Friday, January 29, 2010

Menu Plan

Well, I've got 2 "extra" meals left over from last week that I didn't get to, so that's kinda nice. :) It's a pretty exciting week with the start of my Mommy Small group starting this week, which I'm super excited about. And of course, the Super Bowl...not that I care that much, but it's fun to watch anyway and it's a great excuse to eat "snacky" food for dinner!! Enjoy your week!!

Monday- Pasta, Fresh Salad, and "maybe" the bread sticks from last week....we'll see if I get them done

Tuesday- Crockpot Roast beef, Potatoes, Carrots (Prepare goodies for tomorrow's Mommy small group I'm hosting at my house, Pudding/choc.chip/Oatmeal cookies, and Granola Bars)

Wednesday- Corn Flakes Baked Chicken, Mac-N-Cheese, Fresh Salad

Thursday- Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Garlic and Parmesan Pasta, Fresh Salad

Friday- Salmon with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce, Rice, and Broccoli

Saturday- Baked Knoephla and Saurkraut

Sunday- Super Bowl Snacks, Tortilla Roll-ups, Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip, with chips and bread to dip! Check out more great Super Bowl Recipes at: The Finer Things in Life

I don't know when I'm going to make the Rice Krispy Roll, but I want to try it sometime this week. Rice Krispy Roll
Check out tons of great menu plans from Organized Junkie!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We Obviously Don't Get Out Much

The other day I was having "one of those days". I had a wicked sinus headache, and I had to go to Walmart. Oy. AND I went to a Walmart I'm not familiar with so I ended up wandering around quite a bit trying to find what I needed. (Which didn't help with the sinus headache.) Double Oy. It also took me longer than expected so I didn't have time to run home to get my dinner made. So I called Renato on the way home to suggest we use the 2 free chicken burger coupons we had for Chik-fil-A for dinner. Great idea!!!

By the time we were ready to leave the house it was a little after 6pm. Camden was so excited to find out what the "surprise" was. (He LOVES Chik-fil-A.) We opened up the garage door and Camden was stunned. He said, "WOW. It's dark outside." Which kinda made me chuckle because he just doesn't get outside at night much to see when it's dark. We spend most of our time at home, and RARELY go outside the home in the evenings. So his observation was pretty cute.

When we got to Chik-fil-A, I took him out of the van and as we were walking in, he said, "Wow, I've never seen it like this before! Look at the moon!". I just giggled because he was just so amazed by seeing his favorite place all lit up in the night sky with the moon and stars in the background.

All this to say, yes I guess my children are a bit sheltered and don't get out much. But they sure do have an appreciation of the "little" things in life, that most of us don't even pay any attention to. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- Chili

Tuesday- Swiss Chicken Casserole, Rice, Beans, Fresh Salad****The Swiss Chicken Casserole turned out great and VERY easy!!****

Wednesday- Turkey Noodle Soup (made with frozen turkey bones from 2 weeks ago)
Coconut Cream Pie ****This was the 1st time I ever made Coconut Cream pie, and I'm sorry it took me so long. This was AMAZING!!!! And so much easier than I thought it would be!!****

Thursday- Soft Shelled Beef Burritos with Rice and Beans

Friday- Crockpot Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots, Homemade Soft Pretzels

Saturday- Spaghetti, Bread Sticks

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge-Week 3

Well, week 3 was a challenge, that's for sure. :) I didn't do as well as I did the past 2 weeks. Last week I spent a total of $41.67, which is right on target with my goal. Yay! This week I spent a total of $54.54. A bit over my goal of $40-$50 per week. This is where I shopped:

~Sunflower Market: $25.44 (they had great deals on fresh produce this week....and maybe I bought 2 bags of Kettle chips that were on sale and with my $1off coupon, paid $.79 for those weren't in my budget, but it's good to get a "treat" every now and then, right?) :)

~Walmart: $29.10

I don't necessarily think that we're eating any differently from our pantry than before...I'm just using up a bit of the stock pile I had. SO that means in February....or whenever I see a good deal, I'll need to stock up again.

I also think that I'm just getting a bit better at really making my Menu Plan from looking and KNOWING what I already have....which is a big step! Overall, I'm glad that I'm participating in the challenge and that I'm learning more about menu planning and sticking to a budget....or close to a budget anyway. :) How about you? Do you menu plan or try to stick to a budget for groceries? (It's always fun to see what other people do...and then get good ideas from them too.) :)

Check out and for more about the pantry challenge!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Here we are at another beginning of a week. I'm looking forward to trying the Honey Chicken Stir-Fry and Nacho Chicken Casserole. Should be interesting. I need to do an update on my pantry challenge. So far I think I'm doing pretty well. :) I had a request to post my recipe for beans, so I'm going to try to do that this week.....

