Friday, August 31, 2012

Floral Wreath Tutorial

    Your front door is the first impression of your home and your personality. While some apartment buildings have uniquely styled exteriors, others are rather plain looking. Think about when you're looking at houses or being directed to a house. There are plenty of exterior elements in place to make it more appealing and to set it apart. I'm sure we've all been given the descriptions of "It's the house with (color) shutters" or something of the sort when given directions. An apartment can have that same effect! Your apartment is your home and it certainly doesn't have to be boring. Decorating the exterior gives it some excitement and helps guests easily find which unit is yours apart from all the other identical doors. Simply add a wreath to your door! Purchasing a pre-made wreath may be convenient, but it can also be rather pricey. A fun and affordable alternative is to create your own!
Materials can be shockingly expensive if not bought carefully.  I purchased all my supplies either on sale or with a 40% off coupon (available online) from Hobby Lobby. To make the wreath you will need:

- 2 main floral stems (I chose orange)
- 2 secondary stems of a contrasting color to add interest (I chose cream)
- Grapevine wreath
- floral wire
- wire cutters (I used a tiny pair I have for jewelry)
- (Optional) Bow or letter to place at bottom (not pictured above but included in later pictures)

 1. Cut stems into desired lengths. Lay out how you want the flowers to be arranged on the wreath before you begin. 
  2. Attaching the stems to the wreath by looping a piece of wire within the wreath and stem. Twist to secure in place. Cut the ends of the wire and tuck as much as possible out of sight. Aim to place the wires where leaves or flowers will easily hide them. If necessary, give them a little fluff to encourage them to do so. 
3. Add your secondary stems. Separate the pieces if desired and begin adding them throughout the main flowers. Attach in the same manner as was done previously. 

4. Optional- Attach a letter or bow to the center. I used the wire again, but you could also glue the letter to the wreath. 

The finished wreath! I really enjoy how it turned out and the fun it adds to the entrance of our unit. 

Read Other Posts in the Home Sweet Apartment Series:
*Homemaking While Apartment Living: Part 1, Part 2
*Concepts For Small Space Living

Linked up at: Homemaker By Choice, A Mama's Story, An Original Belle, The Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Raising Arrows, Time-Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Cornerstone Confessions


Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Plans: Summer (Aug 26 - Sept 1)


     We're still working predominantly from Taste of Home Dinner on a Dime: 403 Budget-friendly Family Recipes. The recipes I've used so far have been real food (or I can easily substitute an packaged/processed ingredient here and there for a better option), tasty, and within our budget. I've really enjoyed learning how to make one main meat purchase stretch three ways each week. The week before was pork, last week was beef, and this week is a whole chicken. This is one way in which we're able to have real food on a real budget. Plus, I rather like having so many different meals during the week. Of course, I cut all the recipes down to 2-3 servings in order to make that feasible. Later, I'll have a post on my latest organization method for using and rotating so many recipes. :)

-parfaits (yogurt, walnuts, strawberries, granola)
-omelet (eggs,diced bell peppers, diced onions, diced mushrooms), toast, fresh smoothie/juice
-granola cereal with dried berries, banana 
-oatmeal, strawberries, walnuts
-egg sandwich (egg, cheese, sausage, biscuit)  

-(Sunday: eat out with friends)
-Fig salad (mixed greens, raisins, candied walnuts, feta crumbles, figs with balsamic vinaigrette dressing)
-Garlic clove chicken, smashed red potatoes, zipper cream peas
-Sweet potato fritters, pinto beans, cornbread
-Spicy chicken stew (I'll create my own or substitute the garlic-lime salsa)
-Ravioli primavera (I'm subbing tortellini for ravioli because I already have that on hand)

-BBQ chicken sandwich, zucchini chips (using homemade buns previously made and stored in the freezer)
-Sweet potato fritters, pinto beans, cornbread (repeat)
-Oven fried fish, curried barley with raisins (I'll be doing the fish fillet style and not nugget style. I'm also using catfish (on sale) instead of cod)
-Garlic zucchini frittata
-"game day dogs" (My hubby decided the start of the football season needed some hotdogs. haha)

-ice cream
-bananas, peaches, oranges
-homemade yogurt
-seeds & nuts
-homemade bread

Linked up at: I'm an Organization Junkie

*Note:The  product link and image inlcuded above contains affiliate links to Reviving Homemaking is an affiliate of, and as such receives compensation for each purchase made through the links. 


