Monday Menu Plan- 10/16/2017

This is another busy week with 2 Baseball games, Musical practice 4 nights and church activities on Wednesday night. I will admit that this week is starting to show a little bare spots in the pantry and we are going to need to get creative to keep things on our tight budget.

Breakfast- Saturday and  Sunday- Sausage cheese cresant rolls (this is the same mix we used last week so a total of four breakfast for  less than $10. Monday- Banana chocolate chip muffins. Tuesday- Choices, Wednesday- Choices. Thursday- Cheese Grits or baked oatmeal , Friday- choices. Choices include- left-overs, eggs, French toast, cereal or toast.

Lunch- Saturday- left-overs  Sunday- Olive Garden to celebrate Amanda’s birthday. We are back to a regular lunch week here this week we have salad, sandwich, grab and go, dipping day and wraps.

Dinner- Saturday-Copy cat lettuce wraps Sunday- Sandwiches Monday-Chicken nuggets and tator tots  Tuesday-Chicken helper and egg rolls Wednesday-Tomato soup and grilled cheese. Thursday- Orange Beef (new recipe in slow cooker)  Friday- Hamburger helper.

Saving on Saturday 9/23/2017

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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.

5 Things Friday 9/22/2017

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Monday Menu Planning 9/11/2017

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. 

Lunch- Saturday- Sandwiches, Sunday- Taco Soup. We were able to pack the kids lunches on Sunday, which included taco soup, grab and go, sandwich, chicken nuggets and wrap. I packed 2 salads that Lily and I will share and I hope to start taking some leftovers soon. 

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. 

 

August in Review

The weather outside makes it easier to remember fall is just around the corner. And another positive note is that I see small progress.

Debit Reduction:  Failure
Summer is always a tough season for us in regards to spending. Accountability is going to make me get these number down.
Blog Post: Fail
This is post number 14 for the month. I am back to steadily increasing  I should hope to get back on a minimal of 15.  I did some checking and this is actually the closest I have came to meeting this goal in a long time maybe even this year.

Days on Treadmill or Walking for Disney: 16
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I am so excited to see this being met. I hope to continue in the next couple of months as well.

Groceries- Fail!  We spent a total of $792.17.  I am hoping that we can manage a couple (or 3) months of low grocery bills in order to get us back on track.

Gas: Goal Met! We spent $211.35 for gas including filling both our vans today (31st) in anticipation of a price jump and maybe shortage.

Earnings:  August ended up being a good extra money month of us. We had a week break for our beach trip in addition to being out of data for the final week of the month which really affected MPlaces.
Swagbucks: $75 for Me, $105 for Matt
MPlaces/Cricket Rewards:  $10
Shopkicks: $10
Total for the month $200!

I am choosing to celebrate the small gains this month with extra money and gas budget met. I can also see progress toward all the other areas so even if we did not met this goal we are making progress.

American Girl Bistro and Store

One of our special events included in our quick trip to Atlanta was a trip to the American Girl Store and Bistro. We actually ate deserts at the Bistro. Of course we left our dolls at the hotel but the Bistro had dolls and chairs to share.
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Kendall purchased a dog for her doll along with a hat and hangers. Kendall was able to bring both the tea set for her dog and the borrowed doll home to have another tea party.
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Lily purchased an outfit, cook book and apron/mit set for her doll. She said the chocolate flower pot was the best ever!
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Kendall was the most happy and excited I have seen her in a long time.  She was in heaven, baby dolls, stuffed dog, tea party, ice cream and root beer.  Just enjoy the smile!
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Thanksgiving Thoughts

There is no doubt in my mind how blessed we are as a society, a country, a family and even personally. I could list a million things that I am thankful for but does that make me any better of a person or blogger. I personally don’t think so. I know I am blessed and I need to use gratitude every day all day and not just one day a year. So instead of a list of things I am thankful for, I am going to tell you some special event and things that are happening in my life.

We are currently in Sandy Springs Georgia which is just outside of Atlanta. Both the older girls have work commitments so it is just Matt, myself and the not so little kids. We spent today with Matt’s sister, her family and Matt’s Dad. The kids had a truely special treat by going to “Legoland” with their two older cousins this morning. They really enjoyed it and I honestly could not be sure who had more fun the big or little kids. The rest of the day was spent enjoying conservation and tine with family that always loved not always close enough to share with.
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I am also extremely grateful for a daily devotional given to me by my sister in law called “Daily Gratitude”. I can’t wait to start getting a daily reminder of who and why I am blessed.

The plans for tomorrow are very vague at this point but I do know that we have “Afternoon Tea ” schedule at the American Girl Bistrow, my girls are so excited and so am I.

Snow Village 2016

I finished in one and half days! I am thinking that the ladder may have speeded up the process especially with all the electric cords. I am so excited at how it turned out this year!

Picture overload!

The ladder!

The ladder!

opposite side or I like to call it the farm!

opposite side or I like to call it the farm!

Individual shelf of the farm. Lily LOVES the flamingo house and I am really amazed at how pretty it turned out.

Now some closer pictures of the ladder. Each level represents a different scene but together they make a mountain!