Tag Archives: $5/person/day

day twenty-four


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $2.94 yesterday, January 25, 2011.

BREAKFAST

whole wheat peanut butter waffle $0.18
2 tablespoons “maple syrup” $0.15
banana $0.25

LUNCH

pinto bean & cheese burrito $0.52
Fuji apple $0.38

DINNER

1 cup cooked quinoa $0.36
tempeh curry $0.66

SNACKS

1 ounce piece leek & morel cheese $0.44

total $2.94

That was a pretty tasty curry. I think next time we’ll play with it to make it creamier and spicier. It turned out to be really affordable with our cheap bulk tempeh. Here’s the cost minus the herbs & spices (including cilantro which only I eat due to the others having the Cilantro Tastes Like Soap Gene). It was only 66 cents a serving even though almost all the ingredients were organic this time.

TEMPEH CURRY

1 1/2 pounds small organic potatoes $1.50
1 tablespoon unsalted butter $0.08
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil $0.26
1 medium organic yellow onion, peeled and chopped $0.62
1 cup canned organic diced tomatoes $1.50
splash of organic half & half $0.07
8 ounces tempeh, cut into 3/4-inch pieces $1.89

TOTAL $5.92
9 servings
66 cents per serving

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under food

day twenty-three


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $4.87 yesterday, January 24, 2011.

BREAKFAST

crustless broccoli-cheddar quiche $0.79

LUNCH

butternut black bean chili $0.91
quinoa skillet bread $0.34

DINNER

small artichoke $1.00
1 tablespoon butter $0.08
breakfast burrito $1.25

SNACKS

lowfat organic vanilla yogurt with blueberries $0.50

total $4.87

Short and sweet ‘cos I got stuck at work for overtime and I am practically unconscious. Jess scored us $1 artichokes at Produce Happy Hour. Oh boy, artichokes!

Levi and Jess had never actually eaten anything but the hearts. None of us had ever prepared them. Jess consulted the internet and they turned out great!

And dinner was a “clean the fridge” meal plan. We had a lot of random stuff to use up. Breakfast burritos were the pretty delicious result of leftover tortillas, veggie sausage, onion, and egg. No complaints here.

We’re starting to realize we are getting down to the end of our 30 days here. We’ll see what we can come up with in our last week of $5 a day.

Leave a comment

Filed under food

day twenty-two


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $4.01 yesterday, January 23, 2011.

BREAKFAST

crustless broccoli-cheddar quiche $0.79
banana $0.25

LUNCH

butternut black bean chili $0.91
quinoa skillet bread $0.34

DINNER

large whole wheat peanut butter waffle $0.18
2 tablespoons cheap-o syrup $0.15
5 slices tempeh bacon $0.45
poached egg $0.17
1/6 a honeydew melon $0.33

SNACKS

1 ounce piece of leek & morel cheese $0.44

total $4.01

Whoa, I am cooked out. We kind of cooked up a storm this weekend. And washed about a billion dishes. However, we have a lot of food that is going to last into the week and beyond. I’ve been making double batches of most things in order to create leftovers and cut down on time spent cooking. I am pretty pleased with the freezer being full of whole grain waffles that were made from scratch. We can eat a little less oatmeal!

We bought cheap-o fake maple syrup. Real maple syrup is soooo expensive. One of my pet peeves is the way so many healthy cookbooks use it like it costs nothing. Who can afford a cup of maple syrup in one recipe? Our compromise has been Trader Joe’s cheaper maple syrup/agave nectar blend, but you can’t always make it to the other side of town for one item.

Not that I ever doubted Martha, but these crustless ramekin quiches were top notch. And the 79 cent price included organic half and half. I love broccoli, but this elevated broccoli to the next level.

We also now have a huge stockpile of homemade tempeh bacon in the fridge. It tastes pretty similar to the expensive store-bought stuff. Now that I know it is easy and the bulk tempeh at the co-op is cheap, I think we’ll be eating a lot more of it. And yes, we did eat peanut butter waffles with syrup, tempeh bacon, and a poached egg on top. I call it The Masterpiece. Levi was a little surprised that it wasn’t whipped cream on top, but it was a pleasant surprise. Seriously, good stuff.

Ooh, and we even got to watch our friend practice for the upcoming barista competition, so we got to have our first real espresso of the month. Oh man, was it ever good. Thanks Panda!

4 Comments

Filed under food

day twenty-one


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $4.02 yesterday, January 22, 2011.

BREAKFAST

large multi-grain waffle $0.31
1/4 cup blueberry sauce (freebie – made with blueberries rescued from the bottom of the freezer)

1/6 honeydew melon $0.33

LUNCH

leftover peanut satay sandwich (minus the egg we added before) $0.74

DINNER

butternut black bean chili $0.91

quinoa skillet bread $0.34

SNACKS

1/3 cup soy milk (with coffee) $0.09
organic lowfat plain yogurt $0.40
tablespoon of honey $0.06
1 ounce piece of leek & morel cheese $0.44
2 ounces grape tomatoes $0.04

total $4.02

Whoa, do I ever have a new favorite food blog. I already made Jess request her book from the library. I’ve had some recipes bookmarked from 101 Cookbooks for awhile. I’m not sure if I ever ended up making any. Today we randomly made two recipes (one Jess found when we were in search of multigrain waffles, another came highly recommended by a friend). Both were home runs.

