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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dinner 7/11

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

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

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

Frugal happenings...

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

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

Aldi finds:

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

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Things begin to run out...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using things up...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What's been cooking????

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dinner 7/4

Tacos and rice.

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Using things up continues...

Keeping with the theme of using things up, I have one lb bag of shredded mozzarella in the freezer, along with 1/4 bag of the same cheese from a while ago. The one bag is almost gone. I have 3 jars of spaghetti sauce almost used up. There's about 1/4 left in each one. Two are garlic marinara, and the other was a repurposed jar that had my garden veggie with italian sausage spaghetti sauce (homemade). We have a frozen bag of peppers and onions half used. (bought from dollar tree a while ago). We have two onions that need to be used, they are looking pitiful. I have a small can of mushrooms in the pantry that need to be used.

I'm thinking a nice big cheese pizza for the three kids. I'm also thinking a veggie pizza for DH and I. I usually add some parsley, onion, garlic powder, and basil to the topping of the pizzas regardless. I am posting the link to a recipe I use all the time for pizza crust. It's totally awesome I think. My kids and DH love it.

We will make a large salad to go with our meal.

Frugal happenings....

  • doing laundry in cold water and hanging it up to dry.
  • cutting the grass and leaving it a little higher (better for the environment and grass)
  • using up all the hidden surprises and leftovers.
  • a spatula is a girl's best friend.
  • sold the soda cans pack to the metal shop (10 lbs at 69 cents a lb bought more soda).
  • put all the coke reward codes in the computer, earned a free 12 pack, requested coupon.
  • kids did their chores.
  • didn't spend any money from the checking account in 5 days.
  • cut some of my plants and placed in water. Hoping to root them and put in older pots I have on the porch. 
  • took recycling to the recycling center, took two bags of household trash to the landfill.
  • picked free fruit from my yard and made cobbler yesterday for the five of us.
  • My oldest DD asked for ice cream. We didn't have any, didn't spend any cash on it.
  • Played a board game last night. 

Frugal meals yesterday....using things up.

The kids were offered half a bagel each with peanut butter and some scrambled eggs. (We finished the bagels, and used a spatula to get the last of the peanut butter out of the jar, before putting it in the recycling. We didn't have to open the other jar).

We had lots of hidden surprises that needed to be used up. One container in the freezer had spinach ravioli and garden spaghetti sauce. My son finished that. We had two containers of bean soup. I heated this up and served it in the mugs. One for my dd, husband, and myself. I sliced the last of the italian bread and offered that to go with our lunch.

We popped popcorn.

Pork roast, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, fruit cobbler (I have blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry growing in my yard, I picked two cups of fruit total). We have no cobbler left, and have one serving of kraut and pork for someone's lunch today.

My oldest DD started a job this week, working 11pm-7am. She slept all day and didn't get up until dinner time. She ate dinner with us, played on the computer, and then went to work.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What's been happening...

Working. All weekend. Four nights in a row, Thursday evening until Monday morning. I've had enough with the overtime. I did pick up one extra shift in August. I have NONE for the month of July.

I made chicken soup on Friday. We had some of it then, and we heated more of it up for Saturday's dinner. I took it to work. We have one large margarine container of it still. I put it in the freezer for another time.

Sunday my husband made pasta and garlic marinara (using jar stuff from Dollar Tree). It was pretty good. He put parmesan cheese on it, and offered some italian bread. I had the pasta and sauce, but passed on the bread. I took pasta to work on Sunday for my lunch.

Monday's dinner was scrambled eggs, shredded hash browns, and half bagel per person. The eggs were basic scrambled. I put the shredded hashbrowns in the oven, with some real butter, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley. I let them bake for a while at 350. The kids had the choice of peanut butter, cream cheese, or real butter on their bagels. My dd and ds had peanut butter, my oldest dd had cream cheese. My dh had cream cheese, I had butter on mine.

I put a small pork roast in the crock pot this morning, with a jar of german style sauerkraut bought a while ago from Aldi. This is going to be dinner tonight, with some mashed potatoes (I have ten very small potatoes left that need to be used. I will use reconstituted milk, garlic powder, and real butter to mash them), and a small salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickles).

I have hung one load of laundry up outside to dry. We may get some rain, so I have more laundry to get finished today. I may just hang them up on the hall on my drying rack.

There's a lot of recycling to get to the recycling center. Our bucket is overflowing. We have a huge trash can on the deck that is filled with crushed soda cans. My DH needs to take the cans to the metal place and sell them back. They buy aluminum cans at 67 cents a pound. It's a few bucks, but it will pay for his soda habit. We had two free cases of soda coupons get mailed back to us. We participate in the coke rewards program.