Monday, October 7, 2013

Money Monday

Oh man, its Monday already. That means I have to suck it up and admit to the world (or at least the 6 people who read this blog regularly!) that I am not good at budgeting and meal planning. Even if it's on my list. Actually sometimes I think it's harder if it's on my list. But I'm determined to try. So even though this is really embarrassing - as of October 7, I have spent $159 on groceries. Not $75. There are two reasons (excuses, cough, cough) for this. One being that we came home from vacation on October 2 so I immediately had to go grocery shopping and I did so good, $72 and I felt like my fridge was full. But then we went to Costco. I have such a love/hate relationship with Costco. I feel like we cannot walk into that store without immediately spending $100. On the other hand, such great deals! We had a $120 gift card to Costco (which means we technically have spent $279 on food!! Oops) and I really wanted to stock up on meat. I tend to buy smaller packages of meat or the cheaper meats (chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts) and since we had this gift card, I just really wanted to buy meat for a change, we so often have no meat in the house and I've been planning to do a big freezer cook soon so I knew I would need meat. So I sucked up my plans to spent only $75 per week and spent $207 at Costco, thankfully the gift card helped but that does mean that it's only October 7 and I have only $141 left for the 3 1/2 weeks. But I am determined that I will stick to it, even if it means not being able to buy anything but milk the last week! We do have enough food in the house right now that I really think other than fruit, veggies and milk we shouldn't have to buy too much. So that's my story of basically completely failing at my attempts to spend only $75/week but in all honestly, after making my commitment, I realized that I prefer to do most of my shopping in the beginning of the month, making a larger bill up front and then just buying the perishables the rest of the month so maybe I should go back to just a monthly amount. I guess I will see how I do this month and if it's still not working, I might need to push myself to do the weekly thing. 

So here is my meal plan for this week: 

D:Ravioli with Chicken, Garlic Break & Caesar Salad
B: cereal - kids have a Dr. appointment at 8 a.m. and we need to be fast!
L: Pasta with veggies

D: Leftovers - hubby away
B: Oatmeal 

L: Egg Salad sandwiches on fresh bread - I work  Tuesdays so I need to have these prepared in advance for my mom to give to the kids
D: Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup
B: Toast & Eggs
L: Pita Pizzas
D: Lasagna
B: cereal - I have bible study early so once again, we need a quick meal!
L: McDonalds with my mom - Thursday tradition :) 

D: leftovers - hubby away
B: Oatmeal
L: veggies, crackers, meat & cheese

D: Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
B: Pancakes & Bacon
L: leftovers
D: Perogies with sausage & peppers

And because it is just amazing, here is my recipe for Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup. A friend gave it to me so I have no idea where it is from. Oh and this picture is a triple batch. The recipes does not make this much soup! I was participating in a soup swap this week so I needed a lot of soup! Oh and on that note, I highly recommend food swaps. I've participated in a couple and have loved it. You get together with a group of friends and you all make a bunch of one type of food. So for the soup swap, I made 4 meals of soup and then traded the other 3 with my friends and got 3 different types of soup back. Such a great way to fill your freezer but not have to make a million different meals. 

Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 ½ lbs sweet potato, cubed (I used one really big sweet potato)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
1 ¼ cups dry white wine (didn’t have any so I used apple juice)
Tabasco sauce, to taste
salt & freshly ground pepper

 Put first 6 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree in a food processor, blender or using a hand blender.  Add some salt & pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce.  Serve.

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