Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thank You Thursday

Thank You Janelle from Not Just Leftovers-Brand New Meals
For those of you that are new, I recently started a post called Thank You Thursday to give a big thank you for those who have either linked to me or who have a giveaway site.
So, here is todays interview:
1. Tell us about yourself, Janelle, and your websites.
I am a 30-something mom living in the Kansas City area. This summer I will celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary! Until August, I was working a very corporate job and stressed to the max. I left work because they wouldn't approve a schedule change that would allow me to spend time helping my son with his homework, and that was something that I desperately needed to do. Although our income has been cut in half, our quality of life has doubled. My kids are so much happier having me home, even though they are all in school during the day. And I get to be very involved in their school, which makes me happy. When I first started staying home, a friend told me about the "Grocery Cart Challenge" blog and that got me started on blogging. I decided to make my own blog and started "At Home with my Monkeys." A few months later, I started a second blog, "Not Just Leftovers" because friends are always asking me
what to do with their leftover foods. I love making meals from creative leftovers, and with the current economic climate, it seemed like the perfect topic for a blog - helping people save money by not wasting food.

2.How did you get started blogging and what do you enjoy most about it?
I started because I was fascinated with the information I was learning from other blogs, and I thought maybe I could contribute something. It also seemed like a great way to make some new friends and have regular contact with people since I no longer had my buddies from work around. I enjoy having that creative outlet, I love the giveaways that I find, and I like to think that some of my posts (particularly about leftovers) are helping someone out there. I also love the people that I've met and am getting to know through blogging. There are some truly wonderful bloggers and I'm thrilled to know some of them!

3.Does your family help you at all?
My family is always happy to taste-test my latest leftover experiment, and they give me honest opinions. I've also taught my kids the value of coupons and shopping carefully, and they are wonderful helpers at the grocery store, helping me find the coupon deals and not asking me to buy things that are not a good deal. I have a fabulous family! :-)

4.What is your #1 savings tip?
Never waste anything. Even a quarter-cup of leftover veggies can be utilized in a new dish. No matter how cheaply you purchased something, it wasn't a good deal if you end up wasting the product.

5. What is your favorite low-cost recipe?
I'm not sure I really have a favorite, as a lot of my recipes are creative concoctions. One of my very first recipes that I was able to make, and one that I've continued to make over the years is Budget Beef Stroganoff:
1/2 lb. ground beef (approx. $1.50)
2 T. flour (negligible)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder (negligible)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (.50 on sale)
1/2 soup can water
1 can mushroom stems and pieces (.50)
1/2 c. sour cream (.25)
Hot cooked egg noodles (.75)

Cook beef and drain. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended.
Add soup, water, and drained mushrooms. Simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in sour cream just before serving over hot noodles.

Total cost: approx. $3.50

6. What is your favorite store to save at?
Aldi is the store where I shop most often for basics. If I'm using coupons, I like to go to Hen House, because they double. However, I shop at several stores to get the best deals.

7. What type of giveaway do you like the most?
I like all types of giveaways, but gift cards and coupons are the most thrilling for me. You can't win if you don't enter, so you should always try!

8. Have you ever won a giveaway?
I have won a few giveaways, including a $25 Visa gift card and $5 at Starbucks. I've only won one giveaway where the person hosting it never bothered to send out the prize or return any of my emails. I am not letting one bad apple ruin my fun in entering them!

9. Do you have any other websites that you would like to tell us about?
If you really don't know what to make for dinner, you might check out You can enter the ingredients you have on hand and their database will search the most common recipe sites and give you a list of recipes you can make. And it saves your ingredients, so you can enter all sorts of things and come back and tweak it to get recipes. I love supercook!

Thanks Janelle! I love the ideas you have on your site Not Just Leftovers!


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