Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Back to life...trip over...using what we have.

We went on our vacation to Rhode Island. It was a massive amount of fun and good times for the kids, my DH, and myself. We left Sunday morning after I got out of work, and drove nine hours, to arrive at the hotel at 6 pm.

We celebrated Christmas with family and friends. We went out to eat A LOT with family, friends, and just the five of us. We did a lot of swimming in the hotel pool and spent time in the hot tub. We went to the ocean to get pictures of the five of us.

We left Rhode Island Christmas night around 8 pm and drove back home to VA. I went to work all weekend.

Last night's meal was french toast. We had a lot of bread crust in the freezer that needed to be used. I used three eggs, some reconstituted dry milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and made French toast for the five of us. We topped it with pancake syrup (finished the last bit on one old bottle).

This morning, I put a whole chicken in the crock pot with some frozen corn, peas, several potatoes, and half an onion. I added some poultry seasoning, bouillon cubes, onion powder, garlic, pepper, and sage. It will cook for several hours in the crock pot.

I have two small containers of chicken stock in the freezer. I took them out to thaw. I will be making chicken gravy to serve over the veggies tonight.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dinner tonight

We had black beans and brown rice that I steamed. We also had 5 bratwurst links fried with sliced red, yellow, and orange peppers, and sliced onion. I sliced off the "skin" and fried the meat in small "chunks".


Last night's dinner

I made a HUGE cheese pizza for the kids. We had our own ingredients for dough in the AMB, I added crushed garlic, onion powder, basil, and parsley to it. It made dough for three hours and rose. I took the dough out of the AMB and managed to roll it out into a 13 x 9 baking pan and added the last 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce (I had two jars in the fridge that were almost empty), used some deli cheese ends I bought a while ago, and topped it off with more onion powder, basil, parsley, and garlic.

I also took a pound of ground turkey our of the freezer. I made turkey meatballs and made a "Sweet sauce" of sorts. I chopped up a red and yellow pepper, half an onion, and two cloves of garlic. I added the veggies to the thawed out turkey, along with one egg, some Worcestershire sauce, and some breadcrumbs. I made 24 meatballs and baked them in the oven.

I had scrapped out the last of the spaghetti sauce that didn't' get used on the pizza. I had some older BBQ sauce packets in the fridge, along with some raspberry jelly that seen better days. So I combined all of the "sauces" into one, mixed them together in a bowl, and heated it up in the microwave.

When the meatballs were finished baking, I added them to the sauce, and made plates for the five of us. Each plate had two small pieces of cheese pizza and a few meatballs on it.

There's nothing left and the kids loved it. It also emptied out some of the condiments that were lurking around.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Been very busy...

I'm working. A lot. We are getting ready to go to our parent's home in Rhode Island on Sunday morning after working all night. My husband will be driving. I will be sleeping. The kids will have to tough it out in the back seat.

Between working all this overtime, attending online classes and making sure I meet all the deadlines for school work, I found that my blog has taken a back seat. I'm hoping to keep up with this and get it to at least every other day.

So, what have we been doing? My DH went to the dentist to get his cavities filled. 159 dollars. We went Christmas shopping for the kids at Best Buy; $$$$$$, but I paid for their gifts with cash that I saved from working all the extra hours. I am almost finished paying on my mother's utilities. I have 184 dollars left to finish off the sewer bill. I did tell her that this is the last time I will be able to assist with paying her bills.

My DD went back to work this week. She was out for two weeks due to low production ratios at the factory. They are closing again the week of Christmas. I had to tell her that she's going to have to budget her money to make sure she has stuff she "needs" while she's home. She does have to help at home with chores, animal care, and her siblings.

Tuition for my next class will be due in February. I'm saving up now for this expense. Graduate school is EXPENSIVE! Each class is 5 credits, and it's 445 dollars a credit. I'm attending one class at a time, since it's what I can afford (barely afford, but I refuse to take out a student loan). I'm still overpaying my mortgage, and my student loan from my bachelor's degree.


My DH has contributed to the stocking of the pantry and freezer. He sold some of his "collections" of comic books and figures. He has bought a lot of frozen prepared foods for the freezer. He has been told that when I am working night shift, he's responsible for cooking dinner for the five of us. He's done a good job with having something available. I can't complain since it's frozen prepared stuff, at least he's making the effort to feed the family. He's not a from scratch kind of guy. He does take pride in showing me everything he bought.

We had a prepared stir fry meal (chicken, water chestnuts, broccoli, peppers, rice), pasta and sauce, subway sandwiches, one night we had marinated chicken thighs and steamed veggies (OMG HEAVEN!), frozen pizza, and pancakes.

I am getting ready to take my ACLS re certification on Wednesday. Friday, I have to re certify for CPR, and I am scheduled to work Saturday night...then we leave to go to R.I.

I have lots of frozen bean soup (pinto/great northern beans, onion, carrots, potato, ham stock, water) that I made in November 2014. I have several plastic containers in the freezer. I took a bunch of them out this morning, and put them in the crock pot with a container of from scratch chicken stock. I added a whole chopped onion, the last three carrots I had, a container of chopped ham (I forgot was in the freezer), and three chopped up potatoes. I am going to let this simmer all day in the crock pot. I am doing to make a small salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, pickles), offer a plate of cheese and crackers, and dinner will be made for the five of us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Using what we have...

We have some green leaf lettuce and two roma tomatoes that need to be used up. We have a few eggs, and a pound of turkey bacon that is in the fridge. We have a few hamburger rolls that need to be used. 

I'm going to make BLT's for the adults for dinner. The kids don't really care for them, so they will get fried egg and turkey bacon sandwiches. 

We are going to Rhode Island the week of Christmas and I want to clear out as much as possible from the fridge. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What's been happening...

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. I worked 60 hours last week, started my first week of my Master's program online, and have been sleeping. Since school started, I've been busy with homework and studying.

My kids are doing well. We went out last week to Clearbrook Park for a Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights. How much fun it was. It was five dollars a person admission. We had a blast!!

Dinners, well my DH and kids have been cooking. We had beef strips, rice and red beans one night. My DH bought the beef strips. We had white rice and boneless chicken strips stir fried another night (my DH cooked). We had pasta and sauce another night, and homemade pizza one night.

I got home from work yesterday morning and went Christmas shopping for the kids. They are finished with the exception of stocking stuffers. I'm seriously considering giving my DH a gift card to the book store and some cash.

I paid in cash for my first class. It's an awesome feeling. I need to save for my next class that begins in February.

Dinner last night was a pan of beef stew (using beef strips, potatoes, carrots, bouillon, onion, and garlic. There was not much left over.

Tonight we are having a small pork roast I found on mark down at Food Lion. I put it in the crock pot with a jar of German sour kraut. We will have some mac and cheese (boxed) and herb stuffing from Aldi. I will also steam some veggies form the freezer.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It's December!!

I cant' believe that it's all ready December. Time goes fast when you are living, working lots of overtime, and spending time with my favorite people, my DH and kids.

I worked all weekend and slept until 4 yesterday. We ended up making scrambled eggs and toasted bagels for dinner last night. My DD had a doctor appointment to get to at 5 last night.

I started my first class at Walden University towards my master's degree yesterday.

We were talking last night about life. We've decided that after mid January, I would cut back again on the overtime. I'm exhausted from working so much. My DH and I have started bickering back and forth. I don't want this to start again on a regular basis. I am scheduled for four 12 hour nights a week until mid January. I can't get out of the overtime now, since I am all ready committed to it and the schedule has been updated.


I have a medium size fatty piece of pork that went into the crock pot this morning. I bought pork when Aldi had HUGE roast for 1.99 lb. I sliced one whole onion, three cloves of garlic, and the last bit of Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce, combined with the bottom of one bottle of tomato based "sweet salad dressing". I am going to let this cook all day until later this afternoon. We have some mashed sweet potatoes to finish from Thanksgiving. We will have some steamed green beans or broccoli with this meal.

I am working tonight (one shift) and this will equal 24 hours so far this week. I have five shifts (60 hours) total this week to get through.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Life and what's for dinner...

We have some turkey soup left. My kids put it in the fridge and it will make it's way into the freezer in the morning. I'm done with turkey for a while. I've had enough of it until the week of Christmas when we are traveling to our parent's homes.

I have been accepted into Walden University for my MSN! I start this week. I declined to take out a student loan (since I am working on getting out of debt). I'm paying cash for my tuition and taking one class at a time. I have 51 credits total and my first class is one credit. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I'm working on either going into a nurse educator's field, or nurse practitioner. I haven't decided on which specialty. The NP program is a total of 56 credits if I choose that route. I made the first payment of 150 dollars over the weekend towards my tuition. I'm paying for the one credit class, and will be working towards saving some more money for my next five credit class. Each class is twelve weeks long.

My mom's electric and water bill are paid in full. I only have the past due amount on the sewer bill left to pay. I told her that I wouldn't be able to pay for the cell phone past due bill. She's going to have to work out a plan.

We are traveling the week of Christmas to see our parents. My mom, her husband, my mother in law, and her companion are going to be spending Christmas with us. We will spend one day on a train to Boston, get on a tour bus and see the sights! It should be a lot of fun. My mother in law has a reservation at one of the local hotels that has an indoor pool for the children! My kids will be able to swim on Christmas. They will really like that.

