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Grocery budget & meal planning

January 19th, 2018 at 11:05 am

It’s insane how much we have been spending for a family of 2 adults & 1 child for household, diapers and groceries. So far this month, we have spent $432.18. We have roughly $70 left in the budget for January. This spending doesn’t include pet supplies.
Yesterday, I did a LOT of stocking up – we had eaten down our freezer stash in December. So we needed to stock up on meats, fruits & veggies, diapers and basics.
I am meal planning my booty off. With a 2 year old who demands dinner the second we walk into the door on a work night, I use meals I made & froze or easy meals during the week. So that is what I am concentrating on. These meals will take us well into February.
This weekend, I am making lots of meals for the freezer. We will also grill some chicken for snacks/lunches for the week (we are doing Weight Watchers & trying to eat healthier).
I plan on making Korean Spicy Pork Loin Saturday night. Leftovers will also be frozen and I am going to try to make a healthy 2 ingredient bread recipe – I am going to make garlic sticks and pizza crust. Wish me luck!
Once all of this is cooked – we will have a freezer full of:

3 Family meal servings of meatloaf muffins
2 Family meal servings of Taco Meat
2 Family meal servings of Sloppy Joe
2 Family meal servings of honey sesame chicken
2 Family meal servings of barbecue chicken
1 Family meal serving of Korean Spicy Pork
4 Family meal servings of Potstickers (premade frozen)
1 Family meal serving of fajita chicken
2 Family meal servings of Turkey meatballs

On days I work remote, I cook a hot meal – so that will be when I do a balsamic honey pork chop and some pretzel crusted Dijon chicken. We also have turkey meatballs in the freezer (precooked) and will use that with pasta one night.

Each week, I will meal plan out of what we have to work with, and there will always be room to switch things around.

This week:
Sat 1/20: Korean Spicy Pork Loin (leftovers will go in the freezer), brown rice & veggies
Sun 1/21: Beef taco salad
Mon 1/22: Fajita Chicken & peppers
Tues 1/23: (husband’s late night): Fend for yourself – (ends up being potstickers a lot of the time)
Wed 1/24: Turkey Meatballs & pasta
Thurs 1/25: Balsamic Pork Chops
Fri 1/26: Sloppy Joe & pasta

Food Frugality!

March 9th, 2016 at 11:51 am

We are hoping to sell our house & buy new this year. Unfortunately, I (single at the time) bought the house at the higher end of the market and the neighborhood has changed a lot and we are not sure how much we'll be able to sell the house for (we may take a small loss).

Because of this, and other expenses lately, we are buckling down on spending. Today, I have gotten a LOT of freebies at work and I am a happy camper.

My manager keeps a snack pile for the team - I grabbed a small bag of popcorn and a piece of candy today.

I packed my breakfast/lunch/snack:

Tuna & crackers, pasta salad, tomatoes & oil/vinegar/herb dressing.

I brought a water bottle and had a stash of soda at my desk. I also splurged on Snapples at the grocery store yesterday - 2 - 12 packs for $13.99. So for $0.58 each I can have a treat once in a while. I brought a few to keep at my desk at work. When I want a treat - I put it in the work fridge to chill.

About an hour before my shift ends, we got an email that a work meeting had a ton of leftovers & they were providing to-go containers if any of my group wanted to take some home. I got a piece of crusted chicken, some beef, potatoes and fruit salad. That and a bottle of water. The food, plus leftovers in the fridge will cover my husband & I for dinner tonight. Can't beat that!

I am thinking of restarting my Lunch Challange - so today is the 1st day of it. I spent nothing and packed or received free food today.

Since today is the 9th and I have 16 more work days in the month, (3 of which will be remote work), I am pledging to pack breakfast, lunch & snack for 15 of those 16 days. Wish me luck!

Updates, Updates, Updates

October 19th, 2011 at 07:14 pm

Today was a no spender (yay). I packed food for work, went looking for a Halloween costume (no luck yet), went to kickboxing to find out that my training session was cancelled. The guy rescheduled the session and gave me 2 more classes for free. Great customer service!

