Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meal Plan 5/29 - 6/03

Well this is finally getting posted! We had a great Memorial Day Weekend that posting my meal plan was, honestly, the last thing on my mind. 

We had our 1st family beach day yesterday! Boy was it hot and the water was freezing! But the still kids had a great time in the sand and water. The thing I love the most about the beach is that somehow I swear it makes my kids all get along!

Isaac thought it was great to terrorize everyone with the sand! He would say he wasn't throwing it, he was just dropping it on people! :)

The boys dug a huge hole! Holes take a lot of time and energy! And everyone can help! ;) They played with that for hours!

Before I left for the beach, I pulled out a freezer meal so we would have something to eat when we got home. Nothing worse than coming home from an exhausting day, starving and having nothing to eat. I had pre-cut chicken in a marinade. As it's thawing it is marinading and then we threw it on the grill and ate it with a green salad. Definitely hit the spot!

This week is our first week without a crazy baseball schedule! While I will miss being out at the field, I am happy to have more time at home. Our oldest son will still be playing, but his schedule alone is nothing compared to when we have 3 at the same time!

I'm stilling using this my Monthly Meal Plan this week. It isn't still the same schedule. Things always change. But... Again, I already did my Monthly Shopping Trip, so I have all of the ingredients for a months worth of meals. This makes it easy to change things around last minute!

Here's the details:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Harris Teeter, Dollar Tree and Walgreens Shopping Trip

I went ahead and bought a few items this week that would finish up my necessity list and/or were really cheap for my stockpile! I love buying my bread from the Dollar Tree! I can buy the "healthier" loaves for only a dollar! I bought enough that should last us the whole month! I put most in the freezer, so it can last until we need it.

- $1.00 coupon
= $2.99
+ $3.00 Register Rewards

I probably would not have gotten this if I had not already been going there to pick up a prescription.


I bought lots of bread and other necessities that were not on sale at the grocery store!

- $3.00 in coupons
- $0.25 eVic Hellman's coupon
- $3.00 Walgreens Register Rewards
= $26.49

Here is a trip that is exactly what I described I would be needing in my Monthly Shopping Trip post. A trip for fresh produce, milk and sale items! I also grabbed these chips for a BBQ that we were headed to.

I was able to lower my total by using the Register Rewards from Walgreens! Since these normally expire rather soon, using them at Harris Teeter rather than waiting til I go back to Walgreens works better for me! Because sometimes I don't go back before they expire.

Here's the details:

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Harris Teeter Triples Trip 05/21

TOTAL PAID = $104.40

Here it is in all it's glory.... My Monthly Shopping Trip! I spent half of our budget on all the essentials we will need for the next 4 weeks! We will still need to buy some bread, milk, fruit and most likely some snacks. But that shouldn't cost $100 so I should be savings LOTS this month! Time will tell!

This trip did take a lot of preparation... I did do 4 weeks worth of shopping in one day! And this took only about an hour of actual shopping. Not too bad, but I did have a little boy that skipped his nap, which didn't help!
  1. I made my Monthly Meal Plan.
  2. I made my Monthly Shopping List.
  3. I looked over the sale items and matched up my coupons.

Now that everything is home, the preparing is not over! I made my list of all the snacks and breakfasts I have, so that nothing goes to waste or gets forgotten. And I also made a list of things I plan on making this week. Part of saving is not letting anything go to waste!

Snacks: hard-boiled eggs, carrots & dip, chips w/ hummus, pretzels, granola bars, apple slices, almonds, dole fruit crisps, granola

Here's the thing... Anybody can clip some coupons and tell you they saved $20. But look what they really bought. Is it more than just condiments? ;) Did they buy any fresh fruits, meats, dairy or vegetables? Can you actually make an entire meal with what they've bought? Or do they actually post all of their trips? Some people will just post their coupon trips, but ALL of their trips are not so frugal. Of course any amount saved counts, but make sure you're really learning how to save and spend wisely!

Here's the details of the trip:

My MONTHLY Meal Plan

Last week's meal plan went pretty well. And this week should be even easier. This is our last week of t-ball and softball. So only 2 games this week. I don't know if we'll know what to do with ourselves and all of this free time! I'm guessing our house will end up really clean or really messy! ;)

I have had a lot of interest in how I Monthly Meal Plan! I got the most interest in how I can go an entire month without repeating anything! So here is my plan! My "month" is a little weird... It's not the traditional month. It's because my husband gets paid every 2 weeks. One check is just salary, one is salary + commission. So our monthly budget starts from the commission check. Also, remember that this is meant to help me not stress me out! I can change these things around whenever needed. I just make sure to highlight the items I do make so that I know what ingredients I don't have any more.

