Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pantry Challenge update!

Last night was mine and the kids Chick fil A night, so I didn't have to cook anything! Tonight we are having pork chops from the freezer from a sale back in November, marinated with about half a bottle of KC Masterpiece Steakhouse marinade that's been open for a while as well. We will have salad, rolls from the freezer and probably baked potatoes with it. The chops are pretty tiny, so we probably need a little something else with it like the potatoes!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My habit for the month

So far this writing goals down is really working for me;) I feel like I have some accountability, even if it's just to myself! I see some other people are stopping by too, don't be afraid to comment! I'd love some company :)

One thing I really struggle with is fast food. There. I said it. I have serious issues. I have gotten into the HORRIBLE habit of getting breakfast at Chick fil A or McDonalds after dropping the girls at school in the morning. Some days I don't even want to eat it, but it's there and it's habit so I get it anyways and consume probably 600-900 calories and ridiculous amounts of sugar to start of my day. Not good!

Obviously, this needs to stop. I have some other weight and health issues I've struggled with and this habit certainly isn't helping. I'm not going to say I want to lose xx pounds anymore, it obviously doesn't work for me. Small changes will add up though. So this month I plan to not eat breakfast that I didn't prepare no more than once a week. Nothing wrong with a treat every once in a while, right? For now I'm going to pick 3 easy breakfasts I can make quickly and rotate between those. They won't be nutritionally perfect in any way, but I don't think any one would disagree they are better than my previous option!!

1. Toast with peanut butter and a few peanuts---a childhood favorite!
2. Smoothie with frozen fruit and a little bit of oj or yogurt---my kids love them too!
3. A scrambled egg with a piece of toast---sometimes I just like eggs :)

Now to deal with temper tantrum my 2 year old is going to throw when he realizes we aren't stopping for donut holes on the way to preschool anymore!

Pantry Challenge Update

I'm only a few days in, but so far we are doing okay with the pantry challenge!

Last night I made a dinner I really did NOT want to eat, but we had everything and the buns really needed to be used or tossed so I made it anyways. That's a big step in my book! Normally that night would have ended with hamburger buns in the trash and fast food on the table if I'm being totally honest!

I spend $11.98 on a block of cheese, frozen apple juice, bag of lettuce, grape tomatoes we needed for the week....Not to bad :)

Reading List update!

Today I looked up all the titles on my list and 8 of the 12 are available through my city's library for free! I have a ton of kids books I need to take in to Half Price Books, I could probably get enough credit that way to purchase at least one or two of the others :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pantry Challenge/Monthly Meal Plan

One of my favorite blogs to read, Good Cheap Eats, is hosting a Panty Challenge this month! We have some specific financial goals in mind for this year, and getting my grocery budget back under control can help us get there faster for sure! I usually am a once a week shopper and average about $100/week for two adults, a 6,5, and 2 year old(food, cleaning supplies,etc.). At least that is what I thought. The last 2-3 months with all the holidays and activities I've been in and out of stores more times than I care to count for "just a couple things" and wow, has that added up. Plus an impulse trip or two to Sam's and it's been a little out of control!

The pantry challenge for me will be trying use up what we already have on hand in the pantry or freezers, with minimal purchasing of new food. I'm going to set a goal to spend just $50/week, most of which will probably be for milk, cheese (we eat a lot of it, bread, fresh fruits and veggies.

To make my meal plan for the month I looked at the calendar and marked off all the days I wouldn't need to prepare a meal for various reasons which left me with 19 days where I'd need to prepare something for dinner from now until Jan 31!

Tuesdays x 5--My husband coaches basketball, and games are Friday and Tuesday nights, so I'm on my own those nights about 6 months of the year. My middle daughter has gymnastics from 4-5 on Tuesdays and it just happens to be right down the road from our local Chick-Fil-A who has famliy night on Tuesday night. Free kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal, plus they usually have some sort of fun activity for the kids. Then we all head home for showers and reading followed by bedtime, and it makes that night so much easier on me! We don't always go, but if we don't we will just have mac n cheese or sandwiches at home, so I'm not palnning for those nights.

Fridays x 4--I work at a local hourly daycare facility most Friday nights. The kids get to come with me for free and eat there too, so it's a win-win for us. We all get out of the house and I get to make a little extra money! :)

My daughter's 7th birthday is also this month, so I didn't plan for that night since I will let her choose something special when it gets closer!

So my 19 meals mostly based on what I have on hand, in no particular order, are.....
1. Lasagna
2. Sloppy Joes
3. Calzone
4. Spaghetti
5. Marinated pork chops
6. Alice Springs chicken
7. Chicken and Dumplings
8. Tacos
9. Marinated chicken/pasta
10. Mini pizzas
11. Frozen pizza
12. Pancakes
13. Meatloaf
14. Hamburgers
15. Pork Loin
16. Chili Dogs
17. Tuna helper (don't know why it's in my pantry, totally grosses me out.....)
18. Chicken/stuffing bake
19. Breaded pork chops

I like to pull from my list on the particular week depending on what we are in the mood for. Plus certain days need bigger meals to make sure my husband has leftovers for lunches!

Reading in the New Year

I always loved to read growing up, I still do. But with everything going on the last few years I have not had a lot of time to read many books with much purpose, they have just been whatever randomness I have plucked off the library shelf in my scramble to get in and out of there before my 2 year old pitches a fit. So this year I've made a list of 12 books that I want to read. I'm hoping that by putting it down on paper I will make it actually happen since I just love to see things crossed off lists!!

Also, I'm going to read the bible through in a year! I've said I was going to do this for some time but haven't really followed through all that well. I found a great plan the other day, but now I can't find it online so I will have to dig it up again!

These books aren't in any certain order. I will try to get most of them through my library I am hoping, and the others I'll scrounge around the used shops for :) If anyone else happens to actually read my little blog and you want to let me know if you're reading any of these too, or have in the past, I'd love your opinions!

1. Calm My Anxious Heart

2. Finding Your Purpose as a Mom

3. Better Off:Flipping the Switch on Technology

4. Rekindling the Romance: Loving the Love of Your Life

5. The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man

6. Have a New You by Friday

7. The Happiness Project

8. The Birth Order Book

9. Little Women

10. She's Come Undone

11. Carry Me Home

12. Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Soul

Happy New Year!