Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eating from the Pantry New Year's Challenge!

We are hoping, praying, planning to leave to do Wycliffe's aviation training in NC (at JAARS) which starts Feb. 23rd. There are a number of factors we have to consider, but with all hopeful likelihood we will be heading out then (until June, when it ends). So...we need to get a whole mess of stuff done before then, including getting rid of/storing/selling/packing ALL of our stuff. That includes food.

So we have been doing something of a eating from the pantry lifestyle for a few weeks but we'll be hitting it hard this next month and a half. It doesn't hurt that all the cool kids are doing it too:)

For us, it will be an eating from the pantry 6 week challenge, unless we run out of food totally before then:)

Here are the meals I've come up with that I can make totally from what is on hand minus another sack of potatoes, some fresh produce, dairy/eggs and maybe some meat at the end of the month.

I'll mention the side veggie if there will be one in most cases:)

1) Pasta w Alfredo X 2 (tonight's meal-with canned chicken and fresh spinach to make it more substantial)
2)Spinach Rice Casserole
3)Baked Spagetti X 2 (one is already make in the freezer
4)Lentil Rice Bake
5)Beans N Rice X2
7)Chicken/Turkey Tetrazinni and peas
8)Pasta w/Vodka sauce (jarred) and green beans
9)Bacon, Eggs, Cornbread or muffins w/fruit
10)Homemade pizza X2
11) VEggie burgers, homefries, carrots/dip
12) Bean veggie soup w/biscuits
13) Roast Chicken, cooked carrots, mashed potatoes
14)Tomato bacon pasta bake
15)Baked Potato Bar (using leftover chili and cheesy broc. from freezer as toppers)
16)Chicken Rice Casserole
17)Meatloaf, Mashed potatoes, cooked carrots or green beans
18)Homemade Mac N Cheese, peas
19)Boxed Mac N Cheese with tuna or canned salmon, peas, carrots on side X2
20)Shepherd's Pie (done-yesterday)

I think that'll about cover it (and use up most of our pantry!)

We'll have cereal, eggs, and the occasional muffin for breakfast.

Lunches are leftovers, soup for me (still trying to get that baby weight off!) and we'll have various pantry snacks and fruit during other parts of the day.

I love a good challenge!

Menu Plan for the last week of 2009!

Eating from the pantry continues...

cold cereal, pancakes and eggs, fruit



Monday: Salmon burgers, home fries, peas

Tuesday: Chili, cornbread, carrots

Wednesday: Ham, Mashed Potatoes, cooked buttery carrots

Thursday: Chinese Pineapple Chicken (or Turkey) over brown rice (will add more veggies)-from Miserly Moms

Friday: Homemade Pizza, salad or veggie sticks/dip and popcorn (our "date" night-we watch something on Hulu after the girlies go to bed:)

Saturday: Spagetti, Meatballs, Italian Cheese Bread, green beans

Sunday: Indian Curry or Messy Chicken -again from Miserly Moms

Visit Orgjunkie for more plans!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Time got away from me the day we packed up to come to my parents and I forgot to post the week's deals. But I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We are excited to celebrate Jesus Christ's birth with our family and especially the girls.

We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thanksgiving 2009, Crosby family

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mini Meal plan and pictures

Holding "sissy-a" as M says. With mom and dad close by of course.

Daddy and his girls. He's a softy at heart.

The girls and I will be at my parents for a few days before Daniel (who will be painting our trim and hopefully not dying of fume inhalation!). Thus we don't need much of a meal plan this week.

But here's what I will be fixing for Daniel ahead of time to hold him over for the 3 days we'll be apart:):

~Hamburger stroganoff
~Easy Pizza

I also made a loaf of bread so he can fix tuna, pb&j or chicken salad sammies for himself for lunches (easy reheat doesn't happen for us yet-the microwave still needs to be wired in:). Cold cereal, toast or bean bread will take care of breakfast.

We'll be eating well at my parents-I get to do the "fun" grocery shopping for Christmas meals, so I am looking forward to that.

I scored some sweet grocery deals this weekend-look for a post tomorrow because there is still time for you to get some too!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Safeway Cereal Galore!

Although we personally have plenty o' cereal, I got a whole bunch of it today at Safeway. Its great to donate (there are even barrels to donate right at the stores now!) and if you have enough of these coupons, or these or recent insert Q's you can end up with free cereal plus the free item of the day at Safeway!

