What Did We Eat? June 15, 2018

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We ate the leftovers from last weekend’s party.  For the beginning of the week, we feasted on deviled eggs, veggies, sweet and sour turkey meatballs, pickle rolls, chips, tortilla rolls, dipped strawberries, rice, and sandwiches.  There is still a little cheese left, but most of the rest has been devoured.

My oldest daughter had some baked potatoes left over from a party she had given.  She asked if I wanted them, and of course, I said I did.  I was surprised when she came in with a plastic grocery-store bag full of the largest potatoes imaginable!  They were all baked, and there were just too many for them to use up. It was quite a challenge for us, as well!!

I had baked potato bar one night with broccoli from the freezer, cheese sauce, and cottage cheese.  I tried the Tillamook cheese sauce mix in a package that I purchased last week.  It was $1.99 and I had a digital coupon for $1.50 off.  It was delicious.  There were 2-3 occasions when people ate a portion of a baked potato at a meal.  I fried one for breakfast one morning, and put in a few slices of kielbasa sausage.  With the last 2 potatoes, I made potato salad.  I included some hard-boiled eggs.  As you can see, it was almost devoured before I could even snap a picture!

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Michaela ate many, many peanut butter sandwiches with no jam, honey-nut Cheerios, and about 1/2 gallon of milk in 2 days, if not more.  She likes milk.  And, there’s a new rule that she cannot have soda until after she drinks a full bottle of water.  So, she drank water, and in fact, drink more than the forced amount a couple of times.  That’s great.  We are still on water restrictions, and so I bought a bunch of bottles of water. They say the water is safe for anyone my size, but I don’t want to take chances with my health, Rob’s health or the children’ health.  So, I don’t panic if I use some in cooking or drink a little, but try to use other water for the most part.

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Jake ate Cup-o-noodles, chicken flavor, aka instant lunch.  In fact, I just bought a new case of it last night, because he used them all up from my pantry.  We don’t go through many of those, except when he is here.  Frankly, we don’t care for them as much as he does, but I’m happy to get them for him if he wants them.  He drank a lot of apple juice, and ate as many frozen Otter Pops as he could con out of me or anyone else.  He also drank some water–very rare for him–declaring that he was not under 6 years of age and didn’t have any health problems.  He was being a silly little stinker at the time, smacking his lips and declaring how good the water was because one of the other kids had just told him to not drink it:), but at least he got some water down for once!

Rob and I ate out one night, as we wanted to have a date night, and we got to talk in peace:). We packed picnics the rest of the times we were out and about with a bunch of children, or just had them wait until they got home to eat. (I wasn’t very popular a couple of times, but I’m trying to establish healthier habits at the beginning of the summer that will hopefully last the entire 3 months!)  I want French fries to go back to being a treat and not an expectation.   So, there went some of the cheese slices, lunchmeat, bread, peanut butter,  fruit, various snacks and bars, and drinks, all for a good cause–children’s stomachs:)

Birthday week continues–2 down, 2 to go!  Today Ja’Ana wants pizza for her birthday dinner, so Rob will grab an inexpensive wheat-crusted one somewhere, and I will eat one of the gluten-free ones I made and froze last week.  Tomorrow, Rob is barbecuing for our little friend, Danait’s party, and so I’m making a large potato salad again today.   I will put green onions in it, again.  Good thing they are growing so well in the garden right now!  I will also pick lettuce today for salads and to take for the hamburgers tomorrow.

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I grabbed a few grocery items last night, such as the Instant Lunches, and a bag of potatoes. All this potato salad means I’m really going through potatoes right now. It’s great that they are very reasonable! I only had to pay $1.99 for 10 lbs. That’s a lot of good food for the price. I will look through my fridge today, but don’t anticipate buying very many other groceries for a few days, at least. Having lettuce in the garden really helps, and I was able to get a bag of 7 small avocados for $2.49 last night.  We love them in salads and guacamole.  Patsy and I just ran into Grocery Outlet on our way home from her first high school youth group barbecue (yikes–she’s getting so old!), and I was pleased with what I found.  You just never know what they are going to have.

