A Week’s Worth of Groceries Link-up!

Have you ever stopped and taken a good look at what your family consumes over the course of a week? One photographer did and it inspired me to host this link up so we could too!

Are there any unhealthy foods that seem to be sneaking in on a regular basis without you even realizing it?  Do you think you consume more or less than the average family of similar size?  If you had to guess off the top of your head, do you think you’re getting enough fruit and vegetables in your diet? We can answer all these questions and more if we take a step back, and look at everything our family will actually consume in a week.  I thought it would be fun to do a link up so that we can take a peek into what other families are including in their diets as well.  My hope is that this will be a tool for you.  How you use that tool is up to you.  Maybe you will realize you would like to do more meal planning.  Maybe you’ll be pleased with how little you waste.  Maybe this will allow you to take one baby step towards eating a little healthier.  Most of all I hope we all have fun with it!

The guidelines:

There are no hard and fast rules, just do your best to meet these.


1.  You don’t HAVE to post a picture of groceries fresh from the market…just a picture of what you consume in a week…if it’s all in your house already…Yay! You don’t have to shop to participate!  However, if you do decide you need to shop, please make sure you include as much as you can, and if there is something in excess or that is missing from the picture…just make a little note of it.


2.  If you eat out during the week on a regular basis, or is you plan to eat leftovers from a meal, make a note of it so we get a better idea of how the food is being “spent.”


3.  Try to be authentic.  No one is here to judge, and none of us are perfect.  So, don’t go changing everything you normally buy just for the sake of a picture.  I promise I won’t judge you for buying a package of Oreo’s if you don’t judge me for feeding my kids Fruity Pebbles. :)


4.  For the sake of clear, easy to visually assess pictures, try to put tall items in the back, and try to group like items together.

5.  Visit the site of the person that linked up before you.

6.  Please link back here in your post. :) Feel free to use the picture above in your post.

Here’s what  a weeks worth of groceries looks like for my family of 6.  Our family consists of 2 adults, and 4 children ages 7, 5, 3, and 2.  We shop once a week.  We try to avoid processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, soy, artificial dye, and artificial preservatives.  We’ve been going over budget lately, which puts our grocery budget at about $380-420 a month.  I’d like to get it at a consistent $350.  For the most part I make all of our bread products, and we eat a good amount of fresh fruit and veggies.

I don’t always buy organic milk, this was our second week trying it…it’s been on my list to switch to for a long time, but I had to cut back the amount of milk that we drink first.  Organic milk was a bit of a flop for us though as the quality of the kind we got was poor and it did not have a good taste.  For now we are opting for local milk that is not organic, and is pasturized, and is from grass fed cows that are hormone, antibiotic, and gmo free.  The milk is tasty and I feel it’s a good alternative “baby step” for the time being.  If anyone is local, the type of milk we drink now is “Crooked Creek” brand.  The “Pure” brand milk in this photo was very tasty, but I only bought it because I had a great coupon and it was on sale.  Even though it taste’s good I would not pay twice as much for milk that is essentially no different than anything else in the store, just filtered differently.  We also drink a lot of water throughout the week, and not included in the picture are about 2 dozen fresh eggs from our chickens and ducks.  I will share my menu, and a more detailed budget soon! Most of the processed foods you see are for my husbands lunch.

I also snapped a quick picture of our groceries in the cart when we shopped last week.  I wanted to share it because I noticed that the cart looks rather empty compared to what you might be used to if you eat more processed foods simply because they don’t take up as much room in the cart.  I just thought that was a neat way to gauge what types of food you might have in your cart.

I just think this was such a neat, and fun exercise and I can’t wait to see what all of you post!

If you want some help trying to eat healthier, and budget better check out the e-book Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne Simpson! (If you follow this link I will get a modest commission from the sale that will help me keep writing here and providing for my family.  Check out my full disclosure for more info.)


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Life Happened

Well, I’m sorry to say, life happened and I got busy on this holiday weekend.  I got caught up spending time with my hubby that I haven’t seen nearly enough lately.  So, will you please give me some grace, and come back and visit me tomorrow for the “Weeks Worth of Groceries” link-up?  Thank you for your understanding, and I hope you will join me tomorrow!

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Easy and Delicious Bread and Butter Pickles!

