Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dinner 10/30....and tonight.

I've been working for the past four nights. Dinner last night consisted of egg noodles, with ragu sauce (again), and added some browned Italian chicken turkey sausage....We have 23 dollars in the bank, but we are not in the negative, and the monthly bills are paid.

Tonight, since it's halloween, I bought two cheese pizzas for 5 dollars each at Little Ceasars.

We have a pound of turkey chicken Italian sausage and a 5 lb frozen bird in the freezer.....We did it for the month!!!

It's a new month tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dinner 10/29

I have been working, my husband made pancakes last night. We had three varieties of maple syrup  finished off one of them.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dinner 10/28

I used our last lb of ground turkey, added some bread crumbs, spices, egg, and called it meat balls. We also had pasta with ragu was awesome!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Working AND Vacation

I work night throughout Wednesday morning, all night shift, with differential. I work nights due to the 5.00 differential and the little extra it provides in my pay check every two weeks.

My family is going on vacation to Florida November 6th until November 13th. They do this every year, all prepaid through out the year by my husband and his efforts at providing the "fun" in our home.

I begin my vacation from work on Wednesday morning, and don't return to work until November 15th, back to night shift. This is my annual vacation that I take when the family is in Florida. It gives me a much needed break from the craziness in my life, helps me readjust some of my personal goals, and I tend to hang out at home, caring for the animals, and relaxing.

I will continue to cook for myself, go or walks, take care of the yard work, and tend to some things around here. I would like to get the stairs sanded (by hand), and get them stained. Last year, I pulled up all the carpet in the stair way, pulled out all the staples, and yanked off all the filling underneath. I stopped when the kids and Gary came back from vacation, due to the potential of not having the get the stairs all messed up after I attempted to stain them. So, this is my goal for the two weeks I am off.

Dinner 10/27

We had one lurking can of sour kraut, and 2 and a half pounds of bone in pork chops, I put these in the crock pot and covered them with the sauerkraut  The can cost about 50 cents, and the bone in pork chops were marked down from 7.50 to 4.37 and placed in the freezer last month. This will be dinner tonight, if the kids want, they can have cereal since they are not fond of sauerkraut.

Dinner 10/26

Yesterday for dinner I did the following:

Warmed up two cans of Cambells Tomato soup, and one can of Cambells Bean with Bacon, divided the three between the five of us (with the kids deciding first which they prefer). One had tomato, and two had bean with bacon, my husband and I ended up with mugs of tomato.

I don't hand soup out in traditional bowls. I use mugs and it seems to make a so so meal a little better, and appeals to the kids more.

I took some sliced cheese, bread, butter and tomato...I made grilled cheese sandwiches, two for each kid, and two grilled cheese with tomato for my husband and I.

I also had two pans of banana bread that I made, one was with cinnamon chips (trying to use what has been hanging out in the pantry). This was dessert for those who wanted it. They had the option of spreading some cream cheese on the banana bread.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dinner 10/25

We are having the last package of hot dogs and buns, with home made french fries and salad.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dinner 10/24

We are having the left over rosemary pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes and carrots for dinner...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cleaning out the fridge

I had made chili last week, and needed the crock pot for this evening's meal. Well, instead of throwing the chili out, I put the last two hefty servings in one serve containers, and put them in the freezer for a night I don't want to cook.

What's been cooking??

I worked all weekend, night shift. On Sunday, we had left over chili, or cereal and milk for the kids. On Monday, Sarah wanted to get some Mexican Chipolte, and she paid for the five of us with her part time job money.

Tuesday's meal will consist of a pork lion with rosemary and olive oil (249 a pound, total cost 3.24), adding into this will be some steam and mash sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and broccoli.

October goals

Well, I mentioned a while back that I needed to get Pepper to the vet. He's our 4 month old kitten that we were given from a friend in August. She had gotten his first set of shots, I just got him to the vet this week, for his second set of shots, and a date of November 8th to get him fixed. his costs for the shots and check up????? 178 dollars!!!!!

I also mentioned that my car needed an oil change, new tires, and a rotation. Well, that got done, and it cost 27 dollars for the oil change (I am not mechanically inclined, neither is my husband), and I got two new tires placed for a cost of 230 dollars...

My student loan payments came. I have to pay 167.00 a month for ten years. YIKES!! I'm hoping to have this paid off in five years.

