Family Meal Plans Week 8

This week is full of simple dishes that require very little recipes. This week our home has been under the weather. We have been spending our time binge watching on Netflix, catching up on Master Chef Junior (my kids love this), and spending a lot of time resting. Miss Priss also got her braces on this week, so soft foods were a must as well. This week's menu plan reflects that. :)

Sunday 2/22/15- Grilled Cheese and Spinach Sandwiches and Steamed Cauliflower

Tonight I was a tad behind on dinner, because I was spent the majority of my afternoon making lemon poppy seed bread and brownies to stock up our freezer with. I have been trying to keep our freezer stocked with some yummy goodies, so that we don't turn to store bought treats when we want to indulge our sweet tooth. It is a process making sure I manage my time each week to bake a few things from scratch. I am trying to be better at it, since I know when I do bake things, my family is able to snack on things that are not chock full of preservatives...something we are slowly trying to get away from.

Grilled cheese is a great fall back meal. I used my American cheese I purchased at Costco HERE. We added spinach to up the veggies and served steamed cauliflower on the side that I got from Bountiful Baskets on Saturday.

Monday 2/23/15- Breakfast Night- Bacon, scrambled eggs, and fruit salad

Family Meal Plans Week 8

Breakfast food is where it is at people! I love including a breakfast night often in my meal plan rotation. It is simple to make and is always a crowd favorite. Recently I have been on a fruit salad kick. With strawberries, blueberries, bananas, apples, and kiwis all ready to be used in my fridge....a fruit salad was a no brainer to add to our meal. We ate the whole bowl people. Yum!

Tuesday 2/24/15- BLT Sandwiches, steamed zucchini, and purple potatoes

Family Meal Plans Week 8

In our family, bacon is something that brings the kids around during meal prep time. They hear it sizzling, they want to help, and of course sample taste it. On this particular night, Libby was sick and resting on the couch, so Keagan decided to help me by cooking bacon and putting toast in the toaster. Having some helping hands was a nice treat!

Wednesday 2/25/15- Chili and cornbread

I found a few seasoning packets I snagged from my grandma, so I decided to use one of them on Wednesday. We had yummy chili and cornbread. For the chili, I followed the seasoning packet's instructions. The cornbread was homemade and was so delicious. It is my go to cornbread recipe. It takes only a few minutes to whip up and is super moist! I used whole wheat flour instead of white to up the whole grain factor.

Family Meal Plans Week 8

Family Meal Plans Week 8

Here's the yummy recipe friends! 


1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 tbl butter (I used coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 425'. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. Next add wet ingredients. Stir till just combined. Pour into a 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm.

Thursday 2/26/15- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and lentil soup

Family Meal Plans Week 8

Keagan and I joined forces again on Thursday to make grilled cheese and soup. I heated the soup in the microwave and he made the sandwiches. I love that this guy is wanting to help more with cooking. He gets a huge smile on his face and you can tell he is loving what he is doing :)

Friday 2/27/28- Pizza Night

By Friday I was not feeling much like cooking...or getting off the couch either. Libby's cold had hit me and it had hit hard. Hubby went to Wal-Mart and snagged a few Red Barron Pizzas for him and the boy. The pizzas were under $4...less than Little Ceasars. I was very thankful I didn't have to make dinner.

Saturday 2/28/15- Pizza Night...again

By Saturday, Keagan had started in with the flu, so Hubby was on his own yet again for dinner. He made himself another freezer pizza and the kids and I ate canned soup. Simple and easy. Just what you need when you feel under the weather.

Sunday 3/1/15- Crock-pot Cheesy Noddle Turkey Soup

Alright folks, I often get asked if I have many failures in the kitchen...well I hope you all know the answer to that is a heck yes. Sunday in particular was a huge failure in the kitchen. I had found a tasty looking recipe in one of my cookbooks, pulled everything out of my freezer and pantry to make it, and did my thang. Well let me just tell was not good. It was super bland and just overall yuck.

We ended up eating leftover pizza from the night before and baked butternut squash. Keagan had oatmeal, since he was still getting over a stomach bug. Some nights it happens when your plans go wonky ad don't turn out how you'd like..... and when it does we have to make due and have a good laugh :)

We are all starting to feel like ourselves again, but will be spending another day or two getting back to normal. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

What did your meal plan look like last week?

XO Danielle

Family Meals on a Budget Week 5

Family Meals on a Budget Week 5

Afternoon Lovelies! The kids are working in their math workbooks, so I was able to hop on here and write out all of our meals from last week. Last week was crazy. It was busy, and messy, and a lot of fun too. With that in mind, most of this week's recipes are super simple (just how this mama likes it).

