Saturday, June 24, 2017


As anyone who knows me would tell you, I am thrifty.  For example, today I bought $66 dollars worth of clothing for$3.66 at Penny's.

Some people think of thrifty as cheap.  I don't.  I think of it as making the best use of the resources you have.

Originally, the word thrifty actually corresponded to success and respectability.  It was a complimentary word.

It meant an individual was thriving and prosperous.

Recently, it has taken on a more negative connotation.  It makes someone seem poor and ungenerous.  Cheap.  Lacking in appreciation for quality.

I disagree with the modern connotations.

Thrift allowed us to retire early.
Thrift allowed and allows us to travel.
Thrift means we are able to be generous to others.
Thrift means we are not at all poor.

Want a good life?  Embrace thrift.

Friday, June 16, 2017

June So Far

June sees us with a budget of $369.30 and a cushion of $450.42.

We are able to add to the cushion due to a $10 off a purchase of $10 or higher Staples coupon.  So, our cushion is now $460.42.

We Ate:
Meatloaf sandwich with chips and dip, tuna macaroni salad and fruit, chicken fried rice and Asian peanut and almond salad, oyster stew and salad, sloppy Joe, shrimp crepes with asparagus salad, leftover oyster stew, mooshu pork and fried rice, leftover shrimp crepes and salad, Rotatouille pizza, beef and bean nachos, leftover pizza, hotdogs and baked beans with three bean salad, leftover smorgasbord.

We Bought:

Whole Foods:  vital wheat gluten, unsweetened coconut.  $4.54

Staples:  Dunk in Donuts coffee.  $11.99

Aldi:  Chips, dip.  $2.38

Cheezits, jerky, cold brewed coffee (2), Regalia coffee (2), decaf coffee, natural peanut butter (3), cashew butter, horseradish, sees me seeds, refried beans, hatch green chili enchilada sauce, tomato puree, spaghetti sauce, green beans, pancake syrup, Newman's balsamic vinaigrette, ketchup, microwave popcorn, rice a Toni, Mac and cheese, saltines, teabags, frosted mini cheats, crunchy and soft taco shells. $37.33

Tops:  6 pounds ground beef ( stocking up), Quaker poppers. $12.04

Aldi:  corn, grapes, cream cheese, strawberries, asparagus.  $ 7.67

Bakery Outlet:  wheat and oats bread, pumpernickel rye bread, whole grain English muffin, plain mini bagels.  $3.54

Tops:  cereal (5), bacon (5), orange juice.  $23.97

Save a Lot:  broccoli, cucumber, olives (2), ground turkey (2), tomatoes, romaine lettuce.  $12.54

Aldi:  flour, sweet peppers, peaches, oatmeal.  $7.52

Save a Lot:  dry milk. $7.99

CSA box:  $20  (the strawberries were wonderful)

Hopefully we are stocked up enough that we won't have to spend much the next couple of weeks.  We spent more than we should have this half of the month when you add in our too frequent restaurant meals.

Restaurant Meals:

Papa John's Pizza:  3 item large pizza after one of those days.  $8.47

Lunch with Angela: $22.64

Lunch with Bob and Berwyn:  $22

 Lunch to use free sandwich coupon:  $4.76

Lunch with Angela:  $15.32

Lunch with Dad and Sharon:  $15.80

Our groceries cost us a total of $150.61.  Eating out was another $88.99.  So, combined our cost to eat was $239.60 or a whopping$16 a day for the two of us.  And, we only have $129.70 left from the monthly allotment to get us through the next fifteen days.  I believe we will be literally eating into the cushion before the month is over.  Luckily, it is a healthy amount.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Was A Good Month

After spending $97.98 during the first part of the month, we now have $283.63 remaining from the monthly allotment.

We got to add an extra $25 to our cushion thanks to the gift card we got when we filled a prescription at the Giant Eagle pharmacy.  Our cushion is now $328.27.

What We Ate:
Grilled cheese and tomato soup, cheese nachos and guacamole, grilled fish, zucchini, and corn with strawberries, hamburgers and hotdogs, grilled pork chops with roasted veg and baked potato, leftovers, homemade pizza, meatloaf with corn and potatoes, hamburgers and pea salad, grilled sausage, grilled chicken and Asian salad, leftovers, huevos rancheros.