I have been paying extra mortgage payments (633.00 plus 200.00) since February of 2012. I made at least two payments a month. Well, Wells Fargo doesn't let a person be more than one month ahead on their mortgage (I didn't know this). They applied all my extra payments plus more towards interest off the end of my loan. I cut two years off my mortgage!! I paid November's mortgage this week, and will work on getting December's together, I would like to make two payments a month.

Homecoming dances for the girls.....strapless bras, shoes, dresses, dye for their hair.....about a total of 150 dollars.....

I'm finally done with October goals. I don't have anything set for November, other than getting my finances in order.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Grocery shopping

I went to Sharp Shopper on Thursday after working all night, and bought the following: It's important to note that Sharp Shopper is an outlet that carries items that are discounted.

one can of tomato sauce
3 gallons of skim milk
5 pounds bananas
2 pounds granny smith apples
1 pound postashio's
70 water bottles
one pound of Munster cheese
2 four packs of granola yogurt
4 cans kidney beans
3 pounds onions
one bag nachos
one box of cereal
2 pounds tomatoes
one bag of marsh mellows
two packages of hot cocoa
bottle of dish soap
several boxes of snack bars for the kids
one head of lettuce
one pound of deli meat ends
4 containers of juice (half gallons)
30 count soft tortillas
two garden veggie pizzas
dried mango
2 boxes mac and cheese
one pound of pasta
two cans of pears
five pounds of sugar
several cans of bean with bacon soup
dried raspberries
20 count toilet paper
one jar of salsa

spent a total of 116.50

Odds and ends....

What can we do with ground turkey and ground chicken??

I'm glad that you asked. I cooked this on top of the stove, a pound of each, chopped some onion, two cloves of garlic, a half a tomato that was going soft, some pepper strips that were in the freezer.....

Added a can of plum tomato (I chopped them first), four cans of kidney beans, some chili powder, and a 16 ox can of tomato sauce....1 bottle and a half of BBQ sauce that was lurking in the fridge...

It's all in the crock pot!!

We will shred the last bit of colby cheese, have a little sour cream, and half a bag of's a CHILI night for us.

It's an easy dinner to make, gets rid of some lurking half used items, finishes up some things that needed to go, got the ground chicken out of the freezer....

I'm working tonight and it's nice to know that the left overs can be for Sunday also.

Friday's dinner

I got paid on Thursday, and we went out together as a family for dinner. It was fun but expensive. We had an awesome time.

Thursday's dinner

I had some Oscar Myers hot dogs in the freezer. I grilled these, added some ketchup, chopped pickle, and onion, used some whole wheat rolls, and called it dinner....I was tired and had to go to work.

Wednesday's dinner

I have been working all week. I was tired on Wednesday and had some money in my bank account, we ordered pizza.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dinner 10/16

I went through the freezer this morning to find items that have been lurking. What I found was two packages of turkey itialian sausage links. We have one pound of pasta in the pantry, and still have spaghetti sauce. So, I'm going to cook the links with onion and garlic, simmer it until it's done, add some pasta to it, and simmer everything with sauce. That's dinner!!

I do know that this is the second spaghetti meal within a few days, but I'm broke and using what I have at home to feed the "crew". We will have a small salad, with choice of Italian or Thousand Island dressing, and frozen green beans.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dinner 10/15

We had hash browns lurking in the freezer (about half a package), 36 eggs, and a bunch of bread crusts (the ends that the kids don't like) in the freezer. So, this is what I did. I whipped eggs and milk and made french toast, fried the hash browns, and scrambled 12 eggs.

French toast (with choice of lurking praline syrup, blueberry syrup, or maple)
scrambled eggs
hash browns

I am officially out of milk, and have about 24 eggs left. The blueberry syrup is gone now. There is less than 1/4 container of praline to finish. We have a bottle and a half of maple.

When do I stop buying something???

I guess it's when I go into the shower, and see that there are six, yes six bottles of opened various shampoo, 15 bars of generic Irish spring unopened, 3 70 ox bottles of body wash, another opened in the shower..three opened bottles of conditioner, and two that are waiting to be used. We have two  unopened bottles of shampoo waiting also, 70 oz. There's two containers that are opened filled with Apricot Scrub.

I don't need to buy anything for bathing this week, or for the rest of October!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dinner 10/14

Chicken drum sticks with BBQ sauce in the crock pot, egg noodles with parmesean, and broccoli ..that's dinner!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Updates on my menu plan

My two week plan (not in any certain order):

waffles, scrambled eggs
pancakes, turkey bacon
BLT's potato salad
soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, salad
spaghetti, parmesean garlic bread, salad
chili, corn bread, salad
whole chicken in crock pot, with carrots, egg noodles
chicken soup
chicken and dumplings, veggies
English muffin pizzas (cheese, mushrooms, peppers, onion)
meat loaf (using bits of things for crumbs), mashed potatoes, veggies.

We are out of bacon for BLT's, and the dumplings didn't go as planned. We are out of ground beef for meat loaf (due to tacos). Overall, not to bad given that I worked hard not to spend any money.

My spending

I went to PetCo the other afternoon because I ran out of cat food and dog food. I found a gallon container with a filter for giving the troops fresh water. The total cost 32.00 for this. I did buy 18 lbs of Purina dog food for 12.99, and 18 pounds of Meow Mix for 10.99....This should last into November and maybe part of December.

Total spent 64.00

Dinner 10/13

I worked last night, and prior to going to work night shift, I made tacos (ground beef, seasoning, lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream, colby cheese). I did take the left overs to work as part of my lunch. Tonight, we are having pasta  (0.79 cents lb)and sauce (ragu on sale at Sharp Shopper 1.49 for 48 ounces). The spaghetti sauce has been opened previously and lurking in the fridge. Time to get rid of the lurkers.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dinner 10/12

Dinner tonight is going to be tacos with all the trimmings. We have a lb of ground beef in the freezer, and if we have to, I will cook it with a lb of ground chicken to stretch it. I will be chopping lettuce, a whole tomato, shred a small portion of Colby cheese, use the left over lurking sour cream, and a taco kit we have in the pantry. The kids love this for dinner, makes everyone happy, and uses up some lingering items. We also have small packets of taco sauce (my daughter works at Taco Bell, gets a meal  after her shift is over, and brings the sauce home for some unknown reason).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dinner 10/11

I did make some potato salad for who ever would like it. I guess everyone can eat that, or have cereal and milk. I'm in a rut and tired.


I am bored, so I went out today to roam the plaza's and landing myself in a book store, and did buy a study guide for an exam that I am going to be taking in February.

Cost 49.99


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

chicken and Dumplings...

Not so much!!!! Using whole wheat flour did something gross to the batter. So we used the chicken thighs (three of them), shredded the meat, took out thee containers of stock (from previous chicken meals), warmed the stock (which contained carrots, onions), added chicken and I cooked three handfuls of egg noodles...called it soup!!

left over chicken...

We have three left over chicken thighs in the fridge, and two cups of stock from the other night in the freezer. I'm going to incorporate these items into a chicken and dumpling dinner tonight. I don't have all purpose flour, but will use whole wheat instead...this will go pretty nice with a salad on the side. I am going to adjust the serving size, as the recipe below feeds 20 people, I am only feeding five.

Change Servings
 7 pounds cut up chicken pieces
 4 cups chicken stock
 2 onions, chopped
 3 stalks celery, chopped
 3 teaspoons salt
 1 egg
 1/4 cup milk
 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
 1 cup water
 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

When we need snacks...

This is an awesome recipe that I have baking in my oven now...homemade banana bread! I used whole wheat flour, as I have no all purpose in the pantry.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I didn't add this)
5 bananas
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter ( I used margarine sticks)

I beat the eggs, margarine and bananas together in  my blender, and mixed the dry ingredients together in a bowl, added the blender ingredients, and baked for one hour.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winter Heat

Since it's October, it does get chilly in Virginia. My husband was complaining last night that the house was cold...temp was 64 degrees inside, and 41 outside. We did put the electric heat on, changed the furnace filter, and set the temp at 68. my kids commented to me this morning that it's nice to have some warmth in the house (they are cold quite often).

This morning, the temp was over 70 in the house, I lowered the thermostat to 67 degrees, opened the blinds, and let some day light in. I have two drafty windows in the living room, and a door in the dining room that leads outside to the deck that carries a chill. Last night, I put two blankets covering the window edges in the living room, and one thick blanket covering the bottom of the dining room door way to help stop the drafts.

My girls wear sweaters, and use lap blankets to cover with when they are cold. My son will use an extra blanket in the living room when he's playing or watching television.

I tend to run on the hot side (since my hysterectomy in 2011), and like the cool. I'm hoping that with the temp set at 67 (as of right now), with the blinds open letting in the daylight, the house will be comfortable enough for everyone.

