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WIS, WWA | Well, now I know

What I Spent

This week was definitely one of adjustment! I’ve been out of school for the last two semesters, so I’d gotten kind of used to my carefree life. 😉

(Ok, well, not entirely carefree. But relatively speaking, yes.)

school schedule with pens.

Anyway, this week has made it clear to me that I need to change up how I do things; I need to switch up how I use weekend time, how I plan meals, and when I do household stuff.

Because I was definitely doing some fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants things this week.

I spent:

  • $20 at Five Guys
  • $30 on a Hungry Harvest box
  • $41 at Safeway

So, that makes $91 for me this week. And honestly, considering that it was the first week of school, I’m just happy that I only ended up getting takeout one time!

What We Ate


Leftover chipotle chicken on a salad.

chicken salad.

Seriously, if you have not tried this simple chicken marinade, you should! You can grill the chicken or broil it, and it’s great on its own or on top of a salad.

And it works equally well with chicken breasts as it does with chicken thighs.

Also…the sauce makes a good salad dressing!


I made some panko-breaded fried chicken strips, which we ate with some fruit.

breaded chicken pieces.

pre-frying, obviously

I purposely didn’t fry all of the chicken, with the plan to save some for frying the next night.

It’s not that hard to fresh-fry some chicken the next day, and fresh-fried is always better than reheated!


I fried up the rest of the breaded chicken and we ate that on top of a salad.

salad in a white bowl.

In the latest Five Frugal Things, I mentioned that I’d made croutons and I meant to say, “from hot dog buns” but I accidentally typed, “hot dogs” instead.

And man, that would be quite impressive if I’d made croutons like this from actual hot dogs.

croutons on tin foil.

But nope…I just made bread cubes from the package of buns that I’m trying to use up!

To make croutons, I usually just saute bread with butter and garlic powder on the stovetop and then do the final crisping in the toaster oven, on the air fryer setting.

corner of a kitchen.

my buy-nothing-group toaster oven on my buy-nothing group table


This was my first super long day at school and I did a great job of packing my lunch.

salad in metal container.

And I’d even brought a smoothie with me for my breakfast.

glass jar for smoothie.

But my goodness, I was a little unprepared for how tired my brain would be at the end of hours and hours of lectures.

Sooo, we got burgers from Five Guys for dinner.


I made this pulled pork recipe, which we ate on buns, with sauteed asparagus on the side. And also watermelon.

watermelon in a bowl.

Gotta enjoy summer watermelons while they’re still here!


I made potato and chorizo tostadas, and we had watermelon and asparagus on the side again.


Zoe will be working and I’m gonna be out to dinner with my two support group besties. I have no idea where we’re going, and I don’t care because the social aspect is the main point.

Also: I can be happy eating almost anything, which makes dining out with other people very easy. Being un-picky and having no allergies sure does make eating simple!

What did you have for dinner this week?

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Monday 4th of September 2023

I tried the chipotle chicken marinade on shrimp and grilled them. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!


Monday 4th of September 2023

I really enjoy seeing the side/dessert of fruit you frequently serve. We have adult men back home now, so we prioritize a lot of food and mostly meat (I used to be this way too, when I was younger, so I understand.)

Curious how you’re going to handle the busy weeks as they pile up, but you are powerful, Kristen, and will navigate as your household needs.

One suggestion: if you end up doing more meal prep on the weekend… Perhaps a late/midweek post of what you did/made that just gets dropped later in the week? My 2 cents that weren’t asked for, but I am wishing the best for you and I’d be curious to see your decision process.


Friday 1st of September 2023

Ok. I'm going to try to remember.

Like Kristen, this was the first week of school, but not for me, just the kids.

Sat - My husband took the older boys out for their birthday dinner. This was a VERY FANCY dinner so it counted as their present, but they've wanted to go to this place since they heard about it last spring. I took the younger ones to the 99 (their request). Sun - I had a dinner meeting (ate pizza and apps) and the rest all had spaghetti & meatballs. Mon - Corn & fish chowder Tues - First day of school for some. We ate tacos. Wed - First day for the rest, second day for some. I gave the kids spaghetti & meatballs while hubby & I went for a start of school year dinner out. Thurs - Shrimp with squid ink pasta Fri - Football BBQ for one kid plus parents. Boxed mac n cheese with spinach salad for the rest.

Next week is the first relatively full week. Still only four days. This week was three full days, 2.5 days, or just two days depending on how old you are.


Friday 1st of September 2023

Ooo so glad you shared the pulled pork recipe link! I love pulled pork so much. Gonna be trying your recipe soon! I also want to say good for you for spending some time with your support group friends. Support groups are so priceless when it comes to how helpful they are in supporting your emotional and mental health. I am in a cancer support group (we are only in our 40's and my husband has brain cancer) and I should probably try to find a way to do the same with some of the other spouses! Thanks for the inspiration/encouragement.


Saturday 2nd of September 2023

Being with people who are going through/have been through your particular trial is so helpful! They understand you so easily.


Friday 1st of September 2023

BRAVE, first week of nursing school under your belt! Every week you will get closer to new routines that work well for you both at school, in clinical, and at home!

Yes,I was scouring the photos to try to figure out how your hot dog croutons would taste!!

Enjoy the holiday weekend!!


Saturday 2nd of September 2023

@Madeline, I meant BRAVO!!!!!!!!!

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