Friday, August 24, 2012

Concepts For Small Space Living

Over the next few weeks we'll be discussing some strategies for managing and decorating the home that are specifically geared toward small space and budget-conscious living.

      Living in a small space does not have to be limiting or feel cramped. It simply takes a few key strategies to make the most of the available space. One goal that I've come to recognize that is central is to create a feel of permanence. An apartment or other similar type of residence has a temporary feel to it due to the frequency of moves that occur in and out of the units. So, aim to take ownership of the space by using materials that suggest it's yours and you're there to stay (at least for now). The following are a few tips & tricks I've learned along the way for making a small space more comfortable. Regardless of whether you are in a small house or a small apartment, there are suggestions applicable to any situation. 

 Create a More Permanent Feel

     This concept applies more to apartments or other typically temporary spaces than a small house. You want to create an atmosphere that strongly suggests that you are well established there and it is your home. While plastic drawer bins, inexpensive shelving units and brightly colored items are fun and functional, they are more appropriately used to organize closets or cabinets. To maintain storage in an open space, choose more solid materials like wicker or canvas baskets. If purchasing inexpensive furniture pieces like those made of particle board, then opt for the nicer versions of that material. There are in fact particle board furniture pieces that are barely recognizable as such. 

 Select and Arrange Furniture Carefully

     In general, you want to select pieces that are lightweight and slim. Large pieces of furniture can quickly overwhelm a space and make it look smaller. The exception is large pieces such as a sectional paired with few other pieces. The advantage of sectionals is that they can offer equal seating with less space requirement. You do have to be careful for the direction of the chaise if it is an "L" shaped piece and the overall size since these units typically are quite large. 
     Also, choose to have fewer pieces. You want to create a sense of space, and furniture that lines the walls will give the room a more enclosed feel. Traditionally, a living room set up includes a sofa and loveseat flanked by end tables with a coffee table in the center. This arrangement has a lot of pieces and can create a very boxed in feel to a room. Instead, consider using club chairs in place of the love seat. The chairs provide equal seating but offers more visual space surrounding them. 

      Don't be afraid to use a piece of furniture for other purposes than what is customary. For instance, we were given a dresser set that has been used to store towels and linens when our unit at the time didn't have storage space for such. It's currently being used in a closet to house our large kitchen items like the roasting pan, serving pans, and other non-everyday use kitchen items. Bookshelves can also be used in a variety of ways beyond storing books. A short bookshelf can serve as a coffee/tea drink service area in your dining room. A full size bookself can be used to store pantry items in clear labeled jars in the dining room when there isn't enough cabinet space in the kitchen. The decorative presentation of each is what makes them work well outside their usual places. 
    Lastly, look for multifunctional pieces such as an ottoman with storage or a sleeper sofa.

 Constantly Evaluate Your Possessions

    The more space available, the more stuff found to fill it. When you are working with a small space you must examine the necessity and priority of everything you bring home. Small space living is a great exercise in determining wants versus needs. I may want a closet full of clothing, but what I need is a few good pieces. This is not to say that you have to feel limited in what you can have. My husband still has his full drum set and I my craft table and shelves. You just have to choose what your priorities are and allow those to have presence in your home. Ask yourself "What is most important to us as individuals?" For my husband it is his drums and for me it is my crafts. Next, what is most important for you as a couple and to your vision for your home? For us, I think we would like a comfortable space in which we can relax and be ourselves, but also one that permits us to be focused elsewhere as well. In other words, as much as we enjoy our home we also enjoy being with people and participating in activities. It's much easier to do those things if we're not totally consumed with keeping and managing our stuff. 

