Saturday, July 23, 2011

Menu Week of 7/24

This weeks dinner menu is based mostly on freezer meals from this weeks freezer meal swap! Love the variety of meals we get to try.

B: Donuts (from the bread outlet)
L: Sandwiches and chips
D: Beer can chicken (freezer meal), pasta roni, green beans and salad

B: Choice of cereal, muffins, yogurt/fruit
L: Ravioli, salad
D: Hamburger helper, salad and garlic bread

B: Choice of cereal, muffins, yogurt/fruit

L: Sandwiches & chips
D: Mexi Chicken (freezer meal), rice

B: Choice of cereal, muffins, yogurt/fruit

L: Penne with Garlic cream sauce, garlic sourdough, salad
D: Hamburgers (Premade and in the freezer) & french fries, veggies

B: Choice of cereal, muffins, yogurt/fruit

L: Packed from home picnic at the park if its nice
D: Cheesy Chilada Bake (freezer meal)
B: Hashbrowns, eggs, bacon
L: Leftovers
D: Pizza for the kids, sushi out for me (I had the dates mixed up last week OOPS)

B: Belgian waffles
L: Mini corndogs, fries
D: Subway after church

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu Week of July 17th

Breakfast this week (weekdays) will be cereal for the kids. Thats what they like to have and well, really all they want to eat in the morning. So I have decided to throw the breakfast battle out the window for the rest of the summer. I will have either egg and toast or yogurt and fruit before I head out to class. And of course, LOTS of coffee!

This weeks Lunch/Dinner menu:

B: Waffles
L: Odds and ends from the freezer/fridge
D: Grilled steak, pasta roni, vegetables

L: Chicken fingers & fries
D: Pork ribs in Crockpot, rice and vegetables

L: Hot dogs/Mac & cheese
D: French dip sandwiches, french fries and salad

L: Sandwiches & chips
D: Pomegranate/Chipotle meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies and salad

L: Tacos
D: Leftovers/CORD (Clean out refrigerator dinner)

B: Muffins
L: Sandwiches & chips (if the weather is nice we will pack this as a picnic and head to the park)
D: Pizza for the kids I am going to sushi with a good friend!

B: Cinnamon rolls
L: Grilled burgers, creamy parmesan pasta salad

D: Freezer meal

I am providing a meal for another family on Wednesday (Urban Garlic Chicken). Saturday morning I am hosting a freezer meal swap and will prepare some brunch items for the group.

Week of July 10th Recap

School, homework and more homework. That pretty much sums up my week! These three classes I am taking are high volumes of homework, I will be glad when they are finished! This weekend I tried to spend some one on one time with the younger kids. Friday, my youngest daughter and I went and got pedicures, something she has been wanting to do :). Saturday, I took my youngest son to the movies, we had a blast. Its important to remember even in our super busy schedules, that one on one time IS important. Its a time when that child can talk to the parent without the competition of siblings and has the parents undivided attention.

Today, back to business. I have an extremely large to do list that I need to tackle. I am starting to realize again that when I don't stay on top of everything my stress level gets high and I have trouble sleeping. Time to nip that in the bud very quickly!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grocery Shopping Week of July 10th

This week I am using mostly what is on hand. I tried the new Target Grocery at our local Target not a bad selection!

I will be shopping again later this week for camping and will post that later on. But for now....

Salad dressing 1.99
Refried beans .99
2 hard shells 2.04
2 spanish rice 1.92
1 can corn .69
fettucini noodles 1.09
ground beef 3.50
2 lemonade 1.94
gallon milk 2.49
whipping cream 2.29
shredded cheese 2.59

Total: $21.53 I used a $5 gift card I had earned a few weeks ago on a womens razor deal they had. That brought my total to $16.53. I then used my Target card (which I came home and transferred the money to pay it) and that took an additional 5% off making my final total: $15.70!

I received a register coupon for $5 off my next grocery purchase of $50

See how others did at the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Menu Week of July 10th with recipe links!

This weeks menu will be a use it up menu. There are a lot of bits/pieces of things or partial packages in the cupboard that need to be used up. I did supplement with a few items from the store. I tried out the new grocery section of our local Target this week while shopping for other items. Not someplace I would want to do regular grocery shopping, but, great selection for just needing a few items!

