Meal Planning Sundays, March 19th-25th

Meal Planning Sundays

Whew.  Like I said in my last post, this past week has been a whirlwind! So crazy busy!  It was fantastic, but I’m reading for routine again.  I’m pretty worn out!

One part of routine is meal planning!  I have so much food here that meal planning should be a breeze!

Here’s my plan:

Breakfasts

  • Eggs in tortillas with cheese (and Cholula)
  • Green smoothie (I use cashew milk now and collagen for protein to cut down on dairy… I might also use some of my homemade Greek yogurt) and toast
  • English muffin with fried egg and cheese
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Granola and homemade Greek yogurt

Lunches

  • Sandwich (ham and cheese or peanut butter and raw honey), veggies and hummus (or ranch), and Triscuits or Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Cottage cheese, boiled eggs, veggies and hummus, Triscuits or Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Quesadillas with sour cream and salsa
  • Bean and cheese burritos
  • Dining hall
  • Leftovers

Dinners

  • Monday- Homemade meat sauce (though I don’t have squash and zucchini so it will have less veggies), pasta, and steamed broccoli
  • Tuesday- Tacos
  • Wednesday- Burrito bowls (pinto beans, brown rice, cheese, sour cream, guac, hot sauce)
  • Thursday- Dining hall
  • Friday- Pizza (homemade or frozen… not sure yet)
  • Saturday- Dining hall (lunch and dinner unless we decide to take a day trip somewhere)
  • Sunday- Leftovers

Snacks

  • Veggies (carrots, broccoli, and celery) and hummus
  • Fruit (apples, apple sauce, and oranges at the moment)
  • Triscuits and cream cheese
  • Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Tortilla chips
  • Mixed nuts/almonds
  • String cheese
  • Triple Zero yogurt (or Simply Gogurt for the kids)
  • Boiled eggs
  • Goldfish
  • Peanut butter/cheese crackers
  • Pop Tarts (I love them)

As always, there are a mix of “whole foods” and processed foods.  I have learned a great balance with this and feel content with this.

I hope you have a great week ahead!

Pursuing What Sets My Soul on Fire (Jesus)

Being in a constant state of worship and adoration, service, gratitude, prayer, and confession are what set my heart on fire. Unfortunately my life has been just one struggle after another and my spirit has gotten lost in all of … Continue reading

Grocery Geek: First Two Weeks of 2018

I won’t be driving to our “big town” (Kerrville) near as much these days (since I will be doing AA in Rocksprings) so we will definitely be shopping for 2 weeks at a time.  I can get some groceries in Rocksprings (where I will be leading AA and the kids go to school), but the selection is very limited and food is much more expensive.  So I don’t want to do big shopping there.

Robert shot an axis deer the other night and he will be processing it tomorrow so we should have a good 30-40 pounds of meat from that!  I’m so thankful because meat is the most expensive part of buying groceries.

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Of course we won’t ONLY want axis meat so I will buy a few different types of meat here and there.

We emptied a lot of our food before we went out of town so we hardly had any meat left.  Some frozen chicken breast, some fish (including some wild caught mahi-mahi that someone caught and gave us, a little salmon, and a white fish of some sort), a pound of ground beef, and a pound of bacon.  It’s actually all frozen except the bacon.

We hardly had any produce.  I think just some apples, potatoes, and onions.  Anything else that we had went bad.

We do have a pantry mostly full (that I plan to reorganize soon!), so we have plenty of canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, rotel, canned beans (black, garbanzo, and pinto), lots of whole wheat flour, dried pinto beans, white and brown rice, oats (rolled, quick, and steel cut), cake mixes, cereal, oatmeal, snacks (we got a ton for our trip and had a lot left over), protein powder, honey, peanut butter, ingredients for homemade granola, oils (coconut, avocado, olive, and canola), mixed nuts, bagels, bread, tortilla chips, and on and on.  We have lots of frozen veggies and fruit.

So most of what I bought yesterday was fresh food.  I also had to buy some household products and we include that in our budget.  Another thing that we had to buy was freezer paper and freezer bags for freezing the deer meat.