 Use Textiles To Brighten Up White-walled Rooms

     One of the challenges of apartments is that they typically come with plain white walls. If you're going to live in the same unit for years, then you may choose to paint the walls. Keep in mind though that you'll have to paint them back to white when you do leave and that's a lot of work and money. Instead, use fabrics to add color to your place. It is remarkable the extent that pillows, bedding and curtains can transform a space. Curtains make a big impact in any room. In the bedroom, a bedding set sets the tone for the entire room. In the living room, it may be your couch or it may be your couch cushions. If you are working with a less than ideal couch, then add some different pillows or covers to see the piece in a different view. I had previously been hesitant to add curtains to my home because I considered the investment in the material and rods a risk for if we moved elsewhere. I thought on being stuck with needing additional rods and curtains for new window arrangements and being unable to find matches. My solution has been to do curtains and rods as a DIY project so that where ever we go we'll be able to duplicate the material or rods. (Look for tutorials on these coming up as part of this series!). 

Add a Little Life With Photos and Plants

     The first time I met my husband's family, I couldn't help but notice all the photos of friends and family displayed throughout the houses. Displaying photos portrays the resident to be fond of wonderful experiences and  the company of others in life. They add a tremendous amount of life and personality to a space! You can still have artwork, but a blend of the two says so much more about you. 
     Houseplants also add a sense of vitality to a space. Having plants has the added benefit of being natural air purifiers! If your home receives any sunlight, then a plant is a lovely addition. Furthermore, if you have a patio or balcony that receives sunlight, then consider a balcony garden. I have thoroughly enjoyed having all the greenery lining the railing of our balcony creating my own little oasis in an apartment complex. Having a little garden has a way of adding cheer to a day.  

Use Vertical Space

     There simply is not a lot of space to work with in an apartment or other similar residence. Therefore, vertical space is an asset. If you can't work out, then work up. If you have a free wall in your kitchen, then you can hang utensils on a bar with "S" hooks. You can also hang pots and pans on a special wall unit. Spices can be stored in the cabinet with a pull out shelving unit which takes up less space than the tiered shelves. Use sliding tiered basket units in your freezer or under your kitchen/bathroom cabinets to maximize storage space. If your unit doesn't have adequate space for a bookshelf, then consider a few floating shelves that attach to the wall. Anything that is collapsible or can stack is going to be helpful. 

 Clear the Clutter

    Ah, clutter. In a small space, disorganization and clutter can consume a room far faster than in a larger space. There just isn't room for such things, so get in the habit of picking up after yourself immediately. A rule of thumb is that the only things on the floor ought to be your furniture. Take care of anything that has been permitted to exist in piles on the floor or on furniture surfaces.
    Beyond actual clutter, there is also visual clutter in a space. Too many items on a wall, furniture surface or countertop creates visual cutter. The eye ought to be able to seamlessly pass over the objects in a room. When there are too many or they are in disorder the eye tends to stumble across and perceive the space as cluttered or chaotic. If you have an entertainment unit, then the top should be clear. Select just a few of your favorite pieces to display on your nightstand, endtables or coffee table. 
     In the kitchen, have only the items that are very heavy or that you use on a daily basis sitting out. The bathroom is similar in keeping only the essentials on the countertop. In both spaces, the countertops are typically fairly small in apartments and keeping the items stored on them to a minimum allows you to better utilize the surfaces when working. 

 Focus on Functionality

   Don't be afraid to invest in organizational bins, baskets, or other systems. One of my personal hurdles has been in investing in organization bins or other systems. I was always afraid of a system that works in my current space not working in future spaces. With careful selection of bins and systems this can be avoided. However, if it absolutely won't work later then these items are always on demand and can be easily sold at yard sales or in online ads. The important part to remember is that you have to be able to function in your space. It's hard to function in disorganization. 

