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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4/12 thru 4/18 #mealplanning on less than $100 for the week? Yes because I spent the majority of my money at the farmer's market! #cooking #glutenfree #motherhood

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the topin order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find also find a link to a detailed example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step. I perform the same steps every week as I have outlined below.


THIS WEEK:
Are you following me along in my gluten-free healthy lifestyle journey? If not, I encourage you to read it HERE as it will effect my meal planning, though not by much surprisingly. :)

I'm still cooking my family's favorite meals, I'm simply substituting gluten-free and/or healthier options in place of those wheat products that contain gluten. I've been reading the book Wheat Belly along with assessing my own health and have decided that a gluten-free life is really what's best for me and my family. I'm doing my best to get my whole family involved though I'm practically dragging my garlic-bread-loving husband along at this point. haha!
 
The first thing I do each week is look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan (I write down each night's meal on our family calendar) and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. 99% of the time if a meal that was planned for wasn't eaten it's automatically added to the next week's plan.


Inventory

1 portions ground sirloin
2 portions pork tenderloin
1 portions stew meat
2 portions bone-in chicken split breasts
2 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 portions ground turkey
1 portion New York Strip Steaks
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
4 portions pre-formed chicken patties for burgers
3 portions frozen breaded chicken breast pieces
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
4 portions made-ahead meatballs
3 portions Brats

3 portions Italian sausage
1 portion made-ahead lasagna

"Portions" for my family typically mean 1/2lb to 3/4lb of meat and it feeds all four of us at one meal. To keep my freezers organized and make things easier on myself, I divide up my bulk purchases into portions and label everything before freezing it. For example: meatloaf requires 1lb of ground beef where Goulash only requires 1/2lb so, I package 1lb of ground beef and write "meatloaf" on the outside of the bag to ensure I don't accidentally thaw out an entire pound of meat for a recipe where I only need half. You could also write "1lb" on the bag. 

Next, I shop my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List. As I mentioned above, I write down each night's meal on our calendar so, I look at it first to sort of rule out meals we've recently eaten to cut down on monotony. Then, I read the weekly and and look through the coupons and Just4U deals from Safeway via the iPhone app to see what is on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I came up with. I also jot down the price of things I plan to buy that I can frequently find cheaper at my local farmer's market (Dan's) or at Trader Joe's. On shopping day, I stop at Dan's first and buy whatever is cheaper than Safeway; next, I stop at Trader Joe's; and then, I purchase everything left on my list at Safeway. Lastly, I determine how I can stretch ingredients, specifically fresh produce and expensive items over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste. 

Weekly Meal Plan

Going gluten-free isn't for everyone and like I've said before, I'm not going to force my husband or child to give up their favorite, familiar foods; however, I am swapping out as much as I can for gluten-free alternatives. 

Smoked pork tenderloin stuffed in herb biscuits with apricot preserves and a side salad
Gorgeous weather + the brink of Spring = backyard BBQ perfection! It's no secret, we spend every weekend outdoors and any chance I get to have dinner prepared on the pit, I take! David smoked the last package of pork tenderloin Saturday night. Once cooked and sliced, I layered it on the home-made herb biscuits I made earlier and slathered one half of each biscuit with apricot preserves. TO DIE FOR! You'd get similar flavors if you roasted yours in your oven, give it a try! I nabbed two heads of organic Romaine lettuce at Dan's ($1.19) so, a simple side salad with my fresh herb vinaigrette was served on the side.

Grilled chicken Caesar salad
I had David grill two extra chicken breasts so I could use them to top my home-made Caesar salad. I will use up the majority of the organic Romaine lettuce I purchased from the produce stand in this dish. I have all the dressing ingredients on hand.

Meatball subs with oven-fries
I have been craving home made meatballs so, I grabbed package of 93% lean ground sirloin ($5.99/lb) and a pound of ground pork (on discount for only $2.97) that I will make into my meatballs nirvana. This recipe will make 4 portions so I added that to my inventory above. I have hoagie rolls in my freezer, jarred marinara sauce in my fridge, and scored a 6oz ball of fresh mozarella for FREE through the Safeway Just4U app. I will serve these sandwiches with oven-baked fries that I have frozen.

Leftovers

Pad Thai
I purchased cilantro ($0.49) to use in two meals this week: Pad Thai and Crispy Tacos with queso. I have limes from last week and will use 1/4lb ground turkey I purchased today ($5).

Crispy Tacos with chips and queso
To use up the package of ground turkey I purchased, I'll brown it with onions and garlic and stuff it inside crispy taco shells (I have in my pantry). I'll top the tacos with the remaining organic Romaine lettuce, the tomato I have leftover from last week, and freshly shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (in my fridge from two weeks ago). I have chips plus Velveeta and canned Rotel so I can throw together an easy side of queso.

Chicken Picatta with roasted cauliflower
Our lemon tree is bursting (when is it not?!?) and trimming it this weekend made me think of this dish. I have capers in my fridge and parsley in my garden so, with the purchase of a head of organic cauliflower ($1.49), I had everything I needed for a light, delicious meal.

What did I purchase this week?

I spent $76.00 this week y'all! Yep, that's it and I got all that you see above and that's mainly due to stopping at Dan's first and then taking advantage of Safeway's Just4U discounts.

  • Buying 2 packages of Oreo cookies for only $5.00 got me the gallon of 2% milk for FREE 
  • Sandwich and french toast bread, 2@$4
  • Ground turkey, $5
  • Ground pork, $2.97 each
  • Ground sirloin, $5.99/lb
  • GoGurt, $2.99
  • Tollhouse ready-to-bake cookies, FREE
  • 2 frozen peas, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Organic pears, $0.99/lb
  • 3 pints organic strawberries, $3.99/ea
  • 1 pint organic blueberries, $2.99
  • Fresh mozzarella, FREE 
  • 5 Tillamook greek yogurt, 5@$5 plus $1.00 off every 5 purchased
  • Deli ham, $5/lb
  • Seedless grapes, $1.99/lb
  • Organic cauliflower, $1.49
  • Watermelon, $0.59/lb
  • Organic snack apples, $1.99/lb
  • Organic romaine lettuce, $1.19 per head
  • Cuties, $2.99
  • Bananas, $0.59/lb
  • Cilantro, $0.49

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's a lot more work to enjoy #springbreak when you have two #kids that are 5 years or more apart #parenting #motherhood #SAHM #toddlers

Emily, my nearly eight year old second grader is accustomed to a very fast-paced, engaging, physically and mentally challenging day while Nolan is accustomed to our weekly routine of going to our local play places, having lunch and then, taking a nap.

