Menu Planning Monday

I was amazed to realize that I have not shared a menu plan since October 7th?? We have changed strategies a little this year, instead of a monthly menu plan we are doing a weekly plan. This added flexibility allows us to use up left-overs and arrange around special events. This weeks plan looks a little different as we are scheduled to go out to eat twice. Monday night is the annual Christmas parade uptown and Kendall is riding in it. Friday night is Lily’s birthday so she picked Chick A Filet for her meal. I have a school discount card that is buy one get one free for Arby’s roast beef and I have a $10 gift card to use on Friday. Between the two, I am budgeting $50 for both nights.

Breakfast- Saturday,-left-over breakfast from Friday dinner . Sunday,-Bagels. Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, Friday– Choice of breakfast burrito, omelet oatmeal, pancakes , pop tarts, cereal, French toast or toast.  This is the easiest meal of the day!

Lunch–Saturday-Lunch at Costco, brought most of the rostiere chicken home to use again. , Sunday-left-overs Friday both Matt and I will eat out, Kids have a mix of salads, soups and sandwiches. Matt has two days of salads, and I have one day. He will have sandwiched the other days and I will find the best left-overs.

Dinner – Saturday- Potato soup.  Sunday–Left-overs or sandwhich Monday-Arby’s Tuesday– Chicken enchaladias, I plan to use the rest of the chicken from Costco Wednesday–orange chicken and egg rolls. Thursday– Meatloaf muffins, mashed potatoes and corn bread. Friday- Chick A Filet.

How I Spent my Saturday

The kids and I spent most of yesterday working on my snow village. This is a photo heavy post if you ever wondered.

I had already done some preparation work and cleared a spot in my bedroom and go the ladder ready.

But then Lily and I decided that we would display the snow village downstairs in the living room this year! This way it would all be close together with a small shelf of houses one side of the television and the ladder on the other side!

The biggest job is to get all the houses arranged and cords hidden.

Finally we added the people and the trees!

This is a shelf that just sort of happened but it turned out awesome!

The Disney shelf. Lily hand painted the present boxes out of Styrofoam so they would hold my six cent Welcome signs!

The tacky house shelf!

These are not real snow village houses but they fit in perfectly!
The Ice skating scene has it’s own shelf and actually looks empty

The kids think that the farm shelf if way too full!

Both Main Street and the housing development look totally different this year!

Which is your favorite? Leave me a comment!

Tuesday Thoughts

We are starting to see an end to our busy fall season, ok so not an end but a slowing down of after school activities. In three weekends, Lily will perform in the show Elf. Zach’s last scheduled baseball game is next Tuesday night. I do anticipate one or two night of a tournament the first few weeks of November. Kendall has her homecoming and last football game, she will cheer at this Saturday. I think that basketball season starts the first of December.

We dug up over 20 pounds of sweet potatoes on Saturday from our square foot garden. We also pulled several pimentos, jalapenos and green peppers. This is a sad time of year because I do not like the cold weather.

On a bright note with the cooler weather, our electric bill for the month was down by $60!

Grocery shopping this month has consisted of two categories, items we are out of and need for a specific reason and items of clearance. Our total spending for the month is $176. This amount includes 10 cases of drinks! I don’t anticipate a lot more spending during the next week and half. I do have a stock up trip planned for Costco the first week of November.

I have begun anticipating and counting the days until my first day off of work in three months!! However, this may occur sooner because today, Kendall stayed home from school. If she is unable to return to school tomorrow then I will be staying at home as well to take her to the doctor.

Everyone in the house is anticipating this Friday. Matt should receive his first paycheck from his new job and a paycheck from the Humane Society. I have spent several hours working out details but we should be set on a good course starting this Friday! I do anticipate a budget redo starting in January. I wanted to give us a couple of months to adjust and make plans before making any major changes. I am planning to going back to a more cash based system with use of envelopes and our Capital one account in order to keep a better track of our spending

MENU Planning Monday

We survived! But we did not stick to the meal plan. On Thursday, I got stuck in traffic for an additional hour so we ordered pizza ($13.89) for 2 large pizzas and Matt used for lunch the next day. Friday- I was tired and decided Chinese was needed. The good news is that we ended up finishing up the Chinese on Saturday for lunch. I am also celebrating a win with cleaning out left-overs this week. For Sunday dinner, I took the crockpot lasagna, placed in a pie pan, topped with mozzarella and we had lasagna pie! It used another left-over so I am very happy!

