Five Things Friday

  1. No Monday Menu will be posted this week. Next week our church is hosting Vacation Bible School from 6 to 8 Monday thur Thursday and a pool party on Friday. Dinner is provided for workers and their children.
  2. Our new oven has arrived!  I have been experimenting and getting use to it over the past couple of days. So far I am very impressed!
  3. With only 3 weeks left of summer vacation, I have established a couple of goals that I want to work toward which will make my life easier in the fall. First- prepare easy to heat and eat meals as much as possible. This week we have focused on making pizza dough. We have all the ingredients but it takes around 2 hours to make the dough. Kendall has made 12 this week. This will make for easy pizza in the fall. Simply unthaw the dough in the morning and add toppings. We also made 2 additional cheeseburger pizza toppings to add to the dough. Second- Stock up and organize the freezers and pantry.  This is also close to completion. I will be adding a couple of cookie, bread and cake mixes during the next week. Finally-enjoy lots of down time by sitting by the pool.
  4. Square Foot Garden- we are making plans to add cement to complete this area but I am also continue to try and figure out how I can improve the soil for next year. We are fortunate to get tomatoes but I am so frustrated that the money I spent on soil is basically worthless this year!
  5. July has turned out to be one of the most expensive months EVER but we are still holding our heads above water. I am ready to start reaping the benefits of all my bargains and saving.

Filling Up the Pantry.

I have mentioned before that I feel like we have a well stocked freezers.  So now I am trying to stock up the freezers with easy to prepare meals in addition to adding some needed items to the pantry.

I have been doing ALOT of shopping on Amazon this summer, in addition to it being the most convenient option for me, I have been able to find some great deals.  I am using scribe and save- the subscription service.   I am finding that some  deals offer some additional amounts off for your first shipment. I am setting reminders all over the place to go back and check prices to make sure that the second and future shipment are still at the great deal. If not it is not difficult to cancel but the trick waiting till around  a week before your shipment closes and then doing the math.  I have purchased snacks (30 cent or less per pack), hand soap, school supplies, rice and all vitamins. This week  I have found soup for around 80 cent a cup this is a HUGE convivence item for us!

Today I ventured out to Harris Teeter.  I have not shopped this grocery store in over 18 months. I LOVE their sales but with COVID and the distance to get to the store I just have not had a chance. Today I was getting some work on the van so I was  within a mile of a store.  I spent $33.45 and saved 53% according to the receipt! There was only one small catch, none of the items purchased were a need. They all were to add to the pantry. I grabbed 4 boxes of pasta at $0.79 cent each.  Canned beans, green beans and corn at thirty seven cent each and Hamburger helper at ninety-eight cent each. I admit that we use 2 boxes of Hamburger helper to one pound of ground beef but this is a quick and easy meal.

I am actually thinking that I have stocked up on most pantry items as well.  My plan is to only shop sales for the rest of the summer! This months groceries will be a regular month but hopefully I will be able to reduce the grocery budget by half for the rest of the year! $300 a month sounds very doable starting in August.


Vacation Catch Up

We spent the last week on Oak Island NC. This was a new spot for us and  I am really impressed. So impressed in fact that we have already reserved  a condo in the same building for next year.  Our only complaint this year was the mattress in the condo we had were HORRIBLE!  But on the bright side for the first time in several years, both Amanda and Haley joined us at the beach. Braxton stayed 4 days, Amanda 2 days and Haley 1 day.

We turned the air conditioning up to 80 degrees while we were gone and unplugged all the computers and electronics.   We are hopeful that this saved us some on the electric bill.

We did spend more of vacation. I don’t like to cook or clean on vacation. We did do at least one load of laundry per day.  We purchased heat and eat breakfast items and ate at a restaurant at least one time a day!

Matt, Zach and Tim went deep sea fishing on Wednesday while us girls shopped. We did not expect any benefit from this trip but  we are very pleasantly surprised to have brought home lots of mackerel (King and spotted) for our freezer.  I also stopped on the way home to purchase 3 pounds of freshly caught shrimp to add to our freezer as well.

