Menu Plan Monday: April 13

Menu

April 13th  – April 29th, 2014

Sunday – 13th (soccer) – Rotis Chicken/Stuffing/ Corn

Monday – 14th (soccer) – Garden Fresh Chef Salad (April/May Simple – Pg 26) & Baked Potato

Tuesday – 15th  – Country Meatloaf,  Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Wednesday – 16th (Chiro) – Family Favorite Nachos (Emeals 527)

Thursday – 17 (Sorting) – Beef Enchiladas and Spanish Rice

Friday – 18 (Good Friday) Fish and Chips (April/May Simple – Pg 42)

Saturday – 19th (soccer) – Crockpot Sticky Chicken (marinated over night) Parmesan Cheese Noodles and Corn

 

Sunday –20th (Easter) (Soccer) – Spiral Ham, Chive Carrots Carrots (April/May Simple – Pg 15), Dilled New Potatoes

Monday – 21st (4:00 HV) – Quick Taco Wraps (April/May Simple – pg 27)

Tuesday – 22nd – Skillet Beef Tamales (April/May Simple pg 18)

Wednesday –23 (Chiro) – Cheese Burger Sliders/Seasoned French Fries (Emeals 527)

Thursday – 24 (Book Group – Our House) – Turkey Focaccia Club Sandwiches (Simple & Delicious: Oct/Nov 2013 – pg 21) Bean Salad, Fruit Salad, Apple Dessert.

Friday –25th – Pot Pies

Saturday – 26th – Ravioli / Garlic Bread

Sunday – 27th – Hamburgers/ Fries

Monday – 28th – Pizza

Tuesday – 29th – Spaghetti & Meatballs/ Garlic Bread

 

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

Food Budget:  We decided to start tracking how much we spend on food/household expenses each month again in hopes to budget appropriately.  Wanting to keep our budget at $100 per person each month.   We are a household of 4 adults, 1 growing boy who eats like an adult.

April 13th

Aldi - 

Walmart – Sam’s Club – $

Total of food : $ per person or  $  per week on groceries.
This is our big shop of the month – this happens every other time.  We buy three cases of protein drinks and other things Grandpa needs each month.  This time we also added some Easter Candy to fill eggs for Church.  But I am thinking it will average out for the month, hopefully???

For more Menu Planning inspiration stop by and visit Laura at Organizing Junkie and participate in Menu Plan Monday.  Need help getting started menu planning -  Emeals is a great solution.  Many meal plans to chose from at a very affordable price.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!!!

Happy Cooking!!

Menu Plan Monday: March 31st

Menu

March 30th – April 13th, 2014

Sunday, March 30th – Make Your Own Salad – Turkey

Monday, March 31st (soccer) – Chicken Tortilla Soup (Emeals # 516)

Tuesday, April 1st – (FPU) – Egg Salad Sandwich/ Chips / Fruit – (Allrecipes April/May 2014-pg 45)

Wednesday, April 2nd (CSG Orientation) – Baked Spinach and Cheese Ravioli  (Emeals 526)

Thursday, April 3rd – (Work Late) – BLT/ Chips/ Fruit

Friday, April 4th – (movie night) – Fish Sticks/ Fries/ Veggies

Saturday, April 5th – (Wedding Shower) – Chicken Pot Pies – (Allrecipes April/May 2014-pg 119)

Sunday, April 6th – French Country Beef Stew -  (Emeals 527)

Work Potluck:  Easy Asian Chicken Slaw (April/May TOH 24) & Vanilla and Choclate Éclair Cake

 

Monday, April 7th – Sausage and Gravy Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs

Tuesday, April 8th – (Last FPU) Beef Enchiladas and Spanish Rice
Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars (Simple & Delicious: Oct/Nov 2013 – pg52)

Wednesday, April 9th – Pasta Alfredo, Garlic Bread

Thursday, April 10th – Chicken Soup – Pesto Grilled Cheese

Friday, April 11th – (Movie Night) – Burrito Bowls
Chipotle Black Beans
Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice

Saturday, April 12th- (Gift for Growth Gala) – Left Overs – Pizza

Sunday, April 13th  – Rotisserie Chicken, Stuffing, Corn

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

Food Budget:  We decided to start tracking how much we spend on food/household expenses each month again in hopes to budget appropriately.  Wanting to keep our budget at $100 per person each month.   We are a household of 4 adults, 1 growing boy who eats like an adult.

