Search Results for: crackers

Homemade Whole Wheat Graham Crackers

This Whole Wheat Graham Crackers recipe was originally posted in 2008. My current big 11-year old was a tiny 3-year old back then and I can’t stop looking at the pictures in this post.

I updated this post to have an easy-to-print recipe option for you. These crackers are crunchy-crispy…and taste SO GOOD.  Oh, I hope you love them like we do.

If you like the Honey Graham Cracker recipe, you’ll love the fact that you can also make CHOCOLATE Graham CrackersJust add 1/3 cup cocoa to the recipe.

Whole Wheat Graham Crackers Yum

Healthy Treat for Today: Homemade Whole Wheat Graham Crackers!
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar juice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Melt stick of butter in a pan on the stove. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add the liquids: honey, water, vanilla and melted butter.
  5. Stir well until a nice ball of dough is formed.
  6. Cut two pieces of Parchment paper the size of the cookie sheet.
  7. Lay one piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
  8. Place the ball of dough on the parchment paper.
  9. Lay the other piece of parchment paper on top of the ball of dough. Squish dough down a little with your fist.
  10. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough between the pieces of parchment paper. Roll until the dough covers the whole cookie sheet.
  11. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. Cut rolled dough into 2 inch squares, or cut shapes with cookie cutters, being sure to separate the shapes from the surrounding dough a little.
  12. Bake in oven for 18 minutes.
  13. Turn oven off, but leave crackers in the oven to get crisp.
  14. Remove from oven after 30 minutes to one hour. Break graham crackers apart.
  15. Store in a air tight container.

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Malachi is finishing up the rolling for Mama!

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Here’s a shot of the chocolate graham crackers
cut into squares and ready to bake.

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Malachi is using little cookie cutters to make “animal crackers”!

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Here’s a plate of the Chocolate Graham Crackers.
(Got milk?)

My kids get so excited when I make these.  They are a great snack to have on hand.  Try them and see what you think! :)

Homemade Graham Crackers

Chef Salad with Crispy Cheese Crackers

I have decided that there will probably be lots of tomato plants lining the streets of gold in heaven. Every time I make a salad and include the fresh tomatoes from our garden, I am reminded of God’s goodness. There is so much yum in a summertime fresh tomato.

Last week, we had some leftover chicken which we added to lettuce and tomatoes with shredded cheese for a quick lunch. I stirred in some Homemade Ranch Dressing and loved every single bite.

chef_salad (1)

When I told the boys we were having Chef Salad with Crispy Cheese Crackers for lunch, they weren’t super excited. (They’d have been happier if I’d announced we were having bacon, no doubt.)

But as they worked their way through the meal, munching on the homemade crackers with their salads, even my youngest had to admit, “Mom, this is actually a really good lunch.”

Actually? Yes, how shocking.

Whatever. I was in the middle of eating fresh tomatoes straight from heaven. They could say whatever they wanted.

Chef Salad Fixin’s

  • Fresh greens
  • Your choice of meat (leftovers are great for this!)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Peas
  • Beans (pintos or black)
  • Corn
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Sweet peppers

Need some homemade salad dressing recipes? Find them here.

High Five Recipes: Crispy Cheese Crackers

High Five Recipes 2

Move over little gold fish. There’s a new cheese in town.

Heidi emailed me a couple of months ago asking if I had a good cheese cracker recipe. Well no, I said, but I sure do love me a recipe challenge! It took a bit of trial and error, but I finally figured out a recipe that not only tastes good, but is SO easy.

Who knew a cheese cracker recipe that would qualify as a High Five Recipe!! (Oh, but psst…we’re not counting the tablespoon of water in this recipe as an ingredient…because that would mean there are technically six ingredients in this cracker. I really wanted to make this a High Five Recipe and it just would not work without a bit of water. Just sprinkle it in and look the other way.)

Crispy Cheese CrackersYum

¼  cup butter, softened
¼ t. sea salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, room temperature
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ t. baking powder
1 T. cold water

Use beaters or food processor to mix butter and salt until creamy. Add cheese. Mix well. Gradually add flour, baking powder and water, mixing until dough begins to form a ball. Form dough into a ball with hands.

