1) Pay off cc #1 by 12/31/2017. To do this, make at least $225.10 in payments monthly ($79.00 per payday from my paychecks and $67.10 from my husband).
I made some significant changes in my health insurance enrollment at work because health insurance premiums for myself and my husband went from $111.00 to $163.00 per payday and my dental went from $0.00 to $6.00 per payday. So, my husband asked me to take him off of my health insurance. This will result in about $80.00 less being taken from my pay each payday. My plan for this "extra" $80.00 is to send $40.00 to cc #1 and put $40.00 in medical savings for any out of pocket potential medical expenses.
2) Continuing contributing to savings as normal.
3) Contribute any survey money, rebates, coupon savings, and credit card rewards to cc #1 payoff.
4) Grow as much of my own food as I can. Buy as much other food from organic local sources. This will help me to eat as clean as I can.
5) I will continue to use a refill fountain cup as a way to challenge myself to spend as little as possible on beverages. I will funnel my savings to cc #1.
6) I will continue to use my pocket change as a way to pay part of my grocery store bill.
Viewing the 'Food Challenge' Category
1) Pay off cc #1 by 12/31/2017. To do this, make at least $225.10 in payments monthly ($79.00 per payday from my paychecks and $67.10 from my husband).
Hi, everyone. I overspent some last week, but I am determined not to let it get me down. I was sick with a sinus infection and eating badly, so I wound up buying things I probably did not need. I will be eating a lot of things from my garden for the next couple of weeks. I did use $0.42 pocket change to pay part of my grocery bill today. I will send that same amount to cc #1.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2040.94
$40.00 regular savings deposit
$50.00 cc #1 payment
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2130.94
Here are my meals for the coming week:
1) Thai Curry Salad - http://www.thecandidadiet.com/thai-cucumber-salad/
2) Cabbage Marsala and a steak - http://www.thecandidadiet.com/cabbage-masala/
3) Salad with mustard tarragon dressing and salmon http://www.thecandidadiet.com/spring-salad-mustard-tarragon-...
4) Thai Red Curry Chicken http://www.thecandidadiet.com/thai-red-curry-chicken/
5) Breakfasts - eggs, chicken, and smoothies with spinach, spirulina, almond milk, seeds, and stevia
6) Roast Beef and vegetables
7) Paleo Shepherd's Pie http://paleogrubs.com/simple-shepherds-pie
8) Baked Chicken and Vegetables
9) Chicken Stir Fry
10) Tuna Salad
We are a little low on funds this week, so I am setting up a food challenge for this week. I am attempting as much as possible to use food we already have in our cupboards and fridge. Here are our planned meals:
1) Breakfasts - eggs, smoothies, veggies, and piece of fruit. I already had 3 out of the 4 dozen eggs needed, butter, coconut oil, carrots, and almond milk. 7 breakfasts
2) Meatloaf w/ side of veggies. I already had sweet potatoes. 2 lunches for DH
3) Lunches Leftover From Last Week. 5 lunches for DH
4) Ham and Bean Soup. I already have the beans, herbs, seasonings, and homemade broth. 4 lunches for me
5) Salads with garbanzo beans. I already have the beans, kale, green onions, sea salt, black pepper, radishes, lettuce, and carrots. The kale, green onions, and lettuce are actually growing in my garden. 3 lunches for me
6) Turkey curry. I already have the seasonings. I will use a turnip instead of a parsnip because I already have it. http://stupideasypaleo.com/2012/12/26/leftover-turkey-yellow... 1 supper for DH and me.
7) Meatloaf turned into stir fry. I already will have the meatloaf from making it for DH. I already have the seasonings and salsa. 1 supper for DH and me.
8) Tuna Salad. I already had leftover homemade mayo and 3 cans of tuna. 1 supper for DH and me
9) Baked Chicken w/ potatoes and green beans. I already have the herbs and seasonings. 1 supper for DH and me
10) Leftover Chicken. Haven't Decided What to Do With it Yet. 1 supper for DH and me
I think that will come close to meeting all of our food needs this week. I love Food Challenges.
Hi, everyone. I get paid again tomorrow, so I have already allocated funds to go to savings, debt, and bills. My retirement comes out of my pay before I see it.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance $678.14
Deposit to Car Savings $20.00
Deposit to Regular Savings $40.00
Deposit to House Savings $20.00
Deposit to Professional Savings $20.00
Deposit to HVAC savings (eventual replacement) $3.00
Deposit to AAA/property tax savings $4.00
cc #1 payment $50.00
New 52 Week Challenge Balance $835.14
I found a penny in my desk at work today. I will use it to pay part of my grocery bill Saturday.
I am going to do a pantry challenge, as I think I have been spending too much on food and need to scale back to pay more on debt. I have been really busy and stressed out with a big project at work, the biggest part of which will not end until about the beginning of April. In an effort to keep myself sane, I need to get out of my building at lunch and think about something else. I need to find a way to do that involves buying less stuff when I do it. I can't do the usually obvious things like bringing a sandwich or some kind of pasta/rice dish from home, as I can't eat grains. I think I will try to do something like buying a vegetarian salad and taking a package of tuna and some fruit with me. That makes my salad at least $1.00 cheaper. I can also use my fountain card (I already do most of the time). This strategy should help me to still say sane and get a break from work while also not breaking my budget.
Hi, everyone. Here is my food plan for the next 2 weeks. I will need to buy more fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and almond milk in order to have enough food.
14 breakfasts for me and my husband
2) Leftover Lunches Already Made Up (just have to be thawed out)
2 lunches for my husband
3) Salads with Beans or Tuna
14 lunches for me
4) Beef Stew
5 lunches for my husband
5) Meatloaf with side of veggies
2 suppers for me and my husband
6) Burgers with side of veggies
2 suppers for me and my husband
7) Chicken Soup
4 suppers for me and my husband
8) Baked Fish with side of veggies
2 suppers for me and my husband
9) Tuna Salad
2 suppers for me and my husband
10) Bean Soup
4 lunches for me
11) Lunches for my husband
7 more lunches for my husband (nothing specific in mind yet)
It was payday yesterday for me, so I have already allocated for 1/3 of the mortgage (in a 3 payday month), allocated for car insurance, and paid the electric bill. I also found a penny on the ground outside a store today. I used $0.69 I had in pocket change to pay for part of my grocery bill.
