Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Monday GF Menu Plan

Meals for this week, a day late

Monday - French toast (old loaf of bread in freezer) and leftover GF pizza for DD#2
Tuesday - Little Smokies and green salad
Wednesday - Macaroni & Cheese Pie (GF)
Thursday - Finger Food lunch
Friday - Nachos
Saturday - Family Party!  Crackers & Cheese platter
Sunday - Hamburgers

Monday - Macaronada
Tuesday - Chicken Curry
Wednesday - Beef Stew
Thursday - with friends - taking a meat/cheese platter
Friday - Baked Potato Soup
Saturday - Family Party!  Mexican Dip & Chips
Sunday - Popcorn & Smoothies (unless tent. company, then Mexican)


Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 52 - $113.93

Is it really Week 52? 

That means I should be starting my pantry/freezer challenge this week and I'm not sure I'm ready to start spending next to nothing.  I mean my pantry and my freezer are loaded from the ridiculous shopping I've been doing the last couple of months, but I usually have a lot of fun thinking and planning out how I'll manage my NEW pantry challenge each year.  I've just been busy with my family responsibilities, I guess, but I'll put some thought into it in the next couple of days.  Of course in the next couple of days I also have to:
  • Finish tax planning for 2014 to make sure we aren't in the next tax bracket
  • Prepare the books for our business for 2014 so I can decide what to do for 2014 payroll
  • Maximize the 'stay fit' benefit from my husband's employer
  • Maximize our glasses/contacts benefit from my husband's health insurance
I am always so thankful each year for a 'down week' this week between Christmas and New Year's Day as there is so much for me to accomplish on the running-a-household end of things.

Anyway - Back to Groceries! 

I went to Fred Meyer Monday night because we needed some fruit and I needed some almond flour for a baking projected.  There was Almond Coconut milk on clearance for $1.59 so I bought 6 half-gallons.  It has a long shelf life and I'm doing my first ever detox starting January 12 that will allow almond coconut milk, but not any dairy.  So I'll use this for cooking, in my oatmeal, etc.  Butter was on sale for $2.50/lb and I found some Glutino cookies on clearance.  I spent $31.99.  That almond flour was a whopping $9.99! 

I was at Albertson's Monday, too, during a last-minute fill-in therapy session for a kiddo.   I picked up cottage cheese that was on clearance for $1.00, clearance yogurt and more coconut for baking.  I spent $9.19.

Friday morning I went to Fred Meyer for their 75% off Christmas stuff, an annual tradition. I picked up a gallon of milk for $5.39 and then headed to Safeway for the $5 Friday deals.  I bought chips & GF corndogs and found some cheapie frozen meal things that DH likes for $0.50 each.  I spent $14.01 at Safeway.

I went to QFC because I was sure they had spaghetti sauce on sale, but I was wrong.  I did find some excellent clearance deals though.  I bought 15 packages of ground chicken for $0.99 each.  They were 13.3 oz so it works out to $1.19/lb which is pretty awesome.  And I can eat it during the detox, too.  Yay!  Generic multi-grain cheerios were only $0.99 and I got some spaghetti & a package of GF spaghetti for DD#2.  Marshmallows were also on clearance for $0.79.  I am just now realizing I left a bag at the grocery store!  DH tells me I should just go in with my receipt and explain.  Yeesh.  I left behind a summer sausage roll, 2 of the chicken packages, some cottage cheese, and one can of spaghetti sauce.  Super mad at myself.  It's worth about $7.50 so I'll at least ask.  I spent $36.89 including the stuff I left behind. 

I picked up one big bag of chips at Costco yesterday for $3.59.  I need it for a party this coming weekend. 

Milk was $12.89

Week 52 groceries: $113.93
Total Groceries for the year 2014: $5,075.03
Weekly average for 2014: $97.60

I can't believe I came in under $100 per week!  I guess it made a huge difference NOT to buy a 1/4 cow this summer and to get so many leftovers from our church kitchen early in 2014 when I was helping out so much. 

More analysis to come!

Love, Katie

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 51 - $180.06

I finally made the big Costco trip last week.  And would you believe I was in and out in 35 minutes?  It was Monday, Dec 15 about 5:45 to 6:15ish.  I thought it would be packed and was so thankful for no waiting!  I spent $103.62 on: onions, bananas, lettuce, organic gluten free flour, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, salsa, organic olive oil, organic chicken base, sour cream, cottage cheese, fruit leather, 2# block of cheddar, and 2 bags of organic tortilla chips.  It was a good haul.

