Friday, January 29, 2010

I Heart Scrapbooking

I know the title of this blog suggests I have an unhealthy addiction to scrapbooking and really, I do! But I haven't posted a lot about my scrappy pursuits on this blog lately - I tend to do most of my scrappy blogging over on my business website. So I guess I either need to start posting about scrapbooking here or take the reference to scrapbooking out of my header!'s a little tease of what's going on over at Sharing Memories Scrapbooking...our new Valentine products will be up next week! I love hearts and red and pink, so it was fun creating these new items! (More images and the full descriptions of these products will be up by mid-week.)

Also, today is the deadline for submitting an application for the design team. I know there are lots of people out there who want to apply to design teams but don't think they are "good enough", but I think we all have something to offer! So c'mon...send in your application today! I want you to share your talent! (You can get all the details here.) to finish prepping for tomorrow's all-day crop...I am so excited!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

SIMPLIFY: Moving?!

After lots of talking and thinking, hubbs and I have finally made the FIRM decision to pack up and sell. Not that we're moving anywhere far away or exotic...just to a different house within the NW part of Calgary.

What? Am I nuts? I thought I was SIMPLIFYING this year!!! How does making a major household move fit with this goal?'s my rationale (perhaps more for convincing myself and not my dear readers!)

1) We moved to this house for good reasons, most of which do not exist anymore. The house is on the small side and the layout isn't optimal for us. Yes I could purge and purge and purge, but would still be a little cramped. Moving to a larger space would allow for better organization and set-up of the things we DO have (not that I want to get more stuff - just organize the pared down posessions a little better!)

2) I am returning to work next fall. Both Shane and I have busy jobs that have somewhat unpredictable hours. We have decided that the best child care avenue to pursue for our two young children is to get a live-in nanny. So, we need a house that can accomodate that. If we get the right nanny, it will definitely simplify my life as a working mom.

3) Choosing a home in a family friendly neighbourhood with a K-9 school, childrens sports and extra-curricular programs and lots of young families will simplify our commuting for school, programs, playdates etc.

4) Shane and I each need space to pursue business and personal work at home. Our shared office doesn't really work for us. and My little scrap corner of the family room just won't cut it if I continue to grow my scrapbooking business. So looking for a home with a dedicated office space for Shane and an additional bedroom or other type of closeable space for me would be ideal.

5) Our present house (while in good shape) would need some renovations to work for us. Choosing a house better suited to our needs means we don't have to live through the drywall dust and noise and dirt of another major renovation.

So with all that in mind, we are going for it! Our realtor came over last night and we discussed what needed to get done around here and what we want in a new home. First the work of prepping our house for sale begins - a little painting, decluttering, cleaning, tidying and staging! Whew...I know it will be a lot of work, but I am excited about the change and I am raring to get going. I have to prepare for the crop this Saturday and then select the new design team and get them sorted out, but by the beginning of next week I hope to dig in and start getting the house prepped.

For now the only other question is...anyone wanna buy a cute little blue house?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is January Over Yet?

We are in the home stretch of the Eat From Your Pantry Challenge, and I think we've done pretty good!

I haven't saved as much as some of the others who are taking the challenge as groceries seem to be so much more expensive here in Canada than they are in the States. When I see the amount that Money Saving Mom and $5 Dinner Mom are able to save and spend on their groceries I am blown away. I spent a fair amount of time this month researching couponing in Canada and we just don't have the same kind of system. We rarely can get FREE groceries by stacking coupons - most stores here just don't let you double (although thanks to Taya at Simply Frugal I did find out that London Drugs will accept an instore coupon as well as a manufacturer's coupon - thanks Taya!) I just feel lucky when by chance I have a coupon for an item that I need and it's on sale somewhere! I do review the grocery store flyers on the weekend and make my lists according to what on sale. And this month since I didn't need to buy any meat I saved about $100.00 on our groceries, so that is positive. But milk and produce and diapers still are expensive! (I actually saw on one blog a photo of a 2L carton of milk marked at .75 cents! I can't even get a 250 ml container fo that cheap! Sheesh!) Anyway...I'm not complaining, I'm just sayin'. Finally, I am thinking one of the reasons for my grocery bill remaining higher than I expected was not getting creative enough with breakfasts and lunches, so I think that will be my next challenge - source out some new recipes and new ideas to save a bit of $ there!

In summary, I learned a lot this month and I felt really organized. I did save money and I did use cash, so I met a lot of my goals! All in all a success I would say!