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Cold foods:

  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 1 bag of boiled and peeled eggs (Levi loves these)
  • 1 carton of egg whites
  • 1 (large) package of drumsticks (these were 99 cents per pound!)
  • 1 tub of Julio’s salsa (our fave)
  • 1 lb of lunch meat
  • 2 blocks of cream cheese
  • 1 package of sliced medium cheddar
  • 2 links of sausage
  • 2 ham steaks
  • 2 lbs of butter
  • 32 oz plain Greek yogurt (for making ranch dip and homemade yogurt)
  • 2 gallons of milk (one for drinking and one for making homemade yogurt)

Pantry Items:

  • 1/2 caff coffee
  • Decaf coffee
  • Nature’s seasons (we use this in everything)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Ranch packets
  • Duke’s mayo (my fave)
  • 4 boxes of whole wheat mac n cheese
  • Frosted Mini Wheats (Karis needs fiber!)
  • Brianna’s Dressing (my fave)
  • Coconut sugar (for making homemade yogurt)
  • 2, 12 packs of caffeine free diet coke (HEB brand)

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More Pantry Items (and some household items):

  • Whole wheat English muffins
  • Tortilla chips
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Tortillas (half corn/half wheat)
  • Plastic forks and spoons
  • Paper plates
  • Generic disinfectant wipes

Household items:

  • Dishwasher tabs
  • Melatonin
  • Quart size freezer bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Freezer paper

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Produce:

  • Bag of spinach
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Celery
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Avocados
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet tomatoes
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli florets
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Baby carrots
  • Rainbow baby carrots
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe

I spent $178!  Which I think is pretty amazing for 2 weeks’ worth. I might have to spend another $25 or so for little things here and there but that’s about it.  I really love HEB.

We also got the kids new tennis shoes and socks yesterday, Karis got some long sleeve shirts and a pair of jeans, and they spent some of their Christmas money (the boys got BB guns and Karis bought a pair of boots).

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I had grand plans to get a lot done in the house today and it hasn’t happened.  But I’m okay with just taking it easy after a long day yesterday.  Tonight we are spending time with our neighbors playing games and eating soup!  I’m looking forward to it.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

Grocery Geek, May 7th

I took pictures of our groceries a week ago and forgot to post about them!  So here I am!

I decided to buy groceries for 2 weeks.  My budget for 2 weeks is $250.  I spent $185.  I’m pretty proud of myself!  I was hoping to spend less because I’m trying to save up to buy science for Karis for next year (she is so excited about doing Chemistry and Physics but the lab kit is expensive!!).

  • Sea salt and cracked pepper crackers (which turned out to not be so good)
  • Small packages of Whales
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Simply salted popcorn
  • Lime and salt popcorn
  • HEB cheddar crackers
  • 2 bags of whole cane sugar (for my homemade yogurt)

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • Bacon
  • Hot dogs
  • Cottage cheese

  • 2.2lbs of Ruta Maya coffee (it’s the BEST)
  • 2, 12oz bags of decaf coffee

  • 2 packages sliced cheese (muenster and provolone)
  • 2 packages hummus snack packs
  • 1 bag string cheese
  • 2 packages block cheese
  • 2 summer sausages
  • 2lbs butter
  • 1 package salami
  • 2 packages HEB deli meat
  • Coke Zero

  • HEB brand individual packages of chips
  • 2 loaves whole wheat bread
  • 1 package whole wheat hot dog buns
  • 4 broccoli crowns
  • Green leaf and red leaf lettuce

  • Bananas
  • Celery
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Zucchini
  • Avocados
  • Baby carrots
  • Yellow onions
  • Glade candles

  • 2 gallons whole milk
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Frozen chicken breast
  • Whole chicken

It has been a week since I bought groceries and we still have lots of food.  We will be good for another week at least.  It helps that we also eat in the dining hall here at camp.

I realize that I was going to have a “no spend month” but it hasn’t worked out completely.  But.  I haven’t spent money other than gas and groceries.  Since I’m using cash I can’t buy things online.  So far I have saved $160 (maybe more) just by not buying things online.  I have been known to buy lots of little things that add up quickly.

I’m super proud of myself!  I have more growth ahead in the area of money, but I am on my way!

