Grocery Report

We did it!  We got back down to 60 dollars this week!  I think we were actually at 59 and some change after I picked up some soy sauce Tuesday morning.  Here’s the breakdown and the meal plan for the week:

Bountiful Basket = 15 dollars

two mangoes, two cantaloupe, bananas, strawberries, zucchini, carrots, green peppers, huge sweet potatoes, corn, a few lemons, two onions, and three cucumbers.

So far, I’ve already made my sweet potato curry salad, cucumber and onion salad, cantaloupe with ice cream, scallion pancakes, and sweet potato puree.  I am having a blast trying new fruit and veggie recipes…Shawn and the kids are not as excited, but at least we are all eating healthfully!

Publix = 11 dollars

two frozen pizzas, two boxes of frozen waffles, and a monster cookie for Riley (for swimming across the pool on her own!)

Kroger’s = 34 dollars

soy sauce, cheese, ice cream, marshmallows, hot dogs, bread, bagel thins, cereal, popcorn, eggs, milk, jello

And here’s a look at our meals so far and the plan for the rest of the week:

Sunday: Moe’s (with our free meals, dinner cost just under 9 dollars for the four of us!)

Monday: Pasta and cucumber salad

Tuesday: Scallion pancakes (yum!!) and leftovers

Source: koreanfood.about.com via Lindsey on Pinterest

Wednesday: Frozen pizzas

Thursday: Hot dogs, baked beans, and baked veggies (so looking forward to trying this recipe!)

Source: budgetbytes.blogspot.com via Lindsey on Pinterest

And honestly, beyond that, I am just not sure…we have a ton of possibilities now with frozen chicken and ground meat.  I’ll update you when I do our Summer@Home Week 3 report.

And now I’m hungry.  When am I going to learn not to post about food late at night? Time to hit the kitchen…

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Summer @Home Week 2

I cannot believe another week is already over!  The days are blissfully and exhaustingly full.  Especially when two of the kiddos wake up at 3:30 one morning (Shawn took that shift, thankfully!).  As a family, we are really enjoying our time together and learning how to deal with sibling rivalry, schoolwork/reading/home life balance, dishes, and more.  Here’s the breakdown for this week, combined with a shorter version of our grocery report for the week.  Yeah, we definitely busted the budget this week, but I think it was worth it.  Two items in particular: Diet Root Beer and Meat.

Groceries

Not quite 90 dollars.  This included quite a lot of food, our fruit and veggie basket, 4 cases of Diet Root Beer, and 6 pounds of ground turkey.  And I should say, that was 6 pounds for 11 dollars!  Good stuff.  I broke the bundles up into 1 pound packages.  This week we just ate 2 packs, so we have four pounds of frozen meat to work with.  I am pumped.  The dinner possibilities are endless.  The soda was a nice treat, too.  Especially since it is so hot now, I think this was a good splurge for us.

Meals

Last Sunday – TACOS!  Shawn’s favorite for Father’s Day!

Monday – Moes!

Tuesday – Eggs, Rice, and Cheese

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Grandpa’s Chili (from the freezer) over rice and a sweet potato (for me)

Friday – Veggie Night…Carrot Fries, Squash Chips, and a new Squash Casserole.  So good.

Saturday – Burgers and Corn (and we will have a Lemon Pudding Cake for dessert later…I wanted something new with our lemons.  It looks yummy.  Will probably have some as soon as I finish this post!

(Love this image of lemon pudding cake from Cookie Madness.  My recipe was pretty similar to hers, too….just no cream of tartar, more milk and no cream, and a tablespoon less butter.)

Activities

1.  Gymnastics Camp for Riley Week 2.  She improved so much in a week.  Her cartwheels and backward rolls are really coming along.  Plus, during the parents’ show, she was so much more confident on every obstacle and element…bars, beams, vault, trampolines, and rings.

2.  Gainesville, GA Children’s Museum.  We went for Father’s Day.  Spent a solid two hours exploring the neighborhood-like building.

