Monday, September 29, 2014

Menu - End of September, Beginning of October

It's getting cool enough for hot drinks.  This week I made some brewing chocolate...mmmmmm.

I'm late sharing this, because it's been that kind of busy around here.  If anyone ever tells you puppies are easy, don't believe them!  (No one said that to me, by the way - I'm just warning you that housebreaking and training a puppy is very time consuming work!!!)

My first ever attempt at baba ganoush turned out tasty!

Still, the humans around here need to eat.  Here is the plan:

M - dinner out  (If this sounds fancy to you, please know it is $1 Big Macs, and possibly some chicken nuggets, at McDonalds.)

T - spaghetti w/bolognese sauce, sautee'd zucchini, homemade rolls (I hope) w/herbed oil, pears

W - shoyu turkey, rice, kimchee, carrots w/ginger glaze, plums

R - corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, peach cobbler

F - grilled chicken salads, fruit salad

S - tacos, chopped salad, refried beans

S - pizza, carrots and celery w/ranch, fruit salad

I need to make the rolls, some kimchee and some popcorn for snacking.  I have a request from Daughter to make blueberry muffins as well.  On Monday I made a quarter batch of a puppy treat recipe.  I'm calling it Puppy Pie Crust, because it has a texture that reminds me of pie crust.  Taffy loves them.  I made them very small, because we are using them to train her to come when she's called, and also to sit.  They were easy to make, ingredients I had on hand, and really affordable.   I'll try to share the recipe later this week.

Puppy Pie Crust!  (homemade puppy treats)
What's on the menu at your place this week?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments - Late September

I used a little dish soap and/or shampoo mixed with water to re-fill the foaming hand soap dispensers.

I picked up an item second hand that will be given to Daughter on her birthday or at Christmas.

I did a little fall decorating.  So far, I have not spent anything on fall decorations - these are items we own from previous years.  I get tempted in the stores - I admit that - but I keep reminding myself that we have things, and that too much is just clutter.  That said, I am thinking of making a banner to go beneath the mantle shelf.  I do, I will use supplies I already have on hand.  I also have plans for some cute fall crafts to do with Daughter and some of her friends, using recycled materials and some things we have on hand.

The grasses in the vase are all from our field - I spray painted some of them with a little red
(that I had on hand) to give them a more autumnal feel, and so they would show up better.
We have used this garland several years - just different ways each time.

Potatoes were .99 per 10 pounds, limit two.  I was in the store twice, so I purchased 40 pounds.  They will last us quite a while, and store well in our basement.

I used a sale and some coupons to get 12 rolls of TP for 35 cents.  They are single roll, but at less than 3 cents each including tax, I'm happy!

I call this photo, "If Jackson Pollock made applesauce bars."
I made applesauce snack bars, popcorn, enchilada sauce, Mexican rice, white rice, dark sesame salad dressing, lots of salad, a turkey shepherd's pie, zuppa toscana, an easy, yummy apple dip (4 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 c. brown sugar and a little vanilla - stir until sugar dissolves - yum!) and probably some other things, but that is what I can remember right now.

I also made a batch of homemade laundry soap.  I only had enough bar soap for a single batch, but even that will last me about 4 months.  I picked up another bar of Fels-Naptha for next time, because I'd much rather have it on hand than run out of laundry soap and realize then I need an ingredient.  Plus, they had plenty at the store, but Murphy's Law being what it is, they'd be out of stock if I needed a bar!

We stuck close to home a lot this week, and combined errands when we could.  We got books and media from the library for free, and we attended an educational library program for homeschoolers about constellations.  It was really good, and also a nice opportunity for the students to socialize a bit.  Much of our time has been spent housebreaking Taffy, our new puppy.  It's going quite well.  She's a smart girl and she's learning fast.

We cut up some more firewood that Husband picked up on his way home from work.  We have more wood prepared this year than I believe we have had any other year.  It's not that we're expecting some terrible winter so much as just cleaning up around here (getting the logs split that needed it, cutting up an old pallet or two (okay, more than two), etc.  We still have some tree stumps that have been removed from the ground, and need to be cut and split, along with some scrap lumber.

The garden is really winding down.  I got a handful of green beans, and I harvested our mini pumpkins.  They are teeny tiny, and we only got three.  I remember thinking that the spot we used for them might be too shady, and I think that was a big part of it.  I have to admit, though - the teeny tiny pumpkins are really cute!  We have one very green pumpkin still growing, and several (I think four?) butternut squash, and I think I may still get a few more zucchini.  We are still waiting for a tomato to no avail.

