Tag: macros

Let’s Prep. . .Crockpot meals

Let’s Prep. . .Crockpot meals

September 10, 2017

Hey, Everyone,

It’s the middle of September. I cannot believe it. The goal yesterday was to make some crockpot meals. I’m jumping on that train. I’ve heard that it helps save money in the long run (if the freezer doesn’t break, power doesn’t go out, or kids randomly leave the freezer door open). I hope none of those events transpire. To work up to this main event I had been slowly eating all the junky freezer food in the freezer, and not replacing it so there was enough space to store these wonderful freezer meals.

It’s the middle of September. I cannot believe it. The goal yesterday was to make some crockpot meals. I’m jumping on that train. I’ve heard that it helps save money in the long run (if the freezer doesn’t break, power doesn’t go out, or kids randomly leave the freezer door open). I hope none of those events transpire. To work up to this main event I had been slowly eating all the junky freezer food in the freezer, and not replacing it so there was enough space to store these wonderful freezer meals.

Since I do not have a large freezer. It is a standard size freezer that doesn’t hold a lot of food in general. I froze the meals flat so that there was enough room for the many meals that I want to make, that is a combination of yesterdays meals and future meals. I used Pinterest and went through this site to print out the crockpot meals (with recipes) that fit our food guidelines and also sounded delicious.

In the end, we did the last recipe section labeled 6 Make Ahead Freezer Meals in 50 minutes because I was excited about the time aspect of the recipes, and it seemed like the most affordable food combination than the others.

We also do not have a large crockpot and I ended up not needing to halve the recipes like I was afraid might have been needed. We have a 4-quart size slow cooker because it was on sale last year at Wal-Mart for $10. I had never worked with a slow cooker before and I gotta say that I sometimes wish that I got a bigger one that could hold a small chicken or turkey, but hindsight is 20/20. I’m content with what we have.

us-money-billsI made this food this week because it’s a paid weekend and am going to try and keep it up by doing it again almost every two weeks from now to coincide with my pay schedule. And then I’m going to plan out the FOE food schedule so all that needs to be done is to take out a meal the night before, and put it in the crockpot in the morning. Will save some money because then even if I’m too busy to make the meal myself, all my amazing husband has to do is follow the directions on the bag and be done with it until dinner time. Otherwise, we will not be financially diligent with our money with all the eating out we would most likely be doing.

These freezer meals are supposed to be good for 3 months, and if everything works out like I want, that will be perfect timing. And if I keep adding to the freezer on pay weeks, they won’t get depleted as fast and can save money all year long. Because yesterday was the first time and I kept having to go back and forth between the food and the recipes, it took much longer than 50 minutes to prepare everything. Plus, in the middle of the food preparation by youngest son had finished his nap and being the sneaky little boy that he is decided to sit next to my feet and when I went to check the next food item I tripped over him and almost stabbed myself with the knife I was working on. Yup, that adventure happened. No one was hurt, but we both scared each other.

I am a little OCD when it comes to being financially knowledgeable about how much we are going to budget for food. In the original post, she says that she only spent $59.69, for her food, but 1) it was made in 2014, and 2) I don’t know where they live. Two things that change the price of everything dramatically. So I went to Bing and for every item needed I typed in something like, “Average cost of onions” and it would give me the response of, “Onions vary by season, usually costing less than $2.00 per pound. Since onions are plants, the growing season determines the availability of the item. Seasonal problems can affect the price. Onions vary by season, usually costing less than $2.00 per pound.” So in the spreadsheet that I made, I would put in the average cost, or since I’m going to Wal-Mart for the items if I could look up a price (like a bottle of spices) I would add it to the spreadsheet, always rounding up to the nearest $1 (I.e. if something cost $2.14 I would put it as $3.00, it is an easy way to keep a simple total, because no one likes doing complicated math at the store, and so that if I reach my budget limit with my rounding up total, then I know that when I check out I will be under my budget).

So, on my spreadsheet, it came out to be $84 for the cost of all the food and items needed to do this freezer meal planning. I printed out the spreadsheet and on the back, I kept a running total of everything I put in the cart. (Because not everyone can read my writing I added it to the spreadsheet as well). My rounding up total ended up being $68. Walking out of the store it was $60.22. That is only $0.89 difference from the original post!!!

Frrezer meals 1

Freezer meals 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family is not meat centric, so we do not need to have meat as a primary focus for our meals, and so when we had the meatloaf, instead of making a traditional 9″x5″ pan we are going to put them in small pans 2.5″x8″ and that should be good enough for a meal, plus sides. And because I made them this way, there was enough for 4 meals instead of the 2 the recipes called for. In the end here are the price breakdowns for these meals included in the spreadsheet. Freezer meal plan– Spreadsheet.