I am on the budget plan for the electric company, and hang my clothes up on my drying rack instead of using my dryer. I work hard not to run the air conditioning very high in the warmer months.

Updates on the menu planning, and what's for dinner??

My two week plan (not in any certain order):

waffles, scrambled eggs
pancakes, turkey bacon
BLT's potato salad
soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, salad
spaghetti, parmesean garlic bread, salad
chili, corn bread, salad
whole chicken in crock pot, with carrots, egg noodles
chicken soup
chicken and dumplings, veggies
English muffin pizzas (cheese, mushrooms, peppers, onion)
meat loaf (using bits of things for crumbs), mashed potatoes, veggies.

We have everything we need for this set of meals. I'm hoping to be able to kick this into high gear and get my finances in order.

As you can see, we have made a dent in my meal plan, with some variations (the kids wanted french fries one night).

For tonight, we are going to have English muffin pizzas (using spag sauce that is in the fridge, a small amount of mozzarella cheese, mixed with Colby, tomato, onions, peppers (red, green orange), and some mushrooms...with this, we will have some salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber). The kids will have cheese only (they are not fond of peppers or onion on theirs.

Chicken thighs

Last night, I roasted ten chicken thighs with carrots, onion, spices, bouillon  and some water. I had three left over (my kids love chicken) and put these in the fridge for tonight's meal.

There was significant stock left over at the bottom of the roasting pan. I spooned out the broth (and the last of the onion and carrot), scraped the pan, and measured the stock. We have a cup and a half of thick rich chicken broth!! I put this in a freezer container, marked it with a date, and have stock for chicken and dumplings when we are looking for a comfort meal.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dinner 10/8

We had chicken thighs roasted in the oven, seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, onion wedges,  carrots (5 whole carrots, sliced), celery salt, a bouillon cube, and a little water....I made a noodle and sauce packet with it.

It was awesome. I took the stock and froze it for dumplings one night. We have a few thighs left for tomorrow's dinner.

Dinner 10/7

Gary mad epancakes, using a box mix, topped with pancake syrup, or berry syrup.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dinner 10/06/2012

We had tomato sandwiches (white junk bread toasted, topped with mayo, cheese, and sliced tomato).

lunches for work

I don't buy lunch at work. I do pack my lunch, and the past two nights, I have brought with me some flax oatmeal, banana, hard boiled egg, and tea (so I can make my own hot tea)...I usually take what every we have hanging around the house, that has been lurking a while.

Updates II

I also bought 24 cans of cat food, a container of dish soap, 3 half gallon containers of juice, and cream cheese.


I am working a long stretch of four nights in a row, 12 hour shifts. Being home from night two out of four has tired me, and I haven't been posting. I can tell you that I got paid on Thursday, paid my bills, and went to the grocery store. I spent 113.23 at Sharp Shopper. This is a two week grocery shopping, consisting of pet food, health and beauty items, produce, pantry items, freezer food, meat, and dairy products.

I bought 4 lb dog and cat food, three gallons of milk, two bottles of shampoo, 8 rolls of toilet paper, some apricot scrub (my kids use this for washing their faces), 3 lbs bananas, 1 lb grapes, 3 gallons of milk, tomatoes, lettuce, 10 pounds of potatoes, pint of strawberries  24 ct corn dogs (kids love them), 2 small pork roasts, 8 lb chicken thighs, crackers, 2 lb sandwich cookies (vanilla), turkey lunch meat (lb), peanut butter, grape jelly, 24 pk coke, 3 boxes of cereal, farina, 2 lb pasta, 2 cans ravioli, 70 bottles water, one package generic Oreo, canned tomatoes, and two packages of 8 yogurts.

Oct 1st- no spending
Oct 2nd- no spending
Oct 3rd- 113.23
October 4th- no spending
October 5th- no spending.

Dinner 10/05

We had another night of grilled cheese with tomato sandwiches...homemade french fries...I couldn't stay on the menu plan...Kids requested the fries....a few baking potatoes, some veggie oil heated on the stove, viola...french fries!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dinner 10/4

We are having tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and salad...I have a few bananas and pears that can be sliced to go with this!! Awesome!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dinner 10/3

I worked last night, and got home this morning. We are having turkey bacon and pancakes for dinner!! I have a pound of turkey bacon that I thawed, and the pancakes are a box mix...I am adding some vanilla to them!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Working three 12 hour shifts a week at the local hospital ensures that I maintain my benefit packages, ensures my position financially in supporting my family, and helps keep my mind active. The option for overtime is given, and I do pick up usually one shift every pay period. I work night shift, receive differential for nights, and weekends. I tend to work a lot of weekends for this reason.

