Happy Hour Friday – Will’s Office Reveal

You know Will, the Hubster, (if you don’t read about him here).  He’s a hard working guy, one of the most generous, selfless men that I have ever met.  Sure he’s particular and quirky, but he also has strong character and a higher perspective on life.  I could go on and on with the list of commendations, but that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about Will’s new office!  It was my surprise gift to him as a reward for all his hard work.

here is, hard at work in his new office.


We are only renting right now.  We have thought about buying a house, but the time just isn’t right.  Nor have we seen anything we’re crazy about.  Honestly, we like the idea of building a house… if you’re going to spend the money, get what you want, right?  All that rabbit trail was supposed to say is that our home isn’t really ours.  And honestly, sometimes it didn’t really feel like it was ours, hand-me-down, hodge podge little honeymooner bungalow that it is.  We put a fair bit of effort into it when we first moved in, but not much since then.

Before-ish:  Right after we replaced the bed with the futon

Before: Will's old, squeaky twin bed.   It "doubled" as a couch/Izzy's perch while Will was on the Computer

Before - The desk that was left here

Now, 2 years later, I decided that it was time to give Hubster his own space.  A room that reflected him, where he could work and relax.  You know that feeling when you have a space, and it just feels like it has your DNA woven into it?  That’s what I wanted for him.  He deserves it.

Now, if you have read any of Will’s posts about budgeting then you probably are wondering how I did this as a surprise.  Well, when we bought the futon a few weeks prior Will told me he was fine with using some of our savings for putting a little effort into our home (furniture & décor) to begin investing in things that we like, we want, and we will keep with us.  So…. I took that as permission to redo his office.

My original intention was to post tutorials on all the little DIY elements first, BUT I just can’t wait any longer to share this office with the world!   I have already waited a month.  But you can find tutorials on the bookshelf, the Marquee Letter, and the curtains on the projects page. =)

For Will’s office I really wanted something baseball themed because he has a lot of Cincinnati Reds/baseball paraphernalia (there’s still more that isn’t being used yet).  The problem with a baseball theme is that I didn’t want it to seem like a little boy’s room or some meat-head baseball jock room (nothing against jocks – I still am one).  I did a lot of thinking, happened to receive two pallets from my neighbors, and saw this coffee bar on a blog I follow.   Those things all got the wheels spinning and brought me to envisioning this room.


Emma letting out her inner hoodlum, and spray painting the heck out of random odds and ends I collected.

Will's Office  (6)

the painting process.  and yes we had to leave everything in there so he wouldn't see it in the morning when he stopped by the house.

I can’t take all the credit by any means!  I had a ton of help from my sister, my little sister Carrieli, and my good friend Emma.  Without them I would still be working on this room, and probably have had about 7 mental breakdowns.

The other confession I have is that I did have to kick Will out of the house for a night… and I still didn’t quite finish even with Emma being over till am, so he had to finish building his own desk…. BUT it got done! AND HE LOVES IT!

Replaced the bookshelf and made this cool wall display:

the bookshelf is made from crates that I got with coupons from Michael's, and the Chain link on the wall is from a coworker.  It was rusty so Emma spray painted it with Chrome Rustoleum Spray Paint.

Recovered the futon to go with the new room and because Izzy was getting the black too dirty.

I recovered the futon with a massive drop cloth.  It matches the curtains.

made new curtains that stick with the new brighter colors in here to play up the natural lighting that pours into this room.  Also made them floor to ceiling to help the room feel bigger.

there are the curtains =)

Here’s the redone filing cabinet that I added because I knew he really wanted one and before he was using milk crates to house our papers.

Emma did excellent work on this piece! Look how shiny those chrome drawers are@

I actually got this little gem for free from someone who had extra.  It was originally a weird grey color, but I wanted to use it to contribute to the scheme of the room and be another pop of color, so Emma painted it for me while I painted the walls.

Some other items from around the room:

that was originally a cheapo, black plastic organizer.  Awe the magic of Chrome Spray Paint.

the Bobble heads, UK newspaper clipping, and our mini Louisville sluggers =)

Some pictures from his old room before we got married and the collages of all of our baseball adventures so far that I made him for his birthday.

And finally, the desk!

These next few are of the desk.  The pallets were free, the ductile iron plumbing pipe leg was expensive, and the desk top boards were pretty cheap!

Dara and I came up with the design for the Desk, and Will made it work.

it's the details that matter.  we put little boards in the pallet to create a recessed shelf for office supplies.

would you believe the desk top and the pallets are stained with the same stain?!

