Triple Clicks

Friday, April 12, 2019

Stepping Away....

I'm stepping away from the blog...

I just can't keep up with things and adding something else to the mix is not working...So I've made the decision to just step away.  There will be no new blog posts. 

Thank you for reading. 

God bless

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Grocery Shopping March/April

I bet you're wondering what happened to me.. It's usually not this long between meal planning and shopping posts. 

Well. Snow. 

Then Rain, snow and sleet.

Then floods.  

Thankfully our house is not near a major river, but there are major rivers between us and town and in town... So we went from being snowed in, to being rained in... To FINALLY being able to go SOMEWHERE ANYWHERE.   

We still have plenty of snow on the ground, but the birds and squirrels are saying spring is finally on it's way. 

So how'd we do?  

Hubby was shopping and we were getting low on provisions... Need I say more? 

Almond milk, butter, eggs, chicken breast (on a discount!!), ground beef, pork chips, chips, cereal, cheese, sugar, tortillas,  Syrup, dark chocolate of course.  Salsa-I love their salsa variety.  Pudding, jello.. Hubby loves their pita chips.  Spinach, snacks and supplies for the trail mix.  
Gave us a total of $184.39

flavored water, sweet peppers, tator tots, hot pockets, pita bread, more cheese, hoagie rolls, chicken breast tenderloins, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, chicken patties, teriyaki chicken.  (We hate chicken, can't ya tell? 😝) Flour, sugar, cinnamon rolls, ketchup, pepperoni, more cereal.  
On saver was Lucky Charms, ketchup, chips.. we saved $8.50
Total $305.15
I did have that total down to $250... but... well.. yeah.. 

Dollar Tree
After two months I FINALLY made it to Dollar Tree!!.. And I forgot stuff. :/  
Bag clips, hair stuff, root beer water flavor (hubby likes it), popcorn tubs-SORELY needed,  organizer for the desk and calendars for the kids.  We only spent $23.43

Non food
Bleach, Hangers, Butt Paste, coffee filters, duct tape, bath duck, teether, baby wipes, Glade Plug Ins, food scale.. $52.45
Supper, frozen broccoli, breaded okra (ah man I forgot the ranch!!), salad kits,.... more cheese?... pizza sauce, chocolate covered pretzels and m&ms for trail mix.  Smithfield pork loin-so good y'all!!!  Yogurt out the wazzoo, yogurt covered raisins, sesame seeds, water flavoring.. and we splurged on donuts.  Total of $121.48

That makes for a total of $611.02.. $152 a week. $25.46 a person, a week..   We were talking about the uptick in our grocery bill, it's because we are doing other meals besides peanut butter and jelly for lunch for the kids.  Which is good, but it also costs more. 

Have a great week y'all! 


Friday, March 8, 2019

Meal Planning March/April

It feels like we have been snowed in for a month. 

We've gotten a lot of snow this month.. Making for the van getting stuck three times in the driveway and me walking to a few meetings in single digit weather so I didn't have to reschedule AGAIN.   

Let's put it another way...  Typically we get out twice a week for church and a few other times for miscellaneous things...  So.. probably 3 times a week.  This month, we've gotten out 4 times. 4 times.  FOUR.  The kids can't get in the back yard (literally.. it's snowed in)...  We are on break from formal school waiting on books.  We literally CANNOT LEAVE THE HOUSE much at all.  

This is our backyard.... That's a five  foot chain link fence

Hello cabin fever, how are you this year? 

Dennis and I have been staying busy with business training and regular housework.  Elijah is teething which makes for an interesting time doing anything else.  I really do miss teething tablets.  The big kids are feeling it and have been sorry when they utter the words "mom, I'm BORED".

It's become apparent this month that the kids are big enough that cereal just won't cut it anymore.  So we're going to try a few different things breakfast for them.  On the plus side, we can get $10 in animal crackers at Sam's and get snacks for all of us for the month..about 3-4 days a week... That's not too shabby. Too bad they aren't the iced ones. 

