August, 2017, $100 Grocery Challenge, Canning, and Menu Plan

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The last peaches are in the jars, boiling as I write.  I only wanted to can 21 quarts, as I still have some left over from 2 years ago.  With what’s in the canner, I have 35.  That’s what happens when you are picking peaches and there are a lot of nice ones, and you and you sister keep picking……That should be more than enough with what I have left.  We have done 28 quarts and 9 pints of applesauce so far, and I still have another batch of apples to go.  Then, I picked a box of tomatoes from the garden tonight.  So, the canning is not done, but I’m gaining on it.

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The menu plans revolved around the garden produce.  Our garden is pumping out the veggies so quickly that we cannot keep up.  My sister’s garden is, too, and she shared the corn with us.  Rob cooked a turkey on the BBQ at the end of last week.  We had that on Sunday for our family dinner with veggies.  I froze about 7 quarts of broth after I boiled the bones.

We just had sandwiches and leftovers for Sunday night, and there was a peach and ice cream social after church Sunday night, which we enjoyed.

Breakfasts are always eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, etc. in any combination, or we just eat leftovers.

Monday:  We ate leftover turkey and other things for breakfast and lunch, and I went and visited my friend, Harnet, and we ate together up there.  J went with me, and the rest of the family was on their own at home. J was a huge blessing, as she spent a lot of energy keeping Danait occupied while us mamas did errands and talked.

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We drove around, doing various errands, and found the preschool where little Danait starts preschool soon.  She was so happy to see the awesome playground!

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Then, we ate at an Italian restaurant.  We all had fun there.

 

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Tuesday:  Lunch:  I had salad, others had sandwiches or leftovers.  Dinner: I dealt with the rest of the turkey today.  There was quite a bit left, as it was a huge turkey.  I filled several baggies with pieces of turkey, and froze them for quick casseroles, soups and sandwich filling.  I made crock pot turkey taco soup with some of the broth and some turkey pieces.  I also used some cooked, frozen black beans that Rob discovered in the freezer and some home-canned salsa.  The turkey broth has a smoky flavor since Rob did the turkey on the BBQ, and that went well with the southwestern flavor of this soup.  I made gluten-free cornbread to go with it.  There was a lot of soup, so I sent some home with my sister when she picked up Jake, and there is still some left!!

Wednesday:  Lunch:  Leftover soup, turkey sandwiches, and toast/ciabatta bread for Jake.    Dinner:  Hamburgers.  I have some buns that need using in the freezer, lots of tomatoes, etc.  I may make potato salad, if I get time.

Thursday:  Lunch:  Sandwiches and/or leftovers.  Dinner:  We are going to a party for dinner.  I am to take rice and salad.

Friday:  Here’s the best part!   I am getting away for the weekend with Rob for our 35th anniversary. I’m very excited.  Our times away alone have been few and far between, so it’s a big deal for us.  When you have been raising kids for over 33 years, it’s not easy to get away.   The kids are going to stay with their aunt and uncle, and will eat there.  I will grab some food items from here to take, and wing it!  I will certainly take some garden produce.  We can eat out, cook in our room, buy some groceries if needed, etc.  Rob is going to go crabbing, so maybe we will have crab.

$100 challenge update:  As of last week, I had $17 left from the hundred dollars.  We spent $10 this week, so there are $7 dollars left. We bought 1/2 and 1/2, celery and bagels.     I may need to get a few more bagels, since that is Jake’s preferred food, and maybe some 1/2 and 1/2, since that is Rob’s.  Or, I may not use the $7 at all.  Either way, it’s worked out nicely. We’ve been feasting from the jars of fruit that did not seal (we had 2 jars of pears, and 1 of applesauce not seal–not bad), fresh fruit before I can it, applesauce, watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, snow peas, etc. from the garden.  I was given corn, peaches, and a loaf of bread.  I’ve pulled quite a few items from the freezer, freeing up space for the peaches and berries I’ve put in.  And, turkey.  Did I mention turkey?  🙂  It was a BIG one.

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We have used the excess grocery budget money to buy supplies for canning and freezing over the past 3 weeks, but didn’t need to buy anything else this week.  We have so much food on hand, and I love how much I’ve been able to put away for winter. I declare the August Grocery Challenge a success!

