Sunday, May 31, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 22 - $90.26

I had a great trip to Country Market this week.   I needed to spend $50 to use the $10.00 off coupon and I spent $50.97!  So that works out to 20% off everything.  Yay!  After the coupon I spent $33.50 on all this food!

I stopped in at The Dollar Tree for birthday balloons for a kiddo.  While there I bought 7 packs of pepperoni for $7.00 (no photo).

We went to Fred Meyer hoping to find a clearance birthday cake and we did!  Yay!  Just $3.99 and I didn't have to bake one in the heat.  So everything was on sale except the organic milk and I spent $43.89 on everything including the cake.

Our milk was  $13.47 this week (I'm only getting every other week right now to save money).

Total groceries for Week 22: $97.86
Groceries Year-to-Date 2015: $1,985.81
Weekly Average: $90.26

This is so much higher than previously - I'm sure it's because I'm providing a GF diet for one kid and we're eating much more organic food than in prior years.  And I guess food prices in general have gone up, but I still kinda am bummed to see the numbers going up.

2013 - Average at Week 22: $84.44
2014 - Average at Week 22: $69.23
2015 - Average at Week 22: $90.26


Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 21 - $149.10

I popped into QFC Monday night to pick up organic milk.  I also picked up oranges per a kid request and organic carrots because we were running out.  I found sour cream and karo syrup on clearance and spent $14.10 altogether.

I went to the new County Market Tuesday to use a $10/$50 coupon.  Unfortunately I didn't get my math right on and my pre-tax total was $52.88.  I should have left out the $2.00 Ritz and been way closer to hitting the $50 exactly.  It doesn't make a huge difference: Basically my $10 off yielded 19% savings instead of a 20% savings.  I spent $32.36 on food.  Here's the rundown:
Ritz - $1.99 sale ($0.38 19%) = $1.61
Turkey Franks - $1.00 sale ($0.19 19%) = $0.81
Chicken Breast - $1.99/lb sale ($0.38 19%) = $1.61/lb!
Organic Cucumber - $0.99 sale ($0.19) = $0.80 each
Oranges $3.99 for 4# ($0.76 19%) = $3.23 or $0.81/pound
Mangoes $0.88 each ($0.16 19%) = $0.72 each
Corn 6/$1 ($0.19 19%) = $0.81 or $0.14 each
Bananas $0.59/lb ($0.11 19%) = $0.48/lb
Eggs $0.79 sale ($0.15 19%) = $0.64/dozen

Fred Meyer was on the agenda Saturday morning.  I got lots of great deals including the Nabisco crackers for $1.17 each after store and manufacturer's coupons, cereal for $1.50/box after coupons, Coffeemate for $1.75 after coupons and 3# chubs of 10/90 ground turkey for just $3.99 each.  Other items: organic ketchup, organic celery, potatoes, and onions.  I spent $31.61.

Finally, I hit the jackpot at QFC.  I stopped for a gallon of milk (not pictured) and spotted these cans of baby formula for just $4.99.  These generic brand formula canisters are usually $15, so $4.99 was a score!  I am planning ahead and assuming I again won't be able to breast feed #5, so I loaded up.  I also found a can of tomatoes for $0.49, canned pineapple for $0.79, and refried beans for  $0.49 on the clearance rack.  I spent $71.03.

I was doing pretty well for spending until I found that formula!  

Total for Week 21: $149.10
Total year-to-date 2015: $1,887.95
Weekly average 2015: $89.90


Monday, May 18, 2015

Gluten Free Menu Plan

Now that my outside freezer is empty my inside freezer is jammed.  I'd like to create a little space in the inside freezer so I have capacity to buy in bulk if I run into a screamin' deal.  That said, I'm not well-stocked on meats as I've been trying to use what's in the freezer.  So I'm feeling a little limited, but that's OK. =)

I'm also trying to use what's on hand and keep my grocery budget low this week because I have some other things to pay for with my $200/week.  Bummer that this means DD#2 is getting alternate meals a lot, but that's how it goes this week.