Monday- Baked Ziti, Fresh Salad

Tuesday- Honey Chicken Stir-Fry, Rice ***This was by FAR the BEST Chinese dish I've made!!! YUMMY....but add more honey!****

Wednesday- BBQ Hamburger, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

Thursday- Nacho Chicken Casserole, with Flour Tortillas and Beans
***The Nacho-Chicken Casserole was a big hit....even Renato said it was better than going out for Mexican.****

Friday- Homemade Pizza

Saturday- Chili

Sunday- Homemade Pancakes, Eggs, Turkey Bacon

Go visit Organizing Junkie for a TON more menu plans!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

We got to see my Brother, Sister-in-law, and 2 of my nieces yesterday in Denver. Camden was soooo excited to see them!! Dwight made Dawson cry, but Dawson warmed up to him after a lot of playing tickle. :) They also were able to bring more of our meat and applesauce from my parent's house, along with some honey, salsa, and about 30 lbs of pinto beans. Ummm, yes you read that correctly....30 LBS OF PINTO BEANS!!! My other brother is working on a farm that produces beans, so he sent me some beans....ok, he sent me A LOT of beans! It just makes me giggle thinking about all those beans. So our menu's will consist of a lot more beans.....for a LONG time. Ha! And I have a feeling we'll be using them to do a lot of "art projects" too. :) It's also a good thing that we lived in Brazil and I learned how to cook up some tasty beans!! (Although we won't be eating them everyday like they do in Brazil!) Here we go....

Monday- Herb and Moz. Cheese Meatloaf, Spaghetti Squash

Tuesday- Chicken, Rice, Beans

Wednesday- Stroganoff with Egg Noodles

Thursday- Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans (Gotta get rid of those turkeys!!)

Friday- Turkey Pot Pie or this recipe

Saturday- Homemade Pizza

Sunday- French Toast, Eggs, and Turkey Bacon

Please visit Organizing Junkie for MANY more Menu Plans!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eating from the Pantry--Update far so good! I've made 2 trips to the grocery store so far this week and my total so far is $30.77. I was so proud of myself this morning. I ran to Target and ONLY bought what was on my that's impressive. I went through my list a few times with my menu plan and recipes and revised a few of the recipes to use just what I had on hand....hopefully they turn out well! :)

Here are my grocery trips:

This was my trip to Safeway earlier this weekend to get the cheap eggs and milk! Total here was roughly $6.00-I somehow lost my receipt. Agh! If you're we don't drink THAT MUCH milk, but I froze it. It's a trick I learned from my sister-in-law that had 4 kids ages 4 and under and lived 40 miles away from the closest city. She'd maybe go to town once a month, then stock up on milk and freeze it. It works! The eggs....well, we'll just be eating a lot of eggs, and I bake a lot, so they always seem to go fast! :)

This was my morning trip today to Target. Total: $24.77

***Just a tip....It pays to ask! They had Archer Farms Vanilla Soy Milk on sale, but there were none on the shelf. I asked if they had any in the back, they looked, but they didn't. But they gave me the Silk Vanilla Soy Milk to me at the same price as the "on Sale" Archer Farms milk. Saved me a few cents, but those cents add up!!

***And I got my FREE breakfast from Chick-fil-A this morning too!!! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Look Who's Climbing!

Dawson is 10 Months Old!!! (OK, on the 6th he's 10 Mo. Old, but close enough!) This weekend we caught him climbing up the stairs, and yesterday he pulled himself up in his pack-n-play. He still doesn't "technically" crawl for long periods of time, but he can move like the dickens scooting on his tummy! Who needs to clean your floors when you've got a little "mop" scooting all over them all day long! Ha! Here is what Dawson is up to lately:

~ He says "DaDa" constantly, but only cries "Ma" when he's upset and needs me. :)
~ He still has 6 teeth, but I know he's working on more...always drooling!
~ He doesn't eat much finger food yet, still too gaggy, but he's starting.
~ The only finger food he likes is bread and bananas.
~ He can sign the word "More". SO CUTE!
~ He does "So BIG" or "GOAL" with his arms up high.
~ He loves to clap and dance.
~ He likes to watch his Baby Signing Time video and Praise Baby.
~ He loves to wrestle with daddy and Camden, and chases Camden around the house!
~ Last Sunday was the 1st Sunday he didn't cry in child care at church! Yay!! (Bless those girls' hearts in child care!)

