Monday, December 27, 2010

Menu Monday December 28th

Vacation was cold but awesome to see the ocean and my in-laws! We are on CHRISTmas break, so here is the menu with everyone home from school.

Cereal and cinnamon toast
Oatmeal with bananas
Biscuits and gravy
Chocolate chip pancakes
Breakfast cake

Spaghetti and toast
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Grilled pb and j, carrots and celery
Mac and cheese and green beans
Mini burgers, rice and peas
Pizza Bake

Runza sandwiches and potato soup
Beef pot roast, baked sweet potatoes cottage cheese
Grilled chicken, brown rice, mango peach salsa
Philly cheese subs, chips, assorted veggie and appetizer trays
Turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberries
Salmon, twice baked potatoes, salad

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Menu Monday December 6th-9th

Yup, you read it right, I am only cooking for 3 1/2 days. We are getting ready to go on vacation and that means for Mom too. My husband's family went to Mexico last year, and because of his work, we couldn't go. So, when they got back and immediately started planning on going this year, we started saving up our pennies, and we are on a plane on Friday morning with all four kids! Very exciting...

Oatmeal and yogurt smoothie
Cranberry muffins and yogurt smoothie
PB toast and yogurt
Pancakes with yogurt topping

Udon noodles and pork potstickers
Subway style sandwiches
TBD Bento
Roll-up sandwich, chips, banana or school lunch

Chicken fried steak, smashed potatoes, green beans
Clean out the fridge leftovers or frozen whatever...
Chili's Restaurant in Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bento #9 Three little monsters

This was a stay at home day, so I could spend a bit more time on my three little monster's bentos. They had a ham sandwich, veggies, a satsuma and my first tamagoyaki. The kids didn't care much for this particular recipe, too sweet, so I will try again, a bit more savory.

Don't forget to check out some more bento love at Heather's site, Ohayo Bento. She is having an awesome giveaway that would make anyone's heart patter, bento nut or not!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for Bento Love!

"Are you still doing that bento thing?"
That was the question from my girlfriend this week when I talked to her. Uhhhhhhh? How do you answer that one without totally talking your friends ear off about food and packing lunches... You can't, lol. She is used to that by now.

I think.

For those of you who don't know, bento is a form of lunch packing from Japan. It is a way for mothers to make food look more fun for kids, kids to show off their lunches and in turn, show off their moms... What kid wouldn't want eyeballs looking at them when they open their lunchbox? Other benefits are, more veggies snuck into their bodies, because they are more fun to eat, and portion control for adults. Boxes come in sizes ranging from 250 ml to 900 ml. If you pack them according to the recommended protein/starch/veggie ratio, you end up with approximately that many calories in the box. My younger kids use a 350-550 ml box, my older boy and hubby an 800 ml box. There are sites out there with information on how to choose the right size box for you. If you are really wanting to be amazed, just image google the word bento...but I digress...on to the good stuff!

I am so excited! Heather over at Ohayo Bento is having an awesome give-away on some really cute and practical bento items. I just got my first box from her, and boy were my kids excited. Even my 12 year old, who doesn't get excited about anything except extra time on the computer, was excited. I can't wait to post a photo of the new box packed full of #3's lunch. He has declared that it is his turn to get the new box and he doesn't care that it has bunnies on it, they are cool!

I also got some new bands (you never know if they are going to come home) some picks shaped like fruit and a bear shaped rice mold. Like Christmas I'm tellin ya!
If you are a bento nut, or if you have no idea what bento is, you should visit Heather at Ohayo Bento. Her boxes are beautifully done, and quite an inspiration for those of us just starting out.

I am so thankful I can stay home and do things like this. After you visit Heather at Ohayo Bento, be sure to go see what others are thankful for!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Monday November 22

It is food week here at our house. Thanksgiving means our refrigerator is full, and so is the pantry as we always get together with several other families during this time. Tuesday we are meeting with our neighbors after all our kids go to bed, Thursday we have our annual "Oh ya, you can't go home for Thanksgiving because you work for a hospital, too" dinner, and Friday our other friend's families invite us to the shack party (it's a WI hunting thing). Needless to say, we have a busy week ahead of us, but my kinda busy, FOOD!

Banana pancakes with pb
John Wayne (slap some bacon on a biscuit)
Pumpkin pancakes with whipped cream
Egg sandwiches
Kids choice
Apple cream waffles
Banana bread muffins and smoothies

Chicken pot pie and fruit
Lunch at school (cheese fries)
Egg salad or pb, apples
Turkey, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, salad, pumpkin and pecan pie, rolls
Chili, rice, corn chips and pickles
Lasagna and salad
Meatballs, rice, fruit

Potato soup and sandwiches
Hamballs, rice, green beans
Spareribs, roasted veggies, cornbread
Turkey Leftovers!
Pizza and Shack Party (buffet style, bringing chicken wings)
Leftover surprise or salmon
Pot roast with root veggies
Tuscan chicken panini and butternut squash-chipotle bisque

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bento #8 Meatballs

Italian meatballs with ketchup, tomatoes, grapes, rice and a satsuma

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Monday November 15th

Ok, so I spoke too soon about the beautiful weather, but even at 35 degrees, the frost that is following the light snow we had is beautiful. It is not a blizzard, and we have heat and food in our house. I guess there is nothing to complain about!

Banana muffins, milk
Eggs and toast
Vanilla Soothers and pb toast
Carmel rolls

Soup and crackers (sick kid)
Meatballs, rice, grape tomatoes and satsumas
Turkey roll-ups, broccoli and cauliflower
Boiled eggs, veggie fried rice, carrots, kiwi
Chicken chunks, rice, grape tomatoes and cucumbers
Egg head sandwiches, chips

Buffalo chicken wraps with coleslaw, grapes
Salmon, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower
Creamed chicken on a biscuit
Chipotle cream shrimp, carrots, rice, salad
Frozen pizza (yay)
Egg rolls and veggies

No photos: Hmong Grocery-$10.26
Downtown Grocery-$23.93
Mexican Grocery-$2.69
Milk and eggs-$24.00 and a free squash
IGA- $52.00 and a free 14lb turkey!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hubby Bento

Hubby's lunch. There are sliced carrots and zucchini under the pickles, and the orange thing is a peanut butter cup from Halloween. I even snuck a pick in there to make it a little kyaraben like these.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Monday November 7-13

Someone remind me, it is November right? I do live in Wisconsin, not Puerto Vallarta, right? The weather here is gorgeous! We took advantage of it and played outside yesterday, everyone doing their favorite, or most necessary, activity before the snow comes on Saturday. What a blessing!

