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Tag Archive: Freezer Cooking

Freezer Cooking, $0.50 Romaine, Toilet Paper Stock-up!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). 

You can see all of my $70 Grocery Budget Update posts here. For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

I’ve been having so much fun challenging myself with this $70 Grocery Budget! I forgot just how much I loved being creative like this — and it’s inspiring me to bring out a lot of my “old” tricks, like freezer cooking!

I did a completely impromptu freezer cooking day on Tuesday and am planning a comprehensive post about it tomorrow — along with links to the recipes and our thoughts on how the recipes turned out.

So many of you have been begging for me to bring back the freezer cooking posts, so I’m hopeful that this is something that I’ll be doing more of around here. I’m not sure if it will be a weekly thing or a twice a month thing. No promises yet, but just know that I’m going to attempt to bring more of those back!

(And THANK YOU for your many, many emails and direct messages and comments telling me how much you are loving the fact that I’ve been going back to “old school” blogging here. Honestly, I’m having a blast doing it… so the fact that you all are loving it makes me thrilled! It just feels right for right now. I have no idea what the future holds, but I know that this is how I’m supposed to be blogging right now since it’s giving me so much life and seems to be bringing a lot of value to you all! I love it when things are a win-win like that!)

Many of you have been pretty surprised to discover that our “grocery budget” includes non-food items like toilet paper. I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules as to what a grocery budget should include. We’ve just always included household products and hygiene products and things like toilet paper in our grocery budget because we buy them at the grocery store.

And well, it’s mostly because I’m all about efficiency… and the thought of having to try to keep multiple budgets straight when I’m buying stuff from the same store just feels so complicated to me.

However, that said, there are some items that we don’t buy at the grocery store if I can get a better deal on them from Amazon! Toilet paper is one such item. I’ve heard that Costco has great deals on toilet paper, but since we don’t have a Costco membership, I resort to Amazon instead (and I’ve heard that the prices are pretty similar!)

I try to look for deals that make the toilet paper $0.35 per double roll or less. So when I saw this deal, I jumped on it. We typically will see these types of deals a few times per month. So if you want to stock up on toilet paper, be sure you’re subscribed to our email newsletter and check it daily when it lands in your inbox and then jump on the next toilet paper deal when it comes around!

I’m hoping that this will last us at least 5-6 weeks. We’ll see!

By the way, I use my Swagbucks credit to earn free Amazon gift cards to use toward purchases like this. It’s pretty easy to earn at least $20 to $25 in free Amazon gift cards every month, just by doing simple activities every day. You don’t need to refer anyone to earn this amount. However, if you have friends who would be interested in earning free gift cards from Swagbucks gift, be sure to use your referral link to invite them so you can earn even more!

That said, even though I did use free Amazon gift cards to purchase this toilet paper, I’m still subtracting the amount I “paid” from my $70 Grocery Budget total. The reason is that I want to keep this as relatable and doable as possible for you all. I don’t want anyone to feel frustrated that I can stick with a low grocery budget, but the reason I can is because I’m a blogger and get more referral credit to companies as a result. 🙂

So, with that said, here are the $$ totals for this purchase:

Amazon Toilet Paper Purchase: $16.94

I love putting together lunches entirely from mark downs! Marked down bread, marked down ham, marked down bell peppers, and marked down yogurt. Boom!

We made waffles, bacon (from the freezer that I picked up on that great sale a few weeks back), and clementines that I got marked down a few weeks back.

We learned how to cook bacon in the oven a few years ago and it is the best ever.

By the way, I always keep oranges and citrus fruit to use up last when I get mark downs because they keep for much longer than most other fruit. I think we’ve had these for at least 3-4 weeks?

When I was at Kroger, I spotted this deal on Mom Best Cereals — you can get them for $1.29 per box, without coupons. Which is a good deal on these. I actually didn’t buy any because I got cereal for $0.99 per box with coupons (see below). But this would be a pretty good deal if you didn’t want to mess with coupons.

Thursday Kroger Shopping Trip — $23.44

  • Romaine Hearts — marked down $0.50 each
  • 2 boxes of Barbara’s cereals — on sale for $1.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used $1 off coupons = $0.99 each after coupon and sale
  • Capri Sun — $2.49 (treat for school lunches)
  • 5 Kroger Greek Yogurt cups — marked down to $0.29 each
  • 1 bag of potatoes — marked down to $1.25
  • 1 bag of red potatoes — marked down $1
  • 1 bottle of lemon juice (for my gallon of lemon water per day habit!) — $2.49 (someone told me that Dollar Tree has 32-oz. bottles for just $1! I’m totally checking that out since I go through a bottle almost every 8-9 days!)
  • 1 bag of 4 avocados — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 gallon of milk — $2.79
  • 2 packages of Oscar Mayer hot dogs — priced at just $0.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used 2$0.55/1 Oscar Mayer Hot Dog Product printable = $0.44 per package
  • 1 package mozzarella cheese (16 oz.) — $2.49 when you buy 4 participating items
  • 3 boxes of Kroger Ibuprofen — priced at just $0.99 when you buy 4 participating items, get $1 box back from Ibotta
  • Total with tax: $23.44

I made Baked Ziti for dinner — inspired by the fact that I got all those boxes of pasta for $0.49 per box recently.

