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Good Morning! Hope you are doing well today. I have 3 days until the first of family begins to arrive. This week's menu will be bigger than my usual due to the extra people to feed.

I've been planning not only dinners but breakfast and lunch as well. Breakfast meals will be simple. I'm serving yogurt, fruit, muffins, bagels & cream cheese and I'll have cereal available. I plan on doing a couple bigger breakfast meals too. Breakfast sandwiches for one and waffles and scrambled eggs for another.

Lunches will most likely be leftovers or sandwiches. So there's not a lot of extra planning for those.

My menu this week:

Monday: Chili – I'm making a batch of chili in my IP for the two of us. I'll serve salad along with chips & salsa

Tuesday:Leftovers

Wednesday:Turkey wraps, orange slices, pasta salad

Thursday:Family is arriving and I'll be making pulled pork sandwiches (in my IP) and serving them with coleslaw, pasta salad and chips

Friday:More family arriving and dinner will be Lasagna (which I've already made and it's in the freezer), salad, french bread

Saturday:All the family will be here and extra guests will be arriving. We'll be having a big BBQ. The menu so far is: Steak, burgers (mostly for children that don't want steak), potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelon and other fruits, veggie tray and dip. Dessert will be simple, maybe cookies or ice cream

Sunday: We'll be having a taco bar.  I'll have a variety of taco trimmings along with crunchy taco shells and soft ones.  And extras like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and hot sauce.  Everyone can fix up their tacos to their own desire.
 

Now to get my final grocery list made and get ready to do some shopping the next day or two.


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This week was another spendy week for groceries. With my upcoming family gathering I'm getting extra food in the house. It's not every year we can get most of the family here at the same time so we're celebrating. :) Aside from our children and their families we'll have a few extra people here who wanted to take the opportunity to stop and see everyone. My meal planning is based on that.

In any case, the first stop was Winco....


I got the regular fruits and veggies. I didn't need any greens for salads because I had spinach, romaine and cabbage still in the fridge. I purchased the typical items such as milk, half n half, chips and cookies. I bought olives for the pantry because they were on sale and 2 cans of spaghetti sauce and lasagna noodles. I bought 2 large boxes of taco shells as we'll be having a taco night while my out of town kids are here.  And a box of onion soup mix for making dip.

And we'll be having a lasagna night so I picked up 5 foil lasagna pans...


I do include the lasagna pans in my grocery budget as they are food related.

I purchased a can of Comet. I buy very few cleaning products as I mostly use vinegar for cleaning but I have a few things I use Comet for..



I don't include cleaning products in my grocery budget as that goes under household supplies.

My total for Winco was: $35 (rounded up)



Next stop was Costco and this was the expensive stop. It sometimes seems to me that the Costco haul can look small but cost a lot (especially this one)! 

 

I was out of olive oil so I picked up a 2 pack. It's a lot of oil and with only the 2 of us I might have to worry about it going rancid except for the fact that I also use it for making soap. It's the best deal I can find on olive oil, even lower quality oil (that could be used for soap making) is more expensive than this. I get a total of 6 liters of oil for $33.99, making it approximately $5.70 a liter.

I also purchased a box of granola bars, 4lbs of butter and two large containers of cottage cheese and 5lbs of mozzarella. Those last 2 items will be used to make the lasagna.

The Kings Hawaiian dinner rolls are my favorite. I don't buy them often but when I do it's always from Costco as it is the best price on them I can find here. I got 2 – 16 roll packages (32 rolls total) for $4.99. I used one package of them for making sliders when my grandchildren were here, as I'll show you at the end of this post. 


The BIG expense was another package of steak. This one was rib eye and again I cut it up myself (as I showed you in a previous post) because it was the best price. I'm not saying it was inexpensive, just the best price I have been able to find, which was $9.49 a pound. It's the first time I've seen it around here for under $12 a pound.





This of course will be part of what we serve for the family BBQ. And I'm sure we'll have steak left in the freezer after our big day. It will be the last of my steak purchases for quite some time now, I'm confident we have enough to enjoy a few BBQ's later on in the summer.

I also picked up a bottle of shampoo...




I don't include this with my grocery totals as it is budgeted under personal items.
 

