Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lots of Finishes

Over the past two days I have been trying to clean up the piles of little finishes that needed to be done before the projects turned into UFO's. I have plenty of UFO's already, don't need to add more to those piles!!! Three Valentines buntings moved to the gift drawer for next year
The Granny square quilt top now has the final little piece of border added. It has been moved to the be quilted box.
My embroidery machine has been giving me fits lately, I finally just walked away from it for awhile. Maybe she just wanted a vacation!! The last of the names are now embroidered on the Christmas Package quilts, they too moved over to the needs to be quilted box. I have them on my yearly calender to begin quilting after July. Two of these quilts will be Christmas 2013 gifts but I want to wait to begin the quilting until I am sure no new additions will be added to the families. DD#2 quilt top is bagged and will be stored in the hope chest for when she marries and begins her own family. Not that I am pushing you understand!! (well maybe just a little)
I finished sewing the binding on 3 more Easter carrot table toppers last night, all that's left to do today is sew on the greenery for the carrot tops and they too can move on over to the gift drawer. Finally I am head of the game for the next holiday!! Cara I think you are the one who sent me this idea, if so Thanks!! BTW Carla is doing a GREAT "Spender to Saver" series that has some great ideas and thoughts on how we manage of hard earned $$ you will want o check out!!
Blocks of the month, done! One day this week when it is not POURING down rain I will have to make a trip to the quilt shop so I can pick up next months block which I am thinking is the final block!
With our tax refund I ordered more Hexie pieces so I can get back to the Hexie quilt that has been sitting in a lonely corner of the living room waiting for some TLC. I really do enjoy doing hand sewing in the evenings, the Hexie quilt will be a nice thing to relax with at the end of the day.
For today I WILL get hubby's Bama quilt sandwiched and pined. I may not get started on the quilting as I have a headache from you know where today but this bad boy will be done before the end of the week!!!!

Hubby left the AM for upper Michigan to pack up his office and rental house. I had planned on riding along but when I go out of town it causes such an uproar in the entire family I passed on riding along with him. It's not like the big kiddos complain that they will have to work out babysitting the grands amongst themselves and provide child care for AJ the beagle (She is HIGH maintenance) But I knew if I went along I would have no time to finish hubby's Birthday quilt. Added too that riding in the truck for 2 days solid up and back each way can cause a problem with my head, why take the chance for just one day of setting in a rental house all alone watching it snow? I have our girls cabin trip coming up at the end of March don't want to lay too much on the rest of the family two times in one month! I packed extra supplies (food) for hubby's trip today just in case he gets caught up in the new storm "Rocky". We think he won't run into it until tomorrow, maybe by then it will have let up a bit.

We ALWAYS have an emergency kit in the car or truck before heading out on a road trip. Along with extra winter gear, emergency blankets and all that jazz I keep energy bars, water, crackers, nuts, and junk food in the bag. Since we know he may very well have a mess of weather to deal with I added lots more food and drinks along with a portable shovel and rock salt.

Off now for my appointment with the Bama quilt followed by some nap time to shake this pounding head ailment.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekly Food Stamp Menu

There will LOTS of "To Go" meals this last week of the Food Stamp Challenge. Yesterday's lunch was "To Go" Beef and Noodles. So very simple. Leftover roast beef with a jar of beef gravy warmed up then pour over store bought noodles. I guess you could call it poor mans Beef Stroganoff.

SOOOO excited today as I have a late lunch date with two buddies I haven't seen in YEARS!! Our hubby's use to work together way back when. I am thinking we meet 24 years ago at a project in Midland, MI. We had lots more adventures over the years as our hubby's jobs moved us from one place to another all over the country. We all eventually settled down in the Charlotte NC area where the home office was located back then at the time our kiddo's were entering High School. Moving High School students to different schools around the country is NOT a good idea!! One of the ladies moved to Greenville, SC when the main office was moved way back when, she lost her Husband of 40 years this past summer :(. The other friend's hubby followed the path of so many in the traveling business and found himself a new girlfriend 1/2 his age with no thought of what it would do to their family :( TURD!!! While we have stayed in touch through letters and phone calls we haven't been able to meet up in person in so very long. Way back when we had weekly get togethers with the whole gang for craft days in addition to a monthly luncheon, of course lots of cookouts and game night with our families as we were all in the same boat. Far from our homes and families. I hit one of the gift drawers this morning for a small surprise to share with them both. The next best thing to "To Go" meals is having a stash of handmade gifts!!

