Monday, March 02, 2009

Grocery Challenge & Supper Wars - Week 9

2009 Grocery Challenge - Week 9 (Stock up week)
Atlanta Farmers Market - $55.33
Trader Joe's - $140.41
Publix - $22.72
Week 9 Total - $218.46

Year to date - $1,372.38

Weekly Average - $152.48

Had my grocery receipts clipped to my notepad, ready to be entered into the lists, along with the notes on suppers for the week. I was so organized, yet somehow managed to outstupid myself. I set everything down on the dining table Saturday, right in the middle of rainy day art projects.

All was cleared away for dinner, but came back out for Sunday's snowy day projects. And was cleared away again, along with wet gloves, hats and sweetgum balls. By the time we were clearing up the table for tonight's supper (no school today), I realized what I'd done. There is no way I'm going to find those receipts.


I had planned to talk about the differences in shopping at the Asian/Mexican market, in an old supermarket, as opposed to the warehouse sized farmer's market, but I'll have to try for a short version.

Week 9 was supposed to be a stock up week, and it was, to some extent. I tried the Asian market closer to home, instead of the Farmers Market. I got a great price on jasmine rice, and hoisin sauce, but felt limited by the choice of produce. There was plenty of fresh produce, but I had to do more sorting through bins to find it. The seafood is amazing, with many things you can't find anywhere else (live frogs, anyone?), but boneless, skinless chicken breast wasn't available. Finding the tapioca flour needed for yucca buns was a cinch, but there wasn't one chorizo which wasn't super processed, smoked and loaded with chemicals. I'm going to stick with the Int'l Market over in Dekalb, and save the Buford Highway trips for specialty items.

Without the receipts, I'm going by the bank debits, so there's a couple bottles of handsoap and a jug of laundry detergent included in the totals. But, I do have photos.

Atlanta Farmers Market (Formerly Hong Kong Market):

Note the lack of meat & poultry. I don't insist on buying everything organic/free range/grass fed, but I've gotten a bit pickier about knowing something about what we're eating. At the Dekalb Market, the farm or distributor is named on the cases, along with the grass/grain/range information and price. At Trader Joes, the packages mention the non-antibiotic & hormone feed.

Now, for Trader Joe's. Gotta say, bike shopping is the way to go here. Walking in with 3-4 bags to fill, and a truck to carry everything home for me made for a much pricier trip. Two bike trips spaced through the week would have gotten everything we actually needed, with a smaller total at the end of the week. I picked up both spicy and sweet Italian sausage, ground beef, chicken breasts and thighs. I still have some of the spicy sausage and chicken thighs, which will be used this week, but it really wasn't the most sensible trip I've made.

Supper Wars -
Chicken Paella
Have been asked to leave out the green peppers. When I explained this would change the flavor of the dish, since it all cooks together for a while, we reached a compromise. I'll leave the pepper in big pieces next time, so they can be easily avoided. (I wasn't a bell pepper fan at the age of nine, so it's not a big deal.)

Sausage & Plantain Frittata, Yucca Buns, Fruit
Will use mild sausage next time, instead of spicy, to get past the preferences of small people, but otherwise good. The yucca buns were a BIG HIT.

Mozzarella Stuffed Burgers, Sliced Apples
Garlic Roasted Russet & Sweet Potatoes
The burgers were a combo of beef & sweet Italian sausage. I browned the portion of the mixture over our burgers and popped it in the freezer to use later for pizza & pasta sauces.

Broccoli & Baked Penne
Basic white sauce, with egg, mozzarella and parmesan added.

Baked Teriyaki Tofu, Brown Rice
Stir Fried Veggies
Carrots, celery and broccoli - all okay. Kids were bugged not by onion, but by the use of both yellow and red onion. (??) Not sure why, since they won't eat the onions. Maybe B1 just had to reach a little further to come up with feedback.

Pizza & Salad
Included sausage/beef from Tues

Beef & Barley Stew, Cheese Toast
There was skepticism about the barley, until B2 made the announcement "It's okay. It's just like rice." After that, the only complaints were about the parsnips. Will do this again, but with potatoes and carrots, instead of parsnips and carrots. (Nobody noticed the minced onion - hah!)

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