3.  Brave.  Shawn and Riley had a father-daughter date on Friday afternoon.  The littles stayed with me to do some cleaning and veggie cooking.

4.  Y-Time.  I think we spent between 1 and 4 hours everyday at the YMCA.  We hit the pool, a mat-covered room, and then let the kids play at Kid Watch while Shawn and I work out.  I really love the time we spend as a family doing active things like this, and the kids are becoming such strong swimmers, too.

5.  Home-time.  This week, I completed my second level of activities for class, finished Marshall McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy and Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever, did some coding, started working out Part II of my creative project, cleaned the dining room and playroom (like deep cleaning), lots of laundry, and watched The Office and a few more movies with Shawn at night.

Outings

McDonald’s for lunch (twice…I know, I know…but I am obsessed with their chicken, frappes, and sundaes…and it is pretty cheap for all of us to eat!) and Stevi B’s for pizza (another 13 dollar meal out…and seriously, their loaded baked potato pizza, mac and cheese pizza, salad bar, and cinnamon rolls are so freaking good.).

New Stuff

Riley: Swam across the pool without using the wall or bottom to rest at all!!

Sidney: Totally on the move!  The girl can army-crawl her way around the house now.  Look out, world.  She also started eating solids once a day…cereal and sweet potatoes (home-pureed by me!).  Next week, we might do carrots.

Adrian: He is close to getting his colors down.  And he can swim on his own with the noodle.  And he ate sweet potato salad (recipe to come in the next post…).

Linz: Running!  I ran my first four miles (on four separate days) since before I was pregnant with Adrian.  The first mile was really rough, but this morning, I felt really good.  We are still playing basketball, too, but I hurt my foot, so I have to rest it for two-three days in between our 1-on-1 matches.  Not gonna lie, having a small injury actually makes me feel really good.  Hard core.  Might even tackle some boot camp next week…

Funny Sayings

Shawn to Riley – Why did you kick your brother?

Riley to Shawn – I don’t want him around me.

Linz while telling a story to Riley – “He-Ra” and “She-Man.”  This totally cracked Shawn up.

Our New Tips and Tricks

1.  We now pack a wet bag and a dry bag for the pool.  This has made changing and leaving the pool infinitely easier.

2.  Shawn washes dishes.  I put away the clean ones.  When we stay up with dishes daily, the kitchen stays so much cleaner.

Back to the Budget: A Grocery Report

First a digression…

60 dollars a week apparently means I am starving my husband!  He said he has lost fifteen pounds this past year, and we think that his weight loss is due to his higher intake of vegetables, increased yard workload, and our tight grocery budget.  It’s hard to get a lot of meat for 60 dollars a week.  And when we do, it is usually something that is 2 dollars or less per pound (like chicken).

Fortunately, Paul treated him to a steak for lunch one day while we were in PA, and I treated him to a Brazilian steakhouse for an early Father’s Day treat.  He should have his fill of meat, especially red meat, for a while.

Back to our week’s grocery report:

Since we returned home last night to an empty refrigerator and two of the kids woke up early, I decided to hit Kroger’s right away.  My plan was to hit Kroger’s and Publix, but I ended up spending almost 60 dollars at Kroger’s, so I called it a week, and we headed home.

Here’s what I got:

10 boxes of cereal (yes, TEN), 2 boxes of Cheez-its, 1 container of Keebler cookies, 2 huge tubs of cookie dough, 2 boxes of instant coffee, a box of fruity tea (I have been craving tea recently!), bread, eggs, a container of Greek yogurt, 2 packs of American cheese, a bag of pretzels, 2 cups for the kids, a pack of steel wool cleaning pads, 2 rolls of kitchen garbage bags, bananas, 2 cans of baked beans, and milk.

Kroger’s had a save 5 dollars on 5 items deal that I used 3 times.  I also had 7.25 dollars in coupons (most for the cereal).

Total Spent: 57.50

I barely filled our frig, but we were getting desperate for cereal, and I couldn’t pass up some of the snack and dessert deals.  Next week, the goal will be to get more dinner foods, especially to complement our bountiful basket, which we are going to start ordering again.

