Saturday, February 28, 2015


My Mary baked chicken thighs, steamed some long grain rice, and war up some corn. It was pretty awesome. I didn't have to wake up, cook a meal, and then go to work.

Friday, February 27, 2015


I warmed up some lurking BBQ pork for the teenagers. We have left over pasta from last night and I turned it into mac and cheese using a basic white sauce and added some Colby cheese.

My husband and I are having left over soup I had in the fridge. We are also having a huge salad for dinner. Nothing fancy tonight.

I go back to work soon. Three in a row.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Haven't been posting...

I got paid last Thursday. I sent out the IRS bill of 1686 in a certified mail. They received it, posted it, and it cleared my account yesterday!! I have an intact savings account, and still have some cash in my checking that I was hoping to use for my class that starts today. I need to make a few more payments. I started at 2245, and am down to owing 1450 and it needs to be paid off by end of April. I am taking one class at a time, paying cash for each one, so I don't incur any extra student loan debt.

Should I be enrolled in a master's degree program and continue to pay down debt? I guess it's debatable, some folks would say to use that money to get my mortgage paid off, and my other student loan. I am working on both bills, financially supporting a family of five, and working a full time job. I am being offered a preceptor position at my work (teaching new nurses) and I'm loving it. There's no financial bonus, but it looks great on a resume.

I paid the electric bill, put gas in my car, and went shopping last week. I spent 200 dollars to fill up a lot of empty areas in our pantry.

Dinner this past week:
scrambled eggs, fried potatoes
pulled pork sandwiches with onion rings
homemade chicken noodle soup (still have some left)
jar sauce and pasta
hot dogs and french fries

It's been lacking in balanced meals the past week or so. I've used up most of the lurking stuff in the freezer (all the containers I had). I had a gift certificate to Applebee's I got for my birthday, we went there one night.

So, for dinner tonight:
I put cut up onion, red, yellow, and orange peppers, two heaping teaspoons of jar garlic, a handful of chopped fresh mushrooms, one large tomato, three cans of diced tomato, and some basil in the crock pot. First, I cooked down the veggies in some olive oil. I added everything together in the crock pot and topped it with a small amount of Parmesan cheese. It will cook all day.

I will boil some penne pasta (0.69 cents a lb) later and make a large salad (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cucumber) to go with our meal. I also have a few slices of Italian bread that need to be used, so I will make garlic bread for the kids.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Using what we have...

I have four more chicken quarters that need to be used up since they are defrosted. If you have read in the past few days, we are making a conscious effort to make do, use what we have, and use alternatives in place of things we are out of.

I have the last four chicken quarters marinating in the last of the garlic and herb marinade that was lurking in the fridge. I'm going to bake these in the oven with some celery, a few small carrots, and an onion. I will let it cook at 325 until the chicken quarters are done.

I'm going to warm up a package of frozen veggies that are partially used. We have spinach, green beans, and Brussel sprouts open in the freezer. They have to go soon. The kids will have to decide which one they prefer for tonight's dinner.

I have a recipe for dumplings. I'm going to use some of the turkey stock and chicken stock from yesterday. It will use up some of the containers I have in the freezer.

The bones and skin from yesterday's chicken made 2 cups of beautiful chicken stock for the freezer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

chicken quarters...

I have a ten pound bag of chicken quarters defrosting. I took out four (I know there's five of us, but I'm working on stretching the budget and hoping to eliminate some waste) and found a recipe that I've used in the past. I used this recipe last Easter and it was a huge hit for all of us. One exception, I put the meal in the oven last time, this time, I'm using my trusty crock pot.

I have some celery that is looking long in the tooth, so I put two stalks of it in the crock pot. I also added a pound bag of "baby carrots" I bought for 0.49 cents at Aldi a while ago. I put in a whole thin sliced onion and the four seasoned chicken quarters for the crock pot.

It's on low now. It will cook all day. I'm thinking I may steam some long grain rice to go with this. I have tons of rice in the pantry (long grain white, brown, jasmine).

The best part of this is that the seasonings were adjustable to the amount of chicken you used. I cut the recipe in half and it seems to be more than enough. I'm hoping will make this beautiful stock for the freezer!!

