Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shopping Day Is DONE!!!


I woke up bright and early yesterday morning, I think it was just after 6am. It's funny, since I stopped working, if I have something planned for the next day, I have trouble sleeping the night before. I'm not sure why! It's not like I have a set schedule anymore! But anyway, I was up and after letting the pooches out into our yard, I took off for my shopping day. I was out from 7:30 am until 4 pm. My boyfriend had just finished working on his music when I got home and he emptied the car out. It took us both until about 6 pm to unpack, organize and put everything away.


I now have six weeks worth of food and food to be created, jammed into the fridge, deep freezer and cupboards! When my boyfriend and I met, he had a little mini fridge that we use mostly for beer and soft drinks. We had to empty it out for some of the produce because it didn't fit in the big fridge. Look! I'm back on the horse lol...I bought another pork shoulder after I kind of messed up the last one! I'm going to take the advice you guys gave me about cooking it! :)


I have a maple syrup obsession! I hoard it and I fully admit it! We love the pure stuff :) And when it's on sale, I snatch it up. It's the season, the cans go for $5 right now and they are usually double that price. We use maple syrup as our main sweetener and I currently have a store of 18 cans! 


I should have taken before/after shots of the fridge and deep freezer...on Sunday night it was appetizer night, actually, it was empty the freezer night! We had ribs, bbq chicken drumsticks and baked potato skins with cheddar and bacon. The ribs were in a box that has been in the freezer for at least 10 months! For the chicken drumsticks, I follow this recipe: Honey BBQ Wings. This is the best recipe I've ever used for wings and drumsticks! For the potatoes, I follow this recipe: Easy Potato Skins. Though we were out of sour cream, I used Ranch dressing instead. Not quite the same but yummy! My boyfriend makes his secret BBQ sauce for dipping too, he says he just "wings it"...but I know he uses Montreal BBQ chicken sauce and some rum...though I can't reveal the recipe since I don't know it!


I'm so grateful that I thought about preparing some food on Sunday. When I got home on Monday all I wanted was a white wine spritzer with some baguette and Brie...that's kind of our tradition. We munch on that while we're unpacking! And a special treat, I got a big pile of shredded Prosciutto from the deli counter. My favourite lady was working there and she shaves the meat so thin it falls apart, it's mostly all gone as I type this!


Sunday afternoon I made all the fixin's for Chicken Pot Pie and Mac and Cheese. I figured it would be so easy to put it all together and not have to stress about cooking dinner.



We didn't even bother with plates, lol...we ate out of the dishes! The only thing I forgot to do was the breadcrumb topping on the Mac and Cheese, oh well! We have leftovers for tonight too, which again, I'm so happy about because I'm wiped out! But I will make sure to add the topping this time :)


Everyone is tired after I go shopping :)


Except for the four cats :)...Charlie is at it again. We leave our bedroom patio door open when it's milder weather so that the three cats can hang out on the screened-in veranda...but Charlie thinks she's a cat too and she was up on the shelf with them. My boyfriend had a hard time lifting our 64-pound squirming Husky down. She was resisting but we have to keep insisting she doesn't jump up on things, we're afraid if she jumps down herself, she'll hurt her legs.


After spending the morning in bed drinking coffee and watching Disney movies, we had a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato for lunch. Mmmmm!


Black Diamond cheese was on sale this week :) I spent about an hour labeling the cheeses, the meats and anything else I need to keep reserved. I label "ok" on food that is a free for all! And my pride and joy, my 6-7 week meal plan:




I had to keep in mind the holidays and special food I'm making. I also had to remember to get some Easter chocolates for April 16th! (Which are now very well hidden!) :) In the end I have SIX leftover nights. The last time I did grocery shopping was January 23rd and I saved a lot of money in the end because I'd planned and shopped for 4 weeks, and it turned into nearly 7 weeks worth of food that I had. I'm saving about $100 in gas per month now that I don't have to do the bi-weekly shopping. It's a wonderful plan if you can get yourself really organized. If I didn't have my lists and labels, I'd be lost!


