Monday, October 31, 2016

Grocery Totals for the Month of October

Goal is no more than $400 for food items. 

October 1st Big Y $13.04 after Tax and Deposits (do they have soda/bottle deposits where you live?) we bought 4 twelve packs of Diet Orange.

October 2nd Farmers Market $22.00 bakery and squash

October 2nd Connecticut Natural Produce Market $41.90 Prepared Chicken Cutlets  (1.5 lbs) Prepared Ribs for DH lunch (1.5 lbs), Bibb Lettuce, Deli Tuna Salad and Seafood Salad, .5 lb of chunk blue cheese, Cinnamon Stick and Chocolate Croissant (DH Sunday sweets, I really gotta start baking again) Large Batard of sliced Sourdough, 5.72 lbs of Sugar Pumpkins.

October 3rd Shoprite $61.77 (I'm noticing the sales the beginning of the month are much better the than later in the month)=  4 boxes Barilla Penne, 1 box Barilla shells, 1 box Barilla elbows, 3 boxes Ronzoni lasagna (thinking ahead to holidays) 2 Shoprite Organic vegetable stock, Grass fed Beef tenderloin shrinkwrapped (holidays) Combo pack of Bottom Round Roast and Stew Meat, 3.87 lbs of Broccoli Rabe (all blanched and frozen), a pound of mozzarella, 32 ounce container of Ricotta, box of 8 Johnson turkey sausage.  I thought this trip was a score!

October 3rd $81.62  BJ's Warehouse Water (2 cases of 40), 4 Pack of Heinz Gravy (thinking ahead, these were very large glass jars), Johnsonville breakfast turkey links (3 pack), Salmon, Beef Jerky, Special K, LOL light butter, Skippy Peanut butter twin pack and Milk.

October boxed Order. $2.96   Case of Gatorade, warehouse size twinpack Jif.  (uh oh, guess we don't need PB for a year)  Three pack Swanson broth

October 5th $7.44 large bag M and M's (DH request) a large bag of Hershey dark chocolate kiss and a free Tropicana lemonade

October 7th $18.41 10 lbs of onions, celery, lemon poppy seed bread and sesame sticks.   

October 10th Stop and Shop $50.10. They had some great coupons in the flyer this week.   18 count eggs .99.    I got another 4 pounds of broccoli rabe for .99 a pound.  A huge cryovaced eye of round roast 7.19 lb for just  $17.90 after coupon.  3.2 lbs of 85% lean ground beef.   7 triple zero yogurt with 2 for free with personal savings.  Ritz crackers, 2.4 lbs sweet Italian sausage, and 6 lbs of assorted winter squashes.

October 13th  28.72 after Saving Star refunds and coupons.    A case of Tuttoroso Tomatoes (12 large cans), 3.68 lbs of Ground Beef, 3 Pillsbury refrigerated bakery (2 biscuits, 1 cinnamon roll) 10 lbs of potatoes, Gallon of milk, Broccoli Cheddar Soup (splurge) Hellmann's Mayo 30 ounce , 4 lb bag of Sugar.

Plan is no more proteins UNLESS it is whole turkeys or turkey breasts.  Halfway through the month, and I only have $72.04 left.  I will be finishing my Market Share at edgewood market by the end of this month.  I have been blanching and freezing a lot of the vegetables I have gotten this month.

October 16 $34.00 on baked goods at the farmers market.  (DH came with me, lol) 

October 20th $20.55 Target after coupons and 5% discount for using Redcard (I always pay it immediately off at customer service in cash)  20 assorted Chobani yogurts, 4 cartons of College Inn broths and two 8 ounce countainers of very nice looking mushrooms (I rarely buy fresh products here, but these looked beautiful, and I haven't had mushrooms in a while) priced at $1.79 each.

October 22 $17.89  at Big Y after SavingStar and Ibotta refunds.  Coffee Mate creamer quart (for Uncle), Gallon of Milk, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (freebie) Thomas English Muffins (B1G1F) pound of Tyson bacon and a 1/2 gallon of Apple Cider.