Today, I need to get hot dog and hamburger buns for the party tomorrow, and a few tomatoes to slice, but have the rest of what I’m bringing.  My sister has been up with Harnet, gathering supplies for this party at least twice, and we have it well organized between the 3 of us.  It’s going to be very fun.  There’s nothing like cute little kids enjoying themselves to brighten a day!

 

 

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What Did We Eat? May 25, 2018

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This week has been a week of “finishing up.”  Michaela finished up her school program and graduated last night.  Alissa and Ja’Ana finished up their schoolwork yesterday, as well.  I am almost finished correcting it, as I have worked all week on that project.  I finished up some mushrooms that were starting to “go” in omelets one day.

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And, there were a lot of food items that needed finishing up as well.  Because the girls needed to do independent work, with only a bit of help, I cleaned my food storage shelves in-between helping them.  I found that we had finished up a lot of things, and have much left in other sections.  I am still searching for white rice.  I thought there was a lot, but….  There are a couple of other places to look in the garage before I despair:)

I decided that I would not shop this weekend as I usually do, but, instead, finish up some of the odds and ends I found while cleaning.  Clearly, we are not short on food:). On Thursday, I had a bean-cooking day.  I found dried beans tucked away in many locations and wanted to use some.

I cooked a package of mixed beans.  1/2 of it I used with a ham bone that had been previously frozen at the holidays to make ham/bean soup.  The other 1/2 I cooked plain, and froze for another day.

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I soaked a huge amount of pinto beans, and threw in a few black beans that I wanted to finish up, added lots of various frozen peppers from 2015’s garden, a big onion that was starting to sprout, salt, and water, and put the Crock Pot on low all day.  Last night, I used my immersion blender to grind it up, and today, I’m going to freeze many, many little cartons of refried beans. There is another bowl, much larger than this one, as well.  We like the homemade kind so much better, but since I’ve been busy lately, we’ve had to resort to the canned ones, which are still good.

I also made a big pot of chili from the rest of the pinto beans.  I froze a few small containers of that for dinners for Rob and Patsy when I get home from work late, plus a few of the ham/bean soup.

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I made more popsicles.  I used some canned pears that I am targeting, along with the crumbled up frozen raspberry bits that always collect in the bottom of the ziplock bags.  I cut the pears into very small chunks, stirred in the berries, poured some of the liquid from the pears in and added a very little sugar, since the berries are super tart.

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I spooned it into the molds and froze the popsicles.  They were a big hit.  I’ve already made them again and anticipate doing it frequently.  You can see that I used some of the whole berries in the second batch, and they came out great as well.

We had salad a couple of times from our garden lettuce.

I am so happy to have the storage shelved wiped off and organized.  Now I know what categories I need to fill. I often fill things up in the spring, and shop very minimally during the summer.  With a shelf full of stored items, the freezers, my canned items, and the garden, we usually don’t need a lot on a weekly basis.  I have to put some money out up front, but it saves me a lot of time and money in the summer because I bought in bulk, and have the garden for produce, so I don’t have to spend time at the stores.

Rob and I slipped away and ate at Subway one night.  Big date:). But, I’ll take what I can get, and am happy for every moment I can spend with him.  I’m glad summer is coming because we will be able to work together with the kids.  We have lots of good ideas of things to do with them.

What Did We Eat? May 17, 2018

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The beans were from the garden last summer.  The bread was part of a free loaf of French bread we won at Safeway’s Monopoly, which I sliced and froze after we won it.  The sauce was canned, purchased at Grocery Outlet for less than a dollar.  The meatballs were home-made and previously frozen for a quick dinner.  The noodles were gluten-free spaghetti, purchased for $1.47/box on sale in the past.

