grocery haul

Weekly Grocery Haul and Meal Plan

Hi Everyone,

I will admit this grocery haul isn’t one of my best. It was a short week to plan because I knew that, with the Chicago trip, I wouldn’t get a chance to go grocery shopping until Saturday morning so I had planned the previous week for extra meals. So this week was only Saturday – Wednesday and in theory, it should have been easy on the budget week but it didn’t turn out that way.  I got pulled into impulsive some items and when I blow the $30 I had left in my budget on the first store I didn’t completely say suck it but I wasn’t too cautious about my total.


Total – $96


Fresh Thyme – $23

kodiak cakes (I paid $6.99 for this but found it at Meijer for $4.99. Again not my best shopping day), 2 sweet potatoes, 2 russet potatoes, Apple Cider Vinegar, Yellow Thai chicken curry, red grapes and a few chocolate covered almonds (because James went potty at Fresh Thyme).


Aldi’s – $38

2 dozen eggs, whole milk, yogurt drops, romaine lettuce, yellow squash, zucchini, 2 boxes of shells and cheese, individual cups of mac n’ cheese, bugles, mini cucumbers, bananas, avocado oil, pinto beans, black beans, strawberries, riced cauliflower.


Meijer – $45

Gala Apples, animal cookies, cashews, almond butter, body wash, asparagus, pork loin, 2 can of peaches, 2 cans of pears, can of mixed fruit and diced mangos.

Besides paying $2 more for the same pancake mix, I also didn’t make the best decision with the pork loin.  I had it on my menu and honestly, it sounded really good so although I couldn’t find it at Aldi’s and wasn’t on sale at Meijer, I still got it.  Paid way too much for it and it completely blew my budget.

This week’s menu

Saturday – Yellow Chicken Curry with cauliflower rice and roasted potatoes

Sunday – Pancakes (I had leftovers)

Monday – Taco salad w/ pinto beans

Tuesday – Pork with roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes

Wednesday – Salmon and veggies

What does your meal plan for this week look like?

What do you do when you can’t find the item you need for a meal at a reasonable price?  Do you go ahead and get it or do you think of something else?



family activities

7 Fun Fall Activites in Central Indiana

It’s finally starting to feel like fall here.  We had a pretty mild August then the beginning September decided to bring all the heat and humidity but finally with the addition of a lot of rain, it finally feels like fall.  And with fall brings all things pumpkins, apples, and scarecrows that you can handle. If you live in central Indiana I have put together a list of fun places to visit and activities to do this fall season.

Anderson Orchard


Address:369 E. Greencastle Rd.  Mooresville, IN 46158

Price of Admission – Free

Looking for a place that will fill your fall bucket – look no farther than Anderson Orchard.  You can pick your own apples and stock up on your fall produce.  Craving Apple Cider, Apple Pie or a Cider Slushie, stop by their Apple Barn and concession stand to get your apple fill. There are also kid activities like straw piles and playground that will keep your kids happy while you finished your second caramel apple or apple slushie.

Dull’s Tree Farm


Address: 1765 W. Blubaugh AvenueThorntown, IN 46071

Price of Admission:  $10 per person.  2 and under free.  Discounts for military and senior citizen.

Dates: September 29 – October 28, Open Saturdays and Sunday

We originally started going to Dull’s Tree Farm for our Christmas tree (if you don’t go up there to get your tree, I would highly highly recommend) but in the past couple of years we have been going up there to get our pumpkins as well and I might even prefer it to Christmas time, but it’s still great.   The fall season has more activities than the winter season.  James had so much fun on the giant slide, riding the oil barrel trains, and picking out his own pumpkin along with 25 other activities that you can do there as well.  Which means a full day of fall fun.

Exploration Acres


Location:  6042 Newcastle Rd, Lafayette, IN  47905

Price of Admission:  $11.50 for adults ( 13 and up)  $8 (6- 12)  free for 5 and under.  $8.50 Seniors and Military.  There are also discount rates for weekdays.

