Showing posts from 2009

End of the Year -- Already ?!?

Wow !! Has this year gone so fast. It seems the older I get the faster life goes. Between being sick and having company I have not been on much the last couple of months.

Dh and I are working on our 2010 budget and goals. When we finish I will post them.

Until then have a Happy New Year from the Brangenberg's

Meal Plan Monday

I know it is Tuesday again .... I just can't get it done on Monday it seems. Here is what I am planning to fix this week.

Monday - chicken lo mein
Tuesday - mini pizzas
Wednesday - chili
Thursday - zesty chicken orzo
Friday - spaghetti (per dd request as this is her first night back)
Saturday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes and carrots

Breakfast will be a choice of cereal, oatmeal or eggs
Lunches will be a choice of leftovers or sandwiches
Snacks are popcorn or pretzels

working on next weeks already. :)

Meal Plan Monday

Ok, I know that it is Tuesday but I am one day behind this week it seems. So here is what I have planned.

Sunday - pizza
Monday - chili (yummy)
Tuesday - zesty chicken orzo with a green veggie
Wednesday - sloppy joes
Thursday - spaghetti
Friday - mini pizzas or eat out (we normally have a date night on payday)
Saturday - pork lo mein

Sounds yummy to me. I have everything in the house for this week except for milk. Not bad.

Have a blessed day.

Menu Mondays

This is for the rest of this week.

Monday - chicken, broccoli salad, and corn
Tuesday - pork lo mein
Wednesday - taco soup
Thursday - mini pizzas
Friday - zesty chicken orzo
Saturday - pork chops, mashed potatoes and carrots

Breakfast will be a choice of oatmeal, muffins or cold cereal
Lunches will be a choice of turkey sandwiches, leftovers and soup.

I do my shopping later today so I will let you know tomorrow how I did. I don't need a lot because our cupboards and freezer is full. :)

End of November already ?!?

Boy it seems like November just started and now it is ending. As I get older it seems like the years go faster. The crud caught up with us and dh was out of work three days with it. (thank you sick days) and ds missed two days of work. I was down with it about 10 days. I just don't bounce back the way the guys do.

Thanksgiving saw us with four instead of six. Ds and his finacee ate with her family this year. It was wonderful having dd home again. Her boyfriend joined us for out dinner. she is back at school now and we will see her in about three weeks for the Christmas break.

During this holiday time I was thinking about what I am thankful for. Here is my list (as of right now):

1. I am thankful for a Savior who loves me unconditionally.
2.. I am thankful for a loving husband who helps out when he can see I am having a bad day.
3. I am thankful for having two healthy children. It was been wonderful watching them mature.
4. I am thankful for my best friend, Susan. She is mo…

I love saving money !!!!!!!!

Now those who know me know that I hate Wal-Mart. Big time. But when I heard that they had turkeys for 40 cents a pound I had to go and see. Well they did and I got two turkeys (there is a limit of two) one 14.77 pounds and the other 15.03 pounds for 5.91 and 6.08. Wow !!!!!!!!!! While I was there I picked up the bread, tomatoes and tortillas that I need for next week and I have $8 left. Yeah !!!!! God is good.

Menu Mondays

I thought I would post my menus from now until next payday. I have only $25 left but I am confident that it will be enough.

11/3 - chicken, potatoes, carrots and snow peas from the garden
11/4 - white bean soup with chorizo and kale
11/5 - mini pizza using Grand biscuits
11/6 - spaghetti
11/7 - hamburgers
11/8 - taco soup
11/9 - chicken, potatoes and a green veggie
11/10 - baked pasta with turkey sausage
11/11 - chicken, corn and carrots
11/12 - sloppy joes
11/13 - out to eat with friends

I have figured out that the only things I need (as of right now) are diced tomatoes, tortillas and bread. Maybe some pretzels for my honey. I am disappointed that I am already out of home canned tomatoes. I will have to do a lot more next year.

Breakfast is usually boiled eggs and zucchini bread for my honey. Cereal or oatmeal for me. My ds takes whatever and most of the time unfortunately misses it.

Lunches are normally sandwiches for ds and I and leftovers for my honey.

Snacks are typically popcorn, chips …

Where is the year going?

