Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (and last week's eats!)

I was remiss in not posting my menu last week (Hi Sarah!).  We did pretty much stay on our menu last week (week 3 of the month-long menu), and have 2 weeks left for this menu.  What I have found is I like having a menu for a month, but shopping for a month did not work out budget-wise.  Oh well - live and learn, I guess!  So here is this week's menu first, and then a round-up of last week's meals.

Monday:  Tuna Sandwiches, carrot sticks

Tuesday:  Chicken schnitzel, latkes (reheated), oranges

Wednesday:  Church

Thursday:  Shepherd's Pie, Bread, Salad

Friday:  Leftovers or Beans and rice

Saturday:  Beans, tortillas, fixin's

Sunday:  Venison roast, green beans, bread, mashed potatoes

Last week:  M: leftovers/recovery from camping day; T:  Lasagna, veggies; W: church; Th: burgers w/fixin's, fries, carrot sticks; F: Ham and spinach calzone; Sa: Eggs, ham, pumpkin bread; Su: cauliflower soup and latkes (YUM!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Short week this week - at least at home.  We're going camping this weekend with another family from church, and other than deciding that we'd each take a night to cook dinner, not much planning has been done.  Yikes!  It will be fun to go.  We'll camping at Hunting Island, which was one of the first places we visited in South Carolina (outside of Aiken) in February.  It's on the coast, and the weather is supposed to be delicious!  I have camped while pregnant before, but I was not this pregnant, so we'll see how I hold up.  
We did pretty well on our first week of the month-long menu.  My big mistake was planning a large meal for the day I knew we'd be grocery shopping.  By the time we got home, I was beat!  Instead, I cooked a packet of beans and rice, served it with sour cream, and called it good.  I made the big meal - chicken - later in the week, replacing a freezer meal I had planned to use.  Also, we grilled 1/2 the pork loin instead of using it for barbeque (slow-cooker recipe).  That was a great decision - it was so good!  
Without further ado, week two!

Monday:  Macaroni and Cheese with cauliflower puree (from Deceptively Delicious), sauteed zucchini

Tuesday:  Barbeque Pork, corn, salad, bread

Wednesday:  Church (may be bringing main dish for 15 - tacos?)

Thursday:  Nachos, cheese, sour cream, tomato, olives, taco meat (freezer), beans, avocado? (on sale this week!)  (may turn leftovers into seven layer dip, as we'll be leaving Friday)

Friday: Camping - hot dogs or hamburgers

Saturday:  Camping - hot dogs or hamburgers

Sunday:  Tuna casserole (freezer), sauteed broccoli

For more great menus, check out OrgJunkie!  Have a great week!  

Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Menu time!  I'm in a bit of a rush - I may add recipe links later this week!!

Monday:  Pasta with meat sauce, green beans, bread

Tuesday:  Roast chicken, mashed potatoes (double and freeze), sauteed broccoli, bread

Wednesday:  Church

Thursday:  Wonton tacos (meat in freezer), lettuce, tomato, sour cream, refried beans

Friday:  Pizza, sauteed broccoli and zucchini

Saturday:  Chicken soup with wonton kreplach, glazed carrots, matzo

Sunday:  BBQ pork, corn, bread

For more menu ideas, go to OrgJunkie!  Have a great week!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Good morning - time to talk menus!
Last week got a little out of order, but we ate everything!  The chicken noodle soup and the quiche were standouts.  I actually made the quiche without crust, and it was still very good (not to mention healthier!)

So the task for this week is to post or link to a recipe for one of my family's favorite meals.  We really enjoy Cuban Black Beans.  They are good on their own or with meat (usually I fix pork chops or pork tenderloin).  We top them with sour cream and tomatoes, and serve them with tortillas.  Delicious!

