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What I Spent, What We Ate | Earth Day Edition

It’s Friday, so I’m writing about food today.

But in case you want to read an Earth Day post, here’s one I wrote last year about Christians and environmentalism that earned me some unhappy, “I’m unsubscribing!” emails.

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(Which is totally fine.   I know I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and I know that if I’m ever going to say anything worthwhile, it’s impossible to avoid offending at least a few people.   So, it’s all good!)

Anyway.   You can go read that post if you’re not in the mood for reading about food today!

Oh, before we get to the topic at hand…if you want to make a step toward a non-disposable life this Earth Day, consider subscribing to The Mighty Fix, the subscription service that sends you an eco-friendly item or two each month.

Get your first Mighty Fix (two stainless steel containers) for just $5.

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And/or, you might want to place an order with Grove Collaborative, a service that delivers eco-friendly cleaning supplies.

Get $30 of freebies when you spend $20 on your first order.

Offer ends Sunday night or when supplies run out.

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Both of these offers are a really great deal, so they’re a lovely way to make a green choice while also saving money.

(Though of course if you haven’t got the money, please skip right over these offers.   I never want to encourage you to overspend!)

Alrighty! On to the spending and menu….

What I Spent

I made a trip to Aldi ($53), not in small part because we needed marshmallows for roasting.

(Priorities, dear ones. Priorities.)

aldi marshmallows

Here’s a better picture of what I bought.   I still had a lot of produce left from the prior week and from my produce box, so I didn’t need to buy a whole lot of food.


I also got a gallon of milk for yogurt-making and a gallon for drinking/pouring on cereal.

Aldi milk

By the way, earlier this month I got 5 dozen eggs from a local farm for $15, and I totally forgot to add that into my total.   So I’m adding it this week, for a total of $68.

I imagine next week will be a lot more spendy, given how little I bought this week.   Still, I think I’m going to come in nicely under budget for the month.

April Spending

Week 1: $248

Week 2: $108

Week 3: $68

What We Ate


I made a big batch of make-ahead pulled pork from The Make Ahead Cook.   We ate half for dinner and I froze half for a future meal.

pulled pork ready to bake

I thawed some homemade applesauce from my chest freezer, and we ate some pita chips from Aldi as well.


On Monday, I spatchcocked and salted a chicken, so on Tuesday, I roasted it and also mashed some potatoes.   I feel like I served some kind of veggie with this, but heaven knows I can’t remember what it was right now.

Tuesday wasn’t THAT long ago, but apparently that tidbit of info has fallen out of my brain.

how to make a spatchcocked roasted chicken

BY THE WAY: If you haven’t tried spatch-cocking and salting a chicken, you really ought to rectify that.   This method turns out such a juicy, flavorful chicken every single time.

And the chicken cooks in about 40 minutes, which is fabulous.

Here are all the details about how to do the spatchcocking and salting.


This was the day (mentioned yesterday) that I realllllly didn’t want to cook dinner.   I made curried chicken breasts with curried couscous, and stir-fried cauliflower.

curried chicken



I’d planned to make chicken enchiladas, but my day didn’t go quite as planned and we had pizza subs for dinner instead.

pizza subs


Since we had pizza subs last night, I’m obviously not going to make pizza tonight.   I was thinking maybe some paninis would be delightful, though.

Maybe the sort that involve chipotle mayonnaise….mmmmm.


How’s the ol’ grocery budget at your house this month?   And what did you eat this past week?

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Thursday 28th of April 2016

The spatchcocked chicken and gravy is on regular rotation at my house. I serve it similarly to a meal a friend told me about that she got while on vacation in Canada: with a simple salad and vinaigrette dressing, and thin, shoestring French fries (for the gravy, of course) and it's one of my kids favorites. So thank you for sharing it!!


Saturday 23rd of April 2016

I read your Earth Day post last year and was so happy you provided a link so I read it again this year. I am a Christian and your post is right on. I am really surprised anyone was upset by it and I am encouraged to see more Christians taking seriously the care of God's creation. Thank you so much!


Saturday 23rd of April 2016

Kristen, an LED lightbulb went off while I was blathering on to Jan-Lex above. The regular Frugal Things is so effective.-- your gorgeous pictures and witty text are always a treat. Maybe the occasional Frugal recycling post would be welcome? For me that list might look like this:

1. Not wasting paper at school -- devised crafts from the scrap pile as much as possible and collected notices, calendars, etc, to use blank sides for coloring, etc.

2. Hyper-miled home from school (mostly downhill so possible to reach 39 - 40 mpg if I am careful and hit the green light at the bottom of the hill.

3. Took lunch in reusable containers, including reusable bags (the ones I didn't throw out by accident, that is ;). Yeah, actually REUSING the reusables -- who new? ;)

4. Turned a shallow wire basket leftover from a gift into a nest for the morning doves who kept building some very sad nests on the flat porch rafter. The eggs kept rolling down and splatting on the porch, so much so that the neighborhood cats would regularly skulk below, snapping their tails and licking their chops just waiting for the next free lunch. Husband lashed the basket onto the beam and every year we have several generations of doves and sparrows who make it to adulthood. (yeah, had to go back in time for this one)

5. Coming off a month or more of no heat, no air conditioning -- March/April in SoCal. Now have to monitor the temps when we get home to see where to set the thermostat so air won't kick into an empty house. So far, just turning it off during the day to see how hot it is exactly. Want to use as little as possible.

So far, not the best steward of the earth -- must drive car to work, restaurant takeout came with all plastic, not air drying, etc. -- but I do hope to get better. Like the 5 frugal posts, just thinking about what to write makes me do a better job. Well, just a thought for an occasional post. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and for highlighting Earth Day! Cheers!


Saturday 23rd of April 2016

Monday- Hearty Amish Vegetable Soup with bread. Tuesday- Aldi's cheese pizza with mushrooms and tomatoes. Wednesday- Leftover soup. Thursday- Quorn Chik'n Patty Sandwiches. Friday- Salmon (on clearance, YAY!), sauteed mushrooms, (also on clearance), and fresh fruit salad (love summer fruit from Aldi!). Today- I'll probably make soup for lunch and have leftovers with sandwiches for dinner.

I have a Capital One account we only use for food. (Thanks to you, and yes we love it!). So it was very easy to figure out what I've spent so far this year. :) $407 per month! So that's exciting. There's still one more week, but should only be about another $50. There are four of us. Technically we have three adults and one kid.

We don't spend much eating out ($40 so far this year, and that was 12 times! That's a lot more times than I thought it would be.) I don't buy very much meat, so that saves us a lot of money.


Saturday 23rd of April 2016

Super duper expensive week here...birthday girl turned five yesterday and so on Thursday I shopped for our family for the week along with a family birthday party we are hosting Sunday. I also placed a Vitacost order and stocked up on goodies for hubs lunches now that he's back to work full time. All together the two purchases were about $415 - about $100 for the party specifically. Hopefully that will get us through the month with just a produce trip next week. We usually average $800-1000 a month so I'm actually on target still.

We ate pretty well too: -spaghetti with red sauce and turkey sausage, garlic bread and veggie sticks -I made some tomato soup and we had grilled cheese too, and melon -BLTand chicken salads on mixed greens, corn and peppers sauté and onion rings -chicken sausage, LO Mac and cheese from the freezer, LO onion rings, veggie sticks, strawberries with whipped cream -pizza and Caesar salad for birthday dinner. My folks joined us and we had ice cream for dessert. -tonight will be turkey burgers, baked potato and coleslaw with assorted fruit


Saturday 23rd of April 2016

Happy birthday to your daughter!

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