Dates: September 14 – October 28th

Looking for something a little more north of Indianapolis – Check out Exploration Acres.  It boasts a giant corn maze, 20 acres that is that has 4 separate mazes and over 10 miles of paths.  If this doesn’t wear out your kids, nothing will.  There is also a pumpkin patch, hayrides, and straw mounds and tunnels.

Feasts of the Hunter’s Moon


Location: 3129 S. River Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

Price of Admission:   Adult – $ 13, child (4-16) – $7, kids (4 and under) – Free   Weekend passes are also available.

Dates: October 6th and 7th, 2018

Growing up in Lafayette, Indiana The Feast (as the locals call it) was something that I was always aware of and we would even take a couple of class field trips during the fall when it was up and going.  For the people who aren’t aware of what the Feast is it’s an 18th Century reenactment of life Fort Quiatenon during the annual gathering of the French and Native Americans.   While at the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon you will be able to experience French and Native American’s music and dance, fife and drum corps performance and military drills and demonstrations.  You will able be able to do some hands-on activities like candy-making, costume try-on, storytelling and bead bracelet making.  I can’t wait until James and Norah are old enough to be able to go and experience it.

Zooboo at the Indianapolis Zoo 


Location: 1200 West Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46222

Admission:  Adult $25.95, Child (2-12) $19.70, Under 2 – Free

Date Open:  Thursday- Sundays October 4th – 28th, 2 -7 PM

This year the Indy Zoo is bringing up the popular Pumpkin town complete with adorable cats and fancy rats.  It also has Round-Go-Merry – the zoo carousel that is put in reverse just for the zooboo and Broomstick Alley which is fun for all ages.  One of the best parts of the zooboo is that the animals are so much more active because it’s cooler weather and later at night so you get to see a little more than them just laying around.

Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie 


Address: 13400 Allisonville Rd Fishers, IN 46038

Admission:  Thursday or Sunday $17, Friday or Saturday $21

Dates: October 11-14, 18-21, 25-28

This is probably one of the most popular fall events in the Indianapolis area and for good reason too, there are so many activities to do. Get the evening started with a haunted hayride where you might be chased by the headless horseman and follow it with either 11-acre corn maze, barrel-train ride for kids, 100-foot potato sack slides, the amazing magic show, Headless Horseman marionette show, spooky storytelling, bounce houses, mini golf, and giant pumpkin plinko.  There are so many times to do that you might need to take more than one trip.

Stoney Creek Farm Pumpkin Harvest Festival 


Address: 11366 State Road 38 East Noblesville, IN 46060

Admission: $5 parking fee, except on Mondays

Dates: September 29th – October 31st, 10am – 5 pm

Stoney Creek Farm offers a lot of fun activities that are very child-friendly such as the Rubber Ducky Races, the Kiddiepillar, Haunted Hoophouse Maze and hayrides. While these activities do have a cost to them ranging from $1-$3, you can enjoy the playground equipment, straw pile and all those adorable farm animals for free. And don’t forget to grab your pumpkin and favorite fall goods from the greenhouse before you leave.


grocery haul · recipes

Weekly Grocery Haul and Menu Plan

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA.  Some weeks are just a lot crazier than others.  Two weekends ago we drove into the potty training world and even though I was home for about 3 days straight I feel like I got less down and the house was even messier than then normal.

Anyway, let me share with you my grocery haul and menu plan.  Next week, the kids and I are going to be heading up to Chicago to help my sister out for a few days while her husband is on a work trip.  My sister has a 2-year-old boy and is 9 months pregnant with their second baby so she needs all the help she can get.  And since I work from home, it’s easy to travel up there and help her out.  I will be sharing more about our trip and what I do to pack/plan for a trip like this.  Since she is very pregnant and I’m still on the whole 30, I’m just going to make our dinner and bring it with me.

