What I Spent, What We Ate

What I Spent

I went to the grocery store twice this week, once was more of a random trip to check out the grocery outlet/salvage type of store in town and the other was my regular trip to Aldi. I spent a total of $51.75 — WAY more than what I spent the previous two weeks. This brings my total to $82.85 and leaves me just $17 for the rest of the month. While I hadn’t planned, exactly, on this scenario, I AM glad that I went to the grocery outlet. I did purchase a few things that were unnecessary and fall outside of the dairy and produce categories. But…I don’t plan on hitting this store up more than once a month at most and wanted to take advantage of what I found. And the Aldi trip just reflected our need for produce. We’ll see how I do!

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At the grocery outlet I picked up a case of organic plain yogurt, two containers of organic cottage cheese, a jar of organic peanut butter, a bottle of chocolate sauce, two boxes of chocolate Moravian cookies (to use for a pie crust although Michael found them…) and a bag of cinnamon imperials which I can NEVER find here during Valentine’s day and they are one of my favorite candies. Obviously not everything was required, but for $10 I am okay with the splurges.

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At Aldi, I bought a bit more than I expected because of some sale prices and I picked up corned beef and coffee beans. Eggs were $.69/dozen, so I grabbed the limit of six dozen. I also picked up two bags of carrots ($.69/2lb bag), onions, a cabbage, bananas, strawberries, 2 pounds of asparagus, romaine lettuce, a large container of organic mixed salad greens, frozen raspberries, half & half, 2% milk, fake club crackers and tortilla chips. I also grabbed a pack of hamburger buns, which aren’t pictured. I  spent $41.75. Usually I get coffee beans at BJs, but the bag is expensive because it’s huge and I knew I would probably be tempted to purchase more than I needed. So we’re trying Aldi whole coffee beans, which are also organic and fair trade. We’ll see. You know I’m picky about coffee. 🙂 The raspberries were not strictly necessary, but I wanted to make smoothies using that yogurt and I don’t like blueberry only smoothies (cry me a river, right?). The corned beef was also not a necessary purchase, but Michael really likes it and it’s not easy to find at other times of the year, so…I indulged. And then the prices on carrots, eggs, onions, and asparagus had me stocking up. I noticed that quite a few items have reduced prices through 4/11, so I’ll be back next month to take advantage of those (cream cheese is $.85/pack). Anyway, without the coffee, raspberries and corned beef I would have been closer to just $20 for the week.

What We Ate

This week was not one for culinary wonders. We ate out quite a bit — a combination of birthday treats for Michael and then me just being totally off-kilter with my school schedule. It was mid-term and projects and exams took up most of my time. Our eating and my cooking was definitely kind of sad. As an FYI, our eating out budget is NOT the same as the grocery budget, although I do look at those numbers together.

Saturday: Vietnamese (out)

Sunday: Pizza (take out)

Monday: Tacos (take out)

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Tuesday: Cabbage Fried Rice

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Wednesday: Spaghetti with Sausage & Peppers Sauce, Green Salad, Garlic Bread

Thursday: Leftovers (Laura at class)

Friday: Bookclub (Laura), Soup & Salad (Michael)

One thing I realized this week was that prepping just a bit on the weekend really saves me during the week. This coming week is spring break and while it won’t be as busy as a normal school week, I’m really looking forward to getting some projects around here taken care of. That means that prepping over the weekend is going to be just as important as it would be during a regular school week. Also, you’ll also notice that my posted meal plan and the actual meals cooked bear little to no resemblance to each other. Ah, well. It was mostly an exercise to spark my interest and motivation. There’s a reason I usually post what we’ve eaten after the fact, not what we’re going to eat.




What I Spent, What We Ate

What I Spent

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I spent $10.15 at Aldi this week for groceries. As you can see, we needed fruit and half and half plus I really wanted to get some asparagus. A neighbor gave us a lot of grapefruit so we have plenty of fruit in the house. I will probably head there this weekend for berries and dairy, but overall we are good on most things during this pantry challenge. Of the $100 produce/dairy budget I have for the month, I’ve spent $31.10.

What We Ate


Saturday: Lemony Greek Pasta Salad (lunch), Margherita Pizza

  • I was so pleased with this pizza! Also I successfully froze this dough a couple of weeks ago and two wonderful things happened: I remembered to use it AND I froze it in a plastic container instead of in a bag. I think the different container made it so much easier to use and also much less likely to get lost in the freezer. I will do that again for sure! The basil is from loeftover pho; they always give so much basil and cilantro along with the broth and meat and this time I brought home the extra (in addition to the extra soup — even the small is a huge portion). I was able to use the basil in several meals, although this was the last.

