As I sit here mid-way through 2023 with my first official Covid infection I thought I would take some time to look at my progress with my 2023 goals. For 2023 I wanted to focus on self-care and take time to relax every day. I […]
My goals for 2023 revolve quite a bit around self-care and doing things that make me happy such as cross-stitching, gardening, puzzles, hanging out with my family and reading. I am also trying to make them pretty open ended so I don’t feel to rigid about them.
- Practice Self-Care every day. – My main goal is to practice self-care every day. I have found that I am not good at resting and my focus this year will be in practicing this.
- Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles! – As part of my self-care I set myself a goal of doing puzzles every week. I outlined it here in a recent blog post. I do want to try and sign up for a puzzle competition next fall but I am not sure if the timing will work out with my school and my kids’ school.
- Cross-stitch to finish projects. – I really want to finish my Zoo Alphabet project and start the Autumn Love project I bought last fall. I also want to make headway on both of the HAEDs that I have started and work through some of my smaller projects. I will be talking more about this on my YouTube channel but for now I want to finish some WIPS.
- Maintain my Commit30 planner. – My fourth goal is to keep up with my planner every month this year. I have found that writing things down really helps me remember what I need to do. I love my Commit30 planners and how every month you set a goal for yourself. You can find them here.
- Read some books. – I don’t have a concrete number of books to read this year but I do have a few that I want to get through. Some are favorites like this series by Dorothy Dunnett and others are new to me. I may post something later this year for one of my monthly goals but for now I just want to read a few books and rediscover my love of reading.
- Maintain the status quo with finances. – I am not working but I am taking classes all year for 2023 and this has made our budget very tight so my goal is for us to stick to it and maintain the status quo. I don’t want to take on any new debt and I also am hoping we can see an increase in our emergency fund this year. I don’t have any investment goals besides continuing to contribute to our account every month. The stock market has been down and I am just going to keep trucking along with our set amounts and not worry about it.
- Continue to grow my YouTube channel. – I have really enjoyed filming for my YouTube channel Oscoey which can be found here. This year I am expanding beyond groceries into cross-stich and my puzzle content.
- Keep working on my health. – I am still recovering from the major burnout I experienced last year and I am going to continue with recovering for 2023. I have been doing more gentle exercise, focusing on my eating and practicing self-care and it is slowly turning things around. I have signed up for one 5k so far (walking) and I am thinking of doing a 10k next fall.
Thank you for reading my 2023 goals! I am keeping this post short and sweet so the important parts stand out. I hope your 2023 goes well and you get enough time to relax and enjoy the things you love!
2022 was a year with mixed results for me. As I reflect on my 2022 goals post from March of this year I am struck by how different my year turned out from where it started. I started the year gung ho about my career […]
September was an expensive month for us as far as groceries go. All of our stock up trips seemed to happen this September and that caused our grocery total to be higher than usual. We also have been trying to eat healthier which of course costs more in general. Our goal was to keep spending at $600 but we ended up nearly doubling that at $1,185.21. Needless to say, we are going to try and keep our spending as low as possible for October. I am hoping to keep it at $600 for October and so far I think we can be close.
Our above numbers for September reflect the stock up trips we took to Franz, Bob’s Red Mill, the large Amazon order of Benefit Bars and the Clif bar order which was actually Luna bars. I am working on getting our kids weaned off of bars as a source of protein but we will always have Luna bars in the house since they are gluten-free and sometimes it is the only thing I eat for breakfast on a busy morning! Having something quick to grab and eat in the car is always a bonus.
This haul was our first one for September at Costco and it was a pretty big one. We were out of a lot of basics and I wanted to buy some prepackaged items for meal prep that we don’t usually buy. Overall we have eaten most of what we bought at the start of the month. We are still working on the snack type items but we definitely had to replenish our fresh items this month. All of my grocery hauls are on my YouTube channel which can be found here. I don’t get everything filmed but I at least try to get the big Costco hauls.
I tried to take more pictures of what we made with the food we bought to show how we were using everything up but I have fallen out of the habit and had a hard time remembering. We found a good deal on chuck roast so my husband made some homemade roast beef this month. I replicated a sandwich I had at Pickles Deli out on Whidbey Island where a gigantic pickle is used instead of bread and it was pretty good. I bought these pickles at Winco a while back and they are just ok.
Another strategy I tried this month was to do more batch cooking towards the start of the week and then eat through that and it worked really well. When I was working I never had time to cook on the weekends but now that I am home and child free during the week I can dedicate a couple of hours to cooking on Monday or Tuesday so that I don’t have to worry about breakfasts or lunches for a few days. I loved making these egg bites and now that we have more eggs I will definitely be making more.
We definitely did some bulk buying this month, including a trip to the Bob’s Red Mill store in Oregon while we were down there on a business trip. We bought two 25lb bags of gluten-free oats which will last us about a year. Bob’s Red Mill stopped selling large items on their website right when we were thinking of buying another 25lb bag so since we were down there we bought two. These are the oats we bought and we love them. As someone with Celiac, I have never had a problem with these oats but I do have issues if I eat regular ones.
Another item we did go into Costco for but I am not counting as part of our groceries is 300 pumpkins for our fall school event. We called around and local farms were not able to have pumpkins to us in time so we went to Costco and were able to buy them there. We went to two separate stores to get these. I did bake one of the ones we had previously bought for ourselves and it is quite tasty. I have a soup recipe I want to try with another one and I will probably just bake the others after Halloween. I love buying a bunch of pumpkins in the fall to decorate and then eat later. It is such a sustainable way to decorate and I am pretty sad we could not get any of our pumpkins to grow this year because I love including home grown ones as well!
One of the smaller trips I took at the end of the month was purely for sale items. I bought another pack of chuck roast to be made into roast beef and one gigantic yellow squash. I was not able to grow squash again this year due to the wet spring so I was happy to find it on sale at Fred Meyer. We just bought some zucchini this week at Safeway which I am very excited to eat.
That’s it for our September grocery spending recap. Bottom line is that we spent a bunch but we did buy items we won’t need to buy for a while so I am hoping October will be much closer to our goal. What are you spending tips for this fall?
We continued to work on our grocery budget for August 2022 with a goal of $600. I wasn’t sure if we could make it this month but we came closer than last month at $709.79. We definitely ate better this month and a large chunk […]
We were out of a lot of staples for July so I knew we would have an expensive month for groceries. We are still working hard at keeping our food budget well under $1,000 by watching prices more carefully, eating up what we have and […]
Our June grocery goal was to eat through our fridge and freezer as much as possible and for the most part we reached this goal. I am super proud of our progress! Up until the last week of June we kept our spending under $300 but we did end up taking a couple of trips to the store the last week to bring our total up to $$470.26. We could have held off another week to make the numbers look amazing but our budget for July would have just been super high so I went the last week because I had the time. My kids were super grateful for the fresh produce and new choices for snack and it helped our son try some new things so I am pretty happy with my decision.
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Our first and only grocery trip to Costco was pretty small for us and included a refresh for staples in our house. We mostly bought fresh vegetables, eggs and some meat. Our freezer is still pretty well stocked with meat from earlier this year so we aren’t buying too much right now. Our kids eat salami and lunch meat when they are at school and camp so we buy them pretty much every month. We kept this Costco haul to $219.70 for groceries which is really good for our only Costco haul in June. We did end up going back later in the month for dog food but that comes out of a separate budget so it isn’t included in our grocery total.
