Zach ended up with a stomach bug yesterday and most of today(Tuesday) so that is the reason I am later than usual. A couple of things are influencing our menu planning for the next couple of months, first we are trying to manage our grocery budget, meaning spend as little as possible. Next the current plan is to purchase another cow for our freezer in February. So we are using as much of the beef in our freezer as possible. Matt is working some mornings so that also changes the plan. And finally our schedule is crazy busy through the month of October so we will be trying to keep our meals simple.
Breakfast Saturday- Breakfast burrito bowls Sunday-leftover Monday-choices Tuesday- Toast Wednesday- Choices . Thursday-Choices .Â Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs, French toast , toast or cereal.
Lunch-The kids have packed with leftovers and grab and go. I am going to pack wraps a couple of day and left-overs for others.
Dinner-Saturday-Cheese Quesadilla and Mexican Rice
Sunday- Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, carrots and pineapple casserole Dinner-McDonalds for $15 due to crazy busy church schedule.
Monday- Rice Creole ( last of our kielbasa)
Tuesday-Hamburgers and French Fries (last of our fries)
Wednesday-Sonic (50 cent corn dogs)
Thursday-Good Question? Maybe beef and broccoli as we have not actually had this in a long time.
Friday- Steak, twice backed potatoes, 7 layer salad and desert. Yes it is a company night.
The first way I am saving is the easiest and I have blogged about it several times. I am staying at home. Even if I decide to run out just to grab one item, I am 100 times more likely to spend money than if I simply stay at home. I should also add that I am avoiding online shopping as well. Unless I find a deal that is below stock up price I simply do not shop.
I am saving time and money both my cooking ahead. This morning, since we are at home. I made a batch of Breakfast Burrito bowls. Totally cost for at least 3 mornings of breakfast for all of us $4. I was able to use green pepper from the garden which helped reduce the cost. The kids love Banana Chip Bites. These are basically milk and bananas blend and frozen in muffin tins. They also add chocolate chips to make them special. My using bananas that were previously frozen, this makes a really cheap breakfast or desert. Some of our other favorite for cooking ahead right now are meatloaf muffins and chicken enchiladas.
The final way I am saving money this Saturday is by shopping my pantry and freezers. I am trying to dramatically reduce our grocery budget over the last several month of this year. In order to accomplish this I am trying to make sure I use what is in our freezers and pantry. I headed out to the building this morning to bring up stew beef, cubed steak, roast, ground beef, chicken and chicken fried rice. We have a menu plan but I usually don’t plan ahead for weekends or Thursdays. This gives us a chance to eat up leftovers or be a little bit more creative, the only problem is that I forget what we actually have in the freezers. This morning I brought up several items that are not on the plan but that I can use to create a meal. I also made sure to restock our snack drawers and found three additional boxes of pasta that can be used over the next several months. I know myself well enough to realize that if my freezer’s are full than I won’t “think” I need to go shopping even if that is really not the case. At least for the next week or so, I know we have plenty of food so I will continue to try and use what we have to make meals.
- Matt has started a part time job. It is a huge change for us, but so far the first week has not been bad. I am thinking that as long as we all work together it will be a smooth transition.
- Kendall is hoping to have her braces removed prior to our trip to Disney, in order for this to happen, we are having new wires and/or tightening every 3 weeks. This time she had a difficult time with the process and is back to eating soft food only.
- The temperatures have jumped back in the eighties so our air condition is on. The good news is that our bill for October is down $25 so at least that is helping. Hopefully in the next month we can turn off the air for good.
- Lily informed me on Saturday that she only had 3 pair of shorts. We headed to Goodwill and found 5 additional pair for $11.46 a HUGE saving for us.
- Zach is playing baseball again so we now added to our schedule 2 games and a practice for the next 6 weeks…. Life is busy!
- We were unable to repair the kitchen faucet so we ended up purchasing a new one yesterday. We decided to go with a name brand and great warranty. It was expensive but this should be the last kitchen faucet that we ever buy.
- Lily is really enjoying the youth theatre this fall, they are working on “Annie” Each family is required to provide a silent auction item. We purchased 2 stainless steel cups and Matt has customized to make a special souvenir.
- We did end up spending more money than I had anticipated on groceries this month again. We also had to renew our Costco membership as well. The total spent for the month is $353. My strategy for the rest of the month is to avoid grocery stores. I am sad that Food Lion is running their quarter back sale but I am not planning to go.
- I was able to score an awesome deal on soda. We managed to grab 4 cases for my mom, 5 8 packs for our Disney trip and 11 12 packs for us to use. Spending a total of $40.14!!!! This should keep us stocked until the end of November.
- I have returned to using a paper planner. Partially by choice and partly because of the new computer. EVERYONE is assigned a different color and so far I am liking the ability to glance ahead and behind.
- Lily and Kendall both removed the training wheels from their bicycles this weekend.
