Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Spinach artichoke wrap; grocery savings

October 1, 2013

I started my day by finding out that the government had shut down. Thankfully they had decided that the military would continue to get paid. However, our commissary would be closing after today. I decided that I would whip up my grocery list and head to the store today. I rather stock up on a few things today and pay cheaper prices at the commissary than wait until I run out of the items next week and have to pay higher prices at a different store.

Evidently, the entire base had the same idea. There was literally NO parking spots left. I had to wait a few minutes until someone left. Yikes. No carts inside. I had to go back to the parking lot and get one from a corral. Wow. This is going to be crazy.

And crazy it was! My pre-challenge weekly commissary totals were $175. Today I bought items that I would normally have waited to get: giant pack of paper towels, toilet paper, and paper plates; some other toiletries/cleaners that I could have waited a week but figured I may run out before the government settles the shutdown. Today I spent $52.48 on toiletries/cleaners. I spent .99 on impulse items: kale. I spent $147.51 on food. Once again, items I bought extra of due to the shutdown: soda, cereal, quinoa, cheese, cheese, and more cheese! I spent $10.89 on gossip magazines. After adding in their surcharge and taking out my coupons, I spent $211.60 out of pocket. Ouch! However, I will be set up for a lot of these items for 2-3 weeks. This was an overage of $36.60. The kids saved $12.50 on lunches. My daughter bought school lunch twice and with me shopping today instead of tomorrow it short changed us a day worth of lunches on this week's totals. Our pre-challenge restaurant average was $80. This week we spent $20 on pizza delivery. This is a savings of $60. Our savings (after taking out our overage) was $35.90 for this week. This brings our grand total to $4,658.70 in 349 days! I'm really looking forward to the next couple weeks totals. I'm hoping that all that I bought today will keep those spendings down. I added up the items that I bought extra today due to the shutdown: $72.63. Also, I am having a get together in a few days and I spent $44.06 on items that I needed for it. That makes me feel a lot better about what I spent today!

I got the groceries put away and needed a quick lunch. The only leftovers I had were green beans. Ok, what else should I have? Oh! I found a container of 4 artichoke hearts pushed to the back of the fridge. Hmmmm. I grabbed a tortilla. I chopped two artichoke hearts and added a pile of spinach/arugula mix. I topped it with green onions and mozzarella cheese and popped it into the microwave. Yay! It totally worked. I know exactly what I'll be doing with the other two artichoke hearts! I think it would be even better with swiss cheese.

One of the menu items my kiddos requested for this week was my cream of potato leek soup. Last time we all loved it. My hubby and I both had thought that we should double the leeks though. Tonight I also added in a few tablespoons of diced onion. I sauteed the onion, 4 chopped leeks, one large garlic clove, and about 3 cups of diced potatoes in a couple tablespoons of butter. I let them cook for about a half hour on low. I seasoned the veggies with salt, pepper, garlic & wine seasoning, and thyme. I added a splash of local white wine and after a few minutes added about half a cup of homemade vegetable broth. Once the veggies were cooked, I put them through the food processor. I added it back to my pan and stirred in 2 cups of heavy cream. I topped our soup with green onion.

The soup had mixed reviews. I thought it would be better with even more leeks in it. The soup I am trying to recreate from our favorite cafe had a really strong leek flavor to it. My soup isn't quite there yet. However, my daughter said she preferred the batch of soup with only 2 leeks in it. To leek or not to leek. Ha.

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