Saturday, November 7, 2015

What's been cooking...

My daughters made home made mac and cheese yesterday! Using pasta, a white sauce (flour, butter, milk, and added the last bit of Gouda cheese we had in the fridge), and some garlic, it was just amazing.

I am working tonight. My daughters put a 8 pound chicken in the oven with carrots, celery, and potatoes. We are going to have some cauliflower and peas with our meal.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dinner 11/1/15

My husband and kids make cheese burgers and hamburgers last night using a pound of ground beef. They found a recipe online at My kids are working more in the kitchen. Our cheeseburgers had lettuce and tomato on them. They were pretty good.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

It's November.

Wow. I feel like I have been out of the blogging world a long time. It's November and my schedule is lightening up some at work and grad school. Home life is good with my husband taking on more responsibility, such as grocery shopping and meal planning. He started last week and seems to enjoy it. There's only so much I can do on any given day and something has to go, so it's control over dinner plans.

Last night we went to a Halloween party. My husband made pulled pork in the crock pot. It's basically a pork roast, with sliced onions and peppers, and added BBQ sauce. When it's done cooking, we shred it and serve it on rolls. When we left the party last night, there's was still a small portion in the crock pot, so we left it there, along with the last of the rolls (we bought 16, and there was about 5 left).

My daughter adopted a 42 pound dog from the no kill shelter. She's been here a month and is so much fun. We have three dogs now and I can't believe how much food she eats! She had a procedure done to get spayed prior to Sarah adopting her and there was a benign tumor on her mammary glands. It's been removed. She still has her stitches in place. We have to get her back to the vet to get them taken out. I took her to the vet and had to get an antibiotic and steroids for her since her incision site was warm, tender to touch, and red. It was generating a lot of heat. It's so much better now. There was a big cost involved, but we had all ready taken responsibility for her not knowing about the possible infection or inflammation.

We all went to the dentist in October. My kids have seven cavities between them. It's going to be a large cost to get them filled and the portion I have to pay is going to be spread out. Mary goes in December to have three of hers filled. Sarah will go in January, and Mary will go back in February. I just don't have the money to get them all done at once.

Graduate school update. I am finishing class four out of eleven. I am still paying cash every two weeks for tuition for one class at a time. It's a bit harder since I decided not to work overtime this month and I am having a "stay vacation" for three weeks after Thanksgiving from work. I'm kind of excited to have three weeks off with pay and hang out with my family. We are staying home together and just going to enjoy the down time. Since I am working Christmas, we will be enjoying our Christmas holiday early!

It's 61 degrees in the house. I have not turned on the heat yet. I want to. I should. The electric company wishes I would so they can get some money. My budget payment got lowered in October. We were paying 157 a month for the budget plan and now we pay 133 every month for a year. It's nice to see a lower cost. No heat yet Debbie!!!! Keep that bill down.

Finance update: My student loan from undergrad is receiving 200 dollars every two weeks. The minimum payment is 167 a month. My equity line is receiving their minimum payment plus 300 dollars every two weeks. I'm making big dents in these two bills. I'm hoping to have them paid off at the same time in full. I would like to only have my mortgage and tuition in less then two years.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Using what we have...

I took the last whole chicken out of the freezer to defrost. I am going to put it in the crock pot with one whole onion thinly sliced, four stalks of celery, five large carrots (I had to open my new 5 lb bag of carrots), poultry seasoning, thyme, and four potatoes (for the carb eating people in my family). I will add about two cups of water to this and let it cook all day in my crock pot. We will have the last bit of opened stir fry veggies that are lurking in the freezer.

The chicken was bought a while back at Aldi 0.95 cents a pound! Who can beat that kind of price for protein! It's cheap, easy to make, and can feed my family for a couple of days.

The first meal will be a crock pot meal. I will take all the stock out after and put it in the freezer for soup at some point. I will end up taking all the meat off the bones to make chicken salad or BBQ chicken sandwiches for the kids. The skin and bones will be put back into the crock pot later to make a second round of chicken stock for the freezer. I am hoping to have enough chicken left over to make chicken and gravy to serve over egg noodles for the kids and my DH. They love it!