Dinner tonight is some homemade spaghetti sauce that I had in the freezer. It's crushed tomatoes, onion, peppers, mushrooms, and homemade turkey meatballs over some rigatoni pasta. It was pretty good and I'm taking some of the left overs to work tonight.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Post Thanksgiving...

Hi everyone!!

I hope everyone had a great holiday!

Well, I worked Wednesday and Thursday night. We celebrated on Wednesday before I went to work. My DD did most of the coking, since she wanted to be the "lead chef" in the kitchen. She watches a lot of food network. She did a great job. We took all the turkey stock from the bag we cooked the bird in and place it in the freezer. We have three cups of golden paradise!! We have a package of turkey meat in the freezer for when times are difficult. It's about a pound and will feed the five of us.  We had:

12 lb turkey
home made stuffing
green peas
mashed potatoes
cranberry sauce
sweet potatoes
creamed corn
pepperoni and cheese

The items highlighted in yellow are GONE!!

We had dinner on Wednesday, and there were still leftovers on Thursday. My DH has two friends over to eat with us on Thursday (Round two of thanksgiving). One of them brought a pan of mac and cheese. 

Friday we went out for dinner, since we were shopping for a friend's son for Christmas.

Last night when we got home, I put all the turkey bones in the crock pot. I picked off the meat this morning and strained the stock. The meat and stock went into the crock pot. I chopped up a bunch of carrots, the last bit of celery, an onion, and some spices. I added the last bit of mashed potatoes to get them out of the fridge.  It's all back into the crock pot to make soup. It's round three of thanksgiving tonight!

The soup that is left over tonight will go into my lunch for work. I will also put some in the freezer for another meal. The turkey bones will be put into the trash can and my son and husband will take them to the land fill/recycling center. We have two dogs and two cats who like to explore. I don't want them finding the bones and choking on them. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Change of plans

When we work in health care we have an obligation to provide care regardless of hours, holidays, or being short staffed.

I am working tonight. I am working tomorrow night. Tonight is my holiday pay for 12 hours. Tomorrow I will get holiday pay for 4 hours, and critical needs pay for the entire shift.

As a result, we are celebrating this afternoon. The turkey is in the oven, the stuffing/dressing is made and in the fridge. The sweet potatoes are simmering and when they are finished, we will mash them with some cinnamon, brown sugar, and a bit of butter.

The mashed potatoes will be made later. We have creamed corn and peas to go with it.

My daughter is going to make a nice tray of cheese/crackers/pepperoni with the stuff she bought. The pies are in the fridge to thaw, since we have three, we will make only one for today.

We will have a cute pickle tray also.

Tomorrow, my husband is going be with the kids while they spend the day together. They will have two more pies to bake. When I wake up, we will have a great "left over party" that includes two baked pies!

The weather is bad today. Snow! It's a nice day to have the oven on. My husband will be driving me to work (40 minutes one way, since it's terrible outside). We will be leaving around 5:30 tonight to make it on time to clock in at 6:45. \

When we talked about the change in schedules, my kids are so easily adjustable to my work schedule, they were glad to have two days of celebration. I'm blessed to have a great bunch of kids and husband in my family.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dinner tonight...

I soaked a cup of pinto and a cup of great northern beans over night. This morning when I woke up, I put them in the crock pot with a few cups of water. I opened two containers I had in the freezer of home made chicken stock, and two tablespoons of ham stock (very salty) and put them in the crock pot. I chopped one cup of celery and three carrots and put that into the pot. It will simmer all day and we will have a beautiful bean soup for dinner tonight. I might made a loaf of home made bread in the ABM for the teenagers.

It's meatless, frugal, and little cost.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dinner tonight

I worked all weekend. I got home this morning and watched some television and went to bed around noon. I was making some phone calls regarding a possible MSN program admission with a possible start date of December 1st.

I slept until 6 pm.

The kids had cereal with milk and bagels for dinner. My DH had cereal. I wasn't hungry.

We didn't buy take out. It's not the best meal on my part. If the kids are hungry, there's still more cereal and milk.


I am working Wednesday night (night shift "Thanksgiving holiday") as a scheduled night and have Friday off in return. I will be getting home Thanksgiving morning around 8:00 am.

Our dinner will be done around 2 or 3, since I do need some sleep after working all night.

12 lb turkey seasoned with sage, poultry seasoning, onion powder, thyme, and salt. It will be rubbed down with a small amount of butter prior to baking.The turkey cavity will have a chopped onion, some celery, and carrots inside to add moisture. It will bake in an oven bag until finished at 325 or 350 degrees. After we slice the turkey and get all the meat off the bones, the frame and skin will go back into the crock pot with some more spices, a bit of water, and all the veggie peelings to make turkey stock for the freezer.

We are going to have mashed potatoes. I found ten pound bags of potatoes at Aldi two weeks ago for 1.69 a bag. I will add some reconstituted powdered milk, butter, and a few cloves of crushed garlic to the potatoes.

We have three or four sweet potatoes. My kids like them baked in the oven with a small amount of brown sugar. I may mash them depending in the kids wishes.

We are going to have green beans and peas on the side. I would like to have a small salad to go with it.

I am making my own dressing. We have two bags of "stuffing cubes". I will had chopped celery, onion, sage, poultry seasoning, some home made from scratch chicken stock, a large chopped apple, and a small amount of pork sausage. We will put it in a baking dish and cook along side the turkey for a little bit.

I will make my own gravy using the packet that comes inside the turkey. The giblets and innards will go in the trash can.

My oldest daughter wanted to contribute to the Thanksgiving meal. She bought the following things:

Styrofoam plate
two cans of cream corn
a package of dinner rolls
a jar of pickles (I love them)
a 8 ounce block of sharp cheddar cheese
a small bag of pepperoni
one pumpkin and one apple pie
a container of cool whip
2 jars of turkey gravy

She so wanted to help with the cost of the meal. I told her that she could go out and buy what she thought we needed. I was impressed with her choices, since we all ready had the majority of the groceries all ready bought. She said it "made me feel good to buy some stuff for our holiday at home".

I'm glad. She has a good heart and felt that it was important for her to contribute.

That's our Thanksgiving holiday. I'm hoping to get a nap that morning after I get the turkey in the oven. I'm going to do a lot of prep work Wednesday morning and early afternoon prior to work.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dinner plans

My girls made dinner yesterday. They put some pork chops in the oven and added some cream of mushroom soup over them. The meat baked for a while and then the girls added some stove top stuffing to the pan. It was great. I didn't have to cook, dinner was made when I woke up for work, and we all eat peacefully.

Sunday's meal was bbq chicken sandwiches and green peas. My girls took all the chicken off the bones that I made a few days ago. They mixed it with BBQ sauce and served it on rolls. Again, I didn't have to cook.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lack of planning...dinner.

I worked Wednesday night and had a terrible shift. I was late getting home Thursday morning (close to 9 am) and went to bed around 10 am. I woke up at 4:30 and was in a horrible exhausted mood. My kids were looking for dinner. My DH didn't have a plan for dinner. I got tired of listening to everyone ask me "mom's what's for dinner".

So I ordered two cheese pizzas and a meat pizza. 46 dollars. HOLY CRAP. Well, I hope it was good. It was expensive and not worth the cost.

I am working all weekend. I got up this morning and was looking in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. We have a ton of food. We have lots to be thankful for. We are blessed that our kitchen is full to the brim. We eat a lot of whole birds. At 95 cents a pound at Aldi, it's the cheapest protein around, besides eggs, and turkey is 1.69 a pound for ground.

I put our last five pound chicken in the crock pot. I added five peeled and chopped carrots, a cup of chopped celery (leaves included), half an onion, some spices, and the last cup of frozen veggies I had in the freezer. I added about two cups of water.

This will cook all day in the crock pot. Depending on how much "stock" is in the bottom of the crock pot, I will make a small portion of gravy to cover the chicken and veggies. I will end up pulling the rest of the meat off the bones. The bones, all the veggie peelings, and skin will go back into the crock pot for round two....stock for the freezer!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dinner plans

I am working tonight for critical needs pay. It's 10 dollars an hour over my base rate of pay, not including differentials. Work was short staffed and emails were sent out, so I responded.

I am making dinner. We eat dinner before I go to work. We've always done this.

Tonight we are having homemade cheese burgers. I used a lb of ground beef, two eggs, the last bit of Worcestershire sauce, and a cup of breadcrumbs. I mixed it all together using a spatula and made five generous portions. They are baking in the oven. I will add some sliced cheese to them when they are finished cooking. I am thawing out four hamburger buns.

My husband and I will have ours on some sliced tomato, cucumber, onions, and pickles. I pulled out some bagged lettuce from the fridge and it was BROWN!!

The kids are going to have theirs with some canned chicken noodle soup. I have a small handful of onion rings in the oven on the same baking pan with the burgers. The kids can have those in addition to the soup.

We are using what's available to keep bellies fed and warm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's been happening...

I didn't sleep well last night. I sat up with my husband and we were talking past midnight about our life, home, children, and the future. I was awake at 6 to get myself to the dentist to get my permanent crown placed (I made the last payment of 240 dollars cash). My DH took the teens to school and picked up our 19 year old at work this morning.

I have a project at work and I'm close to finishing. I will be glad when the presentation is over. It stresses me out.

I was looking around the house and the place looks like a tornado hit. It needs some much needed TLC. My goal is to get it in some form of decent shape.

