Going grocery shopping tomorrow

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Things have been tight around here lately so grocery shopping has been very planned.   I've been thinking back on my old shopping trips and lists...wondering how much more it costs then in previous years.    So this week I'm hoping to start keeping track.   It'll be fairly accurate since my pantry and freezer aren't well stocked.

What I've been doing is making a shopping list at of things we need, even though I know I'll probably buy things on the list cheaper at Save-A-Lot or Aldis.   I figure if I can keep my list in the vicinity of my budget then buying things should bring me under budget or allow me some extras.   I keep track of how much less money I'm spending on the margins of my list.  So if I have $2.00/lb for chicken breasts on my list but find it for $1.70/lb and I buy 5lbs I'd write + $1.50 in the margin.   Then if I buy something extra I cross off the margin amounts to total the price of the extra thing.   It's been working out well.   I love that I  don't have to keep a running total in my head when I'm going through the store.  I do have to remind myself that I can always come back another day and pick up more extras if I come in under budget at the end of the shopping trip.  And also to leave some $$ for restocking perishables since I have to go 2wks between major shopping trips.

So hopefully on Monday (won't be home this weekend) I can come back here and let you know how things went.  

Banana Bread

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cream together
1 cup butter 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 
4 eggs  
24 oz overripe bananas  (4 2/3 cups)


4 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 

mix until  well combined

Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake 50 min at 350ºF

Anniversary Cupcakes

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Yesterday was my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  My sister, brother and I threw them a reception.   I volunteered to make the cupcakes for the party.   We had....

Lemon Lovers White Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate with Raspberry Frosting 
Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting
Carrot with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

And here's my notes/thoughts....

Lemon...  I needed more lemon zest in the frosting.  If I'd filled them with French's lemon pie filling they'd have been perfect!   I need to use an open star piping tip when I have zest in the frosting.  It clogged up the one I used (2D)  and made the job very difficult.

Chocolate...  I realized after making another batch of the frosting that I'd doubled the first batch but only put in a single batch of the jam.  The frosting was still good but would've been fantastic with all the jam in it.    I tried the chocolate cake recipe I did because it had more chocolate in it.  Everyone loved them and I thought they were ok.  Although it's claimed that the recipe makes a good stacking cake.  I'm tenative on that claim.   I originally planned on making the linked raspberry filling (smitten's) in the recipe but decided I didn't want the extra work.  I think if I'd made the frosting as I was suppose to AND filled them it would've been too much.

Vanilla... I wouldn't call this vanilla but almond which is fine by me because I LOVE almond.   The cake was delicious.  The frosting was ok.   I made it because everyone raved about it and said it was very workable.  I agree with the workable part.  I could see it being used for decorating a cake.  For all the frosting though, I'd prefer a frosting with some real butter in it.   I'll use the frosting recipe again, as decoration purposes only.

Carrot...  I added crushed pineapple and used pecans instead of walnuts.   It was  good cake but next time I'd substitute the yellow cake for a carrot cake boxed mix.   It didn't have enough spices as I'd like, even after adding allspice to it.   The frosting though was out of this world!!!!  Allison suggested we tell everyone the carrot cakes stink so they'd leave them alone and we'd have tons to bring back home.  lol   I told her we COULD make more in the future.  I was eating the frosting on the chocolate and almond cupcakes and it was yummy too.   This coming from a person who doesn't care for  most orange flavored things.  Again, a note about the zest clogging up the tip...change to a more open tip... 1M perhaps?

I made 2 batches of batch regular size cupcakes and the next mini cupcakes.  We frosted 66 or so of the minis to take.   I came home with just enough.  Allison took a tray of them to a cookout today and we had them for breakfast.  I think there are about 6 large ones left and 10 mini ones.  If there's a next time I think I'd consider just mini each guest a plate to take a sample of each.  They didn't have plates at the reception and I didn't think to ask for them until it was almost over.

