Groceries, Life: Jan. 21st & Jan. 28th

Wysocki Puzzle

1000 piece puzzle that we started over Christmas and finally finished. We really like the Charles Wysocki puzzles, but this one was a bugger! Sorry for the glare…

It sure didn’t take long for the semester to get busy! My internship hours fluctuate quite a bit, so I feel like I’m constantly adjusting to that. And the dominoe effect is of course that I end up juggling a lot of my other obligations to fit into the time I have left. Going forward I want to try to post here at least once a week, because it’s helpful as a record of what’s going on. And I think the juggling has more or less slowed down for now (I hope!).

One thing that I have been making time for this semester/month is sewing/creating. I find that setting aside time to work on creative projects is a really important part of self-care for me. As a bonus, I’ve been able to complete or move forward on some projects that have been sitting around for years. I’m thrilled to see that progress and it provides a lot of motivation to keep on making time for myself in that way. Here is a picture of a quilt top I finished this weekend:

Nautical 5 by 5

As an additional way to stay motivated in terms of knocking out old sewing projects, I also joined APQ’s 2018 UFO (Unfinished Object) Challenge group on Facebook. Each month they pull a number and you work on the appropriate project based on a list created at the beginning of the year. I have two lists that I’m working from (so yes, that’s 24 projects that I’ve started at some point or another…). I’d really like to get this top fully quilted, but I’m not sure if that will happen this month or next.

I’ve also been working on decluttering and being intentional about taking decluttered items to Goodwill or wherever the appropriate donation site is. I thought I’d be able to manage weekly trips to Goodwill, but for now it looks like every other week is more realistic. The good news is that I’ve decluttered over 100 items this month and shouldn’t have a problem maintaining that pace next month, too.

As far as groceries and meal planning is concerned — I have been doing both, but adapted. I often really only need to make one or two dishes each week and then we can eat leftovers or simple meals for the remaining days. By simple meals, I’m referring to sandwiches, quesadillas, ravioli, etc. It works for now. I also haven’t been taking pictures because more often than not I’m eating in front of the computer while I work on one job or another. I have been pleased that my grocery budget has stayed pretty low this month — while I’m not planning to change my budgeted amount ($300), I am also trying to really only buy what we’ll eat in a week or two. Now is not the time to worry about stocking the pantry, and in fact I’m also concentrating on moving stuff out of the pantry. Below are my two most recent grocery trips.

Jan 21 2018 __All

January 21, 2018

  • Frozen Veggie Burgers, $4.49/2 (BOGO)
  • Cheese Tortellini, $4.29
  • Pesto, FREE (w/purchase of tortellini)
  • Barilla Pasta Sauce, $5.50/4 (BOGO)
  • Naked Juice Smoothies, $3.29/2 (BOGO)
  • Maple Honey Ham, 1/2 lb. @ $5.19
  • Smoked Gouda, 1/2 lb. @ $4.00
  • Half & Half, 1 pint @ $1.73
  • Cornmeal, 2 lbs @ $1.29
  • Mayo, $2.24
  • English Muffins, $1.50
  • Bread, $4.29/2 (BOGO)
  • Donut Holes, $3.99/2 (BOGO)
  • Limes, 3 for $1.99
  • Flatout Foldit Bread, $.99/2 (BOGO + coupons)
  • Bananas, 2.47 lbs @ $1.61
  • Ranch, $2.79 (Aldi — not pictured)
  • Sweet Potato Chips, $2.99 (Aldi — not pictured)
  • Tortilla Chips, $1.59 (Aldi — not pictured)

Total: $50.68

Jan 28 2018__All January 28, 2018

This photo is really blurry, sorry!

  • Apples, $3.29
  • Taco Seasoning, 2 @ $1.34
  • Half & Half, $1.99
  • Milk, $2.95
  • Tomato Sauce, 2 @ $.29/ea
  • Everything Bagels, $1.79
  • Granola, $2.79 (Michael was with me…not something I’d normally buy!)
  • Hot Dog Buns, $.83
  • Green Grapes, 2.47 lbs @ $3.19
  • Seedless Cucumber, $1.29
  • Jalapenos, $.69
  • Avocado, $.79
  • Yellow Onions, $1.79
  • Dried Mango, $3.89
  • Spinach, 2 bags @ $1.49/ea
  • Tortilla Chips, $.99
  • Pineapple, $1.29
  • Mushrooms, 3 @ $.79/ea
  • Grape Tomatoes, $2.49

Total: $37.32

I’ll probably run into Publix between now and Wednesday in order to pick up a few things they have on sale this week, but otherwise I’m pretty much done with my grocery shopping for January. Right now my total for the month stands at $204.78, well under my $300 goal. So that is pleasing to me for sure! I did end up buying fast food/takeout this past week more often than I wanted to and that had nothing to do with available food in our house but with me just having an off week and not planning very well. Still, our eating out expenditures are under $100 for the month which is also my goal, so…2018 is off to a good start!

