Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kimmie in Real Life (weeks 13 & 14)

Three Months of no shopping...
$6,000 later...
after scraping every extra penny and putting it towards debt, our
(Home Equity Life of Credit)
is gone Forever!! WOOT!!!

(Ethan was with us when we paid our last payment at the bank and closed our account...it made a BIG impact on him as we have had this debt since he was one year old.
Original debt May 2003 was $25,000
October 2008 debt was $19, 762
May 2010 debt was $6,043
August 2010...completely paid off)

It feels SO good to have that debt gone
and to be able to snowball the money we were putting towards that debt, into "kicking Fannie Mae" out of the house and having our Student Loans gone forever as well.

to have those gone in 15 to 18 months and then it's on to paying off the Mortgage and being able to finally have the complete and utter
of being 100% debt free.

As Tracy and I were talking this past weekend,
we didn't feel like we were deprived one bit not going to the Grocery Store for three months and so we are going to
"regroup" this pay check and restock up on butter, cheese, flour, Salmon, chocolate chips, celery, onions, yeast, paper products and then we will be ready to go another few months of "no shopping as well".

(also, taking some money to put new Struts on my car...last month we had to replace the Fuel Pump in our family car...Mr. Smith is amazingly talented in being able to do almost every repair big OR small on our cars!)

It's actually SO much fun

and had I not taken on this challenge, I wouldn't be making the most awesome homemade tortillas in the world, wouldn't have a fridge of Granola Bars for my kids for snacks and probably wouldn't have ventured into making Homemade BUNS for Hot Dogs, Hamburgers/Sloppy Joes and Hoagie buns for sandwiches which are
more delicious than anything you can get at any bakery.

I am changed forever
as three months of no shopping has become a habit...
always preparing for tomorrow today
and using what we have, no matter how simple or extravagant it may be.
(YES, "Accountability is a good thing"!)

Here are some food highlights from the past two weeks.

(since Monday was spent unpacking from our backpacking trip and getting caught up on sleep and laundry, Wednesday was a Scout Dinner for Ethan's group and Tracy had a Scout Campout with his Scouts on Friday night, this week, was a pretty NON-typical week, without too much to share).

After three days of backpacking food the kids were happy to clean out the fridge and enjoy a Grape Smoothie and open faced tuna and veggie sandwich.

We were given some Plantains
from our neighbor and I didn't get anything done with them before we went on our backpacking trip and so I came home and they were completely black, however, when we opened them up they were perfectly fine and so we smashed them and turned them into Banana Bread.
(recipe...click here)

I took these random onions
and chopped them with the rest of the veggies and made up Lentil Stew.
This dish is truly one of of my favorite recipes!
(recipe...click here)

August 8th to 14th

ZOOM with brown sugar, powdered milk and raisins
Finished off the rest of our trail snacks and enjoyed dinner at “Merry Piglets”
(Fajitas with all the fixins’….SO yummy!)

Steel Cut Oats
Leftover Fajitas
(Dinner was Beef Stroganoff that we experimented with making from scratch as a something yummy we could make and eat on our backpacking trips)

Steel Cut Oats
Open Faced Tuna Sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes, Smoothie
Lentil Stew over Brown Rice
Banana Bread
(made Banana splits as we played BOGGLE as a family)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Banana Bread, apples, Lentil Stew/Brown Rice
(kids) Open Faced Tuna sandwiches, apples, Banana Bread
(dinner at Ethan’s Scout leader’s house)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Apple, Tuna Sandwich, banana bread
(kids) Cantaloupe, Tomato soup (that I had bottled up last fall)
Banana bread
Lentil Stew/brown rice

Steel Cut Oats
Cantaloupe, grapes, bananas, lentil stew
(dinner Tracy) Tin Foil dinner at his scout campout
(kids and I) Homemade Chili (we have to bring Chili to our ward Humanitarian project so I made it up Friday night and we enjoyed a bowl ourselves over baked potatoes)
Caramello popcorn

Took kids to town and enjoyed Nachos at Mi Casa

My awesome neighbor and friend Lisa
told me to come and pick Cherries

off her tree as they weren't going to get them picked before they got too ripe.
SO, Monday morning I got ready and headed down and spent an hour picking Cherries.
I ended up with 25 cups of Cherries
and spent the week pitting them and freezing them in Ziploc bags (5 cups per bag). Can't wait to pull these 5 cup bags out of the freezer and enjoy making Cherry Pie for Thanksgiving and during the winter months, OR, for making cobbler for Tracy's Scout campouts.
(pie recipe...click here)

The Kids favorite meals this week
were Baked Salmon and Spaghetti Pie.

We pulled out the Ice Cream freezer
and filled it up with ingredients, ice and Rock Salt and made up Homemade Ice Cream.
We pulled a bottle of Huckleberry Soda from our food storage and washed and cleaned Huckleberries we had picked the day before and made up Huckleberry Floats.

While we were eating our Huckleberry Floats
we glanced out our kitchen window and noticed that the sky was the same color as our Floats were.
What a coincidence
and I hurried and grabbed the camera and snapped a photo.
Within five minutes, the beautiful pink color was gone.

For some reason, when I make up these cookies they are very much enjoyed and I had two people ask me for the recipe for these this week.
Who would have thunk,
that basic Oatmeal cookies with a
of dried Cherries,
a handful of Raisins
about 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
and about an 1/8 cup of white chocolate chips would be such a hit.
WOW, talk about a delicious cookie!
(cookie recipe...click here)

We had to bring a Fruit Salad to Ethan's Scout dinner last week and I forgot that we had leftovers of this in our fridge. So, I pulled it out and blended it together with blueberries and strawberries and I had Ethan begging for more!