Honey Sesame Chicken (x2)- $6.11 for the meal itself and $1.52 per person

Turkey, White Bean, Kale Soup (x2)- $4.85 for the meal and $1.21 per person

Brown Sugar Meatloaf (x4)- $5.81 for the meal $1.45 per person.

Because yesterday was the first time and I kept having to go back and forth between the food and the recipes, it took much longer than 50 minutes to prepare everything. Plus, in the middle of the food preparation by youngest son had finished his nap and being the sneaky little boy that he is decided to sit next to my feet and when I went to check the next food item I tripped over him and almost stabbed myself with the knife I was using. Yup, that adventure happened. No one was hurt, but we both scared each other.

burn-out

Have any of you had experience with freezer meals? How did they turn out? Do you still do them?

See you on the other side!

 

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What’s to Eat?

August 29, 2017

Hey Everyone,

Yesterday was the 6 year anniversary of my wedding, such a short amount of time and so much has happened to us that I am very grateful that we’ve made it. Congratulations to us!!

Some of you were wondering what we exactly eat. Here’s a list:

Food List

This is just a basic clean eating food list found on the internet that I’ve edited to not include those things that I know for sure we don’t get/eat. This list does not include those things that we just refuse to live without. Down below I have included a more inclusive list of all the things that we will eat.

Grocery-List2

One basic consistency is that we do not eat anything biblically unclean. This is a personal choice that we have decided to abide by if you eat those things, I do not care or think of you in a different way. That is your personal decision and I have nothing against your choices.

Also, we eat donuts occasionally. With that in mind, I mainly stick to the clean eating list and eat three adequately sized meals throughout the day. Since I have to make my own meals with limited time, with a limited budget, I don’t always get the option of eating what I plan on making in the size I plan on having it. My eyes always seem to be bigger than my stomach.

With that in mind, it seems that with the way we eat we only seem to spend around $150 on pay weekends, then $50 on non-pay weekends during the hot months of the year, while in winter the budget is $200 for pay weekends, and $75 for non-pay weekends. For a monthly food budget (not including going out to eat) of around $400 ($550 during winter). We live in Reno, NV so in comparison to some major cities our food is pretty cheap and affordable depending on what we purchase.

Because we are on a limited income we maybe go out to a nicer place to eat maybe once every 6 months. With my husband and I hardly ever going to a nicer place like Red Robin, we really know how to eat. Just my order would consist of:

  •  Bruschetta Chicken
    • 630 cal
      • 260 cals from fat
    • 29g total Fat
      • 8g saturated fat
      • 0g trans fat
    • 125mg Cholesterol
    • 1480mg Sodium
    • 46g Carbohydrates
    • 3g Fibre
    • 5g Sugar
    • 42g Protein
  • Sweet Potato Fries
    • 570 cal
      • 270 cals from fat
    • 29g total Fat
      • 5g saturated fat
      • 0g trans fat
    • 0mg Cholesterol
    • 810mg Sodium
    • 70g Carbohydrates
    • 9g Fibre
    • 24g Sugar
    • 6g Protein
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup- Bowl
    • 380 cal
      • 180 cals from fat
    • 19g total Fat
      • 8g saturated fat
      • 0g trans fat
    • 55mg Cholesterol
    • 1520mg Sodium
    • 31g Carbohydrates
    • 4g Fibre
    • 4g Sugar
    • 22g Protein
  • Total for everything- We eat everything that we order. This meal blows my whole day out of food control because I love eating too much. Especially when I don’t have to cook the food.
    • 1580 cal
      • 710 cals from fat
    • 77g total Fat
      • 21g saturated fat
      • 0g trans fat
    • 180mg Cholesterol
    • 3810mg Sodium
    • 147g Carbohydrates
    • 16g Fibre
    • 33g Sugar
    • 70g Protein

When you go out to eat, do you tend to order more food than you typically eat on a daily basis? Where do you usually go? I would love to hear from you, or even hear some advice on what I should order when I go.

See you on the other side!

Dream Kitchen

August 22, 2017

Hey Everyone,

Life is always throwing curve balls, slingshots, and just spraying lemon juice straight into the eyes when the desire comes trying to accomplish anything worthwhile.

During this turbulent time in my life, I have been thinking about what would make my life so much easier to accomplish those goals, especially this Dopey Challenge Adventure. The kitchen. The place that hoards all my food, the place my children like to wander into pretending to not know there is anything in the cupboards. The place where my husband likes to make a mess with the clean dishes.

Last week I was reading Forbes and found this article In The Smart Home, The ‘Smart Kitchen’ May Be Biggest Opportunity of All as well as Food + Tech Connect. It led me to start thinking about all the things I would want in my very own Smart Kitchen. The reality is so far off that I will most likely not need one by the time I can actually afford to get one installed in my own home (which I don’t have right now, as we are renting). A girl can dream.

