Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday GF Menu Plan

Keeping the groceries light this week so eating what we've got.

Monday - Macaronada
Tuesday - Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup
Wednesday - Haystacks
Thursday - Mexican Casserole w/GF Cornbread topping
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Burgers
Sunday - Dinner at friends

Monday - Turkey Sandwiches & fruit
Tuesday - Macaroni & Cheese pie
Wednesday - Chicken patties & fruit
Thursday - Taco Salad
Friday - Finger Food Lunch
Saturday - Chili
Sunday - Lunch with friends


Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 34 - $117.52

I went to three stores on Tuesday.  I guess I needed to stock up after our camping trip!

I ran down to QFC first thing for milk & fruit for breakfast.  I was happy to find a mess of Isernio's sausage on clearance.  Italian Sausage Veggie soup is one of our family favorites and we've been missing it!  The milk isn't pictured, I spent $31.39.

We went to County Market Tuesday afternoon to use a $10/$50 coupon.  I bought some beauty products, some stocking stuffers & a clearance peeler for camping to get my total to $50.07.  This might be a record for hitting close to $50.00!  So after the 20% off, all this food cost $14.47.

I went to a different QFC late Tuesday night to pick up more milk (since my kids drank half a gallon over the course of the day) and check out the clearance sections.  Clearance items were mayo for $0.99, oranges for $1.00, blackberry jam for $2.49, diced tomatos for $0.59, spaghetti noodles were $0.49 each, and breakfast sausage were $1.99 each.  I spent $32.01.

I ran to Fred Meyer late tonight and I have to Sunday night shopping is NOT spectacular.  Everything was not stocked and there wasn't much in the clearance areas.  I was pleased to see Cheerios and Chex on sale for $1.99 each that I stacked with coupons to get for $1.54 each.  DH needed more cream (not pictured) for $2.38 each, cream cheese were $0.80 each, cucumbers were $0.50 each, 1# cheese were $2.99 each, and sour cream was $0.60.  I also bought baking powder because I was out and chips for my GF kiddo's alternate meals. Other chips because they were on sale and I love salt!  I spent $39.65 in all.

Week 34 Total: $117.52
Year-to-date Total: $3,602.72
Weekly Average: $80.81


Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 33 - $26.08

I was camping all week and just had a few quick trips to the store for things I forgot.  Fred Meyer was about 15 minutes away.

Once I picked up some Reese's cups and a gallon of milk for $6.89.

Another day I got graham crackers, marshmallows, a head of romaine, and a bag of Doritos for $7.03.

My aunt spent $6ish and picked me up some pancake mix, syrup, and more sour cream for a dinner I was making for the big group.

Our second to last day I picked up more milk and coffee creamer.  It was $6.16.

Week 33 Total: $26.08
2015 Year-to-date Total: $3,485.20
Weekly Average: $105.61

2015 Groceries Week 32 - $179.29

It was a busy week getting ready for camping.  And I spent a lot on groceries because of clearance deals, peaches in bulk, and preparing for camping.

First stop of QFC on Monday.  This was a stop for cheese since QFC had it on special.  I ended up with clarance coffee for $3.49 each, clearance frosting for $0.49 and $0.69 each, clearance produce for $1.00/bag, clearance tomatoes for $0.59 each, and a slice of chocolate creme pie for my pregnant self.  I spent $26.81 on food.

On Tuesday I made it to Fred Meyer since we needed milk and butter.  I also picked up angel food cake mix, black beans, and onions for camping.  DH drinks a lot of pop at work and while I almost never buy it, I figured a week away from the office would result in cravings so I got it for him.  I also picked up some clearance apples and guacamole.  I spent $30.20 on food.

I was back at Fred Meyer on Friday to score huge boxes of Kix for $2.59 after coupon and splurged on clearance Avengers cereal for my kids to enjoy while camping with their mostly boy cousins.  I also got strawberries for the requested strawberry shortcake ($1.49/lb), butter for $1.99/lb, cocoa for a full-priced $5.59, clearance Hershey bars for s'mores at $0.49 each, clearance candy for DH $0.49, PB2 Powder I've been wanting to try for $2.19, clearance corn, beans, frosting, & tomato suace, GF bread for a whopping $6.69, hot dog buns, and sour cream.  I spent $15.75 on food.

