It’s been a while since I’ve posted a grocery/menu post. My grocery shopping was minimal this week. We have plenty of hamburger meat in the freezer so I didn’t need to buy any protein other than a bag of lentils, and we have a variety of things in the pantry. Plus a couple of the things on my list to buy were actually donated to our school making my grocery list even smaller.

I spent about $40 on food. I price matched a 3 lb. bag of onions for 79 cents, 2 8 oz. boxes of mushrooms for 99 cents/each, and 3 16 oz. bags of baby carrots for 69 cents/each.

Here’s our menu plan, which I’m sure I won’t follow exactly, cuz I never do:

Breakfasts: breakfast rice, oatmeal, eggs, toast, smoothies, breakfast burritos

Lunches: leftovers, burritos, quesadillas and sandwiches

Suppers:

Linked at Organized Junkie.

 

Pantry in our travel trailer we lived in for 2 years.

Wondering how 2 adults and 2 kids are eating for $42 this week? I’m sure plenty of ultra-frugal folks and queens of couponing do this all the time, but I usually spend closer to $100 a week….so what’s the trick? I’m doing almost all of my grocery shopping from my own pantry and fridge this week!

First I grabbed a notebook and pen and went around writing down what things I had on hand in 5 categories: protein, veggies/fruit, grains/breads, dairy and other. To my surprise we have a HUGE variety in the grains section, not only do we have tortillas, wraps and bread, but we also have flours, wheat germ, rice, millet I didn’t know I had, and even more! I had more veggies than I realized too. The one category that was rather low was protein, although we have 4 kinds of beans and then lentils. I do cook quite a bit with beans, but don’t really feel like having beans every single day this week, so I bought some hamburger meat.

Reasons to eat from the pantry:

  1. Waste less food. I know if I fill my fridge up with fresh food, that fresh food (especially produce) will look more tempting that the older stuff making it more likely to never get eaten. Also, the fuller the fridge, the easier things get stuffed in the back of it and lost.
  2. Have emptier more organized cupboards.
  3. Save money. Because we’ll mostly be eating from what we already have, I was able to spend just under $42 on food at the store.

Spent just under $42

So here’s the menu plan.

Breakfasts: oatmeal, smoothies, eggs, toast, breakfast rice, muffin recipes that use up leftover milk, sour cream and yogurt, like these banana muffins.

Lunches: sandwiches (grilled cheese, egg salad or chicken),  soup, leftovers

Suppers:

  • Black beans and rice, chips, salsa, cheese and avocados
  • Meal with some friends, I’m bringing mashed potatoes and a veggie.
  • SUPERBOWL at friend’s house! I took popcorn and banana bread
  • Taco salad with stretched taco meat
  • Pizza pasta and salad
  • Chili and corn bread
  • Leftovers

Are you shopping your pantry this week?

Oh, and I almost forgot, we have a new post at our ministry blog, What We’re Doing…in Pictures.

Linked at Organizing Junkie.

Amy 

I was rather appalled as I was tallying up October’s expenses and our grocery bill was higher than it’s been in a LONG time! Not sure why, I guess when you don’t keep on top of things, they can easily add up without even being aware of it. So this week I’m making our menu plan based almost all on what I already have around the house (thankfully their’s plenty here). I only spent $36 on food at the grocery store this week.

 

Breakfasts: Coconut granola, oatmeal, toast, eggs, fruit or smoothies

Lunches: Leftovers, burritos or sandwiches (egg salad, chicken or grilled cheese)

Suppers:

  • Vegetarian stuffed peppers & sauted spinach
  • Chorizo, egg and cabbage burritos with corn tortillas
  • Sausage barley stew and bread
  • Chicken quesadillas, chips, pomegranate and steamed broccoli
  • Lentil soup and bread
  • Oven roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and some kind of veggie
  • Leftovers

I spent $72.16 at Wal-Mart:

$72.16

Earlier this week,  I had to run into Wal-Mart for somethings and decided to check the meat section, so glad I did because I discovered these reduced for quick sale treasures:

$2.30/lb. hamburger meat and 69 cents/lb. chicken leg quarters? Yes please!

