Showing posts from January, 2018

Menu Plan, er, Tuesday - Week of January 28, 2018

Swedish meatballs - our treat after shoveling so much snow last week.  They were delicious!  I usually serve them with mashed potatoes but that night it was with rice.  Either way, this was a great pick me up after a lot of hard work.

We bought only a few things this week in the way of groceries. We had plenty in the house and only needed a few things to round out the menu this week.  I'm planning to do a pantry challenge in February and March, so this should be the norm for the next couple of weeks.  In addition to our small grocery haul, John won an apple pie at a raffle he entered, so that is being eaten as a snack this week. Yum!

We had a very eventful weekend including an ER trip and a major knee sprain.  We ended up picking up a frozen pizza at the store on Saturday after all of that.  That came out of our recreation budget rather than the grocery budget using money we had planned on spending for dinner at the Basketball Tournament this weekend. The injured party is healing…

Super Savings Saturday - $24.34

No photo again this week.  I'm slipping! Or something like that.

We have basketball tournaments all weekend, so I ran to the grocery store Friday between other things and picked up a few groceries.

We have very full freezers and a very, very full pantry, so we're eating well in spite of not buying much.  Here's what we bought:

16oz unsweetened applesauce $1.99
8oz fresh spinach $3.99
green bell pepper $1
cucumber $1
3lb clementine's $3.99
Smart Balance $3.29
1lb Cheddar Cheese $4
32oz Yogurt $3.59
1 dozen eggs $1.49

I could have bought a little more, but we have overspent what we had planned to spend this month so we stuck with this.

Come back Monday to see what we're eating this week!

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 21, 2018

A summer meal - I think this was 4th of July, which we also had fruit salad and homemade ice cream for.  Occasionally we purchase really good bratwurst for meals like this. YUM!

We spent just under $40 for groceries this week.  Here's what we're eating:

Sunday, January 21, 2018:
    Breakfast: Yogurt with Chia Seeds
    Lunch: Cinnamon Biscuit Twists, Sausage
    Snack: Ginger Cookies
    Dinner: Swedish Meatballs, Noodles, Green Beans

Monday, January 22, 2018:
    Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Toast
    Lunch: Leftover Meatballs and Noodles
    Snack: Cut Veggies
    Dinner: Baked Whitefish, Rice, Carrots, Sliced Apples and Pears

Tuesday, January 23, 2018:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds and Dates
     Lunch: Rice Bowl with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Cranberries
     Snack: No Bake Energy Bites
     Dinner: Cabbage with Bacon and Noodles

Wednesday, January 24, 2018:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins and Raspberry-Banana Smoothies
     Lunch: Leftover Cabbage-Bacon-Noodles

Super Savings Saturday - $37.88 with 2 Beef Roasts!

No photo today! 

John and I dropped the children and the  groceries off at home and went on an honest to goodness date for a short while!   It was just an afternoon coffee/tea at a local coffee shop with a gift card but it was wonderful.  He had a crazy busy week this last week and this one looks busy too with two funerals and several meetings in the ramp up for the annual congregational meeting next weekend.  I'm grateful to have had some time to spend together before the craziness sets in.

We stopped at one store after a trip to the local library and bought the following:

1lb Heart Candies $2.99
1lb Yellow Cornmeal $2.19
Large Fresh Pineapple $2.99
2.2lb Yellow Bananas @ $0.59/lb = $1.30
1.63lb Braeburn Apples @ $2.49/lb = $4.06 (This was NOT what the sign read and we didn't check the receipt until well after we had come home; we would normally never have bought them at this price!)
1 Gallon 1% Milk $3
10 6oz Yogurt Cups @ 5/$3 = $6
1.88lb and 1.86lb Beef Tip Roasts B1G1 = …

Frugal Friday - Week 3 of 52 - January 12 - 18, 2018

Some of the flowers from my garden last summer - I'm so looking forward to more this summer!

It was a very odd week - we started with Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday and our daughter and I fighting a bad head cold, Missy was better Tuesday but I was not, and then I felt like we were trying to catch up all the rest of the week.  I was a bit relieved that it was Friday today!

We had several just unpleasant things going on this week but we did a very nice job of being fairly frugal - it's easy to not spend money when you're home sick, I guess.  Either way, it ended up being a reasonable week all the way around and we're looking forward to a quiet week at home and some extra rest before all the activities start to ramp up next week.

Here are some frugal things we did this week:

* We made two types of soup, biscuits, and waffles at home this week.

* John brought home leftover chicken noodle soup (homemade) and cookies from a church event.  We used those for lunch and t…

Menu Plan - Week of January 14, 2018

Sometimes breakfast - eggs with spinach, a smoothie (raspberry and banana here), and coffee.  YUM!

I didn't get a chance to post our shopping trip this weekend so here's what I bought; stopping at the store on the way home on Friday so I didn't have to go out in the icky weekend weather (well below freezing, then snow and blowing, yippie!) unless I wanted to. 

Here's what I purchased:
2 1lb packages sliced lunch meat 2 @ $2.69/ea = $5.39
1 1lb sausage $3.69
1 packaged prepared hummus $2.99
2 1lb packages coffee 2 @ $5.99/ea = $11.98
1lb fresh blueberries $2.50
3lb Gala apples $3.69
3lb Anjou Pears $3.99
2lb bananas $1.39
10 cups yogurt $5

Total Spent: $40.62

This is more than I wanted to spend, but we are pretty well set except for milk and maybe some more fruit for the rest of the month now.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, January 14, 2018:
     Breakfast; Toast with Peanut Butter
     Lunch: At Church (Bible Study)
     Snack: Popcorn

Frugal - Week 2 of 25, Week of January 6, 2018

My children at the beach this past summer. John and I have been planning a real Summer Holiday for this year.  My parents are celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary and we're celebrating our 20th, so we all decided we need to take a Holiday together.  We're pretty excited!

It is COLD here again - the temperature this morning was listed at -12F (-24.44C).  Early this week it was almost +40F (4.4C).  It almost felt like spring was on it's way. Of course, it's way too early for that but we enjoyed the short warm-up and are now bundled back up for the weekend again. I deliberately went and ran errands yesterday Friday evening so I don't have to venture out on Saturday if I don't want to.

Here are some things that we have done this past week (Saturday 1/6 to Friday 1/12):

* At home we made soup, bread, pancakes, and muffins.

* I enjoyed treats - muffins, fruit, cookies - and a very delicious lunch at a workshop this week.  There was way too much food for lunch an…

Work, Home and Family - Our Schedule (sort of)

I'm dreaming of summer and warm evening fires, like the one above.  We're supposed to get rain and then snow and then cold again through tonight (Wednesday) into Friday.  Sigh. I'm ready for winter to be done and it's only the beginning-ish of January. 

One of the things that people are doing this time of year is posting their "schedule" for their days.  And since I often get asked how I "do it all" (trust me, I definitely don't do it all!), I thought I'd jump on that bandwagon, at least in a way.  We have more of a routine than a set schedule, though we do have times to be places and the like.  This is our weekday schedule.

Some things to keep in mind:

Our children are tweens, so plenty old enough to sleep through the night, do all their own grooming, and help with the household chores.  Most days we don't have to keep reminding them to do their homework and practice instruments (they both play two).  I'm so grateful!  Having twi…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 7, 2018

Yum - Pancakes!  Both of my children can make delicious pancakes and I'm so grateful! One thing they have both asked to do this year is to learn how to cook better and to cook more often.  So each week, they will be helping with a meal and we have a few specific recipes that we are planning on working on as well.  This week Buddy is helping with Pasta with Veggie-filled Tomato Sauce on Monday and Missy will help with the Crock pot Beef Gravy on Thursday. 

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, January 7, 2018:
    Breakfast: Peanut Butter Toast
    Lunch: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Cinnamon Biscuit Twists
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Vegetable Barley Soup, Biscuits

Monday, January 8, 2018:
     Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Toast
     Lunch: Leftover Soup
     Snack: No Bake Energy Bites
     Dinner: Noodles with Veggie-Filled Tomato Sauce, Spinach Salad with Strawberries

Tuesday, January 9, 2018:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds and Dates
     Lunch: Leftover …

Super Savings Saturday - $29.61

The photo above is the red velvet cake I made John for his Birthday last year (2017).  This year (2018) a friend made a BEAUTIFUL two-layer red velvet cake with cream-cheese frosting.  Sadly, I didn't get a photo of it since only three pieces came home (one for me and one for each of the children).  The rest was eaten at Bible Study and John had a second piece as an afternoon snack that day before coming home.

