It’s About Getting Through the Week

Hey Everyone!

I know I have probably mentioned this before, but the week in between paydays is always tighter as far as what I can spend. This week was no different.

I spent $33.42 yesterday at work. That included what I had for break snacks, as well as some seafood to make the Seafood Pasta I made last night.

Today, I went to Safeway and the Happy Valley New Seasons Market. At safeway I spent $16.31 and at New Seasons I spent $48.31.

I didn’t really need to pick up toilet paper this week, but I was super close to getting the 5,000 points reward in the Fetch app so I bought a small package to be able to get the points. Safeway also has the applesauce I like for my lunches so I grabbed a couple packages.

I didn’t need a whole lot at New Seasons, just enough to get me through until next pay day. Mainly breakfast and lunch stuff since I have leftovers from last night for dinner.

It’s also nice to finally be on my weekend after a work week that kicked my butt. IDK if it was in part because I am changing positions in the company soon, or it was just one of those weeks. I am glad it’s over though.


Seafood Pasta

Hey Everyone!

Seafood Pasta had been really good, so i decided to make some.

I had picked up some scallops and shrimp from the meat counter at work this morning.

I soaked the scallops in some saltwater for about 10 minutes while i got the water going for the pasta. I then seared the scallops first in some olive oil and then added garlic, pepper, Italian parsley. I added the shrimp and some dairy free spread. I then added a bit of chardonnay. I ended up taking some of the liquid out since it was too soupy. I then drained the pasta and added the pasta.

It turned out OK, though I don’t think I would make it again. It was definitely worth a try though.

T’was the week before Christmas

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I love the week I get paid. Especially when I get paid the week leading up to Christmas.

This week I did a little more running around than normal. I did my normal stops and went to world market.

This week I spent:

Shell Gas: $41.41 (gas was $3.89 a gallon)

Fred Meyer: $83.31 – that included 8 cans of pie cherries for cherry pie for Christmas

World Market: $21.01

New Seasons Market: $64.28 (it would have been $113.26 without my discount and a $15 off coupon I got through work)

So, other than gas which I budget for separately from shopping I spent $168.6 between 3 stores, which really isn’t bad considering I picked up some stuff for Christmas that is included in that total.

While I didn’t think to take pictures of what I bought until after I had out stuff away, I did take pictures of what I made for dinner and dessert.

I had made a tuna steak, roasted little red potatoes with Rosemary, a little salt and olive oil, a salad and for dessert I made a blueberry crumble. The blueberry crumble recipe alone was worth the cost of the cookbook it is from. It has become a family favorite.

Blueberry Crumble

While I still don’t have energy like I used to, at least I have more than I had a few months ago, and feel up to doing a bit more cooking and baking.

The week between Paychecks

Hey Everyone!

This week is the week between paychecks so money is tight this week.

I definitely was able to get what I needed for meals to make it to next payday.

This week I spent:

Safeway: $10.58

New Seasons Market: $55.36

This week I will be having venison burgers on pretzal buns, sweet potato fries and salad for dinner, oatmeal and breakfast sausages for breakfast and when I need lunches I have bread, peanut butter, jelly and honey for sandwichs and coconut milk yogurts.

It’s nice to have food on hand that I can grab in these lean weeks so all I have to do is fill in.


First Paycheck of the Month

Hey Everyone!

I know, at least for me, it feels like my first paycheck of the month has a little more wiggle room.

My errands day tends to be pretty busy. I had to go get a shot this morning, and pick up a prescription at the pharmacy. I also stopped at Starbucks, and picked up a Soy Royal English Breakfast tea latte, a snowman cookie and the siren cold drink tumbler. I had also put some more money on my Starbucks app.

Gas prices have also come down a little bit. I was able to get gas for $3.99 a gallon. I also went to Fred Meyer, and New Seasons. I picked up a couple of gift cards for Christmas Gifts at Fred Meyer in addition to the rest of the stuff I bought.

Today’s breakdown of what I spent:

Starbucks app reload: $25

Shell Gas: $37.57

Fred Meyer: $178.83

New Seasons Market: $71.70

Total Spent: $313.10

Healthy food is expensive. That being said, I am trying to eat better while on a budget, and seeing if it will help me feel better in the long run.

At New Seasons I bought a cod fillet for dinner, and some seafood seasoning. I am also going to be trying to buy fish once a week and incorporate it more into my diet, as well as more gluten free grains, especially during the week. The weekend is when I don’t have to cook dinners, so doing fish or baked chicken and rice or quinoa during the week is my goal.

Grocery Shopping Breakdown

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What a busy morning. It is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving here in the States. Which means Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow, and people are out doing last minute shopping for the holiday.

I did go out and run errands, but that is normal for me on Tuesday’s. I picked up a few items for our Thanksgiving dinner but most of what I picked up was either stocking up, because they are things I will use eventually and they are a Unilever brand so I was working towards maxing out the 10,000 points when you spend $30 thing on the Fetch app. There were 3 of these available for any store and then an additional 2 for safeway and you could combine the safeway one with the any store one. I had completed one last week at Fred Meyer. So I just needed about $60 of Unilever products to get 40,000 points. To me that’s a good deal, because I was able to buy products I will use, and then redeem the points for Starbucks gift cards.

I made a total of 5 stops this morning. 2 different safeway stores, a gas station, Fred Meyer, and New Seasons Market.