I also had a jar of pasta sauce in the fridge that needed to be used up (I had bought it a few weeks back and we had only used a little bit of it!), cottage cheese in the freezer, sausage in the freezer, and then I picked up mozzarella at a great price today.

I ended up having enough to make one pan of Ziti for dinner and two to stick in the freezer (one was pretty small so it will be for a night when not everyone is eating dinner). Oh and I just wing it when I make Ziti — I don’t use a recipe. 🙂

{In case you wonder how I can stretch an 8×8 pan to feed our family of five: I usually don’t eat much of the main dish when it has white/enriched flour in it (I’ll have a big salad with some other protein + a little ziti on the side) and then one of our kids usually only eats a few bites of the main dish (unless it’s one of their 2-3 main dishes that they like. Yes, they are the picky child and we only require that they eat a few bites of the main dish if it’s not something that they like.) We also encourage everyone to fill up on veggies/fruit and bread or whatever the sides are. :)}

Kathrynne used some of the marked down avocados to make homemade guac — yum!

She ate it for a snack with the tortilla chips we got last week for $0.99!

My Grocery Totals For This Week So Far

Total spent so far this week: $53.83
Total left to spend: $$16.17

Cash back so far: $0.25 from Ibotta for submitting my receipt, $1.50 from Ibotta for buy 2 cups of Fage yogurt, and $1 from Ibotta for buying Bubly, and $0.25 from Checkout 51 for buying Tortilla Chips last week, another $0.25 from Ibotta for submitting my receipt, $3 from Ibotta for buying 3 boxes of Kroger Ibuprofen = $6.25 in cashback!

I did a super casual live video this morning about today’s shopping trip and what I was planning to make for dinner. If you want to hang out with me like we’re having coffee, you can click above to watch it! 🙂

12 Healthy Crockpot Freezer Meals to Make in May

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Kelly from New Leaf Wellness put together a list of 12 Healthy Crockpot Freezer Meals to Make in August. Her free download includes 12 printable recipes and a printable shopping list.

Psst! Looking for even more freezer cooking meals? Be sure to check out the extensive New Leaf Wellness eCookbook Collection! It has something for everybody — even those with specific diets such as gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, and more.

Cinnamon Raisin Ice Cream Soaked French Toast (Freezer-Friendly)

I’m excited to be bringing you another yummy recipe from my youngest sister, Olivia! If you need a winner French Toast recipe, this is it! -Crystal

I started making this recipe a few years back when I was looking for the perfect french toast recipe to use on one of our super-sized family vacations. (I’m usually the one in charge of all the meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking!)

With 25+ people to feed, it can be difficult to come up with a recipe that suits everyone’s tastes. But this one was a total hit with everyone the first time I made it, and we’ve been using it on our family trips ever since!

Sometimes I substitute in different types of bread for people who don’t like raisins. Feel free to switch it up with the bread of your liking, but I think it adds a special boost of flavor. 🙂

Olivia is a music teacher, graphic designer, and event organizer. She loves hospitality, ministering to the elderly, reaching out to international students, playing harp gigs, adding beauty to everyday life, and experimenting with recipes in the kitchen. Her greatest joy in life come from knowing God and growing in her relationship with Him.

10 Freezer Stir Fry Packs for the Instant Pot or Crockpot

Kelly from New Leaf Wellness put together a list of 10 Freezer Stir Fry Packs for the Instant Pot or Crockpot. Her free download includes 10 printable recipes and a printable shopping list.

Psst! Looking for even more freezer cooking meals? Be sure to check out the extensive New Leaf Wellness eCookbook Collection! It has something for everybody — even those with specific diets such as gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, and more.

Grain-Free Chocolate Cashew Cookies Made With Black Beans {Freezer-Friendly!}

These Chocolate Cashew Cookies are protein-packed, grain-free, and freezer-friendly! You'd never guess they are made with black beans, because they are SO delicious!!

Recipe from my sister, Olivia

Looking for a grain-free cookie that’s packed with protein and on the healthier side? Try these, and I’m almost sure you won’t be disappointed! You’ll never even notice the hidden ingredient that adds the protein to these delicious, chocolatey cookies!

I whipped up a batch of these earlier this week, and my entire family said they were the best ever cookies. None of them could believe they had black beans in them! My brother even wanted to eat them in one sitting. 😉

The best part? They freeze really well!

Olivia is a music teacher, graphic designer, and event organizer. She loves hospitality, ministering to the elderly, reaching out to international students, playing harp gigs, adding beauty to everyday life, and experimenting with recipes in the kitchen. Her greatest joy in life come from knowing God and growing in her relationship with Him.