Monday, July 27, 2015

So, would you try this? Purslane

I have pulled this 'weed' out every gardening day of my life.  Have I been making a mistake?

Photo of my driveway

Farmers market purchases

Total spent between two locations 52.25.  All produce but the tomatoes were from certified organic farms. 

Beautiful Swiss Chard, $3.00

Fairy eggplant $4.00

Bedroom bouquet $5.00

Cippollini Onions $4.00

Not pictured one apple cider donut $1.00 (eaten upon purchase) chocolate croissant and apple turnover from SoNo Bakery $6.50 (DH treats) four small pretzel rolls $4.00, one pound of kohlrabi $4.00 six ears of corn $4.00 and four beautiful cucumbers $1.75.  

All of the above were purchased at the City Seed Edgewood market.  I missed the few tomatoes they had, so I went to a market by the house and got 5 pounds of NJ tomatoes for $7.50.  

City Seed Friends of the Edgewood Market

I think the program this year is an even better deal!   I paid $30.00 for my Friends of the Edgewood Market membership card.  All of this money goes back into supporting operations specific to this market including programming, marketing and outreach, cooking demos, community tables, increasing product diversity and market entertainment.

This year, it's a punch card (and laminated which I really like).  I also received a copy of the CitySeed cookbook (which I already purchased the year it came out, so I gifted it to my sister) which has a retail value of $14.95.   This program is only valid at Edgewood.   They punched my card (each card holds 8 punches)  When I reach 8, I get a loaf of bread, $10.00 in market tokens and a new punch card!  The program is valid from July 26-Dec 20.  I plan on being there almost every Sunday!

I think this is a great deal!  In past years, you could purchased a discounted item at a different vendor each week.   I am much more excited about this program, as sometimes I didn't want the item in previous years.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Gpa P went out with some friends yesterday.   Complained the entire morning before they left, he did not want to go blueberry picking.

Well, he had a blast.  Couldn't believe how easy it was to do.  He only picked for about 30 minutes and he brought home 4.5 pounds of blueberries.  I froze little over half of them, but we have about 2 pounds to pick on during the week.  The cost was $12.00 dollars and he has a story to tell repeatedly (one of his quirks).

More shopping

So, I went over my $500.00 per month grocery max, but some of the items I purchased will go way into August, so I don't feel badly.

Before these trips I was at 302.36.    I spent 153.23 at BJ's (all edibles) and 117.39 at Shoprite (almost all edibles)  Total spent in July $572.98 plus 24.98 at Target for ground coffee (3 bags of Starbucks) and dish detergent.

Proteins that will go into August are 5 dozen eggs (recent events prove these will get eaten quickly), Sirloin tips (we had 3 meals out of this this week), 3 pounds of taco flavored ground pork.  We had this once before and I was impressed, was happy to find it again.  Chicken breasts and chicken thin sliced breasts (some of the breasts were used already, and the rest were frozen), Turkey breakfast sausage patties, a Cooks Butt portion and a Cooks Shank portion (.99 and .89 a pound) 4 pounds of 16-20 count shrimp and 8 cans of tuna.

Fresh veggies were 6 pounds of tomatoes (only 2 left, sheesh I just did this purchase on Tuesday), celery, carrots, fruit, iceburg lettuce, organic herb spring mix and 4 peppers.

Paper goods 20 rolls of Marcal toilet paper.

Canned goods/pantry items  6 cans of black olives, club sized bag of Hormel real bacon bits, 2 large jars Claussen pickles (this was a want of mine) Twelve 28 ounce cans of Tuttoroso tomatos, 5 cans Goya low sodium beans, two 32 ounce of Hellmans light mayo, two 16 ounce Simply Jif peanut butter, two 64 ounce Wesson vegetable oil, 2 bags of Magic Pop snack wafers.

Dairy was 20 different yogurts as requested from family members, all were on sale and I had several coupons.

All in all, I think I made sound purchases.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Frugal activities

This is probably the only frugal activity that I've done this week. Picking lots of salad greens from the backyard.  Did loads of laundry during the day when we returned, and am running the dishwasher now (also during the day)

I am happy to say that we planned for this working vacation trip we just returned from, and even though we did use a credit card while there, I paid it off in full when we got home.  Everything was budgeted, and we even came home with cash!  So I guess that was a frugal activity too. 

What we are out of and starting to replenish

So, I have checked out the 'coffers'.   We are out of canned tuna, down to two cans of Campbells Tomato (only because I had hidden them well) bottled water, ground coffee, disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, milk, eggs, bread.  No celery, carrots, or lettuce.

