Why I'm Changing From A Goal of A $60.00 A Week Grocery Budget To A Goal Of Eating Locally

I don't see myself as frugal, although I would like to be and strive to be, in many aspects of my life.  One of those areas is groceries.

I previously shared with you that years ago, when I discovered the concept of meal planning, I also discovered it was a great way to help reduce grocery cost. 

And it is!

Then, we went to a one-income household and I decided to challenge myself in reducing our food costs to $60.00 a week (dividing the annual cost by 52 weeks so that $60.00 is the average) as a means of ensuring financial success.

And now I've set a new goal.

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of December 19, 2016

Since we've been sick for just about 2 full months I've not been so good about posting in this series.  Let's just say there was a lot of soups and stews for a few weeks and very little shopping.  The good news is that the household is back up and running and we're back to favorites and new recipes!

I scored an amazing deal on a prime rib.  It was marked at $29.99 and then had a coupon for $10.00 off!  We usually cook one on Christmas Eve so this was a perfect find.  And the turkey for Sunday we bought right after Thanksgiving at 49 cents per pound costing a whopping $6.37.  We will have plenty leftover for soup and casseroles next week!

Weekly Meal Plan


There's nothing like posting "weekend" posts at the end of the week......  It was a seasonal weekend last weekend and by seasonal I mean snow, sleet and cold.  It snowed about 4 inches on Saturday.  While it was beautiful, it didn't help us get traffic flow to the show we attended.

We had been invited to participate in an open house at The National Museum of (Horse) Racing here in Saratoga (photos above).  They opened up their doors with free admission for the day and dear old Santa visited the kids in the afternoon.  The museum is absolutely beautiful and they had a great variety of vendors.  It's funny because every single year J and I talk about visiting the museum (we'd never been until Saturday) in the off season since the town is PACKED with horse racing fans in the summer, but it still hadn't happened.  Well, we finally went!  And made money!


We finally removed the Fall décor after taking this photo.  :)

This poor tree was damaged again by the last ice storm.  We now are helping it out with a little bracing.

We have snow!!  Technically we already had a couple of inches, but now we've added about 5 more so we definitely have snow!  It adds to the Holiday feel.  Last year was too warm to feel like Christmas so this year, although the days are racing by, it at least feels like it's coming.

On that note, it's going to be a chilly week in these parts.  Some snow and mixed precipitation and then a drop in temps for the end of the week.  Saturday we have a show in town but right now they're saying we may get hit with a big snowstorm.  We shall see if that story changes at all.

I finally removed my outdoor fall décor this weekend.  Nothing like waiting until the next holiday..... 



 So, the Holidays are fast approaching which means business gets very very busy.  We've ramped up production , trying to keep up with the shows, market, orders and requests.  It's a great ending to an amazing year.

On another business note, the end of the year means sitting back and reflecting.  We will be looking at shows we want to do/don't want to do, markets we'd like to add or drop, and the product line itself.  Many people give ideas or suggestions throughout the year of items they would like to see us make and carry.  I truly do appreciate the fact that so many are asking little 'ol us to make products because they know and trust our business.  That being said, there is just no possible way for us to do it all.  I'm hoping any of you reading this who have been so kind and generous to share your thoughts understand if you don't see your suggested items make it into the line-up.

new sign for the kitchen

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of November 14, 2016

So I decided to try 3 new recipes this week.  I usually only try to fit in 1 or 2, but I felt pretty confident and decided to go with 3.  The Orecchiette recipe, Creamed Spinach recipe and Cheesy Farro with Roasted Cauliflower recipe are the newbies and are from Rachel Ray.  I must tell you that I love Ina Garten's creamed spinach recipe, so I'm interested to see about this one.

I pulled the last of the carrots from the garden this week.  I'll let the rest come back in the Spring so we'll be able to enjoy them early in the season.  We did some more bartering for burger and pork roast this week so they are not in the final total below.  More stocking up in the freezer....

The pot roast on Saturday will be made in the electric skillet.  This is something my mom has always done and results in the most melt-in-your-mouth tasty pot roast ever.  Ever!  It requires some attention (turning and adding broth every 1/2 hour or so), but it is well worth it.

Weekly Meal Plan

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

J is not a fan of Brussels sprouts.  How can this be, you ask?  I ask myself that question each and every time I'm enjoying a roasted or pan-fried brussel sprout. Or two.  Or ten.

Enter heavy cream......cream makes everything better, doesn't it?  Well, in this case it makes them pretty darn tasty.

His very favorite way of having this recipe is to boil them until they are soft {about 12 minutes} and then they turn out super creamy when baked in the cream.

He now requests them weekly.

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of November 7, 2016

Well, I had anticipated getting this post up at the start of the week, not the end of the week, but that didn't happen.  This week was a heavy travel week for me at work so I was away from home Monday thru Wednesday, therefore, the menu doesn't have a lot on it.  In the past, I've tried to prep things for J to eat for dinners that I'm away but this time there was simply no time.  Instead I left him with a stack of to-go menus from local restaurants.  He managed.  I was able to get soup made for lunches and that was about the extent of the Sunday prep.......

Weekly Meal Plan

Pumpkin Spice & White Chocolate Granola Bars

So yesterday I post about carbs and sugar and today I post this.  An amazingly good snack!

This is loosely based on my Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe.  This recipe, however, includes pumpkin puree, bumping the pumpkin deliciousness up a notch.  It also includes white chocolate chips, giving it a little more of a dessert feel.  You can certainly swap any of the dry items for other items {i.e. if you don't want white chocolate chips, substitute with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, etc.} and the oil with any liquid oil as well as the sugars with equal amounts dry and liquid sugars.


Well, it's been quite a crazy couple of weeks.  We've both been sick.  First J, then me, so it feels like it's lasted FOREVER.  Both of us are finally starting to feel better (albeit not sounding better) so things are looking up!

A few weeks ago I kept seeing information about Whole30.  Have you read about this or followed it?  It's similar to Paleo eating, but the idea is to change your diet for 30 days to try and identify which types of food might be reacting poorly in your body.  It excludes the most common food violators (most of them things you LOVE).  You then reintroduce them slowly to find out which foods you may want to consider excluding from your diet going forward.  It's not a new idea, I realize, but I feel like I kept seeing it everywhere I turned which made me ponder whether or not I needed to consider