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Showing posts from June, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 29, 2014

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I actually remembered to take some photos of our food this week!  So now I just have to remember to post them!

I have a goal for July to see how little I can spend on groceries - I will buy milk and maybe butter, depending on how things go and maybe a few other things.  We have a well stocked house, the two CSAs and a gift certificate for a couple loaves of bread from a local bakery.  We should be just fine.

This coming week has the 4th of July (Independence Day) on Friday and John home two days this week, including Friday.  We're excited about that since it seems like he's been at his Internship more than he's been home this summer partly due to a lot of overnights and a fairly lengthy commute (it's amazing what people refer to as "local" here in the metro!). We have lots of pot lucks this week to attend.  We also have a funeral this week that will be serving us dinner as well.
Here's what we're eating this coming week:

Sunday, June 29:  My parent&#…

Super Savings Saturday - Spent $20.38, CSA bounty and the last bit of our stock up fund too

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It's been a very strange week here - I feel like all I did was run all week but I really didn't go anywhere outside of our normal weekly running (lessons and Jazzercise - we picked up the CSA shares on the way home from these).  We're still thinking through the big decisions we have coming up and so appreciate your prayers for discernment!  Thank you so much!

As we were getting ourselves organized this week we found out that we still had $20 in the stock up fund! We were surprised - we thought we'd spent all of that.  I guess that's a good indication of how completely and totally unorganized we've been in some respects lately. UGH.  Anyway, we decided to use that to stock up on some tortilla chips and crackers (you'll see below) since those are two things we really enjoy having around the house but don't seem to be in the "regular" grocery budget.

First - here is what we received in the two CSA's we subscribe to:

First up, Veggies (and a …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 22, 2014

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Super Savings Saturday (or, rather, Sunday) - Our First CSA Box and $21.12 Spent This Week

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I guess it's Sunday isn't it? 
It was a VERY busy Saturday for us but I managed to make pizza and bread sticks for dinner and get a bit of grocery shopping done too.   Sometimes it's so hard to get through the weekend without just feeling like I want to crawl into bed and never get out!

Our weekly grocery budget is $40 but to afford our two CSA shares we only have $20 to spend at the store and/or farmer's market each week.  So we're working hard to hold ourselves to that. Last week I spent just over $15 and this week it was just over $21 so our average is still under $20.  For now, I'm okay with that!
So, here is our first CSA box of the year:

From left to right:  Radishes (back), rhubarb (front), mint, oregano, chives (front), green lettuce (back), broccoli (front), spinach (back), red lettuce (middle) and strawberries (front).  I always forget how sweet the strawberries are fresh from the garden - super yum!  They're almost like eating candy.  The radis…

Frugal Things We Did This Past Week

I'm realizing I need to start taking photos of some of the frugal things we do each week - these pictureless posts are a bit ho-hum.  In my humble opinion anyway!

Here are some of the things we did this week that count as frugal:

* Ate all but three meals at home - two meals were potlucks.  I ended up taking a tossed salad to both since we had a TON of greens from our first CSA box - pictures coming with our grocery shopping later today - so my family ate the fruit salad which also included watermelon along with what I listed on my menu plan for this week.  The third meal was a planned meal out - my husband with our son and me with our daughter. We all had a terrific time. 

* The party for my friend was wonderful and just what I needed on Thursday night.  It started with one of the potlucks with a lot of time catching up with old friends!  Terrific time!  There are a couple recipes I'm going to have to get now too.

* We brought home 9 huge slices of watermelon, a bag of hot d…

Some Thoughts on Joy and Happiness and being Christian

Last evening after Worship we had Bible Study and talked about Jeremiah 20:7-13.  This is a passage where Jeremiah alternately rails at God and praises God regarding the reception, or lack thereof, for his ministry and his work as a prophet.  My Bible titles this passage "Jeremiah's Unpopular Ministry".  I think that's a rather weak title for this.  Another version titles it "Jeremiah Rails at God".  That might be more appropriate.

We talked about anger and how being angry at God is something that we as Christians tend to dismiss as inappropriate.  We tend to think that we shouldn't be angry at God no matter what happens - that we as Christians should be joyful and happy and praise God no matter what.

Um, have you read the Bible?
The list of people who are angry at God and rail against him is long and spans both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  Some of these people include:  Moses, Noah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Job, Daniel, David, Paul, and, yes, eve…

Goals for this week - June 15 - 21, 2014

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While I haven't posted goals for a while now, I've been very diligent about writing them down. It seems like I don't get much of anything done if I don't write my goals down - I'm really pretty scatterbrained sometimes!   I'm home with my children for the next six weeks with a couple of random days here and there where I have to be in at work or school.  The majority of our time will be spent at home so here's the goals for this week:

Work:
* Finish activities list for one unit for the class I'm re-doing for this fall.

