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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Author: On a budget
Or, how Aldi's is helping me send my daughter to college. 

There's just the two of us and, although i don't think i spent a lot of money on groceries, i tended to buy what I wanted and went out to dinner when i didn't feel like cooking. 

Enter tuition bills. 

I cut back on cable services and cell phone services. Raised the thermostat a degree on my air conditioning. Those helped with a few dollars, especially the cell phone. But i needed to take more drastic measures. 


There are a few blogs out there about food plans at Aldi's but most of them are done seasonally. Although there are a few meals I'd eat over and over, sometimes I want a little variety, too. 

This is my 2nd Two Week Plan. The first one went well, but I didn't have all the numbers so I couldn't write the blog. However, I spent $100 and got 14 dinners, 14 lunches, and 14 breakfasts for two people on it. Definitely a lot of money saved. 

This week

What I bought:

  • 12 pk diet coke
  • 1 box of mini eclairs
  • frozen broccoli
  • frozen sweet peas
  • blue multi grain tortillas
  • red cherries (a splurge)
  • snack chip combos
  • applesauce
  • 2 chocolate bars
  • loaf of sourdough
  • hamburger buns
  • box of cereal
  • box of pasta
  • veg oil
  • stuffed tortellini
  • vidalia onions
  • 5 yogurts
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • yellow squash
  • onion rings
  • dozen eggs
  • avocado
  • bacon
  • blueberries
  • english muffins
  • 2 bags of shredded cheese (it was on sale)
  • baby portobella mushrooms
  • evaporated milk
  • ground beef
  • a large pizza

What I spent: $82.00

the menu:

Breakfast varies, but i usually have a boiled egg, an English muffin, and some fruit. My daughter will have an egg or cereal depending on her mood. 

Lunch varies but generally a Pb&J, a bag of chips, a yogurt, and a can of soda for me. 


  • Burgers and Crowns (last week I bought the 15 bag of frozen patties. these are your friend and will last multiple weeks) include some bacon and avocado for a delicious feast
  • Cornish Game Hen and roasted potatoes ( Hen has been in the freezer for a while and i bought a bag last week. again. potatoes are your friend when your money is tighter than your need to avoid carbs)
  • Chile and black beans over rice (yum)
  • nachos (2nd half of the avocado goes here)
  • black bean burgers and grilled yellow squash
  • pork chops, mac n cheese, and applesauce (chops were from a family pack purchased and in freezer)
  • tortellini and garlic bread (from hamburger buns)
  • Pizza
  • eggs and bacon for dinner
  • French toast
  • pasta and grilled veg with cheese
  • Pasta Carbonara (put bacon here)
  • left over Pizza (it was pretty big!)
  • grilled chicken (from a previous shopping trip) rice and beans
That's 14 meals X 3 meals a day X 2 people = 84 meals

or, less than a dollar a day to feed us for 14 days. If you don't think that's impressive, I'm not sure what will impress you. 

As you can see, i've also included desert - a brick of chocolate or 2 mini eclairs. I make unsweetened green tea to drink and an occasional can of soda. A little less than 1/ day for two weeks.

Yes, some of my ingredients were things I already owned. I'm sure most of us have food in their freezer. The point is to work with what you have and run with it. 

If you'd like to know any of my recipes or cooking tips, let me know. I'm always happy to share my limited cooking knowledge with people. 

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Entering Catawba Indian Reservation
All visotors are subject to laws and ordinances of the nation.

Today I took a road trip down to the Catawba Res in Rock Hill, SC.  It's the only res in South Carolina and per the 2010 census, there were 841 people.

In every article, though, it was all about the pottery. Pottery? Okay, I know we have very clay-like soil here in the south east, but wasn't there anything else?

And then i Pottery. That's it.

The Catawba pottery traditions have survived for over 6,000 years.  That is thousands of years before anything found by the Anasazi in the Southwest.

But what struck me is the Iswa pottery tradition has been passed down within the Nation parent to child continually.  Their tradition survived contact with Europeans, several international wars, several inter-Indian wars, centuries of economic and cultural stresses, and the introduction of modern technology such as the potter’s wheel. In spite of (or maybe because of) those outside influences, their pottery tradition has remained one of the oldest and purest art forms of its kind. There has never been a period in time when this tradition ceased to exist.

Think about that. Parent to child. Generation to generation for six thousand years without end.

That is humbling. So much of my family traditions are gone generation to generation. Perhaps that's true on a personal level among the Catabwa. But each child is connected to each other person in their tribe through pottery.

Now, I'll admit, when i first saw pictures of the pottery, i wasn't amazingly impressed. It's a distinctive dun color with black smoke marks on it. No patterns like the Anasazi. No southwestern colors. But, like many things, once you look past the lack of flash, you see beauty in its unadorned simplicity.

And once you hear the stories, you fall in love. For example, several pots have heads on them. It's a representation of King Hagler, the Catawba Chief fom 1748-1763. He was killed in an ambush by the Shawnee and brutally murdered. 254 years later, they are still honoring their fallen chief.

How many Americans can ever remember the names of all 44 presidents?