This week's menu:

Breakfasts: Store-bought cereal (big treat!), granola, hard-boiled eggs, waffles

Lunches: Leftovers, sandwiches

Snacks: Store-bought cereal (again, big treat!), popcorn, banana pudding


Monday:  Pancakes, bacon, fruit, juice

Tuesday:  Venison Stroganoff, noodles, frozen veg, bread

Wednesday:  Tacos with fixins, refried beans (make double amount of meat; freeze)

Thursday:  Chicken Pot Pie, salad (make double amount of sauce; freeze)

Friday:  Pizza, carrot sticks, fruit

Saturday:  Tuna casserole, fruit, bread

Sunday:  Leftover buffet!

For more menu planning ideas, as well as tried and true family favorite recipes, head over to OrgJunkie!  Have a wonderful week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Another Monday, another meal plan!
Last week went well - the potato soup and the lemon meringue pie were the only "new" things, and they were both very good!  (My husband might say the pie was a little too good!)
This week is more or less a pantry week - trying to economize a bit.

Breakfasts: Granola, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, waffles

Lunches: Leftovers, sandwiches

Sweets: pudding (maybe banana?), bars/cookies (need to make some for a bake sale anyways!)

Monday:  Pork Chops, canned peaches, green beans, rolls

Tuesday:  Chicken noodle soup, sandwiches, grapes

Wednesday:  Church - need to  find out what to bring

Thursday:  Cuban Beans, venison steaks, salad, tortillas

Friday:  Breakfast for Dinner - eggs, bacon, orange juice, biscuits

Saturday:  Sausages with fixins, mac and cheese, salad

Sunday:  Quiche, grapes, rolls

For more ideas, visit Laura! Have a delicious week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning!  Last week went pretty much according to schedule, until our company arrived.  Then we just sort of took it day by day for meal planning.  It worked out well; we have some carryover meals for this week.  Unfortunately, we're now battling colds here.  Pregnancy + cold = really uncomfortable.  I know we'll be over it soon, but it's had a definite impact on menu planning this week - a menu of comforting foods.

Breakfasts: Granola (really good!), hard boiled eggs, waffles

Lunches: leftovers, sandwiches

Monday:  Spaghetti w/meat sauce, salad (or frozen veg), bread

Tuesday:  Golden Potato Soup, grilled ham & cheese, grapes

Wednesday:  Church (depending on cold status), otherwise leftovers/sandwiches

Thursday:  Roast w/veggies, bread, green beans

Friday:  Eggs, Bacon, Toast, Orange Juice

Saturday:  Pizza, salad

Sunday:  Chicken Casserole, corn, cranberry sauce, bread

Many more menus over at OrgJunkie.  Have a great week!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Good grief!  September?  I know time flies, but this is ridiculous!
Anyways, it's that time again - Menu Plan Monday!  We did pretty well last week - has all but the venison steaks, and forgot a few sides (oh well!).  We ended up only having company for one night, so I made a ton of pizza, and those Cinnamon Apples for dessert.  Both were big hits - the apples are a very nice topping for vanilla ice cream.  This coming week will be different again - tonight and Wednesday night will be "normal", but midweek church happenings and another family visit later this week will change it up a bit.  As always, many more delightful menus await at Laura's site, OrgJunkie - check it out!

Breakfasts:  Granola, hard-boiled eggs, waffles

Snacks: Popcorn (new air-popper!), Brownies (when company comes)

Lunches: Leftovers, sandwiches

Monday:  Grilled Cheese, Tomato Soup, Grapes

Tuesday: Church (dinner provided)

Wednesday: Burgers, Fries, Carrots, Ranch dip

Thursday: Roast, Veggies, Bread, Green Beans

Friday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (I sub crumbled venison for the meatballs), Salad, Bread

Saturday: Chicken Casserole (I use whatever chicken I have on hand), Corn, Cranberry Sauce, Bread

Sunday: Beans on Toast, Eggs, Fruit

Monday, August 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Ah, Monday . . . must be time to menu plan.  I've had a much easier time of it this week.  Last week we ate everything (and it was delicious!).  The pancakes were a hit, even with my husband who does not really like pancakes.  The  won ton tacos, chicken pot pie, and baked spaghetti were all crowd pleasers.  I would bring the tacos or spaghetti to the next potluck we go to. 

