Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 7, 8, 9 update

Hello all!  How is your challenge going? Ours is going surprisingly fabulous.  Usually not eating out is a HUGE deal for me and I struggle with it.  However, since it hasn't even been an option for me it seems to make it easier.  Maybe we just need to live in an even smaller town with no option of eating out! (Just kidding)

Day  7 and 8 went great.  We seriously had so many leftovers that I didn't really have to cook.  We had someone make us a 9x13 pan of lasagna which honestly I usually make us an 8x8 so we STILL are eating left over lasagna.  I have been in the mood for pb &j's with hard boiled eggs. Yes, it must be a pregnancy thing.  So I wait until the kids are done eating their healthy meals with fruit before I bust those out for me.

Today is day 9.  The kiddo's had waffles for breakfast and for lunch we are doing 1 more meal of hodge podge leftovers.  The pasta and lasagna from last week should be gone after that!  Then for supper we are doing pot pie which I am THRILLED about. We will see how the kids react.  They are so back and forth on that one I haven't made it in a while.   So no eating out for us again today.

Snack: The fruit cobbler is seriously going over like chocolate.  They love it! Plus I don't feel guilty for giving them a HUGE plate full since it is mostly fruit!! Hello big winner!  Speaking of Chocolate I have brownies in the oven. Most of which go to my 17yr old cousin and his friend for helping us move some stuff this weekend, then tomorrow I have to make him lunch!  Only spaghetti so should be easy!

Well, I'm off to play outside with the kiddo's.  Hope you all have a fabulous day.  <3

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Well, more like Sunday menu planning, but you know.  Here is our plan-ish for this week.

   Lunch: Left over lasagna
   Supper: Beef Stroganaff (Freezer Meal)

Lunch: l/o stroganaff
Supper: Chicken Pot Pie

   Lunch: Spaghetti ( I owe my 17yr old cousin and his friend lunch)
   Supper: Grilled Burgers/Corn on the cob (burgers from freezer already made)

   Lunch: l/o
   Supper: Chimichanga's/rice (chimi meat already in freezer ready to go)

  Lunch: l/o Chimi's
  Supper: Pizza/Calzones (homemade)

 Lunch: Sandwiches
 Supper: White Lasagna/homemade bread (freezer meal)

  Lunch: Sandwiches
  Supper: Clean out fridge

Snacks:  String cheese, smoothies, fruit, cinnamon rolls, and fruit cobbler that didn't get made this week.

Sunday Prep


Fruit Cobbler
(These were both done yesterday b/c of the cooler weather!)

Pretty easy Sunday prep again, mostly because of the massiveness of freezer meals I'm going to be using this week.  I also didn't make the fruit cobbler from last week so that will go down and be a snack/dessert throughout the week.

More fruit smoothies!  Those smoothies were pretty much to die for and I am planning on making up a couple of batches throughout the week on hot days.

I would really like to get some smoothie pops you can find on amazon, but again, trying to save money here.  

What is your plan for the week?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 5 & 6 Update

Wow. Yesterday and today have been good days.  Yesterday I decided we had so much food left over in the fridge that it would be best to put the chimichanga meat into the freezer for next week.  Then we ate left overs.  ALL.DAY.LONG.  No one really minded, however, today at lunch the hubs did ask when we would be done with left overs. ;) 

Tonight, I don't have to cook either.  We had someone offer to make us lasagna/rolls for supper to give me a break. No, not from cooking.  From the whole pregnancy cooking thing.  You see outside of my 2 readers on here we haven't told anyone about our challenge.  You know in case we slip up.  Yes, I would own that to you if we did.

Now, 3 times this week I have splurged on a coffee.  Yes, I know I need to make mine at home.  The reason? I usually get 1 pop a day! I LOVE me some fountain d.Pepsi so rarely do we have pop in cans in the house.  These are on sale for a LARGE for 95 cents. (please don't lecture me on the pregnant/caffeine thing, as we all have our own opinion on that.) I have been doing the coffee's because I use 1/2 shot in a large and so it's mostly milk which we all know I could use more calcium. 

The goal for next week is 1 coffee and 2 pops.  I still feel like we are saving money since I'm taking this out of a different envelope, but still don't want to be spending that much a week on coffee/milk when I could just buck up and make my own for way cheaper. 

See you this weekend with our menu for next week! :) Luckily, I can move a few things over that didn't get used from this week (ie.chimi meat) so that should save money as well!

Have a FAB weekend <3

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Grocery Budget

Now, I must first say I am in NO WAY an expert.  However, I thought a little post on budgeting for not eating out would be fun.

I usually budget about $85.00 a week for groceries.  That totals about $350 a month for our family of 4.  However, that also includes toiletries, personal products, and the like.  With this 3rd little bundle of joy on the way this is going to also have to stretch to include diapers.  EEKK!  I remember spending $20 a week on one case of diapers.

