Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hey Abe!

Racky: (after I donned a top hat) Mom you look just like Abraham Lincoln, except you don't wear the same clothes, or have a beard, and your a girl and you don't have wooden teeth.

Just like him huh?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

One thread bare king size quilt and some scrap fabric=Two twin size blankets, just in time for winter. These will be used under the boys comforters so no one will be able to see how lacking they really are:) They took me about 35 mins. Less time than it would have taken to load all the kids and drive to bed bath and beyond. The best part, they were FREE!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last trip for the 28 days! (hopefully)

Day 26: $11.16 -crazy isn't it? I seriously need to learn to make a good loaf of bread. What makes it more tricky is that Lula is sensitive to gluten but can manage the fermented bread just fine. So not just a regular loaf but fermented at that makes the challenge that much more well challenging.

The ham is for pizza tonight. Yum!

There is one loaf of Aldi's bread not pictured because we fed that to the ducks at the zoo this morning. Nessie is there, if you get a chance to stop by it is quite impressive.

Okay so a grand total of $453.32 for the 28 days. We did finish paying for our part of a cow this month but didn't eat any yet so I didn't figure that in. I figure the money we "saved" this month covers that expense. So $3.32 over, not to bad!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November Pics!

Last week Tracy asked us to join them at the Air Zoo, so field trip time it is.

Friday the kids wanted s'mores so being the nice mom that I am said sure.
Mom's way!
Dad's way!

The kids thought it was great, they got s'mores twice!


Lula and I are reading On the Banks of Plum Creek. In this book Laura talks about being tired of eating only meat and bread because they had no garden. So give me a good smack when I whine about how worthless Meijers is, they have produce, and oh how I love it.

Round 1: cost $3.66, gave me 14 $2 Catalina's a profit of $24!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Round 2: got 2 more $2 Catalina's. Cost $13.07 after using 15 Catalina's. And yes they made me do 16 different transactions. At least the girl in line behind me was nice because it took a while. I actually put one cat in before it scanned so I lost one but it was about the 13th transaction and didn't really care about the 2 bucks right then and there.

So we feast once again! The cookies are a peace offering to the hubby, they cost $4.49 !!!!! This man is so easy to please but don't mess with his Sunday afternoon tuna fish sandwich, which I did, oops. We were out of lettuce and tomato today at lunch, a crime in the tuna fish sandwich world:D

Grand total of $16.73 bring us to $442.16 for the month so far.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 20

This is getting old! Spending without thinking is just more fun:D

Wednesday: .88 on a bag of corn for taco soup
Friday: $11.52 on a chicken so we can still rotate our meats next week.
Saturday: $17.77 3 loaves of bread and 3 dozen eggs

I should count another $5, but I'm not going too. Tuesday I slothed off and didn't make the hubby a lunch so he had to eat out.

There goes another $30.17

Grand total of $425.43

$25 bucks for the next 8 days. I snuck a peek at next weeks ad and am waiting until Sunday to get produce. It is amazing that it's been over two weeks that I bought anything fresh, a produce run is NEEDED.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just for fun!

We don't celebrate Christmas but I found this quite humorous none the less:

The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in the United States' Capital this Christmas season. This isn't for any religious reason. They simply have not been able to find Three Wise Men in the Nation's Capital. A search for a Virgin continues. There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable. (Thanks to my facebook friends!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 15 update

Not much to say except that the hubby should rip the check book right out of my hand and place me on a very strict allowance. He wants nothing to do with that so I better get my act together.

Here is the list of the rest of last weeks spending.