Through our business training, I'm learning how to utilize my computer more...  Now ask me how much I remember.  lol  So I'm switching from paper to computer for many things.  I'm learning Google calendar along with the Word Office Suite...  So my meal planning has been switched to Google Calendar, which also syncs with my phone.. so I'm finally able to use my painted chalkboard again. Woohoo!!  

Ok so.. Meal Plans
Breakfast... eggs, bacon, juice, oatmeal cups, muffins, waffles, farmers casserole, omelets, cinnamon rolls... 

Weekdays-chicken sandwiches with avocados, hot pockets with chips, PB & J with jello cups or pudding cups, mac and cheese. 
Weekends-sloppy joes, sandwiches and trail mix, chicken strips and tots

Pork Tenderloin, broccoli, potatoes
crunch wraps
fish, broccoli and rice
teriyaki chicken sandwiches and potatoes
pork chops, broccoli and potaotes
chicken parmesan bake
honey sesame chicken, fried rice
stuffed lasagna shells

Now.. Do I know how to take a screen shot with everything I have on the meal plan this month  like I did last month?...No.... no I don't.  Because I changed how much stuff I have on the calendar......

Part of our business training has been time management...  I mean, learning how to manage your time, what easier goal could there be to getting everything done and not feeling like you're drowning? Not to mention living simpler....

Clearly the guys doing the training don't have kids.  😂😂

Now, on the plus side, I have made it through the kitchen cupboards, we have a desk put up in the living room (the office is uninhabitable)... My computer's new home is on the desk, so I only have certain time frames I can use it unplugged... And my battery is starting to get low.  

Our desk.. Two filing cabinets.. one with extra height from miscellaneous boards because the new filing cabinet was smaller than the old.  The top is an old closet door.. I have since added quite a few things for organization.. but as soon as I can I'll hit up Dollar Tree and see what else I can find. (don't worry, that's a clean diaper)

I have baking days, cleaning days, catch-up days and sewing days on my calendar... We'll see how that works out.  lol  Along with a to-do list that integrates with my calendar... and gives me notifications when I don't get anything done.... When do I get anything done?

Have a great week! 


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Living Simply In A Very UNsimple World

I've been watching full time RV-ers on YouTube for 2 or 3 years... Their biggest agreement?  How freeing it is to downsize EVERYTHING in your life and focus on family.  

At church we are learning that more is not better.  Less is better.  Less IS more.  Having less stuff makes it easier to focus on God, focus on family.  

A smaller house means less rooms to clean.  Less stuff sitting around means less clutter.  

But... how?  

I mean, it seems simple.  Get off Facebook, get off the internet and work on stuff.   Spend time with your family instead of time behind a screen (says the person writing a blog...on the internet.. the irony is not missed).  Sell or get rid of all of the things you aren't using. Organize the things you do use that don't have a place in your home. It seems simple, it sounds simple.  

It's not so simple.  Especially when you use the internet to make money.  You use the internet to keep in touch with family... Because, let's face it, if I were to have to sit down and write letters.. I'm not sure how often family would hear from me.   

For the past 8 years Facebook has been my lifeline.  All of my friends and family were/are on Facebook.  Home school help, cooking help, you name it, I found a group on Facebook.  We even had our church group on Facebook. I have made some awesome friends through that source.  However, I failed to see how it was affecting my communications skills, no matter how many times my husband told me it was.  

So what has changed?  We found a church FAMILY.  

Getting to know people face to face at church....  Being among an awesome, God fearing group of people who are mostly not on social media has made me realize I need a huge detox.  

It's also made me realize that my communication skills are zilch. Nada.  I have none.  Seriously.  What I can talk about? Kids, birth, home school.. What's acceptable to talk about?... Definitely not birth. 😆😆 

Knowing that my blog is very much just our failed attempts at saving money grocery shopping, also being asked the question in a group I'm in a Facebook... I decided I needed to start this series... 

So what does living simply mean to me? 