DIY Drop Striped Cloth Curtains

Something I learned on my latest DIY bender is that drop cloths can truly be your best friend.  They are cheap and the material is pretty decent quality!

Now back it up about 2 years, when Will and I first got married I stumbled across the idea of drop cloth curtains.  It went on the list of things to implement someday.  I hadn’t had the opportunity yet, but when I was planning Will’s office redo I knew that it was the PERFECT time.  The texture and color of the material were perfect for the scheme I had chosen.

Originally the office only had these little valances I had made one afternoon with the cheapest red fabric I could find a JoAnn’s.  I had planned on keeping them, but decided against it.  I did not want to chop the room off or make it dark… part of the reason I was redoing it was because it was chopped and dark.  BUT I did use those valances to choose the right color of paint for the curtains (yes. You read that right. We’ll get there), and they ended up being repurposed into tie backs (props to Emma).

see the lovely red tie backs behind Hubster there!  Good work Emma!

I did a lot of reading on drop cloth curtains…. In the end, it didn’t really change my plans at all.  But I will say this, if you plan on washing your curtains, or you want them to be super good quality then I would suggest buying fabric medium to mix with your paint.  I was on time and budget constraints so I skipped that step because I decided I didn’t mind if the paint cracked whenever I wash the curtains in the future.

Supplies:

  • Drop cloths (I used two 6’x9’ drop cloths)
  • Painters Tape
  • Tape Measure
  • Paint
  • Fabric Medium (Optional – see previous paragraph)
  • Paint Brush
  • Sewing Supplies

How to Make the Curtains:

First, wash and dry them.  This really softens up the material and makes it more workable and attractive. Plus, they DO SHRINK… and they don’t do so uniformly.

Sew them how you want them.  I did this last, but in hindsight I would do it first as the sewing machine isn’t fond of going through the painted areas.  As I mention I used two 6’x9’ drop cloths.  There are only two windows in the office and they are both pretty narrow.  The 6’ wide cloths were big enough for me to cut in half and then have two curtains on each window.

Emma past on some wisdom to me and told me When you sew the top (assuming you aren’t doing grommets, tabs, or some other cute idea) be sure to leave some extra room at the top.  I don’t know how to describe what I am talking about so here’s a picture of it.  I have made curtains without at that little “ruffle” before, and Emma is right – they do not hang/lay as well.

The part that sticks up at the top is what I am referring to.  Mine is about 2" tall.

Once they are sewn, decide where and how big you want your stripes and begin the taping process.

the measuring process.

ready to begin.

If you are going to use fabric medium be sure to mix it into your paint.

this is the paint that I used.  I opted for a small can of interior paint rather than a dozen little bottles of craft paint given the amount i needed and the durability I wanted.

When painting your curtains, I found that it was best to either put the tip of my brush on the tape and brush into the stripe area or just dab along the edge.  Too much pushing against the edge of your tape lends to the paint bleeding out aka…. Not crisp lines.

Let them dry.

part of the way there

Here they are hanging to dry.

Hang them up and enjoy your hard work!

you can see one of them here.  It's hard to get a picture of them with my cell phone because of the back lighting from the window =(

I have another drop cloth project to share as well.  I will give you a hint, it’s in that last picture.

Enjoy your weekend! Go try something new!

~Dev

DIY Marquee Letter

Continuing with the affordable, DIY projects that I started with the Crate Bookshelf a couple of weeks ago, today, this is also a cheap and easy DIY.

I had been seeing these marquee letters ALL OVER on pinterest. I first saw one around Christmas time and knew instantly it was one of the projects I pin that I actually was going to make sure happened.

The letter P was the obvious choice.

Before I tell you how to make this happen for yourself I have to give a shout out to my little sister Carrieli and my good friend Emma who did the majority of the work on this eye-catching letter.  I skimmed several different tutorials to see how people made their’s, and found out there was a wide range as far as quality & price goes.  Some people made very sturdy, time and money consuming letters from wood and outdoor lights. Me on the other hand being on a time and money crunch decided to go the cardboard and Christmas lights route. Before this Marquee P Will’s office had this lamp…. he loved(s) that lamp. But now it’s hiding in the attic. I will give him props for his taste in the lamp stand, but not the lamp shade.  It was olive green and khaki gingham. Not attractive and definitely did not match the office.  Will happens to be an ambient lighting sort of guy anyway, so I knew this Marquee P was the perfect solution – cool lamp relocated until a better looking lamp shade materializes, AND hubster still gets his ambient lighting.

