Sunday, February 7, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 6 - $121.55

This week I thought I wouldn't spend much because we have so much food in the house from last week's shopping.  But then I had a couple of events come up that I had to shop for.  Rats!

First I had to buy lunch meat and pickles for our American Heritage Girls Troop this weekend.  I didn't get to sign up for what to bring so I couldn't choose something I already had on hand.  Instead I had to go out and buy lunchmeat and pickles.  While at Fred Meyer I picked up more corndogs (on sale) and rice cakes (I was out). I spent $24.42.

Later in the week I popped into Fred Meyer for potatoes.  I was happy to find organic potatoes for $1.99/3# instead of the regular price $3.49/3#.  I bought all 3 bags on the shelf.  Then I found a plethora of clearance canned goods.  There was a shopping cart full next to 2 six foot tables full of clearance items.  That's 8 cans of crushed pineapple for $0.69 each, 9 cans of corn for $0.39 each, 2 cans of olives for $0.49 each, 8 cans of beans for $0.39 and $0.49 each.  Also enchilada sauce, peas, and chicken broth for a total of $22.96.  What a deal!

These two shopping trips wouldn't have been so bad, but on Friday DD#2's doctor told us to take her off milk again.  I also had to cook for the Super Bowl party we were planning to attend.  So I paid a whopping $3.79 for dairy-free cream cheese, bought coconut milk and GF/DF crackers for DD#2.  I also bought chips & cucumbers for the party and milk, other crackers, sour cream, cottage cheese, onions, apples, and bananas for our regular consumption.  I found a couple clearance deals on infant formula, tomato paste, dried cranberries, hamburger buns, tea, and caramel sauce.  I spent a big $74.17 and blew what I thought would be a low spending week.

This week: $121.55
Year-to-Date Total: $584.01
Weekly Average: $97.34


Monday, February 1, 2016

Gluten Free Menu Plan - 2 weeks

I spent so much on groceries last week I determined to make a 2 week men plan.  Here's hoping for much smaller grocery bills the next couple weeks!

Monday - Fajitas
Tuesday - Turkey Pot Pie (made over weekend, but didn't bake as so many leftovers)
Wednesday - Taco Soup
Thursday - Crockpot Sausage Stew
Friday - Dinner at Campout
Saturday - Pork Chops & Golden Quinoa
Sunday - Popcorn & Smoothies
Monday - Mexican Casserole with GF cornbread crust
Tuesday - Chicken Vindaloo
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Pancakes & bacon
Friday - Chili & GF cornbread
Saturday - Beefy Enchilada Casserole
Sunday - Popcorn & Smoothies

Monday - Leftovers
Tuesday - Mac'n'Cheese
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Meat/Cheese/Crackers, Veggies (Packed Lunch)
Friday - Waffles
Saturday - Lunch at Campout
Sunday - Leftovers
Monday - GF Mac'n'Cheese
Tuesday - Quesadillas
Wednesday - Macaronada
Thursday - Cold chicken & veggies (Packed Lunch)
Friday - Taco Salad
Saturday - Skillet (sausage, potatoes, eggs)
Sunday - Valentine's Day Plate - Red apple slices, ham, strawberries,


Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 5 - $396.53

It didn't take long to bounce back from the Pantry Challenge. Yowza it was a big week.  I'll likely have to have an unofficial pantry semi-challenge in February to cover all this spending.

First up was a trip to Champion Grocery Outlet in Issaquah.  I was out of oatmeal (thanks to the pantry challenge) and was 90% sure they'd have more.  They did! a 25 pound bag was just $14.25.  i also got organic salsa, ketchup, peanut butter coconut oil, garbanzo beans and baby food.  I bought conventional crackers, GF pasta, "OO" flour for pizza dough, and a GF pizza dough mix.  I spent $66.10.

