Grocery Haul + Bits n Pieces

So this is what we woke up to this morning:

While snow in April isn’t exactly unusual, it is disheartening. That said, the weather looks as though it (oh, please Lord Jesus) will be warming up around Wednesday next week, though I’ve been disappointed by my weather app a couple of times already this year.

To add to the tediousness of the snowy weather yesterday, I decided to go ahead and plant the morning glory, nasturtium, and squash seeds I was pre-sprouting. Thinking I wanted to give the warm weather seedlings plenty of root growing space in case we get frosts later than usual, I decided to just fill a flat with whole toilet paper tubes instead of cutting them in half as I usually do. Now, filling a flat of half toilet paper tubes can be a bit of a project, as it can take a good hour of spooning damp seed starting mix into them before they are filled.

It took me nearly four hours from start to finish to get this flat planted. Won’t be wanting to do that again anytime soon.

But, today’s sunshine has made up for yesterdays snowy, boring gloom, and I was able to get out to do this week’s grocery run.

I’ve been really trying to cut down on grocery costs lately. Back in early winter, I thought I would try to avoid impulse purchases by only going grocery shopping once a month and doing everything in one big haul, with the exception being for milk and eggs. After experimenting with that for three months, I decided it wasn’t working. For one thing we ran out of fresh produce quickly and by the end of the month I for one wasn’t feeling that great. For another thing, the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I had traded impulse buying for insecurity purchases:

“Well, we might need it, so I should get it.”

“How many of these do we need? I should grab an extra, just in case.”

You get the idea.

Inspired by a YouTuber who keeps her family on a $50 a week grocery budget, I decided that that would be a good budget to try for us, and if met, would cut our expenses drastically. So, beginning the last couple of weeks of March, that has been my goal.

Last week I did go over budget. My mother and I met in an Amish town that is nearly half way between us to walk around and do a little shopping. I found some good deals on things we didn’t technically need at that moment, but were worth picking up anyhow. But this week, praise God, I’m back on track!

Ok, I was $1.08 over budget when you figure in tax, and I’m not including my allergy medication in the total, but we are having company coming this weekend. Here is this week’s grocery haul:

Aldi

  • 2 packs of hamburger buns- $1.70
  • Bag of Tuscan trail/snack mix- $4.89
  • 1 can diced tomatoes- $0.45
  • 5 cans beef/chicken broth- $2.45
  • 1 can tomato paste $0.39
  • 2 cans cut green beans- $0.76
  • 4 cans tomato sauce- $1.00
  • 1 can peach slices- $0.89
  • Ground coffee (for guests)- $3.79
  • 2 bricks sharp cheddar cheese- $3.58
  • 1 gallon of milk- $1.57
  • 2 avocados- $1.38
  • 2.03 lbs bananas- $0.89
  • 15 mangoes (for canning. More below)- $7.35

Total: $31.09

Meijer

  • Canning lids- $2.49
  • Strawberry Nesquick- $4.75
  • Toilet paper- $8.99
  • Gallon jug of white vinegar- $ 2.29
  • Allergy medication- not going in the total

Total: $18.52

GRAND TOTAL: $49.61 (Before tax)

So, about those fifteen mangos…

As I’ve said before, I want to get into canning. My only prior experience with canning was when my grandmother and I spent a very busy summer day six years ago canning a bunch of peaches one of my folks’ trees put out. I’ve never tried it on my own, and I’m not sure if the garden will produce enough to can, so earlier this week I checked the sale adds for two of the grocery stores I go to. Aldi had a sale on mangos for $0.49 each, which is a good price around here. Mr. Awesome and I like mangos and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving my mother let me borrow has a recipe that looks fairly simple, so I thought this might be a good first canning project to try. The mangos are in the fridge to keep them from ripening too quickly and the plan is to give it a try Monday when I should have plenty of time and no distractions.

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