Pages

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coupon Class


I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who attended the coupon class last week. I really enjoyed it.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I know it's overwhelming to hear it all at once and then go home by yourself and try to apply everything that was taught. Remember to start small and add more as you get the hang of it all. It's definately a learning curve.

For those of you who weren't able to make it or just need a refresher I plan on getting as much of it as possible on my blog. I'd like to do it in a couple of podcasts, if I could. It may take me a few weeks, but I aim to start on it this week. Until then, you can always check out my series that i've written on How I feed my family for $300 a month. It's a very condensed version of the class.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Planning Monday


I'm a little late in getting this posted, but better late than never! This menu cost me right at about $80.00. My weekly budget is $75.00 for our family of 9. Remember though, I was had to completely buy all new meat due to the hurricane that came through. It's ok though since I still had leftover money from my previous budgets.

Breakfast:
Monday: Waffles and fruit
Tuesday: Baked oatmeal
Wednesday: Muffins and sausage
Thursday: Eggs and biscuits
Friday: Pancakes and fruit
Saturday: Eggs, hashbrowns, and a meat
Sunday: Country ham and gravy over biscuits

Lunch:
Monday: Grilled hot dogs, homemade mac & cheese, and a veggie
Tuesday: Sandwiches and a veggie
Wednesday: Soup and crackers
Thursday: Fried ham, mashed potatoes, and a veggie
Friday: Baked potatoes and vegetable plate
Sat and Sun: We either eat leftovers, or a salad, or sandwiches

Snacks:
Monday: Banana bread
Tuesday: Fruit
Wednesday: Homemade cookies
Thursday: Veggie and cheese tray
Friday: Tortilla wraps---> Filled with peanut butter, banana, and/or honey

Dinner:
Monday:
Teriyaki chicken
Eggrolls
Fried rice

Tuesday:
Mini meatloaf patties
Braised radishes
Cheesy cauliflower casserole

Wednesday:--->It's supposed to be cooler, I can't wait!
Homemade chili
Cornbread

Thursday:
Crockpot ribs
Mashed potatoes
Corn

Friday:
Homemade pizza
Breadsticks

Saturday:
Smothered pork chops
Rice and gravy
Green beans
Yeast rolls

Sunday:--->Olive Garden night! I got the recipes from copycat recipes. It tastes exactly like the real thing!
Blackened chicken alfredo
Tuscana soup
Breadsticks

Olive Garden alfredo sauce:
Ingredients:
1 pint of Heavy Cream
1 stick of butter
2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
1/2 - 3/4 C. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Directions:
In a saucepan combine butter, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Simmer this until all is melted, and mixed well. Add the Parmesan cheese and Garlic powder. Simmer this for 15 - 20 minutes on low. You may wish to season with a little salt and pepper. I have done this with half and half, but we prefer the heavy cream. But I wouldn't try it with plain milk.

Olive Garden zuppa tuscana soup:
Ingredients:
1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
1/2 package Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits or 6 slices bacon, crumbled
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. Kale or Swiss chard chopped
2 cans Chicken Broth
1 qt. Water
1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp fennel seed
Directions:
Brown sausage in large pot. Place in bowl and put off to side after done cooking. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot, and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste, and fennel seed and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat, add kale and cream. Heat through and serve. Please don't skip the fennel seed. It is what really makes the dish turn out just like the real thing!

For more great menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Planning Mondays.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Works for me Wednesday: How to hang a picture in the perfect spot

I've always had a hard time in the past hanging something on the wall in just the right place. I would pick out a spot and then when all was said and done I would find that either the picture was too high or too low.


Well one day, after listening to me complaining about how a new mirror I just bought was hung too low, my ingenious husband came up with a great idea on how to solve my problem.

To do this the first thing he does is to stick a thumb tack through a piece of masking tape, (sticky side facing the tack). Next he then tapes it onto the picture. You now have the thumb tack sticking out facing you. We then pick out a perfect spot for our picture on the wall. He then pushes the picture against the wall right in the spot we chose, (this sticks the tack into the wall), and pulls it right back out. It leaves a tiny hole in the wall, obviously. After that he hammers a nail right into the tiny hole he just made and then hangs the picture. Voila, now my pictures are in the perfect spot every time.

For more Works For Me Wednesday posts be sure to visit Shannon's blog, Rocks In My Dryer.


Fresh Eggs!


This is for all you local people who keep up with my blog. We have 11 layers now! It's about time all the girls started laying since they are 6 months old now. What that means though, is that we have a bit of an excess. Even my large family cannot eat all the eggs we are getting.

As of right now I have about an extra 2-3 dozen per week of brown eggs, depending on how many we use. If you want fresh eggs instead of store bought, here's your chance. I don't charge a set rate, just a small donation to help cover feed costs if you can. If not, then it is our blessing to you. You can just email me or even talk to me in person if you want. I do have a few egg cartons, but those things are expensive so keep yours if you can. Have a great day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Planning Monday:


I actually planned a menu this week! I don't know if the motivation for it is because I have a class to teach on menu planning and budgeting this week, or if it's because i'm just so ready to get back to normal life again. I normally have a budget of $75.00 per week for my family of 9. This weeks menu cost $100.00 since I was out of so many things.
So maybe this week isn't as frugal as usual but don't worry, i'm still on budget since I had leftover money from previous weeks. I am also still stockpiling a few things that I have coupons for. I have enough bottles of salad dressing to last the rest of the year or more. I was out of anything that wasn't perishable because of the hurricane so that's why it's a bit more this time.

