Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wensday & Thursday

Wensday was Rob's day off.   The kids all had cereal for breakfast.   I didn't make lunch (Rob or Travis must have done it for me) so I don't know what they ate.   Rob bought Pizza for dinner.  I was going to make ham steaks, mashed potatoes, and carrots but he really wanted pizza.  I'm wasn't happy about spending money on pizza. I felt like he was trying to ruin all my hard work!   I've been working so hard on saving every penny and he ran out to get a pizza?  Rob often buys pizza on Fridays he also buys take out food for himself at lunch several times a week.  I haven't let him spend any money on take out food so he has done much better than usual.  I have no photos. Sorry!

Thursday the kids had left over pizza, ice-cream, and cereal for dinner. I let the kids eat ice cream for dinner 2 or 3 times a summer (on very hot days).  This was my first time this year.  Rob was working and the kids were tired.  I had to feed them quick to get them to bed.  I got the "fun mom award" for giving ice cream for a meal.   I found a box with a bit of ice cream in the back of the freezer and I don't know how long we've had it so I wanted to let them eat it before it got freezer burned. 

We are running out of milk, coffee filters, and some other items.  I have things to make dinners (chicken breast, meatballs, some dark meat chicken, soup broth, ham steaks, potatoes, and such).   We've ran out of most lunch items, we're down to a loaf of bread, peanut butter, Nutella, tomato soup, mac N cheese, a tiny bit of hard salami, a bit of sandwich cheese, and a few rolls in the freezer.  The only fruit we have left is some apples and a honeydew.   We're out of yogurt.   We have a few boxes of pudding, some jello, and animal crackers for snacks.   We have just over a box of cereal and some pancake mix.   hmmm....   I wonder how far I can keep it going before I run out of all the stuff needed to make a full meal?

Monday and Tuesday

Rob bought coffee with his allowance so it didn't come out of our food budget.   What a nice guy!   We are out of most breakfast foods.  The only items we have left is one and a half boxes of cereal and  some apples.  Lunch was salad, soup, or sandwich (PB&J).  Monday and Tuesday dinner we had sloppy Joes, potato wedges, and veggies (carrots on Mon. a salad on Tues).   

The only salad veggies we have left is a small bit of dark lettuce, a few cucumbers, the grape tomatoes growing in our yard, lots of carrots and some cabbage.  I don't know if I can make anymore salads.


I've fallen behind on blogging!  We got busy.  I'm going to play catch up by posting seveal days back to back.  I did keep planning my meals.  I don't know if I remember everything but I'll try to catch up.  Sunday Rob wasn't feeling well (he's still sick) and my kids were a bit worn out.  They all missed breakfast (a no no in my house but they were all too tired to wake up).   Lunch was a pick and choose from soup, sandwiches, toast and such.  Dinner was pasta, meatballs, garlic bread, and salad (I'm almost out of salad stuff). 

Friday, August 10, 2012

One week down!

I'm at the one week mark!   I spent $150 on food one week ago.   I have lots of food still in the house.  I hope to keep out out of the store this week.  I'm worried I might not make it on coffee but I'm going to try.

Meals today were almost no food cost at all.  The girls had dance class early this morning.  Travis and I did Zumba class.   The kids didn't have much time to eat (it takes a long time to get 2 girls in dance clothes and hair pinned up).  I tossed some dry cereal in baggies and let them eat in the car on the way to dance.  After dance was my family reunion.  I didn't know what to take for a meal!   After all, when I started this food order I didn't plan for a large dish to pass!   Saturday morning I turned on my computer and saw fresh made cucumber salad in an advertisement from a local grocery store.   I thought hmmm... that looks good.  I then realized  I would need cucumbers to make it.    A few minutes later I thought about how most summers my MIL is trying to get me to take cucumbers home because he garden grows like crazy.   I must admit I've never asked anyone for food before!   I gave my MIL a call (feeling a bit uncomfortable about asking but hoping she had too many cucumbers to eat).  I said hello and then asked her what she was doing.  The first words out of her mouth were I'm going to see a friend downtown she is giving me a pile of cucumbers so if you need any cucumbers I'll have lots later today.   I was SHOCKED!  I hadn't even asked her for cucumbers yet!  I then told her I was calling to see if she had any cucumbers and dill.  She laughed and said stop over later she'd have lots of cucumbers and she has TONS of dill growing in her garden.   WHAT A BLESSING!  It was perfect!  So for lunch today we took a large dish of cucumber salad and jello cups.  We ate picking from all the choices (large family= oodles of choices for lunch). 

