Another day out, another day into the stores

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I dropped Michelle off and intended to run to the dollar store to buy a bag of rice for the mexican dinner I'd planned on for that night. I know $1/lb is a steep price for rice but figured that would be a cheaper option then running into Walmart. I was kind of right. It cost me $15+ for my bag of rice. But who knows how much it would've cost in the megastore! Actually I bought rice, salsa and marinated artichokes (treat for the car...they were oily and not very tasty). The rest was stuff we NEEDED! I just didn't realize it until I saw it. lol

Then I ran to pick Michelle up. I was a few minutes early so ran into Real Deals to pick up a few crocheting things. Karamel Korn, 2pks cookies and 2 berry juices ended up in my hands for another $3 spent.

Michelle wanted to get some things that were on sale at BJ's. Back in we went. I ended up picking a few things up while we were in there...

3.96 - 4 pkgs grill n spray (cooking spray) 2pks
3.79 - gallon orange juice
4.39 - 2lb bag romaine lettuce
6.49 - 6pk black olives
7.89 - 48pk ramen noodles

BJ's Total - $26.12

Day's Total - 32.12

Running total since 10/17 - $1271.39

Menu...November 23 - 29

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I have NO idea what I'm making for tonight's dinner, much less the rest of the week. I'm glad this makes me think about it so I don't have to deal with "What's for dinner?" all day long, everyday.

Sunday... Church potluck for lunch...made chicken alfredo, Tom made dinner...doctored up cream of mushroom soup (added burger, dried onions, and green beans) was pretty yummy! We decided it would be good on toast.

Monday... Beef roast, pasta salad (gravy saved for Wed)
Tuesday... FFY..snacks, cereal, sandwiches
Wednesday... Burger and gravy over egg noodles (might turn it into stroganoff)
Thursday... Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house
Friday... Michelle bought fixings for ham dinner....might do it this day. If not then Saturday.
Saturday... Up in the air....might do a smorgasbord of small dishes (only have cheese for 2 pizzas) or mexican dinner of burritos, tacitos, bean dip, etc.

Catching up on the numbers

I went shopping last Thursday and then again on Monday. Unfortunately I lost a few of the receipts. The walmart I needed because I'd also bought a bunch of nonfood things so can't just use the receipt. Fortunately I THINK I remember everything I bought. The price chopper one isn't so important since almost everything I bought was food (outside of a few boxes of baggies and pkgs of stryofoam plates).


$21.97 - BJ's Wholesale Club - Pushpops, Cheez-its, assorted muffins

$53.18 - Walmart - Croissants, cheesecake, red velvet cake, 2lbs deli turkey, 3 bunches celery, cucumber, green pepper, 2 skim milk, 2 1% milk, 2qts plain yogurt, 2 bags tortilla chips, mustard, 3lbs margarine, 1lb garden rotini, 2 8pks gum, 4 strawberry milk (car ride home)

$1.00 - Dollartree - bag of gingersnaps

$76.15 - Thursday's Total
$84.45 - Monday/Price Chopper total

$160.60 - Total for both days

Running total since 10/17 - $1239.27

So how did the week fare?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

As I predicted...I didn't follow the rest of the week's plan. The roast took way too long to defrost in the fridge and is still waiting for me to cook it. Probably for Sunday night dinner...Monday at the latest. Saturday wasn't a complete loss though...Michelle did cook chicken patties. She just added a whole lot more then corn to it. lol She always makes things fun for the kids. So what did the rest of the week look like?

Thursday... Alfredo egg noodles and boiled shrimp
Friday... Chicken fried rice
Saturday... Michelle make the a smörgåsbord of things....chicken patties, black olives, oatmeals, boxed mac and cheese, baby food (apricots with apples and pears), tuna on crackers, celery with peanut butter and/or ranch to dip it in. At least I think that's all they had...I could be wrong.

Now to think out a decent followable plan for the coming week.

Oh and Tom messed up my shopping gig here a bit. He went to Aldi's, bought a few things and then lost the receipt. He swears it wasn't more then $15 though. So I'll just add in $15 to the running total. I know he bought...

A case of canned corn
3 jars of instant coffee
2 loaves of bread
2 bags of nacho chips
1 bag of pretzels
a few bags of candy

Running total since 10/17... $1078.67

Walmart 11/16

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

3.22 Bananas - $.48/lb
1.64 Pt heavy cream
4.90 2 gallons 1% milk
4.70 2 gallons skim milk
3.88 gallon orange juice
1.02 3 half pint cartons strawberry milk (for in car)
2.28 GV raisins
.84 GV mustard
.50 chili powder
.50 ground red pepper
1.00 black pepper
.98 imitation vanilla
3.98 ground cloves
1.00 Mini marshmallows (christmas cookies)
1.48 GV cornflakes (christmas cookies)
1.68 2 boxes cornstarch (christmas cookies)
1.66 peel and pull twizzlers (christmas cookies)
.64 M&M mini canister (christmas cookies)
3.50 12pk water w/ sport tops (for school kids)

Total - $39.87 (39.40 + $.47 tax)

Running total since 10/17 - $1063.67

How many eggs does it take?

With our hens starting to lay, our fridge was getting full of eggs. We're getting between 8 and 10 eggs a day now with more hens to start up as we go (today I got 11 eggs!). So after 2.5 wks of gathering we needed to deal with the surplus. That can only mean one thing....scrambled eggs for dinner!!!!

So I gathered the ingredients...

That's 2 short of 7 dozen eggs (yes, those are green eggs...aren't they pretty!) They're on the small side....starting to become medium.
1 bag of precooked and previously frozen bacon
shredded mexican cheese blend
green pepper (I added another pepper after I took the picture)
and a yellow onion

Because some people in this house have aversions to onions (makes them physically ill) I made 2 large pans of with onion and one without...all the other ingredients were the same. Usually when I make scrambled eggs I dole out the servings and there isn't any left for seconds. For the first time in a while everyone was allowed to eat as much as they wanted.

Dinner was declared a hit. I'm left wondering many weeks can we have scrambled eggs before the kids stage a revolt? We'll have to start getting creative with them.

Care to share any favorite dishes that use lots of eggs?

Menu...November 16 - 22

Running a little behind here. The good part is that we've kept to half the food plan. The bad part is that there's still half of it to not follow. lol

Sunday... Sloppy Joes and corn
Monday... Spanish Rice
Tuesday... Scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes
Wednesday... Pizza
Thursday... Roast beef, pasta salad, peas
Friday... Homemade macaroni and cheese, green beans
Saturday... Parent's night have chicken patty sandwiches, corn

A chilly rainy day

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm sitting here under a blanket, smelling the pot of bean and bacon soup Tom has simmering on the stove. YUM! It's a perfect soup day. I've mentioned to Tom and the kids what I've been doing here with my grocery trips. Tom, not doing the major shopping very much was shocked at how much I've spent in less then a month. I don't blame him I tend to look at the amount and say OMGosh too. But it takes a lot of food to feed a lot of people. In the grand scheme of things $250 a week isn't unheard of, especially for 12 people. Still, it's more then I'm used to spending or would like to spend ($0 would be nice thankyouverymuch lol).

$250/wk isn't accurate either since what I bought will be eaten over the next few weeks instead of when I bought it. I know I'll still be spending money those weeks, just not the huge chunks like I just did. Unless of course I fall into the common shopaholic trap of thinking it's ok to shop and spend since it's food. I know I've done it before and can easily do it now. I mean here I'd just bought a boatload of groceries and I was still checking out grocery ads on Sunday. Not a good idea. Especially when I saw the chicken breasts I bought for $1.69/lb last week on sale at the same store for $1.39!!! Boooo! (hmmmm I'm going into the dentist again on Friday...should I buy another few bags? lol) If I was comfortable with my pressure cooker I could buy a bunch and can it. Then I wouldn't have to worry about having freezer space. But I'm not yet. Guess you have to start somewhere. I'll think about it.

So yesterday we went off plan already. I never got spanish rice going so told the kids to have nachos and sandwiches. I think we'll have spanish rice on Wed and move the Shrimp alfredo to Friday, but not positive yet.

I think in the next day or so I'll be taking inventory. Then I can get an acurrate picture of how far what I've purchased in the last few weeks will last.

Wegmans 11/10

Yep, I went shopping again! I guess the amount I already spent wasn't obscene enough....we had to go for XXX! Actually Wegmans has lowered their prices on a bunch of staples for the holidays. We were out of milk so decided I'd go there and pick up cheap staples while I could. I'm getting to the point that I'm going to have to invest in a few totes for storage. Way back when (before my life was devoted to driving in the OPPOSITE direction everyday) I had a Sam's club membership and bought 25 - 50lbs of bread flour every 2wks. Now that I'm not making bread as much (but want to get back to that again) I haven't needed the huge supply so 20lbs here or there was fine and my totes were relegated to other tasks. (like a chicken nesting box lol) I don't think I want to reclaim them for my flour bins.

6.32 8 loaves homestyle bread
.99 loaf giant bread
24.32 80% ground beef - $1.99/lb
4.70 2 gallons skim milk
4.78 2 gallons 1% milk
1.98 2 bags brown sugar
1.98 2 bags powdered sugar
3.98 2 bags granulated sugar
2.98 2 bags flour
8.28 12 cans tutrosso crushed tomatoes
8.28 12 cans tutrosso tomato puree
2.07 3 cans cranberry sauce
8.76 4 large bags frozen corn
.89 bag frozen corn, 1# (mistake...missed putting it back)
2.67 3 bags frozen mixed vegetables, 1#
3.98 2 boxes cinnamon square cereal
3.19 large jar spanish olives
1.98 2 muffins (eaten in the by me)
1.49 Edy's frozen fruit bar (eaten in car...not by me lol)

Total - $94.38 ($94.22 + $.16 tax)

Running total since 10/17 - $1023.80

Menu...November 9 - 15

Monday, November 10, 2008

Having spent an obscene amount on groceries this last week, you'd think this meal planning gig would be easy. Then why can't I just whip 7 meals off the top of my head and be done with it??? Thinking....thinking...thinking....

Sunday... UB's birthday dinner...Steak, salad, french bread, chips, cheesecake
Monday... Spanish rice
Tuesday... In honor of Veteran's day...NAVY bean and bacon soup, bread
Wednesday... Shrimp alfredo and linguini
Thursday... Dentist appointment...has to be easy...Chicken patty sandwiches, carrots and dip
Friday... Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Saturday... Beef roast

Walmart 11/08

Saturday, November 08, 2008

From BJ's it was onto Walmart. The place was PACKED! Almost all the registers were open and there were 3 or 4 waiting in each line. I hate shopping on Saturday!

