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Grocery Challenge Week 2


All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do. 



Norman Vincent Peale


So was Week 1 as good for you as it was for me?

I realize that we all have different tastes. I realize that we all have different diets. I also realize that not everyone has 2 huge freezers to store a whole cow in! LOL My "extras" might not be what your extras would be.

That is ok.

The point is there though. Feel free to change things up. You know how much space you have. You know your kids don't like yogurt, so buy what they DO like. You know your husband wouldn't be caught dead eating mushrooms, so don't waste the money! But, by using some key tips, like menu planning and flyer watching, you can have a stocked pantry, a full freezer and make easy & healthish dinners for 6 days of the week for under $135!

I bet you could even spend LESS if you chose different brands! I like using the best quality ingredients that I can for my $. That means my budget is set at $100 for groceries and $35 for meat... roughly. You could easily spend less by, let's say, not buying Tropicana orange juice... even on sale! LOL 

I have noticed that it is the prepackaged stuff that is the most expensive. Like cheese strings or Eggos. If you want to cut pieces of cheese for lunch (or as I call it Mama's Lunchable) that is cheaper. If you want to make homemade waffles and freeze them then reheat them in the morning. That would be cheaper too. It is all on what YOU think is the best use of your money and time.

Are you ready for week 2? I am! I just want to give you a heads up... I do this 2 weeks before you get this post. That means I was in the middle of the Winter Games when this post was made. Meaning my family and I were out having BC Winter Games FUN for 8-9 hours a day. The meals reflect this. They include crockpot meals, meals that provide easy lunch leftovers, and good hearty meals that kept us warm in the chilly +10 winter weather. LOL

MENU WEEK 2 Monday: Thai Turkey Burgers with Slaw
Tuesday: Monterey Chicken with Seasoned Roasted Potatoes and Sautéed Peppers
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Take Out
Friday: Crockpot Thai Beef with Coconut Rice and Slaw
Saturday: One Pot Turkey Sausage Pasta with Rye Bread
Sunday: Taco Salad with Chips and Pico De Gallo


Staple Items


These items are ALWAYS in my pantry or fridge. This tip bears repeating... As soon as I see an item running out it goes on the whiteboard on the side of the fridge. If they come up on my PC Points list or go on sale, I buy them. We have a second fridge in the garage, so I always have eggs, mayo, soy sauce, etc. on hand. It may take you a while and some money to get this system going but once you do... your wallet will thank you :)


Things I need for this week's menu that I already have in my kitchen (my staple items):

  • BBQ Sauce (I buy a variety of Bullseye when it goes on sale)
  • Cheese (I buy bricks, Feta, Asiago or Parmesan and shredded, they all keep for the whole month)
  • Panko
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Coconut Milk
  • Diced tomatoes 
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lime Juice
  • Soy Sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Red onion
  • Oil
  • Yeast
  • Flour
  • Dried Basil
  • Sugar 
  • Salsa
  • Dried Oregano
  • Taco Seasoning (I make my own. Pennies to make and it you can use it for multiple dinners. The packets are high in sodium, are only good for 1 dinner and over $1.00/pack)
  • Rice
From Last Week
I always go through my fridge BEFORE I go shopping. If I have veggies I need to use, I don't buy more :)
  • Onions
  • Green Onions
  • Cilantro
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
In the Freezer
We have 2 cube freezers in our cold room. 
  • Bacon (buy in bulk packs of 3 when PCPoints are available $4.00/pack)
  • Chicken Breasts (boxed, we stock up when it goes on sale for $25.00. We go through a box/month, that is about $6.25/week ) 
  • Ground Turkey (buy at Costco in sets of 4 for $5.00/package)
  • Ground Beef  and Round Steaks (we buy a half a cow every 20 months for $1600. That is about $20/week)
Shopping List

This week I had to go to 2 stores to get the best prices, also, I like produce shopping at Quality Greens. The quality is better, they are local and they have great sales. I live in a small town so this is not a problem for me:


*NOTE: pp means PC Points


Dinner:

  • Quality Greens Garlic 
  • Superstore Coleslaw bag
  • Quality Greens Orange Pepper (was a good price)
  • Superstore Peanuts in bulk
  • Superstore  Red Bell Peppers 4 pp
  • Superstore Pizza Sauce 2
  • Save On 4 pizza shells
  • Superstore Can Pineapple Tidbits pp
  • Superstore Cookies (Dad likes having 1 PC Chocolate Chip cookie every night with his coffee)
  • Superstore Mushrooms pp
  • Superstore 4 Cans Diced Tomatoes (on sale 3 for Pantry)
  • Quality Greens Roma Tomatoes 3
  • Superstore Turkey Daystarters 
  • Superstore 1 can V8
  • Superstore Bowtie Pasta (on sale) 
  • Superstore Sour Cream pp
  • Quality Greens Romaine (on sale I like buying the hearts, they last longer in the fridge)
  • Superstore Tortilla Chips
  • Superstore Milk (I buy 1 4L and 1 1L a week)
  • Superstore Hamburger Buns (fresh made in bulk for $.30/each)
Staple items: On sale or PC Points
***I don't NEED these things but I will at some point so I want to take advantage of their sale prices now***
  • Superstore Shrimp (on sale)
  • Superstore Maxwell House Coffee (on sale. We buy beans at Costco for after dinner coffee but we stock up on ground coffee when it is on sale for our morning coffee)
  • Superstore Tampons (on sale)
  • Superstore Frozen fruit (on sale)
  • Superstore 1 can of Black Beans (on sale - not running out next time! LOL)
  • Superstore Rye bread 2 (on sale)
  • Superstore Shredded Cheese (on sale)
Lunch Items:
  • Superstore Fruit (whatever is a decent price. This week my Dad splurged and bought us STRAWBERRIES! Ridiculously expensive strawberries. I am not adding them as I would not have bought them lol BUT I did buy bananas and we have oranges and grapefruit still from last week, so even without the delicious strawberries we would be fine) * because we have all been fighting this head cold we have been powering through oranges. On my midweek shopping I picked up three more pounds of navel oranges.
  • Superstore Iogo Yogurt Drinks (on sale) pp 
  • Quality Greens Ham 
My PreTotal at Superstore was $72.03
I get gas at Superstore and use my PC MasterCard, this gets me $0.07 back on every Litre. This week my coupon totalled $4.04

I had to go back to Superstore on Wednesday as a few items were sold out on Monday. My Total for these few items was $8.20

My Superstore TOTAL = $67.99 +  $8.20 and I got 3200 PC Points.







My Quality Greens TOTAL = $12.20



My Save On Total = $3.69



My Meat (Ground Beef, Bacon, Round Steaks - buy a cheap cut of beef, it is going into the crockpot, Chicken Breasts, Ground Turkey) I didn't factor in the Turkey Sausages under meat as I bought them at Superstore, so it is already factored in my Superstore total TOTAL = $35.25



GRAND TOTAL FOR WEEK 2: $127.33

I am $7.67  below my weekly budget! Bank it Baby!

Week 1: $0.97
Week 2: $7.67

TOTAL: $8.64 UNDER Budget

Now let's get to this week's recipes!



RECIPES:

Monday: 
Thai Turkey Burgers with Slaw (Reserve leftover dressing, half the bag of coleslaw and leftover coconut milk for Friday's meal)






This is 1 of my favourite meals! It is a flavour explosion in your mouth! This meal literally takes 20 minutes to prepare and grill! This made 5 burgers with a enough coleslaw to put on your burger and a little for 5 sides You may want to add another side but we found that we were nicely satisfied at the end of dinner :)

Tuesday: Monterey Chicken with Seasoned Roasted Potatoes and Sautéed Peppers (I opened up the diced tomatoes that I will be using on Sunday. I only used about 4 tablespoons of tomatoes and the rest I put into the fridge for later this week)




For my Peppers, I just slice up some peppers and a few carrots for SBean :) and Sauté with some oil and garlic until soft but still crispy. About 5 minutes.

Seasoned Roasted Potatoes
Adapted from Iowa Girl Cooks

4 large Russet potatoes
Butter
Seasoning Salt
Asiago Cheese



Preheat oven to 450.

