Friday, May 30, 2014

June Shopping

I went to Aldi last night after I paid the bills to get some groceries. We were running low on various items and needed to get June groceries stocked up.

Scoop cat litter
2 cans crushed tomatoes
4 lb sugar
2 24 count bottled water
2 lb carrots
1 pint blackberries
1 quart strawberries
2 lb grapes
1 large cucumber
1 package of hot dog buns
1 20 count tortillas
2 lb dry pinto beans
2 lb great northern beans
2 loaves of white bread for the kids
2 4 ct Willow toilet paper
2 lb celery
2 lb carrots
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 lb broccoli cuts
3 boxes of cereal
80 count trash bags
one jug juice
3 lunchables for the kids.
100 count tea bags
3 lb of 85% ground beef (expensive 2.99 lb)
two 5 lb whole chickens (0.95 lb)
3 lb margarine
2 dozen eggs (1.89 each)
yellow mustard
1 jar spaghetti sauce
frozen burritos
thousand island dressing
buttermilk ranch dressing
3 lb ground turkey (1.69 lb)
2 cans chicken noodle soup for the kids
2 cans of mushroom pieces
4 cans of tomato sauce
scrub sponges
40 oz peanut butter
chocolate sryup
2 gallons of skim milk
2 lb bologna
2 lb motzerella cheese
1 lb turkey bacon
1 lb cheese slices

I spent 129.32 out of 300.00 dollars for June. This is going to supplement what we have all ready in the freezer/pantry/fridge.

What's been happening...

Work has been happening....lots of it.

I got my pay check yesterday, direct deposit into my checking account. I wrote out all the bills I had waiting patiently. Everything was paid in full. We went out for dinner last night at Golden Coral. I am tired and didn't want to cook at all.

We need a new AC/furnace unit. The coils have been damaged and the guy quoted us 1600 for the coil repair, freon, and the other thing that was wrong (I forget what he called it). We spoke to him yesterday, and told him that I would pay CASH for this repair. He told us that there would not be a warranty.

You know what happened??? He offered us a NEW AC/FURNACE for 1900 dollars installed, labor included, and with freon. We are getting a new unit instead. I love telling someone I can pay for a large purchase in cash. It will come out of my savings account. It is scheduled for Monday morning after I work this weekend.

Dinner tonight:
Party meatballs, salad, steamed peas, corn.
The party meatballs are using 1 lb of 85% ground beef at Aldi. I am using three bread ends that were in the freezer, I will blend the bread up and use as crumbs. I will add two eggs, a small amount of reconstituted milk, some fresh garlic, onion powder, and basil. The ground beef mixture will be scooped out into a tablespoon measuring spoon and then baked in the oven.

The "party sauce" will be the remains of two bottles of BBQ sauce. I think it's Sweet Baby Rays bought at the outlet store. I have a lurking jar of raspberry preserves that need to be used up. It's just got a small bit left in the jar. We have two small packets of grape jelly and bbq sauce (take out packets from my DD) that are going to be used. I will mix the sauce and jam up in a bowl, and heat it in the microwave. It usually comes out pretty good and my kids love it, since it's a sweet kind of sauce.

Salad: Lettuce, tomato, onion, and some cucumber. Dressing is either thousand island or buttermilk ranch bought at Aldi.

Steamed corn and peas: Left overs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dinner 5/28

I am working an extra shift tonight, since work called last night and said that there was a call out, and they were short for tonight. GRRRR. It will make my Saturday shift OVERTIME, and tonight is a critical need pay (10 dollars over my base rate of pay).

I have a small package of pork chops in the freezer. They are boneless and very thin. I am going to put them in the oven, or maybe just on top of the stove. Once they are cooked, I will add some bbq sauce to them. We have three ears of corn on the cob. I am going to boil and simmer them in some water, add some butter and serve with the pork chops. We have a lot of potatoes, and I know that we've had them for three days in a row now. I am going to fry some with onions and serve them with our meal.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday's meal

We have a package of four chicken thighs in the freezer. I know it's only four thighs, but it was on sale for 99 cents a lb. They are very small pieces of chicken.