Roll the dough into 1/8 inch thickness onto a cookie sheet. (I find that placing the dough between two pieces of parchment paper helps me to roll them out more easily.)  Cut the rolled out dough into 1 ½ inch squares. Bake 15 minutes at 350° or until lightly browned. Turn off the oven and leave the crackers inside to crisp up. Store tightly covered.

That’s all there is to it! I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my kids will eat the entire pan of these (before Matt and I get some) in one ten minute time frame. They LOVE these! So much for trying to make a snack to “have on hand”. Guess I oughta double the recipe, huh?

Whole Wheat Crackers


Homemade Heart Crackers with Cheese and Turkey

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup water

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in oil and water until a ball of dough has formed. Roll dough very thin, about 1/16 inch thickness on a cookie sheet. (I find it’s easiest to roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper.) Use small heart cookie cutter to shape crackers. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Turn off the oven, but allow crackers to sit inside while it cools. This will dry out the crackers so that they become crispy.

For square crackers, use a knife to cut the dough into 1 inch squares after rolling it onto a cookie sheet.

Whole Wheat Crackers


Homemade Heart Crackers with Cheese and TurkeyYum

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup water

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in oil and water until a ball of dough has formed. Roll dough very thin, about 1/16 inch thickness on a cookie sheet. (I find it’s easiest to roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper.) Use small heart cookie cutter to shape crackers. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Turn off the oven, but allow crackers to sit inside while it cools. This will dry out the crackers so that they become crispy.

For square crackers, use a knife to cut the dough into 1 inch squares after rolling it onto a cookie sheet.

Master List of Simple Snack Ideas

Who is ready to download the Master List of Simple Snack Ideas?!

Hopefully you already grabbed the Master Lists of Simple Lunch and Breakfast Ideas. I’m covering my fridge with these lists to make our transition from summer break to a school schedule a little bit easier. If you haven’t already, be sure to get your lunch and breakfast lists here!

Watch also for our upcoming Master Lists of food and recipes and ideas to make to fill a lunchbox. (Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!)

Today’s list:

The Master List of Simple Snack Ideas

Keep Snacks Simple

Your Real Food Master Simple Snack Ideas List

You can download this entire list here. But I’ll share it all on this post for reference also. I also recommend that you pin it so you can find it quickly as needed!

First choice at our house is always a fruit or a veggie, so I’ll begin this list sharing those ideas!

strawberry

Fruits and veggies that can be pulled from the fridge and served immediately with little to no prep (beyond washing):

  • Baby carrots (I like the petite carrots – they are sweeter and easier to eat!)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mini sweet peppers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (homemade is awesome, but even my teenage boys enjoy the special treat of an Applesauce Squeeze Pouch)
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Apple Rings
  • Dried Bananas
  • Dried Berries

watermelon

Fruits and veggies that take a few minutes of prep but are still super simple:

  • Sliced apples
  • Sliced peaches or nectarines
  • Plums
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Raw broccoli “trees”
  • Cut cantaloupe
  • Watermelon wedges
  • Sliced pears
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Mango chunks
  • Fruit Salad

Dips that taste great with Fruits and Veggies

Simple Snacks Foods that are great to eat with Peanut Butter

This Homemade Peanut Butter is amazing and healthy! We have this on hand at all times.

  • Eat it straight…on a spoon. :)
  • Sliced Apples with peanut butter
  • Celery with peanut butter
  • Bread with peanut butter and honey
  • Bread with peanut butter and jelly
  • Toast with peanut butter and sliced apples
  • Tortillas with peanut butter and honey
  • Tortillas with peanut butter and jelly

orange

Simple Meat and Cheese Snacks

  • Leftover chicken or roast beef
  • Sliced cheese, any variety
  • Cheese sticks
  • Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese (we just discovered these and our boys are LOVING this treat)
  • Lunchmeat
  • Summer Sausage
  • Beef Jerky
  • Quesadillas (with just cheese, or with meat also)
  • Tortilla Roll-Up with meat and cheese
  • Chicken Salad on crackers, lettuce, or a tortilla
  • Tuna Salad on crackers, lettuce, or a tortilla

Nutty Snacks (and Seeds too!)

