Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

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alliesmama4
Posts: 2857
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:41 am

Momof2Still wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:46 pm
Janet, sounds like you are doing a great job with stretching your grocery money.

Wow, seems like forever since I have had a chance to post. This school year has certainly been different. I think I was as tired going into the second week as I usually am at the end of the school year. I hope things are leveling out now. I still have a couple of large projects to complete, but nothing that is due in the immediate future.

I have done okay with the grocery budget- could be better, could be worse. I have wasted more than I care to admit, and it may not be over yet since I froze a lot of things to keep from having to toss them. I am not sure how well some of them will fare since I have not frozen them before, but it is worth a shot since they would have been tossed if I had not tried to save them.

I did manage to put together a menu plan for the upcoming two weeks, a shopping list, and went shopping, and stuck to the list for the most part- I think I grabbed a bag of sunflower seeds that were on mark down, and two boxes of instant low sugar oatmeal to keep in my office for those days I forget (or do not feel like eating what I brought). I love oatmeal, and usually cook steel-cut oats, but this will do in a pinch. It is a comfort food to me which is odd as I never had oatmeal as a child. I think a couple of things may get tweaked since I cleaned out the fridge (after shopping- I usually do that first) and found a couple of things to use within the next day or two (pkg. of mushrooms and a tomato).

RM is going home in a little over a week for a visit, and then upon returning will have about 3 weeks before he leaves for boot-camp. I think he is excited, and I am excited for him.

Dinner tonight was pizza for RM and I cooked a chicken breast that I thawed a couple days ago and never got around to using. I also used the rest of the left-overs in the fridge as sides. I think once RM is gone I will do a pantry challenge to use up some things. I have lots of things that I grabbed because we use it consistently, things I use were on sale, so I grabbed it- this is what happens when I do not plan and just shop on the fly. It could be worse, I could have grabbed things just for the convenience. I did grab more convenience items, but we used those for the most part. I have gained 10 pounds, so things have got to change, plus I need to exercise routinely and not every so often. Well off to bed. That is the other thing, if I did get home in time to cook, I was too tired to do so, or it was too hot. I like the hot weather, but even I am over it. The humidity is killer.
Momof2 so good to hear from you.. I was concerned since it has been such a long time but knew you were starting back to school.I know when I was working it was always easier to buy convenience foods or fast foods instead of cooking at home. Sometimes I would try to cook ahead on week-ends but it is hard when you have to work all week and then try to play catch up on the week-ends. Good look with your organizing and pantry challenge when you are able.. .

I know you will be sad when your RM leaves for boot camp. He seems to have been a wonderful RM, companion, and friend.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

Momof2Still
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 10:05 pm

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by Momof2Still » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:56 pm

Thanks Janet, I will miss him, but I think he will have a great time learning new things and going to new places.

Bought a rotisserie chicken yesterday when shopping, so had that along with smashed cauliflower, gravy and steamed green beans. I used a head of cauliflower that has been in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I am thankful that my fridge seems to keep fruits and veggies in good shape for more than a couple of days. I have another head that I will use later this week. I prepped the short ribs (bought on sale) so in the morning I just have to dump everything into the crockpot and add the herbs. I also used the rest of an opened pkg. of coleslaw mix to make coleslaw to have tomorrow night. I will steam a pkg. of broccoli and make RM a quick side-salad (he does not like coleslaw) and dinner will be ready. I packaged up two meals to take for lunches this week from some of the left-over chicken and the rest of the green beans, gravy and smashed cauliflower.

I also cooked a pkg. of bacon and placed that in the freezer to take out as needed. I made two bagel, egg, and sausage sandwiches, boiled some eggs, and made four omelets (used some of the mushrooms that needed using) along with the rest of the opened pkg. of shredded mozzarella cheese and some asparagus. There is also cold cereal and oatmeal if preferred. Well, off to bed. One of my assistants is sick and will be out tomorrow, so an extra busy day.

alliesmama4
Posts: 2857
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:13 am

Not sure of what all I have used up but have been doing well. Recently realized that most of my fruit has come from my trees. I have cooked down some of my apples and had sauerkraut, onion, apples with bratwurst from the freezer. Froze some of the apples and kraut and one brat for next week for a meal. Most of the time I only eat half of a brat sliced thin and mixed in to the kraut and onion. Have been snacking on apples from my tree with peanut butter.. Also have been eating cooked pears from my tree that I prepped earlier. Eating fresh peaches but need to cut the remainder up and freeze them. I have limited freezer space so will do it in pint size bags and tuck them in where I can in fridge freezer. Also get a few fresh strawberries from the pots on my deck which I just eat out of hand.