Dawson is such a fun little guy! He loves the idea of other people and will smile and reach for them, but when they take him he usually ends up crying. We're working on it! :)

It's been so nice to have a "baby" for a little longer this time around. I should say, a "not mobile baby". :) Camden was just SO FAST at doing everything. (At 7 mo. he was walking around all the furniture and into EVERYTHING!) So it's nice that Dawson is just starting that now. Makes Mama happy! :)

And this smile just absolutely melts my heart!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

1st 2010 Menu Plan

OK, my 1st Menu plan for the year, along with my Eat from the Pantry Challenge. I tried to base my Menu this week on what I have on hand, with hopefully only buying a few extra things for certain recipes. I'll track my groceries this week and let you know how I do!

Monday- Freezer mystery Hotdish...should be interesting! Ha! :)

Tuesday- Brazilian Stroganoff, Rice, Salad (I'm hoping to make up an "official" recipe for this as I make it and then post it later this's hoping.) :)

Wednesday- Baked Spaghetti, Broccoli

Thursday- Probably with family that are visiting... Yay!

Friday- Sour Cream Enchiladas

Saturday- Creamy Tomato and Cream Cheese Soup, Homemade Soft Pretzels

Sunday- French Toast, Eggs, and Turkeybacon

Go check out more amazing Menu Plans at Organizing Junkie!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

I thought since we've only been in this house 2 months, maybe I wouldn't have enough in my pantry to join this challenge....hahahaha!!! Now that I've taken "stock" of my freezers and pantry, I know how laughable that statement and thought is. I have MORE than enough provisions to join this challenge. Here is a look at and inventory of my pantry.

2 cake mixes
1 box + 5 ind. granola bars
1 box mac & cheese (for emergencies...ha)
4 boxes/bags of pasta
2 pkgs. ramen noodles (YUCK! From a friend and Camden loves them.)
1/2 lb dried pinto beans
2 single serve tunas
1/2 lb. wheat germ
2 lg. cans sp. sauce
1 jar beef gravy (YUCK again, but given to me by a friend who was moving)
3 cans cr. of mushroom soup
1 can cr. of celery soup
1 can cr. of chicken soup
3 cans gr. beans
1 can tom. soup
1 sm. can of mushrooms
1 can tom. sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
5 cans beans
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 can mandarine oranges
1 can tropical mixed fruit
1 can cranberry sauce
1 can bread crumbs
4 boxes crackers
2 boxes chicken broth
1 stovetop mix
1 bag rice
many items for baking (flour, sugars, choc. chips, etc.)

And since I was at my parent's farm in ND this summer I was able to do some canning, so this is what I have left of what we were able to fit in the van when we moved...

6 pints Salsa
4 pints Raspberry Jam
2 pints Pickled Beets
12 pints Stewed Tomatoes

Here are the freezers!! (Keep in mind we bought a 1/4 of a beef from my brother and a sheep from my that's where we get all the meat!!)

Big stand-up Freezer:

1 pkg. Pumpkin pancakes
2 bags of bagels (given to us from friends)
2 turkeys (I CAN'T resist buying turkeys when they are sooo cheap at Thanksgiving!!)
1 container random Hotdish...oops, didn't label, so it's a mystery :)
2 containers SUPER HOT CHILLI...accidentally made way too hot chilli awhile back, so I divided up the leftovers into 2 containers to add to future chilli.
3 bags cheese
19 lbs. hamburger
5 pkgs. Lamb
16+ pkgs. Beef
3 pkgs. corn
4 containers Apple sauce (I made from my mom's apple tree!)
1 pkg. Goose (my nephews are big hunters) :)
1 loaf Bread
2 Gal. Bags of Rhubarb (from mom's garden!)

Now the Small Freezer:

2 1/2 pkgs. Coffee
1 bag mixed Veggies
1/2 gallon of shredded Potatoes
4 ind. ice cream bars
1/2 container of Ice Cream
4 ind. Go-Gurts (Camden's popsicles!)
3 containers Ham and Bean Soup
1 container Potato and Corn Chowder
8 Bananas (for banana bread)
3 kinds of Homemade Baby Food Cubes
1 pkg. Flour Tortillas
3 Pie Crusts
2 Boxes Butter
4 Family Servings of Chicken

Whew! There it is! Now I know what I've got to work with for the next month. My plan is to:
1. Spend $40-50 per week on groceries like fruits, veggies, milk, etc., but try to only use what I've got in stored up to cook with.
2. Only go to the grocery store for necessities, or if there is a SUPER good deal.
3. Menu Plan from what I have and try to be creative and not buy "extras" for recipes.

Well, we'll see how I do. If you'd like to join along, check out Money Saving Mom or Life as Mom.