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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3 Financial Myths About Having Older Children

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3 Financial Myths About Having Older Children thefundamentalhome.com

 

One of the best aspects of spending so much time on YouTube is the people I “meet.”  It is so much fun to get to know others who enjoy watching videos.  Many of those folks are bloggers, too.  One such person, is Liz. She has been frequent visitor to my YT channel and even started her own channel about a month ago.  Her YT handle is The Frugal Libertarian, and her blog is, you guessed it, frugallibertarian.com.  One of the things I most appreciate about Liz is that, though we don’t have a lot in common, we can connect over the things we DO have in common.  For instance, we are both mothers and frugal.  Let’s be honest, those two things connect most of the women I know 😉

Anyway, Liz asked me if I would consider doing a collab with her.  She wanted to talk about some financial myths about having kids.  Liz is the mother of young children, and she has had to deal with SO many critical comments about her purchases that were based on financial myths- including a lecture from her pediatrician who felt that only the most expensive formula was acceptable!  She wanted to share her experiences and encourage mothers of young children, but she thought I could add to this as a mother of older children.  Of course, I have also had my share of criticisms based on financial myths, so I agreed to join her.

I know all of you mothers of older children are fighting battles, especially now as it is Christmas time.  There is so much pressure to buy bigger and better.  Don’t buy into it (literally or figuratively)!  You can have happy, healthy kids without over-spending- at Christmas time or any other time!  Here are 3 Financial Myths About Having Older Kids…

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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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$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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My Favorite Frugal Recipes: Paella and Potato Soup

The Fundamental Home

I must confess that I have been ramping up my vegetable consumption in a quest (yet again) to be healthier.  I really like doing this in the summer when fresh veggies abound, and I can find reasonably priced ones at the Farmer’s Market.  Most of the time, I am pretty disciplined, but my mind can also wander to food that I have decided to take a break from.  It’s a challenge to watch my children eating a cookie and know that I am committed to refraining for a time- especially when the apricot I bought for a snack is sour 🙁

Not one to dwell in frustrations, I begin to start looking for ways to improve my experience with food.  I start looking in cookbooks and at blogs, searching for inspiring stories and recipes.  Some I can use now, others I put in my mind for “later.”  Since I have been scanning recipes, I thought this was a good time to share with you all a couple of my favorite, frugal recipes.

My favorite paella recipe comes from epicurious.  If you have never had paella before (pronounced pie- A- ya), you need to make it.  Soon.  It is BEYOND delicious.  Even better, it’s nutritious and cheap to make.  My absolute FAVORITE summer meal is paella with fresh corn on the cob, which is also available right now!  Can you guess why I had this recipe on my mind?  Epicurious doesn’t have any pictures of their paella.  I wish they did.  In fact, I wish I were a food photographer, so you could see for yourself how amazing this dish is.  Since that isn’t possible, you will have to use your imagination to envision it.  Better yet, make it ASAP.  You will thank me.  I promise.

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How I Feed My Family of 5 For Under $100 Every Month: Part 5

The Fundamental Home

It’s the last week of our grocery budgeting series.  I hope it has been a blessing to you and your family.

This week, I am going to share with you 8 tips to make the most of your grocery budget.

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How I Feed My Family of 5 For Under $100 Every Month: Part 3

The Fundamental Home

We are going to talk about shopping, and I am going to give you several helps specifically related to the shopping experience and how to save, but first, a story…

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