Cent Saving Saturday: Plan Week’s Meals from the Pantry and Freezer

Cent Saving Saturday

I completely believe in hoarding stockpiling.  Stockpiling allows you to plan meals around lean weeks, those weeks between paydays or when you are saving up for something big (or paying off medical bills, etc.).

The goal is to keep (in stockpile) enough ingredients for at least two weeks’ worth of suppers.  That means major starches:  rice, pasta, oats (and/or grits), and flour.  We try to keep a “healthy” supply of elbow macaroni as well as “spaghetti” style noodles in stock at all times.

We try to keep a few pounds of meat in the freezer as well.  That way the most expensive part of our menu (meat) is a worry we don’t have in the week’s planning.

We keep, in the pantry, a variety of canned veg and tomato product.  We keep frozen veg in the freezer.  That rounds out the “healthy” portion of the meals on those lean weeks.

The goal on those lean grocery weeks is to only buy perishables:  bread (unless you make your own), dairy/eggs, and produce.  On those weeks when we are eating off of the stockpile, our grocery bill has been known to be right around $20–or less!  (Keep in mind:  a gallon of milk lasts two weeks–usually–in our house.)

Another added benefit of living off of the stockpile is that you can pre-plan your weekly meal plan far in advance.  I try to plan out (at the latest) the Wednesday before the start of the meal plan because that is when our circulars come out.  Many websites recommend planning your menu around the loss leaders.

That works great…but what if there aren’t any loss leaders your family will eat that week?  Usually I purchase the protein-packed loss leaders (because, let’s just be honest, it’s usually a meaty loss leader) and freeze them for later.   If it’s a produce-based loss leader, I can switch out the canned or frozen for the fresh.

Eating off your stockpile also allows you to plan for meals when your meal plan mojo has disappeared (as mine did last week).  We usually have the ingredients of our most often-in-the-meal-rotation recipes (chili, tacos, red beans and rice, Josh’s mom’s mess, spaghetti, breakfast), so it makes meal planning easy on those weeks when my mind is blown.

And for those weeks when there is a bit more in the grocery spending budget, you can use the extra $$$ (once you’ve trained yourself and your family to eat off of the stockpile) to add to your stockpile for the week (if there are great stock-up sales) or put it aside for another stockpile week.

One of the grocery stores near where my mother-in-law lives in Ontario has a huge blowout stockpile sale in late spring (May-June) that is fantabulous!  Those are the sales to save up your extra saved grocery dollars for.

My favorites to save up for are the buy so many and save so much sales (I’m hoping Kroger will have another with their Private Selection stuff), Albertson’s quarter sale (25 cent salt, anyone?), and the baking sales around the holidays (where McCormick spices and extracts go 1/2 off).

And now…for the weekly sales:

Super 1

Strawberries, 1 pound, $1.98

Gebhardt refried beans 78 cents/can

Kroger

Kroger is continuing the Buy 6, get $3 off sale.

Cream cheese/sour cream 10/$10

Pepsi/Coke/Dr. Pepper 2 L $1 each wyb 6

Quilted Northern toilet tissue, 12 double rolls, 2/$10 wyb 2

Kroger Cheese 16 ounce $2.99

Albertson’s

Boneless Skinless chicken breasts $1.78

Calidad tortilla chips 99 cents

Red Gold salsa and ketchup 88 cents

Funny Muffin Friday: The Green Walmart

Funny Muffin Friday

I may have mentioned before that Muffin’s favorite color is green.  He requests green straws in his cups.  He will choose green things before any other color.  He eats green things (and will try them because they are green).

Recently, the first Walmart Neighborhood Market opened in our area (Well…there was one half an hour away in Texas, but this one meant that we wouldn’t have to drive down the scary busy street to get there).  If you are unfamiliar with Neighborhood Markets, their predominant color is green (as Target’s is red, regular Walmart’s is blue).

Green carts.  Green maps.  Green stuff all over the place.  Green water bottles handed out at the opening filled with green stuff.

And it’s opened 24 hours.

The green Walmart might be Muffin’s new favorite place.  He followed the building of it almost as closely as he did the building of the new Circle K on the corner…a very big deal in the mind and eyes of a four year old.

Ever since it opened, anytime I mention Walmart, I hear, “Are we going to the green Walmart?!”

