This Week in Food and Frugality

Farmer’s Market: $50.

Whole Foods: $10

Local grocer: $50

I suppose we could eat for less, but despite being frugal, we’re not willing to give up nutrition and quality. Almost everything from the above budget is organically raised, and most of it is local. The eggs (all three dozen, including duck eggs) are all 100% pastured & organic. Really, for the quality, I think we’re doing pretty darn well. There are some items that are bulk, such as the organic brown rice, that will get used for many weeks. I suppose I could have pro-rated those items or something, but I am just not that motivated. I wanted to include pictures of everything, but it’s raining buckets here and the light in this house just stinks for photos.

Also, feeding Tall and Lanky takes 3,500-4,000 calories a day just so he doesn’t lose weight, and we can’t do that healthfully with simple carbs and sugar (which would be a lot cheaper). His diet makes a very large difference in his ability to concentrate and also to sleep, and pretty much completely reverses any signs of ADD (as it does with most people, though not all). So, for us, it’s worth it. Honestly, I’d give up almost anything but the roof over my head and my cats to not jeopardize our way of eating.

The weekly drill is to get up early and go to the market. We have standing orders with some farmers, and from the rest pick out what is freshest and ripe. We then come home and organize or clean the refrigerator, writing down our purchases from the market as we stock. Any vegetable remains that are getting too soft or ripe (or that there’s just not much of) go into the stock bag, and everything else that needs used is written down on a list by priority for use. We then sit down and plan our weekly meals around the lists, and head to the store for remaining ingredients. There is no waste, and that is–to me–a large part of being frugal.

This is what’s on the menu this week.

Dinners

Tonight: London broil wraps (marinated London broil, avacado, garlicscapes, tomato, red peppers, onions, cheese, and sour-cream sauce on low-carb tortillas). Served with stuffed squash blossoms. Normally, we eat grass-fed beef; but, we do keep some other in stock sometimes. In this case, we got the meat on sale for $1.99/lb, and bought a 5 lb. Package. We portioned it into five 1 lb. baggies of thinly sliced meats and froze them for future use in stir fry, wraps, pastas, etc. Really has paid off! The veggies are largely small bits we have leftover from last week’s meals that I don’t want to put into the stock bag, and the low-carb tortillas are a great alternative to bread for us (they are a bit expensive, but it takes us weeks to go through one package).

Sunday: BLTs, served with a green salad (red leaf and other organic lettuces, unpasteurized cherve, roasted walnuts, vinegar and oil).

Monday: Beet, radish, and turnip soup, served with crusty whole grain bread (homemade). Small beets are in right now, as are the first lovely radishes and turnips. I make stock, then use the whole vegetable—greens and all—for the soup. Since it’s hot, I just put the roots in the crock pot and let it go. I’ll add the tops about an hour before we want to eat, then stick my emulsion blender in for a few turns while adding some milk. Also, I don’t skin the vegetables, because they leave more flavor and nutrients in the soup. It’s fantastic. Some of this will get frozen for lunches or dinners at a later date.

Tuesday: Seafood pasta mix and garlicscapes over homemade pasta. We got the huge seafood mix (Krab, small shrimps, tiny octopi, some small scallops) at $3.00/lb. And got just a pound. Put over homemade whole grain pasta with some fresh garlicscapes, this will make a dinner and two lunches at least.

Wednesday: Salmon burgers with roasted corn on the cob served with smoky butter and blue potatoes. Burgers are made with no-salt-added wild-caught canned salmon (which, incidentally, was the same price, is healthier for you than fresh farm-raised and also better for the environment), bread crumbs from the ends of our homemade breads, herbs and spices (many of them from my upside down tomato pots), hickory salt, and egg. The corn on the cob is the last of the frozen ears from last years great crop, and the smoky butter is a bit of Amish butter (this is actually cheaper around here than standard butter, which is fantastic!) melted with smoked paprika. The blue potatoes will be roasted, and stay blue. These are coming in really fast around here, so the price is great. I am considering buying a bulk of them to freeze for the winter (mashed).

