Tuesday, May 7, 2019

What we eat and spend on food in a month - Week 3 of 4

Week 1 here
Week 2 here

Last week was very busy for our family, filled with extra appointments. I was not able to get most of my shopping done on Monday as I like to do, and had to make a second day of it on Tuesday. 

I typically go shopping in the morning while Peter naps, the big kids do their school work, and the little kids come with me so they don't disrupt the kids that are working/napping. Last week however, both Monday and Tuesday, I also had appointments during the afternoon nap time hours, and then tagged on errands that I had been putting off too long. So I spent pretty much all day Monday and Tuesday out of the house, doing errands and appointments, being home only for breakfast, lunch, and then dinner and the rest of the evening. 

For example, my Wal-Mart list had been accumulating for 6-8 weeks. I don't like going to Wal-Mart very much because I never leave there feeling accomplished - the minute I am done checking out, I remember something I needed to buy but forgot to put on the shopping list, but there's no way I'm going back through the store right then and there. So I always leave somewhat exasperated. Eventually, we get to the point where we really need some essentials urgently, and I finally drag myself there again. Last week was that week. And while I didn't forget anything that time, there were two items the store was out of stock on so again, no feelings of accomplishment. 

I did, however, feel very accomplished with some awesome deals I scored on organic produce last

Monday: Superstition Ranch Farmer's Market - $49.79

All organic: 20 bell peppers, 2 huge watermelons, 9 lbs Fuji apples, 12 pints blackberries ($1 each!). The bell peppers alone would have cost $40 anywhere else (normally $2 each). We ate about half of those fresh this week, the rest went in the freezer for fajitas another time. The blackberries have been on sale for $3 each everywhere else, and the watermelons were $2 cheaper than I paid at Costco the week before.

Monday: 99 cent only store - $17.92

All organic except the limes: 6 x 2 lbs strawberries ($2 each! - I have been paying $6-$7 at Costco lately), 4 lbs apples, 1 pack romaine hearts, 1 bag limes.

We eat SO. MANY. APPLES. Stephen (6) told me, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so I eat ten apples every day so I can live a thousand years. If that's even possible." Ha!

Tuesday: Costco - $372.07

This was a huge Costco trip. I only had 30 minutes to get in and out the store, checked out, packed up, and all in order to make it to a prenatal appointment. Talk about fast! I definitely didn't have time to stop and smell the roses (and get sucked into impulse purchases).

I bought: 12 lbs organic b/s chicken breasts, 12 lbs organic b/s chicken thighs, 4 lbs organic pre-seasoned b/s chicken breast, 10 lbs organic sugar, smoked salmon, 2 x deli chicken, deli roast beef, deli Black Forest ham, Canadian bacon, 1.5 lbs organic string cheese, 5 lbs each organic: cauliflower, green beans, peas, corn, strawberries, 8 dozen organic eggs, 1 pineapple, 2 x 5 lbs tangerines, 3 x 3 lbs organic bananas, organic ketchup, organic salsa, organic Greek yogurt, 2 lbs Kerrygold butter, 2 lbs Rumiano sliced organic cheddar cheese, ciabatta rolls, 2 x 12 organic orange cream popsicles

Tuesday: Whole Foods 1 of 2 - approx. $47 (I lost the receipt)

all conventional (but uncured): 2 x bacon, 2 x liverwurst, 1.5 lbs pepperoni, 5 lbs Muskat grapes

I normally do not buy conventional grapes, but make an exception for Muskat grapes. They are SO GOOD!! They taste like the grapes I ate as a child growing up in Hungary, where my grandparents had a vineyard I would sometimes "help" in. I go through about 1 bag per day when they are in season (right now), especially because I also share them with the two youngest kids, Peter and Chloe, who love them as much as I do. The other kids can be kept at bay with a bumper crop of other fruit. 

The deli meats are mostly for the boys who pack them in their lunches for work.

Tuesday: Whole Foods 2 of 2 - $43.21

The first Whole Foods was out of organic ground pork, so we stopped by another branch later in the day while we were in that area. 

all organic: 5 lbs ground pork, 3 lbs on the vine tomatoes, 1 bottle buttermilk

Tuesday: Trader Joe's - $50 and change (lost the receipt)

2 x 5 lbs organic potatoes, 2 pints organic heavy cream, Oreo cookies, 4 x salami, organic garlic, 3 x organic bread crumbs

Tuesday (delivered): Dairy - $70

5 gallons milk, 2 quarts cream

You may wonder what we do with that much cream every week. The quarts I get from the dairy are mostly used for making ice cream, or sometimes in cooking (soups, sauces, biscuits, etc.). The cartons of heavy cream I buy at Trader Joe's are always used for making whipped cream in my whipped cream maker, such as for strawberry shortcakes.

Total for week 3: $649.99

Total for three weeks: $1,400.93

Starting this coming week, I am starting on getting ready dinners into the freezer. By the time baby comes, I'd like to have about 30 frozen dinners and 30 frozen breakfasts on hand, which allows me to not have to cook for about six weeks postpartum. I try to stay within my approximate $500/week budget in spite of buying the ingredients for these extra meals, which isn't too difficult because I spread it out over such a long period of time. Then when baby comes, we spend very little on food for the first 6 weeks (mostly just for dairy and fresh produce). The extra funds are usually needed for unforeseen expenses related to the baby, like a lactation consultation, unexpected doctor bills, etc.

