Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Groceries We Buy Week 4

This week was considered the last “week” in our grocery runs, but since we have a couple days next week before April, I’m sure I’ll hit the store for a few items.  I usually shop on Sundays or Mondays so that is usually the start of our Meal Plans and such.  You can read the previous week's grocery posts by clicking on each week below:
Week 1 Groceries
Week 2 Groceries
Week 3 Groceries

Can I first just say that I really don’t see a point in making dinner each night.  I really don’t.  Maddox, especially lately, has been really fussy from 5:00-6:30 and wants to be held.  He used to eat solids during this time while we eat, but he hasn’t been into solids lately.  Obviously this makes making dinner, serving it, and eating it nearly impossible.  Add to that the energizer bunny who is running into all the places he shouldn’t (aka my 3 year old) and it’s really a chaotic disaster.  Every night I ask myself why I even try.  I can’t even enjoy the food when it’s done as I eat it by myself while Ryan and I take turns eating and one of us is trying to keep Beckham at the table.  Anyone else with small children feel the same at dinnertime?

Here is our Menu Plan for this week:

Monday: Burgers, Potato wedges, Fruit salad, Beans
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Sandwich (use leftover buns) with chips
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Salad (use leftover chicken)…I like a Cobb salad with grilled chicken
Thursday: Steak, mashed potatoes, corn on cob
Friday: Out or Home Dinner
Saturday: Out or Home Dinner
Sunday: Out or Home Dinner
*Home Dinner – This just refers to anything we have around the house (freezer, pantry, etc).

Groceries went well this week.  As of last week, our total so far was $316.06.  This week we went to three stores – Kroger , Walmart, and Sprouts.

Kroger: $5.68
-2 gallons of milk

Sprouts: $12.57
-2 grapefruit
-6oz Blueberries
-6oz Blackberries
-Gallon of Organic Milk

Walmart: $55.96
Q-tips not shown in picture.  As you can see, I have some sweet treats in store for this week!


Week 4 TOTAL: $74.21

March Total is $316.06 + $74.21 = $390.27

I figure I will have to run to the store on Sunday to grab some bread and baby food so I’m hoping the $10.00 I have left will be enough for the rest of the month.  I love a challenge! 

I hope this has been helpful and interesting to see what another family buys in a month for $400.00.  I’ll give an update next week with our final total spent.  Regardless, it should be close to $400 and I’m pretty pleased with that.

And here was a grocery tip I posted on Instagram yesterday: 
2015-03-23 23.24.49
Beckham sits in the basket part on short grocery trips (or those car parts of the car carts if a longer trip) and he’ll eat his lunch while I shop.  It helps keep him busy for a while.  The best time for us to shop is in between Maddox’s two naps which happens to be during lunch time, so this works for us.

Come visit me on FacebookInstagram (@olivia_snyderstellall) and Pinterest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Groceries We Buy Week 3

I’m continuing my “The Groceries We Buy” series and this is Week 3.  You can read Week 1 HERE and Week 2 HERE.  I also have more grocery posts…just look under the Finance tab.

Week 3 grocery budget

I went grocery shopping last night WITHOUT the kids.  Let me just say I most definitely spend more money when they are not there.  I can take my time and I have the entire cart for my groceries vs. a square foot of space. I went to Walmart and I also had to get a ton of other things while I was there so it worked out nice.

I also have a few Grocery Tips for you as well at the end of this post.


Breakfasts – Oatmeal, Biscuit Sandwiches, Homemade Donuts, Toast

Lunch – Turkey sandwiches, Smoothies, Chicken Salad, PBJ, Grilled Cheese, Soup, Leftovers

Monday – Grilled Tilapia with Mango Salsa, Baked Potato, Brussels Sprouts (I also made pinto beans to have for the week)
*I season tilapia with salt/pepper and paprika.  Then grill it in skillet with a little oil until it’s cooked (white inside and flaky with a fork).  For brussels sprouts, I cut in half, mix with olive oil, salt/pepper, a little garlic and then bake on 350 for 20 minutes or so, flipping once).  Picture below.
Tuesday – Leftovers (Fish Tacos, Bean Burritos…I ended up eating 1/2 cup of chocolate ice cream, eggs, and bacon because I had to cook it before it went bad…true story, that was my dinner, in that order…and a Snickers bar at the store) #keepinitreal  It was a LONG afternoon and it warranted ice cream.
WednesdayCheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet (I add shredded chicken to mine…I cook 1 breast in the crockpot with salsa and taco seasoning, shred the chicken when it’s done and add some to the enchilada mix)
Thursday – Leftovers or White Chicken Pasta (we will most likely have leftovers)
Friday – Dinner Out
Saturday – White Chicken Pasta or Out (I think I’ve had this pasta on my plan for 3 weeks now…it’s kind of my back up dish.  I have a homemade one, but this one is a jar of white sauce, shredded chicken, pasta, and any veggies like green pepper, onions, and tomatoes).
Sunday – Home Team (our church group) or dinner afterwards out (I’m not sure yet if we’re eating together or meeting beforehand)
*I like to eat out on the weekends as I like to relax on the weekends instead of cook and clean at night, but it just depends on our budget.

