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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Website

Just a quick reminder, my new website is up and running at  There should be a link from this site to that one but it is not working yet.  So I have not abandoned my readers, I am just at a new place.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  The recipe index on the side is useful but not all the tabs at the top are ready.  Still a bit under construction.  See you there!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Challenge: Final Shopping Trip

Got back from the grocery and tucked everything away, now it's time to report on how I did.  Before I give a total for the week, I'd like to give a list of what I purchased and it's price.

OJ                                    $2.89
Buttermilk                         $1.65
Milk                                  $13.77
Turkey sausage                 $5.78
Organic Whole chicken    $6.81
Chicken legs, 8 pack         $2.86
Yogurt                               $2.93
String Cheese                     $3.59
Diced Ham                        $2.50
Deli Chicken                      $3.59
Oranges                              $3.99
Celery                                  $1.39
Cabbage                            $1.47
Canned salmon                  $3.00
Onions                               $.78
Oroweat bread                   $7.58
Bananas                             $2.25
Grapes                                $4.16
Eggs, 2 dozen                     $3.76
Salad                                  $3.49
Fresh mushrooms               $1.89
Yellow squash, 1.55 lbs.    $1.53
Bell pepper                         $.79
Sweet potatoes, 2                $1.18
Fresh corn                           $1.67
Mini carrots                        $1.00
5 lb. bag of potatoes           $2.99
Boarshead deli meat, 1/2 lb. $4.56
Bottled Water                      $1.88

I spent a total of $100.52, tax included.  Of course this was possible because I didn't buy sodas, chips, cookies, etc.  My kids do eat a sandwich, yogurt, salads, fruit and occasionally pretzels or Goldfish for lunch.  The only difference this week was that they took water instead of the G-2 they usually drink.  I also feed my family a lot of eggs, oatmeal and smoothies for breakfast.  I also make French toast and pancakes from scratch.  Cereal, granola bars, donuts, Pop Tarts, etc. are more expensive per serving and much less nutritious.  A large container of oatmeal is on sale at Krogers this week for $3.00 and makes 30 servings.  You can also use the oatmeal in meatloaf or make the baked oatmeal recipe I shared awhile back.  I'd like to point out that there are plenty of oranges, buttermilk, cheese, celery, bread, eggs, potatoes and carrots left for next week as well.  I may try this challenge again later to see if I can do it with a different menu.

Anyway, give it a try and see how low you can go.  If you do, please let all of my readers know in the comment section.  

Challenge, Day Four Through Seven

I must say this challenge has been fun.  I am going to the store later today for the food I need for the rest of the week.  Since I bought all my meat and most of my milk Tuesday, I just need a few vegetables and things.  Here is the menu for the rest of the week.

Thursday          Turkey sausage roasted with potatoes, bell pepper, onion and a touch of Tony's
Friday                leftovers; I'm a firm believer in not wasting leftovers!
Saturday             Salmon loaf with celery sauce and vegetables to be determined
Sunday               Roasted chicken with vegetables to be determined

I will see what vegetables are the best price today to complete Saturday and Sunday's meals.  Sunday is always our big family dinner and my sister brings a dish, maybe homemade bread, a vegetable or dessert. I always have flour on hand so we will have pancakes for breakfast Saturday and maybe homemade biscuits Sunday (my daughter's specialty).  I may get a bit of deli ham or turkey for sandwiches as the chicken salad will be gone by tomorrow but it was enough for 6 lunches!  I will also pick up some salad greens as I eat several salads a week for lunch.  I always watch for a sale and I can usually get three lunches from one bag because I add fruit, nuts, egg, cheese, carrots and other fiber filled, nutritious goodies.

Using leftovers is a great way to stretch your budget and not waste your food dollars.  We often have leftover night and everyone gets to pick a dish.  Sometimes we eat leftovers for lunch.  We have tuna casserole, bean soup and chicken stir fry so far.  I can always add a fruit salad or vegetable to round out these meals.  It also means no one has to cook, a hugh bonus!

