Saturday, February 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2/8-2/14

Last week's menu planwent pretty smoothly. We ended up with more leftovers than I expected so lunches were more interesting than an ordinary peanut butter and grape jam sandwich.

This week’s shopping trip was just like last week’s trip in that I really did not use much in the way of coupons and still saved money by shopping the sales at the grocery stores. I have a nice “stash” of meat in my freezer for meals for this next week (and beyond)!

I am sticking with the tried & true dishes for this week’s menus. It is just much easier for me to do tried & true recipes right now than to hear the whines from the family on how much they don’t like something I fixed.(It is so hard to let the complaints roll off my back after working hard to create something new for the palette.)

This week ends with Valentine’s Day!! As of this posting, it looks like hubby and I will be attending the Valentine’s Banquet at our church on Saturday night!! The kids will be left at home with my parents in charge. There is to be a skit at the banquet that hubby is a part of along with my oldest son! Oldest son will go with us out to church for the skit but then Grandpa will come and retrieve him so that he is not stuck at church during an “adults only” evening.

Lunches listed are for the kids & me. Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or baby carrots along with fruit juice or water. Hubby usually takes a dinner leftover for his work lunch. A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 400 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie site or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists! 

Sunday (2-8)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage, hash browns, and jiffy muffins


Dinner: taco bar

Snack: snack basket


Monday (2-9)

Breakfast: pancakes and bacon

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner:  beef gravy, noodles, and green beans

Snack: cookies, milk & yogurt


Tuesday (2-10)

Breakfast: cereal, & toast

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: BBQ pork/sloppy joe sandwiches, fries, and carrots

Snack: snack basket


Wednesday (2-11) 

Breakfast: waffles and sausage

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner: roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes & gravy, and corn

Snack: “mystery snack”

Thursday (2-12)

Breakfast: French Toast

Lunch: chicken nuggets 

Dinner: pork chops, mac & cheese, and peas

Snack: snack basket


Friday (2-13)

Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel

Lunch: sandwiches & chips

Dinner:  baked lemon pepper chicken, crashed potatoes, corn

Snack: ice cream night                                          


Saturday (2-14)  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”

Lunch: ???  probably leftovers

Dinner:  ????  banquet for hubby & I; not sure for the kids!

Snack:  snack basket  or popcorn




Friday, February 6, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip--Savings $61.44

Like last week, I ended up not using coupons for my weekly shopping(ooops, according to my receipts I used ONE--$1 off coupon!) but I still ended up with savings and staying under my $125/week goal(read more about my 2008 grocery results and 2009 grocery goals here)! I even took my hubby along for a trip but soon realized that wasn't a good idea because he ended up finding some things, like frozen pizza and cookies that I wasn't planning on buying! 

This week, I went to two stores for my shopping!  One of the stores, Family Fare, has milk gallons, including chocolate on sale for $1.99/gallon, limit 2!!  I haven't seen milk at this price for quite so I have been in the store a couple of times just to get milk! 
Along with getting milk at decent price, I was also able to "score" some markdown meats again!  I found two packages that were marked "hamburger" marked down. The meat in the package though looked ALOT leaner than most hamburger!  I am pretty sure that it was leftover meat from the fresh meat counter at Meijer that wasn't used the day before so they packaged it and sold it at discount!  My thoughts were confirmed when I cooked up the "hamburger" to find that there was not much in the way of grease in the pan that needed to be drained off of it. 

Here is the breakdown of my shopping...

1st Trip: Family Fare(this trip happened late last Saturday before the new weekly ad)
  • 2 Red Baron pizzas $6.99
  • 2 lb Velvetta cheese $3.79
  • 2 gallons milk $5.98
  • 2.61 lbs bananas $1.54
  • 12 pk Faygo rock & rye $3.87
  • 2 pkgs Keebler cookies $2.94
  • 2 bags potato chips $3.54
  • 2 bags tortilla chips $3.54
  • 4 cases(12pk) Pepsi $15.80
  • 2 bottles A&W rootbeer $1.96
Total: $80.56
Total OOP: $49.95
Total Savings: $30.61

2nd Trip: Family Fare...
  • 24pk Northern TP $5.99
  • 4 boxes chicken nuggets $10.00
  • 3 lbs margarine sticks $2.25
  • 2 gallons Milk $3.98
Total: $29.30
Total OOP: $22.58
Total Savings: $6.72

3rd Trip: Family Fare...
  • 2 gallons milk $3.98
Total: $6.98
Total OOP:$3.98
Total Savings: $3.00

4th Trip: Meijer...
  • 1.66lb ground chuck $3.30
  • 4.39lbs hamburger $7.04
  • 1.91lbs quarter ham $7.05
  • 2.36lbs red grapes $2.29
  • 3.54lbs apples $3.50
  • 4 cans green beans $1.34
  • 6 bags frozen veggies $6.00
  • 3 jars applesauce $5.37
  • 8lbs potatoes $2.79
  • 2 lbs bacon $4.00
Total: $64.77
Total OOP: $43.66
Total Savings: $21.11

Grand Total: $181.61
Grand Total OOP:$120.17
Grand Total Savings: $61.44

For more savings stories head over to MoneySavingMom's Super Saturday Savings or to BeCentsAble's Centsable Savings Stories.

