Grocer Challenge, week 1

image imageHere are some fun pics of the cash I had leftover from week 1! I totally surprised myself with how much I had leftover. My Prince Charming gets paid every other week. So this past weekend was the equivalent of the “end of the month” – i.e. not a lot left to spend on groceries…and guess how much we had leftover?? $33!!!!

I may do a different charity each week; I haven’t decided yet. This week, I gave the money to the girls to put in their rice bowls for the poor. They had a lot of fun with that!!!

I am excited for the rest of this challenge!! Are you joining us for the Grocery Challenge? How much did you save this week? Share below in the comments!

~ Savvy Food Mama


IT IS A BLOGGY CHALLENGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am a Christian, and I practice the season of lent. It is a season of penance, often looked at as a yucky or distasteful thing to give up things you like. I think about it differently. I look at it as a season of love, and love is a work of art. Sometimes I give something up for the sake of love – sometimes I add something extra in. And, it starts tomorrow…

Last summer, I grocery shopped a little differently. Each week, I only bought what we ran out of, or what we needed. I did not buy bulk (other than toilet paper) and I did not stock up on sale items. I did not buy impulse items ~ fyi, as a gluten-free eater, this is hard to do. Companies continue to develop their gluten-free products, so there is almost always something new out. I usually budget about $100/week.  When I shopped this way though, I found that I was spending about $30 less/week. Not all the time, but very often.

I love to give ! It is one of my very favorit-est things ever! So, for lent, I am grocery shopping this way (no impulse, no bulk, no stocking up).  With the extra $ I save, I am going to give it away to charity. ..I haven’t decided yet which one – I would love to hear about charities you love! Post in the comments please!

And I want to invite you to join me on this grocery challenge!! I will be updating you here on how much I saved. Want to come along??

If you are joining this, please comment below – I want to hear from you. And you can invite your friends by sharing this on Facebook.

~ Savvy Food Mama

Tips for freezing food!

Freezers are genius! I am so so glad we have access to this neat invention!!

My freezer

1. Keep a stash of frozen bananas in the freezer. These make for a fast smoothie. Also, if you have popsicle sticks, frozen banana popsicles are one of the quickest and healthiest ways to deal with a late afternoon meltdown of the little ones. If you have any kids. I have 3.

2. When berries are on sale in the summer, buy lots of extra and freeze them in 1 cup increments. I love it when our local grocery store sells organic raspberries and blueberries 2 for $4. I buy about 8 of each, and then we have berries for muffins, scones and cobbler in the winter.

3. When making muffins, freeze the leftovers. They reheat beautifully @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. I often use the leftovers in the mornings for breakfast. I can pop them in the oven, set the timer and go fix my hair + put on makeup. So easy!

4. When making dinners, double the batch. Freeze half of what you make and you have a homemade “freezer dinner”. We do this with spaghetti, chili, hamburgers, white sloppy joes.

5. Do you make chicken broth? If yes, freeze some in 1 cup increments. I do this in zip sandwich baggies and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. I usually get 8-10 cups of broth to freeze, plus enough for soup for dinner.  Then, each time I have a recipe that calls for chicken broth, I have it all ready to go!!

What are your freezer tips? What do you do to short-cut or make life a bit easier with your cooking?

~ Savvy Food Mama


Linking up to 5 favorites this week:

Dinner last night – in pictures

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit! 7 QUICK TAKES – VOL. 2


Chopped carrots cooking in chicken broth

Chopped carrots cooking in chicken broth


My workspace

My workspace


Pork chops before I cooked them

Pork chops before I cooked them


Peas before

Peas before

Peas after

Peas after


Carrot soup, all done.  Carrots, chicken broth, salt = yum

Carrot soup, all done.
Carrots, chicken broth, salt = yum


A work in progress! I cooked these on med-high, 4 minutes/side in pork lard with salt on top.

A work in progress!
I cooked these on med-high, 4 minutes/side in pork lard with salt on top.

Prince Charming says the pork chops didn't even need this as a condiment, but I liked it!! Apple butter!

Prince Charming says the pork chops didn’t even need this as a condiment, but I liked it!! Apple butter!


The happy ending :)

The happy ending 🙂

~ Savvy Food Mama

Epic cooking failure!!

Product Details

Over Christmas, a kind reader sent me some gluten-free grains. One of them was buckwheat. I was excited to try my hand at a new grain, so I decided to make it as a side dish along with some meat we were having for dinner. I thought garlic as the flavor theme sounded good.

The actual cooking part was easy, like rice. I think I just seriously messed up the flavor. It tasted rather weird, and my husband, who likes his starches, politely declined. We ended up eating just meat and veggies for dinner.

Well readers, I had made 2 cups dry, which makes like 4 CUPS OF BUCKWHEAT. I stuck it in fridge and tried to think of a way to modify it. My sister came over a day or 2 later to watch the kids. I asked her to tweak it for their dinner, and gave her access to all kinds of yummy things to add. Pastured bacon, a white cream sauce, and a few other things which I don’t remember.

My husband and I came back from our date to find out- no one wanted anything to do with it!!! Thus my epic failure in cooking a new grain!

Have you succeeded in making buckwheat? What did you like about it?

~ Savvy Food Mama