So here is the final menu plan for January (it's a pretty easy plan to make up...I'm just slotting in the final unused meals from my original 20 meals!)

Monday: Meatloaf with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Peas ( I didn't make this last night as we ended up going out for dinner with my MIL - a nice surprise!)

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner...Pancakes, Bacon and Scrambled Eggs.

Wednesday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Veggies and Dip (I also didn't make this last week as I was down with flu-like symptoms after getting the H1N1 vaccination and didn't feel like cooking at all. We had soup and sandwiches instead.)

Thursday: Leftover Buffet

Friday: Weekly Pizza night - I always feel like this is a cop-out, but my boys don't complain!

Saturday: I am at an all-day/evening crop so I am leaving one of the Baked Spaghetti casseroles I made mid-month for Shane to heat up for himself and the boys. (PS...Usually I try not to do two pasta dishes in the same week, but these are extenuating circumstances!)

Sunday: Chicken Broccoli Divan with Rice and Salad.

As always...visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for lots more menu plans! And read about the successes (and failures?) of those who "Ate from the Pantry" this month over at Money Saving Mom!

I made what's the plan for NEXT month???!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Boys

These two boys keep me busy every day.

It's been a while since I wrote about them, so here's an update on them both - a snapshot if you will, of this moment in their little lives.

At 19 months, Sammy is into everything. He is a climber - couches, chairs, beds - whatever he can shimmy up on to! He isn't talking yet, but he certainly understands what WE say and boy does he holler (well, squeal is more like it) when he feels we are not understanding HIM! He is sleeping and eating well (actually he will eat anything in sight). He enjoys songs and music - Old MacDonald, Head and Shoulders, Twinkle Twinkle and anything by the Wiggles - and loves to dance. He has an infectious smile and has discovered how to make silly faces. He adores his big brother and wants to do whatever Grayson is doing. As such he often runs too fast and falls too hard! But he can also hold his own when Grayson tries to assert himself - Sam has been known to give Grayson a head butt when he thinks he has been treated unfairly! He is full of mischief and alwasy needing to be told "no, no, ta, ta Sam". He will come and give you a hug as if to say "sorry" when you catch him doing something wrong! He is wearing size 18 months to 24 months clothing and he has slimmed down from the overt chubbiness he had as a baby. He likes cars and trucks and all things "boy", but he also loves to cuddle with his soft blankets and his lambie. People look at him and say he is a mini-me. But when his crazy curly hair is standing up, I think he looks like a mini Mr. Heat Miser...behold:

See what I mean? (And if you want to see the whole Mr. Heat Miser/Mr. Snow Miser video from the movie A Year Without Santa Claus...just to reminisce, you can watch it here!)

Grayson will be five in two weeks (where does the time go??? I look at photos of him as a babe and can't even remember how small he was. Sigh...) He is LOVING school and can't wait to go everyday. He is now enjoying drawing and writing and doing connect the dot puzzles. He is reading short words and tries sounding out the signs he sees wherever we go. He asks what words mean. He is learning to tell time. He navigates the computer like a pro. He is enjoying his piano lessons and has a real ear for rhythm. He is soaking things up like a little sponge. On the flip side, he can be too rough with Sam and he doesn't always share well. He is trying to assert himself but it comes out as being defiant and he has spent much more time lately sitting and crying in time-out. Listening is not his strong suit unfortunately! He is very sweet when he wants to be and I love the mornings when he creeps into our bedroom and wants to climb in to bed have a cuddle with me. I don't know how much longer he will want to do that, so I am cherishing every moment - even if it means interrupted sleep for me! He is still slight for his age - tall and slim. He is 42 inches tall but only weighs 38 pounds. He is still in his car seat because he has to be 40 pounds to move to the booster. He is wearing 3x tops and 3 bottoms, but a few size 2 pj's still fit him! I keep telling him to eat, eat, eat, but he would rather be off doing something else...ANYTHING besides eating! (He is definitely Shane's son in that respect!) He is a funny, smart, crazy, good little boy.

These two boys are the centre of my world. Throw in their daddy and I have my own little universe. I'm a lucky woman...I am very, very blessed!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Another area I seem to be constantly working on organizing is money. Which account is it in? How much do I have left? Terrible. This is silly really, as I don't have a lot of money that I need to worry about. I have no paycheck, and now that we have reorganized our bank accounts to take care of joint household bills, I am certainly not dealing with huge amounts! I take out a set amount of money each month for groceries, stuff for the boys, gas and a little pocket money for myself. The problem is that I always seem to get to the end of the money before I get to the end of the month.

My hubbie and folks like Dave Ramsey have it right - they use CASH. Cash is king apparently and I never knew it. So in order to simplify, I am going to go cardless and use cash. But I didn't know how I should organize all this cash since I never really carried any before!

Kelleigh Ratzlaff to the rescue! This papercrafting designer has a great tutorial and pattern to create your own cash envelopes. This tutorial has been linked to so many times on the blogs I follow that I truly do not know how I found this project but I am so glad I did! I downloaded Kelleigh's template and created 6 pretty envelopes from my scrapbooking papers that I can organize and keep my cash in. It was an easy project with very satisfying results.

I have used the envelopes for the past couple of weeks and it's a pretty simple system. Put the money in. Use the money. Put the receipts in the envelope. When the money is gone, the money is gone. And so far I am staying on track with it. If you think these would help you, do go to Kelleigh's blog and check out more of her cute templates!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SIMPLIFY: Calendar

My one little word this year is SIMPLIFY. I hope to use it as a touchstone to guide me through a variety of areas in my life that need, ahem...a little assistance. One area is using a calendar efficiently.

Being a SAHM right now, I have a different things on my schedule than I did when I was working outside of the home. And although I have tried to organize myself in terms of appointments as well as obligations around the house (read "housekeeping"!) I never really found a system that worked. I have tried all sorts of calendars - Wall, Desk, PALM, iPhone, Outlook, Daily Dockets, Cozi, just to name a few. They all had their merits, but I never really got into them and they slowly fell off my radar and were never used. But I think I have finally found that works for me. Really. I know I've said this before on this blog, and I am really hoping I won't jinx it by sharing it here, because this one is really good. It's from Motivated Moms and it's genius.

It's part chore chart, part appointment calendar, part menu planner and part TO-DO list. I have been using it for about 3 weeks now and haven't tired of it yet. My house is clean (ok, not sparkling, but still very acceptable!), I have a central place that I am regularly checking for appointments and I am actually completing and crossing things off my to do list! Each day there is a checklist of daily chores - sort of like minimum maintenance - including basic things like making beds, wiping out bathroom sinks, laundry, empyting trash etc. It also reminds you to take some quiet time, read to your kids and excercise (OK...I haven't been crossing THAT one off enough!!!) Each day also has a few specific chores designed to get and keep your house in order - today I was reminded to change our handtowels, clean two light fixtures, maintain my houseplants, clip my kids fingernails and dust their bedrooms. It took all of 25 minutes. Tomorrow I am supposed to check prescriptions, mop the kitchen floor, clean out my fridge drawers, dust the living room, wash the porch rug (which I don't have) and clean out my car. Doing a few things like this everyday is the key to maintaining order and cleanliness in the house...not trying to do it all in a two or three hour period before your company comes for dinner and then forgetting about it for another 2 weeks! Each day also has space to record your appointments and to jot down notes or To-Dos.

The calendar is a download that you purchase and print out at home. You can get it in a few different configurations to suit your needs. I chose the Half-size Page Per Day Planner with Scheduled Bible Readings (because, yes, I am negligent in that area too). I printed the pages, cut them in half, hole punched them and repurposed my old Franklin Covey day planner binder to house it all. After a few days I got the idea to use the blank backside of the previous day to jot down things related to my business and blogs - stuff to do, stuff to post, ideas to work on, links to check out etc. It is great to have everything in one place and I really see myself using this system for the long haul.

Whichever style of planner your choose, it's only $8.00 to download. A bargain I think! And I am so delighted with it that I became an affiliate of the chore planner. Yup, you can click on the "Motivated Moms" link in my sidebar to read all about it. If you decide to purchase one of these little babies, I will receive a small amount of money for promoting the planner. It really doesn't need promoting however - you'll see it and love it. I know I do, so go & check it out for yourself!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly plans

I am ready to tackle another week of eating what I have in my house right now! The grocery bill HAS been less this month since I haven't been purchasing meat etc, but I really didn't have a lot of dry goods stockpiled, so the regular breakfast, lunch and household supplies still have to be bought!

I am doing well with paying in cash though, so I hope to keep that up as it really has cut down on impulse buys! (And later this week I'll share my cute new envelopes with you!)

