Meal planning with a budget

I have meal planned before. Mostly just dinners and with no budget. Just made a list of dinners that we would have for that week, make the shopping list, and then bought it. I used to meal plan breakfast & lunch but once my first two kiddos started school, I stopped.
Things have changed, I have 4 kiddos in school (with 2 year old & soon to be newborn at home). During the school year isn’t bad since 4/6 eat at school. Summer time & school vacations are a different story. Dinners aren’t effected but not planning breakfast & lunch just throw me a curve ball. And it’s not like I am surprised when they are home…I have the school schedule!

I have also never planned with a budget before. Like I said, just wrote out what we wanted and then bought it. Should it be no surprise when I tell you that we, usually, run out of our food budget each month before the month is over!? It shouldn’t!
We usually go to the store with a list. Rarely do we go without or hungry. (<—— bad idea by the way!)

This month I am changing that. This month I am going to be aware of our budget & use it.
We will sometimes have to sacrifice meals that want to have meals we can afford. I will have to take time out of my day each week to look up ads, look at what is on sale, and plan our meals around that.
Will it be a pain? Probably.
Will it be worth it? Definitely.

We have a small budget to work with & it needs to feed 7 people, 3 meals a day + some snacks & a few desserts.

I will be updating how things are going, what I am doing, and some recipes if anyone is interested. I’ll give as much detail as I can.
I was already to start meal planning today but the 2 stores that we are going to do our shopping at, their new weekly ads don’t come out until tomorrow. So I will sit down with my pen & paper tomorrow for dinners. I have made my weekly list for lunch & breakfast.

I will be posting things & hopefully I can share something useful to you & you can share the same with me. This is a first & I am sure that I will mess up. But at least I’m learning!

Any tricks/tips or recipes that you have would be awesome!


Weigh in #12

I was supposed to get this up Monday but there was just a lot going on & I wasn’t able to.

I weigh myself on Tuesday morning and it said 217.2. Not happy about that. But again I am not doing anything in the exercise department to have that number change.
Mister thinks it’s stress related but I have no idea. This weekend and late last week were pretty stressful for me. Some things have been taken care of, so maybe that number will be less next week!

I am still trying to stop myself from over eating & doing a good job. Doing much better at making my choices too. And drinking more water.

I notice that when I don’t drink as much water that I put on a few pounds. Does that happen with anyone else too!?

Anyway, not much to report this week. Hopefully next week will be better!

See ya Monday 🙂


Day 18 – 08/25/12

Hey kiddos,
Well during the day we all played outside, shocker I know! But then Papa came home from work and asked if we were still going to that back to school party at a church here in town…totally forgot about it! Thank goodness Papa remembered, we loaded everyone up and drove to the church. We had a great time! They had food and games and free books! All 4 of you bigger kiddos won something. You all got your faces painted and Bailea got her nails painted. We had a great time! Came home and went right to bed…we were tired!

Until tomorrow,
Mommie 🙂
Love you 5!


Week long fast

I will be taking a week long fast from Facebook starting tomorrow. The time that I would normally spend on FB will be spent in thought & prayer. I know that I need to do this and praying something great comes out of it. So I will not be on the fan page at all starting tomorrow until next Thursday morning. I am hoping to get a few blogs up from my phone but we will see what I can post about that doesnt involve pictures!
Anyway, just wanted to give you all a heads up.
Any thoughts, prayers, love, and support would be great during this time. It is my first time doing anything like this. I was going to do a fast with food but I do not want to put my breastfeeding daughter at any risk. So, thanks to a friend who suggested something else that I do daily and that would be FB.

Hope you all are having a great week so far!


RTRD: Kitchen Part 3

Real quick before I forget. These 4 pictures are our silverware drawer and junk drawer…nothing changes in any of these.

Ok now on to the food cabinets, fridge, and freezer! I know you are as excited as I was to clean them out! 😉

These cabinet are all vertical in this order. I know the bottom picture is crappy, sorry! When we first moved in I tried to have these organized but that didn’t last long. Do food cabinet ever stay nice and neat? I mean, maybe they do if you live in Pinterest but I don’t know that it happens in the real world! Anyway, this time around I just wanted like items to be together, didn’t have to look pretty.

