9/11/15 Food Stamp Shopping

Food Stamp shopping for September 2015

I finally got my food stamps this month and once again I tried to do all my shopping in the first 2 days. I do not like shopping that much, so I really like to get it done and over with. I have a really hard time trying to budget everything in that we need on only a minimal amount of food stamps but I seem to do ok.

I started my adventure on the 10th and started it with a treat for me and my husband. I got us some bagels from the local health food store, and treated us to some old fashioned cream cheese. I discovered this cream cheese one time, just trying to supply something for my husband and I’s once in a while bagel binge, the owner of the health food store, asked me if I wanted to try it and I have been addicted ever since. Its called ‘Gina Marie’ cream cheese by the Seirra Nevada Cheese Factory.

I consider the little bit of cream cheese that I bought that day to be one of the delicacies treats I bought this month, and I am planning on making the best of the rest of it. I have been thinking about making cheesecake with the rest of it, and or cranberry bliss bars that use a cream cheese frosting with white chocolate. Although I did not get a chance to buy some white chocolate I can get it relatively cheap from bulk next door. (the health food store is next door.)

I also treated the boys to their favorite boxes of organic cereal this month. I was really happy to budget in some Barbera’s shredded wheat for my husband and some Natures Path organic Kamut puffs for the boy. I also got my much needed supply of butter from the health food store. I get Berkeley brand because it is the cheapest per pound, I pay about 3.20 per pound. I got 3 pounds of butter, but I think I may need more by the end of the month. If I decide to make scones or pie at all this month, the supply will go really fast.

shredded wheat
shredded wheat

I also get our coffee at the health food store. I grind fresh beans their of double french roast and I get about 3-4 bags ie pounds, a month of percolated grind for our percolator. I do not know how I would function without having coffee every morning. I rely on that energy and speaking of I need to pour a cup right now.

That was the shopping trip next door, then I had a few more stores to go to. I also had to go to my local meat butcher for my bulk supply of meat and had to go to the Mexican store for a few things.

I did the Mexican store next, my local family owned Mexican store has a whole lot of bulk products that we like to buy. I think that they get their store stock mostly from Costco runs and it helps a lot to have some Costco prices out here on the coast. I bought some bulk raw non-gmo verified sugar from their in a 4 lb bag. I bought a 40 pack of flour tortillas for only 4.50. I bought some chorizo that we both like and I bought a kirklin bag of mexican cheese. I bought a huge 5 lb bag of organic raisins for only 5$. I also bought a cheap bottle of veggie oil. That was what I bought at the Mexican store.

Next I went to the meat store, I bought a whole bunch of meat. I got a short rib rack, a chuck roast for Carnita’s, a whole bunch of ground beef, some country sausage, some ground pork,(which I have not had before), some fajita meat and some pork chops. I already made the pork chops, and last night we had he fajita meat. I also bought some milk for cereal there, and some salsa and sour cream for making tacos and chorizo.

Yesterday I also did my Safeway run, it was not easy and it was not fun. I only had like 50 $ of food stamps left to use, because I need to save 100$ for Schwans. I bought a double flat of eggs for 19.99 and I bought a 20 pound bag of jasmine rice for 16.99, I bought some maple syrup and bought some flour to bake with. I am really disappointed that I could only get 10 lbs of flour, but I am happy to at least have some. I bought some king Arthur flour on sale that I have been wanting to try for bread making for months, so I cannot wait to bake with it. I also got my regular bread flour that I seem to never get enough of. That was all I bought at Safeway and it was about the exact 50 $ I needed. I also got a gallon of ice cream that is cheap that we all like to eat.

Although I did not buy much, I had like 5-6 things in my cart, they added up in price and weight. I had to bag the flour and the ice cream together, put the 20 lb bag of rice into a bag on my other shoulder and carry 60 eggs home. It was not easy. The bag of rice broke by the time I got home. I literally walked into the door and the bag ripped open, thank god I got home. I am really happy to have this 20 lb bag of rice, because Safeway did not have it in stock for months, and when I finally gave up waiting for them to have it again, I saw it. I am really happy that I found it, its the same price as buying 10 pounds of the same rice at the Mexican store. I can get a 5 lb bag for 6.99 and I am really happy to be getting 20 pounds for the same price of 2 bags of 5 lbs.

I used the bell pepper last night for fajitas and some of the tomato, and we also tried some of the new garlic salsa I bought and some sour cream.

veggies I grilled on the side
veggies I grilled on the side
my fajita close up
my fajita close up

I am still waiting for my oven to be working, but the electrition will be coming on Monday, so hopefully I will be baking bread, making cheesecake and having a baking fun ol’ time by then.

Until then thanks for reading about the Boho kitchen, and until next time.