I got my latest mortgage statement and I paid $155.36 in principal last month. Woo-hoo!
So, here are my update 52 Week Challenge numbers.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5592.82
$20.00 slush deposit
$40.00 regular savings deposit
$50.00 cc #1 payment
$155.36 principal paid on mortgage
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5858.18
I will delay making more cc #1 payments until the end of the coming week because of some other expenses.
I will not be going anywhere for the holidays or having company. My challenge for the next two weeks will be to make as many meals as possible from the food I already have. I will have about $135.00 unexpected expenses at a chiropractor in the next two weeks and want to make sure that does not impact the food budget or other areas unnecessarily.
As part of my recent exercises in gratitude, I have come to realize that whatever my problems, I am incredibly blessed. I have a husband who loves me, friends, a job, a car to get around, money to buy what I need and some of what I want, and the ability to grow food. In the past six months, I have donated food, pet supplies, household goods, clothing, and other items to 1) my college campus's food pantry that serves students in financial need, 2) a local domestic crisis center, 3) the local humane society, and 4) my college campus's office that serves international students.
After creating my budget for my 3 paycheck month, I decided to make a $100.00 payment to cc #1. Woo-hoo!
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5471.68
$100.00 payment to cc #1
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $5571.68
Today, I also used some leftover pocket change to pay for part of my grocery bill. It was a small amount and I can't even remember how much, but I try to do this every time as it lessens the amount coming out of the checking account for the purchase and empties my purse of excess change. Woo-Hoo!
I also plan to start my own seeds for a vegetable garden. I need to check on the exact time I need to start that, but I plan to plant the seeds in old egg cartons and put the cartons under a plastic container to make a mini greenhouse so they stay warm. Starting my own seeds will save me some money in the long run and also result in an increased harvest due to planting them earlier. I have not done this before, so I need to read up on it. This is a frugal activity, but requires some work on my part. Wish me luck.
I figure I have saved at least $2.00 this week by using my fountain card and making my own tea. So, $2.00 is now on its way to cc #1.
Prior 52 Week Challenge Balance: $4917.02
$2.00 extra payment
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $4919.02
New cc #1 Balance: $4408.00
Hi, everyone. In a true effort to buckle down and not allow spending and debt to get out of control, I decided to make as many meals as I can out of what food I already had in my cupboards, fridge, and freezer. I made an inventory of the food at the same time I made my shopping list.
1/2 pound raw cauliflower
4 ounces raw pumpkin seeds
8 ounces raw flaxseeds
1 pound raw carrots
1/2 raw cabbage
12 ounces frozen french green beans
12 ounces frozen okra
2 onions, 1 red and 1 white
12 ounces almond milk
plenty of dried herbs and spices for making recipes
1 raw beet
2 red potatoes
3 servings of soup I made for my husband
1/2 bulb of garlic
I also have plenty of kale, 2 kinds of lettuce, and arugula to make salads for me. The lettuce is especially loving the moist, cool weather we have been having and so is huge.
1) Potato Salad with avocado with potatoes, avocado, lemon juice, mustard, paprika, sea salt, stevia, pepper, and green onion. I will add ham to this recipe
2-3 lunches for me
2) Eggs, Meat, Vegetables, and Smoothies. Add seeds and veggies to smoothies
7 breakfasts for my husband and me
3) Burgers with potatoes and kale (potatoes, sea salt, pepper, garlic, kale)
1 supper for my husband and me
4) Salad with lettuce, kale, chives, arugula, garbanzo beans, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, green onion, sliced almonds, sea salt, pepper. 1 salad will have a cut up beet.
4 lunches for me
5) Rotisserie Chicken and steamed vegetables
1 supper for my husband and me
6) Chicken Soup with onion, carrots, green beans, ginger, garlic, and homemade broth
4 lunches for my husband
7) Leftover Soup
3 lunches for my husband
8) Spaghetti Sauce with onion, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, sage, basil, chives
- Add broccoli instead of pasta
1 supper for me and my husband
9) Stir Fry With Beef, Onion, ginger, garlic, bell pepper
1 supper for me and my husband
10) Leftover Turkey Curry with onion, carrot, parsnip (substituting turnip), sweet potato, mushrooms, bell pepper, diced tomato, coconut milk (substitute almond milk), curry, turkey, coconut oil
11) Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls with beef, olive oil, onion, cabbage, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, sea salt.
Hello, everyone. I guess I have been living the high life, because I have had a few too many expenses and need to buckle down for awhile until I get it all balanced out. I think I will start with a food challenge by seeing how many meals I can make out of what is in my cupboards and fridge. And I must not forget that I now have lettuce, kale, and arugula that I can harvest and it's delicious. I have onions every now and then.
Anyway, I got paid today, so more money is going into savings, debt, and retirement.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1627.67
Regular Savings Deposit $40.00
Car Savings Deposit $20.00
House Savings Deposit $20.00
Professional Savings Deposit $40.00
Payment on cc #1 $100.00
Slush Fund $20.00
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $1867.67
For four years now, I have been growing a garden, planting my seeds and plants primarily in a small plot at the back of my house. This year, due to an upcoming trip in late June, I decided to make my garden more simple by planting greens in several pots. I deliberately chose plants that I knew would be close to on their way out for the summer by late June and others that will be drought tolerant if it gets kind of dry while I am gone on my trip. I also know how to do drip irrigation by reusing plastic 2 liter bottles. I did the same trick last year when I went on a 3 day trip and it worked great, but I was very surprised at how well it did work. My husband has not been feeling well and is not going on the trip, so he would not be up to watering the plants. Part of my 52 Week Challenge once my plants get big enough to actually start harvesting will be to save whatever money I would have spent buying that food and put it towards my cc debt. I generally spend about $1.00 for a bunch of organic kale, $1-$2 on lettuce, and occasionally buy arugula, but do not remember the price. Sound like a good plan? Let's see how well it works. I checked outside this afternoon and my arugula, lettuce, and kale are already sprouted and are about 1 cm high. I think I have to wait a bit before I can eat it. LOL
In case you are interested in creating a homemade drip irrigation system without buying stuff or being an engineer, there are several good videos on YouTube about. I tried to cut and paste the url for one here, but SA won't let me. I even did the code, but SA just laughed at me.
