Showing posts from November, 2014

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - November Roundup

It's the last day of November. It's hard to believe that it's already here.  Today is the first day of Advent and I am ready for a slower pace and am hoping that pushing myself like I have been the last few months will make that happen.  The children have been such a big help in getting the house cleaned and ready.  I still feel we have a long way to go for it to be where I want it to be by the time company comes but I'm enjoying the progress in the meantime.

Here are some of my favorite things from the month of November this year - light on photos this month, I realized I really hadn't taken any this past month:

Reformation Sunday The birth of the Protestant Church and our beloved Lutheran Church. All Saint's Day A day to remember all those who have gone before us.  So blessed are we! My sister-in-law Gabrielle - she turned 20 this month! She was a baby when my husband and I got engaged and she was the flower girl at our wedding - 16 1/2 years ago.  Yes, she w…

Super Savings Saturday - A $27.13 shop and an $80 top off

No photos again this week - John bought groceries while I was at Jazzercise this morning and he didn't take a photo.   We're into a new month for grocery budget - $140 for the month - so I'm trying to fit in all the good things we need for us to spoil my parents when they come for Christmas. 

We went to Sam's Club and bought the following for just under $80 (of course, I can't find the receipt now - if I find it I'll update prices):

Toilet Paper
Yeast 2lb
Canned diced tomatoes
Canned chicken noodle soup (the children like this for lunch at school)
Frozen Tilapia Fillets
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Red Grapes 3lbs
Gallon Milk (this was over $1 cheaper than our local store)

Total: Just under $80

At our local store John bought the following:

1 15oz can Store brand black olives $1
2 15oz cans Geisha Mandarin Oranges 2 @ $1 = $2
Carnation Evaporated Milk 4 @ 4/$5 = $5 (we use this in place of cream in cooking)
Store Brand Sliced Bacon 1…

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving!
It's Thanksgiving Day here in the US and we are taking the time to celebrate and remind ourselves all we have to be thankful for.  And we have so very much!

Today I am thankful for... husband... children... career.... health... ...our home... ...our parents... ...our extended families... ....our church families... ...internship/Vicarage... ...John's mentor Pastor... ...the power of prayer... ...good medical care... ...plenty to eat... ...plenty to wear... ...reliable transportation... ...a warm place to live in cold weather... beautiful garden... children's smiles... husbands kisses... ...time spent with friends... ...laughter... ...peace... ...Grace.... ...Jesus Christ... ...the gift of eternal Salvation. What are you thankful for today?

Goals for this week - Week of November 23, 2014

I'm hoping for a quieter week this week and I decided I am going to take Thursday and Friday completely off from anything work or school related.  We have Thanksgiving Day here on Thursday and in theory at least we're all off on Friday.  I say in theory because John is the on-call person for the church over the weekend.  While real emergencies are few and far between they are very real and severe - usually involving life and death and things surrounding potential life and death.  That means he needs to be available to go right away.

I started keeping track of my weekly to do list in a little different way and I found I'm much more productive!  I write out the goals for the week and then each day I write out the days goals with a priority marking next to each item.  I focus on only the high priority items - one of today's was being ready for class tomorrow! - and ignore the items I can postpone until after all the more important stuff is done.  It's been so helpful …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 23, 2014

This week is Thanksgiving here in the US and I'm so grateful for a couple of days off from our busy routine!  We get to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with friends and a quiet Friday and Saturday too.  I'm hoping to get a few Christmas gifts sewn and catch up some grading for work.  We'll see how it goes!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, November 23:
    Breakfast: Smoothies (fruit from the freezer)
    Lunch: Baked Eggs, Cinnamon Biscuit Twists, Raspberry-Apple-Orange Salad
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Turkey Pot Pie, Tossed Salad, Apple-Raspberry-Banana Salad

Monday, November 24:
    Breakfast: Waffles from the freezer with Raspberries and Pecans
    Lunch: Leftover Pot Pie
    Snack: Cookie
    Dinner: Venison Stir Fry, Rice, Orange Wedges

Tuesday, November 25:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal with Pecans and Craisins
    Lunch: Yogurt, Apples with Peanut Butter, Carrot Sticks, Cookie
    Snack: Cookie
    Dinner: Potato Pancakes with Raspberries and Applesauce


Super Savings Saturday - The rest of my November Grocery Money

We're at the end of November - December starts next week - and this week is Thanksgiving here in the US, so holiday it is!   I took advantage of a turkey special and bought a 14.77lb turkey for $13.15 or 89-cents per pound.  Sometimes they drop lower the week of Thanksgiving but in the preview for the sales this week, this was lowest price and I'm glad I bought the bird!  We are with friends this year and I'm bringing fruit and dessert so we'll save the turkey for Christmas or sometime next year.

No photo this week - the battery was charging - but here's what I bought:

14.77lb turkey @ $0.89/lb = $13.15
Jimmy Dean Natural Sausage 2lbs @ 1lb/$3.99 = $7.98
Mixed Fruit 3lb Bag (Red Delicious Apples, Granny Smith Apples & Naval Oranges) 2bags x $3.29 = $6.58
Large Pomegranate $1.99 (this is super cheap for here and we love these so I splurged!)
Bananas 2.26lbs @ $0.59/lb = $1.33
10lbs Russet Potatoes $3
5lbs Whole Carrots $2.49 (I will probably have to blanch and f…

Frugal Friday - Frugal Things We've Done the Last Few Weeks

It's been quiet around this blog lately - I've been fighting a lot of pain (sometimes bad enough that I am actively and obviously limping) and we've been super busy at work lately.  I was chatting with a couple of co-workers and we all agreed that this semester seems very taxing for no definite reason.  Not sure what that means in terms of work things, but it means I've been going to bed early and not doing a whole lot other than work and family. My Mom has also been struggling with some health issues that are not resolving themselves well.  If you have a minute, could you say a prayer or two for her?  Thank you so much!

We've been pretty quiet here since I haven't been able to do much and John has had church events - confirmation, committee meetings, and a junior high youth lock-in.  So the children and I have been enjoying evenings with playing, making Christmas presents (Missy is way on the ball with that one!) and watching movies.  I've been doing some …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of Novembet 16, 2014

It's Monday, and that means I get to share what we're eating again!   I hope you are eating well.  John mentioned one day that even though the fruit drawer and some of the shelves in the fridge are empty by the end of the week, we so fortunate to have so much good food to eat!   I totally agree! 

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, November 16:
    Breakfast: Smoothies (using frozen fruit)
    Lunch: Scrambled Eggs, Fried Diced Potatoes, Grapefruit
    Snack: Cut Veggies
    Dinner: Turkey Pot Pie, Tossed Salad, Apple-Banana-Mandarin Orange Salad

Monday, November 17:
    Breakfast: Pancakes with Applesauce and Diced Apples
    Lunch: Leftover Pot Pie
    Snack: Cut Veggies
    Dinner: Potato Soup, Biscuits, Apple Wedges

Tuesday, November 18:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon
    Lunch: Leftover Soup
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Vegetarian Chili, Cornbread, Grapefruit

Wednesday, November 19:
    Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
    Lunch; Apples wi…

Super Savings Saturday - $32.69 Shopping Trip

It's been quite the couple of weeks at our house - shingles, ice and snow, and some overwhelming stuff at work for me, lots of evenings and weekends for John and Buddy added the boy's basketball team at school to the mix just because he didn't have enough going on!   Much of it has been good but I am missing my quiet weekends.  We've also had some financial surprises - Missy's winter coat bit the dust and the oven needs a new heating coil.  We have the money for it but, honestly, it's so hard to see the savings we've worked for the last few years slowly creep down as expenses come up.  I know that that is why we have been saving, but it hurts in a way none-the-less.

Anyway, John went to the store today and bought $32.69 in groceries.  Here's what he got:

Crisco Oil 48oz 2 @ $1.99 (store coupon) = $3.98
Store Brand Canned Beans (1 Navy, 2 chili, 1 black) 4 @ $0.59 = $2.36
Pillsbury Bleached All-Purpose Flour 5lb 2 @ $1.99 (store coupon) = $3.98
Store Br…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 2, 2014

Okay, so that's totally *not* edible food - but it was food for the soul!   That was the rainbow over our backyard back in September.  BEAUTIFUL!   The kids and I just stood on the back step in awe for a while. 

We have a rather lazy week this week - John only has one evening meeting and I have NOTHING.  Hurrah!  We are heading out of mid-terms at school and I feel like I just got done running a marathon.  The house looks like an explosion occurred and between all of that and the 5, yes five, Halloween/Harvest parties we had this last week, I'm ready for some peace and quiet!  

We found out our benefits are changing in January and we somehow have to squeeze $300 a month more out of our budget.  If we start saving now for that, it won't be as bad, so we shuffled some things around in the budget so we can do that.  Tight is the name of the game around here this fall (and all spring!) but we at least decided not to change the grocery budget.  After our huge disaster of a b…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - October 2014

Wow, has the fall just flown by.... whiz!  I can't believe we're in November already.   I guess that is how the seasons change around here.  Here are a few of my favorite things from October this year:

The last of my flowers blooming before we started to get "cold".

Aren't they beautiful?  My roses are having one last hurrah right now - I love it! We had amazing fall color here this year.  I took the long way to work most days just because it let me soak up that beautiful color longer.  Sadly, I don't have any photos. My children playing their instruments have really made progress this month - it's super fun to hear them playing and I think they're enjoying it too.
My daughter was adamant that she saw something really cool in the clouds one day and had to take a photo of it. Now we have no memory of what that something really cool was but I love the photo anyway. Having my children making pictures in the clouds.  My children playing well together -…

Super Savings Saturday - $30.55 spent

Hurray!  I finally got my photos to sort of behave themselves So here you are....

I had a really good chuckle because the first thing it offered to upload for you was my gradebook for my T/Th class at school!   Too funny! I really don't think you need to see that!

Anyway, here was our shop for this week.

John and Buddy went to one store and bought the following:

1 Lysol toilet cleaner $1.99 (with coupon)
1 Tide Laundry detergent $5.99 (sale price) - $2/1 coupon = $3.99
2 Creamette Mini Shells Pasts $0.88 x 2 = $1.76 (sale price)
Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup $1.20 x 2 = $2.40 (totally not a good price, I know)
1 can Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)  $0.89
2.78lbs Pears @ $0.99/lb = $2.75
2lbs Whole Carrots $0.99
2.62 lbs Large Black Plums @ $0.49/lb = $.1.28 (I should have had John get three times as many of these and forget the pears!)
Whole white Mushrooms $0.99 (with coupon)
2.90lbs Yellow Bananas @ $0.59/lb = $1.71
Kraft Shredded Cheese $1.99 x 2 = $3.98 (with coupon)