2 amazing kids
live well ~ laugh often ~ love much
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#189 of 224 Old 01-17-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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I thought I was cold, but you guys are suffering some really cold temps. :

We continue to work pantry magic. I crockpotted some chicken, shredded it and made a chicken pot pie type of dish with a whole wheat biscuit topping. It worked really well and is my dh's new favorite comfort food. That used up flour, chicken and peas from the freezer, sesame seeds, a bit of butter.

I need to make tortillas today and eat some more of the refried beans. I think tonight will be some kind of red lentil/veggie stew with brown rice. Or maybe a rice/lentil pilaf with grilled chicken.

I will need to make a small run to the store -- milk, some fruit, a couple of veggies.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#190 of 224 Old 01-17-2009, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was -12 yesterday when DH left for work. Today its 23 degrees which is like a huge difference. Tomorrow I go to sunshine for a few days to see how the other half of the country lives LOL.

Made calzones last night for a change of normal pizza. I made one w ham, figs, and blue cheese. DH made a huge pepperoni one yum. I wish I made more dough to make some to freeze.

Today hot dogs and mac n cheese for lunch to use up some odds and ends. I love home made mac n cheese. Eating while I type. Tonight finally the pork chops sitting on top in the fridge. Serve w potaotes and the rest of the lettuce to use up.

We have a handful of odds and ends snackie type things I will bring on our trip too.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#191 of 224 Old 01-17-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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We had guests last night. I made meatloaf, roasted thyme potatoes, borscht, salad w/homemade ranch - which was way too thick...I need to add more milk to it, and beer bread. Yum.

We got sooo much in the veggie box. I have no idea what I'm doing with all the beets. I read about a beet cake somewhere...I'll have to see if I can hunt that down....

ETA: Easier than I thought. It's on our CSA's website. Duh, Kath.

Beet the Devil’s Food Cake: Sift 3 c. flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, ½ c. carob or cocoa powder. Beat together ½ c. oil, 1 ½ c. sugar, 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla. A little at a time, add and mix sifted ingredients and 1 ½ c. milk to the other liquid ingredients. Then add 4 c. grated beets. Pour into oiled and floured 9x13 pan and bake @ 350 deg. 45 min. or until done. Cool and frost.
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#192 of 224 Old 01-18-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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Argh... Does anyone ever face this - I DO NOT need more pantry items, but I am sooo tempted by sales. I need to go grocery shopping today, and the Kroger store is running a sale where I know I could work it with coupons to get 8 cans of Rotel, a bottle of mustard, and a bottle of hot sauce for $1.20. We only have one can of Rotel in the pantry (we love it but have been "saving" it since it's the last), and no extras of mustard or hot sauce.

On the one hand, it would be a great deal on items we use (though are not in desperate need of). On the other hand, I do not have space for any more pantry food!! I get way more torn than I should over this type of dilemma. It makes my head spin. :

How do you ladies deal with this sort of situation? What factors do you weigh in your pantry-stocking decisions?

ETA - Nevermind re: this specific example. Apparently I somehow got next week's grocery ad instead of this week's. Universe solved that dilemma for me - the stuff I wanted wasn't even on sale! OK, will now take that as a sign to eat down the pantry and not stock up further.
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#193 of 224 Old 01-18-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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I'm having a bunch of friends and kids over tomorrow since it is MLK day and nobody has to work. I am making a huge pot of chicken noodle soup, all from the pantry/freezer. Since there are lots of little kids, I'm putting orzo in for the noodles (it fits on the spoon better, less mess.) Plus, I don't have egg noodles in the cupboard right now and I do have orzo. Another mom is bringing cheese and lunchmeat. I have bread in the freezer, plus I just threw on a batch of no-knead bread that I will bake before they get here. Another mom is bringing dessert.

Tonight we are having the chicken from the one I roasted for the soup tomorrow, a big salad and some broccoli.

I should probably make chili this week. Now to just decide between white chicken chili or red chili:
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#194 of 224 Old 01-19-2009, 11:59 AM
 
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: Let's here it for Super Chicken!

I took the last frozen whole chicken from the freezer over the weekend, cooked it in the crockpot w/ onions, carrots, and celery and we ate that Saturday night .... Sunday was shredded chicken w/ onions and red peppers (frozen bag of veggies) and homemade tortillas, and today we'll be having chicken salad. LOVE that I can stretch so much from one $5 bird and that's not counting the broth I froze for soup later on.