Thoughtful Thursday: The Double Dose

Thoughtful Thursday

Just when you thought her rants were over…

I figure I have to follow Muffin’s four-year-old’s advice on this one.  He says that I have to “write a blog at them.”  I should know better than try to explain a grown-up problem to Muffin.  He tends to take (what I view to be) the right side, but he is very VERY passionate about it.  He feels it is my mission to sway the opinion of those whose views run contrary to mine…in order to save the world.

There is an issue that I have been careful to avoid on this blog.  It’s an issue that I can pretty much guarantee every mommy blogger has very strong feelings about…one way or another.

Three words that have recently come to the forefront, re-fanning the flames of an already fiery controversy.

Disneyland.  Measles.  Outbreak.

(And, my sister, who is probably knowing where I’m going with this is probably ready to howl with laughter.)

I’ve been a bit out of it, news-wise, lately.  I was riding in my carpooling buddy’s car, and we were listening to the news on the radio when something stopped me dead in my tracks, mid-story of what had happened at work today.  Measles outbreak at Disneyland.  How did I miss that?  It combines some of my hot-button-issue topics…Disney and vaccines.

And…to (not) my credit, I decided to Google.  And then I tried to feed the monkeys and respond to someone who wished to arbitrarily (and I say this because he quite obviously had never personally been affected by the vaccine issue) pontificate (insultingly) on his views.

And…on that CBS news report post, I tried to reply to his comment (again…feeding the monkeys in the zoo).  For whatever reason, it wouldn’t let me post.  So, I thought I had better post my comment here…in the hope that someone on the fence or maybe even against my viewpoint would listen to my viewpoint with open ears, eyes, and heart and appreciate what I’m saying.

I think I may have gotten insulting toward the end of the comment, and that was not my aim.  The comment that I was replying to was so pompous that I may have found myself feeling more than a bit defensive.

I want to be very clear…open…and forthright before you read this comment.  Because of ideological, personal, and experiential reasons, I strongly am in favor of vaccinations.  I’ve read the literature on both sides.  I realize that some vaccinations contain mercury, lead, and many other things.

But…I also realize and remember that on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2013, I was curled up in a ball in the middle section of my parent’s van, feeling achy to the point of immobilization, feverish, exhausted…and looking over at Muffin and seeing a dullness take over his eyes and a red flush (that scary red flush that starts the panicked rapid heartbeat of a mama who knows…knows…that her son is prone to febrile seizures…and that she is powerless to stop them) that signaled that Muffin’s fever was already high.

Out of the nine of us at my sister’s house that Thanksgiving, three of us (my parents and my husband) were flu-free.  My parents had taken the vaccine earlier that fall.  My husband (thankfully) has a freakishly strong immune system.  He thinks he might have come down with a very light case of it a few days later (a mild cough and a bit of aches and pains), but it was nowhere near the full-blown H1N1 that the other six of us had.

In all honesty, until later that week, I honestly thought we had all had pneumonia.  (My parents had received the pneumonia vaccine, as well.)  My sister had taken her two to the doctor (who didn’t test them for flu) and then (as my youngest nephew is also prone to febrile seizures) to the hospital.  The hospital asked that one pivotal question (If it were a drama on TV, this would be the cliffhanger before it cut to commercial break):  Have they been vaccinated for flu?

(Yes, I’m aware we are talking about measles in current events, and I’m bringing up an old tale of flu woes.)

My sister’s hospital visit propelled me to take Muffin (way too late) to the doctor…who diagnosed him as having the flu.  The doctor (another doctor in his regular pediatrician’s office) handed me a prescription for Tamiflu but said we were past the time when it would be effective.

Sadly, flashing back to that Saturday when I was in so much pain and so feverish when I prayed and prayed for it to end…and watching Muffin in the doctor’s office and feeling such massive guilt for not having him vaccinated sooner…as we had planned…. That was not the worst of it.

And then…the news story that chilled me further.  A local third grader…maybe a month later…contracted flu and died.  Died.  Of something preventable with a shot.

Just as there was an accident during my teen years that cemented the need to wear seat belts, if there were ever any doubt that we are a vaccine family (What do you call people who are pro-vaccine?), the end of 2013 proved that, to me and mine, vaccines were necessary.

As a mama, if you have to watch your child be that sick…in that much pain…and KNOW that you are responsible because you didn’t get him vaccinated in time…even now…over a year later…when the Ebola outbreak (yes, I know…no vaccine) and now with the measles outbreak…just thinking of Muffin with the flu sends over me a wave of almost crippling guilt.

