This is the week that I am counting on Menu planning to really pay off. Matt and I both will be working full time and the kids are don’t start school until next Monday. I did try to stock up on Breakfast foods this past weekend.
Breakfast- Saturday-Breakfast burrito bowls (using gravy from Friday), Sunday- Eggs with pesto and cottage cheese for Zach and me, Pop-tarts for the girls and left over burrito bowl for Matt. Monday- Burrito bowl minus gravy for me, fruit for kids and cereal for Matt Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- Choice of pop-tarts, breakfast burrito bowl, egg muffins, cereal, eggs or grits.
Lunch- Saturday-lunch out with friends Sunday- Pizza from Dominos. I will be eating out most of the week at my new job, Monday- left over pizza and bagel bites, Tuesday- burritos for everyone but Kendall who is eating a lunchable. Wednesday- Mac and chesses, the blue box kind, Thursday- Sandwiches, Friday- left-overs or uncrustables.
Dinner – Saturday- Hot dogs Sunday- Baked potatoes , Monday- Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans and watermelon, Tuesday- Chicken Enchiladas from freezer, Wednesday-Slow cooked pepper steak , Thursday- Corn dogs from Sonic after meet the teacher and Friday-Pull pork, veggie and fruit.
Matt and I actually planned the menu for the next six weeks but will make adjustments and changes are we see fit. I am so excited and ready to see the kids every night at dinner!
- The past week has really flown by. I was able to accomplish almost everything on my list for this second vacation week! Including hair cuts for all of us and a nail trim for Rugar!
- Starting Monday, both Matt and I will be working full time. This will be the first time in our marriage (13 years) that we will both be working full-time.
- One of the main things I am concerned about is cooking and groceries. We will all continue to take lunches as well as eat the majority if not all of our meals at home. I have spent a considerable amount of time and money on groceries this week. I have visited Costco twice, Food Lion three times and Walmart and Harris Teeter. I have spent a total of $467 just this week. I will probably end close to $500 as I am going to stop at Food Lion for more Diet Cokes over the next several day. I am able to purchase 10 2L of Diet Coke for $9.52 until Tuesday. After doing most of the cooking on Monday, I have continued to add simple things by cooking double most of the week.
- We finally got around to weeding and watering the garden today. I discovered that my lettuce had self seeded and I have a bunch of small plants. I am going to leave and see if any grow larger enough to eat. We also harvested several watermelon and two full buckets of green peppers. I am hopefully that we will continue to harvest tomatoes, pimentos and peppers for at least another month. I was also very excited to see that my sweet potatoes are starting to grow. They can stay in the ground until the first frost which is around the end of October.
- I was also able to complete a picture collage using pictures from our Disney 2015 trip. I have only had the collage picture for 4 months!
Did I mention how excited I am to start at Davie County Schools on Monday?
One of the biggest changes or should I say most difficult change for me, is going to be that I am responsible for dinner most days of the week. Both Matt and I will be working until around 4:30pm each day. I know myself and realize that if I don’t have something that is already complete in the crockpot or can be placed in the oven with five minutes or less of prep than I will want to eat out. But really after working all day who does want to cook? With this in mind, I spent most of my day today working on meal preparation. I know there are a couple of people who wander what and how so I am going to provide probably too many details.
First up was left-over chicken and pasta from the beach. This was an excellent meal made by Amanda but we had leftovers especially chicken breast. I shredded 1/4 of the chicken breast, mixed in about half a block of cream cheese together with the left-over pasta and this was our lunch today. I shredded the rest of the chicken breast, added a bag of frozen vegetables, cut up a potato, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup mixed with a cup of chicken broth and pour on top. Kendall wrote a index card with the directions for the topping and in the freezer it went.