My anxiety is pretty bad. It gets worse when I don't sleep well.

We ran out of cat food yesterday. I gave my DH some cash to run to the store this morning and pick some up while I was at the dentist.

The kids are well. My DH has a cold.

I'm debating whether to enroll into a MSN program online. I'm looking into three schools and found one that will accept a payment plan (I don't want to take on a student loan, since I'm working hard to be debt free). I'm waiting to hear back from then regarding their admission process. I've all ready spoke to an enrollment specialist yesterday. They want to see copies of my transcripts (I have them in my portfolio) and I can go to Office Max or Staples and fax them copies of the ones I have in my portfolio.

I'm tired and have a migraine. I have a cup of hot tea and some ibuprofen. My mouth is not as numb now, so I don't risk aspirating on anything.

Dinner tonight is hot dogs (cook on the hot plate), mac and cheese for the kids (I have a box of Kraft in the pantry), and salad. The hot dogs will have the usual toppings (ketchup, mustard, chopped pickles for relish, and onions if requested).

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What's been cooking...

I am working all weekend. Tonight is my last shift of four and I will be off until Thursday. My DH has been out with the kids all weekend so I can sleep during the day.

He boiled some pasta this afternoon (thin spaghetti) and poured some jar sauce over it. We added a small amount of Parmesan cheese to it. It was OK. This was tonight's dinner.

Saturday he put a small piece of pork roast (1.99 lb from Aldi, for a huge roast, we cut it up into smaller portions) in the crock pot. He added sliced onion and BBQ sauce. When it was finished, he shredded it and served it on sandwich rolls. We had steamed green beans with it.

I honestly forgot what we had for dinner on Friday.

We have one turkey in the freezer from Aldi at 1.19 a lb. I'm hoping to find one or two more prior to Thanksgiving to keep in the freezer. We love turkey and it makes great left overs, stock, and sandwiches. It's a great piece of protein to have in the freezer when times are difficult.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I got paid this morning and wrote out some monthly bills. I paid my December 2015 student loan payment (yes I am a year ahead on this), February 2015 mortgage with 300 extra towards the principle, car taxes for two vehicles, and I paid my Mom's water bill. Two weeks ago, I caught her electric bill up. We have two dentist appointment's next week. I get my permanent crown and my ?DD gets her one cavity filled. 

I was talking to my Mom the other night. I asked her to find a part time job in addition to the part time job she all ready has. She said that she was going to put an application in at McDonald to help bring in some extra cash (since I have to pick up overtime to help her pay the bills, I feel that she should be proactive in brginging in more income). She told me that she's very tired and so is her husband, so they are not really keen on working any extra. 

I told her that I am only 16 years older than her. I am working 48 hours a week (this includes the 6 or 7 shifts I picked up as extra) and I'm tired too. We had a disagreement about the issue of working more. 

I have paid off the old electric bill of 299 dollars and paid the water bill of 271.56 for now. She still has a sewer bill and a Verizon bill past due. She mentioned to me that she "would like to have 2 thousand dollars". I just wanted to scream at her. 

I went to Aldi this morning with my husband. Two weeks ago, I spent about 220 dollars. Well, today, I guess I felt like I was wealthy and spent another 133 dollars. I am over my grocery budget by 53 dollars. I really can't buy anything except milk for the kids until the first pay check in December. 

I bought two bottles of shampoo, three jugs of laundry soap, 48 water bottles, two take and bake pizzas (one cheese, one Italian meats), 20 pounds of potatoes (1.69 a bag folks!!!), a shrimp ring for the kids Thanksgiving, 6 lb onions (3 lb for 69 cents), 1 lb of roma tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, pop tarts (99 cents on clearance), grape jelly, 40 oz peanut butter, margarine (3 lb), a 12 lb turkey 1.19 a lb, 2 gallons of skim milk (2.69 each), 2 jars of gravy, a half pork loin 2.99 lb, lb pork sausage, bag of brussel sprouts, broccoli floret, California medley, 2 kielbasa, one hazelnut chocolate bar, frozen spinach, pork roast (1.99 lb, I cut this into 6 smaller "roast", it was huge), 8 oz mozzarella and sharp cheddar, 6 stuffing mixes, 2 boxes of hot chocolate, 3 lb sweet potatoes, marshmallows, 

We all ready had a pretty full freezer. My husband did a wonderful job of making sure that the freezer was organized and able to fit in the new meat additions. Our pantry is full. It's a nice feeling. I should not BUY ANYTHING except milk for the rest of the month. 

Dinner tonight is the take and bake pizzas. We bought a cheese for the kids and Italian meat for the adults. My DH is going to make a salad to go with it. I am working tonight until Monday morning. 

I love having a means to support my family.

Last night's meal

I took out a pound of ground turkey and let it defrost. I mixed an egg, quite a bit of bread crumbs, some spices, and Worcestershire sauce into the ground turkey. I made meatballs using a tablespoon measure spoon. I scooped 25 of them out into a cookie sheet and baked them in the oven.

I had two open jars of spaghetti sauce (dollar tree garlic marinara, and Aldi regular) and covered the meatballs in sauce after they were cooked and defrosted some hoagie rolls. I defrosted some Monterrey jack cheese...

we had meatballs sandwiches for dinner!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A few meals out of a 6 lb chicken...

1. Whole chicken with veggies (fed 5)
2. A bowl of veggies
3. BBQ chicken sandwiches (will feed 3)
4. Chicken salad sandwiches (will feed 2)
5. Original stock at bottom of crock pot (3 cups)
6. Returned skin and bones to crock pot for another round of stock (got two cups)

The whole chicken with some carrots, potatoes, onion, celery fed the five of us last night.I have a small bowl of veggies left, it's enough for two people.  I took the stock that was in the bottom of the crock pot and put it in the freezer. I pulled all the chicken off the bones last night and divided it into two. Ome portion to make BBQ chicken sandwiches for my kids for lunches. The other to make chicken salad for the adults. I chopped up the chicken and added three packets of take out BBQ sauce, and what was left in the bottom of one container of honey bbq. The chicken salad was made with chopped chicken, four take out packets of mayo, some onion, celery, and spices.

The various cups of chicken stock are now in the freezer for use later this month and into December.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tonight's meal and work schedule

I have two whole chickens in the freezer. I took one of them out last night and put it in the fridge.

In the crock pot:
1 whole chicken 6 lbs
1/2 a large onion
4 thin peeled and cut carrots
2 cloves of chopped garlic
2 stalks of celery
6 very small potatoes (think baby potatoes)
2 cups of water
celery salt
garlic powder
black pepper
poultry seasoning
onion powder

I'm hoping to have a great meal this evening with the family!
I'm spending the day cleaning house, doing laundry, working on the budget, attending my middle daughter's senior night at school (we have to order graduation stuff tonight, need to get down payment money together), work on my finances, and plan for the rest of November-January 2015.

I signed up for several overtime shifts. My manager offered an additional 10 dollar an hour bonus for those who picked up extra. I picked up the following dates:

Nov 13
Nov 19
Dec 4th
Dec 11th
Jan 1st
Jan 5th
Jan 12th

7 shifts X 12 hours is 84 hours. 84 hours at crictical need pay of 10 dollars an hour is 840 dollars!!!! That would put a big dent in my Mom's utility payments. I would like to put a good portion of it into my savings account too.

Working these nights for critical need pay will make my regular Saturday night shift overtime.
I am working Thanksgiving, New Years Eve, and New Years Day night shift...holiday pay!

I'm hoping I don't end up divorced!! My DH said he would support me and do what was needed at home to help out. We need to start some Christmas shopping for the children (small Christmas this year), plan and finish the final stuff for Thanksgiving, and my kids want to have a New Year's Eve party at home with their friends (IE watch the celebration on television). I'm thinking of making them responsible for planning their own party, snacks, and fun. They are teenagers.

Monday, November 10, 2014

dinner tonight

I worked all weekend night shift 12 hours. I got home this morning and passed out in bed. I woke up at 4:30!!!!

I was so tired. We had a basic easy meal tonight. I steamed green beans with a small amount of butter, and had pasta in the pantry. I boiled some pasta  and opened some jar sauce. That's dinner.

I did get the pasta at the dollar tree 2 lbs for a dollar!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dinner's this past week!

I've been working this weekend and haven't been posting. On Thursday we ended up going out to Waffle House. It was expensive and well worth it. I was tired.

On Friday evening I made tacos using 1/2 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of ground turkey. We chopped up the last tomato we had, cut up some deli cheese ends, and used up some green leaf lettuce. We had enough left over to have for dinner on Saturday. We used the whole grain whole wheat hard and soft shells that I had in the pantry.

On Sunday my husband made chili.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Last night's meal

I have been cleaning house and doing laundry for two days. I was so tired last night I considered ordering take out.

I ended up making omelettes using some of the ham that my DH made on Sunday. I added a small amount of deli cheese to each one. My kids had omelettes with ham and cheese, my DH and I had ham, cheese, onion, and tomato omelettes. We had some sliced tomato and onion from our cheeseburgers the other night that needed to be used.

I also had some mashed potatoes that needed to be used. I warmed them up in the waffle iron, thinking that I could make them crisp. It was a fail!! It did brown the outside of them but the inside was still cold. It needs more work on my part.

I paid cash for my son's cavity filling yesterday. I'm paying cash today for my new front brakes. I'm excited.