I’m very thankful (on their behalf) that the parents who are anti-vaxxers have never known that guilt or fear.  And I don’t mean this as a threat.  Or as a menacing promise.  Or as a mean voodoo prophecy.  I mean it as the truth.  One day, you will find yourself in my position (or one similar).  And hopefully, and I mean that I sincerely hope, you aren’t looking at your child’s casket as a result.

Flu kills.

Measles kills.

Now, the above is the nicest way I could put things.  I will be perfectly honest and say that, most of the time, I tend to be a lot less kind in my comments about individuals who choose not to vaccinate their offspring.

If you are an anti-vaxxer (Is that even the politically correct term?), do you vaccinate your pets for rabies?

Just random question that ran through my head.

Anyway…we slogged through all of that maudlin melodrama to arrive at my unpublished (at least on CBS’s news story) reply to the pompous windbag of a commenter who thought he could prove his intelligence by using big words.  Here is my comment….

WHEN I THINK ABOUT THINGS SUCH AS MEASLES AND CHICKEN POX, WHY DO I ALWAYS THINK OF THE FLU?  OH, YEAH.  BECAUSE I HAD THE FLU LAST YEAR.  I DIDN’T VACCINATE IN TIME.  MY SON (WHO WAS 3 AT THE TIME) HAD IT, TOO.  IN OUR CITY OF 60,000, A THIRD GRADER (NON-VAXXED) CONTRACTED THE FLU AND DIED.  I WISHED FOR DEATH FROM THE PAIN AND THE HIGH FEVER.  I CONTRACTED IT AT MY SISTER’S HOUSE OVER THANKSGIVING.  OUT OF THE NINE OF US THAT WERE THERE, ONLY THREE DID NOT CONTRACT THE FLU (AND A BAD CASE OF H1N1, AT THAT), MY PARENTS (WHO HAD RECEIVED THE VACCINE) AND MY HUSBAND (WHO HAS A FREAKISHLY STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM).  AS A CHILD, I HAD ALL OF MY NEEDLES.  I HAD THE WHOOPING COUGH BOOSTER AFTER MY SON WAS BORN.  MY SON HAS HAD ALL OF HIS NEEDLES…AND WILL NOW RECEIVE THE FLU VACCINE WITHOUT FAIL YEARLY.  YES, I KNOW THAT THE FLU VACCINE WAS NOT AS GREAT THIS YEAR AS IN YEAR’S PAST, BUT THE ONLY PERSON VACCINATED THAT I PERSONALLY KNOW OF WHO CONTRACTED THE FLU HAD A MUCH MILDER CASE OF IT THAN HAD HE NOT HAD THE VACCINE.  WHILE I HAVE A VERY PROFANE OPINION OF ANTI-VAXXERS (ESPECIALLY HOW, IN THIS CASE OF MEASLES OUTBREAK PARTICULARLY, THEY HAVE PUT THOSE UNABLE TO RECEIVE THE VACCINE AT RISK…THERE IS A STORY OF AN INFANT UNDER QUARANTINE BECAUSE ANOTHER CHILD’S PARENTS VILIFIED VACCINES AND EXPOSED HER TO A POTENTIALLY BRAIN-SWELLING AND BRAIN-DAMAGE-CAUSING DISEASE), I WILL TRY TO KEEP THIS PERSONAL…BECAUSE TO ME, IT IS.  AS A PARENT WHO LITERALLY COULD NOT LIFT A FINGER WHILE MY SON (WHO IS PRONE TO FEBRILE SEIZURES, BY THE WAY) RAN A FEVER WELL IN EXCESS OF 104 LAST YEAR WHEN WE BOTH HAD THE FLU, I FELT AS IF (BY NOT GIVING HIM THE FLU VACCINE FAST ENOUGH) THAT I HAD BEEN GUILTY OF CHILD ABUSE…NEGLECT…ENDANGERMENT…AND, HAD HE DIED, MANSLAUGHTER AT THE VERY LEAST (AND MURDER ON THE HIGHER END).  LUCKILY, MY HORRIFIC MISTAKE OF NOT VACCINATING HIM DID NOT RESULT IN HIS DEATH.  I’M SURE THERE ARE SOME ANTI-VAXXERS WHO NOW (AFTER WATCHING THEIR CHILD BE BURIED SIX FEET UNDER GROUND) HAVE CHANGED THEIR TUNE.

WE CAN HAVE OUR LEFT VS. RIGHT PHILOSOPHICAL ARGUMENTS ALL WE WANT ALL DAY AND THROW AROUND BIG WORDS (SUCH AS IGNORAMUS, ENDANGERMENT, CALLOUSNESS, IRRESPONSIBILITY, AND THE LIKE), BUT IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO CHILDREN…IN DANGER.  CHILDREN…AT RISK.  CHILDREN…IN PAIN.

