I am loving this week so far, well cooking wise. My house is a mess and we leave to go camping Wednesday evening. I am hoping to keep to my budget though while camping. My cupboards are remaining stocked, and mason jars are my new best friend. I do plan on mapping out what food I am taking with us, as this week’s delivery will be used in our camping trip. Levi, the kids and I are going up to our cabin for a few days. We invited Levi’s parents, brothers and their kids and wives, and his sister and her husband. This is the first time we have made it up this year, so I am so looking forward to it.
Saturday is breakfast making day! The day of the week where you get to sleep in (well….) and eat something other than the same old’ cereal you had every other day this week. Saturday, I made vegan waffles. I really do prefer waffles to pancakes, but they take so much longer to make, as I can only make one at a time.
I got strawberries in our delivery this week. I love strawberries, I really do, but they are the fruit with the highest paranoia for me of going bad. In my experience they go bad super fast. I can never pick out a good package at the store. So I decided to make a banana strawberry purée for the waffles, using all of my strawberries and 2 ripened bananas. A very delish healthy substitute to maple syrup. I actually have healthy maple syrup with no high fructose corn syrup, but the sugar content is still way high. This idea hit the spot 🙂

For lunch on Saturday, we went to Webster Lake for my Dad’s annual BBQ for his work. Noah played all day and didn’t want to leave. But Abagail had different plans for the afternoon that didn’t involve playing with ducks and water fountains. They involved eating, napping and snuggling with her Mom (smile). For dinner, I made potato wedges, fried cabbage and a huge salad. Every year or two I get a craving for fried cabbage. It was a signature dish on my Dad’s side of the family growing up and I think of my great Aunt Nell when I make it. Although, I have a feeling I make it a little different than she did. Instead of butter, I used a little avocado oil and water to fry it, with pepper and salt. The key to any good fried cabbage is lots and lots and lots of pepper. My house smelled like Country Buffet for a while after I was done cooking it. I used the romaine lettuce, russet potatoes and half my cabbage in this one meal. Oh but it was soooo good!



I also chopped up my cantaloupe to have with dinner, and stored the rest in mason jars for Levi to take to work this week.

Monday, I woke up with a fever and the “crud” my kiddos have been battling. Yuck. I literally coasted through the day, doing the least possible. I made veggie burgers and peppers for dinner. Nothing fancy, I don’t even have pics of it. Levi worked a 12 hour day and came home as sick as I was. But the amazing man that he is, took the kids anyway so I could lay down.

Tuesday I was feeling so much better. I broke my fever and my pounding headache was gone! But, that left me with only a day and a half to get ready for camping: shopping, packing and food prep. Packing and prepping food for a family of 4 for a 4 day camping trip =not fun!! I knew for sure I was going to forget something, as everyone always does when they pack up their lives and take them away to a far away place, with no grocery store to help.
For lunch, Noah and I had simple Annies Mac and Cheese. Lately I have been topping spinach with Mac a d Cheese, just to feel a little healthier! Hey, don’t knick it until you try it. For dinner, I made homemade chipotle burritos. Yep, right down to cilantro lime rice. They were fabulous!

Wednesday was packing day. Noah and I had cereal for breakfast and subway for lunch. I made salsa to take camping with my 2 red tomatoes and green onions. Green onions worked surprisingly well with salsa, though not my first onion choice. I took the plums, peaches and nectarines, camping as well as 6 Mason jar salads, one for each day for Levi and I.

I have been looking forward  to this trip all summer long. My family has a cabin near Terryall Resevoir, right smack dab in the middle of the woods.

The plan for food was that everyone was on their own for breakfasts and lunches, and we would each pitch in for dinner Thursday and Friday. I packed bagels and oatmeal for breakfasts, ingredients for veggie sandwiches and peanut butter and honey sandwiches, nuts, fruit and chips for snacks. It was safe to say I didn’t run out of food!
I was in charge of dinner Friday night, and it didn’t go as well as I wanted. I decided to grill hamburgers for everyone (which was actually 18 people, big family I know!). And a recipe that I have made a dozen times went bad. I bought grass fed, organic beef from Costco and made about 20 beef hamburgers for the meat-a-sours in the family. Those, thankfully turned out pretty good. Hamburgers are Levi’s favorite, so he always loves when I make them for him. I also made hand made veggie burgers for the vegans of the family (my 2 zucchini s were used for this recipe). Those were a disaster from the beginning. I rushed myself when I shouldn’t have. My kids were fine and playing joyfully. Me on the other hand put a time limit on myself, so when I made the mistake of not crushing my beans first, I tried way too hard to compensate, and wound up with too wet of patties and no flavor to them. (I will post the recipe to these usually amazing burgers on my page. They are super easy!). Then the grill wouldn’t cook them properly, burning the back row of burgers and not cooking the front ones at all. At one point I was so frustrated I threw a veggie burger over the balcony of the cabin, then worried later about attracting bears in the middle of the night. Then I remembered that bears aren’t vegetarians, so I was good (heehee).

All in all, our camping trip was a real fun time, well for the 6 kids we had running around. The parents on the other hand need about 3 days to recover. We are exhausted! But it was such a blessing to see Noah have so much fun climbing mountains, falling into the lake, see fish and craw dads for the first time, and walking in on him and Levi in a dead sleep in their sleeping bags. Levi said there is nothing more special than a dad camping with his boy. And I saw that this weekend. Even though Levi was sick with a cold, I know it was a very special time for him. I only wish I could have spent more time with my sister-in-laws. They are pretty special people and I wanted nothing more than to get to know them better, outside of being moms together. And I know the guys wanted some time alone as well, but we were all consumed by the chaos of our children. Maybe next year we can find that time to share stories around the camp fire while our kiddos are zonked out after a long day of playing. One can hope.

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Well, this is my last blog about my new budget. This month has taught me a lot. I don’t have as much self control as I thought I did when it came to grocery shopping. But, I can discipline myself enough to not eat out. I am confident that with enough practice and strategy, that this time next year I can have our grocery budget at $200 a month. It’s not something that is going to take some time to get used to finding coupons and being content with what I have. I don’t need full cupboards all of the time. I will keep you posted. And my goal for this blog is to eventually become a true food blogger. I will continue to blog about new recipes and new mommy adventures that come my way. So thank you to those who are faithful readers. I truly appreciate your support!

Total $$ Spent:
Door to Door Organics: $83.98
Costco: $122.15
King Soopers: $22.89

Total Spent Weeks 3 and 4: $229.02
$79.02 over budget.
Not too shabby my second go around!

Until next time…
Have a fabulous Day!