 

 

 

 

 

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Saving Money, Weekly Update and a Garden Update–Aug. 27, 2017

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We did it!!!!   We grew a cantaloupe, and with lots of on-line advice, picked it and ate it all!  You have no idea what an accomplishment that is, unless you live in our part of Oregon, or somewhere with a similar climate. It was not the biggest, or even the best tasting watermelon I’ve ever eaten, but certainly not the smallest or worst, either!  We really enjoyed eating it on the hot evenings this past week–on a LOT of levels:)  There is another one that looks like it may ripen, especially if the weather continues at this hot temperature and 3 more that are very “iffy.”

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We got cantaloupe, too.

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The raspberries are starting to ripen and I’ve picked about a quart so far over the last few days.  I’m getting a few strawberries each day, as well.  I pop all these little bits into baggies and put them into the freezer, adding to them each day.  When a baggie is full, I transfer it to the shop freezer and start another one.  I have a jumbo, giant zip-top bag and that corrals them so they don’t get lost in the freezer.

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We picked 3 boxes of Improved Elberta peaches from my sister’s farm.  I will start canning in the morning.  It’s scary how fast they ripened, but good, because I’m getting ready to move on to other projects.  I still have apples to make into applesauce.  While we were up there, she loaded me up with corn from the garden, which we all raved over at family Sunday dinner today.  We also picked a tray of wild blackberries and they are in the freezer now.

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The next batch of lettuce, snow peas, basil and cilantro are growing nicely.  The sticks mark where I planted spinach, boc choi, more lettuce (bibb and mixed) and beets.  The spinach that I planted before did not germinate, except 3 or 4, so I figured it was too hot for it.  I’m still getting broccoli from the bushes on the left, lots of tomatoes, tons of zucchini and cucumbers and beans of all sorts.

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The flowers (and weeds) continue to grow and bloom!

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We did many things this week besides garden, gather food and preserve food.  Of course, the eclipse was the most awesome.  We watched in the comfort of our back yard, and were amazed, delighted and mostly awed at the sight.

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Our day at the beach, Wednesday, inspired awe as well.

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The clouds were so beautiful.

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But, for Rob and I, not much beats the Oregon Coast.

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We enjoyed Jake’s company even more than usual this week.  His house is being painted on the inside, and the kids are being farmed out to the aunties.  I got one, Aunt Janet got 3,…..hmmmmmm.  Not sure I’m being treated fairly, but I’ll let her have more than me just this once!!

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Jake was invited to his friend’s birthday party.  Now, this was the most frugal party I’ve ever been too, hands down, and the kids had a ball.  The mom invited friends and family members to a park with a large structure.  She specified no presents, but Jake did take his little friend the large ring she is wearing, since he got it as one of his library prizes and he loves her very much, and a book he enjoys that his mom said he could give her.  It started at 10, and kids trickled in.  At about noon, Jake confided that he was getting very tired.  So, I asked the mom what the time frame was, and she said there was none.  It was very open-ended and we should just leave whenever Jake was done playing.  So, he said his good-bye’s and we left.  The girl was beaming from ear to ear because so many of her friends had come to her birthday party, and I felt the party was a huge success.  The most expensive part of the party was the Happy Meal I got Jake during the hour we were killing between the end of the party and picking up Ja’Ana from an activity she was at, and that was cheap compared to driving all the way home and back.   One of the other kids from the party was there, as well, so Jake played with him a whole bunch, too.  What a great day for him.  Now when he goes back to school, he will have already started to re-connect with his friends.

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I made lots of food at home–casserole, veggies of all sorts, and Rob smoked a turkey on the BBQ, plus more.

 

Food Preservation and a Day Off–August 25, 2017

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All day, almost every day, food is being canned and frozen around here.  It’s very exciting to see the cupboard filling up with rows of colorful jars.

The pears are almost all used.  I’ve canned 35 quarts, used many for fruit cocktail and have a batch of pear butter in the crock pot right now.

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Jake and Patsy loved helping with grinding the pears for pear butter.  My recipe is very simple.  Grind the pears, add some sugar to taste, and cook down until it is like jam.  I was so tired last night, I just filled the crock pot and let it cook all night, but it needs to be much thicker.  I will probably use the microwave to cook it down some more today.

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Rob found a dented gallon of pineapple at Cash and Carry for around $2.50, so I canned it up in small jars to be more usable for pizzas, etc.