I bought a second-hand vacuum from a lady, and I love it.  I it.  It's a Shark Lift Around - a little bitty thing, but it's strong and works really well.  It's light enough that Daughter has been using it to vacuum the hard surface floors, instead of sweeping them, and they are getting cleaner as a result.  It's also really good for curtains, high places, and my least favorite thing to try to vacuum with the upright - stairs.  I guess they are about $100 new, and then sales tax.  I paid $40, which I earned selling off things we didn't need.  It has a place for a shoulder strap, but the lady couldn't find that, so I'm going to sew one for it, which will make it that much more awesome! :)  I also like that you can take it all apart and clean all the parts.  I'm very happy with my purchase.

I called around and found out that vaccines for Taffy (our puppy) had quite a price range.  The lowest cost was $20 per visit at the spay and neuter clinic (no exam, just the shots), and the price went up from there to about $60 for an office visit/shots/puppy check, which was no additional testing or anything, just the vet looking her over.  I opted to ask Husband to stop at the vet supply, and he picked up the vaccines for about $7, tax included, and I gave her the first round, no problem.  We had a Border Collie who was on insulin the last two of her 14 years, so I learned then to give injections.  I'm not even sure Taffy knew we gave her a shot!  Daughter helped, by telling her everything was going to be fine and that the vaccines would give her super powers, hee hee.

I am making a denim rag quilt, and started stitching it together this week.  I do still have to cut some more denim, but I was eager to see it start to come together, and I think that's going to give me the motivation I needed to finish the cutting I need to do.

My African violets were very over crowded, so I divided them until I ran out of plant pots.  I gave two to a friend, and she is taking them to her grandmother.

From left:  feverfew, lemon balm, oregano, lovage, thyme, spearmint.
I cut some herbs from the herb garden, and they are drying on pegs in my dining room.  I can't explain it, but this makes me very happy.

I hemmed a pair of pants for Husband.

Well, that is what I remember from this week.  Did you have a good week?  What did you do this week to spend less, save more and make do?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Menu Plan for Early Fall

It's fall this week!  We had a great summer - wonderful weather, lots of fun, but I confess, I am in love with autumn - the colors, the scents, the spices!  With cooler temperatures, I use the oven a little more, and we eat meals that are a bit heartier....but I'm still putting the grill to use a time or two this week.

I'm planning to make applesauce snack bars this week - they contain some whole grain and less oil and sugar than most cakes, but they are still sweet and moist because of the applesauce in the recipe.  If I get them made, I'll share the recipe with you!  It feels like a good week for popcorn too, and we have lots of apples and grapes for snacking.  

Enough chatter - here is the supper menu for this week:

M - Asian chicken salad with crispy noodles, toasted almonds, Mandarin oranges and dark sesame dressing, applesauce snack bars

T - grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, homemade tomato soup, honeydew melon

W - cheese enchiladas, Mexican rice, shredded lettuce and tomato salad, black grapes

R - beef curry over rice, apples w/fruit dip

F - grilled turkey & bacon kebabs, roasted potatoes w/garlic & onion, zucchini fritters

S - homemade pizza, salad, strawberry smoothies

S - leftovers or dinner out

That's our plan!  What's for supper at your place?  Leave a comment, if you like!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments - the We Got a Puppy Edition

You know, this was the week I was going to do a little more fall decorating, and then take pictures and share some fall decorating cuteness with you.  Instead, we got a puppy, and that's about all I know for certain.


Isn't she adorable?  Her name is Taffy.

She is mixed breed.  Her mom looks like a miniature coon hound - very cute, about half the size of any coon hound I've ever known.  Dad's identity is unknown, but judging by babykins here, I think there might be some German Shepherd in the mix somewhere, yes?

When she sleeps and her ears are up, she looks like a little German Shepherd.

So.  Pets are not frugal, in the sense that they cost money, but so do lots of things, and there are some ways to save on pet ownership.

Initially, Taffy was free.  Meaning, the people who had her (and her seven siblings!) were not selling the pups - they just wanted them to go to good homes.  So we did not spend any money for the actual puppy.  That said, I am in the midst of putting together a thank-you for the family who gave her to us, but they didn't ask for a fee.

So far, we have purchased a good-sized bag of puppy chow, a pair of nyla-bones, a collar and some puppy training pads.  I am using water dishes that I had on hand for the bunnies. Since I just have two bunnies that I keep year round (when I do library programs I lease a few more rabbits for about a month), I have excess bowls, so Taffy is using two of those. Originally, they came from goodwill or a yard sale.