March 3/30/14
Aldi – $149.64
Walmart – $136.88
Sam’s Club – $215.13

Total of food : $ 501.65  = $ 100.33  per person or  $  250.82 per week on groceries.
This is our big shop of the month – this happens every other time.  We buy three cases of protein drinks and other things Grandpa needs each month.  This time we also added some Easter Candy to fill eggs for Church.  But I am thinking it will average out for the month, hopefully???

For more Menu Planning inspiration stop by and visit Laura at Organizing Junkie and participate in Menu Plan Monday.  Need help getting started menu planning -  Emeals is a great solution.  Many meal plans to chose from at a very affordable price.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!!!

Happy Cooking!!

Baked Tilapia Recipe

It’s Friday, in our house that means I need to find a meatless or fish recipe that everyone will like.  My hubby is not a huge fan of fish.   Tonight’s fish recipes was a hit, even with the hubby!

Baked Tilapia Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A new favorite fish dish in our house.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb tilapia fillet
  • ¼ mayo
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Place filets in a large baking dish coated with cooking spray. Mix together mayo, garlic powder, Worcestershire, and Dijon. Spread fillets evening with mixture. Sprinkle each fillet with parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes on until fish flakes easily.

Happy Cooking!

Gravy/Sauce for Corned Beef and Cabbage

This recipes makes a lot of sauce – so we usually make a 1/2 recipe!  This sauce is wonderful over corned beef – and actually everyone loves it over the potatoes and cabbage too!!! It’s delicious!

· 1/2 cup butter

· 1/2 cup flour

· 2 tsp. salt

· 1/2 tsp. pepper

· 4 cups milk

· 1 cup remaining corned beef cooking juices

· 4 tbsp. horseradish (mine is from the jar)

· 4 tbsp. Dijon mustard

· 2 tbsp. A1 Steak Sauce

Melt butter, stir in flour and gently cook for 2 minutes whisking constantly.

Add remaining ingredients.

Cook stirring frequently (don’t boil) until thickened.

Our recipe for Slow Cooked Corned Beef

Wishing you all a wonderful week!!!

Happy Cooking!!

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

You will need: a crockpot large enough to hold your corned beef brisket, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and the corned beef brisket.

Scrub your potatoes and carrots and cut into 1-2″ chunks (whatever works best for your family) and set aside.

In a small bowl mix together 2 teaspoons yellow mustard, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar. Add contents of seasoning packet from corned beef (or if you don’t have the seasoning packet, use 1 1/2 tsp. pickling spice).

Rinse corned beef (there probably isn’t a real reason to do this, I just do it :) ) and place in crockpot. Rub with the mustard mixture to completely cover the top and sides (and bottom if you have enough).

Add 1 cup of water (I generally pour this around the sides to avoid washing off the rub that I just put on the meat).

Add potatoes and carrots on top of the meat. Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.

We cook our cabbage on the stovetop. 

I will have to have my hubby share his amazing gravy he makes for this meal.   Hopefully, I will get that from home later. 

Happy Cooking!!

Menu Plan Monday: March 17th

Menu

March 16th – March 30th, 2014

Sunday, March 16th –  (Soccer) Country Meatloaf,  Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Monday, March 17th – Corned Beef, Cabbage

Tuesday, March 18th – FPU – Crockpot Sticky Chicken (marinated over night) Parmesan Cheese Noodles and Corn

Wednesday, March 19th – Spaghetti and Meatballs

Thursday, March 20th – Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday, March 21st – Baked Tilapia, Roasted Potato Wedges and Veggie (Emeals 524)

Saturday, March 22nd -

Beef Stroganoff

1 lb ground beef
8 oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
(1 t salt, 1 t onion powder)
(¼ c water, 1 t beef bouillon cube)
1 pkg egg noodles
1 pkg frozen peas

In large skillet, brown the ground beef; drain.  Add sour cream, soup, salt, onion powder and water to skillet. Heat to a low boil; add bouillon.  Stir to dissolve; reduce heat to simmer.