I love Dave Ramsey.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dinner tonight

I had some pasta from a few days ago in the fridge. It was about two or three cups of elbows. I made a white sauce and added some deli cheese ends. It turned into mac and cheese for the kids.

I took a pound of ground beef from the freezer. I added some egg, breadcrumbs, and Worcestershire sauce to it and made hamburgers. I baked them in the oven and added some deli cheese ends to melt. I cut up some lettuce, sliced one tomato and some onion. I laid it on plates and put the burgers on top of the "salad".

It was awesome.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's been happening...

On Wednesday I took the rest of the cut up chicken in teryaki sauce and baked it in the oven. It was a thigh, drumstick, and some boneless meat. I had two very small pork chops to cook with the chicken. I marinated it with the same sauce. I steamed some long grain brown rice and corn to serve with dinner.

I worked Thursday night. We had take and bake Aldi pizzas and salad. I got paid on Thursday and got all December's bills sent out. My mom is having financial difficulties. She's 1500 dollar behind on her utilities (water, sewer, electric) and needs heating oil to be delivered. She's behind on her mortgage and car taxes. I told her that I would work some overtime and help pay the utilities. I sent a telephone payment to the electric company on Thursday. Heating oil for her home is about 300 dollars for 100 gallons. She has a large tank, I don't know the size. I feel for her. At first, I was going to offer to make the mortgage payments. I was looking at my finances and I am not able to make them. I told her that I would work on the utilities. This did not go over will with my husband, but he said, "I will support you in what you decide".

I'm working all weekend. Friday my husband made elbow pasta with garlic marinara.

Tonight he put a frozen lasagna in the oven (he bought it).

I went to the grocery store on Thursday. We made three stops to the Dollar Tree, Sharp Shopper, and Aldi. I spent a total of 200 dollars.

Dollar Tree 21.70, Aldi 157, and Sharp Shopper 57 dollars. I have a total of 300 dollars for the month of November. There's three teenagers and two adults, two cats, and two dogs.

I've been working ALOT! I haven't been able to blog the past few days.

My husband baked a ham we bought on Thursday. He made mashed potatoes and a beautiful salad.

My DD took all the meat off the ham bone and put it in the fridge. I put the ham bone in the crock pot with 3 cups of soaked bulk pinto and great northern beans. I peeled and diced four sad carrots, added some onion powder, some parsley, a bit of chicken stock, and water. It will simmer all day and we will have a beautiful ham and bean soup for dinner.

I'm off work until Friday!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What do you do with a 3 lb whole chicken...?????

I defrosted a whole chicken. The kids complain lately that we don't have any "real good food" AKA kid friendly food...

So, I watched a video on you tube to see how to cut up the whole chicken and take off all the bones and skin. I was left with a pile of beautiful chicken meat. I put the bones, skin, and frame in the crock pot with some water and spices. 

I put the thighs, wing meat, and the "drumstick" meat into some teryaki marinade for tomorrow's meal.

I sliced the two breast very thin and in strips. I soaked it in some ranch dressing and Parmesan cheese. I put it in the fridge all day. I took it out this evening and sit it on the stove. I had some old garlic Parmesan bread crust from my attempts at homemade bread last week. They were in the freezer. I put them in the blender and grated it into crumbs. I covered the chicken with the bread crumbs and baked it at 350 . 

I steamed some green beans, and sliced a pitiful half cucumber to have on the side.

I have a few very small potatoes in the fridge. I fried them with half an onion (a very sad onion) and some butter in a pan.

OMG Dinner was AMAZING!!!

What meat that is left on the frame will be picked off and placed in a bowl for BBQ sandwiches. The stock will be put into bowls and placed in the freezer.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Dinner

My daughter made cinnamon pancakes for dinner last night. Tonight I had enough bread ends in the freezer to make french toast for the five of us. We had three slices each, used 6 eggs, and a good amount of fluid milk.

I paid 249 dollars last week for my DH to get his two cavities filled. I have to pay 279 tomorrow for my cracked molar for a crown (the rest will be due in three weeks). My DD went to the dentist for her xrays and cleanings. She has one cavity. My son has an appointment the first week of November for his cavity to be filled. My middle DD has NO cavities.

I took my car in to get an oil change and found today that I need brake pads on my car. They quoted me 210 dollars total. I have to make the appointment in November. I was told that my car will not pass inspection for January with out new brake pads.

I worked one shift of overtime last week and I have an additional night of overtime this week to help with the expenses.

I was able to put 1,000 dollars in my savings account this month for October. It brings the total up to 2600!! I'm hoping to leave the cash in my savings. I don't want to use it.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What's been cooking...

Thursday evening I made shells, with pasta sauce, and ground beef. It was a pound of pasta from the pantry, a half of jar of sauce in the fridge, along with a whole jar from the pantry (our last one), and a small tube of 85% lean ground beef. I fried the ground beef, simmered the pasta and mixed it together. I added the sauce and steamed some corn. That was dinner.

Friday we had scrambled eggs and toast.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Being productive...

I have home made apple crisp in the oven. Diced apples, cinnamon, sugar, whole oats, flax, brown sugar.....YUM! It's screaming at me to get some vanilla ice cream for it. It's our dessert tonight.

I also have homemade bread in the ABM. I added three cloves of garlic and Parmesan cheese.


What's been cooking...

Monday evening I made the kids some steamed ravioli for dinner. They topped it with some Parmesan cheese and Aldi spaghetti sauce. No leftovers!

I made ground turkey burgers for my husband and I.  I used a 1/2 lb of ground turkey that was in the fridge, one sleeve of crackers, some Worcestershire sauce, one egg, onion powder, garlic podwer, and a small amount of beef stock. I mixed this into two patties and baked then in the oven. I was able to use tow hamburger rolls, one sliced tomato, a sliced onion, and some lettuce to top our sandwiches. It was awesome!! The were no leftovers.

Last night I cooked a pound of ground beef, used up the last of the steamed corn in the fridge, and boiled some small potatoes. I layered the ground beef in a casserole dish, covered it with the steamed corn, and made some beef gravy. The beef gravy was made from a rue of butter and flour, mixed with some beef stock. I poured the gravy over the mixture and turned the potatoes into mashed spuds using some milk and margarine. I topped the casserole with the mashed potatoes and baked it in the oven. Shepard's pie folks!! No leftovers!

Today's' meal is chicken soup. I have three containers of gelatinous stock in the freezer. I took them out and put into the crock pot. I had one cup of cut up diced chicken in the freezer. That went into the crock pot. I had three cloves of garlic, one small red pepper that was sad looking, and one onion. It all went into the crock pot. I have four thin carrots that went into the crock pot. I added some water, a few spices, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, parsley, and two bouillon cubes.....it will cook all day.

I'm going to make home made bread in my ABM and a small salad with what little fresh produce we have left.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What's been cooking...

I've been working all weekend, night shift, 12 hours. On Thursday, my DH made baked chicken thighs in the oven, baked some potatoes, and steamed veggies. He made a nice salad and baked cookies. It was REALLY NICE!

Friday I put the rest of the chicken thighs in the crock pot. I added the last bit of BBQ sauce that was in the fridge. We used the last of two small bottles and some old take out packets. The bottles went into the recycling bucket. We had finished up the last of the steamed veggies from the night before.

Saturday, my DH made homemade chili. He bought ground beef (why I don't know, since we had some in the freezer), shredded cheese, and sour cream. We had everything else to make it.

Sunday evening I am awake for work. My DH is baking french fries and boiling hot dogs for dinner. He has some corn to steam to serve with it.

I'm glad he's been cooking the past few days.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dinner last night

I bought a pork loin last week at Aldi. I cut it up into nice sized pork chops!! We have enough for four meals for the five of us!!

Last night I baked five pork chops with some onion powder, garlic powder, and Aldi "beef and pork grinder spices". I made a nice sized salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion) and had two various dressings offered. We steamed some green peas, corn, and green beans to serve with our meal.

It was pretty good! We have some veggies left over to have with our meal tonight.

Tonight's meal:

I had chicken drumsticks in the freezer bought on clearance a while ago. Five legs for 2.02 total at Aldi. SCORE!!!! Well, I finished up the last of the Aldi herb and garlic marinade and used it to marinade the chicken drumsticks. They are sitting in the fridge defrosting, soaking up all that good marinade. We will have the last of the steamed veggies from last night, a large salad (tomato, cucumber, onion, pickle, lettuce), and I have some left over "fried rice" from our adventures on Friday evening that needs to be used.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Grocery shopping

I went to Aldi after we got home from our trip and spent 28 dollars on produce. I went to Aldi yesterday and bought 150 dollars worth of groceries. My total for the month is 300 dollars for the five of us.

Here's what I bought:

4 lb mixed fruit
12 rolls toilet paper
three large cans of crushed tomato
3 cans of diced tomato
1 bag mini marshmallows
frozen cheese ravioli
one harvest pizza
a package of roast beef
trash bags
3 lb ground turkey
2 lb ground beef
hot dogs 3 lb
turkey bacon
one whole chicken
half a pork loin (need to cut this into single chops and a small roast)
3 lb onions
half gallon juice
dry milk
Parmesan cheese
2 gallons skim milk
bought my DH lobster tail
2 jars spaghetti sauce
2 dozen large eggs
two boxes cereal
4 lb sugar
BBQ sauce
marshmallow creme
extra sharp cheese
mild cheddar
hot chocolate
microwave popcorn
pancake syrup
hazelnut spread
cream cheese
10 roma tomatoes
2 large cucumbers
fresh garlic
onion powder
a case of coke


We went out last nigh to a Japanese Steakhouse and had a wonderful time. It cost a nice penny but like I said, we had a great time.

