Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 Week 35 Groceries

Lots of shopping this week.  First up was Albertsons on Wednesday and trip to the business Costco in Lynnwood. 

I found organic tortellini for just $0.99 per package! But I got suckered into a packaged of $5.49 meatballs!  I just couldn't say not to the sweet meatball sample lady after she gave me and 3 girls all samples of 4 different kinds of meatballs.  *sigh*   I spent $19.26.  And the business Costco had a couple things, too.  I spent $4.38.

I wandered into QFC with a friend after we had coffee and ended up spending $13.81.  The pop was on clearance for only $0.49 and it's DH's favorite.

Finally,  had a trip to Fred Meyer on Saturday.  The big news is that Nabisco makes a GF cracker my kid actually likes!  Hooray!  I spent $37.16.

I forgot to include my produce bulk buy last week.  I bought this 25# box of organic apples for $19.00.

I also bought about 35# of peaches for $23.50 last week.

Milk Delivery was $12.87 and no eggs from my friend.

Week 35 Groceries were: $129.98
Groceries 2014 Year-to-date: $2,877.58
Weekly Average: $82.22


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Using the Garden Produce - Tomatoes

Continuing the garden produce theme from yesterday - Tomatoes!

What I harvested

Chopped about 3 cups for Italians sausage & veggie soup

In the Soup

Share some grape tomatoes with a friend

Cut up the rest to add to the sauce for Pizza Pasts 
It's pretty easy to use tomatoes around here. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Using the Garden Produce - Green Beans

I thought it might be fun to show you how I used up my garden produce last week.

Here's what I picked last week:

I cooked most of the green beans for a side dish one night.  I cooked some chopped bacon, tossed in the beans, added some water and spices and voila!  

I chopped the remainder into bite-size pieces and put them in the freezer.

Yummo!  So excited to make the bacon green beans again this week!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GF Menu Plan

This week is another home week - Hurrah!

I usually post on Mondays, but I got home from a weekend away about 11AM and fed the kids leftovers for lunch and dinner.  I got unpacked and ready for the week, and today I'm posting the meal plan.

Here is a photo of my GF girlie eating pulled pork on a lettuce leaf.  I told her how the fancy Chinese restaurant (P.F. Changs) at Bellevue Square serves lettuce wraps and they're super yummy and popular.  She was convinced to give it a try and had three 'wraps'!  Yes!

This weeks plan for dinners:

Tuesday - Chili, cornbread, zucchini crisps
Wednesday - Dinner out
Thursday - Burritos (with leftover chili, blended when cold for bean insides) & salad
Friday - macaroni & cheese pie & green beans
Saturday - Pancakes, sausage, fruit
Sunday - Popcorn & smoothies

plan for lunches:
Tuesday -Waffles
Wednesday - nachos with gr.beef
Thursday - Finger food lunch
Friday - Italian sausage & veggie soup
Saturday - quesadilla - Rice tortilla for GF kiddo
Sunday -taco salad


Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 Week 34 Groceries - $109.19

I had a big Costco trip this week.  I spent $75.27 on feta, butter, chips, almonds, grapes, veggie straws (not pictured), and string cheese.  My kiddo took this photo and left the vitamins in, but I don't count those in the grocery total.

I dropped in to Albertsons because I needed hamburger buns and picked some eggs for $0.90 and because the kids were hungry I bought some ice cream bars.  I spent $6.38.

Finally, I had a quick trip to Fred Meyer before I left town for the weekend.  I didn't want DH to run out of sour cream or fruit while I was gone.  I bought the stuff in the photo for $14.67.
 Milk delivery - 12.87

Week 34 Total - $109.19
Year to date 2014: $2,747.60
Weekly Average $80.81


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thrift Shop and Garage Sale Finds

Two weeks ago we were camping with family and dear friends.  One of the highlights of this trip every year is going shopping with the wives and daughters of this group since we all love a bargain and are all happy to go to thrift stores and garage sales.

One day we all went out thrift store shopping and another day we just spent 2 hours going to a few yard sales.  I found lots of great stuff, naturally, and wanted to show you my haul.  The photo shows only some of the stuff because I bought for other people, and a bunch of clothes were in the laundry when I thought to take the picture. 

Garage sale #1
  • A cribbage board with pegs for $0.50 for my dad and uncle who had been keeping score on a pad at the campground. 
  • Fun Thankgiving candles for $1.00.  I really love Thanksgiving and I have a hard time finding decorations.  
  • Two kitchen utensils to leave in the camping gear for $0.25 each 
  • 3 ice packs adding up to $1.00  
  • This sale also had a bunch of free old road maps so I picked up a few from far away states for my cousin who is wallpapering inside her camper's kid bunks with maps.  

