12 Months to a Healthier You: October’s Challenge

12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You

For September’s 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge, we focused on clearing out clutter. I committed to spend 30 minutes to an hour every week de-cluttering at my house. Here’s an update from my last 30-minute decluttering session:

30 Minutes of Decluttering

I cleaned clutter/trash/things that didn’t belong out of the car. Um, I’m sort of embarrassed to show you the sack I brought in from the car.

Yes, that whole entire thing was stuff in the car that was either trash or didn’t belong in the car. Yikes!

October’s Challenge is to cut back on caffeine. And I kind of groaned when I saw that’s what it was. Because I love my two cups of coffee each day!

But I’m going to try to slowly cut back to one cup of coffee per day just to see if it changes how I feel or my sleeping patterns or anything. And also just because I think it’s good to challenge myself to things like this on occasion (yes, you can call me crazy!)

Did you do any de-cluttering this past week? If so, how’d it go for you? Are you planning to join us for October’s challenge?

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Brigette’s $45 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

ALdi22

Aldi

2 3-lb bags of Fuji Apples ($2.37 each) – $4.74

1 3-ct package Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 Pineapple – $1.29

1 Spaghetti Squash – $1.99

3 Avocados ($0.59/each) – $1.77

1 bunch Bananas ($0.44/lb) – $1.31

2 32-oz containers Half & Half ($1.69 each) – $3.38

1 16-oz package Baby Carrots – $0.69

Total: $17.16

BiLo36

BI-LO

2 boxes Special K Cinnamon Pecan Cereal – $5.00, used 2 $0.75/1 Kellogg’s Cereal printable (doubled) – $2.00/2 after coupons, plus receive $0.05 fuel perks

1 box Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch – $2.50, used $0.50/1 printable (doubled), plus $1.00 off any General Mills Cereal Rite Aid Catalina (competitor coupon) – $0.50 after coupons

1 package fresh Chicken Thighs (4.66 lb @ $0.99/lb) – $4.61

2 packages Eckrich Sausage ($2.99 each)- $5.98, used 2 $1.00/1 Eckrich printable – $3.98/2 after coupons, plus receive $0.10 back in fuel perks

2 6-oz packages Land O Frost Lunchmeat ($2.99 each) – $5.98, used 2 $0.55/1 Land O’ Frost printable (doubled) – $3.78/2 after coupons, plus receive $0.10 back in fuel perks

2 12-ct each double roll packages Angel Soft Toilet Paper – $10.00, used 2 $0.55/1 Angel Soft printable (doubled) – $7.80/2 after coupons (less than $0.33/double roll)

used $4 off of $20 Rite Aid coupon

Total after all Sales, Coupons, and Tax: $19.27, plus receive $0.30 fuel perks (this equals about $6.00 in gas savings for me)

HarrisTeeter28

Harris Teeter

3 1-lb packages Mueller’s Pot-Size Pasta (B1G1 @ $1.75) – $2.62, used 2 $0.75/1 Mueller printable (doubled) – FREE after coupons

1 36-ct box Playtex Tampons – $8.79, used $3/1 Playtex printable, plus 2 $3/1 Harris Teeter evic – $0.21 MM after coupons

1 Pantene Hairspray – $3.50, used $2/1 Pantene Styler or Treatment Product, exp. 9/30/14 (P&G 08/31/14), plus $2/1 Harris Teeter evic – $0.50 MM after coupons

1 4-ct package Kozy Shack Pudding – $1.50, used $0.75/1 Kozy Shack Pudding, exp. 11/30/14 (SS 09/21/14) (doubled) – FREE after coupons

2 8-ct packages Mission Tortillas – $2.00

2 18-ct cartons Eggs ($1.77 each) – $3.54

1 16-oz block Sharp Cheddar Cheese – $2.97

2 boxes Bagel Bites  – $4.00, used 2 $0.75/1 Bagel Bites printable (doubled) – $1.00/2 boxes after coupons (not pictured)

Total after all Sales, Coupons, and Tax: $9.28

Weekly Total for all Groceries: $45.71, plus receive $0.30 in fuel perks

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Cereal x 3, Oatmeal and Fruit x 2, Scrambled Eggs and Smoothies x 2

Lunches

Luncheon at church – I am bringing Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup (I will sub out the flour to make it gluten-free), Cheese Quesadillas/Apples/Carrots, Baked Potatoes with Cheese/Steamed Peas, Build-Your-Own-Tossed-Salad Bar, Leftovers x 2, Bagel Bites/Apples/Cucumbers

Dinners

Our church is having a Mission’s Conference this week, so we have extra activities during the day and services every night. I decided this week was a really great one for super simple dinners. :)

Build-Your-Own Sub Sandwiches, Steamed Broccoli

Barbecue at Church – I am bringing President Reagan’s Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

Burritos (Chicken/Beans/Rice/Cheese/Lettuce), Roasted Cauliflower

Grilled Hobo Packets, Apples

Venison Roast in the Crockpot (we are down to 2 roasts left – Bow season just started here in SC, so hopefully we will be refilling our freezer soon!), Steamed Carrots, Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Meat Potato Quiche, Tossed Salad

Leftovers

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Our Favorite Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Apple Dip

Peanut-Butter-Cream-Cheese-Apple-Dip

Last night, we were getting ready to leave for our weekly Meaty Mondays get-together (a local gathering here of 6-8 families — each family brings meat for the grill and side or dessert to share). We were planning to bring corn on the cob and Jesse was going to roast it in the oven (he makes this delicious recipe that everyone loves!).

Well, he pulled the corn on the cob out and realized that some of it was moldy. Yuck!

So I quickly scanned the fridge looking for a Plan B. I saw we had a package of cream cheese I’d purchased for another recipe a few weeks back that I hadn’t ended up making. And I saw we had peanut butter and two bags of apples that we’d just bought at the store this week.

That’s when I remembered this yummy Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Apple Dip that I used to make way back when. For a few years, it was one of our go-to recipes when we hosted guests or needed to bring a side dish somewhere.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Apple Dip

I’m not sure when the recipe sort of fell by the wayside at our house, but I figured it was high time I resurrected it. Especially since I needed a side dish in a jiffy last night and wasn’t coming up with a lot of other quick and easy options.

It ended up being the hit recipe last night… and I decided I’ll likely be making it a lot more often. I love that it’s fairly inexpensive (all the ingredients can be purchased at ALDI — which is always a plus!), serves a crowd, and always gets rave reviews.

Plus, the recipe is very forgiving. Last night, I didn’t measure at all. I just dumped some ingredients in a bowl, stirred, taste-tested, and added a few more ingredients until it was “just right”.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Apple Dip

Here’s the basic recipe I work from:

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Apple Dip

  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup powered sugar (you can also use brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-3 Tablespoons milk (adjust this depending upon how thick or creamy you’d like the dip to be)

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl with beaters until smooth. Add more milk or sugar, if needed.

Serve with sliced apples… or just eat it plain. ;)

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Apple Dip

Oh and I just have to share this picture from last night. My friend, Tam, was getting her food while I was getting mine. And then she looked at our plates and just started laughing. Yup… we might just have a teeny bit of different tastes in food. ;)

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