- 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.
Everyone is back on school, which means it is a little bit crazy but of the manageable sort.
Breakfast– Saturday-Bacon, Eggs and Grits Sunday- Cereal Monday-Left-over hash brown casserole and sausage balls Tuesday- Banana Chocolate Chip muffins Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Choices . Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs, pancakes, French toast , toast or cereal.
Lunch- We are back on track with the kids picking out lunches and packing on Sunday, which also makes me get a head for the week.
Dinner- Saturday-Baked Ziti
Sunday- Lunch-Breakfast including pancakes, hash brown casserole and sausage balls Dinner- Hamburgers and hot dogs
Monday- Twice baked potatoes
Tuesday- Salisbury steak, rice, green beans and white slaw. Matt made brownies for desert.
Wednesday- Rice Kreola
Thursday- Beef and broccoli .
Friday- Mexican something
At least we have most of a plan in place!
Vacation was awesome but now it is back to reality. I am hoping to keep our total grocery bill to under $300 each month until December so I am going to focus on using food especially meat that we have on hand. This week I also am able to add in vegetables from the garden for variety.
Breakfast– Saturday-BEACH. Sunday- BEACH Monday-Breakfast burrito bowls Tuesday- Choice Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Choices . Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal. No real plan this week but we have 2 boxes of cereal and I can always add a baked oatmeal one day if I get motivated.
Lunch- I have salads for several day and may even add tuna salad with crackers one day. This is a find and take kind of week for Matt and the kids as well.
Sunday- Lunch-Wraps , . Dinner- Spaghetti
Monday- Salisbury steak, rice, green beans and white slaw. Matt made brownies for desert.
Tuesday- Taco Tuesday
Wednesday- Chicken Fried Rice
Thursday- Stuffed green peppers from the garden again. .
Friday- Breakfast- Matt and Lily will be out of town so it may be a pizza night for us.
What does your menu plan look like
I am continuing to try and find ways to love my instant pot. On Friday, I read that you could brown ground beef using frozen meat, so I gave it a try. I will have to say that honestly it was more work than it was worth. I did have success with beef stew on Sunday so at least I can make a new delicious Sunday lunch now.
Our other really good food news of the week is that our garden is continuing to produce, not huge amounts but just enough. I have already frozen what I hope is enough diced tomatoes for the winter. My goal over the next couple of weeks is to collect enough tomatoes to make a batch of spaghetti sauce a week, this means I need to collect 8 pounds of tomatoes. We are also eating tomatoes on a daily basis, if I cant collect the 8 pounds I will continue to freeze half cup packages for the winter. Matt harvest pimentos and made an awesome homemade pimento cheese but my favorite still remains the watermelon we are getting.
Finally in food news, we are continue to plan and eat out of the pantry and freezer, I currently have a meal plan until September but with school starting we may have to make some small changes to this.
Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuit King-treat before the swim meet. Sunday- French toast with a freezer stash made as well. Monday-Choice Tuesday- Sausage biscuits and gravy Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Pancakes . Friday- Baked Oatmeal with blueberries?. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal, pop-tarts
Lunch- This week sandwiches and left overs make the list for lunch. No special plans at all.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch-Pasta salad . Dinner- -Pizza from gift card
Sunday- Lunch-Beef stew in instapot . Dinner- left-overs
Monday- Hamburger helper and fresh green beans
Tuesday- Taco Tuesday
Wednesday- Breakfast casserole
Thursday- Coconut shrimp if I am home.
Friday- Pulled pork and glazed carrots.
This week is starting out to be a little different than expected. Amanda purchased an electric pressure cooker for my birthday (August 10) and it arrived on Friday. I was so excited to try it out! I started with a “New York ” style cheesecake which was a success and then attempted a roasted chicken on Sunday which was a failure. Hopeful we will be able to use for a second meal this week. I currently have 4 crock pot full of bones and water from the above chicken. My goal is 60 cups of chicken stock in the freezer. Our garden is continuing to provide a small harvest. So far I have been able to freeze 10 1 cup container of tomato sauce and make a batch of spaghetti sauce as well. I also have frozen green peppers! Finally we are continuing to eat from pantry and freezer. It will start to get interesting as our go to favorite food are starting to run out.
Breakfast– Saturday-BLT. Sunday- Biscuit King Monday-Choice Tuesday- Sausage omelet Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Pancakes . Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal, pop-tarts
Lunch- Zachary is attending a Summer Reading camp that provides daily lunches, Lily is on a mission trip so the rest of us will have sandwiches, salads or left-overs.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch-chili. Dinner- -Steaks, baked sweet potato, cheesecake for desert- this meal was just Matt and I.
