Grocery Trip and Meal Plan – March 2018 Weeks 1 & 2

Happy Sunday everyone! Well, I am week behind in getting this to you, but smack dab in the middle of the two week plan so we’re all good! We have had some crazy weather here in New England and boy am I glad I did prepping last weekend after shopping. I am improving little by little with each 2 week shopping trip with regards to what lasts, what doesn’t and what to try and focus on next time.

This shopping trip I did stray a little bit from the ‘Aldi/Walmart only’ goal that I set for myself, but when I went to the other stores I really did just stick to what I was there for, mostly.

I have found that planning and prepping are two of my favorite things. I am trying to work on a video of some of my prepping, but it is taking some time. It sure is fun form me, though. I stay in my pj’s, set up my little dvd player and watch some favorite shows or movies, and spend a good part of the day prepping. It’s always nice when the kids play together nicely and I don’t have to referee too much.

Ok, now on to the shopping trip. I had to cut it back a little this trip because I think I had spent a little from my grocery budget during the previous week on something else. Overall, I spent about 169.00 for two weeks of meals, which wasn’t too bad at all! Here it is:

Aldi – 97.45
Crisp rice cereal 1.19
Frosted flakes 1.49
Drink mix (2) 1.19
Sharp cheddar (2) 1.79
Honey nut oats 1.39
Crackers 1.69
Salmon (1lb) 3.79
Beer battered fish fillets 3.19
Black forest ham (1lb) 3.19
Saltine crackers .85
Yeast 3 pk (2) .95
Popcorn kernels 1.49
Flour (2) 1.19
Eggs (3dz) .99
Dino nuggets 6.99
Chicken spinach pizza 3.99
Milk (4) 1.91
Roma tomatoes 16 oz. 1.39
Butter 2.99
Hot dogs .99
Pasta sauce 24 oz (2) .99
Tomato soup .49
Sweet relish 1.29
Hot dog rolls .85
Carrots 2lbs 1.29
Rice cakes 1.49
Vegetable oil 1.85
Iceburg lettuce (2) 1.39
Cucumbers (2) .55
Pancake syrup 1.49
Ketchup 38oz 1.49
Peanut butter 40 oz. 3.19
BBQ sauce .99
Mayonnaise 1.89
Cadbury mini eggs 2.95
Half Pork Loin (5.17 lbs) 8.74
Boneless skinless things (3.75 lbs) 6.35

Walmart – 13.54
Water 35pk (2) 3.98
Marinated mushrooms 6.58

Big Y – 8.66
Sugar 2.19
Crisco sticks 4.49
Red potatoes 5lb (2) .99

Stop & Shop 37.07
Soda (5) 1.00
Solid white tuna (5) 1.00
Reduced chocolate bars 10.09
Sweet sausage links (2.88lbs) 5.73
Ground beef (3.68lbs) 11.00

Dollar Tree – 12.31
Parchment paper
Penne pasta 24oz
Frozen blueberries 10oz (2)
Dawn dish soap
Dial soap 3pk (2)
Pretzels (2)
Hair elastics

Here is a look at the menu items for the next two weeks. With my shopping and prepping this week, I was actually able to plan out these 14 dinners and I still have 1 lb of hamburger left, 2 large chicken thighs, American chop suey, as well as a second chicken pot pie. Well, the insides of the chicken pot pie to which I will add biscuits or dumplings to at meal time. Not bad! This will definitely help with the beginning of the following week.

Meu plan

So, there you have it! Another two weeks down. Like I said before, I am getting more used to the idea of the every two week shopping. It will definitely help once we get into baseball which is coming up soon. We will have two nights of practice a week this year as well as a Saturday morning game so less shopping and more prepping is definitely in the plan! Have a great week. Enjoy the sun if you are seeing it and I’ll see you soon!



Grocery Trip and Meal Plan – February 2018 Weeks 3 & 4

Has it been two weeks already?! I have to say, as much as the shopping trips for two weeks have taken longer, I thoroughly enjoyed having the weekend off last week.

Hello there! Has it been two weeks already?! I have to say, as much as the shopping trips for two weeks have taken longer, I thoroughly enjoyed having the weekend off last week. This go around I actually shopped on a totally different day than normal because I had to head to WalMart anyway so I figured I would get everything out of the way and really free up my weekend.

Initially I planned my trips as two week shopping trips this month because I had cut my budget for the month and it is easier for me to shop a larger trip to save on meats, etc. However, with both shopping trips I am convinced even more that shopping at Aldi and Walmart really does work for me because everything is always low cost and I may just continue it going forward! I mean, a gallon of milk for $1.48 and a dozen eggs for .63, how can you go wrong? I would love to be able to buy local eggs and milk and still stay on budget, but it just isn’t in the cards right now.

Shopping these two stores, I don’t have to worry about what is on sale that week or that I am missing out on a sale during the ‘off’ week. That doesn’t mean that I won’t still pick up a deal here or there if I see it in the local grocery store sales flier. There are sometimes those loss leaders that may be a fantastic deal and something I want to stock up on. I did stop in at Dollar Tree this week as well because I wanted to pick up some of the tins for freezing meals. I ended up picking up a few grocery items while I was there.

This week I was slightly over my max, but it was almost all groceries with very little non grocery items so I really feel good about what I was able to buy and stock our kitchen with for the next two weeks. Here is a peek at what I purchased. Sorry the lists are so long to page through. I am trying to explore other ways of setting this up so they are easily viewable, but that aren’t one long list. Stick with me!

Dollar Tree $19.19
Chunk white tuna (4)
Hunts ketchup
Pineapple chunks (2)
Mandarin oranges (2)
Baked beans
Pretzels (2)
Snack containers
Food storage tins
Dust pan and brush
Ginger snaps
Animal crackers
Vanilla extract

Walmart 36.09
Reeses Cereal 3.64
Marinated Mushrooms 6.58
Whole baby clams (2) 1.58
Chicken boullion 2.28
Large olives (2) 1.54
Coke (3) 1.60
Bottled water 3.98
Elbow macaroni 1.00
Dish detergent .97
Bakery hamburger rolls (2) 1.19
Red velvet cake mix 1.00
Milk 1.48

Aldi 146.97
Oranges (4lb) 2.79
Apples (3lb-2) 2.69
Cucumbers (3) .47
Flour tortillas .99
Avocado (2) .99
Diced tomatoes (2) .69
Red grapes (2.56 lbs) 4.58
Green beans (2) .49
Ranch mix .49
Corn .49
Rice krispies 1.19
Drink mix (2) 1.19
Roma tomatoes (2) 1.39
Baking cocoa 1.89
Kielbasa 1.99
Hot dog buns .85
Turkey burgers (3lbs) 5.99
Eggs (5) .63
Solid white tuna (2) 1.15
Corn squares 1.79
Tortilla chips (2) 1.49
Potato chips 1.49
Canned cat food 4.90
Milk (4) 1.48
Cheese blocks (4) 1.79
Sliced ham 3.19
Sliced turkey 3.19
Butter 2.99
Corn muffin mix .47
Canned pumpkin .79
Shredded wheat 1.89
Bananas (4.5 lbs) .29
Baking powder .99
Coconut flakes 1.29
Mushrooms (2) 1.29
Frosted flakes 1.49
Broccoli (1lb) 1.49
Applesauce 1.89
Lettuce (2) 1.39
Flour 1.19
Chicken breast (9.33lbs) 1.69/lb
Hot dogs .99
Ritz crackers 1.69
Saltines .85
Yeast (2) .95
Tomato soup (4) .49
Chicken noodle soup (4) .49
Croutons .89
Cheez Its 1.49
Yellow onions 1.49
Chocolate chips (2) 1.79
Dill pickles 1.49
Large olives (2) 1.49
Salsa 1.49
Mustard .65
Vegetable oil 1.85
Mayonnaise 1.89
Oatmeal 2.39
Pudding (2) .49
Potatoes 10lb bag 3.49
Heart marshmallows .44

Here is the plan for meals for the next two weeks. As always, simple, simple, simple. Breakfast and lunch choices week to week are pretty similar. Dinners I am trying to have a few different options. This week I am going to use the pizza dough I typically make and we will have homemade calzones instead. I am also going to try a few difference chicken recipes so it’s not the same old, same old. Here they are!

French toast
Banana bread
Apple bread
Pumpkin muffins

Soup and crackers
Chef salad
Sandwiches (Pbj, ham, turkey, tuna)

Turkey burgers/chips
Homemade calzones/salad
Baked chicken breast/garlic ranch potatoes/green beans
Buffalo chicken dump bread/salad
Chicken soup/homemade rolls
Corn chowder/corn bread
Potato latkes/applesauce/broccoli
Hot dogs/homemade fries/fruit
Ham mac & cheese
Chinese chicken fingers/fried rice/carrots
Turkey burgers/baked beans
Shredded bbq chicken (sandwich or over rice)/corn
Whatever night
Whatever night

Have a great week!

Simple Yumminess

I realized the other day that I have twelve saved recipe pages on my phone. Twelve. I use Google and Pinterest all the time to look up recipes. However, I have not come up with a sure fire way that works for me to save them and access them quickly. Other than printing them and putting them in my trusty recipe binder. I know I could put them in my favorites on my web browser. I know I could create yet another board on my Pinterest account. I think it all comes down to the fact that, as much as I like using the internet for things such as this, I still get information overload and I feel like I need to do so much ‘clean up’ already with files I have online that I don’t want to add to it.

In the past few weeks I have looked up and used so many great recipes. I thought I would share some of them with you today. I hope you try out a few! Most are quick and easy and they are all delicious! I will warn you, I am not a professional at taking photographs of food. They are what they are. Hopefully you get a sense of how the prepared food looked. Let me assure you, they definitely tasted delish!

PANCAKES – This pancake recipe from Inspired Taste has been my go to pancake recipe for a while now. I am surprised that I have not memorized it since I make it so much. Although, I am always making different amounts so it’s tough to keep that straight. Sometimes I make just a single batch for one quick morning breakfast or if I am getting low on ingredients. Most times I make a double batch which gives us enough for one breakfast then I store the rest in the fridge to reheat. The pancakes are the fluffiest I have ever tasted and they are so simple with just a few ingredients. I would not recommend skipping the sifting. I think this definitely has a huge part in getting them so fluffy.

SPAGHETTI SAUCE – Now, I normally buy a jar or two of sauce and doctor it up.  The week before last I was stuck for a meal. I realized I had some hamburger and veggies and pasta, but no sauce. I did have tomato paste, though. Even thought I hadn’t done it before, my favorite saying is, “There HAS to be a recipe for that”. And there was! This spaghetti sauce from Epicurious was so super easy. I had all of the ingredients in my cabinets so it worked out perfectly. Now, I will say that I often don’t have every ingredient necessary, but I don’t sweat it. I am always subbing ingredients or just skipping them altogether, if they don’t seem essential. You can see in this post here how I stretch things when necessary, including finding new substitutions.

GRANOLA – No need for fancy here! I needed something to sub for cereal and had all of the ingredients necessary to make this deliciously simple granola recipe from Genius Kitchen. The kids gobbled this one up very quickly as snacks dry and as cereal with milk. I will definitely be getting more oats and honey to make more. I asked and got some advice from a meal planning group I am a part of and will probably try different variations as well, maybe using maple syrup or some other syrups as well.


STUFFED CHICKEN – This stuffed chicken breast from I Wash You Dry, was DELICIOUS! There is simply no other way to describe it. It looks like it may be intimidating to make, but it really was super simple and it all cooked in one pan. I used a mix of broccoli and cauliflower since that is what I had on hand. I will absolutely be trying other variations of this with different vegetables and cheeses in the future.

stuffed chicken

PIZZA DOUGH – This is my go to pizza dough recipe that I make pretty regularly. It is very, very easy. I actually double it and makes two large size pizzas. Last weekend when I made it as part of my prepping for this week, I put it in the freezer and it was just as great. This is a thin crust pizza and everyone seems to enjoy it. We have made the pizza with all kinds of toppings, Hawaiian, pepperoni, veggie, chicken and broccoli, and more! I don’t usually purchase pizza sauce. Instead, I just simmer a can of diced tomatoes until it thickens and add some spices. I also have a recipe for traditional greek style pizza dough, which is actually my favorite style, but I haven’t tried it yet. The process looks like it would be a bit more involved, but I believe it will be totally worth it. I will let you know when I try it out. For now, this is the one I will most likely fill my freezer with to simplify the process even more.


CINNAMON QUICK BREAD – This was one of the easiest and yummiest quick breads ever! If you need a break the standard banana, zucchini, or pumpkin, try this one out!  In the instructions at A Whisk and A Prayer, you will see that you are supposed to cover it with foil and let it sit over night. Ummm…yeah, that didn’t happen! When I made it, my intention was to fill the freezer. One loaf was gone by the next morning and the second never made it to the freezer either! I have since made it again and, it didn’t make it to the freezer the second time, either. The recipe uses the most basic ingredients that we all probably have in our pantry so it is a definite must to have quick access to in a pinch.

cinnamon bread.jpg

MASON JAR SALAD DRESSING – Now, this is hands down the recipe that I am thrilled to have made recently! You will notice it does not have a link attached, because it didn’t come from the internet. It came from somewhere even better, my beautiful mom! After all these years, I finally asked her for the recipe! I literally could taste it in my mouth before I even made it. Honestly, I think I wouldn’t need much more than lettuce to put this on. It is THAT good! If you couldn’t already tell, this is the dressing that was always my favorite growing up. Why it took me so long to get the recipe from mom, I will never know. I do know that it will always be in my rotation forever more.

salad dressing

salad dressing picture


There you have it! A few of my favorites from the past few weeks. I hope you enjoyed reading through these recipes and that you get to try some of them out. If you do, drop me a comment and let me know how it turned out. Until next time, keep things simple, frugal, and fun!


















































































Practical Prepping

Wow, it’s been a while! I haven’t done an actual blog post in so long. Life gets so busy sometimes, I often will do a lot of quick posts on the Facebook page. Check them out here to see what has been happening.

I must confess, I stayed in my pajamas ALL day today! They are new, I got them for $3.00 on clearance at Walmart yesterday and they were so cozy I just couldn’t part with them when I woke up.  As cozy as I was in my jammies, it was anything but a lazy day. Yesterday I did my shopping for two weeks, which is rare these days. I knew I had to do some prepping this weekend to make sure things go as planned. I typically shop once per week and I really prefer that. I mean, it’s one week. Easy peasy. If the food starts to run out by the end of the week it isn’t a problem because we usually can stretch a day or so then I restock again. Shopping for two weeks isn’t like that. It seems like the food gets eaten just as quickly, but then there is an entire week left.  To combat this, I prep! And I may hide some food, shhhh!  Not completely hide, but some items do go waaayyyy up in the pantry cabinet out of sight for a bit.

My first step is to look at my meal plan for the next two weeks and see what I can prep ahead of time. You can check out the meal plan here.

Today, my prepping began with a loaf of sandwich bread, which I make just about every other day. It is super soft and so delicious. I haven’t heard one complaint from anyone, so it’s a keeper! I separated the 5 pounds of hamburger into several meals. One pound just went into the freezer in a plastic bag.  About 1.5 pounds I made into a meatloaf that we will have tomorrow evening. Another pound was made into hamburger patties and frozen. About 12 ounces was sautéed with onions, peppers, and mushrooms and used to make a big batch of spaghetti sauce. The remainder was made into meatballs, which I baked, added to some of the spaghetti sauce, and put in the freezer for meatball grinders.

