Showing posts with the label Menu Planning

10 Money Saving Hacks For A Happier (And Cheaper) Holidays!

In 10 Money Saving Tips for a Frugal Holidays, I focused on how to save money on gifts and stockings. Those tips have saved people a lot of money since the post was published. However, during the holidays, saving money on gifts is not the only way to save money!

During the holidays, normally frugal people can even go crazy and spend money that they know better than to spend! Something about the holiday spirit makes people throw out their budgets and good caution. We want to be generous, treat people well, and generally have a good time. That is great to do, but we can all practice good sense with these money-saving hacks listed below!

1. Respect the traditions. If you have certain things you do every year and you know your family will miss them if you don't do them, keep the traditions alive as long as you can afford it. The costs of these traditions should already be in your holiday budget. If you take the whole family to a big show every year, that costs should already be figured …

60 Ways To Save Money Today

Saving money is always important. For most people, it is a part of every decision they make. 

With the economy in a precarious position, we all need to work on saving more money! Practicing good money-saving habits now will help you in the future when the money might be tighter than ever. The tips below will help you save more money and might even give you more ideas on how to save money in other areas of your life. 

With that said, here is 60 Ways To Save Money Today:

1. Eat up the leftovers in the fridge. It's just food!

2. Eat from your fridge first to use up the food that will go bad the fastest.

3. Do not eat out - unless you scored a free meal for yourself or your family!

4. Use your gift cards - saving them for some rainy day is wasting money.

5. Use coupons on things you buy.

6. Use your store loyalty cards. Load coupons and store specials on them.

7. Sign up for free samples and accept them when shopping. Free is good!

8. Use sites like Swagbucks to earn points for gift cards and E…

Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month 2 and November's Meal Plans

Here we are, Month 2 of the Once A Month Shopping Challenge!

I tried to be a little more prepared for this month. I have officially made my three planned stops as of yesterday. The first stop was to K-Mart to get:

2 bags of dog food
2 bags of cat food (grain-free for the cat with a sensitive stomach)
1 bag of cat litter
1 bottle of shampoo (for me)
1 bottle of shampoo/conditioner (for Dane)
2 bottles of conditioner (1 for me, 1 for Paige)
2 bottles of Vitamin C gummies (buy 1, get 1 free)

I cannot find the receipt right now, but I know I spent $76 with taxes and we saved $25 with coupons and discounts. Some things like cat litter have gone up a bit and that surprised me. 

The second stop was to Menards. I have this receipt! At Menards, I bought:

1 Plastic Window Kit to cover my inside windows
1 Plastic Door Kit to cover my back door until I get a new storm door
1 Garden Hand Shovel to replace the one the dog chewed up
2 different size drill bits because the ones I had were dull
1 set of sticky mouse…

The Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month One Update

My first month's Once A Month Shopping Challenge will be done in just a few days. I will probably go grocery shopping a few days early due to how my budget works and when I get paid. However, I wanted to give you an update so you can see how it is going so far. 

The successes:

I feel like I have been freed from shopping. Really! We have found so many creative solutions to problems like Paige's Halloween costume. The kids have been on board with this challenge and they like it so far. They even went grocery shopping with me for the month. They thought about things I had forgotten to write down and what I had not fully planned out (cold lunches).

For the first three weeks, this challenge went smashingly. We are naturally frugal as a family so this challenge didn't hit us too bad. We had a lot in food storage and full freezers which helped greatly. We made a good dent in the upstairs freezer and hope to get more done there in the next month. 

We made bread like usual, brownies, m…

October Monthly Meal Plan - A First In My World!

In junction with my once a month shopping trip to the grocery store, I needed to work out a month of meals to make. This was actually pretty easy for me because we have a lot of the same meals from month to month. I usually try 2-3 new meals a month as well, but I don't always get it done.

From October 8th, when we went grocery shopping, this what I have made so far:

Thursday: Frugal Refrigerator Clean-out Frittata

Friday: Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with Rice and Peas

I put the carcass of the chicken back into the slow cooker, filled it with water, added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, and left it on low to cook all weekend.

Saturday: Breakfast and Lunch were find your own or leftovers. Paige and I were at State Marching Band Contest. Supper was Chicken Broccoli Casserole using chicken leftover from Friday's meal and broth from the slow cooker.

Sunday: Baked Oatmeal for breakfast, Chicken and Noodles for lunch using chicken from Friday night and broth from the slow cooker. Whatever b…

Sunday Savings on the Homestead Week 6: Meal Planning and No Eating Out Week

Every Sunday I will be posting a Sunday Savings on the Homestead. This posts will concentrate on one money saving thing you and I can do to save money for the week. Some will be easy, some will be be a bit difficult, and all will concentrate on one way to save money for the week. Please join me in trying to live a frugal life in 2015!

I have been in a huge meal planning crunch lately. With junior high basketball over with, life is getting back to normal. And I need to get back onto the meal planning way as soon as possible. This challenge is just as much for you as it is for me.

We have been eating very quick meals that do not produce leftovers. I have also have a starving 10 year old son and 14 year old daughter to contend with. They are doing their best to eat me out of the house. Therefore, I have been having to eat out at lunch or buy more food for lunch. Both of those things can really hurt my budget. 

How do I meal plan? Sometimes very simply and sometimes I have to write a grocery…

Do you have a list of meals?

