Our Groceries, Our Menu, Our First Week of School…and Our Mannequins?

Well, here we are at the beginning of our first week of school for 2015-2016. I’ve made a few meals and convenience foods ahead of time. I’ve ordered and purchased a lot of groceries. I’ve organized our books and classes for the year. I’ve made a 30-Day Real Food Menu to help make meal time easier. I’ve moved the mannequins out of my office. Hold on. Did I forget to tell you about Sheila and Robert?

Creepy Alert…

mannequins

Why, oh why?

Asa was working on a new video project for a friend last week, and they needed mannequins. What does a person do when he needs mannequins? Well, his mom puts a request out on Facebook, and hopes a friend has some to lend. I truly almost wet myself watching our friend haul two necked mannequins across the street to our porch. I would love to know what the neighbors were thinking.

Ever dressed a mannequin? It’s harder than one would think. Sheila lost two fingers in the process, for which we are truly sorry. I gave up on pants and simply wrapped her legs in a blanket. Then we stored her (as well as a little boy mannequin – see him back there?) on the bed in my office. I jumped every time I walked in – because obviously – and I felt as though Sheila was watching my every move while I tried to work. It is very hard to write sentences while being watched by someone who doesn’t blink. So we moved them to our other guest room. In the process, her legs came off. As did her arms. And her blanket. Then Asa and his friend ended up not needing them for the video after all.
mannequins 4

See sometimes you just don’t want to know all the goings on in other people’s homes. Please still love us.

Want to talk about food now? Yes, let’s move on to the more normal (and I use that term lightly) life of the Coppinger household, shall we? Truly, looking at my bottle of vinegar will be a blessed relief after the previous pictures.

Saturday I picked up an enormous Bountiful Basket order. Along with lots of fruits and veggies we got tortillas, bread, and pizza crusts for the freezer. Ah yes, and a bottle of vinegar. As I was saying earlier, life is so normal, simple, and boring around here.

bountiful basket 815

My August Subscribe and Save order is beginning to trickle in. I should have the rest by Monday, but so far we’ve received Organic Cacao Powdera case of Kashi cereal, and a case of Rapunzel sucanat.

amazon 815

Our garden tomatoes are producing well! Soon it will be time to make a batch of tomato sauce.

garden tomatoes 2

And guess what? Our green bean plants are reviving themselves and we already got to pick a few beans. Take that, bunnies! (Yes, we’re still keeping the cat.)

garden beans

I ordered 50 pounds of potatoes and 50 pounds of wheat (not pictured) from Azure Standard. Soooo, we are all set on food for a while!

potatoes

Along with school, some of our boys’ soccer practices also begin this week. I took the 30-Day Real Food Menu list and my Menu Planning Notebook, and I jotted down meals from the list I have food on hand to make. This is so much better than having all the info and thoughts floating around in my head. Yay for a list on my fridge (and for the iced coffee I drank while making it)!

meal planning before school

Here are some of the links to the food I jotted down:

Last but not least, here are some boring pictures of a few of the books our three younger boys will be using this year. (Justus – 10th grade, Elias – 8th grade, Malachi – 5th grade)

school books 2015

This isn’t all of them, but these are some of the piles I was working through for a few hours over the weekend. I got the boys’ assignment lists printed, so we’ll begin bright and early (yeah right) Monday morning.

school books 20152

 

Hopefully, the mannequins will not be terribly distracting while the boys work on their math and Spanish on Matt’s office computer. We’re running out of options for places to move them. Our porch, perhaps? That could be fun.

Here’s to a great first week of school! How about you? What are you up to this week? Care to share anything about your normal (or not so normal) goings on? Have any mannequin creepers?

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30 Day Back-to-School Real Food Menu Plan

30 Day Real Food Menu Plan

I’m excited to share that I’ve made a list of one entire month’s worth of real food meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner/supper. Why? Because school is just about to begin (or already did for some of you).

I personally thought it would be valuable to avoid thinking about how to feed the hungry school children since I will, of course, be joyously reading for hours each day with my offspring about the adventures of Lewis and Clark and having fabulous discussions about planets, galaxies, and Ralph Moody. During the times I’m not joyously reading, I will be joyful at a soccer field or in a car dropping or picking up a kid from a music lesson. I will be way too joyful to think about meal planning.

Assuming you also have much joy during the back-to-school season – I thought maybe you’d like this resource too.

Don’t look now, but I’m absolutely not going to stick with these lists entirely. I’ll use it as a reference and guide. This is 30 days worth of real food meals at a quick glance to ease us all back into a school routine. Now that is JOY!

We’ll begin with breakfast, head into lunch (for the homeschoolers among us), then land on dinner/supper. As much as possible, I plan to (or already) have foods prepped ahead and put into the freezer so that all I have to do is pull them out and thaw/cook/serve. Everything else will be easy to put together. Scrambling eggs takes no time at all. Right? Right.

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars 12

30 Real Food Breakfast Ideas (always served with fruit and often served with some sort of additional protein)

  1. Fried eggs on toast
  2. Scrambled cheesy eggs
  3. Breakfast Burritos
  4. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
  5. Easy Breakfast Casserole
  6. Dark Chocolate Almond Granola
  7. Giant Breakfast Cookies
  8. Instant Oatmeal Packets
  9. Pancake and Sausage Muffins
  10. Whole Wheat Waffles
  11. Coconut Flour Muffins
  12. Quick Mix Pancakes
  13. Homemade Poptarts
  14. Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
  15. Peanut Butter Snack Bars
  16. Peanut Butter Breakfast Cake
  17. Coconut Fudge Bars
  18. Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
  19. Quick Mix Biscuits
  20. Low Sugar Carrot Cake
  21. Lemon Bread
  22. Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls
  23. Grape Nuts Cereal
  24. Crepes
  25. Breakfast Cake Muffins
  26. Honey Cinnamon Muffins
  27. Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
  28. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
  29. Strawberry Cream Muffins
  30. Peanut Butter Pancakes

Muffin Tip: Make muffin batter ahead and put it into the freezer like this so that you can easily bake them fresh as needed in the mornings!

Tuna Melts on Spinach

30 Real Food Lunch Ideas (always served with 2-4 fruits and veggies. If I’m serving salad, I usually serve some sort of bread to fill my men)

  1. Tuna Salad
  2. Tuna Melts on Spinach
  3. Pasta Salad Bar
  4. Meat and Cheese Burritos
  5. Easy Noodle Stir Fry
  6. Ham and Cheese Pasta Salad
  7. Pizza Boats
  8. Baked Potatoes in the Crock Pot with whatever toppings we have available
  9. Homemade pizza (crusts already made – boys build/bake their own)
  10. Spanish Rice
  11. Taco Salad
  12. Easy Cheesy Bean Dip with chips
  13. Chicken Tacos
  14. Black Bean Chicken Nachos
  15. BLT Chopped Salad
  16. BLT Wraps
  17. Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Salad
  18. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (with turkey or ham if I have some)
  19. Scrambled Egg Sandwiches
  20. Creamy Mac and Cheese
  21. Healthier Cheese Dip with chips
  22. Real Food Meat and Velveeta Dip with chips
  23. Taco Quesadillas
  24. Tuna Casserole
  25. Chicken Burritos
  26. Plain Quesadillas
  27. Hamburger Patties
  28. Beef Summer Sausage with cheese and crackers
  29. Corn Dog Muffins
  30. Cheesy Salsa Burgers (from Eat Right Away: Beef Edition)

Grilled BBQ Chicken

Dinner/Supper (always served with 2-4 fruits and veggies)

  1. Cheesy Salsa Enchiladas
  2. Grilled Barbeque Chicken
  3. Italian Cream Cheese Chicken
  4. Mongolian Beef (from Eat Right Away: Slow Cooker Beef Edition)
  5. Quick Mix Pancakes with Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
  6. Barbecue Cranberry Chicken (from Eat Right Away: Slow Cooker Chicken Edition)
  7. Sloppy Joes
  8. Cheeseburger Macaroni
  9. Easy Apricot Chicken (from Eat Right Away: Chicken Edition)
  10. Turkey Sausage and Red Bean Stew
  11. Taco Potatoes
  12. Beefy Enchilada Bake
  13. Baked Ziti (from Eat Right Away: Beef Edition)
  14. Baked Three Cheese Chicken Pasta
  15. Garden Veggie Chicken Skillet
  16. Spaghetti
  17. Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole (from Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks)
  18. Popcorn Chicken
  19. Bacon-Wrapped Individual Meatloaves (from Eat Right Away: Beef Edition)
  20. Italian Pasta Bake
  21. Salmon Patties
  22. Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies
  23. Grilled Salmon
  24. Grilled Burgers
  25. Fiesta Chicken
  26. Sour Cream Enchiladas (from Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks)
  27. Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole
  28. Lamb Chops
  29. Hawaiian Beef and Rice (from Eat Right Away: Slow Cooker Beef Edition)
  30. Grilled Steak

30 Day Real Food Back-to-School Menu Plan

You can pin or bookmark this page for quick reference. And/or you can download the free printable version (with recipe links included):

Download the 30 Day Real Food Menu Plan Resource

When did or does school begin for your family? We move Asa into his dorm room Friday. I’ve been in denial all summer, but this is for real. I’m so proud/scared/sad/happy/excited…let’s just go with emotional. Once we get him settled in, the rest of us will begin school Monday the 17th. Here’s to a year of great new beginnings!

