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February 2017

$7 Dinner ~ Chicken Quesadilla

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…plus 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:

As recently posted about cooking for an army even though there are only two of us, I purchase boneless skinless family pack chicken only when it is on sale for $1.69 per pound.  I am now buying two packages to make sure I always have a deal in my freezer…well look at these recent smokin’ deals.  Received a $2 off coupon the already low $1.69 per pound chicken, and also just this week, for the bone in white meat chicken breast….drum roll please…$0.79 per pound…WOO HOO!!!  I will use these on an evening when I get home from work, and am not in a rush to eat…the chicken breast with a bone take about 45 minutes to an hour to bake in the oven at 350 degrees…these pieces are huge!!!  I will get one meal out of each piece (there are 4 pieces in the package) for both my teenage son and myself.

      

For this week….our recipe is….the famous Chicken Quesadillas…

1 – 1 1/2 pounds of cooked boneless skinless chicken breast ($1.69 – $2.54)

1 – 2 Joseph’s Lavish wraps ($0.60 – $1.20)

1/2 to a whole onion sauteed ($0.10 – $0.20 based on a bag from Aldi’s)

1/2 to a whole green pepper ($0.50 – $1.00)

4 – 8 ounces of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese ($0.90 – $1.79)…I shred it myself as it has no other ingredients and is less expensive

1 tablespoon of butter ($0.10)

Directions:

  1. Cook your chicken   use a lil coconut oil or butter to saute.
  2. Saute your onion and pepper in a lil more coconut oil or butter.
  3. Next is the fun part…puttin’ it all together…butter the surface of your skillet and lay the wrap down, then layer the cheese, chicken, and veggies… add a lil more cheese to the top, then flop the other half of the wrap on the top to cover that yummilicious goodness.
  4. Let it cook on the one side for a minute or two, then carefully flip it over to grill the other side.

Slice into 1 – 2 inch strips and serve with sour cream & salsa…all for just $4.00 – $6.93 (these prices do not include the extra savings I received from the $2 off coupon)…there is plenty of extra moolah here is you want to add some steamed broccoli…if you choose to cook the maximum amount, you will have ton of food….sssoooooooo….EAT UP!!!

KEEP TRIMMIN’ OFF Friends!!!

Administering CP”R” ~ Hump Day

“R”est, “R”elax…and get “R”echarged & “R”ejuvenated

In short…

  • Eat Well
  • Move More
  • Stress Less
  • Love More…

Simple Successes to keep you “R”eaching toward your goal…to all things Trim ‘n’ Healthy:

  • THM De-Fatted Peanut Flour (a heaping tablespoon), 1/2 – 1 cup of Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt, on-plan sweetener to taste (for me, 1 teaspoon of Gentle Sweet)…That’s it!  Pair with an apple for a super healthy “E” snack
  • Rolled up deli ham or turkey with a cheese stick in the middle…”S”
  • Make a batch of muffins (Page 285, I substituted blueberries for the raspberries and skipped the glosting)…don’t forget to freeze some 🙂
  • I eat eggs a few times per week…always scrambled, 2 eggs and a hefty splash of egg whites….sometimes veggies, sometime bacon or sausage…always topped with coconut oil & nutritional yeast…yummo!!!

    

“R”escue yourself from a place called done…

GET TRAINED, SAVE A LIFE, YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID!!!

We LOVE you…Be Beautiful and Be YOU!!!

Administering CP”R”

Happy Monday THFFs (Trim Healthy Friends Forever)…Yesarootie, we are moving on to “R”…y’all are a bunch of smarties 🙂

First hit that “R”eset button…DAILY if you have to!

Today we are focusing on our “R”outine…so here’s how it goes for me…

I’m up at 5:30 a.m. (Monday – Friday)…take a drink (after all our body has had no hydration all night…did you know that sometimes you are thirsty, not hungry???)…this is a great time to drink some Okra Water (click HERE for an awesome post by Michelle)…get showered…then I turn on the tea kettle…back to get dressed while the water is heating…back to the kitchen to steep oolong tea…dry my hair, put make up on, brush teeth…

6:30 a.m.  Boy Wonder (my teenage son) gets up…he showers and gets dressed, I put the finishing touches on our lunches and make breakfast.

6:50 a.m.  We eat breakfast.

7:05 a.m.  The heat is on to get out the door by 7:17 a.m. the latest…he brushes his teeth and puts contacts in, I move our lunches toward the door.

7:10 a.m.  I am washing the breakfast dishes while he reads a portion of the Bible to us (we usually read Proverbs in the morning)…sometimes we pray at home, sometimes we pray in the car on the way to school.

