Monday, June 20, 2016

June 2016 Grocery Budget Challenge Update and Cherries Coming Out Our Ears

  I realized this morning that I have not done an update on how our June 2016 Grocery Budget Challenge is going.  So far I think we have done pretty well.  Upon the last update I had $106.67 left for the month.  I have since gone shopping for things that we needed and also stumbled upon some great stock up deals too!  I debated on buying them but figured I could cut back on something else if needed.  
   We shopped at both Walmart and the Dollar Tree.  Combined total for both stores came out to $52.47, leaving me with $54.22 for the rest of the month.  I was able to offset the cost of the stock up items with coupons.  I used coupons that I had printed off going through Swagbucks and will get 10 points per redeemed coupon.  I saved $18.00 in coupons alone.  Most of my stock up items were things that were on clearance or sale, which netted me even further savings.
   Our garden is supplying us with lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, green onions, and tons of cherries at the moment.  So many cherries!  We have been picking like mad and so have our kids.  We've given a bunch away already and are asking our friends and neighbors to please come and pick some for their families also.  I would say that a conservative estimate would be that we have harvested about 17 gallons of cherries within the past 2 days.  I don't know what that works out to in pounds but I do know that the cheapest we have seem cherries selling around here is for $2.98 a pound.

   I'm pretty confident that I will be able to stay within our challenge budget for this month.  It's the 20th already and we have our volunteer work this week which will give us more free groceries.  I am trying to plan meals around what is in the freezer, garden and pantry for the most part and have gotten pretty creative when I have run out of something. ;)  I think the $54.22 remaining will be more than doable! :)


  1. Well done on your grocery challenge. My budget went in the tank with a major car repair bill. Oh, well. That's why we budget, right?
    I had to laugh about your cherry harvest. I was like that with my tomatillos last year. I just kept filling up 5-gallon buckets. Then, when I was tired of that I backfilled part of my raised bed with the 'downed' fruit. Needless to say,I have quit a few plants growing for this year's crop.
    Your post reminded me to get over to the dollar store. It's just not on my radar and I need to go check it out.
    I had a bit of a crash over the weekend. My Dad passed years ago and this last week was both his birthday, date of his passing and Father's Day. Things that trigger my emotions seem to lead to a crash. But today was a good day and I was able to garden for two hours. Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

    1. (((((HUGS))))) SJ. I'm sorry about your crash and about your having a rough time over the weekend. I do understand. I get the same way in February (the month my grandmother passed away) and on my birthday and on her's (our birthdays are 1 day apart).

      I had to laugh about your tomatillos and how you now have lots of them growing again. :) I have never grown tomatillos and have also never cooked with them. Can you share what you personally mostly use them in?

      Be blessed!

    2. Hi back. The last two days have been good ones. I'm thankful my crashes usually don't last very long.
      I used the tomatillos to make a green salsa that's spicy but not too spicey. Some of the recipes said to halve the fruit and roast it in the oven. Then proceed to make the salsa. I didn't have the energy for that. I just took the outer husk off, washed the fruit, and then processed the lot in my food processor. Then proceeded to make a salsa with vinegar, hot peppers and some onion. I liked it.
      One of the ladies at my community garden said she used very very ripe tomatillos fresh in her salads. She said they were a bit savory but very nice. I might try that this year if I have salad greens growing at the same time.
      I have had very poor luck growing any kind of slicer tomatoes here. Tomatoes in general are hit or miss. At best, I get cherry or grape tomatoes. Well, those are ok for fresh eating but I never can get enough, or have the patience, to make any kind of preserves with them. So, I tried the tomatillos last year and they were amazing. No pests, no blight, prolific. People were avoiding me because I couldn't give away all I had! This year I won't have as big a crop since I ruthlessly cut back on the number of plants allowed to grow. Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  2. I feel so blessed to have just found your blog. Just spent a little time catching up on different posts. They're so inspiring.
    Wish I lived closer, I'd help you out with the cherries, but I'm on the other side of the country. Darn.

    I think Amish and Mennonite cookbooks are wonderful too. We live in a town with a large Amish and Mennonite population so I've certainly learned a lot of skills from my neighbors especially things to do with "all that zucchini" that everyone seems to have.
    I've made "mock applesauce", cream of zucchini soup, "mock fried apples with cinnamon" and, of course, some of the usual things like zucchini apple relish, zoodles, pickles, lasagna noodles, etc.

    So far June has been quite a frugal month with no big surprises. While the garden is just starting to produce (radishes and herbs mostly) we do live in a farming community and I'm able to get many things from the farmers market and also go to the various close by farms and purchase meat, chicken, pork, eggs, without going over budget.

    We ate all meals at home, I "manufactured" lots of condiments, seasonings from what was on hand, worked on knitted Christmas gifts,
    sewed small fabric scraps (crumbs) together to create new fabric, started a new quilt, weeded and fertilized the garden using trench composting, hubs mowed the law, combined errands to save on gas, used the printer at the library for a nickel a page instead of buying new toner. Put some WWII rationing cookbooks on reserve at the library instead of buying anything, smoked a pork roast that was 99 cents per lb., chicken, and salmon that was in the freezer that will be packaged and frozen for later meals. I think that's it .

    Really love your blog. Have a blessed day. Cookie in Pa.

    1. HI Cookie and welcome! You are so sweet! You have been really frugal and put me to shame. :) Boy would I love to share our cherries with you. Do you have a blog that I could visit?

    2. Hi Debbie,
      I don't have a blog. Maybe someday. I will, however continue to enjoy yours
      Cookie in Pa.

  3. Looks like you are doing very well with your grocery budget and challenge!

    Yum, cherries! Wish I lived closer! I'd have come over and picked some for myself! Make lots of cherry pie and have a slice for me!

    1. Hi Bless...I would love to share with you. There are enough cherries on that tree to supply an entire neighborhood!

  4. Wow! Yeah, I'd say you are doing great on your challenge! I'm jealous of all your cherries. When the hubby and I were in Oregon last year, my mom got us cherries from a local farm, and OMG! They were amazing! It's ruined me for buying cherries from the grocery store here :-)

    Have a great week Debbie!

    1. Thanks Jessica! I did not get out to pick any today and really need to get out there tomorrow before the birds get them all.


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