You’ve got to try this awesome, real food, snack!  They would be perfect to whip up for a barbeque as well!

Photo Credit: Recipe Girl Blog

Last summer we had a decent cucumber harvest from our meager garden.  My kids love sweet pickles, so I was trying to find a recipe for those, when I stumbled upon these.  One thing I particularly love about refrigerator pickles is that they are almost instant gratification instead of having to wait 3-7 days for the pickling process to complete!  They are best after about 24 hours, but they are good within a few minutes in the pickling liquid!  These aren’t quite sweet pickles, they are technically bread and butter pickles, but they have a flavor that beats anything you can find in the store.  They aren’t spicy, so they are great for little one’s AND they don’t have any soy, or high fructose corn syrup (like most store bought pickles) or artificial dye.

We love to snack on them in the afternoon and set them out on the dinner table as an additional side.  The recipe says they will keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks…others that are similar that I’ve seen say they will last much longer, but that the cucumbers might get a little softer…if your house is anything like ours though, they won’t last more than a couple days!  They only take minutes to make though, so that is no problem!

The other great thing I loved about this recipe is that it’s very forgiving, AND it makes about 4 cups of pickles, instead of a GALLON like many of the other recipes for refrigerator pickles that I’ve found.  I made a few substitutes, so I’m going to fill those into the recipe here…if you would like the original recipe, please visit Recipe Girl’s blog.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Recipe Girl.  If you enjoy it, please stop by her blog and give her some love as well. :)


Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

Serves 4 cups
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Condiment, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue
Website Recipe Girl
Quick, Easy, and Delicious Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles!


  • 1 cup Sugar ((I used organic cane sugar, I would think raw sugar would work as well. I'd like to play with honey as well.))
  • 1 cup White Vinegar ((I used 1 1/2 cups))
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar ((I used 1 cup))
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar ((I used 1/3 of a cup))
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds ((I used 2 Tbs Mrs. Fields Pickling spice in place of all the seasoning because that's what I had)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celery Seeds (See note on Mustard Seeds)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Tumeric (See note on Mustard Seeds)
  • 5 1/2 cups Pickling Cucumbers (Approx. 1 1/2 lbs. (I used regular cucumers...4 medium sized))
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Salt (Recipe girl recommends Kosher, I used Pickling, and/or Sea Salt)
  • 1 small Yellow or White Onion (I used half a large vidalia sweet onion)


Step 1 Slice cucumbers, not too thin, but not incredibly thick either. Place in a container, and sprinkle with salt. Refrigerate for 3 hours. (I've left them overnight before and they've still turned out perfectly fine! Sometimes I add water as well to make a "brine.")
Step 2 Once the Pickles are done brining, remove from the fridge, and rinse thoroughly.
Step 3 Chop onion and add to cucumbers in container.
Step 4 Add sugars, vinegars, and pickling spices to a medium sauce pot. Heat over medium heat until sugar is melted...do not boil! (You can tell when the sugar is melted because the liquid will be more translucent and when you let it run off your spoon you won't see granules. If it looks a little cloudy, it's not done yet.)
Step 5 Pour pickling mixture over pickles and onions, cover and let sit on the counter for an hour.
Step 6 Move container to fridge to "pickle" for 24 hours...and try to resist munching on them while they're processing!
Step 7 Enjoy! Store in fridge until devoured!


I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear if you make it!


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I Don’t Want to be Supermom

In this day and age it is so easy to get caught up in the plethora of parenting books, the sea of parenting information on the internet, the menagerie of different parenting styles, and not to mention the endless supply of ideas for projects, crafts, and activities on Pinterest that you can do with your kids to be a “better” mom.

Of course we should try to do our best, and we should make raising our kids well a top priority, but too many of us are holding ourselves to impossible standards, comparing ourselves to Suzy homemaker from next door, and barreling endlessly forward in the pursuit of perfection.  I finally decided…I just can’t do it anymore!

Then I realized…I don’t want to!  Sure I want my kids to have a fulfilling childhood. I want to make memories, have lots of quality time, and hopefully instill them with priceless values.  One of those values should be compassion though.  I decided, I want my kids to see me for what I AM…a fallen, broken, imperfect, sinner.  Why?  Because it is a fabulous example of Christ’s love and grace.

