Tuesday, December 25, 2012

$100 Grocery Shopping Dec. 21, 2012

In order to keep my self accountable in terms of our grocery spending I decided I am going to attempt weekly blogs where I will post what I purchased, how much I spent, and our meal plans for the week. This post is a little behind but I figured I would go ahead and post it anyways.

This weeks meal plan:

Friday 21st : Rotisserie Chicken w/ homemade fries
Saturday 22nd: Shrimp Pasta Alfredo w/ salad
Sunday 23rd: Hot dogs w/ fries
Monday 24th Dinner at Grandparents house
Tuesday 25th:  Christmas Dinner (Ham, mashed potatoes w/ gravy, rolls)
Wednesday 26th: Leftovers from Christmas dinner
Thursday 27th: Creamy Chicken Noodles and Broccoli

Our Groceries:

Aldi: $40.13
toilet Paper
hawaiin sweet rolls x2
cheese tray
snack crackers
cordon bleu chicken x2
paper towels x3
italian bread 
smoked ham
laundry detergent
choc. covered chips
deli sliced cheese

pizza sauce
cat litter
Rotisserie chicken

Giant Eagle: $38.95
Mocha bars
pizza crust mix
gravy mix
cat treats
bakery donuts x3
mashed potatoes x2
finish detergent
gf brownie mix
 cat food

Total Budgeted for the week $100
Total Spent $104.37

Over budget this week by $4.37. I did not stay on budget this week but I am happy with what I spent. I can handle only being $5 over although I will try much harder next week. 


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Meal Planning and Groceries April 30th-May 4th

For the month of May I decided I wanted to switch up how I grocery shop. I normally budget $200 for the month for all of our groceries and household items and often I do go over. This upcoming month I want to only spend $220 on all items. How am I going to do that...well I have planned out $50 weekly for food, and $20 monthly for household items. Yes, I may go over and that is OK. I really just want to see how close I can get to my budget. SO, each week I will plan out my meals and make a list of items I need for that week. I will be doing this over on my youtube channel as well, so be sure to check out the videos.

This weeks meal plan:
Mon: BBQ pork chops, homemade fries, & corn
Tues: Taco Night
Wed: Lasagna & Salad
Thurs: Burgers & homemade chips
Friday: Homemade pizza

I ended up going to 3 places to do my grocery shopping: Walmart, Giant Eagle, and Aldi

My total for all food items was $88.65.
That puts me $38.65 over my budget of $50 for the week, but that is alright. Many items I purchased will last longer than a week, which means next weeks grocery trip should be cheaper.

Here is a breakdown of what I bought at each store:

Beef jerky $5.98
Apple slices w/ caramel $3.68
Deli roast beef $6.98
2 Peaches $1.76
12pk Cola 2.68
Total spent: $21.61

Giant Eagle
93% lean ground beef $4.40
Bone in pork chops $5.95
Udi Gluten free bread $5.29
1lb Beef bologna $6.05
Flour tortillas $1.50
Sour cream $1.00
Apple cider vinegar $1.59
Mild cheddar cheese dip $2.99
Ragu pasta sauce $2.00
3 Blue bonnet stick butter $3.00
2 boxes Fruit snacks $5.78
Total spent $40.34

Peanut butter $2.29
5lb bag potatoes $2.49
Parmesan cheese $2.39
Semi-sweet choc. chips $1.79
Frozen corn $0.99
2 bags Shred Mozzarella $5.98
Shred Cheddar $2.99
Sliced pepperoni $1.99
Dozen eggs $1.19
Maple syrup $1.59
24pk water $2.49
Total spent $26.70

Total Spent Shopping trip #1: $88.65

May Grocery Budget: $200.00
Left to spend: $111.35

Friday, April 20, 2012

Couponing to help those in need

In recently occurred to me that many times I let my coupons expire simply because I do not need that like or don't use that item in our household. This saddens me a great deal because often I let great deals slip away that could benefit someone else. In my recent job search I ended up looking at volunteer positions and came across my local homeless shelters website. In the side bar it listed items that they were in need of. What I realized though is many of the items on the list I often get inexpensively and even for Free. What better way to utilize coupons we do not need for ourselves, and use them to purchase Free items that can be donated to those who need them.

So I got out a box & labeled it DONATE.
 This box takes up hardly any space and simply sits on the top shelf of our bookcase in our "Office/Craft Room."

Contents in my donate box
I then went around my house and found all the unopened items we do not use, and any free samples that were of a decent size (our shelter actually asked for hotel/sample size items) and placed them in the box.


I intend to place items in the DONATE box whenever I find an item on the shelters list, or purchase a FREE item using coupons. At the end of each month if the box is full I will take it down to the homeless shelter. What a great way to help others and by doing something that I already do: Coupon! I simply love this idea.
Let me know in the comment section if any of you do the same type of Donation by using coupons. I would love to hear your stories! So go out there and coupon and make a difference in the world and remember....

