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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.

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day twelve


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $3.85 yesterday, January 13, 2011.

BREAKFAST

1 cup cooked organic quinoa $0.36
1/4 cup almond milk $0.06
1 tablespoon brown sugar $0.02

LUNCH

whole wheat bagel $0.42
3 tablespoons hummus $0.18
2 clementines $0.44

DINNER

2 slices whole wheat pizza with artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, feta, red onion $1.12

DESSERT

root beer float $0.75

SNACKS

8 ounces plain yogurt with peach lavender butter $0.50

total $3.85

Day twelve was the first day breakfast wasn’t so delicious. Over time I’ve come to really enjoy quinoa as part of a dinner, when topped with other delicious ingredients. But I guess doctoring it up as a breakfast with a little cinnamon, brown sugar, and non-dairy milk isn’t going to cut it. I think we will have to try, try again with raisins and nuts for a little more texture. Or perhaps a poached egg.

And happy Friday to all you Monday through Friday-ers. Yesterday was the beginning of my weekend, which meant we had run out of our planned meals. Dinner ended up being after 9pm. I guarantee you we would have ordered a pizza tonight if it weren’t for the project. We had some pizza sauce and mozzarella in the fridge that were about to spoil, so we decided to count those as freebies and see what we could come up with between Trader Joe’s (home of the pre-made pizza dough) and Grocery Outlet (hoping for more cheap almond milk). We had $9.10 left for the day.

Our really decadent, under budget pizza:

whole wheat Trader Joe’s pizza dough $1.29
leftover sauce and mozzarella
1/6 a red onion $0.05
4 ounces grape tomatoes $0.62
1/2 can artichoke hearts $0.99
1/4 of a $1.62 hunk of reduced fat feta $0.41

That works out to be $3.36 total or $1.12 per person for a third a pie! Even if we had purchased mozzarella and sauce, this could have been a cheap gourmet pizza.

Our 75 cent root beer floats were made possible by Grocery Outlet and their $1.49 pint of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla. And also their 25 cent cans of Barq’s. Sure, we could have gotten a cheap 2 liter somewhere else, but then we’d have a lot more leftover root beer tempting us from the fridge.

We did plan on eating less sugar this month, but didn’t specify exact restrictions. Dessert only once a week makes us appreciate it so much more we’ll leave you with a root beer float photo essay.

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