Y’all Hungry?! 4 hours and 34 meals later…

y'all hungry buttonI don’t know about your households, but in ours…. nothing kills a good mood like “what’s for dinner?” We go through this daily and it always leads to some sort of taco dish or a rummaged up pantry meal or more likely, we go out to eat. This is bad on so many levels, but mainly because we are spending WAY too much money eating out and are making even worse decisions (can I say chicken queso burrito within walking distance) YIKES!

Well, a couple of weeks ago when we were getting organized, running through our “to do” list, and budget issues I realized I had to figure something out that was easy and inexpensive and would last long term!

Admittedly, I like to have dinner ready for my Mr. when he comes home M-Thursday and also Sunday- We like to do something different and fun Friday & Saturday. The little nugget makes this difficult some days which is where meals became a stressor!

HELLO PINTEREST!!!!! I searched for easy, inexpensive Crockpot freezer meals and I came across several blogs that listed out different meals that are easy to prepare and then freeze, then pop in the Crockpot. It just sounded DREAMY to me! As usual I jumped in headfirst, I downloaded her grocery list and doubled it (math is not my strong suit….) and then loaded up the nugget and we headed off to the store.

Grocery List: I ended up with a couple of extra sweet potatoes (like 6, whoops) and 4 extra onions- but I figure I can do something with those!

GroceryListMeal1

ADD: 1 lb maple sausage & 1 lb hot sausage :)

After 40 minutes and what looked like a crazy person buying out the canned beans and tomatoes and 1 million onions…. we checked out. I had purchased enough food to create 34 meals that each consist of 4-6 servings (or two dinners and one lunch for both of us) and my bill was $213- $100 of that in meat alone.
The lady checking me out exclaimed that I must have a huge family (I HATE when people comment on my purchases) and I was like ummmmm, nope, just my husband the baby and me…. we really like to eat.

Anyways…. we made it home and I unloaded everything while watching Maddy chase Betty Lou around the yard.

Later that night after we got Maddy down for bed, I got busy!

Here is my prep list:
Chop vegetables (thank you food processor), brown sausage, open cans, get out spices and label freezer bags with recipe name, date, cook instructions and any other notes such as add chicken broth– I also wrote THAW first huge on each bag in case the Mr. is in charge of cooking one night!

Then I started assembling! It took almost 2 hours to the dot to prep and another 2 hours to assemble. So far we have tried three of the meals and LOVED them! It really is that easy, I make a new one about every other day excluding weekends and both our dinners and lunches have been taken care of for all of us! Maddy even likes the meals. The best part is NO WORK! I have made rice or corn bread or salads with the meals, but come on, the big part is done and the sides are choice :)

Recipes! Note: I didn’t include a lot of the needed spices on my grocery list because they are staples in our spice cabinet, you may want to read this over before going shopping!!

Meals1

If you have any questions let me know!!! Happy Prepping!!! I didn’t take pictures of the process, but I will next time for sure, I will also start earlier in the day, measuring at midnight is not recommended!

All meals either taken from or adapted from: Loving My Nest

Y’all Hungry?! Baby Food Edition!

y'all hungry buttonGood Morning!  Before Maddy started eating pretty much whatever we are eating (current state) I had a lot of practice making her fresh purees to enjoy!

I LOVE FOOD!

I LOVE FOOD!

I decided after reading several blogs from other young mamas that I would be making her baby food.  Initially I thought I would make everything, but after an attempt at making a chicken puree that looked more like a gross paste…GAG….(I did not feed her that) I amended my plans to make her everything EXCEPT meat purees, we would be buying those!IMG_5876

Overall, I would say I probably saved us  a couple of hundred dollars, maybe a little more… total by making the majority of her foods but, in a household living on a shoe string budget, a couple of hundred dollars helps us out in a big way!!IMG_5877

Making baby purees is EASY!  It is pretty much a few steps repeated a million times in any combination that sounds good!

MORE!!!

MORE!!!

Buy your groceries…. We would go to Costco and load up on any fresh produce we could find that sounded good.  Maddy LOVES strawberries and raspberries (as evident from the pictures) so I would add those to a lot of the mixes just to get the flavor she enjoys.  IMG_5878

Here is a list of the foods from this round-

Honeydew, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, peaches, banana, pineapple, carrots, apples, pears, sweet peas, sweet corn, potatoes…. I think that is all!IMG_5879

After I washed and prepped (peeled, cubed or sliced) all of the fruit I would steam the produce needing to be softened then I simply make different combinations by putting the produce in our Cuisinart and blending it until pretty much smooth.  I would leave a little bit of texture just to get her used to eating textured foods.  Depending on the nature of the mix I sometimes would add rice cereal as a thickening agent, or frozen fruits if it was getting a little watery.IMG_5885

A few of the mixes Maddy loves: carrots & apples, apple-pear, carrots- strawberries, honeydew-banana, sweet pea-carrots, sweet corn-apples, and her FAVE pineapple-strawberry-banana**IMG_5884

After everything was mixed up, I simply pour out the mixtures into ice trays and little tupperware containers and then plop them into the freezer.  When it was time to feed her I just pull out a tray and pop a cube out or bring out a little container and put them in the microwave for seconds and poof food :)

to save space, after the cubes are frozen - sometimes I would pop them out and store in a large tupperware

to save space, after the cubes are frozen – sometimes I would pop them out and store in a large tupperware

Overall, the ease and guaranteed freshness that came from making Maddy’s food made this entire process TOTALLY worth while and should siblings ever be entered into Maddy’s life, I could see me doing this again!!!

Contentment!

Contentment!

1st Birthday…as requested!

From Amazon- example

Y’all…. it is actually happening!  My little nugget is turning one in just two short weeks, cue tears of both joy and a little sadness (I mean, one!!! OHMYGOSH)  so anyways, BIG SHOCK!  I am planning a big birthday bash to celebrate our first year as a family of three!  I have been working with […]

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Madison: 11 Months

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Madison: 11 Months!! One month away y’all!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! Let me first start at this milestone, because time is going fast enough without me talking about 12 months! (seriously though, slow down please) 11 months has been CRAZY!!!! And my 11 months has been crazy, I mean I am pretty sure my daughter is […]

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We’re TuTu Trilled!!!

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A couple of weeks after our little Madison was born we were SO excited to find out that two of our good friends were expecting a little nugget of their own!!!! Fast forward several months to finding out that they were having a GIRL!!!! YAY! We were already planning many mother daughter dates with who […]

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Y’all Hungry?! Mini Pot Pies

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Y’all Hungry: Mini Chicken Pot Pies Okay, I have been meaning to blog this recipe for MONTHS now, but things have been busy and I’ve been a horrible blogger…. So…. try these and you’ll forgive me because this takes chicken pot pies to the EASIEST level ever, and OH so good! PS. Invite me over […]

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Madison: 10 months!

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Madison: 10 Months!! Well, it FINALLY happened…. Maddy is officially saying “MaMa” and I am THRILLED!!!! It’s really more like “mamamamamama” but I’ll take it and treasure the thought! 10 months has brought us about 15 steps  (literally) closer to walking, constant standing, conquering of the staircase and many more “words”.   She says, hey, […]

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Madison: 9 Months

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Madison : 9 Months!!! Another month down and it just seems that each night I close my eyes and wake up to  the next month, time is FLYING!!!! Maddy is another month old and the girl is becoming more and more mobile by the second.   This month she climbed up two stairs and has […]

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Red * White & SPARKLE!

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Happy 4th of July Y’all!!!! (don’t judge me on the timing!) I wanted to start by saying it was amazing how many people across our beautiful nation celebrated Madison’s 9 month birthday (7/4) with beautiful fireworks! It was truly touching :) HAHAHA!!!! I don’t know about y’all but I cannot hear the National Anthem be […]

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Mama Guilt….

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Man, OH man… I’ve been dealing with some serious Mama Guilt lately…. and it is not an awesome feeling. You see there is this bond that has formed between me and my little love and that means that when I have to step away for any extended period of time (oh say any time…) there […]

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