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Grocery Challenge Week 3



Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be. 

Marsha Petrie Sue

I'm not going to lie...

This week was a doozy!

HBear, SBean and I didn't leave bed from Monday morning until Friday morning!

That means dinner plans were drastically changed. That means Ninja did the grocery shopping. That means $7.08 grapes!!!!!! LOL

But, you know what?

Shit like this happens! This is exactly my point. You have to roll with the punches. This is real life! I had a completely different menu planned but by Tuesday afternoon, we knew it was not happening and started pulling out the quick and easy stuff :) So Ninja bought groceries for this menu...

MENU WEEK 3

Monday: 
Eggs, Sausage Patties, Toast, Hashbrowns 
Tuesday: Chicken Fingers, Corn and Perogies
Wednesday: Vegetable Soup and Grilled Cheese
Thursday: Take Out
Friday: 
Sweet & Sour Pork, Rice, Peppers
Saturday: Irish Nachos, Steak Bites, Caesar Salad 
Sunday: Fettuccine Alfredo with French Bread 

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):

  • Oil
  • Eggs
  • Cornstarch
  • Chicken Stock
  • Soy Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Rice
  • Sausage Patties
  • Potatoes
  • Rosemary Garlic Epicure Seasoning
  • Perogies
  • Corn
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Fettuccine Noodles
  • Alfredo Sauce (Classico)
  • Butter
  • Caesar Dressing
  • Flour
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 :)
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Sour Cream
  • Oranges
In the Freezer
We have 2 cube freezers in our cold room. 
  • Sausage Patties (Buy Frozen Patties in a bag for $10.00, $5/dinner)
  • Bacon (buy in bulk packs of 3 when PCPoints are available $4.00/pack)
  • Steak (we buy a half a cow every 20 months for $1600. That is about $20/week)
  • Chicken Fingers (bought on sale a while back for EMERGENCY use only $8.00)
  • Vegetable Soup (Leftovers from Week 1)
Shopping List

This week I only had to go to 1 store to get the best prices.

*NOTE: pp means PC Points

Dinner: 

Superstore Bell Peppers (bag of minis) 
Superstore Lettuce (Romaine hearts)
Superstore Red Onion
Superstore Instant Yeast CO51
Superstore Green Onions
Superstore Pork Cubes
Superstore Can Pineapple Tidbits 
Superstore Milk 

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 Onions (bag) 
Superstore Cheese Brick (on sale) 
Superstore Ritz (on sale) 
Superstore Tropicana (on sale) 
Superstore Sweet Chili Sauce pp
Superstore Bacon 3 pack pp 

Lunch Items:

Superstore Fruit (whatever is a decent price. This week Ninja bought bananas pp, Apples and Grapes... not a decent price but a nice treat)
Superstore Yogurt Drinks
Superstore Mini Carrots
Superstore Bread 4

Breakfast Items: 

Superstore Eggos 2 CO51 
Superstore Tropicana Apple Juice 

My Superstore TOTAL = $97.01 and I got PC Points 5000.


My Meat (Steak, Chicken Fingers, Bacon, Sausage) I didn't factor in the Pork under meat as I bought it at Superstore, so it is already factored in my Superstore total TOTAL = $37.00

GRAND TOTAL FOR WEEK 3: $134.01

I am $0.99 UNDER my budget for the week! I am surprised actually lol Grapes and prepackaged Chicken Fingers could have easily taken me over... thank goodness I bought the fingers on a great deal a few weeks ago :)
Week 1: $0.97
Week 2: $7.67
Week 3: $0.99
TOTAL: $9.63 UNDER Budget

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



RECIPES:


Monday: Eggs, Sausage Patties, Toast, Hashbrowns 

Ninja is the eggs guy. I don't know why but I SUCK at making eggs! I mean, I even have trouble making hard boiled eggs! So while I was in bed with a fever and feeling absolutely terrible and not caring about anything, he made a super good breakfast dinner. We love those! The sausage patties are actually pretty good. I used to buy fresh patties from Johnsonville but saw this bag in the frozen section one day. I get double the patties for the same price as the fresh. I also get double the sodium... choices :) We all like dippity eggs or sunny side up lol. When my Sister  was younger she went out for breakfast with her boyfriend and his family to the Country Club. She asked for dippity eggs! Hilarious! I bet she ALWAYS says Sunnyside up now! LOL Ninja makes hash browns by tossing cubed potatoes in oil and seasoning. This time he used Rosemary Garlic Epicure Seasoning, but you could use any seasoning you like. He roasts them for about 30 minutes at 375 and they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, perfect!
  

Tuesday: Chicken Fingers, Corn and Peppers & Perogies with Onions.

I usually keep an instant dinner in the freezer for times just like this. Ninja shouldn't have to come home and make a big dinner after work just because I am sick. In this case, he was home looking after all 3 of us and playing Mr. Mom so he didn't need to cook too!  This one is easy, follow the directions on the box :) 

For the corn, he just cut up some peppers and threw them in to use up what was left from taco salad the other night. We microwave our corn for 3 minutes. Stirring halfway through. 

The perogies are an art. I'm not going to lie. It takes a while to perfect sautéed perogies so that they are crisp on the outside and feel like they were boiled on the inside. You have to sauté them in butter and when they start getting browned, pour a bit of water in the pan and cover. Throw some sliced onions in there and you have a Ukranian feast!





Wednesday: Vegetable Soup and Grilled Cheese.

