Organizing for Family Caregiving

Disclosure – This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyCareGivingStory #CollectiveBias

Organizing for Family Caregiving

A few months ago my dad had throat surgery and was unable to swallow or eat afterward so they put a feeding tube in his stomach before the hospital would allow him to go home. He’s much more comfortable healing at home but it’s been a very slow process and he’s needed quite a bit of assistance and care from the family. There is a home health care service that sends a nurse to the house a couple times a week to check his progress, but my mother takes care of all his daily needs and I enjoy being able to assist her or relieve her whenever possible.

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Why Even Small Families Should Get a Warehouse Club Membership

Why Small Families Should Get a Warehouse Club Membership

If you are reading this, you are likely a smaller family, maybe 1 or 2 kids, or just a couple or even a single college student and you are trying to decide if you should invest in a membership for your local warehouse clubs such as Costco. You are wondering if it is worth it in order to pay the membership fee or if the items there may just be for those who need to buy industrial boxes of oatmeal. Here are some reasons why even small families should get a warehouse club membership to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Savings on Gas

I save on average 3-5 cents per gallon at Sam’s Club with my membership. This may not be much, but I like being able to save money off the price of gas no matter what so this is one of the reasons I got the membership. When I travel, I can save money on our road trip by filling up at Sam’s Club, since there are locations in so many areas.

Savings on Shelf Stable Items

While I have learned through trial and error that a lot of perishables may not be for us in warehouse sized containers, the dry goods sure are. We eat a lot of canned beans here and I can get a case of 12 organic beans for less than $7.This is half off the prices here or more if I were to buy them individually. I also save big money on things like pasta, bulk baking items and snacks. Did you know Costco is one of the largest retailers of organic goods? If you are like me, you want to save money on organic stuff however you can.

Cheap Tires

I have not bought tires at Sam’s Club since getting the membership (we just haven’t needed them) but others tell me their prices are phenomenal. This is a good reason to consider a membership in my opinion.

Cash Back on Your Purchases

Premium or executive memberships at BJ’s Wholesale, Costco and Sam’s Club all come with cash back rewards. We have an executive membership because we will get cash back at the end of the year and we were told the average cash back was around $77. While this isn’t a lot, it’s $77 I get back and everything counts. I mean, that’s a week worth of groceries here! Getting an executive membership has also given us some extra savings on things we get online on SamsClub.com.

Savings on Gifts for Others

I have found some great savings at Sam’s Club on things I buy for gifts such as name brand clothing, movie passes and gourmet gift baskets. You can also find great deals on books, video games and movies as well.

Savings on the Services You Already Use

We save a bundle on glasses and prescriptions at Sam’s Club, and some friends who used to get water delivered by a well known company, are now saving half off that price by opting for water delivery from Costco. They even got a free water cooler as opposed to having to rent one from the other company.

The bottom line is, determine what services and purchases your family can save on with a warehouse membership to see if it’s worth it for you. If you are still unsure, try to go in with a friend or family member and see what they have to offer. You could even split the cost of a membership with someone because most wholesale club memberships allow you to add anyone as a second card holder for an account.

Easy Breakfast Casserole with Tyson Fully Cooked Sausage

Breakfast Casserole Recipe

We seem to always be on the go with five little ones under eight who all like to run in different directions, so it can be hard at times to put a home cooked meal on the table. Plus, with so many different personalities in the house, it’s even more difficult to make quick meals that everyone will enjoy.

Tyson Fully Cooked Sausage

I was thrilled to go shopping at Sam’s Club for Tyson fully cooked sausage and incorporate it into a recipe because the kids all love sausage and I knew it would be a big hit. I decided to make a cheesy breakfast casserole for brunch over the weekend and this precooked sausage really shaved some time off the whole meal prep. Instead of having to wait until the sausage was cooked to put all the ingredients together and pop it in the oven, all I had to do was cut up some of the frozen sausage patties add the egg mixture and I was ready to go play with the kids while brunch was cooking.

Tyson Fully Cooked Sausage

The breakfast casserole was such a hit, and the sausage so tasty that the kids wanted more of it right away so for dinner I made some biscuits and warmed up some sausage patties in a skillet. It was so fast and easy to prepare that I’m glad it comes in a big bag because I have a feeling that we’ll be having it often. In addition to being yummy, the precooked sausage is so convenient that I think it will also be perfect for taking on camping and fishing trips with the family.

