Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday... in a Nutshell

Dinner was good! The boys seemed to like it and I made DS16's without meat, so he was happy. The "lemon" tarts ended up being banana tarts because that is what I had on hand!

Had a parent meeting for CYT tonight. That went well. I'm going to go get my hair permed tomorrow. I am trading a photo session for it! I love bartering!:)

Went to the unemployment office today to do my 4 week, so hopefully I will start getting paid again. DH has someone that might be interested in buying a project car of his, I pray this happens so that we have money for the weekend, and our trip to Missouri State University with DS17.


Beverages of Choice

I wanted to throw our beverages of choice into this mix as well!:)

Sweet Tea ala Sullins

I'm VERY picky about my sweet tea... we have tried all the national brands and we like National Cup Tea from WalMart the best! It is 100 tea bags for $1.00!! I like it better than Tetley, Lipton, etc.

So, they come in packs of 100, but each 2 teabags are stuck together. So, we use 6 tea bags, or 3 "bundles".
I put those tea bags in a small saucepan and set aside. Then I take my little piggy tea kettle, that looks like this, and boil water until it whistles. Once it whistles, I pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let them steep at least 5 minutes. 

Once steeped, I take my gallon pitcher and add 1.5 cups sugar. Then I take my sauce pan with the water and tea bags(which is now TEA lol) and using a slotted spoon, I hold the tea bags from falling into the pitcher while I pour the liquid into the pitcher. I then take the spoon and "squish" the tea bags to get all the remaining liquid out into the pitcher. I stir the tea and sugar, then add cold water to the top. There ya go! Sweet Tea ala Sullins!:)

Our Iced Coffee

Ok, so we are HUGE Starbucks and Seattle's Best fans! However, our pocketbooks are NOT! lol So, we stopped having Starbucks and started having McDonald's Sugar-Free Vanilla Iced Coffee (NOT latte, coffee... it's CHEAPER and tastes soooo good!), but McDonald's iced coffees are not consistent from store to store, or even shift to shift at the same store, so many times we had to hand back our coffee for them to fix it correctly. I got tired of it, and even though we had cut the cost in half by switching, I figured we could make it at home cheaper and more consistently good!

So, here is what I do:

I use a 32 oz cup from QuikTrip, because it has a lid and I like that size of cup.
I add 1/2 cup of flavored liquid creamer. 
Then I add a little over 1/2 cups of milk(I use skim, but it's good with 2% and whole).
Then I add ice to the top of the cup.
Then top it with brewed coffee. I use Folgers, but you can use whatever brand you want!
Stir with a butter knife, because that is just what I use! lol
Drink! YUM!!


Tuesday - Recipes

Since we will be having chicken the next 3 nights(because I have chicken breasts in the fridge that NEED to be cooked!) I think I will just cook all of the chicken up today and have it ready for all of the meals I will be using it with.

Tonight we will be having Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes:

1 (20 oz) package frozen hash browns with peppers and onions, thawed
2-2 1/2 cups bite-sized cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In oil in skillet over med-high heat, cook potatoes for 7 minutes. Add chicken and 1/3 c water. Cook 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve.

Leftover Hot Corn Bake:

Preheat oven to 375*
3 (15 oz) cans whole kernel corn, drained (I used 2 cans)
1 (10 oz) can cream of corn soup (I used 2 cans cream style corn)
1 c hot, chunky salsa (I used medium)
1 (8 oz) bag shredded Mexican cheese

Combine everything with 1/2 the cheese. Pour into buttered pan. (I totally forgot to butter my dish, and it was fine!) Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese.

I cooked this in the microwave and it was just fine! LOL

Lemon Tarts

1 (3/4 oz) box instant lemon pudding mix(any flavor will do, though)
1 package graham cracker tart shells
1 (8 oz) carton whipped topping

Mix pudding like box says and spoon into tart shells. Top with whipped topping. Refrigerate or serve.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday... In a Nutshell

So, went to pick up DS10 from CYT, and then we went to get coffee creamer and milk, ended up getting King's Hawaiian Rolls and Mayo for hubby. So, cheated a bit, but not too bad! Spent $13.98.

