Monday, January 22, 2018


My menu plan actually begins on grocery shopping day, which is Friday.  I did the Kroger Clicklist again this week, and I'm fairly certain that I'm sold on this way of grocery shopping!  I start my meal planning by looking at the Kroger deals/coupons and building from there.  Then there are a few items that I haven't found at Kroger, and this week I shopped at Ingles for those few extras.

So here's what we're having this week:

FRIDAY - After cooking all week, I generally like to have something super easy on this night.  We like the chicken salad at the Ingles deli, so I picked up a container of that along with some croissants.  Done.

SATURDAY - This day was super busy.  Started out with an early-morning planning meeting at church, then Amelia and Matthew both had basketball games, and we had a birthday party later in the afternoon/evening.  We had leftovers for supper, but I cooked a couple of breakfast dishes to bring to the church meeting:

The first was Breakfast Burrito Casserole.  I put this together on Friday evening, put it in the fridge, and then cooked it Saturday morning.  This is an easy and tasty dish that someone shared with me at a brunch several years ago.  

The recipe says to first saute onions, bell pepper and mushrooms and then add your breakfast meat (sausage, bacon or ham), but I used sausage and cooked the vegetables with the sausage.  Then, using flour tortillas (10), fill each one with meat mixture and sharp cheddar cheese and roll loosely, keeping the ends open.  Place in casserole dish.  Mix together 6 eggs and 2 cups of half & half and pour over burritos.  Sprinkle with cheese, however much you prefer.  Cover with foil and place in fridge overnight, and then the next morning cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes, making sure the eggs are set.

I also made the Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls.  Yum!

SUNDAY - I've been making these modified grilled cheese sandwiches for several years.  The original recipe was in one of those copycat recipe books - maybe an Applebee's recipe?  But I switched it up slightly just to make it a little easier.

Using two slices of Italian sliced bread, put mayo on one slice and barbecue sauce on the other.  Put cheese (I buy a block of sharp and then shred it) on one slice, and then layer turkey deli meat (or ham or both), a slice of tomato, and more cheese.  Next, add the other slice of bread on top.  Melt butter in a skillet and cook on each side until cheese is melted.  This is a family favorite!

MONDAY - Beef Enchiladas, Rice

TUESDAY - Creamy Ranch Chicken (Slow Cooker), Mac & Cheese, Salad

WEDNESDAY - [Eat at church.]

THURSDAY - Taco Soup (Slow Cooker) 

So that's what I'm planning to feed my family for supper this week.  Visit The Organizing Junkie for more menu plans.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Here's an interesting article on Flumania.  It is a one-sided post, but I just happen to be on that side and thought I'd share.

I know there are some positives to the flu shot and Tamiflu, but it's the negatives that steer me away.

Brad and Amelia both had the flu around Christmas.  They started with the same symptoms on the same day but ended up having two different strands.  Crazy.  [Thankfully, so far, the rest of us have been spared.]

The week before it landed at our house, a young friend of ours had the flu and took Tamiflu.  He had a terrible reaction and ended up at a children's hospital in Atlanta.  He couldn't walk, talk, eat - it was very scary.  His mom later told me that the nurses and doctors they spoke with told her they never give their children Tamiflu because they often see this type of negative reaction.

I had never heard about that!  But when Amelia ended up with the flu the next week, I knew I was NOT going to give her Tamiflu.  We treated her symptoms with over-the-counter medications, this flu-fighting tea, and Epsom salt baths with lavender and eucalyptus essential oils.  

I wasn't planning on taking her to the doctor, but she started with the symptoms on Tuesday and was still running a fever on Saturday, so I took her just to make sure nothing else was going on.  She tested positive for the flu but otherwise was fine, and the next day she finally started feeling better.

Another friend of mine has a grandson who took the flu shot and ended up with Guillain Barre syndrome and is still being hospitalized for that but, thankfully, seems to be recovering.

On the flip side, my dad and aunt got the flu shot and did not seem to have any side effects from it, so you just never know how it's going to affect you until you get it, so I'm choosing not to get it.

