Today, I am saving time and money by cooking ahead! I am also sticking to items that I have in the pantry or freezer as I have a very small grocery budget this month. Today, I focused on using frozen chicken breast. I was very pleasantly surprised when my instapot was able to cook 10 breast from frozen to done in less than an hour (30 minutes actually pressure time). I shredded those in my kitchen aid and used for a Chicken Taco Casserole and Chicken Enchiladas. I also froze 2 packs of shredded chicken. The casserole is one of our quick easy items to use on a busy day. Chicken Enchiladas will be lunch tomorrow. While the instapot was working, I started dinner for tonight, which was Creamy Italian Chicken. This is a recipe that Amanda has made before so I knew that it was good. That is a total of 5 meals in less than 2 hours of total time.
Matt made a batch of homemade pimento cheese that we will use for breakfast in the morning . I also pulled out the ingredients for a beef stew for dinner tomorrow night. This recipe is from Zach’s calendar so he is excited to try it.
The best part of all these meals is cost today is $0! We used all the ingredients from the pantry and freezer. First week of January behind us with a total of $20 spent in groceries!
- 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.
- Zach and Kendall have Meet the Teacher night today. They will start school on Monday so it will be back to a crazy busy regular routine again. Zach is planning to play baseball and Kendall wants to try a couple of new things at school.
- Lily is almost finished with her first week of school. She has been working for several hours each day this week. She is very excited to continue in the online charter school and even more excited that she is planning to join several clubs this year. Another big thing in her life right now is that she is planning to audition for the youth theater.
- Our garden is nearing the end as well. We ended up pulling up two huge carts of dead plants this week with. We do have several watermelons that are left and peppers but otherwise there is not much happening. I spoke with my neighbor this evening and at least she made me feel much better that her garden did not do very well either especially the tomatoes.
- We completed our back to school shopping trip tonight. I had not been looking forward to the trip so at least it will be easier to start packing lunches and snack now that we are stocked back up.
- Matt and I had a date night Monday. The not so little kids went over and spent the night with Amanda for pizza and a movie. We used an Applebee’s gift card for dinner. After the experience, we had it has solidified our decision not to purchase any more gift cards to Applebee and therefore not returning to that restaurant chain for a very long if ever again. We ended our date night by going to Walmart where we used 2 gift cards from MPlaces and finished earning and use 2 additional gift cards from Shopkicks to buy some cereal.