Grocery Report, 2017: Week 12

I bought some of these groceries the day before my surgery, and the rest my husband bought.  Next week, he’ll be on his own as I still can’t drive or walk on my foot.  I have a feeling he’ll do better than me, so maybe we can eek by this month under budget.  Fingers crossed.

Details of Our Grocery Reports

One of my goals this year is to lower my grocery bill and be more cognizant of my spending.  I spent a lot of my Christmas break watching YouTube videos of bloggers who have an uber frugal grocery bill each month.

Let me be clear–that’s not what you’ll find here.

Our family of 5 chooses to eat mostly organic produce and grass-fed and pasture-raised meats.  I’m Paleo, my daughter is semi-Paleo, and the rest of us are gluten free.  Everyone except my husband is dairy free.  We also don’t eat beans because we’re currently intolerant to them.

My husband and I set a goal to keep our monthly grocery budget in between the USDA Thrifty and Low Cost Plan.  That is currently $784.70 for the thrifty plan to $1,058.30 for the low cost plan.

Even though our monthly grocery expense is our highest expense after our house payment, I’m choosing to share it here for two reasons.

First, I’ve scoured the internet for grocery reports from people who follow a Paleo diet or a specialty diet due to food allergies and intolerances, and no one seems to be sharing.  I’d love to know what others on particular diets buy and spend when it comes to their groceries.

Second, I want to hold myself accountable so that we don’t go over our budget.  Plus, I want to find new places to buy my groceries that will help reduce our overall cost while still letting us buy the best food for our bodies.

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support!

This is what we bought this week:

US Wellness Meats – $119.86

After this order from US Wellness Meats, I’m stocked up on meats for the first few weeks after surgery.

Vitacost – $31.31

We don’t have much in the way of quick foods for breakfast at our house since we can’t/don’t eat cereal or oatmeal.  I found some Brown Rice Farina on clearance at Sprout’s several months ago, and the family liked it.  When Vitacost ran a 20% off sale, we stocked up.  It will be easy for my husband and mom to make while I recover from my surgery.

Costco – $53.20

They were giving out samples of corned beef.  Bookworm really liked it, and when I asked the price, the man said, “$5.99.”  At that great price, I snatched one up, but at the register I realized my mistake–$5.99 a POUND!  That was a costly mistake, but the family did like the corned beef.

Sprout’s – $16.22

Pederson’s – FREE

Bookworm wrote Pederson’s Natural Farms to tell them how much we love their Paleo-approved bacon, and they sent him all these treats as a thank you!

Fry’s – $18.22

Natural Grocers & Sprout’s – $29.19

Total for the Week: $268

Week 11 Total: $182.34

Week 10 Total: $437.61

February Total: $1,068.39

Week 9 Total: $281.39

Week 8 Total: $238.48

Week 7 Total: $235.91

Week 6 Total: $312.61

January Total: $1,060.06

Week 5 Total: $75.69

Week 4 Total:  $132.29

Week 3 Total:  $684.53

Week 2 Total:  $115.50

Week 1 Total:  $52.05


Homeschool Review Crew: Bessie’s Pillow by Linda Bress Silbert

If you read many of the book reviews on the blog, you know that I love reading books about World War II.  When the chance came to review Bessie’s Pillow: A Young Immigrant’s Journey published by Strong Learning, Inc. I jumped at the chance.

About Bessie’s Pillow

Bessie's Pillow

Bessie’s Pillow is written by Linda Bress Silbert, Bessie’s granddaughter.  From the minute I started reading, I loved this story.  It is engaging and captivating; I read it in three days and would have read it faster if I didn’t have obligations, oh, like homeschooling, cooking, laundry, and other such mundane chores.

The story opens with Boshka, an 18 year old girl from Lithuania, saying good-bye to her entire family–four brothers and her parents–as she prepares to board a boat to travel alone to the United States to start a new life.  She is escaping from the Russian occupation of Lithuania and the poor treatment of the Jews.  The year is 1906.

When Boshka lands and makes her way to Ellis Island, the inspections officer says her name will never do.  She must have a new, more American name.  He chooses Elizabeth, a name Boshka can barely pronounces.  When she meets up with her friends, Miriam and Lou, who have already immigrated to the United States, Miriam insists her name should be Bessie.