here's our menu for the finally week of the Food Stamp Challenge

Lunch - Roast Beef and Noodles (To Go) meal
Supper - Ham steaks with potato's, veggie and canned fruit

Lunch - Bean soup with leftover ham (To Go) meal, for hubby only
Supper - Pork Loin, potato's, veggie, artisan bread, and homemade ice cream (To Go) meal

Lunch - Open Roast Beef sandwiches on homemade bread (To Go) meal
Supper - Family dinner for DD#2 Birthday no food Stamping!

Lunch - Chili Dogs with nacho chips (To Go) meal
Supper - Bow tie pasta with chicken broccoli sauce (To Go) meal

Lunch - PBJ
Supper - Veggie Soup (To Go) meal

Lunch - Grill Cheese sandwiches
Supper - Salisbury Steak, potato, veggie, can fruit and home made bread. To Go) meal

Not much cooking this week as the freezer is full to the brim with "To Go" meals. Maybe I will be able to get back to some sewing that I am way behind on!! First up will be hubby's Birthday quilt that HAS to be completed this week.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday Stuff

Kara and I did a little clean up in the front pantry yesterday. As we use up spaghetti sauce I use the empty jars to transfer our dehydrated foods into. When I first started dehydrating I used regular Ball canning jars, over time I should be able to return the regular ball jars to my canning supplies. NEVER EVER use glass jars leftover from processed foods to can with!!! But the leftover commercial jars are great for storing dry beans, dehydrated food and lots of other things that need no processing time.
Here is just a small sample of our dehydrated foods. For those of you new to my blog check out THIS site to see what it's all about. She has tons of video's and recipes to get you started. I am looking forward to getting back to our real pantry next month so we can have some fresh foods from last summer!!
We also used up bananas that were over ripe to make banana bread and this yummy banana/strawberry desert that Gill shared on her blog. I cheated and pulled strawberries from last summer I had put back in the freezer. My two year old assistant was ready to jump right in and eat the whole pan of the banana/strawberry desert. Thanks so much for sharing Gill, it was a big hit with all.
Update on the 52 week challenge being hosted by the lovely Cindy. We are up to $303.00 in our envelope!! BTW Cindy our DD's and a few other friends are now hooked on your challenge. I think they all are looking to this challenge for Christmas spending this year!! I'm not sure what I will use ours for yet, but it will be a nice pile of cash to have on hand at the end of the year.

Hubby and I had a full day with Kara arriving bright and early for the day followed by a trip to DD#1 with Kara to watch the other 3 grands in the afternoon. DD#1 watches a neighbors kiddo's for an hour each afternoon until their Mommy gets home from work, that made a grand total of 6 little ones!! Holy cow, one 1 year old, two 2 year olds, one 3 year old, and two 6 year old's. I will admit right here we were both in bed by 8:30 last night and sound asleep when our heads hit the pillow!! Ha

We are in for another rainy day today with wild girl Kara. In order to keep our sanity I will be taking her to the "Kids Discovery Place" this morning to run off some of that energy. A few hours in all that madness should slow her down a bit (I hope) If there is any energy left in my body after she leaves today it's back to the sewing room for me to work on more clean up. What a mess. I still need to find the time to quilt hubby's Birthday quilt :( I told him last night I need for him to disappear for 12 hours so I can work on a top secret project! Ha

Time to get my shower and the house in order before Kara arrives, hope hubby is up for another rockin day!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 4 Food Stamp Shopping

Messy coupon organizing before I hit the store today for the last week of the Food Stamp challenge
One of our local stores was running a double coupon week for coupons valued up to $2.00@. I dug around in my coupons and printed a few more of the high value coupons to score some deals. Total spent $28.73, Total saved $24.88
Next stop was CVS to work some deals. These are not related to the Food Stamp challenge!! Total spent $12.69, Total saved $22.76. In addition I received a $10.00 rewards coupon. I used the $10.00 rewards for the next deal.
The next transaction was 4 cans of Cashews. Total spent $4.32 Total saved $25.96. I also received a $5.00 rewards coupon to use at a later date.
The Total for the day was $45.74 spent, Total saved $73.60

First off THANK YOU for all your kind comments, thoughts and prayers for our Niece!! Also the advice on early retirement are wonderful points that we will be working on over the next few weeks as we (I) map out our game plan.