We ran into some good deals on meat so we bought eleven pounds to restock the freezer.  The cost was $26.20.

What we bought:

Save a Lot:  ribs, boneless pork chops, sweet sausage, polish sausage, cottage cheese, grape tomatoes.  $ 22.69

Aldi:  pretzels, three bean salad, limes (7), mayo, Vidalia onions, sunflower seeds, corn on the cob.  $9.63

Tops:  coffee.  1.99

Giant Eagle:  spinach and feta salmon burgers. $7.99

Aldi:  sour cream, cheese. $3.87

Save a Lot:  green chillies  $1.29

Aldi:  eggs (2), half and half, ground turkey, Greek yogurt, pepperoni, avocados (4), tea bags, English muffins, baguette, oyster crackers.  $ 18.50

Price Right:  coffee, olives, jug peach iced tea, prune juice, tonic water, peaches(3), nectarines(3), cantaloupe, bacon (2), cheese (4), peas (2)  $29.17

Dollar Tree:

Frosted Mini Wheats  $1

Price Right:
Ramen noodles (for salad), elbow macaroni, bananas, cheese (7), hotdogs.  $15.64

We spent $111.70 in grocery stores this half of the month.  The grand total for the month is $209.68.

Because of moving, travel and enjoying time with friends, we spent $ 48.47   on food out.

Meals Out:
Lunch on moving day. $5.30
Dinner on moving day. $6.34
Breakfast day after move.  $ 2.19
Lunch with Angela. $13
Lunch at Aunt Millie's on the way to N.Y.  $13.65
Lunch with Pat.  $7.99

All together, we spent $258.15 eating this month.  That averages out to $8.37 per day . And, we have $122.14 to add to our cushion.  Our cushion now totals $450.42.

When we go back to England I will need that cushion to stock the boat.  For sure.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stuff. Too Much Stuff.

We have to be out of the cottage we have been living in since September by next Tuesday.  We have found another place so all is well, except we have to move all the stuff we have scattered around the cottage during the last eight months.

I now realize just how much yarn I have accumulated.  To be precise, one heck of a lot.  Two large boxes worth.  Probably time to focus on using some of that up before looking for more.

I have been working on Christmas items while here and three boxes of these items need an easily accessible home, along with a few birthday gifts.  Wedding gifts and birthday gifts needed in August also need to be corralled.

Then there are the clothes.  What should stay here, what should go to England when we leave, what should be donated?  And, just as important, what will fit in my suitcase.

And, what do I keep out to wear to two weddings and one wedding shower?

Then there is the food in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry.  What do we take with us, what do we get rid of, what do we give to friends?

And I'm sure there is more I am not even thinking of now.

My head is swimming.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

$97.98 May, The Start Of The Month

This month we get $381.61 to feed ourselves, plus the $303.27 cushion from previous months, for a total of $684.88 of possible spending during May.  Although, I have no intention of spending it all.  I'm still eating from our freezer and pantry and working on saving money, some of which will be used to help restock.

What we ate:  nachos supreme and spinach salad, homemade split pea soup, grilled Ahi tuna, leftover pizza, pasta with seafood sauce, slow cooker roast beef with vegetables, grilled hotdogs with baked beans and deviled eggs, Spanish omelette with chorizo, chorizo and white bean Mexican soup, grilled ham steak with noodles Alfredo, salami with ham and cheese sandwich and popcorn, Cincinnati Four Way Chili, grilled ribs, Greek  appetizers

Meals Out:

Breakfast with Dad.  $28.96
Lunch with Angela.  $11.12
Total:  $40.38

What we spent:

Salsa, cheese. $4.18

Aldi:  saltines, cheese (2), half and half, sweet peppers, avocados (2), BBQ sauce, tomatoes. $15.61

Aldi:  bread, milk, eggs. $6.10

Aldi:  potatoes  $2.39

Aldi:  eggs (2), romaine hearts, cheese (4), oysters, onion soup mix, canned soup (3), Apple's, zucchini, spinach, mustard, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, mushrooms $29.

  We spent $40.08 at restaurants the first half of this month.

For food we spent $57.90.

The total of the two was $97.98 over the last 16 days for an average of $6.12 per day.

