November has come and gone. We are now in full swing of the holiday season. I wanted to take a little time to thank all of my Entrecard top droppers for November. I appreciate the time you took to read my blogs and for the comments. I have found so many great blogs to read through Entrecard, and have made some good friends. Thanks again for dropping by.
If you aren’t taking advantage of reward programs, then you are missing out on free money. I don’t mean doing offers where you have to pay like trials, but just for doing the things you already do like shopping or reading emails. You can do those offers especially if it’s for something you will use. I earn money for Christmas shopping.
I have taken advantage of deals where I wanted to try a new service and then I earned points on top of it like Netflix. Many banks have reward programs on their checking accounts and credit cards. I bank with Capital One and earn over 10,000-20,000 points yearly for banking. Some cable companies are offering reward programs. I have a Charter bundle package and I also earn points with their reward program. I don’t know if all cable or phone companies offer reward programs. I would check and most are free to sign-up.
I’m part of several reward programs like My Points, Big Crumbs, and now Ebates. I received a $15 bonus for signing up with Ebates. I had to spend $50 online before Christmas. I already made the requirement since I had certain presents to buy that I could only find online. I love to snag deals online as well as in the stores. I spent $60 yesterday on presents and will receive double rewards since it was Cyber Monday. I also use My Points when shopping and it just depends on who is offering the better deal. I can’t cash out my Ebatessince I just joined. I want to share with you the other rewards I’m getting to use for Christmas shopping. I love using these programs which really helps to lower my Christmas expenses. What are you waiting for and start earning rewards while you shop! I know there are many reward programs available, but these are the ones I have used and know have been around for many years. I am looking into Swagbucks.
- Charter- $25 gift card and $10 gift card
- Capital One- $50 gift card, $25 gift card, and $10 gift card
- My Points- $25 gift card and $10 gift card
- Grand Total- $155 in rewards= FREE MONEY!
How do you earn money for Christmas?
I first learned how to make this very tasty broccoli casserole when I was a teenager still living at home. I love to eat this dish every Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is one of those dishes that many people in my family ask me to bring or to make at the holidays. I wanted to share this very easy yet very yummy broccoli casserole recipe. I have to add my husband, who loathes broccoli, absolutely loves this broccoli casserole and will go back for seconds.
- 2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 cup of uncooked white rice (2 cups cooked)
- 1 bag of frozen broccoli (I use a whole small bag like Picsweet)
- Velveeta cheese cubed (at least 1 small 8 oz loaf)
- Use a 9×13 glass dish like pyrex and you will add enough water to barely cover the bottom. Then add both cans of soup and stir and add in the broccoli. Cook in the microwave uncovered on high for 5 minutes. Take out stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir again.
- Next you will begin to add the rice and mix it in very well. I actually break up the rice into smaller chunks before adding it in the dish. Afterwards, you will add in the cheese. Try to spread it out and then mix it in well. Now you want to spread it out and smooth out the top.
- Finally you will put it in the oven uncovered on 350 degrees for 20 minutes and the cheese should bubble. Then take out and let it cool off.
I usually buy Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup as I find it goes on sale often around the holidays. As for the broccoli, I use Pic sweet frozen florets and one small bag. I usually get them on sale 2/$3 and I use the whole bag. You could use chopped but I just prefer the florets. I prefer to use Velveeta cheese as it melts so well and has a great cheesy taste. I will admit I usually buy the small block of Great Value brand as it’s usually cheaper. I will buy the Velveeta Cheese when I can find it on sale with a a coupon! I will use at least 3/4 of the smallest block. I do slice them into small cubes. It will be easier to mix into the casserole.
I have a smaller microwave so I put a small amount of water along with both cans of soup and the broccoli. Mix it as well as you can and put in for about 4 minutes. I take it out and stir it again. I microwave it for another 4-5 minutes. You might have a couple of pieces of broccoli that are still a little frozen but this is alright. It will finish cooking in the oven.