I want my kids to know that it’s ok to make a mistake, and if they do, Mama and Daddy, and Jesus will all still love them.  I want to give them the grace that God show’s me every day, and the good Lord knows, that’s a LOT.

Now, don’t be mistaken…giving your kids grace doesn’t mean permissiveness…but it means maybe thinking about dealing with some situations in a new way.

My kids sometimes grumble about doing chores.  Now, I know NONE of yours do that, but when mine do, rather than immediately taking away privileges or some other form of punishment I try to step back and think like they are.  I realized one day while they were in the midst of telling me that “Chores are no fun” and “I’m too tired to do chores” that I OFTEN felt the EXACT same way….but that didn’t mean I could just skip doing them either.  I decided to tell them how I was feeling, and explain that we all need to work together since we are a family.   I told them that I couldn’t do it without them, and that while I understood that they didn’t want to do any chores, that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do because they need to get done.  I asked how they would feel if I didn’t make them dinner one night “because I was too tired.”  They didn’t like that idea, and realized that we all have to do things we don’t want to sometimes, so that we can all have the things we need.

Now, your kids might know all that, and if they do, kudos to you! Maybe you can apply it another way.  My kids are still young (age 7 and under) so it may look different in your home.

Just remember they (whoever they is) say “The days are long but the years are short” so give yourself some grace, accept God’s grace, and empower your kids to do so too.


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An Invitation

So…here’s the deal…this post isn’t perfect but I’m hoping you’ll give me some grace on that…see…I tried to make it perfect, but I just can’t quite put my finger on what perfect is this time!  I’ve decided I need your help…but more on that later.

So here’s the skinny.  I saw this awesome article about a pictorial that was done on what a week’s worth of groceries looks like all around the world.  You can find that here…What A Week’s Worth of Groceries Looks Like Around the World.

Ok, so I saw that and I thought…how fun would it be to do a link up where everyone posts a picture of their own week’s worth of groceries!!!  I think it would be so neat to take a peek into what a larger group of real families’ groceries look like for a week.  The thing is…I can’t quite pin down a why! That’s where I need your help.  I think it will be a great way to really take a look at what we are putting into our bodies each week.  I think it will be an awesome way to compare and contrast and be inspired by what others regularly have in their diets as well.  I’m hoping something bigger comes from it though…whether it is a series to help each other take one baby step towards healthier living, or a campaign to fight hunger, I’m not quite sure yet.  Holler at me in the comments and give me your ideas so I can nail something down by the time the link up goes live!

So here’s what I hope you will join me with!

on Monday May 27th I will post about what MY week’s worth of groceries looks like, along with a link up…so just mosey on back here and link up your own post then about your own week’s worth of groceries!  It can be just pictures, or have info about your budget, meal plans…whatever you’d like.

There are, however, a few guidelines to help keep things consistent (no hard and fast rules, just do your best to meet these.)

1.  You don’t HAVE to post a picture of groceries fresh from the market…just a picture of what you consume in a week…if it’s all in your house already…Yay! You don’t have to shop to participate!  However, if you do decide you need to shop, please make sure you include as much as you can, and if there is something in excess or that is missing from the picture…just make a little note of it.

2.  If you eat out during the week on a regular basis, or is you plan to eat leftovers from a meal, make a note of it so we get a better idea of how the food is being “spent.”

3.  Try to be authentic.  No one is here to judge, and none of us are perfect.  So, don’t go changing everything you normally buy just for the sake of a picture.  I promise I won’t judge you for buying a package of Oreo’s if you don’t judge me for feeding my kids Fruity Pebbles. :)

4.  For the sake of clear, easy to visually assess pictures, try to put tall items in the back, and try to group like items together.


Anything else you want to add is up to you!  Menu’s, recipes, grocery list’s, budgets, the sky’s the limit…but none of those are required.


So that’s it!  I look forward to meeting with you in the comments and I really hope you’ll come back and join me on May 27th to add your link!

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97 Homemaking eBooks for only $29.97!!!

Please see my full disclosure about posts with profit opportunities. :) Thanks for supporting this site!


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Particularly for those wanting to read these ebooks on their mobile devices (iPhones or iPads, Android, Kindle, etc.) you will want to learn more about the file types, how to download them correctly, and how to transfer them to your device .

