Basically the general guidelines

  1. we will allow ourselves to dine out once per quarter to allow for the occasional business meeting or special celebrations
  2. if we are out on business or having a meeting in a coffee house we can order the bare minimum needed to mix in, no need to be bigger freaks than we already are, right? **snort**
  3. coffee does not count, we gave up fancy coffee long ago so the occasional coffee we feel is not a problem
  4. if on a business trip there is no way we will be cooking from a hotel room


Went to the big city

And avoided Sushi. YES! And saved another 40 dollars we would have spent. Adding that in right now and feeling pretty good about it.


Menu plan+savings update

It's a little late this week for a menu plan but I didn't do a regular shopping this week due to a Costco shopping trip Friday. I still have a menu plan in place. Last week we kind of veered off our plan, the detours tasted good so it's OK.

Here is our general plan for the week:
Crusty Salmon, green beans, pasta with butter
Swiss Steak in the crock pot
Bacon Salad-again I know but it is so damn good!
Chicken Noodle soup-home grown chickens

baked goods
rhubarb crisp
granola bars
bread 8 loaves

That should take us through next Tuesday when I'll have to plan everything all over again.

This week our money saved goes up a bit too. We usually liked to go out for lunch on the weekends but since we went to the movies it would have been dinner out for Korean or Indian food. I'm going to say conservatively we would have spent $40 right there. Then I worked from a coffee shop so coffee and a cookie would add in 5 more bucks. My mom took the boys today so add in 5 more dollars for another coffee shop trip. Then our Wednesday lunch with friends at the farm usually sent my husband out for lunch for $10. Our savings this week: $60


That's some big savings.

Planning an interview with a gal who is buying NOTHING NEW THIS YEAR! That kind of blows my mind. I think next I'm going to do that. I need to go blog the crusty salmon recipe so you guys can drool over it.



We went to the movies yesterday.

We ate before we went.

I brought a snack to eat during the movie.

We got popcorn and my husband got a soda.

I ate some popcorn and immediately got sick to my stomach. I took a nap for the first part of Avatar. I dozed through the second half. I ate a bit more popcorn, just to sustain my stomach ache, you know. I really do think it was the grease in the popcorn that made me so sick!

Do I consider this a failure? No. We talked about it and decided to buy the popcorn. It was something we talked about in the beginning of the project and decided we would deal with it later. I guess we did?! I don't know.

Do I want to go back and resist the popcorn bag? Yes. I want to get to the place where food smells don't bother me. And don't dictate my life. Although that's not the gist of 365 In, it is a goal of mine.

Where do we go from here? Onward. I'm not quitting this project but I'm pretty sure I'll stumble along the way. Hopefully I won't trip on popcorn again.


Going to the movies

and I wanna get popcorn.

Who wouldn't right? It smells divine and everyone is munching down. Plus it's Avatar and from what I've heard it's long. And I might get hungry. Pack a snack? Eat before hand? Or get popcorn?


Money Saved update

oops I realized I haven't updated how much money we have saved in a while. Today because we were at the farm playing/working, we packed a lunch and went to the store afterwards. On days like these my husband always went out to lunch, at 10 bucks a whack, this is going to add up. Then I have been really trying to get out of here and go where I don't have to be concerned with anybody else and work on grant writing, so I head to the local coffee shop. I would normally get a cookie and coffee for 5 bucks, I did this twice this week so I saved at least 10 bucks. And a weekend always meant a lunch out at, I'm going to say we probably would have spent 25 bucks on lunch this weekend. So I'll be adding another 45 bucks to the total. YES!

Next week we have to go to Anchorage to take my husband to the dentist and I know we will NOT be going to the great Korean place we found. I'm bummed but I'll also live. We do have a fundraiser for our new Waldorf inspired Charter School, Birchtree. It's going to be held at a local restaurant, Turkey Red. We are going. We knew it was coming and that is why we made the #1 rule which is we can, if needed, go out for a meal. I would like to think we won't be going out anymore this year but even I the Queen of All can't see that far into the future. I plan NOT to go out, I'll put it that way.

Tonight we, surprise!, veered away from our menu plan and made homemade corn dogs. YUM. I posted the recipe on my blog because they were good. Last night we had Vietnamese Pork Chops, rice with peanut sauce and dry fried green beans. All good, gingery and garlicky. YES!! Perfect for COLD winter days(daze).


Menu Plan For the Week

For anyone who didn't read about it, I avoided the cookie. It was hard. It would have been so easy to eat it. But here's the deal, I live in a small town and I'm pretty sure someone would have seen me buy it or eat or worse try to sneak it. I left, grabbed a gallon of milk and went home to make pancakes. I gotta tell you, if loving Log Cabin Syrup is wrong I don't want to be right. It is good, people.

My meal plan this week is looking something like this:
salmon cakes, french fries, carrots and celery
vegetarian chili, fresh bread, green beans
Mama Tso and Tso chicken, dry fried green beans, brown rice-must order more from Massa Organics!
Vietnamese Pork Chops, Peanut sauce and pasta, snow peas(from our garden last year)
Stromboli-rolled pizza-recipes to come
Baked potatoes with leftover chili
Sushi-I'll post rolling instructions for these rolls too

blueberry muffins-frozen berries from last summer
cherry blueberry crunch-also frozen last summer

So that's my list. Looks good on paper, we'll see how it pans out.



So right about now I am struggling. I just finished a pretty major project and I DESERVE a reward right? I'm looking fondly towards the coffee shop counter thinking "what the hell, who cares if I eat a cookie or not?" But I do, because I don't want to be the person who says one thing and as soon as it seems slightly painful does the exact opposite. I don't want to be a wiener.

But damn that cookie looks good. I just finished a grant proposal that was like swimming in mud, impossible. I'm mostly alone ready to head for home after working in a coffee shop to finish up this grant proposal. I'm freaking hungry. I have to go make dinner. I deserve a cookie.

I'm cranky.

Finishing up 2 weeks

of restaurant free living. I like it. We roared in from our morning appointments 1/2 an hour late but because of snacks we were not starving. Thankfully we had enough to keep us sustained. I'm going to say we save 20 bucks because we for sure would have gone out for lunch with so many appointments right before lunch. But no we saved 20 bucks and that brings our total up to, umm whoops I'll have to post this and then look in the side bar but you can look their now.

Over on Hey what's for dinner Mom? is the Blues and Blahs Buster Daze so head on over and comment to win some prizes. No following, no flaming hoops to jump through just an easy sharing giveaway or 3 or? Plus I have the recipe for the great dinner last night and the first thing I'm giving away is the secret ingredient!

Tonight we had bacon salad and baked potatoes, one of my favorite dinners. If anybody is interested I can post a recipe for bacon salad it's basically just a spinach salad but my husband likes to call it bacon salad.


It's Easy

to not go out to eat when you don't go out. Tomorrow, er today?, though we several appointments in the town next door starting at 9:30 and ending right around noon. We will need snacks. I can assure you we will have snacks.

Oh by the way I've been busted. By myself even. Turns out my kids overheard me tell a friend about this project. Apparently then the boys were planning an ambush but I interrupted it by calling them to dinner. Attack averted.

The subject has been brought up, talked about and they seemed non-plused. I don't think they know how long a year is. We'll see.

Another thing: it's more fun to write about food than actually post a recipe every day.

Dinner tonight was pasta with homemade, homegrown, home slaughtered duck/goose/turkey Italian sausage sauce with a secret ingredient. And I'm giving away the secret ingredient this weekend. Stay tuned. In fact this weekend is a blues and blahs buster weekend. Giveaways on Saturday and Sunday. Plus I feel the debut of my etsy store is coming soon.


Shopping Day

A day when I used to get shanghaied into buying lunch treats from the "DELI" at the store. When did deli become synonymous with deep fried, MSG laced crap?

Today we played with friends, ate lunch in the car on the way to shop and made it out of the store with nary a jojo or chicken strip amongst us. WHEW. That saved us 10 bucks right there. Plus if we're not home for lunch normally my husband would have gone out to lunch, you know because his arms are broke, er because we aren't home to eat lunch with. So again another 10 bucks. These damn lunches out are EXPENSIVE! So we saved what? another 20 bucks today.

Saw a study that found 48% off fast food ice machines had fecal matter in them. That made this whole project so much more worthwhile. And clean.


Keep on keepin' on

Last night I worked at the local coffee shop for a few hours. It was my first time out on my own, I bought a 2 dollar black coffee, added a bit of milk and called it good. Normally I would have had a cookie and then felt the need to leave a big tip, Because you know she had to pour coffee and ring up 2 items. I dropped some change in the jar but didn't feel the need to leave a huge tip. I'm think I would have spent 5.50 total. I saved 2 so I'm going to call it 3 for bookkeeping ease.

I am in no way advocating leaving small tips. Please continue to tip as desired. Everyone deserves what they earn. But for a cup of drip I didn't feel a dollar tip was needed. Thoughts? Am I now a cheapskate? Was I wrong?

In other thoughts. If I leave a link for a recipe it will more than likely lead you to my blog. Or another trusted site. I won't be posting recipes here, this is more of journal on this particular project. I will continue blogging life, recipes and randomness (3!!) at Hey What's for dinner Mom? my other 'real' blog. If you ever just want to check out the other site by all means do! the link is going to be right up there in the right sidebar.


Tuesday Menu Planning

I think menu planning is one of the best and worst tasks I have to do on a weekly basis, I raise my own chickens folks, that has to tell you something right there. On one hand I love to find, create or dig up recipes to make but firmly planted on the other hand are the likes, dislikes, repeats, failures and refusals that make cooking for other people the hardest damn job in the world. I have eventually come to the conclusion that I can't please all the people all the time and with that idea in mind I go forth in to the realm of possible meals.

These are a few of the dos and don'ts of menu planning:We eat mostly a vegetarian diet which just about kills my oldest son(but I keep lots of mom approved foods for him to munch on because lets face it he eats about every hour on the hour) so there's that. We grew our own meat this summer so I should use that. We raise our eggs so I need add them in when I can. I have a freezer full of salmon from dipnetting to eat up. And of course all the vegetables I put away need to vacate the freezer. That's not even the likes and dislikes of our crew, which just really don't count for much because our house rules are everybody has to eat 3 bites of everything that's for dinner. Funny thing about that rule is that after those 3 bites they usually forget their dislikes and just tuck in.

Without further adieu this weeks menu:
Baked Salmon-roasted potatoes-corn and peas
Veg. Bulgur Chili w/cheese and yogurt, fresh bread
Spaghetti, green salad and bread sticks
Almond/edamame/vegetable chowmein
Pancakes, eggs, bacon, fresh fruit
Baked potato bar w/broccoli, cheese, onions, yogurt
Fake n Bake Porkchops, roasted cabbage with cheese sauce

Baked Goods/sweet treats
4 loaves of bread
Bread Rolls
Blueberry Upsidedown Cake
Peanut Butter and Jelly thumbprints...working on a recipe

So there it is and we'll see how it pans out. Notice how I didn't post a day for each meal? I do that because if I slip up and don't get it together in time I don't feel guilty or worry, I just make what I can, and roll on. So why make a meal plan anyway? Well, I go to the store once a week and need to make sure I get what I need. If dinner parts are in the house it makes staying in and eating in so much easier.

Wish us luck as we head in to our 2nd week of 365 In: a year of eating in. This week was actually pretty easy in after thought, with a little planning we can avoid a whole lot eating out.


Week 1 down

Well we managed to live through an entire week without going out to eat once. Apparently, it can be done. Cool.

We made pizza on Friday night, Saturday brought cooking with mom and the littlest boy, we made macaroni and cheese muffins. Today saved us an earlier trip out for sushi because we made sushi at home. We made modified California rolls, nigiri with salmon we caught last summer and of course some homemade eggrolls. Quenched the thirst for sushi and then some!

On to week two. Tomorrow I might have a meal plan figured out. I need to get that done and do the weekly shopping except the wind is howling. This kind of wind will literally blow your groceries right out of your cart on the way to the truck. Good thing I have a full pantry if we don't get to the store no biggie, the only thing we are missing is chocolate.


No news is good news right?

Ah another quiet day here. Actually we went out this morning but managed to pack some snacks to avoid the whole I'm hungry can we stop here maneuver and it worked like a charm. I didn't even buy "one more gingerbread latte" which of course I milk every year until they run out of syrup. So that saved 5 more bucks. The weekend will be a battle I'm sure but the boys want to make macaroni and cheese muffins tomorrow and Sunday we are sushi-ing so we will be set.

Dinner tonight was pizza and stuffed mushrooms. Yum. Satisfyingly delicious and cheap. Works for me. Ciao.


Round Robin Time

Hi everyone! I posted my blog to the Round Robin at Keeping up with the Shultz Family today! If you have not been to Amy's blog you should definitely head on over and check her out, she is one of the sweetest bloggers I know.

If you are coming from the Round Robin at Amy's blog welcome to my year of craziness blog! Yes we really are attempting to go for a whole year without going out to eat. Please take a minute to scroll down and check out our progress. Our basic ground rules are over to the right. Comments and followers are always appreciated, followers do not have to go for a year with eating, out only us! Thank for coming by.

We had a quiet day yesterday no dining out triggers jumping up at us. We stayed home and gathered up school papers for next weeks check in with the homeschool office. Fun! Dinner was vegetarian cabbage rolls, recipe coming soon on Hey what's for diner Mom?


We made it!

To the city and back without stopping for food! Woohoo. We even hit Costco and avoided all the free food. We ate our lunch while counting cars smashed in ditches. Thankfully we made it safe and sound.

Staying away from the sushi bar really bumped up our total of cash saved. Up 30 bucks! My kids can eat the sushi. We are making some this weekend to make sure we get our favorite foods and don't miss them. Tonight we are having the damn cabbage rolls, I swear it. We are, we are, we are. There I said it no excuses now.

Did you just hear that scream?

That was both of my sons being told we were NOT going out for sushi. Yes, my kids are freaks, have we not already discussed this? They beg for sushi and this is sure to stick with them as one of the meanest things ever done to them.

We have not actually told the boys we are not going to dine out for a year but I did hint around a bit. Is that wrong? Should I tell them? They really have no choice in the matter but I'm sure we will hear incessant arguments on the subject IF we tell them. So I have been going on the assumption that we will discuss it when we HAVE to. This is our first big challenge; going to the big city and not going out for lunch.

We are taking a lunch and water to drink and maybe an iced coffee for me. Our lunch will consist of: pb&j on homemade bread, carrots (peeled by boys...shhhh makes them so much more yummy!!) and sunshine upside down cake(recipe coming on the recipe blog soon) and maybe pretzels if we need them. Eating our own lunch will save us about 30 dollars that we would have spent on sushi, an added bonus!

While working on a menu plan/grocery list with the boys we did decide to make sushi on Sunday afternoon so we will actually be filling the sushi void we will all be feeling. Except my husband he won't know what he is missing but he'll enjoy making sushi anyway.


Well that's interesting...

I am discovering that while I like to think we don't go out a lot we actually do, just not always for a full blown dinner. There are the husbands daily rockstars (blech but he likes them so...) which he is giving up. There are trips for coffee when there is a nothing to do. There are the lunches out becasue we are in the city or the kids are gone or because we want to. Lots of reasons to celebrate by eating somewhere else but home. Well I can see one thing for sure we will be spending more on money for groceries but we will save even more because we are staying in.

I have decided to keep a running tab in the sidebar of this blog with a total dollar amount saved by us NOT going out. And I will try faithfully to add in a real dollar amount each and every time we would have used any occasion to go out to eat or hit the coffee house for more that a cuppa. So far my husband went to the library instead of the coffee house to work alone so that's five bucks saved on coffee and a muffin. I stayed home and had leftover falafel for lunch today instead of going out for lunch with my husband (boys are at Grandmas today) so that's another 20 dollars plus I know I would have snuck in a last of the season gingerbread latte from Starbucks. Yes, I gave up spendy coffee last year but I do so love the gingerbread and would happily drink one everyday. Consider that another 5 bucks. WOW! that's a lot of money.

Here's a picture of my leftover falafel sandwich. This baby saved me 20 bucks! And my husband worked through lunch and ate a noodle bowl from his desk.


2 days in

So we are 2 days in and I just wanted to say I am rocking this thing!! OK, I made it 2 days and I haven't freaked out yet might be a better summary. Actually I do get a panicky feeling every once in a while but all I'm doing is trying right? If I don't make it what are the consequences of failure? None, except failure.

One thing I am going to do is plan for a week of meals. Not a specific meal for each day that way I don't have pressure to make a certain meal each day and then feel weird when I don't actually make THAT meal. It's a bit more freeing especially when I can't find the specific stuffed cabbage recipe I wanted to make. Tonight we are actually having baked falafel and tater tots. Last night we had roasted cabbage with cheese sauce, vegetable pie and green peas. Why bother with a menu plan? Well it helps in planning a weekly shopping trip and it reminds me what the heck I was going to use that can of beans for anyway.

So onward to day 3/365. Going boldly into the future.

Peace and Love



Hi and Welcome

Welcome to 365 In, A Year of Eating In. This is where we will be tracking our journey, posting our thoughts, weekly menus, recipe links and struggles.

Here is a rough menu plan for the week

Sunday: Cabbage Rolls, Green Peas, bread

Monday: vegetarian day Edamame and Toasted Almond Stirfry, Steamed Snow Peas, Brown Rice

Tuesday:Baked Salmon, Baked Potatoes, Roasted Corn

Wednesday:Bean with Bacon Soup, Raw Carrots

Thursday:Pasta with Simple Pasta Sauce

Friday:Pizza Night!!


Lunches usually consist of leftovers or sandwiches.

Will we make? Will we crack? What are we going to miss the most? Who knows?