As I mentioned above we used the 2D tip to frost them.  We started from the inside and went to the outside so it made the cake tops look like roses.   The mini ones were actually harder to frost them the regular sized ones.    For decorations I used white chocolate.  I piped an outline of a heart for the large cupcakes and made solid hearts for the mini ones. I then hit them with gold pearl dust.   I tried the wilton's edible spray paint but it didnt' adhere to the chocolate very well.   Thinking I might have wanted yellow colored chocolate instead of white.  But it still looked good.

Well I MADE a menu.....

Saturday, May 09, 2009

It was midweek by the time I got it figured out, I just never posted it here.

Wednesday.... Pizza, veggies and dip
Thursday.... Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, garlic bread
Friday.... Ham and bean soup, cheese biscuits
Saturday... pork loin roast, mashed potatoes, peas
Sunday... burritos

So far I've been so so in following it.

Wednesday we did have pizza. I made 4 pizzas...garlic spinach, garlic artichoke and 2 cheese with sauce. There was tons leftover that were used for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I need to redo the spinach was dry and bland...plain garlic would've been a lot better. The artichoke was delicious but expensive. I used artichoke tapenade leftover from our trip to Niagara Falls. Price breakdown... dough ($2), spinach ($.50), artichoke tapenade ($3), 4lbs cheese ($9.80), sauce ($.44)

Total for Wednesday's dinner... $15.74

Thursday I wasn't feeling so great after getting home from Carrie's doctor's appt. It was almost a FFY (fend for yourself) day. Just before bedtime I decided to make 20 grilled cheese sandwiches. 30pcs bread ($1.86), margarine ($.35), 30 cheese slices ($2.75), celery ($1.10)

Total for Thursday's dinner... $6.06

Friday I finally got the spaghetti and Italian sausage made. 2lbs linguini ($1.36), 2 cans spaghetti sauce ($.1.76), can of crushed tomatoes ($.69), Italian sausage ($5.94)

Total for Friday's dinner... $9.75

Running total cost of meals since April 15th.... $316.99 (24 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

We ran out of milk. Carrie ran into the store and grabbed 3 gallons... $6.09

Running shopping total since 4/15.... $584.02

Quick run through the stores

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Carrie hurt her elbow this weekend so into the dr's we went to get it checked out on Monday. Xrays say it's not broken, only bruised. We needed to get some essentials so ran to Walmart after a quick run through the dollar store...

Dollar store

3 8oz containers philly cream cheese
3 1lb pkgs chicken hotdogs
12 beef sticks (4/$1)
9 fizzy bomb candy (6/$1)
3 4pk jawbreakers candy (3/$1)
bag of garlic onion chips (for the car)
3 jars cream of chicken gravy (2/$1)
Total... $13.50


4.00 - 4pkgs frozen dinners (Tom's lunch)
1.76 - 2pkgs frozen dinners (Tom's lunch)
3.75 - Malt O Meal fruit rings cereal
1.38 - Snack crackers
1.38 - Wheat crackers
1.48 - 2 loaves sandwich bread
2.66 - strawberry preserves
6.00 - 6pkgs linder bagels
6.96 - 2pks 24oz mushrooms
7.56 - 2 jars instant coffee
2.22 - 6 gallon water refill
1.54 - Minute maid limeade, half gallon (for me in car)
1.48 - sobe drink for carrie
1.98 - cup of popcorn chicken (for car)
$40.40 Total

Running shopping total since 4/15.... $577.93

The rest of the week

This weekend was pretty simple in terms of meals. Friday night was the lite fare. There was just me, Tom, Eileen, Olivia, Danielle and Sean for dinner. Val and Michelle are in NYC/NJ until today. The rest of the kids went out to eat with the youth. I'm not including what they ate into my meals cost. I figure it was a special occasion and would be considered entertainment. I made a pot of salt potatoes fully intending to make something to go along with them. It never got made, we just had as many potatoes as we wanted. Sean and Danielle are potato freaks so it was fine by them. Tom was looking for a bit of protein come bedtime, I'm not sure if he had anything or not. Because I'm pulling the potatoes from a 50# bag I'm estimating how much I made. I'm pretty sure it was equivalent to a regular bag of salt potatoes, so I'll say 4 pounds. ($1.54) and we used one stick of butter ($.56)