- We decided to go ahead and dig up our sweet potatoes as some of the vines appeared to be dying. It was a huge success with approximately 25# of sweet potatoes. These are completely free as we started the plants from the potatoes that were dug from the year before!
- I was able to save 89% at CVS this week! This is huge as they have been changing coupon policy and I have not been receiving many of the coupons I wanted.
- The windows are still open in the house!
- Matt remember that we no longer needed the digital convertor in our dinning rooms so he returned it. This should save us $2-3 dollars a month.
- My goals for September and October were to keep the grocery budget and all other expenses as low as possible. I had not planned a Costco trip but it will be needed this week. I am still hopefully to keep the budget at half of it’s usual.
- Our kitchen sink started to leak. Matt was able to repair it for less than $2!!!!
This week we started our normal busy lives, we are still in a bit of flux as we are not sure of Matt’s work schedule or Zach’s baseball schedule yet.
Breakfast: Saturday-Bacon, eggs biscuits and grits. Sunday- left-over French toast and left- over biscuits and gravy. Monday- Cereal, Tuesday- choices, Wednesday- choices, Thursday- scrambled bowls, Friday- Baked oatmeal (maybe it will be pumpkin?) Choices include: eggs, grits, left-overs, pancakes, French toast, toast or cereal.
Dinner- Saturday- Sausage, peppers and onions on rolls and French fries, Sunday- taco soup or left overs. Monday- Broccoli-chicken casserole, Tuesday- steak Fatijia and Mexican rice. Wednesday- Spaghetti, Thursday- undecided? I am thinking this will depend on the weather? Friday- beef and broccoli
A plan always makes things easier.
- Tis the season for weddings at least in my department at work. Matt and I were able to make a gift this week. The bride to be really liked the gift as well. Total Saved $40.
- Windows are open! This means no air conditioning and/or heat. We ended up running the air from Thursday to Monday last week but based on the predictions for our weather for the next 10 days and the average highs after those 10 days/ Our plan is not to use air until next spring!
- Eating from the freezers and pantry. I have a lot of food in our a stockpile. This month I am really sticking to the idea of eating what we have. The one exception is if we run out of a staple such as eggs. We currently do not have any sausage for breakfast but I am going to attempt to use lunch meat in omelets for the month.
- Staying at home, I know that I have said this before but I need to post it again for my benefit. If we don’t run out to pick up x then I am not spending money. I am also saving gas money!
- I wanted to have a no spend month but I needed a haircut this week, cost of $10. Matt is anticipating starting a job and is in need of black shirt and pants. We were able to locate 2 additional shirts at Goodwill but will most likely need a couple of pair of pants. We ended up spending $8.54 for the shirts.
How are you saving money?
- My computer died on Saturday. I was thankfully able to get a replacement but I am still trying to re favorite and find all the things that I had carefully arranged on my monitor.
- We ended up celebrating Zach’s birthday Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He had a great time. Thursday evening his friend came over and they played with Nerf Guns inside because it was raining. Friday night was cake and family. Saturday was a trip to ToyRUS and eating out at Red Robin. I am hopefully to get some picture up soon.
- The weather here in North Carolina is much cooler than normal. We were able to turn off our air conditioning last week for a total of 4 days, have been running for 4 days and again turned off the air. I am very grateful for the stretches of time that we are able to not turn on the air. This is definitely the earliest I can remember not running air constantly.
- September is going to be a no spend month for us. Zach is playing Baseball so we will have the expense of games but unless it is broken and or empty then I really want and need to tighten down on our spending for September, October and November.
- This weekend along with some major food preparation, I took a good inventory of what meats and other items that we have. Currently our plan is to purchase another cow in January and purchase chicken breast in February.
- Lily auditioned for and received a part in the Lexington Youth Theatre production of Annie. She does not have a solo but we are all very excited for her to be part of this.
- I have been successful at using my Electric Pressure cooker for 3 things this weekend. I am actually really surprised but glad that I have been able to use this and hopefully will get more use as the winter comes.
This Sunday, I spent a lot of time to save time and money. After church, lunch and school preparation. I decided to tackle some cooking. I had several reasons that factored into this decision including the NEED to save on groceries for the next 3 months in addition to our schedule returning to it’s normal amount of busy. I asked the kids at lunch what foods they really wanted to have, they all three came up with the same answer…twice baked potatoes.
I decided to go ahead and prepare 20 potatoes. One thing that I did learn is that next time I will most likely stick to 10 at a time, my hand was really tired by the end. The kids came in and out of the kitchen to help with some of the recipes. Matt helped before he headed out to do a couple of errands.
By the numbers..
4-5 total hours spent
4 meals completed, 40 twice baked potatoes, 6 boiled eggs and 2 dozen banana chocolate chip bites.
After completing all 4 meals which were chicken, we have decided to wait to order chicken breast until the spring. This is a HUGE money saver and probably worth the entire afternoon.