When I shopped Tuesday, I kept a running total of the food I was buying so I could decide what I could afford.  I have $36.46 left to spend.  I think I can come very close to that magical number.  I'll admit I was lucky that I had plenty of things on hand that we use often like coffee, rice, flour, eggs, pasta and beans.  It does pay to buy staples on sale so you can keep your pantry well stocked.  That way, you don't spend extra money when you need or want to make something.  One thing I've learned from my couponing efforts is to try generic or store brands.  You don't always have to buy the national brands to get the quality you want.  For this challenge for instance, I bought Kroger's orange juice which was cheaper.  I haven't tried it yet so we'll see if it matches our beloved Simply Orange.

I will post my final shopping results later today or tomorrow so check back!  This Saturday at 9 a.m. at Joe Mac Campbell park we will have Walk With A Doc.  Come out and kick off your summer exercise program and ask a cardiologist any questions you want.  We'll meet at the playground and walk a mile.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Check On The Challenge

To see how much money I've spent so far, go to, look under blog roll for the cardiologist's wife.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Challenge: Day One Through three

I need to explain other ways I plan to meet this challenge.  (You will need to read last Thursday's post to find out what this challenge is about.)  One thing I have preached about is how we all waste food and that obviously affects our pocket book (see posts on 1/31/2012 and 2/2/2012).  I certainly can't say I'm perfect and that I never throw out food.  So I have been digging around in my cabinets, freezer and refrigerator for "forgotten" food.  We all have canned goods we bought on sale, extra meat we froze or 1/2 a bag of beans leftover from a recipe we once tried.  Once I had an inventory, I started to plan meals for this week.  So here is the menu through Wednesday.  (I shop twice a week, usually on Mondays and Thursdays.  However, due to a class I took on Monday, I will be shopping later today.)

Monday     tuna casserole and sugar snap peas
Tuesday     bean soup, maybe cornbread
Wednesday     chicken or ham stir fry

Obviously, most of us have food on hand and don't start out with bare cabinets like old Mother Hubbard before we go to the store.  I will not count food I have on hand in the $100.  I will only count the food I have to buy this week.  That will be plenty, believe me.  I will need at least three gallons of milk which will cost about $11.50.  Milk is so expensive but we will not give up a big part of our nutrition for the week.

So, of the above menu, I found a can of tuna, 1/2 bag of elbow macaroni, sugar snap peas and 2 partial bags of dried beans which would be enough to make the soup.  For the chicken or ham (depends on better price!) stir fry I only have onion, carrots, rice, eggs and obviously, oil.  I had eggs, cereal, milk, OJ, apples, a bit of ham and cheese and some salad greens for the breakfasts and lunches we've had so far.  I did buy a 12 pack of water at Wal Mart for the kid's lunches and Oroweat bread is on sale at Kroger two for the price of one!  So far I have spent $6.12.  I said we might have cornbread with the bean soup, depending on how much money I spend today at the grocery as I might leave out the buttermilk.  You can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to milk as a substitute for buttermilk and I may try that instead of buying buttermilk.  However, I'm picky about my cornbread so I'm not sure I feel like experimenting.

I'm thinking that Friday will be our leftover night.  We already enough have tuna casserole leftover for one serving.  Not sure about the rest of the week yet but I'm sure an egg frittata or shakshuka will appear as eggs are so nutritious but cheap.  We all make jokes about eating rice and beans but when it comes down to it, brown rice and beans are soooo good for us!  We'd be better off eating more of those, hence the bean soup tonight.  Plus, I happen to like beans in most any dish.  I'd also like to mention that my kids like tuna casserole, giving it a 7 out of 10 rating.  Just didn't want you to think that I'm serving crap my family doesn't like just to get by this week.  I'm only cooking food that my family at least eats willingly but I'm not about to say every family member always loves everything I put on the table!  My son will eat the bean soup but certainly not be thrilled to see it.

Check back tomorrow as I will post the shopping bill from later today!