day six


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $3.94 yesterday, January 7, 2011.

BREAKFAST

the last of the peanut butter & banana baked oatmeal $0.43
tiny dollop of homemade blackberry jam (from our preserves)

LUNCH

multigrain bagel $0.47
3 tablespoons low fat green onion cream cheese $0.24
minneola $0.66

DINNER

southwestern corn frittata $1.24
cabbage, jicama & carrot slaw with lime dressing $0.36

SNACKS

8 ounces plain yogurt with peach lavender preserves $0.50

stovetop espresso with a tablespoon of markdown cream $0.04 (still using the free coffee)

total $3.94

Here’s the breakdown on the dinner ingredients:

8 large eggs $1.36
2 cups bulk organic frozen corn $1.66
1 cup grated cheddar $0.25
4 ounce can diced chiles $1
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro $0.13
4 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas $0.20
1.5 tablespoons olive oil $0.19
1-1/4 cups chopped onion $0.15

We added the diced green chiles since the cheese we had on hand was cheddar, and I do believe it added a lot of flavor to the recipe. We scored a big 2 pound loaf of Tillamook cheddar for $3.99 awhile back and I’m wondering if will last us the entire month.

– It turns out that organic bulk corn from the co-op is significantly more expensive than the cheap grocery store stuff, but boy could we taste the difference. It was so fresh and the sweetness of the corn really gave the frittata a little something extra. Oh, by the way, the dinner was a huge hit.

– On the other hand, limes at the co-op are sold by the pound and end up a little cheaper than the ones we’ve been buying at the grocery store lately.

– We still haven’t scored the organic yogurt we want, but we did manage to snag some 32 ounce containers of plain yogurt on sale for $2. We compared the value to the various 6 ounce individual containers that were on sale. The cheapest containers were 50 cents (cheaper than what we had been eating), but when we looked at the nutrition information they had tons of sugar. All the fabulous high protein, low sugar Greek yogurts cost a lot more. So we went with the big plain tubs and Jess carefully portioned us out 8 ounce containers with our own fruit on the bottom – some of our peach lavender butter. Oh my god, it was amazing.

We confessed to each other that we’d been craving something a little more than almond milk in our coffee, and then lo and behold the marked down cream called out to us at the grocery store. At $1.29 for a pint, it works out to 4 cents a tablespoon.

-In case you were wondering, why yes we do eat a lot of food with a southwestern flair. Also, while I don’t want to be redundant, a lot of what saves money is using up the food we buy. This dinner was inspired by leftover tortillas, eggs, and cabbage.

-I would eat green onions just about everyday if I could. If you haven’t tried adding a bunch of green onions to a package of cream cheese, you should. Our chive plant is officially not able to keep up with our need, so they are sitting this round out. Meanwhile, the dwarf Meyer lemon tree is blooming. Go figure.

-Yes, all this documenting and planning and weighing (and calculating and photographing and blogging) is a ton of work. We look kind of insane when we are shopping with our little pad and pen and my cell phone as a calculator. And standing in front of the olive oil for a full five minutes trying to figure out the best deal and weighing whether or not it is worth a little extra for the extra virgin variety. The answer is yes, we thought it was worth a little extra. And as promised, when a staple ran out we calculated it out: thirteen cents per tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

– Calculating the cost of cilantro = hardcore.

– Today I already noticed a difference in our bank account, and that really surprised and excited me. I look forward to all the money we will save in a month. And we are eating really, really well. I’m also amazed that we not only manage to eat a ton of produce, but we’ve even gotten some organic stuff here and there.

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9 Comments

Filed under food

9 responses to “day six

  1. Emma

    Hi guys-
    I think I may be your $5 a day groupie… have you thought about making yogurt? I really have no idea if it is any cheaper but you may be able to find more milk on sale than yogurt.

    • We have thought about making yogurt, but last time Krista tried to make yogurt, it was an epic fail. We are both interested in trying again, but our house is really cold and organic milk is so expensive we can’t afford it on the project. I always check the coop dairy discount shelf just in case, but we have not gotten lucky this week. Krista thinks she did the math last time she made yogurt, and it was cheaper than buying organic yogurt. Although that Trader Joes organic yogurt is mighty cheap.

      Thanks for following along! It is nice to have some support.

      • Laura

        I haven’t tried it, but my plan for the next time I make yogurt is to use the heating pad. (I hadn’t used it before because I thought we gave it away when we moved, but I found it recently!) I’ve also heard about people wrapping the warm jars up in towels and putting them in an insulated cooler.

        Also, I’ve made yogurt with powdered milk, which sounds insane, but you totally couldn’t tell. I don’t know if there is organic dry milk to be found, but it might be cheaper?

  2. Your Mother (-in-law)

    You’re both going to Tilth with all the money you’ve saved, right?!

    • hah, i know right? we put some money in savings already and it’s only been a week.

      i would love to blow a wad at tilth, if we could get reservations. krista says it is sad to save so much money and then go blow it on restaurant food.

      • Your Mother (-in-law)

        David says that Tilth reservations usually have to be made 1 month in advance. Not like I am trying to enable you or anything…

  3. Jeni

    Frittata lesson please.

  4. you guys are totally hardcore! and it’s awesome. i love following along with your project.

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