Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 12 of 52

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costco shopping tripI think I’m starting to get this whole shopping at one store thing down. Yes, Costco has it’s limitations {for instance I am out of ketchup. Do I want to buy 3 giant bottles of ketchup… NO} but for the most part, I think I’m doing pretty good. Cooking most of our meals from scratch HELPS ENORMOUSLY… if we didn’t, I know our grocery bill would be much higher.

bertolli sauce

And bartering… Earlier in the week I bartered with The Church Lady {my neighbor down the street} and came home with a few bottles of pasta sauce, Good Earth Tea and a can of Orange Juice. I cannot remember what the heck I traded her though.

clif organic z bar

I was also able to fill Monkey Boy’s goody drawer with some Chocolate brownie Clif Bars I was able to order with some groupon credit.

making salad

Okay, so what are a few of the things I feed my family this past week?

Salads… and yummy ones too. I ran out of salad dressing early last week so I’ve been making my homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead of using the bottled stuff.

apple crisp

Apple crisp. To go with all that Costco vanilla ice cream of course. ;)

pasta

Pasta for Monkey Boy.

zaycon chicken tenders

Zaycon breaded chicken, mashed potatoes and homemade corn muffins.
go direct foods pot roast

Pot roast, green beans {frozen, from last summer} and curry rice.

baked potato

Baked potatoes topped with sour cream and warm bacon.

old fashioned egg custard

Old Fashioned Egg Custard. It’s pretty much the best stuff on earth to make when you have a bunch of eggs laying around to use up. I typically serve it warm. And it’s YUMMY.

steel cut oats

Breakfast in bed… Steel cut oats and orange juice for the HH.blueberry smoothie

Blueberry and Banana smoothies are great for mornings on the go. {I still have a ton of frozen blueberries!}.eggs

Hard boiled eggs. Boring, I know. But they are a great protein source.

pumpkin bread

And last but not least, I made a batch of pumpkin bread using some canned pumpkin I had in my pantry.

Not the most exciting meals on the planet… but they got the job done.

What have YOU been cooking lately?

~Mavis

Here are the links to the loaf pans I used above if you are interested.

Norpro 12 Inch Nonstick Bread Pan and the Focus Foodservice Commercial Bakeware 1 1/2 Pound Pullman Pan

Total Spent This Week $25.41
Total Spent Year to Date $354.59

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 11 of 52

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lentil and rice soup

I wasn’t planning on it but I had a “no spend” week. Maybe it was all the food I bought last week, or the fact that I had so much going on with the remodel, gardening and catching up on some blogging that I forgot to go to the store.

I am down to a half gallon of milk, so I suppose I’ll need to stop by Costco today or tomorrow and stock up again.

bobs red mill stew

Instead of shopping at the store, I shopped my pantry and freezer this week and ended up with some delicious dinners {and plenty of leftovers for lunch}. I made two giant pots of stew {one was a lentil and rice concoction and the other was a Bob’s Red Mill mix I simply added some beef to}. Sometimes I feel like I’m feeding my family too many stews but let me tell you Bob, they sure make great leftovers.
pasta

Monkey Boy’s weekly pasta.
dinner salad

We had big salads a couple times last week.
grilled cheese and salad

And grilled cheese sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Bread as well. {Have you tried Dave’s bread yet? Delicious!}

pot roast dinner

Last night I made a pot roast with mashed potatoes and corn for our Sunday dinner.

blueberry waffles

For breakfast this past week we stuck to the basics… waffles, pancakes, scrambled eggs with toast.

steel cut oats

And of course the HH’s favorite Steel Cut Oats. {A million times better than quick oats!}

Nothing too fancy this week {and no desserts!!} but it got the job done. :)

How are YOU doing on your grocery budget this month?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $0
Total Spent Year to Date $329.18

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 10 of 52

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costco cash card

I arrived home Saturday afternoon to find a lovely birthday card from my in-laws. Tucked inside was a $100 cash card to Costco. Wahoooo! Who wouldn’t love that for their birthday? Especially since I came home to a totally empty fridge {well, okay, there was still plenty of yogurt} and bare cupboards.

