Week 4 – Time to Reassess

Once a month, I go through one cabinet in my kitchen — my sundries cabinet… it’s sometimes not pretty but it helps me stay motivated with my meal planning! I pulled out 4 items that I will include in this week’s menu. This helps me stop buying another 10 cans of tuna when I already have a stockpile. My items include canned crushed pineapple, black beans, jar of Curry Marsala & a tin of dried bread crumbs.

Shopping at No Frills this week. $64.72

2 pints of blueberries, 2 containers of strawberries, 2 english cucumbers, (regular price for $18.96 but I price matched and got all six items for $7.98)

dozen eggs, Josie’s bread, english muffins, ww tortillas, celery,  2 -3lbs of carrots, basil, mushrooms, sour cream, egg noodles, jar of chopped garlic, 5 bags of avocado  Havarti cheese block, 3 lemons, fennel bulb, oranges, banana, cantaloupe, 1 kg peanut butter, 3 can’s of tuna, green onions, 2 lbs of butter, large bag of raisins & 2 bags of chocolate chips.

Shopping at Shoppers $0.46 ( I used my $10 gift certificate from week 2)

milk, 2 dozen eggs & 4 pkg of lipton’s soup

Menu

Sunday: soup & grilled cheese

Monday: Chicken Curry Marsala, rice & steamed broccoli

Tuesday: Whole Salmon with lemon & Fennel

Wednesday: Baked Chicken Parmesan & Spaghetti

Thursday: Turkey Sheppard Pie

Friday: Weight Watcher’s Chicken Cacciatore & Egg Noodle

Saturday: Pesto Alfredo Pasta Bake

Baking for Desserts & Josie’s lunches: Carrot Muffins  and Black Bean Chocolate Cake

Taking my Emergency/Meat Fund to: $35.66

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Week 3 – Updated

So we needed a fruit-run mid week this week — it was just one of those weeks and applesauce cups wasn’t cutting it. I decided to brave Fortinos with my list in hand and $19.00 in my pocket!

Here’s what I got: 7 bananas, a whole frozen salmon (for $3.09 – we are having it Tuesday next week – I’ll let you know if it is good!) lots of grapes, pint of blackberries, brick of cheese, baking powder, soya sauce.

$18.07 + my $2.03 spent on 7 loaves of bread

Meat/Emergency Fund: $-0.84

Tip for the week — always keep your eyes open

You will see later on in the week, that my purchase today is going to technically put be over $100 for the week.. but I don’t care! It was such a great deal I couldn’t pass it up. Guess how much I paid for 7 loaves of Dempster’s Whole Grain breads (12 grain, Canadian and Acient Grain varities) not that it matters?

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$2.03 . Yes~ it does have an expiry date for tomorrow, Thursday or Saturday but this bread will go in the freezer and we eat most of our bread as toast anyhow!

Eating Healthy Isn’t Cheap

My daughter Josie (who is 4 years old) for the most part eats refined-sugar free, this has been process that has seen her eating a totally raw diet for 6 weeks, then going gluten, sugar and yeast free  for 3 month more months — good luck finding a bread for that! Finally now at 9 months in we have got to the point where she can eat sugars as long as they in their most natural state, our motto is  – “if God made it, Josie can eat”. If only everyone could eat like that — it has solved her yeast & bowel issues and return our happy girl to us!

There has been a few comprises along the way; cereal is one of them! My kids love it, they have adapted to have hot oatmeal two mornings a week, with cinnamon,apples and a bit of maple syrup drizzled on top.  We tried lots of cereals that I had to finish because they were not approved but finally settled on Nature’s Path Honey’d Corn Flakes, but boy were they expensive! I was clean up my coupon book today and noticed that I had a 25% off coupon for Nature’s Path items at the Bulk Barn, so Thursday’s purchase was 2-750g bags of cereal for $13.48, at Fortinos I had paid $12 for only one bag that big!

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Taking my Emergency/Meat Fund: $4.45

Week Two — Getting in the groove

I did make a deal with my husband when we started this challenge this year that I wanted to grocery shopping sans kiddos, so Saturday morning I started out at 8:30am to tackle No Frills inspired by my Momstown Burlington friends to price match produce! I have been price matching dry goods for a while now but produce ~~ would they give me a hassle? No Frills was “no produce” on Saturday morning which was a bit of a disappointment. I manged to re-jig a few things on the fly but reminded myself that Friday shop is where it’s at if you want the deals.

Price matching isn’t that hard in theory but it does help to be organized; I’ve taken a few tips from our Momstown Message Board over the last year that have really helped. I always write the grocery store, size and price of the item I want to match on the back of the grocery list. Once I have located the item I usually put it in the basket with my purse along with the flyer and I always check out couponed or price matched items last, the cashiers always seem happier with that!