Day one, before I found the extra feed dishes in the bunny barn.

Daughter does a lot of pretend play with her stuffed animals, and she got one of the leashes from her collection.  She has gotten them as stocking stuffers (Dollar Tree) or at yard sales, and is very happy to lend one to Taffy.

Taffy is still small - about 6.5 pounds when we brought her home - but growing every day.  Because she is a mixed breed, we don't know how big she will get, though we estimate around 30 pounds.  For now, I can use one of the pet carriers I have for rabbit and chicken programs I do for the library, so we have time to see how she grows and look for a second-hand crate when she reaches her adult size.  I also have a larger pet carrier I will use when she outgrows this one.

We got the nylabones so we would have something to teach her to chew when she is 'chewy'.  She also likes pine cones and sticks when she's outside, and on day three, I broke down and gave her an old sock that had a hole in it.  She was going after everything fabric.  When I was a kid, our dog had an old sock we used to play chew-tug, and that's what Taffy likes to do too.  It is going to take discipline on our parts to not leave other socks laying about, but I also think that once a dog gets a 'special' sock, they know the scent of it, and prefer least, I hope so.


Later in the week, Daughter gave Taffy the stuffed catnip sock she had made for the cat.  For some reason, the cat (who usually loves catnip)  wasn't interested in it.  We also returned the unopened package of puppy training pads, because she only uses them as toys....she grabs a corner and runs for the hills!  It was from Dollar Tree - no refunds, but you can exchange things - so she ended up with a squeaky toy.  I KNOW.

When it comes to health, we plan to give Taffy regular exercise, plenty of fresh clean water and dog food supplemented with minimal treats for training.  The chickens already eat all the table scraps, and it's just too easy for a dog to end up unhealthy from them.  As for vaccinations, I am going to look for a 'rabies clinic' to get her rabies shot.  I'll buy the other shots at the vet supply or the feed store and administer them myself.  I can also buy rabies at the vet supply, but by law it has to be administered by a veterinarian (which makes me wonder why I can buy it, since I'm not a vet) I will look for an affordable option for that one.

We already own grooming supplies, most  purchased second hand for either the cat or the bunnies, so I don't forsee any expense there.

In the mean time, I did stuff like wash clothes and cook food and try not to waste any money.  Truth be told, we were hard pressed to leave the house much, between schooling and puppy and adjusting.  So we ate from our planned menu, kept our frugal habits, and enjoyed our new family member.

What did you do this week to spend less, save more and make do?  Leave a comment so we can all share ideas, won't you please?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dinner Menu for This Week

Chili with garnishes kept us warm on a cool day last week.  

Hello, Dearies!

We are seeing some amazing sales on apples - Gala and Granny Smith are both on sale for .48 a pound right now.  I have looked, and we really do not need applesauce or apple butter for the coming year, but I bought a lot of apples for fresh eating and possibly a pie.  We have cooked turkey breast for sandwiches, plus I cubed some for the fondue and shepherd's pie.  I put it in the freezer to keep it from getting too old in the fridge.  Here is the dinner menu for this week:

M - dinner out
T - cheese fondue with cubed cooked turkey, toasted bread, steamed carrots and broccoli, cubed apples
W - tuna-noodle casserole, glazed carrots, sliced apples
R - zuppa toscana, Italian bread, prune plums
F - grilled chicken cesar salads, waldorf salad
S - homemade burritos supreme, chips with homemade salsa, fruit smoothies
S - turkey shepherd's pie, sliced apples

I plan to try an English muffin bread recipe and a baked oatmeal recipe this week.  I'll be popping some popcorn and probably making some sort of snack bar for lunches and lunch boxes.

What are you cooking?  I hope you have a tasty week!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments From the Past Week

Our little herb patch has lovage, horse radish, lemon balm, oregano, feverfew, lots of mint,
'walking' onions and garlic chives.

I gave myself a haircut.  I had cut it into a bob for summer, which was great, but it was getting long and a little unruly, so I'm back to soft layers.  It feels, and looks, a little lighter.

I was more conscious about combining errands, staying home when I could and using less fuel.  On a day when I really did need to go out to pick up something I was buying, I also stopped at a friend's house and returned library books, for example.