We are finally out of left overs and lurking "soups" in the freezer. I was looking through it this morning and all I have is some frozen veggies, a few sorts of meat, and a lot of turkey stock. I may have to make a batch of turkey soup soon (no turkey meat, just stock...lots of it).

We are blessed well to eat on a limited budget. My total grocery purchases for February at this time are ZERO. I have a grocery list that has some needs on it, but we are working on using alternatives.

I would like to get that tax bill paid off next week when I get paid. As long as I can get the tax bill paid, I will go grocery shopping after I get that bill paid insured, and sent overnight to the IRS.

Monday, February 9, 2015


I thawed out two containers I had in the freezer. One was ham and bean soup. The other was chicken soup. The kids had their choice of which one they wanted for dinner.

It's keeping out budget intact and our expenses low.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What's been cooking???

Remember when I said I wasn't going to cook the whole pound of salad macaroni??? I did. We have been eating spaghetti for two days, and I'm hoping we finish it up today. YEAH!!

Saturday: left over spaghetti
Sunday: left over spaghetti

I took out 10 pounds of chicken quarters I bought a while ago for 79 cents a pound. They are defrosting in the fridge. I also found a 3 quart bowl of homemade chicken soup, and bean soup in the freezer from October and November. They are defrosting in the fridge as we speak...

We are in the process of using things up to keep the budget intact. I am working tonight, so I will hopefully plan on warming up both soups tomorrow and offering it up for dinner, with some sliced apples (we have four left on the counter), and maybe some saltines.

I changed my deductions at my employer from five to four. I also have them taking out an extra 20 dollars a pay period for federal and state. I'm hoping to not have a big tax bill next year.

I have about 700 dollars in my checking account. I get paid again on the 20th. All my bills have been sent out and the 700 is clearly unclaimed by a bill. I have about 2 T in my savings. I plan on paying the tax bill with my next pay check. I had 20 dollars cash, and I have to get gas in my car this evening before work. The 20 will hopefully fill most of my gas tank. Gas here is 2.09 right now.

We are working on eating down our freezer, pantry, and fridge. I have some fresh produce left (apples, raisins, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions) ans we have some frozen bags of veggies in the freezer. It's a blessing.

The hound dogs were supposed to get to the vet this month for vaccinations. It's been pushed back until after the tax bill has been paid in full. I figure that the two hound dogs are fairly healthy and their immunity will last for another month.

My car passed inspection and received an oil change. YEAH!!!
The kids and I received new sneakers from my Kohl's gift card I received for my 43 birthday!! YEAH!!! It's a great blessing since I have arthritis in my beloved feet.

I hope everyone has a great day.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Freezer clean out...using what we have...

I have a cup of tomato paste in the freezer, along with a small container of home made spagheeti sauce I made about a week or two ago. It has peppers, onions, garlic, small amount of Italian sausage, diced tomato, and diced tomatoes in it. I have about 4 slices of left over meatloaf from yesterday that needs to be used.

I'm going to put the tomato paste and a small amount of water on the stove, open the container I have of spaghetti sauce and cut up the sliced meat loaf. I will simmer this together. I'm going to cut a whole onion very thin and brown it in some olive oil, along with some jarred garlic (I am out of fresh garlic). I will add this to the "spaghetti sauce". I have a 3 ounce container in the freezer of chopped up tomato that I will add to this. We are out of Parmesan cheese, so we will go without.

We don't have any spaghetti noodles, but I do have some "salad macaroni" that we will serve instead. It is in a 16 ounce bag. I don't plan on cooking the whole bag. We have some left over spinach from last night that needs to be used up.

If the kids are still hungry, they can have some left over banana bread.

Using what we have available will help keep my budget reasonable, and free up some income to pay my tax bill. I got paid yesterday and did my taxes. I am waiting on my next pay check (every two weeks) and I will send out the tax money then. I don't want to touch the income I have in my savings account. I have 20 dollars cash in my wallet. I'm hoping to hold on to it until I really need something, like milk for the children.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dinner tonight...using what we have

Meat loaf using a pound of 93 percent lean ground beef, and a pound of ground turkey, two slices of bread that I turned into crumbs, two eggs, a packet of soy sauce (take out from my oldest), some Worcestershire sauce, onion, and garlic.