7:45 a.m.  I arrive at work, get settled in and grab a cup of coffee w/cream…I then put my sipper cup cap and straw in (if I don’t do this first thing, sometimes I “forget” to start drinking until almost noon, which makes for a very thirsty mama at night time…not good!).

10:30 a.m.  Grab one of those Super Simple Successes Snacks (sign up for our closed FB page to follow along or click on our Simple Successes in the categories section on the right side of the blog).

1:30 p.m.  Lunch time!!!  It’s all “P”repared, because my “P”riorities at night are to be “P”repping for a successful “P”lan to take care of me.

5:30 p.m.  Get home and pull together dinner (Boy Wonder does his homework)…we discuss on the weekend what we “might” want for dinner during the week…I am doubly blessed to have a son that is not a picky eater and enjoys our Simple Successes…He is very fit so he eats tons of carbs to keep that teenage body fueled…I have to be properly fueled and satisfied so that I can “R”esist eating off plan or “P”revent from crossing over too often.  Usually at some point while dinner is cooking, I throw in a load of laundry (have I ever told you that I am a time management extraordinaire?!?!?!).  My son also is a huge help at putting the laundry in the dryer for me…next he will be learning how to use the washer so he is “P”repared when he goes to college in 2021…where has the time gone?!?!

6:00 p.m.  “R”est & “R”elax (we will talk more about this on Wednesday) which means we watch a show together for 1 – 1 1/2 hours (more so in the Winter)…he gets plenty of exercise with 2 hours of sports practice after school each day…I have to work REALLY hard at making time for me to exercise…however, I have much success maintaining my weight on THM with very little regular, consistent exercise.

7:30 p.m.  Boy Wonder will wash the dinner dishes (we are a team, and if I cook he often does the dishes…I remind him that if I have to do all of the work, then we have less time to do things together AND that we are a family, and we ALL pitch in…I am “C”oaching him and “P”reparing him to be a great husband someday, and I am “P”raying that God will give him a great wife that will “R”espect him and have the same values).  This is the time when I am doing the majority of my “P”rep work, lunches are “P”lanned and “P”acked (his sandwich is made in the morning, so it is fresh), and I “P”lan what we are having for dinner the next evening (take food out of freezer and maybe do a little extra leg work to investigate what is in the fridge that needs to get used up!!!)…We also set our clothes out for the next day.

8:15 p.m.  We sit back down to “R”elax and “P”repare for a great night’s “R”est (sometimes I will use this time to fold laundry and put it away)…I have a cup of herbal tea and maybe one of those AMAZING on-plan yummies that we GET to have…like:  a blueberry muffin, skinny chocolate, Treeces, Chocolate Trimtastic Cake, or if I’m eating “E” for dinner, I like the Bust a Myth Banana Cake…I ain’t on no diet…I am on the Food Freedom THM Train!!!

9:30 p.m.  Nighty, night 🙂

Saturday & Sunday we sleep in then have morning devotions…we usually have a big breakfast, clean up and then enjoy the day.  Our church has a Saturday evening church service, so we go to that…afterwards, my son goes to youth group, and I get to go out to dinner with friends from church (not always on plan, but I get right back at it on Sunday morning)…Sunday is our day of “R”est…we really kick it down several notches until around noon or 1 p.m.  We enjoy the afternoon and then focus on laundry/meal “P”rep…when my son is at his dad’s home, I utilize this time to move mountains at home (cleaning, gardening, and to get a little bit of exercise too)…he has an amazing dad, and I am very thankful that through the years, we have been able to maintain a healthy relationship for the sake of our son…also my in-laws have been a tremendous blessing to us both.

So THFFs….hit that “R”eset button, “R”ead the THM Plan book, work on getting your “R”outine established…and we will see you on Wednesday!!!

Be Beautiful and be YOU!!!

Frugal Friday ~ The Cost of Convenience Foods

Happy Friday Lovelies!

Today we are talking about the hefty cost of convenience foods.  I get that there are times in busy seasons of life, that convenience (pre-packaged) type foods are a life saver for the busy Mama.

The gift of time and convenience that you get may be worth it, but you are forking over your hard earned cash to get the convenience of someone preparing ahead for you.  You are also paying a very hefty price for cute convenient packaging.

Let’s take a look at our example:

This is an example of a quick snack. There are (4) 4oz. cups of Diced Peaches.  These are priced anywhere from $1.99 to 2.99 depending if you get them on sale or not.  They are currently $2.79 at my local supermarket this week (if you purchase store brand, you can sometimes find these for around $1.50).  At my local stores current price of $2.79….it makes each 4 oz. serving approx. .69 cents each.

