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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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)

 

Groceries, January 6

retro-mom-money-images-Graphics-Fairy004

In the spirit of beginning as you mean to go on, I went out today for groceries. I am seriously re-thinking my plan to shop of Saturdays as a result. What chaos! I really cannot handle being out in the shops when its so busy. I’m not exactly sure how I can adjust my schedule, but in the interest of self-care (mental health!), I really think it has to happen. I did stop by Baskin-Robbins and treat myself to a free scoop of ice cream in honor of my birthday. That was nice. And gave me a few minutes to get over some of my annoyance.

Anyway, I didn’t need a lot of stuff, but took the opportunity to stock up on convenience items to ensure this semester runs more smoothly. Between the trail mix I bought today and the cracker packs and the granola bars I picked at BJs in December I should be set with healthy-ish snacks to prevent fast food or take out emergencies. I also grabbed some cans of beans because I think cooking from dry might be an unrealistic expectation right now. I also picked up a half gallon of orange juice earlier in the week when I was also picking up cold meds.

Jan 6 2018__Pantry

Pantry/Snacks

  • Trail Mix, 2 boxes @ $3.49/ea
  • White Vinegar, $.79
  • Tortilla Chips, $1.59
  • Powdered Sugar, 2lbs @ $1.49

Total: $10.85

I ran out of powdered sugar over the holiday and like to have some on hand, although I use it pretty infrequently.

Jan 6 2018__Produce

Produce

  • Tri-Color Peppers, 2 pks @ $1.69/ea
  • Organic Bananas, 2.08 lbs @ $.59/lb
  • Lemons, $2.99
  • Jalapeno Pepper, $.15
  • Frozen Cut Green Beans, $.89
  • Frozen Broccoli, 2 @ $2.79 (BOGO)
  • Orange Juice, $3.49

Total: $14.92

Jan 6 2018__Protein

Proteins

  • Yogurt, $3.34
  • Black Beans, 6 cans @ $.89/ea
  • Garbanzo Beans, 4 cans @ $.89/ea
  • Unsalted Cashews, $12.99
  • Tuna, 4 cans @ $.99

Total: $29.19

Lots of canned beans, a big thing of unsalted cashews even though I just need a small amount for a recipe — we’ll eat them. And yogurt for Michael’s breakfast.

My total for the week is $54.96.

 

Food Lately: A Dumb Week

Meals Sept. 24_30

Ugh. We ate out quite a few times this week. Crappy fast food, too, which is convenient in the moment but always makes me feel a little gross afterward. Not I think solely because of the food but because the food is greasy and heavy and shoved into a random opening in my schedule, which make the process of eating it stressful as well. My schedule now includes an every-other-Saturday obligation related to my internship, which cuts into my food prep and grocery shopping time and really impacts how much I get done. So. I’m not quite sure how we’re going to manage that, but it seems like freezer and crock-pot meals might be the most helpful for that week. Actually, when I did cook this past week it mostly involved the freezer. We had the baked spaghetti twice and then used the Encrusted chicken breasts for meals twice as well. They are okay, but I don’t think I’ll buy them again.

I did end up spending a bit more on groceries than I had tallied last weekend. As I thought, I needed half & half midweek and also bought a small bunch of bananas. The total for that purchase was $3.25. I forgot that I had ordered some spices from Penzey’s, mostly for holiday gifts, but I stupidly did not double check my inventory of spices because I was convinced that I NEEDED more cinnamon. And I do prefer this particular kind of cinnamon, but it was a dumb purchase because in addition to the small jar I have in the spice cabinet, I already had TWO bulk size jars in the pantry. So I spent $11.29 on fancy cinnamon that I don’t need. I think I am going to give my nieces and nephews a cooking/baking kit for Christmas, now that I have so much cinnamon to disperse…sigh. And then my hormones were running wild this week so my emotions were also going crazy and I indulged in some candy for a little emotional eating. That was $4. So I went $15.50 (or so) over my monthly budget. Not the end of the world, but I feel like I bought dumb stuff or made stupid mistakes, which is annoying. Honestly I care less about the money and more about giving in to emotional food cravings for such total crap. I’ve gotten back into the habit of tracking calories and that was kind of a depressing series of entries, lol. Next week and next month will be better, though, as I have a strategy for my new schedule (I think).