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Barnheart? Have you been infected?

Spring is pretending to be here, and I’ve been itching to plant, and brood and clean and breath.  I also decided I wanted to try to pick back up on reading, because it’s something I really enjoy and I hadn’t been making enough time for it…and while I still am not blowing through books at the rate I use to, I’ve finished 3.5 (hey I’m counting that half since it is my current book) in the last 6 weeks or so, so I’m happy with that.

Anyways, due to my current interest in being more self-sufficient and providing better food for my family, I created a laundry list of books on gardening, mini-farming, seed saving, alternative energy, and green/sustainable building methods.  While trying to create my list, and request books from the library I came across a book by Jenna Woginrich called Barnheart.  I read “Chick Days” last year, which is also written by Woginrich and not only did I love the book and her “voice” it also inspired me to jump into the wonderful world of keeping backyard chickens.  I figured since I liked Chick Days so much that I would check out Barnheart too.  Oh.my.word.   If you are looking for an inspiring, funny, quick, read about farming, and sheep (I love sheep) homesteading, and hope, then this is the book for you!  I started to read it around 11:30 one night when I couldn’t get to sleep, and stayed up, thoroughly engaged, until I finished it at 3:30 am!

This memoir is inspiring, funny, and near the end of the book you end up in suspense and tears wondering what will happen (then again, I’m a cry baby anymore.)  You feel like Jenna is your neighbor, and even, a friend. (Not to mention, I totally want to visit Vermont now!)

So, if any or all of that sounds good to you, I highly recommend you check Barnheart out.  I got it from the library, but I liked it so much I plan to buy it so I can re-read it whenever I feel like my dreams are out of reach, or I need to be reminded of the many blessings I already have.

If you wish to purchase it, please follow my link below…I will receive a very small percentage of the sale, but this is NOT a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own…I just enjoyed the book so much that I though, it won’t hurt to put it out there, and if I make a little money to support my family, and Jenna’s farm in the process, well, that’s great too. :)


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5 Minute Friday: Home

Five Minute Friday

It’s easy to join in, just:

  1. Check what the prompt is on my blog.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
  3. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  4. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url www.lisajobaker.com but your post url www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ }
  5. Using the linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  6. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  7. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!




Home is where I can relax and breath.  It’s the one place in the world that I know I won’t be judged or ridiculed.  The one place that the brand of my jeans, or make of my car don’t matter.

My maker thinks I’m perfect, and that is all that matters, but out in the deep; in the fray; lies are engulfing.  No longer a whisper easy to press away, but a siren beckoning to it’s deadly trap.  It is easier to take the bait than to help truth rise.  Yet, in the distance, so dim I can barely be sure of what my eyes truly see, there is a light.  It warms my heart. It gives me hope.  It holds me like a dear child, caresses my cheek, and embraces me with love, unfailing.

Hesitant, I join the light, though I can see not where it leads, and slowly, one step at a time, I press forward.

I can make a shape out ahead of me.  I close my eyes and fill my lungs with anticipation.

My eyelashes part, and I find that the light has once again led me


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Grain Mill Giveaway!!!

An important part of eating a healthier diet is making sure to get whole grains instead of refined processed white wheat. But real whole wheat can go bad so quickly and the store bought variety is not always the freshest or healthiest. The best thing to do is grind your own wheat and we are excited to bring you this giveaway!
Positively Real Media Network (for like-minded “natural” Christian bloggers) is giving away a Wondermill Grain Mill to one lucky reader!


We are excited to offer this chance to win the world’s #1 rated electric grain mill! Watch this video to learn more about the grain mill and why it’s the perfect accessory for every kitchen!




This giveaway is only available in the United States and Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Book Giveaway!

You may have recently seen my review for the wonderful book “Redeeming Childbirth” by Angie Tolpin…well I am SO excited to announce that today I am giving away a signed copy to one of my lovely readers!

Entering is easy…just follow the simple steps in the rafflecopter below, and then watch your inbox for an e-mail in a week to see if you’re the lucky winner!  This book is wonderful for women at any stage in their mothering journey, but if you’re not sure it’s quite right for you, enter to give it to a friend or expectant mama that you know!  I love being able to bless my readers with awesome gifts like this to thank you for your readership.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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