Boil noodles while preparing meat mixture. Serve stroganoff over cooked noodles. Serve with steamed peas

Sunday, March 23rd – Broccoli Cheese Soup

Monday, March 24th – Garlic -Rosemary Chicken, Steamed Veggies and Apples (Slow Cooker)  (Emeals #522)

Tuesday, March 25th – FPU – Mac and Cheese

Wednesday, March 26th – Hearty Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Peas (Simple/Delicious April/May 2014 – Pg 25)

Thursday, March 27th – Turkey, Cheddar And Apple Sandwiches – French Fries and Strawberries  (Emeals #522)

Friday, March 28th – Shrimp Scampi over Angel Hair – Salad – (Emeals # 524)

Saturday, March 29th – Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup – Tortilla Chips  (Emeals #522)

Sunday, March 30th – Smoke Sausage and Potato Casserole – Crescent Rolls (Emeals # 524)

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

Food Budget:  We decided to start tracking how much we spend on food/household expenses each month again in hopes to budget appropriately.  Wanting to keep our budget at $100 per person each month.   We are a household of 4 adults, 1 growing boy who eats like an adult.

Month of March Totals
Aldi – $105.39 +72.50  = $ 177.89
Walmart – $ 89.71+$85.19 = $ 174.90
Sam’s Club – $48.48 + 174.51 = $ 222.99

Total of food for March: $575.78 = $ 115.16 per person or  $143.95 per week on groceries.

For more Menu Planning inspiration stop by and visit Laura at Organizing Junkie and participate in Menu Plan Monday.  Need help getting started menu planning -  Emeals is a great solution.  Many meal plans to chose from at a very affordable price.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!!!

Happy Cooking!!

Menu Plan Monday: March 3, 2014

Menu

 March 2nd – March 16th, 2014

Saturday, March 1st – Rotisserie Chicken, Stuffing and Corn

Sunday , March 2nd – (Soccer) – Mom’s Mac N Cheese (Double) – Sausage

Monday, March 3rd – (Soccer)(Working Late)  Crockpot Chili

Tuesday, March 4th – (FPU) – Tater Tot Hotdish

Wednesday, March 5th – Chicken Salad and Croissants – Pasta Salad

Thursday, March 6th – (Sorting) – Slow Cooked Beef Stew

Friday, March 7th – Turkey, Cheddar And Apple Sandwiches – French Fries and Strawberries  (Emeals #522)

Saturday, March 8th –  Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce (Wknd) (30 mins) (Emeals – #519) Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Rutabagas

SUnday, March 9th – (Soccer) Crockpot Sticky Chicken (marinated over night) Parmesan Cheese Noodles and Corn

WEEK #2

Monday, March 10th – (Soccer) - Hearty Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Peas (Simple/Delicious April/May 2014 – Pg 25)

Tuesday, March 11th – (FPU) – Chicken Tacos (Crock Pot), Corn Sassy Black Beans (Emeals #522)

Wednesday,  March 12th – Easy Beef Macaroni and Cheese

Thursday,  March 13th – Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup – Tortilla Chips  (Emeals #522)

Friday,   March 14th – Philly Cheese Brats – Potato Chips  (Emeals #523)

Saturday, March 15th - Garlic -Rosemary Chicken, Steamed Veggies and Apples (Slow Cooker)  (Emeals #522)

Sunday, March 16th –  (Soccer) Country Meatloaf,  Mashed Potatoes and Corn

 

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

Food Budget:  We decided to start tracking how much we spend on food/household expenses each month again in hopes to budget appropriately.  Wanting to keep our budget at $100 per person each month.   We are a household of 5 adults, 1 growing boy who eats like an adult and 1 toddler.

Shopping Trip:  3/1/14
Aldi – $72.50
Walmart – $ 85.19
Sam’s Club – $174.51

Total for 2 weeks of food: $332.20/6.5   (count baby as 1/2) = $ 51.10 per person or  $166.10 per week on groceries.

For more Menu Planning inspiration stop by and visit Laura at Organizing Junkie and participate in Menu Plan Monday.  Need help getting started menu planning -  Emeals is a great solution.  Many meal plans to chose from at a very affordable price.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!!!

Happy Cooking!!

Menu Plan Monday: February 17th, 2014

Menu

February 17th – March 2nd, 2014

 

Saturday 15th – Sloppy Joes and Corn Soufflé (Wknd) (1+ hrs) (Emeals – #519)

Sunday 16th – Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce (Wknd) (30 mins) (Emeals – #519) Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Rutabagas

Monday 17th – (Holiday) Paul’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Tuesday 18th – FPU – Pizza Casserole – (1hr 20 mins) (Emeals – #519)

Wednesday 19th – Spicy Pork Noodle Bowls – Egg Rolls (35 mins) (Emeals #519)

Thursday 20th –Biscuit and Gravy, Scrambled Eggs

Friday 21st – Pizzeria Burgers & Seasoned Fries (Simple & Delicious – Dec/January 2013)

