$50 Bi-Weekly Menu Plan for Family of 5

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$50 Bi-weekly Menu Plan for family of 5- thefundamentalhome.com

Thanks for checking out THE UPDATE on the “How I Feed My Family for $100 Every Month” Series.  Here is our menu plan for the next two weeks.  I am pretty sure I will have leftovers from my grocery purchases.

Remember, this plan only includes dinner.  We have breakfast and lunch options on our menu that are open to everyone.

For more information about how I feed my family of 5 for under $100 every month, check out the series of blog posts linked below:

Part 1: Organization and Discipline

Part 2: Menu and Inventory

Part 3: The Process with Video and Tips 

Part 4: Making Your Groceries Stretch (this is my favorite part)

Part 5: Tips to Make the Most of Your Budget

Here is our bi-weekly menu- be sure to click the links to find video tutorials (made by me!) showing how I make some of these meals:

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How I Feed My Family for $100 Every Month: January 2016 Update

Hello everyone!

I thought I would update you all on our grocery situation.  My most popular posts of 2015 were part of the “How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 Every Month” Series.  Here are links to all 5 parts:

Part 1: Organization and Discipline

Part 2: Menu and Inventory

Part 3: The Process with Video and Tips 

Part 4: Making Your Groceries Stretch (this is my favorite part)

Part 5: Tips to Make the Most of Your Budget

I still get questions and comments pretty regularly, and someone commented recently that I had written the post a while ago and prices may have changed.  This post is about 6 months old, and I am happy to say that, overall, prices have gone down in that time.  I think that this is due to the dropping gas prices.  No matter what the reason, my budget is happy.  We are still plugging along at $100 a month.

However, we did have an issue in the last few weeks.

Snowpacalypse

We were snowed in for several days and unable to leave and get groceries.  Thankfully, we had enough to tough it out, but just barely 😉  I made a video for you all to share what our cabinets looked like after the we had been snowed in and what I purchased with my $50 bi-weekly budget.  Here it is!  Watch and tell me what you think (but you have to watch until the end- I make a very important point in the last few minutes.)  🙂

Thank you for watching!  Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel for future updates.  In the morning, I should have the completed bi-weekly menu posted.

Shared on Thrifty Thursday , Frugal Friday, Essential Fridays, and Family Friendship and Faith Fridays

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7 Things I Wish I Had Done More When Homeschooling

The Fundamental Home

We’ve talked about things I wish I had done and things I am glad I didn’t do.  Now, I want to share the things I wish I had done more.  These are the real successes- the things that worked well enough that I wished I had been able to pour my whole heart into them.

It wasn’t always possible.  There were limitations, many my own.

It’s the final installment in my reflection series, so here are 7 things I wish I had done more.

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7 Things I Am Glad I Didn’t Do As a Homeschool Mom

The Fundamental Home

We’ve been enjoying the wonders of nature this weekend as we have had a rather large snowstorm come through. Our family lives in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, to the east, and we don’t get too much precipitation of any kind.  The mountains usually block a good portion of it.  In order to get any significant accumulation, the storm has to come up from the South.  Well, this time, it was a doozy!  We were snowed in for several days.  Thankfully, the power stayed on, and we maintained our heat.  I am also pretty thankful that we had enough food to get by.  Because we almost never get snow, I didn’t take the warnings too seriously.  I didn’t rush out for bread and milk (or coffee or meats or veggies or other foods that would have been helpful to have on hand if I had known we would not be able to leave our house for days).  Like I said, it all worked out.  Yesterday evening, we were able to get our truck down the treacherous hill that is our only way out and park it in a neighbors driveway- which made for a chilly walk at 4 AM when I had to take Rick to work.  With only one vehicle, I am still in charge of taking everyone back and forth.  I tell you, nothing will wake  you up like trudging up a snowy hillside at four in the morning.  I haven’t even had my coffee yet.

It was a fun weekend, though.

Aside from the concerns about power, food, and travel, it was good to have a reason to stay home for once.  I went outside and played with my children everyday.  We cooked tasty things from scratch (did I mention that I got a beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas?), played board games, watched movies and football games, and generally lazed around to our hearts content.  It was beautiful.  I told Rick that, if we were more prepared (wood stove and lots of food), I could live like that for a long time.

Needless to say, not much homeschooling took place.

I saw all those homeschool moms post on Facebook about their children rushing to finish school before playing in the snow.  Maybe I am just getting older (I like to think more experienced), but I am not stressed about that stuff anymore.  In fact, I don’t think I ever really was SUPER stressed about homeschooling.

While my homeschooling experience hasn’t been perfect (after all, there are some things I wish I had done), there are some things I am glad I didn’t we didn’t do, like…

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7 Things I Wish I Had Done While Homeschooling

The Fundamental Home

Homeschooling has been on my mind a lot lately.

I don’t know what it is.

Maybe it’s because I have sent another child to college and I am feeling nostalgic.  Maybe it’s because, with just me and Briana, I have more time to concentrate.  Maybe I just like thinking about it 😉

Whatever the reason, I have been giving it a lot of thought.  My mind is filled with things that I wish I had done, things I am glad I didn’t do, and things I wish I had done more.  Because I can’t get them off my mind, I am going to share them with you.  Hopefully, if you have homeschool children, my experience will be a blessing to you.

We’ll start with the things I wish I had done.

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Keeping Connections When Family Lives Far Away

The Fundamental Home

After a long week with the flu last week, I scrambled to get the house presentable for a visit this past weekend.

My dad comes every year to spend a few days with us at Christmas time.  This year was a bit different because he wasn’t able to get here in December.  Our visits are determined by when he can get off work., so we didn’t get to enjoy his company until mid-January.  I was glad that he hadn’t decided to come the weekend before this one.  That was when the flu was just starting, and I fear he would have taken home a present that would not have been appreciated.

This past weekend, I was just starting to feel like myself.  I have a bit of a lingering cough, but overall, I am at about 85%.  The fine weather also helped.  While it rained on Friday, Saturday was sunny and rather warm.  It felt like a spring day, and I found it hard to believe that we would get any snow on Sunday even if the weather report said we would get some.  We took advantage of the nice weather to visit a semi-local tourist site that I have been trying to get him to visit for years.  I took pictures, but my dad isn’t a fan of sharing his image online.  Instead, I will share with you a picture of Briana and Brian from the visit.

The Fundamental Home

Do you have family that lives out of town?

All of our extended family lives far away.  Every single one is in a different state, the closest being 5 hours away.  It is tough to live so far away from the people you love.  We are especially sad that our children have mostly grown up without extended family nearby.  There were no cousins to play with or grandparents to spoil them for a large portion of their childhood.  Having my sister far away is difficult for me.  Today is her birthday, and I wish I could be there to tease her about being older and getting gray, but I will have to do that by phone (I am too old-fashioned for Skype).

It’s a challenge to be far from loved ones, but we have found ways to make it work.  Here are some ways we keep connections with our family that lives far away.

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Homeschooling When Mom is Sick

The Fundamental Home

As you all know, I have been sick with the flu for a while.  Briana was sick, too, for a few days, but she was mostly sick over the weekend.  Monday came, and she was ready to learn.

Lately, with both of her brothers in college, she is like a machine when it comes to school.  She wants to learn as much as she can as quickly as she can because she wants to graduate before her brothers.  She may or may not.  We have been considering dual enrollment as an option for her.  If we did that, we would hold off on her graduation for a little while.  I don’t think I will mention this to her just yet.  I like the initiative.  Besides, no decisions have been made.  We shall see when the time comes.

Anyway, she is ready for school.  I am still sticking close to the bed.

What’s a sick mom to do?!

Luckily, I have some backup plans.  That doesn’t mean that I literally have a substitute come and teach my children (although it sometimes happens that a grandparent, sibling, or friend is around who can fulfill the teacher’s role).  It means, instead, that I have plans for any event that requires me to be less than hands-on during the homeschool day.

Here are some ideas that we use for homeschooling when mom is sick.

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If You Give a Mom the Flu

The Fundamental Home

If you give a mom the flu…

She is going to ask for some elderberry syrup.

When you give her the elderberry,

She’ll probably ask you for a spoon.

Once she’s taken the syrup,

She’ll ask you to wash the spoon.

Then, she’ll run to look in the mirror to make sure she looks OK

before running the errands that can’t wait until she feels better.

She might notice she is looking a little pale, and there are circles under her eyes.

So she’ll probably wash her face, comb her hair, and maybe put on a little make-up.

When she’s finished getting her appearance together,

she will notice the bathroom needs a little tidying.

She might get carried away and start cleaning every room in the house.

She may even do a load of laundry, as well.

When she’s done, she’ll probably forget about the errands because

she wants to take a nap.

You will probably have to bring a blanket and a pillow to where she has crashed on the couch.

She’ll grab a hold of them, snuggle up, fluff the pillow a few times, and start to fall asleep.

Then, her children will ask her to read them a story.

So, she’ll read to them from one of their favorite books,

and they’ll ask to see the pictures.

When they look at the pictures, they will get so excited, they will want to draw one of their own.

So, they will ask for paper and crayons.

They will color so quietly that mom will fall asleep.

While mom’s asleep, they will draw a picture…

on the wall.

They will sign their name…

in pen.

Then, they will draw another picture…

on the refrigerator-

with a permanent marker they found while looking for tape.

When they stand back and look at their work,

it will remind them that mom is taking a nap,

and she hasn’t seen their work yet.

So, they will wake her up.

And when they when they wake her up,

they will start to sneeze.

Because chances are,

if you gave a mom the flu,

her children got the flu right along with her.

(This is the result of one mom’s battle with the flu.  Of course, it is an homage to the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” written by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, which my children and I have enjoyed for years.)

Shared on Welcome Home Wednesdays, Coffee and Coversation, A Little R & R Wednesday, and I Choose Joy

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