Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 winding down.

With only about 25 hours left to 2011, I thought I would take some time and reflect on the previous year and contemplate the coming one.

I did not stick to a grocery budget as well as I would have liked last year.  I blame it on working full time, going to school full time and some other family events going on, but lets be honest, that is just an excuse.

I plan to get back to a set grocery budget and then STICK to IT!  I recently looked at what the government's USDA website listed for a monthly grocery budget for a family of 4 and on their thrifty plan, they think I should be spending $637.50 for food.  I know I have not done that, even in my worst months.

Now, when I include "J" my total would be $757.15 a month.  YIKES!  I know I can easily do a nice array of meals for $400.00 a month!  I believe that is what I will work towards as a monthly budget.

January will be a goal of $400.00.  I will post as the month goes along to see how I am doing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Already a change in menu

Ha ha ha...

Did not get the beans in the crockpot, so I fried up slices of ham and served that with mashed potatoes, stuffing and corn.  (Yes, I green veggie. I will do better)

Monday, December 26, 2011

This looks very interesting!

I have been wanting to learn about foraging more for food..... I have always been fascinated with acorns.

Pickled Acorns

Menu Monday

Monday:  Chicken and Dumplings

Tuesday:  Ham and bean soup with cornbread

Wednesday:  Salad night (needed after the past week!)

Thursday:  French Onion Soup in slowcooker

Friday:  Either leftovers or homemade pizza

Saturday:  Anniversary, so out to eat. :-D

Sunday:  New Year's Day traditional Rib roast with all the fixin's!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It Was a Success!

OMGoodness.......... it was an overwhelming success.  I had to print the recipe off five times and sent it to two people. LOL

I plan to bake another one tomorrow morning for the family.  So..... another ooey gooey goodness.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Sounds good, doesn't it?  I hope so!

I have been baking since almost 5:30 this morning.... it better be good! LOL

Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter, melted

1 cup (2 sticks) real butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans, (optional) (always measure the nuts first then chop them)

2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in the 1/2 cup melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and pecans until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. You want to make sure it's done. I like most things underdone but cake is not one of them.
4. Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

I believe I got this from, but I am not 100% sure.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Monday

Monday:  Tacos

Tuesday:  Jam Chicken

Wednesday:  Chili

Thursday:  French Onion Soup (slow cooker)

Friday:  ??

Saturday:  Not sure, might have to be an eating out night.

Sunday:  Ham and all the fixings

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blogging and other things

This blog is practically new, but I am not really new to blogging.  I previously blogged for over 5 years under the name of "One Frugal Mom."

I decided to change because I felt it no longer fit who I was anymore.  I will at times repost things from that time in my life, but for the most part I am no longer "one frugal mom," but am much, much more. :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Menu planning

I had a menu planned for this week.  Seriously, I really did.  Unfortunately, I have only fixed what was planned for Sunday. LOL

But that is the thing about menus, they should be flexible!  Things happen and you need to be able to "go with the flow."

We have two school performances this week, so things sometimes get hectic.  I hope this will be the menu for the rest of the week:

Today:  Salad

Wednesday:  Fiesta Chicken over rice

Thursday:  French Onion Chicken

Friday:  Homemade pizza

Saturday:  Chili w/cornbread

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shipping costs!!!

Shipping costs are ridiculous!!!

It is cheaper to drive things than it is to ship them!

That is all..... I just needed to vent!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekly Menu

Today:  Sub sandwiches, made at home.

Monday:  Beef and Broccoli over rice

Tuesday:  Salad

Wednesday:  French Onion Soup in the crockpot

Thursday:  Jam Chicken over rice

Friday:  Homemade pizza

Saturday:  Leftovers or ???


I have just been so busy lately.  I am always tired.  Of course, it seems that it is just because I have a lot on my plate lately and it is making me mentally and physically tired.

I will try and re-organize (sp?) things to help, but it might just have to be this way for awhile.  Oh well, just 12 more days until Winter break. :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I am now the owner of...

a license to conceal carry. is a big responsibility!  One I do not take lightly and feel that I need to be "on my toes" at all times now.  Which is what I should be.