I have two large carrots left from a 5 lb bag I bought a month ago. I will peel and add them to the chicken. I have a few small potatoes I will peel and add to the carrots/chicken and put it all in the crock pot.

I am going to add the last can of cream of chicken soup to the crock pot, along with some poultry seasoning, and the Aldi chicken grinder spice mix I have in the pantry. We have some left over corn and peas from last night that need to be used up today.

That's dinner this evening.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dinner 5/26

I clocked out of work at 7:30 this morning. I got home and went to bed until 1 PM.

I ended up mowing the grass in the front and back yard.

We grilled some italian sausage links on the griddle. I used the last two small red peppers, two onions, and two cloves of garlic and seared everything on the griddle. We made home made french fries with some veggie oil on med high heat, and 6 potatoes. I seasoned them with some seasoning salt (use very very little). We steamed some corn and peas for veggies.

It was wonderful.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday dinner

We have a package of six pork chops in the freezer, from the mark down section of the grocery store. They are thin boneless pork chops. My DH covered them with some mushroom soup and put them in the oven. We are going to have some Aldi boxed stuffing, and some steamed veggies.

I brought that fruit (strawberries/blackberries) to work last night. It was pretty much gone. When I left this morning, there was enough left for one serving. I was happy that the fruit was appreciated. I will take the bowl home in the AM.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dinner 5/24

My husband and kids are at a friend's wedding. It's at 4:30 with a reception following. My DD has to be somewhere this evening at 8:30, so they won't be staying longer than 8 pm.

Dinner for one tonight. I put some bulk black beans and rice in the steamer. I will have that with some of the sliced berries for dinner. The rest will be taken to work for my lunch, and the berries offered to my coworkers.

Frugal snacks...

I made some pumpkin spice cookies. I had them in the pantry (it's a bag mix, cost 3 for 1.00 makes a dozen cookies), and made them this morning for the kids. 1/8 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of milk, and an egg was put into the mix. It made 12 cookies (medium size).

I had some dollar tree strawberries in the freezer, combined them with fresh strawberries, and some fresh blackberries. I sliced everything, sprinkled 2 teaspoons of sugar over the berries, and covered it with some saran wrap. I put it in the fridge for snacking today. What doesn't get eaten will go with me to work tonight.

On weekends, folks bring stuff in to share. It's the first time I will bring in something. I can't afford it every weekend, but once in a while is fine with me.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The recycling bucket...

has been filling up this week, since we are using a lot of pantry, fridge, freezer items. It is a good feeling knowing that I can put the best meals for my family with what I have available even when times are a bit difficult.

Keeping up with the Jones is not what I care to do. I want to live a simple pleasing life, keep my family healthy, and have a workable budget to have our NEEDS taken care of.

The kids are happy, fed well, have clothing, sneakers, and do not go without. My DH is well, healthy, and content.

I am working a lot of hours. Last week I put in 48 hours, and when I clock out on Sunday morning, I will have 52 hours. It will be a nice pay check and will help the savings account. I am tired though and thinking of calling it a night soon.

Using what we have....

when the budget is tight and bellies need good wholesome nourishing food.

We seem to eat the same things over and over. But we tend to like the same ol things too. I have one and a half cups of pinto/great northern beans in the pantry. I put them in some water to soak over night.

I have five large carrots (it's the end of a 5 lb bag I bought at Sharp Shopper a while back). They will be peeled in the AM, diced small, and put into the crock pot.

We have the last of some ham stock dated 12/2013, 3/ 2014, and 4/2014 that is thawing. It will be put into the crock pot in the AM, with a few cups of water, the carrots, and two different kinds of beans. I don't have any ham pieces left in the freezer, so we will do without.

I will add some basil, parsley, onion powder, pepper, and garlic powder. It will simmer all day (I have our second class tomorrow on team building for my new position that I've been at for 6 weeks) and we will eat bean soup when I get home.

Thursday's meal.

Using what we have since funding is tight....

We had a package of pork country ribs in the freezer. My DH thawed them out the other day. He put them in the crock pot this morning, with some sliced onion, and BBQ sauce. It cooked all day on low.