Family Fare: $9 (one last time- 2 juices, salt, the dishwasher detergent Sharon told me about, yet another pineapple)

Orchard $10 (1/2 bushel of honey crisps and 1/2 bushel of Jonagold)

Health Store $45 (3 loaves bread, 2 dozen eggs, dari-free powder, yogurt, children's multi vitamin)

Costco $48 (chicken sausages, ham, nitrate free hot dogs, cheese, breakfast sausages, french bread)

Papa Murphy's Pizza $15 (the hubby made me do it, it didn't take to much persuasion though after spending the afternoon doing leaves)

Family Fare (yes again) $4 (tortillas and foil pans for bring a few meals to someone who had a baby a while back)

That brings this half of the month spending to $395.26. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Seriously I need some intervention! I guess accepting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery right:)!

Here's a little math justification for you.
$600 a month average, 6 people in the family, 30 days in a months= $3.33 a person a day or just over $1.10 a meal. That makes me feel a little better. Take that McDonalds dollar menu!
$450 a month GOAL, 6 people, 30 days= $2.50 a day or .83 per meal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Like water I tell ya!

It just keeps slipping through my fingers, money that is.

Last night one more stop at Family Fare acquired us 3 more pineapples, 3 more spices and 2 more grape juices. $7.16

Today: six transactions at Meijer got us six laundry detergents. $11.46 out of pocket plus I have 3 off my next purchase for next time. It come out to less than 5 cents a load.

Then we have the co-op that comes every eight weeks. My total was $157.24, half which I will count in this months total.

24 -1 lb. bags of brown rice pasta
25 lbs of sucanat (if you click on the photo of the Sucanat you'll see that it is brown, the bag ripped, makes you wonder how they get white sugar white.)
organic gummy worms, free of dyes and chemicals
organic root beer barrels
30 fruit leathers
1 lb of organic cinnamon

That brings our total to $264.26. (day 9)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Double coupons day!!!! Yippee!!!!

$8.70 not too bad.

The Family Fare Stores are doubling coupons today and tomorrow!!
$1.69 for the Welch's (I love me some grape juice but never buy it at 4 bucks a bottle)
$1 for a pineapple
$1.39 for a box of tea
$.79 for a 4 pack of yogurt

Free stuff:
spices (cinnamon, chili powder, and pepper)
Hersey kisses
2 of the 3 dark chocolate snickers
single serve yogurt

I hope to go later to get some more free spices and $1 pineapples and more juice. Yippee for double coupon days!!!

Total for the month $167.02

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend spending

So Saturday Lettie and I bought her some diapers and a pack of pull ups. $17. Ouch!

Sunday a quick run to Target got us 4 boxes of mini wheats and 2 boxes of Kashi. $2.85, now that's more like it.
Total of $158.32 (today is day 7)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I need some accountability or something

Money is slipping though my fingers like water these days it seems. Some of it was restocking the house a bit and filling in holes in our emergency food supply but enough is enough. So if it takes me taking pictures of our food to make me really think about what happens to land in my cart so be it.

So here is the second of the 30 days. Okay not 30 days because the last 2 days are like the end of labor, you don't think its ever going to end and you are completely zapped of all your energy so 28 days it is:D

Monday was the official starting day. I'm striving for a 400/450 dollar budget this time. I wrote out a five week menu to finish off October and then all of November. I try to balance feast meals with pauper meals. I also wrote out a two week grocery list to my four stores that I hit regularly. Yesterday I made it to two and the hubby stopped and picked up bread on his way home before the store closed.

Meijer: $85.39

There are some expensive thing in there not normally purchased like balsamic vinegar, paper plates (road trip today so "needed" these) coconut milk to make pumpkin pie for the hubby, and single serve yogurts. By the way pumpkin pie yogurt tastes nothing like pumpkin pie, gag!!!!
The frozen bags of veggies give you the most bang for your buck but you have to cook those.
Lots of veggies and fiber means lots of tp:D (Too much info huh?) Blue corn chips are supposed to be lower on the glycemic index and hubby is trying to watch that. Fruit snacks for the kids, no food coloring -Yeah!!!!
(have you ever tried to find a bag of pretzels without corn syrup??? what do pretzels need corn syrup for anyways, they're a salty snack??)

