Friday, December 28, 2012

Menu Plan January 2013

As we set off into a new year, I want to refocus on menu planning. Having  a plan saves money, time and stress. I am less likely to grab pizza on my way home when I have a meal planned out and the items purchased. I will stick to once a week grocery shopping which helps reduce extra spending by grabbing extras every time I go to the store.

I have a plan for dinners. Breakast in our house during the week is always something quick. I do cook a family breakfast on the weekeends but always have the items on hand for that unless its something special. The kids eat lunches at school and I will pack leftovers, soup or salads to work for my lunches.

I did make out a 3 meal plan for now until the first though. With all 5 of us home for 4 days straight meal planning is a MUST.

B: Cinnamon Rolls
L: Pizza rolls & salad
D: Soup & sandwiches

B: Waffles & eggs
L: Pizza casserole
D: ?? something from the freezer

B: Donuts (free from bread outlet)
L: Spaghetti and hm French rolls
D: Appetizers to celebrate new years

B: Biscuits & gravy
L: Layered Enchilada bake

1- Turkey Dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing etc)
2- Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings (Made with turkey)
3- Ranch Chicken Encheladas (made with turkey)
4- Hamburgers & fries
5- Chicken & cheese lasagna roll ups and salad
6- Ham, scallop potatoes and veggies
7- Spaghetti, french bread & salad
8- Meatloaf, mash potatoes and veggies
9- Taco soup
10- Tacos
11- Pizza
12- Hamburger french dips, french fries
13- Roasted chicken, mash potatoes and veggies
14- Pasta carbonara, french bread & salad
15- Smoked mozzarella stuffed meatballs, rice & veggies
16- Tuna noodle casserole
17- Pork carnitas & rice
18- Philly cheese steak sloppy joes, roasted potatoes and veggies
20- Pepper steak, rice
21- Spaghetti, french bread & salad
22- Chicken cordon bleu with parm dijon sauce, rice and veggies
23- Tomato soup & grilled cheese
24- Tacos
25- Pizza
26- Steak, baked potatoes and salad
27- Roast, baked potatoes, veggies
28- Pasta with chicken sausage, peppers & escarole
29- Kahlua pork, rice and veggies
30- Perogi casserole, salad
31- Nachos
After I do the grocery shopping for each week I will post that as well!

Back to Blogging

Really, my lat post was in JUNE? Time to get back on track. I love the start of a New Year. So many options and a fresh start. That is one thing I plan to do with this blog, get going again and back on track with meal planning, tracking my grocery spending and frugality in general.

2012 was a whirlwind year. I went from being a full time student to being employed full time again. I love my job and work with an amazing crew. However, it was a large cut in pay so finances have been even tighter than they were before. The kids are invovled in even more activites which = more $ out the door.

Its time to get creative and get back into focus!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Grocery Shopping/Menu Planning Week of June 10th

We are working on using up some things in our freezer & pantry so that I can restock it with fresh. I also still have quite a bit of produce left from last week to use this week.

Total spent $56
$1.77 Shredded cheese
$1.98 Gravy Packets (2)
$3.94 Milk (2 gallons)
$3.78 Butter (2 pounds)
$1.98 Ketchup (2)
$.89 Conditioner
$2.98 Diced ham
$2.89 Tortillas
$4.30 Pork Chops
$4.84 Chicken drumsticks
$6.63 BS Chicken
$3.78 Tilapia
$2.99 Basil
$2.98 Arugula
$.68 Lemon
$2.78 Cauliflower
$1.25 Cabbage
$3.98 15# potatoes
$2.50 Parmesan Cheese

S- Crispy Balsamic Chicken, Roasted Cabbage, Potatoes
M- Out for our teams soccer party
T- Chicken drumsticks in crockpot, rice a roni, salad
W- Potato Soup & biscuits
Th- Pork Chops, Rice & Roasted veggies
F- Roasted chicken, mashed poatoes/gravy, green beans

Eggs/Turkey Bacon
Bagels & fruit

The kids eat at school
I will pack leftovers or salad

Getting Back on Track

Wow I cannot believe I haven't posted since February! Our life has been so crazy since then with kids activities, work etc. I have really slipped from my organized and on track self and really need to get back to it. We finally have a free weekend this weekend and that is exactly what I am doing. Getting caught up on housework, paperwork, menu planning, grocery shopping, errands and quite a few things on the back burner, like this blog post. I am setting a goal for myself to post at least twice a week starting NOW!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week of 2/26-3/3

Its hard to believe we are coming up on March so quickly! As is the norm in our household, last week brought some huge changes. I am reaching the end of my pre requisites for the LPN program. The wait list for the program itself is now at 24 months, which means I need to go back to work. I am not giving up on the goal of finishing the LPN program, its just not something thats going to happen anytime soon due to the wait list.

I started applying for jobs the week before and got an interview right away. Last week I was hired and started my new job. I am loving it so far and honestly its really nice to be back to work. This last week was a challenge though, as I was still finishing clinicals. It made for long days, leaving home at 7am and not getting home until after 10pm. Add to that a cold and sinus infection and by Friday I was done in for. This week I will finish up clinicals and take the written final for the NAC class and its onto full time training for work!

To get us better organized I have put a chore chart back in place. I also have some amazing friends who have stepped into help with getting kids where they need to be and helping with child care. I cannot thank them enough!!

Onto this week! The menu is planned, chore chart is made and we are set to go!

Dinner menu:
S- Stuffed shells with sauce (freezer meal), green salad and hm french rolls
M- Tuna Casserole (freezer meal)
T- Tacos
W- Garlic lime marinated pork, cilantro lime rice and veggies
Th- Garlic lovers roast beef, mashed potatoes, oven roasted cauliflower
F- Pizza
S- Subway after church

Lunches: I will pack leftovers from dinner the night before or soup/sandwich.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Menu week of 2/19-2/25

Week 1 of clinicals was a success. Now, onto week 2. This week again was a little weird. Monday was my youngest daughters 11th birthday. She and I went out of town to a friends so most of our meals were on the go. The other kids were scattered (one at cousins, one at birthday parties and one at home). I made the mistake of not planning the menu before going shopping yesterday but think I did pretty good on the fly this week.

M- Fondue (cheese fondue w/raw veggies, apples and french bread), chocolate w/strawberries, bananas and marshmallows. (Daughters bday dinner)
T- Taco soup
W- Ruben sandwiches and spaghettios (oldest son is cooking) I will pack LO taco soup
Th- Zupa Toscana Soup
F- Pizza for the kids, I will pack leftovers

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Menu Week of 2/12-18

This week is a little different for us. I am starting my clinicals for the NAC course this week which leaves my oldest to fix dinner 2 nights this week. I also need to pack my dinner/snacks with me so I have to prepare ahead of time.

Breakfast Options:
Cereal (Special K, Cheerios or Rice Crispies)
Eggs/Turkey Bacon

*The kids will have school lunches.
*My oldest will be eating at home (he gets out early for Running Start). He usually has leftovers, salad or a burger.
*My lunch focus this week will be on salads with protein. I will cook up extra steak, chicken and hardboiled eggs to have on hand for those. I am also going to thaw a freezer meal of white chicken chili I receive din our last swap and will use that for lunches and some dinners for myself this week.

S- New York Steak, brussels sprouts and sweet potato. I will fix burgers for 3 of the kids they don't care for steak.
M- Tacos for the kids at home. I will pack white chicken chili and cut up raw veggies.
T- Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken, Rice and raw veggies with LF ranch
W- Tomato Soup and grilled cheese for the kids, I will take leftovers from Tuesdays dinner
Th- Asian Glazed Chicken, rice and broccoli.
F- We are scattered this day. The kids are all doing something different for dinner. I am going to pack leftovers from Thursday.
S- I will be eating at a scrapbook crop and the kids are having pizza.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan Week of 2/5-2/11

Most of my recipes this week (and most weeks) come from Skinny Taste I LOVE this website. The recipes are healthy and family friendly. The nutrition information is posted as well as the WW points are already calculated, could it get any eaiser?? I think not :).

Breakfast options:
Cereal (Cheerios, Special K or rice crispies), fruit
Eggos with peanut butter/fruit
Bagel with lowfat cream cheese
Eggs w/turkey bacon or turkey sausage crumbles

The kids eat lunch at school. I pack my lunches on days I have class.
This week my lunch options:

Butternut Squash Soup
Sandwich and veggies w/hummus
Leftovers from the night before
Salad with grilled chicken

S- grilled New York Steak, roasted veggies and sweet potato
M- Baked Chicken Parmesan, Whole wheat pasta w/sauce and salad
T- Taco soup in the crockpot
W- Turkey meatloaf, mashed cauliflower, steamed broccoli
Th- White Chicken Chili and cornbread
F- Pizza and salad

February 6th

Well, sometimes the best made plans just don't work out the way we intend. That is a common occurrence with me and this blog LOL. It has been busy busy and it sort of fell by the wayside. Quick recap:

Things are going very well. I am taking 16 credits this quarter, on of which is the NAC class. I will be starting clinicals next week and am nervous but excited. This is my last pre req before the nursing program! A big change is that I have rejoined Weight Watchers. I am tired of being overweight and do not want to be a "fat" nurse. I have made a commitment to myself to change my life this year.

I started WW a few weeks ago and am already down almost 8 pounds. No it doesn't seem like much but to me it is. I am not focusing on the scale as much as knowing I am changing not only my life but that of my children. We are all eating healthier, focusing more on exercise and learning PORTION CONTROL!

I signed up to do the St Pattys Day Dash in Seattle with my best friend for my birthday in March. I will walk it this year and my goal is to run it next year. I have never done anything like this before and am nervous but extremely excited.

