$450 a Month in Groceries for Family of 4

We have been making it going on 5 weeks now on $450 a month for groceries for 3 adults and a tween. We don't eat as much of a variety as we did back in April when we ate this amount but we are still able to eat enough and make it happen despite inflation! It does take work on the homemaker's part to do the brainstorming, planning, prep work and cooking.  We have cut out most processed foods like frozen burritos, chicken nuggets and other convenience items like cereal.

This is the first time in our lives when we are actually forced to do this. I've always chose in the past to do a frugal plan or keep our costs down but now, we are in a situation where we absolutely have to. This is not fun, let me just tell you that! When you are deprived against your will, after having not been deprived, it is very difficult to do. Nevertheless, my training in the past has deemed an excellent tool now when it came time to experience this hardship. I'm thankful and grateful that I know what to do. God truly can meet us halfway when we do our part!

Here are some pics of my weekly grocery trips:

We choose from any of the lists below at any meal, so breakfast doesn't have to just be at breakfast, etc. I also plan our dinner meals weekly. I make our own whole wheat tortillas, granola, energy bites and desserts and prep batch cook our beans and brown rice.

The American Impossibility of Obeying God

American society is constantly pushing against the family.  The most normal thing of all - having a family - is now considered repugnant.  However, remember, God created family!  It is no wonder this "world" doesn't want it.  Don't fall for churches and pastors that preach the world's ideology of preventing children, as if God was ever going to change His tune and start preaching the devil's doctrine.

Now, we are facing an economical attack on the family that could become successful during my lifetime of making it almost impossible for Americans to live on one income; that is, if you keep the American mindset of what normal is.  Americans think that we all must have our own house, fully furnished and eat meat at every meal and anything less is poverty.  No wonder the world scoffs at us when we talk about hardship!  

Is it really impossible to live on one income in America today?  Let's see what you can do going forth to be obedient to God rather than make excuses for your disobedience:

  1. Multigenerational family living - Women will disobey God's Word of being a keeper at home because she deems it necessary due to her husband's low wages, when she hasn't even considered multigeneration living with her parents or in-laws or even her adult children.  More and more Americans are starting to do what the rest of the world has always done, living in a multigenerational home.  I would rather share a home with my adult daughter and her family than her (or even me) forsake God's commands and God forbid work on a job to have a singular family home.  When push comes to shove - do you look for alternatives or are you quick to rebel against God's Word?
  2. Extreme frugality - I see it all the time, women think if they can't get their nails and hair done, eat out everyday and shop for clothes every week, then they are struggling.  God has to be nauseated at the American lifestyle!!  Practice a little frugality to bring yourself down to earth and have some discipline.  Eat meat only a few times a week and learn how to make good, nutritious meals with beans and other meatless options.  Not only is this good for your wallet but it is very good for your health, not to mention your waistline.
  3. Giving up American luxuries - Most Americans don't view things such as high speed internet, new cars, name brand clothes, cell phones and eating out as luxuries but they are!  You could could cut out your high speed internet and downgrade to a cheaper plan or get rid of home internet altogether and use the library public Wi-Fi and computers that tax dollars pay for.  Buy cheap, used cars and keep up on the maintenance to help them last longer.  Shop thrift stores and yard sales for clothing or just make what you have last longer by taking care of it.  Cut out expensive cell phones and plans and go with a cheaper option or get rid of your cell phone or landline altogether and just have one.  Stop eating out and spare yourself disease that restaurant food attributes to and cook healthy food at home.  This king of goes hand in hand with #3 but we tend to view these luxuries as necessities and it just isn't so.
  4. Sell things - As a wife, you could possibly find time to sell your crafts or goods online or at fairs.  You could also resell things from second-hand shops on eBay.  It's an option and one that I personally feel is acceptable if it doesn't take you away from your responsibilities.
  5. Move and live where you can afford - If you can't make it where you are, don't stay there after exhausting the above list - MOVE!  Many cities and small towns in America are affordable, just pick up and move.

I think once you exhaust those, get back to me but let's be honest - it is still very possible to live and obey God's Word in the richest country in the world!  Where there's a will, there IS a way!

1 Samuel 15:22-23
"...Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry."

What's Different About Men Cross-dressing?

