So I'm in the midst of making my own bread and scheming to do away with all things processed. I've so far made a couple of white loaves and three wheat loves. Hubby likes the bread except for one thing: he doesn't think they're great for sandwiches because they crumble. A quick check of google offers a few suggestions. My wheat recipe calls for all-purpose flour and wheat. They suggest using a bread flour instead of the all-purpose and a white wheat flour for the whole wheat. I've seen bread flour so I may try that. It also suggests using vital wheat gluten in the mix too. I haven't seen that, but I'll keep a look out should my bread flour idea not work out.
Besides the bread, I also plan on making soda bread on St. Pat's Day and a couple of loaves of banana bread. The goal is one week I make two regular bread loaves (once I perfect my bread making techniques) and the other week it's fun baking stuff like sweet breads and cookies and brownies and well... you get the general idea.
Also I finally got around to blanching and freezing my fresh asparagus that was on sale and I'm still in progress over freezing my eggs. I bought a flat of 5 dozen medium size eggs for 3.99. Hubby looked at the enormous amount of eggs and asked how we were going to eat all those before they went bad until I told him that I had plans to freeze them. Freeze them? Won't their shells crack? I explained that you crack them, scramble them, and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then pop em out and put them in zip locks. Take two and dethaw in fridge and you have one whole egg. Easy Peezy. And saves money.
I got about half the ads for the week (some come in on Monday and the rest on Tuesday). So far there's a deal on milk at Safeway (in my area). And I'll have to price compare the meats, but there doesn't seem to be anything that stands out. The apples appear to be on sale, but I haven't confirmed since I haven't received all the ads yet. That price book comes in handy. You can't trick a person's memory with that thing nor can you throw one over by the wording in the ads (because you have to do math).
Also discovered that my local Mexican grocery store sells stuff for cheap. I call it Mexican because it's bi-lingual with Mexican tunes broadcasted, but there's a lot of people who shop there who aren't Mexican. This particular store is close to campus so one can imagine that a lot of the people who shop there are college students. Mexicans tend to make stuff from scratch and so the produce is super cheap. Although the garlic was from China the vast majority of the produce was Mexico or America (with some Chilean peaches and grapes thrown in for good measure). I came out way under budget, which made me a very happy camper. Hubby told me I should shop there more regularly although their dairy (besides the soft cheeses) and convenience foods (like Hubby's cereal) is dismal. I did find it funny though when one of the stockers asked me if I needed help and I asked him about the advertized sugar and he told me to look in the Mexican aisle. Really? There's a Mexican aisle in a Mexican grocery store. It's definitely stuff from Mexico and more Mexican than my Whitey local grocery store. It came complete with an entire section of devotional candles (which I should check out but am not sure it's worth it with the toddler being rambunctious).
To give you an idea of how inexpensive they were, the eggs were 6 cents an egg (whereas the lowest price I've come across is 7 cents for large eggs). The 5 lb bag of sugar (or was it 4) was 1.99. The carrots 19 cents (3 lbs for 99 cents). The bell peppers were 3 for 99 cents. The roma tomatoes were 99 cents a pound. I bought three for 45 cents (and HB took a bit out of two of them as soon as I brought them home *sigh*). The avacado was 3 for 99 cents. The onion was a steal 8 lbs for 96 cents. I bought five of them for 29 cents. The grand total of my grocery bill (minus my trip to get yogurt at another store) was 74.02. Did I mention that normally it's something like 120 a week?
As for my plan to eliminate all processed foods, phase one is underway (ie make my own bread). Obviously there is some grumbling, but not full on mutiny. Phase two to make Hubby's lunch and therefore cut out his regular use of hot pockets, sandwiches, chips, and soda has proved successful. Hubby has only grumbled once about "the rabbit food." He did however decide to jump ship and bought himself a couple of sodas (grrr). And I did buy a bag of chips or I feared that I would have a full on mutiny on my hands. Slowly. Slowly. Phase 3 will be to eliminate Hubby's processed cereal. He will hate me for it because it's where he gets most of his fiber content. So I've been researching alternative natural ways to add fiber since these over processed cereals add fiber to the food (which I've recently read isn't a good way to add fiber to your diet). So avast, yea, me hardies. I will soon be looking into ways to (gasp) make cereal. Wish me luck so that me plan will be successful. Arg!