The boys had eaten all the pasta and chili I made before I left as well as all the snacks, crackers, chips and bread in the pantry. Usually they are too lazy to heat stuff up when I’m out of town, but apparently they were desperate this time. My husband, who rarely goes to the grocery store {I think we all remember his last trip} said he did make one trip to buy “chips, orange juice and cereal.”

I was shocked when the HH told me they didn’t order a pizza while I was away, but they did go out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner once. {When we travel, we use money from our travel budget for eating out. I will typically leave the boys with a little cash on the counter before I go and if they decide to eat out while I’m away, it comes out of the fund.}

costco shopping trip

I suppose I could have spent my Costco birthday cash on something else… but hey, who doesn’t like food. Right? Haggen Daz bars and bacon. Now that’s a pretty awesome birthday present if you ask me.

I love one stop shopping!

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $16.93
Total Spent Year to Date $329.18

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 9 of 52

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costco shopping trip

I popped into Costco right before I left for the east coast and picked up a few of the boy’s favorite things… doughnuts, popcorn, chicken skewers and a few other necessities. Well, I consider bread and eggs necessities, but maybe I’m crazy.

My husband isn’t known to cook, in fact maybe if I’m lucky he will cook once {or twice} a year. :)  I’m fairly certain all 24 of those eggs you see above will still be there when I return. But who knows, maybe he’ll get really hungry and pull up a you-tube video on how to scramble eggs. I wouldn’t hold your breath though. ;)

In my mad dash to leave I forgot to snap pictures of the pasta I made {and put into individual containers} and the frozen chili and soups I set in the fridge to thaw.

When I go on vacation… so do the boys so if I come home to a bunch of pizza boxes I won’t be surprised.

After 20 years of marriage, some things never change.

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $38.53
Total Spent Year to Date $ 312.25

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill Shopping at Costco Week 8 of 52

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costco shopping trip

The one thing that is starting to annoy me about shopping exclusively at Costco is the portion sizes. For instance, even though Monkey Boy’s beloved Doritos were on sale for $3.99 this week, if I was going to treat him to a bag from the grocery store I would have waited until they were on sale for $2 a bag. Sure the LOVES the fact that he is getting more… but I miss being able to spend that other $2 on something else. First world problems, I know.

ham and egg

I do love those Costco croissants though. Especially when they are stuffed with eggs, cheese and ham. Yummarooo! Talk about the perfect breakfast to fill your belly.

turkey

Last fall Zaycon was offering 6 packs of seasoned turkey breasts and let me tell you Bob they were delicious! Sadly I used up the last one I had this past week. :( Must.Get.More.
turkey casserole

I whipped up an easy peasy turkey casserole with the leftovers.
peach crisp

I made a peach crisp using some canned peaches I had in the pantry. Earlier in the week I also cooked a sweet and sour freezer meatballs freezer meal and it served it over rice. It took us 2 days to finish. And I served pasta one night as well.

simple salad

Check it out! My first homegrown salad of the season. I added a little balsamic vinegar and shredded cheese and it was perfect. If you’ve never grown lettuce indoors before you should really try it during the winter months. It will make you heart happy. :)

simple cheesecake

When I was at Costco last week I wanted so badly to buy one of their giant cheesecakes for $12.99. I’ve had them before at sports banquets and the Costco plain cheesecake is delish. But I didn’t want to blow 1/3 of my budget on it so I found a basic recipe and slightly modified it to what I had on hand and made one. The recipe called for a fresh fruit topping but I thawed some blueberries I’ve had in the freezer since last summer and the cheesecake was WONDERFUL.  {I’ll post the recipe soon}.breakfast

And last but not least, the HH’s Sunday breakfast tray. I serve him breakfast in bed every Sunday. Did you know that?

Feeding your family yummy food using the staples you already have is easier than you think.