This weeks menu:
B: at camp
L: sandwiches & chips
D: Garlic Panko Chicken Strips , Parmesan Garlic Pasta, green salad

B: Cereal or yogurt/fruit
L: Sandwiches & chips
D: Tacos and spanish rice

B: Cinnamon Melt Muffins from Tastefully Simple
L: Sandwiches & chips
D: Olive Garden Fettucini Alfredo and Salmon, french bread and salad. I will make some regular spaghetti for the 2 kids that don't like fettucini alfredo.

B: Cereal or yogurt/fruit
L: Chicken strips & french fries, watermelon
D: Pork Ribs in crockpot, rice and veggies

B: Cereal or smoothies
L: Leftovers
D: at camp

Friday- Sunday should be at camp but we will have to see how the weather holds up. Camping meals will be kept very simple.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Unexpected Getaways

This weekend my parents were camping at their camping property. Thursday night the kids and I decided to sneak over and surprise them for the weekend. My oldest son couldn't go, he had to work, so I got him set up at home with meals, emergency contacts etc. The rest of us loaded up the car and headed out Friday morning. It turns out that my parents had taken my niece and nephew with them so the kids were super excited!

We arrived at camp and my parents were gone they had taken the kids fishing. We had most of our tent set up when they came back. My niece was so excited to see us she almost bailed out of the car before mom was done driving YIKES!

We had a great time. The cousins had a blast playing together. Saturday we went into Winthrop for ice cream. Mom took my youngest back with her to camp and the girls and I stayed and walked around Winthrop, had lunch and just spent some time together. I am so glad we decide to make the trip!

I didn't snap many pictures but here are a few from the North Cascades Pass on our drive over and a few in Winthrop of the girls :).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Saving Money on our Furry Family Members

We have three cute kitties in our home. Unfortunately, the cost of vaccines and regular flea treatment can get expensive. Last year, I learned how to vaccinate my own cats at a fraction of the cost. The vet told me how to do it (for free) and then I purchased the vaccines (which came with a needle/syringe) at the local feed store.

Today I learned how to drastically cut the cost of monthly flea treatment. I use Advantage for the cats. The cost for a one month supply (3 individual doses) from the vet is $40 after tax. When I went in today they asked me if I felt comfortable measuring doses into a syringe, which of course I do. They now offer a large dog size dose of Advantage with dosing instructions per the weight of your cat. This one vial of Advantage is enough for me to dose all three cats for THREE MONTHS! The cost for one vial $18.49 after tax!! I calculated out the savings over three months......$98! This was simple and easy to do. If you have ever measured medicine in a syringe (no needle) for an infant you can do this. Same application as you would with the little tube.

My kitties will now be happy and flea free and my pocketbook will be much happier with the savings.

Fourth of July Fun

Our community has a very nice fireworks display over the bay each July 4th. The past few years we have fought the crowds to enjoy them from the waterfront. This year we met some new friends and they invited us to join their annual 4th of July party. Great food, great fellowship and we were able to watch the fabulous fireworks from their deck! Earlier in the day I made my children pose for some pictures. They are not big fans of matching shirts of group photos but they cooperated and we were done quickly so we were all happy :). Here are a few shots of our 4th of July fun! By the way, this was FRUGAL fun! The party was a snack potluck. We took chicken drummettes in Bayou Bourbon Glaze and Lemon Bars both from Tastefully Simple. All items used I had on hand no money spent! We took our own drinks, which came from leftover camping stock, again, no additional money spent. We enjoyed the many fireworks going off around us, we did not spend money on fireworks, again no money spent. Yet we had the BEST 4th of July we have had in a very long time!

This Bald Eagle landed in the field across from our house while we were out taking pictures!

My favorite shot of the kids, shows their true personality :)


Our fabulous party hosts Jen and Jeff!

One of these days I will learn how to use the fireworks setting on my camera properly but I thought his one turned out pretty cool!

Garden Treats

Sadly, this year we are not enjoying our own garden treats. With the late and very wet spring we were unable to get a garden in the ground. I also decided that with school and our crazy schedule this summer, it might be too much to take on a large garden as well. Instead, we are getting produce from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) on a local farm. We are also taking advantage of the many berry farms around us and a fabulous farmers market. The cost of these items is great and the quality and freshness cannot be beat! Here are a few of our items from this week:

Homemade waffles with homemade blueberry compote. These berries were in the freezer from last year. Blueberries require no work other than to package/freeze!