Some mood lighting right above his desk.

What you Need:

  • a large piece of cardboard (I took mine from a paper box)
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Scissors or Xacto knife
  • Hot Glue
  • Spray paint
  • White Christmas lights.
  • paper clips or twisty ties

Here’s how to make assemble it:

  1. Draw out your letter.  This is where Carrieli helped me.  She is very gifted.  Draws us pictures at Christmas and handmakes cards all of the time.  I would had to redraw this letter about 5 times, but Carrieli drew it up in one quick try.  This one is about 18 inches tall.
  2. Cut it out.  the base letter and then measure and cut out the strips that make it three-dimensional. My edge pieces stick out 2 inches.
  3. Glue on the edge pieces.  Marquee Letter (2) sorry for the blurriness.  It's hard to hold the camera still while gluing things together.
  4. Paint it.  Emma handled the painting and the light bulb placement.Before Emma Painted It
  5. Count how many lights you need to fit into the letter and then make the appropriate number of holes, evenly spaced around the letter.  Since we had a lot of small lights Emma did two rows of lightbulbs sticking through.
  6. Use paper clips or twisty-ties to hold all of the extra cord together behind the letter, so it doesn’t show anywhere and you have a clean, professional looking marquee letter. there it is!  2 rows of lights poking through and none of the excess cord showing.
  7. Ta Duh!  It’s not very heavy so you can use the clusters of cords on the back side to hang the letter up.  Ours has an extension cord running to it so that we can easily plug it in.

this is what it looks like not lit up.  Still awesome!

Marquee Letter (1) Marquee Letter (9)

DIY Crate Bookshelf

I am going to be posting some inexpensive, easy projects that you can do to spiff up a space over the next few days!

20140720_170453 (2)

Before I begin, let me just say that I am sorry I get so excited about projects that I forget to take step by step photos and, in this case, before and after photos.

When it comes to décor, I am honestly not sure what label to put on Will and I’s style.  The important thing I do know is that we both like distressed cabinets.  So someday when we are turning a house into our dream home I know we will be buying or DIYing some distressed cabinets for the kitchen.  I have to start somewhere, right? Lol.

Currently our home décor style is a hodgepodge of handy-me-downs and gifts.   Seriously.  If it is in our house (up until this last weekend) then  it was either a wedding gift, a wedding decoration, a hand-me-down, something borrowed long-term, or the coffee table that we made for ourselves almost two years ago.

Our coffee table with the coffee filter flowers I made.

So going off of that knowledge, I suppose that our style at the moment is crate furniture.  There’s enough of that stuff floating around Pinterest for it to be its own genre.  A genre that we really like because crates are pretty cheap and you can make paint them, stain them, add designs, stack them, cover them, and build them into something cool that fits your needs – like this bookshelf!

20140720_170443(1)

We want to keep the old book shelf that was in the office.  It is a decent bookshelf that Will brought with him into our marriage.  It’s just that it did not match anything else in the spare room (not that much in there did match as it was just full of spares).  Plus the spare room was always on the darker side, and I wanted to brighten it up a bit.

Here’s the old bookshelf.  Sorry for the terrible photo.  It is a cropped portion of the only picture I could find that even had the old bookshelf in it.

20140623_214530

 

Stay tuned for some other projects that I have had going on, and at the end of it, the whole picture put together!  To make sure you don’t miss any of the good stuff over the next couple of weeks you can subscribe to the blog. Either subscribe via the box below our picture on the left side, OR just click the link in the yellow banner at the top of the page.

Step 1) Gather your supplies.

As for how to make this bad boy.  First you will need to gather your supplies:

  • The crates,
  • finish of your choice,
  • and a brush for applying it.

Yep, that’s it!  You could get some 1”x4” to make a frame for extra support and stability, but I did not go that far because I was not sure if I was going to need to add to the bookshelf or not.  Plus, hubster is better at those things, and this was kind of a surprise for him.

You can find the crates at Michaels and larger JoAnn’s stores (heads up, the one in Lexington does not carry them last I checked).  Also, I just saw a bunch of these on sale at Home Depot the other day as well. The base price for them is about $13 each.  BUT Michaels always has coupons on their app, and they accept competitors coupons so if you have a coupon for JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby. I usually have at least a 40% off coupon so I get each crate for around $9 after it’s all said and done.

