Weekly Menu, February 26-March 2, 2012

Fish Tacos with Slow Cooker Black Beans

This week I’m setting our food budget at $65, though I hope to come in under. Over the weekend, my husband made a batch of Coconut Milk Waffles, and they were excellent. (I wish we would have made a triple recipe to freeze some!) I haven’t been able to digest dairy during this pregnancy, but thanks to the waffles and our Dairy Free Smoothies I think I’ve been converted, and will continue to use coconut milk even after baby arrives.

My husband was disappointed we didn’t get his favorite meal, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, in last week, but the Buffalo Chicken will make an appearance in the form of wraps using leftover roasted chicken this week.

This week I will also start a new series entitled Make it Or Buy It, in which I’ll look at the cost-effectiveness of either making or purchasing various foods and household products. This week I’ll take a look at Homemade Applesauce, and share my favorite recipe for organic applesauce along with a price comparison. Join up with our Facebook Community to follow the series and share your thoughts and favorite DIY products.

Breakfasts
-Coconut Milk Waffles, Fresh Fruit x 2
-Cinnamon Rolls, Homemade Applesauce
-Muffins, Homemade Applesauce
-Cinnamon Toast, Fresh Fruit
-Bagels, Fresh Fruit

Lunches
-Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Chips, Fresh Fruit
-Leftovers x 2
-Out to Eat x 2
-Pasta w Steamed Veggies

Dinners
-Spaghetti, Green Salad, French Bread
-Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup, Garlic Toast
-Roasted Chicken, Roasted Veggies, Biscuits
-Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Carrot and Celery Sticks
-Stromboli, Green Salad
-Fish Tacos, Pinto Beans (using black bean recipe with pintos), Steamed Veggies

Art Project-Easy Reindeer Ornament

I have a love-hate relationship with glitter. I love the pretty sparkliness it gives even the most mundane project, but I hate when it gets stuck in the crevices of my tile floor.

This has been a challenging pregnancy including severe morning sickness and bed rest, so I haven’t had the opportunity to do much in the way of crafts and Christmas baking with my little one. However, I found an idea for a cute Christmas craft that looked easy and quick enough to finish in just a few minutes. My 3 year old had a fun time and I was glad to do something fun and crafty this season!

 First, trace both of your child’s hands on a piece of tan construction paper. Cut them out.

Then trace your child’s foot onto a piece of dark brown construction paper and cut it out. Glue the hand prints (antlers) to the foot (face of the reindeer).

Once antlers are glued to the body, glue on a red pom-pom and two googly eyes to finish up the reindeer’s face.

Add glitter if you’re feeling wild and crazy.

Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top of the reindeer face.

Use a hole protector sticker to strengthen the area.

Wrap a pipe cleaner into the hole, and allow to dry. Hang on the tree and enjoy!

*Note-if you’d like to make this ornament so it will last year after year, use cardboard instead of construction paper.

Merry Christmas from Save Money, Live Joyfully! 
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What To Have On Hand For Emergencies–Food

The last several weeks have been filled with news about power outages. Between the power outages caused by Hurricane Irene on the East Coast, and the widespread power outage affecting several million homes in Southern California, Arizona, and Mexico, I got to thinking about how prepared we are for emergencies. In this series, I’m going to cover supplies and products that will make your life easier in case an emergency were to affect you and your family.

Q. Why should I prepare for an emergency or natural disaster?
A: Because it’s called an emergency for one reason…you can’t predict it. Planning helps to alleviate stress and create calmness if an emergency does occur.

Q: In case of emergency, I’ll just go to the grocery store. Why should I store food?
A: Not necessarily. During the power outage in Southern California, gas stations were closed, and grocery stores had to turn away customers because they didn’t have power to perform transactions. During Hurricane Irene, store shelves were cleared of food and water days before the storm was expected to hit. In addition, keeping up a stockpiling by purchasing during sales, you avoid having to pay full price in the future.

Q: How should I store food? I don’t want to invest in food and end up throwing it away!
A: This kind of follows the rules of Stockpiling. You should have on hand a supply of non-perishables, which your family will use, and use them as you normally would. Just make sure to always replenish your stock, and use the oldest product first. This way, you will always have products on hand, but won’t have to worry about wasting them.

Q: How is an emergency kit different than a survival kit?
A: I’m talking about emergency stockpiles right now, not survival stockpiles. Emergency kits should be sufficient to last your family a week or two after a natural disaster, when you know things like power, water, and natural gas will be restored soon. Survival kits are for worst case scenario, when your family may have to survive months or years without those luxuries.

Q: What kinds of food should I have on hand in case of natural disaster or power outage?
A: Assuming you do not have a generator keeping your refrigerator cold (though that may be a long-term investment you should consider if you live in regions that often have natural disasters), you will want to have items that are non-perishable, or don’t have to be refrigerated. Remember that in case of a power outage, you need to keep the refrigerator door closed, to avoid food spoilage.

  • Some foods to have on hand include: 
    • Canned Tuna and individual mayonnaise packets (you won’t be able to store an open jar of mayo safely.) 
    • Granola Bars and other non-perishable snack foods, such as crackers
    • Peanut Butter (doesn’t need to be refrigerated, while other nut butters do.)
    • Canned or Jarred Fruit
    • Dried Fruit
    • Nuts or Trail Mix
    • Bottled Water
    • Juice Boxes
  • If you have a gas grill or camping stove, you should also include:
    • Dried Rice and Pasta (boil water on the grill or stove)
    • Canned Soups
    • Canned Beans
  • Other Supplies:
    • Paper plates (During emergencies, water is often under a “boiling order”, which would make washing dishes very difficult.)
    • Plastic Utensils and Paper Napkins or Paper Towels
    • Plastic Cups

Next time, we’ll discuss the household supplies you’ll want to keep on hand in case of emergency.

You Find What You Look For!

 “The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)