It's not easy to keep them active and happy for an entire week by myself while Emily was on Spring Break from school but I did it and we had a great week.

In order to best accommodate them both I had to do some prep work and planning ahead of time:

1. My game plan began with making the decision to stay home one day, go to a morning play place and take the afternoon off for two days, and take the kids on an all day adventure the other two days. This is just the five weekdays when school was out. We did things together as a family over the weekends.

2. I decided to use our memberships around the Bay Area to save money, take BART and the Ferry to save gas and drive time, and have Nolan skip his afternoon nap {gasp!} to maximize the day.

So, where did we go?

Monday was our stay at home day though we didn't exactly stay at home! We ran errands most of the morning, Nolan took his nap, and then we spent the rest of the day outside enjoying the warmth and sunshine as we knew the rain was coming on Tuesday. We played with every toy in every room, chased bubbles, tried to hula hoop, danced to music, used PlayDoh, jumped on the bed then jumped on the trampoline, played in the sandbox, rode our scooters around the block, and watched Frozen. Again.

Tuesday we showed up at Pump It Up before the doors even opened and had to wait in line due to it's popularity on rainy school holidays. I knew it would be crowded but we just couldn't be trapped indoors all day. We jumped for three hours before going home to have lunch and Emily and I enjoyed making bracelets in the quiet as Nolan napped for three hours! That afternoon we did puzzles and read books and watched the big, fat, noisy rain drops pummel the windows until bedtime.

Wednesday we went to Habitot as we have a membership so it cost us nothing. Emily loved it and begged to go back before we had even left for the day. She loved dressing up as an Astronaut and climbing along the wiggle wall. She hadn't been since she was about three years old! It's old hat for Nolan so he became bored quickly thus, we left just before they closed at 12:30pm. After his nap, we played outside, shooting baskets and drawing with our new sidewalk chalk.


Thursday was our big trek into San Francisco via the ferry to renew our Aquarium of the Bay membership. I purposely chose to do an indoor activity on a day we had gorgeous weather because I knew everyone else would be outside, at the local parks. And I was correct, the aquarium was nearly empty! The kids LOVED the ferry and couldn't get enough of the aquarium. We walked the entire length of Pier 39, stopping at all the shops, to see the Sea Lions and to have a latte and miniature cupcakes. We beat the commuter rush by leaving before 4:00pm and almost beat the rain; it started pouring as we exited the ferry boat! We were prepared with umbrellas and jackets, though. Nolan did really well without a nap, though he hit a rough patch around 1:00pm where he was rubbing his eyes, crying anytime anyone brushed past him, and seeming to no longer enjoy the aquarium; however, he came out on the other side, got his second wind, and we went on about the day!


Friday we drove the hour to Sausalito to enjoy a gorgeous day at The Bay Area Discovery Museum, which we have always loved. The traffic on Fridays is awful no matter the time - note to self: don't go anywhere on Fridays! - but the kids hung in there and didn't complain half as much as I did! We spent all day 10am-3:30pm at the museum and the kids had a blast. Emily didn't remember her last trip there (she was four years old) and Nolan had never been so, we visited every exhibit at least twice, enjoyed lunch under the Golden Gate bridge, and ran ourselves ragged on the outdoor play ground. Nolan never slowed down so it didn't seem skipping his nap this day bothered him at all.


Then, on Saturday, we had plans with friends to spend the entire day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, another place we have annual passes. I have to say, I was exhausted mid-day on Thursday but I pushed through and we had a great time, as usual. We had lunch before entering the park, spent all day riding rides and watching shows, stopped briefly for a snack, and had dinner once we left the park. Emily is 52" tall and can officially ride everything and boy did she! She even rode Boomerang which I refused to go on because I hate rollercoasters in general but truly loathe those that go upside down. Heck no! You can see her in this photo about 5 rows up in a lavender shirt sitting next to my friend Shannon who's wearing a black shirt.


Emily will tell you it was "awesome", that spring break was so much fun. That makes me happy.

It was so much work and physically taxing to entertain two kids all day who have a different set of needs at any given time. The most chill times were meal times, to be honest.  :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

4/5 thru 4/11 #mealplanning when the #kids go back to #school - keeping it frugal yet healthy and delicious! #cooking #motherhood

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the topin order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find also find a link to a detailed example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step. I perform the same steps every week as I have outlined below.


THIS WEEK:
Are you following me along in my gluten-free healthy lifestyle journey? If not, I encourage you to read it HERE as it will effect my meal planning, though not by much surprisingly. :)

I'm still cooking my family's favorite meals, I'm simply substituting gluten-free and/or healthier options in place of those wheat products that contain gluten. I've been reading the book Wheat Belly along with assessing my own health and have decided that a gluten-free life is really what's best for me and my family. I'm doing my best to get my whole family involved though I'm practically dragging my garlic-bread-loving husband along at this point. haha!
 
The first thing I do each week is look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan (I write down each night's meal on our family calendar) and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. 99% of the time if a meal that was planned for wasn't eaten it's automatically added to the next week's plan.


Inventory

2 portions ground sirloin
2 portions pork tenderloin
1 portions stew meat
3 portions bone-in chicken split breasts
3 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portion New York Strip Steaks
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
4 portions pre-formed chicken patties for burgers
4 portions frozen breaded chicken breast pieces
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions Brats

4 portions Italian sausage
1 portion made-ahead lasagna

"Portions" for my family typically mean 1/2lb to 3/4lb of meat and it feeds all four of us at one meal. To keep my freezers organized and make things easier on myself, I divide up my bulk purchases into portions and label everything before freezing it. For example: meatloaf requires 1lb of ground beef where Goulash only requires 1/2lb so, I package 1lb of ground beef and write "meatloaf" on the outside of the bag to ensure I don't accidentally thaw out an entire pound of meat for a recipe where I only need half. You could also write "1lb" on the bag. 