OK...Week #3 in the Eat From the Pantry Challenge has us enjoying:

Monday: Shake & Bake Chicken, Mushroom Rice and Broccoli

Tuesday: Loaded Baked Potato Chowder, Buns, Salad

Wednesday: I found more ground beef in the freezer than I had accounted for in my original 20 meals, so we'll use it for Homemade Hamburgers along with Oven Fries and Coleslaw

Thursday:  Shane is out at a dinner meeting, so the boys and I will clean up the leftovers

Friday: what!

Saturday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese along with Veggies & Dip

Sunday: Meatloaf & Gravy Mashed Potatos and Peas

You can check out oodles more menu plans at I'm am Organizing Junkie. I pick a couple links at random each week, just to see what other folks are up to and to get a couple new ideas.

As far as my first week of weight loss went, didn't! In fact I gained 1.5 pounds!!! Yikes! No excuses - I just didn't follow through AND I really pigged out on Saturday night when we went out. I had such yummy Greek food and I ate ALL the Pita, Tzatziki, Roasted Potatoes, Greek Salad and Souvlaki that was on my plate! So I'll try again this breakfast everyday with no cream in my coffee, have smaller portions of the main dinner meal, drink more water and excercise AT LEAST TWICE. Just wait 'til next week you little weight loss'll see some movement then!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Adaptation and a new recipe

Brace yourselves...hubby and I went out on Saturday night. Without the kids. Yes, we did. I know it's hard to believe but we actually got ourselves organized enough to do it and to enjoy it! There was a Home Renovation and Recreational Properties tradeshow in town over the weekend, so we decided to take it in and go out for dinner afterwards. Shane's mom graciously babysat and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

But since I wasn't going to be home for dinner I wanted to make something easy for my MIL to heat up for herself and the boys. I had planned on having Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce on Wednesday night and Meatballs and Rice on Saturday. I decided to switch the meals around and then to make a Baked Spaghetti for Saturday night instead. I looked at a few online recipes for baked spaghetti, but didn't have all the ingredients on hand. So in the spirit of eating- from-the-pantry, I improvised and it turned out great! I want to jot down the recipe here so I can refer to it again.

Baked Spaghetti

1 454 gram box spaghetti
1 lb ground beef (if using extra lean there is no need to drain!)
1/2 onion, chopped fine
About 1 tbsp Italian Herb mix (or a little each of Oregano, Rosemary, Basil to taste)
S&P to taste
1 680 ml can or jar favorite pasta sauce
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheese ( I used a mozza/cheddar combo since that's what I had on hand)

Cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 7 or 8 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef along with onions in large pot/skillet until ground beef is cooked through and no longer pink, and onion is translucent. Drain if necessary. Add spices, salt & pepper, pasta sauce and parmesan cheese. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes until flavours are combined and mixture is hot. 

Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce to pasta and toss/stir to coat. Transfer pasta and sauce mixture to a greased 9 x 12 baking dish or to TWO smaller greased casserole dishes (this is what I did and ended up with one meal to eat right away and one to freeze for later!)

Top with shredded cheese and cover. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 - 40 minutes (if cooking the frozen casserole, thaw first and then heat in the oven).

One small casserole served my MIL and my two young boys on Saturday night and we had enough leftover for Sunday night for all four of us, so I would say that a small casserole would serve 4 adult portions, and the large would be double - 8 portions. (Note that I also served garlic bread and salad/veggies & dip with the casserole.) My little guys loved it and cleaned their plates! This is a keeper!

A note on cost...I have been following the $5 Dollar Dinner Mom but because food prices seem to be so much more expensive here in Canada, I haven't pulled off a lot of $5 dinners! But this one was a great deal - especially because it made TWO dinners for us! Here's the approximate breakdown:

1 454 gram box pasta - $1.29
1 lb ground beef - about $1.80
1 680 ml can pasta sauce - $1.33
1/3 cup parm cheese - about  $1.25
1 cup shredded cheese - about $2.50

So for around $8.00 I made two hearty casseroles - making each one only $4.00. Not bad! Add veggies or salad and bread and it probably goes just over the $5.00 mark. It has stretched my meal plans too...even though I didn't buy any extra groceries, I now have an additional full meal frozen and waiting to be used on a busy day! And because we ate the leftovers tonight, I still have all the ingredients ready to go for the Chicken and Stuffing bake I already had planned. Love it when that type of thing happens! I feel like - "da-da-da-da...SUPER MOM!"