Well, about a week ago, the head gaskets in my car blew courtesy of a little plastic thing around the coolant hose that fell apart, causing the car to overheat. I had to almost completely clean out the savings in order to buy a different car. I suppose the really good news is that I had the money sitting there and while I didn't really want to use it, it was necessary. It is not easy to get around where I live without a car.
Also, one of dh's hospital bills is paid off. I printed off the cleared check a couple of days ago. Woo-hoo!
My current challenge is to continue to pay off credit cards and medical bills and build up savings to where it was before. I think I will also do a pantry challenge to see if I can make lunches to take to work for the next 2 weeks out of what is in my pantry and freezer.
I will also be getting a raise, but I am not sure when to actually expect it. That will help me a lot with my goals.
1. Pay Down credit card #1 to $750 by 12-31-2013. To do this, I need to pay off at least $100 a month. I will post our monthly progress.
2. Pay off credit card #2 by 12-31-2013. I need to pay off at least $50.00 a month. I will post our monthly progress.
3. Bring car savings to $2,000 by 12-31-2013. I really need to contribute a lot to this one, as our car is going to need replacing in the next year or two. I need to contribute at least $75.00 a month.
4. Minor and major house maintenance and repair. The two big things we are planning for the spring are getting the rest of the tuckpointing done on the south side of the house and planting an oak tree in the back yard behind the kitchen. The cost of the tuckpointing will come out of money we are already setting aside. We need $600 to do that and are setting aside $90.00 a month. It will probably March or April when we do that. The oak tree will be paid for out of our tax refund and money we are already setting aside. It will be about $150.00 to pay for the tree, delivery, and planting.
5. Continue making extra principal payments on the mortgage, even if it is only $5.00 a month. With the rest of our tax refund, we plan to make a large principal payment. We have a 30 year mortgage which we got in 2010. We want to have it paid off several years before I retire so I can ramp up retirement contributions.
5. Increase regular savings to $3,000. I want to have at least $12,000 in regular savings in five years. My expenses are approximately $2,000 a month, but could be cut somewhat in extreme situations. I am going the HR tomorrow in order to increase what I have going to savings out of my pay.
6. Reduce unnecessary spending. I am doing grocery shopping with cash, which has decreased my normally $170 or so weekly grocery bill to around $130. I am even stocking up on stuff I use a lot when I see it on sale or have a good coupon. I am also sticking to my routine of making my own tea at work with my tea bags and travel mug. I bring my lunch to work nearly every day, buying usually on paydays. I also did some gardening this past summer and plan to do the same beginning next spring. See #7 for more on this. These actions have helped to considerably reduce spending.
7. I plan to greatly expand my gardening venture next spring. This past summer, I only did tomatoes and basil and had a ball doing so. Growing my own food was not only satisfying, but tasty as well. I plan to add kale, onions, carrots, peppers, radishes, and spinach to my choices. Doing so will help me to become less dependent on the grocery store during the summer and also eat organically and locally grown food. I plan to continue growing kale next winter also. For some veggies, I will freeze some extra for the winter.
This Week's Plan
This week I plan on doing some decluttering and gathering together paperwork for our taxes.
My menu plan is basically vegetarian bean soup, salads, dirty rice, and hummus. We normally eat oatmeal for breakfast. Here is the recipe I use for hummus:
I can't find the dirty rice recipe I use online right now. It's like it disappeared and I only have a printout.
We have been making payments on 2 small medical bills dh had. They are considerably smaller than ones we paid off in 2011, but still have been a pain to get paid off. Now, I finally have a plan to get one paid off in the next week. The bill is $105.22. I have approximately $45.00 in checking right now that I will not use before Friday. Yea, me on vacation not buying stuff unnecessarily! I am going to take the rest out of regular savings. It will only take me one payday (this coming Friday) to make it back up. Paying it off will free up some money every month to put towards the credit cards and mortgage.
Hello, everyone. I got paid again today. My mortgage is down, but I have not updated my numbers on the left margin yet.
But I have made my food challenge menu plan for the coming week.
1) Mediterranean Kale Salad - 2 meals - http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63344509/mediterranean-...
2) Vegetarian Chili - 3 to 4 meals - no real recipe here, just Williams chili seasoning, onion, 1 can of tomato sauce, garlic, 2 cans of tomatoes, and 6 cans of beans.
3) Pea Soup - 4 meals - http://www.forksoverknives.com/wp-content/uploads/Split-Pea-...
4) Chickpea Salad - 2 meals - Mine will be minus the bread. I will eat it with celery or carrots. http://www.thekitchn.com/vegetarian-lunch-chickpea-of-t-1140...
5) Creamy Avocado Tuna Salad - 2 meals - http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/creamy-avocado-tuna-salad-...
6) Oatmeal. Side of ham. Grapefruit. - 4 meals
7) Scrambled eggs. Side of ham. Oatmeal. - 3 meals
Howdy, everyone. I had to make an out of town trip. I allocated money for the gas and other expenses for it, but it was not enough. After I got done with my grocery shopping today, I have $13.02 in checking and $6.00 and some change in cash.
I knew before I even went shopping that it might be a little tight, so with that in mind, I checked the cupboards (including my stock-up area) to figure out what my meals would be. The hubby is still on his diet and eating different food, so I only have to cook for me. Yeah! Here are my meals.
