Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh yeah, the challenge goes into its 2nd week..

 My family could eat this daily. Whenever I make it, they literally lick the plates and pan clean, so I decided to one-up the process by making lo mein. The whole meal, cost under $15. If you buy the ready lo mein in the freezer section, there are never enough noodles, so I added 3/4 a box of speghetti noodles and an extra bag of frozen stir fry veggies. The bottles of stir fry sauce is the most expensive part of this meal, $3.40, and you will use the entire bottle. But my family prefers soy sauce, and they let me know that after this particular meal. I will oblige them, it will save me  money!
  I even had left overs which then doubled as my Friday dinner! BONUS.  this don't spend $ on food thing is going to happen people!
I made my hubby and I a delicious rib eye steak to accompany this meal for a few choice reasons:  1.  it was unthawed already, and would only feed a select few in the house 2. My husband firmly believes it isn't an actual meal without meat (I put ground beef in the lo mein, but that would not due compared to a steak). I threw those steaks in the iron skillet on high, and they carmalized beautifully!

Friday: was easy meal night, LEFT OVERS! There was a full speghetti & meatball meal, 3 plates of lo mein, and 2 bowls of chili and chips. We were all full and happy to eat the repeats.

Saturday is pulled pork might with a vat of red bean & rice.
Sunday will be tricky, I hate cooking on my Sabbath, but not only that, but our evening church service gets over at 6:30 and a meal better hot and ready on my table when I get home, otherwise there is crabby chaos.
To be continued!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tricky Wednesday Meal

Wednesday is our bizzy night. It seems we are flying from one end of town to the other with a few extra kids in tow. I'm big on not feeling rushed, EveR. When I'm rushed I get flustered quickly and do really silly things, like hit my husbands work vehicle with our personal vehicle (I do like to over achieve), or forget a kid at home, or burn down a kitchen. With this being said, I try to still have a sit down meal for the family, even on nutty days like Wednesday evenings.
Meal plan for tonight:
Baked Chicken drummies (frost bitten in the freezer from a month ago... Still GOOD) smothered in "Slap Ya Mama" seasoning.
This is my families favorite seasoning. It's got a Louisianan flare, but I'm 98.7% sure my kids  eat it simply for its name.
I deserve a few slaps every now and then, so this is my way of receiving it!

I'm going to pair our spicy chicken drummies this with Red Beans and rice and cut up apples.  I actually bought the "Slap Ya Mama" brand red beans & rice, but we're going to eat that brand of Red beans and rice on Saturday with my pulled pork roast. Too much slapping your mother just can't be good for nobody!
 This is really a fuss free meal for me. Everybody wins when momma is happy on Wednesday nights!

PS. I do have to go to the grocery store today, after I get my hair did. Wish me luck; I just need toilet paper, can't eat that, so this spending doesn't count toward my challenge. I'll let you know if I walk out with my toilet paper ONLY!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Personal Challenge

I just spent $190 at the grocery store (-$8 for my face lotion, can't eat that!). No I don't coupon, but I do shop sales. Normally my biweekly food budget is $300. So I still have some room to splurge here people. As for what I bought today, many of the items I bought were stock items which was approximately $20 of the $182 (bullion, dried minced garlic, mayo...) and the other items were necessities: cereal, milk, peanut butter, cheese, the pricey items, mind you.
I went to the store with a menu that I made up after pulling the meat from the freezer and when I began I was already slightly agitated.  from there I really watched what I placed in my cart.
The Reason for this Madness:
 As I was unloading and putting all my items away, I realized that I have a plethora of food in my pantry and my freezer already. It does help that I have enough ground beef to last another 6 months, but that aside, I realize that I have a ton of food. I think with intentional meal-planning, some creativity, and my 2 older offspring & my husband buy-in, I think this challenge needs to be done!

My personal challenge: To not spend any more money on food, unless warranted for an already planned meal, until next pay day (February 4). Yes, this includes eating out! But this is a huge challenge, because our house is on the market, and most showings are around lunch or dinner time. I will have to give myself some grace, or just be extra diligent to bring our meals with us if this does occur!

Why, for the love of all that's good and pure would I do this you may ask yourself with ire...
****Because I don't think I really NEED anything more to feed my family. If I am able to save money, shouldn't I?
As I was putting away today's groceries I was taking note of all the food I have in my house already.  Here's my evidence:
Pantry & Freezer check
  • Bread--2 or 3 loaves in freezer
  • Meat--- all you can handle ranging from ground beef to chicken breast (nothing fancy however)
  • Cereal--- just bought 6 boxes of corn flakes and rice krispies
  • 2 gallons of milk
  • lunch sandwiches are premade and in the freezer ( I will need a sammich count  however, they are not in my realm of responsibilities)
Now, I already have my meals planned out for this week, but not the next. I will have to do this today or tomorrow, if I am going to make this challenge.
I'm starting to twitch already. I don't like challenges, but I'm feeling compelled. I know I'm forgetting things! Hey, it wouldn't be called a "challenge" if it weren't in fact, challenging.
To be continued!

Day #1 Menu Choice---There's a good story about my dog eating all the soup bones on the counter to make this soup-like concoction a meaty delicious delight, but alas, this post is about success, not adversity.

