story fam

story fam

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Monday-January 23

Well last week worked out so nicely that I thought I would try again. Now this week wasn't as easy because I was out of town at a dance competition and had to make my meal plan on the fly. Again my goal was to use as much food from my pantry as possible. Here is what I came up with:


Chicken tenders
green beans
fresh cantaloupe

All of these items were already in the house-whoopee!!


Taco Tuesday
2 lbs ground beef*
fiesta blend cheese*
sour cream*
black beans
soft shell tortillas*

*-items that had to be purchased; this is (approximately) a $12 meal for the 7 of us


Green beans
fresh pineapple

all meal items were here


"gondola" sandwiches*
Gondola sweet bread
assorted lunch meats/cheese
fresh fruit

*will have to buy bread-3 loaves $7


Frozen pizza*
cold carrots with dip*


Left overs

Small group
-we are the dessert so I will be making a coffee cake or cupcakes with boxed mix that I have

Our grocery bill for the week was $78. Not bad for a family of 7!!! I just know I could slash it even further if I could just get rid of convenience items for lunches!! I spend so much money on chips (baked), fruit snacks, etc. I wish I was diligent about buying more fruits and veggies!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Monday (Pantry Challenge) January 17th

Well I did our first week of the pantry challenge and noticed a tremendous drop in my weekly grocery bill!!! Here is what I came up with (items in bold I pulled out of cabinets/pantry):

Ham sandwiches on mini rolls
Green Beans
Fresh fruit

Total cost of meal: 99cents for a fresh pineapple (Aldi has them on sale this week!)

We have an out of town volleyball game this evening and have to leave immediately after school, so this night is a bust!! I am going to deduct our dinner out from grocery money. We will be dining on:
Fruit cups
As you can see the cost will only be for the sandwiches which will be about $10!

Spaghetti with sauce
Bread and butter
Green beans (can you tell I had plenty of beans socked away!)
Canned mandarin oranges

Shells from cupboard
Meat, cheese, sour cream purchased
Total: $10

Frozen pizza


What kills me every week are prepackaged snacks, breakfast items (bagels, cereal, frozen pancakes, waffles), and things for lunch. We don't do hot lunch so we need a variety of things for all 5 kids to take 5 days each week. I am running out of lunchtime creativity!!!!

This week I did also purchase yogurt, chicken strips, and milk.

Our grocery budget was under $100 which is pretty awesome for a family of 7!!!!

I will be doing the same thing next week!!! Stay tuned for more adventures from shopping in the pantry:)

I haven't done this in awhile, but I'm headed over to link up at to check out some new possibilites for meals!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pantry Challenge

Well I have decided to jump on the pantry challenge bandwagon that I repinned on Pinterest. We seem to be accumulating more and more canned food, boxes of pasta, and random packets of taco sauce here at chez Story. I'm not sure if it is because I am working full-time right now, or if my meal planning system is in a temporary funk?

Here is how I am going to play...I am going to shop from the pantry first. If there is any possible meal that can be put together with the food that we already have here, it will be used first. I will be prepared to buy fresh fruit, veggies, meat etc. but our freezer has A TON of stuff as well!!

Wouldn't it be nice to find that our grocery budget could rest for a week by using what we already have?

I'm not sure what our menu for next week will be, but I know that we have lasagne noodles, sphagetti noodles, and numerous cans of tomatoes!!

This will be interesting!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Oliver rang in the new year with a nice cup of chocolate milk!!

Such a pretty girl!!

Oliver, Ella, and Michael dancing to Just Dance 3-they all had some SERIOUS moves!! Ella was not happy when Uncle Tom didn't accept her rematch challenge!!

Counting down to the new year (8:30 p.m.) with some sparkly white grape juice-so yummy!!

Party girls

Toasting each other


We said farewell to 2011 with a small New Year's Eve celebration full of dancing (Derek hung a real disco ball), eating (easy menu of gondola's, chips, and some seriously delish treats!!), laughing, and playing.

As I look back on 2011, I see a year that was really good and as I look ahead to 2012, I can't wait to see what God has in store for our family and for all of the people that we love!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Bucket List 2012

Our new bucket list for 2012 has been written. As we've done in the past, our crew sits down for a family meeting to create family activities that we would like to do at some point during the new year. We have two rules: 1) Everyone has to participate, and this year 2) All activities must be free. Here is our list:

Peris: One announced "screen" day

Michael: Star Wars Movie Marathon

Ella: A dance party

Fiona: Harry Potter Movie Marathon

Emmy: Build a blanket fort and hold a reading club inside

Derek: A long bike ride with a picnic

Kara: A "tour" of 3 parks (my choice) in one day

Bonus activities: *A tree tour with the Dean of Green
*Strawberry picking

This is always such a cool list because we get to do these things as a family which I love.

The "50" Challenge

The Story Family has decided to take on the "50" challenge that was shared by us with our good friends the Kawakita's. What is the "50" challenge?? This year, our family has committed to read 50 books by December 31st of 2012. Starting today any book that one of us reads can be written on a big piece of paper and counts towards our goal. To count, the book has to be read completely. Now I know 50 books isn't a big number for a family our size, but I have a feeling that once we get going we will surpass this number and keep going!!! The Story's are readers!!

Keep your eye never know when a surprise book review may pop up here!!