I do have to say that it is so nice to eat cooked food again. We are all so tired of sandwiches here. You just have no clue.

Breakfast:
Monday:
Waffles and fruit
Tuesday: Baked oatmeal
Wednesday: Muffins and sausage
Thursday: Eggs and biscuits
Friday: Pancakes and fruit
Saturday: Eggs, hashbrowns, and a meat
Sunday: Country ham and gravy over biscuits

Lunch:
Monday:
Grilled hot dogs, homemade mac & cheese, and a veggie
Tuesday: Sandwiches and a veggie--->sorry kids!
Wednesday: Soup and crackers
Thursday: Fried ham, mashed potatoes, and a veggie
Friday: Baked potatoes and vegetable plate
Sat and Sun: We either eat leftovers, or a salad, or sandwiches

Snacks:
Monday:
Banana bread
Tuesday: Fruit
Wednesday: Homemade cookies
Thursday: Veggie and cheese tray
Friday: Tortilla wraps---> Filled with peanut butter, banana, and/or honey

Dinner:
Monday:
Crockpot chicken--->recipe below!
Rice pilaf
Corn on the cob

Tuesday:
Baked tilapia
Butter and garlic green beans
Salad

Wednesday:
Mexican bar night--->we have tacos, burritos, enchiladas, mexican rice, refried beans. Everyone just chooses what they want.

Thursday:
Family syle chicken
Roasted squash and zucchini
Yeast rolls

Friday:
Baked italian sausage and peppers
Green beans
Twisted breadsticks

Saturday:
BLT's
French fries

Sunday:--->one of our favorites! I can give recipes if you'd like.
Mini meatloaf patties with mushroom gravy
Braised radishes
Cheesy cauliflower casserole

One of my easiest recipes that I cook on a busy day is crockpot chicken. It only takes about 5 minutes to get started and everyone here loves it. I used to make it without the thyme and rosemary, but it has made it so much better since we started adding these herbs. We use dried herbs out of our garden, but you can use fresh also if you'd like.

Crockpot Chicken:
1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of water
salt and pepper
garlic powder
Thyme
Rosemary

Directions:
Put chicken in crockpot. Add canned soups and water, mix as well as you can. Season top of chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary. I just eye it. I might use about 1 tsp of each. Cook on high for about 6 hours or until done. I usually debone it after it's done cooking since I have little ones.

For more great menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Planning Mondays.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't know whether to laugh or cry

Our trip to visit family in Houston has been great so far. We have been enjoying their outdoor kitchen, sitting in the jacuzzi, and visiting with family. It's been really nice. That is until we heard the news that hurricane Ike has decided to follow us here.

We have been following the news and were so sure that Ike was headed south of here so we decided to stay. Now the county we are in is talking about mandatory evacuations tomorrow. We are actually considering staying put here if the road conditions are like they were for Rita. Evacuating the Houston area is a disaster waiting to happen.

So now, either our trip will be cut short, if we can even leave, or we will be going through yet another hurricane. God be with us. Please pray that we will be safe whatever decision we make.

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's official....

I'm exhausted. Yes, this supermom is just plain ol' worn out. The middle of night feedings, broken bones, illness, hurricanes, and now surgery this morning on the before mentioned broken bone have all taken their toll. Life happens at times.

Although this is a tough season I still find rest in my Lord. I draw strength and comfort from God's word.

Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I was reading a book to the younger children the other night before bed. It is a book by Max Lucado named, You Are Special. It is about a wood carver who has made a village of wooden people. One little wooden person cannot do anything special so he has no self worth. By visiting with his maker everyday he learns how much his maker loves him and just how special he is. While my issue is not with self worth, I was reminded that when I meet with my maker I find rest and peace. God can even use a children's book to give encouragement when you need it.

So, for all you locals who know me personally, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am ok, I am just busy taking care of life right now.

Oh, Rebekah did fine during her surgery. She is just in quite a bit of pain right now. We are trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. Just praying that her finger will be healed after this. Love you all.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

We've been out of commission here for awhile. Hurricane Gustav decided to pay a little visit. We had lots to do to prepare beforehand. We were going to leave, but decided to stick it out. The kids were scared, but we kept them occupied with new board games and color books. We fared out really well compared to alot of people here. We just have to fix our fence that we lost and our master bathroom window.

I am happy to report that although shaken and quite irate, all of our chickens made it through just fine. In protest though, they decided not to give us any eggs for a few days. After we gave them fresh shavings, food and water I think they may have calmed down a bit. We are slowly starting to get eggs again. If I didn't know any better, I would think that the children were more concerned for the chicken's safety than our own.

It is actually a beautiful day here today so i'm hoping that we'll dry out and get some more work done. I need that fence back up so that I can let the kids out in the yard again. We all are tired from a long week.

In other news, we are getting Beka's cast off today. Hopefully the finger will have healed and won't need to be re-casted. I know the other children are ecstatic since she has discovered that it can be used as a weapon. Her new nickname is "the club".

Hopefully soon i'll be able to get back to blogging on a regular basis.