Health store (not pictured) $7.58
He did make one unauthorized purchase so I'm not counting the coconut ice cream "dove" type bars but I will eat some;-)

Grand total of $138.47

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grapefruit Time!

Well today was rainy so a perfect day to do a "little" canning. Family Fare has 5 lbs. bags of grapefruit on sale for $2.50 so I bought 2. So these sweet little jars after lids can out to be about .55 cents a jar. Hubby did have one of the grapefruits in his lunch today so I might have gotten 1 more jar out of the bunch. I used a very very lite sucanat syrup with the grapefruit juice itself.

If you buy these at Costco they are $1.06 a piece, but they do throw in some corn syrup and preservatives for good measure:D I don't buy them for all these reasons but like the concept.

They were quite time consuming, it took me about an hour to peel and cut 10 pounds worth. This was while doing math with Racky so I guess not to bad but the jars are small. They will be perfect to toss into the hubby's lunches when the refrigerator is barren waste land. All in all I may do another #10 but I'll ask the hubby to try these out first and tell me what he thinks.

If you like to eat grapefruit I found an awesome video on grapefruit peeling here.
This is part of Kimi's Pennywise Platter Thursday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pineapple fun!

From this... to this!17 pints of pineapple. We ended up eating one of the pineapples so 7 medium sized pineapples got us 17 pints. If I figure the lids at $.10 then the cost per jar is $.80. Not too bad. We like pineapple but not really the canned stuff that tastes like the can itself, so hopefully this turns out all right. If pineapples ever get as low as 99 cents I will do a ton more, these were $1.69 a piece from Aldi's.

Next thing to try is grapefruit in little jam jars for the hubby's lunch, but I have to get some of the leaves done first:-) One project at a time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Summer pics

They kids first experience with store bought playdoh. Can't you tell they are a little excited.
Racky's future's so bright he's gotta wear shades.

My "rock stars". Lovely.

Last nice Sunday this year the kids and I hit the beach for a little sandcastle building.
Biggie's new nickname is Puddin' and it just fits him perfectly.
Lettie would live in her swimsuit if we let her, inside out, backwards it doesn't matter, life is better in a swimsuit to her.

My pretty little girl how are you six years old already, pushing seven!

Then there's Racky, I love that little man!
That's it summer's over, brrrrrrrrrrrr its cold!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Price of Food

I found this reading the book the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, if you are good at "eating the chicken and spitting out the bones" I highly recommend this book. I found it quite fitting after last months food challenge.

"The researchers found that a dollar could buy 1,200 calories of potato chips and cookies; spent on a whole food like carrots, the same dollar buys only 250 calories. On the beverage aisle, you can buy 875 calories of soda for a dollar, or 170 calories of fruit juice form concentrate. "

Real food just plain and simple costs more. You have to make it a priority or you will never be able to afford it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The end of the 30 days

So the thirty days really ends today. 30 days is a really long long time! Here is the weekend run down and it's not pretty!

Friday night after 40 plus jars of pears I waivered and called the hubby to please pick up pizza on his way home. $22

Saturday I was bedridden after over exertion on Friday so hubby went to the health store for bread and rice milk 50 bucks later he is out of there, rice milk was 33 of it. He should never go to that store with money in his pocket. Cookies, coconut milk ice cream bars and lots of bread.

Then he brought me home lunch because the kids ate all the leftover pizza, $12.

Sunday no spending just canned 42 more quarts of pears. Hallelujah that's done.

Monday the Meijer festivities began about $15 out of pocket for mad crazy amounts of hand soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, flossers, cotton swabs and whatever else there was.

So add $99 on to my last total = $527.55 for the month!!!! That's almost twice the amount, oh well. I'm sure this is still less than what we normally spend. My goal normally is $150 a week or $600 a month.

I did learn a few things. I need to learn to bake more than cinnamon roll, apple crisp, tortillas and biscuits. We should have a greater supply of frozen veggies in the house for days when the fridge is empty. I miss me my Costco!!! (I'm going later to day to restock:D) Also have more treats for the kids like Popsicles. They go a long way in them not felling deprived.