I am working on different ways to carry, but find it hard since good quality holsters are pricey!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mid-month updates

Oh goodness, the month is half way over!  It seemed like it just started.

School is going along smoothly.  College and employment schools. LOL

It's turning cold, but thankfully not too bad, yet. :-)

Not much else is going on, which is a good thing. LOL

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Gun Ownership

Actually that should be titled "Responsible Gun Ownership."

I was raised around hunting.  I shot my first gun at the age of 5.  But saying that, I never shot very often growing up.  My father had rifles, and even a couple of handguns, but I never did much with any of them.  I had other interests. LOL

This past March, my DH started going to our local range and shooting his handguns.  He has had them, but never did much in the way of practicing.  Since then, I have also been improving my skills at the range.

I have also become the owner of my own handgun:
It's a Springfield Armory XDm 9mm.  It's fits my hand nicely and I have improved my groupings at the range:

What are your thoughts on gun ownership?  I welcome truthful and honest discussion, but will not allow flaming.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Monday

Tonight:  Velveeta's new Cheeseburger Mac and brussel sprouts

Tuesday:  Salad night

Wednesday:  Baked Burritos

Thursday:  Tomato Chicken over rice

Friday:  Left overs

Saturday:  Chicken and Dumplings (?)

Sunday: ??

Message Board

I finally got around to working on my message board for this blog.

I had started on it back in February, and then stopped. LOL

Here it is:  Country Tea

Stop by if you would like. :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Bow hunting season is currently going on.  My wonderful DH is out today and hopefully we will have venison in the freezer this winter.

Last year was not a good year, but this is a new year and new season.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly menu

Monday:     Corned beef and cabbage
Tuesday:     Baked potato night
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner
Thursday:    Tomato Chicken over rice
Friday:        Taco and quesidilla night
Saturday and Sunday:  out of town
Monday:     Chicken and Dumplings

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wine, wine, and wine

Yes, I like wine.  It is a gift from Jehovah and as long as it is not abused, it should be enjoyed!

That is all.....thank you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trying our hand at growing our own drying beans.

These are black cowpeas, and so far they are working nicely.  The next step will be in cooking them.

Guns and shooting

So, when you state that you are into shooting, you get different reactions.

Either they ask what you shoot and where, and start chatting...... OR

they look at you like you have grown another head and wonder why they never noticed before. LOL

I prefer talking to those that like to chat about caliber and weights. :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Been awhile....

Okay.....well school started back, so now I am working full time and taking a full course load of college credits.  My online time is limited. LOL  Unless you count the time I am working on coursework. :-)

I will try and post more, but can not promise anything.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to work today.

School started back up for teachers and assistants today.

Got my schedule for the year.  So far, it looks like it will be less intensive than last year, but we will have to wait and see if it stays that way. ha ha

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I've been slacking!

Sorry.  Been very busy in life and unfortunately this is one of the things that gets put to the side when life gets hectic!

Just got back from vacation.  Keeping up with schoolwork and getting ready for a new school year to start in two weeks. (actually one for me, we get to start a week earlier than the students. LOL)

I will try and get better and blog at least every other day.  I might not have much to say....but I will try. :-)

It's getting late and I will be signing off for now.

Saturday, July 23, 2011's been awhile.

Things have been busy here!

Along with classes and other household chores, we now have a new grandbaby.

I will post pictures soon.


Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1st, 2011

Wow.... half the year is gone!  I am slightly flabbergasted, since it seemed like I was just getting used to writing 2011 on checks. LOL

I am seriously going to keep track of my grocery spending this month.

I hope to spend around $350, but will happy if it is below $400.

Keep in mind that the USDA thinks that a family my size should be spending around $700 on the "thrifty" plan.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back to budget basics

I was looking over the USDA's website about food budgets and decided that I am going to see how I stack up for a month.  I KNOW I spend less a month than what they consider "thrifty" but I would like to see just how much!

The latest month that the USDA has online is for the month of May.  For my current family of DH, myself, our 23 year old daughter whose is due to have a baby any day now, our 12 year old son, and 10 year old daughter. Per the site, our monthly budget should be $738.43.  I spend no where near that.  I might push near $400 some months, but most months are closer to $350.