Sometimes, it's too easy to just trust the medical profession is looking out for our best interest versus investigating these things on our own and then making an informed decision, considering both sides.  I'm very thankful for modern medicine.  It offers some things that we literally could not live without, but sometimes there are options, and it's super important to weigh those options.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Have you heard this song yet?  It's a good one!


I don't wanna hear anymore, teach me to listen
I don't wanna see anymore, give me a vision
That you could move this heart, to be set apart

I don't need to recognize, the man in the mirror
And I don't wanna trade Your plan, for something familiar
I can't waste a day, I can't stay the same
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
'Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there's something different
So come and be different
In me
And I don't wanna spend my life, stuck in a pattern
And I don't wanna gain this world but lose what matters
And so I'm giving up, everything because
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
'Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there's something different
So come and be different
I know, that I am far, from perfect
But through You, the cross still says, I'm worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
I just wanna be different
So could You be different
In me

Monday, January 15, 2018


Here's what on our menu this week!  It's basketball season for two kiddos, and we do not have a free evening all week so, once again, keeping it simple.

FRIDAY ~ Kroger Brand Simple Truth Organic Pepperoni Pizza, Salad, Simple Truth (Kroger) Organic Chocolate Ice Cream

SATURDAY ~ No cooking this evening because it was  Madison's Birthday!  We celebrated at Olive Garden.

Happy Birthday, Madison! 

MONDAY ~ Spaghetti:  I'll be making a simple sauce with some grass-fed organic beef that I'll saute with onions and bell pepper.  To this I'll add a store-bought organic sauce and let it cook slowly in the crock-pot.  Doing it this way adds tremendous flavor to the sauce.  We'll also have a salad and cheese bread.

TUESDAY ~ Chicken & broccoli stir fry with jasmine rice, baked sweet potatoes.

WEDNESDAY ~ [we eat at church]

THURSDAY ~ BBQ (from roast cooked in crock-pot) sandwiches and chips

Thanks for stopping by ~ check out Organizing Junkie for more menu plans!  

Saturday, January 13, 2018


I know this way of shopping has been around for quite some time, but I've never tried it before until yesterday.  And it was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

I haven't done it in the past because I've been afraid of missing a deal that can only be found in the store versus online.  I've decided not to worry about that anymore.

I don't want to say I'll be grocery shopping this way from now on because you never know what I might end up doing, but I'll definitely be doing this again.  Like, next week.

There was also a bonus.  I had ordered the 21-count taquitos, which they were out of.  They replaced them with the 54-count at the same price and asked if that was okay.  Um, Yes!  No problem at all!  They were also out of the Kroger-brand organic frozen broccoli I had ordered but replaced with Cascadian Farms brand, which was absolutely fine as well.  Also, when the friendly clerk brought me my groceries, she noticed before I did that the bread had been smashed and went back without hesitation and got me a new loaf.

It was just a good experience all the way around.

This week I only shopped the deals in the circular and the digital coupons. (I grocery shopped on Thursday while I was in the chair at the salon getting my hair done.) 

I didn't have time to search for other things online that I needed, so after I picked up my order at Kroger, I ended up going next door to Aldi to try to finish up my list.  They didn't have a few items on my list, so I went a few blocks down to Walmart and finally got everything I needed.  That was a little time consuming but was a lesson learned.  Next week, I'll take time to get more of what I need at Kroger, and I'll go to Walmart or Ingles and skip Aldi if I miss something at Kroger.  Most everything I needed was about the same price (or cheaper) at Walmart as it was at Aldi. 

And even with all the grocery store hopping, I still came in below our grocery budget!

And still had room for my favorite treat (which was on sale with a coupon)!

I may try the Walmart pickup as well once my *free* pickups have all been utilized at Kroger, but I'm thinking the digital coupon/deal match-ups at Kroger are going to be hard to beat ~ even if I have to pay the $4.95 fee.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


A new planner is always a necessity for me when a new year comes around.  I generally order one online or purchase one at a store if I see one I like ~ I'm a little picky with my planners.

In addition to written planning, I've started using my phone calendar a little more in the past few weeks.  This is helping me reach my goal of being more intentional this year.  I've been putting in important dates and setting alerts at appropriate times to help me be more on top of things.

