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Grocery Challenge Week 4



Spectacular achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation.


Robert H. Schuller 

We did it!!!

This is the last week of the Grocery Challenge! I had so much fun!!!

I have been amazed at the amount of comments and new followers I have received just from doing this fun challenge. The YummyMommyClub has been tweeting about the challenge and I have had people from all over North America like my HoneyBears & SydneyBeans page!

Exciting!

My Sis says it is because everybody wants a meal plan but nobody wants to put in the work. It IS work.

But, to be very honest... it wasn't really a challenge for me. It is a way of life. I do this every week. 

Break down...

If I continue to spend $135/week for 52 weeks that is $7 020.

That is a lot of money!

Now let's say I didn't budget and spent what most people I've spoken to spend, $235/week. That is only $100 more than what I spend. It is easy to do, believe me :) 

That would be $12 220 a year! 

By planning ahead you can save yourself $100/week or 
$5 200 a year.

You could take the whole family to Mexico, all inclusive for 9 days with $5 200!

Even by setting your goal at $135/week you can try to improve that and set aside all your "extra" budget money and at the end of the year buy yourself something nice. 

Think about it... if you spent $10 less every week, you would have $520 remaining of your grocery budget at the end of the year!

As a stay at home Mom I always feel like I'm not contributing when it comes to "bringing home the bacon". By doing this, I can actually buy presents on Father's Day, Ninja's birthday and Xmas with my "own" money.

It is a great feeling.

Soooooo, congratulations! You just budgeted and fed your family for a full 4 weeks with $540. We had some great dinners in there, 

I hope you enjoyed them as much as my family did :)  

MENU WEEK 4

Monday: Maple Glazed Easter Ham, No Cream Scalloped Potatoes, Spiral Carrots
Tuesday: Cheeseburger Salad 
Wednesday: Ham Egg Bake and Strawberry Salad
Thursday: Take Out
Friday:  Rice, Sweet & "Spicy" Citrus Basa, Steamed Asparagus
Saturday: Spaghetti, and Rye Bread

Sunday: Catalina Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie Stirfry

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):

  • Epicure Oh Canada Maple Glaze
  • Potatoes
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Rosemary (coming up in my herb garden!)
  • Chicken Broth
  • Margarine
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Ketchup
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Dill Pickles
  • Hamburger Bun 1
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Orange Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Sesame Oil
  • Worcestchire Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Epicure Everything Bagel Seasoning
  • Rice
  • Catalina Dressing
  • Onion Soup Mix
  • Pasta Sauce (Classico)
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 :)
  • Lettuce
  • Green Onions
  • Red Onion
  • Bell Peppers
  • Garlic
In the Freezer
We have 2 cube freezers in our cold room. 
  • 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 ) 
  • Frozen Basa (On sale for $7 I get 2 meals out of a package, $3.50/meal)
  • Ground Beef (we buy a half a cow every 20 months for $1600. That is about $20/week)
Shopping List

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


*NOTE: pp means PC Points


Dinner:

  • Superstore Ham
  • Superstore Carrots (on sale)
  • Superstore Roma Tomatoes 3 pp
  • Superstore Mushrooms
  • Superstore Asparagus (I was going for green beans but not at $4.98/pound! I went with a cheaper but still yummy, veggie instead)
  • Superstore Spaghetti Noodles (on sale)
  • Superstore Cranberry Sauce
  • Superstore Milk (4L 2% - kids & 1L 1% - Dad)
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 Potatoes (on sale)
  • Superstore Shredded Cheese pp (on sale)
  • Superstore Shortening pp & CO51 (on sale)
  • Superstore Vlasic pickles (on sale)
  • Superstore Salsa (on sale)
  • Superstore Pasta Sauce Classico (on sale)
Lunch Items:
  • Superstore Fruit (whatever is a decent price. This week I bought bananas and strawberries... for 6.98!!!!!! Not a good price but we are so sick of oranges and apples. We have eaten a LOT of fruit this past week and the girls really wanted strawberries, so I splurged)
  • Superstore Yogurt (on sale) 
  • Superstore Rye Bread (on sale)
  • Superstore Kraft Dinner (on sale)
Breakfast Items:
  • Superstore Fruit Loops pp
  • Superstore Eggos 2 CO51 (I OBVIOUSLY didn't need more Eggos but when on sale... lol)

My PreTotal at Superstore was $82.37 
I get gas at Superstore and use my PC MasterCard, this gets me $0.07 back on every Litre. This week my coupon totalled $4.50

My Superstore TOTAL = $77.87 and I only got 200 PC Points.


Just wanted to say... today I was feeling better (finally) and went to Walmart. While I was sick I read a lot, it was difficult because we don't have reading lamps. So I had to get us 2. Stuff like that I don't put into my grocery shopping budget. Same with the new clock I bought HBear. She has been doing such a great job at learning to tell time, I bought her a small teal clock as a reward! Not grocery shopping. Anyways, when I got to Walmart the 1st thing I saw was strawberries for $2.49!!!!! OMG this is going to bother me for WEEKS! This is what I get for going a day early (I usually shop on Mondays but I didn't know how HBear would be feeling so I went while Ninja was home.) This is what I get for NOT reading my flyers while I was sick!

Damn!

My Meat (Ground beef, Basa, Chicken Breasts. I didn't factor in the Ham under meat as I bought it at Superstore so it is already factored in my Superstore total) TOTAL = $29.75



GRAND TOTAL FOR WEEK 1: $107.62

I am $27.38 below my weekly budget!