I had a class at work from 8-4 on teambuilding. I got home at 4:30. My husband steamed some green beans and broccoli to have with the pork country ribs.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Today's dinner...

We are going to clean out the fridge, using some items that have been lurking around.

I have a jar of spaghetti sauce in the fridge. It's about 1/2 full. We have 1/4 jar of "pizza sauce" in the fridge. I am going to combine the two of them and heat them up.

We have five small "baby peppers", some onion, three cloves of garlic that need to be used. The peppers are looking pitiful. I will slice everything, cook them on the stove top in a teaspoon of olive oil.

I have a lb of ground beef that has been thawed for a few days. I will cook this on top of the stove and boil some ziti.

We are going to have ziti with meat sauce (for the kids), my DH and I will have some of the pepper/onion/garlic in our half of the spaghetti sauce (I'm out of crushed tomato, so I m using other lurking items to prevent them from being thrown out).

I will serve some steamed green beans on the side, and a very small salad with ranch dressing. The lettuce is 1/4 left, one tomato, and 1/8 of the last cucumber that was in the fridge. The ranch dressing is almost empty, so this needs to be used up.

That's dinner folks!!

I've lost a few days...

Looking back at my blog, I posted on Sunday!!!

So, I worked all weekend, clocked out on MOnday morning. I got in my car, and got on the highway. My phone rang at 7:22AM and I was still driving home. My manager called to see if I would work Monday night, for critical needs pay (additional 10 dollars an hour above my base rate of pay, and evening, night differentials). They were short on Monday night and I agreed to work.

I went home, went to bed, tossed and turned, and it was a very busy and long night shift. I clocked out Tuesday morning, went home, and slept from 9 AM until 4PM.

Monday's dinner was curly fries and BBQ chicken sandwiches.
Tuesday's dinner, I broke down and bought two cheese pizzas from Anthony's. UGGGGG.

I was so tired and exhausted from working. The house was a mess, and I just wanted to watch TV. I went to bed that morning at 9 AM, slept until 4PM, and was back in bed at 9:30 until 6 AM this morning.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekend happenings...

I am working this weekend, and it's night three of three. When I clock out in the AM, I am off until Thursday!! It's glorious!!!

On Friday, I put chicken thighs and carrots, onions, garlic in the crock pot. We made a box of herb stuffing from Aldi.

Saturday's meal was left over chicken thighs, and veggies.

Sunday's meal was bbq chicken sandwiches. My dd took all the chicken that was left off the bones. She shredded the meat and added bbq sauce that was lurking in the fridge. My dh went to the store and bought some hamburger buns and potato chips. That was dinner folks.

The chicken is all gone. My dd threw out the skin and bones. My dh put the stock in the freezer for another meal.

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's been a financially crazy week...

My DH has an inspected car with an oil change. My car has an oil change, two new tires, and brakes...I am so tired of sending out money this week.

I only paid a few bills this week, but nothing is late. REminders that I am not in credit debt, just mortgage and student loan only, along with the usual home stuff.

Dinner tonight:

Our last package of chicken thighs in the crockpot with a sliced onion, two cloves of garlic, 5 large peeled carrots, and a "box of herb stuffing" from Aldi. The package of chicken thighs has ten in it, and I'm hoping it's enough for tonight and part of this weekend's lunches for kids/work.

I went to Food Lion to pick up some ice cream and an angel food cake for my DH's celebration tomorrow afternoon. I was looking over some of the MARKDOWN meat prices.

1.29 lb for chicken wings
1.79 lb for cut up chicken
1.99 lb for WHOLE CHICKEN

This is the mark down prices folks!! I got disgusted and left with just the cake and ice cream.

We have some odds and ends in the freezer/pantry/fridge to work with for the next two weeks. I've spent a ton of cash this week on two vehicles, bills, and a birthday. It's going to be a tight two weeks in the meal department, but it's doable and financially in our benefit.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pay Day....

I got paid today. I wrote out my Wells Fargo A payment (300 dollars), my student loan payment (200), pest control, and both sets of car taxes.

