Sunday, May 22, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 21 - $173.36

This week wasn't too bad.  I'm trying to make some meals ahead and get ready for an upcoming vacation where DH & I will be out of town, but family will be staying with our kids.

I popped into Costco for a couple things Monday.  I spent $21.88 on mac'n'cheese and maple syrup.

I went to Fred Meyer for organic yogurt that was on sale for $2.79.  I also bought organic milk, organic green onions, organic mangoes, an organic chicken, and conventional corn flakes, applesauce, chex granola & gf honey bunches of oats.  I spent $40.83.

No photo for a stop Tuesday at QFC for gf/df pizza.  It was $9.99 and annoying because only $7.99 at Fred Meyer.  Too bad QFC is the one close to my house.  *sigh*

Fred Meyer for milk again on Friday.  My kids are drinking it fast!  I also got the raspberries that were on sale, 2 organic cucumbers, bacon, and clearance baby food and bread.  I only spent $19.39.

Finally, a big trip on Saturday where I got lots of good deals with sales & coupons.  I bought clearance pectin for canning, croissants, and salami sticks. I used manufacturer's coupons for the Ritz and Triscuits which were also on sale.  I also got 2 containers of organic formula, organic gummy bears, organic potatoes, and conventional cream cheese, salsa, lunchmeat, half & half, creamer, asparagus, zucchini, oranges & raspberries.  I also picked up some clearance K-cups to share with one of my homeschool groups.  I spent $81.27 on food.

Week 21 Total: $173.36
Year-to-Date Total: $2,812.29
Weekly Average: $133.92


Monday, May 16, 2016

GF/DF/EF Menu Plan

I haven't made a menu plan in a couple of weeks and I feel it!  I generally plan a couple of days ahead, but the whole week decided ahead of time is so helpful and reduces the stress level.

Monday - Mexican Dip (make double for in-law visit)
Tuesday - Pizza
Wednesday - Enchilada Casserole
Thursday - Pot Roast
Friday - Beef Stew & biscuits
Saturday - macaronada
Sunday - popcorn & fruit

Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Grilled Cheese
Wednesday - Waffles (1/4 batch gf/df/ef)
Thursday - pbj or pbhoney
Friday - Nachos/Quesadillas
Saturday - mac & cheese
Sunday - pbj

Snacks: yogurt/granola, cottage cheese, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, granola bars, lemon-blueberry loaf


Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 20 - $136.12

I should just adjust my expectations.  Really. I should figure on spending $150/week so I don't get so annoyed at myself.

I hit the clearance jackpot at QFC Wednesday mid-morning.  I got 12 boxes of cereal for $0.89 each, a box of chex for $1.99, 4 organic cottage cheese for $1.49 each, 2 organic sour cream for $1.79 each, gf/df/ef pizza dough for $3.09, and organic granola bars for $1.99.  I also bought organic soy milk, 2 gallons organic whole milk, a soy milk yogurt as a treat for DD2, organic carrots, organic kidney beans to put in soup this week, and 3 pints of DF sorbet that was on sale.  I also got clearance bbq sauce and chocolate syrup.  I spent $58.99.

I finally made it to the Founder's Day sale at Fred Meyer on Thursday evening.  I bought chips that we needed for a potluck Friday night, 4 boxes of cereal, organic coconut milk that was on clearance for $1.79 (!), 4 organic cucumbers, a loaf of df/gf/ef bread because I just want to make sandwiches for the kids sometimes, organic Earth's Balance butter and a clearance box of glutino breakfast bars.  Conventional stuff included coffee creamer, bread, canned pineapple & mandarins, asparagus, tomatoes, bananas, onions, apples, fruit snacks, diced green chiles, 3 cup-o-noodles, a mango, 2 cans of tomatoes, chicken noodle soup, and a brick of the new Darigold cheese because it was on sale and I wanted to try it (I love sharp, white cheddar &  I love they're not dyeing their cheddar orange like Tillamook and everyone else).  I spent a big $50.24.

A zip through QFC after a coffee date yielded a pound cake for the freezer (to save for a trifle later this summer), some cocoa k-cups, a can of beans because I couldn't find dry beans (what? Yes), and 2 bell peppers. I spent $7.66.

Finally, I was about 45 minutes from home for DD1 to attend a birthday party and I hit up the Safeway to see what I could find.  I got 4 packages of organic sausages and some organic chicken breast for 50% off.  They also had kids' organic squeeze yogurts for 50% off, but lots of sugar in those flavored ones.  I spent $19.23.

Week 20 Total: $136.12
Year to Date 2016 Total: $2,638.93
Weekly Average; $131.95


Sunday, May 8, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 19 - $168.75

This week made up for the previous two low-spending weeks.  Ouch!

Monday I had an hour out and about with 2 girls and we stopped at QFC to check out the deals.  I found organic butter for just $2.99/lb so I bought 9 packages (all that was on the shelf).  I also restocked on the gf/df/eg kiddo's sour cream, cream cheese, and shortening (for baking in lieu of butter).  We found some yogurt cups on clearance for $0.29/each and organic ground turkey for $4.00/lb.  Altogether we spent $51.39.

