Monday, October 2, 2017

Shopping Goals: October 2017

When it came to shopping goals last month I actually managed to get an okay amount of them, but I did come out short on things like bread flour and all purpose flour just because money got tight and I do have some of both already in storage so it's not like I was going to run out last month on either one of them.  I also failed to get turnips as the U-Pick farm I was hoping to go to ended up not planting them, or the crop failed this year as they never posted up that they were ready.  I was really disappointed that I couldn't get turnips cheap, but such is life.  I am figuring on getting some rutabagas at the store and just putting them into the fridge for using as needed (my mom, who grew up on a farm, educated me that rutabagas actually keep better than turnips do), but I'm just going to have to figure on getting turnips or rutabagas throughout the winter at the store, which is sad, but ah well.

I did, indeed, end up getting five boxes of angel hair pasta at the store instead of going for 20 boxes through Amazon, as after digging around and organizing the pasta better in the pantry I found that I did have more than I thought I did and also it was only 1.00 a box at the store, which was cheaper than Amazon was charging.  So, that was a nice (and much cheaper) find.

This month, when it comes to eating, I am working on figuring out a new system for planning menus (I'm hoping to work it out and finally get it written down definitively this week).  My "plan" (if anything I do can be called that *laugh*) is to plan out basic meals that will probably be made once a week (for instance we've been having a breakfast dinner once a week lately) and then figuring out things that I would like to make for dessert and then planning how much of basic staples, like milk and eggs, I would need to buy to make it through the month on that plan.  Then I can better plan on how much milk to buy in a week, how many eggs to buy for a month...things like that.  I can only really do this with staples as with my son...his appetite is all over the place, so it's kind of hard to figure out how much of his "basics" I would need to make it through an entire month.

When it comes to shopping this month, dividends will be in this week for the family (Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend).  Most of said dividends are already spent (or grabbed by our, insert nasty names here, legislature) as I'm going to pay off the chunk of my husband's dental bills that are due by November (only one more big chunk to pay off after this, thank goodness!).  I usually spend some of the dividends to buy masses of food, which I AM buying some, but not as much as I used to by far.  The majority of this food is being bought from Amazon this year.  I'm trying to be careful with what I order, but am going to buy a few new things to try on my son that are peanut free (which anything peanut free, or heck anything "allergy free" period, is always expensive and, unfortunately, a lot of it has to be bought online).  I am hopeful.  I've failed many times over the years, but if ONE thing sticks and he picks up a new food?  All failures are worth it.

Other things I'm ordering from Amazon are things that are just SO much cheaper to order from them than I can get at the store.  Lately the son has decided he is in the mood for Goldfish crackers.  I've tried about four different recipes that are supposed to taste like Goldfish and he won't even touch them, so I've been forced to buy them (which honestly, if it comes down to Goldfish and Cheetos, guess which one I would prefer him to eat?).  The big carton of Goldfish (which I have to buy as he goes directly to eating his body weight in whatever he decides he wants to eat) is up to right around 10.00 at the store, which makes you want to pass out when you put that into your cart and realize that 1/4 of your weekly grocery budget is now shot.  So, yeah, the bulk flat of Goldfish on Amazon it is!

Also on Amazon I am going to buy 3 oils that another mom suggested for helping eczema that I ran into as her son had awful eczema, like Alvah almost, from a young age and she found that the three oils helped her son's skin a lot (she's got a science background and studied oil compounds and things...the conversation went a BIT over my head, but I got the gist of it...I think *laugh*).  She gives her son some in a smoothie as well so he gets them internally and externally, but since Alvah won't really eat smoothies or anything, I'm just ordering the gel caps of the oils and will break them into a home made skin cream and then maybe squeeze some onto his tongue or something later on if he takes to the oils.  I pulled out my herbology text books to better study the oils and found that two of them are considered to be "women" oils (too much of them can actually mess with the "woman" hormones produced in the body, too, which led me to once again researching safe levels of oils for internal consumption per 50 lb increments.  Amazing what kinds of things you research as a parent), which is probably why I never really studied them to possibly help the son's skin, but they do contain a lot of good things for the skin as well, so after really reading into them, I'm going to give them a shot (they ain't cheap, but nothing with the son ever is).

