Showing posts from February, 2014

Frugal Friday - Frugal Things We've Done in the Last Two Weeks

Frugal things from the last couple of weeks...hrmmm....

This semester is kicking my behind - and it probably should.  I'm teaching a class I haven't taught in 3 years and I'm approaching my Dissertation Defense very soon as well.  John is in the thick of interviews of Internship and we have more snow again and icky roads.  I guess I have every right to feel like I'm buried under the things that "have" to get done!

Honestly, I haven't felt very frugal the last couple of weeks.  We haven't spent any money we didn't plan on spending to begin with but we haven't done a whole lot of "extra" anyway.

Here's what I kept track of for the last two weeks:

* Spent Valentine's Day evening at home with the family. We had decided to order a small order of takeout Chinese for the family for dinner that night.  We stayed within budget and even had enough for leftovers for lunch on Saturday.

* The children went to a play date at a friend's…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of February 16, 2014

Sorry for the blurry, upside down photo - I'm going to try to turn it upright again later (promise!).  These are the super yummy chocolate covered strawberries John bought me for Valentine's Day.  It wasn't even remotely on my "list" so they were such a pleasant surprise and we enjoyed them as dessert Friday, Saturday and Sunday!   I even got two Sunday night since my chocolate disliking little guy decided he didn't want his.  Perfectly fine with me! We are eating well this week!  I'm trying to use up the veggies in the freezer and make room for a meat purchase or two closer to summer.  John and I had a long talk about our grocery budget and decided that we're going to work our way back to eating one chicken, one beef/venison/bear, one pork, one seafood and three vegetarian meals per week.  We did this a few years ago and had gotten away from it.  We also talked about freezer prepping more crockpot meals and maybe even doing some freezer cooking.  I…

Super Savings - Spent $25.45 This Weekend

So we had $22 and change from our grocery envelope  to spend this week.  I was a little nervous since there were a couple of good deals I wanted to take advantage of and we were out of both butter and shortening, which makes it a little hard to bake certain things!  After some pre-planned activities this weekend, we had $10 left that we decided to throw into the grocery envelope, which is how we ended up having the $25.45 to spend that we did!  I think we did quite well this weekend and we're looking at doing some more stocking up this next weekend.  I have to stay I love shopping only once per week - less temptation and I know that I can make the menu with what is in the house!

I put together the list and John did the actual shopping.  We had a very busy weekend this weekend and he ran to the stores while I made dinner on Saturday night.  Here's what we got:

Store #1
Jennie-O Ground Turkey 85% Lean 48oz $5.99 (store coupon) - $1 (coupon) = $4.99 ($1.60/lb)
Kemp's Skim Mi…

In the Refiner's Fire - The "Problem" with Being a Christian Woman

The more I travel down my faith walk, the more I've realized something:  as Christian women we have a little "problem".

The problem of living as a Christian in the world is that we see things that the world never sees.  We see sin, we see pain, we see places where we can grow and change and mature into better people, better Christians, than we are too.

The problem isn't necessarily seeing these.

The problem comes when we start to measure ourselves by what we see as inadequacies in ourselves based on the sins and the problems we see in our own lives.  We start comparing our inner selves to the outsides of others and our inner selves to the ideal inner self we'd like to have. 

And this is where we begin to beat ourselves up and hold ourselves to a higher standard than we can possibly obtain in our lifetime.

We uphold the woman in Proverbs 31 or Titus 2 or we uphold our Pastor's wife or other "godly" women as something we need to do or be in gory deta…

Goals for the Week of February 9, 2014

It seems like no matter how hard I try, my schedule just seems to fill up!  I ended up at work on Saturday which I just did *not* want to do - my weekends are time at home without my 2+ hour each day commute, thank you very much!  I often think of how much time I'd have if I didn't have the commute I do, but there aren't any other jobs in my field closer to my house (or here in the Twin Cities at all for that matter!), so that's where I am.  I love what I do and I love where I work and who I work with, so I keep reminding myself that when I'm stuck in traffic! :)

Anyway, I'm going to skip my goals from last week because other than work and family the list was pretty depressing to me.  I got a bunch of stuff started and not much completed.   SIGH.  Add to that that my week got started off with Missy deliberately cutting a huge piece of material out of her only pair of pants that actually fit her (she is a size 8 slim extra-tall - did you even know they made that…

