Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Baby Food Ninja!

So I'm loving making A his baby food.  For 4 kids I've purchased jars of food and transitioned to solids as soon as possible.  This time I decided to give making it a try and it's been great! 

Here's a recent example:

Yellow Squash & Zucchini to sautee for dinner.

cut off the ends, plus a little for A's dinner

Peel & microwave with a little water for 2 minutes

Toss in the ninja with a little oatmeal

Voila!  Baby food.

Scrape into bowl & A gobbles it up!
 Seriously, this baby is like a little disposal with the way he eats up all the bits & pieces around here.  A little cucumber, some tomatoes leftover?  I just whip it up in the Ninja and A's dinner is done.


Monday, August 15, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 33 - $146.91

Even though we're home and I had lots of food planned for dinner I couldn't resist the lure of good sales (that had matching coupons) at Fred Meyer.  $83.15 later I had a large quantity of groceries to photograph! 

Here's the rundown:
  • Tostitos on sale for $1.88 each with store coupon
  • Corn dogs for $5.69
  • Creamer for $2.50 with $1.35/2 MC = $1.83 each
  • Baby Mum-Mum crackers for $2.50 each (almost half price)
  • Almond coconut milk sale $2.50 each with $1.00/2 MC = $2.00 each
  • Tyson chicken strips on sale for $5.99 with $2.50/2 MC = $4.74 each
  • Horizon Mac'n'cheese $1.00 each with $1.00/3 MC = $0.67 each for 3, $1.00 for the other 2
  • Better Than Cream Cheese - $3.49
  • Lunchmeat - $3.00 for 1# packages with store coupon
  • Kielbasa - nitrate free - $3.50 sale price (great for a crockpot stew we like)
  • Brookside chocolates - $3.50 sale price with $2.00/1 MC = $1.50!
  • 18 eggs - $1.93
  • Navel oranges - $0.99/lb
  • Bananas - $0.69/lb
  • Bread (no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, just honey) - $1.33 with store coupon
  • Organic carrots - 2# for $1.79
  • Frozen potatoes (to go with corn dogs) = $1.50 each on sale
  • Parsley  - $0.79
  • Baby food - $0.62 each with $1.00/3 MC = 0.29 each
  • Cream cheese - $0.88 each with store coupon
  • Peanut Butter - $1.79 on sale with $0.45 store coupon = $1.34
  • Uncured bacon on clearance for $4.49
The little guy is eating a lot of banana so stopped Wednesday to grab a hand of bananas & cruised the borders of the store.  I spotted organic sour cream for $0.49!  I already had 2 or 3 tubs at home so I just bought one.  I spent $2.24.

I picked all of these goodies in the garden Thursday morning.  The garden is producing pretty perfectly for us right now.  Just enough tomatoes, zucchini in abundance (but we're keeping up pretty well), a cucumber now and then, a few strawberries to mix in the baby's cereal, and I was adjusting the cage on the tomatillo plant and one fell off into my hand.  I'm not sure what to do with it, but wow they've been interesting to watch grow.  It's like this empty husk of leaves, hollow, and it slowly grows fruit inside and gets heavier and heavier! Very cool.

Thursday night I went to Fred Meyer again and got lots of the same deals I mentioned above.  I laid out all the groceries - $41.03 worth - and put them away without taking a picture. 

Finally, one more stop at Fred Meyer to pick up grapes for a potluck contribution.  I also grabbed chips. I spent $20.49
Week 33 Total: $146.91
Year to Date: $5,252.97
Weekly Average: $159.18

Sunday, August 7, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 32 - $31.95

We camped the first half of the week and DD1 broke her arm on Thurday night requiring an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital, xrays, then another ambulance ride to Seattle Children's, more xrays, a terrible, horrible manual partial realignment to move a protruding bone away from the spot where it was nearly puncturing the skin (Praise the Lord they knocked her out) and then surgery Friday morning where they resituated the bones, muscle and an artery (!) that was wrapped around the bone and put 3 pins in the bottom end of her humerus.  We were kept overnight for observation, mostly because of the artery, and finally were able to come home Saturday late morning.  Phew!

We had another camping trip scheduled to start Saturday but we cancelled it. So I have all sorts of 'camping food' ready to go that we'll be eating this next week.

This week I went to a store near the campground Monday for ketchup, lettuce, & hot dogs.  I found these packages of no sugar added fruit cups for $1.25 each and bought 4.  Lettuce & one package of fruit not pictured.  I only spent $9.83.

I picked all this from the garden when I got home from the hospital Saturday afternoon.

I went to Fred Meyer late Saturday night to buy milk and of course, bought a bunch of other stuff.  I got organic salad mix for $1.99, a kale salad mix for $1.79, nitrate-free beef hot dogs are $3.50/pack, some vegan cheese on clearance for $2.29, fresh mozzarella for $4.99, 3 organic apples for $1.00, organic potatoes for $3.99, crackers for $1.67 each with a $1.00/2 coupon, and the organic milk.  I had a $10.82 reward to use so I only spent $22.12 altogether.

