Category Archives: Food

Grocery shopping!

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I went shopping for groceries!
Well as for my list of meals I wanted to make and buy groceries for… Yea I made like 2 dishes off the list..
I’m just not organized like that. I really really tried to do it this way but I’m to unorganized. I live day by day. Idk what’s for dinner until it’s time to start cooking. I just whip something up most of the time it’s what looks good to me that day or I have an inspiration from a cooking show or Pinterest or I have a request from Rhylen but those request are usually done for lunch.
BUT the good news is that we are not running out of food. Usually I’m counting the days the last 10 days before we get our grocery money but we could last probably another week without being bothered and we only have 5 days until we get grocery money 🙂 that’s how good I did last time.
The con to this is that now it’s harder to come up with a list because we still have stuff and last time we needed everything. But the good to that con is my grocery list I currently have (which will most likely be modified) is significantly smaller than the last so we have a little more wiggle room to splurge.
This shopping trip I have saved a ton of coupons good coupons at that and hopefully Kroger has a good sale going on when I do go.
I have found that I’m good at saving money that’s all I think about which was not the case a few years ago. I lived with my family then and I never had to worry about the cost of anything. Now I have my own family with a very tiny budget that I have to work around. All I do is look for sales. Whenever I had to buy scrubs for class I went to goodwill… Not even a consignment shop…goodwill. I think I maybe paid 40$ for 15 pairs of scrubs. That is what makes me happy lol. Now I could really save cash if I did the meal planning thing like I planned on but ugh I’m so lazy lol. But the point is I’m always trying to find ways to save money even on Pinterest
I found this pin on how a stay at home mom found ways to cut corners so they can afford to live off of one income

20140630-215700-79020106.jpg
You can find it here or it’s on my “kids” board on Pinterest
She talks about a ton of places to save money not even on the grocery bill loved it and it was so organized. great post.
I do have a tip for moms who are on a strict grocery budget. The gerber graduates entrees ARE NOT WORTH IT. I REPEAT NOT WORTH IT. They are expensive and you can create much better tasting food for your babies than what they offer. It may take you a tiny bit longer than what it would take to put those in the microwave but trust me you will be much happier not to add that to your grocery list. I just remembered this because I saw a couple I had bought that we never used because my son didn’t like them.
Here is some meal ideas from my “kids” Pinterest board

20140630-221801-80281966.jpg
Hope this inspires someone 😙

Advertisements

Talking about my pins!: Sauces

Oh my! It seems like I haven’t been on here in forever! Been busy bees with my boys. It’s hard in our small town to get out and do things especially in the Texas heat! If we want to go to the park we have to get up early before it gets to hot or we make a play date with their cousins or we go to the college pool. Trying to keep these toddlers happy is definitely not easy!

But today I want to talk about sauces. Sauces can change your ordinary boring dinner into something completely different. Around here I make a lot of grilled chicken with veggies I try to change up the seasonings but it wasn’t cutting it for them. Picky picky. Well I found these little packets of sauce in the freezer section of my local Walmart and I opted for the mushroom sauce oppose to the basil pesto because the hubby loves mushrooms :). But this frozen sauce packet is like little ice cubes portioned in four sections so if you just live with a roommate or husband you can just use two and save the other two for later. I loved that part of it but we love sauce so we used all of it lol. It was a total success everyone ate happily not even noticing it was the third time that week for grilled chicken and veggies! Totally recommend sauces. Today we will be having oven baked fajitas and I will be making a really simple cilantro sauce to go with it. It’s kind of like a pesto but Tex-mex version 🙂 👇
cilantro sauce
I actually don’t have a food processor which is unfortunate but I do have a blender and I hope it works ok!
For more sauce recipes visit my dinner page on Pinterest!

Meal planning!