Monday - Italian Sausage soup (have celery, carrots, onion, sausage, tomatoes, beans, squash)
Tuesday - Pizza (have dough ingredients, pasta sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella)
Wednesday - Ham/Bean soup (have celery, carrots, onion, beans, ham, ham stock on hand)
Thursday - Macaronada (have GF noodles, feta cheese)
Friday - Chicken curry/rice (have dark chicken, rice, tomatoes)
Saturday - Beef Stew (have carrots, potatoes, onions, beef, corn)
Sunday - BBQ Cowboy sandwiches (have shredded turkey, bbq sauce, GF buns)

Monday - pancakes (GF flour) & sausage
Tuesday - mac'n'cheese (DD#2 has hot dog in GF bun)
Wednesday - tortellini (DD#2 has leftover pizza)
Thursday - packed lunch - sandwiches (DD#2 has GF bread)
Friday - taco salad
Saturday - Skillet (eggs/sausage/potato/bell pepper)
Sunday - leftovers

Chopped veggies & hummus (need to use a bell pepper, cucumbers)
Fruit Leather (really want to try this!)
Olive Crostini (have ingredients and so yummy - why not make it?)

To Buy:
Regular hamburger buns?
Produce (veggies for snacks/salads, fruit for snacks/breakfast)
Jack cheese if on sale
Corn tortillas if needed for $10/$50 coupon
Sour cream


Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 20 - $124.62

I finally made it to Costco this week.  On Monday, I bought organic mac'n cheese, organic canned tomatoes, organic maple syrup, shredded mozzarella, feta, tortillas, and veggie straws (not pictured).  I spent $51.22.

I was back at Fred Meyer Tuesday for more Founder's Day deals.  I got the Cheerios for $0.79 each with coupons, the Mom's Best cereal for $1.00 each, cheese for $3.99, clearance sausage patties for $1.49 each, Rev wraps for $0.69 each (DH likes them), 3 oranges, and a pound of strawberries.  I spent $22.79 total.

I was back at Fred Meyer - again - Friday for more $1.00 cereal and $3.99 cheese.  I also bought ice cream and hot dog buns for company expected Sunday, Doritos for $2.00 each because I love them (even though I know they are total junk), and butter 3#/$5.00. I also bought organic coconut milk that didn't make it into the photo.  I spent $23.58.

Finally, I dashed into target Saturday morning for a couple things I wanted to take to a scrapbooking day with a girlfriend.  I bought a loaf of bread, 1# strawberries & a cucumber.  I spent $5.56.

Milk was $13.47
No eggs from my friend.

Week 20 total: $124.62
Year-to-date total: $1,738.85
Weekly Average 2015: $86.94


Monday, May 11, 2015

Menu Plan

DD#2 is still visiting Grandma, so we're eating some gluten early in the week

Monday - Fajitas & Salad
Tuesday - Lemon chicken, sauteed zucchini & yellow squash
Wednesday - BBQ Turkey Sandwiches (GF buns) & cucumber rounds
Thursday - Beef Stew & Salad
Friday - Baked Potato soup
Saturday - Pasta & Salad (GF noodles)
Sunday - Grilled meat - likely some chicken sausages and some steak kebabs - company over

Monday - Tortellini
Tuesday - Waffles
Wednesday - Mac'n'Cheese
Thursday - Finger Food Lunch
Friday - Nachos
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - Chicken Salad


Sunday, May 10, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 19 - $78.26

It was a lighter shopping week.  

Our Albertson's recently converted to a County Market and they sent  out a mailing with 8 weeks worth of "Spend $50/Save $10" coupons.  I love these coupons since it allows an extra 20% of savings (provided you spend just $50).  I lucked out shopping because my total actually came in at $49.76 before tax, but the coupon still went through.  Yes!!  I bought some hygiene products to hit the $50 mark, but groceries were only $18.98!  

Sausage links - $3.00 (2 qty. $0.75/1 coupons)(20%) = $1.80 each
Strawberries - $1.25 (20%) = $1.00 each
Olives - $1.00 (20%) = $0.80 each
String cheese - $3.00 (20%) = $2.40 each bag of 12
Onion - $1.29 (20%) = $1.03
GF spaghetti - $3.49 (20%) = $2.79 for 2# bag

I popped into Fred Meyer for a couple of birthday cards Friday and zipped by the clearance spots just to see what, if anything, was available.  I scored in the produce department buying 6 bags of clearance items including 3 zucchini, 3 yellow squash, 2 cucumber, 2 cucumber, 3 bell peppers, & 3 organic apples for a grand total of $6.00.