Next, I shop my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List. As I mentioned above, I write down each night's meal on our calendar so, I look at it first to sort of rule out meals we've recently eaten to cut down on monotony. Then, I read the weekly and and look through the coupons and Just4U deals from Safeway via the iPhone app to see what is on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I came up with. I also jot down the price of things I plan to buy that I can frequently find cheaper at my local farmer's market (Dan's) or at Trader Joe's. On shopping day, I stop at Dan's first and buy whatever is cheaper than Safeway; next, I stop at Trader Joe's; and then, I purchase everything left on my list at Safeway. Lastly, I determine how I can stretch ingredients, specifically fresh produce and expensive items over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste. 

Weekly Meal Plan

Going gluten-free isn't for everyone and like I've said before, I'm not going to force my husband or child to give up their favorite, familiar foods; however, I am swapping out as much as I can for gluten-free alternatives. 

Apricot-bbq glazed smoked chicken breasts, macaroni 'n cheese, grilled asparagus
Split chicken breasts were such a steal ($0.99/lb) a few weeks ago and were begging to be smoked on the pit for a few hours and then, slathered with my apricot-bbq glaze. Heaven!! I have apricot preserves and bbq sauce in my fridge as well as cheddar cheese so I just needed to purchase elbow macaroni ($0.79). I'm using the asparagus I had leftover from late last week (thank goodness it hasn't gone bad because I hate wasting food).

Sloppy Joe's with oven fries
A super easy meal that cost me nothing this week, yea! I have buns, a can of Manwich, and frozen fries on hand. I love when that happens.

Orange chicken and snow peas over brown rice
I completely forgot I had a portion of orange sauce in my freezer from when I made it a few weeks ago. I thawed out the suspicious container over the weekend and was thrilled to see what it was! I'll saute a portion of chicken with the snow peas I purchased today ($1.99/lb) and serve it over steamed brown rice. This recipe makes leftovers, which is my favorite lunch!

Potato soup
Even though our weather is really warm and gorgeous, I had potato soup on my mind so, I purchased a 5lb bag ($2.99), celery ($0.99), and fresh organic thyme ($2.99) to add to the remaining ingredients I have on hand.

Leftovers

Calzones with marinara dipping sauce
Johnsonville had a huge sale on brats and Italian Sausage (Buy 1 Get 1 Free!) so, I stocked up and decided to make calzones for dinner one night. I will make the pizza dough from scratch and I have everything I need to do so.

Buffalo chicken sandwiches with blue cheese dressing and chips
Another huge score this week was Foster Farms frozen, breaded chicken breast pieces (only $5 for 2lbs!) so, I stocked up and will make these sandwiches one busy night this week. I'll avoid the bun and eat mine like boneless wings from Wing Stop! I have hoagie rolls from my Costco trip, crumbled blue cheese, mayo and sour cream to make dressing from scratch, and will serve chips or fruit on the side.
  What did I purchase this week?

I only shopped at Safeway today and spent just under $160!

The major deals I took advantage of include:
  • Tillamook yogurt, 10@$5 plus $1.00 off every 3, no limit I bought 15 as that's all we could consume before their expiration date
  • Frozen blueberries, 2lbs worth for only $9.99 - these are perfect in muffins and pancakes and my kids love those things for breakfast!
  • Ghirardelli brownie mix, $0.99, limit 2
  • Melons, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Foster Farms 2lbs breaded chicken breast pieces, $5.00, no limit
  • Goldfish, Buy 1 Get 1 Free - the kids love the S'mores variety
  • Annie's organic vegetarian refried beans, $1.67 (that's half price, y'all!)
  • Fritos, Cheetos, and Lays varieties, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
I also purchased items we were out of and consume most weeks including:
  • 2% and Fat-free milk, $4.59 - I need to find a Walmart or Pack 'n Save because that price has become unbearable to pay week after week!
  • Orange juice, $1.99
  • Frozen Van's powergrains waffles, $1.99
  • Organic tomato, $2.19/lb
  • Organic raspberries 18oz, $6.99
  • Seedless grapes, $1.49/lb
  • Organic fuji apples, $1.99/lb
  • Strawberries, 2@$5
  • Organic pears, $0.99/lb
  • Deli ham, $5/lb
  • Tortillas, $1.49 - the kids eat quesadillas often and David only likes flour tortillas 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Nolan: 2yrs 9mos - The Next Elton John? #tuesdaytoddlertales #toddlers #Kids #parenting

Nolan can really get himself worked up into a giggling, booty-shaking, jumping, wrestling, fit of laughter these days.

He loves to toss himself off the ottoman into a pile of pillows on the couch; thrash in a ball pit; jumping on David's back and riding piggyback; spinning in circles until he falls down; being double-bounced on the trampoline by Emily; and making himself part of a dog pile in the middle of the play room floor. He's a total animal and a total show-off when at home!

His favorite thing lately is banging out a tune on the piano that once belonged to Emily.

video

Monday, March 31, 2014

3/29 thru 4/4 #mealplanning during #springbreak and keeping it #glutenfree as much as possible! #parenting #cooking #motherhood

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the topin order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find also find a link to a detailed example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step. I perform the same steps every week as I have outlined below.


THIS WEEK:
Are you following me along in my gluten-free healthy lifestyle journey? If not, I encourage you to read it HERE as it will effect my meal planning, though not by much surprisingly. :)

I'm still cooking my family's favorite meals, I'm simply substituting gluten-free and/or healthier options in place of those wheat products that contain gluten. I've been reading the book Wheat Belly along with assessing my own health and have decided that a gluten-free life is really what's best for me and my family. I'm doing my best to get my whole family involved though I'm practically dragging my garlic-bread-loving husband along at this point. haha!
 
The first thing I do each week is look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan (I write down each night's meal on our family calendar) and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. 99% of the time if a meal that was planned for wasn't eaten it's automatically added to the next week's plan.


Inventory

4 portions ground sirloin
2 portions pork tenderloin
1 portions stew meat
3 portions bone-in chicken split breasts
5 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portion New York Strip Steaks
1 portion Large shrimp
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
4 portions pre-formed chicken patties for burgers
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions Brats

1 portion made-ahead lasagna

"Portions" for my family typically mean 1/2lb to 3/4lb of meat and it feeds all four of us at one meal. To keep my freezers organized and make things easier on myself, I divide up my bulk purchases into portions and label everything before freezing it. For example: meatloaf requires 1lb of ground beef where Goulash only requires 1/2lb so, I package 1lb of ground beef and write "meatloaf" on the outside of the bag to ensure I don't accidentally thaw out an entire pound of meat for a recipe where I only need half. You could also write "1lb" on the bag. 

