Something New Every Day

I have to say I’m a big impulse shopper. When I’m in the store I want something I buy it. Now don’t get me wrong I do have limits I don’t carry a pile of credit cards and buy whatever I want but if I had more funds that would be me. So I was recently faced with a week with lower funds then usual so I set out on a mission to lower my food budget for the week. What I found is it’s very exciting to save money and think of different ways to save. Dare I say more exciting then the splurge purchases I made prior. I dug through pinterst and the web for ideas on lower cost meals. I’m on a mission to keep up money saving tips on meals and other ways that I find on my journey.

Meal cost savings:

Meal 1: Chicken Casserole

Now this one meal that I enjoy making but typically it is a lot of work because the chicken needs to be cooked first and I don’t usually have the free time to do this or the ambition if it’s been a long week. I was able to save money and time and was very excited about this.

{$2.99} 1 – 12.5 oz can of chicken (generally I use fresh chicken which is around $4-5 and needs to be cooked)

{$1.49} 1 – 16 oz container of sour cream

{$1.19} 1- 10.75 oz can campbell’s cream of chicken soup

{$1.99} 1- 5oz pkg of garlic & onion croutons (generally this would be stuffing but since I was trying to work with what I had on hand I used these instead .. Stove top stuffing would run about the same price .. the garlic was a bit overwhelming so next time if I use croutons I will try a different kind)

Meal total = $ 7.66

This makes a big pan and we were able to eat it for both dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day.

Meal 2: Tuna Melts

This is one of my daughter’s favorites. I know some people like to make them on a frying plan or a griddle but I’m not a fan of warm tuna so this is how I make mine.

{$2.29} 2 – slices of bread (I always use italian which was $2.39 for the loaf but if you are looking to cut cost bread prices can go much lower)

{$2.49} 1 – 12oz can Starkist Tuna (my cost saving came by not purchasing the pouches of tuna which I have come to love because you don’t have to drain them and get tuna smelling hands. It’s $3.49 in 11oz pouch to I decided for a $1 I could drain it)

{$1} 1 – slice cheese per sandwich (the cheese itself cost $2.49 so I’m including $1 of it for cost because not even half was used and plenty left over to use for something else)

{$1} enough miracle whip to make the tuna (It’s $3.99 for an entire jar of Miracle Whip but just a slight amount would be used for this. I know there is always a Miracle Whip VS Mayo debate. I don’t care for Mayo so unless it’s mixed in slightly I won’t eat mayo.

For this I toast the bread in the toaster. Once toasted I put the prepared tuna and a piece of cheese on each sandwich. Quick and easy.

Total Meal Cost = $ 6.78

Feel like I have been at this juncture point too many times in life. The point of knowing I need to do something about my weight. Knowing I’m not healthy and can’t go on this way. As more and more parts of my body ache and have issues it’s a big reminder now is the time.

I often live in a state of denial. You know if I don’t get on the scale the number hasn’t changed. If I don’t look in the mirror I look good and it’s just a little extra weight. So this week I caught that dreaded view in the full length mirror in a mall. I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me. I’m that that big. That’s not really me is it?? It is and instead of curling up and feeding my pain I’m attempting motivation once again.

I work best with rules so to say. I don’t want to overwhelm myself because that will make me run and hide. Instead a few plans at a time. So I will start with the easy.

1.  Week of drinking only water. That may sound easy but the thought of giving up my diet pepsi is a little scary but so not helpful to my goal. That actually means drinking it too so I don’t dehydrate myself.

2.  Week of meal planning at least 1 day ahead. One of my biggest weaknesses is not planning ahead and grabbing something quick, not good for me, and not thought generally means a ton of calories while i’m out on the go.

Seems like a good start. My goal is to stick with these two goals for the weeks and then work from there. I’m feeling good about this. I know I can do this!

I have to say overall today feels like a success. The interesting water mixture I tried turned out pretty good. Only minor detail is if you use the dried mint it’s terrible to get out of the water before drinking it. On a mission to find someplace that actually carries it fresh. Until then I think I will improvise with something to catch the little pieces so i’m not drinking them. I completed day 1 with no diet pepsi and I’m feeling with a vengeance tonight but I drank a glass of water instead and keeping my focus. With a little less vigor tonight I still think I can =)

 

I know very few that do not dread the Doctor’s office scale. Always that “it can’t be possibly right”. Lets subtract for this or that when really it’s close enough and often a tiny slap in the face. The denial of that number has become a part of life but only the acceptance will change it for the better. So my wake up call for me is that number being back where I started before I did numerous hours of diet and exercise last year into the beginning of this year. It creeps up so fast but it’s time for it to go. So the beginning to my plan for the day.