We did not have the company we anticipated, and instead got a lot of work done around here (done mostly by my husband).  Nora and I went ahead and grocery shopped for the week after church, and while I went over budget by about $10, I also bought chicken and pork on sale that we will be able to use in weeks to come.  We do have company this week, but I'm not sire for exactly how long.  We'll just be flexible!

So, here's the menu.  As always, for more great ideas, check out OrgJunkie!

Monday: Chicken Stroganoff, pasta, salad
(make honey mustard dressing and croutons)

Tuesday: Tuna Melts, grapes, carrots
(soak black beans)

Wednesday: Cuban Beans, Pork Chops, tortillas, sauteed zucchini
(make tortillas)

Thursday: Pizza, salad, Cinnamon Apples (a la Boston Market)
(make pizza dough, grate cheese, bake apples)

Friday: Venison steaks, green beans, garlic bread

Saturday: Hot dogs, fixins', corn, macaroni and cheese

Sunday: Quesadillas, refried beans, peaches

Have a great week! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grocery Shopping

I did my grocery shopping yesterday for this week.  On Monday, I reconciled our finances and took a look at how we are doing with our new budget.  Well, on the plus side, we still have money in the grocery budget for the month.  On the minus side, it's less than it should be.  I know the reasons why - just need to have more discipline about quick trips (especially on the weekends!).  I would like to stay on budget for the month still, so I've revised down the amount of money I want to spend the next two weeks.  By approximately half. (!)  I did pretty well yesterday - I spent a little more than half of what we have left in the budget for the month, but got some items I can definitely use next week.  One other thing that would help would be to use more coupons - I don't get the paper or those packs of coupons (like ValPak), so I am at a bit of a loss as to where to get a bunch of coupons.  For now, I'm entering in giveaways like this one at Bargain Hunting Wife - you can too!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Good morning!  Some weeks it is so much easier to come up with a menu than other weeks.  Last week we ate everything on the menu - woohoo!  The Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff was excellent - a keeper for sure. We'll see how this week goes - we've got company in for the weekend - my husband's cousin, Ryan, and his girlfriend.  His girlfriend is Buddhist, but I don't know if she has any dietary restrictions.  We're just going to roll with the punches!

Monday: Steamed shrimp, corn, salad, bread

Tuesday: Pintos and tortillas

Wednesday: Pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit

Thursday: Won ton tacos, refried pintos, salad

Friday: Chicken pot pie, salad


Sunday: Baked Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

For more great menu ideas, head over to OrgJunkie!  have a great week!

Monday, August 11, 2008

CVS-ing (and grocery shop)

I did good!

I got:
  -2 pkgs of teensy-tiny diapers
  -2 pkgs of wipes
  -1 bottle of detangler
for 5.73.  I saved 29.28 with a combination of sale pricing, mfr coupons, a CVS $4/$20 coupon, and a carefully hoarded stash of ECBs.  And I got $5 ECBs and another $4/$20 for a future purchase.  Whoo-hoo!!

I also went to BiLo and procured this week's groceries.  I was able to find everything except mirin, and I only forgot to get one item - tomatoes.  I also got some household items that I had coupons for, and with 25 items in my cart, I got out of there for 50.45, saving 11.49 between sale pricing, coupons, and coupon doubling (up to $0.55!!)

So I have 8.82 left for mirin, tomatoes, and whatever else.  Yippee!