Whole grain waffles with choice of toppings
Breakfast biscuits and blueberry yogurt
Bacon and egg sandwiches
Pumpkin pancakes
Apple raisin oatmeal
Peanut butter toast with smoothies
Kids choice Saturday

Beef stew, and no-need bread
Turkey and swiss sandwich, carrots and zucchini
Crab sushi and apples
Noodles with sauce, cheese cubes, broccoli
Boiled eggs, cream cheese and jelly rolls, tomatoes and cucumbers
Sandwich Monsters and apples
Burgers and tater rounds (dad cooks)

Chorizo frittata
Peppercorn burgers and chips
Cilantro tandoori chicken with pineapple salsa
Fish tacos, grapes, rice
Tuna or ham panini, tomato or onion soup
Baked chicken, rice, broccoli
Take-out pizza

My groceriesCrackers x 2, tea, O's, apples, sweet potatoes, tortillas, soap x 3, eggs, grapes and chips

Noodle and dumpling sauce, mango, lime, ginger, chopsticks, baby bananas, onions, cilantro, soba noodles, gyoza wrappers, cabbage and a shredding knife

Toilet paper x 3, rice, pasta, klenex, swiss, olives, dish tabs, babybel x 2, ham, muenster, crab, drumsticks, ground pork x 2, tomato soup, humus, yogurt, English muffins, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, bananas, grape tomatoes, dinner rolls, flatouts x 2, bagel thins, kaisers
Not shown milk and eggs $21.00
Total for the week $205.79 Much steeper than normal, but I was out of nearly everything, and got a couple things that will extend into next week, so feel ok about that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bento #7 Ham Roll-Ups

These are ham and cheese rolls on Flat-Outs. The honey twists I got at the Hmong grocery and the red thing is a twizzler. Yes, occasionally they get candy....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day at home

I get to stay home today.
I. Get. To. Stay. Home. Today.

I don't know what to be more grateful for, a busy healthy family on the go, or days when we are not doing anything except being at home, doing nothing more productive than making a mess. If I didn't stay home, I couldn't send things like this in my kids lunch boxes... (shameless segue)
Bento #5 Munchables

Or this...Bento #6 Noodle Flowers

Just makes me smile.
Go visit Laura at Heavenly Homemakers to see what everyone else is grateful for today.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Menu Monday Sept 26th - 2nd

What beautiful Fall weather we are having here, finally. Not that I am apposed to rain. I am rather fond of rain, the smell and the greenness that fallows. What I don't care for is when animals start gathering two by two, and the ark comes floating by.
Our basement decided to recreate the Great Flood and provide a very teachable moment for our children in the importance of plugging in a sump pump, and what to do in an emergency...All is well though, the waters have receded, and the mess is gone with little disaster. Our floating floor, that we put in the last time this happened, saved our laminate floor, and we seem to have a basement that will be fine. Hallelujah!

Brunch in town after church
Pumpkin bread and kefir smoothies
Waffles, peaches
Yogurt and cinnamon toast
Oatmeal (cookie style)
Eggs and toast

Junk at St. Michael's Harvest Fest
Ham rolls, crackers, veggies and dip, fruit cups
Turkey meatballs, soba noodles, broccoli with dip
Sushi, edamame, grapes
Grilled cheese, tomato soup, plums
sandwich roll-ups, bananas, fruit cups
Crostini, chicken wings, veggie tray

Chili, rice, pickles
BLT mac & cheese
Chicken and Noodles, cottage cheese
Beef stew, no need bread
Fish chowder, cheese scones
Pizza night
Skillet lasagna
Burgers and chips, dessert

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Menu Monday Sept 5-11

Wow did the school year sneak up on anyone else? Before I could hardly take a breath, summer was over, the kids were missing the bus, and I was slowly headed down the road to crazy town. I should have chalked this week up to adjustment for all the kids and not let it get to me, but you know how it is. It is times like this when I really consider the advantages to homeschooling.
The other time is when I look at what school lunches for 3 kids cost.
Are you kidding me!
I know I have had the frugal post before, but this was a wake-up call! $8.10 a day for three kids to eat! Seriously! It would not be so bad if they would take advantage of the fruit and salad bar they can fill up on. No, this is $8.10 worth of starchy carbs and questionable meat products.
Well, that was the first week of school, and we all were a bit crazy. Now in week two, things, they are a changing. Here is the menu for the week. If I get really ambitious, I will try to match what the school is having to a degree.
Or not!

Cold cereal, bananas
Pancakes, maple syrup
Blueberry bagels, kiwi
Cranberry, white chocolate muffins, boiled eggs
Egg bake and toast
Oatmeal, warm vanilla soothers
Waffles, peach syrup

Snacks (company for supper)
Leftovers from company
Cheese and crackers, dilly beans, bananas
Ham and cheese sandwiches, broccoli/dip, fruit cups
Peanut butter and jelly, applesauce, dates
Turkey wraps, yogurt with blueberries
Beef tacos, toppings, beans, fruit

Cornish game hens, big pasta with mushrooms, salad, chocolate yummy (company)
Salt and vinegar wings, Sriracha garlic hot wings, crostini
Beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, peas
BLT, tortellini soup
Chili, lettuce sandwiches or bagels
Chicken noodle soup, no-need bread

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Monday August 22-28

Our last week at home before school starts and I am not sure who is more excited, me or the kids. We started getting up earlier today to get into practice and (most of) the kids sprang out of bed ready to go. Grocery shopping today as I am looking at a bare refrigerator, but not before I butcher the tomatoes in my garden.

Eggs and biscuits
French toast
Zucchini muffins and smoothies
Egg sandwiches
Kid's choice

Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Tuna salad and fruit
Meatballs, egg noodles, salad
Turkey sandwiches, fruit
Chili, rice

Leftover makeover Cuban style
Grilled chicken, rice, salad
Hamburgers, sweet potato fries, celery/carrots
Salmon, couscous, salad
Burritos with stuff on them
Frozen pizza/Movie
Grilled cheese, salad

Not so sweet

You know what makes a girl crabby? When she moves her 5 gallon bucket of sucanat and finds that she has lost several cups of it on the floor because the bucket has a hole in it. Not really a hole, that sounds like something small and manageable... This was a crack from side to side on the bottom of the bucket.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Menu Monday August 9-15

It has been a busy weekend with hubby and the two oldest gone. I spent a good chunk of Saturday mowing and working outside in the glorious humidity. Exhausted, I fell onto the couch after putting the littles to bed and then sat there in a state of mindlessness until I forced myself to go to bed.
I hate sleeping alone.
Hate it.
Fortunately, there was an incredible storm that woke everyone up at 1:30 and kept us up for an hour talking about it. After that, I wasn't sleeping by myself any more.
I am not sure which is more difficult, not sleeping with my husband, or sleeping with two little boys. We made it through, but are all tired tonight after a full day of being outside and playing with the neighbors while I helped them pickle beans. I came home and canned pickle relish, froze 10 quarts of zucchini and made chocolate zucchini muffins for the freezer. We had those for supper with cheese and pickles... kinda balanced, right? No worries, here is the rest of the week. I think.