Pintrest result looks more appealing than this, but it was delicious!


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Resourcefullness 101

The fact that not everyone can categorize themselves as resourceful blows my mind. I don't get it. Apparently this is so second nature to me I find it insulting when people aren't resourceful and I choose to insult them in my mind! (I'm working on that judgey bizness).
Sitting here sick in bed with my sick 2.8 year old next to me I was flipping through the pages of a popular domesticated magazine and suddenly I found myself getting really snide. Here are some samples of my thoughts, " someone got paid to come up with that?" Scoff... "Is this information actually blowing someone's mind? SMH. I can do that. Silly!
Light BULB! (reminder to myself I need to replace at least 5 around my house)
Before I stayed at home, I worked and then came home frazzled to 4 kids. I was exhausted, and in need of dinner ideas or simple projects to destressify.  The ideas in the magazine were mind blowing to me. And the ideas in the spread had pictures with colorful, large font titles so I didn't have to read about it. The magazine saved my life because I didn't have to come up with ideas myself, they were presented to me for a simple 3.99 a month! I even created a smash book just to catalogue all the mind blowing pics!
I'm on year 2 staying at home, and the smash book has been annihilated. What I could afford to do around my house I did, and I went through those smash book ideas like they were lemonade on a hot day. Hence I find myself bored with the lack of originality in the magazines because I really try to live a simple, resourceful life now that I am able to stay home. I have the time, energy, and the motivation to be creative again. I am always looking for ways to cut corners or squeeze every ounce of use out of whatever is in my house. For many women, this is not second nature, this is more like a chore or better yet an annoyance.
Well let me first apologize for being so annoying up front. My apologies.
Here is why resourcefulness is so important to me: I want to be a producer not a consumer, I want to survive the zombie apocalypse because my son and husband have a bet that I wouldn't survive a week. Truly, I feel that using all of my resources to the best of my abilities is honoring God in the smallest of things. I have traveled around the world and have seen enough poverty to know what true waste is. Garbage heaps are even useful to some people around the world, so I take throwing things away a bit personally. Crazy, I know, but it's a real heart conviction for me.
  So in turn I thought I'd share some of the ways that I turn everyday clutter, and crap around my household into useful crap.

I have the best neighbors in the world and they give me boxes of crazy flavored crackers and cookies all the time because their son works for this food company. So he gives them test boxes of things and they don't eat them, and give them to me because I have 4 kids and always look desperate.
The other cold day I realized that I had had some unopened rosemary cracker and some caramelized onion crackers sitting in my pantry for over 3 months now. I don't care about expirations dates, but the unopened boxes were bothering me. The holiday had past, and here they still were, lonely. Forgotten.
Light Buld!
I took each box and ground them up, stuck them in a Ziplocs, labeled them, and threw them into the freezer. Now they are ready-made breading for my baked/friend chicken. Flavored bread crumbs are $2 at the store for half of what I just smashed up. I'm brilliant.
I also do this with stale cookies, homemade or store bought. They make for a great pie crust or dessert toppings.

Is this mind blowing? Perhaps not, but with a culture that is more consumer than producer why not make your old dressings in your fridge into marinades, or your old sheets into tents for the kids to play with or paint drops during project time. Everything has a second use!  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

ADHD Complictions

Google+ I will delete you. You complicate things by adding TMI to one page. And then you want me to organize and categorize all the TMI... How about I just delete it, then I won't have to organize or categorize.

Monday, June 24, 2013

as the world turns

I am not even going to pretend that I have tried to write any posts. That would make me a big fat liar! The last 9 months I have been trying to avoid being a big fat liar . Many things have changed about me and since I have quit work. I will neither ruminate over it nor share it all directly. Why not be mysterious.
writing has always been therapy for me, but I have had to put that on hold in order to focus on therapy that actually works. I have missed you keyboard. I dream often of typing away all of my witty thoughts amazing insights and creativity but never actually comitting. the funny thing is, if you've noticed less typos in this last paragraph, it is because I am now speaking my thoughts into a trusty ol phone. somehow it is more acurate then my public educated and college degreed typing skills.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A typical Clara moment

The night's synopsis goes something like this: dinner is done, girls are put to bed, mom goes down stairs to finish cleaning the kitchen. Suddenly the phone rings. A wave of popularity rushes over me. I realize the ring tone is the home phone ring tone. Mom thinks to herself, wait a minute the home phone is charging in my bedroom upstairs... hmmm, I wonder who this could be?
Mom: Hello
Clara: Hi mom
Mom:  HI clara.
Clara: What are you doing?
Mom: I'm cleaning the kitchen. What are you doing?
Clara Indistinguishable gibberish
Mom: I have an idea.
Clara: Oh what mom?
Mom: How about I run upstairs real fast and spank you because you're not in bed?
 Phone drops. Door slams. End of conversation.

I've got Tabs

People, consider this to be the ultimate in blogger re-organization in which I have no intentions of actually maintaining past February (New Year's resolution). I think the tabs are relatively self explanatory. Just in case they are not, I will not explain them any further in order to force you to read through them. I will be doing a colossal blog-dump in order to update the tabs and get them started.