Thursday: Vegetarian stir fry (fennel, red pepper, summer squash, eggplant, garbanzo beans) over herb-scented scented brown rice.

Friday: Quiche. We use quiches and frittatas to use up extra vegetable, leftover meats and cheeses, and herbs. We make our own whole grain crusts. It’s a great way to remake leftovers! Some of this will also get carried over to next week for lunches and frozen for use at a later date.

Lunches (we don’t do these by day, as they’re often catch-as-catch-can): Fried egg sandwiches on whole grain bread. Soup & salad. Thai peanut chicken over whole wheat noodles (leftovers from yesterday). BLTs. PB&J wraps. Tuna salad pitas. Egg salad.

Breakfasts: Our Egg Muffins, Warm grape-nuts type cereal, lacto-fermented oatmeal, eggs on organic ciabatta bread (germ-in) w/basil and lettuce.

Snacks: Hummus & guacamole w/pita chips, carrots, cucumbers. Cottage cheese. Fruit. Yogurt (which I will make into frozen yogurt, too!).

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6 responses to “This Week in Food and Frugality

  • This Week in Food and Frugality | 30 Minute Meal Ideas

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWhole Foods: $10. Local grocer: $50. I suppose we could eat for less, but despite being frugal, we’re not willing to give up nutrition and quality. Almost everything from the above budget is organically raised, and most of it is local. … […]

  • Donna Miller

    Randomly came across your blog. I really enjoy it! It’s a topic that I enjoy as well – food (healthy food) and being frugal. Nice recipes to find and it reads like ‘I know you’ (o:

    Looking forward to reading more.

    Not sure, but want to get an RSS for your blog to keep up.

    Still trying to find what it is your are in ‘training’ for….

    I have several blogs, but lately on one I’ve started a series of tips to grocery savings. http://www.tipstohomesteading.com

  • shwankie

    Thanks for the comment, and I am glad you’re finding the blog fun. It’s really been amazing how many people I’ve connected with that are interested in food and frugality via WordPress! Good to (virtually) meet you. Unf, I have no clue how to subscribe to RSS via wordpress 😦

    I am training for several long hikes/backpacks this year. I’ve been an avid hiker for years, but we finally moved to a state that allows us to be much more serious about it. Also, I start training for outdoor swimming in hopes of doing a duathlon sometime this year (this assumes I manage to find a used bike, as dropping $1,200 on a new one right now just isn’t in the cards). I’ve been swimming indoors a good bit, including competitively, but outdoors competition will be new for me. I am really excited.

    I’ll definitely check out your blog soon, especially the grocery savings part. We do really well, especially considering we live in an apartment so no gardening or root cellars for us, but there’s always room for improvement!

  • Sue (coffeepot)

    I wish I could be as organized. Sounds great.

  • shwankie

    Sue, thanks! I’ve got some pics to post of dinners this week, including approximate costs of each. I’ll get to that…er, eventually.

    I’ve found that taking the time to be organized ends up costing me less time and money than not. Fortunately, in this case, the Other Half and I have turned it into quality time together; so, it’s become kind of fun, in a geeky domestic way. I have to give him kudos, not all men are this patient.

  • Dave M

    Great stuff in your blog! We live in downtown Culpeper, and we’re huge fans of all the opportunities for local food here. I’m also pleasantly surprised at the live and let live attitude in our neighborhood- having older neighbors mere feet away, I thought there may be some issues with my wild hairs and unfinished treehugger projects. Turns out my neighbor built his own passive solar collector last winter and is excited to see my compost and rainwater harvesting projects move forward! Culpeper’s weird. I like it.

    I’ll definitely be following your blog, since we’re getting the local thing down, but still struggling with the frugal. I thought the Whole Foods bill last Sunday was going to give me a heart attack!

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