When all is said and done, we now have  $586.90 of monthly funds and of cushion and I'm hoping I can keep most of it for restocking because that time is approaching.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Homebound No More

Yesterday was a red letter day:  I was released from in home nursing and PT.

I will start outpatient PT on Wednesday for both my hip and shoulder.  I'm really hoping I get the shoulder rehab finished this time before the next thing happens.

Actually, I'm hoping no next thing happens this time.  I'm ready for some boring everyday life.

In eight months I've had a broken shoulder, a broken elbow, appendicitis, perotinitis, a broken hip and a small bowel blockage.  Enough, right?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Great Month of Eating Leftovers

To recap, this month we had $369.30 for the month and $110.00 of a bonus cushion.  The first part of the month we spent $79.50, leaving $289.80 of April's funds and all of the bonus cushion.

Mike did a great job of eating out of the freezer and staying out of the grocery store and restaurants.  Thanks to him we did a great job of keeping costs under control.

What did we eat:
Mike grilled himself a steak to have with a green salad, Rotatouille with pasta and Greek salad, grilled ham and cheese, grilled shrimp and tilapia, steak with Brussels sprouts, salad and cantaloupe, Easter dinner with Sharon, leftover Swedish meatballs, stir fry, leftover southern bbq, left over stir fry, bam and cheese omelette, leftover stir fry, pasta and melon, grilled hamburger, grilled ham steak, leftover Swedish meatballs, Mac and cheese ( my welcome home from the hospital soft food diet choice), tilapia and shrimp, leftover French onion soup, homemade pizza with six toppings and three cheeses

Meals Out:
Mike's Barstool sailing  $13.82

What did we spend:

Aldi:   cream, eggs (2), whipped topping (2),  pork rinds, cheese, mushrooms, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper grinder.   $17.90

Giant Eagle:  bacon, sweet pepper,   $1.62

Save a Lot:  cabbage, cheese   $ 3.61

Walmart:  Flatbread (2), tortillas  $5.86

Aldi:  frozen berries, spinach, pork rinds, eggs (2), baby back ribs.  $14.14

Tops:  coffee, ketchup  $5.48

Aldi:  prune juice (prescribed), strawberries, cheese (3),  peanuts, olives, cantaloupe, apricot preserves, chorizo, bananas.  $25.20

We spent a total of $87.63 this part of the month for a total of  $167.13 for the month.
That means we have $202.12 to carry over from April.  When you add in the cushion we started the month with, $101.10, we now have a cushion of  $303.27 to carry over into May.  Not too shabby.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April, When It was still normal

My cushion took a beating in March.  And I am worried April won't be much better since we will be going out with friends before we leave for England on May fifteenth.  Send good thoughts.  (Update:  England is now on hold.)

At $12.31 per day we have $369.30 to spend for April.  Our cushion is$68.02 from January and $32.08 left from February.  So, the max is $469.40.  Let's see how well we do.

What did we eat:

Leftovers of pizza, ham loaf, French Onion soup;  grilled pork chops with Greek cucumber salad and creamed spinach; leftover savoury cheesecake, tacos at Megen's, ham steak on the grill, leftover ham steak

Eating Out:

Lunch with Ginger and Eileen. $11.01
Lunch on way to beach house  $10.87
Dinner out at beach house. $20.57
Dinner and lunch on way back from D.C.   $15.80


Aldi:  $21.25
Cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers (3), canned peaches, pears, fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges,  Parmesan cheese, Roma tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, olives (2), cream

We've spent $79.50 so far this month.  We have $289.80 of April's money, plus the  $101.10 of bonus.

It is anyone's guess how the next few weeks will go.
Yesterday I had surgery to repair a broken left hip.
 Once released, I will be going to a rehab center to kick start my rehab.
 For the next few weeks Mike will be chief cook and grocery shopper.
 I think I have left him enough funds.  We shall see.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Summer Wardrobe

I'm an optimist.  Summer, I'm sure, is coming.

So today I went out and bought my summer wardrobe.

True to The Compact, all of my new to me clothes came from a thrift store.

I now have seven new to me tops and two new pairs of pants.

The grand total:  $34.01.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March, Final Numbers

We have $121.66   to get through the next eleven days.

