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Tag: gardening

August 2022 Grocery Spending Wrap Up

August 2022 Grocery Spending Wrap Up

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 […]

July 2022 Final Grocery Spending

July 2022 Final Grocery Spending

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 […]

May 2022 Spending Check In

May 2022 Spending Check In

Our goal for May of 2022 was to spend as little money as possible on groceries for the month. We are using our local free lunches and breakfasts for the community as well as eating through our pantry items and just supplementing with items from the store. We have quite a bit stashed away in our freezers and pantry so we should be 100% fine with a low spend month.

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Grocery Haul

I filmed our fist grocery update on May 9th which can be found here. As of 5/09 we were at $89.08 in spending which is pretty good. For April we were closer to $500 by mid-month so I am happy with our progress. Some of the items we bought were due to the kids being sick and we also stocked up on Luna bars and fig bars. We also bought about $20 worth of beef to grind up since it was on sale at Fred Meyer. These were all long term purchases and we won’t be buying them for a while. We also found a fabulous deal on bread at Bartell Drugs of all places where they had marked down their bread to 10 cents a piece. It was a stellar deal and we bought three loaves.

Oatmeal and coffee for breakfast.
Oatmeal and coffee for breakfast.

Most of my breakfasts this month have consisted of my gluten-free oatmeal and a cup of coffee made with milk. I used up the whole milk and also made my coffee with the 1% that we have. I heat up about a cup of milk in the microwave and then our my shots from the espresso machine directly into the milk and it tastes like a latte even though the milk is not steamed. I don’t really keep track of what my kids eat but my son usually eats a bar in the morning so some of the Luna bars we bought have already been eaten.

pancakes
Pancakes

I did make pancakes last week from the gluten-free confetti ones we got 3/$1.00 at Grocery Outlet a few months ago and they went fast. I made sandwiches for the kids out of the leftovers with Nutella and the kids loved it. We only have about four boxes left at this point and I am definitely going to miss their convenience when we run out. I have been keeping an eye out at Grocery Outlet for more gluten-free pancake mix but I have not seen it since they ran out of these so maybe soon.

cabbage and chicken
Mushroom Thyme Chicken with cooked cabbage.

One of the meals I cooked was my Mushroom Thyme Chicken with cabbage. Link can be found here. This lasted for quite a few meals and also used up some of the cabbage I bought last month. We still have a bunch of cabbage left so I will probably put more of the cabbage into a soup this weekend after I am done with my $10 grocery challenge.

Chicken Nuggets
Chicken Nuggets with veggies.

Another meal we ate was chicken nuggets with some of the frozen peas and carrots we got from this free school lunch unboxing and the jicama we bought at Whole Foods during this grocery haul linked here. This was pretty good. Peas are not my favorite but I didn’t mind them with the carrots. My husband has asked me to leave the rest of the bag so that he and my daughter can make fried rice out of them. Apparently they were really good together with some of the spam we have stashed away.

Soup
Soup

We did have sickness go through our house this week so we ate some of the soup we have in our pantry. This one is my favorite and I ate it for two meals. We are down to only a couple left so I may stock up before the end of the month. I don’t like eating the instant soups though because of the packaging but we really only eat them when we are sick so I am not sure if that is infrequent enough. These do not have Styrofoam like cup o’ noodles so at least they are recyclable but I am still trying to be aware of how much waste we create.

School lunch items.
School lunch items.

My ate through quite a bit of the school lunch items this week. The bars of course were immediately eaten and my son tried one of these pinwheels. He wasn’t a fan but trying something new is progress and I was super proud of him. We also ate hamburgers and I made a batch of cobbler out of the frozen strawberries that was pretty good. We will continue to do school lunches through the end of the year and I am really hoping they will last minute continue funding at least over the summer. So many families in our area depend on these to feed their families.

Cupcakes
Cupcakes

Remember our fruity pebble cupcakes? I froze half of the cupcakes we made for a later date. I pulled these out last week as a special treat for our son while our daughter was at camp. He had a great time frosting and decorating a cupcake for himself at dinner on Thursday. The rest we ate over the weekend.

Tater Tot Casserole
Tater Tot Casserole

My daughter asked me to make tater tot casserole last week and since we had fresh ground beef I made it for her. It was pretty good. This also used up some of the green beans we got from the school lunches. We get them most weeks and it is a lot of green beans to eat. This batch was particularly good because I melted the rest of those twisty cheese sticks I bought at Grocery Outlet into the cream sauce. They were too hard for the kids to eat so I melted them into the cream of mushroom soup and it was so good! I am pretty proud of my impromptu cheese using up. These might have been thrown out after a while if I hadn’t thought to incorporate them into the casserole which is super wasteful.

Pudding and strawberries.
Pudding and strawberries.

