I spent $3.50 this week! One dozen eggs... that is it!
Last weekend I did a pretty big fruit and vegetable stock up, and it all seemed to carry us through just fine. I wouldn't even say we running low quite yet. I will need to get some greens before the week is up though. That is probably it.
Gone are the summer days of delicate produce such as cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini. Now I have a produce bin filled with turnip and rutabaga, and a pantry basket holding sweet potato, butternut, and red kuri.
Being in the season with vegetables that last longer means less trips to the store. And less trips means less opportunity to spend an extra ten or twenty dollars on something that wasn't planned/budgeted for.
I actually didn't go to the store once, Adam picked up the eggs for me. He's better about only buying what is on the list; I get distracted... ooh, fresh organic cranberries are in!
A few notes and thoughts from the week:
I ran out of coffee this week. I decided not to use any of my precious budget to replace it. Coffee is certainly not top priority. Instead, nettle tea in the morning. My body and mind are much happier.
If you work outside of the home and are having a hard time making all your food from scratch, consider doubling recipes so you can eat one meal twice. I tend to freeze soups and stews so we aren't having the same thing two nights in a row, but I am able to pull a meal from the freezer a couple times a week if needed.
Freezer meals also help to avoid the "let's just go out to eat" budget stretching moments. We all feel like a night off, or the afternoon gets away from us - freezer meals keep me on track during those moments.
Cook things like grains and beans in bulk. Either make enough for the week or enough to freeze some for later meal starters. This will help to cut weeknight meal-prep time significantly.
The savory cashew cream sauce that I refer to is based on this recipe. A high speed blender helps tremendously to create silky smooth nut sauces.
I made Heidi Swanson's Sprouted Chickpea Patties with the following substitutions: parsley instead of cilantro (the garden still has plenty of parsley), and chopped collard greens for the cup of sprouts (I had no sprouts but I had plenty of greens on hand).
Rhonda wrote a great post about cooking from scratch. Menu planning and cooking from scratch are truly the two greatest money saving tips for the kitchen. They both offer the greatest nutritional value as well.
It looks like I'll make it! It seemed like a good idea to stock up on things like nuts and grains during the first couple of weeks. My grocery bill sure did seem high in the beginning, but it has leveled off as I hoped/planned it would. Makes me realize I return to once a month shopping for dry goods and then weekly trips for the more perishable items. I used to do that and remember it helped keep my spending on track.
Because I have a natural foods co-op so close to my house (2 blocks away), I tend to market European style, stopping in every couple of days. Tightening this up a bit and paying less visits to the market will improve my grocery expenses moving forward.
A recipe to share with you this week:
Money spent this week - $3.50
Bringing my total so far to - $332.80
Remaining budget - $67.20
Well, I think that will do it for today. How was your week?