Sunday, December 3, 2017

$200 a week and all's well. Week 2

It took me a week to get over feeling bad for myself. But turns out $200 a week is more than doable. That doesn't mean I haven't had to make sacrifices. Namely, my high-end coffee habit. Trust me, it still smarts. The Kirkland brand swill I drank this morning was barely palatable and may be a point of contention. We'll see if the Kirkland coffee lasts.

I worried I wouldn't be able to experiment and try new things. Turns out, as long as I plan in advance and stick to my pay-no-more-than-$3-a-pound-meat price-point, it's fine. I'm making three new things this week.

I've also learned that I don't love sticking to a strict, weekly menu. To be honest, I already knew this, which is why the idea of going on a grocery budget scared me the most. I just gotta be able to make whatever I want, when I want. So, I buy a multitude of things that I can make a multitude of dishes from. Variety really is my spice of life.

My three new recipes for this week:

This chicken and pepper stew I saw on the Today show when I had to tune in to see about Matt Lauer getting the boot.

This Smitten Kitchen recipe featuring all my favorite flavors. Including feta, tahini, and herbs. In all fairness I did have a jar of tahini just waiting for when the time was right, so I didn't have to buy it this go round.

And,

Coconut Mango Sticky Rice for my Baby's school cooking contest. Glutinous rice was a fun one to search for. Never did find the pandan leaf. Also, it was cooked in the Instant Pot!

So, this has given me a sense of relief that all is not lost culinarily speaking. But, this week I also didn't have to buy dog food, toiletries of any sort, toilet paper, or anything like that. I should have bought plastic baggies, but forgot. That might have to happen later this week.

What did I buy at Costco?
A four-pack of ground turkey, 2 gallons milk, cottage cheese, Tillamook cheddar cheese, frozen cauliflower packets (I have a hard time buying fresh when I'm not sure I'll eat it before it goes bad. Frozen veggies just work better for me), 2 loaves bread, Costco roast chicken, a giant tub of cinnamon (impulse buy but it was CHEAP).

What did I buy at Smith's?
More veggies than you can image. Onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, 4 lemons, garlic, green bell peppers, poblano peppers, tomatillos, parsley, celery, carrots, mango, banana, feta, steel cut oats, dried apricots, glutinous rice, coconut milk, 8 boxes of cereal on sale (the girls only get to eat cold cereal on the weekends, but again, CHEAP), brown lentils, elf candy for the advent calendar, 5 bottles soda for The Mister's soda addiction, peppermint tea, Irish Cream syrup to try and make the Kirkland coffee better, sesame seeds, dried corriander

Total Cost: $146. Which leaves me a sweet $54 left if anything should come up. My family goes through a lot of milk. A milk run may be in the cards.

What's in my pantry?
Pasta, bottled tomatoes, taco seasoning packets, spices galore, chicken carcass in the freezer for making stock, salsa, sour cream, flour, sugar, frozen pie crust, beans, lentils, rice, peanut butter, raisins, frozen chicken thighs, frozen taco meat from last week, 1 frozen whole chicken from last week, various baking supplies including chocolate chips

Sunday dinner: Costco roast chicken, my variation of Smitten Kitchen's lentil salad (which rocked my world), cottage cheese, and coconut mango sticky rice for dessert.

Monday dinner: Repeat of the above. I love left-over night.

Tuesday dinner: WHO KNOWS!?! I can go for Padma's stew or just throw caution to the wind and be wild and crazy. I'll keep you updated.

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