I am going to keep track of my grocery costs for July (I had planned to in June, but forgot.) so that I can see how much of a difference there is in our numbers.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How does your garden grow?

This year, we have tomatoes, peppers (bell and jalapeno), squash (three varieties), cukes and green beans.

I was working in it yesterday, weeding with one of my all time favorite tools:

My stirrup gets through weeds like they were BUTTER! LOL

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why do I let this kind of thing bother me???

I post on a mother's board on a semi-regular basis, and something that I have noticed is this:

Why do people who have relatives that watch their children (at no charge) get upset when those relatives pray in front of their children???

I have seen this on several occasions and again just recently.  This last incident was a woman that is pagan and was upset that her MIL says a blessing before meals when her daughter is there.  How dare that woman not change her whole belief system in her OWN home because her DIL does not believe in Christianity. (note the sarcasm)

This woman even mentioned that this is the only time she seems to "force" her views on her daughter, but feels she is being disrespected.

My feelings..... If you don't want your MIL "corrupting" your daughter..... then find someone else to watch her for you.  Of course, it will involve having to pay for their services, but if you are paying for a service, you have more room to choose what your child is exposed to and not in their care!

Okay..... rant over. :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Things are moving along.....

Second week of summer break is almost over, and not much has been happening.

Jen is almost 39 weeks along, so we are just waiting for baby Riley to get here.

My classes are going along just fine so far, so I am happy with that.

Will post again soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Second day of summer vacation

So far, so good. LOL

Cleaned some more today.  Ran some errands and did some laundry.

Kids still alive.... so all is good! :-D

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ick.... almost 10 days since last post!

End of the school year busyness!

Tomorrow is the last day of school, and I have alot of stuff going on.

I will be back to blogging seriously next week.

I plan to blog about our garden and other home stuff.

Til then!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

School is almost over for the year!

Just 8 more days!

We are all getting excited.  Of course I still have my own classes. LOL

Garden is almost completely in.... I can hardly wait to eat from it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Menu planning

Okay... I am still floundering on the menu for this week!

I have today and tomorrow planned, but that is only 2 out of 7 days. LOL

Today:  Grilled chicken, potato and onions packets, green beans

Monday:  Beef and Broccoli over rice.

Tuesday:  ????

and so on.....

I am trying to find frugal meal ideas that are WW friendly.  I am trying to be serious with my weight loss, but without breaking the grocery budget.

This and That

This week has been stressful!

Summer classes started on Monday and SOL testing started on Tuesday!

I need to sit and plan meals for the next week.  Not having one last week was not helpful to the overall stress level I was feeling! LOL

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dinner Menu

Okay... I have been bad and have not made a menu for this week.

Yesterday was Fiesta Chicken and today will be a nice large salad.

I need to sit and figure out the rest of the week.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grocery Budget Strategy -- Buying in Bulk

This is not just for grains, flour, sugar and such, but also cleaning products, paper goods and anything that I can freeze. This is where having a nice Price Book comes into play. A bulk purchase is a waste if the price per pound is not a savings. Don't assume that just because the package is large that the savings is there! Because of my price book, I know what the "normal" prices are and what the "sale" prices will be (within reason). Also, something to consider, if the product that you are buying in bulk can not be used before it goes bad, IT IS NOT A SAVINGS! 

Food thrown in the trash is no different than throwing money in the trash.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Two day wrap up

I have drank my water.....walked on the treadmill. I did dip into my weekly points allowance, but that is what it is for. :)

Now to just keep it up!

- Posted by Country Tea

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fed up!

I am fed up with my weight. Now to take the necessary steps to get my rear in gear!

- Posted by Country Tea

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

School is winding down for the year.

Which means things are getting very busy around here.

Not only at work, but home with the nicer weather, and my college semester.  I am finishing up my classes for Spring, then I get one week off before the Summer semester begins.

I am itching to get our garden in, but need to wait til the weekend.

What are your plans for gardening?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Menu for 5-1 to 5-7

(I forgot to post this yesterday, but am still going to include Sunday's meal.)