Tuesday I went out after dinner because the daiya cheese sale was ending at Safeway and I wanted to stock up.  Unfortuantely a lot of the cheese were already sold out!  But I still got a few contrainers.  I also picked up regular cream cheese to make a dinner my kids love, some clearance lunch meat, a clearance can of soup, and clearance organic eggs.  Hummus was on sale and I picked up a multi-grain cereal for the baby to expand his food horizons. I spent $34.33 on food.  I also found a couple non-food items in the clearance area back by the swinging doors.  I got the last remaining kiddo an electric toothbrush for $3.49 and  a fun birthday gift for my nephew for $4.99.  Safeway is hit or miss for me, but the clearance deals were great this trip.

I had a huge trip to Fred Meyer on Thursday, but I can't figure out how to get the picture off my new phone.  I'll update this post when I can access the photo.  I bought whole milk, gf chex cereal, generic honey nut cheerios & cornflakes, organic baby formula, 2 baby cereals, 2 spaghetti boxes, rice vinegar, canned beans & canned tomatoes, hummus in a flavor my mom likes since she was visiting, a clearance bag of 3 organic granny smith apples for $1, a gf/df/ef pizza, a head of romaine, an organic cucumber, 2 packages of nitrate-free bacon for $2.69 each, some clearance bananas, and a clearance sourdough bread boule.  I spent $62.40 on food.

Saturday I was out with DD#2 and we picked up these few things at QFC & Fred Meyer. Baby puffs were $0.79, organic guacamole for $2.19 each, organic potatoes for $2.49 and 3 apples for $1.49/lb. This cost $13.34.

Finally, I found these clearance deals at Safeway today. Lunch meats for $1.24 each, organic baby yogurt for $1.99, and sour cream for $0.79 each.  I spent $7.29.

Grand total groceries for Week 19: $168.75
2016 Year to date: $2,502.81
Weekly Average: $131.73

In 2015 I was only averaging $84.96 at this point.  I think we're eating much better food these days and I know prices are rising, but it really feels like I am overspending.  I'm working on adjusting my attitude.  I know that $130/week is still really excellent.

This week I may spend a lot as well.  Fred Meyer is having its annual Founder's Day sale which is usually chock full of great deals so I may be stocking up a little.

Love, Katie

Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 18 - $59.30

It was another light week.  Monday I stopped at QFC and found pepperoni & guacamole on clearance.  I spent $8.96

We were at my Aunt's all day Wednesday & Thursday.  Thursday night I went down to the local Fred Meyer to find food for breakfast Friday since I planned to be on the road by 6:30am.  I found granola bars on clearance, apples, oranges, bananas, & lemons on clearance, some cheese, some carrots & hummus.  I also picked up m&ms because I love them.  I paid $19.20.

I had a big pot of chili to make for Friday night dinner at our couples Bible study.  I ran into the grocery store for a very fast pick up of ingredients I was missing and spent $8.86.

My lovely Aunt picked this flour up for me at her local Costco outlet store.  It cost her about $9.00.

Finally, I went to QFC Saturday.  I bought 2 bags of organic chips, a head or organic lettuce, 2 organic sweet potatoes, some yummy 9-grain salad, and a pound of organic ground beef.  I spent $13.28 after returning some milk bottles.

Week 18 Total: $59.30
YTD 2016 Total: $2,334.06
Weekly Average: $129.67


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Space Saving Cups

I saw this idea awhile back in a Facebook post.  My girls all use just one cup all the time so at the end of the day I only have 4 kid cups in the dishwasher.  The usually all sit on the edge of the dish drainer, but if the drainer tray was getting gunky I hated to put the kids' cups on it.  I also didn't like how often the cups got knocked off the edge of the counter onto the floor.

So I dug out a few magnets that had been languishing in my craft drawers (ALL saved from other things, like magnetized grocery pads) and super-glued them to my kids' cups.  So far it's been working well! 

Love, Katie

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Salad Dressing Marinade

I hate to throw any food away.  And despite our large family I never seem to go through our salad dressing before its "best by" date, especially organic dressing.  One way I use up the dressing is to marinate and/or cook chicken in it. 

I made this last week and tossed most of it on a salad for lunch.
This is also a good way to use up little bits of dressing that linger in their bottles in the fridge.  I add oil or warm water and give the bottles a good shake.  Then I pour out the remainder onto the meat.  Little bits of dressing are great for little bits of meat. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Defrosting the Freezer - Day 9

Finally, after 9 days of defrosting I decided it was time to wrap up the freezer chore.

Most of the ice had melted

The turkey was iced in and moved the entire shelf contents when I tried to get it out.

I moved the paper bag of ground beef to find these 3 jugs, still frozen solid.

Again, when I tried to pull the milk out, it brought the water-filled jugs along, too.

Turkey with huge ice defrosted in the kitchen sink.

Milk jug defrosts, frozen to it's neighbor.

The ice surrounding the milk finally loosened.

Freezer is humming again with some food still inside.  
Next up will be using freezer contents up so I can unplug for a couple months this summer.