Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Monthly Grocery Shopping Trip

So Saturday I posted this picture on Facebook...
mentioning I spent less that $160.00 for almost a month's worth of groceries and I started getting questions on where I get things, how I do it...etc.  

So...I am here to tell you how I do it!  
 First, let's talk budget.  We feed our family on $300.00 a month.  That comes to $75.00 per person.  According to Indiana's SNAP website, if we were receiving SNAP (food stamps) we would be given $632.00 for a family of four per month, so in essence we are feeding our family for less than half the amount the government deems necessary per person.  I know that's crazy, isn't it?  Plus please note that we eat well!  Dinner every night, lots of fruits and veggies, packed lunch for Cal and Nick every day.  Plus we strive to eat whole foods and organic, natural foods as much as possible.  (Note here...this doesn't mean that we don't have snacks or junk food, etc).  It's just a general guideline we strive for.

With that said here are some of the deals I snagged this month...
 Organic milk, $0.99 per half gallon (normally running between $3.49-$3.99/half gallon) Completely not price related but fat free organic milk is so much creamier than ordinary skim milk...amazing!
 Organic Juice boxes, $1.19/case ($3.99 at target)...lunch box item for us
 GoGo Squeez pack, $0.99/box (normally $3.59)...for lunch boxes
Pad Thai noodle bowl, $0.99 (regularly $3.49)

 HUGE bag of Natural cereal, $2.29 (no idea the price of this size but the smaller size is in the $5.00 range at Whole Foods)
 A box of 8 yogurt pouches, $1.00 (one pouch is $1.50 at the store) Perfect snacks for on the way to Ballet or Tae Kwon Do!
 Monterey Jack Cheese $1.79/pound (those shredded cheese bags at the store with half a pound are around $3.00!) I use this cheese in the Pioneer Woman's Corn Chowder Recipe.  Yum!
 Full Circle Lasagna's, $0.99 (at whole foods these go for around $5.00 each).  I send these with Cal to school and if I am really running late they will heat one up for him to eat.

So I shop at all of these places and then I keep receipts and my cash in an envelope.  Out of my $300.00 for the month of September I have $148.47 left meaning I spent $151.53.  Here's where I went and the order I went to them in.  I'm also noting what I can consistently find there but I look through everything to find deals. Here you go:

1. Rentown, 1533 3rd Rd, Bremen (I get cheese and lunch meats from here...and sometimes they have awesome butter prices!)
2. Rite Choice, 1303 E. Market St, Nappanee (This is where I get yogurt for uber cheap.  I also get juice, gucacamole, eggs, and random things)
3. Dented Can, 25743 SR 119, Goshen (starbucks!, canned goods, cereals)
4. E & S, 1265 North State Road 5, Shipshewana (So.much.stuff!...yogurt, butter, meats, noodles, fruits, rice, cleaning products)
5.Forks County Line Store, 7900 W 310 N, Shipshewana (cereals, dairy products, meats, frozen goods)
6. Forks County Line Store, 508 E Warren St, Middlebury (cereals, dairy products, meats, frozen goods)
7. Aunt Millie's Bread Outlet, 206 W. Ireland Rd, South Bend (bread, buns, bagels)

I found lots of meat today at these stores but often I'll go to a butcher for meats.  Butcher's I like are: 

These are discount grocery stores where, from what I can gather and what I have learned, they buy bulk foods all Auction style from places like Sam's and other locations.  Like if a product says "new!" on the packaging but it isn't new anymore then it gets sold to one of these places.  

Please know that these places do sell outdated products too.  So check labels!  Some things I am okay with being a little outdated, other things, no way.  It's all up to you.  

As I mentioned before I have $148.47 left in my budget.  I will divide that money by 4 weeks (some months it has to be 5 weeks and then it kind of gets dicey!  This month it will give me $37.11 a week.  With this I will buy milk, oj, fresh produce, and if I find some amazing deal along the way at a local supermarket then I can try to free up some of the leftover money to stock up.  

So that's how I do it.  I hope that that helps with your grocery shopping adventures!  And for pete's sake if you have any questions, please let me know :)  I'm just one Momma happy to help other Momma's!  
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Bass Masters

 Every year the kids participate in a Bass Masters fishing tournament at a local state park.  Nick did this event lots when he was a kid so it's a family thing to do!
 These two are so cute!  This was not the year for Cal...he was very grumpy and irritated with the whole ordeal but we muddled through.
 Here's Nick and his dad.  They're pretty much exactly alike :)
 Here are Nick's mom and dad, waiting for the tournament to start.
 Here's the lake we were on.
 Grandma sandwich!