Total spent – $105  / Budgetted $75


So it’s another full week of meals to cook and plan.  I’m not going to lie, Wes being on vacation for the past week has put a major dent into my grocery budget.  I’ve recently switched from shopping at Meijer to Fresh Thyme supplement my hauls from Aldi’s.  It’s closer, has free fruit for Norah and has more options for healthier foods.



Aldi’s Haul – $85

2% milk, half gallon of whole milk, bananas, 1 lb strawberries, 3 lb spring mix, fresh green beans, grape tomatoes, whole grain white bread, 2 dozen eggs, 2 broccoli, 3 lb gala apples, applesauce, 2 frozen mix veggies, 1 lb ground turkey, 2 boxes shells and cheese, microwave mac n cheese, Italian chicken sausage, 2 bags of shrimp, goldfish, butternut squash, 5 lb golden potatoes, can of green beans, 2 cans of tomato sauce, 3 lb lemons, zucchini, cauliflower rice, almonds, mini cucumbers, paper towels, mini muffins.

Snacks for James’ class – cheeze it’s, vanilla wafers, raisins.


Fresh Thyme – $20

bacon, sage, 7 russet potatoes, clementines, 3 green bell peppers, avocado, 8 dates, 2 sweet potatoes

Menu Plan

Friday – Broccoli and Shrimp

Saturday – Steak w/ green beans & sweet potatoes

Sunday- Waffles

Monday-  Chicken Fingers and French Fries

Tuesday- Sloppy Joes     One of my favorite recipes I’ve found on the whole 30 and Norah loves it too.

Wednesday –  Spaghetti & Meatballs – I’m gonna have zoodles but I’m also going to do pasta for my sister and the kids.  Here is the whole 30 spaghetti sauce that I like.

Thursday – Chicken sausage and veggies

Friday – Pork Chop w/ butternut squash  I’m using boneless pork chops because that’s what I had in my freezer and I didn’t have the room in my grocery budget for bone-in ones.

For our lunches and breakfasts while we are in Chicago

I’m going to have hardboiled eggs and some roasted potatoes that I’m going to prep at home and just reheat and lunch is just going to be leftovers.

For the kids – I’m planning on doing mac n cheese, pb&j, turkey slices, string cheese for lunches and muffin and donuts w/ yogurt for breakfast.

So that’s my food plan for the week.  What does your look like?  When you drive do you bring your own food or do you eat out?


grocery haul · recipes

Weekly Grocery Haul and Meal Plan

So I had to switch up my meal planning a little bit.  I usually go grocery shopping on Tuesday but due to a weekly walk with my neighbor, I’m going to move it to Thursday.  So instead of my normal 7-day meal planning, I did a 10-day plan.  And to add a little more to the mix, my budget was also reduced because of purchases I made over the weekend for some food.  So doing 10 days on $56 was going to be tough.  Sadly I didn’t make it but I did get it done for the $75 that I budget that I had set aside for my weekly grocery trip.  I pulled the extra cash out of my freezer meat budget.


The total that I spent for this week’s grocery was $112  ($75 from this week, $25 from freezer budget and $12 rollover from the previous week)


Aldi’s – $55

Watermelon, mini muffins, zucchini, bananas, eggs, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, spring mix, 2% milk, whole milk, 8 x baby food pouches, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, broccoli, whole cashews, mini cucumbers, brussels sprouts, sugar,Italian sausage, sugar snap peas, strawberries and blueberries.


Fresh Thyme – $23

Chocolate chip cookie, Medjool dates, frozen waffles, dijon mustard, bacon, 3 green bell peppers, red bell peppers, russet potatoes, sweet onion, sweet potato, Yukon gold potatoes.

This that I got before my weekly shopping trip

Meijer – $ 25

Cucumbers, parsley, potatoes, peppers, bacon, sliced turkey, 2 spring mix salad mix, spinach mix.

