Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu for Monday 3-31

Eating from the pantry

Breakfast: Cereal, milk, banana

Lunch: Grill Cheese, Tomato soup, milk

Dinner: Beans and Rice, cornbread

All ingredients are from our pantry or fridge.

Schedules and Routines

I hope many of you have a schedule or routine for your day. We have a general schedule/routine. Of course we don't always follow it. This week we have appointments every day. I have a "routine" baby and she doesn't like to stray from the "norm". Of course I always make sure we are here for her nap time. We are working on making a new schedule so when the new baby gets here it won't be such a shock. Also, since she is getting older she doesn't need quite so much nap time. I am going to try to work in some child activities daily. She has learned to color...AKA scribble. Which we are going to try and do daily as well as review her ABC's for "school" time.
Once I get our new schedule finalized I will post it for you all.
If you have any advice for taking care of 2 under 2 please let me know!....I need all the help I can get ;) Any child activities for a 12 month old would also be useful.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Menu for this weekend


Breakfast: Cereal (from pantry) with a banana

Lunch: Hot Dogs (from freezer) with chips (from pantry)

Dinner: Fajitas (using leftover beef from fridge, tortillias from pantry)
Rice (from pantry) Refried beans (from pantry)


Breakfast: Waffles (from freezer)

Lunch: Leftover Buffet (fridge)

Dinner: Popcorn chicken (freezer) Baked potatoes (pantry) Green beans (freezer)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Eating from the pantry

An easy way to save money is to make sure you aren't throwing away food just because it "went bad". After cleaning our pantry I found lots of foods that were on there way to "going bad". So for the most of this month we will be eating from the pantry, fridge, and freezers.

This will save us lots of money in what could have been lost food. Also it will give me lots of money to go on a huge shopping spree to stock our pantry back up.

For our little family of three we have a grocery budget of $160. If I am able to go almost all month without going to the store then I can combine April and May's grocery budget for a total of $320. I have never spent this much money at the store! But we need to stock up on oats, wheat, and corn....all of which I will buy in 50lb. bags.

This will enable us to continue eating from out pantry for months to come. Plus with the price of grain going up, I would really like to stock up now.

I will be posting our daily menu for the next month so you can see how we are doing eating from our pantry.

Today's Menu

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Peach and Banana Smoothie, Banana

Lunch: Mac and Cheese with Tuna

Dinner: Leftover Buffet

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Went to the Park...

No cleaning today. We took the day off and went to the park with some friends of ours. We had a blast and got lots of sun. Of course, I forgot the sunscreen and my little girls arms shows it. But thankfully our friend is a good mommy...and more experienced than me and did bring she didn't get too red. ;)

The preferred way to travel? She had both feet up, not sure what she thought she was doing. I go to take a picture and she puts one foot down.

No, I wasn't trying to take pictures of her head, but there was just too much going on for her to look at me. There was about 6 other kids there and she was too busy checking every one out.

We got her first pair of jeans yesterday, and she just looks way cute in them. And much older :(
She isn't my "little" baby any more. Now she is my little girl. And she is very little..still only 17lbs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

NO Grocery Challenge...

Since having cleaned all the pantries, fridge and one of our freezers. I declare is it high time to get rid of lots of this "junk" we still have. Most which is about to expire. If you have lots of stuff in your pantry or just want to save some money this month take the "NO grocery challenge" with me. I will be posting what we eat everyday and see how long until we run out of food and "NEED" to go to the store. I am hoping I can go until at least mid to late April. We have tons of stuff in our chest freezer...which you will be getting pictures of soon. We still have some milk and cheese that has been frozen for some months and really needs to get gobbled up. ;)

Spring Kitchen Cleaning Day 3

This is Day 3 of my "spring" kitchen cleaning. This may not look like much, but it took 2 hours, much of which I would have rather been in bed. ;) But I am glad that half of my kitchen is now clean...FINALLY! I am also a little ashamed to be posting some of these before pictures, but hey, that's what it actually looked like.







Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The cleaning continues...


Yes, I know its messy.