We arrived home to 20 pounds of tomatoes which is a great surprise considering this will be most if not all of what we harvest this year.   I made 5 batches of spaghetti sauce.  On Sunday, I decided to spread out the sauce, making a baked ziti, 2 baked spaghettis and 2 bags of meatballs along with 5 containers of spaghetti sauce. We also enjoyed the sauce for lunch!

Vacation is the time when all the money saving stops and we enjoyed what we have worked and saved for all year!

5 Things Friday

  1. No menu plan for this week for a couple of reasons. First we are on week 6 of no oven.  Scheduled delivery is 2 weeks away.  I wanted to use up a lot of the fresh ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator as well as left-overs. And the final reason… I was just too tired.
  2. Made the first batch of spaghetti sauce from the garden this week. IT was awesome.   Unfortunately, we have discovered that the soil that I purchased from Home Depot was not good. We have been working to salvage anything by adding lime.  We were able to harvest some snap peas and some tomatoes. The tomatoes beds were over half full with dirt that I had already been using so they are at least producing a first harvest. I doubt it will be enough to fill the freezer this year but at least I can make a few batches of spaghetti sauce.  The sweet potato bed which is all old dirt seems to be doing the best so maybe I can salvage a few of those as well. My plan is to continue to add lime a bag a month until we get the beds close to where they need to be. Ugggh  I had high hopes and expectations this year!
  3.  We are headed on our beach trip soon. Not going to share all the details but this will be a totally new experience for us. We are planning a trip to Oak Island. I have never stayed on a NC beach!
  4. Lily is really enjoying her job as a lifeguard. She is actually working much more than she hoped and is enjoying spending the money as well.
  5. My summer is officially half over. I return to work in 6 weeks.  I have actually completed all the items on my summer to do list except stock the freezer. I am hoping that the next 6 weeks are at a much slower pace than the last 5!

5 Things Friday

  1. We have entered week 6 of no working oven.. This is actually starting to bother me!
  2. Beach vacation is coming up!  We are going much earlier this year and to a totally different beach. New adventures await!
  3. The garden at this point has been a total failure. Even the plant that I have purchased are not growing!
  4. The good news is that  we are at least starting to figure out and work on the problem. After buying a ph meter, our soil is alkaline.  We purchased a bag of lime this week and have started adding it to the soil.  Even after the first application we started to see some new growth. I am going to stay positive and hope we can at least harvest a few fresh veggies this year.
  5. I have managed to pull a muscle in my back. Not sure how I completed this but it is very painful!

Monday Menu Post

Summer vacation is speeding right along!   And I do mean speeding.  We are now entering week 5 of no oven with still no firm delivery date. I did end up caving last week and had several meal out just because I was tired and did not feel like dealing with stuff. I also blew the grocery budget but I am actually proud of it. We purchased 1/4 of a cow or approximately 150 lbs of meat.  After our purchase we discovered that the wait for processing meat is currently at January 2022.   I feel like we got a great deal and the meat quality is absolutely some of the best we have ever had. This week we are going to focus on not eating out, and Kendall’s birthday!

Breakfast– Saturday-Cinnamon Roll waffles   Sunday- BLTs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets. Pretty much you find it and make it!  I have a goal of making a batch of breakfast burritos this week but time will tell.

Lunch-  Saturday–Party! Sunday- Red Robbins  We have lots of garden produce from the Farmer’s market along with left-overs for lunch!

Dinner-  Saturday-  small pizza restaurant in Thomasville. It was ok nothing to repeat. .   Sunday-left-overs     Monday-Beef and Broccoli    Tuesday- Pasta salad at swim meet.   Wednesday- Grilled Chicken and salad or grilled veggies.   Thursday- Golden Corral for Kendall’s birthday   Friday-Pizza for Kendall’s birthday.

5 Things Friday- Spending

This will be a little different from my random post of 5 things. This time I am going to tell you 5 things that we have been spending money on this month.

