Category Archives: Recipe

Meal Planning

Since we put in the contract on the house in March, I have been trying to figure out more ways to save even more money. Meal planning? Is it the key to saving extra money? That I’m not so sure yet. I will have to figure out what stores are in the area, figure out when their sales run for specific items and plan from there.

I already planned on stepping up my “coupon game”, not because we can’t afford to buy our groceries… but so we can put the money away for other things or pay off our debts. I think meal planning will be the key to not eating out as much as we have in the past.

With 5 kids, Kevin and I, our grocery budget will be between $400 – $600. Which is around what it is now. I personally would like to see our budget for groceries be around $300-$400 while using coupons and meal planning. If I can really make 20 dinners for around $120, then I’ll be able to feed our family for well under $400 a month. Now I know I’ll still need to buy things like cereal, milk, eggs, bread, flour, sugar, etc more often as I use them regularly. But if I can cut the bulk of the cost of our dinner meals down to $6 then I could do an entire month’s worth of dinners for about $180.

To me, there is nothing more rewarding than feeding my family a healthy home cooked meal, while saving money that we can use for other things that our family needs/wants.

Who would like to see meal planning posts in the future? I’m thinking a 30-day dinner crockpot meal plan. When we move into our home this summer we’re going to have to start all over as far as food things go. So when I go to the store, I plan on doing the bulk of the shopping at once. Mostly because I don’t know when Kevin will be home to either watch the kids or help me do the grocery shopping. So I want to get it all done as soon as possible and then go from there.

So is freezer/crockpot meal plans something that others would be interested in?

Leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do once we get into the house this summer. Maybe I’ll even put together a Crockpot Freezer Meal Cookbook with all of our families favorite meals for those on a budget.

Well, I’m off to run some errands now that I’ve gotten the little ones off to school.

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Red Velvet Cake Recipe


I was introduced to red velvet cake when I was teeny-tiny. My dad is from North Carolina and it’s definitely known as a southern thing. My family is very particular about the icing that goes on a red velvet cake, we don’t do cream cheese icing (well I do if I use marshmallow fluff; I’ll explain that later). We do a cooked icing that only has vanilla, butter, sugar, flour and milk. You cook the milk and flour until it makes a paste and then let it cool a lot, then you add it to the butter, milk, & vanilla. It’s sweet, but it’s not overly sweet. I’ve only made the cooked icing twice in my entire life. It’s actually pretty easy, but I know if my sister was to try it, she’d burn it, ha. My sister isn’t exactly the most skilled person in the kitchen.

This recipe has been in my mom’s old fashioned recipe box for as long as I can remember, if you look at the picture closely, my grandmother’s initials are in the upper corner. It’s hard to believe she passed away almost a year and a half ago. It still hurts to think that she didn’t get to meet her newest great-granddaughter. Our daughter was born on April 2nd & my grandmother passed away on April 5th. We were scheduled to go visit my family¬† on April 6th, we still visited but it wasn’t for the happy occasion of welcoming a new family member.

This recipe has been passed around my for some time. I finally had my mom email me a copy of the recipe card. But first I had to walk her through the steps of scanning it and attaching it to an email. I love my mom, but she is not at all tech savvy.

I just made a Red Velvet Cake yesterday with this recipe (including the cooked icing) and there is only a 4″ x 2″ section of cake left out of a 9″x13″ pan! As you can see this cake goes quickly, especially with Kevin and the kids around.


So on to this recipe…

Red Velvet RecipeRed Velvet Recipe Back


Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup Crisco (we use butter)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 ounce Red Food Coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt (we don’t use salt; it doesn’t change the taste or consistency of cake)
1 tbsp vinegar


Red Velvet Cooked Icing Recipe:

5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
8 tbsp butter
8 tbsp Crisco (we substitute this with butter too)
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Alternative Icing Idea:

Marshmallow Cream Cheese Icing

7 oz Jar Kraft Marshmallow fluff
8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all of the above ingredients into mixing bowl and whip with electric mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer; both work fine) until fully incorporated.

Yup! It’s that easy for Marshmallow Cream Cheese Icing. It’s great with fruit, great with cookies, animal crackers, graham crackers, cakes of all kind, etc.

If you try out my family’s recipe, please let me know how it turns out. If you have any questions about the cooked icing, I may make a video on how to make the cooked icing!

Thanks for reading!