So there you have it, 30 days in the life of my food budget!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The post where she blows the budget right out of the water!!!! *Edited*

Okay all was going okay, I knew I would go over but wow I blew it!

Friday I stopped at Big lots. I spent just under $5 on:

2 cans of organic tomatoes (I needed sauce for pizza)
1 box of Kleenex for a sick baby
1 can of organic soup for hubby's emergency supply a work

Then the hubby calls on his way home to find out what's for dinner. WHAT there's no olives for the pizza, he has to stop at the store and get some. $13 bucks later we have ham, green olives and black olives and peperoni's. I will give it to him that the pizza was yummy but we could have ordered pizza for that!


There's no eggs, bread or fresh fruit left!

Stop #1 The Orchard
$94 OUCH!!!!!!
3.5 bushels of pears
1/2 bushel of apples

Stop #2 the Health Store
3 loaves of bread (I'm freezing one for next weekend so I don't have to stop, but we're almost out of rice milk so I'll probably have to stop anyways)
2 dozen eggs
1 bag corn chips

Stop #3 Costco (should just stop typing now because we all know what happens to your money in that store)
Nitrate free hot dogs (for the days when we get home and find out that daddy ate our lunch;)
#10 of organic carrots
organic lemon juice (might as well we're on a money spending roll now)
organic salt free seasoning- a must have at $8

Okay So I decided to run to Meijers too Stop#4
1 bag of organic potatoes
10 Delmonte cans of fruit
2 frozen meal -Free with coupon

$176.09 in one day!!! Oh deary!

$168.55 over the hoped $300. $15.61 per day instead of $10. I can live with that number.

I hope to end up with 80 plus jars of pears when this is all said and done plus canned tomatoes. So that is a huge bit of it. Lately it seems that there is always something to stock up on.
May- 50 lbs of asparagus
June- strawberries enough to make 33 pints of jam
August- peaches and blueberries
and now pears.
Then there will be apples and the 1/4 of a cow we ordered.
Always something. I think we are good for the next 8 days besides a bag of corn chips and possibly rice milk. So I think that is the end of the food budget posts or at least I hope.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No real shopping yet.

I spent $1 on a bag of second onions at a road side stand, it's a lot of onions for a buck let me tell ya. I also bought 1 1/2 bushels of organic tomatoes to can, they are ripening in the garage. They were $30. So we're down to $7.54 with 10 days left.

I am quite impressed that for having "nothing" in the house we are eating quite well. We have two new recipes to add to our menu. We picked our watermelons from our garden today so that is the fruit of the day, we'll see what tomorrow brings. I hope to hold off until Saturday for a trip to Meijers and the health store.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Fruit! I adore fruit. It's so yummy, sweet, juicy and healthy. We really put no limits on the fruit consumption. We limit sugar consumption but not fruit. I may have to start.

I remember getting reprimanded for eat too much fruit when I was a kid. Fruit was rationed to last the week. I really, really don't want to too but seriously we go through a lot of fruit.

We are almost out of fresh fruit everything but the bananas are gone:-( We went through half a bushel of apples plus the left over grapes and tangerines and the fruit the neighbors gifted us in less than 10 days. OUCH! Yes we still have frozen, bananas, peaches, blueberries and grapes for smoothies. We also have 80 plus jars of canned peaches but one jars gives us all a small serving. Well you know what that means I need to go shopping, again!

I need to grow an orchard!

Monday, September 21, 2009

a good read

Here is a blog post on the price of eating real food.

Lessons Learned from our 15 day so far.

Lesson #1: I go to the store way too much! A little stop here and there really, really adds up.

Lesson #2: Little things make the simple seem well less simple. Ex. OJ added to breakfast, homemade lemonade with popcorn, Popsicles out in the sunshine. Life is a little dull with out the extras. (We're out of all three.)