Finally!  A small week.

Week 32 Total: $31.95
YTD 2016 Total: $5,106.06
Weekly Average: $159.56

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 31 - $347.27

Another big week.  The bulk buying is killer.

My first stop was Monday night at QFC. I had a coupon for $5.00 off two organic formulas expiring that day & I wanted to use it.  I also bought fake sour cream for DD2, a clearance mozzarella ball for $2.99, a bag of clearance apples for $0.99, a few bananas, clearance organic beef for $5.99/lb, and a gallon of organic milk.  I spent $60.31.  

Tuesday I had arranged to pick up 100# of apples from Tonnemakers just about 4 miles down the road from our house.  He gave me exactly 100# and I handed over $100.

Also Tuesday I stopped in at County Market for the last day of their ad.  I bought 3 bags of daiya cheese for $3.99 each and a package of udi's buns for $3.99, too.  We will have some bbq pulled turkey soon as well as hamburgers on a camping trip so buns are needed.  I spent $15.96.

Since we were in Woodinville we stopped at The Dollar Tree.  I wanted to get one thing: a new plastic cup for DD4 since hers had cracked.  But since I was there I bought more pepperoni for $5.00.

Tuesday was also the last day of the Haggen ad.  There were several coupons I wanted to use, but you had to spend $50 so the girls and I did some careful shopping.  Our groceries totaled $51.26 and we used 5 coupons for $2.00 off each, paying $41.26 after coupons. We   bought 4 cans of olives, organic coconut milk, organic graham crackers, vegetable oil, grapes, a watermelon, a daiya pizza, an organic whole chicken on clearance for $11.71, and some potatoes, green onions, and a red onion I needed for a potluck baked potato bar. 

I was back at Haggen Wednesday.  I had forgotten to get yellow onions the day before and the new ad had butter for $1.99 and eggs for just $0.99/dozen.  I also got cucumbers that were on sale for $0.79/each spending $8.79 total.

I stopped back at Tonnemakers Wednesday to return the fruit boxes and picked up a few plums and 2 peaches for the kids.  I spent $1.90.

I picked these veggies on Wednesday.  A small yellow tomato, a lone cherry tomato, a handful of strawberries, a green chile (I think), a yellow squash and a zucchini squash.

I had a quick shopping trip to Fred Meyer on Friday.  I needed to make a veggie tray for a potluck and only had cucumbers & carrots at home so I wanted a couple other things and some hummus.  While at Freddie's I also saw clearance lettuce mixes, clearance udi's muffins, clearance cake mixes, clearance refried beans, and clearance cereal bars.  I spent $16.22 on food.

I had a huge trip to Fred Meyer on Saturday.  I had a pretty good list of things to buy for a camping trip and it just added up.  Tortilla chips, a box of fun cereal (traditional camping treat), corndogs, a loaf of bread, a package of hot dog buns, sour cream & df version, shredded cheese, df butter (these last 3 for the baked potato bar potluck), and chocolate for s'mores.  I also bought more formula because I had another $5.00/2 coupon, some microwave popcorn, myzithra cheese on clearance, hummus, a lime, a deli chicken that was on clearance, and a whole lot of extra sour supreme because it was cheaper than I'd seen it in a long while and has a long shelf life in the fridge.  I spent a whopping $97.83 on this one.

I picked these guys from the garden on Sunday.  An organic zucchini, another yellow squash, 2 wimpy cucumbers, and a big tomato that had been chomped by something. 

Wow.  Week 31 was a whopping $347.27
Year to date total: $5,074.11 (I only spent $5,075 the entire year of 2014)
Weekly Average: $163.68


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 30 - $269.02

Week 30 included lots of bulk fruit purchases contributing to the big spending.

First up was QFC on Monday where I got lots of stuff at 'normal' sale prices.  No spectacular deals, but all the things in the photo (plus a gallon of organic milk) were only $32.09.

Tuesday I drove out to my favorite 'no spray' berry farm and bought 80 pounds of blueberries.  It took 3 days to get them all frozen and I am so thankful for 8 cookie sheets!  I spent $160.

Friday I zipped into QFC again to grab a few things for our weekend camping trip.  I got apples, bananas, peanut butter, hot dogs, hot dog buns, ketchup, & clearance pastries for camping.  I also found clearance baby crackers & sour cream so I grabbed those too.  I paid $23.93.

And finally, Sunday afternoon I stopped at a farm stand down the road from our house.  I'd gotten their email newsletter earlier in the week advertising $1/lb organic apples if I bought a whole box.  I bought everything they had which was only 53 pounds and ordered more for next week. I paid $53.
Week 30 Total: $269.02
Year to Date Total: $4,726.84
Weekly Average: $157.56


Monday, July 25, 2016

Gluten Free Dairy Free Menu Plan

A busy week with hubby working a lot of hours.  Planning easier dinners for the kids.