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I froze yet another tray of peaches from our tree.  They are an odd peach.  Do you notice the green color on the edge of some of the pieces?  Also, when they look really ripe, they are rotten.  So, I’ve been having to work them up when they look a little green to me.  They taste ok, though, and Ja’Ana especially loves peach smoothies and peach crisp, so I’m freezing them, tray after tray.  After they freeze, I put them into baggies.  This way, we can get the frozen pieces out easily to make smoothies.

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The beans are still prolific.   I froze another 7 quarts last night.

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You can only eat so many in a week!!   I think I will be serving beans yet again at family Sunday dinner:)   I think the green ones are about finished and the yellow ones are winding down.  The purple ones are pole beans and will continue until frost, which is great.  I will welcome beans in reasonable quantities until frost.

I did get a couple of batches of applesauce done, but there are a lot of apples left to process.

On Wednesday, we took the day off and went down to the beach.  We went to Newport, Oregon.  Rob wanted to try surf fishing for perch.  He did not catch anything, but we had a great day.

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It was pretty cold and foggy when we got there, compared to the hot temperatures we’ve had in the valley this summer.  It felt great!

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It didn’t stop these 2 from digging for hours.

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Or from trying to dam up the little river.  Or  from making sand castles with water in the moat.

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The sun broke through the clouds and it turned out to be a very pleasant day.  We had a bunch of food in the car, and munched away all day.  On the way home, we grabbed some ice cream and fries from Dairy Queen….This crew sure loves their ice cream and fries!!

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In the afternoon, we visited the Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center.  We always enjoy it there, and they had changed quite a few exhibits from the last time we were there, so that was nice.

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After that, we went down to the docks and bought an albacore tuna from a fishing boat.  The young man working there cut it up for us and we also kept the carcass.  Rob plans to go crabbing soon, so he cut it up and froze it for bait.  Today, I canned the tuna.  I could have frozen it, then canned it later, but I wanted to get it in the jars right away this time.

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I cut it up, put it into the short, round 1/2 pint jars I keep for this purpose, added 1/2 teaspoon salt and a small square of the belly fat, then pressure canned it for 100 minutes.  To translate this further–that means someone gets to sit on a chair for 1 hour and 40 minutes, making sure the pressure canner stays at the correct pressure. We were fighting for the job!  Since Rob was cleaning the shop all day, he was a ready and willing volunteer for this job and finished up the processing time around 6.  Then, it needed to cool until the pressure came down.   I can put 3 layers of these jars in my tall canner, and ended up with 22 small jars and 1 pint.  We ate the additional pint that would not go in.

So far, it’s been a very productive week!

August, 2017, $100 Grocery Challenge and Menu Plan, Part 2

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The week went very well for us.  Our garden continues to produce far more food than I can feed to the family.  What a blessing!  I froze the extra bits we could not eat, such as 3 small packages of broccoli, 7 pints of beans, a handful of strawberries, a tray of peaches, etc.  So, I had Rob stop by and get milk.  He got 4 gallons for $10, and that should take us through the end of the month, hopefully.  I also had him get coffee pods because this is a good time to stock up on something like that–when we don’t need the money for the basics.  They were $19.  The other items he bought were a 2-lb brick of cheese for $4.99 and a box of plain tea for $2.  Cheese will keep for a long, long time, and that’s an excellent price for Bandon (which is owned by and tastes like Tillamook.)  So, that’s a grand total of $36, leaving us with $17 to use until the end of the month on food for meals.

I’m still on a food preservation whirlwind, and Rob was able to u-pick about $100 lbs of apples for around 50c/lb., and excellent price around here.  He took Jake and they had a good time as long as Jake could dodge the bees.  He hates them.  It all worked out and they came home with 2 huge boxes of apples.  HUGE!  I’m letting them ripen up and will start making applesauce soon.  I got 21 quarts of pears canned today, and have finished with the fruit cocktail as of last night.  I have more pears to do tomorrow, but they are getting much lower in the boxes.  I enjoy canning, so it’s not a burden and I have the day saved for that purpose.  Thank goodness for that 50 pound bag of sugar Rob got last spring.  It’s still holding out!

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The sweet pickles are coming along.  By tomorrow night, they will be ready to can.  Each morning and night, I boil something and pour over the cucumbers.  You are supposed to use tiny, whole cukes, but chunks work fine.

