Menu Planning- Valentine’s Week

As hard as I try not to think it and dare not speak it, my life continues, I know that I will continue to mourn and miss my dad forever but time does not stand still so I keep praying and stepping out in faith. We have our typical busy week going on with four evening of multiple activities this week and most likely a cheer competition on Saturday.  Menu planning is the only way we can function.

Breakfast–   Saturday-French toast. Sunday- Cereal for kids and baked oatmeal for me. Monday-Baked oatmeal for everyone Tuesday-  Choices Wednesday- choices. Thursday-  Scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits.   Friday- Choices.  Choices include :  baked oatmeal,  eggs, grits, French toast, toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have chicken and stars soup, chicken nuggets, , homemade lunchable and chips w/salsa. I am taking left-overs this week. Zach has decided he wants to purchase lunch at school this week, he will be using his own money as well. We did limit it to one time per week.

Dinner-  Saturday- lunch chicken wings, fried pickle chips and cheese sticks. Dinner- Grilled chicken
Sunday- Lunch- Panda Panda  (local Chinese place)  Dinner- choice of left-overs
Monday- Rice Creole
Tuesday-Steak and baked sweet potato
Wednesday-  Roast in crock pot
Thursday- Corn dogs (Sonic has for $0.50)
Friday- Spinach Ravioli .

 

Do you have your plans made?

Menu Planning

Today is Snow Day #2 for us.  The kids school has already been cancelled for tomorrow and I would bet a delay or closure again on Tuesday. I have a really short day at work tomorrow to begin with so even if I go regular schedule, we should still enjoy another day with extra time at home.  I feel very confident and satisfied with our breakfast choices. I am also extremely hopefully to keep our grocery budget less than $100 this month as we have finally completed a plan for the month.  You will notice more elaborate, read time consuming, meals at the beginning of the week.

Breakfast–   Saturday- pancakes. Sunday- French toast  Monday-Egg muffins Tuesday-  baked oatmeal Wednesday- choices. Thursday-  Choices Friday- Choices.  Saturday- Pancakes Choices include : pancakes, baked oatmeal,  eggs, grits, French toast, toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have chicken and stars soup, chicken nuggets, ham and cheese roll up, homemade lunchable and chips w/salsa. I am taking left-overs this week.

Dinner-  Saturday- Chicken Stew Dinner- Chicken Stew.
Sunday- Lunch- personal pizza on bread Dinner- shoulder roast with carrots and potatoes, deviled eggs and broccoli corn bread.
Monday- Copy cat lettuce wraps
Tuesday- Alice Springs chicken with sweet potatoes and pineapple
Wednesday-  Sloppy joes and FF
Thursday- Stuffed green peppers
Friday- Leftovers or pizza.

Matt will be going to pick up buns for our sloppy joes along with eggs this week before our local Aldi closes for remodeling.

Saving on Saturday 1/07/2017

sosToday was officially a snow day in NC, that definitely helped with the saving as our cheerleading competition was cancelled which at minimum saved us $30 in admission.

I mentioned that I am participating in  a low spend challenge, I have budgeted $100 for groceries this month. I did spend $14 on Monday at CVS and my plan was to hold on to the rest until it was a need. The need and some wants found me on Thursday, I went to our local Aldi to grab some plastic wrap and realized that they will be closing next week for 6-8 weeks of  construction. We decided to go ahead and grab some items that will be needed before March. We spent a total of $42.  The need that came about today is for labelling tape, so another $5 on Amazon. My totals are now at $61 for the month which leaves an $39 for any need that may arise.

The second challenge is Eat from your pantry.  This is actually a very easy and doable challenge as we have a pantry full in addition to several full freezers.  We have actually have two full weekends at home, thanks to the snow, therefore I have been trying to stock up on some prepared foods that we really like and can use during the hectic weeks ahead. Last week in my menu plan, I share how we started this process.  This weekend, I have already made a huge pot of chicken stew, which we ate for two meal before freezing the remainder for a quick dinner.  This morning, Matt made a triple batch of pancakes and the plan is to make French toast in the morning. This should definitely help with breakfast in the next couple of weeks. I am planning to share our menu plan, once we decide on it for next week.