My total for Costco was: $224 (rounded up)


My Grand Total for the week was: 
$259


******************************************


Turkey & Cheese Sliders

These are so easy and quick to make. I used turkey lunch meat, but you can use whatever lunch meat you would like or is your favorite. I also used provolone cheese because it's what I had on hand. Again use your favorite type of cheese. The options are endless.

I was making these primarily for my grandchildren, so I didn't add anything else to them. But, you could add sliced onions or peppers or your favorite sandwich toppings.

You'll need a package of dinner rolls, lunch meat, cheese, a little butter to brush on the tops and your favorite sauce for sandwiches (mayo, mustard, ranch, etc..)

Slice the dinner rolls in half and lay the bottom half in a baking dish. I had 16 rolls and it fit well into a 9x13 pan. I sprayed the bottom of the pan first with a little coconut oil spray to prevent sticking.

Lay slices of lunch meat and cheese over the rolls in the pan...



Drizzle with your favorite sauce (I used ranch dressing)..




Put the tops of dinner rolls on top..



Melt a couple tablespoons of butter and brush over the tops of the dinner rolls.


Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so, until the tops are brown and the cheese has melted.

I apologize for not having a finished product as my grandsons were here and quickly ate them all up :)..

I served them with chips and strawberries




That's all for this week's Grocery Haul!
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Good Morning! I hope you all are having a great week so far. Last week I started writing my WSS and then the day took a different direction and I wasn't able to finish it and get it out.

Hubby and I had no plans for the 4th of July. We were going to have a little BBQ and relax. I got a text from one of my sons asking if he and his girlfriend could come up and then shortly after that I got a text from my youngest daughter asking if her and her boyfriend could come up. Of course I said, “Sure!”. So I pulled out more meat to put on the BBQ and the kids said they would bring the side dishes. I also grabbed the last frozen pizza dough in the freezer and got that defrosting. In the end we had quite a nice spread and too much food :). I struggle to cook for two people but give me a bunch of people and I'm in my element.. ha, ha. But the kids took food home with them so it all worked out in the end..





Yesterday was a fun day, we had our grandsons over for lunch, a little swimming in the pond and tractor rides. We all enjoyed the day so much..




Grandpa not only gave the tractor rides but also taught our little 10 year old grandson how to drive the tractor. My grandson thought that was very cool.. 


 



Goals
In a little over a week I have a big family get-together happening. There will be 7 out of 8 of our children here with their families. Only my daughter Emily, who lives in California and just had a baby, won't be able to make it. She is still in the new baby phase and traveling with a baby and a toddler is overwhelming to even think about. I told not to worry, we all understand. Nonetheless we will have a big crowd here for several days. In preparation for this, today I'm planning on making a few lasagna's for the freezer. I also bought some more steak as we are planning on a steak BBQ for everyone and I need to cut that up and get it in the freezer.

Besides kitchen work I need to do a little housekeeping..

~wash a couple loads of laundry
~sweep/mop floors
~vacuum

If I have time and energy left, I'll go upstairs to my guest rooms and start getting them freshened up.


For the Love of Books!
Something about the busyness of summer makes reading a challenge for me. I'm still making my way through Oliver Twist and I finished reading the book of Acts in the Bible.

I think the fall and winter are better suited for reading.. what about you?



Steps, Steps, Steps
Steps have been hit and miss. Most days I can get over 5000, I've had a few days of 7000 and over and a couple 10,000 step days.

I keep thinking when life settles down again I'll get back into my walking routine. But the way this summer has been going, it may be a bit challenging! :)



View from my Deck
It's simply a beautiful morning! The sun is shinning and it's warm out. Hubby is already out and mowing. 

 


Today's High: 88 Low: 59


That is all for this week! Hope you are having a fantastic week!

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Good Morning! I hope your week is off to a great start. I have a big family gathering starting in a little over a week. So my mind and plans have been on that. This week I'm keeping the menu super easy. I'm hoping to get a few meals in the freezer this week to help out when people start arriving, and I want to focus my time in the kitchen on that.

Last night I made some Costco orange chicken, a few potstickers and some noodles for our dinner. I still have some of that left. I may make a sub sandwich for my hubby to go along with this and of course we'll both have a salad.