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I cooked a spaghetti squash today.  For lunch, I ate meatballs and sauce on spaghetti squash noodles.  For dinner, I chose the gf pasta.  There was enough of the meal for lunch for me, lunch and dinner for all of us, and lunch for Rob tomorrow.

I made split pea soup from the ham broth I boiled down last week.  Patsy ate tortillas by the fistful.  Thankfully, I got so many on sale a couple of weeks ago that the supply is still strong.

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We ate home-canned dill pickles, green and yellow beans, jam, peaches, applesauce,  salsa and home-frozen corn.

Snacks: I made apple juice popsicles.  Patsy made applesauce muffins.  Lovana made popcorn.

Breakfasts:  scrambled eggs, various odds and ends of sausages, leftovers, cereal, fruit, bagels (they were on a major bagel kick this week–they ate LOTS of them!)

Lunches:  Sandwiches, gf frozen fish sticks, salad, corn dogs, hot dogs, leftovers.  Rob takes leftovers every day in his lunch.  We cook extra in anticipation of this.  For instance, we cooked a whole pound of hamburger into patties, ate some for dinner, and he took the other one for his lunch the next day.  He cooked a family pack of drumsticks and we ate them for several days for dinners and then lunches.

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Plans for the week to come:  I need to do something with these reduced bananas.  I’m thinking banana muffins or banana bread.  The apples beneath them will become chunky applesauce with raisins and cinnamon.  They have been there for a few weeks and are not so crunchy any more.

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My sister had an abundance of tomatoes left over from last week’s brunch.  I have cilantro in the garden, which came up volunteer next to the compost heap.  I will get some jalapeños tomorrow and make Pico de Gallo.

I will continue to pull items from the freezer and cupboards to use for meals this week. If I get time tomorrow, I want to jot down a few ideas of things I or Rob can make in a hurry, as this next week is pretty busy.  It’s working pretty well to pre-make some things for Rob to warm up in the evenings, since I don’t get home from work very early.  The other thing I sometimes do is set items out on the counter with instructions.  He can cook extremely well, but is often tired and out of inspiration when he gets home from work.  So, if he can grab and microwave, or do some simple tasks and get dinner, it works well. For me, it takes longer to think up dinner than it does to cook it, at least a lot of the time!

I went to the store yesterday to get milk, and while there, shopped for the week, at least that was the plan.  I did not buy things for any specific recipes, but instead bought what was on sale or things on my list I ran out of this week, and I will meal plan around that.  One notable purchase was 3-2 lb bricks of Tillamook cheese for $5 each.  You had to buy 3.  Usually you have to beg to get 1 at that price, so I was delighted and got 2 cheddar and 1 Colby-jack.  Cheese lasts a long time, so I may go back and get more tomorrow, since I already have things on the list–(like half and half)–crazy!! I WAS JUST THERE!!!  The plan was to get in, get out and stay out until next weekend!!  So much for that plan.   I’d better be disciplined when I go back in that store!!!

 

 

 

What Did We Eat? May 2, 2018

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We had lots of great food this past week!  My most exciting thing were the artichokes from my plants in the garden.  They were small, but  tasty!  Patsy and I finished off all 4 (1 not shown in picture), with lots of butter.  Yum!

I was able to get a large amount of groceries right after I returned from Washington D.C., so really didn’t need much for the family this week.  We are still using them along with things pulled from my storage.   I did go shopping for fruit and other ingredients for the brunch last Saturday, and also got quite a few free items from Safeway that I’ve been incorporating into the menu.  I picked up 2 dozen eggs while I was at Safeway, but then a couple of days later, picked up 5 dozen at Costco for around $1/dozen, a better price.  We eat a lot of eggs, so I’m glad to be stocked back up.

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I boiled a few more, as I usually keep boiled eggs on hand.  I grab them for quick breakfast food and for something to grab for a snack or lunch.

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Of course, those strawberries were one of the highlights of the week.  People at the brunch gobbled them up.