3.92 - Bananas, $.48/lb
4.95 - 5 bags baby carrots
2.40 - 2 pkgs sub rolls, 10ct ea
4.38 - 6 pkgs blue bonnet margarine
7.56 - 2 jars GV instant coffee
1.96 - 2 bags dried black beans
1.28 - GV BBQ sauce
3.27 - GV ranch dressing
2.87 - GV Mayo
1.72 - GV sweet relish
2.82 - Hanover frozen dutch pretzels
5.56 - 4 boxed GV snack crackers
1.57 - GV double cross wheat crackers
1.38 - GV wheat thin crackers
2.36 - GV regular oatmeal canister
2.94 - 2 bags white corn chip
2.38 - 2 bags honey wheat pretzels
1.53 - GV cheese puffs
2.36 - 2 bags GV mini pretzels
.98 - chicken taco (I was STARVING!)
.98 - chicken eggroll (ate that immediately too)
6.08 - 5qt vanilla ice cream

Total - $65.41 - ($65.25 + $.16 tax)

Running total since 10/17 - $929.42

BJ's Wholesale Club 11/08

I went shopping AGAIN! This time to BJ's and Walmart after dropping Michelle off at work. I wanted to get something for UB's birthday dinner which is tomorrow. I ended up stocking up too. And of course the $10 off 5 products coupon enticed me to buy some convenience foods and snacks.

2.99 - Onion bagels, 12ct
2.99 - Assorted bagels, 12ct
4.99 - Ceasar croutons
5.29 - Banana nut cheerios - c
3.99 - Kosher Dills, whole - gallon
5.99 - Black olives, 6pk
4.99 - B&J Ketchup, 2pk
6.49 - Vidalia onion dressing, 2pk
5.49 - Good season's Italian dressing, 10pl - c
4.59 - Romaine lettuce, 2#
6.98 - 2 Green giant corn, 8pks - c
43.21 - Beef variety pack - $2.99/lb
8.99 - Chicken on the Sea chunk light tuna, 12pk
7.59 - Oscar Mayer smoked turkey slices, 2#
8.49 - Smithfield Honey ham, 3#
6.99 - Genoa salami, 2#
8.99 - Wesley Farm Butter, 4pk
5.49 - Yoplait yogurt cups, 15pk - c
10.99 - Kraft cheese singles, 96ct
6.99 - WF Shredded colby jack cheese, 2#
6.99 - WF shredded mexican cheese, 2#
15.99 - WF shredded mozzarella cheese, 5#
6.99 - WF extra sharp cheddar cheese, 2# block
8.99 - Rozz grated Parmesan cheese
8.99 - Velveta cheese, 2# block, 2pk
8.99 - Nestle semi sweet chocolate chips
4.29 - Domino granulated sugar - 10# - c
3.99 - Chex snack mix - c
4.99 - Pringles 6pk
11.99 - Variety cheese cake - 14 slices

Total - $244.71 (no tax)

Running total since 10/17 - $864.01

Price Chopper 11/07

I got a phone call at 8:40 yesterday morning and before I knew it...I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. My SIL, Della, was going to Price Chopper and was I interested in going too? They were leaving in 10mins or so. While I had planned a grocery shopping trip, I wasn't planning on leaving THAT early. Sean was in his highchair covered in yogurt. Not being driven by rational thought I said SURE! Within no time we were ready and waiting for her to pick us up. We had a good time and the kids had fun being together. Thankfully we also had a helper...Della's daughter.

Notes include...

# = pounds
! = sale or clearance
* = buy one get one free
** = buy one get two free
c = used a coupon

3.00 - 2 bags fresh spinach - !
2.99 - green peppers - 2#
3.44 - on the vine tomatoes - $.99/lb
6.12 - 3 gallons skim milk - c
3.19 - Gallon Arnold Palmer tea
13.70 - raw shrimp - $2.99/lb
2.00 - 2 loaves french bread - !
2.99 - Western rolls - 24 count - !
.99 - Clear Value oyster crackers
4.97 - 3 boxes frozen pierogis - !
4.97 - 3 bags frozen cheese raviolis - !
4.50 - 3 pkgs wide egg noodles - !
1.29 - Price chopper garden rotini
4.99 - 12 pk boxed price chopper Mac and Cheese
1.99 - Price chopper colby cheese - 8oz block - !
1.99 - Price Chopper swiss cheese - 8oz block - !
1.99 - Price Chopper Monterey jack Jalapeño cheese - 8oz block - !
3.98 - Price Chopper extra sharp cheddar cheese - 8oz block - !
2.58 - 2 price chopper sour cream - !
3.38 - 2 cans price chopper pie filling - !
6.25 - 5 cans campbell's chunky new england clam chowder - !
2.50 - 2 cans campbell's chunky chicken and rice soup - !
1.25 - 1 can campbell's chunky sirloin burger soup - !
2.99 - 4 pk price chopper chunk light tuna
4.79 - Taster choice instant coffee - c
1.50 - price chopper vinegar - !
1.50 - Price chopper blue cheese dressing - !
1.50 - Price chopper thousand island dressing - !
1.50 - Price chopper honey dijon dressing - !
1.50 - Price chopper italian dressing - !
1.50 - Price chopper raspberry vinaigrette dressing - !
1.50 - Price chopper bacon ranch dressing - !
2.99 - Clear Value Fruit Ring Cereal
4.19 - 2 boxes Peanut butter cap't crunch - *
4.19 - 2 boxes crunch berry cap't crunch - *
2.19 - Juicy Fruit gum - 10pk - *
0.00 - Big Reg gum - 10pk - *
2.19 - 2 Winterfresh gum - 10pk - *
1.00 - Strawberry Creme Savers - !
1.00 - Life Saver Explosion Gummis - !
1.00 - Nips caramel chews - !
2.98 - 2 pkgs reese's peanut butter cups
2.98 - 2 pkgs kitkat bars
4.40 - 2 price chopper cream sodas - 12pk - !
2.20 - price chopper rootbeer soda - 12pk - !

Total - $136.49 ($134.64 + $1.85 tax)

Running total since 10/17 - $619.30

Had to edit since Sean was helping me post and published before it was done

LOK Kitchen Challenge Winner Announced

You can find the announcement and a list of all the participants here

Congratulations to Lisa over at The Joy of Six for her nutritious meals.

It was nice to see so many different ideas to this challenge. I'm looking forward to the next challenge in November.

I'm sure if my head wasn't firmly attached

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'd be headless many many time in my life. As I said a few minutes ago I went shopping yesterday and stocked up on a few things. It's always a good feeling to be ahead of the game. Looking at my menu from the other day I realized my easy dinner was for Friday because of my dentist appointment. Well my appointment was THURSDAY! Luckily what I had planned is something Tom likes to cook. So the kids had venison soup minus the beans. I think I'll use the beans on Saturday since we didn't do any roosters in yet.

So today (Fri) will be Lemon Chicken with brussel sprouts and I'm sure something else

Saturday will be Bean with bacon soup and breadsticks

I'm debating on whether to run up to Save-a-Lot today (it's in the oppposite direction I normally go). My fridge and cupboards are getting bare, I could do with a restock. I think we're down to a quart of milk.

MaineSource 11/6

Since I was in the suburbs for a dentist visit I decided to hit the local food and party warehouse store. I don't get there very much but their prices can be good for perishables. Pantry stuff...I'm not so sure on. Checking prices I found that BJ's Warehouse out did them by quite a bit. (Aunt Jemima pancake mix there...$4.99, BJ's...2 of the same boxes for $7.99 which with a coupon, entitled me to a free gallon of syrup ...$3.99 value) It's all in knowing your prices.

34.76 - Bonless Chicken Breast - $1.69/lb
5.78 - Bacon end & pieces - $1.49/lb
14.99 - Tyson Chicken Patties - 10#
7.99 - Frozen Strawberries - 5#
1.27 - 3 cluster tomatoes - $1.79/lb
2.93 - Brussel sprouts - $1.69/lb
8.47 - Green grapes - $1.69/lb
1.29 - 3 cucumbers - $1.29/3

Total - $77.48

Running total since 10/17 - $484.81

I'm assuming I'll be revising my menu for today. :o)

Menu...November 1 - 8

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Again we're out of propane!!! I informed the company that we were low on Wed and asked to have a delivery by the weekend so we didn't run out. Here is it 1:45 Tues afternoon and I'm still waiting. If they don't come today, they are coming to get their tank and I'm calling someone else. Even if they delivery today, it may be their last. I'm sick of dealing with this each and every month. I'm sick of going days without propane. I've asked and asked again to please be put back on automatic delivery but they haven't done it. I'll go to a company that will. (and speak of the devil here they are! I should've ranted hours ago lol)

Well I guess that means I can do my menu now and we can have Pizza tonight!

Sunday... Angel hair with sauce
Monday... Smoked Sausage, micro'ed potatoes, salad
Tuesday... Pizza, salad
Wednesday... Chicken and gravy with mashed potatoes
Thursday... Venison and bean soup, bread
Friday... Breakfast for dinner....pancakes and eggs (need something quick, have a dentist appt that day)
Saturday... Roasted Roosters (if we cull the roosters down on Thurs) TBD (to be determined) if no roosters on Thurs.

I'm not so gung ho on this menu. That means I'll probably be revising things later in the week.

A day late and a dollar short as usual...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I've been meaning to do the LOK Kitchen Challenge all month. My camera has been "borrowed" for the long term by someone who will remain nameless. (think they'd be happy if I said Merry Christmas and then bought myself a new one with my income tax refund? lol) I'd have to buy the ingredients since we're eating out of our freezer right now with lots of venison and I can't include that into the price of the meals...and I can't buy it right now.

So I'm doing it unofficially and with a little twist to show that it's not so hard to do. No pictures, no actual meals made but all actual prices used. While I've noticed people not using what they paid for things because they buy in bulk or from a discount store like Aldi's. I say too bad!!! I'm not getting an expotential amount of money ($10 for 4 people so 12 people should get $30 with all things being fair). So I'm allowing myself to use my price cutting tricks to help me make my meals (buying bulk from apple farm, shopping at wholesale clubs and discount markets). I've noted the store on parenthesis that has the price I quote

The way I figured things was I'd try to keep my meals within a certain price frame...$4 each for breakfast and lunch...$7 for dinner. I'm feeding 12 people. My estimated cost of bread dough is under $1 for a 2 loaf recipe.


