Week 29-31 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

I feel so much better about how much money we spent on food this month. I really tried not to buy any more than what I bought in my regular grocery shopping trips on Sundays.

We did go out a couple of times this month which I am fine with. Twice in one month is better than twice in one week, right?

Below is my monthly breakdown of food costs:

  • Week 28 I spent $52.64
  • Week 29 I spent $84.98
  • Week 30 I spent $44.45
  • Week 31 I spent $54.35

Total spent on groceries for July $236.42 that’s $63.58 under budget!

Here are some of the meals we made this month:

The split chicken breast I bought for $15 gave us just about 4 meals! I made the baked chicken breasts with Moz, Basil and Tomato, a chicken stir fry, a pot of soup and the quick alfredo.

The majority of the stir-fry was either free from my garden or free from friends with the zucchini and yellow squash I got.

How have you been doing with your food budget? The garden has been a significant help to our budget. I hope to work on ways to extend the garden through a longer growing season!

My goal again is to not spend more than $300 on groceries for the month of August. – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – July Update

Going into this new plan for paying off one of our credit cards I knew July and August would be the toughest months. For the month of July I did not think any farther ahead than the week I was in. Putting all of my paycheck into the credit card debt and living off the Hubs paycheck actually worked! I made two $900 payments to the credit card this month for a total of $1800! And guess what? All of our monthly bills for July are paid and we still have money left over! Not a lot of money left over mind you, but still…

Beginning balance at the start of July was $7979. 82. Current balance is $6314.50. That’s a total of $1665.32 of debt gone in one month. The interest I paid on my June bill was $161.84. The interest I paid on my July bill was $127.12. It will be interesting to see what the total for interest charges will be in August after paying more of the balance off.

Here’s a recap:

  • Beginning Balance July $7979.82
  • Payments Made July $1800
  • Interest Charges $127.12
  • Current Balance end of July $6314.50

Total Debt Paid for month of July $1665.32!

I mentioned above that I knew July and August would be the toughest months but didn’t explain why. I have been paying on a large loan since 2012 and our last payment comes out in August. We will be free of that debt in September. It will be such a great feeling!

How did I get that much paid off in one month and still have enough money for bills, food and gas? Each week the Hubs and I talked about how much money I thought we would have at the end of the week so we were on the same page. I also luckily have my baking and a side gig that carried us through each week. Without them I would have not been as successful. If you would like to check out my side gig which is my Etsy Shop please view my shop here https://www.etsy.com/shop/RedMillVintageandNew

The results from putting all our energy into paying off this credit card by October have been pretty impressive. Hopefully August will be just as fruitful.

I’ll update you on how much money we spent on groceries and what we ate in the next post.

Till next month! -MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Ok I have Had Enough

Marriages and relationships are funny aren’t they? One wants one thing and the other wants something else. When you can’t agree on how to spend your money and what your goals are then that’s when debt creeps in and then of course debt causes stress, blah, blah, blah.

Since January we have barely been able to pay off any debt. Why? No one reason really. Some of our problem is lack of time because we are always somewhere doing something for someone, or other times it might be pure laziness. Little things we spend our money on add up. Car repairs, medical bills, eating out too much, buying things we really don’t need. You know what I mean.

Well after bringing home close to $7000 in salary last month and we still struggled to pay the bills?? Well I have had enough of this nonsense. I got hubs to agree with me (although I can still see and feel his skepticism) that for the next 4 months we are putting my entire paycheck into paying off one of our credit cards. For the next 4 months we will live off of his paycheck.

I don’t care if the entire house falls down around us WE WILL BE PAYING OFF THIS CREDIT CARD BY THE END OF OCTOBER. That card has $8000 on it and I get paid bi-weekly. In the month of September I get three paychecks. Also we have just 2 payments left on a loan we took out 11 years ago. Let me say that again. Eleven years we have been paying this loan. That $408 will be back in our pockets in September as well.

The Feds increased the interest rates and now is the perfect time to dig into paying off your credit card.

Last week I made our first $900 payment to the credit card. Current balance is $7079. Next week another $900 will happen. I will definitely keep you updated on this. -MM

Week 28 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

Last week I spent $52.64 at the grocery store because I had so much left over from the week before.