We’ve been pulling items from the freezers and cupboards and pantry in the garage.

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I made lasagna with a few noodles I had left in a box, and 1 layer of a yellow squash I made into flat noodles, some frozen spaghetti sauce I had previously made with a free Safeway can of tomato sauce added in, and some frozen cheese mixture I found in the freezer.  It used up lots of odds and ends, and we are still working on the pan I made (this picture is for illustration purposes only, it’s from another time–it had more noodles, this one had that summer squash in it instead of part of the noodles, but they look basically the same).

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My bean supply from last summer seems to be growing!  Not really, but although we keep working on it, there are lots of jars and frozen containers left.  I will grow less beans this year, but I sure enjoy them.  We had them a few times this week.  We also ate some frozen corn.

Rob BBQ’d steak from the cow we bought last fall.  I made a whole chicken and used it several ways.  I made Sloppy Joe’s with a packet Safeway substituted for gravy that was my free item.  I added so many things to it to make it how we like it that I won’t bother with the packet next time–just make it from scratch like I usually do.  Still, free is a very good price and I’m grateful to have won the packet.  We had salmon from a package I bought on $5 Friday.  I had a couple of gluten-free fish sticks I had in the freezer.  We had lots of salads.

We ate pancakes that had been frozen another time, biscuits from the freezer, and several other odds and ends I pulled out.  I am starting to see a little wiggle space in the kitchen freezer, as well as the shop ones.  I had a pre-baked pizza crust getting dry in the freezer, and so made a simple pizza with a little Sloppy Joe sauce with mozzarella cheese on top.  Patsy ate some of that for dinner with her artichokes and salad.

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Everybody has been enjoying the 77c/bottle apple juice.  In the end, we bought 17 of them, between Rob and I.  I have also been making popsicles with it, in my molds.  The kids love them, and it’s something Jake will eat that is healthy.  Patsy made a batch of brownies.  I was eating too many of them, so froze most of them and carried them out to the shop freezer.

We used up the Southwestern beans I made for the brunch last Saturday in tortilla shells, and there were a few quesadillas made by various family members this week.  I made potato pancakes from leftover mashed potatoes, an egg, and 2 green onions.

Some of the food items in the fridge are starting to be used up, but the yogurt supply remains large!  We got so much, for so cheap during that big shopping trip.   I want to clean out the fridge and keep using odds and ends from other places before I buy many groceries.

I plan to make chicken soup tomorrow out of the remaining bit of chicken.  There’s lasagna left.  There’s some leftover steak, and baked potatoes.  There’s lots of lettuce for salads.  There’s yogurt and sour cream and lots of eggs.  We will use up the leftovers in the next couple of days.

The milk supply will run out in a couple of days and I have extra kids this weekend, so need a few things for them to eat, so I will shop a little bit this weekend.

I will go back to Safeway, as I have a small handful of free item coupons to redeem.  The checkers have been very generous with the tickets, as the game is almost over, and the kids love opening them.  I love getting the small prizes, and have coupons for tuna, more gravy mix, bagels, a donut, and more tickets.  The awesome thing, is that they keep giving me more tickets when I redeem the free items!  Then, I win more free things!  I did buy a few items for my sister, and a couple of things I needed, because I understand that they have to make money somehow and I think it’s fair to do so, and the items were needed.

So, win-win for everybody, especially Michaela who has gotten to eat 2 free donuts so far:)  I took her to the store one day, and Jake another day, and practiced looking at prices, finding the items, talking about the difference between a good bargain and a bad  bargain, and so on.  They were both good outings.  Jake started opening the tickets in the back of the car until the seat was littered with the little bits of paper he tore off, so then we had a lesson in cleaning up the car.

The garden will be giving me some lettuce soon (in the greenhouse), green onions are growing, more artichokes will come, parsley and cilantro and basil (in greenhouse), and there are tiny beets, carrots spinach, and lettuce growing nicely.  I have much to do out there, but it’s started anyway.

What Did We Eat? March 22, 2018

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I did not get over the flu, or whatever it was, as quickly as I wanted to.  Of course, to be honest, I have no patience for sickness and want it to be over with on the first hour:). But, even for me, this crud has lingered longer than normal.  I stayed home for a solid week.  That’s very rare for me.  I did not cook very much this week.  Rob did everything last weekend, and I joined in as I got better.

My sister sent some soup and my aunt, hard boiled eggs.  I had both of those.

Rob got some Chinese food when I first got sick.  I did not appreciate it as much as I usually do, but later, when I was a little better, I ate the soup a few times.  He and the kids slicked it up, and he finished it in his lunches.

He bought a rotisserie chicken and we ate that for several meals.  We ate it as it was.  He took some in his lunches.  I boiled the bones today, and he made some gravy from the broth.  He mashed potatoes and ate chicken gravy over mashed potatoes.  Twice. In one day.  It was good:)

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There is 1 quart of broth left, which I froze.

I had some turkey left from the 20 lb one I cooked last week. Most of that ended up frozen for future meals. I made enchilada casserole, using corn tortillas and a can of sauce.  I’m so thankful I purchased another can when the one I had was used.  It really came in handy when I was not feeling well to be able to make dinner fast.  It went back on the list right away.

The kids made endless quesadillas from cheese and tortillas.  Good thing Rob got 10 pounds last weekend.  You would be amazed and a bit horrified at how much cheese got used this week, but thankfully, there’s lots left.

We cooked a frozen gluten-free pizza for me .  Last weekend, one of the kids bought pizza and they ate that.

I made a batch of no-bake mountain bars last evening.

We had salad a lot.  It was fast and easy.  We cooked a few green beans, as well, and Patsy ate quite a bit of applesauce.  I baked some potatoes and we ate them for several days.

It wasn’t a banner week, but we got through it with a few compromises.  Rob got through the 3 days he needed to work before getting off for spring break.  He always packs a lunch. His choice is the school cafeteria, and he often doesn’t get his lunch breaks at a predictable time.  He feels the school food is overpriced for what small amount he would be given, and also it is highly processed food for the most part.  So, he takes food with him.  We usually count on leftovers to fill his lunch pail.  I’m glad we made it through the week as well as we did, and am looking forward to a super fun week ahead, full of spring break activities and fun!

What Did We Eat? Apparently More Than I Thought:). March 15, 2018

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Less than a week ago, I was blithely posting about how I wasn’t going to shop much this week–I didn’t need anything–and so on.  That’s not how it turned out!!

Last Saturday, I thawed pork with the intention of making Asian pork meatballs, a new recipe that called for water chestnuts, for the week ahead, as I often do.  I only use about 6 cans of water chestnuts per year, and last time I checked, I had some.  On Sunday, when I went to get them, I didn’t have them anymore.  Other people cook when I’m not here, and I’m very thankful they do, so this was not a tragedy, just a bump in the road.

Then, I noticed the A1 sauce was gone.  The Worchestershire sauce was nearing the bottom of the bottle.  The maraschino cherries were completely gone, even the juice which was used in popsicles.  We were down to the last bit of bread.  It became almost comical as I realized the peanut butter was again almost empty.  The mustard was almost gone.  The pineapple chunks were gone. As I checked things over, trying to cook for the week ahead,  I had to just laugh!  What are the odds of all of that running out in the same week?

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I found that the Safeway app had a coupon for the laundry soap I always buy, for $4.75 per container.  I have paid from $11.99-14.99 on numerous occasions for the exact same container, so I though it was a mistake.  But, since I wanted to get the 2 packages of chicken breast for $1.49/lb that I was allowed, I headed over there after church on Sunday to check it out while I bought chicken.  (That is a really good price around here for the chicken).  The packages were huge, and I ended up with around 15 pounds of chicken–more than I expected to be allowed to buy.  The soap was not a mistake, so I got 4.  I repackaged and then froze the chicken, so we will have many meals from it.  I had a raincheck for bread, for 99c a loaf.  Water chestnuts were 99c/can, so I got 5.  We got Michaela a Coke and a donut–lucky girl–because you don’t break tradition without a good reason with that girl:).

I saved enough chicken out to make the stir-fry in the first picture, and the chicken parmesan in the second picture.  The Asian meatballs turned out great, when I finally made them Monday morning.  Rob made a large pot of white rice, which was used up this week for meals.  I just finished the last of the Jedi burgers tonight.

The extended family was very hungry on Sunday, and used up most of the food I had made and what was brought by others. We had soup, enchiladas, chips, and mountain bar no-bake cookies.  I had a little chicken-rice soup left for the week, but very little.  It’s gone now.  Rob shared that he needed lunchmeat and lunch stuff for the week ahead.  I hadn’t realized that,  so we went to Grocery Outlet and got a bunch of that kind of thing, snacks for his classroom (he’s an instructional aide and they give food out frequently–he takes things when he finds them cheap), and some produce.  Once we realized that we were shopping after all, we decided to get as much as we could for 2 weeks, and skip shopping this weekend. We made a good list, emptied out the remaining money in the grocery envelopes and spent it!

I got what I could there, and finished up at Winco.  I don’t want to go there on Sunday night ever again.  It was so busy, and it looked as if the shelves had been stirred and emptied.  They were out of pineapple, except some really expensive cans.  They were completely out of 1/2 and 1/2.  I did get some produce, and some other items I had on the list. So, I do have a couple of things to get this weekend after all, but not much! (Or so I think!!)

So, why did I go ahead and empty my grocery envelopes for all those groceries, some of which were not needs at all?  Clearly, we don’t need A1 sauce, for one, we just like it.  One reason is because I like to keep my pantry up as much as I can.  I don’t want to run my stockpile down too far.  It defeats the purpose of keeping one.  Yes, there are times when I just pay the asking price for something I only use 1 bottle of in a year, but for the vast majority of my shopping, I shop sales, discount stores, buy bulk items, and use coupons or grow, can and freeze my own.  To pass up laundry soap that is 1/3 of what I’ve paid at times, is only going to cause me to spend more in the future, because I will always wash clothes.  It doesn’t rot, so it’s a good choice to stockpile. (I know people make their own, but I continue to buy the kind that I know doesn’t make my husband break out in a rash, as many kinds do.)

When you cook at home as much as I do, some of these flavorful items make the food more palatable and less boring, which keeps us eating at home.  Also, the family ate things up, and seemed hungrier than usual (sometimes it happens).  So, I needed more of those often-used items as well as the rarely used ones.

I had grocery money to spend.  I wasn’t shopping because I couldn’t, I really thought I didn’t need this many things.  (I must be blind or kind of dingy!)  I knew the fridge was pretty bare, but I was trying to empty it so I could clean it!  (It’s very clean after the salas explosion last Saturday) If I had not had any budgeted money left this month (mine goes from mid-month to the next mid-month), I would have waited for things like maraschino cherries and focused on produce, bread, dairy and peanut butter.  I would have skipped some of the fresh produce, and used more canned and frozen.  I would have continued pulling items from the pantry and freezers for meals.  Now that I’m out of the amount I budgeted, I will choose to wait until I get paid again to load the envelopes up again.  I did save out enough for 1/2 and 1/2, pineapple and milk, if needed. Since I get paid in the next couple of days, we will not suffer a bit. (It was easy to cruise through this week, as well) I was able to pay off the bills I wanted to pay–the braces are completely paid for!  Hip, hip hooray!!  I won’t have any extra money to roll over to next month like I did last time, but I can live with that.