There's no recipe list this week, as most of these meals recipes already are on the blog. Follow the links for each meal to fin the recipe:) 

Sunday 2/1/15- Leftovers

Sundays are a day always teeter between a nice family meal in the crockpot or us feasting on leftovers. It really just depends on what is in the fridge and if I was able to snag  a pork roast for a great price when shopping. To me nothing taste better than a slow cooked pork roast. Yum! Last Sunday though, I did not have a pork roast, so we decided to clean out our fridge and eat up our leftovers. We pulled everything out, filled our plates, and watched a movie together. It was a nice relaxing night off for this mama. I love leftover nights! 

Monday 2/2/15- Cheese Quesdillas with fruit and sliced green bell peppers

Family Meals on a Budget Week 5

On Monday I had something else planned, but lets just say the littles arguing, a pile of laundry to be done, and everything else in between had my mama sanity at an all time low. When this happens, I try to go for a fall back. Quesdillas is a fall back for me. I typically always have shredded cheese and tortillas in my fridge. Having these on hand, allow me to pull something together quickly when dinner plans go wonky.

Tuesday 2/3/15- BBQ Hamburgers with chips and fruit

Family Meals on a Budget Week 5

After Monday's fiasco and drama, I really wanted to make something yummy for dinner. I went with BBQ Hamburgers. This is probably one of my favorite comfort foods lately. It only takes a few ingredients and is oh so yummy! I love that you can toss in extra veggies like mushrooms and celery to up the nutrition fact. 

Wednesday 2/4/15- Mini Pita Pocket Pizzas with cucumbers and humus

I shared this recipe earlier in the week on my recipe blog. We loved it so much for lunch we decided to have it for dinner another night. It is another quick and easy meal you can throw together in a matter of minutes. Don't we all love quick recipes like that?

Family Meals on a Budget Week 5

Thursday 2/5/15- Tofu Stir Fry

I like to buy a pack of tofu from Costco each month. Tofu is easy to replace meat in many of your favorite dishes. We especially like it in stir fry. For this simple dinner, I used 2 bags of stir fry veggies (frozen), 1 cube of firm tofu, and sweet and sour sauce. Three ingredients and you are good to go! We like to serve our stir fry over rice. Very filling!

If you are ever tight on money, serving your family a pantry staple like rice will keep tummies full and costs down. We buy our rice from Costco. We love their brown rice! 

Friday 2/6/15- Pizza Night

Saturday 2/7/15- Deli Sandwiches with chips and sliced apples

On Saturday I was spending a lot of time canning potatoes. By the time I was done and my kitchen was cleaned up, it had gotten late....ok real late. I decided to make it a movie night. We all had deli sandwiches with chips and fruit. It was another easy night, which was a great end to this busy week.

Oh and in case you missed is our Bountiful Basket Haul from Saturday.

16 potatoes, 1 asparagus bunch, 1 head of green cauliflower, 3 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 6 tomatoes, 1 butternut squash, 4 pears, 4 apples, 4 kiwi, 3 lemon, and 5 oranges -- all for $15 

I can't wait to share all the yummy recipes I plan to make:)

Family Meals on a Budget Week 5

What did your week of meals look like?

XO Danielle

8 Reasons to Make Family Meal Time a Priority...

8 Reasons to Make Family Meal Time a Priority...

I am back with another post on why meal planning is so important. This time it comes to you in video form. I have so been enjoying the #takebackmealtime challenge I have given myself and my family. I hope you are all enjoying it as well. Check out today's video on why we should all make it a priority. It will truly becoming such a special time of day, if we only allow it to be! :)

XO Danielle

10 Ways to Make Menu Planning Successful...

10 Ways to Make Menu Planning Successful...

This month I am focusing on taking back meal time with that family of mine. For me to do that, I need a bit of organization on my part, so that when dinner time comes around I actually have something to put on the table. This morning I have compiled ten tips that have helped me make meal planning successful. I know that if we make it a priority, we will be able to reap the benefits of having family meal time. We will be able to be involved in our children's lives, eat healthier meals, and have an all around good time!

Put forth the effort- Just like with any goal we make in life, saying we will do something is not enough. We must put some action behind our words. Saying you will make a menu plan is just blowing smoke, you must actually put some action into what you are saying. Sit down, with a piece of paper and a pen, and actually write out what you will be making your family tonight. Remember that all the best intentions will not feed your family. Being organized and writing things down will give you a plan to carry out your menu for the week. Involve those who who eat with you. Ask for requests or ideas, so you can more easily fill out your plan. I also find that having my menu plan out where I can see it really helps. Whether that is on a scratch piece of paper or a fun food planner, put it up where it is visible and will be a reminder.