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Any combination of all of the above, with dried fruit and maybe a chocolate chip or two tossed in!

Simple Snack Recipes that are Quick to Make and Fun to Eat!

(By the way, the majority of this list shares snack ideas that are naturally gluten free!)

Would you like to make this Master List of Simple Snack Ideas even simpler?

Sign up here to receive the entire Master List of Simple Snacks in a free downloadable document! Then you can keep it handy on your computer or print it and put it on your fridge as a super handy reference!

Master List of 100 Simple Snack Ideas

Grab a free download of the Master Simple Snack Ideas List!

Watch for one more Master List coming this month, filled with real food lunch box ideas!

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite simple snacks to feed your family?

P.S. What about a simple dinner list? We’ve already got that covered with our Weekly Simple Meals Plans!

Traveling With Kids? 65+ Free and Inexpensive Ideas to Make the Trip Easier and Fun!

Forget the parts about babies screaming in their car seats, siblings getting in each other’s space in the back seat, and ineffectively trying to get restless children to actually sleep in a hotel bed.

Traveling is fun!

Well, parts of it anyway.

65 Free and Inexpensive Road Trip Ideas

If you’re hitting the road this summer with your family, we pray you make more great memories than bad ones (though I speak from experience when I say that even most of the bad ones turn into good ones eventually). We pray for wonderful experiences and fantastic adventures. We pray that even Mom and Dad have a good time and get to relax! Is this too much to ask?

Free and Inexpensive Road Trip Ideas and Activities

To make a road trip fun for the kids and hopefully more relaxing for the parents, we’ve put together a fantastic list of ideas and activities, as well as a huge packet of free printables for you. A huge thanks to my friend, Kim, for once again helping me compile this list of ideas. Wait till you see!

First the free printable pack!

Free Summer Travel Printables

You will want this packet of printables to go along with many of the ideas listed below! Print the pages that work well for each of your kids and put together a binder for them to take along on the trip. With these printables your kids can:

  • Journal with pictures or words throughout the trip
  • Play “I Spy” with Letters, Numbers, Shapes, Colors, and State License Plates
  • Spot road signs and different kinds of vehicles – challenging themselves to see how many they can find
  • More (details to come!)

Sign up to receive this FREE Printables Pack here. Once you’ve signed up, watch for an email, confirm your subscription, and your printables packet will be in your inbox soon!

More Travel Ideas that Are Free

vintage toy truck isolated in white background with clipping path.

Are you ready for this? We’ve got over 65 great ideas to help make traveling with kids fun and easy. Here we go with ideas that cost absolutely nothing!

  • Toy Swap! Borrow toys and books from a friend to take along on the trip. This will seem like “new toys” to your kids but will cost nothing!
  • Take along library books, audio books, and movies.
  • Coupon Fun! Use the printable coupons in the packet above to provide your kids with fun incentives and treats to look forward to. (For example: “This coupon entitles you to sit by Mom. …to choose the movie. …to have a special drink.)
  • Borrow fun music CDs from friends that will be new to your family.

Super Inexpensive Travel Activity Ideas

  • Hit garage sales and thrift stores to pick up “new” toys and books inexpensively. Pull them out one at a time on the trip!
  • If your kids are old enough, aluminum foil is great for making origami shapes or molding/scrunching into various shapes. It can be used over and over!
  • Take stickers and a spiral notebook or scratch paper: Little ones enjoy the fun of peeling off the stickers and putting them on paper at random. Bigger kids can make scenes with them, then use crayons or colored pencils to make a bigger scene. (Consider including this in a binder in put together for your kids which includes the above Travel Packet Printables!) Here’s an awesome sticker pack that is a great value.

Inexpensive Travel Activity Ideas

finger puppets

Arts and Crafts on the Road

melissa and doug water paint

Travel Items Worth the Investing In

playbee

Audio Book Suggestions

adventures in odyssey

Borrow these from the library or invest in them to keep in your car for all your road trips!

Rest Stop Activities

sidewalk chalk

Hotel Activities

jungle puzzle

Travel Games

hungry hippos

Fun Travel Snacks and Drinks

stretch_island

*TIP* Purchase a gallon of water to keep in the car. Refill individual water bottles as needed. Sometimes it’s fun to surprise the kids with a new water bottle for a big trip! These choices are great for bigger kids. Here’s a great sippy cup for littlesGrown-ups and teens might like this one.

