Thursday, July 17, 2014

Using what we have...

The left overs from last night consist of one pork chop and one ear of corn. It will be lunch for the teens today. I will slice up the remaining pork chop and cut the corn off the cob and divide it between the two teens. They can have BBQ sauce to dip their meat in. Can you believe that all the steamed broccoli and fried potatoes are gone?? The steamed broccoli is GONE!!

My oldest is usually sleeping now in the day time, since she works night shift. No lunch needed. She will eat dinner and usually pack something to take with her for work.

Dinner tonight is a turkey tenderloin I bought at Aldi a while ago. I was going to place it frozen in the crock pot, with a couple of carrots, poultry seasoning, sage, and some chicken broth I had in the fridge from dollar tree. I've never made a turkey tenderloin in the crock pot, but it can't be too bad I guess. It's a crock pot and things come out totally awesome in it.

We have some lurking long grain rice that needs to be used up. It will be steamed and served on the side. We have some grapes that need to be used up, so that will also be served.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Frugal activities...

My husband bought some produce from the farmer market the other night. He bought two zucchini, corn on the cob, and tomatoes. We make zucchini bread and banana bread this morning.
We used three corn on the cob last night for dinner. We will finish the other three tonight with our meal. We have 6 zucchini/cinnamon muffins, one loaf of cinnamon zucchini bread, and 2 loaves of banana bread.

I just got finished cutting the grass in the front yard. We have such a small front yard (town house) that I can use the weedwhacker to get it all done. I'm sitting here drinking a cup of tea before I head out back to get the porch cleaned off, laundry hung, and that grass cut. We have blueberry, strawberry, blackberries, and raspberries growing. Part of the yard work consist of picking ripe fruit for our dessert tonight.

I hung three loads of laundry yesterday. I washed one load this morning that needs to be put out to dry.

We have no leftovers from yesterdays' dinner. I took out a package of pork chops that we sliced from a pork loin last week. I have some lurking "kix" cereal that the kids are not fond of. We are going to crush about three cups of cereal and make crumbs. I will add parsley, paprika, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, and "beef/pork grinder spices" from aldi to the crumbs.
Using two eggs and some mustard, I will soak the pork in this and then bread the chops. They will go into the oven. We will have some fried potatoes with onions, steamed broccoli, and the last three corn on the cob.

We went out for ice cream last night. It was sort of fun. We left the house at 8:30 and got home on time to drop my oldest at her job (she had ice cream with us prior to working her shift).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dinner 7/15

Left over chicken became BBQ chicken sandwiches, corn on the cob, onion rings, coleslaw (leftover), and grapes.


We were talking at work the other night about overtime. I was asked two pick up two extra shifts this week from my co workers. I decided this month that I wasn't going to sign up for OT and my response was "I will just watch my budget carefully".

We got on the topic of budgets. Someone asked me what my husband does for a living, since I didn't pick up any overtime for the month of July. My response "He doesn't work. He stays home with the children". This RN looked at me and said, "You allow that". This RN asked me "How much do you spend on groceries to feed five people? I can't manage to take care of my family (RN has five children, spouse stays home) with out working four or five OT shifts in a pay period".

I told the RN that I only spend 300 dollars a month on groceries.

Well when it comes down to it, it's a matter of what's important to me I guess. Everyone has their own thoughts on how to live. My husband and I had lots of credit card debt years ago. It's taken us a long time to find out that this was not in our best interest. We worked hard to pay them off. We had a lot of rough years when the kids were younger. We made tons of mistakes financially.

We filed for bankruptcy in our early years. We lived with his brother for two years. We were not able to support ourselves for a long time. We were on food stamps and receiving government assistance for the kids medicaid. I wasn't working. My husband made 12 dollars an hour in a factory.

We bought a town house in 2002. We were working on changing our lives. My husband got sick and lost his job in 2004. We were using unemployment. My husband got hospitalized for his mental illness. I was at home with three young children. I had no skills and the bills needed to be paid.

I went to college and got an education in 2006. We have paid off all the credit card debt and my Dh medical bills (large amounts owed folks). We found Dave Ramsey. I had to get a new car in 2008. I paid off the car in 4 and a half years.

I have a savings account now with some cash in it. We owe on my student loan (I pay faithfully 200 every two weeks), our mortgage, and an old equity line (I snowball payment 600 dollars a month, and then the minimum payments).

We are not in a lot of debt. We have only three debts left to pay. Our financial background has improved so much. I work to support my family and our lifestyle.

We live within our means. We shop at Aldi, Dollar Tree, and Sharp Shopper. We don't do the mainstream stores. We are folks who can find pleasure in being at home. We don't spend lots of money on "stuff".

I get a little defensive of our lifestyle. I've met folks who disapprove of my lifestyle. I get told, "You do all that stuff and work so hard". It's more work and less time at home when you pick up lots of overtime.

I don't know. I like my lifestyle and enjoy being at home. My plan is to continue the route and follow Dave Ramsey's advice. It's worked for my family. I have a growing savings account, 403 B, my home, and happy children.

I did not sign up for any overtime for July. I have one shift of overtime for August.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dinner 7/11

Sticky chicken using 4 lb of quarters in the oven. Steamed corn, onions, and carrots.

I adjusted the recipe to fit the amount of chicken I had. I baked it int he oven for three hours at 250, then one hour at 325. It was amazing. I prefer it in the crock pot. My DH loved it in the oven. We have one quarter left and a pan full of drippings.

