Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lemon pilaf; grocery savings milestone

April 11, 2013

My son once again packed his lunch today. My daughter realized that school was serving a turkey, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and apple slices meal today. She couldn't miss out on that! I told her it was fine to buy school lunch.

As I prepared for grocery shopping, I realized something. My grand total savings so far was $2,860. 76. Next week will be six months of this challenge. Oh man. My goal had been to save $3,000 by the six month mark. However, I soooooooo want to hit it early and make that goal today. I calculated how much money the kids saved on lunches this past week: only $10. Uh oh. My hubby and I ate brunch out this week. We spent $23.33. Our pre-challenge weekly average was $80 on restaurants so we saved $56.67. So that means that I can only spend $102.43 at the commissary today in order to make my $3,000 goal. That is totally unattainable. Sigh. I still put forth my best effort.

My pre-challenge weekly average at the commissary was $175. Today I spent $27.62 on toiletries and cleaners. One item that I needed to buy was Swiffer dusters. I looked at the price of the refill packs and then compared them to the refill packs of the dusters from Pledge. Hmmm. Pledge was cheaper. I decided to buy a small pack (that came with the handle) of the Pledge and give it a try. Hopefully we will like them just as much and then I can continue to buy them and save money. My daughter needed toothpaste. I normally go back and forth from Crest and Colgate. I looked for the cheaper kinds and compared the ingredients. I grabbed a box of "Ultra brite". It was only 88 cents! It was comparable to other types. What do you know? It is made by Colgate! I needed garbage bags. I usually get either Glad or Hefty. I realized that the store brand that I get of storage bags also makes garbage bags. They were pretty cheap: $2.89 for 20 bags. When I unpacked groceries, I took them out of the box and put them in the Hefty box. We'll see if hubby notices a difference. I spent $1.74 on impulse items. I decided to get a can of baby corn. My kiddos love them. Also, the commissary had a new item today. My kids love spaghetti-o's. How about spaghetti-o's in the shape of goldfish?! I spent $70.20 on food. I decided to only buy one gossip magazine today: $2.18. Ok, are you ready?! After adding in their surcharge and taking out my coupons, I spent $97.63 out of pocket today. That is a savings of $77.37. My total savings for this week is $144.04. This brings my grand total savings for this challenge to......$3,004.80 in 176 days!!! I did it! Oh yeah, and did I mention that a few weeks ago I called our cell phone company and our cable company and got our rates lowered? Those two bills together will be lowered $950 over the next year! It really is unbelievable how much we are overpaying. Whether it be in grocery shopping, eating out, cell phone data plans, or other household expenses, there is always "fat" to trim away. Have you trimmed your fat?!

I saw a recipe for lemon pasta salad that sounded good. Good until I read heavy cream as an ingredient. Ugh. I decided to make up my own lemon pasta dish. I sauteed onion, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil. I added in some local white wine. After a few minutes, I set it to the side. I brought chicken broth to a boil and added orzo pasta. I treated it like a risotto. I would simmer it and let some broth reduce and then add more to the pan. During the last few minutes of cooking, I added some frozen peas and the onion/mushroom mixture. After taking it off of the heat, I added the zest of one lemon and the juice of about 3/4 of that lemon. I topped it with freshly grated romano cheese. I served it with rotisserie chicken and Hawaiian rolls. Yum! For dessert, we celebrated me hitting my goal with cake! We had angel food cake along with a duo of sauces. You got it. Leftover sauces. Ha. Lime pie dip became sauce number one. Blueberry crepe topping became sauce number two. They both went amazing with angel food cake.

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