I have several financial goals for this week:

-Budget out entertainment spending between now & the 31st.
-Stick to grocery budget
-Eat in as much as possible
-Finalize Medical Plan choices
-Make new monthly budget
-Put up more items on Craigslist
-Finish most of Christmas shopping
-Start figuring budget for sister's wedding & 2 other weddings I will be attending in 2012 plus another one I will be attending in 2013.

The air has been off, windows open & although its cool in evenings - no heat is needed yet (WOOHOO)

Back from Germany!

September 25th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

The trip to Oktoberfest in Munich & to Amsterdam was phenominal. Came in under 'budget', but unfortunately some of the trip still went on a card. This was a splurge that I financially shouldn't have done, but mentally/emotionally, I needed.

I am home now & back to living frugally. I did buy fast food dinner on the way home from the airport Friday night.

Saturday, I had lunch with my parents at Olive Garden ($10) and completed some grocery shopping (approx $27).

Today, I went to the Farmer's Market and spent about $17 on TONS of fresh produce. I went to an Arbonne party at my sister's house (free food) and may buy 1 item at 50% off ($9.00). I will make the purchase tomorrow. And for going to the party, I received a set of make up brushes (which is actually needed).

As for the trip, I did come home with some toiletries. I found the complimentary body wash & shampoos in the (CLEAN/EMPTY) trash can in the hotel room - so I took them. All brand new, no reason to toss!

I am eating at home today, catching up on DVR'd shows & enjoying getting the house in order.

My roommate is moving out today & the new roommate is moving in Thursday-ish. She already gave me the deposit money & will provide the rent on her move in date.

I have goals for this week: $20 in entertainment money & I plan on packing breakfast/lunch/snacks for each work day this week. NO uncessary spending!

I plan on getting pictures uploaded tonight - expect some fun ones!

Coupons/GIft cards/Groupons Inventory

September 6th, 2011 at 07:24 am

I took stock ofmy coupons, gift cards & groupons today so that I can utilize them all before expirations. I actually have quite a bit.

-Exp 9/9 - 40% off 1 item at Old NAvy(will be using for a new pair of jeans)
-Exp 9/8 AMC Theater - 50% large drink & popcorn combo (probably will go unused?)
-Exp 9/10 - 40% off 1 item at Joanne Fabrics, another 40% off 1 item at Joanne, 40% off 1 item at Michaels, 40% off 1 item at AC Moore. Will be using for some Christmas projects
-Exp 9/12 - FRee hiphuggers from Victoria's Secret
-Exp 9/27 - Coupon $15 off $25 at JB Dawson's
-Exp 9/29 - Free appetizer or desert at TGI Fridays (No purch necessary)
-Exp 9/30 - Free panty from Victoria's Secret
-Exp 9/30 - $5 off $25, Buy 1 Get 2nd 1/2 off Dinner Entree or $4 off 2 Lunch Entrees at Timothy's Restaurant
-Exp 10/10 - 15% off total TGI Friday order (waiting to see if go there for anything)
-Exp 10/21 - $10.00 off at Victoria's secret
-Exp 10/31 - $1.25 off Jollytime Popcorn
-Exp 11/11 - Wine Tasting for 2 plus wine gift (appt made for 9/11th)
-Exp 11/27 - $20.00 to local restaurant (Groupon OOP- Out of Pocket- was $10)
-Exp 11/30 - 50 cents off Progresso soup
-Exp 9/12/2012 - 10 Kickboxing Classes plus 1 personal training session, plus boxing gloves(Groupon OOP was $40)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $35 to Pats Pizza (Restaurant.com OOP $2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $35 to Pats PIzza (Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $50 to Mona Lisa Restaurant
(Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off 2 Entrees to Public House Bar
(Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-Free Trial 1 week Gym membership
-NO Expiration - $100 in Fandango cash (purchased for $80)

Today, I have to grab cat food from the vet (They have prescription food), and hit the grocery store. I have a potential roommate stopping by tomorrow - so tonight will be dedicated to cleaning.

