Friday, April 29, 2011
Actual Spent: 74$
- Bell pepper
- turkey deli meat
- chicken breasts
- Brianna's honey mustard dressing
- a couple frozen meals
- a frozen pizza
- Chipotle burrito (split between us for our special "eat out" day)
Another week when moms and friends fed us pretty often. Yay! One of our friends made us the most delicious short ribs with a celeriac-potato puree. I'm still salivating from that meal. Yum.
CSA: Salads are a staple at our home. More salads!
We basically ate sandwiches, salads, and frozen meals all week, except when our friends or family fed us amazingly delicious food.
What we learned:
Over the past two months of watching our budget, I've noticed how lazy Guy and I have been about meal planning and our food choices. Even though it may look as though our eating has gotten much worse, we have actually learned a lot. We've learned about how we deal with stress, what our other options are, how saving money and eating healthy can go together but don't always. We've learned more about who were are as people and even learned something about the families we grew up in.
Although this will be my last Project: Food Budget entry, all this learning will not go to waste. I'm taking away from this several lessons and a homework assignment. Over the next month, each week I'm going to try to take a favorite food or recipe of ours and make it healthier, cheaper, and easier. We are lazy people and food needs to be easy for us, but I also want it to be nutritious and affordable.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Lucky number 13.
This week there was not an official weekly share this week because it was Earth day and Marie was busy. The lettuce and greens also needed a week to rest if we want a share next week. But Marie allowed any of the members to come out and cut a little greens if they wanted some.
Since we were out there working (smishing caterpillars and weeding tomatoes), we grabbed some lettuce mix and a ridiculous amount of lamb's quarter, which was way overgrown.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Actual Spent: 113.43$
- red pepper
- green cabbage
- red onion
- burrito-sized tortillas
- frozen stuffed peppers
- riblets and mashed potato meal
- brisket and mashed potato meal
- frozen sausage rigatoni
- Domino's pizza
Obviously this week was not our best week. Not only did we spend way over thanks to eating out, but we also went back to eating premade food from the grocery store.
CSA: The salad mix, turnip greens, and garlic greens have made for delicious salads all week.
- Peanut butter & honey sammies
- Steakum sammies (with homemade sauerkraut)
- BBQ burritos
- Fajita burritos
- Frozen stuffed peppers
- Frozen sausage rigatoni
- Domino's pizza
What we learned:
- Eating out unexpectedly is not good for our budget. We have decided to schedule one dining out experience each week to allow ourselves the luxury. We will try to make it a real restaurant and not fast food (and not always pizza) and we will try to split a meal instead of each getting one.
- Buying frozen pre-made food is practically the same as eating out. I want to get back to eating healthy home-cooked meals. I need to come back to the fundamentals of meal planning.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
This week we were all told we could come by the farm for a small share. Several of the plants (lettuce in particular) needed to rest and regrow.
Our haul included lettuce mix that was heavy on the arugula and lamb's quarter, turnip greens, lavender, and garlic greens.
We hadn't finished our lettuce or garlic greens from last week yet though so we still have plenty of veg for this week. So far, we've been consuming all of this raw as salads, even the turnip and garlic greens. It's very good.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Actual Spent: 50$
- Cabbage (red and green)
- Sub bread
- Mac n cheese
- Ground turkey
- Sparkling water
- Fried okra
- Frozen pizza and breadsticks
Between an awesome friend who made us food (and sent us home with leftovers) and our overabundance from last week, we didn't have to buy many groceries this week and most of what we did buy was unexpected "comfort food" during some stressful moments this week.
CSA: We braised the chard and ate it as a side dish, ate tons of salads with the lettuce mix and garlic greens, made two batches of Brussels sprout green casserole, and used the lavender for tea and lemonade.
- Brussels sprout greens casserole, recipe to come.