And here is my Monthly Shopping List! The only thing I haven't planned out entirely is snacks, breakfasts and sides. Those are based more by what's on sale.

Here's my monthly shopping trip! I only spent $100, which is only half of our monthly budget!

Here's the details of our week:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chicken & Bean Burritos - Freezer Friendly

This recipe is a Pinterest find! I was first attracted, because I've been looking for things I can make ahead, freeze and pull out when needed. This recipe seemed to offer all of that! But I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about how much I would really like them.... But we all loved them!

They were easy to make, cheap, quick to heat up, delicious and very filling! That's my kind of meal!

This is a great meal for dinner, a dinner on the go or a quick lunch or snack!

Here is a list of all my new recipes!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

God's Promise to Parents

"This is gonna hurt me more than it's going to hurt you!" 

Did you ever hear this from your Mom or Dad??? Or how about this one...

"I'm doing this because I love you!"

I can remember my Mom saying both of these to me. WHAT?!?! *cue the eye rolling* Back then I could have sworn she had lost it!

Fast forward to now and I've finally been "lucky" enough to know what that means!

Disciplining your children is hard work! And it doesn't seem very fulfilling either!

It is so much easier to just ignore bad behavior. My husband and I are constantly busy and exhausted. We could easily do it. Every once in awhile we could just yell at them to, "Stop it!"

But as Christians, that's not what we're called to.....

~ Proverbs 22:6
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

We cannot ignore misbehaving or back talk. We can't just count down our time left until our children are grown. We can't just do the bare minimum!

We can't even just PRAY for our children! We have to TRAIN our children!

This actually calls for another action, too... Study God's Word!

How can we be capable to "train them in the way they should go", if we have lost our way???

~ Proverbs 29:15
"The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother."

I want nothing more than to "impart wisdom" to my children, but in order to do that I must be looking to the Source! 

I have quickly learned that parenting is not a job that can be done alone!

If I am not properly equipped with God's tools then I will be unable to do my job. 

While this may sound like an insurmountable job, don't lose hope. For after the work... Comes the reward!

Once you train your child, they "will not turn from it."

So as I feel I don't have the energy to give another correction. Or I just can't bare to see my child be upset and cry over being punished. Or I feel I am wasting my time constantly correcting the same bad behavior over and over again... I will remember and trust that God always keeps His promises!

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Meal Plan 05/14 - 05/20

Well I hope everyone enjoyed their Mother's Day Weekend! I hope you were spoiled rotten and loved on your own Mother's! I had a great day!

My day was started by my 7 year old bringing me breakfast in bed! She made it all by herself! Super sweet coffee, burnt peanut butter toast, cereal w/ milk (that I question where she got because I thought we were out), and decorated with blueberries straight out of the container! :)

Then we went to church, which Isaac insisted he needed to be "dressed up" for... With his tucked in shirt, belt and tie! Gotta love a fashionable man! I think he gets it from his Dad!

After church we all went to the grocery store to pick up what my husband was cooking for dinner! The bill was high, but it was the price I was willing to pay for a meal I didn't have to cook or clean up! When we got home, I was served lunch and the kids cleaned up the house! Then I got to open up my present... According to Isaac they got me a "chandelier"! :)

After that I met a friend for coffee! That was a great treat! It was a gorgeous day and we just sat outside and enjoyed the weather and getting to talk without interruptions from our kids or husbands! Lol 

My Mom, brother and sister came over for dinner and she brought dessert! It was delish! My husband did a great job and managed to not stress out too much! The girls played in their room, Greg played ball with the boys and my Mom and I got to sit and chat alone some! It was really a great day!

It was the perfect day after a Saturday of 12 hours of baseball! We had 4 games! Thankfully it was great weather! When I met my husband, baseball was his favorite sport and my most hated sport! I couldn't even stand to watch it! I thought it was sooo boring! Never would I have thought that I would enjoy spending my days out at the baseball field! I have come to love the game and even learned some things too! :)

My Meal Plan last week was a blur! We were so busy I don't even know what we ate to be honest! I know Tuesday we ended up going by Chic-fil-a for their Kids Eat Free night after a late game! The 6 of us ate for $20!!! That's a steal! I didn't even know it existed!

I also found a new series over at Money Making Mom that inspired me this week! She is doing one thing a day to stock in her freezer! There are a lot of things you can do in a few minutes! 