I had purchased duck eggs before we left, Gpa P let me know he didn't eat them as he looked them up and they have three times the cholesterol of a chicken egg.  So, within 5 days, he consumed every egg in the house!  Two dozen!

I am having trouble getting back into the groove, but I did go to BJ's wholesale and spent $124.50.   July grocery totals are now at $302.36

Two cases of bottled water, salmon and frozen shrimp.   Carrots, mushrooms,  celery, fruit, english muffins, guacamole singles (a want) pita chips (another want), a case of Oikos yogurts (had a coupon three dollars off),  large containers of fresh salsa, plain yogurt and sour cream.  Really not much I know.    But we ate the salmon for dinner on Wednesday with rice and frozen broccoli, and I've eaten it twice since (with more leftover!)  I love fish.  My favorite protein besides eggs.

I put together a meatloaf for DH to bake today when he gets home.  All from the freezer and pantry.  This with mushrooms and probably more rice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

First day back from convention

Well, back in the land of reality.   This event was actually very relaxing, not like previous one's that were go go go and learn learn learn.

I did learn, but in a very fun and relaxed way.   Focus was on film, lighting and soundtracks.  DH enjoyed this one especially, as the entire purpose was the discussion of the impact of the filming of Jaws 40 years ago on the economy and how it changed the Vineyard (for the better?)

Today and tomorrow I am still technically on vacation, (but will be seeing students for reschedules tomorrow)  Today so far I have been doing laundry and went for some labwork, then to BJ's.

Still haven't deciphered yet how much I need to replenish.   Gpa P seems to have been living on yogurt, canned tuna, eggs (he cleaned us out) and Campbells Tomato soup.

DD also moved away out of state, and I knew she had taken a big stock pile too.

I will slowly get back into the grove, but today I feel a bit 'out of it'.  Not sure why.  My get up and go is perhaps still on the island?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Picked fresh today

Fresh English Shelling peas.  I have another container in the fridge already.  That one was .5 pounds.  So all together, for probably 50 cents worth of seeds I've gotten almost 2 pounds of peas just this week.  

I would say that retail at the local farmers market this amount (from what I picked this week) would be $8.00.  I used organic seeds, and no chemicals of any kind.  I will be home early tonight from the studio, so I will be shelling as soon as I get home.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Saturday City Seed Wooster Square Farmers Market

Just my second visit to this market as I usually am not free on Saturdays.  Probably my last as I don't have any open Saturdays for the rest of the year.  July 4th they were quieter than the first visit, and I already had a game plan for what I wanted to get.  Here is what I got.  No SoHo bakery items this time, as I am trying to avoid wheat products/carbs and didn't want to be tempted.  Also saved me alot of cash, as their tent is usually the most expensive item I purchase.

3 very large squash for breads $3.00, 4 yellow squash and 3 green squash $8.00, Duck eggs (half dozen) 4, Scapes and white turnips 18, Chocolate milk for DH and yogurt for me 10.50, 
Apple Cider Donut 1  (okay, that went down the tube quickly), Mint 3 and Cukes 2.

All but the scapes were for me, and I'm hoping if I cover some of the costs of the scapes I will score one jar of the pesto that my friend is planning on making with them.  What do you say MH?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

What's been cooking?

Lunches and Dinners

I took a bag out of the freezer which contained sliced Smithfield Honey Spiral Ham from the last ham we baked.   I used some of the ham to make a Ham/Carrot/Onion/Celery/White Kidney Bean soup.  Had to make sure Pops had his Sunday soup while we drove to RI.

Also made three ham and assorted veggie quiches Tuesday evening.  I used the last of an egg white carton, two store bought eggs, two farm eggs.  The last of a bag of shredded shop rite cheddar cheese.  A bag of frozen sliced green onion from the garden, broccoli, white onion were the veggies.  These are used for breakfast or lunches.  Today is Thursday and one is gone already.

Monday dinner  Pork chops from a whole pork loin purchased for 1.99 a pound.  The rest was frozen as a roast for another day.  Frozen broccoli and white rice.

Tuesday Dinner  Baramunda fish filets from the freezer (purchased at BJ's months ago), brown rice and asparagus.  I actually ate Baramunda three times this week.

Wednesday we got Chinese takeout (we plan for this twice a month) Pops actually kicked in $20.00, so my OOP for the four of us was just $17.47.  I always wonder why my steamed shrimp/mixed vege is always so much more than what everyone else gets that has all sorts of sauces and probably preservatives.  Love this particular restaurant that is near the studio...just which they had brown rice.

Thursday London Broil Marinating purchased today for $1.99 a pound.  Have almost three pounds, will be freezing the leftovers sliced thinly to add to a salad on a hot day.  Choices of sides to be decided, but I gave DH choice of corn (have more than enough ears for today and the 4th), potatoes (again more than enough) rice (my go to starch) and asparagus.  Leftovers were frozen (unsliced) and will be used for a future salad.

Salmon Potato Puff was made Sunday as well for Pops, he and DD polished this off by Tuesday (DD calls this salmon stuffing)

I tend to eat two sit down meals with a yogurt or a soy protein bar in between.

Friday will probably be leftovers as I am running errands with a friend, seeing her new house and going to breakfast with her too.  DH and I ended up getting lobster rolls and got Gpa P a softshell crab sandwich.

Fourth of July was a visit to the Wooster Farmers market (watch for another post) and than a cookout.  I had made two different pasta salads (one gluten and mayo free) potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, coleslaw, hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken florentine burgers and sausage pattys.  Five people ate (DD had a friend over) and we definitely don't need to cook tomorrow.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July purchases so far

I actually don't plan on spending anymore in meat this month.  We are away for a work/semi vacation trip 5 days this month.  I want us to keep eating down from the stock in the freezers.  I plan on replenishing lots of meat in August and September.  I will however continue to look for deals as I mention later in this blog if I find them, and put them at the back or bottom of the freezers for future use.  I was recently a bit un-nerved (is this a word?) by some a recent blog post made at the  and comments about us needing to have large food storage.  Thanks to a friend for putting things in perspective. 

In a Sunday adventure to RI this past weekend, we picked up two boxes of Saugy Hot Dogs.  The only kind DH absolutely likes.  We froze one box, and the other box is earmarked for July 4th cookout.  These are NOT available in CT.  Definitely have to plan for this purchase.  Sometimes if DH has drivers going into RI he will give them money and directions to the nearest Stop and Shop.   Here is a link to their Saugy website.  6 pounds of Saugy's was 31.98.  

I spent 96.38 at Stop and Shop this morning.  More than I originally planned to spend, but in following CTMOM at I am starting to search for the bargains. 

In the SS flyer they had a 5 pound bag of Russets for 2.49.  I did not feel this was a great deal at all, but DH wants potato salad and we have been out of potatoes for a while.  I just couldn't put the small bag in my cart.  I went to the potato/onion display hoping to find something better.  Oh boy, did I!   A 10 pound bag of the SAME POTATOES.   $3.49!!   They actually looked better than the 5 pound bag.  

I also found ground chicken breast marked down (dated July 3rd which is tomorrow as write this) for $3.00 a pound. Originally $5.49 a pound.   I purchased two pounds.  Tucked those in the freezer for a future chili/meatloaf/meatball plan.

The rest of the items purchased were on my list.  Deals were a dozen ears of corn for $1.92,    2.71 pounds of cherries for $5.09, London Broil 3.76 pounds for $7.48,  A whole seedless watermelon for $3.99, Stop and Shop hotdog and hamburger rolls for a dollar a package.  An eight ounce bag of Stop and Shop shredded cheese for FREE.

Also got nectarines, blueberries, hamburger patties, gluten free pasta (for DS), 3 pounds of Dole shredded coleslaw mix for $5.00 (yes, would be cheaper to shred my own, but figured I could stretch this out as it has good dates)  DH favorite salad dressing (on sale though kicked myself as I knew I had coupons at home) my favorite cole slaw dressing (not on sale), two cases of water (an eh price, even though supposedly on sale) Grey Poupon course mustard (my favorite and on sale) huge jar of salad green olives (half the price of the perfect ones in the same sized jar) gallon of milk, round loaf of a local italian bread sliced, two local yogurts I've been wanting to try so treated myself, bananas.  I had coupons for the cherries, cheese, london broil and $3.00 off your purchase.

Total spent so far in July is $128.36 (did get .40 back to my Ibotta account for the bananas and milk, and additional 20% will come back from Savingstar for the bananas as well)

Frugal Accomplishments

A slow week.

Made a salmon potato puff using a free 14.5 ounce can of salmon and a free instant mashed potato pouch.

Peeled and chopped the starting to look a bit sad last two pounds of whole carrots.    Froze a ziplock bag full for another meal.

Froze a bag of onion peelings, carrot tops and celery end for a future stock.

Made sure most errands (cannot count today's Stop and Shop run in this) were in the loop to and from the studio.

As always, laundry and dishwasher ran over night.