Friday, July 30, 2010

Food Loving Fridays - Wanchai Ferry Orange Chicken Review

This week I fixed the new Wanchai Ferry Frozen Dinners for my family. We tried the Orange Chicken. I bought it because a.) I had a coupon and (b.) we love, love, love the boxed dinner version by Wanchai Ferry.

To start out with I have to say the package states it's a meal for 2 people. We are a family of 5 - two adults and three kids 10 and under.

Okay for the pros:
* It has the same great sauce as the boxed dinner kits. YUMMY!
* Chicken tastes really good. 
* There are lots of great coupons out right now to bring the cost down.
* It is quite easy to prepare and only requires one pan. Bonus for the quick clean-up.

 Now for the cons:
* The portions are very small.
* The chicken is breaded  -  which isn't the most healthy.
* It has quite a few calories - 610 calories prepared and 22 grams of fat prepared. 13WW points.

Overall, I'm not sure we would buy again. The reason is the serving sizes are too small - you get way more at any local Chinese restaurant. Plus, this is not a family friendly meal in that to feed our family of 5 we would need to buy 3 packages. Ouch - even with coupons that's pricey.

This would be perfect for a single person or two people who don't eat very much. Otherwise, skip the frozen section and visit your local Chinese restaurant for hot food your don't have to cook or clean up after. ;-)

* By the way - I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Target Deals - Back to School Shopping

I ventured out to my local Target Store on Friday and found a great deal on my favorite pens.

 They were on sale for $.60 a pack. That right there was awesome! Two packs of pens for $1.20, but I had a coupon for $1 off 2/Bic products.  That brings to total for 2 packs of pens down to $0.20  Yeah  :-) Here's the proof:

In addition to my great find on pens. I bought my kiddies lunch boxes. I bought 2 really cute boxes - one was a frog and one a ladybug.  Here's the frog isn't it cute?!!

Well inside the boxes were a postcard saying with the purchase of the lunchbox I received a 6 month membership to Parents Magazine plus coupons. Then, if you don't want the membership you can fill out the postcard, send a copy of your receipt and get a refund for $4.97. Limit 1 per household.

Yeah, buy the lunchbox for $9 on sale and get $4.97 back.

Find more great deals at Target by clicking below :-)

Target's Printable Coupons

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

UPS Cheating Customers

I don't usually do rant posts, but this one has really got me upset. I occasionally sell on eBay and every once in a while I ship them out via my local UPS.

Last time I was at my local store I noticed the size was off. The box was 14" X 14" X 14" and they said the package was 15" X 15" X 15". I figured I didn't close it enough and they rounded it up an inch.

Well today I had another package so prior to going to UPS bought a box at my local office supply store. The box had printed on it 14" X 14" X 14". I even sealed it and measured it at home with 2 tape measures. It was 14" X 14" X 14". I got to my local UPS store and they charged me as 15" X 15" X 15". I called them on it. The young man working there showed how he measured it with his tape measure. I noticed that the end piece was bent in. There was no way they could start measuring at 0 because the bent piece pushed it away from the edge a good 1/4". They are cheating their customers  - charging them for a larger box than they actually have.

Now in my case it was only a couple cents or a dollar, but those who ship out items more frequently could be out significantly more.

Just a word of warning to those who use UPS. Make sure you aren't getting scammed. Watch them when they are measuring your boxes. Ask them to measure starting at 1" and deduct 1" from the end number. Otherwise, you could be charged more than you should.  I hope for everyone's sake this is only happening at my local shop.

They even had past issues with problems such as this. UPS was accused of cheating their franchise, now it appears the franchise owners could be cheating us. See below:

Tidy Tuesdays - Clean in a Snap

As a stay at home mom, my focus is on taking care of my family. I'm always looking for ways to save time doing what I HAVE to do, so I can have more time doing what I WANT to do. Spend more time with my family.  I've mentioned it before, but the way I keep my house clean is by using a schedule. To show you what I mean here is what I do each week:

Clean the kitchen - besides the usual tidying up after meals like doing the dishes, taking out the trash, wipe down the appliances, and cleaning up any spills.
  * clean and disinfect the counter tops
  * wipe down the cabinets
  * mop the floor - scrub if necessary
  * clean the oven

  * Clean the toilet
  * Scrub the bathtub and shower walls
  * Scrub the tile floor
  * Clean the vanity and mirror
  * Empty the trash can
  * Change the bed linens
  * Tidy up/de-clutter/put stuff away - the kids can help with this one
  * Dust
  * Vacuum floors
  * Wipe down walls (usually once a month)

Living Room/Dining Room/Halls
  * Vacuum floors
  * Mop floors
  * Dust
  * Wipe down walls of finger prints, etc.
Pet Areas
  * Change kitty litter - scooping daily
  * Wash pet bedding

  * Wash all clothing
  * Wash bed linens
  * Cut the grass

  * Weed the flowerbeds
  * Tend the garden

My tasks each day only take me 15-30 minutes. By doing these things each week it makes it much quicker and easier. For example, weeding the flowerbeds each week only takes 5 minutes because it's only a week's worth of weeds and not 2 months worth.

My schedule isn't set in stone either. If I have time, I can vacuum the whole house and not just one room while I've already got the machine out. Same goes for wiping down the walls. Some weeks I really don't have time or the energy to wipe down the walls.

So there you have my weekly cleaning schedule. Feel free to share yours.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mom, It's Too Hot Outside!

On days like these, when the temperature is pushing 100 degrees, you're likely to hear "It's too hot!" or "I'm all sweaty!" or "I'm dying!".  To help keep mom from going crazy here are a couple fun kids activities you can do.

* Fill a bucket with cold water and put it in the middle of your yard. Then arm your kids with squirt guns and let them have a blast squirting each other. They can use the bucket of water to refill their squirt guns.

* Turn on a sprinkler. While I don't care for this because it wastes water and makes your yard (and kids) muddy. It is really fun to run through the sprinkler for a couple minutes.

* Movie theater - no I don't mean go to an actual theater. I mean close all your curtains, turn off the lights and pretend you're at the movies. Break out the flashlights to see where you're going and pop some popcorn. For an added bonus, this will help keep your home cooler, by blocking out some of the sun.

* Have a picnic in your living room. Pack a basket lunch. Spread a blanket on the floor and eat your lunch right there.

* Make a fort. Using blankets, sofa cushions or even a table. Create a fun play fort where kids can play board games or pretend to defend their fort against evil invaders.

* Get crafty - Try your hand at painting a bowl of fruit or your fave vacation spot. Make a t-shirt pillow out of an old t-shirt.  You can also, create bowls, people, or animals with clay. There are tons to fun and interesting crafts to do.

As you can see there are loads of fun kids activities to do when it's too hot outside.