It's hard to believe this is the last week of shopping on the Food Stamp challenge!! As you can see by the purchases I made today I stocked up on some sweets!! With the high value coupons on each and everything I bought I couldn't pass up such a good deal. If we really were on food stamps I still would have bought the same things. While there is no food value in the M&M's or the chocolate chips there is Happy value in both. Even poor people deserve something special on the table or for a snack. Both of these items could be turned into lots of different fun to eat things, with careful planning they could last a few month's. The cereal is another snack item. We aren't much of cereal eaters but the cereal can also be turned into lots of crunchy snack treats. Two nice size pork roasts will be several meals on down the road.

I will have to do inventory before the month is out on what we have left in the freezer at the end of this challenge. I know for a fact that we have at least 2 weeks worth of "To Go" meals and a couple of other pieces of meat. I will try to put together an additional list of things we have left in the Food Stamp pantry.

Here is the Grand Total of what is left in the Food Stamp challenge bank....Drum roll please....$.13 cents!!! Talk about making it to the end by my chinny chin chin!!

So what have I learned from this very short month on living on a food stamp budget? Lots to say the least. First and foremost it can be done. You don't have to eat crap, however a little crap is good for the mind and soul, it should be included. I am in NO WAY saying this would be easy for most families in this day and time. Our society has lost the skills needed to cook, shop, and get a good meal on the table. SHAME ON US.

I will get a post together later in the week regarding my thoughts on this challenge but please check out this post from Sandra. You won't be disappointed.

Off to TRY and get ahead on tomorrow's to do list. Hubby and wild child Kara will both be around for the day

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hubby's BIG Surprise

How about we start off with something cute? I sent a baby laptop (don't know what they are called) in this CUTE Vera Bradley Tablet Hipster along with a matching coin purse off to my Niece today. Our Niece was diagnosed with inoperable abdominal cancer a few weeks back :( She is a single Mommy of a 7 year old little boy, his twin sister passed away when she was 3 years old after MANY complications from their premature birth. Her hubby took off not long after Madison's death. Her prognosis is REALLY good but she will have to live at a hospitality house at UAB for the next 4 months while receiving treatment. Her little boy will be staying back home with my Sister (his Meme) while Mommy is away. For the first few weeks our Niece will be able to travel home on the weekends to be with her little boy but in time she will be to ill to do any traveling. After many visits on the phone regarding what we can do to help the idea of a laptop for Mommy to use while away from home came up. We have hopes that by having a laptop with her she will be able to visit her sweet boy in the evenings using skyp or whatever the heck it is that the young Mommy's know how to do. Hubby and I are soooo excited to be able to help in a small way. In the future I know she will be needing lots more help but for today, right now, she and her little man will have fun with this new toy. Please Mr. Mailman get it there safely!!!
My sweet, makes me crazy as a bat hubby laid on me this past weekend that he has decided to retire in 3 years. WHAT THE HECK????? You must be kidding right? Nope. All the travel, being away from our family, missing the big and little things of everday life has finally caught up with him. He is ready to call it quits. Needless to say I was SHOCKED. Hubby loves his job, the people he works with, and the wonderful company he works for but no amount of money is worth this lifestyle at this point in his life. It's not that I don't support his decision but...... I thought we were on the 6 year retirement plan. Big changes are going to have to happen around our place to make this early retirement happen.

As with many of you I take care of all aspects of the home life. Cooking, cleaning, yard, house, family, holiday planning, vacations and of course the budget and bill paying. I would LOVE to have hubby a part of the bill paying, financial planning part of the deal but with his travels it is impossible for him to do. He really has no idea of what comes in or goes out. At first I was in panic mode then after a cup of tea setting at the kitchen table looking out over the back yard I decided to approach this HUGE lifestyle change in a business like manner. I can't continue to be the one who run this ship alone.

