Thursday, May 27, 2010

Couponing to Disney!

Our friend Heather M. sent me a link to a great site:

Couponing to Disney is a blog written by a woman who is finding creative ways to save money in order to send her family on a Disney vacation. The link above will direct you to a recent post about a meal swap group she has joined. She has some good ideas, and maybe our group can talk about some of them at our next swap (six different meal categories).

She has also posted wonderful coupon resources, as well as a section I found particularly helpful...Under $1 at Target and Under a $1 at Walmart. This section of her blog lists hundreds of items which either free, or under $1 at the two stores!

Thanks for the link, Heather!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Recipes for Kids and a Budget!

My very dear mother-in-law has been buying our family a subscription to Taste of Home magazine for years now. No doubt it all began after Justin and I were married, and my idea of a balanced home-cooked meal was a box of hamburger helper, or a really tasty cheese sandwich!
I love opening the mailbox to find my copy of TOH, and especially enjoy browsing the magazine pages full of delicious recipes. I always gain new knowledge about cooking, and add great new recipes to my collection.
Enough about the magazine, and on to the juicy information:
On the TOH website there are many recipes for children (healthy alternatives, and easy to prepare), as well as a section for budget meals. I browsed the budget meal recipes, and some of them look really good. Here is the link if you are interested. Most of the recipes are free to access; only a few require an account log-in.

Happy Browsing!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Exchange of Yummy Things!

Well, our first meal swap has officially come and gone! What a delightful evening. Personal reflection: Not only was I able to share in conversation with a group of incredible women, but we also laughed so much my stomach is happily aching as I type this post.

I think Cervantes said it best, "It is a true saying that a man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him".
In this case it was women, and maybe a peck of sugar, but the sentiment remains the same. There is so much we can learn, and enjoy from each other simply by gathering informally. A cooler full of metal pans and plastic wrap (yes neighbors...that's what was in there! Ha!) invited such wonderful exchanges between friends. Thank you.

Oh, and if you are curious about the health benefits of laughter....check out this website:

Our next Madison M & M's gathering will be June 16th at 7:00 pm, and will include fondues.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Our household received the most recent edition of the Dakota Drug coupon booklet last week. Among the many tempting gadgets and goods in the booklet is a coupon for $1.19/roll aluminum foil. This seems like a pretty good buy, and something we Madison M & M's might find a good use for.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Of Hammers, and Grocery Carts...

This past weekend, I discovered a terrific way to spend time with the family, and achieve a marathon grocery shopping trip. Impossible? Maybe. But with help from the good folks at Lowes, we managed it!

Justin took Anna to a "Build and Grow" workshop at the Lowes in Brookings. All we had to do was pre-register her online, and show up for the fun! Because I am not the best planner, we actually registered for the workshop the night before. Here's the link to get started: Be aware though, they do fill up quickly, and I think we lucked out this time. Oh, and....IT'S FREE!!!!!

Anna and Justin built a little schoolhouse (perfect for Polly Pockets, we discovered), and I took Grace next door to Walmart for some mother-daughter grocery shopping. Believe it or not, Grace actually enjoys riding in the cart solo, squeezed between cartons of milk, and huge packages of toilet paper.

Since Justin despises grocery shopping almost as much as Anna does, it was a perfect opportunity for him to share something he enjoys with her, and gave me a much more relaxed grocery shopping experience with Grace. The workshop took about an hour, and that was just enough time for me to do some serious damage to our grocery budget.
We each spent some fun one-on-one time with the girls. The best part? Anna has a little school house she is super proud of, and she got to use nails, hammers, and be around other kids. Grace had fun seeing all the people, trinkets, and toys at Walmart. (Ok, now that I read this aloud, the thought of surrounding Anna with other children holding nails, and hammers is frightening! Thank goodness Daddy was there!)

Welcome to the Madison M&M's

We want to use this blog to share recipes, coupons, ideas, sales, local family activities: anything that might be interesting to us as women and Madison Moms. Please feel free to post to this blog any questions or suggestions.

We're excited to announce our first Meal Swap, May 12 at 7pm (tentative). So far, there are four of us, but we're looking forward to growing in the future.