Friday, June 27, 2014

Hidden surprises...using them up

One onion, parsley, chicken grinder spices (aldi's find), the last two carrots, three stalks of celery, a few cups of water, two bouillon cubes, some chicken broth (dollar tree), three containers of chicken stock from the freezer (hidden surprises) that have more carrots, some chicken meat, and mixed veggies....

Will simmer all day while I am sleeping....

When I wake up, I will boil a cup of pasta (32 ounces at Dollar Tree for 1.00)...

and call it chicken soup.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hidden Surprises...

I got paid this morning, wrote out July's bills, September's mortgage, and paid up my student loan until Feb 2015. I like being ahead on my bills, it gives me a sense of security. I paid the car/home insurance, cell phone, equity line (a snowball payment), cable bill and have some cash left in my checking account. I plan of keeping it there. I need to put gas in two vehicles and pick up some groceries (dairy, produce, shampoo, acne med for teen son).

I took out all the containers of "hidden surprises" from the freezer. We tend to freeze some of the leftover stuff to prevent it from going bad. I can tell you that tonight's meal will use up the garlic marinara, and the spaghetti sauce I made a while ago. We are going to finish the last of the ziti I bought in a 5 lb bag a couple of months ago.

Some of the hidden surprises are not labeled (I apparently forgot), so it's a wait and see what it is when it thaws. I know we have a container or two of bean soup, and some of those containers are chicken stock.

I go back to work tonight, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is the last weekend that I have to pull that has overtime in it until August. I'm tired of working the extra shift, but it looks great for the bank account. We will see how this weekend goes, and it will decide whether I sign up for two shifts a pay period or just leave it alone. Time will tell.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

dinner 6/25

We are going to have Italian sausage, potato salad, and some sort of veggie.

It's a one lb link of Italian sausage (it's our last one in the freezer). I will cut it up into smaller pieces and cook it on the hot plate. I will make some potato salad (potatoes, the last egg I have, some lurking celery, mayo, some seasonings, one chopped up onion). I will steam some veggies (the last of the mixed veggies, carrots, green beans, peas, corn). We have a few potatoes that are getting older and growing eyes. Time to use them up.

That's it. We are using what we have lurking around.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It could have cost more...and the frugal part

the weed whacker I bought last night...29 dollars
the amusement/water park we took the kids too...7.75 a person
the dinner out last night...35.00
the lunch we had at the water park...21.00

But I used the weedwhacker this morning to cut the grass since we live in a house with a very small yard. I also have blueberry and raspberry bushes that gave us a whole plateful of fruit. We had french toast this morning with bread ends, two eggs, and reconstituted milk, enough oil to cook the french toast, sprinkled powdered sugar on it, and added our FREE fruit!!! We put the bushes in years ago, and bought them on clearance too.

We went to the water park and came home.

I'm making 36 meatballs. Part will be for our meal tonight, and what is left will be put into the freezer.
1 lb ground beef
2 eggs
1 cup of reconstituted milk
1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
worchestire sauce
a whole onion
two cloves of garlic

We are making party sauce to go with our meatballs. We will use the last bit of strawberry jelly and the last bits of BBQ sauce to cover the meatballs with. We have enough lettuce and tomato left for a small salad for the five of us.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

crock pot meal....using what we have

4 chicken thighs (we still have a package of quarters and a whole chicken in the freezer)
three long lurking carrots that looked pitiful
two stalks celery that are a bit soft.
onion powder
two bouillon cubes
garlic powder
black pepper
poultry seasoning
five small potatoes lurking
celery salt
2 cups of water
1/2 small bag of mixed veggies (went into the crock pot, more carrots/corn/peas/green beans)

We are using things up at my home. I just got home from work, and put this meal together in less than 20 minutes for the crock pot. We will be eating dinner around 4 or 4:30 since I work again tonight at 7 pm. I added some mixed veggies because there were only 4 thighs and I will push lots of veggies to make up for such small portions of meat.