We have started working on making our now dinning room more functional.  I am determined not to let this project take over either time wise or financially this year, so small steps. We mover our smallest refrigerator to the outside building, which allowed us to re-position the black refrigerator, removed the cabinets that we hung last year, and placed a shelf back over the black refrigerator for storage. During the process we had to paint the wall.  I am proud to say that this was all completed without spending anything.  Before sending the cabinets to the dump, we removed the hinges and handles which are going to be reused for the custom buffet I want to complete. I was able to earn a $50 gift card to Lowes last month and Matt grab a $25 one this month. These should allow us to place new electrically and build a “tower” for the internet and cable that comes into the house in this area. The current goal is to have this completed by the end of January with zero out of pocket.  In an effort to make goals that are achievable this year, I am going to wait till then to look ahead at the next step.

Menu Planning

I mentioned in yesterday post that I am attempting to participate in two separate but very related challenges this month, No Spend January and Eat from the Pantry. Today I want to share the most important thing that will help us achieve both of these planning. This is actually a two part process, first is making food ahead of time and the second is planning and using the meals.

Part of the time I spent for my three day weekend is cooking ahead. On Saturday, we made 6 batches of pork fried rice using left over BBQ from Christmas.  We ate one of these for dinner on Saturday. On Sunday, we made taco rice and cheeseburger pies. On Monday, we made Salisbury steaks and mashed potatoes. We were able to use pull out raw hamburger from our freezer. Which was very helpful due to the fact we are receiving the cow I purchased in December this week.

The final step in this process is Menu Planning. There is a slight increase in the need for this with attempting to eat out of our pantry.  Here is our plan…

Breakfast–   Saturday- grits, eggs and  bacon . Sunday- Donuts  Monday-Baked Oatmeal  Tuesday-  fried bologna and eggs Wednesday- choices. Thursday-  Choices Friday- Choices.  Saturday- Pancakes Choices include : leftovers, eggs, grits, French toast,, toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have chicken and stars soup, chicken nuggets, ham and cheese roll up, homemade lunchable and chips w/salsa. I am taking left-overs this week.

Dinner-  Saturday- Lunch- left overs  Dinner- Pork Fried Rice and egg roll.
Sunday- Lunch- Shrimp Gumbo in crockpot (kielbasa and shrimp, both from freezer) Dinner-  left-overs
Monday- Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and fruit
Tuesday- Steaks and salad
Wednesday-  Chicken cacciatore (found in freezer) and pasta
Thursday- Broccoli and cheese soup in crockpot
Friday- Leftovers or pizza.

I did have to make a quick trip to CVS this week for a total of $14.45 out of our grocery budget.

 

Monday Thoughts- 12/26/2016

  • We really enjoyed Christmas yesterday, everyone was together at my parents on Christmas eve and then again for lunch at my house. We spent a couple of hours outside assembling the new trampoline.
  • I don’t have a menu plan for this week, first we want to finish up most of the left-overs and second I am just being lazy. Today for lunch I brought out the two cheese balls from last night and added ham salad on crackers. The kids were excited to eat desert since we have enough for several more days.
  • Matt and I both had to work today so I am planning to leave the Christmas decorations up until next weekend. I should have Saturday, Sunday and Monday off and may have half a day on Friday as well.
  • The new dining room would out great and everyone was able to eat in the same room/area. I have decided I want to move around a couple of thing in addition to building a custom buffet on the wall closest to the kitchen.
  • We have a water leak out front which means that we need to dig up the front yard yet again, 4 time this year, and replace the line that brings water into the house.
  • Santa’s delivered a trampoline that was 2 foot wider than our old one so that we are now going to have to add boards to the platform before attaching it.
  • I need to spend some time updating the blog especially the blog roll as now at least half of the bloggers I followed have stopped or moved on. My goal is to get it done this week.
  • I should get at least one post if not two this week for the year in review, but now I am going to go watch the kids outside and do my nails.

