week 1 – the menu

Breakfasts
The first big change is my morning beverage. Switching from coffee to tea, because on this budget, we can’t afford fair trade organic coffee. Currently using up some green, and when that is gone, will switch to the mint from last summer’s garden.

Also switching from toast to porridge, as a huge bag of oats is actually quite cheap. Planning to make scones this weekend. And yes, there are Scots in my heritage.

Lunches
This will basically remain unchanged, as I usually eat leftovers.

Dinners
Tonight I made a huge batch of lentil brown rice soup. That fed us for the evening meal, with 3 servings in the fridge and 4 servings in the freezer. Substituted the chicken broth for 2 veggie bouillon cubes, but everything else is basically the same.

Tuesday is pasta with tomato vegetable sauce. I cook up red lentils until they are mushy, and add them to the sauce so we get some protein. Will use half the broccoli and cauliflower.

Wednesday is this corn, spinach, red bean mush (sounds so appetizing, I know!). Not really sure what it is called, but is from the New Internationalist cookbook. Think it is an African recipe. Will likely make roasted potato to go with it.

Thursday is stir fry with half of the tofu, and the other half of the broccoli and cauliflower.

Friday is fried rice with the other half of the tofu.

Saturday, O’s dad is taking the family out for dinner. Hurray!

Sunday is leftovers, if there are any. An omelette if there aren’t.

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week 1

For the month of March, O. and I are going to try to live on $20 worth of food each per week. This idea was inspired by a session that I attended at the Growing Local conference. David Northcott, executive coordinator of Winnipeg Harvest, put out this challenge to the audience, because $20 a week is all the average person on welfare has to spend on food. Their actual allotment is more like $50, but food costs are one of the few that aren’t fixed, so people are forced to dip into their food money for other things.

We are cheating a smidge. We are still going to buy local cheese and eggs, which would totally blow this budget, but we will limit it to one block of cheese per week, and one carton of eggs per two weeks. One other thing, we will be eating out of our cupboard and freezer. Not starting from scratch on this, which would obviously be much harder.
Obviously, there will be NO eating out, no payday lattes, no junk food…. will probably be good for our arteries as well as our pocket books.

Week 1, Day 1: Made a menu for the week then hit the grocery store with our list.

1 can diced tomato $1.49
5lb bag of carrots $3.48
1 bunch celery $1.98
1 bag frozen peas $2.68
1 bag frozen corn $2.68
3 tomatoes $.91
small bunch broccoli $.72
small bunch cauliflower $.70
1 bunch spinach $1.48
1 bag organic apples $3.99
5lb bag navel oranges $3.98
2 cans frozen orange juice $1.19 each
1 block firm tofu $1.97
multigrain bread $4.99 (a total rip as we could have bought local organic for less, but we read the sign wrong. dang!)
10 lb bag russet potatoes $2.98
3 lb bag onions $1.69
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TOTAL $38.10 (woohoo!)