Thursday, February 8, 2018

What's For Dinner: This Week's Menu

Please enjoy the stand in photo of my meal planner in lieu of an actual shot of food.  I forgot to take a picture of dinner last night, although it was awesome!

First, I'd like to say "thank you" for the support over the IEP meeting and everything from my last post.  Glad to know I'm not alone in those meetings kind of sucking the life out of the room.  I'm in a much better space about everything and sat down and compiled a list of everything that Alvah has accomplished in the last year and how far he's come.  He even spoke in front of his teacher and aides day before yesterday, which they were thrilled with (he said, "Yes" in response to a question and it was an appropriate response to boot :).

After many hours of frustration containing e-mails and calls and voice mail messages I have not gotten one single call back from any of the speech therapists I've called.  I've started to think outside the box when it comes to this problem.  There is the Talkies program at the literacy center that I could try, but that is like 60.00 per session (they don't take insurance), so I'm on the fence about trying to find the money to do that weekly right now.  I'm starting to consider an online program called, "Gemini" which has popped up on my Facebook feed more than a couple of times.  It's an expensive program (like 100.00 a month), but they offer scholarships if you are financially strapped and help to walk you through what program is best for your child (it's a video based modelling program and with the son's obsession with TV and technology, that might just work out pretty well with him), so I'm seriously thinking about e-mailing them and seeing what they say to letting us give them a try for a price I can (hopefully) afford to pay.  I'm starting to wonder if all of these things happening to speech therapists all these years is God's way of pointing me off toward the path less traveled when it comes to teaching Alvah how to communicate better.  Here's hoping it makes all the difference (Frost reference.  Ha!  Never thought I'd be able to work one of those into the blog ;).

A couple neat things happened the last couple of days.  One was that our tax return came in and because of that I was officially able to pay off the last of the husband's dental bills!  MAN that felt so good to get done!  It's been a long, hard three years but we finally got there :).

Then my mom sent me some money for my birthday and made me promise to spend the money on me instead of the family.  I kind of cheated and used part of it to buy myself some small cutting boards (which I WANTED so I figured it worked) and then used the remainder to buy myself a new pair of sneakers as my old ones are really on death's door.  The daughter got her birthday money from grandma too and used it so well I was proud of her.  She went on Amazon and CRAWLED through the Ever After High dolls until she found ones she wanted, BUT were decently cheap.  So she was able to get two dolls with her birthday money AND get 5.00 cash back (which was her goal) that she then put into her piggy bank.  I love the fact that I have a kid who likes to save money :).

And we got the paperwork into the bank to (hopefully) get a home equity loan to start getting things fixed up around here and start to resolve neglected maintenance issues and hopefully be able to pay for the truck my husband's friend is selling. 

I'm actually kind of nervous as it seems like things are actually looking up financially.  Every time something like this has happened in the past something BAD happens (like tens of thousand of dollars type of bad), so I'm really hoping this time, this time, it might work out.  Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that we're looking at a better financial state.  I know we'll still be tight on money, but being able to move forward instead of just spinning our wheels would make things so much easier to deal with!

So, yeah, onto the menu plan for the week!  After going through the last bit with the menu planned out for an entire month in advance?  I LOVE it!  It's great being able to pick up items in advance when a sale hits to help with a particular "special" meal or something, it allows me flexibility because if we're not in the mood to eat a certain thing I can just flip through the menu and find something else to try and then switch out days with the item I had planned (and I can do this weeks out, so I don't have to worry about the family protesting the same thing in a couple of days) and's nice!  I'm going to add "work on next month's menu" to my monthly goals this month for sure (yes, I'm still working on them...I'm terrible this month).
Wednesday:  Chicken Caesar Salad (made chicken in pressure cooker).  This was awesome and such a nice change, I think a big salad might be on the menu at least once a month from now on :). 
Thursday:  Frozen pizza.  The son's recliner broke, which turns out is an old La-Z-Boy (not bad for 12.00 that we spent on it) and so my husband went into town to pick up a part early from the La-Z-Boy repair place, so I packed him food and the daughter and I split a cheapy frozen pizza for dinner while the son had french fries.  We live fancy around here *laugh*. 
Friday:  Tuna Melts, pickles, fruit salad/fruit cocktail  
Saturday:  Baked Ravioli lasagna, left over salad, bread sticks (make for son) 
Sunday:  Chicken Fried Steak , corn on the cob (from freezer), apple pie (pie filling from pantry) 
Monday:  Ham steak, green beans, mashed potatoes 
Tuesday:  Baked fried chicken (basically shake and bake), potato salad, baked beans, corn (dessert:  Leftover apple pie)
Desserts:  Apple pie (make), jello mold (Monday...Armina REALLY wants to try to make one that we found in the recipe book she got me for Christmas, so I said sure.  I'm not sure how well apples are going to taste in raspberry jello, but okay!).

