Day 336–Starting Week 49–Budget and Menu

Those of you who have children or grandchildren know that May and December seem to be the craziest months of the year. Every recital, performance, ceremony and exam seems to be crunched into these two months, as though February weren’t sitting there, all forlorn without any major holidays except Valentine’s Day. So this week will be a busy one, with PTA meetings, a winter band concert and a major holiday event for me at work. I’m planning to cook ahead on Sunday so we can have easy, quick (but healthy and local) dinners all week!

Our food expenses this week are $46.58 although one meal will be out since I’ll be working, so that figure is not indicative of our total spending.

Budget

  • Mitchell’s freezer (roasted tomato sauce, frozen tomatoes, frozen jalapenos, frozen yellow squash): $11.00
  • Mae Farm (ground beef, Italian sausage): $20.00
  • Trader Joes (manicotti noodles, cheese, chili powder, canned organic beans): $10.58 (
  • Farmer’s Market (lettuce, cucumber, broccoli): $5.00

Menu

  • Sunday–Veggie manicotti with local cheese, salad
  • Monday–leftover manicotti and salad
  • Tuesday–Chili and yellow squash muffins
  • Wednesday–Leftover chili
  • Thursday–State Tree Lighting (dinner at a food truck)
  • Friday–Stuffed butternut squash
  • Saturday–Shrimp and roasted red peppers with Melina’s spinach fettucine
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Day 301–Starting Week 44–Budget and Menu

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! (Photo credit: eschipul)

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a terrific holiday. As much as I would love to give out Play-dough or apples to our trick or treaters, I have to say that in the name of time and budget, I caved and bought candy. Give the people what they want is the mantra of the day 🙂

Our budget this week will hopefully make up for some candy transgressions. We have a diet heavy in fall vegetables and hearty fare like pumpkin, squash and sweet potatoes. Our budget is great! At $98.43, we are just a bit under our target of $100.00. We are “paying” ourselves back for field peas and kale that we bought, blanched and froze earlier since those stock up items were not included in our weekly budget.

This week’s budget:

The Produce Box (lettuce, broccoli, apple cider, butternut squash, apples, tomatoes, potatoes): $23.00

  • Trader Joes (peas, frozen fruit, soy milk, yogurt, orange juice): $28.43
  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $10.00
  • Mae Farm (mini boneless ham): $15.00
  • Rainbow Farm (chicken thighs): $12.00
  • Maple View Farm (buttermilk): $4.00
  • The Mitchell’s Freezer (field peas, kale): $6.00

What are we eating this week? Here is our menu!

Menu

Wednesday–baked sweet potatoes, leftover quiche, salad

Thursday–Curry chicken and potatoes

Friday–Shrimp and broccoli over rice, salad

Saturday–Baked ham, field peas, kale, biscuits

Sunday–Ham, pea and broccoli pasta

Monday–Leftovers

Tuesday–Stuffed butternut squash with apples, pecans and ham

Have a wonderful week and enjoy all those great fall veggies!

 

 

Day 294–Starting Week 43–Budget and Menu

English: Taken by Bart Lacks

Steel cut oats are fueling us during these chilly, fall mornings!

I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…That was my mantra the past few weeks as I worked my way through some stressful and hectic days at work and at home. Most weeks, I manage to create a very healthy work/life balance, but every once in a while one side of that equation dominates the other and I find myself sprinting through each day, feeling frazzled and wishing I could cross some invisible finish line. That was the past two weeks. The good news is I survived and life will be on a more even keel after this week is over. I’m glad because I really miss cooking for my family, exercising the way I should, and feeling present in the moment when I am with my family. The lack of all three of those has made me pretty darn grumpy lately.

This week’s menu is a reflection of my transition back to a more regular routine. I have some easy meals for busy nights and more satisfying dinners for the weekend. I’ve been loving steel-cut oats with a scoop of crock pot applesauce in the morning for breakfast. Yum, yum! If you haven’t tried cooking steel-cut oats in the crock pot, give it a try. It definitely brings a healthy breakfast in reach during a busy week!

Our budget this week is $100.02, right at our goal of $100.00.

  • The Produce Box (lettuce, cucumbers, yellow squash, apples, field tomatoes, sweet potatoes, Spanish radishes, peanuts): $23.00
  • Homestead Farms (eggs): $4.00
  • Farmhand Foods (beef roast): $15.00
  • Trader Joes (soy milk, frozen fruit, oatmeal, cheese, organic tomato soup, half and half, pie crust, butter): $58.02

What are we having for $100.02? Here is the menu for the week.