School:
* Finish power point
* Talk to Advisor

Jazzercise:
* Teach 2 classes
* Learn 2 new routines
* Attend at least one other class

Family:
* Swimming Lessons
* Piano Lessons
* Dance  Lessons
* Playdate for Missy
* Outing with the children: I'm hoping to take them to a local zoo (we have a couple) if the weather cooperates!
* Visit the Local Library

Home:
* Remove one more bucket of rocks from the front flower bed
* Dig out the gra…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 15, 2014

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I am home with the children all day every day for six weeks now with the exception of half of one day.  That means we get to eat lunch at home every day!  And that means I can use leftovers for all of us or I can cook - either way.  I think I like that.  I made bread on Sunday this week and since it's damp out this week we need to use it up fairly fast - thus lots of sandwiches!

We started this week with a treat lunch out for all of us - John had promised Buddy a day out instead of a birthday party so he used the money set aside for that and combined Father's Day and Buddy's birthday day into one (I think it was fun for both of them - at least they came home happy!).  I had promised Missy a lunch out at a favorite restaurant with Grandma and Grandpa.  Well, we didn't get to do that while they were here in May so she asked if we could go - just the two of us.  So I used the money I had set aside for that.

After that the name of the game was homemade!  I had two potluck…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - May 2014

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Now that we're halfway through June, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things from May this year.

Here we go!

My children turning 9 this year - last year of single digits! My son deciding that he needed a day with Daddy more than he needed a birthday party this year. My parents being here for their birthday this year. My cousin Diane being here too. My son learning the basic of how to carve and spending time with Grandpa discussing the finer points. My daughter sewing with my Mom. Being able to make it to every event on our schedule even though it looked like it was going to be impossible. My daughter deciding that she and her friends needed to put on a play for the school. The Principal actually letting her do it - all of it! - including costumes and advertising.  They didn't use sets except for a cardboard sleigh. They had over 50 people show up to watch the play after school one day! And they did a terrific job putting the play on.  Way to go girls!
We had some l…

Super Savings Saturday - I spent $15.41 out-of-pocket today!

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I did our first "real" Internship grocery shop today.  We have  TON of food in the house so I was really trying to get some fruit for this week, grab a couple of sales/deals and use up the rest of our gift card for our favorite store.  Our grocery budget right now is $20 per week for what will hopefully be mostly meat and dairy and a few household items/toiletries/paper products. Our two CSAs start up next week (WHOOT!) so we will start getting fresh produce that way mostly. I anticipate buying a few extra things to round out recipes and/or give us some variety but I'm hoping I can do that at the farmer's market and I won't have to buy much from the stores at all.

I went to two stores today and here's what I got:



Store #1:
Kraft Mac and Cheese 6 @ $1 each = $6
Kraft Marshmallows 4 @ $1 each = $4
0.8oz Ground Ginger $4.19
Black Plums 2.25lbs @ $0.99/lb = $2.23
Cantaloupe $2.50
1 Gallon Skim Milk $3.49
18 ct Large Eggs $1.99
32oz Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt $2.5…

Frugal Things We Did This Week

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We had a busy week this week - I was on jury duty again, the children were attending the YMCA day camp, and John continued his second week of Internship.  We are loving the lowered stress levels and the lovely weather we've been having!

Frugal things we've done this week:

* The children played outside a LOT this week.  Both here at home and at the YMCA day camp.   Our daughter made Fairy Cities (as opposed to Fairy houses) in several places around the yard using rocks, sticks, grass, weeds, and the last of the dandelion heads.

* We purchased mulch for the front flower beds and sent in for the 11% rebate that was being offered on our purchases this week.   All but one of our front flower beds are "done" for this summer. I'm working on digging out the landscape rock from the last one.  (A previous owner had put down landscape rock without putting a barrier underneath so it has all worked its way into the soil.  This is huge job and will take most of the summer to …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 8, 2014

Is it really June?

I'm feeling like I live in a time warp again.... sigh.

No photo this week - I'm posting from my work computer which, alas, does not have my food photos on it.   If I remember, I'll add one later.

We had a HUGE shopping trip this week - our favorite grocery store is going out of business sometime soon, but we have no idea when.  We bought about $200 in gift cards over this last year through the SCIP program at our children's school (we get cash back toward our children's tuition for purchases) so we'd have a bit of a cushion this year.  Anyway, we need to use up those cards before the store closes.  So we spent just over $100 of that this weekend on groceries - strawberries to slice and freeze for baking and smoothies later on, whole chicken, bacon, pepperoni (which I got for 50 cents a package!), cereal, cheese, a couple of frozen pizzas, more canned beans, cooking oil, shortening, butter, batteries and a few toiletries.  I'm totally bum…

Frugal Accomplishments - The "Off and Running!" Edition!

We're off and running with Internship here!

John started his new "job" this past Monday, gaining the title of Vicar, and we've been adjusting to a new routine, a new schedule and just plain gearing down for summer.  The children finished 3rd grade this week (yikes!) and we spent an afternoon with friends.  I was scheduled for jury duty this week but was not needed, so I'm taking advantage of having already scheduled childcare by getting my ducks in a row (at least mostly) for my fall classes.

As some of you know, we just experienced a huge pay cut - in fact we have about $500 total income coming in between June 1 and the end of August - so we're now in a much tighter budget than we had been before.  The last couple of weeks have been a case of stocking up on some things and evaluating what we have and trying to budget from our savings for the summer.  Our income will pick up again in September (teachers typically don't get paid in the summer) but it will…