Using things up helps keep my budget intact.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Fun

I have been working night shift for the weekend. My DH was looking for something to do with the kids. I gave him some money form the checking account, and he took the kids to the historical museum today. It cost 36 dollars total and they were there for three hours.

It's cheap entertainment, easy on the budget, and gave them some quality time together.

6/21 dinner

Thin baked pork chops with BBQ sauce
steamed corn
Herb stuffing (from aldi)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Using it up...

I am working tonight, Saturday, and Sunday night shift 12 hours. We have some left overs that need to be used. We are working on stuff in the fridge and pantry that are lurking around. It helps keep the budget intact.

I took out four boxes of generic Aldi cereal that only had small amounts in the bag. The kids had their choice of blueberry mini wheats, honey nut cheerios, corn pops, and some kind of flakes with oats, almonds. We finished off the blueberry mini wheats, honey nut cheerios, and the corn pops.

We had 6 hot dogs in the fridge that needed to be used. I steamed them and gave the kids two each with the last of the hot dog buns. Choice of ketchup or mustard.

We have left over pasta with veggie/italian sausage homemade spaghetti sauce. I put this out for the kids, DH, and I. We also have some taco fixings left over. I had a plate of left over pasta, my son had two soft tacos (lettuce, tomato, cheese, taco meat, salsa). We have some black beans and rice left over.
My daughter had some ramen noodles (YUCK). My other DD is going to have some soft tacos (using leftover soft shells), and my DH will finish what is left.

We have apple crisp still. I will take some of the black beans and rice, apple crisp, and an orange for my lunch tonight.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

6/19 plan

We have senior pictures this morning at 9:30 for my daughter. The sitting cost 40 dollars and I guess goes towards producing the pictures and distribution. So, my dd and I will go to get her pictures done. She's not much of a "girly girl" so I'm hoping she will want the yearbook standing picture.

I have to stop at the vet on the way home and pick up some flea medication for my two hound dogs. They are scratching terrible and it is driving ME nuts to watch them do it. So, we will get the medication and pick up some cat meds for Pepper. I am not sure of the costs.

Dinner tonight will be black beans and rice (box mix), soft tacos (mix), and an apple crisp.

The black beans and rice are a mix. The taco kit comes with seasoning, soft shells, and salsa. I took out a lb of ground beef 85% I bought at Aldi a while ago. We have some lurking sour cream in the fridge, a few tomatoes I can chop up, some lettuce, a small jar of lurking salsa, and block cheese (colby) that we can grate for toppings.

Apple crisp- I bought some fruit last week. It needs to go. I have two red and two green apples. I also have some organic cinnamon plum oatmeal with flax that needs to go. I'm going to peel and dice the apples, add some real butter, and the organic oatmeal. I may add more cinnamon if it looks like it needs it, and bake in the oven at 350 until it's done.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Frugal breakfast

Using some of the bread crust ends I had in the freezer
A little bit of cinnamon
Two eggs
Reconstituted powdered milk
Pancake syrup
real butter


Dinner 6/18

Dinner tonight:

crushed tomatoes
three cloves of garlic
1/2 a small container of chopped up mushrooms
one thin sliced onion
one Italian sausage link (about a lb I guess)
some parmesan cheese
two pitiful soft tomatoes

It's all in the crock pot to simmer and cook on low. Later today, I will make a small salad (lettuce, more tomatoes, sliced onion, and cucumber), and use some of our left over bread crust to make garlic bread (real butter, the bread ends, some garlic powder, parsley, parmesan cheese).
I have two cups of ziti that will be cooked too.

Our plan so far this month...