Menu Plan and Shopping This Week - February 9, 2014

Since I ended up going in to work on Saturday, I did a quick stop at the store on Sunday on the way home from church (*cringe*) rather than our "regular" shopping trip on Saturday.  I missed double coupons - darn it - but I did get us groceries for the week.  We have $22 and change for groceries this next week - I am getting to the point where I have a list as long as my arm for things like shortening and rice, so I'll be on the look out for good deals this week.  I did get some good deals this weekend, buying mostly produce and milk at one store.  I don't have a photo of the shopping trip, but here's what we got:

24oz cornmeal $2.15
35oz Conversation Hearts candy (for valentine's) $4 (sale)
2.20lb bananas @ $0.59/lb = $1.30
2.13lb pears @ $1.29/lb = $4.04
4lb oranges $3.99
2 9oz bags fresh spinach @ 2/$3 = $3 (store coupon)
2 Grape Tomatoes 1 pint  B1G1 $2.99 (sale)
Dozen Large Eggs $1.99 (ouch - but this was the lowest price locally that actually had eggs i…

Frugal Things from the Last Two Weeks

I'm a bit behind on posting - I have several posts that are half done and then, wham, they get shoved to the back burner while more urgent and important things take precedence.   That's the way it goes sometimes.  We all had a good laugh when half the department at work - literally half - showed up to work on things on Saturday.  We're pretty good about not being in at work on the weekends (unless someone has a piece of equipment that must be checked by a faculty member), so we all collectively groaned and agreed that we need to get more done during the week so we can spend the weekends with our families. Now to put that into practice!

Anyway, after the school semester has been kicking my butt for a few weeks, we're still trying to get the budget revamped (continually, it seems like) and get things in place for Internship. We have only 16 weeks until John is done with his current job and moves into Internship!  Wow!!!   We've been doing really well with not spendin…

Goals - Week of February 2, 2014

It was a busy week last week in spite of having two days at home with the children and third where I worked from home due to a badly timed snowstorm that hit right at morning rush hour.  Classes are in full swing for all four of us and I'm happy to get back into something resembling a routine.  I've decided that I need more creative things in my life and also need that outlet to get a few things done that I've been "meaning to do" for quite a while.  Since the children are big enough to both help out and entertain themselves along with the combination of getting this house cleaned out and things completed, I'm hoping to add more things to my list that meet my "completed" word for the year and feed my soul creatively.

How did I do last week?  Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Work:Be ready for class each day
Keep up with grading (I tend to do well for a while and then get really behind!)
Update grade book as needed
Check references from MS Thesis …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of February 2, 2014

We're slightly warmer this week - by slightly I mean we're actually above zero and don't have to worry about school getting canceled because of wind chill.  We do have to worry about snow though - we're supposed to get more this week!   Spring can come any time it likes, I tell you!
We're trying some new-to-us recipes this week.  I'm rather excited about that and I'm starting to dream and plan my garden already.  With three feet plus of snow outside I think it's probably good to daydream about those things and do a little planning.   Valentine's Day is around the corner and I'm thinking about what to make for dinner for my family - if you have any ideas, please share!

Even with our $20/wk grocery budget for the last two weeks, we're eating very well.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, February 2:
    Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
    Lunch: Scrambled Eggs, Cinnamon Biscuit Twists, Oranges
    Snack: Best Ever Chocolate No-Bak…

Super Savings "Saturday" - $19.86 Shopping Trip

We had $21 and change left in the grocery envelope this week and I was a bit bummed that things were more expensive than I thought they would be this week. I wanted to buy couscous and rice (we are out of both) and some of the ham and chicken that was on sale but we were also out of potatoes and milk and running low on veggies and fruit.  My daughter has taken a liking to eating a container of yogurt for a snack every day, which is fine with me, and right now it's cheaper to buy some rather than figure out how to make some (yes, I know there are many ways to make yogurt, but I haven't had the chunk of time to try it right now).

So here's what I bought for just under $20 this week:

Store #1:
8lbs Potatoes $2.98
Haas Avocado $0.68
2lb Yellow Onions $1.50
Kemp's Skim Milk 2 Gallons at 2/$6 (coupon) - $0.75 (coupon) = $5.25  ($2.62/gallon)
Smart Balance Butter Spread $2.29 - $0.50 (coupon) = $1.79

Total Spent Store #1: $12.20
Total Saved According to Store Receipt: $3.23 …