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Meal Plan: January 14 – 20

meals Jan 7_13_18

Clockwise from top left: oven fajitas, spaghetti & meatballs, breakfast potatoes & eggs, vegetable korma

Last week I mostly stuck to the menu. I didn’t take a picture of the hot dog meal. I misread the vegetable korma recipe and peeled way too many potatoes, so we had breakfast for dinner one night (not on the original menu). And I didn’t make the pumkin and black bean soup because really what I wanted was pumpkin chili, and for that I needed ground turkey. Also I scheduled that recipe for Thursday, which is a no cooking day since I am out of the house from 7:15 am to 9:30 pm. Michael can obviously choose to cook something for himself that day, but more often than not there is a ton of leftover food available. And I’ve acknowledged that I usually just have to purchase at least one meal on that day — I’m not organized enough to manage packing three full meals. But overall I stuck to the menu and we didn’t eat out (aside from my day on campus).

This week I’m planning to take advantage of the extra day off and make up two recipes ahead of time, which should significantly cut down on our cooking duties the rest of the week. I’ve also got two soup/stew recipes on the menu for the week — it’s that time of year and since we love them, I decided not to worry about feeling repetitious. Do you have anything exciting planned for the week, meal-wise?

Meal Plan

  • Meatball Subs, Salad, Berries
  • Turkey & Pumpkin Chili (make ahead), Cheesy Cornbread
  • Baked Spaghetti (make ahead), Steamed Broccoli
  • Squash and Chickpea Curry, Rice
  • Stuffed Pepper Soup, Salad

Prepped

  • hard boiled eggs
  • salad base
  • chex mix
  • veggies for various recipes
  • ham, broccoli & cheese egg muffins

Groceries: January 13

I decided to change my attitude about Saturday shopping since it seems inevitable that it’s going to fall here anyway. It mostly worked, although I avoided the most stressful shopping plaza so we’ll see if I can maintain my eqaunimity next week! An Aldi in another part of town opened this week and there was a $5 off coupon for only that location. But it happened to be close to a few other places I needed to visit (not grocery stores) so I just planned to do my shopping on that side of town. It’s really out of my way otherwise, so I probably won’t shop at that particular store very often. I had thought to pick up rice at the Indian grocery, but decided the drive wasn’t worth it this time (it’s closer to where I normally shop and I just wanted to be done), so picked up jasmine rice at Aldi (which is really good!).  This week I really stocked up on produce and since we’ve got a long weekend I have the time to prep it all for the upcoming week or weeks (I think I will probably freeze some).

jan-13-2018__produce.jpg

Produce:

  • Carrots, 2 lbs @ $.89/ea
  • Strawberries, 2 lbs @ 2/$5 (not pictured)
  • Mushrooms, 1 lb @ $2.22 (not pictured)
  • Zucchini, 20 oz @ $.99
  • Strawberries, 3 lbs @ $1.49/ea
  • Yellow Squash, 20 oz @ $.99
  • Grape Tomatoes, 1 pint @ $1.89
  • Green Peppers, 2 lbs @ $.99/ea
  • Bananas, 2 lbs @ $.44/lb
  • Spinach, 1 lb @ $1.49
  • Romaine Hearts @ $2.29
  • Cara Cara Oranges, 3 lbs @ $2.49
  • Grapefruit, 3 lbs @ $2.49
  • Honeycrisp Apples, 3.98 lbs @ $1.29/lb

Total: $34.09

Jan 13 2018__Pantry & Grains

Pantry:

  • Corn Tortillas, 30 @ $1.39
  • Jasmine Rice, 5 lbs @ $4.79
  • Tortilla Chips, 1 bag @ $1.59
  • Cocktail Peanuts @ $1.99
  • Tomato Sauce, 4 @ $.29/ea
  • High Protein Pasta, 2 boxes @ $2.29/ea (BOGO + $1/off coupon)
  • Pasta, 2 boxes @ $1.69/ea (BOGO + $1/off coupon)
  • Hot Dog Buns @ $1.00 (not pictured)

Total: $13.90

Jan 13 2018__Dairy & Protein

Dairy & Protein

  • Ground Turkey, 1 lb @ $2.99
  • Eggs, 2 doz @ $2.99/ea
  • Feta Cheese, 2 @ $3.19/ea (BOGO)
  • Chobani Yogurt, 2 4 packs @ $3.34/ea

Total: $18.83

Weekly Total: $61.82 (three totals above minus $5 coupon)

 

Meal Plan: January 7 – 13

flickr lokate birthday cake

Beautiful birthday cake photo by flickr user lokate366.

Happy Birthday to me! Actually my birthday was Sunday, but still. 🙂 I am trying to stick to a plan of not eating sweets or desserts except on Sundays, which might be a little tricky this week but I plan to persevere. This is also the week that classes and my internship starts back up, so my schedule is getting amped big time tomorrow. These meals are pretty easy and Michael will be cooking some of them, so I’m banking on starting the semester off on the right foot and NO TAKEOUT this week.

Anyway, here is what’s on the menu for this week:

  • Sunday: Birthday Dinner Out
  • Monday: Hot Dogs, Carrot Sticks, Clementines (this was the result of getting stuck in some ridiculous traffic)
  • Tuesday: Vegetable Korma, Mustard Seed Cauliflower, Rice, Naan
  • Wednesday: Oven Fajitas, Coleslaw
  • Thursday: Pumpkin Black Bean Soup, Salad, Cornbread
  • Friday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad, Garlic Bread

And here is a quick look at the meals I managed to make last week:

Meals Jan 1_6

I never got a picture of the chicken soup, but we had it. And a lot of the sides just didn’t happen or we went with super easy stuff because of the plague that had settled over the house. But more or less I followed the plan! Yay!