Monday Menu Planning

I am on summer break!! I am so excited to finally have some guilt free down time and hope to enjoy every second of it! However today the weather is not cooperating so I may even have to change up the menu plan to add a soup! The goal this week is to use up left-overs. The kids will begin receiving 6 breakfasts and 6 lunches from the school starting this week so we need to make some space!

Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuit King! This is become a favorite and I am not upset with that idea! Sunday-Toast, bacon and eggs Monday- , Tuesday,  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, pancakes,  cereal or grits, breakfast burritos or omelets have been added for the next couple of weeks.

Lunch-  Saturday-left-overs Sunday- Seafood from a local restaurant. I ate out today (Monday) and Matt will eat out (Friday). So depending on what the kids get from the school we may just eat left-overs the rest of the week. I am also planning to add it what ever we can harvest from the garden!

Dinner-  Saturday-BBQ salad using left-overs Sunday- left-overs Monday- Pork Fried rice (all left-overs) Tuesday- Quesadillas using left-over BBQ chicken or pork. Wednesday- Italian Spaghetti Salad (depending on weather) or left-overs or soup Thursday- Cheeseburger pizza Friday- Olive Garden Chicken and pasta!

Recipe Challenge 36 and 37

I have decided that since I am doing so well on this challenge that it would probably be best aka make my life easier if I plan to go ahead and finish the challenge during my summer break. This way, when we start back to school and our crazy busy life, I can enjoy some new favorites! The second reason is that it allows me to keep up with my goal for blogging as well! I also want to get my recipe book and folders cleaned and organized this summer as well.

I decided to try this first recipe AppleSauce BBQ Chicken for a couple of reasons. I wanted a good easy meal with chicken and second I still have some baby food from Braxton that I need to use, applesauce is one of these. The recipe is from one of my new favorites websites One Hundred Dollars a Month. I have only been reading for about a year but it is a wealth of information. This chicken turned out perfectly. I had 5 random piece of chicken breast left in a bag so I decided to go ahead put it all in to make room in the freezer. I was worried about enough sauce but I had plenty! The recipe is a freezer meal but I just added it all to the crockpot, chicken first, onion and then the sauce. I decided to go ahead and shred the chicken prior to serving. It was a huge hit. Definitely a repeat but will likely cut the recipe in half next time because it made two additional meals. The first is below and the second is chicken sandwiches on Sunday.

After dinner I place 3 cups in a bowl for the second recipe BBQ chicken salad. I got the idea for this from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures but really made it my own. I simply add a bag of Cole slaw mix and 2 tablespoons of lemon to the chicken. Mix it all up and put in the refrigerator. We took this to the pool and enjoyed for dinner on Saturday. Another hit! The original recipe said you could use canned chicken and I may do that next time.

Two repeats in a row! Fifteen more recipes to try sounds very doable at this point! This is the reason I want to finish the challenge finding lots of good and simple meals for the winter! The official count is
Repeating 18
Maybe 8
No 11

5 Things Friday

  1. Next week should be the most normal week since March. Monday is my last day of work for the school year!!!!!! The kids have swim practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Piano is scheduled for Wednesday. Zach has baseball games on Tuesday and Friday. And finally on Tuesday, Kendall finishes her oral surgery! Never thought a crazy busy week would cause this much excitement!
  2. The square foot garden is awesome! We are currently harvesting zucchini and snap peas. I have small tomatoes and green peppers! The cucumbers are flowering finally so I am so thankful and excited!
  3. The school system benefits reset in July of each year. Because of the ability to place even more in my flex spending account this year which is pre-tax. I was able to move our braces payments from the regular account back to the medical flex account which gives us an extra $267 a month. I will need to use at least $100 of this each month for other medical expenses but it is still a huge savings.
  4. This past weekend, we decided to have a yard sale. We have been slowly cleaning out different parts of the house during COVID-19 so I was anxious to finally get rid of the excess. I am very pleased that we made a profit of over $200! Even better is I had a lady come and purchase all the remaining clothes at the end of the day. This was huge and saved us a trip to Goodwill.
  5. I was very excited to find Suddenly Salad marked at $1 during my last trip to Walmart Express. I was able to stock up ! We will have these at least once a week for most of the summer! I am also excited to try several new salad recipes that I found on line! I have decided to try and complete the 52 recipe challenge over the summer! I am afraid that once we go back to school, we need to stick to easy and recipes we are comfortable with!

