Friday, January 17, 2020

Shopping Goals: January 2020

Right, first.  "Where's the Frugal Friday post?" you may ask.  Well, the answer is simple really.  I didn't do much at all this week.  Period.  I started Alvah on antibiotics, which I have to do a huge shout out about how proud I am of my young man on taking those.  He doesn't "do" pills, so they had to give him liquid antibiotics and the stuff he had was grainy, nasty, super duper bitter and just horrible stuff to take, but he took it like a champ and we got through all of the doses without losing any from it coming back up, which honestly positions reversed...I don't know if I could have done that. 

Anyway, we started him on antibiotics, what, Sunday?  Monday I started to get sick.  And I was MISERABLY sick till today.  The only time I've been more miserably sick was with the flu.  I can say that the only real money savings I did this week was I was determined to not get take out as my husband had to go to the doctor on Sunday for various really worrying issues (turns out it was probably his blood pressure meds he was taking.  They gave him an EKG and things and found that was the most likely culprit for his symptoms.  He's on a new med now and is doing a lot better) and with that and my other medical bills staring me in the face, and a potential new one if I couldn't kick this thing, I was determined to save money where I could.  But, yeah, other than that, there wasn't a lot of anything going on around here in any department.  The son took antibiotics and slept a huge lot.  I got through school work for the day with the kids and I would crash for an hour or so before having to start dinner and that was the extent of my day.   The husband and the daughter got us through the week house work wise and I'm just starting to pick up some of the slack tonight and trying DESPERATELY not to overdo it, which is hard to do since I'm feeling way better than I was 24 hours ago.

So, let's get onto something that I did manage to get done so far this month, which was an actual shopping goals list.  And believe it or not, yes, I am still working on goals for 2020.  We got sick and it got waylaid, but I am working on it.

Now, before someone chimes in about Ramen, yeessss I know Ramen isn't exactly the most healthy of options when it comes to food.  BUT, when it comes to good old emergency rations, it is great to have around as Cup of Soups only require boiling water to reconstitute and they will fill you up.  And when it comes to rotating out food storage, at least eating Ramen won't make you wonder why you dared to choose to put it in your food storage (okay, I LIKE Ramen, so that helps.  I grew up on the stuff and it was a staple of my child hood diet.  Sad, but true).

I did feel pretty good about having food in the house as I guess our one ship we get a week this time of year with supplies for the grocery stores was late last week and the stores ran out of a bunch of stuff, including fresh chicken, produce and other stuff.  Since we had just gotten milk (thank goodness for that) and the few things we needed a couple of days before that we were able to ride out the late shipment without hurting because of it. 

So, onto the shopping list.  I am not including any associate links with this post, I'm just sharing :).

Maruchan Instant Lunch Chicken Flavor, Pack of 12  (these were even CHEAPER when I ordered them.  They were like 3.25 for a pack of 12!  Beats local prices for these by a long shot!).

Jello Instant Pudding Mix, Chocolate Fudge (pack of 6) x 2.  I bought this for texture tolerance exercises with Alvah.  He reacts badly to a lot of products normally used, like shaving cream, so this seems like a good option and he has a terrible aversion to anything soft and squishy texture-wise when it comes to food, so this seemed like a good place to start.  We shall see.  And if I can get him to try chocolate pudding, all the better. 

Maruchan Flavored Ramen Soy Sauce, pack of 24  I got these to add vegetables and things to to make quick Ramen noodle bowls with when people are sick and things around here.  I haven't seen the Soy Sauce flavored Ramen in years, so I now have enough to last me for the next 20 years or so I think.

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Packs, 90 Loads  I have tried everything on the market, tried soap nuts (I was allergic to those believe it or not), magnetic laundry systems (spoiler:  It didn't work and made laundry stinky), laundry balls (did help to agitate the laundry more), made about 18 different recipes for home made laundry detergent and these are the ONLY thing I've found that the whole family will tolerate without breaking out and still get the laundry clean without any build up of stinky residue (which the liquid free and clear Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent does with our water).  I have to put the laundry through an additional rinse to make sure it is rinsed out completely or Alvah's skin will start to protest, but overall, these are the best option I've found. 

I got these decently cheap with a coupon, but since I used said coupon I don't know if it is still available.  Since those coupons don't last long (25% off) I'm assuming it's probably gone.

PG Tips Tea, 240 Ct.  I got off way cheaper for this than it is showing now, I got mine for about 10.00, but the 460 ct bag is now a lot cheaper if anyone likes this tea.  I've been sticking to one cup of coffee in the morning and then switching to tea during the day more and more, so I needed to replenish my tea stores.

McCormick Brown Gravy Mix, 21 Ounce  This stuff has been magic when it comes to getting my daughter to eat home made mashed potatoes, so to me it is worth keeping it in the house.

Non-Food Items:

Corelle Dinner Plates, 8 piece, Winter Frost White 

I was lucky when it came to the earthquake and dinner plates, really.  They were in the dishwasher when the earthquake hit.  Unfortunately, since then the plates have chipped on the edges more and more to the point that I was cutting myself when I washing them or pulling them out of the cupboard.  I talked to family members who used to work at the Corning plant in Charleroi, PA back in the day and they basically said when Corelle starts to chip it gets really unsafe and to just throw them away and get new.  So, that's what I did with a small tear in my eye. 

I didn't want to get a whole new dish service because I don't need cereal bowls, those are still in fine shape, or dessert type of plates, so I just bought these for now and will work on getting some smaller salad plates/lunch plates later when I can afford to replace those.  I ended up getting the plates for free due to Amazon shipping things awful, which was nice not having to put any money for these on my credit card.

Regular Stores:

  • Toasted Sesame Oil

  • Rockit Apples (6 lbs)  I got some of these on 5.00 Fridays last month and my husband absolutely fell in love with them and has been taking them in his lunch to eat with some cheese sticks and some crackers and things for a quick breakfast before he heads home from work.  Doing this stops him from going out to breakfast most mornings and is saving me a bunch of money, so that in itself would be totally worth it.  I am also working on keeping a small bowl of fruit in the center of the table in case the son wants to spin and chew on an apple (which has been randomly happening), so these are perfect for that as they are small so if he wastes one experimenting with food I'm not crying over a 3.00 per lb, on sale, honey crisp or something.  Since they work out to 1.66 lb when on the 5.00 Friday sale, it was worth getting to me.   I had my husband pick up a couple boxes of these on 5.00 Friday today, so we'll be set for a while.
  • Stir Fry noodles  I got a cast iron wok and some wok oil for Christmas and want to try my hand at making something resembling Mongolian BBQ at home.  We have a Mongolian BBQ place in Anchorage that my husband and I used to love going to before we had kids, so I'm hoping to get something even remotely close to those wonderful flavors at home.
  • Edamame 
  • Open Nature Cashew Butter (the best peanut butter alternative I've found that isn't soy based and it isn't cross contaminated, so I'm sticking with this for the time being :)
So, there is my shopping goals as they stand for this month.  Since the mortgage went up 100.00 nearly a month and we have other bills that are going to be higher (like utilities) due to the time of year and things...I'm really not sure if I'll be getting anything other than the things I've gotten so far (like the stuff on Amazon and the apples), but we'll see how far the grocery budget will stretch.

How about you all?  Needing to get anything this month?


  1. I love Ramen noodles too. Old habits die hard for me. I know all the stuff about them being bad for you but sometimes I just want to dump a bunch of leftover veggies in a few packages and call it a day. They are easy and can save you take out money, store well for emergencies and sick days. Never apologize for what you eat or feed your family. No one else knows anyone's situation or if another person had a sick day or just needed to get something quick on the table before collapsing. Hope your household gets through this latest round of sickness. Good thing I am 60 and no young children in our house now as I pick up every bug. My immune system is super low. Looking for natural ways to help build it up now. My immunologist doesn't want to do IV's yet to build up the gamma gobulin so hoping to avoid that for a while. Take care and glad to see your last few posts.

  2. Another ramen noodle lover here. I don't eat them often, but my autistic daughter sure loves them! We like to keep packages of ramen in the house for emergencies, as well as for making a low mein stir fry recipe that the family adores. With such a cheap price tag, those noodles are definitely worth keeping a stock pile of in the pantry.

    Good luck with getting your son to eat chocolate pudding. Even if your son refuses to eat it, I'm sure your husband and daughter will help eat it up. I keep a stock of instant pudding in my pantry as well, along with powdered milk. In an emergency with hydro loss, I can easily mix up a box using water and powdered milk, then shake it in a jar to mix it. Refridgeration would not be necessary if we eat it immediately. Perfect for a simple dessert or a bagged lunch item as well!

  3. Ramen is great for being ill. I throw out the seasoning packet and doctor up my own homemade bone broth, add cooked chicken from the freezer and it's soup.
    As for shopping, I'm trying very hard to only get the basics of produce and a little dairy. Our freezers are stuffed as is the pantry. We did pick up some canned veg last week on sale and some block cheese for the grandkids. We also gifted their parents with boxes of diapers because with 2 in diapers it adds up quickly! Tomorrow I'll get farm eggs from the natural food store and some Kombucha. We've found this winter so far (please Father God, let it continue), keeping our guts healthy with probiotics and Essential Oils; we've only had a cold once. Mine did go to a sinus infection but that's my own fault for not doing sinus rinses on a regular basis. The flu is rampant here and I cannot afford to lose time from work, so we're doing all we can to stay healthy.

  4. I think you have a good list this month, Erika! My daughter LOVES Ramen and we usually have some on hand for her to eat for snacks or a quick lunch. I've never had Rockit apples before - I'm not sure they're available for purchase in our part of the country.

    It seems like we're eating the same thing over and over again here. I need to inventory the freezers and pantry and figure out what we need to eat up. I need to make beet pickles also - I have loads of beets in the freezer and that's the only way I know they will be eaten up! Food prices have gone through the roof here so many of our "staples" are bumping our budget way up. It may be time to revamp the menus.

    I hope you all get over the current bug soon!

  5. Life is an unexpected change mode for us right now, learning how to live in a semi rural area without a car. Only a few things fit in a back pack and I can only handle the walk so far once a week, and after my husband and I make said walk i am out of commission for the rest of the day, so there are definite things we could use, but it will have to wait until I can tag along in a car with someone enroute for groceries.