I don't normally read the Christian Post but I just happened to come across it and saw this:

What I find hard to understand is why some "Christians" don't have a problem with women cross-dressing?  The Bible clearly tells us that anyone that cross-dresses is an abomination (Deut. 22:5) and yet some women, claiming they are of Christ, cross-dress and wear men's garments of pants.  So, they really can't say these men are any different!  You have just come to accept women wearing men's garments and one day, it will be acceptable to you for men to wear women's garments because you get your instructions from the world.

I heard a Baptist preacher say that no men would come through his church doors wearing a dress.  I asked him, "What would you tell them as to why they couldn't wear a dress?  Is there a scripture in the Bible that would declare that was wrong?"  He was speechless because he knew his hypocrisy of a church full of women in pants had come home to roost.  If he tells the men about the scripture of cross-dressing, he'd also be condemning the women.

I think it is great that this is happening because it is exposing just who is a Christian and who isn't.  It is making people think about how they accepted a long time ago the abomination of women wearing pants and causing them to evaluate what they can stand on biblically about men wearing dresses.

Real Christians already know that either gender cross-dressing is an abomination because we got our instructions from the Word of God!  We didn't rely on a culture that is growing more perverse all the time and always has been.

And besides - what Christian would participate in a show to glory in who sings the best?  It isn't a Christian event and that tells all you need to know.

Summer Recipe Reviews #2

I tried out making whole wheat biscuits, which I don't think I've ever made and they were absolutely delicious!  They were fluffy, soft and to perfection in my opinion. We had them with gravy and turkey sausage.  I used whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe that I ground to flour in my Nutrimill using soft white wheat berries.

This Turkey Meatloaf is probably THE BEST I've ever had of any kind of meatloaf!  We all loved it and the leftovers got eaten quickly the day or so after.  We had it with mashed potatoes and a side of broccoli.

August Monthly Meal Plan

Doing these monthly meal plans really frees up time for me throughout the month!  For some reason, I'm craving a lot of chicken and so, I planned a lot of chicken meals this month.  My daughter cooks half the meals usually, so I don't have to cook every day thankfully when she's available to help.

Podcast - Satan's Push for Disobedience

Satan hasn't changed his tactic from the beginning, he is still pushing for disobedience against God's Word. He has infiltrated churches everywhere to promote this "it isn't sin" disobedience to the things that God has said to us in His Word. Stay away from Satan's ministers that give you a pass for your rebellion against what God said!

Summer Recipe Reviews #1

We've tried a lot of new recipes and liked most of them!  Here are a few of the new recipes that I remembered to take pictures of and then some oldies but goodies.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs - we usually have this on basmati white rice with a side of broccoli and it is one of my new favorite meals!

We all liked these Greek pitas with falafel and I made the tzatziki sauce and added some PB in it and water to make it more of a sauce.

I grew up on sauerkraut and weenies and thought maybe my son will like it as he's never had it, so I made some with kielbasa.  Well, he said it was the worst thing he's ever tasted in his life LOL! 

July Monthly Meal Plan

Here is the monthly meal plan for July:

June Monthly Meal Plan

I'm a little behind in posting this but here is June's monthly meal plan:

May Monthly Meal Plan

We endeavored to cut our grocery budget in half in April and we were successful but over a bit, we ended up coming in around $300 less!  So we made it on $500 for April, compared to previous months at $800.  

We are aiming for $500 for May and here is the monthly meal plan for dinners:

April Recipe Reviews #2

These White Chicken Enchiladas were so delicious!!  Definitely a keeper for us and I used olive oil in place of a lot of the butter and next time I'm going to use whole wheat tortillas to add some fiber.

Salmon Cakes I've shared before but of course they are great, we had them with home fries.

April Recipe Reviews #1

We've made a few more of the new recipes I picked to try for April and here are our reviews for each of them.

- Smoked Sausage Rice Skillet - we didn't care for this.  It was edible but just not a favorite, so I'm not even linking to it.

Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit topping - absolutely delicious!  Definitely a keeper when we're in the mood for comfort food.  I cut the butter way down, it just doesn't need that much butter in my opinion as the recipe calls for.  I didn't use butter to drizzle on the top of the biscuit topping, I just sprayed them with olive oil.

Part 3: Cutting Our Grocery Budget in HALF!