Use hidden spaces for storage

    Space under the couches and bed are wonderful storage areas for items that you might not need very often. Use flat storage containers to keep items together and sealed. A slim container with gift wrap, bows, and cards can be slid under a sofa. Out of season clothing can be stored in several long and flat containers and stored under the bed. 
     The top of the kitchen cabinets can be used to store large serving platters, home canned goods, empty jars and supplies used for canning, paper products (napkins, plates, cups etc), baking supplies (cutters, liners etc), or extra food items purchased in bulk. Be careful with overloading them, though, because cabinets can fall. If you store heavy items like home canned foods or foods purchased in bulk, then limit the quantity to one to maybe two rows. If you're storing other items like the ones mentioned, then select a decorative basket or box and affix a label to the outside. Items can get greasy or dusty up there, so choose containers that seal or at least sealed containers inside of  decorative containers. Essentially, you want to use this area for storage without it looking like storage. Decorative jars or baskets allow the eye to smoothly move across the upper cabinet areas.

 Practice Hospitality
     You can still practice hospitality while in an apartment or other small space. Believe it or not, a home doesn't necessarily shrink when it's shared by many people. In fact, it seems to shrink when it becomes a place of solitude and confinement. The key here is to understand that you don't have to have everything for everyone. Also, for the items you do need choose compact or collapsible styles. If you have overnight guests, then a nice blow up mattress will suffice. When the weather is nice, move outdoors onto a patio. For that occasion, collapsible chairs can easily stored or set out for as many as needed. I've yet to receive an ungracious remark or have someone choose a hotel due to our collapsible style hospitality. I certainly don't believe that sharing your home with others has to be limited by the type of residence or arrangements. Hospitality is about relationships, after all, not necessarily proper entertaining. 

Other Posts in the Home Sweet Apartment Series:
Homemaking While Apartment Living: Part 1, Part 2

Linked up at: Homemaker By Choice, A Mama's Story, The Alabaster Jar, Homestead Revival, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Raising Arrows


Monday, August 20, 2012

Home Sweet Apartment Series: Homemaking While Apartment Living (Part 2)

Over the next few weeks we'll be discussing some strategies for managing and decorating the home that are specifically geared toward small space and budget-conscious living.
Read Part 1- Homemaking While Apartment Living

     Another benefit we've enjoyed is that we have flexibility in our location and job. If my husband is presented with a job opportunity, then he can accept it without concern of a mortgage or the housing market. We would, of course, be required to pay extra to break the apartment lease, but if we need to do so to move quickly then we can. In another season in life we may decided to settle down somewhere more permanent. However, in our current season we need to be able to go where the job opportunities are presented.

      The next two benefits directly relate to small space living. I'm intrigued by images and articles on individuals who live in extremely small spaces and how they make it work. I'm always struck by their resourcefulness in managing the space, purposefulness in every item, and life lived beyond material possessions. These stories are one source of inspiration for me towards the concept of minimalism. (The previous post is on a book onminimalism and if you haven't checked it out then I highly recommend doing so). It's amazing how the more space we have the more stuff we'll find to fill that space whether done consciously or unconsciously. When I've had larger spaces, I don't evaluate needs versus wants nearly as much because the items are stored away out of sight. Regardless of if I really need the item I can keep it because I can find a place for it. The problem then becomes spending so much more energy and money to maintain these storage places. I've also noticed that when my home is spacious and full I'm less likely to go out into the community and connect with others. I get comfortable in my own space so fast, but yet I in no way desire my home to be a great fortress of stored stuff within which I am a hermit. No, life is about relationships. I find it more difficult to be focused on such if I'm busy tending and guarding my stuff. Could I invest in the lives of others either with my time, finances or other resources with the current expenditures given to having extra space for extra stuff?