I use a local facebook buy-sell-trade page, which had to do with the 'something I was buying' mentioned above.  This week, I got Daughter's main birthday present, her main Christmas present, and a couple of stocking stuffers that I know she will love.  I paid for them with funds I got from selling items we no longer needed...on the very same page.

I picked green beans and zucchini from our garden.  The beets and peas I planted for 'fall garden' are sprouting.  I am still watching for the lettuces.

I weeded out all my old, rusty canning jar rings and made these cute pumpkins.  I wanted to paint them, but the only spray paint colors I had that were even close to what I wanted were red and gold.  I did a light, not-so-even layer of the red, then did the same with the gold, hoping it will look 'orange-y'.  What do you think?  The stems are sticks from our yard.  The flowers are last week's indoor bouquet.  I leave them on the back deck - they look pretty there, and the birds can come and pick at them...later, I take them to the compost bin.

I made a loaf of zucchini bread this week, to help use up some of the bounty.  I also made a lot of our other foods from scratch, and we made good use of leftovers.  I make more kale chips too, because a friend gave me a grocery bag of kale, and that's a great way to preserve it for later.

The weather this week has often been dreary and cool.  Good weather for
baking and dehydrating indoors.  The tree with the netting (right of photo)
is our prune plum tree.  We should be able to pick the plums soon.
I combined a sale on soda, a sale on crackers and a gift card rebate to get four 2-liter bottles of Coke and three boxes of Cheez-Its for $5.01.  I know....not the healthiest.  We also had homemade kale chips this week (so at least we're trying!), and the snacks will last past this week, for sure.

In another sale, I paid 1.96 for four boxes of granola bars, and received a $2 off coupon for my next purchase.  My next purchase (I did it right away, before I lose the coupon!) was a 40 oz. jar of peanut butter that was on sale for $5, which was just $3 after the coupon.  Four boxes of granola bars and a very large jar of Skippy for $4.96 is pretty good!

Walmart had girl's socks on clearance.  There were 10-packs for $1 in toddler/preschool size, and 10-packs for $3 in girl's 'large'...which sure do look the same as women's socks to me.  I bought two packages of the large ones for me (Daughter likes socks that come further up her leg, but I like this kind fine) and two packages of the smaller socks.  We will donate those when the church asks for clothing donations for missions.  If I find that the larger ones don't fit me after all, I can donate the remaining ones.

We read books, watched movies and listened to music from the public library.  We also attended a library program for kids that gave Daughter a chance to create and have fun with her friends.

When I was going through a cabinet in the basement I found a huge container of bubble solution.  Huge.  I topped off Daughter's bubbles (which are not much of a draw anymore, at her age) and I've been using the rest of it in the laundry.  It seems to work just fine.

We went out for a meal on the weekend and used a coupon to cut the cost by almost $5.  We drank water instead of soda and we all shared one side.  We had plenty to eat, but our 'ticket' was less than half what we would have paid for individual meals.

Kitchen scraps - melon rinds, vegetable peels, apple cores, etc. went into the outdoor chicken run, as always.  The hens pick and the 'treats' and are quite happy to get them.

I took two surveys this week, earning $3 each.

I partially thawed a large turkey this week and cut it into pieces.  I roasted the breast for supper and plenty of leftovers, some for lunches this week, some for meals next week.  I wrapped the wings together, the legs together and each thigh separately.  The wing meat is good in buffalo chicken recipes, the legs are great for barbecue and the thighs get soaked in an Asian marinade and then cooked and served with rice.  the frame and remaining parts went into the crock pot with six cups of water to make stock.  The only thing I threw away outright was the wrapper.  :)

Did you have a frugal week?  Share your accomplishments in the comments!

Monday, September 8, 2014

This Week's Menu Plan

I made this Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread last was tasty!  Next time,
I won't slash the loaf quite so deep!
We have several things from the garden to work into the menu this week - green beans, zucchini, kale, zucchini, chard and zucchini!  I will make some zucchini bread this week!  I have a fairly standard zucchini bread recipe, plus a lemon-zucchini bread that's good.  I call it 'citrus' bread.  Daughter assumed the green flecks were lime zest, and I'm not correcting that any time soon!  I modify it a bit for altitude, and I don't glaze it, because it's quite good on its own.

I've been washing the kale (remove the rib down the center) and tearing it into pieces about
2 inches in any direction.  Toss with oil, Real Salt, toasted garlic powder and
smoked paprika, then dry in the dehydrator.  It makes tasty, healthy chips for snacking!