I told the hubs that next week I was going to try and only spend $50 that way I could buy a case of diapers with it.  His response "I want to eat good, not eat crap."  At first I sort of understood, but then I thought, SERIOUSLY, you doubt my abilities?  So born a crafty idea.  I am ONLY going to spend $50 next week on groceries.  I will save the extra money just in case, but, if we don't need it will buy that case of diapers with it.

How on earth am I going to spend that little to eat on all week with NO eating out?  I'm not sure.  I have been stalking coupons for the cereal.  One BIG part of our budget is cereal and milk. I'm talking a good $20 a week.  Like I said yesterday, I want to make a big batch of waffles up to have around for breakfast.  Our son is big on that type of food while our daughter is a cereal fan.  So some cereal is needed, but I did find some fab coupons for that.

Next, I plan on raiding our freezer. While I know that is not going to be an option every week since obviously we would have to replenish it. I need to get it fairly empty as we have a 1/2 of beef coming in the next month.  I noticed when I was out there "shopping" for our week I had 3 freezer meals in the big freezer and 3 freezer meals in the house freezer.  So I am planning on using at least 3 of these meals next week and the others the next. 

So, with buying fruit and the minimal that we need I think I can keep our budget to $50 next week just to prove that I can.   What do you do for a grocery budget? How to you shave off that extra little bit?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 4

Today was a day.  We will put it that way.  We had our left over waffles from our fab neighbors for breakfast.  Seriously need to consider making up a HUGE batch of those suckers for the freezer.  Waffles smothered in almond butter and syrup equals close to heaven.

Lunch was different for everyone.  We have so many leftovers right now.  Every person had something different.  I think tomorrow will end up being a FULL day of left over eating.  Our fridge is overflowing with food.  I guess when you cook every night it "adds" up. 

Supper almost didn't happen!  Yes, we almost did leftovers again.  I laid down with the kids during their nap and we all slept until 4pm!  We took a THREE hour nap.  It felt great to say the least.  Grogginess and cooking however, do not go hand in hand.  Finally at about 4:45 I got that wind I needed and just did it. We switched it a little. We were suppose to have chimichanga's, but I was tired of beef so we switched to Thursday's supper and had the Crispy Chicken with Pasta.  This was good, but honestly not something I would probably make a lot.  I would rather grill/bake my chicken and the sauce was a little "fat" for my liking. 

So there ya have it.  Four days down and not one time have we eaten out.  Honestly, it almost seems easier calling it a challenge.  In the back of my head I know eating out is NOT an option so I don't even think "where should we eat?"  I just do it.  Maybe that is the trick who knows. 

I really think by not eating out not only is it saving us that money, but I also think it is saving us money in other ways.  We haven't spent one penny all week besides on the grocery store trip.  If we aren't going "out" to eat we are going out, so there is nothing to really go buy.  I got a pop with some change I found yesterday and actually felt guilty about it!  I felt like I was cheating on not eating out.

Our daughter won a daddy daughter date night this week.  We give her and her brother little competitions and since she won she got to pick ANYTHING she wanted to do with dad. (since he is gone the most) Anyway, we were lucky when she said she just wanted ice cream.  I had a coupon for a FREE dessert from McDonald's.  The hubs was a little bummed he didn't get anything, but got over it when I told him we had ice-cream in the freezer for later.

Now that I have probably bored you to death come back tomorrow for a post on budgeting! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 3 update

I must admit I'm pretty proud of myself.  I am doing way better with keeping you all updated then I ever imagined I would or could! *Knock on wood*  I planned on for sure updating every 2 or 3 days, but this past 3 days there has just been time where I could whip up a post for you.

Today we had cereal for breakfast. Lame I know.  Then for lunch we did a hodge podge of left overs.  I had fed the kids early since they have activities today, then around noon our neighbors who are amazing, brought us over about a dozen waffles.  So that is what the hubs and I had for lunch.  Topped with my share of peanut-butter of course!

Supper tonight is in the oven and are these amazing looking taco shells.

Photo from Taste of home 

Kids enjoyed their berry banana smoothie I talked about yesterday. For me it wasn't quite sweet enough.  Maybe need to add some honey to that not sure yet.  I will keep testing different ways to make it.  Until tomorrow. See ya lata! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 2 Update

Day 2 has gone pretty well.  Generally, when the hubs is out of town coaching, the kids and I hit up fast food for lunch and then sometimes we cook supper. ;)  For lunch today we had our planned egg salad sandwiches.  Then for snack I was going to do a combo of string cheese and strawberries THEN I got on Pinterest.  That place is great, but scary all at once. 

So we ended up NOT doing the string cheese/strawberries for snack.  Instead we had this glorious smoothie: 

Seriously they are great. Tomorrow we are going to try the Berry Banana ones on her website.  I was a little hesitant to try these because I do not have luck with smoothies, but I decided to go for it because the kids were hungry and these were seriously easy.  I have never thought to put oatmeal in my smoothies either! This would also make a fabulous breakfast! 

