Sunday Night Goal Post

This week is a ‘pare down the freezer and pantry week’. With Turkey Season upon us, I need more freezer and fridge space available.  Using things that I’ve stocked up on is important if I’m going to deal with things like buying three turkeys because I found them for 59c/lb, or fifteen cans of cranberry sauce because they were 50% off (what? you don’t eat a turkey and cranberry on white bread with mayo every day from Thanksgiving until Christmas? fine, you heathen.)

Sale items I’m using this week are boneless skinless chicken breasts, raspberries, rice, and cheese (a J4U Randalls deal),

  • Mon: chicken korma, rice, stri fry broccoli and carrots, raspberries
  • Tue: crockpot beef stew, green salad, peas, cuties
  • Wed:  grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and leftovers
  • Thur:  salmon, angel hair pasta, caesar salad, pears
  • Fri:  Backyard Movie Night! Popcorn and S’mores for all!

This isn’t following the usual weekly schedule, but we’re accommodating a few different things–new work schedules, field trips and a talent show–that aren’t usually on deck, along with the freezer/pantry slimdown.

This is week 4 of the Internet-Accountable Family Dinner plan. We are having more dinners together than before.  Scoring myself seems to pry me into marshalling the troops at 7:30 pm, when otherwise I might have just put it all on the counter and yelled, “Dinner!”.  Midweek is still a hurdle, even with planned take-out breaks.

Let’s see if I break the 6.5 point ceiling this week–Cheep Cheep!


This Week’s Dinners, Week 3

This week hit a new snag–I didn’t keep track of dinners.  I’m going to go ahead and blame Daylight Savings Time, because that was popular this week.

So this is me, trying to reconstruct our week from memory.  Given I forgot and left a kid at a dance class this week, we’ll have to hope for the best here (and be grateful to kind people who are understanding when you are late to pick up a kid).

This was the plan, which I helpfully copied from the Sunday Night Goal Post:

  • Mon: pork fried rice, stir-fried cabbage, berries, tomato salad.
  • Tue: Election Returns Night! Crockpot chicken, homemade bread, caesar salad.
  • Wed: take out!
  • Thur: baked ziti, spinach salad, apples
  • Fri: salmon, couscous, chopped salad, fruit.

And this is the actual, reconstructed from my noggin:

  • Mon:  pork fried rice, stir-fried cabbage and apples, berries, tomato salad, green salad. 7:15pm. 5 people. Score: 2 points.
  • Tue: Taco Tuesday! crockpot chicken, tortillas, shredded cheese, refried beans, caesar salad, berries, cucumbers. 5 people. Score: 2 points.
  • Wed: night out together. 5 people. Score: 2 points.
  • Thur: meant it to be leftovers, people wound up eating out, separately. Score: 0 points.
  • Fri:  Pizza Night. 6:30pm. 4 people. Score: 0.5 points.

What we have here is a Wednesday Night breakdown, but on Thursday. For three days I followed the plan, and then it went kerflooey, right down the tubes.  Not only were we not eating together, but we spent money eating out separately!

I wonder if I didn’t follow the plan on Monday would the entire week go off the rails, or would I recover mid-week?  I’m sure we’ll see sometime soon.

Thursday was a kid-event that had Tiny and I out of the house from 6-8pm. I’d tried to encourage leftovers, but Family Dinner doesn’t happen if Mom isn’t there, and the lure of Tex-Mex held sway.

I had a plan on Friday, but pizza won. Sometimes, you just have to let pizza win and watch some tv, and that’s what I did. If we’d all sat at the table to eat it, or even eaten in the same room, I’d have given myself a whole point. As it was, we were all looking at different screens and I’m giving myself the half-point for just all interacting while getting pizza out of the box.

This week tied last week. I’m now really wondering if a 10 is possible for us. I also wonder what our scores were before I was making an effort. My guess is a 4 or so.

Week 3

  • Score: 6.5 /10
  • Plan followed?: 3/5
  • Effort?: medium. 50%.

Look for the Weekly Dinner Plan post tomorrow! Cheep Cheep!


P.S. The text editor really, really didn’t want me to publish this post with the word kerflooey. Which is ridiculous, everyone knows what that word means. So I tried to look it up in the dictionary, and it isn’t there. I disagree with Mr. Dictionary on this matter.

What is there? Kerchoo. You’ll be happy to know that kerchoo means ‘ahchoo’.  Not kidding even a little.  Thanks, Dictionary!

Happy Ad Wednesday!

This week feels a bit slower to me. Fewer good deals on produce, apple wars winding down, not as many deals on meat.  I’m putting it down to the stores saving the big loss-leaders for further along in the ramp up to the holiday season.

Sprouts has a few really good deals running from Fri-Sun only, I’ve marked them below.