5 Things Friday- Christmas Edition

  1. With my ever changing crazy schedule at work, I ended up having a half day off on Monday and another half day off today. I did enjoy the extra time with the kids today!
  2. I am actually head of schedule with our preparation for Christmas Day. I should only have a few hours of work tomorrow and then be able to enjoy the entire day off Sunday! Here is a list of my original plan, I have been able to go ahead and prepare all three of the casseroles today. I let each of the little kids help with one so it took twice as long but really was nice to spend extra time with them.
  3. The insurance company has already settled with me in regards to my fender bender last Friday. I am have really amazed and happy with how smooth it has been. After discussion with Matt, we are not going to have the van repaired, instead that money will go to pay on our planned Disney World trip.
  4. December has been an awesome month for extra money coming in. So far we have cashed in $200 for Swagbucks and at least 50 via Mplaces.
  5. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE EVE

Menu Planning/ Preparation Work 12/19/2016

The week before Christmas, we are staying busy in addition to trying to get some things planned ahead. This year, we will have Christmas breakfast (baked oatmeal) head to church and then home for a huge meal with my parents.  Christmas night we are going to have friends over for an snack/leftover festival. I like the idea of having lots of food but really don’t want to spend my entire day in the kitchen either on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, so I am trying to plan and get some preparation work done early in the week. Here is what our schedule for cooking ahead looks like so far, you will notice that I don’t have plan to do anything on Tuesday or Wednesday.  The explanation for this is my work schedule, if I have extra time great but otherwise I am still prepared.

Sunday- Pull all recipes and finalize plans for food.  Lunch will be Turkey and Ham, both in crockpots, squash casserole, pineapple casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and cream corn.  Desert will be pumpkin and sweet potato pie.  Appetizers for dinner including cheese/meat ball, veggies and dip, chips with dip and 2 types of Mexican dip.

Monday- Cut up veggies including celery and onions for all dishes. Fry sausage for breakfast on Saturday morning and Mexician Dip.

Thursday- Sweet potatoes pies and pumpkin pie. Make cheese ball

Saturday- Assemble all casseroles and get everything in crock pots to start on Sunday morning- make sugar cookies for Santa. Cook cranberry sauce.

Of course we still need to eat this week and with all the planning and work for Christmas day it will be really easy to eat out without a plan. My goal for this week is no eating out!

Breakfast–   Saturday- Big Breakfast- grits, eggs, bacon and biscuits.. Sunday- choices  Monday-Fruit. Tuesday-  fried bologna and eggs Wednesday- choices. Thursday-  Choices Friday- Choices.  Saturday (Christmas Eve) Sausage croissants and hashbrown casserole. Choices include : leftovers, eggs, grits, French toast,, toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have chicken and stars soup,  uncrustables  and homemade lunchable. They are out of school on Thursday and Friday, Zach has already requested pizza Quesada . I have salad, and leftovers.

Dinner-  Saturday- Lunch- chill  Dinner- cowboy beans/chilli
Sunday- Lunch- Baked Potato bar. Dinner- Chicken cresant rolls
Monday- Hamburger Helper
Tuesday-Leftovers
Wednesday-  Pork Chops
Thursday- Leftovers or Sandwhiches
Friday- Pigs in a blanket and movie

Lots of food and fun scheduled for this week.

Menu Plan Monday

 

As I was putting together this post I realized that I have not posted a menu plan in over a month. We are continuing to plan a month at a time but are pretty flexible with changes if need be. Over the past month and again in December, I am making an effort to clean out the freezer. We are purchasing a cow and need to make space to place the meat. One thing you will notice is that we are eating out several times this week. The reason is simple Lily’s birthday.

Breakfast–   Saturday- Left-overs including hash brown casserole, eggs, grits and gravy. Sunday- Choices.  Monday-Left-overs or choices. Tuesday- Baked Banana oatmeal Wednesday- choices. Thursday- Breakfast burrito bowl Friday- Choices.  Choices include : leftovers, eggs, grits, French toast,, toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have tomato soup, spaghettios, uncrustables x2 and chicken nuggets. I have salad x 2, sandwhich wrap and leftovers.