Compulsive Buying, Cash Budgeting, and 31 Days of “Living Well and Spending Zero” (Yes, Again)

So… I’m not sure if my anxiety last week was medication after all.  I have been anxious about one thing in particular and I made some decisions and have been feeling better.  Only time will tell.

This is a very honest post.  I’m hoping there will be others who can relate and join me in this!

One of the biggest things that causes me anxiety is money.

You see, I’m learning that I am a compulsive spender.  It can be due to my obsessive/compulsive nature, part of my addictive nature, part of my bipolar, or I’m just a plain old spender.  Regardless of what the reason is, I get a rush out of spending.  I have never been able to save, and I spend every cent I have.  I often go negative in my account because I don’t think about the little things that come out of my checking account like Netflix.  So I will have spent every cent, then Netflix will come out and I am negative.  I have been spending every cent on books and curriculum, or online groceries (walmart.com and boxed.com).  Often, I have spent so much money on credit.  When I was homeschooling all of the kids I would constantly buy curriculum on credit, sell it, and buy again.

Poor Robert has been trying to pay off debt, and I remembered last week that our credit card on my account on Math U See’s website.  So, I bought her math for next year on credit, once again.  The interesting thing about that purchase is that I was feeling very anxious.  I had laid down to rest because of it and I remembered that we still had our credit card on our account (this is one that I had paid off with out income tax refund but not closed).  I got a rush and felt no anxiety for a little bit while I purchased it.  I was very excited about it.  Then once that excitement wore off, I felt guilty and anxious again.  If Robert wasn’t the one to pay the bills, I would have hidden it from him.  But since I know he will see the statement I confessed to him what I had done.  He reminded me that paying that off will take a few months, and it has set us behind again.  He wasn’t mad, just confused.  I ended up closing that account and have no more ways to buy on credit.

I also spent all of the money that Robert gives me for groceries and gas on books (good old Amazon, used curriculum groups, Rainbow Resource, and our writing website), and online groceries (not all was needed).  Hundreds of dollars.  Some things that I bought we needed.  We bought groceries at HEB and spent almost $100 (not bad, really).  Gas was necessary.  I bought some t-shirts at our camp store here so that I had some clothes that fit better (I guess this wasn’t completely necessary).  I paid for counseling for Karis and me.  Etc.  But I spent a lot of money on things that either we didn’t need or I could have saved up for.

Now what?

Time and time again I have proven that I cannot be trusted with any kind of card.  Credit or debit.  If I have it in my account, I will spend it online.  If I have any credit line open, I will spend it online.  Do you see a pattern here?  Online shopping does it every time.  This coming week I have 5 packages coming!  And that doesn’t include how many packages that came in last week!

The only way we can solve this is to take away my ability to buy online, which means going to cash only.

We had the opportunity to learn a lot about managing money a few years ago.  Our friends here at camp taught a Dave Ramsey class.  We bought the materials and only went a few times.  In fact, Robert went, not me.  I’m the one that should have gone.  Today I pulled out those materials, and I’m currently listening to the CD’s.

I also dusted off the envelope system.

We don’t have a house to pay off (part of Robert’s income is a free house!), and we don’t care about building wealth, but the rest is applicable.

I also pulled out another book that I’ve had called Living Well Spending Less.  I did some reading in it yesterday and came across a section that talked about doing a zero spend month to kick start things.

So, that’s what I’m going to do.  31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero.  Well, it won’t necessarily be ZERO spending, but only essentials.  I bought the kindle book (I thought it was $0, but turns out that’s only for kindle unlimited, oops).  It’s a day-to-day plan for how to live this out.

What does that look like for me?

I’ve tried this no spend month many times and quickly failed.  Obviously I wasn’t committed, but more importantly, I was too tempted by being able to buy things online.  This is part of my pattern.

What am I allowed to spend money on?  Perishable food (as little as possible), gas, counseling, doctor appointment, and medicine (my medical and counseling is the most expensive part of our month).  Anything else will be saved.  I’m planning to be able to buy the rest of the curriculum that I need by the end plus have money saved up.  To buy this curriculum, I will hand Robert the cash and he’ll make the online purchase.  I think this is going to work nicely.

