Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Spinach artichoke tortellini; grocery savings

September 11, 2013

Ahh grocery day. How I love you. There is nothing more satisfying than a full fridge and lots of good stuff in the cupboards. The kids have done amazing this past week with packing their lunches. My daughter bought school lunch only once. My son would ask "what is for school lunch today"? I would tell him and also tell him the leftovers that we had. His reply, "but you can get hamburgers any day right"? Hamburgers, by the way, were his favorite school food and got it every time he ordered school lunch last year. However, my awesome little buddy chose to pack his lunch EVERY day. I couldn't believe it. I forgot to add their savings for the first day of school to last week's totals so I will add that extra day in today. The kids saved $23.05! Yay! My pre-challenge grocery weekly average was $175. Today I spent $17.85 on toiletries/cleaners. I spent $109.92 on food. Ugh. However, I have lots of new dishes that I am making this week so there were plenty of ingredients that I had to get. I spent $2.59 on impulse items. There was just no way that I could pass up pumpkin bars mix and cream cheese frosting. I spent $8.71 on gossip magazines. After adding in their surcharge and taking out my coupons, I spent $140.15 out of pocket. This is a savings of $34.85. We went out a few times this week. My pre-challenge restaurant average was $80. This week we spent $73.45 (including the pizza we had to order when the kids bumped the gas stove on for 30 minutes!). This is a savings of only $6.55. Our savings for the week equal $64.45. Our grand total savings is $4,481.38 in 329 days!

I felt adventurous and wanted to try something new for dinner tonight. I started out by cooking some onion and fresh garlic in a little olive oil. I added in half a bag of spinach and some local white wine. Meanwhile, I added silken tofu and 1/4 cup of milk to the food processor. I poured the tofu/milk mix into a saucepan. Then I added the spinach mix and a can of artichoke hearts to the food processor. I stirred that into the tofu/milk mix. I added about a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic & wine seasoning. I boiled some five cheese spinach tortellini and added the sauce to it. I steamed some green beans. Also, I wanted to do something special for the kids. They have been such troopers both with this challenge of spending less money and also with going vegetarian 20 weeks ago (tomorrow). Although they have added some meat back in a couple times a week, my hubby and I have completely stuck with it. I felt bad that they may have missed some of their old favorites so today I also cooked up a teriyaki pork loin for them. I cooked half (thinking they would want some as lunch tomorrow) and froze the other half.

How did my dinner go? I figured that they would think I did something weird to the dinner. They know me by now and know that I like to "hide" ingredients. I thought that they would probably think my "hidden" item was the green in the sauce. Fingers crossed that nobody notices the tofu! My son saw it and asked if it was guacamole (which he doesn't like). Ha, no buddy. My daughter took a bite and I heard "mmmm". She took another bite and I heard "mmmMMMMMMMM". Ha. Ok, one person down. Two to go. My son took a bite and said "wow mom, this is DELICIOUS". Two. I looked over at my hubby's plate. It was almost empty and before I knew it he went back for seconds. Yes! Everyone really liked it and nobody could think of anything I should change for next time. Unbelievable. Success!

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