Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feeding a Large Family on a Budget?

Ok...so we finally implemented a budget for our family. It something I have been putting off and avoiding. I will admit, it was not a fin thing to do BUT now I know exactly how much we have and where it is supposed to be going. Kind of cramps my style but I now know we will have enough money to cover all our expenses and that does relieve some of my stress. Anyway, I have been trying my hardest to find cheap, creative, delicious meals. I have been finding my recipes online and making a detailed list before grocery shopping every week. I still end up spending at least $140 every week! It's sickening to me since I know families our size that are living on $100 a week for groceries. Now granted, this usually does include all our paper products, toiletries, ect. Still though, the less I spend on food, the more I would have for paying off bills or saving. I have been wanting to join Costco because I think that would help us save a little but we are waiting to have the extra $$ for the membership fee. I also only do meat about 2x's a week and make a lot of things from scratch. I thought I'd give you an example of what we eat for dinner.
Here was this weeks menu:
Saturday: Mac N' Cheese and hot dogs (not the healthiest but it was requested by all my boys)
Sunday: Beef and broccoli with rice
Monday: Rice and bean burritos and salad
Tuesday: Sausage, biscuits and gravy (once again, not healthy but so cheap and easy!)
Wednesday: Beef and noodles and a salad
Thursday: Cream of mushroom soup and homemade bread/rolls
Friday: Rice and bean casserole
Saturday: Harvest party =)

Our breakfast consists of either bagels, cold cereal or apples with p.butter. I'll sometimes do baked oatmeal or pancakes but that is a special treat and doesn't happen very often. Especially since we wake up early and usually only have 30 minutes before leaving to take the kids to school. Lunches are usually p.butter and honey sandwiches, chips and fruit or veggies. I almost always run out of breakfast and lunch foods...drives me crazy! Yet, we have a budget and I would panic if we went over it. I'm strange like that. Anyway, if you could share with me what you do to keep your food costs down that would be really helpful! I will take any suggestions!

Also- I am thinking of doing video vlogs soon...I can't stand my voice on camera but oh well, it still might be fun! ;) I also thought of chronicling my pregnancy with videos, ect. We'll see...now that I am getting my energy back maybe I'll be more motivated to get it done?!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Extra Money

It seems we never have enough of it (extra money, that is). I feel my place is at home BUT I also feel like I need to contribute financially some how...some way. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out exactly how I can do that. I know how to sew BUT I really do not want to sew diaper bags, ect. to sell. It takes the fun out of it and honestly, diaper bags can be a pain to make. If something goes wrong then it really goes wrong. Clothes are even worse. You have fittings, ect. to worry about and it's just ick. I almost feel like you can't get your moneys worth out of it. No one would pay me what I would ask if I did it full time. Sewing takes a lot of time and concentration. I guess now with my two older boys in school it would be easier for me to fit it into my schedule but I'm just not sure if I decided to go that route what I would even want to sew. It would have to be something that is easy to cut out and put together but very desirable to customers too. I see some of the products offered by some stay-at-home moms and I am intimidated. Wow, there are some talented moms out there! I do have an embroidery machine so I could personalize things. I could maybe do a package of burp rags, hats and slipper shoes? Something along those lines....maybe even put it all in a homemade bag? Hmm....just trying to figure something out. Since my energy is coming back I have found that I am itching to do something! Tim and I sat down and did our budget (thank you, Dave Ramsey) Monday and we are tight...so,so tight and even just a little money would help us out tremendously! I need suggestions, ideas, motivation and encouragement! I do not have the option of working outside the home right now (especially with baby joining us soon) and so my only option would be to find something at home that I could do. If you have any ideas...at all...let me know! I consider anything...well, almost anything! ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I See PINK in My Near Future!

As I am sure you saw from the below post...we are having a GIRL!!!! We couldn't be more excited about this little answer to our prayers. Tim has been praying with the boys before bed for over a year for a little sister for them. It looks like the Lord has heard and answered our prayer with a YES! My friend and I went to our local pregnancy center ( we have a mutual friend who works there) and I was able to have a free ultrasound done. My friend (the ultrasound tech) is not an expert at gender prediction (she was trained on measurements, ect. but not predicting gender) and was a little nervous about saying what baby was...hence the hesitation on her part. She did a fabulous job though and got some very good shots between baby girl's legs. I have become quite the pro at seeing boy parts and I know I did NOT see any boy parts on this baby. We were obsessed with seeing the 'lines' (which we did see). I still will not rest easy until I can confirm again that she is ,indeed, really a girl. I did come home and compare her 'between the legs' shots with online ultrasound photos of baby girls and they were identical. So, yes, I am pretty positive we have our girl. Upon discovering this I have been on the search for girl names. Boy names have always come alot easier for me and so this has been a bit more difficult than my previous pregnancies. I think Tim and I have decided not to share the names we have chosen just to limit the negative input. It seems Tim and I must like weird names because no on seems to like them very much. Oh well, they will get used to it after awhile.

On a ever-so-slightly different note...this pregnancy is so completely different than my boys' pregnancies were. I am carrying much wider (in my stomach) than the boys. My belly with them stuck straight out and was more basketball in shape. I also gained a little more quickly in my legs with my boys where as with baby girl I am gaining on my sides (aka love handles...which I have never had until now). I showed quicker with my boys and I felt overall pretty good while pregnant with the boys. With this baby I have felt AWFUL! I can truly sympathize with pregnant women who get sick now. My complexion is also very bad right now. With the boys it had cleared up by this point. It's definitely true with me that gender makes a difference in my pregnancies.

Anyway, sorry to bore you with another baby post. I would love to take and post pictures more often BUT my camera's card reader is broken and we don't have the finances, at this point, to get it fixed. Once we do, I will be snapping pictures like crazy! My boys have grown and changed so much in the last few months and I feel like I am missing it all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

15 1/2 weeks...

I'm not gonna lie...I am dying to know what the gender of this baby is! It's even harder now since I know if we took a peek 'inside' we would be able to see. I would actually be surprised if it's another boy BUT I am not positive it's not. The only reasons why I think it could be a girl are because...
1.) I was much bigger at this point with all my boys.
2.) I can still wear my regular jeans (always stopped wearing regular pants by 10-11 weeks with my others).
3.) I am carrying much higher and wider with this pregnancy.
4.) I was SICK with this pregnancy and I still gag and get nauseous sometimes. I didn't even gag with my last couple pregnancies and felt great! Not so much with this one...ick.
5.) The baby's heart rate is is super fast and not slow and steady like my others were (minus Noah's).
6.) We prayed for over a year for a baby girl.
7.) I can not think of any boy's names this time!
8.) I keep calling the baby 'she' without even realizing what I am saying.
9.) I had a dream it was a girl BUT I did have a dream that it was a boy too...so who knows?!
10.) My husband keeps saying he thinks it's a girl.
Anyway, these are a 'few' reasons why I think it may be a girl this time BUT we will gladly accept and take a boy too! I have told myself over and over that I will not be one of those women who cry when they find out they're having the opposite gender of what they had wanted. Ultimately, God will give us what he thinks is best for our family and we will rejoice for the addition to our family....no matter the gender!