Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tardy June Update

A quick update because I'm running around trying to get food and the house reasdy for the barbeque this weekend.

In June:
1. We saved 4.9% toward our emergency fund.  We're up to almost 11%.  My goal was 5% and I really wanted to meet it, so I deposited a huge chunk of my garage sale money into the savings account.  I didn't have the best attitude about it and I still miss the security of a pile of cash tucked away in a drawer, but I made the monthly goal and that's some comfort.
2. I used the dryer a lot, unfortunately.  The weather was just terrible and I wasn't able to hang things on the clothesline but for one day that we were in town.
3. We did get my old desk back into the office.
4. I did post every day on Project TwentySix.
5. I weeded 90% of the garden.  To me this is failing to meet my goal.  To DH this is "mostly done!"  We are so different.
6. I forgot to keep my thankful list for June but here are a few off the top of my head.

I'm thankful for two very successful garage sales, for a cousin and a sister-in-law willing to sacrifice their houses for the mess a garage sale makes,  for the opportunity to spend time with my sister (who I've only an hour or two at a time the last 8 years) for 2 weeks, for my dad's commitment to putting together a family trip every year, for my family's commitment to going on the trip!

Goals for July:
1. We can't save for the emergency fund this month because we have had some big expenses we have to cover.  Gr. 
2. Use the dryer only 2 more times this month (used 2x already, but mostly able to use the clothesline!)
3. Clean out 2 basement closets
4. Post every day on ProjectTwentySix
5. Freeze a case of peaches
6. I'm already keeping my thankful list for July


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Garden Update - Lots of pictures

The garden is growing but I'm waiting for more!  Here are photos from last week.

Round 2 of lettuce (I ripped out the wimpy spinach)

The cucumber that I want to grow like crazy!  I love cucumber.

I ripped out 7 of 21 cucumber plants so the best, healthiext ones had more room to grow.  This super wimpy one was the singular store bought cucumber plant and it was among the weakest.

A couple of baby tomatoes getting started.

Bell peppers that probably won't blossom with out low temperatures.

Same for our jalapenos.

Here's what's left of the snap peas after the rabbits got them.  I replanted so I'm hoping for more.

Here's what left of the green beans (left) after the rabbits got those, too.  Replanted.

Beautiful broccoli.

Picked and eaten for dinner last week.  Yummo!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Menu Plan

So this week I'm focusing on eating what we have on hand.  My grocery budget is mostly going to be for a big barbeque sweet Eve has been planning for months.  The girl loves a party and we're indulging her this time.

Monday - Nachos (I got 2 week expired tortilla chips for $.33/bag last week)
Tuesday - Grilled Cheese
Wednesday - Mac'n'Cheese
Thursday - Pizza bites
Friday - Nachos again
Saturday - Finger Food Lunch
Sunday - PB & J at church

Monday - French Toast & Bacon
Tuesday - Tuna Casserole (mom out & need to use up expired package)
Wednesday - Hawaiian Pork (from freezer, dad out)
Thursday - Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs (organic thighs I need to use)
Friday - Ham Loaf (ground ham & pork in the freezer, crushed pineapple in the pantry)
Saturday - Big barbeque
Sunday - Smoothies/Popcorn


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Safeway Clearance Bonanza

I finally looked at last week's grocery ads yesterday and realized I had to run out to Safeway or miss an amazing deal on peaches at Safeway.  They were only $.77/lb!  Wow! 

Of course, at that price I wanted a whole case but also of course, they were completely out on the last day of the sale.  Instead I got a rain check (which I was kind of hoping for because after strawberry jam this week I didn't really want to freeze a bunch of peaches, too).  I'll be busy with peaches next week or the week after.

Of course I couldn't leave without perusing the clearance pockets around the store and I found some great deals!  Yes!

Safeway 12-pack of pop $3.39 (50% off clearance) = $1.69
Horizon organic milk $6.99 (50% off clearance) = $3.49
Chobani organic yogurt $3.19 (50% off clearance) ($1.00 MC) = $.59 for the 4 pack
Dannon Light & Fit yogurt $2.69 ($.80 on sale) (50% off clearance) = $.89 for each 4 pack
La Choy box dinner $2.64 (50% off clearance) = $1.32
Oikos greek yogrut $1.34 ($.34 on sale)(50% off clearance) = $.50 each
Uncle Ben's ready rice $2.28 (50% off clearance) = $1.14 each
Uncle Ben's single serve $1.55 ($1.40 off with purchase of 2 ready rice) = $.15

no crazy, amazing deals but this will definitely shave a chunk of the grocery bill with cheaper milk and yogurt.  The rice and dinner mix will be put aside for camping. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Strawberry Jam

I used those $1/lb Strawberries from Fred Meyer to make jam this weekend. 