I followed the Multigrain Waffles recipe almost exactly. The only substitution I made was canola oil in place of melted butter. I know, I know, butter is magical. We are trying really hard to not eat too much animal fat. Canola oil is a tiny bit cheaper than butter purchased on sale – about 2 cents per tablespoon.

These waffles were terrific – light and fluffy with a little crunch from the poppy seeds. If I hadn’t made them I would have guessed they were about half white flour, but there wasn’t even any wheat flour at all. It features barley, oat, and rye flour, all cheap when bought in bulk. If you’re looking to add more whole grains to your repertoire, this is a great start. We got 8 large (whole waffle maker sized) waffles from the recipe, making them 31 cents per giant waffle. I made extra and our freezer is now stocked.

And then we made the quinoa skillet bread. Oh lord. I can’t properly express to you how much we loved this recipe. It took all the restraint we had not to just sit and eat the entire pan of it for dinner. We would have gladly all eaten another piece for dessert. We may never eat cornbread again in this house. It could never be as creamy and custardy.

Modifications: if I were making this for a dinner party, I’d go all out and pour that cup of heavy cream in the middle. I am sure it is amazing. Again, we are trying really hard not to eat too much animal fat. I love me some cream. But I was having a hard time justifying it on this project of healthy food on a budget. So I looked into substituting light coconut milk.

1 cup heavy cream = 88 grams fat
1 cup coconut milk = 57 grams fat
1 cup Trader Joe’s light coconut milk = 15 grams fat

Now, I doubt light coconut milk would set up in the middle the way the cream is intended to in the recipe. I mixed it in. I would pretend I made an educated decision to do that, but I really just didn’t read the recipe all the way through before starting. I also used coconut oil in place of butter and non-dairy milk. I think the coconut really added a great flavor. Jess says it is hard to imagine the full fat dairy version is any better. I would have to guess that 70 more grams of fat would have to add something amazing, but this version works for us.

Here’s the nutrition info based on dividing into 9 servings with our modifications. The original version has about 80 more calories and 8 more grams of fat per piece. Oh, and I was a little surprised that despite using coconut milk and oil it was only 34 cents per piece.

– The honeydew melon was a produce happy hour find. Our local store has a deal every Tuesday. It actually lasts 3 hours, of course during peak dinner shopping time.

– The leek & morel cheese was from the mark-down cheese bin we have become very familiar with and also served as an excuse for me to feed it to Levi and then tell him he was eating mushrooms after he liked it.

– The chili was a recipe I made up, intended to use up some leftover butternut squash. It also had zucchini, carrot, onion, and hominy. Oh, and ancho chiles.

2 Comments

Filed under food

day twenty


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $3.87 yesterday, January 21, 2011.

BREAKFAST

steelcut oats (from 1/3 cup dry) $0.10
2 tablespoons raisins $0.08
1 tablespoon slivered almonds $0.06
2 teaspoons brown sugar $0.02

LUNCH

1 cup dal palak $0.93 (it just keeps going)
1 cup cooked quinoa $0.36

DINNER

grilled satay peanut sandwich $0.91
organic Cameo apple $0.52

SNACKS

1/3 cup soy milk (with coffee) $0.09
banana $0.25
tablespoon of organic peanut butter $0.09
8 ounces plain lowfat yogurt $0.40
1 tablespoon honey $0.06

total $3.87

Woohoo, two-thirds through! I spent so much time today plotting and planning and grocery shopping, it feels good to know it’s downhill from here on out. At the same time, I want to implement a lot of the stuff we’re doing into our everyday lives minus the tight restrictions and all the calculations. Do you have a dry erase board on your fridge with your meals for the week? Or a spreadsheet system? Do tell!

I am not really sure why we are eating so much peanut butter. A banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter is my new favorite snack and I may be a little obsessed, but I don’t know how it has made its way into so many meals. We are trying to eat more protein, but I normally try to keep it lower in fat. Tonight’s dinner had a decadent amount of peanut butter. It had so much peanut butter I was worried about cost and bought some cheaper stuff that was not organic, although we have found the best deal on organic seems to be Trader Joe’s at $2.50 for a 16 ounce jar. That even beats the bulk organic stuff at the co-op.

The first time we made these sandwiches we added seitan. That was pretty spectacular, but we can’t afford store-bought seitan and haven’t found the time to make homemade. We decided to get a little crazy and add a fried egg, and boy was that ever a good idea. And a little Sriracha doesn’t hurt either. Except Levi. He was happy without it.

I chuckled for a good minute when I saw this photo. Poor kid, his mom keeps taking his picture while he eats.

