1. Groceries: Kroger had some amazing sales this week. I spent $32.18. I only used one coupon this week, for disposable baby wipes (not included in the grocery budget). You can see my grocery haul below:
Trim Healthy Mama Batch Cooking
Another cooking project I worked on was THM meals. A long time ago I decided that the THM meals would be for me only, not the whole family. For one, some of the ingredients are more expensive, and secondly, Hubs is not a fan of "healthy" meals (that don't taste as good as "regular" ones). Making two separate meals twice a day was NOT what I wanted to do with my time.
Finally I found a solution. Instead of making two THM meals every day, I make two family-sized THM meals on Monday; one for lunch and one for dinner. Each meal makes about five servings. I eat one serving and put the other four servings in plastic freezer boxes, labeled "S" or "E". Two of the extra boxes go in the fridge for later on in the week. The other two extra boxes for each meal go in the freezer for coming weeks. You can buy prep-ahead lunch containers on Amazon (and I have four older ones that I got at a garage sale), but I've decided to use freezer boxes because they fit in the freezer better, plus the size is better for my Instant Pot (we don't have a microwave). If I want a THM meal straight out of the freezer, all I have to do is run hot water over the box to release the contents, then dump those contents into an IP-safe glass container and heat it up for 3-4 minutes on Manual. I can also warm up fridge meals for just one minute on Manual. Usually I do eggs and cheese ("S") or oatmeal ("E") for breakfast, and then I can pick the opposite lettered box for my lunch meal.
I used this system last week and it worked great. As of now, I'm only doing THM for breakfast and lunch. The other meals (and also weekends) I don't bother making the meals that are THM-friendly. I know you have to do it full-time to get the best results, but with limited cooking time and budget I really need to find something simple that works before diving in whole-hog. I feel like the batch cooking and freezer boxes are going to be key for me.
3. Cloth diapers: we used cloth diapers quite extensively this week. Two new things were 1) sunning in the window to remove stains, and 2) packing cloth diapers in the diaper bag and/or leaving the house with Baby in a cloth diaper. I also received a bunch of Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers on loan from my sister-in-law.
A new development this week has been blowouts. Baby Girl has had very few blowouts/leaks in her short life, but that is changing. For the past week she has saved up most of the poop for one big late-afternoon blowout. Her first blowout happened at Denny's with a cloth diaper. As new parents, of course we thought this was just the worst thing that could happen. Hubs blamed it on the diaper. Thankfully my diaper bag was well stocked with wipes, new clothes and a wet bag to hold the dirty diaper. (If you don't have a good wet bag, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Even if you use disposables, a wet bag is great to hold poop-covered clothes or even dirty diapers until you get home.) Her next blowout happened a few days later at a church thing we were at. The Denny's blowout was bad, but this blowout happened with a disposable diaper. Instead of some poop leaking out the leg hole, I'm pretty sure the whole load shot right up her back with only a token amount staying contained in the diaper. This is why cloth diapers have elastic on the back!!! Needless to say, I'm thinking twice about using disposables during "that time of day", regardless of where we happen to be.
Sunning- I connected my stained inserts and reusable wipes with clothespins, and then used hangers to hang them in our sunniest windows. I also hung up a badly stained sleeper (the victim of Baby's disposable blowout). It was amazing! I couldn't believe how the stains (EBF poop- we don't do formula or solids yet) disappeared completely.
4. Christmas preparations: wrapped gifts with stuff I had left over from last year. I also made some gifts for Baby Girl (really gifts for myself... a good excuse for some crafting). I also put our indoor Christmas lights on timers.
5. Renewed a library book on Libby. This app amazingly connects your library card with your Amazon account, so you can send free books to your Kindle. Libby also has a good selection of free audio books. The non-fiction selection is good but limited, but there are TONS of fiction books on Libby. I am not a big fiction reader (maybe one or two books a year), but we watched a little bit of Poldark on Amazon Prime and I wanted to read the book(s) it was based off of. Sure enough, Ross Poldark was available on Libby... for free. It takes me forever to finish a fiction book because non-fiction gets priority, but with Libby I can check out the same book 10 times and nobody will give me weird looks for "hogging" it.
I believe that is about it for my frugal accomplishments last week.
Til next time,