It's week four of the Pantry Challenge hosted by Life as Mom. Not only am I under budget, I had enough leftovers to freeze some meal-sized portions. I am at an advantage to other families, because my girls are small and don't eat as much as growing teenagers. However, I did host my friend and her three friend for lunch one day and brought a pot of chili and cornbread muffins to a potluck one night. We even took an extra trip to our local Chinese grocers.
This past week I bought 40 items and spent $91.13. As you can see by the picture, we eat a lot of eggs around here. My husband is a big breakfast eater, and makes omelets most mornings. I also bake all of the cookies and other snacks we eat, so we easily go through 2 dozen eggs a week.
I know a lot of people shop around, comparing prices to get the great deals. I tried to do that when I first started staying home, but I found the more stores I visited, the more money I spent. Plus, if I added the gasoline and time running around, I just was not coming out ahead. So, I shop at Wal-Mart. My budget is $100 a week that includes toiletries, paper products, groceries and consumables. If I spend significantly less than $100, I also visit our local Chinese mart for Asian treats.
My Choice of Fruits and Vegetables:
During the summer and fall months, my husband culivates a garden. However, during this time of the year, I buy all of our fruits and vegetables from the store. I buy basic vegetables that are consistently inexpensive, cabbage, carrots, celery, lettuce, onions, and potatoes. During Christmastime, we ate Clementines by the bag. I also look at Asian markets. They usually have great deals on fresh fruit herbs, and vegetables.
We also went to the Chinese market this week, and bought noodles and red bean paste dumplings for a grand total of $3.26. From that trip, and some vegetables I had in my refrigerator, I was able to feed five children and two adults lunch for our weekly Chinese cultural class.
Here's what's was cooking at my house:
If you don't like the smoky taste of chiptole, substitute regular chili powder instead.
- 2 lb. ground beef or turkey
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 1-7 oz can of chopped green chiles
- 1-16 oz. can of kidney beans, drained
- 1-16 oz. can of pinto beans, drained
- 1-16 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 T chili powder (2 T if you omit the chiptole)
- 1 T chiptole powder
- 1 t dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
In large pan or Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic until meat is brown. Drain fat. Add green chilies, tomatoes, beans, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes.
Fluffy Meat Loaf
This recipe is an oldie, but my family loves it, especially my husband. It is from my Mother's Betty Crocker Cookbook circa 1959. I serve it with baled potatoes and streamed peas. This recipe is hearty, and makes two meals for us.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 milk
- 1 T minced onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. mustard
- 1/8 tsp. sage
Simple Chinese Noodles
- 3-4 green onions, sliced thin
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1-2 carrots, sliced thin
- Chinese noodles
- cube of chicken bouillon
- sesame or canola oil
Boil chinese noodles according to package instructions, add a cube of chicken bouillon. Meanwhile, saute vegetables in sesame oil. Finish boiling noodles, drain. Toss vegetables with noodles.
Do you have any recipes or cost saving tips to share?