Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Menu and Spending

Okay, I love the title of fellow blogger - frugal granola - if I had thought of it first... ;-) We are in the mission field and we are not rolling in money by any means, but we do have a fairly predictable income. We did the "Dave Ramsey get out of debt thing" a few years back, but never took the leap to use cash inside envelopes.

Well, last fall, we did take "Financial Peace University." I totally recommend it. We were already debt-free (don't own much), but taking the class was very inspiring. We decided to take the leap and use cash envelopes. The cool thing - it coincided with my discovering the bounty of our local farmers market. They prefer cash anyway ;-) My goal is to get 80% of all our food from local farmers. I need to develop a way to track that ;-) So here's a glimpse into my budget and coordinating menus for the week.

This week's grocery shopping / Cost of my meals

Slow Food (local farmers) - all organic and/or natural

  • Milk gallon - $8
  • 2 lbs butter $9 (will last two weeks)
  • One block of Munster cheese - $3.50
  • Two loaves bread - $8
  • Two pints yogurt - $5
  • Head of cabbage - don't recall exactly - $.69 lb?)
  • Carrots $5 (discount for bulk - 5 lbs for $1 lb)
  • Potatoes $5 (for two meals)
  • Roast, 2 lb - $12
  • Green peppers (usually can get even in winter) $2
  • Ground beef (1 lb) - $5
  • Tomatoes (4 large) - $6
  • Garlic - don't recall at all
  • Lettuce (loose bag) - $4
  • Chicken legs (for lentil soup) $5 (I'll be able to buy more in a few weeks - the chickens aren't ready to process yet)

Mainstream Grocery Stores: (Lowes Food / Harris Teeter
/ Fresh Market/ Super Wal-mart) - mostly organic

  • Frozen bag organic veggies - $1.50 each (on sale last week)
  • Frozen spinach - $3
  • Natural tuna - $2
  • Macaroni noodles - $1 (mainstream)
  • Dried beans - $2 (kidney beans for chili, lentils for stew)
  • Egg noodles - $2 (mainstream)
  • Organic applesauce - $5 (Two six-packs at $2.50 each)
  • Sour cream - $2 (mainstream)
  • Talapia - $15 (wild caught after that nasty "Dirties Jobs" episode we just can't mentally accept eating farm raised)
  • Celery - $3
  • Bananas - $10 (we buy mainstream b/c we understood that organic has to be sprayed to be brought in to the US, so we just peel them for the girls and wash our hands so (mainstream))
  • Chicken breasts - $20 (for Bahmi -$5 lb)
  • Leeks - $4 bunch, (I cut up and freeze, so one bunch will last two weeks)
  • Tortilla chips - $3
  • Expeller pressed mayo - $8 (lasts long time)
  • Almond butter - $7 (lasts two weeks, sometimes longer depending on how many leftovers we have for lunches)
Menu We eat pretty much the same breakfast and lunch everyday unless it is a special occasion.

Banana for each person (occasionally two), oatmeal (real, cooked on the stovetop) with sea salt and maple syrup (we try to eat it just soaked and raw - but I forget), and many days - a boiled egg for each person.

Lunch: egg salad or almond butter and honey sandwiches, we have tuna noodle casserole with green peas (
when Pete's away b/c mayo allergy), sometimes a green salad with some chicken on top, or leftovers from the previous night's dinner.
Monday: Chicken lentil soup (really a thick stew) - enough for two meals

Tuesday: Chicken legs, macaroni and cheese, green peas, leftover lentil soup

Wednesday: Talapia, spinach, mashed potatoes
Bahmi (stir fry of cabbage, leeks, carrots, chicken, celery with egg noodles)
Chili (beef, kidney beans, peppers, tomatos canned from my parent's garden, leeks, garlic)
Saturday: Roast beef, green beans, mashed potatoes - one of our favorite meals

Sunday: Chicken stew (chicken, potatoes, carrots)

And on Fridays - I make a 8 x 8 pan of agave brownies. We try to make it last the whole weekend - it's hard. Sometimes I make hot chocolate to go with the fabulous agave marshmallows I made (they're still some in the refrigerator). Sometimes on Wednesday, I do a mid-week treat of blueberry muffins (blueberries frozen from summer).

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