Friday, May 22, 2015

A week with the Gray's- Food Edition (with recipes and grocery list)!

I have people ask me all the time how I buy organic on a budget and what we eat during the week. I thought it would be a great idea to showcase this in a blog post. I try to stick to a $125/week food budget for the grocery store. I shop at Sprout's and Natural Grocers. I also typically spend an added $30 at the Farmer's Market per week. Some of my money saving tips are to avoid processed foods, shop sales, shop in season, shop Natural Grocers discount areas (meats and produce save huge!), go meatless once or more a week, and avoid recipes with lots of ingredients or unusual ingredients you wont use again.

I have 5 days of meals featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I will also include a shopping list and typical snacks that my girls consume through the week. Everything (condiments, spices, and all) is organic unless I state otherwise. I took pictures of the kids plates through this whole thing. Some pictures are of just one plate because it was hard to get both girls' plates in the picture, haha. They typically both eat about the same amounts, sometimes a little less for Hensley (23 months). I usually just have toast and coffee for breakfast and lunch is usually leftovers for my husband and I. I hope you enjoy this post and that it sparks some ideas for you and your family!

Day One

 Breakfast: Once a week the girls get to have "kid" cereal. It's mostly organic (or non-GMO). This morning they picked marshmallow cereal (not organic, Mom's Best brand). They also got organic red grapes and half a organic banana.

 Lunch: Today the girls got organic, grass-fed cheddar, spinach crackers (not organic, Back to Nature brand), frozen organic peas, and organic blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe.

 Dinner: Tonight's dinner was organic Applegate Farms hotdogs, sauteed local cabbage (sauteed with onion, garlic, and salt and pepper), sauteed squash and zuchinni (with onion, and salt and pepper), and organic oranges and raspberries. They also had organic ketchup and mustard to dip.

Day 2

Breakfast: Organic frozen waffle with organic peanut butter and maple syrup and a peach and blackberry smoothie. For the smoothie I put frozen blackberries and peaches in a blender with full fat plain yogurt, chia seeds, milk, and local honey. Blend it up and there you go!

Lunch: Grilled cheese made with organic whole grain bread and grass fed organic sharp cheddar. Served with organic berries and local sugar snap peas.

Dinner: I got a HUGE bag of discount bell peppers at Natural Grocers for $2! I made stuffed peppers using this recipe here. I topped them with local cheese curds and they were delicious! I also made roasted local asparagus and they got homemade cinnamon applesauce (made from a bag of $2 discount organic apples).

Day 3

 Breakfast: My girls call this "dunk eggs"! They each got an over medium local egg with organic whole grain bread with butter and organic strawberries.

Lunch: Once a week the girls get their favorite lunch, macaroni and cheese! This is the Back to Nature brand with organic frozen broccoli and organic grapes.

Dinner: Tonight was vegetarian night. We had something we call taco soup, although it is more like a chili. I take a can of black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans (drained) and mix them in a pot with a can of green chile's, a can of diced tomatoes, a bag of frozen corn, a package of taco seasoning (I use Simply Organic), a package of ranch seasoning (Simply Organic), and about a cup of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes. I served it with shredded organic grass fed monterey jack cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, and tortilla chips (Late July brand is the best!). We also had a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and kiwi and raspberries. This is one of the girls' favorite meals. They love Mexican food and LOVE beans!

Day 4

Breakfast: My girls love parfaits and they always seem like such a fancy breakfast! Full fat, plain yogurt with local honey, granola, and fresh blueberries.

Lunch: Tuna mixed with Vegenaise (organic mayo is bleh) and S&P, smashed avocado, half a boiled local egg, an orange, and buttered organic whole grain toast for dipping.

Dinner: Tonight we had shredded chicken tacos. I put 6 frozen chicken thighs (bought on discount at Natural Grocers) in a crock pot. I added a thinly sliced onion, 3 cloves of minced garlic, a can of green chile's, a can of tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cilantro, and s&p. I let it cook on low all day and then shredded the chicken, removing the bones. We served them in non-GMO taco shells with cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and spring mix. We also had refried black beans, mixed vegetables, and fruit (cantaloupe, blueberries, and raspberries).

