Monday, January 28, 2008

Snowy Day...

It has been a chilly cold day with a mixture of heavy blowing snow and freezing rain. Right now there is a chicken stew bubbling away on the stove. I still have to make up the dumplings to go with it... and it smells amazing!

I had to clean out the woodstove today...I hate doing that....but it is done and I cleaned all around the fireplace. What a mess! But, you can't beat the heat!

I ventured into my basement today. I want to clear it out...I managed to clean out a filing cabinet. I found lots of beautiful notes from my kids when they were little and some cards that I wrote to my made me miss my boys when they were little. They were so amazing and sweet and fun...they still are, but I miss so many things from that time.

I have a huge collection of vintage Fisher Price toys that I need to part with. We all played with them as kids and I realize now that I will never get around to selling them on ebay. That hurts, cause you never get as much locally for vintage items. But, I need to raise some cash for a few items on my wish list...Plus, I need to organize my kids huge collection of Star Wars!! When I say huge, I mean huge!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Rising Cost of Food

I don't know if anyone else is noticing the rise in prices at the grocery store. This past year, food items are increasing dramatically. With the rise in oil prices, the increasing demand for grain...especially corn, a possible recession in the horizons, it is time to buckle down and simplify your wants versus needs list...and it can be a painful process for many.

I don't always enjoy grocery shopping but I do enjoy the challenge of using coupons to save money...which on average for us is $15-$20 per grocery order. I have always clipped coupons and I carry my coupon book with me in the van at all times. We also comparison shop and try to buy in bulk items that are a really good deal...especially meat. One thing we do to save money, especially when a good sale falls on a non-pay week is to drop by the grocery store on the very final day of the sale, close to closing time and request rain cheques. This way, we can take advantage of the sale when we can better afford it.

As a family of six, groceries are a major expense!! Milk is a huge expense, almost $7 for 3 litres, so I limit my kids to one glass per day...ouch you say....but trust me, they sneak it when I'm not looking so I do factor that into my cost. I am one of those who does not hold milk in such high esteem as others do and there are many other ways to receive calcium.

My goal is to fine tune my grocery budget even more than we have in the past. I am limiting how much entertaining we do because that has been a huge expense in the past. I plan to retire my hotel standards of what is suitable to serve to guests to a more casual fare such as chili or stews. I hope to tackle our need for meat with every supper. We all enjoy meat and potatoe type meals so my goal is to try new recipes or revisit old ones on a more regular basis such as I did tonight.

Here is what we had tonight for supper tonight:

Baked beans with apple sausages cooked with the was delicious! $4.00
Corn Bread double batch. $2.00
Pork Tenderloin $4.00 (awesome deal at local grocery store)
Frys $1.50

So, for $11.50 I provided a supper for six people, my husbands work lunch for two days, and lunch for two of my kids. The next time, I will double the batch of beans as this was a new recipe I tried out. I made the frys and tenderloin for my finicky oldest son who dislikes beans and to round out the meal as not everyone loves beans as much as others.

Tomorrow I hope to make a stew which we make at least every two like this takes extra work compared to convenience foods, but it is worth it both in taste and value.