For snacks they had cookies and candy.  I was in charge of games at the reunion.  Here's Travis sucking candy up with a straw to move it into a cup.  Another game I had them put a cookie on forhead and try to get it down into mouth.  Game time was snack time for the family today. 

My mom sent me home with her leftover desert (my kids were thrilled).   After the reunion we went to a birthday party.  She had oodles of food (and some things you might not call food).   BBQ sandwiches,  hot dogs, popcorn, ices, and crickets.  The party had a backyard safari theme so she bought roasted sour cream and onion flavored crickets.  I personally skipped the crickets but I did eat a BBQ sandwich.

Here's a photo of my son eating a cricket. EWWW! 

At the end of the day I had more food in my house than I had yesterday!  I wasn't trying to do that but in the end thanks to my mom and my mother in law that is how it turned out (it's so nice to have parents).

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Friday pizza night gone wrong!

I'm almost at the one week mark!  I am 2 meals (breakfast and lunch) away from 1 week. I'll try to give a quick rundown of the food I still have in the house over the weekend.  If I start to plan my meals now for next week I might be able to make the food last longer.  I think this morning we had pancakes for breakfast.  I had to put our last two bananas in the freezer to use for bread later on.  They were becoming too ripe for my kids to eat.   The kids had toasted PB&J sandwiches with yogurt for lunch.  Dinner almost turned into a problem!  I had a frozen pizza kit in the back of my freezer.   The kit had 2 crust, 2 packs of sauce, and a bag of cheese.  Rob bought it maybe 3 weeks ago and I put it in the freezer the night he bought it.  Tonight I took it out of the freezer and opened it up (still frozen) and found mold on the cheese.  EWWWW!!!   This is one of the reasons I don't like to buy a lot of packaged foods.   The store this was bought from was NOT Walmart.    I won't shop that store for a pizza kit again!   The sell by date was Aug 21.   I'm guessing at some point the store didn't have it in the refrigerated section?   Now that I'm way off track I need to get back to dinner tonight.   I was in a hurry to find something.   Most of the food I keep in the freezer (cooked chicken breast, bread, chicken broth, and everything else I want to stay fresh).  I didn't have time to defrost a meal.   I had some ground beef in the fridge so I quickly made up 2 burgers and tossed them on the grill.  Everyone else had hot dogs/chili dogs (we finished off the end of our old pack and opened up the new pack I bought this shopping trip).  To go with the burgers and dogs I made up french fries and the rest of the frozen corn.  I'm snacking on grapes right now.  My kids snacks were candy from Grandma when we stopped at my MIL's house this afternoon. 

I had a lot of extra hamburger (I only made 2 small burgers) so I used the rest of it to make a dish of meatballs tonight.  I cooked them up and put them into the freeze r to eat another night. 

  I was at my MIL's today and she told me that I would NOT be able to feed a family of 5 for 3 weeks for $150.  She said it is impossible to feed a family of 5 (even with 2 being small girls) 3 meals a day for $50 a week.  I'm kind of driven to try to prove her wrong.  I hope I can! 

Friday, August 03, 2012

Thursday Day 6 or is it 5?