Valentine's Day Unit Study Links

Looking for links to study Valentine's you go! At each link you will find tons of goodies to use from information about the history of the day to books to read to crafts to do!

Lacelle Family Ministries Valentine Unit Study tons of ideas and activities

Easy FunSchool's Valentines Unit a pdf of ideas and activities

Valentine's Day Unit Study

Eclectic Education's Valentine Unit Study

DLTK's Valentines Crafts crafts and activities

History of Valentine's day

Notebooking Pages free holiday notebooking pages

Enchanted Learning's Valentine's day Crafts

Homeschool Helper Online's Valentine Unit Ideas

Teacher Vision's Valentine Day's Teacher Resources

Family Fun's Valentine Crafts

How Valentine's Day Works

Valentine Reading Ideas -- different age level book lists

Mr. Donn's Valentine's Day Page

originally posted February, 2008

A Year in Review--Groceries

Over the last month, I have been working at getting a new household budget in place. One of the things that I do in order to make a new yearly household budget is to figure where I have been over the last year. What better time to look at where you have been over the last year than while you are doing your taxes! Anyway, back in October I wrote a post about what 10 months of groceries total for my family, so I thought I would share what my end results were for all 12 months.  

These totals are only for food, not included in the total: take out/dining out, paper products, HBC, household cleaners or soaps. 

Grand total spent on 12 months of food: $6666.37
Monthly average total: $555.53
Average per week(52 weeks): $128.20
Average per day(366 days-leap year): $18.21
Average per meal(3 meals each day) for 7 people: $6.07
Average per person: 87¢ each

Like I said at the writing of 10 month of groceries, I know that I have picky eaters who could care less about eating fruits and veggies, so I know that they probably don't get the daily recommended amount. However, I still have fruits & veggies available for consumption on a daily basis, even if it is mostly apples, grapes, carrots and corn!  I also am learning to be more sneaky with getting fruits and veggies into our meals. 

Putting all the numbers aside, with my figures and shopping methods we have been able to keep up on a freezer and pantry stockpile! We have been able to share meals with others. We are just picky enough in our eating habits that we eat meat at every dinner meal but I keep the meals simple. We also don't do meatless or breakfast meals for dinner! We don't do a lot of processed foods, however, I do keep things like chicken nuggets and frozen fries on hand for quick meals. I make from scratch the majority of our snacks and sweet tooth longings. 

I am sure that I could get the monthly figure of $555.53 to be lower if my area grocery stores doubled coupons or had other incentives or if I could figure out how to do the "drugstore game"and come ahead of the game without having to buy things that my family won't use or need.  Also with all the food price fluctuations recently I don't think I can do without some major changes in our eating habits.  

For this year,  my goals with the grocery budget is:
  • monthly average figure to around $525 per month. 
  • more fruits and veggies in our diet
  • keep my pantry stockpile in check(ie hubby says we don't need 25 boxes of cereal!)
  • do not buy anything we will not use even if it is a good deal
For more Frugal tips, recipes, resources, head over to Biblical Womanhood's Frugal Friday!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

This week's list is another fun list!  However, instead of doing more junk food, I thought I would be more diet friendly and talk about homeschooling!  

So here is my list of thirteen ways you can tell you are a homeschool family...

You might be a homeschool family if:

  1. Going to the grocery store is considered both a "field trip" and a "math lesson" because they get out during regular school hours and are doing math by adding up the cost of the groceries as you go along.

  2. Your school uniform is your PJ's.

  3. You have to clear the breakfast dishes before you can start school.

  4. You can't make it through the grocery produce department without asking your preschooler the name and color of every vegetable.

  5. You exclaim that the unknown dish in the fridge isn't because you need to clean, but because of science experiments! 

  6. You live in a one-house schoolroom. 

  7. Your children start coming up with curriculum ideas of their own: "Mom, can I make myself a Robin Hood hat for language arts?"

  8. You find yourself evaluating the aerobic value of vacuuming so you can log it under physical education. 

  9. Talking out loud to yourself is a parent/teacher conference. 

  10. The teacher gets to kiss the principal in the faculty lounge and no one gossips.

  11. Your neighbors think you are insane.

  12. Discipline for "cutting up in class" may include vacuuming or dishwashing.

  13. You get to change more than diapers; you get to change their minds.
So there you have it!!  Can you add anything to the list??