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $39.21
Total Spent Year to Date $273.73

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How to Cut Your Grocery Bill Shopping at Costco Week 7 of 52

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costco shopping trip

I know what you are thinking. How can I possibly feed my family for an entire week when the only groceries I purchased we a case of noodles, goldfish crackers, milk,lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, a dozen English muffins and a pineapple?

breakfast tray

This breakfast I made the HH the other day is a great example for how I ration out our food.

  • Bacon – Bought with the Christmas Costco Gift card my parents gave us.
  • Eggs – I purchased 5 dozen eggs last week.
  • Toast – I like to buy several loaves and freeze them until we need them. {Purchased 2/2/15}
  • Yogurt – I purchased a case of 24 yogurts on 2/2/15 as well.
  • Orange Juice – Bought a 6 pack of frozen concentrate back in late January.
  • Blueberries on Yogurt – I froze those last summer and tucked them away in the freezer to enjoy all year long.

Maybe my family is weird in that just because I bring home a case of Cup of Noodles… they don’t get eaten in 3 days. I don’t know how else to explain it other than to say when you cook most of your meals at home using simple ingredients, it doesn’t cost all that much. Sure, it costs you time, but money? Not so much.

I think the one thing I always forget to mention, is that since we get our meat in bulk, {chicken, fish,ham, ground meat from Zaycon} making recipes in large quantities and tucking them into the freezer to use on nights when I don’t feel like cooking, helps tremendously. It not only cuts down my desire to shop, but it really makes me focus on using what we already have.

Being able to pull pre-portioned meat like hamburger, fish or chicken breasts out of the freezer and adding a simple side dish like rice or frozen veggies is so much easier than getting sucked in to the “What am I going to make tonight, I don’t have all the ingredients I need” game.

taco night

We enjoyed soft tacos with homemade refried beans twice last week. {The taco meat was already pre-cooked and ready to go}
beef stew

I also made a giant pot of beef {actually venison} stew using a package of Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Chili that I had in the pantry. All I did was soak the beans, add the meat, spices, carrots, onion,  and a little of tomato sauce and it was delicious. freezer meal beef stew

And there were plenty of leftovers to freeze as well for the HH’s work lunches and quick dinners.salad and grilled cheese

We also had grilled cheese sandwiches and salad one night. Boring, but yummy.oatmeal cookies

Monkey Boy’s lunch  box treat of the week was homemade oatmeal cookiesblueberry crisp

And last night I made a blueberry crisp using berries I froze last summer and oats I purchased in bulk last year. We also had cod fish and chicken strips last week with a side of rice and green beans {frozen} last week as well.

It may not have been the most exciting week of meals on the planet, but it worked. ;)

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $41.32
Total Spent Year to Date $234.52

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 6 of 52

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Costco shopping trip

So, this may be a no brainer…. but even though I’m not buying all that much at Costco each week, I feel like I am spending too much. So far this year I have spent a whopping $193.20 on groceries. See the 5 pound sack of clementines? Those were $5.99. Which really isn’t a bad price, but if I was going to buy clementines at the grocery store my price point would have more like $3.99 for a 3 lb pound bag {which incidentally costs more per pound than Costco}.

The little things {like portion size} are starting to really add up. costco chocolate doughnuts

And well, there are those once a week splurge items for my son that are adding to my bill too.

breakfast

On the plus side though, shopping at Costco each week has made our meals a little more exciting this year. Fresh breakfast weenies and Dave’s Killer bread are things I wouldn’t have normally purchased if I was shopping at Albertsons because their everyday prices seem too high on those particular items. But buying them in bulk at Costco and being able to pop the extra portions in the freezer, does save me money in the long run. It’s weird. It almost makes me believe my freezer and pantry will be full at the end of the year because I’m buying larger portions.