So I’ve been busy lol. And today was suppose to be shopping day but my hubby is off tomorrow and offered to watch the kids all day while I did my thing plus another bonus is my local Kroger and probably yours to is havering double points when you shop on the weekend! So I am super excited about my points I’m about to add up because lord knows we need the discount on gas.its $3.55 here! In Dallas it’s like $3.30 and we are closer to the gulf! Don’t get me started on the monopoly we have here ugh… Anyway. Another reason is Kroger just ended it’s last promotion and began a new one with the buy 5 save 5. I love these deals because that dollar off each is awesome and if you have a coupon it’s even cheaper! And most of the time I get most of the items that qualify. So I just decided that it would be best to wait until tomorrow. I did however go get stuff for dinner because I literally had used the rest of my meat last night. If you haven’t figured it out by my clues of shopping one month at a time so much money for groceries and a specific “shopping day” we receive food stamps. I know to lots this is a horrible program people take advantage of but my hubby works 25 hours a week at 9 per hour. That doesn’t bring a lot in and even if I did work all my money would go to day care.. So before you judge us we especially me do not plan on being on this forever I hate having to use it but we are two struggling student parents. So if you pay taxes and also buy your own food thank you for your help
But anyway so shopping day is tomorrow! I have gone through my coupons and my ad to find not a lot of items on my list are on sale which is really gonna hurt the budget but hopefully once I get into the store I will see more deals I can take advantage of. If you didn’t know the store can’t put everything in their ad so they put what they think will draw the customers and they have other sales also in the store they didn’t advertise.
But if you are trying to really budget and can shop at your leisurely then hitting those sales are a must and it might be good if you buy a bunch at once and then you can do the freezer meal thing! I would do the freezer meal plan buttttt one my freezer is TINY I mean extra small… And two I don’t have the leisurely option.
I found this article about her freezer meals and the options she has are so down to earth that a regular family would eat the prices are ridiculously cheap that she has but it’s from 2011 so don’t count on your shopping trip to be that cheap. Freezer Meals!
I found it really interesting and hope it helps someone 😃

Meal Planning! Helpful shopping tips

So I was tired of writing the original title and I plan on writing about this particular topic a lot so it gets it’s own title😊

Okay so I have gotten through my entire list for our grocery trip! Good thing to because shopping day is only 2 days away! I would have been done sooner but so much had been going on lately.
This is my list

20140603-140827-50907212.jpg
Pretty big huh? Well 90% of it is basics… When I said we ran out of food I totally meant it.. We even went into my back ups. I keep backups just in case this was to happen. If we didn’t have help from family and friends we would have had to resort to a food bank or something. A friend of ours actually didn’t know we needed food but helps us out every now and then and they brought us a ton of canned goods enough to keep us fed and have a back up stash. They even brought snacks for the kids which is what I was worried the most about. We are so blessed to have such good people by our side.

But anyway I good tip I have found really helpful is to split your list into categories. Mine has meat produce frozen can cold/dairy snacks and miscellaneous. Make a rough draft list for starters and have the categories laid out which ever way you remember the things you need once you feel you are done make a new list and put the categories in an order of most important, most expensive, or the most to the least whatever works for you just some kind of organization is good. I put meat at the top because it is what we consider to be most important. (Just happens to be one of the categories that have to most because we have ran out of reserves) second I have produce because my youngest loves fresh fruit and I use fresh vegetables the most when I cook so that category has a lot and is important. They are also close to each other in the store. Another good tip is if you know your store well and go a certain way every time you go you can organize your list to the way you go through your store. I have actually read that if you are shopping and trying to stay healthy to shop the perimeter of the store. That has the fresher items most of the time and will rarely have snacks to tempt you. This doesn’t quite work at my local Kroger because at the very end of the right side is the bakery and snack isles… If you know your store well just stay away from the isles you know will tempt you. I start out at meat and make my way around the store avoiding the processed foods and snacks. Make your list and hopefully it’s smaller than mine so you can leave room for added things that you forgot but remember later. Make sure you make a list way in advance to your shopping trip because I always forget something and then I go shopping and whenever I am unloading I go oh shoot I forgot that… So you have your list right but then you see something and go oh I can put that in this or that would be a good snack for the kids. IGNORE IT. Stick to your list. only get what’s on the list and if you have money left over you can always come back. But most of the time you won’t because you didn’t really need it to begin with. If it’s something you actually do need but forgot on the list then that’s ok. I always forget to get olive oil but if I go down the isle by accident because it’s on the baking isle (I don’t bake so I don’t go through there) I will see it and go oh I need that. But most of the time I forget and end up using all my butter or vegetable oil. Ok well you have added things to your list and feel it is complete you have even double checked your recipes to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Make another list so it’s nice and pretty and to go over the categories again so that not to miss a single thing and there you go! You are ready to go shopping!
Another helpful hint is if you can afford it or know someone who will watch your kids it will help you concentrate more without them there. It’s also helpful not to hear mama I want this or juice or pleaaaassse. For some of us this is not an option so I have found that if your store has those buggies with the cars in front where your kids can sit it helps them stay out of your hair for at least a little bit. Another tip is to forbid any toys into the store because 1 it could get lost and 2 you won’t have to stop every ten feet to pick it up because they want to play maybe if I throw it I can get out and run around.

