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Would this be cheating?

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I have to admit…No Spend January is wearing on me a little bit. I think the big thing is the dishwashing! I am really missing have a dishwasher right now. With all the cooking (and the fact that we’ve run out of paper plates,) cleaning the kitchen has felt a bit overwhelming.

So…would a meal out if I don’t spend any cash be cheating? See I have 4 “free” entree coupons to our local Chick Fil A (just opened this past fall in the next town over.)

Breakfast at Chick Fil A, cheating?

And over the past year or so, I have accumulated over 1195 points by using their app. And we can use these points to purchase things off their menu, no money needed!

I also have $20 still on that app to spend. (I know the date says January 20th, but this money has been there for months. We stopped going that direction when Gymnast stopped going to gymnastics back in October.)

My thoughts are that since tomorrow is MLK Day and the kids are out of school. I might invite them to all get out of bed early (you know how teenagers/young adults are) and join me for a breakfast out. It will be a great way to kick start the day, be some good family time and give me a break from kitchen duty.

So back to my question…would this be cheating as it relates to No Spend January?

I’m not sure when I’ve been so excited about a breakfast out…a meal out for that matter. But I will say, we have had some amazing meals as I’ve been really trying hard to spice up our menu these days with items we have on hand. Tonight Sea Cadet is going to try cooking an Asian inspired meal using regular pasta since we don’t have any Asian noodles on hand, it should be interesting.

One of the favorite new menu items so far was found on Facebook. I thought I would share.

Creamy Burrito Casserole

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pepper chopped (I did 1/2 a red pepper and 1/2 a yellow)
1 package taco seasoning
6 large flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 -3 cups shredded taco cheese or cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 ounces sour cream

Directions

Brown beef, onion and peppers; drain.
Add taco seasoning and stir in refried beans.
Mix soup and sour cream in a separate bowl.
Spread 1/2 sour cream mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Tear up 3 tortillas and spread over sour cream mixture.
Put 1/2 the meat bean mixture over that.
Add a layer of cheese.
Repeat the layers.
Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 20-30 minutes.


Grocery Store Run

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We hit the store today. And spent $151.

I believe this will take us through the end of the month easily. I even sat down and completed a meal plan for the next two weeks prior to going to the store to be certain.

$151 in groceries for the month when we typically spend $600 is pretty good. I know our cupboards and freezer will be pretty bare at the end of the month though.

This week we are going to have the following meals:

  • Potato bar with chicken and other toppings
  • Hot dogs and chips
  • Ham and rice cauliflower
  • Poor man stroganoff
  • Lasagna (pre-made frozen) and salad

Thank you for all the recommendations on how we can use all the chicken noodle soup we have got. We’ve stuck with the generic soup thusfar. But I’ve got some dumplings made to create a version of chicken and dumplings, and a bunch of vegetables chopped to make a bulkier soup later on in the week.

I am also kind of participating in a health “reset” for women. It’s not about money as much as it is about choosing healthier eating and mental habits. While I’m not following their meal plan, I am following along with their teaching.

And I’m saving their recipes for the future when I can be a little more flexible with our meals. Thankfully, it is free for me since it is run by a client of mine.

I am excited about this week. I have a full week of work to do. The kids are all settled into their new school schedules. And there is more growth on the horizon.

The only sad part of our weeks now are that we are rarely together. In fact, after dinner tonight, we won’t be together for a meal until Friday night. Just a crazy family schedule. Anyone else live this way with a bunch of teenagers and young adults?

My sister sent me this for Christmas. Those of you who have been a while know my heart for kids and how my long term dream is to foster and possibly adopt more down the road. I loved this present!


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