Am I crazy? Have I been brainwashed into the Costco way of thinking? Does buying in bulk really save money? What if you are buying items you normally wouldn’t buy {but taste delicious}? Homemade Chocolate Chip Brownies

Technically, I didn’t need to buy those chocolate doughnuts because I made a batch of homemade chocolate chip brownies this week and froze the extras for the HH and Money Boy’s lunches. They were an impulse item. Which is what Costco is all about if you ask me.

freezer pancakes

I also made a month’s supply of freezer pancakes.
freezing fried rice

And tried freezing fried rice for the first time as well. {It worked! The rice was not mushy at all}chicken stir fry

In addition to serving freezer meals and Zaycon Cod and breaded chicken for dinner this past week, I also made stir fry chicken as well. I used some green beans I froze last summer and some sweet peppers I had in the freezer to stretch the meal.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I still think Costco is going to save us money in the long run this year.

Am I delusional?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $38.54
Total Spent Year to Date $193.20

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Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 5 of 52

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costco shopping trip

I am beginning to think I’m a little weird. Or at the very least, have a lot of time on my hands {which really, I don’t}. Since I started to post pictures of some of the foods I prepare for my family on a regular basis this year, I am learning things about myself that I didn’t really get  before. I’m starting to connect the dots at how I make this frugal living thing work.

Which is strange because I’m doing the exact same things I’ve always done.
growing sprouts

Take growing sprouts for instance. I usually only grow alfalfa sprouts when I’m craving an egg salad sandwich. They take about 3 days to grow. But when it came time to make my egg sandwich, we only had a four slices of bread left and I wasn’t planning on going to the grocery store for another 3 days. So I decided to just make a bowl of egg salad and eat it without the bread. So I could use that bread for my son’s peanut butter sandwiches instead.

Whoop te do right?

But by doing that, I saved myself from going to the store one day earlier than I had planned. Not a big deal in the whole scheme of things right? But it exhibited self control. Which is something I think most of us are lacking when it comes to spending our grocery money. We don’t have to rush to the store for that one thing. We can make do with what we have and stick to our plan.

mashed potatoes

I’ve also learned this year that I am incredibly lazy {or maybe smart, I’m not sure} when it comes to food prep. I like to cook double, triple, or quadruple portions of things to save time.
crock pot soup

And of course there are those crock pot meals I adore so much.

freezer meals

Not only did I have two choices of soup for dinner the night i made them, but I was also able to pop 18 meals into the freezer for later use. The HH typically eats leftovers from the previous nights dinner for lunch, or some sort of soup or chili from the freezer I have frozen into individual sized portions. I can’t imagine how much money he has saved over the past 22 years by bringing his own lunch to work everyday.

In the beginning he brought packed lunches to work because we couldn’t afford take out. A few years later after he started making a little more money, he’d come home and tell me what the other guys were having for lunch and how they were spending about $10 a day on fast food. I guess he did the math and figured bringing his own lunch to work everyday was the smarter thing to do.

chocolate brownie cookies

Chocolate brownie cookies. Have you make these yet? They are delicious! And if you use a 1 tablespoon scoop you can get about 6 dozen cookies out of 1 batch. And yes, they freeze beautifully. :) Monkey Boy loves them.
banana nutella muffins

And last but not least…

I have a total love/hate relationship with Costco bananas. They are either green and hard, or nice and yellow {rare} and get spots within 2 days. Luckily I have just perfected a Nutella banana muffin recipe {coming soon} so no bananas were tossed.

Even though I didn’t buy a whole lot of groceries this week, I still feel like we have plenty of good food to eat.

Spend less, save more and BE HAPPY.

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $45.19
Total Spent Year to Date $154.66

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 4 of 52

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costco shopping trip

I spent $39.93 stocking up at Costco this past week. They had some great deals like 5.5 lbs of apples for $3.99 and $3.99 for 2 lbs of organic green beans. I can’t remember if Monkey Boy’s Pop Tarts were on sale, but I think I paid $5.69 for a box 48 sugary sticks of cardboard for him. :)

costco kirkland frozen orange juice

I had planned on buying fresh orange juice, but as I was reaching into the refrigerated case I noticed the 4-pack of fresh orange juice expired in 4 weeks. Although I was pretty sure we would drink one bottle a week, I popped over to the freezer section to see how much frozen concentrate was going for. Well would you believe the 6-pack of frozen orange juice concentrate was only $0.20 more than 4 bottles of fresh orange juice?  Yes it was!