For the past 2 days I have been working diligently putting together spreadsheets of our set expenses, weekly expenses, and yearly commitments. I know I am missing things but for now its in pretty good shape, I can update as we go. Another spreadsheet are things that must be done before our income DROPS! They are BIG time big ticket items. The last spreadsheet is our projected income if he retires at 62 verses 66, the total amount we have in 401K, HSA, and regular savings. Other assets such as our home and such he is already aware of.

Hubby will now be able to see in black and white where most of our money is spent. Together we can begin to decide what needs to be cut out or cut down on to achieve the BIG goals that need to be meet before he hangs up his hard hat! Ha This is an exciting scary time to say the least.

To add a little to our excitement he found out yesterday he is once again being transferred to a different project. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! Soooo next week when the Dr. releases him he and I will be taking a road trip to the "UP" of Michigan to pack up the office and the house he has been renting, settle up the rent that will need to be paid for breaking the lease then return home for unpacking and repacking to the next project that will be in AZ. Talk about a climate change. Hubby has already rented an apartment in AZ so at least he has a place to live when he arrives. Now we have to figure out what to do about furnishing the place. BTW hubby doesn't fly so it will be a very LONG road trip to AZ. Me thinks somebody better be getting over the fear of flying and FAST!!

Times they are a changing. All of this has had my head spinning. I like a schedule, list, and organization. I have never been a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal!!  It's a crazy world some days. I wouldn't change a thing other than the roof, heating/air conditioning units, balance in the savings and 401k account...Oh never mind!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"To Go" meals overload

I took some time out yesterday for a sewing project I need as a gift. With the leftovers I made a small table topper for DD#1 breakfast room table. My girls aren't big fans of the table runners/toppers I quilt but they love the ones I make using canvas. This runner will be going to a young hip lady, figured I better go with what seems to appeal to that age group.
We had what I call fancy canned biscuits for Sunday dinner this week. One can wasn't enough but 2 cans were to many so I held back some of the dough for home made donuts last night for desert. Hubby was over the moon!! I haven't made these since our big girls were little. Here is how its done. Slice up some raw biscuit dough, drop them into a pan of hot oil (350) and cook until golden. Then toss in powder sugar or whatever else your family likes.
Our food stamp freezer is looking a mess with all the "To Go" meals I have been able to put back this month. Each time I open the door stuff is falling out. Grrr Yesterday morning was tidy up time.
I know the majority of food stamp recipients would not have a Food Saver however I can't send hubby off with all of my plasticware next week, in addition sealing everything up in bags will help things fit better in his cooler as well as last longer in the freezer.
This looks and works much better now that I have removed all of hubby's "To Go" meals. My "To Go" meals are still in here for when needed.

No post for 2 days!! How can that be? Sunday was non stop in the kitchen and around the house, then Hubby and Tyler hung out with me for the afternoon after their outing to the dinosaur exhibit. Can't think straight when they are around. Yesterday was catch up day for everything, house, laundry, pay bills, meet hubby at lunch, on and on till bedtime. Today is a new day with lots more gotta get done's, figure I better post while I have the chance!

Here is a list of the "To Go" meals I packed up yesterday for hubby while I was reorganising the fridge. The meals in red are leftovers from Sunday dinner so they are not from our food stamp money this month!
2 Pkg Pork Loin
2 Pkg Chicken legs/thighs
1 Pkg Chicken breast
2 Pkg Roast beef
1 Pkg Ham
1 Pkg Chicken broccoli pasta sauce
2 Pkg Salisbury steak
2 Pkg Veggie soup
2 Pkg Bean soup
1 Pkg Spaghetti sauce
3 Pkg Jambalaya
1 Pkg Chili
1 Pkg Cincinnati chili
2 loaves artisan bread
1 Pkg Garlic Cheese biscuits

Total of 14 meals from the food stamp challenge, 7 additional meals from Sunday dinners along with homemade breads. I will also do some baking before he heads out. Can't send he away from home without some goodies!!

