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, 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!

 

Grocery Geek Part 2

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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!

Weekly Meal Plan, Week of February 27-March 5

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Breakfasts

  • Oatmeal (just plain old Quaker) and Greek yogurt
  • Green protein smoothie
  • Eggs in corn tortillas with cheese and salsa
  • Sprouted English muffins (in the freezer) and eggs
  • Kodiak Power Cakes pancakes (in the freezer)
  • Omelets
  • Pop tarts 🙂
  • Cereal
  • NutriGrain bars

Lunches

  • Chicken salad, boiled egg, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Cottage cheese (or lunch meat and cheese), boiled egg, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Peanut butter and honey sandwich, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Leftovers
  • Dining hall on Saturday

Snacks

  • Sandwich crackers
  • Sriracha cashews
  • Dry roasted almonds
  • Veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers) with hummus or ranch
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, or a fruit cup)
  • White cheddar Cheez-its
  • Annie’s bunny snacks
  • HEB brand Greek yogurt
  • Granola bars (plain old Quaker)

Dinner

  • Monday- Baked chicken thighs, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli
  • Tuesday- Southwestern soup (basically taco soup with black beans)
  • Wednesday- Potato ham cream cheese soup (recipe to come)
  • Thursday- Instant pot homemade hamburger helper (with cheddar and mozzarella), salad
  • Friday- Homemade pizza
  • Saturday- Burgers
  • Sunday- Instant Pot Chuck Roast and Veggies (mashed potatoes instead of potatoes with roast)

Prep

  • Thaw meat
  • Cut up veggies
  • Boil eggs
  • Grocery shop

Instant Pot Pork Tacos

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds of pork (HEB sells Carnitas like the ones pictured)
  • 2 small oranges, halved (or one large)
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (not pictured here… I forgot it when I took the pic!)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin

First, mix seasonings in a small bowl.

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Finely chop cilantro

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Finely chop jalapeño and place on top of cilantro.

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Dice red bell pepper and place on top of jalapeño.

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Dice onion and place on top of everything.

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Mix veggies

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Pour 1/2 cup of water on the bottom to start with some liquid (you could also use chicken stock).

Place a layer of carnitas meat, sprinkle seasoning, veggies, and garlic.

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Second layer of meat, seasoning, garlic, and veggies.  Squeeze the orange and lime and place into the pot.  If you use a pork roast or something similar, you won’t be able to do layers.  Totally fine!

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Cook for 50 minutes and natural pressure release for 20-30 minutes.

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This is what it looks like cooked.

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Pull the meat out into a bowl.

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Shred the meat.

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I imagine this would work fine in a crock pot.  It would just need to cook 6-8 hours to make it to where it falls apart and is easy to shred.

We eat this on some locally made flour tortillas or corn tortillas.  We typically have Mexican brown rice and pinto beans (I’ll post this recipe soon, I promise!).

This meal costs maybe $8?  It’s a pretty inexpensive meal!

It’s one of our faves!  Enjoy!

Here are some easy-to-follow directions!

  1. Mix seasonings in a small bowl.
  2. Finely chop cilantro
  3. Finely chop jalapeño and place on top of cilantro.
  4. Dice red bell pepper and place on top of jalapeño.
  5. Dice onion and place on top of everything.
  6. Mix veggies
  7. Pour 1/2 cup of water on the bottom to start with some liquid (you could also use chicken stock).
  8. Place a layer of carnitas meat, sprinkle seasoning, veggies, and garlic.
  9. Second layer of meat, seasoning, garlic, and veggies.  Squeeze the orange and lime and place into the pot.  If you use a pork roast or something similar, you won’t be able to do layers.  Totally fine!
  10. Cook for 50 minutes and natural pressure release for 20-30 minutes.
  11. Pull the meat out into a bowl.
  12. Shred the meat.

Grocery Geek, February 8th

grocery-geek

I spent $95 on groceries and $27 on food for HAF homes (our gap year student get together).  Tomorrow I will be posting pics of food that I bought on Walmart.com (for some reason they shipped it all separately).  The stuff I bought on Walmart.com is mostly “stock up” foods (pantry items) and backpacking food along with things like zipper bags, deodorant, etc.

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  • Family pack Hormel natural smoked turkey (14oz)
  • 1 dozen HEB cage free eggs
  • 3lbs HEB ground beef
  • 1lb HEB mild Italian sausage
  • 1 container HEB sour cream (32 ounces)
  • 1 container Julio’s salsa
  • HEB Sliced provolone
  • HEB Sliced mild cheddar
  • 2lbs HEB shredded mild cheddar
  • 1 gallon HEB whole milk
  • 1/2 gallon HEB half and half
  • 8oz HEB brand gouda
  • 8oz HEB brand New York extra sharp cheddar
  • 3, 4 packs of HEB Greek yogurt (Vanilla Bean, Banana Pudding, and Lemon Sorbet)
  • 2 half gallons of HEB creamy creations ice cream

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  • 13 large russet potatoes (for HAF homes)
  • 1 bunch bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Half and half salad
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • Baby carrots
  • 6 avocados
  • 7 broccoli crowns
  • Celery
  • 1 bag of yellow onions

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  • 1, 12 pack La Croix
  • 2, 12 packs of HEB coke zero
  • 2 loaves of HEB 100% whole wheat bread
  • 200 ft of foil

We already have a lot of meat (2 packages deli meat, large package of sausage, 2 packages of chicken thighs, 1 large package of drumsticks, box of frozen chicken breasts, and 4lbs of ground beef on top of what I bought today).  I forgot to get summer sausage so I will get that on Sunday when we go to church.

I’ll need to get a few things (produce and dairy), but we’re pretty set for 2 weeks.

Weekend Prep

weekend-meal-prep

I woke up late today, but have been busy ever since.  I’m finally sitting down (at 2:30) to blog about all that I have been doing today.

The first thing I did when I woke up was have my coffee, plan my day, and spend time in the word.  Today was day 1 of the Ruth study on She Reads Truth.  This is an old study… one that I missed in the past.  I’m not a huge fan of the one that is happening right now, so I went backwards.  It is fantastic.

Then I made beds (well, I had the kids make their beds but I went behind them and straightened them because I’m a perfectionist).

Then I straightened up the house.  This didn’t take very long because I tend to keep it clean these days.  Plus, I have the kids clean up after themselves.  It helps that they are only home in the evenings and on the weekends.

Here’s what the house currently looks like:

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I updated my meal plan for the month.

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Then I started my meal prep.

First, I cut veggies for lunches and dinners.

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Then I made healthy snack muffins.

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I prepped lunches.

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I made dinners for the nights that I will be going to town.

Veggie and meat sauce

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Whole wheat penne

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Taco meat

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I ordered some items from Walmart.com that I will need this week.  Friday, I will only have to buy ground beef, produce, and dairy!  I will also be picking up some pizzas from Papa Murphy’s for Saturday (my parents will be here).

Next I will be folding and putting away my one load of laundry for the day.

We will end the night by playing games!