Day 78–Starting Week 12–Budget and Menu

I can’t believe we are beginning the third month of our family locavore challenge! This year seems to be speeding by–this is probably helped by our exceptionally warm weather. We were fortunate to start our journey during what we we call “The Year Without a Winter.” Our farmers have had an extended growing season, and I haven’t had a week yet, when I left the market empty-handed or disappointed (well, except for the “Broccoli Incident”).

So, what have we learned in 3 months? Here is a sample:

  1. Eating locally in NC is not difficult, but it does require an adjustment of behaviors.
  2. I like having a social friendship with our farmers and meat producers.
  3. Local, organic produce tastes so much better, we feel like we are being spoiled.
  4. We have been on budget–or close–for most weeks in our challenge so far.
  5. We will never go back to buying store eggs.
  6. Fresh food, cooked creatively is so good that we have dramatically cut down the number of times we go out to eat. Our food tastes better, so why look elsewhere?

Depsite not finding broccoli this week, I did find some beautiful swiss chard at the Western Wake Farmer’s Market. I love chard–it has such a fresh, light flavor that is a welcome respite from our kale and collard diet over the last few months. Lettuce and spring onions are out and other spring veggies are right around the corner! We are very excited that all of our area farmer’s markets crank up In 2 weeks and our Produce Box delivery starts soon as well!

How did we do on spending this week? Our budget this week looks like this:

  • Rainbow Farm (organic, ground lamb): $10.00
  • Farmhand Foods meatbox (pork chops): $12.00
  • Rare Earth Farm (Maple View fresh buttermilk): $2.50
  • State Farmer’s Market (onions, carrots): $3.50
  • Locals Seafood (rockfish, flounder): $32.00
  • Ben’s Produce (organic lettuce, organic swiss chard): $6.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (Greek yogurt, baby brie): $7.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, soy milk, mushrooms, shallots, pita, tortillas, organic mayonaise): $25.39

Our total spent is $98.39! Just a hair under our budget of $100. I actually feel pretty good about this because we are eating a lot of fresh seafood and salads, which fit in perfectly with our 85 degree days! The only red meat we are eating this week are grilled lamb burgers, so that should shake things up a bit!

Menu for the Week

  • Sunday–Spicy marinated rockfish tacos with chipotle slaw, quinoa
  • Monday–Cornmeal dusted summer flounder, collard greens, quinoa
  • Tuesday–Eggs nested in sauteed swiss chard and mushrooms
  • Wednesday–Salad-pa-looza!!
  • Thursday–Grilled lamb burgers in pita with cucumber yogurt sauce, kale, rice
  • Friday–Out for grandmommy’s birthday
  • Saturday–Grilled pork chops, kale from the garden, beans

Thank you for reading our blog and for being a part of our journey. We have learned a lot about our community and ourselves and it just gets better as we go along!

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Day 71–Starting Week 11–Budget and Menu

This has been a roller coaster week, full of highs and lows, bottoming out with the temporary “loss” or our cat, but ending on a super high note with an award from Sugar Dish Me and a fun, family learning event.

Our family trek to the Dig In! community gardening conference was fun, informative and inspiring. Tom and Ellie are working on their guest blog posts for this week and we have made contact with a couple of community gardens in our area. And Ellie wants chickens, which she will share with you later. And we’ll be sharing with you some of what we learned about canning, worms and herb spirals. Not necessarily in that order.

All this excitement has re-energized us and given us some great ideas for spring. Which means we have a lot of work to do!!

Somewhere in the chaos of this week, I made it to the State Farmers Market for our weekly shopping. We had our most efficient shopping week yet, spending just $88.95. This was in part due to our cat escaping and subsequently one dinner being carried over. We’re also making recipes from two fellow bloggers! 

Shopping List for the Week:

Rainbow Farm (chicken breasts): $12.00
Mae Farm (eggs): $4.00
Farmer’s market (broccoli, collards, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion): $13.00
Farmhand Foods (skirt steak): $15.00
Trader Joes (frozen fruit, lime, soy milk, Greek yogurt, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil): $28.02
Lowes Foods (chipotle sauce, sriracha sauce, ginger, black beans): $16.93

Total $88.95–$11.05 under our weekly goal!

What are we having? Here’s the menu:

Eats for the Week

Sunday–Chicken pot pie, sautéed greens, triple chocolate raspberry “cheesecake” squares from The Scrumptious Pumpkin
Monday–Leftover pot pie, salad
Tuesday–Stuffed sweet potatoes, salad
Wednesday–Grilled cheese and homemade chicken soup
Thursday–Asian spicy chicken salad from Creative Noshing
Friday–Chicken soup and buttermilk biscuits
Saturday–Grilled skirt steak and red pepper fajitas, black beans, quinoa

Whew! Well, that’s a wrap. Have a great week–may all your vegetables be organic and may all your kittens be safely corralled inside 🙂