How I tried to spend less:

  • Generic brand – This is one of my favorite ways, cuz it’s so stinkin’ easy and doesn’t take any extra time!
  • Price matching – 79 cent/lb. for all the grapes, 99 cents/lb. broccoli, 99 cents/each lettuce and 29 cents/lb bananas
  • Reduced-for-quick sale meat
  • Buying in bulk-Larger carton of eggs and big bottle of dish soap (although it didn’t have the unit price labeled and I didn’t do the math, but usually bigger bottles are cheaper per unit. I’ll simply pour some into my smaller dish soap bottle for easier use.)
  • Making use of donated food - Various stores and organizations donate food to the staff and students of our training center, my favorite is the farmer’s market leftovers! :P

Quinoa Carrot Muffins

Breakfasts: Eggs, toast, oatmeal, smoothies, fruit or muffins

Lunches: Sandwiches, bean burritos, salad or leftovers

Suppers:

Linked at Organizing Junkie.

I spent $74.96  at Wal-Mart:

And $5 at the Farmer’s Market:

Farmers markets are so fun!

How I tried to spend wisely this trip:

  • Knowing prices – I was going to price-match a large seedless watermelon at Wal-Mart, but saw watermelons for only $3 (with seeds) at the Farmers Market and opted for that instead.
  • Buying reduced for quick sale bread:

Yay for day old bread!

  • Cooking from scratch. I have a lot of staples in the house, like flour, masa and yeast, so I’ll be using those to make bread and tortillas instead of buying it (other than the reduced bread I bought).

Menu Plan

Breakfasts: Muffins, eggs, toast, oatmeal, smoothies, fruit

Lunches: Sandwiches (tuna, egg salad, grilled cheese), bean burritos, leftovers, cobb salad

Suppers:

  • Pizza pasta, sauted zuccini
  • Chicken strips, couscous, roasted veggies
  • Chicken and rice, salad
  • Lentil sloppy joes, watermelon, veggies & dip
  • Black beans & rice, salsa and cantaloupe
  • Soup made from leftover beans and rice, chips and salsa and cheese and sour cream to top it

 

Linked at OrgJunkie.

 


$79.89

This week I spent $79.89 on food groceries and $0 on toiletry items (yay!).

 

How I tried to save on this shopping trip:

  • Buying in bulk It’s cheaper to buy bigger cartons of eggs, you can always put them in smaller cartons when you get home for convenience.
  • Doing more cooking from scratch using staples I already have. Since I have more time I want to try more things from scratch, which is almost always cheaper and healthier.
  • Buying produce that’s cheap (bananas, carrots, and potatoes).
  • Price matching (cantaloupe for 99 cents and broccoli for 99 cents/lb.).
  • Not couponing. You see I have a $2 off Olvaltine coupon that I’ve been thinking about using, but I keep coming back to the fact that it’s not something I’ve even been buying lately, so by spending money to “save” $2, I’m not really saving. I’m going to see if someone else can use it instead.

 

Menu Plan

Breakfasts: Eggs, toast, fruit, smoothies, breakfast burritos

Lunches: Sandwiches (tuna, cheese or egg salad), bean burritos, leftovers and tamales from church :) Yummo!!!

Suppers:

  • Pizza hut – The kids earned free personal pizzas from our local library’s summer reading program, so we went and Cameron and I got the buffet.
  • Salmon melts and oven roasted veggies.
  • Stretched meat burritos, chips and salsa
  • Taco salad with leftover meat from burritos
  • Chicken, baked potatoes and veggies
  • Bean burgers
  • Leftovers

Linked at Organizing Junkie.

I spent $35.41 on all this (plus 2 granola bars not pictured that the kids ate on the way home):

 

All the produce, but the bananas were price matched.

 

 

Doesn’t look like very much food for a family of 4 does it? Well that’s because I’m trying to eat food I already have (which means using flour and yeast to make bread, masa to make tortillas, etc… instead of buying these things already made). That’s what’s nice about having more time over the summer, I have more time to do things from scratch.

 

Corn tortillas

 

 

Also we’ve gotten a lot of free food lately, salmon from some friends, zucchini someone gave us from their garden and food donated to our school. So here’s the menu plan…

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, eggs, smoothies, toast and breakfast rice

Lunches: Bean burritos, leftovers, sandwiches (egg salad, grilled cheese, pbj), hot dogs

Suppers:

  • Oven Baked salmon, oven roasted veggies
  • Lentil sloppy joes, veggies & dip – I’ve made lentil sloppy joes a couple of times now, I’m hoping to get it just right this time and share the recipe. Little Dude loves it and he gets so many veggies in his belly when he eats it! :)
  • Baked pizza pasta, salad
  • Quiche and apple slices
  • Black beans cooked with a leftover ham bone and rice, chips and salsa, steamed or oven roasted veggies
  • Leftovers

Linked at Organizing Junkie.