Here's what I did this week:
  • Cooked the Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot - we did eat it for dinner one night, but I'm going to use the leftover meat today for burritos. I think I'm going to try to cook another one this week. we'll see how that goes!
  • Homemade Tortillas - for the burritos and extras for the freezer
  • PB&J Sandwiches - this is genius! I made about 10 sandwiches in 10 minutes! Great to grab when your running late in the morning, don't have time to make lunch, or realize last minute you'll be out for lunch! 
  • Homemade Granola - Not for the freezer, but for the pantry 
  • Greek Chicken baggie

 Here's the details for this week:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Homemade Granola

As I have shared before, I am trying my best to take small steps to eat healthier. I wouldn't say that our diet was completely unhealthy before, but there's always room for improvements to be made! A part of that improvement is to make more things homemade.

Through Pinterest I found a ton of Homemade Granola recipes. This is a good basic one that I found. But there are all different ways you can tweak it to your taste buds!

This is also super frugal! I bought the oats for only $2.97 and it's made about 3 batches. The honey was only $2.50 and that will be good for about 3 batches, too. So that's only about $2.00 a batch considering the other ingredients! Also, a little goes a long way and is very filling.

Beware: This won't last long in your house! My kids love it! There are endless ways to to enjoy this... With milk as cereal, baked in milk, in yogurt, with fruit, with dried fruit, etc.


Here's the recipe:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Farm Fresh 05/09

Total Sale Amount = $36.11
Total Amount PAID = $24.35
Gas Rewards = $0.03

This is a small trip with only a few sale items. Nothing too impressive, but all prices I was very happy with. Except for the hummus. It is on sale for $3.00 and I had a $1.00 off coupon, making it $1.00... But it had expired. :( 

I decided to stock up on the juice mixes. We always seem to go through them faster in the summer, since the kids are home all day.

And the juice boxes were a good price at only $1.49 each, but I only got them because I have snack for my daughters softball game tomorrow.

(3) Kool-Aid Jammers $1.99 ea. 
 - $0.75/3 coupon SS 05/06 = $1.49 ea.

(2) Country Time Pink Lemonade $2.50 ea.
 - $1.00/2 coupon SS 05/06 = $1.50 ea.

Texas Toast Croutons $1.25 ea. 
 - $0.50 coupon = $0.25

(2) Planters Natural Peanut Butter $2.49 ea.
 - $1.00/2 coupon 05/06 = $1.49 ea.
*Great price for peanut butter!

(2) Cheerios $2.99 ea. 
 - $1.00/2 coupon = $1.99 ea.

(15) Kool Aid Drink Mixe Packets 7/$1.00
  - Buy 10 Get 5 FREE coupon SS 05/06 = $0.90 for all 15 = 0.06 ea.
*For some reason the girl typed in $1.25 for this coupon... Works for me!

Land O Frost lunchmeat 20oz. $6.99
 - $1.00 sticker coupon = $4.99

Sabra Hummus $3.00

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Meal Plan 05/07 - 05/13

This was another full week in our house! Lots of games, practices and my husband traveling. I wrote a bit about this HERE. We were fortunate enough to end the weekend with my Mom having ALL 4 children spend the night on Saturday night! My husband and I actually got to have a date. We used a gift card we still had from Christmas!

Last weeks meal plan was mostly a success. Although we did eat at home, we didn't eat what I had planned! Lol But no worries, because since I had my monthly shopping done we have lots of ingredients for different meals. So we'll just switch around some of the other meals I have planned on my monthly meal plan! The bottom line is we're eating at home!

Since I didn't end up cooking my whole chicken in the crock pot last week, I'm going to do it this week and plan on making a lot of freezer meals with it. I'll post about how it goes. I have found that on nights when my daughter has her softball games eating at home is difficult! Between getting there an hour early to warm up and then getting home after their 'talk' we leave too early to eat before & get home too late to wait to eat. So this week I'm going to try to make some meals that can be eaten on the go! We'll see what I come up with on Pinterest

I'll also be posting Friday about how it went making Granola! It was delish!

We have about 2 practices & 7 games this week, so I'll be lucky if we eat at all! Wish me luck!

Any suggestions for meals that can be eaten on the go??? Or stocked in the freezer individually?

Here's the details for this week:

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Slight Problem...

So this is my family! Aren't they a good looking bunch???

As you can probably tell they are each full of personality! Completely unique!

Dilon is the "mature" one, but laughs at everything! (I don't know where she gets it from!?)
Gregory is the "quiet" and goofy one! (I guess compared to his sisters anything is quiet.)
Hannah is the wild and strong-willed one! (Definitely like her father!)
Isaac is clever and full of energy!