Menu Plan Monday


Wow, I am exhausted.  Yesterday we went to Biltmore House from about 9am-5pm, then headed over a mountain to attend a wedding for a cousin.  It was beautiful - I cried buckets!  We didn't really intend to stay for the reception (the wedding started at 7pm!!), but not only did we stay, we helped clean up, too.  Then we hopped in the car and drove 2 1/2 hours home.  We got home a little after 1am.  I was lucky - I got to sleep in till 7 - my poor husband had to leave for work at 5:50am.  I think it's going to be a rough day for him.  Rougher still for his parents - they left when we did to drive 8 hours, with work to attend to today.  I don't want to go anywhere for a while.  Anyhow, I got a late start on menu planning, but here it is.  I have the car today, so grocery and CVS are calling.  *sigh*  Laura at orgjunkie has a bunch more menus (most of my inspiration today!) - go check it out!
  • Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff over noodles (whatever is in the pantry!), zucchini stirfry
  • Tuesday: Pizza, salad
  • Wednesday: Venison roast (slow cooker) with veggies, biscuits (frozen), green beans
  • Thursday: Beans and Rice, tortillas (holdover from last week), tomatoes, sour cream
  • Friday: Venison teriyaki with mushrooms and broccoli, egg drop soup, wontons
  • Saturday: BLTs
  • Sunday: Leftovers
I think we'll make cookies this week.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Not quite as complicated this week.  Nora was with me, so I'm pretty glad the ad wasn't as lucrative on multiple transactions (at least as far as I was interested.)  This week, I got a bunch of stuff to donate for Operation Christmas Child - at church they mentioned that collections were starting.  Kind of boring stuff - but necessary items.

  • 3 Oral-B Advantage Toothbrushes     10.47 reg/7.47 on sale/4.50 ECBs
  • 3 CVS Toothbrushes   2.97
  • 1 CVS Toothbrush  1.99
  • 1 Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste  2.99/2 ECBs
  • 1 Colgate Total Advanced toothpaste 3.49 reg/2.99 on sale/2 ECBs
  • 2 Ivory Soap 3-pks  2.78/1 ECB

Total  24.69 reg/21.19 on sale/9.50 ECB

  • $4/$20  
  • .99/1 toothbrush
  • 1.00/3 toothbrushes
  • 5.79 ECBs (got these from the infant Advil deal for August) 
Total coupons  11.78

GRAND TOTAL  9.41 OOP, 9.50 ECBs earned

Next week, I have big plans for those ECBs - time to start stocking up on baby necessities!!
Centsible Savings is giving away a $5 CVS Gift Certificate - check it out!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Good morning!   After a short week of menu planning last week, I've got another short one!  This weekend we are going to a wedding, and midweek, my in-laws are coming.  Nora is over the moon!  Without further ado, here goes:

Monday:  Spicy Basil Tofu, Cabbage and Carrot Stir-Fry, Rice

Tuesday: Spinach/Feta Quiche, Quick Bread

Wednesday: Hot Dogs, Corn, Grilled Apples

Thursday: Chicken something - I'm fixing for 3 additional adults - I'm going to have to think about this one.

Friday: Beans & Rice, Tortillas, Fixings

Saturday-Sunday: Gone for Wedding!

For more great menus, go see Laura at OrgJunkie!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I've been doing a bit of research on how to play the CVS "game".  Last week, I picked up a prescription and got a $4 off of a $20 purchase coupon.  I checked out the ad, and was able to find a good sale on training pants (still!), and a few other things to total $21 and change, and got $7 in Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) to use on a future purchase.  This week, I really planned it out - I went in by myself (thank you Toddler Time!!), selected a basket full of items, and then sorted it out into 4 transactions at the checkout counter.  The cashier was incredibly patient, as I had picked a couple items that didn't follow my plan, and talked about how she liked to play the "game", too.  So, here's todays purchases:

Transaction #1

  • Carefree Pantiliners / 13.78 / 9.00 /accumulating
  • Neosporin / 5.49 /5.49 / accumulating
  • Neo To Go / 6.49 / 5.50 / accumulating
  • $4/$20 coupon      -4.00
  • $2.00 ECB           -2.00
  • $5.00 ECB          -5.00
TOTAL / 25.76 / 9.62

Transaction #2
Item / Regular Price / Sale Price / ECBs
  • J&J Bedtime Cream / 4.29 / 3.99 / 10 (combined with T#1 purchases)
TOTAL / 4.29 / 3.99 / 10