Don't ask why we have 3 dz eggs. We don't even like them.





Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Cleaning???

After doing a somewhat "quick" clean of the really needed it. The kitchen was still bothering me. :( I think its time for some of that Spring Cleaning! Please follow along with me as I de-clutter and really "clean" the kitchen this week. I plan to tackle one area of the kitchen each day. Today I re-organized one of the pantries.

BEFORE: Notice all the stuff on top!


After: Only Dog treats and potatoes on top ;)


I promise I didn't add any food except for what was on the top of the pantry. It now looks like I have much more food....hmmmm...

Our Garden...Part 1

This is what I started with for our garden. My husband tilled me this little plot back in Jan. We covered it up so no weeds would get in it.

This was the next step after taking the tarp off to getting the garden ready for planting. I added 280 lbs of Organic Humus and Manure.

She is tasting the compost for me ;) I don't guess it tasted too good because she didn't go back for a second bite....hey, at least its organic.

After I dug the beds and added compost to them.

Here are some of the potato plants my husband planted in Feb. We cut a small hole through the tarp so they could get light.

So far I have planted lettuce, tomatoes, peas, and watermelon. I don't have a "green" thumb so I am really hoping they grow.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Organic Breakfasts on the CHEAP!

One of the ways we are able to eat mostly organic foods is to buy in bulk and only buy basic foods organic.
When I mean basic I am talking about Flour, Oats, Sugar, Milk, Butter, etc. Nothing that comes pre-packaged in a box and plastic wrapper. Organic cereal may sound nice, but at $3.00 a box its not something we can afford since it will only be one breakfast...yes between my husband, myself, and Annabelle we can go through one box of cereal in the morning.
However, we have been eating oatmeal 6 days a week now for about 2 months. We can buy a 50lb. bag of Organic oats for a little under $30 at a co-op about an hour away. We only use 1 cup 5 days out of the week and 2 cups the other day...this is when my husband joins us for breakfast. We add organic butter, berries, sugar and sometimes cream if we have any. This is a very wholesome breakfast and fills us up until lunch.
Using coupons I am able to get organic berries (strawberries and Annabelle's favorite blueberries) for about .50 for a 10 oz. bag. One bag will last us about a week.
We only use about a teaspoon of sugar and butter for each bowl of oatmeal, unless my husband is eating with us, I am sure he uses about 2 tablespoons of each. ;)
It costs about .45 each morning for me to prepare breakfast for me and Annabelle which includes a banana that we half.
An additional .52 if we each have an 8 oz. glass of organic milk.
Another cheap breakfast is muffins, using organic flour, eggs, butter, milk, and berries. It comes out to about .21 a muffin.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Family Table

It is very important for us to sit together as a family and have our meals together. I "try" and I so mean "try" because it doesn't always happen as I would hope for, to make it special. Since I send my husband out in the morning with breakfast and coffee in his hand and lunch packed away in the other we only get to share one meal with him, dinner. He loves to come home to a yummy smelling house and a nicely set table with dinner waiting just for him. I must say that I have been slacking a lot in this area. Table clothes only seemed to get used once before a new one MUST be placed on the table. Since our daughter now eats at the table, it can get a little messy. Although we are very proud of her, because she is learning to use a plate well, its the forks and spoons that generally make the mess. = /

I encourage you to set your table tonight and make it special for your family. It makes eating at home a lot more fun!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Going Organic

How toxic is your home??