For more lists, head over to Happy to be at Home!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Homeschooling the Preschool Years

Do you have a preschooler??  Are you thinking about homeschooling your preschooler??  Are you wondering if you should get a pre-packaged curriculum to do with your preschool child?

Don't stress over getting a pre-packaged curriculum.  Relax and let them imagine, interact and explore their world!  Want to read more encouragement in how you can do that??  

Head over to Happy to be At Home and read more of my post Homeschooling the Preschool Years!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday--Two Bowls Better Than One

My tip today is probably a no brainer for those who do a lot of once a month cooking(OMAC) or who do up big batches of certain foods but this little tidbit I am about to share really helped me this morning while doing up a hot breakfast for my crew.

The tip is when making up a huge batch of pancake or waffle batter remember that TWO bowls are better than ONE!   

Now you are probably wondering how I came to this revelation.....

I am working at getting out of a rut for the breakfast routine.  I am trying to up my average of hot breakfasts from 3 days weekly to 5 days during the week, hence working towards ridding my family of the cold cereal and toast morning routine.   

Anyway, I planned to do pancakes and bacon for breakfast so I made up TWO triple batches of my pancake batter. Well this Mom of five does not have a gigantic mixing bowl to make up the batter in ONE bowl!  So I got out TWO of my mixing bowls and set to work putting the ingredients into each bowl making the batches up simultaneously.  Once I completed making up the batter, I was able to put a lid on the bowl that I wasn't going to use first and put it in the fridge so I wasn't losing counter space and nothing got dropped into the batter! 

Another reason to put it into TWO bowls rather than just one is if I did not have time this morning to make up the both sets of batter I have the ability to come back to it later and finish making them for putting in the freezer.   

One downside to multiple bowls is that it creates more dishes to wash but in the end if it is going to save my sanity...well I'll use two bowls.

The end result of my madness of TWO triple batches of pancakes is one hot breakfast for seven and two gallon size freezer ziploc bags for two more hot breakfast by thawing and reheating.

For more kitchen tips, head over to Tammy's Recipes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Organizing Round-up---Filing Cabinets

Laura, the Organizing Junkie is having an Organizing Round-up again this year so I thought I would join in!!

These are two crates of homeschool resources & papers plus articles I want to keep plus some college research papers I want to keep. However, I need to delutter it and reduce!! This is the BEFORE pic:

This is the AFTER picture!!

This is "junk"/recycle paper stack that came from those two crates!!  AHHHH!! Feels good to get rid of all that pile!!

I just got a new to me desk that has a drawer for hanging folders so I took what was left in the two crates and put them in the drawer. (sorry forgot a pic of the drawer!)  There is room to spare in the drawer!!

To see what others have accomplished, head over to Laura's Roundup Post!!

Menu Plan Monday 2/1-2/7

Last week's menu plan went pretty smoothly. There was just one “hiccup” where I didn’t get my roast, carrots, and potatoes meal in the crockpot on time for it to be ready for our dinner hour. I had a “plan B meal” in place just in case so we ended up going with the “plan B meal” and the roast dinner ended up being a simple heat-up for the following day! I tried a new recipe by tweaking it for my family’s tastes. The dish was a success and will definitely be making it to my master main dish list.

This week’s shopping trip was a little different for me in that I really did not use much in the way of coupons and still saved money by shopping at Save A Lot & Aldis and the sales at the grocery stores.

This week’s menus are another round of family favorites. I decided to give my family a break from the new dishes by doing the tried & true recipes.

Lunches listed are for the kids & me. Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or baby carrots along with fruit juice or water. Hubby usually takes a dinner leftover for his work lunch.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 300 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists! 

Sunday (2-1)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage, hash browns, and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: leftover spaghetti
Dinner: ??
Snack: snack basket

Monday (2-2)

Breakfast: pancakes
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: chicken/fish, mashed taters & corn
Snack: cookies, milk & yogurt

Tuesday (2-3)

Breakfast: cereal, toast & yogurt
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: burgers, homemade fries, and carrots
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (2-4) 

Breakfast: waffles and sausage
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: Cordon Bleu, boiled potatoes, and corn
Snack:“mystery snack”

Thursday (2-5)

Breakfast: French Toast
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: Saucy Chicken, rice and green beans
Snack: snack basket

Friday (2-6)

Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: pizza and breadsticks
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (2-7)

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ???probably leftovers
Dinner: pork loin, mashed potatoes & gravy, and corn
Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Meijer Deals 2/1-2/7

Just a reminder, that I am using a West Michigan sale ad and my Meijer does NOT double coupons! Also check the THREE pages of Mealbox coupons there are several cpns that match items in this week's ad!