5/30 my DD bought KFC.
6/1 we had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, and English muffins.
6/2 we had tacos with ground turkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese
6/3 english muffin pizzas for kids, garlic parmesan crust pizza for adults (from scratch with veggie topping)
6/4 spinach ravioli with spag sauce for kids, crushed tomato, onion, garlic for adults, and salad for five.
6/5 red/black beans and rice, salad, grapes, sliced kielbasa
6/6 chicken fajita kit, with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese
6/7 left over fajitas
6/8 scrambled eggs, turkey bacon
6/9 steamed hot dogs, homemade french fries
6/10 whole chicken, with onions, celery, carrots, long grain rice, mixed veggies
6/11 bbq chicken sandwiches on onion rolls, salad with ranch or thousand island dressing.
6/12  nothing posted?????????????????
6/13 frozen pizzas, chips, soda (party for the kids)
6/14 Oven baked tater tots, steamed hot dogs, choice of condiments/hot dog buns, salad
6/15  My DD made spaghetti. 
6/16 Chipolte take out
6/17 Scrambled eggs and toast


I posted last on Saturday. It's pretty bad if I have to look back and check my blog.

The kids last day of school was Friday. I'm so thankful. The school year is very stressful for the five of us. We enjoy the unscheduled time of summer. I have a junior and a sophomore now. My oldest DD decided that she wanted to go back to community college this August. I'm waiting for her to sign up for ONE class, so we can work out the payment arrangement (meaning I pay for it, and she gives me payments every two weeks).

I have been working a lot. I did 48 hours and got off yesterday morning. I'm a bit tired and really need to work on the overtime thing. Usually when I work, I'm too tired to even think about dinner. I go to work in the evening for 12 hours, drive 40 minutes, get home, and get a cup of tea, some benadryl, and go to bed to get up again between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. I repeat the same thing for four nights in a row.

If I could make it on a regular three day work week, it would be an improvement in my sleeping habits, and keep the kids content that I was home more.

Sunday my DD made spaghetti. We had a two pound bag of thin spaghetti in the pantry. I told her not to make the whole 2 pounds. She did, and I found over half the pasta sitting on top of the stove when I got home in the morning. The two pounds of pasta would have made at least three more meals for the five of us.

Monday I bought Chipolte for the five of us. BAD BAD BAD decision but it was so good. Not good for the budget.

Last night was Tuesday, and we had scrambled eggs and toast. It was filling and the kids didn't complain.

Since summer is here, the kids want to do things. We have set some cash aside for the public pool. It's 4 dollars a person, and cheaper than going out to dinner, or even ice cream at the local stand. for 20 dollars, the five of us can swim all day, pack a snack, and enjoy the water, sun, and get some exercise. We have been to the pool once. I plan on taking them back today.

The local movie theater has a children's summer movie program. It's on Thursday's at 10 AM. For a couple of dollars, the kids can see a movie, get a drink, and a small popcorn. It's 4 dollars a kid. We will be taking the kids to see the movie program.

Old Town Winchester has a free outside movie on Thursday evenings. We went to see the first one last Thursday. It was pretty fun and a free event for the five of us. We bring our own snacks and a blanket to sit on.

We have the Shenandoah Museum that is free on Wednesday's all summer. We went to visit the museum last Wednesday. The kids were not thrilled with it, but they have a beautiful garden that has picnic tables.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dinner 6/14

Oven baked tater tots
steamed hot dogs
choice of condiments/hot dog buns
salad (ranch or thousand island dressing)
steamed veggies

Friday, June 13, 2014

Last day of school.

The kids are out of school today until August 18th. They have a little over 60 days to celebrate their short vacation. I'm excited that the teenagers are done for a while, since school is such a hard time for the five of us. It's much more stressful to worry about classes, homework, etc etc that it creates a bunch of chaos for the five of us.

We celebrated last night the end of the school year/father's day. We went out to the chicken wing place and had a nice dinner and dessert. It wasn't cheap, but it was a lot of fun for us.

My kids are having an end of the year party this afternoon. We bought three frozen pizzas, some bagged chips, and two bottles of soda. They are having friends over for board games, card games, role playing, and just plain ol talk. It should be a lot of fun for them.

Whatever pizza, chips, soda are left will be served for the adults dinner.
I am working four nights in a row, beginning this evening.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our plan so far this month...