Lunch with Rick and MJ:  $14.06
Lunch with Joyce:  $15
Breakfast with Dad:  $23.45
Lunch with Angela:  $19.85
Lunch with Ginger:  $10.00

Eggplant, strawberries,carb bars, sweet peppers, green beans for $9.35

Spinach for $1.00

I only had $28.95 to get through the next week.  Too much social life with more to come.  I would definitely be using some of the extra January and February money.  Drat!

Charlie's Celebration Dinner (he got into pharmacy school) $75.10.  That took all of the money remaining for March and $46.15 of February's extra.

 Only $66.29 of February money, plus all of January's extra remained.  I was bummed.  I can't afford to have too many social months like this or I won't have any emergency cushion at all..

What did we eat:
Steak and shrimp; homemade French Onion soup; beef and bean burritos; grilled scallops;  chicken paprikash soup with dumplings and cheesecake; Rotatouille with pasta and garlic bread;Swedish meatballs; Reuben with yogurt and blueberries; homemade pizza

Salvage Shopping:

Chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, Heath bar toffee chips, trivia brown sugar (2), brownie mix, Atkins items (2), beef Jerky, popcorn, pineapple, black pepper, minced garlic (2), split peas, coffee (3), natural peanut butter (3), marshmallows, vanilla pudding, nuts(4), balsamic vinegar for a cost of $34.21

So, a bad month.  We spent all of March's money ($381.61),  and most of February's surplus ($80.36  ) for a total of $461.97 .    Too much of this resulted from meals out ($207.34).

Let's just hope I do a lot better in April.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Using Up The Bits And Pieces

Anyone who crochets or knits ends up with bits and pieces of leftover yarn.

My obsessive compulsive cheap self won't throw it away.

Consequently,  I ended up with three bags of bits and pieces.

I had a goal:  find a project(s), that will use up this leftover yarn.

I found two!!!

So far, I have made 18 of one project and 4 of the other.
And, I still have yarn to use up!?!  Can you believe it???

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 20, 2017

March, Part two

During the first third of the month I spent almost exactly one half of the March allotment.  I have $190.70 left to spend.  Of course, I could spend some of the rollovers from January and February ($180.46 in total) but what's the fun and challenge in that?

Cream (2), dill pickles, green peppers, eggs (2), cereal snack bars, onions (2), zucchini, Romaine (3), blue cheese, feta cheese, lemon juice.  The cost was  $24.16.

Trader Joe's:
Sprouted grain bread (6),  chocolate covered almonds (2) for a total of $31.13.

We also bought pizza while at Jim and Robin's for $13.75.

We have $121.66 for the rest of the month.  Should be Okay.

What did we eat:

Ham loaf, asparagus, Greek salad and egg custard; leftovers; baba ghanoush, hummus, Mediterranean tuna, chocolate pudding;  homemade ham salad sandwich and homemade bean with bacon soup;Parmesan crusted fish, asparagus,mushrooms and yogurt with strawberries;  corned beef, cabbage, deviled eggs and Kentucky high day pie; 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March, Part One

For the month of March the government says I should be able to feed us frugally on $381.61.  Added to that, I can, if needed, use all or part of January's rollover of $ 68.02 and February's rollover of $112.44.  Therefore, I could, if I so desire, spend up to a total of $562.07.

Since we are still relying on items in our stockpile, my goal is to once again have a rollover of funds at the end of this month.  These and other rollover funds will eventually be used to rebuild stocks of meat and other items.

In fact, some was used to purchase Lenten fish and seafood this month when we went to Aldi and took  advantage of some sales.  We bought:
Medium shrimp (2), Ah I tuna, tilapia, scallops, mussels, canned soup (2), corned beef brisket and asparagus.  We spent a total of $39.19

Dollar Tree:
Molasses for $1

After a good meeting with my surgeon we treated ourselves to lunch at a cost of $22.58.  Pricey but enjoyable.

We went to Wal-Mart and bought:
Splenda, honey ham, roast beef, flour tortillas and spent $12.14

We also gave into temptation in D.C. and went to Trader Joe's where we bought:
Cheese (three types of cheddar and two types of Swiss), a liter of olive oil, almonds,black bean rottini, and a loaf of multigrain rustic bread.  The total is $41.66.