Recipes for the Road

Peanut Butter Cookie Bites - No Bake!

I am so in love with all these ideas! Thank you, Kim, for lending your expertise and creativity!

Everyone please pitch in to share your ideas too. And be sure to sign up to receive this FREE Printables Pack here. I love the fun of this packet to make traveling more enjoyable!

Real Food Recipes That Are Easy AND Save You Money

I used to make everything from scratch. Everything. Ketchup, graham crackers, and even mozzarella cheese. It’s great to have the skills and knowledge to do this. But at a certain point I had to ask:

Am I getting enough bang for my buck, here? As in, is the time I’m taking and the energy I’m extending to make all of this food really saving me money and therefore, is it worth it?

mozzcheese2sm

For the record, homemade mozzarella costs more than store-bought.

Now, sometimes it’s worth putting forth the effort or spending more to make food from scratch because of the health benefit and great flavor. I mean, I don’t even care how much it saves or doesn’t save to make Homemade Ranch Dressing because this recipe tastes thousands of times better than the bottled stuff and it only includes healthy ingredients. I don’t want high fructose corn syrup on my salad.

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But as my schedule has gotten busier and as the quantity of food we plow through every day has increased, I’ve had to be more choosy about what I make, what I buy pre-made, and what I skip altogether.

For instance, I used to make all of our Whole Wheat Tortillas, without fail. These taste amazing and we miss them, but it takes triple the amount of tortillas to get us through a meal now, compared to the days my kids were little. It’s a rare occasion that I “go to the trouble” to make tortillas now, because it takes over an hour to get the job done. (Though when I do, there is much rejoicing.) We either skip tortillas now (often subbing corn chips), or I’ll buy a case from Azure Standard to keep in the freezer.

Having said all of that, today I thought I’d share some recipes I’ve stuck with for all these years, even with a busier schedule and a higher volume of food consumption. These recipes are worth my time, because the time investment is tiny. And they are cheaper than store-bought so they are a win-win! Also, homemade always tastes better, so score one more for that!

Real Food Recipes that are Easy and Save Money

Seasoning Mixes

I make all of our Ranch Dressing Mix, Italian Dressing Mix, Onion Soup Mix, and Taco Seasoning Mix. These cost pennies to make, saving a significant amount. And since I make big batches, the time saved on these is great!

condiments

Vanilla Extract

The price of beans has gone up, but it still saves money to make Homemade Vanilla Extract. It’s ridiculously easy to make, and well worth the effort because homemade vanilla is amazing!

vanilla_four

Stir-and-Pour Whole Wheat Bread

We don’t eat as much bread as we used to at our house. I think it’s wholesome and filling and my family loves it, but I prefer to fill everyone with more nutrient-packed sides like fruits and veggies. So bread has taken a back seat at our house.

I do sometimes buy a loaf of 100% whole wheat sandwich bread for sandwiches when we need to pack them for a road trip. But for bread at home, when as do eat it with a meal, I make this Stir-and-Pour Whole Wheat Bread. It takes hardly any time or effort, and it doesn’t cost very much. And it tastes awesome!

stir and pour bread loaf 5

Homemade Granola

I discovered this 5-Minute Granola Method and haven’t looked back. I add in whatever we have (dried fruit or chocolate chips) and we’ve got ourselves a great cereal for much less than store bought!

Stove-Top Granola

All of these Simple Meal Recipes

Check out this Spanish Rice Bowl and the long list of other Simple Real Food Recipes it includes. I keep coming up with more of these recipes and am amazed at how much time and money they are saving! I’ve cut down my kitchen time with these Simple Recipes so much that I feel like a cheater. Almost. ;)

spanish rice bowl11

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert

This is ridiculously easy and so super yummy! Throw three ingredients in the blender and you’re set!

pineapple dessert 3

Special Coffee Drinks

It’s a rare thing for us to spend $$ at a coffee shop since we can make fun coffee drinks at home for much less! This Chocolate Frappe is awesome. Sometimes we put this Chocolate Whipped Cream in our coffee. We freeze coffee into ice cubes like this to make easy Iced Coffees. This Coffee Milkshake is awesome in the summertime. Sometimes I make a big batch of Chocolate Iced Coffee to offer several people at once. While all of these take a little time, it doesn’t feel like a lot of effort because it’s FUN to make drinks like this!

