On Becoming a Bulk Shopper

I am officially a bulk shopper. Well, sort of.

Since I started closely tracking our grocery expenses the past few years I have often considered whether a membership to Costco or Sam’s would benefit our wallets. For most of our married life we haven’t lived near either of those stores, but now we are 30-45 mins from Sam’s (Costco is over an hour). Continue reading “On Becoming a Bulk Shopper”

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100 Days of Real Food Mini-Pledge

Ooh wee! I just signed us up for the 100 Days of Real Food 14 week mini-pledge. According to the intro video, each Friday I will get a pledge with recipes and shopping lists (!) and then we can start the pledge on Monday (to give me a day to plan and shop). Meal planning and shopping has been a HUGE part of my life for the past year+ and I’m excited and nervous about making a change. I think we already do a good job of limiting processed foods (except on the weekends), but even our weekend slippage isn’t a huge deal. I’m most excited about getting recipes from one blog sent directly to me, instead of mining the internet for ideas and recipes, and I’m also getting her cookbook. I also like the idea of making small changes and introducing new foods, but I have no plans to start serving hummus and alfalfa sprouts.

I will definitely track our progress. And if you want to join too, you have until this Friday!

The Lost Blogger Returneth

Woa. It’s been a whopping TWO MONTHS since my last post! Usually I don’t know where the time goes, this time I know it was spent making baked goods for teachers, stressing over how to stretch the Christmas gift budget, lots of work and a vacation.

After my year anniversary post we only had two short weeks before we packed up and went back to my home in Northern VA for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! Before my vacation I was working like a mad woman, in both my paid and unpaid jobs. I’m pretty sure we ate lots of quesadillas, nachos and meatballs during that time.  Continue reading “The Lost Blogger Returneth”

A Year in Review

A few days ago I logged into my blog and saw a message from WordPress congratulating me on my 1 year blogversary. Since then I have been reflecting on my experience in the blogosphere; the things  I learned, how my blog has changed, and what the blog has done for me.

1,550 visitors from 30+ countries came to my little site in 2015. To a “real” blogger that number is eency weency, but I think it’s pretty good for a free blog that is maintained as a hobby in my “free” time (in the evening, in front of trash Bravo tv shows). Here are my thoughts on 2014-2015: Continue reading “A Year in Review”

Cranberry Applesauce

Cranberries and pumpkins are my favorite foods. I could eat them alllll year long, and in the fall I always make sure to stock up on both so I can at least eat them into the spring. I guess you can get pumpkin year round, but when cranberries appear at the grocery store I get really excited. This year I bought 12 bags of frozen cranberries from Azure Standard. I always start off the fall season full of inspiration and resolve to try new recipes. Then, life happens and before I know it my stock has run out and all I did was make the same dishes I made last year.

But, there is a reason I always fall back on those dishes – they are delicious! I make three cranberry recipes each year: my mom’s pear cranberry sauce, my mom’s apple cranberry oatmeal crumble, and my mom’s cranberry applesauce. See a pattern? I make these dishes year after year because they remind me of home, and my family! Continue reading “Cranberry Applesauce”

Soccer Night Nachos

I titled these soccer night nachos, but they could be named swim night nachos, scout night nachos, busy night nachos, I don’t feel like making anything else night nachos, the possibilities are endless. The pre-schooler has soccer “practice” on Thursday evenings and after experimenting with different dinner options on those late nights, I have decided nachos are the easiest and fastest. We usually roll into the house around 6:30 and everyone is tired and hungry (including the parents), so time is of the essence.  Continue reading “Soccer Night Nachos”

Reusable Snack Bags

Healthy Kitchen Healthy Budget snack bags1

This post isn’t about food per se, but it is related to saving money in the kitchen. One way I free up money for higher quality ingredients is by reducing money we spend on stuff that ends up in the trash – little baggies, plastic wrap, napkins, paper towels. Years ago we stopped buying paper towels because they are so wasteful and we use lots (and lots) of towels, rags and old baby wash cloths for wiping messes and sticky hands. I try not to use plastic wrap unless it’s absolutely necessary – like wrapping up raw chicken. Instead, I cover food with plates and silicone covers (I don’t cook with them). Continue reading “Reusable Snack Bags”

Homemade Vanilla Granola

Healthy Kitchen Healthy Budget Granola1

Waffles, pancakes and eggs for breakfast are standard fare around here, but plenty of times I rely on cereal if I don’t have anything prepared ahead of time. Cascadian Farms granola is by far the favorite around here, but every time I buy a box I cringe because we only get a few breakfasts out of one. Plus, they have a ton of sugar. I took a break from buying granola cereal for those reasons, but one week Cascadian Farms was on sale so I bought a few boxes. I started thinking about how I could make my own cereal that would be healthy and cost effective. Continue reading “Homemade Vanilla Granola”