We focused on our freezer for June. I was shocked when I did the first freezer check in video (Here) and found that we had tons of free lunch items in there. We spent the month eating through what we could and I donated a couple of gallon Ziploc bags worth to the seniors this month. The top freezer drawer is still pretty full but only because we continued to get free lunch meal packs every week until they were done. We are struggling to participate in free lunches this summer since kids have to eat in person but starting next week they have opened up new sites so we will try to go to a couple of those. Access to free lunches in the summer is difficult for working families and kids in camp. I am hoping the funding for this will be reupped this fall and we will continue to be able to pick up 5 day meal kits again. This really helped our budget the past few months.
We got a bunch of extra food in the free lunch packs this month, including three whole cheese pizzas. We still have one and a third left from this pickup in the middle of June. It is crazy to me how much the school district we go to is doing for the community on their own. Tons of people rely on these free meal kits that do not qualify for the traditional free and reduced lunch options. We are grateful that they stepped up to help the community out.
In June I also tried to keep us on track by filming where we were at every Monday with the fridge and freezer. Our latest one can be found here. It was really helpful to take stock every week and see what we needed to eat up. I highly recommend doing at least a thorough look through weekly to check on the state of your produce and leftovers. This week I will do another on 7/4 and I am going to do a deep clean as well. I wipe down our fridge all the time but we are in and out of it a lot and the cleaning is just never ending. I swear my kids wait until their hands are the stickiest and then try to open it because I have to wipe the handles down multiple times a day.
I ended up going to both Target and Grocery Outlet the last week of the month. Link is here. I had to go to Target for some shorts for my son and I ended up picking up items I had been waiting on buying and stocking up on snacks. One thing I have noticed with not getting the free lunches is that we don’t have as many snacks hanging around the house as we used to. They used to include a few snacks in there and we never had to buy them. My kids definitely need them for summer camp and we were getting low so I stocked up a bunch this week. I probably won’t do another snack run until school starts in the fall, but I can’t always predict how quickly my kids will eat through things. Grocery Outlet is my favorite and I bought some staples such as apples, tortillas and onions there but we also picked up a baking kit for $1.00 that the kids really enjoyed baking. This was my cheap entertainment for a colder day last week and they loved it.
I also went to Winco last week for some canned goods, fresh produce and basics we were running out of. Link is here. I love Winco and they have excellent prices. I don’t get to go very often because it is just far enough and out of the way that stopping in for a quick trip costs more in gas than I would save on a few grocery items. My daughter had camp about five minutes away though this week and it was on my way home so I made a trip while we were in the area. All of these items could have waited until July but the timing worked out this week so I went. I am trying to consolidate my trips as much as possible since my car does not get very good gas mileage.
We also stocked up on some canned goods this trip since Winco has the cheapest canned vegetable prices I have found. It is always good to have a couple of weeks worth of canned goods on hand in case of emergencies and as I have discovered recently I am not good at keeping canned veggies and fruit on hand since we really don’t eat much of it. I do a whole pantry clean out every fall before school starts and in January. I donate anything nearing an expiration date and use up expired foods. It is a great way to be prepared for a long term power outage but also help out the community. I keep all of my cans in one spot so it is easy to go through them in a few minutes. It usually takes me longer to donate them since it is slightly out of my way.
Overall we did well at eating up some of our freezer items. I made a couple of recipes that I will link below and we all got sick of green beans. There are still about 7 pounds of green beans left in my freezer but we are taking a break from them for now…
Looking at this picture I realized I forgot to pick up a couple of oranges from the store. We have plenty of other fruit but I may pick some up later this month when we run low. Tortillas have been a great way to use up leftovers. I love having quesadillas for lunch! They are easy to make and don’t make a huge mess.
How are you doing on your grocery spending? We are already spending more in July with our first Costco haul linked here. I was hoping we can stay out of the store for a few more weeks but we do need to get more rice since we are out of the kind we like. Costco was out when we went so I am going to make a trip to Business Costco this week on my way to somewhere.
We are working on our grocery spending for 2022 and our goal for May was to do a low spend month. Unfortunately we ended up a little bit swamped during the middle of the month and we both spent too much money and I did […]