This is my meal plan
Don’t laugh ok

20140603-145605-53765140.jpg

I have this list also in categories by the type of meat each has. I have a ton of recipes that include chicken because chicken is really like a blank canvas and can be used so many different ways. But my hubby is not a chicken fan. He likes it but is tired of it all the time. So I make sure I have different proteins each having close to the same amount so that he can’t say he’s tired of chicken because we will have a different meat almost everyday. This has fourteen recipes on here because I only plan on shopping for 2 weeks but I was thinking that if I do it right these new recipes could be spaced out over the whole month that way we have equal amounts of new and old. But I didn’t plan out the old yet… I think I should just try and get through these two weeks and have all the extra stuff to be creative. I have lots of boring ideas just up there in my head. I’m really good at taking what we have and turning it into something we have never had before but love.
Now my list has chicken beef pork fish and other. The other is because I have a ton of recipes that don’t include meat but can be added to it. I just tried to pick out the simplest recipes from my Pinterest because this is my first meal plan and I want to buy regular ingredients that if not used I can add to my reserves. I suggest this as well because you don’t want to get over whelmed. I have a few roast options in there probably more than I wanted but it’s okay they will create great leftovers.
I hope this helps anyone trying to meal plan! If you have anymore helpful hints comment below👇

My favorite topic Food!: Ice Cream!

20140603-103352-38032999.jpg

Ok I just want to start this post out by saying if you haven’t tried this ice cream yet. BUY IT NOW.
Ok lol but seriously this is my absolute favorite ice cream ever. It’s called century sundae and was created to celebrate Blue Bell’s 100 anniversary in 2007. I don’t know who invented this flavor but they should deserve some kind of raise.
The ice cream container is a little special because instead of just the color this container has candles on it because of blue bells birthday. This is why it caught my eye the first time I bought it. I’m really picky about my ice cream because I don’t like nuts or peanut butter. I also don’t like just plain vanilla or just plain chocolate. I also don’t like strawberry. My favorite ice cream before this was cherry chocolate chunk the great value kind but my mom always got it for me and I could never find it myself and whenever she died I never found out where it was so I can’t ever have it again most likely. My second flavor is the great divide because I can mix the vanilla and chocolate together. But century sundae is AMAZING and passes those others up by miles. It totally satisfies my pickiness.
This ice cream is what it says it is a sundae it has all the elements of a sundae but it’s ice cream. It’s a swirl of goodness. It has cherry marshmallow stuff vanilla chocolate fudge caramel. It’s delicious so before you buy a whole bunch of toppings to make the ice cream super good remember that you won’t need it! The only problem with the ice cream is they only let it come out every once in a while so if you don’t see it at your store when you go don’t worry it will be there someday just keep looking and look often. I just bought some the other day so hopefully it will be at your store soon!