I'm hoping to stretch this bird!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Using things up...

We had one chicken quarter in the fridge from a few days ago. I baked it with several spices, added the last three carrots, half an onion, and some celery from the fridge. My husband and I had that for dinner last night.

I had some frozen cheese tortellini to give the kids last night with some pasta sauce for their dinner.

Tonight's dinner is continuing on the same use it up theme. I have frozen bread ends in the freezer. I'm going to thaw them out and made french toast for the kids dinner. I have some frozen left over bean soup from Easter that is thawing for my husband and myself. We are working to keep our budget intact and using up what has been lurking around in the freezer.

I don't eat pasta, bread, potatoes, or rice any more. My husband and kids do.

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's June

Can you believe that I haven't posted in a while. I found that with school, the gym, work, and my family that something had to go for a little bit. I just want to say that I really miss blogging and reading how other folks are incorporating frugal living into their own lifestyles.

It's June. Who would have thought. Here's a few updates:

Sarah (20) is still working full time for a temp agency. She's decided that she wants to return to community college. She spend 6 months there a couple of years ago and dropped out. I am willing to work with her to help fund some tuition as long as she is serious about attending and maintaining her grades.

Mary (18) graduated high school last week! She has a part time job being a babysitter a couple days a week and wants to attend community college. We will begin applying after we get her a state ID.

I told both girls that they need to work on getting their permit and driver's license.

Kevin (16) is in his last week of 10th grade. Friday is the last day of school and my baby will be a junior!! My kids went to the dentist and only Kevin has some cavities. He goes back on June 15th to get them filled. I will be paying in cash for these.

My work is going well. I am up for my annual evaluation and hope to get a pay increase. I didn't qualify for the cost of living adjustment since my base rate of pay is all ready at the higher end of my clinical ladder and skill level. My director mentioned that to me this morning. Oh well. I do have to complete two case studies for my evaluation and this shouldn't be too difficult.

My car needs an oil change soon.

My husband is well and in good spirits. He has been doing a great job making dinners while I am working. I have picked up extra time at work to help pay for the classes I am taking for the master's degree in nursing education.

I REALLY need to make a menu plan for June meals. The bills are paid every month on time. I had to buy a lap top for school and it was very expensive. My savings took a hit and I am left with 70 dollars in it. I would like to get that boosted up to one thousand, or to where it was a year ago, 3,850 dollars. It's going to take time. It's difficult sometimes to be one income and attempting to support a family of five and pay for a master's degree program (I refuse to take out a loan for it, and I am still paying off my bachelor's degree loan. My goal is to become debt free).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hey there

I want to apologize for the lack of posts in the past few weeks. I have been really busy with work, family, and my master's degree class. I appreciate the email to checking up on me.

We are all doing well. The kids are getting ready to finish for the school year. I'm hoping my daughter graduates. My oldest is working full time at night. My youngest is in 10th grade and seems to like it sill.

The last time I was blogging, I stated that I decided to join a gym. I did and pay for a personal trainer. I started at the gym on March 4th weighing 220.8 pounds. I am 5 feet 5 inches. I weigh 210 as of today. I am at the gym 6 mornings a week and stay for 30-45 minutes some times longer. I am eating loads of fresh veggies and fruit, and lean meats. I cut out bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and stuff along those lines.

I will make more of an effort to get back into blogging about frugal living. I guess some would say that getting a gym membership with a personal trainer is not frugal, but my mental health has improved and my stress level is much better.

School is a work in progress. At 2225 a class, it's very expensive to be a graduate student. I am blessed to be able to pay cash for one class at a time, even though it's a bit difficult on the budget. I didn't want to take out a loan for this. I'm working on getting out of debt, even though I incur some debt being in class.

I hope everyone is well and in good spirits!