Here’s the cost on dinner:

6 day-old ciabatta rolls $2.66
1-1/2 cups peanut butter $0.96
2 tablespoons soy sauce $0.06
2 tablespoons brown sugar $0.04
2 tablespoons lime juice $0.09
1/4 sliced red onion $0.11
4 ounces bean sprouts $0.45
3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger root (leftover)
handful of cilantro for K only (too small to calculate)
2 tablespoons canola oil $0.06
6 eggs $1.02

Our big score was finding the exact kind of day-old bread we wanted. We would have gone with something else otherwise.

Oh, and I promise no oatmeal tomorrow!

3 Comments

Filed under food

day nineteen


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $4.03 yesterday, January 20, 2011.

BREAKFAST

Jess ate some instant oatmeal, everyone else skipped. FAIL. $0.13

LUNCH

1 cup dal palak $0.93
1 cup cooked quinoa $0.36

DINNER

1/3 a breakfast pizza $2.10

DESSERT

leftover birthday party NEXT BEST THING TO TOM SELLECK cake (free – thanks Jordan & Melanie!)

SNACKS

1 tablespoon organic peanut butter $0.11
organic lowfat plain yogurt with lime curd $0.40

total $4.03

When I switch back over from night shift to being awake during the day on my weekends, I usually lose half a day. Today was that day. But that means hurray! It is my weekend – a glorious four day weekend. We need to make the planning and prepping happen again. A big part of what makes us successful in making 3 meals a day that are not packaged, prepared foods is taking that time every evening to make sure a breakfast is made and lunches are packed.

Speaking of not buying packaged food: Levi, Head of Garbage Services in our household, commented tonight about how much compost he keeps having to take out. Um, duh Levi! Did you not notice how little trash you have to take out? We are making so much compost, and so little trash. It is incredible.

When we started this project we envisioned eating a lot of the same ol’ boring stuff again and again, like beans and rice. Or we expected to cave and eat Ramen once a week when we didn’t have time to cook. Somehow we have managed to make all this amazing food and try tons of new recipes. Tonight we just needed something quick and research free, so we revisited a family favorite we have blogged about before, the breakfast pizza. We had a little room money-wise for dinner, but we made it happen for a total of $6.31:

Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough $1.29
1/2 tablespoon olive oil $0.07 (to sauté the veggie sausage)
2 links (half a package)Trader Joe’s Italian meatless sausage $1.75
4 ounces fresh mozzarella $1
1 ounce gouda $0.62
2-3/4 ounces reduced-fat feta $0.69
4 eggs $0.68
4 green onions $0.21
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

Cheese seems to be the big ingredient that we mostly buy on sale, from the markdown bin, or from the outlet grocery store. That is unless it happens to be a type of cheese that is super affordable at our co-op. And we are learning a little goes a long way.

By the way, that dal palak didn’t seem super exciting at first, but it is one of those things that tastes even better as leftovers. What a great lunch to take to work. Filling and flavorful. And having it for lunch almost saves our otherwise less than stellar nutrition for the day.

Leave a comment

Filed under food

day eighteen


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $5.69 yesterday, January 19, 2011.

Whoa, hold up, $5.69? WHOOPS! We accidentally went over budget today. What exactly is to blame? An amazing, delicious, mouth watering SALAD. Or I suppose I could blame the avocado banana smoothie. I guess I got a little too cocky about how much fresh produce we can squeeze into one day for five bucks. I’m not going to beat myself up since we’ve been under budget by this much on many other days. There’s always tomorrow.

BREAKFAST

steelcut oats (from 1/3 cup dry) $0.10
2 tablespoons raisins $0.08
1 tablespoon slivered almonds $0.06
2 teaspoons brown sugar $0.02

LUNCH

1 cup dal palak $0.93
1 cup cooked quinoa $0.36

DINNER

gigantic salad with 1/2 block baked tofu $2.48
2 tablespoons sriracha buttermilk dressing $0.10

avocado banana smoothie $1.03

SNACKS

1/2 cup frothed soy milk (for coffee) $0.13
8 ounces lowfat organic plain yogurt w/ strawberry preserves $0.40

total $5.69

Here’s the cost breakdown on the salad:

1-1/2 blocks extra firm tofu $2.99
1 head romaine lettuce $1.49
1/4 red onion $0.08
1 large organic carrot $0.08
1/2 bunch radishes $0.25
8 ounces broccoli $0.84
5 ounces organic grape tomatoes $1.00
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds $0.09
1 ounce Beemster Xtra Old gouda from clearance bin $0.62

total $7.44
per person $2.48

It was kind of worth it. That salad was amazing. More often than not we eat our dinners served on our smaller salad plates, but this was a full on dinner plate covered in a giant salad. With the rich avocado smoothie and an entire half block of tofu per person, we were stuffed. What can I say, I was trying to boost our protein intake. Usually it is our intention to eat a dinner like this or taco salad once a week, but it almost never happens.

Our tofu baking method isn’t exact, but if people are really curious I could come up with a recipe to post sometime. I didn’t calculate the cost of the various spices used along with a little flour and cornmeal to coat it for baking.

I did, however, post the smoothie recipe separately.

4 Comments

Filed under food