Well I MADE a menu.....

Saturday, May 09, 2009

It was midweek by the time I got it figured out, I just never posted it here.

Wednesday.... Pizza, veggies and dip
Thursday.... Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, garlic bread
Friday.... Ham and bean soup, cheese biscuits
Saturday... pork loin roast, mashed potatoes, peas
Sunday... burritos

So far I've been so so in following it.

Wednesday we did have pizza. I made 4 pizzas...garlic spinach, garlic artichoke and 2 cheese with sauce. There was tons leftover that were used for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I need to redo the spinach was dry and bland...plain garlic would've been a lot better. The artichoke was delicious but expensive. I used artichoke tapenade leftover from our trip to Niagara Falls. Price breakdown... dough ($2), spinach ($.50), artichoke tapenade ($3), 4lbs cheese ($9.80), sauce ($.44)

Total for Wednesday's dinner... $15.74

Thursday I wasn't feeling so great after getting home from Carrie's doctor's appt. It was almost a FFY (fend for yourself) day. Just before bedtime I decided to make 20 grilled cheese sandwiches. 30pcs bread ($1.86), margarine ($.35), 30 cheese slices ($2.75), celery ($1.10)

Total for Thursday's dinner... $6.06

Friday I finally got the spaghetti and Italian sausage made. 2lbs linguini ($1.36), 2 cans spaghetti sauce ($.1.76), can of crushed tomatoes ($.69), Italian sausage ($5.94)

Total for Friday's dinner... $9.75

Running total cost of meals since April 15th.... $316.99 (24 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

We ran out of milk. Carrie ran into the store and grabbed 3 gallons... $6.09

Running shopping total since 4/15.... $584.02

Quick run through the stores

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Carrie hurt her elbow this weekend so into the dr's we went to get it checked out on Monday. Xrays say it's not broken, only bruised. We needed to get some essentials so ran to Walmart after a quick run through the dollar store...

Dollar store

3 8oz containers philly cream cheese
3 1lb pkgs chicken hotdogs
12 beef sticks (4/$1)
9 fizzy bomb candy (6/$1)
3 4pk jawbreakers candy (3/$1)
bag of garlic onion chips (for the car)
3 jars cream of chicken gravy (2/$1)
Total... $13.50


4.00 - 4pkgs frozen dinners (Tom's lunch)
1.76 - 2pkgs frozen dinners (Tom's lunch)
3.75 - Malt O Meal fruit rings cereal
1.38 - Snack crackers
1.38 - Wheat crackers
1.48 - 2 loaves sandwich bread
2.66 - strawberry preserves
6.00 - 6pkgs linder bagels
6.96 - 2pks 24oz mushrooms
7.56 - 2 jars instant coffee
2.22 - 6 gallon water refill
1.54 - Minute maid limeade, half gallon (for me in car)
1.48 - sobe drink for carrie
1.98 - cup of popcorn chicken (for car)
$40.40 Total

Running shopping total since 4/15.... $577.93

The rest of the week

This weekend was pretty simple in terms of meals. Friday night was the lite fare. There was just me, Tom, Eileen, Olivia, Danielle and Sean for dinner. Val and Michelle are in NYC/NJ until today. The rest of the kids went out to eat with the youth. I'm not including what they ate into my meals cost. I figure it was a special occasion and would be considered entertainment. I made a pot of salt potatoes fully intending to make something to go along with them. It never got made, we just had as many potatoes as we wanted. Sean and Danielle are potato freaks so it was fine by them. Tom was looking for a bit of protein come bedtime, I'm not sure if he had anything or not. Because I'm pulling the potatoes from a 50# bag I'm estimating how much I made. I'm pretty sure it was equivalent to a regular bag of salt potatoes, so I'll say 4 pounds. ($1.54) and we used one stick of butter ($.56)

Total for Friday's dinner... $2.10

Saturday was the lite work night. The kids and I were at church all day and ate at the grill our fellowship runs. Tom came by to drop the van off and grabbed an Italian sausage with peppers and onions sandwich so I'll even include that into the price...although he may have had something else for dinner later in the evening. There was roasted chicken (a big thigh or 2 drumsticks) for $1. Italian sausage sandwich...$2.75, Hot dogs...$1, chili dogs...$1.50, hamburgers...$2.50, cheeseburgers...$2.75, bowl of chili...$1.50, chips...$.75. I brought 2 bags of popcorn and cut up cucumbers and celery to go along with them sandwiches and such. I'm not positive what a few of the older kids had but even if I credit them with the higher end things, it comes to $15 or I'll say $20.

Total for Saturday's dinner... $20

Sunday we were invited to my sister's for a BBQ. I had to bring a dish so I'll consider that my cost of dinner. I brought about 12# of salt potatoes ($4.62), 2# of butter...although we only used 1.5...gave the rest to my sister ($3.38), and a container of Laffy Taffy ($4)

Total for Sunday's dinner... $12

Monday I had big plans. I was going to roast the sirloin tip roast I bought last week. Instead I was running a hurt kid into the doctor's (she's ok...just bruised). So I sliced up the roast into steaks and broiled them (GOTTA fix the gas grill!) ($18.17). I also sauteed up some sliced mushrooms ($6.96), a green, yellow and red pepper ($1.75) and a bag of broccoli normandy out of the freezer ($2.50). There was a good amount of steak leftover so I cut it up and put it in a baggie along with the juices on the tray and threw it in the freezer. Otherwise it'd have been eaten the next day.