For once I’m hopeful.  It’s going to take a lot of work, but I think it’ll teach me to be more content.  That’s my goal.  Hopefully with this kick start I will be better with money.  We’ll see!

 

Mom’s Master Binder + Happy Planner

My household notebook has been kind of disorganized since I started homeschooling again and since I’ve been using my Happy Planner.  I have decided to make both of them work well for me.

I found a free “Mom’s Master Binder” pack and used it to make my household notebook work for homeschooling as well as just regular household stuff that I created.  I also bought a cheap grade book pack on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I use a google doc table that I made for lesson plans.  I don’t keep them in my binder.  I print one off for Karis to use, and I share the document with her so she can click on links (mostly for Khan Academy lessons).

I didn’t make this and I can’t find a link.  I have it saved and I just print as needed.  I’m sure it would be really easy to make on your own.

Weekly Routine

Master Grocery List

This is just the print out of my Google Calendar.

Homeschool Grade Book

This is the program that I’m doing with my dietitian.

These folders have various things in them from coupons to letters to counseling things.

I use my Happy Planner for “to-dos,” self care, and meals for the day. I’ll also use it to plan meals for the week.

Let me know if you want any of this!  I have some templates that I made as well as the ones I found online.  I would be glad to share!

Grocery Geek

Today we had choir, then lunch, games, and an Easter egg hunt at First Baptist in Rocksprings.  It was a great time!

I had to buy groceries at our local small grocery store called Lowe’s Market this week because I won’t have time tomorrow when I’m in Kerrville (I get out of counseling just in time to leave to pick up the kids from the end of our 8 mile dirt road).

Groceries are a little more expensive at Lowe’s so I had to limit what I bought because my grocery budget is really small this check.

  • Potatoes (10lbs)
  • Broccoli crowns (3)
  • Cabbage (1)
  • Bananas
  • Salad
  • Baby carrots
  • Zucchini (2)
  • Yellow squash (2)
  • Onions (2)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Lime juice
  • Flour tortillas (2)
  • Shredded cheese (1lb)
  • Block cheese (8oz)
  • Half and half
  • Greek yogurt (5)
  • Biscuits
  • Mini pizzas
  • Corn dogs
  • Country pork ribs
  • 1lb ground beef
  • Coffee
  • Hamburger buns
  • Caffeine free Diet Pepsi (the didn’t have Coke Zero)
  • Whole wheat bread

All of this was $94.  The only things I will have to buy the next 2 weeks will be more sodas, and maybe more bread.  We are eating in the dining hall a lot and we still have quite a bit of food here.

Grocery Geek Part 2

grocery-geek

I received my Walmart.com and Boxed.com orders.  Not everything I ordered is pictured here because Walmart sends things all separately.  I forgot to take a picture of what I received yesterday!

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  • Old Elpaso taco kits (3)
  • Krave jerky
  • Veggie straws
  • Pretzels
  • Mixed nuts
  • Pesto
  • Zbars
  • Mayo
  • Brown sugar
  • Jif To Go
  • Kelloggs assortment pack

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  • Tostitos
  • Eight o’clock coffee
  • Gogo squeeze
  • Zulka sugar
  • Pledge wipes
  • Lysol toilet bowl cleaner
  • Melatonin (for kids and me)
  • Cover girl powder
  • Eye liner

Not pictured:

  • 8 cans of green beans (yes, we love canned green beans in this house)
  • Powdered sugar
  • 2 Nature’s seasoning containers

I also bought these at HEB:

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  • 2 sausage links
  • Carnitas
  • 2, 12 packs of La Croix
  • 2lbs Decaf San Antonio blend coffee
  • Decaf tea
  • HEB herbal teas (one bedtime and one mint)
  • Hibiscus mint tea
  • 2 packs of HEB water drinks made with stevia

I bought all of that tea, decaf coffee, and La Croix because I am weaning off caffeine (for another post).  The meat is because I am making Carnitas for a friend and the sausage links (one sale) because I have some cabbage that needs to be used or it will go bad, and one of our faves is cabbage and sausage!

Now we are really set for the month!