I need to explain other ways I plan to meet this challenge. (You will need to read last Thursday's post to find out what this challenge is about.) One thing I have preached about is how we all waste food and that obviously affects our pocket book (see posts on 1/31/2012 and 2/2/2012). I certainly can't say I'm perfect and that I never throw out food. So I have been digging around in my cabinets, freezer and refrigerator for "forgotten" food. We all have canned goods we bought on sale, extra meat we froze or 1/2 a bag of beans leftover from a recipe we once tried. Once I had an inventory, I started to plan meals for this week. So here is the menu through Wednesday. (I shop twice a week, usually on Mondays and Thursdays. However, due to a class I took on Monday, I will be shopping later today.)
Monday tuna casserole and sugar snap peas
Tuesday bean soup, maybe cornbread
Wednesday chicken or ham stir fry
Obviously, most of us have food on hand and don't start out with bare cabinets like old Mother Hubbard before we go to the store. I will not count food I have on hand in the $100. I will only count the food I have to buy this week. That will be plenty, believe me. I will need at least three gallons of milk which will cost about $11.50. Milk is so expensive but we will not give up a big part of our nutrition for the week.
So, of the above menu, I found a can of tuna, 1/2 bag of elbow macaroni, sugar snap peas and 2 partial bags of dried beans which would be enough to make the soup. For the chicken or ham (depends on better price!) stir fry I only have onion, carrots, rice, eggs and obviously, oil. I had eggs, cereal, milk, OJ, apples, a bit of ham and cheese and some salad greens for the breakfasts and lunches we've had so far. I did buy a 12 pack of water at Wal Mart for the kid's lunches and Oroweat bread is on sale at Kroger two for the price of one! So far I have spent $6.12. I said we might have cornbread with the bean soup, depending on how much money I spend today at the grocery as I might leave out the buttermilk. You can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to milk as a substitute for buttermilk and I may try that instead of buying buttermilk. However, I'm picky about my cornbread so I'm not sure I feel like experimenting.
I'm thinking that Friday will be our leftover night. We already enough have tuna casserole leftover for one serving. Not sure about the rest of the week yet but I'm sure an egg frittata or shakshuka will appear as eggs are so nutritious but cheap. We all make jokes about eating rice and beans but when it comes down to it, brown rice and beans are soooo good for us! We'd be better off eating more of those, hence the bean soup tonight. Plus, I happen to like beans in most any dish. I'd also like to mention that my kids like tuna casserole, giving it a 7 out of 10 rating. Just didn't want you to think that I'm serving crap my family doesn't like just to get by this week. I'm only cooking food that my family at least eats willingly but I'm not about to say every family member always loves everything I put on the table! My son will eat the bean soup but certainly not be thrilled to see it.
Check back tomorrow as I will post the shopping bill from later today!