I have resisted this idea for a long time. Making a list of meals that we make on a regular basis or that I would like to incorporate on a regular basis. I just didn't think it was necessary. I had many excuses for not doing this too. Excuses such as it was a waste of time, I try too many new recipes to have a consistent list, didn't see the benefit, etc.

After reading a few books in the last two weeks that emphasized having a list of meals, I began to see the wisdom and multiple benefits beyond just for organization's sake. Why I resisted this for so long baffles me now. This can take some time to do, but it is easy to start. I sat down and listed my favorite meals that I make. Then I asked my kids what meals they liked and could think of. Finally I turned to my cookbooks that I use the most and/or had tabs marking good recipes. This did not take me long at all.

The benefits of having a meal list are many:

1. Saving money: With your meal list, you can compare your list wi…

Meal Plan for Week of March 5

Below is our meal plan for the week. I need to have a plan and be accountable for it. I skipped a few weeks of planning just to get some things cleaned up and out of the freezer. I am trying to make room for the half of beef that I want to have ordered and processed soon. This week will be a little of the same, but hopefully focusing more on the healthier meals.

Monday - Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Celery, and Onions in the Crockpot
Tuesday - Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice, Leftover Vegies from Saturday's meal
Wednesday - Turkey Sloppy Joes, Homemade Baked Potato Chips
Thursday - Roast Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Corn (Frozen from last summer)
Friday - Easy Baked Rigatoni, SaladThis weekend's meals are still up in the air, but Saturday's lunch may include leftovers! Sundays we usually have brunch instead of lunch and that includes something like pancakes or French toast. Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Menu Plan for November 7 - 20th-ish

Ahh, yes, the menu plan. I remember thee this week. I forgot about thee last week and we had a week of not eating so well. Alas, I made up for that over the weekend with corned beef casserole, oven beef stew, french toast, corn casserole, and chicken enchiladas.

Thus I will be getting back on course this week by having a plan. A novel idea, yes?

Monday - Volleyball/Football Awards Banquet
Tuesday - Leftovers from the weekend due to Parent Teacher Conferences
Wednesday - Leah's Spaghetti Casserole
Thursday - Slow Cooker Chicken or More Leftovers from the weekend due to more Parent Teacher Conferences
Friday - ? (I am not sure I will be home)
Saturday - MY BIRTHDAY (I haven't decided yet what I want or am making Rob cook!)
Sunday supper - Tacos

Monday - Oven Baked Chicken Thighs and Rice
Tuesday - Girls Basketball Jamboree - Spaghetti (?)
Wednesday - Pork Chops and Potatoes
Thursday - Chicken Noodle Soup
Friday - Kids Choice
Saturday lunch - Buttermilk Pancakes
Saturday supper -…

Menu Plan for October 17 - 30

Here is the menu plan for the next two weeks. I am winging it for this time around because this kind of snuck up on me - just like my cold did!

Monday - Find Your Own Night
Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday - Spaghetti
Thursday - Chicken Tacos (Crock Pot)
Friday - Chipped Beef on Toast
Saturday lunch - Pancakes & Bacon
Saturday supper - Steak & Potatoes on the grill
Sunday lunch - Shredded Chicken Sandwiches **New Recipe

Monday - Chicken Loaf & Rice
Tuesday - Kids Choice
Wednesday - Pork Chops & Potatoes
Thursday - Asian Chicken & Rice
Friday - Sunday: I will be gone this weekend! Kids will be at Grandma's house!

Nothing fancy for these next two weeks. Most of these are recipes that are regulars at our house and have been made time and time again. If you are interested in any of these meals and want the recipes, I will be more than happy to post them or show you how I make them.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Menu Plan October 3 - 16

Here is my menu plan for the next two weeks. I am at a loss that I don't have any slow cooker meals planned, but as fall continues there will be.

Monday - Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup & Bread
Tuesday - Turkey Meatloaf & Potatoes (new recipe)
Wednesday - Chuckwagon Wraps & Salad
Thursday - Volleyball Game
Friday - Corn Casserole
Saturday noon - Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (new recipe)
Saturday supper - Tuna Noodle Casserole
Sunday noon - leftovers
Sunday supper - kid's choice

Monday - Indonesian Chicken with Green Beans & Rice (new recipe)
Tuesday - Volleyball Game
Wednesday - Baked Rigatoni
Thursday - Volleyball Game
Friday - Chicken Loaf & Rice
Saturday noon - Volleyball Tourney
Saturday supper - French Toast & Bacon
Sunday noon - leftovers
Sunday supper - kid's choice

I am trying new things. We needed to have one meal where the leftovers are going to get eaten. We have a little too much for me to eat for lunches during the week. I also thought…

Meal Planning

Have you ever heard the saying you can not plan too much? I didn't believe that saying either until 2-3 years ago.  When Shali went to high school, I suddenly understood this saying in all its glory. One of the areas I knew I had to get my act together in was meal planning.

Meal planning is extremely important! I pride myself on having a thorough pantry that I can pull a lot of meals from, but when the clock says 5:30 pm I am just like anyone else. "What am I making for dinner?!? Ahhh!!!" I like having a plan and following, somewhat closely, the plan. Meal planning also helps with my food storage and building my food storage. How do I plan meals?

I know how you should do the meal planning. You should make a list of meals that your family eats and make a monthly meal plan according to the list of meals you made. You should then stick to the plan as closely as possible accounting for leftovers and whatnot.

I do not do that. I should. I really should, but I have a huge pil…