Saturday, August 19, 2017

How's the August Grocery Challenge Going?

Recycled picture-new corn chowder made this week.
Here's a very boring, accountability laden post, on my progress towards my $350 August Grocery Budget challenge. There have been some odds and end purchases-at least DH stopped in an Aldi's for food, not the expensive town grocery store or the even pricier country nook store. I made a Wednesday night stop at Aldi's supplementing the pantry and preparing for a lake weekend, targeting to spend no more than $40, and came in at $37. Counting what DH spent, I'm at $281  with a balance of $69. In my sort of day off, with the rainy weather, I made soup and wheat bread for last nights supper, and  baked brownies and muffins for the weekend.

I've added a couple meals, changed up a bit, and crossed out ones we have eaten. We ate leftovers one night so the menu plan brings us to August 28th (three bigger meals plus sandwiches at the lake). If we stay strict to it, we still have room even for DH's indulgences. We do need a few items for the house like toothpaste, dishwasher and dish liquid, but nothing else non-food wise. Besides fresh food like fruit, milk, eggs, and bread, I'll probably need more protein items. I also want to have room for roadside stand picks, more sweet corn and cucumbers. No garden freebies yet other than the salad brought home Sunday night. With nearly two full weeks left in the month, it is the tightest I've ever had heading into the home stretch, but I'm pleasantly surprised at my resolve so far.
Muffins from last of a bag of flour and remnant chocolate chips.

Cookie brownies-an Aldi's mix.
  1. Vegetarian Chili 
  2. Country boneless ribs, roasted potatoes, corn.(tonight)
  3. Turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables
  4. Spaghetti and Meat  marinara (no meat)sauce, Italian vegetable blend garlic cheese bread from leftover buns
  5. Meatless mock lasagna with extra vegetables-bringing to lake bringing to the lake
  6. Goulash with hamburger, green beans
  7. Baked chicken, rice pilaf, corn
  8. Homemade chicken nuggets, cheesy potatoes, green beans
  9. Chicken fried rice and mixed vegetables
  10. Grilled Roasted chicken sandwiches and sweet potato wedges, pasta salad
  11. Bean burritos, with cheese, black bean, corn, and tomato salsa/salad (not the ones DH bought!)
  12. Chicken wraps with peppers, cucumbers
  13. Pork loin, grilled vegetables, pasta salad
  14. Italian sausage on buns, french fries, cheesy crockpot potatoes-bringing to the lake
  15. Chicken Alfredo, mixed vegetables
  16. Vegetable curry and basmati rice
  17. Rice crust vegetable and cheese quiche 
  18. Tuna noodle hot dish and vegetables 
  19. Chicken Cordon Bleu, broccoli cheese rice
  20. Use it up vegetable noodle soup, Homemade wheat bread(lot's of leftovers)-Became Corn Chosder due to three potatoes that were getting old and leftover corn on the cob
  21. Hamburger, onion, veg, assorted cheese(whatever is left to use up)flat bread homemade pizza (since we had spaghetti meatless, I have an extra 1/2 pound of hamburger)
  22. Hamburgers, tomatoes, shells and cheese, corn-bringing to lake
  23. Frozen pizza and French fries

Friday, August 18, 2017

Feeling Good Friday-Time for Rain to End

I love rain. ( had to finid this meme after Aril's comment below) It washes away the dirty streets, makes air smell fresh, and greens up the slowly browning flora. Yet even I am tired of a whole week of rain. It's just gray out today-not quite raining, but the last three nights it has been torrential, and my commutes have been white knuckler's. I'm sort of off today-doing a few check-ins on e-mails, but easy enough to keep plugging away at basic household chores,a little R&R and keeping fires at work at bay. I didn't do a proper feeling good check in last week, my weight loss has had a bad reversal, but in efforts to keep positive thoughts going, here you go. 


