Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 2012: Groceries

Wow, guys, it's been almost 2 weeks since I have posted on the blog!

Since my last grocery post, I have gone through the food we have in the house and decided that milk was my priority. So, I went to Kroger since I was already in "big town" and purchased 3 half-gallons of organic, pastured milk to the tune of $10.14.

At last count, I had $10.46 left for the rest of the month.
$10.46-10.14= $.32 left!

I have stubbornly refused to go to the store and buy "snacks", because I really really want to not go over on the food budget of $450/month for our family of 5.

Admittedly, we have been eating "weird" snacks. One thing I have been doing is scrounging in the baking cabinet and making "trail mix" with odds and ends in there. Throw some chocolate chips in there with the marshmallows and nuts and you have trail mix, right?

I went through the freezer and I have at least 3 good meals (which will give leftovers for lunches), so I don't HAVE to go to the store, except to add variety to our diets. It's not a MUST, it's a Want To. ;)

I may go to the grocery on Friday, though, before the end of the month, because the kids are not home and I can shop smarter(and saner) without them.  But the food will be for next week, which is the start of a new month.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gluten Challenge: Spelt

The more I read about Wheat being genetically engineered back in the 40s and 50s and the rise in Celiac and Gluten sensitivity, the more I am thinking the problem might not be in the presence of gluten and more in the change in genetic code in GM/GE foods.

So, working on this premise, I thought I would do a Gluten Challenge on myself, using Spelt.

Spelt is an ancient grain, a relative of wheat, but has not been genetically engineered like wheat has. 

Last night I made pizza for the whole family, using the spelt flour I had purchased at the local Food Store. The family ate it without complaint, and I had to tell them that it was different than their regular fare.

The last time I had regular commerial pizza ($5 Hot and Ready from Little Caesar's), I had such bad brain fog that I nearly drove away from the gas pump without paying for gas. Totally out of the loop. I was so embarrassed and thankful that the owner of the gas place didn't call the cops on me!

I digress...but had to share how things effect me when I don't pay attention to what I eat.  Now, I can't be certain it was the gluten and not something else in the processed pizza....but all in all it was not a good experience. :-/

Anyway, I had the pizza last night and so far have had no problems from it. No digestive distress. No brain fog.  I had leftovers for lunch today and am still not having issues.  I will give a report later if I do find I have something crop up.

If I find I do well, I think I might be buying spelt from now on for home baking. It will be easier than the struggle (for me, others may excel at this) of baking GF without using all the starches that I am generally opposed to for regular consumption. And, I may decide to add some more ancient grains that aren't gluten free into my/our diet.

Chick Update: 5 weeks old

I'm a bit late on the Chick Update--sorry!

They are now turning into chickens, and this week my daughter and I moved them out into the chicken coop. 

Here's a little's really short due to the iPod being nearly full...sorry!

I very much like them out there better than in the porch at this point.  They are not roosting on the boards shown in the video yet. I went in last night to check on them around dusk and they were all huddled by the door in a pile. Hopefully they will soon learn to roost up where they should!

June 2012: Groceries

Oy vey.
I went to good ol' Walmart yesterday to pick up some things that have been building up on the list over the last few months. I try to avoid that place when I can. I finally had another excuse to go to that end of town (dentist, what an excuse, huh?) and there is no other bigger store on that end, so yeah, I went to Walmart.

Why is it so easy to spend a lot of money at that place when you go in for just a few things?  Ugh!

So, I've picked up some groceries here and there at various stores since my last grocery post...let's see how I did...

Food Store
Rice Pasta
Total: $11.17

Dollar General
Trident(yeah, I guess gum's food...)
3 Mac 'n cheese
S 4 cans green chilies
2 pkg flour tortillas
Total: $14.21


3 lbs Pink Lady apples
3 lbs Gala Apples
4 bags frozen broccoli
4 bags frozen cauliflower
4.5lbs sweet potatoes
3lb bag onions
2 big bags frozen peas (son #1's favorite snack!)

Daisy Sour Cream (the only brand I've found w/o a lot of junk in it)
1 big bag string cheese
large block sharp cheddar
large block mozzarella
2 large tubs Stonyfield yogurt
Gallon Organic Milk...not organic valley, so very likely  not pastured :(
4 boxes Hormel nitrate-free lunchmeat
4 loaves HFCS-free bread

Olive oil
Light Olive Oil

Celestial Seasonings tea
black tea

3 SnackPacks/pudding cup packages
3 boxes granola/cereal bars (because the kids were starving)
2 Honest Kids boxes of juice pouches (boo to Capri Sun now containing HFCS!!!)

2 packs of Trident(maybe this is subliminal....since I got these after going to the dentist, ha!)

Dark Chocolate M&M's (mommy's stash)

Total: $131.43

I think it's time to be a hermit and not go to the store: Total of these 3 places is: $156.81

What I had remaining of my $450/month budget as of last post: $167.27

$167.27-156.81= $10.46 left for the rest of the month!

Frankly, I am surprised I didn't go way over the budget already. Whew! 

Having the kids home all the time does cause a strain on the budget that is not there when they are in school. Either they are going through a growth spurt or are just hungry all the time, it means the same thing:  I need to either give in and make room in the budget, or find something cheap AND healthy for them to eat!

Suggestions, anyone?

