Tag Archives: groceries

Food Budget Update and Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

As far as the Sustainable Food Budget Challenge goes, we’re failing.  Last weekend, I spent 137.20 at the grocery store and farmer’s market.  Today, I spent 167.70, which brings the grocery total to 304.90, out of the $323.00 allowed for the month.  Remember, I went into this challenge knowing we wouldn’t make it, but I’m doing this as an exploration rather than an achievable goal.

The bill was a little higher today because we’re having my brothers over for supper tonight, plus having my family over for a quick breakfast tomorrow before heading off to Ed’s side for lunch.  My mom’s bringing a lot for breakfast, so I didn’t have to get that much.  I also bought more of items that were on sale: cereal, canned tomatoes, granola bars. 

Since I’ll make scrambled eggs tomorrow and I love to make eggs for breakfast or supper, I’ll share my scrambled eggs recipe.  It’s easy, fast, and budget-friendly.

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

  • 6 eggs (or 2-3 eggs per person)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or monterrey jack cheese (adjust according to number of people)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Preheat a pan over low heat.  Beat the eggs with salt and pepper.  Melt the butter in the pan, turning the pan to coat.  Pour in the eggs and add the cheese.  Cook over the lowest heat setting, stirring constantly, until cooked as desired.  Ed likes his runny and I like mine well cooked, so I remove some for him while mine finish cooking.  Serve hot.

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Filed under Food, Home, Living from Scratch, Sustainable Living

Food Budget Update and a Quick & Easy Pantry Recipe

Today, I did my shopping for the week.  By participating in Crunchy Chicken’s Sustainable Food Budget Challenge, I’m trying to keep our food costs for the month of April to $323

We do focus on preserving foods, and so we have started with beef, pork, fish, scallops, chicken stock and lobster stock in the freezer.  I also have flour, sugar, cornmeal, yeast, jams, maple syrup, honey, and various canned items in the pantry.

I started the day’s shopping at the Dudley Farmer’s Market, which is held on the first Saturday of the month in the off-season.  I was disappointed that NOBODY there had any vegetables at all, and since I know one of the growers has a greenhouse, I was hoping for lettuce.  Oh well.  I did buy a baguette and a carrot-cake muffin for Ed, for a total of $4.25.  Since I couldn’t get much there, I had to go to the grocery store.

At the grocery store, I bought pears, carrots**, potatoes, lettuce**, lemons, onions, chicken**, sandwich bread**, milk*, eggs*, buttermilk, butter**, cream, canned tomatoes**, tomato paste, cheese, yogurt**, canola oil**, brownie mix**, coffee, canned soup, cereal**, granola bars**, rice**, and Pirate’s Booty**, enough to last us approximately a week and a half to two weeks, depending on what I decide to cook. (*=local, **=sustainably raised and/or organic and/or eco-farmed and/or natural).  I bought extras of the dry goods and canned goods to try to stock the pantry.  Unfortunately, I forgot to buy the penne that I planned to make for supper, but we were headed out anyway so I ran in and grabbed a couple boxes.  The total from the grocery store came to $132.95.

That brings me to a total of $137.20 spent on food today, which leaves only $185.80 for the rest of the month.  I really don’t think we’ll make the goal for the month, but keeping track of spending is an interesting exercise.  I’d like to try this again in the summer when our garden is producing, my family is is growing many different fruits and veggies, and Ed’s family is fishing and shellfishing.  I have a feeling our grocery budget will really drop then!

And now for the recipe promised! Last night, we were running low on food but I didn’t want to order out or go to the store.  I thawed out a pound of ground beef, and then did a food network search for Rachael Ray recipes with ground beef, since she’s so creative and often has recipes to use items from the pantry.  I was inspired by her Mexican Deep Dish Pizza with cornbread crust, and made my own version.  It was really yummy, and great comfort food.  Here’s my version.

pantry-meal-and-turkies-001

  • double batch Johnnycake cornbread batter (my recipe)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare cornmeal batter and pour into a buttered 12″ cast iron skillet.  Bake for 20 minutes until almost cooked through.  Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a skillet, then mix in the salsa and heat through.  Take the cornbread out of the oven and pour the beef on top, spreading it evenly.  Top with cheese and bake 10-15 minutes more until the cornbread is completely cooked and cheese is melted.  Note: you can reduce the cornbread to a single batch if you don’t want it as thick.

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Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Reusable Shopping Bags, Incentives, and Recycling

I have been using reusable shopping bags for about a year now.  Not only are they better for the environment, but I have found that they are easier to carry and more sturdy, which was especially helpful when we lived over my parents’ garage and I had to haul groceries up the stairs.  I’ve purchased the bags from all over, including Stop & Shop, IGA, and Walmart, and I am not concerned at all about using them in the store that I purchased them from. 

Anyway, today when I was at Stop & Shop, after we were through bagging my groceries, the cashier asked me how many bags I had.  I counted seven, and she subtracted $.05 for each bag.  She explained that this is a new promotion to encourage people to bring their own bags.  Which is great, because I already do, and even though it’s not that much money, a little bit will add up over time.  I’m not sure if all Stop & Shops are doing this, or if it’s just this one because they’re feeling the pressure from the new Big Y in town.

Here’s my only problem.  The town of North Branford requires that newspapers, junk mail, magazines, and cardboard be separated in the recycling bin and placed in paper bags.  I do not use paper bags, so I have to make a point to get some once a week.  Isn’t this defeating the purpose?  I’ve started to put the cardboard into a large cardboard box, eliminating the need for one bag.  Seeing as we don’t get a newspaper, just the flyers, we don’t have a lot of them laying around, and I’m sure I could just tie them together.  The same is probably true for the magazines.  But what about the junk mail?  And why don’t they come up with a better system that doesn’t create paper bag waste for the sake of recycling?

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