Meals marked with an * are those which I made extras of to freeze. During the week of April 29 to May 5th, we ate:


Mon: leftover pancakes, chocolate oatmeal
Tue: Strawberry Shortcakes
Wed: PB & J oatmeal
Thu: PB Banana Muffins*
Fri: Overnight waffles w/ fresh berries
Sat: apple walnut waffles
Sun: Toast, eggs, sausage


Mon: Ham, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, Hawaiian rolls
Tue: Fish sticks
Wed: Ham and Bean soup*
Thu: Hungarian Bean soup*
Fri: Chicken Fettuccine a la fuente*
Sat: Chicken Paprika and spatzles*
Sun: leftovers


brownies (made by Miriam)

Peter loved the spatzles just plain with butter and salt. 

Buttermilk pancakes and fresh berries 


  1. Okay, Zsuzsanna... You did that Costco run in THIRTY MINUTES???

    This is where I finally break down and admit that you have superhuman abilities!!

    (We already knew that! You are amazing!!)

    I took your suggestion last week and went to the 99-cent store by SRM, but alas, could not find one organic produce item there!! I wonder if I went at a bad time of the week???

    Have you ever tried Walmart's online ordering service? I love it!!!! It saves SOOO much time, and they do a great job. I use it all the time, and haven't set foot in the store in years. (With a few exceptions.)

    Thank you so much for this series. It is so incredibly helpful!!

  2. I hope this doesn't sound silly, but I just got my cookbook and was wondering how much paprika goes in the chicken paprika, there isn't an amount listed, and it doesn't say when to add it.

    Thanks! I'm looking forward to using the cook book!


    1. Not a silly question at all! I forgot to include the most important ingredient in the list - DUH! ***insert face palm*** I am so sorry!

      It needs 2 tbsp.

      There is a FB group for the cookbook with a file of some other minor corrections. The only other recipe with a major mistake in the ingredients list is the Mac and Cheese. I need to add that correction. I was also going to mail a corrected pdf of the page to all who ordered the cookbook but haven't done so yet.

      Thank you for asking, and please accept my apologies.

    2. Apologies not necessary! The meals so far are wonderful! To quote my husband "Pastor Anderson eats like a king!"

      Thank you!

  3. I am amazed at the ability to go to Costco and be out in 30 minutes. I get so distracted at Costco and try to fit impulse items into my budget! Very impressive! God bless you and your family. Happy Mother's day!

  4. What is spatzle? Is it easy to make?

  5. Hi, Mrs. Anderson,

    I'm hoping you could post your recipe for the chicken fettuccine a la fuente. It sounds so good!

    It's very impressive to me that you guys are able to get so much fresh produce at affordable prices. I live in North Dakota, and fresh fruit, especially, is very expensive. My jaw dropped when I saw the high quality produce you were able to get at the 99 cent store. The dollar stores here have nothing like that, only canned and frozen processed foods. It's really unfortunate. I am a big fruit eater and am honestly considering moving to a warmer climate just for the cheaper fruit! :)

    Thanks for sharing your grocery budget. Best wishes for your continuing pregnancy.


  6. Is Solomon still engaged to the lovely girl from your church?

  7. I like reading some of your posts, including what you buy and spend on food. I also have your cookbook and use some of the recipes on a consistent basis :) I have a fraction of the number of children you have and would love to have more, but can't (and it doesn't matter why). However, I am getting to work on a large backyard garden. We will (Lord willing) be growing a lot of our own food! And possibly getting chickens too! I'm so excited.

  8. I am a babe in Christ and I live on a tiny dive island called Utila in Honduras. I have to live here and dive almost daily to maintain my health according to my Dr. at Cedar Siani Hospital I am in a seventh-day Adventist stronghold and I am trying to save souls here, but I am all alone and I am just a babe in Christ and I need the help of Pastor Anderson or Pastor Jiminez to hopefully come here and show me how to do or say what is the proper things I need to say or teach me how. There is one Catholic church and one Baptist church here as well, but I am the only IFB individual on this entire island and all these "churches" display idolatry. I have and know according to the King James Bible that I will continue to be persecuted because I am a true believer and I was saved by Pastor Anderson and Pastor Jiminez about a year ago. I PRAY EVERY NIGHT THAT THE LORD WILL GUIDE ME IN WHAT I SHOULD SAY TO SPREAD HIS WORD, but I also know he put Pastors here on this planet to guide us and teach us, but I am not the sharpest tool in the shed and being a babe in Christ has makes it so hard I have not been able to save a single soul! I don't hate any of these people because the Lord states very clearly LOVE ONE ANOTHER. As a P.A.D.I. licensed Divemaster I am a razor blade, but as a babe in Christ, I am dense to put it bluntly. Could anybody that reads this please contact Pastor Anderson or Pastor Jiminez and pass this message on along to them for me.God Bless youBobbydan EmersonP.A.D.I. Divemaster # 237625


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