Monday, November 18, 2019

Menu Plan Monday 11/18

Chicken Tacos with white rice
Salsa Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Pancakes and Breakfast for Dinner
Pork Chops with white rice
Chicken Fries, Chicken Wraps and Homemade Fries

Last week was a little crazy because I ended up working everyday and then getting sick.  We had Pasta Monday and then Chili with corn bread on Tuesday.  Wednesday, I switched meals and had Philly Cheese Steak Pasta and then Chicken and Rice Casserole on Thursday.  Friday was leftovers where we had chili and cheese on baked potato, chili and cheese spaghetti, whatever else we had in the fridge.  Saturday we had Pizza Hut Pizza and Bread Sticks.  Sunday was my son's favorite dinner Chicken Fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries.

I made rolls, bread and pumpkin bread over the weekend.  I also made cinnamon and sugar for toast.  We made tons of different kinds of popcorn including regular, caramel and cinnamon.  I made rice krispie treats and a few other things last week but most of them are gone already.  I am going to try to make some cookies this week with the free time that I have.  Hoping that the meals go as easily!!

Friday, November 15, 2019

November Middle of the Month Budget Update

I work really hard every month to maintain a budget of $160 but it is getting harder every month.  With the newspaper not carrying anything but Smart Source coupons, the deals are harder to find.  The printable coupons seem to have a lot of deals so I print those but there is a limit of two per computer or ip address depending on the site so there isn't a lot of options to get more of the coupon.  I use sales, coupons and any means that I have to get the best deals and stock up.

When a deal presents itself, I have been getting all that I have coupons for which sometimes sends me over budget but I know that it will lower my budget in the long run.  It has also had me jumping at deals that aren't as good when I have the coupons like $0.25 pasta which before would have been way too expensive for me since we got a new coupon and deal to make them $0.09 per box.  It is hard to tell if the lower deals are coming back.

I have broken down all my trips to the store for the first half of the month with the amount spent and the items purchased below. There are pictures of each trip so you can see everything that I have gotten so far for the month.

Wegman's $2.03

I went to the store to get the $0.99 flour to stock up my cupboard because I used all of the flour in my stockpile.  I only had two 5 pounds of flour which is an all time low for me.

Wegman's $2.03

My husband got two as well when we were at the soccer party at Wegman's.

Wegman's $23.82

We were down to our last ground beef bag so I grabbed some and made a bunch of 1 lb bags for the freezer.  I got two more flour for my new stockpile for winter baking and a bag of marshmallows to make rice krispie treats.  My husband wanted to get popcorn salt for the big popcorn machine that we have been using because it works better then the regular salt.

Harris Teeter $13.09

There was a clearance on the ground beef which made it $1.99 per pound so I decided that I would make chili .  I also got some cube steak which we enjoyed for dinner that night.  The ramen soup was $1 per package of 6 and it one of the foods my husband wants when he is sick so I got two flavors.  I also got the pasta which were now $0.09 per box with the sale and new $0.75/2 coupon.

Harris Teeter $0.61

I got six boxes of pasta so excited to get them for $0.09 each.

Aldi $15.04 

Back to Aldi to get some things that we were running low or out of.  I went to one closer to the house while I was on the way home from Harris Teeter.  They had the same prices as the one that I normally go to for these items.

Harris Teeter $11.38

I got the sugar evic deal for $0.97 each with a limit of 4.  I got the $0.09 pasta to add to the stockpile.  I got some clearance pork chops for $4.64 and it will make three meals for us.  We enjoyed one right away and froze the others.  My favorite deal was the pancake mix made it $0.99 after sale and coupon and then there was a rebate for $0.75 on Krusteaz Pancake Mix and $0.25 any pancake mix and $0.25 any item so I got them both for free after rebates.

Aldi $4.48 

I went to the store to get the milk and decided to get two bags of marshmallows to make rice krispie treats.  On the way to the register, I found the pumpkins were clearanced for $0.50 so I decided to grab it to roast it and make pumpkin.

Harris Teeter $5.65

I went to get the Oven Bags because we need them for Thanksgiving and they were on sale for $2 and there was a $0.75 coupon so I paid $0.50 each package.  I also found hot sauce for $1.50 per pound so I got two because my husband wanted to try hot.  He decided it was a little too hot but I am going to mix it with the mild I already have and make a good medium heat. I got 6 boxes of pasta for $0.09.

Wegman's $3.04

I got two more flours to add to the stockpile at $0.99 each.  I also got three mac and cheese which were $0.33 each.  We enjoyed them and they changed the flavor again and my son is way happier with this new kind.  I am super excited because we have another food to add into the weekly diet for my son.

Harris Teeter $0.61

My husband got 6 of the pasta and couldn't figure out why I didn't him 6 coupons.  He read them and figured it out but I explained it at least three times.  Didn't know it was going to be so confusing to send him after 6 boxes of pasta but always good to fully understand the directions.

Harris Teeter $0.61

I went to the store to get more of the $0.09 pasta.

