Welcome back to P:FB! First congratulations to Raphael T for winning the Passion giveaway and to Molly Parr for wining the Crock-pot! I used a random number generator to determine the winners. I hope you ladies enjoy your products.
Now, onward and upward. After a 3-week hiatus I’m ready to talk groceries, budgeting, and couponing! This week official marks the halfway point for the P:FB bloggers who started back in October. <– wowza and congrats to those I’ve learned so much from doing this project, from honing my couponing skills to being flexible with my budget as need be.
The latter lesson was especially relevant over the past few weeks. So let’s talk about this a little more…aka prepare yourself for a longer post. Scroll down if you just wanna see how I did! I promise not to take it personally.
If you remember back on Mar 8, I had gone over hugely ($59!). I ate a ridiculous amount of greens, gave the rest away (an entire box of that Olivia’s =/), and soothed my aching soul with the fact that I didn’t have to shop for the week I was in Vegas. <– wrong!
Then I realized that I very well could be eating white rice + overcooked veggies for Convention so off to Trader’s I went (in a full panic…legit one of the girls who works there had to calm me down because I was in full blown panic attack mode =/). I stocked up on $20 worth of essentials: trail mix, lara bars, wasabi peas, and apples. Fun fact about peas: they are a protein-rich veggie with 4g per ½c serving! Those along with my last few oranges, homemade banana bread, and flax almond butter meant I could survive regardless of what the food options were and without spending a ton of extra $ on breakfast! Budgeting win!
As for eats in Vegas, feast your eyes! Honestly, the Rio’s catering blew me away. My Passion sisters shared their extra and/or unwanted veggies with me and I ate like a queen.
Roasted Veggie Stack – I had this 3x
Tofu Dish – I asked the waitress what it was because I was in shock and thought it might be fish!
Coconut Avocado Smoothie…and mostly me.
Dessert one. I don’t know why its so tiny…
So that brings us to March 15. I get back from Vegas and meal plan and grocery plan and discover that I need Olive Oil…and lemon juice (I buy organic)…which leaves me about $25 (good EVOO + organic lemon juice will do that to your budget) for all my produce! I ended up spending about $50 in all which isn’t too bad considering $15 of it was on those two items. Of course I proceeded to spend much more while out eating ($60 one night and $15 the next) but that’s from the discretionary fund people! :D And I couldn’t say no to my last Worcester Restaurant Week, especially when it involved these beauties.
And that brings us to this week when my lesson on being flexible came in huge hand. My list included the following:
- Paper towels.
- Face moisturizer
- Dish soap
- 5 spices: chili powder, granulated garlic powder, granulated onion powder, nutmeg (!), and cayenne pepper
That’s basically $40 right there. Plus I realized that since I would be travelling this upcoming weekend (as in I wrote this post partially on the commuter rail and partially at South Station and partially at Logan airport and partially in my friend’s living room in Baltimore) and it was the end of the month, I needed to go through my month-end coupons and see what was expiring, what I had match-ups for, what I needed to stock my pantry with, etc.
So what did I decide to do? Give myself a $100 budget for the week. Sorry I should have made sure you were sitting before I dropped that bomb on you! I know, it’s a huge increase. So what gives? Plain and simple, I didn’t want to feel guilty for missing my budget. So I set it high and figured that if I hit it, fine. I was prepared. If I didn’t, even better. Of course for those details you’ll have to keep reading!
*Rather than planning specific meals for specific days, I cook in bulk once or twice a week and eat leftovers for both lunch and dinner. I also
eat gleefully devour a green smoothie every morning for breakfast.
Coconut Lentils with Raw Creamed Spinach
Kale Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing
Mac & Simple Cheese Sauce (EHH)
Bad news: I had other things planned but one night didn’t feel well…hence the mac & cheese…and otherwise just didn’t feel like cooking anything else.
Bad news 2: I didn’t really enjoy the Miso dressing. The flavor just…wasn’t right for me. I felt that it was a bit watery and didn’t really break down the kale leaves like Mama Pea’s recipes did.
Good news: The coconut lentils were outstanding…so was the simple cheese sauce. In fact I was so busy spooning the latter to my mouth that I realize I had spilled it down the front of me. Haha But legit…grab yourself a can of coconut milk and make those lentils. If you are cooking for one, I’d suggest halving the recipe or plan on sharing/freezing/eating it for a week.