Today is trash day so went through the fridge last night to see if anything needed to be tossed.. Nope. Did find 1/4 of a head of cabbage and some ground beef. I thought about making a casserole with them then found cooked rice so decided to make stuffed cabbage casserole.

The milk that I bought for .39 cent half gal is still good but way pass the expiration date of 09/13/18 so decided to make chocolate pudding with it today.. I have an overabundance of cocoa in the house from different sales so need to use it up.

Made oatmeal cranberry muffins. Used the last of my oatmeal and 1.5 cups cranberries. They are left from Christmas. I have about that many left in the freezer so will need to find something else to use them in.

Made tuna fish salad this week. Still have free tuna and the eggs (3) were .08 cents each, onion minuscule in cost, mayo a little bit from Dollar Tree.. I did buy a bag of cheap potato chips ( .89 cents) to use as crackers with the tuna and with pimento cheese dip/spread. Have about half head of lettuce left so need to come up with something to use it for. Will need to make salad dressing if I decide to make a salad with it. There are other things but right now that is all I can remember.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2857
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:14 pm

It is still scorching hot.The wind is blowing and we are suppose to have rain and a cool front moving in. The A/C in my aide's car died so I drove her to the grocery store. We split a 5 lb bag of Idaho baking potatoes.They were only .99 cents. The potatoes will fill in some holes in my menu for the rest of the month. Nice that we can share and split things. I am still within my budget of $22.00. Saw on a news blip that due to the severe hot weather in Europe that their potato crop was affected and french fries and their various names in other countries will be shorter.. ie they are usually 3 inches long but will be 2 inches.. It cost around $3.00 for a serving of french fries.. When I think of what I bought for .50 cents and what they are buying for $3.00 is it amazing.

I did a lot of mending today while watching TV. So satisfying seeing that pile going down.

I need to get busy and finish cooking my evening meal.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2857
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:21 pm

Forgot to mention I have earned $10.00 in gift cards for Amazon and $3.00 cash from a surveys. All will be saved to go towards food for myself and maybe some doggie treats for Teddi. Right now he is still eating free pupperoni from Amazon. About 3 months worth has been free but it is getting low and I do not think he will make it to the end of the month with free pupperoni unless something crops up. His Nana did send me $40.00 for his care. I was going to use it for his grooming for Oct and Nov but might use it towards his treats and food too. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2857
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:53 pm

I made the stuffed cabbage dish but just cooked it on top of the stove. It turned out really well. I have eaten two portions and will have the rest for lunch tomorrow. Amazing what a little bit of cabbage and meat can make.Of course the rice, onion, and tomatoes helped as well.

I thawed out a small container of cooked pears.. The tree only had 6 pears but they were huge. I have eaten two servings of the pears from this container and have enough for one more serving. It went well with the stuffed cabbage dish.

I did not get around to making the chocolate pudding the other day but did so today. Used up the last of a half gallon of milk that only cost .39 cents. Also made almond flour salt and pepper crackers.They were ok but need to roll them out thinner. Also going to leave the salt and pepper off of the topping and add sesame seeds to see if it gives them a little bit more of a nutty taste.

Took a quick walk around my apple tree and found two apples that had fallen but had been chewed on by critters. Too a rake and grabbed the remaining apples.. There is still one too high to reach but will keep an eye out for it. Will cut the small apples up and cook them down for the freezer. I had one for dinner tonight with peanut butter. I scraped out the last of my peanut butter from the jar. Also have used the last of my black tea bags to make iced tea.. 10 bags.. I still have some loose black tea leaves as well as green tea so will use those up.

I have decided that Saturdays will be pizza and a movie night. Will be making a gf pizza dough tonight.. New recipe that is suppose to do better if it sits in the fridge for at least 12 hours. I have cooked Italian sausage in the freezer. I always keep one cooked link to be used for homemade pizza.Also when I trim an onion and bell pepper tops I cut the ends in to small pieces and freeze to use on pizza. Also always keep mozzarella in the house.. Sauce is easy to make from canned tomato sauce since I keep pizza seasoning on hand. I am out of pepperoni but it will still be good.

I am eating a keto English muffin every day with an egg.. so two eggs a day .08 cents each. The other ingredients are so minuscule it is hard to determine the cost.

I am low on coffee but measured out what is left and I will just squeak in under the wire with enough until the beginning of Oct.

I have been doing well and staying within my $22.00 budget. I only have .50 cents left but the only thing that I might need is milk and if it not on sale for .39 cents it usually costs .58 cents. I am going to go over things and see if I can make a similar challenge to myself for October. This has been a challenging and fun month. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

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