Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

Recipe: Mother Wilder’s Baked Beans

April 15th, 2019

Daniel had fond memories of his grandmother’s baked beans – but every time he had tried baked beans from a can or a restaurant, he was disappointed.

A wife has two options when faced with such a problem. She can see it as a challenge and set out to make some baked beans her husband will love – or she can assume she can never win and just opt to not make baked beans.

I chose the latter.

Until February of 2015 when I decided to cook my way through Farmer Boy for Barbara’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge.

Baked beans, cornbread, stir fry veggies, and peaches

I made baked beans using Mother Wilder’s technique – and Daniel liked them quite a lot.

Since then, with only a few modifications, I’ve been making them almost every month.


“In the pantry Mother was filling the six-quart pan with boiled beans, putting in onions and peppers and the piece of fat pork, and pouring scrolls of molasses over all. Then Almanzo saw her open the flour barrels. She flung rye flour and cornmeal into the big yellow crock, and stirred in milk and eggs and things, and poured the big baking-pan full of the yellow-gray rye’n’injun dough.

‘You fetch the rye’n’injun, Almanzo; don’t spill it,’ she said. She snatched up the pan of beans and Almanzo followed more slowly with the heavy pan of rye’n’injun. Father opened the big doors of the oven in the heater, and Mother slid the beans and the bread inside. They would slowly bake there, till Sunday dinner-time”


Ingredients:

  • Ham bone with some meat still on bone
  • 8 oz dry Great Northern beans or navy beans
  • Water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 0.75 cups molasses
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.25 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

Instructions:

  1. Stick ham bone and beans in crockpot. Cover with water and cook (on low or high, doesn’t matter which) until beans are soft (I usually start mine in the morning and let them cook on low until mid-afternoon – but you can do it on high in as little as four hours.)
  2. Beans, beans

  3. Remove beans from crockpot with slotted spoon. Place in a casserole (I use a 9″x9″ or 9″x13″ baking pan) along with onion, green pepper, and any ham you can pull from the bone and chop up (If I have extra, I sometimes add diced ham that didn’t get cooked with the beans.)
  4. Molasses plus garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and liquid smoke

  5. Mix together molasses, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and liquid smoke in a 1 cup liquid measure. Pour mixture over beans. Give one more good mix.
  6. Beans with onions and peppers and "scrolls of molasses"

  7. Bake at 350 (or 400 if that’s what your cornbread needs!) for 30-45 minutes or until just a bit crispy on top. Serve and enjoy!
  8. Baked beans, cornbread, and coleslaw

What I Spent/What We Ate (2019.04.12)

April 12th, 2019

After a rather excessive week last week, buying meat for several months, I toned things back this week. Just the necessities (mostly).

What I Spent:

Friday, April 5

Walmart – $4.19

The aforementioned coffee (that I didn’t have a receipt for last week).

Tuesday, April 9

Sam’s Club Pickup – $5.18

Sam's Club 2019.04.09

Walmart Pickup – $36.81

Walmart 2019.04.09

Fruit can be an expensive item, but eating a combo of fresh, canned, frozen, and dried fruit can help you get your minimum 2-3 servings daily for a little less. We generally eat one fresh fruit, one canned fruit, and either a frozen or a dried fruit every day. I get seasonal fruit when they’re in season – which is why our recent selections have been rather boring.

Friday, April 12

ALDI – $39.85

ALDI 209.04.12

Do you see the six pounds of butter back there? ALDI had butter for $1.99 per pound, which is about $0.40 less per pound than the cheapest I usually see it (with no sales, it often runs close to $3 per pound). So I got the limit as per last week’s meat post. I keep a couple pounds in the fridge (butter has a relatively long refrigerated shelf life) and put the rest in the freezer for later use.


That’s $86.03, which is $21.97 under my newly jiggered budget of $108 per week.

So…
Week 1 – $156.79 ($48.79 over)
Week 2 – $86.03 ($21.97 under)


What We Ate:

Saturday, April 6
Breakfast – Pancakes and scrambled eggs with canned peaches

Supper – Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, Peas, Spinach Salad

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, Spinach Salad, Peas

Sunday, April 7
Lunch – BBQ Pork sandwiches, Potato Salad, 3 Bean Salad

BBQ Pork with Three Bean Salad and Potato Salad

Supper – Leftovers

Monday, April 8
Ham, Pineapple, Maple-Mustard Glazed Carrots, Broccoli

Ham, Pineapple, Maple Mustard Carrots, and Broccoli

Tuesday, April 2
Eggs Benedict with Grapes and Tater Tots (I intended to make hashbrowns with this but only remembered after it was much too late to get hashbrowns started.)