What are some of the foods you make from scratch that are easy and save money?

Did you get your Money-Saving Freebies yet?

Remember that anyone who signs up to join our FREE Heavenly Homemaker’s Savings Club gets both of these freebies sent to them. Fun!!

Top 10 Money Saving Recipes

30 Real Food Money Saving Tips

Sign up here, confirm your subscription, and both booklets will be in your inbox very quickly! Then we can keep you informed of any other money saving tips and deals we come across!

One of the Hardest Grocery Budget Questions I’m Ever Asked

A few months ago I shared about my family’s current grocery budget. Some of you felt a mighty relief that you weren’t the only one spending so much each month to feed your family . But others of you fell over with shock. (Sorry ’bout that.)

Before I get too far in to today’s post, allow me to catch you up on some grocery budget posts that will help you understand where I’m coming from here:

Long story short, we are a family of 6. We have four sons ages 19, 17, 15, and 12. Our oldest lives in the college dorm, but comes over from time to time (sometimes with friends). We almost never eat out, we don’t have cable, and we drive old vehicles. Our health care/insurance costs are amazingly low (praise the Lord!). But…we spend a boat load of money every month on groceries. Eeeeek!

groceries Lincoln

Almost every month, we fork out somewhere between $800-$1,100 dollars for food to feed our family. Yep, sounds a little scary to some of you. We used to get away with much less back when all four of our boys could share one apple for a snack and be fine until they ate their tiny little dinner.

Now it’s just not possible. Our four boys are teenagers now. They are tall. They are extremely active. We care about wholesome nutrition. Our grocery bill reflects all of this.

groceries725

One of the most difficult questions I’m asked by people is this one:

If you had to cut back on your grocery budget, what would you cut?

I open my mouth in an effort to answer, and nothing comes out. Of all our groceries, what would I not buy? What do I buy that’s a splurge that I could give up? How could I cut back?

Honestly, I’m not sure I have a good answer. I buy food. My family eats it. We waste almost nothing.

Okay, here’s one. Sometimes I splurge and buy juice. This is fun, but not a necessity. We could give that up, which would save, what? About $8 a month? I buy La Croix sparkling water, and this is a total splurge. It’s a fun drink that I could give up. Again, this offers a savings of just a few dollars every month.

Could I (tearfully) give up on buying a grass fed cow every year? Maybe. But even with that, would I really be saving money? Buying our meat in bulk like this really cuts the cost down.

And speaking of cows, I really can’t skimp on the meat at our house, as far as quantity. I feed my boys plenty of rice, potatoes, and pasta to help fill them. But they never feel satisfied without substantial protein.

groceries 411

How about produce? The thought of cutting back on fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables makes me feel sick inside. Our bodies need nourishment from these, and I would hate to cut back. Fruits and veggies are a big part of our meals, and I believe the variety of nutrients they provide helps to keep my boys feeling satisfied, especially when compared to cheap crackers or whatever else I’d offer to fill in the gaps.

Also? I’ve already stopped buying “only organic.” I gave that up several years ago when I realized the cost was keeping us from eating enough fruits and vegetables. I buy organic when the price is reasonable, but otherwise, I trust that God is bigger and we just wash and eat the nourishing conventional produce. (I save a lot of money price-matching our produce, so I’m so thankful our Wal-mart still offers this!)

We already skip the milk. We buy one gallon each week (to use for cooking) from a local farmer, so it is organic and grass fed. But one gallon. For $5.00. It’s more expensive than store-bought, but the $20 I spend on milk each month doesn’t make or break my budget.

So I guess that brings me back to:

My family eats a lot of food.

That, and we feed extra people quite frequently.

Our grocery budget allows for including extras around our table regularly, and for that, I’m extremely thankful. I wouldn’t want to ever give that up, and God continues to provide so I don’t have to.

