Friday, January 28, 2011

Menu Plan 1-30-11 to 2-5-11

Here is what I came up with.  My grocery list is still long [for me] but that is bound to happen since I did not order my produce through the delivery service this week.

  • Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese
  • Mexican Soup (leftovers)
  • Veggie Burgers, Steamed Spinach & Red Dill Potatoes (we had this the other day and are craving it again)
  • Spaghetti, Garlic Bread and Salad (I think this is notorious for being a cheap meal!)
  • Potato Soup & Broccoli (again, leftovers)
  • BBQ Chicken Packets & French Bread
  • Dinner with my Parents

I am going to make a guess and see how close to it I get... based off of my list I think I will spend $65.00.  I know.  Not "that" cheap.  Ugh…. well, as always the majority is in produce.  I am going to be buying off of the EWG's Dirty Dozen list.  So if it's on that list it will be organic!   I think that, that is going to help… otherwise our milk & cheese will remain organic- I do not need to buy any meat this week.

I will let you all know how it goes in my Week 4 video of "Living Organic on a Budget"  Hopefully it's less than what I am thinking it will be!  (=

Oh and did you want to see any of the above?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Cheap Week Challenge

Well if you watched Week 3 of "Living Organic On a Budget" then you know that this coming week I was planning to challenge myself to a super cheap week of groceries.  And if you watched my Random vlog then you know that our dog, Cannon, is going to be having surgery next week. 

Everything Happens For a Reason.

I live and breathe this statement and looky here-a huge reason why.  ALSO my husband has been working a ton (not by choice) and again- folks, we found our "reason"!

So now I HAVE to see how low we can go this coming week!  I am going to skip out of my produce delivery, allow $15 for milk and see what we have.  It should be interesting.  I am not going to cut corners or quality but I am going to go cheap-cheap-cheap! 

With all of that said, tomorrow shall be interesting as far as my menu plan goes. 

(gotta say, it will be nice having my freezer cleaned out a bit!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meal "Planning"

Last night I needed to roast my chicken.  I didn't feel like it.  Yes, I wanted to roast the chicken, but I didn't want the 'Roasted Chicken & Veggies' dinner I had planned on.  So I mixed it up- I roasted the chicken like you would a turkey (I made a video- it'll probably be up tomorrow), whipped up some gravy (also did a video), baked some potatoes, warmed up some dinner rolls and steamed some artichokes- it was PERFECT!  A great spin… I still used my ingredients but changed them up. 

So the point of this little story is that even though it's a "Meal Plan" you are not bound to the plan- you can change it up, you can tailor it, and have fun with it!

The videos from this mini-feast that you will see are:
  1. A different way to roast a chicken (without veggies)
  2. How to make homemade gravy
  3. Now What?  (how to store & use all of the extra chicken for future meals)

My Week 3 weekly video is currently saving (it's been saving for 2.5 hours… it's about half way done)  So you may see it Thursday!  lol (-;

Friday, January 21, 2011

11-23-2011 to 11-29-2011 Menu Plan

This week was easy to plan as I only had to plan 5 meals.  The menu is slightly tailored around my husband as next week is his birthday week!  One night we will be going out for my husbands birthday and the other is (as always) at my parents house.  With that said here is our menu:

White Chicken Chili Enchiladas (my husband begged to have them again next week)
Creamy Chicken Soup & biscuits
Sloppy Joes, Potato wedges & salad
Dinner OUT
Dinner at my Parents house

What do you guys want to see broken out?  The pizza, the Homemade Sloppy Joes or the Soup?  Just let me know and I will make a recipe video on it next week.

Happy eating!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This is the requested recipe for the soup I made for dinner last night.  Of course I put my own spin on it!
Even my husband who admitted that he was NOT excited about it liked it!  Which is always a good thing... he is brutally honest!  -scary at times- but a good thing! 

I will have the Enchiladas up [most likely] tomorrow as we plan to have them for dinner tonight.  That recipe was the most requested for the week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


When Deacon was born my Mom decided that she 'needed' some "grandbaby" time each week.  I loved the idea… in fact I wish she could watch him the 3 days a week my husband and I are both at work (we have different days off).  But she too works.  Shortly after his birth she negotiated taking Fridays as a half day so she could take him from noon on. 

Each Friday I go and pick Deacon up from his daycare, nurse him and meet my mom for lunch if time permits.  She takes him home from there and they do their thing until I get off work and pick him up.  This is also the time that I get to visit with my parents each week (well, up until this last Sunday- we have made it a standing [early] morning date in the hills for target practice- my parents are finally going to get to spend some time with my husband again).  We take advantage of that time by having dinner together.  My parents are out of this world cooks!  ahhhhhhh their food is simply amazing!  In fact, I worry about making anything for them (outside of baked goods) because they are outstanding chefs (-:  My husband works late (he gets home at about 8:30) on Fridays so I bring him home a plate.