Eggs Benedict, Grapes, and Tater Tots

Wednesday, April 10
Black Beans and Rice (I modified this recipe to use a crockpot instead of a pressure cooker.)

Black Beans and Rice

Thursday, April 11
Great Grams’ Spaghetti, Lettuce Salad, and Green Olives

Great Grams Spaghetti with Lettuce and Olives

Friday, April 12
We’ll be having chef salad tonight with leftover ham, shredded cheddar, boiled eggs, green onions, and peas.

What I Spent/What We Ate (2019.04.05)

April 5th, 2019

What I Spent:

Sunday, March 31

Walmart – $13.36

Apples and coffee from Walmart

I needed apples for the apples’n’onions I had been promising the kids we could have with our pork (I really DO love that they want to do everything they read about!) so we dropped by Walmart after church to get some – and some extra coffee since we were on our way to out. We have since determined that we are not fans of Seattle’s Best – this particular one tastes burnt and overly acidic.

Tuesday, April 2

Sam’s Club Pickup – $7.46

Sam's Club Pickup 2019.04.02

Walmart Pickup – $79.07

Walmart Pickup 2019.04.02

Thursday, April 4

ALDI – $135.90

ALDI finds 2019.04.04

And this is where I realize I should explain something. My budget isn’t actually $115 per week. It’s $123 per week – except that I subtracted $8 per week to spread the quarter of beef I bought last fall out over the whole year. You see, one of the wonderful things about not living paycheck to paycheck is that I can stock up on things when they’re inexpensive. I can go way overbudget one week and then make it up in other weeks without decreasing food quality. In fact, we can actually eat better and afford more that way.

Which is why I bought almost 55 lbs of meat this week.

Meat from ALDI 2019.04.04

We just started a new menu cycle – one that includes ham and pork roasts once a month. ALDI sells a shank ham for $1.19/lb, nearly $0.40/lb cheaper than Walmart’s cheapest ham – but ALDI only has ham some of the time. In order to ensure that I can be eating the less expensive ham for the entirety of my spring cycle, I bought two hams today and stuck them in the deep freeze (I already have a ham for our first go-round in the fridge.) And those pork roasts? It just so happens that shoulder roasts were one of ALDIs fresh meat specials this week. I bought a couple (enough for the rest of this cycle) at $1.49/lb.

The family pack chicken breasts were another fresh meat special this week – $1.69/lb. I bought two family packs and plunked them in the crockpot as soon as I got home. As soon as they were cooked through, I cut enough up for Friday’s chicken salad, then shredded the rest with my hand mixer in the crockpot’s crock. Then I portioned the meat into containers and stuck them in the deep freeze too. I’ll pull them out and use them as needed – it’s likely they’ll get me through a couple of menu cycles.

The Italian sausage is for Great Grams’ spaghetti sauce, which I’ll be making next week. And, of course, I’ll be making a second batch to stick in the freezer for the second time through the menu cycle.

So, especially once I consider the beef that was already in the freezer from last fall’s quarter, I now have most of the meat I need for the next three months of meals – all of it (except the Italian sausage) at less than $2 per pound, some significantly less. I spent a lot this week and went way overbudget – but ultimately, this allows me to stay within my budget all around.

I realize that not everyone has this luxury; but for those who do have wiggle room, I think this strategy of intentionally overshooting your budget when you can get meat on sale is a good one. You just have to remember to adjust your weekly budget down from then on out to keep from just staying in a deficit.

In this case, I spent $79 on meat. I’m going to spread that over the next 12 weeks (which is how long I expect the meat to last before I have to buy more). So I’m going to decrease my weekly budget by $7 per week, making it $108 per week.

Now, to go further into the nitty-gritty, I’m going to take my $135.90 ALDI bill and subtract the $79 in meat. That’s $56.90. That’s how much I’m going to say I spent this week at ALDI.

