Grocery shopping and menu plan for the rest of December 2011

This week's menu plan and groceries

Okay, so I know there are only 3 days left in December. ;) But so far this week we've eaten leftovers, fish sticks and veggies, and an oven-roasted chicken and potato wedges. I've had headaches and have taken our week "off" to just be lazy, play, and take naps. ;)

Monday was our two-weeks-since-shopping day, but we didn't want to venture out in the after-Christmas crowds. So, Joshua went to QFC right down the road and picked up a few things on sale:

The rest of December's groceries

8 lbs of oranges -- $4.99
5.77 lbs of bananas -- $3.98
18 Lg eggs -- $1.99 (x3)
Ginger Ale -- $1 (x2)
Tums -- $3.49

Total: $20.43

I still have enough milk, frozen veggies, carrots, and potatoes from Costco, so I think we'll wait until after New Year's and then make a big trip there for "everything". In all, I'm so happy with our grocery spending for December! I've had variety to try new things, but we've also eaten quite a few cheaper things like pinto beans, cooked carrots, potatoes, and oatmeal. :)

The ginger ale was Joshua's idea, and he made some homemade egg nog and added ginger ale to it. Yummy! Then, he put some of the homemade egg nog into his ice cream maker and we had some delicious egg nog ice cream! The kids had ginger ale/egg nog "floats". I guess it's the winter version of a "root beer float". ;)

In January, I'll be continuing my bi-weekly grocery shopping! Planning a menu and then shopping bi-weekly at Costco seems to be the easiest and most time-efficient way for me to save money on our groceries. :)

Pantry Challenge

I'm also joining Jessica at Good Cheap Eats for her January Pantry Challenge!

As Jessica says, this freezer challenge is NOT:

It is NOT a total abstinence of grocery shopping.
It is NOT putting stockpiling on hold.
It is NOT oatmeal and rice and beans until the cows come home.

For me, this challenge will be a continuation of fewer shopping trips, getting my freezers organized, and starting to make and store some freezer meals. I'll share more details on my freezer meal plans soon! :)

Be sure to visit the other bloggers who will be chronicling their January pantry challenges:

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
The Finer Things in Life
Getting Freedom from Debt
Good Cheap Eats

Ruth

To boost myself out of "lazy mode", I've made a goal for each day the rest of this week/year. :)

This week's goals:

Today (Thursday): Clean up the house. We did some cleaning over the weekend, but I have a few things left: 1 bathroom, 1 load of laundry, and windows.

Friday: Organize our homeschool shelves, and anywhere else that's "overflowing". ;)

Saturday: Rest. :) Then, Saturday evening, write out my freezer meal ideas/plan/schedule.

My menu plan for the rest of the week:

Thursday: Pan-fried cod, green beans, black beans and rice

Friday: Spaghetti and meatballs, homemade garlic bread, green beans

Saturday: Leftovers, freezer-friendly bean and rice burritos, or something in the crock pot

Sunday: Eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, and then spending the day with friends (no cooking required from me!!) :)

Comments

Have you noticed that the price of eggs is skyrocketing? We paid $5.48 On Dec. 19th for 5 doz. and then on Dec. 26th, 5 doz. was $10.70. YIKES!!
I like your idea of shopping less :)

The ginger ale/eggnog floats and ice cream sounds interesting and yummy. I made my own ginger ale this past week using this recipe and it turned out really well :) it doesn't save you any money but it's healthier!
http://www.ramblyblog.com/2011/12/lesson-129-nothing-says-holiday-cheer.html

We bought eggs at Costco on 12/12 and it was $7-something for 5 dozen... this week's sale at QFC was actually slightly cheaper! Hopefully when we go to Costco next they won't be $10+!! :)

I was just telling Joshua we should make our own ginger ale some time! I'm sure it's much better than the bottled ginger ale. :)

Thank you for posting about shopping every other week. I've been considering this since I changed grocery stores but need to be much more organized about predicting our needs. Most of the produce we're eating right now lasts mroe than a week and I can pick up local salad greens two blocks away when I buy milk and half and half. Thanks for the inspiration!