Today's dinner is spaghetti sauce, meat balls over some pasta.

I used half a lb of ground beef, one egg, some beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese, and the last onion roll in the blender to make breadcrumbs. I mixed this up and used a teaspoon to measure out meatballs. I baked them in the oven and then put them in the crock pot.

In the crock pot with the meatballs are two cans of crushed tomato, one can of diced tomato, three roma tomatoes, two medium sized onions, two big cloves of garlic, 7 baby sized peppers (red, yellow, orange), and half a large green pepper. I added some basil. I am going to let this cook all day until 4 and we are going to boil some pasta.

I am going to make a large salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber) and steam some broccoli to serve with this.

No pasta for me.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What's been cooking??

We used the last bit of ground beef my DH bought for dinner last night. I made cheese burgers, topped with very generous slices of tomato and onion. I was trying to use what was available and keep our expenses down.

1 lb ground beef
1 cup of beef stock
1 egg
3 slices of "honey wheat bread" grated in the blender
Worcestershire sauce

I shaped this into burgers (HOLY CRAP very generous sizes I might say for the five of us)
and baked in the oven. We had a few buns in the freezer (two plain and a few onion buns from Aldi) that needed to be used. I sliced our last tomato and sliced a onion to top our burgers. We also had a few slices of Kraft deli cheese that needed to go, along with the last few slices of pickles in a jar......see a theme here???

I baked half a bag of tater tots for the kids, and onion rings I bought a while ago from Dollar Tree. Dinner was great. Kids loved it. My DH loved it. It's a lot cheaper than going to McDonald's.

Today's meal is going along the same lines of "using things up". I have some dental expenses that will occur later this month. I am working hard to use what we have to keep expenses down.


I am making potato soup today. I am using two containers of homemade chicken stock form the freezer. I am using a few carrots, the last bit of celery, two cloves of garlic, chopped onion, some parsley, and a bunch of very small potatoes. I put it in the crock pot. I don't have any ham or bacon, so we left it out. Later I will use the flour, butter, and milk to mix in the sauce pan and cook, then add it to the crock pot.

I figure with the homemade chicken stock and spices in that, we may not really need the ham or bacon. At least we are not going to have it today.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What's been cooking???

My Dh bought some ground beef and a whole chicken he found on mark down the other night.

He made sloppy joes on Sunday with onion rings for the five of us for dinner. I had to work and I appreciate his efforts!!

On Monday I put the whole chicken in the oven with some thyme, sage, poultry seasoning, garlic, pepper, and parsley. I let it cook for a couple of hours at 325. I made a pot of mashed potatoes (real potatoes, milk, butter, and I added three cloves of chopped garlic), and steamed some green beans.

It was wonderful!!

This morning I picked off the meat form the bird. I have a cup of chopped chicken for the freezer. I have a three quart bowl of "chicken stock" from the baking pan I put in the freezer.

I took the frame, skin, bones, some celery, a few carrots, a couple of cloves of garlic, a whole chopped onion, a bouillon cube, parsley, thyme, sage and put it in the crock pot with a couple cups of water. I'm going to let this simmer all day and cook. I still take out the skin, bones, and frame and boil some egg noodles later. It's going to be a nice cool day for some homemade chicken soup.

I'm thankful he found a marked down whole chicken for 73 cents a lb. It cost about 3 dollars and provided us with some much needed protein.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dinner 10/4

I'm working all weekend. Last night my DH ordered pizza from Little Cesaser's.

My DH and daughter baked thin pork chops with BBQ sauce, made a huge salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickles), steamed corn and peas, and fresh pineapple.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


We had left overs last night. The choices were frozen quesidillas, one chicken thigh, many left over veggies, some fruit, salad, and/or bowl of cereal and milk.

The quesadillas are gone. One kid had cereal and milk. One kid had the chicken thigh and no veggies. They ate some sandwiches.

I didn't want to cook.

My kids have been to their mental health providers. We were charged the co payments, got new prescriptions, and my DD had to take a "personality test". I paid them in full and they are now caught up.

My DH went to the dentist this morning. He has 6 cavities. They took xrays, did some cleaning, and gave us a written treatment plan. There was no charge for today's' visit, since my insurance covered all the costs. He will have two cavities filled later this month. I'm waiting on an estimate of charges.

My kids and I go to the dentist on Monday. There's usually no charges for the cleanings. I believe we all had xrays on our last visit 6 months ago. I'm praying that there are no cavities that need to be filled.

Tonight's dinner in the crock pot:

our last five chicken thighs
five carrots
one onion
a handful of celery
garlic powder
poultry seasoning
a bouillon cube
a small amount of water

I am going to make another medium size salad, serve some other left over veggies (California blend).

Back to work tonight.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shopping and dinner

My husband and I went to Sharp Shopper to pick up some produce and milk. We spent 28 dollars on the following stuff:

1 quart of fresh strawberries
1 fresh pineapple
a bunch of bananas
5 lb carrots
one head of lettuce
five tomatoes
two cucumbers
a gallon of fat free milk

and toilet paper.

Dinner tonight:

meat loaf using ground turkey, beef stock, one egg, last of the cream of wheat and some oatmeal (in place of breadcrumbs), onion, parsley, garlic, pepper, and Aldo beef "grinder" spices.

fresh sliced pineapple
fresh strawberries
California medley steamed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
a large salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickles)

We are working on eating a bit healthier.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dinner 9/29

I got home from work this morning and put five chicken thighs in the crock pot. I added some sage, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, a sliced onion, half a bag of frozen mixed veggies (carrot, green beans, peas, corn), and a handful of chopped celery. I added a bouillon cube and let this cook all day.

YUM! It was great. We have half a chicken thigh for tomorrow's lunch with a cup of veggies. We also have two cups of chicken stock for the freezer.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's been cooking??

We had been on vacation. We got home Friday morning and crashed into bed. Exhaustion set in. I had to go back to work Friday night and work all weekend....SLEEP DEPRIVATION!!

Friday I had from scratch meatballs in the freezer from two weeks ago. I put them in the crock pot with the last tiny bit of spaghetti sauce, the left over beef stock in the fridge, a few sliced peppers, a whole sliced onion, and three cloves of garlic....YUM! I served this over a small amount of steamed long grain white rice.

Saturday my DH bought some frozen pizzas and baked them in the oven. It prevented us from buying take out.

Sunday my DH made ziti with meat sauce.

Work is waiting for me in a few hours.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Home from vacation...

we had a great time! My kids and husband left Virginia on Saturday. I was working all weekend. I flew on Monday to meet them after I worked!

We left Florida yesterday at noon. We drove home and made it to Winchester at 5 this morning.

More to come!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dinner 9/19

Mary, my daughter, made another round of scrambled eggs for dinner tonight. They were pretty good. No complaining from me. I love having dinner made when I wake up!

I didn't tell her I had a small piece of shell in my eggs. I found out the hard way.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dinner 9/18

I got paid today and finished paying the last of October's bills and paid December's mortgage. We are not going shopping for the next two weeks. We are going away on a short vacation. My dh and kids leave Saturday. I am working all weekend, I am getting on a plane Monday morning and flying to meet them in Florida.

Tonight's dinner is:
boneless pork chops in cream of something soup, with garlic, pepper, onion powder, and parsley
homemade mac and cheese (basically a white sauce with cheese added, and boil some pasta)
a small salad

Debt repayment

I am religious about getting my debt paid off. I have the regular house bills, mortgage, student loan, and an equity line that I have been working on paying off.

I love Dave Ramsey. I paid off prior debt using his method for the "baby steps". I have an emergency fund.

January 2014:
mortgage 71,932.53
equity line 23,446.73
student loan 14109.03

September 2014
My mortgage is down to 69,980.  payment 641.00 every month! no extra payments yet.
Equity Line is down to 18,870.  payment 70 a month
Student loan 11, 850   payment 167 a month

Well, I have been snowballing payments to the equity line every two weeks. The minimum is 70 dollars. I send 300 dollars every two weeks. Like clock work. I was on the phone this morning and found out that since the balance I owe has dropped below 20, 000 I am being charged a monthly maintenance fee of 75 dollars.

I can't believe it.  I increased my payment this morning to 370 dollars in hopes to keep this account moving in the right direction.

I pay 200 dollars every two weeks to my student loan.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

dinner 9/17

We had scrambled eggs with some melted deli cheese ends mixed in the eggs. That's it. I'm tired. The kids bellies are full for the night.

9/16 dinner

I took out a lb of ground beef from Aldi last night to defrost. I made 36 meatballs using some milk, two eggs, a chopped onion, basil, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese, and about a cup of cream of wheat.

I scooped them into "balls" using a tablespoon measure. I baked them in the oven at 350 until done. I put them in the crock pot with an open jar 1/8 left of spaghetti sauce, and added a jar of Prego. We served this over penne pasta.

I have a little bit of meatballs left. They are going into the freezer for when times are a little difficult at home. Preparing for harder times helps with keeping the budget intact.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chicken bones and thighs

I asked my DD to put those chicken bones and skin from the thighs in the fridge. She did that for me. I took them outlast night and dumped everything into the crock pot with a half an onion, some celery, parsley, garlic powder, chicken bouillon, sage, a few cups of water, and poultry seasoning.

