Menu Planning Monday

 The countdown until the end of school is on! We have 3 more weeks and I have one additional week of workdays.  One of the ways I want to save money this month is by limiting our grocery budget. If I don’t go to Costco that significantly reduces my spending. I currently have spent $145 on groceries. My goal is to make it the rest of the month with spending less than $50. I know we need to buy both paper towels and toilet paper with that money.  I do hope to use Swagbucks to earn at least one $25 gift cards to help with the cost of these needed items.  The homemade uncrustables were a huge hit, in fact, I made 16 more for the next couple of week.  I even made a breakfast quiche for myself

Breakfast- Saturday Sausage biscuit – Sunday-biscuits and gravy.   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday– Choice of breakfast burrito, oatmeal, grits, cereal, or toast.  Wednesday- baked oatmeal- peanut butter/chocolate chip

Lunch–Saturday-breakfast burritos from Sonic     Sunday- Stuffed green peppers.    Monday– salad and veggie day.  Tuesday–Wednesday-Thursday and Friday- uncrustables for the kids, I will take a combination of left-overs and salad items. I even made homemade chicken salad to use this week.

Dinner – Saturday-Pizza   Sunday–Grilled spam, sweet potatoes and creamed spinach. Monday-Hamburger helper Tuesday– soft tacos   Wednesday–Grilled pork chops  Thursday–Chicken pot pie . Friday- Hamburgers and FF

Saving on Saturday

This Saturday, we did more saving than we spent, which of course is the overall goal!  We decided to go to several yard sales that had been advertised in our neighborhood, in addition to our church yard sale.  I was very excited to find a Vera Bradley laptop bag in perfect condition for $2 and a separate Vera Bradley purse for $2. Another excellent find was a pair of converse tennis shoes for Kendall for $3. I picked up several tuppperware plastic cups for ten cent each.

The other way that we saved money this weekend was by eating out. I know that sounds very strange but we were able to eat out for all three meals for less than $30.  First, at one of the yard sales we all grabbled sausage biscuits for $1 each. I had already packed a cooler with drinks. For lunch, I stopped by Sonic and grabbed 5 breakfast burritos for $5.35. I received this deal via a text on Friday.  It was well work the effort of reading the text and pulling it up for the cashier to see. Finally, we ordered a pizza from a local restaurant and used a discount card from the school for a total of $15.35 for a 14 inch pizza.  We always take food with us to the pool so this made a huge impact of our budget! hidden1 \

Food Hacks that Work!

Our schedule for this week includes swim team practice on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and baseball games on Wednesday and Friday.   As you can imagine this means that we are extremely busy. I anticipated this season of busy enough to try a couple of new quick and easy food tricks this week.  I am so excited to report that they worked!

Breakfast is always a big deal at our house. We all enjoy eating breakfast but also like a lot of variety. I saw that Harris Teeter had “egg in a cup” on sale for $1.67 each this week. That gave me an idea and after a little bit of research on the internet, I made my own “breakfast bags” Zach fried up a pound of sausage while I diced green peppers and onions. I placed 1/8 cup of peppers, 1/8 cup of onions and ¼ cup in a snack bag, in the freezer they went.  My plan was to stir a couple of eggs in a cup drop in the bag contents. This week we have decided that you need at least 2 and usually 3 eggs if you chose to add cheese to the mixture.  In the microwave for 1.5 minutes or you can also add the bag to a frying pan and stir. Zach was unable to eat 2 eggs for breakfast so we decided to separate his bag in half and that seems to work well for one egg.  We also have some breakfast burritos in the freezer.  These simple omelets are a huge hit.   HUGE win for quick and cheap breakfast on the run.

Kendall and Zach take their lunches to school every day, at this point in the school year, we are tired and really want something new and fun for lunch.  Both Kendall and Zach love uncrustables and we have been able to purchase on sale several times this school year, however at fifty cent each on sale this is an expensive lunch.  I had heard of several folks making homemade ones and again after some research decided to try it. I was a little worried at first about needing some special way to seal the outside, however after using one of our glasses to make the circle I was pleasantly surprised to learn that by using the glass it sealed the sandwich. Kendall says that these taste better than the store bought ones.  I spent sixty-cent on a loaf of bread for these but otherwise have the peanut butter and grape jelly already in my pantry from sales.   I was able to make 8 sandwiches at the average cost of ten cent or less each!   I am planning to make another batch of these this weekend!   

5 Things Friday

1. Summer is officially here in North Carolina for two very distinct reasons. First, I caved and turned on our central air on Wednesday this week. The house temperature at 6 pm was 83* so you really can’t blame me. The second reason is that our community pool opens this weekend and swim team practice will start next week!

