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Month

January 2017

Introducing CPR

 

Stay tuned…

Starting February 6, we will begin an encouraging 3-week series on Administering CPR…eating on plan when life gets real…Get Trained ~ Save a Life ~ You’ll Be Glad You Did!!!

~ Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip ~

DIABETIC FRIENDLY, SUGAR FREE, GLUTEN FREE RECIPE (Dip & Veggies only)

Well peeps it’s that time of the year….Super Bowl is just around the corner. ¬†If you are looking for a completely THM “S”atisfying yummo dip to have, this is the one for YOU!!!

This is also a workplace favorite for food day…that is where I first had it ūüôā

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast cooked and shredded in the crockpot (I used my small crockpot and drained off the liquid…freeze it and use it in your next batch of chicken soup)…I wait until the chicken¬†is on sale for $1.69 per pound and then buy 2 family packs
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Frank’s Red Hot sauce to taste (based on $1.99 for 12 ounce bottle = approx. $0.75 – $1.00 for recipe)
  • 12 ounces of whipped cream cheese (you will need to purchase two 8 ounce containers, based on $1.49 each = $2.13 for recipe)
  • 2 -4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese shredded ($0.45 – $0.90)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing to taste ($0.50 – $0.75)
  1. Cook chicken in crockpot, drain off liquid, and shred in the crockpot.
  2. Mix in Frank’s Red Hot sauce, 12 ounces (1 1/2 containers) of WHIPPED cream cheese, shredded cheese, and dressing.
  3. Cook on high for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occassionally…if you can wait that long!!!

TIP: ¬†I added the dressing slowly to get the dip to the desired consistency that appeals to my crowd…we don’t like soggy or mushy. ¬†Drizzle some extra hot sauce on the top in the shape of a football to “decorate” it ūüôā

Serve with fresh cut veggies (fresh celery not pictured) and homemade on plan crackers (bake a Joseph’s Lavish – these are NOT gluten free – in the oven at 325 degrees for just at minute or two…keep a close watch or it will burn)…All of this deliciousness for approx. $7.31 – $8.26…serves 6-8 people.

Also, back in September, we posted this football friendly Simple Success – Taco Casserole…you are not going to believe how easy this Game Day Winner Dinner is…my teenage son and his friend went back for seconds (me too…and there was some leftover to have with my salad for work)!!!…Click HERE¬†to see rest of post…

SCORE!!!   TOUCHDOWN!!!

#missiondeclutter ~ Pyrex Cabinet ~

Happy Saturday Lovelies…I hope your weekend is off to a great start! As promised, here is my Pyrex drawer Kitchen Declutter!

To be honest my Kitchen has been more¬†of an organization / repurpose challenge. ¬†We recently renovated our Kitchen, so the last 6 months has been learning how I want to organize and make my kitchen as functional and efficient as possible, now that I’m living and working in it!

When my Kitchen was being remolded, I spent a fair amount of time researching organization and efficiency information. I read a lot and watched a lot of You Tube¬†videos. ¬†I¬†found some great ideas. ¬†One of my all time favorite organization gurus is Alejandra Costello. ¬†I have learned so much from both her site and video’s. ¬†If your looking for some great organizational tips, she is your gal. ¬†Her link is here.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to get rid of plastic containers and use glass as much as possible, especially when storing food. ¬†There is a plethora of information regarding BPA (a harmful¬†chemical found in plastic¬†)¬†and it’s effects on the thyroid as well as Woman’s hormones. ¬†THM has included some of that research in their books. After doing the research for myself, I threw out 95% of my plastic storage containers. ¬†I kept my cupcake and pie containers for Church potlucks, as food is not really stored, but carried in these items.

I had a few pieces of Pyrex glass, but not enough if glass was to be my primary storage containers. You can get Pyrex pretty much anywhere, and of course I got mine on sale.

Here is a pic of my cabinet:

Sorry for the blurry pic, the¬†smaller bowls and mid size¬†rectangle dishes¬†are in the dishwasher. ¬†I didn’t have a dishwasher before my¬†kitchen reno, and can I just tell ya….I LOVE IT!!!!!! ¬†I usually only run it at night (completely full) and on energy saver mode, but it has been a convenience that I am happy to pay an extra few pennies for!

One of my next favorite organizational tools is my over the door lid holder.  I purchased mine on Amazon and the link is here.  I LOVE this thing.  It is easy to install (literally hang it over the door), it is super convenient, but most of all  it is extremely efficient!

One of my¬†family’s secret to financial success, is we pay for things as much as we value them. ¬†This costs around $14. ¬†Paying $14 for a tool that will bring organization and efficiency to my life, has value to me. Paying $5-$6 for a gourmet coffee that will have no value when it’s gone…does not. ¬†Don’t judge…just sharing some of our families tips…(and yes there are times when a gourmet coffee may have value to me)!!

One of the best features in my opinion is¬†#1 it is movable and not fixed…So if I decide to move my cabinet, I just move the lid holder.¬†#2 ¬†It has felt padding on the hangers so that it doesn’t scratch my brand new doors! I have put much thought and planning into what each cabinet stores so having the option to move is big for me. ¬†This is the cabinet that is both near the sink and dish washer, so it is super efficient.

Hope you find this post helpful and motivating…..

Next up, “under the sink cabinet”

Stay tuned!!

#gettidnglean2017 #weight#debt#stuff

 

 

 

 

 

Frugal Friday

 

Happy Friday Lovelies!

It’s Frugal Friday……

and it’s winner, winner Chicken Dinner!

Our little¬†community just got a Market 32.¬† I am so excited over this addition to our local economy!! ¬†We live in the New England area and¬†Price Chopper/Market 32¬†is a chain that is here in the North East. Even better…….they ¬†also double coupons!!!!

They sell Rotisserie Chickens for $5.99

Our Frugal Tip is to get every bit¬†of goodness from this lil baby…..

Now, I could save even more money if I purchased a chicken on sale and roasted it myself, and often times I do. ¬†However, this offers a frugal option as well as a Drive thru Sandy Sue option, and let’s face it, ¬†we all need that option sometimes!

First, I will¬†use this chicken for our dinner¬†meal. ¬†Depending on¬†what fuel I’m serving, will depend what sides I serve. ¬†If¬†we are having an S meal, then I would serve with cauliflower mashed and buttered broccoli. ¬†E meal (Would be no skin for me) and I would serve with quinoa or brown rice with¬†a non starch veggie.

I¬† then take the chicken and pick all the¬†meat off the bone, and make chicken salad for lunch. ¬†My hubby’s all time favorite. ¬†Sometimes if there is not a lot of chicken left I will add a can of chicken to stretch it. This usually provides one lunch for two. ¬†There is never left over¬† chicken salad in my house!¬† Ever!!

Next I place the entire chicken in a big stock pan and throw in any left over vegetables that I have.  Celery, onion, carrots, garlic and this pic has some greens I needed to use up.  Add 10-12 cups water, bring to a boil, then I simmer 3-4 hours.  The house smells so yummy.  I pull out the chicken, pick off any remaining meat, then discard.  I then remove the vegetables and discard them.  Next strain the liquid through a strainer.

The end result is beautiful yummy homemade chicken stock!

Okay please forgive this side photo. I have spent over 35 minutes to get this photo to flip (I’ve told you I’m not techie) and it just won’t. ūüôĀ¬†Hopefully you get the idea that it is 5 pint jars of golden flavorful chicken stock, that I store in my¬†freezer. ¬†The key to not breaking your glass jars is leaving at least 2 inches of headspace and not over screwing the caps. Since I have been doing this, I haven’t had any crack!

So for one $5.99 chicken, I get one main dinner, a lunch, and several pints of chicken stock. ¬†Now that’s what I call¬†getting a lot of bang for my buck!!

Wishing you all a fantabulous weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

#missiondeclutter ~ Kitchen Drawers ~

Good morning lovely mamas,

I am back in the #missiondeclutterchallenge this week, and we are in the Kitchen.  This drawer is my utensil draw and next to my stove.  I use this draw daily.

I emptied the entire drawer out completely¬†and wiped it clean. ¬†Ahhhh…fresh start.

Then I added these wonderful delightful bamboo draw dividers, I purchased on Amazon.

The dividers come in sets of 2 or 4.  I have purchased  both and have used them in several draws in my Kitchen.

Lipper International Bamboo Kitchen Drawer Dividers, – Adjust From 22″ to 17 ‚Öú” and are super easy to install. ¬†They make the draw much more functional and organized. ¬†They also are very easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. Double Score!

You will notice some of the Utensils are missing from the original picture.  I use all the tools that were in the drawer originally, but I have reorganized for efficiency.  We recently did a Kitchen Reno in July so I had decluttered at that point.  I now need to reorganize and gain better efficiency.  Wasting time looking for a specific cooking utensil is a BIG time waster.  I have re-organized other drawers and will share that in a future post.  I love how organized this drawer is from the first pic.  It took the right organizing tool to take this from messy and unorganized to functional and efficient!

Stay tuned for my Pyrex Cabinet Declutter & Reorganize!

(This post contains affiliate links)

Blessings Lovelies!

#gettinglean2017#weight#debt#stuff

 

 

$7 Dinners

 

Welcome to $7 Dinners…………

Where we put our furgalista skills to the test and help you get dinner on the table for $7 or less.

We were hoping to do $5 dinners or less (Cause that’s how we roll¬†…..Frugal)¬†but where we live in the country….meat is sky high. ¬†It’s pretty hard to get a meal with meat on the table for $5, especially when you’re feeding a Husband, College Guy and a growing (like a weed) Teenage boy!

So we love the number 7 (it is 2017) and it is the number of perfection, and the extra $2 allows us to get a healthy satisfying meal on the table.

We will share with you the break down for each meal.  There will be many meals below $7!  We will also feature budget friendly meatless meals as well, that will fall below the $7 tag!

These meals will also assume you have a fairly stocked pantry of condiments, and spices.

So without further ado:

Rich & Tender Stew Pg. 38 THM Cookbook

That is a Pic of my lunch portion!  Yep this dinner comes with leftovers!!

Sorry for the crummy pick. I had accidently thrown this away before I remembered to take the Picture. ¬†My plan was to take the picture with the meat in it. ¬†Well you all see how that worked out:)! ¬†Sandy is so much better at this than me. ¬†She will buy¬†steeply reduced roasts¬†and cut it herself!!! ¬†Hey at least mine was marked down…Total $5.66

1 Medium Onion¬†(.15),¬†¬†3 med sized carrots {1 bag .59, 3 carrots (.24)},¬†1/2 bag of large radishes .89 1/2 (.44),¬† 2 celery stalks (.10),¬†and my triple used Okra (free)….all sliced and chopped. 1/2 can Peas left over from previous meal cost of peas¬†.29 (1/2 can .14)¬†¬† Total = $1.07

Frozen Peppers Chopped. ¬†Every Summer, I buy Seconds Peppers in a 5 gal pail from a local farmer. ¬†There are anywhere from 35-40 peppers in the bucket. ¬†I wash, dry, then slice and freeze so I have fresh green/red peppers all winter. ¬†Cost of average Pepper is about .25…I used about 1/2 Pepper chopped¬†so cost is around¬† (.12)

The Beef Broth purchased on sale for (.49)¬† Aldi Tomato Paste (.39) Bottle of¬† Worcestershire Sauce for $1.00 at Big Lots (Of course I purchased 3 bottles which will last for years) I’m only counting (.05) I purchase many spices in Bulk when I travel to Lancaster County in PA once or twice a year. ¬†This is bulk Oregano I just put into a smaller container for convenience sake. ¬†The 2 teaspoons would be less than (.01).¬† Missing from the photo is Onion Powder I purchase from Aldi for .99. ¬†There is at least 100 teaspoons in the container so I will count this as (.02) 1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt (.05) Total=$1.01

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a well stocked pantry in frugal cost savings tactics. ¬†Purchasing pantry items on sale at rock bottom¬† prices allows you to keep a well stocked pantry at the lowest possible prices.

Okay Grand Total is $7.86 but the break down goes like this.  This made a large Crock Pot full.  All 3 of us ate this as a Dinner meal.  The guys had this with sliced  buttered Aldi Sprouted bread.  I did not eat the bread.

There were 2 good size bowls left over which I used for my work lunches.  The average price of lunch at the hospital is between $4-$7!  So I consider 1 Dinner meal and 2 lunches well below the $7 mark!!!!!

P.S. I made this prior to making my Bone Broth. I made the Lentil Soup (Pg. 89) yesterday and used the bone broth. The bone broth adds a whole new level of flavor, and shaves off a few pennies!

 

Don’t forget to join our closed FB page by clicking on the link on this blog…we share¬†diabetic, weight loss friendly and mostly gluten free options...

 

When Life Throws a Curve Ball

Hello lovely Mamas……..

I have missed you all this week for our #missiondeclutter challenge as well as Frugal Friday.

I had a family member get sick out of State, and I have been gone for most of the week.

I am super tired and¬† feeling a tad¬†bit overwhelmed…..

When I feel like this, I know the best thing to do, is get back on the horse.  My life works best with structure.  It is easy to get off track.  It would be tempting to let a week turn to two, then three, then a month. Nope you gotta get back up!

So with out further ado:

I hope you all were super successful in the bathroom challenge. ¬†This week we will be moving into the kitchen. ¬†Hopefully this will not be overwhelming for me as we just completely remolded our Kitchen this summer. ¬†With that said, it doesn’t take long for clutter to accumulate.¬† I am starting to notice clutter in a few of¬†the drawers………

Yesterday I got my meal plan done for the week as well as the grocery shopping.  Super stoked about that.  My sweet darling THM hunk has been a huge help with the house chores.  I sure do like to brag on that man because I am one lucky mama!

My handsome college guy got a job this week, so we are definitely happy about that!

And my family member is doing much better:-)

Yep I’m back on track and Praise God for it!!

And last but not least, The third Monday of the month will host our new feature $7 Dinners.

So stay tuned for that tomorrow!

~Blessings!

Michelle

 

Frugal Friday

 

Happy Friday Lovely Mamas!

Today’s Frugal Tip is perfect to make on a cold Winter’s day.

My house smells amazing!!!

We are making our own Beef Broth!

Don’t let this intimidate you. It is super easy…..

Back in the day our grandparent’s wasted very little. ¬†Every part of the animal was used…no waste. ¬†Bone Broth has been around for a long, long time. ¬†Now I don’t have a cow in my back yard (darn), but I can still get all the goodness from this homemade stock.

Easy Version:¬† Put the bones in your crockpot and pour just enough water to cover. ¬†Add 1/4 cup Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (helps to release all the goodness of the marrow). ¬†Cook on low 24-48 hrs. ¬†You will get a smaller more concentrated yield from this method, but it’s super easy.

My Method:  I place the bones in my crockpot.  Add 1/4 ccup Braggs ACV.  I then add a chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, chopped celery, chopped carrots, sprinkle of mineral salt, and this time I had a few scallions that needed to be used up.  I tossed in the whole scallion green top and all.  I then add approx. 15-20 cups of cold water.  This method is a few more steps, but it is a bigger yield and super flavorful. I have a large crockpot.

Pure goodness I tell ya……

If you’re wondering why you should do this…….

The Health benefits of bone broth are enormous and are as follows:

Bone Broth Benefits.  Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine.  The collagen in bone broth heals your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation.

It is also waaaaaay cheaper to make your own!

The average cost of store bought beef broth (that is probably missing all the healthy ingredients above and also full of sodium) is on average $0.80 or more a can. ¬†A can of name brand broth can cost as high as $1.19 in our parts. ¬†I do buy it occasionally to have stocked in my pantry for when I run out of homemade!…and I purchase only when it’s on sale.

I let my broth go for anywhere from 24-48 hrs.  It cooks all through the night on low in my crockpot.  Never had a problem.  Of course use your judgement and do what works best for you.

After my bone broth is done cooking I pour in pint size mason jars and freeze.  Takes little or no time for this to thaw.  I use it in almost all my soups, stocks, or stews.  It is super yummy, and adds so much flavor. Not to mention, it is super good for you!

The key here is if your going to freeze this you must leave enough head space in the jar, or your jars will crack. ¬†Ask me how I know? ¬†Yep has¬†happened to me. ¬†I’ve made broth several times¬†and I still will have this happen if I am not diligent in making sure there is at least 2″ of head space in the jars. ¬†Secondly, don’t¬† screw your lids on too tight.

I can get anywhere from 10-12 pints from my broth.

Making each pint jar around .40-.42 cents. ¬†Now I did not factor the cost of the pint jars in. ¬†I¬†water bath can,¬†and have plenty of jars around. ¬†I also store many of my THM products and other bulk spices in Ball Canning Jars. ¬†I use only Ball Canning Jars, Yep I’m a glass jar snob.

These jars have multiple uses and you can usually get them for a decent price at big box stores like Walmart. ¬†I recently got a¬†whole case of pint jars free from a special Kmart was having as a Shop your way rewards member…Total Score!!!!

I hope you will give this method a try and save yourself some moolah, and gain all the health benefits of this amazing broth.

Enjoy your Weekend Mamas ūüôā

Be Beautiful and Be YOU!

Goal-Setters vs. Non Goal-Setters

Happy Thursday Lovely Mamas!

I hope you are having a super week!

I just finished watching a quick you tube video from Brian Tracy.  Brian Tracy is a well know author, speaker and personal motivator.

The video is approx. 5min……..

And worth every minute in my opinion

Remember the difference between a wish or a dream is GOALS!

What is it that you want to achieve this year?

Something you really want to succeed at…

Weight loss…..gaining health & wellness….paying off a huge or small debt or just getting your schedule in order to free up some space in your life?

Or¬†maybe all the above……..

Whatever it is…..you must have a plan in the form of written goals to achieve your greatest success!

Here is the link to the video.     The video is titled Goal-Setters vs. Non Goal-Setters.  I hope you find it as motivating as I do!!

 

Week 2 of #missiondeclutter

 

Onto the Bathroom kiddos……

Remember this is¬†NOT deep cleaning. ¬†It’s ditch stuff. ¬†Stuff that no longer serves you and is taking up space.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Half used bottles, bottles with missing caps, lotions, potions, or the like that you are¬†no longer using
  • Towels/washcloths¬†with stains or rips
  • Cleaning solutions that are no longer useful
  • Medications that are expired
  • Makeup, hair accessories, hairsprays, deodorants……..that you are no longer using.

Hint:¬† If you haven’t used it in over a year, you’re probably not going to. ¬†Ditch the stuff.

Seriously people hang on to clutter for all kinds of reasons, and sometimes those reasons are complicated.  If you struggle in the area of clutter there is almost always an underlying reason.

If it is difficult for you to throw stuff away (it used to be for me) than put those items that you question in a box. ¬†Place that box in an out of the way place. ¬†The¬†cellar, garage, attic, etc. ¬†If you haven’t gone looking for your “stuff” in 6 months……You may feel better at that point¬†about tossing the box. ¬†At least for now, those items¬†will be out of your space, and the area will be less cluttered.

Remember you don’t have to throw the stuff away. ¬†You can give it away. ¬†The goal is to remove the stuff that¬†you have to touch, manage, and move every day that you are no longer using.

I have created a pdf file that you can print here to help you check off the space as you declutter and stay on task.  I love lists and find them very helpful in helping me achieve my goals by breaking the goal down into bite size pieces.

As the old saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? ¬†One bite at a time.”

    #missiondeclutter  #gettinglean2017#weight#debt#stuff

 

Peace out Lovelies!!!