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What? I Don’t Need Anything At the Store???

I went from the craziest, busiest, most exhausting school year yet, followed by a houseful of company celebrating our oldest son’s high school graduation, to an entire week of quiet. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry, do cartwheels, clean the house, take a nap, read a book, watch a movie, or catch up on emails.

I decided to skip the cartwheels (our health insurance wouldn’t have appreciated the risk taking), forget cleaning (at least for a few days), and ignore my inbox (eh, what’s 400 unanswered emails?). I had some uninterrupted writing time (bliss!), took many walks with Malachi while he rode his bike, read Farmer Boy to Malachi, did some special projects in the kitchen (you’ll read about them soon), and found my brain again (mostly, sort of, probably not really).

Why the quiet? Three out of our four boys went to Wisconsin on a week-long mission trip with our church youth group. That left Matt and me with our 10 year-old, plus a college student who had moved in for the week. I missed our older boys, but the week was very refreshing. I mean, our tiny little laundry pile amazed me all week long. (And then the older boys came back with trash bags full of stink, filth, and a ticks – pictured below. Not the ticks. Just the laundry.)

laundry

I barely cooked all week because leftovers go a long way when the teenagers aren’t here to make me forget what leftovers are.

I am so used to buying mountains of food that without thinking two weeks ago, I ordered our normal amount of food from Bountiful Baskets which included a regular basket of fruits and veggies, two specialty fruit and veggie baskets, 25 pounds of nectarines, 48 whole wheat hotdog/hamburger buns, and 100 wraps. What? If the boys had all been home it would have just been another day of bringing home groceries for the week (or two). But instead, last Saturday I brought home this:

bountiful basket may 222

bountiful basket may 221

…and then on Sunday all the teenagers left for the week. Thank goodness for friends we could share nectarines with, a freezer for buns and wraps, and a college age young man who stayed with us for the week and was happy to eat whatever we put in front of him.

I will say that having all that great produce – plus the buns and wraps – made it very easy to put simple no-brainer meals on the table this week. I was ready for a kitchen break. I got one.

So now the older boys are back for the week. (They’ll be gone again to a church camp next week – such is our all-or-nothing summer.) I’m eager to cook for them again, and to fill them with green stuff that they likely aren’t getting much of while they’re away from home.

I don’t have an official menu plan made, but I thought I’d share a few dishes I plan to make while they’re home:

Well, that was fun. Hopefully you’ll see some ideas there you can use this summer. I love summer food SOOOOOO much. Mostly because I love summer. And food.

All of that to say that when Matt was heading to Walmart to grab some paint on Friday, he asked if I needed anything. Typically I need a cart full (to go with our Bountiful Basket, Azure Standard, and online orders). This time I just stared at him blankly. I didn’t need a thing.

Oh wait. Yes I did. I keep making the BLT Chopped Salad without the feta cheese because I keep not having any on hand. So Matt got us some feta cheese. It was the most exciting grocery shopping list ever.

Anyway, yay us. We saved a bundle on groceries this week. The boys are back in town (sing it with me…). Let us commence eating enormous quantities of food.

What summer food are you enjoying so far this season? Been grilling much? Have anything to pull from a garden yet?

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Menu Plan for the Week ~ And Blah, Blah, Blah…FREE STUFF!!!!

groceries apr16 (1)

Above is a picture of my grocery store purchase for this week. So blah, blah, blah…fruits and veggies. Eat them. Now let me tell you about all the free stuff I just got. (Then I’ll share my menu plan below.)

A new Ultimate Homemaking Bundle just came out. As always, it comes with wonderful eBooks, terrific eCourses, and several freebies – all for an amazing price and all packaged together to bless our homemaking efforts.

It’s not that I don’t love the eBooks they include (for a teeny-tiny 30¢ each, oh my) – I do. The eCourses included are fabulous (especially the Home Remedies one worth $99.00 that we all get for a teeny-tiny 30¢, oh my). But I have a confession. Don’t tell. Here it is:

As soon as the new bundle was revealed, I skipped right over the list of eBooks, the list of eCourses, the list of printables – and I was like: What do we get for free? What are the bonuses? What do we get??!!

This is me as I skim over a new bundle: “Blah, blah, blah, BONUSES!!” Once I take in all the freebies, oohing and aahing and forgetting to breathe – then I go back and look through all the included eBooks and eCourses. As always, I can’t believe all the goodness included for such a low price. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is wonderful – and the bonuses make it even better. That’s just how it works.

So now you know the truth about bundles, freebies, and Laura. Here are some of my favorite bonuses. If you buy the bundle this week, you can get them too.  (The bundle sale is over now. If you want to be sure to be informed of other sales and great deals in the future, sign up to receive our free daily newsletter)

I got this free (with free shipping) book from Tyndale Rewards. I haven’t sat down and read a Christian fiction book just for fun in ages. I cannot wait.

homemaking bundle freebie 20151

I ordered a free Kids Discovery Box from Green Kid Crafts. Malachi is super excited because he loves this sort of thing. I love it because it combines art, science, and creativity.

homemaking bundle 20153

I picked out three 8×10 prints from Hope Ink – two to decorate my new bathroom walls and one for Asa’s dorm room. I paid a little overage on this to go with the credit they gave for free. Two words: worth it. The picture of my picture below is pitiful, but once our bathroom is completely done – that is going to look marvelous on the wall.

homemaking bundle 20152

Speaking of taking pitiful pictures – I am very excited about the  freebie I chose from Craftsy. They offer each person who purchases the bundle a free online class (Select from 24 of Their Most Popular Classes – some wonderful cooking classes – up to a $60 Value). It was super had to choose, but this one won out:

ultimate homemaking 20155

I actually got it with my kids in mind. I’ll assign this photography course as part of their school curriculum. They are quite excited. I’ll get to learn too. It’s a win-win. And it was free. Sweet!

And maybe my favorite of all the freebies is this beautiful free scarf from Deborah & Co. There were many to pick from, but I couldn’t take my eyes off this one. Gorgeous. And free.

free scarf

We call this portrait “Mom in a Scarf.”
Or should we say, “Mom in a FREE Scarf.” 

There are more freebies where that came from. Those were just my favorites. And really – let’s not discredit all the great eBooks and eCourses included in the bundle. I have especially enjoyed A Parents Guide to Natural Remedieswhich as I mentioned above, is worth $99.00. It is included in this bundle that costs a grand total of $29.97 for the Natural Remedies course plus 98 more items.  That course alone makes this purchase an amazing deal. I am so pleased with this.

So is it worth spending $29.97 on this bundle? I can’t tell you how worth it. I have had access to this bundle for about three weeks (because I’m one of the authors with a book included) and I am enjoying this so, so much. I’ve barely scratched the surface with all that’s included. I feel that if you can swing the $30 – get this.

(The bundle sale is over now. If you want to be sure to be informed of other sales and great deals in the future, sign up to receive our free daily newsletter~)

And now here’s my blah, blah, blah menu plan. What?! It’s just that there’s FREE STUFF and loads of wonderful resources to bless your family. This week, that is more exciting than my muffins and casseroles. You know it’s true. But still, the people need to eat. So here’s what’s on our menu:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes

  • Monkey Salad (found the recipe in The Healthy Breakfast Book  – one of the eBooks included in the bundle)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Clementines
  • Cantaloupe

Have anything yummy on your menu this week?

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Menu Plan for the Week…Now on Mondays

So that I can keep stress down over the weekends while I’m trying to keep up with (and enjoy) my kids’ activities and our church activities – I decided to give myself an extra day to create and share my weekly menu plans. From now on, instead of posting them on Saturday nights, I’ll wait and post them Sunday nights.  Ahh, such a simple change, but one that helps me breathe on the weekends. I like breathing. Breathing is nice.

Last week our crock pot got quite a work out because we had soccer practices or games almost every evening. Man, I love the crock pot. What a time saver! I plan to use it quite a bit during the next few weeks. Between soccer season, a speaking engagement I have early May, and then Asa’s graduation – I won’t have much extra time for silly little things like cooking and feeding my family. The crock pot is going to have to do the work for me. It’s either that, or McDonald’s. That’s not even a funny joke.

