Friday, April 6, 2012

Simplifying the process of dyeing eggs...helpful ideas for children with special needs.

Flashback ten years ago and I am in the kitchen with a 9, 6, and two 2 year olds dyeing eggs...and the kitchen...and each other. I'd always think "this is the LAST year we do this". And yet here I am, still dyeing eggs.  Only now there are just two children coloring the eggs and I have 19 years of egg dyeing experience under my apron. (AND access to all the ideas found on "pinterest"!)

As you may imagine, having twins who have cerebral palsy can complicate the egg dyeing process.  I finally felt like I had the deal mostly under control this year. I recognize that may be partly due to having half the amount of children immersed in food coloring, a home health aid by their sides, and no one under the age of twelve present, but indulge me and allow me to feel like something in this crazy life was under control.

First thing we did was skip the temptation to go with one of those cute looking kits. I went back to the "retro" method of food coloring in vinegar/water and poured it into VERY STURDY BOWLS. (No more tipped over cups happening here) We also slipped the egg into a WIRE WHISK which allowed for much more control and kept the fingers out of the dye. It worked fabulously! 
We could have ended the experience right here and felt satisfied with our results. But with things going so well (and so much "pinterest" yet so little time) we decided to move on to another step. I have always used my
MUFFIN TINS to dry our eggs, so we followed tradition and set them aside to have some lunch:

When we returned we added more food coloring in varying shades to the already mixed colors and then an additional tablespoon of olive oil.  Okay, so maybe this part was a little more messy.

The eggs were put back into the bowls, wiped off with paper towels and stacked on a CUPCAKE STAND to admire our beautiful,  marbled, shiny creations!

The results are in: a good time was had by all. EVEN Momma!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Calculating GIANT Food Store gas points:

I hate to admit this, but up until these past few months, I overlooked the gas reward tags hanging on Giant's shelves because I didn't feel like it would be worth the effort. There is NO effort. It is actually pretty simple to calculate:
20 points = 20 cents
40 points = 40 cents
and so on......

20 cents/points rewarded for a 30 gallon tank (max allowance--1 vehicle. some/most allow 1 car and 1 gas can refill)
calculates to :
.20 x 30 = $6.00
.40 x 30 = $12.00
and so on....

If you have a 25 gallon tank, just multiply this by the money/points rewarded:
.20 x 25 = $5.00
.40 x 25 = $10.00

A 15 gallon tank would yield you a savings of:
.20 x 15 =$3.00
.40 x 15 =$6.00

Thanks to BIG BLUE, the name of our 10 passenger van converted with 2 wheelchair ties downs, and our pick up truck, we have a 30 gallon van and a 25 gallon pick up that require gas. When dear husband take the 25 gallon truck to fill with "free gas" he no  longer likes to leave that last allowable 5 gallons at the pump, with gas close to $4 a gallon, that is an additional $20 he would walk away from. He caught on to this plan and bought himself a 5 gallon gas can.

 Before I "made the effort" I spent just under $120 on Big Blue's fill up (30 gallons of gas at just under $4 gallon) and left with just that....Ugh! I now check the circular for Giant's gas deals (back cover) and find what things match up with or without coupons  that give me that amount back in gas money. For example:

Giant recently had bottled Sobe at $1, buy 7 get 20 points. I could spend $7.00 to get this deal. I know that we are going to get 30 gallons when I let the tank run down, so I count on .20 x 30 (gallons) = $6.00.
I can do this deal as many times as I want, so for the sake of easy figuring, let's say I do the deal 20 times because I have an empty tank I am going to fill and the gas is $4 at gallon:
.20 x 20 "deals" = $4.00 off per gallon.
 Now I did just spend $7.00 (per sobe deal) x 20 "deals"=$140.00,  HOWEVER, I was going to spend $120 to fill my van anyway, so for $20 more, I just walked out with 140 bottles of Sobe. Not really, but I could have...and I came close!

Maybe Sobe isn't the greatest example...let's use tuna pouches, that seems to be common these weeks.
Lets say I need to buy 5 to get 20 points.  (WHO comes up with these deals anyway??)  They are $1.40 a pack. I spend $7.00 on this deal, but as you know I will get .20 x 30gallons = $6.00 back in gas. Better yet, I have a 50 cent coupon for each, the first one doubles, so I get $3.00 off the 5 packs of tuna resulting in the deal costing me $4.00 for $6.00 in gas rewards. (If you have a 20 gallon tank you are looking at a reward of $4.00.)   If I don't want all that tuna, but I see they also are selling granola bars that come to $1.50 with my coupons, I may throw those in there too. Mix and match as long as they are listed as the same deal: "buy 5 get 20 points" or whatever. 

Again, if you have a smaller tank, your deals may not be worth it to you. The last thing you need to do is spend money for items you don't need to get gas points! If you have a 15 gallon tank and you bought that Sobe at $7.00, you would have only received $3.00 back in gas the remaining $4.00 spent worth those 7 bottles of  Sobe to you?

Once you become familiar with YOUR tank size and how much money YOU will get back in gas per deal, you can seek out your deals pretty quickly. I know that a 20 point deal gives me, "Miss 30 gallons", $6.00 in gas rewards. If I need to buy 6 items that makes an even exchange for anything that costs $1.00.  4 items exchanges at $1.50, 8 items gives me 75 cents off each item....and so on.  Even exchanges or money makers (due to coupons or Giants generosity/lack of logic)  are a no-brainer to me, I may as well get something in addition to the gas I was going to buy. I can just as easily donate it. If it costs more than that, I just weigh in my mind if it is a savings worth stocking up on.

I have come to really look forward to seeing each week's gas deals. I am always hopeful to see an item for $1.00 listed on the "buy 6 and get 20 points" because I know it is an even exchange for gas money for our van.  Even more exciting is to find a coupon for that item to get more back in gas rewards than I spent on the food...or deodorant, or toothpaste, or....

Hope this helps! I gotta plan some dinner menus. Looks like we will be having some tuna casserole....