Step 2) Finishing

I used Minwax Golden Pecan (bought it at Home Depot of course).  I applied it with a standard paintbrush.  You don’t want to apply it heavily because you will end up with runs and drips all over.

I find that it is best and quickest if you start with crate setting on its side as these are in the bookshelf.  Stain the top, and then stain the bottom, back, and sides of the inside.  Carefully turn the crate around and stain the back and then the outside of the two side pieces (the solid pieces with the handles).  If it is dry enough you can flip it over and stain the two sections that you are missing, if not just begin staining your next crate and come back to it.

I applied a second coat of stain to the outside of the crates.  That wood had been sanded more smoothly and looked much lighter than the inside after the first coat.

Step 3) Assemble

I didn’t opt to put any cool logos or transfers onto this bookshelf.  I just wanted something simple.  But that depends on your space.  Depending on your space and storage needs you might opt to have the crates standing up so that they are tall rather than wide.  Or you might want a mix of both directions.  Originally I had wanted to make the book shelf look like our coffee table, but on its side.   However, I did not trust myself to put it together so Will got this simple arrangement instead.

Step 4) Fill and Enjoy!

Fill ‘er up and be proud of yourself!  You just made an awesome, unique, inexpensive bookshelf all on your own!

20140720_170443

Also, only 6 days till our two year anniversary!

 

what is a project that you are really wanting to tackle at the moment?

The Pomeroy Background and Budget

Devra and I debated for quite a while for how specific we wanted to get with our finances on the world wide web.  It’s a tricky question because the way that people spend/allocate their money tells a lot about a person… you know, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).  However, by sharing our finances, it allows us to have greater accountability… something that we need in our lives.  Accountability helps us reach our goals!

budget background

Our Income information

Devra has a degree in Cross-Cultural Studies from Manhattan Christian College, and is currently working for an engineering firm here in Lexington.  She works 8-5 Monday through Friday, and makes $12.00 per hour.  She also gets a company 401k match and 2 weeks of vacation.

I finished my B.S. degree in Biosystems Engineering in May of 2011.  From there I started working part time for a small engineering firm in Northern Kentucky, and it was a great job for that season of life.  The job was very flexible and allowed me to invest heavily in pursuing Devra (the best investment I’ll ever make!).

Devra and I are both very blessed in the fact that neither of us carry any debt.  I owe a deep thank you to my parents/grandparents and Devra’s parents for enabling us to step into the workforce without tens of thousands of dollars in student loans hanging above our heads.  This is something that Devra and I want to be able to do for our own children someday.

Eventually, an opportunity came for me to step into graduate school at the University of Kentucky.  I studied within the same major as I did in undergrad, Biosystems Engineering, and my thesis project dealt with developing a low cost automatic guidance system for agricultural vehicles (with a focus on small to medium scale vegetable production).  The project was funded by a research grant, so I was very blessed to do grad school at no cost.

While I finish up writing my thesis, I have taken a full time job at The Home Depot.  I started in February of 2014 as a part time garden sales associate, and have recently been moved to a full time sales specialist position in flooring department.  In this position, I earn $11 per hour and do not have vacation or 401k match until I have been with the company for a year.  I also earn a little bit of side money from the engineering firm up in northern Ky every once in a while, but I do not count it in our normal income because of how irregular it is.

Our typical monthly income looks like this:

Gross Income

So, as you can see, we do not earn a ton of money.  Around $45,000 a year before Uncle Sam takes his portion.   After Uncle Sam gets his share and all of our benefits are taken out, our total take home pay is between $2,500 and $2,600, unless I get paid from my part time job in Northern Kentucky.  That leaves us with around $30,000 in take home pay for the year.

budget

Our Bills

Our expenses look a little like this:

Expenses Cost % of Gross
Housing  $     535.00 15%
Grocery  $     200.00 5%
Misc  $     100.00 3%
Car Insurance  $        90.00 2%
Tithe  $     310.00 8%
Cell phone  $     140.00 4%
Gas (Furnace)  $        57.00 2%
Internet  $        54.00 1%
Gifts  $        50.00 1%
Car Fund  $     100.00 3%
Electricity  $     118.00 3%
Sewer/Water  $        45.00 1%
Gas (Fuel)  $     350.00 10%
Entertainment/Dates  $     100.00 3%
Hobbies  $     100.00 3%
Savings  $        20.00 1%
TOTAL EXPENSES  $  2,427.00 66%

Now, if we are only taking home $2600 per month and we are spending $2400 per month, it only leaves $200 for wiggle room.  That’s why we have a budget!!  In my next post, I will break down our budget and how we got to the numbers…

How about you?  Do you have any creative ways to save money?  Any side jobs that can help bring up your income?  And most importantly… do you have a budget?