Harris Teeter $0.61

My son got six boxes of pasta and gave the cashier his change and bag and everything.  It is always cute to watch him check out even when he gets older.

Harris Teeter $0.41

I only had two coupons left in my stockpile and  I got the last four boxes of spaghetti.

Harris Teeter $0.61

I got my new papers and they had last week's coupons in them so I went back to the store to get more pasta!!  I love my stockpile super full with pasta so that I don't have to worry about it later.

Harris Teeter $0.61

I got some different kinds of pasta which were also $0.09.

Harris Teeter $0.61

 I have so much pasta that I had to rearrange the cupboards but love some $0.09 pasta. 

Harris Teeter $0.61

Last day to get the pasta deal so I went and got some more $0.09 pasta.

Total Retail $253.41
Total Savings  $167.56
Total OOP $85.85

I think that I got a lot this month including 70 boxes of pasta and 40 pounds of flour.  I also got a lot of meat which has been enjoyed and frozen to enjoy later.  Although I am over my middle of the budget goal, I think that these foods were all purchased at the very lowest price possible.  I made a bunch of pumpkin and chili to freeze to make more yummy meals later in the coming months.

Eating Out

We got Pizza Hut for $8.47 at the beginning of the month and enjoyed some yummy pizza.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Smart But Scattered Book Review

I got this recommendation for a book to help me figure out how to help my son become more organized.  It took me awhile to read it because there was so much information but I was happy that I did!  Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson is an amazing reference book with tests and charts to help make things better based on individual challenges.

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your bright, talented son or daughter struggle with everyday tasks like finishing homework, putting away toys, or following instructions at school. Your “smart but scattered” child might also have trouble coping with disappointment or managing anger. Drs. Peg Dawson and Richard Guare have great news: there’s a lot you can do to help.

The latest research in child development shows that many kids who have the brain and heart to succeed lack or lag behind in crucial “executive skills”--the fundamental habits of mind required for getting organized, staying focused, and controlling impulses and emotions. Learn easy-to-follow steps to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses, use activities and techniques proven to boost specific skills, and problem-solve daily routines. Small changes can add up to big improvements--this empowering book shows how.

Thought this was an amazing book that had lots of great tests and hints to get you working to help your child's weaknesses.  It also helps determine parents and children's weaknesses because sometimes we can't help if we have the same weaknesses if we haven't dealt with our own issues.  Although we are best to help if we have already overcome challenges that we can help with so the book helps parents as well.  I thought it was great to see different ways to help my son and myself communicate and not get to the place where we are both upset.  I really think that this is a great resource for all people dealing with kids even if they aren't there own because it helps to understand how other people may see things different from yourself and how to work together for the best outcome.  I enjoyed the book even though it took a long time to read.  I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with issues with their kids in school and staying organized.  It has helped us a lot so that we don't end up doing all of the work and my son never learns the coping mechanisms.  I hope that this will prepare him for later in life to live to his best.  I hope that many others check it out and see for yourself but this might be a good one to buy because it will take a lot of renewals from the library to get through it all unless you are more dedicated to reading it every day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Bitterest Pill Book Review

I saw this on the new release section and knew that I hadn't read it so I grabbed the newest in the Jesse Stone series.  Robert B. Parker's The Bitterest Pill (A Jesse Stone Novel) by Reed Farrel Coleman is the 18th book in the series.  I have enjoyed reading all the books in the series and even enjoyed the movie series so I was excited to get to read another installment.

The opioid epidemic has reached Paradise, and Police Chief Jesse Stone must rush to stop the devastation in the latest thriller in Robert B. Parker's New York Times-bestselling series.

When a popular high school cheerleader dies of a suspected heroin overdose, it becomes clear that the opioid epidemic has spread even to the idyllic town of Paradise. It will be up to police chief Jesse Stone to unravel the supply chain and unmask the criminals behind it, and the investigation has a clear epicenter: Paradise High School. Home of the town's best and brightest future leaders and its most vulnerable down-and-out teens, it's a rich and bottomless market for dealers out of Boston looking to expand into the suburbs.

But when it comes to drugs, the very people Jesse is trying to protect are often those with the most to lose. As he digs deeper into the case, he finds himself battling self-interested administrators, reluctant teachers, distrustful schoolkids, and overprotective parents . . . and at the end of the line are the true bad guys, the ones with a lucrative business they'd kill to protect.

I thought it was very different from the other books and actually I thought that made it a little better.  You could tell that this book was set in modern times where the older books were dealing with problems that could have happened in the 80's so I thought it was moving with the times.  Jesse is dealing with being sober and his new role as father.  In addition, there is a growning drug and resulting crime problem in the small town of Paradise.  Many people don't have to worry about it until it hits the high school and there are children showing up dead.  Jesse is deeply invested in getting to the bottom of the crime spree and finding all of the people responsible.  This leads to tons of other things going wrong as always happens but you have to pick up the book to find out what happens.  I think that you will be impressed whether you have read the other books or not.  Although I highly recommend starting at the beginning and getting to know Jesse Stone first.  I hope that you like this book as much as I did!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Timepiece Book Review

I was reading Timepiece by Beverly Lewis when the due date came and I wasn't finished.  I went to the library to get it renewed by one more day.  I was so excited to get the chance to finish it before returning it without having late fees.  I stayed up late and finished it all to return when before the new due date.  I love the library but when I get too many books, I am the only one who suffers!!