But, for me, there is something about a written schedule that seems a little more motivating, and this year, I've decided to create my own planner.

I function better in my job as a "home manager" if I can look in one place and know what's expected of me on any given day ~ not an every-moment-in-the-day timed schedule but just an overview of things that need (or I'd like) to get accomplished in a day.

My mom didn't function like this at all.  I never noticed her making a schedule and rarely a list.  She sort of flew by the seat of her pants, and it worked for her ~ house was always spotless, supper always cooked and ready at the same time every day, never ran out of clothes, etc.  Therefore, I actually questioned myself for a while about why I needed a schedule.  And for a long while, I threw out the schedule and just tried to get it all done the best I could (circa 2017).

After some time, I finally remembered that she didn't home school her children or work a job at home, and she only had two children with 8 years' difference in ages.

I'm in a different situation, and I need a schedule.  End of story.

To be honest, I can have a tendency to be lazy or forget what I need to do if I don't have a list holding me accountable.

Now that you know why I need a planner (information you might could have lived without), here's what it looks like:

I purchased a cute three-ring binder...
The front pocket is holding my coupons, and I simply printed out monthly calendars from my Microsoft Word word processing program.
I compiled a list of the most important things that I'd like to see accomplished every day.  I put this in a clear page protector, and using a dry erase marker, I can highlight each activity as it gets accomplished each day and then erase and start over the next day.
I printed out a daily cleaning schedule.  I've always cleaned this way (thanks to Emilie Barnes).  I know this doesn't work for everyone, but it does for me - breaking up my cleaning routine into daily tasks so I don't have to do it all at once ~ although, occasionally, when the week is extra busy, that has to happen.  Emilie's rule was that if it didn't happen on the scheduled day, put it off until the next week.  I sometimes do that too, but I also sometimes break the rule and carry over to the next day.  Just depends on how much time I have.  I'm not a perfectionist in this regard, that's for sure.

In the back pocket, I'm putting my important pieces of mail or ideas for future plans, etc.  I'm adding blank pages in the rings for making grocery lists and other brainstorming moments or ideas that need to be written down.

This simple setup is working well so far, and it's nice to have a "tweakable" planner for a change.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

CVS DEALS - W/O 01/08/18

I'm pretty sure I had too much fun at CVS this week.  My list was a bit longer than last week, but the deals were too good to pass up!

Here's what I got:

(2) Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent @ 2/$6.00
- CVS App coupon $2/2
- $2 off household coupon in email from CVS
= 2/$2.00

Soft Soap Body Wash @ 2/$7.00
- $1/$5 body wash coupon at kiosk
= 2/$6.00 (+ 4.00 EB for next trip!)

L'Oreal Elvive Shampoo & Conditioner @ 2/$8.00
- $4.00 coupon from Sunday paper
= 2/$4.00

(2) Quilted Northern Bath Tissue and (1) Brawny Paper Towels @ 3/$15.00 (+$5.00 EB!)

Colgate Fresh Mint Toothpaste @ $3.50
- $2.50 coupon at kiosk
- $1.00 coupon from Sunday paper

Twin Pack of Clear Care Contact Solution @ $16.99
- $5.00 coupon from Sunday paper
= $11.99 for two boxes (just a little more than what I'd normally pay for one box at Walmart!)
(and also got $3 in EB!)

(2) Orbit Chewing Gum @ B1G1 = $1.49
- .50 coupon from Sunday paper
= 2/$1.00

(2) Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream @ B1G1 = $6.29
= $3.15 each!

Brad requested I pick up some peppermint while I was there @ $1.49 package - 40% coupon
= $0.92

Matthew was with me and wanted the Airhead Sour Belts.  He said, "They're on sale!"  And they were, so how could I say no? ;>)
= $0.88

I had $11 in EB when I checked out to deduct from total as well, and then I was given $12 in EB when all was said and done.

Total Out of Pocket = $48.08 - $11 EB = $37.08 (and $12 EB for next trip.)


My menu plan actually begins on grocery shopping day, which is Friday.  I did the Kroger Clicklist again this week, and I'm fai...