Menu

  • Wednesday–Green salad with apples and pecans
  • Thursday–Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  • Friday–Working all night–leftovers?
  • Saturday–Pot roast with potatoes and carrots, squash casserole, salad
  • Sunday–Leftover roast and vegetables
  • Monday–Cheese quiche, baked sweet potato fries
  • Tuesday–Leftover quiche, whatever vegetables are left!

Hope you are enjoying some lovely fall weather and visiting your farmer’s markets, which still have a great variety of produce available!!!

Day 246–Starting Week 36–Budget and Menu

20120905-090156.jpg

Pumpkins in the front, watermelon in the back. Seems so wrong!

After all my whining about not wanting summer to leave, I am in that special limbo you feel when you see pumpkins at the farmer’s market and it is still in the mid-90s outside. Our menu this week slowly makes the transition from summer to fall and hopefully the temperatures will follow!

On a lovely, positive note, the beginning of school has meant that our tomatoes are now growing without pilfering and we have, for the first time all summer, actually been able to harvest about a dozen RED tomatoes. We still find the occasion tomato with racoon gnaw marks on them, but we have been thrilled to find we can actually harvest food from our yard now that the child poachers in my neighborhood are in juvenile detention school.

Remember that monster pumpkin plant that volunteered to grow in our front yard? I have an update for you later this week!

Our budget is just over our goal of $100.00 at $103.24. I’ve added organic breakfast burritos to our shopping list because they are a super easy, high protein breakfast and Ellie adores them, even if they are on the pricey side. Not sure we can keep that in our budget every week, so I may be looking for a homemade alternative that is less expensive. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Budget

  • The Produce Box (apples, cabbage, grapes, corn, green peppers, field tomatoes): $23.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, yogurt, taco seasoning, soy milk, shampoo, lemon): $34.04
  • Mae Farm (bone-in pork chops, ground beef): $20.00
  • Lowes Foods (Amy’s organic breakfast burritos): $16.20
  • Farmer’s market (figs, goat cheese): $10.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Melina’s pasta with fresh tomato basil sauce
  • Thursday–Taco stuffed bell peppers with quinoa
  • Friday–Leftover buffet
  • Saturday–Field peas and homemade cornbread
  • Sunday–Mae Farm pan seared pork chops, sautĂ©ed cabbage and apples, field peas
  • Monday–Fig, goat cheese and caramelized onion pizza
  • Tuesday–Melina’s pasta with leftover vegetables or roasted tomato sauce

Have a delicious and healthy week! And go Broncos 🙂

Day 219–Starting Week 32–Budget and Menu

This week I am trying to feature those summer vegetables that will not be available too much longer–tomatoes, zucchini, okra and eggplant. We’re also featuring our Julia Child 100th birthday dinner, which costs more than most of the week 🙂 But, totally worth it. And, we are astonishingly under budget at $75.24. That helps make up for last week!

Budget

  • The Produce Box (cantaloupe, heirloom tomatoes, okra, eggplant, sweet peppers, squash, garlic, onions, cherry tomatoes): $22
  • Various farmer’s market (new potatoes, zucchini): $4.00
  • Rainbow Farm (whole roasting chicken): $12.00
  • Locals Seafood (pink snapper): $18.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Co (mozzarella): $6.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen mango, yogurt, soy milk, shallots): $13.24

Menu

  • Wednesday–Red Pepper Tart, tomato and cucumber salad; leftover peach cobbler
  • Thursday–Pan seared pink snapper w/cherry tomatoes, corn, roasted okra
  • Friday–Tuscan eggplant parmesan w/roasted tomato sauce, leftover tomato and cucumber salad
  • Saturday–Homemade pizza
  • Sunday–Julia Child Birthday Dinner–roast chicken, roasted new potatoes, sautĂ©ed grated zucchini in butter and shallots, stuffed tomatoes, peach tart
  • Monday–Leftovers from Sunday
  • Tuesday–Carryover local pasta with roasted vegetables

Day 185–Starting Week 28–Budget and Menu

green beans

This week has been a busy one! The mid-week Independence Day holiday has my schedule all mixed up, and I’m a bit late getting out our weekly budget and menu, but that is life, right? We are a bit over budget this week (mostly meat for the holiday) at $105.70. Since I had to work on July 4th (outside!) I was not about to cook. Mae Farms prepared pulled pork gave us more than one meal and prevented me from having to cook (I love them!) Here is the list of what we bought this week:

  • The Produce Box (tomatoes, watermelon, peaches, corn, green beans, squash, snow peas, plums): $28.00
  • Mae Farm (pulled pork barbecue, steaks): $38.00
  • Other farmers market (cantaloupe, blackberries, potatoes): $10
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, soy milk, butter, yogurt, wine, turbinado sugar): $29.70

What are we eating for the kingly sum? Here is our weekly menu!