Eggs, Toast, Bananas $3.90
2.40... 2 dozen eggs (BJ wholesale)
1.00... 2 loaves of bread (see note above)
.48... 1 lb bananas (walmart)

Apple Oatmeal $3.50
1.55... 2/3 box of Walmart oatmeal (30 servings/container)
1.00... lots of apples (apple farm)
.60... quart of milk (walmart)
.35... 1/2 pound brown sugar (BJ wholesale)

Pancakes, Bananas $3.64
1.20... box pancake mix (aldi)
.60... 1/2 bottle pancake syrup (Aldi)
.40... 2 sticks margarine (walmart)
1.44... 3 lbs bananas

Yogurt with Bananas and brown sugar, Toast $3.76
1.00... 2 loaves bread
.98... 2 lbs bananas
1.60... 8 cups homemade yogurt
.18... 1/4 lb brown sugar

Frozen Waffles with ice cream $3.62
2.40... 24 frozen waffles (dollar store)
1.22... quart ice cream (walmart)

Peanut Butter Toast, Bananas $3.44
1.00... 2 loaves of bread
1.00... jar of peanut butter
1.44... 3 lbs bananas

French Toast $3.68
2.00... 4 loaves of bread
.80... 8 eggs
.30... 2 cups milk
.40... 2 sticks margarine
.18... 1/4 pound confectionary sugar


Any of the meals above, any leftovers from dinner

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches $4.00
1.50... 3 loaves of bread
1.00... jar of peanut butter
.50... jelly/jam
.99... 1 lb baby carrots (walmart)

Baked Potatoes and toppings $3.77
1.44... 8 lbs baked potatoes (apple farm)
.40... 2 sticks margarine
1.33... pt of sour cream (BJ's wholesale)
1.00... half jar of salsa (walmart)

Black bean and cheese quesadillas $4.00
1.00... double batch homemade tortillas
2.00... 8 oz shredded taco cheese (walmart)
.50... can of black beans (aldi's)
.50... 1/4 jar salsa

Ramen noodles with veggies, apple slices $3.86
2.00... 12 pkgs ramen noodles (BJ's wholesale)
.37... can of sweet corn
.37... can of green beans
.37... can of sweet peas
.75... apple slices

Boxed Mac and Cheese with broccoli $3.70
2.00... 4 boxes Mac and Cheese (Aldi's)
.40... 2 sticks margarine
.30... 2 cups milk
1.00... 1 lb frozen broccoli (BJ's wholesale)


Chicken and gravy, mashed potatoes, bread $5.99
3.00... 3 lbs chicken thighs (BJ's Wholesale)
.50... chicken boullion
1.44... 8 lbs potatoes
1.00... bread
.40... 2 sticks margarine

Cowboy Beans $6.90
2.00... 2 lbs hot dogs (walmart)
3.00... 9 cans pork and beans (aldi's)
.50... onion
1.00... bread
.40... 2 sticks margarine

Spaghetti, bread $5.80
2.40... 3 lbs spaghetti (BJ's wholesale)
2.00... 2 cans spaghetti sauce (price chopper)
1.00... bread
.40... 2 sticks margarine

Spanish Rice $6.50
2.00... 1 lb ground beef
.50... green pepper
1.00... 1.5 lbs rice (4 cups) (BJ's wholesale)
.40... 2 sticks margarine
1.60... 2 cans crushed tomatoes/puree (wegmans)
1.00... can of whole tomatoes (wegmans)

Chili $6.76
2.00... 1 lb ground beef
.50... green pepper
.66... 2 pkts chili seasoning (dollar store)
1.60... 2 cans crushed tomatoes/puree
1.00... can of whole tomatoes
1.00... bag of dried kidney beans

Chicken noodle soup $6.22
3.00... 3 lbs chicken thighs
.50... boullion
1.00... wide egg noodles
.40... 2 lbs potatoes
.66... 2 cans green beans
.33... 1 can sweet corn
.33... 1 can sweet peas

Bean and Cheese burritos
2.44... 2 lg cans refried beans
1.00... double batch homemade tortillas

Stir Fry $6.90
.60... 3 cups rice
3.00... 3 lb broccoli normandy (BJ's wholesale)
3.00... 3 lbs meat (this week different stores in the area have pot roast, boneless breast, ground beef, and assorted pork chops for $1.99 or less)
soy sauce and brown sugar for

So pick and choose. Could my family survive on this? Yes. Would they be happy? No! The might with a few dollars alloted to me a day. Giving us room for an after school and/or bedtime snack. Figuring most of my meals left a tiny bit of change left I figured I'd include a cheap snack category too. I'll keep them at $1.50 or less

Apple slices with peanut butter
Popcorn...various flavors
Pretzels with honey and mustard dip
Baby carrots and dip

Hmmm...getting ready to post this I looked back at the rules. I see I broke the dinner must include sides rule. It took much work to not post, (took me 2 days!) so I'm going to post it anyways. Thing is, this is how we eat...a large amount of a dish with bread as a filler if need be. I guess it's a good thing it's unofficial. lol

Walmart 10/29

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shopping AGAIN! Seems like I do it WAY too much.

5.94 - 6 water refilled containers - 3gal each
3.78 - GV instant coffee
9.60 - 4 gallons skim milk
8.00 - 4 Kraft extra sharp cheese, 8oz blocks
4.00 - 2 Kraft colby jack cheese, 8oz blocks
8.00 - 4 Kraft shredded mozzarella cheese, 8oz
4.00 - 4 Kraft shredded italian cheese. 8oz
6.00 - 6 Kraft shredded taco cheese, 8oz
4.38 - 6 lbs blue bonnet margarine, sticks
6.08 - 5qt bucket strawberry swirl ice cream
3.98 - bag banquet chicken patties, 12 ct
2.00 - Sam's choice salsa
3.27 - GV ranch dressing
4.58 - GV sugar, 10#
2.36 - GV oatmeal
2.78 - 2 GV snack crackers
1.24 - GV white bread
1.47 - White corn chips
1.12 - Bite size tortilla chips
1.53 - GV crunchy cheese curls
1.53 - GV cheese puffs
1.18 - GV mini pretzel twists
.33 - reeses peanut butter cups (snack in car)
.33 - hershey chocolate bar w/almonds (snack in car)

Total - $87.94 ($87.42 + $.52 tax)

Running total since 10/17 - $407.33

Apple farm 10/24

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I almost forgot the apple farm we went to on Friday! The kids had the day off. (a little out of order but won't hurt anything...don't want to mess with posting times and running totals now)

25.00 - 5 grocery bags of apples (approx 100#)
12.00 - bushel box of butternut squash
9.00 - 50# chef's potatoes
3.00 - HUGE head of cauliflower
4.50 - cinnamon rolls (treat for the car)

Total - $53.00

Running total since 10/17 - $319.39

BJ's Wholesale Club 10/25

Catching up on my shopping trips...
Notes include...

# = pounds
! = sale or clearance
* = buy one get one free
** = buy one get two free
c = used a coupon

3.49 - Hannah Montana fruit roll ups - 42ct C
5.99 - 2 Dunkroos - 24ct *
8.69 - Act II microwave popcorn - 36ct
2.79 - Domino brown sugar - 4#
7.99 - Gold Medal flour - 20#
7.99 - Child's play candy mix (Danielle bought with birthday money)
7.89 - Maruchan ramen noodle - 48ct
2.99 - onion bagels - 12ct
2.99 - assorted bagels - 12ct
2.59 - garden salad mix - 3#
4.59 - romaine salad mix - 2#
3.99 - Crowley sour cream - 3#
5.99 - large eggs - 5dz
3.79 - gallon orange juice
7.18 - 2 gallons apple cider
7.02 - 3 gallons skim milk

Total - $84.96 (not sure on tax...misplaced receipt)

Running total since 10/17 - $266.39

Price Chopper trip 10/21

Catching up on shopping trips

Was a quick run in before we headed to a baby shower. We hit a overflowing bakery markdown rack which I took full advantage of.

Notes include...

# = pounds
! = sale or clearance
* = buy one get one free
** = buy one get two free
c = used a coupon

13.68 - 6pkgs Boneless chicken tenderloin - $1.99/lb
3.99 - Banquet chicken patties - 12ct - !
7.98 - 2 pkgs banquet honey battered chicken nuggets - !
4.29 - 3 pkgs 12oz Kielbasa - **
4.58 - 2 gallons skim milk
3.96 - 12ct 4oz Dannon yogurt - !C
5.97 - 3 pkgs 1pound butter - sticks - !
4.00 - 4 cans 26oz DelMonte spaghetti sauce - !
4.17 - red seedless grapes - $.99/lb - !
4.41 - tote apples - $.99/lb
5.98 - 2 pkgs tangerines - 3#ea
2.50 - peanut m&m's (was bringing to the shower)- !
2.50 - 4pk choco (as it's listed on my receipt...can NOT think of what it is!)
Bakery markdown - !!!!!!!!
3.75 - 3 pkgs assorted muffins - 4ct each
3.00 - 2 loaves dark rye bread
3.00 - 3 pkgs apple crumb cake
1.00 - citrus creme cake
1.00 - strawberry creme cake
1.00 - cherry danish ring
1.00 - have no clue, overcharge maybe?

Total - $86.63 ($86.43 + $.20 tax)

Running total since 10/17 - $181.43

Menu... October 26 - 31

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday... Venison stew, bread and butter
Monday... Kielbasa with beans, salad
Tuesday... Chicken stirfry with rice
Wednesday... Venison Chili, bread sticks
Thursday... Shrimp Alfredo
Friday... Halloween...probably get $5 pizzas or dollar menu stuff.
Saturday... Harvest feast at church...dinner there

I went shopping and blew my menu

After Monday I didn't follow my menu at all.

Tuesday I left early for a baby shower and a night out (and a stop at the grocery store). I turned the fixings for potpie/pasty into chicken and rice soup which everyone said was yummy. :o)

Wednesday I fell off the menu planning wagon and went with super easy frozen honey battered chicken nuggets and tater tots.

Thursday found me going for the bags of frozen chicken products again. This time it was chicken patties. The kids micro'ed them then sliced them on top of a cheesey tortilla for chicken quesadilla.

Friday we were out on an adventure including a dinnertime stop for soft serve ice cream. So it cauliflower and dip, apples, micro'ed butternut squash (things we bought at a apple farm) and CORN.

Saturday the girls and I went out for the evening and had chinese buffet for a late lunch. We munched when we got home. The guys had nachos and whatever else they could find.

So one rule to stick with my not shop mid plan!!

Scalloped Potatoes

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I hope I can write this out correctly as this is generally a throw everything in a pan willy nilly type of dish. When my mom makes this she slices the potatoes thinly and layers everything neatly in the bowl...but I'm not my mom.

Makes 2 11x17 lasagna pans.