  1. Mattress and box springs for Kendall- Kendall’s antique bed is technically a three quarters bed. It was given to me when I was single and needed a bed. Matt and i have been married 16 years so likely 20 years ago. The same mattress and box springs have been used the entire time.  Definitely time for an upgrade. Total spend $500.
  2. Shoes- We spent most of Sunday shopping. Even needed new shoes. We ended up with the following Matt a pair of dress shoes, Kendall a pair of sneakers and slides, Lily a pair of sneakers and Zach two pair of sneakers. Kendall and Lily both bought themselves a pair of Van shoes as well.
  3. Clothes- Lily will be going to school in January for the first time in 6 years. Kendall is actually taller than me and Zach wanted.
  4. Hair and nails- I ended up with a cut and color this week. In addition I am getting my nails done every 2 weeks over the summer.
  5. Swim stuff- All three kids are swimming this summer. New suits and googles were needed.

Thrifty Thursday

I have plans for tomorrow to share some things that we are spending money on this week but first I wanted to share some ways that we are saving money this week.

First up shopping at Dollar Tree.  I have discovered that for the boys and Lily, I can purchase body wash for $1 a bottle. This bottle last around 2 weeks so $2 for a month is much cheaper than $4 a bottle at most other places. I also buy conditioner just to change things up.  This trip I was able to grab sandwich bags and snack bags for $1. I am not anti-plastic but it does bother me to spend 5 or more cent on a bag that ends up in the trash after one use. I found fold top sandwich bags as less than a penny each so I am good with tossing each day. I did also purchase sandwich bags with a zip top to use for other things.   Snack bags will be used for freezing small serving such as 1/2 cups.

Ordering vitamins and supplements via Amazon. Both Lily and Kendall are on a daily iron supplement. I ended up saving 50% simply by ordering it on scribe and save on Amazon plus this allows me to order and forget about it!

I purchased a good bit of extra fruits and vegetables last week. Things have been slightly more hectic than I anticipated so we have not used up as much. Today, I made a new crockpot meal with sweet peppers. I also cut up and froze two bags of peppers and onions to be used in spaghetti sauce when our tomatoes start to come in.  3 cups of chopped celery was frozen. I discovered that I have purchased 3 bags of onions recently. So Kendall and I chopped up two bags to freeze. We ended up freezing 7 cups of diced onions. This way it will not go bad and they will be super convenient to use as well.

I was also able to use 5 small containers of vegetables that were sent to us from the school lunch program.  This cleared up space in our freezer and also made an awesome pork fried rice meal.

Sheets were washed and hung on the line to dry in order to save electricity.

We have eaten all dinners at home this week which is a huge savings.  I have eaten a couple of lunches out and one breakfast but these are much less expensive than even one dinner meal.

What have you been doing to save money?

5 Things Friday

  1. Today was Zach and Kendall’s last day of school for the year. Lily actually has class until June 9th officially.  We no longer have elementary age children!
  2. I have 2 work days left before summer vacation from my regular school system.  This included 6 meetings so I am not looking forward to these days at all.  I also will start back serving kids in Guam on Sunday evening this week.  I will be working 2-3 hours per week so hopefully this is the right balance.
  3. We have survived the first full week of no oven. It appears that we have another 2 plus weeks before we can expect delivery.
  4. I am going to break down tomorrow and buy a couple of zucchini  and squash plants.  The ones I planted did sprout but don’t appear to be doing much else. The leaves are a strange yellow color. My mother said they got too much water but I am thinking it is probably the seeds themselves.
  5. I already have a busy week schedule with a dentist and eye appointment on Wednesday!   I really can’t wait for my break to begin!

5 Things Friday

  1. I have survived my last full week of work for the school year.  I have 2 more partial work week before summer starts.  Next week is 3 day due to testing for Lily and Memorial day. The following week I only work on Monday and Tuesday.
  2. Zach had 3 baseball games this week.. I love baseball but am glad to see the season coming to an end with our final game next week.
  3. The tomato in the square foot garden are taller than the boxes. We already have a couple of small tomatoes so I am VERY excited!
  4. May has turned out to be one of the most expensive months for us.  This week our string of problems continues with our oven stopped.  We have ordered a new one but it may be mid to late June before it arrives.
  5. The rest of our square foot garden is slow to start this year. I am sure the wierd weather and lack of rain are affecting it. I am hopeful to be able to harvest cucumbers before the end of June.