AND, NOT TO INSULT YOUR GENDER, BUT UNLESS YOU ARE A MOTHER WHO HAS WATCHED HER CHILD BE SICK WITH A DISEASE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE PREVENTED…YOU COULDN’T POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND.

I’LL BE PERFECTLY HONEST:  I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TRUST OR FAITH IN HUMANITY TO PRESCRIBE TO HERD IMMUNITY MENTALITY.  KUDOS FOR YOU IF YOU DO.  BUT WHAT IF THE REST OF THE PLANET CHOSE TO TRUST HERD IMMUNITY BUT REFUSED TO IMMUNIZE…UMM…THAT MEANS NO ONE’S IMMUNIZED.  BUT WAIT…ISN’T THAT THE GOAL OF ALL GOOD ANTI-VAXXERS?

PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS DOUBLE STANDARD SLASH PARADOX TO ME.  I’M NOT SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND YOUR BIG WORDS, JUST BEING AN IGNORANT MAMA AND ALL…SO, IF YOU COULD DUMB DOWN THE CONVERSATION FOR ME THAT MIGHT HELP.


I knew I should have been worried when, whether I had Caps Lock on or not, it would not remove the caps.  I am very much an anti-caps person.  Anti-Caps but Pro-Vax.

I apologize if the all caps offend you as much as it does me.

Please feel free to opine…unless you are spam.  I don’t like spam.  I don’t like eating Spam.  I throw Spam in the circular file.

But back to the vaccine discussion:  there was one vaccine that I honestly wavered on.  The chicken pox vaccine.  Raise your hand if you had chicken pox as a child.  I had a very mild case of it.  The week of the Christmas party in second grade.  But it was not the possibility that Muffin might miss an important life event (such as his second grade Christmas party at school) that made me hesitate.  It was the possibility that, as a result of introducing the (inactive) virus into his system, he becomes susceptible to shingles.

My mom had shingles…again…another mild case of what could have been horrendous.  One of my best coworker friends…not so lucky.  Lots of pain.

Again.  As a mother, my job is to alleviate unnecessary pain and suffering from my son’s life.  Did I want to help him avoid a childhood disease that, in many cases, isn’t that bad and pump the full-blown possibility of shingles to lie in wait…a ticking time bomb in his system…ready to spew pain?

And then…I remembered the fever I ran with chicken pox.  And Muffin’s febrile seizures.

‘Nuff said.  Good night, everyone!

Thoughtful Thursday: Being a Pedestrian

Thoughtful Thursday

Disclaimer:  I do apologize.  Originally I had intended today’s post to be more of an upbeat thoughtful post, but I fear today’s post will turn into a rant.  If you are one of the individuals I describe, for your own safety, stop doing this.  I do not apologize for my thoughts and feelings in this matter.

I leave the house at O-dark-thirty (actually 5:45 with Muffin on days that I drive).  I have been known to hit trucks parked on the side of the road in our neighborhood.  Now, for individuals who know where I live, I did NOT select with Josh our home’s location based on the school district.  People tend to get a bit offended when I say that; I don’t know why.

One of the things that caused me to select the neighborhood (and was a huge selling point for Josh, as well) were the abundance of sidewalks! Now, for those individuals not familiar with sidewalks (I don’t mean this as condescension; I mean it sarcastically), that’s where people are supposed to walk and run.  Where people are supposed to walk their dogs.  Where children are supposed to skateboard, bike, scooter, skate, and walk.

Does anyone not yet know where I’m going with this post?

Since our neighborhood has sidewalks, it is a bit disconcerting (and fury-inducing) to see individuals perkily flouncing (I guess they would call this their morning? run) down the ROAD…you know…the space for driving.  Now, I can understand seeing that in my carpool-buddy’s neighborhood where there are no sidewalks.  I can understand it in other neighborhoods where the sidewalks may not be quite so new and may be breaking up.

I do not understand it when I paid to have sidewalk (as did all the rest of the residents) in my neighborhood.

Yes, I realize that pedestrians have the right-of-way.  I appreciate that and applaud it in places where there are no sidewalks (in the aforementioned locations) and especially in parking lots (where people tend to forget that fact).