I think today is only day 5.  I think I got off track with my days.  I know at dinner time Sat. night it will be one full week.  I'll get this back on track with the days soon.  Everyone got up and ate breakfast but they all made it themselves so I'm not sure what they ate.   I'm sorry to say I don't remember lunch or snacks.  I think Travis made lunch for everyone.   I ran out to deliver 2 flower girl dresses so Rob made dinner for everyone.  WOW!  I just realized I didn't make any meals today!   My family is feeling better and they helped me so I could do some sewing jobs and house work.  Day 6 was a good day!   I think I needed a day out of the kitchen!  It's been almost a week on this food stretching thing and I can see my family knows I have lots of choices for  meals and snacks and they need to check with me before opening something new. I no longer  have to police the food AND I got a day off from cooking!

Rob made a tossed salad for dinner.   He went out in the yard and picked some ripe grape tomatoes for us!  BTW my family hardly ever cooks meals.  Today was a real treat!

 He made Rigatoni and garlic bread (from a frozen loaf that was hid way back in the back of the freezer weeks ago).   Most plates were fuller than this.  I'm not a big pasta eater so I had less than the men.   We have left over pasta that Rob will eat for lunch at work the next day or two. 

I'll be back tomorrow.   I hope to work out my plans for this weekend in my head tonight.  Not only do I have to figure out some quick take on the go type of meals, I also need a take to a large group thing for my family reunion.  I didn't buy anything to feed a large group!  I don't want to buy food yet. I pray I can come up with something!

Day 5

Wed (sorry I'm posting this a day late).
Rob and Travis were still sick so they slept in.  I have a rule if you don't get up by 10 AM you don't eat breakfast. You have to wait until at least 11:15 for lunch. If you don't eat lunch by 1:00 PM you have to wait until 3:00 for snack time (that is just a piece of fruit most days).  I do this so everyone will be hungry at dinner time and it keeps me from having to do dishes all day long.  The girls had small bowls of cold cereal and pink milk for breakfast.   Lunch was tomato soup and or sandwiches.  Dinner was chef salads and chicken noodle soup.

I thought a meal full of fresh veggies and soup would be good for Travis and Rob's cold.  The soup was left over chicken noodle soup from last night.  The salad was made with Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, onion, egg, cheese and a bit of ham cut up from one of the ham steaks.  I think I used about 1/4 ham steak split up into 5 salads (all cubes I tossed on top for my meat loving men to see).   The girls liked picking all the things out of the salad (most of the things they liked but a few things like egg yolks they didn't care for).   Today was a hard day but not as hard as yesterday.  I'm starting to worry I'm going to run out of many things soon and not be able to make it another week or two.  I've cut back on how full I set the coffee pot and I'm only having a cup in the morning to see if I can make it another 10-15 days with the coffee left in the can.   All I can do is keep trying. I know if I can't make it I can easily go spend the rest of the food money Rob told me I could have for 2 weeks of food... BUT if I go out and buy things and end up spending all the money he has set aside for food I will end up feeling like all this meal planning and POLICING the food was for nothing!  Yes, you read that correct I did say I am policing the food.  I stand guard over the food making sure someone (Rob and Travis) doesn't sneak into the fridge or freezer and eat up one of my meals for a snack. In my food planning a snack of 3 hot dogs could be 1/2 a meal for one night next week.  When I see someone looking for a large snack like that I offer them carrot sticks or an apple instead AND I remind them that the next meal will be served soon.   

I have a crazy weekend ahead of me.  The kind of weekend you're on the go from sun up until after dark driving from one thing to the next (away from my kitchen).  Weekends like that are the times I often pick up fast food for the kids to make it from place to the next place in time.  I'm going to try and keep meal planning to avoid spending $ and I hope to remember to pack and take sandwiches and baggies of dry cereal to avoid the drive up meals!   One stop at the "big M" I'll blow $10-20 on a few happy meals for the girls and food for my 12 year old son.  That doesn't usually sound like much but right now I'm trying to save every penny.   I can buy one or two kids a T-shirt on the boardwalk on vacation for $20!  The shirt they will enjoy a long time.  Fast food doesn't give them much enjoyment at all.  Over all I can say I'm in a better mood (better than yesterday) and I'm keeping my eyes on the prize.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Day 4 not a good day!

