Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grocery Challenge Update #2

The budget is blown.
But I have to say this challenge, for me, was not a waste of time.
I learned alot about what I'm buying, where I'm buying it and who's charging what.

So far I have spent $549.94
This includes two dinners with guests.
I have also included non-consumables in my total budget.
I decided to include them because I make a lot of our cleaning products myself (including the laundry detergent) using inexpensive ingredients such baking soda, vinegar, peroxide and castile soap.
We also use cloth diapers most of the time.

Totals for non-consumables came to $62.96.
If I hadn't included them, my total for the month so far would be $486.98.
It's not shockingly over budget. Not to me anyway.
I'm not gonna lie, I've watched a few episodes of Extreme Couponing just to see if I could learn a thing or two.
Unfortunately, I don't often find coupons for the quality of food that we eat.
I also don't need 72 bottles of mustard.

My two best money-stretching and ingredient-using recipes this past week were macaroni and cheese and a chopped salad.

For the macaroni and cheese I was able to use up all the scraps of cheese I had in the fridge along with Wegman's "Super Macaroni"(not paid to say that) which I purchased using a store coupon a while back.
I sprinkled some shredded parmesan and bread crumbs over top, baked it for 45 minutes and voila, dinner...and lunch....and another lunch....and maybe even a breakfast.

I also made a chopped salad using iceberg lettuce (cheap and crunchy). I saw this storing technique for lettuce on pinterest (you can follow me there using the button in the sidebar) and I have to say it worked quite well. I washed and chopped all the lettuce. I reserved some plain in one jar for miscellaneaous use later. The rest I mixed with chopped bacon, pumpkin seeds and broccoli and filled another large jar with it and stored it all away in the fridge. 

When I was ready to serve the salad I simply placed it in a mixing bowl (it already had the bacon, broccoli and pumpkin seeds in it), added chopped boiled eggs, crumble feta cheese, dressing and tossed it all together.

The leftover salad made a nice little lunch along with some leftover sweet potato soup later in the week.

October is not over yet. We'll see what the rest of this week brings.
Did I mention we will have house guests this weekend?
Oh yes, that will surely bump up the numbers.

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