In D.C. and on the way home we ate out twice.
Subway salads for $14.52 and
Bob Evans for $21.71

At this point in the month we have spent $152.80 and have $409.27 for the remaining month.

Another trip to Aldi:
Strawberries (2), medium shrimp, sugar free strawberry preserves, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, eggplant. For a total of $13.23

A trip to Shur-Fine where we bought:
Cheese (4 lbs.), tomatoes, cottage cheese, cream cheese, Bob Evans sausage (2) and paid $24.04.

We have now spent $176.06 and have $385.23 left for the rest of the month.  Time to slow down.

Save a Lot:
Olives, cabbage, cream, cheese (4) for $11.00

Whole Foods:
Tahiti for $3.95

Really, Sandy, slow down on the buying!

One third of the month is gone and we have spent $190.91, over half of March's basic allotment.  Not good.

What did we eat this month?:
Homemade veggie pizza, leftover nachos and guacamole, leftover pizza,dinner courtesy of Megen, dinner out courtesy of Ash, soup and grilled cheese, chef salad and garlic bread, Asian spicy peanut noodles, savory spinach cheesecake,
Southern BBQ, eggplant parmesan.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Back At It

The wound vac is off.
I'm no longer homebound.
My incision is healing well.
And I am back to outpatient physical therapy for my shoulder.

While I was homebound I had two wonderful physical therapists who came in three times a week to help make sure my shoulder didn't lose too much ground.  Barb and John did a great job.  I could have been in deep trouble having to take six weeks off.  Instead, I have lost very little of my range of motion or strength.  Hooray!

Our goal is to be back in England no later than May.  Quite doable.

Life is back on track.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February, Part Two

Home again, but still keeping the food simple, we ate soups and comfort food for several days.  After three weeks of cafeteria food that would win no awards, it tasted heavenly.

What did we eat:
homemade tortilla pizza, sloppy Joe, chili, clam chowder, grilled chicken breast with green soy beans and cumin seasoned acorn squash, steak ( part of a gift from our girls) with mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, pork chops with spinach-cheese patties, leftovers (of course), homemade bean with bacon soup and roast beef salad sandwich, chicken fajitas and broccoli,grilled ham steak and asparagus, brats and beans, marinated chicken breast, leftover soup and sandwich, Joyce's chicken salad, chili and either egg salad or tuna salad wraps, southern bbq, nachos and guacamole.

Mike was still the designated shopper during this time period, and he likes small shops done frequently. This works because he sticks to the list unless he sees a super deal like eggs for 45 cents a dozen.  Just add them to the stockpile.

What did we spend:
Onions, mushrooms (2), eggs (2),cream cheese, strawberries  at a cost of $7.05

Mozzarella and cheddar Cheese (6) at a cost of $8.90

Whole Foods Co-Op: $9.12
Dry soybeans, fresh natural peanut butter, green soy beans

Save a Lot:
10 pounds of chicken leg quarters for $2.90

Low carb tortillas(2 pks) for $5.98

Cream, strawberries, baby Bella mushrooms (2), pork rinds (for Mike)  for $6.65

Werther's (2), orbit gum (2) :  $6.53
Balance:  $278.89

And then there was the monthly salvage shop where I bought:
Low carb tortillas, tomato sauce (6), salsa, spaghetti, Pam, evaporated milk, Nestle crema (2), Mac and cheese, noodles Alfredo, Siracha, corn, green beans, spinach, sauerkraut, black beans, cream of asparagus soup, green chillies, chicken stock, beef stock, coffee (3), nuts (6).  The cost was $28.85.  Not bad.

We had three more days of February and a balance, including January's extra, of $250.04.  Then we shopped.

Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, summer sausage, cream,Roma tomatoes, green peppers, bagged salad (2), olives. The total spent was $19.00

Price Rite:
Queso for frying, ricotta, lavish.  The total spent was $9.34

We also treated yourself to lunch out at a Thai place:  $25.22
And then lunch out with friends:  $16.02

Our current balance as the month ends:  $180.46
Of that $68.02 was the January rollover.  $112.44 will be the February rollover.
We spent $230.28 this month.
That averages $8.22 per day, $4.11 per person per day.

