Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm going to assume you're genuinely interested

... is what I wrote to my sister when she asked about my grocery spreadsheet.

For a few months now I've been keeping a spreadsheet of our expenditures - grocery and household mostly. This all started because I was tired of wondering how much we were spending, on what, where was the better deal and so on and so on. Here's what I've developed thus far although I feel some tweaks in the future.

*push glasses up bridge of nose*

In my spreadsheet, size is almost always in ounces except for with green onions, peppers, diapers, etc. For us I also put tortillas in eaches because we only buy the same kinds ever - one for G, spelt or rice for me. I also made a "calculator" I drag down the side with my work. Produce and deli are almost always measured in pounds and I just needed to make it easy for me. The other tool I use is a digital kitchen scale. Last weekend we bought onions at Grocery Outlet, 4 in an unmarked green mesh bag for a fixed price. However, since onions usually go by the pound I weighed them for a true comparison. (Only Super Nerds have digital kitchen scales.) One thing to keep in mind - the weight of some deli items are only marked on the sticker attached to the item itself, no other details on the receipt.


Purchased Item Size Price Store Date Cost per ounce
Almond breeze 64 $ 2.99 Albertson's 8/9/2009 $ 0.047

Cost per Ounce is the only actual formula in the spreadsheet = Price/Size.
My handy calculator mentioned above is rudimentary: Pounds x 16 = Ounces Change the value in the pounds field and the equals field calculates the equivalent.

1.82 16 29.12

My handy spreadsheet helped verify that we're getting the best price on formula. Similac Iron Shield or something was on sale at Amazon, 19.79 for 24oz (forget the actual size). I plugged in the data and compared it to Costco - Similac was about twice as expensive. I know, Similac Iron Fist is primo baby formula but g isn't picky thankfully.

The other important organizational tip is to enter items as noun, adjective adjective. This way all the onions get sorted together when you go to compare data.


Spice, Onion dehyd
Soup, Cream of Chicken
Sausage, ground Johnsonvlle
Pineapple, cut fresh
tomatoes, diced Del Monte

Also, instead of getting up from my computer to go check weight on each item, I finally got even smarter (is that possible?) and started writing on the receipt then entering it all at once. After a while it's fun (for nerds) to go and sort the sheet by purchased item and compare where we get the best deals. It's just ridiculous to see something we bought at Costco or Grocery Outlet for HALF the price per ounce of Albertson's. For produce though, taste is a factor. G doesn't really care for the flavor often found lacking in Grocery Outlet/Dollar Store produce. I understand his position but ... I really like the deal. Now if I could just get G to go to Grocery Outlet *before* the regular grocery store we'd be saving even more.

g is almost 1! We're spending his birthday in Seattle with family. Prior to my mom's most recent round of chemo they had planned on coming down here to celebrate. With the latest diagnosis our plans changed. And quite honestly for the better. All the aunts and uncles are up there. G and I are our own family down here - we'll make the trip to see the clan. I'll have pics when we return!

(WIP made the photo - argyle baby blanket for g's cousin-to-be)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Socks: Then and Now

Wow - what a difference 10 years makes!

Blue sock: My very first sock (whoa check out that shaping). Scratchy, self-patterning yarn, slouchy, sloppy pattern. It was fun to knit at the time.

Pink sock: The beginning of a sock resurgence. Soft, soft warm cozy socks. They could use a less complicated pattern to showcase the beautiful colors but I'm not going to be picky.

Yes, the socks are short. I happen to like shorter socks seeing as how I live in the desert. However, I was more worried about making it through both socks with enough yarn. I think I'm going to work on toe up socks from now on.

I'm not particularly fond of the dark diagonal stripe and the dark big toe.
If I don't focus on it I don't see it.

Just the right length for warmer socks.
My next pair will probably hit just below the ankle bone.

My favorite part - plain old stripes :)

g matched the big sock so well I slipped it on his entire leg. Of course the over-the-knee design hindered his crawling. It didn't last long but I managed a pic.

With as big as it looks in comparison to the pink sock you'd think it would fit like a paper bag. Funny how it looks a little full but mostly normal. REALLY funny that I washed both socks over the weekend and the blue sock *doubled* in size. If we stay in town this weekend I'll try to shrink it with some hot water and maybe an extra hot tumble dry. Incredible.

Here's the famous Chair Pusher at work!

He's been taking a few steps here and there. Usually three steps, four today. Soon enough. I'm going to put down "Hi" as his first word. Sounds more like Ha or just H but in conjunction with the wave I think it's official. Less than 2 weeks for until our Seattle trip! Hopefully we get a San Diego trip here real soon, too.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In the Kitchen

A few weeks ago I received my 35lb bag of spelt flour from Azure Standard and I've been baking and cooking ever since. To kick off the nearly gluten-free baking were M&M cookies. Since then it's been loaves of bread, cake and pancakes. I pre-made a big batch of mix.

The M&Ms were a cheap find at Grocery Outlet so naturally I put them to good use. Spelt flour doesn't have as much of the gluten as most recipes count on so to make up for that I added arrowroot flour. They turned out like real cookies!

Here's little g about a month ago. His hair looks short now with as much as it has grown! He'll turn 1 at the end of the month. He is so cute to watch ... learning, exploring, problem solving ... crawling in circles chasing after the dogs ... waving hi to *everything* ... tentatively shaking his head no ... trying new foods with only an initial shudder of surprise ... So cute!

As for the food for g though he started reacting to the jarred foods. Bananas fine, bananas in a jar not fine, rash. I have no problem making up his food - steam, food processor, spoon into ice cube trays. I get all that taken care of on the weekends and we're good for the week.

Yummy yummy fresh raspberry lemonade. My sister found perfect ice cube trays in a clearance bin - they make perfectly square ice cubes - and so thought of me. Not exactly sure why but I love them so she was right on :) The yarn here has been mostly used up in the Argyle Felted Pillow (rav). Finished last week and ready to go with me to Seattle to felt. Two more weeks!
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