Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Groceries - All About Restraint

I went through my freezer on Sunday and took a look at what I still had for dinners. Even after cleaning out the freezer in March, I had dinner on the table Sunday (delicious pork chops baked with onions and apple) and still had enough food for eleven more main courses!

So, my Monday grocery trip was all about restraint.

Jalapeno Chips - $4.29 (for hubby's lunches)
6 Cans Tuna - $2.94 (49 cents a can!)
Organic Milk - $5.19 (still painful)
Red Leaf Lettuce - $1.49
Organic Yellow Onions - $2.99
Total - $16.90

Frozen OJ - $9.99
Grey Poupon - $6.75 (restocking)
Dubliner Cheese - $9.90
Organic Ground Beef - $12.99
6 Red Peppers - $5.9
Chicken Tenderloins - $16.38 (accidentally bought tenderloins instead of breasts!)
Bratwurst Sausages - $13.99
Total - $75.99

Then I went to Franz Bakery Outlet for sandwich bread and burger buns, only to discover they'd closed 15 minutes earlier. I swear, they changed their hours! There's no way I've been there before 6pm every other time I've shopped there. Back to Safeway I went...

Wholewheat Buns - $2.49
Franz Bread - $4.69 (I could get two loaves for $5.29 at Franz...grrrr!)
3 Whole Garlic - $1 (forgot before)
Total - $8.18

Grand Total - $101.07

Put that together with my grocery shopping on the 1st, and my total for the month so far is $146.91. I'm trying to keep groceries as far under $250 as possible, and I think this still leaves me a lot of room. I know it's early still, but I'm very well stocked (hubby would say we have no food - not true!) and will probably buy more milk, maybe some veggies, just realized I need sour cream, and lunch meat. That can easily be accomplished below budget.

A note on juice - my husband LOVES orange juice. Loves it. He will make a can of concentrate, and go through it in two or three days. Three if I'm lucky. I'm not such a miser that I want to deny him juice, but it is expensive. I buy a six pack of concentrate at Costco every month for $9.99. It goes straight into the deep freeze without him even seeing it. If he gets a hankering for juice, he has to go out into the garage and make up a pitcher. If he's willing to go through the extra hassle over just grabbing water from the tap, well....I figure he deserves his juice then :)

He's also taken to filling an old drink bottle with juice for his work lunches. I'm fine with this, since normally he ends up buying a drink for $1.25 if he doesn't have one. If he keeps up this habit, I'll start buying 2 packs of concentrate a month.

Does anyone have any thoughts on traveling juice containers? Right now he's using an old plastic bottle, which worries me a little...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Prius MPG - $3.83

I keep track of the gas I put in my Prius and my mileage every time I fill up. You can read about how I became a Prius owner here. I last filled up on March 14th. Here's my latest miles per gallon...

Distance Driven: 396 Miles
Gallons Filled: 9.67 gallons

Average MPG: 38.55

My mileage is slowly but surely creeping up. I've read that the Prius gets worse gas mileage in cold weather, and I've certainly found that to be true this winter. Had I not lost all my data from when I first purchased the car last May, my average MPG would be showing much higher, but since this is only based on data over the last few (cold) months, it's lower than what I would expect to see.

Spring is definitely starting to sneak up on us though. If I can leave my house without a jacket in the balmy 50 degree weather, then my little Prius can start showing me some better mileage! Especially since the $3.79 I posted about in shock in March would now be a great price to find.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Let the April Grocery Shopping Begin!

In case your interest was piqued by the recipe posted yesterday, it's my duty to report back that it was delicious! It always seems so hard to come up with new recipes to spice things up, and then BAM! Along comes spicy beef noodle bowl.

I took a picture with my super old iPhone. It really didn't do the dish justice. But, it did capture the red pepper that just begged to be a part of the dish. Lesson learned: add red pepper and get a new camera.

Of course, trying out a new recipe meant heading to the grocery store. And a brand new month and untouched budget meant a couple (carefully planned) splurges.

Trader Joe's
Egg Noodles - $1.99 (and only used half the package)
Sirloin Steak - $11.39 (saved half of this, too!)
Broccoli Florets - $2.49
Red Bell Pepper - $1.29
Dozen Eggs - $1.69
Brie - $4.23 (because it's a pretty cheap treat when you consider how delicious it is!)
2 Bottles Charles Shaw - $5.45 (we drink only the finest)

Total: $28.53

1 lb Salami - $6.49
1 lb Ham - $5.63
Gallon Milk - $5.19 (this makes my eyeballs want to bleed)

Total: $17.31

Which brings the grand total so far to $45.84. Kind of scary since that's about a fifth of my budget. We shall see how this goes...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Food Waste Friday - Some Sad Lettuce

I'll hopefully have a picture for you later today, but we do have some honest to goodness food waste this week. I was using some red lettuce no my hubby's lunches while the sprouts were growing. Luckily, I got down to the itty bitty center pieces that aren't big enough for a sandwich just as the sprouts reached readiness - perfectly coordinated if I do say so myself. But, of course, the last little bit of lettuce was forgotten, and when I pulled the bag out of the crisper last night it had that brown slimy liquid running around in it.

The last of the fresh spinach is also on it's last legs, but I don't plan to let it go to waste. I'll throw the wilted pieces in a pasta or something. Actually, I was planning on trying out this recipe tonight for the first time, and some spinach tossed in might be perfect!

Spicy Beef-Noodle Bowl

1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into strips
1 Tbsp. oil
28 oz. broth
1/3 cup peanut sauce
3 oz. egg noodles
2 cups broccoli florets
Sliced green onions for garnish

Brown beef strips in hot oil in a Dutch oven. Add broth and peanut sauce, and bring everything to a boil. Stir in noodles and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Stir to break up the noodles, and add broccoli. Return to boiling. Reduce heat, and simmer for another 4 minutes or until noodles are tender. Garnish with green onions.

Sounds good, and easy right? I'll let you know how it goes!
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