Check out the Tilapia and homemade Mango Salsa I made on Monday (I didn’t use the Fresno chilis and used a red pepper instead of orange)…

Like I said, I only went to Walmart this week (so far…hope it stays that way).  From last week’s post, we had spent $212.06 on groceries. 

This week, I spent $104.00 (I love an even total)!  Below is what I bought.  I’m not going to lie, I bought a lot of items that were not on the list.  I normally don’t buy as many convenience foods either (baby food, boxed snacks, frozen veggies), but y’all, I just can’t swing it yet with multiple kids.  Beckham wants to snack a lot.  And he eats his meals well, so I think he’s just a growing boy.  He’s not big at all, so I don’t mind if he has a lot of snacks in addition to his meals.  Therefore, I tried to find snacks that are a little more nutritious and not a ton of sugar, but that he can grab from his snack bucket in the pantry (he also loves apple/peanut butter and those Cuties oranges, which he can now peel thank you Jesus, and he will never turn down a smoothie).

Our total for March so far is $316.06!  That means we have roughly $84 left for the the rest of the month.  That will be tight, but we will see if I can stick to our $400 budget.


Grocery Tip #1: If you shop at a warehouse store like Walmart and are getting more than just groceries, separate your items according to your budget.  For example, last night I had THREE transactions – Baby items, House items (like copy paper and kitchen tools), and Groceries (any baby food is included in our groceries).  This will make writing down your expenses in your budget SO much easier!

Grocery Tip #2: If you use the SAVINGS CATCHER from Walmart, scan the receipt AS SOON AS YOU GET IN YOUR CAR!  That way you won’t forget.  I think they have a set up where you can enter your phone # at the register, but I haven’t tried yet.  If you’re unfamiliar with Savings Catcher, it basically price matches all your items for you so you don’t have to do it.  Double check the stores they compare to, so you can make sure you’re getting deals from all the stores in your area.

Grocery Tip #3: When I come home and start putting away the food, I like to store Beckham’s snacks in his bucket by taking off the tops to some of the boxed items so they store easier.  They even have perforated sides to make this easier.  I also take out the food from the packages (apple sauce, raisins, yogurt – in fridge).  Just makes it quicker to grab throughout the week.

I JUST now moved his snacks down to his reach.  It’s much easier to tell him to grab something than to stop what I’m doing (usually pumping or with baby) than to get it myself.  Yes, sometimes I have to battle him when he’s not supposed to have a snack, but most of the time he asks before.

Do you have any other tips for groceries?  Or any good kid snacks for a 3 year old?  I’d love to know if you spend more/less than $400.  Hope this helps!

Come visit me on FacebookInstagram (@olivia_snyderstellall) and Pinterest.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Life Lately in March (Part 1)

I can’t believe it’s already March 16.  Yet the last two weeks have been really slow (sick, snow, and hubby gone). 

Since we were forced to our house majority of this month, things have been slow paced and it’s been nice.  Most mornings we’ve leisurely woken up, had breakfast (and coffee), played with toys, and watched a couple of TV shows.  We’ve stayed in our pj’s until noon most days (sometimes later). 

Often I feel guilty, and that I need to get them dressed and “do something”, but then I remember, there will be PLENTY of days for rushed mornings when I’m only wishing I could go back to these moments of calm. 

I really do love that I’m able to be home with my boys…I’ll never get these days back.  Ever.  Soon they’ll start school where they’re away from me most of the day.  Then college.  Then they’re married.  I’ll enjoy my slow mornings with just me and the boys! 

The last month for us…

Lots of coffee at home!

Made a trip to Whole Foods to get meds and here’s my helper!  Love him!

A breakfast treat for me!

PJ’s, bed head, and choosing which gummy vitamin he wanted.  This is a tough choice every day.  He has to look at every color and make his decision.

Some crazy snow came in to Texas!

2015-03-05 13.59.08
So we built a snowman!  His first one.

Tacos…easy dinners when dad’s gone!

I’ve been obsessed with this breakfast lately…biscuit, bacon, egg, and cheese.  So good.

Reading while they play.

My mother-in-law watched the boys while I had a little “me time” and I so appreciated this time alone.  She’s been so helpful lately while Ryan finishes up the season.

I think I have a problem.  Coffee is an experience to me (more than the taste) so the mug is really important.  Anyone else feel the same way?  Please? Help me justify these purchases. :)

See?  How cute is this mug?!

The next day (Sunday), we went out to eat at a local pizza place and B had to have rainbow ice cream…his new favorite.

Then this one got a haircut from Daddy Barber.

Getting my  hair done and face timing Maddox…with a plastic french fry hanging out of his mouth.  Scary pic up there huh?

Beckham enjoying “coffee” in his new mini mug!  I love that he loves what I love.

I can’t even.  When I decorated the play room, I placed this mirror floor level and I’m so glad I did.  Both boys have loved this.

He really wanted to touch his new baby cousin!  I’m pretty sure he’s thinking, “ooh I’m not the littlest one anymore.”  #babybrotherproblems

Last Friday, we painted wooden cars!  He LOVED this activity and it was a nice change of pace for him.  He is starting to enjoy coloring and painting.  Finally activities that don’t involve running non-stop.  I love his concentration look.

Afterwards we went to the library and checked out books and played on the computer.  His book selection process is tedious as you can tell.

And little man just sat in his stroller and waited…thanks to a paci and Puffs.

On Saturday, we headed to the donut shop before running an errand.  This boy has a serious love for donuts…and so do I.  Later that day my mom came over and we went to our down town for pizza and ice cream (clearly a horrible diet day for us).  I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures, but it was such a fun day.  It was overcast, my house was clean, the boys were entertained, and I got to visit with my mom!

Ryan got home late Saturday night!  YAY! The next morning, we headed to church…I love these guys so much!

I feel like Beckham looks so old in this picture.  Maybe it’s the “skinny jeans”…which I found at a consignment store for $4.00! 

Then we headed to one of Beckham’s best little friend’s birthday party!  He was in Heaven!

Finally, we ended the weekend by going over to my brother’s house for dinner.  This is Ryan and B picking up the pizza on our way.  He gets to play with his cousin while we’re there and he absolutely loves it…plus, Ryan was meeting Baby Nolan for the first time!

It was a great weekend.  Y’all, Ryan is officially done with the season and I cannot express to you the JOY I have.  I asked him last night, “So you are coming home after work tomorrow?  Like you don’t have to go anywhere?”  I think it was a longer than normal season because of having two kids, especially with a baby.  I plan on blogging about that as it’s a huge part of our lives so stay tuned.

Come visit me on FacebookInstagram (@olivia_snyderstellall) and Pinterest.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Groceries We Buy Week 2 & Friday Favorites

I’m sharing with you about my groceries this week, plus my Friday Favorites.  You can read Week 1 HERE. First, let me show you what we bought this week on our $400 budget (roughly $100 a week).  After I decided to do this “series” I realized March was probably not the best month to show you because it’s still basketball season (Ryan gone most nights means small dinners since my kids are still little) and we have Spring Break this month also, which means we go out a lot.  But either way, this is still a glance at how we buy groceries during a month.

I’m sorry this post is so late, but this is our Spring Break so we’ve been visiting the grocery store inconsistently and going out more (I do not recommend going to the store more than 1-2 times a week if you can help it).   Last week’s total groceries ended up being $88.75!

Here is how it was broken down:
Walmart: 66.37
Walmart (husband went): 13.88
Walmart (mid-week): 8.50

This week, my husband went to the grocery store twice before I made it out for our “big trip” and he put the groceries away before I could snap a picture, but I’ll give some info on what we bought below.  Here’s how the week has broken down for shopping:
Kroger: 11.88
*Bakery breakfast, orange juice, chocolate milk (my hubby’s staple), bananas

Walmart: 7.11
*We needed chips for a Nacho dinner – Tortilla chips, Chili, Blue Bell ice cream (on sale for $3.88)

Sprouts: 53.91
*this ended up being our “big trip” (picture below)

Walmart: 38.34 and $12.07 (baby food)
*picture below

TOTAL WEEK 2: $123.31

Sprouts: $53.91 - I like getting milk at Sprouts because it’s Organic and cheaper.  I also discovered their flavored coffee section which was fun!  Sprouts is my favorite place to get produce, especially when it’s in season.  They have the best deals in our area most of the time.  I know Walmart will price match their advertised sales, but I like the actual produce better here.  I splurged on Tilapia at the meat counter ($8.99/pound)…wish I hadn’t done that…I don’t mind frozen as long as it’s not from China (farm raised).  The Ginger snaps were an impulse buy. :)

Walmart: $38.34 - This was our Walmart run for regular groceries.  Let me just say this was not a good shopping trip.  I went with a 3 year old and an 8 month old during dinner time, ALONE.  Ryan is gone on his last basketball trip (thank the Lord) and this was the only time I could go.  Everything was on the list except cookies and that mac n cheese at the bottom.  B insisted he needed that mac n cheese and I said, “sure I don’t care” as I was feeding my 8 month old his dinner from a squeezable fruit/veggie pouch that I picked up there, with a leftover spoon in his diaper bag.  Yes, true story.  I looked totally disorganized and out of mom control…and I was.  I was trying to get through the shopping trip without any meltdowns.  I bought other items, but they were included in another non-grocery category in our budget.