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 2012 Menu Planning

As promised, here is my menu plan for the month of June. :)

Breakfasts will consist of the following: Purchased granola bars, homemade granola bars, homemade granola, bacon, eggs, oatmeal, cereal, Sausage sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, toast + nut butter, juice

Lunches will consist of: leftovers, sandwiches, veggies and fruit, the odd chip treat, homemade cookies

Snacks will be: smoothies/Morning Orange Drink(made w/kefir), Apples + nut butter or cheese, Tortilla chips + cheese, salsa, Popcorn, dried fruit/nuts/chocolate chips mix, carrot/celery and hummus, homemade granola bars, homemade cookies and the like

Here is the June 2012 Dinner Plan, by week:

Week 1:
Hamburgers, Green Salad with red peppers and onions
Boneless Pork Loin, Chard from the garden (boiled), potato cakes from freezer
Roasted Chicken, Green beans, Mashed Potatoes, Green salad with cucumbers, peppers, onion
Taco salad (pastured ground beef cooked with added mexican herbs and spices, onions, lettuce, salsa, Daisy sour cream, white corn chips)
Church party-

Week 2:
Hamburgers, Tailgate Salad, Green Salad w/veggies
Mac 'n cheese, hot dogs, red peppers, olives (someone's requested birthday meal, lol, will fill in with a big salad or leftover Tailgate Salad)
Chicken Thighs(what kind to be determined), Veggie to be determined, Rice and salad
Burritos/wraps, using leftover shredded chicken meat
Pizza from scratch, pepperoni and mushroom (this is where I use the spelt flour instead of wheat flour and test it on myself)

Week 3: VBS week--trying to keep it simple and minimal cleanup...
Hamburger Stroganoff, veggie, salad
Hot Dogs, tater tots, veggie tray
Chicken Thighs(crockpot?), veggie, salad
Leftovers? Wraps again? Sandwiches? Anything quick.
Pizza (yes, again! but I don't think there will be any complaints :))

Week 4:
Hamburgers, veggie tray, Pasta salad
Roasted Chicken, Green Beans, Potatoes or Rice
Beef/Bean/Veggie Enchiladas
Nachos Grande (White corn chips, pastured ground beef with Mexican seasoning, cheddar, toppings), or maybe Taco Salad again....depends on the lettuce situation

Might be a bit boring and repetitive, but it gets the job done! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chick Update: 4 weeks old

Our Light Sussex chicks are 4 weeks old today.
I am really wanting them out of the sunporch, as their dust is building up in there. I don't dare attempt cleaning it up until they're out, though.  So there it sits.

Life has kept us busy enough that we haven't gotten a new door made for the chicken coop yet. Hopefully this weekend will offer the time and inclination to get that done and move the chicks to their new home! (Please, Lord?)

This last pic is of a chick perched on the box the kids made for the chicks. I call it Webkinz for Chickens. :)

So far, only one of the chicks has a larger, redder comb that is one indicator of being a rooster. Ivy thinks all of the ones with black on them are roosters and the ones with gray on them are hens.  Odds are, she's right, because that's more like the 50% chance we have of getting boys/girls. But I like the one rooster idea better.
It's way to early to tell for sure, though! Just guessing at this point.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 2012: Groceries

I've gone grocery shopping locally and boy did I spend a lot of our $450 food(only) budget!
Before I went, I made a rough list/menu of what we had on hand and then looked at the sale flyer.
I made a list and pretty much stuck to it, filling in what we've run out of and what we need for the next few weeks.

After I went shopping, I sat down and made a June Menu based on what all I purchased the last couple days. I will need to fill in with fresh fruits and veggies, milk, eggs and some other staples later in the month, but for the most part I have the menu planned!

Local Grocery S=Sale
2 pkg flour tortilla
2 loaves bread
1 pkg hamburger buns
1 pkg hotdog buns
Cereal-honey nut toasted oats

Store brand spring water

2 Tostitos White corn tortilla chips

S 3 small yogurts
block of cheddar
Cheese spread

S 2 pkg Ore Ida Tater Tots

S 2 pkg hot dogs
box of 100% ground beef patties
S 2 pkg boneless pork sirloin(I figure this will make 2 family meals/pkg)
S 2 pkg chicken thighs
Sausage "muffins"
Hormel Naturals lunchmeat

Celery heart
bag of Golden Delicious Apples
head of Iceberg lettuce
head of Romaine
S 2 boxes mushrooms
S 3 red peppers
S 3 cucumbers

S Honest Tea (Ok, this wasn't on the list....)
Total came to $98.48

Food Store
2 Organic Valley Milk
3 dozen local eggs
5 pkg local pastured ground beef
Udi's Gluten-Free Bread
Rice Tortillas
Frozen mushroom mix
Bulk yeast
2 tubs local(ish) honey
4 boxes teabags
4 cups bulk Spelt(may try this later in the month to see if it bothers me--spelt is an old grain, and hasn't had the genes fiddled with as does regular wheat)
Pumpkin Seeds
Coconut flakes
non-GMO mayo 
 Total came to: $120.13

Food Store
Brown Rice
Sunflower oil
Tinkyada Rice Pasta
Total: $16.39

Discount Grocery Store
This receipt isn't itemized, but we got a cart full of granola bars, cheese, yogurts, frozen goods, tortilla chips, salsa con queso, jalapeno sauce, chocolate cream cheese spread,  ice cream (Ivy's birthday is coming soon!), a frozen pizza, box of 100% hamburgers, 2 cartons of orange juice, pasta sauce, canned beans, and soups.
Total came to: $52.73

$98.48 + $120.13 + $16.39 + $52.73 = $287.73 spent so far this month
$450 - 287.73 = $162.27 left for the rest of the month (eek!)

I will post the menu later this week! :)