I will not be a food snob anymore

My recent realization that we spent enough money on food last year to feed a small village has changed my ways. I will not be a grocery store food snob anymore. I have found WinCo (which I was calling Wilco until Sharon told me that was a band). It is an employee-owned discount food store. Ok, I thought it would be a mix between Big Lots and Warehouse Groceries (a store in my hometown that just cracked open the cases and you priced your own food with a China Marker). And, well, it was. No frills. No feelgood displays. But, the prices were cheap and they had all the stuff I like. I really haven't ever been to a store that sold "Orange Drink Powder" (i.e. generic Tang) in bulk. Until today. There was even a sign that said "no sampling". Really, you have to tell people that? Also there was a huge selection of coco butter lotion in 6 gallon containers for like 0.99$ Whoa? So, I packed my buggy full of my regular food. Newman's sauce, organic veggies, juice boxes, and even Shredded Wheat for cheap. My final bill was 112.00$. I drew the line at buying wine there. I just couldn't bring home wine in a box.

P.S. The place was hopping with people. I imagine they are doing great these days.

Ode to Biddy

I drove by this restaurant today and had to snap a photo. In my mind the menu looks something like this......

Longhorn Colby Cheese with Ice Cold Tab Cola

Pap's Silver Dollar Pancakes (they always taste better at Spruce Knob)

Dinner Entrees:
Plain Baked Chicken
Delicious Pot Roast slow cooked all day with tender browned potatoes and carrots

Side Dishes:
Dry Lima Beans
Dry Lima Beans

Jiffy Yellow Cake with 3 inch high caramel icing. A little different each time. No recipe needed.
Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge
Little dabs of SeaFoam Candy


The look of Guilt

How am I supposed to be a budget gourmet?  I was doing so good.  I planned for dinner and even started to marinate the yummy spicy cumin tofu.  Then, out of nowhere, there was a cry of emergency (Sam couldn't find the right color marker).  Seriously, he said it was an emergency and I thought that the cat had eaten the hamster or something.   I left the kitchen for 1 minute and came back to a half eaten cake of local organic tofu on the floor and a very guilty looking dog.   What kind of dog eats tofu?  Well, it's back to the drawing board for dinner.  Any suggestions?


Here Ye, Here Ye ~ I have given up shopping.

I have given up Starbucks.
I have nearly given up Whole Foods.
I have given up fabric stores.
I have given up thrifting (which I could have withdrawl symptoms from).
I have given up Gap Kids. GASP!
I have given up Powell's Bookstore. (For now). I will only spend the money they give me for selling back the books I already paid them for.
I have given up shoe shopping.
I have given up 70$ dinners out with the fam (until summer).

We are members of the "Sunnyside Swap Shop" where my kids can swap movies, books, toys.
I am planning a book swap at Carson's school.
My friend is hosting a clothing swap.
I joined the PDXSwap where women exchange clothes with each other (their own size).

Thank god I hit the Macy's last weekend for a to die for leather bag from Lucky. And, thank god I found an awesome Tokidoki bag stashed in my closet I forgot I bought.


I need a money tree seedling! Got one?

Now Sharon and I have never been ones to actually budget our money. We just get paid, then pay bills, and then spend what is left on our house or stuff we don't need or ......food? We had a bit of a scare from a friend/accountant who was working on our taxes. We have lots of options seeing that we can't actually get married, so we like to take full advantage of the disadvantage we have. Mary called to tell us we actually owed money which scared the bejesus out of me since I planned the impromptu Disney trip and was actually banking on the tax return. Then, she called to tell us she made a big mistake and yes, we can still go to Disney. We do not, in fact, owe any money. Whoops, that's embarrassing. Sharon, the PROJECT MANAGER, can't seem to pull it together to work on a budget so I decided that this year we should at least be aware of where our money goes.

Ok- the first step is to acknowledge you have a problem....So......
last year we spent:

800$ at Starbucks* (That is ridiculous considering we make 2 pots of coffee every morning)
7,000$ eating out.
12,000$ on groceries- the majority at Whole Foods which we seem to go to every other day for 1-2 items and end up spending 75$.

No wonder I can't lose that 10 pounds! The most disturbing part is that our children don't eat. They pick at things and eat mostly macaroni & cheese and PB&J. And we aren't chefs. We don't cook fancy schmancy meals. We don't even buy meat. Certainly you can't spend that much on vegetables and tofu, right?

LOOK OUT! The budget gourmet MOM team has just arrived!

*Note that there is a Starbucks in the lobby of my hospital and I work 12 hour shifts.


Hillbilly Holler

Thanks for the Holler! I finally got my subscription to the Hillbilly Holler that my brother, Steve, got for us for Christmas.  Yes, it's funny.  No, it's not for kids.  The February issue deals with Love.  Funny jokes and reader wisdom.  There is a whole lot of wisdom in it, too.


Everyone deserves a donut.

This morning we went to OMSI so the kids could play a little and realized that all of Portland was also there.  The parking lots were all full and so were the overflow lots.  Sharon and I couldn't stomach the crowd.   We changed our minds while driving around the parking lot and looking at the herds of families.  Tell that to a 3 year old.   Since everyone in our family agrees the only thing better than playing at OMSI is donuts, we headed back to or neighborhood Stacato Gelato (which has the best donuts in the whole world).  Carson got Evil Cupid, Sam got a Strawberry crueler (? sp), and i had the chocolate glazed fresh ginger.  Yum.  Now, I have been off the sugar for a while so I got a double super buzz from the donut and the double shot of espresso Americano.  (**Note that skinny Sharon did not have a donut......her loss (of weight, that is).  After the treats, we hit the Central Public Library to hear the  Portland Taiko Drummers perform.   

These donuts are cake donuts with all fresh and delish ingredients.   My mom used to make donuts when I was little and these remind me of them.