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Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Aldi Shopping Trip

I used to shop at Aldi a lot more frequently than I have been. So, as a "test" I thought I'd get everything but my milk, meat and cleaning products there. Here is what I got today for only $93.75!!! Needless to say, I'll be doing most of my shopping here once again. It was a good day. :)

4 lbs butter
3 packages cream cheese

Produce - which by the way, the selection and quality was GREAT!:
2lbs carrots
Romaine Hearts - 3-pack
1 packages flat leaf spinach
3-pack green peppers
1 package mushrooms
1 package celery
1 cucumber
6lbs golden delicious apples - only a couple were bruised
3 pack roma tomatoes
3lbs onions

3 plastic aldi bags
1 brown paper bag
Gallon freezer bags - 20 pack
2-pack sponges

Cheddar Bratwurst

Frozen Foods:
1lb peas
1lb whole green beans
2 boxes of French Bread Pizza (4 pizzas)
1 package chicken egg rolls
1 container frozen white raspberry and grape juice 100% juice

Bakery items:
2 loafs whole wheat bread - good stuff, not fluffy stuff.
2 packages flour tortillas
1 package hot dog buns
1 package of individually wrapped cream cheese danish

Boxed, canned and bottled items and cooking supplies:
Oats - large container
100% cranberry and raspberry juice - large bottle
pancake syrup - for dh - ick! lol!
10 pack of koolaid type mix - we use this for homemade pedialyte
1 box onion soup mix packets
1 package Italian dressing mix
3 packages taco seasoning
2 packages chicken flavored stuffing
16oz minced garlic
1 container baking powder
12oz can black beans
1 whole pepper mill grinder with pepper in it.
1 package chocolate bark
1 package real bacon bits
2 cans corn
4 cans chunk light tuna
16oz natural peanut butter - only contains peanuts and a bit of salt.
1 package corn muffin mix
1 package seasoned croutons
large jar mild salsa
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 large jar of salad dressing (knock off miracle whip)
Gingerbread specialty cake mix

Pastas and rice:
wide egg noodles

Snack and chip items:
12oz raw almonds
1 package nacho tortilla chips
2 packages organic tortilla chips
1 box graham crackers

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Here's a picture of Jon with homemade yogurt and frozen blueberries for a snack. He LOVED it!

I thought this would be neat to start after seeing it on another blog. I'm still not great about lunch planning so I'll skip that for now. We usually do either leftovers, some kind of sandwich or soup and bread.

Breakfast: Oatmeal and homemade yogurt.
Dinner: Roast with carrots, onions and potatoes

Breakfast: Breakfast scramble and toast
Dinner: Macaroni helper with veggies

Breakfast: Oatmeal and homemade yogurt.
Dinner: Beef and noodles (with leftover roast) and mashed potatoes

Breakfast: Eggs and toast
Dinner: Chicken, stuffing, veggies

Breakfast: Oatmeal and homemade yogurt.
Dinner:Homemade pizza and salad

Here's my dinner menu from last week:
Monday: Chili - made extra and froze half of it.
Tuesday: Baked spaghetti with meat and cheese
Wednesday: Grilled chicken, cheesy potatoes, and salad.
Thursday: Corn dogs and potato wedges
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Wet burritos

I used the chicken carcass from Wednesday to make homemade soup for Friday's lunch. It was very yummy! I'm going to try to keep up more with posting recipes. Look out for yummy recipes and tips on how to make things like yogurt, kefir, etc...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christmas is coming!

We have about 1 1/2 months till Christmas. How crazy is that? To be easier on our budget, I try to purchase gifts year round as I see them on sale or for a good price. That also keeps us from spending $100's at one time when we wouldn't have it. I also like to save money where I can. This year one of the $$ saving tips I'm passing along is paper shredding. I got out a huge stack of Christmas scrapbooking paper, folding them in accordion style and shredded them in my paper shredder. I'm using this instead of tissue paper. While it probably wouldn't be cheaper if you went out and bought the paper, it sure was for me because it was just sitting around. You could do the same with any kind of newspaper, or other papers you may have lying around.

My two wonderful children and beautiful nieces 2 years ago for Christmas. How time flies!

I thought I'd give you a peak into what my family does yearly. Here goes....

1. Have a birthday cake for Jesus as well as sing Happy Birthday.

2. Let our kids know the 25th is the day we celebrate even though it is not the actual birth date of our Lord.

3. Bake - we love holiday baking and sharing those with others. Keep checking back as I will be posting some of our favorite holiday recipes!

4. Give each child 1 gift they'll really enjoy, 1 gift for all the kids to share and 1 gift for them to give to someone in need. We also do stockings - that's more for me. rofl! We cut back on gifts a couple years ago and it has been wonderful. The kids really focus on Christ more. My daughter who had gotten many gifts from us before then never had a hard time transitioning. I was so proud of her.

5. Draw names on both sides of our family for our siblings. I think this is a great idea since getting for everyone is just not in the pocket book. However, sometime I hope we can all make things for each other instead. That would be the ultimate for me.

We try to rotate years that we spend Christmas Day with each side of the family. This year it is with my family. I can't wait!!! I've missed at least the last two years with my Grandma and Grandpa Good and it's heartbreaking. Every year as a child I would go to their house on CHristmas Day afternoon/evening and spend the day with them. We never missed a year. They have been such a Godly influence in not only my life but all those around them. How grateful I am to them.

May your Christmas this year not only be filled with fun, good food and gifts, but the joy that only Christ the Lord can bring.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Make Ahead Breakfast Skillet Meals

Picture taken from Jimmy Deans link below.