A lot of the stores are together either inside or outside the mall, so tomorrow night (Wed) after the potential roommate comes to look at the house, I plan on heading back out
-Joanne for Christmas item(s) - decorative boxes & cardstock
-Return shoes to DSW
-Victoria's Secret for free items & to spend the $10
-Michaels to use coupon for Christmas item(s)

Then Friday, when my coupon starts to Old Navy, I will make a return & use the 40% off coupon to buy jeans.

As for the groupons - The wine tasting will be used Sunday the 11th, kickboxing will be set up for after I come back from Germany. Free gym trial will be used at the same time. And the restaurant groupons will be used as wanted since there is no time crunch. ***I Also want to note that I only purchased at places I know I like or want to try - nothing was bought just cause it 'was a deal'. LOL

And I am working to get back to my To-Do List. Today's 5 things off that list are:

1. Pick up cat food & grocery shop
2. Make dinner/premake food for tomorrow
3. Finish laundry
4. HOA chores
5. Clean house - vac/dust living room, change cat litter, clean upstairs bathroom, clean bedroom

Good News/Bad News and Lunch Update

February 11th, 2011 at 06:25 pm

I had an appointment with a rheumatologist today. I was hoping that she could finally give me a definitive answer as to what is wrong with me. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to do that. But she was able to tell me definitively some of the things it's not. She also is sending me for a huge blood workup and an MRI of my neck & head. She also wants me to see a neurologist. So at least I have my next step.

Not to get into much detail, but I am having enough medical issues to affect my day to day living. Which is frustrating, especially since I don't know the cause. In the mean time, I am dealing with the day to day symptoms of my 'mystery disease' and am focusing on the things that I CAN control right now. Which is healthy eating, finances, exercise & organization Smile

I have packed my breakfasts, lunches & snacks all days of the Month but 2 times. So no more buying lunches! I was also provided free lunch twice! So the lunch challenge is going strong!

I have yet to get back into exercise, but I have been doing stretching a few days a week. I am hoping to feel well enough to go to the gym and put in 20 minutes on a treadmill or bike. I plan to start back slow!

Money-wise, there hasn't been a lot of spending. mostly grocery shopping and dinner out with a friend one day. Tuesday is payday, so I have the budget already set up for that.

I already made a meal plan for the week, all of which is Weight Watchers friendly.

Each day, its a given that I will have at least 2 servings of dairy - milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese. I try to get 5 servings of fruits & veggies in a day (sometimes more!). I stick to whole grains when possible.

So here is my Meal Plan:

Saturday
Breakfast: Chocolate milk, banana
Lunch: Pasta salad with tons of veggies & turkey pepperoni
Snack: veggies & dip; pretzels; asian pear
Dinner: Turkey BLT
Snack: Chocolate milk

Sunday
Breakfast: 2 Hard boiled eggs, chocolate milk
Snack: Veggies & hummus
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snacks: apple, banana
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner- whole grain waffles, sugar free syrup, promise light, turkey bacon & breakfast potatoes

Monday
Breakfast: cottage cheese, blueberry muffin, banana
Snack: veggies & dip
Lunch: Pasta salad with turkey pepperoni
Snack: yogurt
Dinner: Loaded baked potato with cheese, bacon bits & ground turkey

Tuesday
Breakfast: yogurt, 2 hard boiled eggs
Snack: banana, veggies & hummus
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snack: apple
Dinner: Penne pasta with spinach cheesy tomato sauce


Wednesday
Breakfast: yogurt & cottage cheese
Snack: veggies & dip, animal crackers
Lunch: Salad with turkey pepperoni
Snack: banana and/or apple
Dinner: Meatloaf muffin, baked fries