The rest of the week is looking like this..

Tacos
It doesn't get much easier than tacos :). I'll serve them with all the typical trimmings and tortilla chips and salsa on the side.

Chicken Salad
I plan to marinate my chicken in the Olive Garden Italian Dressing I purchased last week. I'll then either fry it up or grill it. I'll make a big salad with lots of goodies in it and slice the chicken into strips and serve on top. French bread will be served on the side.

Meatloaf
I have one more frozen meatloaf in the freezer. I'll serve this with tater tots, roasted brussel sprouts and a salad.


I'm pretty sure this should do it for the two of this week.

Happy menu planning! :)
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This week has been on the busy side for me. I had a few people here for the 4thof July holiday and didn't have enough time to get Wednesday Snap Shot out. It will be out next week.

My grocery haul this week was a big one. I have a family get-together coming up in a couple weeks and will have a lot of people here for several days. So I started this week to stock up on a few things in preparation for this.

The first stop this week was Fred Meyer. I don't normally shop at Fred Meyer but my hubby needed a couple things there and I had seen that they had T-bone steaks on sale for $5.77 a pound which is a bargain around here. So I picked up 3 packages of them...




The whopping grand total for the steaks was $71


Next stop was Winco...

The fruits and veggies were the basics.. lettuce, spinach, cabbage; both red and green, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers. I picked up some apples and bananas. We still have oranges from the big box I got last week at Costco.


Next was a few items for the pantry and freezer...



Hamburger buns (for the freezer), olives, green enchilada sauce, macaroni, and I picked up some steak seasonings in the bulk department. It was their version of Montreal Steak Seasonings.

I also got a large can of pineapple juice and I'll tell you why in just a bit.


And finally...



Milk, half n half, yogurt, cheese slices (provolone and colby), some frozen brussel sprouts, broccoli and tater tots (the store brand).


My total for Winco this week was $50



The last stop was Costco..


I picked up lunch meat, bacon, mayo, tortillas, a 2 pack of french bread, and my hubby's pub mix (a snack mix) and mixed nuts that he likes to take to work.

I also had a few other items that will be set aside for out get-together. 
I love this salad dressing! Ranch will always be my all time favorite but Olive Garden's Creamy Italian is the runner up. So I picked up a 2 pack...



The sliced pickles will be for burgers (when my family is here)...


And I picked up a couple cans of drink mix...



The Gatorade is an amazing deal. The can makes 9 gallons in total. The cost of the can was $8.99. A 32oz bottle of Gatorade can run anywhere from .75 cents (when on sale) to over a $1 a bottle. The can is the equivalent of 36 - 32oz bottles. A deal no matter how you look at it! I have sons that drink Gatorade so figured this was the best way to have some around when they are here.


The other can is Country Time Lemonade powdered mix. I have plans for this with the pineapple juice. I found a recipe online (HERE) for making pineapple lemonade. I thought it sounded refreshing and would be a hit with my grandchildren. I'll still need to pick up the Sprite that the recipe calls for on my next shopping trip.




Total for Costco was: $93


As I said this week was a big haul. I've spent most of the year under budget. Plus I'm planning on having around 25 people here for at least over the weekend and some will be staying longer then that. When all settles down, I'll be back to a more normal haul for just the 2 of us :).


Grand total for groceries this week:

$214 (all numbers rounded up)

**********************


Super Simple Fruit Salad



I love how simple this is and how flexible it is. You can use whatever kind of fruit you want or what you have on hand. When I made this I used what I had, from fresh, frozen and canned.

I chopped up 1 apple (I left the skin on) and 1 orange. I also used 1 cup of frozen blueberries and 1 can of pineapple tidbits.





As I said, the recipe is flexible, use whatever fruits you like or have on hand. I never measure I just judge how much fruit salad I want as I'm making it.

I mix all my fruits together and then add a container of vanilla yogurt...





And it is ready to go... it's that simple. If you make a large salad you might need 2 containers of yogurt. And you can use whatever flavor of yogurt you would like. I like the mellow taste of vanilla best but any flavor works.