Eggs and toast
Oatmeal and strawberries
Pancakes with applesauce
Cold cereal with bananas
Egg sandwiches
French Toast
Kids choice (Dad in charge)

Sweet corn and turkey keema
PB and jelly, pears
Grilled cheese, tomato soup
PB and honey, apples
Lunch out with Mom (Culver's)
Turkey and Swiss, peaches
BLT and applesauce

Chocolate zucchini muffins, cheese, bananas, pickles
Grilled chicken tacos
Crazy noodle pasta with sauce, salad
Chicken pockets, raw veggies with dip
Meatballs, peas, rice
Pizza and a movie
Kids choice (Mom gone)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Real Food on a Real Budget Giveaway

Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers is giving away three copies of Stephanie's book Real Food on a Real Budget. If you are looking for some guidance on cooking for your family in a real and natural way, and doing it on a budget. This book is 280 pages of information on how to make the most of your kitchen, and do so while maintaining your frugal side. Head on over to Laura's and sign up to win!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Monday July 19-25th

School is out, vacation back home is done and the garden looks like it is on steroids. All in all, I would call this a pretty productive summer, IF I WAS CRAZY!
I plan to "bless" my neighbors with some of the rather ridiculously sized zucchini I found out there last night, and just to make sure they don't hate me, I made chocolate zucchini muffins to take over with them. Here is what we are eating this week... besides zucchini I mean.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Egg and cheese scramble
Omelets and fruit
Repeat above as needed

Chicken bagel sandwiches, strawberries
Shrimp tostadas
Turkey roll-ups and kefir smoothies
PB and J sandwiches with bananas
Gyros the easy way
Leftovers from supper

Chicken Cordon Bleu, baked potato, green beans (yes from the garden)
Orange Tilapia, pasta, broccoli
Picnic on the 400 block
Whisky Sirloin, brown rice, cucumbers with dill sauce
Sesame chicken, sliced tomatoes and spinach
Tuna melts, cottage cheese
Hash and Eggs

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eggs again, but better

You all know my thing about eggs don't you? My hubby makes raw egg, raw milk shakes in the morning so I felt like the price I was paying for my eggs was worth knowing they were good. So how could these eggs get any better?
Well..... I am a huge advocate for getting to know the people you are buying your food from. So I was talking to one of the owners of the Downtown Grocery the other day, and mentioned that I could not find anyone to share a case of eggs with me in order to get the 10% case discount they offer. That would have dropped my eggs down to $4.50 a dozen. Yes, I know that still seems like a lot, but I have good math to back that one up. Besides, when you consider that we go through a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs in the morning, and that feeds six of us for less than a dollar a person. Try doing that at a restaurant on a Sunday morning!
As I was saying, I was telling Blaine that I had not found anyone to share a case, and as many eggs as we eat in a month, there is no way we are going to eat 16 dozen eggs, 10 yes, but a case, afraid not. So, Blaine tells me that if we are eating 10 dozen a month, why not just come out to the farm and he will sell them to us wholesale.
Are you kidding?
Then in the same week (because of the same man) I found an organic milk supplier that charges $5 a gallon for certified organic milk. Sooooooooo, long story short, I raised my milk by $1 a gallon, but dropped my eggs by $1.50 a dozen. More eggs, better milk, and come out $0.50 ahead? I would call that a Frugal Friday! What I want to know is, are you on a grocery budget? Do you stick to it and pay only cash, or tally up your receipts when you get home and try not to cry?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pretty Flower Bento

This was a bento for my daughter's lunch. There is bread and butter under the salami and cheese flowers and there is a miniature brownie between the dates and the carrots. I also added a thermos of milk and a baby food jar with ranch dressing in it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grocery shopping for May 25th

We did really well hitting sales this week, #4 was my big grocery store helper since Quality foods is nice enough to have child sized carts for him to use.

Downtown Grocery
Pita chips 3.49
Gorilla munch cereal 4.69
Monkey bars(2) 8.98
Tomato paste 1.69
Arthur loops 3.19
4/5# Apricots 3.47
Garlic 0.91
Ginger 0.91
Total 31.62

Quality Foods
Natural pb(2) 4.58
Kashi go lean 3.93
Lemon Juice 2.37
Barbecue sauce 0.99
Unbleached flour 2.37
Buttermilk 1.18
Pasta 1.49
2.5# Cabbage 1.23
Sandwich flats 2.50
Cucumbers 1.18
Vidella onion 0.69
1# Deli turkey 4.81
2# carrots 1.69
Shredded wheat 3.95
Tomatoes 3.20
Cherries 2.99
Red pepper 1.52
Puff corn 2.69
Strawberries 2.00
Raisin bread 2.99
Hamburger buns 2.00
Toilet paper 5.98
Total 56.58
Total saved 7.16

Grand total 88.20
36.80 under budget for the week!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bbq beef sandwiches- crock pot

This is a good way to use a chuck roast in the summer when you don't feel like eating a typical roast, potato, carrot dinner. It also uses the crock pot, so you are not heating up the house running your oven.

3 lb beef chuck roast
1 c barbecue sauce (I made my own, just mixing stuff up in a cup)
1/2 c apricot or peach jam
1/3 c green pepper
1 T stone ground mustard
2 t sucanat
1 small onion sliced
12 kaiser or hamburger buns

Cut the beef into 4 pieces and place in a 4 quart slow cooker. Mix next 6 ingrediants and pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Slice thinly and add back to pot to reheat for 20 mor minutes until hot, fill buns and serve with coleslaw and watermelon.

Menu Monday May 23-29

Well, it is officially short timer weather around here. The kids have started counting the days until school is out, and I have to confess, I am too. With the holiday weekend approaching, I am looking forward to the mini break from soccer and football, and the end of swimming lessons. Backpacks will still be need for another week after that, but at that point, we can handle anything. Here is what we are eating this final week of the crazies. Any of you ready to be done with driving or homeschooling?

Brunch-Pancakes with syrup, Denver omelets, toast
Eggs and toast
Yogurt smoothies and cinnamon toast
Oatmeal with peaches and milk
Cinnamon rolls
Pumpkin bread with honey yogurt
Cinnamon roll french toast

Leftover nachos, watermelon
Bento box for school picnics
Bbq beef and fruit cups
Lunch at school
Cold turkey sandwiches, lettuce salad
Snacks for lunch

"Meltdown" nachos
Grilled chicken, rice and salad
Bbq beef sandwiches, macaroni salad, strawberries
Weeknight chicken and pasta
Turkey panini, chips, carrots and celery
Ginger glazed mahi mahi, blue cheese slaw, cherries
Smoked pork shoulder

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bento #3

This was a stay at home meal, but easy to do in a bento box. I made egg salad for the face, sliced eggs and olives for eyes, red pepper mouths and the hair was grated carrot or chives. #3 wanted ears for his, so I sliced cucumber very thinly and added that to his. They pulled them apart to eat them, but they were gone in a flash.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grocery Shopping Trip May 10

I tried again to keep my shopping to a minimum since we have a bulk order coming up soon and I want to not do too bad on the budget goals. Since I already spent a chunk at IGA on our Mother's Day tapas supper, I had to be more frugal at the store. The easiest way to do that is look for recipes that fit what we have at home in the pantry or freezer and round out the rest of the week with fresh produce on sale. Of course I am stuck in the egg and milk department, but that is, what it is.