1) Leftover Beef and Bean Soup. 1 meal (today)
2) Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-wild-rice-soup-i/detail.... I already had the broth, spices, and brown rice. I just had to buy chicken, celery, and carrots. I am leaving off the dairy products because of allergies. The recipe says it makes 8 servings. That's great.
3) Basic Ham and Bean Soup
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-ham-and-bean-soup/detail..... I already had the beans and spices. I just had to get more ham, carrots, and celery. The recipe says it makes 8 to 10 servings, which is good for me.
4) Caron's Kickin' Quinoa Salad
I already had the quinoa, lemon juice, and spices. I bought more tuna and celery. This recipe is very versatile. If you are out of celery, just use something else crunchy, like radishes or carrots and it gives it a different flavor. I will probably have this for 1 meal.
5) Mediterranean Kale Salad
I already had the olive oil, spices, herbs, and black olives. I bought more tuna and tomato. I decided to leave the pepper off this time. This will probably make 2 meals for me.
6) Eggs and Ham
I will probably have eggs and ham and a side of oatmeal for 3 meals.
7) Oatmeal, Grapefruit, and Side of Ham.
I will probably have this for 4 meals.
I should add that I did all of my grocery shopping today. I don't need any cat food or other supplies. With the exception of buying iced tea or something like that, I don't need to buy anything else this week until Thursday. I will have my chiropractor appointment then.
Hi, every one. This coming week is going to be a use it up week for us. My husband is trying a new diet that means he is severely restricting his calories and not eating our normal food. So, I have decided to use this opportunity to use up some food we already have rather than buying a bunch of stuff. We will be at home for the holiday, but that's just fine, because I am not much for socializing.
1) I made a large pot of chili with roast beef, great northern beans, canned tomatoes, chili seasoning, garlic, serrano peppers, sea salt, and black pepper. There's no real recipe here. I think this should give me about 6 dinner meals. I already had the roast beef, beans, tomatoes, seasonings, garlic, serrano peppers, sea salt, and black pepper, so this meal is an almost free meal.
2) Chicken and garbanzo bean salad. I used 3 cans of albacore tuna, 1 can of garbanzo beans, mayo, 1 can of olives, 1 clove of garlic, oregano, cilantro, sea salt, and black pepper. There is no real recipe here. I just made it up. I put 3 cans of drained tuna into a mixing bowl, then added mashed up garbanzo beans, 3 heaping tablespoons of mayo, 1 can of sliced olives, 1 clove of garlic, and sprinkles of cilantro, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper. This should make 3 lunches for me. I already had the garlic, oregano, olives, cilantro, mayo, sea salt, and black pepper.
3) Caron's Kicking Quinoa Salad. I have not made it yet, but I will put 1 can of drained albacore tuna, some cut up celery, mayo, sea salt, black pepper, and quinoa into a bowl. I will add lemon juice and probably an onion. It will probably make 1 lunch meal for me. I already had the celery, mayo, sea salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and onion.
I will get paid "early" on Wednesday this week because Thursday and Friday are holidays, but I plan on making my own lunches and dinners anyway and diverting the savings to the credit card with the biggest balance. I will mail payments for bills on Wednesday. I also need to set aside some money for a trip I have to make to a nearby city later this month. I will also set aside funds for the car account, house account, and trees account. The money that normally get automatically deposited to my regular savings, I will divert to the credit card also. I want to get it paid down as soon as possible.
I had the afternoon off and decided to do grocery shopping early. I usually do it on Saturday. Apparently, I had previously loaded e-coupons for $3.00 off meat if I spent $15.00 on meat and also a coupon for chicken and totally forgot about it. There were various other small ones, too and they all totaled to $13.20. But where I normally used to spending $80-$100 at that store, I spent $59.76! It was funny, because I had looked at the clerk's monitor and saw 70 something dollars. So, I was searching through my wallet to get out four twenties. When I looked back up, it said $59.76. What a surprise. At Dollar General, I spent $18.65 using two coupons. At another store, I spent $20.45. At Big Lots, I spent $2.50. I didn't spend much there, but they are the only ones in town that carry the brand of bread my husband eats. It does not have HFCS in it and he is trying to lose weight, so I make a special effort to buy it. Altogether, I spent $106.42 and most of it was in cash. This dependence on cash for grocery shopping is good for me. It makes me think about what I am putting in my cart. And I wasn't depriving myself of anything and even stocked up on dishwashing liquid (bought at Dollar General for $1.00 minus $.50 coupon), more dried beans, and extra canned tuna. I'm loving this.
I took my coin jar to cash it in. I had a total of $2.02. I split up the $2.00 and deposited $1.00 each to the house account and trees account.
I don't have my whole week's menu figured out yet, but I am going to having the following:
1) leftover pea soup from last week. This was my first venture into making pea soup. All pea soup I had ever even smelled just had an awful smell and so I wouldn't even try it. I decided to try making it myself and it turned out wonderful. That will make 3 lunch meals for me.
2) Broccoli slaw with albacore tuna and garbanzo beans. It probably sounds a little weird, but it's quite delicious. I mix in some mayo and some kind of seasoning. This will probably make 2 lunch meals for me.
Well, I have been conducting an experiment for a couple of week regarding buying most groceries with cash only to see what kind of effect it would have on my overall grocery spending. When I did all the shopping with a debit card, I went a little crazy, even while using a list and my expenditures could total up to $165.00 a week. With cash, I think it's like I know I am limited to a certain amount of money, so I am a little more careful with what I put in my cart. Even so, I actually stocked up on a couple of things, like dried beans, peanut butter, and cocoa. I am on a quest to stock up in anticipation of approaching winter weather or any tight budget times. Winters here have been mild the past year or two, but we always seem to have at least one bad storm and I thought it would be a good idea to keep some food on hand just in case. Well, back to my cash only grocery buying venture. In the past two weeks, my purchases have been $120.00 the Saturday before last and $100 last Saturday. Woo-Hoo! That meets my goal of $120 per week.
