New Grocery Challenge

The kids are going to be gone for a week starting Monday, and I am working the weekend. My next day off work will be July 26th. I am setting myself the challenge of not buying any food, groceries or food out until July 26th. I promise the meals will be balanced and filling.

Here is my pantry that I will be working from:

Top of pantry

Bottom of pantry

~7# flour

~4.5# sugar

~2 oz vanilla

1/2 box of tapioca

3 cloves fresh garlic

1/2# powdered sugar

1/2 box of baking soda

~ 3/4# spaghetti

~ 20 tea bags

spices: salt, pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, chili powder, cinnamon, 1 package taco seasoning, 4 cubes vegetable bouillon

1 bottle Shiraz

~ 8 oz Cocoa Rice Cereal

~ 5# russet potatoes

19 oz can lentil soup

14.5 oz can sliced beets

2 cans tomato soup

2  21 oz blueberry pie filling

1 box macaroni and cheese

15.25 oz canned corn

15.5 oz canned black beans

1 1/3 cups pink lentils

~ 5 oz white balsamic vinaigrette

14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes

2  8 oz canned tomato sauce

2   12 oz jars of fruit jam

13 oz of organic roasted red pepper vinaigrette

# ground organic coffee

~ 9 oz peanut butter

1 boxed no-bake dessert

29 ox canned peaches

~ 20 oz canola oil

In the Refrigerator:

Missing from the photo: the eggs

2 hard-boiled eggs

~16 oz OJ

~1.25 cups shredded cheese

1  1/3 sticks butter

~ 7 oz bottled lemon juice

~ 3 oz yeast

~ 4 oz coconut coffee creamer

~ 1 cup organic fat-free milk

4 yogurt

part of a watermelon, cubed


about 2-3 ribs of celery, in sticks

5 tomatoes

bag of apples

~ 2/3 of a bag of carrots

In the Freezer:

Freezer food

2 Tilapia

2   8 0z boxes of frozen mixed vegetables

1 chopped onion

2 Southwest Veggie Stuffed Sandwiches

1   16 oz bottle pineapple juice

I plan of taking photos each day of what I eat, and posting the recipes when appropriate. I hope to show you that what looks like just scraps is really a feast, when seen with imagination. Plus save myself some money, too.


The Battle Between Good and Evil

I took the kids to see the final episode of the Harry Potter movie series yesterday. We rarely go to the theatre to see movies as it is so expensive compared to other ways of viewing them. We have all read the books, so when the movies started coming out, it became a tradition for us to go to a matinée together.

We enjoyed the movie. (Spoiler alert: I’m not going to tell you anything that you haven’t seen in the trailers) But while I’m watching the big battle scene between the death-eaters and giants vs. the Hogwarts students and professors, I can’t help thinking, “The movies always do this. They turn the battle between good and evil into a big showy, gory thing out there. But usually the struggle is within us.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said it very well:

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who among us is willing to destroy a piece of their own heart?

July 11th Groceries



Total spent $77.07 for a total so far this month of $223.86. I don’t have eat out totals for you today, but they are running less than usual so far.

Organics purchased include: coffee, milk, cream, eggs. Non-organic meat and dairy include frozen chicken breast, meatballs, shredded cheese and yogurt.

Menus for the week:

Monday: Grilled chicken breasts, egg noodles, steamed green beans

Tuesday: Quiche, steamed broccoli and sliced mangos

Wednesday: Just me, leftovers

Thursday: Vegan Shepard’s pie, peaches, blueberry pie

Friday: Spaghetti and meatballs, watermelon

Interium Grocery Shop

Just because I forgot to put a couple things on the list, and because the kids at home during the summer go through the fruit like crazy.

orange juice



Total for this shop $33.00, total for the month so far $146.79. Eat out total so far $11.29.

Word Play

Amazing! The Language Arts teacher of my 7th grader insists he does not know the parts of speech. But we were playing with Google Translator [type a sentence in English and ask the translator to convert the sentence into one of a hundred foreign languages and then ask it to translate the resulting sentence back to English.] Sometime you get the original sentence, sometimes you get a ridiculous reconstitution.

It didn’t take 7th grader long to figure out that some parts of speech get “lost in translation” quicker than others and make for amusing phraseology. Turns out he does know the difference between an adjective and an adverb and that a word that can be both a verb and a noun sometimes gets translated incorrectly more often than one that is not. Also, more effective for this purpose are languages that have different origins than English such as oriental or middle eastern.

I’m thinking this has application for middle schools everywhere. Fun AND learning.

Scars and Family History

Youngest son and I were driving on errands last week [isn’t that when the best conversations occur?] when we began talking about the scars of various family members and how they were acquired. Turns out all the kids have a scar under the chin from splitting it open on something when they were toddlers, lots of people do. But middle son’s scar started and ended with laugher, sandwiching the blood and tears in the middle.

He was 4 years old and we were sitting at the dinner table eating and his big sister (all of 5 years) was telling burp and fart jokes that she had learned at school that day. He got tickled and started laughing so hard that he slipped off his chair and hit his chin on the seat. Dinner interrupted, we all head out to the ER to get him sewed up.

Triage ER staff ask me what happen and I relate that he bumped his chin on the chair. We get taken back to a cubicle and wait. When the doctor arrives to stitch middle son up, he asks middle son, not me, what happened. Middle son launches into the long version, including a recounting of the specific fart joke that he found so amusing. My face goes deep red and I start to slide down in my chair, which tickles the doctor, so he has my son tell the story again when the nurse comes in with the suture tray. And again when we are leaving and a colleague walks by. SIGH.

Back In My Element

Man oh man! The kids are home, I have a full pantry and a day off work to cook. AND A KITCHEN SINK. Saturday I made: Orange Sunshine (a vegan salad), cucumber salad w/ cucumber given to me by a patient, tossed salad w/ remnants from last night’s tacos, a no-bake chocolate-peanut butter pie, homemade pizza and this AM for breakfast: cinnamon rolls.

July 1st Groceries

The kids are back home, so I did a big refill-the-pantry shop with lots of cookies and canned spaghetti for the days they are home and I am not. I spent $105.53.

July 1 groceries

Organics include: milk, cream, whole frozen chicken, lentils and bread. Non-organic dairy and meat include: yogurt, shredded cheese, pepperoni and roast beef slices for sandwiches.

Menus for the next week:

Friday: Tacos made w/ lentils and packaged taco seasoning

Saturday: Homemade pepperoni pizza

Sunday: Broiled tilapia w/ chili powder, steamed brocoli

Monday: Roast chicken w/ rosemary, baked potatoes, steamed green beans

Tuesday: Cheese ravioli in tomato sauce, fruit salad made w/ fresh mangos, kiwi and cantaloupe

Wednesday: Just me, leftovers

Thursday: Vegetable soup made w/ beef stock, frozen mixed vegetables, potatoes with side of biscuits and jam.