Total for Monday's dinner... $29.38

Tuesday it was my turn for a dr visit (checkup) I had planned on making pizza when I came home but was too tired. So grabbed the meat from the night before out of the freezer. I heated it up in a pan of gravy (3pkts brown gravy mix...$1, boullion...$.60, cornstarch and garlic). Cooked a 2# box of macaroni ($1.20) since I discovered I only had ONE bag of egg noodles! Oh yeah, I decided I wanted it meatier so threw in a small bag of cooked burger from the fridge. ($2.50)

Total for Tuesday's dinner... $5.30

Today I'm hoping to iron out the rest of the meals for the week and maybe even make the pizza that I've been trying to make since last week.

Running total cost of meals since April 15th.... $285.44 (21 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

A few shopping trips.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Last Thursday I ran through BJ's quick. I don't have the receipt but I think I can remember everything I bought.

11.00 - 2# bag of shrimp
8.00 - bag of pepperoni
9.00 - 4# bacon
8.00 - 48ct cheese sticks
8.00 - 4# box of cheese slices
6.00 - 2 canisters lemonade mix
5.00 - 3pk bbq sauce
6.50 - 20# flour
4.00 - 6pk cake mixes
3.50 - 4 canned frosting
3.00 - dz plain bagels
6.50 - peanut m&m's
20.00 - 5 containers laffy taffy
Total... $101.50

Wednesday after Luke's dentist appointment we ran into a cash and carry place. I bought...

18.99 - 50# salt potatoes
18.17 - sirloin roast
17.80 - 10# shredded mozzarella cheese
7.96 - 4dz glazed doughnuts
5.07 - 3# butter
1.47 - 3# margarine
1.00 - 5 lemons
2.38 - 6 cucumbers
2.20 - 2 bunches celery
1.50 - 3 green peppers
3.50 - yellow, red and orange peppers
Total.... $80.04

Then after picking up Michelle it was into Walmart for...

9.28 - 4 gallons milk
3.00 - 3 half gallons peach juice
5.84 - 18 containers yogurt
2.00 - 2 pkgs lender bagels
2.48 - 2 loaves bread
Total.... $22.60

Running shoppping total since 4/15.... $524.03

Some catching up to do....

It's been a busy week. It's been nice to know what's for dinner and have that decision off my mind. Although I have to remember to make sure I can make what I plan since lack of ingredients mucks up the plan.

Monday was sloppy joes...$8 ($6.50 3# cooked meat and green peppers in freezer, $1 ketchup, $.50 for rest of ingredients...mustard, brown sugar, garlic powder), 2pkgs buns ($2) Pasta salad...$7.85 ($2 2pkgs rotinis, $.70 green pepper, $.40 rest of roma tomatoes, $2 2 cucumbers, $.25 2 stalks celery, $1 can of olives, $1.50 bottle Italian dressing)

Total for Monday's dinner... $17.85 (leftovers were finished off the next day)

Tuesday was the day that got mucked up due to not having all the ingredients. I ran in the door from Liz's doctor's appointment and set right to work on dinner. Grabbed the ham and hotdogs out of the fridge and sent Jake into the basement to get 9 cans of pork and beans. He came up with 2 cans of baked beans saying it was all he could find. I said he was blind as I just bought a case of them. I went down there to look for myself and only found one more can of pork and beans. I must've made cowboy beans since buying the case. *blush* So our meal became a side dish. I grilled 2 pkgs of hotdogs ($2) on the griddle and threw the 3 cans of beans ($1.33) in with the ham (already accounted for here). I didn't think that would be enough so I mixed up a batch of chili quick. $6.04 ($3 1.5# cooked burger, $1.40 2 cans crushed and tomato puree, $.66 2 pkgs chili seasoning, $1 3 cans of kidney beans). Oh almost forgot the bread for the hotdogs ($1.25). The kids ate and ran as they had church activities. I think I might've been the only one to eat the chili, so it'll be a dinner for another night.

Total for Tuesday's dinner... $10.62

Wednesday I ended up staying at my mom's until it was time to get Michelle (Luke had a dentist appt right near her house). So we ate there. The kids at home just microwaved chicken nuggets ($3.98) and had baby carrots ($.99)

Total for Wednesday's dinner... $4.97

Thursday was the day to use up the already made chili. I knew it wasn't enough to fill everyone as it was so I decided to throw some rice into it. As usual I added too much rice. That meant my chili with rice ended up being chili flavored rice. The only cost was the 3 cups of rice I added to the chili. ($.90) The kids also at leftovers.

Total for Thursday's dinner... $.90

Running total of meal costs since April 15th... $216.66 (16 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

Weekend update

Monday, April 27, 2009

I almost forgot what we had for dinner on Thursday. Luckily I had my meal plan made up and had stuck to it. :o) Although I tweaked it just a bit. I knew I wouldn't have time to make dough on Thursday so the regular pizzas turned into bagel pizzas. ($2.99 - bagels, $.44 - spaghetti sauce, $3.25 - cheese, $.75 - pepperoni)

Thursday's Total... $7.43

Friday was chicken nuggets ($3.98), and a bag of tater tots ($4.18)

Friday's total.... $8.16

Saturday Val made her specialty....shrimp alfredo (1.5# shrimp - $7.50, container cream cheese - $1, milk - $.25, margarine - $.20, Parmesan cheese - $2.50, pasta - $.1)

Saturday's total... $10.45

Sunday was Drew's birthday. We ran to a village grocery store and bought some things for dinner, including 2 small cakes. Steaks (pick 5pkgs for $19.99, 2 bags of salt potatoes - $5.98, 3 sticks butter - $1.56)

Sunday total... $27.53

Weekend total.... $53.57

Running total of meal costs since April 15th... $182.32 (12 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

Menu... April 26 - May 2

Sunday... Drew's birthday...steak, salt potatoes, cake
Monday... Sloppy Joes, pasta salad
Tuesday... Liz's late dr appt... Cowboy beans
Wednesday... Luke dentist appt probably not home for dinner... Chicken nuggets, canned veggies, mashed potatoes
Thursday... Pizza
Friday... Spaghetti and Italian sausage, homemade bread
Saturday... Weekend conference at church...eating at the grill/snack bar probably. Sandwiches if not,

Popping into a few stores

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's a dangerous thing.... Oh I'll just run into X and get X. Then you find all those things you didn't know you needed until you see them.