Walmart (baby food): $12.04 - Speaking of, I forgot to put these with the groceries as I was checking out and instead, put them with the “Boys” items (that’s a separate category in our budget).  I separate my items when checking out to make documenting in our budget easier.  Remember, I was trying to get out quickly.  I’m cringing as I look at this picture (I made every single food item for Beckham except any to-go pouches so this makes me erk)!  It is what it is though…I just don’t have the time to make the food and more importantly clean up the mess it makes.  He still has only had breast milk though so I’m giving myself a pass on this!  This is all his baby food.  I like Beech Nut – each jar here is $0.60.  He eats about 2 jars a day right now.  They both had a pouch in the store (one is missing from this pic).  I like to have 2-3 pouches for times when we go out to eat.  I just squeeze it on a spoon to feed him.  Along with some Puffs to keep his hands busy (he’s finally stopped choking on puffs).  He’s like a cat though…he gags so easily and throws up whatever he doesn’t like…LOL!

Our total from Week 1:  $88.75
Our total from Week 2: $123.31
March Total so far: $212.06
*I didn’t share our Menu plan this week but it’s a hodge podge of stuff we have on hand since it’s our Spring Break.

Hope that is helpful to get a peek at our groceries.  Last week, a few of you asked how much we spend on eating out.  We budget $160 a month.  About $40.00 a week.  We don’t coupon for groceries, but we coupon for eating out majority of the time.  Sometimes we go over…I could eat out every night!

Now on to FRIDAY FAVORITES.  Here are a few things that make me happy lately!

{ONE}: R&F Eye Cream - I decided last month to order this eye cream.  I am stressed by nature, don’t sleep much, I’m horrible at drinking water, and look at a computer screen for a good chunk of time at the end of the day.  Needless to say, my eyes should look REALLY bad.  I just turned 30 and I thought it was the perfect time to start taking care of my eyes.  I love love love it!  I get my products from Erika.  She’s the best!

{TWO}: A Relaxing Few Hours and This Book – Last Saturday, my mother-in-law came over to watch the boys while I went out for a few hours and ran some errands.  Y’all, it’s amazing what you can get done without kids.  I told myself to stop by Starbucks on the way home and sit down with some coffee and read a little.  I was only able to fit in about 20 minutes, but it was great!  I’ve been reading this book, Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup and I LOVE it!  Ruth is my soul sister when it comes to frugal living!  Seriously, we would be great friends if she lived in Texas!  There is a lot of financial advice out there, but Ruth hits the nail on the head with each chapter. 

{THREE}: Anthropologie coffee mug and Teal Nail Polish – These two things are NOT typical things I buy because I never walk in to an Anthropolgie store or buy Essie nail polish.  But the coffee mug was about $8.00, which I think is a good deal for a monogrammed mug from that store.  If your name starts with an O, you feel my pain with searching for monogrammed mugs.  After spending a few months looking for O mugs, I just went here and bought two!!!  The other one is their classic black and white mugs.  The Essie nail polish was a weak moment at Kohl’s.  Essie is pretty expensive in my opinion ($7-8.00)  The color was too cute!  The color is Mint Candy Apple.

{FOUR}: My kids are better – After almost 2 weeks of being stuck at home with one or both of them being sick, we are all finally better! 

8x10 Hello Spring with watermark
{FIVE}: Good Weather – I couldn’t be happier about the nicer weather!  Beckham thrives outdoors with tons of space to run and bike and yell!  I like that it’s lighter outside later into the evening.  We are making over our backyard this Spring, so I can’t wait to have barbeques and evenings on the patio!

{SIX}: I get my husband back this month – I’m probably most excited about this one!  This guy works so hard for our family and is the definition of provider.  Some people think he works too much, but this guy provides for us what many husbands cannot!  He’s totally changed our future and our children’s futures, as well as allowing me the opportunity to raise our kiddos at home.  Although I have a few breakdowns throughout basketball season, I respect him for doing what he has to do for us!  Plus, I pale in comparison to military wives…that has got to be extremely tough!  He is at his last tournament this weekend and will FINALLY be done…until next season :)

I'm linking up with ErikaAndrea and Narci for Friday Favorites.

Come visit me on FacebookInstagram (@olivia_snyderstellall) and Pinterest.