Space

Walk in pantry
Dream Walk in Pantry
  • Food storage space- I would want a kitchen that is big enough to hold all my food supplies. Walk in pantry, stand alone freezers, and even a double sided refrigerator that can hold all the planned out meals for the week for each of us. Growing up my family didn’t have a lot of money to purchase food regularly, so now that I’m an adult I am very food insecure, and will sometimes *always* buy more food than we necessarily need for the week. Never knowing when or where your next meal will come, will ingrain that sense of self-preservation. When I had kids of my own that sense of preservation got even worse, I hope that they never know the fear of possible starvation.Dream Freezer
  • Space enough for more than two or three people to be cooking at the same time. Double ovens, 6 burner stove, an island with a sink. During the holiday seasons or even special events, I would want people to feel free to go into the kitchen and start cooking to help contribute to the meal, and not need to bring it already prepared. Or if people are visiting to just grab something to eat for themselves.
  • Smart technology
    • Some of you will probably think I’m turning to the side of the Devil by wanting to incorporate more technology into my life than I already have but, I disagree. Life sometimes just needs to be easier. On my fridge I would want to be able to keep a running list of things in the pantry, things I need to pick up at the store, that syncs to our non-existent smart phones, meals planned out for the week.
    • Moving it one step further I would want my kitchen to record/set our macro/micro needs. We are all individuals and have different vitamins, mineral and dietary needs in general, so it would be amazing to just be able to have a pre-planned out meal plan choices presented that adjusts during the day as we eat, just in case we don’t eat everything, or even decide to not eat at home (gasp! As if that’s ever going to happen).
    • If the kitchen could also make the food itself that would be amazing! All I would need to do is buy the food, put in times that we are eating, who are eating, and any dietary restrictions and the kitchen would make the food for us. Imagine working at home, and getting a reminder that lunch is ready and all, you are needing to do is eat and put the dishes in the sink! Amazing! Smart-Kitchen

I could actually go into more detail about what I would want in my kitchen, but that is for another day. Tell me some of your dream kitchen ideas, I would love to hear about them, or even the steps you are doing to make your dream a reality.

See you on the other side!

200+ Miles Down, A Million More to Go

200+ Miles Down, A Million More to Go

August 20, 2017

Hey, Everyone!

I am so excited to tell you that since the start of this journey on April 22, 2017, I have trained for a total of 211 miles!! I cannot believe it!! So far it has been an up and down journey. I’m still learning all the in’s and out’s of training for such a tremendous race, the saving and incorporating the training into my life. But I am so happy with the improvements that have happened along the way.

The last two weeks have been a little stressful (I’ll talk about why in later posts), so instead of taking my frustration out on my amazingly patient husband, which is usually my go-to reaction, I decided to hit the treadmill instead. This has worked wonders for our relationship.

During this last week, I did try both Body Pump and Body Combat. They are both great classes that are whole body workouts. I will have to try them a couple more times to make a more informed decision. The first time, because the jargon and the techniques used were so new to me that I was a little lost, which should go away the more times I go. The Body Combat was more cardio based because I seemed to get higher heart rate than Body Pump. Also, during Body Pump, I found out my legs are way more muscular than my upper body strength. Might need to work on that.

August 20, 2017August 20, 2017

I am so sorry to admit that I lost my measuring tape so there won’t be any measurements besides weight and miles down. My plan to fix that by next long run (09/03/2017) is to go to Michael’s Craft Store and pick up a soft measuring tape.

Weight: 87.5 pounds

Miles Down: 210!

08-20-2017

Today’s run was 9.5 miles. This is the information gathered from my Fitbit Blaze. All I can say is, “Wow”! 614 Calories!! That’s more than a bagel for sure. If someone could show me how I can get my mile times that would be amazing. I get notifications on my Blaze while I’m running what my pace is every mile, but I am not sure how to get that off the Dashboard to share with you all.

08-20-2017 Pace Because I don’t have those automatically given to me I went to a pace calculator and it gave me splits with a pace of 10:18 a mile. Looks like I might need to do some work so that I can do a marathon in under 4 hours. That’s a pace of 9:10 per mile. Wish me luck!

While I’m running I don’t listen to music. I know that there are other people that can only run while listening to music, but I just can’t. I need to hear my feet hitting the ground. After listening to people talk all day long, talking to my kids who are screaming, fighting, yelling (being normal kids) I just need a break from the noise. Running with no noise in my head helps clear the fog and makes life just that much clearer and easier to handle when I’m at the end of a long run.

What is your style of running? Are you a fast and furious runner, or a slow and steady? Do you listen to music, or are you a self-reflection person? Let me know in the comments, I welcome all people on this journey.

See you on the other side!