Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan for the Week8-6-11

Back to school week is here!  I have been working a bit in my new classroom and it is beginning to feel more cheerful!  We were able to get the boys a few things for back to school, so I am feeling pretty ready.  Hopefully I can get everything finished before we have our "meet the teacher" night.  Busy days, but that's okay because I like to be busy!

Remember it's the last day to try to win something from Amy's Monkeys!  Head on over to Frugal Granola for the giveaway!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Here is what we have planned to eat for this week:

Breakfasts: Cereal, Oatmeal, Biscuits, Muffins, Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, Fruit

Lunches: Ham or PB & J Sandwiches, Meat and Crackers, Leftovers, Fruit or Veggies, String Cheese, Hard Boiled Eggs, Granola Bars, Fruit Leather, Homemade Chewy Bars


Sunday- Leftovers

Monday- Breakfast for Dinner

Tuesday- Keilbasa, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus


Thursday- Pulled Pork, Corn, Salad

Friday- Pizza, Salad

Grande Nachos

Find more menu planning inspiration at Organizing Junkie.

Until next time,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Little Things Count

As we've been on this journey of only one income we have done many little things to make every dollar stretch as far a possible.  We didn't always have super self-control when it came to our spending, but you should see us now! We have chosen to trim away little things here and there to help us make our money work for us.  These are just a few examples of how little changes can add up to nice savings.

We do not have cable or satellite TV.  I know, it's hard to comprehend in this day and age, but it's true.  We actually canned the satellite before K lost his job.  I mean seriously do you really want to pay for commercials with questionable content for 20 minutes of every hour?  Not us.  For a long time we just used Hulu to catch shows on the computers.  Since K is a computer guy our TV screens are hooked to the computers in the house, so it is pretty convenient for viewing.  At Christmas we decided to get on Netflix.  It has been awesome.  Even with the price increase in September we will still be paying about $60 less than the basic satellite plan.

During the summer I have rarely driven the car.  We ride bikes when we can to run errands.  K and the boys rode their bikes to school last spring and plan to continue to do so this fall.  If it were practical for me to ride my bike to school I'd do it to, but 50 miles a day would be a bit much!  When we do drive we really try to link the trips and make the most out of every mile.

Going out to eat is pretty much nonexistent.  We just can't justify the cost when we know how much making something similar at home would save.  I really enjoy cooking and benefits we see in making things from scratch are worth the bits of extra time some things may take.  I keep a well stocked pantry, so even crazy days can end with a good dinner.  K and I try to keep each other on track.  Sometimes we'll get $6 pizza, but even that anymore is rare.

We've gotten away from paper towels and napkins.  Even before the job loss we had stocked the kitchen with rags and cloth napkins.  We simply grab a rag to clean up a mess or wipe down the counter and throw it in the wash.  Since I was washing towels anyway there is no noticeable increase in laundry.   We went from buying a big package of paper towels every month to buying one about every 5-6 months. 

I also started making many things at home rather than buying them in the store.  We have been using homemade laundry detergent and vinegar to wash our clothes for about a year now.  At about $6 for 5 gallons of detergent and about $1.70 for a gallon of vinegar, I'd say we're saving at least $20 a month on just that stuff!  Counter cleaner, window cleaner, and Chewy bars are other homemade savers in our house.  Not only are they better for us, but I know the cost is about half or less what I was paying for the pre-made versions.

We are making do or doing without.  We have started to think more creatively when we want to do something around the house.  If we can't find something we already own to meet a need then we wait until we find what we need at a yard sale or one of the thrift stores around town.  Sometimes a little creative thinking solves a problem without spending any cash.  It has been a good exercise in teaching us patience.  No more running to Target to grab something. 

These are just a few little things, but when you put them all together it saves us quite a bit.  Maybe some of you have some other ideas to help stretch those dollars.  Let me know what you do to make the most of your money!

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Giveaway Day!

I have teamed up with Michelle of Frugal Granola to do a 
giveaway from Amy's Monkeys

Head on over to Frugal Granola for your chance to win!
Frugal Granola

The giveaway is open until August 8th, but if you can't wait 
I am offering readers a 10% discount using the code "frugalgranola".  
This offer is good until September 5, 2011!

Good luck and thanks for all of your support!

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


My days are about to change from the hum of my sewing machine to the buzz of busy kids filling a new classroom.  I am not thrilled that my summer vacation is coming to a close, but I am very grateful that I do get time of to regroup and refresh with my own monkeys for a couple of months each year.  This summer was spent mostly at home doing our own things.  Playing, building, sharing silly youtube videos.  We spent our days just being together without being on top of each other.  Fluttering between our individual activities to seeing what everyone else was up to in the house.

This is how we spend our days, working on something and then taking a break to check in with everyone else.  I love it!  We don't have to be in the same room of the house to be together, it's lovely.  I have extra chairs in my sewing space, so visitors are welcome to come hang out while I work on another project.  It's awesome to have a workspace I can share with my monkeys.

So now we are in the back to school mode.  Knowing our late nights and unscheduled days are coming to a close for the year.  We've slowly been checking on supplies and making sure everyone has what they need to start the new year well.  We are prepared even if we're not ready for the summer to be leaving us just yet.

I am carrying a hopeful heart for what the new classrooms will bring for all of us.  I may not want it to be time to move on, but I am up to the challenges and adventures that lie ahead.  Bring it on new school year, show us what you've got planned for us! 

Head on over to Heavenly Homemakers to see what everyone else is grateful for today!

Until next time,