2.5 gallons milk 10.00

Downtown Grocery
2 dozen eggs 9.98
Couscous 2.99
Baby red potatoes 1.34
#2.14 Braeburn apples 4.04
Bug bite 0.79
Total 19.98

Dill pickles 2.59
Broccoli 3.32
Dried beef 3.09
Sweet/sour sauce 1.50
Cauliflower 2.24
Carrots 0.79
Meatballs 5.00
2 tins sardines 2.78
Cream cheese 1.54
Chicken wings 2.50
Tea 1.00
Tomatoes 2.51
Bag 0.99
Marshmallows 1.50
Brown sugar 1.93
White sugar 2.83
Unbleached flour 2.47
2 Bagel packs 2.58
Orange juice 2.50
Ground beef 5.32
Total 49.02
Coupons or sale savings 10.42

Chicken breast 3.72
#1 Asparagus 3.91
2 avocados 1.76
#1.86 Bananas 1.28
Mango 0.89
#12.94 Watermelon 5.69
Total 17.20
Total saved 0.92

Total spent 96.20
Coupon or sale savings 9.96

Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu Monday May 9-15

What a wonderful Mother's Day! I opened my personal thumbprint art from my 4-K child before we left the house, and watered the flower from my 1st grader. We went to church where I wore my new beads my preschooler made me, and then across the street to the 6th Street Filling Station to eat breakfast, while carrying the two Right to Life roses I got at church. The kids had stuffed french toast or cinnamon roll french toast (which I have got to recreate at home on the new baking pan from my oldest) and hubby and I had eggs benedict. Then we stopped by the grocery store to get a ham for supper. While we were sitting in the car discussing what to eat with it, hubby suggested we have snacks to tide us over since it was 10:30 and we had just eaten, this turned into just having appetizers for supper. YUMMY! The kids helped cook, and we ended up with our first annual tapas for mother's day supper. On the table were meatballs, egg rolls, grilled chicken wings, bruschetta, homemade tortilla chips, dill pickle rolls, black bean pinwheels and a veggie tray. We had just a couple bites of everything so that left us with no leftovers and just enough room for ice cream afterwards. Since we had spent the day outside doing yard work, it was the best mother's day yet in my mind. Today I will look through the cookbook my husband blessed me with (does he know how to keep a girl's heart or what) and figure out what is on the menu for next week. How did you celebrate?

Eggs benedict
Buttermilk coffee cake and bananas
Toasted banana bread, applesauce
Pumpkin muffins and yogurt
Bagel egg sandwich
Kids choice

Grilled cheese, pickled beets
Lunch at school
Lunch at school
Turkey sandwich and fruit cups
Bento box faces
Burgers and home fries

Asparagus primavera, grilled chicken breast
Dirty rice, salad and veggies
Steak, baked potato and broccoli
Chicken penne and salad
Pizza and tortilla crusted tilapia with salad
Sandwiches and tortellini soup

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Grocery shopping trip

Ok, so I went over at my first store, but my goal was to to stay at $125 for the week no matter how it ended up at each store. I didn't have enough Scrips for Trigs, but plenty for IGA. I also learned that no matter what, if it is not on sale and on my list, I don't buy it at Trigs... the price difference between it and IGA add up, and I also found things on my list on sale at IGA that were not advertised, like the sandwich flats and yogurt. Someday I will figure this all out! Next week I will overbuy the Scrips, but still stay in my total budget.

Trig's (most expensive store)
Balsamic and Raspberry vinegar 6.18
2 bags Sandwich flats 6.38
organic ketchup 2.79
2 Kashi crackers 6.38
GoLean cereal 2.69
Ginger Ale 2.50
Pretzles 2.39
Salsa 2.49
Blue corn chips 1.99
#1.3 cod fillets 6.49
Turkey sausage 3.00
#1 Salmon 8.00
#1 Carrots 0.79
#1.88 Tomatoes 3.27
Spinach 1.88
Garlic 0.30
#1/2 Mini peppers 2.50
Green onions 1.38
Feta 1.59
#4 Butter 8.00
Cheese 3.89
Cheese 3.99
Store bag 0.89
Total 84.06
Savings 14.11 Coupons and sale items

Quality Foods
#2.5 Oatmeal 4.23
Newman marinara 2.29
2 Quarts Natural Yogurt 5.00
Parchment paper 2.87
Calamata olives 6.49 (yikes)
#1 Honey Ham 7.69 (overcharged)
Strawberries 2.50
2 Cucumbers 0.88
2 Avocados 1.38
Romaine 2.99
Buttermilk 2.32
Artichokes 3.49
2 Sandwich thins 5.00
Head lettuce 0.99
Total 47.28
Savings 5.04

3 boxes Puffs 2.97
3 dish detergants 2.97
3 cans salmon 5.97
3 cans tuna 2.97
Total 14.91
Coupon Savings 11.30

Total spent 146.25 (21.25 over budget)
Total savings 30.45

Menu Monday May 2-8

We are eating from a new magazine this week called Clean Eating, so I hope we can really work in some of the produce that is coming into season.

Pigs under the blanket
Rice pudding with raisins
Eggs and toast
Oatmeal cookie oatmeal
Surprise muffins and smoothies
Cold cereal
Waffles and peaches
Kids choice Saturday

PB and J, carrots, peaches
Chef salad, bread sticks
Cheese and jelly sandwiches, ants on a log
Tilapia wraps
PB and J, strawberries
Salmon Quesadillas

Chicken pot pie, salad
Black bean tostadas, chips and salsa
Chicken foccasia, salad
Grilled tilapia, banana black bean salsa
Cobb salad, bread

Friday, April 30, 2010

Starting tomatoes

Nothing like a little green in your house when everything outside still has a touch of brown. It seems like I started our tomatoes only yesterday, and the little darlings have got real leaves on them now. My husband searched high and low (at our local Fleet Farm) for heat mats so that they would get a good start. He ended up splurging on large pots filled with organic compost from our neighborhood ginseng farm so that I would not have to transplant the little guys before they were to go outside. All told, we spent less on heat mats than if we had ordered them from a catalogue, didn't pay shipping, and got trays with 70 expandable pots in them, included. I ordered tomato seeds from Territorial again, and all 30 of them germinated. This gives me the 16 or so I need and plenty to bless my friends with. I plan to reuse the pots and trays again next year, needing only to get dirt to fill them. This way I don't add to the landfill or recycle pile, shop local, and save myself more money next year. My tomatoes are not as big as last year at this time, but these are shorter day ones, so no fear. Next time I will show you my other green beauties...Come to think of it, I may be able to part with a couple more, say, if you were related to me and felt like making a trip up here in a couple weeks to get them... (hint hint)
What about you? Are you itching to be outside? Have you started anything growing in your window?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Menu Monday April 25th- May 1st

While the hubby's away, the diet will pay....
Every year my amazing husband goes down to Grant county, WI, and helps his friend plant 1000 trees on his land. Ya, I said it and you read it, 1000 trees. I keep asking how this is possible, but I guess between the deer, the weather and some flooding, not to mention that there is a lot of land, it is an annual event he really looks forward to. He loves being outdoors, the weather is not too hot at this point, and his friend generously invites him to hunt there through several seasons during the year. Not to mention that it is quality guy time... I spent the weekend baking for his trip and ended up with pumpkin bread, cinnamon swirl bread, whole wheat bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies and biscuits for both of us. I will miss him terribly over this week, but it is fun spending time with the kids being the priority for a change. Besides, he will drive out to the edge of the property to find a signal so that he can call us every night. In the meantime, the kids got to plan the menu for the week, so that accounts for some of the unusual combinations of things. What can I say, I miss spaghetti....

