Friday, August 31, 2012

Few Projects I Have Worked On This Summer

Just so you all don't think I spend all my time worrying about food, I thought I would so you a few things I have done over the summer :)

I have slowly been recovering my couch pillows.  They are looking kinda shabby but the fill in them is still good to use.  I have been making simple envelope style pillow covers to place over them.  Here are two that I have made so far.

The first one you can see where the envelope opening it so that I will be able to take these off and wash them.  The second pillow cover I made from two dish towels I bought on clearance.  I love them both!  I have some more material left from the first pillow so I plan to make at least one more of that pattern :)
I also recently made a new cushion for my swing on my patio.  I could never find one that fit correctly.  Last fall I bought all the items using coupons and sales to make the cushion but never followed through on it.  This year I made sure to add it to my to do list!
I have slowly been working on fixing up our patio.  For the last several years we hardly used it.  This summer since I have arranged better seating and added some flowers and things we have used it alot more.  I plan to post before and after pics of it soon :)
I am linking this post up here :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Stuck to our menu plan and cooked at home

2. Found a great deal on ground beef and stocked up.  This may not seem frugal now but it will save us money next month on dinner meals

3. Completed a few projects using stuff I had bought along time ago and never followed through on.

4.  Made some homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast last week.  Needed something different to have.

5.  Made homemade hamburger buns since we were out and I didn't want to shop :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week - Late Again :(

1.  Ate up a ton of leftovers :)

2.  Turned off the air conditioning since the weather has turned so nice

3.  Gave an old lamp, some new life :)  I'll have to post about this one soon.

4. Needed a black picture frame and just spray painted on I already had using black spray paint I already had.

5.  Had a couple stay at home days :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Update on our August Dinner Menu

I realized recently that I had not been keeping up with my posts about our August dinner menu.  So far it is going well and I updated the list of dinners we have used so far.  I actually think we will have a few of the dinners left at the end of the month. 

I have a small list of items that I need to go to the grocery store for.  We have also purchased a few things in the last few weeks so I have about $65 left of the $200 I was hoping to spend this month.   We will be hosting a big family breakfast on Sunday with most of the kids and my in laws who are here visiting for a few weeks.  I am not sure if I will be able to purchase everything I want to and keep under budget.  We will just have to see how it goes.

Usually for a month my budget is $400 to spend on groceries and personal care items.  This week Kroger has some really good sales on meat so I plan to take $50 or so of the $200 I am saving and stock up on meat for my freezer.

I'll let you all know how the shopping goes :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week - Late!

1. Did laundry and hung it out on the clothes line.

2.  Turned off the air and opened the windows since we have been having such nice weather!

3. I am slowly cleaning out and organizing kid # 5's stuff.  Many many things will make it into the yard sale pile

4. Took some pictures of a few things I plan to sell that we no longer need

5.  I had two stay at home days!  I love weeks like that.  It saves on gas!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What About Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks???

If you read my August dinner menu post then you know I planned out our main course to have at dinner time for the whole month of August.  You would also know that I have only spent about $124 for August so far at the grocery store. 

I thought I would do a post about what else we are eating during the day.  After all it is summer and I do have Kid #3 and Kid# 5 to feed on a daily bases.  Then I have also had Kid #4 here for part of the summer.  Plus there always seems like there are extra kids here to feed at least once or twice a week.

Anyway, Kid # 5 is the main breakfast eater.  Today she had leftover pancakes that we bought home from when we went to dinner at Cracker Barrel and a glass of milk.  Sunday I made Cinnamon Roll Cake which I originally found on Pinterest.  We had this for breakfast 3 days this week.  She has also had bagels with cream cheese.

As for lunches, we often eat leftovers.  I also have chicken nuggets on hand but Kid # 5 loves then so much I had to set a limit to only having them once a week.  One can of tomato soup has made 3 lunches for her.  We have also had sandwich items and grilled cheese. 

As I type this Kid # 5 has just come in and asked if she can have Ramen for lunch lol :)  With this we will have grapes that I bought on sale. 

As you can see our breakfasts and lunches usually consist of easy items and dinner is our big meal of the day.  Once a week on Sunday I make what I like to call " Sunday Family Brunch" and we have a big breakfast.

We have cheese and crackers, cereal bars, peanuts and we have been eating the last of the girl scout cookies also to eat for snacks.  I also have on hand all the ingredients to make brownies and cookies.  We also have bananas, apples and grapes.  The kids ate on a big jar of applesauce for several day this week too.  My husband has also made homemade salsa a couple of times this week and I do have tortilla chips on hand to eat with it.

We are definitely not going hungry :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Snowflakes and Dinner

This week I managed to sell one item for $3 and had $22 left from my grocery budget.  So I was able to add $25 to the car fund!  Slow and steady wins the race as they say :)

Saturday night we ended up eating free sub sandwiches given to us at a benefit my husband's band played at.  So nothing used off the dinner menu for August on that day. 

Sunday was Kid # 4's birthday so we went to dinner at Cracker Barrel for that. Which was one of the planned eat out days for the month.

Tonight we at BBQ Country style Ribs cooked on the grill.  We also had salad and cheesy broccoli to eat with it.  So here was another of our dinners used off the menu.  So far the once a month planning is working out well.  Let hope it continues to do so!

Friday, August 3, 2012

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Cleaned my refrigerator and deep freezer. Inventoried what food I had on hand.

2. Made a meal plan for the whole month of August.

3. Went grocery shopping with a list and shopped more then one store

4. Used my rain barrel to water all my potted plants

5. Shopped Goodwill and a few yard sales for clothes for Kid #5  who has grown two sizes over the summer.

August Dinner Menu Plan

Earlier this week I cleaned out our deep freeze and refrigerator.  I used this time to make a menu plan for the entire month of August. Some of the meals I had all the ingredients for and others I just needed a few items.  My goal was to see if I could stay under $200 for the dinners for the whole month.  I planned 24 dinners, with 5 leftover nights and 2 eating out nights.  Here is my list of the 24 main courses

1. Stir Fry*
2. Country Style Pork Ribs*
3. Hot dogs on Grill*
4. Sloppy Lentil Sandwiches
6. Roasted Whole Chicken*
7. Chicken and Noodles*
8. Grilled Pork Loin*
9. Grilled Fish*
10. Quasadilla
11. Sub Sandwiches
12. Chicken Alfredo
13. Hamburgers
14. Breakfast for dinner
15. Chicken Taco Bowls*
16. Porgies*
17. French Bread Pizzas
18. Cheesy Chicken Bacon and Tator Tot Bake -crock pot meal*
19. Mexican Chicken - crock pot meal*
20. Ranch Pork Chops - crock pot meal*
21. Hawaiian Sweet roll sandwiches
22. Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet
23. Taco Salad
24. Fajitas

The meals with the stars by them are the ones I found in my pantry, refrigerator, freezer already.  Everything else I needed at least one item to complete the dishes.  My total for the grocery shop to complete all these meals was $123.29. This also included some breakfast and snack items plus some condiments and milk etc.  I will probably have to go back in a couple a weeks to replenish our milk and fresh produce but I don't think that will be more then $50 or so. 

I will also try to post and update on what else I serve with each meal to complete them. We have alot of things in our pantry etc to complete these meals.

As you can see we have already had two of the meals this week. The Zucchini Skillet was our complete meal and was a new recipe that went over well. We will probably have it again sometime.  The Tostada meal was made with refried beans and cheese.  I then served it with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomato and black olives. This is a meal we have often and Kid # 5 really likes :)