Strawberries from a local field. I cut the green tops off, froze on the cookie sheet and then placed in ziplock bags in the freezer. We now have plenty of fresh berries on hand for smoothies!

This is our farmers market dinner. The bread came from a local baker, the lettuce for the salad as well as the peas and garlic scapes in the stir fry from a local farm (same that we get our CSA box from). The pasta is from a fresh pasta company here in town. It is Garlic Scape Fettuccine and to die for delicious! The chicken on the skewers is also local but wasn't picked up at the farmers market. This is an inexpensive meal that feels/tastes like it cost alot more. Cooked at home with love but the purchases helped support local farmers and businesses.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grocery Shopping Week of 7/3/11

This week I did my major shopping trip at Haggens. I need to go to the bread outlet and pick up a few items sometime this week. Saturday I will pick up skewers to cook that night so that they are fresh and not frozen.

My total spent: $80.15

Milk $2.69
Corn $1.50
Parmesan cheese $3.99
Chips x 3 $5.97
2 packs Bagels $5.00
Shredded cheddar $2.99
1 loaf bread $1.99
Ground beef $4.27
Cream of celery $1.49
Hot dogs .99
Steak $6.59
Pork Ribs $8.03
Drumsticks $6.49
Chicken satay $8.00
Red onion 1.11
Alfredo sauce 4.99
3 boxes cereal $6.99
garlic .79
cantaloupe 1.12
watermelon 4.27
lemon .89

This will fill in what I need for the menu posted earlier today for 3 meals a day plus snacks.
Check the Grocery Cart Challenge to see how others did this week!

July 3, 2011- Summer activities update, menu and ramblings

We are discovering new ways each day to enjoy frugal fun this summer. Yesterday we walked around the fabulous Farmers Market here in town. We picked up a few items for a delicious all local dinner for tonight. We then drove towards home and stopped at several garage sales. We found items to add to our back to school box for the fall as well as a couple of items on our wants list (such as a flour sifter!). On our way home a friend called and asked if we wanted to head out to the beach with them. OF COURSE! We stopped by the house and threw some snacks and drinks in the ice chest and headed out.

Washington State passed a new law that requires a Discover Pass to park in State Parks. We have not yet picked ours up so that excluded our favorite beach. Our friends showed us a public county beach that we didn't even know existed! We had a fabulous time before heading off to church!

This week is going to be a hectic week. School starts for me on Tuesday and my oldest daughter has a soccer tournament this coming weekend. July also brings additional challenges of expenses of youth group camp and dance camp. With the busy schedule and additional expenses it is very important to stay ontop of menu planning and being prepared. We also need to make sure that we keep our activities free or low cost to avoid financial stress, which personally, I feel is one of the worst kinds of stress.

With that, here is our plan for the week!

B: Cereal or egg/toast
L: Chicken drummettes and leftovers
D: Garlic scape pasta with Alfredo sauce, salad and chibatta bread (all from the local farmers market)
S: Fruit (grapes/cherries)
Activity/craft: Movie day or the park depends on the weather

B: Waffles
L: Hamburgers
D: At friends BBQ
S: Fruit bars
Activity/Craft: 4th of July BBQ with friends

B: Cereal or bagels
L: Sandwiches & chips
D: Chicken, stir fry veggies, rice
S: Popcorn
Activity/Craft: Park and thank you card(s)

B: Blueberry muffins
L: Cheeseburger spaghetti, salad
D: Pork ribs in cp, coleslaw, rice a roni
S: Ice cream cones
Activity/Craft: Library

B: Cinnamon rolls
L: Chicken & vegetable summer tostadas or bean/cheese tostadas
D: Steak/egg salad or hotdogs/chips
S: Popcorn
Activity/Craft: Giant bubble wands and homemade bubbles. Family game night.
B: Cereal or egg/toast
L: Sandwiches & chips
D: Pizza after soccer game
S: Cookies
Activity/craft: Soccer tournament/playground

B: Cereal or yogurt/fruit
L: Packed from home picnic for soccer tournament
D: Grilled kabobs, grilled "baked" potatoes, salad
S: Packed stuff from home for tournament
Activity: Soccer tournament/playground