Sausage biscuit sandwiches
Crock pot oatmeal with brown sugar
Smoothies and cinnamon swirl toast
Eggs and toast
Cold cereal
Waffles with peach syrup
Short order cook Saturday, kids choice

Egg Head sandwiches, veggies
School lunch
Pb and J sandwiches, bananas
Turkey and swiss sandwiches, kiwi
School lunch
Chicken noodle, bread and butter, frozen peaches
Grilled cheese, tomato soup

Souper soup, french bread
Spaghetti and salad
Pancakes, bacon, yogurt
Baked chicken, rice, beets
Maid-Rites, oven fries, salad
Chicken pot pie, beet pickles
Homemade pizza, fruit cups

Groceries purchased: buns, pb x 2, ketchup, tomato soup x 2, dinner rolls, 3 lbs ground beef, bananas, 5 gallons milk $40.58

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chicken mushroom panini bento

This bento was made from leftover panini we had the night before. I made focaccia and then filled it with balsamic chicken with mushrooms, basil, green onions and tomatoes. The photo does this beautiful sandwich no justice whatsoever.

Friday, April 16, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Ok, I know I have never had a Friday Funny post before, and that I am supposed to be focusing on the frugal part of my life, but come on.... this is just funny!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Missing Mr. Olsen

It's Gratituesday, and today I am grateful for the time I had getting to know our neighbor Larry. We were in Florida on vacation over St.Patrick's Day when we got a call that our friends had some bad news to share with us. That morning, Larry had passed away very unexpectedly. We had only known him for four and a half years but it seemed as though he had been in our lives forever. Larry was known as the "Godfather" of the neighborhood, walking it every day to check up on lots with houses and ones he was still farming. He was the man that bought a tiller for his tractor because some of us had large gardens. He planted huge sweetcorn plots so that we could have as much as we wanted and helped us pick it so that it would be fresh. Then he would shuck six or seven dozen so that his wife could help me freeze enough for our family. He was the man who stepped in as a grandfather, when the kids missed theirs because they are so far away. He helped reinforce the value of hard work to our neighborhood children (and a few moms and dads) when they helped him pick rock in the wheat fields. He always smiled and you could never mistake who it was when you watched those long strides taking him back to the house at 5:00 sharp for supper. His strawberries and apples were shared freely as was his sage wisdom. While he is missed, we are ever grateful for the time we had with him. I hope God enjoys the help with any farming issues in Heaven, and I can't help but think he is behind the beautiful April we are having.
Head on over to Laura's at Heavenly Homemakers for Gratituesday and see what everyone else is thankful for.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Menu Monday April 11-17

We got some lovely Nebraska steak from my hubby's parents for a Christmas gift this year. What could be better than that? So we are taking advantage of that to enjoy the beautiful weather that we are having, and grilling our hearts out. Man do I love Spring! I am also trying to continue being extra frugal as I have a Country Life order this week, so I will post what I bought for the week with the menu. Fortunately I have 2 gallons of milk still from last week, so that helps. This will give you just a glimpse into my crazy need to stockpile food...who in the world needs three freezers?

Egg and sausage breakfast burritos
Shrimp wraps
Nebraska steak, roasted root veggies (parsnips from garden) salad and homemade strawberry ice cream (berries from Mr. Olsen's garden)

Eggs and toast
Apples, cheese, whole wheat bread with butter
Leftover buffet with the addition of grilled mushrooms

Whole wheat pancakes with applesauce (Mr. Olsen's apples)
PB and J lunch boxes for school
Roasted chicken salad on sourdough buns, parsnip and leek soup and salad

Blueberry muffin cake
Chicken soup with noodles
Some sort of Chinese dish with egg rolls (not this one)

Steel cut oatmeal in the crock pot
School hot lunch
Combo burritos and salad

French toast with peach syrup
Tuna salad on sourdough rolls, apples
Frozen pizza

Bacon, Egg and cheese biscuit cups
Kids choice
Supper with my sister and her family, something from the bottom
of the freezer perhaps...? Sorry Abbie!

Groceries bought for the week:
Mushrooms, onions, loaf of texas toast, one pound hamburger, two dozen eggs, 6 plums, block of cheddar, can of tomatoes, dish soap, broccoli, cilantro
Total: $40.00

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shopping Trip March 30

On budget at the grocery store, but headed out of town this weekend, so will be hard to stay under at a restaurant. I think what is the most frustrating about typing this in is seeing all the things I could have made from scratch but bought to make my life easier so we could be outside. Lame excuse since I just was explaining to my oldest that it really doesn't take that much time to make things from scratch vs a box. This is why I type out my list, really makes me face my excuses in a concrete way.

Downtown Grocery
2 Doz Eggs 9.98
Kefir 5.19
1.75 lbs Carrots 2.65
Garlic .84
Onion 1.56
Cauliflower 5.39
Total 25.61

Quality Foods
Taco shells 2.05
#2 Butter 5.00
Buttermilk 2.28
Cottage Cheese 2.70
2 natural pb 4.58
Refried beans 1.29
Hollandaise sauce 1.39
English Muffins 1.59
Tortillas 2.79
Pie crust 2.75
Broccoli 1.36
Strawberries 2.00
Potato 0.26
Rice cakes 1.87
#3 Ground chuck 5.37
Total 37.29

Total 62.90

Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Monday March 29-April 4

We had my sister's family staying with us on Sunday and plan to be out of town for the weekend. Hope your Easter is blessed with peace and family.

Lunch-Gumbo and cornbread
Supper-Pork roast on flat bread, coleslaw, cantaloupe and grapes

Breakfast-Caramel rolls
Lunch-Leftovers or pb and j

Breakfast-Pumpkin bread and smoothies
Lunch-Frozen Pizza (#1 in charge of lunch)
Supper-Roasted chicken breast, green beans, wild rice

Breakfast-Eggs and Toast
Lunch-Chicken nuggets, beets and bananas (#1 in charge again)
Supper-Chicken pot pie, cottage cheese

Thursday (Hubby birthday)
Breakfast-Eggs Benedict
Lunch-In town
Supper-Steak, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower

Breakfast-Cinnamon toast, fruit and yogurt parfaits
Lunch-Cheese waffles and tomato soup
Supper-On the road, out of town

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken Bone Broth

I love making broth. I love how easy it is, how it smells, how it tastes, and how it is pretty much free. Lately every time I roast a chicken, I have thrown the bones back in the oven while I am cleaning up the kitchen. After they brown, I cool them and throw them in a bag in the freezer. Then, when I have a spare moment ( you know, while I am eating bon-bons and watching mexican novellas...) I make broth. Seriously, this is as easy as it gets folks.
Yesterday I was going to make gumbo and found that I was out, so I thought this would be a perfect Frugal Friday post. Here's what you do, follow closely, it's tricky.

  1. Grab the chicken bones from your freezer, or the pan you just roasted it in and put them in a pot of water.
  2. Add whatever veggies you have in your house. I typically use the tops of my celery, an onion cut in half, 3 smashed garlic, and some carrots. I don't peel anything, skins an all in the pot. Maybe wash them though...
  3. Add 2 bay leaves, a small handful of peppercorns, and some parsley or whatever herb sounds good.
  4. Boil on low for... well, however much time you have. I have done it for 3 hours, and I have done this in the crock pot overnight. When it first gets going, you need to skim off the foam, that stuff is gross.
  5. Strain through a cheesecloth lined colander and refrigerate or freeze for later. I like to freeze mine in pint jars so I have 2 cups at a time. If I know I am making something that requires more, I freeze close to a half gallon. If you are really frugal, you can pick of the meat that is left from the bones at this point. I tend to pick mine over really well before hand, so there is usually not much left to add to the broth.

