Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 13 - $180.49

This week was

Monday night I stopped at Fred Meyer after my accountability group.  I wanted to pick up milk, a loaf of bread, and zucchini for our favorite crockpot stew.  My brother was here working on our basement construction and I wanted to be sure we had good dinners for him and easy lunches for me to make the kids.  I picked up organic potatoes and organic Earth Balance DF spread, too, along iwth a pile of apples I found on clearance.  There were 3 or 4 apples in each bag for $1.00.  And because I was hungry I bought Doritos and some cheese curds that were on clearance.  Late night shopping and I are not a good combo!  I spent $33.24.

I went to Safeway Friday for the 3/$5 cereal and to pick up the $4.99 Tillamook.  While there I found a bunch of clearance deals: cheese crackers for $0.99, a 4 pack of Dannon yogurt for $1.99 and I had a $1 MC so it was only $0.99, organic milk for $4.14, pork loin for $1.79/lb and Open Nature yogurts for $0.47 each.  I spent $32.66.

I made another big trip to Fred Meyer also on Friday.  Our couples Bible study has dinner together and the hostess asked me to bring 'kid food' since she didn't think our 15 combined children would go for chicken curry/rice.  I figured chicken nuggets fit the bill so I picked up a bag along with some breaded chicken strips and some plain chicken strips that DD2 can have for emergency lunches.  I bought 3 boxes of formula since there's a great baby sale going on, 4 bottles of creamer, 3 loaves of bread, some clearance english muffins, a clearance sourdough bread bowl, clearance bananas, more clearance apples (will make applesauce now), 2 pounds of butter, 2 dozen eggs, a pint of whipping cream, clearance spinach dip, and a GF vegan pizza!  It was $9, but I think it will just delight DD2 next time we have pizza and she gets to have a 'real one,' too.  Also I don't have to make an extra pizza. =)  This was a big trip - I spent $108.25.

One more run to Safeway late at night Friday for the cereal deal.  The morning visit had printed a $2/5 catalina, so these $3/5 cereals ended up just $1.27 each for a total of $6.34.

All this was a big $180.49 this week.
2016 Year-to-Date total: $1,597.37
2016 Weekly Average: $122.87


Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 12 - $111.16

This week was pretty tame.  First I went to QFC on Monday to pick up pull-ups when a kiddo ran out.  I found some clearance deals and used some manufacturer's coupons for coffee creamer. I spent $14.32 on food.

Saturday morning I ran out to QFC to pick up a pizza for the family while I took DD2 out for lunch.  I bought milk, more creamer, eggs, a few apples, and clearance sour cream, van's bars, and shelf stable creamer for traveling.  My kiddo took the picture and left the maxi pads in with the food.  Whoops!  Incidentally, I'm totally buying those whenever I find a screaming deal because I'm going to spend a bazillion dollars on feminine products pretty soon with 4 daughters in the house.  I spent $37.33.  Not pictured: $9.99 pizza.

I hit up another QFC because I had found a great clearance deal on the pull-ups earlier in the week.  I got several more packs of the pull-ups - Yay! - And all this clearance stuff: 8 bottles of organic GF/DF/EF bbq sauce for $1.29 each, formula for $14.49, GF/DF/EF Newman's Own dressing for $1.79 each, and a couple bags of Starbucks jelly beans that were on sale and I had a MC so they were $1.47 each,  And I also bought 3 tubs of organic cottage cheese for $1.49 each even though I'd already bought 4 tubs on clearance earlier that day.  I just couldn't resist the organic for such a cheap price.  I spent $35.80.

 I decided to try the Grocery Outlet again since I scored so big last week, but it wasn't as good this week.  I bought 8 pounds of oranges $5.99, granolas for $2.99 each, a pound of organic strawberries for $2.50, and turkey lunchmeat for $1.49 each.  I found another GF/DF/EF granola bar to try and one last box of the GF/DF/EF macaroni & cheese.  I spent $23.71.

Week 12 Total: $111.16
Year to Date Total: $1,416.88
Weekly Average: $118.07


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Menu Plan GF/DF

Here it is Wednesday and I'm finally posting my menu plan.

Monday - Italian Sausage soup I didn't make last week
Tuesday - Beef Stew
Wednesday - Soft tacos
Thursday -  chicken vindaloo
Friday - meatballs with mango sauce
Saturday - turkey meatload
Sunday - smoothies, popcorn

Monday - mac'n'cheese
Tuesday - finger food
Wednesday - chicken
Thursday - packed lunch (chicken, veggies)
Friday - waffles
Saturday - pizza
Sunday - taco soup

I just burned my hand, so not fleshing out with details today.


2016 Groceries Week 11 - $146.59

I made a good-sized trip to QFC early in the week and lots of other, smaller trips.  This week I sorted ALL my coupons and organized them for the first time since DS was born in October.  Then I looked at the grocery ads and decided where I wanted to go.