Next, I shop my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List. As I mentioned above, I write down each night's meal on our calendar so, I look at it first to sort of rule out meals we've recently eaten to cut down on monotony. Then, I read the weekly and and look through the coupons and Just4U deals from Safeway via the iPhone app to see what is on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I came up with. I also jot down the price of things I plan to buy that I can frequently find cheaper at my local farmer's market (Dan's) or at Trader Joe's. On shopping day, I stop at Dan's first and buy whatever is cheaper than Safeway; next, I stop at Trader Joe's; and then, I purchase everything left on my list at Safeway. Lastly, I determine how I can stretch ingredients, specifically fresh produce and expensive items over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste. 

Weekly Meal Plan

Going gluten-free isn't for everyone and like I've said before, I'm not going to force my husband or child to give up their favorite, familiar foods; however, I am swapping out as much as I can for gluten-free alternatives. 

Goulash and a side salad
Using quinoa elbow pasta is a great way to incorporate gluten-free options into your family's favorite meals and this one is a great way to experiment with it! I purchased organic Romaine hearts ($3.47) for the salad and a small container of sour cream ($0.79), and an onion ($0.99/lb) in order to make the pasta. I have all the remaining ingredients I need on hand. This meal makes enough to feed all four of us with just 1/2lb ground turkey or sirloin plus a small portion as leftovers for me for lunch one day this week. Yea! I love when dinner ends up as leftovers!


Chicken fajitas with chips and guacamole
Cilantro was only $0.39/ea this week so I tried to incorporate it as much as possible this week. I use it in the marinade for my fajitas and in the guacamole. I had to purchase avocados ($0.99/ea) for the guacamole and will use some of the onion I purchased for the goulash. I also needed flour tortillas for David and Emily ($1.99) - I have corn tortillas in my freezer that I will eat. I will use some of the Romaine as a shredded topping for the fajitas and also purchased an organic tomato ($2.99/lb) to dice up and top my tacos. We'll marinate and grill about 3 portions of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and use 2 of those portions for lunches throughout the week. Neither David nor I like deli meats nor make sandwiches to eat for lunch.

Shrimp Alfredo and roasted asparagus with a side salad
Trying to mix up our weekly menus, I decided to try Pioneer Woman's Alfredo sauce this week. Large shrimp was only $6.99/lb, asparagus was $1.49 per bunch, heavy cream was $2.09, and quinoa thin spaghetti was $1.99. I'll serve a side salad with the pasta to use up most of the Romaine lettuce.

Sloppy Joe's with oven-fries
We haven't had a good ole sloppy Joe in a long time and Manwich was only $0.77, limit 4 this week so, I stocked up and also purchased a package of seedless buns ($0.99) for David and the kids. I plan to eat mine in a bowl, scooping it with corn chips, like walking tacos. YUM! I have a bag of frozen fries in the freezer I'll bake for them as well.

Leftovers

Vegetarian Pad Thai (I'm leaving out the meat this week!)
My favorite brown rice Pad Thai noodles were on another $1.00 Just4U coupon this week (only $2.19/each) so I stocked up and will make Pad Thai again this week. It makes so much and cost so little and it my very favorite leftover. There's barely a week that goes by that I don't make this meal! Although, I forgot I was out of ground turkey so, it will be vegetarian this week as I'll only use scrambled eggs. I'll use up the remaining cilantro in this meal as well.

Chicken Club Sandwiches
This may be the only time I'm NOT gluten-free this week because the one sandwich I do love is a club sandwich. I plan to fry up some chicken fingers and some bacon and layer them on the Texas Toast I have in my freezer with cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato three stories high! Although, I'll leave the third piece of bread OFF my sandwich, no need to over do it. :) We will have mixed fruit I'll cut up in bowls along side this meal.

What did I purchase this week?

I shopped at Costco first to ensure their prices were LESS than what I already knew Trader Joe's and Safeway's prices to be. And, as usual, they were!

I purchased:
  • Quaker granola bars 80ct, $8.99
  • Wheat Thins 40oz, $7.49
  • Cliff and Cliff Zbars for kids, $10.79/ea
  • French's & Dijon Mustard, $6.99
  • Organic ketch-up, $6.99
  • Raw almonds 3lbs, $15.39
  • Tillamook cheddar, $8.99
  • 2- 24ct eggs, $3.59/ea
  • Sara Lee 12ct hoagie rolls, $3.99
  • Mushrooms 20oz, $4.79
  • 60ct String cheese, $12.69
  • Organic maple syrup, $13.59
  • AA Duracell batteries, $12.49/ea
  • 4lbs pears, $4.79
  • 3lbs garlic bulbs, $3.79
  • 2lbs Organic strawberries, $5.99 - I only purchased one because they looked like they were on the verge of being over-ripe
  • 2- Organic raspberries 18oz, $6.99
  • 3lbs bananas, $1.89
  • 5lbs Organic Honeycrisp apples, $18.99

My last stop was Safeway where I purchased:
  • 5lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $2.99/lb
  • 1lb large shrimp, $6.99/lb
  • Deli ham, $4.99/lb
  • Pork breakfast sausage, $2.50
  • 3lbs Cuties, $3.99
  • Crumbled blue cheese, $2.99
  • Sour cream, $0.79
  • Frito's bean dip, $0.99
  • 2% milk, $4.89 - YIKES! Again, what in the world is up with the prices of milk?!?
  • Lemonade - FREE promo through Just4U
  • Balsamic vinegar, $16.99
  • La Victoria verde salsa, $3@$5
  • Heavy cream, $0.99
  • Star olive oils, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Kettlecorn popcorn, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Star anchovies, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Fruit rolls, 2@$1
  • Quinoa spaghetti, $1.99
  • Brown rice Pad Thai noodles, $2.19
  • Hershey's chocolate syrup, $3.49 plus $0.50 off coupon
  • Tillamook greek yogurt, 10@$10 plus $1.00 off every 5 coupons
  • Safeway seasoned canned whole beans, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Rotel, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Safeway Cream of __ soups, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Organics canned whole kernal corn, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Hamburger buns, $0.99
  • Organic apricot preserves, $1.49 plus $0.50 coupon
  • Jell-O pudding, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Bell pepper, $.50
  • Organic tomato, $2.99/lb
  • Seedless grapes, $1.99/lb
  • Fresh green beans, $0.79/lb
  • Organic salsa varities, $1.00 - reduce for some reason, I bought 5!
  • Organic Romaine hearts, $3.47
  • 2lbs carrots, $2.00
  • Frozen steamers vegetables, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Frozen Grand's biscuits, $2.99 - not worth my time to make them for the kids
  • Chex cereal, $3.99 plus $1.00 Just4U coupon
  • Frito's corn chips, $1.99
  • 2lbs organic strawberries, $5.00 - I got the last one!
  • Blueberries, $2.00/ea
  • Blackberries, $2.00/ea
  • Asparagus, $1.49/ea
  • Avocados, $0.99/ea
  • Cilantro, $0.39
  • 20ct Tortillas, $1.99
  • Sandwhich bread, $1.99
  • Onion, $0.99/lb
I spent just over $175 for all that food! So many BOGO deals and reduced prices I stocked up on to really take advantage of the deals.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