BJ's Wholesale Club

8.00... 4 gallons milk
4.00... gallon orange juice
6.00... 5# apples
6.00... 2dz bagels
8.00... container of mini half moon cookies (I know! I know!)
3.50... 2 loaves of bread
Total... $35.00

Big Lots

4.00... 2 boxes of Honeycomb cereal
2.00... bag malt-o-meal, fruity bits
2.00... bag malt-o-meal, muffin tops
1.15... 8pk Torestas salsa cheese crackers
1.15... 8pk Torestas Black bean sour cream crackers
2.00... 2pkgs 16ct flavor ice
0.90... 2pkgs sunflower seeds (Drew's birthday present)
Total... $11.20

Real Deals

3.00... 3pkgs 6ct Heart Healthy muffins, cranberry orange
2.00... 2pkgs 6ct Heart Healthy muffins, banana chocolate chip
3.00... 6pkgs 4ct ssips apple juice boxes
4.00... 4pkgs philidelphia cream cheese tubs, 8oz
1.00... various snack bags of chips 6/$1 (for weekend getaway)
Total... $13.00

$59.20... Total

Shopping running total... $319.89

Oops! I forgot

I threw the porkloin roast ($8) into the oven before picking up Michelle, figuring I was just running there and back so would only be gone an hour. Then it was...we're out of milk and bread so I'll run and grab some. Then I remembered I was suppose to stop and pick up chicken feed. Seeing as the tractor store was in the same plaza as Big Lots and the dollar store and I was without kids...we HAD to stop. It was only on the way home and seeing the clock say it was after 6 that I remembered I had the roast in the oven. Just a tad longer then I'd expected to cook it. I walked in the door, dealt with a sick kid, set Carrie up to make a tossed salad ($2... 1 head of lettuce ($1), cucumber ($.50), couple stalks of celery and dressings from the fridge), reheated the leftover rice (already calculated) from Friday, and sliced up the roast. In the door and dinner on the table in 15mins...not too shabby.

Total for Wednesday's dinner... $10

Running total of meal costs since April 15th... $128.75 (8 being pizza delivery)

Impromptu grilling session

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I hadn't planned a big meal for Sunday because we were having a feast at church. A family is moving back to Norway and we were saying good=bye. :o( It was a full meal at late lunch/early dinner time. So I thought soup or ramen noodles with some snacks would be ok. Instead Tom's big brother brought us a bag of Hoffmann hotdogs and set Tom off on having him over for grilled hotdogs and burgers (BIL was going to the feast too). So when I got home they were in the back grilling. Unfortunately that meant a few more expenses for me as I had planned on making hamburger buns for the burger dinner which was impossible so quickly. So I had to send Val and John to the convenience store (meaning even more expensive then it'd be if I bought them at the grocery store). She spent $15 on 5 or 6 pkgs of buns and rolls. Luckily there were leftovers. They are now in the freezer until Saturday's dinner of sloppy joes. We also had leftovers of burgers and dogs which the kids finished off for lunch/after school snack the next day.

Sunday's dinner...
16 Frozen burger patties.... $7.25
3# bag of Hoffmann hotdogs... $8.50 (even though we were gifted still cost money to buy)
Rolls and buns..... $15
Bag of corn chips.... $1.33

Sunday total... $32.08

Monday's dinner consisted of tacos with homemade tortillas. ($2.50...figuring 9 cups of flour = $1.60 and 1/2 lb of lard = $.75...add a little for the rest of the ingredients) I made a triple batch and put the leftovers in the fridge. The kids will make quesadillas for lunches and snacks with them. It was nice to be able to just grab the 3# of meat already made out of the freezer ($6.50...meat + seasoning). We used 1 head of lettuce ($1), 5 out of 7 tomatoes ($1.10), 1 out of 3 green peppers ($.73), 8oz pkg shredded fiesta cheese ($1.50), container sour cream ($1), 1 or 2 cups salsa ($1).

Monday total... $15.73

Tuesday was dentist appointments. I forgot I was picking up the Eileen and Olivia before lunch and had nothing for them to eat. I realized I was hungry too. So we stopped at McD's on the way and blew $20. I think I'm going to keep track of eating out separately though....especially since this was lunch and I'm mostly keeping track of dinners. We ate out for dinner too...I ordered a sheet pizza and had it delivered to my parents' house (the joy of living in suburbia lol) That was another $20. While that will be included in the take out, I'm also including it into my meal total.

Tuesday total... $20

Running total of meal costs since April 15th... $118.75 (7 being pizza delivery)

Menu... April 19 - 25

Sunday, April 19, 2009

OK, I think I have this nailed down finally. I was having a hard time because Tom and I are planning on going away for the night on Saturday. Michelle has to work until 7, so dinner has to be quick and easy.

Sunday... Grilled burgers and hotdogs. Tom's oldest brother brought us some Hoffmann hotdogs and joined us for dinner.
Monday... Tacos
Tuesday... Dentist appointment...probably end up at my parents' house and ordering a sheet pizza.
Wednesday... Pork Roast, mashed potatoes and salad
Thursday... Pizza
Friday... Chicken nuggets, veggies and dip
Saturday... Sloppy Joes, pasta salad

Ran into Walmart quick

I forgot to get a few things when grocery shopping last week. So after picking up Michelle from work we ran into Walmart. I also needed to get a "fancy" dessert to bring to church on Sunday.