Overall we are doing great so far at a low spend month. We are using what we have and there is a little bit of room in our freezer which is unheard of. Our fridge is pretty full but we are at the cycle in the week when we have tons of leftovers and I also have a bunch of juice stashed in there from when we were sick that usually wouldn’t be there.

 

I have gone to the store once since our May 9th post but I will include it in next week’s wrap up post. How are you saving money this month?

 

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This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

Products used:

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

Glass Meal Prep Containers

 

BeneFit Bars – Chocolate Chip

Garden Update 04.30.22

Garden Update 04.30.22

Welcome to the end of April when our garden starts to take off. We have been celebrating the emergence of our asparagus and planted many flowers and I am super excited for the summer when all of our plants start taking off. I am still […]

2022 Garden Supply Purchases

2022 Garden Supply Purchases

For 2022 we are really expanding our garden and possibly adding in some chickens later in the year. We are garden zone 8b in the Pacific Northwest located in the Seattle area. Our weather is wet a lot of the year and we have been […]

5 Year Blogiversary

5 Year Blogiversary

I started my blog in late March about five years ago so I thought I would write a little bit about it for my 5 year blogiversary. I started Oscoey as something to do while I was home with my kids as sort of a mommy blog but along the way I discovered the FIRE movement, went back to work and then sort of lost the ability to work on my blog. I have always wanted to do it full-time but like many other people work and life got in the way.

budget planner
Pesky puppy ate my budget planner.

We are still making most of our own food but our budgeting has drastically changed in the last five years and although we are still focused on saving as much as we can our expenses are much higher and we have moved more in the direction of Slow FIRE. Slow FIRE is basically stretching out your timeline for retirement. My husband does not have plans to retire any time soon but I am toying with the idea of not going back to work after my leave ends in a couple of weeks so I can focus on my blog and my new YouTube channel. I would love for my husband to retire when we are done paying for college in about 15 years which is still technically early since we will be right about 60 but I feel like we could probably do better than that.

Garlic
Lots of garlic planted this year.

We have increased our urban homestead quite a bit in the past five years and this year we are hoping to add some chickens as well. I am installing several large garden beds this week as well as removing some grass in our yard so we can plant some trees. This year our yard was very wet and adding a tree or two will help with that and provide some much needed shade in the summer. I love gardening and will start putting more gardening content up on my channel in the next few weeks.

Luna
Luna 7 months

When I first started blogging George was a puppy but now he is 5 1/2 and has definitely slowed down. We got a puppy named Luna last year after a couple of years of debate and looking for a good fit. She has been a huge change for our family but we love her so much and George is so happy to have someone to play with. Zoey our dachshund is still around but is now very much a senior dog that really just wants to sleep all day. George sleeps with his “dog mom” Zoey every night and Luna tries very unsuccessfully to play with her every chance she can.

Tea time
Tea time.

I am continuing to post mostly on Instagram about our food and how we are working on meal planning. One of my favorite things that came out of the isolation of Covid was our Sunday afternoon tea times. The kids really get into it and we have a bunch of fun with a more formal lunch. Over the summer we turn it into a picnic on the lawn with a pitcher of juice or sparkling water and the kids love that as well.

Light in the woods
Light filled backyard.

I have really enjoyed the friends I have met through my blog and writing to my readers over the past five years. I am really excited for my channel on YouTube to grow and I hope to be able to write more here this year. Below are my links for social media and some of my favorite posts throughout the years. Happy blogging!

 

Links:

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

 

Victoria Part 1: Butchart Gardens

 

Garden Update 06.08.19

 

April 2022 Low Spend Month Goals

 

Dried Banana Chips

 

Gardening Update: 04.04.22

Gardening Update: 04.04.22

Hello spring! I am very excited for the garden this year. I have been out in it every day checking things out and seeing what is coming up. One of the beautiful things that has come out of our gardening over the past few years […]

April 2022 Low Spend Month Goals

April 2022 Low Spend Month Goals

This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed […]

March 2022 Spending

March 2022 Spending

For 2022 we are focusing on our grocery spending and trying to find ways to reduce it despite all of the price increases. In January we completed a pantry cleanout challenge and in February I focused on eating through the odds and ends in our freezer. Unfortunately we had some family issues come up in February that we are still dealing with at the end of March and I was not able to post our February spending. I may go back and post it later when I have time but at this point it might be too late. I did not worry about our grocery spending for the second half of February and the first part of March since I was swamped with taking care of my family member so our low spend goal went a little bit sideways.