We don't do a lot of planning for breakfast, though if I make zucchini bread, it will probably be offered for breakfast with a fruit smoothie.  There is also cereal, sliced pumpkin bread in the freezer, eggs, cream cheese, bread for toast, peanut butter, yogurt, fruit, etc.  Lunches are generally leftovers from suppers or something quick and easy from the pantry.  Snacks this week will include fresh fruit, zucchini bread, popcorn, nuts and dried fruit and smoothies.  Here is our supper menu:

M - biscuits and sausage gravy, hash browns, green beans, apple wedges
T - fried chicken, sweet corn, pan-fried zucchini w/onion, crescent rolls, melon
W - chili with rice, carrot and celery sticks, canned pears
R - baked herbed turkey breast, steamed broccoli, au-gratin potatoes, peach cobbler
F - blt sandwiches, bean w/bacon soup, carrots and celery, apple wedges
S - nachos supreme, fruit smoothies
S - hamburger helper lasagna, saute'ed zucchini, fruit salad

To pull this off, I need to pick up a couple tomatoes.  Everything else is on hand!  Woot-woot!

Our 'eat out' this week is the fried chicken on Tuesday.  I make - honestly - the worst fried chicken.  Tuesday, when there is a special (1.19 for a leg and a thigh), Husband will pick up the chicken on the way home from work, and I will make the sides.

Planning the meals for the week really  helps me feel like I *have* a plan...and it saves me the day-to-day stress I used to feel when we didn't do this.  Family helps me plan, which means we all get input, too.  It helps us use the fresh stuff we have on hand while it is fresh, too.  What are you eating this week?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments for the First Week of September

The deer population in our area has increased significantly in the past few years, and we have changed our gardening practices as a result.  They will eat most everything we try to grow, so now we only garden in some enclosed areas that we have.  Our garden is much smaller than it used to be, so I am not growing as much of the food that I dehydrate, can and freeze.  This week, Sprouts Market had yellow onions, 3 lbs. for $1.  The onions were very nice, and quite large, weighing about a pound each.  I bought about ten pounds of them (for three dollars and change!).  Some are in our basement pantry for use over the course of the next several weeks, but I also cleaned and diced a lot of them, then froze them on cookie sheets and then put them in freezer containers.  When I need diced onion for a recipe, they will be ready to go.

I don't mention this often, but every day, Husband takes his lunch to work from home.  Conservatively, he might be able to buy lunch out for $3 a day, and that would probably be fairly monotonous, plus not very healthy.  Even with that conservative estimate, he saves us $600 a year by taking food from home.  (If you are wondering about my math, I multiplied $3 x 4 because he works 4 days a week, which is $12 x 50 weeks a year (figuring two weeks of vacation per year), for $600 in savings.)

As a thank-you, I took a jar of homemade peach jam to the lady who gave us a couch a few weeks ago. I attached a small note card that I made with paper, stamps and ink I had on hand.

The gardens gave us green beans, zucchini, oregano, lettuces and mint.  I did a bit of fall planting - peas, lettuces and beets.  Our kale and chard are still growing well, and our butternut squash and pumpkins are both setting nice fruit.  The currant tomato plant has some tiny green tomatoes on it, finally.  We have had a cool summer with very cool nights - tough circumstances for a tomato plant.

We planned a menu for the week that gave me the chance to use up some odds and ends in the fridge - chicken onion quesedillas used the last of a chicken from the previous week and fried rice helped me use some leftover rice and vegetables.

I made Irish soda bread and cooked from scratch quite a bit this week.  A couple of our meals had ground beef in them - I ground up a roast I bought for 1.66 a pound.  It was the last one - I had bought about ten of them last year, wrapped them very well and froze them.  They have made beef a very affordable option for us for quite a while, as ground beef for burgers and other meals, (taco meat, beef in spaghetti, etc.), stew, kabobs and teriyaki.

I gathered more free denim jeans and cut more square for the denim/flannel quilt that I'm making.

We borrowed books, movies and a Wii game from the library, free of charge.

Husband drove our car to work most days, because it gets better mileage than our truck (35 and 20 mpg, respectively).  One day, he did take the truck to work, and he stopped on his way home to pick up free firewood.  There is a company that takes damaged pallets, replaces the damaged pieces and then the pallets can be used once more.  The wood that was removed due to damage is free for the taking.  There is always quite a bit in the warm months....come late-September, it gets really scarce, so Husband stops every few weeks during warm weather and gets a truckload.  It makes great kindling, or works well for days when a quick, hot fire in the wood stove will keep the house warm all day.

