Menu Planning on $75
Week of November 20, 2017.

I love fresh starts and I look at every Monday as a fresh start to a new week. I thrive on the challenge of planning my weekly grocery budget with only $75. Mind you I don't do it just for the challenge I do it as a necessity because we live off of one income and that means living a frugally as possible so that we can do fun things as a family from time to time. 

This week before I started my menu plan for the week I took inventory of fridge and pantry and came up with a list of items that need to be used up. Here is the list:
- 3 Tomatoes
- 1 Salad Mix
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Broccoli & Cheese Soup
- 1/2 jar Spaghetti Sauce
- 4 Peppers
- Celery
- Apples

~Monday ~
Crustless Chicken Pot Pie
in the Instant Pot
with homemade biscuits

~ Tuesday ~
Butternut Squash Soup
Stuffed Quinoa Peppers
in the Instant Pot

~ Wednesday ~ 
Pork Chops with Apple Slices

~Thursday ~
Broccoli & Cheese Soup

~ Friday ~ 
Chicken Penne Florentine

~ Saturday ~ 
Garden Vegetable Soup

~ Sunday ~

Homemade Pizza

~ Baking this week ~
 Apple Crisp
~ Breakfast Ideas ~
Fresh Fruit

If you are looking for more menu inspiration be sure to check out Orgjunkie, she hosts a weekly menu plan Monday link up.   


How do you create your menu plan every week?

5 Budget Friendly Christmas Traditions

It's the most wonderful time of the year or so they tell me. 

I am not sure about you but for my family, it seems like our schedules start to get crazy busy come the month of December and we find ourselves more stressed than ever. We have so many fun family Christmas traditions that we are trying to fit into every weekend. 

In my Christmas on a Shoestring I talked about creating or having traditions for your family to do. I am going to give you a news flash - they don't have to cost money. There are many things you can do with our family during the Christmas season that will not break the bank or cost anything at all for that matter. 

Christmas Lights
Make some hot cocoa at home and plan a night to go for a ride to see the Christmas lights where you live. There are some spectacular displays out there to view with your family. Make some cookies the day before and hide them away to surprise the family with them on your drive. 

Christmas Movie
Pop some popcorn and plan to do a family movie night and watch your favourite Christmas movie. 

Christmas Concert
Schools and churches are always doing Christmas concerts and they are open for everyone to attend and are often free. Supporting community events and getting in the Christmas spirit at the same time. 

Christmas Carols
Turn the Christmas lights on and sing Christmas carols. You don't have to be a singer to enjoy this one just have fun with your family. Better yet go caroling at friends houses and bring some joy into their day by spreading the Christmas cheer. 

There is nothing like a games night by the tree to help get into the Christmas spirit. Spending time with your family is a much better investment than any gift you can buy. 

Let's Chat! 

What are some traditions you do with your family that is budget friendly? 

Have yourself a Frugal Little Christmas

Have yourself a frugal little Christmas and make your wallet smile! It is never too early to talk about Christmas. Planning your Christmas is just as important as planning your weekly menu. The more planning you put into it the more you can save. 

Having a frugal Christmas doesn't mean being cheap it means being wise with your spending choices. It is possible to have a frugal Christmas and also have tons of fun! Trust me we do it at our house and fun is something we definitely do have.

frugal christmas

The pressure from retailers and our children and family members can be overwhelming, to say the least. Everywhere we look there are sparkling lights and decorations galore. Even grocery stores become a treasure chest full of offers and sparkling wrapping paper and chocolates.

The problem is that if you really take a look at the offers they are not really bargains or good deals at all. The buy one get one, 1/2 price sale is only good if you need two of the same item otherwise you are draining your purse on something that is not needed. These offers are great if you have a large family but if you don't it isn't really a good deal.

My best advice to stick to your frugal Christmas is to stick to your budget. Also, a frugal Christmas can be fun because it takes away the taxing shopping away and puts a little creativity back into your life.

The Tree:

The most economical is artificial tree but I know some people love buying and cutting their down their tree every year. For us we use an artificial tree mainly due to allergies. Yep, I am allergic to Christmas trees, talk about humbug!

frugal christmas

The Decorations:

So many thrift stores sell Christmas decorations and you can find some real treasures this way. Also if you have small children there is no greater joy then seeing their faces light up when they have made some Christmas decorations and you have proudly displayed them on the Christmas tree. Let's face it even if you don't have small children we all love to colour and what is more fun then spending time together colouring to ornaments for your Christmas tree.

Talk a walk through a forest and grab some pinecones and either dry them out and use them or spray paint them various colours to makes your decor. Add a little glitter to them to help them sparkle up any decor.

A favourite ornament among children are dough ornaments or even cinnamon dough ornaments. As a matter of fact this year we were unpacking our Christmas decorations and we found two cinnamon dough ornaments that were over 20 years old and both still smell wonderful and are in great shape.

For any candles you use just use plain ones and add a ribbon it really adds a finishing touch. And here is my placemat idea for Christmas. A few years ago I hosted a table at church where we decorate for the adult Christmas banquet and I didn't have anything that matched so I went out and wrapping paper was on sale at Zellers and I am always on a budget. So I purchased some wrapping paper for $2 and that did 8 placemats for my table and it matched so nicely. I will hunt up the pictures I have of it.

Card & Wrapping tips:

One of my favourite things to do is to go to the local paper and buy the end of roll newsprint. They sell them really cheap. I use it as wrapping paper with some red and green yarn instead of ribbon. If newsprint is left over I just use it for my kids to draw on afterwards. Or if you want to have even more fun get out the pants and stamps and let your children decorate the paper for you.

For cards I recommend making them yourself or using a family picture and printing it and sending it out. I find most people just end up throwing out their cards. I know for my family I don't I keep them and scrapbook them every year.

frugal christmas


I know for me, I have entered contests online and ended up winning some amazing gifts for my family. Not to mention these were gifts I by know means could afford to buy for my family. So bonus all the way around. Also if budget is a problem you have to be very creative in what you do and can buy.

Making your own gifts from things around the house you already have. Bath bombs, Epsom salts for the tub, hand lotion, personal care items you name it. I watch the sales like crazy to get what I do get on sale and not to mention combine coupons too! Save, save, save!

I almost forgot we limit the number of gifts we give to people. We usually don't buy for the adults because well they really don't need anything and it is not in the budget. Secondly each one of our children only gets 4 gifts, a want, need, something to read and something to wear.

Let's Chat!

How to you have a frugal Christmas? What way do you save at Christmas time?

Turkey Stuffing (Video Included) #WhatsCookingWednesday

This Turkey Stuffing has been a hit at our house for years now. It is the tried and true recipe that I always pull out when we are doing a turkey dinner. I prefer to cook meals that do not recipe fancy ingredients - this is one of those recipes. 

The key to having a moist turkey is to not looking at it while it is cooking and that will keep all the moisture in the pan and not allow the turkey to dry out. 

2 Loaves of Bread, cubed
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
3 TBSP Sage
1 Onion, diced
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 Stalks Celery, diced

Combine all the ingredients listed above in a large pan the day before you are cooking the turkey. 

Once mixed allow to dry out overnight. 

Lets Chat!

How do you make your dressing?