Still sick. We pulled out the leftover Veggie soup from week 1 and made some easy peasy grilled cheese sandwiches. Perfect for a sick day! HBear asked for vegetable noodle so we added some elbow macaroni :)




Thursday: Take Out


At this point I didn't care. I just needed food in my belly so that the Tylenol didn't make me nauseous ;) HBear wanted Carl's Jr... so that is what we had. I am NOT a fan but when the restaurant opened 2 years ago they had a special. The 1st 50 guests could eat  1free meal a week for a year. Dad was #42 :) So every week we had Carl's Jr. We haven't had it since lol I guess HBear had a craving and nobody else had any suggestions so that's that.

Friday: Sweet & Sour Pork, RiceSautéed Peppers

I got out of bed... finally! The girl's were feeling better but still had mild fevers. We did crafts and puzzles and I was pooped by dinner and Dad was going out for dinner soooooo we ordered pizza.

BUT, the cash was still spent and this dinner is GOOD! Like really good. It is one of my favourites! I'm sorry we missed out on it but now we have the ingredients so I am prepared for another week :)

These are pictures from another time that I made it. I had some leftover slaw mix that I tossed in as well :)




Saturday: 
Irish Nachos, Steak Bites, Almond Orange Salad with Feta

So... St Patty's Day.

As I was sick this week and St. Patricks' Day fell on Take out day, we are doing our "Irish" dinner tonight! This is stretching for sure but I find Irish food... well sucky lol. Over the years I have done traditional... Irish Onion Soup, Irish Sausage Platter, Irish Potato Cakes and Irish Cream Bread Pudding. I have done... Irish Soda Bread and Potato Pie. I have EVEN done... Guinness-Braised Beef Short Ribs, Colcannon and ANOTHER Soda Bread!

Yuck!

So this year I am going with the Irish that WE like... Mexican! With a touch of Irish of course ;)

Irish Nachos
Adapted from Cooking with Curls

4 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cup shredded cheese
Sour Cream
1 bell pepper, diced

1/4 red onion, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 green onions, chopped




Preheat oven to 450 convection.

Wash and dry potatoes, leaving skin on.

Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds and place in a large bowl.




Drizzle oil, rosemary, and thyme over potatoes. Stir to combine.


Place potatoes, in a single layer, on a roasting sheet or 2. Bake for 20 minutes, turn over, and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes. (After 20 minutes mine were just the way I wanted them... so I stopped cooking them).



Remove potatoes from roasting sheet and overlap them on a large baking sheet.

Sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted.
 


Sprinkle with tomatoes, green onions, peppers, and onions. Serve with sour cream.



Steak Bites

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


2 lbs Sirloin Steak
Kosher salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter

Trim fat off the meat and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss the meat around a bit to thoroughly coat with the seasonings.

Heat your skillet over medium high to high heat. As the pan heats, add about half your butter to the skillet. Allow the butter to melt, then brown, before you add the meat.



Place half of the meat in the pan in a single layer. Let it sizzle for 30-45 seconds without moving. (if it doesn’t sizzle, the pan isn’t hot enough.) 

Flip all the meat  and cook for an additional 30 to 45 seconds.

Remove the meat to a clean plate. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and repeat the cooking process with the next batch just as before. When all the meat is browned and removed to the plate, pour the browned/blackened butter all over the meat.


The meat will keep cooking on the plate so feel free to remove the first batch even earlier. You want it brown on the outside but nice and pink on the inside.




We really liked this meal or as Ninja called them, Potchos :) They were crispy and a different take on the typical nachos. We all agreed that this was some good Irish food lol. I was going for a pub food theme, hence the steak bites. I wasn't feeling well and overcooked them a little bit. They were very flavourful though and again, a different take on a typical steak. All in all, this was a good dinner, especially after the take out/instant dinners we have been eating lately. The salad is ALWAYS one of my favourites and I was craving Feta so I added lots! 

Sunday: "Fettuccine" Alfredo with French Bread

"Fettuccine" Alfredo
1 box noodles (I have linguine)
1 jar Alfredo Sauce
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 package bacon

In a large pan on medium heat, cook bacon until crispy.

Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon and press in paper towel to remove grease. Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.



Cook noodles according to package.



While noodles are cooking add your bell peppers and onions to the same pan you made bacon in. Using 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease, saute for 2-3 minutes.



Pour the sauce over veggies and bring it to a simmer.



When your noodles are drained, toss them and your bacon into your sauce and mix.

Sprinkle with green onions.

French Bread

1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons margarine or butter, softened
3 1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 package bread machine yeast (or regular)

Place all ingredients into your bread machine in the order listed.

Set to French bread cycle.

Remember when I said this takes pennies to make? Well, today while I was grocery shopping for next week's menu I noticed the Manager's Special was French Bread for $0.95... pennies. So I bought it :) Buuuut this is a great recipe for French Bread if your Superstore doesn't have the same Manager's Special as mine ;)

This is another no brainer meal for me. We all like pasta... a lot. This is HBear's favourite meal. You can use chicken, bacon, shrimp... really whatever fits into your budget :) I used the leftover steak bites from the night before. You can also throw in whatever veggies are in your fridge. I like making this on Sundays so that I can empty my vegetable drawer before Monday shopping day :)





So there you have it! Week 3 is in the books! Next week is Easter so we will have a nice Easter dinner in the menu plus more delicious meals for under $135!

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