Archive for Cooking

$50 week I went over by $10.40 Total for the month $210.40

I have completed my month of grocery budgeting and I came in over by $ 10.40, I used the extra money to stock up on Cake mix and Brownie Mix at $.49 a box, I bought 20 boxes this will easily last me until the end of the year. I have learned a couple of thing doing this. I can work better if I budget for the month instead of by the week, this will allow me to buy basics in larger quantity such as flour I can buy 25# of flour for $8 instead of 5# for $3, the 25# bag will last me for about 4 months and I will save $7, not a huge savings but add a few like this together and I can easily save a weeks worth of groceries by the end of the year.

Next month I am going to give my self a little extra to help stock the pantry for the holidays I will budget $120 for the month, it is a 4 week month. My hope is to complete a general menu so I can search out items when they go on sale.

I will post a sample monthly menu shortly, I leave some flexibility for specials that I can’t resist.

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Menu on a budget $50 a week

Here is a look at the menu from last week and a peek at what is coming up this week. Just a side note, I did not start this challenge with empty cupboards I had several items on had just as I always do. I also make my own cinnamon rolls and some of our bread and I have two tomato plants that provide me with fresh tomatoes that I use to make all of my own spaghetti sauce. I buy most of my produce at Superior and Price Right Markets I find they have the best price and their produce is always fresh. I get my meats wherever there is a sales and divide larger packages down to meal size quantities.


Pancakes, Oatmeal, Cinnamon Rolls, Cereal, Boiled Eggs , Chorizo and Eggs, Sandwiches

I always include fruit and milk with breakfast.


PB & J, leftover stew, leftover chicken nuggets, egg salad sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, mac n cheese.

All packed lunches include fruit ( apples, bananas, raisins or melon) water or Capri Sun Roaring Water, chips and a goody ( cookie, brownie or cupcakes).


Flautas, chimichangas, Watermelon, Raw Veggies w dip

Chicken Nuggets , Baked Beans, Veggies and Fruit

Beef Stew w Biscuits, Salad 

Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Leftovers, Salad and fruit

Chili w Corn Bread , Salad

Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Veggies

Tacos, Melon

Mini Meatloaves, Mashed Potatoes, salad

Potato Soup, biscuits and fruit

Leftovers, Salad and fruit

BBQ Chicken, Potato Salad, Baked Beans and Melon

Paper Napkins $0.99
5 bananas $0.40
2 1/2 lbs. Chicken Breast pieces $4.19
1.5 lbs Carrots $0.77
2 cantaloupes $1.44
2.5 lbs pinto beans $0.80
5 doz eggs $3.00
2 .5 lbs Ground Beef $4.50
2 cabbage $0.48
Chorizo $1.29
5 lbs. rice $1.69
6 onions $0.38
1 Honey Dew $0.81
10 chicken thighs $2.19
Butter $8.79
yeast $4.38
milk $2.45
Total for the week $38.55

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Feed a Family of 4 for $50 a week

I am going to challenge myself once again, as anyone who knows me knows I  have more time than money. I have been inspired by a blog and if she can feed her family of 10 for $75 a week I think I can do this with my much smaller family for $50 a week. Insight for those of you who do not know me personally I have 11-year-old twins who are not big eaters, but require a constant stream of snacks and meals and the love of my life whose favorite question to me is “what is there to eat?” With this in mind I will be doing my grocery shopping for the next 30 days using cash only to help me stay on track. I will record on this blog my shopping successes and meals.

My family is not overly health conscious but I do try to balance what we eat with fruits and veggies, I am blessed with kids who will eat almost anything I make. This challenge will require that I make most snacks and desserts rather than relying on store-bought goodies. The kids will have $8 each for the month to buy snacks if they choose.

Today I baked brownie bars with mix I had, these will be used for tonight’s dessert and for lunches tomorrow. For dinner I used leftover Mexican Chicken and refried beans to make Flautas and Chimichangas everything used today came from stock I already had.

I have prepared a menu and scouted the grocery adds that just came in I will probably make my first trip to the store tomorrow to get needed items to complete my menu. Along with rations my food dollars I will try to reduce my gas consumption to $60 for the month, this will require planning as I drive a large vehicle that get 14 miles to the gallon. Follow me along on this journey and wish me luck. I will be blessed by your comments and if you find something you can use it the blogging my blessing will be two-fold.

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Make a Rainbow – Fun Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes


Some days you just need a rainbow. We have been experiencing June gloom with the overcast skies and remarkably mild weather in the 60’s and 70’s. I do not complain about cool weather in June because I know the heat is coming soon. We are going to a BBQ today and with the overcast skies I thought we could use rainbows to brighten the day so I made these cute cupcakes. I saw this somewhere, probably the Family Fun, and decided to make them. All you do is mix up the cake batter and divide it into 4 bowl then add food color, you need plenty of food color to get the nice bright hues, it is a little tedious adding just a small spoon of each color to the cupcake wrappers but the results are worth the extra time. I image they will be a hit at the BBQ.