Thursday
Breakfast: cottage cheese, blueberry muffin & chocolate milk
Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs, veggies & hummus
Lunch: salad, meatloaf muffin
Snack: banana and/or apple
Dinner: Chicken taco wrap

Friday
Breakfast: yogurt, banana
Snack: veggies & dip; pretzels
Lunch: Salad with bacon & pasta
Snack: apple
Dinner: Turkey BLT

I have plenty of grab & go snacks as needed - almonds, animal crackers, all bran crackers, granola bars. I am trying to keep processed foods to a minimum, so they will be used sparingly and fruits & veggies will be my go to snack!

And as someone who is dealing with a daily illness, I have found that I need to prepare as much on the weekend because I am too tired during the week to do much. So many of my meals are easy to pre-make or are quick to make in the evening!

I am trying to get back to my 5 Things List. Tomorrow's 5 Things will be.

1. Attend Weight Watchers meeting
2. Attempt some type of work out
3. Grocery shop
4. Clean out car
5. Laundry

Snowy Week

January 28th, 2011 at 09:02 am

It's been a while since I've updated. Here's what I've been up to!

Monday - Worked & hung at home with the roommate
Tuesday - Worked & went out to my regular Tuesday outting $12.00 spent
Wednesday - Snow day - took a sick day & stayed on the couch. Watched cable movies & read library books. When the roommate came home, we watched The Other Guys, which was borrowed from the libray too.
Thursday - Shoveled a little over a foot of snow & went into work. Vegged at home
Friday - Work, library & then probably a night at home. I am exhausted due to still not feeling well.

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks every day this week. Wed & Thursday were no spenders!

Financially, I am out of my entertainment budget until payday on Monday. I have $18.39 left in the groceries budget, which I will be using tomorrow.

I recevied my sewer bill and it increased from $61.35 in 2010 to $106.35. This increase is due to increased rates as well as having the roommates in the house. Still underbudget compared to my neighbors! OUr county has the bills online for the public to see and I am one of the lowest in my neighborhood!

Tonight, I plan on finalizing my Jan 31st budget, making a meal & grocery plan and probably doing some cleaning.

This weekend will be low key, but next week and weekend are very busy, so I will be enjoying my downtime!

Happy Monday!

December 13th, 2010 at 05:54 am

I had a great weekend and Monday is going well for me. I am working to stay within budget for the rest of the month. ALthough the sidebar is not updated, I have finished all Christmas shopping, except for a gift card for 1 friend and an Itunes Gift Certificate for the nephew.

I am finishing my Christmas card today, nothing like waiting until the last minute!

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks for work today. I'm hoping it will be a no spender, like yesterday.

I also wanted to mention that I finally downgraded my gym membership from $20/month to $10/month. Nice savings there!

Today's 5 Things (to do):

1. Finish & mail Christmas cards
2. Make dinner at home, pack food for tomorrow
3. Make meal plan/grocery list for the 15th through the 31st
4. Finalize budget for 15th through the 31st
5. Start wrapping gifts

I should also add that I will be (Hopefully!) finishing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I really like the book. A friend let me borrow her copy.

Its gonna be a long week

December 7th, 2010 at 05:00 am

Spent $12.03 on groceries yesterday. I packed my lunch & snacks, no problem.

My health issue came back with a vengance (They still don't know what it is) and I spent the night on the couch. I didn't get anything completed. Luckily I had already prepared food & snacks to take to work today as well.

The heat has been running a lot at the house. Although I keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, we have had some NASTY winds and the house was definitely feeling them. I bundled up and was plenty comfortable.

In other financial news, the roommates next month rent is due the 10th. We will have to see if it comes in on time. She has said she's staying through December, but at this point, I'm not counting on the money until it is in my hand.

Tonight, I am getting my CHristmas tree. I still get the lives ones. I just LOVE the smell. My dad & nephew are going to help me. Then I will be pulling Christmas decorations out & going crazy with decorating Smile