Saturday, January 28, 2012

$16 Left in The Grocery Budget - Four Days to Go

Art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Sounds scary right? It isn't. Fortunately, if I have to go over I will. I feel like it is a contest with myself - make do with what we have in the pantry. There are only four days left and unless I need to pick up the odd ingredient to round out what is already in the cupboards - we will meet the months smaller grocery bill which is much lower than normal due to reducing it by the large overage in December.

Groceries we cannot live without for more than a day or two:

milk - bought 4 litres yesterday which will last us until next weekend (14 yr old and 16 year old here this weekend - huge quantity of milk disappears)

coffee, tea, splenda - I buy these in bulk always on sale - starting to get low on Splenda but should be able to make it to end of month

bread - 3 loafs in freezer bought at $1 each on sale last week. Normally I don't like to freeze bread but if only in the freezer for a week or two there is little difference in quality. I also froze four hot dog buns left over from earlier in the month that were pulled out to go with a soup dinner this week. I added a piece of ham, a small amount of mustard and a little cheese on top - they were a complete hit and hubby requested a repeat of this recipe.

fruit - three bananas, one orange and two pears in the fruit bowl, frozen blueberries in the freezer for pancakes or muffins

Butter, margarine, oil: I enjoy baking with butter, have a little but if it runs out will switch to margarine which was purchased on sale last week - have two containers. Very low on oil. Likely can make it to end of month.

veggies - all the fixings for salad are in the fridge plus frozen corn in the freezer. I try to buy only the veggies that are on sale each week. Last week head of cauliflower $1, this week huge bunch of celery $1. Winter in Alberta means high veggie prices so I scout out the loss leaders. We finally ran out of the potatoes from the 20lb bag bought in November, and there was little downgrade in quality - some were a little soft by the last round of mashed potatoes. I still have a few pounds of onions from the 10lb November bag - am really impressed that there is no downgrade in quality of those either two months later.

Rice & pasta - during Chinese New Year this week rice was on sale so I stocked up. We still have half a packet of spaghetti, brown and white rice and a package of macaroni. I use rice and pasta in soups a lot.

Meat is not a requirement of our diet but is nice to have. There is still fish, ribs (bought on sale at a ridiculously low price this week - not sure why so low), porkchops (great sale last month), chicken, meatballs and turkey bacon.

I have no worries. Our cupboards are looking a little barer than they have for a while but that goes with the "use up what you have" mentality that I and many other bloggers are having this month.

I made chili in the crockpot this week - a first for me. It was completely awesome and ends up with that wonderful taste that normally chili made on top of the stove only gets the day after reheated. It has time for the flavors to meld properly.

It has been extremely difficult preparing meals around house showings - that is why I used the crock pot. It also makes your house smell great! I also used it for a fabulous meal of porkchops in mushroom sauce as had a large amount of fresh mushrooms to use up.

The house viewings have slowed - which is a bit discouraging but understandable based on January blues and weather. Hubby is extremely busy as he still has two days left on his old day job and is completing his first new contract with self employment within the next two weeks.

I have been a little blue this month. I have made the decision to work my day job - no matter what - until we sell the house and closing has passed to maintain household expenses on two homes and to keep heath, dental and vision benefits until we leave the Province. Fortunately due to no debt this is actually achievable but feel somewhat in limbo until we get some action on the property.

Something exciting is brewing in my future however:

A new part-time business of which I will share with you some of the exciting details in my next post!

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