New Beginnings…….

Fresh start to a new month…..and the best part is that my food budget is “full” again!! I love it! Every month I shop at Costco, Whole Foods & Publix. As the month is winding down & ending…I sometimes start to run out of staples in my pantry.

This is when I start constructing my food list for the following month. I know I’m bizarre in that I actually like doing this…I find it FUN!  I divide my list up into the 3 stores & also into 2 paychecks (1st and 15th). To further assist in sticking to my budget, I assign prices to everything so I can keep tabs on how much is being spent for staples. This allows me to see what I have left over for good deals on meat and the best part…..treats…..a few new food items to add to my kitchen!

Last night I was able to get to Costco ON MY OWN….without my normal entourage (my 3 daughters ages 19 months, 6 and 10). It’s amazing how much easier it is ALONE!

New ingredients to MY kitchen:

President Natural Crumbled Feta Cheese
The infamous NUTELLA
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese imported from Italy
MaraNatha natural Almond Butter
Coleman all natural gourmet Italian Parmesan Chicken Meatballs
(no antibiotics or hormones)

I’m SO excited!! Though I’ve had Feta cheese before in a Greek salad…I’ve never bought it. Brought it home, tasted it….wow…talk about FLAVORFUL, TANGY and GOOD!! I’m excited to have this for my salads & any other dishes I want to add it too. I don’t like what I call “stinky cheese” and this definitely was not it.  It was moist and salty, and afterward it seemed as if I’d eaten a spanish olive.  Ken liked it as well.

and GASP….I’ve never had NUTELLA before. WOW!! Can’t believe what I’ve been missing. And the girls are getting ready to have it for the first time today. They are in for a treat!

We try to eat as “clean” as possible, so I try to feed us hormone and antibiotic-free meat. I usually get my meat from Whole Foods or Publix Greenwise meats, which they sell at our regular Publix. Costco has started getting more and more organic meat. Though I like making my own meatballs, I am excited to try something quick and easy like these Coleman chicken meatballs. We already LOVE their hot dogs which are nitrate and nitrite free, all beef. 

I had never had Almond butter and had been wanting to try it. It’s everything I thought it would be. Yummy!

And of course the Parmigiano Reggiano…always too cheap to buy it. Well I planned it into my budget this month, and am very excited about it. I’ve heard just a little bit packs a bunch of flavor, and this huge block should last me all month. Are there any secrets to how I should store it?

Still need to get to Whole Foods and Publix in the next 2 days. Can’t wait to have my kitchen fully stocked again & make some new creations! I also can’t wait to get some food pictures up on my blog. That is my favorite part of the food blogs I read. Stay tuned….this is a work in progress. I am working 3 nights at the restaurant this week, but I do hope to share some of what I am cooking & creating this week.

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4 Responses to New Beginnings…….

  1. Robin says:

    Great blog, Denise!! I've never tried Nutella before. Too afraid since I've heard how delicious it's supposed to be. I'll end up eating way too much 🙂 Can't wait to see more recipes.

  2. Peg4Jesus7 says:

    Um, I've had Nutella once before, I think … I blocked it out of my memory because it was waaay too good/tempting!

    I LOVE Feta! I put it into all kinds of salads. If you like Greek food, and lamb, I have a delicious crock-pot recipe that calls for lamb, spinach, Feta, lemon juice (all at Costco), oregano and orzo (I've also used quinoa).

    I have always been disappointed with almond butter, I find it too sweet. Not bad, but just not what I want when I want peanut butter (since a lot of foodies are against peanut butter … molds or toxins or something). But I recently tried sprinkling a little salt on it and it was much more what I was looking for.

    I'm very impressed with your budgeting … a skill I need to learn!

  3. Helen says:

    I'm from England – we love Nutella over here! On toast for breakfast, in a sandwich as a quick snack for kids, cut the top out of a chocolate cupcake, put a spoonful in and pop the top back on – delicious! Have just clicked on your blog, so haven't read much yet, but it looks really interesting.

  4. moonglowgardens says:

    Awesome! I totally dig Costco. Waiting for them to carry saffron and truffle oil again.

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