13 Things I love MOST about our new house #thursdaythirteen #homeiswheretheheartis #motherhood

We moved from our beloved 1,192sq.ft. Craftsman bungalow almost two years ago because the opportunity came up (finally!) for us to rent a bigger house with a huge lot.

I miss that house {the neighbors!} more than I could ever truly express in written word; however, there are so many positives about the house we moved into.

Here are the 13 things I love MOST about our new house:

All brand new, double-paned, screened windows
There's nothing better than the ability to fling open the windows on gorgeous, warm days, and NOT worry a child or pet might fall {jump} out! They also keep our home super warm and energy efficient, which has saved us hundreds since we moved. These 100-year old homes are lathe & plaster, translation: zero insulation, so anything you can do to keep the heat IN is necessary.

Nearly 1,900sq.ft.
We not only gained another bedroom and another bathroom in this house but we also gained a foyer, eat-in kitchen, laundry room, and a play room. We actually have space to play and share and be alone when you want some quiet time! It's also a great house to entertain in because the house is split lengthwise with all the bedrooms and bathrooms on the leftside {easy for the kids to sleep while the adults party} and all the common rooms on the right side. The rooms flow straight back into each other without any doors separating the spaces. I really love the easy flow!

Before we ordered our new living room furniture, the living room was where we put together all the other furniture the week we moved in.

A backyard
We had a sidewalk fenced around three sides of our old house. Literally, a sidewalk! You could touch the side of our house and the fence with your arms outstretched. We had no room for a sandbox, water table, nor a table and chairs to eat dinner outside. We basically just stored the trash cans and water hose out there. Here, we have a paved side courtyard that runs the length of the house where I have a Potter's shed, trash can storage, and a dedicated space for smoking meats that includes storage for all the wood, charcoal, and BBQ tools that leads to an 8-piece outdoor dining table and 4-piece outdoor lounge furniture where we have a fire pit. We also have an organic garden that is approximately 100sq.ft. and a grassy area in the middle of it all where we have a swing set and slide combo. We have a trampoline, sandbox, water table, chalkboard, picnic table, and basket ball goal. The kids LIVE out there almost all year-round. And we love to entertain every 4th of July. We host every birthday party here, we eat dinner outside almost all summer, and we grill every weekend. I love to sit out there during nap time with a book. It's probably my favorite feature.

Gram and Emily relaxing on the patio furniture we purchased the weekend we moved in. This paved patio runs the length of the house from the back fence all the way to the sidewalk in front of the house
 
This is the grassy area that houses our swingset/slide and my Organic garden. It hadn't been tended to or mowed in months when we moved in. It was A LOT of work to beautify it.

Two bathrooms
If you've never had to share one bathroom with four family members you might not get just how much of a deal-breaker this one might be. Enough said.

Dimable light fixtures
In every single room and bed room plus the Master bathroom, all the light fixtures are dimable. Controlling the lighting without changing light bulbs is really cool.

Laundry room. Hell, just indoor laundry!
With homes built before modern electricity and washing machines, it's extremely rare to find one that has had the plumbing moved so that the washer and dryer are IN the home. Our last house and every home friends of ours lives in had the laundry plumbed into the garage. Which really isn't a functional garage because, again, the age of these homes was around the time of the ModelT which was incredible narrow and short, but that's another item on my list. A Smartcar is about the only vehicle that fits into the "garages" around here. In this house, we have an actual laundry room that sits between the kid's bedrooms and the Master bedroom.

The washer and dryer is located in the hallway between the Master Bedroom (shown) and the hallway bathroom and Emily's bedroom. It's so convenient!

An attached "garage"
Like I mentioned above, a garage around here is NOT at all what you think. It's NOT for a car. It's basically just a storage space. The best part about the garage in this house is that it's an attached garage and there's direct access to it from the hallway off the formal living room. We walk down into the garage and load up the stroller, buggy, or wagon and open the garage door to walk right out to go pick up Emily from school or to spend the afternoon at a local park. It's the best on rainy days as we go in and out through the garage and leave our wet raincoats, boots and umbrellas down there, coming upstairs completely dry. We store all our "extras" from bulk grocery shopping down there and it also acts as our workout room and David's man cave, where he paints and sculpts. There's great light down there!

A great working fireplace
We spend most of our time watching movies in the formal living room (the only family room with a TV) so, it's nice of our colder Fall and Winter evenings to warm up next to a roaring fire. It also keeps the gas bill down (our central heat runs on gas) as it takes a lot of energy to heat this house!

 
 We spent several weeks around Christmas just like this!

The Playroom
It's 300sq.ft., carpeted, has beadboard, and a huge picture window that looks out over the backyard. It was where Nolan learned to walk and where the kids play endlessly with their train set and Magnatiles. It's unorganized and often a huge mess of scattered toys but it's the perfect place for that. It's off the kitchen, like a family room would be in an open floor plan, so I can interact with them while cooking, baking, or cleaning the kitchen. It also keeps the kids out of our formal living room where our nicer furniture is. :)

This view is from the kitchen looking INTO the Playroom - see the toys?!? And that large picture window that looks out over the entire back yard.

CLOSETS
What we had in our old house didn't really qualify as "closet space" which was two small 2sq.ft. spaces with doors on them in which to hang things. In this house, there's a huge, deep closet in every room (not exactly walk in), a closet in the foyer, and a linen closet outside one of the bathrooms. All our stuff has a home.

Hardwood floors
Other than the carpeted play room and the tiles kitchen and bathrooms, this house has the original, matchstick oak hardwood floors throughout. They are so easy to sweep and mop with kids and a cat and, while not as warm as carpet, they are beautiful!

 This is a great view of the floors that run through the majority of the house. This is our formal dining room, between the living room and kitchen. You can also see the great, new windows!

Sprinkler system
We have a lot of yard. Front yard and landscaping, side yard, backyard, grass, an organic garden. Hand-watering would be a full time job! I love that we have an electronic sprinkler system we can set to run daily, every other day, while we are on vacation. We just set it and forget it and everything stays gorgeous!

Location
This is probably #1 on my list. We are further away from the main bridges that are always clogged with traffic and are closer to the main downtown strip of restaurants, shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, cafes, post office, banks, toy stores, bars, and the beach. We walk everywhere every day! We are also just a block from Emily's school which is so fantastic because we no longer have to worry about parking at drop off and pick up every day. We have great neighbors and none of them have dogs!

The beach. We spend a lot of time at the beach, especially when the temperature outside gets above 77!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nolan: 2yrs 9mos and really talking now! #tuesdaytoddlertales #kids #toddlers #motherhood #parenting

Nolan is growing and developing so fast, it's hard to keep up, which is why I do these Tuesday Toddler Tales memes almost every week - I want these memories documented before I forget everything!

Random things Nolan says every single day, clearly and accurately include but are not limited to {my brain is shot!} the following:

Oh no, my helmet/hat fell off!

I go to school, too!

No basket/stroller, I hold your hand

I sit, I eat

Please and Thank you

What was that?

Did you hear that?

I heard the trashman!

I hear an ambulance/firetruck

I make a call, I call Gee-ma

A banana/apple/pear/snack/bar/cheesestick, please!

Yeah, I think so!

No, no thanks

Where is Da-da/mommy/Bap (he calls Emily bap)? Bap, where are you?!?

Hmmm... let's see!

I read, I read this book. Read this again.

More, please

I give you a hug

Oooohhhh, man!!! (like you would say "oh, crap")

I fall asleep. I go to bed. - he regularly will ask to go take a nap or go to bed earlier than schedule

I go home - this is a brand new one for us. When out places, I think he gets bored or overwhelmed and tired and tells me he wants to go home. He will grab my hand and pull me to the door or find our Bob jogging stroller and go sit in it, signaling me it's time to walk home. Beyond adorable and reminds me of the stories my parents still tell us about Aunt Jenny behaving the exact same way. :)

Cut my piggies - he loves having his toenails trimmed especially if I trim Bap's first

I watch a show - his way of asking to watch television. He will name "Cat in the Hat", "Thomas", "Micky Mouse", "Wild Kratts" as well and knows if you don't turn it to the correct show.

Vroom vroom! He loves to make the noises of his favorite toy cars

He gasps and says "I saw a ____" and lately it's been a butterfly, helicopter, airplane, motorcycle, bumble bee, police man, trashman, and race car.

My butt hurts - my poor baby, his eczema and diaper rash is out of control and he regularly tells us when he has pain from urine or poop.

I PLAY BASEBALL!!! - he shouts this, daily and loves to wear Emily's old glove and toss a wiffle ball back and forth. He's so athletic, we are amazed at his many talents!

I know I'm forgetting so much; however, these really illustrate his recent language explosion, stringing several words together to form coherent sentences proclaiming exactly what he wants and thinks. It's amazing when they approach three years old and really begin to communicate!

Monday, March 17, 2014

3/15 thru 3/21 #mealplanning for a nearly #glutenfree family on about $100 per week. #Family #cooking #kids #parenting

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the topin order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find also find a link to a detailed example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step. I perform the same steps every week as I have outlined below.


THIS WEEK:
Are you following me along in my gluten-free healthy lifestyle journey? If not, I encourage you to read it HERE as it will effect my meal planning, though not by much surprisingly. :)

I'm still cooking my family's favorite meals, I'm simply substituting gluten-free and/or healthier options in place of those wheat products that contain gluten. I've been reading the book Wheat Belly along with assessing my own health and have decided that a gluten-free life is really what's best for me and my family. I'm doing my best to get my whole family involved though I'm practically dragging my garlic-bread-loving husband along at this point. haha!
 
The first thing I do each week is look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan (I write down each night's meal on our family calendar) and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. 99% of the time if a meal that was planned for wasn't eaten it's automatically added to the next week's plan.


Inventory

1 portions ground sirloin
2 portions pork tenderloin
1 portions stew meat
3 portions ground turkey
10 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions Brats

2 portions pork shoulder (1 portion for Staff Appreciation lunch!)

"Portions" for my family typically mean 1/2lb to 3/4lb of meat and it feeds all four of us at one meal. To keep my freezers organized and make things easier on myself, I divide up my bulk purchases into portions and label everything before freezing it. For example: meatloaf requires 1lb of ground beef where Goulash only requires 1/2lb so, I package 1lb of ground beef and write "meatloaf" on the outside of the bag to ensure I don't accidentally thaw out an entire pound of meat for a recipe where I only need half. You could also write "1lb" on the bag. 

Next, I shop my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List. As I mentioned above, I write down each night's meal on our calendar so, I look at it first to sort of rule out meals we've recently eaten to cut down on monotony. Then, I read the weekly and and look through the coupons and Just4U deals from Safeway via the iPhone app to see what is on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I came up with. I also jot down the price of things I plan to buy that I can frequently find cheaper at my local farmer's market (Dan's) or at Trader Joe's. On shopping day, I stop at Dan's first and buy whatever is cheaper than Safeway; next, I stop at Trader Joe's; and then, I purchase everything left on my list at Safeway. Lastly, I determine how I can stretch ingredients, specifically fresh produce and expensive items over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste. 

Weekly Meal Plan

Going gluten-free isn't for everyone and like I've said before, I'm not going to force my husband or child to give up their favorite, familiar foods; however, I am swapping out as much as I can for gluten-free alternatives. 