When this cools down, it will look something like chicken jello, this is normal, it will turn back into liquid when it is reheated so no worries there. We eat a fair amount of chicken, so it seems like I am never at a loss for broth. What is your favorite frugal recipe?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shopping trip for March 23rd

Way under budget so that we can make up for eating out on our return home from vacation.

Kwik Trip
#3 1/2 Bananas 1.41
#2 Onions .75
Total 2.16

Downtown Grocery
2 doz eggs 9.98

Quality Foods
#5 potatoes 1.39
2 cans mushrooms 1.58
Corned Beef 7.39
Cabbage 1.50
Buttermilk 2.28
Yogurt 2.89
#1 Sliced ham 5.24
Smoked turkey sausage 3.00
Lettuce 4.26
Coupon turkey -.55
Coupon ham -.55
Total 28.41

5 Gallons raw milk 20.00

Grand total 60.55

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu Monday March 21-27

Sunday-On the road from Nebraska
Breakfast- Pancakes and cinnamon rolls
Lunch- Applebee's
Supper- Subway

Breakfast-Cereal and raw milk
Lunch- Grilled cheese and applesauce
Supper- Steak, green beans, corn, ranch potatoes

Breakfast- Eggs and toast, white peaches
Lunch- Chicken soup and ham roll ups
Supper-St. Patty's day late Corned beef, colecannon, cabbage (boiled and fried), scones

Breakfast- Pumpkin muffins, bananas
Lunch- Ham and cheese pockets, applesauce
Supper- Grilled chicken legs and wings, corn, salad

Breakfast-Cereal and cinnamon toast
Lunch- At school
Supper- Gumbo and corn bread

Breakfast-Waffles and peaches with whipped cream
Lunch- Spaghetti
Supper- Cheese and bean enchiladas

Breakfast- Cranberry white chocolate scones
Lunch-Grilled chicken, green beans, coleslaw
Supper- Pizza and a movie

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hamburger Buns

4 1/2 c unbleached flour
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 c powdered milk
3 T sugar
2 t yeast
1 large egg
3 1/2 T butter room temp
1 1/2 c water plus a bit more
1 egg for egg wash

Mix together flour, salt, milk, sugar and yeast. Pour in one egg, butter, 1 1/2 water and mix with a spoon or paddle attachment until water is absorbed into flour and ball forms. Add more water if dough seems stiff, you want it soft and supple.

Sprinkle flour on counter and knead dough, or if you are like me, swap out the paddle attachment for your dough hook and mix 6-8 minutes or until it clears the side of your mixer bowl. You should be able to stretch a small amount of dough into a translucent window, if it breaks, keep kneading.

Ferment in a covered, greased bowl for 1 1/2 -2 hours, and then divide into 2 oz pieces (18) dinner rolls, or 3 oz (12) hamber buns. Shape the pieces into tight rounds by cupping your hand over the ball of dough and rolling it with pressure against the counter and sides of the dough around in circles. You will feel the ball tighten up, that is what you want. Mist balls with oil, cover with plastic and a towl and leave to nap for 20 minutes or so.

Place buns or rolls on parchment lined baking sheets, pressing the dough balls down if you are making buns to flatten them a bit. Mist and cover again for a hour or better nap until they double in size.

Preheat oven 400 degrees, brush rolls or buns with egg wash and top with sesame, poppy or no seeds. Bake for 15 minutes or until just above 180 degrees. Remove them from the pans immediately and cool on wire rack to prevent having soggy buns.
No one likes soggy buns....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pad Thai Pizza

Photo Credit

Tired of the usual pizza? We made a variation on Pad Thai chicken pizza from Clean Cooking last night. Yummy!

1 pre-made pizza shell
1/2 c or more Pad Thai sauce
1 large chicken breast diced
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/2 c onion chopped
3 oz mozzarella shredded
1 c bean sprouts
1/4 c cilantro
1/4 c peanuts chopped (optional)

Spread Pad Thai sauce on pizza shell. Top with chicken, peppers, onion and cheese. Bake according to shell directions. After slicing pizza, top with sprouts, cilantro and peanuts. (Hot chili sauce too, if you are my hubby). This whole works took 15 minutes, and that included the bake time, how easy is that?

Menu Monday March 7-13

This will be a shorter week as we are leaving town again, and that coupled with my itchy desire to clean out my freezers makes for an interesting and cheap menu. Headed back to Nebraska, and the big question is whether to pack food for the trip down, or stop at some dreaded restaurant along the way. If you pack for a trip, what is your favorite food to have in the car?

Brunch- Pigs in a blanket and eggs
Supper- Pad Thai and pepperoni pizzas

Breakfast-Oatmeal and milk
Lunch- PB&J, oranges
Supper- Tuscan Style potato soup, chicken salad pitas

Breakfast- Cranberry and white chocolate scones, keifer
Lunch- Tacos
Supper- Nebraska steak, naan, green beans, corn

Breakfast- French toast and peaches
Lunch- Butter noodles and veggies
Supper- Chicken-a-la-king wraps, apple sauce, cottage cheese

Breakfast-Whatever is left in the freezer
Supper-Whatever is left in the fridge (I love leaving town!)

Breakfast- Cereal
Lunch- Frozen pizza served on paper towels... lol
Supper- TBD

At my in-laws, see you in a week!

Friday, March 5, 2010


When I was little, my dad read me a book called The Bike Lesson by Stan and Jan Berenstein. Each time the dad in the book taught his cub a new lesson he would follow it by saying, "This is what you must never do, now let that be a lesson to you."
Don't leave a pot of beans soaking on your corn stove for two days. When you try to salvage them by washing (and scrubbing) the beans, repeatedly rinsing and adding new water, and then put them on to cook, and they still smell like they have fermented....
Holy cow, who puked!
That was the question I got from my husband when he walked into the kitchen this morning. When I told him what happened, he very nicely suggested I share the beans with the compost pile.
What a thoughtful man.
Actually, I was relieved because there is nothing worse than making a recipe that takes a long time and having it be ruined by one bad ingredient. Besides, my fridge is so overwhelmed with leftovers that we have enough food to feed the neighborhood. To bad it is Friday, the ribs are calling me...
Have you ever had something not quite work out in the kitchen?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Monday February 28-March 6

We are back from our lovely vacation where we ate tons of our favorite foods and soaked in culture as well as a bit of sun (and mezcal as well). Now we are back to the grind, but with a bit of a breather as my kids and their parents are taking the month off of activities. With the exception of Wednesday night CCD and karate one day, we are done for the month of April with swimming, gymnastics and wrestling. Swimming starts again in April for #1 and in May for #2 and #3 but just this month off will help tremendously. We also have decided to take the plunge concerning our kids education, so frugality will be a hot topic here, more on that later. Here is the menu for this week.

