Meal plan for the week of 2/19/17



Last week we had a couple changes in the menu, mainly due to pregnancy exhaustion.  One night resulted in a frozen pizza for dinner and cereal for the other.  So, tacos and the baked honey mustard chicken moved to this week’s plan.  That’s one thing that I love about meal planning… If something doesn’t get made, you just shift it to next week.

So here is this week’s plan:

  • Sunday: Hawaiian sandwiches, pasta salad, peaches
  • Monday: Crockpot beef and noodles, veggies
  • Tuesday: Chicken Helper (chicken fried rice), extra veggies, pineapple
  • Wednesday: Tacos with fresh veggies, peaches and pears
  • Thursday:  Baked honey mustard chicken, egg noodles, veggie
  • Friday: Pasta with meat sauce, veggies, garlic bread
  • Saturday: Leftovers

I’ve quickly learned to LOVE going grocery shopping before 8am at Walmart.  Why?  Because I managed to catch all the marked down meat, bakery, and deli items.  Just last week I spent $16 and walked out with:

  • 1 extra large pepperoni pizza
  • 1 extra large ultimate bacon pizza
  • 3 loaves of French bread
  • 3, 2 packs of take and bake demi baguettes
  • 12 pack of mini muffins
  • 3 pack of chocolate chunk cookies
  • 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs

Everything but the muffins and cookies went directly into the freezer.  The muffins and cookies were treats that the boys picked out and they lasted for just 2 days.  The pizzas will be a good backup for when “I just can’t cook tonight” happens again.  The demi baguettes we love with pasta, and the chicken will be a crockpot meal.  2 of the French bread loaves are just plain and unseasoned, so I’ve been looking for ideas for them.  One of which I’m going to look into is a French toast casserole.

Thankfully there is an easy meal tonight because we are spending a chunk of the day building a chicken run for the girls so they can get out of the coop.

Have a great week!

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Meal plan for week of 2/12/17

dana-whats-cookingThis past week has been busier than normal and of course, I had to throw in some other things to make it more complicated.  Like defrosting the deep freezer, reorganizing the deep and stand up freezers, and now cleaning the fridge.

The benefit to me adding in these extra things is that I now know what all we have in the freezers that should be used before it goes into the trash…. like the 8 frozen packages of flour tortillas (there will be tacos every week for the next couple months!)

So, based on what I found stashed away, here’s what’s planned for this week:

  • Sunday: BBQ chicken, au gratin potatoes, veggies
  • Monday: Steak, mashed potato, veggies
  • Tuesday: Lasagna roll ups , copycat Olive Garden breadsticks, garden salad, and a razzleberry pie for dessert
  • Wednesday: Tacos, Mexican rice, pineapple
  • Thursday: Baked honey mustard chicken, egg noodles, veggies
  • Friday: Cheddar sausages, mac and cheese, veggies
  • Saturday: Homemade pizza

I will also be making a double batch of carmelitas to use up the heavy cream I needed for last week’s Venison Marsala.  I don’t think anyone will complain about this!

Do any of you have any ideas for flour tortillas other than tacos, burritos, and enchiladas? Help me out!


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Meal plan for the week of 2/5/2017


Two meals are getting carried over from last week.  One night we had leftovers again and another was a frozen pizza kind of night.  You all know those.  It’s when you are just too dang tired to cook anything, but the kids will swear they are dying if they don’t eat.  That’s the benefit of meal planning though, you just shift those things to the next week since you already have everything to make them.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Sunday: Tacos with lots of fresh veggies (carry over from last week)
  • Monday: Shake and bake pork, noodle side dish, applesauce (carry over from last week)
  • Tuesday: Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry with rice and fruit
  • Wednesday: Meatball subs and caesar salad.
  • Thursday: Pancakes and bacon
  • Friday: Tuna noodle casserole with either cinnamon apples or applesauce
  • Saturday: Venison Marsala, egg noodles, veggies


Total spent this week for groceries: TBD (I am shopping on Tuesday so I’ll update then)

I only meal plan for dinners because everyone usually wants something different for breakfast, and it’s just me and the little guy for lunch.  Breakfast and lunch tend to be things we always have on hand.

Breakfasts: eggs, cereal, oatmeal, toast, yogurt

Lunch: leftovers, PB&J, grilled cheese, cheese/crackers/fruit, hot dogs (kids), chicken nuggets (kids), freezer meal beef burritos

Have a great week!!

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Meal plan for the week of 1/29/17


Here’s what is on the menu for this week:

Sunday 29th: Chicken enchiladas with fresh veggies and Mexican rice

Monday 30th: Leftovers

Tuesday 31st: Hamburgers, french fries, fruit

Wednesday 1st: Chicken pot pie with cheddar biscuit topping

Thursday 2nd: Shake and Bake pork, noodle side dish, applesauce

Friday 3rd: Leftovers -OR- pasta with meat sauce, veggies, and garlic bread

Saturday 4th: Tacos with fresh veggies


Total spent on groceries this week: $61.42


I only meal plan for dinners because everyone usually wants something different for breakfast, and its just me and the little guy for lunch.  Breakfast and lunch tend to be things we always have on hand.

Breakfasts: eggs, cereal, oatmeal, toast, yogurt

Lunch: leftovers, PB&J, grilled cheese, cheese/crackers/fruit, hot dogs (kids), chicken nuggets (kids), freezer meal beef burritos

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!





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I’m Back!


At least I hope I am!  Life had gotten extremely crazy last July and I found that I just couldn’t keep up with blogging and family, so blogging had to take a back seat.