I am tickled pink that we have so many extra meals from what I have been cooking this month using only our food stamp challenge money. We still have some money leftover to see us through the month that I will be using to shop on Thursday. If we were really living on food stamps this weeks shopping trip I would devote to doing some stocking up with whats on sale since we have plenty of leftovers in the freezer.

I love "To Go" meals!!! "To Go" meals are a lifesaver on nights I am not in the mood to cook, don't have the time, or we need something quick and easy so we can head out the door to a function. "To Go" meals keeps us away from drive though windows and long restaurant lines for over priced foods. "To Go" meals helps keep our monthly budget on track and allows for a little extra to move over to savings or to purchase things just because.

"To Go" meals are a waste of time and money if all you do is let them hang out in the freezer to eventually get lost in the crowd. Not so at our house. I keep all of our "To Go" meals in one area of the freezer, they are vacuum sealed and labeled so I know what I have.  Food Saver bags are pricey however I buy ours on sale which helps and in the long run a vacuum bag is a heck of a lot cheaper than stopping even for fast food.

Another long day around the house as I have soooo much on the must do list and Hubby has thrown a new long term plan at me that I wasn't expecting. I will be doing some BIG time number crunching over the next few days/weeks!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Week # 3 Food Stamp Challenge Menu

Look at the RARE surprise we woke up too after our naps today
Love looking out over the back of the house
At dusk everything was even prettier.

This is not something you see every day in the Carolina's!! SNOW. To you ladies up North I know it seems like a joke to call this little bit of snow real snow but for us southern gals it's the REAL deal. Dinner is finished, hubby has the wood stove going, time to kick back and be lazy.

I did accompany hubby to the gun show this morning :( Here is the cool part for me. It took over an hour just to get in the parking lot. Then the search was on for a place to park, while looking for a spot to park his bubba truck we could see the line to get into the door. The line went on, and on, and on, then a mixture of rain/snow/sleet started up. Holy Cow what have I gotten myself into? I am soooo thankful hubby decided it was nuts to stand in line for what would be at least 2 to 3 hours in that nasty weather just to get in. He had a certain gun in mind that he wanted to purchase, figured by the time we could get in it would be long gone. I felt just a tiny bit sad for him but VERY glad for me. He told me the gun he wanted was an hour up the road  but was $50.00 more than they would have sold for at the gun show. Put this bad boy in drive and lets go!!!! They were going to charge us $14.00 @ just to get in the gun show. I save more than that each week in coupons alone.

After a nice drive watching the snow come down we arrived at the gun store along with what must have been at least 100 other guys (I was the only girl) Hubby finally got his hands on the crown jewel. He turned it over in his hands, studied the workmanship then politely returned it to the clerk and said I need to think about it. WHAT!!!! By this time we had been on the quest for "THE" gun for 3 hours or more. He decided $629.00 was to much to spend on a hand gun, I agree. However the Harley dealer has a cool new speedometer thingy to go on the bike that would be great for the big road trip to Milwaukee this summer. Off to yet another "Boy" store. It's funny to see how excited the salesmen are when one of their customers like hubby get to buy a little more chrome for their babies. It's not the sale that gets them all giddy, its the fact that one more of "Their own" is getting something cool for the bike. I just don't get it....

All in all it was a fun day out with the nicest fella in the world and he even returned home with money in his pocket!!! Gotta love a man who doesn't spend every single dime (yet)

I have already changed up our menu as of supper tonight. I just didn't feel like making broccoli soup after such a nice long nap, can we say nap hangover. Instead we had Waffles and sausage, the leftover waffles are in the freezer for breakfast later in the month. Along with a big glass of tomato juice it hit the spot on our winter day.
On to the menu for the week.

Lunch - SOS
Supper - Waffles, sausage, tomato juice

FREE DAY, Family dinner

Lunch - Leftover Broccoli soup (from Sunday dinner)
Supper - Spaghetti/meatballs, salad, french bread (if I can figure out how to make it)

Lunch - Grill Cheese
Supper - Bake pork chops, mashed potato's, veggie

Lunch - Whatever leftovers are in the fridge
Supper - Taco's, beans, rice, guacamole and chips

Lunch - PBJ's
Supper  - Meatloaf, potato's of some sort, veggie

Lunch - Egg salad sandwiches
Supper - Potato soup

Also need to make up some deserts and bread for the week

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Day is Done!