That's all for this week's Grocery Haul!
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Good Morning! It's a new month, a new week and a new menu plan! :)

Tonight my plan for dinner is Italian sub sandwiches. I have enough pepperoni and salami left from making pizza for these. I'll add tomatoes, lettuce mix, onions and some sliced pepperoncinis to our subs and top them with mozzarella cheese. On Saturday I made a macaroni salad and we have some of that left to go with our sandwiches and I'll make a simple fruit salad with oranges, apples, pineapple (canned), and blueberries (from frozen) and use yogurt to combine it all.


The rest of the week is looking like this..


Salmon w/garlic lemon butter sauce
The name sounds fancy but the recipe looks easy and good. You can find the recipe HERE. I plan to serve rice and a salad for a simple dinner.



Steak BBQ
We have no big plans for the 4th but we thought a steak bbq would be fun. We'll have garlic bread and a cesar salad on the side. My version of cesar salad has no anchovies or raw eggs :). I make my own dressing with mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and lots of garlic.



Brats and Potatoes
When we bbq the steak I'm also going to bbq a few of the brats I recently bought to have on another night. I'll serve them with potatoes of some sort. I haven't figured out yet just what kind.. but I'm leaning towards potato salad. It tis the season of summer foods. I'll also serve a green salad with this.


That should do it for us for this first week of July!
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Good Morning! My grocery haul post is a day late. I was going to get it out yesterday but then Friday seemed to take on a life of its own! So here it is today.

I shopped at both Winco and Costco this week. My first stop was Winco...



I picked up some apples and bananas along with a few veggies; cabbage, cucumber mushrooms, tomatoes and a package of spring mix lettuce. I also got eggs, half n half and a bottle of italian sweet creamer. I don't use creamers a lot but since it's non dairy it will last a while. It's nice to have the option occasionally and to have it when people come to visit.

Also I picked up some things for my little kitty...



But I don't include those items with my grocery total as they are budgeted under “animal” expenses.

The total for groceries from Winco was: $16.00




My next stop was Costco..



It was only a few items. I picked up a 13lb box of oranges. The cost of the oranges was $12.99. We eat a lot of them so I thought I'd see if we can get through a whole box before they go bad. I put about half of them in the fridge to last a little a longer.

I also bought a bag of potato chips, a bottle of ranch dressing, 5#'s of Tillamook cheese and a package of Evergood brand Hot Links. I really like those sausages and can't find them at the Costco I normally shop at. I was at a different Costco and saw them and picked up a package for the freezer. I also bought some brats. They are yummy cooked just about any method. Putting them on bbq is one of my favorite ways to cook them and since it's summer I figured it would be nice to have them in the freezer.

The total spent at Costco was $61.00


Grand total for this weeks groceries was (all totals are rounded up):



$77.00




Soon I'll be doing a weekly average.

************************************


Nutrition Packed Breakfast Smoothies


I've posted about smoothies many times. I love them because they are so easy to make and depending on what you put them super nutrient dense. I also love them in the summer for a quick energy boosting way to get a healthy meal in when you don't want to cook.

The key to getting lots of nutrition from a smoothie has to do with what you put in it. If you only put fruit in, it's a waste of a good opportunity :).

Here are a few things I like to add to my smoothies..



 The little bowls on the left have chia seeds and hemp hearts (I use about 2T of each). Both of these are high in protein and nutrients. Plus very high in fiber. The bowl on the right in the back has Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (20 oz) - Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed, Hydrolyzed - Paleo, Keto, Whole30, Gluten-Free (affiliate link). This is a natural source of collagen which is a great easily digestible protein. It dissolves easily, is tasteless and 2 scoops will give you 18 grams of protein. The product you see in the picture is my new favorite. The collagen comes from grass fed, pasture raised cows. On top of the great source of protein it is also wonderful for your hair, skin, nails, joints and bones.



In the last little bowl on the right I have a few mixed nuts (¼ cup approx) that I'll add as well. These are a great source of natural fats and a little more protein too.

I most often use nut milk for my smoothies as I still have issues with too much dairy at one time. This is my favorite brand..




I combine all this in the blender with a few frozen strawberries (any fruit would work) and I forgot to get the oats in the picture (I add a couple tablespoons of dry oats)...