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Easy Breakfast Casserole with Tyson Fully Cooked Sausage
 
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Easy Breakfast Casserole with Tyson Fully Cooked Sausage
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 fully cooked sausage patties
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (I used a 3 cheese mixture)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the fully cooked sausage patties into bite sized pieces.
  2. Beat the eggs in a small bowl then add the cheese and salt and pepper.
  3. Place the sausage pieces in the bottom of a greased glass pie pan, then pour the egg mixture over the top.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm.

Tyson fully cooked sausage is a new product that is available at Sam’s Club and if you hurry on over you’ll be able to taste it while they’re doing product demos in the store. For more information visit the Tyson website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure – I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Tyson #cbias #SocialFabric. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Touching Moments That Heal Our Emotional Hearts

Life's a beach!

I’ve had some life altering events occur in the last couple of weeks that have resulted in my filing for divorce from my husband of 12 years. It’s a very difficult time for all of us, but especially for the kids who are too young to really understand what is going on around them right now.

After more than a decade of dwindling emotional connection, I decided to take the weekend at the beach to reconnect with my thoughts and the most important people in my life. I’ve had lunch with a dear old friend that I haven’t seen in years (that’s me and Jim below at lunch), have talked to friends that I haven’t spoken with since middle or high school, and have been amazed at how a simple pat on the back or a hug can affect my emotions and well-being.

Lunch with a dear friend

Did you know that your emotional state can affect your heart’s health? It makes a lot of sense to me, but I didn’t realize that there is actual science showing that stressful feelings can increase your risk of developing heart disease and other ailments. This has been such a stressful experience for us that I’m grateful for any and all means of reducing the stress for my family and loved ones.

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For that reason, I hit Sam’s Club on my way out to the beach to get some necessary supplies and ended up buying some wine and this twin pack of NIVEA lotion. Lotion is always a part of my daily life, but I feel like it’s even more important when spending so much time outside in the elements, and for making sure my skin is touchably soft while interacting with other people.

The warmth of another human’s touch can literally lift burdens from one’s heart and I have been amazed at the outpouring of support from friends and family. Physical contact from positive people who provide simple friendship and affection with nothing else behind it has been of tremendous benefit to me and my family this week and I’m sure it will continue to be while we navigate the stressful waters of starting over in a new life.

If you would like more information on NIVEA and the NIVEA Million Moments of Touch then you should check them out on Twitter and Facebook to stay up on all the latest news and information.

Disclosure – I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Beiersdorf for NIVEA, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own. #CBias #SocialFabric #NIVEAmoments

Quick and Easy Lunches with Lean Cuisine!

Quick Lunches with Lean Cuisine

My husband and I are blessed to both be able to work from home, of course the downside to that is that we don’t get out too much during the week. I’ll often crave a nice lunch out, like at my favorite Chinese restaurant, but usually end up grabbing a sandwich or a bowl of cereal instead.

Quick Lunches with Lean Cuisine

It’s nice to have some quick meals on hand in the freezer for some variety in the lunchtime routine so I was excited to try this Ginger Garlic Stir Fry with Chicken from Lean Cuisine.

I picked up a six pack of Asian inspired Lean Cuisine meals at Sam’s Club and I really liked that it came with two each of three different flavors – Sesame Chicken, Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry and Ginger Garlic Stir Fry with Chicken. They’re also a great deal at $11.25 for the whole package of six or just $1.87 per meal.

Quick Lunches with Lean Cuisine

Since we don’t get out that often I decided to kick the meal up a notch and make some egg drop soup to go along with our Lean Cuisine meals. I even pulled out the fancy dishes for a nice little touch. The soup recipe only takes a few ingredients, is very fast and easy to make, and is a nice low calorie side dish.

Easy Egg Drop Soup Recipe

The trick to making good egg drop soup is to just lightly beat the eggs and pour them in the pan slowly in one spot while stirring the broth in a circular motion. The ginger and soy sauce make this soup so flavorful, while the eggs and the broth keep it light and healthy.

Quick Lunches with Lean Cuisine

The combination of microwave meal and quick homemade soup really hit the spot on a cold day and has inspired me to “fancy” up a frozen entrée more often. It was so nice to have a full warm meal ready in just a few minutes and then be able to get right back to work.