Bright and early this morning I worked on my project calender. I  only got as far as listing what all HAS to be done before the end of March. The plan of action will have to come later.
Then it was on to tackling this big old mess. While some improvement has been made it's a long way from being done. Too many projects are going at the same time and too little work is getting done!
The rest of the day was spent trying to keep up with this little gal. Kara has more energy than the Ever Ready Bunny. I finally got her in the house by letting her pull some carrots from the garden and promising she could wash them all on her own. All of the grands have a thing for carrots. They love to pull them up, wash them, and eat them. This is a whole lot of bang for the buck at only $1.00 a packet for carrot seeds. Kara is the only grand so far that will pick a tomato from the garden and eat it on the spot, a girl after my own heart for sure!! Ha 
Dinner tonight was a pot of chicken and dumplings. Love a one pot meal!!
Update on the 52 week challenge hosted by Cindy. We are setting at $271.00 as of today. Not too bad for the 7th week of the year. You still have plenty of time if you want to join in!!
Tonight after dinner was done, the kitchen cleaned up, and hubby delivered to his Boys night out I had myself some play time. A nice big carrot table topper for Easter. It turned out really cute, wish I was better at taking photo's :(. Every single thing for the table topper was pulled from leftovers. I LOVE "Making Do" projects, however they can turn an already messy sewing room into a tea total disaster!!!!

You would never know by the looks of my kitchen right now that it has ever been cleaned up today. Not only was it cleaned up once, twice, three times, maybe even more but I have made a heck of a mess tonight playing with this table topper, soooo I will be at it again before bedtime! Ha

Hubby has invited me to join him in the AM to attend a gun show....Not my idea of a good time but what the heck at least I won't have to dress up, right? We received our Federal Tax refund back this week. The one an only thing he is wanting to do with it is purchase a new gun, UGHHHH. Really it's a pretty good deal for me, he gets a new gun if he can find what he is looking for, the rest is ALL mine to divide out however I want. Unlike hubby the money is not burning a hole in my pocket. As a matter of fact I like looking at the checking account balance!! I plan on finding some quiet time in the next week or so to decide what to do with the refund. Normally it would be divided up for savings, home improvements and some spend money. However this year we are looking at some HUGE medical bills that are arriving each day. Time to get out the note pad and do some figuring.

Today is also payday. I haven't even thought about paying bills, moving money to savings,
Christmas/vacation fund, or anything else. Having hubby around almost full time, the big kids, and grands in and out is leaving very little time for financial planning. Thank goodness so many things are set on auto pilot as far as long term savings, retirement and many reoccurring bills are concerned. My weekend looks to be filled with playing catch up on many fronts!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Toddler Plus the Challenge!!!!

Tray #one of the Valentines cookies made it to DD#1 home just in time for desert last night. Wheee, another schedule meet!
 Dinner fro hubby and I was easy thank goodness! Ham steaks, green beans, cream potato's, leftover biscuits from the freezer and of course cookies for desert. We had more ham than we needed for dinner so the rest went into the freezer to add to the frozen bean soup later in the month.
Veggies for the week. Having a toddler along for the weekly shopping trip threw me off my game. I forgot to pick up lettuce we will be needing next week
Ground beef on sale this week. Looks like that's what will be on the menu.
Not too many caned/boxed goods were needed this week.
Basic dairy products. Forgot to pick up the free OJ I had a coupon for :( the toddler strikes again. I will run by the store later today with my receipt and coupon to get it for FREE.
First time using food stamps to play the CVS saving game. We hardly ever drink sodas however the big kids like to have them sometimes. The reason for the Sprite in particular is we have very little supplies on hand should we come down with a cold or stomach bug. The CVS game can be tricky if your not on your toes. Having a toddler in tow is not the best way to play the game!! Here's how the deal worked. Spend $20.00 and receive a $5.00 coupon. What you see here is $21.00 worth of drinks and nuts that were on sale. Next I had a $4.00 off coupon from when I bought the M&M deal, CVS had an on line coupon for $4.00 off with a $20.00 purchase, I also had a coupon for $5.00 off from prescription drug rewards. Total cost $4.00, total saved with the sales and rewards dollars $22.80. While the drink would be considered junk in our house the nuts are not. Purchasing the nuts alone would have been Way more than $4.00!!!
One of the things you can not buy with food stamps is cleaning and toiletry items. People still need to clean their bodies and home! With the additional $5.00 rewards dollars I earned from the soda deal I picked up 6 bars of bath soap, one deodorant and chips that we will use for a Mexican dinner this week. Total spent $8.99, total saved $9.49. In addition I received another $5.00 off coupon!!!

