Friday, October 23, 2015

Week 5: $80 Grocery Haul


This week we went about $30 over budget, spending around $80 rather than the usual $50. I was lucky enough to have come across several manager's special this week. Here is part of my haul:

My favorite manager special finds of the week:
3 pack of bell peppers (I'm not sure HOW many I got) (.99)
Lettuce (.99)
2 Packs of Apples (one is all organic) (.99)
Organic Milk (2.69 and 1.99)
Yogurt packs (.10)
Beef Steak       ($2.30)
Pack of 3 cucumbers (.99)

Of everything that was bought on manager's special I've already prepped most of it. I've cut up and froze the bell peppers, put one milk in the freezer, and turned the apples into apple chips. Two of the yogurt packs were given to my dogs as treats.

Other than the managers specials I was also happy to find other items: Kroger frozen vegetables ($1/pack), spaghetti sauce $1, frozen pizza $1. Buying the Kroger brand frozen vegetables rather than the birds eye saved me $1.50 per pack, and since they are just frozen veggies I can't see why the brand would matter!

I did go over budget this week but I'm happy to have stocked up on several items. Colored bell peppers are usually $1.25 each, and I do NOT like the pre frozen mixed packs.

Next week I'm going to TRY to only spend $20-25 to make up for going over this week. I really don't think we NEED anything but I like to go weekly to get the good managers specials.

This week's feature is a vlog rather than a blog: It is a grocery haul of the .99 cents only store, a store I really wish we had here. There people get FRESH produce for only .99 and I see them find organics and all kinds of other things there too! If you have a local .99 only store them drop in!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pregnancy Cookie Dough (Vegan and Eggless)


As you all know, I'm pregnant. At this point I'm 33 weeks and fortunately this time things are going well. Pretty much everyone knows that you're NOT supposed to eat raw cookie dough, EVER. When your pregnant you actually follow guidelines on what you are or are not supposed to eat.

On Facebook I saw a post about pregnancy cookie dough, and then ignored it; Later during my pregnancy I got a craving for cookie dough and went online to find a recipe. I only tried one recipe and liked it so I've stuck with it, especially after hearing other people say that the pregnancy cookie dough recipe they tried was gross.

Here is the recipe I found that is pretty good, no it is NOT as good as normal cookie dough but it works and it is safe for you and baby.

Pregnancy Cookie Dough

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

It literally takes like two minutes to make this treat and there are very little ingredients, so if your craving cookie dough pregnant or not try it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 4: $50 Grocery Haul


I made it a whole month doing $50/week grocery hauls and my total for the month was right around $206. I'm pretty pleased that I was only $6 over budget, although it isn't as impressive as if I had been say UNDER budget!

This week I spent right around $58 on groceries, give a dollar or two. I am estimating this weeks because we got groceries at a few different stores. The bulk of my groceries came from Kroger and Dollar General. Here is my haul:

(The banana's and bread seen in the background are NOT part of the haul, that is just where they go)

As you can see there are a few manager's specials in my haul, but unfortunately not many. The only manager's specials I found this week were organic romaine hearts, girl scout candy bars, simple truth organic free range eggs, and round beef steak. 23/26 of the items I bought at Kroger were either on sale or manager's special, so still not bad. My Kroger is re-configuring their layout and there was a holiday on Monday, both which I'm thinking contributed to the low number of markdowns this week.

Other than Kroger I also shopped at Dollar General, because I was SUPPOSED to get $2 off $10 with an e-coupon... didn't work and I'm not very happy about it! I did get all my Ragu's there for $1.50 each (they were $2 at Kroger). I also picked Jif Peanut Butter, cocoa, marshmellows, and flour. Hubby picked up milk from here the night before.

The last place we shopped at was Big Lots. We actually ran in here for cubes for a cube organizer for the nursery (the have more options then other stores at good prices). Here I picked up some suddenlypasta at $1.25 each, and some GMO free coconut oil for only $4! WIN!

This week I did TRY to use e-coupons at both Kroger and Dollar General. Dollar General didn't give me the $2 off even though I used it on the right day and had over $10 pre-tax, Kroger did apply mine but I only had 2 that were relevant to my purchases... needless to say, I'm not a heavy coupon user!

This weeks featured grocery haul is Sarah Jean, she spent just $60 on her super healthy haul (pictured below) and she estimates it will last her 2 weeks!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sample my Birth Plan


Birth plans are huge for a lot of us thinking mama's to be. I know that a majority of women probably do NOT make a birth plan, they go into the hospital and let the hospital staff call all the shots. My birth plan stipulates that they need my informed consent for EVERYTHING they do, because birth is a natural process and unless there are complications there is no need for any kind of intervention/medical.