Breakfasts:  Home made waffles (I made a bunch extra when we had waffles for dinner and put them into the freezer for use later) with fruit toppings of choice (from open jars in fridge), eggs, ham (sliced from half ham that I plan to cut down into deli meat and steaks and things this weekend), granola, yogurt (with or without fruit), cereal, toast (cinnamon sugar or regular).

And there you are folks.  Our menu plan for the week.  How about you?  Making anything good this week?


  1. Congratulations on paying off the last of your husband's dental bills!!! That must feel like a huge weight of your shoulders. I'm so glad you used some of your birthday money to buy something for yourself. I think we appreciate new things more when we have had to go without in the past. I sincerely hope that no more financial disasters befall your family, and wish you all the best as you look for a way to help your son improve his communication skills. I am a big fan of looking 'outside the box' for solutions to problems.Good luck!

  2. I’m so happy for you that you were able to pay off the dental bills. I know that’s a huge relief. I sincerely hope you guys have turned a corner and won’t have anything major pop up. You work so hard and do amazing things with what you have. I pray you will be blessed with a more peaceful financial future. Your meal plan sounds delicious as well....Vicky in Ky

  3. What a huge accomplishment to pay off those dental bills! Your hard work is paying off!

    And your menu sounds delicious, as always. I also had pizza ( on the menu this past week. I often make two pizzas and freeze one, and this was one that I had frozen previously. One recipe I want to make this week is a orange/citrus scone using some homemade candied orange peel. And lots of greens. For whatever reason, I'm craving greens this week.

    Here's to a productive and yummy week for everyone!

  4. WooHoo! Those dental bills have been a dark cloud hanging over you for a while. Congrats....and I hope your sweetie smiles and kisses you for Valentine's Day as a thank you for putting your money where his mouth is ;)

    I'm hoping that this winter with a steady paycheck is the turning point for your family financially.

    Love your persistence.

  5. Great job on paying off the dental bills. The menu looks great. We love salads for dinner. I made an Asian salad last week. Always a big hit in our house. In the summer when my lettuce is growing like crazy we eat different ones every week. By the end of the summer my son gets sick of them but I do not waste food and I seem to always grow a ton of lettuce.

  6. My son has a foster son that at age 2 1/2 only says three words. I keep showing him the Gemini ads on facebook. The reviews look really positive. I would tell them your situation and ask for it free. If it works for your son, that would be a big endorsement for Gemini

  7. Good going on the dentist bills! That’s a big deal!
    Meals here have been ho hum. I baked a chicken, fried hamburgers, and we’ve eaten leftovers. Leftovers are their own category at casa Savage.

  8. I pray things will work out for you this week Ericka. And your menu looks delicious, as always.

    I also plan a month's worth of menus, especially when money's tight because I have to be very conscious of what I have in stock to use. There's really no running out to get any groceries if the recipe calls for it - if it's not in the freezers or pantry, I have to make a different menu choice. And once again, I'm still needing to make due with foodstuffs I have on hand. Since I can't afford takeout this month, I'm going to put in a couple of homemade versions of takeout over the next couple of weeks. This week will be a Chinese meal.

    Sun - Stuffed Pork Loin Roast (cut a chunk off of one end before cooking for Pork Carnitas on Tuesday); roasted potatoes; roasted frozen carrots, turnips and onions; gravy
    Mon - Vegetable Stew using fresh and leftover vegetables and gravy from Sunday. Place in a casserole dish and top with homemade biscuits; mashed potatoes
    Tues - using the chunk of pork I set aside from Sunday, make Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas; homemade flour tortillas; add toppings to suit family's tastes; rice
    Wed - using leftover mashed potatoes, make French-Canadian Canned Salmon Potato Pie; creamed peas; cucumber salad. Using leftover pie dough make individual apple pies. Top with homemade caramel sauce.
    Thurs - using leftover creamed peas, add other frozen vegetables to make Creamy Vegetable Chowder; homemade rolls
    Fri - Homemade "takeout" Chinese dinner: vegetable chow mein; General Tao's breaded chicken; using leftover rice from Tues. make fried rice; homemade spring rolls (using phyllo dough because that's what I have on hand); home-canned Duck Sauce for spring rolls
    Sat - Slow Cooker Country Cassoulet (a stew made with sausage, chicken and beans); homemade crusty bread; green salad if I have any lettuce left by the end of the week.

    Desserts and Snacks: Pudding Cake (allrecipes - a French-Canadian dessert); date squares; bread pudding using leftover stale bread topped with chocolate sauce; pumpkin bread; individual apple pies with caramel sauce; preserved home-canned fruit.

    Breakfasts: homemade yogurt topped with homemade granola, berry coulis or lemon curd; homemade donut holes; oatmeal with candied nuts and home-canned applesauce; 6 minute boiled eggs with "dippy soldier" toast pieces; frozen peach and pineapple slices

    Well, that's what we're planning to eat this week. All of these meals my family likes, so there shouldn't be any complaints...I hope.

    Have a great week everyone!

    Pat, Canada