I gotta finish my tea and get ready for my work night.

Frugal happenings...

We ate left over pasta and veggie sauce last night for dinner.
I got paid, wrote out the student loan payment (for FEb 2015)
We paid the electric bill, cell phone, pest control, therapy bill, AACN membership for continued education,
We went to the grocery store and bought 116 dollars worth of food.
I put 350 dollars from my checking into my savings account.
I paid my 300 dollar snowball payment to Wells Fargo.
We washed and hung outside four loads of laundry, then it stormed, and we got three loads in, folded, and put away. The fourth needs to finish drying today.

We took the new adult cat my daughter bought to the vet. He is in excellent health the doc said. We had to get two vaccinations, flea/tick meds, and my hound dogs cardiac diet (which we were running out of). I am out 247 dollars.

Aldi finds:

chicken thighs 89 cents a pound. I bought 9 pounds and broke the chicken up into single pieces for the freezer. I packed 5 into a package and wrapped. We have four packs of chicken for the future.

pork loin 2.99 lb. I cut this up into single pork chops, five to a package. We got five packages of pork chops (nice cut, no bones), and a small package of pork "strips".

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Things begin to run out...

I have some pantry/freezer/HBA/pet needs/cleaning items that are beginning to run low or out. I hate when this happens, since I only shop when I get paid, and/or when I tend to get worried about getting to a low point. 

We are out of things we would consider staples. I get paid tomorrow. I have a stack of bills that are due to be paid, and am currently waiting for my bank account to clear one last 300 dollar bill from two weeks ago. 

My DD (17 years old) bought a damn adult cat. Our Cecelia ran off about three months ago and never made it back home. She hid the carrier he was brought home in her room. She brought him down stairs to me on Monday evening. We had a long talk about why we don't keep secrets. My DH allowed her to buy the cat with some money she earned (we all ready have one, didn't need a second right now). He has a vet appointment tomorrow for a "well check up and vaccinations". The animal shelter signed paperwork stating that he had previously been neutered (a bonus right now, one less expense). 

Summer vacation is a good time for us. School is out (less stress), working overtime is done until August (I am thankful), and the kids are in good moods. 

August is going to bring four new eye exams and glasses. My DH had an eye exam earlier this year (MAY 2014) and has his new glasses. It's been two years for the rest of us. My oldest DD and son will need new frames and lenses (theirs are totally shot, thin metal frames that have lasted for more than four years). My DD and I will just need new lenses since our frames are plastic and only two years old. 

My insurance will pay for 60 percent of the eye exam. They will only cover 40 percent of the lenses and frames. With four of us needing new glasses/frames/lenses it's going to be a rough month. I need to plan appropriately to make sure this expense is covered. 

The joys of one income. I hope I don't have to resort to working overtime this month. I was looking forward to hanging out with the kids. 

Using things up...

The BLTS and potato salad were a hit. I had a few slices of tomato left over, along with one soft whole tomato. We have some left over 1/2 cup of taco meat in the fridge from Friday that needs to be used. We have half of a yellow, red, orange pepper that my DH bought for chili (we have frozen in the freezer)...

I cut up the sliced tomato and the soft whole tomato. I chopped up the three half peppers. I put those in the crock pot with the 1/2 cup of taco meat. I added the last 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese (the container went into the recycling). I opened two 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce, along with one can of diced tomato and it went into the crock pot. I added two good size onions thin sliced, and three cloves of garlic to the crock pot. I will add some basil soon. I had a can of Aldi chopped mushrooms that went into the crock pot.

It will simmer all day and become spaghetti sauce. We have some elbow pasta I bought from Dollar Tree a while ago that we can use. I will cook about three cups of pasta at some point this afternoon.

My kids didn't want the onion rolls with their BLT's last night. I am going to use them for garlic bread. I will slice them, add some real butter, chopped up garlic (I have a few cloves left), and parsley and spread it over the rolls. They will make in the oven until slightly browned.

What we are using up that was lurking in the fridge:
1/8 cup of taco meat
one soft tomato
left over tomato slices
two onions
three cloves of garlic
parmesean cheese
three halves of various peppers
onion rolls

Pantry items:
elbow pasta
1 can of diced tomato
1 can of mushroom pieces
two small cans of tomato sauce

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What's been cooking????

I work weekends and don't post much during that time. I had to look back on my blog to see where I left off.

On Saturday, we had hot pockets for dinner. My husband bought some and he didn't want to cook.

Sunday, my DH made chili. We had everything in the pantry to make it, but he figured that we didn't have the ingredients, so he bought and paid for everything with his money (we have separate checking/savings. I don't include what he pays for in the monthly budget, since it's a rare event he buys groceries). There's one bowl of chili in the fridge for my DD to take to work.

Monday my DD got paid at her job. She bought Burger King. UGGGGG. I can't eat that stuff.

Today, we are having BLT and potato salad. I had some lurking celery stalks (included leaves), a bit of sharp cheddar cheese, some paprika, parsley, potatoes, mayo, half a lurking onion from the chili my DH made, and three eggs. It all became potato salad. Our BLTS are going to use up the last of the lettuce, three tomatoes, and a pound of bacon, and the last three onion rolls, and six slices of honey wheat bread.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dinner 7/4

Tacos and rice.

ground turkey
lettuce tomatoes
left over cheese
lurking chunky salsa
hard shells
taco seasoning