QFC was the winner with their $5/5 sale.  I spent $69.01 on all these groceries pictured below and I got some good prices on some toiletry things, too.  The best grocery deals included GF/DF/EF chips (5) on clearance for $0.99 each, organic sour cream (3) for $0.99 each, mission tortilla chips (3) for $1.00/bag, clearance apples (9) for $0.33 each, and GF/DF/EG crackers (3) for $1.49/box.

I also bought 2 bags of Doritos, 2 boxes of Cheez-its, a clearance large Silk yogurt, 2 clearance cottage cheese, clearance organic ravioli, 3 boxes conventional pasta, 1 box organic pasta, a can of clearance soup, 5 bottles of salad dressing, 3 boxes of cereal, 2 half-gallons of almond milk, a gallon of organic 2% milk, an onion, a mango, shredded soy cheese, and soy sour cream substitute.  Phew!

$69.01 at QFC
I stopped at the Grocery Outlet on Saturday and spent $30.24 on a bag of pita chips, a case of organic Kashi bars (worked out to $0.24 each bar), 8 boxes of GF/DF/EF mac & cheese for $1.29 each, tomatoes, hummus, a lemon, $0.50 on 5 fruit snack packets, and a box of GF/DF/EF Kind bars ($0.49 each bar). I also bought two mangos that were clearly marked as 2/$3, but the checker charged me $1.99.  I was annoyed, but bought them anyway.  I also bought a bunch of asparagus for $1.99.

I stopped at Fred Meyer, too.  I found a clearance can of corn and sourdough boule.  I also bought eggs, a few bananas, onions and four cucumbers - all conventional.  Organic potatoes are still $1.99 so I bought another bag and because I'd just found all the GF/DF/EF mac'n'cheese I bought a case of my other kids' favorite Annie's.  I usually get the organic Annie's at Costco, but I've been avoiding Costco in an effort to have lower spending weeks.  I spent $23.62.

Late that night I took DD2 on a date and we were right next to QFC and popped in to check the clearance areas.  I found 2 boxes of GF/DF/EF Van's bars for $1.99 each, cottage cheese for $1.25 each, and hummus for $2.29.  I spent $8.77 and forgot to take a photo.

Sunday after church DD2 went out with DH so the other kids and I took advantage of the chance to have pizza!  I picked up a bakeable one at Fred Meyer for $8.99 and it was all paid for by rewards.

When the power went out Sunday afternoon I had to go the library to use the internet.  On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and bought cold deli chicken (plain and seasoned), a small container of coffee cream, refrigerated salsa, 2 oranges and an organic apple.  I had no intention of opening our refrigerator and the power company estimated we'd be without power all night.  Our candlelight dinner was cold chicken, Doritos, a can of olives, and chips & salsa.  There was cold coffee in the pot so DH was able to make coffee still with the creamer (he likes it cold).  We ate the apple & oranges for breakfast with granola bars and our power came back on around 10:30AM.  Hooray!  I spent $14.95 on the food so we could save much more food/money by not opening the fridge.  I didn't have to throw a single thing away.  Yes!

Week 11 total: $146.59
Year to date total: $1.305.72
Weekly Average: $118.70

Love, Katie

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Menu Plan - GF/DF

Well the goat cheese was an exciting experiment.  And we will not be trying it again.  My girl didn't handle it well at all.  Maybe we got spoiled by a month off dairy and relative peace, but we're convinced a really rough Sunday and Monday were caused by the goat cheese trial on Friday and Saturday.  Trader Joe's had some sheep cheese that DD2 wants to try, but we're going to stick with soy for the time being.

Monday - org chicken thighs/curry/org brown rice/org peas
Tuesday - pizza at AHG meeting (got Wendy's chili for DD2 on the way home)
Wednesday - org chicken, org potatoes, asparagus
Thursday - Pancakes (org flour & org milk), nitrate-free sausage, org syrup
Friday - Dinner at Small Group
Saturday - Italian Sausage soup (org celery, org carrots, nitrate free sausage, tomatoes, org chicken broth, onions, kidney beans)
Sunday - popcorn & smoothies

Monday - nachos
Tuesday - leftover taco soup & fresh asparagus
Wednesday - waffles (org flour & org milk)
Thursday - taco salad (org lettuce, org ground beef, org salsa, guac, cheese)
Friday - con chicken drumsticks that have been hanging out in my freezer
Saturday - mac'n'cheese (soy cheese, gf noodles for DD2)
Sunday - skillet (eggs, bacon, potatoes, cheese) - DD2 will have leftover mac'n'cheese

Shopping List: onions, lots of fruit, milk, gf oatmeal (a friend told me her gf husband could really tell the difference between gf and standard oatmeal, so back to gf for DD2), mango for a recipe I want to try next week (?), standard spaghetti noodles & standard elbow macaroni, soy cheese, almond or coconut milk.

Love, Katie

Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 10 - $76.31

Week 10 had several small shopping trips.