Here’s what I am thinking for meals:

Sunday: Eggs, rice, and cheese

Monday: Welcome to Moes!

Tuesday: Mac and cheese and baked beans

Wednesday: Chili from the freezer

Thursday: Pasta night

Friday: Grilled cheese and canned vegetables

Saturday: Barbecue chicken (from the freezer) and some fresh veggies from our basket!

 

Grocery Budget Busted!

This week, we definitely didn’t stay in our budget.  Actually, we just about doubled it!  I haven’t spent so much on groceries in a long time.  Our kitchen cupboards and refrigerator and freezer have never been so full, but I know the food will go fast.  I stocked up on some essentials, but I also had to get food for Riley’s birthday party, Easter dinner, Easter school parties, and some food for my family when they come to visit this weekend (YAY!!).  Plus, Publix had some really great BOGO deals that haven’t come up for a while.  And we got a basket this week.  All together, that’s a definite recipe for budget breaker!

So here’s the breakdown:

We hit Kroger’s Monday night.  Spent = 61.63.  

For Easter dinner and family meals, we picked up a 9lb ham, turkey bacon, tortilla shells, shredded cheese, English muffins, and frozen potatoes.

 

For Riley’s party, we picked up more chocolate chip cookies (for the cookie cake) and juice boxes.

For our weekly staples, we got cereal (3 boxes), fruit snacks, bread, sausages, milk, and Greek yogurt (I feel like I need a container in the house at all times…never know when I need some cake!).

Last night, the big kids hit Publix with me.  Spent = 36.82.

For the kids’ Easter parties at school, we got mini-cupcakes for Riley and animal crackers for Adrian.

For Riley’s party, we bought Starburst jelly beans and frosting.

For our weekly staples and stock-ups: frozen raviolis, light hot dogs, turkey kielbasa, Pam spray, spaghetti, four containers of Ragu sauce, two more boxes of cereal, and two boxes of cake mix (now that I have Green yogurt, I must have cake mix around!).

In our Bountiful Basket this week ($15), we had a really cool mix of foods: oranges, apples, kiwis, lemons, radishes, asparagus, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, an onion, green beans, and cucumbers.  (We are going to be making one amazing salad for our Easter dinner.)

Unfortunately, no coupons this week.  I blame the end of the semester stress and lack of time.

All together, that’s a grand total of 113.45.

Here’s a look at our meals for the week:

Monday: Moe’s Monday

Tuesday: Breakfast – pancakes, eggs, and sausage

Wednesday: Chili-stuffed green peppers with rice; hot dogs and beans for the kids; carrots on the side.

Thursday: Pasta night!  With some asparagus for me, too!

Friday: Probably something from our freezer.  I will be busy cleaning for the family’s visit and finishing up prep for Riley’s party.

Saturday: Ham, potatoes, salad, and veggies

Sunday: LEFT-OVERS!

I should say, too, that we still have to hit one to two more stores to finish getting food and supplies for Riley’s party.  It is amazing how fast the food and supply purchases add up, even when you shop at Dollar Tree.  But I will save the complete breakdown of Riley’s party for a post-party post.

On the plus side, it is nice having more options for the kids’ dinners with hot dogs, raviolis, and a wider selection of fruits and veggies.  I am hoping we don’t have to do major shopping next week…maybe just pick up milk, eggs, and bread.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep you posted!

Grocery Food Challenge: Weekly Report

Because we were out of town for two weekends in a row, our grocery shopping was sporadic and light and we took two weeks off of Bountiful Baskets.  But this week we started up again and even already did our grocery shopping for the week.  How did we do?  Not bad, not bad…

Shopping

Bountiful Basket: 15 dollars.  What a great basket this week!  We scored six apples, six pears, six bananas, two lemons, about five tomatoes, two bags of carrots, one head of lettuce, two zucchinis, a pack of strawberries, six big green peppers, and even scallions.  All of that pretty much filled our refrigerator again.  Note: this is a picture from a previous basket…so not quite what we got this week.