Did you know that 'Dishwashing Detergent' is one of the most TOXIC cleaners in our homes?!?!?! Luckily for us, we don't have a dishwasher...or does that make us unlucky?
Here is part of an article stating read the whole article visit :
"The Center of Science in Public Interest revealed that dishwashing detergents have caused more household poisonings than any other cleaning product in the home. Nearly all dishwashing detergents contain naphtha, a fuel used in camping stoves. Naphtha is a central nervous system depressant. Other high-tech cleaning agents included are diethanolsamine which is a liver poison, and chlorophenylphenol which is a toxic metabolic stimulant. Chlorine is a poison present in nearly all dishwashing detergents. When washing your dishes, these chemicals are being released into your breathing space. "
We were using 'Dawn Dish Foam" to wash our dishes....I got about 15 of these on sale for .25 6 months ago.
We do still have about 5 left and after those are gone we are switching to 'Seventh Generation Dishwashing Liquid' I found these on sale for $2.49 a couple of weeks ago and had some $1.00 off coupons so I bought two. These are big bottles and should last at least a couple of months. Hopefully I will see them on sale again and have some coupons then as well so I won't have to pay full price.
If you are looking for coupons for 'Seventh Generation' Products visit their website:
On the side bar you will see a category that says coupons. From there you can print multiple coupons. Target generally sells their products, if you can't find them at your local store.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Story of Stuff!

If you have never watched the story of stuff, please do today!
It is amazing at what we are told we "must have" in order to "be happy".

Friday, March 14, 2008

Breakfast for Dinner....

We have breakfast for dinner about once a month and more during the winter months. This is a money saver for us because breakfast is generally a lot cheaper to prepare than dinner. Biscuits, pancakes, and french toast can all be made homemade, making it only about .50 to feed a family of 4. After we add an egg and piece of bacon for each of us and gravy, it then moves the cost up to $1.50 to $2.00 for a dinner for a family of 4. Sometimes we might just have some leftovers too. ;) Which make a quick breakfast for DH or the kiddos.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Annabelle!

Our baby is turning 1 today! We are happy and sad all at the same time. What a wonderful year we have had. She is no longer our "little" baby. She wants to do more on her own and explore the world around her.

Born at 8lbs. and 1 oz. she has grown to be a big 17lbs 2 oz.

Sleeping peacefully at just a couple of hours old.

Already her and Uncle Hunter are having fun.

The only place she slept for the first week, on daddy's chest. ;)

Now at 2 months she is enjoying her baths.

Almost 4 months old.

Grumpy already?

At 5 months she is starting to crawl = /

The love affair with the pillow begins.

Already helping mommy with the laundry.

Can I eat this?

Can I eat this too?

Clapping for momma.

Now this I can eat!

Playing with my toys.

I can't get this off....

Oh, well!

Happy Birthday Annabelle! We Love You!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Going Organic

When we decided to "go organic" we also wanted our water to be as pure as possible. Since pesticides and other harmful substances can get into the water it was important to us to get a good water filter. I am glad we did since there is all this talk of drugs found in public water this past week.

We decided to go with the Berkey Light Water Filter. We have now had this about a month and I must say I LOVE IT! It works great. It holds about 2 gallons which last us a day. I fill it up every night before we go to bed and in the morning we have 2 gallons or fresh water.

There are other filters out there that are less expensive, and we have used some of them. But this is by far one of the nest purchases we have made.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back on Track!

We had the pleasure of having my husbands family down for a couple of days. We all had a great time, but it is nice to finally be back on a routine. We all celebrated Annabelle's birthday on Friday. Instead of the traditional cake we had angel food cake with strawberries and blueberries with cool whip. Of course she just ate the blueberries and left the rest ;)
My husband was so happy to finally be able to see his brothers. It has been almost 1 1/2 yrs since he saw one of his brothers since he has been deployed for a while. The same brother also surprised us with news that he had gotten married. We are so thrilled for him and his new wife, Kathryn. We pray that they have a long and happy marriage...with lots of babies of course...hey our children need some cousins. ;)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Saving more on fruit and veggies!

With spring almost here and summer on the way this is a good time to start finding all of your local farms. is a great place to start. Pick your own farms are great, you can pick your own fruits and veggies for a fraction of the cost of what you could buy them in the store. Last year we went to a blueberry farm and picked 10lbs. of blueberries and bought an additional 15 lbs. that were already picked and frozen....all for about $40! If you compare this to the price of blueberries in the store you will notice what a great deal this was.

We have since moved, but have found another blueberry farm close by. We have also found other farms where we can pick our own. If you don't have a pick-your-own farm near you, then search for "regular" farms. Call them up and see if they will sell you bulk produce, most will and for just pennies! Its great for freezing or canning.