Simplicity – Small & Cheap

Living simply & cheaply…wherever you are!

AngelFood Ministries – June 2009 Menu Plan

Here is my menu plan using the items from May’s core food package as well as the Fajita box & the Latin Veggie box:

M 6/1 – Caldo de Res (Beef Soup) from AFM Latin Flavors Recipe sheet and Rolls (add 2lbs beef shank w/bone & fresh cilantro)

T 6/2 – BBQ Chicken, Fries, Cabbage “Salad” (add BBQ Sauce, Salad Dressing)

W 6/3 – LO Beef Soup & Rolls

Th 6/4 – Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (use LO chicken & add swiss cheese, flour, butter, ground mustard, ground nutmeg, bread crumbs), carrots

F 6/5 – Ham & Cheese Omelets, Pears, Toast* (add cheese, bread)

S 6/6 – LO Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole, carrots

S 6/7 –  Corn Dogs, Fries, Watermelon

M 6/8 – Salisbury Steak, Parslied Potatoes, Veggies*

T 6/9 – Chicken Fajitas, Spanish Rice w/Tomatoes*, Chips* & Salsa

W 6/10 – LO Salisbury Steak, Side*, LO Veggies

Th 6/11 – Ham & Cheese* Omelets, Toast*, Fruit*

F 6/12 – Mac & Cheese w/Tuna & Peas/Carrots*

S 6/13 – Steak Fajitas, LO Rice,

S 6/14 – Pork Chops, Side*, Chicken Stuffing Casserole, Veggies*, Pie (freeze leftover pie for next week)

M 6/15 – Beef Steaks, LO Casserole, LO Side, LO Veggies

T 6/16 – French Toast, Breakfast Meat*, Applesauce (add bread)

W 6/17 – LO Beef Steaks, Side*, Veggies*

Th 6/18 – NOT FROM AFM- Spanish Rice, Chicken, Salsa, Black Bean Burritos

F 6/19 – Corn Dogs, Baked Beans*, Fruit*

S 6/20 – LO Burritos

S 6/21 – Pork Chops, Side*, Veggies*, Pie

M 6/22 – Chicken Fajitas, Spanish Rice*, Veggies*

T 6/23 – NOT FROM AFM – Pancakes, Breakfast Meat, Eggs


Th 6/25 – Steak Fajitas, LO Rice, Veggies*

F 6/26 – NOT FROM AFM – Smoked Pork Loin, Side*, Veggies*



The * indicate items that you have to buy on your own — they don’t come in the AFM packages.   I will post recipes of the entries in Red after I have prepared them.   Also, as you might notice, there are a few items that we don’t seem to use at all — worry not, they aren’t going to waste :).   We will be making all sorts of yummies with the key limes.   I’ve found a bunch of recipes and will go through the pile until I run out of limes!   I will also be making DH a lot of homemade Guac and Salsa and I’ll share the recipes for those, too.  YUM!

So stay tuned for recipes and more fun stuff using the goodies from the AFM May 2009 shipment.

This post is also linked to Menu Plan Monday at


June 1, 2009 Posted by | Menu Plan Monday | | Leave a comment

AngelFood Ministries – May Menu


I’ve decided to experiment with AngelFood Ministries.    In researching them on the web, I have heard lots of good things and lots of bad things about the food and it seems to vary from area to area.    So, I decided to place a test order that I will pick up tomorrow.   I ordered 3 sets of food.

First, the normal set that you have to buy in order to get anything else.     It should include:

  • 2.5 lb. Lean Chopped Beef Steaks (5 x 8 oz.)
  • 5 lb. Leg Quarters
  • 2 lb. Chicken and Corn Bread Stuffing Casserole (Ready to Cook)
  • 28 oz. Salisbury Steak Dinner Entrée
  • 1 lb. Boneless Pork Chops (4 x 4 oz.)
  • 1 lb. Corn Dogs (6 ct.)
  • 12 oz. Deli Sliced Ham
  • 5 oz. Chunk Light Tuna in Water
  • 32 oz. French Fries
  • 1 lb. Sweet Corn
  • 15 oz. Musselman’s Apple Sauce
  • 15 oz. Pears (Product of U.S.A.)
  • 8 oz. Dinner Roll Mix
    (Makes 8 Nice Rolls)
  • 7.5 oz. Mac ’n Cheese
  • 32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
  • Dozen Eggs
  • Dessert

I also purchased the Fajita Pack:

  • 2 lb. Steak Fajita Strip Packs (2 x 1 lb.)
  • 2 lb. Chicken Breast Fajita Strip Packs (2 x 1 lb.)
  • 1 lb. Onions & Bell Peppers
  • 20 ct. 8” Flour Tortillas

and the Latin Veggie pack (ordered prior to reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle):

  • 6 Large Roma Tomatoes (Pink Color)
  • 4 pack Premium California Hass Avocados
  • 1 head Premium Fresh Green Cabbage
  • 2 lb. Premium Fresh Key Limes
  • 1 lb. Premium Fresh Jalapeno Peppers
  • 2 lb. Premium Fresh New Crop B Size Red Potatoes
  • 1 lb. Premium Fresh California Cello-Pack Carrots
  • 1 5 ct. Premium Fresh Garlic
  • 2 lb. Premium Fresh Large-Medium White Onions
  • 2 each Premium Fresh Chayote Squash
  • 4 each Premium Calabacita Squash
  • 1 each Premium Fresh Celery-Sleeve
  • 1 each Premium Sweet Red Seedless Watermelon
  • AFM May 2009 “Latin Flavors” Recipe Sheet

In the coming weeks, I will share my menu plan(s) using primarily the foods from the May delivery and will post on their quality once I use it all up.

May 29, 2009 Posted by | grocery shopping | | 2 Comments

Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

51SeQizTr0L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-big-search,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_I had started writing this review on my computer right after finishing the book.   I was so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge I gained after reading it that I didn’t have a clue where to begin!    Over the course of reading, I would stop and read parts of it to my husband that I thought he would find interesting.   I think he thinks I’ve lost my mind.   Not that he thinks it silly; quite the contrary.   He has been an advocate of the ideas (well many of them, not all) for a long time.   I just never GOT it.   But now I do.

Barbara, along with her husband, Steven and their daughters Camille & Lily moved from Arizona for a farm that Steven owned in Virginia before they were married with the intent of going back to their roots.   A place where people share your name, the ground is green with food and filled with blue water that even your fish can drink :).   After spending some time getting the farm back into condition, they decided to go (almost) whole hog and live on only locally grown/processed foods.

This is their story.   It’s not a story of sacrifice; rather, it’s the story of reconnecting with a simpler life and understanding why feasts and harvests were celebrated.

One of the most basic (and frankly) kind of embarassing) things I learned was how to determine when something would be in season.   Kingsolver  gives an excellent primer on comparing the growing season life cycle as if all product were a product of a single plant — stems, leaves, flowers, berries/fruit, seed pods, roots, etc.   Duh.

I also learned more about the life cycle of gardening and planting as well as raising turkeys and chickens.   She reflects a lot on how being so intimate with your food gives you a different outlook on it.    She also mentioned several organizations, such as Slow Food International (which I’ve heard of before) and brings you on a virtual eating tour of Italy.    There is information about growing, buying and raising endangered (heirloom) varieties of plants and animals that have been almost bred out of existance because of industrialized food production.

Quite disturbingly, Barbara also shares information about chemical companies who have purchased most of the seed companies so they can control the food production.    Many of them have modified the foods so that the grower must purchase their fertilizer and pesticide for best results.   Also disturbing is the chemical companies genetically engineering seeds so that they geneticially explode after a year so that they need to be purchased every growing season.

Kingsolver is not preachy about trying to change your habits.   She simply illustrates why her family is happier because of these choices they’ve made.   Neither does she expect you to sell your townhouse and buy a farm in the boonies, living off the grid.   She makes suggestions for all sorts of small steps that you can take, no matter what your lifestyle, as well as provides plenty of resources for more information.

Barbara has written this majority of this book in narrative form.   Her husband Steven, expounds on some of the points, writing information essays with sources for more information on some technical/factual points she makes.   Her daughter, Camille, writes her perspective on having started the experiment and then getting back to “the real world” and trying to find alternatives while away at college.    All of it is great, thought provoking stuff and is an excellent, easy read.    Prepare to have your life changed for the better.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | Books, Living Simply | , , | Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday


Wow.  I so have no idea what to cook this week.    I’m still trying to clear stuff from my pantry & I won’t be shopping this week and I have a test run for AngelFood Ministries to pick up on Saturday so I don’t want to have a ton of leftovers.

Monday – Leftovers from previous days BBQ-ing 🙂

Tuesday – Corned Beef w/Wild Rice & Freezer Veggies

Wednesday -LO Polish Sausage w/Eggs & LO Waffles

Thursday -LO Corned Beef, Rice, Veggies

Friday – Lipton Noodles w/Tuna on Instant Potatoes

Saturday – Hamburgers, Baked Beans,

Sunday – LO from week

Starting next week, I will be creating meals from the AngelFood Ministries delivery.     Should be interesting; I’ve never used them before.   Visit for more meal ideas.

May 25, 2009 Posted by | Menu Plan Monday | | 1 Comment

Meijer Trip

I feel like I’ve been doing fairly well with getting spending under control now that I’ve got a FULL pantry.   I can almost always cook something good and I’ve gotten really good deals on nearly all of it!

Today, I had a pretty good haul at Meijer.

No coupon, no sale

  • 9 lb bag of Kingsford charcoal – $4.99
  • 1 can of Rotel – $1.19 (thought ad said part of 4/$5 sale…hmmm)
  • 5 lbs White Lily Bread Flour – $2.99

On Sale, No coupons

  • 2 8-pks of hot dog buns – $0.79 each
  • 2 8-pks of hamburger buns – $0.79 each
  • 8 ears of corn – 8/$2 = $0.25 each
  • 4 cans Hunts Diced Tomatoes – 5/$5 = $1.00 each
  • TREAT – Cheese ball – $3.50

On Sale, With Coupons

  • 2 Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce – $0.99 each – $1/2 Q = $0.50 each!
  • 1 Kraft Dressing – $1.58 – $1.50/1 Q = $0.08!!
  • 1 Eckrich sausage – $1.69 – $0.55/1 Q = $1.14 each!
  • 3 McCormick Grill Mates Seasonings – 3/$5 – $1/3 Meijer Mealbox Q – (3) $0.50/1 Q = $0.83!!!
  • 1 A-1 Steak Sauce – $2.50 – $2/1 Q = $0.50!!
  • 1 KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce – $1.67 – FREE item Q (with purchase of Kingsford charcoal) = FREE!!
  • 1 Johnsonville Brat – 2/$7 – $0.55 Q = $2.95

Total Regular Price – $56.71

Total Sale Price – $45.95

Less Coupons used – $10.76

Less Catalina used – $2.00

Less Bottle Return – $0.80

Total OOP – $27.47

Savings – 54%!

May 20, 2009 Posted by | grocery shopping | , , | Leave a comment

Coupon Craziness

I only did one coupon stop this week as my in-laws are in town and we are going away this weekend for a graduation and a baptism.    No pics, sorry.

I just got 3 boxes of cereal.

3/$10 – a $1.50/2 IP and a $1/1 IP = $7.50 – $3 RR = $4.50/3 or $1.50 each.   Not NEAR as cool as my $0.80/box from Meijers!   But better cereal so it’s a tradeoff.

How did you do?

May 14, 2009 Posted by | coupon craziness | , , | Leave a comment

Grocery Trip – Meijers


I normally don’t take pics of my grocery store trips but I did pretty good on this one thanks to all the Kraft and Kellogg high value IP’s!   I also bought some plants to fix up the yard and some PJ’s for DD so I had to find out my totals without the extra non-grocery stuff.

I bought:

No sale, no Q’s

3 dz eggs @ $0.98 / dozen

On Sale, No Q’s

  • Bananas – 9.71 lbs. @ $0.39/lb!
  • 10 Boxes of Mac & Cheese – $0.50 each
  • 20 Del Monte canned fruit – $1.25 each

Sale + Q’s

  • 4 Softsoap Dispensers – $0.99 minus (3) $0.35/1 Q’s and (1) $0.40/1 IP. = 3 at $0.64 and one at $0.59
  • 3 Kraft Chunk Cheeses – $1.99 minus $0.99 for buying 2 crackers – $1/2 IP = $0.67 each
  • 2 boxes of wheat thins – 2/$5 – (2) $1/1 IP = $1.50 each!
  • 2 jars of Miracle Whip – 2/$4 – (2) $1/1 IP = $1.00 each!!
  • 1 (32 oz.) Velveeta – $4.49 – $1/1 IP = $3.49 each
  • 5 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal – 5/$9 – (5) $1/1 IP = $0.80 each!!!
  • 2 Ritz Crackers – 2/$5 – (2) 1/1 IP = $1.50 each!

Regular Price – $107.87

Sale Price – $74.28

Less MFG Q & Meijer Promos of – $17.42

Total OOP – $56.86

Less Catalinas – $2.00 onyo from kraft AND a free jar of crystal light

Total Trip cost – $54.86

Savings – 50%

May 12, 2009 Posted by | coupon craziness, grocery shopping | , , | Leave a comment