I let this simmer all night. I strained the bones and skin out of the broth. I have three beautiful cups of chicken stock for the freezer.

I am so happy. it will help provide for nourishing meals for cooler nights.

What's been cooking...

Thursday, my DD put some chicken thighs in the crock pot with peas. It was soo good. She did a great job. I told her after everything cooked that I wanted the skin and all bones put in a bowl covered in the fridge.

Friday, my husband made a pot roast with potatoes. It was pretty good. He didn't add any extra veggies, but I didn't have to cook, so I am OK with that. We have two small single servings containers left with leftovers. One of them is going to work with me Sunday evening.

Saturday I clocked out of work, went home, went to bed, and woke up feeling exhausted. I paid for take out pizza.

I am working tonight. We have some pasta still that has been opened. My husband is going to make pasta and sauce. We have some jar sauce in the pantry. I asked him to make a small salad to go with this. We have some onion, lettuce, tomato, and a small amount of cucumber left. I'm hoping he will steam some of the frozen veggies we have in the freezer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dinner 9/10

My kids and DH finished all of the dinner I made last night. I couldn't believe it. I didn't even have left over stock for the freezer. They ate everything. THUD!!

I have some produce that needs to be used, so we are going to have a salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, some cheese) with various salad dressings, and black beans with rice. I'm going to steam the back beans and rice. It's a bulk thing I bought from Sharp Shoppe in their dry goods department.

I am working tonight, Thursday, and Friday. I'm hoping that some of the stress has died down some. I told my DH that I would not pick up any OT for the month of October. He's going to have to work with me while we pair down and continue to keep expenses in check.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

dinner 9/9

We had three left over chicken thighs in the fridge that needed to go. We have a small container of chicken that my DH took off the bones that needs to be used. It all went into the crock pot this morning with the last few carrots, half an onion, and a few stalks of chopped celery. I added a cup of water, some parsley, onion powder, garlic, sage, poultry seasoning, and two bouillon cubes.

I'm going to let it cook in the crock pot all day, and add some Bisquick dumpling mix I have in the pantry. I'm going to make dumplings to serve with our dinner tonight.

Monday, September 8, 2014

What's been happening...

I have been working 60 hours in five days. I'm just tired. I clocked out this morning and will be back to work Wednesday night. A lot has been happening around here.

My husband made pasta and sauce on Saturday for dinner. I took some of that to work.
On Sunday, my DD made chicken thighs and steamed peas. We are eating a lot of chicken, since it's lower in price at 89 cents a lb at Aldi last week. My husband told me that he's had a rough five days with the kids while I have been working. He told me that he's just exhausted and he went to bed just a little bit ago.

I paid for subway for dinner. 5 dollar sandwiches. No big deal.

I still have skin and bones left from the chicken thighs in the fridge, I still have three chicken thighs that need to be used. I am thinking of making chicken and dumplings tomorrow in the crock pot. More on that tomorrow.

About my husband...he has a mental health history. He took me to work last night  (40 minute commute) and told me that he wasn't sleeping well. He said that the kids are irritating and argumentative. He said that they are not helping him keep things done around the house. We need to have a family meeting tomorrow afternoon when everyone is rested and home from work, school, and had dinner.

He takes his medications every day. He said I am not easy to live with. He said I work a lot. I told him that I have to work to support our family. He understands that I have to work my 36 hour week. He thinks I work a lot of overtime. I do work a lot of overtime, but I have five people to support.

I'm hoping that he rest well tonight. He's sleeping upstairs and I hope he sleeps all night. I think all of us need some serious down time.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What's been cooking??

My husband baked chicken thighs this afternoon, with some California veggie mix, and steamed some white rice. Yesterday, he made home made chili and served it with tortilla chips.

I've been working a lot of overtime and he's been providing meals for the five of us. I am too tired to make dinner before I go to work a 12 hour night shift. He's done a great job the past few afternoons.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dinner 9/2 Using what we have...

What is left over from the marinated chicken last night? About 1/2 cup of chopped carrots, 1/2 cup of chicken stock which went into the freezer for soup at some point. 

I took out some boneless pork (used to be a large pork loin, but I sliced it up into single pork chops) and have five nice sized pork chops for dinner tonight. I will bake them in the oven with some BBQ sauce. The kids love their pork chops like this, baked with bbq sauce, and additional on the side to "dip". 

I am making a small potato salad. I peeled eight potatoes, and added three eggs to a pot. I'm simmering the potatoes and eggs to make a potato salad. I have a small amount of Kraft mayo, a small amount of onion, some spices (garlic, pepper, parsley, paprika...I am out of onion powder) that I will add to this. 

We are going to have steamed broccoli and the left over carrots as our vegetable selection. 

We are using what we have available for meals. It's going to be a tight month with the kids and I getting our dental cleanings and any cavities filled for October. We have to work on saving for some possible dental work. I'm hoping that this month will be a month of low expenses. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

What's been cooking??

I worked this weekend, and go back Wednesday for 5 in a row. I signed up for overtime. It always looks good on paper, then when I'm getting ready to begin it, it doesn't always feel good. But you do what you gotta do to support a family.

My husband baked tater tots and boiled hot dogs on Saturday for dinner. Sunday dinner was some pasta and jar sauce hanging out in the pantry from Dollar Tree. My kids had friends over, so they all had pasta and sauce. My DH had left over tater tots and a hot dog. I ended up having two hard boiled eggs and some popcorn.

Our pantry and fridge is beginning to look pretty bare. This past week I made homemade french bread, two different batches of pumpkin cookies, and made some chocolate chip muffins. The kids finished those off and we are out of fluid milk. I am finishing up the last of the powdered milk in the pantry for hot tea, hot chocolate, and any basic recipes I would use regular milk in. My kids don't really care for powdered milk with their cereal or to use as "regular milk".

My DD is out of work this week. She's has a temp job at the local Kraft company in town. She was told on Friday that all the temps will be off this week due to low production and orders placed for their products. She will go back next week. She will be home all week for meals, and not need anything set aside for her nightly lunches.

I still bring my lunch to work, and usually it's whatever we had for dinner.

Speaking about dinner, I took out five chicken thighs yesterday from the freezer and put them in some garlic and herb marinade from Aldi. I will put them in the crock pot with some carrots, steam some broccoli, and offer some brown rice to go with it. I found brown rice at Dollar Tree a while ago.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dinner 8/28 and 8/29

Last night's dinner was turkey bacon cooked in the oven with french toast. I use dry milk combined with some water, eggs, cinnamon, and oil for the hot plate. We top our french toast with pancake sryup. I use the ends of the bread loaves that the kids don't like. But they do enjoy the ends of the bread for french toast. I can't explain it. I save the bread ends in the freezer until we have enough for french toast.

Dinner tonight: Left over pot roast, potatoes, and carrots diced pretty small. I made a gravy out of the drippings, some butter, flour, and beef stock from dollar tree that was sitting in the fridge. I warmed everything on top of the stove until well heated. OMG terrific!!!

The leftovers are coming with me to work tonight.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dinner tonight

We finished off all the "hidden surprises" with the exception of a 3 quart container of homemade garden veggie spaghetti sauce. I put this in the crock pot with an addition open can of crushed tomatoes that had been sitting in the fridge. I cutup half an onion, two more cloves of garlic, half a green pepper, and one each of baby red, yellow, and orange peppers. I put a small amount of Parmesan cheese in with the sauce.

I have a bunch of cream of wheat that needs to be used. My kids don't care for it. But it can be used mixed in to a meatball recipe. Check this out!!


I am not using the evaporated milk or the cream of chicken or mushroom soup. Instead, I have some beef bouillon that was opened last week, some garlic powder, pepper, chopped onion, parsley, and an egg or two. I also have some Worcestershire  sauce, and basil.

I will cook 3/4 lb of pasta to go with our meal. I will make some garlic bread using the french bread from last night (butter, crushed garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley), and maybe some green beans.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

French bread recipe



So, I decided that we are going to have a "french bread" to go with our chicken soup tonight. I've posted the recipe I am using. I'm hoping it turns out wonderful. It's using what we have in the pantry for this weeks meals.

What's been cooking??

We finished off the bean soup, the chili, and still have some of the roast and veggies left. I put them aside for another meal. My DH bought two frozen pizzas last night for dinner. He was tired of cooking, I was tired, since I worked all weekend. I wasn't going to cook. The two pizzas feed the five of us, and we have two slices put aside for my working full time DD to take to work with her.

I have numerous containers of chicken stock in the fridge, with small amount of meat and carrots in them. I am going to place a few of the containers in the crock pot, add some additional sliced carrots, half an onion, parsley, two garlic cloves, some chicken "grinder spices" from aldi, and maybe if needed, a portion of the 32 ounce "carton" of chicken stock I had in the pantry from the dollar store.

Later today, I will cook a portion of egg noodles I bought from the dollar store. I was thinking of making a loaf of ABM bread to go with this!

Chicken soup folks. Using up some of the leftover stuff that most folks would throw away.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


My husband bought some more groceries! I am kind of surprised and don't know really what to say. He sold some of his comic books and bought a nice beef roast, and some snacks for the kids.