Sometimes, you just can’t plan everything out perfectly, and things don’t work out the way you planned.  But, going with the flow is a great skill to have!  I am very grateful that  I had the privilege of being able to fill up my fridge and restock my pantry.  I’m very aware that I’m blessed to be able to laugh instead of cry when things ran out.  I’m happy that people can have food they want, as well as food they need, and that we have more than enough.  For these things, and more, I am truly thankful.  I never want to lose sight of those things in the midst of my little self-imposed challenges!  They are fun for me to do, and help me make budgeting fun instead of drudgery.

 

Weekly Update-Saving Money-March 10, 2018–Star Wars Food Edition

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We had the boy all weekend!  He was on a Star Wars cooking kick, because his mama got him a really cute Star Wars cookbook and sent it along so we could all have fun!  Here, Uncle is supervising while he made Han-burgers (Han Solo).

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Uncle was even teaching him how to flip burgers!

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Uncle rose to the occasion and made up some planet onion rings to go with the Han burgers.  He used onions that had been given to us last weekend and made a coating with rice flour, egg and water and gave it a Star Wars sounding name.

 

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Jedi juice pops were a real hit–literally!  They fought with them.  We had to color them red with maraschino cherry juice to make it the right color for the dark side–otherwise, it was just apple juice poured into a popsicle mold.  The book had more complicated directions, such as put strawberries and apple juice in an ice cube tray and insert toothpicks when they had frozen for 2 hours……this was easier!

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That would be a Chewybacca pancake.  They were supposed to be C3PO pancakes with pineapple, but that was a no-go.  They had to be Darth Vader pancakes at first, covered with chocolate chips for the helmet with a cherry for a lite saber.

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Of course, we converted everything to gluten-free with the good old Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour!  These pancakes were really good.

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Chewbacca got really brown, but Jake thought that was good–he is brown! As Jake explained, he wasn’t going to eat any of those toppings….they just made the pancakes look good.  Patsy ate them for him.

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Although the book had a different recipe for Wookie Cookies, Patsy decided to make Mountain Bars (no bake chocolate-oatmeal cookies) and they decided to call them Wookie-Cookies.  The Star Wars Weekend was really fun.  No matter what we cooked, we gave it a Star Wars name.  Jake was super hungry and ate a ton of turkey-rice soup that was supposed to be for lunch tomorrow.  No worries–I’d rather have him eat it any time–it’s one of the few real foods he eats–I made an enchilada casserole from odds and ends and we will heat it up with the rest of the soup for tomorrow.  Everyone’s coming here tomorrow, as some have meetings and things in the afternoon and need to eat and run.

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We also drove down to the beach yesterday afternoon for a few hours.  It’s really not that far from here–we just usually forget that it’s so close.  There was no school Friday, so all the kids and Rob were off, and that’s why we had Jake that day–his mama was working.  Rob had done some errands in the morning while I went to the YMCA and took an exercise class.  It was a new-to-me one, and said on the description–“Low impact/barre” so I assumed low meant easy and we would hang on to a bar and ??? I didn’t know what, but how hard could it be?  Hard.  Let’s just say hard.  There were resistance bands to work our shoulders and arms, lots of jumping around (with one foot on the floor at all times),  and so forth for 45 minutes.  THEN we went over to the barre and held on while doing lunges, squats, pulses, etc. for another 30 minutes.  Yikes!  To make it worse, there was a lady, who had to be close to 80, just going like gangbusters!  She was amazing!  Again, as usual, pretty humbling:)  The teacher was also new-to-me, but she was super helpful and kind, and I hung in there.  I was pretty sore all the way to the beach, and beyond.  So, I was glad to crawl into the van and let Rob do all the driving.    All I asked for was a Diet Root Beer float from A and W, and I was good to go.  Ice cream fixes everything!  We shall see if I can talk myself into going again next Friday.

I also had done my 2 regular Pilates classes earlier in the week, and am hoping to try to do at least one extra class or other exercise time each weekend as well, from now on.  I could take classes all day, every day, with our membership, I just don’t have the time or energy.

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The most fun we had was looking at the seals on the dock at Newport.  Jake spent most of his time imitating the sounds the seals were making–arr, arr, arr, arr.  They were so funny, knocking each other off the docks, pushing and shoving like children.  Then some college students showed the kids the red rock crabs they had caught, and caught a rock fish while we watched.  Docks and kids = Fun!

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The Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center was near closing by the time we meandered down there, but we enjoyed it for the short time remaining.  They are re-doing the exhibits and most of it was closed anyway.  It looks like they will have new things to see in a couple of weeks.

It was a fun time with the whole family, as the 2 big girls got to go as well.

 

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We stopped at a candy shop, and let everyone choose 1 thing.  We ended up our evening by going out to dinner; a super fun, rare occasion with the whole family.  IMG_0069

I had some money that was given to me a while back as a gift, that I used for our dinner out, and was very satisfied with my day!  I especially enjoyed the drive up the coast from Newport to Lincoln City, as the weather was nice, and we stopped off at Depot Bay to look around.  The spouting horn was not spouting. It was the wrong time, but no one cared. We enjoy looking at the ocean under any circumstances.   The entire afternoon was a lot of fun.  I need to remember more often that we really aren’t that far from the ocean!

The rest of the week was full of normal activities.  I went to work, appointments, did homeschool, and let the dishes pile up in the sink and the mountain of laundry grew pretty tall.  Then, on Saturday, I tore into the neglected work and did some cooking, cleaning and laundry.  I also got some more transplanting done in the greenhouse.  I do water the baby plants every single day, no matter how busy I am.

One of the biggest ways I’ve saved money this week is by not shopping very much.  After spending a whopping $21 last weekend, I never did make it to the store again.  And, I still haven’t made it this weekend, either.  I do need to stop in after church tomorrow, but my list isn’t very long.   I’ve been digging in the freezers and cupboards and feel good about some of the thing that have been used up.

I downloaded my Friday freebies from Fred Meyers, but haven’t picked them up, since I haven’t had time to go to the store.   So, if you want to save money by not shopping, borrow a little boy for the weekend and you won’t have time to go, but instead, can cook Star Wars food all weekend from pantry staples!  It’s more fun than the store, believe me.

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I planned to clean the fridge this weekend after it emptied out a bit more, and was working hard all week to continue emptying it.  This morning, when salsa hit the floor and spewed in all directions, painting the fridge door, wall and floor red….I knew the time was at hand!  I washed the entire thing… and the floor in front of it…and the cupboard beside it….and……The food fit easily inside and there was room for leftovers and food for tomorrow’s Family Sunday Dinner.  I love having a clean fridge!

I was able to pull a few more green onions that had overwintered in the garden and use them in the casserole I made. I used some turkey bits from the freezer for both the turkey-rice soup and the enchilada casserole.  This turkey was cooked last summer, and needs to be used. I used home-canned chicken broth in the soup.  We used some frozen corn my sister grew and froze, for us, last summer.  I’ve been offering the family canned peaches frequently, and there have been takers, as the fresh fruit is mostly gone now.  The applesauce is going down the hatch, too.  I will likely pick up a few bananas the next time I make it to a store.  I still have carrots, celery, and of course, onions to cook with this week, as well as some lettuce, still looking great, from that huge package I bought at Costco a couple of weeks ago.  I am surprised at how things have held out with as little shopping as I have done the last couple of weeks.    I am delighted that I have been able to meet my goal of completely paying off the rest of Patsy’s braces–what a great feeling.  I thought I had held out plenty for groceries, and it’s turning out that I may even have some left to roll over to next month (which starts mid-month for me, as that’s when I get paid). We’ll see, as I noticed the evening Melatonin/Sunthenine bottle is getting empty, and that stuff’s expensive.  But, it works to help both Patsy and Jake go to sleep, so…..cheap at any price:).

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