This is why I only plan and make 6 meals a week!  Deacon and my parents have an amazing bond, they do all sorts of fun things (he even has his own room there!) and I get an amazing dinner.  Plus, best of all, Deacon only has to go to daycare 2 1/2 days a week- best of both worlds if you ask me.  I still hate the idea of taking him to "daycare" but it's not all that bad- there are some perks!!!  I feel so blessed with it all!

Friday, January 14, 2011

1-16-11 to 1-22-11 Meal Plan

Here is next week's menu... I am shopping for it tomorrow. If you watch my videos TMI ALERT then you know that AF is in town (grrrr).  I am currently blaming her for my desire to eat nothing but crap food (although as I type this I am eating carrot sticks-yay me)!  So I think this week's menu may cause a slight uptick in our weekly grocery bill.  As you know I stay as far away as possible from processed foods… I prefer to make things from scratch (it's fun, healthier & cheaper).  There are however times, like today, when I want it all!  The worse the better… ahhh… lol but I was good.  I settled on just ONE processed item for the week and since last week we had none I figure that one can of cream of ?? soup in two week's time isn't all that bad.  I am however hoping there is an organic version... of something like this, especially chicken, that I can substitute.

  • Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo (I am going to make Olive Garden's Alfredo Sauce) & Salad
  • Vegetable Soup & Bread
  • White Chicken Chili Enchiladas & Salad
  • Veggie Burgers, Red Dill Potatoes & Artichokes
  • A spin off of Anna Duggar's Chicken Spaghetti & Salad  (this is the evil meal that has my beloved can of soup… I am going to be ditching the Velveeta for some good old organic cheddar cheese sauce- extra thick)
  • Deluxe Salads & Garlic Bread

So now that you have read our menu for the next week what do you want to see?  I already provided the recipes for two of the meals… everything else I will create.  If you read my previous post I want to record one recipe a week so I am asking you, my lovely blogger friends, what should I record this week?

Thanks for your help!  Happy eating!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I have a goal- At least one recorded recipe video per week.  I don't want to blow up your subscription feeds with cooking videos (unless enough people ask for them).  If I get a ton of requests for a specific meal after I already made it then I will post it here (like the Mexican Soup Recipe).

Otherwise here is my recorded 'recipe' of the week: [organic] Stuffed Bell Peppers 

It is AMAZING!  The left overs are out of this world... especially with some more cheese... and honestly, I am not even the biggest of bell peppers fans!  

Hope you enjoy (= 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

As requested: My Mexican Soup

A good friend of mine introduced me to this concept.  Use scraps to create something amazing in the form of a Mexican Soup.  So each time I make it, I make it a little bit different.  I will share with you my staples.  Sorry there isn't an actual recipe.

  • Beans- I like the mixes.  I buy the beans in bulk and they cost around $2-$3 for a ton of organic beans.  You can also just use pinto, black, etc.
  • Rotel Tomatoes.  Buying canned tomatoes over fresh actually increases the lycopene absorption by 2 or 3 times win-win when they're not in season.  You can also use just canned tomatoes & green chilies. 
  • Corn
  • Chicken bouillon, or stock (in lieu of water)
  • Seasonings… salt/pepper/taco seasoning/etc.

Added Bonus items:
Peppers (this last time I used green bell peppers)
Green Beans
Green Onions
(really, anything!!)

Topping must haves:
Sour Cream

This last go around I made enough for dinner that night, lunch for my husband, me, my Mom (who was over to help watch D while I unpacked some), and enough to freeze and save for dinner & lunches when I reheat it again.  Of course Deacon will eat from it all of those times too.  So for fun, I will break it down:

Beans: $2.50
Rotel Tomatoes: $3.00
Corn: $.50
Green Pepper: $.75
Avocado (2): $2.00
Sour Cream: ~$1.50
Cheese: ~$2.00

Total: $12.25
Total Meals: 13

Total Cost Per Person/Per Meal (for the COMPLETE meal): $0.94  (gotta love it!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

1-9-11 to 1-15-11 Menu Plan

On the Menu this week is the following:

Crock Pot Chicken with Carrots, Celery, Onion & Potatoes
Chicken Parmesan & Salad
Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers & Salad
Burritos (homemade tortillas, crock pot pinto beans, left over chicken)
Tomato, Broccoli, Onion & Chicken linguine with sauce creation, salad & bread
Broccoli & Cheddar Soup (leftovers from a few weeks ago) with salad & bread
Friday will be a mystery meal compliments of my lovely parents (-:

As always, none of these are in order- we just eat what sounds good for the night and use the menu plan as our guide.

