Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Garden is In.....

Last weekend was a long holiday weekend.  We really wanted to get the garden in.  This is the third year we will have a vegetable garden in the back corner of our yard.  The first year was wonderful.  The second year....not so much.  The kids really like it.  They love checking on the progress.  I think they are even more inclined to eat the stuff that comes out of the back yard.  (Like kid #1 and his dislike of all green beans, except garden ones.)  I like the idea of fresh veggies in the backyard. 

My DH and Kid #1 do all the prep work.  They get the soil ready and the rows set.  The girls and I do the planting.  (For the sake of marital peace, DH has done a fair amount of planting outside the garden space.)

These rainbow cages make me ridiculously happy.  I can't wait for all those tomatoes.  We have several varieties: regular and heirloom, red, yellow and purple, regular sized, cherry and plum.

We have a raised bed just outside the garden.  We fill it with herbs (and a few berries!)  It is fun for the girls to smell all of the different herbs.  They help me dry them.  They have even have tried a few too.

The raised bed is also the perfect place for Kid #2 to work.  Her wheelchair does not work in the garden.  She loves that Rubbermaid Garden Bench.  It comes in handy.

We hung cute little buckets on the fence from a school fund raiser.  Kid #4 planted flowers in them.  Is she rocking the garden attire or what?

We transplanted hostas from a friend.  Kid #3 did all the heavy lifting.  She looks happy, right?

All and all it was a good weekend.  I enjoyed being outside and getting the work done.

From This Mom,


Saturday, May 30, 2015

I Spent $550 at Costco On Purpose

My favorite soup and Costco splurge.
I went to Costco and did some shopping.  Our cupboards were getting bare and I wasn't able to meal plan.  I put it off as long as I could because I have been spoiled by the online shopping service our local grocery store offers.  I also have been working on getting cleaner options for our family.  I heard that there were lots of healthy options at Costco.  I was shocked at the number of organic and gluten free options at Costco.  I did by a few toiletry items that were on the list as well.  (Do you know how much toilet paper my family uses? TMI?)

Not organic, but better than conventional

Fact of the matter is I have 4 kids and they are getting to the point where they eat A LOT.  I roast 2 chickens for one meal, boil one dozen eggs a week, cook 2 lbs of meat of tacos, open 2 packages of hot dogs, and a half gallon of milk every three days.

The Udi's at our grocery store are tiny loaves.  Kid #1 would sometimes need 2 sandwiches.  These are big!

There are also some things I can not get anywhere else like big loaves of Udi's bread.  My son prefers the bread I make in the  bread machine, but this is a close second.  I also found some gluten free chicken nuggets (for those quick meal nights) that seem like they are a cleaner option than conventional ones.

Again, these are not the healthiest option, but for dinner when everyone has to be in a different place they work fine.

I spent $545.10.  I was able to get the following items:
Ground Beef and ChickenBerries
French Fries*
15lbs of Fresh Potatoes*
Breakfast cereal
Tomato Paste
GF Udi's Bread*
GF Chicken nuggets*
GF Frozen Cheese Pizza
Lunch meat (Half organic/Half conventional)
Naan Bread* (Kid #4 loves this and they have small sizes that are perfect for her)
Croissants* (Kid #2 favorite)
Nutella * (For the children, hum....)
Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream*
Corn Chips and Salsa
Cheese sticks, fruit leather
Power bars for DH
Beverages (Carbonated water, coffee, organic juice, case of water)
My favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup*
And more....
*not organic

The other reason I spent $550 dollars.  I am challenging my family (and myself) to only spend $60 a week all of June.  If we can accomplish this our grocery budget will be under $800.  That would be super.  Our food budget is the one place that we can really cut costs.  I have some home improvement plans and I want to start saving now. 

So the prepping has begun.  It will take most of one full day, but it is totally worth it.  Meal planning saves us so much money and time.  I know it does.  I just need to commit to taking the day once a month and get it all done.  At least it is raining......

From This Mom,