Fresh Thyme – $ 9

Milk chocolate almonds and almond butter

Meal Plan

Monday- Chicken Tenders and Fries

Tuesday – Pork Chops with brussels sprouts and baked apples

Wednesday – LO

Thursday – Chicken Fajitas (These ended up being steak fajitas because I didn’t have enough chicken)

Friday – LO

Saturday – Grilled Chicken with mushrooms and Zoodles in a tomato sauce

Sunday – Pancakes

Monday – Sloppy Joe Bowls   This is becoming one of my favorite recipes.  I’m thinking about doubling the recipes and freezing some for a quick meal.

Tuesday – LO

Wednesday – Sausage and Veggie skillet

I also wanted to included a couple of finds that I was pretty excited about.

I found both of these at Aldi’s and they are both Whole 30 compliant.


I found this at Fresh Thyme and it even has the whole 30 logo to show that it’s approved.

So that’s why grocery haul and meal plan for this week.  I’m already halfway through it and it’s turning up pretty tasty.




Whole 30 Dump Ranch Dressing Recipe

One of my favorite recipes that I got out of my first run of Whole 30 is the Dump Ranch Dressing recipe.  It’s so good that I use it even when I’m not doing the whole 30.  I like it because it’s quick, simple, I can mix up the flavor as I like and can make it from stuff I already have on hand.   So I’m going to share this recipe with you and hope it becomes one of your favorite recipes too.


1 large egg, at room temperature   – THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT.  IF IT’S NOT AT ROOM TEMP THAN IT WON’T BLEND.

1 cup light olive oil  – I had this second to last in a slow pour

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk

1/2 cup of fresh herbs –  I like to use cilantro, parsley, dill and garlic

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. You can use either an immersion blender or a food processor (that’s what I use) and I add all the ingredients except for the oil.

2.  I turn the food processor on high and slowly pour in the oil so it combines really well with the other ingredients.


3. Then I just put it in a mason jar because it makes me feel fancy.

So that’s it.  My Dump Ranch Dressing Recipe.  Super easy, super tasty and super customizable.  And I  hope you enjoy it!




grocery haul · Life

Weekly Grocery Haul and Meal Plan

Hi Everyone,

It’s that time of week again for my weekly grocery haul and meal plan.  This week’s grocery haul is a little different than lasts weeks because I cut my grocery bill by 25%.  The last couple of weeks I’ve been diving back into the cash envelopes and breaking down the costs for things.  One thing I like to do is buy my meat in bulk so I calculated the cost of 1/4 cow, 80 lbs of chicken and about 50 lbs of pork and it equaled about $100/month.  So instead of adding another $100 to our monthly budget, I decided to pull $25 from each week and to my surprise this week I was able to keep it under budget, UNDER my $75 budget.

I spent in total $61 of my $75 grocery budget.  I do expect that I might have to go back and grab a couple fresh produce items since I didn’t have that in my grocery haul on Tuesday.  I am also going to be moving my grocery haul days to Thursdays while I believe  I have enough food to make two extra days, I’ll use that extra $14 just in case I need more food.

I will post more about my cash envelopes and how I divide them up and how much I put in them in a few weeks after I get the kinks all out.  But I will go ahead and share my grocery haul and meal plan for this week with.

I didn’t get a whole grocery haul picture because I was a little pressed for time because James was going to get off the bus in a couple of minutes.

Aldi’s Haul $33

2% milk, syrup, 1 dozen eggs, 1 lb of strawberries, almond milk, banana, mini muffins, green grapes, 8 baby food pouches, 2 avacados, 3 lb apples, grape tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, peanut buter, 2 shells and cheese.



Meijer’s Haul – $28

3 – 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, ben and jerry’s ice cream, big bag of tootie fruities (off-brand fruit loops), 2 icing tubs, 1 bag of chocolate chips, loaf of texas toast, smoked sausage, 1 can of green beans.

*when I saw that I was gonna come in under budget I brought some extra stuff.  I like to follow the rule of buy one for now and 2 for later and thats what I did with the ice cream.  It was only $1.88 each so $1.11 off so I had the room and grab two extra for later.