All you do is cook a pierced potato in the microwave until it’s soft all the way through – about 6-7 minutes total, flipping over every 1-2 minutes.


Cut the potato in half, then cut each half into squares. Don’t cut all the way through, just down to the skin.




Season with butterparmesan cheese and seasoning salt, then pop them into the middle rack of your oven for 15 minutes.



This was another crazy easy dinner. I opened up the bacon and used 8 pieces. The rest I set aside for pizza tomorrow. I never make baked potatoes because they take so damn long to bake! This was a super great substitute though! They take half the time and are amazing! Even HBear ate every last bit and she hates potatoes! This is Ninja's FAVOURITE chicken  dish! He begs for it! All you do is BBQ the chicken and then pop it into the oven with the potatoes to melt the cheese! Easy Peasy Mac & Cheesy!






Wednesday: Homemade Pizza

I was planning on making the dough in my bread machine. It is so easy and costs just pennies to make. However, I wasn't being realistic. Like I said earlier, I am a few weeks ahead of this post and it was BC Winter Games week PLUS I settled in with a nice head cold :( So I ran to Save On and bought 4 shells  from the bakery for under $4.00. They are really good :) This way we had lots  of leftovers for quick lunches during the games! 

Ninja is the BEST homemade pizza cook ever!

I prepped by cutting up all our toppings.



I didn't take pictures because I was having a much needed nap, but he layers sauce, veggies, cheese THEN meat and pineapple. Delish! 



Thursday: Take Out

So, now that I have been really watching what I actually spend on groceries... I realized that Thursday take out is our most EXPENSIVE meal of the week! Really we can spend between $30-$50!!! That is like 1/3 of my entire weekly budget! Thursday is just that day for us. I chose time over money on my Thurshitday :) 

However, you could always just make a junk meal on this day. Something easy but cheap. KD and a side salad, or fried egg sandwich with fresh fruit and veggies, or perogies with sausage and onions.  Whatever you chose, be easy on yourself... everyone deserves a break :)   

Friday: Crockpot Thai Beef with Coconut Rice (use the leftover coconut milk from Monday's dinner) and Slaw (use the dressing from Monday's Coleslaw)


Crockpot Thai Beef
Adapted from Sublime Reflection

2 lb. beef (I used inside round steaks)
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup leftover Teriyaki sauce (from last week)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup cilantro, 
chopped
4 green onions, 
chopped


Place beef, Teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes in crockpot.




Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove meat from the crockpot and shred.



Stir peanut butter into the remaining liquid.


Add sliced peppers, and return meat to crockpot.




Cook approximately 30 minutes until peppers are slightly cooked, but still crisp.

Top with cilantro and green onions.






This was really really good! After a long day at the Winter Games I was happy to come home to this yummy dinner. As soon as I opened the door I could smell it throughout the house! This dish can be made with pork or beef. I used beef because a crockpot meal is the perfect way to use up cheaper cuts of beef. 

Saturday: One Pot Turkey Sausage Pasta with Rye Bread 

I had planned on making this on Sunday but we were so busy I decided to make this on Saturday instead. This is my go to meal. I can make it without thinking I make this dish so often. Everyone loves it, it is 1 pot. It is easy, barely any dishes to do after and I can put a piece of buttered bread with it and call it a day :) It also left us with 2 lunches for the next day. Which was perfect because I was getting sick of pizza LOL




Sunday: 
Taco Salad with Chips and Pico De Gallo


Taco Salad

1.5 lbs of lean ground beef
3 tablespoons of  Taco Seasoning
1/3 cup water
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1 cup cheese, shredded
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 bag tortilla chips, broken up
Salsa
Sour Cream
1 recipe of Pico de Gallo

Sauté your beef until brown. 

Add water and taco seasoning and cook until liquid is all gone, 5-7 minutes.

Add seasoned beef, lettuce, peppers, shredded cheese, chips, salsa, sour cream and pico in a bowl and eat up!




We love this dinner. My Mom introduced us to it after a weekend camping trip with the Guides. No leftovers because it just tastes so damn good! 

There you have it! Another week of delicious, somewhat healthy ;) dinners for under $135!

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