Well, I have about $24.00 left in checking now (allocating for 40.00 for mowing, but I don't think our mowing man will be coming by anymore this season). Our grass hasn't grown at all recently and will probably start to die off soon. So, if we still have it in the account on Thursday due to no mowing, I will send it to the credit card with the higher balance. Also, I am expecting a rebate of about $10.00 this week. It will go to the same credit card. I will not have anything I have to pay for this week until Wednesday when I have to buy some raw fruit for a fruit tray I am taking to a work party.
In my quest to reduce expenses, I have also been looking for tasty, and inexpensive to fix, recipes. I am also looking for ways to use stuff I already have. Here is my meal plan for the week.
1) Garbanzo Bean Salad (I add some chicken for a little more protein) - 2 lunch meals for me - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegetarian-chickpea-sandwich-fi... - (already had mayo, chicken, onion, and garbanzo beans)
2) Pea Soup - The recipe says this is for 8 servings, but it looks more like 2 or 3 lunch meals to me - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-split-pea-soup/detail.aspx (already had dried peas and broth)
3) Leftover Ham and Bean Soup - 1 lunch meal for me - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-ham-and-bean-soup/detail....
4) Mediterranean Kale Salad With Beef - 1 dinner meal for me and dh - http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63344509/mediterranean-... - (already had onion)
5) Oatmeal with steva, almond milk, cinnamon, and ginger - 4 meals for dh and I - (already had oatmeal, stevia, almond milk, cinnamon, and ginger)
6) Eggs and Ham. Side of grapefruit. 3 meals for dh and I
7) Green Salad with turnip greens, chicken, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, carrots, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil - 1 meal for dh and I (already had turnip greens, sunflower seeds, carrots, and apple cider vinegar)
8) Green Salad With Chicken and Pecans - 1 meal for dh and I
9) mac & cheese - 4 meals for dh
10) tuna sandwiches - 3 meals for dh
This past week has not been so good. We had forgotten that our car tags/taxes payment is due by the end of September, but we never even received a bill from the county for it so we forgot about it. We did get it paid on Monday, though, and surprisingly, with no late fee. I have put a reminder on my calendar for this in the future, because it is our responsibility to remember. The amount we had to pay was only $66.63, but the checking account was already thin so that did not do it any favors. My chin is still up. The turkeys will not get me down.
I am using a mostly use-it-up approach on meals this week.
1) leftover white chili - 1 meal for me http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spicy-white-chili-with-chicken/...
2) leftover mac & cheese - 1 meal for dh
3) Sweet and Sour Slaw - 1 meal for dh and I http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-and-sour-coleslaw/detail.... - I added chicken for some protein.
4) Kale with beef salad - 1 meal for dh and I
5) Stir fry with roast beef, frozen veggies, and brown rice - 1 lunch meal for me (already had the roast beef, frozen veggies, and brown rice)
6) Oatmeal with steva, almond milk, cinnamon, and ginger - 4 meals for dh and I - (already had oatmeal, stevia, almond milk, cinnamon, and ginger)
7) Eggs and Ham. Side of grapefruit. 3 meals for dh and I
8) Quinoa Tabbouleh With Chicken - 3 lunch meals for me
9) Green Salad with turnip greens, chicken, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, carrots, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil - 1 meal for dh and I (already had turnip greens, sunflower seeds, carrots, and apple cider vinegar)
10) Caron's Kickin' Quinoa Salad - 1 meal for dh and I http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carons-kickin-quinoa-salad/deta...
11) Waldorf Salad - 1 meal for dh and I http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63366494/waldorf-salad-... - I tweaked the traditional recipe for Waldorf salad to add flavor and be more filling. Delicious. Even dh liked it.
12) Green Salad With Chicken and Pecans - 1 meal for dh and I
13) mac & cheese - 4 meals for dh
14) tuna sandwiches - 3 meals for dh
My checking account is looking a little skinny right now, so I mostly bought a lot of fruits and veggies
1) Broccoli slaw with cut up chicken, cut up red bell pepper, diced red onion, cut up cucumber, and shredded carrot. - 2 lunch meals
2) Chickpea and Chicken Salad. - 2 lunch meals http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegetarian-chickpea-sandwich-fi... - I did not have celery, so I used cucumber instead.
3) Sister Slaw - 1 dinner meal http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sister-slaw/detail.aspx
4) Matt's Garlic Salad - 1 dinner meal http://allrecipes.com/recipe/matts-garlic-salad/detail.aspx
5) Green Salad with Chicken and Pecans. - 1 dinner meal
6) Oatmeal. Side of ham. Side of grapefruit with stevia. - 4 breakfast meals.
7) Eggs. Side of ham. 1/2 serving of oatmeal. 3 breakfast meals.
8) Mediterranean Kale Salad. - 1 dinner meal. http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63344509/mediterranean-...
9) Caron's Kickin' Quinoa Salad. - 1 dinner meal. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carons-kickin-quinoa-salad/deta...
10) Salad My Way. - 1 dinner meal. http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63331549/salad-my-way/d...
I am hoping to be able to decrease overall expenses soon. My gas and electric are both on level payment plan. The usage gets re-assessed yearly in September I believe, so I should get a bill with the new amount in September or October. The dh and I have worked really hard on decreasing usage of gas and electric.
1) We have installed LED bulbs in nearly every lamp and fixture in the house. On less-used ones, we are waiting for the bulbs to die before we replace them. We also have a outside security light that we have to get someone to come over and replace for us. It requires a 10 foot high ladder to do it and we don't have one. I think we can have that done on October 14th. We also keep lights in some rooms turned off in the daytime if there sufficient light from the sun.
2) Because our dishwasher was about to die and we use it every day, we needed to buy a new one. We bought a new one with energy efficiency settings that we always use. We also only run it once daily except for the weekend when I do a lot of cooking.
3) We keep the blinds closed on the west side of the house because it gets so hot.