In all honesty, I would absolutely LOVE to buy a van and a travel trailer and move in.. Get rid of this house and have a space that's OURS.   Let me explain this from my point of view... My husband's ex wife picked out this house.  Now, I am very thankful to have a roof over our heads and be protected from the elements... It is very intimidating and very frustrating to move into and claim a house that somebody else picked out, somebody else organized long before you were in the picture.  I have to be honest, there are cupboards and corners in this house I haven't ventured... and I've lived here for 9 years.  

Why? You may ask.  Because I have rearranged the kitchen a few times, finding the place for things that works best for me.   One reason-this kitchen wasn't made for a cook, let alone a short cook.  (I mean really... who puts a furnace vent RIGHT BESIDE THE STOVE?! Not to mention the stove right beside the bathroom... And I have I mentioned THERE'S NO PANTRY!?! Because there's not a pantry....) Sorry, bunny trail.... I have rearranged the kitchen... and when somebody else puts dishes away.... the dishes that have been kept in a certain cupboard for 6 years now...suddenly find themselves in the previous place... I'm missing dishes.. I kid you not, I have had some dishes disappear every time a child is born because that's about the only time I admit I need help.  Do you have any idea how intimidating it is?  It feels like I'm a guest in someone else's house... and this is my HOME.  

So... What's living simply for me?  

My first step is getting of the internet as much.  Stepping away from the devices-the cell phone, the computer, the Kindle... and get off my toosh and DO THINGS.  This may sound like a silly step to some...  But I'm realizing just HOW MUCH time I spend doing things on my computer.   And not just the odd jobs that need done, but randomly playing on Facebook, Pinterest or playing Farmville.  Am I going to completely give these things up?  I doubt it.  In the long run, we'll see.  

As I'm getting off the electronics, I'm going to be working on the chores that have been getting ignored.. Mainly, getting MY kitchen organized how I want it.   

I'm not setting myself a time limit here... because... well... life.  But that's my first goal. The kitchen.  

I'll keep y'all updated.. 

Have a great week! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping/February March

How has another month gone by?  It feels like we've been snowed in all month.. Cabin fever has definitely set in amongst the kids and I.  

We are working on getting more organized around here...  I'm trying to figure out the calendar on computer for (loosely) organizing my days and meal planning... with the intent that I'll write out the menu on my chalkboard in the kitchen every week.   We'll see how that works out. 

The menu plan for this month..  it's Dennis and Grace's birthday this month. Dennis always wants steak on his birthday, Grace chose pizza-homemade pizza even (I WIN!!! LOL).   It's also their year for an ice cream cake.  So that Saturday we're doing pizza for lunch and steak, rolls, veggies, potatoes (and hot dogs for the kids) for supper.. Ice cream cake for snack.  

Breakfasts...  eggs, bacon, yogurt, farmer's hash (skillet-hash browns, peppers, onions, eggs and cheese), farmer's casserole (oven-hash browns, eggs, veggies, cheese).. Cereal, juice, coffee, cinnamon rolls, waffles... the normal variety of breakfast foods.  

Lunches.. Mondays are macaroni and cheese, Tuesdays are chicken nuggets and chicken sandwiches, Wednesdays are chicken strips and tator tots, Thursdays are hot pockets, Fridays are PB&J and chicken sandwiches.. Saturdays are sloppy joes and Sundays are sandwiches and trail mix.   

Dinner Meals
Swedish Meatballs
Pork Loin
Teriyaki chicken
Crunch Wraps
Dorito Taco Salad
Angry Chicken
Pork Chops

You'll have to let me know if the calendar looks ok... I'm trying a few things.

I tried to sync my computer calendar and my phone....and now I synced my email so every time I get an email my phone freaks out. 

So that worked well. :/  

Aldi we spent 143.53...  We just had to get the crab rangoon and chicken egg rolls that were on sale.. Just because they are YUMMY.  

Walmart.. we spent 129.62.  42.09 was non grocery.. So 87.53 was grocery.

Sams we spent 319.08.  30.83 was non grocery.. so 288.25

So this month we spent  $519.31..  That's 129 a week for 7 people.. 

Well.. I got my email off my phone.. then tried to sync my calendars to get my meal plan on my phone... And my meal plan disappeared.  