You will soon see that much of our groceries are fresh fruits and veggies. We always eat what is on sale and by extension what is in season. I ask my two-year old Sam last week what he wanted for breakfast and he said “just blueberries”, poor thing hadn’t had them in several months. I am still a busy mom of two so driving around to multiple store just doesn’t make sense for me, so price matching got Samuel 2 pints of blueberries and container of strawberries and a rather large cantaloupe and I spent $7, regular price would have been $14.10.

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The last tip is to think outside the box sometimes. My sister-in-law, Candice mentioned at Thanksgiving that a 3-bag of Neilson’s milk is always $3.99 at Shopper’s. (you can’t price match because Shopper’s is not considered a grocery store) This week I was out of always every paper product imaginable and Ed need razors desperately, they did have okay sales on and I had a coupon for the razors, paper towel and kleenex. I added on milk, eggs and some cream of mushroom soup which was 69 cent/per and that took me up to just over $75. Their weekend promotion was spend $75 and get $10 in a Shopper’s card (next week’s milk & eggs and Josie’s Valentines) and $10 for Tim Hortons!  I do keep track separately for household consumables and spend $100 per month this includes items such as kleenex, toilet paper, paper towel, medications, vitamins, probotics, diapers,or a new sippy cup for Samuel.

Spend: $86.48

milk, 2 dozen eggs, 7 cream of mushroom soup, fish crackers x2, pesto, frozen mixed veggies, peanut butter, cheddar cheese, 4 boxes of chicken stock, butter, crackers, pre-made biscuits, 4 loaves of Flax & quinoa bread ( 3 of these will go into the freezer for later weeks $1.88 you can’t go wrong) 2 loaves of Rudolph’s multigrain (Josie’s bread – no sugar), club pack of chicken drumsticks, bananas, blackberries, 2 pints of blueberries, strawberries, brocolli, cantaloupe, 3lb bag of carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, Dole Ceasar kit, 4 sweet peppers, green onions, 10lb bag of onions (hoping that the cold room keeps these okay – $1.88 so I can’t go wrong), pears, 10lb bag of potatoes & spinach.

Menu:

Sunday – take “in” pizza & veggies sticks $10.26 (sometimes it’s good for momma not to cook)

Monday – turkey dinner, stuffing from a box, mashed potatoes, corn (if you don’t have one in your freezer consider buying a utility turkey (some stores have them on sale for 99 cent/pound ) I usually get a 8-10 pounder – I cook it breast side down because I don’t care what it looks like – I makes the meat so tender. We will have this meal, I will freeze 4-5 others for fitijas, casseroles or even on pizza; plus make soup with the carcass. That is $2/meal for meat!

Tuesday – Pork Tenderloin & Cranberries (to use up from Monday night)

Wednesday – pasta bake (making turkey pot pie with tea biscuit top for my friend Joanne for dinner)

Thursday – shrimp & oven fried rice

Friday – Grainy Mustard Chicken  I have bone-in chicken legs so I’ll adapt the recipe to make that work

Saturday – Hashbrown Casserole for our Sunday School Outing

Meat/ Emergency Fund: $17.94

The 4 o’clock raid

After having my hubby working from home for 5 weeks, I’ve worked out his routines and eating habits — he drinks far to much coffee! (I can say that because I only have a decaf a week) and raids the kitchen like a hungry bear at 4 o’clock every afternoon. First it was the leftover cheese and crackers, then a few Christmas sweets and now the fruit is disappearing at record speed. I really shouldn’t complain because if he was working downtown that would have meant a trip to the local “5 Bucks” and money out of our pocketbook. My first solution was to move dinner up to 5pm instead of 6pm — but that just resulted in the raid happening at 11pm instead which isn’t good for anyone. My 2nd try: I had to bake a few extra treats for afternoon snacks, which meant I needed a few things from the Food Basics.

Spend: $18.22

bag of milk, pound of butter, lrg tub of margarine, carrots, cucumber, 2 pkg of ramen noodles ( it help me use up my cabbage) and 2 boxes of tissues (because everyone in our family has a cold right now)

So, what did we make?

We love gingerbread cookies all year round, it is the easiest cookie to make refined-sugar free, so Josie can eat them. This is our favorite recipe so far ~ Gingerbread Cookies recipe

You will soon figure out that I love Looneyspoons by Janet & Greta Podleski, a dear friend bought me their Collection Recipe book for my birthday and I love it! We made their Bananaberry Bombs  — just subing out the sugar for 1/4 cup of agave nectar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
  • ½ cup each all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large or 4 small)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine oats, both flours, sugar, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, butter and egg. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in blueberries.

Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins

Per muffin: 183 calories, 5.7 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 3.7 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 3.1 g fiber, 26 mg cholesterol, 209 mg sodium

Note about the fruit, I didn’t use fresh I used frozen! I try to check my bananas or berries a day or two before are heading the way of the garbage can. I keep a large ziploc bag of whole unpeel bananas – warning they go completely black but once you unfreeze them they make the best banana baked goods you will ever have!

Emergency/Meat Fund: $4.42