4) We are committed to buying an oak tree which we are going to have planted on the west side of our house. The tree is reserved for us. We just have to go on the 28th, my next payday, and pay for it to be delivered and planted. It is about 6 feet high right now and in time, will provide plenty of shade for that side of the house. And a lot of leaves to rake, too. ;P
5) I do the bulk of our cooking on Saturday and/or Sunday, so that the kitchen does not get so heated up. This was crucial in the summer months.
6) I have been taking shorter showers to reduce the load on the water heater. I also don't use a blow dryer. In the winter, I get up earlier to take a shower to make sure my hair is dry in time to go to work. Or, I take a shower at night.
Hi, everyone. I had to save my entry and run earlier, so I didn't finish with my financial update. We had a plumber install a new faucet yesterday. Normally, dh could have done it, but he is having a lot of trouble with his shoulder due to arthritis and I know nothing about plumbing.
I got paid again yesterday. I already paid the gas and electric bills and allocated for the car insurance and 1/2 of the mortgage. I made a payment on one of dh's medical bills and deposited more to car and house savings. I made payments to the credit card. I also got a rewards check from one credit card. I am using it to make an extra payment to the other credit card.
My goal with the car savings is to have it up to $5,000 by the Fall of 2013. I also want to get the house savings up to $1,600 by the spring in order to have the rest of the mortar on the south side of the house and all of the east side done. The tax refund should help out with these goals a lot. The dh is going to sell some of his video games to a second hand store. I don't think he will get a lot, but even if it's only $10.00 each, he has promised to put all of it on the credit card he charged his new computer to.
The dh is still on a salad kick, so that's why there are so many salad meals. The chicken soup is for my lunch. Here are my meals for the week.
1) Chicken Soup with chicken, onion, garlic, brown rice, cannellini beans, stock, carrots, celery. - 3 lunch meals - (using brown rice, spices I already had)
2) Thai Salad with whole grain rice and chicken. - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/thai-salad-with-whole-grain-bro... (I already had olive oil, garlic, and onion. This recipe also calls for peanut butter, but I don't really like that taste in salad.)
3) Green Salad with Carrots and Cucumbers, and either chicken or ham - 1 dinner meal - (We already have lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and carrots to make it.)
4) Quinoa and Chicken Salad - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carons-kickin-quinoa-salad/deta... - 1 dinner meal (We already have the quinoa, lemon juice, and black pepper. This one is really good and fast to make.)
5) Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad Slaw. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-chinese-chicken-s... - 1 dinner meal - (We already have the ginger spice and olive oil. We are substituting lemon juice for lime juice and white onion for scallions.)
6) Oatmeal. Side of grapefruit. Side of ham. - 4 meals.
7) Eggs and ham with garlic, onion, and parsley. Sliced tomato. - 3 meals.
8) Mediterranean kale salad - 1 meal - http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/63344509/mediterranean-... This is what we had tonight. The dh loved it, and it's my "recipe" that I just made up on the spot to use up some 2 week old garlic cloves that I thought might go bad soon and leftover black olives.
9) I am not sure about the rest of the meals. Hmm...
Something else I am trying is using one of those reusable plastic cups with its own straw like this only I didn't buy it at Starbucks.
I am making my own iced tea. Part of this is about my health. I have been using too much sugar and it is causing me problems and costing too much. For every day I don't buy iced tea, I will send extra dollar to the credit card. This will give me an incentive to pay it off quicker.
Hi, friends and neighbors. I have 1 week until my payday on Friday. My checking is a little low, so we will be using it very little this week. I have to mail a package on Monday. That and maybe getting some extra lettuce or kale should be all I use it for.
We have some leftover spinach, garlic, parsley, oregano, lettuce, cucumbers, 1 green pepper, carrots, and white, red, and green onions from last week, so in true frugalness, I will be using those in my meals.
1) Thai Salad with whole grain rice and chicken. - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/thai-salad-with-whole-grain-bro... (I already had olive oil, garlic, and onion. This recipe also calls for peanut butter, but I don't really like that taste in salad.)
2) Green Salad with Carrots and Cucumbers, and either chicken or ham - 1 dinner meal - (I just made this one up. We already have lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, carrots, cucumbers, ham, and chicken to make it.)
3) Quinoa and Chicken Salad - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carons-kickin-quinoa-salad/deta... - 1 dinner meal (We already have the quinoa, mayo, lemon juice, black pepper, chicken, and tuna. This one is really good and fast to make.)
4) Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad Slaw. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-chinese-chicken-s... 1 dinner meal - (We already have the ginger spice and olive oil. We are substituting lemon juice for lime juice and white onion for scallions.)
5) Ham and Bean Soup - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-ham-and-bean-soup/detail.aspx - 4 lunch meals. (This is absolutely delicious and so easy to make, it almost makes itself. I will top with a little green onion.)
6) Oatmeal. Side of grapefruit. Side of ham. - 4 meals.
7) Eggs and ham with garlic, onion, and parsley. Sliced tomato. - 3 meals.
8) I am not sure about the rest of the meals. Hmm...
Hello, financial savvy people. I got paid my third paycheck of the month yesterday. It is not turning out exactly the way I planned, but it is better than it would have been without any planning. Here is my plan for what to do with my third paycheck. The reality of what happened is in red.
1) $00 to regular savings in favor of paying off more debt
2) $100 to house savings - $140 spent on new faucet for kitchen instead, more than I expected
3) $100 to car savings - $40 added to car savings
4) $150 to cc - $100 to cc. I will be getting about $13.00 more to add to this courtesy of mrrebates and about $8.00 or $9.00 courtesy of cash4books. So, that gets me closer to my goal.
5) $200 set aside for mortgage - $161.61 set aside for mortgage - had intended to have $33.00 extra for the principal and $5.00 extra for the escrow, but wanted to get dishwasher (cc #1) paid off as quickly as possible, so compromised there. The credit card is a higher interest rate than the mortgage.
6) $240 for groceries - We were out of practically everything, so I have already spent about $150 out of the $240 two-week allocation I give myself for groceries.