Transaction #3
Item / Regular Price / Sale Price / ECBs
  • Starburst / 0.79 / 0.50 / accumulating
  • Hershey's Nuggets / 3.49 / 2.50 / accumulating
  • Kitkat 4 pack / 1.29 / 1.00 / accumulating
  • Trident 3 pack / 2.79 / 2.00 / accumulating
  • M&M Premium / 4.99 / 4.00 / 5
  • Old Spice Deodorant / 3.99 / 2.99 / 0
  • $10 ECB -10.00
TOTAL / 17.34 / 2.99 /5

Transaction #4
Item / Regular Price / Sale Price / ECBs
  • Scott Towels 8 pack / 9.99 / 4.99 / 0
  • Bandaids / 3.29 / 2.99 / 2
  • $5 ECB -5.00
TOTAL / 13.28 / 2.98 / 2

GRAND TOTALS  Regular Price Sale Price ECBs
TOTAL / 60.67 / 19.58 / 2

That seems like a pretty good deal to me.  I stuck to buying only items that we'll actually use.  I also got another $4/$20 coupon, which I will use next week.  I definitely wasn't very smooth, but as I said, the cashier was very patient and nice.  Even adding this to the rest of my grocery spending (for this two-week period) leaves me with $35 for items that come up, saving for future meat purchases, and next week's CVS-ing!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Another Monday, another menu plan!

Last week went well - again a little out of order, but I tried a few new things that are keepers!  The Stir-fried Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce got rave reviews - it actually tasted a bit like takeout Szechuan Chicken - yum!  The Two-Sauce Lasagna was also really good.  I'm not a huge lasagna fan, but I really liked how this one turned out.

This week (and next week) are short due to family things on the weekends - a reunion this weekend, and a wedding next weekend.  Because of that, I planned for the 9 days we'd be here the next two weeks, and grocery shopped accordingly.  We also have a cousin coming to stay a few days (starting today), so a few bigger meals are planned.  I do have the menu split into two weeks, and here's this weeks:

Monday:  Crockpot Venison Roast, Potato Salad, Green Beans, Bread

Tuesday:  Pizzas, Salad

Wednesday:  Shepherd's Pie (from the freezer), Bread

Thursday:  Beans on Toast & Eggs (or leftovers)

Friday - Saturday: Family Reunion

Sunday:  Leftovers (or Beans on Toast & Eggs)

I'm not really attempting too much homemade this week.  It seems like it's going to be a very busy week.  We did bake bread and make biscuits for the freezer on Saturday, and Nora and I will make cookies today, but that's it.

For more great menu ideas, head on over to OrgJunkie.  Thanks, Laura!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Grocery Budget

We recently revised our budget for groceries down a bit, and I am happy to report we are staying on budget.  Last week, we came in at $59 for the week.  The next two weeks are a bit different, as we will be traveling on the weekends for family functions, so I sketched out a menu and grocery list for 9 days.  Nora and I went to the grocery store and CVS yesterday, and we spent $68 - including a small bag of gummy worms.   I think I've even got all of my staples covered.  I will probably buy a gallon of milk at some point; if we have any kind of cereal in the house, it disappears fast.

Part of staying on or under budget has been making some of the foods we used to buy from scratch.  Tortillas, syrup, and croutons all turned out very well.  I think we're going to start baking bread ourselves, too.

The other (major!) part of our grocery-store-economy is that we have a freezer full of venison.  Working that into meals sure drives the cost down.  My plan (hope?) is that we will be under budget so consistently that when we do finish using the venison, we will have a kitty to spend on a side of beef or some other comparable large amount of meat for the freezer.

Now if we could just be more disciplined about our entertainment budget, we'd be doing great!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I am really enjoying menu planning - and so is my budget.  We were pretty successful last week - some things got out of order due to a missing ingredient: flour!  It seemed pretty challenging to make flour tortillas without flour, so we just switched things around a bit. I think I've managed to get all of my staples for this week, so I shouldn't need to get anything at the grocery store!