I'm done for the day though, tomorrow I'm going to re-organize the cupboards, fridge and freezer and redo my inventory list. I also have a "to do" list that I need to put into my calendar. Things like "make ricotta for tomorrow's pasta" and "start bread for tomorrow's dinner". I also have a list of things I want to bake. I'm going to look through my dessert cookbooks and Pins tomorrow to, and add to the baking list :) Now it's time to sit in bed and read about 4-season gardening until dinner! 

22 comments:

Deena said...

Wow! Amazing job!

Mama Pea said...

Rain, you have got to be the most organized person I know! You inspire me. I find I don't have to be so organized in the winter when it comes to food and meals, but summer is when I'm outside nearly all day, every day and that's when I HAVE to have good meal plans and my freezers stocked with our "convenience" foods. (Man cannot live on garden salad alone! Although when the garden is producing we always have one big salad a day.) The pictures you take of food always look sooooo good! Stop it! Stop it right now! You're making me irrationally hungry every time I read one of your posts!

Rain said...

Thank you Deena :)

Rain said...

Thanks Mama Pea! Don't you know I am part of a secret conspiracy to fatten y'all up? Lol...I'll admit something, after I burned out at work, my anxiety has gotten to bad levels, and since I quit all pharmaceuticals, I try to manage with natural remedies and exercise. It does work most of the time, but when I'm making dinner, I noticed the anxiety got higher...thus probably the food sticking more often. I was trying to find a way to reduce all that stress and this is working, lists, labels and organizing. It's bedlam for a few days each 6 weeks or so, but after that...aaaaah. I can breathe (and eat) easier! For the summer, I want to try to make more freezer meals though. If we can still afford the boat, we'll be fishing a lot and I know myself, I won't want to cook after a day on the lake!

Harry Flashman said...

You have done really well to store so much. Does your power go out much up there? If so, here's a cautionary tale. We moved to the mountains in 1986. That winter we had a big snow storm. The power was out for more than a week. We had two large freezers full of food. I carried everything out and buried it in the snow. But the next morning, it had been dug up and was all gnawed and torn open. Possums, raccoons and coyotes from the tracks. We lost it all as we dared not eat it for fear of disease. We have a diesel generator to deal with issues like that these days.

Nicole Thomas said...

U are superwoman !!! I am happy to see your first month went so well ...
No way would I ever be able to plan all this and bring it to perfection like u do ... or I would have to just quit sleeping ;)
This is awesome and a little intimidating ;)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

That pot pie looks wonderful.

Your list is outstanding!

Kristina said...

I hope my meal planning can be that organized when my kids all move out. That's a lot of planning.

Susan said...

You are amazing, not to mention a fantastic cook with a wide and mouthwatering repertoire! Everything on your menu list made me want to pack my bags and come visit! I'm on a once-a-month plan which works. Mostly. I don't enjoy grocery shopping on Saturdays, so paring it down makes for a lot less stress. That picture of Charlie on the shelf is hilarious, but I know what you mean about his jumping down. I'm grateful that Bertie and The Pepperoni have such short legs and that Lovey is not fond of heights.

Rain said...

Hi Harry :) Actually right now we are renting a cottage in a little mountain village, it's leaning towards a retirement village because of the elderly population...so Hydro does put a priority in this area when the lights go out. We've never lost power for more than 6 hours at a time, if I'm remembering correctly. Gosh, I'm sure that was a horrible thing for you, not just losing power for a week, but also losing all of that food. I lived through the January 1998 ice storm in this area, most people had no power for weeks. I was living in downtown Montreal (Quebec) and had no power for 6 days, it was very scary and a good lesson. We don't have a generator right now, but it's one thing we will be purchasing when we buy our property in a few years because that ice storm terrified me. The price gauging...the cold...the shadowy people around the door...never again! Right now I'm really using the deep freezer, but next spring I intend to get a pressure canner for better preservation.

Rain said...

Hi Nik :) Superwoman lol...I know you're more spontaneous, but that's just not in me when it comes to the meals and shopping! I get too stressed about it, this way works so well and I intend to keep it up...I have lofty plans of not even going grocery shopping all winter one of these years, I think that might be TOO lofty a goal though! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Starting Over :) I love that pastry recipe, I've made fish pies and beef pies with it too!