6 20oz bags Hash brown potatoes
6 10.5oz cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 sticks of butter
2/3 c flour
onion, chopped (optional but highly recommend)

Thinly sliced potatoes is what's originally called for. I find the hash browns quicker and they were on sale. If you use sliced potatoes you'll have to increase your cooking time (by about an hour, I'm guessing)

Mix potatoes, onions and cream of mushroom soup
spread in pan
drop pats of butter over top of potatoes
sprinkle flour over potatoes
mix a little milk into potatoes until they are loose
add more milk over potatoes until it reaches the top of the potatoes
add salt and pepper

Bake about 2hrs. Top will be golden and crispy. Potatoes will be soft.

* Due to an onion intolerance (and onion haters) I make one with onion and one without.
* If you like a "soupier" dish decrease flour and/or increase milk.
* Use caution or protect the bottom of your oven as this dish can boil over if the pan is too full.

Menu... October 19 - 25

Monday, October 20, 2008

So after the major shakeup last week I did fine. Of course it helps that I didn't have set plans for Saturday. lol What we ended up doing was munching all day. I made a huge bowl of egg salad for lunch with plenty of leftovers. Then it was CORN (clean out refrigerator night).

New week, new menu although this week I'm a bit fuzzy on how things will go. I do have the next few days planned out so that should be easy enough...

Sunday... Pizza...cheese and bacon
Monday... Scalloped Potatoes
Tuesday... Pasty or chicken pot pie
Wednesday... Venison chili, cornbread
Thursday... Spanish Rice
Friday... Beans & rice burritos, CORN (clean out refrigerator night)
Saturday... Venison Stew, biscuits

Noelle, the scalloped potatoes recipe is coming up soon. It's one of those just throw in recipes, so hard to write out.

Shopping trip to Walmart

Friday, October 17, 2008

I haven't done a shopping trip account in a while. With the increased prices and having little food allowance, I thought it would be good to keep closer track of how much I'm spending. So I guess I'll be doing shopping posts again.

6.08 - 5qt vanilla ice cream
1.44 - 2 2lts Sam's Club Root beer (and bottle deposit)
0.33 - Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (for the ride home)
2.24 - 2 pkgs GV bite size tortilla chips
2.94 - 2 pkgs GV white corn tortilla chips
2.36 - 2 pkgs GV Honey wheat braid pretzels
2.76 - 2 pks Austin individually pkg'ed crackers (cheese, PB)
1.18 - GV mini pretzels
9.56 - 4 gallons skim milk
3.88 - gallon OJ
2.97 - 3 3gal refilled drinking water (culligan machine)
3.78 - GV instant coffee
1.98 - 2 bags baby carrots
0.79 - 1 bell pepper
9.00 - 6 pkgs (20oz ea) Simply Potatoes Hash Brown potatoes
8.00 - 4 pkgs (8oz ea) Kraft shredded mozzarella cheese
4.00 - 2 pkgs (8oz ea) Kraft shredded Italian
4.00 - 2 pkgs (8oz ea) Kraft shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar
4.00 - 2 pkgs (8oz ea) Kraft shredded Mexican 4 cheese
4.00 - 2 pkgs (8oz ea) Kraft shredded Taco seasoned
3.84 - Great Value Tater tots - 5lbs
2.96 - 2 cans GV chunk light tuna
1.24 - 22oz sandwich bread
2.78 - 2 boxes GV snack crackers
3.27 - 36oz GV Ranch Dressing
2.87 - GV mayo
2.18 - GV spanish olives

Grand total - 94.80 ($94.43 + $.37 tax)

What I'll do with these...

Ice Cream and rootbeer - floats
Tortilla chips - with salsa or as nachos with taco cheese
pretzels - (girls take to school)
austin crackers - splurge for school snacks
baby carrots and ranch dressing - snack
snack crackers - snacks

Side Dishes
baby carrots and ranch dressing
Monterey jack - mac and cheese - sm batch
tater tots - side for Fri dinner
snack crackers - side with soup

tuna - lunch during the week (when kids are in school)
spanish olives & mayo - egg salad
Tortilla chips and taco cheese - nachos

bell pepper - spanish rice ingredient
hash browns - scalloped potatoes
mozz & italian cheese - pizza
mexican cheese - burritos

snack crackers - out of bread backup
loaf of bread - because the kids insist that air bread be used at times

Not sure what I left to buy to get through the next week/payday yet. Funny thing happened while shopping. Michelle and I went after she got out of work. We separated at the door and didn't meet up until the end. We BOTH ended up grabbing the 5lb bag of tater tots! Neither of us had mentioned buying it and it's something we rarely buy. I hadn't even considered them until I walked by them in the freezer. Michelle planned on getting them when she went in. Funny when we're on the same wavelength like that. It's happened to us quite a few times lately (I'll bring up a subject Michelle was just thinking of and vice versa)

As I usually do...changing things up...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 now I's a good idea to take the meat you plan for dinner that night...OUT of the freezer in a timely manner. Not a few hours beforehand. The idea of having a meal plan is so you can be prepared and prevent the last minute thinking. But Noooo! Not me, I have to ignore everything.

The turkey breast was solid as a rock when it should've been thrown into the oven, covered in it's lovely bacon'ness. I grabbed it out of the freezer and threw it into the fridge figuring we'd have it for dinner on Wednesday instead. For good measure I grabbed some hunks of venison out to defrost for Friday's dinner. Yeah me! :o)

So what to have for dinner? I grabbed a gallon baggie of chicken and stock out of the freezer and threw it in a pot. After it thawed out a bit I realized it probably wasn't enough for everyone so grabbed another bag. Pat was here and was's his favorite. He made sure to walk out the door with a plate of it. Now what to serve it over? Not enough potatoes. Rice? We were suppose to have rice the next day so I didn't really want to go in that direction. Bread...I'd made 4 loaves of bread the day before and overcooked them just a tad. They weren't burnt, just dark. It was perfect for soaking up the delicious gravy. Dinner saved!

I even have enough chicken and gravy to make potpies. This morning the turkey breast still seemed a bit solid so I decided we'd make the potpies instead. I was going to cheat and use the last few boxes of packaged pie crust in the freezer. But again, they were still abit frozen when I wanted to make the pies. I don't really feel like making rice and burritos (no cheese or sour cream....blah!) So back into the freezer I go again...VODKA SAUCE!!! So we had Saturday's dinner on Tuesday, eating Thursday's dinner on Wednesday and having Tuesday's dinner on Thursday.

Yep, it's a good thing I make meal plans or I'd be going crazy at night trying to come up with meals! ROFL!

So let's see what the mix-up did...

Tuesday... Chicken and gravy over bread
Wednesday... Vodka sauce over Penne
Thursday... Bacon wrapped wild turkey breasts
Friday... BBQ Venison Sandwiches
Saturday... Figure it out later, might go grocery shopping

Menu... October 12 - 18

Monday, October 13, 2008 I did ok until Friday when I didn't come home for dinner. I had a dentist appt that ran close to dinner. So instead of picking up the little ones and running home, we had dinner at my parents house. Those at home had eggs, cereal and/or sandwiches. Saturday I utilized the church grill we run with tasty fare such as...burgers, hot dogs, chili, sausage and peppers, chicken sandwiches and salt potatoes. No cooking for me.

Tom came home from work on Tuesday looking like Santa Claus with a sack over his shoulder. It was 55 gal trash bag with frozen venison and a wild turkey breast...all vacuum packed! I have to admit I haven't really dealt with the deer we processed this spring. So I'll have to incorporate it more. I'd love to hear your favorite recipes for venison.

So now what's for this week? Hmmm...

Sunday... Tom made a huge pot of venison soup. Was yummy
Monday... Shrimp Alfredo with linguini, garlic bread sticks
Tuesday... Bacon wrapped wild turkey breast, sauteed mixed veggies, stuffing?
Wednesday... Rice and bean burritos
Thursday... Spaghetti with vodka sauce (frozen from last time)
Friday... BBQ venison sandwiches
Saturday... Chicken and gravy over rice or biscuits

And just a reminder... Join in with...

(click the graphic above to go to the challenge for October)

Newest LOK Kitchen Challenge is up!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The LOK Cooking Challenge has been revamped to include everything, budgeting and organizing. This month's challenge goes along the lines of Kentucky Fried Chicken's tv ad to make their meal yourself for under $10 (how much it costs to buy it at KFC). You can read about it here... October's kitchen challenge

I love this type of challenge! I'll definitely be joining in and might even do 2 of them...a maximum budget ($15) one and a cheapest day I can.

How about you... are you up to the Challenge!?!

Artichoke Spinach Dip

Makes 8x8" pan

3 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 pt sour cream
2 cans artichokes, chopped
1 can spinach, drained VERY well
1 - 1.5 cups parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp garlic powder

Mix cream cheese and sour cream together
add other ingredients and mix well
spread evenly in 8" square pan
bake in 350° oven for 20mins until warmed through and turning golden around edges
Serve with tortilla chips or wheat crackers

Broccoli Soup

Makes 8qts

6lbs frozen broccoli
1/2 lb butter/margarine
12 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 - 1pt sour cream (optional)

Fill the 8qt pan with 1 - 2 inches of water
add butter, bouillon and broccoli
cook 20 - 30 mins until broccoli is soft
stir and mash occasionally
at end of cooking time mash until desired consistency (smooth or chunky)
add milk to taste (I usually add enough to make the pot full)
add some hot soup to sour cream to thin out,
stir sour cream into soup and heat for another minute or so

Menu... October 5 - 11

Monday, October 06, 2008

Yeah yeah I know...think up a menu for crying out loud! I've got 2 days done....does that count? lol

Sunday we had a late dinner since Pat took all his siblings out apple picking. Tom and I were busy butchering 6 roosters while they were out. So I threw together a pot of Broccoli soup (recipe coming up after I'm done here). It was nice to get something out quickly that everyone was looking forward to eating (it's been a while since I've made it). So now onto the rest of the week....

Sunday... Broccoli Soup, bread
Monday... Roasted rooster, mashed potatoes, sweet peas
Tuesday... Homemade macaroni and cheese, ham
Wednesday... Chicken and gravy, rice, green beans
Thursday... Pork roast, sauteed broccoli normandy,
Friday... Shrimp Alfredo
Saturday... church conference...have to bring lunch and dinner
Lunch... sandwiches, chips, fruit
Dinner... taco salad, tortilla

Now lets see how well I stick with it. :o)

New Group Blog for me

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I'm a member of the LOK's Large Family Cooking Blog which started up this month. It's off to a good start and my first post is up...

Get it Done Ahead of Time which talks about my favorite shortcut in the kitchen.

Make sure you check out all the posts so far. And of course feel free to comment, we all love to get comments.