Friday, April 5

We bought more coffee because we really did NOT like the Seattle’s Best stuff. We really, really need to make sure we buy enough coffee at the Spice Merchant next week!

Unfortunately, Daniel made this purchase and I don’t have the receipt for it (and it hasn’t posted to our account yet) – so I think I’ll just count it towards next week’s budget.


That’s $156.79, which is $48.79 over my newly jiggered budget of $108 per week. Ouch! I’m going to have to tighten the belt – but that should be easier to do (fingers crossed) now that I’m heading back to ALDI (cheaper prices on several things and less food waste from poorly picked produce at Walmart) and since I shouldn’t have to buy much meat.


What We Ate:

Saturday, March 30
Breakfast – Daniel bought us donuts to go with the eggs he made us. And we had fruit.

Supper – Dumplings and Kraut and Bratwursts (I think.)

Sunday, March 31
Lunch – Good question. Leftovers?

Supper – Quickpea Curry (made with this recipe from Taste of Home except that Daniel doesn’t like chickpeas, so we use cannelini beans. And I added some shredded chicken because we’re meat eaters. And I didn’t have enough curry powder the first time we made it so we use 1 Tbsp of yellow curry paste and just 2 tsp of curry powder instead of the called for 1 Tbsp of curry powder. And we serve it on quinoa instead of couscous. So, you know, basically the same thing all :-)

Quickpea Curry

Monday, April 1
Pork roast, apples’n’onions (from Farmer Boy, but which I burned horribly), and coleslaw

Pork roast, apples'n'onions', and coleslaw

Tuesday, April 2
Frittata with green beans and peaches

Frittata with green beans and peaches

Wednesday, April 3
Oven beef fajitas (made using the older version of this recipe by Budget Bytes except with beef instead of chicken), lettuce salad, and burrito beans

Beef Fajitas, lettuce salad, burrito beans

Thursday, April 4
Pizza, Three-Bean Salad, and Coleslaw

Pizza, 3 bean salad, and coleslaw

Friday, April 5
Chicken salad on lettuce with sliced oranges (I used this Dijon Chicken Salad recipe from Taste of Home. It was good but a bit bland.)

Chicken Salad on lettuce with Orange slices

What I Spent/What We Ate (2019.03.22)

March 22nd, 2019

A new baby in the house means I simplify, simplify, simplify – which for me means skipping any outings that require taking kids out of the car. So no ALDI and no library storytime. We pick up all our groceries instead.

Also, simplifying means very few pictures. Sorry folks!


What I Spent:

Sunday, March 24

Sam’s Club Pickup – $27.48

Sam's Club pickup 2019.03.17

Walmart Pickup – $64.26

Walmart pickup 2019.03.17

Walmart was out of the generic for my “unhealthy cereal” so I ended up with name-brand. Can you tell which one it is?


That’s $91.74, which is $23.26 under my budget of $115 per week. Hooray!


What We Ate:

Saturday, March 16
Breakfast – Daniel made us scrambled eggs and… pancakes? toast? I can’t remember

Supper – Beef Papriganoff over noodles with…some kind of fruit

I had peppers and mushrooms – so I mixed a recipe for beef stroganoff and one for chicken paprikash to make a hybrid – that we enjoyed quite a lot. I think I’m going to add it to my rotation on weeks where I’m buying mushrooms anyway.

Sunday, March 17
Lunch – Arbys on our way to pick up groceries

Supper – Daniel and I had a foster/adoptive parent dinner at our church
The kids ate Crockpot BBQ meatballs over rice with peas

Monday, March 18
Chipped beef gravy over cornbread with broccoli and peaches

Chipped beef gravy on cornbread with broccoli and peaches

Tuesday, March 19
Pot Roast (Beef) with carrots and potatoes

Pot Roast - really attractive, I know
I forgot to take a picture until after I’d eaten everything on my plate and was full. So this is what’s left on the platter after we’ve all eaten. Really attractive, I know.

Wednesday, March 20
Leftovers (since I was going crazy getting ready for our annual state licensure visit)

Thursday, March 21
Black beans and rice, lettuce salad, and cowboy caviar from our neighbor (who had extra)

Black beans and rice
This is an old photo of my recipe – this time I piled my beans and rice right on top of my lettuce, dumped a bunch of my neighbor’s homemade salsa on top and then spread the whole thing with ranch. Delicious!