Next you will begin to add the rice and mix it in very well. I actually break up the rice into smaller chunks before adding it in the dish. Afterwards, you will add in the cheese. Try to spread it out and then mix it in well.
Last you will spread it all out after you mixed it well. You kinda just want to smooth the top so it looks nicer. I use a Pyrex glass dish. I find those glass dishes are so easy to cook with, and you just serve from that same dish once cooked. They also clean easier and won’t stain. I have owned my Pyrex dishes for at least 10-12 years. They just last.
Now you will put the broccoli casserole uncovered into the oven for at least 15 minutes at 350. I personally find 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to have it cooked and the cheese a little bubbly. The edges may be a little browned but it’s fine. I brought this to Thanksgiving dinner, and there was just enough leftover for me. I was happy everyone enjoyed it so much, but I just wished there was a little more left. If you try this broccoli casserole recipe, then please let me know if you and your family enjoyed it as much as my family does.
The holidays are fast approaching with Thanksgiving almost here. Thanksgiving is the signal that Christmas will be here in a month. Oh no! I still have to buy the turkey and trimmings, clean the house for the guests, then start decorating for Christmas, buy the presents, wrap them, and send out cards. Whoa! Slow down and take a deep breath. Do the opposite and take time for yourself this holiday season.
While this tidbit sounds great in theory, didn’t you just see all of the things I still have to do. Believe me I understand, but take your finger off the panic button and relax. I’m going to list a few tips on how to take time for yourself and learn how to relax which will make the holidays even more enjoyable.
Make a Plan:
Everyone needs a plan of action. Make a list of all the items you need to make for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. Make a list of all the people you buy presents for or make treats. I realize I’m a little late planning this post as I wanted to write this last week, but this is still useful for Christmas. I always make a list of the people we buy presents for, and I always buy a couple of extra items for those last minute gifts. The plans are also good for cleaning or maybe with traveling.
I realize some of you are probably laughing, but I want you to delegate that list to others. Get your husband involved, the kids (if they are old enough), friends, and other family members. If someone asks if they can bring something for Thanksgiving, then tell them yes. It could be soft drinks or desserts. Maybe they make a wonderful side dish that everyone enjoys. You aren’t superwoman so stop trying to act like one.
I am very serious. As women we try so hard to please everyone else, that we neglect ourselves. I know I’m not useful to my family if I’m stressed out and snapping at them over trivial things. When I start to feel my breaking point, then I take a deep breathe and lock myself up away from everyone. You don’t have to make a dramatic exit, but just excuse yourself for a few minutes. I realize some moms don’t have as much time to get away, but honestly even five minutes of peace and quiet makes a huge difference in your attitude and well being. Below are some things I like to take time to do for myself.
- Take a bubble bath. (I have occasionally brought a glass of wine to sip while soaking).
- Do some reading. (It could be as simple as thumbing through your favorite magazine).
- Do a craft. (If this truly relaxes you then go for it).
- Enjoy a glass of wine or beer by yourself. (Maybe a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate instead).
- Pray or meditate. (I know I feel more at peace after saying a prayer or two).
- Eat a piece of chocolate. (Seriously I love a piece of dark chocolate and just savoring it).
- Go for a walk. (This really helps to clear your head).
- Exercise or dance. (Along the same lines but it really does help to soothe frazzled nerves).
- Listen to music. (I even do this while taking a hot bubble bath).
I think you get the idea. There are times I just lock myself up in my room for a few minutes. My latest guilty pleasure has been writing. I find it really enjoyable to put my thoughts down on paper. It has proven to be quite therapeutic and relaxing for me. Please take some time for yourself this holiday season. A few minutes to yourself daily can make quite the difference in your attitude.
With the holidays coming, who can’t use more bowls? My mom sold Tupperware when I was growing up. She still has pieces from over twenty years ago and still going strong. I naturally bought Tupperware as an adult, and I have containers and bowls from ten years ago that still look great. I really believe they make quality bowls and containers that will last for decades. You definitely don’t loan out your Tupperware to anyone! I will to my mom but that’s it.
