Friday, January 30, 2015

February Meal Plan

I made a new meal plan for the month, printed it out and posted it on the side of the refrigerator.  Having a plan saves me a lot of time and money by ensuring I have the ingredients I need on hand.

This is what we have planned:

Beef Stroganoff, Egg Noodles, Green Beans
TacoSoup, Cornbread, Garden Salad
Waffles, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit
Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich, Veggies & Dip
Clam Chowder, Biscuits, Garden Salad
Fried Rice, Stir Fry Veggies
Chicken & Stuffing Bake, Steamed Broccoli
Pork Verde, Steamed Rice, Garden Salad
Tomato Basil Soup, Cheese Quesadillas, Spinach Salad
Sausage& Peppers Linguine, Lettuce Wedges w/ 1000 Island Dressing
Veggie Quiche, Fruit Salad, Toast
Hot Dogs, Tater Tots, Veggies & Dip
Mac & Cheese, Peas & Carrots
Turkey Tacos, Shredded Cheese, Lettuce, Salsa
SopaSeca, Garden Salad
Salisbury Steak, Steamed Rice, Green Beans
Breakfast Burritos, Fruit
Creamy Tuna & Biscuits, Green Peas
Broccoli Cheese Soup, Dinner Rolls, Garden Salad
Buffalo Chicken, Baked Potatoes Garden Salad
Bean & Bacon Soup, Cornbread, Garden Salad
Pizza, Spinach Salad
Tuna Casserole, Peas & Carrots
Asian Beef Noodle Soup
BeanBurritos, Salsa, Garden Salad
Lentil Soup, Garden Salad, French Bread

Lots of delicious options!

Are you a meal planner?  What great things are on your menu this month?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

KIS - My Work Wardrobe

In the interest of simplifying my life, especially in the mornings, I have a very basic work wardrobe.  My "little uniforms" if you please.  Clean, crisp and classic lines that are adequately business professional.  Some may think my work wardrobe is rather dull and boring and that is fine with me.  The reality is I'm there to do a job not be a fashion statement.  Not that I ever run the risk of being accused of such. Ha!

I started with a base color of black.  I have no navy blue in my wardrobe because I have a difficult time telling the difference between the two, especially early in the morning.  There is also no brown because I flat don't care for it.

My basic pieces are three pair of black slacks, a pair of grey slacks. a simple black sweater, six pair of black socks and a pair of black leather shoes.  I have ten short sleeved tops in a variety of colors and prints.  I chose short sleeves because I can wear them year round regardless of the weather.  In chilly weather I just wear them with my sweater.

These aren't my actual shirts but reasonable examples
of similar things I own.

For accessories I have about a dozen assorted earrings and a couple of scarves.  The scarves were gifts and they are quite lovely.  I'm not real big on jewelry so this pretty much covers my needs.

I've also added a nice red sweater for a little more variety and to have a spare since I wear a sweater nearly every day.  Sometime this year I plan to add another one in a teal or blue color, I think.

These pieces are all items that I really like and it is really nice to not have a closet filled with items I don't wear.  My decisions as to what to wear are easy to make and I have just enough clothing that I only need to wash laundry about once a week.  As items wear out I replace them one at a time so my expenses are kept to a minimum.

Pretty simple, pretty basic, but it adequately covers my needs.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tuna Schooners

This is a quick and easy budget stretching meal I like to use from time to time.  My children have always enjoyed them and it is also a great way to use up any stale bread you may have.

Mix one to two tablespoons mayonnaise into a can of drained tuna.  Toast four slices of bread (I've also used English muffin halves).  Divide the tuna evenly between the slices of toast and spread out.  Top each one with some grated cheddar cheese.

Place the schooners on an baking sheet and slip under your broiler until the cheese melts and begins to bubble.  Serve immediately.

I like to pair these with a nice garden salad or assorted veggies and dip and a handful of potato chips.

It is just that simple!  Yum!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Grocery Budget Update - January

My stock up meat item this month was ground beef.  We were running low with only two packages left in the freezer.  I was able to add ten more packages of 85% lean ground beef I found reduced for quick sale for $20.81.  My goal is to stay around the $20 range and I believe I succeeded pretty well here.

I was able to stock the pantry with 25# of long grain rice, 10# of whole wheat flour, 12# of granulated sugar, 3 cans of iodized salt and 5 cans of nonstick cooking spray (using store promo coupons for 49¢ a can).  Total spent on those items $23.84, less than $5 per week so the leftover $1.16 will be rolled over to use toward other stock up items.

A bonus item I was able to add to our pantry was four bottles of salad dressing.  I make most of our dressings from scratch, which saves us a ton with as much salad as we consume each month, but there are a few that I don't make that have become our favorites so when they go on sale I will usually buy a couple to have on hand.

For the toiletry item I stocked up on $5 worth of toothbrushes I found at the dollar store in twin packs for a total of ten toothbrushes.  That should be plenty to easily get us through the year.  I also wanted to stock up on as much dishwashing soap as I could for $5 but that will have to wait for another time as I maxxed out the non food budget.