1.00 - mustard
0.98 - honey BBQ sauce
2.73 - mayonaise
1.50 - coffee creamer (Tom to bring to work)
3.98 - frozen cream puss (splurge for the few of us home)
1.64 - whipped topping (dessert for church)
7.68 - lg pan peach cobbler (dessert for church)

$19.51 Total

Bringing the running total to...$260.69

Now THAT wasn't in my plans!

Friday night I cut up and roasted the 10# bag of chicken leg quarters ($5.90). They came out CRISPY brown just like I like them. The original plan was for me to bake them and set aside 3 thighs before serving them. After all, if I waited until AFTER the meal to save them, there probably wouldn't be any left to save. After dinner I deboned the thighs into a pan and deglazed the first roasting pan. As I started working on the second pan I saw Sean out of the corner of my eye. He was sitting in the kitchen next to me and picked up something. As I turned to investigate further he overturned what he had into the pan of chicken and drippings. It was the sugar bowl!!!! 2 cups of sugar mixed in with all those golden drippings and moist thigh meat. I put it aside with the thought that I'd figure out what to do with it in a few minutes. I needed to get Sean out of the kitchen and occupied. Well I did find something for Sean to do and so did I. I got distracted and forgot about the chicken until it was bed time. 5hrs sitting there, it then became cat food. Luckily it wasn't too much. But still there went the batch of chicken and gravy or chicken noodle soup I'd planned on.

So what did we have with the crispy chicken leg quarters? 5 cans of sweet potatoes from the pantry ($3.96 - $.79/ea - Aldi's) with a stick of butter ($.50) and 1/4 cup of brown sugar (< $.25) and 4 bags of Knorr Sides plus Roasted Chicken Rice ($2.67 - 6pkgs/3.99 - BJ's wholesale club) We had lots of leftover rice which will be used in another meal. (had to add a stick of margarine to the rice mix... $.19.

Total for Friday's dinner... $13.47

Saturday I made dinner while I experimented in the kitchen. We have to bring a "fancy" dessert to church today. We're having feast for a family that is moving. I had the brillant idea of making mini chocolate cups, filling them with an orange flavored custard and topping it with a strawberry. I had plastic 2oz (I think) cups that I tried to use for the mold. I dipped them in the went on too thin and broke whenever I tried to remove them. I tried using the inside of the cup but it came out too thick. Then Sean woke up from his nap and all my creative juices went down the drain. I decided to see if I could buy mini pie/tart shells at the store and make lemon merginue pies. They didn't have any, only phylo ones which were teeny and expensive. So I sold myself out and bought a large pan of frozen peach cobbler and a container of whipped topping.

So dinner was a quick throw together of Scalloped potatoes. I used 6 bags of hash browns ($6), although I could only use 4 as 2 were gross (risk of buying food at the dollar store even though it hadn't hit it's sell by date), 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup from the pantry ($1.77 - $.59/ea - Aldi's), a stick of margarine ($.19), dried onions, salt, pepper, ham from the freezer (see this post) and a few cups of milk ($.50). It was plenty enough without any sides since there were only a few of us here. There were even leftovers.

Total for Saturday dinner... $8.46

Running total of dinners cost.... $51.34 (4 meals)

Ham cooked and taken care of

Friday, April 17, 2009

I cooked the ham in the oven last night. We sliced up a good portion of it and served it with 5 cans of sweet peas ($1.88 - $.37/ea - Aldi's) and half a box (16 servings) of potato buds mashed potatoes ($1 - $3.99/2 boxes - BJ's Wholesale) from the pantry. We used 2 cups of milk ($.25) in the potatoes, 2 sticks of butter ($1) to cook and to top the veggies with and 1 container of sour cream ($1)

I'll include the entire price of the ham ($12.70)into today's dinner. That means when I use the rest of the ham in dishes, I won't figure in the price of that ingredient. I ended up cutting the leftovers of the bone and came up with a jam packed sandwich baggie full of ham pieces for scalloped potatoes (Saturday's dinner) and a soup bone with a very generous amount of meat on it. Both are in the freezer.

Total price for Thursday's dinner... $17.83

Wednesday's dinner was half the box of frozen burgers ($7.25) and 2 pkgs of hamburger buns ($3.34 although we didn't use all of them, rest were used for lunches) and a bag of baby carrots I already had in the fridge ($.99)

Total price for Wednesday's dinner...$11.59

Running total of week's dinners....$29.41 (2 meals)

Menu from April 15th shopping trip

Thursday, April 16, 2009

List of what I bought on the April 15th shopping trip

I had a brown sugar ham in the fridge which I'm using today, so I'm including the price of that in the shopping trip total....$12.70, making the total $253.88.

Brown Sugar Ham
Scalloped potatoes and ham (with hash brown potatoes, soup from the pantry, milk)
Ham and bean soup (beans from pantry)

Roasted Chicken leg quarters
Chicken and gravy (using a few chicken thighs from 10# bag)

8# burger patties - 32ct - divided box in half for 2 dinners (used 16 last night for dinner)

10# burger...already cooked and in the freezer
3# Seasoned for tacos
3# cooked with green pepper, ready to be made into sloppy joe
Rest divided in 3 plain for stroganoff, two with green peppers for spanish rice and goulash

6 - 2.5# meatball and meatloaf mix (beef, veal, and pork)
1 for Chili
2 for Meatballs
2 for Meatloaf
1 TBD (to be determined)

Hotdogs.... 3pkgs for hotdogs in a bun, 2pkgs for cowboy beans

Pork loin roast - cut in half for 2 meals

Banquet chicken nuggets

Raw shrimp....shrimp alfredo

Italian sausage - spaghetti

Mozzarella cheese... pizza

According to my count that's 24 meals. Not too shabby! :o)

Break over... Shopping trip

I haven't done it in a while but I'm up to documenting yesterday's shopping trip. Most of the time I didn't keep track because I was doing a lot small trips and eating out of the freezer and pantry. Yesterday I did a trip like I used to do when I shopped for 2 wks at a time.