This week we’ll be enjoying the surprises we received in our Bountiful Basket order. It’s always fun to see what comes with each order! I also ordered two packs of whole wheat pizza crusts. Don’t I usually make my own pizza crusts? Aren’t homemade pizza crusts healthier and less expensive? Yes and yes. But need I remind you of the aforementioned soccer/speaking/graduation? I am very excited about my purchased (and still inexpensive and quite healthy) pizza crusts.

bountiful baskets 411

The boys chuckled when they saw the miniature watermelon that came in our order. They are all such big eaters, so they were like, “Oh look. It’s one bite of watermelon for each of us.” Those poor little deprived boys of mine.

And now, our menu – which is a lovely mixture of crock pot meals and meals one of us can quickly throw on the grill. It’s real food made easy, this menu. Don’t make me start preaching that sermon again. You know it’s possible. ;)

Breakfast (I’m going to try baking our breakfast foods the night before if possible, and/or doubling some recipes to throw into the freezer for graduation week)

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Tangelos
  • Applesauce
  • Homemade Dill Pickles
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Clementines
  • Pineapple Mango Smoothies

Hey, don’t forget that today is the last day you can purchase our 227 Healthy Snacks eBook for just $5.00!

227 Healthy Snacks 2

227 Healthy Snacks eBook
$7.95
$5.00

Add to Cart

Care to share some easy food you throw in the crock pot or on the grill?

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Menu Plan For the Week and My Husband…the Price Matcher

I’ve been laying low this week while I recover from being sick.  Therefore, making a trip to the store would have been a bad idea for me.  But dude – avocados can be price-matched for 29¢ this week!!!!!  We couldn’t pass this up.  Plus, we needed other groceries.  Thus, I prepared a careful list and sent my willing husband to the store (armed with a teenage son for back-up).  They shopped, they price-matched, they scored good deals.

groceries mar21

They also bought pizza.

groceries mar 211

Four of them to be exact.  Fine by me.  Matt added veggies to some of them before putting them in the oven and we all enjoyed the treat (and the night off from cooking).

He ended up heading back to the store over the weekend because we needed food for High School Huddle this Sunday, plus there were no avocados the first time he went.  Missing the 29¢ avocados just seemed too sad.  Second time around, he brought home a bag full – plus more strawberries, more clementines, and some blueberries.  The groceries were all put away before I could get in and take a picture, so I thought I’d share this one instead:

malachi's straw
This was Malachi drinking his Homemade Chocolate Milk earlier this week.  Or…attempting to drink his chocolate milk.  It was a fun lunch-time experiment he chose to do.  To answer the inevitable:  Yes he is wearing a suit coat, shirt, and tie.  Yes it was mid-week.  Yes it was lunchtime.  Yes we were home having a regular school day.  No I don’t make him dress up for school.  He dresses like this most days because he loves it.  Come to think of it, I believe this was St. Patty’s Day – as it looks as though he is wearing his green shirt/tie combo.  The cuteness is a killer, am I right?  Remember when he always dressed as a cowboy?  Oh, my baby.

You should try making this chocolate milk, but feel free to come as you are.  Black tie attire not required for the drinking of this milk.  Nor is it a necessity to drink through six straws at once.  The rest of us boring folks drink our chocolate milk without a straw while wearing blue jeans.

Meals for this week look a little something like this:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Options (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

Here’s to a great week with great food!

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Menu Plan for the Week – Feel Free to Steal Ideas!

Here’s a peek at my grocery store run this week.  I was excited to get 2-pound packs of butter for $3.97, so I bought enough to build a tower on my table.  There were quite a few price-matches for cheese that I took advantage of.  Then I loaded the rest of my cart with fruits and veggies!

groceries march 14

We keep our meals simple at our house.  All real food (at least as much as possible) and heavy on fruits and veggies – but simple.  Take a look through the following lists and grab some ideas for your week!

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

  • Green Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Peas
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Homemade Pickles
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Clementines
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
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Menu Plan for the Week

Phew.  What a weekend.  We loved every minute of our time with our homeschool basketball team competing in the big tournament to end our season.  I have pictures and fun memories to share, but I’m too tired to upload and type.  ;)  Maybe by Gratituesday I’ll have slept.

Thankfully, I had my menu typed out before we left home.  Our bodies are ready for some yummy home-cooked meals!

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Applesauce
  • Cantaloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Homemade Pickles
  • Sweet Peppers

Tell me what you’ve been up to this weekend!

