Monday, February 28, 2011

February Grocery Check-In

After January's alarming grocery totals, I knew I needed to get a better handle on that area of our my spending. So I've committed to keeping close track of the numbers in the coming months. I think I did a bit better for February. Typing it all out shows me again where some of the weaknesses are, namely frequency of shopping trips, lack of planning and some impulse or processed food buys.

2/6 - Costco - $15.24
1 take & bake pizza
3 lb. bananas
1 gallon pickles
1 36ct. flour tortillas

2/5 - King Soopers - $37.45
1 ice cream
4 chocolate bars
1 pkg. lunch meat
1 tube toothpaste
2 smoked sausage
2 juice beverages
2 cans Ro-tel
4 cans tomatoes
1 deodorant
1 bottle mustard
1 cookie dough
7 lb. organic apples
4 jars salsa
2 boxes Ritz crackers
4 4-pks. yogurt
2 cans soup
2 pizzas
1 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

2/4 - Safeway - $7.96
4 lbs. cheese

2/6 - Safeway - $58.63
4 2-ltrs. soda
2 jars salsa
4 bags Tostitos
5 cans beans
2 jars peanut butter
6 bags cereal
2 cans soup
1 box baby rice cereal
2 boxes cereal
4 lbs. Tillamook cheese
1 aluminum foil
4 12-pks. soda
2 4-pks. yogurt
2 individual yogurt
1 coffee creamer
2 pkgs. Italian sausage
6 avocados
1 red onion
2 bags pistachios
1 valentine plate - so our youngest could have one as our other children do for the holiday

2/7 - King Soopers - $13.02
8 cans Ro-tel
2 boxes Ritz crackers
1 cottage cheese
5 4-pks yogurt
2 marked-down flower bouquets - One for a friend and one for me which lasted 3 weeks!)

2/11 - King Soopers - $8.71
4 cake mixes
1 tub frosting
2 pkgs. organic blueberries

2/15 - Costco - $8.08
1 lb. organic spinach
2 gal. milk

2/14 - Albertsons - $16.90
5 large canisters oatmeal
1 box pasta
2 bakery breads
1 box of cereal - cheerios for our little one
3 rolls tape (a Valentine treat for our kids...the simplest things make them happy)

2/17 - Target - $50.22
2 12-pks. baby food
2 large boxes baby cereal
1 large box diapers
1 large box wipes
4 pkgs. pasta
2 boxes cereal

2/19 - King Soopers - $9.29
2 pkgs. Rice Krispy treats
2 boxes drink pouches, all for team snacks

2/21 - Target - $16.26
10 lbs. rice
1 lb. brown rice
4 pkgs. valentine candy
bundle of cilantro
5 lb. dry beans

2/21 - Safeway - $6.69
1 can chipotle peppers
5 avocados

2/27 - Farmcrest - $12.00
4 gallons milk

2/28 - King Soopers - $27.45
3 toothpaste
3 boxes zip-lock bags
1 smoothie mix
2 coffee creamers
4 refrigerated biscuits
1 jumbo pack diapers
1 box wipes
1 natural sour cream
3 4-pks yogurt
2 big tubs yogurt
1 box tea
1 box instant coffee packets
1 tub spreadable butter
4 dozen eggs
1 large tub margarine (..sigh...butter is getting so expensive)

2/27 - Safeway - $93.69
1 large box diapers
48 double rolls t.p.
2 boxes kleenex
2 bags coffee
1 box tea
1.5 lb. beef
1 bag french fries
3 bags meal-ready chicken
1 2-pk. individual pizzas
1 vanilla ice cream
2 loaves whole wheat bread
1 pkg. lunch meat
8 lb. oranges
3 4-packs yogurt
1 6-pack yogurt
2 lb. mozarella
1 box zipper bags
1 pkg. flour tortillas
2 pkgs. rice side dish mix
1 pkg. veg. soup mix
4 lb. baby carrots

2/28 Alberstons $0.00 - I used a catalina expiring today to pick up a couple free items.
1 big container yogurt
1 wheat french bread

Grand Total for February = $381.59 or $13.62/day or $2.27 per person/day.

We did also eat a few meals out, both budgeted and thanks to our generous parents.

Kitchen victories for February:
1. Defrosting the deep freeze, taking an inventory and putting some of those items to use.
2. Making several batches of homemade fresh-milled whole wheat bread.
3. Cooking up a 20 lb. turkey, which yielded 2 roast turkey dinners, 4 meals of soup, 8 quarts of homemade stock and at least 4 meals worth of chopped turkey for future meals. While I definitely see that this makes good use of resources from one $7 bird, it is quite time consuming and remains one of my least favorite jobs.
4. Trying out a new recipe, these Barbacoa Chipotle Burritos. Yum! And now that Meredith passed on the tip about dried crushed chipotle pepper in the spice aisle I'll be able to make this with less cost and waste than using a can of chipotle peppers in the future.

What I'll be working on for March:
1. Menu planning.
2. Showing hospitality. We've gotten out of the groove of inviting folks in and this is definitely something we want to get back to. We're created for community, not to be loners.
3. Considering ways we can cut back with groceries.
4. Continuing to work more "normal" foods into our little guys diet so we stop buying baby food completely.
5. Considering going to cloth diapers. I have no good excuse except that I just don't want to mess with it.

Bit by bit, I'm trusting that I'll be able to bring it down.

Friday, February 11, 2011

{Fabric Jingle Ball} project #1 - 2011

With our little one's birthday quickly approaching I was on the look-out for an idea for a gift for him. All the suitable ideas I was coming up with would be redundant here because of his three older siblings who have left him well supplied with toys and clothing, as well as all the fresh things he has just received at Christmas. Then I remembered a fabric rattle ball that we had seen at a friend's home while visiting at Christmas. A Google search yielded this link (scroll down to the free patterns on the bottom right). I followed the directions, but went my own way on a few things. I used up some scraps of fabric left from other projects and some upcycled denim from baby overalls. I sewed in a piece of cotton batting with each fabric piece to give it a smoother finish when completed and because I had some scraps of that available and was concerned that the stuffing material I had would run short. I also added two 1.5" bells. It has been a hit with all the kids as it is the one ball that is okay to be {gently} thrown about the living room. Out of pocket cost for this gift = $.52 for the bells. All other materials came from my stash of supplies. And the satisfaction of him loving it is icing on the birthday cake!