I purchased a 10 pound bag of chicken breast from Costco that I pulled out next. I used my insta pot to cook approximately 4 pounds, really as full as it would go. Next, the kitchen aid shredded the chicken. I was able to make 2 containers of Chicken Broccoli Casserole . I have learned that I needed to chop up the broccoli in order to make everyone happy. I also made 2 batches of Chicken Enchiladas- I don’t add the salsa or cheese on top before freezing. Finally made a regular Chicken Pie. Kendall added a card with instructions. I also labeled both the top and side with what each thing was. I added about another 3 pounds of chicken breast to the instapot and cut this is cubes for Chicken Fried Rice. ( I will try and add the recipe for this soon). I left 6 breast in the bag and added a bottle of Italian dressing. This will marinate for 3 or 4 days and become awesome grilled chicken. That is a total of 8 meals from one bag of chicken and 9 meals prepped for the day.
We, Matt and I did an inventory last night and we have 2 meals of cowboy beans, a meal of taco soup, several meals of Salisbury steak, taco meat and sloopy joes all prepared. Matt is also excited to find 10 more frozen burritos.
Taco meat is easy, brown 5 pounds of hamburger dump in crock pot along with water and seasoning, cook on low for 3-4 hours. We divide ours into 1# bags for either tacos or nachos.
Sloppy joes are similar with 5 pounds of browned hamburger, this also cooks in the crook pot for several hours. These are also packed in 1# bags, which feeds the 6 or 7 of us easily.
We also have lots of beef from the cow we purchased. I do want to make some easy breakfast this week but am starting to feel more comfortable with our meals. The last stage will be writing out a meal plan for the month some time this week.
1. We are currently on vacation in Cherry Grove South Carolina. Our vacation started last Sunday and we will head back home this Sunday, the August 12th. Haley came down on Sunday and stayed to Wednesday. My mother came on Monday and will be leaving on Saturday. Amanda and her significant other arrived late Wednesday night and will stay till Sunday. We have had the perfect beach weather with lots of time on the beach!
2. On Tuesday, I was offered a position at Davie County Schools. I accepted it the same day. This is a different school district than the kids are in, but the schedule should be similar enough to allow us the flexibility we need. I will get off two months in the summer in addition to a couple of weeks at Christmas, a week in the Spring and all major holidays.!
3. After accepting the new position, I realized that I have been wearing scrubs for the past 7 or more years. I have purchased some jeans and shorts but did not have but one pair of pants other than jeans. We have also spent some time shopping at the outlets near by. I was able to purchase 3 pair of pants, 2 shirts and a long sleeve dress for $125.00
4. Today is my 46th birthday! We spent the morning on the beach. We shopped at the Nike outlet this afternoon, prior to going to eat real fresh seafood. We also spent time shopping at a Christmas store. Both LIly and Amanda purchased new items for my birthday at the store. This has been an awesome birthday.
5.On Saturday our lawn mower, started an untimely death. We will have to replace it during this next week.
I really think it is more important to have a menu plan on vacation than on most normal weeks. The reason is that a plan allows you to bring food from home and prevents overspending. So here is our plan for this week.
Sunday: breakfast- Biscuit King, lunch-TGIFridays, dinner-pasta salad, made at home.
Monday- breakfast- gravy and biscuits, lunch-sandwhiches,dinner- hot dogs
Tuesday- breakfast- Jimmy Dean crossiant, lunch- tacos, dinner- Cheeseburger in Paradise
Wednesday- breakfast- Poptarts or leftovers, lunch Pizza, Dinner- baked ziti
Thursday- breakfast- Atlantis, lunch- sandwhiches or leftovers, Dinner- Amanda cooking
Friday- poptarts; toast donuts or crossiant, lunch sandwhiches or leftovers, dinner – seafood
Saturday- breakfast Atlantis, lunch- leftovers or McDonald’s Dinner- leftovers
Sunday- Breakfast- Atlantis, lunch- fast food on way home, Dinner- chicken nuggets
I have been sort of quiet about my job change for a couple of reason.