Sunday: Stir-Fry Noodles w/Asparagus, Mushrooms & Tofu

Monday: Cajun Red Beans and Rice

  • I used this recipe for the red beans and rice, but omitted the andouille sausage because I wanted to keep it vegetarian. This turned out really, really well!

Tuesday: Egg Roll in a Bowl

  • This may be a new favorite for us — it was really good and really yummy! I kind of did a mash-up of different recipes, but they are all pretty much the same, I think. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend. Also it’s a great way to take advantage of the cheap cabbage that’s available now.

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Tilapia (not sure if we’re having Parmesan or Horseradish Crusted), Roasted Asparagus, Baked Potatoes

  • Or maybe I will do a Cajun spiced and pan fried thing with the fish. I’m not sure yet, but we’re definitely having fish as it’s thawed in the fridge. Don’t want it to go to waste!


Busy, Busy

My parents are visiting, and as is usual when they are here, it’s been go-go-go! My sisters and I call them the “traveling work crew” because even when they say they are just here for a relaxing visit, we always end up doing some kind of project. Today they helped Michael and I straighten up our front garden beds and lay down new mulch. We took advantage of the 10 for $10 sale on mulch that Lowes has going right now and our front beds really look fantastic. We also picked up some lava rock to act as a barrier between the foundation and the mulch — something recommended by our pest/termite people that we have been meaning to do for a while.

While I was out picking up the mulch, I also stopped by Winn-Dixie for beef stew meat and smoked sausage. I now have four packs of beef smoked sausage and 12 pounds of beef stew meat in the freezer.I think my storage squirrel should be satisfied for a while, now.  I have really been craving beef stew, so at some point next month, that will be on the menu.


For dinner we had NY strip steaks with mushroom marsala sauce — really yummy. Garlic mashed potatoes and buttery green beans on the side. It was a nice meal.


Of course, I still had school work to do today and so part of my day was spent on the computer while everyone else was outside. I would have rather been outside. 🙂

What We Spent, What We Ate


What We Spent

I spent $69.50 on groceries this week. At the actual grocery store (Aldi) I spent $15.42 on a quart of half and half, a half gallon of milk, sour cream, apples, oranges, bananas (we were running v. low on fruit), and green peppers.


I also spent $54.08 on an order of boneless, skinless chicken breast from Zaycon Fresh. When I originally lined up this purchase, I was going to allocate it straight to the March grocery budget. But I think I will keep purchases in the month they happened and just debit the next month. Other than that, I didn’t spend much money on groceries. There is a sale on beef stew meat at Winn-Dixie over the weekend that I want to take advantage of and then I will be committing myself to a pantry challenge for the month of March. So far my grocery spending in February is $276.72.

What We Ate

We had leftovers on Saturday, and then I completed a freezer inventory over the weekend and pulled out a few things to use in my cooking this week.


On Sunday we had Chicken Caesar Salads, using a dressing recipe that my sister shared with me. My other sister had made the rub I used on the chicken when I roasted it. I felt close to my sisters that day. 🙂 We also had some of the garlic bread I bought as part of my bookclub shopping.


I also made ham and bean soup (w/kale…pretend there is kale in this photo, which is an older one…) on Sunday, which we then had on Monday. I had it for lunch, Michael ate it for dinner while I was at class. The ham, the beans, and the broth were all in the freezer.


Tuesday we had breakfast for dinner — pancakes (using a baking mix from the freezer), sausage (also in the freezer), and applesauce (another freezer gem). This was easy and simple and nice to just throw together after prepping the chicken.


Wednesday we had cabbage and noodles, with a little bacon. The cabbage and bacon were both from the freezer. I also made ranger cookies in anticipation of my parents visiting over the weekend.


Thursday we had tamale pie, using black beans and corn from the freezer, two open jars of salsa that were hanging out in the fridge, chicken leftover from roasting it for the salads earlier in the week, a can of pinto beans from the pantry and a homemade cornbread crust.

Friday, tonight, my parents are taking us out for pho. This will be their first time trying Vietnamese food, so I hope they enjoy it! I feel like pho is a pretty approachable food, though, so it should go well.