'Scuse me while I go cry.   Thank God I took the screenshot.. making a meal plan is a bit of work (whether it looks like it or not).   

Have a great week!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Discount Grocery Shopping

I am still navigating the world of getting my phone and my computer to cooperate and talk to each other so I can stop taking paper lists to the store... 

On top of that, my printer decided to be a pain in the rear this morning and not print my list. So there's that.  

We made the trip to S&E this morning in Huron.  

$223 dollars later..

We have realized we need to pay a bit closer attention... They had candy on sale lol.  So... what did we get for $223.  

Orbit gum (4 of them!)
Lemon Juice
Raisin 6 packs-2 (gives us 3 snacks of raisins)
Hershey baking cocoa
Refried beans-3
Coffee Mate (not a deal, but we needed it)
Baking Spray-3
Belvita Breakfast Crackers-2
Reese's Popped Snacks-3
Ghirardelli Minis-3 ($1 a bag!)
Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips-12 for a total of $3!
Mayo-2 (Honey!, don't let me buy ANY MORE MAYO lol)
Maple Syrup (not too much of a deal)
Tomato Sauce 8 oz cans-8 for $2
Fruit Bars (like fig newton-type)-2
Twizzlers Minis
Breast Milk Storage Bags 
Lucky Charms-3
Skinny Girl Dark Chocolate ($1 a bag!)
2" 3 ring binder (questionable deal..)
Raisin Bran-3, $.50 a box!
Froot Loops
Mio 4-$1 a bottle... It's Strawberry Orange, but the kids love it.
Cafe Bustelo, 10c a can, so we grabbed all they had..17 cans I think
Tator Tots (definitely not a deal..but we needed it)
Lindt Lindow Chocolate ($1 a bag!)
Black Licorice Twizzlers
Baking Chips...various seasonal (Christmas) flavors.. 75c a bag
Cream soda $1 a can
Wheat flour 5lb for 1.50
White flour 5lb for 1.50
Pretzels $1.50 for 4 lbs!
Pinapple Coconut sparkling water.. (not a deal, but hubby wanted to try it)
Angus hot dogs
Cheese filled hot dogs (hot dogs were .75c a package, typically $4 each at Walmart)
hashbrowns (maybe a deal?.. the patties aren't what I typically buy and the bag isnt labeled for size)
Ranch $1 for 40 oz
Ground beef 85/15, 1.99 a lb, we grabbed 12 lbs
Juice, $1 a container, typically $2-$3 a container depending on store and brand. 

So.. adding it all about we would have spent around $300 in the store for it all.  

So yes.. We did get some junk, but it's a place we can go to get snacks we wouldn't have otherwise.. Things like the baking chips will last for months. The ground beef is enough to last for 2 months, same with tomato sauce and gum will last quite awhile.  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Grocery Shopping January

Honestly I'm a bit worried about totaling this up this month. My list seemed so much shorter.. but it feels like we spent more.  We weren't able to make it up to Huron this month, so I know we spent more on juice and canned goods.  

On a side note. Elijah did great.  He was happy and awake most of the time, so on that note it was easy. 

We spent $325.29
Non food items $69.99  Batteries, Fish oil pills, Trash bags
Instant saver gave us $12.25 in coupons. 
Food we spent $259.57

We spent $155.63
Supper was $26.63
Non food was $38.30 storage tote, heel balm, glade oils, furnace filter
On regular groceries we spent $90.70

We spent $168.87

So on regular groceries we spent $584.86.  That's over 5 weeks this time, so $111.97 a week. Or $19.49 a week per person.  so I did do a little better this month than last month.  The batteries were a last minute expense and per battery were cheaper at Sam's.  The heel balm and storage tote were also last minute expenses.  The furnace filter was waaaaayyyy more than I thought it was going to be.  

We did pick up an extra at Aldi-dark chocolate and peppermint covered pretzels thins.. But those were $0.69 a bag and I grabbed 3 knowing the kids would want to try. They are good!!! We are getting points back on quite a few things through our apps, also.  

Have a good week!!