$400.40 spent!    BUT, again I have a lot in freezers and some of the purchases were for Holiday.  I am so excited at my staying so within my new budget. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tree, Meals, Snow and my Sister is flying in!

I hope you can see the snow.  I have tried twice to upload videos, guess I am doing something wrong.
My sister is flying in from Florida for a week!  Haven't seen her since January.  Very excited.
So, I made her this today
Pumpkin soup!  Her favorite
I made my DH this
chili no beans
And I also made this!
Mushroom, Chicken, Mandel stoup.  The stock was from the chicken I roasted Monday, with roasted veggies.
On Tuesday DH made me this
Lobster risotto, with stock we made in July and froze.  Frozen lobster meat.  I have been eating it all week for lunch/dinner.
We also had the tree adventure begin. 
It's been a busy morning here today!
Oh, did I mention the snow?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Using every little bit

I have been trying to have zero (or as close as possible) food waste.  In the Tightwad Gazette newsletter from the early 90's Amy Dacyczyn talked a lot about the soup container in the freezer.  I haven't been doing that, but I have been using rewashed baggies to freeze tidbits that I mark on the bag. 

The last time I went to the farmers market (didn't go 10/23) I prepped all my veggies for the week and had these tidbits leftover.  There are carrot ends (the root end), swiss chard stems with a bit of leaf (the root end was cut off), pepper tops, celery, onion etc.  Just little odds and ends.  I combined these with a pound of diced chicken I had frozen from the last roasted chicken weeks ago.  A bag of corn kernels I had cut off of a lone cob when we got some from the farmers market that I had frozen.  Some more onion and a bag of chopped celery tops.
A container of vegetable stock and another of reduced sodium chicken stock put into the crockpot before I left for the morning lessons turned into
I used some Emeril Cajun seasoning.  Saturday linner!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Boxed Review from 3rd order (referral link)

I have to say, I am super impressed.  I realized some ways to spread the savings.  First, I had a third referral purchase.  I have a special code that I have in the past listed when I have mentioned Boxed in my blog, and so far now I have $45!  They let you use 2 referral credits in one order.  My second order I posted about here, and saved $30.00 (Thanks to Nathalie who was one of my referral orders)

Also, Ibotta is offering 15% back if you go to the Boxed app from their app.  So I was all over that!

Free shipping as I placed the minimum order, and I received the item the next day!

So, what did I get?
$100 worth of Smashburger gift cards (four $25.00 for only 91.00)   I was able to pick two freebies as I purchased over a certain threshold, so I got a fig bar and a 4 pack of batteries (AAA). I also received a Boxed Halloween giveaway, which included a package of cotton 'cobwebs', trick or treat bag, three Hershey mini bars (two special dark and one crackle) and two spider tattoos. 

Standard Cart
Smashburger Gift Cards Smashburger Gift Cards$91.99
Qty: 1
[S] Nature's Bakery Fig Bar [S] Nature's Bakery Fig Bar$0.00
Qty: 1
[S] Prince & Spring AAA Supreme Batteries [S] Prince & Spring AAA Supreme Batteries$0.00
Qty: 1
Boxed Giveaway Boxed Giveaway$0.00
Qty: 1
After the referral credit my total was $76.99 which I charged to my cashback credit card that I pay off each month.  But I also got credited from Ibotta!   Minus $13.80 Ibotta 15% back.
 I paid $63.19 for $100.00 dollars worth of holiday gifts.    SCORE!
If you want to get in on the Boxed deals, please consider going through my referral link.  You get $15.00 off and so do I!
Here is my link:  GIVE & GET $15. Share the joy of Boxed and everyone wins! Your shareable link:
Here are photos of my box
Students will enjoy these holiday freebies!  (DH took the candy, lol)

Meals this week

 Meals this week  Sunday we had a purchased at Stop & Shop for $1.99 a pound after a minimum purchase and coupon a delicious (so the men said) beef roast. Husband made a marinade without pepper as the Uncle cannot longer eat pepper. And he cooked it on the grill. I made roasted potatoes carrots and onions as well as broccoli Rabe.