Thursday was a big peach bulk buy but because I was leaving town on Friday I just got one box.  A sweet friend picked them up for me.  It was $18.00 for a 24 pound box.  DH actually went to get them from my friend and also bought eggs for $5.00 while he was there.

On Friday I popped into the Dollar Tree and spent $2.00 on whipped topping for the strawberry shortcake.

On Friday I also went to County Market because they sent another $10/$50 coupon!  Yay!  My total came in at $50.46 so I got a full 20% off all my purchases!  Yay again!  Food stuff included pudding cups for $1.00 ($0.80 each after coupon), cereal for $1.49 after MC ($1.19 after store coupon), sunflower seeds for salad were $1.20 after coupon, brownie mixes were $1.00 after coupon, pork chops were $1.22 for 1.1 lbs and $1.55 for 1.24 lbs, chicken breast was $1.59/lb, nitrate free hot dogs were $1.20 per package, corn was $0.27/ear, tomatoes were $0.79/lb - all after coupon.   Food worked out to $28.18.

Clearly it was a ton of shopping!

I also spent $9.40 on Amazon for GF cornbread mix and $7.95 for GF graham crackers.  Yowza!

Week 32 Total: $179.29
2015 Year-to-date Total: $3,459.12
Weekly Average 2015: $108.10


Sunday, August 2, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 31 - $84.04

I went back to Fred Meyer early this week to pay for the pricing mistake on the box of peaches.  The customer service gal was really gracious and said that since the error was on their part, store policy was not to charge us.  I was surprised and thankful.  I was in a hurry to get home that morning so I didn't do a shopping trip, but I found some udi's pizza crust for just $2.99 so I picked it up.

Later in the week I went to Fred Meyer again for a bigger trip.  I spent $39.65 on 2 huge boxes of Kix, 6 boxes of crackers, 5 boxes of organic mac'n'cheese, 12 clearance bell peppers, 2 bags of  grapes, 2 loaves of bread, a pound of red beans, 2 cans of beans, 1 can of soup, 3 boxes of granola bars & a hand of bananas.  Interestingly, I went to the customer service counter to pay for a box of mac'n'cheese that didn't get scanned.  That guy had no problem charging me the extra buck even though it wasn't my error.  Oh well.  =)

Saturday I dashed out for really fast shopping.  I spent $24.78 at QFC on organic milk, a bag of lemons, cereal, and shredded cheese.  Then at Fred Meyer I spent $16.62 on 2 loaves of bread, organic eggs, clearance cookie dough for a special recipe DD#3's been wanting to try, 2 bags of grapes, and clearance produce including 9 organic apples for $3.00, an organic canteloupe for $1.00!

Week 31 Total: $84.04
Year-to-date Total: $3,279.83
Weekly Average: $105.80

Monday, July 27, 2015

Gluten-Free Menu Plan

This week DD#1 and DD#3 are kitchen helpers and are helping plan the menu.  I'm still trying to steer them toward the freezer, but mostly the like their Paul Deen kid's cookbook and Elmo's cookbook.

Monday - Pizza (picked up Udi's crust on clearance)
Tuesday - Egg Salad (gf bread in freezer, will bake or buy other bread)
Wednesday - Porcupine Balls (ground beef from freezer)
Thursday - Lunch TBD at Aunt's house
Friday - Lunch out
Saturday - Macaroni & Cheese pie (gf noodles)
Sunday - leftovers

Monday - Pork w/ pear & cranberries (pork from freezer - didn't use last week)
Tuesday - Teriyaki chicken & rice (chicken from freezer)
Wednesday - Dinner out
Thursday - Dinner TBD at Aunt's house
Friday - Taco Salads
Saturday - chicken burgers
Sunday - Smoothies & Popcorn


Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 30 - $107.01

My awesome mother-in-law was here early in the week and we didn't do much shopping except a quick run to the grocery store for a gallon of milk.

I spent $5.99 at County Market for organic milk.

The girls and I went to Costco Wednesday afternoon mostly for garlic & lettuce.  I was signed up for salad & chips at our Friday Bible study potluck so I also got veggie straws that my kids are in love with.  A new purchase was organic sugar.  As I try to transition and fit more organic stuff into the budget, this was the next step.  Really, it just seems so expensive and my grocery bill is definitely increasing, but small changes are less painful.  Maybe it's time to ask DH for a grocery raise? I spent $40.03 on groceries.