  • Taking my lunch instead of buying it at work. This is a biggie because even if what I make is not a low calorie meal I’m willing to bet whatever looks good, decide to eat when I’m there, and huge portion size is a ton more calories then it would have been.
  • Found a way to flavor water and add some health benefits on a blog so today I’m going to try it. Its filtered water, 1 lemon, 3/4 of a large cucumber, dried mint, and ginger spice. This is a tweak from what is originally in the recipe due to lack of ingredients in the store I bought everything from. Looking forward to see how this tastes. Wish me luck …. To try the original recipe I got it from http://northcarolinacharm.blogspot.com/2011/10/sassy-water.html
  • A big bowl of fruit. I mixed some grapes, watermelon, and strawberries and will take it for snack to try to keep me full and out of the vending machine

This is the plan but my main goals for the day are:

  • No diet pepsi. This is a biggie for me. Even though it’s diet this is what I drink all day instead of water so for today at least its cold turkey on the diet pepsi. Will keep the caffeine down and me trying the new water I made.
  • No eating when I get home. I work a long day and often times I find myself eating at 11pm at night. Eating that late can’t be good when I go to bed shortly after and typically it’s something sweet which is a double whammy.

I’m feeling good and hopeful that I can do this. I think I can I think I can ……

I’ve been a little lax lately in taking the time to post or venturing into many other things on my to do list. With a day off today and a little focus I decided to try a new recipe. Always looking for something easy and yummy. This I’m happy to say was both.

One of the most time consuming parts was cutting up the chicken. I must say after I re-read the recipe I didn’t need to cut it until after it was done cooking so that may have sped up the process some for me.

The ingredients for the sauce were quick and easy to combine. I cooked it on low and it was in longer then the recipe said because I was not home in time but the chicken was still nice and moist because it had soaked in the sauce.

The only problem I ran into was the sauce did not thicken as it should have. Not sure if it had to do with my measuring skills since I did 1 1/2 recipe to make sure I had enough. I added some more cornstarch though and it turned out great.

My verdict on this recipe is easy and tastes terrific. I will defiantly be making this again.

My next project is on a mission to make my own iced tea. I have become hooked on Tim Horton’s sweetened ice tea but more often then not I end up with either unsweetened (blah) or worst yet this last time a shot of vanilla coffee in it (super blah). Now if I can figure a way to make a good version on my own it will save me money and my taste buds. =)

If you would like the try the recipe click here 

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Today I decided to try a new recipe I have been meaning to try. It’s a copy cat of the dressing at the Olive Garden. I knew I wanted to try it so I had all of the ingredients. My experience has been usually with more then a few ingredients generally things are more involved then I want them to be. Today I was pleasantly surprised this was not the case. I was also happy that these are ingredients that are good to have around the house for many different recipes as well. The only thing I cringed when I bought was mayonnaise. Sorry all you mayo lovers out there I am a miracle whip girl until the end. I have regretfully learned in the past the sweet I love about miracle whip does not make it a good mayo substitute so I sucked it up and used it in the recipe. =)

Here is my before ingredients:

Here is my finished product. Very easy I must say. Just threw everything in the blender and mixed. After mixing it sits in the refrigerator for a bit.

Verdict is I don’t think it tastes a thing like Olive Gardens. I have to say I do like it but it was a little too much vinegar for my taste. Thru reading the comments it looks like there may have been more to the steps then just mixing them together. Should have known was too easy. =) So a re-try is in order for another day. Until then I will let it cool in refrigerator overnight to see if there is any taste difference after sitting for awhile. I guess there is very little that we can know until we try.

I have included a link below to the page the recipe came from if anyone wants to try it:

Link to Page Recipe came from

My something new for the day is follow through. I am a true dreamer who is easily distracted so following through on almost anything is not common especially when it comes to house work. Today I’m proud to say I tackled a room for cleaning and organizing with energy that is a rarity. Steps in the right direction.

I’m on a mission for something positive and different in my life. So many times I have sat back and waited for things to happen around me only to find them fall apart. So today I decided a good first step to self improvement would be something new every day. Either things I try or do or think. The journey begins today.

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. ” – Unknown Author