Meal planning has become even more key for us now. I have to plan ahead so that meals are healthy and that we have what we need on hand. I hope to get back to posting/sharing what we have discovered recipe and food wise, and healthy changes and habits we are developing as a family.

The kids are doing great. School is keeping them busy as are their extracurricular activities. Spring sports will be starting up again soon and then it will be all out insanity in our house! LOVE IT!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Grocery shopping and menu planning Week of 1/1/12

The first half of this week was meals from things on hand. I did our grocery shopping yesterday for the rest of the week and a little bit of stock up. We are trying to focus on eating healthier which means more fresh fruits and veggies which sadly are expensive this time of year.

B: Eggs/turkey bacon or cereal
L: At school for kids, I had a sandwich
D: Stuffed peppers for ODS and I and tacos for the rest (using the same mix of taco meat from the freezer)

B: Pancakes/turkey bacon or cereal
L: At school for the kids, out with a friend for me or salad at home
D: Cod, brussels sprouts for ODS and I and tacos with leftovers for the other kids

B: Cinnamon rolls
L: At school for kids, salad for me
D:  Homemade pizza

B: Biscuits and gravy, eggs
L: Homemade soup and sandwiches
D: Subway after church (we just get the $5 footlong sandwiches no chips or drinks)

Groceries purchased:
Fred Meyer $69.26

4- Special K cereal $10
1- Store brand Rice Crispies $1.99
2- pancake mix $3.98
Raw sugar $3.09
Half & half $1.79
3 shredded cheese $6.50
2 OJ- $5.00
4 bagged salad kids $4.00 (wish these would last longer they are on sale for a great price)
brussels sprouts $3.38
6 grapefruit $2.00
3 green bell peppers $2.04
mandarin oranges 1.07
9 yogurt $3.00
sour cream $2.00
Bacon 1.56
cod 3.89
2 whole chickens $9.71 (.88#)
1 gallon milk $2.59

The chickens went into the freezer for future use. I also placed an order with Zaycon foods for 40# of boneless skinless chicken breast that will be here later in the month at $1.69 a pound.

See how others did at the Grocery Cart Challenge

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Photo of the Day (Days 1-3)

I am following the list found here Photo A Day that I found on Pinterest.

Day 1: A photo of myself

Day 2: Photo of Breakfast (Mango Chobani , turkey bacon and coffee)

Day 3: Something I adore (Our kitty Houdini)

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2nd

Happy Monday! Hard to believe today is the last day of Christmas vacation. Tomorrow is back to the daily grind and crazy schedule that is our life. As is tradition, today was a day of cleaning and decluttering in our household. Thankfully, this year it wasn't a huge process. While we did put together a few bags of things to take to consignment, we are finding we are "collecting" less and less junk. This is a good thing!

After decluttering my bedroom closet it was time to tackle some frugal activities. I am really wanting to make sure to use things up and have little to no waste this year. Food can be one of the biggest wastes in our house which is expensive. Tonight's dinner consisted of Chicken Pot Pie, Salad and apple pie with whip cream. 98% of what I used to make tonight's dinner was free to us and the rest was reaching its expiration date in our fridge. The next project to tackle was a stack of ripped/torn jeans. These were not jeans to be mended but rather to be taken apart. I had planned to make a denim quilt for Christmas 2011. I had collected free to me ripped jeans all year, and they were still sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Today I cut them apart and now have a box full of denim fabric strips ready to cut into quilt squares.

Now we are ready for the week, I think. The new quarter brings a new schedule and a new routine for us to get used to. Ready or not, here we go!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR Bring on 2012

Happy New Year! I am so excited for 2012 and what it will bring. Last year was such a roller coaster full of changes for our family. I sat down this past week and wrote out my resolutions for the year and really thought about what I want to focus on. What changes do I want to make to better things for our family as well as help our budget. I think I have come up with some great ideas that I can follow through with and stay on top of.

Here are my resolutions for 2012. I decided to make a list of 12 :).

1. Prayer and devotion time daily.

2. Gym 3 x per week.
3. Eat healthier as a family.
4. Stick to our budget and reduce extra spending.
5. Working on handmade Christmas 2 items per month.
6. Implement a regular family game night each week.
7. Dinner at the table as a family 3 times per week.
8. Keep my blog up to date.
9. Learn one new skill per month.
10. Be more positive and thankful in the way I think, speak and act.
11. Keep in better touch with friends and family via phone and letters NOT FB or email.
12. 2 Random acts of kindness per month.

I have decided to take on several challenges through various websites that I follow as well such as the Photo a Day Challenge and I am joining a Biggest Loser Challenge that a friend is putting together.
So we are off and running! I look forward to posting regularly to this blog to hold myself accountable and hopefully share some great tips, ideas and projects along the way. Speaking of projects....have you discovered Pinterest yet? If not, check it out! I have saved a lot of recipes and craft projects already that I look forward to trying and sharing my successes (and failures) with you all here (I know you are thrilled right LOL).