Saturday 22nd – Crispy Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Sunday 23rd – (Soccer) – Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti and Cheddar Bacon Salad

 

Week #2

Monday 24th – (Soccer) – Soup and Grilled Cheese

Tuesday 25th – FPU –  Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Wednesday 26th – French Toast, Scrambles Eggs and Bacon

Thursday 27th – Crockpot Chili

Friday 28th – Hot Dogs with Chili and Fries

Saturday, March 1st – Mom’s Mac N Cheese (Double) – Sausage

Sunday – 2nd – Classic Lasagna/ Garlic Bread (Emeals – 473)

 

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

Food Budget:  We decided to start tracking how much we spend on food/household expenses each month again in hopes to budget appropriately.  Wanting to keep our budget at $100 per person each month.   We are a household of 5 adults, 1 growing boy who eats like an adult and 1 toddler.

Shopping Trip:  2/15/14
Aldi – $  136.50
Walmart – $ 44.78
Sam’s Club –  $ 147.09
Festival -  $ 13.88

Total for 2 weeks of food: $  342.25/ 6.5 (count baby as 1/2) = $52.65 per person or  $171.13 per week on groceries.

February Food/Household Total -  $383.88 (2/1)+ 342.25 (2/15) = $ 726.13
Monthly Total:  $111.71 per household member. 

For more Menu Planning inspiration stop by and visit Laura at Organizing Junkie and participate in Menu Plan Monday.  Need help getting started menu planning -  Emeals is a great solution.  Many meal plans to chose from at a very affordable price.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!!!

Happy Cooking!!

FPU: Big Tax Return = Big Screen TV! NOT!!

federal-income-tax-return

There may have been a time in our lives when a large tax return meant some new expensive toy for the family.   We are no longer those people and have really changed how we look at our tax returns.

In 2010 we embarked on a new journey to become debt free after attending Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class at our church.   We are still working on that journey. The entire experience has been  life changing for us.   This experience changes how we look at our tax return.   Most of our tax return is earmarked before we even receive it.  We fully fund irregular expenses we know we will experience in the upcoming year.

I must admit: This practice would most likely not be endorsed by Dave Ramsey.  He would like you to manage your money and not have the government hold onto it for you all year.  For us, it works as it actually forces us to live beneath our means.  It is a fool-proof way to save funds that we know we can’t touch until we file our taxes. If the government makes an extra 5 bucks in interest off of our withholding, then they can keep it and we’ll appreciate that this money was saved for us Smile

That being said, you can bet we file our taxes very early in the tax season.  We filed our taxes just this last Friday and should expect our refund in a week or so.  Since we both claim “single-zero” on for payroll deductions our return is usually pretty big.

For 2014, the following will be fully funded from our tax return:

Debt Reduction – we will pay off our last credit card, if there is still a balance once we receive our tax return. (That card is down to about 1 and 1/2 payments til zeroed-out.)

Emergency Fund – will be fully funded at $2000.

Car Insurance – set aside enough funds to pay car insurance on all vehicles every 6 months to receive a discount.

Christmas – yes, we fully fund Christmas in February!  What peace of mind!  (Because you know Christmas is going to happen again this year.)

City of WBL – irregular bills are hard to budget for so we fully fund them from our tax return.  This a quarterly bill that used-to sneak up on us at times….not anymore!!

Soccer Fees -  our youngest plays traveling soccer

Camp – our youngest goes to camp each year.

Duct Cleaning -  This year we are having the ducts in our home cleaned.  Between illnesses and allergies, it seemed like a good thing to get done.  This was last done in 2007.

Summer Fun – this is a new category we are funding this year.  We found that small parties, mini-weekend-vacations and other fun events over the summer wreaked havoc on our budget.  This year we set aside extra money to go to participate in summer fun!

Training – as a licensed social worker, I need to attend 40 hours of training every 2 years to renew my license.   I need to complete 26 hours this year.  This will fund the conferences, meals and lodging for me to complete my training hours.

We should be able to fully fund all of these items from our tax return.   This is a huge relief to us to know these expenses will not have to be worried about!   As you can see there is no Big Screen TV on our list, but instead many other things that give us a huge sense of relief knowing they are fully funded for the year.  The concept of saving for future expenses is called a “Sinking Fund”.  If you want more info you can read our blog post about “Sinking Funds“ and how we organize our finances.

We are different people with different priorities….we live a simpler life striving towards our goal to be DEBT FREE, (and financially secure when we retire!)

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Blessings…

 

Paul and Jen
Joyfully Living Below Our Means