Example #2

This is a pic of a 290z. can of Peaches.  I purchased my can at my Local market for $1.50 on sale.  I did take a pic but am having tech issues trying to get the picture loaded. No surprise there.  At any rate, I can get approx. 7.25  4 oz. servings from this can.  The ones I purchased were in heavy syrup. I just put them in my colander and rinse them in cold water, and discarded the juice.  Perfect on plan Peaches.  That makes each 4 oz. serving approx. .20 cents!!  Less than 1/2 the cost of the convenience servings and nearly double the serving size!!  If you want more volume, you can just dice the Peaches with a kitchen knife!

I prepare the entire 7 servings when I open the can.  I love my Pyrex Storage Containers.  I switched from using plastic to glass quite some time ago.  Glass is friendlier on the environment, it doesn’t stain, can be washed in the dishwasher, and it is much better for our health.  Plus I am more comfortable storing food in glass.  I get a week’s worth of servings from the 29 oz. can.

I put a tablespoon or two of Cottage Cheese in with my serving of fruit in the morning.  It is often my mid morning or late afternoon snack at work. 🙂

Sometimes it doesn’t seem that the pennies add up, but they do!

Groceries are a families second biggest expense (behind the mortgage), and there are so many ways to save!

So to recap….I would need to purchase 2 packages of the convenience Diced Peaches @ 2.79 x 2 =$5.58 for the same amount of the $1.50 29 oz. can.  For very little effort (the effort of opening the canned Peaches and placing them in the dishes….5 minuntes total), I save $4.08!!!

I’m not saying there is not ever a time to purchase these type of convenience fruit packs, but for very little effort, I’m saving the $4.00.  If you purchased these weekly, that would be over $16.00 a month savings!

Now that’s some serious savings!!!

Be Beautiful…Be YOU!

Administering C”P”R ~ Hump Day

Happy Wednesday THFFs…so have you been “P”repping?!?!  If so, let us know…

So do you want to be successful at regaining YOU?…Apply the “P”rinciples of THM…

If you don’t have these books yet, we highly recommend getting them…please click on the Amazon Affiliate link on the right side of the blog to order them now and help support our blog at no extra cost to you…thank you!

We can steer you to some key pages (they are all good to read, but often referencing the food lists will help keep you learning):

  • S Foods are on Pages 34 – 38
  • E Foods are on Pages 49 – 53
  • FP Foods are on Pages 58 – 60
  • Crossovers are on Pages 61 – 65
  • S Helper chapter is a quick, easy read on Pages 66 – 68

THFFs, have “P”riorities…this may require doing some things…well, you know, like put away your phone (of course, after you read the blog post 🙂 ), turn off the TV, remove yourself from the couch (remember, I LOVE YOU)…maybe just like keeping a food log, keep a log of how you spend your time…it most likely will be eye opening.

So what do I do to keep my “P”riorities straight…I refuse to go back to wearing “those clothes” again.  I make myself stay in a pair of jeans (or control top stockings) that are slightly uncomfortable and help me to stay feeling full, instead of throwing on my sweats or jammies before eating.  When I have an off plan eating event, there is no doubt that some of those old feelings are going to follow too (tired, hot flashes, loss of vitality, cravings, etc.)…I “P”refer to not go back to that place called “done”…but I have to “C”hoose to wait 3-4 hours, then get right back at it…I am not “P”erfect at this and “C”ontinue to make “P”rogress in this area of my life.

There is just me and my teenage son so there are plenty of leftovers from these two recipes from the THM Cookbook….Cowboy Grub “E” (Page 59) & Chicken Pot Pie “S” (Page 137)…both very filling and perfect for these cold winter days.

      

“P”eeps, you are important to us and that’s why we share with you…because I am a Drive Thru Sandy Sue…I often have to remind myself that part of keeping on track is applying the “P”rinciples of the “P”lan to my daily routine…and remember “P”eeps 🙂 to “P”RAY for God’s wisdom as to what will work best for you…

Be BEAUTIFUL and be YOU!!!

GET TRAINED, SAVE A LIFE, YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID!

Administering C”P”R

Happy Monday Peeps….you guessed it…we are moving on to the “P” in CPR…

Firstly, let me say…it is an amazing feeling consistently eating on-plan healthy, trimmifying food…I feel so ALIVE!!!