We're starting to get to the point where it is going to require some creativity on my part to finish off what we can before the end of the month, but I'm pleased just to have made it this far

We've had to buy milk, fresh fruit & veg, and butter and eggs ... but that's pretty much it (except for a clearance organic cocoa deal I found ... but I turned that into hot chocolate mix)

I'm learning that I'm more handy in the kitchen than I thought I was ... I can't believe I'm making yogurt on a regular basis now (not to mention everything else!)

knit.gifKara~ Rockin' Granola wife to Christopher and mama to J (Nov. '01), M (June '06), L (May '08) and stork-girl.gif (edd 8/3/11)
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#195 of 224 Old 01-19-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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I cleaned up and organized my stockpile, I ended up taking 2 boxes of stuff to the foodpantry. Some stuff we dont like, some was close to expirey etc...


We have been eating directly from my stockpile....

Last night was pizza and salad.
This am we had pizza for breakfast yummy leftovers hehe
Lunch is going to be soup and sandwiches
Dinner is unknown at this point...

So many choices after spending HOURS bonding with my pantry... im overwhelmed with options.
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#196 of 224 Old 01-20-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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January 20th and I've spent under $100 at the store... how is everyone doing.... my total was for produce and a few fill in items...
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#197 of 224 Old 01-20-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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hey all. so far so good here. i've spent the whole day just glued to the inauguration coverage and welcoming in the breath of fresh air that is our new president!!!! woohoo!

with our kitchen remodel in full swing and our kitchen emptied out, we've been doing a lot of frozen meals that i had in the freezer in anticipation of this. however, today in honor of the "winds of change" in our country, i made shrimp risotto for dinner.

no grocery shopping until friday.

: : vicki ~ wife & mom of 2 amazing kids
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#198 of 224 Old 01-20-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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I have actually been grocery shopping, mostly for produce, soymilk, and pantry staples that have run out that I need to use up other pantry staples! Like tomato sauce and beans. I'd be embarrassed to say how much I've spent, but it's less than what I would usually have spent 2/3 of the way through the month. Baby steps.

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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#199 of 224 Old 01-21-2009, 02:43 AM
 
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... and DH decided to go to Costco. AGH! Of course, maybe I should have told him about the challenge, LOL. Oh well, things are still going well. We did buy some fresh fruit and veg, milk and sour cream. Not too bad for 3 weeks in!

Oh, and I'm totally out of chicken! First time ever, I swear.

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#200 of 224 Old 01-21-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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This challenge has been so good for us. I cleared out a lot of little ends and bits, the freezer is empty (and I really mean empty) and I have a much better idea of what and how to cook when we are living lean.

At this point, I am ready to start building my pantry back up. We have eaten through most of the 25 pound bag of rice and have made a huge dent in the bean supply. I really need to replace a lot of dried things.

I also have a much better idea of what I really want and need in the pantry...more rice and more varieties, powdered milk, more tea and coffee, more canned tomatoes, more canned fruit...and I need to pay more attention to processing veggies for freezing. Clearly, just chucking them in a Ziploc in not enough.

This challenge has also helped me to realize that our garden needs to be much, much bigger....two to three times bigger. Dh is on board with doubling it this year, but a little freaked out when I talk about taking out all of the grass. Still working on him...

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#201 of 224 Old 01-21-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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This challenge has been awesome for us. I have not stepped foot into a grocery store since before Christmas (DH stopped twice - once for a New Year's party and once for fruit). :

It's made me realize how we need to get eating out of our stock. I stock up, but then we tend to eat fresh - oops, defeats the purpose.

I'm also getting creative using up those things that just seem to sit in the panty - spices, vinegars, 'good idea' purchases. Tonight I'm making homemade chocolate pudding for the first time - my DD will be sooooo :

: Question - I have a box of Boca Burgers - expiration 3/08 - toss??? I hate wasting food, but . . .

Samm
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#202 of 224 Old 01-21-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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We've been doing well, and haven't missed anything.

I could make do with buying nothing but eggs this month, but we are also out of vanilla and I'm out of brown rice flour (our staple) and not thrilled about using the alternatives...though I suppose I really should use up the other kinds of flour. I have some homemade vanilla steeping, but it isn't ready yet. I have never made it before, and I didn't realize that you can't just put the pods in the alcohol, you need to split them open. So I wasted two months that way and had to start again. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't need vanilla.