I don’t normally buy frozen orange juice so I wasn’t sure if there was a big taste difference or not, but I went ahead and threw them in to my cart. When I got home I rinsed out the old OJ container, added the concentrate and waiting for someone to notice.  And they didn’t!

I felt so sneaky. :) :) :)

dehydrating apples in a food dehydrator

I’ll totally admit, I was pretty lazy and making homemade meals last week. The HH was sick, I felt like I was coming down with something {so I of course stayed in bed as much as possible} and Monkey Boy worked several days after school. So for the most part, I served homemade chicken soup, chili, split pea soup and a stuffed manicotti and spinach freezer meal when dinner time rolled around.
bacon and waffles

Breakfasts last week mostly consisted of eggs, bacon, waffles and/or toast.
peanut butter cookies

I did manage to make a double batch of peanut butter cookies though {one to eat and one to freeze}.zaycon cod and breaded chicken

Last week I also picked up 20 pounds of breaded chicken and 25 pounds cod fish thanks to my Zaycon credit.

fried rice

I also made a boatload of fried rice. craze box

And last but not least, did anyone else order a free box from Graze.com? Well, I was not impressed and I cancelled my subscription. Yes, the munchies were good, but the amount I received reminded me of those little snack boxes you can buy on the airplane for $7. Booo!

So what did YOU buy this week?  Anything good?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $39.93
Total Spent Year to Date $109.53

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 3 of 52

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costco shopping trip

Other than walking out my front door to walk the dog, or doing a bit of gardening, I only left my house TWICE last week. And it was pretty RAD. I don’t know if it’s because I’m starting to become a recluse, I’m getting lazy, or it was because the HH was out of town for 5 of the 7 days last week on a business trip. But you know what, I really enjoyed staying put. I went to Costco, and Goodwill and the fabric store and that was it!

So, you’re probably wondering what the heck Monkey Boy and I ate last week while the HH was away…

lucy the puggle dog

Clearly that box of Hostess treats were for my son. ;) {Okay, so maybe I ate 3 of them!!}

I try my best not to buy too much cold cereal. Why? Because you need {extra} milk. But Cinnamon Toast Crunch was on sale for $4.59 and it just so happens to be one of Monkey Boy’s favorite cereals… so I caved.

costco cinnamon toast crunch

I bought the kid a ginormous box. Oh the horror. FYI, 1 giant box of Costco cereal fits in a 2 gallon Anchor Hocking jar in case you were wondering. ;)

turkey dinner

So what else did we eat besides cupcakes and cereal? 2 dinners with turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots and cornbread mini muffins for starters.

chocolate pudding

I also spotted a small box of chocolate pudding in the back of the cupboard and made pudding cups.crock pot chili

Chili, lot’s and lot’s of chili.
chili baked potato

Monkey Boy probably goes through a crock pot of chili a week by himself. Sometimes I get lazy and buy canned chili, but since purchasing the 25 pound bag of pinto beans last week, I really have no excuse to BUY chili when I can make it for so much less.

spaghetti

Is there a teenager alive that doesn’t like pasta?

oatmeal with blueberries

Oatmeal with frozen blueberries.

chicken soup with lentils and rice

Homemade chicken soup with lentils and rice. {I’ll post the recipe soon}oatmeal cookies

And last but not least, I whipped up a batch of the best oatmeal cookies ever. Cooking from your pantry instead of popping into the grocery store for one thing {which always leads to more things} can seriously save you BIG BUCKS by the time you tally all your receipts up at the end of the month. Then again, being a shut in and not leaving your house helps too.

So far I am totally digging this shopping at one store, once a week thing. I honestly thought it was going to be harder than it has been {and I seriously thought I’d be over budget by now too}. But then again, it’s only been about 3 weeks

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $33.24
Total Spent Year to Date $69.60

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