Total for Friday's dinner... $2.10

Saturday was the lite work night. The kids and I were at church all day and ate at the grill our fellowship runs. Tom came by to drop the van off and grabbed an Italian sausage with peppers and onions sandwich so I'll even include that into the price...although he may have had something else for dinner later in the evening. There was roasted chicken (a big thigh or 2 drumsticks) for $1. Italian sausage sandwich...$2.75, Hot dogs...$1, chili dogs...$1.50, hamburgers...$2.50, cheeseburgers...$2.75, bowl of chili...$1.50, chips...$.75. I brought 2 bags of popcorn and cut up cucumbers and celery to go along with them sandwiches and such. I'm not positive what a few of the older kids had but even if I credit them with the higher end things, it comes to $15 or I'll say $20.

Total for Saturday's dinner... $20

Sunday we were invited to my sister's for a BBQ. I had to bring a dish so I'll consider that my cost of dinner. I brought about 12# of salt potatoes ($4.62), 2# of butter...although we only used 1.5...gave the rest to my sister ($3.38), and a container of Laffy Taffy ($4)

Total for Sunday's dinner... $12

Monday I had big plans. I was going to roast the sirloin tip roast I bought last week. Instead I was running a hurt kid into the doctor's (she's ok...just bruised). So I sliced up the roast into steaks and broiled them (GOTTA fix the gas grill!) ($18.17). I also sauteed up some sliced mushrooms ($6.96), a green, yellow and red pepper ($1.75) and a bag of broccoli normandy out of the freezer ($2.50). There was a good amount of steak leftover so I cut it up and put it in a baggie along with the juices on the tray and threw it in the freezer. Otherwise it'd have been eaten the next day.

Total for Monday's dinner... $29.38

Tuesday it was my turn for a dr visit (checkup) I had planned on making pizza when I came home but was too tired. So grabbed the meat from the night before out of the freezer. I heated it up in a pan of gravy (3pkts brown gravy mix...$1, boullion...$.60, cornstarch and garlic). Cooked a 2# box of macaroni ($1.20) since I discovered I only had ONE bag of egg noodles! Oh yeah, I decided I wanted it meatier so threw in a small bag of cooked burger from the fridge. ($2.50)

Total for Tuesday's dinner... $5.30

Today I'm hoping to iron out the rest of the meals for the week and maybe even make the pizza that I've been trying to make since last week.

Running total cost of meals since April 15th.... $285.44 (21 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

A few shopping trips.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Last Thursday I ran through BJ's quick. I don't have the receipt but I think I can remember everything I bought.

11.00 - 2# bag of shrimp
8.00 - bag of pepperoni
9.00 - 4# bacon
8.00 - 48ct cheese sticks
8.00 - 4# box of cheese slices
6.00 - 2 canisters lemonade mix
5.00 - 3pk bbq sauce
6.50 - 20# flour
4.00 - 6pk cake mixes
3.50 - 4 canned frosting
3.00 - dz plain bagels
6.50 - peanut m&m's
20.00 - 5 containers laffy taffy
Total... $101.50

Wednesday after Luke's dentist appointment we ran into a cash and carry place. I bought...

18.99 - 50# salt potatoes
18.17 - sirloin roast
17.80 - 10# shredded mozzarella cheese
7.96 - 4dz glazed doughnuts
5.07 - 3# butter
1.47 - 3# margarine
1.00 - 5 lemons
2.38 - 6 cucumbers
2.20 - 2 bunches celery
1.50 - 3 green peppers
3.50 - yellow, red and orange peppers
Total.... $80.04

Then after picking up Michelle it was into Walmart for...

9.28 - 4 gallons milk
3.00 - 3 half gallons peach juice
5.84 - 18 containers yogurt
2.00 - 2 pkgs lender bagels
2.48 - 2 loaves bread
Total.... $22.60

Running shoppping total since 4/15.... $524.03

Some catching up to do....

