Vacation was awesome but now it is back to reality. I am hoping to keep our total grocery bill to under $300 each month until December so I am going to focus on using food especially meat that we have on hand. This week I also am able to add in vegetables from the garden for variety.
Breakfast– Saturday-BEACH. Sunday- BEACH Monday-Breakfast burrito bowls Tuesday- Choice Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Choices . Friday- Choices. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal. No real plan this week but we have 2 boxes of cereal and I can always add a baked oatmeal one day if I get motivated.
Lunch- I have salads for several day and may even add tuna salad with crackers one day. This is a find and take kind of week for Matt and the kids as well.
Sunday- Lunch-Wraps , . Dinner- Spaghetti
Monday- Salisbury steak, rice, green beans and white slaw. Matt made brownies for desert.
Tuesday- Taco Tuesday
Wednesday- Chicken Fried Rice
Thursday- Stuffed green peppers from the garden again. .
Friday- Breakfast- Matt and Lily will be out of town so it may be a pizza night for us.
What does your menu plan look like
I have definitely been blessed this week and want to share some of them with you!
- On Sunday, the girls received 3 full bags of clothes. Both girls tried on clothes for over an hour! Kendall will now have a back to school outfit with no money out of pocket.
- Lily has had several episodes this summer of what we thought was pink eye, after a recent check up and call to her eye doctor. It is definitely not pink eye but allergies. The eye office called us in a new “cheaper” prescription and also sent a coupon card with it. After a week of calls, today the pharmacy called and we received a refund. The new eye drops are $10 a month for 12 months a saving of $50 a month.
- I was able to purchase Zach a pair of tennis shoes and dress shoes for $10, He actually likes them both. This saved at least $50
- I received 2 HUGE boxes of cereal today for free!
- My vacation started this evening!
July- Where did it go….
Debit Reduction: Failure
We broke even for the month. This is an improvement from last month but still not where I want to be.
Blog Post: Fail
I had 12 total blog post for the month. Again an improvement from last month but still not where I want to be.
Days on Treadmill: Zero
Water walking days-7 Getting better……
Groceries- Goal Met! We spent a total of $306.92 for the month of July in groceries! Second month in a row under budget with this and it did include our snack box for the beach trip.
Gas: $450 for the month. This is about $170 over budget which is the cost of annual inspection, tag and taxes on my van.
Earnings: July was an awesome month for earning. Total $285
Swagbucks: $100 for Me, $75 for Matt
MPlaces/Cricket Rewards: $10
I was so excited and pleased when Amanda purchased me a electric pressure cooker for my birthday and even let me start playing with it early. I have been watching for about a year and it was on my list of things I wanted but could not justify. I was planning to LOVE it! But I have waited a full two weeks before writing this post because I really don’t love it. I am not even sure I like it. I am also thinking that once I learn this appliance and find the right uses for it I will LOVE it. For the present here are some things I have learned.
- When reading a recipe I really wish that it would say, Allow 30 minutes to pressurize. This is major reason that I am not in love with it. I have been searching out recipes and reading where it says Cook for 15 minutes. So my brain says ok I can make this in less than an hour. Nope hold up, I need to add 30 minutes to my time in order for the pot to pressurize.
- BBQ Chicken legs will be the bomb. I even cooked chicken wings today without unthawing so this will be a great thing to remember when I have not laid out meat to unthaw and need a good meal in an hour.
- Cheesecake is the bomb in the pressure cooker. I can’t wait to try this desert again.
- Sunday Soups are going to be much easier especially beef stew. I made a trial run on Sunday and it was easy and really good!
- Frozen ground beef is easier to unthaw and fry in large batches or even small batches and makes less of a mess than trying to use the electric pressure cooker.
I guess in the end, I prefer my Crock pot for the ease, clean up and convenience.
I am continuing to try and find ways to love my instant pot. On Friday, I read that you could brown ground beef using frozen meat, so I gave it a try. I will have to say that honestly it was more work than it was worth. I did have success with beef stew on Sunday so at least I can make a new delicious Sunday lunch now.
Our other really good food news of the week is that our garden is continuing to produce, not huge amounts but just enough. I have already frozen what I hope is enough diced tomatoes for the winter. My goal over the next couple of weeks is to collect enough tomatoes to make a batch of spaghetti sauce a week, this means I need to collect 8 pounds of tomatoes. We are also eating tomatoes on a daily basis, if I cant collect the 8 pounds I will continue to freeze half cup packages for the winter. Matt harvest pimentos and made an awesome homemade pimento cheese but my favorite still remains the watermelon we are getting.
Finally in food news, we are continue to plan and eat out of the pantry and freezer, I currently have a meal plan until September but with school starting we may have to make some small changes to this.
Breakfast– Saturday-Biscuit King-treat before the swim meet. Sunday- French toast with a freezer stash made as well. Monday-Choice Tuesday- Sausage biscuits and gravy Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- Pancakes . Friday- Baked Oatmeal with blueberries?. Choices include : eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal, pop-tarts
Lunch- This week sandwiches and left overs make the list for lunch. No special plans at all.
Dinner- Saturday-Lunch-Pasta salad . Dinner- -Pizza from gift card
Sunday- Lunch-Beef stew in instapot . Dinner- left-overs
Monday- Hamburger helper and fresh green beans
Tuesday- Taco Tuesday
Wednesday- Breakfast casserole
Thursday- Coconut shrimp if I am home.
Friday- Pulled pork and glazed carrots.
This month, my focus has been not only saving money but specifically using up items in our pantry and freezers. Our stockpile runs over and I am starting to find some food that I know would not get used if I don’t force the issue or I had completely forgotten we have. It sounds strange to say that I am trying to use food we have on hand in addition to freezing items from our garden but this is definitely the case. I have a menu plan in place until the first Thursday of September. This has a lot of wiggle room as I don’t plan until the week of for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We are starting to run low or completely out of some items that need to be replaced. I am trying to buy only what we are out of. After my purchased today, I am hopeful that we can avoid shopping all together till at least Mid August for even the basics. Today, I specifically used “free money” to purchase most of the items. I did end of spending a total of $3.50 between CVS and Walmart.
CVS will occasionally send me a survey to complete with the promise of 10 ECB. I was able to complete one of these surveys for the first time in at least six months last week. I checked the sales last week and decide to wait for a better sale. The better sale occurred this week. Today, I picked up: 2-24 packs of water, 2 small tins of Altoids, a can of hair spray, a can of mouse, Irish Spring body wash and Dial hand soap. My total out of pocket was $3.33 with $4.50 in ECB back. Because the reward was in ECB it does not cover tax so $.43 was actually sales tax. The only “need” on this list was for the waters and body wash.
I earned a $25 Walmart gift card by submitting my driving record on line. Matt used most of this card last week to purchase items that Lily needed to pack for her missions trip. I started the trip with $8.34 left on the card. Last night we discovered that we were completely out of several items, mayonnaise, Worchester sauce and cream cheese. I did a little bit of research and discovered that I could also purchase a large box of cereal for less than $1.50. I needed to add $1.08 to my gift card in order to purchase all four items however I claimed $1.00 worth of rebates from Ibotta.
I am very excited and proud to be able to purchase the needed item for less than $4.