I still have cash left, I need to get two oil changes tomorrow, an inspection for DH car, my kid's dental appointment, and gas for two vehicles.

We were out yesterday, and I paid 275 for four new tires for my DH's car, and this morning, we got the new windshield placed. My insurance paid for the windshield. I took the cash out of my savings account to pay for the tires.

I had to get my dog's cardiac food. I paid for this with a combination of cash and debit card.

We have my husband's birthday on SAturday. I have to work this weekend, so we are celebrating it tonight. There's a mexican restaurant that we want to try out. It's a bit pricey, but it's his big 44th day. I am paying cash for it.

We are working on staying out of the stores until some time next week. We have tons of food and don't really need to spend on anything.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dinner 5/14

I am home today, it's an official night off. I am back tomorrow for a 8 hour RN orientation, and then work the weekend night shift (12 hours).

I have 1/1 lb of lean beef strips. It cost 1.49 and has been in the freezer. It has a mark down sticker on it, and originally 3.50 for the package. 3.50 for a 1/2 lb of beef is CRAZY!!!! Can you hear me....CRAZY!!! I am going to sear the beef, cut it small, on my hot plate this afternoon, with some sliced onion and chopped fresh garlic. YUM!!!!!

I have some bulk red beans and rice that I am going to steam. I will add this to the 1/2 lb of beef, onions, and garlic. We have some broccoli in the freezer that will be warmed up in the microwave, and I have two oranges that need to be used. They will be peeled, sliced, and served with our meal.

My kids love red beans, rice, and beef. They would prefer a large serving of meat (BIG CARNIVORES), but this time, it's a small portion. With the added veggies and fruit, this should make up for the portion of meat. I'm trying to fill them up on the healthier stuff, the beans, fruit, and veggies. Overall, this is a good meal for the five of us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Debt and Progress...

Jan 2014:
Student Loan  15,000 now 14,109.03
Wells Fargo A 25,000 now 23,446.73
Mortgage 73,283.92 now 71,932.53
Emergency Fund 2,950 (includes living expenses) Goal 5,000.

Snow Ball Plan:
I am working on Wells Fargo A. Interest payment, along with 600 a month.
I am paying 167 a month, and figured to make it to 170 a month.
Mortgage 643.34 a month. No changes.
I would like to put 200 dollars a month into my savings account.

Updates: June 2014

Student Loan 15,000 now $12,882.70
Wells Fargo A 25,000 now 21,626.69
Mortgage 71,932.53 now 70,883.00

New Snow Ball Plan:
Wells Fargo A, 600 month along with interest.
Student Loan 167 a month, I pay 200 every two weeks.
Mortgage 641.79 No extra right now.
Emergency Fund 4,400. Nothing extra lately.

109,488.29 in debt January 2014.
105,392.39 in debt June 2014.

Difference of 4,095 dollars!!!!!!

Dinner 5/13

It's a basic no frills meal this evening. We had shredded hash browns I cooked on the griddle. We also had scrambled eggs with a small amount of colby deli cheese ends melted on them.

What's been happening...

I have been working the past four nights...last night being an overtime shift. I have a 8 hour nursing meeting on Thursday, and then go back to work Friday, Saturday, Sunday night shift.

I am a little tired. I have been taking my neighbor's kid to work a few days last week. She dropped off 10 dollars this afternoon in exchange. I have been reimbursed for my computer training at work. I was mailed two checks, totaling 37 dollars for gas milage.

Our meals on Sunday were some frozen ravioli, steamed broccoli, and italian bread. My husband and kids made it, I was thankful to have a hot meal before I went to work. It was their Mother's Day gift to me. Last night, we all had cereal and milk before I went to work.

Our challenges this week:

I get paid this week!!!!

My car needs an oil change, since the 30-40 minute ride to work one way is killing my miles on my 2008 Kia. It's going to cost 30-40 dollars at the dealer.

My husband's car has a large crack in the windshield on the passenger side. Our car insurance is going to cover this at 100 percent, and we have an appointment on Thursday. He also needs an inspection and 4 new tires. We have an appointment on Thursday for the tires and inspection.