Yesterday's praises for a true homemade meal didn't continue into today (sigh).  Some of my family members were sick today.    I don't remember what the kids ate for breakfast (yes, my day was that bad).   Lets say fruit, milk, and cereal?  Lunch was sandwiches, noodles (Travis had Ramen noodles), the rest of the pineapple, pretzel sticks, and I think some apples (had apples left from last week)...  I'm not sure I ate lunch today.  Snacks- popcorn and no bake cookies.   Rob and Travis are sick so we had chicken noodle soup for dinner.
I tossed the chicken left on the dish from last night's dinner along with a bit I pulled off the bone last night (bits of white meat but nothing from the other breast or any dark meat) into the soup pot  with some soup stock (I made 3 batches of stockwith that one chicken carcass),  I added carrots, a bit of celery, onions, salt, pepper, and noodles and ended up with a large pot of soup.  I served it with crackers, and rolls and butter (rolls were 2 sandwich rolls cut in fourths).   Zehira didn't care for dinner  (my 4 year old)  she eats all foods but for some reason she didn't like our dinner tonight.   Honestly, I think she was tired (maybe she's getting sick).   She did the tired cry at the end of dinner.  She ate almost all of her soup.  I didn't really give her a dish of soup.   She had a dish of noodles, chicken, carrots, and such with crackers (no broth).   

A long day with cranky sick family members, with my young demanding healthy family members, and a lot of dishes from all this cooking had me ready to give up today!   I KNOW why people cook out of boxes or buy takeout!   The cleanup from a good old fashioned meal is so much more work!  I have dirty crock pots, dirty soup pots (I've been making tons of soup stock with my chicken carcass).  My family is too sick or too tired to do chores so today I had to pick up the slack (again).  I feel like I'm wearing down.   I am trying hard to not explode in frustration.   I get a bit upset seeing my "sick" family members all playing video games while I run around trying to do everything.  I was to tempted to hop in the car and go pick up takeout. I DID NOT DO THAT!  I made it another day so in the end I guess the "saving money for vacation plan" is going good  (I'm still stretching out the meals and trying to save money). I am not as joyful about it as I was yesterday.  My fridge and freezer seem to be getting fuller every day (All the leftovers and soup stock are filling up my food storage areas).  I just wish I could say today was fun and rewarding but I can't.

Tomorrow is a new day. I will try again in the morning.  I feel that I have no choice but to keep pushing along!  I see a need to save some money so I know my family is counting on me to do it.  I don't feel giving up is an option.   With or without family support I will keep moving along.   I hope to do it with a joyful look on my face tomorrow (wish I could say I did today).   I didn't want to write this ugly truth about my day but I feel I have to be honest.  I guess saving money is sometimes hard work!  Okay, making soup isn't really hard work but making soup with sick people at home can be "work".  A  kitchen full of dishes from soup and stock making after a night of tons of dishes from roasted chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and such is work.  AND! Lets not forget Sunday with a large canister of oats spilled ALL OVER the floor with a pile of baking dishes is a LOT extra to take on when you have so many other things to do!    BTW I do have a dishwasher BUT this type of baking/cooking uses too many dishes to fit in the dishwasher. The work to keep the counters clean is never ending when you're cutting up tons of things each day.   My mom did it when I was a kid so I know I need to "suck it up" and do the same.  You never know how hard your mama worked until you're in a similar situation!  Maybe I'm dealing with some diet soda withdrawal today?   I don't buy much soda much anymore but I think I probably buy one or two small bottles a week when I buy gas and such I add one at the register (I gave that up to save money 4 days ago).  I hope to be back tomorrow with a happy report of my meal stretching day!  I'm too tired and worn out to read over this blog post.... Good night blogger friends.   I think some sleep will make everything look brighter in the morning (I hope).