Here's 5# of hulled berries.

Next I mashed them with a potato masher in a flat-bottomed pie plate, about a pound at a time.

It made 9 cups of mashed strawberries.  I added 2 packets of pectin and 1/2 cup of lemon juice, then  brought to a rolling boil.

 I added 7 cups of sugar and brought it to a boil again. I let it boil hard for 1 minute.

I used a tea strainer to scrape off the foam and scooped the jam into jars and freezer containers.  This shows 9 one cup mason jars and 4 two cup freezer containers.  So alrogether the 5# of berries made juszt over a gallon of jam.

Here are the 9 jars cooking.  I had to make a little adjustment to my wire rack so the small jars would stay upright.  I used those twist-tie things to string a little barrier up.

Making jam was much easier than I remembered so after this batch, I made another batch half this size the next morning. 


Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Menu Plan

We mostly stuck to the menu plan last week but added one night of leftovers.  The above photo is of food expired or expiring soon in the pantry.  I'm going to try and use this stuff up.

Tuna Helper = easy dinner
Cake Mix = dessert
Gingerbread Cookie Mix = very old and organic so probably gross, but I'll mix it up to try anyway.
Baking Cocoa = chocolate frosting
Sweetened Condensed Milk = homemade coffee creamer
Salad dressings = We eat a ton of salad and this is all "creamy" and will be opened within the month
Rice mixes = side dishes

Monday - Sour Cream Chicken
Tuesday - Stew & Biscuits
Wednesday - Tuna Helper
Thursday - Potluck (taking green salad)
Friday - Freezer Dinner
Saturday - Turkey Enchiladas (Freezer Dinner)
Sunday - Smoothies & Popcorn


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sweet Fred Meyer Clearance

I should have taken a photo but I'd already wedged much of this in the freezer and didn't want to dig it out!

I stopped by Fred Meyer for milk and their "Buy 10, Save $3 Now & $2 Later" deal.  I went to the Bellevue store since I happened to be near there and I was glad I did!

Strawberries were marked down to $1/lb so I got 10 pounds and decided to make jam.
Cherries were also marked down to $1.49/lb.  I didn't get any but still a sweet deal!
2# package of ground pork for $1.39/lb.  Will use for meatballs or a meatloaf.
8-pack Sandwich thins for $.99.  I got all 3 packages in the clearance bin.
Tazo teabags in a squished box for $1.49 and I had a $1.00/1 MC so $.49! 

I miss this blog - only about 4 more months left of Project TwentySix!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Garden Update

Oh, my sad garden.  It's been so neglected . . .

This is a shot mid-June when I was home for 6 days between trips.  DH had watered exactly twice in the two weeks I was gone, but our Seattle Juneuary probably took care of watering it otherwise.

I was super-disappointed that rabbits had eaten all the green beans and snap peas and I wanted to replant, but wasn't home long enough to take care of it.  I also barely weeded.

Here is a photo taken one week ago, at the end of June.   The weeds have taken over!  My great neighbor watered while we were gone this time and both plants and weeds flourished.

In a week I've managed to weed in about 5 different sessions but only did about 70%.  I got the biggest out and I'll keep at it. 

Yesterday, I took a picture of this little spaghetti squash just getting started.  We'll see if it grows for us to eat or if the slugs get it first.  Thankfully there are many, many blossoms so I'm sure we'll get an excellent crop of these.  Thanks to my friend, Liz, for the great starts!

Here are a few tomatoes getting started.

Broccoli - Can you see them hiding in there?

And of course, lettuce.  How exciting - the first fruits!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Albertson's Shopping Trip - $9.97

I headed to Albertson's to use the double coupons yesterday.  I did the Buy 10/Save $5 deal.

2 Barilla Pasta $1.25 ($.50 Buy10) ($1.00/2 MC) = $.25 each
A-1 Steak Sauce $2.99 ($.50 Buy10) ($1.00 MC doubled) = $.49
4 La Victoria Salsa $2.19 ($.50 Buy 10) ($1.00/2 MCs doubled) = $.69 each
2 OM Weiners $1.49 ($.50 Buy 10) = $.99 each
Doritos $2.49 ($.50 Buy 10) = $1.99

Hillshire Farms Sausage $2.50 ($.51 Store Coupon) ($.55 MC) = $1.44