5/30 my DD bought KFC.
6/1 we had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, and English muffins.
6/2 we had tacos with ground turkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese
6/3 english muffin pizzas for kids, garlic parmesan crust pizza for adults (from scratch with veggie topping)
6/4 spinach ravioli with spag sauce for kids, crushed tomato, onion, garlic for adults, and salad for five.
6/5 red/black beans and rice, salad, grapes, sliced kielbasa
6/6 chicken fajita kit, with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese
6/7 left over fajitas
6/8 scrambled eggs, turkey bacon
6/9 steamed hot dogs, homemade french fries
6/10 whole chicken, with onions, celery, carrots, long grain rice, mixed veggies
6/11 bbq chicken sandwiches on onion rolls, salad with ranch or thousand island dressing. 

Dinner 6/11/2014

BBQ chicken sandwiches on onion rolls (left over chicken off the bone, covered in BBQ sauce)
Salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cheese)
Ranch or Thousand Island dressing

Grocery Shopping

Dollar Tree:

speed stick
2 bags of 24 oz pasta
one jug laundry soap
50 oz dish soap
bacon bits
2 VO5 shampoo
3 pack dial soap
1 bag frozen  peach slices
1 bag onion rings
1 bag tater tots
1 bag frozen pepper strips
2 father day cards
1 32 oz chicken broth
2 32 oz beef stock
teriyaki marinade
3 loaves of bread
1 package of hot dog rolls
2 garlic marinara sauce

various canned soup for the kids
ranch tortilla chips
parmesan cheese
4 lbs of apples and oranges
48 bottles of water
2 jugs of juice
stuffed clams
3 frozen cheese pizzas
iceberg lettuce
2 turkey tenderloins marinated
6 tomatoes
onion rolls
frozen ravioli
shredded cheese
herb and garlic marinade
pork roast
dried fruit
mild cheddar
sharp cheddar
colby cheese
BBQ chicken pizza
olive oil
2 gallons of skim milk
2 boxes of shredded wheat
1 package of chicken thighs

Spent 25.85 at Dollar Tree
Spent 92.66 at Aldi.
Spent 129.32 at a previous trip to Aldi.
I have 300.o0 total for June. 

That whole chicken...

The whole chicken fed the five of us adult size meals. I took all the meat off the bones and mixed it with some BBQ sauce. This is set aside for tonight's meal.

I have three containers of gelatinous stock with carrots, celery, and onions for the freezer. This is what was in the crock pot left after dinner from the other night. It's been put aside for the freezer and will be used for chicken soup in the future.

I took out all the bones, skin, and fat and placed it in the crock pot with some spices and water. It will simmer until later today and become stock for the freezer. It's in the crock pot now and will cook all afternoon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dinner 6/10

Today's meal is pretty easy. I put a whole chicken in the crock pot with 4 big carrots, two stalks of celery, and an onion. I added some poultry seasoning, parsley, two bouillon cubes, garlic powder, onion powder, and a small amount of seasoning salt, and celery salt. It will cook all day. We will eat around 4 or 5 this afternoon. We will have some mixed veggies and steamed long grain rice on the side.

The stock at the bottom of the crock pot will be put aside in the fridge. The left over meat (I'm hoping for lots) will be taken off the skin and bones. It will be used for another meal tomorrow. I will simmer the left over bones and skin overnight to make a second crock pot of stick for the freezer.

Every little bit helps feed hungry bellies and keep the budget intact.

What's been cooking???

Work has been very busy. I've been at my new RN position since April 13, 2014. I worked Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12 hour night shifts. My work week is Sunday-Saturday.

Life is busy at home too. My kids last day of school is Friday. They go back to school August 18th. My daughter will graduate May 27th 2015!!!!

So, what's been cooking??

On Saturday, we had left over fajitas from Friday. We are working on using all the left overs to prepare for a budget friendly June. We need to use our pantry/fridge/freezer supplies gently and be mindful of what our expenditures are.

On Sunday we had scrambled eggs and turkey bacon. My senior made the turkey bacon in the oven, and I scrambled two eggs each for the five of us. That was dinner!!