We have had pepperoni pizza (one stick of pepperoni over four pizzas), sausage/onions/potatoes, more bread pudding made from previous mornings' leftover muffins/waffles/pancakes, hamburgers and buns from the freezer that I forgot were in there.

This morning I found a package of brown rice tortillas that I missed when I did my pantry inventory. Score! Also realized we have several tins of mints. Yum.

We are going to use our meager resources to keep the major pantry basics stocked so we can stretch the other stuff as far as possible. I don't want to get in a situation where I completely deplete my pantry and then I don't have a pantry to cook from.

My goal this week is for us to eat more non-meat meals. It's just so easy when you have a freezer full of meat and a family of carnivores. But we need to keep stretching it, and we have plenty of beans and lentils. It's much easier to eat vegetarian in the summertime. Which reminds me that I'd better get hopping on my garden plan, because soon it will be time to start seedlings, and I should try to grow some kale on the windowsill.

I think this is a really great exercise for me in food management and discipline! And....my extra belly fat is unexpectedly shrinking, and that feels great. Apparently I used to snack for fun or something.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#203 of 224 Old 01-22-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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: Question - I have a box of Boca Burgers - expiration 3/08 - toss??? I hate wasting food, but . . .

Samm

Those are frozen right?? as long as they haven't defrosted they should be ok.. i keep stuff in the 'tundra' wayyyy too long
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#204 of 224 Old 01-23-2009, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just got back from vacation! Eating home made mac n cheese for lunch. Tonight shrimp risotto or stir fry depending on DH's mood. I can whip up either one.

Kind of off topic but not really- what are some good tex mex ideas? DBIL is turning 50 next month and the theme of the party is tex mex.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#205 of 224 Old 01-24-2009, 10:12 AM
 
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Welcome back, Amy! Hope you all had an awesome vacation! :

well, dear friends & super creative cooks, I think I have to call "I'm out" on this one ... the pantry and freezer are both emptier than I am comfortable with, I've really shaved some off the grocery budget for the month (more for debt, hooray!) and I've learned a few things, too. So, THANK YOU

I can now make:
- tortillas
- yogurt
- brown sugar syrup (for pancakes & waffles)
- biscuits
- just about any kind of apple dessert of item out there (and we still have quite a few bags of sliced frozen apples LOL)

This was a terrific way to kick off the year and I wish you all loads of luck as you finish on this last week! Way to go!

knit.gifKara~ Rockin' Granola wife to Christopher and mama to J (Nov. '01), M (June '06), L (May '08) and stork-girl.gif (edd 8/3/11)
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#206 of 224 Old 01-24-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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Yesterday I made pork ribs (from the over-stuffed freezer) in the crockpot. DH made sweet potatoes, which we harvested October and have been storing.

I also made an apple pie from pie filling I had canned and a pie crust in the freezer.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#207 of 224 Old 01-24-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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Tonight I made Ranch Breaded Pork Chops and Sweet and Sour Cabbage. I got a humongo cabbage in teh CSA box last week, and it's STILL not used up. Plus, lots of leftover cabbage.

I have pinto beans soaking for tomorrow. I'm going to do some refried beans for me and the kid, with some cheese I made (yes, made ), and DH will have the leftover pork chop. And cabbage. Ever more cabbage.

Got some frozen organic chicken breasts on sale. They weren't really on sale. Our store has a trick where right before they raise the price, they put the item "on sale" with the same price as usual. Figured I'd get a couple bags at the "old" price while I could.

I've been trudging through the frozen shredded zucchini by making TF-friendly muffins for DD to snack on. Luckily, she loves them.
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#208 of 224 Old 01-25-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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Tonight was "leftovers" night at our house. Good thing, because DH did more grocery shopping!

I've got a couple more crockpot meals in mind. And, I selected the next "item" from the freezer to cook. Think it will be some pork loin chops. Now I just have to find a recipe.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#209 of 224 Old 01-25-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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I'm late to this but I'm jumping in for the last week.

We are moving in 4 weeks so I want to use up as much of everything as I can and start fresh at the new place (that actually does have a real pantry! : )

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#210 of 224 Old 01-25-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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new to this thread, but want to join! I have all these random products and things, not a lot of cash this week, and want to use up what i have, even if it means oatmeal and green beans for dinner lol...

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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