As the only daughter, Sylvia Miller of The Tinderbox has always held a special place in her Old Order family, one Adeline Pelham jeopardizes when she shows up at the Millers' Hickory Hollow farm. It isn't that Adeline means to be a threat, but her very existence is a reminder of the painful secret that has so recently upended the Miller household. And with Sylvia and her mother still struggling to come to terms with that news, this is a challenging time to welcome an Englisher--especially this Englisher--into their midst.

Despite the Millers' unexpected hospitality, Adeline is well aware that she's treading on Sylvia's turf, and she feels guilty about doing so when Sylvia is grappling with issues of her own. Not only is Sylvia trying to rebuild her trust in her father, but she's uncertain what to make of her once-promising engagement to Titus Kauffman, who hasn't pursued her since she confronted him. Adeline wishes she could help Sylvia, but she's not sure that either she or Sylvia is ready for that level of closeness in their relationship.  Can God make something good come out of the mistakes of the past? Or does Adeline's arrival mark one too many surprises for the Millers and their Amish community?

I had enjoyed the other books in the series and was excited when the newest book came up in my reserve shelf.  I didn't know that it was part of the series but I know that I like all of Beverly Lewis books!  I thought that the Amazon description was the worst book description and I disagree with most of it but I luckily didn't read it before the book.  The daughter that the Earnest Miller didn't know he had showed up after his Bann was over confessing about the marriage that he had before becoming Amish.  Adeline is English and grew up with her mother and didn't know anything about her father until her mother passed away.  She came to met them and learned that they were very welcoming.  She stayed much longer and learned much more then she expected.  Her sister, Sylvia, is going through a lot with the new sister showing up.  Her engagement ends over this and other reasons which Adeline starts to blame her self so she leaves.  To find out what she learned through this process, you will have to pick up the book and read for yourself.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I did but make sure you check out the earlier books in the series too!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Menu Plan Monday 11/11

 Chili with corn bread
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Philly Cheese Steak Pasta
Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken with mac and cheese
Chicken Fries, Chicken Wraps and Homemade Fries

Last week we had Chili with corn bread on Monday and Pasta with sausage sauce on Tuesday.  We had a special treat with Cube Steak and Rice on Wednesday after I went to the store and found a package marked down.  Thursday we have the Chicken and Potato Casserole and my son had hash browns (less spicy).  Friday we had Pork Chops with mac and cheese which we got as another deal I couldn't pass up at the grocery store.  Saturday we had Fried Rice and Egg Rolls and my son had pancakes.  Sunday was my son's favorite meal of chicken fries, chicken tenders and homemade fries.  The meals were a little moved around with the deals found in the store (we took away leftovers because I keep eating them for lunch) and Breakfast for Dinner this week except for my son's pancakes.  I hope that you have a great week and enjoy some yummy meals!!  Lots more yummy meals but a really busy week this week so we will see how the plan goes after things get crazy.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Healing Jar Book Review

I was excited to get to the last book in the series,  The Healing Jar (The Prayer Jars) by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next.  The first two books were hard enough to put down but this book was even harder for me.  I couldn't wait to see how it was going to end.

What if you have waited to find love only to be rejected when it finally comes? Lenore Lapp is an Amish schoolteacher in her late twenties still living at home with her parents and grandparents. She thought love had passed her by until she meets Jesse Smucker, a widower with a baby daughter. She quickly falls in love with them both and accepts Jesse’s proposal of marriage, but Jesse breaks off their engagement when he realizes he can’t marry only for convenience.  Resigned to living single, Lenore throws herself into caring for her elders. While working in her grandmother’s garden, she digs up an old jar. Will Lenore find healing for her broken heart and solve long-buried family secrets by reading the note contained inside?

Lenore Lapp is living with her grandparents to help take care of them while working as a school teacher in the small Amish school.  She is enjoying her life with her job and family being very fulfilling until she starts wanting more.  Lenore was making plans to be an old maid living with her grandparents when she meets Jesse and his baby daughter. Lenore grows close when she watches the baby during the summer when she off school.  They grow closer and Jesse proposed marriage.  While Lenore was planning the wedding, Jesse decides that it was only a marriage of convenience and breaks off the engagement.  Lenore goes back to the life she had before but she is heart broken by all of the losses in her life.  She is dealing with so many thing but you have to pick up the book to find out what she is dealing with.  I hope that you check out this book and all the books in the series.  I enjoyed them so much and they made me grateful for the family in my life.  I think that you should check out these books and enjoy them for yourself.