Finally I add a few handfuls of spinach (you can also add a sweetener of your choice, I usually do not but if I do it's honey)..




Blend it all up and enjoy a delish tasting and nutritionally packed smoothie!


That's all for this week's Grocery Haul!

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Good Morning! It's been a whirlwind of busyness in the last couple of weeks for me.  My daughter Emily was due to have her baby on the 22nd of June and we figured she'd be late so we're thinking our trip down to see her would be more towards the end of June or beginning of July.  

The biggest reason we all felt she would be late was because all my daughters that have had babies have been late just as I was with my babies.  My latest baby was 15 days late, Hannah's latest baby was born at 44 weeks.  A week to 2 weeks late seems to be the average that runs in the family.  Emily's first baby was 2 weeks late.  

So when Emily called me bright an early on the16th of June and said she was in labor it was a big surprise.  I told my hubby as soon as he got home from work.  He got some sleep (he works nights) and when he got up we packed our suitcase and loaded up the car.  I was not able to be there in time for the birth as little baby Weston came about 3:30 in the afternoon.  We left our house at about 6:30pm and drove straight through the night.  

We got to the hospital around 6/6:30 am and met our newest little baby...

  




He weighed  6lbs 13oz and had a head of dark curly hair.  We were instantly in love with little Weston Truong.  Such a sweet little bundle of blessing from God and a beautiful little family.



We stayed for 3 days and helped out with their oldest while they were in the hospital and I was able to make 6 meals for her freezer to help her out when dad goes back to work.  

Her oldest, Raylan, was not quite sure what to think of his new little brother.  His emotions ranged from happy to confused.  





 Now almost 2 weeks later he's adjusting very well..






We are home now and I do believe our travels for the summer are done and we are focusing on our life at home once again.  It's possible we may make another trip to see them in the early fall.  We're not sure quite yet.



Goals
Today my goals are spending a day in town with my daughter Sierra.  We did this a couple weeks ago and had a lot of fun. We decided we need to do this more often.  So we're going to do a little shopping, get our cup of coffee and probably lunch as well.  



For the Love of Books!
My unexpected travels got me off track with my reading again.  I'm slowly getting into my daily groove and will start up my reading soon. 


Frugal Living
The only frugal thing I have to share with you this week is taking our own food with us when we do our little road trips.  We'll have an occasional meal on the road but fast food gets old, real fast.  We made sure to pack fruit and nuts and a few other snacks that were at least on the healthier side.  It's better for us and saves money. 


Steps, Steps, Steps
Yesterday my daughter Hannah came with the grandkids and we got out and took a nice 2 mile walk.  I made my step goal by the end of the day and that was nice.  Getting back into my walking groove is also on my list.  



View from my Deck
Summer is taking its own sweet time getting here.  We've had beautiful 90 degree days and then the next day it's 72 and cloudy and overcast.  I know it will start up in full swing soon. 

I was happy this morning to wake up to sunshine.  

 
Today's HIGH: 73   LOW: 52


That is all for this week! Hope you are having a fantastic week!


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Good morning! I hope your Monday is off to a great start and you're ready to tackle a new week. Menu planning is something I've done for years now. It's a big help to me to know what I'm cooking in the upcoming week and to make sure when I grocery shop that I have all the needed ingredients on hand.

Yesterday I made some Cream Cheese Mexican Chicken (I'll be sharing the recipe later in the week). I served it over brown rice for our dinner. I have enough leftover for us tonight. I'm going to serve it in tortillas tonight for chicken tacos.

The rest of the week is looking like this..

Pizza
Last week I picked up some pepperoni and salami to make homemade pizza. The last time I made pizza I made enough dough for 3 pizzas. I used 1 and put the other 2 in the freezer. So I'll pull 1 of those out to make our pizza. I'll serve a salad on the side.

BBQ Pork
I have a pork shoulder roast in my freezer that I want to use and pulled pork in the Instant Pot is the simplest way to use it. And it tastes good! I'll have enough to serve one night as pulled pork sandwiches and another night I'll serve it on it's own with tater tots and a big green salad.

