Monthly Archives: August 2010

August 25, 2010

Canning Peaches

Last week I canned peaches as I do every summer. If you have ever wanted to try canning, I wrote a guest post over at A Few Shortcuts on the process. Sliced peaches freeze well too! This is the perfect time of year to preserve fresh peaches for the winter months.

Here are the Steps for Canning Peaches:

1. Firm but ripe peaches are perfect for canning. Here’s a tip, Cling Free peaches are easier to can because the pit is easy to remove.

2. Wash the peaches properly and place them in boiling water for 30-45 seconds to loosen up the skin. After that place in ice cold water. This step makes it easier for the skin to peel away from the flesh of the peach. If the skin is difficult to remove, just place the peach back into the boiling water.

3. Next is to cut the peaches into slices. Then place everything in a large boil. Sprinkle with Fruit Fresh or lemon juice as you go. This method is important because it will keep the peaches from turning brown.

4. Prepare your jars.  Make sure your jars are sterilizing and the water bath is heating up. You can place the clean jars right in the water canner as it heats. The jars will sterilize while the water heats to boiling.

5. Once your peaches are ready, it’s time to make syrup to pack them in. For a  light syrup, heat 6 cups of water on the stove and slowly add in 2 cups of sugar. Heat just to a slight boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Place peaches in the simmering syrup and heat for 5 minutes.

6. Pack peaches into hot jars. Pour hot syrup over peaches to fill jar leaving a ¼ inch head room. Place lid on jars.

7. Process pint jars for 20 minutes in boiling water bath.

August 25, 2010

Easy Baked Chicken Recipe

I try every week to add a new meal to our menu.  The best part of my quest is I use items that I bought on sale so these meals are yummy and affordable… and oh, yes they can be completed in 30 minutes or less.


I am still working and I know I have meeting until 5:30 tonight so I am putting together the easiest meal available.

I take a whole chicken and wash it.

Dry it with paper towel

Place olive oil on the skin

Literally throw in 1 cup of chicken broth, some carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, an onion (peel do not chop)  these are options not essential

bake at 350 degree for about 2.5 hours or until chicken is 180 degrees

The best part the chicken was $4.00 and the rest was about $2.00 so dinner for $6.00.

August 22, 2010

Ask an Employee/ Employer: Can you work with a friend?

I think one question that is asked more than any other is “How do you work with a friend?” I actually think it has its benefits and hardships. I am going to go over the hardships first. There is a lot more at stake if it doesn’t work out. You could end up finding your friend is a great friend but horrible co-worker.  You could find out that your friend isn’t really a friend. The worst is you could lose a friend over work.

You have to set real boundaries and be up front in your expectations. You have to know what you are good at and what they are good at and support each other. You have to be honest no matter how hard it is and resolve issues before they become problems.

I actually work with friends in my virtual job and obviously with Renae, here at Madame Deals. I am smarter than I look- I always pick people in my life who enable me to do more. The ladies I work with are my best friends. I consider myself very lucky to work with such smart, strong, and dedicated ladies. I also know that they will help me grow as an individual, employee/ employer, and friend.

I think a great tip to making sure this friend/ co-worker idea works is to try it out. When you have your friends as co-workers have them work for someone else first prior to moving them over to your department. I also had my friend interviewed by my boss to make sure that she fit what the company needed. She also took a job initially at a “beginner level” because it fit her needs and she wasn’t ready to be more committed to work.  I didn’t have any doubts about my friend but I wanted to make sure she really wanted to work prior to doing a job share. I didn’t want her to accept a job because I wanted her to work with me but rather because it fit into her vision of what she wanted for herself. I know we both put family first so we are working out our schedule so we can be successful wives, moms, and career women.

It is very important to have both a working relationship and a normal friendship. Renae and I talk work but we also leave work behind and just hang out. It usually involves food or food shopping but we do not have our laptops without us so that counts right? My friend at my virtual job and I leave work at work by spending time with our families. I truly think working with friends can work you just have to find the right friend. I would never hire or recommend a friend that I wouldn’t be proud to have associated with me. I really like when the people at my office say, “Where did you find her?” and they mean it in a good way. You all know how lucky I am to have Renae in my life. She has taught me much more than “making dollars out of change.”