Rain said...

Hi Kristina :) You'd be surprised how easy it actually is. When I first started this in November last year, I didn't know where to start. But then I just decided to leaf through the flyers, see what was on sale, then look through my cookbooks and plan from there. It does take me a few hours for 2-3 days but I don't rush it at all, it's pretty relaxing for me! The hard part is labelling and organizing the food after!

Rain said...

Thanks Susan :) Ha ha, that's funny about you wanting to pack your bags. I posted my list to give ideas to people. I remember a time when I was so bored with our meals, I couldn't think of new and delicious food to make so I started browsing blogs and websites for ideas and it really does help (plus I'm suggestible lol...if I see a pizza on a blog post, I'll be making pizza very soon after!)...our food is based on COMFORT, though I try hard to throw in fruits and veggies where I can! I feel bad for you that you need to shop on a weekend, I think that would depress me too much honestly. I go on Mondays or Tuesdays (I have the time to so I'm lucky) because the crowds cause me too much anxiety. I wish Charlie wasn't fond of heights!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i am a maple syrup hoarder too! this saturday is the first sugaring off for the season so we will be up in the mountains hunting down the shacks and adding to my hoard! i still have 3 gallons left from last year plus tons of smaller containers! i'll be making hundreds of pancakes next week for the after school kids. it's their favorite treat each year!

Rain said...

LOL Joyce, it becomes a sickness...hoarding maple syrup...I never have enough, always looking for more, always hoping for specials...we go sugaring off yearly as well, it's a nice little tradition and lots of fun! There are so many maple trees in our neck of the woods, but I don't have the equipment, otherwise I'd definitely be tapping some trees to feed my obsession lol...

Yarrow said...

Ohmigosh! I love this post soooo much. I'll have to be as organised as you when we move house in the summer. We're moving away and there will be only little local shops so I'll be heading to the big supermarkets once a month. My biggest problem is always pet food as my lot are a picky bunch and it's hard to bulk buy for them. I make a lot of their food and freeze it (I do put clear labels on it all, lol ).

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.xxx

Yarrow said...

ps. I'm really hungry now ;) x

Rain said...

Hi Yarrow :) You know, I utter a sinister little giggle when people say my posts make them hungry hee hee...I used to homecook for the 3 dogs too. But Marlene, our nervous little husky mix, has a lot of digestive issues, and she is prone to UTI's. When we got her, she had so many issues, including crystals in her bladder, so we had no choice but to put her on a vet diet specially made for that problem. So we switched the other two dogs to kibble too. I would much prefer to make their food though! I think if you have a deep freezer and lots of cupboard space, it's doable for the once a month shopping. Who wants to drive to town more than that anyway right? I have a few local shops here that I'll visit during the next 6 weeks, but just for lettuce, herbs I'm missing, milk and tomatoes. My biggest challenge was the water though. We can't drink the water here so we buy jugs. I refill 6 each time and so far we've still had to go back out to get more. We're trying to figure out a better solution for that. There are deliveries, but they are twice the price.

Rain said...

..oh and I'm also lucky that the pet store delivers for orders over $65. So once a month or so, I get the kibble and the cat's food delivered for free. I buy the vet diet food for Marlene in the huge bags that last 2 months. Otherwise, I really don't think I could fit everything in the car lol...I'd need a roof rack or a trailer for grocery shopping!

Yarrow said...

I'm so inspired by you that I'm going to try and make my meal plans. I have a lot of food in the freezer and cupboards to use up, so I'll plan around that and only buy fresh veggies to go with it, although my biggest problem is that I live with two fussy young adults!!! xx

Rain said...

Hi Yarrow! It's just my boyfriend and I and he can be a little fussy himself but mostly he loves what I make for him! When you add kids to the mix, I know they're fussier! After Christmas, I went on a pantry and freeze challenge of my own and I pretty much emptied the deep freezer out, we had some very interesting and unique meals lol...it's good to do that once in a while though because I personally forget what's in there sometimes!