Friday, March 22
We’ll have lasagna with a lettuce salad and some sort of canned fruit tonight.

What I Spent/What We Ate (2018.02.15)

February 19th, 2019

I’m late this week because we spent the weekend with Daniel’s brother and his family in the Kansas City area. We went up Friday morning (a little earlier than planned in order to beat a snowstorm), which meant I missed my usual ALDI trip. Which, given how much I spent on the front half of the week, was just fine as far as my budget is concerned :-)


What I Spent:

Saturday, February 9

Spice Merchant – $54.37

This was our coffee and tea for the month – we splurge because, oh my, this stuff is wonderful.


Tuesday, February 12

Sam’s Club – $45.63

Sam's Club pickup 2019.02.12

Walmart – $45.99

Walmart pickup 2019.02.12


That’s $145.99, which is $59.99 over this month’s budget of $86 per week. :-\

So…
Week 1 – $78.27 ($7.73 under)
Week 2 – $145.99 ($59.99 over)


What We Ate:

Saturday, February 9
Breakfast – Buttermilk pancake men (like Ma made in Little House in the Big Woods) with blueberries, and scrambled eggs (not pictured)

Pancake man with blueberries

Supper – Thai Red Curry Chicken served over rice – I don’t remember what else I served with it

Sunday, February 10
Lunch – Leftovers because we were too busy Saturday for me to make “Ella’s taverns” in advance

Supper – “Ella’s Taverns” (aka sloppy joes) with lettuce salad and corn salad

"Ella's Taverns" (Sloppy Joes) with lettuce salad and corn salad

Monday, February 11
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas, and Canned peaches

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas, and canned peaches

Tuesday, February 12
Salsa chicken burritos, lettuce salad, and homemade (not)refried beans

Salsa chicken burrito, non-refried beans, and lettuce salad

And once I was done with my first burrito? I made a second plate as a salad, sans the tortilla

Salsa chicken and beans, this time on top of the salad

Wednesday, February 13
Lasagna, lettuce salad, and canned peaches (My fruit and veggie choices have been pretty uninspired this week!)

Lasagna, lettuce salad, canned peaches

Thursday, February 14
For Valentine’s Day, I made what is normally “Chicken and Broccoli Gravy over cornbread biscuits” a little differently.

Chicken and broccoli with biscuits - special for Valentine's day

We had it with banana pudding (special request from Daniel) and… more canned peaches.

Chicken and broccoli gravy with biscuits, banana pudding, and canned peaches

Friday, February 15
We traveled up to the KC area to visit Daniel’s brother’s family – I made some cheese bread for with dinner (but my sister-in-law cooked the main meal.)

What I Spent/What We Ate (2019.02.08)

February 8th, 2019

What I Spent:

Tuesday, February 5

Sam’s Club – $25.78

Sam's Club pickup 2019.02.05

Walmart – $25.85

Walmart pickup 2019.02.05


Friday, February 2

ALDI – $26.64

ALDI 2019.02.08


That’s $78.27, which is $7.73 under this month’s budget of $86 per week. Hooray!


What We Ate:

Saturday, February 2
Breakfast – Carrot cake pancakes with orange glaze, scrambled eggs, and grapefruit

Carrot cake pancakes with orange glaze, scrambled eggs, and grapefruit

Supper – Quickpea Curry over Quinoa, and grapes

Quick-pea curry over quinoa with grapes

Sunday, February 3
Lunch – We went to Red Robin just because!

Supper – Pizza casserole (made with leftover spaghetti and pepperoni), roasted balsamic brussels sprouts, and canned pears

Pizza casserole
Brussels Sprouts

Monday, February 4
Ham, Baked Potato, and Tropical Slaw

Ham, Baked potato, and tropical slaw

Tuesday, February 5
Beef enchiladas, corn chips with guac, corn salad, and homemade (not)refried beans

Beef enchiladas, corn chips with guac, corn salad, and refried beans

Wednesday, February 6
Penne with Sicilian sauce; a tossed salad with grapefruit, avocado, and green onions; and leftover Brussels sprouts and peas

Penne with Sicilian sauce, Grapefruit tossed salad, Brussels sprouts, and peas

Thursday, February 7
Mother Wilder’s Baked Beans, cornbread, stir-fry veggies, and canned peaches

Baked beans, cornbread, stir fry veggies, and peaches

Friday, February 8
I’ve got ham-potato-corn chowder in the crockpot – we’ll have cheese sandwiches and lettuce salad on the side.