Week 1: $0.97

Week 2: $7.67
Week 3: $0.99
Week 4: $27.38

MONTHLY TOTAL: $37.01 UNDER Budget

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



RECIPES:


Monday: Maple Glazed Easter Ham, No Cream Scalloped Potatoes, Spiral Carrots


OK So here's the thing. Toupee hams... not so good. They are smoked, high in sodium and it says meat "Protein" on the plastic wrapper. Eeekk! However, they are the cheapest hams out there. To be COMPLETELY honest... I am buying a nice bone-in ham for our Easter dinner in 2 weeks. I'm using my points. If I didn't have points though, this is the ham I would be buying. This is the ham I DID buy :)

For this dinner I am going Epicurean. Do you have an Epicure rep? I do! Her name is Brigitte and she is the smartest woman I know! LOL She lets me "use" items to try them out... knowing full well I am going to love them and buy them! At first I was skeptical of all the spice blends but some of them ROCK! Yes, I can make my own but sometimes you just want a blend that is all ready to go... you know for time when you are sick lol. This month she has given me a blend called Oh Canada. I smelled it and was instantly in love!



She also let me try out the new Veggie Spiraler. I'm sold!

Oh Canada Maple Glazed Toupie Ham
Adapted from Savvy Single Suppers

1 Toupie Ham

2 tablespoons Oh Canada Epicure Seasoning
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard

Preheat oven to 350.


Place your ham in a small roasting pan.



Spray the pan with Misto and pour 3/4 cup of water in the bottom of the roaster and cover tightly with foil. Cook for 10 minutes per pound, or until the ham’s internal temperature reaches 140°F.

You can follow the original recipes glaze at this point OR...

Mix Oh Canada Epicure Seasoning, honey, and mustards in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until ham is fully cooked.



Take the ham from the oven, remove the foil and increase oven temperature to 400. Using a pastry brush, baste the  glaze all over the ham. Return the pan to the oven uncovered to allow the glaze to caramelize, about 15  minutes. 

Allow the ham to rest, tented with foil, on a cutting board for 10 minutes. Slice just enough ham for the meal.





Roasted Spiral Carrots with Garlic and Parmesan
Adapted from Kirbie's Cravings 

4 medium sized carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with silicon mat, mine is from Epicure LOL. Another "test this out" product that I have yet to give back or pay for... yet! ;)

Spiralize your carrots. Place into a medium sized bowl and set aside.  ***It took me a bit to get the hang of it. I didn't realize that 1 side made wide ribbons and the other side made thin "noodles". Next time they will look prettier :)***



In a small bowl mix oil, garlic, and onion powder. 

Add mix to carrots and toss until carrot noodles are evenly coated.

Spread carrots evenly across baking sheet in a single layer and top with parmesan. 



Roast for about 8-10 minutes or until carrots are cooked but still slightly crisp.




This was a yummy dinner. It was an inexpensive way to give your family a Easter dinner. By cutting out the cream and the fancy cheeses in regular scalloped potatoes you save at least $10. Add some pickles and some pickled beets and you have a great holiday dinner you can feel proud serving your family :)

Tuesday: Cheeseburger Salad

Everybody needs to try this salad. I can't stress this enough.

Try this salad!!!

It actually tastes like a cheeseburger! You don't even have dressing on this salad and it is still ah-mazing! You can use hamburger buns for the croutons, I used leftover French bread. I know it seems weird to garnish your salad with dill pickles but you won't be disappointed I promise!




Wednesday: Ham Egg Bake & Strawberry Salad

This was my way of using up that leftover ham. There are so many ways to do that but I love this make ahead breakfast. You can make it and put it in the fridge overnight and BAM toss a salad together and you have a great tasting meal that is filling and healthy!

This gave us 2 good size lunches the next day.




Thursday: Take Out

Friday: Sweet & "Spicy" Citrus Basa
Mashed Potatoes, Veggie Stir fry

Soooooo I was prepared to make this delicious fish dish but my Dad ended up going out for dinner so I decided to wait on it :) The girls had been begging for Mac & Cheese for a while and it was hotdog day at school and we must have counted wrong because we cooked 9 extra hotdogs! We couldn't let them go to waste so I took them home and fried them up with some KD. I also made Papa noodles. The girls call Ichiban Noodles Papa noodles because my Dad loves them! Ninja HATES KD so I made 2 types of noodles, hotdogs and the girls had a fruit salad as well.

So bad!

But, so good ;)



Saturday: Spaghetti

I really don't have a special recipe for Spaghetti. I cook ground beef and whatever veggies I have in the fridge (onions, peppers, mushrooms) and then pour in 2 jars of Tomato Basil Pasta sauce. I usually add some fresh basil but I didn't have any. I like easy dinners on Saturday and this is as easy as they come! This gave us leftovers for 1 lunch the next day.



Sunday: Catalina Chicken, RiceSteamed Asparagus

For my final recipe of this challenge may I present my Mom's famous Catalina Chicken! Delicious! You can use pork or chicken. You can use Catalina dressing or California. Mix the dressing with 1 packet of Onion Soup mix and 1 can of cranberry sauce and bake.

Yup.

It is so good that I would even serve this to guests! Sometimes I serve it with mashed potatoes because the sauce is so good poured all over fluffy taters. Rice too! I wanted to buy green beans but the were CRAZY expensive so I opted for asparagus which was for some weird reason cheaper?!?! There is NEVER any leftovers but we all leave the table full and satisfied :)





Thank you for joining me on this challenge! I would love to hear any comments or feedback you have :) Please like my Facebook Page, HoneyBears & SydneyBeans and feel free to share this post or any other posts you happen to like!

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