Of course, the eclipse keep us occupied during my canning session today!

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My phone camera did not take a good picture of the eclipse, even with the special glasses held up to the camera lens.  What an amazing sight, I must say!  Our backyard was in the prime viewing area, so we stayed home and did jobs, took a peek, worked on canning some more, took a peek, etc.  It was quite creepy, but amazing, when it became cold and dark during the middle of the morning.  Quite a lot more of the shop organization project got worked on as well, today, as well as some menu planning.  IMG_5457

Here’s what we came up with:

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Monday:  Lunch: Sandwiches and I had salad.  Dinner:  Pizza-Noodle Casserole, green beans and coleslaw.  I also found some cookies in the freezer, which I pulled out and we are eating.

8-12 ounces noodles, boiled according to package directions (mine were rice rotini, but any would work) My box was a 12 oz box, but a small amount had been used previously.

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1-15 oz can tomato sauce or 2-8 oz cans

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pizza toppings:  I used some pepperoni from the depths of the freezer, canned mushrooms and olives, 1/2 of a pepper that was suffering  from sunburn in the garden, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and a couple of diced tomatoes from the garden, which I added after it was cooked.

Pour the cooked and drained noodles into a flat baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray–mine was around 8″ x 11″.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the noodles and stir to coat them. Pour the tomato sauce on top of the noodle mixture, then sprinkle with the Italian seasoning.  Sprinkle the 1 cup of mozzarella on top.  Then top with pizza toppings of your choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for around 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it is warm.  It doesn’t take long because the noodles are already warm.  If you put it in the fridge all day, then bake, it will take about 1 hour.

The beans were from the garden and the cabbage was from my sister’s garden.

Tuesday:  Chicken soup.  I never made it last week.  Instead, I made ham and bean soup when the ham bone fell out of the freezer onto my toes one too many times:)  There is also some beef thawed out that Rob can barbecue.  We can eat the soup for lunch and the beef for dinner, or save the beef for sandwiches or salads for the next few days.  I have potatoes, beans, salad, etc. to go with the beef whenever we eat it.

Wednesday:  Picnic lunch.  We plan to go fishing.  I’m not sure about dinner.  We may buy some if it gets too late.

Thursday:  Sloppy Joes.  I have hamburger and buns in the freezer.  1/2 the package will be for Thursday, 1/2 for burgers on Friday.  We can have salad from the garden, beans, tomatoes, cukes, etc. as wanted.

Friday:  Hamburgers with pickles, tomatoes and lettuce from garden.  Maybe French fries.

Saturday:  Leftovers.  If there aren’t enough, I’ll cook something else from the garden or freezer.

Sunday:  Family Sunday Dinner at our house:  We still have several turkeys lurking in our chest freezer.  They’ve been there for a while, so we plan to pull one out and have Rob smoke it on the barbecue.  He will do this on Saturday, and we will serve it Sunday.  We will serve garden veggies with it, according to what is ripe that day.

Last Sunday, we ended up having the bbq that was planned and Rob also grilled some potato chunks with olive oil and spices (like rosemary).  He did them in foil.  They were from the garden and I purposely used up all the smaller ones from what I dug up a couple of days ago.  I made a rice salad with green onions and parsley from the garden, along with celery, dried cranberries and a dressing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and another thing or two that slip my mind at the moment. It was so good.   I sauted  green beans with garlic and coleslaw from the cabbages my sister gave me.  I made a box of brownies from a mix I had been given from my sister, since she can’t bake this summer due to a remodel, and made lemonade and iced tea.  My aunt brought seltzers to share.

It should be easy to finish out the month on budget,  and I should have enough to get 1/2 and 1/2, and a few other things I think we will run out of.  $17 is really quite a lot since I have so much produce to eat.

 

 

 

 

Saving Money and Weekly Update–August 20, 2017

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Jake enjoyed his library summer reading party.  His favorite thing was getting to sit in the police car.  He was the first one, so they showed him how to turn on the lights.  For the rest of the party, he kept glancing at that car, all lit up, and was so proud.  He received a free book and a few other prizes like a snow cone, foam airplane, stickers, etc.  It was a fun party.  The next evening, the big girls attended their party at the library.  They also received free books and had a good time.

