First official budgetary week…

I am SO very glad the long holiday weekend is finally here. I don’t know why, but this past week has seemed to drag on forever! And it didn’t help that I was irritable and depressed and annoyed for a couple days. I am glad to be able to focus on home stuff for a few days. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’ve got vacation time coming at the end of the month, and I’m already salivating at the prospect of spending a week all on my own. One day I do have to go to Sioux Falls, for an IRA seminar, but the rest of my vacation will be all mine!

Anyway…I got up around 7 (thanks to the bambino), finished my grocery list, ate some breakfast, then got dressed and went to get the grocery shopping out of the way. This is the first official week of my $40/week grocery budget. I am happy to say that I came in right on target!


I also stopped by the farmers market on the way home. I was hoping to get eggs, but once again, I was too late! I have almost a full dozen, and I can get them next week. I picked up some potatoes and a treat for the bambino:


Those 2 items were $5.75, which brings my total to $41.59. Were it not for the fact that South Dakota is bizarre and charges tax on food (apparently those in the state government like to claim that if the food tax was eliminated, an income tax would have to be imposed, and that just puts the fear of God into people. Coming from a state where there was no food tax and an income tax, I think SoDak would be a lot better off and have a lot more money if they’d switch the two, but what do I know?), my total would’ve been $39.55, without my food tax. So all in all, I’m pretty happy about that. I’ll have to get a LOT more creative when we need meat or diapers, but I do enjoy a challenge. I did manage to get everything on my list:


And I did buy some meat–I needed bacon for one of the recipes I’m going to make this weekend (or maybe later this week):


I was also glad that at one point I was well under-budget (I track my spending as I go), because today not only did Hy-Vee completely restock on Chobani (which I was tempted to buy, but didn’t this time), but they also had this:


Fage!!! It’s new enough that they didn’t even have the price listed yet, but I figured that as long as it was priced about the same as the other larger containers of Greek yogurt, I’d have enough to get it and still fall within my budget. I am debating on when I want to open it and have a snack.

Last night it was cool enough that I decided on making something that would require heating up the oven, so I made some pastitsio for dinner. Earlier in the week, someone in the breakroom had been watching Ina Garten, and she was making pastitsio. It looked really awesome (although my lunch break was over before she got any further than browning her beef & lamb), and I found a recipe that sounded both easy and delicious (and yes, I realize Pastitsio is spelled wrong). I also thought it sounded a little bland, so I tossed in some oregano and more cinnamon than the recipe called for, and well as my usual substitution of onion powder instead of onions.


I also probably should’ve used a 9X13 baking dish for it, but I don’t like using my metal one for anything other than cookies or brownies, and my glass baking dish was in the dishwasher. Even still, it turned out well:


Jay liked it enough that he had 2 helpings. And there’s still about half left, which will make a nice lunch today, as well as possible leftovers for lunch next week (assuming it lasts that long). And since it’s about 10 after 11, I think I might go heat some up, then either see if Abby’s around (I need to go snuggle with her baby! And take her some baked goods.), or work on trimming my hedge for a bit. It’s a long weekend…I could do the front today, then work on the side tomorrow. But we’ll see. It actually doesn’t take too long…The last time I did it, I had it done in about 3 hours, although that was on a day with heat & humidity, and I was taking frequent breaks. And the hedges were a lot more overgrown than they are now.