Talk about taking the food stamp challenge to a whole new dimension. I did the weekly deal with Kara today. There is no excuse for young Moms not to be able to stay on budget, shop the sales and use coupons!!! If I could pull it off today with just a few mistakes that can easily be corrected anybody can do it don't you think? Toddlers are best kept in an outdoor setting, play room, or sound asleep. I'm just sayin!!

Grand total spent at the grocery $27.96, total saved $9.78 I can live those numbers. The CVS savings game came out to total spent $12.99, total saved $32.29 in addition a $5.00 coupon to use later.

BTW!!! Happy Valentines Day!!!!

Hubby has arrived home from work and wants to take me out for lunch as my gift. Remember Birthday's, Anniversaries, and Sunday dinner don't count in the food stamp challenge so I am gonna add Valentines  Day to the mix and enjoy a nice lunch out. Time to surf the net for a coupon to use at lunch!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wonderful News!!!!

Hubby's follow up with the surgeon was this morning. He is CANCER free!!! We, the surgeon, and family Dr were all shocked by the news. He will have to keep the staples in until at least the 25th of this month then have it checked again. It is one big incision, but everything looks perfect. The Dr released him to work for 1/2 days until then with propping up his leg the rest of the day. Hubby went on to work after the visit and I returned home as fast as the law would allow to work on his quilt top!!  I used one of my tee shirts for the middle block seeing as how hubby wasn't crazy about the fact I had cut up 45 of his Harley shirts on the last quilt I made for him.
I think this will be the right size quilt for my "Bama boy" to hang out with while watching stupid man TV 60x84. Now on to sneaking in the sandwiching and quilting while he is at work in the mornings. Can we say speed sewing!!! The fancy girl was smoking today I can tell you!!!!
Last nights supper. Pasta with chicken and broccoli along with artisan bread. I'm kinda surprised that this is the first pasta dish we have eaten while on the food stamp challenge. Yesterday I also made a pot of Chicken noodle soup with the thought that hubby would be hitting the road Saturday morning and I needed to cook ahead as many meals as I could to send with him. I also froze the leftover roast beef as well as the chicken broccoli sauce from last night for "To Go" meals. I am now WAY ahead of the game on "To Go" meals
Up next was Valentines sugar cookies for the grands. I have to say I hate making sugar cookies, they are way too much trouble to me.
Two more trays in the oven with an additional two in line for their turn. The decorating will begin after I return from an appointment this afternoon. I have to get the cookies to the grands before 5:30 today UGGGG.

Days like today there is no room for mistakes or bumps in the road. Its full steam ahead and get the heck out of my way if I want to get it all done. Not my favorite kinda day!!  Once I get these cookies knocked out I will be home free and can enjoy a nice easy meal to prepare for dinner then hopefully some time with a good book and a little celebrating with hubby over the good news. We have different ideas of what celebrating is (if you get my drift) so the compromise is a trip to the book store!!

Want to make a fun treat for the family to celebrate Valentines Day? (Ya right, pain in the rear is more like it) Check out this site. DD#1 has shown Tyler how to get on pintrest and send Nanny GREAT ideas of things he would like for he and his family, maybe some extras for his buddies as well. DD#1 is on my s.... list. This old gal can think up enough make me crazy projects on my own! Gotta love those grands, I would do anything in the world for them.