7) $30 gas for car - spent $20.11 on gas
9) $50 water bill - water bill was $51.95
10)$7 cigarettes - spent $7.00 on ciggies for dh
11) $40 lawn mowing - allocated $40.00 for mowing, though I am not sure we need to do this much longer this year
12) $80 internet and landline phone bill - just switched over separate internet and cell bills to a combined internet and landline bill and it was more than I thought it would be - $105.86
13)$100 Miscellaneous - Who knows?
TOTAL $1097.00 I don't want to think about it.
Due to the unexpected expenses, I am trying to use my food as wisely as possible to get as much out of it as possible. I bought about 5 pound of chicken breasts and a pot roast. I also got 3 packages of Farmland ham. That will give me my meat for the weak. The rest is mostly raw veggies. I will also make some soup for my lunches. My meals for the week include:
1) Eggs and ham - 3 meals
2) Oatmeal. Side of grapefruit with stevia. Side of ham. - 4 meals
3) Chicken salad with green onions and cayenne pepper - 3 meals - (already had cayenne pepper)
4) Kale salad with beef, olive oil, cider vinegar, cranberries. - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/kale-and-feta-salad/detail.aspx (I already salt. I am leaving off the feta cheese because I am allergic and substituting strawberries because I could not find currants. I will add some chicken strips. I can't seem to find the currants for this recipe in my area. So far, I have tried making it with strawberries and cranberries, and I must say that I vastly prefer the strawberries. Delicious. With beef is better also.)
5) Flat Iron Steak and Spinach Salad - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/flat-iron-steak-and-spinach-sal... (I already had red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar instead of wine. I left off the cheese. This one was delicious. We had it last night.)
6) Thai Salad with whole grain rice and chicken. - 1 dinner meal - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/thai-salad-with-whole-grain-bro... (I already had olive oil, garlic, onion, chicken, and peanut butter.)
7) Green Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers, and either chicken or ham - 1 dinner meal - (I just made this one up. We already have lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, ham, and chicken to make it.)
8) Quinoa and Chicken/Tuna Salad - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carons-kickin-quinoa-salad/deta... - 1 dinner meal (We already have the quinoa, mayo, lemon juice, black pepper, chicken, and tuna. I haven't decided whether to make it with chicken or tuna, but either way, it should be good.)
9) Grilled Chinese Chicken Salad Slaw. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-chinese-chicken-s... 1 dinner meal - (We already have the ginger spice, and olive oil. We are substitution lemon juice for lime juice and white onion for scallions.)
10) Chicken Soup with Rice. Already have brown rice, broth, carrots, onions, salt, and pepper.
Hello, everyone. Seeing Wowitsawonderfullife's entry about lunches and meal planning made me realize I had not posted my weekly post about meals. It helps to keep me on track with food expenditures.
No show of the plumber yet, so our faucet is still leaking. Hopefully, he will show this week.
Later, this week, I will place an order for some health supplements and probably send more dollars to cc #2. Other than that, it should be a low-spend week.
Here are the meals I have planned for this week:
1) Braised Beef With White Beans - 2 meals each for dh and me - http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=1421
2) Broccoli Slaw With Chicken (a combination of broccoli slaw, chicken, mayo, and a pepper) - 3 meals
3) Chicken and rice - 2 meals
4) Spaghetti with quinoa - 2 meals
5) Hamburger patties with steamed veggies - 1 meal
6) Eggs and ham. Side of oatmeal. - 3 meals
7) Oatmeal. Side of Ham. Side of grapefruit. - 4 meals
8) Spinach salad with ham, black beans, tomatoes, and a pepper - 1 meal
Hello, everyone. I got paid on Friday. I also got official notification that I got a raise of about $1100 per year. Not spectacular, but it is definitely something. I put more money into savings. I have paid the credit card #1. Credit Card #2 does not have a payment due until next month. I bought groceries. Hubby and I have to make a day trip out of town on Wednesday. I will send more to the credit card on Wednesday.
I also took my spare change for the last couple of weeks and cashed it in. I divided it up and deposited it into the car and house savings.
My meals for the week include:
1) Oatmeal with stevia, almond milk, flaxseeds, and cinnamon. Orange. (4 meals)
2) Eggs and ham. Side of oatmeal. Grapefruit. (3 meals)
3) Goulash. Side of steamed veggies. (3 meals)
4) Chuck patties. Side of steamed veggies. (1 meal)
5) Green salad with chicken pieces and greek dressing. (1 meal) This is a dinner meal for me and dh.
6) Green sald with garbanzo beans or canned chicken. Added tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. Vinegar and oil for dressing. (3 meals - lunches)
7) Baked breast of chicken. Side of steamed veggies. (1 meal)
8) Chili with beans. (2 meals)
9) Egg salad with crackers and veggie pieces. (2 meals)
Hello, everyone. It is one week until payday and I have $35.93 left in my checking account. I have already accounted for Netflix, 1/2 of the mortgage (due 8/1/12), and biweekly mowing. I filled up the gas tank and paid a little extra to credit card #1. Well, the biggest news is that the hubby and I applied for a different credit card with a 5% lower rate. We are going to keep the old one, though, and only charge our Netflix to it. We had already asked for the balance transfer to the new card when I had to take the hubby to the ER in the middle of the night and were a little short on cash. So, the majority of the balance is on the new card with a much lower rate. It should not take long to pay it down to a much more reasonable level.
Here are the meals I have planned for the week:
1) Oatmeal with cinnamon, flaxseeds, almond milk, stevia. Orange. Side of ham. 4 meals
2) Eggs and ham. Side of oatmeal. 3 meals
3) Green salad with tuna or garbanzo beans. Side of orange or apple. Side of raw snack nuts. 3 meals
4) Chicken salad with mayo and raw veggies. Side of orange or apple. Side of raw snack nuts. 2 meals
5) Chicken breast. Side of steamed veggies. 2 meals
6) Angus chuck patties. Side of steamed veggies. 1 meal
7) Stir fry with chicken and veggies. 1 meal
8) Lunch out!
