Baked Berry Oatmeal Bars *Healthy, Easy, Quick*

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Baked Berry Oatmeal Bars Healthy Easy Quick The Fundamental Home

Oh my word!!  If you watched my grocery haul the other day, you know I got strawberries for a STEAL!!  They were only 75 cents for a 1 lb. container!  My discount grocery store was a MADHOUSE!  People were standing around waiting for the workers to bring the produce out.  It was unreal!  I was able to snatch up three containers before I was beaten away by the older ladies with their canes (no kidding… I was scared for my life!).

Those strawberries smelled SO good that I though they would be gone in a flash.  I guess my refrigerator was so full that all of the wonderful smells masked the strawberries.   Somehow, we made it to Monday (I shop on Thursday, ladies) with 2.5 lbs. of strawberries remaining.  I could freeze them for smoothies, but I was in the mood to try something new.  So, I popped over to Pinterest.

On a side note, are you following me there?  If not you need to be.  Here’s a link- The Fundamental Home on Pinterest.  Just don’t judge my Pinterest boards, people.  I am not one of those fancy pinners.  I just pin what I love!

In this case, I was pinning strawberry recipes like crazy.  A lot of them looked good, but here’s the thing.  My kitchen was clean- on a Monday morning.  I did NOT want to mess that up, nor did I want to do a lot of work to enjoy these strawberries.  I mean, I could just eat them without any mess.  So, I was hoping to find a recipe that would bring me joy and not require too much work or clean up.  A miracle recipe, as it were.

And I found it.

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$60 Bi-Weekly Meal Plan- Extra for a Long Term Guest

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$60 Bi-Weekly Meal Plan with extra for a long term guest thefundamentalhome.com

 

I did it.  I went over my budget.  Actually, this is the SECOND time in a row I went over budget.  On my last shopping trip I went WAY over with junk food.  You can check out the haul for that trip here.  In fairness, I went over and bought the junk food on that trip because I was recovering from gall bladder surgery, and I needed some easy things for my family to make and eat.  I wish I had enough time to prepare meals in advance, but I didn’t.  That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

Anyway…  This time, there is ANOTHER emergency situation that has caused us to expand the budget.  My mother is staying with us for a while.  She lives one street from the ocean on the SC coast, and she was forced to evacuate because of Hurricane Matthew.  We are not sure how long she will need to stay, so we planned to include her in our meals for the next two weeks.  Since I have a family of 5, and we normally budget $50 for two weeks (check out How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 Every Month for more info), that means we normally budget $10 per week per person.  So, I added $10 for my mom for a total of $60 to spend on this bi-weekly budget.

The menu plan for the coming weeks has proved to be a little tricky, though.  It’s not all because of my mom.  It’s because I have a LOT going on.  We have revival coming up.  There is our homeschool co-op and a Mom’s night out.  Plus, I have a doctor’s appointment. It just feels like I need an easy meal or crockpot meal just about every night.  The thing is, that gets boring, and it’s just not possible.  So, I finally came up with a meal plan, but I am still not 100% happy with it.  I may be hitting Pinterest up.  Still, I wanted to share with you what I have down.  It may help you to make a plan for your week.  Here it is…

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The $44 Menu Plan- Feeding a Family of 5 for Two Weeks

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The $44 Menu Plan Feeding a Family of 5 for Two Weeks- The Fundamental Home

This has been a time of bounty.  We are coming off the end of summer.  Everyone is back on a rather normal school schedule. Our cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer are stocked.  Life is good.

So, this week, when we made our bi-weekly shopping trip, we discovered that there wasn’t much we actually NEEDED.  Instead, we could just get some great bargains and use them to build our menu plan.

Of course, I started at our local discount grocery store.  After that, it was Aldi.  My total spending: $44. 15.

Even I was impressed. As you know, we usually budget $50 every two weeks for our family of 5.  (If you didn’t know, be sure to check out my blog series called, “How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 Every Month” for more details about how I shop.)  This was probably my smallest haul in a really long time.  Even so, I got some amazing deals!

My favorite deal of all was the packages of frozen bagels.  I got them 4 for $1.  I also bought some hot dogs for $1 a package.  What made them special was that these were all beef, kosher, gluten free hot dogs.  Let me tell you, having a child with special dietary needs means that hot dogs usually aren’t a family friendly meal.  Sure, I buy them, but then I have to make Ricky something else.  Not this time.  I could but these hot dogs knowing that everyone in the family could eat them.  That is a great buy!  Another great deal was the frozen, antibiotic-free, ground turkey that we purchased for $1 a pound.  I was SUPER excited about that.

I can’t neglect to mention, too, that my sweet friend shared her bounty with me.  We were the recipients of a large supply of free food thanks to her generosity.  Her mother decided to get rid of some things in her freezer, so she have them to the daughter.  Well, my friend filled her freezer and offered me what wouldn’t fit.  And guess what?!  A lot of it was gluten free!  BONUS!

Anyway, if you want to see all of my great deals, check out the video haul:

My face, though 🙂

This shopping trip was on Thursday, but I have not had a moment to post the video or share my menu plan until now.  I rushed to make sure it was available to you ASAP!  Without further ado, here is the menu plan…

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins & Pumpkin Bread Rolls

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins & Pumpkin Bread Rolls from The Fundamental Home

 

It’s starting to feel like fall!  That means pumpkin flavored everything!

Recently, I made a vlog showing how I make some pumpkin treats.  The pumpkin bread rolls were tasty, and I wanted to share the recipe, so I looked all over the internet thinking I could just attach a link.  Would you believe that I could not find it?!  The recipe came from an old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  I figured that the blog would be a good place to share this old, classic recipe.  To spare my fingers from typing more than necessary, I snapped this picture of the recipe:

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How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 a Month: June 2016 Bi-weekly Meal Plan

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How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 a Month with Bi-Weekly Meal Plan thefundamentalhome.com

 

It’s  been a while since I have been active on the blog.  My new love for YouTube and finishing up the homeschool year has kept me from having the time and energy to write.  That doesn’t mean I won’t be writing in the future.  I just have to figure out a way to balance it all.  You know how it is, moms.  We have so much on our plates, something has to be let go or we get super overwhelmed.  In my case, it was writing.  I am sure you understand.

Of course, if you miss me, you can always run over to my YouTube channel, called- The Fundamental Home.  I am posting there every day.

Anyway, this week, I did my 6 month video update on the “How I Feed My Family of 5 for $100 a Month” series.  If you haven’t read that blog series, there are five parts.  Here are the links to each part:

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

The last video I made for the series was in January after we had been snowed in for two weeks.  I have been so surprised by the number of views and comments on that video.  People are asking the same questions over and over.   I think I am going to do a follow-up video and answer those questions, even though, if folks read the comments, they could probably find the answers they are looking for.

But I digress.

So, here we are with the new update.  I went shopping with Briana yesterday, and we found lots of great bargains.  You will see in the video that I did use one coupon, which I don’t normally do.  Hey, if you give me a coupon to get something for free, I will use it!  I also went to several stores.  We had the time and energy, and I wanted to try some new stops.  Normally, I don’t drive around so much because it defeats the cost-saving purpose, but you have to check out the competition every once in a while.  Otherwise, you might miss out on a deal.  Here’s the video:

I like to share my menu plan after I do a shopping video.  This way, you can see how I use my purchases.  I did shop on Friday this week.  We had enough that I didn’t have to run out on Thursday, my usual shopping day.  This was good because I had made plans to go see one of my new YouTube friends.  It was a blast!  So, the plan is for Friday to the 2nd Thursday.  I have links to some that have videos.  Without further ado, here’s our menu plan…

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Natural Remedies for Pneumonia That Worked When I Couldn’t Take Antibiotics

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Natural Remedies for Pneumonia that Worked When I Couldn't Take Antibiotics- Essential Oils, Mullein Leaf Tea, Etc...

 

I have been away from the blog for a LONG time because I have been recovering from a-typical pneumonia.  It’s a long story, so I won’t go into all the details.  The short version is that I got bronchitis, which turned into a-typical pneumonia.  For the sickness, I was given an antibiotic, which my body had a bad reaction to- INTERNAL BLEEDING!  It was awful!    After the reaction, I had to stay away from antibiotics, build my intestinal flora (which was ravaged), and recover from my illness with only natural remedies.  It was a long, slow recovery, but I am feeling a lot better.

Not perfect.  Better.

I am on my way to a full recovery, though, and feeling positive about the month of April- so positive, in fact, that I have agreed to participate in VEDA (video every day in April) on YouTube.  One of my most requested videos was a discussion about which natural remedies worked for me (the actual remedies are linked below if you just want to check them out), so I made that one today.  Here it is:

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3 Fast & Frugal Slow Cooker Meals for When Mom is Sick

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3 Fast & Frugal Slow Cooker Meals for When Mom is Sick thefundmentalhome.com

 

God bless the inventor of the slow cooker.  I mean, I prefer to cook on the stove, but there have been COUNTLESS times that one appliance has really been there for me.  These last few weeks are just one example of the slow cooker showing me love.  There was a time when I did not have one.  Oh!  The horror! I am so glad that it is back in my life for good.

If you are following me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube (and if you aren’t, you should totally click those links and take care of that), you may know that I have been taking a break from blogging because I have been very sick.  I had some kind of sickness that turned into a-typical (AKA walking) pneumonia.  The struggle has been real-er that real.  It has been R.E.A.L.

Now, in my house, I have two grown men with college degrees, one young man that is a full-time college student, and a girl who has been cooking since she was 4.  I have a meal plan with all the ingredients in the cupboards.  I have Pinterest boards that every member of my family can access to get recipes for the meals on the meal plan if they don’t remember how to make them.  I even keep the kitchen relatively clean, so they don’t have to work too hard to get something started.  Yet, in spite of all that, on the day that I was feeling the worst, everyone could not get it together with what I had in the house in order to make dinner.

They ran to the dollar store to grab some cans of pasta (the red ones made by a chef 😉 ) .  No problem with that part, exactly.  We have emergency funds to cover the cost.  The one issue was that my husband, who is cheap, did not buy himself anything for dinner.  He decided to do without until I could cook for him again.

Is my husband the only one who does this?

OK.  Actually, he decided he would make something from what we had at home, but couldn’t figure out anything when he got there.  So, I woke up from a fitful sleep at 7PM to discover that my kitchen was a mess and my husband was hangry.  Not a good combination if you know about his OCD issues.  I even offered to make him something, and he responded that he would figure it out.  He didn’t.  The next day, he didn’t figure out lunch for himself either.  I knew that if there was going to be peace for my recovery, I would need to ensure that everyone in my household had food while I was sick.

Out comes the slow cooker.

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My Favorite Frugal Recipes: The Basics- Flour

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The Fundamental Home

This weekend has been a whirlwind.  I went out to do my bi-weekly shopping trip.  Because I knew that I planned to film it and do an updated post here on the blog, I posted a link to the original “How I Feed My Family for $100 Every Month” post on Facebook.  The goal was to bring my new followers up to speed.  Well, it took off, and we had the largest day ever on the blog.  Thank you all so much for sharing our posts!  It makes such a difference when you take the time to share them.  I can’t tell you how encouraging it is after taking the time to write and make videos to know that they actually are a blessing to others.  Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart!

With so many new viewers, we got a lot of comments and questions.  Lots of folks were wanting to know about the frugal recipes we use.  In the past, I wrote a couple of posts called “My Favorite Frugal Recipes.”  I shared “Paella and Potato Soup” and “Curry and Vegetarian Chili.”

Today, I thought I would share with you some of the recipes that we use as the foundation for many of our frugal meals.  I am talking about the basics.  Here are those recipes and how we use them to stay on budget in our home.

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$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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