Had leftovers for dinner! That's the last night that I think I can stand leftovers! lol So tomorrow I will cook dinner!:)

The boys were home from school today because of construction at the school, so I got basically nothing done! Tomorrow, I plan to finish cleaning the kitchen, and clean the bathroom. I'm also going to work on my photography site and blog. And I might bake something!


Eating from the Pantry Challenge

So, I am challenging myself to feed my family from the pantry/freezer for the next 2 weeks. (small steps! lol) So, the only things we can buy from the store the next 2 weeks are the following:

Coffee Creamer

I was going to also say cereal and ice cream, but decided we can come up with both breakfast and dessert alternatives!

Sooo... this should be fun!:) Who's gonna join me!?

Monday Weekly Menu Post

Ha! My first Monday Weekly Menu Post! :) I love making menus, I always have... now, sticking to them is HARD! lol But I'm gonna try! So, a couple of things... 1. It's after Thanksgiving... so that means leftovers! 2. DS16 has recently become a vegetarian, so I am going to try to make meals that have at least something he can eat. He knows I will not fix separate meals for him, and he is fine with that.

Week of 11/29/10:

Monday: Thanksgiving Leftovers!
Tuesday: Cheesy Chicken & Potatoes
Wednesday: Taco Soup & Nachos
Thursday: Chicken Bacon Wraps & Cream Cheese Rangoon
Friday: Homemade Pizzas
Saturday: We will be on the road, visiting DS17's college of choice, so we will probably bring a cooler of food
Sunday: Spaghetti Pie


So, here is our budget for everyone to see! LOL

Rent-inclusive: $750
Cell Phones: $150
Van Payment: $400
Gas: $300
Food: $400
Internet/Home Phone: $100 (our internet is included in the rent, however, it is "shared" with the apartment next door and not consistent or speedy enough for 5 of us! Also, our cell phones do not always work in this town!)
Storage shed: $100
Netflix: $10
GroceryGame: $10-$35 (I am trying to decide if I want to keep this or just do it myself!)
CYT: $250
Total: $2470-$2495

Stephen - $1698
Me - nothing since becoming unemployed... well, I WAS getting $169 a week for unemployment, but then I took a temp job for 2 weeks and screwed that up... now I have to go back and see what they can do about that! So, if that gets fixed, for a while I will make $732 a month.
Total income: either $1698 or $2430... either way, not enough to pay the bills!

However, right now we are getting help with food, so subtract the $400 = $2070-$2095, so STILL not enough without my unemployment. I AM starting a new little business that hopefully will take off soon, so that would help a lot. We have downsized so much, so I don't see that we can get rid of anymore bills at this point, so we will just have to make more money. I AM unsure on how much we spend on gas each week, so I will start calculating how much we spend each week.


First Post

Ok, well, here we go. My first post on a blog is always the most difficult lol. I never know what to say. Let's see... introductions... I'm Steph, I'm married (18 years) and have 3 sons ages 17, 16, and 10. DS17 is going to college next fall. The boys are all very much into Christian Youth Theater. My husband works at an auto parts store. I'm a budding photographer. I don't work outside the home right now, and I actually quite like being at home. But, being at home makes our tight finances even tighter... so it is up to me to get things back on track! (or just on track... things really haven't been on track for... well, ever!)

So, time for:

  • A BUDGET that we will stick to!
  • Saving on GROCERIES!
  • Learning to MAKE MONEY while being able to have the flexible schedule that I want for my boys!
So, this blog will follow our day to day life, and how we have downsized from a 4 bedroom apartment that cost $600 for rent and $600 for gas/electric to heat or cool the darn place to a small 2 bedroom apartment that costs $750 all inclusive(rent, electric, water, trash, cable, internet).

That's all for this post!