Groceries and Patios…

Last week before grocery day, vs this week before grocery day

So a big part of the meal plan for last week was to use up some stuff out of the pantry.  Our pantry was overflowing, and we just kept bringing more stuff in.  So I decided that, for the month of April, I would make a conscientious effort to use the items in the pantry to build meals.  I’m pretty proud of the progress we made in a week, and we had some delicious meals!  The pet food container in front of the pantry in this week’s photo is new, we bought it to store our 10 lb bag of rice because the one we bought this time did not come in a resealable bag.  So we actually added that, but we still took quite a bit away!

We did some rooting around in the pantry again last night while I was making the grocery list and menu, to see what we could find for this week.  Definitely not as much, but still quite a few things we can make meals of and do the double duty of clearing out the pantry while keeping our grocery bill low.  It’s so nice to be able to go in the kitchen and look in the pantry for something and be able to find it!

Today was shopping day, as Thursdays are, and it was a nice frugal one.  We spent just under $85 today, so well under our goal of $110 or less.  One of the stores had a deal where some cereals and cereal bars were on sale, and if you bought 4 you got a free gallon of milk, so we took advantage of that.  I don’t keep cereal around all the time cause it’s expensive and I’m kind of a cereal addict, in that I eat it obsessively when I have it, but it was such a good deal on a relatively healthy cereal that I decided to treat myself.  And I keep the fruit and grain cereal bars around all the time for when I’m craving just a bit of something sweet, or I have them with a cheese stick, yogurt or some almonds when I need a small snack.  Between the sale on the cereal/cereal bars AND the free milk, we really saved some money on that transaction.  I got 2 boxes of the fruit and grain cereal bars, so those should take care of most of my snack requirements for a couple of weeks.

557.jpegWe also had lunch out today, as we do on shopping day.  My bestie and I got on the topic of onion rings the other day, and I had been craving them since then.  I knew I wanted to get some for lunch today, but I wasn’t sure where.  Then Hubs suggested the sports bar that has coupons on the back of one of the grocery receipts.  We’d never been there, but I looked up the menu and they had onion rings, and we had a $4 coupon, so it seemed like a win-win situation.  And just allow me to say… those were some REALLY tasty onion rings, and I enjoyed them 100% guilt free because instead of using my craving as an excuse to go out to a restaurant or order delivery on a day we weren’t supposed to, I told myself I had to wait until today and then I had them at our scheduled lunch out.  I felt like I’d earned them instead of just giving in and treating every whim and fancy that crosses my mind.

Our little patio when we first moved in, before we put anything out there.

Did I mention that the weather was glorious today?  It was.  The first truly beautiful day we’ve had.  Temp in the mid-70s, sun shining (very happy about my sunglasses) and just all around fabulous.

After we got home, we decided it was just too nice to stay inside all evening.  So we headed out to the patio to clean it up and get it ready for Spring and Summer.  First we emptied out the pots we’d had plants in last year, and cleaned them up, so we could use them again this year.  Then we swept the patio, cleaned the door {as best we could, we gotta get a stronger cleaner}, and just generally tidied up.  Now our patio is ready for the season, and ready for the new plants I’m going to plant.  Planning to get some herbs, and a couple of pepper plants.  Our patio is not big, or fancy, but it’s our outdoor space, and until we moved over here last year, we’d never HAD our own outdoor space as adults.  So I love it out there and am looking forward to tending my plants, grilling out, and lounging out there while I knit and read.  All frugal or free activities, I might add!

Ginger burrowed under the pillow


By the time we were all finished outside, it was nearly dark.  We came into a nice cool townhouse and relaxed in the living room while the furbabies napped.  Or at least Ginger did, not sure where Beto was. Hubs fired up a game to play while I went over our checklist of bills I pay monthly and made sure they were all taken care of.  All in all, it was a wonderful, frugal, happy Spring day and my psyche really needed one of those!

Tomorrow is supposed to be gorgeous as well and I plan to spend some time enjoying my patio with my knitting and my books, happy as a clam without spending one red cent!

Hope everyone’s having a great week!

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