His birthday is Saturday. I am supposed to be at work. I was thinking that we could do dinner out on Thursday, and his gift is getting the needed repairs on his vehicle.

My hound dog has special cardiac food that needed to be ordered this week. I ordered it from the vet, and they just called and said that it was in to be paid for and picked up.

We are getting the A/C serviced this week. I don't know the cost yet.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dinner 5/10

I am working this weekend. I just got up, working night shift is awesome to have the bed to yourself! My husband just put a frozen lasagna in the oven. I asked him to make a salad (we have lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, ranch dressing), and steam some veggies to go with it.

I am trying to wake up with a cup of hot tea.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dinner 5/9

We have some left overs in the fridge that need to go this afternoon. Since I work this weekend, it's the perfect opportunity to clean out the fridge.

There's some chuck roast that has potatoes and carrots in some gravy. I'm going to chop the roast up small, warm everything up in the microwave and serve it to the family. We have some left over long grain steamed rice that my DD made and never ate. I'm going to make a basic white sauce with cheese and serve it along side the roast. My kids love rice, and love love love cheese. So, it also gets rid of some of the cheese deli ends I have in the fridge. (my DH and kids will have rice, I like the veggies instead).

I'm going to make a small salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, a few slices of colored peppers, cheese) and steam some veggies (peas more than likely) on the side.

It keeps my grocery budget intact to use up all the leftovers, promotes a no waste lifestyle, and feeds the five of us without difficulties.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

5/8 dinner

I made cheese pizzas for dinner tonight. We had three crust mixes, some spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella cheese in the freezer. It's a quick easy meal that will feed the five of us. I added some dried basil, parsley, onion powder, and garlic powder to the cheese topping prior to baking.

Overall, a win win for a bunch of hungry teenagers. I don't think there will be any left over. I had a small amount of crust left that I put into the fridge. I'm thinking lunch tomorrow for my DH and I.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fell off the frugal wagon....

I cleaned out the fridge last night. GRRRRR. I had to throw away a large bowl of pasta with sauce, a small watered down bowl of summer squash, and corn. It smelled FUNKY! I was so upset. But to put it in perspective, I don't always throw food away. It's a rare occasion that this got missed and not used up.

Monday, my husband made bbq pork chops, with a broccoli/carrot mixture with cheese. It was pretty good. Last night, we finished the pork chops and the veggies.

I put a small beef chuck roast in the crock pot this morning, with 5 large carrots, 5 potatoes, some beef stock (about a cup) I had leftover in the fridge, worchestershire sauce (1 tsp), two cloves of garlic, and a whole chopped onion. I also added a cup of water.

When cleaning out and organizing the pantry, fridge, and freezer,I decided that the only thing we need to shop for the rest of the month is milk and bread. That's it. We have so much stuff in the house (what a wonderful problem to have!!!!!), there's no need to spend any more money for groceries.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Goals for today.

1. Sort through my pantry, fridge, freezer
2. Make a meal plan for this week (Tuesday-Monday)
3. Balance my check book
4. Get the massive amounts of laundry washed, hung outside, and folded.
5. Walk the hound dogs.
6. Sort through the recycling
7. Get some control over my anxiety (this should be number one, combined with walking the hound dogs).

What's been happening...

Well, I have worked all weekend, and then got home yesterday morning and slept until 2. I woke up, my husband made dinner and I was back in bed at 630 PM. I slept until 5:30 this morning.

I went to Aldi on Friday morning before I went to work Friday night.

18 lb cat food
stuffing mix
4 lb fruit (apples, oranges)
iceberg lettuce
always pads
48 bottles of water
second stuffing mix
honey nut o's
jar of sauerkraut
2 cans kidney beans
a jar of sprinkles
2 more stuffing
kool aide packets
lb tomatoes
2 skim milk gallons
chicken noodle soup
hard taco kit
grape jelly
2 cans of black beans
crushed tomato
peanut butter
hazelnut spread
diced tomato
sweet pickles
several yogurts
soft taco kit
jelly beans
tub of roast beef
tub of ham
2 loaves of bread
extra sharp cheddar
pita crackers

I spent 87.45 out of 300 dollars for the month.