When I asked all of you for questions, someone mentioned my grocery updates which I haven’t been doing. When we got here to the missionary training center and things got busier I slowed down a little on the number of blog posts and decided my grocery and menu posts were an easy one to cut out.

But since someone asked, and since I have a little more time over the summer, and since I got more bargains than usual today on my grocery excursion, I’ll share it with you! :)

I spent a total of $50.27 cents for all of this:

 

$50.27 - I price-matched, bought reduced for quick sale and used 2 coupons

 

A lot of it was nothing special, but some of the things I was able to get for less than retail price:

  • Reduced for quick sale whole chicken, which is pretty much always a good price per pound anyways, I was able to get for $6.58 instead of $9.37, saving me $2.78.

As long as you cook or freeze the meat soon after purchasing, reduced for quick sale meat is a great way to buy meat cheaper.

 

  • Honeydew melon (one of Gracia’s favorites!) for $1.49 by price matching.
  • Grapes for $1.19/lb. by price matching.
  • 99 cents/lb. roma tomatoes by price matching.
  • 99 cents/lb. broccoli by price matching.
  • Shaving cream – FREE. I got a coupon in the mail for a free bottle of it. Honestly I don’t usually use shaving cream for myself, I just use conditioner or body wash, but if it’s free I’ll use it! :)
  • Razor with 5 blades for only 97 cents!!! Razor blades are so stinkin’ expensive, I usually use them until they aren’t really doing anything, so I was so excited about this deal! I got this coupon in the mail along with the shaving cream one for $8 off this razor set, and since it cost $8.97, I only paid 97 cents! Sometimes it’s fun to feel like an extreme couponer, even though I’m not. :)

Thanks to 2 coupons in the mail, I was able to get the shaving cream for free and the razor and blades for only 97 cents.

 

Menu Plan:

 

Breakfasts: Cheerios, yogurt, fruit, toast, eggs, oatmeal

Lunches: Pizza muffins (if these taste good, I might post the recipe!), sandwiches, bean burritos, leftovers

Suppers:

I’m linking up at orgjunkie.com for Menu Monday.

I went to 3 different stores yesterday.

At the Mexican store I spent about $3.

I went to Walmart and spent $60.08. I price matched a 3lb. bag of apples for $1.99, pomegranates for 49 cents each and bananas for 29 cents/lb.

Then I went to Gerbes and spent $11.35. I bought some produce on sale and was going to buy some boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale to, but they ran out of that brand, so I just bought the other brand instead.

I also spent $4 this weekend on raw milk.

That’s a grand total of $78.43 for this week (counting non-food items).

Onto my menu plan

Breakfast: Oatmeal, cereal, breakfast rice, eggs, toast, yogurt or fruit.

Lunch: Chicken quesadillas, chips and salsa, sandwiches, bean burritos or leftovers

Suppers:

  • Salmon melts, snap peas and oven roasted veggies
  • Meal at friends’ house
  • Chicken spiedes and oven roasted broccoli
  • Lentil barley soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Pork roast with potatoes and carrots
  • Leftovers x2
Question of the day…Do you call it “supper” or “dinner”?

With our move to Missouri our expenses are going to change a lot. We won’t have lot rent or an electric bill, but we will have a school bill that covers our living expenses. Our cost of living should really decrease while there. Here’s how I think we’ll save:

  •  I cancelled Netflix - Save: $8/month
  • Less money on gas – We’ll be both living and going to classes on campus, so we won’t be driving every day. Save:$100/month?
  • Eating out less – I think it will be a lot less tempting to eat out, since we wont be living right in town and we’ll be surrounded by other missionaries in training also living frugally. – Save $100/Month?
  • Groceries – The training center gets some food donated to it for the students (like old Panera bread!!), so this should help us lower our grocery money. Of course, since we should be eating out less, that may make our groceries go up, but it’ll still be an overall savings. Save: $20/month?
  • Miscellaneous items, like clothes – On campus they have a “mission barrel” where people can take clothes and other things they don’t need anymore and the other students can go see if there’s anything they need. I figure if I every time we need something, we just check the mission barrel before going to the store we might find what we want and save some cash.  Save-$5 month?

Those estimated savings total up to $233 a month! Woo-hoo!

Have you found any areas to cut costs lately?

 

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