On Monday, I steamed 10 hot dogs and made homemade french fries. The kids had their choice of ketchup, mustard, relish, along with hot dog buns. I sliced five potatoes very thick and peeled them. I placed them in hot veggie oil on top of the stove. I cooked them until they were brown and crisp. We drained them and put a very small amount of seasoning salt on them. YUM!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dinner 6/6

We had an old fajita kit in the freezer. I made this (the kit had chicken, veggies, and spices in it) and served it with soft tortillas, lettuce, tomato, sour cream.

We are using things we have available for the month of June. It will hopefully keep our budget intact this month and help replace some cash to our savings account.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Using this up...

This continues to be the theme for June. I have a lot of dry bulk beans and rice that I bought at Sharp Shopper a while ago. It needs to be put into use. With this meal, we continue to have beans and rice in the pantry.

Red beans/black beans and rice (steamed)
thin sliced kielbasa (1 lb link for the five of us)
green grapes
A small salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion) with Buttermilk Ranch or Thousand Island dressing.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Using up lurking items...

This is the theme this month. Since I put in the new furnace, I'm going to use up most of our lurking items. I started yesterday with some leftover veggies and flour.

I have a package of spinach ravioli in the freezer that I bought from Aldi a long time ago. I'm going to simmer them in some water and drain the pasta. I used some spaghetti sauce yesterday for the kids English Muffin Pizzas. I am going to put some spaghetti sauce over the kids portion of dinner and serve it to them.

I used a bunch of crushed tomato last night to make my and DH veggie pizza. I'm going to use some of the crushed tomato, 1/2 of the thin sliced onion that I didn't finish last night, and a few cloves of garlic. I will simmer the onion and garlic on the stove with a small amount of olive oil. I am going to add some basil and the crushed tomato to the mix. I will put this over the ravioli and serve.

We have some lettuce, tomato, and cucumber still. I will make a salad to go with this. We have Buttermilk Ranch or Thousand Island dressing. We will also have some mixed veggies.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dinner 6/3

Tonight we are having an easy meal for the five of us. The kids are going to have English Muffin Pizzas. They are pretty basic and the kids will like making their own pizzas. My husband and I are going to have a thin garlic/parmesan crusted pizza.

I am using my bread machine. I used the last two cups of flour I had in the pantry (using lurking items keeps my budget under control), some water, yeast, sugar, salt, basil, parsley, olive oil, a small amount of parmesan cheese and fresh garlic. I let the bread machine do all the work.

We have a package of mozzarella cheese in the fridge, and a can of crushed tomato. The kids will top their english muffins first and we will bake them. The kids are very easy.

My husband and I will use the leftover chopped tomato from last night's taco meal to top our pizza (again, keeps the budget intact, and all leftovers get eaten). I am going to add a lurking onion that looks pitiful. It will be sliced thin and topped on the pizza. I was thinking that we would add a third clove of garlic. I have a small can of sliced mushrooms that I am going to put on our pizza too. prior to all the veggies, I will put some of the crushed tomato on the crust, add the veggies and top with some mozzarella cheese.

It will bake in the oven until it's finished!! It's also meatless!! Saves me some more in the budget. We will have some grapes on the side.

Monday, June 2, 2014

What's been happening????

Life. Stress. Work. Chaos.

So, we found out about two weeks ago that we needed a new furnace. We got a qoute of 1600 for repairs to our old furnace, no warranty. We got a qoute of 2200 for new furnace with a warranty.

I called the other day to make the appointment for the repairs. I told him that I was going to pay CASH for the repair. He stated that he would get me a new furnace with warranty for 1900.
He came today and installed a new furnace. I paid him in cash from my savings account.

I had 4100 in my savings.
I took out 1900.
I have 2300 in it now.

I am kind of sad that my savings was cut in half.
But it's a blissful 74 degrees in the house with the AIR running.

I worked OT last week, and picked up one extra shift a week for the month of June. I'm working 4 nights a week, 12 hour shifts. I hope it doesn't precipitate a divorce. HAHAHA.

All of our bills are paid. That's something to be thankful for.

Saturday my DD bought KFC.
Sunday, we had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, and English muffins.
Monday, we had tacos with ground turkey.