Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Road Conditions by Rock the Snow Dog


Hello! This is Rock the Snow Dog reporting on today's road conditions in South Carolina.

It's a great morning to be out for a walk. They say it's 21 degrees and feels like 12 degrees. Whatever. It's beautiful! Of course, a nice heavy fur coat comes in handy for days like this. This part is easy for me since I was born with one! Those without heavy fur may need to get more creative.
Mommy is walking awfully slow. Come on! Are you afraid you're going to fall or something? I'm not having any trouble getting traction. But then, I have 4-paw drive!

I ran into my favorite neighbor. We go way back to when I was a wee pup and she rescued me! So I love her a lot.  She told me her husband (my other fave) took twice as long to get to work this morning. She also stayed up on her porch and we were on the other side of the road. Whatever. These people seem to think it's cold and treacherous.

I don't see what the problem is. This weather is great!

This white stuff covers up all kinds of lovely smells. Lots of things to stop and sniff.

So here's what I think about the current road conditions.

Get out! Enjoy! Walk. And walk and walk. Sniff everything. Run around the yard. Pull your humans with you.

Happy Snow Day, everyone!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pantry Challenge Menu Plan

This is the second week of my two week pantry challenge. Random is the name of the game this week!

We're starting the Whole30 on Saturday so my goal is to clean out the bits and bobs before then.

The pantry challenge has gone pretty well. We've been sick and not quite up to par most of the last couple of weeks so our appetites haven't been normal. I've used up a lot of things but we still have some odds and ends.

Last weekend, I made a huge pot of chicken broth with bones and veggie scraps I'd saved in the freezer. I also added a package of chicken legs which added a good flavor. I made a big pot of chicken soup since we were sick which not only used the chicken from the broth but also a few carrots and celery that were nearing expiration. We ate on the soup for several days. Besides the soup, I was able to freeze 8 quarts of broth for later use. We were out of broth so this will come in handy in the weeks to come. Yay for getting a 16 quart stockpot for Christmas!

My initial goal for the challenge was to spend $0 for the two weeks in order to save the grocery budget for the Whole30. First, we were sick and needed a few supplies, then Andy's parents came to visit this past weekend so I bought a few extra things because of having company. Turned out to be a good move since I was sick while they were here. My sweet mother-in-law ended up cooking! I was a terrible hostess...:-)

In preparation for the weekend, I did make banana muffins from frozen bananas and baked an apple pie I had frozen. My mother-in-law brought some grapes, a bag of salad, an apple, a cucumber and some green onions which she thought might go bad at her house so we're eating those things up too!

Total we've spent to date is $41.03. Not too bad and a few food items will carry over to our Whole30 meal plan.

I scrawled a tentative meal plan for the week. We'll see how it goes from day to day. It really depends on how much we feel like eating! Some of the combinations are super weird-- we may change them up as the week goes on but really, who cares? We're eating things up!

  • Hard boiled eggs, banana muffins, grapes
  • Creamed eggs and waffles (I really want waffles before starting the Whole30!)
  • Eggs in various forms
  • Texas Chili (no beans; from this cookbook) with cheese, sour cream, green onions and olives, salad
  • Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce (from freezer), Cheesy Potato Balls (from freezer; made with leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving!), steamed broccoli
  • Spaghetti--have a half bag of rice pasta to use and a small jar of spaghetti sauce from freezer or we may use leftover Texas Chili on the pasta--we'll see! Also have a small amount of Parmesan cheese to use up. 
  • Cheeseburger Soup (from freezer), Sweet Potato Souffle (from freezer; from Thanksgiving!) 
  • Fish or chicken with whatever veggies and sides we have left or random leftovers
What are you eating this week? And if you're also doing a pantry challenge this month, how's it going? Please share in the comments!

**This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday over at I'm An Organizing Junkie! 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Two-Week Pantry Challenge

It's a new year and my pantry and freezer are full of bits and bobs of random ingredients.

Time to clean it out!

We'll be doing a two-week pantry challenge this month in preparation for starting the Whole30 cleanse on January 18.

Time will tell, but I don't think I'll need to purchase much in the way of groceries to get us through the next two weeks. So my financial goal with this challenge is to spend $300 for both January and February groceries. $300 is the amount I normally spend each month on groceries so to make it stretch for two months would be awesome! Don't know if it's totally doable with the cleanse (meat, produce, healthy fats) but I'm going to give it a try. February is a short month too, which should help me out!

Even spending $400 instead of $600 for two months would be good! We have a couple savings goals this year and being able to save $200 or more in the first two months of the year would make me very happy!

I'm starting the challenge today since we just got back yesterday from spending time with family. I'll update a couple of times during the challenge as to what we're eating and how we're doing money-wise.

Anyone else eating from their pantry this month in order to clean things out and save a little cash?