2. The square foot garden is doing really well so far. I am excited to be harvesting lettuce several times a week. I also will soon be able to enjoy green peppers and jalapeño pepper. I notice this morning that we have our first zucchini squash is showing.

3. I have 5 weeks of working left before I get to enjoy a long summer break.

4. We are managing to stay well under budget for groceries this month as so far we have spent $12. I am planning to purchase some 2-Liter sodas for our Mother’s Day celebration.

5. We only have 3 baseball game left this season. Zach is still LOVING baseball. He has moved to the first of the batting order and is planning to attend a baseball camp at a local university to improve his skills this summer. 

Monday Menu Planning 5/6

May is an exciting month for me this year. I am counting down the weeks and days until my long summer break. I have also decided that I will only be shopping in town this month, which means no Harris Teeter or Costco. I will be picking up items as we totally run out or that are need for a specific meal, like buns.  I plan to cook from the freezers and hopefully start to get some good garden items by the end of the month. We don’t have any more lunchables so the kids are back to packing lunches on Sunday with lots of sandwiches.  This week of course is busy with baseball and piano. Swim team practice should start next week as well. Quick easy and summer time favorites are on the menu.

Breakfast- Saturday– bagels – Sunday-biscuits and gravy for the girls, boys had a men’s breakfast.   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday– Choice of breakfast burrito, oatmeal, grits, cereal, or toast.  Wednesday- baked oatmeal- peanut butter/chocolate chip

Lunch–Saturday-steak fajita using left-overs     Sunday-Seafood restaurant for Mother’s Day a week early.    Monday– salad and veggie day.  Tuesday– hummus and dip for me, Kendall and Zach had egg salad sandwiches, Wednesday-Thursday and Friday- soup, wraps and sandwiches for kids. I have a salad for one day and left-overs.

Dinner – Saturday-left-overs  Sunday–Left-overs Monday-Mini chicken tacos  Tuesday– spaghetti and garlic bread   Wednesday–Steak and ranch potatoes Thursday– Chicken sandwhich and FF. Friday- pizza roll ups. 

Wordless Wednesday- Square Foot Garden

tiny corn plants!

Real broccoli

3 zucchini plants

between broccoli and oregano are 2 tiny squash plants and one watermelon is in front of oregano

2 jalapeno plants and cabbage

Peppers and corn

Do you see the small peppers?

Sweet potatoes with watermelon up front!

Cucumbers are starting to sprout!

Hope 8 tomatoes are enough

Last but not least the lettuce that continues to produce and strawberries!

April in Review

April is in the books. I honestly can say I think it flew by.  The success this month is planting the square foot garden!   We already have lots of small plants and I am very hopeful to start eating out of the garden by the end of May.

We were able to stick to our menu planning for the majority of the month! I have also been really good at eating things before they have to be thrown away.  Unfortunately, I have not been keeping a running record of our grocery spending but estimate we spent around $300. I am back to good record keeping today!

Fell off the wagon with keeping up with gas spending as well.

We are struggling in the area of finances this month as well. I am hopeful for positive news soon on this front.  We increased our overall debt but also covered summer camps for all three kids. I am beginning to notice a pattern and know what needs to be done to change it…. I NEED TO STICK TO WRITING THINGS DOWN!  Some good news is that my check was $100 more than expected. Matt was able to reduce his work cost by $35 a month.  I also have a better budget in place. I NEED TO STICK TO IT!

I have continued with completing either Bible study or reading at least 3 times a week!
I did not use the treadmill this month. May is warmer and the pool will open soon which also gives me better opportunity for walking.

I was only able to post 9 times in the month of April.

We have continued to earn money with Swagbucks this month, we were able to gain $100. Currently we are grabbing gift cards to Dominos which are discounted at 20%. Pizza is good!

PLANS: 6 weeks of work left for me! Bring on the Summer! I am going to focus on using our money wisely this month!  We are also planning of painting Lily’s room which should get us caught up to date on house projects!

Zachary’s new room!

Check out the previous post  to see where we started.

This is picture overload.  We are planning to add a desk this week.  The other addition will be a baseball diamond on the wall. I will plan to make another post and link it here as well.

new bedding and beautiful gray walls!

Custom stickers decorate the fan, light switch and outlets….

Lily hand painted the knobs on the dressers and the sign.


Check out the way we repurposed these dressers!
Painted this shelf so it would match and he clean out and organized all his toys! The entire bottom row is nerf guns and at least 2 of the boxes have Nerf accessories in them as well.

Trophy shelf and custom hat rack also thanks to Matt

Final look at his bedding. Hopefully my mother can make a matching curtain.