Two new dishes this week

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Both didn't go over too well. The first one was on Monday and was my mom's vodka sauce. I tried to double the recipe and added a bit more cooking time on it. I don't think it was quite enough time though because the sauce had chunks of tomatoes in mom's never does. I don't know, maybe it was the brand of crushed tomatoes I used. The taste was ok, just the texture was off. I know the recipe is great, everyone always asks her for it. So it has to be operator error.

The second one was Tuesday and was Michelle's version of Chicken Marsala with penne. She picked an Olive Garden copycat recipe. This time we tripled the recipe. We also substituted deboned chicken thighs for the skinless chicken breasts. I'm not sure if she added too much oil or if it was the fat from the thighs (I tried to remove as much as I could) but it was WAY too greasy. It seemed like the sauce turned into a huge layer of butter/oil. I'm not sure if we'll try this particular recipe again but we'll definitely try making the dish again.

Last night I made tried and true homemade pizza. 2 topped with pepperonis and 2 with bacon. I made quite the mess when I tried to slide the pizzas off the tray and onto the rack for the 2nd half of cooking. They were both a bit too soft to be on the rack yet. The first pepperoni ended up in pieces and with melted cheese all over. The bacon fared a lot better. The last 2 came out beautiful. :o)

Today is Michelle's birthday!!! (she's 21 now) She's been wishy washy about what she wants for her dinner. I bought her a carrot cake from BJ's and we'll have vanilla ice cream and/or root beer floats. (I bought Michelle birthday cake ice cream too, not sure if we'll have it for the party though). She's finally settled on breakfast for dinner! So I guess we're having pancakes, sausage, bacon, and fruit parfaits. Can you tell it's been a while since I made pancakes around here? LOL

No set plans for tomorrow but I think I'm heading toward broccoli soup with garlic rolls. Michelle is having friends over on Saturday night. The kids are set to be gone so it'll be just Tom and I with the 2 littlest kids. I'm thinking of doing a snacky party type of meal.

Maybe next week I'll get it together and post a menu BEFORE I'm using it! Oh yeah, and stick to it too.

I almost followed my menu

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On Wednesday I realized I made a fatal error in not buying milk Tuesday night. Not having much milk meant that I couldn't make my scalloped potatoes. I'll get a recipe up soon Noelle, it's fairly easy. This time I bought a boneless ham that comes in a loaf. It's not chopped ham quality but not top grade well for dishes and for under $1.60/lb you can't beat it. Instead I browned up a 6+ lb package of ground beef I bought at Wegmans, put half away for a meal (probably chili) and made stroganoff with the other half.

Friday is when I failed. I had spaghetti planned. It's an EASY dish! I can just boil up spaghetti and throw on canned sauce. Or I can make it a bit harder and brown italian sausage in. I could've even made meat sauce with the burger I'd cooked on Wednesday. UB (Uncle Billy) let us know he'd bought steaks that needed to be cooked so that was going to be dinner. Then it was discovered that the charcoal was wet and time was dwindling (kids needed to be out the door). So they had sandwiches and/or cereal to tide them over until they got home. I'd broil the steaks after 9. Yeah right. I was dragging from my new cold and didn't see me making anything (I just wanted to go to bed even though I couldn't). Instead I texted Michelle and asked her if she'd ask her dad if he wanted to pick up $.99 Arby Q's for dinner. He agreed. Give me an F-!

Today instead of BBQ sandwiches (which we had last night) I was going to attempt to get scalloped potatoes in the oven. I just realized though that it's suppose to be warm and muggy today...not oven running weather. Besides I also forgot that UB has steaks that need to be cooked. So guess scalloped potatoes will be in the menu NEXT week. One of these days I'll hold to my written menu.

LOK September Challenge is up!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

LOK September Cooking Challenge

The challenge... create a dish incorporating cereal. Since we are trying to use up the cereal, you should incorporate at least a one cup of cereal.

No limit on which brand or type of cereal you can use. The recipe should be original, or a fair alteration on an existing recipe. Creativity will factor heavily into this challenge, so keep that in mind. (in other words, no rice crispie treats)

This month is going to take a bit of brain work. Cooking with cereal? I can't say that I make anyone besides cookies or marshmallow treats with it. Ok...MAYBE I use it for a coating in fried foods or a filler in meatloaf. I don't think that really counts though. Gotta find and think of something new!

I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with. How about you? Care to join in?

Menu... August 7 - 14

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sunday... Carrie's birthday...snacked all day...Mozzarella sticks, chicken spring rolls, tomato sandwiches
Monday... Italian sausauge sandwiches, salad,
Tuesday... Hamburgers, buns, sauteed vegetables
Wednesday... Scalloped potatoes and ham
Thursday... Chicken nuggets, garlic egg noodles, green beans
Friday... Spaghetti, garlic bread
Saturday... BBQ venison sandwiches

The only thing I can see needing to buy this week is Rolls for the BBQ venison if I don't get around to making them myself. Then WHY do I keep finding myself eyeing the grocery ads for this week? The bottom round roasts on sale at multiple places is looking really yummy! Of course I'll have to go to the store at some time this week. We'll still need fresh fruit, veggies and milk.

It's that time of year again

Friday, September 05, 2008

Back to school time. Time for summer to be over and fall to start. When supposedly the days get cooler and the nights get downright cold. It's when I start to think of heartier meals...chicken and gravy, soups, casseroles, and homemade baked goods. Unfortunately the weather hasn't gone along with the plan. It's sweltering here now! I'm wanting to make bread and I can't even breath in my kitchen. There is NO WAY I'm turning on the oven. I've taken things out of the freezer to make for dinner and then nixed the idea at the last second due to the heat. No sense making a menu when you aren't going to stick to it at all.

Now that things are settling down a bit making a menu can be useful. There can't be anymore nights of trying to figure out what to eat at 8 (after it's started cooling off in the house) with us sitting down to eat at 9. That's bedtime for a school night now. Church activities have also started back up so many days the kids need to be fed and out the door by 7:30. It's easier when it's dark at 6 but for now...a bit hard. THAT'S where the menu comes into play. No thinking, just do it. Now if only I can get organized enough to stick to it.

So Sunday we'll be starting back up with my menus.

I'm so pathetic

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm enjoying the look of this blog so much it's ignited a desire to actually make an effort to cook good things and post them here. (as opposed to having the kids throw chicken nuggets into the microwave. It's also renewed my interest in other foodblogs around the net. I've always loved food porn! (just haven't learned the art of creating it) but to actually read the recipes and think about making things...that's different...and I like it! I'm considering starting a running, "I'd like to try" post on here. A place where I can list links and/or recipes to new dishes I'd like to try. Still trying to think of the logistics of it though.

So the propane man came yesterday afternoon and I gleefully ran into the cellar and through the cobwebs to the hot water tank. Kissing the basement floor I got the burner churning and the water heating. For those few minutes I was a goddess! lol

If you read my menu below you'll know we were suppse to have pizza for dinner last night. Let's just say I procrastinated on making the dough a bit too long. Then my kids decided to go for a bike ride and run with a stopover at Drew's and Allison's house. They attacked his Rock Band game with vigor and ended up getting themselves invited to dinner...woohooo! Thanks Drew and Allison! So the few of here had leftovers, no major cooking involved. :o)

With a 5 pound bag of shredded mozz in the fridge waiting to go bad, I pushed homemade pizza to today (Wednesday). Not sure how I'll do the rest of the week (moving things or just forgetting the shrimp alfredo for now or until I need an easy quick meal)

I did a lunkhead thing today. I almost sliced the tip of my right pinky off. I was trying to pick up a can lid off the counter but it was cemented down (I left it it's entirely my fault). Well the lid stayed put but my finger didn't and it traveled around the edge of the lid. I thought it was going to need stitches for sure (and for all I know it still might be a good idea). Fortunately I managed to put enough pressure on it to seal it up and end the bleeding. So I'm trying not to use it because if I bump it, it'll open up and start bleeding profusely again. We'll see how long that lasts.

I was in the middle of making the 2nd batch of pizza dough when it happened. I ended up trying to not to bleed all over and barf while instructing the kids on what still needed to be done. They all pitched in to help put the pizzas together. They didn't do too bad and we all had fun. We made 4 16inch pizzas...bacon and pineapple, pepperoni, cheese, and chicken wing (which no one was really crazy about).

I didn't get my banana banana bread done. :o( Hopefully in the morning I'll be able to do it. Otherwise the bananas will become compost (hmmm wonder if the chickens would like them?) I also want to try to make french bread but that might have to wait a few days.

Menu... August 17 - 23...A gliltch in the system (sorry a rant included)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We are out of propane! I'm getting so sick of this! I paid them last week and told them we were almost out. I ran out in the middle of cooking dinner on Sunday. So I called them Monday morning and specifically said...I was wondering if we were scheduled to be delivered today. She asked what our tank gauge read and when I said we're totally out her response was...We'll get someone there as soon as possible. GREAT! Until 5pm and there was still no delivery. I called again...the owner, no you'll get it tomorrow, we didn't have anyone driving out your way today. WHY didn't she tell me that in the morning!!!

My whole day would've been different! I would've thrown something in the crockpot instead of having to buy something that was easy to cook on the griddle and microwave, taken the kids somewhere to take showers, done laundry and hung it out to dry or taken it to the laundromat to use their dryers. BUT NOOOOO! I've been waiting for the gas man all day instead!!! GRRRRRRRRRR! I'm seriously considering changing companies. Just have to do the legwork to get it done. (which I stink at)

Sorry, back to the matter at hand...the menu

Saturday... Mu Shu chicken was switched to BBQ chicken on the grill after UB decided it's what he wanted for dinner and bought it.
Sunday... Chicken tenders, stuffing, fried zucchini, and salad
Monday... Hofmann hotdogs, corn on the cob, leftover salt potatoes
Tuesday... Pizza, (IF the propane guy comes today!) salad
Wednesday... Shrimp Alfredo, garlic breadsticks, green beans
Thursday... Meatball subs, sides TBD
Friday... Grilled pork roast, garlic egg noodles, peas
Saturday... Spaghetti with italian sausage, bread

Update...I called the propane company in the middle of writing this. They're suppose to be here...any second. I asked her if she could do me a favor...tell me the truth when I call and ask if I'm getting a delivery that day! That doing so allows me to make appropriate plans. I explained how things are here (not that I expect special treatment because of my family size, but it does make things a bit more complicated for me). I also asked if there was SOME way I could get a delivery without having to call and say I'm out of propane. She said she'd look into it and see why it was happening and what she could do about it. So I guess they get a second chance, but not much of one!!

Macaroni and Cheese

Friday, August 15, 2008

3lbs macaroni (or pasta of choice)
3 cans evaporated milk
1 cup butter
onion powder (can use real onions but we have allergies)
garlic powder
3lbs cheese (I use seriously sharp, monterey, colby)
1 cup parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni according to directions
Add rest of ingredients to saucepan and heat over med heat stirring frequently until cheese it melted and incorporated
Add cheese sauce to cooked macaroni
If you like it creamy serve as is. If you like it dry, cover and heat in 350 degree oven for 15-20 mins.