To make Taco Meat stretch,
I add in cooked beans in with the Ground Beef. Since I didn't have time to un-thaw cooked beans from my freezer, I added in a can of Kidney Beans and Great Northern Beans and it about doubled my Taco filling.
(just cooked up the ground beef, added in 1/4 cup taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water, brought to boil and added in drained beans and let simmer for 30 minutes).
This is really kid friendly as it makes it not so spicy for little ones.

Can I just say that
I LOVE to make tortillas!!

I made up a batch of tortillas, lined them in soup bowls and filled them with lettuce, veggies and taco meat and they were absolutely delicious!
(recipe...click here)

For dinner
I made up a Dutch Apple Pie from pie filling I bottled up last year and we enjoyed it with our leftover ice cream that we made earlier in the week.
(recipe...click here)

I also made up a batch of Granola Bars,
so I can have snacks to pack in lunches or snacks for the kids to enjoy after school, as the first day of school is this week.
(recipe...click here)

I took an inventory of my freezer to see what I had left as we are going to be getting LOTS of zucchini and squash from our garden over the next few weeks.
I pulled out some squash puree and made a batch of pumpkin muffins.
(recipe...click here)

What a happy sight it is
to go out to your garden and see vegetables that are ripe and ready to pick.
We had a large head of cabbage from our garden
that we picked and it was the perfect accompaniment to our Dutch Oven dinner that Tracy cooked up for us for Sunday dinner.

August 15th to 22nd

Breakfast in one
Southwestern Chicken and Rice that I pulled out of the freezer and we dipped tortillas chips in it with the rest of our salsa

Steel Cut Oats
Took kids school shopping and had Breakfast at Perkins
(Tracy had back to school lunch at his work)
Salmon, fried potatoes, sliced tomatoes
Huckleberry floats

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Leftover Salmon, Fruit Cake and apple
(kids) Southwestern Chicken and Rice with tortilla chips
Multi Grain Rolls, Spaghetti Pie, Snickerdoodles

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Leftover Spaghetti Pie, Multi Grain Rolls. Snickerdoodles, apple
(kids) Smoothie, Multi Grain Rolls, carrot sticks,
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Multi Grain Rolls, Fruit and Nut Cookies

Steel Cut Oats
Leftover Wild Rice Soup, apples, Multi Grain Rolls,
Taco Salad with homemade tortillas, Dutch Apple Pie A’la Mode

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy had Taco Salad,
I had to race home from work and get Jade to the High School to register before 1:00 and so we grabbed Tacos from Taco Time and the kids and I went and sat on a blanket at the park and ate lunch)
Kids had Taco Salad for dinner
Tracy and I went on a date and split a Pork Salad from Café Rio

Pancake breakfast!
Smoothie and Chicken Casserole (Homemade Mac and Cheese)
Apple slices and Pumpkin muffins
(took the kids to dinner and enjoyed Western Lemon Chicken as celebration for paying off our debt!!)

“Tendah Juicy” Dutch Oven Pork served over rice and with steamed cabbage from our garden
“Brinner”…pancakes and fried eggs for dinner

Stay tuned next week
as I share the amount of food we used during this three month adventure and what challenges I encountered as well.

Gotta run and spend the last day of summer vacation with my kiddos and get them all ready for the first day of school

(also need to whip up a batch of Multi-Grain rolls and Double chocolate cookies as my kids begged to have these for their first day of school lunches)

I treasure these moments greatly and I'm savoring the last of my One on One time of the summer enjoying a wonderful day with two of the world's greatest Kids...
Jade and Ethan

Talk to you soon!


CB said...

I am CHEERING for you guys!! Good job kicking that debt right out the door - You are doing great!!
$6,000 is quite an accomplishment in 3 months.
It always feels great to reach goals and the way you did it with self reliance also has to feel wonderful!!!
I think I have directed quite a few people to your blog of late (wink) who are trying to use food and create menu's in a more economical way - it is truly a skill and one you have mastered:)

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

You guys totally rock.
You amaze and inspire!
Your meals look so good and you make them sound so easy.

Enjoy the last day of summer vacay! It's gonna be weird to hear those school buses going tomorrow.
Lots of excitement all over town.

Went huckleberrying today with my folks. Love huckleberry season.

We are having huckleberry pancakes. I can promise that Howie will make some comment like "hmm breakfast for dinner huh?"
32 years of marriage and if I do a breakfast for dinner he ALWAYS says that!
I love his predictability!

I'm excited to read about the food you used while you were NOT going to the store.
Did you realize you were going to do this and stock way up ahead of time?

Sondra said...

Oh yeah!! Happy dance for you!! I love that you were able to pay off that debt.

I've been working really hard on mine again - with gazelle intensity. I hope I can pay it off as fast as you did.. You are such an inspiration.

I love all of your living frugally ideas with awesome meals - not to mention the extra love in everything you make for your family. Such motivation!!

I'm happy for you! FREEDOM!

Our Paper Plates said...

So happy for your financial accomplishment! Keep at it - the end is in sight!! Also, I love, love the idea of adding beans to taco meat to make it last. I prefer for my family to eat less meat anyways, so this is the perfect solution!

Ann Marie said...

*Standing ovation!*

I am SOOO Happy for you!!
~ After being unemployed twice.. we have some credit card debt to pay off.. and I HATE it. It was soo nice only having our home and Suburban to pay on. I know what a "weight" debt is.. and we are trying to be very frugal right now.. so we too can have that debt free feeling again!

Your meals all look really yummy. ~ Again.. your killing me with that pie picture... MMMMMMMM.