I took a survey and earned $3.

We met friends at the park for some play time.  We packed snacks and water from home.

We went swimming with friends, as their guests at a nearby indoor pool.  We packed snacks and water from home that day too...but it wasn't my turn to provide snacks, and my friend got daughter an ice-cream from the vending machine.  We used the snacks the next day.

I used a local buy-sell-trade page on Facebook to sell several items that we no longer needed.  This has been a real boon to us - we are in a semi-rural area, and this works really well because it's mostly people in this area, so most of the sales go through quite nicely.  We also purchase items on the same page - we get great prices, we aren't traveling far to get things, and it's good for our little community.

On that same Facebook page, Daughter used some of her earned spending money to buy a Lego set, unopened in the box, for 75% less than retail.  She earned the money weeding, and just like allowance (which is paid for everyday chores - the weeding was an add-on sort of job), she divided her earnings into saving, giving and spending.  I'm proud of her for realizing that she can look for second-hand before she heads to the retail store.  (In this case, it wasn't even second-hand!)

I went to the craft store with a friend and used 50% off coupons for my purchases - baker's twine in assorted colors.  (I used some on the jar of jam, pictured above.)  I will use it for some gifts and for packaging soaps that I hope to sell around the holidays.

Husband and I have been going through items in the barn and sorting into items to save, items to sell, recycling, and scrap metal.

I picked flowers and greenery from the flower beds and some trees (that needed trimming) to make indoor arrangements.
blanket flower, Russian sage, silver mound
and branches from an apricot root stock
As always, our laundry was washed with homemade laundry soap, and dried on the clothes lines or on racks in the basement.  Did I tell y'all that our washer quit working last week?  I went on YouTube and figured out what was wrong with it - the little switch in the lid that tells the washer that the lid is closed (and safe) wasn't working.  I was able to finish the laundry by holding down the flap with a butter knife.  Husband did a semi-permanent fix with a piece of plastic and some duct tape, so now I don't have to stand and watch it spin while I hold a butter knife in the slot!  It's worked perfectly all week.

Did you have a frugal week?  What did you do to save more, spend less and make do?  Leave a comment, if you please!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Menu Plan - First Week of September

The OSB on the interior garage walls is up - woo hoo!

Hello, Dearies!

I realize that I've been posting goals on Mondays for a few weeks, but...I don't think I'm going to do that anymore.  For one thing, I seem to have completion issues.  Last week I wanted to wash five windows and all the ceiling fans.  I managed to get four windows, and all but one of the ceiling fans.  I think all the 'almost done' things are starting to discourage me, even though I was plenty busy last week!  Another thing?  I end up doing things that never made the list, like helping Husband put up the OSB on the interior garage walls - things that are definitely work, and take time and effort, but weren't part of the plan I thought I had back when I was, you know, planning.  So, eh, it's not really working for me.  Instead, I'm going to share our dinner menu on Mondays, because that's something we pretty well stick to week in and week out.  Here are the meals for this week:

Breakfasts are not something we really plan, but I try to have several choices on hand.  On any given day, there is cereal, oatmeal, eggs, bread for toast and corn tortillas (I'm a big fan of the breakfast taco).  This week, we also have some pumpkin bread and some blueberry muffins, and there's a pretty good chance that I'll make a bigger breakfast on the weekend.  We haven't had biscuits and gravy in forever, so maybe that, some eggs and fresh fruit (yum!)

Lunches are often leftovers from previous suppers, plus a few simple stand-bys.  If we don't have leftovers from a previous meal, we might have pbj on wheat, quesedillas, salads with nuts, seeds and fruit, crackers and really is just a matter of what's on hand and what sounds good.

Suppers are planned.  Here are this week's meals:
M - chicken-onion quesedillas, refried beans, shredded lettuce salad w/tomato, sour cream, salsa, chips and cilantro
T - Spam fried rice with carrots, celery and green onion, steamed broccoli, watermelon
W - crock-pot corned beef, mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage, Irish soda bread, grapes
R - taco salads, apple wedges
F - spaghetti w/meat sauce, garlic green beans, cheesy toast, watermelon
S - leftovers or go out (or something we think of in the mean time)
S - steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, Asian green beans, peach galette

Snacks are things like cheese and crackers, peanut butter and crackers, popcorn and fruit, muffins, smoothies, etc.  This week I plan to make some zucchini bread to add to the snack rotation, and we have popcorn made, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand, etc.

That's the meal plan at our house.  What are you eating this week?