Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Food in July

First and foremost, I'm going to admit that we spent more money on food then we initially planned to in this area when we drafted our budget... but we have what I consider a very good reason for it.

Sometime towards the end of 2012, our church held a budget and finance workshop to give people practical advice and guidance on paying off debts early, building a financial reserve, and being prepared for whatever might come our way. Then in early January, our Bishop spoke to our congregation about prayerfully asking if living in expensive Southern Orange County was right for their families. Skip forward a few months and our new Bishop has continued with this message. Normally our Ward does a summer humanitarian project to benefit others. One year they raised money for wheelchairs... another year, money was raised for wells to be constructed in a needy developing area... This year we are our humanitarian project.

The church leadership has asked us to take the money we would have contributed to the humanitarian project and help ourselves become more self reliant. For the month of July, we were asked to look at our food and water needs and begin to work on creating a 3 month supply of foods we regularly eat. I believe in listening to the wise council of others, and our Bishop was asking us as a ward to do all we can to prepare of the unexpected... Job loss, higher cost of living... or even a natural disaster. So in addition to the increase in groceries, we also began to purchase some extra personal items like shampoo, laundry soap, etc.

So with that in mind and being said-- here's our Food in July.
For the most part, we did our normal shopping, just added some new items we haven't been letting ourselves buy in a while (Nutella, real butter, trail mix & a different type of granola bar). Fresh and Easy also stopped making the bread we used to buy so we found out it is cheaper to buy the Costco brand whole wheat in a 2 pack than an individual loaf at Fresh and Easy-- with SCB's 2 sandwiches a day lunches, we do through 2 loaves a week almost, which is why i stopped making it from scratch. 
SCB also likes goldfish better than potato chips for his lunch, so we started buying those toward the end of the month at Costco since its ultimately cheaper... but we like the "penguins" from Walmart better, so who knows if we will buy the big box again from Costco when they are all gone.

Fresh & Easy
We actually really lucked out this month with our Fresh and Easy coupons. Since we live so close to the store, and since we are in a complex with one central mail place, we were able to get 3 or 4 of the special 2 month promo coupons that went out for $5 off $20.

Needless to say with the challenge being to stock our pantry this month, this meant we could still get our fresh and easy regular items, but we weren't committed to having to buy a lot of groceries in just one week to use a better coupon (like the $10 off $50).. so we kept to basics here and that let us spend more money at Walmart to really and truly stock up on our pantry items since most are cheaper there. We did love the 6 for $1 corn corn and the really cheap watermelon. I love when grilling holidays show up-- its a great time to stock the freezer with ground beef.

Mission Ranch Market:
We managed to make just one run to the market this month to pick up a few things. Since we had those coupons at Fresh and Easy this month, we only hit the market for produce just the one time to try and stretch our dollars for pantry items. I can't wait to get back to here though. SCB is definitely warming up to eating more veggies as summer is in full swing here in Southern California.

I lost a receipt. First one all year. It's not listed in the sheet over there, but we bought 2 more lbs of turkey pastrami (about $8), a lb of turkey (about $4), a watermelon ($4), four ears of corn on the cob ($1.00) and maybe a few other things... But that's all I can remember.

All I know is the husband is going through an INSANE amount of deli meat each week... 

Ever since I stopped making his lunch we go through everything twice as fast...

He can't seem to limit himself with "fun" food. Back when I made his lunch, things were "portioned" out... now its like a free for all in our kitchen...

But hopefully things will get a bit better and hopefully I can try to help him with his lunches again...

Again, I wasn't that great at taking our dinner pictures, but here's a few new meal ideas we came up with.

"Korean Beef" - White rice with Ground Beef sauteed in
garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar & topped with
Green Onions

We went to the OC Fair... Best Corn-dog of my life.
(Don't worry-- SCB and I split it.)

The pasta is tossed with olive oil, Italian seasoning, and
Parmesan cheese. We sauteed the zucchini the same way
(plus garlic) and put it on the pasta... SCB said the chicken
 wasn't even necessary. Looks like another meatless meal.

Burgers... It was a Grill Type of month.

Shrimp Fried Rice... Yum


  1. Hi SCG!

    I'm a bit behind on reading your blog. I'm trying to catch up now. I saw that glorious picture of the Shrimp Fried Rice. It's my favorite food of all time. Can you please direct me to the recipe or post it on your blog?


      I add more egg and toss in some defrosted pre-cooked shrimp too.