Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (day late)

We were gone for the weekend so I didn't get my menu planned until last night, but it's done. Here's what we'll have for the next 2 weeks.

Tuesday: babysitting
Wednesday: grilled cheese, tomato soup, & salad
Thursday: grilled soy & ginger chicken with brown rice & veggie
Friday: Homeade BBQ Chicken Pizza & salad
Sunday: Chicken Parmesan, veggie, & homeade foccasia bread (yum!)

Monday: Chicken Lo Mein (this is one of my husbands favorites, he requests it almost every week =)
Tuesday: Chicken Tacoes with homeade salsa* & fixings
Wednesday: Breakfast =)
Thursday: Homeade Pepperoni Pizza & Salad
Friday: work dinner

This is more homeadeISH. But it's definitely my favorite salsa and I always get raves when I make it.

2 cans rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
garlic to taste
cilantro to taste
1/2 lime's juice
1/2 yellow onion chopped

Put everything in blender & blend! It's that easy. In a pinch, I've used red onion & white onion, both good. Sometimes instead of buying a fresh lime, I'll just had some lime juice. I love garlic & cilantro so I put in a generous amount--remember you can always add more.

Check out tons of other menus here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Menu Plan (next 2 weeks)

I've found that I shop most efficientyly and stay on budget so much better when I shop for 2 weeks at a time. So here's my menu (and a few recipes) for the next 2 weeks.


(we're not real big breakfast people, but it's nice to have something for those mornings that we wake up hungry. I'm going to try and have breakfast ready for me and my husband. Our mornings are crazy, but I'll do my best.) These are just samples of what we'll have, we WON'T eat all of this in one morning =)

Banana Bread (I'm making 3 loafs this afternoon so that should last us at least a month)
Fresh Fruit
Granola & Yogurt
Breakfast Sandwiches (eggs, cheese, english muffin & breakfast meat if we have it)


Leftovers (I cringed as a threw away a lot of old leftovers this weekend. We have to get better at eating this food & I have to get better at cooking less...)
Hot Sandwiches


Week 1
Monday: Chicken Lo Mein
Tuesday: babysitting, dinner provided for me & hubby =)
Wednesday: dinner at church
Thursday: Steak Sandwiches & Salad
Friday: Potato Soup

Week 2
Monday: Spaghetti & Meat Sauce, Homeade Foccasia Bread, & Salad
Tuesday: Chicken, Spinach, & Black Bean Enchilads
Wednesday: White Chili & brown rice
Thursday: Homeade Pizza
Friday: Dinner provided at work

Check out other great menus here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Frugal Friday--2 Minute Phone Call

A couple weeks ago there was a really good sale on hormel pepperoni. I also had a coupon so I went ahead and bought to packages for our pizza nights. I few days later I was rumaging through the fridge and glanced at the pepperoni. I was surprised/semi-disgusted when I noticed that one of the packages was completely brown & slimy!! I took both packages from the fridge & began to compare them. Bought on the same day. Had the same expiration date. Had been stored the same way. But only one was actually edible.

I would call myself a "convenient complainer" if we're out to dinner and I something's really wrong with my food (hair on my plate--it's happened), I will complain because it's convenient. Everyone's right there & I will get instant compensation. But I've never been one to call, write, or e-mail with a complaint--that was until the slimy, brown pepperoni incident.

Before I called, I purposed to be "gracious & seasoned with salt" (I really have to purpose to do that or else I can get snippy on the phone). When the nice lady answered I simply explained the situation. I had to keep myself from giggling as she gasped and sighed with her "oh no's" "I can't believe it's" & "I'm so sorry's." She informed me to throw them away and she would send a coupon.

About 4 days later I was thrilled to see an envelope from Hormel in my mailbox. I rushed to my desk sat down and opened it & squealed with the compensation I had received--nearly $8 worth of coupons!! One, $4 coupon, 2 $1 coupons, 1 $.50 coupon (which I can double), & 1 $.25 coupon (again doubled).

Definitely a well worth and frugally spent 2 minutes!

Check out more frugal ideas here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Financial Shape Up Check Up

I love new starts, new years, new weeks, new days. I love that we started a fresh budget at the beginning of the year & while everything hasn't gone perfectly each day is a new day--a chance to apply what I learned (sometimes the hard way) the previous day. I've listed out some of my goals for this year and our current status on those goals. Some of these goals are new. I think it's important to be in a constant state of evaluation.

Some may say that I'm starting too big, but I don't plan on everything being done tomorrow. I need challenges & variety. Some of these things are one time things, others will take all year (and then maybe some), but we're up for the challenge!

Prepare one "meatless" dinner every week: This is going to be a challenge for me. My hubby loves him some meat! My goal is to make a hearty meal without meat (any recipes would be greatly appreciated)

Fix up hubby's car and sell by April 15: We have no need for 2 cars. My husband's car needs some work though. He received a promotion and we've decided to use any extra money that comes with the promotion to do what we need to do to get the car ready to sell. I'm very blessed that my husband is "mechanically minded" and can do most of the work himself.

Set up ROTH IRA: Our company has set up a new retirement plan that requires us to have a ROTH IRA. I should have our set up by tomorrow and partially funded by the end of the month.

Read at least one book a month on finances and/or frugality: In January I read Tiwghtwad Gazette and Shop, Save, & Share. Last night I bought and began reading Total Money Makeover.

Set up and emergency fund: Our goal is to put $200 a month into savings. In January we were able to do $50. But starting tomorrow, we'll be able to put $100 into savings every other Friday!!

Cut down on grocery bill: I failed in this for January. I'm not sure what my problem was. I've been trying to incorporate organic foods into our diets. I've decided that I need to evaluate and really decide what is really worth buying organic. I've found some excellent resources and definitely have better direction for February. I think that adding one meatless meal a week will help as well. I'm not going to try and shave any amount off of our grocery budget, for this month, I'm just going to make it my goal to come in on budget.

Track Receipts: I'm great at saving receipts, but I think that it will be a real eye opener to track my receipts and see where every penny is going. Since we use cash I have a pretty good idea, but I still think it will be eye opening to see the numbers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Creamy White Chili

I found this recipe in a chicken magazine (I can't remember which one) & adapted it for the crock pot. My husband loves this meal (and so do I). It's really flavorful & hearty--great on a cold, rainy day =) Also, if you're cooking for 2, just cut in 1/2. I usually do the same amount of seasoning though because I love cumin & cayenne pepper =)


Creamy White Chili
1 lb chicken
1 med onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon veg oil
2 cans great northern beans
1 can chicken broth
2 cans chopped green chilies (4 oz each)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
½ cup heavy whipping cream

Heat oil in skillet. Sautee chicken, onion, and garlic (I don’t cook it all the way, just brown it a little bit). Put in crock pot (If I'm puttin it in early I'll put it on low, but you can do it on high too--just tweak it for how much time you have). Add everything except sour cream and whipping cream. About an hour before you serve it add sour cream and whipping cream.

We always eat this over rice.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday-February 4

Monday: Creamy White Chili (oh sooooooo good!!) served over brown rice with homeade bread (just typing that made me hungry =). I'll have to post the recipe for this because it's just not fair to keep it to myself =)
Tuesday: Chicken Lo Mein
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup (we didn't end up having this last week)
Thursday: Homeade Pizza
Friday: Won't be home
We have a lot of leftovers that will take care of lunch for a couple days. After that hot sandwiches on homeade bread =)