Cuban Black Beans with Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Cuban Black Beans with Pork Tenderloin

In addition to menu planning, I'm trying my hand at making some of our more-commonly purchased "convenience food" here at home.  Last week was tortillas and waffles (made and frozen).   This week, it will be pancake syrup (we used up what we had on waffles!) and croutons. There are other foods I'd like to make instead of buy, but I figure I'll start with a few things at a time.
Without further ado, this week's menu:

Breakfasts:  Hard-boiled eggs, steel-cut oats, lemon scones, waffles and syrup

Lunches:  Leftovers, sandwiches, soup

  Monday:  Shepherd's Pie (I add frozen corn, and pretty much make the gravy with a pinch of this, alittle of that)
  Tuesday:  Beans on Toast with Eggs
  Wednesday:  Stir-fried Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce (I add a little ketchup, a few drops of fish sauce, and some cornstarch dissolved in cold water to thicken it), Stir-fry veggies (frozen), Rice 
  Thursday:  Lasagna, Salad (with croutons), Bread 
  Friday:  Brats, Corn, Salad
  Saturday:  Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas (just tortillas wrapped around cooked chicken cubed up and a ton of cheese, smothered in canned enchilada sauce and more cheese, then baked at 350 till bubbly), refried beans, fixings 
  Sunday:  Leftovers/catch-up day

Desserts:  Rice pudding (using leftover rice from Wednesday), Cherry Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake (yes, it is as good-tasting and bad-for-you as it sounds)

Please visit Laura at Organizing Junkie for many more delicious menus!  

Monday, July 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first attempt at publishing my menu for the week.  I have done menu planning sporadically in the past, and I'm hoping to stay a bit more accountable about it.

Venison Burgers (with all the trimmings)
Crash Hot Potatoes (from the

Pork Tenderloin
trimmings - lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream


Stir-fry Veggies
Steamed Rice

Tuna Melts

Grilled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

Out to eat for Dinner
Sandwiches/leftovers for supper

Thank you Laura at Organizing Junkie.  More great menu plans and recipes are over there!

Menu Plan Monday (figuring out formatting)

Thank you Laura at Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Home at last?

The day after we put in the offer on the house, the seller accepted. Everything. No negotiations on the "throw-away" items our Realtor suggested we include. Just accepted it. Our house inspection is today, and we don't expect to find anything major. We close on April 16 (!!), which means that all of the sudden, we find ourselves in warp drive. Nora wonders why we can't move in right this instant. To me, moving in is less than an instant away.

Add to this, we just got some news we have been expectantly waiting for.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Now we wait


We put in an offer.

Yesterday at this time, we were still kicking around the idea of this house. At about 4 pm, we met with our Realtor and put together an actual offer. This is the first time we've ever considered buying a house, so the whole process has been a learning experience. So now we enter a whole new ballgame: waiting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Long time, no posts

Wow - it has been a while. And a lot has happened.
We took a job in Aiken, South Carolina (near Augusta, GA), and so we left Ketchikan, AK on January 16, 2008, and picked our way down the West Coast, and then along the southern part of the US. We took our time - we didn't get to Aiken until February 2. It was a great trip - Nora was amazingly good, despite some tummy issues. We got to see so many amazing things - the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands . . . We also got to hang out with some family along the way - in TX and FL. It was so nice to take a trip as a family. We haven't done a whole lot of that - it's prohibitively expensive to travel away from Ketchikan, so we saved our travel for holidays.
We really like Aiken. It's a gorgeous town, with lots of things to do and see. We are looking for a house, and *hopefully*, we are getting close. We have a house in mind, and we may make an offer on it very soon. Till then, we will continue living in a hotel. It's not quite as awesome as it may seem. On the plus side, I haven't cleaned, done laundry, or cooked in a few months. On the minus side, I miss being able to do those things . . . even if I may sometimes grumble about them. I think it's hard on all of us - we can't really relax, or put down roots. My best friends, if considered by the amount of time I spend with them, are our Realtor, the front desk staff at the hotel, and maybe some of the wait staff at local restaurants.
It will change, I know. Soon, this will all be a distant memory.