So, here's the list of things I'm buying this month, I hope. (the following links contain associate links...sorry folks.  Yup I'm a sell out.  I admit it.  But hey, at least I'm legitimately buying this stuff and consider it a good enough deal to purchase it...that has to count for something right?)
  • Milano's Parmesan Cheese Tub (80 oz)  This will be enough Parmesan Cheese to last us a year, I hope, and at 24.06 for 5 lbs of Parmesan cheese I couldn't pass it up.  We eat Parmesan Cheese a LOT and it is one of the few "real food" items my son will eat on pasta, so I found this to be the most economical way of getting it (as the Kraft stuff is up to astronomical levels at the stores and the son won't do the store generic types).   And double bonus is that it comes in ONE container, which will lead me to not having to throw out a small Kraft container all the time, so yay for that!
  • Kraft Easy Mac Cups (10 Pack)  Another "boy food" that I very rarely buy anymore.  This will be used to split up other foods for school lunches.  I got the 10 pack for 5.24 after Subscribe and Save discount and the coupon had been applied.
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Borage Oil Capsules 
  • Black Currant Seed Oil 
  • Don't Go Nuts Nut-Free Organic Roasted Soybean Spread, Variety Pack   Once again a "try it on the son and see if he goes for it" type of experiment.  I've found that soybean spreads like Wowbutter really do taste the most like peanut butter (and every other nut butter alternative I've tried on him, such as almond butter, have failed miserably), so I figure I'll try him on these different ones.  If he goes for it, it'll be another source of protein for him.  And YES I know, trust me I've read it all (I used to run an allergy food blog ages ago), about soy and the dangers of eating too much of it and such and yes I still think it's worth trying with him as right now the most protein he eats at one time is when he occasionally will eat Bumblebee Tuna Salad.
  • Don't Go Nuts Nut-Free Organic Snack Bars, Gorilla Power, Chocolate Chip Granola (12 count)  The son has eaten some raw oats a couple of times as a sensory seeking thing, so I'm hoping, maybe, between the chocolate chips and the oats that he might go for these.  Note:  I did get mine cheaper as they were offering a 20% additional discount on their bars earlier in the week, so I got these for 11.62...they are more expensive now.  Fingers crossed that he likes them! 
  • Curel Itch Defense Lotion (the school requested their own container of lotion, so I gave them what I had of mine.  I only gave them about 1/3 of my Puriya Mother of All Creams, so at least I still have that until it comes in to help stretch out the Puriya :).
  • Annie's Mac and Cheese, Pack of 12  (okay, this was just cheap and will last us forever around here.  I got the 12 pack of Shells and White Cheddar for 7.10 after coupon and Subscribe and Save discount.  That's cheap for any macaroni and cheese anymore, but for actual REAL cheese macaroni and cheese that's unheard of cheap!  I'm not a huge fan of Mac and Cheese but my daughter loves it).
  • Zegerid OTC Capsules, 42 Ct (this my husband just needs as he's getting low and through Amazon, after the 15% Subscribe and Save discount for ordering 5 or more items is taken off, it is like 5.00 cheaper than buying it at the store!  Totally worth it!) 
  • Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, Cheddar, 30 Ounce (Pack of 6)  See above for explanation on that one.
How much is this going to cost?  Well, it isn't going to be cheap.  I have a gift card to pay for part of the order, which will help to offset the costs a bit and really, compared to how nuts I used to go when dividends came in, I thought I did pretty well this time around.

Bulk Store:
  • Bread Flour (25 lbs...maybe 50...depending on price)
  • All Purpose Flour (25 lbs)

Fred Meyer:
  • Trash Bags (cheapest place to get them right now that I can find)
 And there you go folks.  My "master list" for shopping this October.  How about you?  Getting anything this month?


