Friday, October 12, 2012

October Spending Challenge - Week 2

Today ends Week 2 of Northwest Edible Life's No-Spend Month of October.  To participate, I decided to challenge myself to spend zero money going out to eat and as little as possible on food at the grocery store.  Kat requests the school's hot lunch a few times a month, so I'm including that spending as well.  I don't consider it to be groceries or a meal out, so it gets its own category.

This week of 10/6 to 10/12 was somewhat successful:

Restaurant spending:  $0
School lunch spending: $0
Grocery store spending:  $36.51 (includes sales tax)

At the store I spent quite a bit more than last week, but still a good deal less than usual.  I bought: 3 pound bag of yellow onions, 12 cans green beans, 3 bags tortilla chips, 2 loaves whole wheat bread, 2 whole "Just BARE" brand chickens, 1 lb. organic carrots, 2 heads lettuce, 1 pint sour cream, 1 pint ricotta cheese, 8 oz. block mozzarella cheese, 2 cans pumpkin.

Notes:  *Canned green beans are one of just a few veggies that I can rest assured that Kat will eat, so I stock up when they are on saled. *I make a lot of our bread from scratch, but will buy it if I'm especially busy like I was this week.  *I usually buy organic, free-range chicken from Trader Joe's for $2.49/lb, but the nearest TJ's is 15+ miles away.  I decided to try the Just BARE brand at $1.75/lb (and about 1 mile from home).  It's not organic or free-range, but from what I've read, they do follow cleaner, more humane practices than conventional poultry producers.  Anyone have any experience with this brand?

In addition, our neighbors moved away this weekend and gave us 18 eggs and 15 pounds of potatoes that they didn't have room to take with them.


Here's what we ate this past week, most of which was already in the freezer, fridge and pantry:

Breakfasts and Lunches: 
  • On both Saturday and Sunday, we ate steel cut oats and homemade toast with butter. 
  • Otherwise, our breakfasts and lunches were very similar to last week's, consisting mostly of hot cereals, leftovers and/or simple sandwiches.
  • Kat did not request any school lunches this week.

  • Saturday evening we were invited to eat at our friends' house.  We contributed homemade cookies and one of the last watermelons from our garden.
  • Ham and cheese pretzel bites, green beans, lettuce salad with tomatoes and mushrooms, homemade honey mustard or ranch dressings, leftover cole slaw.
  • Homemade pizzas (choice of ham and cheese or Thai chicken), lettuce salad with tomatoes and mushrooms, carrot sticks with homemade salad dressings for dip, homemade zucchini hummus, tortilla chips.
  • Ham and dumplings, green beans w/bits of ham, lettuce salad with tomatoes and mushrooms,  carrot sticks with salad dressing for dip.
  • 4-Cheese ravioli with homemade pasta sauce, garlic toast, salad with tomatoes and mushrooms, leftover green beans.
  • Choice of homemade soup (chicken noodle or tomato bisque), fried egg sandwiches on toast, lettuce salad with tomatoes, watermelon.
  • Sweet and spicy salmon burgers on homemade buns, roasted acorn squash, zucchini-tomato bake, lettuce salad.
  • Pasta with tapenade, oven-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini and feta cheese; garlic toast.
Drinks and Snacks:
Drinks this week were water, coffee, iced tea, hot tea, hot chocolate, beer, and white wine punch (wine and lemonade, basically).  Snacks were dry roasted peanuts, tortilla chips with homemade salsa (both red and green), zucchini hummus, apples, homemade toffee chip cookies, and popcorn.
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