Sunday:    Tomato Chicken over Rice

Monday:    Tacos

Tuesday:     Salad night

Wednesday:  Fiesta Chicken over Rice

Thursday:  Pork Loin Roast, potatoes, green veggie

Friday:  Leftovers

Saturday:  Fish sticks for the kids, salad, and rolls

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

May 1st.  A new month has begun and it looks like Spring is truly here.

We will get the garden in soon and other yard projects started.

What are your plans for this month?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Did you watch the Royal Wedding?

I had not planned to... but there was nothing else on this morning so I did. LOL

It is interesting the different perspective I have for this one compared to the wedding of his mother and father 30 years ago.

I remember being awed by the pomp and circumstance of the other one....whereas my older self is thinking that this is alot of show for something that is a very private and personal matter.  But then again, I am not one for big showy weddings.  Whether you are a "royal" or a "commoner."

I guess it had to be an "event" considering who they are......but in this day and age does any country NEED a royal family???

Random thoughts on a Friday morning.  I need to go wake up my daughter, so I might revisit this subject later. :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Days go by quickly......

I have been contemplating my shopping habits lately and feel the need to challenge myself where my grocery budget is concerned.

Starting May 1st, I am going to challenge myself to only spend $400 for the month.  This will include foodstuffs, paper products, cleaning products and pet items.

I will keep a tally and post here my totals.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review of Yoder's Country Market.

All in all a nice little market.  Not worth the drive unless I was in the area for other reasons, but I do not regret going.

Most things were not less expensive than local places, but there were a few items that would be a cost savings if it was not for the drive.

I did buy some bulk sucanat.  I have been wanting to try it for awhile, so I got some. :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I am going to an Amish store tomorrow!

Thanks to a link from a friend, I have found one that is about 40 miles south of me.


With the kids off this week for Spring break, I decided a little road trip was in order.  The kids will enjoy the drive and I will find out if this is a place that is worth the drive.

I will let you know how it is after our little trip.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My new baby

This is Jasper.  I had to wait until he was all tuckered out from playing to get a picture of him that was not blurred.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I always have such great ideas for my blog....but they never materialize.  Either life gets in the way....or I develop writer's block and can not get my thoughts down on the computer screen.

I had such grand plans to have blog posts for each day of Spring break....and alas, I have only made two and this is one of them.

Spring Break

It is day 2 of our Spring Break.

Yesterday I concentrated on laundry.  I did not finish it, but I put a large dent in the pile!  Today will finish it up.  (For now!)

I actually got to hang towels out on the line yesterday!  It was wonderful.  Of course today is supposed to be rainy with scattered T-storms.

Also working on my school work.  I hope to not only get this week's done early, but to work ahead on next week's assignments.  It is week 5 of 8.....not much longer to go for this semester.  Then summer will start. LOL

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring is trying to come!

One day it's 70, the next it's 60 and rainy.

Yes, that is Spring in Northern Virginia!

- Posted by Country Tea

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Having pets and being "frugal."

About two and a half years ago, I wrote a post concerning having pets and being frugal on my previous blog. (here)

A lot has changed since then, but we having pets is not one of them.  Some of our pets have changed, but having that type of companionship is still important to us.

Our household of pets currently consists of 1 dog, 2 cats, and an aquarium of guppies.

I make sure that I budget for their expenses.  Sometimes I can find coupons for their brands of food, but if not, that's okay.  I do try and find the cheapest source for it, but will not change around their food.  I have found changing their food causes more issues than the price of "their" brand.

This is also a case of weighing the costs vs. the benefits.  The companionship and protection received from our animals is far greater than the costs associated with keeping them.  The entertainment that the cats provide is sometimes better than anything on television!

Again.... you need to plan for the expense of a pet, but it does not have to be considered a luxury!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fail to plan.......plan to fail

Okay..... maybe saying that I have "failed" is a tad strong, but it is how I am feeling with my grocery budget lately!

I feel like I am in a rut as far as my dinner meals are concerned.  DH said it is just me, but I just hate that I seem to make the same things over and over.

I need to get out my cookbooks and start looking for new inspirations.

One thing I need to look into is more uses for ground beef.  Seems that all I use it for is tacos, burritos, and chili. DH is not a fan of Hamburger Helper, so that is out.  He is also not a big fan of casseroles.  He will eat them, but they are not his favorite thing.