It's been a busy week. It's been nice to know what's for dinner and have that decision off my mind. Although I have to remember to make sure I can make what I plan since lack of ingredients mucks up the plan.

Monday was sloppy joes...$8 ($6.50 3# cooked meat and green peppers in freezer, $1 ketchup, $.50 for rest of ingredients...mustard, brown sugar, garlic powder), 2pkgs buns ($2) Pasta salad...$7.85 ($2 2pkgs rotinis, $.70 green pepper, $.40 rest of roma tomatoes, $2 2 cucumbers, $.25 2 stalks celery, $1 can of olives, $1.50 bottle Italian dressing)

Total for Monday's dinner... $17.85 (leftovers were finished off the next day)

Tuesday was the day that got mucked up due to not having all the ingredients. I ran in the door from Liz's doctor's appointment and set right to work on dinner. Grabbed the ham and hotdogs out of the fridge and sent Jake into the basement to get 9 cans of pork and beans. He came up with 2 cans of baked beans saying it was all he could find. I said he was blind as I just bought a case of them. I went down there to look for myself and only found one more can of pork and beans. I must've made cowboy beans since buying the case. *blush* So our meal became a side dish. I grilled 2 pkgs of hotdogs ($2) on the griddle and threw the 3 cans of beans ($1.33) in with the ham (already accounted for here). I didn't think that would be enough so I mixed up a batch of chili quick. $6.04 ($3 1.5# cooked burger, $1.40 2 cans crushed and tomato puree, $.66 2 pkgs chili seasoning, $1 3 cans of kidney beans). Oh almost forgot the bread for the hotdogs ($1.25). The kids ate and ran as they had church activities. I think I might've been the only one to eat the chili, so it'll be a dinner for another night.

Total for Tuesday's dinner... $10.62

Wednesday I ended up staying at my mom's until it was time to get Michelle (Luke had a dentist appt right near her house). So we ate there. The kids at home just microwaved chicken nuggets ($3.98) and had baby carrots ($.99)

Total for Wednesday's dinner... $4.97

Thursday was the day to use up the already made chili. I knew it wasn't enough to fill everyone as it was so I decided to throw some rice into it. As usual I added too much rice. That meant my chili with rice ended up being chili flavored rice. The only cost was the 3 cups of rice I added to the chili. ($.90) The kids also at leftovers.

Total for Thursday's dinner... $.90

Running total of meal costs since April 15th... $216.66 (16 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

Weekend update

Monday, April 27, 2009

I almost forgot what we had for dinner on Thursday. Luckily I had my meal plan made up and had stuck to it. :o) Although I tweaked it just a bit. I knew I wouldn't have time to make dough on Thursday so the regular pizzas turned into bagel pizzas. ($2.99 - bagels, $.44 - spaghetti sauce, $3.25 - cheese, $.75 - pepperoni)

Thursday's Total... $7.43

Friday was chicken nuggets ($3.98), and a bag of tater tots ($4.18)

Friday's total.... $8.16

Saturday Val made her specialty....shrimp alfredo (1.5# shrimp - $7.50, container cream cheese - $1, milk - $.25, margarine - $.20, Parmesan cheese - $2.50, pasta - $.1)

Saturday's total... $10.45

Sunday was Drew's birthday. We ran to a village grocery store and bought some things for dinner, including 2 small cakes. Steaks (pick 5pkgs for $19.99, 2 bags of salt potatoes - $5.98, 3 sticks butter - $1.56)

Sunday total... $27.53

Weekend total.... $53.57

Running total of meal costs since April 15th... $182.32 (12 being pizza delivery and another a birthday)

Menu... April 26 - May 2

Sunday... Drew's birthday...steak, salt potatoes, cake
Monday... Sloppy Joes, pasta salad
Tuesday... Liz's late dr appt... Cowboy beans
Wednesday... Luke dentist appt probably not home for dinner... Chicken nuggets, canned veggies, mashed potatoes
Thursday... Pizza
Friday... Spaghetti and Italian sausage, homemade bread
Saturday... Weekend conference at church...eating at the grill/snack bar probably. Sandwiches if not,