Monday Menu Planning

6 DAYS! That is the official count down for my work! This week we have added baseball games and practice. Next week, we start swim team practice. I can’t tell you how overall excited I am! We do have more summer meals and crock pot meals as it is getting much warmer around here!

Breakfast– Saturday-Sausage biscuits (during the yard sale) Sunday-, bacon and eggs Monday- , Tuesday,  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, pancakes,  cereal or grits, breakfast burritos or omelets have been added for the next couple of weeks.

Lunch-  Saturday-Burger King from yard sale profits Sunday-Chinese from Panda Panda The kids will have school delivered lunches for Monday and Tuesday only this week, Matt has 2 days of chicken sandwiches and 2 days of hamburgers I am going to return to eating at least one salad a week and also continue with some left-overs on other days.

Dinner-  Saturday-Pasta salad with lots of extras Sunday- Hamburgers and Hot Dogs Monday- Left-overs Tuesday- Chicken enchiladas Wednesday- Creamy Chicken Spaghetti or Left-overs depending on the refridgerator Thursday- BBQ chicken Friday- Meat Loaf

Recipe Challenge 33,34 and 35

A couple of things have slowed us down on the recipe challenge. The first of which is the weather, it is finally summer time weather in North Carolina. I am definitely a seasonal eater, give me soups and casseroles in the winter and salads and sandwiches in the summer. Another reason, is that we are trying to eat and use up the items we are given from the school lunch. The kids usually get an apple juice, a chocolate milk, a fruit, a vegetable along with a lunch item and breakfast items. Given all this it may be a very good thing that we are WAY ahead on trying 52 new recipes this year.

#33- Pioneer Woman Mini Strawberry muffins- These actually were really good however they stuck in my mini muffin pan. We used a spoon to eat each individual muffin. I am going to label this a no because I don’t know what went wrong or how to fix it!

#34- Strawberry Coffee Cake. This is from my favorite recipe site Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures! It was awesome, we shared with friends and they had to have the recipe to make themselves. I did make a couple of changes, used fresh strawberries, mix the sugar and strawberries together for the filling and finally topped with Cool Whip.

#35- Creamy Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe- I am not sure where I found this one as it came out of my drawer. It appears to be from Tasty? but I am still unsure. Lily made this for dinner on Monday. Our chicken was not unthawed completely so it took a long time to bake. Kendall LOVED it and it was all eaten. I am going to give it a definite maybe. Lily followed the directions and kept the chicken whole. I am thinking I would like to cut the chicken up to smaller pieces so it will cook quicker but also so that it will be more of a casserole and the flavors will blend better!

Official Count of Recipe Challenge
Repeating 16
Maybe 8
No 11

Menu Planning Monday

June 1st! I am excited because my work count down can officially begin! I have 10 days left till summer! In other good news, this week appears to be busier than we have been in several months! Piano, orthodontist appointments and baseball all added to the schedule! For this reason I am going quick and simple. I also have a recipe challenge post for later this week as well!

Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuit King (becoming Saturday morning tradition). Sunday-, bacon, eggs and biscuits. Monday- , Tuesday,  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, pancakes,  cereal or grits, breakfast burritos or omlets have been added for the next couple of weeks.

Lunch-  Saturday-Outback to celebrate our anniversary. Sunday-Baked ziti and homemade strawberry coffee cake. The kids will have school delivered lunches, Matt has 2 days of chicken sandwiches and 2 days of hamburgers I am going to return to eating at least one salad a week and also continue with some left-overs on other days.

Dinner-  Saturday- left-overs Sunday-pizza purchased at Aldi (this will be a good repeat) , Monday- Chicken Ranch Casserole with green beans or other veggie or fruit from fridge (Lily in charge and new recipe). Tuesday- Mini chicken tacos Wednesday- left-overs. Thursday-Pork Fried Rice and egg rolls Friday- Hamburgers and FF.