Promotion: Purchase any Meijer Brand Health & Beauty Care Products individually priced at $2.97 or more and save up to $8! Buy any 3 get $3, buy any 4 get $5 off, buy any 5 or more get $8 off your next shopping trip!

Meijer Brand Sale-- Buy 10 for $10 get 11th item FREE!
  • Avocados

  • Del Monte Fruit Naturals 8 oz

  • Flat or Curly Leaf Spinach 10 oz

  • Meijer 8 ct Pastry Treats

  • Meijer Fruit Snacks

  • Meijer Brown & Serve White or Wheat Rolls 12 ct pkg

  • Meijer Crescent Rolls

  • Meijer Big & Flaky Biscuits

  • Meijer Cinnamon Rolls

  • Meijer Pizza Crust tube

  • Meijer Essentials Paper Towels - 1 roll

  • Meijer Facial Tissue Flat or Cube with Lotion

  • Meijer Fruit in Juice Syrup

  • Meijer Ground Turkey 16 oz pkg frozen

  • Meijer Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Fruit Punch or Limeade 12 oz - frozen

  • Meijer Old Fashioned Soft Cookies 10-11 oz

  • Meijer Organics Whole White or Whole Mini Bella Mushrooms 8 oz pkg

  • Meijer Original, Thick & Chunky or Bean & Corn Salsa

  • Meijer Plastic Spoons, Fork or Combo 48 ct

  • Meijer Pretzels 9-15 oz

  • Meijer Shells & Cheese Dinner or Deluxe Mac & Cheese Dinner

  • Meijer Split Top White or Wheat Bread

  • Meijer Tomato or Vegetable Juice 46 oz can

  • Meijer Vegetables 16 oz - frozen

  • Yellow Onions 3 lb bag


Center Cut Half Boneless Pork Loin or Fresh Pork Spareribs $1.79/lb

Kelloggs Cereal - High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Jumbo Krispies, Keebler Cookie Crunch $1.99

Kelloggs Yogos or Fruit Snacks ~~ save 50%

Meijer BBQ Sauce 92¢

Meijer Lunchumms 5/$5

Meijer Mac & Cheese Dinner 5/$2

Meijer Pasta 16 oz box 49¢

Meijer Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product Singles 12 oz 3/$6

Meijer Natural Cheese Slices 8 oz pkg 3/$6

Michigan Premium Baking Russet Potatoes 8 lb bag $2.79

Washington Red or Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Braeburn, Pinata, Jonagold or Fuji Apples, 97¢/lb

Keebler Graham Sandwich Bites, Special K Crackers or Right Bites 2/$5
$1/2 cpn 12-14 RP

General Mills Cereal - Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Golden Grahams $1.89
$1/3 cpn 01-04 GM

Aunt Millies Homestyle 100% Wheat Bread 24 oz loaf $1.99
35/1 cpn 01-11 RP

Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice or Ocean Spray Cranergy 46-64 oz 2/$5
$1/1 cpn 01-11 RP (cpn on light or diet only)

Kelloggs Cereal - Frosted Flakes Gold, Crispix or Frosted Flakes 2/$5
$1.50/2 cpn 01-18 RP

Kelloggs Cereal - Raisin Bran Extra, Special K Blueberry, Little Bites Mini Wheat Honey Nut or Chocolate 4/$10
$1.50/2 cpn 01-18 RP

Kelloggs Pop Tarts 8 ct 4/$6
$1/2 cpn 01-18 RP

Campbells Healthy Request Soup - can 5/$5
40/2 cpn 02-01 S

Mrs Dash Seasoning Blends $1.99
50/1 cpn 02-01 S


Almay Smart Shade, Pure Blend Cosmetic or 80 ct Eye Make Up Remover ~~ buy 1 get 1 FREE! $1/1 cpn 01-11 S

Bonne Bell or Lip Smackers Cosmetics ~~ buy 2 get 1 FREE!

Colgate Total, Total Advanced, Max Fresh, Liquid Gel Toothpaste 2/$5
$1/1 cpn 02-01 S

Meijer Supplements ~~ buy 1 get 1 FREE!

Loreal Eye Makeup Product ~~ buy 1 get 1 FREE!
$2/1 cpn 01-04 R1

Loreal Foundation ~~ buy 1 get 1 Blush, Powder or Concealer FREE!
$3/1 cpn 01-04 R1

Loreal Hair Color ~~ save $5 off 2
$2/1 cpn 01-04 R1(preference hair color only) & $2/1 cpn 01-11 RP (cpn for Excellence Hair Color only)

Nature Made Supplements ~~ buy 1 get 1 FREE!
$1/1 cpn 02-01 S

Speed Stick 24/7 or Lady Speedstick 24/7 2/$5
75/1 cpn 02-01 S

***Please take the time to check out your local ad, which you can find here!! IF Meijer is not your store of choice, head over to BeCentsAble's Grocery Gathering!!***