Suburbanmomcooks’s Weblog

August 3, 2008

Week 3 Starts…

Filed under: grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 5:23 pm
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I’m off to the grocery store on my bike today. The hardest part about getting there is getting past all the garage sales!

I’m past the worry of last week and feeling good about our grocery budget. I found amazing fish at Costco; bought 5 meals worth of salmon (wild caught only!) and halibut (wild caught only!) for about $26. Pretty cool. We are camping at the end of the week, so I have to get really creative with The Menu and The List. I will probably go over budget a bit, but I figure that’s OK….we are camping with 2 other families and we are all bringing extra food.

Last night we had leftovers; salmon with green beans and rice, I had mashed potatoes with chicken, the kids had…..bagels of course. L had some smashed beans with cheese too. Tonight I’ll roast some broccoli to add to our Annie’s Soup. I will save some for the Broken Lasagna on Tuesday night.

Using the cash envelope for grocery money is working well. My goals for Week 3 include:

*tracking exact expenses; how much each item cost

*post my weekly menu

*start tracking bulk food and non-food costs; homemade jam, fish, peanut butter, cleaning supplies etc.

*post more pictures!

I think it will be a few months before I have a better idea of bulk food costs. Gotta start somewhere. I have to say though, I don’t feel like we are doing without or eating boring food. I am getting creative with storage and leftovers, we are eating well, and I’m still blogging!

July 30, 2008

Catch Up (with Hot Dogs)

Filed under: budget,garden,grocery,Recipes — by CarrieK @ 5:06 am
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I’ve got some catching up to do. Here’s days 16-19.

I’ve been obsessing over the grocery list. With only one day to go until my next shopping trip, last Saturday I revised The Menu and triple checked The List.

I rode my bike to the grocery store Sunday morning. I stopped at the bookstore to pick up a gardening book, then headed over to not shop ’til I drop. I did my bit of shopping, (found some fabulous salmon on sale for just under $8 a pound! Bought some for next week too…) then sat down to have some lunch and look over my new gardening book. I rode home with great satisfaction that I had spent only half our weekly budget ($50.01 to be exact!) and I got it all home on my bike.

We’ve gotten to a slow start on our garden. We started taking down some trees and we are discussing how to get the cement up. I’ve designed our garden in the potager style; a kitchen garden that is an extension of your home. I am having a grand ‘ole time working on the design. I’ve been reading about heirloom vegetables, how to incorporate beneficial flowers and herbs, and how to grow espaliered fruit trees.

Let’s not forget, I’m not living on acres in a rural area, or in the city where I can grow stuff on my balcony or roof, I live in a very typical, average suburban neighborhood on a small lot. It’s an older neighborhood with lots of grown trees and too much shade. The soil here is mostly impacted clay. The only plants that survive here are rhododendrons, azealas, pines, doug firs, hostas and ferns. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Creative work, the best kind.

So, back to the task at hand…I’m supposed to be keeping track of how my menu is going. Saturday night we had broken lasagna in the Fluted Square Mold for dinner. Sunday night we had friends over so I splurged a bit (but didn’t count it towards my weekly budget)…we BBQed burgers and hot dogs. I served fresh picked raspberries, homemade guacamole with tortilla chips, beer and a rolled up angel food cake with raspberry syrup and whipped cream made on the Flexipat (so easy!!). It was delicious. I admit though, in my attempts to be frugal, I did not serve enough food. *how embarrassing!* Next time I will serve some potato salad or bean salad or salad…something!

Last night we had quesadillas with beans on the side. I mixed together a can of black beans, a can of refried beans (yes, organic) and some grated cheese (raw, organic jack) and served it on the side. Quick and easy and nutritional. The kids even ate it.

Tonight we had Breakfast for Dinner. Yum! A real favorite with my kids. L and C helped me make the biscuits on the Roul’pat, then we baked them on the Silpat, I made scrambled eggs and sausages too. Served it all up with homemade raspberry jam and fresh raspberries.

I seem to be doing fine with the Menu Plan. It’s somewhat flexible, allows me some creativity and keeps our grocery budget under control. So far, so good. A nice side effect of all this, we hardly have any garbage! For the second week in a row, I’ve put out a half empty garbage can. We recycle like crazy and I put all kitchen scraps in the compost pile. And still our garbage out put is shrinking like crazy. Yay!

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