So what have we been up to?

  • Fawning season:  We had a busy summer with babies being born, deer getting sick, and trying to get some bucks sold in the fall.  I know that this is only going to get take up more of my husband’s time (not mine and you’ll see why below in the “What’s coming up” section) come March/April when it starts to warm up and he can get out there to do more work on the pens before fawning season rolls around again in June.
  • Pre-K: My (now) 5 year old started Pre-K in September and he rides the bus to and from school each day.  He absolutely LOVES it and is ready for Kindergarten this coming August.
  • Potty training: My 3 year old is potty training!  Hallelujah!  He is about 90% there but he is doing SO awesome.  He needs to be 100% potty trained so that he can go to Pre-K in September and ride the bus too.
  • New Job:  My husband started a new job and he works an odd 2nd shift.  He can start any time from 10am to 3pm and end anywhere from 6:30pm to 11:30pm.  It varies day to day so we had to adjust to this change.  We are still trying to find ways to balance everything out, but we are almost there.
  • Teen update:  My daughter (14) was attending an online public school up through December 2016.  This was to allow her to have some flexibility to attend doctor appointments and such without missing too much school.  She has started back at public school this week and is LOVING it!  For now, I’m having to drive her back and forth to school because we are out of the district, but hopefully that will change soon.
  • Chickens:  My chickens are doing great!  They started producing like crazy last July, but have slowed down come October when the days began to get shorter.  We have a larger coop built for them right now, and are adding on a outdoor run this spring.


What’s coming up?

  • Gardening:  I ordered this book and am beginning to learn about straw bale gardening.  I have never had a garden before and I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’m hoping that this book, and this method, will help me have a successful garden for canning and eating this year.  I also have some seeds that will get started inside in March so that I (hopefully) will have some plants ready to put in the garden come mid May.
  • Canning: I need to can jellies and jams this year, as I’m almost out of what I canned in 2015.  Hopefully, my roma tomatoes will grow nicely and I can get some tomato products canned as well.
  • Landscaping: The front of our house has been greatly neglected.  I’m hoping to put in a simple, low maintenance flower bed along the front of the house.


And on top of all this……

…Yep!  We are expecting a new baby girl late May/early June.  This was totally NOT planned and was quite a shock to us.  She’s the best little “oops” that has ever happened to us.

What are my plans for the blog?

  • Continue posting weekly meal plans, with links to recipes
  • Share my journey with gardening and landscaping (this should be amusing)
  • Share the ways I’ve been cutting costs in preparation for a new baby
  • Continue to post about random family and life experiences as they occur

I don’t want to completely overwhelm myself with blogging on a daily basis, so I’m setting a goal of 3-4 times a week.  Some weeks it will be less, some weeks it will be more.  I look forward to sharing again with you all!

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Chicken enchilladas

This is a GREAT way to get more than one meal out of a whole chicken.  When I plan on roasting a whole chicken, or having a store made rotisserie chicken, I always have to plan a second chicken meal a couple days later with what I pick off the bones.

Have you ever picked a chicken carcass after you get a meal out of it?  I never realized how much meat there is left on those bones!  Easily enough for a second meal

These chicken enchiladas are a favorite of ours for a couple different reasons. Not only are they delicious (I wouldn’t be sharing with you if they were gross), they are very easy and quick to put together.  This is a key requirement to cooking in this family. I don’t have the time or patience to spend hours prepping dinner, unless it is a special holiday meal.

You can top these with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and salsa like we do…. or you can leave them plain and pair with some refried beans and rice.


  • 2 cans condensed nacho cheese soup
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 8 inch flour tortillas


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1 can of soup and milk. Set aside
  3. In another bowl, combine 1 can of soup, chicken, salsa and chili powder.
  4. Spread 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into each tortilla, roll up, and place seam down in a 9×13 baking dish. Repeat until all the chicken mixture is used.
  5. Spread the soup and milk mixture over top of the enchiladas.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.


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Meal plan for week of 7/10 (week 5 of the pantry challenge)

Sorry this is a little late going up!  We have been very busy this past week with new jobs, dog sitting, and various appointments. Better late than never right??

Let start with a quick recap.

  • What is a pantry challenge? It is when you plan your meals based off of what you already have, buying only dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables.  I am doing a modified pantry challenge in that I am allowing myself to buy 1 additional ingredient per meal if I need it.
  • Total spent during the first 4 weeks: $94.24.  I know that in last week’s post I sad a total of around $63, but I did go to the store on Tuesday last week for a few things. (milk, blueberries, strawberries, apples, mac & cheese (my 4 year old had a filling done that morning and he wanted mac and cheese for lunch), chocolate bars for s’mores, coffee, tortilla chips, sour cream, lettuce, cucumbers)

Here’s what’s on the plan this week:

  • Sunday: BBQ chicken, au gratin potatoes, veggies
  • Monday: Hamburger helper, veggies, bread and butter
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti with chicken sausage
  • Wednesday: Leftovers or Pizza
  • Thursday: Tacos
  • Friday: Beer battered fish, rice, veggies
  • Saturday: Creamy chicken, egg noodles, veggies

What do I see myself needing at the store this week? Aside from the basics (milk, eggs, fruit, veggies) all I need is sour cream for the tacos. Everything else is already in the house.  I may need a pack of lunchmeat and a couple things for my husband’s lunch, but that’s about it.  I’m pretty confident I can keep the total for these next 4 weeks under $100 again easily.  My goal is to come in under $75.

Who else is doing a pantry challenge?!


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