Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fall Break

We are on fall break around here.  We have the whole week off of school and I only have to go to class on Monday night. The professor for my Tuesday night class said that if we got all of our work into her by last Tuesday night and she checked it off, then we didn't have to come this week.  I spent all day Sunday getting everything done so that I didn't have to go this week. Yeah me!

So we are going camping (in the camper) on Wednesday and coming back on Saturday.  The kids want to go shopping tomorrow at the outlets for some boot and long sleeve shirts.  I told them that we could if we could find some bargains or some buy on get one free deals.  I also need to go shopping for the camping trip and for the week after.  I don't want to have to go to a store while we are camping and I don't want to have to go out when we get back.

We are going on a picnic after church today. We are having such nice weather that I feel like we need to enjoy it.  I just love being around my kids and husband.  Some people say that they don't enjoy the teen years, but I really do.  I think this is my favorite stage yet.  They all have such interesting personalities.  I guess that none of mine give attitude or lip about stuff so that also helps with the enjoyment!

Well it is church day and I have to finish getting ready!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Weekend Happenings

Friday  night had us at the local high school football game.  The little girl plays in the high school band, so every Friday night in the fall is football.  My little nephew met us and watched the game.  He had a great time with the little boy.  The other picture is of the middle girl getting her driver's licence.  The real one that you can drive by yourself.  She did great on her test and I know that she will be a responsible driver.

The above pictures are of my shopping this week.  The first is a quick trip to Sams, the second is a quick trip to Wal-Mart and then the last is my trip to Aldi.  I spent about $70 at Aldi and $45 at Sams, which is under my $150;00 a week so I feel good about the trips.  I think Wal Mart ran me about $30, but some of that was the insoles for my shoes.  I have heel pain without good insole and that and the bubble bath would go into my household budget of about $250 a month so I am good there also.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Feast or Famine

I feel like when you have your own business, often times there becomes a feast or famine mode.  There are times when you have several jobs come in and feel really good about your fiances, and   then there are times that you are having to wait and there is little cash money.  That is where we are this week with the grocery budget.  We are waiting on payment on a few of Steven's big jobs, so we are tight right now.  It is ok though.  We can pay all of our bills, we just have to wait on a few of our wants and the cooking will be a little more creative this week.  This is why I love to stock the pantry with extras and eat that when we are tight. This is what I am thinking about making this week:

Monday:  Crock pot chili
I will use dried beans and ground deer meat that we have on hand.  I also have cans of tomatoes on hand and all of the seasoning.  This meal will be no additional money this week unless I buy some frito type chips to eat with it.  We also like to put cheese and sour cream in it, but I have that on hand also.

Tuesday :  Cream cheese chicken in the crock pot.

I have to have crock pot on Monday and Tuesday because I have class on those nights.  This meal requires chicken, cream of chicken soup, itialian dressing mix and cream cheese and pasta.  I will need the cream cheese and dressing mix.

Wednesday:  Sloppy Joes and oven fries.  Ashley usually cooks on Wednesday.  She gets home earlier from class and everyone is running out the door for church.  All I need for this is sloppy joe seasoning.  I might buy a new bag of potatoes.  The ones I have are looking a little yucky.

Thursday:  We almost always have soccer, so I want something that everyone can serve themselves, so I usually make a casserole or soup.  This week I am making chicken broccoli cheese casserole.  I already have the chicken, broccoli. cream of chicken soup, sour cream and crackers.  I will serve with a salad, so all I need are some salad makings.  I might get some more sour cream just to be sure.

Friday:  Away game for football.  We might go to the game.  If we do I will pick up a little ceasars pizza for us to eat before the game.  That way we are not spending money on concessions.

I didn't include Saturday because I really just grill some meat and make a salad.  I never know who will be here so I don't do much.  I also try to make some quick bread like banana or pumpkin bread for breakfast or snack and some wheat bread to have with dinner.  Sundays is always hamburgers and hotdogs and either homemade fries or chips.  It depends on how late church goes.

Everyone eats eggs or bagels or cereal for breakfast.  I have all of that on hand except I may need more bagels.

Lunches are packed sandwiches, fruit, chips and crackers.  I do need chips and crackers and fruit.  I have sandwich meat and pbj.

So you see, I am going to shop this week, but not for much.  We will have plenty to round out the week and no one will be hungry or crazy.  Next weekend we can make a Sams run and stock up for camping. Yeah for fall break coming in one more week.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weekend shopping plans

Yeah we made it to the weekend.  I had to work all week for the first time in seven weeks. It is always hard to get back into the swing of things.  I need to shop for some things to round out our menu for the week and some things for the kids to take to lunch.  They normally take a sandwich, something crunchy, and some kind of fruit or veggies.  I take the same thing.  Sometimes I take leftovers if I am going to have a place to heat it up and a place to keep it cold.  Right now I am floating throughout the school system, so unless I am at my home school, then I will pack a sandwich or salad.