Breakfast- Saturday,-Zach ate bagel and the girls and I had the rest of the hash brown casserole. Sunday,-Banana muffins that used up 3 bananas and some vanilla Greek yogurt in the refrigerator . Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, Friday– Choice of breakfast burrito, omelet oatmeal, grits, pop tarts cereal, French toast or toast.  This is the easiest meal of the day!

Lunch–Saturday-Left-over Chinese , Sunday-Out to eat for Amanda’s birthday. Zach is taking a salad, chicken nuggets, a sandwich and an uncrustable. Kendall is having a version of a sandwich every day. My plan is to take 2 days of salad one day of leftovers as I will eat out Monday and Friday this week. . Matt is starting to need lunches as well so he has a salad, pasta salad and pimento cheese sandwich and homemade chill.

Dinner – Saturday- Sloppy Joes that were on the plan last Friday. With the remaining French fries and tator tots in the freezer. Sunday–Lasagna pie Monday-Chicken Ranch Spaghetti( in the crock pot). Tuesday– Taco Pasta This is a heat and eat meal.  Wednesday–Pulled pork and creamed corn (in crockpots) Thursday– Taco Soup (heat and eat from freezer) Friday- Shephard pie from last week (heat and eat).

September in Review

Financial- We are doing ok. Matt has accepted a new position which should come with an significant increase in income! We have spent several hours talking about priorities and goals. I will hope to have a finalized new budget by the end of October. I do think that this may be a temporary budget for November and December with a more established budget starting in January. We did manage to have to have 7 no spend day in September which is the same as July.

Grocery Spending-$550.31 This does include our $120 Costco membership. We needed things like toilet paper, laundry detergent, fabric softener and dishwasher tabs along with food for lunches!

Earned $155- We continue to use Swagbucks on a regular basis but this amount continues to decrease and becomes increasingly hard to reach even $1 a day. I did receive a $100 gift card for applying for a personal loan. All the money this money has been used to work on our bathroom floor. I will have details and pictures once it is fixed.

Personal-
Blogging- post number 8 for the month. Returning to work full-time has been rough along with all the kids activities.

Exercise- 0. After my knee injury, I am finally walking without pain and will try to start adding in some steady exercise.

Looking ahead to October- Maintain spending and adjust the budget according to the income level we are at. Continue to control spending and debit. I know that this month will truly be a month of adjustments so I just want to maintain even ground and make a plan that works for our family.

Saving while Shopping

I mentioned last week that one of the things we enjoyed doing on our vacation was shopping the outlets. Today, I am going to hopefully share some of the deals we got and several pictures as well. I did debate about sharing because you will not be able to replicate the deals but it does give you an idea of what good prices for items are.

On Sunday, we left early, before 7:30am after eating at our favorite local breakfast place.



The goal was to be at the Tanger Outlets before lunch. South Carolina has a tax free weekend usually the first weekend of August. We planned to take advantage of this sale. We were successful! Some of the deals that we were able to combine with the tax free weekend included $8 shorts (for me) at Old Navy. Children’s clothes priced at $2, $4, $6 and $8 at Old Navy. We purchased mostly clothes for Braxton with this deal but Kendall grabbed a shirt for $2.49 and Lily found 8 pair of “cool socks” for $8. We shopped at RUE 21 where we found $5 shirts, each of the girls was able to find 2 shirts that are appropriate for school and out with me!

One of Lily’s new shirt! This was taken prior to our 2nd shopping day!

I will say that Lily probably found the best deal at H &M. She purchased a bikini both pieces included for $11!

We also purchased a couple of shirts and an outfit for Braxton’s birthday at the Disney Outlet store.

On Wednesday, we decided to venture to the second Tanger Outlets.

The biggest store that we wanted to visit was the Nike Store. One of the things that I have learned about this store is that the back wall is all clearance shoes. It has everything from kids to men’s shoe. There is usually a sign on this wall that indicates an additional percentage off. On this particular day it was 20%. Lily, Kendall and I were able to locate shoes that we liked all from this wall. At the register, I was encouraged to sign up for the Nike app which would give me an additional 10% off. I purchased 3 pair of Nike shoes for $85! If you shop at all you realize that this is a good price for even one pair of shoes. We shopped at the Simply Southern store where I purchased t-shirt dresses for the girls for $5. I also purchased several Christmas presents! Mom and I also headed to the Lane Byrant store where we shopped the clearance rack. I was able to combine $20 in birthday cash from the credit card and a school discount. I actually think my Mom did better. She found 5 tops on the clearance rack and opened a credit card account for an additional 20% off. She ended up paying $10.17 for all 5 pieces. To complete the transaction she used cash to pay off the credit card.

We finished the day at Chick A Filet, where the kids traded the books from their meal in for ice cream cones!