Thursday, January 2, 2014

Groceries and a Hair Cut!

Whew!  What a hectic day, I am sitting down for the first time today, unless you count the 30 mins in the salon chair.

I sat down last night and made up the new Menu Plan and the grocery list.  Things haven't been easy, money is very tight at the moment as we make the transition from retired to civilian and get everything figured out.

To say that my food budget has been cut dramatically would be putting it mildly, but I do like that this is usually where I shine.  I like the challenge and I like making do with what is on hand.

My budget, though not different total wise, does have to factor in another 4 people, and shopping monthly instead of every two weeks.


It's been tough but it's also forced me to go back to basics, to make simple filling food and to rely mostly on homemade products instead of store bought.  What a crazy change it's been.

I am so proud of myself though because I managed to get groceries for the month, for 8 people, for $199.  Now, I still have to pick up milk and one or two items, but that shouldn't push me over by too much.  Yay me!

The trick is, loads of soups (Chicken and Rice, Swiss Chard, Kale, Potato and Onion, Minestrone), pasta (Chicken and Sausage Ragu, Spaghetti, Hay and Straw) , homemade pizza, stews and meals that stretch far and can feed a crowd.

I never thought it would be doable, but I'm here to tell you that it is.  It's not easy, but it's doable.


I will be taking this weekend to bake for the freezer, and that will include homemade hot pockets(pepperoni, ham and cheese), bread (buttermilk, artisan, white bread, date and nut loaf), bagels, soft pretzels, muffins.


Lots of salad and veggies as side dishes, they're cheap and much healthier too.

Something else I've gotten into the habit of doing too, is shopping the reduced meats.  As long as I cook them right away, or chuck them in the deep freezer, they are good to go.  I've been able to stock up on a lot of meat this way, and then I shop from my freezer while making the new grocery list.

So here's what my menu looks like for the next month......

Friday 3rd - Beef Stroganoff with rice
Saturday 4th - Spaghetti with salad
Sunday 5th - Swiss Chard Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Monday 6th - Costoletas de Porco a Moda do Minho ( Portuguese Pork Chops)
Tuesday 7th - Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken
Wednesday 8th - Rissois de atum c/ batata frita (Tuna Rissoles)
Thursday 9th - Frango ao molho (Oven baked chicken in a tomato sauce) w/ rice
Friday 10th - Peixe com natas (Creamy Fish bake)
Saturday 11th - Tomatillo and Cilantro Chicken Enchiladas
Sunday 12th - Chicken and Rice Soup, Sandwiches
Monday 13th - Sausage Rice
Tuesday 14th - Homemade Pepperoni Pizza
Wednesday 15th - Hay and Straw
Thursday 16th - Feijoada c/ arroz (Portuguese Bean Stew)
Friday 17th - Burgers and Cheesy Fries
Saturday 18th - Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf w/ Mashed Potatoes
Sunday 19th - Beef and Broccoli with Rice
Monday 20th - Dad's favorite chicken w/ spaghetti
Tuesday 21st - Padre Island Shells
Wednesday 22nd - Asian Beef Wraps
Thursday 23rd - Pepper Steak with Fries, Mixed Veggies
Friday 24th - Garlic Cheese Pizza
Saturday 25th - Sausage and Potato Fry
Sunday 26th - Minestrone Soup, Lemon Yoghurt Loaf
Monday 27th - Sausages in tomato sauce, rice
Tuesday 28th - Chicken and Sausage Ragu, Salad
Wednesday 29th - Samoosas with Salad
Thursday 30th - Roast Fish, Potatoes and Veggies

Something else I did while I was out, was get a quick haircut at the Base Salon, I always go there because it's so much cheaper, I also used a gift certificate so technically, I didn't pay for the cut.  I tried to grow my hair but I have to be honest and admit that I just can't take the long hair anymore.

It's so much easier for me to have short hair, so I went back to my cute bob.



Feels like a huge weight off my head, I have such thick hair that it becomes quite impossible to deal with.

I feel much better and definitely ready for the new year :)

Now, I need to get going so that I can pay a few bills and get schooling ready for the kiddos tomorrow. But before I leave, I wanted to let all Beth Moore fans know that she is currently giving away all of her books for the Kindle or Nook. You can check this link, and please do check before downloading the books as some are not yet free but will be in the next few days.

Have a wonderful night my friends, and I'll see you back here tomorrow :)


Helena Dias said...

It's so difficult to manage a budget nowadays. I liked all your menu ideas and I'm particularly interested if you could share the recipe for peixe com natas. Another good menu idea is soap de feijao. Delicious and so filling.

Kelly H said...

Wow!! There is parts of me that hate trying to budget and meal plan. But,there are parts of me that love the challenge. I do a little coupon shopping too. Mainly on the disposables and cleaners and when I can the almond milk and gluten free food that we eat. Three of us in my family have food allergies. We too are recently retired from the military. We moved back up to Alaska where groceries are so expensive. We are eating off the fish and caribou that we caught over the summer. I mainly just have to buy veggies and side items. Great job on saving money!!

Debby said...

Holy Cow you are rockin that grocery bill!!!! Like you I enjoy being in the kitchen but trying to plan for an entire month would be hard for a rookie or anyone who does not know there way around the heart of the home!! Congrats on the cute new hair cut, looking very sassy

Melonie said...

WOW - I am so impressed with your grocery shopping. And a month-long menu?!?! WOW. :) You're an inspiration, as always. We will be PCS'ing in a couple of months, so I am on a mission to shop from the pantry as much as possible this month and next, to save money and to cut down on the dry goods we'll have to pack with us in the truck on our way north. I can't assume the house will sell quickly so the more we can save, the better set we'll be for whatever comes next. (Eeeeek......)

Love the new 'do. I used to think I would stick with long hair but after cutting it fairly short here (just above the shoulders, which is short for me personally), I think I'll stick with it. I always have my stylist cut it just long enough that I can still pull it into a ponytail, which is what I usually do anyway, but it's still so much less weight than years past. Muuuuuch easier!

Happy new year! {{hugs}}

Deb said...

You are very good at budgeting and have such delicious recipes! I like your new hair cut. We use the local beauty school for hair cuts (at least my husband does). I usually use coupons at Fantastic Sams but never pay over $20 including the tip. We are pretty frugal here too so thanks for the budgeting encouragement. My hubby may be out of work again at the end of this school year so know that you are not alone in finance and budgeting challenges, but God does provide. He truly does. Have a good weekend!

Susanne said...

Oh Sandra, I just had to chuckle at your definition of "short" hair. LOL. The cut looks great! And holy toledo, $199 for 8 people for a month? That's crazy impressive!

~Carla~ said...

I find menu planning is such a great way to keep your budget on track, yet I always put it off... *blush* Really need to keep up with it! lol!

LOVE your hair, and truly Sandra, you have the biggest more beautiful eyes!!! Love them! :)