Safeway #1: $94.03
Safeway #2: $24.08
Shell Gas Station: $49.81 (10.831 Gallons at $4.599 a gallon – and that is the cheapest I have seen for a decent quality of gas)
Fred Meyer: $51.71
New Seasons Market: $68.09

So today I spent, not including gas: $237.91, Including gas: $287.72

My total for this week is higher than a normal week, as far as grocery shopping goes. I did stock up a bit on certain things that I will use over time, I bought a few things for the holiday meal including ground sausage, and I also picked up another bottle of multivitamins that will last me four months.

With Thanksgiving being the day after tomorrow, so many people were out and about at the stores this morning. I am not a huge people person, I prefer my space and being out in the country whenever possible. I had tried to get out early enough in the day to avoid most of the crowds. Though things were picking up by the time I had gone to new seasons, which was my last stop of the day. I was glad to be done and out of there before it got even busier, as I was just done and ready to be home.

Keeping Costs Down during Inflation

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After so long just paying the higher prices at work (even with my employee discount), it is still is baffling that I was over spending way too much.

With inflation and everything, money has gotten tight, especially since my income hasn’t gone up at all since this wave of inflation started.

I had gone shopping at Fred Meyer, and I was keeping track of the prices of what I was picking up. With coupons I only spent $60.

All of this only cost me $60

I know that living in this part of the country is more expensive than other parts of the country. I am also not a fan of grocery shopping at Walmart, or shopping at Walmart in general. Walmart also doesn’t really have much in the way of allergy / intolerance friendly foods. That being said, Fred Meyer is kind of the happy medium between work and Walmart. Granted there will still be the occasional things I will pick up at work, but those are mainly the dairy free things I like that Fred Meyer doesn’t carry.

I am almost using the Fred Meyer app for digital coupons and then uploading my receipts to the Fetch App.

I am not one who is into extreme couponing, but I like to save money where and when I can.

(#notsponsored) While the fetch app doesn’t save me money the way that coupons do, you accrue points for things you normally buy, and then can redeem those points for gift cards. I am saving my points to be able to redeem them for a Starbucks gift card, since I do enjoy getting a pumpkin spice latte or royal English breakfast tea latte once a week. I know that my Starbucks habit will one day end, but for now while I am single and live in an urban area I enjoy it. So being able to pay for said habit with points from doing my normal weekly grocery shop, is kind of cool. Right now Fetch is giving upto 10,000 points for $30 spent on unileaver products, and you can earn this upto 3 times. I just completed my first $30 yesterday (I started it last week). There have been times when I have only gotten 25 points per receipt. So that does stink, so when I see good offers in the fetch app, I do try to stock up when I can to take advantage of those good points offers.

I had tried using Ibotta for a while, but having to watch videos and not accruing points all that fast, it wasn’t worth my time to use. So that app quickly got uninstalled years ago.

Just trying to get by has been hard even with a “decent” full time job. Then if you have to factor in medical expenses, medications, or activities for kids, I can definitely see how and why families are straggling, as I know the struggle myself. Then I see the regular customers at work and wonder how they can afford it. The trip to the Concordia store last month, where I spent $140 with my discount and I really wasn’t buying that much (one of the small grocery carts), was the rude awakening I needed to get it together, and that I can’t and don’t want to be living the lifestyle that can afford to shop at where I work, or Market of Choice / whole foods / Zupans. The whole point of this blog was and is trying to be relatable and sharing how I saved money grocery shopping, and earned points doing what I normally do so I don’t have to spend as much money on “the extras”, that aren’t necessary but are enjoyable.

Working on Being Better

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Over the past 15 months of working at a higher end grocery store, I started doing more and more of my grocery shopping there, and it was so expensive. I was shopping there more out of convenience and because I have a discount….but that only goes so far.

With inflation and the life I want to be living, as well as really trying to eat healthier over all I am starting to do more and more of my grocery shopping elsewhere.

Today I went to Fred Meyer. After I checked out I realized just how much more I can get for my money shopping other places besides work. I will still be doing a bit of shopping at work, but it will no longer be my primary shopping location.

My total at Fred Meyer was just under $100, and part of that was a bit of stocking up. I picked up some things like toilet paper, a couple strings of Christmas lights, an inexpensive Christmas throw blanket, some laundry detergent and such in addition to the groceries on my list.

I have also started tracking calories again, as I am really trying to get my healthy and budget back on track. When I wasn’t tracking my calories I let what I was eating slide and was spending way too much on food that wasn’t always the best for me.

Home Canned Pears

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Last week my mom and I canned pears.

We had gone out to Sauvie Island the week before and picked up about 33 pounds of Bartlett pears. We had to let them sit for a week to ripen up.

I had made jam over the summer, though this was the first fruit and bigger project my mom and I undertook in the new house.

We got 17 quarts out of the 33 pounds of pears.

Home canned anything is a lot of work, but 100% worth it. Home canned tastes better and is better quality.

When I do things like Canning, even though it’s tiring, I always feel more productive at the end of the day, than I do going to work.

Black Currant Jam

Hey Everyone!

I have wanted to make Black Currant jam for years. I just never knew where to get them (they aren’t that common here in the states).

I have been working at a more upscale, somewhat alternative, hipster grocery store that carries a fair amount of local products, especially produce, for almost a year now.

This morning I noticed that we had black currants in stock in our produce department. I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by. So I bought 5 pints as well as a pint of tayberries. Tayberries are a cross between Blackberries and Raspberries. They are pretty bland.

I made two batches of black currant jam, which made 12 half pints and a small cottage cheese container worth of jam.

This was my first time Canning anything completely on my own. Every other time I have canned, it’s always been with my mom. So I have never done it on my own before. So I was a little nervous, but also fairly confident because I have been Canning since I was young.

All in all it went well, and it’s been a long day since I also worked last night.

I will link the recipe I used here.