Friday, March 27, 2009

♫Happy Birthday♫- Please help me out!

Today is my daughter's 11th birthday.
While she was at school, I hijacked her blog and made a post. I want all my blogging friends to head over to her blog and leave her a comment. Let's flood her blog with birthday wishes! She'll love it! Thanks!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Week 3 Update - March Madness

Below is what happens when you want something sweet and do not go to the store to get it. Hubby was responsible for these yummies! He fished through the cabinet, took out the Betty Crocker cookbook and a couple of hours later we had homemade donuts! They were really good.

I am doing this experiment. Here is my weekly update on some lessons I am learning...
  • We would've NEVER thought about making homemade donuts to satisfy a sweet tooth. We would've gone to ice cream or somewhere to buy a treat. This was not only yummy, but was fun for the whole family to participate in.
  • Remember when Jesus fed the 5,000 with bread and fish? Well, I have seen that firsthand these past couple of weeks. Without even knowing how I am going to feed my family I have been able to feed other families and take goodies to others in need. I am not saying this to make myself look great, the point is everytime I opened my cabinet or freezer to look for something for someone else, there would be all of the ingredients I needed. It has been truly amazing!
  • It is all a great cycle. You see, people have been helping me with my experiment again this week. One friend brought chocolate to a party I had just so I could keep it afterward. Another friend, at the same party, brought Oreo's and TWO gallons of milk knowing I could use the leftovers after the party (she even called ahead to ask what type of milk we drink!). Then, another friend brought me a frozen lasagna and frozen peas...just because. I am really grateful to everyone who thinks of us!
  • I did purchase some edible items this week. I was in a self-pitiful state one day and went to lunch with a couple of girlfriends. I used a coupon though! I also bought pizza to feed the missionaries. (I didn't think they'd like Top Ramen too much). Also, for the above-mentioned party I bought treats at the Dollar Store. Did you know that we have Crunch N' Munch and Red Vines at the Dollar Store?
  • Other than that, I have not bought anything at all. Tonight I took out my leftover frozen beef stew and made mashed potatoes, added some more veggies and the kids devoured it!
  • This Friday is my daughter's 11th birthday. With a little planning ahead, I will be able to do it with minimal food purchases.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Twihard DVD Premiere Party!

downstairs the women, upstairs the teens


we had- vegetarian vampire juice, Cullen Cuisine (Italian salsa), Forks party mix, Spartan sweets, "Edible Art", Team Edward cake bites, Team Jacob cake bites.

It smelled like a movie theater!

After the movie we had a 25 question trivia game. There was a three way tie so here are the tie breaker questions...can you answer them?
  1. What is the poplulation of Forks?
  2. What was the date and reason of Edward's "almost" death?
  3. What is the name of the Port Angeles bookstore?

My sister and niece ended up winning their very own DVD, courtesy of my co-host!

We also had a raffle where a Twilight goodie basket was the prize. A great mother and daughter won that.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Week 2 Update- March Madness

This month I am trying something crazy, check it out here. Week 2 started out awesome! Last Sunday a friend brought me a box of chocolates just because she read my blog and read how hard it was to go without chocolate. Then another neighbor was leaving for two weeks and brought over all her groceries that would go bad. What a huge blessing! I am grateful to friends who support me through this little experiment.
Saturday hit and all of a sudden powdered milk and baking bread did not seem as luxurious as it did on March 1st. So I went to Costco and bought bread, milk, eggs, clementines and lettuce. The grand total was $30. Now I feel I really can make it to the end of the month. We will see!

Friday, March 13, 2009

There is beauty all around...Happy Friday!

I have been a little down this week. I am feeling better though. I love looking around and seeing hope everywhere!
There really IS beauty all around!

This photo was taken one night last week, where there were ice crystals around the moon.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week 1 update- March Madness

If you are wondering what in the world I am doing, check out here. So, I can honestly say that I did not buy any food product this past week. You know what? We have been eating really, really well. I am sure that will change this coming week though.
  • All of our fresh fruits and vegetables are gone. This is where I just may cave...
  • We still have a little less than a gallon of milk.
  • I was a little depressed this weekend since we were not spending money on food or entertainment. I know there are plenty of things to do for free, it just really made me realize that I spend money when I am bored!
  • Hubby did not make the vow to not spend on food, just me, so he took us to Subway for dinner last night. I was so excited! Go $5 footlongs, a few meals taken care of!
  • I am going crazy without chocolate. I really NEED to store more chocolate! I have definately felt a scarifice here!
  • Other than that, it has been pretty easy and I have been very creative so far.


Monday, March 2, 2009

♣ March Madness ♣

Disclaimer: I apologize if I am bumming anyone out with all my posts about saving money. Sadly, the reality of it is this is what my life is all about right now. Also, I am in no way suggesting anyone adopt this particular experiment out of guilt or anything else. :)
For February it was difficult to stay on budget. ..and it was a short month, yikes! We are doing a great job tracking how and where our money goes here. And I definitely only stuck to needs instead of wants. But alas, I had to "roll forward" some March funds which only leaves me in a pinch now. So.... I came up with this...a drastic experiment for the month of March~ Not spending any money on food this month.

Now before you call me "mad" (hence the name of this post) hear me out, it may not sound as crazy to you after. Looking back, I think I was making decisions to prepare for this without even knowing it. Here are some things I have done that will help me a lot:

  • following our prophet to store what we eat for a time of need. We are nowhere near a year supply, but I have bought a little extra when I could.
  • after cooking a meal like meatloaf or beef stew I immediately take any leftovers and freeze them for another meal. My family is not big on leftovers, I would normally toss it after a few days.
  • make extra basics like spaghetti sauce and freeze if for the future. can you tell I love my extra freezer?
  • made my kids aware that we will not be eating full course meals nightly. This was because my husband is rarely home for dinner. Our meals are always balanced, but we often have breakfast or sandwiches for dinner.

It will not be easy, we will need to sacrifice. But I have come to learn that sacrifice exercises faith. Here are some challenges I foresee and I would love your suggestions on how to get through them

  • it is clear that we will be sacrificing some health benefits as when our fresh produce runs out we will be using canned veggies and fruits. Packaged foods are higher in sodium and less health-efficient.
  • school lunches??? any ideas for this when the juice boxes run out, this is not something I have stayed stocked up on.
  • milk...I hate powdered milk!
  • there are a few events that have been already planned ( few birthdays) where I will need to spend money on restaurant food.
  • will I really save money in the long run? I will need to replenish just about EVERYTHING in April and that could be difficult staying on my April food budget.
  • I am sure there will be others, I plan to update you throughout the month.

If you still think I am crazy, you just may be right! I don't really consider myself an "extremist" so this experiment is not usually how I roll. BUT I do foresee many benefits from this; for example my children are already looking for ways to stretch their favorite foods.

I took the following pictures, NOT to show you my messy pantry, BUT I thought it would be fun to show you an "after" picture at the end of the month. Please know that I also have garage pantry storage and a freezer out there.

pantry 3/1- before

fridge 3/1 - before

Wish me luck, I know I will need it!