And since Maygan pointed out that the $20 minimum is talkinig about regular prices, you actually only have to buy around 8 (to keep in groups of 4) boxes (of cornflakes)to get up to $20! That's a deal:)

And keep your eyes peeled for Post cereal $1.50/1 coupons on boxes-I saw them at the store today! Unfortunately there aren't any hot deals on Post cereals to use them with now, but hopefully soon! (*and I didn't peel any off since I wasn't buying any today so I hope we can all leave them there until the sale comes and help eachother out;)!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lettuce Make Soup!

I can get by cooking. Not great at it, not terrible. One of my favorite things to do though is to get creative with what I have in the kitchen. Along with that is hating to see things go to waste that could be good food for our family! That's where Lettuce soup comes in.

Our fridge was set too cold the other day and we ended up with lovely, but frozen lettuce. What to do but make it into soup! I know it sounds gross, but this is the second time we've made it and it has a mild yet good flavor. I've made both a brothy and a creamy version. What did people do without google to tell them that you could do such a thing?!

The basic idea is that you gently cook/sautee all the same type of things that go into a salad! You will also need to add either broth, water or a creamy base, spices and then puree everything. Tasty and no waste!

Here is the general recipe I followed when we made this last week.

Have you been making any unique dishes in your kitchen lately?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's true

Yes, its true that my children will grow up thinking all mommies arrange and take pictures of their groceries before putting them away!

Case(s) in point:

M is actually getting really good at arranging food the way I like it to take pictures. Its kind of scary:)

And normal that playing with new groceries is more fun than toys. Cheap fun. That's how we roll all recession like;).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Olympic Naval Views

There are some sweet perks about our location. We live super close to a playground. We also have a walking track with a view of the mountains-where we took these pictures this weekend. Not only that but once a neighbor's tree was cut down last month we found out we have a peek-a-boo view of the Olympic mountains! Nice. But I digress. Here are some pictures at the track near our house. And yes, Liv is wearing a bear suit.

Million dollar baby, million dollar smile

Right before she toppled over-sharing a moment with sis

Mom! Quit adjusting my ears!

The pensive M, getting down like her dad (the picture taker)

Loving those rare Pacific northwest sunny days!

Menu Plan for the week of 12/14/09

Lots more pantry meals until we see what income will look like the rest of the month.

cold cereal, pancakes and eggs (and bacon from my $0.54 stash!), fruit, homemade donuts



Monday: Cabbage and bacon stir fry over brown rice (no recipe)

Tuesday: Peanut Butter noodles and leftover cabbage on the side

Wednesday: Veggie Chicken nuggets, home fries and honey mustard dressing

Thursday: Lentil Rice Bake

Friday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, doctored up progresso soup in the crockpot (quick and easy before church Christmas party)

Saturday: Salmon Cream Cheese spread on Crackers with veggie sticks

Sunday: Tacos

Visit Orgjunkie for more plans!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hangin' with my sweet peeps (aka my girls)

My fav activity with my daughters-reading together. Doesn't last long, but is one of the few things we can enjoy together.

My sweet, strong-willed, extremely curious, mischiveous 2 year old. In her big-girl undies (which have been put away temporarily for mommy's sanity;)

Liv, and the biggest smile in the world. Brings me so much joy to see that smile! She's sitting up all by herself these days.

Another face-swallowing-up smile.

Don't you wish you had sweet peeps like mine?;)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Loves me some grocery bargains 12/12/09

Lots of little trips again this week. I've found that works best for our stage of life. Little ones and long times in carts = bad news bears. Plus I WAS potty traininig a toddler-and running to the store's potty every 5 minutes is not super fun. But the WAS part-that's another story;)

Safeway: $4.55 total. Buy 5, Save $5 plus cheese coupons = good deal. And the cookie mix was $0.85 after coupon (should have been $0.45 if my e-coupon would've come off but no.

Walgreens: $5.5x oop (thanks Rebekah for the tip on the Ecotrin overage!) so I was able to get the TP for free! 5 bottles of soda, cookie cutters to go on gifts, a Sense and Spray and I think there is something else? Oh yeah and a cute headband (free after RR).

Albertson's: $6.32 (which included a few apples not pictured.
Nestle chocolate chips X2, lb braeburn apples ($0.68/lb), pumpkin spice coffemate($0.69 after coupon) Cute helper, priceless

Safeway again: $10.32, but will send in for $10 Nabisco rebate! This was my best deal by far this week. Hubby already polished off a box of wheat thins, so these are a good deal around here. But the best part? 4 packs of Oscar Meyer bacon on clearance for $1.29 each, plus I used $0.75/1 coupons on each! Final Price $0.54/each! We had bacon, eggs, whole wheat toast and fruit for breakfast this morning-a fun treat! Also pictured bananas at $0.59/lb.