Day 5

Breakfast: Today the girls had organic toast with orange marmalade, strawberries and blueberries, and organic milk kefir smoothie. I bought these at Natural Grocers for $3.99 for a pack of 4.

Lunch: Today's lunch was grass fed organic cheddar, boiled local egg (I have an egg cooker and it is so easy to boil eggs as needed), cherry tomatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, and kiwi and grapes.

Dinner: I can't get this picture to turn the right way, ugh! Oh well, it was good none the less :) Tonight was another vegetarian night. I cooked rice in half coconut milk and half vegetable stock, roasted a butternut squash with tumeric, curry powder, s&p, and olive oil, and simmered a can of black beans. When everything was finished I mixed it all together. We also had green beans and apples.


The girls typically get two snacks a day. Usually it is between breakfast and lunch and then between lunch and dinner. Snacks consist of fruit, veggies with dip (Vegenaise, s&p, dill, and garlic make a great dip), oven popped popcorn, homemade applesauce, trail mix (Target's organic brand is yummy), fruit leather, and sometimes cheese and crackers. We usually just rummage around until we find something. I occasionally buy snack crackers and organic chips/puffs, but that's usually if they are on sale.  For special treats or desserts we buy Yum Earth organic suckers, organic jelly beans, sun drops (Natural Grocers), and Annie's organic gummies.

With almost every meal my girls get water. If they ask for milk for breakfast, they will get a small glass of organic milk, but it's not too often that they ask. I buy organic juice boxes from Target and they get one to two a week for a special treat. My girls have never had an issue drinking water because that is all they've ever really had from a young age.

Grocery List

*everything organic if you can

1. Butter, salted
2. Eggs
3. Milk, whole
4. Sour cream
5. Yogurt
6. organic coconut milk (2)
7. organic milk
8. organic kefir smoothie
9. organic, grass fed cheese

1. Asparagus
2. Avocadoes
3. Brussels sprouts
4. Cabbage
5. Cucumbers
6. Onions
7. Squash
8. Tomatoes
9. Yellow peppers
10. Zucchini
11. Sugar Snap Peas
12. Lettuce, organic spring mix
13. Butternut squash
Meats and Deli

1. Sausage
2. Chicken thighs
3. Hot dogs
Canned Goods

1. Beans, refried
2. Tomatoes, diced (2)
3. Tuna, flaked
4. organic kidney beans
5. organic black beans (3)
6. organic pinto beans
7. organic green chile's (2)

1. Garlic
2. Paprika
3. Parsley
4. Pepper
5. Salt
6. tumeric
7. curry powder
8. chili powder
Bread & Baked Goods

1. organic whole grain bread
2. non-GMO taco shells
3. organic tortilla chips
4. organic crackers

1. Bananas
2. Blueberries
3. Cantaloupe
4. Grapes, red
5. Kiwi
6. Oranges)
7. Raspberries
8. Strawberries

1. Berries
2. Peas
3. Mixed vegetables
4. Waffles
5. organic green beans
6. organic corn
Packaged Goods

1. Rice, long grain
2. organic mac and cheese
3. organic quinoa
Condiments & Sauces

1. Honey
2. Jelly
3. Ketchup
4. Mayonnaise
5. Peanut butter
6. Salad dressing
7. Syrup
8. Tomato sauce
9. organic taco seasoning
10. organic ranch mix
11. vegetable broth
12. organic olive oil (or other oil)
13. organic peanut butter