BBQ chicken pizza
This meal will be gluten-free for me as I will simply melt come cheddar over my grilled chicken breast and top with sliced green onion, crumbled bacon, and fresh pineapple. YUM!! I'll have steamed veggies from my freezer on the side. For David, I'll roll out some of the pizza dough I have in my freezer, slather on some BBQ sauce and top with the same ingredients, all of which I have on hand leftover from last week. Easy! And this meal cost me nothing this week. :)


Chili over polenta and a side salad
For an easy, hearty, weeknight meal, I plan to thaw one portion of my made-ahead brisket chili and serve it over freshly prepared cheesy polenta. I'm drooling just typing this as it's just that good! I purchased Romaine hearts (2@$5) to make the side salad, I have all the other ingredients on hand.


Crispy turkey tacos with Spanish rice and chips with queso
I'll use half a package of ground turkey, browning it with minced sweet onion and fresh garlic, and stuff it inside crispy corn taco shells {gluten-free}. Then, I'll top them with taco sauce, shredded Romaine lettuce, Mexican-style shredded cheese and chopped organic tomatoes (purchased today at $1.99/lb). I have Rotel and Velveeta, fresh limes, ground cumin, and leftover cilantro to make queso and a bag of tortilla chips for an easy side. If I can find the time, I'll also make Spanish rice with the brown rice, sweet onion, garlic, tomato paste, broth, and ground dried oregano I have on hand.

Leftovers


Crockpot shredded BBQ chicken sliders with oven-baked fries
David absolutely loves this meal especially when I make the brioche miniature burger buns from scratch. I have all the ingredients on hand for the home-made sauce the chicken cooks in all day but was running low on boneless, skinless chicken breasts so, I purchased 4, 4lb bags at only $1.99/lb today to use for the upcoming Staff Appreciation luncheon and to refill my freezer stash! I have dill pickle ovals and frozen fries in my freezer for a quick side dish of oven-baked fries.


Turkey Mac (my version of Hamburger Helper!) and a side salad
Who doesn't like Hamburger Helper? One pan, 20 minutes and dinner is DONE. It's just not so healthy! I make my own version (with just three ingredients!) of Cheeseburger Helper with gluten-free quinoa elbow noodles. I'll use the rest of the Romaine lettuce and the home-made herb viniagrette dressing in a side salad for this meal. So, this meal also didn't cost me a thing this week - I could've left out the salad and used frozen veggies.

Orange chicken with snow peas over brown rice
We love this meal so much, it's only the recent warm weather that's kept it off the menu! I'll saute fresh snow peas ($2.99) in addition to the chicken and serve the whole thing over steamed brown rice. Delicious and so easy!

What did I purchase?


I spent just over $110.00 today at Safeway to take advantage of some great deals and restock my freezer including:


  • 4, 4lb bags of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, $1.99/lb
  • Cuties, $5.99
  • Milk, $4.59 - that's 3 weeks in a row of it being $1.50 higher than usual
  • 2, organic Flaxseed frozen waffles - our favorite that finally came back to Safeway - on sale only $2.69/ea
  • Oscar Meyer bacon, $3.99 on Just4U special - we eat a TON of bacon for breakfast and in meals
  • 2, French bread loaves, on clearance $1.67 - David loves garlic bread with pasta & soup
  • Banana Boat sunscreen for kids, $10.99 {ouch!} - spending the weekend at our beach and we'll need it
  • Half & Half, $3.49 on Just4U
  • Green Giant Steamers frozen vegetables, 3@$5
  • Bananas, $0.59/lb
  • French toast bread, $2.00 - the kids LOVE french toast and the gluten-free bread was a total flop!
  • 5, Tillamook greek yogurt, $5@$5 plus $1.00 off 5 Just4U
  • 2, Dreyer's ice cream, $2.88/ea
  • Pears, $0.99/lb
  • Honeycrisp apples, $2.99/lb
  • Romaine hearts, $2.50
  • Organic tomato, $1.99/lb
  • Seedless red grapes, $1.88/lb
  • Snow peas, $2.99

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two #kids Two scooters and a gorgeous sunny day = an afternoon of fun! #motherhood #toddlers #parenting #wordlesswednesday


Losing the #wheatbelly - Day 33: Day 2: Level 1 of The 30-day Shred Challenge #30dayshred #letsdothis

Are you interested in following me in my journey to lead a more healthy, gluten-free lifestyle?

Read about my journey HERE or simply click on my newest page above: Losing the Wheat Belly!

And click on the link --------> over there to follow my SparkPeople blog where I'm documenting every bite of food I put in my mouth and how each day has gone. I will post updates here as well as new recipes, my weight-loss results, and any {I mean ALL} challenges I face along the way but for the daily nitty-gritty, you'll want to read my SparkPeople blog. I don't want to complete take over Not Your Mama's Martha! with this one part of my life.

My current challenge is to do The 30-Day Shred DVD by Jillian Michael's every single day for 30 days; however, it's taken me over two weeks to find the time in my schedule to workout every day. And to loose all the excuses.

I set this goal over two weeks ago in THIS post.

Yesterday was Day 2:

Oh gosh, I take it all back: Day 2 IS THE HARDEST DAY!!!

Let me tell you how "the day after" The 30-Day Shred went for me today:

I was so sore, I could barely sleep. Every time I rolled over hell, every time I moved a muscle, I winced in pain.

I was exhausted all day, it was all I could do just to stay off the couch!

I had a really hard time squatting down to put the baby's shoes on, pick up toys, and pee!

It took everything I had to feed and bathe the kids as my body SCREAMED for a soak in a hot bath.

And then, once the kids were in bed at 7:30pm, I begrudgingly laced up my kicks, pulled my hair back, filled my water bottle, and pushed "play" on my Blue Ray player to endure yet another day on Level 1 of The 30-Day Shred.

I have a horrid rug burn on my knees from the pushups. Note to self: lay down a towel over our wool rug.

Tears fell from my eyes with each push up. I wish I were kidding.

It actually hurt to breath that hard in order to keep up!

But I DID IT!

I actually made it 100% of the way through the push-ups but could only muster the quad strength to get about 50% of the way through the squat-and-press. I did ALL the cardio though it burned and the butt kicks really hurt my quads. During the punches I was punching AT Jillian. Seriously!

And I must confess the worst part of all: getting down on the ground to do the ab work and then, getting back up. There's no way to do it without pain in my chest, arms and legs. And forget grace. Thank goodness no one could see me.

Once done, I did get that amazing soak in the tub and then, a freezing cold shower to cool down.

