Frugal Step: Make A Menu

Monday: Vegan Veggie Burgers, Corn, Fruit

Tuesday: Hunt and Peck

Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin, Asparagus

Thursday: Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Mixed Veggies

Friday: Planned eating out

Saturday: Hamburgers and Brussels Sprouts

Sunday: Hunt and Peck

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. Now that we have three kids in school, it means four parent-teacher conferences. My mother came and babysat while I attended them.
  2. My friend’s grandfather passed away and I sent flowers. I went through Ebates to get 12% cash back and bought a bouquet on sale to save money. (If you wanted to try Ebates, signup through my referral link and you will get a bonus $10 cash back when you get your first rebate. I do get cash back when you sign up through my referral as well.)
  3. I worked several days this week, including evening and weekend time to save money.
  4. I had a coupon for free Eggo waffles in my Kroger digital coupons.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Dumped out several veggies that had gone bad in the drawer.
  2. Decided to impulsively rent a movie last weekend.

40 Goals for 2017: Week 43

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week.  Wow, it’s been a month since last time! 

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through my affiliate link, I receive a small percentage as compensation, that we then use to help reach our financial goals. Please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting our family!

Week Forty-Three


  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. The Mister has all he needs for this year’s Roth savings and I have $2750. More than half done!
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. Each child went up one level in their skills, so it was a success. We cash-flowed this one. Boom!
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. This will be sitting in savings until next year, but we are also at 100% for this as well. Done!
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Done!
  5. Save $1050 650 for Christmas. Thanks to the $300 in Amazon Trade-in Credits from selling my grad school textbooks, I have completed Christmas shopping for my kids with the exception of a book or two for each child. We decided we would stick to 4-5 gifts per child, with one “bigger” gift each, and that has reduced our budget.  Goal met!


6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   My husband has me looking for end of season sales. I haven’t seen any at all. $50 says this gets booted to 2018.

7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). I have squirreled away $293 in savings, but our medical/educational expenses have been high and I haven’t been able to do more. We did put down $500 towards our 2018 Disney trip and have booked our family suite and tickets. Total: $293 + $500 deposit and $707 left to save

8. Spend $600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.  We went slightly over in October for groceries. So far in November I have spent $20 on entertainment, once I go out with friends tonight . I have three more social events planned this month.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. I completed this last week. Done!

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo.  October was an insanely busy month for volunteering. I am the Fall Sale manager for our Girl Scout Troop and that meant I spent about 4 hours on our normal meetings,  90 minutes at our service unit meeting, 90 minutes at an extra scout field trip, and 5 hours setting up the website, chasing down orders, verifying orders were correct, and possibly tearing my hair out. I also had a 2 hour twice exceptional parent support group meeting, which I planned and lead, and joined the school district’s gifted steering committee, which meant another 2 hours. October total: 16 hours. No wonder I was busy! November will probably have similar hours.


  1. Complete my master’s degree! I graduated! Done!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  October was a fail and November will likely also be a fail. We are too overscheduled and have no time off.
  3. Read 1 book per month  I started reading Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer of Thor in September and am still not done.  I started reading A Parent’s Guide to High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and am 75% done. If you are wondering why I haven’t read, crocheted, checked my blog email (sorry!), or done much for my sites, infer all you want from that. I have about 9 or 10 more books to read in that particular pile. This makes 18 going on 19 going on 20 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I had no formal plans in October but my friend Diane came over and helped me paint while the kids were in school. Does that count? As far as November, I am going out with the girls from work tonight, meeting friends for a movie next Friday (pending sitter), doing lunch and the art museum with another friend next week, and another girls night out with high school friends. My poor husband has to wait until December.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this month.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. When will I have a spare minute? Who knows.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. One of these days….
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. Check out these Halloween cupcakes I made for scouts. 
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.   I hit this about 70% of the time.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.


  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We visited my in-laws in July and were thoroughly spoiled as usual. Done!
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The youngest usually gets a lot of 1:1 time, but the older ones are tougher.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I have coats and boy clothes that need to be posted online- still.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done! 
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. I hit this hard and totally redid my office using the organization suggested in Organizing Solutions For People with ADHD. The corner is cleared out and the bookshelf is more usable, especially since I sold most of my nursing texts to Amazon. I went through and tossed, shredded, or filed most papers, used colored files for easy visual recognition, pared those files down to only about 10, and cleared out my desk. Done!
  6. Get the toddler potty trained!  Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. We remodeled our half bath and that has taken all of our time.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned that if we let the old roots decompose for another year, it will be easier to plant the new tree in the same spot next year and require a smaller hole. Bonus: it will save us money this year. We filled in the area and planted a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower bedsimproving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken)and fixing and replacing the mailbox. New mailbox is probably not happening until spring.
  9. Paint half bath.  My friend Diane donated extra paint and helped paint. The mister replaced the pedestal sink with a roomy vanity, faucet, light, and will soon replace the mirror. It looks bigger and brighter and I now have storage!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.   Goal met: Six of six completed. 



