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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

$65 a Week Challenge, Week 5

 Welcome to week 5 of my $65 a week challenge!  To read how and why I'm doing this, you can read week one's post, here.

The first week of a new month always brings new promise, and this month is my birthday month, which is always more fun!  I did my weekly shopping on Monday this week, right before we got a nice layer of snow on the ground.  I'm not the fondest of driving in the snow, so I was especially happy that I did my shopping yesterday when I woke up this morning. 

 I've been trying to be a bit more strict with what I've been eating and trying not to think too much about it.  Since we're going to Disneyland in late April, I want to be comfortable walking around the parks for 3 days straight, so I've been eating a bit differently lately.  I swear, I'm the queen of always eating a different diet.  Whatever...  I guess I get bored with things and need to change it up?  So, I've been eating Special K in the mornings with fat free milk and fruit and then vegetable soup for lunch and a regular dinner.  I'll eat a couple of snacks during the day, either yogurt, fruit or a protein shake, usually trying to keep it around 100-150 calories for snacks.  So, the things I've been making and buying are a bit different, but that's okay.  

Here's what I bought for this week's groceries:
2 boxes Special K, 4 gallons milk, 3 two liter sodas, 14 yoplait yogurts, 2 boxes sugar free jello, 2 boxes sugar free pudding, 2 bottles taco bell hot sauce, 1 box graham crackers, 
1 bottle peanuts, 3 packages cheese, Nature's Season, 2 avocados, 1.4 lbs roma tomatoes, 2 lbs strawberries, 1 package mini pepperoni, 1 tub light cool whip, 3 lbs halo mandarin oranges, 1 package mini marshmallows, 1 package sugar snap peas, 1 bunch bananas, 3 lbs apples, 1 package mushrooms, 1 head cabbage, 1 bunch asparagus, 8 oz light sour cream, 2 lbs carrots, 12 oz package bologna, 2 zucchinis and 2 dozen eggs.

I have been shopping at Walmart for the past few trips and have been plugging in my receipt into their Savings Catcher  which scans your receipt to see if there was a lower price on anything at local stores.  I racked up a whopping $5.54, which I redeemed for a gift card and took that in to use on some of my groceries.  I also checked and Kellogg's Family Rewards before leaving my house and found a few coupons that I used.  I had also heard on a money saving facebook page that Albertson's had asparagus on sale his week for .98 cents a pound.  I forgot to check the ad before I left, but the cashier still let me price match! 

My total spent out of pocket for all of the groceries pictured above was $69.20

I guess I got a little carried away with my coupons and whatnot and wasn't paying as close of attention as I should have been.  Oh well.  Since my monthly budget is $275, it actually leaves me with a little more than $65 a week, more like $68.75 a week.  In the end, everything will even itself out and $69.20 is much better than I was doing.  

Here's What I've been cooking this past week:

On Saturday I roasted a turkey that someone gave us around Thanksgiving time.  I injected it with some Creole Butter that my husband got from his work for free.  I then roasted it according to the turkey wrapper directions.  

This gave us lots of leftovers, which I love!  On Sunday night, I made an enchilada casserole, that I forgot to get a picture of.  I made the enchilada sauce homemade.  I found a recipe on Pinterest that we like, but of course I've tweaked it a little.  You can find the original recipe over at Gimme some Oven.  I basically make it the same way, but substitute one of the cups of chicken broth for 8 oz of tomato sauce.  This give me the traditional enchilada sauce flavor that I was looking for. I've made this recipe a few times and we really like it!

Last night I made roasted broccoli and a creamy gnocchi bake.  I created this recipe myself and I'll be sharing that with you soon, so come back and check for that!

Right now, as I type this, I'm using up the rest of the leftover turkey, making two big pots of soup.  One is a traditional turkey noodle and the other is a variation of this recipe, with turkey added.  I also have whole wheat rolls rising.  If those turn out well, I'll share that recipe later this week!

Another thing I made today are these Faux Ice Cream Sandwiches.  They are a great low calorie sweet treat that helps with my sweet tooth.  To make these I mixed together 1 key lime yolpait yogurt and about 1/3 of a tub of light cool whip.  I then put a spoonful of the mixture between graham cracker halves.  Then wrapped them up in plastic wrap and froze them.  Now they are in the freezer waiting for a late night snack!  You could use any flavor yogurt and any variety of graham crackers to mix it up.  I'll be looking for chocolate graham crackers next time I'm in the store.  I didn't find them at walmart yesterdy.  

Early last week I made a big pot of Weight Watchers Zero Point Soup.  I don't really follow a recipe, but that one is similar.  I just throw in whatever veggies I have in the fridge and then cook until tender.  I also added a can of kidney beans for more protein.  This has provided me with a week's worth of lunch!  I actually just ate my last bowl of this soup for lunch today.  This week I'll be eating the soup I spoke of earlier and when that runs out I'll make another type.  Soups that are low calorie are always a good option for a quick lunch.  

So, there you have it.  That's what's been cooking at my house!  
What did you cook this past week?  
Were you able to stick to your grocery budget this week?