John and I spent a little more than half our typical monthly grocery budget at Sam's Club stocking up on some things earlier this week, so my goal is to cut back on the grocery budget this week and a few more weeks going forward to even things out a bit.   We did end up spending about $10 more today than I wanted to but that just means we have less later on this month.  That money was spent to fill a vacancy in our pantry and should last us a while.

Missy was on the ball when we got home and put the groceries away before I could take a photo.  I wasn't about to pull…

Frugal Friday - Week 1 of 52, December 29, 2017-January 5, 2018

I keep looking at the photos of my flowers from last summer and reminding myself that our super cold spell WILL eventually pass - a high of +2F (-16.6C) today, and it was -9F (-22.8C) when I left the house this morning.  SO glad I own a down parka, lamb's wool hat and warm gloves and boots!  Garden planning is on the agenda in January, so I guess the photos are more than just a lovely reminder.

One week of 2018 is already done.  That is hard to believe!  I took this week "off" from work and spent the time "working from home" on both work and school items as well as doing a few things around the house and running a few errands.  I did teach Jazzercise and take the children to school but otherwise I stayed home!  I enjoyed it very much but now I'm ready to get back to work.  That will come Monday!

We're tightening our belt this year to pay off some debts - being very deliberate (my word for 2018) and intentional about what we're doing with our money…

Work, Home and Family - Two Sets of Specific Goals for 2018

Over the tail end of 2017, John and I spent quite a bit of time on what we wanted to accomplish in 2018.  We came up with two areas to focus on:


Here's what we're hoping to accomplish in these two areas in 2018:

Family:  More deliberate time together and being intentional in being in touch with our extended family, including my husband's eight siblings.

Finances: To pay off two specific debts that we're starting this year with (something very unusual for us) and to complete a specific list of household repairs.

Breaking it down further, here's what we'd like these things to look like on a monthly basis in 2018:

* One evening per week spent as a family.  We used to do this regularly, but it's been sporadic for the last year or so and we've all missed it!  Time to get back to it!

* At least two dates per month for John and I.  While at home dates are great, we've realized that in this season of our lives, we need to actually leave o…


Deliberate(Adjective): Done consciously and intentionally Looking back over 2017, and quite frankly, since John started Seminary so many years ago, I've spent a lot of time living in a manner that left me feeling at loose ends.  I had to pick up a lot of things that John had to leave behind and drop a lot of things that meant a great deal to me - like my degree work (though I never dropped out, I had to take time off from the program).  In 2017, John settled into his First Call as a Pastor and our lives relaxed quite a bit on many, many fronts - schedules, finances, and family health (this last having nothing to do with John's Call).  We're now been more than a year into First Call and it's been wonderful - the congregation is everything we could ask for and more, we've established a routine, people have been gracious and kind, and we've been definitely blessed. During this time I've allowed myself to heal, both physically and mentally. I still have PHN.  I…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 31, 2017

Anyone else scratching their head and wondering where 2017 went?  I know, right?  I'm actually excited about a "fresh start", so to speak, with the new year.  Here's to a wonderful 2018!

We spent most of the last week of December out of state, visiting family and doing a lot of absolutely nothing after a very full fall.  It was glorious!   The photo up top is of my Dad's seafood chowder - scallops, shrimp and fish with a bevy of veggies - a Christmas tradition for us. Delicious!  I'm a wee bit jealous that Mom and Dad had leftovers for a day or two after we returned home.   It was wonderful to visit and we enjoyed "warm" weather. It was well over freezing where they live but much colder than normal for them, which led to us receiving several strange looks when we went to the grocery store in jeans and sweatshirts.  The day we left here it was -11F and we returned home to -11F as well (high of +2F today - heat wave!).  Brrrr!

John r…