August 16, 2010

Tips for Saving on Auto Insurance


I have been with the same insurance company since I was 16. I receive multiple discounts since we have several policies and I have been a long term customer. Even if you have been with the same company for awhile, it is always good to go over your policies. I know we will need to make changes soon since my husbands truck is nearing the end of its life!

Stay on the Road With The Cheapest Auto Insurance

by: Mrs. Not Made of Money

Finding the best deal on car insurance can be challenging. However, if you do your homework you might be surprised what kind of rates you can find. Here are some tips to help you figure it all out and hopefully reduce your premium:

Get Numerous Quotes
Don’t give up after only three or four insurance quotes. Some states have upward of 200 insurance carriers. You never know what you’ll find if you simply continue to look after those initial quotes come in.

Request a Higher Deductible
When you request a higher deductible, your base insurance price goes down substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $100 to $400 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by at least 20%. Hiking the deductible to $1,000 can save about 40%. Prior to asking for a higher deductible, it is a good idea to set aside money in case you do have a claim.

Reduce Insurance Coverage on Older Model Cars
Often, you can save a lot of money by buying only liability insurance for your older, less valuable car and letting go of the collision rider. If your car is worth a lot of money, however, it would be better to go for the full coverage.

Purchase your Insurance From the Same Company That Insured Your House
You will find that most insurance companies will give you a decent price break if you purchase more than one kind of insurance from them.

Be Responsible and Pay Your Bills on Time
If you pay your bills on time, you will establish a solid credit history. This can cut your insurance costs over time. Check your credit record regularly and correct any errors that might show up so that your record remains up to date and accurate.

Purchase a Theft Device for Your Car
The majority of new cars these days have theft devices. Most are automatic but some have to be activated manually. In either case, this is a great way to get discounts on car insurance.

Have More Than One Car? Ask for Multi-Car Policy Discounts
There are times when insuring two cars can be the exact price as insuring one. If you own two cars, it is smart to ask your insurance agent to give you a discount on one or both cars. You may not even have to ask, as this is standard practice for many insurance companies.

Car insurance is, after all, mandatory if you want to be out on the road. Insurance rates are going to vary according to the type of car you buy, your driving record, age and other factors. If you do not shop wisely and do your research, you could end up paying much more than what you could if you took the time to investigate all of the various discount options there are out there. Most of the time, you will be able to find discounted rates. Just remember, however, that insurance companies are in the business to make money. If one won’t give you a price reduction, move on to the next.

Stay on the Road With The Cheapest Auto Insurance is reprinted with permission from

August 14, 2010

Madame Deals Good Buy Price List

Over the last few weeks I have been posting my Good Buy Prices for items I typically shop for. Knowing what a good price is very helpful in the saving game. Even if you do not use coupons, knowing what a good price is will save you a ton of money! Remember just because something says sale, does not actually mean that it is a good price.

I have compiled a list of my Good Buy Prices into a PDF file. Feel free to print it and keep it with you while you shop. You will need to make price adjustments for some items as prices vary per region and season. Add your own products to the list too! Soon you will have your prices memorized! I will add the Madame Deals Good Buy Price List under the Saving tab at the top of our site.

August 11, 2010

Lemon Chicken Recipe

Lemon Chicken Recipe

This week Mat is out with customers so I am preparing dinner for the kids and dinner for later. One of the recipes that I am using came from Once-A-Month Cooking. I love this book because I know the recipes freeze well. I plan on doing the big cook since we will not have company this weekend. The recipe I have chosen this week is Lemon Chicken.

4 boneless skinless breast

1/3 lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon chopped red bell peper

1 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried orgeno

Mix everything place in a gallon freezer bag and freeze.

To Serve, place in a microwave safe dish and cook in the microwave on high power for 5 more minutes. Baste the chicken with juices, turn, and microwave for 3 minutes

It seems quick and easy and when daddy isn’t here to help at the 5:00 PM hour I need both!

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe

Easy Coffee Rub for Chicken or Steak Recipe

Chicken Parmesan Sub Sandwich Recipe

Sweet Tea Chicken Recipe