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Valentines Dinner – Creamy Leek Chicken

Ceamy Crockpot Chicken

Creamy Crockpot Chicken


For Valentines this year mary and I cooked for the guys w made a Creamy Leek Chicken in the crockpot and served it with mashed red potatoes and steamed brocoli. This recipe is  amazingly good and the sauce is super over potatoes or rice. 

Two large boneless chicken breasts sliced. 

4 TBS butter melted 

2 packages Knorr’s Leek Soup mix 

2 Cups Milk 

1 1/2 cups sour cream 

Sliced mushrooms 

Brown the chicken on the stove then place into the crockpot with the mushrooms. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken and mushrooms cook on low for 3 to 5 hours. 


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Mom’s Meatloaf

Mom's Meatloaf

Mom's Meatloaf

Last night I made meatloaf for dinner one of the dishes my mom made while we were growing up. This was a favorite for all of us and now it is a favorite in my house. I always try to make enough to have leftover because I like a meatloaf sandwich almost as much as the meatloaf.


1 1/2 pound of lean ground beef

1/2 pound ground sausage

1/2 onion finely diced

1/2 cup bread crumbs ( seasoned or plain)

salt and pepper

Mix all the above ingredients together by hand and form into a loaf. Place in a baking dish. Open a small can of tomato sauce and pour over the meatloaf.

Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hour.

If you want to sweeten up the meatloaf omit the tomato sauce add 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce to the meatloaf before mixing and pour barbecue sauce over the meatloaf before baking.

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Pumpkin Bread and Brownies and IEP’s

This time of year I get the opportunity to thank Marc’s Resource Specialist and all the school staff which have dedicated so much time to his success. With both Marc and Mary having ADHD I have annual IEP’s to review their progress and set new goals. Both Marc and Mary have shown tremendous growth over the last 5 years and I credit much of this success to their Resource Specialist and the school staff all who work diligently to assist them. When I meet for the IEP’s I take the opportunity to say thank you for the job they do. This year I am making brownies and pumpkin bars. I hope they enjoy them.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 1/2 Cups flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 -15oz can Pumpkin
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup water

Combine all dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl mix eggs, pumpkin, oil and water; add dry ingredients and stir. pour into 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I made these in the “Perfect Brownie Pan” that Sheila gave me for Christmas, the pan ia a pain to clean but the desserts look very cute.

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Easy Corn Chowder

It is raining cats and dogs today and the rain is expected all day so I am adding this soup to my menu. I think I have everything I need  here so I will not need to make a trip to the store. With any luck it will become a household favorite like the potato soup.6 pieces of bacon or 1 cup cooked bacon crumbles 

½ onion diced 

1 carrot shredded 

2 medium potatoes cubed 

1 can corn (17oz) 

½ Cup Water 

3 TBS Flour 

1 ½ cup Milk 

Salt and Pepper 

Cut bacon into 1″ pieces, cook until crisp. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Add onion and carrots and sauté until tender. Add to crockpot with  potatoes, add canned corn undrained, water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Combine flour and 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in remaining milk. Pour into corn mixture. Turn Crockpot to high and cook for an extra 30 minutes. Stir in bacon and salt and pepper to taste. 

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Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Today when I was at the store they had beef brisket for $1.49 a pound so I just had to get one. It is now in the crockpot cooking. I will cook the meat all day and then I will drain off the fat and water and tomorrow it will go back into the crockpot with a batch of this BBQ sauce to simmer on low all day and it will turn into a delicious dinner for two families.

You can use this sauce on beef, chicken or pork and if you cook the meat in your crockpot even the inexpensive pieces of beef and pork turn out great.

This recipe is courtesy of Shawna, when she used this to make BBQ sandwiches at our Family Reunion two years ago I was able to get the recipe from her so once again I am using it for dinner.

3 Cups Ketchup

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup red wine vinegar

4 TBS Worcestershire Sauce

4 TBS Dijon Mustard

2 tsp liquid smoke

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

After whisking it together I put it in the empty Ketchup bottle to keep in the fridge.

Today I mixed this up because Sheila is coming up for a playdate tomorrow and I like to send her home with some shredded BBQ meat so she and the guys can make sandwiches for dinner.

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Stay Fresh Apple Slices

My kids eat a lot of fruit and I make sure to always have fruit cut for easy consumption when they have friends over. Not only does fruit make a healthy snack but if you buy in season it is inexpensive. I use “Fruit Fresh”to keep my apples from turning brown. You can find this in most grocery store where canning supplies are kept. It is not MSG it uses vitamin C and citric acid to prevent the fruit form browning. I add 1 TBS to a bowl of water than I chop about 6 apples into slices and dunk them in the water for about a minute than drain and store in a bowl in the fridge. These apples will stay good for 2-3 days and are great for packing in lunches or taking to your kids games when you have snack duty. A $5 bottle will make about 20 bowls of fruit far les costly then the pre-sliced fruit in the store.

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