I want to start out by saying I am having so much fun with this challenge. I have been busting out my cookbooks and getting inspired with recipes and the various uses for the same vegetables that meals are not stale or boring. When I see a recipe now I imagine what I have in the pantry or refrigerator and what would be a good substitute and I have to say I have not been disappointed yet.
Something else has come out of this challenge and that is homemade is better than package even if homemade isn’t great. I am referring to the fact that I have not bought a loaf of bread in over a month and have instead been making my own bread at home. First I made bread from all-purpose and whole wheat, then a 100% whole wheat. Last week I made rye bread and this week I made cinnamon raisin. No reason to ever buy a loaf of bread again. As a matter of fact I noticed that after 7 days my bread developed a bit of mold on the last piece and thought to myself how long does bread in the store sit on the counter and then get brought home and used?
I am also no longer purchasing beans in a can but instead using dry beans and cooking them from scratch. The same goes for oatmeal. A box of oatmeal in a package is somewhere around $1.50 and have 5 packages in it. Two pounds of rolled oats is $5.60 and I have had it for nearly two weeks and have made 3 bowls of oatmeal, and Karen made energy bars with it and I still have at least 1 pound left.
Nut butter? Yup no longer buying that either. In a food processor some almonds along with either honey or maple syrup and you have something that is so much better than Jif. I make it in small batches so I know that it is always fresh. I mentioned in a vlog that I was going to start making jelly/jam and I think this is the week I do that. I have some leftover blueberries from last week and I am going to try to make a blueberry jam out of them.
So to the nitty gritty of this week. I wound up spending $57, which is $7 over the limit but coupled with the fact that I only spend $42 last week and I am averaging $50 per week on groceries. I managed to make 20 meals and snacks out of this $57 so that averages out to $2.85 per meal. A number I will gladly take along with a very cooperative waist line. Since I started this process I am down 5 pounds and have been holding a steady weight. I attribute this to knowing exactly what is going into my food and not wondering what they are using in the kitchen of a restaurant.
Lastly, Frugal Grocer now has a Facebook page as well. I will be posting at least once or twice a day a recipe that I come across that I can adapt to make it cheaper with a suggestion or a coupon I find. That page will be dedicated to helping you eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Recipe of the Week:
Ingredients: 1/4c quinoa (washed), 1c water, 1/4c onion (diced), 4 kalamata olives (chopped), 1 tbsp capers (chopped), 1 garlic clove (chopped), 8oz crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried tarragon, 1 tsp marjoram, 1 tbsp olive oil
- Place quinoa in pan and heat for 3-4 minutes to get a toasty flavor.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- After water boils reduce heat and bring it to a simmer and let it sit until steam begins to form.
- Once steam forms give the quinoa a quick stir and then leave it until all the water is absorbed.
- While quinoa cooks, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan.
- After oil heats up add in garlic and onion and cook until fragrant.
- Once garlic and oil provide the kitchen with a wonderful aroma add in the tomatoes, olives, capers and herbs.
- Allow puttanesca to heat through stirring occasionally and making sure all the flavors are married.
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120123-00305.jpg]6880Quinoa Puttanesca
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120124-00306.jpg]6650Rice Cakes With Sliced Banana and Carbohydrate Smoothie
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120124-00309.jpg]6340Banana, Apple and Almond Butter Sandwich
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120123-00304.jpg]6170Eggs With Red Onion, Tomato and Avocado Open Faced Sandwich
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120125-00311.jpg]6030Oatmeal With Cinnamon and Bananas
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120125-00312.jpg]5940Vegetable Sandwich With Celery And Carrots
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120125-00313.jpg]5770Black Bean and Vegetable Tacos
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120126-00315.jpg]5520Pancake Cupcakes
Made with whole wheat flour, almond butter, banana and blueberries[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120126-00316.jpg]5370Vegetable Fried Rice With Homemade Peanut Sauce
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120126-00318.jpg]5180Spanish Stew With Chickpeas (Enough for two meals)
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120126-00319.jpg]5120Bosc Pear and Banana Glazed in Honey Served Over Homemade Rye Bread
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120127-00320.jpg]5050Peanut Butter and Banana With Honey On Homemade Rye Bread
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120127-00321.jpg]4990Bagel and Non(Lox) -- Homemade Rye Bread With Vegan Cream Cheese, Thin Sliced Tomato And Capers
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120128-00324.jpg]4920Jovial Pasta With Sun Dried Tomatoes, Black Olives, Feta Cheese and Kidney Beans
[img src=http://cooktraineatrace.com/wp-content/flagallery/frugalgrocerweek4/thumbs/thumbs_img-20120129-00326.jpg]4900Vegetable Sandwich with Side Salad and Brussel Sprouts
Sandwich consists of Homemade Rye Bread, Red Bell Pepper, Spinach, Pickles, Mushrooms and Whole Grain Mustard.