Monday, January 3, 2011

Trip #1 Down, 51 More to Go! (Plus this week's menu!)

Okay!  The girls and I made our first trip of 2011 to Aldi today, and I timed us--it took 39 minutes from start to finish.  I also went to Hy-vee to buy Luke's baby food and I'm sorry to say that I'm already $4 over budget this week! :(  BUT, I do have a reason for that; we'll talk more about that later.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  First, our menu.  It seems like out in Cooking Blog World, a lot of people post their weekly menus on Monday, so I guess Monday is the day for menu planning.  In fact, it is often referred to as "Menu Plan Monday."  Clever, huh?  Maybe when I get some experience at this blogging thing, I'll link up!  We'll see.  ANYWAY--here's the first menu.  I'll try to include recipes and/or links when applicable.

Jan. 3-9, 2011
Breakfasts:  cereal, eggs and toast, waffles, blueberry muffins, breakfast burritos
Lunches:  PB & J/ham and cheese sandwiches, hot dogs or fish sticks with mac and cheese, bean and cheese tostadas, leftovers, Pepperoni Pizza Puffs (I've decided to try to make the girls' lunches a little more interesting, so this is a new recipe for us)
Mon, 1/3:  Salisbury Steak with Onion and Mushroom Gravy, mashed potatoes, corn
Tues, 1/4:  Chicken Helper (had it in my pantry already), green beans
Wed, 1/5:  Mexican Chicken Skillet, flour tortillas, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, maybe olives if I'm feeling nice
Thurs, 1/6:  Friends here for supper!  Baked Potato Soup, salad, Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks, some kind of pie in a graham cracker crust--I'll let you know what I end up making, chocolate chip cookies
Fri, 1/7:  Leftovers
Sat, 1/8:  Pizza: crust is Pioneer Woman's recipe; here's a recipe that includes the crust, but the rest of the pizza looks kinda grody to me, but I hate eggplant, so that's probably why.
Sun, 1/9:  Apricot Pork Chops (I'll have to leave off the green onions, but, oh well), scalloped potatoes (had on hand in pantry), steamed veggies

NOTE:  We don't *always* have the menu in the exact order listed, except for special meals.  This week has a perfect example, on Thursday we WILL have baked potato soup, because we're having company.  But the rest of the week could get all switched around.  I claim it as one of my cooking liberties to mix around the days of the menu if I want!  Don't mess with me, right?  ;)

So that's it for the week!

Okay, so the actual grocery trip went fine.  Our Aldi was very busy today, but like I said, we still made it in and out in well under an hour.  Here's what I bought:

ground beef
fresh mushrooms
10lb bag of russet potatoes
frozen corn
Aldi's cheerios
oat bran bread
2% milk
frozen orange juice
3lb bag white rice
sour cream
grated sharp cheddar cheese
whipped topping
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
thin sliced pork chops
bag of oranges (can't remember how many pounds)
ham lunchmeat
american cheese
light cream cheese
french vanilla coffee creamer
AND...(this is what put me over budget, but it was a special buy and I wanted to try them while I saw them) Fit and Active Reduced Fat Crunchy Fish Sticks

Total geeky moment here, but here's a picture!  And make sure to notice that most awesome gingerbread house ever in the background.  Don't worry, it's days are numbered!

And here's my receipt:

My total was $46.10 before tax.  Not bad, but I still needed to buy Luke's baby food for the next two weeks.  I like the selection of baby food at Hyvee so I headed over there.  Baby food is expensive but Luke LOVES it!  I tried to give him mashed potatoes tonight at supper and he made a face and spit it all out and gobbled down that nasty chicken with vegetables dinner.  Go figure.  Jen (my sis-in-law) has a baby food grinder so I think I may have to borrow it and try some other things.  I'll be in the poor house if he doesn't eat more table food soon.  Here's the Hyvee stuff:  

And the receipt:

See???!?!??!  $16 for the next two weeks!  $8 a week in baby food, so $46 + $8 = $54, $4 over budget!!! 
I'll make up for it somewhere next week!

Whew!  Long post, lots of stuff to talk about today.  More to come soon; next I want to go over some of my favorite cooking blogs and resources for recipes on the internet, plus, I would like to start a weekly Aldi product review.  First one, those reduced fat fish sticks!  Hmmm, we'll see how they go over with everyone later this week.  


  1. Am sooooooo impressed! My grocery bill is twice that at least!

  2. Well, I may have to bump up the budget a little!!! Do you shop at Aldi? How many in your family?

  3. Your mom sent us over from Pantry Challenge!
    I have a beaba cook (gift from baby shower) and I love it - it steams and mashes. Its pricey, but I dit hte same with DS - I would steam veggies (I bought organic , can't at Aldi I know) using fresh or frozen - blened in my bullet - you could use any hand blender too. I repacked in baby food jars for immediate use and freeze in ice cube trays (one cube is 1 oz of food). My DD is 7 months on Friday and has 2 teeth. She loves it. I will add more spices.
    I say try it - i make up the week on Sunday - takes about 30 mins. I also make up cereal - steam half nanner and blend with water/formula/BM and rice/oatmeal cereal - she eats it up !

  4. CD, that sounds so cool! I did get the grinder from my sil; it's working pretty well, like for things like spaghetti, chicken and rice, steamed veggies, etc. Luke has 4 teeth now and eating more and more table food! I'll be soooo happy to be finished with baby food and formula--of any sort! Yay for non-picky babies,right??!?!? :)