We ate pretty well considering none of us ever have the same schedule.

The cherry cobbler I made is really easy and can be used for any summer fruit. Here’s the recipe:

Sour Cherry Cobbler

  • 4 cups sour cherries (or fruit of choice)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Mix all ingredients together and spread out in a baking dish. Now for the dough;
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter grated
  • 1/4 cup of hot water (I used about 6 tablespoons)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Combine dry ingredients then add the shredded butter with fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Next add the water and stir just until combined.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto the fruit and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly and the dough is very lightly brown about a 1/2 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or top with whipped cream.

There were two nights I made myself fish sticks, rice and broccoli because the boys were gone. Can’t go wrong with a good fish stick!

My goal for groceries for the month of July is $75 a week which is $300 for the month. With produce coming on in the garden this should be totally attainable. I just have to cook and bake more which has been hard because I have been baking so much for my graduation customers!

How have you done with your grocery budget lately? I had one friend tell me she stopped her meal service because she had to actually cook it! She didn’t even have time for that because of her four children’s sports schedules. Times certainly have changed haven’t they?

Money spent on groceries last week $52.64. Money left to spend on groceries this month $247.36

– MM

Getting Rid of our Junk Week 11-13 of 54

For week 11, I pulled a 6 and for week 12, I pulled an 8 and for week 13, I pulled a 2.

When I was cleaning out the basement of all the cardboard I posted about last update I saw 6 buckets I had never used from the bakery so I put a post up on Facebook offering them to my friends and they were claimed within minutes!

For the 8 card my son cleaned out his room and had a bunch of empty shoe boxes he wanted to get rid of (kid has way more shoes than I will ever think to own). There is a local church that collects shoe boxes every year for Operation Christmas Angel so I dropped all 8 boxes off to them to use for Christmas boxes for children in need.

For the 2 card it was kind of an in and out. I had a friend give me two boxes of embroidery/needlepoint supplies and after looking through it all I kept the embroidery floss and decided to donate the rest to the church sale because I wouldn’t use any of the supplies otherwise for myself.

I know I am two weeks behind in my year long purge so I will be picking 2 cards to do for next Wednesday. Oh and still working on that King card and the pallet project!

The cards I pulled to catch up for this week are a 9 and an 8. I can do that!

How is your purge going? -MM

Week 25 – 27 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

We have had a rough few weeks with food in our house. My son has never been the type of kid to eat us out of house and home but two weeks ago after a trip to the ER we had a long discussion on the importance of food and what happens to our bodies when we don’t eat enough! Laziness was the foremost issue in this particular instance but I myself have struggled with a poor relationship with food most of my life. For over two decades I feared food, especially eating in public, because of the effect it had on my body. Turns out I am lactose intolerant. Sure wish I had known that 20 years ago!

It took about a week to get my son’s gut back into shape so meals were not very normal for that time period. We have had some good meals since, so here are a few things we have eaten since my last update.

I make my own teriyaki sauce for stir-frys and marinades. Here’s the recipe!

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and stir.
Once combined, continuously stir on medium heat to prevent sticking
Once up to temp the cornstarch will activate and it will start to thicken
Once it reaches temp and has thickened, turn off heat and let it continue to boil for a few more seconds
Pour the finished teriyaki sauce over your simmering stir-fry. Coat the veggies and meat with the sauce. Serve over rice

Total spent for groceries the last three weeks – $288.89 for a grand total of $504.05 for the month of June. My goal was to spend $500 for the 5 paycheck month so just $4.05 over budget. Not bad!

How did you all do with your food budget this month? – MM

Week 24 – What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

I am a little late in getting this post out but last week I spent $67.16 for groceries because I had so much left over in the freezer from the week before. We did go out for dinner once and lunch after the Farmers market because we were exhausted from opening day.

  • Sunday dinner was sausage with peppers and onions
  • Monday was BLT sandwiches
  • Tuesday was crockpot pork steaks with chili sauce
  • Wednesday was flatbread pizzas
  • Thursday was easy goulash
  • Friday we ate out for dinner
  • and Saturday we ate lunch and dinner at 4:00 out and just picked the rest of the night

For the goulash I made last week: I call this easy goulash because I just used what I had on hand to make it. I didn’t have macaroni so I used rigatoni, I didn’t have an onion so I dug up a sprouting green onion from the garden that was coming up from last year and I only had a yellow bell pepper so I used that.