Monday - Lunch Nachos, Dinner Macaronada
Tuesday - Lunch Mac'n'cheese (homemade), Dinner Fettucini Alfredo (trying a vegan sauce I found)
Wednesday - Lunch Cheesy bread & tomato soup, Dinner Enchilada Casserole
Thursday - Lunch Mac'n'cheese (need to use up some from freezer), Dinner Pancakes
Friday - Lunch Nachos, Dinner with Friends
Saturday - Lunch finger food lunch, Dinner Ham Bean Soup
Sunday - Lunch leftovers, Dinner Pulled Pork


Monday, July 18, 2016

GF/DF Menu Plan

This week is a scheduling doozy so having planned meals will be necessary for my sanity.

Monday - errands all day, leftover pancakes for lunch, grill burgers for dinner
Tuesday - out all day, packed lunch chicken, pot roast for dinner
Wednesday - out all day, packed lunch sausages, chicken teriyaki for dinner
Thursday - out all day, packed lunch chicken,waffles for dinner
Friday - home, nachos for lunch, beef stew for dinner
Saturday - tacos for lunch, white chicken chili for dinner
Sunday - burgers for lunch, fettucini alfredo for dinner


Sunday, July 17, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 29 - $282.41

Oh geez.  I spent a mountain this week.  And my pantry is exploding - seriously ridiculous amounts of food.  

I dashed into QFC Monday for french fries since DH and I were going out to dinner & the kids were eating at home with the babysitter.  I found 3 organic chickens on clearance for $2.09/lb.  I also got organic chicken thighs, organic baby yogurt, organic cottage cheese at $1.49, and a clearance bag of 4 bell peppers for $1.00.  I also got bananas, grapes, & cherries.  I spent $68.96.

My friend told me that a grocery store in her neighborhood was remodeling & had some great deals.  It's kind of far from my house, but I was nearby this week and dropped in.  Sure enough there was some great stuff at great prices.  I spent a pile so I won't give you the whole rundown, but here's the stuff I was most excited about:

  • GF/DF chocolate cake mix for $1.97 each
  • GF/DF confetti cake mix for $1.64 each
  • GF/DF brownie mix for $1.64 each
  • A big jar of pickles for $1.37
  • marshmallows for $0.57
  • HonestKids drink pouches for $0.99/box of 8
  • Formula bottles for $0.99 each
  • Tahini for $1.99 each
  • organic gf noodles for $1.12
  • organic tomato sauce for $0.59 each
  • quinoa burgers for $0.99/box of 4 
  • shelf stable soy milk for camping $0.99 each
  • So Delicious coconut milk creamer, also shelf stable for $0.99 each
  • also got juice, baby crackers, gallon of organic milk, organic celery, non-butter, organic dry beans, organic canned beans, tea, salad dressing, nutrigrain bars, organic baby cereal, and gf spice cake mix.  
Really, it was a huge trip - see all this?  It was $94.99.  Amazing.

There were a few things that rung up incorrectly however, so I called the store and they said I could just come back in with my receipt.  So two days later when I was headed that direction again I stopped in and got the price corrections plus found a bunch more stuff.


  • organic GF pasta for $1.09
  • Clif kids snacks for $1.99/box
  • pectin for $1.24
  • Cocoa for $1.32/can
  • pineapple for $0.49/can
  • corn for $0.39/can
  • organic dark chocolate bars (for DD2 s'mores) $2.00 each
  • organic granola bars $0.99 each box
  • kind granola $1.24
  • pickles $1.04/jar
  • organic salsa $0.99/jar
  • vegan alfredo sauce for $2.09/jar
I also bought a daiya pizza, some bananas, & carrots I wanted to save stopping at another store.  This trip was $64.03

You'd think I'd have stopped at this point, being well over $200 for the week, but no.  I went to Safeway for DD2's slice daiya cheese on Friday morning.  My usual Kroger stores don't have it, & Safeway does.  While there I found a bunch more to buy, naturally.  Olives & relish were on special for $0.99/jar and there were gluten free granola bars and crackers on clearance for $2.49 and $1.29, respectively.  I also got cream cheese I needed for a special dessert that night and while on the dairy aisle found some clearance yogurt.  Organic almond milk was also on sale & I picked up more grapes, bananas, & a couple of apples so I wouldn't have to shop again through the weekend.  I spent $48.77.

Wouldn't you know it I forgot an important ingredient for the special dessert Friday night and had to run down to QFC to grab whipping cream.  While there I couldn't resist a peek and the clearance product shelf and I found $0.99 bags of 4 ear of corn, 6 peaches & an apriocot, and 11 donut peaches!  Talk about fruit-palooza!  When I got home I hid the new grapes in the veggie drawer so my kids will eat the peaches first.  So far, so good.  And I spent $5.66 on this trip.

All in all, I spent $282.41 in week 29.
Year to date 2016: $4,457.82
Weekly Average: $153.72

I'd like to think next week will be better, but I think I'm going to Costco and there's a good chance I'm getting bulk blueberries.  We'll see how it turns out.