Archive for January, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday is my regular grocery shopping day. However, one of my goals this year is to stay within my budget, and my grocery budget for January is already used up. So I had to plan my meals this week using only items I already have. Obviously, tomorrow is a new month, so I can technically go shopping tomorrow, but I am hoping that I can just skip it this week. Normally this isn’t possible, since we like fresh produce, milk, and deli meat. I still have fresh produce from last week than I can use this week, and I will use frozen or canned produce too. We buy our milk from a local farm and got it on Saturday, so I won’t need it again until next weekend, which is in February. And usually, my husband eats ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, but I didn’t have any lunch meat today. I planned ahead and hard-boiled eggs last night and made egg salad this morning. Of course, he ended up not coming up for lunch due to a meeting and his boss took him out for lunch, so he can wait until tomorrow for the egg salad. There was also some frozen pork BBQ that I am thawing that will make another good lunch alternative. I was quite pleased to make an entire meal plan from our pantry and freezer.

Monday: creamed chicken and rice with steamed veggies

Tuesday: creamy broccoli cheddary barley soup and hopefully some homemade bread

Wednesday: macaroni and cheese with stewed tomatoes

Thursday: chicken corn soup and leftover homemade bread if I made it on Tuesday…

Friday: extended family dinner, I will be making chocolate chip cookie cake

Saturday: leftovers or veggie frittata

Sunday: leftovers or egg sandwiches

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January 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday

My meals were planned yesterday, I just didn’t get to post them until now.

Monday: Baked Pasta Casserole and mixed vegetables (I didn’t think this casserole had too much taste, although I ran out of time to zest the lemon, so I just added lemon juice instead. After adding garlic salt to my serving, I liked it better.)

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Corn Chowder and steamed veggies

Wednesday: Shepherd’s Pie

Thursday: CrockPot Chicken Adobo with rice, steamed veggies or salad

Friday: Pizza Quesadillas, fresh veggies and dip

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: leftovers or egg sandwiches

Last week I made minestrone soup and thought it was pretty good. I would probably add more pasta the next time I make it. It is a very healthy recipe, full of a variety of vegetables. Another new recipe I tried last week was healthy fudge. Since there is no sugar, it’s not sugary like regular fudge, but it was good. The recipe called for 3/4 cup honey, I used a little less than that, and I used butter instead of coconut oil.

January 25, 2011 at 11:10 am Leave a comment

Prayer for The Simple Wife

The Simple Wife is a blog I subscribe to. I was surprised and saddened when I read the latest post this morning that this blogger (Joanne) had a massive stroke. (She is not old.) I do not know her personally, but I am sure her family and friends would appreciate all your prayers. Her husband is posting updates about her status on her blog.

January 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: sausage, quinoa side dish, garlic green beans (had lots of leftovers last week, so I didn’t get to make this)

Tuesday: cream of broccoli soup, cheese and crackers, salad

Wednesday: homemade egg mcmuffins

Thursday: chicken pot pie without the crust, over mashed potatoes

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: chili, buttermilk cornbread, salad

Sunday: pita bread pizza

January 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

Homemade Christmas Gifts for 2010

Now is probably not a popular time of planning for next Christmas, however, I did want to share some easy homemade gift ideas. I would have posted these before Christmas, but then my gifts would not have been a surprise to those who received them.

I made several easy no-sew fleece scarves. I purchased my fleece from Joann Fabrics and spent around $1-$2 for each scarf. Instead of the recommended 7 inches wide, I did 8-10 inches.
These scarves were so easy and I will definitely be making more!

On the left, is a easy fringe fleece scarf. I used 3 layers, two of purple and green in the middle. This cost around $3-$4. I purchased some fleece to make a scarf like this for me, but didn’t get to make it yet…

Next to the scarf are holiday flannel dinner napkins. I cut out 13 inch squares, sewing the wrong sides together, leaving a few inches un-sewn, then turned them outside-in and sewed around the edges, closing the hole.

In the back are bath sugar cubes. I did not use any coloring, since I wanted them as natural as possible. I scented half of them with vanilla extract and the other half with peppermint extract.

Other Christmas gifts I made, but didn’t take pictures of:

bath salts (I used epsom salt and lavender essential oil)

I Spy Jars (I used old peanut butter containers, since I was afraid glass jars would break)

fleece tied blankets

no sew fleece dog toy (I spent $5 on fleece and made 3 toys. I did purchase black fleece with a dog bone pattern, but with the braiding, it was hard to tell what they were. In the future, I will choose either a very small pattern or just different colors.)

I really enjoyed spending time making these gifts. It was fun to personalize items, such as choosing just the right fabric for each person when I purchased the fabric for the scarves. This year, I will plan to make more homemade gifts and if possible, making them during the year, so I will not have such a full schedule during the holiday season.

Some gifts ideas I found, but didn’t use, but may use in the future:

homemade mustard and homemade ketchup

homemade limoncello

wine jelly

What did you make for Christmas? What homemade gifts ideas do you want to share?

January 6, 2011 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Ways to Save Money on Food

EatingWell.com has many good articles and recipes for those of us who are looking to eat healthier. Today, I found the article below that has some good ideas. They may not be new, but I think they are a good reminder of simple ways to save money on groceries.

6 Simple Changes That Could Help You Save $2997 a Year.

I really need to work on the using leftovers in creative ways idea. Right now I have leftover cooked lasagna noodles. Any suggestions of what to do with them?

January 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday

Happy New Year!!

One of my goals this year is to incorporate more vegetables into our eating habits. Perhaps by adding vegetable dishes (instead of serving the same old steamed or cooked veggies), my family will learn to enjoy vegetables in new ways.

Monday: meatloaf, sweet potatoes, italian peas

Tuesday: fish, fried rice, orange glazed carrots

Wednesday: lentil and ham soup, salad

Thursday: macaroni and cheese, salad

Friday: italian sausage, quinoa side dish, garlic green beans (will be using frozen, not canned beans)

Saturday: homemade pizza, fresh veggies and dip

Sunday: egg sandwiches and leftovers

January 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment


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