Albertson's: last but not least. $8.89, but received $5 catalina which I plan to use today for more soup and some veggies. 13 cans of light and high fiber soup. Used 4 printable coupons. Oh and $2 for salsa for dinner from Wal-Mart. We had yummy beans and rice for dinner last night:)

Total: $35.58 plus I plan to spend around $5 more at Albertson's today and possibly another $5 at Walgreens! :)

Visit Money Saving Mom and Grocery Cart Challenge to see other's shopping trips!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sweet Snoozer

I just love me some sleeping babies. Especially the thumb-sucking kind. Funny enough Liv has started loving pacifier too now. After much effort to get her to take a passy, she got one from her sis (who found it on the floor-nice;) and loves to play with it. Silly girls.

My frugal makeover

When I won this contest last week at Super Coupon Girl for a $50/$100 purchase coupon I was stoked! Then I found out I had 2 days to spend it-yikes! Plus, $50 is still a whole lot more than I spend on clothes most months, like 100% more:) But in light of the fact that my last shopping trip was 5 months ago and resulted in some great buys @ Old Navy that no longer fit me (yay!) for about $25. I got the go-ahead from the hubby to do some shopping!

I was able to get some perfectly-fitting jeans (pictured above), 2 cute semi-dressy shirts, two layering undershirts, a fleece, a wintercoat a fleece hat for the hubby and a metal girls' waterbottle (for a gift) for $57 after the coupon. The jeans and coat alone would have been $57 without my coupon! Thanks Super Coupon girl:)

Then-Daniel had some extra time off from work lately so I was able to make an appointment to get my hair done at our local beauty school. For 3 cans of food and $2 for tip I got a nice new haircut and a relaxing time to myself!

For more frugal friday visit Life as a Mom:)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Plan for week of Dec. 7th, 2009

We had company last night and have lots of leftover baked spagetti (even though it turned out really yummy!) so that will go on the menu along with Beans and Rice that we didn't get to.

cold cereal, pancakes and eggs, fruit, homemade donuts



Monday: Breakfast sausage casserole (need to use up a loaf of bread that didn't rise right:)

Tuesday: Garden Burgers, Green Beans, Peanut Butter noodles

Wednesday: Sausage Barley Soup and biscuits

Thursday: Realy Good Beans & Rice

Friday: Homemade Pepperoni Pizza and veggie sticks, popcorn (we've started having a "date night" after the girls go to bed to watch a movie or "the Office" together on fridays:)

Saturday: Seafood Alfredo Pasta, peas

Sunday: Turkey Curry over brown rice

Visit Orgjunkie for more plans!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The girls play in our LIVING ROOM!

Which means we have a functional living room! At night its a bedroom for the girlies of course, but during the day we pack the pack n play up and fold M's little fold out mat and the room is a living room! Before there was too much in the way of boxes and foolishness to use it as a real living room.

The only box you DO see in the living room is heading out-to a friend in need (foodstuffs). Its SO nice to have a place to read books as a family and let the girls play without tripping over stuff!

And do you know what is beyond fabulous? That God provided clearanced out curtains that match our free (from my Grandma Pat-hi grandma!) chairs. It actually looks somewhat put-together in there. Well minus the huge lazy susan cabinet in the corner of the room-anyone want to buy a lazy susan!?! ;)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Loves me some grocery bargains (Dec. 5th, 2009)

I didn't do a lot of shopping this week! Its nice to be able to take stock of what we have (and not spend much money:).

I bought some ground beef for $1.59/lb at the beginning of the week (thinking the price was too good to pass up!) and the new ad still has it this price (at Safeway). But still a really good price. $5.32 for the ground beef (not pictured). But I used it it lots of meals for the cooking/baking day.

Next up, Safeway again for fresh produce (it was within walking distance- some of those prices are lower elsewhere). $8.02 for all the bananas, oranges and 5lbs carrots.

QFC is next up, with markdowns on dairy and baking supplies: $5.18 total for the cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, coconut and brown sugar. Plus I got a raincheck for 10 Kroger chocolate chips bags for $1 a piece (great price!)

