WEEK TWO: Great Cupboard Cleanout!


Aw man, we had a ROUGH weekend. All four of us came down with an AWFUL stomach bug. Gannon started on Saturday afternoon, then me on Saturday night, then Carver Sunday morning, then Craig on Monday.

We were all vomitting, Craig and I couldn’t even walk across the room without feeling like we were going to pass out, Gannon and I both had fevers up to 102, and then the boys both finished it off with a cough and runny nose. It was AWFUL – I felt so terrible in fact, I subjected myself to COVID testing (which was negative of course) but I felt WAY worse with this bug than I did with COIVD.

I cannot wait until the kids are grown and can make it to the toilet, our laundry pile still isn’t caught up yet, our poor washing machine is in overdrive trying to keep up, no surface was safe. Not to mention I was home alone with the boys on Sunday while Craig (still feeling well) was in the field and I could hardly walk around the house let alone clean up after them. At one point, the boys were only allowed to sleep with towels because we were out of clean blankets. I have so many pictures of Gannon because he wouldn’t let me put him down! He was so fussy.

Anyway, all that nastiness to say we are BETTER and everyone is back on track! It was extremely contagious and all the daycare families are sick too – I know several friends and family who have also been hit with the stomach bug in the past two weeks.

So I’ve been slacking on the blog posts which isn’t good considering I’m coming up on a four day work weekend stretch. Just wanted to let you know I’m here, I’m alive, and I missed yesterday’s grocery update so I thought I’d sneak it in this post!

My Mom (Jo from Jo’s Country Junction) and I were talking. Both of us agree that we really need to use up what is in our kitchens. Too often we buy groceries,  then put them away putting everything in front of the stuff that was already there. Here is a link to my post about it: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/the-great-cupboard-clean-out/ and my mom’s post about it: https://www.joscountryjunction.com/a-challenge-straight-from-the-kitchen/

Week 2 Update: I stayed within my limits – I only spent $59.95 at my Walmart grocery pickup. I LOVE using grocery pickup when I’m on a budget because I can audit my cart before I order – I ask myself “do you really NEED this?” “are you going to use it THIS WEEK?” I eliminated about $30 worth of items by asking myself those questions.

My splurge was these 48 ounce containers of Starbucks Iced Coffee – for the total of ONE Starbucks drink, you can pre buy Starbucks iced coffee in a little jug and I get about 4 nights of work out of the one jug. I’ve only been able to find it at Walmart. If someone has a better way to make iced coffee at home (it just doesn’t taste right when you make it hot and chill it) please leave a comment and let me know!

And then I went overboard…Kayla and I went to what we call “Amish land” to the discount grocery store. Some days I go and I think to myself, “Why don’t I get all my groceries here?” and some times I go and I think “What a waste…” It totally depends on stock and seasons. Well, Kayla (my sister) and I went down (about a 30 minute jaunt) and it was a GREAT DAY! I wish I would’ve taken better pictures about what I got but I’ll give you a rundown.

I got these three huge boxes of food for $140. This includes a 10 lb bag of french fries, a 10 lb bag of chicken strips (really good chicken strips) two 5 lb bags of shredded cheese, 8 sticks of butter, 2 head of cauliflower, a bunch of bananas, an 8 pack of gatorade, several boxes of fruit snacks, breakfast bars, boxes of crackers, hamburger helper, mac and cheese, 5 lbs of corned beef, 2 big packages of string cheese, I could go on. Needless to say, it was an AWESOME day and I’m glad I went! We needed snacky foods for the boys when we are on the go.

When I told some people at work that I shop in “Amish land,” they thought it was unsanitary! I had no idea why and I had never heard of this stereotype! I’ve been shopping with the Amish for as long as I can remember and I’ve never questioned the sanitation or the cleanliness. Apparently this isn’t the case in some places. I’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences and I look forward to my trips down south.