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We went to a nearby park and the kids enjoyed the equipment.

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We spent quite a bit of time putting things away from our trip.  On Tuesday, we spent a good portion of the day up at my sister’s farm.  I helped her run the u-pick stand while we visited and got caught up with each other.  It was super fun!

For the rest of the week, Rob and I both took turns with Jake, keeping him occupied and learning.  Rob took him to an apple farm and they picked me around 100 lbs of Gravensteins.  The place we usually get them put us on a wait list, but told Rob they were not sure we would get any, there were more people on the list then there were apples available this year of that variety.  I helped him complete his chart each day, and did things like the library and park.  He stayed over one night as his parents had meetings that evening, so that was fun.

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There were lots of simple activities like play dough, board games, and of course, freezing beans.

I spent many, many hours working on the garden and preserving food.

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Even the grasshoppers thought my canning turned out well:)

On Saturday, Rob and I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the shop.  There is a long ways to go, but at least we got a large shelf unit up, and a lot of boxes moved around.  It felt good to get at that project.  It’s been an eyesore long enough!!

 

 

Preserving Food and Garden Update–Aug. 18, 2017

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I’ve been picking produce daily in the garden since I returned home from Mexico.  Besides the peaches, cucumbers, snow peas, yellow, purple and green beans and strawberries you see here, I have also harvested lettuce, tomatoes, raspberries and potatoes.

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All of the potatoes in the buckets pictured above were grown from some volunteer potato plants that grew in the compost heap.  I transplanted them into a small row and was amazed by the amount that we dug today–I’m guessing between 15-20 lbs.

I spent some time today pulling up lettuce that had gone to seed, and hoeing out purslane.  I have a ways to go.

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This will be nicely weeded basil, snow peas and lettuce by tomorrow night, hopefully.

I did preserve quite a bit of food this week, as well.

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I asked for some bean SWISHERS.  That would be people who would swish the beans around in the cold water after I blanched them for 3 minutes so they could cool down before I froze them.  I loved that job when I was little, so wanted to share the joy with Jake.  Soon there were 3 pieces of equipment in the sink, and I asked Jake what in the world he was doing to the beans.  “SQUISHING THEM, AUNTIE” he replied.  I had a good laugh and then explained what I needed and he moved on with the process.  Soon, I found this:

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And a little later…this…’

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But we finally finished and everyone had fun!

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I made a batch of fruit cocktail using the pears my sister gave me, peaches from our tree, pineapple, maraschino cherries and grapes Rob bought (the grapes were only 99c/lb and the others were in bulk from Cash and Carry).

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It comes out so pretty that way!  Of course, before I could can in these jars I always use for fruit cocktail, we had to FIND the jars upstairs in the shop attic.  That took a while, but we prevailed.  These jars hold about 3 cups and it is the right amount for us.  Because fruit cocktail is a lot of work to make, we only have it occasionally and I don’t want to waste a bite.  I have enough ingredients for another batch, and hopefully the pears will ripen up enough for me to do that tomorrow.  I got 13 today and want more.

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I got 5 jars of tomatoes, as well, and none too soon, since I used the last quart of tomato pieces I can find, yesterday.  I still have pints, but why waste lids by opening 2, if I need a quart?  So, I do both quarts and pints.

I have lots more produce to pick and process, as well as boxes of fruit ripening on my porch.  I love this time of year as the canned jars start filling the cupboard.  I’ll be at it again in the morning.

August, 2017, $100 Grocery Challenge and Menu Plan

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August is a month of plenty for me.  My garden is growing rapidly, fruit is available everywhere, and my freezers are getting fuller and fuller each week.  I’ve decided to see if I can be more purposeful in utilizing the food I have on hand, rather than buying more.  So, I’ve decided to do a $100/month grocery challenge.  It should be quite easy to do, with the abundance of food on hand, and because I was gone for 1/3 of the month.  We took quite a bit of food with us, not knowing if there would be things I could eat, and we used some of it, but there were foods I could have much of the time, so I brought a bunch of mine home with me.  For several days, I enjoyed authentic Mexican food, cooked by the ladies of the church where we were helping!  Yum!!!

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My brother-in-law asked them all about the ingredients, etc., as he is fluent in Spanish, and I ate the foods that I could.  Much of it was corn-based, which is not a problem for me.   I did not get sick at all from those daily lunch meals.   Amazing.  Eating fast food on the way home—a different story.  It never seems to agree with me, even when I try to be careful.

