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Meal plan for April 23- April 29th

Good morning!  The sun is shining this morning, we’re expected to hit about 72 degrees today, we’re going to a new church with friends, and I’m picking up four three-year old blueberry plants today for our “micro farm”!

Here is our menu plan for the week:

Monday:: shrimp tostada bowl thingy

Tuesday:: I’m working too late.  Jack will eat dinner at my aunt’s, and Troy and I will have sandwiches or leftovers

Wednesday:: salmon cakes (a new recipe I’m trying), artichokes with aioli, and home canned fruit

Thursday:: working late again, so we’re having soup from the freezer, grilled cheese sandwiches, and home canned fruit

Friday:: popcorn and fruit on the couch while watching a movie.  A nice end to the week

Saturday:: hot dogs (from our local butcher), homemade buns, salad (from the garden), and sweet potato fries (from the freezer.  Ha!)

Sunday:: family dinner at my parent’s.

This week was a HUGE stock up week for me.  I hit up my favorite grocery store that is about an hour away, but has a selection of items I can only get there.  Also, my monthly Azure Standard order came in this week and it was a WHOPPER.  I’m not sure if I’ll order next month because this one was huge (that’s what she said).  I also hit up Costco.  I’m just thankful my grassfed beef order that I placed a few months ago didn’t come in this week, or I would be hyperventilating at the cost.

Total spent this week: $534.75.  Yeah, you read that correctly.  :gulp:

My Azure Standard order was $369.30 (it was higher, but I order for family members, and then am reimbursed, so the $369 reflects my stuff).  I spent:
-$5.10 on 3 big packages of cupcake liners.  The brand is “If You Care” and my aunt turned me on to these.  They’re amazing – nothing sticks and they’re chlorine-free!  They’re the liners you see here.
-$32.60 on Bac Out.  This was 2 gallons of Bac Out and it will last at least 6 months.  I use it for laundry, and cleaning toilets.  Biokleen is a local company too which is cool!
-$36.10 on 5 pounds of raw cheddar.  This was good, but probably something I won’t order again.  I’ll stick to my 5 lbs of Tillamook from Costco for $15 from Costco.
-$7.45 for 5 pounds of dried organic navy beans
-$4.20 for 5 pounds of dried organic lentils
-$5.50 for 4 pounds of organic grapefruit
-$85.80 for a bunch of organic and grassfed butter.  So expensive, but so worth it.  This is the product that I justify spending money on by telling myself “we don’t have cable”.
-$29.25 for 5 pounds of walnut oil.  I use walnut oil to make almond butter.  The 5 lbs should last 6+ months
-$9.35 for 5 pounds of dried organic black beans (that will last me about a year)
-$30.10 for 5 pounds of organic chocolate chips (I probably won’t make this purchase again.  Too expensive)
-$38.30 for 100 pounds of organic soft white wheat berries.  I grind my own flour, and use soft white for everything other than bread.  I bought 50 pounds last fall and only have about 5 pounds left.  So, 50 pounds lasts me about 6 months.  Consider this $38 a year’s worth of baked goods.
-$85.55 for 25 lbs of bulk raw almonds.  I use raw almonds for many things, but mostly for homemade almond butter.  I’ve been purchasing 2 pound bags of almonds at Costco for $12 which is $6 per pound.  This purchase brings the cost down to $3.42 per pound, and should last us over a year.  I divided the box up in to containers and am storing it in our garage freezer.

My grocery store order was $111.18.  I bought:
-$.99 on seafood seasoning (in bulk spices for cheaper)
-$.72 on citric acid (in bulk spices for cheaper)
-$14.27 on cocoa powder (in the bulk section for cheaper). I use cocoa powder a lot and this is our favorite.  It will last about 6 months.
-$11.63 on coffee.  Ugh, I hate spending money on coffee, but Troy has started drinking it.  It was fair trade and organic, and at the rate he drinks it, it will last a year.
-$3.19 on 2.5 pounds of organic split peas (enough for 2 meals of split pea soup)
-$1.88 on .82 lbs of panko (panko is light and this was an enormous bag)
-$5.88 on hot dog buns (for dinner at my parent’s yesterday).  I didn’t have time to make my own.  Sue me.
-$21 for four organic free-range whole chickens.  They were BOGO!
-$10.99 on roasted turkey breast (the store roasts their own and it’s amazing!)
-$3.00 on tostada shells.  They make them there!
-$2.50 on frozen organic peas
-$6.29 on organic molasses.  The price went up from last year!  I use this to make my own brown sugar, and 1 bottle lasts an entire year plus.
-$.99 on a plain organic yogurt.  I needed a new starter for homemade yogurt.
$9.87 for 3 things of organic cream cheese.  We use this for tons of things, and it keeps so well that I always stock up when it’s on sale.  It will last us about 2-3 months
-$.98 organic green onions.  WAY too expensive compared to my local store
-$1.29 on bananas (I couldn’t afford their organic prices)
-$5 on 2 artichokes
-$2 on 2 huge mangoes
-$7.39 on large wild caught shrimp for our tostada salads tomorrow

Costco was $54.27.  I bought:
-a giant can of tomato sauce which is the base for my crockpot marinara sauce.  I have everything else already.
-two bags of organic frozen berries.  I think this must be a new item!  We’re out of homemade freezer jam, and local strawberries won’t be ready until June.  Costco didn’t have organic jam, so I’m going to make my own with frozen berries.  The berries were from an Oregon farm, so I consider that “local”.
-organic chicken “Better than Bouillon”.  I make my own stock, but sometimes I just need a tiny bit and don’t want to open a whole jar.  This is my go-to for those moments.
-Avocado
-Pickles (I got a whole refrigerated jar for about $6).  I’ve been paying $3 on sale for our favorite brand at the grocery store!  Hopefully my cucumbers produce this summer so that I’ll have homemade pickles next year.
-Lemons
-Limes

Oh crap, I also spent $24 on 2 quarts of raw local honey,  and $3.50 for raw local milk.

This week was SO expensive, but will have us “set” for staples for many months (for some) and a year (for others).  I’m willing to invest up front for quality foods as long as it reduces my overall monthly expenditures.

Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

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10 comments on “Meal plan for April 23- April 29th”

  1. I’d be interested in learning more about how you made the transition to Azure Standard for some of your shopping. I have check them out some, but I can’t seem to grasp ordering there versus buying it from a local store?

    • Hi Allison. It was a slow transition to be sure. Request a free catalog from Azure. Then pour over it for a few nights marking everything that catches your eye. Then next time you go to the grocery store, take the catalog and a calculator with you to figure out the price per pound. There are some items I don’t buy from Azure (organic brown rice, and evaporated cane juice for example) because they’re cheaper per pound at Costco.

      My first few orders through Azure were always about $50 or $60. As I started running out of things at home, I looked at their prices online and compared how much I was spending at the grocery store or Costco.

      The super expensive part of buying in bulk (at least for me) was one order where I had to buy a ton of buckets and air-tight lids to store all my stuff. Those are one-time fees, but it was hard to swallow on that order!

  2. If coffee becomes a big enough item of consumption, might I recommend roasting your own? Green beans, even fair trade and organic, tend to cost $5-6 a pound, and the price per pound goes down if you buy it in larger quantities. We’re on our second roaster (first lasted about 3 years) and buy almost everything from Sweet Maria’s. I roast up a bunch of coffee for family members and teachers for the holidays and often use it as a thank-you gift. I probably spend $150 per year on green beans (including shipping), but that’s less than half of what we’d spend otherwise and means we’ve made back the cost of the roaster in less than a year each time.

    • Wow! Raw milk for 3.50 and 4 organic chickens for $21!! Where I live (Willamette Valley, Or). A gallon of raw milk averages $9, up to $14 on some farms, and ONE organic chicken is usually over $20!!

    • This wasn’t suppose to be a reply to the coffee post, just a general reply (silly mobile phone)

    • Cammy, it’s $3.50 for a half gallon. Before I found this farm the only price I could find was $11 per gallon! I want to tell my current farmer they could be getting so much more money, but then, I’d have to pay for it!!!

      The chickens are from a grocery store and not an in-town farm. The farm is in this region, but it’s more a mass producer of them as opposed to a small-scale operation. They’re usually about $11 per chicken, so I only buy them when they have the BOGO sale!

      Mouse, I LOVE kitchen gadgets, so if Troy keeps drinking a ton of coffee, I’ll definitely look in to it! Though the irony is that I bought the coffee, and we don’t currently have a coffee pot. HA!

  3. I’ve been pleasantly surprised since we moved where we live now. The entire community has such a focus on organic food that organic veggies are rarely more than $.20/lb more expensive than non-organic. I was shocked to find organic baby carrots for $1.19 a bag as opposed to $.99 a bag for non. Same with bananas, organic are $.69/lb and non are $.49/lb.

    What we are working on being able afford is raw milk and dairy products and pastured beef. I can’t swing $6/gallon for milk with a boy who goes through 3-4 gallons a week. And since we primarily eat beef (my pregnancy aversion this time is chicken anything), $7/lb as compared to the $1.99/lb we pay now is out of reach for us- though we are looking to see what a whole side of pastured beef would run and maybe that’ll be something we can do.

    • Wow, I want to live where you do – those prices are awesome! Organic bananas are $.84 a pound here.

      Have you ever mixed tried stretching ground beef with some cooked lentils? It helps “stretch” the meat a bit, and you still get good healthy stuff.

      We don’t really drink milk in our house, so that is why we’re able to get away with only a half gallon a week. It goes in to smoothies, Troy has a bit with dessert, and then when it comes close to the end date, it becomes yogurt.

  4. I about pee my pants at the checkout when my bill is at $100! At least you will be stocked up for months.

    I’m looking forward to summer because my grocery bill will drop! I spend about $40-$50 a week just on organic fresh produce.

    • Trust me, I did more than pee in my pants when I added it all up for this post!

      Oh summer can’t come soon enough for me with the garden!

      Though you know what that means for both of us right? Canning season. (groan)