Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grocery Update #3

Thursday is my usual grocery shopping/errand day. Today was no different. I usually scan the local sales fliers and plan which (if any) stores I'll be visiting for the week before I go. The Commissary is the one store I always shop. We are so blessed to get to shop there!
-On Tuesday I made a trip to the Com-izzle for milk and popcorn seeds-$6.07
-Fred Meyer today for .68/lb apples and .33 cans of tuna-$5.75
-Commissary today for the rest of the groceries-$18.35

Which brings us to a total so far of $100.69. Past the limit now, but oh so close. Can we make it with only one more buying of milk????

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grocery update

Since January 6th (last grocery post) I've made a few trips to pick things up from the store:
-Yoke's for their awesome cereal sale ($10.80 for 10 boxes of cereal)
-J got soda for our "Pizza and Movie Night ($2.46)
-Commissary for a few things before the last snow storm and to use some coupons that were about to expire and burning a hole in my coupon binder! ($9.92) I was SUPER excited about this trip because it was over $20 worth of groceries for under $10!
I'd like to mention (and I think most of my friends know) that I love using coupons. However, I try not to use them for things that I wouldn't buy otherwise. I've noticed that a lot of coupons are for junk food, which I try to keep to a minimum. That being said, I've found some fabulous deals in the past few months and will continue in my couponing hobby!
-We're up to $70.52 for January groceries. We're about to run out of popcorn (anyone who knows us knows this is a staple at our house :) and milk. I'm smelling a Costco trip coming up....

The experiment continues!

Well let's see. We are still under budget for January and have been enjoying some fabulous meals! I knew that my little experiment would require a lot more cooking from scratch and that's proven to be true. I added a "bulk cooking day" to my week last week and we ended up with a pot of vegetable soup, cabbage rolls, a pan of rolls, loaf of bread, and 3 pounds of homemade meatballs. It was definitely a lot of work but sooo worth it!

I follow several cooking blogs but have found the 5 dollar dinner mom to be most helpful with this experiment. I thought I'd forward some of the recipes we've been enjoying on to you!
-Cabbage Rolls ( Used ground beef from the freezer and cabbage from the Rosauer's sale .49/lb.
-Vegetable Soup ( Used the rest of the cabbage from the Rosauers sale and the rest of the veggies I had in the fridge. This is a super yummy soup, perfect for snacks and lunch.
-Homemade "Hot Pockets" or as we've been calling them "Dinosaur Breads"-Make ww bread dough and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Fill 2 pieces with homemade chicken mixture (I put cooked chicken, cream cheese, fresh spinach and some Longaberger seasoning from Sandy in the food processor). Bake @ 350 degrees till lightly brown. The girls love 'em!

-Orange Sesame Chicken with roasted asparagus ( (Chicken and asparagus were from the freezer. We thought this was good, but a bit sweet. I'd probably add less sugar and some vinegar next time to make it more of a sweet & sour sauce, and some thickener).
-Baked Pasta -pasta & sauce from my pantry stash, ground beef & cheese from the freezer. I had a lot of leftovers I didn't want to throw out so I added a bowl of split pea soup and some kidney beans. I was a bit apprehensive that the fam wouldn't like it but they LOVED it! ;)
-And of course, the ultimate healthy, low-cost, super yummy comfort food: a pot of pinto beans! I know, l know, the #1 complaint about beans is the uh, GI upset they can cause. I find that if I soak them overnight then cook them slowly all day in the Crock-Pot that effect is greatly diminished. We eat a LOT of beans around here. I think it's a good way to cut down on meat consumption, therefore keeping cost and fat in check. And they're a great way to get fiber!
We had bean/rice/chicken/salsa/guacamole/cheese burritos yesterday. SO good! Although we do have a continuing discussion going on around here about "Chipotle"-style burritos (J's fave) vs. "Real New Mexico" burritos (once you've grown up on New Mexican food there's no comparison). Opinions?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well friends.....

...I'm back. At least for today.
I've had a couple of you mention to me lately that you'd like to see the posts re-appear so I'm giving it another go. Of course I'm dealing with all the feelings of perfectionism and procrastination that usually follow me around...but I'm not going to give them much thought. I'm reminded of what our pastor said in church on Sunday about how to follow a daily Bible-reading plan. What do you do if you skip a day? Just jump right back in. Okay, I can do that. And I'm not going to hold myself to any kind of standard for this blog. Ok, let's jump back in!
So as you probably know I'm frugal, and I like couponing. Nothing too crazy, just like matching coupons with sales and keeping a small stockpile.
During a long road trip last month we were listening to a financial podcast and I had a brainstorm. Background info: Our good neighbors PCS'd (moved away) last month, leaving us with the abundance of all the groceries they couldn't take with them! Also my mom got us lots of groceries when they were here for Thanksgiving. Back to the brainstorm: "Hey! Wouldn't it be fun to try to use what we have and keep the January grocery budget to $100?!?!" So that's what I'm doing.
Today was my first day of grocery shopping for the month, and I gotta say, I'm not sure that I'm going to meet my goal. We just so happened to run out of several staples so far so (assuming the family is not willing to give up certain things for a month) I replaced the old stand-bys of Half & Half (cream for coffee!), coffee, peanut butter, and milk. All these things are considerably less expensive per unit at Costco so I just replaced them. Anyway, here is what I got. My total for the month so far: $46.74. I said, I'm not sure I'm going to meet my goal!

This is minus the 4 gallons of milk.