Venturing Out. Saving $11.

>> Thursday, July 7, 2011

One of the most difficult parts about being on vacation is eating out every day. I mean it. Meal after meal out can be a sensory overload -- not to mention hard on the wallet and digestive system (you all know it's true!). So, upon returning from our babymoon (photos here and here), I was looking forward to getting back on track with my eating.

Most dinners out had meant heavy pasta dishes and pizza. Huge portion sizes that I felt bad wasting. So, when we got back Tuesday afternoon, I made this fresh tomato-basil mozzarella salad with strawberries and balsamic.


Light and easy. Making this salad is as easy as tearing basil leaves out of the garden and slicing some tomato and mozzarella. But it's my favorite summer dinner (served with toasted bread). Always simple, always satisfying.

And speaking of satisfying, our grocery bill this week pleasantly surprised us. The total? $33. How did we do it? Well, first keep in mind we weren't home part of the week. BUT we still bought a good amount of food. Then think back to the last bullet on a previous grocery slashing post -- where we declared we wanted to "do without the fancy stuff and thrive on the basics."


We tried a new grocery store. One with a less-than-gorgeous entry area. Without the delicious aroma of expertly prepared to-go foods wafting from the front door. Without an enticing olive bar. In fact, this place is in a not-so-great part of town with much less stock to choose from. At first, I was skeptical.

The minute I walked in, I marched up to customer service and signed up for one of those customer rewards cards. A short walk around the store later, and I was beaming. So many buy 1, get 1 free offers. So many no-need-for-coupon deals! And on things we actually eat -- like STRAWBERRIES.

What we bought for $33:
  • Bag of kale
  • Bag of collards
  • 2 containers of strawberries (buy 1, get 1)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • Bag of carrots
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella ($1.50 off)
  • 2 boxes of Kashi cereal ($1 off each)
  • Almond milk
  • Loaf of multigrain bread (on sale, from Heidelberg Baking Co.)
  • 2 bags of Chex Mix (buy 1, get 1 -- hey, it's one of my cravings!)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Eggs
  • Garbanzo beans
We shopped on Tuesday afternoon. And though the items on this list don't sound like a lot of food, when combined with the ingredients we already have on hand in our pantry -- we're set for all our meals until we shop again on Sunday.

The original total was $44. So, we saved $11 just using the Weis Card alone! That's more than we usually save at Wegmans (I think once we were able to get $5 off with our card there -- but I'm not factoring in store brand versus name brand/etc.).

What else we're eating for dinner this week:


Basic Hummus Melts on toast with veggies (Wednesday night)


Curried Chickpea Mash, kale, and 5-minute naan (Thursday night)


Steamed collards and Ring-O-Fire Garlic Knots (Friday night)

We're getting into a groove here. We'll see what next week brings, but with our continued concentration and your helpful comments/suggestions, we're starting to regularly meet our $50 goal! It feels good!


Pssst: If you missed it, we posted Part II of our babymoon trip on (never home)maker, baby!

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