The hubster and I recently applied for a lower rate credit card. We will transfer our balance from the old card to the new one. The rate of the new card is 5% lower than the old one and has no annual fee. It does not have any rewards, but we don't care. We want to keep the old one open and charge one thing to it per month and pay it off every month. Our goal is to get the credit card paid off and keep it paid off every month in order to improve our credit overall. We hope to be able to refinance our house in a few years, so good credit will be very important there.
I spent $128.00 on groceries that include food, paper goods, and other household supplies. We will be eating a lot of leftovers this week, so this is a use-it-up week! Here are our meals for the week:
1) Squash Soup - 3 meals
2) Spaghetti served over brown rice - 2 meals
3) Baked Chicken Breasts. Side of steamed veggies. - 2 meals
4) Leftover Lentil Soup. - 2 meals
5) Leftover Jalfrezi. - 1 meal
6) Leftover Chicken Bean Casserole. - 1 meal
7) Oatmeal. Side of ham. Orange Juice. - 4 meals
8) Eggs. Side of ham. Orange Juice. - 3 meals
9) Leftover Hamburger Patty. Side of veggies. - 1 meal
10) Leftover Meatloaf. Side of steamed veggies. - 1 meal
11) Tuna Salad with mayo, sea salt, and pepper. Chopped up cucumber and tomato. Carrot Sticks. Side of raw fruit. - 2 meals
Woo-hoo! I went shopping tonight and spent $115.00, which is $5.00 under my grocery spending limit for a week. I still have to buy some cage free eggs tomorrow and that will eat up the other $5.00.
Part of my shopping list was accounting for all the leftovers we have that we can eat. Great. I love leftovers as long as it is not the same thing day after day. Here are my meals for the week.
1) Leftover lentil soup. Side of raw fruit. Homemade iced tea. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lentil-soup/detail.aspx?event8=... - 2 meals
2) Leftover Moroccan Bean Stew. http://www.forksoverknives.com/moroccan-bean-stew-with-sweet... - 1 meal
3) Tuna salad with chopped tomatoes, onion, bean sprouts, green pepper, sea salt, and black pepper. Side of raw fruit. Homemade iced tea. No real recipe here. I just love tuna and raw veggies. - 2 meals
4) Eggs with parsley, onion, cilantro. Side of oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, flaxseeds, and almond milk. Orange juice. - 3 meals.
5) Oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, flaxseeds, and almond milk. Side of ham or chicken. Orange juice. - 4 meals
6) Spaghetti with brown rice. - 2 meals
7) Meatloaf. Side of veggies. - 2 meals
8) Chicken and garbanzo bean jalfrezzi. Side of veggies. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-jalfrezi/detail.aspx - 2 meals
9) Chicken and Black Bean Casserole. Side of veggies. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-and-black-bean-casserol... - 2 meals
I couldn't get to my blog earlier today at all. I tried several times, but only got some error message that I could not understand. Did anyone else have that problem?
I saved up my pocket change over the last week or so. I cashed it in and deposited it in my regular savings, bringing the balance to $999.03. Whee!
Payday is not until this coming Friday. Money in checking was starting to look a little skinny, so I decided to do a pantry challenge. I also am challenging myself to cut down my overall grocery bill. I added up what I spent last month on groceries and it was $709.00! Ouch. So, Saturday morning I spent about $87.00. Much better.
Here are my meals for the coming week. I note where I am using something I already had in my house.
1) Lentil soup with diced canned tomatoes, fresh carrots, fresh onions, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, turkey, and cayenne pepper. Side of fresh fruit, trail mix. Iced tea. 5 meals (Already had lentils, carrots, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, and tea bags.) This one was great for my pantry challenge.
2) Chicken salad with cayenne pepper, miracle whip, and green onion. Side of mung bean sprouts and carrots. Side of fresh fruit and trail mix. Iced tea. 1 meal. (Already had cayenne pepper, chicken, miracle whip, and tea bags)
3) Meatloaf. Side of steamed veggies. 2 meals.
4) Eggs and ham. Side of orange juice. Oatmeal with flaxseed, almond milk, honey, and cinnamon. 3 meals (Already had oatmeal, almond milk, honey, and cinnamon)
5) Oatmeal with honey, flaxseeds, almond milk, and cinnamon. Side of chicken or ham. Orange Juice. 4 meals. (Already had oatmeal, flaxseeds, almond milk, and cinnamon.)
5) Baked Chicken Breast. Side of steamed veggies. 3 meals.
6) Hamburger Patty. Side of steamed veggies. 1 meal.
7) Lunch out on Friday! Probably salad off the salad bar at the pizza place down the street.
Hello, financially savvy friends and neighbors! I had the whole week off for vacation. Yeah! But don't worry. I wasn't using that opportunity to spend, spend, spend. In fact, I spent most of it at home. I watched some old tv episodes and movies on Netflix, played with my cats, did some catchup filing of receipts, cleaning my house, cooking, and shredding of receipts I no longer needed. Wow. My house really needed some decluging. It needs a lot more. Maybe I will work on it more tomorrow. I will be back to work on Monday.
As always, I am a constant quest to save money and eat more healthy also. I am also trying to eat some meatless meals to see if that helps. Here are my meals for the coming week:
1) Meatloaf with side of veggies - 2 meals
2) Roast beef with side of veggies - 2 meals
3) Oatmeal with raisins, flaxseeds, almond milk, and honey. Juice. Side of ham. 4 meals
4) Scrambled eggs. Juice. Oatmeal with flaxseeds, almond milk, and honey. 3 meals
5) Spaghetti sauce with rice. Side of veggies. 2 meals
6) Lentil Rice Pilaf. Side of raw veggies. 2 meals http://www.food.com/recipe/lebanese-lentil-rice-pilaf-with-b...
7) Spinach salad with tomatoes, flaxseeds, sliced almonds, and tuna (or lentils). Vinegar and oil for dressing. Side of orange or apple. 4 meals.
8) Hamburger patty. Side of veggies. 1 meal
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