My non food budget total came in at $24.98 for a 16# bag of cat food on sale for $9.99, two packages of food containers and five packages of bags, the toothbrushes, a bottle of facial cleanser, cotton balls, and one bottle of dish soap.

This is the food breakdown for the month.  The items I highlighted are the stock up items:

Non stick cooking spray (5)
Store Coupon
Sugar - 4# (3)
Salt (3)
Ground beef - 7.5#
Salad dressing - 16 oz (4)
Mild Italian sausage
Lettuce (2)
Green beans (3)
Corn (3)
Ramen noodles (10)
Flour tortillas (2)
Flour - 5#
WW flour - 5# (2)
Sale Raincheck
Sour cream (2)
Store Coupon
Tortilla chips (2)
Store Coupon
Chips (2)
Buns (2)
Store Coupon
Peanut butter
Green onions
Bell pepper
Pasta sauce (2)
Pasta (2)
Salsa (2)
Store Coupon
Half & half
Store Coupon
Canned tomatoes (2)
Customer Appreciation Coupon
Rice - 25#
Cash & Carry
Milk - gal.
Peanut butter (2)
Tuna (4)
Store Coupon
Barbeque sauce
Store Coupon
Pasta (3)
Green onions
Cole slaw mix
Lemon lime soda (2)
Store Coupon
Vegetable oil - 1 gal.
Canned tomatoes (4)
Store Coupon
Customer Appreciation Coupon
 $    122.54

$122.54 ÷ 31 days ÷3 people = $1.32 per person per day!

How did you save money on groceries this month?  Were you able to find some good sales and stock up on anything?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

On Sunday I grabbed a couple coupons and went to Fred Meyer and JoAnn Fabrics to pick up some skeins of yarn on sale.  The coupons added extra savings.  Most of what I bought was to add to the yarn I already had to make some projects.

I crocheted another scarf and ear warmer set using one of the skeins I bought and leftover yarns  from my stash for the contrasting colors.  I also started crocheting a baby afghan.

Pretty slim pickins'
I pretty much cleaned out my crisper drawer in the refrigerator making two nice sizes salads that we enjoyed throughout the week.  My oldest made salad dressing.

I watched another episode of Downton Abbey using our Roku.  I also started watching the fifth season of Justified on Amazon Prime for free.  As a family we watched a few episodes of Numb3rs.

I used up some extra milk I had that was getting close to the expiration date by making a batch of chocolate pudding from scratch.  It was a yummy way to use it up before it soured.

With our mayor.
Wednesday President Obama visited our fair city.  I was able to see Air Force One on the tarmac from my office window.  I thought it was pretty cool.

Friday evening after work I went to Fred Meyer and restocked the empty crisper drawer using a $2 OFF coupon I received in the mail.

Much better!
My daughter found these in a clearance basket.
We are stocked for the summer.
We had a movie night and watched free movies on Amazon.

Early Saturday morning I took the girls out to breakfast at one of our favorite old diners located in downtown Boise.  It is pretty darn popular and you have to plan on waiting in line for a table but it's worth it.

On the way home we stopped at Cash & Carry to pick up some items on sale.  I bought 50# of whole wheat flour for $13.44, a 25# bag of old fashioned oatmeal for $13.75 and a 5# bag of grated cheddar jack cheese for $13.48.  I will be deducting these purchases from future grocery budgets as I won't be using the flour or oatmeal for awhile, but the price, especially on the flour was too good to pass up.  Since I had a few extra dollars I decided to go ahead and make the investment now.

I went to Albertson's and picked up four dozen eggs on sale for 88¢ each.

I used up some sour milk I had saved and an apple that had gone a little soft by making a loaf of Apple Cinnamon Walnut Bread.  A new recipe I'll be sharing with all of you very soon.  I love this bread!

How thrifty were you last week?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Christmas Plans 2015 - Already?

Oh heck yeah!

Planning for this year started pretty much the day after Christmas.  I started jotting down ideas and then got that crazy hair to dive into my bag of leftover yarn and powered out two gifts for my darling girls.  That just got me fueled up and excited.

A couple weeks ago I found a clearance sale on gift wrap and was able to restock with four rolls of paper for $2.48!  That made my day.  It's the little things. J

I am planning yet another handmade Christmas and I have more ideas of things to make than I have people to give them too, I'm afraid.  I guess that just means I need more friends.

My girls have already given me their input on things they want to do, eat, bake as well as gifts they want to make.  They've also suggested a few things they might like to receive.

As far at the budget goes, this last one was a tight one at a mere $100.  Nonetheless I was able to pull it off and no one was disappointed with gifts or the things we did to celebrate the holidays.  This year, however, I plan to double it and do a little more for my girls as well as replace our defunct lights that had to be tossed out and buy a new wreath.  At $200 I should be able to do quite a bit.

So yes, I'm a little bit excited about preparing for Christmas once again.  I have way too much in the process but isn't that what it's all about?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...