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'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 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 tune 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.