week 4 – the menu

Monday – perogies, beans, fried onions and corn (sensing a pattern here?)
Tuesday – tofu and zucchini in a black bean sauce with rice
Wednesday – omelette and spicy potatoes
Thursday – leftover omelette with toast (O in Calgary, so not inspired to cook for myself)
Friday – sichuan eggplant with rice
Saturday – gingered carrot soup and my first attempt at focaccia bread
Sunday – not sure, but either pasta with tomato sauce or going to O’s dad’s


falling off the wagon

Had a stupid day yesterday, filled with people who I wanted to strangle. Instead either walked away from them or sent them an email to asking them politely to refrain from being horrid. Both apologized after, so that says something.

Anyway, the cure for my stupid day was a piece of old fashioned chocolate cake and a reviving cup of Earl Grey at Baked Expectations with my friend Elizabeth. And since I was falling off the wagon, I dragged O with me and took him home a piece of chocolate orange mousse cake. Total cost? $20. Yep. Food budget for the week blown in one frosting-filled evening.

It was so delicious. And I felt so much better. And we almost made it the entire month. But excuses, excuses. Will channel my guilt into summarizing our experiment next week.

week 3 – the menu

Monday – perogies, fried onions and beans (a repeat from last week, but it was soooo good!)
Tuesday – black bean chili and corn muffins
Wednesday – grilled cheese sandwiches
Thursday – mushroom carrot loaf and a salad
Friday – cream of broccoli soup and oven fries
Saturday & Sunday – chick pea and cauliflower curry with brown rice

Week was a little uninspired, but we had a meeting at the community centre on Wednesday, and I had a meeting on Thursday. The oven fries rocked, though!

week 3 – the list

sour cream $1.99
balsamic vinegar $3.99
2x frozen orange juice $1.19 ea
jumbo pack of perogies $4.68
1 can tomatoes $1.49
1/2 kg mushrooms $2.93
small cream $.99
3lb bag of onions $1.88
broccoli $.97
tomatoes $3.48
peanut butter $4.59
1 can maple brown beans $.99
bag of organic apples $3.99
1 litre of milk $1.69
loaf of pumpernickel bread $1.39
loaf of irish soda bread $1.39
TOTAL $38.82

Redemption! Total for the 3 weeks is $119.06 so we’re just a little under our allotted $120. However, I did eat out twice in Regina on the weekend, which cost about $25. Couldn’t be helped though. And still really pleased with our experiment. We’ve been much better about cooking for ourselves, and are wasting much less food than we typically do.

week 2 – the menu

Monday was perogies, baked beans and steamed carrots.

Tonight was a little weird, because I had a meeting and O is still sick. He made oven fries. I made broccoli salad and hard boiled eggs. Toast and honey for dessert.

Tomorrow I’m finally making the African bean mush (sounds more appetizing every time I write it, but it actually is really good.) Also going to make cream of broccoli soup to have later in the week.

Thursday is a Lebanese chick pea and potato dish.

I’m gone to Regina from Friday to Sunday, taking the Garden Fundamentals course as part of the Master Gardener program, so O is on his own for the weekend. But there will be leftovers, and he can make pasta and tomato sauce, cauliflower curry, omelette… so I’m sure he’ll survive without me.

week 2 – the list

2 cans frozen orange juice $1.59 each
half and half $.99
dry black beans $1.54
1 can of tomatoes $1.49
frozen perogies $2.48
5lb bag of oranges $3.98
bulk raisins $.69
1 head of garlic $.17
1 l plain organic yogurt $3.99
broccoli $.99
dry chick peas $1.12
1 can maple brown beans $.99
feta cheese $ $4.35
cauliflower $.93
butter $3.59
cilantro $.48
bulk pasta $2.69
organic bread $3.70
mayonnaise $4.79
TOTAL $42.14

First let me explain why we went over $40. We wanted to buy mayonnaise, but the stuff at the store was so full of crap, that we decided to buy it at our local Food Fare, where were were going to buy bread (fresh, local and organic… and $1.29 cheaper than the bread we bought last week). We estimated that the small mayo at Food Fare was about $3.99, which would still have put us over by $1.34, but we were slightly under last week, so it balances out. Except the mayo was more than we thought.

Could we have bought everything on our list and be under $40? Absolutely! First, if we really only had $40 to spend, we would not have bought the mayo. Or if we were buying everything at the same store, we could have gone cheaper on some items. For example:

  • 2 frozen orange juice @ $.99 ea (Grade C rather than Grade A) would save us $1.20.
  • 1 can of tomatoes @ $1.39 (but 13% daily sodium instead of 5%) would save us $.11
  • Plain yogurt @ $3.59 (not organic) would save us $.40
  • 1 can of no name baked beans @ $.79 would save us $.20
  • margarine instead of butter (didn’t even price out margarine, but I’m sure it would be cheaper)
We also could have bought smaller amounts of the bulk items, and of course, mayo that was full of crap. And obviously, feta is a luxury we could have done without.
Will do better next week.

week 1 – review

So far, so problem. O’s conclusion is that $20 a week for food is no fun. Though he has had a bad cold all week, so it was no fun anyway. My conclusion is that it really helps if you know how to cook. I don’t know how we could have managed if we had to buy prepared food.

We didn’t have to make all the meals we had planned. Having stir fry tonight, and still have enough food to make the African bean mush thing tomorrow. It has taken more work and more planning, but we definitely have not been suffering.

Case in point…

Oatmeal Scones from The New Best Recipe cookbook