Sunday- Lunch-Sandwiches for Matt and I, . Dinner- , Deviled eggs, 7-layer salad, ranch potatoes, watermelon and cucumber salad- this meal was suppose to included roasted chicken but it did not cook in the pressure cooker so we ate the sides and call it a night after helping Amanda move.
Monday- Roasted chicken with all the left over sides and glazed carrots.
Tuesday- Spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes
Wednesday- Chicken enchiladas from remaining roast chicken
Thursday- I may attempt a beef stew in the crock pot or Pasta salad at the pool after picking Zach up from school.
Friday- Salisbury steak and gravy, rice, watermelon and cucumber salad.
What does your menu plan look like
I am sitting in a really quiet house, except for the occasional dog bark, it should stay this way for at least the next twelve hours or so. Lily left this morning for a missions trip to Mami Florida, she will not be returning until next Sunday. This afternoon, Amanda, Haley, Lily and Zach left to camp overnight and play at Sliding Rock NC. We do have an Amanda dog but that is really not a big deal. In the past, we would have taken advantage of the kidless night to go out for dinner most likely a very expensive dinner just because it was two of us instead of five. But not tonight!! We have definitely tighten the budget this month as we enjoyed Michigan in June and have plans for Myrtle Beach in August and Disney in November.
Tonight, Matt and I saved money by eating at home. Our menu was T-bone steaks (from freezer), baked sweet potatoes (last year’s) and a strawberry cheesecake. I made the cheesecake in my new Instapot that Amanda bought me for my birthday. We even chilled a bottle of wine from the wine rack to make the meal complete. The meal cost us zero out of pocket and was honestly one of the best I have eaten in a while.
Menu Planning for this week looks a little bit different than normal for a couple of reasons. First Zachary and Kendall are attending Vacation Bible School at a local church that provides dinner each day they attend. Zach is also attending a reading camp where lunch is provided. The next reason, however, will effect our menu planning for the entire month if not next 3 months. I want to clean out our freezers and pantry. I will continue to freeze any vegetables we get from the garden that we can not use but at the same time I am going to not buy additional items from the store unless absolutely necessary. For us that looks like milk and eggs with occasional other items thrown in for fun. We did purchase a whole cow in December which provides beef and we are looking at the idea of purchasing a second one again this year. On Saturday, Matt and I did some researching into the pantry. I even made a list of what was available in addition to adding some items to the plan for August. I will try and update on how the clean out is going.
Breakfast– Saturday-French Toast. Sunday- Sausage Biscuits Monday-Choice Tuesday- Fried eggs and Bacon Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Pancakes . Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.
Lunch- Matt and the girls will use quick meals, sandwiches or leftovers for this week. I have a salad packed for Monday, Tuesday- tomato sandwich, Wednesday and Friday will be leftovers.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch- Pasta salad. Dinner- -Coconut shrimp, cheddar broccoli rice and watermelon.
Sunday- Lunch-Chicken pot pie, watermelon and cucumber salad. Dinner- Leftovers
Tuesday- Pasta salad at Swim meet.
Wednesday- Remaining left-overs or sandwich
Thursday- We will most likely eat out because of eye appointments for the kids.
Friday- Salisbury steak and gravy, rice, watermelon and cucumber salad.
- Our square foot garden is producing just not in the manner we had hoped for. Today, we picked our first watermelon, we have pimentos and a variety of peppers. a few tomatoes and a few cucumbers. I did invest in two additional tomato plants that I hope will provide a second and third harvest of tomatoes to place in our freezer. I have frozen green peppers so far and we have enjoy cucumbers and tomatoes.
- I was able to complete some summer cleaning this week and place 8 totes of yard sale items in the attic. I also am catching up and reducing the to do list for the summer. The goal is to spend a couple of weekends just relaxing by the pool.
- One of the area that got a “clean up ” was our kitchen pantry. I am very determined to reduce our spending on food during the next two months. This will involve a couple of things, using the items we have on hand instead of purchasing anything new. For example, we do not have any red spaghetti sauce but do have 5 cans of Italian style tomatoes. I plan to use those to make a homemade version instead of purchasing more. Next to achieve this goal, meal planning becomes so important. I even started writing plans for August on the calendar in order to use some of the hidden items in the pantry.
- Because of my work schedule in addition to Tuesday being the Fourth of July, I honestly feel like I have worked three Mondays this week.
- Lily will be leaving on her first ever missions trip next Saturday. This should be an interesting experience to say the least.