But truly, if I had to cut back on my grocery budget, I think my kids would be hungry.

Either that or I think they might get sick more frequently. There’s no way to know that for sure, I guess, but after so many years of filling them with nourishing foods, including a lot of fruits and vegetables, I really think their bodies are thriving on the nutrients. To cut back and substitute them with “filler foods” could potentially hurt them and make our doctor bills increase. Worth it? Absolutely not.

This is where I land for my family right now. If our income decreased and we would need to cut budget in order to make it, food would be one of the last things I would/could adjust. And I know, without a doubt, that God would provide for my family’s needs. He is God and we never need to doubt him.

If I had to cut back on my grocery budget

What are your thoughts on this topic? If you had to cut back on grocery spending, what would you/could you cut out?

A Freebie for you!

Here’s something exciting!

Want a recipe eBooklet full of my Top 10 Money Saving Recipes? Join our Heavenly Homemakers Savings Club, and we’ll send it to you for FREE! (Joining means we’ll also keep you informed of all the latest money saving groceries and homemaking items we come across. A win-win!)

Top 10 Money Saving Recipes

Sign up to join our Heavenly Homemakers Savings Club here.

Also for Savings Club Members, we just finished a project we started a couple years ago (no time like the present, right?).

Another NEW Freebie for you!

30 Real Food Money Saving Tips
If you’ve been reading here for a while, you might remember that about two years ago (I’m embarrassed that it’s been that long!) I asked all of you to submit your best ways of saving money on real food. I FINALLY compiled these into a fun downloadable resource for you!

This eBooklet is full of 30 Real Food Money Saving Tips. This resource is super practical and easy to read through. I bet you’ll find some ideas you hadn’t thought of before, some that you can work toward now, and some that might benefit you in a different season.

It’s free for all and it’s loaded with tips! Get it here —->

Sign up to join our Heavenly Homemakers Savings Club here.

What are your best ways of saving money on real food?

My February Grocery Spending Totals (Did I Come in Under Budget?!)

Remember how I promised to document all my grocery spending during the month of February to share with you?

I did it! I saved all my receipts. I took all the pictures. I realized how much work it was to take all the pictures and type out all of this information.

(I’m trying to decide if I’m going to keep documenting my purchases every month as some have requested. It is a serious amount of work. Leave a comment to weigh in with how much you want to see this regularly!)

Two weeks ago I posted what I’d bought and how much I’d spent through Feb. 8. (I was up to $524 at that point already!) See the breakdown of my early Feb. grocery trips here.

groceries feb171

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now I’ll show you what I bought and spent throughout the rest of February…

Yay me, I got to go to Lincoln again (twice in one month is rare, but hooray for cool grocery stores in the big city!).

My first stop in Lincoln is always Fresh Thyme Market. I had the most fun this shopping trip as so many of our favorites were either BOGO items or deeply discounted! All their organic produce was 25% off, so I filled my cart.

While shopping, I decided to take each of my boys a “special treat.” Why? Because it’s fun and food is my love language. See the shopping lists below to see what I took home for each of them. (Come to think of it, I didn’t get anything for Asa, who is away at college, but any time he comes home to eat I go out of my way to make his favorites, so we’re good.)

NOTE: I’ve gotten lazy so instead of setting all the food out on the table at home to take a picture before we put it all away (which takes several extra steps and a lot of extra time), I’ve started taking pictures of my full carts. I know it’s harder to see all the food, but… :)

groceries feb178

Fresh Thyme Market (2-15-17)

2 packages orange cranberry buns (BOGO) $3.99
2 packages chocolate pretzels $5.00
4 packages coffee (BOGO) $15.98
Havarti jalapeno cheese (surprise for Justus) $3.99
8 pounds organic butter (BOGO) $23.96
2 packages wheat tortillas $4.98
4 Brown Cow yogurt (BOGO) $1.98
1 pound kiwi $2.99
.82 pounds asparagus $2.45
2.74 pounds bartlett pears $2.66
3.39 pounds gala apples $3.29
1 pint grape tomatoes $0.88
3.44 pounds mini sweet peppers $6.85
3.27 pounds organic bananas $1.86
3.44 pounds organic braeburn apples $2.55
2.19 pounds organic broccoli $2.45
1 organic cucumber $0.66
5 organic avocados $3.70
Organic rainbow carrots $2.24
2 red bell peppers $1.76
2.64 pounds red grapes $2.56
6 pounds strawberries $9.00
1.05 pounds nectarines $1.86