You're welcome, Beth! :) I think it gets easier to shop less often... I suppose a lot of things get easier with practice, though! :)

There was an Internet article today regarding how much grocery prices have gone up in the past year, specifically naming eggs, potatoes milk oil, etc...just basics. The increases were from 11% to 25% in just this past year. They didn't mention sugar, another sky-rocketing item. This is certainly not good news for those who are on limited income and barely stretching their budgets to accommodate current needs. And, as one who is very much into all aspects of the news I can almost guarantee it's not going to get better any time soon.

Yes, definitely! I save my receipts and was noticing that many things have gone up about 10% at Costco in the past year. I feel very blessed to be able to afford to eat so well.

I heard a news story on NPR this morning about the price of peanuts doubling this harvest and how it will impact peanut butter prices this year, made me want to rush out and buy a couple cases to stash away :)

I often look at the Frugal Village website...some good tips there, if you haven't seen it. One of the recent articles is from the Food Network Magazine entitled 50 things to make with pasta sauce. Some creative ideas that a good cook can run with to personalize the items to suit their family. In our area, there are frequent two for one pasta offers at the grocery store...or make your own, of course.

what people can think when looking at food people buy. I looked at your list and I thought you must all have the flu as you bought ginger ale and tums!

LOL! That is funny. :) Nope, no sickness here, thankfully! :) The Tums were something Joshua picked up because I've had horrible heartburn (pregnancy-related) and then the ginger ale was for his egg nog ice cream floats. :)

Glad you are not sick.....no idea why I can never log into your site anymore!
Martha

Did you see in this months costco coupon book they have a great sale on sweet potato fries? It works out to just a bit over $1/lb at my costco, not sure if their prices are the same everwhere. My kids *love* these as a snacky dinner when Daddy is at work. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon sugar for the pickiest eater and they'll be skarfing their veggies ;)

No! When did that coupon book come out? I was just thinking this morning that the last coupon book was good through 12/18 and another one should be starting soon. Mine hasn't come yet!! :)

I haven't tried the sweet potato fries from Costco, but $1/lb for frozen ones sounds like a good time to try them! ;)

Mine came yesterday, you should get yours any day now :) the new coupons are good the 5th through the 29th. I know you weren't a big fan of the homemade sweet potatoe fries you made and I've had mixed results with homemade--my spices/seasonings tend to burn if baked long enough for the fries to get crispy, and cutting sweet potatoes is HARD! I learned that baking them whole for just 5 minutes makes it easier to slice them quickly.
But my favorite way to eat sweet potatoe fries is Costcos, baked plain, and then dipped in equal parts sea salt, cinnamon, and turbinado/raw sugar--just kind of smoosh them in so some sticks, sweet & salty goodness :) And if you ever see a good price on sweet potato waffle fries, they are extra delicious! I can't find them near me but my parents grocery had them back east. Don't know why the fancy shape tastes so much better but I tend to splurge on 'fun' vegetable foods to keep my kids trying new things.
And Oh! You HAVE to try allrecipes recipe for Addictive Sweet Potatoe Burritos, my all time favorite sweet potatoe recipe. I know you like beans and burritos, I bet you'll like em :) I make them with crockpot blackbeans that I learned how to make from you! :)

My coupon book came that very day (December 31)! :) Thanks for the heads-up on the sweet potato fries! I think $1.12/lb is a good price considering that they are ready-to-bake, and there is no waste (peeling, etc.)!! :) But -- since it's not something we normally buy I probably wouldn't have saved the coupon. I *try* to use coupons just for things we would normally buy anyway, unless it's truly a good deal... and I don't take the time to look at everything. :)

Think I'll make up a bunch of those bean and cheese burritos for the pantry challenge. My 17yo son loves them!

Could you add a print button to pages or let me know if I am overlooking them? :) I like to print the menus/recipes and such but don't want to print all the "extra" stuff like ads and such. Thanks! Stephanie :)

Unfortunately, I don't have a printer-friendly option right now. :( It's definitely on my list of "need to do's" when Joshua has time to work on site issues for me! :)

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