Chopped Green Onion
Chopped Yellow Sweet Pepper
I browned one pound of ground beef with the onions and the pepper
I added a tablespoon of paprika and chili powder and salt and pepper
In went a quart and a half of my home canned crushed tomatoes
I simmered all of this for a while. Maybe 1/2 an hour
Then I cooked the pasta and added it to the pan
After all of those flavors had time to meld I served, topped with parmesan cheese. Yum!

Total spent for groceries so far in June $215.16 out of $500

What did you all eat this week? – MM

Herb Bouquets

I love making herb bouquets for people. In fact, when I offered home delivery, herb bouquets were a pretty popular item on the list!

When we are invited for a night of cards or socializing at a friend’s home, instead of bringing a bottle of wine for a hostess gift, I like to bring a pretty herb bouquet or a jar of homemade jam or even a dozen fresh eggs.

This bouquet consists of sage, rose, peppermint, basil, and lavender, all completely edible.
Basket full of herbs for bouquets

Herb bouquets are a wonderful gift because they are completely edible! Teas, savory meals and even homemade skin care can be made with them.

If you grow your own herbs or have access to them consider making an herb bouquet and giving it as a gift. I guarantee it will be very well received 😊 -MM

Getting Rid of our Junk Week 9 and 10 of 54

For week 9 I pulled a 7 and for week 10 I pulled a 5. I swear it is harder to work with the smaller cards than it is the larger cards lol.

I combined weeks 9 and 10 to get rid of 12 items. My basement needed it the most. I sell vintage and antique dishes on Etsy and my basement is perpetually a mess with boxes and bins and wrapping papers and packing bubbles. It was due for a much needed clean out.

Let’s just say I counted really slowly and recyled 12 cardboard boxes. Here’s the proof

I am still working on week 8’s King which is 75. Remember the sneak peak I gave you last update with the pallets? Here’s more of the project which is still not complete but about halfway there.

Pallet fence
The pallets I previously installed need a paint refresh.

I have been working on this project for a couple of years and this card challenge is motivating me to finish it. Previously we installed 5 pallets up front and 4 pallets in the back. We installed another 9 pallets last week. Half way there! I’ll keep updating on week 8’s progress.

Now for week 11’s card draw…

A six! Piece of cake. How are you doing on your clean out? See you next week -MM

Week 23 – What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

I have given us $500 as a grocery budget for the month of June because for us there are 5 paychecks. Last week I spent $148 on groceries because I had a mishap with Misfits and they sent me a load that I didn’t want (I should have read the fine print).

Last week we celebrated our 12th anniversary of wedded bliss so on Sunday we ate dinner out. Monday we went to a baseball game so hot dogs, cotton candy, peanuts, the whole sha-bang. Tuesday was taco Tuesday, Wednesday was another lazy night with frozen fish sticks, rice and glazed carrots, Thursday I made a veggie and chicken stir-fry, Friday I enjoyed a little league game with the hubs up in the booth so dinner was a soft pretzel with cheese, Saturday was a quick chicken and veggie alfredo over fettuccine.

I did make a quiche, red pepper potato salad and a pineapple cream pie which made me look like I at least attempted to think outside the box this week when it came to food.

The potato salad I make started with a recipe I talk about in this post https://marymargaretripley.com/2017/01/31/jalapeno-popper-potato-salad/ It is fantastic and the boys love it. I didn’t have the fresh jalapenos this time so I just used fresh red sweet peppers. Potatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese, peppers, cream cheese and mayo. What could be better?

The pineapple cream pie is a favorite for us on a hot summer day when I don’t want to turn the oven on. It’s only 5 ingredients if you buy the pie shell ready-made. https://marymargaretripley.com/2015/09/06/week-2-of-operation-pie-pineapple-cream/

Looking back on our week of food last week I guess I didn’t do that bad! We ate out a couple of time but those were special occasions for us.

Total spent for groceries so far in June $148

How are you all doing with the rising price of food? – MM

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