Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

March 2-6 (Food Challenge)

Friday, March 6th, 2009

My SPUD order did not come until the evening on Tuesday.  If I was almost completely out of fresh produce (among other things), this wouldn’t have been such a big deal.  But, by 5:00 pm I was worried that I would have to completely start my weekly shopping over.  Again, no big deal if I hadn’t spent many, many…many moments of my free time logging back in to the site to fine tune my order to get it near my budget goal.

I have gotten over my snobby ways this week.  I went to Safeway to buy Quaker Oats (on sale 2/$5) and to the Orowheat outlet on 6th for buns (8/$1.25) to accompany my homemade veggie burgers.  This week I am starting to learn when it makes sense to make my own from scratch (granola and veggie burgers) and when it doesn’t (buns for the burgers).  Being at home a good portion of the day helps too.  Waiting for bread to rise and bake takes some scheduling, but it isn’t such a big deal for me since I am often  home anyhow.  For those who work, it obviously is not so simple.

On Monday I spent about 1/2 hr. preparing two loaves of bread.   Since I would have bought high quality bread if I were to purchase it, I figure that it saved me about $8.  For me saving $8, serving hot bread with dinner and having quality bread for sandwiches was worth my 1/2 hr.  However, if I worked outside of the home, it would not have been possible

On Tuesday Jack and I made a big vat of granola.  This has been a fun activity for the two of us to do while his big sister is at school and the baby naps.  Jack gets to help create and name the recipe. For about $3.50 we made enough cereal to feed us all breakfast for two weeks (not that we care to eat it everyday for 2 weeks).  Actually, Jack and I send the bulk of it to work with my husband (who does care to eat it everyday for 2 weeks).  Jack, Amelia and I will use it for snacks with yogurt and for the occasional breakfast.  Granted, we would not have bought this much normally, but we would have spent money on cerealor other snacks instead. It should last us for a while.

 

   

Cost: $3.50 and 45 minutes (with a 4 year old)

Cost: $3.50 and 45 minutes (with a 4 year old)

On Thursday, I created 3+ meals worth of lentil and okra veggie burgers all for about $3.00.  If I would have bought them it would have probably cost about $12 for the same amount.  The added benefit was the lack of questionable or unrecognizable ingredients found in most mainstream versions.  The freshness doesn’t hurt either.
I am pleased to see that as I write this on Friday morning, I still have food in my refrigerator.  I am now optimistic that I can get through week 2 on $125.  Maybe even less???

Frugal Feeding Week #1, March 1

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

 

By the end of the first day of the first week I have already used up $118.00 of my $125.00 goal.  While the goal is monthly, I was hoping to at least have a little wiggle room.  Things are already looking tight.  

Last month I began planning out a dinner menu for the week to help me stick to a strict grocery list. Although it was a pain to do this every Sunday, it was really nice to know what kind of preparation I would need to do each day.  It also eliminated multiple shopping trips to grab the last minute item….that often turned into more money spent on nonessentials.  This week I made my first order with SPUD (www.spud.com).   SPUD focuses on local and organic products.  I love that the miles traveled by each item is noted as well as links to all of the company/farm info.  I plan to buy my most eco-conscious purchases here and supplement with more affordable alternatives elsewhere.  I love that I can order everything online, and adjust my meals based on local availability and price.  It is nice to know exactly what I am spending before I get to the checkout.  I also made a tedious trip to Costco. It is always a challenge to get out of Costco without spending at least $100.  But I did!  Among other things,I picked up a giant bag of almonds (non-organic), NW blueberries (also non-organic), Earthbound organic salad greens and baby spinach and a box of cherry tomatoes (non-organic).  I left having spent only $65 on food.  Most of this should carry over at least until the second week, the almonds will last for more then the month.