Monday, March 18, 2013

Meal #4 and Budgets Galore.

Hey, that rhymed!
Well, don't worry. I'm still doing meals. We had a few nights of going out, a few where we had cereal, we've eaten at parents, and so on and so forth. So I haven't actually made a meal in a while. Now the picture isn't exactly appetizing, but I promise it was good. It's a Three Cheese Pasta Bake and I got the recipe here. It was really good, and both Justin and I would like to have it again. I noticed after we'd eaten and everything, I hadn't put the full amount of alfredo in. I only put in half. But it didn't seem to make a difference... Maybe when I make it next I'll put the whole amount and see what is better.... Either way. Meal #4 - success.

Okay, on to part two of my post. We've started a budget.

Once upon a time, I used to get on the computer every single day. I was messing around in Google Documents (Gmail really is the best thing ever), and decided to start a budget and share it with Justin. So together, Justin and I wrote out a budget. It was nice and pretty, and done fancily in Excel with formulas. It got to the point where I wasn't sure what was going on, and often changed something without knowing how I changed it, and then would have to have Justin fix it for me. Haha. Either way, we had a budget. All the money was accounted for - savings, groceries, bills, etc. 

Then I quit my job. And my time in front of a computer went down about 99%. No joke. So the budget was lost on me. We had just moved in to a new house, so I was trying to get things set up and furnished and put all together. And then we had a baby. And then I had to buy new clothes to accomodate my awesome mom body. Needless to say, the budget was doing no good. We had talked before about trying the envelope system and using cash instead of cards, so this weekend, we decided it was time. Because SOMEONE couldn't stop buying adorable clothes that were just so cute to say no to... I have no self control. 

That brings me to this! TA DA! 

This is our envelope system! I originally got this little file folder thing from my sister to use for coupons, but it fits the money perfectly, and there are plenty of slots. I think there is only one that isn't in use. BUT! I went to the bank, and took out the amount that we had decided upon. I'm going to be doing this after every paycheck. I'll take the money out, and it goes straight into this folder. I feel so good about this! Here are the categories, in case anyone is interested-

Groceries (I read somewhere that your grocery budget should be at least $100 per person, even babies)
Birthdays (we have a lot of family that we have to buy presents for throughout the whole year)
Date Night
Eating Out
Food Storage

I think that's it... The folder is downstairs, and I'm upstairs, and lazy.... 
But I wrote out how much each category gets (remember, this is done twice a month, so the totals you see are half of the monthly budget amount) and I wrote out what I need to withdraw from the bank. Since there are a few categories that have $25 or something like that, I have to specify how I want the money. I just wrote it on a post it, and sent it through the sucky tube thing to the guy.  We made sure to add ourselves in to the categories though. We all have things that we'll end up needing that don't fall under groceries, or date night... clothes, make up, sports stuff, jammies for baby keek. So we planned for those as well. Which makes the budget a little more bearable. 

I'm feeling really good about this! I love being organized, and having it work. 
The real test is to see if it's still working in another month or so... 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The REAL Meal #2 and Meal #3 UPDATED

Meal #2 ended up not even being for us. My mom was out of town, and was coming home on Sunday, so I figured I'd take them dinner, since I know that I hate cooking right when I get home. So I thought I'd spare my mom the worry.

I made Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole. Recipe found here.

It wasn't bad. Not my favorite, because it does require something extra on it, like ketchup, or ranch, but only because it is so salty. I didn't even add any salt. But it was fast and easy. I'll still make it again, because Justin loved it.

Meal #3 is Parmesan Chicken Bake. Recipe found here.

It's actually in the oven right the second, and I don't know what to think of it... mine looks nothing like the picture :(

Not that they ever do.

But when it's as far off as mine is right now, I get a little worried. I'll update once we've eaten, and let you know.

Um, mine was way off. It looked like a big white mess. But it tasted okay. I think the next time I'll add breadcrumbs, or crackers to the top. It just needed a little something extra. And I think that since my chicken breasts were still kind of frozen, that was a problem... so I'll be changing a few things next time. That's for sure.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Meal #2

Cafe Rio.

Haha like I said, there are only 4 days worth of meal planning per week, because she takes into account going out to eat, and also eating leftovers. So Friday night, I finally got out of the house, and went to my sister's to hang out. We got Cafe Rio, watching some of Pitch Perfect, and then the new Duck Dynasty's. Awesome night.

Saturday was kind of lost to us. Justin had to run some things up to Clearfield, and I was stuck at my parent's house. Not that that's a bad thing, my dad and I watched Overboard, Just Like Heaven, and then Return To Me. All really good movies. But by the time Justin got back, and then we finally got home, it was roughly 6 ish. I was not feeling dinner. So we just skipped it. That happens ONLY once in a blue moon.

But all in all, it was a fun weekend. I've already prepared a dinner for tonight, but it's not for us. It's for my parents. My mom has been gone all weekend, and I figured instead of her getting home and trying to figure out what to make, I could try something out, and just let them have it. Then we'll stop by and get the leftovers. So in a round about way we'll get some of it. But ... we'll see.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Meal #1

Last night I made Breakfast Enchiladas. I found the recipe here

They turned out really good. The only thing that didn't really work out was the time. We had to cook it a little longer because they were still gooey and runny. But it's so nice because you can make it however you want it. It's just a breakfast burrito. So I had green peppers, ham, and cheese. Justin had all the same things, but added onions to his half. Yuck. But think of all the things you could add! Salsa, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cheese, sausage, bacon... the possibilities are endless.

So night one went well, and we got all the shopping done. The thing that I like about the meal planning sheets  is that there are only four days worth on it. The lady that made them said that they will eat leftovers, and also occasionally have a night out. So you don't overfill your fridge with Tupperware that you never eat again. And cooking for two usually yields plenty of leftovers.

There is a space to write what you're having for dinner, then below you write down the ingredients that you need, and then underneath that there is a space for additional shopping items. I wrote it a little differently. I did the name of the recipe, and then the ingredients underneath. At the bottom of that list I wrote the time it took to cook, so that way I could pick what to eat on a day that it would work. So if I remembered to do a slow cooker, I could choose... you get it. But At the bottom in the 'additional items' list, I wrote the food we'd need, along with other things, ie shampoo, body wash, lotion, etc.

I feel like I just rambled on a whole lot...

Anyway. Meal one, check!