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Menu Plan for the Week and a LOT of Groceries

Goodness.  Remind me not to grocery shop at the store until after I pick up my Bountiful Baskets order.  Come to think of it – never mind.  We’ll eat all of this, and maybe I won’t have to buy as much next week.  Maybe.  It is a good thing we have a second refrigerator because we have a lot of food in our house right now.  Here’s how this week’s grocery shopping went for me:

On Tuesday night, we picked up our Azure Standard co-op order.  I got 5 pounds of carrots, 6 pounds of yams, 5 pounds of peanuts, 25 pounds of red beans, 6 pounds of chicken thighs (not pictured), and 50 pounds of yellow potatoes (not pictured).

groceries feb25

I use roasted, unsalted peanuts (like the ones pictured above) to make delicious homemade peanut butter.  If your family wants to avoid hydrogenated oils, but you don’t like the taste of plain, natural peanut butter – try this recipe.  It’s incredible!

On Friday, I filled my cart at the store – mostly with price-matching items.  I scored some great deals!  I got apples, pears, sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, bananas, grapes (two varieties), spinach, mixed greens, baby carrots, cucumbers, and a cantaloupe.

groceries feb 27

Then on Saturday, I picked up my Bountiful Baskets order.  Mmmmm!  Asparagus, celery, apples, oranges, bananas, lettuce, pineapple, carrots, broccoli, sweet peppers, cucumbers, and avocados came in the surprise basket this time.  Plus, I had ordered 28 pounds of green beans.  It was perfect timing for these to be offered since we are almost out of our garden-grown green beans from last summer.

groceries feb 28 (1)

I had also ordered heirloom tomatoes and strawberries.  It feels like a little taste of summer with these goodies!

groceries feb 28 (2)

I’d say our family is pretty well set for at least one week – if not two.  I am so thankful we have such great sources for such great food!

We are feeding a big group of high school kids from our youth group here on Sunday night, and I plan to put out a big plate of veggies and a big plate of fruit along with sliced ham, french bread, and Angeled Eggs.  Maybe I’ll need to grocery shop next week after all.  :)

Here’s what’s on our menu this week:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with every meal)

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Clementines
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Cantaloupe
  • Avocados
  • Grapes

We’ll be heading out of state for our end-of-season Homeschool Basketball Tournament on Thursday night.  I’ll be saving many of the “packable” fruits and veggies to take along with us to munch on all weekend.

Because I’m sure you’re dying to know:  The toilet is still sitting right outside my kitchen – but looooook!  There is tile on our new bathroom wall and floor…

bathroom 8

It looks so very pretty!  My husband is a work horse right now.  I am thanking him by loading his plate with heirloom tomatoes and fresh green beans.  I do what I can.  ;)

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Menu Plan for the Week – And I Am Officially Finished With Our Pantry Challenge

Since the beginning of January, I have been challenging myself to see if we could live off the food we have in our pantry and freezers – purchasing only fresh produce and dairy products.  It’s saved us several hundred dollars and we haven’t starved even a little bit.  I have loved getting more creative as I’ve been digging deeper into our bulk food supply to use up the food that has been in storage.

My goal was to continue this challenge through January and into February as long as I could.  On February 9, I hereby declared this challenge to be over here in the Coppinger household.  It was time to buy pantry items because running out of minced onion, garlic powder, sucanat, pasta, and tapioca – well yikes – how would I make my pudding?  :)  One of the biggest ways I save money is by buying food in bulk – as needed – so that I always have a nice supply of all staple food items.  So I caved.  Here’s what the UPS man brought to my door this week:

I had some credit at iHerb (thanks to those of you who took advantage of the $10 free groceries deal), so I used it to get bulk garlic powder, minced onion, and my favorite brand of sucanat.

groceries 2211

I rounded out this month’s Amazon Subscribe and Save order by getting two cases of Bearitos Organic Tortilla Chips (with a coupon!), a case of Tapioca Pearls, and a case of Organic Delallo Gemelli Pasta.  (For whatever reason, that shape of pasta is my favorite right now.)

groceries 2212

I also bought milk and eggs from our farmer friends this week.  We have been well stocked on fresh fruits and vegetables with my huge grocery store purchase last week, plus our Bountiful Basket delivery (need I remind you of my 36 crowns of broccoli?).  I did send Matt and Elias to the store yesterday to pick up a few items (their first price-matching experience!), but we’ve all be a little under the weather, so I didn’t get a picture of their purchase.  They picked up apples, pears, cucumbers, avocados, and grape tomatoes for great prices.

Here is how our menu this week is looking:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

What do you have on your menu this week?  Did you do a pantry/freezer challenge the past month or two?

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