Brunch- Eggs Benedict or homemade egg sandwiches, bacon, bananas
Supper- Roasted chicken, brown rice, garlic green beans, strawberries

Breakfast-Raisin cookie oatmeal
Lunch-Leftovers from Sunday
Supper-Chicken stir-fry and eggrolls

Breakfast-Eggs and toast, grapes
Lunch-At school
Supper-Ribs with my sister's family, coleslaw, beans, fruity salad

Breakfast-Muffins and yogurt with bananas
Lunch-Pb&J, grapes
Supper-Ham and bean soup, corn bread, oranges

Breakfast-Cold cereal and toast
Lunch-at school
Supper-Chicken and rice casserole, salad, applesauce

Breakfast-Waffles with blueberry syrup
Lunch-Tuna salad and grapes, hummus with veggies
Supper-Fish fry

Breakfast-Peach crepes
Lunch-Turkey sandwiches and tortellini soup, peaches
Supper-Homemade pizza and a movie

I'm Back!

Been gone a while,
now I'm back.
Had lots to do,
cut me some slack.... lol!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A taste of the Flylady

As I have mentioned I love Flylady. So I thought that I would move on from the bedtime routine and show you how I start my morning. Since my clothes are already laid out, and my gym bag is packed if I am going, I head straight to the kitchen. I like lists and time lines, they give me a goal even if I don't exactly follow them. Also, this is today's routine, it does vary from day to day, but stays fairly close to this.

5:20 Roll out of bed head for the kitchen. Fill and start teapot, plug in and start up computer, open recipe book to page needed for whatever I have started. Sit at computer, catch up on blogs I follow and wait for teapot to whistle.

5:30 Make tea, finish mixing up breakfast and get into oven or started cooking on stove, run a sink full of hot water to clean up as I go, or make sure there is room in the dishwasher so clean-up is quick, load washing machine.

5:50 If they are not up already, go wake up #1 and #2 ( warning, this process may need repeated for #2 several times) get them to the table, dish up breakfast. Then while I have them as a captive audience, review any after school activities that they may have.

6:15 Send them on their way to finish getting ready (timer set for #2 as motivation) Since they practice a bit of the Bedtime Routine themselves, getting dressed is not an issue, neither is finding backpacks or gloves.... usually...

6:40 Send them out the door for the bus and move on to #3 (#4 is an early riser too, so he is usually getting ready while the others are. Finish getting him ready, dress myself after cleaning up kitchen

7:15-8:00 Roll laundry, make bed, load car, grab water bottle and kids, head out the door.

On Tuesday and Thursday, this is shortened by an hour. Kids have to be at school by 7:30-7:45 so I am at the gym by 8:00 with #3 in tow. The only things that are different on these days are making sure all the kids are up by 5:50, and making a breakfast that involves very little clean up, Tuesday is oatmeal, and Thursday is cold cereal. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth to keep the kids going, but I have to remind myself that I have tired days too. While this works for us, I am always open to new ideas. What do your mornings look like, are you military strict, or do you roll out of bed and take your time with your coffee and your computer?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shopping trip for January 18th

We hit four stores this time in order to maximize my budget dollar. Here is what we got and how much I spent of my budget so that I didn't have to cry over coupons.

Hmong Grocery
Mirin 2.99
Puddings 1.99
Roasted green peas 2.99
3 Udon noodles 2.67
Basil 1.25
Cilantro 1.25
Coconut rolls 1.29
Total 14.43

Kwik Trip
#3 Onions 1.16
#5 Bananas 1.94
Total 3.10

Downtown Grocery
2 Kifer 2.38
3 doz eggs 8.97
Cucumber 1.40
Celery 2.59
Leeks 4.93
Oatmeal to go 2.94
Red onion 1.58
Total 24.79

Quality Foods
Whole milk .89
Cottage Cheese 2.83
Plain Yogurt 2.89
Natural creamy pb 2.29
Natural crunchy pb 2.29
Ground turkey 4.30
Orange juice 3.34
Coupon -1.00
Total 17.79

5 Gallons raw milk 20.00

Grand total 80.11
Saved budget 44.89
Saved budget for year 100.03

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Menu Monday January 18-24

Since I seem to have the grocery budget somewhat in hand, time to add on dining out to that number. Short of packing a picnic every time we are in town for an activity, there is no way we can avoid it completely. I hope that by posting it, I will be more accountable for money spent dining out. My Money program is doing a good job of making me aware already.

Monday (make bars for mission at church)
Breakfast-Green smoothies and cinnamon muffins
Lunch-Bento #3 Peekaboo sandwiches, dates, cheese worms
Supper-Turkey Keema with spinach, rice

Breakfast-Oatmeal, brown sugar, milk
Lunch-Bento #4 Somen noodle bento, meatballs, fruit cup
Supper-In town (wish me luck)

Wednesday (soak peas)
Breakfast-Crepes with peach filling
Lunch-At school (cheeseburgers-mom bento)
Supper-Bacon, leek and tomato soup, no kneed bread

Breakfast-Cereal and bananas
Lunch-At school (Italian dippers-mom soup)
Supper-Split pea and ham soup, homemade rolls

Friday-No school
Breakfast-Blueberry pancakes, bananas
Lunch-Garlic alfredo pasta, salad
Supper-Tortellini soup, turkey and asiago sandwiches, apples

Breakfast-Kid's choice
Lunch-Roast chicken, green beans, rice
Supper-Pizza (stock in crock pot)

Brunch-Eggs and toast, cinnamon rolls, fruit
Supper-Chicken noodle soup, homemade bread, cheese

Friday, January 15, 2010

$5 eggs on a budget

I'll admit, paying $5 a dozen for something that comes out of a chicken's butt seems a bit crazy. Roll with me on this one. Please bear in mind that this is what we do, in no way am I saying that if you don't do things like I do are you a bad person. This works for us, and blogging is just a way for me to share that, not make people feel bad because they can't or don't eat like we do. Believe me, we went through years where we ate a lot of .60 eggs because that was what we could afford, and we were just fine.

Enter my shopping post for this week. Just doing a quick calculation, I figure I make bread at $1.47 a loaf. I bought bread similar to what I make in my own kitchen last week, and it cost me $3.19! That $1.72 difference is how I budget for our eggs. As to why, we eat a lot of eggs. Our whole family will eat a dozen on Sunday mornings and a loaf of bread. That is breakfast for six people for $6.45. Yes it could be much less if I bought conventional eggs, but my husband is rather fond of shakes made of raw eggs and raw milk. Not my favorite, but I don't worry about these eggs carrying some nasty bug like I do conventional ones, and pasteurizing them just seems like they are taking out some of the health benefits...