Lesson #3: We eat a lot of meat! Seeings how everyone but myself was allergic to dairy, soy and eggs for so long we became some serious carnivores. Meat is expensive!

Lesson #4: I am lazy in the kitchen. Yes I spend probably twice as much time as "most" women today in the kitchen I'm still lazy. It is much, much easier to buy bread than make it yourself. You ALWAYS have to have a plan if cooking from real food ingredients.

Lesson #5: I'm a food snob, but I already knew that. I believe it's my job to nourish my family with real food, not just fill their pie holes as my hubby so affectionately calls them.

Lesson #6: Six people go through much more food than I really comprehended. We could maybe go 1 month with what we having in the house before feeling seriously deprived. So I need to work on my emergency stockpile.

Lesson #7: My desire to donate more food to the food pantry has increased. Also with more variety than the usual free cereal or .25 packages of hot dogs. Lord willing it never happens but if I needed assistants to feed my family I would hope and pray for REAL food.

Lesson #8: We need a few more "cheap eats" on our menu to supplement the feasts the family is accustom too. More soups and less meat and potato meals.

Lesson #9: The LORD has blessed us beyond measure. This should really be number one!

So I will blow through $300 without much trouble. I will go over budget in the name of feeding my family real food as long as we can afford it. Racky will be pulled from karate, the already rare date night will vanish and we will dress in rags before my family is made to eat little Debbie and the rest of her friends. I'm not saying we eat perfectly, far from it but it is a process and we will keep learning and trying to improve our food within our budget.


"Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food." Hippocrates, 460 BC

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 13

Still more shopping! You aren't surprised are you?

3 bunches of bananas
1 roll mentos
1 Mr Bubble bubble bath
4 boxes of noodles (I had enough coupons to get 26 boxes but I read the ingredients and had to pass- 4 is still too many!)
2 cans of Quaker oats

-4.13 we did return a bag of bottles so that helped

Health Store
2 loaves of YUMMY bread
5 lbs of organic baking flour


Down to $38.54. 17 days left there isn't a chance. Oh well we're learning a lot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Days 11 and 12

Day 11
No money spent!!! I made batch of cinnamon rolls which I rationed through out the day , lest they eat them all in one sitting.

Day 12
$1.10 spent, not to bad. I bought:
12 ears of corn
1 muskmelon
1 quart bag of small tomatoes

I ALWAYS go to the health store on Fridays and pick up fresh delivered, local, organic bread!!! Yummy! Today I resisted and TRIED to bake a loaf, it's not good but we won't starve:-)

For cheap entertainment we went to the zoo this morning and feed the ducks on the way to an appointment. Then this afternoon we walked to the lake and the kids played in the sand and splashed in the water. Zero money spent for a lot of fun.

$57.64 left.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Days 9 and 10

Day 9- no spending! Yippee! We were the recipients of this lovely fruit from our neighbors, which was quite a bit bigger before I go the picture. There used to be about 6 plums and 3 or 4 peaches too. Day 10- A trip to Target .47!!!!!!!!!!!!! For everything!!!
Then on to the "meat" store as we call it. It sells local meat and dairy products. I usually go once a month after I write out the monthly menu.
Well they had a special that for every $10 you spend you get 2 yogurts for .01 each. So 16 yogurts later we're .16 poorer, not to bad.

Here is our meat stash. My originally purchase was 60.06, which is all I'm counting:-). When I got to the check out she told me the ground beef was on sale for $2.97 a pound. This is 25% off, you have to buy 10 pounds to get the discount so $29.70 later was have lots of beef. We only eat beef 2 maybe 3 times month so this will last a while probably to December, especially because I have some in the freezer still.
So sadly only $58.74 left

Monday, September 14, 2009

Days 7 and 8

Target trip#1 $6.99 (it's salsa season so chips are a necessity at this time.)