To end my day, I had a chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle, courtesy of my amazing husband, with The Real Housewives of New York in the background. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

3/8 thru 3/14 #mealplanning what do you eat when you are #glutenfree and #losingthewheatbelly ? Come in and I'll tell you! #cooking #kids #motherhood

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the topin order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find also find a link to a detailed example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step. I perform the same steps every week as I have outlined below.


THIS WEEK:
Are you following me along in my gluten-free healthy lifestyle journey? If not, I encourage you to read it HERE as it will effect my meal planning, though not by much surprisingly. :)

I'm still cooking my family's favorite meals, I'm simply substituting gluten-free and/or healthier options in place of those wheat products that contain gluten. I've been reading the book Wheat Belly along with assessing my own health and have decided that a gluten-free life is really what's best for me and my family. I'm doing my best to get my whole family involved though I'm practically dragging my garlic-bread-loving husband along at this point. haha!
 
The first thing I do each week is look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan (I write down each night's meal on our family calendar) and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. 99% of the time if a meal that was planned for wasn't eaten it's automatically added to the next week's plan.


Inventory

1 portions ground sirloin
2 portions pork tenderloin
1 portions stew meat
5 portions ground turkey
11 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions Brats

1 portion Italian sausage

"Portions" for my family typically mean 1/2lb to 3/4lb of meat and it feeds all four of us at one meal. To keep my freezers organized and make things easier on myself, I divide up my bulk purchases into portions and label everything before freezing it. For example: meatloaf requires 1lb of ground beef where Goulash only requires 1/2lb so, I package 1lb of ground beef and write "meatloaf" on the outside of the bag to ensure I don't accidentally thaw out an entire pound of meat for a recipe where I only need half. You could also write "1lb" on the bag. 

Next, I shop my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List. As I mentioned above, I write down each night's meal on our calendar so, I look at it first to sort of rule out meals we've recently eaten to cut down on monotony. Then, I read the weekly and and look through the coupons and Just4U deals from Safeway via the iPhone app to see what is on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I came up with. I also jot down the price of things I plan to buy that I can frequently find cheaper at my local farmer's market (Dan's) or at Trader Joe's. On shopping day, I stop at Dan's first and buy whatever is cheaper than Safeway; next, I stop at Trader Joe's; and then, I purchase everything left on my list at Safeway. Lastly, I determine how I can stretch ingredients, specifically fresh produce and expensive items over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste. 

Weekly Meal Plan

Going gluten-free isn't for everyone and like I've said before, I'm not going to force my husband or child to give up their favorite, familiar foods; however, I am swapping out as much as I can for gluten-free alternatives. 


Peach-BBQ glazed chicken with gluten-free macaroni 'n cheese and grilled asparagus
I saw asparagus was only $0.99/lb and just had to have it grilled alongside a meal this week. With apricot preserves and BBQ sauce in my fridge, glazed chicken breasts came to mind and nothing goes better with grilled chicken than macaroni 'n cheese! I have boxes of gluten-free quinoa elbow noodles in my pantry and a fridge full of cheeses so, I'll whip up the cheese sauce with my gluten-free all purpose flour so it will truly be gluten-free!

Pad Thai
There aren't many weeks that go by that this meal doesn't appear on our menu - it's just that good, easy, and gluten-free! I have brown rice noodles, all the ingredients to make the sauce, roasted peanuts, and will use 90% egg whites and 10% ground turkey. I only needed to purchase limes (3@$1) and cilantro ($0.49).

Calzones - hold the pizza dough for me!
I have frozen pizza dough in the freezer plus Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, onion and garlic so I can easily whip up calzones for a busy weeknight. I will only make a calzone for David and I'll have my Italian sausage sauteed whole and serve it next to leftover gluten-free macaroni 'n cheese and grilled asparagus. I love leftovers and someone needs to eat them so they don't go to waste! I did need to purchase marinara sauce, which I got from Costco for $6.99 for 3 jars.

Leftovers

Gluten-free Goulash and a salad with herb vinaigrette
Needing to use up the remaining package of ground turkey and leftover organic Romaine lettuce, I thought of this meal. I have tomato sauce, all the spices, onion and garlic, sour cream, and a box of gluten-free quinoa elbows. I also have croutons and dried cherries to serve on our salad.

BRINNER
David loves breakfast for dinner and I actually do, too as it's super easy to throw together in a casserole and just bake for 40 minutes. I'll do a hash brown, egg, bacon, cheddar casserole this week. I scored eggs at Costco for only $3.59 for 24ct.

Gluten-free Chicken Parmesan and a salad with herb vinaigrette
By now, you know I HATE WASTE so, needing to use up the rest of the jar of marinara sauce (it doesn't keep as well or as long as you'd think!) and the last of the organic Romaine and dressing I made, I decided to make this meal. I will use my gluten-free all purpose flour to dredge the chicken and will pan fry it in butter before dolloping on marinara sauce and thick slices of fresh mozzarella I have in my fridge. I'll serve a salad to go with it.

What did I purchase?

Between Costco and Safeway, I spent $158.90.

This doesn't include some of the items above that I purchased for upcoming PTA functions and Staff Luncheons which were: pork shoulder, quiche, Jarlsburg cheese, half 'n half, and 12pk Pellegrino.

I purchased the following things at Costco:
  • Honey nut Gluten-free Chex 2pk, $4.99
  • 2 - 24ct eggs, $3.59
  • 8lbs organic Fuji apples, $7.99
  • 3pk Marinara sauce, $6.99
  • 2 - 3pk Dove bodywash, $6.99
  • Cliff and Kidz bars, $10.99 each
  • 60ct. Cheesesticks, $10.99
  • 32oz organic maple syrup, $13.99 
  • 18oz blackberries, $3.99
  • 18oz blueberries, $5.99
I purchased the following things at Safeway:
  •  6pk Lucerne yogurt, $2.19
  • 2% milk, $4.59 - WHAT THE HELL, why is milk so expensive this week?!?
  • 2lbs carrots, $1.50
  • Danimals smoothies 2@$4
  • Pizza dough, $0.99
  • Limes, 3@$1
  • Bananas, $0.59/lb
  • Tostitos tortilla chips, 2@$5
  • Campbells Tomato soup, 4@$3
  • 2 - Texas toast loaves, $2.00
  • Seedless grapes, $1.99/lb
  • Organic strawberries, $3.99
  • Raspberries, $2.99
  • Pears, $1.49/lb
  • Deli ham, $3.99/lb