For supper since we had egg salad for lunch I'm planning on doing "muffin tins" for supper.  Yet, another idea from Pinterest idea. Instead of the planned egg "cupcakes."  I won't make that mistake again. While the kids love eggs, I think that is a little egg overkill. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 1

Today was only day 1 of the 28 day challenge.  Not as difficult as I thought, except for the fact that our supper ended up being pancakes.  I couldn't bring myself to pay 3.58 for a bag of half hard Texas toast today at the store.  So we improvised!  Can't believe we already had a snag in day 1, but we didn't give in and that is the important part.

Tomorrow is Day 2 and it is an eggy type of day.  I have egg salad sandwiches for lunch and egg "cupcakes" for supper.  I didn't plan that to well, so we may be trading one of the suppers meant for alter in the week with the egg cupcakes.  Oops.  I should have I paid more attention to that one as well.

I got most of my "prep" done.  er not really.  I thawed the hamburger, but forgot to cook it and I boiled the eggs, but forgot to salad them.  There is always tomorrow.  Also the fruit roll-ups that I was trying, didn't work out so well.  So I have one roll and am not trying again.  I hate the dehydrator and also hate the fact that it takes 8-10 hours to dehydrate.  Loud dehydrators bug me. 

The Wheat thins I will try tomorrow. Other then that I did buy a few snack-y items for the kids this week since mine weren't the greatest.  I also got a ton of fruit today, so hopefully that will last us the week.

Are you doing the 28 day challenge? What are your go to recipes in a crunch?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Menu Planning for 22-28th

Hello again!  It's only been a few days since I posted last.  How proud of me are you.  Anyway.

Here is what we are planning for our first 7 days of this challenge. I hope to update you a couple times a week to let you know how we are doing. Also if you have any easy fun recipes or snack ideas then pass them my way.
 Lunch: Pot Luck at church
Supper: Rest of the left-overs from last week

Lunch: French toast bake with watermelon
Supper:  Egg Salad Sandwiches (for me and the kids, Jeff-leftovers)

Lunch: BBQ Beef Sandwiches (Freezer meal)
Supper: Stuffed Taco Shells (The recipe I found makes 2 batches, 1 for supper and 1 for the freezer)

Lunch: Leftover Taco Shells
Supper: Chimichanga's with Rice

Lunch: Leftover Chimi's
Supper: Crispy Chicken w/Bow-tie pasta

Lunch: L.O. Chicken
Supper: Homemade Pizza with Cheesy bread-sticks

*Clean out the fridge day* any and all leftovers*  (if there aren't any we will do pancakes)

Snacks: Yes, the kids MUST have snacks. So here we go, we will be doing homemade fruit roll-ups, homemade wheat thins, and mozzarella bites
I also plan on trying this cobbler  one day.

How do I plan of making this all happen without cooking everyday.  Oh friends, how you doubt my awesome abilities. :)

Sunday is officially going to be my day of cooking/getting ready for the week day.  I usually do all of my grocery shopping this day anyway, so why not add in a few hours of prep as well.

Brown 3lbs of Hamburger (2lbs for taco shells, 1lb for chimi's) 
Boil Eggs
Make Wheat thins/fruit roll ups 

This week seems fairly easy for food prep. I did a lot of leftover lunches so hopefully that will take care of cooking twice a day!  Also some of these are new recipes so we will see!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Challenge?

I cannot believe it has been a whole month since I have last posted.  Where does the time go?  I definitely am not one of those "good" bloggers who blog 1-3 times a day!  I try, I have the best intentions, then a month goes by!

Anyway, on to the title of this post.  Another challenge is in our midst people! ;)  Yes, I sound so serious.  It's not that bad.  I hope not anyway.  After looking over our finances the last month I realized we ate out A LOT!!  That is saying a lot for us, because we do our fair share of eating out.  If I think it is to much then there is a problem.

With that being said.  The hubs and I have decided to go from 1 of his paychecks to the next with NO eating out.  That is 28 days of no fast food, no Arby-Q's, no Angela's fajita's, and no chicken nuggets.  For us eating out is more of a convenience thing.  We don't do it because we have to, we do it because we are tired and neither of us want to cook.  Our night meal is the equivalent to most people's lunch.  I generally make a healthy good home-cooked lunch.  That is our family meal.  I stay at home and the hubs works, so for us that just works.  So by the time supper comes around, I'm tired and the hubs doesn't get home until at least 6 most nights.

There will be a couple of days in there where we won't worry. For instance, the 21st we will both be out of town for various reasons, so we crossed that day out and then we are ending on the 19th since it is a Sunday.  So we are cutting out 2 days.  Not bad. 

For those of you saying this isn't a challenge, well, then you don't know me very well!  This will be more challenging for me then working out everyday or giving birth. So I may be a little dramatic, but I'm serious too. :)

So, watch for menu planning again and yummy recipes to come.  We start in T-Minus 3 days!