I'm happy.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I have been quiet the last couple of weeks.  But, I have a good reason. Just after the last post I was readmitted to the hospital with abdominal abscesses. Another surgery and countless bags of antibiotics later, I am back home recovering.

So, what was eaten and bought during the first two weeks of February?

First, how much money do we have for February.
28days times $12.31 per day equals $344.68.  Plus the carryover of unspent money from January, $68.02, equals a total of $412.70available in February.

It didn't take long to start shopping.  Tops had a great sale.  If a certain amount of ground beef was purchased several items were available free.  So, we bought
Ground round (part for stockpile); and we got chilli beans, cheese, taco seasoning, crushed tomatoes, tortilla chips, Italian bread; Greek yogurt; sour cream; ketchup; tea bags;

A total of $14.31 was spent leaving a balance of $398.39

A shop at Aldi was next.  We bought:
Italian sausage; Italian seasoning; bratwurst; tomatoes; mushrooms; Romaine lettuce; avocados; sweet peppers; cucumbers; pepperoni; saltines; eggs; broccoli; corn; bleu,Parmesan and mozzarella cheese; blueberries, cream;cottage cheese

A total of $41.64 was spent leaving a balance of $356.75.

And then some meals out took a chunk.  $20.75  The balance going forward was $336

Another Aldi shop saw us buying:  oatmeal; potatoes; OJ; jam; bananas; chipotles peppers

The cost was $9.34 for a balance of $326.66

A Wal-Mart shop saw the purchase of flour tortillas; olives; cilantro and a lime.

The cost:  $8.64 for a balance of  $322.02
So far $84.08 has been spent in total.

So,what was eaten:
Pork chop;Joyce's chicken salad; Italian sausage with onions and mushrooms; salad; tortilla pizza; macaroni and cheese; grilled turkey and cheese sandwich;guacamole and refried beans; chili; clam chowder

Not a bad first two weeks.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Almost Lost Week, Week 4, January 2017

From Early last Saturday until past dinnertime on Wednesday, I was the guest of St. Vincent Hospital.  I was "consuming " bag after bag of fluids and antibiotics.
Mike was heating up leftovers:  quiche, burritos, pork chop, ham and cheese sandwiches, Buffalo turkey meat ball salad.  I love how leftovers can get you through some no-cook times.

Thursday I talked Mike through a turkey, ham, cheese and artichoke casserole. Since I made it up as we went along I was surprisingly pleased with the results.
Friday we had Aunt Joyce's Chicken Salad with cranberry cheddar quesadillas.
Saturday a Friend brought over delicious vegetable soup and wonderful crusty bread.
Sunday was a leftovers night.
Monday I was back in the hospital with complications from my perforated appendix.  And Mike was eating leftovers or from the cafeteria. ($4.87)

As for groceries, we started with$87.99 left to spend.
Topps had skinless, boneless chicken breast on sale for $1.88/pound.  I bought ten pounds.  Some is for now and some is for the stockpile.
I also bought four dozen eggs at fifty cents a dozen for the stockpile.

Total spent:  $12.00
Total remaining:  $71.12

Mike went to Aldi and picked up some 'essentials' :  olives, Greek yogurt, and (my favorite) pork rinds.

Total spent:  $7.97
Total remaining:  $63.15

The $63.15 will rollover as a cushion for February.  All things considered, it was a good month since we relied on leftovers instead of restaurants.

Now to see what February brings.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Detour on the way to Posting Food Challenge: January, Week 3

I was all ready to write and post this update, but then life happened.  My appendix perforated last Saturday.  Sunday I was operated on.  I came home last night after dinner.

Below is a summary of what we bought and ate during the third week of January.

Monday, January 16th at Aldi

Spent $32.43

Purchased:  cheese (feta, blue, parmesan); ground turkey (2lbs.); mushrooms; green peppers (2); romaine hearts (3); yellow onions (3 lb.); cucumbers (3); tomatoes (4); cream (2); garlic powder; cheese stuffed red peppers; soy sauce; SF jam; blueberries (2); dry ranch dressing mix; dry Italian dressing mix; flax seed;

Money remaining:  $97.99

What we have eaten:  tuna patties, salad, fried cabbage;  stuffed pork chops, broccoli with hollandaise, salad, SF frosting peanut butter/ chocolate fudge;  quiche and blueberries; meat, bean and cheese burritos;  ham and cheese sandwiches; Buffalo chicken meatballs, yogurt, green beans with almonds and brown butter;

Total  Grocery money spent $ 220.43.  Total Restaurant money spent:  $63.18
Total to date spent:  $293.61.   Money remaining:  $87.99

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Food Challenge January: Week Two

This week there were no restaurant meals.  That saved a huge amount of money.