The first of which is that the hospital required a 28 calendar day notice. I also needed to tell my patients/ families in person. I was also concerned about how notice would work out. I have only one day left and am relief that all though it has been very stressful and I have struggled, things have worked out the way anticipated regarding dates. My official last day of work will be tomorrow August 3rd, but my official termination date is August 10th. The difference is I was allowed to use my already scheduled vacation. This does not seem like a huge difference because vacation time will be paid with my last paycheck but the difference is my insurance. We, as a family, will lose insurance on August 18th. I will plan to post an entire blog about insurance and my thoughts in the very near future.
Another issue has been working out details regarding both of my new jobs. The first is really a night time job as I will be working in the evenings/nights Sunday- Thursday via Skype in the territory of Guam. I am still not certain of the number of hours even each day but hopefully will be able to schedule around the kids activities. I have been working on receiving OT license for Guam since May. The latest update is that I should be approved on August 10th. I am now anticipating starting this in September. My second or daytime job is I will be doing Home Health therapy with children under the age of 18 years. I have signed a contract with this company but will not be official begin work until August 27th. I will be working four days a week, continuing with Thursday off, the biggest change is my hours will be 8-2pm so that I can pick the kids up from school each day!
Did you look at the calendar? Let me share that I will have an extended 3 week vacation between jobs! We have our annual family vacation the first week but I am so excited to have a couple of weeks at home to catch up and enjoy before going back to work. I am planning to share a lot more on the blog during this time and also hope to share other changes including finances as well.
So July did bring some much better news for us financially. Matt started his new job in July! We will not see a huge benefit with this until at least September but it is a huge first step.
Financial- July was not as good as June, We increased our overall debit by $459. I am hoping to see a significant change in this in August. We have some outside of the box plans that I will share as they occur.
Grocery budget $475- Total spent $580.23. Yikes. This is another month over budget. I may need to increase this amount again in the coming months when things settle down.
Gas budget- $280- Spent $291. I am going to increase the budget to $300 a month starting in August. We purchased a small car to use for my home health job so I am hopeful that this will keep our expenses close to $300 each month.
Kid/Summer expenses : No extra expenses for July. However both Baseball and LYT will be due in August
Earned $115- This is also a slight improvement over the month of July. Shopkicks has been the difference this month. Extra money is always a bonus!
Blogging- 7 for the month. This should definitely increase with my new job!
Exercise- 5 total days for the month. Small improvements are key in this area.
I am going to be really honest and say that August appears to be another tight month until we are able to adjust to our new incomes. I will only be paid for 2 weeks in August and Matt will be short of pay for our week of vacation.
Life happens so you have to adapt some days. We usually plan out our menus a month in advance. This way we can use what we have and then purchase what we need. I also hope that it eliminates trips to the store. However, life happens, on Friday, Matt discovered that our small refrigerator in the building went out. We were able to salvage everything. But that meant we grilled 24 pork chops and I used the crock pot for a 5# bag of chicken legs. You will notice, we are eating a lot of chicken and pork this week. We also leave for vacation on Sunday, so I like to empty out the refrigerators as much as possible.
Breakfast- Saturday-BLT on sour dough bread with fresh tomatoes , Sunday- Bagels Monday- smoothies for kids, eggs and grits for me. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or grits.
Lunch- Saturday-veggie day- to use our fresh garden vegetables and some we were given , Sunday- Lunch with friends. Matt and I will have leftovers or sandwiches and the kids will be treated to lunch by my mom at least 3 days this week. She is picking them up from VBS.
Dinner – Saturday- Grilled pork chops or BBQ chicken legs, potato salad and fried squash, Sunday- Leftovers from fridge, Monday- Steaks with veggies again from refrigerator , Tuesday- mashed potatoes or cowboy beans ( Lily and Zach have orthodontic appointments) , Wednesday- Chicken pie (using chicken legs), Thursday- Pork Fried rice (using grilled pork chops) and Friday-free style- including left-overs.