Friday, June 5, 2009

Hellooooo Friday!

So yesterday I was on some sort of domestic/frugal rampage. First, I made my own broth. Then I made my own croutons. I've never made croutons before, but Erica made it sound really easy and it was. I was so excited about my homemade croutons that when Devin got home from work last night I threw the tupperware at him and said "EAT MY CROUTONS! I MADE THEM ALL BY MYSELF!" He took a bite and said "Ok. It's a crouton." Feeling slightly disappointed that he didn't get excited as I was, I said to him later "So you weren't so excited about my croutons" and he said "well I was expecting a taste explosion the way you got all excited about them." Heh. It's true. I do tend to get pretty excited for myself. Men need training in this area. Devin should know by now exactly how to respond. Every single time I make something new for a meal I stare at him as he takes his first bite and wait (picture a squirmy puppy in your mind) for his reaction. We've been married for almost 6 years so he should know by now to say something like "OH MY GOSH. THIS IS THE BEST ________ I HAVE EVER TASTED. YOU ARE SUCH AN UNBELIEVABLE CHEF. EMERIL HAS NOTHING ON YOU" or something. Then again, I've never seen Devin get THAT excited about anything.


My slow cooked whole chicken turned out to be really delicious. It was even better than when I have roasted them in the oven. If you're looking for a beautiful presentation for the table, this probably isn't the way to go (it literally fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pot), but it was so juicy and tender. I ended up seasoning it with some herb seasoning I had, stuffing it with a lemon slice and garlic, and covering it with lemon slices. I served roasted carrots and potatoes that I roasted in the oven, but I should have just thrown those in the pot too.

Our grocery budget has dwindled down to very little (ARRRGAGH! I'm trying SO HARD!) I don't know why this is happening because our budget has worked just fine for a couple of years now, but I'm really frustrated. Any tips would be much appreciated, even though I feel like I'm doing all the right things: coupons, stockpiling, planning meals, etc. etc. etc.

Here's a few pictures from around here:

My other baby seems too grown up now. She asked me to fix her hair for her and I almost fell over because the last time she let me do pigtails was two years ago!

This is Addison playing Princess Memory with my dad. Look how neatly she laid all the cards out!


Keri said...

Micah would have done summersaults for your croutons, he LOVES them. Once a week we have salad night with all the veggies in the fridge, chickpeas, parmesan, turkey bacon, leftover chicken breast and I usually make croutons. He pretty much just eats a little salad and a plate full of croutons.

Amanda said...

My biggest tip for saving money is to do just what you've done! Make as much from scratch as you can. I actually think it's kind of fun now. Believe it or not I'm learning how to make cheese. Hello? What's happened to me?? :)

Erica said...

Oh Marie. Seriously our men need a class or something on how to be excited for your wife and her frugalness. Marvin's line is, "That's great" but not in the tone I had hoped for.

I'm glad you made your own croutons. It's nice to have something else to our salads, since we have an abundance of lettuce right now.

As far as your budget, just start praying. It's neat how he provides for his children. Yes I do think awesome sales are an answer to prayer. There have been so many times when I have been almost out of something and just prayed that we could find the money that week to buy it and I'll open the paper and see that it's on sale. He's good and he'll show you how to trim some areas of your budget.

Em said...

I think you should stock up on whole chickens when they go on sale. I know I already mentioned it before, but I got THREE meals out of one $4. I made taquitos, soup, and a casserole with the meat--and I LOVE having the meat aleady cooked. It does take a little bit of time to shred a whole chicken with two fork, but it's worth it for me!

Mark and I also have talked about having at least one vegetarian meal a week to save money on meat(we haven't followed through yet). A night of just baked potatoes is really cheap and we both love it with tons of toppings--cheese, salsa, sour cream, green onions, etc...And we each eat two medium potatoes!

I love Addison's piggy tails!

Michele said...

i would have oohed and aahed over your croutons. i don't think there is a piece of bread around that i won't salivate over (okay, that's an exaggeration). i think it would be HYSTERICAL if you wrote the script out on a notecard and put it next to devin's plate. that would be a great laugh. let's do it when i visit.

i think the reason you are struggling with your budget is because you have one more child to diaper, wipe and clothe and you have a three year old who eats more and, in general, costs more.

i loved the pics. ainsley's smile is priceless and the pic of devin reading to the girls was so sweet.

roz said...

My mouth was watering as you described your chicken! One dish like that makes great leftovers, too (tacos, salad) provided there IS leftovers. And the croutons! They are not only good for salads, but also casserole toppings, egg casserole toppings, soups condiments, chili...BRAVO!
The budget...there are now 4 Rileys that need to be fed, watered, and clothed!
The photos of the family are adorable! I am crying now, not being there! Addison is so gorwnup looking! Love the pigtails! The perfectly lined up game dad, like daughter...think she'll be an engineer?

Edi said...

I really struggle with keeping our groceries to the same $$ amount each week. I feel like we save some weeks and do great and then other weeks I blow it big time. So I've started planning for the 'blow it big time' weeks and expect that I will go over once a month.
A few things I've done to help us are:
Cut back on our restaurant/date budget a bit and buy fun food to have a movie date when the kids are in bed. Then I roll the money I save in to the grocery budget.
I also grow my own herbs I would eventually, when space allows, like to have a pretty good sized veggie garden and grow things from seed. In late summer it'll really pay off when things are ready to harvest.
You do really well already so if I were you I'd also look for ways to add a little money to your buget if you can spare it anywhere. Even if its just for one week each month.
Other than that at the end of the day just keep doing your best.