Our purchases at the grocery store were also kept to a minimum.  We shopped only a couple of loss leaders that we could also pair up with coupons.  So, we spent an additional $9.70 to buy natural peanut butter, several cans of chunk white tuna (current and stockpile) and a bag each of frozen green beans and broccoli.  Otherwise we were eating from our pantry.

But I did do my monthly salvage grocery shopping.  That ate into the remaining monthly budget to the tune of $ 28.98.
For that I managed to purchase:  SF pudding mix (2); small bag walnuts and pecans; can of kidney beans; can of white kidney beans; Smuckers Natural peanut butter(3 for stockpile); Swanson beef broth; fresh chopped garlic (2); can of red salmon; white Albacore tuna (5 for stockpile); bags of Starbucks(2) and Folgers coffee (3 partial stockpile); tubs of SF frosting (2); Hershey cocoa powder; mayo; hot sauce;Atkins shakes (8).

As noted, some of these goodies will go into my stockpile and last into February or even March, but they are part of this month's budget expenditures.  So, subtract the amount I did.

So, what did we eat this week:  soybean and ham soup; pepper steak with cauliflower rice and chocolate pie; mashed cauliflower, Greek yogurt, and shredded zucchini fritters ( I had a tooth out so soft was the name of the game); creamy Italian chicken, winter squash and cream of asparagus soup; hamburgers with sauteed onion, mushrooms and peppers with winter squash; Swiss steak with blackberries and the odds and ends of leftover vegetables.  Definitely not fancy, but tasty.

So, of our $381.60  allotted to food this month, we have spent $63.18 on restaurant food and $188.00  on groceries.  Our total at about halfway through the month is     $251.18 ($17.94/day).

  For the next seventeen days I have $ 130.43 ($7.67/day) to feed us.  It looks fine if we just stay out of restaurants.

But, I'll get it done because I have a stockpile in my cupboards and freezer.  As the year goes on you will see how it gets used and replenished.  I would be broke without it.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Food Challenge January: Week 1

We are one week into my 2017 cut the cost of eating challenge.  And I am already in trouble, I think.

The government, specifically the Department of Agriculture, keeps track of the cost of eating a nutritious diet.  There are three different levels but I decided to see if I could feed Mike and I at what the government labels the thrifty level.  This is the level upon which SNAP benefits are based.

According to the government, it should cost me $86.20 per week or $12.31 per day to feed us.  That means in January I have $381.61 to cover food eaten at home or away from home.

I think deciding to start a food cost challenge the same time I decided to start a high protein/ low carb diet may not have been my brightest move.

Protein costs money, as we all know.  And we are eating a lot of protein.

And, when we traveled home from D.C. we paid a lot of money to buy that protein.
This diet had better work, or I have really wasted a lot financially.

So, what have I bought:
butter, cheese, eggs, nuts, summer sausage, low carb wraps and bread, almond meal flour, sugar freechocolate and hard candy, flax tortilla chips, vanilla protein powder, psyllium, sweet peppers, blackberries, pickles, soda, heavy cream and dry soy beans.

And what have we eaten:
Wraps, meatza and spinach patties, almond flour chocolate chunks cookies, sugar free pistachio pudding, chef salad, eggs and bacon, omelet, chicken, turkey sandwich on lettuce, ham with asparagus and broccoli, mushu pork with fried green beans and blackberries, soybean and ham soup with grilled cheese.

What have we spent:
Restaurant.    $63.18. ( The D.C. trip and Mike's barstool sailing )
Groceries.       $140.22
TOTAL Week One:     $203.40

Money remaining for the month:  $178.21.

I still have salvage grocery shopping to do next weekend.  But, if I can keep us out of restaurants, we MIGHT just do this.

Fingers crossed.