Monday DD#1 and I popped into Fred Meyer for fruit.  I bought bananas, pears, and apples.  I also picked up almond milk, organic celery, a bag of doritos, a clearance sourdough bread bowl and clearance organic lettuce.  I spent $17.09.

Tuesday DD#2 and I wandered through QFC before an appointment and picked up a few items on clerance.  We also spent an inordinately long time in the candy bar aisle looking for a dairy free chocolate bar.  I got these items for $4.77.

Friday while DD#4 was at a 30 minute speech therapy appointment, I managed to get back into town, pick up library books, dash into Trader Joes for some goat cheddar and crumbled goat cheese, and get back up to the school on time!  I felt like Wonder Woman.  The goat cheeses were $8.58

Late Friday night (after the Women's Conference at my church let out) I stopped at Fred Meyer for milk and tortilla chips to make DH's day go more easily Saturday while I would be out.  While there I found organic ground beef for $3.99/lb, more organic lettuce on clearance, and 3 bunches of asparagus for only $1.00 each!  DH likes creamer and it's full of junk.  I was happy to see the Darigold creamer on sale for $2.50 since it's LESS junky than the other creamers.  I bought a head of romaine, organic potatoes, navel oranges, and generic nacho cheese chips that I heard tasted like Doritos.  They do not - in case inquiring minds want to know.  I spent $37.58

And finally, one more dash into Fred Meyer on Saturday afternoon (again, after the Women's Conference let out) for tomato sauce and regular spaghetti noodles for a couple recipes.  I also found a box of GF/DF peanut butter granola bars on clearance for $2.19.  I picked up 2 boxes of baby cereal that had a $1.00/2 peelie, but the peelie was expired when I got to the checkout!  Very irritating.  I spent $8.29.

Week 10 Total: $76.31
Year-to-date Total: $1,159.13
Weekly Average: $115.91

Yay for another low week!   I think the key these last couple of week has been just being super busy so I don't have time for big shopping trips.  ;)

Love, Katie

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New Allergies - New Menu Plan

  We're exploring some new things with DD#2 in an effort to better meet her needs.  One of those things was an allergy test (blood, not skin) and the results showed some allergies (level 1 on a 1-3 scale) we're going to avoid.  None of it was super surprising, but one big bummer was egg whites. How am I going to bake without egg whites?  Another one was peas.  No big deal to avoid peas, but the protein powder I love is a vegan, pea protein. We took her off milk a few weeks ago anticipating the results of this test and yes, most dairy is on the list.  I was also disappointed to see malt on the list. We'd been allowed some malt even though it has gluten, because it didn't seem to affect her.  So no more rice krispies.  Drat!  But thankful we have so many options for food including lots of dry cereals now that General Mills made Cheerios GF.  

The doctor suggested we try a lot of goat cheese the next few days and see how that affects her.

There's only 5 days left this week for a menu plan, but here's what we're eating:

Wednesday - Meatloaf
Thursday - Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes & bacon)
Friday - Pot Roast (meat in freezer, have potatoes & carrots & onions)
Saturday - Egg Casserole (ham from freezer)
Sunday - Macaronada

Wednesday - Nachos (goat cheddar)
Thursday - Apple/Chicken sausages
Friday - Pizza (goat cheese)
Saturday - Mac'n'Cheese (GF noodles & goat cheese)
Sunday - Grilled Cheese (GF bread & goat cheddar)


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 Groceries Week 9 - $67.93

  I spent last week in my parents' house on the Oregon coast.  My sweet dad is recuperating from his series of strokes (two weeks ago) and I was there to help however mom needed me.  Praise Jesus my dad is recovering with miraculous speed and I ended up just being moral support ( I hope *wink*).

  Our first morning in town I zipped down to the grocery store to buy a few things.  I spent $30.28 on a gallon of organic milk (more expensive than home), 2 jars of unsweetened applesauce, grapes, almond milk (less expensive than home), frozen fries, turkey hot dogs, hot dog buns, clearance Udi's bread, rice cereal, and coffee creamer.  I had brought lots of food from home, too, so I wouldn't burden my mom's grocery budget with feeding my brood.

Mom and I did some thrift store & bargain shopping one morning and I picked up coconut oil at Ross (of all places) for $5.99.

We got home Sunday evening and I dashed into the grocery store to grab a balloon and a cake for DH's birthday.  I also spotted GF chicken nuggets and got them as a mini-gift for very easy dinner making as I had about 20 minutes at home before dashing off to book club.  I also grabbed a container of cookies for book club while at the store.  The cake, cookies, and chicken nuggets were $25.97.

I got a text at book club that we were out of milk so I picked up a gallon on my way home for $5.69.

Week 9 Total: $67.93
Year-to-Date 2016: $1,082.82
Weekly Average: $120.31

I'm so happy for two weeks in a row of really reasonable grocery spending.  I hope I can keep that up a few more weeks.  I'm well stocked with lots of basics in the freezer so I'm hoping to just focus on perishables.

Love, Katie