Real Deals (dollar store)
5 - 1# pkgs hotdogs
6 - 1# pkgs hash brown potatoes
2 - Kraft Mac and cheese cheddar crackers
4 - 64oz 100% juice blend juice
6 - 4pk apple juice box (2 for $1)
3 - brown gravy mixes (3 for $1)
1 - pkg'ed lunch (was my lunch)
1 - lemonade soda (also my lunch) (2 for $1)
12 - white chocolate bunnies (2 for $1)
12 - fizzie bomb candies (6 for $1)

BJ's Wholesale Club
24 - 6pks 2.5# meatball and meatloaf mix (clearance)
16 - porkloin roast
13 - 5# shredded mozz cheese
8 - 4 gallons milk
5 - salsa
3 - gallon white vinegar
$69 (not exact as I lost my receipt, I rounded up most times)

4.18 - Tatertots
4.28 - French fries
7.96 - 2 pkgs Banquet chicken nuggets
4.00 - 1# raw shrimp
14.50 - 8# frozen burger patties
5.98 - 10# bag of chicken legs
19.64 - 10# ground beef
5.94 - Italian sausage
1.49 - Roma tomatoes
2.18 - green peppers
3.00 - 6 cucumbers
1.98 - 2 bags baby carrots
2.00 - 2 heads lettuce
2.20 - bananas
5.47 - 5# bag apples
6.57 - 7# blue bonnet margarine
2.32 - gallon milk
1.50 - 8oz shredded colby/jack cheese
1.50 - 8oz shredded fiesta cheese
3.18 - 3 sour cream
1.98 - Frosted flakes cereal
5.48 - Malt-o-meal golden puffs cereal
4.22 - malt-o-meal fruity bites cereal
7.58 - 10# pancake mix
1.00 - 1# garden rotini
1.00 - 1# rotini
5.26 - 6 cans spaghetti sauce
0.88 - cornstarch
3.78 - Instant coffee
0.92 - black olives
0.98 - saltines
2.48 - 2 loaves bread
2.34 - 2pkgs hamburger buns
1.00 - pretzel sticks
1.33 - corn chips
1.58 - cheese puffs


Menu that I made from these groceries

Not feeling like doing much in the kitchen

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

With the recent passing of BIL who I referred to on this blog as UB (see my main blog which is listed on the left) I've been a little numb. My brain is mush, the thought process is in slow motion with a few speed bumps in the way. I know having a menu planned would ease things but making the menu itself isn't in my line of thinking right now. Still, considering everything it does seem that I'm managing to feed the family well and at a decent time.

Let's see what we can do for this week. Tom bought steaks (actually a lot of them!) with the 5 pkgs for $20 deal at a local store. We intended to grill them on charcoal but life got in the way, visitors were here and the charcoal was never started, so I broiled them. We had 2pkgs of egg noodles and Michelle's pkg of sweet potato fries to go with them. I still have 5 pkgs in the fridge to deal with soon.

Yesterday I managed to put a dent in our egg supply. I haven't been quick to give them away because they have been pretty icky looking with the chickens having a dirty coop and a VERY muddy yard. Actually I've thrown away quite a few just because they didn't get dealt with in a "safe" timeframe IMO. Hopefully with the nicer weather the condition of the eggs will change. I have to be honest too. In the grand scheme of things...the chickens haven't been our top priority the last week and have been slightly neglected. Anyways, we had ham slices, hash browns and eggs for dinner on Monday. Every week to 10 days I've been boiling up 7-10dz eggs and storing them in an aluminum pan in the fridge. This allows us to grab one for a snack or meal whenever. It also makes for quick egg salad, which I used up the last batch for on Sunday. So Monday I boiled up 7 dz more.

So now what to do? Michelle wanted corned beef and cabbage for today but I never got my rear to the store. I wanted to buy to for a meal and another to make Rueben salad. It's basically shredded corned beef and thousand island dressing. We then spread it on rye bread, add swiss cheese and sauerkraut to make sandwiches and toast it. It helps make a regular amount of corned beef serve our crowd. Maybe we'll buy a few of them this week, and if I'm lucky they'll be clearanced lol.

I just talked to Tom, I think he wants to grill the steaks out. It's a good thing that steak is my favorite food...3 times in 6 days could be a bit much. lol (we had it for Val's birthday dinner last Wed) I was thinking of using those for sauerbraten. I guess that's what I can do with the rest of the roast I cut Val's steaks's in the freezer.

So that leaves... Wed, Thurs, Fri and Saturday. I need to go grocery shopping so maybe I'll leave them as TBD (to be determined) Athough I could trim the rest of the ham and use the bone for soup, freezing the big hunks of meat. And there is spaghetti and eggs and.... I guess we'll see. Gee for having a brain for mush, I sure did ramble on enough.

Cowboy Beans

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

This is a really easy, get done quick meal that everyone likes here. I can never seem to make enough. Unfortunately due to allergies I have to omit the onions. If you ask me, they make this taste a LOT better.

small onion, diced
1/2 - 1lb bacon (optional but YUM)
2 pkgs hotdogs,
9 cans pork and beans

Cook bacon and set aside
In bacon grease, sautee onions until soft and clear
Slice hotdogs lengthwise and then into slices (making half "coins", quarter if you have little ones that can choke)
Add hotdogs to onions and cook until hotdogs are browned
Drain grease from pan
Combine all ingredients in pan and cook until heated through and flavors are combined, about 20mins

Menu... March 1 - 7

Last week went so-so in terms of following my plan. Wednesday ended up being Cowboy beans and Thursday was a FFY (fend for yourself) night as I wasn't home. The major change was on Saturday. Tom ran to Walmart after picking up Michelle at work and came home with 2 bags of frozen flounder. Still hankering for fried fish, I breaded them up and threw them into a pan of oil....YUM! Tons better then the Tilapia but not the delicious paper thin sole I was hoping for when he mentioned flounder. People look at me weird when I mention fried sole but it was my favorite thing to fry up when I was working at the fish store. Anyways back to work here.