Then I went to Costco.  The veggie straws were on a sale ending that day so I maxed out the deal.  I also bought organic mac'n'cheese, rice crackers, artichoke hearts, organic tortilla chips, guacamole and organic hummus. I spent $72.29.

I stopped into Fred Meyer for milk and found a bunch of clearance deals on summer sausage, chicken breast, cereal, spaghetti sauce, enchilada sauce, refried beans, and corn.  There was also the Simple Truth nitrate free sausage still on sale for $1.99 so I bought 6 packages. We use 1-2 packages each week so it's about a month's supply. I spent $44.42

I went to QFC for rice cereal since I forgot it at Fred Meyer.  I found a bunch of clearance deals here, too, including enchilada sauce, cereal, refried beans, sour cream, gf muffins, black beans and a bunch of bratwurst for $0.99 each in 20 oz packages.  In retrospect I should have skipped the bratwurst.  I have lots of sausage right now and these aren't particularly "clean" as far as food goes.   I was lured by the low price and justified it because the ingredient list didn't say anything about nitrates.  I also bought a 3 pound bag of organic potatoes for a whopping $4.99.  These are much cheaper at Fred Meyer and I will not buy buying them a QFC again.  I spent $27.40.

Next was another trip to Costco for produce.  I had promised some girlfriends healthy snacks for an overnight get-together.  I bought the bell peppers and carrots I intended, but bought gf pizza, lettuce, tortilla, organic peas, organic green beans, and eggs.  The best deal I found though, was for organic boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Normally this is $5.99/lb at Costco but they had a deal for $8 off per package.  The packages are usually 3.5 to 5 pounds.  We searched for the smallest packages we could find to maximize the $8 off.  I figured I could spent about $100 to stock up on this deal so we bought 7 packages for a total of 25.14 pounds and about $95.  It worked out to $3.78 per pound.  Altogether I spent $147.70.

Next was QFC for last minute cucumbers.  I had a short list that I stuck to except for the bacon I found on clearance for $1.99/lb.  This all cost $30.39.  I skipped the $6.00 golden raisins and popped into TJs next door to check their price.

Sure enough, Trader Joes had the golden raisins for only $2.79.  I also grabbed zucchini and a few oranges.  I spent $8.23 to end a ridiculous week of grocery spending.

Week 5 Total: $396.53  Huge Ouch.  And this will skew my weekly averages, too. Yikes.  
YTD 2016 Total: $462.46
Weekly Average: $92.49


Monday, January 25, 2016

Gluten Free Menu Plan

So I'm not doing the Pantry Challenge in regards to grocery shopping, but I AM trying to use things up from my freezer and pantry still.  My freezer is terribly frosted over so I don't even know what's hiding in the top half.  A defrost will have to happen soon and that means using a lot of things so the remainder will fit in the small inside freezer.

Monday - Chicken in the crockpot (last freezer meal from Asher being born)
Tuesday - Taco Salad
Wednesday - Taco Soup in the crockpot (chicken, cook beans, corn from freezer)
Thursday - Berry Pancakes
Friday - Chicken Vindaloo (chicken from freezer)
Saturday - Turkey Pot Pie (turkey bits from freezer)
Sunday -  Ham (out of freezer)

Monday - leftover ham, veggies (packed)
Tuesday - Waffles
Wednesday - lunch out
Thursday - leftover ham, veggies (packed)
Friday - Mac'n'cheese (using weird bits of pasta from pasta, random cheese from fridge & freezer)
Saturday - Nachos
Sunday - Leftovers

I'm still using lots of freezer & pantry stuff.  One big victory is my kids are eating oatmeal every morning with jam.  We are quickly using up preserves from the summer of 2014 that I despaired we wouldn't get through now that we rarely have peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  Hooray!

Grocery list: milk, potatoes, oatmeal (!! We are out!!), chips, sour cream, rice crackers, rice cakes


Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 4 - $19.11

Another week of the Pantry Challenge. 