It seemed like only yesterday that it was January not it is November already. Wow this year has flown. Well things are still tight here at the home front. Dh and I are still sharing a car. The budget has gotten even tighter as we are trying very hard to pay down debt. I now have $40 a week for food. I get $80 every other week and do my best to stretch it. Last night we had chili and dh took I one container I had left for lunch today. I will most likely have peanut butter sandwich. Tonight I am looking at chicken, maybe soup or just baked. I am trying to figure out what I would send with dh tomorrow if I just bake it. If I fix soup I need to decide soon so I can get it on. ~smile~ I have been very very tired recently and have had a hard time getting going in the morning. Not good when you want to try to keep up with at least a few things.

Dd is still struggling at college. This is her second year there and she has already decided that it will be her last one. She wants t…

One Day a Week

Since my dh's paid for truck is not working right now we are sharing my car. So, each week right now I get it one day a week for my weekly drs appt. Next week I will need it two days because I could not reschedule one of my appts. Do you know how hard it is to runs all of your errands in one day?!? I am finding it near impossible without wearing myself out. Most Thursday (my normal car day) I have my doctor's appointment, I go to the post office, the cross stitch shop to either pay supplies or to have something framed, run an errand or two for my dh and try to go to the grocery store. By the time I get home it is time to pick up dh from his carpool. That is not counting dealing with the dog and making sure that something for dinner is out and thawing.

I need to be more organized on Thursday's. This morning I had to have the car at the tire place at 7:00 because of tire light went on a couple of days ago but dh tells me about it this morning on my way to drop him of…

Wow it has been a while

Let me catch you up on what is going on...... Ian is doing well his first trimester of pharmacy tech school. Rachel is in her second year at ETSU. She is really struggling with her health and with her heart as her boyfriend is at WKU about six hours away from her. She is thinking of transferring there next year even though we don't want her too.

David is having a very rough year this school year. Metro has cuts all budgets severely expecting the teachers to pick up the slack and we don't have the extra money for it. He is a science teacher who is expected to do two experiments a week without the school system getting the needed supplies. We have had to get creative this year. I am still home and canning like crazy up until this last week. We have had so much rain that the tomatoes are dead. So sad as we picked into November last year. I think I have some peppers to pick and then I need to check on the fall garden. The garden looks so bad this year as we have not been…

Financing Found.....kinda

ok, in my last post I mentioned that we were needing to find money to help our son attend school next month. We ended up tapping into our annuity to pay for part of it. It is up to him to find the balance. This will get him a little over half way. He most likely won't have to find money until his final trimester. He has agreed that if for whatever reason he does not finish he owes us the money back. Hate to be so hard but this is the third school for him in three years. He has struggled in a traditional four year school so I am hoping that he will do better. He starts next Tuesday so pray for him please.

Exciting News

We received word last week that Ian has been accepted in the Pharmacy Tech program that he had applied for. We are so happy for him. They only take 25 max and they had a record number of people apply. this is a one year program. Pray now that we are able to find a loan for him as the traditional student loan services do not pay for this program. I will write about other things going on later.

Sorry I've been gone....

Boy was June busy.....canning a storm. I love seeing those beautiful jars filled with yummy treats for later. July has started out busy also. Hard to believe that my honey goes back to work in a month. Where has the summer gone? Our garden is still producing alot. The broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and summer squash are gone. The zucchini is reeving up for another round. We have already gotten over 30 pounds of zucchini. The tomatoes are finally starting to turn and the peppers are loving the heat. We are finally having luck with cucumbers this year. I love making pickles with then. Last year I ended up buying the cucumbers for the pickles. I need to find a dehydrator for the peppers. I want to try to make our own chili powder. We'll see what happens.

I am excited that next week the animals start going back to school. I want my laundry room back. We have two chameleons, a corn snake, a tarantula, a leopard gecko, a tree frog, an Egyptian toad, and a snider skink. …

Back from Vacation !!

We are finally home from our amazing anniversary trip. 25 years !!!!!! We went through 10 states in 10 days and put over 3,000 miles on the car. It was great and I will post more when the pictures are ready to post.

Dental Woes

Why is it that even though we have dental insurance we still end up with huge dental bills. My dear dd had her four wisdom teeth pulled in January, now she needs a root canal and two crowns and she is only 19 !! The dental specialist who is going to do the root canal said that our part was $799.80. WHAT!!!!!!! That was after insurance. Who knows how much the crowns will cost. I am hoping she can wait until the new year for the crowns. How many people of that kind of money sitting around for dental work. I know some people do but I know most don't. I had to cancel the appointment this morning until I can get that kind of money. She is not hurting bad so I don't feel completely bad about having to reschedule.

My dear husband and I are planning a trip next month for our 25th wedding anniversary. Do I take the money from that and postpone the trip or wait and hope she doesn't hurt until we get back? That is the question right now. God Bless.

First Weekend of Summer

My dh is a teacher and Friday was his last day officially. So this is our first weekend of summer. We tackled the craft room/den Saturday and Sunday with so much energy that both of us are tired today. I am starting to see floors and walls. Yeah !!!! Dd, Rachel, has one more week of US History 1020? (the second one you take in college). Next week is starts Developmental Psy.

Today, being Memorial Day, we ended up grilling inside due to rain. We grilled at lunch as both children work this evening. Now, of course, it is beautiful outside. Oh well.

This week, dh and ds are going into his classroom to paint (Tuesday and Wednesday), I have a doctors appointment on Thursday and I need to grocery shop Friday as it is payday. I will continue to work in the craft room and the rest of the house. Must go - have a blessed day.

Memorial Day -- USA

Today is the day that the US honors its veterans. Having lived here 19+ years now I know quite a few veterans and I am indeed blessed to know them. May God bless you in all that you do.

Long Time

I didn't realize that it has been so long since I have blogged. Been busy. This week we are not suppose to have rain before Friday. Yeah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Garden is water logged. ~Smile~ come August remind me how I didn't want rain. My dd, Rachel, is home from college and taking classes this summer at the local university. She is working part time this summer also. It has been an adjustment having her home again.

Today, need to go by Goodwill, grocery shop, pick up potting soil, exercise, work in craft room and laundry. dinner tonight is chicken, green veggie and salad. Starting a new diet today, we will see how it goes.

Will write more later.

Rain, Rain and more Rain

We have had rain every day since April 30. This morning we had a sprinkle, tomorrow we are not suppose to get rain and then there is a chance of rain for the next five days. I hope this is not the feast before the famine during the summer. Hopefully tomorrow I can get my seeds planted. I need to start some seeds also.

Today I overdid it and now I have a headache. Tomorrow I will have to plan with care so I don't have a repeat. I will write more in a couple of days.

New Month

Wow I just realized how long it has been since I have posted. Been busy with the garden and fixing the damage from the Good Friday tornadoes. They say it was an F4 that hit a little over a block from us. We feel blessed to have only damage to our privacy screens in the back. One of the elders in our church lost everything.

We finally got rain last night. Hooray !!!!!! My garden is happy now. I was going to plant some seeds today but they can wait. We have planted 2 blueberry bushes, lettuce, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and banana peppers. I need to plant beets, more lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, peas, beans, sunflowers and pumpkins. I am so excited. I have a friend that has already told me that her plum tree is in flowers this year so I can come and pick when it is time. I think that our farmer's market opens next week. I was going to go this morning but dh took my car. We are trying tomato trees…


This is the photo that my neighbor took on Good Friday from her back yard. The red truck and small shed are in our back yard. This is how close the tornado came to our home.

More Tornadoes

Good Friday, April 10th tornados ripped through Murfreesboro, TN killing two,over 40 wounded and affecting over 500 homes and businesses.  One of the areas hit the hardest was my neighborhood.  We still need to show ID to get to our home.  We did not have any structural damage only minor damage to a privacy fence outside.  But the fact that it hit a block and a half from me has left me shaken.  I am hoping to post a link to you tube so you can see what I am talking about.

Damage In Town

Last night we were under a tornado watch just south and west of us.  This morning we saw considerable damage to at least 8 businesses about five miles from us.  The storm went right over us but we were blessed with no damage this time.  One of the businesses damaged was my chiropractors office and the car wash that we go too.  A section of town had no power for about three to three and half hours including the restaurant that my son works at.  He lost four hours of work last night but at least he was safe.

Changes in the wind

After seeing the doctor this week I realized that I need to make a lot of changes.  We need to change the way we eat radically.  My blood glucose numbers are way too high and I need to be proactive to change that.  My problem is mainly snack foods.  I also need to work on portion control.  I will start weighing and measuring everything.  Also next week I will look into Sports Com to see what they offer swimming wise and exercise classes.  I have started walking more with Snowball everyday.  I need to start trying more like twice a day but once a day is better than I was doing.  I will write more later.  They are talking about tornadoes on the tv.

More shopping receipts

ok,  I have been postponing writing this because I am sure that I have gone over budget.  Just not thinking on my part.  Well here it is:
March 21
Kroger:  tortillas and cheese $2.40
March 23
Kroger: 2 boxes Ritz crackers 3 12pk of soda something else that I can not read $15.78
March 27
Kroger: 2 bags tortilla chips 1 gallon skim milk 2 boxes Crystal Light  laughing cow cheese 3 boxes fruit and grain breakfast bars (for dh) Pam spray sunflower seeds 2 cans lite peaches 3 cans lite fruit cocktail 3 cans lite mandarin oranges bath tissue 2 cans spaghetti sauce 2 pks Extra gum hot dogs 2 pks sliced ham (marked down) 10 pks ground round (marked down) $63.58
March 28 Kroger: 1 large vanilla pudding 2 bags rice cakes 2 lemons 3lbs apples $7.40
Grand Total:  $90.00 leftover for month: $38.96
WOW !!!!!!  I thought I was over.  I am sure I have missed some receipts because I only have $22 and change in my grocery envelope.  Either way I have done better than I thought.

Grocery Shopping for March

I have run to the store two more times since I last posted and I am trying to keep up with it so I am going to post here with it. 
1 bag of spinach  (for school animals) 1 bag Lay's Kettle chips (dh asked for them)
Total:  $5.50
Today at Publix
I 6pk roll of Charmin 2 boxes Eggo Waffles (they were on a really good sale) Dawn dish soap I reusable bag (got for free after coupon)
Total:  $9.51 Total spent so far in March:  $71.04 left for the month:  $128.96
I think I am doing well since it is the 12th of the month already.  I know the Eggo's were a splurge but I wanted something different for breakfast.

First shop of the Month

ok,  I was able to find a little bit more money in the budget for groceries so I have $200 instead of $146.  I did my first shop this morning.
I got from Krogers:
4 12pk of caffiene free diet Pepsi kroger brand cherrios dish soap  dishwasher soap 2 boxes instant oatmeal 2 bags tortilla chips 2 boxes of popcorn 1 tub of low fat vanilla yogurt 1 pkg hot dogs romaine lettuce hearts green leaf lettuce  hot dog buns hamburger buns 1 loaf of bread 1 dozen eggs extra sugar free gum 1 green bell pepper mushrooms 2.39 lb of green grapes pkg of radishes 3 lb of apples 2.37 lb of bananas
Total was :  $56.03 left for the month:  $143.97

Goals for March

Ok,  as I said in my last post Feb. has been a hard month for us.  I have decided that I need to set goals for March so I can get the bills paid. ~smile~
1.  Groceries and eating out - we eat out way too much.  We need to limit eating out to pay days only. We look at this as our date night but truthfully we eat a lot of our meals with just the two of us now.  Ian is working nights and Rachel is still away at school.  Maybe we need to eliminate this until Rachel gets home at least.  Groceries is another issue.  I have a lot of food in the house and if I would take the time I could make it work.  I only have $146 budget for food for March.  That is for both categories.  I have to work hard to make it work better.
2.  Utilities - these were double what I was expecting except for water.  We need to do better with  wasteful use of our electric and gas.  Water stays about the same when Rachel is not home.  When she is home it increases about $10 a month.  I need to go around shutting off ligh…

End of the Month

ok,  I can't believe that it is Feb. 28th already.  Where is the year going already.  I can't wait for the weather to make up its mind.  We have freezing ice on day and then by the weekend it is almost 70.  My trees are starting to bud and tonight we have a winter weather advisory.  See what I mean.  This month has been stressful financially.  We purchased a new car as ours was about to start costing us alot for a used car that was never right very soon after we bought it.  So we purchased a 2008 Kia Rondo.  I like it and it sits higher so it is easier for me to get in and out of.  Between that and our parent loan starting its payments this month it has been a juggling act.  Hopefully March will be better.

GiveAway at $5 dinners

I was just reading on one of my favorite sites:  $5 dinners and she is having a fantastic giveaway right now.  She has been blessed with Wal-Mart gift cards that she won in a contest.  Wal-Mart has blessed her with a year's free groceries.  She has decided to share her wealth.  Go to $5 dinners and enter telling her tips for shopping at Wal-Mart (if you do shop there) and how you would use $25 dollars there.  Giveaway ends on February 22.  Go Luck.