And finally, my trip to Walgreens. $1.90 oop (used $10 in RR's, got $10 back). Oatmeal pancake mix, dark chocolate M & M's (necessity, right?!), acai supplements, headband, sucker (for potty training), floss, cinnamon sugar and onion powder.

$20.42 total

Visit Money Saving Mom and Grocery Cart Challenge to see more!

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Friday!

Here is the other big helper from my cooking/baking day:

Because of my crazy toddler's refusal to nap (her version of "resting" in the bed involves more wiggling and rolling than you'd believe!) these past few days, I have very little brain power for blogging. But there are some cool things around the blogosphere you should be checking out!

Money Saving Mom is hosting a ton of giveaways today only! Lots of really useful stuff like gift cards, lotion, teeth whitening products, etc.

Life as a Mom has ideas for homemade food gifts and frugal stocking stuffers that have been super useful to me and our slim Christmas budget.

Its Hip 2 Save has a guest post about creative gift ideas using grocery deals/freebies.

And check out the awesome deals available at Walgreens through Saturday I first heard about at Maybe Frugal. You can see them below:

I spent less than $3 on all of the above (2 pancake mixes, 2 bags dark chocolate M & M's, 2 spices, headband, Acai supplement, floss, a sucker for the potty training girlie!). I spent $10 RR's and got $10 RR's back and about $2.90 oop in between (I was expecting another $1 RR but for some reason it didn't print:(

Any other fun things you see around the blogosphere this friday?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cooking/Baking day recap Dec. 1, 2009

Beans cooking:

Here's what I planned to do yesterday on my cooking baking day:
~pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
~pumpkin puree for soup/muffins for freezer
~knox blox (fruit juice jigglers)
~oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (if time)
~french bread in bread machine (for dinner)
~Paste Fagioli (for dinner plus leftovers for lunches)
~meat mixture-
#Taco/Bean mixture for tacos, taco salad, beans & rice, etc.
#Turkey tetrazinni

And well- our phone/internet went out for the day (just came back on!) and I got all that done plus an additional meal(baked spagetti). Here is a photo of all the goodies minus most of the Pasta Fagioli which we ate for dinner last night with salad, homemade french bread and cookies. Yum!

My only major hurdles were lack of recipes (I rely on the internet way too much for recipes!) and cranky kiddos. Potty training goes great most days-but this was not one of them;)

Did you participate and if so, how'd t go?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To Do and then some more to do

Busy day. Daniel is actually going to work today! Never mind he's cleaning the hangar rather than repairing aircraft. And we will probably have company tonight. Company! Our house is to a place where I can actually think of having company over again!! Its one of our favorite things to do- and the one way I can still have some sort of a "ministry". So..here's the to-do list for today (oh and did I mention its cooking/baking day?!?!

Put away laundry
Take out garbage (usually hubby does it but ran out of time)
Bring in pumpkins and get ready for crockpot
Sort gifts tub
thank you notes
clear off and organize paper piles on kitchen table

~pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
~pumpkin puree for soup/muffins for freezer
~knox blox (fruit juice jigglers)
~oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (if time)
~french bread in bread machine (for dinner)
~Paste Fagioli (for dinner plus leftovers for lunches)
~meat mixture-
#Taco/Bean mixture for tacos, taco salad, beans & rice, etc.
#Turkey tetrazinni (if time)

We'll see how it goes!

My helper:)

Story time (please don't eat the book lil sis:)

Although Liv would like to participate in ALL activities that sister does, she can't do much now. For example she tries to eat the portable dvd player while big sis watches it during potty time. Or grabs french toast off her plate. Fun for lil sis, not so fun for big sis. But story time is a different um...story:) Both enjoy it, although one is more interested in eating the book than reading it. But its still great to do something both enjoy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Git er done!

That's been our motto this past week. And this is what I saw when I walked into the bathroom last week:

A little freaky to be sure. He is above the cabinets in our bathroom here. But Daniel has accomplished OH SO MUCH during his time off! Our house is quickly becoming homey and functional.