So there you go. I love that you are commenting on things, it makes me think more about the choices I am making when feeding my family. Sorry the post was so long in explaining, but I have never been accused of saying things the quick way, lol.
How bout you? Are there areas of your household where you have cut back on something in order to afford something else? Do you budget your grocery bill, or just buy whatever looks good?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Those of you who have kids already know what MOMDAR is. Before our oldest was born, I was so excited some nights I couldn't sleep. After he was born, I was so worried I would miss a cry I couldn't sleep. Later, he cried so much I couldn't sleep. This pattern repeated itself for each of my four kids until they no longer cried in the middle of the night.
Ahhhhh, sleep...
Apparently the lack of sleep was just training for MOMDAR mode. You know, that feeling that lets you know your kids are doing, saying, trying something they should not be. That nagging signal in the back of your mind that tells you where they are, and what they are doing even if you can't see them. Kids call them eyes in the back of your head. Sometimes that signal even picks up someone else's kids...
This morning I woke up at 4:15 and couldn't, for the life of me, fall back asleep. Fifteen minutes later I knew why. MOMDAR. Apparently it works on ESP mode as well. It must have known that my husband's bath soap was going to fall in the shower, wake up #2 and #3, and just wanted to give me a heads up.
On an up note, we shouldn't be late for the bus this morning...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Ok, this post was supposed to be something that was working for me. Unfortunately, things are just not working right now. I wish I could take the batteries out of my schedule, hit the reset button and start over, but that is not the case. My calender looks like Crayola threw up on it because I have so much going on, and my grocery bill looks great because we keep eating out! Here is a sample of yesterday...
5:06 alarm going off, hit hubby to hit snooze
5:15 alarm off again, groan, hit hubby, roll out of bed
5:19 realize we are out of milk, start car, find coat (still in pj's) run to neighbors, bother cows, get milk
5:35 get home, start water for oatmeal, agree to let oldest eat last 2 pancakes and last of cereal, hates oatmeal
5:55 have scolded youngest for crying about cereal being gone, pacified him with promise of sugary oatmeal if it would ever cook!
6:16 sigh and tell#2 that if she misses bus she will be very sorry
6:40 shoo #1 and #2 out door, clean up kitchen, roll over laundry, dress self and #4, pack gym bag, kiss hubby goodbye and take #4 for first day of pre-school
7:45 drop off #4, go to Y, laugh at thought of trying to find parking spot
8:00 breath and attempt to clear mind for first yoga class (mind never cleared, yoga hard!)
9:00 pacify irate person who found out my class may change times, take step since yoga didn't raise heart rate (at least not to where it needed to be)
10:30 showered, changed, dropping off #3 at school, meet hubby for coffee and then lunch
12:45 back on the run, groceries to get, have to run home, put away groceries, feed dog, pack bags for tonight, roll laundry, pick up house
4:00 meet hubby, switch cars and kids, drop off #2 gymnastics, go to meet sister to pick up nephew to watch during appointment (read in car)
5:15 appointment done, nephew returned, picking #2 up from gymnastics, meeting hubby after dropping off #1 at swimming for second meal in town
6:15 kiss hubby goodbye (off to meeting) drive to swim, #2 does homework in lobby, keep #3-4 from killing each other, breakdown and turn on sponge bob, scold #2 for not doing homework, scold #3-4 for beating up each other and playing tag in lobby
7:35 can't stand it anymore, take kids #2-4 to car so that at least the other parents can have some peace, text hubby with questions of possible illegal drug use by kids...
8:00 driving home to 3000 viewing of Backyardagins despite swearing no more tv to and from town
8:30 collapse on couch, laundry waiting, kids in bed still yipping, exhausted knowing that hubby will soon be home, hoping that I can stay awake and interested in some personal time with him, rather than him finding me asleep and drooling on a gardening catalog only open to page 3

This is not working for me....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shopping trip for January 12th

This was a fast shopping trip. I only needed to get a few essential things and while I came in on budget, I still may need to get milk this week. We will see how far I can squeak that one. Plus we have been spending a ginormous amount eating out, so that would explain my coming in under budget. Gonna have to put the kibosh on that one...

Downtown Grocery
2 doz eggs 9.98
#1 butter 2.89
3 boxes cereal 16.57
Tea 5.59
Tomato soup 3.19
Monkey bars 8.98
Arthur o's 3.19
Total 50.39

Quality Foods
Baby carrots 1.59
2 tomatoes 1.73
Buttermilk 1.22
Whole grain bread 3.19
Ham and turkey 4.38
Unbleached flour 2.39
White chocolate chips 5.53
Pineapple 2.49
Total 24.36

Grand total 74.75
Saved budget 50.25
Saved budget for year 55.14

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Monday January 11-17

Freezer cooking, week 3 and the resolution to stay on target for our grocery budget is stronger than ever!

Breakfast-Soaked pancakes, applesauce
Lunch-Leftover buffet
Supper- Dublin coddle, cabbage, soda bread

Breakfast-Blueberry muffins, smoothies
Lunch-Lunch date with hubby
Supper-Noodles and Company

Lunch-Pb and J or BLT sandwiches, apples
Supper-Ham, sweet potatoes, salad

Breakfast-Cereal and toast
Lunch-Lunch date with hubby again
Supper-In town activities (Fazoli's)

Breakfast-Spice pumpkin scones, boiled eggs
Lunch-Grilled cheese, tomato soup, fruit
Supper-Pizza and a movie

Breakfast-Chilaquiles with chicken, beans
Lunch-Split pea and ham soup, no kneed bread
Supper-Roasted chicken, green beans, rice

Brunch-Biscuits and gravy
Supper-Gumbo and cornbread

Friday, January 8, 2010


We love breakfast in our house. Some of us are ready to eat the minute we get up, some others take an hour to warm up to the idea. No matter what time, breakfast style is always a welcome meal. This morning we had crepes.

Unless your first thought on reading this is yuck, you should be making these babies. Especially if you are like me, and have a hard time paying 8-12 dollars for a plate of them. I made my own, used a jar of home canned organic peaches (and one banana) and had a troupe of smiling kids (and mom) headed out the door in regular time. Ok, I am never on time, but I swear these are so easy and good, there is no reason not to add them to your breakfast favorites. This is the recipe I use from Nourishing Traditions, I am sure your favorite cookbook has one as well.

2 c flour (I use soft white wheat that I grind and store in my freezer)
2 c buttermilk
3 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 t salt
1/4 c melted butter

You can soak your flour overnight in the buttermilk, but I forgot, so...
Stir everything together, and then add water until it is the consistancy of cream (or creamer if that is what you are used to looking at). Put your pan on to medium heat and then brush with butter. Set out your plates, open your fruit, dig for your powdered sugar, mix up any extra filling, go wake your daughter up for the third time... By now the pan should be hot.

Pour 1/3 c into pan and grab the handle (using potholders if necessary) and roll the batter around coating the bottom of your pan. Let this cook for 2 minutes and flip. You can use a large pancake turner or if you have asbestos fingers like I do, grab the edge which should be peeling away from the pan, and pick the whole thing up and flip it over. Cook for 1 more minute and put on the plate. Butter your pan, add 1/3 c batter again, and now turn to the crepe on the plate. We like ours filled with fruit and a mixture of Neufchatel cheese and honey. Roll and top with powdered sugar. Throw plate to first kid and flip crepe in pan. Get second plate and kid into chair, repeat. My kids know by now that when Mom is in the kitchen and in her zone, stay outa the way!

Other popular filling choices are pb and banana, applesauce, sour cream and jelly, just jelly, eggs, eggs with stuff in them... you name it, the options are endless. I have even made a "lasagna" of sorts with layers of crepe, ham and cheese, and broccoli and cheese repeated in a pie plate. Talk about pretty when cut! The cost of this breakfast, even with the jar of organic peaches was less than one plate at a restaraunt, and I fed five out of the six of us with leftovers. Can't beat that with a stick, can you? What is your favorite frugal breakfast idea?