Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekly Shopping - $91.81

I just started my week out of town, but I did some shopping last week to get DH all squared away for while I'm gone.

I went to Fred Meyer because we've been going through tons of cereal and it was on sale last week.  They also had cheese for $3.99 for a 2# brick, we were out of baby wipes, and there were only a few coffee filters.  I didn't want DH to have to go out to the store with all the kids so I tried to prepare well.  I hit the jackpot in the clearance bin.  There were tons of Progresso soups for $0.59 each so I cleaned them out of everything except Clam Chowder.  The soups were on sale last week for $1.25 so the clearance price was just $0.59!  I kicked myself a little when I got home and saw a $2.00/8 e-MC for Progresso on the Fred Meyer website.  Oh well.  I spent $52.28 on groceries.

Cereal - 3/$5 and 1/$1.99 ($2.00/4 MC) = $1.25 each
Apple Cider Vinegar - $3.99 (to kill fruit flies for oh, the next 5 years)
12 pack pop - $1.29 on clearance
Orange juice - $1.00
Mac'n'Cheese - 2/$0.89
Mac'n'Cheese - $0.50 each
Dressing - $2.00 each
PB - $1.50 each
Progresso - $0.59 each on clearance (9 light Italian meatball, 2 beef pot roast, 4 steak burger, 4 heart healthy chicken noodle, 4 heart healthy chicken & wild rice, 1 creamy roasted chicken & wild rice)
Nalley Chili - $0.49 on clearance
Campbells grilled sirloin & vegetable - $0.79
Cheese - $3.99 each for 2# bricks
Sour Cream - $1.25
Pizzas - $2.99 on clearance for package of 2.
Cucumber - $0.59
Green Pepper - $0.59
Bananas - $0.64/lb
Celery - $0.79/lb

I went to Fred Meyer again on Wednesday because I realized I was supposed to bring food to MOPS on Thursday morning.  Of course I was very late signing up and had to bring fruit.  I almost never sign up for fruit (unless there's no other choice) because it's expensive compared to other items I could bring.

I took a picture, but I'm in Hawaii without my camera so I'll just tell you I spent $28.38 on food:
$3.99 each - 2 bricks of 2# cheese
$0.64/lb - Bananas
$1.99 - Tazo tea on clearance
$1.25  each - 2 tubs of sour cream
$1.99/lb - 3 bags of grapes (2 for MOPS, 1 for home)

Our milk delivery was $11.16 and my friend's chickens remain uncooperative.

This week I spent $91.81 on groceries
Year-to-date 2013: $4,315.16
Weekly Average: $102.74


Monday, October 14, 2013

Menu Plan & Goals

Monday - French Toast
Tuesday - Nuggets
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - PBJ
Friday - Mac'n'Cheese Pie (make an extra for when I'm gone)
Saturday -Mom Gone - Nachos
Sunday - Mom Gone - PBJ

Monday - Egg Casserole (eggs, potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, onion, cheese)
Tuesday - Loaded Baked Potatoes
Wednesday - Pizza (make an extra for when I'm gone)
Thursday - Chicken Curry with rice
Friday - Mom Gone - Sausage Vegetable Soup (made ahead)
Saturday - Mom Gone - Pot roast (Mom started Friday)
Sunday - Mom Gone -

Also: bake Zucchini bread , boil & peel a dozen hard-boiled eggs for snacks.

Goals: I didn't make the plum jam so I just put the plum goo into the freezer.  I'll see about making plum jam or plum butter after I get back from a week out of town.  I also didn't move the gardening stuff.  What is my deal?

Goals this week:
1. Move gardening stuff out of office
2. Make Applesauce
3. Leave a great menu plan for DH and the girls
4. Get girls' fall/winter clothes out and pack up the shorts & sundresses


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekly Shopping - $72.67

This week was pretty light again.  We spent a couple of days out of town and I'm getting ready to leave DH home for a week with 4 little girls.

I had to buy strawberries for DD#1's birthday breakfast pancakes.  They were a painful $3.99

I also went to Costco for some "easy food" supplies to help DH out in my absence.  I spent $57.52.
Chips - $3.69 each
Chicken Nuggets - $9.99
Shredded Parmesan - $10.99
Tortillas - $4.99
Shredded Cheese - $12.99
Romaine - $3.29
Butter - $7.89

Milk was $11.16

Total Groceries Week 41 - $72.67
Total Groceries to date 2013 - $4,223.34
Weekly Average - $103.01


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beef Vegetable Soup

I made some beef vegetable soup this week and it turned out pretty nicely.  I used lots of bits and pieces with very low cost so I thought it was worth sharing here.

I prepared several beef pot roasts for my freezer meal swap recently and I had some beef bones left over.

I simmered the bones overnight.  It looks totally gross, but I assure you that is very yummy broth!

 I pulled out the big bones and poured the stock through a strainer.  Then I put the stock in the refrigerator to separate and the meat in the refrigerator overnight to await addition to the soup.

I sauteed 1 stalk of celery, 2 small carrots, and half an onion in 2 T olive oil.

They got nice and soft and I added a Tablespoon of fresh pressed garlic.

I chopped the meat into smaller pieces before I added it to the veggies.

I chopped these three tomatoes from the garden for the soup.

Doesn't that look yummy?

Then I took the broth out of the fridge.  Yep, it still looks gross.  I scraped the fat off the surface so it would be healthier.

I added it to the pot.  Still looks gross, huh?

But doesn't that look great?  After it warmed up I added some rosemary, basil, and crushed red pepper, salt & black pepper.

Then I added some green beans just picked from the garden.

