June Grocery Challenge Results!

4 Jul

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

For the month of June I’ve been trying to keep my food groceries under $250. Here’s my results along with my non-food grocery results and eating out results for the month of June.

Food groceries:

  • goal $250
  • actually spent $253.10

Non-food groceries (shampoo, diapers for Gracia to sleep in, toilet paper, etc…)

  • goal $40
  • actually spent $36.79

Eating out (this counts any food bought at restaurants, convenient stores or gas stations)

  • goal $100
  • actually spent $119.87

I think I’m going to keep trying to keep our grocery bill around $250, which is exciting to me as I look back at my 2009 and 2010 records and see when we were spending $300-$360 on groceries! I think part of the change has been moving to a bigger town with more options for grocery stores. The town we were in before had pretty high grocery prices. And part of the change has also been the various strategies I’ve been trying to use to tackle our grocery budget.

I was actually under in the non-food groceries! 🙂

The eating out is the area I’m the least pleased with, because we went the most over in it and it’s an unnecessary thing. But when I look back at how much we’ve spent in months past in eating out it’s a lot less, so at least it’s an improvement! 🙂

Anybody else out there working on decreasing their grocery budget? How are you doing at it?

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Whole Wheat Honey Carrot Cake

2 Jul

Today is my amazing husband’s birthday! And every year he asks for the same kind of cake, honey carrot cake. It only uses honey as the sweetener, no sugar, and has some whole wheat flour in it, plus it’s got carrots, so it’s a healthier birthday cake. When he was a boy his mom always made it for him. So I thought I’d share the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • Nuts and raisins optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour one 13 by 9 in. pan or two 8 or 9 in. pans. (I did two small pans, and instead of stacking them later, just left them separate).

Beat honey, oil and eggs.

Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla and salt.

Then add carrots, raisins and nuts. I just LOVE the bright orange color of the carrots! Pour into pan or pans and bake 30-40 minutes. Once cooled, ice it. Here’s what I used for my honey icing (sorry I didn’t measure the ingredeints):

  • Cream cheese (softened)
  • Honey
  • Butter (softened)
  • Milk

And in case you’re wondering, no Cameron did not turn 7. I didn’t have 28 candles, so I just made them into a “C” shape. Not quite as exciting as Gracia’s butterfly cake.

Unfrugal Photo Friday – Food Waste

1 Jul

Today instead of a Frugal Photo Friday, I have an UNfrugal photo, actually two. They’re both of some wasted food.

Sour Cream that was left out of the fridge way to long, veggie soup that I got tired of eating as a leftover so I just kept ignoring it, and some leftover oatmeal of Gracia’s that I put in the fridge thinking I could give it to her later and forgot.

And these apples are also Gracia’s. I thought if I put them in a bag in the fridge I could cut off any spots she bit into and use the rest in apple muffins or something…but as you can see they’re not yummy apple muffins, they’re still just half eaten brown apples.

The Frugal Girl every Friday posts pictures of food she’s wasted. Her reason is to help her not waste as much. I’ve thought about doing that, but been putting it off, mostly because I’m scared I’ll be too ashamed of all my wasted food, but then again maybe that shame will encourage me to not waste so much!! So I’m going to try really hard not to waste much this month and to share my results you all (not necessarily on Fridays though). I have to remind myself that wasting food isn’t just plain wasteful, it’s also like throwing money in the trash. After all the food I throw away was bought with money, and I claim to be frugal. I guess I should take my own advice on how to not have so much wasted food.

Poll: Eating Out

30 Jun

I don’t have much time today. I’m starting my July grocery shopping a day early. Next week I’ll share my June Challenge results, and my groceries and menu for the next 2 weeks. So since I don’t have much time, I’m just gonna do another poll today!

Salmon Patties

29 Jun

Salmon Patty Sandwich

Fish is a healthy protein, but it can be pretty pricey too. This recipe uses canned salmon, which is very affordable. It’s a great source of Omega-3 and it’s low in mercury (for more info on mercury in fish go here). A lot of cans of salmon have a salmon patty recipe on them, I use the can’s recipe and tweak it a little. Here’s my tweaked version:

  • 1 (14.75 oz.) can of salmon
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • lemon pepper (or any seasoning you like)
  • oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients except the oil. Form into patties (I usually get 3 large patties out of one can). Heat up a small amount of oil in a pan then cook the patties in it. Once the patties are golden brown on the bottom, flip and cook on the other side.

You can eat these just as is, on top of a salad or as a sandwich (that’s our favorite way).

Facebook Mess Up and New Page

28 Jun

So…I’m not the smartest when it comes to computers and all that…I recently made a facebook account for my blog…only to realize that I made it as a person, and the other blogs that have facebooks have it as a PAGE. So here’s a link to my new facebook PAGE, I’m going to get rid of the other account. Sorry about any confusion.

Make Your Own Postcards

28 Jun

I mentioned that I’ve been wanting to make and use my own postcards, and now I’ve FINALLY done it!

Making your own postcards can save you money in 2 ways:

  1. They’re a cheap alternative to a card. Even if you already make  your own cards, postcards use half the amount of paper, and no envelopes necessary.
  2. They’re cheaper to mail. It costs $.44 to mail a regular letter, and only $.29 to mail a postcard, saving you $.15. That’s not a lot of difference, but if you mail out a lot of letters it can add up.

When I made my postcards I just used a regular postcard I already had to see how big to cut mine. I used card stock  paper, so it would be thick enough. And of course leave the back blank for writing your note and the address. And if you’re more creative and patient than me, your postcards can look way cuter than mine!

If you want to save even more, Amy Dacyczyn’s The Complete Tightwad Gazette recommends cutting the front picture part off of old cards you’ve received and using that as a post card.