     Speaking of relationships, I adore the fact that I'm always aware of the presence of my husband or guests in my home. This is perhaps one of my favorite perks to small space living as I have always wanted in a home for it be a small space overflowing with friends and family. The kind of place in which everyone is drawn from their individual rooms of seclusion and into spending time in common rooms like a dining room, kitchen, or living room. I like the noise and commotion of relationships. It's a sweet sight and sound to be enjoyed in life!

       Everyone will have his/her own experiences with small space or apartment living. There is beauty to each experience if we come to see them as seasons and blessings in life. I believe it's important to embrace your living space and make it your own. It's also important to be resourceful and wise when transforming the space from just a structure to a heartfelt home.  I aim to provide ways in which you can decorate, organize and live well within a small space and within a small budget. The heart of the matter is in creating a space within which relationships are built. 


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Menu Plan: Summer (August 19-25)

-parfaits (yogurt, walnuts, strawberries, granola)
-omelet (eggs,diced bell peppers, diced onions, diced mushrooms), toast, fresh smoothie/juice
-granola cereal with dried berries, banana 
-oatmeal, strawberries, walnuts
-egg sandwich (egg, cheese, sausage, biscuit) 


-(Sun.- eat out with friends)
-Sausage Scalloped Potatoes, green beans
-Asian salad (mixed baby greens, (candied) walnuts, tomato, sesame seeds, avocado,mandarin oranges with  dijon vinaigrette dressing)
-Broccoli & Cheese Soup (Just like Panera Bread's! I'm subbing whole milk that I already have on hand 
to save from buying half-and-half)
-Sausage Scalloped Potatoes, green beans leftovers

-Pot Roast with carrots, potatoes, onions 
-Broccoli & Cheese Soup repeat
-Louisiana Catfish with okra and corn, grits (I'm using tilapia instead of catfish. I also add diced tomatoes to the corn and okra side) 
-Breakfast for dinner- french toast using cinnamon raisin bread
-Beef Sandwiches (shredded roast beef, homemade barbecue sauce, homemade bun), corn, zipper cream peas

-fruit (honeydew melon, plums, peaches, bananas)
-mixed seeds/nuts
-celery with peanut butter
-homemade cinnamon raisin bread
-homemade yogurt 

Linked up at: Menu Plan Mondays     


Friday, August 17, 2012

Home Sweet Apartment Series: Homemaking While Apartment Living (Part 1)

Over the next few weeks we'll be discussing some strategies for managing and decorating the home that are specifically geared toward small space and budget-conscious living.

        For some individuals, the walk from the wedding alter will lead into the doors of a house. For others, it will be into an apartment or other small or temporary residence. Neither one ought to be labeled as good or bad. The choice rests in the appropriateness of the residence for the couple at the time. The only "bad'' is in under-appreciating the potential of the current living situation by longing for something else. The role homemaking has in transforming a bland and generic rented space into a warm and inviting home is a potential that exists in the present state and as such need not be put off until a house is owned. 

     Homemaking is most commonly applied to the setting of a house, but the education, skills and tasks required remain regardless of the structure. Can I manage this small space well? If so, then I will be more capable of managing larger spaces when/if that occasion should arise in life. I personally would have been much more overwhelmed by domestic tasks had I started out in a large space or house when I married. I was unprepared in this area, and learning within the context of an apartment has helped me gradually learn and practice. Furthermore, managing small spaces takes a bit of extra skill as there is little room for disorder. If you feel called to homemaking, but are waiting until a house to begin then I would encourage you to embrace your current space as a wonderful starting place. 

      One of the greatest lessons apartment living has taught me has been in the area of contentment. I get cranky at the lack of storage space for our stuff, smoke smells or thumping music from neighbors, walls and floors so thin that you can hear what you wish you hadn’t, high rent rates attached to poor quality units, parking lots in which a car can be hit without get the picture. The argument could be made that within a neighborhood of houses the neighbors' properties aren't directly attached to each other and thus many of these issues would be solved. Perhaps, but the issue is more about a poor attitude than poor proximity. If fault-finding is the fixation, then areas of dissatisfaction will be found regardless of the setting. The heart of the matter is contentment. Having every condition in life be perfect is likely something that will not happen. So, can I be content even when things aren't exactly as I want them to be? God promises to provide for my needs and if I’m not seeing that then perhaps I’m focused too much on my wants and thereby missing what he has already done for me. He has provided a roof and walls to surround me, and that is absolutely something in which I can find contentment! Moreover, could God use me, or my husband and me. where we are that I/we would miss if we were consumed with discontent in our current type of residence and longing for something else?