Time is the Most Precious Asset

Someday I want to be free.  Free to spend my time as I wish.  Currently, I suppose I get to “control” everything except for my 40 hour work week, but by the time you take out sleep (6-7 hours a day), various errands and other commitments (a pesky thesis for example…), I’m only left with a couple of hours of “free time” a week.

workingfortheman

Wouldn’t life be so much richer if we could spend our time with family and friends we love or traveling around the world rather than using it to re-coop from our excessively busy lifestyles?  Thus, this corner of the blog is born.  Here I will be documenting thePomeroyLife’s pursuit of freedom.

We are after the freedom that affords us the ability to spend our time doing the most good with the resources we have been blessed with. This could be our time, money, or our talent.

Something that Devra and I have learned in our first couple of years of marriage is how important it is to have goals.  Goals, if shared, promote accountability and when you make goals public, the more accountability that you have.

goalsetting

Our goal is to reclaim our 8 hours a day back from “the man”, and somehow maximize the value of that time… we want it to look a little like this:

  • Invest time into our personal relationships with God
  • Invest time into our relationship with each other (date nights)
  • Invest time into our relationships with family and friends
  • Become financially free by generating as much passive income as possible
  • Live generously (with our time, money, and talents)

How do we get there?

First… work hard.  It doesn’t matter if you work for the man, for yourself, or are doing full time ministry.  We are to do all things as if it were to the Lord (Col 3:23).  As such, you should work hard.  If your work is not fulfilling, make it fulfilling.  More than likely you spend your 8 hours a day with co-workers, invest in their lives; lift their spirits.  Be a difference maker.

Second, save.  If you have debt, get rid of that cancer as soon as possible.  Wage war on debt and get rid of it.  If you can pay off your high interest debt, save as much as you can.  Discipline is important if you want to reach any goal.  Discipline is hard, by definition it means forcing something to happen.  Devra and I do not make a ton of money, but we are disciplined in how we use it.  Making a budget is only half the battle, and honestly it’s the easy part.

Third, make your money work for you.  Cultivate passive income through investments.  Investments do not always have to be stocks or mutual funds.  Sometimes it is an investment in something that saves you time, money, or enriches your life.  An example would be a car that gets better gas mileage or perhaps a grill that enables you to have cookouts with friends and family.

My dad taught me that money is only good for the memories it can buy.  I want to buy a lot of memories, some of them are memories others will enjoy and some are for us.

Please join us on this journey of becoming free!  I will do my best do keep you up to date with how we reclaim our time.

Day 11: Coups…. Super Coups!

Yesterday night Will and I left the grocery store feeling very pleased with ourselves.  Actually we felt like we had ripped off the grocery store, but boy were proud of ourselves for it! Our greatest coupon success so far. We … Continue reading

Poppin’ Tags

This weekend isn’t going quite as planned. You know what they say about the best laid plans… However, sometimes it’s the unexpected turns that lead us to the most scenic views and memorable adventures. And I think that this weekend turned out pretty good =)

And this post exists solely as an excuse to put the following picture up on the internet:

Sorry Hubster, but these awesome 80's trench coats were too good of a photo op to pass up on.  You'll thank me for this memory someday. =)

Sorry Hubster, but these awesome 80’s trench coats were too good of a photo op to pass up on. You’ll thank me for this memory someday. =)

Originally, the plan was to go to our friends’ wedding and then hop in the car and head for Red River Gorge for an over night camp and hike with Izzy Pup. Well…. Mother Nature must have frowned upon our plans because she sent threatening thunderstorms our way. Share our tent with a wet, muddy, panting pup. No thanks. We’ll take a rain check (pun intended) on the campout and try again another weekend.
But this weekend was not void of excitement. Instead of packing our hiking packs we went to Goodwill and went garage saling (as shown by the picture above). If you live in Lexington, here’s a tip: the Goodwill way out on Harrodsburg near Southland is the place to shop. I’ll spare you all the details, but here are the best deals: I got a pair of dress pants originally from the Limited and I got them for $3! AND the best part… We got this awesome lightweight, waterproof Columbia jacket for $5.

Here Izzy Pup and I are, modeling the jacket!

Here Izzy Pup and I are, modeling the jacket!

And then we found $2.

No really, there was two dollars rolled up in the pocket of the jacket.  Yeah, like I said.  It was a good trip!