What I Spent/What We Ate (2019.02.01)

February 1st, 2019

What I Spent:

Saturday, January 29

Walmart – $2.09

Somehow, I ran out of mayonnaise. And since I needed to make some more ranch dressing, that would not do at all! I had Daniel pick some up for us.

Tuesday, January 29

Sam’s Club – $79.89

Sam's Club 2019.01.29

Wow! That’s a big one! A combination of instant savings (Honey Nut Cheerios and ranch dressing mix) and needing to pick up some big bulk items (rice and pecans) made this an extraordinarily large trip.

Walmart – $49.18

Walmart Pickup 2019.01.29


Friday, February 2

ALDI – $30.03

Aldi 2019.02.01


That’s $161.19, which is $46.19 over my budget of $115 per week.
So…
Week 1 – $143.28 ($28.28 over)
Week 2 – $144.90 ($29.90 over)
Week 3 – $126.78 ($11.78 over)
Week 4 – $161.19 ($46.19 over)

If I want to catch up next month, I’m going to have to reduce my weekly expenditures to $86 per week. It’ll be exciting to see if I can do it! :-)


What We Ate:

Saturday, January 26
We had friends over and ate crockpot orange chicken over rice with canned pineapple, frozen stir-fry vegetables, and ramen cabbage salad on the side.

Sunday, January 27
Lunch – Caesar chicken sandwiches with leftover ramen cabbage salad and green pepper slices

Supper – Soup supper at church before the member’s meeting

Monday, January 28
Black beans and rice
Black beans and rice with lettuce salad (and our homemade ranch dressing, of course!)

Tuesday, January 29
Leftovers – Great Grams’ Spaghetti, probably with another lettuce salad and some sort of fruit (I really got in a lettuce salad rut this week)

Wednesday, January 30
Pizza and sides
Homemade pizza with carrot-raisin salad and lettuce salad

Pizza in process

Thursday, January 31
Beef taco with beans and sauteed zucchini and onions
Beef tacos with homemade unfried beans and sauteed zucchini and onions

Friday, February 1
We had been hoping to join friends for a monthly semi-potluck dinner – but the little ones have gastroenteritis, so we’ll be staying home and having minestrone instead.

Recipe: The Best Ranch Dressing

January 28th, 2019

When Daniel and I were first married, he affronted my frugality by declaring that he preferred refrigerator case ranch dressing to the off-brand off-the-shelf stuff I had been used to purchasing.

This was an affront because, not only did it cost about three times more, it also had a shorter shelf life (therefore increasing the probability that it would go bad in the fridge before we had a chance to use it all.)

So I began a quest to make a cheaper refrigerator case ranch dressing – that would still not be too much work.

This is what I’ve come up with…

Pour 2.5 cups buttermilk in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.

Ranch dressing, step 1

Add mayonnaise to make 4 cups (that’d be 1.5 cups if you’re counting).

Ranch dressing, step 2

Add 6 tablespoons of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix.

Ranch dressing, step 3

Whisk together until smooth and then pour through a funnel into a 40 oz ketchup bottle. Refrigerate and use as desired.

Ranch dressing, step 4

(Do you struggle to get your ketchup jars clean? Try filling them half full with hot water and shaking up thoroughly immediately after finishing the bottle. Empty the bottle and pour in a little white vinegar to cut the red stuff out. Shake and empty. Shake again with hot soapy water then rinse. Voila!)

The Best Ranch Dressing

  • 2.5 cups buttermilk ($0.80)
  • 1.5 cups mayonnaise ($0.77)
  • 6 Tbsp Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix ($1.02)
  1. Pour buttermilk into 4-cup liquid measuring cup.
  2. Add mayonnaise to make 4 cups.
  3. Add ranch dressing mix.
  4. Whisk together until smooth and then pour through a funnel into a 40 oz ketchup bottle. Refrigerate and use as desired.

Prices listed are non-sale prices at my cheapest stores (Walmart for the buttermilk and mayo, Sam’s Club for the ranch dressing mix.) Ranch dressing mix frequently is eligible for “Instant Savings” at Sam’s Club, so my usual price is even lower. My entire recipe costs $2.59 for a little over 32 ounce – or $0.08/oz. Marzetti costs $4.98 at Walmart for a 24 ounce jar ($0.21/oz). Great Value brand non-refrigerated dressing (which is vastly inferior in taste) costs $0.06/oz. So I consider this quick recipe to be a real deal!

What I Spent/What We Ate (2019.01.25)

January 25th, 2019

What I Spent:

Tuesday, January 22

Sam’s Club – $18.92

Sam's Club Pickup 2019.01.22

Walmart – $73.74

Walmart Grocery Pickup 2019.01.22


Friday, January 25

ALDI – $34.12

ALDI trip 2019.01.25


That’s $126.78, which is $11.78 over my budget of $115 per week.
So…
Week 1 – $143.28 ($28.28 over)
Week 2 – $144.90 ($29.90 over)
Week 3 – $126.78 ($11.78 over)

This next week will be Week 4 of our winter menu cycle and then we’ll start over – hopefully I have enough in the freezer that I can catch up to my budget then!


What We Ate:

Saturday, January 19
Chicken and Broccoli Gravy over Baked Potato with Grapes
Chicken and broccoli gravy over baked potatoes with grapes on the side.

Sunday, January 20
Oven Beef Stew with Bread and Cheese
Lunch – Oven Beef Stew with cheddar cheese slices and homemade bread

Buffalo Chicken Dip, Lettuce Salad, and Grapefruit
Supper – Buffalo chicken dip with chips, lettuce salad, and grapefruit

Monday, January 21
Loaded Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup with all the fixings – and chocolate cake with Lazy Daisy topping (for MLK Jr’s birthday!)
Chocolate cake with Lazy Daisy topping for MLK Jr's birthday

Tuesday, January 22
I forgot to take pictures for the rest of the week :-(
Chicken enchiladas with spicy corn and canned pears (I think?)

Wednesday, January 23
My “emergency meal” of fish fillets, french fries, and …some sort of fruit?

Thursday, January 24
Great Grams’ Spaghetti with parmesan and green olives (of course) and canned peaches

Friday, January 25
We’ll be having West Virginia Soup with bread and butter and cheese slices and probably grapes

What I Spent (2019.01.19)

January 19th, 2019

Tuesday, January 15

Sam’s Club – $32.29

Sam's Club 2019.01.15

Aren’t these milk jugs from Sam’s trippy? I just ran a price check and discovered that 1% from Sam’s Club (where they differentiate price by fat level) is cheaper than at Walmart (where they have the same price for all fat levels.) ALDI remains the cheapest for 1% milk, but their stock doesn’t seem to move as quickly and I often feel like their milk tastes off even before its expiration date.


Wednesday, January 16

Walmart – $34.27

Walmart Grocery Pickup 2019.01.16

I put everything in my online cart on Monday, intending to order pickup for Tuesday after Sam’s Club. But when I hadn’t received notification that my order was ready after my Sam’s Club pickup, I checked my app…and discovered that I’d never checked out. Fail.

So, I went out for pickup on Wednesday. Thankfully, Walmart is relatively close to where we live, so it wasn’t a terrible nuisance to go out again.


Friday, January 18

ALDI – $78.34

ALDI 2019.01.18

Not shown: a three pound bag of mandarin oranges (for $1.99) that we’d had for lunch and which I forgot to take out of the diaper bag in time for a picture, and a bag of entirely forgettable “Penguin” crackers (knockoff Goldfish). The children enjoyed the Penguin crackers. I ate two and decided they weren’t worth it. The remainder are stashed in the car console for emergencies when we’re out and about. I won’t be getting them again.


That’s $144.90, which is $29.90 over my budget of $115 per week.

I emptied out my freezer and fridge over the holiday when we were gone for so long – and I’m busy filling the freezer up since we’re on a new menu cycle (I put at least three extra meals in the freezer this last week). And I did buy a pork roast (for the freezer) and a couple family packs of chicken breasts (one to shred for the freezer and one to make multiple batches of crockpot orange chicken). So that’s probably where my overage is coming from. Hopefully I can work to bring it back down next month when we’re doing round two of our menu cycle.

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