Corndog Chili Casserole

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mirz/Michelle posted the Corndog Casserole recipe on LOK's Household Tips Board. She also posted a chili cheese dog casserole recipe. I took elements from both recipes and made the corndog chili casserole.

Makes a 11" x 17" Lasagna pan
Oven 400°F

4 15oz cans chili with beans (will use homemade in the winter)
4 pkgs corn muffin mix (I've used both jiffy and store brand successfully)
3 pkgs (12-16oz) hot dogs
1 pkg real bacon bits (can use imitation or omit entirely)
onion powder (can't use real onions due to allergies)
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup milk

Spread chili evenly on the bottom of the pan
Quarter hot dogs lengthwise and dice into bite size pieces
Mix one pkg of hot dogs into chili
Make corn muffin mix according to directions (with egg and milk)
Mix in remaining hot dogs, bacon bits and onion powder to muffin batter
Gently spread batter over chili
Bake 20-30mins until golden brown and done in center

Menu - The rest of this week

Fellowship week was awesome! It was so nice to have all the meals planned out ahead of time. No thinking, just grab and go. Ok...some of them I had to cook or fix before we left..but it was still easy. I changed things up at the end of the conference and Tuesday night we bought food at the grill. I didn't have the time to fix chicken and gravy. Instead we had grilled chicken sandwiches (chicken breasts were HUGE!), hamburger and cheeseburgers, hofmann hotdogs and salt potatoes. YUM! Also once we were home on Wednesday I didn't make the corn dog casserole because they had a lot of leftovers to eat. So it was leftovers night. Corn dog casserole is tonight! :o)

Wednesday... Leftovers
Thursday... Corn dog chili casserole
Friday... Homemade mac and cheese, spinach salad
Saturday... Mu Shu chicken

Fellowship Week worked out

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I had to do a tiny revision of this week's menu because yesterday we went to the beach and had hot dogs on the grill. Jake also revised his birthday dinner request. His main thing is the blooming onions. I'm not going to be home most of the day so I told him I'd buy him onion petals from Arby's (they're having their pick 5 for $5.95).

So now this week's menu looks like...

Wednesday... Shells with sauce, Italian Sausage, bread
Thursday... Jake's birthday, his choice... Steak, mashed potatoes, onion petals from Arby's
Friday... BBQ Venison sandwiches, pasta salad

Fellowship week menu is....

Saturday... Taco Salad, tortilla chips
Sunday... Meatball Subs
Monday...Chicken & Gravy over rice
Tuesday... Venison fajitas
Wednesday... Corn dog casserole (dinner at home)

Lunches will be Sandwiches...Tuna, PB&J, Salami, Turkey

Breakfasts will be...Bagels, cereal, toast, poptarts, hard boiled eggs, yogurt

I'll also have on hand...

Fruit (at least one serving a day)... Grapes, plums, watermelon, cantelope, nectarines...bananas and oranges for breakfast

Veggies... Carrots, cucumbers, celery, spinach salad, garden salad

Chips... Sun chips, cheddar popcorn, pringles, cheese curls, cherrio snack mix, corn chips, and nacho

Snacks... Cheese dippers, honey roasted peanuts...may buy more

Desserts... Berry fingers, zebra cakes, cosmic brownies, rice krispy treats, cookies

ICK! How did THAT happen?

I had a package of 5 dozen eggs in the fridge so decided to boil a bunch up for sandwiches and to eat out of hand. I took off the top of the pkg so I could throw them into the pot of water. Some of the eggs shells had black on them, like they were sitting on newsprint. WHAT was it? Is that mold!?! I had never seen moldy eggs before. I didn't even know eggs could get moldy.

I did the float went to the good. I cracked it open to smell it...smelled fine. So I washed off the shells and threw them into the pot. Then something caught my eye. It was the cracked egg and shell sitting in the bowl. Inside the shell were HUGE black mold spots. OK...NOT eating them! I finished cooking them but they are chicken food now.

I was irritated. That's a lot of eggs to lose! Especially at the price they're at now. How could that happen? I was bound and determined to go into the store, complain and get my money back. I reached for the label so I could bring it into the store. That's when I actually READ the label. The sell by date was June 11th!!!! OOPS! AGAIN HOW did that happen? Everyone knows you rotate groceries. So what if it's a huge package and it's easier to grab the smaller cartons around it. Oh well, I guess I'm just as guilty as the rest of them. But grrrr!

Now I'm adding eggs to my shopping list

Menu... August 3 - 9

Monday, August 04, 2008

Why do I even bother? I make a menu, revise it and still couldn't stick to it last week! So why go through all that planning? Oh well at least we ate SOMETHING. This Saturday starts our Fellowship Week at church. I normally camp over there but this year I don't think we will. That means the menu will work since I'll have to plan ahead (can't run to the store) to bring meals that I can take in the morning and serve at dinner. Or I could just bring sides/snacks and buy hotdogs or burgers from the grill. I haven't decided what route I want to go's too far away to start thinking of it. lol

So this week looks something like this...

Sunday... Homemade garlic and pepperoni pizzas, baby carrots and dip
Monday... BBQ cocktail weiners, mashed potatoes, canned sweet peas
Tuesday... Spaghetti with sauce, Italian Sausage, garlic rolls (ready in the fridge)
Wednesday... BBQ Venison sandwiches, (meat cooking now)
Thursday... Jake's birthday, his choice... Seafood salad sandwiches, blooming onions, poppers
Friday... Homemade Macaroni & Cheese, canned green beans

I'll post the conference meals later in the week (need to figure lunches also)

What's in your freezer?

I've been meaning to do inventory of the freezer for a while. I knew most of the contents were venison but to plan things I needed to know how much. So this morning while everyone was sleeping (yes I was the only one awake for about 15 mins this morning...woohoo!) I took everything out, rearranged it and wrote it down.

Tilapia fillets - 3lb bag
Pork Roast
Meatballs, Italian - 5lb bag
Chicken & Stock - 2
Sausage, Italian - 3
Sausage, Breakfast Roll
Sausage, Breakfast Patties - 18
Venison - 8 lg packages (could be one meal if an ingredient, need 2 for BBQ or such)
Venison - 5 sm packages (for stew...maybe use 2 for a meaty stew)

Fruit and Vegetable
Cranberries - 2 - 1lb bags
Strawberries, whole - 1lb
French Fries - 5lb bag
Hash Brown Patties - 17
Green beans - 1lb
Carrots, sliced - 2 -1lb bags
Green Peppers & Onion Mix - 1lb
Snap Pea Stir-fry - 2 - 1lb bags

Ice - 3/4 bag
Split Pea Soup, Individual - 2
Split Pea Soup, Side dish - 1
Pie Crusts - 4
Hamburger Rolls - 3
Hot Dog Rolls - 2
Hail, 1 bowl
Ice Stick, Small (for water bottles) - 6
Ice Stick, Large (for water jug) - 1
Blue Ice, Large - 1
Blue Ice, Small - 1
Chocolate Santa, foil wrapped - 3/4
3 Muskateers Bar, mini - 1 (now GONE!)

LOK Cooking Challenge - June/July

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The latest LOK Cooking Challenge ends today and being the procrastinator that I am...I just completed it! LOL

This month's challenge is to provide a 3 course meal (appetizer, main, dessert) for 4 with ingredients purchased soley at a dollar store. You can't use anything from a cold case, only shelf stock.

I spied a can of Old El Paso Chickekn Cheese Enchilada Flavor Soup and thought...that would probably make a good base for a rice dish. I bought a can to take home for a taste test. It was a hit! It had huge chunks of chicken and veggies, perfect for a base. Eileen loved it so much she begged me to buy more so we can take it camping. So the challenge was on.

My purchases... $14.75
2 El Paso Chicken Enchilada Soup
2 sliced carrots
2 tuna salad kits
pouch of tuna
lg can diced tomatoes
jar marinated garlic vegetables
bag of dried cranberries and golden raisins
orange marmalade
mango perserves
sharp cheese spread
chocolate frosting

Let me just say....Cooking for 4 is HARD! I'm now convinced Tom and I will be empty nesters with multiple freezers jampacked full of leftovers. I'll be making up care packages for everyone who stops to visit. It was so hard to gauge how much rice was needed for a main dish for 4. And the veggies, I kept thinking...that's not enough!


I had two options in mind when I bought my appetizer ingredients. I definitely wanted the jar of marinated garlic vegetables. It was what I was serving with it that I was wishy washy about...Tuna. I was leaning toward tuna cakes but I'm not a huge hot tuna fan. I decided to put out both options. So I took the tuna on crackers picture, crushed up the crackers into the tuna salad and added the additional pouch of tuna, formed it into patties and fried...tuna cakes!

Personally being the country bumpkin that I am, I'd opt for the super easy tuna salad on crackers, it wasn't half bad. It also made the meal a $1 cheaper (didn't need to buy the pouch of tuna). Most of the kids who were up when I did this liked the tuna cakes. They were so so on the marinated veggies which is fine by me...I'll eat the whole jar myself!

Main Dish

The veggie portion of this challenge gave me fits! Knowing that the rice dish was bland and orange/yellow in color I thought canned asparagus would liven up the plate. Thing is...I needed two cans to be what I deemed a reasonalbe serving. Can I serve hot asparagus without any butter or flavoring? Then I spied the canned veggies that were 2 for $1. Hmmm some glazed carrots might be yummy. Won't help me on the presentation but as long as it's good. I thought I grabbed an apricot perserves to glaze the carrots with, I grabbed the mango one instead. It worked, made it intersting and everyone liked it...Sean LOVES them!

I simmered a half pound of rice with 2 cups of water, 2 cans of soup, juice that I drained from the diced tomatoes and half the can of tomatoes. Being the cheese freak that I am, I didn't think the soup gave the dish enough cheese flavor to it. To fix this I decided to add a container of cheese spread to the dish near the end. I opted for sharp cheddar since I was making the dish on the mild side. The pepper jack or nacho might've been a better choice for this dish but the sharp worked out ok. This made TONS of rice for 4 people. It might have even been too much for my family as a side dish. People liked it well enough here (I had some as I wrote this out)


I knew the base of my dessert was going to be pound cake. What I didn't know was what I'd serve on it. First I picked up a package of vanilla pudding cups to make trifle. Then a pouch of cherry dessert was in my hand (like cherry pie filling), then a can of lemon pudding, I decided to do something totally different then what we're used to. So I went dried cranberries and golden raisins plumped up in an orange marmalade glaze with melted chocolate frosting drizzled over it. I didn't want to be repetitive with the glazing but thought it was different enough in taste to be ok. A few of my kids aren't raisin lovers so they didn't go gaagaa over it. I liked it a lot and it served the purpose of why I made was different then our normal.

