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I am a God-loving, husband-adoring, mybabyboys-hugging, mind-reeling, photo-taking, life-documenting, yummyfood-cooking, garden-planting, country-living girl. Writing about life, with boys, in the sticks...
this is life... with boys... in the country...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Preparing to Feed These Boys…

I read awhile back on a friend of mine’s blog, that it is her budget to spend only $200 a month on groceries.  And she MANAGES to do it!  She feeds herself, her husband, 3 year-old son and 1.5 year-old daughter for that minimal amount… and it made me almost choke on my monthly grocery bill.  Part of her strategy is doing most of her shopping for the month in one monthly trip to Winco.  Perishables obviously need to be replenished throughout the month, but for the most part, it happens all in advance, in one trip. 

I do plan out our meals, per week, and shop accordingly.  Living as far as we do from the grocery store, it isn’t opportune to just jet over there if I am missing an ingredient or have nothing to make for dinner. So I have to plan it out (although I have been known to ‘borrow’ an ingredient or two from neighbors) and thought I was doing pretty good about my planning until reading Kari’s blog regarding the matter. I could be doing better.  Sep-06-2010_gageandcoopercrBut these gremlins eat a lot.  After they finish a meal, they help finish mine.  Then within a half-hour, they are asking for more.  So, it isn’t my goal to narrow our grocery budget down to a couple Benjamins, because they EAT constantly throughout the day.  And because I love to cook .  I love to make things from scratch and experiment and have good steaks and shrimp every once in a while. I love dishes with depth and depth of ingredients usually costs a bit more to make. 

SO.  What could I do to try to trim back on that ever growing Safeway receipt?  Buy more in bulk… and FREEZE it.  The key to buying in bulk, be it from Costco or Winco, is to look at the price per ounce and make sure it is actually cheaper, and to only buy things that you’ll actually USE.  Sure, lettuce may be cheaper if you buy 4 heads for $2 at Costco, but will you USE all of that? 

Anyway, not only have I found that buying in bulk is cheaper, by freezing it, I have to SHOP less.  Halleluiah.  My kiddos are fortunately pretty good companions at the store, but I’d never chose to go grocery shopping more often than necessary. 

So, per advice from my sister-in-law on freezing things I’d never thought about freezing, I set forth on our most recent trip to Costco with staking up on my mind.  Here’s a few of the things that made it into our cart:

  • Peppers (I use them A LOT and sliced them up, froze um and they’re ready to go).

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  • 10 pounds of Gold Potatoes: peeled, cubed and boiled um till just tender, laid on a sprayed cookie sheet and froze.  Then transferred them to bags.  eHow told me how. 

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  • Cheese.  Did you know you can freeze cheese??  My mom warned me that the cheese may not be the same post-freeze, but I found out today that it as as good as fresh!  And when you purchase this 5 pound block of Tillamook cheese, $2 a pound is a pretty sweet deal… and the slices are perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich. 

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… and we use a lot of Mozzarella and parmesan cheese… CAN’T beat the price at Costco. 

Sep-04-2010_mozzcheeseSep-04-2010_cheeseI also bought overloads of peanut butter, chicken, frozen broccoli and peas, oatmeal, tomato paste and sauce, bacon, noodles, flour, sugar, rice, Cheerios, bread, butter, tortillas, garlic, onions… plus the regular amount of apples, pears, bananas, eggs, milk, and creamer… and of course diapers and Pull-ups.  And then some.  I wished I could have gotten toilet paper and paper towels, but quite simply, there wasn’t enough room. 

With Gage and Cooper sitting in the cart, and Kaden in the front pack, I looked like a circus on wheels.  I could barely push the cart and cannot TELL you how many people looked at me sympathetically and said “Looks like you’ve got your hands full… ” (if I had a dollar for each time I heard that, my Costco bill would have been free…)

Anyway, this is totally just a start – a step toward having more food options on hand and spending a little less.

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Next on my agenda is to figure out what snacks and meals actually FILL these boys up – because during the day my feet barely leave the kitchen floor and our cupboards and fridge might as well have revolving doors.

I get a pit in my stomach when I realize that its only going to get worse – all three of them are still pint size. 

I can’t even imagine what we’ll be facing in 10 years. 

We should buy stock in Costco right now… 

3 comments:

Mom said...

Good thinking, sweetie. Hopefully, within ten years you'll have a vegetable garden, cattle, chickens, etc., etc. :)

See you soon. XO

Marilee said...

Oh what I would give to hug those hungry little boys!

Anonymous said...

I read your post about photography obsession at CM, and just had to tell you that I love your pics. Beautiful work! And I can tell by your photos that you have a great sense of humor. Awesome, and you made me smile. :-)

Mamabegood at CM

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