Monday, July 27, 2009

Grocery Challenge update: week 2

Going into week 2 of this challenge wasn't too hard, but there were times we thought that going out or having a drink at Starbuck's would have been nice! We resisted the urge and kept motivated to save money and perhaps win this challenge. I only spent $13.86 this past week for some chicken, fruit and staple items. That left us with $36.14--not bad, eh?

Here's what helped us for week 2:

1. I failed to mention this last week, but using as many coupons as you can for the things you use is a good thing. I used a few last week, but didn't have any for this week's shopping trip. Everything I bought this week was on sale, so I was pleased with that.

2. We've continued buying things that are healthy, since that's part of the challenge. One thing I've noticed about many coupons is that they're good for prepackaged foods. I am not totally against prepackaged foods, but I think we're all aware that many of them are not really that good for your body! 

3. And speaking of prepackaged foods--I am learning through this challenge, that there's so much more that I can be making at home that is not only cheaper, but better for you. (Look at my cracker recipe below.)

4. We've continued using vegetables from our garden to supplement our meals. I froze up a bunch of zucchini, but I also made another loaf of zucchini-oat bread.

5. With activities at church, a couple of our meals were taken care of. Q's been eating snacks and leftovers from activities when he's not able to come home for lunch. Our Chili's lunch in Lafayette, as well as our lunch at Cracker Barrel with Dr. Mutsch, was taken care of by each of those churches' hospitality budgets. Pretty neat, eh?

And now for the recipe. I love to eat crackers as a snack, so I scoped the web and found the one below. They are awesome! I'd like to make another batch of them and add less cheese and whole wheat flour and oatmeal to make them healthier.

Doris Herrmann's Classic Cheese Crackers (taken from

1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cream the butter using a hand mixer. Add the grated cheese and mix thoroughly. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl, and then add to the cheese and butter. Mix again. Form the dough into a ball and slice in half. Shape each piece into a log, about an inch in diameter. Wrap each in a large sheet of plastic wrap and roll and shape carefully. Refrigerate for one hour. Set oven at 350 degrees. Unwrap one log and slice each cracker about 1/4 inch thick. Place one inch apart on a cookie sheet. Repeat with second log. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until crackers are very lightly brown on the edges. Cool on a cake rack. This recipe makes about four dozen crackers.

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