I'd say the challenge was a success. Everything I made was liked well enough by enough people in the house to be ok to serve as a meal. I'm pretty sure I won't be running to the dollar store to get our next meal though.

Other entries...


Menu revisited

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As in classic form, I have to revise my menu already. Tom went camping Sunday night and bought some steaks to cook over the grill. For whatever reason they were never used. So I now have to make something with them before they go bad. Also I figured it was senseless to make up the delicious chicken and broth without using some of it so I'll add that to the menu too (freezing the rest for another meal or two in the future).

The two meals I'm booting from the lineup are the corndog casserole and Friday night's breakfast. The corndog casserole seemed to be a hit on LOK's Household board so I thought I'd try it last was a hit at our house too. There weren't many people here to enjoy it. A few that missed expressed a desire to try it soon so that's why I added it to the menu this week. Unfortunately that means it's the meal I needed to buy the most ingredients for. That fact alone makes it the sensible one to boot from this week's line-up. Friday's menu is booted just for lack of wanting to have it or do the work for it. (takes a while to make pancakes for this house!)

So now my menu looks like...

Tuesday... Beef and gravy over shells, canned green beans
Wednesday... Homemade chicken and rice soup, biscuits
Thursday... Spaghetti with Italian sausage, homemade garlic rolls
Friday... BBQ venison sandwiches, canned corn, macaroni salad
Saturday... Meatball Subs, salad (maybe pasta salad...haven't decided yet)

Shopping list now looks like...

Salad fixings
fruit for snacks
bbq sauce
refill water containers
bread for sandwiches for lunch (if I'm lazy and don't make my own)

Let's see how long this one lasts lol

Tye-Dye Duo over and done with

Monday, July 28, 2008

We roasted the 2 roosters tonight. I took a picture before we roasted them but forgot to take one before we cut it up for serving.

Never having had free range bird before I wasn't sure how much fat there would be. My thought was, not a lot. Instead of my normal olive oil I buttered the birds using real butter. Then I seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and into the oven they went. They smelled DELICIOUS cooking!

The size of the drumsticks and thighs surprised me. Those two guys gave us a lot of meat even though I left a decent amount on the carcass when I carved them. (planning on making stock with them). My concern that the kids would balk at the idea of eating the roosters and the taste of it were for naught. Everyone that ate it, liked it. I choose a thigh and while it was very tasty, it was also a bit tough. I can see why people cut their chickens into pieces. The thighs and drumsticks are definitely geared more toward stewing. Then again maybe these birds were a bit older then I'd like my roasters to be. (we don't know how old they were) Also I'm considering not allowing my meat birds so much freedom...but not sure about that yet.

Anyways back to the roasted roosters. Immediately after dinner I took what was left and put it in the crockpot with the carcasses and pan drippings. I'll let it cook on low until the morning when I should have a pretty meaty crock of broth.

Menu... June 27 - August 2

Sunday... Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Monday... Roasted yard fresh roosters (see here for an explanation), mashed potatoes, sauteed zucchini
Tuesday... Spaghetti with Italian sausage, homemade garlic rolls
Wednesday... Chili corndog casserole, tossed salad
Thursday... BBQ venison sandwiches, canned corn, macaroni salad
Friday... Breakfast for dinner...pancakes and scrambled eggs
Saturday... Meatball Subs, canned green beans

Shopping list
Salad fixings
4 boxes cornbread mix
4 cans chili
1 pkg real bacon bits
fruit for snacks
bread for sandwiches for lunch (if I'm lazy and don't make my own)
refill water containers
bbq sauce

Being done with logistics

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm now left to think about the below exercise in "frugality". I know that the main purpose of the article was to show that ANYONE could feed a family reasonably with $100 (albeit boring with lots of rice, potatoes and beans lol).

I still can't help thinking on how I could've done it better and cheaper. Especially since that allows for more fruit and veggies. I deliberate chose certain cuts of meat. I didn't want someone's bias against certain parts of the chicken to go against me. So instead of getting $.99/lb thighs which are much moister then breasts in most situations. I opted for the breast which most people see as superior. The one place I didn't do that was in the canned tuna. I just don't care for albacore and you're only going to splaster it with mayo anyways (hmmm forgot to add that to my shopping list...oops!)

The 3lb bag of chicken could've easily made 3 chicken breast meals. Afterall a reasonable serving of meat for an adult is only 4oz. So a family with 2 adults would use 8oz, a 4yo and toddler maybe another 4oz but I'll even give them 6oz. That's only 14oz for a meal! So in reality they only needed a pound of meat per meal, not the 1.5 pounds I gave them. They could make it go even further by using the chicken in a casserole or as an ingredient instead of the main portion.

Buying in bulk really does save. My theoretical $300/wk for my family will buy a lot more food per dollar then their $100/wk. I had to decline the use of some meat in the ad because the cheap price was for 3lbs or more. Fine for my family for a week...not so much for a family of 4. Unless variety isn't something they're striving for...Are they ok eating Italian sausage 4 days a week? lol If they did the experiment for a month and allowed the family to buy things one week to save for a different week, it would've been even easier to do.

The same goes to say for shopping the sales and having a stocked pantry/freezer and shopping at a discount store (or multiple stores) which of course weren't allowed in this project. I still couldn't help but think...Man! $2.00 for a dozen eggs! I can get them for $1.25 at the convenience store! That's a whole nother dozen of eggs with change to spare.

The problem is, even with all the right knowledge at your fingertips. Unless you have a desire or drive to do is a hardship. Not to mention it's all perspective. What's my easily doable and yummy menu is someone else's impossible time constraint inferior menu. To some countries it's a banquet fit for a king.

Dusting off the cobwebs!

Friday, July 25, 2008

And what brings me out? Well for one thing I need to get back on track with my food planning, especially now that my kitchen is nice and clean and I can work in it! The main motivator though was this article over at MSN...Can a family eat on $100/wk

I had to laugh at the stereotypes in this article...sick of beans, rice and puffed rice. I'd LOVE to have $300/wk to spend on groceries. (my family=3x family of 4 so 3x the budget) I'd even love to have $300 every 2wks to spend. Things are so tight here that on paper I have ZERO food money. Granted I always seem to find enough to get us by with. Usually it's pocket money, overtime and robbing Peter to feed Paul. So I can't complain. Still I decided to try my hand at this gimmick.

I decided I'd use a store fairly close to NYC so it couldn't be said that prices were too low where I lived. (plus I don't advertise the location other then Central NY). I picked a Price Chopper in Middletown, NY. I also decided I would try to have some meat in almost each meal. I did fairly well. I even managed to do a no cook/take out dinner of pizza! For the things that weren't in the ad I OVER estimated according to what prices I pay at the Wal-mart near me. I think I was generous with serving sizes since the article featured 2 adults, a 4yo and a toddler. There'd be leftovers with my menu but I only counted on one lunch with them. The milk amount might be weird as we don't drink it with meals. I tried to compensate for that. So here's my menu, food cost and shopping list...

Scrambled Eggs with ham steak/Toast
Egg sandwiches with ham slices
PB toast/Cantelope

Tuna sandwiches
Ham sandwiches
Ham sandwiches
Baked potatoes

Pizza/baby carrots
Raviolis with sauce/bread/spinach salad
Baked chicken breast/frozen corn/rice pilaf
Shrimp Alfredo/spaghetti/sauteed veggies
Ham steaks/parmesean egg noodles/frozen green beans
BBQ chicken breast/spinach salad/cornbread
Pork chops/sauteed veggies/mashed potatoes

1.50 - raviolis
1.50 - spaghetti sauce (know I can get it for $1)
6.80 - 6 loaves Friehoffer's split top bread B1G2F - $3.40/3 22oz loaves
2.00 - 2 bagged spinach B1G1F - $1.99
1.00 - margarine
2.00 - 2 european cukes B1G1F - $1.99
1.50 - Italian salad dressing
4.00 - parmesean cheese
1.50 - egg noodles
6.00 - 3lb bag individually frozen chicken breast
2.00 - 2 bags frozen veggies (corn & green beans)
2.40 - 1/2 lb cooked shrimp - $4.80/lb 71-90ct
9.00 - 3 gallons milk
1.20 - 1 lb spaghetti/linguine
5.00 - 12 slice deli take out pizza
1.00 - 1lb baby carrots
2.00 - 2 lb summer squash - $.99/lb
4.00 - 2 pkgs ham steaks - B1G1F - 12oz each (estimate original pkg price)
4.00 - 2 pkgs sliced deli ham - B1G1F - 12oz (same as above)
1.00 - rice
1.00 - boullion
1.00 - 2 pkgs cornbread mix
3.00 - 5lb bag of potatoes
3.00 - gallon OJ (loss leader...Great price!)
3.00 - 3lb red grapes - $.99/lb
2.00 - 1lb pork chops
4.00 - 2dz eggs
1.50 - 2 cans chunk light tuna
2.00 - skippy peanut butter
2.40 - yoplait yogurt $6/10
1.50 - oatmeal
2.00 - flour
3.00 - sugar
1.50 - jelly
4.00 - instant coffee
3.00 - cantelope

With the remaining (and surplus I know I'll have from estimating) I'd add one or some of these....

bag of popcorn kernels
Brownie mix $10/10
Pretzels $1.00
tea bags (to make sweet tea)
bottle lemon juice (to make lemonade)

Funny...I don't see any puffed rice, no beans and only one yummy side of rice. So I have NO idea what this article is talking about!

Menu... May 25 - 31

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Last week went along fine until Friday and Saturday. Friday we had sandwiches and leftovers...I think. I know we all ate lightly since there was a stomach bug going through the house last week. Saturday we were gone all day and night at the semi annual church soccer tournament. We bought the $.50 hotdog special for lunch and I brought salami for sandwiches with apples, chips, baby carrots and cookies. I'd missed the deadline to order BBQ dinners and was really regretting smelled SO good!

This week is half way done and I think I can cob together the rest of the week, so shouldn't be too hard.

Sunday... 2 cookouts...first at my brother's and then finished the day at my sister's. Lots of burgers, hotdogs, bbq chicken, and whatnot.
Monday... Cookout here with the kids...steak, salad, watermelon, deviled eggs.
Tuesday... Spaghetti with sauce and Italian sausage, bread
Wednesday... Baked Ham, parm noodles, broccoli normandy
Thursday... Burgers on a bun, salad
Friday... Beef and broccoli stir fry, refried rice (might change to chicken stir-fry)
Saturday... Cookout at my parents for my mom's birthday.