I am very thankful for all the fun that they bring to our family... The problem???

Lately, whenever they are misbehaving and I am trying to reprimand them... 
I laugh!!!

I don't know what my problem!?! It keeps happening. Like multiple times a day! Even when I am legitimately mad about something!!!

Normally, I can keep it together and laugh in private when the situation is over, but lately I cannot control myself! 

We will be in a full out heated moment of discipline and all of the sudden I start smiling! It's so frustrating!!! And quite confusing to my kids, I might add! They either get mad at me for "laughing at them" or they think that I'm not serious!

I try to say through my giggles, "Just because I'm laughing doesn't mean I'm not serious!" Try explaining that to a 4-year-old!!!

I'm pretty sure I'm losing my 'hard-core parent' persona! That's all I've got, considering my size is not quite intimidating!

Part of it is that my kids are quite witty! Especially my almost 8 year old Hannah Grace! I find that I get sucked into these arguments, explaining why she is in trouble, even though she knows full and well what is the problem! By the end of it, I realize how ridiculous the whole conversation was... Cue the laughter! This scenario happens often. Normally my husband has to step in! I feel more like I'm fighting with my little sister than my daughter!

It is also common when I am just over everything... Ya know those moments when your kids and other things, but mostly kids, have just worn you down so much that you don't even care anymore?!

A perfect example of this would be last night.

Let me set the stage: 
 - First, my husband is out of town on business. This is the 1st reason for my stress level being a bit high.
 - Then my oldest son, Bob had waited until the last minute to finish his History project! Of course, this required about a bazillion photos!
 - Bob had practice from 6-8:30pm, which left ME at home to get all the photos! Again, high stress!
 - I had having difficulty getting all the photos uploaded from my computer.
 - So, after I picked him up from practice, we all went to Walgreens.
 - I had to upload more photos from my camera. This would normally only take about 5 minutes, but I had about 600 photos on my camera and of course, everyone wanted to see how they looked in every photo and have a reminiscent moment of the past events! I was NOT in the mood!
 - Once everything was finally uploaded we had to wait for them to be printed! Please tell me why every time I get photos printed "the machine crashes"??? Ugh! 
 - So they asked, "Would you mind waiting for about 10 minutes?" I responded with, "Of course. Not a problem." What I should have said is, "I'll wait at your own risk... My kids will most likely scare out all of your customers while we're here!" Poor guy was a teenager, he didn't know what he was asking of me!

So, 10 minutes to 'window shop' with 4 kids at 9:30 at night... You do the math!  

We were all delirious! I felt crazy from telling my kids about 1000000000 times to "stop touching stuff" and "quit yelling"!

At one point, I must've told my girls about 10 times to stop dancing & cheering in the toilet paper aisle! I then look over at my 11-year-old Dilon, backing it up on a stranger!!! This poor girl was just trying to get around her down the aisle, but couldn't because Dilon is doing the booty pop! 

I lost it! I couldn't even reprimand her, because I was laughing so hard... We all were! Well, minus the inconvenienced lady! Needless to say she was embarrassed and that seemed like enough punishment in and of itself!

From that moment on I couldn't even hold it together! It was all down hill from there! I'm pretty sure that in that moment, the phrase "Kids bouncing off the walls" was literally coming to fruition at this point!

By the time I left there I knew that whole store was thinking, "That terrible young mother. She just doesn't even care how their acting." But the truth is I DO!!! I just can't keep a straight face while doing so!

**I don't know what to do about this... Any advice? Has this happened to you??? Just lie to me, if it hasn't. I'm okay with that. What are your thoughts?

P.S. Walgreens called me right after I had left, to inform me that they forgotten to give me some of my pictures. They were still left on the machine. Pretty sure this is proof of the effort they were making to rush me out of the store! Just sayin...

Shared with:
Making your home sing Mondays

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Farm Fresh Trip 05/02

Total Sale Price = $51.81
Total Price Paid = $35.82
SAVED w/ Coupons = $15.99
Gas Rewards $0.04/gal.

It's been a long time since I've been to Farm Fresh on a Wednesday! But there were a few good deals that was worth the trip! I went with my kids right after Isaac's t-ball game. We were in and out within 45 minutes!

I split my items up into 2 transactions. First I bought the ice cream b/c I got a $4.00 CAT coupon. So I used that on the rest of my items to lower the cost.

They were decently stocked with sale items. However, I did have to get a rain check for the BOGO Dog Treats and the Mission Tortillas. Make sure you get the rain checks! They are a great way to ensure you save money in the future!

Here's the details: