Thursday, July 19, 2012

Easy Crock Pot Granola

Here's a super simple recipe for crock pot granola. The recipe is very versatile and easy to customize - no raisins for me! I'm actually cooking a batch as I'm writing this. It smells SO good!

5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup honey
1-2 cups dried fruit, chocolate chips, m&m's, etc.
Turn your crock pot on high. Dump in the oats, cinnamon, nuts, and coconut. Melt butter in microwave (about 20 seconds). Add the honey and vanilla, stir. Pour butter mixture into the crock pot and mix well, being sure to coat all the dry oats. Cook for about 2 hours on high with lid slightly cracked to allow steam to escape. You don't want soggy granola! Stir every 20-30 minutes to be sure the bottom isn't scorching. As the granola gets closer to being finished, it has a tendency to burn faster, so I actually turn my crock pot down to low for the last 30 minutes. 
Crock pot cooking temperatures vary and so will the cooking time, so just keep an eye on it. You'll know it's done when it starts to look golden brown and be dry. The granola will continue to crisp as it cools, so don't be too concerned that it's not crunchy when you take it out of the crock pot. Also, this recipe does not result in a  "clumped" granola, rather loose rolled grains - perfect as a yogurt mix-in!

Cool on wax paper-lined baking sheet. Mix in fruit/chocolate chips, if desired. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for a few weeks or bag up and store in the freezer for months. ENJOY!

*Remember, the measurements for this recipe are not an exact science. Feel free to make adjustments. Case in point, substituting allspice for half the cinnamon, should you run out (like I did).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm Back!

Okay everyone. I have not gone AWOL! I will tell you though, couponing takes a lot of time and effort. But we have found that it is definitely worth the trouble when you're saving 60% or more on groceries! We simply cannot afford, like many families, to pay full price for anything anymore - especially food! And on that note, a little tidbit of information I heard on the radio the other morning: peanut butter prices will be rising anywhere from 25%-40% in the coming weeks due to another hot, dry summer, devastating peanut crops. Awesome. Stock up while you can!

Moving on. I just went to Meijer today to get the usual haul of groceries to restock our shelves. And let me tell you, it had been far too long since I'd made a comprehensive trip like this one. I'll fully admit that I have been neglecting my coupon clipping. All I had on hand that was current were two papers' inserts dating back to 10/2/11! I didn't have time to clip and sort, so I snatched the inserts out of the papers, tucked them under my arm, threw my scissors in my purse, and headed out to the grocery store. NOT RECOMMENDED!

I wound up frantically flipping through the inserts while sitting in the parking lot and cutting out those coupons which I thought I might use. No list. No ad to reference. Nothing. I was disgusted with myself. I'm still disgusted as I recall the events. But at least I was armed with the small amount of ammunition those few coupons afforded me, which is still more than many shoppers out there. I ended up spending $211. I don't even recall how much I saved with my coupons. It couldn't have been more than $12.

The moral of this story is people, that a little time and effort WILL make a difference in your family's bottom line. My husband has been nudging (nagging) me to get back into my "extreme couponing". And while I will never characterize myself as "extreme" in the couponing sense, I would like to think of myself as a savvy, knowledgeable shopper with the correct tools to save as much money as possible. And who doesn't like to do that?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Backpacks Buy 1, Get 1 for $1 @ Meijer!

For those of you who are procrastinating and are still in need of a backpack for your child going back to school, Meijer is having an awesome sale this Labor Day weekend - Buy one backpack, get one for only $1! And they say procrastination doesn't pay. Ha!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Shopping Cart Divas Birthday Giveaway!

Click the picture above to enter the giveaway for some great prizes!

Friday, August 12, 2011

$4.49 Huggies Little Movers Slip-Ons @ Walgreens starting 8/14/11

For all you mommies and daddies out there who are excited about the new Huggies Little Movers Slip-Ons, here's a deal for you!

Beginning Sunday 8/14, Walgreens is offering a $2 Register Reward on Huggies Slip-Ons Jumbo Pack, priced $9.49. PLUS, there will be a $3/1 coupon in this Sunday's SmartSource insert. So, you'll be getting these for only $4.49 after coupon and RR! Yes!

FREE! @ Target 8/7/11 - 8/13/11

Free Stuff!

Eveready Batteries $1 (in the dollar spot)
Use $1/1 Energizer (same brand) (7/31 SS)
Final cost: FREE!

Wish-Bone Salad Dressing 8 oz Bottle $1.34 (if your store has this size)
Use $1.50/2 Wish-Bone Target (store regional coupon 8/7 insert)
Plus, use $1.25/2 coupon (7/31 RP)
Final cost: 2 dressings for FREE!

Tide 2x Ultra Travel Size (1 load) or Sink Packets 3ct $.97
Use $1/1 (7/31 PG)
Final cost: FREE!

Buy 4 Select Unilever Products = $5 Target gift card
Deal Scenario:
Buy 2 Dove Ultimate deodorants $3.49 each
Buy 2 Dove Men+Care deodorants 3.49 each
Total = $13.96
Use 2 $1/1 Dove Ultimate Target (store regional coupons 8/7 insert)
Plus, use 2 buy one Dove Ultimate get Dove Men+Care free (7/31 RP)
Pay $4.98
Get back a $5 Target gift card
Final cost: FREE!

Travel Size St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Wash $.97
Use $1/1 (regional 7/10 SS)
Final cost: FREE!

Degree Pure Satin or Shower Clean Travel Size Deodorant $.97
Use $1/1 (7/31 RP)
Final cost: FREE!

Oral B Essential Floss $.97
Use $1/1 (7/31 PG)
Final cost: FREE!

Reach Dental Floss $.97
Use $1/1 (4/17 SS)
Final cost: FREE!

Digital Prints 4 inch x 6 inch $0.10
Use $2/20 Target (store coupon here)
Final cost: FREE! for 20 prints

Thank you Budget Savvy Diva!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011