There are no food items on the bottom anymore. I never did really like food down there to begin with. The middle cabinet is canned food items. The top is completely baking items. So far this is working out great. I know where everything is and when someone needs something I can tell them where it is.

Same thing I tried to do with the first sets of cabinets, I tried to do here. And again, it failed!

These are the after pictures. I put a white basket in the bottom one for things like potatoes, onions, and other veggies. The middle is snack items. And the top is bread, cereal, and drink mixes that I didn’t\couldn’t put in the tin.

My fridge before was a disaster! Things were just put in there and you hoped the door closed all the way & nothing fell out the next time you opened it! The freezer was not that bad.

I found 3 of these in my fridge! Why my MIL bought three and then just left them when she moved out is beyond me!

Our fridge looked bare after I cleaned it all out! It still looks that way & I like it!

Add 3 more containers and this what I pulled out of the fridge! We are never saving this many leftovers EVER!


Finish what’s on your plate!

If you are around mine & Misters age (28 & 30) then you probably heard this growing up while you were sitting at the dinner table. I know we did!

Now that we are the parents and are recogonizing when we are eating enough, we find ourselves struggling.

We have never told our children that they must finish everything on their plate and if we did it was many years ago because I don’t remember. All I know is that we do not do that now……ever! We do not want our kids to over eat to the point that they make themselves sick and we do not want them to be overweight from eating too much and we want them to learn to listen to their body. I do not think that those things were taught to us growing up. Our children do not need to finish their plate in order to have dessert (rarely do we have that to begin with). Whenever we do have dessert they must eat at least half and try anything new that is on their plates. There is some fighting on this rule but they are kids, what do you expect!?

Now for the part that Mister and I struggle with….and it has nothing to do with our kiddos.
Since we grew up with that mindset, we are now having trouble not finishing what’s on our plate! We think that we are wasting food when we leave it on our plate. We feel bad that you don’t eat everything on our plate. It’s food…why should we feel bad!? This is something that we struggle daily though. I am not sure how many others out there are like this, but I know we aren’t the only ones. Since we have been talking about this more, it seems that I am moving past this mind set more than Mister, though he is listening to his body more when he eats. And I think that I am moving past it faster is because I don’t want to put on all the weight that I lost during my pregnancy (wasn’t try to loose weight, the baby was just taking everything I had). I don’t want to see that number climb. So mine is half fear and half making an effort to not so much or just because it’s there. I am trying to not put so much on my plate to begin with and use smaller plates so I think I am getting more when the whole plate is covered. And when I mean smaller plate…I mean like a kiddo size plate.

I know at the end of the day that what it all comes down to is self discipline, but it is hard to get past a mindset that you have grown up with for 30-ish years. We are doing well though since we have recognozed it and are dealing with it daily instead of just saying things like “Well we have been like this for such a long time…guess we will just stay this way.” No way….I do not like that mindset & won’t allow myself or Mister to think that way!



Yes, that’s right I am talking about pudding! Chocolate to be specific. For a few months I have been on a pudding kick. Now I don’t eat it everyday or every week…..I would stay that I go through 4 small boxes of pudding every month. & even then I don’t have it every month. But it taste so good lately! I love the fact that I can make it and have it ready within 5 minutes! Makes for such a great snack & gives me my chocolate fix. Today I was having some & took a banana and used it as a spoon…..it was soooo yummy!

I don’t know why I am talking to you about pudding, but I wanted to share with you that I love this snack & I think you should too 🙂


Playing with food!

I am serious! It’s fun….sticky, but fun!

I was watching a friend’s daughter while she took her son to the Dr. last week. And I was thinking of something crafty to do yet didn’t cost a lot of money. Then something that I learned about in high school came rushing back to me! What is it you ask? Well I am going to tell you!

Painting with sweet condensed milk. Again, I am still serious! Just add any color of food coloring that you like and tada! Instant paint! It is sticky but so worth it! Plus we all know how kids like to eat things that they shouldn’t..well here is a way to have fun and not worry about them not eating it!

So go on-make some of your own! There are no measurements to this! Add however much you would like!

Here are some pictures of the artists and their masterpieces!

*We used fingers here but you can use whatever you want! Once you are finished cleaning up is VERY easy!*