Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekly spending roundup (1/2-1/8/17) & overly ambitious in the kitchen

I decided to tackle a variety of kitchen tasks yesterday, and the boys wanted to help. We thought it might be a good way to both continue their kitchen knowledge & skills, and entertain them on a very stormy day. It was both of those things, but I always forget how much effort it takes to teach someone vs doing it yourself. ;-)

I try to do all of our cooking on weekends, saving leftovers for quick weekday meals. If we don't have enough leftovers, we move to freezer meal options. Given our schedule, this is the only way to avoid either frozen pizza or meals out during the week. (We have those, just sparingly.)

I was also a bit overly ambitious with how much we could get done. Here's what we accomplished in a ~3 hour period.

  • Found gorgeous Roma tomatoes for $.49/pound at the produce stand, so decided to make fresh tomato sauce. This was unplanned. This turned out beautifully, and I worked on most of this. M came through at the end to taste test, & then season it. All of this went to the freezer for either pizza topping, or for pasta dinners. 
  • The wind storm dropped a bunch of lemons from our tree, and they'd been on the ground for a while & needed to be used up. We made fresh lemon muffins.
  • Juiced all of the remaining lemons for future meals/salads.
  • Made goat cheese crostini for our appetizer, as our dinner prep took longer than expected. Nick made the crostini entirely himself. I helped only through supervision & putting things into/taking out of the oven.
  • Homemade stuffing. Sam made this himself. He didn't enjoy the onion chopping. We made the Boudin stuffing recipe, and I thought it could have used more seasoning & some butter. The recipe called for zero butter, & I wish I would have added it. 
  • Meatloaf. Sam & Nick made this together - Nick grated the cheese & made the glaze. Sam assembled the meat ingredients & shaped the loaves. I highly recommend this recipe. I may add diced pickle to these next time, as we prefer a little pickle in our meat loaf. 
  • A huge fresh salad. Nick's knife skills are good enough that he can make this entirely on his own, complete with homemade dressing. 

Phew! I didn't get my workout in, but I was exhausted after all of that kitchen time. :-) Now we have a full menu of prepared meals for the week ahead (I'd also cooked on Friday & Saturday). 

In terms of our spending, here's our spending roundup for the week:

  • Monday (1/2):
    • $13.87 - eyeliner at Rite Aid. Stocking up. Should have used plenti points, but I didn't think through my transaction.
    • $1 - popcorn at the movies (the rest was paid for by gift cards)
    • $15.18 - Costco. Can't remember - M went back for two items they were out of on Saturday.
    • $28.95 - dishwasher tabs at Rite Aid. Stocking up to earn the $20 plenti offer.
    • $8.09 - slippers. On my shopping list for the year. 
    • -$13.02 - returned a jacket to Costco
  • Tuesday - no spend day
  • Wednesday - no spend day
  • Thursday - no spend day
  • Friday:
    • $175 - nanny for the week. We used our old nanny, who was home from college. Our current nanny was on vacation.
  • Saturday:
    • $7.32 at the produce stand for tomatoes, cucumbers, & radishes. 
    • $161.26 at Costco for our groceries for the week. Lots of fruit & vegetables.
    • $28.70 at Lucky. I bought 10 packs of coffee on clearance, risotto rice on sale x2, more yeast, and a box of $.57 tea on clearance. 
  • Sunday:
    • $2.28 - back to Lucky for the last 4 boxes of clearance coffee. I wanted to taste it before I bought more. It was great!
    • $4.71 - back to the produce stand for more tomatoes (decided to make the tomato sauce), lavash bread, & celery for our stuffing.
Total spent for the week = $433.34, with a big chunk of that going to child care. I'll take it! How about you? How was your spending for the first week of the year?


  1. Nice to see you are teaching your sons to cook. It is a valuable skill and I have found most females (both the ones they are dating and simply friends)
    are very impressed with my sons abilities in the kitchen.
    Kudos on your great food finds!

    1. It's a long haul to teach them, but worth it! I try to remind myself of the need for patience whenever we are in the kitchen ;-)

  2. Hey you've got some little chefs in the making. All sounds delicious. I hope you got through-getting through the storms.

  3. Pickle in meatloaf? I'm intrigued!

    Have you ever considered getting the onion chopper? My hands can't tolerate using it but I've heard good things. PiC is normally my sous chef if he's around but more often than not I've had to do our cooking without his help since one of us has to chase the baby.

    1. Pickles in meatloaf are really a thing! :-)

      We will likely add some diced pickle next time around.

      We have a small food processor that we use for onions, but it was in use in the kitchen already. I don't use it for small amounts, but anytime I need more than 1/2 a cup, it's a lifesaver!