7/10/15 Food Stamp Shopping

Today is the best day of the whole month. We got our Food Stamps today. Shopping on food stamps is no easy task. I swear my brain spins trying to budget each month right. I try to a make room for bulk grains, meat and even a whole frozen food delivery each month.

This month I ordered about 100$ worth of frozen ingredients, and expected the delivery around 5-7pm. That gave me plenty of time to do the whole months worth of shopping done in the day before hand and save that 100 $ on the food stamp card for the delivery.

We also decided that we are going to start budgeting enough saved food stamps to make a weekly 15$ shopping trip to the local farmers market. We took a walk through and saw fresh fish being sold last week and we would love to have fresh fish each week every month. Living on the coast has its benefits and one of them is seafood that is fresh and readily available.

Speaking of, we are getting our fishing licenses asap. Like as in this week. My husband has a friend that spear fishes and catches crab when its in season, and its in season. He was offered to go kayaking and crabbing this whole month. So we are even gunna be blessed with fresh crab meat. I am so excited to start cooking more seafood. I am still not familiar with most sea foods, and we have it all here, so I should learn. My husband had a fishing license a few years ago and we had our fair share of fish off this coast and we love the fishing here.

The fishing is great, we can get salmon sometimes and blacks and link cod. Its been a whirlwind of trying new local foods once we have moved here, from different fishes to mushrooms and berries we have never heard of before. We may even have some fresh blackberries coming from a friend also. Man I love living in California, and even more on the coast. The food here is great, fresh and organic and we have a no gmo county, as in we cannot spray our crops with bad chemicals. All our farms are mostly organic in this sense.

Anyways, Today was a shopping experience I would rather forget. I did forget a few things, did get a few extra things. Did fill up the freezer with meat both dinner and breakfast meat. And even got some fresh chorizo from the local family owned Mexican store and sale tortillas. We love having homemade breakfast burritos.

The real key to shopping on food stamps is buying no food. I know that may sound funny, but I do not buy food, I buy ingredients to make great food. I barely buy anything that isn’t bulk, and I even got a great deal on baking flour today. I try to plan for some meals, like staples that we like. And since it is summer I got two racks of ribs in the freezer for this month. I buy ingredients from my frozen food people like meat and frozen veggies so I can make things like chicken pot pie easier and such. I like buying french frys frozen too and hash browns, since I still need to buy a good deep fryer machine.

Today I took 3 shopping trips and got the following items on food stamps: bulk baking flour, bulk bread flour, sugar, waffle mix, veggie oil, Rice, Eggs, milk and some cheap bread. I also got about 100$ worth of locally butchered meat and the freezer is looking great.

We did have a scare with our frozen food delivery tonight, about gave me a heart attack. I was suspecting something was wrong when it was 8pm and he had not shown up yet. Our scheduled delivery time was between 5-7pm. I got a call from my delivery man finally telling me that his delivery truck had broken down at our local hwy 20 and he was waiting for the tow truck driver to come help. He said he would not be back in town for another 4 weeks until August 7th. He asked if that delivery date was ok, and he is sorry. I said its not going to work because we only have food stamps after the 10th of each month, so I would have to take the service date after that. He said the one after that would be the 21st of august. I took the date, hung up the phone and was devastated. How could I not get my frozen ingredients until the next month, and even then the end of next month? It was heartbreaking.

After about 45 minutes he called back and said the tow truck helped him out and he could still come by, my worries were over. I was stressed. But now I have my frozen ingredient supply and my bulk food and meat and I am happy!

Funny thing happened to me I should mention here so we can have a picture for today. The other day my husband for the first time since we have had our own kitchen and apartment, asked to make something. I mean cook-bake something. I was more then thrilled to hear it. So we bought the ingredients for him to make corn bread in my awesome cast iron skillet. We got home and he got into my kitchen must have been thinking it was more stocked in supplies then it was. He asked me for more measuring things then I had set out for him, I said that was all I had. I am sorry if anything you need is missing that is all I have to work with. Its a medley of hand me downs and thrift store finds that were worn with age that you could barely read the labels on them. And I didn’t even have a 2 cup measuring cup. He was more then surprised that I have learned to cook so well, in such a short period of time that we have had our apartment and WITHOUT measuring cups.

Needless to say a whole new set of everything arrived in the mail for me today. Clearly labeled and new measuring spoons and cup set and even a Pyrex cup for measuring. If all I knew is that it took one time for him in my kitchen to buy me everything, than I would have made him cook sooner.

Here is a picture of what he got me.

new measuring sets
new measuring sets

I didn’t cook much today and what I did wasn’t good enough to blog about. Shopping was more interesting today for me than anything, I hope you had a good day.