I believe an ordinance (or even a federal law) needs to be passed, however, stating that if you wish to be a pedestrian on the street (rather than using the sidewalk in a place where there is a sidewalk) that you no longer have the right of way and in fact are taking your life into your own hands.  That you, as (in theory) a sentient being, are aware of this and take full responsibility when, on a foggy (still nighttime), dark morning, you become roadkill because someone didn’t see you (and were thinking that anyone with even a tenth of a mind would–if they were stupidly running in the dark–surely take the sidewalk that is nice…and smooth…and new…and not on the road where cars drive).

Now, according to my dad, in his neighborhood people walk the streets (in fact, let’s call it that, with all of the negative connotations it implies) because the sidewalks are beneath overhanging trees where spiders build their webs down to the ground.  Thus, you run the risk of walking into spider webs.  For those (again, considering that my parents live on a residential street that is a cross street between the city’s two main state highways and leads to a Walmart) STUPID individuals I would recommend that you wait until later in the day in order to see the spiderwebs in the way…join a gym…or…for those who cannot afford a gym, walk around your house the appropriate number of steps.  I would love to be your life insurance agent if you continue to walk the streets (especially that street where people are known to race through stop signs and go fifty to sixty miles above the posted 25 mph limit…yes…seventy-five to eighty-five).  I could probably retire on your premium alone because…dudes and dudettes…you are an insurance risk.  Basically, you are begging to commit suicide every time you do this.

That being said, you would THINK that would be the end of the stupidity.

But the other day (well…it may have even been last school year, now that I think of it)…I saw something that the blood chill and turn into ice coating my bones and made me want to call CPS.

Now, on my street, people don’t usually use their garages for the intended purpose.  I am guilty of that.  Josh and I (even in his huge hulking work van) park in the driveway.  Most of our other neighbors use the street as an extension of their garage and driveway and park there.  So, if you are STUPIDLY a pedestrian (or worse, a pedestrian pushing a baby stroller with your precious offspring in it down the STREET) on the street, you will not necessarily be seen by someone driving down the street until it is too late.

Really.  Those two mothers should have been arrested for negligence.  And had their offspring permanently removed from the home.

Now, I realize that this has seemed a very angry rant…and it is.  If you are being a pedestrian in this manner, you are risking not only your personal safety, but the personal safety and well-being of those who may decide to…shocker of shockers…actually drive down a road meant for driving.

Please be mindful of how your actions affect yourself, your family, and others.

Thank you (stepping off of the Thoughtful Thursday soapbox).

We Plan Wednesday: Hurricane Mocktail for Muffin’s Mardi Gras Enjoyment

We Plan Wednesday

Mardi Gras season is upon us.  Even in the northern part of the state there are parades.  The first (and the one that we will be able to attend) is the Krewe of Centaur parade on February 7.  The second is Valentine’s Day.  How crazy is that?!  The Krewe of Gemini parade on Val Day.

I hope to plan out our parade visit better this time.  I hope to bring special drinks and glasses for us to enjoy, of the mocktail variety.  I hope to find a better place to park (cough cough Walmart parking lot…which gives me time to get some shopping done, as well).

Hopefully, we will also bring our own food.  Or eat Walmart chicken.

But I definitely want to make a special mocktail of the Mardi Gras variety for Muffin.  Now, I could mix up some Pat O’s mix with Sprite, but what would be the fun of that?  Our local Walmart sells Pat O’Brien’s hurricane mix (which, from what I understand, is now what the restaurant itself uses).  And what is more Mardi Gras than New Orleans?  And what drink is more New Orleans than a Hurricane?

Hurricane Mocktail

(Tropical Storm)

Adapted from Holidays Central

3 ounces orange juice

3 ounces pineapple juice

1 ounce sweet and sour mix

1/2 ounce grenadine

1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Cocktail Mix

Ice

Club soda to top

Orange slices, pineapple chunks, and maraschino cherries for garnish

Fill a hurricane glass with ice.  In a shaker, shake orange juice, pineapple juice, sweet and sour mix, grenadine, and hurricane mix.  Shake to combine.  Pour into glass.  Top with club soda and stir.  Garnish with a pick full of orange slices, pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries.

Tip Tuesday: Make a Sunday Roast to Eat All Week

Tip Tuesday

I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, but this tip bears repeating (especially for those weeks when you really can’t think of anything to do for dinner).  If you make a really big roast, you should be able to eat for a few days of the following week (or at least make a few yummy lunches).

Thus is the truth with my mom’s slow cooker pork loin.  This was what we ate for New Year’s Day dinner (along with the hot water cornbread I made).  Muffin really liked the potatoes and carrots.  Of course, Muffin adores carrots anyway.  Sunday, as I prepared the carrots for the roast while he was eating breakfast, he asked for a “big carrot.”  I handed him one that I had already peeled, trimmed, and washed.