The fishing tournament is only two hours long but we didn't catch one single thing.  Not a one! We did catch our fair share of seaweed though!

Next year hopefully other cousins will be a part and we will catch fish by the truckload :)
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Here Kitty, Kitty

Last month we were surprised by two kitties. 
We put our sweet kitty Roscoe down on July 1st.  She had gotten so old and was in so much pain.  
Her death was so hard on us.  But my loving husband buried her with a nice headstone in our backyard and the kids are able to visit her...which they do often.  

Then July 3rd we went to Nick's parent's house and their next door neighbor was giving kittens away.  The kids had been playing with these kittens for a long time...they lived in a garage behind the neighboring house and were free to mosey around.  So we had thought we would get them kittens from there but we just hadn't planned on it being so soon!  

But alas in the course of three days we lost our favorite Roscoe Ann and gained these two newbies!  :)
 This is Stripe Whiskers.  Emma chose this kitty because it had a girl looking face, which ended up being a boy.  This cat.  Boy I tell ya.  Has like a Jackyl Hyde thing going on...nice one minute mean the next.  Oy.
And this is Otis Num-Num.  Who is actually a girl.  Surprise!  Another girl cat with a boy name.  I guess that is just how we roll around here.  This cat is also friendly but also kind of that just a cat thing?

I thought we had our hands full with watching Roscoe for when she couldn't make it to her box or having to carry her but boy that was cake compared to these two.  They've broken a dining room chair, a lamp, 2 runners, and a crock.  So far.  Oh and a shoe that they completely chewed through.  They eat dog food like it's some haute cuisine that's all the rage and they ate a pound of raw hamburger when I was putting groceries away.  Seriously!  I've never had cats like this.  Not even with our crazy, insane cat when I was a cat named Norm!  who would literally jump over my bed repeatedly while I was trying to sleep.

So there's your introduction to our cats.  If you ever find us locked in the bathroom, scared of our cats, you now know why :)  Hopefully they'll mellow in the next day or two!
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Monday, August 18, 2014


Sometimes you're just sitting around like this...
 And then you decide you need to make cookies!  So you put on aprons and get to work!

 We had so much fun making cookies for Daddy!  And in our new mixer we were able to whip up a double batch of his favorite cookies-snickerdoodles!
 I was amazed...even Cal was able to hold on through the entire cookie making process.  Usually he fizzles out after egg cracking, which as you know, is usually towards the beginning.  This boy is growing up!
And here's my big girl with some of the final result.  Ignore the one with the oven mitt through it.  Someone learned how to get cookies out of the oven...with the help of mom of course :)  They were so yummy and we had such a great time.
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

hello there

Well as normal when life gets busy the blog is the first thing to go in terms of priorities...

Hope you all have been having a wonderful summer.  We sure have. 
 Our dear kitty Roscoe was put to sleep on July 1st.  On July 3rd my in-laws neighbors had kitties who were ready for new homes.  It was earlier than we had wanted to get a new cat but we took home 2 KITTIES then.  It has been crazy around here with little Otis and Stripe.  So just to review we now have 2 cats, a dog, a turtle and 9 fish.  Nick said anymore and we're going to have to get a permit or something ;)

 the kiddos enjoyed tennis lessons this summer.  It was a great place really close to our house and they always seem to have lots of fun in their lessons.

In other news my sister got married.  We ALL were in the wedding.  Emma was the flower girl and Cal was the ring bearer! They are just the cutest!

And now I am onto my biggest endeavors...the Fall/Winter Children's resale.  This is the event where I sell all of the toys and clothing that our children have outgrown.  It takes a lot of time to wash, iron, price, and ready everything.  I'm also on the marketing committee where we spread the word about the sale and raise money to give certificates to moms in need to shop the sale and get things for their little ones.  I love being a part of it!!!

After that I will be scurrying around to ready our classroom for this upcoming year of homeschooling!  This year we are starting Classical Conversations!  It's a classical model of teaching and the children will be learning the same thing for the majority of their subjects so hopefully that will really help me in teaching them.  Last year some of our days would go until 8 until 5 and it was just getting to be too much!  Classical Conversations typically has a co-op type set up you join and go to one day a week but Cal has been accepted into an autism school so with that we opted to just do it at home.  I'm very excited!  :)

Well that is all that has been going on around here.  Hope you all are well and enjoying your summer!
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