I sold it a couple of years ago and amassed quite a collection. One lucky reader will receive a Tupperware Wonderlier 5 piece Bowl set! This set is brand new and still wrapped. I did take it out to show the colors of the set you will win in this giveaway. I’m not asking anyone to go to the website, and I don’t have a link to the site either. I just thought it would be fun to do a giveaway and I know many women love Tupperware. It is pricey but it’s a great investment and I got mine discounted. I want to share the love with my loyal readers.
The bowl set you will win is a 5 piece Tupperware Wonderlier® Bowl. The colors are different from that set above. Look below to see the actual bowl set. The set includes one of each 2-cup/500 mL,3-cup/700 mL, 4-cup/1 L, 8-cup/2 L and 12-cup/2.8 L bowl. I also have all the lids. This set will not come with the salt and pepper shakers shown above. You will only get the 5 piece bowl set with lids! This bowl set is worth $60.
This is super simple. Just leave me a comment telling me why you love Tupperware. That’s it. This giveaway is only open to US residents 18+ please. Make sure you leave your email in your comment. Only one entry per person or email address please. I am including extra entries so check below. The winner will be pulled by Random dot org.
The giveaway will end on November 30th at 11:59 PM CST! I will need your mailing address to ship the bowls to the lucky winner. It will be shipped priority mail so it will arrive quickly. Again only open to the US. Please no anonymous posters. Thank you. No purchase necessary.
2 Extra Entriess- Blog about this drawing on your blog linking back to this post. Leave me a comment with the link that I can follow and see it.
1 Extra Entry- Subscribe to my email list located at the top right hand side below header.
1 Extra Entry- Retweet this contest or follow me on Twitter (You can do both but you only get credit for one.)
1 Extra Entry- Follow my page on Facebook or Share on your wall (You can do both but you only get credit for one.)
Thanks again for reading this blog and enjoy the giveaway! Below is a picture of the actual bowl set the lucky winner will receive. Good luck to all who enter.
Today’s thrifty living tip is to stop throwing money in the trash. You read that correctly. I am guilty of buying perishables that never get eaten. Fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, yogurt, etc. It never fails I will buy items that just don’t get eaten before they go bad. I don’t do it too often, but I’m still throwing a few bucks away each time. Sale items are the biggest temptation. It’s not a good deal if you won’t use eat it in a timely manner. One method I now use is by keeping track of which items were getting thrown out. Now I rarely have to throw out bad food.
Yes it’s that wonderful time of the year again where you begin to make those infamous Black Friday plans. It’s just as important, if not more important, than your Thanksgiving Day plans. I’m actually getting a bit of a late start on making my plans. This year I already promised myself one store fighting the crowds. The rest of my shopping will be done online.
Yes I will be shopping at Wal-Mart which I know many people hate this particular store. I have my eye on a few items like the sheets, jeans for hubby, video games, and a couple of toys. I haven’t had to deal with any stampeding crowds since Wal-Mart has always let people in before opening the pallets. So people would crowd around the hot items they wanted, and many were very friendly by handing out the stuff to others around them. The electronics department would hand out coupons, but I have yet to buy any big items like tv’s, video game systems, or such. I mainly hit the bedding, clothes, and toys on sale plus any dvd’s and games. Many times I could still find everything I wanted on sale the next day and not fight any crowds. I get what I want and get out. The older the kids are getting, then the less toys I need to buy. I give out more gift cards to my nieces as they prefer Itunes and such.
If you haven’t already seen the ads, which I’m sure the avid shoppers already have, there are a couple of good websites to see the ad scans. I am not getting paid for this post, and these are sites I have bookmarked for every Black Friday. One site is BFads and the other site I frequent is Black Friday Info. Happy shopping and remember that nothing for sale is worth hurting someone else over. Be courteous as everyone is just trying to save a buck.