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Cook book review on hold.

December 6, 2011
by Erin B

I’m taking “Eating Forward” back to the library and I have not tried a single recipe.  Here’s the thing, I cook with a lot of whole foods.  I don’t have that many sauces and ready made stuff in my fridge.  I also don’t pay that much for groceries.  To feed my family of five (or 3.75 based on access arrangements)  it costs me under $400 a month.  In fact, I just went out and bought all the meat, all the non-perishables, all the perishables that have a longer shelf life (like yogurt and cheese) and a week’s worth of fresh veg and dairy, and a CHRISTMAS TREE (not a regular purchase) for $213.27.

For the rest of the month, I will need to buy fresh milk and eggs and veg, but most of my shopping (and menu planning is done).  I took the time (and wasted the effort as it turns out) to price out the ingredients for the first week of suppers in “Eating Forward” and the suppers would have been over $100 for a week.

Yes, the suppers for that week feed 6, so there would have been leftovers for lunch and whatever… but so do my regular month’s menu.  December is just not a good month to started messing about with the budget too much.

If you are interested in what I eat all month, well here you go:

Chili pots with corn chips

Veggie pizzas from Costco with added Italian sausage.

Waffles and Fruit

Average Betty’s Burito 911

Average Betty’s Super rolls

Swiss and mushroom burgers

Cottage pie

Mac and Cheese with veggies and dip

Baked beans with buns and salad

Perogies and sausage with a side of frozen mixed veggies

Nachos with tomatoes, peppers, olives, cheese and green onion

Beef enchilada casserole from Life’s on Fire by Sandi Richard

Soup with fresh buns

Ham and scalloped potatoes with salad and cooked carrots

Average Betty’s Beefy Noodle

Hogfather Pie with sliced apple and cheese on the side (should be turnips, but my family would refuse)

Fresh rolls with Average Betty’s Peanut sauce

Italian sausage tomato sauce on corkscrew pasts

Asian BBQ with grilled veg

Pork tenderloin with greek potatoes and salad

Cheese and tomato sandwiches (actually baked bree and brushetta on toast)

Manicotti (also a variation of a Sandi Richard recipe)

Lamb stew

Shrimp and tomato pasta with capers

Add in a couple of left over nights and family suppers for Christmas and that is a whole month of food.  Meals always include two choices for veg, sometimes it’s salad or cut veg or frozen veg or…. what ever I feel like making.  My freeze has a drawer dedicated to assorted frozen veg, so I can be a little spur of the moment.  I am also prone to adding mixed veg to recipes that may not call for it, like make and cheese or cottage pie.  I could pretend I’m hiding it for the kids, but I need the extra too.

There are some good reasons to buy ready made sauces, but now that I am mostly stay at home, I have the time to make my own… so I do.  That made at home thing is really saving my budget.  None the less, I can’t afford the organic or as high end of ingredients as the 100 days of real food people.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. LAT permalink
    December 6, 2011 7:51 pm

    Your ability to plan meals amazes me. (I refuse turnips too.) Those meals sound so good! Do you plan the exact schedule for the month, or do you go a little bit by ear depending on what you feel like eating?

    I just bought a low-carb slow cooker cookbook, tonight we’re having Greek chicken from it. SO GOOD.

    • Erin B permalink*
      December 7, 2011 9:45 pm

      It’s a bit random. Each month I sit down and write a meal on every day of the calendar. Some stuff has to go together, like burritos and super rolls because they use similar perishable ingredients. On the other hand, if I have Soup and buns writen down for a day and it turns out I won’t be home much to make that, I will sub in ham or something in the slow cooker. It gets a little harder at the end of the month when there are fewer choices left on the calendar and fewer ingredients left in the freezer.

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