Great news: I created my first official recipe this week! I wanted creamed spinach to go along with the coconut lentils but I didn’t want a cooked version since I feel best when I eat raw foods and am slowly but surely starting to believe that on average, they are best for us. So I got to searching and I looked at a couple of recipes and shazam! First timer’s luck or secret recipe-creating skills? You decide!
Raw Indian Spiced Creamed Spinach (raw, vegan, gf)
Inspired by this and this.
4 c raw spinach (preferably organic)
¾-1 c nondairy milk (I used coconut to go with the theme)
1+ clove(s) garlic
¼ c chopped onion
2 tsp cumin
1tsp garam masala
½ -1 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
¼ c almonds (optional; see note)
Toss it all in your food processor and process away. Adjust the garlic, ginger, and cayenne according to your tastes and proceed with caution. Their flavors are more pronounced since this is a raw dish. Also do not plan on kissing anyone for about three days after eating this.
Note: Mine was super thin at first when I used the full cup of milk so I tossed in a big handful of raw almonds to thicken the mixture up. It not only worked wonders but added a bit of texture. This step is totally up to you.
Ed Hyder’s: $15.33
Trader Joe’s: $10.47
I spent an additional $22.55 at WF but my wonderful momma came up to visit and was a coupon caper side-kick and covered that cost (plus our delish WF lunch) for me. Still I would have stayed under my $100 budget.
Eligible Spending (sans WF): $50.34
Savings: $36.17 (72%)
Eligible Spending (with WF): $72.89
Savings: $103.44 (142%)
Yea, let’s go with those latter numbers instead!
Steals & Deals
Ongoing deals are starred.
Honey Bunches of Oats Fruit Blends: $2.75 (sale price)
$1.00 Post coupon
Total Price: $1.75
Simple Facial Moisturizer: $10.44 (sale price)
$1.00 Simple coupon (no longer available)
Total Price: $9.44
Snack Factory Pretzel Thins: $1.99
$1.00 Snack Factory coupon (no longer available)
Total Price: $0.99
2x Up&Up Ibruprofen: $0.97ea = $1.94
$1.00/2 Target coupon (received at register)
Total Price: $1.00 wyb2 = $0.50 ea
*Cleaned & Cut Kale Greens (16oz): $2.99
$1.00 Wegmans coupon
Total Price: $1.99
*Cleaned & Cut Baby Corn: $2.50
$1.00 Wegmans coupon
Total Price: $1.50
So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk: $3.29
$0.55 So Delicious Coupon
$1.00/$3.00 Nature’s Marketplace Wegmans couponTotal Price; $1.19 = $2.38/gal
Let’s Do Organic Reduced Fat Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: $2.99
$1.00/$3+ Nature’s Marketplace Wegmans coupon
Total Price: $1.99
*Dagoba Chocolate Bar: $2.49
$0.50 Dagoba cpn, Spring Healthy Livings Magazine
Total Price: $1.49 ßnot the best deal but it was calling to me!
*OB Tampons (40ct): $5.99 (sale price)
$0.75 OB coupon
$1.00/$5+ HBC Wegmans coupon
Total Price: $3.49 or just 8 cents/tampon!
*Neturogena Blemish Cream: $5.49
$1.50 Neutrogena coupon, SS 01/08/12 #2
$1.00/$5 HBC Wegmans coupon
Total Price = $2.99
*Marcal Small Steps Paper Towles (8ct): $6.99
$1.00 Marcal cpn, RP 03/11/12
$1.00/$5+ Paper Wegmans coupon
Total price: $4.99 = $0.62/roll
*Earth Friendly Dish Soap: $2.99 (sale price)
$2.00 Earth Friendly Recyclebank Coupon
Total Price: $0.99
*365 Organic Lentils: $2.39
$1.00 Jan/Feb Whole Deal coupon
Total Price: $1.39/lb
Udi’s Original Granola: $5.99
Free Udi’s Product coupon (from Christmas thing on Fbook)
Total Price: FREE!
Nature’s Path Granola Bars: $3.00 (save $1.69)
$1.50/2 Mar/Apr Whole Deal coupon
$2.00 Nature’s Path coupon (from my yoga studio)
Total Price: $0.25 each!
*Method Dish Soap $4.69
$1.00 Mar/Apr Whole Deal coupon
$1.00 Method coupon, SS 01/08/12
Total Price = $2.69
Kiss my Face Moisture Soap (16oz): $8.99 (save $3)
$2.00 Kiss My Face coupon (no longer available)
Total Price $6.99
Update: I was a bit over exhausted when I posted this and forgot to forward you to my LOVELY fellow P:FB-ers . Go share the y/b/l love with em!