Thursday, February 12, 2009

Organic grocery bargains and homemade food

I have really had to struggle to keep the grocery budget goal of $100 per week while still eating a healthy diet. I'm committed to organic foods, and what we eat is mostly fresh--fresh fruits, veggies, meat, dairy products. Very little is processed or precooked. I went shopping this morning, and as of today we've spent $217. This should take us to the 18th or 19th of February before I have to do another major shopping trip, so I guess I'm about on target.
I was overjoyed today to find markdowns on 2 of the most expesive things I buy on a regular basis. Horizon Organic milk was reduced to $2 per gallon for containers with a sell-by date 4 days from now, and Organic Valley Organic egg whites were marked $1 per carton. (each carton is the equivelent of 8 eggs) I snapped up 5 gallons of milk and all 6 cartons of egg whites, no questions asked!! The egg whites have about a week before they expire, so I left one carton out and froze the remainder. I did some batch cooking with the milk and froze the rest of it. (did you know you can freeze milk??) This will save me quite a bit on future shopping trips!!
Once I got home with the groceries, I spent the day cooking. I made hummus from garbanzo beans cooked from scratch (recipe in the ehow section), then cut up carrots, celery and cucumbers to serve with it. I also made pimento cheese spread with shredded cheese (sale), a jar of pimentos (free after coupon) and mayonnaise. This spread is wonderful on celery! I put on a batch of yogurt using 8 cups of milk and some starter from my last batch. I use a crock pot recipe I found on another blog that is easy and works well every time. Tomorrow, when the yogurt is done I will make frozen yogurt treats for the freezer. (I'll post a recipe tomorrow) Last, I made a double batch of homemade whole wheat waffles (recipe in the ehow section) and froze them for breakfasts. The kids just love these! We will be having waffles, sugar free syrup, fresh strawberries ($1.77 a container) and milk for breakfast quite a bit this week! Tomorrow I plan to make blueberry muffins from the sale blueberries, and some sugar-free peanut butter cookies. All this cooking should keep us supplied in breakfasts, snacks and treats for the week. Since the 3 of us at home will be eating leftovers for lunch and only my daughter needs a packed lunch, I hope to only have to spend time on dinner for the rest of the week.
Today was my husband's first day at home since the layoff news. His employer had given him 2 weeks of notice, during which he had to work, and yesterday was his last day. I enjoyed having him home today and it was wonderful to have two sets of hands to entertain the little one --that's how I managed to get so much done! We are trying our hardest to make the most of his time at home, and to keep it as stress-free as possible. When we look back on this time in our lives, we don't want to wonder why we didn't make more of it, or to wish we hadn't spent the whole time stressed and missing out on the joy in life. We want to look back and say "Boy, that was fun!"

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