  1. I managed to stay within the budget last month, but only just. Of course, new month, new things popping up. I too am low on pasta and its past time for their semi annual sale at Kroger so gettting nervous, Since our eletric bill is a little lower this month I'm trying to not cringe at the extras popping up in our list, and the birthday and christmas gifts starting to buy.

    I'm a little sad, I am about to lose my Amazon affiliation, because while some people did buy through my link, Amazon said they were out of state family and that didn't count. I think I have another week or two before it ends. I'm not huge at pushing sales, but it would have been nice to help with site fees!

    I was released from Primary the other day. It was the class my youngest was in. I have been with those kids for over a year, and I went kicking and screaming. They insist I am needed as the RS presidency secretary I am going to stop being trustworthy and organized and pulling my weight. And after this one, say I want a break. I taught my kids in Primary for 4 years, so not happy to leave. At least I get to serve with a good friend, and will go from 2 large callings down to one. Since I don't have to find subs, wont worry if I miss a Sunday or two.

    1. Sarah, when I clicked on your name, I came to a screen that said "Profile cannot be displayed." Maybe that's one of the reasons you're not getting enough traffic?

  2. Yeah, my sister-in-law was teaching primary for, I think (don't hold me to this time line) like two years and when they yanked it from her the kids and her were devastated. Sorry you had to deal with that, but good for you for looking at the bright side (less to worry about, etc). Good luck with the budget and I'm sorry about Amazon. I worry they will do that to me at some point as I go months with no associate "action" on the account. But, we'll see how it goes. I signed up for the Amazon giftcard versus a check method, which I think helps. That or the fact that I've been an associate for...geez nine years about now through various blogs I've had might count for something with them. Maybe. Sorry they are cancelling your associate program, though. That stinks :(.

  3. I was happy to move from primary to young women. I was in nursery for a time and had 17 kids between 18 month and 3 years old. And I was pregnant. It was rough. 😳

    1. That's a lot of young kids to juggle! That would be taxing!

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  4. I’ve never tried the soybean spread. I do like the sunbutter spreads though.

    I love to use Amazon for bulk shopping, too. It costs up front, but it keeps me out of the store.

  5. We've recently started doing our weekly meal plan with each day having a theme. It has helped me to come up with meals when I'm tired of cooking and has also saved some money since it pretty much guarantees that we won't be choosing expensive meals every day (and that's important for our large family!).
    Sunday-Salads topped with meat, cheese, and french fries
    Monday-Beans and/or rice
    Wednesday-Soup or Casserole
    Saturday-Meat and Potato

  6. All three of my grandchildren were diagnosis of Eczema turns out they were not getting enough water. Check water intake first.

    1. I am sure that is part of his problem. He won't drink water...he gags on it and vomits if you try to give him a sip. His teacher and speech therapist are both working on that with him. Hopefully soon he'll drink more non-caffeinated beverages and things, but for now we just have to deal.

    2. Erika, Does he eat Jello? If so, you might try some plain gelatin to give him some "thicker" water -- makes it much easier to swallow. Chris M

    3. No. He won't do any "squishy" textures. Anything thicker than cola he rebels. I DID get some seltzer water at the store, though and am going to try SLOWLY watering his soda down. If I can get up to even 30% water I can't imagine that won't help some.

    4. Good luck, Erika with the slow introduction/reduction. I know it's hard! I sometimes wish I could wave a magic wand and have these sensory issues disappear! You're on the right track. I have seen kids make some changes and get better at taking in a better of variety of foods and drinks. Chris M

  7. I'm glad you can stock a few things up! It's always nice to have a few things on hand. I'm really stocked right now, but ended up earning more money than I anticipated last month, so will get it mid-October. It's not a lot, but it will make a difference between a penny-pinching month and a regular one. Nice!

  8. Erika, you constantly amaze me with your hopeful attitude over all God has given you in this life. The cost of living in Alaska would be so hard for me. Yet you handle it with ease.
    Also, lovingly, I would like to caution you about giving your son EOs internally. If you go to or access their FB page, you'll find TONS of good, safe information. Usually diffusing or topically-diluted are the ways to treat with EOs.