What kind of side dish would you make with your Lean Cuisine entrée? Try out my egg drop soup recipe below and let me know what you think! In the meanwhile, check out even more frozen favorites from Nestle, and follow Lean Cuisine on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest flavors and promotions.

Egg Drop Soup
 
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This simple egg drop soup is both delicious and low calorie
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cans or 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1½ teaspoons ginger
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Add the broth, water, soy sauce, garlic and ginger to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Mix the cornstarch and three tablespoons water in a small bowl, whisk into the broth mixture and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened slightly.
  3. Stir the soup in a circular motion and begin slowly pouring in the eggs in a steady stream.

Disclosure – I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Nestle Lean Cuisine, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own. #CBias #SocialFabric #FrozenFavorites

Enjoying Our Tyson Breakfast Bread Bowls

Have you seen the new Tyson Breakfast Bread Bowls yet? We just recently had a chance to try them out and I can't wait to tell you all about them!

One of my favorite budget saving tricks is to plan a breakfast for dinner meal once a week. Breakfast entrees are typically much cheaper than traditional dinner entrees because the meat or protein portion of the meal – sausage, ham, bacon, eggs – is generally less expensive. Not only is it good for the budget, but the kids really enjoy getting breakfast for supper once a week and they think it's lots of fun!

I hadn't heard of the Tyson Breakfast Bread Bowls but they looked really yummy and I jumped at the chance to give them a taste test. We went to Sam's Club and bought a big box for $9.68. They're available in both sausage, egg and cheese and bacon, egg and cheese varieties, however my store only had the sausage variety in stock so that's the kind that we tried.

This big box has six individual packages inside, each containing two bread bowls. That was a little confusing for me because I thought that meant that two bread bowls would be a serving, but a serving size is just one bread bowl and it really will fill you up!

You parents out there will understand that the big test is waiting to see if the kids will eat the stuff we put in front of them! I was a little nervous about that with these because they look different than what the kids are used to being served, but my boys all loved them right away!

My two girls were a little more standoffish, they really just wanted to play at the table until they saw the boys wolfing them down. Once the girls realized that their brothers liked them, they started eating theirs too! We actually all really liked them, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ease of putting a nice hot dinner on the table in just a few minutes using the microwave. We gave the kids forks but they weren't necessary as the bread bowls, similar to a breakfast biscuit, are really easy to hold and even eat on the run! My family gives them 14 thumbs up!

You can find out more about the Tyson Breakfast Bread Bowls here, and you can keep up with the latest Tyson Foods news on Twitter or Facebook.

Disclosure – This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and #TysonBreakfast. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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Free Health Screenings from Sam’s Club

One of the benefits of being a Sam's Club member is that members get access to periodic free health screenings administered by a professional staff throughout the year.  June is Men's Health month and the free screenings will include PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) which detects the early signs of prostate cancer, and TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone).  Those two tests combined are worth over $200!  Click here to find out the schedule for a Sam's Club near you, and be sure to check out the future events listed below:

June – Men's Health (PSA, TSH, BP, BMI)

July – Kid's Health (Vision, BP, BMI)

August – Vision Health (Vision, Glucose, BP, BMI)

September – Diabetes (A1C testing, TTL Chol., Glucose)

October – Women's Health (TSH, Thyroid, BP, BMI)

November – Digestive Health (Colon, BP, BMI)

January – New Years Resolutions (Chol, Glucose, BP, BMI)

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Sam’s Club Comparison Price List Updated!

When we’re getting ready for another round of freezer cooking I always like to check out the list of current prices for common items at Sam’s Club (as listed at the Pensacola, Florida store on 3/19/11) to compare the meat and produce prices with grocery store sale prices to see where I’ll get the better deal.  I’ve just updated the Sam’s Club price list  to include a bunch more fruit and vegetable prices.

$25 Gift Card for New & Upgraded Sam’s Club Members

Receive a $25 Sam’s Club Gift Card when you join or upgrade to a Plus Membership before December 31st.  It’s a great way to save even more on their already low prices!  Just print this certificate and take it to the member services desk at your local club.  Check out our Sam’s Club price comparison chart here to see if a membership would pay off for you.

$10 Gift Card for New Sam’s Club Members

If you start a new Sam’s Club membership before November 24th you’ll get a $10 gift card that is good for $10 off at their Day After Thanksgiving event.  It’s a great way to save even more on their already low prices!  Check out our Sam’s Club price comparison chart here to see if a membership would pay off for you.