Monday I made crabcakes.   The men had thinly sliced beef on onion rolls with thinly sliced onions.
 I had crabcakes that I had made from scratch. This was the first time I've ever tried to do this. I'm happy to say it was quite easy, and now it's another dish that I will no longer order and restaurants because I can make it home.  Gpa P didn't care for them (more for me!!)

I chopped green onion (garden) peppers and shallots (farmers market organic share)

sautéed in olive oil
Can of crab leg meat.  Cheaper than lump. 16 ounce at BJ's warehouse club for $6.99 after coupon
egg (I would do 2 in the future) Dijon mustard, worstershire sauce, seafood seasoning (Bays)
Mix very well
well blended. 
Panko and more bays
before baking.  I think an additional egg would have made them hold their shape better, and I would have not been so nervous about shaking off excess panko coating.   Drizzled with EVOO and baked at 400 for 20 minutes
Yummo.  I added a Tbsp of Roasted Garlic Aioli (another gift from last year)
Tuesday we had panko crusted chicken cutlets (DH has me buy breasts and he cuts and pounds) with white buttered rice and carrots/green beans.

Wednesday (yesterday) we had leftovers

Today (Thursday) will be meatballs/sauce and pasta.  I froze a container of sauce with three meatballs for me and DH on a day it's just us and we don't have time to cook.  I also made a pumpkin streusel from a Williams Sonoma gift received last year.   It's not gluten free, but I did taste it.  Very rich (two whole sticks of butter!)  I will have spaghetti squash with my meatball.

Tomorrow will be whatever is left (and there really isn't much)  Hopefully some pasta and meatballs. 

For lunches this week GPA P and I had leftovers (I had all the crabcakes but the one that he tried)    I also made a small meatloaf that the men of been snacking on after I made 17 meatballs.

 DH get's lunch at the café at his temp job.  He also packs peanuts and beef jerky.   Breakfasts have been oatmeal, cereal, Johnsonville turkey breakfast sausages (my new favorite) and GPa has had his 5 eggs twice (yes, 10 eggs one week, it's a losing battle.  Oh, and one each time for his dog.)

Monday, October 17, 2016

The change of seasons in my garden and it's coming down!

Fall, one of my favorite times of year.  I actually like all the seasons, but there is just something about harvest times, so many things in my favorite color (leaves, pumpkins, squash).  DH planned the decorations for the porch area this year.  Below are the three unusual PA purchased pumpkins, some millet and two large straw bales.

When we picked up the millet I also got this Chinese lantern perennial.  Now that I've put it in the ground I'm reading horror stories of how invasive it is.  Almost as bad as bamboo.  I'll have to keep an eye on this.  I do love the little orange 'lanterns' though.


I keep looking for gnomes or fairies, lol

Since taking these mushroom photos they have ballooned in size. 
This is the tree that is coming down.  I has lost many large limbs in the last two winters, and now it is growing onto the roof of the house.
I do have guilt, it's a beautiful tree.  The fee to trim is not much cheaper than having it removed, which we know we would have to do eventually anyway.  I am planning a sitting garden once I see what the sunlight will be.  There is a lilac bush that has been there since I was a child, that is not doing well because of the lack of light.  I am hoping that it will improve once it isn't so choked.
Last Hurrah for summer flowers

My Mums start blooming in August!

What's it look like in your garden/yard?

Farmers Market 10/17

Didn't get all produce photographed before I prepped.  3 bunches of Swiss Chard were not photographed. Stems were removed and it was patted dry and put in a ziplock bag for later in the week.  I also got celery for the first time.  Much smaller than what you would see in the store, more leaf then stalk.  Very sweet.  I prepped all of it for meals to come.   I paid no monies for produce.  I STILL have market share money left.  Wow, this really did pay off.  I may rethink doing it again.