Menu... May 18 - 24

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I've managed to go shopping a few times. I really need to get back into the habit of not running to the store for whatever. It's just so easy when I'm always on the go. Thing is it's a killer on the pocketbook.

Sunday... Hofmann hotdogs, salad and chips (Michelle's graduation - her choice)
Monday... Burgers on a bun, salad
Tuesday... Venison Fajitas
Wednesday... Grilled Chicken breasts, macaroni salad
Thursday... Grilled Steak, sauteed mushrooms, potato salad
Friday... Spaghetti with sweet italian sausage pieces, bread
Saturday... Pizza, leftovers, baby carrots and dip

Menu... May 11 - 17

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oh this is getting hard. For the first time in a looooong time the house is dangerously low on food. It's really unsettling for me to be in this position. I know that the amount of food and choices I have affects me emotionally. I have meat in the freezer thanks to the venison we were gifted this spring. It's the other stuff that is missing....eggs, milk, pasta, bread, veggies, etc.

I'm hoping that our stimulus check comes on Fri like it's scheduled to so I can do a major mega shopping trip. Hmmm it might be a good chance to do a 34 meals for $500 type of post again using 2008 figures. I keep wondering how things would compare between then and now (including our different eating habits). All I know is I am DYING for some roasted chicken!

Anyways...onto the task at hand...trying to squeek by until payday. I'm only planning until Friday though since it's payday and I have to be in the city. That means I'll most likely pick up some groceries.

Sunday... Take and Bake Uno pizzeria pizza (Tom's Mother's Day surprise...picked it up when he picked up Michelle)
Monday... Hot dogs and chips thanks to Uncle B
Tuesday... Venison Fajitas
Wednesday... Scalloped potatoes, bread
Thursday... Chicken Pot Pie, bread

(These things are almost definites since I have the main ingredients for all these dishes defrosted in the fridge right now. I may even get them all made today!)

Oh quick note! Don't count out your local convenience store for grocery deals. I ran there last night on the way home for milk (not too bad....used to be one of the cheaper places actually). I was amazed to find a dozen eggs for $1.49 ($.124/egg). Cheapest I've seen it at the regular grocery stores is Wal-Mart's 18ct carton (which are $.14/egg)

Menu... May 4 - 10

Monday, May 05, 2008

Things are tight still/again. I'm going to have to plan out of my freezer and pantry which are getting bare too. Guess that means preplanning and prep work to be expected.

Sunday...Grilled steak, mashed potatoes
Monday...Fajitas (with leftover steak added to venison), canned corn
Tuesday...Macaroni and Cheese, canned peas
Wednesday...Turkey and gravy over rice, cranberry sauce, biscuits
Thursday...Brunch for dinner...quiche, pancakes, canned fruit
Friday...Spaghetti with sauce, bread
Saturday...Scalloped potatoes and ham, biscuits

I guess I took a week off

Life got in the way and I let my food planning go. I don't think I can even remember how the last menu ended. Let me just say, it didn't resemble what I had written down. lol

I missed not having a plan to use last week. It really does help alleviate some stress. We actually ended up ordering pizza one day. Mostly it was due to being out of water but still, if I'd planned ahead I might've been able to avoid that.

So I'm working on my menu for this week. Hope to have it up REALLY soon.

Menu April 20 - 26

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Michelle wanted hofmann hotdog again so we bought them on Monday. I'm not really sure what to call the stuffed steak except YUM! lol Pat sliced up a 6+ lb angus roast I had, sandwiched onions and spices between 2, rolled it, wrapped it in foil and then threw it on the grill for about an hour. I could see myself doing this with a LOT of added things (green peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, etc). I have to figure out more things besides chili to do with the venison in my freezer so I can start using it.

Sundy... Shrimp Alfredo
Monday... Hotdogs, potato salad
Tuesday... Stuffed steak, mashed potatoes, veggies and dip
Wednesday... Pizza
Thursday... Scalloped potatoes and ham, bread
Friday... lemon garlic bay scallops with rice and broccoli normandy
Saturday... ? Drew's birthday, cookout maybe, probably burgers and dogs

Catching last week really went

PHEW I'm behind and I had to wrack my brain to remember what we had. The kids helped me out too.

Tuesday we ended up at my parents' house for dinner so we ordered pizza. That moved the thawed meatballs to Wednesday. Thursday we went bowling as a family and were starving afterwards, so ordered Little Ceasar's Pizza in the van. I also stopped for a few things at the grocery store on Thursday including $1.99/2lb bag of chicken nuggets. Hence all the nuggets in the menu after that. Friday being our everyone out the door night. Saturday my SIL came over and we grilled out. YUM!

Tuesday.... Pizza
Wednesday... Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Thursday... Pizza and chicken nuggets
Friday... Chicken nuggets
Saturday... cookout...Burgers, hotdogs, veggies, chips

Menu April 13 - 19

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's spring break and I should be planning more then dinners but I'm not. Feeling lucky to just get the dinners planned. If I'd posted this Sunday like I'm suppose to, I'd have had a revision already. Gotta love a quick trip to Walmart to change things around. I was only grabbing a few things and came out of there $55 poorer. Michelle decided she wanted Hofman hotdogs (delicious Central NY regional thing). So she paid the pretty penny for them and I paid for the hot dog buns and tater tots to go with them. lol

Sunday... Venison Chili
Monday... Hofman hot dogs with buns, tater tots, salad
Tuesday... Sweet and sour meatballs, broccoli normandy, rice
Wednesday... Pizza
Thursday... Shrimp alfredo, bread, salad
Friday... Leftovers probably (may not be home for the day, then the kids run out the door at 7:30)
Saturday... Scalloped potatoes and ham, green beans, biscuits

Sorry, no recipes up yet.

Life got in the way and I didn't have the time or energy to get on and blog. Unfortunately I don't have a choice about whether to feed anyone or not, so we still ate. lol My menu was totally blown though from Tuesday on down.

Tuesday I went to make spaghetti and Michelle mentioned the cocktail weenies. I think we finished them up...unless there's a pkg hiding in the back of the freezer I can't see. So we had BBQ weenies instead of spaghetti.

Wednesday BIL gave me money to order a 50pc box of chicken from Walmart. Everyone LOVES WM's fried chicken. 50pcs usually lasts us for a meal, lunch/breakfast and maybe a snack here or there. We didn't have everyone here and got home late (so everyone had ramen noodles earlier in the evening). I think the person making the box of chicken was VERY generous with his counting too. I've never had a heavier box of chicken in my life! We had chicken for almost the whole rest of the week.

Thursday was Chicken and Macaroni salad made with medium shells. YUM! We hadn't had mac salad in a looong time. Now I'm wanting potato salad too. lol

Friday was chicken and whatever else you could find in the fridge.

Saturday was chicken and gravy. I'd had it defrosted in the fridge already and we had to eat it before it went bad. I had also started a batch of venison chili before the defrosted venison went bad.

Note to self....

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

After figuring out the menu and posting it...READ IT! I had an original menu made up with Tom and Michelle picking up a few things for me on Sunday. They forgot some things and I was determined to NOT go anywhere until Wednesday (when Michelle has to go to work) so I had to redo the menu even before I posted it.

Unfortunately my brain didn't reorganize and I didn't look at my menu before I made dinner last night. Looking at it now made me realize...I messed up! Granted it wasn't a big mess up but it negated all the refiguring I did.

So instead of Spaghetti we had Bean Soup and it was yummy! Even Sean liked it. I think I'll just shift everything down one day.

Sunday... Steaks, baked/grilled potatoes, sauteed broccoli normandy
Monday... Bean soup, bread
Tuesday... Spaghetti, bread, salad
Wednesday... Turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes
Thursday... Venison chili, cheddar biscuits
Friday... Scalloped potatoes and ham
Saturday... Pizza

I realized I forgot to add some things onto my grocery list....
Mozz cheese (pizza)
Potatoes (Scalloped potatoes)
Canned Tomatoes (crushed, puree, whole) (chili)

Since I intended this place to be my online recipe book I guess I should try to include recipes. I'll try to get some up today

Menu - April 6 - 12

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tom was so busy trying to fix the van he never had time to get the charcoal going. We ended up microwaving chicken nuggets (I THINK they're gone now), making nachos and/or ramen noodles. Basically a FFY (fend for yourself) night. Here's this week's menu so far...

Sunday... Steaks, baked/grilled potatoes, sauteed broccoli normandy
Monday... Spaghetti, bread, salad
Tuesday... Turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes
Wednesday...Venison chili, cheddar biscuits
Thursday... Scalloped potatoes and ham
Friday... Bean soup, bread
Saturday... Pizza

I'll need a few things from the store this week. For the meals listes...mozz cheese (kids used most of what's in the fridge for "nachos", and potatoes. Then the regular stuff...milk, fresh fruit and veggies, eggs, etc. My fridge is looking pretty bare, a good time to clean it out.

Drew and Allison brought me a gift today, Amish Friendship Bread Starter, 2 batches even. (they figured one batch wouldn't make enough for our family lol!)

Noelle, eggs are our goto meal too. We go through tons of them every week. All the kids (except the 2 littlest) know how to and can cook their own eggs. They eat them whenever they get hungry and they think there's nothing to eat (meaning no bags of chips or cookies). lol They especially love it when there's a ton boiled up and ready to just grab and peel. Val's been wanting pickled eggs lately and I agree with her it sounds yummy. So I think we may be making up some of those this week.

Lasagna Rollups

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Makes approx 22 - 24 rolls

Cook lasagna noodles according to directions and cool

3 Tbsp margarine

Add to margarine then cook till bubbly:
1/4 cup flour

Mix and microwave 2 min:
1.5 cup milk
1 scored bay leaf
pinch nutmeg

Whisk warmed milk into margarine flour mixture. Cook until boiled.
Allow cream sauce to cool.

To the cream sauce add in...

3 eggs, beaten
2-3 pounds cottage cheese
1-2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 lb grated mozzarella
1/8 tsp nutmeg
cooked spinach (I used one can, drained well)

Mix well to combine

Dump one can (26oz) of spaghetti sauce into a large lasagna pan (think mine is 16")

Lay out a lasagna noodle on the table and and spread filling on noodle (estimate about 1/4c for each noodle, didn't measure, just scooped with my hand). Roll noodle short end to short end. Place rolled up noodle in pan. When pan is full dump another can of sauce over the top. Add 1/2 can of water over the top and jiggle pan to incorporate. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 pound I just grabbed handfuls out of a 5lb bag).

Bake for 1 hour in a 350° oven

Kids were asking to try a meat version...probably add some italian sausage next time