Thursday, December 30, 2010

January Menu

I am going to go back to MONTHLY menu planning and see how that works for me. I have made out my grocery list for non perishable items and the perishables I need for this week. Tomorrow I will do a major shopping trip. I will then go weekly for perishables and any stock up items that fit in the budget!

Here we go. I have included links to the recipes if there is on!

Date Menu Item(s)
1 Beef Pho
2 Filet au Poivre, Salad, Twice Baked Potatoes
3 Chili w/ cornbread
4 Tacos, mexican rice
5 Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies
6 Spaghetti, hm french bread, salad
7 Hamburgers & french fries
8 Tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
9 Chicken & Dumplings
10 Olive garden Zuppa Toscana Soup, garlic bread
11 Tacos, mexican rice
12 Hamburger Helper, peas
13 Three Cheese stuffed shells, hm french bread, salad
14 HM Pizza
15 HM Chicken & rice soup, HM biscuits
16 Roast, mashed potatoes, green beans
17 Stiry fry veggies w/ shanghy stir fry sauce, top ramen noodles
18 Tacos, mexican rice
19 Breakfast for dinner
20 Fancy macaroni, hm french bread, salad
21 Encheladas, rice
22 Top Ramen, Peanut butter crackers
23 Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, veg
24 HM chicken/veg soup, HM biscuits
25 Tacos
26 Meatballs with peppers/pineapple, rice
27 Spaghetti, HM French bread, salad
28 Hamburgers, french fries
29 Dads Birthday Dinner
30 Fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, veg
31 Bake potato soup, garlic bread

2011 Project Kickoff

I have been working hard the past couple of weeks to gear up for what I am calling "2011 Project". Here is what I have accomplished so far:

* Switched us back to cable from satellite. Saving us $50 a month
* Got rid of my Blackberry (gasp) and went back to an older phone we had laying around. Reduced our cell phone minutes package. Overall, saving us $90 per month.
* Budget- I have written out a budget and entered it all into excel to track every penny I spend.
* balanced checkbook- this is always a struggle for me but I have got it set and ready and am determined to stay ontop of it!

Crazy Schedule:
* Reduced my volunteering at church to 2 weekends per month instead of all 4
* Turned down several requests to watch others children or fill in volunteering already

* I am going to switch back to planning a full months menu at once. I will do one major shopping trip at the beginning of the month and fill in weekly with fresh produce/milk. If the budget allows for it and if there are any great stock up sales, I will stock up on items.

So we are off! I will post my monthly menu along with links to recipes and then my major shopping trip is tomorrow!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Menu Plan Week of Dec. 19th

This week is the first week of Christmas Vacation. This means not only planning dinner, but all 3 meals plus snack. I am also planning a craft a day for the kids.

S: Family Christmas dinner (roasted chicken, mashed potatoes/gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, green salad, brussels sprouts, raw veggies w/dip, deviled eggs, pickle rolls. For dessert: Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pie.

B: Eggs/toast (or cereal)
L: Sandwiches & chips
D: My youngest and I will be eating out for her dance performance. The other kids will be fixing something from the pantry-their choice.
Snack: Popcorn
Craft: Snowman Craft

B: Waffle/eggs (or cereal)
L: Top ramen, peanut butter crackers & carrot sticks
D: Tacos, rice
Snack: Make Your Own Pretzels
Craft: the pretzels and we will make cards

B: Pancakes
L: English Muffin Pizzas
D: Spaghetti, meatballs, french bread and salad
Snack: Popcorn
Craft: Reindeer food

B: French Toast
L: Sandwiches & chips
D: Burgers & fries
Snack: Cookies that we will be decorating
Craft: Cookie decorating

Friday is going to be a grab as you go day. Part of our meals we will be eating at church.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting Crafty

I love making crafts and am working in more time to do these things that I love. I am not great at coming up with ideas on my own, however, there are some amazing people who do and blog about them!

Here are a couple of crafts I made last night and links to where you can find the instructions to make them too!

These little "snowman soup" templates are so darn cute! I made these for the teachers at our primary and elementary school from the PTA.

