Thursday, August 9, 2018

Scary Income

Well, this is about to get very interesting. I have discovered that our family of 7 will be living on less than $10,000  a year. Quite frankly, I am scared.

My mom generously sent us some groceries thru but that can't be a regular thing.
I am an ok cook and I cook from scratch but even scratch cookers need supplies.

I sold some eggs and have earned $15 in gift cards by doing surveys and such,  and while that's nice it's not enough.

So far I have not found any work from home jobs.  I applied for a babysitting job but it turned out that it wouldn't work for either of us ,for various reasons.

This should make for some interesting posts.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Dollar Tree Finds

Healthful food isn't easy to afford anywhere and a lot of people are turning to the DollarTree for some of their groceries. 
Now I have found that some of the products are actually a little cheaper at Wal-Mart but that might be a local thing. So I scoped out the Dollar Tree to see what healthful foods they carried. Not much but a there were a few. And keep in mind that I live in a small town and our stores dont carry as much as the bigger stores.

Name brand tuna fish. And relish. That equals a lunch to me!

Peanut butter. And honey. ( make sure its real honey)  Another lunch!

Salmon ( I tried it, it really wasn't bad at all)  and canned corn....score one for supper!

Steak ( yes I said steak. Small but ok and made by a reputable company) with canned green beans.  A supper for sure!

Tortilla shells filled with beans, canned corn and rice. Topped with shredded cheese from the freezer section. A great meal any time of day.

Tuna ,again, with noodles.  The basics for tuna casserole, a perinneal dinner favorite for just about everyone. And yes they carry cream of mushroom soup if you go that route. ( they carry canned peas too!!)

White fish...( the type changes ) and canned fruit. I found this to be a bit mushy but maybe I cooked it too long)

Pizza. At least this meal has lycopene and vit B . And kids love it.

Oatmeal , what better breakfast! With herb tea ( 3 flavors to choose from plus black and green)
I could have added some of the frozen fruit or nuts that DT carries to make it even more nutritious but  I didn't get any of them,because with a family my size it is not cost effective.

2 different NAME BRAND organic soups!! Score lunches or suppers!

There ya go. Not always organic like I would like, no fresh produce...tho they carry both canned and frozen... but a way to carry out your meals for a breakfast and several lunches and suppers.

It will help get you thru.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The New Food Budget

 Since times are so tight financially right now I have decided to change my budget to fit my differing needs . 
I found some great videos on YouTube , Darci Isabella, and have decided to take her advice and buy the exact  same things at the grocery store every week so that I always know what my bill will come to.  This is the link to the video where Darci explains her method.
The key is to not make the same meals every week!
For example, if I buy potatoes, one week I can have baked potato bar for a lunch and hash browns for a breakfast. The next week I will make mashed potatoes as one side dish and french fries as another. And in a soup the next week.  Same food, not the same way. That way nobody gets tired of potatoes.

I will buy beans..pinto, red, and navy. Pinto will be used for soup or baked beans , the reds for beans and rice and refried beans and the navy for soups.

Rice and noodles for side dishes plus rice for breakfast or with stir fry  or spaghetti for supper once in awhile.

Salad fixings will be basically the same each week. But in keeping with my "buy the same thing each week but use differently" method I will buy mushrooms and use them for different dishes. Sometimes in eggs, to top chicken tacos,  sometimes in salads or on baked potato bar, and on top of chicken with Alfredo sauce or in a stir fry.

Speaking of sauce, I plan to buy 1 different type each week. Alfredo, bbq, orange  or marinara. I will also make white gravy.  These will be used for one of the chickens I buy each week.

I will buy a medium sized turkey ham and use it one of these ways: as a main dish with baked beans and salad , fried to go with eggs, diced up into a quiche or salad, or chunked up into navy bean soup.

Baking items like flour, sugar etc will give me pancakes, cookies, cakes, tortillas ( for those refried beans).

The eggs I collect from my chickens will be for omelets ( with mushrooms!) , quiche, fried egg sandwiches, scrambled eggs, to be used in baking, egg salad or hard boiled eggs.

Bell peppers will go for omelets or quiche, in a stir fry with chicken, filled with beans and rice, or my son's favorite- eat like an apple!

Speaking of apples, I will allot a set amount for fruit and veggies to be eaten as snacks. These items will change depending on what is on sale for $1 a pound each week.
But thinking ahead I can plan, say, carrots in a soup, raw as a snack, as a side dish, shredded into salads or stir fry or with baked in with a roast chicken.( just like potatos will be)

I will keep baking bread and using that for pbj, as a side ( maybe as biscuits) or toast. Maybe with turkey ham !

So my main list will be basically
10 pounds of potatoes
10 pounds of chicken ( I pay $2 a pound for boneless skinless breasts)
Turkey ham
2 jars of sauce
Fruit/veggies for snacks
Maple syrup
2 lbs noodles or rice
Milk ( my goats are not producing right now)
Sour cream
Baking powder
Peanut butter

Some meals I am planning...bbq chicken with mashed potatoes, stir fry, baked potato bar, quiche, fried egg sandwiches, pbj,  eggs and hash browns, egg burritos, potato soup, ham and bean soup, bean burritos, beans and rice, pancakes, Dutch babies, Chicken spaghetti, bbq chicken sandwiches on homemade buns, ...... I will come up with more but this is a start.

This is how  I will be doing my groceries . I can easily plan how much I am going to spend each week or month. Some things, like spices or coconut oil, I purchase with  my Amazon gift cards I earn from doing surveys.   Same with my organic coffee I get at Target. ( I usually only pay $1.50 for it If I use gift cards too)    If I need to cut something out to accommodate the new budget I will review it and decide to leave certain things don't have to have carrots in your salad or stir fry!

Let me know in the comments any special ways you grocery shop!

Free dog food sample

Free 1 year subscription to Weight Watchers magazine 

Linked with The Chicken Chick

Friday, July 27, 2018

A Few Ways I Earn Money From Home

I have been doing earning what's called passive income for awhile now.
Putting out little to no effort to earn a small sum of cash. And I do mean small! Sometimes I earn  a $20 check thats mailed to me or a $5 Amazon gift card emailed to me or a $3 deposit in my PayPal account.
As little as these earnings are they do add up and help with groceries, toiletries or even birthday gifts.

One of the things I do is download apps that pay me back for grocery items I buy. And no, they are not all junk food!!
Check them out!

Ibotta ( the app not the website,  tho both are great. I just don't have the ability to print coupons)

Fetch. Use this code PT9NC

Savings Star

Checkout 51

I also do surveys which tho it takes a little while to earn, the payouts are good.  These are the ones that I do and know for a fact that they are legit.

Inbox Dollars

Global Test Market

My Points


I also enter contests and tho I haven't won anything recently I have won almost 500 of the darn things! Everything from dvds to Barbie dolls to cash. ( even $1000 from Folgers coffee!) One year for Christmas I even "bought" all our gifts for Free!

I play the Win It app daily as well.  I save up points til I get enough for something from Sears or Kmart ( the only 2 stores involved). I usually "make" about $5-7 a week. A little tip...dont have anything shipped to your house, that will cost money. But rather have it shipped to the store or pick something already at your closest store to you. Then the whole thing is free!!   Since my Kmart and Sears closed down I now have things shipped to the store where my daughter lives and I simply get things for her!

These are just a few things I do to earn a little cash here and there. Share what you do and maybe I will sign up under you!!

Linked with The Chicken Chick

Thursday, July 26, 2018

An Overdue Update

  Ok, it's been a long long while but let's see if we can get this blog going again!

My husband broke his back a year ago , as some of you know, and it never healed. Being a work related injury he was paid a weekly check. That has now ended.
However he cannot go do his old job! So he has taken a job at a restaurant, making  a huge huge reduction in salary.

We are selling our goats. All 10. My heart breaks, as they are like pets to us.

And I am looking for a baby sitting job and doing every survey and online "job" that I can.
My lupus makes things difficult activity wise , as well as our belief system of women being homemakers. 1Timothy 5:14  and Titus 2:5 state that women should be keepers at home.  But as seen in Proverbs 31 a woman can work at and from home!