Below are two bunches of Kohlrabi (so glad to have some more of that) and one pound of carrots.  A second pound of carrots was prepped for Sunday dinner.

Some nice looking peppers
Two onion baguettes (they use a different name but this is what I'm going with)
Plus two sourdough boules.  I froze one sourdough.
2 rye breadsticks and 2 large pretzels
Yup, more English muffins now in the freezer.  Again, no line, DH went right up and ordered. Hmmm

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What has been Cooking?

On Sunday I blanched and froze 4lbs of Broccoli Rabe.    I roasted two large yellow squash and 2 delicata squash.    I topped the yellow squash with shredded cheese.    I made a zucchini quiche and steamed some turnip greens.  These veggies will be used throughout the week.

On Monday DH made shrimp and rice.

Tuesday was chili, one crockpot with beans, one without.  DH picked up a loaf of bread and sour cream.

Wednesday Grilled Sausage with onions/potatoes/peppers.  Excess sausage saved for broccoli rabe next week.

Thursday leftovers

Friday more leftovers

Saturday of soup that I made with the leftover sausage onion potato peppers, chicken stock, I can of white kidney beans and escarole.  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Keeping Busy

I feel as if I have been going non stop since we started this month.  Doctors Appointments (including ER eye visit for my Mother), more food prep, more business documents, the beginning of gift making.

I harvested the last of the Basil
and I dehydrated it with my new oven's dehydrate setting.  I have a double oven with the top being only one fourth of the entire oven.  In 20 minutes, it went from above to this
Not much, but better than wasting it.
I also harvested the oregano I had hanging to try and now have this
I cut and hung more oregano to dry
I took the seeds from the fennel I was drying.  Not much
can you see the seeds in the bottom of the baggie?
And I cut down the rest of my fennel and hung it to dry for more seeds
I put more gardening items away (hoses and sprinklers) and I threw out a bunch of equipment that is broken or not working correctly.
We had several tree removal companies come out, and we are removing an large Elm that my grandfather planted way to close to the house back in the 50's.  We are also having a Maple that is near the house trimmed.  DH and I discussed options and called and booked the one we chose.  We will charge it to a card I pay off each month that we will get $$ back on.  They are coming the 25th. I have half the fee already to pay the day I charge it, and the other half I will have before the billing cycle posts.  Glad we will be doing this. 
I have blanched and frozen 4 more lbs of Broccoli Rabe.  Freezers will now be where I 'shop' for the rest of the month.  Need to make room for Turkeys and Turkey Breasts!
All bills are now paid.
I went to Target (got health/beauty items) I went to Michaels (I was told my stickers suck (I G rated it for my FB post, LOL), I went to Walgreens to get my scripts and also some Purex for the current SavingsStar deal.  I really do not NEED any laundry detergent right now, but I am thinking I will gift it. 
I also am getting more proactive in fighting for what's mine and finding more ways to save.
Savingstar shorted me by $3.47 in my crediting towards the $5 back goal.  It was a true transposition, but the old me would have let it go.  Not this time!  I emailed them.  Let's see if they correct the error.
My Crohn's medication is covered for the rest of the year as I have met my deductible. I just pay a $25.00 copay.   However in January it will cost me almost $700 a month!  Good news is it will go towards my deductible.  Bad news is the amount of money.  I have started to rectify this.
If I order it through Express Scripts in November I will get three months for the price of two.  This means that it will get my first month into the new year for Free.  Actually if I do all our scripts (DH has one, I have 7!) it will save us over $1000 a year! 
 I also have the paperwork to file for payment assistance with the drug company.  I'm not sure we will qualify, but I am definitely going to try.  Paperwork is all ready for the Dr to fill out when I revisit him in February.