Source: Design With Heart


Ribbon angels! I picked up the wireless ribbon and some foam christmas tree ornaments at the Dollar Tree. The glass charms on the front I had on hand in my craft stash.

Source: Happy Birds Crafting Haven

Grocery Shopping Week of Dec 12th

This week my grocery shopping was done at just one store.

See how others Did this week at the Grocery Cart Challenge
Cost Cutter- total $67.42
They were out of the whole chickens that were on sale so I had to improvise. I also found 4 packages of ground turkey marked down to $1.99 that we grabbed for the freezer.

2 cereal $3.98
chicken legs $6.07
4 ground turkey $7.96
4 vitamin water $5.00 (for dd's basketball games)
acedopholus milk $2.39
6 yogurt $2.94
2# block tillamook med cheddar $3.99
roll of sausage $2.50
2 butter $3.54
2 pkg meatball $5.00
granny smith apples $2.46
braeburn apples $2.19
5# satsumas $5.98
bananas $1.88
2 boxes capri sun $2.94
3 corn muffin mix $1.47
dry beans $2.29
gallon milk $1.67
15# potatoes $2.50

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Menu Week of December 12-17

This is a very lean money week so our menu is simple. It is based on what we have on hand and what was on great sale at the store this week.

S- roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
M- Homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade biscuits
T- Homemade chili in the crock pot, cornbread muffins
W- Spaghetti/meatballs, homemade french bread, raw veggies
Th- Waffles with blueberry sauce and eggs
F- It is my youngest sons birthday so I will let him decide

Breakfast Options:
Hash browns/eggs

Kids eat at school. I will have leftovers or soup.

Gearing Up for the New Year

Every year I set "New Years Resolutions". I do great until about oh, February and then they seem to slowly drop off my radar. I am a list person and I usually have a LONG list of resolutions which is probably the majority of my problem with keeping them.

This year my goals will be simple:
* Live more simply
* Focus more on family
* Reduce debt

I am naming it the "2011 Project"

I have become one of those people who is checking my phone every 10 minutes for email, Facebook, text messages etc. We are always in a rush to get to the next thing. Our lives are hectic and stressful. I find us more often than I should in separate rooms doing our own thing when we could be doing something together as a family. We do alot together as a family, however, its just simply not enough.

We have decided as a family on a 6 month challenge starting January 1st. This will include:
* no eating out
* no Starbucks
* reducing or getting rid of our TV service
* reducing our cell phone service (I will get rid of my Blackberry and go back to a regular cell phone)
* more theme nights such as family game night, family movie night or "cooking/baking" lessons. I would also like to teach at least the girls how to sew.

One other area I will be cutting back, is my volunteering. I love to help others it is always a blessing to me, however, I am going to learn to say NO once in a while. This will help reduce some of the hectic running around.

This will help in two ways. First, help strengthen our family bond and second, help financially.

I hope to blog about my journey, not that really anyone will read it LOL but it will help keep me accountable and maybe, someone will read it and it will help inspire them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Grocery Shopping Week of December 5th

Once again, was in a hurry and didn't get a picture of the groceries. I shopped at one store, Haggens. I am not counting the items I purchased for the friends lunch in my Shopping Totals as that $ was designated in my "holiday" budget for this year.

2 milk- $4.98
half & half $1.99
3 vitamin waters - $2.64
2# cheese $2.99
3 bags chips $3.87
ground beef $2.93
turkey tenderloin $5.99
steak $7.14
celery $1.29
2 bags carrots $3.00
2 butter $5.98
2 lunch meat $5.98
3 cereal $8.97

Total: $57.75

I will need to pick up acedopholus milk and salad later in the week.

Menu Week of December 5th

This week I menu planned as I shopped. Not the best way to do it but it works in a pinch. Sunday I hosted our 2nd annual "friends" lunch. It was alot of fun! Always nice to get together with friends/co workers outside of work and just laugh, have some good food and wine and relax!

This weeks menu:
S- leftovers from lunch
M- HM chicken noodle soup and hm biscuits
T- Steak, baked potatoes, creamed Brussels sprouts
W- Turkey tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans
Th- Tacos, Mexican rice and beans
F- Spaghetti, hm french bread and salad