Hope that your Sunday is filled with Joy,

Devra

Sneak Peak: 

Tomorrow is Munchie Monday: Cilantro Lime Chicken tacos.  It’s a crock pot friendly meal, and has a yummy salsa recipe!

Month’s worth of Meals on a Budget

Please leave comments on what you do to save money at the grocery store, or feel free to ask me questions!

I have always liked the grocery store- I don’t always like what I hear at the checkout though.  Lately I have been leaving the grocery store with the biggest sense of accomplishment!  I love it!  Why do I feel so accomplished?  Because Will and I have been doing an amazing job of eating really well, but not spending money like we do.

It’s hard work.  But it feels so good!

Today for instance, I came away from the grocery store having spent $49.52.  But here is what I bought:

  • broccoli
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • cilantro
  • mushrooms
  • 4 packs of strawberries
  • 8 ears of corn on the cob
  • 10 yogurt cups (yoplait, not the off brand)
  • OJ
  • a bag of lemons
  • a loaf of bread
  • brown sugar
  • chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder
  • paper towels
  • 2 cans of baked beans
  • 18 Large eggs
  • a pot roast, and
  • 2 steaks

Groceries!

Yeah I know.  It’s an impressive score for a newbie wife.  And you don’t blame me for feeling totally awesome after leaving the grocery store.

See, Will and I recently revised our budget and decided to try to cut our grocery budget down.  Our goal is to spend $200/month at the grocery store.  If possible we try to have that number include things like shampoo, body wash, laundry soap, ect.

It all starts with a plan.  You have to plan out what you are going to be eating.  The way we do this now wasn’t possible for us until a couple of months ago when we got a chest freezer.  Before we could only hold enough refrigerated/frozen food for maybe 2 weeks (even less since our wedding cake was taking up 20% of our teeny freezer). Now that we have Chester (I just decided that it’s name) out in the mud room we can stock up on meat when it goes on sale, freeze it, and build the following month’s menu off of the meat that we have stock piled in the Chest.

This is one of our new favorites! The recipe will be up here soon; I promise

This is one of our new favorites! Here is the Recipe

Month #1 was April; we did it!  Actually we only spent $195. =)

So here is how we accomplish it:

  • Make a menu and try to stick to it
  • Don’t over eat
  • eat leftovers
  • use the crockpot
  • clip coupons
  • look for the “manager’s special”/marked down items
  • side items like rice or potatoes
  • don’t be afraid to use the off brand

For starters, when making the menu, try to make dishes that have overlapping ingredients.  For example, pick dishes that use the same fresh vegetables.  That way you don’t end up with a bunch of half used, rotting bunches of vegetables in your fridge.

This menu doesn’t have breakfast and lunch on it because breakfast is a rather unvarying routine that we are used to keeping eggs, and toaster strudel on hand for.  Lunch is usually leftovers for Will and yogurt, fruit and granola bars for me.  We also keep a pantry pretty well stocked for baking. All that being said you might think that $200 a month for two people is impossible, but honestly we could eat even cheaper if we had to… life just wouldn’t be nearly as yummy.

Check out the Kitchen Adventures page of our blog for some of our favorite recipes!

Here is what the original Menu looked like:

April Menu Here is what ended up happening with the month:

April Menu- what really happened

Some of the changes were due to having leftovers.  Some were scheduling issues.  Others were we just really didn’t feel like eating what was on the menu so we made something different.  The thing about making something different is that we would always stick with the same ingredients that we had on hand, so that while the menu changed we didn’t have to spend any extra money.

I watch the Kroger add a lot.  If something that we use frequently is going to be on a big sale then I stock up and freeze it if possible.  I also clip coupons from the internet, from Will’s Mom’s Sunday paper, and Kroger offers digital coupons as well.

When it comes time to make the grocery list, I know about how much most items that we buy cost, so I am able to make a grocery list each week that adds up to just about $50, or however much we have budgeted.

Something else truly wonderful that I have learned is that when you make a meal in the crockpot, it goes so much further. I think it is because most of the time you end up shredding the meat (which stretches it so much further), you serve it over rice (which is filling), or there is a lot of liquid involved (which is also very filling).

I plan on gradually posting the recipes for some of this food.  The problem is we don’t normally take pictures.  So bear with me patiently.

Here is what May’s menu is supposed to look like:

This very first week has already been shuffled around some, but hopefully the rest of it works out. lol

This very first week has already been shuffled around some, but hopefully the rest of it works out. lol