I am also trying to improve our meals as far as fat and sodium content.  Yeah, I am a glutton for punishment!

Hopefully it will be nice today and we can grill! LOL

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last day of March

This month just flew by!

Busy getting rid of Winter and welcoming Spring!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Molly, Molly quite contrary...

how does your garden grow?

Nothing yet.....but I have plants started!

- Posted by Country Tea

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Today was chili

Monday: Beef and Broccoli

Tuesday: Spaghetti w/meat sauce

Wednesday: Crockpot, to be determined

Thursday: Leftovers night

Friday: Homemade pizza

Saturday: ?????

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Menu planning

I am trying to decide the menu for next week and just keep coming up with NOTHING! LOL

I just feel like I am fixing the same things over and over.  Which is not always a bad thing....and I rarely get complaints from DH, but I like having different things on the menu.

What do you do when you feel yourself getting into a menu rut?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Responsible gun handlers in training

She has such a serious stance!

His favorite was the 9mm though!

A few Paraprosdokians

Ø Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. 

Ø Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 

Ø War does not determine who is right - only who is left. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am falling into the habit of not blogging again.

It's been busy, but that is no excuse.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekly menu


Grilled chicken breasts, potatoes, and salad

Monday:  Taco twist casserole

Tuesday:  Leftovers

Wednesday:  Jam Chicken over rice

Thursday:  Baked potato night

Friday:  ???

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Busy, busy

That seems to sum things up for me lately.

Problem is, when I get busy I don't get a menu planned for the week. :(

Today is ham and bean soup with cornbread.
Thursday: corned beef and cabbage
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: ???

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

This is loosely based on a recipe I got from the year of slow cooking cookbook.

I put together about a pound of boneless skinless chicken breast. Frozen is fine.

1 jar of salsa (I used medium, but adjust to your own tastes)
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained (I use home canned ones)

Cook on low for at least 8 hours. Take out the chicken, shred and then put back into the slow cooker. Mix all together. Taste and see if you need additional seasoning. I sometimes had cumin.

Serve over rice or with tortillas. I also offer shredded cheese, fresh tomatoes and any other toppings you might want.


Oh....and this is even better the next day!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Is that a dirty word to you? (Or is it just me????)

I am trying to get into the habit of walking a minimum of 20 minutes a day.  So far, I have done three days in a row.  Not a lot, but it is a start.

We have a treadmill, so there is no excuse.....other than just not wanting to!  I am now recording things that I only get to watch while I am walking.  I tried to have a favorite book as my incentive, but found that I can not read and walk.  At least, not if I don't want to get nauseous. :-X

Once the weather warms up, and dries up, I hope to do more outside.  But until then, my treadmill will be my new friend!

To date:  Walked three days in a row for a total of 2.26 miles.

Menu Monday

Monday: Baked potato night

Tuesday: Smoked turkey breast, hashbrowns, green beans

Wednesday: Crockpot ?????

Thursday: Taco night

Friday: Clean out the fridge night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Can someone be into “preparedness” and still be a true Christian?

**Here is an article I posted awhile back on a previous blog.  Enjoy!

I have heard all sorts of opinions on this, and not all of them in a nice way! LOL

I think a lot has to do with a person’s personal perception of what “preparedness” means.  Do you automatically think of someone that builds a bunker and stocks it full of food and ammo to last 10 years?  Or do you think of someone that wants to make sure that if they (or their spouse) loses their job….food would be low on the list of worries, at least for awhile?

Here is my version of “preparedness”….  I want to at some point have a 12 month supply of food on hand.  If I end up with more…. great, but if I only end up with a 6 month supply, I will be happy with that also.

I know there will be some out there that feel that I am not “truly” trusting in God by wanting to have this type of food supply!  I can say with complete sincerity that that is FALSE!