My Meal Plan

Tuesday – Homemade Pizza*

Wednesday- Leftovers

Thursday- Smoked Sausage, mac n cheese, and green beans

Friday- Leftovers

Saturday- Steak and Potatoes*

Sunday – French Toast

Monday –  Homemade Chicken Fingers and French Fries w/ homemade ketchup

I put a * by the meals that I rolled over from last week.  We had a couple of things popped up during the week where either I didn’t have time to make dinner or didn’t have to so to save money, I just put them on the schedule again.

The recipe for the chicken fingers isn’t the one that I’m gonna use on Monday because I’m starting the Whole 30 again and need to use one without flour.

What does your meal plan look like this week?

How much do you spend on groceries each week?




grocery haul

My Weekly Grocery​ Haul and Meal Plan

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to start a new segment on my blog where I share my weekly grocery haul, my menu plan for that week and any great deals that I find that week at the stores.  So let’s get started.

I shop at two different stores, Aldi and Meijer.  I go to Aldi first because I usually find the best deals there on the items but you never know what they are going to have in stock and go to Meijer to get anything left on my list.

I do like to take separate pictures of what I get at each store because I think a lot of people overlook Aldi’s and what they might have but I surprisingly get about 80% of my grocery list there and it costs about half of my total budget.

My grocery budget was $100 but I finished at $102.


My Aldi’s Haul  – Total $69


2% milk, whole milk, almond milk, eggs (2 dozen), gala apples, pretzels, mozzarella cheese, half & half, tortillas, celery, banana, mini cucumbers, sliced mushrooms, bread, strawberries (2 lbs), bow tie pasta, frozen corn, frozen Brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, baby golden potatoes, mini peanut butter crackers, 10 baby food pouches,  yogurt drops (2), mini blueberry muffins, tomato sauce, cereal bars.

My Meijer Haul – $ 33


toilet paper, trash bags, animals cookies, Kodiak cakes, brownies, tomatoes, 5 bell peppers, 3 Russet potatoes, frozen carrots, frozen broccoli, white onion and 2 Roma tomatoes.

I know it’s crazy right.  It doesn’t seem like Meijer should be that expensive but here we are.   The reason why I got the produce that I did at Meijer instead of Aldi’s is that I’m not a huge fan of buying their onions and potatoes in just bulk because I never use them fast enough.  Also, I haven’t had the best of luck with Aldi’s peppers.  They came 3 in a bag for about $1 a piece but I always seem to get a bad one so I stopped buying them.  But honestly, that’s the only bad produce that I’ve gotten repeatedly not great.

My Weekly Meal Plan

Tuesday – Sloppy Joes on baked potatoes    We had these already and they were so good.  Norah (not the pickiest baby) even likes it.  Totally making it again.

Wednesday –  Leftovers

Thursday – Homemade Pizza  Will post my recipe for this later.  I’m also searching for a non bread machine recipe too.

Friday – Leftovers

Saturday – Steak and Potatoes     I still have from sirloin and round steaks in my freezer so I’m going to use that instead of the flank steak because I already have it on hand and flank steak is expensive.

Sunday – Pancakes   I don’t know about you but Sunday aren’t that easy going days that they used to be.  Between the church struggles and just a different routine for the morning by the time that dinner comes around I’m not in the mood for a big meal and especially a big clean up.  So last week we had Binner and it was perfect, simple and easy and we are doing it again this week.  My plan is to make extra so I can use them for breakfast for the rest of the week.

Monday – One Pot Creamy Garlic Chicken and Veggie Pasta   This originally wasn’t what I was going to make on Monday but I ended up going with this recipe for two reasons.  One I can deconstruct it easily for James and Norah.  I pull out some pasta, chicken, and veggies without any sauce on them so I can try to get James to eat them.  The second reason is that since all the ingredients are either frozen or canned I don’t have to worry about them going bad before the day comes for me to make them or make a second trip to get them fresh halfway through the week which always leads to me spending more.


So that’s my grocery haul and meal plan for this week.   What does your meal plan or grocery haul look like?