Sunday... Shrimp Alfredo finally got eaten
Monday... Luke's 16th birthday so his choosing. He wanted chinese or pizza so we did the sensible and had BOTH! We got some sesame chicken and lo mein from a local place, baked up some frozen digorno's supreme pizzas and I made 2 16" garlic and 2 cheese pizzas.
Tuesday... Breakfast for dinner...eggs, bacon, toast, homefries.
Wednesday... Chicken and gravy, biscuits
Thursday... Grilled cheese and Soup
Friday... Olivia's 9th birthday. She's decided she wants tacos with the works! Sounds good to me
Saturday... TBD (to be determined) I'll probably get groceries on Thursday

Menu... February 22 - 28

Monday, February 23, 2009 last week didn't go so well. The pork loin roast wasn't teriyaki. Wednesday chicken kabobs ended up being Hoffmann hotdogs Michelle had bought. Thursday was cereal and sandwiches and Friday was the Hawaiian pizza. Saturday was a busy day in the kitchen. We had tons of food as usual. Fried parmesan Tilapia (tasted a bit "dirty", will do flounder next time), Shrimp skewers, teriyaki chicken, veggie tray with ranch dip, tons of goodies to go with milk chocolate, white bark, and caramel dips, garlic bagel chips with roasted red pepper humus and brushetta. The humus was my first attempt at homemade and was ok. I'm not sure what it was about it but something was off. (probably a matter of ingredient quality...used canned and jarred) The "offness" has decreased over time and today it's pretty tasty.

So onto this week...

Sunday... Leftovers from Island celebration. Michelle also bought Arby's for us. :o)
Monday... Sauteed marinated shrimp, sauteed mushrooms, subs
Tuesday... Chili, biscuits
Wednesday... Breakfast for dinner (eggs, bacon, homefries)
Thursday... Grilled cheese and soup
Friday... Hamburgers, french fries, sauteed veggies
Saturday... Shrimp alfredo, salad

A new post up at Large Family cooking

Monday, February 16, 2009

I've been trying to be better about my other writing commitments. I wrote up an article...How many days at the Large Family Cooking Blog. It's based off a discussion over at Serious Eats about what meals you need to learn to make so as to feed your family for 20 meals/a month.

Menu.... February 15 - 21

Is it Sunday already? No? It's Monday!?! Oops! The kids being off for midwinter break has messed up my routine. (I originally typed...It's TUESDAY...then realized I was wrong) It's our annual Island week, so this menu isn't so typical.

Sunday... Frozen pizzas (ICK! Even if they are pizzerio uno's), veggies and dip
Monday... Tom's making a beef soup, biscuits
Tuesday... Teriyaki Pork Loin Roast, sauteed mushrooms
Wednesday... Sweet and Sour Chicken kabobs, sauteed broccoli normandy mix
Thursday... Hawaiian Pizza, snacks
Friday... Cowboy beans (not islandy but I have it in the fridge and I need something easy that night)
Saturday... Fried Seafood

Scalloped Potato Soup

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is a variation of my cream of potato soup I make. It tastes just like my mom's scalloped potatoes which means it's even better the 2nd day!

Makes 8qts and is very forgivable

1 to 2 qts water
8 bouillon cubes (each cube = one cup broth)
1 or 2 sticks butter or margarine (I prefer 2)
3-5lbs potatoes, peeled and cut up
1lb bacon or ham
2 to 3 Tbsp dehydrated onions
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
black pepper

In 8qt pot add water, bouillon, butter, bacon/ham and potatoes...boil until potatoes are very tender...about 30mins
add in soup, mix well
stir in milk until desired thickness
heat until hot but not boiling
remove from heat
add salt and pepper to taste

Menu...February 8 - 14

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm a little behind and am not up to snuff on the rest of the week. But I'll try and get this done! It really helped last week to have it written. A few times I thought....I don't feel like making dinner, we'll have something easier (like sandwiches). Then I thought...but it will mess up my menu! Besides you don't have to think about it, it's already planned.

Sunday... Broiled steak, sauteed mushrooms, garlic egg noodles, candy sweet potatoes

Monday... Hot dogs and boxed mac and cheese (was out shopping with a few girls)

Tuesday... Scalloped potato soup, biscuits

Wednesday... Spanish Rice

Thursday... Chicken nuggets, corn, mashed potatoes

Friday... Egg spinach casserole, hash browns

Saturday... Not sure if we'll do something special or not, so not planned right now...still thinking

Grrrr! I hate getting old!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I don't know what's wrong with me. Since coming home from Florida I've been falling asleep on the couch pretty early, especially for me. Unfortunately it's effected my kitchen life. Last night was the 2nd night that leftovers I made were wasted because I wasn't awake to put them away. The other night half the taco soup got left out. Last night a LOT of the chicken and gravy didn't get put away. That's at least one other meal of either chicken noodle soup or chicken stew! The taco soup could've/would've been after school snacks and lunch.

February 1 - 7

Having gone grocery shopping a few times this week I have a lot of options to choose from. This makes my menu planning hard. I want to have everything NOW!!!