Now and then I will pick up a Jimmy Dean breakfast skillet recipe because of lack of time in the mornings on the weekends. Today I decided to make my own:) I usually pay between $4 and $5 for each frozen bag. Then to that you add 6 scrambled eggs. Well, not anymore. Here is a cost comparison for you:)

Cost and ingredient break down. This will make 3 frozen bags of breakfast skillet starter.
1lb sausage or turkey sausage $2 (on sale)
2 peppers - $.58 (again on sale)
2 onions - $.20
1/2 bag frozen hashbrowns - $.75
Total - $3.53

Jimmy Deans cost per bag - $4-$5
My cost per bay - $1.17

So here's what you do. You take the pound of meat and cook it like you normally would - crumbled up of course. Let that cool. While it's cooling cut up 2 peppers and 2 onions. Fill 3 freezer bags each with 1/3 the peppers, 1/3 the onions, 1/3 of the cooked meat and about 1 cup frozen square hashbrowns (or more) from your local freezer section. Place in freezer.

When you're ready to use them, put a bit of oil in the bottom of a warm skillet and dump in your baggie. When everything is heated through nicely, add in 6-8 scrambled eggs and enjoy! We sometimes use this and put it in the middle of tortillas with cheese. A very filling breakfast!

Remember for your body to function well during the day do the following....

Eat like a King for breakfast.
Eat like a Queen for lunch.
Eat like a pauper for dinner.

Doing this helps better stabilize your blood sugar and is better for your digestive enzymes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Debt Reduction

I'm sure most of us have debt that we wish we did not have . Unfortunately it cannot be wished away. For those thinking of bankruptcy, I'd caution against it if at all possible. Many places are willing to work with you - you just have to take the time to call them.

Anyway, we've hit a point where another round of student loans are coming in - over $200 more per month. Talk about a huge hit on the budget. Through it all though, even though we are going to be able to have no extra money to spend on eating out (which we love to do) or other things, we're so grateful our bills are at least getting met. It's times like these that cause a family to be more creative in what they do for meals, entertainment, etc... It's also times like these that we look more towards the Lord - what else is there to do.

Take this time, before the holiday season to look over your budget and make it work for you. Yes, a lot of us have to sacrifice many things but isn't it worth it in the end? Being wise stewards of what God has given us is so important to use and we're learning more and more all the time. IF you have other debts such as credit card debt like we do, see what you can cut out of the budget in order to not just meet those minimum payments, but get them paid off as quickly as possible. With the new laws our president has put into effect for credit card companies, the credit card companies are now raising their interest rates very high to re-coop costs from the presidents new bill. Even if you have to make minimum payments now but can take your tax returns and instead of blowing it, paying off debt, that's another great option. Do what it takes:)

Most importantly, stop using credit! For those out there who are used to using credit cards for Christmas only to have to pay them off with working overtime the whole next year - is it really worth it? See how you can pare down your Christmas giving. After all, we celebrate Christmas as a time that we remember what our Lord did for us and his birth. IT should not be about a big expensive gift list that we have to go buy or make others angry by not doing it. How far from the true meaning of Christmas have we come over the past 50 years. Worse yet, with getting our children everything they want now is not only setting them up for being credit users as adults later, but teaching them to be very selfish. If you are a Christian, our main goal as parents is to lead our children to the Lord first and foremost. Are you doing this with your children? Remember, they see what you do - your actions speak much louder than words.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

$5 deals at the Family Christian Store

Becoming a perks member at the FAmily CHristian Store is completely free. The more you spend, the more punches you get on a card. Once it's filled up, you get a discount card for the store. HOwever, that is not the only "perk". They offer many $5 items per 4-6 week period. Since Christmas is quickly approaching, I'd recommend you looking there for some great deals. It's not often you can find good, wholesome items for the family. When I find them inexpensive, I'm all over it. I'm not sure if all stores carry the same $5 but I'm assuming they do. Here is what they currently have till the 21st (at least in this area).

ESV Compact Bible - the entire bible small enough to fit in your purse:)
Hermie DVD - Skeeter and the Mystery of the Lost Mosquito Treasure
Building 429 CD
16 month calendar with the stores coupons on each month's page
and more....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You are good, Oh Lord.

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.
~Song of Solomon 6:3

Train up a child in the way he should go and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.
~Proverbs 22:6

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
~Proverbs 127:3
How many times do I ignore the Lord's leading in my life? How many times do I choose to not make Him priority? How many times have I chosen to not even talk to him except at meal time? Men would say that education, great jobs, many friends, and stuff matters. The only thing worth anything at all is a personal relationship with Christ. How I need to keep myself in check with this so that I may correctly convey this to my children. Not just in words but in action. Oh Lord, may you lead my life and may I make it pleasing to you.

The More I Seek You:
The more i seek you
The more I find you
The more I find you
The more I love you

Chorus: I want to sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand
lay back against you and breathe
feel your heartbeat
this love is deep
it's more than I can stand
I melt in your peace
it's overwhelming

The more I seek you
The more I find you
The more I find you
The more I love you

Chorus 2x

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is Your Hut Burning?

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?' Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story:

It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Making Herbs Simple - Winner Chosen!!!!!

So sorry It took me this long to get a winner chosen. To be honest, it slipped my mind. But today, my dear friends is the day we find out who the winner is. The winner of this event is

Mrs. Stash! Congrats my dear! I'll be sending you a message here in just a minute letting you know that you won this lovely dvd. I hope you enjoy it very much!

A big thanks to The Bulk Herb Store for donating this lovely prize!