Remember we have to “C”hoose during “C”haos & “C”risis to be “C”onsistent in order to have positive “C”onsequences…boy is that a mouthful that wraps up last week 🙂

This week we need to focus on being “P”repared…within that word is “P”rep…yep that’s what we are going to do…rarely do I ever make “a meal”…from one cooking session, usually much evolves 🙂

For instance, cooking an entire family pack of boneless skinless chicken, is a normal occurrence in our household…I only buy it when it is $1.69 per pound at our local Price Chopper or Hannaford grocery stores, and I recently started buying two packs at a time…As I continue to work towards being debt free, my budget has more flexibility to stock up on sales which saves me more money to become debt free faster…you are not going to want to miss both Michelle’s & my perspective on becoming debt free…so stay tuned & sign up for notifications when new posts are published by getting on our email list located on the right side of  the blog.

I also buy the family pack of hamburger at Aldi.  With this, I make hamburgers one night, then fry up the rest of meat & freeze for later use for one of our favorite Taco Salad dinners or “spaghetti” squash & meat sauce.  I also use a variety of frozen meats to make pizza casserole….by cooking in this manner…means you only have to clean up a big mess once = PRICELESS!!!

Before I sit down to relax at night, the bulk of our food is “P”repared for the next day.  I cook dinner, we eat, then my 13-year old son washes the dishes while I prepare our lunches for the next day.  We then get our clothes ready & bags packed (yep, I’m a bag lady!!!), then we are able to relax…trust me…it is not relaxing when you are rushing out the door at 7:20 a.m. and realize the basketball uniform is not washed!!!

It has been a goal of mine to get better balanced, and quite frankly, I struggle in this area of my life…Michelle often lovingly reminds me that “perfection is the enemy of progress”…I am often reminding myself that working on a de-cluttering project for even just 15 minutes is PROGRESS 🙂

So what do I get ready at night???  GGMS, salad (dressing is sitting on top of my salad in the fridge so I don’t forget it!…can you tell I’ve done that a few times?!?!)  I take slices of bread out of freezer and put in a sandwich bag (squeeze out as much air as possible to keep the sprouted grain bread soft, if I am eating a sandwich the next day).  I put cottage cheese or fat free Greek yogurt (to this I add a tinge of Gentle Sweet) in a small container, silverware and napkins are all packed the night before…ohhhh and the straw & cap to convert the mason jar into a sipper cup.

    

Cook for an army to get your arsenal full and…..

“P”repare to be successful 🙂

Be Beautiful and be YOU!

KEEP TRIMMIN’ OFF

Frugal Friday

Happy Frugal Friday lovelies!

I am writing you from South Texas and am so excited to share today’s tip with you!

We are very close to the Mexican border.  There are HUGE produce stands on every corner, and the prices are unbelievable.  Remember now, I am an Upstate New York girl :-), and frequently get sticker shocked in the produce aisle!

   

The prices are waaaay below what I am used to paying in NY.  Even in our peak produce time which is Summer.

These are bags of Oranges for $2.00…I have seen several Orange groves as well.

Can you say Dreamsicle Shake?

Huge bags of limes…Yep just $1.00

This is a pic of a grapefruit tree.  Looks like an orange tree but when you get up close, it is a beautiful delicious ruby red grapefruit tree.  We purchased a bag the size of the orange bag for $2.00.  We have been enjoying them all week for breakfast.

So what is today’s frugal tip you ask?

Beg, borrow & steal your way in your friends heart, so when they come home, they will fill their car with all of your produce!!

On the first day here, I was able to purchase over 50# of fresh produce for $5.00 The Citrus fruit alone in the quantity we purchased would cost a fortune.  I got gorgeous Avocados (sorry forgot to get a pic of those) 3/1.50.  They were huge!  All those Avocados we purchase at home (that state from Mexico) and pay at least a $1.00 each, well those are the ones!

It is truly bountiful here…….

Today we are off to South Padre Island……You guessed it…with a beautiful fruit salad for lunch paired with Greek Yogurt!

We are watching the weather here and for all our friends in NY and on the East Coast……stay warm!!

Be Beautiful…Be YOU!!!

Administering “C”PR ~ Hump Day

Well HeeeLLLLoooo…THFFs…we have more oxygen for you…after all, if you were to only eat once a week, you would starve to death!!!

So let’s focus on a few more words…

On Monday, we talked about…”C”haos, “C”risis, and “C”hoice (a.k.a. when life gets real)…hitting that reset button.