Sunday... Super Bowl "Party"...snacks...BBQ cocktail wienies, tequila lime chicken wings, cheese tray, chips and dip

Monday... Goulash (elbow macaroni with jarred sauce and tons of browned burger added)

Tuesday... Chicken and gravy, baked potatoes, bread

Wednesday... Pizza, veggies and dip

Thursday... Meatball subs, mozzarella cheese sticks (will be out most of the day)

Friday... Breakfast for dinner...eggs/breakfast casserole, hash brown patties, corned beef hash

Saturday... Burgers, french fries

Busy in the kitchen

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I did a bunch of things in the kitchen yesterday that will ease up things later. I browned 12lbs of burger...used 2lbs for goulash and put away 2 batches for future meals. I baked 4 lbs of bacon and put it in the freezer for later. Hopefully hands can keep off of it. I then boiled a 10lb bag of leg quarters. I used half of it for chicken and gravy which is on the stove now. The rest of it is in the freezer and will make a chicken hearty dish. I was going to divide the meat into 3 meals but decided it was cheap enough to be generous.

So with me being gone my grocery shopping tracking has gone down the tubes. I still want to keep track of it. I'm just trying how to do it as easy and accurately as I can...maybe do it on a monthly schedule instead of the year? Figuring the cost of dishes instead? But that leaves out snacks and frivolous stuff which negates the tracking. I'm still thinking on it but for now I'm not noting it.

I'm finding it hard to plan a menu because there's so much to choose from! LOL Poor me. I was going to have burgers last night but then the kids mentioned they had them for we had a meaty pasta instead. So now I'll bite the bullet and write that menu down.

Sticker shock

Sunday, February 01, 2009

In my mind I know that I'm lucky when it comes to my grocery shopping options and prices. Seeing it for myself though is another thing. I went to Largo Florida for a week with my dad. We stayed with my cousin, Tammy, who had recently lost her husband to pancreatic cancer. My dad and I bought the groceries and cooked the meals while we were there. My cousin kept saying I should give lessons, write everything down, teach her my tricks. Unfortunately it's not something you hear and learn. You have to actually do it, practice it etc. I love Tammy to death but she's fallen into bad habits and has a lot to learn. lol She's a convenience, stick to the name brand type of shopper.

I know the area has a publix, winn dixie and an aldi's in the area. She sticks mostly to Publix because she knows it and it's the closest. I never went into the Winn Dixie so not sure how their prices compared. I knew Aldi's would be the place to shop but she had never been to there and was iffy about trying it out (plus it was out of the way for her). Someone had given her $100 in Aldi's gift certificates for Christmas and knowing her decided to buy them from her, taking that pressure off of her. If I'd had more time down there...I might've been able to convert her to the German side. ;o)

Tammy and dad were laughing at me when I first got into Publix. I LOVE going into new stores, comparing prices and checking out the setups. Wegmans really has spoiled me in terms of how a store looks. I told them to give me a few extra minutes and don't worry...I'll only be scanning the outside of the store as it's where I shop mostly. While most prices were up to a $1 more then what I pay, I still found some things with prices I was comfortable with.

London Broil for $2.79/lb (frequently on sale for $1.99/lb in our stores)
Assorted pork chops for $1.49/lb (must've been a sale because it was $1.99/lb after Saturday)
Whole chickens for $.69/lb (reduced)
Pork Roast/fresh ham ($1.29/lb)

I didn't see much difference in most fresh veggie prices, frozen was a different matter. Dairy was a bit higher in some things, similar in others. It shows that knowing your prices (having a price book) is really the way to go.

So seeing the list above can you guess what we had for meals there?

Friday... London broil. We sliced it, turning one thick steak into two thinner steaks for the grill.

Saturday... Tacos (she had burger in the freezer)

Sunday... Pulled pork sandwiches (cooked a pork roast in the crock pot the night before)

Monday... Roasted Chickens

Tuesday... Everyone came to the house after Tammy's husband's service. Her boss bought finger sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs for the grill. Her son's manager (he works for Winn Dixie) brought a huge meat tray and a veggie with dip tray. I made cheezy potatoes, pineapple salad, and pasta salad. (Will get the potato recipe from my mom AGAIN and will post it here. Then I won't have to bug her anymore)

Now that I'm home I'm raring to get back into the home cooking and menu planning mode. The first day home I did a bunch of cleaning so it would be easier (including running vinegar through the coffee pot a few times). Now if only things would stay clean, I'd be all set. lol

I'll try to get a menu out for this week by tomorrow. I know tonight will be snack night as it's the super bowl and you HAVE to have snacks for that! Chicken wings, chips and dip, veggies, mini hot dogs, cheese and pepperoni with crackers.

TFT (Tips for Tammy)

The london broil.... slice it and freeze half for another meal. Marinating it for a few hours or overnight will add flavor and make it a bit more tender. I like to use Italian dressing. You can also use lime juice with some taco seasoning, or soy sauce and a bit of brown sugar for a teryaki type of flavor. Leftovers can be used in your fried rice recipe instead of pork. Or cut up and eaten in tortillas/tacos instead of burger.

Pulled Pork... put individual sized portions in sandwich baggies and freeze then the kids can pull them out, micro and have a sandwich really quick. (although it might not be quick enough for Danny lol)

Burger... you can brown frozen need to set out to defrost. Micro it for 3 minutes first so it's easier to break up and makes it quicker to cook. Or brown it before freezing. It's quick to do while putting groceries away. Drain in a strainer and run under hot water to rinse grease off before putting in baggies for freezer. 2 cups equals about 1lb of burger. (You can also add the taco seasoning before freezing making it even faster on taco day)

Chicken... remove meat from bones of leftovers and throw in baggies and then into freezer. Can use leftovers for chicken casserole, chicken and gravy, chicken fajitas, chicken fried rice. And yes, you can cook the bones to make broth, but it's ok if you don't...for now. ;o)

Pineapple Salad

This recipe is EASY! It's a family favorite and served at almost every holiday or special event in my family.