In an effort to save even more cash, I spent a little time trying to clip and match some coupons today. Thanks to a post on Simply Frugal a while back, I found out that London Drugs allows you to double coupons! I never knew!!! So I took the flyers from the Sunday paper and plotted out my best buys this week. I am heading to London Drugs and Safeway tomorrow (they are next to each other in the mall so I can easily shop at both stores) and will pick up a couple of good deals on Tuesday at Superstore. I will let you know if I am successful at doubling my coupons and how much I actually save! It took me about 45 minutes to sort it all out, so we'll see what my  hourly savings are and if it's truly worth it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Excitement x 3!

I have three quick things to share that made me super excited and happy!

First, I am the guest blogger today on Simply Frugal! I have a post up about scrapping on a budget, something all us crafters deal with regularly! Taya's site is full of ways to save a little cash and is devoted to Canadian deals, coupons and offers. If you haven't dropped by, do!

Second, the design team call for Sharing Memories is up today on Scrapbook Calls and Contests. I have already had several applications, and am expecting many more after today's post is up! So exciting to meet fresh new talent!

And third, I received an email yesterday from EK Success asking me to become an instructor for their Scrapbook Design and You course! I am very excited to get started with the certification process and then be able to reach and teach a whole new group of scrapbookers! I love the EK Success products (their puches especially!) and I will be very proud to represent them!

What a great day! They say good (or bad if you're a glass-half-empty kind of person) things happen in threes, so I am very lucky that all three have to do with my favorite hobby and business!

Hope your day is a great one too!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It's nice to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day instead of dreading getting out of bed.

It's nice to be organized and on top of things instead of feeling overwhelmed and behind before the day even begins.

It's nice to see smiles on the boys faces this morning instead of grouchy pusses.

It's nice to have a good breakfast and feel like my body is being nourished instead of just fed.

It's nice to see the sunshine instead of gray skies.

It's nice to get dressed and put on this lovely Christmas gift from Shane - a reminder of my little family.

Family Tree Necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs

It's nice to receive emails from friends instead of spam and form emails.

It's nice to think of the possibilities of the day ahead instead of the obligations.

It's nice to look at things through rose colored glasses for a change.

It's a really nice day.

Monday, January 11, 2010


As if I haven't given myself enough of a challenge this month by following the Eat from the Pantry challenge, I decided that this is as good a time as any to start losing some weight! I wrote last April how I had always struggled with my weight and had started following Bob Greene's Best Life Diet. I did lose a few pounds (3.6 to be exact) but once more fell off the wagon after a couple of weeks. At least those pounds haven't come back, but I still need to lose MANY more. Again, more importantly I realize that I need to become stronger and more fit so I can keep up with these two crazy boys of mine (well, three boys if you count hubby!) But since I have planned out menus for the month based on food that needs to be used up, I decided what I will do is cut back on the portions of the main dishes I planned, make sure I am eating more veggies and fruits as well as calorie conscious breakfasts and lunches, and drinking more water. I also will try to focus on incorporating excercise back into my life...walking, small weights and using the Wii Fit (which I did yesterday - yay!) I also am posting a ticker tape on my sidebar as a visual reminder to myself that I have 25 pounds to lose (I am the type who NEEDS accountability!) I'll keep you posted.

So last week was great in terms of eating as planned, reducing shopping trips and staying on budget, and I'm planning to keep it that way for this week! I did make one switch up...we felt life having Steak this past Saturday night so I made that meal instead of the Baked Macaroni. It was so nice to know that I had lots of choices in the house! Anyway, here's my choices from the 20 meals I can make right NOW for this week.

Monday: Salmon in Teriyaki Sauce with Rice and Broccoli

Tuesday: Shane is at a meeting, so the boys and I will have Chicken Nuggets, Oven Fries, Veggies & Dip (lots of veggies and no dip for me!)

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce, Salad and Garlic Bread (meatless)

Thursday: Leftover buffet (Thursday is usually leftovers night since we have accumulated a fair bit of them in the fridge by now!)

Friday: Pizza night...just 1 or 2 pieces for me and loads of salad! And I guess I should forgo my red wine...sigh.

Saturday: Meatballs and Rice with Mixed Veggies

Sunday: Chicken and Stuffing Bake

I will post my weight loss results along with next week's menu plan next Monday. Don't forget to check out more menu plans on and Eat From the Pantry Updates on Money Saving Mom!

And, watch for a guest post from me on Simply Frugal on Thursday...I'll make sure to come back and link to it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Over the next four weeks I will be making my meal plans based on the 20 meals I can make with what's in my house NOW. To keep me organized, I'll go back to the original post and cross off the items as I incorporate them into a weekly plan. OK... this week I'm choosing:

Monday: Shepherds Pie and Salad

Tuesday: Sweet and Tangy Chicken, along with Rice and Broccoli

Wednesday: Hamburger Soup, Buns and Salad

Thursday: Leftovers of above!

Friday: Pizza night!

Saturday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese, with Veggies & Dip

Sunday: Ham, Scalloped Potatoes and Mixed Veggies

Don't forget to check out LOTS more meal plan ideas at and the almost 300 other bloggers who are participating in the Eat From the Pantry Challenge!

I'll check in with the grocery bills later in the week!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It's been a busy few days - we had a big family gathering here on New Year's Day and then yesterday was my MIL's birthday and a visit with Shane's side of the family. The kids are out of their routine, tired & cranky - so it's no wonder they have been demanding extra TLC! But Sam is down for a long winter's nap and Grayson is having a little quiet time and watching "UP" which he got for Christmas (thanks Auntie Maja!) So I finally have a few minutes to write down some things I want to take care of this year and organize myself for this month. Yup...I am planning meals for the whole month!

As I wrote the other day - Crystal and Jessica are hosting an Eat from the Pantry Challenge that I will be joining in on. I took an inventory of all the food I had in the freezer, pantry and fridge and planned 20 meals using those items. Each week I can choose 5 (a variety of chicken, pork, beef or meatless) and then figure on leftovers, our regular Friday night pizza or eating out for the other 2 meals. I'm realistic enough to say that I am sure there will be a few changes along the way - especially when it comes to leftovers and opportunitites to eat out!

Here are the 20 meals I could make with what's in the house right now (although I may have to buy fresh ingredients like sour cream and vegetables to the shopping list depending on the week I plan to make each recipe). Note: Each time I add a meal to one of my menu plans in the next four weeks I will cross it off here. Just my way of staying organized!
  1. Chicken and Stuffing Bake
  2. Chicken Broccoli Divan
  3. Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta with Veggies and Dip
  4. Cheese Strata with Veggies and Dip (meatless)
  5. Meatballs & Rice with Mixed Veggies
  6. Shake & Bake Chicken, Mushroom Rice and Broccoli
  7. Hamburger Soup, Buns and Salad
  8. Hamburger Soup, Buns and Salad (I have 2 batches of soup in freezer)
  9. Ham, Scalloped Potatoes and Mixed Veggies
  10. Loaded Baked Potato Chowder with Salad (meatless if no bacon added)
  11. Pot Roast
  12. Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Veggies and Dip (meatless)
  13. Sweet and Tangy Chicken with Rice and Broccoli
  14. Lasagna with Salad and Garlic Bread
  15. Grilled Steaks (hot dogs for the boys), Baked Potatoes and Corn
  16. Shepherds Pie (Brown 1 pound ground beef with some chopped onions. Add leftover or frozen peas and carrots, beef stock, leftover gravy or a boulion cube and water. Cook about 10 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Spoon into casserole dish. Top with 1 can cream of mushroom soup then a layer of mashed potatoes (fresh or leftover). Bake in  350 degree oven 30 - 40 minutes until hot and bubbly. Adda little shredded cheddar cheese over top if desired - my kids like it this way) and Salad
  17. Salmon in Teriyaki Sauce, Rice and Mixed Veggies
  18. Chicken Nuggets, Fries, Veggies & Dip
  19. Meatloaf & Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Peas
  20. Spaghetti & Tomato Sauce, with Salad and Garlic Bread (meatless)
As for our other meals - breakfasts are usually waffles, cereal, oatmeal, toast with peanut butter or cheese, yogurt, fruit etc. Lunches are often sandwiches, leftovers, Alphagettis, Mac & Cheese, cheese & crackers, fruit etc. And since I received my new breadmaker for Christmas, I plan on making bread, pizza dough and baked goods with it.

It's crazy that I have this much food in the house. I hope this will cut the grocery bill, clean out the freezer and pantry and provide me a little lesson in getting and staying organized...who knows, monthly plans might be the way to go!

Watch for weekly menus based on these 20 dishes each Monday along with updates on how we're doing!