      My husband and I have drawn other benefits from apartment living during our current season of life. For instance, we're thankful that we didn't have home/property taxes, yard maintenance, home maintenance or repairs or other expenses and responsibilities associated with home ownership in addition to all the other changes that were happening when we married. When our sink disposal stopped working in the already stressful Christmas season this past year, I was extremely grateful that I just had to call the repair in to the office and not have to worry about purchasing a new unit and installing it. For us, the ease of having an attentive office and maintenance staff reduced some stress as newlyweds. We'll eventually learn these tasks on our own, but for now we're thankful for not having to have a crash course in them plus marriage. At the moment, our attention is more appropriately applied to working on building up a strong foundation within our marriage.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review- Living With Less: An Unexpected Key To Happiness

     I recently had the privilege of reading Joshua Becker's newly released ebook, Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness. In the book, Becker skillfully weaves the heart of living a life of minimalism with personal stories and a Christian perspective . When information regarding an upcoming ebook was announced on his blog page, Becoming Minimalist, I was eager to obtain a copy. The quality of content of his posts have easily lead the blog to become become one of my favorite sites to read and follow. The ebook did not disappoint in the least. In fact, it was one of those rare books that resonated within me to such an extent that I had to periodically put it down at times to simply exclaim, "wow." Of course, I then readily dove back in with glee. 
     The author's predominant audience is youth, as is clearly displayed in the lower lefthand corner of the front cover. Though he does speak at times from this perspective, the influence is so subtle that the appeal, I believe, extends far beyond this age grouping. I personally throughly enjoyed the work and didn't feel as though I was reading material geared for a younger audience. I applaud the author for reaching out to this particular group, however, as this perspective on life and living is likely one that has not been demonstrated or taught to them. 
      The informal tone of the book communicates a concise yet well developed approach to the various aspects of minimalism. His writing is such that his desire for connection with and conveyance to his audience can be sensed with familiarity. Moreover, it is evident that he is passionate for minimalism and ministry as the two subjects are interconnected throughout the work. In fact, he spends and entire chapter in discussion of salvation leading to a life devoted to Christ. Other connections to the gospel are found within a majority of the chapters. His approach to ministry within this subject matter is different, however, from other faith-based financial or materialism works in that he doesn’t offer concrete or step-wise suggestions for betterment. This style is consistent with the rest of the book in that the book is not a step by step guide to practical ways to become a minimalist, but rather a guide to the principals and heart for the lifestyle. I’m particularly fond of when Becker says,
          I have come to believe and understand that minimalism – the intentional promotion of 
         the things I most value and the removal of everything that distracts me from it – is a
         message that appeals to the heart and resonates with the soul… (p. 48). But for this 
         pursuit to become a reality in anybody’s life (yours or mine), we must be convinced that 
         this lifestyle is worth our effort. … if our heart is not fully convinced, we will struggle with
         the same old pattern of life that defines so many of the people around us” (p. 52).
 while discussing how connection with the heart is vital to the choice to live differently.

    My criticism of the book is that it seems to assume materialism is in the form of desiring "bigger houses, faster cars, trendier clothes, fancier technology." Yet, I would be more apt to believe the desire lies more in the accumulation of stuff in general regardless of the quality. One can be overwhelmed with consumerism by an excess of mediocre stuff without ever striving in pursuing nicer items. The author does mention the ability to have fewer nicer items instead of many poorer quality items as a benefit of minimalism. However, there remains a bit of a weakness in establishing the two sides of consumerism or materialism, which would be having bigger and better possessions or simply more and more of them. If the reader feels as though he/she doesn't fit the assumption of having or wanting a big house, fast car, trendy clothes, latest technology ectera, then the message of minimalism may become inapplicable and ineffective. However, it is one I feel is worthwhile in sharing and teaching to others. 