10 Ways to Make Menu Planning Successful...
Pick a planning style to suit your personality- For some people it is easier to plan themed nights. Italian on one night, while having fish on another. Finding a meal planning style that fits you will allow you to truly succeed in have meals planned and ready for that family of yours. I personally like to plan for the month and then pull meals from that list each week to cook. I always include a night for breakfast and leftovers too!

Make a shopping list- Once you have a menu plan made, you will need a shopping list. You wouldn't build a house without plans or bake a cake without recipe right? Well you should NOT go grocery shopping without a list. Your menu plan is the first part of your food plan for the month or week (depending on how often you shop). Look at what recipes you have planned and shop your pantry first. You will be surprised by what you already have on hand. This will save you tons in groceries, because food will not be going to waste in that pantry of yours. Once you shop your pantry, take account of what you need for the meals planned and what you need to restock any pantry staples that are running low. Having a pantry staples list also helps! Look at what your family typically eats over a few months time. These things will make up your pantry staple list. When I keep our pantry staples stocked, I rarely run out of anything.

Be a Smartie- When shopping, do it strategically. Shop the grocery ads and see what is on sale. Commit to only purchasing things when they are at rock bottom prices. By doing this you will save your family a lot of money, that can then be used for other things. Clip coupons, take advantage of money saving apps, etc. My favorite apps right now are Wal-Mart's Savings Catcher and Checkout 51. They're both free apps that give you money back on the things you buy normally.

Cook perishables first- Once the shopping is done and you are ready to start making that meal plan, do things in order of what will go bad first. Eat things in order of their expiration. When we are using recipes that call for perishables like fresh vegetables, etc I try to use those recipes first in the month, and save other recipes for later. By eating tings in order of when they go bad you will reduce food waste, which will then save you money. You wouldn't throw $20 in the trash, so don't do it in food form.

Roll Over Meals- Including roll over meals into your menu plan is a great way to save. For example if you bought a whole chicken, you could cook it one night for dinner with carrots and potatoes. The next night you could use the extra meat left on the bone in a casserole. The next night you could use those bones to make a yummy chicken broth for soup. By planning meals to roll over into another one, you are able to stretch your groceries further, which ultimately keeps more money in your pocket.

Don't Over Stuff the Fridge- Over stuffing the fridge can cause things to get buried in the back and go bad before they can be used. Leaving space in the fridge for you to be able to move things around will allow you to not waste money on the food you are buying.

Prepare the Night Before- The night before I look at what will be on the menu. If I need to take out meat, than I do it then, so it will thaw over night in the fridge. It you have some prep work you can do ahead of time do it. Taking just a few minutes each night to prep for the next day will allow you to be one step ahead come dinner time.

Grade Yourself- Every time I finish a meal, I ask the family what they think of it. I like to know if my efforts in making that meal were worth it. If it is something that the family loves, I will add it to our regular rotation. If it is not a fav, than I put it on the back burner and either revisit it later or not at all. I want to be able to enjoy food with my family, so making it delicious is always a must.

How do you make meal planning successful in your home?

XO Danielle

#Takebackmealtime Challenge for February

February's Challenge #takebackmealtime

After #NOSpenduary, I wanted to have another challenge to keep myself motivated with frugal living, so I got to thinking.....How I could I keep myself and all of you lovelies on board with this frugal living stuff? I loved having a goal for the month in January and you all seemed to as well (thanks for all the shout outs on social media last month. I loved seeing everything you were doing to save!)

I started thinking about my own frugal journey and how I got to where I am today. I remember all the steps I took to get our family out of debt and into a frugal mind set....they were baby steps. I would pick one thing to work on, make it a habbit, and then add something else on to my plate. Over time I found I was able to do so much more than I ever thought possible. Over this next year, I am going to pick challenges each month that we can all focus on. Whether you are new to budgeting or are a saving diva, we can all use these challenges to refocus and make goals for our families. This year is dedicated to us all being able to become financially independent and self-reliant. I want to help you all get your budget in the black and keep it there!

This month we will be focusing on meal time. Whether your family is together for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we need to pick a time each day to be able to come together as a family. When families share meals together, everyone tends to be happier and healthier. When we eat at home, we also tend to leave more dollars in our checking account...Can we say "SCORE?!"

This month I will be sharing recipes, videos, tips, tricks, and more on how your family can take back meal time. I know that we can all do this, if we continue to inspire and encourage one another. I loved all the inspiration I received from you guys, as you shared all the amazing things you did during the #NOSpenduary Challenge. I hope you will continue that momentum as we head into February. Use the #takebackmealtime, as you share how you are sitting down as a brood and unplugging from distractions.

Let's celebrate meal time this month. Let's share with our loved ones and listen to all they have to say. Dinnertime conversations strengthen a family and give us opportunities to build relationships with one another.

We can do this together!! Who's in?

XO Danielle