Sunday, November 30, 2014

Life and what's for dinner...

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Post Thanksgiving...

Hi everyone!!

I hope everyone had a great holiday!

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

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

The items highlighted in yellow are GONE!!

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Change of plans

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

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

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

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

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

We will have a cute pickle tray also.

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dinner tonight...

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

It's meatless, frugal, and little cost.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dinner tonight

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

I slept until 6 pm.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dinner plans

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

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lack of planning...dinner.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dinner plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's been happening...

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

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

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

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

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

The kids are well. My DH has a cold.

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

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

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What's been cooking...

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

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

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

I honestly forgot what we had for dinner on Friday.

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love having a means to support my family.

Last night's meal

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

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

we had meatballs sandwiches for dinner!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tonight's meal and work schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

dinner tonight

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

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

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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dinner's this past week!

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

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

On Sunday my husband made chili.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Last night's meal

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

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

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

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

I love Dave Ramsey.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dinner tonight

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

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

It was awesome.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's been happening...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm off work until Friday!!