Monday, March 2, 2009

What's Cooking 3.2-3.8

Last week I only spent $47.54 for my weekly food plan, but I knew I would probably end up spending more for food since my friend was coming to town and I wanted to treat her to a meal out. I took her and my son to lunch on Friday and we happily spent $25.21 and then I ended up at our whole foods market and spent $4.05 to buy a French batard to make the garlic bread for our dinner that evening with my girlfriends. (The morning got away from me and I forgot to make it from scratch.) Those expenses brought my total for the week to $76.80 - still $3.20 under my budget goal of $80. Hooray!

Here's what I bought this week:

I spent $38.60 at Aldi and $43.64 at Ingles, our local grocery store (including almost $20 on beer for my husband's birthday party on Friday!), for a total of $82.24 - $2.24 over my goal of $80 per week, but this week completes the February challenge where I pledged to spend $80 a week or $320 for the month. Combining all my food expenses for the month yields a grand total of $290.81 - $29.19 under my goal! And that amount covered the food to host a friend at our home for several days and two parties. I am surprised and delighted. (Remember I used to spend $150-400 a week on food.)

I will try to continue to spend only $80 a week, but I depleted my freezer and pantry over the last month and $80-100 is probably a more feasible goal. Still, I am so grateful for my experience this last month - it was a great challenge to plan meals that would be satisfying and thrifty and learn that we really could live cheerfully on less. I'm also very happy that my new consciousness around food buying and preparation has led to a couple of weeks of no food waste and the hope that there will be many more.

Here is what we're eating this week:

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos
Spinach Salad

Cassoulet (A classic French bean and veggie casserole)
Homemade Garlic Knots
Spinach Salad

D's Birthday Dinner Out!
(My parents' treat!)

Vegetarian "Sloppy Joes"
Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls
Sweet Potato Oven "Fries"
Green Salad

D's Birthday Party with Friends!
3 Pizzas:
Pepperoni, Sausage, Onion and Green Peppers (homemade red sauce)
White Pizza with Roasted Winter Vegetables
Portabello Mushroom-Pesto (from homegrown basil, prepared and stored in freezer last summer)
Green Salad
Homemade Chocolate Stout Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Monastery Style Lentils (with carrots and tomatoes)
Brown Rice

Broccoli Quiche with Shredded Potato Crust


TiAnna Ashley said...

What are your vegetarian Sloppy Joes like? And the Cassoulet, could I get the recipe for those?

FOO said...

They are all delicious! I would be happy to share! I get most of my recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant Collective. Just give me a couple of days and I will get them posted. Thanks for your interest!

FOO said...

On second thought, I realized that it would be faster and more ethical to post recipes that are widely available on the web, rather than from copyrighted cookbooks.

I also go to often for recipes and I looked at their offerings for the cassoulet and sloppy joes and they are very similar to the Moosewood recipes. For the cassoulet I recommend a highly-seasoned seitan, like the barbeque. Again, if you don't mind using meat, you can substitute sausage for the cassoulet or hamburger for the sloppy joes, which would also be cheaper than the packaged soy products. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to have to stop by often...I love the sound of your meals. I made a vegetarian cassoulet the other night which I thought was absolutely delicious.

Our food bill has been creeping up and up, and I suspected we were spending more than I was budgeting- but this week have checked and I'm up to $NZ500 for 2 weeks, budget is $ seems incredible, but I'll be on a mission from now on!

Shell (in NZ) said...

Actually, that wasn't Aimee- she's my dd...I forgot to change it over (again). Thanks for the blog.