 

January 2022 Spending

 

Looking back at my January spending post we aimed to keep our groceries at about $800 a month which was reducing our spending down from about $1000 a month. We do not include items such as cleaning supplies, paper products, dog food and coffee in our total since I track these separately. We do not eat out ever and we have quite a few dietary restrictions which can be expensive. I started tracking our coffee separately at the beginning of the year since I was drinking so much of it and wanted a good baseline for it. I only track the beans we buy and when we go out for coffee, not the cream or milk that we put in it since we use those for other things as well. Recently I have reduced my consumption so it will be interesting to see at the end of the year how that plays out.

One expense besides groceries that has been increased lately is for our larger dogs. Luna (bottom) had some skin issues and required a couple of visits to the vet. We also needed to hire a trainer and buy tons of toys to keep their brains stimulated in different ways. For some reason I totally forgot some of the tricks we used for George (top) to keep him occupied during the teenage puppy months so it was super helpful to get some ideas for Luna. They plus our dachshund are now eating through about 40 pounds of dog food every 2.5 to 3 weeks which is insane to me. We switched them to one of the Kirkland brand foods and they seem to be doing ok on it which is great since it cut our dog food bill significantly. Even though we are experienced dog owners we have never owned a herding dog before and Luna has proved to be a challenge in ways our other dogs were not so we felt hiring a trainer to get through the next few months before she turns a year would be helpful and after one visit we are already seeing improvement.

Gardening
Gardening is one of our go to free but fun activities.

For March my goal was to be at $625 for the whole month since we had inherited some food from a family member and we had stocked up in both January and February. What we actually ended up spending was….

 

Whoa. We really blew past our budget and then some. I looked back at what we bought and we ended up stocking up on some items that were on super sale that we eat a lot at Costco (gluten free supreme pizza I am talking to you), shelf-stable items our picky eater loves and that frequently go out of stock such as fruit leather, and pantry basics that I realized we were low on like oil, beans, spaghetti sauce and bread. Yup. We ate up most of the bread I bought in January and we had to do another bread run at the Franz Outlet. I also went through our emergency supplies and realized we had no canned vegetables or fruit so I bought enough for about a week. We are heading into spring and our garden will be in full swing in about a month or two so I am not as worried about having cans of veggies and fruit on hand. We have a ton of frozen blueberries, strawberries, peaches, broccoli, potatoes, peas and green beans in our freezer and my kids will not really eat canned food so I am hopeful that if we do have some sort of emergency without power we will be ok with just the few freeze dried cans I bought. If all else fails they can just have the dried fruit we have on hand and skip some of the veggies for a bit. I would much rather go without veggies for a week or two than have to use up a month or two’s supply of canned veggies every year but that’s just me.

Cabbage
Cabbage and kale from the garden with eggs for a cheap and healthy breakfast.

At the moment our freezers are full and our pantry shelves have only a few spots where I suspect we will need to stock up either this month or the next so I am feeling pretty good. My goal for April is to keep our grocery spending under $600. It is a pretty tight goal but I would love to eat through some of our freezer again this month to make sure we are rotating through everything in a timely manner. I have some freezer meals we need to eat up, some meals I prepped for lunches and I would love to do an inventory mid-month when we have eaten through some of what we have to plan our spending for May.

Cobbler
Cobbler has been one of our favorite freezer clean out desserts.

I would also love to do a deep clean of our garage fridge which takes emptying most of it out to scrub everything down. I honestly have not really taken an inventory of what is in there since my husband uses parts of it to store things he has made which are never labeled. Maybe this month we can go through it together and clear out what needs to be tossed. We do have a crate of 90 eggs which my mother-in-law dropped off last week that need to be eaten before I can clean it though. I am not really sure what to do with all of those eggs, especially since we had just bought 5 dozen from Costco. I gave a dozen to our oldest daughter and I am toying with the idea of pickling two gigantic mason jars worth of eggs with some of the rest. We do eat a lot of eggs in our family but this is way to much for even us so I will most likely give some away on our local Buy Nothing group.

Cranberry Lake
Cranberry Lake at Deception Pass.

For now we will continue to eat through what we have and keep a running list of what we need as we avoid going to the store for as long as possible. We are trying to keep our expenses down in other areas as well and are taking cheap or free day trips over spring break instead of going on vacation. Last weekend we drove up to Deception Pass on Whidbey Island and had a wonderful time exploring Cranberry Lake. We packed lunches and had a great time. This trip cost us only about $20 total and most of that was from the ferry trip home where all passengers are free.

 

What are your grocery spending goals for April?

 

The Importance of Walking in the Wood With Kids

 

Gardening Update 11.07.21

 

Meal Planning: January 2022 Week 4

 

January 2022 Spending

January 2022 Spending

In January we attempted to do meal planning for the entire month and complete a pantry cleanout and eat through items in our freezer. Whew. It was a lot to keep track of and I am pretty proud of our progress. I was planning on […]


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