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Groceries for December


Another win from our No Spend Month! We still have Food Stamps. Not in that we are qualified for them any more, we are not getting anymore.

BUT because we were able to eat through our freezer and pantry during October and the first two weeks of November. We have almost a full month’s worth of grocery budget in food stamps.

Our current food stamp balance, which I believe we have 6 months to use, is right at $530!

This has taken a weight off in thinking about possibly creating a small budget for Christmas presents for the kids. (We took care of extended family presents prior to our Texas trip and brought them with us.)

I’ve already started creating a list of items we need to replace and restock. And I plan to create a December food plan while we are here in Texas so I can shop smart when I return.

Sausage and Potato Soup

I love the cold months when I can use the crockpot every day without feeling guilty. Not to mention, reheating soups is great for my lunch on a daily basis, easy and cheap.

I thought I would share my absolute favorite cold time recipe…quick, easy and so good! I’m even making it this week while we are in Texas. (We are doing all the cooking for the week and Thanksgiving, but my parents are providing the groceries.)


1 – 30oz bag of frozen, cubed hashbrowns

3 cups of Chicken Broth

1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup

Chopped Onion (optional)

Dash of Parsley (optional)

Salt and Pepper

1 – Hillshire Farms Beef Sausage (this is my favorite option)

1 block of cream cheese


  1. In soup pot, combine all the ingredients except for the sausage and cream cheese.
  2. Heat on medium for 20 minutes.
  3. Cut sausage into bite size pieces and add to mix after first 20 minutes.
  4. Cube cream cheese and add to pot 10 minutes after you add the sausage.
  5. Stir well and serve.

My twins like to garnish with cheese, but I eat it just as it is. It’s definitely one of family favorites during this cold rainy season!

What are some of your favorite cold weather recipes?

Double-Duty Meals


Lately, I’ve really been trying plan double-duty meals. These are meals that I cook once and then repurpose into a different meal later in the week. It saves me time on cooking and is a little bit “fancier” than just having plain leftovers because the leftovers are repurposed in a new way. One example is that I like to make beef tacos one night, and then a couple nights later I’ll simmer the leftover ground beef in marinara sauce and serve it over noodles as spaghetti.

This week, the base of the double-duty meals was beef roast.

Dinner #1, I did a traditional roast. I cooked it in a crockpot (bonus points for ease) with potatoes and carrots. Easy and delicious as-is.

Dinner #2, I shredded up the leftover beef roast and put it back into the crockpot with basically the exact same stuff (potatoes and carrots, plus I added some diced onion). This time, I added beef stock and some seasonings and made it into a hearty beef stew, served with rolls and salad.

It’s been saving my sanity as our evenings have been PACKED. I’m still getting the hang of this whole “single mom” thing. The kids’ homework is pretty extensive (they’re first graders and their homework averages us 2 hours to complete everything!). So having these easy meals, especially when cooked in the crockpot, has been a game-changer because it frees me up to work with the kiddos and get their homework completed in time for baths, books, and bed.

Do you have any favorite Double-Duty meal ideas to share?