Dinner-  Saturday- Lunch- Pizza Hut (used coupons).   Dinner- Outback .
Sunday- Lunch- Baked Potato bar. Dinner- Chill (leftover from lunch and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Monday- Kielbasa and rice
Tuesday-Taco Tuesday
Wednesday-  Grilled Chicken
Thursday- I have a party so leftovers or soup for the rest
Friday- Kids are having pizza at church and Matt will eat at Taco Bell. Not sure what I will end up doing.

Thursday Thoughts

Many things are going on around here, so are money saving and some are just fun so I thought I would share some .

  • Matt is working on digging holes for our new trees that are scheduled to arrive today. I purchased 6 fruit trees last month. I realize that these may take several (3-5) years to produce but I am so excited to be able to do some eatable landscaping.  We are getting 2 apples and 2 pear trees, so they will cross pollinate, 1 cherry and 1 peach tree.  They are going in our backyard along the property line to create a natural boundary.
  • My goal for the weekend is to get my snow village up and in place. I am so excited to have time to spend on this project this year without feeling rushed. I will refrain from placing other Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving but the snow village can go up now and stay til at least January.
  • We picked up our Zaycon steak order this morning! Both boxes were less than one pound off the promised weight so we have a $15 credit to use on our next order. The steak look amazing! Can’t wait to try them tomorrow night.
  • Menu planning has definitely not gone as planned this week. Last weekend we spent trying to finish up left-overs and made some head way but not enough. We are not eating out just not eating what is scheduled. Today, I am making broccoli-cheese soup and steak will be on Friday. I am betting that Saturday will be left-overs again.
  • No grocery spending this week!
  • The temperature has finally turned to fall and we ended up turning on our heat on Sunday. Our first hard freeze is expected this weekend which means the end of tomatoes and green peppers. I did plant some lettuce and we are getting a small amount from that so I hope that will continue for a few more weeks.

Saving on Saturday-11/05/2016

  • The weather is continuing to cooperate. We have not used heat or air in 45 days! This may one of the longest streaks ever! I am very hopefully to make it till the 15th of November.
  • I washed and hung out to dry 4 loads of sheets today. That saved at least 4 hours of dryer time. Matt was able to wash and hang out a load of my uniforms earlier in the week as well.
  • Eating left-overs, I am in charge of cooking on the weekend and I usually enjoy cooking at least 3 meals in a two day period.  This weekend, beginning on Friday, we are eating out of the fridge. I will make a pot of soup for lunch tomorrow before our pictures but otherwise this is food that will go to waste if we don’t eat so at least four or meals it is. I did make one change to our rules this time. You can only eat breakfast foods for breakfast.
  • Trimmed and polished our nails at home instead of getting manicures before our family pictures on Sunday. This step alone saved at least $75.
  • Found a local photographer who is willing to travel to my brother’s house. None of my family does well in a crowd but we all LOVE pictures. Over the past several years, we have discovered it is much easier for all of us to hire someone to come take family pictures. I also think in the end it saves money and allows a less stressful time.
  • Combining online deals. Zachary’s sheet have a mysterious hole in them. They are unfortunately the only set of “boy” twin sheet we have. I was able to combine a doorbuster deal at JCPenny’s along with a coupon they set to me. I was able to purchase 2 sets of sheets for his bed, a set of flannel sheets for Lily’s bed, a hoodie for Kendall and 4 shirts for me all for $113. I will receive back $10 in JCPenny Rewards in addition to $7 in Swagbucks.  Sheets are normally expensive so I counting all the clothes as free!
  • Meal planning- we have spent $100 at Costco so far this month and I hope that will be the extend of our grocery spending. In order for this to happen, meal planning is a must. We currently have enough meals planned for the entire month of November!
  • Matt and I both are continuing to make an effort to earn money via apps. Our current goal is to make between $150 and $200 a month. We are on track already for November with $50 this first week.