Monday, January 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first time participating in MPM. I've been in the habit of doing this for sometime now, but just recently I've really started trying to plan my menu around what I actually have on hand and what's on sale at the store.

This week the freezer is pretty well stocked with chicken, so I'd like to use it up before I buy more meat.


Monday: Blackened Chicken Pasta (super easy!) & steamed brocolli

Tuesday: I'm babysitting & hubby's having some guys over so I'd thought I'd just make some substantial, snack stuff for them: buffalo chicken dip with tortillas, homade salsa, tea

Wednesday: Grilled cheese & tomato soup (since we have to go to church pretty much right after we get home from work I try to keep it easy)

Thursday: Chicken Stuffed Green Peppers

Friday: Homeade Pizza

Saturday: Dinner taken care of

Sunday: White chili (I try to make something in the crock pot so lunch will be ready when we got home from church. Our dinner on Sunday is usually lunch.)


Monday: leftovers from weekends

Tuesday: hot sandwiches

Wednesday: hot sandwiches

Thursday: Work Lunch

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Lunch taken care of

Monday, January 14, 2008

Making My Home a Haven

I've really enjoyed reading Crystal's posts as well as posts from her readers. In some way, it's nice to know that there are other striving towards the same goals I am even in our homes.

My "routine" is a bit different because I work full-time"ish." But I'd still like to participate =) So here's a look at my day.

Morning Routine
1. Wake-Up--walk/jog 2.5 miles
2. Shower & get ready
3. Make Cofee
4. Wake up hubby
5. Breakfast/Quiet Time

Today's "To-Do's"
1. Laundry
2. Dust & Pick Up Bedroom
3. Work on Bible Study Homework
4. Make Bread
5. Fill out Insurance Papers

This morning I put a pork loin in the crock pot. The "sides" shouldn't take long, so I'll probably start them 1/2 hour before hubby comes home.
Pork Loin
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Fresh Bread

My "Do Something" is definitely going to be putting our bedroom back together. I've got way too many piles in there right now!

Since I'm off work now, I'll go get started right now!


Thursday, January 3, 2008


One of my favorite finds has been MoneySavingMom. I'm not a mom, but who isn't interested in saving my money & who couldn't learn something from this website!?

I'm specifically excited about the financial challenge. My husband and I started the Envelope System last summer & it has revolutionized our finances!! I was initially very very very overwhelemed by the idea of doing a cash budget. I sat down with one of our friends who also uses the envelope system and she showed me exactly how she does it. Having her help me get started helped so much.

I actually spent an hour or so yesterday tweaking our budget for '08. Things will change a little over the next month as I'm up for my annual review and my husband is getting a promotion.

I should also disclose that my husband and I have excellent "benefits" with our job. Included in our compensation package is housing, utilities, and trash pick up. Our home is also on the property of our ministry so we walk a brisk 2 minute walk to work (thus our gas budget is very low). Also, we're paid biweekly so our budget is based on that.

Do to our low income a budget based on percentages hasn't worked very well for us. We're just doing the best we can with what we have and doing our best to prioritize. After our pay raises this month we plan on saving $200/month. As of right now, we just put into savings what we can.

Tithe: 10% of our gross income goes to our Church
Sacrificial giving: $25/month, $12.50/biweek.
Cell Phones: $70/month, $35/biweek
Car Insurance: $62.54/month, $31.27/biweek
Groceries: $180/month, $90/biweek
*Eating out: $100/month, $50/biweek
Gas: $80/month, $40/biweek
*Car Repair: $10/month, $5/biweek
*Clothing: $10/month, $5/biweek
*Entertainment: $20/month, $10/biweek
Vacation/Christmas Saving: $40/month, $20/biweek
*Medical: $10/month, $5/biwekk
*Wal-Mart/Target: $30/month, $15/biweek
*Hair/Nails: $10/month, $5/biweek

*All of these categories we pay cash for-when we run out of cash we're done. It was a learning curve at first. But we've made it work. Instead of going to Outback and spending all of our eat out money in one meal, we go to the Mexican restaurant and split fajitas for $10!! We're definitely learning as we go. I love this system because there is flexibility! Some months we know that our needs will be different and we can account for that.

Out of convenience I don't use cash at the grocery store & gas station, but I still use a "cash mindset." For example, no matter what the price of gas is, we only fill up $40 worth every two weeks. If we're running low on gas, we have to make do until our next pay day.

I hope that makes sense. I look forward to reading about other people's budgeting methods =)



I've been lurking on other blogs for awhile and have enjoyed the advice and input on various ones-specifically having to do with homemaking, budgeting, etc.

I've wanted an outlet, if you will, to share some of my ideas for potential feedback and possibly help someone out as I have been helped and have somewhat of an accountability. I don't know about you, but seeing my ideas, goals, etc written down helps me to remember them and keep up with them.

The idea of posting personal stuff on the www does scare me though, so I have decided to keep information such as names, location, pictures, etc off of here. I think that by doing that I'll feel more free to post other specifics (eg budget info).

I do want to share a few vague details about my self. I have been married to my wonderful husband for a little over a year now! We are both working in full time ministry with the same organization. We absolutely love our jobs and working together. God has been truly good to us!
I'm looking forward to this new little endeavour.

That's all for now,