What my kitchen looked like most of the day.
I made a double batch of banana bread. One was already cut into, the second I managed to wrap and add to the freezer. Tonight’s dinner was a spiral ham and once we were all done with that I cut up the remainder. Some went into the fridge for another dinner this week, some smaller pieces we will use for omelets, and then about  a cup and a half was cubed and frozen for a future meal, probably mac and cheese with ham.

I made a batch of pizza dough in the bread machine and that went into the freezer as well. Last, but not least, I made a small batch of quick peanut butter cookies. They are sinfully full of sugar, but they are quick, don’t require much, and I needed to have something a little sweet to start of the week!

It was a great day all around!  The kids played, fought, laughed, bugged me, helped me, a pretty typical Sunday here! I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you plan and prep at all for your weeks? Do you have any tips to share or questions to ask? I’d love to hear from you. I hope you all have a great week!

The after…..back to normal!

Weekly Shopping and Food Plan – February 2018 Weeks 1 & 2

Happy February everyone! It has been way too long….I haven’t done one of these posts since November! I am going to try to keep up with these. Not only does it give you guys ideas, but it keeps me in check as well. Win win!

This week was a little different for me. I am used to shopping one week at a time. It’s just easier for me to plan and shop for one week. It goes by very quickly and if we run out of things I can squeeze things out of my stash for a day or so.

However, February is a shorter month and things are always tight. To combat this, I have committed to cutting the groceries just a bit this month. I find that when I have tighter purse strings for groceries, it is actually easier to do two weeks at a time because I can take advantage of deals on meat, etc.  It also means that I went to a few more stores than normal to help with a few deals. Meal planning and prepping is absolutely necessary for me to make this work.  You can check out my day of prepping here.

Here is what I ended up picking up for the two weeks and the meal plan. As always, meals are super simple. That’s just how I do it and it works.

Walmart $25.84
Ketchup 1.00
Marinated Mushrooms 6.58
Spaghetti Sauce (2) 1.00
Whole Clams (2) 1.58
Eggs (5dz) .63
Bananas (4.72lbs) 1.37
1% Milk (4) 1.48
Bar Soap 1.24
Foaming Soap 1.42

Stop & Shop $34.44
Soda (10) .88
Tuna (5) 1.00
Water 28 pk (3) 2.33
Spiral Ham 8.65
Discount Fruit 5.00

Aldi $109.69
Creamed Corn (2) .49
White Potatoes (10lb) 3.49
Diced Tomatoes (4) .69
Drink Mix (2) 1.19
English Muffins .99
Hot Dog Buns .83
Hamburger Buns .83
Mushrooms (8oz) 1.29
Hot Dogs .99
Green Peppers 1.99
Cucumbers (2) .47
Gallon ziplock 1.99
Sandwich bags 1.99
Butter 2.99
Raw Shrimp (12oz) 4.99
Iceberg Lettuce 1.29
Peanut Butter (40oz) 3.19
Red Onions (3lbs) .79
Celery .99
Mayonnaise 1.89
Saltine Crackers .85
Yeast 3pk (2) .89
Cheese Pizza 4.99
Laundry Detergent 1.89
Pancake Syrup 1.49
Sliced Provolone 1.99
Black Forest Ham (1lb) 3.19
Block Cheese (3) 1.79
Chicken Breasts (4.68lbs) 8.33
Flour 5lb (4) 1.19
Sugar 4lb (2) 1.85
Hamburger (5lb) 9.95
Frosted Flakes 1.49
Pretzel Sticks (2) 1.29
Corn Squares 1.79
Tortilla Chips (2) .99
Strawberry Jam 1.79
Lg Olives 1.49
Old Spice Deodorant 2.44
Crackers 1.49
Salsa 1.19
Canned Cat Food (14) 4.90

Family Dollar $7.24
Slim Jims 3.00
Shaving Cream 2.00
Shampoo 1.00
Conditioner 1.00

Grand Total $177.21

I thought that was pretty good for two weeks worth! As you can see, it also includes some non food items If I took those out, the food portion is even a better number. Totally happy with where I ended up. Now, here is the meal plan for the next two weeks.

Eggs and toast
English muffins
Banana bread
French toast

Ham sandwiches
Tuna sandwiches
PBJ sandwiches

Meatloaf with mashed potatoes
Hamburgers/Hot dogs with french fries
Spaghetti with homemade bread
Meatball grinders
Shrimp scampi
Corn chowder with homemade rolls
Crispy parmesan baked chicken
Chinese chicken fingers and french fries
Homemade pizza
Sausage with peppers and onions over rice
Baked spiral ham with garlic ranch potatoes
Ham with rice or potatoes
Whatever night
Whatever night

There it is! As always, super simple. I don’t typically plan a vegetable side ahead of time. I usually grab whatever we have. Usually, it is a vegetable, fruit cut up, applesauce, or a salad. I have done lots of prep to make things easier during the weeks to come. I still have a bit more to do, but made a good dent. Click here to see how the prepping went!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy these types of posts. Let me know if you have any specific questions. Have a great week!


No stress holiday hosting

Happy Friday after Thanksgiving everyone! What a great day yesterday was. Focusing on family, being thankful for what we have, and enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving feast.  As you all know by now, I am all about living my life the simple, frugal, fun way. Hosting Thanksgiving is no exception. I love hosting holidays. Everyone is in a great mood and relaxed. . Our parties are never huge, but I think the principles I follow are pretty much universal no matter what size crowd you are hosting. Here are my tips for keeping stress out of your holiday hosting.

  1. ALWAYS HAVE A BUDGET AND WATCH FOR SALES – A number one source of stress for most of us is money. Thanksgiving can get out of control really fast, but if you really think about it, the basics don’t have to put you into debt. I shopped for all of the food for Thanksgiving out of our regular weekly shopping budget over the past few weeks. One of the best sales this year was the turkey! One of our local supermarkets puts out a $7 coupon off a fresh or frozen turkey. However, their competitor accepts the coupon at their store and they have a price that is well below. The competitor sells the turkeys at .39/lb. So, my almost 20 lb. turkey cost me just pennies after using the coupon. Even without the coupon, it would have only cost me around $7 and change for the turkey, which is not a bad deal. Don’t ever be afraid to ask if you see one store running lower prices if they will match it.
  2. ASK GUESTS TO CONTRIBUTE– There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking guests to bring an item for the party. It often works out nicely when someone else can help out by bringing an appetizer, drinks, or dessert to contribute. It leaves time for you to focus on the main meal both ahead of time, and during the party. This year, family brought the desserts and it worked out beautifully.
  3. PREPARE ANYTHING YOU CAN AHEAD OF TIME– This is always a time and stress saver for me! This year, it just so happens we don’t have a microwave. I actually don’t mind it at all and have rarely missed it. I knew that without it I wouldn’t be able to heat things up last minute so I really had to plan everything out. Prepping ahead and putting some of my other small kitchen appliances to work helped a lot! I cut up cheese for the platter the night before as well as made my grandmother’s cranberry apple relish, yum! I made sure that the shrimp was thawed out and paired things up on my pantry counter for dishes to be sure that I had everything I needed and they would be easy to grab. In the morning, after putting the turkey in the oven, I made the mashed potatoes and put them in the crock pot to stay warm. I used a new recipe this year and they were absolutely fabulous! So creamy and delicious! You can find the recipe here. I used stove top stuffing this year because well, why mess with perfection, right? When the turkey was done, I put in the green bean casserole and a French meat pie that a guest brought, those took about a half hour or so. The baby carrots went into the steamer/rice cooker where they stayed warm until we were ready. Last, but not least, while everything else was being brought to the table, the rolls were heated quickly. Doing some of the items ahead or even in another appliance other than the oven/stove, it really freed up a lot of my time so I could visit in between instead of spending every minute in the kitchen.
  4. YOU DO YOU FOR CLEANUP – I am one that does not want to do morning noon and night in the kitchen for a party. So, when it’s dessert time, the dishes sit and I sit too! I sit back, enjoy my dessert and visit. I don’t worry about the dishes. I have a dishwasher and I know they will be done early in the morning. This has been the case every Thanksgiving for the past four years in this house. I know myself, I know it will get done, and I know it will be quick. Here are my before and after pictures. Start to finish was about 20-25 minutes this morning. Not bad at all and I didn’t have to miss out on the fun yesterday. If it makes you feel better to do it right after the meal or right after everyone leave, or at 10:00 after sitting down and relaxing, do it. The whole point here is to not stress. Holidays should be fun, not stressful.thanksgiving cleanup 1thanksgiving cleanup 3
  5. REMIND YOURSELF THAT NO MATTER WHAT, NO STRESS – This one is key! I cannot emphasize  enough that you are the one who has control over this. When something doesn’t go right, take a deep breath, figure out a solution, say ‘I will not let this throw me’, and move on. That’s it. Keep it simple.