On Tuesday I popped into Albertsons to get chocolate chips.  They also had butter on sale and string cheese on sale.  I spent $25.89 and also got powdered sugar, frozen corn, a sausage roll, and a dozen markdown donuts (not pictured).

On Wednesday I was at Costco again to buy a group gift and ended up getting more lettuce and the garlic I couldn't find on Monday.  It was gloriously Not Busy again and I spent $9.88 on food.

Finally, I went to Fred Meyer early Saturday morning to help a kiddo pick out Christmas gifts for her siblings.  We found some great clearance items and I am winging it here on the amounts because the receipt is in the car on this stormy night and I am in my PJs.  The cereal was $1.89/box and I had a MC, but I swear the grouchy lady behind me in line stole it.  My kiddo struggles with social niceties and happened to zip across this lady's path as she was entering the line behind us.  Wow, did she give me a look.  I had the coupon near the end of the conveyor and as I hustled my kiddo in front of me (aka. away from the meanie) the coupon disappeared.  A search of the floor didn't turn it up and I was avoiding eye contact so didn't ask the annoyed lady.  Anyway the cereal was $1.89 per box, no coupon, the milk was $5.29, the broccoli was about $2.00, a can of sweetened, condensed milk was a ridiculous $1.89, small coffee was $2.49 and bigger coffee was $3.49.  Turkey sausages were $2.49 each, as well as the glutino pretzels.  Ritz were $1.67 and clearance black tea was $1.39.  The food was $27.80 give or take. 

 I am really sorry for the poor quality photos, folks.  Our camera jack broke a few weeks back so we bought a replacement of a similar model.  Unfortunately the camera charger for the old camera is not charging the new one (gah!) so I'm using the camera in my moderately clever phone until that new charger arrives. 

Total on groceries this week: $180.06
Total groceries year-to-date 2014: $4,961.10
Weekly Average: $97.28

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Free Sample of Twinings Tea

Do you love tea as much as I do? 
Check out Twinings offer for a sample of 3 teas! 
They also have a Tea of the Month club that seems really reasonably priced!  You get 2 boxes of tea each month at an average price of $5.00 per month.  You can order a 6-month or 12-month subscription.

Thanks to Meredith for telling me about this deal!
Love, Katie

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Gluten-Free Menu Plan

My brother is visiting this week and he usually works hard on our slow basement remodel so I like to make bigger, meatier meals to accommodate him.

Monday - Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup
Tuesday - Beef Stroganoff
Wednesday - Sour Cream chicken
Thursday - Turkey
Friday - Green Salad, Cheese tray (potluck)
Saturday - Easy Pot Pie
Sunday - Smoothies & Popcorn

Monday - Chicken Fingers
Tuesday - Nachos
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - tortellini (leftover pizza for DD#2)
Saturday - Eggs & Sausage
Sunday - Chili


Sunday, December 14, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 50 - $108.51

This week Albertsons had some good deals on cereal, Kleenex, and Lysol wipes.  Here's the cereal I picked up on Monday night.  Ten boxes were $15.34 after the sale and MC and I got a 16oz tub of sour cream for $1.50 that didn't make it into the picture.  $16.84 total on food.

This was another dash into Albertsons before the cereal sale ended Tuesday.  I had more coupons for this batch of cereal so it was only $13.90 for all ten boxes.  The creamer was on sale for $0.99 and I had $1.00/2 MCs so they were only $0.49 each!  I also got 4 markdown cinnamon rolls for $0.99 and a picked up whipped topping at Dollar Tree and put in the photo here.  It was $17.85 including the Dollar Tree stop.

This was a big shopping trip at Fred Meyer.  We were getting ready for lots of baking and I was missing one ingredient from our four main recipes.  So we got corn syrup, marshmallow crème, and pecans along with all sorts of other goodies that were a great price.  I also picked up frozen tater tots & fries, and some corn tortillas for some frozen dinners I want to make.  I also got a big bag of Stevia - trying to be healthier.  I spent $60.95. 