After returning from my trip to Mexico, I went to the store and spent $47 on things like milk, etc.  So, that leaves me with $53 for the rest of the month.  I may not even need to spend it all–I’ll see.  I know I’m good for the rest of this week, for sure.

I will use the remaining grocery budget to buy apples and pears to process.  I’m completely out of applesauce, and have been for quite a while, so I want to can quite a few jars.  I don’t need very many pears, but want to do a few, and would like to make some fruit cocktail from peaches, pears, grapes and maraschino cherries.  Sometimes, I put pineapple in it as well, and usually buy a large can and add it in.  I hope to get some Elberta peaches from my sister to can, when they ripen.

Here’s what I’m planning to serve this week:

Sunday: Sandwiches:  We used up sandwich meat from our trip for our noon meal.  We wanted to finish the meat and cheese up rapidly so it wouldn’t spoil.  It was well-iced the entire time, but still….

Monday:  Spaghetti.  I pulled ground pork from the freezer and browned it with onions and celery.  I used 1/2 of it for spaghetti sauce.  There is a lot of sauce left over.  I served it with sautéed purple beans I picked from the garden.  They turn green when I cook them.  I added garlic to them at the last minute–yum!  I also put out cut up cucumbers from the garden.  There is enough sauce to freeze some for next week, plus eat leftovers for lunch.

Tuesday:  Chili.  Patsy is starving for chili, and asked me to make some.  I put pinto beans on to soak yesterday, and will use the rest of the pork I browned to make chili in the crock pot.  I see that there is lettuce in the garden, and I hope to cut some and have salad as well.  I could not get to everything yesterday and there is much to do in the garden!  However, we are gaining on the laundry:)  I will make a big batch and freeze some for next week.  I soaked a LOT of beans, so will cook up some plain as well to use later in the week, or next week.

Wednesday:  Chicken.  I plan to roast a whole chicken.  The weather is much cooler this week.  If Rob gets a bee in his bonnet, he may barbecue it, though, but I’m in the mood for roasted chicken, and then I can boil the carcass and get some broth.  I’ll do green beans again, as they are prolific in the garden, salad, and potatoes.  I think there are new potatoes ready out there, too, and I may start digging some up.  If not, I can buy a bag.  Potatoes are not a budget-buster:)

Thursday:  Chicken-rice soup.  I bought celery and carrots and have onions from the garden.  I can use the broth from Wednesday, and add rice from the pantry.  We like it simple.  I may make zucchini muffins if I get time, as there are SO many of those in the garden.

Friday:  Taco Salad.  I will pick lettuce and tomatoes from the garden, and use some hamburger from the freezer.

Saturday:  Leftovers.

Sunday:  Family Sunday Dinner–BBQ at our house this week.  I have both chicken drumsticks and steaks in the freezer, plus green beans, salad, potatoes–all from the garden.  If I think of anything else we could want, people usually bring things, and I can ask them to grab something.

Breakfasts:  I got some English muffins at the store, have a few yogurts, plus the usual cereal, oatmeal, toast, etc. people like to eat around here.  I have quite a few eggs in the fridge, and eat them frequently.  Sometimes I make breakfast burritos for the kids, and do have a few tortillas left that really need to be used.

Lunches:  Leftovers or sandwiches.  I bought a package of lunchmeat as part of the shopping I did and also have tuna in the pantry.  Peanut butter is Patsy’s favorite, so she can have that with our home-made jam.  Sometimes, I add a salad to the mix.

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Snacks and drinks:  There is a lot of fruit right now.  I’ve been picking a few peaches from the tree in the back yard, plus I can get some more from my sister.  My strawberries gave me about a cup yesterday, and the raspberries look like they are going to produce soon.  Once I make applesauce I will save some out to eat fresh, and  that will go over well.  We had popcorn last night, and can have it again.  There are quite a few snacks left over from our trip, as well, which will be especially handy if we go on picnics.

I bought some milk on Sunday when I shopped, can make lemonade from the bottle of lemon juice, and have several drinks left over from the trip.  I’ve been drinking a lot of water lately, and there’s always plenty of that!  I have a few sodas, too, plus 3 2-litre bottles.