   The weak point of the book, in my opinion, is really small in comparison to the work as a whole. I found the content and organization of the book to be of excellent quality. Despite I having been previously exposed and personally believing in the principles of minimalism prior to my reading the book, I was still moved and inspired by it.   I would highly recommend this book. It is an encouragment to individuals already believing in minimalism as well as a great start for individuals without former exposure. 

Further Information & Ways To Purchase:
Author Joshua Becker's website: Becoming Minimalist

Printed Book Version:

eBook Version:

*Note: 1) An e-book version of this book was given to me free of charge for review prior to publication in exchange for my review to be published on Reviving Homemaking. Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of the author, book, or publisher. As such, Reviving Homemaking does not receive any compensation in any form beyond a free copy of the book. The opinions shared are entirely my own and have not been influenced or solicited in any particular direction in any manner. 

     2) Some links included within the post contain an affiliate link to Reviving Homemaking is an affiliate of, and as such receives compensation for each purchase made through the links. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Menu Plan: Summer (August 12-18)

        This week is full of new recipes. I found this cookbook today and after browsing for a bit I was eager to take it home and try out the recipes. The subtitle of the book is "403 budget-friendly family recipes," yet it isn't heavily based on packaged foods or one-dish meals. I also really enjoy that it has a section of planned leftovers, which suggests a recipe for a central ingredient and then offers two additional recipes which would use the leftovers. For instance, this week we purchased a pork roast and will be using it in three meals. We paid $8.40 for meat for three meals! The book also contains a section on freezer meals in the form of creating double portions to use one now and one later. I foresee this section coming in handy soon. There are so many other sections that I could rave about in this book. I'm that impressed with it so far. It's a collection of recipes from Taste of Home, which is a source I use often. For this week's menu share, I've tried to include as many of the recipes I'm using from the book that are also available online. I would highly recommend purchasing a copy of the cookbook if you're looking for real food in a cost effective manner. We planned for 13 different meals and 6 different snacks this week, and yet our grocery shopping total was only $43! That involved only meat, vegetables, dairy and 1 packaged food item(Croutons due to lack of time to make some) and no coupons or sale shopping. All recipes are cut down to 2 servings and we try to homemade and reuse ingredients as much as possible. My goal is to grow in providing real food on a real budget. Mission accomplished! :)

-parfaits (yogurt, walnuts, strawberries, granola)
-omelet (eggs,diced bell peppers, diced onions, diced mushrooms), toast, fresh smoothie/juice
-granola cereal with dried berries, banana 
-oatmeal, strawberries, walnuts
-egg sandwich (egg, cheese, sausage, biscuit)

-Caesar Salad
-Sausage with Apple Sauerkraut
-Pork Fried Rice
-Veggie Pizza
-Italian Pork Hoagies, Freezer Slaw (homemade hoagie buns)

-Lasagna (leftovers)
-Savory Pork Roast, corn on the cob, baked sweet potatoes
-Fettuccine with black bean sauce, green salad
-Veggie Pizza (leftovers)
-Soft Fish Tacos (omitting the slaw made with tartar sauce and using the freezer slaw instead)
-Breakfast for dinner (probably something like whole wheat blueberry pancakes)

-Homemade Pretzels (cutting them into bite-size pieces instead of sticks)
-Plum & Almonds or other nuts/seeds
-Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread
-Fresh juice (carrot & celery)
-Yogurt with fruit
-Fresh fruit (honeydew melon, bananas, apples)

Linked up at: 

*Note:The  product image link inlcuded above contains an affiliate link to Reviving Homemaking is an affiliate of, and as such receives compensation for each purchase made through the links. 


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