Friday, January 23, 2009

Grocery Challenge & Supper Wars - Week 4

Regular Grocery Shopping
Publix - $34.22
Dekalb Farmers Market - $51.52
Publix - $43.70
Week 2 total - $129.44

Weekly Average - $146.32

Year To Date - $585.28

Shopping Lists:

I kind of blew it this week on the whole grocery budget thing. A little lax in general, but here are a few big red flags:
  1. The $15 in meat for one meal.
  2. Running short on flour, again.
  3. Blueberry B Monster Smoothie
  4. Ice cream, when I had a perfectly good batch of cookie dough stashed in the freezer.
Attempt at justification:
  1. Tried out a honey peppercorn steak recipe with the kids. Tough to do without steak. We don't do it that often... so there.
  2. I'll be better about this for the next four weeks, as I have a much clearer idea of how much flour we go through now.
  3. I knew I had less than an hour between yoga class and Friday reading at the elementary school (2nd & 4th grade classes). Enough time to shower, no time to fix lunch. The $3 smoothie waiting in the fridge prevented a fast food debacle.
  4. It was Red Velvet Ice Cream.
Will be heading over to the International Farmers Market this coming Sunday, for the stockup shopping trip. No froufrou coffee, no crazy chocolate confections. Staples. Fruits. Vegetables. Protein.

For a bit of a lark, here are photos of my haul from two of this week's shopping trips. First, the farmers market ($51.52):

Next, the regular old grocery store ($43.70):

Less than $8 between the two register tapes, but what a tremendous difference in the quality and quantity of food!

2009 Grocery Challenge

Overall, the plan is still going well. The kids are helping with more food prep on nights where there's not too much homework. As an example, on Sunday, B2 mixed up the cornbread muffins and peeled parsnips and garlic cloves. DD sliced apples for the pie. B1 (14 y.o.) offered his younger siblings loads of advice on proper technique... given his vastly superior experience, gained over his "many years of cooking." Supper line-up for Week 4, with lunch from Monday (MLK Holiday):
Green - Hit; will make again
Red - Miss; try a new variation, or not
Black - Mixed results; tweak & try again.

Black Pepper-Honey Steak
Mashed Potatoes & Parsnips
Green Beans, and Cornbread Muffins
Apple-Cranberry Pie
Recipe for Black Pepper-Honey Steak was from The Splendid Table (NPR). It. Was. Delicious. The whole meal was a hit, except for the pie. Two children were put off by the cranberries in with their beloved apple slices. (I'm beginning to think those two may not actually be my children, but strange little alien pod people, put here to test the limits of human patience.)

Turkey Tacos & Black Bean Salad (Lunch)
Butter Chicken, Brown Rice, Green Peas (Supper)
Kids were a little iffy on [not-so?] mild curry this time. They ate it, but went through more ice water than usual at supper. I didn't notice a big difference, but the jalapeno I used in making the curry paste may have been a bit hotter than last time.

Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame & Tofu
Picked up the recipe from RunningWithFood. Different flavor and consistency than the way I usually make it. Was tasty.

Leftover Night:
Mexican Pizza, w/meat from Turkey Tacos
Fried Rice w/Scallions, Edamame & Tofu
Butter Chicken & Green Peas (OK, this was just me)

Chicken with Lentils & Couscous
Kids picked out the yellow & red pepper, but I didn't get a lot of whining. I'm going to take that as progress.

Linguine w/Italian Sausage & Veggies,
Cheesy Toasted Flatbread, Broccoli
The onions were chopped small enough to get past, but the red peppers were picked out... again. Halved grape tomatoes, no problem. I've upped the amounts of fresh parsley & basil to get them used to extra green in pasta. I plan to sneak in fresh chopped spinach next time. One likes it, but the other two will only eat spinach as long as they don't know it's there. (Again... pod people.)

Had planned chicken breasts sauteed in butter with tarragon, rice pilaf and salad for Saturday... which was scrapped in favor of a meal at Tijuana Joe's Mexican Cantina.

We spent extra time at the park, playing a imaginative version of space-pirates-meet-intrepid-explorers, incorporating elements from Stargate SG-1/Atlantis, Firefly, Captain Drake (hence the pirates), and the many incarnations of Star Trek. Oh! B2 made sure we knew all of our close quarter battles were with light sabers, so Star Wars was in there too. The playground was empty, except for us. Not sure why, as it was a sunny day with temps in the 50s, but we took advantage of all that extra space.

Supper Wars

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