So…what next?  “C”onsistency is KEY…although I am not at goal (still 10 – 15 lbs. that I would like to lose), I have been able to maintain within 5 lbs. of my lowest weight since being on THM (my Trimmaversary is 2/20/2015)…read my story HERE

I love that THM has a maintenance plan, and this is what has allowed me to stay fairly consistent with my weight.  As a single mom, life gets insane real quick, and I do eat off plan occasionally….however, I live by that rule….a new start is just 3 hours away 🙂

I try not to eat off plan food daily, and if I go through a period where I do eat off plan for a couple of days, I try to make sure I don’t overdo it everyday (eat in moderation) then get back at it as soon as possible, i.e., don’t go back to your old way of doing things (we will talk more about this next week).

Being “C”onsistent is a skill and needs to be practiced often.  The number one issue with being “C”onsistent is that you have to do things over and over and over again.  It’s not a one, two, or three time choice…being consistent is actually a habit.

On Monday, we gave you an entire day of on plan trimmifying “C”hoices.  Here goes another day…French Toast in a bowl (Page 266); 1 or 2 light cheese sticks w/an apple; half a lavish wrap w/ranch or mayo, leafy greens & chicken salad and fresh cut veggies; snack Fat Stripping Frappa (Page 240); dinner could be Lazy Lasagna (Page 140) or Pizza Casserole (pick your favorite pizza toppings, like already cooked ground hamburger maybe from the freezer, pepperoni, already cooked sausage, then add a lil pizza sauce, top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees until heated through (approx. 20-30 minutes).  I try to have these cooked meats readily available for busy seasons.  When I cook, even though there is only two of us, I cook for a small army 🙂

Now comes the fun part…practice being “C”onsistent…and be beautifully you!!!  We LOVE you!!!

A favorite saying of mine…

MAKE YOUR CONSEQUENCES BE GREAT ONES!!!

Administering “C”PR

Yep, you guessed it…the first letter we are going to focus on is “C”.

First, let’s look at the definition…CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  It is an emergency lifesaving procedure that is done when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.  This may happen after an excessive amount of off plan food is consumed due to “C”haos or “C”risis (a.k.a. when life gets real) or just a plain old “C”hoice…you are supposed to be laughing at this point!!!  Of course that is not the full correct definition….BUT….we have all been there or maybe still are there.

So…what next?  We have talked about…hitting that reset button, and we HIGHLY recommend it.

By hitting the reset button, it prevents further damage…here it comes…the letter “C” that we are focusing on…“C”hoice…when you get to a place called “done”, “C”hoose to apply the principles of THM to your eating habits, and this will require reading the THM Plan Book.  By choosing on-plan eating, you choose to feel better in a few days.  You choose to start healing in your body.  You choose to have more energy (Vitality).  You choose to stop that lil nasty apparatus in the bathroom (a.k.a. the scale) from creeping higher.

We have to admit…THM allows us super yummy options to eat…that is one of the things I love about the plan…we “GET” to replace most of our unhealthy eating habits with amazingly healthy, simple, satisfying CHOICES!!!  Start with coffee w/cream or tea, bacon & eggs w/coconut oil smeared on top for breakfast, Triple Zero yogurt & fruit for a snack, large leafy green salad w/deli meat & EVOO Good Seasons salad dressing for lunch, GGMS to sip, celery w/All Natural Peanut Butter for an afternoon snack, meatloaf and veggies sauteed in BUTTAH for dinner (I use baking blend instead of bread crumbs in my meatloaf mix)…I’m stuffed just thinking about all of that food…just make sure all of this yummy goodness is spaced out in 3 – 4 hour increments.

CHOOSE to be beautiful by being you!!!

Have a Happy Monday THFFs (Trim Healthy Friends Forever)…

 

Help…I Don’t Know Where to Start!

So maybe you didn’t quite make it to our declutter challenge…No worry Mama, We gotcha covered!

If your room is so cluttered, you are not quite sure where to start (no judgement here, I’ve been there), start at the surface areas.

Those places your eye sees first.  Tops of dressers, night stands, or bookshelves.  If you are like me, you have all 3 of these pieces of furniture in your room.

Surface areas is a great place to start the declutter process.  First, it gives you instant gratification and a great sense of accomplishment.  It’s typically where we store junk, water bottles, old magazines, etc., etc., so it usually goes straight to the trash bin, no overthinking there Mama!

Secondly that sense of accomplishment is a great motivator to help you keep going and dig a little deeper.

Don’t make it too difficult!  Just take a few minutes per day to start…even if it’s just one drawer at a time…perfection is the enemy of progress.

#missiondeclutter

#gettinleanin2017of#weight#stuff#debt