BTW, I  used my food stamp challenge pantry to make up the cookies, the only exception is for the sprinkles I will put on the "girl" cookies. I know from experience the little girls want nothing to do with Spiderman or football stuff. If it doesn't look like "Princess" they will hurl it right back at you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

To Go Meals

4 "To" Go meals of roasted chicken in addition to 4 Bean soup meals
All of the yuck stuff is in the pot for chicken broth/stock I need later in the week
This looks sorta nasty, however its really good. Macaroni salad to use as a side for lunches this week. I am sorta surprised that this is the first pasta I have done all month. I really thought I would have to base a whole lot of meals around pasta to make the budget stretch. More pasta is on the way for later in the week!
I got in some sewing time this AM while hubby was in the office. I hope these simple nine batch blocks will help tone down some of the busy fabric I am putting in hubby's "Bama" quilt.

Can you hear that? It's hubby in his chair sawing logs, the other background noise is AJ the beagle who is under my quilt joining in the chorus of snoring, oh ya and the dryer doing it's thing on the last load of wash. Ahh the sweet sounds of home.

I got a few meals put back for hubby and I for later in the month done today, beef roast is ready and waiting for dinner time then it too will be headed to the "To Go" meals collection in the freezer. I figure if I do 2 meals a day I will have enough put back to send hubby on his way with a cooler full of home cooking. Maybe even a little baking will be on the list for tomorrow while he is at the office. Baking goes so much quicker if I am alone and get my rhythm going! Ha.

Do you ever have days where you feel unsettled? Today is one of those days for me, everything seems to be off just a little. Tomorrow is a new day! Ha

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Stuff

I found this recipe card on line to download for free. Thought maybe some of you working on your cook books this month might need more recipe cards. I ran out the middle of the week:(  I was able to get 3 per page when I printed them. Nice and cheap, plus no running to the store.
Another week in the books for Cindy's 52 week savings challenge. We are up to $227.00 WOHOO!
I was able to get in a tiny bit of sewing this weekend. Sew much more to do but with hubby home it's hard to find the extra time.
Shhhh, Don't tell. I did at least get hubby's "Bama" quilt cut out today. I am going to have to sneak in some sewing while he is home this week or I will never have his quilt ready in time for his BD next month. This is going to be a VERY simple quilt, hope to keep it manly looking.
We celebrated Valentines Day today at Sunday dinner. The kiddo's should be doing their own thing on Valentines Day so we wanted to give them their gifts today. The big kids received a gift card to their favorite restaurant and of course a free evening of baby setting. The Grands each got a small something from us. After all Mommy and Daddy should be doing the big stuff right?
The grands loved digging into some CAKE after dinner.
I needed to run to the grocery today to pick up broccoli for dinner tonight. On a separate order I picked additional broccoli we will need later in the week as well as beans for some soup. I found a deal to good to pass up at the deli. Roasted chickens are always on sale for $4.99 on Sunday's, today they had an extra $1.00 off. The chickens are between 2-3 pounds each, I think I can get at least 4 meals out of these bad boys!!

Food Stamp shopping today was $12.31, savings was $8.29. The only thing I did plan on buying was the broccoli however if hubby is A-OK by his Dr. Wednesday he will head back to the project Saturday AM. What that means for me is I need to do some power cooking this week so I can send him on his way with lots of frozen meals to last the rest of the month. This was my last chance to get in on the roasted chicken deal before he hits the road, plus with an extra $1.00 off each I can't go wrong. The beans are soaking overnight then bean soup will go on the stove first thing in the AM, next comes the freezing for "To Go" meals for us both. I will work some magic with the chicken maybe tomorrow to make up even more freezer meals for later in the month. I see a few long days in the kitchen this week! Ha But that is a good thing, I can get to work on his quilt and not worry about cooking for many days (I hope)

Also on the baking list for the week is Spiderman Valentine heart cookies for Tyler. Seems Mommy has shown him how to get on pintrest and send Nanny his wish list. I am really not at all the cookie decorating kinda gal, seems very overrated if you ask me!! Ha

Off to work on my cook books a little more before bed tonight. Hubby says he might just head to the office in the AM for a few hours of work. Oh to have a quite house, that is until Kara shows up tomorrow afternoon!!