For each batch you use...

1 small box (4 servings) lemon jello
1 20oz can crushed pineapple, drained very well
1 half pint (8oz) heavy cream
1 to 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Make the jello according to directions, refrigerate until partially set. (jiggles when you touch the top, finger doesn't sink into it easily)
Whip the heavy cream, once it starts to get frothy...add the sugar. Continue whipping until it's very stiff (it looks like what I call crumbly...warning...mix too much and you'll end up with butter)
Fold the whipped cream and drained pineapple into the jello
Return to fridge and allow to set (about 3hrs)

I usually triple or quadruple this recipe which makes tons. (it fills a 4qt pyrex mixing bowl)

Grocery shopping so far this year

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1/8/09 - Walmart - 113.10 - Mostly for stomach bug (soda, popsicles, yogurt, etc)

1/13/09 - BJ's - 18.04 - milk, tea, vinegar

1/17/09 - BJ's - 42.44 - ramen noodles, colby jack cheese, mozz cheese, onion bagels, cheez-its, potato buds

1/17/09 - Walmart - 26.03 - milk, margarine, lard, instant coffee, rice, sour cream, pretzels, corn chips, ranch dressing mix, bread

Total for 2009 - 199.61

Menu...January 18 - 24

UB to the rescue!

UB is an uncle that shares our land (and many times meals) with us. Every once in a while he decides he wants some things from the store, hands me money and asks me to get it...along with whatever I want to. Yesterday he was in the mood for greasy Walmart fried chicken and V-8 juice. So I got to spend a bit of his money along with my own...making meal planning easier here. I included the things I bought for meals in my 2009 totals (see next post). I didn't include the fried chicken since it's take out (debating on including that budget in this blog), the V-8 is totally his...none for our use.

So the menu for this week so far is...

Sunday... Pizza, baby carrots and dip
Monday... Taco Soup with corn chips
Tuesday... Spaghetti with sauce and Italian sausage, homemade french bread
Wednesday... Meat and bean burritos with homemade tortillas, spanish rice
Thursday... Venison stew, biscuits

I'm not planning Fri and Sat since I'm hoping to go grocery shopping before those days, which will change the menu drastically.

False Start

Friday, January 16, 2009

I know I said I was going to start menu planning again. Unfortunately a stomach bug squashed that idea. I'm pretty sure we're done with it now so I'm trying to get back into the groove. Thing is, my cupboards, fridge and freezer are getting bare. That means everything will take some planning since it'll also take some preparing and cooking. No quick throw together things. Hopefully I'll be going grocery shopping on Wed or Thurs.

I found a tip online that will help me and large family BIG TIME! Using the crockpot as a rice cooker! I found this tip while reading through Steph's... A Year of CrockPotting a few weeks ago. My family can easily use 12 cups of cooked rice for a meal. I could never manage to successfully cook that much rice in one pot without scorching the bottom or it coming out chewy. My solution to this problem has been to not bother with rice much at all. Even when making asian type dishes we'd opt for spaghetti/lo mein instead rice. Today the avoidance of rice is over. I cooked 6 cups of rice in my 4qt crockpot and it came out wonderful! That's 18 cups of cooked rice, all cooked well with minimal attention. The kids that are home have already dug into my first batch and made bowls of candy rice (rice and sugar with milk). Me, I'm looking forward to having rice pudding and fried rice again.

To get a hand up on the prep of things I'm also in the middle of cooking kidney and black beans which I'll throw in the freezer for later. My next project is some flour tortillas. Oh and trying to figure out the meals for the next week. I also have my first shopping trip of 2009 to document. Most the things were to accommodate the stomach bug. I'll try to get those up by the end of the weekend.

Pineapple upside down cake

Saturday, January 03, 2009

We had to bring a dessert for our church's New Year's feast. I'd been in the mood for a pineapple upside down cake so made that. As usual I over estimated how much batter I needed so I'm writing down the revised recipe. Then remembering won't have to be a problem next time.

Makes an 11x17 lasagna pan
Oven 350°F


1 1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups packed brown sugar
3 lg cans crushed pineapple, drained
maraschino cherries (optional)


4 2/3 cup flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (or 6 egg whites if you want the cake to be a white cake)
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract (can sub almond)

Make topping first. Mix melted butter, brown sugar and crushed pineapple together. Spread in the bottom of pan. Place halved cherries around in a decorative pattern. Set aside

In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. With a mixer on low stir in softened butter, eggs, milk and extract. Beat on medium until well mixed and airy, about 2mins. Carefully spread batter over the topping. Bake about 45 mins. Cake is done when knife inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place a cookie sheet over top of cake pan and turn upside down, transfering cake from pan to cookie sheet.

Best served with whipped cream.

Note....I like my topping to be plentiful. Reducing topping ingredients by a third may be enough for other's. (I've never tried it though) Although I've been known to add an extra can of pineapple to it. lol

Time to start anew

With the beginning of a new year I'm hoping to start up here again. With all the hullabaloo of the holidays I lost track of how much was spent on food, so we're starting over again. I don't see myself going grocery shopping until the next payday, next week.

I never was too good about putting up my recipes like I thought I'd be. I'll try to be better about that. Actually I have a recipe to go up as soon as I'm done here. The yummy pineapple upside down cake I made for my church's New Year feast.

Now to think up a menu for the next week. I guess that would mean I'd have to find out what's in the fridge/freezer to use. lol Dinner preps have been pretty sketchy here. We've been eating a lot of soup, sandwiches, and snacks. I'm ready for full meat and potato meals. Not sure it'll happen this week though.