Saving on Saturday

    • We spent around 3 hours outside today working in both our flower beds and our garden!  The saving part comes in that we did not pay someone to come and do this. A second way we are saving is that by cleaning up the garden we are able to extend the growing season and continue to save on our grocery bill.  I had to take pictures just so that I could remember the differences.

Before

  • Mom and I made a trip to the Dollar Tree today. I was able to purchase new items for my sign for a total of $5.  I am so happy with the way they turned out!
  • Zach wanted Taco Bell for his birthday.  I decide to download the app in order to save time and headache for me placing such a large order. It actually worked the way it was suppose to and we have already earned two extra tacos for Free!
  • We had decided several month ago to have a much less than usual Christmas this year in order to be able to afford our trips to Disney.  I have started working on purchasing gift for the kids and I have decided that I am going to limit it to 3 gifts from Matt and I. The little ones at home will also get a Santa Claus gift but that is all!   Now to stick to this!

Budget Update

I have been monitoring and working on developing a budget the last couple of weeks. We have had several changes to our expenses and I wanted to start the school year with a solid foundation. I honestly don’t remember and could not find the last time I actually shared a budget. So I am going to do that today.

In the area of income, Matt continues to work full-time and I will start next week back at my school system. I am beginning today some additional work in Guam.

I do not budget my earnings from Guam. The first reason for that is that it can vary greatly from $40 to $1500 a month. After our tithe, we have been using the extra money for home improvements, fun money and travelling specifically Disney trips. This will continue for the remaining months of this year. I anticipate that even our April Disney trip should be completely paid off in December. This gives up a good six months to determine our next priority for the extra money.

Now for the actual budget :

Monthly Expenses Total
Hair100
Gas 500
Offering520
Piano120
Clothing100
Credit Card payments 745
Chores/ House cleaning350
Car Payment436.42
Spending180
AAA/Insurance78
Groceries550
Gifts100
Summer140
Saving25
Mortgage  990.96
Water34
Electric260
Internet147.46
Van Payment 344.03
Verizon343.03
Adobe/Computer 32.09

Monday Menu Planning

This weeks plan looks very different than most anything you have seen. The goal this week is to use up the food that we have prior to our beach trip with as little waste and left-overs as possible. We are doing very well on grocery spending so far for the month at $96.85! This is also the last week for school food delivery so I am going to assume our grocery bill will start to increase again next week.

Breakfast– Saturday-Egg and fries omelet Sunday-Biscuit King because we over slept. Monday- , Tuesday,  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, bagels or omelets

Lunch-  Saturday- left-overs from the refrigerator Sunday-
BLT with homemade bread and home grown tomatoes . Monday- tomato sandwiches Tuesday- Egg rolls from school Wednesday- Chinese from Panda Panda . Thursday- homemade uncrustables , Friday- pizza lunches from school.

Dinner-  Saturday-Spaghetti with homemade meatballs and sauce Sunday-Time Square Pizza Monday chicken nuggets and carrots Tuesday- corn dogs Wednesday- Grilled Chicken Thursday- spinach ravioli Friday- hamburgers.

Monday Menu Planning

I am excited because, we were able to clean out and organize the freezers in the house over the weekend. I ended up only throwing away one single pork chop but the kids found lots of breakfast items to enjoy. During the month of July my overall goal is to reduce grocery spending. We also are planning a beach trip so we will plan at least 50% of the meal that we eat to take with us to save money. I also want to fill in my pantry whenever possible. I realized that I have several recipes that call for Cheddar Cheese soup. I stopped and purchased a can today on sale for $1.50. By using Amazon Subscribe and Save, I can purchase for $1.25 a can. I have a shipment set up for the end of the month. I am hoping to reduce trips to the store and expense by doing things like this. Summer foods are definitely dominating this weeks menu.

Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuit King Sunday-Breakfast bowls.(Remained was made into Breakfast burritos) Monday- , Tuesday,  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, breakfast pizza or omelets

Lunch-  Saturday-Chicken sandwich or pizza bits Sunday- Wings from East Coast wings. Monday- pasta salad Tuesday- Egg rolls from school Wednesday-(ham and cheese sliders school). Thursday- Salad, Friday- corn dogs from school.

Dinner-  Saturday-pasta salad Sunday-left-overs Monday Steak fajitas Tuesday- Cold Plate Wednesday- Instant Pot cheeseburger Macaroni Thursday- Sandwiches or left-overs Friday- sloppy joes.

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