Total $101.65

Next, I went to Aldi. Since I’d been there just two weeks prior, I didn’t need as much. But of course I got another case of salsa since we go through it so much. (Total jars of salsa purchased in February: twenty-eight. #lifewithteenageboys)

groceries feb 179

Aldi (2-15-17)

3 pounds yellow onions $0.79
4 pints blueberries $6.76
Valentine Danimals Smoothies (marked down after Vday – surprise for Malachi) $0.99
Pecan/Vanilla Granola (surprise for Elias) $2.99
2 packages organic cheese slices $5.98
2 packages brown sugar $2.58
2 packages uncured hotdogs $3.98
3 boxes fruit squeezes (for Asa to have in the dorm) $5.68
12 jars organic salsa $22.68

Total: $52.43

Just a few days later, we were out of fresh greens and cheese (staples at our house!). Plus we’d already eaten all those strawberries. I made a list and ran to our local Walmart.

groceries feb179

Walmart (2-20-17)

1 pound organic mixed greens $5.98
1 pound organic spinach $5.98
8 pounds marble jack cheese $27.88
1/2 gallon half-and-half $3.98
2 quarts heavy whipping cream $8.28
52 ounces frozen corn $3.96
4 pounds strawberries (price-matched) $5.96
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti $1.00 (looking forward to trying this brand to see if we like it since it’s such a good price!)

Total $63.02

I ordered several staple items online from Vitacost. Many of you have taken advantage of the “Get $10 off your first order of $30 or more!” so I had referral credit (thank you!) and got most of this with very little money out of pocket.

groceries feb1710

Vitacost (2-22-17)

32-ounces organic lemon juice
3 cans organic pizza sauce
2 32-ounce jugs organic maple syrup
32-ounces organic lime juice
33.8 ounce bottle organic olive oil
6 15-ounce cans organic baked beans

Total after credit: $5.42

I hit Wal-mart one last time on February 26. There were some GREAT price-matching options (strawberries for $0.98!). Plus I needed to pick up a few items to take with us this weekend when we head out of town for our annual homeschool basketball tournament. (We’ll eat out with the team sometimes too; but three meals a day for three days would be a little hard on our stomachs and budget.)

groceries feb1711

Wal-Mart (2-26-17)

6 bags Great Value “Fritos” $11.04
2 quarts cream $8.28
Colby Jack individually wrapped cheese (for bball tournament weekend) $2.88
2 packages Hormel Naturals lunch meat (for bball tournament) $11.52
1 loaf 100% whole wheat bread (for bball tournament) $1.68
3 boxes of crackers (for bball tournament) $8.88
LaCroix sparkling water (Mom’s treat!) $3.18
Sour Cream $3.94
48-ounces cashews (to make individual bags for the bball players on our team) $28.02
3 pounds mandarins (price-match!) $2.49
1 pound asparagus (price-match!) $1.47
4 avocados (price-match!) $2.00
3 pints organic grape tomatoes (price-match!) $2.94
8 pounds strawberries (price-match!) $7.84

Total: $96.16

Last but not least, we bought 5 dozen eggs from a local friend with chickens (I feel like we got more eggs earlier in the month that I forgot to document??). We also got one gallon of milk each week from a local farm, a total of four gallons this month.

Milk: $20
Eggs: $12.50 (plus whatever I forgot earlier this month)

Oh! I had a migraine last week and took advantage of a 50% off Pizza Hut coupon. I got four large pizzas for $30 with tax – a splurge, but not a bad price for 4 large pizzas!

Did we come in under budget?

Here’s a break-down of how much we’ve budgeted for our family of six (ages 43, 43, 19, 17, 15, and 12). Here’s a peek at the rest of the groceries I bought in February.

Grand total I spent for food in February: $905.59

That is a lot of money, but it is also a lot of good food! I am thankful.

How did your grocery budget hold up in February?