Do I feel that having these stored items will carry my family through Armegeddon on our their own merit?  Of course not, only Jehovah will protect his people during the last days! ‘And they keep on crying with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation [we owe] to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” ‘(Revelations 7:10) Only through faith and loyalty can we endure to the end. “And YOU will be objects of hatred by all people on account of my name; but he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

Okay…now that we have that out of the way…. I would like to share some of the scriptures that I feel show that we should also take some responsibility in being prepared for whatever “unforeseen occurrence” befall us. (Eccl. 9:11)

One of my favorite scriptures about preparing is found in Proverbs.  Specifically Proverbs 6:6-8:  “Go to the ant, you lazy one; see its ways and become wise. 7 Although it has no commander, officer or ruler, 8 it prepares its food even in the summer; it has gathered its food supplies even in the harvest.”

Here we are told to look how the ant, the lowly insect and to learn from it!  I know everyone reading has heard the parable of the grasshopper and the ant….so seeing the Holy Scriptures using the ant as an example for us to follow should not be surprising!

If the ant knows by instinct to store up food for the winter, then we, as humans, should also store up food for lean times!

Also…. Remember the dreams that pharaoh had about the wheat and the cows?  God gave forewarning that there would be a 7 year drought….and to store up food to last for that time period! (Gen. 41:29-36)  Hey, I only want a 12-month supply!  I cannot even imagine a 7 year one! LOL

In summary, I have no problems with people following their beliefs, but please do not question my faith or beliefs because I choose to put away food items and try to learn ways to “live off the land” in case that situation ever comes about.  I have a feeling that when the time comes, knowing that I can feed my family will be one less thing to stress over!  (I KNOW there will be plenty of other things to stress over!)

Thoughts?  Comments?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Flexibility of a menu plan

I love having a menu plan for the week, but I also like to have flexibility in my week.  You can have both!

Yesterday was a rainy, windy day and the thought of fish was not appealing to me, so I made chicken and dumplings instead. :-)

So... the menu has changed, but really just rearranged. LOL  Today will be the fish and Thursday will become the baked potato night.  By Friday, we should have enough leftovers to have a leftovers night.

Happy March 1st!  Bring on spring!  (I started some seeds over the weekend and will post about it later.)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Rain, rain go away...

I feel like vampires are having a baseball gave somewhere close by.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Menu planning

Here is the menu for the week.  I have also already bought the ingredients that I needed. :-)

Saturday:  Lasagna, salad, bread

Sunday:  Baked burritos

Monday:  Baked potato night

Tuesday:  Fish, roasted potatoes (or mashed), peas

Wednesday:  Jam Chicken over rice

Thursday:   Leftovers

Friday:  ?? Will have to think on this one. Most likely chicken and dumplings.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slow cooker meals

I LOVE my slow cooker!

Right now I have French onion soup cooking away for tonight.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Price Book

One of the first things you can do to start helping to reduce your expences is to look at your grocery budget.  It is the one area that most people can find the most “wiggle” room.

The USDA gives what it considers guidelines for monthly grocery expenses at varying levels of frugality (or the lack thereof).  The most recent month listed is for December 2010.

Now that there is only four of us at home, I will show you what the lists are food costs for a family of my size.

Family size:  1 adult male 51-70 years, 1 adult female 19-50 years, 2 children in the 9-11 age group.

Thrifty Plan:  $591.10
Low-cost:       $771.60
Moderate:      $972.50
Liberal:        $1,174.40

All I can say is “WOW!”  Even at my most unfrugal, I have never spent the thrifty plan.  Now, before anyone starts saying that prices vary where you live, I live within an hour of Washington, D.C……so my costs are not exactly cheap!

This is where a price book comes into play!

It can be simple, it can be fancy.  Just make sure you use it!

Mine  is a simple 4 X 6 notebook, with pages that can be removed and added. The prices listed in mine are now mostly Aldi (a small grocery store) prices. If I can beat their price, I know it is a good deal. I do have some other stores listed, but not as much as there used to be in there.

This has helped me to find some really AWESOME deals.  Now, I can tell if a "manager's special" is really special.  It also helps to know if a "loss leader" is worth a special trip to a store.

It takes some time to set up a price book, but the savings in the future is really worth the investment of your time now.

Menu planning

I am trying to get back into the habit of making a weekly menu.  Not only does this save money, but it also saves time.  Which is something that is at a premium for me lately!