And the last, small crookneck squash also from the garden.

And viola!  

It was pretty yummy with far more vegetables than meat.  I think it would be nice with a little shredded parmesan garnish, too.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Garden Update

Oh my little garden  is at its end.  It was looking pretty scraggly last week when I took these pictures.  I'll post again next week when it's stripped bare.


Tomatoes are fading fast.

This Roma has been my best producer this summer.

The round two green beans have done pretty well with the cold.  Funny story: You can see where the vines poked through the fence slats.  My neighbor says he has green beans growing over there, too, and don't cut the vine as he doesn't mind.

I pulled all this in last week and chopped it all for the freezer.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blessed by a Friend

My friend Anastasia recently moved several states away.  While we were at her house packing she and I came across a bunch of cleaning supplies in her laundry room.

As we contemplated the change in altitude and how that might affect the liquid cleaners Anastasia decided she didn't want to risk anything expanding and leaking inside the box and potentially soaking into any surrounding boxes.  So she gave it all to me!  I was so thankful because many are items I regularly use and even better, I was getting pretty low on cleaning supplies so this stocked me up!

Every time I'm my laundry room I see all my cleaners and am reminded of my friend and how God continues to be the great provider for our needs.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Canning Pears

I don't love canning but I love having fruit in the winter at summer prices.

I made an unplanned purchase of 84 pounds of pears a couple of weeks ago because I was driving by a fruit stand advertising a great price.  It was about 30 minutes from my house and I knew I wouldn't be back that way for a few weeks.  It was a 'now or never' moment and I plunged in.

Because the purchase was spontaneous I didn't manage to can them for 9 days.  They were really, really ripe.

I heard a pop when I put the jars in the water bath so I gently put a spatula under each jar and lifted  until I found the broken one.  Here's a photo of that broken jar.  It was a clean break so I went ahead and just repacked the pears into a fresh jar.

Later I heard a second pop. This time the jar had just cracked without an actual separation.  Again, I just repacked.  

I did 14 quarts late one night and 21 more the next morning.  I'm glad I did it, but I don't enjoy the process.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fruit Flies are Gross!

So I have a gross fruit fly problem.  And I know many of my friends have been having fruit fly issues this year, too . . .which makes me feel better about my problem.

I've tried lots of remedies over the years with varying degrees of success.  Until this summer my favorite method has been red wine in the bottom of a mason jar with a paper cone to lead the flies in and trap them.

Recently my friend, Val, suggested an idea I'd heard of but hadn't tried.

She said to put apple cider vinegar in a bowl with cling wrap on the top with hole in it for the flies to crawl in.  It's been working amazingly!

Here's the bowl with vinegar and cling wrap about 3 minutes after I put in on the shelf.

And about 3 hours later - 90% of these guys are inside the bowl.

So the fruit flies are gross, but at least I have a way to destroy the nasty little buggers.

And one of the reasons I like to post on this blog is accountability.  I was so embarrassed to post these photos with my dusty shelf that I cleaned it so I can assure you readers it doesn't look like that anymore!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Goals & Menu Plan

So I barely shopped last week and meals are pretty thin!  It was a huge help that I worked in the church kitchen over the weekend and was given some leftovers.

Monday - bagels (from church)
Tuesday - chicken nuggets
Wednesday - Grilled cheese
Thursday - Out of town with a friend
Friday - Out of town with a friend
Saturday - hamburgers
Sunday - Sandwiches

Monday - Breakfast Skillet (from church)
Tuesday - Chicken Teriyaki
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Out of town with a friend
Friday - Out of town with a friend
Saturday - Loaded baked potatoes (from church)
Sunday - Pasta & Red sauce

Goals: Last week I did move DD#2's bedroom, but I didn't manage to make plum jam or move the gardening stuff to the garage.  So those will be my goals again this week.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Weekly Shopping - $82.20

I knew I'd done more shopping last week!  After last week's grocery post I thought back over my week and realized I'd had TWO more shopping trips.  One was Fred Meyer on Tuesday afternoon and one was Costco on Wednesday afternoon.  This Fred Meyer photo was saved in the wrong place and I didn't even take a Costco picture.

Last week's Fred Meyer cost was $26.24.  There were lots of clearance deals and I found out that meat is marked down on Tuesday afternoons.  I also spent $23.66 at Costco on cheese, chips, 3# saussage, & tortillas.

This week I really did only make ONE shopping trip.  I ended up with the flu in the first part of the week and I worked at the church kitchen the last couple days of the week and was given leftovers to carry us through.  I finally went to TOP foods Sunday night in Woodinville for their 80th Anniversary Sale.  I laid all the groceries out on the table, watched a TV show with DH, and put all the groceries away.  Then I realized I forgot to take a picture.  Gah!  Anyway, I spent $21.14.

10# Potatoes - $1.80
2# Carrots - $0.80
Chicken Nuggets - $6.99 (Special Request for DD#1 birthday lunch)
Chicken Teriyaki - $5.99 (Special request for DD#1 birthday dinner)
Bananas - $0.69/lb
Apples - $0.80/lb

I have to admit it felt pretty strange buying a "just heat up" plastic bag with chicken teriyaki.  I decided to buy it because it was easy and I am out of chicken at home.  I am picking up 40# of chicken next week and couldn't see buying a 4 pound package today. 

Our milk delivery was $11.16

Groceries this week (and last week's missed trips) = $82.20
Year to Date - $4,150.67
Weekly Average in 2013 = $103.77

I really want to see that weekly average go down, but even a comparatively low week doesn't make much impact with 40 weeks under our belt.  I don't want to jinx next week so I'm not making a prediction.  ;^)