Menu Plan for Nov. 30th, 2009

It looks like the aviation industry's slowdown is hitting our little neck of the Puget Sound now too. Daniel is still employed but work is slow and he's not getting called in everyday recently. So...I'm thankful for the food we have stockpiled and the great bargains we have in our nearby grocery stores! Plus, Daniel is getting some of the more important projects done around the house with his "time off" such as getting the back door complete and functional, adding shelves and storage to our bedroom and venting our bathroom.

cold cereal, super power muffins, pancakes and eggs



Monday: Hot Doggie Mac N Cheese, fresh veggie platter (broccoli, carrots, celery & dip)

Tuesday: Pork Chops (got for $0.25 after markdown and cat this weekend!), Mashed Potatoes & steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Fried Brown Rice (using planned bits of leftovers up)

Thursday: Pasta E Fagioli & Cream of Wheat Bread (recipe coming for these soon!)

Friday: Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

Saturday: Garden Burgers, Green Beans, Crackers

Sunday: Realy Good Beans & Rice

Visit Orgjunkie for more plans!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Winter hats and happy girls

The girls' great-grandma Byrne made the yellow hat-so cute!

Unfortunately the mess around M in this picture is normal! But since Daniel has had some time off this past week he's been working non-stop on getting the house in shape and we actually have a functional living room! We could actually sit in there and not have to step over junk--its either gone, rearranged, or in the new cabinets/shelves he's installed! Awesome!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Walgreens Post Black Friday Awesomeness

Dragging a hungry, tired 6 month old around shopping close to her bedtime is usually a very bad idea. This time it was worth it! I got some amazing deals at Walgreens and since it was the last day of the sale I had to get there or forget about it! So get there I did.

I bought the above pictured items for about $13 after a $1 RR I had and a fistful of coupons. And I got $10 in RR back (after several transactions) to spend next time! I would have actually ended up with $12.50 in RR but for some reason a $2.50 RR did not print on one transaction. But the clerk was being so patient and kind that I didn't bother to ask about it. We drink a a decent amount of diet caffiene free soda when we can get it for cheap so that was a big reason to go. The men's shave gel is something we always run out of too, so I was happy about that. And free chocolate? Well that is a necessity of course! ;)

Sister Love

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're off (or will be here shortly) to celebrate thanksgiving with family. We hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving and remember to thank the One who gives all good things!

The Crosby Family

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Philly Cream Cheese deal @ Albies!

Philadelphia Cream Cheese is $0.88 each (limit 2) at Albertson's right now. Use this printable coupon (thanks Money Saving Mom) for $0.55/2 doubled to get cream cheese for $0.33 each! Now that's a deal!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Loves me some grocery bargains pre-thanksgiving 2009

These trips encompass about a week and a half. Sometimes I can't believe how dorky I can be with getting so exciting about good deals! But I guess its a better hobby than I COULD have-shopping without the "bargain" in front of it for example.

Target and Fred Meyer.
Just under $30 for all. I admit it-I can't pass up certain deals! Canned fruit and veg is one of them-they seem to rarely go on sale that cheap. Other highlights-free wipes, $0.28 whole wheat pasta, $0.50 cottage cheese, free (after catalina) butter, $0.50 batteries, $0.66 Ritz crackers and flour for $1.39. A lot of reasonably healthy food for the money, so I was happy.

Rite Aid:
I had a Fall Savings gift card for $10 burning a hole in my pocket and a $4/$20 coupon. I bought some things we needed and some light bulbs that worked to be free after SCR and coupon. The address labels were stinking expensive, but we needed them for our newsletter (signed sealed and almost delivered today by the way!!) Total spent: just under $7

Last week I said I wouldn't have to spend anything this week because of my catalinas from Albies. Well that was partially true-at least applying to this trip.
Total spent: 2.92 after catalina. Coffee can be a budget buster for us so I did the spend $20 get $5 back deal on coffee and then did the sara lee deal. 2 pies and 2 Breyers for less than $3 bucks? I can do that! Ragu was $0.38 after coupons and spinach was $0.75.

Much overdue raking DONE!

Our little house was in sore need of a good rakin'. It looked orphaned once again(when we bought it no one had lived in it for years). But this weekend, we had a fun family time raking up the leaves together. Funny thing too when your neighbor (instead of telling you its about time you cleaned that mess up!) asks you to throw your leaves into their yard! They have a beautiful flower garden during nice weather months and they use them to insulate their flowers apparently. Works for us!!

Daddy and his big helper (yes she is wandering away from her job:) And the front of our little house:)

Big helper probably exclaiming "I did it"! after putting one leaf in:)

The one leaf

And one more...

Daddy-you're doing a good job!

Taking the leaf back out-then wandering off to look at a worm (and yelling "it scary me!")

Hard workers!

For the record I was working too-but I took a break to take pictures:) O was asleep in the house:)