I really need to go the store again, but I was out of town all weekend.  Maybe tomorrow. 

milk delivery was $12.87

Total for Week 50: $108.51
Total year-to-date: $4,781.04
Weekly Average 2014: $95.62


Friday, December 12, 2014

Dollar Store Deal - Cellophane Tape 6-Pack

I find some great bargains at Dollar Tree.  Some stuff is great, some stuff is junk, but the gems are what makes it all worthwhile.

Here is my latest favorite:

Cellophane tape!  I have a dispenser and 6 rolls for just a buck is pretty awesome, especially this time of year with all the gift wrapping.  Well, really any time of year with young kids who like to abscond with tape and have zany fun with it in hidden away corners. 

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Gluten-Free Menu Plan


Monday - Fajitas
Tuesday - Pork Loin
Wednesday - Chicken in Sour Cream sauce
Thursday - Chili
Friday - Pot Pie
Saturday - Hamburger Stew
Sunday - Eggs & Sausage


Monday - Sweet Sausages (packed lunch)
Tuesday - leftover Mexican
Wednesday - Mini pizzas (on English muffins)
Thursday -
Friday - Lunch Out
Saturday - Hot dogs
Sunday - Chili


Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 49 - $149.12

I spent a lot again this week, but I put lots in the freezer and stocked up the pantry. 

I went to Fred Meyer and found all sorts of clearance stuff in addition to the few things I needed for company.  I can't find my receipt!  But I don't think I bought any paper goods on this trip and my bank/debit card says $26.54.

I stopped at Albertson's late one night after helping with some babysitting at church.  I scored $0.50 relish and $0.99 breakfast sausage!  In total this trip was a meager $10.92.

Another quick stop at Albertson's while 2 littles were at therapy yielded some clearance yogurt & bagels.  I spent a whopping $2.99.

Another quick stop at Safeway when I was out late one night.  I wanted the $0.99 dressing and found some markdown meat, too.  I spent $12.25.
This ended up being a bigger shopping trip than I anticipated.  The biggest score was 1# packages of organic, grass-fed, 10% fat ground beef for $3.99.  I also got some clearance apples for $1.00 each bag.  This time they had 6 apples in them!  Hooray!  I also got white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, coconut, English muffins, tomatoes, onion, bananas and a 2# brick of cheddar.  I spent $70.73.

I was at that Albertsons with the GF corndogs today.  I was buying Lysol wipes and Kleenex and picked up the corndogs and some boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.99/lb.  I spent $12.82 on the food items.

Week 49 Total Groceries: $149.12
Year-to-date Grocercies: $4,672.53
Weekly Average: $95.36

Saturday, December 6, 2014

December Update

Quick December Update:

At November 1 we had grown our emergency fund to 53% of our goal.  On November 8 we attended a charity event and were moved to make a donation, but decided to use our emergency fund. On November 12 my sweet father-in-law went home to Jesus and there were some expenses that came up related to that which were also covered by our emergency fund.  We ended up down to 42% of our goal after those events, but the good news is that we were also still able to save new income and replenished up to 45%.  So we'll keep at it.  I estimate we'll be at least 47% and maybe 48% by the end of December. 

My big goal this month is to get my girls' clothes organized.  I made the switch to fall/winter clothes, but the bins are still out in their rooms and I need to sort them more efficiently by size, season, so it's an easier come summertime.

Love, Katie

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Menu Plan

Meals this week:

Tuesday - Pizza
Wednesday - Easy Pot Pie
Thursday - Potato Soup
Friday - Pork Loin (crockpot)
Saturday - Mexican
Sunday - Corn Dogs/Fries

Tuesday - Hot Dogs
Wednesday - Macaroni & Cheese pie
Thursday - Bagels
Friday - Hot Dogs
Saturday - Fajitas
Sunday - Leftovers

It's a super-busy week.  Hoping a plan helps keep me sane!

Super excited to get all our Christmas décor up.


Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 48 - $10.00

Last week we were out of town.  We were home one day, drove 3 days, and were at my in-laws' for 3 days.  I brought along all of our contributions for the Thanksgiving meal.  My sister-in-law went to the store a couple of times and picked up a few groceries that my kids were consuming so I gave her $10 to cover it.  Otherwise I didn't spend anything on groceries.

No milk delivery because we were out of town and no eggs.

Week 48 Total: $10.00
Year to date 2014: $4,523.41
Weekly Average: $94.94