May In Review

May was another different sort of month. It definitely did not fly by but was not as slow as March or April. I am still working from home. I was able to get an additional 17 hours from my Guam job so that was extremely nice. We decided to go ahead and tackle one more home improvement in the month of May, our sink room. I am glad it is finished and LOVE the results.

The square foot garden is actually growing! I was getting really discouraged in the middle of the month. The weather was just not cooperating at all but finally in the last two weeks we are starting to harvest some small items and even the cucumbers that I had written off have returned to life. We did have to spray with bug killer today so hopefully we will not lose alot to these pesky insects. We continue to get a ton of lettuce and a finally a batch of snap peas that made it inside instead of Kendall eating them all!

Goal #1 Grocery Budget of $550- I was doing so well but decided to purchase 4 gallons of strawberries yesterday and a trip to Aldi put us at $607.45 for the month. I keep telling myself that spending will decrease soon. We have almost 2 completely full freezers! I have added an additional 3 meals this week along with some simple breakfast ideas! I think at this point, unless we are set with meat. Going to make a realistic grocery budget for next month…. stay under $550!

Goal #2 – Record and keep up with gas/ auto purchase- $284.40 is the total for the month which does include taxes and tags on the CRV. The CRV was filled 3 times and the van twice. I do actually expect our driving to go up this month as I finish up work and start to enjoy the summer. We also will be returning to church and going to the pool. The goal for June keep the gas budget down to $300 with the extra going to pay off debit!

Goal #3-Use a cash envelope system for everything possible. Success! No spend days are 3 this month YIKES! I knew going in to May that spending would increase. But still the goal for June is to have at least 5 no spending days. I am going to change a couple of rules. First, we save change all year to spend at the pool so this does not count as spending! Second an purchases for clothing, hair or piano that come out of a budget envelope does not count as spending as these are “spent” each payday when it is placed in the envelope. I am also planning to switch at least half of my grocery spending to cash as well.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 17 for the month! At least this is staying on track!

Goal # 5- Fitness- Goal is to walk 3 times a week. yea I did walk 3 times this month but only 3 times. This is something that I definitely need to improve on.

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal- 3x a week –Not there at all!

Goal #7-Attempt at least 52 new recipes this year.-  Still way ahead of this one! I have blogged on 32 new recipes but I have 3 more to post this week!

Earnings_ $75 in gift cards. Slow and steady.

June is an exciting time of the year! I finish up work, the kids finish up school and we enjoy the summer. I am extremely grateful that we have the pool open this year. I am hopeful that by the end of the summer, our lives will return to normal with a crazy busy schedule! Our first Disney trip is planned for the end of August, my goals for June and July are to save save and find more ways to save!!!

Saving On Saturday

This week I feel like I am really saving on Saturday. I used up the pork chops from Recipe Challenge #29 to make up a container of pork fried rice. I added some corn and rice and it will make an awesome quick meal one day this week.

After all the cleaning out that has gone on around here the past several weeks, we discovered we actually needed several different clothing items so today we ventured out to find what we needed. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover several awesome deal. First was Rue 21, Lily and Kendall each got a $5 shirt, Lily found some swim suit bottoms for $8.49 but by far the best deal was $1 each for two pair of swim suit bottoms to fit me! I am shocked but seriously if I can wear twice I am making money on them! Next was the Shoe Dept., we purchased 4 pair of sandals for the girls at $9.99 each!! Our final shopping stop was OLD NAVY. I purchased 22 items of clothing! My receipt says I save $136.49 and spent 126.36 including tax! Nothing I purchased was over $8. I did have $30 in super cash and received an additional $30 in super cash to use in July.

Matt and I celebrated our anniversary by stopping at Outback for lunch. This was a splurge! While waiting, I saw that the local strawberry had a special for 2 gallons for $20. This works out to $1.25 which is an good deal in this area! I purchased four gallons and have spent most of the afternoon flash freezing for future use. I did cut up smaller pieces to use in Baked Oatmeal. We will probably uses these strawberries for the next year so I am very excited!