Posts Tagged ‘budget’


I Love Thrift Shops! You can find the best deals, as long as you are willing to wait for them and search for them.
Sometimes, in my case today, you just stumble on them!

After a day of shopping and lunch with Mom, she had suggested I run in to our local thrift store to check out 2 coffee-themed cork placemats she knew I would love. Leaving her in the car, I said I would just run in.

Now, I can almost guarantee if we both got our butts out of the car and was hoping to find good buys, we would have come out empty handed, that’s just my luck. I grabbed the placemats, which I instantly took a liking too, and thought I would take a quick stroll through the store…and there it was…JACKPOT

Quick backtrack, last week my mom had borrowed a chocolate melter from a friend for our cousins get-together. It melts the candy and she served fresh fruit, marshmallows, pretzels, etc to dip…..YUM! So, needless to say we were both hooked and wanted one for our own. Nana offered to buy me one for my birthday, but I just couldn’t see spending that much money on that! It is $75, even half off at the craft store..that is a lot of money for a candy melter! So  I went back and forth..yes I want it…No I don’t..Maybe??? Wait NO Don’t get it…

So there in the box waiting for me to become its final owner….

A Cooks Essentials chocolate melter for $5!!!

 We are definitely having a chocolate fondue party this weekend!!

And to top it off I also hit big with the Bag Sale they had!

For $20, I purchased..

Chocolate melter, 1 jumper dress for me, 3 pairs of jeans for me, 1 capri jeans for me

pair of skinny jeans for Erinn, Red Bird (Mission trip Matty has gone to in KY) Tee for Nate,

Embroidery hoop, and 2 coffee cork placemats!!


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I have been upset with myself that this was the week I decided to hash out my recipes, because it has been such a crazy week. Between my brother leaving and my house being turned upside down with the bathroom re-model. Then today it dawned on me that this was the most perfect week to start!

See when things are going smooth over here, I become very ambitious and do not leave any room in my budget for weeks like this. That is where I always fall short and feel discouraged. When I follow these great menus and budgets I have devised and then BAM….craziness hits and I fall off the track. Well, now I now what I need to include and make room for in my budget overhaul….inconvenient weeks.

We have already done the pizza route, which I have learned is $20 sans hubby ( we visited the pizza shop he works in one day a week, great benefits!!) and tonight our easy, my house is covered in sheet rock dust meal is….Baked Chicken Patty sandwiches, cut up apples or carrots & Chips, which is $18 for the meal thanks to Wal-Mart!

I feel so much better! I am ahead of the game, or I keep telling myself that! I am not perfect and meals don’t always have to be either. And the best part, the kids don’t realize either 🙂

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Today is NOT the day

I was going to experiment with another recipe challenge for myself, but today it is NOT going to happen 😦 I have just returned from Brooklyn to see my brother sworn into the US NAVY, and I am feeling very blah……

Well, I am going to skip to another step and see how much money I need to budget each month when I ORDER pizza!!!! 🙂

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My next step in my Budget “Re-hash” is figuring out what my family likes to eat. Alright, let me re-phrase, what they LOVE that I prepare. I think if I can make a hard copy list of that, and then know to bulk buy those ingredients, that should cut down on some costs?

One of the obstacles I have come across is that my family eats more than they used to. So the quantity I prepared, say 2 years ago, is nowhere near enough now. That is when I waste, cooking too much, or run out, not cooking enough. I am going to prepare each family favorite and figure out how much I need to keep family full and satisfied 🙂 I will compile a list of the grocery needed to provide meals for a month when I am finished!

My first recipe re-vamp is for my Shepherd’s Pie. This revised recipe feed my family of five and provides enough for an extra teenage boy at the table. I guess this would be a leftover plate, if we did not have company.

 I have just realized I should invite one of my oldest son’s friends to dinner each recipe change for an accurate rating!!!!

3 pounds ground beef

2 cans white corn niblets

8 cups mashed potatoes, cooked – I used 4 packages Idaho Instant 4 cheese potatoes

1 envelope brown gravy mix

1 envelope onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 350. Brown ground beef and drain. Transfer beef to a 9×13 pan and add both envelope mixes and 1 cup hot water. Stir together. Spread corn evenly over beef mixture. Last, spoon prepared potatoes on top, in a nice even layer. Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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Well, it is only day 1 of my research, but it is not looking promising 😦

Thanks to my picky family, who do not like many veggies, beans, rice or seafood….my meatless recipes consist of

  1. pasta
  2. pizza
  3. grilled cheese and soup
  4. breakfast for dinner and “hold the bacon”
  5. fishsticks..but this is only good for the kids..hubby will not eat them

Ok, so my conclusion in this short study is……………..I’m moving on to STEP 2 of my Grocery Budget Stretch

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Trying to make ends meet, and still staying within my grocery budget has become next to impossible!  I used to be able to feed my family of five under $100 a week..well those days are long gone

I do understand why…

1) having a teenage boy has made a huge difference..he eats for 2, maybe 3 people! And when there is 1 teenage boy, there is usually another right behind him, so we rarely have dinner without a guest or two!

2) grocery prices have gone up

3) we have been trying to eat more fresh produce, which hikes up the bill a bit

So now my goal is to figure out what my new budget can reasonably be and how to keep it under that! Growing up, we very rarely had a “meatless” meal, so I am guilty of  upholding that tradition. Which brings me to my first, of many, dilemma….

Can we have meatless meals?? How would my family, who is picky about their veggies, handle this change? And if they are on board, how many days of the week can we do it? Oh boy, now my mind is spinning. What is there besides spaghetti & pizza? This will be my project for the next few days…Searching Meatless recipes and feeling out the family…Wish me luck

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