  • I'm really enjoying my expanded job responsibilities. There is a little tension with one of my colleagues who now reports directly to me, but I feel like I am slowly winning her over with my approach to focus on the work and not the hierarchy. 
  • DH has taken the opportunity for a couple days to himself at the lake mid week. He has had a lot of stress, and needed to unwind. My mental health is linked to my loved ones health, and I could feel some of his stress. He arrived home early this morning, needing to head to work, looking refreshed and relaxed. He might make a Wednesday night to Friday morning at the lake a regular routine.
  • DD2 and I cooked our favorite veggie curry last night, loaded with zucchini. It was a deliciously spicy comfort food, and thoroughly enjoyed. Despite DD2 claiming the heat was making her eyes and nose water, she had seconds,
  • While I back slid on my weight loss, I'm recommitting this morning and can see my next  14 pound weight loss on the horizon. Better, to think like a Brit, next one stone loss is in sight. 
  • Last, despite the angst and hatred oozing all over the planet right now, I am encouraged by the daily acts of kindness and investment in loving acts of community building I have witnessed. I've chosen not to engage in social media,but rather let my actions speak for my point of view.
The weekend is predicted to be perfect August weather. It's my turn to head to the lake with DD2 and a friend, and DH will join us again Saturday night or Sunday morning. I think I will get my sunrise kayak ride in Sunday morning. What's helping you to feel good this Friday?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

On Being Thrifty-Five Internal Wins



I’ve got bigger goals right now than Caribou Coffee in the morning. It doesn’t mean I didn't want to pull through the drive through and order a triple shot Americana with two splashes of cream. This morning, having not bothered with coffee because I woke with an odd taste in my mouth and only wanted my tooth brush, 75 minutes later it was an internal fight to not detour to any of the five Caribou’s on my route. I drive through a chilly rain and had soaked feet as dodging puddles was useless. I settled for hot tea at my desk.

Doing a little online browsing last night, still looking at possible options for a TV stand downstairs, I kept getting swayed over to pretty storage units, baskets (I love baskets) and other things to store clutter. I resisted buying anything, knowing I don’t need more things to store clutter-I need to reduce clutter entirely. 

I ruined one of my new to me pairs of work pants and a short sleeve blouse by letting them touch something that had chlorine bleach on it. I am disappointed as these were go to work pieces worn at least weekly. My disappointment is lessened somewhat in that the pants were under $8.00 bought at Goodwill, and the shirt was at least a decade old, only recently worn again with the loss of a few pounds. I might be able to salvage the shirt with a Sharpie marker, at least as an under suit jacket blouse. I’m not going to run out and replace either, as I am still hoping to keep losing a bit of weight, and continue to make my current wardrobe work. I’ve got bigger goals than high fashion. 

I was alone for dinner last night and it would have been tempting to go over to the salad bar at the grocery store and make myself a delicious customized salad. I made due eating up a few bits found in my fridge and freezer, took pup for a walk, and watched a couple YouTube video's. 

Skipping Caribou was only part of my morning internal fight. I almost scrapped packing a lunch, with the idea of ordering the meal delivery, but in the end, left with both a can of chunky soup to throw in my desk drawer,for a future temptation, and one of DH’s frozen bean burritos, an apple, and a cheese stick for lunch today. 

I don’t think of myself as a tightwad. I splurge on plenty of things that bring me joy. I also make bone headed spending decisions on occasion, lured in with a shiny package or misguided thinking that the item will work for me and add to my quality of life, or I just plain succumb to convenience. None of the ways I utilized thrift this week created a hard ship, not so much as even a minor inconvenience. I’ll still have the occasional coffee or lunch out, not on a whim, but with friends and colleagues. I’ll replace my clothes when I truly need to, but not at this time when hopefully will only be useful for a short time. I’ll find the right piece for the TV stand, and am better off spending my time sorting and donating, not sticking away stuff in yet more bins and baskets. I’ve got to continue to remember I have bigger plans for my money; a comfortable, clutter free home; travel with my family; college for my daughter; and a secure retirement.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quintessential Summer Supper


I've veered a bit off the menu plan but still using up what we have for the most part. I'm tracking to the nearest dollar but couldn't pass up a fresh baked baguette Saturday morning from the town bakery to go with the Greek inspired salad I made for Sunday.


My sister-in-laws cousin had brought a humongous cucumber and onion salad and I was the recipient of a take home container.The Greek-like salad  originally was going to have pasta, but the chick pea, cucumber, onion,olive, and artichokes looked so good as is. I made a tuna salad with the cooked noodles.  

 Corn from a roadside stand with these leftovers from the cabin made a perfect late supper when we got home Sunday night from the lake. Plus, there was enough corn for supper tonight as well. The teen gave me an extra generous dozen with 15 ears, which means more to take off the cob and freeze for a chowder on a cool fall day. Happy August eating.