Monday, April 22, 2013

Food Plan- Dairy, Gluten and Nut free

Quite often when the topic of budgeting comes up people look wide eyed when I mention that we are Gluten free (2 out o5 of us), dairy free and nut free on a budget of 400-$500 a month living on the East Coast in a major metropolitan area. That including cleaning and toiletries (of which we have minimal costs)

I keep wondering if I am exaggerating that,so I thought I would put it to the test.  I have a plan to post my menus and $ spent on food. I do have a quite extensive food pantry that I have build over the years, but I don't rely on it that heavily. However if you have an empty pantry your food costs will be a bit more than mine, as I have spices, and staples on hand. Also I thought it might be helpful for people to see how we eat and useful to myself to see the dates I buy or plant items as a record for next year :)

We eat nearly no "processed" food. That is- not much I haven't processed my self. I currently shop at Trader Joes, Costco, Amazon and Farmers Markets. We eat only free range meat and eggs and no dairy. I FINALLY get to have my OWN garden this year and have a big one planned. So that should help a bit. But the way I do this is to buy in bulk on sale. Amazon has a subscribe and save program that is now getting more complicated, but if you have  a certain amount of items come each month you can get 15% off.

I also can. This last year we were told of an Amish Auction and were able to can quite a bit of food. I typically can Applesauce, but last year we did Applesauce, salsa, tomatoes, Potatoes and a few other things. I hope to go picking strawberries when they are finally ripe and put up my own jam. Our "treat food"is popcorn, fruit leather (deeply on sale or homemade) and baked goods I make from scratch.

I used to make my own bread, but since we have a GF child I can't do the white flour in the house and the wheat eaters don't prefer the GF bread. I found my best deal for Organic bread at Trader Joes for 2.99. The non-organic is 2.29 and that difference is worth it to me.
I plan to get into more details in future posts, but if you are struggling, I just want you to know that there are ways to eat healthy wherever you are. You need to keep an eye out for good bulk prices, buy food in season and be able to process them in a way to keep them for as long as you can.
I hope to have a sample menu of ours up in the next day or two!


Daily Scripture study

We  seem to go back and forth between what works at different times in different seasons for our family. Right now we are being simple. 
Each (most) night for family scripture we grab one of a stack of Book of Mormons and read one verse from where we currently are. One verse per person.  My kids are getting older and so we can go longer with discussions, but I still find minds (and bodies) wonder if we don't keep it to the shortest attention span.
In the past we have used the big thick family scriptures with pictures called"The Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families" and read from one tile to the next, 1 verse per person, and summarize the chapter..
But we aren't doing that currently for whatever reason. Using a book of mormon for each person is working better. Currently we have one set for the family, but since we tend to either do it in the kids room or in the livin groom I'm hoping to have a basket of books of mormon in each place for ease. We will see if I get it done and how it works!
For Homeschool devotional, we recite scriptures, review a GAK picture and tell/retell that story and sing a primary song or hymn- quite often using youtube for a review or unfamiliar song. We are also using the new Gospel Art book for those pictures- but they don't have the story on the back! We listen to Scripture Scouts (not Articles of Faith or Proclamation- those didn't make it with my kids), Scripture stories and Alexander's Amazing Adventures through out the day.   
That's what we are doing right now. It works well and keeps us with the spirit in our home. I am struggling to get a good personal study consistent, but find I am usually in some part of the scriptures through out the day.  Since we just had general conference I am reviewing conference talks and going through the talks to see the most frequented scriptures quoted in conference. My challenge is I want to make it more consistent! And I'm short on time! As soon as I'm up my kiddos are up, and generally first thing in the morning is best for me.  6 AM is about as early as I can get up (without feeling sick- that's just me)  and currently the kiddos are up to say goodbye to daddy (they get up on their own).
 Here are some of my favorite scripture study bloggers:
Red Headed  Hostess
Our busy homeschool
Women in the Scriptures
Diapers and Divinity

How do you do your family scripture study? What about personal study and if you home school devotionals? I'd love to hear from you!


Friday, April 5, 2013

General Conference Buckets 2013

Our family will be watching the LDS General Conference this weekend. I am going to do a full post later tonight, but just in case anyone needs ideas, I found these cute buckets are target for 70% off!!!

They were already in the dollar spot, and then with 70% OFF they were 30 cents each!!  I love good deals! Especially at the last minute!! :)
I printed some labels here from Mrs Home Ec and by tomorrow morning they should be good to go and filled with goodies!

 Since we don't do sugar generally and I don't want kids all riled up our treat buckets will be filled with chocolate covered cherries and blue berries, strawberries, grapes, popcorn, meringues, beef jerky and chocolate chips

Here's some blogs that were my inspiration!
simplykierste.comPicture version Treat Version
nothing but country

Hope this helps someone prep for conference!!