He made a great beef roast (bottom round I think) in the crock pot, with carrots, onions, and potatoes. I worked last night and when I got home this morning, he had it in the crock pot all ready. I woke up at 3:45 this afternoon and I had a meal waiting.

I could get used to this.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Continue to use them up...

those hidden surprises!! You know what they are...it's what's in the freezer sitting in an unlabeled bowl with a plastic cover over it. It's kind of like the mystery meal that you can't quite tell what's in it.

So, what do I do? I took out three containers of frozen stuff. I have one quart, two containers that hold about two cups each. It smells pretty good, and I see something that resembles pinto beans with carrots.....I've decided to let the containers thaw out.

I'm thinking that we will simmer the bean/carrot/ham soup on top of the stove and serve it in mugs like we did the chili last night (which was a huge hit and got rid of the chili, the small amount of cheese, and last of the Italian bread). I'm thinking we will only have this, since it's pretty filling and has lots of protein and fiber.

I did talk to the teenagers last night about "using what we have, since we paid lots of cash out for glasses and car work". No surprises for them, they are all aware of the financial status at home.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Using things up...

We've had some big expenses this month, beginning with back to school supplies, clothes, glasses, and now car maintenance...so we are in use it up mode until at least September. I get my next pay in September.

We all that stuff in the freezer that we have put in containers, bags, or wrapped in plastic that need to be used. I took everything out and placed them in the fridge. I've gotta say, that there's a lot of containers that have stuff in them. I call them hidden surprises!!

Tonight I have three 2 cup containers of meat and bean chili that my DH made. What we didn't eat was placed in containers, covered, and put in the freezer. So, I opened three containers, and am heating the frozen chili on top of the stove. I have a small amount of shredded cheese (think about 1/2 cup total) and a small amount of Italian bread. I will serve the chili in mugs, topped with some cheese, and served with a thick slice of Italian bread.

You gotta do what's needed when finances are S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D. We did not do our usual two week grocery run today. I am just exhausted and wanted to stay home. Back to work tomorrow night.

That's dinner folks.

Car tune up...

I took my car into the dealer to get the needed work done. It was due to an oil change and 60 T mile check up, tune up, and replacement parts as needed.

I got an oil change, rotation of tires, air filters changed, all new spark plugs, flushed out all the power steering and radiator, added new fluids...checked out the tires (basically new in April), checked out the brakes (new in April)....and there was something else, but the papers are in my glove compartment, and I am inside the house.

774 dollars. Paid in cash out of my checking account.

I did get a sandwich at the fast food joint while waiting for my car to get finished.
I have to go to the grocery store this evening.

I really need a nap.

pay day

Two overtime shifts makes for a happy bank account. I paid the car insurance, kids school fees, water bill, home equity line plus the snowball payment, electric bill, pest control, and my student loan. I put 39 dollars of gas in my car.

I'm on my way to get the car 60 T tune up and oil change. I'm hoping that it doesn't use what's left in my checking account. I need to put some cash back into my savings to replace the costs of the glasses.


I took the kids and myself for the eye exams. I had a previous copay that my DH didn't pay, so we had 100 dollars in copays. We bought three pairs of glasses for the kids, and I had new lenses placed in my frames. Total cost for the three pairs of glasses and new lenses.....579.43.

I took the cash out of my savings to pay for it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dinner....glasses....car tune up....school fees

I put five chicken thighs in the crock pot this morning with seven very small potatoes, five carrots, half an onion, a clove of garlic, some spices, and a cup of water. It will cook all day and we will have a beautiful dinner for the five of us. We are using what's available in the house for meals right now. I have some expenses to pay for.

We are getting new glasses today. I have (2) 50 percent off coupons for frames and lens (which my working DD and son need new frames and lens), and myself and DD need just new lenses. I am not sure how much it's going to cost, but I have enough in my checking account to pay for one pair, and the other three will be out of my savings account.

I have been faithfully putting 300 dollars every two weeks in my savings to help cover the costs of the car work and glasses. I've done this three times, for a total of 900 dollars to go for these expenses. My husband owed me some cash to the tune of 1100 dollars for all the car payments I made in the past two months. He gave me 125 dollars and that went into my savings.

My car is getting a much needed oil change and 60 thousand mile check up tomorrow morning. The cash will come out of my paycheck (I worked two overtime shifts to pay for this) tomorrow morning.

My two high school kids have school fees I have to pay for in the morning. It's going to amount up to about 70 dollars for both of them. A graphics class, home ec, art, and a science lab cost. It's kind of outrageous, but I guess it's more for supplies then anything else. Oh well. They will get paid tomorrow morning when I get paid.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dinner 8/19

My husband bought two small packages of pork short ribs. They are going to go into the crock pot this morning with a whole sliced onion, three cloves of garlic, half a green pepper, and several small red, orange, and yellow peppers. I will let this cook all day and add some BBQ sauce to it. We have some left over corn on the cob that needs to be eaten. I may make some potato salad (gotta see if we have any mayo, if not, it's not a big deal, no potato salad). We have produce to make a nice salad instead (lettuce tomato, cucumber, peppers).

What's been happening...

I've been working four shifts in a row to help pay for some school expenses for my kids. I have some good news!! My husband has bought and contributed to the groceries last week! I was shocked. He bought a package of chicken thighs (4 in a pack), two packages of pork "short ribs", a pork tenderlion,  and a pound of ground beef.

The chicken thighs are in the freezer. He made chili on Thursday with the pound of ground beef. On Friday he made BBQ pork tenderloin and shredded it for sandwiches and corn on the cob. On saturday we had scrambled eggs and bacon. On Sunday we had pancakes. He cooked four nights in a row, and bought some groceries.

The kids started school yesterday. We went out for dinner last night.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dinners we had..

So, I am finding that I am more into reading other blogs than posting...I gotta fix that. I haven't posted what we have made for meals this week. I go back to work tonight for four 12 hour shifts in a row and get off Monday morning. I have a meeting tonight at 5:30, a hour before my usual shift.

We had:

Shells, pasta sauce with ground beef, salad
boneless pork chops, with mushroom gravy, salad, and steamed corn. (Tuesday)
fruit salad (pineapple, bananas, green apples, peaches, blackberries) (Wednesday, all fresh fruit)

I got paid last week and bought tons of fresh produce. We have a few apples left, corn on the cob, a banana, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and a cucumber.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Taking care of things....

I've worked this weekend and made a list of stuff that needs to be taken care of. Most of this will cost a significant amount of money and requires me to work some overtime. I've picked up five shifts between August 1st and mid September to help pay for it.

I made the next payment on my husband's car....a HUGE source of tension between us.

I made an appointment for my kids and I to get our eyes checked and get new prescriptions for glasses. We go on August 20th. our insurance has a 20 dollar copay for the visit, and will pay 40 percent towards new glasses every two years. The glasses will cost a significant dollar.

I went school clothes shopping at J C Penny and spent about 147 dollars on clearance clothing for my daughter (senior this year!!!!), and my son (sophmore). They declined new sneakers.

My daughter needs to see a new doctor. She has an appointment we made for mid september. It was the closest available for a new patient. OK.

My car needs an oil change, and 60 t mile check up. My two dogs/cats need their flea medication this month (I'm a week behind for the meds).

I told my senior daughter that we were going to recycle school supplies this year. We have tons of pens, pencils, paper, and notebooks. I may only have to get away with buying folders to keep them organized.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Last Thursday's meal

I forgot to post last Thursday's dinner. I made home made pizza using a garlic Parmesan crust recipe from the internet. We made a mozzarella cheese pizza, and one pepperoni on a thin crust. We used a can of crushed tomatoes as a sauce, instead of jar sauce.

Weekend meals...

I have been working this weekend. Sorry for the lack of postings. My husband has made great meals this weekend. On Friday he made chili in the crock pot with some cheddar cheese on top. I took that to work for Friday and Saturday night shift. On Saturday, we finished up the rest of the chili.

Tonight he made pasta, with jar sauce, using a package of ground beef. He made a small salad and garlic bread. He loaded my plate up, and I only had half of the pasta, no bread, and had a plate of salad. I will take some left overs to work tonight.

I'm trying to finish my tea, so I can get ready to start the 40 minute commute. I like my job for the most part. It's less stressful than my previous position. I'm hoping that tonight is a good shift.

My work lunches:
steamed peas
peaches (fresh)
a granola bar

We went to the grocery store on Thursday morning. I will post everything on Monday morning. We spent very little and bought a lot of fresh produce.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's August!!

Our challenges this month:

Kid birthday 130 dollars done!!!
2 new pairs of glasses
additional two sets of lens only (my DD and I have frames less than two years old)
car needs 60 T tune up
school clothes
school sneakers
flea meds for the animals
prescription dog food (vet is cheapest, checked online, a few dollars more)

I picked up overtime shifts, once a week from now until mid September to help cover these expenses.

What's been cooking...

I got home from work yesterday morning and went right to bed after having a cup of tea. I did not pass go or collect 200 dollars. I was tired. I woke up at 3 in the afternoon. I was off last night.

At 6:30 pm, we still did not have a plan for dinner. My special ed kid was complaining, my full time worker DD was out at a movie with a friend, and my middle DD was watching television. My husband didn't have any ideas. I was too tired to worry about it. So, I made the kids and DH some scrambled eggs (two per person) and had sausage patties from Aldi in the freezer. I cooked one per person in the microwave. Scrambled eggs, sausage, and hot chocolate. That was dinner.