Groceries: 33 dollars (In store savings, 31 dollars).  I went to Southern Savers this week to make and print a shopping list (complete with coupon match-ups). This week, we hit up Publix for a lot of BOGO deals: bread, cheese, mac and cheese (four boxes), vanilla wafers, Doritos, Kettle chips, frozen waffles, peanut butter, and I think one more thing that I’m forgetting.  I also picked up a container of greek yogurt (to try with some cake mix…I saw this recipe on Pinterest…) and cookie dough (for Riley’s birthday party…she wants a cookie cake…).  We really had to shop quickly to get to basket pick-up on time.  As a result, the trip was probably one of our most efficient and smooth ones.

At Kroger’s, we will probably pick up English muffins (you really can’t beat six for a dollar), eggs, and butter (I really need to bake something with all the lemons we have right now!).  But I don’t think we will spend more than 8 dollars.

That will bring our weekly total of groceries to 55 dollars (40 in stores, 15 on our basket).

Coupons: just one for the cookie dough: 1.25 off of two.

The Meal Plan

Sunday: Leftovers and cauliflower popcorn

Monday: Moes Monday

Tuesday: Chili-stuffed green peppers

Wednesday: Chicken strip salads

Thursday: Pasta Night

Friday: Not sure yet…maybe grilled cheese and a side dish of zucchini.  Possibly, zucchini tots (I saw the recipe idea on Pinterest last night!).

Saturday: no doubt we’ll be back to leftovers!

Footnote: Favorite Foods

1.  My dad picked up this blend of peanut, cashew, and almond butters from Target for me.   It is heavenly.  On bread, on bananas, even as an ice cream topping.  So, so good.  Thanks, Daddio.

2.  Riley has been doing a much better job of eating meals for us recently, which means a happier child who isn’t constantly asking for a snack.  Love it.

3.  I took the kids to Target the other night, and instead of getting the popcorn combo, we split two cookies for two dollars.  But the cookies were massive and so good!  Definitely a nice treat.

Survey Says…

This week, I came in at right under 60 dollars for a week’s worth of groceries. But, we also picked up a couple of extras at Publix for Shawn, the kids, and an upcoming church Easter egg hunt.

Here’s the breakdown:

Bountiful Basket = 15 dollars.  This week, we got green peppers, nectarines, mangoes, apples, lemons, cucumbers, lettuce, grapefruit, celery, potatoes, bananas, and cherry tomatoes.  We’ve already made a mango smoothie and had some grilled grapefruit.  Good stuff!

Walmart = 15 dollars.  We picked up mandarin oranges, apple sauce, pretzels, milk, and peanut butter crackers.

Publix = 29 dollars.  Candy for church, goldfish, more peanut butter crackers, salad dressing, peanut butter, two boxes of cereal, some turkey kielbasa, and a family size Stouffer’s lasagna (for just 2 dollars!).

Coupons used: Just one.  Boo.  2 dollars off a Stouffer’s entree.

The theme of the week was snacks and peanut butter, apparently.  Two things our family cannot get enough of!

We did end up going out for Chinese this week, too.  I was craving it!  But, we ended up getting two whole family dinners out of it and two lunches for Shawn and one for me.  Not too shabby for 25 dollars.

The next couple of weeks will be a little strange.  We won’t be going grocery shopping except for milk, really, since we’ll be out of town.  And no baskets for us, either.  But I think we will make up for what we save in groceries with food on the road.

Now for our meal plan for the week:

Monday: Random meat day with squash casserole (by random meat, I mean a pork chop and a sausage we had in the freezer).

Tuesday: Probably pasta night.  It will be just me and the kids for dinner, so it will definitely be something easy.

Wednesday: Maybe a salad?  Shawn’s been rocking the chopped salad lately and we just picked up new dressing.  Probably some cauliflower popcorn, too.

Thursday: Shawn’s up for this one…but probably a freezer meal.

Friday: We’ll be on the road!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!