2 bags corn chips
1 pack of garbage bags

Target trip #2 $6.06 (the first trip didn't have kind of cereal I needed to match my coupons so thus the second trip.)

10 boxes of cereal
1 package of fruit snacks (only the "far away" Target carries these so they are quite the treat.)
Down to $119.24 with 22 days to go, that's not good.
I did prep and put away a bunch of summer squash for meatloaf this winter. The yellow squash was gifted to us and the green one came out of our garden. 8 quart sized bags--FREE!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 6

I must be stopped!!!!! I was planning on spend no money today but my mother asked me stop by the orchard for her. So while we were over that way we stopped and the discount food store. Didn't find anything good but did spend .25 on some fake cheese stuff for the hubby. Then on to the orchard, my moms apples don't come out till next week but I did buy 1/2 bushel of Paula Reds seconds- $5. Must stop! Must stop!! Must stop shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Down to $132.29

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 5

Seriously I can not be trusted with money, it slips through my fingers like water! We're down another $14.75 on not very much. I need to learn to make a good loaf of bread it would help our budget greatly.
Only $137.54 left

Here she is!!!!

Profile. This is her face with her hand by her mouth.
Profile, only one before she decide to roll over and go to sleep.

It was awesome to see, especially if you consider that she is only about 7 inches long and just over 1/2 a pound. As far as they can tell all looks good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 4

More shopping and it's only day four! Oh well this is just to stretch us right! All bets are off with the hubby if there aren't any chips on the house and I must have fresh fruit, so a quick run to Meijers was in order. And yes when you find out the gender of your next child you just need to go shopping.
2 cloth napkins
1 pair pants
2 shirts
3 Honey bunches of Oats - Free after coupon
2 bags potato chips
frozen peas
organic lettuce
organic potatoes
#5 organic grapes
#5 Clementines
Only $152.29
That's not good, oh well.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 3

ZERO money spend- YIPPEE!!!!

We made snicker doodle cookies, one loaf cinnamon bread and one regular loaf to fill in the gaping hole that the kids call their stomachs.

Tomorrow looks promising too for the no money spending thing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 2

10 ears of organic corn .50 (5 cents each can you believe that!)
2.5 pounds organic tomatoes 1.00

So down another $1.50

I did have the co-op delivery today but if I subtracted all that there wouldn't be any money left:-) So how about I take off $80, we have a delivery every other month so $80 sounds fair.

So $173.66 left. I must stop shopping!!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 1

A trip to Target:
Toilet paper $12.98
3 Bags Corn Chips $7.50

Total: $21.26 Kohl's ( I bought a bunch of $5 off $5 purchases off ebay last week)
5 transactions
2 cloth napkins
play dough
2 swim suit for the boys
play jewelry
Hubby a shirt
Lula a shirt

Total $3.58

Plus some supplements the in-laws picked up for us.


So a grand total of $44.84

$255.16 left- this could be interesting!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

30 Days 300 Bucks!

I thought I'd join the other bloggers doing Owlhaven's $75 a Week Grocery Challenge.

I know it's doable but I'll have to be much more creative than I am now and spend MUCH more time in the kitchen. I think I'm up for the challenge. I know some people would feel like they won the lotto if they had $75 a week to spend, but I'm spoiled and so are my kids so we'll see. Hopefully the hubby doesn't mind either:-) We do have quite a good stockpile to eat off of so that will help.

Any one else up to the challenge? I'll be starting tomorrow, we're almost out of toilet paper so I'll be going shopping right away!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


You need to check this site out. Gross! I am ignoring the ketchup though:-)

Oh the things they say...

Photo by allposters
Lula again! The scene is in the van after visiting a dairy farm.

Lula: How come they don't milk the boys, they have that long thing?

Me: choking to death on my own laughter.

Shad: That's their p***s.

Me: still about to die from laughter.

Lula (brain ticking away): Yeah if you did that then you would drink pee and that would be gross.

Wow! I wish they were a little less observant sometimes:-)