- Broiled tilapia parmesan with wild rice and chard
- Mac n cheese n tuna n peas and fried okra
- Dallas cheesesteaks: Steakums, onions and bell peppers, and provolone on a sub roll
- Lennyburgers and sweet potato fries: a chef friend of ours wowed us with his amazing poblano burgers with aioli
What we learned:
- We have awesome friends. Not only did we have some fun parties this week with amazing food, we also had several friends help rescue us and our car when it died on the side of the freeway.
- That being said, we had an extremely stressful week with the car and deadlines. This lead to us choosing to eat our comfort foods: burgers, mac n cheese, and pizza. There are better ways to deal with stress. We're working on them.
- Organization saves money. I bought brown rice this week because I couldn't find any in our pantry. Then later in the week I was cleaning out our cupboard and found a full unopened bag of brown rice.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
This week we had a pretty large haul.
In this first picture (left top, anticlockwise), we have brussel sprout greens (leftovers from last week, but we were so happy to get more!), lamb's quarters, garlic greens (also leftovers from last week), and arugula.
In the second picture, we have our salad greens (with kale, spinach, and endive), lavender buds, and chard.
Guy and I had a wonderful time out on the farm. CSA pick-up days are a lot of fun because we get to interact with the other members, who we don't see as often as the other workshares. I hope we get to know them better at the potluck in May!
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Actual Spent: 107.13$
- Orange bell pepper
- Red bell pepper
- Portabella mushrooms
- Cremini mushrooms
- Crookneck squash
- Sweet potato
- Green cabbage
- Red cabbage
- Alfalfa sprouts
- 100-calorie guacamole packs
- Special K with berries
- Canola oil
- Kosher salt
- Corn tortillas
- Rolls for hamburgers
- Ground beef
- Little Caesar's pizza
- Whataburger (one combo between us)
- Schlotzsky's (split a regular Turkey Original)
Oh, man! That's a long list. We definitely overspent this week. At least, we came back to vegetables this week. We had several veg sammies that were absolutely packed with raw or lightly cooked veg.
CSA: Here's what we got this week. The green mix became salads. We braised the chard and added it to shrimp pasta. The brussel sprout greens are about to become "unrolled cabbage rolls". The (amazing) onions have been added to sauerkraut, sandwiches, and eaten raw as a snack. Those babies have some bite!
- Spaghetti with marinara and lots of veg
- Stuffed portabella burgers with turnip and sweet potato fries: Make small burger patties, place them to fill the inside of the portabella cap. Pan fry until done (use the lid to steam them). Serve with melted provolone on a fancy roll with dijon, mayo, lettuce, and red onion.
- Baja fish and shrimp tacos (our favorite party food!)
- Parmesan-crusted veg sammies: from How It All Vegan
- Shrimp, asparagus, and chard with farfalle
What we learned:
- Beer is delicious but there's not room for it in our budget very often. (There's not really room for it at our waistlines either.)
- Having friends over for dinner doesn't have to be costly. We could have done better with that this week.
- Burger-stuffed portabella burgers are delicious. I'm sure someone's thought of it before but for me it was a revelation. This meal will happen again soon.
- More veggies and more meal planning. We spend way more if we aren't well-prepared.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Guy has been working his magic in the kitchen lately. He's working on a batch of mead that should be ready in May, as well as a few other alcoholic beverages that we've been testing along the way. Yesterday he started three batches of sauerkraut from a friend's instructions. We should be enjoying those before long.
We're also hoping to get a batch of kombucha started in the next couple of weeks.
Neither of us have either made any of these things before, so we're having a great time experimenting and waiting to see what happens.
Tutorials (and results) of both of these experiments are in the works!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Our CSA haul is the top row (from left): mixed greens (lettuce, endive, spinach, etc); two red onions; Brussels sprout greens; chard.
Below that, our market day purchases: Eden's Organic Farm honey (from the bees on the farm!) and (what's left of) a roasted green pepper focaccia from Bedford Bakery.
Most of the focaccia didn't even make it home! Delicious! (And well-earned after 3 hours of harvesting and weeding!)