Skip to main content


Okay, I Stink at cooking. I'm just gonna' put it out there. I don't like to take the time to make a meal, set it on the table, chop it up for little one, and then wash everything 35 minutes later. I would rather eat out every night. Maybe I'd order in on Fridays. This got noticeably worse when I got pregnant. I did not want to wait 30 minutes, I wanted food NOW. Yikes.

However, being as we're trying to get outta debt (fully funded emergency savings after today!!) , I have a budget to stick with, which means maybe eating out once a month and eating...from scratch...every other day. Which means I sorta' hafta' kinda' cook already!

During the last six months or so--when we really got gung-ho about the budget/debt free thing, I started to take more time to think about what was going to be for dinner. Just last month I took the leap to look at the adds and make a grocery list. I kid you not people, I never thought I'd spend enjoyable time doing this. I joined CVS (I can't remember life without this!). And with the encouragement of a fellow mom...I started (Gasp) planning out meals a week or two in advance. This has taken a lot of discipline, but we actually had money left over at the end of this month! A first in a LONG time, we also sold a car (which reduces money on gas, insurance, and fix-its) so that helped, but I think with doing these few things, one can literally strip $100/month off their budget :
  • Plan meals, (don't forget to include ingredients on shopping list if you don't have them!)
  • Go to CVS for all toiletries/Rx
  • Write out a detailed shopping list, often substituting what's on sale (of said product you need) to what you would have originally bought
  • STICK to your list! Ever heard of the "outer limits"? The most expensive places in the grocery stores are the produce, dairy, and meat sections--fresh foods, the best for you, are in the outer part of the store--don't even go to that middle, prepackaged place!
  • Get someone (hubs) to watch the kiddos while you make dinner (or vice versa if you're husbands a chef!)--this won't save you money, but it sure makes me happy and more in-tune to what I'm doing. I enjoy the meal and time with family more if I slow down, relax, and concentrate on the food I'm preparing.

Oh yeah, the REASON I started writing this post was to share with you an awesome website:

This is an "intelligent website" that all you have to do (keep an account for easy access--free) is type in what you have on hand and it will tell you what you can make with your ingredients! I always look in our pantry (that has staples, but nothing "good I can use") and with 8 ingredients I could make over 300+ recipes!! How cool is that? Now...if hubbs reads this, he'll never leave me off the hook when I whine, "But we don't havvvve anything!"


Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

The Rule of Threes

Costco aftermath
This is what my kitchen looks like for at least an hour after a Costco trip. I haul in everything after an exhausting journey through the busiest store (seemingly) in this country and I just can't do a dang thing more. For an hour. While I get a breather. And eat some obligatory reward chocolate. Eventually I'll get to those piles and everything will be put in it's proper place, but usually it stays like this for that necessary hour. 
                                                                          *** I don't think I'm alone in sensing that our culture has gone hog-wild with unrealistic expectations in just about every department, and I want to tell my friends, and anyone else who will listen, that we can only do so much in a day.  My husband once told me a friend of his pondered the busy-ness of our modern lives and said something to the effect of, "God gives us just enough time in the day to do only the things we need to do." …

17 in 2017 // What Happened? What Didn't?

one of Ani's goals: learning to bake!
This year was a great one--we did SO much as a family and I really think by setting up some 'Things to Do' with the kids in my goal list for 2017, we made them happen rather than thinking we could do them 'someday'. We traveled a lot in 2017; we hit every state on the West Coast including Alaska! We started our 6th year of homeschooling and went a bit rogue in a few subjects like Math. I started and finished a beloved book series with the kids. There were a few things that didn't happen because of circumstances, but almost everything else DID happen, and I'm proud of that! Intentions + action for the win! 

What Happened

*Learn to make pakora and butter chicken (crock pot): This might be cheating but a friend of mine sells Epicure spice blends and they just came out this past year with a pakora packet. It's healthy, fast, gluten-free, and delicious and I'm counting it! I also made the most delicious butter chicken…