I had a container of homemade spaghetti sauce (peppers, onion, mushrooms, etc etc) in the fridge. It's a small container, so I used it to top the meatloaf and I put it in the oven.

We had sliced cucumbers, chopped spinach, and green beans with our meal.

I made two pans of banana bread, and a pan of banana muffins. My special ed kid said, Oh I love banana cupcakes". He ate two servings after he finished his dinner. My oldest is taking some of left over dinner to work with her. My middle DD (who fell and broke her eye glasses) said "Mom, I love when you cook".

Did I mention I feel like a heel after my kid broke her glasses?? She's been so sweet. She asked me if I would like a cup of tea. I told her that would be great. I hugged her and said, "I'm glad that you didn't get hurt".

My kid...

fell at school, tripped over her shoe laces, and BROKE HER GLASSES.

I have insurance and they helped pay for 60 percent of her new glasses last year, since she had a new prescription.

I just want to cry.


I worked a lot of overtime last year (2014). A lot of overtime. I filed our taxes this morning using Turbo Tax. I paid 71 dollars for our federal and state returns. I'm getting a state return of 138 dollars direct deposit to my checking account.

I owe federal taxes. 1686 total. As soon as I find out that my return has been accepted to the IRS I have to check the balance in my savings account. I want this paid by the end of the month. I have about 800 dollars after paying all my bills this morning (I got my paycheck from work) and get paid every two weeks.

I will use what cash I have in my checking left over and use my savings. I have about 2 thousand in there. I would consider paying the IRS an emergency.


I asked my friend (financial analyst) if I could use my wagging hound dogs tails as a deduction for wind turbine. HAHAHA.

Using what we have...

I worked Tuesday night and made it home Wednesday morning and slept for a couple of hours. I have a community service activity I am committed to on Wednesday nights at the local rescue mission. I went there and I am blessed that I enjoy my time there.

I thawed out thin pork chops for Wednesday's dinner. I used the last bit of breadcrumbs I had to make a coating on them. I warmed up all the left overs in the fridge (buttered corn, pork stuffing, carrots, left over hibachi veggies and rice from my; birthday dinner) and offered a buffet style pick what you want to eat for dinner.

It worked. We got rid of the lurking left overs and finished off some breadcrumbs.

I have some things that need to be used up:

a couple of bananas
a couple of apples
butterscotch morsels (I don't know who bought them, maybe my DH????)
a very thick candy cane
Dollar store chocolate from Christmas

I have a running grocery list and working to use what we have available.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dinner...birthday fun...working less overtime.

In a nutshell, my overtime shift last week was instead "On call" and I didn't get called in. I am kind of thankful. I get my first paycheck this week with no overtime in it. I'm a little nervous, but it was really nice to be at home. The bills are paid. I have money in savings. I'm waiting to get all my tax stuff in the mail. Some of it has arrived.

We celebrated my birthday yesterday. We went to a Japanese steakhouse and had a BLAST! The five of us had an awesome time. Was it expensive...YEP. Was it fun....YEP. Did we plan and put the money aside to pay for it.....YEP.

The kids and I need new sneakers and hair cuts. My husband shaved his head for the first time on Sunday. I work up in the afternoon (I work night shift) and walked into the bathroom. He was in there with the clippers, a razor, and shaving cream. It was all gone, including his beard and mustache. I asked him if he was in the stages of "having a manic moment". He said he wanted to see what it would look like. I was shocked. I told him that I wish the kids would have given me some kind of hint when I woke up.

He's wearing a baseball hat now. I love him regardless. He's saving me money on shampoo that's for sure.

Dinner today is five chicken legs in the crock pot. I added a bag of "baby carrots", two stalks of celery, an onion, some spices, and five small potatoes. It's dinner tonight.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dinner this weekend...

I'm finishing up my work weekend tonight...
My DH made chicken wings last night with BBQ sauce, steamed green beans and corn.
Tonight he made a pork roast in the crock pot with "cream of mushroom soup" over it. He made buttered corn and stuffing.

I'm thankful I didn't have to cook.