So here is what I am shopping for:


Trash bags
laundry detergent
sliced cheese
shredded cheese
flour tortillas
individual bags of chips
small Gatorade
small bottles of water
bag of apples
bag of some other fruit
salmon for the grill
individual bags of chips

Local Freshway;

Chicken breasts
Ground beef


sour cream
dog food

I will let you know how the shopping turns out and how much I spent.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Back to work

Why do we have to start school so early in Georgia?  I really shouldn't complain.  I had five weeks off (really seven but I worked summer school) and most jobs get none.  As my kids have gotten older, summers are a little more relaxed.  All of the older ones are working and the younger ones just like to have friends over or go on little outings.  I don't have to entertain anymore. I can work on my own projects uninterrupted. So this was a good summer.

I am only working for half of the year so that I can student teach and I am working as a full time sub.  Something different but not bad.  I try to take everything in stride which is hard for me.  I worry about stuff in the future, but I really only need to take it one day at a time.  God's got this.

I guess I am getting ready for work.  I have to leave in a bit.  Hopefully today will be interesting.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Best kind of day

Today for me was one of the best kind of days.  It was one of those days where you really don't have to be anywhere in particular and everyone is home to give a helping hand.  I had already grocery shopped earlier in the week, so I did not have much to do today.  That left me time to get my hair cut, delegate house cleaning chores, and get my laundry caught up.  I also did some baking in anticipation of the upcoming week.  I got much done, but it was at a relaxed pace and was ever so enjoyable.

I was going to share with you what I did for dinner on Thursday and Friday.  I like to do what I call bouncing meals.  That is, out of one meal I can create another.  On Thursday we had chicken fried rice and on Friday we had chicken, broccoli, and cheese casserole.  When I cooked the rice for the fried rice, I made extra for the casserole.

I have a rice cooker and this is with three cups of brown rice.  I buy it in bulk from Sams and store it in a food grade container.  I used 2/3 of this for our fried rice and the rest for the casserole.

I then cooked enough chicken for both recipes.

I just cooked it in a cast iron skillet with onions until it is done.  I used half for the fried rice and half for the casserole. 

For fried rice you can used whatever veggies you have on hand.  I used carrots, onion, frozen peas, peppers, zucchini, and broccoli.  When I prepared the broccoli I cooked enough for both recipes.

I then cooked my veggies in a big pot with olive oil and soy sauce.  When the veggies started to get crisp I added the rice and more soy sauce.  I also added two eggs and cooked them in the middle until done.  I didn't get any other pictures of the rice, but here is one in the container when we were putting away leftovers.

For the casserole I mixed the rice, chicken, and broccoli with a cup of mayo, a cup of sour cream, cheese, and a can of cream of chicken soup.  Spread it in a baking dish and top with Ritz crackers and a little butter.  I baked some homemade wheat bread to go with it.

Here is my bread and some apple muffins I made.  They are whole wheat and sugar free.  The kids gave them a thumbs up.

These are both low cost meals that are easy to prepare and healthy.  The casserole could be made healthier, but this is what my family likes.  


Several people have asked me for my recipe for canning salsa.  Every year I try to can enough salsa to last my family until the next year.  Sometimes I do well and others not so much.  I also like to have it on hand for a last minute snack to bring somewhere (such as church or a last minute invite).  I keep bags of tortilla chips on hand from Aldi, so it is a cheap and easy snack.

I normally start with either a bunch of homegrown tomatoes or a box from the farmers market.  We have been so busy and it has been so hot here that we did not plant any tomatoes this year, so I bought a box from a farm down the road from us.  I would guess that this is about 20 pounds, but I am not quite sure.

I then peal the tomatoes and cut them into quarters.  To peal them I boil them in water for three minutes and them put them in ice water.  The skins then just slip off.   After they are cut into quarters I pulse them through a food processor.  I leave them kind of chunky.

I then start to add my veggies.  This is what I like to add:

4-5 pounds of onion (I like sweet onions)
4 bell peppers
6 jalapeno peppers (I remove the membranes and the seeds but you can leave them if you like it hot)
8 cloves garlic
several banana peppers
1 bunch of cilantro

I run all of this through my food processor to get it chopped

This is my big kitchen bowl full of veggies.  I then add the spices and the other ingredients:

1 cup of vinegar
1/4 cup of salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
juice of about 6 limes

This is what I do because we don't like it very spicy.  If you want it to have more kick add red pepper or cayenne  pepper to it.  There are really not any rules except that you have to add the lime or some lemon juice for acidity.  If you can items without enough acidity it may spoil and that would be a shame after all of this work.

I also like to add about three large cans of tomato paste just to thicken it up and sometimes I will sometimes add some canning pectin.  It just depends on how thick the salsa is and how thick you like it.

I then cook it on the stove for about an hour on a low simmer.  I had to put this into two large pots.  The last half I vented the lid so that some of the liquid could come off.  How much liquid you have will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are, so this may not be necessary.  I then used my immersion blender and blended it up a little.  I still left it fairly chunky because that is how we like it.

I then fill the jars and process them in a water bath for 15 minutes.  I like to use pint size jars for my family but I ran low on jars and I did use a few quart jars.  If your family is smaller or doesn't eat as much in one sitting you may want to use 1/2 pint jars.

I think finished canning goods are a lovely sight!