**this is not a paid sponsorship of this product just merely my opinion of the product and my encouragement for you to create your own opinion**

My favorite subject Food!: meal planning

So I’ve been doing this meal planning so we can make our grocery money go farther. So I have been trying to organize my Pinterest recipes so that I could actually pick things to make. Now I’m definitely not done with that part because I have literally 400 pins on just my dinner board. But I have enough to pick from for 14 days. This is not including lunches or breakfast but I have found that a lot of items needed for these recipes are already on my basics list. Which is good but my basics list enormous and I’m actually worried about lunches. For my children and I lunch is very important almost more so than Dinner because most of the time they don’t eat much for dinner because they have so much for lunch. Well I could just cook our big meal for lunch and the hubby could heat up his part later on after work but these recipes are not going to work all the time and what if we have an extra busy day and the boys are so picky.
Man I thought being a stay at home mom would be less stress than working… At least when I worked the hubby had to clean and cook some which he does some but not as much as before because I do it throughout the day while he’s gone. But dang these stay at home moms with like 6+ kids plus their hubby how do you do it?!?! Share your secrets with me!

Well I’m hoping that with practice and time this will get easier. But when you have all these mouths and well beings relying on you it’s hard and you just hope and pray that this time around you do not run out of food 2 weeks in and have to wait 2 more weeks to get groceries buying food with your rent money. Trust me everyone it is not easy but it will get better. I have to believe that when there is bad times it makes the good times even better. I have to Try to do better in life and believe there is still good and good things will come. Hopefully this new plan of mine works out and we won’t have to worry about food this next month! 🙂

My favorite topic Food!: Meal Planning

So in my last post I wrote on how I was planning on starting to meal plan for my family so it would make our money go farther. I thought it would be a little easier to just pick recipes and create a list. So not easy. I have been going off and on all day with this and have not even made a list of meals yet! And this is where you say “all day and no list?” “how?” Well my problem is I found it easier if I had the recipes on my computer rather than just on pinterest so that they each had a folder (Dinner,Breakfast,Snacks,Etc…) and were organized. So I guess this means I wasn’t meal planning all day I was just organizing recipes…. Ugh… Grocery Shopping day is approaching fast and I need to have my list! Good thing I already have my Basics list finished… Another problem I have come across is I want to make all of these elaborate special different meals and I am not leaving days to have boring grilled chicken and vegetables or my healthy spaghetti. So if you are just starting this process with me and are venturing on pinterest for new ideas just remember that sometimes simplier is better.

Now when I am planning this I have to have special requirements

-Healthy (hubby is on a diet and because he is I am)

-Kid friendly (because I have one picky little boy and one who will devour anything in front of him)

– It can’t be soup *bummer I love soup* (Mostly because the Hubby doesn’t like soup and but also its the beginning of summer)

This list cuts about half of the healthy meals out there in half….The struggle is real y’all haha! So I have told my Hubby I will put as much completely healthy meals in the plan but there will be days that it wont work out and he will just have to eat less than usual. *Just Remember when doing this for your family compromise is best and another thing is don’t tell them your doing it so you can just make what you feel is best*

I have found some great Recipes that will be good for everyone.

One being Easy Baked Spaghetti, now I havent tried this recipe yet but it looks promising and if you substitute some ingredients with wheat or low fat low sodium products.Image

*This is one I have Pinned on Pinterest on my Dinner Board*

Easy Baked Spaghetti

Ingredients

1 pound Ditalini pasta (or other favorite noodle or spaghetti)

2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese

1/2 of a 0.4 ounce ranch dressing mix package

24 ounce jar of marinara sauce

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

How-To

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13″ pan with oil.

Cook the noodles according to the packaged instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir the spinach, ricotta cheese and dressing mix together.

Once the noodles are cooked, drain and put back into the pot. Stir in the marinara sauce and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese until combined.

Spread half of the noodle mixture into the prepared pan.

Spread all of the spinach mixture onto the noodles.

Spread the remaining noodle mixture on top.

Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes until melted and hot.

 

Hopefully this will be a change of base from our usual spaghetti that apparently Rhylen, who looooovvvveeeesss spaghetti, wont eat anymore. I have a TON and I literally mean a Ton of Food Pins on Pinterest. Follow me pinterest.com/rhiannoneq  !