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Menu Plan April 16th-22nd

Every Sunday I sit down and work on my menu plan for the upcoming week. However, even with menu planning sometimes things need to be changed and rearranged. For example, for dinner tonight I had planned on making tacos. However, I woke up this morning feeling like a train had hit me and the thought of food simply made me feel sick. No way did I want to have tacos with my tummy feeling like it was from Hell. And that is OK, sometimes things need to be changed, life happens and things get in the way. I think what most people forget when starting meal plans is that just because you write something down or wanted to have chicken one night and had to change it to spaghetti does not mean your menu planning failed. Nothing is ever set in stone, especially when it comes to cooking. So if you are new to menu planning, the biggest advice I can give you is to simply remember you are allowed to change things, it is ok, the world won't end just because you served spaghetti on taco night. With that being said, on to my Revised menu plan for the week.

Monday: Beef Fajitas for my hubby and soup & crackers for me
Tuesday: Fish and Chips
Wednesday: Pasta Night
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner
Friday: Sweet N Sour Chicken w/ rice

What are YOU having for dinner this week?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Snap Pea Crisps???

Recently I have been watching videos on Youtube where people show grocery hauls from Trader Joes. Everyone kept raving about this one healthy snack, Snap Pea Crisps. Now, I absolutely hate healthy food, I know that is horrible and I am trying to be better about that and try new things. Unfortunately the only Trader Joes near me is about 2hrs away. So much to my surprise when I was at Walmart of all places and found the bags of Snap Pea Crisps for only $1.50. (I found mine in the produce section) I scooped up a bag of these suckers and couldn't wait to try them. I must honestly be losing my mind, because these babies are simply delicious! For a non veggie and non fruit eater to say a healthy vegetable type snack is delicious is incredible!

Honestly, I wish I could have tried these sooner. A healthy snack that I love is a very rare finding. The particular bag that I bought is 3.3oz and was $1.50. The great thing about this snack is the fact that it only has a few ingredients. Made from green peas, corn oil, rice, salt, calcium carbonate, and Vitamin C. This little snack is only 130 calories for 22 pieces, only 6g of fat, and has 3g of fiber. Sounds alright in my book!

So if you are looking for a new healthy snack instead of potato chips, go grab a bag of these. They are baked not fried and honestly taste like an awesome chip! This non veggie lover, found a healthy veggie snack she loves!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Fail and Menu Planning April 9th-13th

If you read my last post then you know what yummy stuff I had planned on cooking for my hubby and I for Easter. Unfortunately, just because you plan something does not always mean that is the way it goes. Sadly, we ended up having to make some changes in our menu due to a lack of corporation amongst the eggs and I.

The Eggs won this round!
I tried and tried and tried for hours and went through over a dozen eggs attempting to get my eggs to hard boil. Sadly, it just was not working on. No matter how long I cooked them and no matter what I did they just would not become hard boil eggs, instead they were more like very softly boiled eggs, the centers still runny and the white of the egg barely cooked...

After going through a dozen eggs, I knew it was time to call it quits and accept defeat!

Mushy stuffing, no thank you!
 And then it was on to the stuffing. I knew attempting to make gluten free stuffing would be a challenge. I had never created "normal" stuffing before, let alone gluten free stuffing. I knew when I put the stuffing in the oven it was already going to be a disaster. I ended up with a mushy mess, that just tasted like seasoned mushy bread...

So sadly, no stuffing and no hard boiled eggs for Easter. But, we made due without and instead I whipped up some corn and pulled out some Hawaiian sweet rolls for my hubby.

How was everyone's Easter? Did you experience any blunders or flops in the kitchen?  Let me know!

...and now on to this weeks menu, though posted a bit late. Never less, on to the food!

Monday: Cheese Lasagna and side salads
Tuesday: Leftover Ham, salad, & Mac N Cheese
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese Burgers & homemade fries
Thursday: Steak, broccoli, & baked potatoes
Friday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

To all those that celebrate Easter I hope you have a warm and wonderful day! My hubby and I are not BIG Easter goers. Sure, when we were little kids we loved Easter, what kid doesn't. You wake up in the morning and go Easter egg hunting, dye eggs (a mess of hideous color combinations), and receive an Easter basket filled with yummy candy and toys. Unfortunately, as we get older there is no more Easter egg hunts, no more dyeing eggs, and no more baskets filled with goodies. All of that goes away until you become parents and get to do all those things with your kids. 

As for right now, it is just my hubby and me, no kids yet, so many Easter traditions slide right by us. This year however, I decided I wanted to give my hand a go at dyeing Easter eggs once more. I want to see if I can create beautiful masterpieces or if they will turn out to be hideous color combinations that plagued my childhood. My guess on the outcome, hideous color combination lol. Easter is not the most exciting of holidays, but my husband and I are still young enough that we can dye eggs and have fun with it....and don't forget about the yummy food.

Chocolate coconut cupcakes
Easter Dinner Breakdown:
-Brown sugar glazed ham in the crock pot
-gluten free stuffing
(my 1st attempt to make any stuffing EVER)
-mashed potatoes w/ butter
-deviled eggs
(if I can ever get my eggs to hard boil uggh)
-side salads
-gluten free chocolate coconut cupcakes