In this part, I'm going to share what we eat for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and desserts.  We're pretty simple people and have never really needed fancy food.  I actually don't think I've ever cooked a steak before other than a Salisbury LOL!  Not because we couldn't afford steak, but because I don't think its worth the trade health-wise.  If I want a steak, I'll go out and eat one but since my hysterectomy 7 years ago, I don't even crave steak anymore and my husband has never cared for steak.

Below are some options we normally eat but we really mix and match everything as we desire.  I myself eat 4 full meals a day but my son eats 3 meals and 3 snacks usually.  My husband was only eating 2 meals a day but I helped him transition to eating 3-4 times a day a few months ago to improve his metabolism and health.


Oatmeal with fruit, nuts, flaxmeal and an egg
Toasted egg sandwich with cheese
Toasted bread with cream cheese and fruit
Cereal and milk
Waffles with maple syrup and fruit


Chicken quesadilla with cheese, fruit and salad
Chicken wrap with avocado, fruit and salad
Tuna salad sandwiches
PBJ or PB banana sandwiches with milk
Bean tostadas

Part 2: Cutting Our Grocery Budget in HALF!

In Part 1 I posted a list of the dinner meals I planned for April.  To come up with that list, I spent a while searching online to find some new recipes that fit our needs.  I have some food restrictions, my son has some preferences and then we also needed meals that would be cheap, yet filling.  Then, I combined them with recipes I had on my computer that we haven't tried yet, along with ones we already love.  It took me 2 hours to come up with that list!  I like using highlighters, so I color-coded the different categories I was aiming for:


I only needed to plan 21 meals because 4 meals of the month on Fridays, I'm making homemade pizza and then Sundays I don't cook.  (21 meals + 4 pizza days + 5 Sundays = 30 days in April.)

Black Bean Burrito Casserole

We tried this tonight and we loved it! I honestly didn't expect it to taste that good and was pleasantly surprised. I essentially cut the recipe in half for most things and this filled the 4 of us up easily.  The first recipe is my tweaks and I also included the original recipe below for those who may wish to make a larger dish or two.  I have had this recipe on my computer for who knows how long and I have no idea who the original author is.

Black Bean Burrito Casserole
Serves 4

3 cups cooked black beans
1/2 cup bean water
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded carrots
4 oz. cream cheese
4 tortillas
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine black beans, bean water, salsa and shredded carrots together and simmer for about 15 minutes to give the carrots time to soften up. Add the cream cheese and stir and mix until the cream cheese has melted and is mixed in well. Grease a 9x13 glass casserole dish and begin to make layers like lasagna. First layer is 2 tortillas covering the bottom, next is bean mixture, next is cheese, and then you start with tortillas again, ending with cheese. Bake this at 350 for 35 minutes.

Part 1: Cutting Our Grocery Budget in HALF!

I set out to cut our grocery budget in half from $800 down to $400 for the month of April.  I prayed and felt the Lord giving me wisdom and spent several hours and came up with a list of dinner meals that fit our needs and then made our grocery list and planned out the other meals and went grocery shopping.  I was able to get what we needed for the month for $237 with $163 leftover for our weekly trips for bread, milk and produce saving $400!

I had 26 meals to plan out because I don't cook on Sunday, it is fend-for-yourself day and usually leftovers, hot dogs, boxed mac/cheese, etc.  I planned out 5 chicken meals, 5 bean meals, 5 beef or pork meals, 4 pizza meals, 3 fish meals and 3 turkey meals.  Here is the list of dinner meals with links to the recipe (some of these are new to us and we haven't tried them yet):

Coming Up: Cutting Our Grocery Budget in HALF!

I'm doing something that I don't think is impossible but is going to be hard, I'm cutting our grocery budget in half for the month of April.  We have been spending upwards of $800 a month lately with inflation.  It gradually crept up until one day I realized how high it had gotten.  We have never spent that much on food in a month that I can think of until the past few months.  I wanted to see if I could in fact, cut it in half.  I've been brainstorming and my daughter and I are working on all the details tonight and I hope to have my plan completed by tomorrow.

I hope to gather a lot of recipes together we're going to be using and share them with you all, along with what we will be eating for breakfast, lunch and snacks.  I'm going to use the money I save for April, to stock up for May because we have a huge change coming in our lives come May and I want to ease any stress by stockpiling ahead of time.  What better way than to use April to get ready for a smaller food budget and get a month ahead possibly as well for May.