I had five chicken thighs that I put in the fridge on Sunday from the freezer. This morning they were thawed and I put some "garlic and herb" marinade on them from Aldi. I will bake these in the oven until cooked, and steam some veggies. We have green beans and corn that the kids would enjoy. We don't have any rice, potatoes, pasta, so it's meat and veggies tonight. Not to bad, gives us a break from the heavy meals.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dinner tonight

I am working tonight since I was off last night for my kid's birthday. We are going to have penne pasta, spaghetti sauce, and meat balls.

The pasta and jar sauce are pretty basic. The meatballs will be made with our last pound of ground turkey from Aldi. I have some older KIX cereal that I will grind up in the blender and add onion, garlic powder, black pepper, parsley, and basil. I will add this to the ground turkey, along with a bit of Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese, a touch of milk, two eggs and make meatballs. I scoop them out to a pan using a tablespoon measure. We usually get about 24 or so meatballs and will use about half of them.

I am going to steam some green beans to go with it.

My oldest and I are working tonight, so we will take the left overs with us for our lunch breaks.

My kid's birthday

Yesterday was my son's birthday. He's a special ed kid with autism and he's 16!!! He is at a developmental stage of 8 or 9 and years behind typical kids.

Our kids get to pick and choose what they want to do for their birthday. They are all teenagers and out of the stage where mom and dad decide what they will do for their big day.

My son wanted to see Guardians of the Galaxy at the theater and go to Chuck E Cheese for pizza and games. So, we saw the movie, bought popcorn and soda. After the movie, we went to Chuck E Cheese, ordered 2 pizzas, drinks, and salad bar. My son got tokens to play the games.

We went home to cake and ice cream. The cake was bought at the discount outlet all ready made. We went to the dollar store to get him a pinata and filled it with generic M&M candy. He got a gift certificate to Mc Donalds for 10 dollars.

Overall, it was about 130 dollars to celebrate his big day. He told me on the way home "It was the best day ever Mom". I worked overtime last week and budgeted the cash for his birthday celebration.

So worth it!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2nd meal

I am off work tonight since I was asked to work Thursday for critical need. The ICU was shirt staffed, so I went in as extra hands, and was given tonight off in exchange. It was a win win, I'm a bit tired.

I got off work this morning, clocked out, and made the 40 minute commute home. I went to bed at 9 and woke up at 3 this afternoon. We had a plan for dinner.

I had some brown rice and black beans that I bought in bulk a while ago. I had about a cup of this left and put it in the steamer with 2 cups of water. It steamed until it was cooked and finished. I browned a lb of ground turkey and added some taco seasoning to this. I had a package of ten soft tortilla shells, lurking sour cream in the fridge, and about 4 ounces of hard cheddar cheese. I grated the Cheddar cheese in my blender, and found some last bit of chunky salsa in the fridge.

I put everything in separate bowls and placed it on the dining room table. We let the kids pick and choose what to fill their soft tacos with. We had taco meat, sour cream, some cheddar, salsa, brown rice and black beans. We had steamed mixed veggies on the side.

We used things that needed to go, promoted a no waste meal, and it filled up teen bellies with protein packed foods.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dinner 7/31

My family finished off the chicken soup last night. My working full time DD brought a huge bowl of it to her job for her lunch break.

I've had a change of schedule for work. I put in for Sunday night off, since it is my son's birthday. I was asked to work tonight for critical needs pay and I would be given SATURDAY off in exchange. I took it!! I am working tonight and my usual Friday night. I am off the whole weekend.

I took out a five pork chops for dinner. I put them in the crock pot with the last three pitiful carrots, half an onion, and a small can of cream of mushroom soup. It will cook all day and we will eat close to 5 this afternoon. I have a small package of "steak fajita" rice, a little bit of leftover broccoli that needs to go, and the kids requested steamed corn. So that is our meal for this evening.

I wish we had some plain long grain rice or potatoes to go with this, but we are out of many things that won't be replenished until I go shopping next Thursday (coincides with pay day).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Planning ahead, using things up.

It's watch the budget and see what happens mode. This week's theme is use it up. We have been working on that using what's been lurking around and making the best meals possible.

We have a whole chicken that my husband cooked last week. I just picked two cups of meat off the frame and put the frame in the crock pot. We have a few sickly looking carrots that were peeled, cut up, and put into the crock pot. I chopped up half a white onion and put it in the crock pot. I added several cups of water, 2 bouillon cubes, chicken grinder spices from Aldi, parsley, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning.

Later today, I will pick out the carcass, boil some elbow pasta (using it up, it's the only pasta we have, about a cup left), and serve it as chicken soup.

We have leftover bean soup and spaghetti sauce that we've made lately that has been put in the freezer for times that are a little bit more difficult.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Using things up...

We have four tomatoes in the fridge that are getting very soft. I'm going to cut them up and place them in the crock pot, along with a sliced white onion, three cloves of garlic, a small can of drained chopped mushrooms, and a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.

We have some frozen ravioli in the freezer that was bought last week at Aldi when I got paid.

We will top the ravioli with the "sauce" and add some Parmesan cheese. We will have some steamed green beans on the side.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dinner 7/28

I had two kielbasa links in the fridge. I put one of them in the freezer. We sliced one of the links into smaller pieces and fried it with a sliced onion. I diced up the last four potatoes we had. I put them in some butter and fried them with onions. We had kielbasa and fried potatoes with onions for dinner.

It was very satisfying and fattening!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dinner 7/26

I worked last night, came home at 8 this AM, and had a cup of tea. We had defrosted a whole chicken and it's been sitting in the fridge. My husband cooked it in the oven, with some rice and steamed some broccoli.

That's dinner folks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Work this weekend...life

So, the payment to my DH car loan went through my bank account. I had 350 dollars left. I put 300 in my savings account at the credit union on the other side of town. I got paid yesterday morning when I left work. I came home, took a nap, got up, wrote out the bills, went to Aldi and spent 100 dollars, got some take out for dinner, and we saw a free outside movie.

I got paid and wrote out:

my student loan  170 (feb 2015 payment)
electric bill   135
car insurance   220
wells fargo equity line   300 plus 72 interest

The only bill I have sitting on my desk is October's mortgage. My son has a birthday coming August 3rd. He wants to see a movie and get pizza at Chunk E Cheese. That's pretty painless since there is NO PARTY at Chunk E Cheese. My kids are going to be getting new glasses in August.
I am hoping to get some more cash into my savings, after the latest round of bills clear my account.

Lunch today: Getting rid of some lurkers out of the freezer. I gave the choice of hot dogs or hamburgers to the kids, DH, and myself. We had two hamburgers and 4 hot dogs. I had a hamburger, DD had a burger, and the rest of us had hot dogs.

Dinner: Left over bean soup since we have a crock pot full.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


My husband bought a ham over the weekend. I put it in the crock pot yesterday morning with some onion and carrots. We had ham and carrots last night for dinner. 

I took out two cups of ham stock and put it in the freezer for soup. 
I have one ham bone for bean soup. 
I have two containers of diced/shredded ham for sandwiches, waffles, omelettes, etc. 
We have two plates of sliced ham for sandwiches, or just for picking when looking for a snack. 

Tonight's meal is bean soup. I have the ham bone in the crock pot. I soaked two cups of pinto beans overnight and put them in the crock pot. I added a small container of chicken stock from last week that was in the freezer. I added a few cups of water and some carrots. It will all cook together and become creamy bean and ham soup. 


Things have been just a little busy around my home, with my working, home life, life with my husband and kids, and a few extra projects I have to do for work...I'm a bit overwhelmed. I can't seem to keep up with the blog and feel bad for those who do read on a regular basis.

I'm working a OT shift tonight. My DH and I are in a sort of tangle. I obtained a copy of my credit report yesterday. I found out that my DH hasn't made a car payment on his vehicle for three months. In the past year, he'a made four of them on time and eight were late.

My name is on the vehicle loan as a co signer. I really had no idea because I thought he was over his "foolish years" and money mistakes, since we have been through so much. Well, apparently he's now over it. I found out and called the loan folks.

I had 1221 saved in my checking account that I was going to transfer over to my savings when I got paid on Thursday. I ended up making a 839.92 dollar payment to get his vehicle caught up. We had an agrument yesterday which resulted in my breaking down in tears. I didn't touch the cash in my savings account to cover this. As a result, I have 350 left in my checking. I will transfer that to my savings tomorrow morning after I get out of work in the AM.

We spent yesterday not talking. I was so upset and angry. I took my son to the park so he could play. My DH came with me and we sat there in silence. I ended up walking our two hound dogs, so they could get some exercise. I made dinner and went to bed at 9:30.

Work projects:
I joined the RN practice council at work. We have a project that needs to be assigned. I took some pro activeness and signed myself up for one of our core measures. My responsibilities are to develop a questionnaire, make some education to put out for folks at work, and help our facility meet the core measures. My part is venous thrombosis embolism prevention. It's basically a clot in one of the vein/arteries and how to prevent that in patients while they are in our care. I need to have something to present on August 14th.

Another one was applying for a PRISM award. It's a award given to med surg nurses and their unit for outstanding care and leadership. My part in the application is nurse retention and recruitment. I need to have a rough draft for our meeting on August 14th.

The work projects are not paid assignments. They are to show leadership and growth on our resume and we get points towards our annual evaluations.

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.