Thursday morning DD#1 went to Fred Meyer for fast morning shopping and a quick date.  Usually we do Wednesday nights, but DH worked late so it was a Thursday morning 'squeeze-it-in.'  I bought a sweet potato & butternut squash for an amazing soup I love, more chips for the potluck, GF cereal, clearance milk, sour cream, cilantro and a huge box of peaches.  I spent $44.55, but I owe the store money and haven't been back yet to fix the problem (see below).

Fred Meyer had peaches and nectarines on sale last week for $0.99/lb.  Usually, I score great canning peaches with my bulk buying group, but I have to miss this year's event.  I generally get several boxes of 23ish pounds for $17.50 which ends up in the $0.80/lb range or less!  A super great deal, but I thought I'd buy some peaches for canning at Fred Meyer since $0.99 was also a good price.  I asked a guy in the produce department if it would be possible to get a couple of boxes of the sale peaches.  He said they have huge totes, not boxes, and how much would I want.  I asked if 50 pounds would be OK, and he asked me to wait.  A few minutes later he came out with this big 'ol banana box full of peaches and put it in my cart.  I was delighted!  Then he said, "You can get a 10% discount, too, since you're buying so much."  WHAT!?!  AWESOME!?!  I went immediately to the register, but wasn't about to try and lift the peaches out at 6 months pregnant.  The cashier from the next stand lifted it onto the conveyor, but the scale wouldn't work for that heavy.  In my mind I'm thinking, "I don't want to pay for the box weight!" but the cashiers didn't seem to want to unload the peaches into bags and I was running late getting home so I just mentally decided to let it go, they were giving me a 10% discount after all.  Then they asked me how much was in the box.  I said, "I don't know exactly, but I asked the produce guy for 50 pounds so it's probably around there."  In my mind I'm thinking, "It might be only 40 pounds! What do I know if they guy weighed them back there? I can't lift the box and get a general idea myself!"  They decide to charge me for 50# and I remind myself of the 10% discount and it's still a good deal, even if the box isn't quite 50 pounds it might also be over 50 pounds so just have some grace for these cashiers who are trying to figure out what to do.  The decision made, the cashier gets an override and rings me up for 50# of white peaches which are NOT on sale and $2.79/lb.  The screen said $139.47 minus $13.95 for the 10% discount.  I said, "Um, that's not right.  I'm so sorry, I'm buying the $0.99/lb peaches."  She quickly flipped through the box and found another sticker that rang up at $0.99/lb.  It was for nectarines, but it was the right price at $49.49 minus $4.95 for the 10% discount and required a manager override again.  I wasn't going to correct the designation because the price was finally right, and I finally got out of there.  But then when I got home I realized my receipt was too little money.  How did I get the peaches AND the other groceries for $44.55?  A quick scan showed me that while the $139.47 for white peaches had been removed, the $13.95 discount was still on the receipt.  So I need to go pay an additional $13.95 and you'll see it in next week's total.  Crazy!  But really happy to get peaches for $0.89/pound when I thought I was going to miss out entirely this year.

I ran out to QFC tonight because we were out of milk.  I ended up getting more of their cream that's been on sale, some Doritos (bad choice!), and microwave popcorn for the kids who were watching a movie.  I spent $16.44.

I barely see my friend anymore who sells eggs. *sniff* and I cancelled our milk delivery to save money.

Week 30 Total: $107.01
Year-to-date 2015 Total: $3,195.79
Weekly Average: $106.53.

This is significantly higher than last year at this time - only $79.89!  But 2013 was $109.37 so I can feel good about that I guess . . .


Friday, July 24, 2015

Daily Project Post - Burning Ribbons on the Elsa Wand

Does Elsa even have a wand?  I don't think so, but DD#3 got a really fun birthday gift of a glittering snowflake cape and wand and this week I came to the rescue of the wand.

Here you can see how the ribbons had started to fray.  One of them had frayed several inches.

First, I trimmed off all the frayed ends.

Then I held the ribbons over a burning wooden match, but didn't let the ribbon touch the flame.  The heat of the fire melted the ribbon ends together, preventing future fraying.

Good as new!  This is also a good trick for favorite hair ribbons, some decorations on fancy dresses, and where I learned the trick as a kid: ballet pointe shoes.