I really hope I'm not aiming too low but from what I have seen others online accomplish with families even larger than mine - I'm up for the challenge!

They'll Know Us by Our Love

We sure are seeing a lot of hatred these days and sadly among many that call themselves Christians.  We all understand that we are not to love sin, and definitely not the world and all it offers, but we ARE to love people.  How can you say you are like Christ by using the name, Christian, and yet spend your life detailing sinner's lives online and wishing they'd rot in hell?  Is that your loving your enemies?  Is that what Jesus did?

Matthew 5:44  

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 

Don't you remember when Jesus started his earthly ministry and went into the brothels and whipped them out and then he headed over to the places of ill repute and told them they were horrible people?  Oh wait, I'm sorry, my bad - I got it backwards!  Jesus actually went into the CHURCH and whipped them out who were making God's house a house of merchandise!  Jesus told the religious leaders just how horrible they were and that they were a bunch of hypocrites!  Jesus ate with the sinners and allowed one to even wash his feet with her tears and dry it with her hair.  That's Jesus.  I'm not sure who these people are today that are impersonating being Christ-followers that are rejoicing over the death of a recent shooter and being glad she is rotting in hell.  They aren't Christians and I'm really tired of them bringing a reproach to the real Christians.

If Christians would judge those within its walls and get right, maybe others would recognize what we are supposed to be standing for.  Yet, Christians are busy on social media bashing trans people, homosexuals, the world's pop stars and whatever else, when we aren't supposed to be even judging those without!  We should be displaying love, giving our enemies a drink, turning the other cheek and on and on - remember those instructions left by our Saviour!?  They'll know us by our love!!

John 13:35  

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 

Leave the abortion clinics alone.  Leave the Only Fans community alone.  Leave the LGBTQ people alone.  It isn't the mission of the Christian to march in public crusades against sinners.  God has already condemned sin in the Word of God and we are just to preach the Word and His salvation of deliverance.  What we should be doing is judging from within and cleaning up our churches.  But yet, churches leave the people in the church alone and let them remain in their pews steeped in sin and allow wolves to devour the sheep.

Clarke's commentary fits well:

If all the fornicators, adulterers, drunkards, extortioners, and covetous persons which bear the Christian name, were to be publicly excommunicated from the Christian Church, how many, and how awful would the examples be! If however the discipline of the visible Church be so lax that such characters are tolerated in it, they should consider that this is no passport to heaven. In the sight of God they are not members of his Church; their citizenship is not in heaven, and therefore they have no right to expect the heavenly inheritance. It is not under names, creeds, or professions, that men shall be saved at the last day; those alone who were holy, who were here conformed to the image of Christ, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Those who expect it in any other way, or on any other account, will be sadly deceived.

Time to clean the church up and start showing love to a lost and dying world!  God doesn't call Christians to activism against sinners and politics aren't something we should be striving for.  God never advocated for crusades and wars in the New Testament and He sure didn't tell us to set up a utopian Christian government and force others to obey the Bible.  We are to live peaceably with all men, love our neighbor as ourselves, love our enemies, do good to those that persecute and hurt us - in other words, BE AN EXAMPLE and a light to this darkened world!  I'm reminded of the old song, get right church and let's go home!

Managing and Storing Your Digital Files and Photos

Our digital data, which includes files and photos, is becoming so massive and important to most of us that we have to add in methods of managing it, organizing it and storing it.  Protecting our digital data is highly important if we wish to pass it down to generations after us, namely our children.  I wanted to show you all my recommendations of how to do this currently.  With technology ever-changing, we have to keep up with new ways of doing things to preserve our memories, but this is the best way that I have found for what is available to us today.

Just face the fact that you have to set aside a time in your schedule to manage your data.  You will need time to sort, organize, store and definitely backup your data.  If you don't, then you will risk losing your digital data upon the occasion that malware, ransomware, natural disaster or a thief captures your data.  Are you ok with losing everything?  Most of us aren't and it would be devastating, especially to lose our photos.  You can replace a lot of things that you lose or have stolen but you can't replace memories that were preserved in photos.  You must set aside a weekly, biweekly or at least monthly time to do your downloads, organizing and backing up to keep up with all your ever-growing data!