Bessie is strong-willed and spirited.  Though Miriam’s brother, Lou, has no issue with supporting both Miriam and Bessie until they get married, Bessie has other ideas.  In a time when most women did not work, Bessie seeks out a job.  Not only does she work, but she has a strong head for business.

Homeschool Possibilities

Bessie’s Pillow is an excellent book all on its own.  However, it also has great homeschool (and book club) possibilities.

At the end of Bessie’s Pillow, there is a final section, Bessie’s America, which is an 18 page guide covering important topics that occurred during the span of this book (1906-1936).  Topics include Immigration Resources, Famous People, Food and Recipes, Health, and many more.

For a more interactive experience, you can go online to Bessie’s America and find plenty of useful resources including videos on the topics covered.

This book could easily be the focal point of any number of different unit studies for those who prefer that method of learning.  It also enhances history or social studies lessons.

What I Liked about the Book

I loved the way the book was written and how it captivated me from the moment I started reading.  I also liked that unlike most World War II stories, this was a story not so much about Bessie’s escape from Lithuania, but about building a new life for herself in a new country without her family.  Imagine the bravery of traveling far from family, to a new land where you don’t speak the language.  Bessie does this, and she creates a successful life for herself.  Hers is a true rags to riches immigrant story.

Yet life was not easy for Bessie.  She had many challenges thrown her way, but she overcame them all.  This is a story about a very strong woman.  We can all learn from her example.

A Word of Caution

Because this book deals with difficult topics such as racism, rape, conscription, and violence against Jewish people, I wouldn’t recommend this for children younger than 7th grade.  Having said that, these difficult topics are treated in a tasteful way in the book.  While they are a part of the life Bessie lives, they are not the main component of the book.  Bessie’s strength and resolve in the face of adversity is.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

Strong Learning, Inc.

Keep up with Bessie’s Pillow on social media:

Twitter  @BessiesPillow

I was one of 90 people to read Bessie’s Pillow.  To read more reviews, click on the link below.

Bessie's Pillow {Strong Learning, Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

FYI: As a Homeschooler, You’ll Likely Be Judged

When we first started homeschooling in 2013, I was nervous and excited.  What I didn't expect was the judgement that went along with the territory.  I had a librarian tell me how much she disliked homeschooling.  I had people at the grocery store … [Continue reading]

Homeschool Review Crew: Creating a Masterpiece

In our homeschool, art is a subject that we try to give ample time to.  All three of my kids love doing art, though they prefer it in different ways.  Some like to just create on their own, while others like to learn from a specific art … [Continue reading]

Deep Under Cover by Jack Barsky: A Book Review

Every night, my husband and I watch a show together.  For some time, we were watching The Americans, a show about a Russian couple who come to America and are spies yet are fully integrated into their American lives. This post contains affiliate … [Continue reading]

Grocery Report, 2017: Week 11

Today's the day!  Foot surgery day!  This is my last week of shopping; I tried to stock up so my husband and kids have all that they need for fresh foods for at least a week.  I also have the freezer full of meals, so for the next few weeks, I'm … [Continue reading]

Homeschool Crew Review: Circle C Stepping Stones Books 1 and 2

We were first introduced to Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow's delightful books chronicling the life of Andrea Carter (Andi), a girl who lives in California on a horse ranch in the late 1800s when Bookworm and I reviewed Thick as Thieves two … [Continue reading]

Homeschooling Offers the Time for Imaginative Play

There were several reasons why we decided to homeschool, most importantly because we lived in an area with poor public schools and we didn't have the money to pay for private school for three kids. We decided to homeschool for a year and see how … [Continue reading]

My Goals for 2017: February Update

  Here are my goals for the year: Read 52 books and blog about them.   Done in February! This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support! In February, I read and blogged about 4 books, 1 was a young adult book, and 3 were … [Continue reading]

Shepherd, Potter, Spy, and the Star Namer by Peggy Miracle Consolver: A Book Review

This year I've been trying to read books from a variety of genres.  This review is for a book in a genre that I do not typically read from.  However, based on this book, I may be reading more from this genre! This post contains affiliate links. … [Continue reading]