1. Organic Cereal
2. organic granola

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fun days in May

 Look at this dirty baby! We have been spending so much time playing outside and they both get so filthy. May is going by so quickly, I can't believe it's halfway over. This weekend we spent Saturday helping my mom and dad install new flooring in my grandparents house. The kiddos had fun hanging out with their cousins for the day and getting dirty (of course) outside. 
 My oldest sister moved to Germany last week. This picture was taken a few days before they left. They invited us to come swim at their hotel. The girls had fun swimming and then eating lunch together. 
 We have been having LOTS of rain this month. I think they said we got between 10-12 inches in just 5 days. This is a picture I took right after a storm had passed. Oklahoma sure has some beautiful sunsets! The day before Mother's Day we went to the Ostrich Egg breakfast at our zoo. The girls had a blast with gramma and papa along for the fun. We then got to have a yummy pasta dinner with all of my sisters and their families. It was the last family night with my oldest sister.
 On Mother's Day Aaron let me sleep in while he took the girls downstairs for breakfast and to paint pictures for me. He also did all the laundry and cleaned the house! What a great husband I have! When I woke up, he made me breakfast and coffee and told me not to do a thing. I got this set of pans and they are so nice! I've had the same cookware for about 10 years and they were all in different stages of despair. My kitchen colors are red and green, so these match perfectly. 
 We met up with my mom and dad, and my little sister, and oldest sister for brunch. We missed my other sister, but they were just up from Tulsa the day before and decided to stay at home (we don't blame them). We had lots of yummy food and the cousins got to play some. Right after we ate, my sister and her family were leaving for Germany. It was definitely a bittersweet day. 
Our families. This will be the last picture we have together for awhile....
 These two. They don't always get along, but they are so cute together. 
 Since we have been having lots of days where we had to stay inside due to rain, I've been getting creative with things to keep them busy. This is some sand I had bought from Target several weeks ago. I put out spoons, cookie cutters, and cups and they had fun playing and making sand castles for about 2 hours.

 We also like to make forts in the living room and have random dance parties. These girls definitely keep life entertaining!
 We grew some cat grass for our kitties. This was a fun project and the grass grew this long in about 6 days!
 Tae, despite the rain, learned how to ride her bike without training wheels! We are so proud of her. She just kept getting back on and trying and trying. It only took her about two weeks to get it down. 
 This is our kitty Kona. He is the most laid back animal you will every meet. He doesn't mind the girls laying all over him and often even begs for it.
 This little stinker sitting on the back of the couch with her "soccer rocker" (thanks Mother Goose Club) and sissy's hula hoop. 
The sleeping buddies. Can't believe this little one is going to be two in just a few short weeks. Our baby is sure growing up!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Wrapping up April

 Tae had her last homeschool co-op for the semester and they finished it off with an egg drop. Aaron and Tae worked hard on this contraption and it held up and the egg didn't crack. 
 After the egg drop, they had fun running in the fields and playing with the kiddos. It will be a long summer without our weekly co-op, but we have a lot of fun things planned for the summer!
 My little sister and her girlfriend got married earlier this month and they had a wedding reception to celebrate. I know there are some unfortunate people (some in my immediate family) that still have a lot of negative thoughts and hatred about homosexuals. Some of these people being said Christians. This hurts my heart so much. Christianity has such a bad rap of being an unnaccepting religion. This boggles my mind because we are the religion who believes that Jesus died for our sins and Jesus was the ultimate lover. He accepted people despite their sins. The Bible says to love (and live) like Jesus, but sadly, too many Christians think they should live like God (the ultimate Judge). I will sum up my thoughts with this: We are put here on this Earth to love, be loved, and show love. I believe that everyone deserves to be loved and who are we to say who it is? I know what my Bible says, but I also know that God is the one AND only judge. I am happy that my little sister is happy. That is the important thing.
 They had polaroids of everyone done and put into a little book with notes from each guest.

 My mom catered the wedding with the help of Madison's family. Everything turned out so pretty and yummy.
 The kids enjoyed playing outside in the gardens. I got some good shots of them.
This may be one of the last picture of the cousins together. Little Mavy (on the right) is moving to Germany in about two weeks. This little boy is so sweet and I'm so glad I've had the chance to watch him grow these past few years. 

 Sisters! Wearing their matching dresses from H&M!

 Lyn and Madi tearing it up on the dance floor. The kids had fun dancing too.
 A toast. We wish them much happiness.

 Cute little wedding favors with Italian wedding cookies (organic and gluten free). They were delicious!
 We took a trip to the state capitol to see some PBS Kids characters. It was super duper crowded and we didn't get to see much, but I think they still had fun. Hensley loves Daniel Tiger and she kept waving to him.

 I'm sad to say that this was my first time at the capitol. It was really pretty inside. The girls had a lot of fun playing around for a bit and visiting a friend that works there.

Oklahoma, you are beautiful!