What We Bought and What We Ate, The Week of August 17, 2016

So, I’ve decided to do something different–keep a record of what we bought grocery-wise and what we ate.

Just for information, we’re a family of 5.  Our kids are 12, 7, and 6.  The 12 year old eats as much or more than my husband.  We’re all gluten free.  I and one of my daughters are following a Paleo diet.  My other two kids eat very limited dairy and eggs and gluten free grains.  My husband can eat anything he wants (lucky him!), though he doesn’t complain about avoiding gluten and dairy at home.  As much as possible, we try to buy grass-fed meat and eat organic veggies and fruits.

Based on the USDA Cost of Food for June, 2016, following the thrifty plan, our groceries should cost $790 a month.  But our months vary based on our budget.

This month, we only had budgeted $661 for groceries.  Before the 17th of August, I had already spent $468.03 on groceries, which leaves me with $192.97 for the rest of August.

This week I made four shopping trips–to Costco,  Sprout’s, Basha’s, Trader Joe’s and Natural Grocers and spent $134.99.

Natural Grocer’s – $3.70

organic baby bok choy (not pictured)





Basha’s & Trader Joe’s-$43.15

(not pictured–two bags of gluten free pasta, three bags of organic riced cauliflower, and one box of turkey patties)


We ate the following meals:


Lunch–leftover spaghetti and broccoli for the kids, turkey patty, sweet potatoes, and broccoli for me.
Dinner–rotisserie chicken, carrots, and broccoli



no idea!


Lunch–leftover spaghetti squash mixed with Jamie Oliver spaghetti sauce and leftover ground beef and greens (only one child was thrilled with this meal, but they all ate it)
Dinner–Taco salad


Lunch–a variety of leftovers including sweet potato fries, regular fries, Turkey Sweet Potato meatloaf, some of the spaghetti from yesterday, and broccoli
Dinner–Paleo Chili


Lunch–Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Dinner–Beef & Bok Choy Soup & sweet potato fries


Dinner–Yikes.  I don’t remember!


Lunch–Turkey patties, broccoli, potato chips (for the kids)
Dinner–Tuna noodle casserole (for the kids and my husband).

For more menu planning, visit Menu Planning Monday and Celiac Family.

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar: A TOS Crew Review

Jolly Phonics ReviewI never had to teach Bookworm to read.  He went to preschool and was a fluent reader before kindergarten.  However, Cuddle Bug and PB & J Girl both had speech delays, and I found that I wasn’t able to make good progress teaching them how to read until they had been in speech therapy for a few years.  Now, they’re each on the path to reading, but I still look for products to help strengthen their reading ability.  Two of those products came from jollyliteracy.com:  Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar.  These are excellent products from just2ducks LLC.  Both of my girls enjoyed them.

IMG_8225Members of the Crew received two different lines from Jolly Literacy: Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar.  We received the following items:

  • Jolly Phonics Teacher’s Book in print letters
  • Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, 2 and 3
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher’s Book in print letters
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book
  • Jolly Songs in print letters

About Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics is suitable for children just learning phonics as well as those learning English as a second language. Jolly Phonics teaches the phonic sounds in a fun, multi-sensory way. For instance, when learning the “t” sound, students are instructed to say the phoneme while turning their head from side to side like they are watching a tennis match and saying, “t, t, t, t.”  Cuddle Bug has never been to a tennis match, but I have, so I explained why spectators’ heads go back and forth when watching the match.  She thought it was funny and laughed every time she made the “t” motion.

Each lesson is fairly short, which helps children with short attention spans like mine.  Another thing that my daughter and I both found encouraging is that within the first few lessons, students are sounding out and blending words.

Jolly Songs includes a book and a CD so students can begin to sing about the phonemes they have learned.  The verse for “T” is:

When I watch the tennis game,


/t/-/t/-/t/. . .

. . .when I watch the tennis game,

my head goes back and forth.

About Jolly Grammar

Jolly Grammar is the next stage in the program after completing Jolly Phonics (in roughly a year). Jolly Grammar helps students learn proper grammar as well as specific spelling rules to help children expand their writing.  Students are given spelling lists (with a more challenging word as the last word in the list of 10), take spelling tests, and do activities such as unscrambling sentences and using the appropriate capitalization and punctuation.

Our Experience Using Jolly Phonics & Grammar

IMG_8226I used Jolly Phonics with Cuddle Bug, and she loved it!  We’ve finally found a good reading program that Cuddle Bug likes (after trying three programs!), so I kept using that program, but I used Jolly Phonics as a supplement.  Cuddle Bug loved that there was so much physical movement with Jolly Phonics.  She liked to make the motions for each letter, and she also really enjoyed that the lessons are short.  She never complained about doing this program.

IMG_8227I used Jolly Grammar with PB & J Girl, and her experience was different.  At first, she really enjoyed using the program, so much so that she always wanted to race ahead and do more than one day’s work per day.  I let her do this for the first week.  Then I discovered racing ahead wasn’t such a good idea.  She needed time to absorb the spelling words and practice them.  She needed time to learn the more challenging word that appears at the end of the spelling list.  However, by the time I realized this, it was too late.  She was already frustrated with the program.  This is entirely my fault for letting her race ahead.  Plus, I think Jolly Grammar might be a bit too difficult for her at this point.  I’m putting the curriculum aside to come back to in a few months when she is a stronger reader.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I highly recommend this program as a fun way to teach your children phonics and grammar.  I’m guessing all children will like this program, but it will especially appeal to kinesthetic learners.

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

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I was one of 40 Crew members to review these products. To read more reviews, click on the link below:

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

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