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed

Boy, I never thought at my age that I would be starting over. I have done that many times before but I thought those days were behind me. I thought I would be babysitting my grandchildren on my little farm....not looking for work. I have to trust that God is forging ahead with His plan. 
Deuteronomy 31:8 
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Sidenote....My son , age 18 now, broke his back as well! Yes, jumping on a trampoline! So we now have incurred bills from that.  Can you believe, in less than a year, 2 people in the same family , broke their backs?!

Anyway, I want to share tips and advice that I find work for me  while trying to survive on an income that doesn't make my budget. Share with you what I do to be creative and make that budget work.

I wrote out a list of meals for the month. Some are super cheap, like beans and rice, and others are more expensive than that but not steak and potato. My family will be sticking more to the beans and rice side for awhile.   ;)
Please add sides to these meals to make them more nutritional.
Also...I make all bread products myself (healthier and cheaper) and I have chickens that provide us with plenty of eggs. I even sell a few.

1..Tuna with chopped eggs on flat bread
2..chili and cornbread
3..ham and bean soup.. I use turkey ham since I don't eat pork. :)
4..fried potatoes
5..bean and burger soup
6..chicken noodle soup
8..tuna casserole
9..tuna sandwiches
11..quiche ...recipe under the recipe tab
12..dutch babies
15..egg salad
16..fried egg sandwiches
17..scrambled eggs
18..biscuits with gravy and sausage
19..salmon with veggie...Dollar Tree has acceptable wild salmon
21..chicken and rice
22..sweet rice
24..grilled cheese
26..beans and rice
27..totinos pizza
28..baked potato bar
29..potato soup
30..spicy burger patties and rice
31..coleslaw and fruit

Remember, Add to these meals as you can so you get the best nutrition.

Enjoy! And prayers are coveted. :)

Monday, January 29, 2018

This Week's Meals

Well, long time between posts! I have been struggling to keep my head above water , moneywise.
As you know my husband broke his back at work and has been off since July. Then my son broke his back last month!! How can this be?!
But it is . And money is super tight and getting tighter. Michael, my husband, isn't healing but workmans comp checks only last so long! So I am trying to stretch everything as much as possible so I can leave as much in the bank as possible.

I used to spend between $ 200-300 a week in groceries. I buy organic and I don't skimp on is fuel. I don't buy processed and I buy lots of healthful snacks. And I buy for between 7 to 9 people.

I should say bought not buy because things have changed. Now I spend $175 a week. For 7 people. And on weeks that I need certain products that I don't buy weekly, like olive oil that I spend $10 a bottle on, I allow myself a few more dollars.

It's all about how you view food and that's different for everyone.

That said, let's get into the meals for the week.


Breakfasts are almost always smoothies or granola

Sunday...pancakes, chicken noodle soup ( I add peas and carrots to mine and use homemade broth.

Monday.....grilled cheese ( I used the ibotta app to save money on the cheese and baked the bread myself)

Tuesday.. egg salad sandwiches (eggs came from my own chickens) and salsa chicken...( just salsa and cheese over chicken breasts in the crockpot)

Wednsday...spinach and mushroom omelets,  ( organic spinach was on sale) and bean burritos with nachos ( I use bags of beans since they are cheaper than cans)

Thursday..pbj (again on homemade bread  , see recipe on tab above) and roast chicken with veggies

Friday..salads and baked potatoes for lunch and caesar chicken ( noodles, mixed veggies, shredded chicken and caesar salad dressing for supper

Saturday...fried egg sandwiches ( try adding mushrooms to yours!) And  tuna casserole

And that is this week's list of meals. I didn't write down our snacks  but they are usually chips and salsa, fruit, popcorn , raw veggies and homemade ranch, or we bake.

What's cookin' at your place?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

My Hamburger Bun Recipe

My hamburger bun recipe that I got  from A Taste of Home. I copied this exactly from their website and I dont have my own pictures euther..they disappeared from my gallery! So words and pics are not mine but theirs. But I really do make these and they are great. Keep in mind that they may be a bit different shaped than your store bought ones.

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil...( I use olive oil instead)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  3. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 1 dozen.

There ya go...a yummy easy hamburger bun recipe!