I've already considered that I'll be seen as demanding or controlling by some of the hospital staff, and how messed up is it that I'll probably be seen negatively for making my own/my babies health choices? I think as women we need to stand up for our rights, because from hearing other women's experience too often our voices are not heard and they don't even consult us before doing things to us or our babies. Nurses don't ask permission to TAKE a healthy baby for "routine" procedures, to formula feed, and will often do it behind the back of a breastfeeding mother, etc... not with my baby!

My goal with my birth plan isn't to alienate the staff, and I do know that something may come up or when I'm giving birth I may deviate... and that is okay as long as it is medically NECESSARY or my choice, what is NOT okay is medical staff taking away my right to chose for myself and my baby!

                                                                My Birthplan

My goal is to deliver my baby as safely and naturally as possible without medical intervention, should any intervention be recommended or necessary you need my INFORMED consent prior to the intervention. Please do NOT give me or my baby ANYTHING or do any procedures without prior consent from myself or my husband if I'm unconscious. Thank you all for your support and understanding!

Environment and Pain Relief
- Upon arrival at the hospital, I prefer to have my spouse with me at all times.
Please essential staff only. Absolutely no residents or students attending my birth, and no visitors unless I give my consent. Keep door closed when possible for privacy.
I prefer to wear my own clothing during labor and delivery.
Only offer pain medications if I request them, absolutely NO epidural til 5 cm.
I would like the freedom to move around while laboring to include use of shower, birthing ball, etc.
-If an IV is necessary I would prefer a heparin or saline lock to allow
For Pain Relief I would like to try natural methods
-focused breathing, hot/cold packs, massage, birthing ball, water (shower and hydration), aromatherapy, relaxation (to include music and dim lights)
Labor & Delivery
I prefer to have no episiotomy and risk tearing.
Please, tell me to BEGIN pushing but do not coach me past letting me know its time to start.
As long as the baby is healthy I would like her placed IMMEDIATELY on my chest to start breastfeeding.
I would prefer to breastfeed to stimulate "birthing" the placenta before a uterine "massage"
Do NOT clamp or cut the cord until it stops pulsating
-Please allow my husband to do this IF he wishes
Newborn Care and Procedures
I would like all newborn procedures performed in our presence
ALL medical procedures, even "routine" ones such as shots, eye ointment, vitamin K shot, MUST be approved by the mother!
If baby is healthy delay ANY newborn procedures til an hour after birth to give baby and mom time to bond and begin breastfeeding
Postpartum/Hospital Stay
The baby will be exclusively breastfed and I would like to use any resources and lactation consultants that are  available.
- Absolutely NO formula or pacifiers!
We request full rooming in
We would appreciate privacy during the hospital stay, with guests being approved before entering and limiting the time they visit.
We would like to stay as long as insurance will cover to allow time for the mother to recover.

I am still doing research so I'll be editing the newborn care and procedures section in the future but I wanted to share my personal plan to help other ladies write theirs, and to encourage ladies to do research and know what to expect and to make informed decisions for themselves.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Week 3: $50 a week for groceries


This is week 3 of spending just $50/week on groceries! This week our total was $53.43, $3.43 over the $50 budget.

Every week I check the ad when it comes out and plan my grocery trip around it. This week I saved $15.54 or 23% due to shopping sales prices. I save the majority on our shopping trips by shopping for managers' specials; over 30% of my purchases this week were managers' specials.

My weekly managers specials included:
Horizon Organic 2% Milk 1/2 Gallon $1.99 (2)
Portabella Mushrooms                         $0.99
Flatbread (Garlic & Original)              $0.99  (2)
Dole Salad Kit                                      $0.99
Organic Salad                                       $0.99
Organic Baby Carrots                           $0.99
Horizon Organic Cottage Cheese         $1.99
Organic Soymilk 1/2 gallon                  $1.29

This week 40% of our budget went to 4 items: Snow Crab, and (3) 12 packs of Dr. Pepper. If we had omitted these purchases we could have spent around $30 this week. We did get 30 items for $53, and the majority of them ARE healthy.

I don't know if $50 a week is enough to sustain us over the long run, but even we need to do one bigger shopping trip a month or every other month I'm still seeing lots of benefits to limiting our weekly spending.

Benefits of the $50/week budget: 

  • less food waste
  • saving money (before I would spend $70/mo and up)
  • prioritizing
  • shopping consciously
  • using up the food previously purchased

Every week I'm going to start featuring another blogger's grocery haul. This week the featured blog is comehomeforcomfort. Her haul is pictured on the right and is diverse including chicken, meat, produce, milk, cereal, etc.