Tuesday:  Beef and Broccoli over rice

Wednesday:  French onion soup in the slow cooker

Thursday: some form. (still working that one out)

Friday:  Homemade pizza

Saturday:  Sausage gumbo

Sunday:  Rotisserie Chicken, veggie, roasted potatoes

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Took a day off yesterday.

It was so weird!

The two youngest had dental appointments, so after they were over I dropped them off at their respective schools and had the rest of the day to myself!

I have been told by my co-workers that I am not allowed to take days off anymore since all sorts of stuff happened in my absence. I told them that I was very confident in their ability to handle things. :-)

Today is work, laundry, and dinner.  Since today was SUPPOSED to be leftovers, but we have none.... I need to come up with an alternative.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


That is how I am feeling right now.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Late in the day.......

I have been busy, but a good busy. LOL

Took my mid-term for theology this past weekend. Got an 88%. I am happy!

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Making a menu...and sticking to it!

Here is our menu for the week:

Sunday:     Pork loin roast, potatoes, green veggie
Monday:    Spaghetti w/meatballs, bread, salad
Tuesday:    Baked potato night
Wednesday: Jam Chicken over rice
Thursday:   Leftovers
Friday:       Homemade pizza
Saturday:  ?????

Breaking out the old Price Book!

I am needing to "go back to basics" with my monthly grocery budget.  Since this blog is new, I plan to update and revamp some of the posts I wrote about cost saving strategies I have written about in the past.

The first one will be about the "Price Book."  Don't be scared, this is not as daunting as it sounds.  Take your time and it will come together on it's own.

Stay tuned for the post about Price Books.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Moroccan Mint Green Tea

This is a new tea that I have discovered.  It is made by "Stash Tea" and is simply wonderful!  Refreshing minty-ness, with a hint of citrus.

I had a cup last night and plan to have one or two this evening.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow day

Okay... first we were not supposed to get anything......but we got maybe half an inch of snow.  School called with the automated message that we had a two hour delay.

Fine....slept in an extra 45 minutes and jumped in the shower to start my day.  DS11 starts playing the Kinect (Daddy surprised them with is yesterday) and I get onto the computer.

About 7:30 I check the school's school is CLOSED.  By this time DD9 hears brother yelling "YAY" and comes out sleepy eyed from her room.

Both are now playing the Kinect.  Built in entertainment for a snow day.  Thanks sweetie! :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Musings

Dinner today is what I call "fiesta chicken" over rice.

Working on classwork this evening and maybe tv with the kids. I know, I live such an exciting life. :)

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The best laid plans......

Well, dinner ended up being order out pizza!

Car issues, son issues, and other things led to not getting the pork loin roast in the rotissierre (sp?) on time!

I had an alternate, but DH decided that we should just order pizza.  I'm not complaining, but it is a bit of a "red light" food for myself!  I did refrain from drinking a beer with it though!  That is something. LOL

Tonight's dinner will be smoked sausage, peppers and onions, and couscous.

How do you handle last minute events that impact your dinner plans?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dinner tonight

We will be having a pork loin roast with couscous and a green veggie.

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Did you watch the Super Bowl?

I did, kinda. LOL

First half was at our neighbor's house and second half was at home, but I was recording it so I was skimming it and mainly watching the commercials. LOL

Well.....I am off to get a young lady awake and ready for school.  Post more later.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

This is going to be an all encompassing blog!

It's gonna have posts about tea, but also being frugal and other day to day life items.

I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Deciding how and where to go with this blog.

I was going to post exclusively about tea, but lately I have been so busy that setting up pictures of pretty tea filled cups is low on my list. (sorry)

I still want to do that, but can not do so on a daily basis.  I had a previous blog about frugality, so I might just combine the two ideas.

Stay tuned and find out!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Trying something new

This is a new app on my iPod. I want to see if it will work.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just a sampling of my teas!

This morning it was Celestial Seasons Chai.

Very nice Chai seasoning!  Not too strong, but not weak.  The only thing I need to remember to do is let it steep a bit longer.  I want an even richer taste of the chai!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What is this blog going to be about?

I am a tea lover.  I like tea, cold or hot, it does not matter. :-)

I plan to write about that love and see where it takes me!

Welcome to 2011, the year of the TEA.  (Well, for me at least. ha ha)