I get paid every two weeks and this hasn't changed in the past six years. I pay my household expenses with checks, or debit card. I do not carry cash, as I find that I tend to spend it quicker. I shop once every two weeks, and stretch everything until the next pay period. I have a retirement plan at my employer, and have a match option which I take a part in. It's free money folks!!

I do quite a bit of meal planning daily, and when I work night shift, I don't plan as well. We tend to eat quick stuff (easy, filling, and not a lot of time spent on it), and my husband tends to do some cooking.

October 2nd means that I have two meals scratched out of my plan!!!!! YIPPEE!!


We do have three cats and a dog. The cats are 10 years old, 3 years old and 6 months old...the two older ones are fixed, and we do need to get our 6 month old fixed. Butterscotch, Cecelia and Pepper are their names. They do go to the vet for all their shots, and receive their health care. Our dog, 12 years old, Sadie, is fixed, had all her shots and is an "old girl".

The cats were eating science diet, as was Sadie. But this dog/cat food is very expensive, has the proper nutrients that the animals need for proper growth and development, and seems to be very unfriendly to the budget. So, how do I work this expense in, account for this, and remain within my goal of 300 dollars a month for groceries (includes pet food, HBA, toiletries)??

I shop at Pet Smart for their food, but do look for sales, coupons, and use friendly shopping cards. If I can't find their and my preferred food, I will go to the grocery store and see what is close to the ingredients for science diet and buy that instead.

I do give the cats canned food occasionally. Butterscotch has had some dental work in the past, and he is getting older. I did find in the past canned Friskies for 0.39 a can, and bought 24 of them in September. We have five cans left.

The cats get 1/2 cup of dry food twice a day, Sadie gets 1/2 cup dry food twice a day. As for canned food for the cats, they split two cans between the three of them once a day. Sadie occasionally gets table scraps (usually what is left on the kids plates which is usually a small portion).

Dinner October 2nd

The children were given the choice between pancakes or pasta....they choose pasta.
The plan is pasta with sauce (I bought the pasta for 0.79 a pound, and sauce at 1.00 a jar), with some left over salad from yesterday, the choice between two dressings, thousand island or Italian, and garlic parmesean bread (I will make this, using a container of rolls, some fresh garlic, mixed with melted butter and parmesean cheese). We will also have green beans (from the freezer) to go with this.

No need to make a special trip to the store, I have everything in the kitchen!! Very frugal...

October 1st- no spending.
October 2nd-no spending.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dinner October 1st

We had left over chili that Gary made last night, along with some homemade corn bread, and salad (using half head of lettuce, sliced peppers (yellow, red, green, orange), onion, tomato, and some small bits of sharp cheddar), and had various dressings for the salad.

I had left over pepper strips that I put in the freezer (for English muffin pizzas).

It's October!!

Finally, a new month, new challenges, and new opportunities to get my finances under control!
I have made a meal plan for two weeks. I'm trying to use what I have in the house, with little over expenditure this month. For the month of September, I was within my goal of 300 dollars for the month.

For the record, I have no credit cards, I have a house payment, with a second payment that was intended for a new deck, porch, and fence from years ago, that we are paying off. I have the electric payment, two car payments (mine will be paid off in January 2013), Gary's will be paid off within 18 months. I have a water bill every month, car insurance, cable/internet, and cell phones.

I have some doctor bills that need to be paid off.

 My student loans are going to be starting this month for repayment, and my goal is to have a ten year loan paid off within three years. I don't like to carry debt, and since I'm the only income for five people, I tend to be a little concerned about debt.

I work hard to make my income stretch. I pay my bills off every month and have no late payments. I would like to build in a savings account.

My two week plan (not in any certain order):

waffles, scrambled eggs
pancakes, turkey bacon
BLT's potato salad
soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, salad
spaghetti, parmesean garlic bread, salad
chili, corn bread, salad
whole chicken in crock pot, with carrots, egg noodles
chicken soup
chicken and dumplings, veggies
English muffin pizzas (cheese, mushrooms, peppers, onion)
meat loaf (using bits of things for crumbs), mashed potatoes, veggies.

We have everything we need for this set of meals. I'm hoping to be able to kick this into high gear and get my finances in order.