Garage sale #2 - This was my favorite - $4.00 for everything!
  • 4 Corelle cereal bowls in plain white (matching my set)
  • 2 Corelle serving dishes in plain white (matching my set)
  • Heritage blue pint canning jar
  • Roll of Aida cloth for crossstich
  • 3 folded pieces of Aida cloth (one a large weave perfect for DD#1 who is learning)
  • 3  kitchen utensils  
Garage sale #3
  • blue hoodie for myself $1.00
  • pjs for DD#4 I put up for a Christmas Eve gift $0.50
  • jeans for DD#1 - $0.50
Thrift Store #1
  • Shoes for myself - $4.00
  • Socks for myself - $0.50 each pair
  • Sparkle shoelaces for stocking stuffers - $0.25 each
  • Cupcake liners -  $0.25
  • Hair product I like - $0.50
  • Jam jar - $0.35
  • Napkins - $0.50 (love to treat the girls with fun napkins sometimes)
  • Thanksgiving confetti - $0.35
  • Another kitchen utensil for camping
 Thrift Store #2
  • jeans for DD#2 for $1.00
  • 3 things for my nephew including a Janie & Jack sweater vest for $0.50
  • belts for DD#2 for $0.25 each
  • brand new pjs for DD#1 - So cute!  Also put away for Christmas Eve gift.
  • long sleeved tee for my niece - $0.50
  • Capezio leotard for DD#2 who is starting dance class this fall - $1.00
  • Black pants for DD#3 - $0.50
Yay for lots of good finds!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Resourceful Camping Kitchen Fix

One of our camping trips was to Camano Island to stay in teeny cabins at Cama Beach State Park.  There's a kitchen sink and fridge, but no stove.  I mostly cooked on our electric griddle and in the microwave.  I didn't have a place for my kitchen utensils so I fashioned one our of our graham cracker box.  It made me feel sorta resourceful so I thought I'd post a photo here.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Disney Savings Update

DD#2 and I have been diligently saving since January for our Disneyland trips in 2015.  In my last update we were at Week 20 and 30% of the total savings goal.

This time we're in Week 34 and about 56% of the end goal of $1,376.  We have saved $778 so far this  year and did weeks of $51 and $52 this summer.  Phew!  I love when the big baddies get checked off!

DD#2 is really good now at adding the new total each week.  She lines up the numbers like she sees in her schoolbook math problems with a plus sign on the left and a bar under the addends.  I just enjoy watching her learn so much!

Goal is still to aim for those big weeks - I still have 7 spaces over $40!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Apricot Jam

I made Apricot jam a few weeks ago and didn't post about it yet.

Here is the box of apricots that sat in the garage for about a week ripening.  It got tripped over and landed on by a kid's rear so a few were smushed, but still just fine for jamming.  I later moved them all to my fridge as I continued to procrastinate.

Halved, pitted, and chopped

Tupperware full of apricots I pulled from the fridge


Foamy after sugar & pectin

Lots o' jam.  
Unfortunately the jam didn't congeal well so it's all liquidy in the jars.  I have to dump and re-cook it all so I can try to turn it into jam before canning again.  Maybe this fall . . .


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Garden Update

After 2 weeks away my garden was out of control.  Here are some photos.

Of course there were yucky critters eating things, too. 

These are my new garden boots I got for my birthday.  Squee!

And everything I picked yesterday:

I wasn't sure about the corn so I checked online and someone was saying to pick it when the silk had turned brown so I picked all the ears that had brown ends.


Monday, August 18, 2014

GF Menu Plan

We're finally home for a long stay.  I have a ton of food processing to do this week: 40ish pounds of apples, 90 pounds peaches, tomatoes & green beans from my garden - It's overwhelming to even think about.  Meal planning is a real necessity this week so my family can have real food and I don't lose my mind.  =) 

Monday - Tortellini (GF pizza for DD#2 as I need to use up a crust)
Tuesday - Sausage Vegetable Soup
Wednesday - Beef & Broccoli
Thursday - Pork Ribs 
Friday - Potluck (chips & fruit)
Saturday - Beef Stew
Sunday - Pizza Pasta

Monday - Ham & Eggs
Tuesday - PBJ (leftover GF pizza for DD#2)
Wednesday - Finger Food Lunch (nuts, cheese, lunchmeat?, olives)
Thursday - Nachos
Friday - Big Sausages
Saturday - Daddy Lunch
Sunday - Daddy Lunch

I have been pretty overwhelmed with life lately.  It's an expected busy food time, but it's also getting ready for our home school year with the additional of Classical Conversations, pressure to work on outdoor chores while our weather is amazing, significant financial stress due to car issues, and the need to just get junk out of my house and garage.  Added to that my sweet father-in-law is terminally ill which is emotional stress on its own, but DH has also been traveling to visit him frequently so I miss having daddy and husband support on the home front.  Oh, and DH is under contract to write a book this summer/fall so he's been working away at that in his 'spare' time.  To his credit, DH is still trying to help with his usual chores and is doing a great job.  I'm just missing him for the big chores and his general presence with the family. 