Chicken Chow Mein
I found THIS recipe recently that looked good and easy to put together. I often purchase a large bag of frozen stir-fry veggies from Costco. I'm going to use those to make this meal even easier to put together. I have frozen pot stickers in the freezer that I'll serve with this and a green salad.


I'm pretty sure this should do it for the two of us this week.

Happy menu planning! :)


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Good morning/afternoon! We are back from Sacramento and getting into our regular life groove again. I'll share all about our trip and new grandbaby next week. We left Sacramento very early in the morning and were able to get home in time to stop and pick up groceries. It's about a 12 hour drive home and my brain was not in grocery shopping mode so I ended up forgetting a few things :). But nothing we can't live without until next week.

Our first stop was Winco...



I did remember to pick up the half in half, ha, ha.. I know my priorities, I must have it for my coffee. :) I also got milk, cereal, tortilla chips, oranges, tomatoes and cookies (which I'll put some of them in the freezer to last longer). Over on the right side of the picture is a small bag of pepperoni and a small bag of salami. I had pizza on my mind and picked it up from the deli.

I also bought a salad kit for our dinner that night when we got home. Unfortunately I was not thinking far enough ahead to get more greens for later in the week. I was happy to see when I got home that I still had spinach that was good and a little romaine lettuce that had survived our absence. And I have cabbage, so I know we'll be fine on the fresh veggies until next week.

In the picture I also had some deodorant that I bought but I don't count that towards my grocery budget. That is budgeted under "personal items". So the total does not reflect that purchase.

Winco Total: $24.00 (rounded up)


While I was in Sacramento I purchased food for my daughter to make her some meals for her freezer before I left. I'm not counting that as part of my grocery budget because that is budgeted under, “gifts”.

But we did pick up a couple items for us and I did not get a photo of those. We purchased apples and bananas and that total came to $3.00. We snacked on those while we were on the road.

Total for both Winco trips: $27.00



After Winco we went to Costco...


This trip I spent more than typical. I purchased 2 big cans of coffee (one regular and one decaf as my hubby drinks an equal mix of both). I got a big package of sub sandwich rolls (if I don't make pizza I wanted to make Italian subs), mixed nuts and Pub Mix that my hubby takes to work in his lunches. In my tired state I forgot to include a box of coffee pods in the photo..


I also purchased a frozen bag of wild caught salmon and a big ol slab of steak.



This is uncut New York strip steak. It's bbq season and I like to have steaks in the freezer. I'll show you below how I deal with this. By buying it uncut and cutting it myself I saved $1.50 a pound.

Our total Costco total was: $203.00

Since I've gone most of the year buying very little meat and our overall budget was low and we did a big restock of coffee, this grocery total was not a huge shock.

*****************************************************


One Pot Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken Tender Skillet
(Recipe Review)

I seriously loved this recipe! It was so easy to put together and had a huge amount of flavor. 

You can find the recipe HERE.


I started by cutting up my chicken, onions, pepperoncinis and measuring out the red peppers.





I cooked the chicken and onions in a little avocado oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, Italian seasonings and garlic..




When that was cooked I added the chicken broth, whipping cream and parmesan cheese...




I stirred it around to combine it all and added the pepperoncinis and red peppers. 

 
I served it with angel hair pasta and a salad. I loved how it went together so quick. 

The pepperoncinis and the jarred red peppers gave it a slightly hot taste so if you're not a fan of spicy and hot, go easy on them. I would not leave them out because I think they added a ton of flavor. So simply taste and adjust to your own liking.

I give this recipe a 2 thumbs up!

****************************************************************


Now for dealing with that slab of steak. It's really pretty easy. You do need a sharp knife or the job will torture.

I got out a couple of my cutting mats, removed the meat from the bag it was in and started slicing off steaks. You can do this according to however you like your steaks; thick or thin.






After they were all cut I wrapped each one in plastic wrap. I do this so I can easily pull out just the amount of steaks we want at each time..





Then I put the wrapped steaks in freezer bags and put them in the freezer..



It took me about 30 minutes to do all this and clean up. Well worth the savings and now I have 17 steaks in my freezer for either Tobin and I or I can pull out extras when we have company this summer.



That's all for this weeks Grocery Haul for Two!





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