So there you have it. My five tips for keeping your holiday hosting stress free the simple, frugal, fun way! I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday season. Stay tuned for some fun with gift making.

Learning to S.T.R.E.T.C.H your groceries.

You guys! This last week was tough and rewarding all at the same time!  With major goals in mind, we have been very focused on our budget. Trying to squash some old habits that have held us back instead of moving us toward our goals. One of those bad habits has always been grabbing food in between grocery shopping trips. I would head to the store if I forgot an ingredient, if I didn’t feel like cooking what I planned, if we wanted a different lunch than what was packed, if we wanted a sweet treat, you get the idea! Anyway, for the last month we have been laser focused on not doing that. The budget is the budget and we have been sticking to it. Most weeks it honestly has been easy peasy. Until last week. I had a great shopping trip last weekend, but it was less than I typically have budgeted because I needed a few non food items that also come out of the same budget. Anyway, I had a good shopping trip, you can see that here, but for some reason, it just didn’t last.  By mid week, our lunches were whatever I could find, breakfast items were dwindling, dinners were ho hum, but we made it! Mike and I did get a little dinner out the other night, but we figured out where the money was coming from and were ok with it this one time. It had been a whole month!

It was an excellent exercise in patience. When we ran out of cereal and nobody wanted eggs, I Googled applesauce recipes to see what I could make since I knew I had a lot of it. I found applesauce muffins and they were yummy! When we ran out of eggs, (WHAT?! We never run out of eggs), I Googled egg substitutes and found a helpful chart and explanations from


It was awesome! I found out I could mix ground flax seed with water as an egg substitute and we were back in business with pancakes to finish out the week! The kids are good with peanut butter and jelly most days for lunch, they don’t tire of it and it is always paired with some type of fruit or vegetable and then usually some crackers, pretzels, etc., and a water.  I managed to squeeze out their lunches just fine through the end of the week. Lunches for Mike and I are always a bit harder because we have such a physical job we need something hearty to sustain us for the afternoon. There were a few days that were lighter, but we did it and it didn’t ruin us. We may have had dinner a little earlier those evenings, but that was fine too!

My snack cupboard was as bare as it’s ever been ,we were creative in what we snacked on, and my freezer is desperate need of a refill, but we kept on budget. We didn’t starve. We found what we needed right at home. We were able to sneak some treats in there as well since I had what I needed in the cupboard to make brownies.  I made those a few times and the kids had Halloween candy!

I tell you all of this not because as a boo hoo us, we had no food, feel sorry for us story. Absolutely not! We had food. Plenty of it, actually. What we didn’t have is the urge to go to the store simply because the food that we had at home wasn’t our top choice. THIS is what kept us on budget. THIS is what will get us to our overall goals. THIS is how we move forward!

I created a visual to share my thoughts on sticking it out and stretching your groceries for the week. I hope you will find it useful!