Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fool 'em with Fancy (& weekly grocery savings)

January 2, 2013

I realized this morning that with our plans for the rest of the week, today would be grocery shopping day. I made my list, printed coupons, and then headed out for errands and groceries.

My pre-challenge weekly average was $175 at the commissary for groceries/cleaners/toiletries. Today I spent $31.34 on cleaners and toiletries. I spent $10.16 on gossip magazines. I spent $53.45 on food. We didn't go through too much food this past week because of all the Christmas leftovers, went to a friends for dinner one night, and one night out. I spent $1.94 on impulse items. It was a jug of lime juice that my hubby said looked good. After adding in their surcharge and taking out my coupons, I spent $98.73 out of pocket today. Not bad. I saved $76.27 this week at the commissary. My pre-challenge weekly average at restaurants was $80. Ugh. This week we went out a few times. I spent $117.47 this week. That is an overage of $37.47. Subtracting that overage from my commissary savings leaves me with a savings of $38.80 for this week. Going out of town and being gone for both lunch and dinner really hurt the challenge this week. Oh well. My grand total savings is $1,252.10 in 77 days! That makes me feel better! Now on to today's food.

My daughter came up with an idea yesterday. She wanted us to hold a muffin war. My hubby and I would each make muffins and then the kids would do a blind taste test to judge them. Ha. I figured that with having two new types of muffins, it would probably distract the kids from the fact that I only bought them one breakfast item at the store today (sorry kiddos, granola bars will have to wait). While the kids were gone to school, we got to work. My hubby made a batch of strawberry muffins using fresh strawberries. I made a batch of donut muffins. I couldn't decide which topping to use so I plated two types. One had a cinnamon and sugar topping. The other had a lemon glaze. The kids got home and judged the muffins as their after school snack. My lemon glazed donut muffin won! Yay! (sorry hub).

My hubby and kids have been pretty supportive with this challenge. There are times when they want a certain item and we don't have it. They find a substitute and only sometimes is there minor complaining. They are getting used to using up leftovers. So how do I reward them? With leftovers of course! Do you need to use up leftovers? Fool 'em with fancy! As the kids worked on their pinewood derby cars, I prepared an appetizer course.

I had a small amount of leftover pizza sauce from yesterday. After my hubby put sauce on the pizza he asked "you don't want to save this little bit, do you?" Uh, yeah! I had most of a loaf of bread that needs to get used up so I made homemade bread crumbs. There was a pack of smokey string cheese in the fridge that hasn't interested the kids. Do you see where I'm going? Yep, homemade mozzarella bites. I cut each string cheese into thirds, dipped it in egg, and then into the bread crumbs (seasoned with parsley, garlic powder, and salt). I baked them and then served with the pizza sauce.

Next up was the main course. My hubby cooked some local beef tenderloin steaks. How do you make them fancy? You top them with leftover snow and king crab and a little parmesan cheese. Hmmm what for a side dish? I chopped up some cauliflower to roast in the oven but couldn't figure out how to make it fancy. Ah. I found a bottle of turmeric. I sprinkled some of that along with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. We're getting close but it's still missing something. I dug to the back of the cupboard and found a very special seasoning. I have a pack of herbs de provence (savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, and lavender flowers) that I got from my father in law who has since passed away. I use this seasoning sparingly. Tonight seemed appropriate. I guess it was a good call because my daughter said the cauliflower was her favorite part of dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment