Budget, Week 3

February 23, 2013

Sooo, Week 3. (Week 1 & 2 are here and here). Husband is still on the juice fast, meaning more spent on veggies than normal.

I spent $110 this week at the grocery store and only went one time (though when hubby was in town, I did ask him to get some bananas). That would be great if I hadn’t gone over budget last week. With what I spent on groceries and medicine last week, I was only supposed to spend $15 on groceries this week. Ha! so, we’re still $95 over budget for the month. We’ll see how week 4 goes and at the end of the month, I will factor in gas and see where we are and see how I need to adjust the budget.

We used to spend $150/week on groceries and I was able to reduce our spending to $125/week in January. Maybe reducing it to $112/week in February was too much of a jump. idk. We’ll see at the end of the month.

My husband is LOVING the juice fast – he is continuing on into week 4 and will probably continue on into March – he says it gives him so much energy and clarity! Once the juice fast is over though, I think I will really be able to gauge how much we can/need to spend on groceries each week.

Some things I have done this week to keep from buying at the store are:

1. Made my own jelly.It is perfect! It made enough that we could not eat it all in a week (and we eat PB&Js almost every day) so I stuck one jar in the freezer & took it out at the end of the week. Perfect. Thick and only a Tbsp of honey. When we pick strawberries in the spring, I likely won’t be using any sweetener but this time I used blackberries we had in the freezer that someone gave us this summer and they were a bit tart so they needed something.

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2. I ran out of toilet bowl cleaner this week and dishwashing detergent. So, I used a scrub brush, baking soda, and my lemon vinegar to clean the toilets. It worked! I saved orange peels from a previous week so they are steeping right now for whenever the lemon vinegar is used up. I am going to look for borax the next time I go to the grocery store to look into making dishwashing detergent.

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3. With my husband juicing, we have A LOT of leftover pulp. At first I was throwing it away (ouch!).

I then saw a blog post about making your own chips by laying out the pulp on parchment paper and dehydrating it until crisp. no go. I may try again later but I did not like the taste (he drinks the mean green juice so that’s a bit too ‘earthy’ for chips).

I then realized when we make smoothies, we use kale so why not just use his pulp for our smoothies? We use it in various ways. We drink it, make it thick like yogurt (with granola on top), and use it as you would milk (not as thick as yogurt, not as thin as when you drink it – with cereal on top).

By doing this, I have had to buy more bananas but am not buying kale for our smoothies, not buying milk or yogurt (which we don’t eat anyway), and we are not wasting all of that great, fibrous pulp! Yay for getting more vitamins in the children, even in the winter!

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Our Go-to smoothie recipe:
Kale (however much you can stand – a handful, 2 cups full, test it out)
Water, juice, almond milk, whatever you prefer (we do a mix of some juice and mostly water)
bananas (we do two)
blueberries (two handfuls)
strawberries (one handful)
flaxseed (2 Tbsp milled)

This makes anywhere from 48-62oz of smoothie (depending on how thick you make it). As your tastebuds change and get used to the kale taste, add more! The more the better! Here is why we use kale over any other green.

We are using frozen blueberries from the store only because we already used up all of our frozen blueberries from our garden. We are still using frozen strawberries we picked last April so we’re not buying much more than bananas to make extra smoothies.

4. I looked into buying roasted peanuts to make our own peanut butter but it does not save $$ so we’ll stick to buying peanut butter, which contains only peanuts and less than 1% salt.

We’ll see how Week 4 goes. I am interested to see what the final numbers are. What are you doing to cut costs? What are you doing to add nutrition to your family’s diet? Do those two ever seem to be in conflict?

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