  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Nope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Procrastinating! I have been working almost 30 hours a week on top of volunteering, remodeling the bathroom, and managing our many doctor/therapy appointments.
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. I hit a 25% off sale this summer. Done!
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. This month? Good news- I decided on a name and it’s available.
  5. Explore affiliates for my sites. I signed up for Share a Sale but need to look at which ones to work with.
  6. Double my daily traffic for Frugal Stepping Stones. I have actually been hitting this regularly.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Coming soon?
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year.  I did brainstorm part of my next post .
  9. Do one guest post. Probably unrealistic for this to happen before the end of the year and still maintain my sanity.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year, which for some strange reason appears to be as soon as next month.

How are your goals going?

Feeding 5 for $150 Per Week: 1st Week of November 2017

Kroger: $ 113.53

We spent a little extra this month because I bought some food for the PTO’s staff appreciation meal at our 1st grader’s school. No big deal, we’ll make next week a little smaller.

Green Bean Delivery: $47.31

We’ve figured out that we like using Green Bean for more “special” local foods or things we forgot to get on the weekend Kroger trip.

Monthly Goal: $600.00

Weekly Total: $160.84

Running Total: $160.84

Feeding 5 for $150 Per Week: Last Week of October 2017

Kroger: $96.66

CVS: $0

Bought with ExtraCare Bucks

Green Bean Delivery: $55.78

We’retrying a few things this week. Two of my three kids loved dipping veggies into the Vegy Vida Cheesy dip. The Scholars Inn Plain Bagels were a thumbs up from me. My family is very finicky about apple cider and the cheap stuff from Kroger does not cut it.  My husband is from northern Ohio near a lot of farms who make their own cider and maple syrup. This cider makes the cut.

Monthly Goal: $600.00

Weekly Total: $152.44

End of Month Total: $563.26

Frugal Step: Make A Menu


Monday: Platejoy recipe: Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Cilantro-Lime Spread (was very very good!). You can try Platejoy through my link and get $20 off. I don’t get anything in return.

Tuesday: Our 9 year old is cooking what we call Hamburger, Peas,and Carrots (sauteed onions,ground beef,and frozen peas and carrots in one pan and seasoned with Lawry’s)

Wednesday: Cheese Grits and Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts

Thursday: Platejoy recipe of Sausage and Mushroom Paleo Pizza Bowls

Friday: Maple Bacon Sausages, Green Beans, Oranges

Saturday: Slow Cooker Potato Soup, Salad

Sunday: Hunt and Peck


Platejoy recipes for Strawberry Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Tomato Basil Omelette, Oatmeal with Ricotta, Honey, and Pistachios, and Onion Bagels with Light Cream Cheese


PB & J, leftovers, and Platejoy Mini Pita Pizzas with Spinach and Cheese

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps: 

  1. I worked 35 hours last week! My arthritis pain has been bothering me and I am waking up at 4-5 am every morning. I can’t get back to sleep so I figure I might as well make some lemonade out of the lemons and I log on and work on our team’s backlog.
  2. We are redoing our downstairs half bath and my friend Diane donated most of a can of blue paint left over from painting her twins’ room.  She also came down while her girls were in school and helped me paint! Thank you Diane!
  3. In removing the bathroom sink, my husband noticed the water valves were poorly installed and needed to be replaced. He did all the work himself, including a little welding. He also noticed our washing machine hot water hose was nearly ready to fail and he changed those hoses himself. We are replacing our pedestal sink with a vanity that has storage, replacing the mirror, and the light fixture. He’ll be using his Mr Fixit skills to do those too.
  4. I got a free bag of M & Ms from Kroger.
  5. We learned our child will receive one of their therapies in the school setting, saving us another weekly trip in the car and a weekly copay.
  6. I formed a parent group this year for parents of children with both gifted needs and special needs and we met for free in a meeting space at the public library.
  7. My coworker is a social worker who used to work for a local fostering agency. They have a transition program for older teens aging out of the system and every year for the past 6 years we have shopped to find coats for them and their children, if they have any. We had a single generous donor this year but needed to find a good price to stay within  a budget. I was able to get them for about  49% off by combining sales, coupon codes,and cashback from Ebates.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. My sister was over watching the kid and puled out a pack of hot dogs to feed them. They were expired! I was so bummed, because they were pricey Applegate Farms dogs.

Frugal Step: Make A Menu

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through my affiliate link, I receive a small percentage as compensation, that we then use to help reach our financial goals. Please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting our family!

Monday: Hunt and Peck to clean out fridge

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Peas, Potatoes, and Carrots (using McCormick’s Slow Cooker Sauce), Buttermilk Biscuits in the Food Processor

Wednesday: Leftover Beef Roast over noodles, Salad

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chili with Kidney Beans

Friday: Canned Soup, Salad

Saturday: Potato Corn Bacon Chowder, Peasant Bread

Sunday: Hunt and Peck

Drinking: Chai Tea Latte

Check out my Pinterest Boards for more great recipes!