Wonderful day !!!!!

Today my bff and I drove into Nashville and took a needlepoint class.  We also joined ANG, American Needlepoint Guild.  Needlepoint is a dying art and I love working on it.  It is my release, what I do to unwind.  Some people veg in front of the television -- I stitch.  My bff, Susan and I can stitch with each other for hours and stitch without saying much at all.  Just a "look at this color" or "what do you think of this stitch".  Drives my daughter nuts.  LOL  The design being offered is one that uses up little bits and this fiber and that fiber.  I love stuff like that.  I hate little bits that you can't do much with most of the time.
So now I have three projects going on.  ~smile~  I don't get bored this way.  Two of them are for me finally.  My dh complains that everything I stitch is for others.  Now I can say "no this is for us".  I have one at the framers also.  I will try to post a pic when it gets back.

Groceries for February

Well here it is Feb 11 and this is my first post of the month.  Shame on me !!  I have been busy stitching.  Also I had a couple of days with the crud going around.  Dh is a middle school teacher so he brings home every germ.  That's for sharing honey !! LOL
Well last Friday I had seventy dollars for two weeks and it is gone.  I wont have any money for groceries until Feb. 20.  So, I am challenging myself to see how long I can go without going to the store for food.  I just picked up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.  I am going to start baking my bakery goods again.  I just got lazy  LOL.  A gallon of milk will last us until it expires which is the 22nd of Feb since I only use it on my cereal.  The soda is gone so I will be making ice tea and lemonade that I picked up for 28 cents a container for Country Time powdered mix. I have a lot of meat and frozen veggies.  I will use leftovers for dh's lunch.  I am down to one can of tuna.  Not good.  I am long in pasta and homemad…


I was given a bag of lemons last week and I am not sure what to do with them.  Any ideas?  We are both diabetic so alot of desserts would not work unless they were sugar free.  I really want to use them before they go bad.

Missing her....

Yesterday we dropped our daughter off at school again.  I really enjoyed having her home for the month or so that she was here.  We took the time to rearrange her room so that it would be easier for her.  She has a private room this semester. ~smile~  Classes start today for her.  She had to be at work at 7:30 am.  She works at the day care on campus.  I will not get to see her again until spring break unless the take a road trip.  When we left she was excited to hook up again with some of her friends.  Do well this semester sweetie.  Miss you.

Menus for Jan 8-31

Okay,  I know I am behind in planning my menus but until the pantry got set up I wasn't sure what I had.  Here goes for the rest of the month:
8th - Chicken Stew 9th - Meatball Subs 10th - Pork Chops, mashed potatoes, veggie 11th - Chicken in crockpot, potatoes and veggie 12th - Spaghetti 13th - leftovers 14th - Soft Tacos 15th - Chicken, corn and veggie 16th - Pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw 17th - Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches 18th - Fish, Peas and veggie 19th - Chicken, potatoes and veggies 20th - Taco Soup 21st - Pork Chops, peas and veggie 22nd - Chicken stir-fry and rice 23rd - Eating out 24th - Spaghetti 25th - Chili 26th - Ham, sweet potatoes and green beans 27th - Chicken, stuffing and veggie 28th - Hamburgers, cole slaw 29th - Baked Ziti 30th - Chicken fajitas 31st - leftovers or soup and sandwiches
These are subject to be moved around.  Most meals are just dh and I as dd is going back to school.  Ds, Ian works most nights.  Most leftovers will be used for lunches for David the following …

New Year same challenges...

Today has been a busy day.  My daughter had all four wisdom teeth taken out and I had two doctors appointments - all before noon.  Thank goodness for her boyfriend who came to take her home for me and stayed until I got back.  My sweet daughter doesn't handle pain really well and we couldn't get her pain meds until I got back with the car.  Poor thing.  She just woke up very hungry so I have homemade chicken noodle soup on the stove smelling wonderful.  Dad and I will have grilled cheese sandwiches with it.  Perfect for a rainy night.  
Well my dear son, Ian has officially withdrawn from college and has applied at a tech school.  He wants to study computer IT and found out that there is a nine month wait to get into the program.  So now he needs to find a day job to go with his night job.  His night job only gives him 20-27 hours a week and he will need more than that.  He is thinking of applying to substitute teach for the county.  His finance knows that this will delay the we…