I was at QFC Monday hoping for find hummus on clearance and I did!  One was $1.79 and another on sale for $2.99.  I also saw GF cupcakes and some clearance meat for pizzas.  I spent $14.85.

Late in the week I went to Fred Meyer for brown rice cakes.  While there I found a clearance bag of granny smith apples (3/$1.00) and some nice-looking clearance bananas.  I took a photo that didn't save on my camera for some reason.  I spent $4.26.

Then Friday night my friend gave me a bunch of stuff she was cleaning out of her pantry including 5 packets of taco seasoning, a mix for gluten-free caramel apple coffee cake, and an assortment of tea.  I love tea and some of these are really fancy! 

I am blessed to have some wonderful, close friends who know me and know my heart.  When I shared with them last week about how stressed and overwhelmed I am with life just now one of them suggested I don't keep doing the Pantry Challenge.  I immediately balked and said I was definitely still doing it.  Reflecting over the next few days I realized that I wanted to keep doing it because it's something I'm actually good at and can succeed at.  I feel like I fail in so many areas of my life that I am desperate to do something well!  However, I AM going to stop limiting myself to $20 a week now that I've managed 4 weeks.  I will still try to keep my grocery bill low, but as I'm getting used to DH being back at work I find I do need to make meals that are fast & simple.  The Pantry Challenge requires a lot of cooking from scratch and I just can't do that once or twice a day and expect to stay on top of my house and homeschool, too.  While I know I could do the Pantry Challenge successfully for another month or so, it's simply more important to make other things a priority just now.

Week 4 Total: $19.11
2016 Year-to-Date: $65.93
2016 Weekly Average: $16.48

Love, Katie

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gluten Free Menu Plan

Still doing the pantry challenge and hoping to keep the groceries under $20 for the week.

Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Pizza
Wednesday - Beef Stew (using last of potatoes)
Thursday - Mexican Dip/Chips
Friday - Dinner at Bible Study
Saturday - Pizza Pasta
Sunday - Popcorn & Smoothie

Monday - Turkey, Carrot sticks
Tuesday - Nachos/Quesadilla
Wednesday - Corn Dogs
Thursday - Sausage, Carrot sticks
Friday - Mac'n'Cheese
Saturday - Turkey/Rice/Veggie Soup
Sunday - Leftovers


Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 3 - $19.13

The Pantry Challenge is going well so far.  I have to admit it was a huge struggle to walk away from sausage on clearance for $1.29/lb that I saw on Monday at Fred Meyer.  As a result, in subsequent shopping trips I just avoided the clearance areas altogether.  I had to remind myself that this is an intentional season of challenge and sausage will be on sale again.

My first stop was Fred Meyer on Monday for brown rice cakes as they are a nice crunchy snack and good for the detox.  I found two tubs of turkey lunchmeat which are also detox friendly.  I spent $8.87.

Tuesday I realized I needed onions for a couple of recipes in the menu plan so I zipped into a little grocery store in Duvall when we were 15 minutes early for an appointment.  This 5# bag of onion was only $2.19!

Thursday night I stopped quickly at QFC for a eggs and milk and was delighted to find organic milk on clearance for $2.89/gallon so I was able to buy 2 gallons and stay under the $20 for the week.  Hooray!  I spent $8.07 on food that night.

The three shopping trips totaled $19.13.
My first 3 weeks of 2016 totaled $46.82 for a weekly average of $15.61.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Gluten Free Menu Plan

I made a menu plan yesterday, but my kids were on the computer doing math curriculum so I didn't post it.  Here's my plan for the week:

Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Sausage Stew
Wednesday - Turkey
Thursday - Turkey Gravy over Rice
Friday - Chicken Vindaloo
Saturday - Pizza
Sunday - Smoothies & Popcorn

Monday - Macaronada
Tuesday - GF mac'n'cheese
Wednesday - Waffles
Thursday - Finger Food Lunch (packed)
Friday - Turkey vegetable soup
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Skillet