Most of us have our files and photos saved on our desktop or laptop computers and some only have them on a device, such as a tablet or phone.  I recommend that everything be on your computer as a first line of managing those files and also to organize them.  It is a lot easier, in my opinion, to use a keyboard and a mouse and a larger screen to manage the files, then it is to use a smaller screen with just your finger maneuvering through the process.  However, more importantly, is that your phone can easily be stolen and isn't a safe place to store your data.  I recommend you download your data, specifically photos, to your computer for the first step in backing it up.

Once your files are on your computer, how do you manage or organize them?  You create folders, just like you would in a physical filing cabinet.  Envisioning your digital files in comparison to physical ones in a filing cabinet will probably help you grasp how to manage the data.  Let's start with the main folder called "Pictures" - this would obviously be where most people store their photos - then, "Documents" would be where most people store their other files.  Under each of these, you would create folders with various categories and this is personal preference, but for example, I have mine organized as such: Google Backups; Extended Family; Weight Loss; Inspiration and Ideas; Graphics; Blog Pics; MISC, etc.  Inside each of these folders, I further break it down into categories.  For instance, for Google Backups, which is my downloaded copy of Google Photos, I prefer to go by folders of years and then months.  This makes it easy for me to find the pictures and videos I took during a certain year or month.  For Extended Family, I use categories such as: My Family and Husband's Family - and from those subfolders, I further break it down into Older, Old, and vacations or reunions.  I think this way of organizing pictures will help my children in future years find whatever they are looking for.

For documents, I use categories such as: Finances; Homeschool: Christian: Articles; eBooks; Manuals; Recipes: Songs, etc.  Again, these categories have subfolders to organize even further.  What if you have files that you just don't have time to sort?  Simply make a folder on your desktop called "Sort" and throw the files in there and set aside a time to go through each file and organize it where it goes.  Also, make sure you regularly keep up with clearing out your downloads folder in the same way.

Now, that we know how to manage, organize and have a first layer of storage of our data, let's talk about backups! 

Current Food Prices in Ohio #5

Below are current prices for some items we purchased in March.  Most have gone up continually and believe me, it has added up and we are spending the most we've ever spent on groceries in our lives!  I'm actually going to challenge myself soon to see if we can lower our budget because we've been eating pretty good the past few months and it got a little out of hand.  We were spending $600 a month on just groceries and even currently reached $800 for 4 weeks, yes, that's $200 a week for the 4 of us!  I know, I'm even shocked at myself but I've enjoyed it I must admit.

There are some things we will not budge on and that is that we only will buy organic milk, organic soymilk, organic grass-fed beef, uncured ham or turkey sandwich meat, non-GMO corn tortilla chips and certain natural products that don't have additives, preservatives or any other fake stuff.  My health dramatically improved years ago when I made these changes and you are what you eatYour body consists of what you ate in the past, you can't get around that.  Some pay medical bills or prescription drugs and eat cheaper than we do but we prefer to pay a little more and have less medical bills and be on no prescription drugs.  I got myself off a shoebox full of prescription meds and I don't EVER want to go back!  I'm in the best shape and health I've probably ever been in my life and I got here by eating healthy, reducing my pesticide exposure, not consuming growth-hormone-filled animals, getting fit and increasing my muscle mass.  You choose your path.

Countless people have told me, especially recently after losing weight, that I look 20 years younger than I am.  I have noticed that and people ask me what my secret is.  I assume it is God and living a life without alcohol, smoking, drugs or maybe it is the fact that I haven't worn makeup and don't put products on my face (besides simple face wash and lotion).  However, I know others that have done that all their life and they don't look like they haven't aged.  So, I did some research - outside of maybe it being just my genetics - It could be what I eat and have eaten for most of my life.  I consume a lot of nuts and beans!  Could those be the fountain of youth?  I came across a doctor who looks 20 years younger and whose physical health is also several decades younger than he is and he claims it is eating 5 foods that did delay aging: nuts, berries, cruciferous vegetables, olive oil and then drinking green tea.  I actually eat all the foods regularly and I used to drink green tea.  Interesting!  I do feel like it is a consolation prize from God from all I had to go through in life to look like I'm in my 20's.  Thank you God is all I know!  But in the meantime, maybe everyone should grab some cashews, peanut butter and eat your beans, broccoli and blueberries - just sayin'.