I have hopes that this will make several meals for Josh’s big cooker.  And a meal or two for Muffin and me in the upcoming week.

It really is an easy-cheesy recipe, especially the way my mom makes it (with baby carrots).  I tend to make it with peeled and cut up carrots (because that’s usually all we buy), but I figure that since I already have the vegetable peeler out for the potatoes, I might as well do the same with the carrots.

I know I probably use different amounts than my mom does (I tend to go very heavy on the potatoes and carrots because they are a family favorite…I could eat a huge bowl of them, alone, for lunch).

Another reason that I use the “big” carrots is that they are the most cost-effective way to buy organic.  Carrots tend to be my one organic splurge.  I know the rule is if you eat the outside, you buy that in organic, but I can actually taste the pesticide in the “inorganic” carrots.  And, they tend to be the most cost-effective organic.

Mom’s Pork Loin

Adapted from my mom’s application

1 whole (or half, if you are using a smaller slow cooler) boneless pork loin

6-8 large carrots (as opposed to baby), pared, trimmed, cut into sticks (of the size you would eat on a crudite platter)

6-8 small russet potatoes (in other words, save the bakers for another purpose), pared and cut into large-ish chunks (think rustic hashbrown size in a diner)

one large onion, peeled, cut into fourths, leaves separated

salt and pepper to taste

a handful of garlic cloves, peeled, optional (I used about half of a small bulb)

Arrange the onion leaves/petals/layers as a bed on the bottom of the crock.  Arrange the carrots above the onion.  Smoosh in the pork loin (Even in Big Bertha, this activity took some arranging to fit) into the crock.  Sprinkle with salt.  Crack copious amounts of black pepper over the top of the loin.  If using garlic, place the whole peeled cloves in gaps around the meat.  Stuff the remaining space with potatoes.  Cover.  Set heat to LOW for 8 hours.  At six hours, check every 30 minutes for doneness.  When done, remove the roast, slice, and serve on a platter.  Serve the vegetables and juices alongside.  Repeat as necessary and enjoy!

***

If I were making this on a workday, I would probably prep the vegetation the night before.  This entire dish makes fantastic leftovers!

Meal Plan Monday: I Feel As If I’m Losing Steam

Meal Plan Monday

I hope, rather than expect, that this week’s meal plan will be followed to the letter.  I feel as if I’m losing steam, meal plan wise.  It was one of those weeks that, when I looked at the options, I couldn’t think of anything to make.

Have you ever had any of those weeks?

I’ve perused cookbooks, blogs, recipe sites, Pinterest, looked through my old tried-and-trues, and nothing seems to click.

I think part of it is that Josh is on-call for the second week in a row, and I feel as if Muffin and I will be having a string of Josh-less meals this week.  Even though I love cooking yummy offerings for Muffin, at the end of a long day, I’m too tired to do anything for two.

I know this much:  I will spend this week making sure I get my meal-plan mojo back.

I will try PW’s Three Ingredient Brownies as the treat of the week, but I’m thinking that might be a Mama and Muffin making treat later in the week, as we still have Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies and Bounty Balls.  I also plan on making a coconut-stuffed chocolate muffin later in the week to enjoy for breakfasts and snacks.

I also didn’t do as much prep as I usually do on the weekend.  I have a pot of chicken and sausage gumbo (from a mix) in the fridge as well as the leftovers of a roast going (pork loin, carrots, potatoes, and onions) that will hopefully make a start in getting Josh through the week, lunch-wise.

Here’s the plan:

Saturday:  chicken and sausage gumbo from a Bayou Magic mix (I buy mine locally, in singles, but Amazon does sell it…quite a bit more expensively…in 12 pack batches), French bread from Walmart

Sunday:  pork loin roast (in the slow cooker…Big Bertha!) with potatoes, carrots, and onion; black-eyed peas, cornbread, salad

Monday:  Josh is off but on-call (There is a lot of leftover rice…I’m hoping he makes fried rice)

Tuesday:  Josh is off but on-call (I have a feeling he will grill something)

Wednesday:  leftovers/hot dog/scavenge

Thursday:  leftovers/hot dog/scavenge

Friday:  pizza grilled cheese, corn

Saturday and Sunday:  I really have no clue as yet.  I will be looking for inspiration throughout the week.

As usual, I hope to link up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday.