Category Archives: Living on a budget


So it might seem like a person who would do a challenge like this would need to be a really amazing cook. I would like to clarify that though I can hold my own in a kitchen, I am actually not an amazing cook. I usually cook easy and forgiving meals that don’t stress me […]

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Betsy - September 5, 2014 - 11:38 pm

This post makes me oh so happy! Real (local) food is the best! Love this post and love you! And thanks for the shout out :)

5 minute salsa

Most of our meals this month will not be that exciting. Many of the meals I will be making will take a lot of extra prep, so we will definitely also be eating a lot of scrambled eggs this month. Scrambled eggs are something that Sofia can make as well, so it will be fun […]

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Scottish Oats with Stewed Pears and Apples

I have cooked a lot of rolled oats and steel cuts oats, but I have to admit that this was my first time ever cooking Scottish Oats (Camas Country Mill). I am now in love with Scottish oats now. They are extremely hearty but have a bit of a fluffier consistency than steel cut oats. […]

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sharon - September 2, 2014 - 9:26 pm

I love this challenge and all the yummy recipe ideas. Looking forward to hearing more :)

Oregon September Challenge

My family decided last month that it would be fun to try to eat only Oregon grown (mostly willamette valley) grown/raised food for the whole month of September. At first I was super excited about the idea as I really value eating whole foods and local eating, but I soon realized that it would take […]

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Kacie - September 2, 2014 - 10:04 am

Love this Kara! Thanks for using our beef in your lineup. Major efforts for a busy mama!
Good luck!
Eatin good

Amanda Whitmire - September 2, 2014 - 5:12 pm

Wow, Kara! You’ve done so much work already! I know that I’ll be referring back to this post to remember what kinds of things I can try to find locally. I’m looking forward to following along! If other people are interested, I’d love to see some comparison pricing on a few things (the grains, eg., and I had no idea we could get local rice – awesome!). If you have a favorite recipe or two from the experiment (and I know how loose recipes can be), I’d love that, too!

kara - September 3, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Yes, your meat will be used at least a few times this month!! Amanda, I will for sure post some recipes.Feel free to send some my way this month too!!

Meal Planning

I am trying a lot harder to work on meal planning. Not only to be more organized, but also to cut down on expenses. I am trying harder to create meals out of food we already have at our house. Here is a sample of some meal planning: Tuesday-Spaghetti Wednesday-Chicken Veggie Pasta Homemade bean burritos […]

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adrienne w - February 9, 2013 - 9:19 am

We’ve actually been pretty vigilant about meal plans over the last year and it has made a big difference in my life. I don’t have next week’s plan made yet, but last week was:
Monday- (I don’t remember, but stuff we had on hand because we hadn’t shopped)
Tuesday- Lemon Chicken and rice, steamed carrots
Wednesday- Breakfast for dinner (fruit, muffins, coconut rice pudding- Denver wasn’t home for dinner so we often have something like this when he’s away)
Thursday- Tostadas with homemade refried beans
Friday- homemade pizzas on pita shells (we had 2 sets of missionaries over for this)
Saturday- Chilli (crockpot) and biscuits
Sunday- Roasted chicken(crockpot), mashed potatoes, and green beans

Denver will be gone for work for the next 2 weeks, so I’ve got to get a meal plan together and have him go shopping for me before he leaves. When he’s gone, it’s harder in some ways, because I don’t want to make things the kids won’t eat. But I also use it as a time to try things I know he’s not interested in.

Kris - February 9, 2013 - 12:42 pm

Wow! I am impressed. I have to admit I really only cook on the weekend. Week nights are left overs, sandwiches, or anything I can throw together is 10 minutes or less. I do really want to commit to more sit down together families now that our schedules allow.

Sara - February 9, 2013 - 1:11 pm

Will you share your Thai Dragon noodles and Kale soup recipes? Those are great ideas to add to the rotation.

Our kids’ favorite weekly staples are rice and beans, pasta with red sauce, and quesadillas.

kara - February 9, 2013 - 1:42 pm

I always forget about breakfast for dinner. THat would be a great thing to do once a week.
You are welcome to come up here for dinner any night of your choosing. NOw that you know what’s for dinner, just choose the night that looks best :).
Yes, quesadillas are big around here. We go through way more tortillas than bread. So the Thai Dragon Noodle recipe comes from the rebar cookbook (which is really good, but some of the recipes are time intensive.. this one doesn’t take too much time). Here is a link I found with it:

For the Kale soup, I don’t follow a recipe, but here is the gist:
*I cook some chicken italian sausage and onion in one pan. In a pot, I cook chopped potatoes and kale in chicken broth (with some garlic, salt and pepper). When they are cooked, I add the meat/onion and then at the very end I add a little cream. My kids really like it.

Carrie - February 11, 2013 - 9:37 am

When my husband was growing up, his mother referred to evenings when leftovers were served as “nights to remember.” We still use this terminology and so when I plan to serve leftovers and my husband asks what’s for dinner, I reply, “we’re having a night to remember!” :-)

kara - February 11, 2013 - 8:17 pm

A night to remember… I love that and will henceforth be using that phrase.