On Friday, the kids, my DH and I just picked over some left overs. We had bean soup and pasta to use up. Saturday, my DH made chili in the crock pot, using the usual chili supplies (some of what I bought from Aldi went into the chili). On Sunday, my DH gave us left over chili.
Monday, my DH made baked BBQ pork chops, with broccoli/carrot mix with cheese.

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's May...

Thank goodness March and APril are over. I don't know about anyone else, but the two previous months were very challenging for the five of us. I had a job that I loved, but then was on a leave of absence (part paid, part unpaid) for about four to five weeks, we had vet appointments for the animals, two birthdays, Easter, changes in finances, dentist appointments, a pair of new glasses for my DH, and through everything, my finances stayed intact. I never did touch my savings account, and never overdrafted my checking account.

The bills were paid, money was very tight, and we were able to get through it. We had dinner every night, and the kids did not want to go to bed hungry. I paid the minimum on my equity line (a very stupid move I made years ago), and my student loan. I kept a hold of all the income I had, and my husband sold things on the internet (I say crap, but people bought it) and supplied us with extra groceries and snacks sometimes. Every little bit does help.

Now do I want to continue to live this lifestyle? The past two months were not easy. The kids protested not having their snacks, and asked why the changes. I did a lot of crying, I was sad, laid on the sofa to escape to a different place, and I became a hermit. The stress of everything caused my DH and I to have a few arguments (We are human after all). When I was feeling better, I put out several applications within my company I worked for, to seek a transfer position. I went to three interviews and accepted a full time night weekend position, which I have been working for almost three weeks. I received my first pay check on Thursday.

I want to continue to live a certain kind of lifestyle. I want my bills paid every month. I like to keep my savings account active and make deposits. I love to work in my yard, and would like to continue that. It helps with depression, improves my mood, gets rid of my anxiety, and makes me feel good.

Living a frugal lifestyle frees up a lot of concern and worry. I know that I can always get the monthly bills paid, eat well on a limited budget, use my resources wisely, and improve the lives of my family. We don't need the newest electronic gadget, or to go out and have dinner in a restaurant (which I do MISS A LOT, I am human too).

We do need to have a home that is warm, food to eat, shelter, clothing that is appropriate, shoes or sneakers on our feet, and to provide safety for the five of us and our animals. We all need medical and dental care.

I want to remain out of debt, keep my snowball payment to my student loan, and my equity line. As I am doing that, I pay the minimum on my mortgage. The rest of my bills are the nirmal house bills, electric, water, cable, cell phones, car insurance, etc etc. I keep a limit of 300 dollars for groceries a month.

Life is good. Sorry for the rant.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Got my first pay check...

It's a great day. I recieved my first pay check from my new job. I paid the mortgage for June, my equity line, the water bill, cell phone, car insurance, and my cable bill. I still have some money left over, I need to put 100 dollars into my savings account, and get some groceries. 10 percent of my pay goes into my 403B, and it's been building for almost 8 years now.

I am debating getting groceries, since I have a house full of food. I need to pick up some milk and bread. We are out of fluid skim milk, and the kids don't like the instant powdered milk for their cereal.

I cut the grass in the front yard, and did the back yard. I am washing clothes and hanging out on the back porch. It's warm and I opened the windows.

Dinner tonight:

ziti with veggies and meatballs.

I am going to boil 2 cups of ziti. I am going to use a small amount of olive oil in a pan, slice up one onion, 5 small red, orange, and yellow peppers, and three cloves of garlic. This is going to simmer until the veggies are cooked. I am going to use a jar of garlic marinara to cover the veggies with.

We are going to make meatballs with this. I am going to use one lb of ground turkey, an egg, and some lurking cereal crumbs that are going to be in place of breadcrumbs. I will add some garlic powder, onion powder, basil, parsley, and some instant reconstituted milk. It will bake in the oven at 325 until done.

We are going to have steamed summer squash and green beans to go with it.