Anywho, that’s my grocery update for the week! I added instead of subtracting to my stock of groceries. BUT my grocery budget is much tighter this month than it has ever been. Maybe mom should focus on her inventory problem and I should focus on my budget problem during this cleanout!

Check out mom’s week two update here: https://www.joscountryjunction.com/kitchen-challenge/

I know some of my readers are doing their own form of a cleanout, how is that going? Leave a comment!

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  1. April 28, 2021 / 1:46 pm

    I think you are doing GREAT on your grocery challenge, Kalissa! You had money left over from the first two weeks of purchases to offset the Amishland shopping extravaganza. The good deals more than make up for the extra money spent! Your Mom shared about that nasty stomach bug. Here’s hoping you and yours are all on the mend!

    • Peggy
      April 28, 2021 / 9:17 pm

      I used to buy Starbucks iced coffee in the bottle but now I make my own. I think the secret is to brew your coffee stronger than you would if drinking hot. (Invest in a large crowd size coffee maker – can make up to 24 cups). When coffee has brewed allow to cool. Add your favorite creamer, I like Walmarts hazelnut. Add additional sugar if needed an chill, add ice if desired. Occasionally I will buy flavoring syrup which enhances flavor too. Quality of coffee makes a difference too.

      • thepinkshoelaces
        May 1, 2021 / 3:04 am

        that sounds so good!

  2. Joy
    April 28, 2021 / 2:18 pm

    My son & daughter in law goes to the E&S store in Shipshewana,, Indiana. That is a whole Amish area with a great bulk food store. Plus there’s other fun things for them to do there with their family. Great quilt stores too , wink wink.

  3. Carol
    April 28, 2021 / 2:26 pm

    I saw a video this week on Pioneer Woman’s page where she made a big batch of coffee for iced coffee. Looked easy and delicious

  4. Kim J LeMere
    April 28, 2021 / 2:29 pm

    I have shopped a few Amish markets and found some are better run than others and it really is hit or miss with items. You got a great haul for the buck. I continue to clean out the cabinets and its been some interesting meals here. I don’t usually make pork chops with taters but this week we had a wild rice dish instead since I have a 2 lb bag of Minnesota wild rice to use up. Groceries for two last week was just under $30. I so glad you are all feeling better, that bug sounded awful and contagious.

    • thepinkshoelaces
      May 1, 2021 / 3:05 am

      Good WORK! Love it!

  5. April 28, 2021 / 3:11 pm

    The BEST Iced Coffee: Make a pot of coffee. Stir in 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. Store in refrigerator. Try it – so good!

    • thepinkshoelaces
      May 1, 2021 / 3:04 am

      THANK YOU! I’m going to get this!

  6. Bonnie Lippincott
    April 29, 2021 / 8:59 pm

    Do you have a Trader Joe’s anywhere near you? I’m not sure how wide their reach is. But, they have a condensed Cold Brew Coffee bottled on their shelves (as opposed to the refrigerator section) that I really like. You add water and make it as strong or weak as you want. The bottle keeps in the refrigerator for weeks.

    • thepinkshoelaces
      May 1, 2021 / 3:03 am

      I wish we had a Trader Joes! The closest is probably Rochester or Iowa city! Maybe I’ll have to stock up the next time I go.

  7. LolaZo
    April 30, 2021 / 11:57 pm

    Not about this post…but I a fact I learned tonight after a discussion about cilantro with my son. Did you know for some people cilantro tastes like soap. Turns out scientists found it goes back to a certain gene in some people. It tastes like soap to Eric.

    • thepinkshoelaces
      May 1, 2021 / 3:02 am

      I have NEVER heard that before! I put cilantro in everything!

      • Ginny Clyne
        May 4, 2021 / 1:53 am

        It tastes like soap to me.

  8. sewhappy
    May 1, 2021 / 10:22 pm

    I have shopped at some Amish stores. I think the ones people are talking about might be ones on farms, and they see the little ones running around enjoying themselves on a hot summer days with no shoes on. I will continue to enjoy my visits to shops on and over the farms.

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