I will have a video up this week (maybe Tuesday) on how I roast a chicken and use it the rest of the week.  Organic meat is pricey!!!  But I will show you how I am able to stretch my chicken so that it breaks down to only being 23 cents per person, per meal!  I hear ALL-THE-TIME that people can not afford organic, it's too expensive, etc. but if you use other ingredients & incorporate cheaper proteins (hello, Mr. pinto bean!) you can make it happen!  Part may be that we are not the biggest meat fans (I personally could go without) but the point I am trying to make is that you can afford it... you have to want to do it.  Instead of making life easy and buying that $9.99/lb boneless/skinless chicken breast suck it up and debone it yourself (I will show you how). 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week with lots of yummy meals!  I will have a video up today ( of my large grocery shopping trip last week, and all of the meals on last weeks menu so look out for the first in my series: "Living Organic on a Budget"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The 'Move'

Since I pointed out a box in the back of my car in a TTC video I have been flooded with questions on why we moved, where we went, how it's going, etc.  So as an enticement to visit my blog (and to stay here, please) I am going to tell you all about it!  Feel free to ask anymore questions as I am an open book!

There were 3 main reasons for the move... Location, Cost & Size. 

First of all no, we did not move far, in fact we only moved about 25 minutes away from our old house.  My husband took a job about 6 months ago in another city and while the job has been great the commute well, for lack of better words, sucked!  It was just over an hour each way.  If you have been following me for a while you know that he works long hours.  So adding 2+ hours of driving each day onto his sometimes ridiculous hours well... we missed him! 
My old commute was about 40 minutes just from my house to my office.  Its now under 15 which is AMAZING!  I have been making a nice family breakfast with the extra time.  If 15 a little over minutes each way doesn't seem like a lot to you, let me break it down:
                         15 minutes each way = 30 minutes a day
                         30 minutes a day X 5 days a working week = 2.5 hours a week
                         2.5 hours a week x 2 months = a FULL DAY

I WILL GET A FULL DAY BACK TO MY LIFE EVERY 2 MONTHS!!!!  I can't not get over this... that's 6-days a year!!  My family makes fun of me for knowing this but seriously- if you're busy you can understand the value of 6 WHOLE days!!  helloooooo!!  that's huge!

Second, the cost.  Oh the stickin' cost.  If you have been living in a deep, dark cave for the last few years you may have missed that we are in a huge & horrible recession.  With that said it has effected both of our incomes (and when Deacon was born ruined all of our plans for me to be a SAHM- grrrrrrr) but we are taking steps now in order to change that for the future.  We sold our house and are testing the waters in a city in-between where we used to live and where my husband works now.  If we like it then we plan to buy at the end of our lease... right now we are just feeling it out (so far- we LOVE it!)  This naturally brings me to our third main reason...

Size!  Have you ever lived in a big house?!?!  Better yet... have you ever been a full time working mom, with a baby, an hour + a day commute, a husband with long hours and an opposite day (only one- which is part of the reason for the new job... he now has two (Tuesday & Wednesday)) off all while spending an hour and a half a day attached to your breast pump, making all of your family meals & all baby food?  If you have then you can easily understand how keeping on top of a 3,000 square foot house with a 1/4 acre back yard is well, unrealistic.  It wasn't working for us.  We just couldn't keep up.  Even with my husband vacuuming & doing to dishes while I put Deacon to sleep we just couldn't keep on top of it and we like to be squeaky clean.  Needless to say, we were not happy.  Plus we would have to call each other if we wanted to communicate while in separate parts of the house.  That is ridiculous!!!  We wanted something cozier, closer, more in tune for our family.  Heck, we all share a bedroom- 2/3 of our old house was wasted space that cost a fortune to heat.  So we shaved 1,000 square feet off, simplified and haven't been this happy in years!
All I have to say is having a big house is not at all what it is cracked up to be!  Seriously!

So there you have it... why we moved.  Hopefully that answers all of your questions (-:

Monday, January 3, 2011

1-1-11 to 1-8-11 Menu Plan

I will be following up with a video on this weeks menu (showing all of deliciousness) but in the meantime I am going to share the plan for the week.  (We have already had the first two meals)

Spaghetti, Salad & Garlic Bread
Potato Soup, Artichokes & Corn Bread (I know, random!)
Mac N Cheese & Fresh Steamed Veggies
Taco Ring & Salad (our naughty meal of the week :-)
Grilled Chicken Sandwiches & Salad
Pasta Primavera
Mexican Soup

As always our order will most likely change.  When you menu plan you do NOT have to stick with a specific assignment (this is a huge misconception!).  So we just eat what sounds good... keep in mind that once you know that you are going to have a specific meal your mind will get stuck on it- at least that's what happens to us!  I end up craving each of the meals!

Happy Eating!
Hey guys! 

As you know Facebook was a no-go for me!  (sorry about that!)  I may look into a "fan" page one day???

Needless to say I will be giving the blogging world a try!  Often times I want to show things & share things but it's late and I have no good lighting, or I can't get a few private moments to talk at my phone or video camera or Deacon (or even my husband!) is a being a handful, etc.... really the 'excuses' go on and on!

So here I am!  Hopefully you will follow me here too! 

Best wishes for a fantastic 2011!