Monday, February 21, 2011

Frugal Grocery February - Week 4

This week I am happy to report that although I didn't manage my goal of no spending I kept it down to $33.25 . Little P came for lunch on Friday and he loves ham so I went and bought some and in the process I ended up buying three loaves of cheap bread to stash in the freezer (forward planning!) milk and some eggs. That's the psychology of shopping. You go in for one thing and come out with six.  I didn't feel so bad since all those groceries were what I'd call basics. It's not like I was off buying four kilos of chocolate. ( I wish !)    And last week one of the shops  had a super special on brand name coffee so I made the tactical decision  to lash out and stock up. I saved $21.00 on three jars of coffee and it only cost me $15.00. And we're set for coffee for a while.

Mr. P  made  cinnamon bun pancakes on Saturday and they were delicious. They made a great weekend breakfast. You can find  the recipe we used here. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

I'm pretty pleased with how this challenge has gone for us. Using what we have has been a huge money saver and has made me really think about what we already have and how we  can use it creatively. I must thank Mr. P who has pretty much done all the cooking during the week this month.  There has been a lot less "popping down to the shops " for one or two ingredients and mostly we've substituted or just left  out ingredients if we didn't have it. The roof wont cave in if we don't use fresh coriander-  just chuck in ground coriander if it's only about the flavour. 

This weeks grocery shopping  brings my monthly total to $151.75 (just over $50 .00 a week ) which means so far I've saved $298.25 for the month. My goal was to save $300.00 so I'm pretty confident I can meet that target and maybe even better it.

On the down side this week I am going to have to start re-stocking items. We're completely out of things like gherkins and pickled onions. I tend to be a hoarder and we'll have one in the fridge and another one on the pantry shelf. This month I'm down to about 5 gherkin rounds floating round looking lonely in the jar  in the fridge. I guess I should be thankful we still have plenty of soap and deoderant.  I have noticed though that I'm not throwing away 5 bucks worth of slimy sandwich meat every three days because it isn't being eaten because if I buy it , I've only been buying enough for a day or so, or using canned tuna or eggs or cheese for sandwiches or rolls instead.  

We had two meals last week from leftover chicken I'd chopped up and stuffed in the freezer at some point. One was Thai chicken soup which was just a packet Thai base with fat rice noodles.  Mr. P added extra stock, chicken, corn and spring onions and it was lovely. The other was a chicken fried rice which fed us for dinner and then lunch the next day. Mr. P just chucked in a cup of chicken, some carrot , some peas , soy sauce , a bit of garlic ,  spring onion and eggs . Both were very economical meals made from leftovers or things we already had laying round , and tasted really good. We do tend to be big meat eaters here and I think it's been a positive change for us to have almost meatless meals a couple of nights a week.

My menu this week includes a few more chicken meals since I have so much of that in the freezer. Mother of Pyjamas tells a story about chicken being so expensive  when she was growing up  ,  that they didn't get it very often.  That's certainly not the case these days . I love chicken and we eat it often mainly because it's versatile and cheap. I know when Mr. P needs beef or lamb because he starts clucking at me.

I haven't made a dent in the big outside freezer yet ...I guess there's always March. But I'm starting to see the back of the inside freezer and at least when I open the door half a barnyard doesn't fall on me.  That's progress. And I'm still finding it hard to believe I haven't bought meat in almost 4 weeks.

Come back next week for the final tally. I'd love to hear how you're doing if you're playing along.


Kirsten said...

Well freezer is so empty all the time, I wonder why we even have one :-)

melissa said...

Thats amazing Shay , how much you have saved! We tend to buy more than we need and end up chucking stuff. Its such a waste. Youve made me think about it and ive started making a weekly menu and shopping list , lets hope i can stick to it! Half of my problem is taking kids shopping, we come home with lots of crap!

Angie said...

Looksl like you have almost $300 in your fabric budget now. LOL

Lorraine said...

OMG first it is the queen of its the queen of frugal-ness! I am being frugal this week because I am not home - does that count? I am like you....I have to restock an item once it's a jar in the fridge and one on the shelf.....that's just how we roll!
Have a great week o-frugal-one!

Donnie said...

You are doing a great job. I bought a ham for $11 the other day and we baked it Sunday when we usually would go out to eat. Saved at least $25 on what we would have spent for one meal and I have leftovers for the whole week. That's where we really save by not eating out.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Well we spent $136.64 again this week. which brings us up to $308.77 for the month. Which is great. We would normally spend that every weekend!

Unknown said...

Since I haven't been working as much we tend to think the same...
I kick myself everytime I Impulse Buy at the supermarket...I get a splurg every now & then...since I've been on Nanna Duties I tend to not go out with Bubby so I haven't been hitting the shops like normal which is a big saving here.....
Thanks for the Inspiration to be works.

Helsie said...

You certainly are doing well. I can't believe you have so much in your freezer though once upon a time I tended to do the same thing.
When we moved I sold the chest freezer and now I don't have so much room to store all that stuff. We found that we didn't like the meat that had been stored for so long and as there are only two of us now I make a point of using up all the meat every now and then before I go out and buy any more.
Keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

I am afraid to look at my receipts for last weeks shopping. I think I may have gone overboard. Perhaps not though. I didn't make a menu for the week and found myself running to the store almost every day. On Wed. I was feeling crappy and had Big bring home some fast food. Does that count against my tally?

You may be the winner of your own contest! What will you buy yourself?

AnnieO said...

Excellent work, Shay! We only have one fridge/freezer but it tends to stay full as DH is always bringing home samples from work and sticking them in here. He is the "can't resist a sale" at the grocery store meat dept. We really should do the same, just keep cooking at home!

Kate said...

Great frugleness! Both My Guy and I have found a good way to reduce or grocery bill, don't take Kiddo to the store with us!

Kirsten's Cooking said...

I'm so proud of you -

I so wish I would have checked out that recipe before now - the kids had another (!) snow day and this would have made a perfect breakfast -
Saturday morning will be the day!

I'm so proud of you - I can't believe how much food you've been able to utilize from your pantry!

I think it's awesome that Mr P has been doing all of the cooking - he's been a great partner in this challenge :)

Anonymous said...

You are taunting me, aren't you? Except for the chicken genocide you seem intent on, I think I love you and Mr. P. You are like the best team ever. Just chuck the man some cow, would you, and leave my people alone.

vawriter said...

Reading this blog entry is like watching an exercise program on TV--I feel guilty and inspired in equal measure, cuz you and I both know my intentions are good, but I'll never live up to your example.

xx ;-)

Unknown said...

Loved the recipe and I shall try it this weekend. looks easy to make too and cheap!
I too love chicken dishes. All over the web we can find some different chick dishes. I make chicken salad sandwiches which we love with a small salad. One of the problems with frugal cooking here in Canada is the lack of adding the greens stuff to the meals.
I don't have a large freezer such as you, so am able to look/see what's in it. I make homemade pizza, which is good for two days.
The first day is fresh, then the second pizza is wrapped and put in fridge for next day or the day after.
if you want the recipe, I'll send it. It's frugality at it's best and chicken may be put as a topper too.
You are doing so well and with Mr P being a chef in training, you are surviving so well! My sweetie refuses to go into that "room".

Jenny said...

Shay! Hi! I've been trying this and it's kind of fun. The challenge of how little can I spend! I think my husband is digging it, too! You're doing awesome with it!