  • Wednesday–Pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, potato salad, cantaloupe
  • Thursday–Tomato sandwiches, watermelon and blackberry fruit salad
  • Friday–Grilled steaks, corn on the cob, snow peas; peach cobbler
  • Saturday–Out–date night!
  • Sunday–Pasta with grilled eggplant, squash and tomatoes
  • Monday–BLT sandwiches, homemade pickles
  • Tuesday–leftovers and/or quiche

Day 169–Starting Week 26–Budget and Menu

We are almost halfway through the year already! Where did the time go? I feel like I will blink and it will be Christmas again (I think I just depressed myself). If time flies when you’re having a good time, I must be having the mother of all good times (and I think maybe I am!). The markets are just loaded with goodness this week–I’ve really had to curb my food hoarding tendencies. We came in under budget this week at $95.69. Our menu includes one night of Ellie cooking (hence the spaghetti taco menu, which she assures us is amazing).

Here is how our budget breaks down this week:

  • Produce Box (peaches, blueberries, green pepper, eggplant, onion, tomatoes): $23
  • Homestead Farm (1/2 chicken): $9.00
  • Calico Farm (fresh mozzarella): $4.00
  • Locals Seafood (skin on flounder fillets): $18.00
  • Hilltop Farm Organics (squash, zucchini, potatoes): $6.50
  • DJ’s Produce (okra): $2.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen mango, yogurt, soy milk, taco shells): $30.19
  • The Mitchells (paying ourselves back for 1 jar of jam): $3

What are we having for $95? Here is our menu for the week!

Menu

  • Wednesday–Farm fresh salad with cukes, tomatoes, green peppers and blue cheese
  • Thursday–Cornmeal dusted flounder, corn, sautĂ©ed okra and tomatoes
  • Friday–Panini alla Margherita, cucumber spears, peach cobbler
  • Saturday–Spaghetti tacos
  • Sunday–Balsamic marinated chicken, grilled eggplant and squash
  • Monday–Quiche, sliced tomatoes
  • Tuesday–Leftover buffet

Day 139–Changing My Mind…Again

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot

I remember an old-fashioned saying that it is a woman’s right to change her mind. Well, dang it, I’m taking that right and running with it this week. After carefully choosing a menu and working out the shopping and budget, I find that the planning gods have been laughing at my attempts to pin down our family schedule. So, for the first week, we are “winging it.”

Since our pork roast never made it out of the freezer in time for Sunday supper, I have changed my mind and we are having it as a crock pot barbecue, pulled pork dinner instead. My family won’t be around for Tuesday dinner, so I’m on my own–abandoned for math tutoring and softball. This means either scrambled eggs or oatmeal instead of whatever the heck I had planned. This week has been so chaotic I don’t even remember anymore.

Here’s the deal though. Whatever I have in the refrigerator or pantry is most likely local, healthy and delicious. So, even if we are three individuals left on our own to scrounge up something for supper this week, whatever it is will not be bad for us and it will certainly be better than anything fast food. This is one week where I am glad to have a freezer full of put up food and a crock pot full of Homestead Farm pork shoulder. The pork quesadillas may end up as burritos eaten on the run or maybe we will all eat cereal and freeze the barbecue, but we’ll all get fed and we’ll all get through this week. Thank goodness for freezers, for farmers and for upcoming holiday weekends!

 

Day 113–Starting Week 16–Budget and Menu

This week, the farmer’s markets were just teeming with people and chock full of wonderful strawberries and spring vegetables. I didn’t buy as much at the market as last week because we now have our weekly Produce Box delivery. Still, it was great to be out seeing the farmers so busy after a quiet winter. Our total for the week was $101.65–just $1.65 over our weekly goal. Not too bad!!

  • The Produce Box (sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, strawberries, cucumbers): $22.00
  • Rainbow Farms (roasting chicken): $13.00
  • Farmhand Foods (kabob beef): $15.00
  • Farmer’s Market–various (onions, sugar snap peas, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes): $18.00
  • Trader Joes (organic soy milk, rice, frozen fruit, bananas, mushrooms, Ezekiel bread, cous cous): $33.65

What are we having this week for $101.65? Here is our weekly menu:

  • Sunday–Roast fresh chicken, sweet potato wedges, roasted asparagus spears, buttermilk biscuits, strawberry cobbler
  • Monday–Curry chicken and spinach over whole wheat cous cous
  • Tuesday–Pasta salad with roasted vegetables
  • Wednesday–Sandwiches with leftover pasta salad
  • Thursday–Veggie stir fry over rice
  • Friday–Leftover cleanup night
  • Saturday–Grilled beef and vegetable kabob with whole wheat cous cous

Have a terrific and delicious week!