Meal Plan Monday - March 21

A few weeks ago we tried orzo for the first time and I was a little surprised to find that one small box makes 3 or 4 meals. It was on sale this week for $.79 so I'll be looking for new orzo recipes to try!

Our menu for this week:

Shepherd's Pie

Mushroom Fettuccine, peas

Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, Carrot Sticks, Heart Healthy Yogurt Biscuits

Baked Ravioli with Heart Healthy Pasta Sauce

Greek Orzo Salad, Carrot Sticks, Leftover Yogurt Biscuits

Pizza made with Whole Wheat Crust

Easter Dinner: Ham with Mustard Sauce, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Beans, Fruit Salad with this Honey Lime Glaze and Honey Yeast Rolls

How I Saved This Week - March 12

We had unseasonably warm weather this week. One day I was able to keep the thermostat at 62 degrees all day.

free book from Voice of the Martyrs came in the mail this week. You can request the free book here (sign up is required).

I bought bread at the bread store. I paid $1.03 per loaf.

I saved a clamshell container that had produce in it in order to start seeds. I'm planning on starting banana pepper and bell pepper seeds at the end of this month, and the clamshell containers make great mini greenhouses!

I gave the boys a hair cut.

I worked 5 days this week and my husband and I brought lunches to work with us.

I paid $.75 for a book at the library book sale.

How did you save this week?

How I Saved This Week - March 5

This is the time of year that I always look for a great deal on winter coats for the next year. We try as much as possible to pass our older son's clothing to our younger son, but the jacket that our older son wore a few years ago was very worn.

When I am buying winter coats, I always look online because there are a lot more options than what is available in my area and I can easily compare prices without driving to several different stores. I found an amazing deal on a winter coat for our younger son at The coat was 70% off and I used a coupon code for an extra 29% off (a special offer on February 29). The original price was $110 and the final price was a little under $30, including tax and shipping! I used a gift card and paid nothing! What a blessing!

I went to a local thrift store this week and found a summer shirt and a pair of shorts that my younger son will be able to wear this summer for 50% off. I paid $1.50 each.

I price matched at Walmart.

My children received a free Lego magazine this week. I signed up for the magazine at and they are always excited to see this magazine in the mail. I also received two free magazines.

I used online bill pay to pay bills and we paid extra against our mortgage principle. We would like to pay at least one extra mortgage payment this year. It doesn't sound like much, but it can turn into big savings. If you are interested in paying off your mortgage early, Dave Ramsay has some great advice.

I ordered free coloring books for Operation Christmas Child boxes.

I saved paper from the children's school, that would have been thrown away, for notes and lists. I fold the paper in half vertically so that the printing is on the inside and make my grocery lists on the outside. It's a great way to get extra use out of all that paper we get from school before throwing it in the recycling bin.

After entering all our February transactions into EveryDollar, I noticed that we did stay within our budget for February. Even though we stayed within our overall budget, we did end up spending a lot more in the restaurant category than I had budgeted. The extra money that we spent could have been spent on something else - i.e. paying extra on our mortgage principle or saving for this year's summer vacations. My goal this month is to be more careful about our spending in this category.

How did you save this week?