My failure in all this is trying to figure out to handle it all myself.  Planning, strategizing, shuffling bills, etc.  I tell myself, "If I can just be really disciplined . . ."  but I fail all the time.  I need to remember that I am truly NOT able to do all these things alone,  That I am created to need Jesus, That He will work out all these things according to His good purposes and I don't have to bear all of this on my own.  It is one of my regular struggles to remember His authority in all areas.  I am willing to hand it over, but I just get into a rut of doing life under my own power/in my own strength and I forget the One who holds all things in His hands. 

Off to start the day . . .


Sunday, August 17, 2014

2014 Week 33 Groceries - $70.14

We were camping again last week - this time in a tiny cabin on Camano Island

Short stop at QFC on the way to camping.  No photo, but we bought bacon, tomato juice I needed for my potluck chili, marshmallows for s'mores, milk, a mango, bananas, and frosting for my GF brownies (totally yummy, just Krusteaz mix).  I spent $31.55 which was way more than I intended.

When we got home I had a quick stop at Albertson's for milk & just to look around.  No super deals, but bacon was on sale for $3.49 and asparagus was only $1.29/lb!  Whoo!  I spent $11.60.

I went to Fred Meyer for Doritos and some paper goods and was disappointed by the lack of clearance deals.  Another errand took me to a store next to QFC so I popped in and found the clearance deals I'd been hoping for.  The pork ribs were only $2.07/lb, family-size tortellini were only $2.99, fresh mozzarella (a treat for me) was $1.99.  I spent $26.99 between the two stores.

No milk or eggs this week.

Total Week 33 spending:$70.14
Total 2014 Year-to-Date:  $2,638.41
Weekly Average: $79.95


Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Week 32 Groceries - $78.68

This week we were gone most of the week camping so shopping was pretty slim until we got home.

Early in the week my aunt picked up  butter and cooking spray for me when she went to the grocery store  The cooking spray was about $2.00 but the butter was $3.69!  Ouch!

Another day my brother bought me some syrup and refused to let me give him a couple bucks.

My dad picked us up a half gallon of milk for $4.00.

Our last camping day I was at Safeway and spotted some clearance yogurt.  It was $3.24 for a 12-pack of vanilla Activia, my kids' favorite.

And on the way home we stopped at Costco for a cheap dinner and I picked up a watermelon for $5.49.

When we got home I went to the store first thing for breakfast.  I spent $15.99 on organic milk, 3 big boxes of corn chex, and 13 yogurt cups.

This photo has a lot in it!  I found major clearance produce at my Fred Meyer yesterday and bought over 20# of apples for $12.  I already had apples in my fridge from last week so this will just make our applesauce batch bigger.  I also got lemons at 3/$1 and bell peppers 2/$1. I found beef for $2.69/lb, too.  I bought some GF cornbread mix for a big potluck meal, also some sweet peppers and a red onion at the farmer's market for chili at that big potluck meal.  Altogether this photo represents $44.27. 

I didn't have milk delivery because we were out of town and I haven't seen my friend for the same reason.

Week 32 Total: $78.68
Year to date total: $2,568.27
Weekly average: $80.26


Saturday, August 9, 2014

2014 Week 31 Grocceries - $92.76

I didn't get my Sunday grocery post up last week because we left for a camping trip on Saturday.  Here's for Week 30:

A trip to QFC yielded clearance yogurt, oranges, and GF pizza dough.  My GF kid liked it but another kid and myself thought it was gross.  Oh well.  Doritos and bananas made a total spent of $12.20.

I dropped into Fred Meyer because I had $6 vouchers to use or lose.  I found GF cereal, cucumbers that were on sale, and graham crackers for s'mores while camping.  I spent $1.00 after the vouchers.

This was a Costco trip totally $48.91.  Chips, Doritos, lettuce, carrots, sugar, fruit leather, bananas & cheese were purchased.

The day we left for camping I went to Fred Meyer for a couple last minute things we needed and ending up scoring with clearance apples that worked out to just $0.50/lb.  I also found clearance coffee, GF granola bars, fruit roll-ups, and bread.  In total I spent $27.78 and the apples got popped into the fridge to wait until I could make applesauce.
This week I also deposited a grocery rebate for $10.00 from Kellogg's from Week 14 groceries.  I also spent $12.87 on our milk delivery. 

Total Grocery Spending for Week 31: $92.76
Year to date Spending for 2014 is: $2,489.59
Weekly Average: $80.31