Then I saw the Fred Meyer ad for the sales starting today and had to head in.  I am a sucker for the Founder's Day sales every year and I didn't want to miss a chance pick up some of them.  I spent $39.81 - all on food.  5 boxes of GF cereal for $1.00 each, 4 boxes of GM cereal just $1.09 each after MCs, organic milk was $5.39, organic carrots $2.99, organic lemon $0.79, tomatoes were $0.97/lb, bananas were $0.69/lb, steak sauce was $0.49 on clearance, 3 more organic apples for $1.00, $3.99 for 2# Tillamook, $1.25 for bread, $1.69 for 2# frozen corn, $0.49 for a candy bar, 2 packs of kids gum on clearance and with a coupon were $0.34 each, $2.00/# packages of 'Simple Truth' ground turkey, and $1.00 for a Fage Greek yogurt I wanted for a new recipe.

Milk delivery was $13.47

Week 19 Total Groceries: $78.26
2015 Year-to-Date Groceries: $1,614.23
2015 Weekly average: $84.96


Monday, May 4, 2015

Gluten-Free Menu Plan

I picked up pepperoni over the weekend and ended up making pizza one night so the butternut squash soup got pushed into this week.

Monday - Italian sausage soup (freezer tomatoes, gleaning zucchini & yellow squash)
Tuesday - Ham
Wednesday - turkey, veggies (packed dinner)
Thursday - Butternut Squash, Roasted Chicken soup
Friday - Potluck (taking TBD side dish)
Saturday - Pizza
Sunday - Leftovers

Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Pizza Bread (leftover GF pizza for DD#2)
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Sausages
Friday - Finger Food Lunch
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Ramen & PBJ (DD#2 out)


Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 18 - $69.30

It was a good week for shopping.  I spent $26.66 at Fred Meyer on Thursday on GF cereal, shredded cheese, broccoli, green onions, an organic mango, cream cheese, sour cream, some brick cheese, 3 packages of clearance bacon, and a bag of chips.

I was at my local Albertsons Saturday and found out it's changing hands.  I had a great trip, spending just $10.68.  I got 3 boxes of Little Debbie snacks, 10 cups of Greek yogurt, 2 jars of merlot jam, some organic baby spinach I needed for the butternut squash soup, and 2 packages of ramen, also for a recipe.

There's a Dollar Tree near the Albertsons so I stopped in there for junky syrup that DH specifically asked for.  He doesn't prefer the real maple syrup I started buying at Costco, and since he has gracefully put up with everything else I keep changing on him - it was an easy request to grant.  I also picked up lots of pepperoni, some ranch dressing, a package of ramen, some ketchup, mustard, and whipped topping.  I spent $15.50.

DH picked up some salsa today for $2.99 & our milk was $13.47.

Week 18 Total: $69.30
Year-to-Date Total: $1,535.97
Weekly Average 2015: $85.33


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Conserving Freezer Space

One more post about the freezer defrost!  I had to reduce the packaging on some things to help it all fit into the inside freezer.

First were some sausages I bought last week.  You can see the 3 packages below.

I took them out of the foam packs and put them into quart size ziplocs instead.

These were in the outside freezer.  The foam trays were much larger than the one pound of meat inside the package, so I just put each pound of meat into a freezer bag instead.

Each bag took up less than half of the space of the foam packs.

Lesson:  If you see an amazing deal on meat but think you don't have room in your freezer, think again.  Consider the packaging and you might be able to fit more than you think!


Friday, May 1, 2015

Defrosting the Freezer!

I finally defrosted the garage freezer yesterday.  I had to fit its contents into the inside fridge/freezer which was already pretty full as I'd been trying to move things over the last few weeks.

Inside Freezer

Top Three Shelves, Close-up

Bottom Shelf & Drawer, Close-up

And this was the outside freezer.  The top was completely iced over, but I was pretty sure there wasn't anything hiding there.  The second shelf was also completely iced over and I expected to find a half ham, at least.  The next shelf was just some frozen veggies and steak.  The 4th shelf was a lot of meat and the bottom shelf was mostly bread and a little meat.  The door had zucchini and some chicken patties.

By the afternoon I could see the ham!  I had moved everything from the door so it would stay cooler.  While I worked most of this into the inside freezer, the kids (and neighbor kids) had fun hacking ice out and making snow cones.

By evening the inside was packed!

And those last items, 2 tubs of applesauce and a pound of sausage, were revealed by this morning.
I'm so glad this project is done.  I really get discouraged when I can't get to those projects I want to do, so I'm happy to have gotten to this one and I'll get to enjoy the reward of using less electricity for about 3 months!