The pork picnic listed as a Fiesta limit deal is about as cheap as it gets, but it’s not what I usually think of as a ‘pork shoulder’, though I cook it the same way–If my husband doesn’t smoke it, it goes in the crockpot with a spice rub. The difference is that the skin is still on, and I’ll generally remove that as cooking breaks it down.  It’s also a porkier, almost darker meat.  I don’t know if it’s just the larger amount of bone, or the cut itself, but it has a stronger flavor, so keep that in mind if you’re considering purchasing it.


lemons                                                   6/$1

Lou-Ana vegetable oil, 48 oz.              $1.99

red or golden delicious apples             79c/lb (DD)

Jimmy Dean pork sausage, 16 oz        $2.99 ea

boneless skinless chicken breasts      $1.99 (Fiesta limit)

pork picnic roast                               $1.59/lb (Fiesta limit)


boneless skinless chicken breasts                       $1.99/lb

Breyer’s ice cream, 1.5 qt.                                       $2.99

Honeysuckle or Safeway Frozen Turkey 8-24lb       59c/lb (with $50 additional purchase)


raspberries,  6oz.                                           98c/ea

pineapples                                                    99c/ea

honeycrisp apples                                        98c/lb  (DD)


green and red bell peppers, cucumbers (DD)                50c/ea

many apples (not honeycrisp)                                          88c/lb

organic kale                                                                      $1.48/bunch  (DD)

Fri-Sun ONLY:

clementines, 2lb. sack                                                     $1.98/ea

Sprouts boxed broth, 32 oz.                                             $1.50/ea

Mountain High yogurt, 32 oz.                                            $2/ea

also, there’s 30% off all seafood from the case for these three days

ending today!

  • blackberries, 5.6oz                                                          99c/ea
  • Sprouts brand organic apple juice, 1 gal                     $7.99/ea
  • rolled oats                                                                        69c/lb
  • mussels                                                                         $2.99/lb
  • drumsticks or whole chicken legs                                   99c/lb

That’s it for this week, Cheepsters!  Keep an eye on Facebook for on-the-spot deals, and follow me on twitter to keep up with the adventures of an Old Lady Tweeting.

Cheep Cheep!

Sunday Night Goal Post

This week’s score was an improvement, and I’m hoping that sustained effort will have the family come to accept a pattern. 7pm. Dinner. At the house.  Repetition is the only strategy I’ve got right now. Fortunately, it’s also one of the reliable behavior-changers, so I’m hopeful. There’s also Tiny clanging a triangle until everyone shows up, but we’re not quite there yet.

Here’s this week’s plan. Pork, tomatoes, blackberries, raspberries (not a Wed ad post, but on FB and Twitter) were the sale items.

  • Mon: pork fried rice, stir-fried cabbage, berries, tomato salad.
  • Tue: Election Returns Night! Crockpot chicken, homemade bread, caesar salad.
  • Wed: take out!
  • Thur: baked ziti, spinach salad, apples
  • Fri: salmon, couscous, chopped salad, fruit.

I’m interested to see if there’s a better score this week–there’s still a disruption, though Election Day isn’t near as big a meal disruptor as Halloween is.

This Week’s Dinners, Week 2

Overall, I’d say this was an improved week. Carrot soup didn’t happen, but we had two new foods in the form of sunflower sprouts and risotto.

The risotto was a technical glitch, as a kid made the completely reasonable guess that risotto was rice, and should go in the rice cooker.  Dump enough butter and parmesan on things, and you can correct a lot of mistakes. If not everyone liked it, it was still a kid helping make dinner, and this is a Good Thing, as Martha might say.

Here’s the plan:

  • Mon:  salmon croquettes, sesame rice, peas, fruit, tomato salad
  • Tue:  Taco tuesday–chicken, beans, cheese, tortillas and fixings, fruit, green salad
  • Wed:  baked ziti, caesar salad, carrot and celery sticks
  • Thur:  Refrigerator Buffet! and Carrot Soup!
  • Fri:  Halloween! Pizza and candy for all!

Here’s the actual:

  • Mon: salmon patties, risotto, sliced oranges, peas. tomato salad. 7:30 pm. 5 people. Score: 2 points.
  • Tue: Taco Tuesday! Ground beef, cheese, chicken enchiladas. green salad, broccoli, sunflower sprouts and carrot sticks, black beans and tortillas. 7:30 pm. 5 people. Score: 2 point.
  • Wed: mac and cheese. caesar salad. apples. broccoli. 7:15 pm. Girls dinner, 3 people. Score: 1 point.
  • Thurs: chicken strips, fries, broccoli, apples, green salad. Kids only.  Score: 1 point.
  • Fri: pizza at Halloween party. Score: 0.5 points.

Given last weeks 5, this is a better showing. 6.5/10 is still not a great grade, but it’s reflecting more of us sitting down together more of the time, which is what  this is all about.

One of the kids gave me the score for Friday. I’d been inclined to give myself one point, because it was the plan, after all, even if we didn’t exactly eat together.  Kid replied, “Mom, I had cake for dinner. Half a point.”  I’m inclined to agree.  We didn’t eat together, we didn’t eat a healthy meal, so I get a half point for at least sticking to the plan.

Interesting scoring problems keep coming up. Wednesday was still a pasta night, but I didn’t have time to shop that day so ziti was out, and the guys weren’t home.  I gave myself a half-point each for getting three of us to the table and for a decently well-rounded meal.  Thursday became impromptu date night, so again, half-point each for getting three kids to the table to eat a meal with more than two food groups represented.

I felt better about how we did this week. The pattern of sticking to the plan earlier and derailing on Wednesday is interesting. Will it continue? I don’t know. Theoretically, it should be the day I’m most solid, because that’s the day I have the most free time.  I’d never noticed this trend before I started the Weekly Dinner Plan project. We’ll see how it goes this week.

Week 2

  • Score: 6.5 /10
  • Plan followed?: 3/5
  • Effort?: mediumish. 70%.

Look for the Weekly Dinner Plan post tomorrow! Cheep Cheep!